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[RGRAnthro] Anon Tries to Save the Anthroverse from Later Seasons

By MrSkeltal
Created: 5th February 2021 03:00:56 AM
Modified: 5th April 2021 11:54:56 PM

  1. Original Poster: Love and Powerlifting (ponepaste.org/u/lapsbin)
  2. Reason this is posted here is because LaP regularly doesn't bin things. Will be removed upon or shortly thereafter being posted on his bin. Maybe.
  3.  
  4. *I am sure I am not using the right tags, but I'm confident that mainly the people in the RGRE thread will read this since it was posted there
  5.  
  6. >"Anon, get down from here."
  7. "Not today, Sporkle! As of today I've had it with this shit!"
  8. >"Anon, you're causing a scene!"
  9. "Today I'll be causing a heck of a lot more than THAT!"
  10. >Be Anon
  11. >It was a Tuesday morning
  12. >The weather was fair
  13. >A little crisp, but fair
  14. >You were standing on top of the crystal castle of doom
  15. >Your shirt was off, and you had a gallon of bleach in hand
  16. >Twilight stood at ground level, looking thoroughly done with you
  17. >But fuck that
  18. >Screw her and her dumb wings and her ugly castle
  19. >And Poochy
  20. >And that dumb fucking school
  21. >And you know what? Fuck those weird diversity 6 that kept bothering you
  22. >A man could only take so much, and you were beyond your breaking point
  23. >The ponies walking about town down below were mostly ignoring you and Twilight, with only the occasional glance
  24. >Fuck them too
  25. >You were blowing this popsicle stand
  26. >Twilight stomped a hoof
  27. >"Anon! This nonsense right here is EXACTLY why nopony wants to let stallions vote! Now get your butt down here before you hurt yourself!"
  28. "Fuck off Sparkle! I can't die! It didn't work last time it won't work now," you yelled
  29. >You uncapped the bleach bottle
  30. "I'm sick of this shit! I'm going to a new Equestria!"
  31. >"What are you talking about, you stupid stallion?!"
  32. "I'm going to a new Equestria, weren't you're not a filthy dyke princess!"
  33. >"I'm not a dyke--!
  34. "I want the treebrary back! I want that sassy little unicorn book nerd! I'm sick of all these fucking dragons and yaks and all this other bullshit running around!"
  35. >You looked toward the market place
  36. "Ponk! Witness me!"
  37. >Pinkie Pie, who had been stopping for groceries, looked toward you
  38. >Seeing you, she pointed
  39. >"WITNESSED!" she yelled
  40. >You grinned, and before Twilight, or anyone else for that matter, could do anything, you brought the bottle of bleach to your lips
  41. >Just like last time, the first swallow was the worst
  42. >If you hadn't done this before already, you'd have said that it was the worst burning sensation you had ever experienced
  43. >Then the pain came
  44. >A ripping, eye searing pain
  45. >You fought through it, tears in your eyes, bleach running down your chin
  46. >You could already feel it working
  47. >Darkness was closing around your vision
  48. >Everything felt light, and loose, and warm
  49. >You smiled, even as you lost strength, falling from the top of the castle
  50. >You were going to a new Equestria
  51. >Hopefully, with blackjack and hookers
  52. >And the first thing you were doing was burning all of Starswirl's fucking books
  53.  
  54. ~_~_~_~_~_~
  55.  
  56. >Slowly, you felt consciousness come back to you
  57. >You were sitting, leaned up against what felt like a tree
  58. >There was a dull ache in the back of your head, but no loss of memory like last time
  59. >There was nausea as well, like you had a really bad hangover
  60. >You couldn't help but smile
  61. >Looks like you made it...
  62. >"Oh my goodness. Hello? Are you okay?"
  63. >It sounded like Fluttershy
  64. >She had been the one to find you last time
  65. >Back then you had accidentally scared her into a tree
  66. >Her friends had teased her about it for months, calling her a little colt
  67. >You kept your eyes closed, not wanting to make any sudden movements
  68. >This time you'd like to make a good first impression
  69. >A hand touched your forehead
  70. >It was then everything went out the fucking window
  71. >All your plans, your hopes, your dreams
  72. >A
  73. >Fucking
  74. >Hand
  75. >Touched
  76. >You
  77. >Not a hoof, a HAND
  78. >Your eyes snapped opened
  79. >It took several seconds for your eyes to adjust to the light, but when they did your heart leapt into your throat
  80. >There was a... thing in front of you
  81. >Not quite pony, not quite human
  82. >It had the upper body of a woman, with a pair of hoofed hind legs
  83. >A fucking abomination
  84. >A vile, horrible thing
  85. >It was staring at you, eyes filled with concern
  86. >"Um... are you okay?" it asked, tucking a stray bit of hair behind it's ear
  87. >You tilted your head away from the thing
  88. >The bottle of now empty bleach was still in your hand, as it had been last time
  89. >Heart racing, you lifted it up
  90.  
  91. Great Value "Bleach"
  92. A bleach-like solution for all household cleaning
  93. Trademark of Gryphon Cleaning Solutions
  94.  
  95. >Groaning, you closed your eyes, tossing the bottle away
  96. >It would take awhile to get enough free reign to buy more bleach
  97. >That meant you were stuck here
  98. >In this hell
  99. >This cesspit
  100. >This... shit place
  101. >And there was one little horse at fault
  102. >A garbage horse little communist dyke shit
  103. >Goddamn did you hate her guts, no matter what world you ended up in,,,
  104. "Fucking Poochy," you croaked. "Couldn't even get me the right bleach..."
  105. >Be Anon
  106. >Be fucked beyond belief
  107.  
  108.  
  109. >"Fucking goddamn bullshit... I'll play... You want a shit show I'll be a bull in a freakin' china shop..."
  110. >Be Fluttershy
  111. >It had been a lovely day
  112. >Mr. Bear had helped you catch some fish for the baby otters you were taking care of
  113. >You had been about to check up on a colony of nice bees that had just moved to Applejack's farm when you saw a stallion propped up against an apple tree
  114. >Even from a distance, you saw that his shirt was off, and, fearing the worst, rushed over
  115. >What you came upon was a shirtless male, yes, but not a stallion
  116. >Whatever it was, it was massive
  117. >Almost twice your size, even bigger than Princess Celestia
  118. >Like one of those amarezon colts in your neighpon cartoon books
  119. >It woke up as you got near, and it wasn't happy
  120. >Not even a little
  121. >Before you could introduce yourself--like a proper gentlemare--it was on it's...
  122. >Claws?
  123. >Paws?
  124. >It was on it's... whatever they were and off towards town
  125. >Still concern, you followed
  126. >It, HE, ignored you, grumbling to himself
  127. >His place and stride meant that you had to jog to keep up
  128. >Not that you minded really
  129. >You were just concerned that he was in trouble
  130. >You also weren't ogling the muscles in his back
  131. >No ma'am
  132. "Um... excuse me? Mister?" you said
  133. >"Fucking bunch of bullshit... I swear if I see Poochie here I'm beating her commie ass," the creature grumbled
  134. >You cleared your throat
  135. "Excuse me, my name is--"
  136. >The creature stopped
  137. >Before you could finish your sentence, he spun on a heel, turning toward you
  138. >A hand bigger than your head was gently, but firmly, placed against your mouth
  139. "eep!"
  140. >He shushed you, bringing a finger to it's lips
  141. >...
  142. >Huh
  143. >He had five fingers...
  144. >Strange...
  145. >"Fluttershy. Before I deal with any of your bullshit I need to go to town and check on something," he said, voice and accent... strange
  146. >It was base-y
  147. >There was a harshness to it too
  148. >If he weren't a colt it would have been super duper scary
  149. >As it was, you were only a little terrified
  150. >"So, please just keep your weird horse abomination mouth shut, alright? Just five minutes of silence."
  151. >Eyes wide, you just nodded
  152. >The creature nodded back, letting go of you and spinning back around
  153. >He glanced at the clouds
  154. >"Rainbow Dash, I swear to fucking god if you're up there ready to fly at me I'm going to lose it."
  155. >You stopped, looking up at the clouds
  156. >Rainbow?
  157. >How did he know who Rainbow--
  158. >Sure enough, Rainbow poked her head through a cloud
  159. >"Hey, how did you know I was up here, you freaky monster?" she demanded, eyes narrowed
  160. >The creature didn't stop walking, or even slow it's pace
  161. >"You always sleep here in the afternoon, since your boss doesn't look for you out here," he replied. "You tackle me I'm filing sexual harassment charges."
  162. >"WHAT?!"
  163. >"I'm not playing with you today."
  164. >"How do you--"
  165. >"SHUT IT!"
  166. >The creature stomped off toward town
  167. >Rainbow, looking as confused as you felt, flew down toward you
  168. >"Are you okay, Flutters? That weird thing didn't hurt you, did it?" she asked, looking you over
  169. >You just shook your head
  170. "No, but he seems really grumpy," you replied
  171. >Rainbow snorted
  172. >"Its a colt. You know how they are, monster or not," she said, shaking her head
  173.  
  174. ~_~_~_~_~_~
  175.  
  176. >Be Anon
  177. >Be still fucking livid
  178. >You were walking into town right now
  179. >The awful horse-things were eyeballing your shirtless form
  180. >You heard some cat-calling and whistles as you walked into the market
  181. >Thankfully, most kept their distance
  182. >Unfortunately, you could see a certain green unicorn staring at you like you were her favorite salt lick
  183. >Usually, that wouldn't be that big of an issue, but it was the one right next to her
  184. >Fucking Bonbon
  185. >Even in this horrible form she looked peeved
  186. >She was standing behind a cart, wearing an apron
  187. >A fucking secret agent candy mare
  188. >She was going to tell someone about you probably
  189. >Nothing you could do about that unfortunately
  190. >Just meant that you had to check what you needed to check
  191. >You also needed to look out for--
  192. >There was a blast of confetti and a giggle
  193. >"Hiya! I'm Pinkie--"
  194. >Without missing a beat, you slung Pinkie over your shoulder as she appeared in front of you, much to the amusement of everypony watching
  195. "Shut up Ponk," you said.
  196. >"Kay," the party pony monster said, kicking her hoofsies. "Mister, is it okay if I lick the sweat from your--"
  197. "Shhhhhh."
  198. >You walked over toward a cart
  199. >There, a mare was selling horse two-by-fours
  200. >Thankfully, you had some bits from the last Equestria in your pocket
  201. >You tossed a handful onto the counter, grabbing one of the boards of wood
  202. >It fit into your hand pretty well
  203. >Just some tape around the end for a handle and it'd be perfect...
  204. >You continued walking as Pinkie talked, welcoming you to Ponyville and whatnot
  205. >She was halfway through with asking if you were a sloot, since you were shirtless, and the only stallions she had seen walking around outside in public shirtless were sloots, when you saw it
  206. >A place of welcome
  207. >A place of peace and harmony
  208. >A place nopony in Ponyville went to because they were all illiterate hicks
  209. >The treebary
  210. >Even in this fucked hellscape of a world, the sight of it made you stop in place
  211. >You felt tears coming, and did nothing to stop them
  212. >A treebary meant unicorn Sparkle
  213. >It meant no school
  214. >No diversity
  215. >None of that bullshit
  216. >You just stood there for what felt like an hour, looking at it, tears spilling down your cheeks
  217. >You eventually collected yourself, wiping your face before letting Pinkie down
  218. "Ponk, did you hear anything about Twilight getting a fancy new book?" you asked
  219. >Thankfully, amazingly, perfectly, the earth pony shook her head
  220. >"Nope. Also, how do you know my name, mister?"
  221. "Not important," you said. "I need to go to Canterlot."
  222. >The mare cocked her head to the side
  223. >"What for, mister?"
  224. >Your eyes narrowed
  225. "I'm gonna kick Celestia's butt."
  226.  
  227. >Be Cadence
  228. >Pinkest princess in the land
  229. >Shining was out doing royal guard things, meaning that you could indulge in one of life's greatest pleasure
  230. >Peetzer
  231. >Shining didn't like you eating it
  232. >Said that you "needed to lose some weight" and that eating pizza every single day was "bad for your health"
  233. >Silly colt
  234. >You had alicorn metabolism
  235. >You could eat all the bad stuff you wanted and live to be ten thousand
  236. >Just like auntie
  237. >Humming to yourself, you grabbed another slice of pizza
  238. >It was from Pappa Pia's
  239. >Your favorite
  240. >Giving it a sniff, you brought it to your mouth
  241. >"Stop right there!"
  242. >"Celestia's sake colt! Stop!"
  243. >"We need back up!"
  244. >"URGH! Stop... resisting!"
  245. >Mouth open, you watched as a giant lumbered into view, dragging about a dozen guards along with it
  246. >All of the mares were straining as hard as they could, teeth gritted as they tried to pull it back
  247. >The creature didn't seem to even notice, looking around
  248. >It saw you and, brow furrowing, walked over
  249. >"Did you get your shit pushed in by a bug monster at your own wedding yet?" it asked in the strangest accent you had ever heard
  250. >You frowned
  251. "Well, I wouldn't say it like THAT..."
  252. >The male grunted, handing you the bat he was holding
  253. >"You see a black, sharp-toothed evil looking sob hit him with this," the creature said. "I don't care if it's a stallion. I want you to walk right up behind him and crack him as hard as you can. Also, start working out, it'll be good for you when you have a kid. Trust me."
  254. >Confused, you could only nod
  255. >The creature nodded back, turning away, much to the dismay of the guards still clinging onto him
  256. >"Now if you'll excuse me, I gotta beat up both your aunts."
  257. >He then walked away, ignoring a poor screaming guard as she tackled him and nearly broke her own neck
  258. >You watched him go, taking a bite out of your peetzer
  259. >Mare...
  260. >Equestria really was a magical place...
  261.  
  262.  
  263. >"Oh Celestia, oh Celestia, that cake isn't the best for yaaaaa!"
  264. "..."
  265. >"Celestia, Celestia, about to make a messtia!"
  266. >Be Celestia
  267. >Day Court had just finished
  268. >You were tired, your throne was making your rump ache, and you needed to pee
  269. >Unfortunately, there was no time to pee just yet
  270. >Plans were in motion
  271. >Schemes within schemes
  272. >Discord, the biggest pain in the flank you've ever met, and the reason while a stallion will never be able to vote as long as you lived, floated around your throne
  273. >He was singing, talking, and just generally being a nuisance
  274. >You just say there, resting your chin on a fist, waiting for him to either get bored or tire himself out
  275. >Thankfully, after what felt like an entire afternoon, he stopped his coltish nonsense
  276. >Grinning from ear to ear, he floated right in front of you
  277. >"So, what can this worthless servant do for you, your highness?" he asked
  278. >You let out a sigh, leaning back into your throne
  279. "Have you found the book?" you asked
  280. >Discord nodded
  281. >"Of course. It was difficult I admit, ol' Starswirl was a personal old hag, but I was able to get it."
  282. >A smile came to your face
  283. >Starswirl's personal spell book
  284. >Just the thing you needed for Twilight
  285. >Her final--
  286. >"Will you bucking--OOF!"
  287. >The throne room door swung open
  288. >This was followed by a half-dozen of Equestria's finest flying into the throne room
  289. >You sat up, and even Discord turned around, eyebrow raised
  290. >A creature stomped into the throne room, a stallion by the look of him
  291. >He looked furious
  292. >Heck, you hadn't seen a stallion this mad since you put a new tax on make up
  293. >And sweet Harmony was he a big one
  294. >Bigger than a yak by the look of him
  295. >Seeing you, he growled
  296. >"Yoooooou."
  297. >You blinked
  298. "Me?" you asked, pointing at yourself
  299. >Hands clenched into fists, he walked over
  300. >Discord floated in front of him
  301. >"Hello there, Anon--"
  302. >The creature cocked a fist back, punching the draconequus
  303. >Discord let out a grunt of surprise, crashing to the floor
  304. >You smiled
  305. >Then a look of horror came to your face
  306. >Then you smiled again
  307. >Hah!
  308. >That smiled disappeared as the creature walked right up to you
  309. >It reached out, grabbing you by the collar
  310. >Your horn sparked to life, ready to stop this nonsense, only for it to fizzle out
  311. >Alarmed, you tried to cast a spell
  312. >Nothing
  313. >Goodness...
  314. >Looked like you had a magically resistant colt...
  315. >The stallion lifted you to your hooves, raising you up so that they were just off the ground
  316. >You dryly swallowed
  317. "W-Well, hello there. You seem very upset. Why don't you put me down so we can have a nice--"
  318. >That was when the stallion reared his head back
  319. >He then drove his forehead into your nose
  320. >Hard
  321.  
  322. ~_~_~_~_~_
  323.  
  324. >Be Anon
  325. >"BUCK!"
  326. >Celestia's head snapped back from your headbutt
  327. >Blood began to pour our of her nose, her wings flapping in pain
  328. >You let her fall back onto her throne, where she pressed her hands against her face
  329. "That is for being a shit, lazy horse," you said, pointing at her as she loudly swore. "Also, for trying to give folks wings when they might not want them."
  330. >Turning around, you turned your attention to the other shithead in the room
  331. >Discord was still on the floor
  332. >He was dazed
  333. >Obviously, he wasn't used to feeling pain
  334. >You walked over to him, picking him up
  335. >"Anon, what are you--"
  336. "Shut up. SHUT. UP." you growled. "I'm not dealing with your bullshit, you dollar store demon. Tell me where the book is."
  337. >Discord sniffed
  338. >"I don't know what you're talking about," he said
  339. >You smacked him
  340. >A real good, head snapping to the side hit
  341. >It was like you were hitting a slab of lead
  342. >In fact, that punch you had landed on him probably broke a finger or two
  343. >Freaky god monster
  344. >Thankfully, you were too upset to care
  345. >You continued slapping him, until your hand was swollen and Discord's cheeks were red
  346. "I didn't die twice to deal with your bullshit. Now give me that book. This place might be a hellhole, but no one's getting wings here!"
