Cutie Mark Crusader Channel Surfers!
"Wow sis, this is really neat!" Sweetie Belle said in awe as she slowly approached the large, black screen in the center of Rarity's living room, "how much did this new television cost?"
"Enough" Rarity said with a sigh, "Pinkie Pie was really determined to keep it, even though she is getting a new one. That pony doesn't make sense sometimes."
Sweetie Belle admired the new television that Rarity had bought. It was wide and flat and shining in the light, all of which contributed to Sweetie's overwhelming desire to reach out and touch it. "What was wrong with our old one, it seemed to work pretty well."
"Well that one was...SWEETIE BELLE GET YOUR HOOF AWAY FROM THAT TELEVISION!!"
Sweetie let out a timid squeak and retracted her hoof, which was mere centimeters from the screen, "Oops, sorry sis."
"Honestly Sweetie Belle, I don't want hoof-prints smudged all over the screen." Rarity said, sighing as she trotted over to the couch and lifted the remote with her magic. She then turned the device on. After taking a few seconds to warm up, something that wasn't necessary with the previous model they owned, the screen lit up into an array of color as a sitcom involving doctor ponies began to play for Sweetie Belle, who stared in wonder at the screen.
"Oh wow, cool!" Sweetie Belle said in astonishment, "it's so much clearer than our old TV was."
"That's why I bought it." Rarity said with a smirk, trotting over to the kitchen to grab her saddle bag.
"So how did you get Pinkie Pie to give this to you?" Sweetie asked.
"Hm? Oh, I gave her an offer she couldn't possibly refuse." Rarity shrugged and threw the saddle-bag over her back.
"And I'm glad I did get it. This beauty gets over one-thousand channels."
Sweetie turned to Rarity and gasped, "Wow, really?"
Rarity chuckled and nodded, "Indeed."
"I'll leave you the remote. Try not to go overboard with the TV while I'm gone." Rarity said with a slightly musical tone to her voice, levitating the remote over to Sweetie Belle's side. The little white filly took the remote and placed it to her side before she turned back to the television, taking in the brilliant images with the biggest grin.
Rarity opened the door and trotted out, closing it behind her and leaving her little sister all alone with the gigantic television and the remote that would give her the ability to navigate through each one of the over one-thousand channels available.
What could possibly go wrong?
"I like this show, but there are so many channels left to see!" Sweetie said with a snicker. She pressed the channel changing button on the remote so the television showed the next channel up, which showed a courtroom show with a very stern looking mare at the podium, shouting down the defendant.
"He-he, this is so cool. The images are so clear and realistic!" Sweetie Belle said with a smile as she gawked at the television, "but I can't stop here, there are still over one-thousand channels to get through! And I'm going to make it my mission to surf them all!"
And with that, Sweetie Belle excitedly began her epic quest of channel surfing.
"Sweetie Belle! Are you inside, hello?" Scootaloo asked, knocking her hoof against the door, as she had been doing for the past two minutes. And just like her previous knocks, they went unanswered.
"Ugh, ah told that silly filly that we was comin' over!" Apple Bloom complained.
"She's gotta be in there." Scootaloo said, looking up at the door-handle. She put her hoof to her chin in thought, deciding to see if the door was unlocked, though neither Apple Bloom nor Scootaloo thought it would be.
To the girl's astonishment, the door handle turned and the door swung open with relative ease.
"Why is it unlocked?" Apple Bloom asked.
"Don't know," Scootaloo replied, a bit of worry in her voice, "come on, let's find Sweetie Belle."
Both friends trotted into the house and wandered around, looking for their friend. But it didn't take long, as they heard the sounds of television coming from the living room. They walked over to see Sweetie Belle staring at the giant screen, her eyes bloodshot and her mouth slightly agape. A small bit of drool ran from her lips and dripped off onto the white carpet. She was zoned out.
"Uh Sweetie Belle, what's going on in here?" Scootaloo asked.
Sweetie Belle snapped out of her daze and turned to her friends, wiping the saliva from her lips. Her eyes were baggy and worn-out.
"Oh hey guys..." the white unicorn let out a small yawn and stretched, "What's up?"
"What's up? We're supposed ta be getting our cutie marks today and y'all are sitting on yer flank watching..." Apple Bloom shouted before she turned to the television, squinting to get a better view of the television. She looked perplexed, "...a...cooking show?"
"Why on earth would you be watching a cooking show?" Scootaloo asked, just as baffled as Apple Bloom at her friend's choice in programming.
"I want to try to get through all the new channels this new television has." Sweetie Belle answered, her head tilting forward and her eyes closing before she snapped herself awake.
Scootaloo raised an eyebrow at her friend's head-bopping exhaustion, "Really, and how's that working out for you?"
