Disclaimer: Both Transformers and My Little Pony are the properties of Hasbro. This is a non-profit work made by an independent contractor outside of the official company's notice intended for non-profit entertainment and speculative purposes only.
Darkryt Orbinautz presents...
At Autobot Outpost Omega One, Smokescreen and Twilight's friends, thought not Twilight herself due to her bias against humans, and Cadence were visiting, and what coincidence it had been when they did.
Apparently, a holiday called "Christmas" was coming up soon. From the Ponies' perspective, it was apparently a weird, backward-in-typical-human-backwards-way of celebrating a holy figure's birth.
From Ratchet's, it was "A celebrations for corrupt mega-corporations rejoicing in the promotion of materiel greed and the over-consumption of candied treats!"
"Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle ALLLL the way!" Smokescreen sang off-key.
"Oh what fun it is to ride a one-horse open sleigh!" Miko joined in.
"Wait, horse?" Rarity questioned. "You told me Santa had fabulous creatures called reindeer pull his sleigh!"
"Oh, yeah. Well, that's not how the song goes."
"So the song is about him, but it depicts him using a single horse rather then reindeer?"
"Never mind!" Miko said.
"Maybe we can read poetry instead?" Raf meekly suggested, typing up something on his laptop. "Like Silent Night? You know, Now Dasher, Now Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen! On-"
"NOW A VIXEN"S IN THERE TOO!?"
Ratchet put his hand to his headcrest. "It's gonna be a long, long Christmas."
Friendship Is Magic: Prime: The Christmas Special
Chapter 1: Hearth's Warming Cultural Differences
Episode Synopsis: Cultural differences between the Ponies and Humans cause problems for the Autobots' Christmas preparations.
Smokescreen's horrifically screeching off-key singing made it particular difficult for anypony to notice Optimus fiddling with presents wrappings in the corners of his blocked fingers.
"Explain it ta' me again." Applejack said. "This ...Olly Mold Jan-"
"Jolly Old Man!"
"Gets a buncha letters from children all over Earth, somehow magical knows who's been good and who's been bad, and on the 24th of every Dec'ember of e'ery year, goes and gives wutever was on the letters to the ones who've been good?"
"Pretty much!" Miko reached over a crate and pulled an plush snowman to put on the bottom branch of the Autobot-sized Christmas tree.
"Ah don't believe it. Why would he do that?"
Miko seemed notiably deflated at Applejack's dismissal. "C'os all the children have been good little boys, duh!"
"If he travel's 'round ta' globe on a sleigh with no Ground or Space Bridge what-in-so-ever, then why isn't he using whatever resources he's done got to solve all yer human's problems?"
"Uh, because that's not his job?" Miko growled.
"So he goes out doling out gifts to all the hooman cubs, but he won't come on over and fix all there political disputes? For such a givin' guy, he sounds kinda selfish."
Miko's jaw dropped in horror. "You-you-you take that back right now! Santa is NOT selfish!"
"Prove to me Ah misjudged sumthun' 'ere, and Ah will take it all back." Applejack assured her.
"You-you-" Miko swung her fist in the air and made to slug at Applejack's muzzle.
Optimus tilted his head up and did his Optimus-thing of ending all the conflict. "Miko, Applejack, your conversation has been completed. Understood?"
Applejack and Miko backed away from each other.
"...Ah still think he's mismanaging his resource-a-meces." Applejack quietly muttered.
Smokescreen, meanwhile, had advance from 'Jingle Bells' to the VASTLY DIFFERENT 'Jingle Bells Rock'. Two totally different songs about similar subjects. Yup.
Cadence flew up around in spirals around the Autobot-sized Christmas tree and examined it's empty branches. "So we put decorations on this thing to mark it as where Santa drops his presents?"
Cadence cocked her head. "It wouldn't be easier to put the tree outside then?"
Miko narrowed her eyes and gave Cadence a sideways glare, starting to get really irritated at all the questions the ponies were asking about her favorite holiday.
"SMOKESCREEN, DO YOU KNOW ANY OTHER SONGS!?"
