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TBD · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
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(Apple) Jacked In
"You're here about the help wanted ad?" Apple Bloom asked.

Silversmith nodded, putting on his most professional smile. "I'm assuming you need help picking apples? Or maybe selling them in town? I can do that too!"

Apple Bloom pursed her lips. "Not exactly. I oughta let Applejack explain. But there's something you should know… You heard that she fell into that ravine last month?"

"Oh yes! I'm so sorry. Is she still hurt?"

"Nah, but ever since Dr. Horse put that metal plate in her head…" Apple Bloom leaned over and whispered. "She's been hearing voices."

"Oh. Uh."

"Anyways, good luck with the rest of the interview!" She gave Silversmith a push, and he stumbled through the door into the farmhouse.

…which had been remodeled into a plain white room. Applejack stood in the center, wearing a trenchcoat and sunglasses.

"Welcome, Silver," she said, her voice deep and booming. "I imagine that right now you feel a bit like Alice, tumbling down the rabbit hole?"


"Do you believe in fate, Silver?"


"I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you're here. You're here because you know something."


"This is your last chance. After this there is no turning back." Applejack pointed a hoof, and suddenly Silversmith realized there were two tables, with an apple on each. "You eat the blue apple and the story ends. You go home and believe whatever you want to believe. You eat the red apple and you stay in wonderland. I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes."

Silver looked at the apples. Applejack was stone-faced behind the sunglasses.

"All I'm offering is the truth," Applejack said, "nothing more."

Silversmith glanced at the blue apple again. It was glowing a little bit. "Okay, uh, I think eating the blue one will give me magic cancer so…"

Applejack smiled. "Good. Follow me."

"Don't I get to eat the apple?"

"The apple is metaphorical."

Applejack had explained as they trotted down to the basement, and from there into a long tunnel.

"I don't get it. You're saying that all of the world is a computer simulation?"

"No. I'm saying it could be."

"Alright, so… How would we know?"

"Again, no. It could be if we make it. Let me introduce you to: the Apple Matrix."

The tunnel opened out into a big cavern. They stood on a walkway above, but below, Silver could see tanks filled with liquid, with apples bobbing in them. The apples were all hooked up to electrodes, wiring running everywhere.

"The Apple Matrix consists of millions of apples, all dreaming together that they're in an orchard, just like the one above. The sun is shining, the wind is blowing softly. All the while, they grow and ripen and mature. Until… the harvest comes."

Silversmith looked at all the electronics. "Isn't all that expensive?"

"But we have a problem," Applejack continued, ignoring him. "Some apples have realized that their reality is an illusion and they are trying to break free. You know what they say about bad apples. We cannot afford to let this happen. That's why you need to go inside the simulation. You need to be my stallion on the inside, pretending to be an apple, to hunt down the troublemakers and eliminate them. I need you to be my agent, Smith."

"I, uhm."

Thankfully, that's when Apple Bloom rushed in. "Sis! We got a problem!"


"You were running too many excel macros in the barn, and it caught on fire!"

"But that's where all the safety systems are! Without those—"

With a *pop*, one of the apples floating below suddenly exploded. Then another. Then, they all began splattering, popping like popcorn.

Applejack fell to the floor. "My plans! My plants! We're ruined!"

Silversmith let out a long breath, thanking Celestia. "Maybe I could help with something else? Something more normal?"

Applejack looked distraught. Suddenly she cocked her head to the side. "Yeah? Yeah! Okay."

Silversmith and Apple Bloom shared a glance. "Uh oh," they said, at the same time.

Applejack walked across the stage, wearing a black turtleneck. Everypony in Ponyville had shown up to watch her dramatic unveiling. Silversmith stood morosely at the back of the stage, ready to whisk away the sheet. At least they had found a use for all the salvageable electronics, he guessed, even if this seemed like an even dumber idea.

"And now, Sweet Apple Acres is proud to announce… The Apple Family iPod!"
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#1 ·
· · >>Zaid Val'Roa
Genre: Random / comedy / crossover(?)

Thoughts: Oh how the midsection hooked me. I mean, yeah, it's a little derivative of its source material, but it struck me as well-executed absurdity with a soupçon of the madcap.

I'm going to be honest: I didn't feel like the ending lived up to the same level of referential craziness, which was a pretty big downer. I can see the effort being made, but there's just something about the last line that really doesn't stick the landing for me. Not quite sure that I can put my finger on it, though.

Tier: Almost There
#2 · 1
· · >>CoffeeMinion
"The apple is metaphorical."

I think that about sums it up. But I'll try anyways.

I agree with >>CoffeeMinion The first two thirds (heh) are great. They're a solid spoof of The Matrix that made me chuckle. However, the last scene feels too disconnected from the rest of the story. I'm not saying that I don't see what your aim was, but I don't think you pulled it off as well as you could have, perhaps due to word constraints.

Had you dropped the iPod parallels and polished the plot you already had, this could have risen above the final result. Hell make Silversmith an actual agent of whatever Equestria's equivalent of the Dole corporation is and how he destroyed Applejack's Matrix to maintain order in the Matrix the Doles are running.

I'unno, I'm just spitballing here. This was a great entry that worked against itself in the very end. Sorry.

Anyway, here's some food for thought:

The Matrix was released on March 31, 1999. The first version of the iPod was released on October 23, 2001, and Reloaded and Revolutions came out on May 15, 2003 and November 5, 2003 respectively.

I'm not saying that Steve Jobs actually build the first iPod out of the remains of a destroyed Matrix and that led to the subpar sequels. I'm only heavily implying it.
#3 · 1
"You were running too many excel macros in the barn, and it caught on fire!"

Anyone who's used Excel knows that it's the VLOOKUPs and the macros that can bring even the fastest computer to it's knees.

This has to be the fourth absurdity fic that I've read today, and I've loved ALL of them.
#4 ·
This one left me kind of cold, I'm afraid. I have to disagree that it's "a little derivative," this is a lot derivative, too much for me. The ending scene also feels random and out of place.

The blue cancer apple and realizing Smith's name was the joke got a couple of chuckles out of me. That's the sort of execution flair that you really need to be doing nonstop in order to pull off an otherwise referential concept. In the space this takes, I'd say you want to aim for around ten or more clever gags like that, not just two or three. Thanks for writing, though!
#5 ·
>>Zaid Val'Roa
The Matrix was released on March 31, 1999. The first version of the iPod was released on October 23, 2001, and Reloaded and Revolutions came out on May 15, 2003 and November 5, 2003 respectively.

Illuminati confirmed

#6 ·
· · >>Morning Sun
Cute story!

"The apple is metaphorical."

Despite this being totally un-AJ, I really laughed at this line.

Silversmith and Apple Bloom shared a glance. "Uh oh," they said, at the same time.

I didn't understand this at all.

The ending was fine given how random this fic was, but I think the plot was a little disjointed. I want more connection between the two parodies.

I also want more connection with the show. Why not have AJ borrow the sweater from Moondancer? That would be perfect.
#7 · 3
AJ has gone partially crazy and is hearing voices. Her first idea was the Apple Matrix. A new idea? Yea.

This story made me bust a gut. Good job, author. It's my kind of absurd
#8 ·
I feel so mean this round, but another comedy that just didn't work for me. There were a couple lines that got smiles out of me (mostly Silversmith's straight manning), but on the whole? This just really didn't gel in any particularly funny way with me.

I dunno. Reviewing comedy when jokes don't land with me is hard, because it isn't like I have an immediately better suggestion to fix it half the time. Dunno. I feel like this one checked the boxes for what I'd expect a referential comedy to do, but yeah. Don't ask me.