"It's a lot more tiring than you'd think." Sweetie Belle yawned again, "Plus now I've got a massive headache and my eyes feel like tiny little needles are poking into them."
"How many channels have y'all gotten through?" Apple Bloom asked.
Sweetie Belle shrugged, "I'm past channel 500, so I've gotten pretty far."
"Wow, that is far! Did any of them tickle your fancy?" Apple Bloom asked with a smile.
"That's the thing, the new channels don't appeal to me at all. There have been fifteen different food channels, twenty different sports channels, about thirty fashion channels. Heck, I lost count of the number of house-hunting channels there are."
"It sounds like the perfect television for Rarity." Scootaloo giggled.
Sweetie Belle shrugged and turned back to the television, "Well, I set a goal to get through each channel and I am going to reach it. No matter how boring it is or how much my eyes and head hurt."
"Okay, then we'll help ya." Apple Bloom said with a smile.
"Yeah, we can be...um..." Scootaloo put her hoof to her chin in thought before she looked up, a triumphant grin on her face, "Cutie Mark Crusader Channel Surfers!"
"Yeah!" Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle said in unison as all three of the fillies high-fived. Apple Bloom sat down at Sweetie Belle's left and Scootaloo sat down at her right. They both turned their attention to the television.
"Well, I have to admit, the quality is very good." Scootaloo said.
"Yeah, our TV gets so much static it drives me crazy." Apple Bloom said, "yer sis did real good in getting a TV like this."
"I know, but all the new channels just seem like filler."
"You mean all those cooking, sports, fashion, and housing channels?" Scootaloo snickered.
"Yeah! Not to mention all of the channels showing nothing but extended commercials." Sweetie Belle said with a shudder, remembering the ad she saw for a vegetable chopper with an eccentric pony that belonged in a mental institution. Sweetie Belle kept expecting a pair of white-coated ponies to come out and drag him off in a straitjacket.
"I just want to find one channel that will blow me away." Sweetie said, sighing.
"Well keep searching. I'm sure there's bound to be at least one." Scootaloo said, patting her friend on the shoulder encouragingly.
Sweetie Belle gave her friend a smile and nodded. She then clicked the channel-up button once so they could move on. Once the channel changed to the next station, she froze in shock.
In fact, they all did.
"Um...Sweetie Belle...why are we on TV?"
There, on the full screen television set, was none other than the Cutie Mark Crusaders on stage, Scootaloo singing, Apple Bloom dancing, and Sweetie Belle taking care of the props. All three of their jaws dropped as they watched the event play out like it was an actual sitcom, rather than something that happened in real life.
"What in the world..." Apple Bloom muttered.
"Okay, this is just bizarre." Sweetie Belle muttered, scratching her head in confusion.
"How is this possible, there were no cameras there!" Scootaloo screamed.
"Well some of the parents had cameras." Sweetie Belle muttered.
Apple Bloom started to move towards the television. "But it ain't filmed like a parent shot it. It's like it's an actual television show."
Soon the other two stood and approached the TV as well, Sweetie Belle standing to Apple Bloom's right and Scootaloo to her left, as they continued to gawk at the images.
"What channel is this exactly?" Scootaloo asked.
"I don't know, but there's a weird logo in the corner of the screen," Sweetie Belle squinted to get a better view, "The...Hub?"
"What's 'The Hub'?" Scootaloo asked, Sweetie Belle responding with a shrug.
"Ah'm starting ta feel mighty uncomfortable." Apple Bloom said, her voice quivering from anxiety.
"Maybe we should change the channel." Scootaloo suggested, nudging Sweetie, who just shrugged her off.
"No wait, I sort of want to see where this goes."
Scootaloo was about to interject, but stopped herself. Truth was she too wanted to see what this "Hub" channel was all about. Apple Bloom didn't move an inch, her eyes glued to the television as she listened to their performance.
"Wow...my voice really is bad." Scootaloo said with a shameful blush on her face.
"Yeah, and mah dancin' is real messy." Apple Bloom admitted, watching as she got her hoof stuck in one of the cardboard props.
"I never realized how stupid we looked." Sweetie Belle said with a blush, "I mean, obviously we know now that we looked bad, but seeing it for the audience's perspective...I can't blame them laughing at us."
The trio continued to watch that episode in its entirety. Once it was done, the theme song started to play and the credits started to roll.
"Huh...that was interesting." Apple Bloom muttered.
"I thought it was pretty cool." Scootaloo said with a small smile.
"Cool? Cool!?!" Sweetie Belle shouted nervously with her arms in the air before she let them fall back to her side.
She sighed, "Yeah it was pretty cool, I guess. But it was also really creepy."
