Crusaders, Go!

by Albi

Chapter 1: Battle in the Great Orchard

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Crusaders, Go!

Battle in the Great Orchard

Within the Apple Family Orchard sat an old tree cradling a small clubhouse. It was modest little thing, brightly colored and decorated with a planter of flowers over the doorway. Although it was a warm spring day, the clubhouse stayed relatively cool thanks to the shade the surrounding apple trees provided.

Inside sat three fillies, looks of pure boredom etched onto their faces. A blank piece of paper sat in the middle of them. Blank, just like their flanks. Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo, collectively known to all of Ponyville as the Cutie Mark Crusaders, were sprawled out on the floor trying to pick through ideas of how they could obtain their cutie marks.

They had spent hours brainstorming, yet all they could come up with were ideas they had already tried and failed at, or ideas so ridiculous that they were unsure if any of them wanted a cutie mark in that field. Now, they were stuck and boredom had crept onto them, leaving the trio in a comatose-like state.

Scootaloo stared at the white sheet of paper in front of her while she tapped a pencil against her noggin. She groaned in defeat, dropping her head onto the floor. “Can you girls think of anything? ‘Cause I’m bored out of my mind over here.”

Apple Bloom was on her back, counting the nails in the ceiling. “Nope, Ah got nuthin’. “

“Maybe we should take a break from crusading today,” Sweetie Belle offered. “We can’t think of anything worth crusading for, so let’s just do something else.”

“Like what?” Scootaloo grunted.

“Well… we could play a game or something.”

Scootaloo sighed. “Sure, name a game.”

Sweetie Belle was silent for a moment, thinking. “Umm, Candyland?

“Sweetie, that game’s fer babies,” Apple Bloom complained.

“Nu-uh, it says for foals ‘four and up.’ We’re totally four and up!”

Scootaloo raised her head from the floor, and looked at her with furrowed brows.

Sweetie Belle crossed her hooves. “Fine, no Candyland,” she said with a pout. “How about tag, then?”

Scootaloo dragged her body over to where Sweetie Belle sat and tagged her on the shoulder. “Tag, you’re it, no tag backs,” she said in a monotone voice.

“But that means I can only tag Apple Bloom. C’mon, Scootaloo, you’re not even trying.”

Scootaloo’s head thumped against the floor again. “Sorry, I’m just not in the mood for tag.”

Apple bloom rolled over and got up from her position on the floor. “Then what are ya in the mood for?”

“I don’t know. Something exciting and action-y I guess.”

Sweetie Belle mumbled, “That’s what you’re always in the mood for.”

“Well, why don’t we go outside? Maybe a change of scenery will give us ideas or somethin’,” Apple Bloom suggested.

The little orange pegasus grunted in response before picking herself up and trailing along after her friends. They scampered down the ramp of the tree and gathered in a circle. The crisp wind blew through the grove of trees, rustling the leaves and sending stray branches to the ground. Above the fillies’ heads, apple blossoms grew on the trees, releasing a fragrant smell that wafted on the air.

They relished in the fine spring day before Scootaloo decided to break the silence with a loud sigh. “Nope, still bored.”

Apple Bloom rolled her eyes, then started walking around the grove, aimlessly looking for something to entertain them. Her eyes stopped on a decent sized stick and an idea popped into her head. She grabbed the stick in her mouth and twirled around to face Scootaloo, taking a mock fighting stance.

“M’grd!” she yelled with a full mouth.

Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle twisted their heads. “Wha…?” they asked together.

Apple Bloom spit the stick out into her hoof and said, “Let’s have a swordfight! Ya know, pretend we’re swordsmares and use these sticks as weapons, all make-believe like.”

Sweetie’s face brightened. “Hey, that sounds like fun! But, can I be a cool sorceress like Twilight instead?”

“Sure!” Apple Bloom smiled. “You wanna play too, Scootaloo?”

She rubbed the side of her face giving her companions an unsure look. “I don’t know, aren’t we a little old to playing pretend?”

