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[RGRE] Eris and Anon - by AponymousAuthor

By silvertear
Created: 2021-03-04 07:17:34
Expiry: Never

  1. Eris and Anon (Working Title)
  2. by APONYMOUSAUTHOR
  3. created: Monday 7th of May 2018 08:41:40 PM CDT
  4. Last edit on: Sunday 9th of September 2018 06:09:24 PM CDT (note: this was the archive.org last capture)
  5. last post: https://desuarchive.org/mlp/thread/33208462/#q33219343 Sun 25 Nov 2018 14:38:22
  6.  
  7.  
  8. Quick note: I believe this is the entire story as I got this from the archive.org snapshot of it (https://web.archive.org/web/20180911035652/pastebin.com/2pC65g6W) and searching for the pastebin link in desuarchive. I hopefully managed to save it properly.
  9.  
  10. ========================================
  11.  
  12. >Be you
  13. >The Mistress of Mayhem!
  14. >The Purveyor of Pandemonium!
  15. >The Queen of the Queer!
  16. >Scratch that last one
  17. >You were Eris, Goddess of Chaos and all the fringe benefits
  18. >You could warp reality on a whim, change the seasons with a snap of your claw, breath life and death and now you, a being of infinite might-
  19. >Were enjoying a wonderful tea party with your bestie, Fluttershy
  20. >Many Mares might have scoffed at the idea of tea parties, saying how Coltish they were, >implying all sorts of mean implications, but you were no mere Mare!
  21. >Literally!
  22. >And besides, if they didn’t know how to enjoy a good pot of tea, finger food, and excellent company, then you felt quite sorry for them
  23. >Okay, not all that sorry
  24. >Maybe just a little
  25. >Fluttershy really brought out the best in you
  26. >”-but luckily we were able to calm him down enough for him to get his shots, and he felt much better after that.”
  27. "My dear Fluttershy, that sounds like it must have been simply unbearable~!"
  28. >You replied with a chuckle, sipping your tea while your small, yellow friend smiled
  29. >”I suppose it does seem a little silly, such a big, strong bear like him being scared of a needle.”
  30. "Would you say it made him feel all prickly~?"
  31. >She stifled a giggle, a hoof covering her mouth while you let out another raucous laugh, rose-like thorns sprouting across your body to emphasize your joke
  32. >”Well, he certainly wasn’t too happy, but Anonymous brought some cookies over and that cheered him up about the whole thing.”
  33. >Anonymous?
  34. >You couldn’t say that name rung any bells
  35. >How very fitting!
  36. >Pulling a stop sign out from behind your back, you pressed one finger of your paw to Fluttershy’s lips, surprising and quietening the small Pony
  37. "I’m terribly sorry to interrupt, my dear, but just who is this Anonymous you’ve become so ‘chummy’ with."
  38. >You watched her eye the fish swimming around your head before looking back into your eyes, smiling
  39. >”Oh, he’s a very kind Stallion who moved into town recently! He was pretty shy when he first got here, but he’s really opened up~”
  40. >A snap of your fingers and your additional props disappeared, allowing you to easily lean back in Fluttershy’s now-reclining chair, your body from the waist-down lengthening out like a noodle, pooling on the floor
  41. >A new, mysterious Stallion in town, huh?
  42. >One who seemed to be interested in your best friend?
  43. >You’d need to investigate.
  44. >After all, you’d have to make sure this Stallion was worth your dear, precious Fluttershy!
  45. "And where might this “Anonymous” be living? As a purely hypothetical question, of course."
  46. >”Now Eris, you’re not planning on bothering Anonymous, are you?”
  47. >With an gasp that would have impressed Rarity, your lower half snapped back into place, sending you flying into the air
  48. >Pressing a paw to your chest, you opened one of Fluttershy’s windows, the trees outside rapidly shifting through the seasons, before pillowing into the room, crisp and in a multitude of lovely colors
  49. "I know I might have been more than a little rambunctious with my love of chaos in the past, but I’ve turned over a new leaf! I’m a changed Draconequus, one with only the most noble of intentions!"
  50. >Your knightly suit of armor clanked appropriately as you got up off of one knee, sitting back down upon Fluttershy’s chair
  51. >”Well, if you really want to see him, I suppose I could walk you there and-“
  52. "Ohhh, no need, no need my dear, buttery friend, I’m sure I’ll be able to discover him on my own, though I really should thank you for your generous offer!"
  53. >You tried to snap your fingers, but consider the metal armor wrapped around your body, you were having a bit of difficulty
  54. >A floating can opened was all you needed though, quickly prying yourself free like a sardine, whereupon you snapped your fingers, a huge platter covered with an assortment of cookies materializing on the coffee table from you knows where
  55. "I hate to cut this short"
  56. >A pair of huge scissors snipped you neatly in half, both ends growing out into two full you’s
  57. "But we really must be off! My place next time, right?"
  58. >While she seemed a little surprised by your sudden departure, she smiled and nodded
  59. >”I’m looking forwards to it~ Have fun you two!”
  60. "But of course!"
