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NTBN 4 (Stepping Up)

By JekyllorHyde
Created: 15th January 2021 12:20:51 AM

  1. No Turning Back Now 4 [Stepping Up]
  2.  
  3. >Slowly, the void encompassing you is filled to the brim with individual, glimmering points of light.
  4. >Nothing but wonder races though your mind as you witness the marvel before you.
  5. >You are not completely sure if your eyes are open or closed, yet you can clearly see the spectacle regardless.
  6. >The lights beneath you gradually form a sort of plain, which you fall onto.
  7. >”...”
  8. >Your ears perk up and enhance themselves instinctively, trying to find the source of the sound.
  9. >You are sure you heard it, though you’re not sure what you heard.
  10. >”...”
  11. >There in the distance.
  12. >A faint, droning.
  13. >For some reason, you are compelled to move towards it.
  14. >It is calling out to you for some reason.
  15. >You cautiously move in the direction of the noise, for it to increasingly become more clear to you what the nature of it is.
  16. >The louder and more clearly you hear it, the faster you move.
  17. >It’s not just calling, it’s begging.
  18. >Begging for help.
  19. >Memories of you repairing the gash in your head fly past your eyes.
  20. >Is that what it needs?
  21. >Healing?
  22. >You begin to feel another presence, though even as you draw closer, it is fading.
  23. >You’re moving at a full sprint at this point.
  24. >You need to get there in time!
  25. >You can’t let it go out!
  26. >Far in the distance, you can finally see something besides the field of stars.
  27. >A figure.
  28. >One of a mare, wrapped in a sheet of dark azure and emblazoned with a crescent.
  29. >As if you have passed over an invisible barrier, you can suddenly make out the droning into a solitary word.
  30. >”Dis…co...rd…”
  31. >As soon as the word resonates with you, a powerful force jarringly thrusts you into the waking world.
  32.  
  33. >You shoot up from your slumber, adrenaline kicked up to max as you quickly dart your head from left to right.
  34. >The plan was to survey where you are, but unfortunately the only thing you survey is a face full of black mane.
  35. >Fuck this hair!
  36. >You hastily brush it out of your way to take in your surroundings.
  37. >The sight you see is one that helps you calm down at least a little.
  38. >No longer are you in that void of a world, but in a dark living room, on a couch, with a heavy quilt still covering the lower half of your body.
  39. >You allow your head to collapse back on to the pillow that was cradling it before, your lungs still working overtime to supply your body with the oxygen it so desperately needs.
  40. >With what little energy you can muster up, you stare at the ceiling and do your best to wrangle your breathing and heart rate back under your control.
  41. >With a final deep breath and a sigh, you begin processing what had just happened to you.
  42. >One moment, you were eating the most amazing food you’ve ever had, then the next you were in a different world.
  43. >What even happened.
  44. >You quickly run a diagnostic scan as well as checking logs for actions and times.
  45. >Diagnostics returns a negative on any irregularities.
  46. >All is fine there.
  47. >Log says similar:
  48. >Ate.
  49. >Entered rest state.
  50. >Relocated to current location shortly after by an external source.
  51. >Remained undisturbed for remainder of rest state.
  52. >But…
  53. >That’s not all that happened…
  54. >You know it’s not.
  55. >You were in a different world, with stars and a strange mare.
  56. >You can’t help but think you trying to explain this against the data you have makes you sound like Discord explaining his-
  57. >...
  58. >...dream…
  59.  
  60. >Did you experience a dream?
  61. >You had though that the last time you slept you experienced one, but that was limited to vague concepts and memories.
  62. >This was so…vivid...
  63. >Is that what real dreams are like?
  64. >Your mind is doing its best to make sense of the situation, but is struggling at the very best.
  65. >What even happened?
  66. >Let’s see…
  67. >There was a sound and it needed help.
  68. >It was fading…
  69. >Your heart skips a beat at how easily you had forgotten the severity of the situation.
  70. >You almost instinctively jump from your rest spot to hurry and get help.
  71. >The voice did say ‘Discord’.
  72. >Maybe he can help.