"Deck the halls with boughs of holly, tra-la-la-la-la!"
Ratchet signed and tapped his forehead. "That's...a little better...a little."
Optimus jerked his hands, the present wrapping having become matted around them. "Hmm." Pausing to take a breath, or whatever Autobots did that passed as it, Optimus slid his fingers out from the wrapping like a Chinese finger trap, and the wrapping flitted to the ground.
Stepping away from what was apparently a fruitless effort, Optimus picked up some decorations from the boxes Miko and Jack had brought and started adding his own touches to the bare-except-for-the-bottom tree.
Cadence's interest was piqued by the way Optimus did it. He would hold up the ornament of his selection to the tree and stare at the tree for minutes before deciding that was the branch to put it on.
"Hmm..." Cadence mused as the tree bobbed from Optimus' touch. "Hey, Optimus?"
"You have my attention, Your Majesty Mi Amora."
Cadence signed. "Optimus, I told you not to call me that."
Arcee came over and whispered something in Cadence's ear. "Oh. Will that worK?"
Cadence cleared her throat. "Optimus of the Primes, I, as a Princess of Equestria, hereby order to only refer to me as 'Cadence.'"
"As you wish, Your Majesy Mi-" Optimus' optic ticked. Being so causal to royalty did not come easily to the well-mannered Prime. "Your Majesty Cadence."
"Don't you think this...Chirstmas kinda...promotes materialist greed?"
Optimus looked as confused as an Optimus could look. "I do not fully grasp your meaning."
"Well, this...Claus person gives them all presents for their good behavior...isn't that teaching only to be good to get what they want instead of being good for good's sake?"
"That is a matter of perspective." Optimus said, glaring intently at a Cola Pola, er, Polar Bear.
"Hmm." Cadence flew away from the tree and left the room.
Ratchet's shoulder antennae twitched after Cadence was no longer in earshot. Ratchet glared his wiggling part.
"Optimus, my antennae is twitching."
Ratchet stared back, not understanding the odd looks. "What? It's like a war wound acting up. It means trouble is bound to happen."
"Auntie Celestia!" Cadence cried, knocking on the door to Celestia's chambers.
"Come in." Celestia said. She sounded kinda distracted.
Cadence entered and saw her aunt looming over a bunch of papers she couldn't possibly understand herself. Celestia seemed really intent on them as well, to the exclusion of all else.
"Can I protest a human holiday because it teaches human cubs the wrong lessons?"
"Of course, whatever." Celestia said, waving her hoof dismissively.
"Yes! Thank you, auntie~~!" Cadence slipped back out.
Celestia's tore her head away from the papers, apparently only now realizing somepony had been in her room. "Wait, what happened just now?"
Spike shoved a book back into it's slot on the shelf. Due to the vast interstellar distances between Equestria and Earth, Hearth's Warming Eve, the nearest-thing ponies had to Christmas, wasn't for another few months.
"Twilight, how come didn't you go with everypony else to Earth to learn about Chr-Kri-Cry-"
"Christmas, Spike." Twilight answered. "And I didn't go because it's a human holiday."
Spike rubbed his head. "What's so bad about them again?"
Twilight made a disbelieving noise. "What's so bad about them, Spike, is that they're violent, treacherous, and-and-"
"Nothing. The point is, they're violent."
"Do you know what a tank is, Spike?"
"Uhh...a huge vehicle with a cannon on top?"
"Uh-huh. The humans have their own tanks, and they have over 30 different varieties of them! Does that not prove to you they're not a species to socialize with!?"
"Rarity seemed really excited when Miko came to Equestria."
Twilight grunted. "That's her decision, Spike. Not mine."
"Also, Shining Armor told you went totally gaga over this 'Cody' guy?"
Twilight grimaced and blushed. "That's- that's totally different! Cody is...special."
"Just sort out the books, Spike!"
"All right..." Spike muttered and wheeled his ladder over to the next shelf.
Back at the Outpost...
Raf looked up up at the huge robot-sized Christmas tree, then looked away from it shiftily.