  347. >"I--"
  348. >You shared shaking him like he was a baby
  349. >You shook him so hard it felt like your shoulders were about to pop out of place
  350. "Give it to me. Give it to me right now you chimera, Mr. Potato head pain in the ass!"
  351. >Discord made some weird sounds
  352. >He turned sickly green
  353. >You continued to shake him
  354. "I'm not stopping until I get that stupid--"
  355. >He snapped his claws
  356. >There was a pop, and something heavy landed behind you
  357. >You stopped shaking, slowly turning around
  358. >It was there on the floor
  359. >That familiar book
  360. >You'd know it anywhere
  361. >Just seeing it made your blood boil
  362. >You let Discord go
  363. >He magicked himself a garbage can, and proceeded to empty his stomach into it with whatever the hell he ate
  364. >Bending down, you picked up the book with your good hand
  365. >Standing back up, you turned to the princess and god
  366. "This was for your own good," you said. "You'll thank me for this someday. Probably."
  367. >With that, you made your way toward the hallway
  368. >One thing done
  369. >Now you needed to find that FUCKER that'd destroy the treebrary...
  370.  
  371. ~_~_~_~_~
  372.  
  373. >Be Cadence
  374. >Be still holding the bat that the big, weird stallion had given you
  375. >Making your way into the throne room, you saw that your aunt was clenching a bloody nose, and Discord was laying on the floor, curled around a garbage can
  376. >You blinked
  377. "Huh... Are you two okay?"
  378. >Neither said anything
  379. >...
  380. >You should probably tell auntie Luna about this...
  381.  
  382.  
  383. >"Soooo... you make the trip to ClopsDale often?"
  384. >Be Anon
  385. >You had somehow escaped Canterlot, and had gotten onto a train
  386. >You were headed to the other side of Equestria, to a small coastal town
  387. >ClopsDale
  388. >In the other Equestria, it had been a tourist-y place
  389. >Kinda like Ponyville ended up being before you "left"
  390. >It was also where that dumb fuck Centaur was hiding out
  391. >The one that began that whole mess you left
  392. >You were in a seat far too small for you
  393. >The only other person in the cart at the moment was some pegasus was a slicked back mane and a leather jacket
  394. >You looked over at her
  395. >She grinned, staring back expectantly, her filthy anthro self leaning back in her seat
  396. >A snort escaped you, and you looked out the window
  397. >The mare deflated
  398. >"Alrighty then... dick," she mumbled. "That's what I get for trying to be nice I guess..."
  399. >She jolted upright as the train wildly jerked, head snapping up as what sounded like a dozen hooves slammed into the top of train
  400. >"What the buck?!" she yelled, standing up, her head whipping this way and that
  401. >You stayed where you were, nursing a fucked up hand and a splitting headache
  402. >The train slowed down for a minute or so, before it started to pick up speed
  403. >The cabin was now so silent that you could hear hoofsteps from the cart over
  404. >The pegasus turned toward the door as it opened, revealing a guard in midnight blue armor
  405. >A moment later, the door that lead to the other cart opened as well, revealing another guard
  406. >They quickly made their way into the cabin, wicked-looking spears at the ready
  407. >Both walked the length of the cart
  408. >One of them made a hand signal
  409. >The other took a deep breath, opening it's mouth
  410. >You could almost hear a sound if you strained hard enough as the windows in the cart shook
  411. >Both then leveled their spears at you
  412. >"Don't move," one of them growled
  413. "Don't tell me what do to," you replied irritably
  414. >Somepony else stepped into the cart
  415. >A mare so large she had to duck her head to keep from hitting the top of the doorway
  416. >Just like the other two, she was wearing armor, though hers was far more ornate
  417. >Her spear crackled with lightning as she slammed it down onto the floor
  418. >She looked around and, seeing the pegasus, her expression softened
  419. >"My little pony."
  420. >"P-Princess Luna, what's going on?" the mare asked, holding her arms close to her chest
  421. >"It's none of your concern, dear," Luna said, shaking her head. "Sergeant, please escort her to safety. I will call upon you if back up is needed."
  422. >One of the guardsponies saluted, grabbing the terrified mare, and gently but firmly leading her out of the cart
  423. >The Princess made her way over to you, spear leveled at your chest
  424. >"You will rise and follow me," she said. "Male or not, you assaulted a Princess of Equestria, and you shall be punished severely for such a transgression."
  425. >You looked toward her
  426. "No," you said.
  427. >She frowned, pressing her spear tip an inch or two below your nipple, right where your heart would be
  428. >You just shook your head
  429. "Not gonna work. You kill me I'll just go to another Equestria and try this again. Probably."
  430. >That puzzles the beastman ass looking alicorn
  431. >Her spear lowers, though she keeps a firm grip on it
  432. >"Another Equestria?" she asked
  433. "Yep. I was in a different one this morning. Those ones were cute little horses. Think of a big dog, but with hooves and a tail and a longish muzzle," you said, showing her how big a pony would be. "Here though, you're fucked up. It might even be worse than if you were all fucking human."
  434. >The whole cart lapsed into silence
  435. >The sole guard still here looked over at Luna, looking confused
  436. >"Big, dog-like creatures?" the princess finally said
  437. "Pretty much. I'm not that good at explaining it, but gives you a good idea. I met the pony you. I've had a conversation with you and your sister. I know you like to paint murals."
  438. >The princess's eyes narrowed
  439. "Twilight once told me you tried talking Shining into doing a risque portrait. Cadence wasn't happy about--"
  440. >Suspicion was gone from the mare's face, now replaced with panic
  441. >She loudly shushed you, turning toward the guard, nearly driving her spear into you
  442. >"Private, please leave at once," she said. "Tell nopony what you just heard."
  443. >"But your highness--"
  444. >"No buts! That's an order!"
  445. >The guard, still looking confused, saluted, rushed out of the cart as fast as her hooves could take her
  446. >When the door slid closed the spear was lifted away
  447. >Luna, staring at you strangely, took a seat opposite from you
  448. >"Who and what are you?" she asked
  449. "I'm Anonymous."
  450. >The alicorn clicked her tongue
  451. >"You broke my sister's nose and knocked her two front teeth out," she said.
  452. "She deserved it. If my head wasn't throbbing so bad I'd do the same to you."
  453. >"You would find I'm not as easy prey as my sister," she said, fingering her spear
  454. >You just grunted, looking back out toward the window
  455. >As much as you wanted the silence to return, she leaned forward
  456. >"How did you come from this "Equestria", as you put it?" she asked
  457. "Died."
  458. >She sat back, eyes widening
  459. >"Oh... My condolences."
  460. >You shrugged
  461. "That was the second time. Wasn't as bad as the first," you told her. "I just wish I popped up in a different Equestria."
  462. >"I would call you a liar, or perhaps say that either Celestia or Cadence put you up to this, since Twilight would never do such a thing, and my sister has done stranger things for a laugh, but..."
  463. >Her eyes flicked to the hand you were currently holding against your stomach
  464. >"It appears you've broken fingers attacking Discord. I don't have my sister's humor, but even she would consider the joke too far gone if it were one. He seemed to know you, from what my sister said."
  465. "He did when I was the other Equestria too. Called me by my first name like he knew me."
  466. >"Then I suppose that your name isn't actually Anonymous?"
  467. >You ignored the question, looking back outside
  468. "I can't stand that you have four fingers," you said. "At least you have hooves on the bottom end. If it would have been feet I wouldn't have bothered with any of this and tried drowning myself in a river or something."
  469. >The princess snorted
  470. >"If you would have my morning would have been much more pleasant," she said. "Though that begs the question, why bother staying here if you loath our forms so much?"
  471. >You swallowed
  472. "I was just going to go into town and take a bottle of bleach from a pony selling it so I wouldn't have to deal with the whole thing of me appearing to ponies again, but then I saw the library."
  473. >"Twilight's abode?"
  474. "Yeah," you said, nodding. "It had been so long since I saw it that everything kind of... I don't know. Something clicked in my head. I can't stand how any of you look, but I couldn't let what happened to the other Equestria happen here."
  475. >"And what happened?" Luna asked
  476. >You looked away from the blurred landscape, turning your attention back to the alicorn
  477. >She was leaned forward, staring at you intently
  478. >It was hard to get words out now, but you forced them, word by word
  479. "The library was destroyed, and everything went to shit. Twilight changed, her friends changed, the world changed, all for the worse."
  480. >"Ponies change, Anonymous."
  481. "Rainbow Dash, the Element of Loyalty, tried selling Fluttershy into slavery for a Daring Doo book. Applejack, a mare who wanted nothing more than to start a family had a "coming out" party totally unprompted. Each day I saw her Twilight began to turn further and further away from everything she learned while she was a dork that wrote letters to a teacher she idolized."
  482. >You clenched a fist
  483. "It was little things at first, but I noticed how different they were all acting, like someone that didn't know the girls had tried replacing them. It wasn't just Twilight and her friends, it was like everyone was different one day."
  484. >You sighed
  485. "I remember Twilight telling me something your sister had told her. You couldn't learn friendship in a school. It couldn't be taught. You had to go out, find yourself, find ponies that make you happy. You should have heard her when she told me. Those words meant so much to her."
  486. >Your shoulders slumped
  487. "Then, somehow, she got the idea to build a friendship school, and have her friends, mares with careers and lives, teach children. It just goes on and on and on like that."
  488. "...I see."
  489. "I really hope you don't. For your sake. It was driving me nuts. The world did a one-eighty overnight and everyone thought I was weird for trying to say anything about it."
  490. >"And you believe the same thing will happen here?" Luna asked, crossing her arms.
  491. "Did you try to get Shining to wear socks?" you asked. "Ones with frills on the end?"
  492. >Luna's cheeks puffed out, her blush growing
  493. "That's what I figured" you said. "There are a things I need to fix. If I do that it might make everything better. If it doesn't, at least I can say that I tried before killing myself again."
  494. >The princess frowned, just staring at you
  495. >"What happened, Anonymous?" she asked softly. "Who destroyed Twilight's home? If you told me I might--"
  496. "Nope. I need to find and stop them first," you said, shaking your head. "If you know it might make things worse."
  497. >You pressed your injured hand against your chest more firmly, the book underneath your shirt shifted
  498. >Thankfully, Luna didn't seem to notice, looking you in the eye
  499. >"I will be frank, young stallion. I do not trust you even a bit, despite your knowledge of things I'd rather be forgotten."
  500. "I'll be honest with you, Princess. I could really not care less. You can come with me, and when I'm done you can take me back to Canterlot."
  501. >"And if I simply take you here and have the conductor change course now?"
  502. "Then I'll have you or your guards kill me, and if I can't do that I'll throw myself off the train head first. If that doesn't work, and you tie me up, I'll just bite my tongue off or something."
  503. >You shrugged
  504. "It's a bit morbid, but like I said, I've died twice. If you won't listen maybe another Luna will."
  505. >"You seem to be a very troubled stallion."
  506. "I did swallow a gallon of bleach this morning."
  507. >The princess snorted
  508. >"As much as I feel that I should throw you in irons now, I'll humor you a bit, Anonymous. I must ask however, why do you think my involvement in anything will make things worse?"
  509. >Aw...
  510. >The difficult question...
  511. >You looked around
  512. >There was no one here but you and the blue mare, but that didn't mean anything
  513. >Eyes were always watching, even when they weren't eyes
  514.  
  515. "Something turned my friends into shadows of their former selves. It turned the Equestria I loved into a hellscape. I never saw it, I never knew what it was, but I realized it was there, pulling their strings like they were puppets. After the library was destroyed I got a funny feeling that never went away, like someone was watching me. Someone that didn't like that I was in the same sandbox playing with their toys. I can feel it here too."
  516.  
  517.  
  518. >Be Princess Luna
  519. >Guardian and Ruler of Equestria, and the Protector of Dreams
  520. >You were in ClopsDale
  521. >Admittedly, you had never come to this sleepy little town before
  522. >It was a small fishing village with a population of less than two hundred
  523. >It was late
  524. >Your moon hung high in the air
  525. >You were on a rooftop, with one of the stranger creatures you had met
  526. >Anonymous, as he called himself
  527. >The giant that had attacked your sister and Discord
  528. >The one who had spouted strange nonsense
  529. >A very confused, obviously bitter stallion
  530. >He had requested that you stay in the train whilst he did whatever he had set out to do in this town
  531. >You had, of course, refused
  532. >No matter what happened here, he was coming back to Canterlot to pay for the assault on royalty
  533. >Had his ramblings not overtaken your common sense, you'd be halfway back to the capital by now and he'd be in chains
  534. >He didn't seem to appreciate this fact at all
  535. >In fact, like a typical stallion, he had insisted you both go shopping as soon as you both stepped off the train
  536. >And, to add insult to injury, he had insisted you pay for all of it
  537. >He had wanted the strangest things as well
  538. >A clay pot, a large box of marbles, two rolls of tape, thirty feet of rope, a map, and some food and water, among other things
  539. >He had gotten this all, with barely a thank you mind you, and had gotten you to climb onto a roof with him, where he had proceeded to fill the pot with the marbles before sitting down and helping himself to bread and cheese
  540. >The map he had bought was sitting on his lap and he was looking at it as he ate, obviously in no hurry
  541. >You stood a few feet away from him, arms crossed
  542. >Your patience had been thin when you had stepped off the train, but now it was SEE THROUGH
  543. "I pray this was more than a sight-seeing luncheon for you, for your sake, creature," you said, tapping a finger against your forearm
  544. >Anon looked down toward the street
  545. >He was seated right above an alley
  546. >There was a stallion and a mare below
  547. >The two were talking and laughing, obvious to anything but themselves
  548. >From the way that the colt was hanging onto that filly, it looked like somepony would get lucky tonight
  549. >"He should be coming around soon," he said through a mouthful of bread
  550. >Your eyes narrowed
  551. "Who?"
  552. >He said nothing, just helping himself to another bite of cheese
  553. >You gritted your teeth
  554. "Will you be less vague, you damnable stallion?"
  555. >Anon looked back down at the couple
  556. >"I remember Twilight saying that he stuck around this town for a few weeks. He'd pick off random ponies wandering around at first, since he was so weak and frail," he said. "He was able to take just a little bit of magic at first. Twi explained to me how he couldn't take too much too fast, but he was eventually able to suck a pony dry with one inhale after getting his strength back."
  557. >In the relative silence of the night, you heard hoofsteps coming from the main street
  558. >They sounded wrong however
  559. >Almost like whoever was walking had more than one set of legs
  560. >It took a moment or so, but you realized what, and who, Anonymous was referring to
  561. >Your heart leapt to your throat, eyes widening
  562. >Cerberus had left his post for a day or so
  563. >Had that truly been enough time for HIM to escape?
  564. >You peeked over the edge of the building
  565. >A hooded figure made it's way onto the alley
  566. >Too long and too oddly shaped to be a pony
  567. >It slowly pulled back it's hood, revealing an old, withered monster
  568. >A creature you and Celestia had fought so long ago
  569. >Even in his sorry state you could see the rage in his yellow, ugly eyes
  570. >Tirek
  571. >The Great Devourer
  572. >He was making his way toward the unknowing couple
  573. >You were about to shout a warning, only for Anon to shush you
  574. >"Hey, lift the pot for me," he said. "With the marbles I can't with my hand. With your magic. Hurry up before he starts sucking."
  575. >Seeing that there was no time to delay, your horn glowed
  576. >The pot was lifted
  577. >Anon motioned you to lift it above his head
  578. >Closing one eye, he looked down at Tirek, moving the pot with his uninjured hand
  579. >You grunted in surprise as the pot became far heavier with his touch
  580. >It seemed sister was right about his magical resistance, though it didn't seem a total resistance as she suggested
  581. >Good to know
  582. >Tirek puffed his chest out, deeply exhaling before opening his mouth
  583. >Anon whistled, the sharp, loud noise cutting through the air
  584. >The couple jumped, the monster jumped, even you were so surprised that you lost your grip on the pot
  585. >Tirek looked up just in time for the pot to hit in right on the forehead
  586. >"ARUGH!"
  587. >The poor stallion below let out a scream as marbles went flying everywhere, seeing the old monster
  588. >Tirek himself let out a shout of pain, hands flying to his face
  589. >"WHO DARES ATTACK ME?" he roared. "I AM TIREK, DESTROYER OF--"
  590. >The centaur attempted to take a step
  591. >The bottom of his hoof stepped on some of the many marbles now sitting about, causing his leg to jerk violently to the side
  592. >His body tensed in surprise at the loss of footing, and he attempted to correct it by moving his other front leg, only to step on more marbles
  593. >He fell to the ground with another roar
  594. >The mare, wisely, grabbed her stallion and raced out of that alley as fast as her hooves could take her while the monster tried to rise back up
  595. >"ENOUGH OF THIS! FACE ME COWARD," Tirek yelled to the sky. "I WILL SMASH YOU! SUCK YOU DRY! LEAVE YOU A PITIFUL--"
  596. >Anon pulled out another thing he had forced you to buy
  597. >A large metal ball the size of an apple
  598. >One again closing his eyes, he looked down at Triek before letting go of the ball
  599. >The monster pulled his hands away from his face, only for the ball to slam into his nose
  600. >"AAAAARRRRRRUUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHH!"
  601. >You couldn't help but wince as the centaur leapt to his hooves, racing forward as fast as he could, no doubt to get away
  602. >Of course, he tripped on more marbles
  603. >He lost his balance, becoming a tumbling, swearing blur before slamming headfirst into a steel garbage container
  604. >There was an earsplitting clang
  605. >The container screeched as it slide a few feet before stopping, a massive dent now in the side of it, along with a now very unconscious Tirek laying in a pile of marbles and his own blood
  606. >For the first time since you met him, Anonymous turned toward you with a grin
  607. >"Well, that went a lot better than I thought it would," he said, happy with himself as he folded the map up and dusted the cheese and bread crumbs off him. "Come on. Lets get him tied up."
