The Replacements Written by ROBCakeran53 Edited by Cthuluigi
A set of double doors slammed open, casting only a glimpse of light into the pitch black room. A man, skinny and frail, was shoved through the light, falling onto his chest in the darkness. He quickly sat up, looking back in time to see the last trace of fluorescent light disappear as the doors closed.
"Do you know why you are here, Mr. Bowing?" A deep voice boomed through the room's darkness; the man's body began to shiver, unsure where the menacing voice came from.
"Uh, I'm, uh, not sure sir," the man stuttered.
"According to my files, you are one of the men in charge of maintaining cast and crew of our television department, is that correct?"
The man simply nodded and, upon realizing that the pitch black room made it impossible to see, responded vocally, "Uh, y-yes sir."
"And tell me Mr. Bowing, what show's cast do you exactly care for?"
"Uh, M-My Little Pony: F-Friendship is Magic, sir."
There was a loud buzz, as from ahead of the man a long line of shades open up to cast natural sunlight into the room. A better visual is given, showing he is in an office; lush leather furniture made for comfortable seating arrangements, showing that this was a higher ranking executive's room. Adding to the decor, antique oak wood cabinets and book shelves filled with an array of books lined each wall, besides where the window took up an entire side on its own. In the center of the room stood a sturdy dark oak desk with a massive, and strangely wide, leather chair facing away from the man, its occupant looking outside.
"So then, Mr. Bowing, why is it this morning I get wind that some of the cast of that show have decided to go on a strike? Would you care to explain that?"
He now recognized the voice, and the nervousness that had settled in before began to intensify. Trembling, he gulped, trying to find his words. Tapping of plastic fingers began to bounce around the room; the man sitting in the seat, his boss, was growing impatient. He was not happy, and Mr. Bowing quickly gave the best answer he could.
"W-Well, you see sir, it appears the six main characters of the show have had enough of our 'marketing' messing up their image, and are on strike until the problem is resolved."
"So then tell me, why have you not resolved this dilemma?"
"B-Because that's the toy line department's area, sir."
There was a long silence as the man remained knelt, staring with sweat running down his face at the back of the dark red chair. Finally, the chair swung slowly to the left, revealing its occupant. He adjusted his thick, solid, and black mustache as he looked down to the cowering employee. His trademark black hat sat on his head slightly to the right. His large, oval eyes seemed to be glaring at the cowering, if not terrified man as he tried to think up his next words to speak. Finally, casting a massive shadow on the man was his large, brown and potato shaped body.
His appearance was by all means silly, but by no means to be taken lightly.
"M-Mr. Potato Head, sir, trust me, I've been doing what I can to resolve this. They just won't listen to me. I've tried to talk to toy production, marketing, even-"
"All excuses, Mr. Bowing. All just worthless excuses," Mr. Potato Head said as he began to extend his right plastic arm towards a large cluster of buttons.
"NO, WAIT, SIR PLEASE! I-I can still resolve this. I just need some more time."
"Time that we do not have, Mr. Bowing. We must get those ponies back for rehearsal for the next episode, otherwise we are going to be in a heap of trouble. How do you plan to-"
Mr. Potato Head stopped as his right ear rotated for a better hearing angle. From somewhere in the room, a series of loud metal crashes could be heard. They sounded as though they were getting louder with every crash and boom of metal before something fell into the room from the ceiling vent, sending plumes of dust throughout the room; Mr. Potato Head and the man both coughed in attempts to clear their throats of the old dust particles.
Finally, from within the dust cloud sat a gray pegasus. Her blond mane seemed to glisten in the sunlight from the windows as she lazily looked around the room.
"Ah, Ms. Hooves," Mr. Potato Head started with a dull tone, "Once again you find your way into my office. I'm not sure how you do it, but I commend your determination."
"Hello Mr. Boss-Tato!" Derpy happily called as she stood up, "You know me, your one and only trusty mailmare."