"Oh relax, that dance routine we did was over a year ago." Scootaloo said with a wave of her hoof, "Maybe it was just so bad they decided to broadcast it on television."
"I suppose you're...what in the hay?" Sweetie Belle muttered.
All three fillies watched as the "Hub" logo re-appeared in the center of the screen, much larger than it had been when it was in the bottom corner. But what really got the fillies' attention was Rainbow Dash flying next to the logo. Suddenly, all six of the Elements of Harmony encircled the channel's logo with smiles on their faces as they heard the voice of an excited male announcer, "A new episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is coming up next, right here on 'The Hub!."
"My Little Pony?" Scootaloo mumbled.
"Friendship is Magic?" Sweetie Belle asked.
"New Episode?" Apple Bloom said anxiously.
"Why was Rainbow Dash flying on the screen a second ago?"
"Forget that. Why was mah sis on the screen?"
"My sister was too, and so were all of their friends."
"What's going on here?"
Before she could answer, the screen changed to the image of Rarity and Sweetie Belle. Rarity was getting ready to leave, and Sweetie Belle was gazing up at a very familiar television set. Just then, dialogue started.
"Wow sis, this is really neat!" Sweetie Belle exclaimed. "how much did this new television cost?"
"Enough" Rarity said with a sigh, "Pinkie Pie was really determined to keep it even though she is getting a new one. That pony doesn't make sense sometimes."
Sweetie Belle couldn't believe it. The screen was showing the same conversation she had with Rarity earlier that morning. Everything, from the words that were said, to the two sisters' facial expressions were exactly as they had been earlier.
"Oookay...." Scootaloo said.
"Wait, this happened just an hour ago!" Sweetie Belle shouted nervously.
Soon, Rarity left just as Sweetie Belle began her television journey. The theme song began to play, and the trio got the shocking spectacle that was the theme song. All three of them gawked as Twilight Sparkle, Spike, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy, and Pinkie Pie all appeared on the screen as the song continued.
"Ah can't believe mah sis is in on this conspiracy!" Apple Bloom shouted.
"Maybe not, I mean you're sister hates singing, so why would she lend her voice to this?" Scootaloo asked.
"What about my sister? She's singing as well!" Sweetie Belle complained, pointing her hoof at the image of her sister singing her "A Beautiful Heart" part of the theme song.
"This is way [i]to[/i] freaky." Apple Bloom muttered, eyes still unblinking as she stared at the screen.
That's when the song ended and the three fillies got an even greater shock. The screen showed Sweetie Belle watching the television just as her two friends trot in to see if she's okay. All three girls watched as the television showed to them everything that happened up until that point, until it stopped right at current time, the three ponies all watching themselves in live time. Their images watching themselves that in turn were watching themselves on the television that showed an image of themselves watching themselves on another television.
The fillies could've sworn they heard a loud "BRRRRMMMMMM." erupt from behind them, but they were too shocked to think about it.
"Oh my gosh, that's us now!" Apple Bloom shrieked, pointing her hoof at the television. As if to confirm her observation, the screen showed the image of Apple Bloom pointing at the television. The little earth pony let out a small shriek at this, dropping her hoof back to her side as she began to shiver in fear.
"Wait, if we can watch ourselves, then..." Sweetie Belle said. Slowly, all three fillies turned around to stare at nothing in-particular. They expected to find a camera behind them, but all they saw was the open air and the white wall. Nothing out of the ordinary. They all started to experience an extreme feeling of paranoia.
"Who else could be watching us right now?"
Meanwhile, dimensions away in a world much blander than the one filled with candy-colored equines, two college students sat on a couch in their student apartment. They were watching the newest episode of My Little Pony when the cartoon suddenly showed the Cutie Mark Crusaders turn around and face the camera, their big, animated eyes meeting the two boys' own.
Both of the boys looked utterly bewildered as they watched the three fillies that seemed to be actually looking directly at them, through the television.
"Um...Tom?" asked one of the boys.
"Yeah Zak?" asked the other.
"Quick question, have the Cutie Mark Crusaders ever broken the fourth-wall before?""
Tom shook his head, "Not that I can remember."
"So why are they doing it now? And why have they been staring at us for so long?"
"Oh, Rarity just bought my television so now they get access to me super-secret Pinkie Pie channels." Both boys turned to their left and gawked at the sight of Pinkie Pie, who seemingly appeared out of nowhere, now sitting beside them on the couch, her fore-legs crossed across her chest and a pout on her face. "I miss my television, and I miss 'The Hub'."
Zak and Tom exchanged a glance.
"Is Pinkie Pie sitting next to us?" Tom asked.
"Eeyup." Zak replied with a small nod.
"Huh." Tom looked down at a cup of water that he held and sighed, "I picked a hell of a day to quit drinking."