Summary: It began as a normal day in Ponyville on the last day of the week, but it quickly changes into drama when a young filly is foalnapped during broad daylight and another one is left injured in the hospital.
Two of the Cutie Mark Crusaders witness the tail end of the crime and become unsure how they should feel about the whole thing, especially when considering who the foalnapped filly is. Should they do something to help or just let the adult ponies handle this?
The school bell clung loudly to signal the end of another school day, soon after a row of young fillies and colts began pouring out of the door, with their teacher's cheerful voice calling after them.
"And don't forget Monday's assignment, short paper on a famous pony through Equestria History. Scootaloo, that does not mean another paper on Rainbow Dash."
The orange Pegasus filly this last remark was aimed at blushed and grinned sheepishly before hurrying out of the schoolhouse. Cheerilee chuckled at the reaction of her student knowing she had thwarted her plans. The first time she got a paper on Rainbow Dash had not been out of the ordinary, but when almost every writing assignment somehow managed to be about Rainbow Dash no matter how specific the subject was, it was worrisome.
Cheerilee followed the last students out and stopped on the porch and waved goodbye. "Have a nice weekend."
Scootaloo had in the meantime caught up with her two friends. Sweetie Bell and Apple Bloom waved back to their teacher but the Pegasus pony held her head low still feeling a little embarrassed. The Unicorn and the Earth pony noticed but before they could comment on it, their friend was already talking.
"How could she know I was going to write about Rainbow Dash?" she complained and kicked a small stone on the dirt road leading away from the school. "It's like she read my mind."
"Scoot, ya only write 'bout Rainbow Dash," Apple Bloom pointed out and Sweetie Bell nodded. Scootaloo's head jerked up.
"I do not," she protested, feeling indignant. But seeing the unimpressed looks on her friend's faces caused the filly to lower her head again. "Okay maybe I do."
"Don't worry; we'll help you find somepony to write about. We got the entire weekend," Sweetie Belle chirped cheerfully, Apple Bloom nodded in agreement.
"Speaking of the weekend, I'm ready to put school out of my mind right now. What shall we do for the rest of the day Crusaders?" Scootaloo wondered and glanced at her friends. Their walking arrangement had her in the middle, the yellow pony on her right and the white one on the left.
"Ooh, ooh." The unicorn suddenly jumped in excitement as an idea hit her. "Pinkie Pie was at Rarity's shop yesterday. She said she was doing a new super duper cupcake recipe and was going to test run it today. We should totally go to Sugarcube Corner and see if we can taste it."
"Hey that does sound great and at least it will get school out of my mind for a while," Scootaloo agreed. Apple Bloom was nodding furiously at the prospect of a tasty treat after a long day at school.
The three fillies continued trotting further into Ponyville with direction headed for the town's local bakery. But suddenly Apple Bloom stopped and her expression indicated she had just remembered something; she stamped one hoof on the ground in frustration. Her two friends looked at her questionably.
"Oh shoot, Ah plain forgot. Applejack told me to come straight home after school today; she wants me to help Granny with her gardening," the yellow filly grumped. "Guess Ah got to put a rain check on that cupcake."
"Hey that's alright, we'll just see you later then," Scootaloo assured her. She and Sweetie Bell had long since learned that their Earth Pony friend had far more chores to do than them, living on a farm and all and was thus expected to help there.
"I know, we'll ask Pinkie Pie to hold some of the cupcakes and bring them to you," the unicorn filly suggested.
"That's sounds great, well Ah better run, see ya gal's later." Apple Bloom grinned before running off, changing her direction to Sweet Apple Acres.
The two remaining fillies waved before continuing their trek towards Sugarcube Corner. As the nearly cake looking bakery came into view the two young ponies stopped short. The cause for their immediate halt were the two other school ponies just entering the building. One with a magenta coat and a tiara crowned on top of her head and the other with a gray coat and a very striking silver spoon cutie mark on her flank.
"Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, oh great," Scootaloo groaned, not looking forward to having to meet the two divas of Ponyville Elementary inside the bakery.
"Come now Scoot, we can handle those two." Sweetie Belle patted the Pegasus encouragingly on the back.
"Sweetie, you're always so chipper, how do you do it?" the orange filly wondered. The unicorn grinned.