  61. >Normally you weren’t one for doors, but there were two of you, and you were simply beside yourself with joy from having to squeeze through the Pony-sized portal, the two of you mashing up against each other, squirming and groping, before you tumbled through with a loud POP, two becoming one once again
  62.  
  63. - - - - -
  64.  
  65. >While you were, of course, all-powerful, you couldn’t help but feel a little tuckered out from that high-octane party!
  66. >As such, when you spied Rainbow Dash snoozing on a cloud
  67. >The lazy bones!
  68. >You decided to enlist her help
  69. >With a single snap, reins, a bridle, and a saddle appeared on the Mare, with you sitting on the latter, and holding on to the former
  70. >She seemed rather startled, given the way she shot up from the cloud like a reversed-bolt, but you’d rode wilder Broncos than her!
  71. >Clinging to your reins, you rode out the brunt of her dips and dives as she rolled and fought to send you off, preparing yourself to try and ride out the string of insults that were sure to come
  72. >Oh right, that’s why you gave her that bit to chomp on!
  73. >”Great thinking, Me!”
  74. "You got it, Me!"
  75.  
  76. - - - - -
  77.  
  78. >When she was finally finished with her temper tantrum, you rode her into town, drifting lazily above ground, looking out for a house you didn’t recognize
  79. >Alright, truth be told, there were a lot of houses you didn’t recognize here
  80. >So you mostly come here for Fluttershy’s company or to pull a few pranks, so what?
  81. >If only there was some Pony you could ask for help
  82. >”Rrrs!”
  83. >Some Pony who might fly over this town every day, who might know the ins and outs of it’s layout!
  84. >”Grt rffr mr!”
  85. "Oh! I know!"
  86. >Another yank on the reigns, and you were flying down towards the ground faster and faster
  87. >Your steed began to try and pull back, clearly afraid, but you assured them they’d be fine!
  88. >Well you were pretty sure you’d said it out loud!
  89. "Brace for impact! Three!"
  90. >”Whrt?!”
  91. "Two!"
  92. >”Strrrrrrp!”
  93. "One-oh I can’t bear to look!"
  94. >”Rrrs!!!”
  95.  
  96. - - - - -
  97.  
  98. >From inside your castle, you, Princess Twilight Sparkle, Keeper of Friendship and bearer of overdue books were startled from one of your many aforementioned books in your personal library by a coltish scream
  99. >You began to run to find out what just happened, only to trip over the long, dirty coat you were wearing, your hat falling forwards, covering your eyes
  100. "Wait what?"
  101. >Getting up off the ground, you pushed the brim of your hat up, revealing that your castle seemed to have been replaced with an Appleloosa saloon
  102. >Normally you might have been more worried about who’d seemingly foalnapped you, but this time around, she had plenty of evidence as to just who the culprit was
  103. >There were about eight other creatures here, not including yourself
  104. >One was playing a song on the worn-down piano, three were playing cards at a table near the back, one was throwing darts at a target on the wall, while another, mean-looking one sat by themselves in the shadows near the back
  105. >Turning on the spot, you noticed that the table you’d been reading at earlier had been replaced by a bar, with another one standing behind it
  106. >Finally, the last one was standing by the stairs, wearing-
  107. >L-Lewd
  108. >Given you were no dyke, you made the tactful decision to ignore that last one, instead focusing on why there were eight different Erises in your saloo-castle!
  109. >Glancing out one of the front windows, you caught sight of a rather red-faced rainbow Dash tied to a post, all wrapped up in-
  110. >LEWD
  111. >WHY MUST EVERYTHING BE LEWD AROUND YOU?
  112. >You weren’t no dyke, mom!
  113. >Flabbergasted, flustered, and frustrated, you began to think of a spell to undo this mess when the doors swung open, a tall figure silhouetted by the daylight outside
  114. >”Ah’ve been lookin’ fer you, Sparkle.”
  115. >The music stopped, all eyes in the room on the newcomer
  116. >The three Draconeqi playing cards, picked up their table and moved out of the way of the “stranger”, but you rose to meet them
  117. >You wanted to get this over with
  118. "What do you want, Eris?"
  119. >You really hoped that the spit she hocked would disappear along with the spittoon when this was done
  120. >”While ah reckon y’already know, ah’ll humor ya and help you ‘long. Ah’m lookin’ fer a Stallion by the name, ‘nonymous.”
  121. >Oh no
  122. >Why in Celestia’s name did Eris want to bother that poor Stallion
  123. >Didn’t he have enough on his proverbial plate?
  124. "And just /why/ exactly do you want to know where he is?"
  125. >You watched as she grinned, the thicker digits of her paw twitching above a pie she had strapped to her side
  126. >As if on cue, you felt a slight weight come to rest on your flank, and you knew exactly what it was
  127. >You horn began to glow, the two of you staring each other down
  128. >”Well now, ah reckon that’s mah biz’ness and mahn alone.”
