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A Fiery Soul

By Clarissa
Created: 18th December 2020 08:42:06 PM

  1. >Beyond the worlds, beyond the cosmic effigy of matter and mass, beyond even the treacherous claws of time stand you
  2. >An unknown figure, torn from home and thrust into a strange world where Fate is manifest physically and Chaos has stable shape
  3. >Where the moon and sun obey the whims of beings instead of the ordinances of physics
  4. >Where magic permeates even the plants of the forests
  5. >You are Anonymous
  6. >And standing before you is entropy given shape
  7. >Discord
  8. >Of course you knew his name, not that you were autistic  or anything
  9. >But who could forget anyone that John De Lancie played?
  10. >"Ooooh, you're an interesting thing aren't you? Kind of like a boiled monkey or something."
  11. >Of course your smartass attitude kicks in before your stunned silent brain can catch up
  12. "And you look like something Dr. Frankenstein would make, if he had been a furry."
  13. >Shit shit shit
  14. >Discord turns up his nose, muzzle, whatever it was, at you
  15. >"Well if you're going to be rude, I'll skip the banter and get right to the point!"
  16. >His claw reaches out to you, talon pointed forward set to make contact
  17. >But instead, perhaps three inches from your forehead, the digit blackens and crumbles away into ash
  18. >Discord yelps in surprise and yanks his claw away from you, his damaged talon reforming at a fair distance from you
  19. >"Hm, you're a tough nut to crack. Maybe some time as a squirrel would change your opinion on that."
  20. >A violet bolt of energy fires from his paw, and you throw your arms up to defend yourself
  21. >But the miasmic tendril crackles around you, above, below, and beside, turning blades of grass into minature cattle, trees into lumberjacks, and clouds into...well weirdly shaped clouds
  22. >Discord flies closer, staring into your eyes, from a good safe distance of course
  23. >"You're a curious creature, completely resistant to my charming ways. In fact, I'd say your body is downright hostile to it! That certainly makes you a danger to me..."
  24. >And then he gives you a grin, a grin that tells you he just had a wonderful, awful idea
  25. >"Say, I don't suppose you'd consider a partnership with little old moi would you? Think about it, you and me, our names in lights on Broadneigh, or at least scorched into the general area. I'll make you a star, kid, stick with me and you'll go places!"
  26. >You scratch your chin thoughtfully
  27. >On one hand, this was Discord, god of chaos, a general misanthrope, and all around not a great guy
  28. >On the other hand, you loved Q, and Discord was essentially Q if he had been Equestrian instead of...Q'ian.
  29. >You stick out your hand to shake Discord's
  30. "Well I suppose I could work with you, as long as no one really gets hurt."
  31. >The same off putting grin remains on the draconequus' face
  32. >"I promise, my hairless ape fellow. We won't hurt a soul."
  33. >Well Discord was a liar
  34. >Or maybe, he technically wasn't
  35. >After all, you hadn't seen much besides terrified ponies, or ones that had unfortuantely...expired
  36. >Turns out this was old school, pre-stone Discord, and he was a little more ruthless than simply mischevious
  37. >And aside from that, your magical resistance extended to pony magic as well
  38. >You walked through mystic barriers that would take Discord hours to break, shrug of blasts powerful enough to level a forest, even walk unharmed through a blaze that could best be called witchfire
  39. >To the ponies, especially the spellcasters, you were more terrifying than Discord
  40. >You'd tried to reason with them the first few times, explain that Discord just wanted a little fun, make things a bit odd for a while
  41. >But they'd either scream in terror and run, or blast their useless magic at you
  42. >The of course their barriers would be disrupted and Discord would pop in to say hello, maybe turn some buildings upside down, or whatever else he felt like doing
  43. >You reflect on all this as you rest in a cave outside the Everfree, waiting for an attack on the castle of the princesses' themselves
  44. >You consider how it got to here, sure teaming up with Discord had been morally questionable, but you just thought it was the new Discord looking for some fun]
  45. >And really, you'd never hurt a soul, not personally anyway, just scared them a bit
  46. >But an authoritative shout comes from the clearing outside the cave, where Discord was lounging in a massive throne
  47. >He'd refused to sit in the cave, of course
  48. >"Discord, thou hast harmed many of our subject these past winters. We willn't allow any further desecration of their livelihood!"