“'Course not, me and Twist used to do it all the time! C’mon, Scoots, give it a chance,” Apple Bloom insisted.

“All right fine,” she said, giving in with a grumpy tone before perking up slightly. “But I get to be a ninja!”

“Deal!” Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom agreed.

There was a brief moment of silence before Scootaloo asked, “Soooo, how does this work exactly?”

“It’s easy,” Apple Bloom replied, “just use your imagination!”


Dusk was falling across the Great Orchard, splashes of orange transitioning to purple filling the sky. Three figures moved into the grove from separate paths, the wind flowing softly and sending fresh petals into small eddies before gracefully falling onto what was about to become the battlefield for three of the greatest ponies in history.

From the east came a tall, slim, alabaster unicorn with a pink and purple mane that bounced softly which each graceful step she took. She was adorned in a purple cloak and carried a large staff in her magical grip. She was known throughout Equestria as the greatest magician who had ever lived. She was strong, beautiful and always dressed as fashionably as possible. Her cloak was made out of the finest silk in the land. And it went so well with her eyes! Her name was Sweetum Lovelylocks III.


“Wait, we can make up names too?” Scootaloo asked.

“Of course, silly, it’s make-believe. You can do anything!” Sweetie chirped.

“Oh… cool!”


From the south came a strong-looking earth pony, wearing gold and red armor that matched her coat and mane. On her back was one of the most legendary swords in existence: Equscalibur. She who had fought against hundreds of monsters, stared down a cockatrice and slain countless dragons went by many names, each more terrifying than the last. But the humble mare preferred to go by the name her parents had given to her at birth: Apple Bomb, because she was an explosion of power and righteous fury.

Finally, from the west came a figure almost entirely dressed in black. Only her purple eyes were visible, and they blazed with the hunger for battle! She was a legend only spoken of in whispers. She had single-hoofedly protected the princesses from an army of assassins and vanished before they could thank her. She was the greatest ninja in history, and her name was… was…


“I can’t think of anything cool!” Scootaloo complained.

“Well, ya don’t have to make up a name. Scootaloo’s already a pretty cool name anyways,” Apple Bloom reassured.

“Well… I guess you’re right.”


Her name was The Dark Ninja Scootaloo, a name that struck fear into all evil-doers!

The three mares met in the middle of the grove, carefully watching the others movements. Then without warning, Scootaloo leapt into the air and threw a ninja star at Apple Bomb!

Apple Bomb drew Equscalibur and deflected the projectile towards one of the many trees surrounding them. “Foolish ninja, you think you can beat the mighty Apple Bomb with simple tricks?”

“She might not, but my incredibly powerful magic can take care of you!” Sweetum cried. Raising her staff high, she called down a bolt of lightning to strike Apple Bomb. But the swordsmare was too quick for the magician’s magic. She rolled out of the way just as the barb of electricity hit the ground and left a scorch mark where Apple Bomb had been moments before.

“No mere magic can stop the mighty Apple Bomb! Have a taste of my steel, ye fell villain!” Apple Bomb let loose a battle cry as she charged at the magician, bringing her sword down as she went.

But the intelligent Sweetum anticipated such an attack and teleported to a safe distance away from the warrior, only to be ninja kicked in the back of the head by Scootaloo. Sweetum stumbled forward and cried, “How dare you hurt a lady like me! Eat fireball, you worm!” She spun around and hurled a ball of hot plasma at the dark ninja.

Scootaloo dodged it with a graceful backflip and landed on her back hooves. From behind came Apple Bomb and her heavenly sword. Scootaloo barely had time to turn around before the sword sliced through her and she vanished in a puff of smoke.

“What the…” Apple Bomb stared, confused at the spot where Scootaloo had been moments before.

“Ninja kick to the face!” Scootaloo cried as she dug her hoof into Apple Bomb’s cheek. The earth pony flew across the grove, tumbling head over hooves along the ground until she came to a stop at the base of one of the many apple trees.