Mr. Potato Head looked to the cowering man with a curious look and rested his left arm atop the desk.
"You're the one in charge of these ponies. What's this one's deal?"
The man looked to the gray pegasus, who wore her brown mailbag to her right side, almost covering the bubbles making up her cutie mark.
"Oh, uh, Ms. Derpy Hooves, yes. She is, uh, one of our more 'special' cast members. She was intended to be a stunt pony for Ms. Dash, but somehow managed to sneak into the episodes among the other background ponies as we were filming. Some of the fans found her to be a riot and insisted we included her in the show."
"Ah, so she is that Derpy Hooves."
"The one and only!" Derpy stated, "Though some call me Ditzy Doo, either works for me!" She then reached her head around into her mail sack. " And like every one of my visits, I have your mail."
Derpy placed several white envelopes onto Mr. Potato Head's desk, scattering them about the desktop. Mr. Potato Head looked to Derpy, then to the envelopes, and back to the frightened man with another quizzical look.
"And what is this all about? She has been bringing me my mail now for months, unannounced, most of the time intruding and leaving destruction in her wake."
"W-Well sir, somewhere along the lines she became Ponyville's official mailmare due to the fans of the show, and when she heard this she thought it was her duty to remain in character however much she could. That apparently even goes up and beyond when the show is being filmed."
"I see," Mr. Potato Head clasped his white, gloved, plastic hands together, deep in thought as he examined the gray pegasus. Suddenly, an idea sparked itself into his head, "So you are very proud of your job, Ms. Hooves?"
"Yes sir! I love my job, and help out in any way I can."
"So tell me, would you be the type of pony to go the extra mile to help your show in its time of need?"
Mr. Potato Head tented his fingers under his large nose, contemplating. Finally, a smile creased along his removable mouth as his brain racked up an idea, one that might help his situation, "Ms. Hooves, tell me, do you have many friends among the other ponies?"
Derpy's ears perked up as one eye began to stray from its normal position, "Of course I do! I have lots of friends!"
"Hm..." Mr. Potato Head continued thinking, shifting his chair left and right as he thought. "Mr. Bowing, from your previous statements, you say these, 'background ponies', much like Ms. Hooves here, are quite popular among our fans?"
The man nodded.
Mr. Potato Head then returned his gaze back to Derpy, who by this point had taken a seat on one of the many leather sofas and was quietly munching on what appeared to be a muffin.
"Ms. Hooves," Derpy quickly scarfed down the last remaining half of the muffin as she jumped to attention, which only ended with her bouncing off the couch and onto the ground, shooting the half-muffin out of her mouth and into a bookcase, spilling the organized books all across the floor in a very unorganized cluster.
"Oops, sorry Mr. Boss-Tato."
Not unfamiliar with Derpy's antics, Mr. Potato brushed the incident off, "Not to worry Ms. Hooves, I'll have that cleaned up. In the meantime, how would you like to be bumped up from your status as 'background pony' and put as a lead role of the show you work in?"
Derpy blinked, both eyes looking in strange, separate directions not normal to ponies. Mr. Potato Head looked to the half eaten muffin on the ground, then back to the pony with a smile.
"How would you like to be able to purchase more muffins?"
Derpy blinked again, both eyes returning to their normal position as her wings shot up in attention, "More muffins?"
"Yes, Ms. Hooves, more-"
"Sign me up!" Derpy interrupted as she glided around the room with excitement.
"Alright then, you will have a very important task to perform first."
Derpy dropped to the ground like a rock, landing on all four hooves. The impact shook the office, spilling another few expensive objects from bookshelves in the office-turned-disaster-area.
"Ms. Hooves," Mr. Potato Head said calmly, trying his hardest to remain level-headed despite the presence of what was evidently the world's smallest and klutziest tornado, "I need you to round up five of your friends and bring them here within twenty four hours. We must air a new episode by the end of the week, and that will only give us six days to film it. With the main cast of the show on strike, I need some ponies to 'fill in' for them. And seeing your popularity with the fan base, I'm sure there are others among yourself that would jump at this possibility of main character status until this problem is handled by Mr. Bowing."