  49. >Shit, you knew this part, the scene was already playing out in your head
  50. >Discord laughed and ate his bag of seeds, taunting the two sisters standing among the chaos of the area
  51. >You ran forward, intent to warn him of what was going to happen
  52. >He may have not been a totally good guy, but you'd still made a deal to work with him
  53. >You shout at him as you run, but you still know it's too late, the sisters have the elements floating before them
  54. "Discord, move now!"
  55. >In an entirely unexpected turn of events, he actually follows your orders
  56. >Not fast enough though
  57. >The prismatic beam strikes Discord at the base of his tail, and you hear him scream as his body is petrified with a shocked expression on his face
  58. >You stop, ten feet away from the throne
  59. >You knew this had been coming, and it had still been a shock
  60. >The princesses turn on you next
  61. >"You're the one that is supposedly untouchable by the magic of our subjects, yes?"
  62. >You bow your head to them, you can almost feel what's coming next
  63. >Still, you keep your tone low, calm, almost sombre
  64. "I am."
  65. >The sisters look at each other, before looking back at you
  66. >"Will you come quietly, or share the fate of that monster at your feet?"
  67. >A bit of anger flares in your heart
  68. "He was no monster, princess. He followed his exact purpose in life, to cause chaos. Besides, he didn't banish his sister for a millenium, did he?"
  69. >Wait, shit that hadn't happened yet, had it?
  70. >This was simple, why were you getting so confused?
  71. >But apparently the sisters aren't having any of it, a scintillating glow grows in your peripheral vision
  72. >The flare of the elements strikes your chest
  73. >And brings with it a pain like no other
  74. >You skin felt as though it were burning, the breath in your lungs seemed superheated, the fillings in your teeth you thought melting
  75. >And your mind was aflame
  76. >You could have screamed, but you don't know, after less than a second in the intense radiance, you pass out
  77. >A rush of cold and wet brings you back to the land of awakening
  78. >And there's a white unicorn in front of you
  79. >Well, maybe you were still asleep, if you were lucky
  80. >A second douse with another bucket of icy water confirmed that was not the case
  81. >You raise your head and stare at the guard
  82. >He looks visibly unnerved by being near you, but then all unicorns that came anywhere close got the same look
  83. >You'd been taken prisoner after the elements had knocked you out
  84. >Some scientist looking pony had been down here numerous times, always accompanied by at least one of the princesses, running...experiments
  85. >Testing the limits of what your innate resistance to magic had
  86. >Turns out they hadn't been able to find one outside the Elements of Harmony themselves
  87. >Something about how they were tied to the very firmaments of the world or other sorts of hoodoo stuff
  88. >The guards hoof hitting your cheek snaps you out of your reverie
  89. >"Wake up, the princesses are here to see you."
  90. >Wait both?
  91. >What was this occasion, neither had been down here to do anything but listen to the shaman/scientist babble on
  92. >The sister walked in, and Luna nodded to dismiss the guard
  93. >The large, iron door to the chamber crashed shut and you were alone with the closest thing this world had to gods
  94. >"So, have you found your quarters to your liking?"
  95. >Sarcasm, from Luna?
  96. >Surely this must have been Bizzaro Equestria
  97. "Well actually these manacles are quite chaffing, and the anklets are a little heavy. Plus you've got me strung up so I look like Jesus Dalai Lama Christ here."
  98. >Well that got a blank stare from them
  99. >And then your bindings broke open, dropping you to the floor
  100. >You land flat on your face, not used to having to support your weight
  101. >After a moment, you push yourself up, using the wall to hold you up more than anything
  102. "Why would you let me go?"
  103. >Luna sneers and looks away, while Celestia gives you a stern, almost parental look
  104. >"We can easily handle you ourselves if you decided to attack. Aside from that, during our last encounter you mentioned something that has caused...strife between us."
  105. >Celestia leans down to look you in your eyes, her tone carrying a weight of seriousness that made you realize the gravity of that one slip of the tongue
  106. >"I wish for you to cooperate with us. Should you do so, we can provide you with certain...amenities that a cell may not have otherwise."
  107. >So cooperate for goodies, or don't and probably be tortured until you spoke anyways
  108. >You didn't have a grudge against Celestia, and Discord was petrified, so its a fairly easy choice
  109. "Sure, don't really have anything better to do."
  110. >The sun goddess smiles at you, then back at her sister
  111. >"Excellent, you may begin by telling us exactly how you got here..."