  608. >He made his way toward the building's ladder
  609. >"Grab that rope and stuff for me, will ya?"
  610. >You didn't reply, just staring at him as he walked away, eyes still wide
  611. >You remembered how terrifying Tirek had been when you had fought him so long ago
  612. >He had been unkillable, unstoppable; a monster without peer or equal
  613. >Easily the most dangerous force on the planet
  614. >And he had been laid low by a pot, marbles, and a ball...
  615. >"Quit messing around, otherwise he might wake up!"
  616. >Giving your head a shake, you grabbed the paper bag filled with tape and rope
  617. "...Of course. Forgive me."
  618. >Anonymous seemed to enjoy tying the monster up, taking his time and being as thorough as possible
  619. >First, he securely tied his legs together with the rope, then used a whole roll of duct tape to secure his arms
  620. >Two more rolls were wrapped around his mouth
  621. >Anon would have put it over his nose as well, but you stopped that
  622. >Mostly, you just stood there quietly watching him as he did his work
  623. >It wasn't until Tirek was more rope and tape than monster did Anon stand back up
  624. >"There. We should be fine until you get him back to Tartarus," he said, turning toward you
  625. "I believe so," you said with a little nod. "Anonymous?"
  626. >"Yes?"
  627. "What would have happened if you hadn't... subdued him?"
  628. >Anon's smile dipped
  629. >"He would have taken the magic from every mare and stallion in Equestria. He destroyed a lot of towns too; a lot of ponies got hurt."
  630. "I see."
  631. >You cleared your throat
  632. "I will make sure he is returned to Tartarus. You've done a very good thing here today. Despite a very poor... impression, you have my thanks. I will have to let my sister--"
  633. "Before all that, princess. I got a question."
  634. >Your shoulders slumped as some of the air left you
  635. >Harmony, did you hate a nosy stallion
  636. >Still, after everything you supposed you'd humor him a little longer before taking him back to Canterlot
  637. "And what question is that?" you asked
  638. >"How are the roads?"
  639. >You blinked at the strange question
  640. "The roads? They were fine in Canterlot. A bit muddy from the rain, but there is supposed to be a dry spell--"
  641. >"HOLY FUCK, IT'S CHRYSALIS!" Anon suddenly yelled, pointing behind you
  642. >Without thought, you whipped around
  643. >Your spear appeared in your hands with flash of your horn, and you leveled it at any would be attacker
  644. >You expected Chrysalis to be just a few feet from you, but the alley was empty
  645. >Your eyes scanned, looking for any enemies
  646. "Anonymous, where did you see her?" you asked.
  647. >There was no answer
  648. >You frowned
  649. "Anonymous?"
  650. >Again, nothing
  651. >Now worried, you peeked over your shoulder
  652. >The giant was gone
  653. >You stood straight up in alarm, nearly dropping your spear
  654. >Horse apples!
  655. >Your horn crackled to life
  656. "My guard, the giant has somehow escaped me. Leave the train and take flight. Search every road, every exit out of this town. He cannot be allowed to wander where he pleases. Do not fail me."
  657. >Cancelling the spell, you looked down at the still unconscious Tirek
  658. >You nudged the monster with your hoof
  659. >Still bleeding, he let out a pained groan
  660. >Anonymous needed to be found at all cost
  661. >If the place where he came from was like your world Harmony knew what other nonsense he could, and would, get up to...
  662. >But first...
  663. >Grabbing Tirek by the tail, you began to drag the centaur toward out of the alley
  664. "Come monster, your old pit in Tartarus will welcome you back."
  665.  
  666. ~_~_~_~_~_~
  667.  
  668. >Be Anon
  669. >Be in the trash container
  670. >You watched as Luna dragged Tirek away, grinning
  671. >When she was out of sight, you cackled, rubbing your hands together
  672. >You were so jazzed that you almost couldn't feel the pain in your fucked up hand
  673. >If Luna didn't mess anything up, and you sure hope she didn't, that was one thing fixed
  674. >Now you needed to fix the Poochie problem
  675. >No matter what, Starlight was going to be an issue, you felt
  676. >She was too powerful to just ignore
  677. >Hell, she might be stronger than Twilight is as a unicorn
  678. >You had an idea to stop her
  679. >Something way better, and possibly more permanent, than outright murder
  680. >You'll also help out another horse in the process
  681. >Here she's an ugly beast-looking thing, but you'll take what you can get for now
  682. >Time to head to Manehatten!
  683.  
  684.  
  685. "Huh..."
  686. >Be Anon
  687. >It had been a week since you had escaped ClopsDale
  688. >Thank God ponies weren't too good with disguises
  689. >You had walked out of that town with a hastily made pillow mask with some holes cut out for the eyes and a ice cream cone tacked on for a horn
  690. >The guard had asked to see your cutiemark
  691. >You had shown them the one you had drawn on with a marker you had stolen, and you were gone
  692. >That didn't mean everything was peaches and cream though
  693. >Getting back on any train was a no go, and you couldn't stay on the main roads for long
  694. >Shitty disguise not, eventually someone with half a brain would figure you out
  695. >It was touch and go for a few days
  696. >You slept where you could, drank water from streams
  697. >Any food you got was either from other ponies on the road or from a tree or bush
  698. >The ground was hard, and your feet were starting to ache from doing nothing but walking, but at least it wasn't that cold
  699. >You hand was also getting a better day by day
  700. >It looked like you had busted a knuckle, but you could open and close your hand without much difficulty
  701. >There were no headaches either, which meant that you didn't have a concussion, which was pretty great
  702. >It was a long, long way to Manehatten, but you were covering ground day by day
  703. >You had a bit of luck and "borrowed" a backpack that someone had left near a stream filled with goodies
  704. >A knife, flint, food, even some clothes
  705. >Most of the food was for horses, so you couldn't eat it, and the clothes were tiny, but it was something
  706. >You were sitting underneath a tree, a small fire going
  707. >You had an apple roasting on a small stick that you were holding
  708. >You had some sticks, and a few dead branches keeping it going
  709. >You also had that fucking book in there
  710. >Starswirls book sat right in the middle of the fire, completely fine
  711. >Not a burn or anything
  712. >There was a frown on your face as you poked at it with the stick in your injured hand, trying to drive it deeper into the coals
  713. >This book was the most dangerous thing on the planet at the moment
  714. >Anything you did on this hellhole of a planet would be nothing, zip, nada, if Twilight got her hands on this
  715. >It needed to go
  716. "I figured you'd be harder to destroy," you grunted. "What, am I going to have to throw you into a volcano or something?"
  717. >The book, of course, said nothing
  718. >You kept it in there, hoping against hope that it would eventually catch fire, until your apple was fully roasted
  719. >Shaking your head, you used the other stick to fish it out of the coals
  720. >Nothing
  721. >There wasn't even soot on the cover
  722. >You nudged it with your foot and then reached down to touch it
  723. >You quickly jerked your hand away as soon as your fingertips touched the binding and, realizing that it felt cool, you reached back out to touch it
  724.  
  725. Ȳ̸͚͚͈͎̽̎͐̐̊͋̄̀͊̔o̸̡̗̥̘͎̩͚̦̩̫͇̾̈́̀͛̓͋̎̃̔̔͘̚͜͜͝u̶̻̪̱͇̱̘̭̓̓̊̀̑͐͘͝ͅ ̵̫̫̠̗̪͙͖̖͈̠̙̫́̈́̓̊͌͜ķ̷͖̦͚̦̝͚͓͈̿́̔̀͑̽̔̀̑͐͗̚n̸̢̧̡̪̘̘͔̗͖̝̘͔͎̐͒͆͝ǫ̷̬̜͙͎̰̰̤̪̰̻͍͖͇̓̍̓̿͜͠w̷̡̨̯̖̣̙̻͙͚̻͖̱̼͈̟̌͂͆͒̆̇̇͝ ̵͚͇͔̩̱͚̘̃̂̿̐͂̐̓̊̊̚n̴̩̼͓͊̌̈́̈́̍͘͝ỡ̴͇̜͖͈̼̗͙̱͎̼̮͆̏̈́͑͜͝ͅt̷̢̥̭̱̣̣̻̯͖̆̓͒̄̌̂̆̋̇͑̍̐̈̚͜ ̸̠̦̺͙̪̾̀̄͑̽͗̔͆̈̎͒͝w̷͚̻̝̪̹͓̜̰͍̳̦̗̽͑͗̏̊̏͝h̴̢͔͎̬͙̙̠͍̜́͊͛̇͊͐͗͜ͅa̸̢̹͖̳̣͉̩̜̪̺͎̐̾̏͌͗̓̓̀̓̕ṯ̴̹̺̺̟̫͎̫̗̑̓̃͜ ̴̢̧͔͓͆ȳ̶̛̙͇̯̮̮̞̤̯͚͚̹ͅô̴̡̋͆̂͐̿͐u̴͕̭͍̦̖̻̺̒̽̇̌̾̇̂͑̀ͅ ̴̜͍̳̺͕̯̮̟̖͈͖̯̖̃̀̾͛̚͝ͅd̶̢̛͕̝̗̮͖̩̣̺͐̾̔̓̇̋̐̈́͊͒̕͘ő̵̱̌̈̂͝
  726.  
  727. >Your vision went white
  728. >The sounds of the fire crackling and bird chirping disappeared into a loud ringing
  729. >Your body felt weightless and it felt hard to breath, like something was picking you up and holding you very tightly
  730. >Several terrifying seconds passed until your vision returned and the ringing stopped
  731. >You were no longer holding your stick
  732. >Both hands held the book tightly to your chest, and your heart was beating a mile a minute
  733. >You were also grinning
  734. "I knew it. I fucking KNEW IT," you muttered to yourself
  735. >You hadn't been crazy
  736. >There was a puppet master
  737. >Not just in the other Equestria, but this one too
  738. >Most importantly though, whoever or whatever they were didn't like what you were doing
  739. >Which meant you were doing the right thing
  740. >You leapt to your feet, laughing
  741. >A feeling began to well in your chest; something you hadn't felt in years
  742. >Hope
  743. >"Uh... you alright there, fella?"
  744. >You spun around to see two mares standing not a few feet away
  745. >Both looked like country folk, with overalls, straw hats, and a piece of grain hanging from their mouths
  746. >The one mares elbowed the other
  747. >"Musta gotten the latest Coscoltpolitian," she said, nudging her head toward the book still held tightly against your chest. "Probably saw a new line o' makeup."
  748. >"His poor mare," the other said, which had them both chuckling
  749. >You quickly hide the book, too happy to even scowl at the abominations
  750. "Yeah, yeah, something like that. Hey, I got a question for you fine ladies."
  751. >The mares perk up
  752. >"Fine ladies? Well, I'll be. There might be some hope for us, Plow," the one said.
  753. >"I reckon not, though that's mighty polite of ya to say, Mr," the other said, tipping her hat at you. "What's yer question?"
  754. "There wouldn't happen to be a town nearby, would it?" you asked
  755. >Manehatten was too far away to walk
  756. >Pretty much on the other side of the country
  757. >As fun as it would be to walk all the way there, you might not have the weeks and weeks that it'd take
  758. >You didn't know EXACTLY when you were in this world
  759. >All you knew was that it was post Nightmare Moon, pre wings
  760. >A lot of shit happened between all that
  761. >The trains might have been a no go, but you could try a carriage
  762. >If not a carriage, maybe a balloon?
  763. >You still had bits from back in ClopsDale
  764. >Took Luna's bag when she was buying you all the stuff to fuck up Tirek
  765. >Said Princess would no doubt be looking for you, but unless she and her sister had the whole guard looking you might just get away with it
  766. >You had to get to Manehattan quick, and then the real work would begin
  767. >You had to find her
  768. >Then, it was Poochie time
  769. >The one mare nodded
  770. >"Yep, a little town called Trot Ave. Me an' my friend here are on our way now."
  771. >"There's some fancy magician there performing for the next couple o' days," the other said. "Some gal that called herself the great an' powerful something or another. We wanted to see her 'fore she left."
  772. >You blinked
  773. >No way...
  774. >You thought she'd be in Manehattan already
  775. >That's where she said she had gotten that Alicorn Amulet
  776. >You honestly couldn't believe your good luck
  777. >Here you thought you'd have to look all over for the blue pain in the ass, and maybe even figure out how to get a super dangerous magical artifact off of her
  778. >Trixie
  779. >The Great and Powerful
  780. >A unicorn who couldn't use actual magic
  781. >The one that would help solve the Starlight problem
  782. >You kicked dirt over your fire, snuffing it out
  783. >Dusting yourself off, you walked over to the mares
  784. "Ladies, I'd be ever so grateful if you escorted me into town," you said with your sweetest smile. "I'd like to see this Great and Powerful mare myself."
  785.  
  786. ~_~_~_~_~_~
  787.  
  788. >"Please hold still, your highness. I'm very nearly done."
  789. >Be Celestia
  790. >It had been a few days after the... incident
  791. >You were in your personal chambers
  792. >Today was the fifth day that Day Court had been cancelled
  793. >Your little ponies were worried and asking questions
  794. >Some of the papers had reported a "giant of a stallion" stomping out of the castle, but not much more
  795. >A blessing if there ever was one
  796. >Your personal physician, Sweet Touch, hovered around you
  797. >You were seated on the royal beanbag chair, mouth opened
  798. >That blasted creature had knocked your two front teeth out with that headbutt of his
  799. >The idea of holding court looking either like some little filly or some country bumpkin had been too much to bear
  800. >Thankfully, today was your last treatment to get some new teeth
  801. >With the doctor's careful magicks, you could feel the small nubs sticking out of your gums getting bigger and bigger
  802. >It hurt like the devil, but you weren't some little colt
  803. >"You're doing very well, your highness. Just a bit more and nopony will be able to tell the difference. If you like, I can even adjust the color of each teeth to match perfectly with the others."
  804. >She ceased her spell, allowing you to close your mouth to answer her
  805. "That won't be necessary, my dear. Unfortunately, this isn't the first time I've lost a tooth to a stallion. I know how this works. A few cups of tea and they'll look just like the others."
  806. >The doctor chuckled, motioning you to once again open your mouth
  807. >When you did so the tip of her horn once again lit up
  808. >"I'm surprised a stallion could knock your teeth out. If you don't mind me saying so, you are very durable, your majesty."
  809. >Though you couldn't reply aloud, you did agree with her
  810. >Giant or not, alicorns were made of some tough stuff, but not only did he hurt you, he smacked around Discord as well
  811. >Sure, he stumbled out of the throne room if what Discord said was true, but even so
  812. >A large, magic resistant, angry stallion was running around, and not only that but he had the book
  813. >The linchpin of your plans
  814. >Harmony only knew what he wanted with it
  815. >Were it not for Luna's "report" on what happened in ClopsDale, you'd have had the entire Equestrian military combing the country looking for the stallion
  816. >He had known Tirek was in the town, and had nearly killed the centaur with some marbles and a clay pot
  817. >That had been rather amusing
  818. >The old monster deserved much, much worse
  819. >What was far less funny was the fact that he was from a "different" Equestria
  820. >It sounded like some nonsense with your mirror in the royal vaults, so much so that you had gone down personally to check up on it
  821. >It hadn't seen any use since you had last tinkered with it two hundred odd years ago, but nevertheless you doubled the guard there
  822. >No need to have anything else running around your castle...
  823. >Annnnnnd... I think we're done, your highness," Sweet Touch said with a smile, stepping away from you
  824. >With a snap of her fingers, a mirror appeared in front of you
  825. >You opened your mouth a little wider, drawing your lips back so you could look at your new front teeth
  826. >Thank Equestria...
  827. "Thank you very much, my little pony. Now I can go out in public again," you said with a smile
  828. >The doctor bowed
  829. >"It was my pleasure, your highness. I'll take my leave now if that's alright with you. I'm no doubt needed in the medical ward. If you still feel any lingering pains just let me know."
  830. >Still bowing, the mare made her way to the door, only standing upright once her rump hit the door
  831. >A very traditional mare that one...
  832. >As she closed the door behind her, you allowed yourself to slump in your beanbag chair
  833. >You even indulged yourself by letting out a groan
  834. "Holy Hayseeds... what a week...
  835. >You rubbed your temples
  836. >The headache you had been nursing only grew when the scent of chocolate milk hit your nose
  837. >"Oh Cellllllly."
  838. >Oh horsefeathers...
  839. >You looked up to see Discord
  840. >The draconequus had a small bandage on his cheek, but was otherwise unharmed from the events a few days ago
  841. "Did my sister return Tirek back to his pit?" you asked
  842. >"She did. Tirek didn't seem too happy about it," Discord replied. "Not that I could blame the poor stallion. Do you know what kind of magazines they have down there? Nothing but hoofball and fishing."
  843. >He shivered
  844. >"All of it outdated too. Simply AWFUL. If it was that or being a statue I think I'd--"
  845. >You raised your hand, motioning for silence
  846. >You give him an inch and he'd talk your ear off, like all stallions
  847. "Did you find the giant?" you asked. "Anonymous, or whatever he's called?"
  848. >"I did not," Discord said with a frown, tugging at his beard. "It seems our friend blends well in a crowd."
  849. "He's a ten foot tall GIANT!"
  850. >"Which makes it all the more impressive. You'd think somepony would have seen him by now, or at least mentioned a giant walking amongst your "little ponies"."
  851. >Your stomach tightened as he said little ponies
  852. >There was so much mockery in those words
  853. >So much thinly veiled anger
  854. >As much as he liked to try to hide it, to be casual, you knew he resented you
  855. >Nearly as much as you disliked him you imagined, the old goat
  856. >Were it up to you, you'd have him back as a statue in the royal gardens
  857. >But that trail was closed
  858. >He had been unleashed on you all; better to use him
  859. >You didn't know why, but you felt that he'd be important with your plans for Twilight
  860. >Plans that, admittedly, you were becoming lukewarm too
  861. >You didn't know why, but as soon as that book was taken, you had begun to have second thoughts
  862. >Why make Twilight into a princess?