Rarity, being the socialite she was, picked up on his uneasiness. "What's wrong, darling?"
"Surely there's something." Rarity countered. " Or you wouldn't look as unease at the tree as you did."
"You picked up on that, huh? I don't want to talk about it..." Raf made empty gestures on his laptop.
Rarity grabbed the laptop in her magic and levitated it away.
Raf glared daggers at her.
Rarity smiled proudly. "You'll find, Rafael, when I want somepony to tell me something, there is little that will deny me. Now, what's on your mind?"
Raf gestured Rarity to come up onto the platform. Rarity obliged, trotting up the stairway, though she kept the laptop out of Raf's reach.
"My family...doesn't celebrate Christmas."
"Whaaa!? Why ever not!?"
Raf scraped his foot.
'"Wait...wait...don't tell me...they are multiple holidays humans celebrate this time of year?"
Rarity scoffed. "What is wrong with your species? Not only does almost everypony on your planet goes nuts trying to make this 'Christmas' happen, but then some of them don't even bother!?"
"What's up?" Miko questioned.
"Rafael's family doesn't celebrate Christmas!" Rarity exclaimed, not paying enough attention to Raf's body language that this wasn't something he wanted everyone to know.
"Whaaat!?" Miko exclaimed.
"That is exactly what I said!"
"Girls, it's fine." Raf assured them, trying to keep the peace. "I mean, just because everyone at school celebrates it and I have no idea what's it like..."
"Raf, do you have ANY idea what you've been missing out on?" Miko demanded. "Waking up the smell of cookies in the morning, leaving milk out for Santa on the stove, and tearing into a present with your bare hands!"
"It's fine!" Raf said, feeling pressured. Raf didn't do good with pressure like Jack and Miko do.
"No, it's not, come here!" Miko came up behind Raf and picked him up, then brought him over to Rainbow Dash and plopped him on her back. "Dash, pick a ornament out of the box and have Raf put it on the tree!"
Dash saluted and followed Miko's instructions, but her flying made Raf panic and clutch to her sides painfully. "Ow! Watch those fingers, Window-Eyes!"
"I never agreed to this!" Raf reminded them in a yelp.
"Is it really a'ight to force tha' poor lad into partakin' in the event like this?" Applejack started to wonder.
"What's going on?" Smokescreen questioned, drawn in by the commotion.
"Oh, we're just getting into a philosophical debate!" Pinkie assured him.
"Hmm...Hey, Doc? Think you can lend a servo here?"
Ratchet held his hand out, not even bothering to look away from the computer monitors. "I am not getting involved."
"Eeeh...well..." Smokescreen said at Ratchet's dismissal, "What's the debate exactly?"
"Applejack doesn't think we should force Raf to celebrate Christmas!" Miko explained.
"Uh, well...we shouldn't." Smokescreen said. "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings, or, uh...something like that."
Miko stomped her foot. "But he deserves to know!"
"I disagree..." Fluttershy mumbled. "You, uh, you shouldn't force somepony to do something they didn't agree to..."
"But, presents! Fluttershy!" Pinkie said. "Presents!"
"Be quiet, Fluttershy!" Miko snapped.
Fluttershy whimpered and put her hooves in front of her face.
"HEY!" Dash yelled. "No pony talks to Fluttershy like that!"
"Well, I just did!" Miko snapped.
Dash snarled. Smokescreen tried to keep the peace as everything went to Tartarus' Pit.
"I will talk to whoever, however I want to talk to them!"
"That's it! Put 'em up, Miko! Come on!"
"Organics, organics, can't we all just get along!?"
Pinkie made incoherent Pinkie-typical noises while Fluttershy ran under the Autbot tree.
"Y'all shouldn'a force yer holiday on a lad jus' cause y'all think they should experience it!"
Rainbow Dash barreled toward Miko, who ducked, though Raf's constant clinging to Dash's side made Miko's evasive maneuver unnecessary. Dash growled, turned around and did again, once again missing, but this time hitting the Autobot tree.
Fluttershy quickly ran out from the tree as it toppled over, spilling it's ornaments off itself and sending them rolling over the room.
