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Forbidden Knowledge · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
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Not So Sweet
Breath in. Breath out.

Calm your mind and focus on the task at hand. Perceive the goal, not the obstacles along the way.

Breath in. Breath out.

My breath shudders and feels hot. Passing along my lips. I wasn’t ready. Not a single thing in all my years of training. Nor any day of my career could prepare me for this moment.

“Breath in.-” The mantra played along my lips. Just as the monks of Neighbet had taught me to do so in times of stress. “Breath ou-!” Wheezing and gasping again? I find myself exhilarated and frightened beyond anything I have faced before. Why was it so different this time? Why was this door in front of me rattling me worse than my countless experiences in the field?

“Breath in!” A grunt follows as I held my breath forcing my lungs to stay steady before blowing it all out in one quick go, my body had refused to stay calm. My hoof moved swiftly as it tapped along the wooden surface. Acting quickly to avoid another mishap with my mind and lungs.

One. Twice. And then a third.


My breathing went uneven again. Fear played along and lips. My thoughts ringing wildly to the struggle within my head. Quivering to myself as I knew every reason not to stay here any longer. It could all be avoided. If I had just turned away now.

You shouldn’t be here.

“Breath in. Breath out.” The mantra again.

Turn back!

“Be right there!” A voice responded from the interior of the building. A sweet gentle voice, that only added to my emotional state. It was her. My darling! The one I was seeking out. Though I knew better. I just couldn’t stand it much longer. Just a simple glance is all I need. A couple of words. Nothing much, just something to ease the pain.

Turn BACK!

The door creaked out and the mental voice inside became silent. The deed was done.

“Hello ma’am! And welcome to the Carousel Boutique!” The little filly introduced herself is such a kind manner. Even holding the door open to let me in. What little control of my breathing was gone as everything all at once was taken away. Leaving me breathless. She was so beautiful.
“Are you alright, Ma’am.?” Shaking my head I found myself staring at her for too long. Blowing out some steam from my frustration, I push my beige hooves forward. Moving by her with a simple response.

“I’m just doing a bit of window shopping.” The reply from the tiny child wasn’t one I expected to see, or desire for another reason.

“Oh… Well, my name’s Sweetie Belle. Let me know if you need anything.” The expression along her face changed as disappointment shaped her shifting lips. Dragging herself inside behind me.

“Sweetie Belle! Who’s at the door?” A regal voice filled the air, hinted with a dash of flair and fancy.

“It’s just a loiterer.” I cringe at the mention of loitering. I was here for a very good reason. I just couldn’t express it openly without causing some tension. The owner of the shop pushed her way through some hanging curtains that acted as a barrier to her back rooms.

“Sweetie Belle! You know better than to treat a customer like that! Welcome to Rarity’s Boutique how can I-” Silence fills the room as she knew all too well why I was here. What she didn’t know was that she was making a scene suddenly. The white unicorn who was introducing herself was none other than Rarity. The fashionista of Ponyville.

“Okay…” The poor child could only sit in place, swapping glances at the two adults. Rarity’s smile was gone, barely held up with a threat of patience. While my lips remained streamlined, determined to see this through. Even if I was unwelcomed here, I knew I was at fault. It wouldn’t be Rarity’s crime to see me out. Who would blame her when she was told all about me?

“Sweetie, Honey? Can you check up on my new ‘ensamble’? Now, may be a perfect time to show them off.”

“Well, alright.” A shuffle of tiny hooves filled the air as Rarity and myself stared at each other. Holding onto what little respect we had for one another, at the moment. Seconds pass by as my lips grimace. Aggravated at the thought of Sweetie Belle being sent away. Just as the filly in the room was out of sight, the shopkeeper bursted out into her own demands.

“What, pray tell, are you doing here?” A white hoof held up her puffed up chest as the unicorn tried her best to maintain her composure. Moving away from the back entrance to better converse with me. The glide of her legs and hooves seemed dainty and gentle. I knew well enough, there was a bit of fight in her even through that mask.

“You know exactly why I’m here.” She shook her head at me in quick flurry of denial. Perhaps she was hoping that it wasn’t true. Curse that man for leaving Sweetie with an informed guardian.

“Ahem! I’m sorry, but ‘why’ are you here now?” The question rang into the air. Hitting my ears as they tittered about in annoyance. She would not keep me from the one pony I wanted to see. “You know more than anypony else, why you need to leave Sweetie alone. I don’t understand why you abandon her and then all of a sudden-”

“I did not!”

My own patience was sliced into a much thinner thread now with that comment. She made it seem like it was my fault. Even if the blame lands nowhere else but on me, it was circumstances that led me to make such a drastic choice at the time. It was the only choice. Raising a child, let alone a family would be too much of variable. In my work, I could only work towards the goal tasked to me. It was complicated.

“Ms. Sweetie Drops?” The voice brought me back into reality. Those sweet words. They differed from my own in so many ways. Rarity’s family were characters. Her mother. Her father. Even herself. They even held accents that highlighted this fact. Not my Sweetie Belle. She was calm collected. Destined to help others. Much like my own talent.

“Listen. I just wanted to visit her. Even if it’s only one time.”

“I believe, it was you. Who was told that if ever she was connected to you, it would lead to complications?” It was true. I had to sever all connections with her. The details were classified. In the end I had to entrust a friend with this responsibility.

“So I hear she got her mark just recently?” The jeweler merely frowned. Whatever manners she held for me as her customer were tossed out of the window with the change of the subject. Which melted as she ranted on about her sister’s grand mark.

“Yes, my sister had gotten her cutie mark just yesterday. We’re so very proud of her. It’s quite the feat to get such a cutie mark. We’re still trying to figure out what it stands for. She’s so sure it’s about assisting other ponies with their own cutie marks.” There it was the kind of distraction I needed to release some tension. Deviation. A classic trick right from the old manual.