  863. >She could rule as an unicorn just as well
  864. >Why not give her a choice?
  865. >She was not your puppet
  866. >She was a fine, wonderful little
  867.  
  868. Ḓ̴̨͕͂̇̔̑̄͠ǫ̶̨̤̣͖̥̙̟̟͇̳̫͈̭̝̟̹͉͓͊̈́̐͌̀̈́̄́̌͑̑͝͝ ̸̼͚̤̥̫̖̊̀͆̋̔̄͑̀̋̂̈́́̐͛̇̌̚͝Ń̸̢̛̫͖̠̺͓̝͈͕̼̠̹̼̝͋͐̈͒̈͋̓͂̈͜͜ō̷̧̡̠̯̳̦̹̭̜̭͈̬͚͚͓̼̱̞̟̮̔̽̀͊̈́̑ͅͅt̵͖̻̠̰͍̱̻̙̘̣̝̓̈́̓̍ ̶̡̹̗̭̗̬̭̘̞̠̭̗̜͕̹̮͕̰̹͓͐̒̆͆ͅQ̵̛̘͓͙͔͉̦̹̱̖̗̖͈͕̞̝͒̿͌̂̂̊̓̈́̃̃̋͗̎̈͋͝ȗ̵̧̳͍̬̠̰͕̱̖̥͍͎͖̐͂͂̊͗͊͛̎̀͒̔͋̏͛́̽͝͝ͅẽ̵͔͙̼̦̺̞͎͎̝̣̮͙̙̝s̶̘̩̼̳͔̠̙̯͚̭̝͑̑̐̎̀̉̏͛̀̆͂̂̋̎͗͝͝ť̸̪̠̞͉̇̃̏̾͐̋͌̊͗͗̆̍̈́͑̎i̶̢̡̧̡̦̥͎̼͚͍̦͈͔͙̗͑̾͒̔́́̐͒̈́͊̌̈́̕̚͜͝ò̵̢͖̻͓͇͗͛͆̐͐̒̿̍͋͝ņ̶̛̝͉̪̿̐͂͗̓̒̀̿͗̂̍͆̔͂͋̈́̄
  869.  
  870. >You closed your eyes, covering your face with a hand
  871. >No...
  872. >This was what needed to be done...
  873. >For the good of Equestria Twilight Sparkle would need to be an alicorn
  874. >She MUST be an alicorn...
  875. "Discord?"
  876. >"Yeeeeeees?"
  877. "Return to Luna. Tell her to keep searching for this creature. Starswirl's book must be found at all cost."
  878.  
  879.  
  880. >"--And for my next trick, the Grrrrrreat and Powerful Trixie will make this wagon DISAPPEAR."
  881. >You were standing in a crowd of ponies
  882. >In the back, since they were all so freakishly small
  883. >You might have hated how they looked, but you weren't rude enough to stand in the front
  884. >No one was cheering
  885. >No one was clapping
  886. >No one looked enraptured
  887. >Most were staring at the unicorn on the stage with a mixture of irritation and boredom
  888. >The mare, sure enough, was Trixie
  889. >Wizard hat and cape and all
  890. >Even as an abomination, you'd recognize that voice and that arrogant smirk anywhere
  891. >Now, you had never seen the unicorn perform
  892. >You'd seen her fireworks show that she had every few months when she was parked in front of that ugly ass crystal nightmare, but never a proper "magic" show
  893. >Honest, you had no idea why she was so smug all the time
  894. >The mare sucked
  895. >You had seen kindergarten magic shows that were better by a country mile
  896. >It wasn't that her tricks were bad per se
  897. >Everything she did seemed well practiced, masterful even
  898. >The thing was the mare just wouldn't shut the fuck up about how great she was
  899. >She hadn't shut up about herself since she stared
  900. >How nopony but she could do this trick, or how the pathetic unicorns now watching couldn't hope to guess what she was about to do
  901. >Honestly, it was hard not to boo the little turd
  902. >The crowd had been quiet so far, but you could tell that the mood was as sour as could be
  903. >Half of the original crowd had dispersed, some giving Trixie dirty looks as they left
  904. >Trixie didn't seem to notice or care as she did trick after trick, bouncing around the stage
  905. >She was now hanging upside down, tied with a rope
  906. >She was hanging over a kiddie pool filled with water
  907. >A knife was sawing at the top of the rope as the mare wiggled and grunted
  908. >"Oh no folks. I don't know if the Great and Powerful Trixie is Great and Powerful enough to get out of this one," she called, looking out at the crowd
  909. >There was silence
  910. >Not even a cricket chirping
  911. >It was awkward
  912. >Too awkward
  913. >To your shame you blinked first, clapping
  914. "Yeah... go Trixie," you said with as much enthusiasm as you could muster, which, admittedly, wasn't all that much
  915. >Trixie beamed as the rope was fully cut
  916. >The crowd just watched as she fell into the pool with a splash
  917. >When the water settled, the mare was nowhere to be seen
  918. >"Ahem."
  919. >Ponies turned, and you looked over your shoulder to see Trixie standing behind all of you, looking as pleased as punch
  920. >"Tada!" she yelled, throwing her hands up
  921. >That actually got some claps, and a cheer or two
  922. >Trixie bowed
  923. >"Thank you, thank you, the pleasure is all yours," she said, pulling off her hat. "Now, if you are feeling generous, Trixie needs bits to eat, so it would be lovely if you filled her hat up with everything in your pockets. Thank you and goodnight, you filthy hic--I mean, wonderful crowd!"
  924. >You watched as the teeny, tiny amount of goodwill vanished in the blink of an eye
  925. >Many grumbling, the crowd began to disperse
  926. >Some bits were placed in Trixie's hat, but not much
  927. >The smile on her face began to sour more and more as ponies walked past her
  928. >"Come on you ungrateful cretins! Trixie gave you the show of a lifetime! Pay her!"
  929. >You stood there, arms crossed, trying hard not to laugh
  930. >You waited until you were the last one before making your way over to her
  931. >Pulling out the bag of bits that you still had, you dropped them into her hat
  932. >She nearly dropped her hat, her head snapping toward you
  933. >She looked at your chest, then raised her head up and up until she was looking you in the eye
  934. >You watched as she swallowed, then smiled, bowing
  935. >"Thank you very much, fine gentlecolt. It's nice to see SOMEPONY WITH TASTE!"
  936. "Trixie--"
  937. >"The Grrrrreat and Powerful Trixie, if you please."
  938. >You frowned, leaning down, you placed a hand on her shoulder
  939. "Trixie," you said again. "My name is Anonymous, and I'm--"
  940. >"Trixie's biggest fan. I'm sure," she interrupted, patting your stomach gently. "This isn't the first time a colt has come to Trixie lavishing her with praise. Trixie will humor you with a kiss, and perhaps some heavy petting, but try not to--"
  941. >Your hand left her shoulder and clamped over her mouth
  942. >You had spent the last day or so trying to come up with a story to get Trixie to follow your plan
  943. >After kicking around a few ideas, you think you had come up with something just perfect
  944. >Something to do with a conversation you had overheard the unicorn having with shit-purple-princess-not-the-real-fucking-Twilight
  945. "My name is Anonymous, and I'm from the Equestria Tax Services. You, young filly, are in a lot of trouble."
  946. >Your words had an immediate effect
  947. >Trixie's pupils shrunk to pin pricks and all the color left her face
  948. >Fuckin' got her
  949. >She stepped away, snatching her hat off her head and placing it against her chest
  950. >"T-Tax services? What in Equestria could you want with Trixie? She pays her taxes in a s-sensible time every year."
  951. >She took another step back, her tail curling around her leg as you raised an eyebrow
  952. "If I remember correctly, you haven't paid your taxes in the last five years."
  953. >"Lies! Trixie is a sincere and thoughtful citizen! Even though she thinks taxes are unlawful and hurtful to a traveling businessmare like herself, she still does her duty."
  954. "..."
  955. >"She does! You morons at the ETS must have lost her check is all."
  956. "..."
  957. >"Or the mail did. Those mare ponies and their unions have been a thorn in Trixie's side since she was a little blankflank."
  958. >The mare puffed her chest out, doing her best to look outraged and furious
  959. >You just cleared your throat, trying hard not to laugh
  960. >In the blink of an eye, she deflated
  961. >"Please, you large, strange stallion. Have pity on the forgetful and sorrowful Trixie," she said, getting down onto her knees. "Trixie is just a simple mare struggling to make her way in the world."
  962. >You leaned down
  963. "You made two hundred thousand bits in Las Pegasus over the course of three years. You're doing more than fine."
  964. >"How in the horse seeds do you know that--I mean, I don't know what you mean, sir."
  965. >Trixie looked behind her
  966. >You could see the gears turning in her head
  967. >If she made a run for it things might get difficult
  968. >You were bigger than her, but these "ponies" seemed to be a lot faster than you
  969. >There was also the nasty little fact that your hand was still messed up
  970. >You'd eventually be able to get her, but who knows how long that'd take
  971. >Thankfully, it seemed like Trixie didn't have much fight in her, the mare letting out a whimper as she turned back to you
  972. >"Please don't put Trixie in jail," she begged. "She wouldn't do good in prison. Some large, muscular earth pony would make Trixie into her carpet munching sex slave! Please, Trixie will do anything!"
  973. "Anything?" you asked
  974. >"Anything," Trixie replied, nodding her head
  975. >You pretended to think about it, looking up at the sky while tapping a finger against your chin
  976. >Again, doing your best not to laugh as the unicorn looked up at you like some kicked puppy
  977. >After a minute of letting the mare sweat, you offered her your hand
  978. >Trixie blinked, staring at it for several seconds before hesitantly taking it
  979. >You pulled her to her hooves, a smile coming to your face
  980. "In that case, Trixie, I need your help with something."
  981. >"Help? What do you need Trixie's help with?"
  982. "It's very simple, my little tax evader. I need you to help me save the world."
  983.  
  984. ~_~_~_~_~
  985.  
  986. >Trixie was hesitant at first
  987. >Said something about it "being bad luck to bring a stallion on the ride" and there "not being enough room in her wagon for all of your clothes and other colty nonsense"
  988. >She also had absolutely no desire to save the world
  989. >She just wanted to be a simple magician
  990. >You listened to her arguments calmly and patently, with complete understanding
  991. >You then asked which maximum security prison she'd like to spend the next ten years in
  992. >That made fixed her attitude right up
  993. >You went ahead and explained the situation in brushstrokes
  994. >Where you both were going, who you were stopping, and Trixie's role in it
  995. >Though she seemed less than happy with this turn of events, you could tell that she was also secretly pleased in being the keystone in something so important
  996. >She wasn't the keystone quite yet, but she would be, you just needed a bit of elbow grease and determination
  997. >It wasn't until Trixie led you to her wagon that you was just how much elbow grease would be needed
  998. >"Here it is, the Grrrrrrreat and Powerful Trixie's humble abode," she said, gesturing toward it with a proud sweeping motion
  999. >Now, you were no wagon expert, but you were pretty good and deciding if things were pieces of shit, and this wagon seemed to tick all the boxes
  1000. >The wooden wheels were cracked and had spokes missing
  1001. >The metal on the wagon looked chipped and worn
  1002. >The wagon itself looked to be in desperate need of a new roof and a paint job
  1003. "...What the FUCK did you do with that two hundred thousand bits?"
  1004. >"None of your business."
  1005. "..."
  1006. >"...Trixie has all the money in her mattress. Don't tell anypony though."
  1007. >With a sigh, you walked over and opened up the wagon's door
  1008. >Sure enough, a mountain of wrappers, plastic bottles, and smelly trash fell out
  1009. >You poked your head inside, accessed the damage, then turned back toward the unicorn
  1010. "Alrighty then. Time to get to work."
  1011. >What followed was a two week headache
  1012. >The entire wagon needed to be worked on
  1013. >The residents of the little town had been hesitant to help you at first, but as soon as you dug some bits out of Trixie's mattress and started handing them out they got a lot friendlier
  1014. >Thankfully, there were a lot of ponies walking around with woodworking cutiemarks, so work was done pretty quickly
  1015. >Trixie complained the whole time of course
  1016. >The mare held onto her bits so hard that you were surprised half didn't have finger indents
  1017. >The little blue donkey
  1018. >It was a struggle, but you eventually got the entire wagon cleaned and aired out
  1019. >New wheels were put on, the interior carpet was torn out and redone; her old, filthy bed had all the bits taken out and a new bed was bought
  1020. >Trixie fought you the whole way
  1021. >Even though she had a duke's ransom in bits, she was a pretty angry mare
  1022. >You don't know if it was because of Twilight, or something else
  1023. >There had to be something else going on
  1024. >Sure, Twilight showing her up might have been a little part of it, but the filthy wagon?
  1025. >The keeping bits in her mattress when Equestria had a centralized bank where she could keep her money?
  1026. >The mare also didn't seem to know how to act around other ponies
  1027. >She was rude, abrasive, strangely anti-social
  1028. >She got a bit better the longer she was in town, but she sure as hell wasn't winning any friends, nor did she seem to want to
  1029. >It wasn't until she saw her wagon, all fixed up and just needing a new coat of paint that she had calmed down
  1030. >She had just sort of looked at it for a long while, before asking to pick out a color of paint for it
  1031. >She wanted blue; a bit lighter in color than her coat
  1032. >You had gotten her what she had asked for--along with two more cans just so you could do any needed touch-ups while on the road--and she had insisted in helping with the painting
  1033. >With her help, and the help of five other mares, you had it looking spic and span by the end of the day
  1034. >She actually thanked the carpenters before the two of you left the next morning
  1035. >The wagon was pulled along by magical means
  1036. >Trixie just needed to sit on top of it "steering" like it was a stage coach
  1037. >Not wanting to stay in the cramped little wagon, you had elected to hop up right next to her, waving to the little town's citizens as the wagon drove along
  1038. >The sun had just started creeping up into the sky, the air was crisp
  1039. >You could hear the birds chirping
  1040. >You were tired, and sore, but happy that you were finally starting your little journey
  1041. >Trixie was just staring straight ahead, lost in thought
  1042. >It wasn't until you had been on the road for around an hour that she finally spoke
  1043. >"Anonymous?"
  1044. "Yes?"
  1045. >The mare looked over at you, then back toward the road
  1046. >"Trixie would like to thank you. With this. She hadn't realized what state her wagon was in. I had let it, and myself, go. I suppose a stallion's touch was needed for me to see the error of my ways."
  1047. >You couldn't help but smile
  1048. >Freakish monster or not, there was still a pony somewhere in this Trixie
  1049. >And ponies, as everyone knew, were pretty easy to nudge back onto a better path
  1050. >They just needed some care and friendship, then they'd stop being deranged, evil fucks and start being ponies again
  1051. >At least that  had been the case...
  1052. >Before whatever had fucked up the last Equestria had turned everyone into shadows of themselves
  1053. >That hadn't happened here yet, and you meant to keep it that way if you could
  1054. >Reaching over, you placed a hand on her shoulder
  1055. "We still got some work to do, but this is a good start, huh?"
  1056. >Trixie smiled, nodding as she spurred the wagon to go a little faster
  1057. >"Trixie supposes so. So, how are we going to find this Starlight Glimmer?"
  1058. "She won't be too hard to find. If I'm right, and I'm pretty sure I'm right, she built herself a little town not too far from Manehatten."
  1059. >"That is a considerable distance. A week away at least."
  1060. "I'm in no hurry. Besides, we need to adjust your act a bit for her."
  1061. >"Adjust her act? Trixie assures you that her act is PERFECT."
  1062. "Not yet it's not," you said, leaning back as the mare glared at you. "What we're dealing with is a very powerful unicorn. She might almost be as powerful as one of the princesses. We have to be a bit careful here."
  1063. >Trixie's glare disappeared, replaced with a look of worry
  1064. >"And you're sure it'll be safe?"
  1065. "Pretty sure. Starlight is strong magically, but she isn't the brightest. She's got a lot of the traits and quirks of your usual dictator. What we need to do is outsmart and unbalance her."
  1066. >"And you can do this?"
  1067. >You, in fact, didn't know if you could do this
  1068. >This was Poochie you were talking about
  1069. >Not just average, annoying Poochie either
  1070. >This was the Poochie that could rip a cutiemark off a pony, and thought doing so was a good idea
  1071. >A powerful control freak that hated change more than you hated feet
  1072. >Lord knows what she'd do when you got there
  1073. "Yep, I'm sure. This just needs a stallion's touch."
  1074. >Your answer seemed to calm Trixie a bit, her smile returning
  1075. "First though, we'll need to make a quick stop."
  1076. >"Oh? Where?"
  1077. "A place you don't care very much for."
  1078. >"...And that place is?"
  1079. "Ponyville."
  1080. >The glare returned, along with a frown so deep that you swore it left her face
  1081. "Just for a bit," you promised. "I need to take care of something very important before we go up north."
  1082. >"You know, Trixie can't help but wonder why in Equestria a tax services agent was sent to save the world, much less a tax services agent that was also a stallion."
  1083. >You reached into your pocket, pulling out a pair of glasses that you had bought from the market the other day
  1084. >They were a size too small, but you liked to think they got your point across as you put them on
  1085. "Because I'm damn good at my job, that's why. Now put this thing into cruise mode. I don't want to fall off this thing if we hit a pothole."
  1086. >"Trixie doesn't know what that is. You weirdo."
  1087. "Good."
  1088.  
  1089.  
  1090. >"Ugh, Trixie hates this town."
  1091. "Shhh, don't be so loud."
  1092. >"Trixie doesn't understand why we need to be in this dump."
  1093. "Because I said so. Now make sure you stay away from anypony that might remember you when you're in the market. If you see Twilight or her little friends you walk in the other direction."
  1094. >"This is dumb."
  1095. "Shut it. We'll be in and out before the day is over."
  1096. >"Can Trixie at least wear her cap and hat?"
  1097. "Can you wear the most distinctive and recognizable thing about you?"
  1098. >"Yes!"
