|Lyra and Bon Bon and the Mares from S.M.I.L.E.|
|Published||March 8, 2016|
|Author||G. M. Berrow|
|Previous||Princess Luna and the Festival of the Winter Moon|
|Next||Princess Cadance and the Spring Hearts Garden|
|Allusions • Little, Brown and Company • Hachette Book Group|
My Little Pony: Lyra and Bon Bon and the Mares from S.M.I.L.E. by G. M. Berrow is the eighteenth book in a series of chapter books published by Little, Brown and Company. The story involves Lyra Heartstrings joining Bon Bon's secret agency.
|Table of contents|
|Chapter 1: Hearts and Hooves|
|Chapter 2: By Task Force|
|Chapter 3: True Lyras|
|Chapter 4: The Hidequarters|
|Chapter 5: S.M.I.L.E.|
|Chapter 6: Mission Given|
|Chapter 7: Mares in Black|
|Chapter 8: Welcome to Appleloosa!|
|Chapter 9: The Update|
|Chapter 10: Farmer Apple Crispy's Farm|
|Chapter 11: Glowing for It|
|Chapter 12: It's Element-ary, Dear Bon Bon|
|Chapter 13: The Setup|
|Chapter 14: The Saddle Hawkins Square Dance|
|Chapter 15: The Deal|
Hearts and Hooves
The story begins with best friends Lyra Heartstrings and Bon Bon returning home after a Hearts and Hooves Day party thrown by Pinkie Pie. Ever since Bon Bon revealed her past as a secret agent, she has felt uneasy around Lyra and others, but Lyra assures her she's just being paranoid. Bon Bon tries to get her mind off of it with her and Lyra's Hearts and Hooves Day tradition of frozen hot cocoa.
Just before they can enjoy their beverages, there is a sudden loud knock at the door. As Bon Bon hides Lyra in a closet, the pony at the door barges inside. It turns out to be Agent Furlong, Bon Bon's old spy agency boss, who informs her that she is needed back at the agency. Despite Bon Bon's beliefs that the agency was disbanded after the bugbear incident, it is still in operation. What's more, because "Agent Drops"' cover was blown, she has to leave Ponyville and her friends.
Upon hearing this from inside the closet, Lyra bursts out and begs Furlong not to take her best friend away. Furlong is unsympathetic, however, and because of Lyra's knowledge of the agency, Furlong prepares to erase her memories. When Bon Bon asks if there's another way, Furlong suggests having Lyra join the agency. While Lyra is excited by this prospect, Bon Bon is apprehensive yet forced to accept.
Lyra, Bon Bon, and Furlong travel to Manehattan. Lyra can barely contain her excitement, causing Bon Bon and Furlong to question their decision. The three ponies go inside a small pizzeria, which turns out to a secret entrance to the Hidequarters of the Manehattan branch of "S.M.I.L.E."—the Secret Monster Intelligence League of Equestria.
As Bon Bon and Furlong leave to discuss something in private, Lyra meets some of the other S.M.I.L.E. agents, who ironically never smile. After being directed to the conference room by Alpha Hoof, Lyra meets Agents Foxtrot, Tango, and Bravo. Through conversations with them, Lyra learns that Princess Twilight Sparkle and her friends are an unofficial S.M.I.L.E. faction called "F.R.O.W.N."—the Friendship Ranger Organization of Worldwide Neighgotiations.
Bon Bon and Furlong soon return, and Furlong gives the agents their mission: "Operation Swiss Cheese". He informs the agents of recent reports of a changeling infestation. While Alpha Hoof and Bravo are sent to investigate the Crystal Empire and Tango and Foxtrot are sent to Applewood, Lyra and Bon Bon are instructed to go to Appleloosa. For their mission, the two are outfitted with disguises and spy gear. When Lyra asks Bon Bon what she and Furlong talked about earlier, Bon Bon tells her it's classified. After they are prepped, they head off to Appleloosa.
Welcome to Appleloosa!
Upon arriving to Appleloosa, Lyra and Bon Bon meet Braeburn. Posing as Dodge Junction apple salesponies, they ask if they can meet with local farmer Apple Crispy, but Braeburn suspiciously claims that he's "under the weather". While touring the town, Lyra and Bon Bon also meet a beautiful mare named Delilah. While Lyra gets chummy with the locals, Bon Bon distances herself like a true S.M.I.L.E. agent would.
The next morning, Bon Bon contacts Agent Furlong to give an update, but Furlong says he already got an update from Agent Heartstrings. When she asks Lyra about this, Lyra reveals that she convinced Braeburn to take them to Apple Crispy's farm. According to Braeburn, Apple Crispy has been acting strange lately and neglecting his farm, leading Lyra and Bon Bon to suspect he might be a changeling.