“I’m happy for you both.” In truth I wanted to cry. I had missed it. I wasn’t invited to the party that happened earlier today. Pulling myself away from my own desires to partake in the humble gathering. That should have been my own right to attend. Since then it had eaten away at my heart and brought me here now.

“Rarity! You made too many new dresses! Which one did you want me to get!?” The voice climb out from the back directed at Rarity. Seems little Sweetie had a good distraction, a well planned thought from the brilliant designer.

“Oh! Um- The newest one dear! It’s further back behind the other rack.” A glow of magic closed those sequined curtains together. As feeble as it was, it was Rarity’s attempt at keeping the conversation away from her. An admirable effort on her part.

“I know this is a shock to see me approaching her, but I can’t take it any longer. Not with the bugbear attacks and now with Sweetie Belle getting her own mark. I-I can’t stand it any longer. She is growing up without me, and it’s…” What word could I have used besides heartbreaking? How would I be able to say it to where I could justify breaking down? “...Troubling.”

It was a weak excuse. Derived from my own disappointment in how easily I had been broken by my own guilt. It had shattered through all the countless things taught to me. For the sake of some sense of morality between my own code and what felt like was the right thing.

“I hope it doesn’t become a habit of yours, Ms. Drops.” She was trying to reassure me. Somehow in someway she had forgiven me. Rarity even understood what all my mumbling was about. I was unsatisfied. I gazed into her face to seek out any form of restraint, some type of lie. Maybe she had her own ways to deviate my attention. There was none. Another exhale marked my concerns, as the fact played in my own head. I was “unsatisfied”. I wanted more. I didn’t want to part so soon. A hug maybe a couple of words. Maybe even just a facade of trying to make a sale, with Rarity on the side coaching Sweetie Belle on sales and customer service. Anything would have been better than leaving with this sour note. It pains me to know that this was a precautionary measure.

“Yes. Well, I hope the rest of your day goes better than this.” I really wasn’t helping the cause here. I knew it was time to leave.

“Got it!” Sweetie Belle was clamoring out of the closed set of curtains with her own green glow of magic holding up a hung set of a traditional Neighponese outfit. Designed to be airy and light fitting. It was nostalgic, seeing such clothing once again in my life. I could imagine a much smaller set for little Sweetie Belle. The moment where I could dress her up and make witty chatter to tease and compliment her on looking so cute. The thought was popped into nonexistence. A frail balloon that had no place in my life.

“Oh, Sweetie! Not that one. It’s the one before this one.” Right when they were about to dive behind those curtains my hoof motioned up as took hold of the glowing green foreign looking dress. The glow faded as Sweeite let me take it.

“Wait! This looks fantastic! I’ll take this one!” A memento for the visit. It was perfect.

“Really? Without even trying it on?” The owner of the boutique scoffed as it was obviously out of place and rather suspicious. Just another thing that would throw away the little hidden secret from filly ears.

“Maybe she wants to buy it for a friend? She can’t try it on herself. She needs to let her friend try it on.” So sweet and innocent. The comment seemed perfect to hide the fact of my impulsive behavior.

“Oh yes, of course! For Ms. Lyra?” Rarity quickly caught onto why the naive phrase played perfectly for the small act between the two adults.

“Yes! It’s perfect for Lyra. She would love this.” The fact even scared me. Lyra would adore this! So much in fact I had half a mind to keep it locked up away from her eyes. All in an attempt to prevent it from getting soiled.

“I’ll go get grab the other one too!” The little filly grew excited in her deed well done. Seeking to only do her best, she ducked behind the curtains with a small glow of her green pulse of magic. Out of sight once more.

“She’s gotten so big.” It came out like a whisper. Though Rarity only smiled at me and made one question.

“Are you sure you want to leave. Maybe now is a good time to introduce yourself?” Through my own sheer force of will, I shook my head in my response. My ears flicked back hanging low as I spoke out.

“I can’t. It’s still not safe.”

“Are you sure? It’s been how long. You’re going to let one bugbear mishap stop you from living your life?”

“Who said it was just one?” It was too much information to give out to a civilian. Though it wasn’t some rebellious moment. It was payment for letting me stay as long as I did.

“Really?” She was questioning the smirk held along my lips. “I have yet to see anymore of those monsters reek havoc in Ponyville.”

“Let’s just say that ‘we’re’ doing our job then.” No more questions followed afterwards. Rarity knew quite well that prodding in such business would be bad for her. Laying the dress along my backside I turned to make my leave.

It was foolish of me to try something. Even if it was comforting, I had to remain scarce. The shopkeeper just watched from her spot. Waiting until I got by the door and gave me a simple wave with her own farewell.

“You can keep the dress, Darling. Just do please come again. Oh! One more thing, Ms. Bon Bon?”


“That disguise doesn’t fool anypony.” Of course she had to mentioned the Groucho glasses. Those fake glasses and mustache combo that were meant to ward away enemies. I sighed at the comment. Giving back my own style of a farewell. Not as Bon Bon, but as Special Agent Sweetie Drops.

“Tell me. When would you expect a pony like me to wear those, while they hide?” As amusing at it would been to turn and see a shocked face. I refused the thought, to continue on forward with the new dress I had acquired.

It was nightfall, just three hours after the procedure had finished. I was tired beyond any training regimen, I’ve endured thus far in any moment of my career. Rest would not find me, as I laid there silently. Staring up at the ceiling with my head drawn upon a pillow. Those white tiles that created a roof over my head. It would do little to stop what may come next. Despite it all, I laid still. Emotionless. Calm. Obedient.

When in the reality of my mind. I was struggling with a waging war. Thanks to the difficult choices that now riddled my mind with fear and guilt. What would become of the new life that had been brought into this world? Would I ever get a chance to avoid this life? To change everything with the flip of a switch? It wasn’t that simple. The things I had been involved with do not simply go away with some signature scrawled along some parchment. The enemies we have made would not look away from what I’ve worked for. The things I’ve aided in. It was so much bigger than two lives being apart.