  129. >A twitch of her paw and your magic found the pie strapped to your side, drawing it from it’s holster and launching it in an instant
  130. >Eris was just a second slower than you, having to reach down to grab her pie, and your baked goods hit her square in the chest
  131. >Her eyes widened and she gasped, staggering about the room, clutching at the ruined crust and filling oozing down her body, before finally collapsing back onto the ground
  132. >With all her wheezing and gagging, you actually started to feel a little worried about her, and so you begrudgingly trotted over to her side, warily looking down at your defeated foe
  133. >”T-Twahlaght...that...that you?”
  134. "Yes Eris, it’s still me."
  135. >”Ah should’ve HACK known that COUGH all that book readin’ and page flippin’ would’a given you some GURGLE mighty dex’trous hooves...”
  136. >You tried to resist rolling your eyes
  137. >It was a little hard to take anypony seriously when they were /saying/ their death rattle
  138. >”-‘mong other ‘tivities, o’course...”
  139. >Hey!
  140. >Gritting your teeth, you gave your best Fluttershy stare/Princess-Celestia’s-disapproving-frown
  141. "Are you done yet?"
  142. >You opted not to lean closer when she beckoned you
  143. >Something felt just a little off
  144. >”One thing y’should know WHEEZE Twahlaght...Ah didn’ come all on mah lonesome, heh.”
  145. >You realized that the piano had stopped playing a long while ago, the saloon deathly quiet
  146. >Oh no
  147. >”Y’mahght say ah’ve got a Mare on the inside~ COUGH COUGH BLAGH.”
  148. >All around the room, the various other Erises drew their pies
  149.  
  150. - - - - -
  151.  
  152. >Things were nearly perfect as you stepped out of the house
  153. >The only thing you were missing was a sunset to ride off into
  154. >Though old Sunnybuns would probably have been upset if used your magic for that
  155. >And no, you weren’t talking about the Pony you perverts!
  156. >Speaking of perverts, you restored Twilight’s castle to it’s normal, gaudy form
  157. >Though you made a point of leaving the various pie-caused messes in tact
  158. >One couldn’t destroy art after all!
  159. >Also, if you were talking about the latest, not-so-greatest princess in the third-Pony, then you must be Eris!
  160. >The Bitch of the Bizarre!
  161. >The Hostess with the Mostess!
  162. >The Seducer of Stallions!
  163. >Even if you’d had a forced /dry spell/
  164. "Ha!"
  165. >Speaking of dry spells
  166. >Wait, no, that was far too general when it came to these Ponies
  167. >Speaking of blue teats
  168. >Ooh, accurate /and/ funny!
  169. >”Good one, Eris!”
  170. "Thank you, Eris!"
  171. >Any ways
  172. >Speaking of blue teats, it seemed Rainbow had managed to get free!
  173. >And she’d taken your lovely gear with her!
  174. >Perhaps you’d need to pay her a visit to reclaim your vilely stolen property
  175. >With, of course, a camera
  176. "Just in case~"
  177. >No matter!
  178. >Twilight(‘s Vamponies) Sparkle had finally let slip just where Anonymous lived
  179. >With all the fuss that had gone into getting this, he better be quite the special Stallion!
  180.  
  181.  
  182. -----
  183.  
  184.  
  185. >There was a certain, uniform banality to the homes of Ponies
  186. >They were all Pony shaped!
  187. >The doors made sense for Ponies to walk through easily, the windows were head-level, and everything inside was easy to reach, be it by hoof, wing, mouth or magic
  188. >Where were the shelves that kept items just out of reach?
  189. >Where were the secret passages?
  190. >Why did all the doors have to be on the ground?
  191. >So
  192. >Boring
  193. >Why were you bringing this up?
  194. >Because you’d been faced with something decidedly different
  195. >It was a simple little cottage, much like the rest of Ponyville’s general décor, but unlike those, this tower of a house stood out above the rest quite literally!
  196. >Now, a house made for compensation’s sake alone was no crime, but it wasn’t just the structure that was large, but everything else as well!
  197. >The door was too tall, the windows were too high up, the curtains were drawn, and come to think of it, it was fairly out of the way compared to the rest of the town
  198. >It was practically teetering on the edge of madness!
  199. >You might have been exaggerating that last part considering Rarity’s boutique existed, but you had to make this more interesting because it seemed like he wasn’t home!
  200. >Clearly this was going to take all your deductive abilities to figure out
  201. >Donning a cap, pipe, and an oversized magnifying glass, you bent so low to the ground that you were nearly scraping along it as you looked for clues
  202. “Now, if I was a StalliAnonymous, where would I be?”
  203. >A question philosophers would ponder for centuries given the lack of any real evidence
  204. >Aside from the general bustle-marks of Pony hooves, the only things that came near this Stallion’s home were these blobby sort of misshapen tracks
  205. “Think, Eris, think. What do you know about this Stallion?”
  206. >As if on cue, another you stepped out to your side, this one with a cane and thick moustache
  207. >”Fluttershy mentioned him bringing cookies, yes? Well, if he’s becoming more sociable and bringing cookies-“
  208. “Then he’s no doubt with Pinkie Pie!”