The man let out a deep sigh, finally releasing the breath he had been holding when his boss had started speaking to the gray pony. The mention of his name along with words that meant he still had his job was a huge relief.
"Do you understand Ms. Hooves?" Mr. Potato Head finished, reaching over his desk with his right hand.
Derpy stood in place for another few seconds; one eye lazily gazed to the side as her brain worked its special kind of "magic", going over what her boss was telling her. Once all the puzzle pieces were complete, and the muffin was fully assembled and eaten, she blinked her stray eye back to its normal position and stepped forward to her boss, extending her hoof and making contact with his hand.
"We have a deal Mr. Boss-Tato!" Derpy said, shaking his hand in agreement.
Derpy pulled her hoof away a little too quickly, for as she did so Mr. Potato Head's entire arm popped off along with her drawback.
"It's quite alright Ms. Hooves. It happens more than you'd expect," Mr. Potato Head said with a little chuckle.
Derpy handed her boss back his arm, which he took and popped in with one swift motion, giving it a quick test to make sure everything was in working order.
"Alright Ms. Hooves, I expect to see you by this time tomorrow with five of your friends. Now remember, this is a pony show, so you must only choose friends that are ponies."
"Okie dokie Mr. Boss-Tato!" Derpy cheerfully said as she made her way back for the ventilation shaft.
"Uh, Ms. Hooves, you can exit through the-"
Before he could finish, Derpy was back up the ventilation shaft and gone from sight. He shook his head, unsure if this mare was indeed up to the task he had given her. From her mail duty, he felt she was capable of it, but her bubbly attitude could be a problem.
"We will have to see what she is capable of then."
"Uh, sir, what about me?"
Mr. Potato Head glared back ahead, remembering that his less faithful employee was still kneeling on the center rug of the seating area.
"Oh, right, you," Mr. Potato Head said with a dull expression, returning to his desk, "You are tasked with coming up with a compromise to getting our main six ponies back before production of the following episode starts."
"Isn't your cubicle on the fifth floor Mr. Bowing?" Mr. Potato Head asked, looking at the arrangement of buttons on his desk.
The man gulped as he nodded his head.
"Well, the ground floor is close enough I suppose. See you in a week."
Mr. Potato Head pressed one of the unmarked red buttons, making a loud buzz as the floor from underneath the man opened to a long, deep, dark hole. He screamed as he was rushed down along with the rug into the pitch black abyss that has once again found a good use. As his screams were still audible, Mr. Potato Head had walked over to the hole and peered down himself.
"Remember, you have exactly one week!" He shouted, as the trap doors swung shut with a loud clamp of their locks.
Today was a beautiful day. Almost perfect; perhaps a tad warm, but nothing that was going to hurt anyone. Outside of the Hasbro studios and general marketing building, the large HASBRO logo stood out on the face of the massive glass paned building. From the center of the O, a mother bird was in the process of feeding her chicks when a massive puff of dust engulfed them. When the dust cleared, the mother bird looked to her chicks, who were now resting atop a grey pegasus's head as it was now sitting in her nest.
"SQUAWK!" The mother bird chirped in rage.
"Oh, sorry mommy bird." Derpy stepped out of the basket, replacing the chicks and leaving a muffin as a parting gift and apology, and flew on her way.
Leaving her building of occupation behind, she made her way home, passing all the other ponies who worked with the show, many humans who supervised and did marketing, as well as many other well known Hasbro exclusive toy line figures. Many G.I. Joe's walked down the sidewalk. Even some Transformer vehicles drove down the road.
Like every day when Derpy returned home, she stopped quickly at her mailbox, which greeted her with the fresh aroma of blueberry muffins. She took one of them and closed the mailbox lid. Cheerfully, she marched up the small pathway that lead to the home she shared with a long time friend, Carrot Top; the muffin balanced perfectly on the top of her head as she pranced along. Before entering the house, Derpy thought to check the backyard to see if her housemate was out tending to her carrot patch, much like she did every day.