So quiet. This hospital room. I could feel my senses light up my mind, which was just drawn with a sudden blank. The void making way for the sensation of my ears flicking to attention. “Flip”. The page of a magazine drew across the rest of it’s stacked equivalents. The sound rang into my ears. Much louder thanks to nothing but the ticking of a clock that filled the empty room.

My head turned to a strange pony sitting by the edge of the room. An escort who was meant to watch over me. Just in case I tried anything crazy. Of course if I ever got out of my own bounds. He was flipping through pages and pages of a magazine. Just to burn time while he sat there doing guard duty.

What would he do if he was here? To watch his beloved suffer. This wasn’t an ordinary healthcare room. It’s purpose wasn’t just to medically house me. It was a cell. To hold me back. Would we break out of here like the lovestruck couple we use to be. Becoming renegades all for the sake of a normal life? No. Realistically we’d be forsaken and brought before the Princesses themselves. We had a sacred duty. Something that wasn’t easily dropped like some normal job. We had a duty. An oath to the land. Our first mistake was falling in love.

I could feel a spark wither inside of be. It was becoming something larger. Something more, flickering about like that of a growing bonfire. Being loyal to my cause, I slide my tucked in foreleg out. Beckoning the pony who was to watch over me.

“Hey, do me a favor?” He grunted back. Smacking his lips at me for disrupting his reading session. “Just hold me p-please?” My hoof began to shake as I felt the fire within burn through every mental barrier I had created. Roaring out at me for not acting out as a normal mother would have. The stallion gave a rough snort and just held onto my hoof.

That’s when everything crumbled. It was a crack of tension that welled within my eyes. The welling of tears was followed by my expression scrunching up into one of despair. Audible wails droned out like whispers. Growing in volume until my lungs hurt. He held me down to my bed now. Hunched right on top of me holding a confused look. Though his strong grip upon my shoulders shifted as he placed more force to press me against the bed. The reason being was because I was now drastically trying to get loose. Writhing about like a wild animal. Not caring how my legs failing in the air, hitting the railings of my bedding. Even striking at my captor for bringing my upper body into a hold.

It felt like someone hit a mute button. I had snapped and everything was so quick. I only remember certain things from that moment on. How wet my cheeks were from the tears, how painful it was for my lungs to cry out, and the words that rushed out from my shaking muzzle.

WHERE IS SHE?!!! Let me see her! Aahhh! Wah! I need to see my BABY!

After what felt like nothing but pain for an hour. I stopped. So tired from the struggle of surrendering to the inevitable. My guard, another agent, was sweet enough to hold me for another twenty minutes. Whispering his own apologies into my ear. Keeping his grip tight in case I would suddenly fly out at the chance of him dropping his guard. Sniffles chimed in uneven rhythms with the clock for those twenty minutes more. It was so hard to do. I just have to get through it. If only he was here to comfort me. To kiss me goodnight and say everything was fine. It wasn’t. Now. Now I’m alone. Me and my duty. I felt content. But why did I continue to cry into this stranger’s shoulders?

I spent the next three weeks crying myself to sleep.

My career was a simple one. That is if you can call strenuous training and commitment to a cause “simple”. That only a hoofful of this land’s ponies knew about. It was simple to explain. I am a soldier. A secret agent with the task of dealing with Equestria’s hidden dangers. The agency is comprised of chosen few whom Celestia herself had picked out.

Our mission was simple. We were not regular soldiers who go out into a battle and fight where we’re directed. No. We are a precision task force. Meant for the purpose of neutralizing targets, before they ever become a threat. From organizations to growing beasts who had no sentient purpose. Generally anypony and anything that could be considered monstrous.

We did the things that fell between the lines that nopony would ever stoop to do. In order to maintain proficiency. Any and all information is strictly kept behind closed muzzles. Our routines, procedures, even our names. All info either dropped and forgotten as we worked, or kept in secret by ponies of power.

I won’t lie to you. At first, I didn’t care much for it. I had the talent and skill for it. Being able to fly through each task and order, quickier than a bumblebee could shake it’s wings I was the best at what we did.

I can still picture that moment though. When I met him.

Back just a couple months when I was just recruited. I had received orders to rendezvous for a briefing about my next assignment. Meetings usually took place in open areas or secluded places. Either way we had a way to make business while at the same time blend perfectly with the crowd. According to “ops” it was the perfect way to keep things discreet as possible.

I reached over several large roots. Traversing through the thick forest to find the instructed location. This forest was nice and thick. Scarce even of animals. Perfect cover for the meeting. Orders say I won’t be alone on this one. It needed a partner and required a certain touch. Even with my talent, I was lacking in more delicate matters. Such as politics and business, that wasn’t work related to professionally standing at attention and listening to orders. So far my partner was suppose to be a protege for this sort of thing.

It took several more yards until I found a clearing. The canopy up top was nice and thick while still thin enough to provide lighting to the area.

“About time you got here.” A voice trailed towards my direction. It was an older looking pony with some facial hair along his muzzle. He had a simple camping setup from his tent to his cooler of refreshments. Even started a nice fire that gave way to a bit more light. He prodded a stick underneath a stack of logs that were to soon ignite.

“Bon Bon I assume?” The gentlecolt started testing me through normal question and interrogation methods.

“Yeah, Chief! What of it?” He blew heavily out his nose at how informal I was being. The greeting was rude, but did it’s job. We exchanged alias names for confirmation of the agents we’re suppose to meet with in the field. His name was Chief. Mine was a strange alias name of Bon Bon. Chief shook his head at how I treated a senior operator of his stature with such disrespect. He grumbled something under his breath as he took his stick and swung it over to his side to hit the tent.

“Hey! Wake up! She’s here.” It was gruffy and just as rude as my own comment. The only difference was that he had every right to do so unto us. The tent shook and rattled as the flap lifted to reveal yet a third member of our little group.

The pony inside was a unicorn stallion. With a white hue of a coat and a lavender mane that seemed to wave out in such a wild manner that it looked stylish.