  209. >The two of you enjoyed a celebratory bubble-pipe puff, your secondary turning into bubbles herself
  210. >Then, with a flash of light, you disappeared, reappearing ten paces away in front of Sugar Cube Corner
  211. >Ugh, conformity
  212. >Stooping down, you grasped the door knob, the metal turning and turning, the wood of the door twisting with it, the whole of the portal swirling away mid-air like water going down a drain
  213. >Stepping inside, the entirety of the building had grown quite quiet, most of the Ponies inside either staring at you nervously, or considering how bad it would be for them to leap out a window
  214. >Thankfully, Pinkie emerged to clear the air, waving and calling out your name
  215. >A throne appeared behind you, scooping you up and sliding you to the counter, letting you grin down at your confectionary comrade
  216. >”Hiya Eris! How are you? Did you come here for a cake or something like that? We have some ready now, but I can make one up for you if you’d like instead.”
  217. “No Pinkie, for you see, I’m after a different fare. Information.”
  218. >You watched her tilt her head, scratching at her chin with her hoof before putting it down and shrugging
  219. >”I don’t know if I have any of that in. What’s it like?”
  220. >You leaned in for added effect, snouts nearly touching
  221. “Fast, loose, and easy to digest~”
  222. >”...You want a laxative cake?”
  223. >Laughing, you shook your head
  224. “No, but I’ll have to remember that for the future! What I want is to know where I can find Anonymous.”
  225. >”Who’s anonymous?”
  226. “He is.”
  227. >”Who?”
  228. “Anonymous.”
  229. >The cotton candy creature tilted her head back the other way, staring up at you, the slightest hint of smoke starting to rise from her ears
  230. >”Eris, I can’t tell you anything about them if you don’t tell me who they are.”
  231. “Who who is?”
  232. >”This mysterious Stallion you keep mentioning!”
  233. “No, not ‘Mysterious’, Anonymous!”
  234. >”Oh, well why didn’t you say so the first time? Let me go get him!”
  235. >Watching her zip off into the back, you couldn’t help but wonder if Pinkie Pie was you in disguise
  236. >While improbable, it was far from impossible
  237. >Actually, it was pretty likely!
  238. >Oh well, you’d get her next time
  239. >Besides, you had a Stallion to Stallexamine!
  240.  
  241. -----
  242.  
  243. >You weren’t sure what you’d been expecting, but it hadn’t been that
  244. >Drifting through the rooms in your house, occasionally half-heartedly dodging a spoon with particularly nasty aim, you thought back
  245. >You’d expected a Pony, not.../that/
  246. >You weren’t even sure how to classify /that/!
  247. >He was no Pony, and he wasn’t even a herbivore
  248. >He spoke, moved, and acted like a Mare despite being, as you were pretty sure, a Stallion
  249. >He worked in a bakery yet looked like he could buck apples for a living
  250. >In general, he just didn’t fit into the world
  251. >How incredible!
  252. >How utterly fantastic!
  253. >He was new, unique, bizarre, strange, different!
  254. >The fact that you, of all creatures, had never seen anything like him had certainly proven that
  255. >Yes, there was plenty of fun to be had in Equestria, but this was just so fresh!
  256. >You had to know more
  257. >You had to get to know this Stallion
  258. >Vaguely, a part of your head spoke up about how this had started in making sure that Fluttershy wasn’t being bothered by some cunt of Stallion
  259. >Well, you could easily do both!
  260. >All while you were getting to know Anonymous, you’d be researching him, exploring his feelings and desires
  261. >You’d figure out just how he ticked and learn all you could from him
  262. >Then, once you had him in your clutches with nowhere to go
  263. >You’d befriend him the crap out of him!
  264.  
  265. -----
  266.  
  267. >Be Anonymous
  268. >You’d met someone quite interesting today
  269. >Alright, they hadn’t really said much, but the interesting part still fit
  270. >You’d grown fairly used to living around these Ponies
  271. >Yeah, they had the occasional monster attack or whatever, but for the most part it was all pretty calm in Ponyville
  272. >That was why the girl who’d come into Sugar Cube Corner had really stuck out to you
  273. >Standing on two legs, a more Human-like figure, and a body like a crossover between Frankenstein and the Island of Doctor Moreau
  274. >Also, in keeping with standard Ponyville ways of life, they were buck-naked
  275. >Which hadn’t been too bad either
  276. >The ponies here were nice, even if it felt like they somehow managed to both baby you, and act far too casual around you
  277. >How that green pony managed to sit with her legs spread like that you aren’t sure you’ll ever understand
  278. >Plus, while you liked Pinkie, she could be a little /too/ enthusiastic for you many a time
  279. >Moving in to your kitchen, you began to gather your ingredients for dinner
  280. >Thankfully you’d been able to get some fish earlier to help balance things out in your diet
  281. >The Princesses had been helpful when it came to getting you meat, but you couldn’t help but feel like you were being a bit of nuisance, despite their assurances that you weren’t
  282. >Beginning to prepare the fish, you found your thoughts drifting back to that mysterious girl
  283.  
  284. -----
  285.  
  286. >Be you once more
  287. >The Collector of Chaos!
  288. >The Thunder down Under!
  289. >The Perverter of Plumbers!