Upon seeing her orange maned friend, she joyfully bounced towards her with excitement. If she knew anypony she could trust or rely on to help with something like this, Carrot Top would be the first to volunteer.
"No" Carrot Top said through her occupied mouth.
She was watering her carrot patch with a metal watering can gripped with her teeth; her green gardener's hat was on her head, covering most of her face with shade to block out the sun's rays.
"But... but, CT-" Derpy began.
Carrot Top set down the watering can carefully, "No. The last time you had me 'help out' as a cast member of the show, they dyed my mane green."
Carrot Top closed her eyes as she reflected upon the memory, "Then they promptly had this stuck up white mare further insult me for having such a mane that wasn't even my natural color, when hers was quite the rat's nest itself."
"But that's part of acting CT!"
"I don't care."
Carrot Top picked up the watering can once more and began to water. This time, though, instead of her carrot plants being showered, it was Derpy's face. Carrot moaned as she saw her roommate laying on top of her plants, being showered upon and getting all muddy; a mess that she knew she'd be cleaning up later.
"PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE CT! THIS MEANS A LOT TO ME!"
Carrot Top set down the watering can in frustration, then proceeded to remove her cap as she returned to the house.
"I'll think about it Derpy, but for now isn't it almost time for Dinky's bus to get here?" Carrot Top asked, looking into the house at the wall clock.
Derpy jumped up and shook herself off, throwing most of the water and mud onto Carrot Top, whose sour expression was made almost unnoticeable by the new layer of grime on her face.
One of Derpy's eyes drifted to the side as she frowned, "Sorry CT..."
"No, it's perfectly alright Derpy," Carrot Top grumbled through clenched teeth, "I was going to wash up anyway, so now I'll just take an entire shower while I'm at it."
Derpy smiled as she pranced past her orange friend, "Good thinking there CT! That's why I leave that job up to you!"
Carrot Top simply huffed as she entered her home in disgust.
Derpy made her way back to the mailbox, sitting down beside it as she waited with anticipation for her daughter Dinky to be dropped off from school. One thing that made her so happy to work with Hasbro was the promise to give her daughter a full education! As long as they were allowed to get footage for certain episodes from her school, of course, but that did nothing to deter the perky child's enthusiasm, and Derpy knew the sudden news of her mommy becoming more popular on TV would make her ecstatic. Maybe they would even get to be seen together on screen! Oh she would love that so much.
From down the road came a bright yellow school bus, stopping on occasion to drop off other fillies and colts. The particular neighborhood that Derpy and Carrot Top lived in was primarily meant for ponies, though some other Hasbro lines did live around here. Derpy looked to her right, inspecting her neighbor's Lincoln Log home. Just recently built, it was a more expensive house than Derpy or Carrot Top themselves were able to afford, and it made the two ponies' simple wooden home, with its ordinary Play-Doh foundation, seem all the more plain.
Derpy's admiration of her neighbor's luxury was interrupted when the bus stopped in front of her. Dinky was normally the last to depart from the bus and sure enough, the pony that hopped out from the bus's door was, in Derpy's admittedly biased opinion, the most adorable filly she had ever laid her eyes on.
Dinky jumped into Derpy's front legs, wrapping her own around her mother's neck in a huge hug. Then, Derpy looked back to the yellow school bus as it stayed parked there a moment longer.
"Thanks Ms. Bus Lady!" Derpy called out.
Before their eyes, the bus suddenly changed shape. Parts shifted in and out as the bus took on the form of a large robot, one that towered over the neighborhood's homes around it.
"Don't you mention it, Ms. Hooves! Have a good day Dinky, and be good!" She called down.