“Bon Bon, Chief?” He spoke out initiating his own interrogation.

“And Prince Sleepy here, must be Silverlin?” The new guy seemed to just nod his head politely and took to sitting right next to our operator.

“Silverlin.” Chief’s lips moved in sync with mine completing the cycle of agent verification process.

“Alright. Now that we’re all here let’s get down to it.” Chief shuffled through his various belongings to prepare the briefing. All while me and Silverlin shifted glances at one another. At first it seemed strange. He would stare at me. I’d respond back by giving him a nasty glare. Then he would do it again and blush. Which in turn made me blush. Holding a frown to the curling smile that snuck it’s way to my face. The meeting was short and consisted of overseeing a deal between delegates of two different cities. While maintaining a perimeter on local changeling activity. It wasn’t much but it was work.

Eventually me and Silver Lining, Silverlin’s real name. Began talking heavily on our stake outs. I got to know more about him through and through. Knowing his favorite type of dishes. That he loved to stargaze or go on trips to art museums. That he wanted to be a writer, while I gave out my own secrets and told him I had wanted to be some kind of confectionist of assorted candies. He laughed at my own dream, while I laughed back in his own face about his.

It was funny looking at our cutie marks and trying to redefine what we were doing in our lives. Mine of course was three sweet gumdrops wrapped neatly. While his own featured a quill over a half roll of open parchment. Strangely enough our desires fit along with out marks, but it didn’t hold true behind their real meanings.

My three candies hide a surprise inside. Who’s to say it’s bon bons. Maybe gumdrops. Or some other type of candy. That was my main talent. Giving a surprise to an unweary soul. To make them jump from the unexpected, deviation. Silver’s talent was not writing, but more of being able to deal with others. To make them agree to his terms or whatever he deemed was most favorable, compromising. Both were hidden unseen talents that seem to come in handy during our line of work.

Before I knew it, I felt myself distracted with how well we worked together. Thanks to Silver’s talent, he was able to convince our operators to keep us as partners. So for the next couple of missions we were inseparable. We grew closer over time. Eventually he made a move to sweet talk me. Another time he made a bold move to nuzzle me. We moved onto to simple dating. Then another moment to make me the happiest mare in all of Equestria. From then on. We were two birds flying high. Nothing could bring us down. We felt unstoppable. Not the creatures we stopped or vanquished. Nor the agency for that matter. Not when I could draw their attention away and Silver’s method of reasoning.

Then one night. I had refused to face Silver in the one bed we shared. Everything happened so quickly under a dream like visage. Only now concern and doubt filled my heart about what would become of us in the next step of our lives.

Under the roof of the house assigned to us for our last few missions. Silver grew angry at me for ignoring him for the last couple of days. Which only made telling him so much harder. One night when we went to bed. I had turned my back from him as I laid my head into my pillow. Watching as the lights went out. Finally muttering those words to him in the still air of night.

I’m pregnant.

To my surprise I didn’t get a reply right away. It worried me. That he would leave me or might try to absolve this fake partnership we had going on. How would I hide such a condition from the organization? Silver, for the first time in our relationship, surprised me instead. I felt the natural press of his fine coat touch me. Along with the gentle wrapping of his foreleg placed along my belly. More specifically, our child.

In the end our little fling ended up coming out into the open. We had broken every protocol in the book. From lying to higher authorities to even using up resources for this supposed vacation home. I could do nothing as I was now seen as undeniable proof that we both had broken our oaths. We knew the complications. The consequences. Still we went against the rules and did what felt natural.

Thanks to the magic of Silver’s tongue we ended up on a short leash, rather than exile to another dimension. Those next couple of days had been paperwork, a couple of checkups for the baby, and Silver’s transfer to a far off branch of the agency.

So there I was waiting to give life to a child in a hospital bed. With her father nowhere to be found. I was content though with his absence. The exact words playing in my head from his own letter. I never even got a chance to say goodbye, let alone set up a way of contacting him. They made every effort to break us apart.

“Don’t come looking for me and don’t fight it. What we did was wrong. And I won’t ever deny that every moment was the most magical thing that could have happen to me. I would know too being a unicorn. Heh! Well. Whatever happens to our child. Just know it’s for the better. Ponies and monsters are looking for us. There are enemies out there that would kill for the chance to get any information on the agency. Do not submit yourself to being the cause of their downfall. Don’t be angry with them.”

Don’t be angry.


To Tartarus with them! I was furious. Even though I was the one at fault. Now I’m paying for the price of acting like a filly.

Breath in. Breath out.

Breath in. Breath out.

The mantra played in my head to keep cool. Even though for countless mornings I had awoken with tear stains along my pillow and sheets. It wasn’t fair.

It’s been years after my relationship with Silver ended. Work was all I had lived for. Now we have received orders to scatter and deny any existence of the organization we’ve worked so hard for. All due to a bugbear being on the loose. Monsters we’ve defeated were either sent in captivity or, the more dangerous ones, brought to Tartarus for imprisonment. It felt ridiculous as that was the only reason we had been shut down. Perhaps there was more to see besides such a minor threat? One bugbear was trouble. A whole swarm would mean disaster. Of course the workings of things above me would never make sense. It just happened and once again I have to fulfill my orders.

What was Silver up to now these days? Not that it would matter. Any attempt at contacting him had lead to a wall. Some operator or agent would always make sure of it. Now that things were sort of broken, maybe I would have more of a chance? Sleeper agents. Is that what every other agent amounted to now?

The town I had been ordered to “blend into” for my assigned place of hiding was a humble little town called “Ponyville.” Feeling the clap of my hoof shuffling along the cobble like road and over a small bridge, I was lost in thought. Just what would I do with my life now? I had so many desires. So much to look forward to. Only for it to be torn away at the seams. To watch helplessly as it all split away from me.

“Hey there!”