  1099. "Absolutely not, and you're fucking dumb for even asking."
  1100. >You were back in Ponyville
  1101. >The starting point of the little adventure in this freak-o world you had found yourself it
  1102. >It hadn't been easy to get here
  1103. >It seemed like half of the guard was out looking for you
  1104. >Thankfully, Trixie's all-consuming terror in being put away for tax fraud meant that she was pretty good at blending into the background when needed, but even then it hadn't been easy
  1105. >The wagon had been stopped more than once
  1106. >The last time, the unit of guards almost saw through your paper mask and drawn on cutiemark
  1107. >After the first time you had put on your "disguise", your cover of being a tax services agent had been thrown right out the window
  1108. >Trixie had been... peeved to say the least, which had been pretty funny
  1109. >It had been even funnier when you told her that you were actually a twice-dead alien from an entirely different universe that was here to change the future
  1110. >She hadn't believed you, and went on all day about yarn-spinning colts and the stories that they made up, along with some pretty colorful things about you, your family, and your mother in particular
  1111. >Oddly enough though, she had still wanted to go along with your plan, which was pretty awesome, since you had no idea how you'd be able to pull this off without her
  1112. >You and Trixie were on the very outskirts of town
  1113. >Hopefully far enough that Pinkie's Pinkie Sense didn't go off telling her that you were both back in town
  1114. >She'd know you were here eventually, but if you were quick enough maybe she wouldn't find you
  1115. >Trixie was in a sweatshirt with a cap on her head, hands in her pockets
  1116. >You were wearing the same clothes you had worn since dying
  1117. >They had been washed, but they were starting to get a little raggy
  1118. >Maybe you could get some clothes made in Manehatten before going to "Our Town"?
  1119. >To be fair though, even if you had another set of clothing, it'd be pretty goddamn hard for you to blend into a crowd
  1120. >You weren't going to be wearing your paper mask or anything either
  1121. >Hopefully there weren't any guards patrolling the village
  1122. >From the hill you and Trixie stood on, you could see ponies milling around
  1123. >Trixie let out a long-suffering sigh, looking up at you
  1124. >"Trixie is sure she'll be able to move undetected, but she fears a large, gullible, simple-minded stallion like yourself will have a much harder time. Be careful."
  1125. >You couldn't help but smile
  1126. "Hey, you're the one that thought I was a tax agent."
  1127. >Trixie puffed her cheeks out
  1128. >"Trixie didn't believe that for a second," she said, puffing her chest out. "She saw through your ruse immediately, but it was so desperate and terrible that she couldn't help but take pity on you."
  1129. "I'm sure."
  1130. >You watched as a group of pegasi flew overhead
  1131. >Mailponies by the look of them
  1132. >They were busying carrying what looked like a piano, but they had no doubt seen you
  1133. >Better get started before somepony got nosy
  1134. "Alright. I'll go down first. Wait a few minutes before following me."
  1135. >"And why must Trixie do that again?"
  1136. "Because it should look like we didn't come together."
  1137. >"Why not?"
  1138. "Because that's what they say to do in the movies."
  1139. >"...What in Luna's name is a movie?"
  1140. >You ignored the question, giving her shoulder a pat before starting down the dirt road
  1141. >You knew the layout of the town well enough to take the less used back alleys and roads
  1142. >Ponies did see you, and some seemed curious, but not enough to make you worry
  1143. >As far as they were concerned, you were just a big stallion wandering around lost
  1144. >Hopefully
  1145. >Over the next hour or so, you made your way from one side of town to another, looking for a particular horse
  1146. >You looked everywhere, and had almost given up hope, when you saw her in the middle of town
  1147. >She was sitting neat the town's fountain, a hay smoothie in her freaky hand
  1148. >Lyra
  1149. >Human enthusiast and all around weirdo
  1150. >Seeing her almost made you want to leave the alley you were standing in and rush over to her, but you resisted
  1151. >There was nopony close to her, meaning you might be able to get her to come to you without anyone noticing if you were careful
  1152. "Lyra!" you called as loud as you dared, eyes darting around to see if Bonbon was out and about. "Lyra! You, with the green mane and little horn!"
  1153. >You had to call a few more times before the mare's ears perked up
  1154. >She looked around, gaze eventually settling on you
  1155. >You watched as her smoothie fell out of her hands, her eyes growing huge
  1156. "Get your butt over here," you said, beckoning her toward you with a hand. "I need you to--"
  1157. >Lyra disappeared in a flash of green magic
  1158. >Before you could fully process that she was gone, she reappeared right in front of you with a pop
  1159. >She had the same smile on her face as her horse version had the moment she had seen you
  1160. >Wide, toothy, manic
  1161. >"Are you a human?" she asked, bouncing in place. "You're a human, aren't you?! Please tell me you're a human! Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease!"
  1162. >You lifted a hand up to place over her mouth, but thought better of it
  1163. >Whenever you'd do that to horse Lyra, she'd lick your palm
  1164. "I am, Lyra, but we can't focus on that right--"
  1165. >"I KNEW it. Ponies always told me I was crazy, that you guys didn't exist, but I never lost hope. Ohhhh, I have so many questions!"
  1166. "I know you do, but I really--"
  1167. >"Why are you go big? Do you have hands for feet like the stories say? Do you have a flying machine that you could show me. Ohohoho! How about--"
  1168. "LYRA!"
  1169. >"Yeeeeees?"
  1170. >You wiped your mouth with your hand, standing down at the thrilled unicorn
  1171. "I need you to keep it together for five minutes," you said. "Can you do that for me, you silly horse?"
  1172. >"I don't think so," she replied happily, shaking her head
  1173. "Well, I need you to try. I know you have a lot of questions. I get it. Sometime in the future I'll answer them for you, but--"
  1174. >"When?"
  1175. "Sometime soon, and shut up for a second."
  1176. >"Yes sir."
  1177. >You placed a hand on her shoulder
  1178. >She let out a squeal, looking at your hand, then at you, then back at your hand
  1179. >She looked so happy that she looked about ready to explode
  1180. "I need you to do something for me, something very important. Are you listening?"
  1181. >"I haven't listened so hard in all my bucking LIFE!"
  1182. "Good. Your buddy Twilight, do you talk with her a lot?"
  1183. >Lyra stopped her bouncing, some of the excitement leaving her face
  1184. >"...No, not really," she said, face scrunching up. "I talk to her here and there, but I kind of leave her alone. Twi was really never the social type when we were in Canterlot, and I never want to bother her, since she's Celestia's student and has so much going on."
  1185. "Well, I need you to bother her now," you said, leaning down so that you were eye-level with her. "Moondancer needs you help."
  1186. >"Moondancer?" Lyra parroted, brow furrowing.
  1187. >You nodded
  1188. "I need you to go to Twilight as soon as you can. Catch up with her, get buddy-buddy again. Say something about Canterlot, about all of your friends up there. Most importantly, I need you to talk to her about Moondancer."
  1189. >"Why? What's wrong with Moonie?" the unicorn asked
  1190. "Your friend wasn't the same when Twilight left without a word. She's not in a good place right now because of it," you said. "She needs to go up there and fix things between them. I don't care how you do it, but you need to get Twilight up there, Lyra. Do you understand? You need to trust me when I say that this is really, really important, alright?"
  1191. >Almost all of the excitement had left the little unicorn in front of you
  1192. >She now looked concerned, staring up at you with a thoughtful expression
  1193. >"Is something bad gonna happen to Moonie?" she asked quietly
  1194. "It might if Twilight doesn't get up there asap," you replied.
  1195. >She nodded slowly
  1196. >"Alright, then I'll go talk to her today," she said, puffing her chest out. "I'll drag her to Canterlot if I have to."
  1197. >You smiled
  1198. "Good, I knew I could count on you."
  1199. >Lyra took a step back, biting her lower lip
  1200. >"Mister?"
  1201. "Anon's fine."
  1202. >"Okay, Anon. If I do this, could you do something for me? Pretty please?"
  1203. "Depends on the something."
  1204. >She looked behind her, then up at the sky
  1205. >Hopping forward, she leaned into your ear and began to whisper
  1206. >As you listened, a frown came to your face, until you eventually stood back up, very concerned and not too happy
  1207. "You want me to..." you began, only to stop
  1208. >She nodded
  1209. >"Pleaaaaaase?" she asked, clasping her hands together
  1210. >You looked at the unicorn for several seconds, before letting out a sigh
  1211. "Goddammit. Fine. You got yourself a deal. Just go talk to Twilight. Keep your mouth shut about seeing me too. I have a lot of secret human things going on that you ponies can't know about. Got it?"
  1212. >Lyra let out a squeal, giving you a hug
  1213. >"Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!" she said, giving your chest a nuzzle
  1214. >Breaking the hug, she spun around and took off out of the alley and back out into the marketplace, so excited that she nearly collided with the Cutiemark Crusaders
  1215. >You watched as she reached toward the direction of the treebrary, shaking your head
  1216. >That had gone pretty well...
  1217. >You had sort of been expecting Bonbon to appear out of the shadows to try and arrest you or something...
  1218. >Turning back toward the alley, you began to make your way down it
  1219. >You had spoken with one horse, now you needed to speak with another
  1220. >This one would be a hell of a lot harder to convince than the town weirdo
  1221. >She might have also been far more important
  1222. >Nothing really interesting happened as you made your way through town toward the Whitetail Woods
  1223. >Not a lot of ponies came out this way, other than the occasional weather pony or two that liked to hide in the trees to snooze during their shift
  1224. >You made your way down the dirt road, listening to the birds singing
  1225. >There were so many of the little guys flying around
  1226. >If you didn't know any better, you'd say that they were practicing
  1227. >You continued along until a little bridge came within sight
  1228. >Not far from that little bridge, seated above a babbling brook, was a cottage
  1229. >The bird chirping was getting louder, more musical
  1230. >With it, you could hear a voice
  1231. >"Oh, that's very good Seederson. Um, Chirpers, could you please keep with the tempo? You're messing the others up a teeny bit. There we go. You're all doing so wonderfully."
  1232. >Walking over the bridge, you saw the mare you were looking for
  1233. >Fluttershy
  1234. >She was standing in front of a wooden contraption of her own making
  1235. >The thing allowed about a hundred birds to sit comfortably wing-to-wing
  1236. >About that many were sitting on the thing, chirping away
  1237. >It sounded like bird calls to you, but to her it was no doubt a lovely melody
  1238. >She was moving her arms like some sort of conductor, her body swaying
  1239. >Her back was turned to you, but you could feel the smile on her face
  1240. >You stood there, arms behind your back, patently waiting as Fluttershy led her little flock through it's lesson
  1241. >Some of the birds singing eyed you curiously, but none stopped their singing
  1242. >As much as you needed to talk to Fluttershy, you didn't want to be a bother
  1243. >Not yet anyway
  1244. >She might have looked like some sort of freak of nature, but she was still Fluttershy, and there wasn't any need to give the poor pegasus a heart attack
  1245. >A good ten minutes passed before she lowered her arms with a happy hum
  1246. >"Thank you very much for your hard work, everyone," she said with a little bounce
  1247. >One of the birds--a big, fat bluejay-- chirped, pointing toward you with a wing
  1248. >Fluttershy stiffened, looking over her shoulder
  1249. >You could barely see her eye with her long pink mane in the way, but she could obviously see you
  1250. >She seemed to get a little smaller, ears pinning against the sides of her skull
  1251. >"Oh... um. Hello," she said, so quietly that you had to strain to hear her. "You're that stallion from the other day. Are you feeling better?"
  1252. "I am," you replied with a nod. "Thank you for taking me into town. I appreciate it."
  1253. >She slowly turned around, still hiding her face behind her mane
  1254. >This wasn't the Fluttershy you had seen yesterday; the caring mare that forgot her shyness whenever there was someone in need
  1255. >This was baseline, nervous Fluttershy
  1256. >A tricky Fluttershy that would fly into her house if you weren't careful
  1257. >Thankfully, you were wise to this little butter yellow horse, and had a trick up your sleeve
  1258. >Lifting your hand up, careful not to move too quickly, you coughed into it
  1259. >Fluttershy fidgeted with her hands, obviously uncomfortable
  1260. >Taking a deep breath, you did something you knew would calm her down
  1261. >You began to sing
  1262.  
  1263. "The sun'll come out tomorrow
  1264. Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow
  1265. There'll be sun
  1266. Just thinkin' about tomorrow
  1267. Clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow
  1268. 'Til there's none
  1269.  
  1270. When I'm stuck a with day that's gray and lonely
  1271. I just stick out my chin and grin, and say, oh
  1272.  
  1273. The sun'll come out tomorrow
  1274. So you gotta hang on 'til tomorrow
  1275. Come what may!"
  1276.  
  1277. >Fluttershy's ears perked up
  1278. >The mare seemed to get just a little bit bigger, standing up straight as she listened
  1279. >The birds seemed to be listening as well, ceasing their chirping to look at you
  1280.  
  1281. "Tomorrow, tomorrow
  1282. I love ya tomorrow
  1283. You're always a day away
  1284.  
  1285. When I'm stuck a with day that's gray and lonely
  1286. I just stick out my chin and grin, and say, oh
  1287.  
  1288. The sun'll come out tomorrow
  1289. So you gotta hang on 'til tomorrow
  1290. Come what may!"
  1291.  
  1292. >A small smile came to her face
  1293. >She began to sway as you turned your back on her, lifting your arms up
  1294. >Time for the finisher
  1295.  
  1296. "Tomorrow, tomorrow
  1297. I love ya tomorrow
  1298. You're always a day away
  1299. Tomorrow, tomorrow
  1300. I love ya tomorrow
  1301. You're always a day away!"
  1302.  
  1303. >You heard chirping as you lowered your arms
  1304. >Turning back around, you saw the birds clapping their wings together
  1305. >Fluttershy was clapping as well, no longer hiding behind that mane of hers
  1306. >"That was very good, mister," she said, taking a step toward you. "You have a lovely voice."
  1307. >You cleared your throat
  1308. >That end bit always fucked up your vocal cords
  1309. "Thank you very much, Fluttershy. I'm glad you think so."
  1310. >You took a small step toward her, ready to move right back if she suddenly got nervous
  1311. >When you saw no negative reaction, you took another step, then another, eventually stopping just a few feet from her
  1312. "I've heard you had a pretty good voice yourself," you said
  1313. >"Oh, I don't know about that," Fluttershy replied, looking down at the ground. "There's so many better ponies than me."
  1314. "Oh, I doubt that. You were the one that helped me learn a thing or two after I had a bit too much to drink at one of Pinkie's parties. I don't remember much about it, but you told me I was so bad that ponies were begging Twilight to turn me into a statue to make it stop."
  1315. >Fluttershy looked back up, confused
  1316. >You just continued to smile, taking another step toward her
  1317. "I was so bad in the beginning, but you were so patient. You were always patient and understanding. I think out of everypony in town, you were the next one after Twilight to give me a chance. I don't know if I ever told your pony-self, but that meant so much to me in the beginning."
  1318. >Another step
  1319. >This time, Fluttershy took a half-step back, staring at you like you had grown a second head
  1320. >You stopped, squatting down
  1321. >She seemed to calm down a bit once she was bigger than you
  1322. "Fluttershy, I know I sound like a crazy person, spouting a whole lot of nonsense. I know you're probably thinking that you need to go tell Twilight, or make an excuse to get away from the nutso colt in front of you. I get it. Sometimes I think I'm crazy too, and not in a good way."
  1323. >She let out a giggle at that, taking a step toward you
  1324. >There was still confusion on her face, but you could see curiosity as well
  1325. >You were quiet for a few moments, trying to think on how to get your point across as clearly and believably as possible
  1326. >Unfortunately for you, words weren't your strong suit, so you just decided to hit the nail right on the head
  1327. "Fluttershy, when you found me I wasn't just sleeping under that tree. I came from... somewhere else. I can't really explain too much. I don't know if it's safe, and I have no idea who or what is listening to us right now. You and your friends, and everyone else you know, is in a lot of trouble. Right now I'm doing my best to fix things, but I need your help."
  1328. >"Trouble?" Fluttershy said, taking another step toward you
  1329. "Something is trying to change you all for the worse. It's trying to turn you into something that you're not," you replied. "It's going to do something to Twilight in particular that I can't let happen."
  1330. >The pegasus took another step forward
  1331. >She was so close that you could now smell the shampoo that she used this morning
  1332. >"It's nice that you came to tell me this, mister, but I don't think I'm the sort of pony to come to for this," she said. "But I can take you to Twilight, and maybe she can--"
  1333. "She can't help with this one thing, Flutters. Only you."
  1334. >Fluttershy opened her mouth, then closed it
  1335. >"O-Oh... Is it scary?"
  1336. >You said nothing, just nodded
  1337. >The mare let out an "eep", wings flapping
  1338. >"Are you s-sure nopony else can help you? What about my friend Rainbow? She's awfully brave, unlike me."
  1339. >You frowned
  1340. "That's where you're wrong, Fluttershy. You might be one of the bravest ponies I know."
  1341. >You stood back up
  1342. >Thankfully, she didn't move back
  1343. "You and I are a lot alike. We don't like crowds, or people in general. I don't know about you, but I always felt different, like everyone I ever spoke to knew something that I didn't. Even when I tried to put myself out there and people talked with me it didn't feel right."
  1344. >You shrugged
  1345. "I got sick of it, that bad feeling, my anxiety. I turned away from people for the most part and gave up. Even here, and even where I was before here, it was always hard to be social. You're different from me. Where I gave up you keep trying; not just once in awhile, not when you feel up to it. You try every single day to face that anxiety, that fear. You not only do that, but you're an actually caring, kind pony while you're doing it."
  1346. >You leaned forward
  1347. "That is why I think you're the bravest little horse I've ever met, Fluttershy, and don't you dare think otherwise."
  1348. >Fluttershy looked down at her hooves, flush with praise
  1349. >"I d-don't know about all that..." she muttered
  1350. >You placed a hand under her chin, tilting her head upward to look at you
  1351. "Fluttershy, soon, maybe as we speak, there's someone really bad about to come back into the world. He's a genuinely awful, terrible pony. He hurts others, takes over their mind, even enslaves them and god knows what else."