  73. >But before you take action, your mind finally speaks reason to you.
  74. >If it was a dream, then it must be made up by you, right?
  75. >So nobody is actually in danger.
  76. >That sounds like a reasonable assessment of the situation.
  77. >And that being said, you should get back to sleep.
  78. >Energy doesn’t come from nowhere after all.
  79. >Rolling over and pulling the blanket around you once more, you close your eyes and let your worries drift away from you…
  80. >...
  81. >......
  82. >.........
  83. >Or at least you try to.
  84. >Tossing and turning, you do your best to rid yourself of this discomfort that plagues your body.
  85. >While it would be nice if either tossing or turning could ease you, there is no doubt that this discomfort is an internal one.
  86. >For some reason, this whole situation with the dreams rubs you the wrong way.
  87. >As if there has to be more to it than just your mind making something up.
  88. >Is it reasonable to think that two separate instances of dreams having a distressed being in them is nothing but coincidence?
  89. >And is it reasonable to think that these coincidences have no significant connection to you suddenly being able to have dreams when you shouldn't?
  90. >...
  91.  
  92. >You roll from your admittedly warm and cozy spot on the couch to the plank floor.
  93. >Something is wrong.
  94. >You should go see Discord.
  95. >Lifting your right hoof, you study the symbol on its base.
  96. >Now, in order to do that, you need to figure out how to use this mark.
  97. >You contemplate Discord’s words from before as you stare at the mark.
  98. >Just put it on what you want to send back and focus on it.
  99. >Well, here goes nothing…
  100. >You place your right hoof on your chest and keep your mind locked on the symbol that you know is there.
  101. >Slowly, energy is involuntarily channeled down your arm and into the base of your hoof, and a dim purple light begins to shine from underneath.
  102. >Suddenly, the energy stored in the base of your hoof is released as a spiraling mass of whatever-the-fuck colored liquid comes forth, encompassing your entire body for a moment before retreating back under your hoof and out of existence.
  103. >And to your surprise, some time while you were covered in that weird goop, you were transported back into your room in Discord’s house.
  104. >You have no idea how that works, but it’s fucking awesome!
  105. >It’d be even cooler if not for the throbbing headache now plaguing you.
  106. >That’s fine though, you can work though it.
  107. >Putting your excitement and headache to the side, you rush though the door into the living room to try to find Discord.
  108. >Luckily for you, he is seated on his ceiling couch reading a creased piece of paper.
  109. >He quickly notices you, refolding the paper and putting it into an opened envelope before snapping it out of existence.
  110. >Curiously, he studies you as he speaks.
  111. >”Back so soon Flux? I thought you were spending the night over AJ’s.”
  112.  
  113. “No. Listen Discord, I-”
  114. >”Well, I suppose it doesn’t really matter. I just didn’t take you for one to turn down a nap on such a comfy couch as theirs!”
  115. >He snaps a blanket of thorns around him as he cuddles into it.
  116. “That’s not important! I need to talk to you about-”
  117. >”Ooooooohhh! That reminds me! Did you see the beautiful display of mischief I put on today? It was the talk of the town.”
  118. >The blanket disappears and he puffs out his chest as if he’s the best thing since sliced bread.
  119. “What? No! Listen! This is really impo-”
  120. >His eyes are suddenly filled with concern as he races to you.
  121. >”WHAAAT?!?!? You didn’t see the reversed gravity in the left side of town!? The giant trout in town hall!?!? THE RANCH DRESSING AND TAPIOCA FIASCO!?!?!?!?!?”
  122. >You growl.
  123. “No! I didn’t see any of your stupid tricks and I don’t care! I just need to tell you about my-”
  124. >He collapses back onto the couch, his head now in his claws.
  125. >”You too Flux? I thought we had something in common. I thought we could both appreciate a good laugh, but it seems you still have a long way to go before you’re ready to appreciate the finer-”
  126. “SHUT THE FUCK UP!!! You do some funny shit, sure, and I can laugh about it, but this is important! I’ve been having dreams!”
  127. >Discord’s head slowly raises from his claws as he glares at you, one eye twitching uncannily.