Later that day, Braeburn takes Lyra and Bon Bon to Apple Crispy's farm, which is in a severe state of disrepair. When asked if any other ponies in town are acting strange, Braeburn says everyone appears very tired all the time, which Bon Bon recognizes as a symptom of ponies being drained of their love. As Braeburn leaves to prepare for the upcoming Saddle Hawkins square dance, Bon Bon considers confronting the changeling, but Lyra says that isn't part of their mission. Just then, Delilah appears on Apple Crispy's doorstep and asks him to the Saddle Hawkins dance, which he happily accepts.
- "I don't believe it.... Farmer Apple Crispy is not a changeling... he's in love!"
- — Bon Bon
As Lyra and Bon Bon observe Delilah, they notice her eyes briefly glowing neon blue, confirming their suspicions that she's the changeling. They attempt to notify Agent Furlong, but communications with S.M.I.L.E. are down. With potentially no backup, they prepare to fight the changeling on their own.
Several hours later, Bon Bon continues trying to reach Agent Furlong—with no success—while Lyra brushes up on information about changelings. Agent Bravo suddenly appears on their doorstep and tells them their mission is done and to return to the Hidequarters. Bon Bon complies without question, but Lyra is uncertain, believing the "Agent Bravo" before them is a changeling. When Bravo excuses himself to wait for the two at the train station, Bon Bon angrily chews out Lyra for being a know-it-all and overall better agent than her. Believing her best friend isn't what she seems, Bon Bon leaves.
That evening, Lyra heads to the Appleloosa dance hall; despite her argument with Bon Bon, she is determined to rid the town of changelings. Earlier that day, she had subtly suggested that Braeburn invite Applejack and her friends to the dance. After having read up on changelings, she plans to distribute Hearts and Hooves Day cards at the dance to overwhelm the changeling's ability to absorb love. Some time later, as ponies start making their way to the dance hall, Bon Bon returns to apologize to Lyra for not believing her about Bravo. Naturally, Lyra forgives her.
The Saddle Hawkins Square Dance
As the Saddle Hawkins dance gets into full swing, Lyra's Hearts and Hooves Day cards make their way around the dance hall. The love and warmth this creates causes Delilah to lose herself to her basic changeling impulses. She drops her disguise and reveals her true form, and two other changelings also appear among the square-dancing ponies. Before they fly into a feeding frenzy, the Mane Six arrive to battle them.
Lyra and Bon Bon leave during the commotion, their mission now officially complete. A short while later, Furlong and S.M.I.L.E. arrive to collect the changelings and erase everyone's memory of this incident.
Some time later, Lyra and Bon Bon return to their home in Ponyville. When Lyra asks Bon Bon why they were allowed to return to Ponyville, Bon Bon reveals what she talked to Furlong about in private: they can be called upon for a mission when necessary, but only if they are allowed to stay in Ponyville with their friends, and they only work as a team. Lyra is perfectly fine with these conditions.
- Bon Bon: I'm surprised you want to have any more chocolate today!
- Lyra Heartstrings: There's no such thing as too much chocolate.
- Bravo: Joking's just not our thing.
- Lyra Heartstrings: But your organization is called S.M.I.L.E....
- Tango: We never smile.
- Lyra Heartstrings: Then maybe you should be called F.R.O.W.N. instead.:
- Foxtrot: Breezies were a cover-up. Tirek was a cover-up. Don't even get me started on the escape-from-the-moon thing with Princess Luna. At least that one worked out pretty well.
- Furlong: We had to dismiss Agent Flim and Agent Flam after a single day. That's an agency record.
- Bon Bon: Message to Operation Swiss Cheese. Special Agent Sweetie Drops, Appleloosa Unit, here. THE HOLES ARE IN THE CHEESE. I REPEAT: THE HOLES ARE IN THE CHEESE.
- Bon Bon: Lyra, why do you have to be such a know-it-all? I brought you into this organization so I could save you from the Reflection Deflection spell! So you could remember our friendship. But it seems you've forgotten it anyway. Are you a changeling that's replaced my best friend?
- Bon Bon: I feel like such a rotten apple for ever doubting you.
- Lyra Heartstrings: Don't worry. I forgive you, Bon Bon.
- Bon Bon: You do?
- Lyra Heartstrings: Best friends forever, remember? No amount of secret agenting is going to get in the way of that.
- Bon Bon: Here ya go, Agent Heartstrings.
- Lyra Heartstrings: Thank you, Agent Sweetie Drops.