  1352. >"O-Oh... my..."
  1353. "Princess Cadence and Shining Armor are going to go try to stop him, but they won't be able to do it alone. That's why you need to help them."
  1354. >You reached into your pocket, producing a letter you had written this morning
  1355. "Have Spike send this letter. You need to go up north with them to stop this evil person. It'll be scary, but you need to think about all the ponies he's hurt, and will hurt. I don't need to tell you to be brave, since you are already."
  1356. >She looked at the letter in your hand, eyes filled with trepidation
  1357. >You could tell that she didn't want to take it
  1358. >She really, really didn't want to
  1359. >Nevertheless, she slowly reached out to take it
  1360. >Atta girl
  1361. >She closed her eyes, taking a deep breath
  1362. >She flapped her massive wings, the force of which nearly knocked you off your feet
  1363. >Seconds ticked by, and she reopened her eyes, looking at you
  1364. >"What can you tell me about what I'll be doing, mister?"
  1365.  
  1366. >Your body refused to listen
  1367. >No matter how hard you tried to thrash, fall, curse, or fight, nothing was moving
  1368. >You could stand, you could breathe, but that was pretty much it
  1369. >At that moment, you were nothing but a prisoner in your own body, staring into a set of blue eyes
  1370. >And you did not like it
  1371. >Not even a little bit
  1372. >Twilight had told you once about Fluttershy's stare
  1373. >Said it did things to animals
  1374. >As far as you knew, the pegasus had never used it on a pony
  1375. >You had just figured that it was something that only worked on animals
  1376. >Maybe there wasn't a stare at all; it's just that all animals respected her so much that if she glared at them they'd stand to attention
  1377. >That theory was wrong
  1378. >Fluttershy did have a stare, whatever it was
  1379. >And it didn't just work on dogs and chickens
  1380. >The scariest thing about it was, other than the lack of control you now had over your body, there wasn't any feedback from it
  1381. >There was nothing physically holding you in place like magic would
  1382. >There was nothing making your head all funny
  1383. >You were just looking into her eyes as she stared at you, frozen in place
  1384. >Fluttershy hadn't wanted to use it on you, but you had insisted
  1385. >You wanted to see if it worked, otherwise she might have a much harder time with Sombra
  1386. >And boy did you wish you hadn't asked her to
  1387. >It felt like an eternity until Fluttershy looked away
  1388. >You let out a gasp the second she did so
  1389. >Your body tried to go limp, and you weren't able to catch yourself, falling down to one knee with a grunt
  1390. >"Oh my goodness!" Fluttershy said, grabbing your arm, her eyes wide with panic. "Are you okay? I didn't hurt you, did I?"
  1391. >You didn't answer her at first
  1392. >Your heart was racing, and the hairs on your arms and the back of your neck were standing on end
  1393. >You really, really hadn't liked that
  1394. "I'm... okay... I'm alright," you said, more to yourself than to her. "Everything's fine."
  1395. >With Fluttershy's help--the pegasus apologizing the whole while-- you eventually got to your feet
  1396. >Even then, your legs were shaky
  1397. >Twilight had said that you had some resistance to magic, but there was no resistance to that shit
  1398. >That'd stop Sombra right in his fucking tracks, no problem
  1399. >As you caught your breath, Fluttershy was walking around you, fretting, and talking a mile a minute
  1400. >"Are you sure you're okay? Why don't you come and sit down? Oh, I'm so sorry. I tried to warn you. That had to be SO traumatizing for a stallion. Why don't you come into my cottage. I can run you a nice warm bath and you can have a good, long cry and--"
  1401. >You raised a hand, placing it on her shoulder
  1402. >She jumped, letting out an "eep!"
  1403. "I'm fine. Better than fine actually," you lied, giving her a weak smile. "I knew you were the perfect pony for the job."
  1404. >Fluttershy just looked at you, unsure
  1405. >"Are you sure you're okay?" she asked. "There's a reason why I don't use that on ponies."
  1406. "I'm fine, and if it makes you feel any better, I'm not a pony."
  1407. >"It doesn't," she replied, tugging on the bottom of her shirt. "Are you sure I need to use The Stare on the pony I'll be fighting?"
  1408. "Yes. You need to hold him in place so Cadence and Shining can physically stop him. He can turn into smoke, but he needs to see. If you can get him to look at you he won't be going anywhere."
  1409. >Fluttershy bit her bottom lip
  1410. >"And you're really sure that he deserves it? Couldn't I just talk with him, maybe buy him a nice scented candle?"
  1411. >You snorted
  1412. "Unfortunately, I don't think that'll get you anywhere, Flutters," you replied. "You need to believe me when I tell you this guy is bad news bears. He will hurt you if be can. Or worse."
  1413. >Though she didn't look very sure, Fluttershy nodded.
  1414. >"Alright... If this will help ponies," she said.
  1415. "It will. I promise."
  1416. >"And you're sure you're alright? You don't need to sit down?"
  1417. "Oh, I'd love to sit down and have some tea with you, Fluttershy, but I need to go."
  1418. >You gave her shoulder a squeeze, taking a step back
  1419. "I have a lot things to do. Hopefully, sometime soon, I can come back here and see you all. For now though, just remember everything I said. Get that letter up to Canterlot as soon as you can, and if you can try to make sure Twilight doesn't know about it. It's for her own good."
  1420. >Again, Fluttershy nodded
  1421. >"Okay. Good luck, mister. Thank you."
  1422. >She suddenly darted forward, hugging you
  1423. >A feeling of revulsion filled you when she touched you, but it wasn't as bad as if some other anthro fuck had tried touching you
  1424. >You just awkwardly patted her back until she let you go
  1425. >With a wave, you turned around, making your way down the path toward town
  1426. >You felt exhausted, but happy
  1427. >Everything seemed to be going according to plan, and even if it wasn't anything you could do to keep that stupid book out of Twilight's hands was a good thing
  1428. >You still had it under your shirt right now
  1429. >The stupid thing
  1430. >Right then though, you could barely feel it as you walked
  1431. >There was a smile on your face
  1432. >You had been smiling so much lately that it was making your mouth sore
  1433. >It was... nice
  1434. >So much shit could go wrong at any moment, but you had--
  1435.  
  1436. YOU DARE?!
  1437.  
  1438. >You stopped, looking around, ears ringing from what felt like a gunshot going off right next to you
  1439. >It was that voice again, and it sounded pissed
  1440. >The book suddenly felt hot against your skin
  1441. "Hey, fuck you!" you said, pointing at nothing in particular. "Go be shit back in that other dimension."
  1442.  
  1443. YOU KNOW NOT WHAT YOU DO, INSECT!
  1444.  
  1445. "I know what I'm gonna do your mother, shithead. No one's getting wings here. So suck my--"
  1446. >You winced as a sharp pain suddenly came from your wrist
  1447. >Looking down, you saw the cluster of veins right below your skin
  1448. >Everything looked normal
  1449. >There wasn't even a mark of anything
  1450. >Maybe it was just a bug biting you or something?
  1451. >Frowning, you tapped a finger against your skin
  1452. "Huh... that--"
  1453. >The pain came back, a thousand times worse
  1454. >All the muscles in your back and legs spasmed as you let out a wordless scream
  1455. >You could feel it
  1456. >Something was moving INSIDE OF YOU
  1457. >You tried to run, tried to say something, but another bolt of agony tore through you, dropping you to your knees
  1458. >The veins in your wrist changed from blue to red, then red to black
  1459. >You watched as it began to run up your arm
  1460. >Panting, you tried to stop whatever was happening by grabbing with your hand and squeezing your arm as hard as you could
  1461. >It was then you noticed the color change wasn't just for the one arm, it was for both
  1462. >Just out of the corner of your eye, you could see a figure
  1463. >It was so white that it hurt to look at
  1464. >It had a mane of the deepest red, and eyes that looked like little stars
  1465.  
  1466. YOU WISH TO PLAY A PUPPETEER? I SHALL SHOW YOU WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE THAT WISH TO DEFY ME
  1467.  
  1468. >Another spasm of pain came on
  1469. >This time it didn't go away
  1470. >You curled into yourself
  1471. >The pain was so bad that you could barely think
  1472. >So you didn't
  1473. >Instead, you screamed
  1474.  
  1475. ~_~_~_~_~_~
  1476.  
  1477. >Be Cadence
  1478. >Pinkest princess
  1479. >You were walking down a lone hallway in Canterlot Castle
  1480. >You were holding the bat the giant stallion had given you
  1481. >Auntie Celestia had wanted you to get rid of it, or at the very least not carry it around everywhere that you went
  1482. >Unfortunately for her, you were a princess too, and she couldn't technically tell you what to do
  1483. >You liked carrying around a bat, thank you very much
  1484. >It made you feel like a real tough mare; like one of those gangsters from the musicals that Shining always made you go to
  1485. >There was also something comforting about having something to protect yourself
  1486. >Sure you had your magic, but there was something to be said about having something long and hard in your hands
  1487. >Heh...
  1488. >Long and hard...
  1489. >Like a fat di--
  1490. >"Your highness!"
  1491. >You stopped, looking over your shoulder to see a guard that you didn't recognize running toward you with a letter in her hand
  1492. >She stopped just short of you, kneeling down onto one knee and offering you the letter
  1493. >"Your highness, you just received a letter from one of the elements. I was told it was to be brought to you as soon as possible."
  1494. "Oh, well, thank you very much, guard," you said with a smile
  1495. >You took the letter out of her hands
  1496. >It was slightly singed
  1497. >Looked like magical fire; maybe from Twilight?
  1498. >The seal on the letter had also been opened
  1499. >Not unusual if the letter was sent via dragonfire, since that was pretty hard on paper, but still a little odd
  1500. >It could have been the mare's commanding officer, but who would have thought it was a good idea to open a princess's mail?
  1501. >As much as you would have liked to read the letter right there, you stopped yourself, instead looking the guard over
  1502. >There was something... off about her
  1503. "Guardspony? Which company are you from?" you asked. "I don't think I've seen you before."
  1504. >The mare's ears perked up
  1505. >"I just got out of boot camp, ma'am," she said. "I'm part of five-o-second."
  1506. "Five-o-second?"
  1507. >"Yes ma'am."
  1508. >You nodded, stepping around her
  1509. "Well, that's great. Thank you very much for the letter. Have you been enjoying castle life?"
  1510. >"Well, I have ma'am. It's been--"
  1511. >Changelings had very tough armor
  1512. >You had heard, during the Invasion of Canterlot, that daggers and spear tips had bounced off the little buggers' hides
  1513. >Even against blunt objects; hammers, mauls and the like, the bane of most armors, they could take a beating and come back for more
  1514. >So, with that in mind, you didn't bother holding anything back, swinging the bat as hard as you could
  1515. >It connected with the "guard's" head with a dull, meaty thud
  1516. >The impact shot up your hands, but you followed through
  1517. >A changeling was all around a pretty tough cookie, but you were stronger than any earth pony, and they hadn't expected the hit
  1518. >The guard slammed into the wall, making the windows above shake from the impact, disappearing into a flash of green flame
  1519. >Queen bucking Chrysalis herself slumped onto the floor, not moving
  1520. "Yes!" you hissed, pumping a fist into the air. "I bucking called it. The five-o-second isn't based anywhere near Canterlot, you dumb husband stealing bug!"
  1521. >Chrysalis, of course, didn't answer
  1522. >She was still breathing however, which was both a relief and a shame
  1523. >A Changeling Queens' hide must be particularly tough
  1524. >You walked over, nudging her with your bat
  1525. >She let out a groan
  1526. >You just giggled
  1527. >If you ever met that big stallion again, you'd have to thank him
  1528. >You also had to see if you could change your title now
  1529. >Princess Mi Amore Cadenza
  1530. >Princess of Love and Bats
  1531. >It had a wonderful little ring to it if you did say so yourself
  1532. >Tucking your bat underneath your arm, you once again turned your attention toward the now crinkled up letter in your hands
  1533. >You opened it, and to your surprise it was an actual letter, not something Chrysalis had given you as a distraction to try to coltnap you again
  1534. >The handwriting was obviously a colts, written in a small, neat hand
  1535.  
  1536. Dear Pink Princess,
  1537.  
  1538. I hope this letter finds you well. I hope you like your bat. I don't know if your aunt told you this, but a place called the Crystal Empire is going to appear up north soon. I don't know if you know anything about it, or if you know who ruled it before it disappeared, but when it does come back you need to bring Fluttershy with you. I promise she'll make taking the kingdom back a hell of a lot easier.
  1539.  
  1540. Your aunt won't want you to do this. Ignore her. Please. Also, don't let her know about this letter. You only met me the one time, and I didn't make a very good first impression, but trust me. Not taking the yellow shy horse with you will make things a lot harder.
  1541.  
  1542. Yours, the big green guy
  1543.  
  1544. >...
  1545. >Huh...
  1546. >You read the letter again, then one more time
  1547. >You remember Auntie Celestia saying something about the Crystal Empire
  1548. >She had told you about a heart in the middle of that crystal city, one that could drive away all evil
  1549. >She didn't explain it very well, being as mysterious and vague as always, but you remembered the name
  1550. >You frowned
  1551. "Very, very strange alright..."
  1552. >Chrysalis let out another groan, bringing you back to reality
  1553. >You looked down at her, folding up your letter before tossing it into the air
  1554. >With a thought, it went up in flames, turning into nothing but ash before it hit the ground
  1555. >Usually, you wouldn't listen to strange stallions, no matter how large or strange they were
  1556. >But, that being said, he HAD given you a bat
  1557. >At the very least you could humor him a bit, right?
  1558. >Snapping your fingers, you lifted Chrysalis into the air
  1559. "We'll see if this Crystal Empire appears anytime soon. For now, lets get you to the dungeons. I'm sure they have a cramped and wet cell waiting just for you, you cunt."
  1560. >Bound in your magic, Chrysalis just groaned yet again
  1561.  
  1562. ~_~_~_~_~
  1563.  
  1564. >Pain
  1565. >You felt it in every cell of your body
  1566. >Parts of you you had never felt before hurt
  1567. >Everything was blurry and faint
  1568. >It was so hard to breathe that you found yourself passing out from lack of oxygen, though never for long
  1569. >The sound of your blood pumping roared in your ears
  1570. >All the veins in your arms were black
  1571. >Your body was shaking
  1572. >Something was leaking out of you
  1573. >You couldn't see what it was, but you could FEEL the leaking
  1574. >You were somehow both freezing and burning up
  1575. >It was scary
  1576. >You were scared
  1577. >You wanted the pain to stop
  1578. >This was so much worse than dying
  1579. >If you died at least it'd be all over
  1580. >"Well, well, well, what in Equestria do we have here? Looks like I found the stallion of the hour! Goodie me!"
  1581. >Somehow, you were able to lift your head up
  1582. >There was someone in front of you; who, you couldn't quite make out
  1583. >They also seemed to be saying something, though you didn't hear a word of it
  1584. >A pony maybe?
  1585. >"You seem to be in quite a state. It's been a long time since I've seen somepony in so much pain. You really must have upset somepony big in the grand scheme of things. Here, lets see if uncle Discord can help."
  1586. >Something touched your forehead
  1587. >It was sharp, cool
  1588. >The second it touched you, the pain went away, allowing you to suck a proper lungful of air
  1589. >You gasped and sputtered, before turning your head and emptying the contents of your stomach all over the ground, along with what looked like blood
  1590. >Speaking of blood, you could feel it dripping down your nose, out of your ears, even out of the corners of your eyes
  1591. >At least you hoped it was blood and not brain matter
  1592. >You already didn't have enough of that stuff as it was
  1593. >"There we go! Right as rain. Well... right-ish."
  1594. >You were about to slump over, but a paw stopped you
  1595. >Shaking like a leaf, you looked up
  1596. >It was Discord
  1597. >That pain in the ass, mismatched demon
  1598. >God, if your legs were working you'd have kissed him
  1599. >Your body jerked as you began to dry heave, only saved from kissing the cold, hard dirt because of Discord
  1600. >Relief swept through you
  1601. >Nothing you had ever done had felt that horrible
  1602. >Not Fluttershy's stare, not drinking bleach, nothing
  1603. >You weren't afraid to die, but now you knew there were things much worse than dying
  1604. >Much, much worse
  1605. >The relief swelled and swelled until, to your shame, you let out a sob
  1606. >Tears filled your vision
  1607. >Were you in the right state of mind, you'd be horrified with yourself right now, but you couldn't help it
  1608. >It was like your body was acting all on it's own and you were just there for the ride
  1609. >Discord held you upright as you dry heaved, shook, and cried with an almost bored expression on his face
  1610. >"Come on, don't be such a little colt about this, Anonymous. You were only just about to be erased from existence. No need to make such a big deal out of something so silly. Next you'll be complaining that you can't vote! Honestly, there's something wrong with you modern stallions!"
  1611. >With a snap of his fingers, a glass of chocolate milk appeared right next to you
  1612. >You took it, emptying the whole glass in two swallows, and almost puking it all back up
  1613. >Discord then summoned a rag, which he used to clean the spit, tears, snot, and blood from your face
  1614. >"Come on, chin up. The big, bad otherworldly thing can't hurt you while I'm here. For now."
  1615. >Slowly, you began to calm down
  1616. >The tears stopped, as did the sobbing
  1617. >You even got enough strength back to keep from falling over
  1618. >It took a good, long while, but you were eventually able to speak
  1619. "That... fucking sucked."
  1620. >"It seemed like it, my boy. Usually, when somepony is erased, it happens in a flash. You seemed somewhat resistant. Unfortunately for you," The draconequus said, tugging on his beard. "Now get that fanny up. You have a wagon to get back to."