  112. >You tried to relate a coherent tale of exactly how you got to Equestria, you really did
  113. >But, for whatever reason, you simply couldn't
  114. >You'd started out talking a bit about the town you grew up in, a little place in Canada, in the shadow of a mountain
  115. >Then it had gone into something about a life on the streets of Vancouver that you'd never had
  116. >After that, something about how a rift between worlds had opened before you, and your choice to step into it
  117. >Of course, that had never happened, but you couldn't really remember how you'd showed up
  118. >You simply remember being at home in one instant, than facing down Discord the next
  119. >But it was halfway through this explanation that you had an epiphany
  120. >You could be whomever you wanted to be
  121. >The ponies had no knowledge of your world in general, and humans specifically
  122. >This was your chance to reinvent yourself, a restart button to life
  123. >So that's exactly what you went with
  124. >"So why did you step through the portal? It makes no sense for you to simply give up everything in your life, just to go to another world."
  125. >That was from Luna, she had seemed taken in with the idea of someone letting go of their past to move forward
  126. >You lean back against the wall, slumping down a bit
  127. "That's simply how I am. I knew that I was in a good place in my life, and could have stayed there in comfort, but what if there had been some poor soul on the other end that had needed my help and never got it, simply because I wanted to be comfortable and safe? No, I had to step through, I would have never been able to sleep well again otherwise."
  128. >Luna seems enraptured by your words, grinning like a young girl watching her idol speak
  129. >Celestia was not so taken, but certainly seemed more relaxed than she had been before
  130. >"So, after you came to Equestria, why would you side with Discord?"
  131. >This was going to be a tough one...
  132. "See, when I arrive, I actually appeared directly in front of him. He was very fast in greeting me and seemed like an...amicable fellow, and I needed any allies I could get in a strange, new world."
  133. >The sun goddess squints at you, clearly not entirely satisfied
  134. >"But even after you found out he was evil, you still stayed his ally. Why would you do anything like that?"
  135. >She had said exactly what you wanted her to say, activated your trap card, if you will
  136. "Because I agreed to help him, princess. And I am, if nothing else, a man of my word."
  137. >Celestia grins and nods her head, and Luna's eyes widen slightly
  138. >"Well, I suppose I can't fault you for something like that. Especially since you're so young. Idealism, while not an excuse for foolishness, is a quality that I find many of my advisors. Perhaps you may find a place in our society and actually do the good that you'd come here to."
  139. >She rises, and her younger sister joins her
  140. >Together they leave the room, but before they shut the door, Luna turns to speak one last time
  141. >"We shall see to it that you receive what was promised to you for your cooperation. Please accept my personal apologies for the discomfort you must suffer until we can procure the items."
  142. >You give her your idea of what a roguish grin is and bow your head slightly
  143. "I'm already more comfortable, princess. Not being hung on the wall anymore."
  144. >She giggles a bit and a thick blanket floats into the room, grasped by her magic aura
  145. >You take it as the door shuts with a crash, wrapping it around your body
  146. >The day, while not particularly strenuous, had drained you of the little energy you had left
  147. >And in spite of the scratching of the clearly woolen blanket, you find yourself nodding off already
  148. >Well, perhaps in your dreams you would find the answers to what would happen next...
  149. -
  150. >Nope, there were no answers to be found in sleep
  151. >Only strange, twisted dreams full of bizarre creatures and nightmarish monstrosities that sparkled with a pale halo surrounding a black body
  152. >And yet, you never felt scared, or even mildly panicked
  153. >You felt at peace with these beasts of your dreamscape
  154. >It was a disturbing thought, one that distracted you until breakfast was brought in by a guard
  155. >Bread, milk, and some kind of mash that could have been potatoes, but still tasted delicious
  156. >After that, you were left alone with your thoughts for some time longer
  157. >What HAD brought you to Equestria to begin with?
  158. >For as much of you do remember of your old life, boredom in school, working in a dead end job to pay for your tiny apartement, poor diet, and distractions
  159. >You don't remember the events leading up to your arrival
  160. >For that matter, the entire day before seeing Discord wasn't just blurry, it seemed to be entirely gone from your memory
  161. >Like something had removed it from your mind
  162. >Then you consider how the elements had felt when they'd hit you
  163. >It burned, without a doubt, but almost like it was burning away your very soul, the essence of what you were
  164. >And weren't you supposed to be immune to magic? How had the elements affected you at all? Was that science pony right?