“Hi.” I paid no mind to the voice that just greeted me. Right now I just wanted to buy a house with the bits given to me by the agency.

“So where ya headed?” There it was again.

“Somewhere I guess.” Another set of hooves clambered about to my side. An unwelcomed gesture that I unadmittedly scorned. I didn’t need some civilian to cling onto. Let alone give me a much bigger headache.

“Anywhere is better than nowhere! Welcome to Ponyville!” Who was this mare talking right now? I had paid her little attention. Turning to scowl at her I found her features were rather calming. Something strange about that smiling pony. With a mint green coat and a harp for a cutie mark. “I’m Lyra.”

“Bon Bon, say? You do this often with new ponies?” I had to ask. It was very strange to just come up to somepony and treat them this nicely. What was she up to? I placed my guard up and decided to follow along. Maybe she’ll spill her plans for what she intends to do with me. Was it an agent that went rogue, looking for payback from being told she couldn’t serve anymore. Maybe it was a gangster looking to find something to invest in and bring back to his bosses. I would make every fruitless effort to find out.

“Well, Bon Bon. I only seem to notice you look a bit glum. So I was thinking you could use some help. Since you’re new, I think you’re just tired from moving around so much. Let me show you around.” Lyra moved forward and led the way. This was indeed a strange angle to play in. No lie in her eyes or expression. She was a master of her craft. I would have to be extremely careful.

On closer inspection her mark was actually a lyre. An easier instrument to handle other than it’s hefty large cousin. She looked over her side and caught me staring at her. Studying her. In a counter action, I moved up. Rushing to her side to trot side to side with her.

“I appreciate the help. Moving can be a bit scary.” A lie. An act. That’s all I needed to do.

“Don’t worry about it. We get constant visitors from all over the place. Pretty soon, you’ll find out that this is the nicest place in Equestria.” Nicest place huh? The smile was genuine enough. That comment though sounded so superfluous. That it had to be a lie.

“Just know you’re safe here. Even though you seem to be looking for a fight. I know you’re not a bad pony. Probably just somepony looking for a place to escape to.” Was I losing my touch? It was suddenly a psychological battle now, huh? She must have studied me for a while now. Looked into some files. There was no way I could trust her!

“You have problems trusting other ponies huh?” What?! This unicorn! Who was she? “Here in our town you can let go of things. Enjoy yourself, find some friends. Do something that makes you feel good. You wanna know the truth?”

“Yes.” Perhaps it was too sudden for me to judge this pony based on accusations that she was a strange one.

“I approached you because you seemed troubled. I’m not here to guide you or anything. It just looked like you could use a friend.”

“I don’t-” It dawned on me. I had been so focused on work that it left me unable to trust anypony. The agency turned their backs on me and even took Silver away from me. In everything I did for my job it left me unable to trust another partner. Obviously I couldn’t trust many others in the field as well. Was being an agent starting to develop negativity within my life. What was it like being a normal pony? That question hadn’t popped in my head since Silver.

“We’re Ponyville. We know friendship.” I scoffed at the fairy like mannerisms. Just who does she think she is? Judging me. Telling me what I needed.

“Friendship? Well you can-” Something caught my eye. Changing my expression at once from the shock of it. A small group of fillies, along with their teacher, who were crowded along several sell stands. One of those fillies was a white unicorn. A mare with a mane that matched my own. Which was very unique as my mane. That held two curls with a colored streak running down them. I felt my heart skip a beat. Could it be her? How could this have happened.. Was it fate?

“No need to be rude you can just ask me to go awa-.”

“TAKE ME to your house!”In a panic I took hold of Lyra’s shoulders and stuck my nose in hers. I needed a place to spill out some contents of my luggage. Someplace away from open eyes.

“Wait...wha?” Lyra blushed at the comment and stammered. Which only made me ask again.

“I need a place to stay so maybe I can bunk at your house. Until I find a home that is?” I straightened up and used a calm tone. Lyra nodded her head and began on a rant as she turned hoof and brought me several blocks away from the group and that white young unicorn.

A couple minutes later Lyra was opening the door to her place while she mentioned something about Timberwolves and the Everfree Forest. Waving her legs about in some type of storytelling gesture.

“Yeah, so this town is rather nice. We do get an occasional hiccup now and then.” Without a single word of thanks. I climbed up the stairs to the second floor. Rushing with the large bag I brought with me and the silver briefcase latched onto it’s side.

“Yeah! Mhm! Where can I bunk down?” My words seem to be devoid of all thought. I just needed to be behind closed doors right now. Lyra’s ears drooped down as she took her time with her answer. Trying to think.

“Um.. uh...second door on the left?” She didn’t seem to be sure of herself, but if it was offered I’d take it. I jumped at the chance and scattered the contents of my bag along the bed. My hooves moving trinkets and clothing aside until I found it. A little album that held up some research on where she had gone. It was worth the effort afterall. Thank the stars for my talent in being a spy!

Laying out the stack of collect pictures, I found that the filly I had been so entranced with was indeed the same in the photos. I had the confirmation now. I had sat there for ten minutes with my jaw wide open cradling a picture of that sweet innocent child. That’s when Lyra called me down for something to eat. “Hey um… Bon Bon. I made some oat and daffodil sandwiches. Want some?”

That was the start of our relationship. Lyra taught me all about friendship. It was something that was long forgotten for me. At first I had only befriended Lyra to get to know the local school much better. We went on walks to watch classes in session. Sat down on benches to watch the students walk by. Even though it was strange that Lyra didn’t mind me scoping out the school so much. She did enjoy my company. For my own reasons too, I enjoyed hers as well. It made me think of Silver Lining. Yet here I am now partnered with another unicorn.