"I dunno, maybe that's my special talent," she giggled and so did her friend. "Come on, those cupcakes won't deliver themselves out here to us."
"Yes your right," Scootaloo agreed and they continued towards the building.
When they came to the front steps the door opened and Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon came waltzing out each carrying a brown paper bag, no doubt filled with something tasty, in their mouths. Scootaloo steeled herself expecting the magenta pony to do something to try and get a rise out of her and Sweetie Belle.
Nothing happened; the two Earth fillies exiting the shop barely gave the two Crusaders a half disinterested glances before trotting away together. The orange Pegasus halted and watched them go, finding herself amazed that nothing was said or even attempted to. Sweetie Belle on the other hand completely ignored this and was already inside and by the counter addressing Mrs. Cake.
"Hi Mrs. Cake, I heard Pinkie Pie was going to try a super duper new cupcake recipe today," the Unicorn filly said.
"Oh yes I do believe so, she's in the kitchen right now preparing them," the blue mare chuckled. Scootaloo now entered the bakery proper and stood beside her friend.
"Hi girls!" a pink head with an extra fluffy pink mane peeked quickly out of the kitchen door before disappearing again.
"You here to taste my new cupcakes?" again the pink pony peeked out and disappeared just as quickly.
"Yes please," Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo confirmed in unison. At that Pinkie Pie sprung out of the kitchen as if she had been fired from a cannon, confetti trailing after her.
"Yes! My first cupcake testers for my Test Party," she cheered. With amazing speed she grabbed the two school fillies and had them sit by a table. In almost all the same movements, the Crusaders were given party hats and party whistles before Pinkie zipped back into the kitchen and barely a second later came right back holding a plate full of cupcakes.
"I'm so excited. We got all kind of new ingredients to bake with and some I had never tried on cupcakes before so I just had to make a whole new type of cupcakes, Super Duper Cupcakes with all of them. I've invited everypony in town to come this afternoon to try them out and you're the first to come," the pink hyperactive pony explained in her usual motor mouth way, then she blew her own party whistle that she had not been holding a second before.
The Crusaders did not complain, used to Pinkie's hyper ways. They blew their whistles too before beginning to eat the cupcakes on the plate. Turned out they were delicious and melted wonderfully in their mouths; the two fillies just couldn't stop eating these sweet treats.
"You like them?" Pinkie bounced up and down.
"Like them?" Scootaloo remarked and began gorging on another cupcake.
"We loooove them," Sweetie Belle giggled and was about to get another cupcake when she remembered the third Crusader. "Oh wait, Pinkie we need a batch for Apple Bloom. She had to go home to do her chores and we promised to bring some cupcakes for her."
"Not a problem, I'll put few in a box," Pinkie Pie assured her and zipped away again. She did not come immediately back this time. Few seconds later her head peeked out of the kitchen. "Sorry girls, you have to wait a bit, the next batch isn't ready just yet."
"That's okay," the white unicorn told her. Pinkie grinned and disappeared into the kitchen once more.
"Now you girls be careful not to get a tummy ache," Mrs. Cake addressed them, having watched the whole scene with a patient smile.
"Don't worry, we
*belch* won't." Scootaloo smiled contently and patted her tummy. She eyed the last remaining cupcakes on the plate. "Maybe we should just save these for Apple Bloom."
Sweetie Belle nodded and realized that they could probably have told Pinkie that already earlier. The unicorn rose up considering doing just that, but her attention was brought to the front door when it opened and a new customer entered the bakery. Scootaloo glanced over as well.
The newly arrived Pegasus pony was on the larger side, as large as Apple Bloom's brother Big Macintosh. He had a dark brown coat and his mane, tail and hooves were gray in color. On his flank was the image of an axe with a silver head.
"Hello and welcome to Sugarcube Corner, what can I get you," Mrs. Cake addressed him.
There was nothing but silence in answer. The stallion began looking around for a moment, a rather hard almost unfriendly expression plastered on his face. Mrs. Cake raised an eyebrow wondering if she had said something wrong. Finally the silent pony pointed at the shelf containing muffins.
"I take it you want muffins?" Mrs. Cake asked and the Pegasus nodded. "How many would you like?"
Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo both tilted their heads in confusion when instead of opening his mouth to answer; the stranger began clapping one hoof ten times on the hardwood floor. The Crusaders looked at each other with a 'what?' on their faces, but then they heard the bakery owner gasp slightly in realization.