  165. >Your head begins to ache as the weight of possibilities bears down on your thoughts, before they're interupted by the opening of the door
  166. >It's Luna, and she's...alone?
  167. >"Come with me."
  168. >It wasn't a request
  169. >You rise and follow her as she exits the room, and notice a distinct lack of guardsme-- guardsponies at the door
  170. >She walked down the corridors of the castle with practiced familiarity, and you trailed behind, almost skulking in the shadows
  171. >Finally you arrive in a tower and you see that it's still in the early hours of the morning, before the sun has yet risen
  172. >Luna stares into the distance at the lowering moon, her back to you
  173. >Come on, say something, you're not this autistic
  174. >"So, what is your name?"
  175. >Dammit, she beat you to it
  176. "Uh...Anonymous, princess."
  177. >Wait, shit, really?
  178. >Out of all the names you could have chosen, your own included, you said that?
  179. >Well maybe you are just a mite autistic after all
  180. >Luna turns her head to look at you
  181. >"An interesting name, for an interesting being. And you're a...human correct?"
  182. >You simply nod, curious to see where she was going with this
  183. >A book floats towards you, already opened to a page, damaged by fire
  184. >You recognize the top half of the Vitruvian Man, the famous Da Vinci drawing, and some kind of illegible chicken scratch around it
  185. >"This is a copy of a tome composed by the Sages of Tusmadar, beings that came long before ponies inherited this land. My sister burned many of the writings, as they contained writs of darkness and evil sorcery, but not all of them."
  186. >You thumb through the pages carefully, seen other diagrams of humans, often alongside archaic machines of war
  187. >"I sequestered this one away from the fires, though I was not able to save it all, you can certainly see why I did what I could. Anonymous, you may just be the most important link to this land that has ever been found."
  188. >She places a hoof on your shoulder, having moved from the window to your side while you were distracted by the book
  189. >You look up and see her smiling at you, practically beaming in joy
  190. >"You have shown a strange sense of devotion, and in spite of your naivety, I would like to anoint you as a royal emissary. You would stay within the palace, mostly, and be a most honoured guest. As well, you'd get to learn more of our culture, and be able to bring a...unique perspective to council meetings."
  191. >You gently close the volume and scratch your chin, in dire need of the attention of a razor
  192. "What would your sister say, though? Shouldn't we consult her about this as well?"
  193. >Luna giggles, sounding almost too girly for a moment
  194. >"'Tis easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission."
  195. >Well, it seems some things did carry over from your old world after all
  196. >So you'd be essentially an advisor, get a room in the palace, food to eat, and even be considered a guest?
  197. >Was there any reason to say no?
  198. >Certainly none that came to mind as you thought further
  199. "I can't see any reason not to. I accept your offer, princess, with dignity. And thank you."
  200. >Her smile grows wider and her horn begins to glow, lowering towards your forehead
  201. >It makes contact and you feel a cool sensation on your forehead, moving about in a strange pattern
  202. >"Then it is done. Anonymous, human traveller from Earth, be welcomed into the fold of the royal council of Equestria."
  203. >Today was turning out to be good so far
  204. >It seemed the first order of business after receiving your new position was attending the early morning assembly of the council
  205. >When you walked into the room, looking quite disheveled in your dirty, torn suit and scraggly beard, the silence seemed almost rehearsed
  206. >But the tension between Luna and Celestia was heavy in the air
  207. >At the beginning they'd gone aside and had a few terse words between them, then sat down like nothing was wrong
  208. >Of course, everyone knew that even the smallest step over the territory of whatever subject they'd spoken of would result in an explosion, so the meeting proceeded as though it'd never happened
  209. >It was dry and dreary for the most part, economics, labour distribution, progress on certain projects, and counts of stocks for wintertime
  210. >You politely interjected when they began speaking of military matters, the place your interest truly lay
  211. >Apparently the number of professional soldier in Equestria numbered fewer than the population of your hometown
  212. >Of course, outside Discord, there likely hadn't been any major wars or threats that needed any sort of standing army you'd see back home
  213. >You noted to the Lord General at the table that, while a small professional force could be an excellent formation, keeping a larger reserve group in case of threats like Discord rearing their heads would not be a terrible idea
  214. >He seemed taken aback by the suggestion and actually liked the idea
  215. >Luna agreed readily as well, adding that even though Discord was imprisoned in stone, there were other threats to Equestria that still existed
  216. >Celestia begrudgingly agreed, and the plans were set in motion
  217. >After it was ensured that no one had any other subject to bring up, the meeting was adjourned
  218. >Celestia beckoned you and Luna over to her after the others had exited the room
  219. >"So my sister thought it wise to make you a councilor after two days in the cells and a barely begun interogation?"