The town and Lyra had already accepted me as one of their own. I officially became Lyra’s roommate and was taking a job as a simple procurer for candy deliveries. It wasn’t long until I accepted Lyra as a friend and no longer a threat. She was just a very strange hyper pony that only seemed to want to make others happy. There is was again. Another reminder of Silver Lining. Lyra had a knack for just being pleasant and making others happy. She had a calming aura to her that fit perfectly with her lyre. Which the instrument was rumored to be perfect for relieving stress or calming a wild animal down. It was funny, that the first pony I would meet would have a hidden talent like me. It wasn’t useful so much in my regular field of work, but of course she had a better place to be. Which was to be in Ponyville and as my friend. I still thank the skies that we’ve met that fateful day.

Several months after I had gotten use to life at a normal pony, on one of my deliveries. I found myself in front of the Carousel Boutique. Even though I was passing through to a house close by. I couldn’t help but look at the windows. Another face I never expected to see. Had shown itself to me through clear glass. Bearing a remarkable resemblance to a pony that was hard to forget. I had not seen him since the meeting with Silver Lining.


“Pardon me?” My customer spoke out as she handed me my bits. Drawing back her hoof which was filled with a box of chocolates.

“Oh, nothing! Thank you again. Let us know if you like the candy!” I shot off before she could even say “Your welcome” or some other drivel I just didn’t care about. If I was ordered to leave behind my past then why was it coming up in my face time and again?

I sprinted to that door and banged on it several times in a rather frustrated manner. And the pony whom I was looking for answered the door.

“Oh, Ello there! What can I do ya for?”


“O-ho! I haven’t been called that in such a long time! I may be the big man of the house, but Cookie here can handle her own.” He held such a strange accent now. It almost threw me off completely. It not for the mark he held on his flank.

“Don’t cha know?” A humble looking mare made her way to chief’s side and presented herself. It was baffling. How did such a senior member of the agency drop so low on class and lifestyle?

“Okay, Honey. This is just an old friend of mine. Would ya mind giving us a little room ta talk?”

“Oh! Of course not, Sweetie. Take your time. You be careful now! Hondo can talk an earful out of anypony! Hee!” Cookie allowed her husband to step out and closed the door behind her with a giggled. It was cute, but rather unsettling.

“Alright you. I bet you want an explanation for all of this, huh?” He was quick to start. Dropping his weird accent and speaking as gruffly as I remember him to be, while I myself was just riddled with questions that craved for answers.

“Why would I? It’s obvious this is your cover.” The remark flew from my lips. Acting as if I had been betrayed.

“Rude as always! Sigh! You’ve been in the dark for too long since… since. Ah, well none of that matters now. A bunch of us got assigned here for a reason. It’s close to the Princess and this place is protected by the elements themselves.”

“The weather doesn’t look that unstable.” Chief smacked his face for the naive nature I had always held when it came to being informed.

“The Elements of Harmony, arg! You’re always the same, reckless with no ambition. I thought you would learn a thing or two with Silver Lin-” He cut himself off from there. He usually didn’t care about the smaller details and how it affected us. For some reason he didn’t want to address my past with me. “It’s best if you just leave it be. I’ll say it again. You’re the best agent in the field and the most clueless.”

He began to shove me away from the yard. Rushing me to get away quickly. Knowing well enough that I had overstayed my own welcome. “Wait I have more questions!”

“Best not to interact with me anymore. Or ever! For that fact.”

“Dad?” A third voice entered the conversation. And I could see Chief’s face light up in fright. Like he had just received a shot. “Can I make lunch too?”

I looked over his side and saw the sweet filly that I had been so secluded with and yet been so fond of. Had shown herself. Her voice felt like an angel’s. I felt my heart glide right out of my chest.

“Oh-um sure. Sweetie Belle. I always enjoy any meal you make. Go on now. Make your mother proud.” That corny accent. It tore through the daze and forcing me to bite my tongue to hold back.

“Alright Dad. Hey Mom can we do-” Her voice faded and the door shut close once again.

“Your daughter?” I growled under my breath and felt the veins in my head pulse with rage.

“She had to go somewhere!” The excuse. The nerve. The pain aching feeling of being betrayed by my own kind. “I was retired at the time when I heard about the break up. The two best agents having a baby! It was unheard of. Heck! I knew you two would hit it off somehow. Before you two even came clean with the confession.” He pressed a hoof against my chest as he spoke out.

I had half a mind to judo flip him or twist that leg into submission. Using my better judgement, I let him speak his piece.

“So I used my connections and adopted her.”

“So why didn’t you tell me? Contact me or something!?”

“Can’t. Been placed on surveillance. We both know the organization by now. It would involve my family getting into trouble too. My wife, real daughter. You may not have had a chance to make a family, but I will not place my own in danger for some amends that you still haven’t dealt with yet. Even if you couldn’t be in her life. I could still give her a normal one. Not because I want her to know about the agency or her mother, but because I know that I can protect her. As a civilian. Give her a normal life.”

“She-She belongs with me!” I shoved him away from me. Threatening him. Was it my instinct in being a mother? Or the entirety of not being able to be with my baby all this time that was seeping out at the time?

“Listen to yourself. You want her to be running her whole life? To be worried about the chances that her mother would never come home one night? To move from place to place, never making any friends? Do you want her to live like you do?” He was right.

If I ever just took her away. It would mean countless things to worry about. Running from the agency and its enemies. Even if the agency accepted me having a daughter it would mean roaming about. Sweetie Belle would never go to school. Never be able to make friends of her own age. Never have the chance to be a child. Chief knew what he was doing with a baby. It had shown through her. Sweetie Belle had the most promising smile I had seen in a long time. That happiness avoided me constantly in my own duties.

I gave up and just walked away. Chief mumbled some words but it was drowned out by the vicious sniffling and cries that I had once thought were dried up already. I wasn’t the type of pony to make a normal living. Never was. Not with my skill. The agency needed me. I had grown too fond of that life to ever be freed from it.

I am a soldier. Bound to my oath to keep Equestria safe. Bound to the rules that was held before to maintain secrecy and proficiency. I am one of the chosen few. Who does the things between the lines that nopony else who ever stoop to do.

Breath in.

Breath out.