Suddenly from her back, two large jet turbines became exposed and fired up. The noise was extremely loud - nearly deafening, in fact - as the Autobot took off into the air, leaving a large plume of smoke and scorch marks in the road. Derpy and Dinky simply continued to wave, both their manes frozen backwards, until finally the bus was out of sight.
"So what are we going to do today, mommy?" Dinky asked, bouncing around her mother in excitement.
Derpy smiled as she handed Dinky another muffin from the mailbox.
"I have some big news to tell you."
The two walked inside the house as Derpy told Dinky all about her adventures she had today and about her new role as a main character in the TV show that she worked for.
Later that afternoon, Carrot Top was still washing up after Derpy's incident. She had just begun drying out her mane with her hair dryer when she heard the small clacks of hooves running. It had to be Dinky; Derpy was more likely to fly when in a hurry, or at least try to, as the many shattered pots around the house could attest to.
"CT! CT! Did mommy tell you the news?" Dinky burst into the bathroom, all manners forgotten in that moment. Not at all surprised by the rude entrance of Derpy's daughter, Carrot Top put on a large smile as she looked at the small filly through the mirror.
"Why, no, she hasn't. What news sweetie?"
"Mommy is gonna be a main character on TV! Can you believe it?"
Carrot Top stuck out her tongue as she narrowed her eyes.
"And when she told me you were too, I was so excited!"
Carrot Top immediately looked to the purple unicorn filly with surprise, "Whoa there now, I never said-"
"I'm so excited that you are working with my mommy CT," Dinky then ran up to Carrot Top, and giving her a hug around her leg.
Carrot Top could only smile at the filly's cuteness, and return the hug. She then looked to the doorway, spying Derpy peeking inside the bathroom at the scene, giving her a sheepish grin.
"I'll get you back for this, you owe me," Carrot Top mouthed to Derpy, not wanting to spoil the moment for Dinky's sake.
Derpy closed her eyes, tilted her head to the side and smiled big. She knew if she couldn't convince Carrot to help her, Dinky would. And it never failed her. She backed into the hallway once more, elated at the knowledge that CT was on board. That meant she needed four more ponies for this, and she had until tomorrow morning to get them.
She looked to a clock, showing it was only four p.m. She still had plenty of time, and she knew some ponies she could go ask right away.
"Hey CT?" Derpy stuck her head back into the bathroom.
"Yes, Derpy?" Carrot Top groaned.
"Could you watch Dinky for a few? I need to go and find more ponies to help out!"
Before Carrot could ask further, Derpy had already disappeared from view. A second later, the click of the door signaled she had departed.
Carrot looked down at the smiling filly, then to her reflection in the mirror and sighed.
Applejack, lacking her classic Stetson? Rainbow Dash's mane, way too long? THE Princess Celestia, pink? When anything and everything in the world is run by Hasbro, this effort, or lack thereof, just won't do.
Having had enough of their image being sullied by executives that just don't care, the Mane 6 go on strike. Through the eyes of Mr. Potato Head, head of Hasbro, this can only mean disaster. Through the eyes of Mr. Bowing, an employee at the bottom of the food chain, this could be the end of his career, and that's if he's lucky.
But through the eyes - the mismatched eyes - of the ever-optimistic Derpy Hooves, this is a golden opportunity. Tasked with recruiting and leading a new cast of main characters, Derpy sets out to accomplish what's been asked of her in ways only she can. And may Celestia help us all...
Author's note: Well, it's great to finally present to you all another wonderful fic brought to you by ROBCakeran53! That's me if you were wondering. So after I officially canceled Divergent Days, I've finally gotten the motivation and spirit to get to my other fics I've had waiting for some love and attention. This is the first one I shall start posting.
I hope you all enjoy it! I'll hope to be updating it every couple weeks at most! I'm always open to any criticizm, since I'm not an actual author, so feel free to leave me comments of what you think I could to to improve, or help my story along it's journey. Also generic comments are okay, so don't feel bad if you just go "It's alright.. I guess." I'm used to those by now.