Everypony got into a disagreement over to who was at fault, even though Rainbow Dash had been the one to hit it.
It was rendered moot by the sound of a gold metal smashing into one of the runaway ornaments, causing it to shatter.
Everypony looked up to see Celestia, Twilight, Spike, and Optimus over at the other end of the room. Optimus seemed disappointed, Celestia mad, and Twilight proud of herself, the ornament Celestia broke rested in shards under her horseshoe.
"Ha! See! I was right! No good can come of human celebrations!" Twilight boasted.
"I am very disappointed in all of you." Celestia informed them, causing them all to fidget nervously and mutter weak excuses. "When Optimus Prime came into Canterlot via Space Bridge to invite me and a very unwilling Twilight to see what this 'Christmas' entails, I was expecting to find cookies, decorations, singing and kissing under the mis-miiss-whatever the plant was! NOT fighting, disagreement, and CARNAGE!"
Celestia lifted her hoof up, magically fused the ornament back together, and levitated it into Miko's hands.
"I want you ALL to think about what you've done while you're repairing Optimus' tree." Celestia said coldly before turning and departing.
"I tried to control it-!" Smokescreen said weakly.
"See why I didn't getting involved now?" Ratchet questioned smugly, smirking. "I had nothing to do with any of this."
"You could have done something to prevent it." Optimus said, which kinda made Ratchet look bad. The Prime gave one last solemn look at his guests and then left with Celestia.
"See what humans wreak, Spike?" Twilight questioned, unaware that her friends were as equally responsible for the problem as Miko was.
Outside the Autobot base, covered in snow and ice, Celestia and Optimus walked out from one scene of destruction and into another.
"What...in the Pit...is going on here!?" Optimus demanded, every one of his moral sensibilities offended down to the last detail at the sight before him.
Cadence was standing on a makeshift stage, levitating a megaphone to her nuzzle, a bunch of humans gathered around the stage as she spoke out against 'the evils of gift-giving.' Thankfully, the few humans there seemed more bemused by her speech then anything.
"You're tradition is morally corrupt!" Cadence explained. "It teaches children to be good for what they want rather then being good for good's sake!"
"PRINCESS MI AMORA CADENZA!"
Cadence's eyes widened at the sound of Optimus screaming her full name.
"What...are you...doing!?" Optimus demanded as he and Celestia approached.
Cadence flitted her wing. "I- I just was speaking my mind! Celestia said I could!"
"Yeah...! In your room? With the papers?"
Celestia squinted, deep in thought. "Oh, Cadence! Those papers were legal documents! I was so intent on them I couldn't think about anything else! Whatever it is I told you, I revoke."
"Okaaay..." Cadence admitted without any fight and stepped off her stage.
Celestia looked up at Optimus. "I must say, Optimus, I've never seen you so worked up."
Optimus looked away. "True... The humans have a tradition, Your Majesty, and no one- or pony has the right to alter that tradition because of a difference in perspective. Additionally, I feel very senstive for Christmas, as it seems to have a way of weaving itself into my Spark..."
"I...think I understand." Celestia said, looking up as snow began falling again.
Ratchet did his best to ignore everypony as they rebuilt the tree while he looked over his computers. A beep-beeep came from them. He furrowed his gaze at it, and was perplexed.
"Something wrong, doc?" Smokescreen questioned as he futilely attempted to bend a branch back into a straight shape.
"Yes." Ratchet answered briskly. "We've received an S.O.S signal..."
Ratchet turned around and glared at Smokescreen with a deadly seriousness.
Author's Notes for 'Hearth's Warming Cultural Differences'
Well, there ya go, readers.
A Christmas Special.
And as it IS a 'Special' I feel no need to justify anything here, like Smokesceen's presence or how Cadence can just get a bunch of humans around here without causing a panic... but I did have another story intended to come out before this one, that...didn't. It's Christmas, so this came first!
I wasn't sure I'd DO a Christmas special. See, my stories are entirely dictated by my IDEAS, and I didn't think I'd come up with an idea for a Christmas special...
Annnd then I did.