Despite all my talent and training. No matter what I do. The tears won’t stop.
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#1 · 1
This story hit me hard.

Brilliant work. I'm at a loss of words to fully explain how good this is. You had a couple of typos here and there, but nothing that ever took me out of the story. I always enjoy a good tale about grief and loss, and this was beyond what I expected.

Hats off to you, whomever you are.
#2 ·
I noticed a few typos and what appeared to be misattributed speech; you might want to see if anyone's willing to proofread for you.

Other than that, an interesting idea, and an ambitious attempt at portraying a very emotionally charged mindset. I can't say it really struck home with me, possibly because it took me awhile to catch on to what was going on and the timeskip.
#3 · 1
Very well written, but I have real issues with plot: Sweetie Drops is just so NOT agent material! She's completely irrational - including during the opening scene - and is worse in her flashbacks. But the real kicker is that she's not allowed to have a family, but the Chief is? Why? And why would Rarity know about her if the Chief is keeping to protocol?
#4 ·
Oh wow this one! It's almost rather twisted how it takes two canon characters and explores the possibilities. While it's mostly a coincidence I can actually see this plot working. What we're given here is just the premise of a "what if" factor. where the show takes two ponies, and mostly likely overlooked during their designs, was actually very similar in style. Which would bring up the question some viewers might think to themselves about "what if this happened". This story explores that question and makes a show out of it.

Somewhere alone the story I kind of got confused. At first I didn't know what was going on but looking it over there was very subtle hints of why certain things were happening. Such as Rarity's knowledge of knowing who an what Sweetie Drops was
It wouldn’t be Rarity’s crime to see me out. Who would blame her when she was told all about me?
Even how Chief seems to have the right to living a normal life, which makes sense.
“I was retired at the time when I heard about the break up. The two best agents having a baby! It was unheard of.
This would give him room to actually have a family. Bon Bon is also heavily unprofessional which again it's hinted in such a small statement.
I won’t lie to you. At first, I didn’t care much for it. I had the talent and skill for it. Being able to fly through each task and order, quickier than a bumblebee could shake it’s wings I was the best at what we did.
The story is shrewd, but it's scattered in such a small amount that it gets lost in the mountainous pile of other words. The intro drags on and tends to make it's reader start to skim through some areas, thus these statements can be over looked quite easily. This is especially true when the story doesn't show it's intent making most readers read through it quickly to get to the main point. These things should have been fluffed out to avoid any confusion that may arise during a read. It's a good decision to allow your readers to think freely and continue on that "what if" thought process, but you are leading them through the story. Author you need to guide them through it.

So we get a slice of life within an agent's life? But we never get to see Bon Bon at her headquarters or during one of her missions. I understand this story is long enough but it could have shown more of Bon Bon's skill and why she is such an priority to keep within the agency. It was a bit alarming seeing her break protocol. Time and again, with no regards to the punishment thereafter. Also I don't think it was wise sending her to the very same place with her daughter. Granted Chief and Sweetie Drops may be the best in the business perhaps, but it didn't seem to fit how much effort the agency had placed to keep Bon Bon away from her daughter. Though it could be explained through orders that were given to Chief. Like the above mentioned factors. This story seems to not explain itself well. A lot of the content was actually well done. I think the order and choice of the events unfolding could have been better chosen to represent more of Special Agent Sweetie Drops rather than Bon Bon who was yearning to just be normal.

Just wow! I could not stand up after this one. The emphasis on how Sweetie Drops felt during each moment was spontaneous while at the same time wasn't overindulging. It was brief simple and sweet. I loved following her through those flashbacks and thinking back about my own life. My own training and my own love life. Being torn away from a person you love is stressful even more so with a stressful job. Combine those together and you get a trouble pony who is just fun to read about. Now the only problem I had was that some of the emotions didn't play out enough for me to follow it. I suggest more detail, just a tad bit more. To stretch out that trust net for your readers to connect with the scenes taking place. It's a good try and I'll admit I wasn't jarred by it as it was intended for, but it still hit home.

The thought of bringing this to life must have been difficult. I couldn't grasp the point of this story until the birth scene! Which was then fueled by the flashbacks about Bon Bon's career. It was like setting up a bonfire. Grab the tinder, stack em, light a match and, feed it more fuel. Until you get a blazing reaction that is bright enough to share. It was really well done for taking a background pony and making her come to life within your story. The twist of the story is the forbidden relationship between Sweetie Belle and Sweetie Drops. It's even hinted where Bon Bon might come from. Which I though was a great Japanese reference as Bon Bon seemed to hail from Neighpon, making her Neighponese and thus having her last name first. There was actually quite a bit of references to take part in and made it enjoyable to read over to get a sense for each one. I know I had to reread a couple of things to see what I was missing. The writer does this without ever having to break the story for me, which is quite hard to do right. The only problem I see with this is that is indeed too abstract! I had my eyes reeling back every so often to find these points to make what I was previously reading make sense, while at the same time made it feel a bit confusing until I did so. Once again it's great to get me thinking but it can be a bad thing.

I loved the addition of the side characters. Having Hondo Flanks, Cookie Crumbles, Lyra, and Rarity in the story made way for several interactions that made the story pop out. Hondo who is barely used in the show actually got a story out of this. Even Bon Bon meeting Lyra for the first time. Chief completely caught me off guard with him being Hondo and Lyra actually being explained in the story while still fitting to her character of being a loving friend. These background ponies only have a handful lines in the show but make an appearance in the story without breaking their original canon characteristics. It explains why Hondo is such a character and Lyra is just always lucky with other ponies. What I didn't seem to understand is why Rarity and Sweetie Belle got such short roles. They could have been played out more and I'm sure I'm not the only one who wanted to see more of them.