  290. >Yeah, I got some leaky pipes that need to be plugged up~
  291. >You, Eris, had waited up until late, resisting the urge to simply dial the sun down a few notches, so that you could catch Anonymous unawares
  292. >Sleeping, to be blunt
  293. >What better way was there to get to know someone than by looking into their inner thoughts, seeing what their subconscious reveals and then drawing upon that for the future?
  294. >Ol’ Mini-Moon had a moonopoly on this sort of thing, but you were the Goddess of Chaos!
  295. >How hard could it be?
  296. >With a mighty snap of your digits, you were inside of Anonymous’ house
  297. >Sneaking through the pictures hanging on the wall as well as under the occasional cardboard box, you found your way to his room and, lo and behold, there he was, sound asleep in bed
  298. >You probably should have checked that he was before letting yourself in, but that was in the past now
  299. >As was that thought
  300. >And that one!
  301. >And that one!
  302. >And that-
  303. >Smacking yourself over the head to stop, you turned your attention back to the target of your current interest
  304. “Sleeping on your side, huh? You’re just begging to be spooned, you know.”
  305. >Pulling out a colander with wires plugged into it, you fastened it onto your head, attaching the other one onto Anonymous’
  306. >With the two of you hooked up, you laid down beside him on the bed, shut your eyes, and flicked the switch
  307. >...
  308. >Any second now
  309. >AAAny second
  310. >...
  311. >Your eyes still shut, the only thing you could hear was the gentle, evening sounds from outside, as well as the noise of Anonymous breathing softly
  312. >Pulling the colander off your head, you examined it, a brow raising as you realized it was, in fact, working
  313. “Newfangled technology, huh! You just can’t beat the classics, I guess.”
  314. >Poofing the caps, you rolled over onto your side, raised your Paw up placing your digits at his chin, nose, and brow
  315. “And a one, and a two, and a skinnamarinki-doo!”
  316. >...
  317. >Okay, something serious was going on here
  318. >Why weren’t you sinking into his dreams?
  319. >You should be experiencing his mind right about now!
  320. >This, as much as you hated to admit it, would require consultation
  321. >Removing your paw from his head, you raised it into the air and snapped
  322. >With a thud, Luna hit the floor
  323. >After watching her legs and wings flail about, she got up, glaring around the room until her eyes settled on you
  324. >”Eris?! Why hast thou summoned us so unjustly from our home?”
  325. >Well this sure was something!
  326. >Luna was wearing wearing pajamas, ones adorned with cutely drawn renditions of the stars and moon
  327. “Those look a little big for you, Luna~”
  328. >An indignant huff grew on her face as she quickly glanced down at what she was wearing
  329. >Who knew she could blush that much!
  330. >”Hmph! S-Since our return, we have been growing hastily in size, and as such we had our garments made in anticipation of that fact, a-and besides, what I wear matters not in the realm of dreams!”
  331. “Is that why you’re wearing those?”
  332. >You gestured down to her socks, snapping a photo of her as her eyes widened and her blush grew even deeper
  333. >”O-Our room grows cold while we aid our little ponies!”
  334. >She retorted, though much of the strength had gone by now, and she eyed the camera warily
  335. “Well, since you’re being such a poor sport, I’ll let you know why I’ve gathered you here tonight. I can’t get into this Stallion’s dreams.”
  336. >”Eris! We strictly forbade you from entering the dreams of those we- Wait, didst thou sayest thou...cannot? The mighty “Goddess of Chaos” has met her match? Ha! T’was well worth the pain in our flank to hear those words!”
  337. >Frowning, you held up the suddenly developed photos of Luna
  338. >”Hmph. Threats, Eris? We had thought though hadst learned-“
  339. >”g’way Pinkie...stop putting shaved chocolate in my...”
  340. >The two of you froze, yourself quite literally, four eyes swivelling to look down at the grumbling, sleeping “Human” laying in bed
  341. >”/This/ is the Stallion whose dreams thou wished to invade? Thou summoned us for such a simple matter?”
  342. >She hissed, her breath melting the ice down around you
  343. “Well it’s hardly “simple” if /I/ can’t do it! What’s going on with him?”
  344. >Luna rolled her eyes in such a way that you could almost hear her voice in your ear, acting all smug because you didn’t know one insignificant piece of information
  345. >”I know not by what means, but Anonymous seems to be immune to magic itself.”
  346. >Immune to magic?
  347. >But /you/ were magic!
  348. >You were pretty much the magic-est magic that had ever magicked itself up!
  349. >You were a Goddess!
  350. >You could do anything you wanted!
  351. >Reality was /literally/ your gigolo!
  352. >Before you could do something like pluck the moon from the sky and eat it in front of her royal moody-ness, you heard Anonymous begin to stir, no doubt thanks to Luna’s totally conspicuous whispering
  353. >Also, considering the fact that a Stallion, even an alien one, might not appreciate you being so blatantly in his bedroom at night, you snapped your fingers, teleporting yourself away
  354. >Be the night itself, Princess Luna, watching as that whorse, Eris, disappeared, leaving you alone in Anonymous’ bedroom
  355. >Alone in the bedroom with a now-awake Anonymous no less
  356. >”Princess Luna? Why are you in my house?”