  1621. >You were hauled to your feet, only to fall back down onto your knees
  1622. >Discord clicked his tongue, and with a snap of his paw, candy canes appeared on either side of both legs
  1623. >He lifted you back up to your feet away, and the candy canes kept you upright
  1624. >"Come on, before the sun goes down," he said with another snap
  1625. >You began walking
  1626. >Well, more stumbling than walking, but it was something
  1627. >Discord floated right next to you, arms folded against his chest
  1628. >The two of you were quiet as you both made your way toward town
  1629. "Discord?"
  1630. >"Hmmm?"
  1631. "Thank you, for whatever you did."
  1632. >Discord scoffed
  1633. >"You know, I had come down here to teach you a lesson, young stallion. Hitting your elders like you were some rotten crook; shame on you."
  1634. >He tsked
  1635. >"If I were a harsher Spirit of Chaos, I would have let you suffer for a bit longer."
  1636. "What even was happening to me?"
  1637. >"You were being erased, like I said. Not just killed; you were being made to disappear, from hearts, from minds, even from reality. You're lucky I got here when I did, otherwise all of your hard work would have gone up in smoke."
  1638. >You swallowed, throat dry
  1639. "Do you know what was trying to do that to me?"
  1640. >"I have some ideas," Discord said. "There aren't many creatures that could do something like that. Certainly no mere god or goddess. Whoever they are, they're a might bit scarier than myself."
  1641. >He looked over at you, eyes narrowed slightly
  1642. >"My boy?"
  1643. "Yeah?"
  1644. >"What is your name?"
  1645. "My name? It's Anon. You know it is. You called me by my name the second you saw me, remember?"
  1646. >"No. We both know that's not your name. Tell me what it is."
  1647. >You frowned, looking away from him
  1648. >"Tell me your real name," he said. "Don't you think I deserve something for saving you? You tell me your name and we'll be square. Pinkie Promise."
  1649. "..."
  1650. >"Just your first name would be fine, or your last name if you prefer."
  1651. "..."
  1652. >"What about the first letter in either?"
  1653. "Shut up."
  1654. >"Could you tell me what your father looked like? Or your mother? Do you remember their name. Did you have any family?"
  1655. "Shut. Up."
  1656. >"Do you remember anything from your original world? Your hopes, your dreams? What was your favorite color? Your favorite food? What color was the sky on your world? Were you always green? Could you--"
  1657. >You turned to face him
  1658. "What does that have to do with anything?" you demanded.
  1659. >Discord stopped his floating, lowering himself on his mismatched limbs
  1660. >You were a giant here, but he was larger still, towering over you
  1661. >He was staring down at you strangely
  1662. >"I think you're ankle deep in trouble you can't even begin to understand, Anonymous," he said. "I'm all for a little chaos, but changing fate?"
  1663. >He gestured toward the book still hidden underneath your shirt
  1664. >It still felt unnaturally warm
  1665. >"That is another thing entirely. No wonder you humans have such a horrible reputation. Heaven knows what will happen if you keep it up. If you continue to push, something might break, and if that happens the very world could be altered. Still..."
  1666. >He smiled his ugly, single-toothed smile
  1667. >"I want to see what happens. Come, lets get you back to the wagon. You still have work to do."
  1668.  
  1669.  
  1670. >Be Trixie
  1671. >The Grrrrrrreat and Powerful!
  1672. >Things had been very... strange lately
  1673. >There you had been, getting more and more upset at each performance
  1674. >Your acts had suffered, and more than once you had been run out of one of the many towns you visited
  1675. >What Twilight Sparkle had done to you festered like a wound
  1676. >You had wanted that mare to pay
  1677. >Not the buck-her-coltfriend-to-get-back-at-her sort of payback
  1678. >You had wanted to hurt her, and not only her but the ones she cared about as deeply and painfully as you could
  1679. >Honestly? You had been in a very dark place
  1680. >But then this weird, ugly, giant stallion had come into your life
  1681. >Anon, he called himself
  1682. >Anon the human; whatever the hay a human was
  1683. >He was a ill-tempered, disrespectful, noisy stallion that ate far too much of your food
  1684. >He needed a good kick in the mouth too, just to adjust that little attitude of his
  1685. >Luckily for him, The Great and Powerful Trixie did not hurt stallions unless they were into rough play
  1686. >That and he was twice your size
  1687. >Not that you couldn't beat him up if you wanted to, since you were great and powerful in all things, stallion-beating included, but you didn't want to test that out at this time
  1688. >Still, despite his looks and manners and general disposition, he had been like a splash of cold water to your mental health
  1689. >Revenge no longer invaded every thought
  1690. >You had been sleeping better, looking after yourself
  1691. >Heck, with his help, your wagon was looking brand new!
  1692. >Sure, he had lied to your face and threatened you with jailtime so you'd help him stop a dangerous unicorn, but you had to admit that you owed the human for his help
  1693. >Not that you'd ever say that to him of course, but still
  1694. >It had been a few days since you had returned to Ponyville
  1695. >The place was as uncultured and filthy as you had remembered
  1696. >It was so country that you half expected banjos playing and mares kissing their brothers
  1697. >Country bumpkin town or not, they did seem to have a rather extensive market
  1698. >You had stocked up on everything you had needed, along with something very special
  1699. >Fireworks
  1700. >Anon had insisted that you get as many as you could
  1701. >When you asked why, he simply insisted that you'd need them for the act you were going to perform at this place called "Our Town"
  1702. >Did he know how to set up a performance, or everything that went into doing something like that?
  1703. >Absolutely not, but he wouldn't hear anything from you
  1704. >Typical colt; they're right even when they have no bucking idea what they're talking about
  1705. >After getting everything you had "needed", you moved your wagon around the outskirts of the town and waited for Anon to do whatever he needed to do in Ponyville
  1706. >You had expected him to turn up with bags full of clothing and colty knick-knacks that he didn't need
  1707. >What happened was that he turned up, pale and shaken, helped by Discord
  1708. >The bucking Lord of Chaos turned up at your wagon at the drop of the hat
  1709. >Scared the crackers out of you
  1710. >He said hello to you, all smiles with his creepy red eyes, then she did... something to your wagon
  1711. >You had no idea what
  1712. >It didn't look any different, but when he snapped his claw something felt strange
  1713. >Anon seemed a bit more relaxed after he did it
  1714. >They talked quietly for a bit before the draconequus disappeared in a puff of pink smoke
  1715. >The human had gone into the wagon, laid down onto the floor near your bed--it was too small to fit him; besides, you weren't sharing a bed--and passed out
  1716. >A few days had passed since then, and Anon was different
  1717. >He was quieter, more sullen
  1718. >You could barely get a rise out of him no matter what you tried
  1719. >Sometimes, you needed to make him eat
  1720. >Most of the time he'd just stare off down the road as your wagon ate up the miles
  1721. >In most cases, you wouldn't have much of an issue with this
  1722. >You loved nothing more than a colt that kept his mouth shut
  1723. >But Anon seemed a tad traumatized, which made you wonder what the hay had happened in Ponyville
  1724. >Did some mare molest him or something?
  1725. >You sure as heck hoped that hadn't happened
  1726. >As your wagon chugged along, you looked over at the human
  1727. >He had his hands in his lap, looking at nothing in particular
  1728. >You cleared your throat
  1729. >There was no reaction from him
  1730. >You tried again, this time louder
  1731. >Again, nothing
  1732. >This time, you nudged his ribs with your elbow as you cleared your throat
  1733. >He jumped, looking over at you with a frown
  1734. "You know, you never told Trixie what happened in Ponyville," you said.
  1735. >He grunted, looking back to the road
  1736. >"I was talking to some ponies."
  1737. "Oh? Did whatever they say to you put you into your little rut?"
  1738. >"Rut?"
  1739. "Yes, a rut. Some mare didn't touch you, did they?"
  1740. >Anon snorted
  1741. >"No," he said, shoulders slumping. "I just realized that I could really, actually die."
  1742. "What?! Is somepony trying to kill you?" you asked, wide eyed
  1743. >Thankfully, the human shook his head
  1744. >"Not... exactly. Not a pony at least," he said. "I just learned that there's a very good chance that I'm able to die. It's a lot to take in, and I'm still trying to process it I guess."
  1745. >You let his words settle in, though with each second that passed you found your eyes narrowing
  1746. "...That is the stupidest thing Trixie has ever heard," you said, looking over at him. "Of course you can die. Everypony dies. What kind of school did you go to that said you couldn't die?"
  1747. >"I'm talking about a different kind of dying," Anon said defensively
  1748. "There's no different kind of dying," you replied with a shake of your head. "Dying is dying, slow or quick. Unless you become a princess, there's no getting away from it."
  1749. >Honestly, you had been worried there for a second...
  1750. >But no, he was just being a dumb stallion...
  1751. >Next he'd tell you the weather worked on it's own or something stupid like that...
  1752. "And so what if you're going to die?" you continued. "Many ponies aren't on this earth for a long time, so we may as well enjoy ourselves while we're here."
  1753. >"We're not here for a long time, we're here for a good time..."
  1754. "Exactly! Now quit being so glum. The only thing worse than a prissy colt is a sad one. BE. HAPPY. You get to spend your days with the Grrrreat and Powerful Trixie; most aren't so lucky!"
  1755. >It was quiet then for some time
  1756. >You snuck peeks over at him ever so often
  1757. >He looked thoughtfully ahead, processing your words
  1758. >As he should!
  1759. >You weren't just a pretty face and magnificent talent after all!
  1760. >He suddenly stood up straight, rolling his shoulders
  1761. >"That might have been the worst pep talk I've ever heard in my life," he said with a grin
  1762. >You made a suitably outraged noise
  1763. >Quickly glancing around to see if anypony else was on the road or looking at you, you smack his chest
  1764. "Trixie is one of the greatest pep talkers that have ever lived, colt!" you said, puffing your chest out
  1765. >Anon chuckled
  1766. >"Could have fooled me," he said. "Trixie?"
  1767. "What?" you said, a little more angrily that you should have
  1768. >"Thanks for trying. I get what you were trying for, and I think you're right."
  1769. >He looked up at the sky
  1770. >"If I'm gonna fucking die I'm dying making a goddamn difference. Even if no one remembers me, even if the dying is awful. I'm not gonna stop; stopping and being alive would be so much worse."
  1771. >He shivered, a haunted look coming to his eyes for a moment before he turned his attention back toward you
  1772. >It appeared as if a weight had been lifted off his shoulders
  1773. >As you thought it would
  1774. >You were VERY good at talking to stallions
  1775. >Usually, the conversation would end up with the stallion in question without any pants on with his muzzle mashed into your marehood, but it was nice to see that you could use your silver tongue for good too
  1776. "You are very welcome," you said with a smile. "Also, Trixie believes that we need to begin to get the performance ready for this strange mare you keep referring to but never properly explaining."
  1777. >The human nodded
  1778. >"I agree. We got a lot of work to do."
  1779.  
  1780. ~_~_~_~_~_~_
  1781.  
  1782. >Be Anon
  1783. >This was it
  1784. >You were here, maybe ten or twenty miles out of Manehatten in the infamous "Our Town"
  1785. >The ground was rocky and barren
  1786. >There were houses placed seemingly at random
  1787. >Each house was made of wood; they were uniform and looked a little worse for wear
  1788. >There was no color, no sense of expression, just a bunch of creepy horses with smiles that looked like they were glued on
  1789. >Trixie was somewhere in her wagon, getting ready for her "introduction", leaving you out on top of the thing, dressed to the nines with a suit that Discord had made you with a snap of his claws
  1790. >It was real nice, though the top hat and the bowtie were a bit much in your opinion
  1791. >You felt exposed and unsettled, as if someone were watching you
  1792. >A pony someone, not whatever the fuck tried to erase you a week or so ago
  1793. >The "ponies" that walked around wore uniform grey one pieces, both mares and stallions
  1794. >Twilight from the last dimension had told you that none of these ponies had cutiemarks
  1795. >You couldn't see them with their clothes on, but you were sure it was the same here as well
  1796. >There seemed something off about these ponies, and not just their creepy smiles
  1797. >Their color seemed duller than a ponies' should have been
  1798. >They all looked a bit lost too; lost and unsure
  1799. >There was something about their eyes that made you skin crawl when they looked at you
  1800. >Still, you needed to be a trooper
  1801. >This would be all over soon, one way or another
  1802. >The townsponies seemed interested as you rode by
  1803. >Some even stopped what they were doing to follow you
  1804. >There were a couple dozen, not the two hundred or so souls that Twilight had told you made up this town so long ago
  1805. >It must have meant that ponies had only started coming here recently
  1806. >Why, you had no idea
  1807. >Starlight was a fucking weirdo
  1808. >She didn't have the sort of charisma that a cult leader needed
  1809. >Then again, common sense had started going right out the fucking window after Chrysalis had crashed Shining and Cadence's wedding back in horse-universe
  1810. >It looked like you were here before this dumb shit could fester
  1811. >You rode into the very center of the tiny town, stopping the wagon
  1812. >It looked like nearly every resident was at least looking over at you
  1813. >You loudly cleared your throat, standing up and spreading out your arms
  1814. "Colts and gentlefillies, may I please have your attention! For one day and one day only, the greatest magician and showmare in the WORLD is here to give you the performance of a lifetime!"
  1815. >You stomped your foot down onto the lever right below you like Trixie had said
  1816. >There was a click, and the side of the wagon sprung open
  1817. >A whole ass stage sprung out through clever pullies and wooden joints and springs and a whole mess of other shit
  1818. >And there, standing in the middle of the stage, striking a pose, was Trixie
  1819. >"Citizens of Our Town. Trixie is here to defeat mundanity and give you a show that you'll NEVER FORGET!"
  1820. >You jumped off the top of the wagon, landing onto the stage next to the unicorn
  1821. >The first time you had tried it whilst practicing your parts in the performance, you had almost broken your ankle, but thankfully you managed to stick the landing
  1822. "Get a chair, steal a box, sit on the ground if you need to! You won't want to miss a single second of this!"
  1823. >The crowd murmured
  1824. >Some began to look around, as if searching for someone
  1825. >Trixie nudged you
  1826. >You looked over at her, and she nudged her head at your pants
  1827. >Closing your eyes, you sighed, then did your best to smile
  1828. "Did I forget to mention that if I'm not careful, one of the tricks you'll see tonight might leave me as naked as a blue jay?"
  1829. >Almost every mare in attendance perked up
  1830. >Their hesitation forgotten, the crowd began to scramble for seating
  1831. "I swear to god if I actually get naked I'm ripping your arms off."
  1832. >"Hush. Just smile and wave like the cute stallion that they all think you are."
  1833. >It took a few minutes, but almost fifty ponies were seated right in front of the stage
  1834. >Fifty sets of eyes were staring up at you
  1835. >Waiting
  1836. >Being an anti-social weirdo that didn't like crowds in any situation, you found yourself freezing in place under so much scrutiny
  1837. >"Anon."
  1838. >You got another elbow to the ribs, making you grunt
  1839. >You looked over at Trixie
  1840. >"Don't think about the crowd," she said. "Just remember the routine. Trixie's excellence will outshine any mistakes on your part."
  1841. >You nodded, forcing yourself to let out the breath you had been holding
  1842. "Alright."
  1843. >You stepped toward the end of the stage, doing your best to calm your nerves
  1844. >Thinking about all of them in their underwear wouldn't help, since they were all furry abominations, so you just went for it
  1845. >The next few minutes were warming the crowd up
  1846. >Talking, doing some simple tricks with with a pack of playing cards that Trixie showed you
  1847. >The crowd oohed and aahed, watching each trick with wide eyes
  1848. >There was something so silly about a race that could do actual magic mesmerized by silly tricks
  1849. >You found yourself becoming less robotic and getting into it a little bit
  1850. >As your last trick--picking a stallion's card from the deck while he held it--ended, the crowd cheered and clapped and stomped their hooves
  1851. >As you bowed, it kinda felt pretty good
  1852. >No wonder Trixie did this sort of thing for a living...
  1853. >You weren't able to think much on that, since it was Trixie's turn
  1854. >Where it took you a bit to get going, she was on full blast right out of the gate, interacting with the crowd, talking, laughing, strutting around the stage like she was born to do it
  1855. >Her tricks were a heck of a lot better than yours too
  1856. >She was doing shit you couldn't make heads or tails of
  1857. >There was sword juggling, rabbits and other animals being pulled out of hats
  1858. >She was somehow able to walk off the stage and float around without any wires that you could see
  1859. >You KNEW Trixie only knew the most basic of magic, so she wasn't using any sort of spells
  1860. >But you had no fucking idea how she was doing all of it
  1861. >It was so nuts at some points that you just had to stop and watch her along with the crowd
  1862. >Thankfully, she was effortlessly able to get you into the swing of things as her assistant
  1863. >You handed her stuff, got into boxes, she even blindfolded you at one point
  1864. >You didn't know exactly what she did while you were blindfolded, but whenever the trick was done the crowd went fucking nuts
  1865. >She went from one trick to the next, only giving the crowd a few moments to clap and cheer before doing some even grander
  1866. >And there you were, doing your best to keep up
  1867. >It didn't matter if you stumbled or you went blank on what to do next; she was right there, making you seem like some sort of professional
  1868. >Say what you will about Trixie, but she seemed to be able to put on one hell of a show
  1869. >As much as you would have liked to just bask in the clapping and cheering, you kept an eye out even as you helped the unicorn
  1870. >Starlight hadn't been with the crowd that sat down in front of the stage
  1871. >She was probably somewhere being fucking shit and doing shit horse things
  1872. >Communist little turd
  1873. >Hopefully she was still in town somewhere, and if she was you could only hope that the crowd was loud enough to get her to come out to figure what was going on, because if not this was going to be a much bigger pain in the ass than it needed to be
  1874. >Ten minutes into the act, she still wasn't there
  1875. >Twenty minutes into the forty minute show, you were starting to get really, really nervous
  1876. >But then you caught a flash of purple and teal
  1877. >There was Starlight, in that STUPID haircut of hers, wearing a long, white, cult-y gown
  1878. >Around her neck was some weird necklace, and she was holding a staff
  1879. >The one she pretended to use to take cutiemarks off ponies
  1880. >You stopped dead in your tracks, bile rushing to your throat just at the sight of her
  1881. >You had tried to mentally prepare for seeing her again, but right away you could tell that it hadn't worked
  1882. >You had hated Horse-Glimmer, but as an anthro abomination?