Wow! Alright this is my shortest one yet. Um... I don't have a lot to say. The story was great and I'd love to make an audio read on this to share it with others. It needs some refining as there are grammar errors here and there. But the story comes out quite powerful as it stands. I do need to reread this one and see what I missed. I admit that having absolutely no regrets in doing so. The wording is great but could use some work. Which then again it's just small things to point out from editing and proofreading. The read was greatly entertaining and I do recommend others to give this a read. Solid work author!
#5 · 3
· · >>horizon
I give a lot of credit to this story for how utterly ambitious it is. Establishing a connection between Sweetie Drops and Sweetie Belle due to the similarities in their names and design is neat. Molding an entire story around it is quite impressive.
From an editing standpoint, this story needs a lot of help. Just something to keep in mind if you intend on publishing this.
I'm not very fond of the opening. It takes quite a while to confirm who the narrator is, and all of the self-doubt and the struck-through mental voice were more distracting than enlightening.
I was never really sold on the relationship between Sweetie Drops and Silver Lining. The story kind of glazes over that part without getting me invested in their relationship. I think the story could be more impactful, in that regard. Something to consider if you plan on expanding this.
I'm glad I got the opportunity to read this. It was definitely an experience, and I have a feeling that this one is going to stick with me for a while.
#6 ·
Sorry to say, author, I bounced off of this one. It's currently at the bottom of my slate ... but not for lack of ambition. The idea here of linking Sweetie Drops and Sweetie Belle is honestly one of this round's most clever premises. Good on you! That sort of big thinking is going to take you far.

My biggest problem with the text was with its narrative style ... let me pull a random sample of text from the story:
Under the roof of the house assigned to us for our last few missions. Silver grew angry at me for ignoring him for the last couple of days. Which only made telling him so much harder. One night when we went to bed. I had turned my back from him as I laid my head into my pillow. Watching as the lights went out. Finally muttering those words to him in the still air of night.

I’m pregnant.

First of all, that bold/centered text is a no-no. When you play tricks with text formatting or placement, you're calling attention to those words in a way that breaks the flow of your story. Drop a paragraph of


in the middle of your text, and it becomes a visual blockage for your reader: you're basically breaking the fourth wall with your formatting, and short of something crazy happening in your story that justifies the formatting directly (like telepathy implanting thoughts in someone's head), it kinda comes across as not having faith in your text to carry itself. "I'm pregnant" in a line by itself is going to be a powerful statement whether or not you add formatting to it: don't sledgehammer your readers!

That rant aside, take a look at the sentence structure in the quoted text. Short and choppy. No punctuation but periods. Often replacing commas. Breaking up sentences into fragments. It reminds me -- not in a good way -- of Rorschach from Watchmen. The style is ungrammatical, abstract and alienating, which is not great if you're trying to get us to sympathize with your narrator. As >>Everyday also noted, the opening here really drags as well, playing really coy about the narrator's identity and situation for a long time while attempting to draw pathos from their tragedy (which we have no emotional connection to until we're able to understand it).

I was struggling with that throughout my reading, which was a major factor in my disconnect; in between that and the text formatting sledgehammering my melodrama buttons, I'm not sure this ever would have had much of a chance with me. Which is a shame, because as I said, I love your ideas. I do share some of the hesitation others have noted about the way this played out -- in particular, Chief adopting Sweetie is a straight-up backstab, the way this is presented (though I appreciate in the abstract how you worked him in as Rarity's dad) -- but your first editing step might need to be to take a deep breath and consider what the voicing here is adding to your story, and whether it might be worth rewriting in a more conventional and grammatical style. If you want some help with that, it might be worth asking in Writeoff chat.

Either way, keep it up. It's much harder to fix a story that's pretty words but an empty core than it is to fix an ambitious one like this which is surface-rough but rich in content. You've got something worth developing here.

Tier: Needs Work
#7 ·
From my standpoint, it didn’t make sense that my story became “bottom slate” for you. Not when there are other entries that actually have more trouble with these very same problems.

Okay, well, first of all, I'm not some infallible objective writing god. Sometimes I'll just like or dislike things for reasons that don't carry over to other people. If you have 4 out of 5 people saying that they enjoyed the story, and one who bottom-slates it, it's worth considering whether dealing with the thing that touched one person's nerve is worth making edits that might drag it down for the majority of your audience. One of your options, and possibly a good one, is to decide I'm full of crap here.

But as you say yourself, the story has flaws. That cutting process is going to introduce problems (and I hope that your big takeaway from this round is: always save a copy of the finished story BEFORE you make any cuts). People liking it doesn't mean that it couldn't be better. And it's inevitable that, when you have a story with flaws, those flaws are going to affect some readers more strongly than others. So in your shoes I would honestly stop and consider whether the problems I pointed out are going to cause issues with other readers as well, and if so, whether I might be the tip of an iceberg of reader criticism. Let's face it, 4 out of 5 readers really enjoying a story should have been enough to propel it into finals, so there's something here counterweighting that.

I tend to give good ideas more weight in my scoring than the average reviewer — but I also try to be more positive in my review than I otherwise would when I'm trying to encourage authors I scored low, so it can be difficult to assess review praise vs. score. More importantly here, I'm also more sensitive to pervasive language problems, I think, than the average scorer. I'm not talking about a few typos or tense problems -- I'm talking about issues that are consistent throughout the story. And that narration issue I focused on in my review was a major weight on my scoring. I literally just grabbed a paragraph at random and it was that heavily period-laden. Fragmentary speech. Which I can't read without being. Driven to distraction. It was an issue through the entire piece. So I stand by my review citing it as a problem for me, and I stand by my scoring based on my relative reaction to it against the other stories I read (which you can read -- everything I scored above yours is something I commented on).

I'll also note again the issues with the cold open which both Everyday and I commented on. It's 333 words before we even learn your narrator's gender, much less her name (1000 words in). A full 1/8 of your story is trying to draw drama from Sweetie Drops' predicament without even telling us who she is, and when I have to read through a thousand essentially wasted words, my first impression of the story craters hard. That's another easily editable problem which would have made a significant difference, but unfortunately, I can only judge based on the text I read.