  357. >Ohhh, your sister was going to give you such a talking to...
  358.  
  359. -----
  360.  
  361. >By the time morning arrived, you felt both excited, and personally affronted
  362. >First of all, how dare anything in this universe not be affected by you
  363. >Secondly, just how much could you do to him?
  364. >Yes, he was immune to magic, but how far did that go?
  365. >Was it like an aura that he could expand around him, similar to the bubble that Twilight Sparkle had created oh so long ago, or was it him and him alone?
  366. >Sparkle no-doubt had already tried these questions out for herself, the nosy little Alicorn, but what would the fun be in letting someone else do all your dirty work?
  367. >Besides, she had no sense of flare!
  368. >If anything, she most likely performed a series of mundane tasks, avoiding on intruding into his personal space too much, being more boring than anything else
  369. >You, on the other paw, would be enjoying this to it's full potential!
  370. >As an added benefit, it would give you a sense of what Anonymous was like
  371. "You'd best not disappoint me, Anonymous!"
  372. >With a snap of your claws, you headed to Ponyville
  373.  
  374. -----
  375.  
  376. >First things first, you'd start off small
  377. >No sense in going for the big guns right away!
  378. >Grabbing the twin cannons you had resting beside you, you raised them to your face, looking through them like binoculars
  379. >Anon had just left his house and seemed to be heading to work
  380. >Focusing on him, you attempted to reverse his mind, making it so that he'd walk backwards when trying to walk forwards, and so on
  381. >He just kept walking forwards like normal
  382. >Focusing again, you attempted to transform him into a Pony
  383. >Nope, still his bizarre self
  384. >You dipped your quill in a chocolate fountain, crossed out one possibility on your list, and then ate the quill
  385. >Magic affecting him seemed out of the equation
  386. >How sad!
  387. >Oh well, on to the next idea!
  388. >As he turned a corner around a building, you turned the cobblestone he was walking on into a cobblestone treadmill that moved at his walking speed, keeping him walking in place
  389. >He stepped on to it and, after a moment or two of not getting anywhere, got off!
  390. >Lewd, Brain
  391. >Still, considering that, it meant that he could interact with items you summoned or created!
  392. >This quill was dipped in birdseed, a swarm of bird promptly picking it clean while you wrote
  393. >The next test, magical effects interacting with him!
  394. >As he drew nearer to Sugar Cube Coroner, you created a massive, invisible cube around it, nullifying gravity
  395. >Anon didn't notice it when he first stepped inside, but when his next step sent him sailing up and over his place of employment, he did look quite surprised!
  396. >He didn't scream or start crying like you'd expected him to, though he did scramble to grab hold of something
  397. >You could hear Pinkie laughing from inside the building, no doubt enjoying swimming through the air
  398. >At least two Ponies really "got you"
  399. >Oh right, Anonymous (among others) was still drifting through the air!
  400. >With a snap, the cube went from anti-gravity to jell-o
  401. >You were a merciful, and totally 100% reformed, Goddess, after all
  402. >Plus, Jell-o was delicious
  403. >You took a moment to admire your work before looking back at Anonymous
  404. >He didn't look frightened or all that surprised anymore
  405. >He even had green gunk in his...mane?
  406. >What did Humans call it?
  407. >Not like you could just search his memories, after all
  408. >Whatever the case, the point was that you were more than a little surprised!
  409. >Any other Stallion, even Janefillies, would be freaking out by now!
  410. >Ruined clothes, mane(?), and all from some mysterious, all-powerful entity?
  411. >Why did he look so...so...mildly perturbed?!
  412. >You's above, he was so weird!
  413. >It almost hurt to not be able to go and tell him that it was you
  414. >He should be flattered by how much time you were putting in to him, after all!
  415. >Instead though, he just started digging his way towards the front door of the shop
  416. >Considering how thick the stuff was, he was surprisingly strong, now that you thought about it
  417. >Guess those looks weren't just for show!
  418. >Had he looked like that before, or did he become like that through being here?
  419. >You had so many questions and none of them were answerable!
  420. >It felt like your brain was getting blue-beaned by all this, and it had only been a day and a half!
  421. >Still, you'd muddle through, for your curiosity, as well as for Fluttershy's innocence!
  422. >For now though, you needed to cross off another question from your list, as well as figure out your next plan of attack
  423.  
  424. -----
  425.  
  426. >Once he’d gotten inside, you removed the jell-o, leaving everything spic and span
  427. >Again, reformed and all that
  428. >With it gone, you turned invisible, flew in, and transformed into a chair
  429. >You could spy on Anonymous like this, and it had the added benefit of letting you scoot out of the way right before any Pony sat on you
  430. >Ooh, so close!
  431. >Nearly had you that time!
  432. >You’re too slow!
  433. >Edging your way to the back, you watched as Anon walked in, still oddly stained with slime
  434. >The stuff in his hair didn’t last long when Pinkie saw him though, her long tongue snaking out, scooping it all up
  435. >Riiight before a horrified Mr Cake dragged her off, apologizing profusely to a bemused Anonymous
  436. >Stallion!