  220. >You open your mouth to answer, but Luna butts in before you can speak
  221. >"Please, Celestia. He's hardly a significant threat anymore, especially here with all the guards about the place. And I believe that, despite his ignorance of our world and childish ideals, he has already proven that he thinks in a way that none of us do. Plus, he has a good spirit, that much I have gathered in this short time."
  222. >Celestia whirled on her sister, eyes narrowed in anger
  223. >"It is not your place to decide these things on your own, Luna. He is still a prisoner and undergoing interogation. He's not to be trusted until we can be entirely sure that--"
  224. >Celestia's tirade stops at Luna magically brushes aside your bangs, showing where she'd touched you with her horn earlier
  225. >She looks shocked, almost sickly, and you were sure that, were she not covered in an ivory coat, she'd be deathly pale
  226. >"It's too late to change anything, sister. But rest assured that he will not leave my sight until I am sure he is trustworthy."
  227. >The shaken Celestia sits on the floor, looking crushed, betrayed, but beyond that...
  228. >She looked scared
  229. >"If there's nothing else, dear sister, I will retire to my chambers for the day. Send someone to wake me for the twilight gathering."
  230. >Luna turns and walks out, and you trail after her, more out of guilt than anything else
  231. >When you reach her chambers, she invites you inside to speak
  232. >You'd been staying quiet for fear of causing a scene in the corridors, but you can't stay silent any longer
  233. "Just what the hell was that, Luna? Why did Celestia look at me like that, but more importantly, why did you talk to her like that?"
  234. >Luna sits on her bed and gestures to a large make up cabinet on one side of the room
  235. >"For the first, just look at your forehead."
  236. >You walk over to the mirrored table and brush aside your bangs as Luna had done
  237. >In the center of your forehead, in dark blue shades, was a sign of a moon inside of the sun
  238. >Your jaw drops, you'd felt her horn inscribing something on your forehead, but you'd figured it was some tradition to annoint you
  239. >This was...
  240. >"It is the crest of the princesses of Equestria, a royal mark that all diplomats bear to mark their special status. Short of commiting major crimes, it entails a great deal of leniency on the part of your action, as well as marking you as a trusted fellow of the kingdom."
  241. >The weight of that crashes on your shoulders and you sit down in a chair heavily, staring at the floor
  242. >Luna continues, seemingly oblivious to your state
  243. >"As for how I addressed her, she has the same authority as I do. I had just as much right to annoint you as she would, I just did it on my own timetable instead of hers. And you shouldn't be worried about it, you'd likely be in that dungeon for weeks if my sister had her way."
  244. >A yawn escapes the princess of the night and she gestures with her hoof at you
  245. >"Now away with you, I must sleep. One of my guards will show you to your new chambers."
  246. >You step outside the door as Luna lays her head down, your mind still whirling about the events at the meeting
  247. >A bat pony guard steps forward and bows to you
  248. >"Sir, my princess requested that I escort you to your room. Please follow me."
  249. >You go along numbly, staring at the floor for most of the journey, and only raising your head to gaze at some of the splenderous tapestries and statuary that decorated the castle
  250. >It was both beautiful and humbling to be in a place like this
  251. >The guard clears her throat and gestures to a door
  252. >"Your chambers, sir."
  253. >You thank the leather winged guard and enter the room, shutting the oaken portal behind you
  254. >Your gaze wanders around the spacious area, eyes widening as you take in your surroundings
  255. >The bed was massive, taking up nearly a fifth of the area, there was a wardrobe as well, along with another mirrored stand and a full sized bathroom just separate
  256. >It was better than the most ritzy hotel you'd ever stayed at
  257. >Despite the dawning day outside, you feel drained from the meeting and subsequent events
  258. >You wander over to the bed, after stripping down to your pants, pull back the covers and flop down and fall almost instantly asleep
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