"Oh my, I'm terribly sorry I didn't realize," she said smiling apologetically. "Ten muffins it is yes."
"What, the ten claps meant ten muffins?" Scootaloo leaned over the table and whispered to Sweetie who shrugged.
The stallion showed no sign of being offended. Mrs. Cake gathered the ten muffins in a bag and the Pegasus paid for his purchase and left. The two school fillies looked at the blue mare who had resumed her more customary patient smile.
"Uh excuse me, Mrs. Cake. But what didn't you realize?" Sweetie Belle asked.
"Oh, he was mute dears. He couldn't talk so he has to use signs like clapping the hoof on the ground to communicate," she explained to them.
"Ooooh," both Crusaders said in unison and sat back down.
"You know there was something familiar about him." The unicorn frowned slightly in thought.
"Oh?" her friend looked at her questionably.
"Yeah, you know where I live with my parents' right?" Sweetie Belle said. "Only a street or two away from Diamond Tiara."
"Yeah." Scootaloo nodded; sometimes the little Pegasus wondered if that was an additional reason why Sweetie so often visited her sister.
"Yeah I think I've seen that Pegasus walk past our street and towards the one she lives on, several times over the past few weeks," Sweetie Belle said. "And I know nopony new has moved into the neighborhood. I mean Ponyville isn't that large, we always get to hear when somepony new moves in."
"Maybe he just likes walking that way." Scootaloo shrugged.
"What? Sompony new has moved into Ponyville and I didn't know?" Pinkie was suddenly standing there with eyes open wide and mouth hanging in mix of startled and amazement.
"What? No, but as I said I've seen that Pegasus several times passing my street," Sweetie Belle corrected her. "The one that was here a minute ago."
"Oh no," Pinkie gasped putting her hooves on each side of her head. "Maybe he's looking for a place to live and can't find any. What if he's been wandering around Ponyville for weeks without a place to sleep or eat? Maybe his hunger finally drove him here."
"Um, Pinkie." Scootaloo raised an eyebrow.
"No time to chat, I have a new pony to welcome," Pinkie Pie declared and prepared to rush off.
"Wait Pinkie, he's already gone and he's a Pegasus, he's probably flown off already," Sweetie pointed out. Pinkie seemed to trip over nothing when hearing that landing flat on the floor.
"Oh that's true," she said and jumped back to her legs. Then she put on a determined look. "Guess I'll just have to look for him then. How did he look like?"
"Pinkie, what about your cupcakes? You are expecting ponies to come remember," again it was the white unicorn that spoke.
"Shoot, I guess I'll just have to wait." Pinkie frowned but then shrugged and immediately put up her usual smile and trotted away. "Well back to the kitchen."
"Oh right, here are the cupcakes for Apple Bloom." the pink hyper pony was almost immediately back holding a small box tied with a bow and placed it on the table. She smiled at the two fillies. "Thanks for tasting my cupcakes."
"You're welcome, they really were Super Duper," Sweetie Belle declared and Scootaloo nodded in agreement.
Soon the two fillies figured they should head off. Mrs. Cake provided them with a paper bag for the few leftover cupcakes they had been testing. Sweetie carried that while Scootaloo placed the box on her own back. The Crusaders headed outside just as Rarity and Twilight Sparkle were approaching the bakery.
"Hey girls, you got into Pinkies new cupcakes already?" the purple Unicorn pony addressed the fillies.
"Yep and they were Super Duper just as she said," Scootaloo confirmed. Sweetie Belle nodded shaking the paper bag in the process.
"Yes she wouldn't stop rambling on about them when she came by yesterday to invite me over," Rarity chuckled. She then looked at her little sister. "Now Sweetie, don't go eat all of that before dinner time, remember I invited you and our parents over."
"Yeth Wawithy," Sweetie said still holding the bag in her mouth.
"Darling, don't talk with your mouth full, put the bag down and then speak," her older sister gently scolded her.
"Wight." Sweetie put the bag down and looked up smiling innocently. "Sorry. I won't eat all the cupcakes before dinner, Rarity."
"Good, I'll see you then." the fashion designer nodded she and Twilight then headed inside after saying goodbye to the two Crusaders.
Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle were still in Ponyville but gradually approaching the bridge that would lead to the road going to Sweet Apple Acres. They were passing some of the last houses when they heard a voice, arguing with someone.
"Do I have to do all the thinking here?"
"We are on a vital mission here and you stop to get something to eat?"
"Oh stop looking at me like that, we both know what will happen if we screw up. She will flay us alive and leaves us rotting for the authorities to pick us up."
"I don't care if you are hungry."
The fillies blinked and looked at each other in confusion before eyeing around. Soon they realized this was coming from a nearby alley. Curiosity being a strong trait in them, the Crusaders slowly approached, hugging the wall of one of the houses forming the alley. Carefully once they were close enough the two girls peeked inside.
They saw the Pegasus with the axe cutie mark, still with the bag of muffins in his mouth. In front of him stood a large Gryphon who was almost as big as the stallion. The half eagle, half lion like creature had a white feathered head with a big yellow beak, the rest of the front half of his body were covered in jet black feathers, but the lion half was dark tan colored. In his right talon the creature held a large bag that was wriggling and a muffled nearly inaudible voice came out of it.
"You were supposed to be my lookout. She nearly got out into a too populated area for me to grab her," the Gryphon hissed and looked around, revealing that he was missing one eye and had replaced it with a glass one.
The stallion just snorted, his expression was still hard but there was a hint of annoyance in it. He glanced at the nearby dumpster. His friend just groaned and rolled his real eye.
"Oh come on, I didn't hit her that hard. You know what she said, no witnesses, I had to knock her out before I grabbed our target," the Gryphon stated. He looked sharply around again. "Now let's get out of here before we are spotted."
With these words he spread out his wings and took off to the air. The Pegasus hesitated for a second and looked at the dumpster again. His friend noticed and stopped his ascent and looked back down.
"She'll be fine, somepony will find her. Now let's go," the Gryphon hissed in annoyance. The silent stallion snorted again before spreading his own wings and flew off. Fortunately for the two hiding Crusaders their flight path did not go over where they peeked into the alley.
Silently and carefully the two school fillies sneaked into the alley, wondering what this had all been about. They couldn't see much looking around; most alleys in Ponyville were pretty clean. That's why something lying at the other end of it caught Scootaloo's attention and she ran over..
"It's two paper bags," she called over to Sweetie Belle. The orange Pegasus picked them up with her mouth and ran back to her friend, who had put their own bag down.
"What's in them?" the unicorn wondered, the other Crusader shrugged and they both opened them and were surprised to find untouched candy in both plus some fancy looking pastry.
A soft groan snapped their attention to the dumpster. Somepony was definitely in there. The girls glanced at each other unsure. Slowly Scootaloo shifted the box off her back and down to the ground so not to ruin the cupcakes in it. Then she approached the dumpster with Sweetie Belle following close behind. The orange filly put her head up against the green painted metal and listened.
"Girls, what are you doing?" a voice addressed them from above causing the two Crusaders to jump. Looking up they saw a light blue colored Pegasus with a rainbow mane and tail hovering above them.
"Rainbow Dash," Scootaloo shouted in both excitement and with some urgency. She pointed at the dumpster with her hoof. "There is somepony in there."
Dash's brow rose. She had been on her way to Sugarcube Corner on the invitation of Pinkie from yesterday when she had seen the two fillies sneak into the alley. Curious as of what the two were up to the rainbow mane pony had silently flown over, witnessing the two fillies approaching the dumpster.
"Someone in the dumpster huh?" she said, as if to confirm it another soft groan escaped from the big metal container.
Rainbow Dash immediately flew closer and landed in front of it. She grabbed the lid and pulled it up to open the dumpster. The pony's eyes opened wide in shock and she gasped. Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle reached up to peek in as well and their jaws dropped at the sight before them.
Moving weakly in the garbage was the gray coated form of Silver Spoon. Her usually well kept and groomed mane was a mess after something had hit her hard on the head. Small trickles of blood came down from the gash on her crown. The right lens of her glasses was cracked and the frame itself was broken in two.
Silver Spoon was conscious and once the filly was aware that the dumpster lid had been opened and someone was looking down at her, she looked up weakly, tears brimming in her eyes.
" she moaned, reaching out with a small shaky hoof.
End Chapter 1