  1883. >Doubly so; maybe even triply
  1884. >You saw red, and if it weren't for Trixie shoving an armful of, thankfully, dull swords into your hands, you might have jumped off the stage at her
  1885. >Starlight seemed annoyed as she walked toward you, standing at the back of the crowd of ponies with her arms crossed
  1886. >As discreetly as you could, you nudged Trixie, giving her "the signal"
  1887. >With a nose scrunch, some rapid blinks, and tapping a finger against your chest, you let her know that the hen was now in the cock house
  1888. >She turned toward the crowd, quickly scanning all the faces before bowing deeply
  1889. >"Trixie hopes that you've all been having a wonderful time today. Trixie knows that she has," she said, standing back up to get full height and adjusting her hat. "You've been a LOVELY audience, and right now I believe it's time to have one of you come on stage to help Anon and I with a little trick. Would anypony like to come up?"
  1890. >Immediately, a dozen hands shot up
  1891. >Ponies started calling out, some even standing up and waving
  1892. >Trixie let out a loud hum, pretending to look around to pick
  1893. >"How about... you, in the back. The one holding the staff," she said, pointing at Starlight
  1894. >The crowd looked back at the unicorn
  1895. >Many tensed, ears folding against skulls
  1896. >Starlight perked up, eyes widening in surprise
  1897. >She looked around, then pointed at herself
  1898. >Like she wasn't the only fucking pony here holding goddamn staff...
  1899. >Fucking idiot...
  1900. >Fucking dumb, stupid, shit idiot...
  1901. >"Yep, you. Please come on up and help us dazzle the crowd."
  1902. >Slowly, Starlight made her way toward the stage
  1903. >The crowd parted as she walked
  1904. >Finding your happy place, you reached out with a hand
  1905. >Starlight took it, and it took every ounce of your willpower to just lift her up onto the stage
  1906. >No punching, no throwing, no headbutting
  1907. >Nice and calm...
  1908. >Nice and calm...
  1909. >"Thank you," Starlight said, dusting herself off before turning to Trixie
  1910. >"Thank you very much for coming up here, Ms..." Trixie began.
  1911. >"My name is Starlight Glimmer," Starlight said. "I actually happen to be the leader of this town."
  1912. >"Oh, well, then it's very nice to meet you, Ms. Glimmer," Trixie replied with a bow. "This seems to be a... fine town. Isn't that right, Anon?"
  1913. >You said nothing, just looking down at Starlight
  1914. >If you were quick enough, you could grab her and suplex the mare off the stage
  1915. >It'd probably kill the both of you, but holy hell would it be worth it...
  1916. "Yeah... sure."
  1917. >Starlight puffed her chest out
  1918. >"Well, thank you very much," she said. "Myself and everypony here worked hard to build it up. More and more ponies are flocking here every day. In no time, I have a feeling that this town might become a city and then, who knows?"
  1919. >Her eyes wandered to Trixie's hip, where her cutiemark would be
  1920. >"Would you both like to come to my home after your little show? I'd like to speak with you about some... things."
  1921. "I'm sure you would, you fucking cunt?"
  1922. >"What was that, cutie?" the unicorn asked, looking over at you
  1923. "Hmm? Oh, I was just saying that there's nothing that's little about this show. You're actually in the presence of one of the greatest magicians in the world."
  1924. >Starlight tried to hide a snort by coughing into a hand
  1925. >"It does seem pretty cute; using no magic and all," she said. "None that I could see at least."
  1926. >"No magic? Trixie assures you that everything she does it not only magical, but it's beyond magic," Trixie said, flapping her cape. "Super magic, if you will."
  1927. >"It is... something alright," Starlight said, adopting the tone of someone talking to a child. "It's not very magical however. It's neat, in it's own way, but not magical."
  1928. "Oh, and you know a thing or two about magic?"
  1929. >Starlight smirked
  1930. >"Yes. That's one way of putting it."
  1931. >You and Trixie looked at each other
  1932. >You then looked at the crowd out of the corner of your eye
  1933. >Everypony was watching you three in dead silence
  1934. >The excitement and joy that had been on ponies' faces was gone, replaced with anxiety and fear
  1935. >You had asked horse-Starlight why ponies stayed in her town after she took their cutiemarks, or if they ever asked to get them back
  1936. >She had never answered you, quickly changing the subject
  1937. >Seeing this first-hand, you had a feeling that the ponies here might be more prisoners than residents
  1938. >Just the thought made you upset
  1939. >This horse right here had done--and was going to do-- so much fucked up shit
  1940. >Steal cutiemarks, try to destroy reality, try to hurt Twilight and her friends
  1941. >All for some colt that she was friends with when they were little
  1942. >And not only doesn't anything happen to her, but she got to become Twilight's student
  1943. >Her STUDENT!
  1944. >Twilight was perfectly fine turning a child into a statue, but a super-powered psycho with stallion issue was able to run around without so much as a fuss!
  1945. >That familiar anger built up again
  1946. >You closed a hand into a fist and took a deep breath
  1947. >On the exhale, you forced that hand open, taking a step toward the unicorn
  1948. >Starlight was a bit taller than Trixie, but these ponies were all tiny to you
  1949. >You towered over the mare, and as she looked up at you she seemed to realize it, taking a hasty step backwards
  1950. "I detect a little jealously there, Mrs. Glimmer," you said
  1951. >Starlight blinked
  1952. >"Jealously? Why in Equestria would I be jealous?" she asked
  1953. >You looked up at Trixie
  1954. >She looked puzzled, which was perfect since you had no fucking idea where you were going with this
  1955. >One step in front of the other...
  1956. >You'd get somewhere...
  1957. >Hopefully...
  1958. >If not, you could still try punching her...
  1959. "This town of yours is nice and all, and I'm sure you're a very magical little unicorn--"
  1960. >Starlight's ear flattened against her skull as you emphasized the word "little"
  1961. "--but I saw you watching our show. You seemed utterly amazed at what you were watching."
  1962. >"Amazed? No, I was just curious what was going on," Starlight said, looking out into the crowd, who recoiled the second she did so. "A good leader keeps an eye out on her ponies after all."
  1963. "You don't need to tell anyone here tales, Ms. Glimmer. I know child-like wonder when I see it."
  1964. >"The only child-like thing here is this 'magic' of yours," Starlight said, looking over at Trixie. "I don't mean to be rude, miss, but can you tell this big stallion to be quiet? A colt should be seen, not heard."
  1965. >It was Trixie's turn to snort
  1966. >"Oh believe me, Trixie's tried. Unfortunately, Anonymous here isn't the type of stallion to listen."
  1967. >You took another step toward Starlight, giving her your toothiest smile as you pulled out a deck of cards
  1968. "You keep calling what we did here today childish, Ms. Magic Mare, but I think what we're doing is a bit more advanced than whatever magic you can do."
  1969. >"Oh really?" Starlight said, horn glowing
  1970. >She disappeared with a pop
  1971. >You looked over your shoulder just in time to see her reappear
  1972. >"How about that?" she asked, hands on her hips
  1973. "Teleportation is a neat trick, but any pony in Canterlot could do something like that," you told her
  1974. >Starlight's brow furrowed at your words, a frown coming to her face
  1975. >"Is that so? Well, how about this?"
  1976. >A beam of magic shot out of her horn, hitting a stool that you and Trixie had just used for one of your tricks
  1977. >It disappeared into a flash of purple light
  1978. >In it's place was a book
  1979. >You snorted
  1980. >You used to live with the most magical purple mare in all the land
  1981. >There probably wasn't a spell out there that you hadn't seen or heard about
  1982. "Transfiguration. Very nice, miss," you said with a nod. "And still..."
  1983. >Starlight gritted her teeth, horn crackling to life yet again
  1984. >She became a blur, racing from one side of the stage to another so fast that it would have made Rainbow Dash jealous
  1985. >The crowd of ponies let out a "ooh!"
  1986. "Acceluro," you said, inspecting your card deck
  1987. >Starlight stopped
  1988. >With a growl, she closed her eyes
  1989. >The twinkle of her magic turned into what only could be described as a jet engine noise
  1990. >You watched as a ribbon of light surrounded her
  1991. >When it disappeared, two Starlight were standing in front of you, looking smug
  1992. >The crowd now let out an "aah!"
  1993. >"How about THIS, smart aleck?" they both asked
  1994. "Simulo duplexus combined with acceluro," you replied without missing a beat, pulling the cards out of its little cardboard box and starting to shuffle them
  1995. >You could hear Trixie take a few hasty steps back
  1996. >The crowd also looked like they were about to make a break for it
  1997. >To be honest, you were a bit concerned as well
  1998. >You knew Starlight was an autist, but you never thought she'd be so easy to rile up
  1999. >No wonder her followers were terrified of her
  2000. >The fucking garbage, horrible horse...
  2001. >Even so, you did your best to appear cool and collected, shuffling the cards
  2002. >Under Trixie's tutelage, you had learned some fancy ways to shuffle
  2003. >Arching the cards into the air so they fell into a hand, spinning them around midair, stuff like that
  2004. >You honestly weren't too bad at it either
  2005. "Why don't you stop with those silly tricks and pick a card, Miss? Any card would do."
  2006. >"Unlike what you're doing, none of what I did were simple tricks," Starlight spat, stomping over to you and jamming a finger under your chin
  2007. >Or, at least trying her best, since she'd have had to hop up to touch your chin
  2008. >"This is actual magic. Magic that I've perfected over the years. Magic that some of the most powerful unicorns in history had trouble doing."
  2009. >An evil glint came to get eye, her glowing
  2010. >"I've even created some spells myself. Like this one."
  2011. >She hefted the staff still in her hands, horn glowing as she tapped it against the wooden boards of the stage
  2012. >The staff glowed, an eerie green light coming from it
  2013. >That light surrounded you
  2014. >An evil smile came to Starlight's face
  2015. >A smile which, slowly but surely, disappeared as you continued to shuffle your deck
  2016. >Dumb horse though you had a cutiemark for some reason
  2017. >Or maybe her Staff of Sameness only worked on ponies?
  2018. >You're pretty it was just a stick that she pretended was important while she used some spell, so that was probably the case
  2019. >You took a step toward her, then another, then another
  2020. >Her spell sputtered out, though she stood her ground
  2021. >When you were close enough, you spread the cards out, offering them to the now flabbergasted mare
  2022. "Starlight Glimmer, please pick a card."
  2023. >Starlight just looked up at you
  2024. >"...Who the hay are you?" she asked, eyes narrowing
  2025. "I'm a simple stallion with a deck of cards in his hand. Now--"
  2026. >You leaned down slightly
  2027. "Pick a card."
  2028. >Not looking away from you, Starlight took a card from the deck
  2029. "Very good. Now please take a look at the card."
  2030. >She did as you asked, taking a glance at it before stuffing it back into the deck
  2031. >"And now I suppose you're going to shuffle that and show me my card?" she asked
  2032. "Nope," you replied with a shake of your head, putting the card back into a neat little stack. "You're going to shuffle, for as long as you want; anyway you want."
  2033. >You offered the deck to her
  2034. >Muttering something under her breath, she snatched the deck out of your hands and began to shuffle them, doing it so forcefully that she was bending and messing up the cards
  2035. >You just stood there, hands behind your back
  2036. "You know, there's many types of magic. Normal, everyday magic, chaotic magic, the magic of friendship--"
  2037. >Starlight let out a guffaw at that
  2038. "So many, all with different uses. You seem like a pretty smart mare, Starlight."
  2039. >"Of course I'm smart. How many idiots have ever built up a town from nothing?"
  2040. "More than you think I'm pretty sure. Now, could I have that deck back please?"
  2041. >The deck was placed into your hand, and you started shuffling it yourself
  2042. "I'm just saying, magic might not be the sort of thing that will help you with your problem."
  2043. >"Problem? I don't have any problems!"
  2044. "You must, otherwise you wouldn't be out in the middle of nowhere trying to start a town, since you don't seem the type to be bringing ponies together out of the goodness of your heart."
  2045. >"You don't know me, colt," Starlight said with an angry flick of her tail
  2046. "I don't," you agreed. "I really don't care to either, but I think you trying to figure out what you actually want will be good for everyone. Yourself, the ponies in this town, maybe the whole world. Who knows, but you being in the middle of desert stealing cutiemarks isn't helping anyone."
  2047. >"Cutiemarks are vile. They take the decision of what a mare or stallion wants to do with their life away from them," Starlight said, getting into your face, so angry that she didn't even seem to question why you knew about her cutiemark stealing hobby
  2048. "As someone without a cutiemark, I would say if I had a mark that told me what I was good at it would have made a whole lot of things easier when I was younger. Now..."
  2049. >You stopped your shuffling, picking a card out of the deck
  2050. >Looking at it, you flipped it over to the unicorn could see it
  2051. "Is this your card?"
  2052. >Starlight looked at the three of clubs, nose scrunching up
  2053. >"No. No it's not," she said. "Not even close."
  2054. >You frowned, looking at the card again yourself
  2055. "...Really?"
  2056. >"YES!"
  2057. >Fuck...
  2058. >You did the trick wrong...
  2059. >You lowered the deck
  2060. >"Well... the point still stands I guess..."
  2061. >Starlight's eyes widened
  2062. >"Point? POINT?! There was no bucking point in that," she snarled, trying to shove you back. "All you did was flap your gums like the stupid colt you are! This is MY town, these are MY ponies, and you're not--"
  2063. "You might find Sunburst if you go from town to town."
  2064. >All the anger left her face, and most of the tension left her body, so much so that her knees almost buckled
  2065. >She stood there quietly, processing your words
  2066. >"W-What?" she whispered. "How do you know that name?"
  2067. "Going from town to town might be a pain in the ass, but I'm sure it wouldn't be that bad once you got used to it," you said. "It might help if you know someone that's been all over Equestria too. Someone that can show you some things to keep you both fed and dazzle all the colts. Who knows, you might find someone on the road that you need."
  2068. >You stepped to the side, gesturing toward Trixie
  2069. >The magician looked as unsure as you had ever seen her, but she still gave Starlight a smile
  2070. "Trixie here could use an assistant, since I'm not that good at my job, as you can see. Her wagon would be big enough for the both of you if you packed light. Heck, if you grilled her, she might know or had seen that Sunburst guy during a performance. If not, well, I know she's a bit of a heartbreaker, so she could help you fool around--"
  2071. >"NO!" Starlight shouted, before looking back down at the floor. "No... I just... I want to see Sunburst again..."
  2072. >Again, crazy, shit horse
  2073. >Why the fuck would you care about a horse you only knew for a few years when you were younger?
  2074. >It was dumb, but something you'd work with
  2075. "Well then, I guess you really need to go get packed then, huh?" you said, stuffing the deck of cards into your pocket. "Trixie here is a very busy mare, and we were supposed to only do the one show."
  2076. >There was no hesitation on Starlight's part
  2077. >She dropped her magical staff and took off, leaping off the stage and racing toward her house
  2078. >You, Trixie, and the crowd watched her go with mixed reactions
  2079. "Well... job done. I guess," you said, putting your hands on your hips. "And here I though we were gonna need to blow her up with all the fireworks I made you buy."
  2080. >"WHAT?!" Trixie yelled, her head whipping around to look at you. "Blowing her up? I thought you were going to use it for the show!"
  2081. "Easy, that wasn't plan A. Plan A was us having a crazy magic/sleight of hand duel. Blowing her up was plan C. Maybe plan D."
  2082. >You shrugged, giving her cheek a pat
  2083. "Good luck with her. I know you can help fix her up."
  2084. >"At least one of us is sure about Trixie's abilities," Trixie said, looking at the house Starlight just disappeared into. "Are you sure Trixie needs to make her her assistant?"
  2085. "I am. Give her a bit of time. She's a garbage horse, but I think she'll grow on you," you said. "See if you can help her laid. That might calm her down. If she's still insistent on the Sunburst thing you remember where he's supposed to live, right?"
  2086. >"Trixie does."
  2087. "Good. Then I'll be off. If you need any help send a letter to Twilight Sparkle, or one of the princess. Hell, send a letter to Discord, I'm sure he'd get it."
  2088. >Trixie just nodded
  2089. >"Trixie will do her best," she said, puffing her chest out.
  2090. >You patted her cheek
  2091. "I'm sure you will. Just make sure she doesn't try to destroy the world please."
  2092. >The mare suddenly darted forward, hugging you
  2093. >"Anon... Thank you. For all your help," she said
  2094. "I didn't do that much. It was mostly you."
  2095. >"Trixie does not feel the same way, but it's nice to find a stallion that's willing to humble himself."
  2096. >You both chuckled
  2097. >The unicorn broke the hug, looking up at you
  2098. >"Are you sure you don't wish to come with me?" she asked.
  2099. "I'm very sure," you replied. "All this traveling isn't good for me. I'm a homebody by nature. Don't worry though, I'm sure I'll see you again. Look for me in Ponyville whenever you want to visit."
  2100. >She nodded, taking a step back
  2101. >"So what will you do now? Do you have more plans to save Equestria?"
  2102. >You could feel the book against your chest
  2103. >It felt cold against your bare skin
  2104. >Looking up, you slowly started to nod
  2105. "I don't think so. I think I've done everything I can. For now I just have to trust that I've done enough."
  2106. >You looked back down at her, smiling
  2107. "I'm going to Ponyville now I think, if I can get there before some guard eventually catches me. But first, I need a sledgehammer. These ponies need their cutiemarks back."
  2108. >With that, you hopped off the stage, head held high
  2109. >Man...
  2110. >You hoped you actually did everything alright...
RGRE Anon Princess Luna Safe Action Trixie

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