  437. >Ruined hair!
  438. >Covered in drool!
  439. >Looked fine with it!
  440. >/How/?!
  441. >You felt a Pony version of you sit on top of you, gesturing over at Anonymous’ clothes
  442. ”Come to think of it, why does he still have any on him at all? I cleaned everything /and/everyone, I even made sure of it as I knew I’d get a talking to otherwise.”
  443. >You mused from atop yourself, before reaching a hoof into your mouth, pulling out your tongue, and writing something new on it
  444. “While Anonymous /is/ affected by AOE spells, if a part of it, or maybe the caster, targets him, the spell won’t affect him. It seems. What is he, some kind of Evocation Wizard?”
  445. >Slurping your tongue back into your mouth like a tape measurer, you got up, your “chair” disappearing as you trotted away from it
  446. >What to do next?
  447. >You’d figured out a few things, but magic was a tricky thing and there were always stipulations and objections
  448. >Also you were quite certain that if you didn’t think of something saying all these big, boring words would snore you out of existence
  449. >If you couldn’t cast spells on him, but magical effects that were pre-existing worked then…
  450. >You had it!
  451. >Actually, considering the way he liked to act, you, as your usual, brilliant self, had figured out how to horribly maim two Pegasi with one boulder!
  452. >Taking a page from one of Pinkie Pie’s pranks, as well as a page from one of the ex-CMC’s antics, you mashed them together to create one Tartarus of a genius idea!
  453. >The ghost of a chair drifted by, complimenting you on you being so fantastic, and you were in such a good mood you almost thanked it genuinely before sucking it up with a vacuum
  454. >With that out of the way, you just had one final question
  455. >Where to start?
  456.  
  457. -----
  458.  
  459. “Come on, y’all, in here!”
  460. >Given your accent, as well as your love of countryisms you must be Applejack, resident apple-farmer and current shepherd of a small group of uninfected
  461. >You really weren’t too sure what was going on, but after so many Apple-family gatherings, you’d grown used to guiding others
  462. >Right now you were waving over a pair of Mares and the Stallion they were protecting, the trio quickly running through the open door before you shut it
  463. >If there was one good thing about Twilight’s castle, it was secure
  464. >Naturally, you’d prefer to have been back at Sweet Apple Acres, but you’d made the best of a bad situation
  465. >Shutting the door, you raised a plank of wood up, starting to hammer it into place
  466. >You weren’t sure what was going on out there, other than ponies were going crazy!
  467. >This morning, everything had been normal, and then a few hours later you heard about Ponies attacking one another!
  468. >You’d rushed to talk to Twilight, but she hadn’t given you much of an explanation before flying off with a spell in mind
  469. >Being an Earth Pony, you couldn’t do too much to help with magical matters, so you’d done what you could, making a sort of safe house for uninfected Ponies to hide out in
  470. >A nail slipped from the second plank you were nailing up and you cursed, stooping down to pick it up
  471. >That’s what you get for thinking too much when you should be working
  472. >Before you could pick the nail up, a “hand” (as you’d learned he called it) found it first
  473. >”You want any help with that, Applejack?”
  474. >While it was nice of him to offer, you decided to decline
  475. >Yeah, Big Mac helped run the farm, but that was out of necessity more than anything else
  476. >Besides, he was a whole lot more of a Mare than he was a Stallion
  477. >Definitely didn’t talk as much as most of them
  478. >The difference with Big Mac and Anon was the family bonds of trust
  479. >You knew Big Mac would do a good job, and you trusted him because you knew the value of his work having grown up with him
  480. >While Anon was a nice Stallion, he was a Stallion all the same, and besides, this situation was a whole lot more pressing than bucking some apples or pulling a cart!
  481. “Sorry Anon, but why don’t ya leave the Mare’s work t’me. Can y’go calm down the foals’r somethin’ else?”
  482. >That should do it, remind him there are foals around and he’d be sure to rush off
  483. >Or not, given the fact that he picked up a nail from your pile as well as a hammer!
  484. “Now listen, ah ain’t got time fer yer coltish whimsy! Can y’please jus’ let me-“
  485. >With three swift strikes of the hammer, he sunk the nail into the board, and well into the wall
  486. >”The foals are fine, they’re safe, as are the other Ponies, but they /won’t/ be if we don’t get these doors secured.”
  487. >Another three strikes secured his half of the board
  488. >Well Tartarus, there might be more Stallions out there like your brother after all
  489. “Now how’m I s’posed t’argue ‘gainst that?”
  490. >Lifting your hammer back up, the two of you worked together, making sure the Ponies under your guard were safe
  491.  
  492. -----
  493.  
  494. >Your horn glowed brightly as you flew above the town
  495. >If you were doing that, you must be Twilight “No-I-Did-Not-Masturbate-To-A-Medical-Book-On-Pony-Anatomy” Sparkle
  496. >This was bad
  497. >This was /really/ bad
  498. >Like really, /REALLY/ bad!