  128. >Suddenly his face contorts into one of utter rage.
  129. >”THAT’S WHAT WAS SO IMPORTANT THAT YOU COULDN’T BE BOTHERED TO LOOK AT MY WONDERFUL DISPLAY TODAY? YOU MUST BE JOKING!!!”
  130. “No, listen! It’s more than that! I shouldn’t be able to have dreams, but both times that I’ve slept since I came here I have!”
  131.  
  132. >Discord, while not impressed in the least by your story, does now seem to be calmed slightly, arms crossed all the while.
  133. >”And? It’s most likely just a side effect from being turned into a pony. Nothing more.”
  134. >You vigorously shake your head at him.
  135. “But there IS more! Both times I dreamed, I remember feeling someone else there, and they needed help!”
  136. >Discord furrows his brow and his expression darkens.
  137. >His voice now only barely creeps over that of a whisper.
  138. >”And tell me, what did this ‘someone else’ look like?”
  139. >You hesitate.
  140. >The way he asked that fills you with dread…
  141. “It was a mare. She was blue and she had a crescent on her.”
  142. >Discord turns away from you, murmuring incoherently to himself before sighing and once more speaking up with a voice that provides not the slightest bit of comfort.
  143. >”That mare is not something that you made up. In fact, she’s most likely the very reason that you’re suddenly able to dream...”
  144. >He trails off from whatever he was about to say, only resorting to another defeated sigh.
  145. >Really?
  146. >So you’re not fucking crazy after all…
  147. >But someone who can give you dreams…
  148. >What else might this mare be capable of?
  149. >...
  150. >That doesn’t matter! A life is on the line, you have to hurry!
  151. “Well, whoever she is, she needs help right now! I could feel it, she’s not gonna last much longer if someone doesn’t do something! She even said your name! You have to help!”
  152. >He solemnly shakes his head as your words reach his ears. It seems almost like he’s heard this all before…
  153.  
  154. >Floating up to rest on the couch, he speaks in a soft tone, as if reminiscing about something that has long past.
  155. >”Her name is Luna, and she watches over the dreams of all. Or at least she used to. You see, some time ago, she fell into a sleep that nobody could wake her from. Not Twilight, not Celestia, not Zecora… nobody… Since then, she’s been withering away in her sleep, coming ever closer to what we all dread is the end result of her illness...”
  156. “What about you? You have all that magic! You should be able to help her!”
  157. >He seems to struggle with his next words, fiddling around with his claws as he does so.
  158. >”Even with all that my magic can do, there is nothing about it that can help her. Using chaos magic on a pony to permanently alter their being could have considerable repercussions, if it would even work at all…”
  159. >He drops his head in defeat.
  160. >”Nobody can help her. And from what you’ve experienced, it would seem that the end is near…”
  161. >Nobody can help her…
  162. >Discord’s words echo though your head.
  163. >Suddenly a memory from your dreams stand out before you.
  164. >...when you healed your head…
  165. >It makes sense...
  166. >Time suddenly freezes for you as your mind presents you with every single piece of information available to it relevant to the subject at hand.
  167. >It skims though everything, searching for any conclusive information about what could be wrong with the mare.
  168. >Subject: Luna.
  169. >Diagnosis: Coma.
  170. >Cause: Inconclusive.
  171. >Treatment: Inconclusive.
  172. >Fuck.
  173. >You’ll need to physically study her to be useful.
  174. >Time resumes as a considerable tax is reaped from your body.
  175. >That’s fine. Energy is replenishable, life is not…
  176.  
  177. “Discord, listen. There’s still a chance. I think I can help her!”
  178. >He raises his head with a rather unamused look to it. His voice is that of dark bramble, reaching to maim you without remorse.
  179. >”I do wish that you could have a better sense of good humor, but I do not take kindly to joking about situations of this importance.”
  180. >Woah, fuck.
  181. >Better start explaining before he tears your world asunder.
  182. “No, listen! I really think I can help! Tetrans can interface with other living creatures. If I could see her in person, I might be able to get a look inside her and find out what’s wrong, maybe even fix it!”
  183. >Thankfully, your explanation sets Discord into a helpful state of seriousness as he ruminates on your words with great care before looking at you with yearning eyes.