Scootaloo then turned her attention to Sweetum who was preparing another spell. The magician launched a ball of energy at her opponent, only for Scootaloo to vanish once more. Suddenly, Sweetum was surrounded by a hundred ninja Scootaloo clones, each of them armed with flaming ninja stars and…


“Whoa, whoa, whoa, Ah know Ah said you could do anything, but ya still gotta be fair about it.”

“Pfft, fine.”


A single Scootaloo reappeared and threw one flaming ninja star at Sweetum, who raised a pillar of stone to block it before pushing it towards the ninja in an attempt to crush her. Scootaloo ran and leapt forward, using her completely unhindered wings to jump over the stone pillar and position herself to deliver a ninja kick to Sweetum.

“Flying tackle to the face!” Apple Bomb yelled as she slammed into Scootaloo in midair, dragging her to the ground. The two of them wrestled back and forth across the dirt, trying to pin each other while Sweetum dropped ice blocks from the sky only to have them miss.

“Surrender or I will be forced to use my deadliest ninja move on you,” Scootaloo threatened.

“Never!” Apple Bomb cried.

“Then you leave me no choice! Ancient ninja jutsu: Pain of Laughter!” Scootaloo raised her hooves high above her head and brought them down on the defenseless earth pony.

“Nooooooo!” Apple Bomb squealed as Scootaloo began to tickle her into submission.


Apple Bloom roared with laughter as Scootaloo mercilessly tickled her stomach, grinning like a mad mare. “Say the words, say them!”

“N-never, hahahaha,” Apple Bloom chocked out between laughs.

“Oh yeah? Well, perhaps I’ll just need reinforcements.” She turned to the white unicorn standing on the sidelines. “Sweetum, join me and together we’ll stop the earth pony menace!”

Sweetie Belle tapped the stick she had been using as her staff against her chin in mock thought. “Hmmm, what’s in it for me?”

“I’ll give you a cookie.”


“What?” Apple Bloom cried. “Sw- Sweetie Belle, you c-can’t join her, she’s evil!”

But Sweetie’s mind was already made up as she ran towards her two friends, shouting, “Pony pile!” and jumping on top of both Apple Bloom and Scootaloo. All three of them broke out into a chorus of laughter that filled the whole orchard with the sound of merriment. It wasn’t until an older, white-coated unicorn stepped into the clearing that the laughter died away.

Rarity cleared her throat and said, “Sweetie Belle, I’m glad that you’re having fun, but it’s time for supper.”

“Supper?” Sweetie coked her head. “But it’s only…” she looked up at the orange sky and frowned, “Oh.”

“’Oh’ is right; it’s almost dark out, now come along. You can play more tomorrow.”

Sweetie moved from the top of the pony pile, allowing Apple Bloom and Scootaloo to stand up. “Bye girls, see you tomorrow. We should do this more often, it’s really fun!”

Her two friends waved goodbye as Rarity led Sweetie Belle back towards home. Apple Bloom looked at Scootaloo with a smug smirk on her face. “See, what did Ah tell ya? Isn’t using yer imagination fun?”

Scootaloo rolled her eyes. “Yeah, I guess it was pretty fun. Dorky, but fun.” She smiled then looked up at the sky. “But yeah, I should probably get home soon too, or mom’s gonna throw a fit.”

“Come on, Ah’ll walk ya outta the orchard,” Apple Bloom offered. The two of them walked in silence for a little while before Apple Bloom asked, “Sooo, you wanna play again later?”

“Definitely, we can do it again tomorrow!” Scootaloo said, a joyful grin splitting her face before she composed herself, trying to act cool. “I mean, you know… just so my ninja can finish kicking your flank.”

“Pfft, what are you talkin’ about. Ah was so gonna win.”

“Was not.”

“Was too.”

“Was not.”

“Was too.”

Both of them laughed as they walked out of the forest of apple trees. While the sun set behind them, new adventures were just on the horizon.

Author's Notes:

If it seems incredibly cheesy, then that means I'm doing my job right.

Next Chapter: A Hunting We Will Go Estimated time remaining: 13 Minutes
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