  184. >”Do you truly think that you might be able to help her?”
  185. >Without a moment’s hesitation, you vigorously nod.
  186. >Your eyes lock, the drive in yours being met with an equal drive in his.
  187. >It seems that, for the first time, you and Discord are on the exact same wavelength.
  188. >With a nod and a snap, you are seated on the ceiling in front of the couch.
  189. >Discord is standing in front of you, a whiteboard floating at his side and several markers to accompany it.
  190. >The markers go to work drawing a top down map, consisting clearly of hallways, rooms, staircases, doors, and even furniture.
  191. >A red marker draws an ‘X’ on one of the rooms as well as a circle around one of the doors on the perimeter.
  192. >”She is located in Canterlot Castle. The circle is where you’ll be entering the building. The ‘X’ is where Luna is. I picked the closest entrance to the target, so it shouldn’t be too long of a trip, but there will be guards patrolling everywhere, especially around the room Luna is in. It is a castle after all. Now, I can get you to the entrance, but you’re going to need a way out as well.”
  193.  
  194. >He snaps his talon once more sending a strange energy into your right hoof. Upon observing the affected area, nothing has physically changed, though Discord goes on to explain.
  195. >”There, that’s a one way ticket for you and whatever your hoof is touching to anywhere you can think of, though I’d only suggest thinking of places you’ve already been to, or else who knows what could happen to you.”
  196. >Huh. Clearly he is more aware of your skillset than you were first aware.
  197. >As informative as that is, it doesn’t discard a single question in your head.
  198. >You quickly wave your hooves at Discord.
  199. “Wait, wait, wait! Hold up! Why can you just bring Luna here? Why does everything always have to be so complicated with you?”
  200. >He scoffs at your remark, crossing his arms.
  201. >”It’s appreciated that you think I’d make this complicated on purpose, but there is nothing else that I can do. A short while before Luna fell into her sleep, I incurred a debt that prevents me from using magic in Canterlot Castle or even entering the building myself. I can neither get you in nor get her out in a short order. I’d be willing to cheat in our favor due to the nature of the situation, but I’m afraid it’s my own magic working against me here. You’ll just have to make due with what I can give you.”
  202. >He sighs.
  203. >”I would just LOVE to sit here and answer the infinite number of questions your sneaky little mind can come up with, but there simply isn’t time for that.”
  204. >He snaps a swirling whatever-the-fuck color portal open next to you without another moment’s notice.
  205. >”Ready?”
  206.  
  207. >Your mind scrambles to find an answer.
  208. >You don’t want anybody to die, but is this really worth it?
  209. >Surely if you're caught, and Discord isn’t there to help you, then there will be severe repercussions for your actions, either immediate or long term.
  210. >Is it really worth possibly risking everything you’ve gained in the past day?
  211. >Discord also has skin in the game as far as you know, and he seems to think it is…
  212. >For what reason, you’re not sure, but that doesn’t discount his reaction...
  213. >...
  214. >You think back to your days on Tetra.
  215. >Day by day, all that was required was to survive.
  216. >Every action dictated carefully by your instincts.
  217. >Stay safe.
  218. >Don’t die.
  219. >Your instincts have never failed you.
  220. >This however…
  221. >You know staying safe is beneficial to you here.
  222. >But to let someone innocent die for it…
  223. >That’s something *they* would do…
  224. >You’ve struck gold, getting picked up by Discord.
  225. >Are you willing to become one of *them* to keep it?
  226. >...
  227. >You take one more glance at Discord’s face.
  228. >He’s all in…
  229. >With a deep breath, you archive his words as well as the map before you.
  230. “Ready.”
  231. >The last of your qualms are left behind as you hop though the portal before you.
  232. >Time to do what you do best...
/dad/ SAFE Anon Discord Adventure

NTBN 5 (Break In)

by JekyllorHyde

NTBN 4 (Stepping Up)

by JekyllorHyde

NTBN 3 (Blending In)

by JekyllorHyde

NTBN 2 (Getting Along)

by JekyllorHyde

NTBN 1 (Chance Meeting)

by JekyllorHyde