  499. >You’d been using your magic to try and figure out what was going on, and you felt like you’d discovered half of the answer
  500. >Before you decided on anything though, you wanted to make sure about it, as messing with magic that you didn’t understand could have unforeseen, potentially disastrous results, a fact you’d experienced first-hoof in the past
  501. >Besides, whatever was affecting the Ponies below you wasn’t the only mysterious problem
  502. >A magic barrier had formed around Ponyville and, after testing it for a few minutes, it appeared nothing could pass through it
  503. >While it meant that this plague or spell or curse or…whatever it was, couldn’t leave, it also implied that this was supposed to happen, or at least that somepony knew it was going to happen
  504. >Now think, who could have made this barrier?
  505. >While your brother had some powerful protection magic, especially for a Stallion, he was in the Crystal Empire right now, and he obviously wouldn’t know anything about this
  506. >Celestia would have talked to you about this, and if she hadn’t, then she’d be here, trying to fix things, so she was out
  507. >Luna made a little more sense, but she’d really mellowed out with time, and besides, you were quite certain this wasn’t a dream, so that was another no
  508. >Starlight was currently out-of-town with Trixie, and she was reformed to boot so that couldn’t be it either
  509. >Starswirl?
  510. >Nah
  511. >Well…
  512. >Okay, he /did/ have a tendency to use his powers with a certain degree of careless whimsy, but even so, he wasn’t anywhere /near/ Ponyville currently!
  513. >Not that you’d been spying on him, o-of course!
  514. >That just left-
  515. >Oh, that ass!
  516. “ERIIIIIS!”
  517.  
  518. -----
  519.  
  520. >If you were calmly and quietly sleeping comfortably in your bed, surrounded by animals, you must be Fluttershy
  521.  
  522. -----
  523.  
  524. >If you were snoring on your back on a cloud bed in your cloud room of your cloud house as it floated above Ponyville, coincidentally past the barrier, then you must be Rainbow Dash
  525.  
  526. -----
  527.  
  528. >Your horn lit up, a basket full of gemstones lifting into the air before being slung magically at a trio of Mares who’d just broken down your door
  529. >Pelting them with various stones until they passed out, the pile they made created a temporary barricade, one which you desperately needed as two more climbed through your windows!
  530. >Fabric floated into the air and, with a needle and some thread, wrapped around them in the most uncomfortable clothes you could imagine, leaving the Ponies writhing and moaning on the floor of your shop
  531. >Gems, fabric, and sewing?
  532. >You must be Rarity!
  533. >You’d been creating yet another fabulous outfit when whatever this all was started
  534. >At first you hadn’t thought too much of it, Mares typically roughed each other up a little, but it soon, from what you’d heard, it got out of hoof!
  535. >Wrapping another Pony up, you saw a half-eaten donut go flying by, missing the Pony you were binding by a mile
  536. “Spike, Darling, please go back upstairs with Sweetie Belle, I have this under control~!”
  537. >His heart was in the right place, but he was just a baby colt, Dragon or no!
  538. >Your heart would simply break if whatever had befallen much of the town got to him too
  539. >Not only that, but Twilight would give you /such/ a lecture
  540. >”D-Don’t worry Rarity, I’ll protect you!”
  541. >As charming as it was to hear that, especially when you could hear the nerves in his voice, you simply couldn’t allow it
  542. >You might not be as strong as Applejack, nor might you be as abrasively brash and bold as Rainbow Dash, and yes, you might enjoy the more “Coltish” things in life, but you were still a Mare, Celestia darn it!
  543. >As such, the most Gentlemarely thing to do in a situation like this was to let Spikey Wikey feel as useful to you as possible, without putting him in danger
  544. “I’m ever so grateful for your help, Spike, but if you come down here, who will protect Sweetie Belle? She needs someone strong and brave and dashing to keep her safe at a time like this, does she not~?”
  545. >He hesitated at that, glancing back up the stairs, rejection and confidence mixing on his face
  546. >Time to use the big guns
  547. “Why, I simply wouldn’t know /what/ to do should anything happen to her! If someone could keep her safe, they’d be /my hero/~”
  548. >From the way his eyes lit up like a Stallion who’d managed to get a stubborn stain out of his clothes, you knew you’d gotten him with that last push
  549. >”You’ve got it, Rarity, you can count on me!”
  550. >He rushed upstairs, and not a moment too soon as something started to make a lot of noise outside
  551. >The moans and groans from outside grew louder and louder, culminating in a blur of color diving through your window
  552. >Snatching up a particularly ghastly shade of green cloth with some bright-Orange string, you bundled the intruder up like some sort of interpretive art piece
  553. >”Jeez Rarity, I don’t wanna sound /mean/ or anything but do these colors really go together well? I mean bog green, Jane-O-Lantern Orange, and Party Pink? I look like some kind of interpretive art piece!”
  554. “Wha-Pinkie? Why did you come diving through my window? Why aren’t you staying safe indoors?!”
  555. >You loved Pinkie dearly, as one would a sister, but she had the unfortunate tendency to do whatever she wanted constantly with no thought behind it, or if there was, no well-considered thoughts at least!
  556. >”Well, I have something important to tell you but- Whoah! Look at how many Ponies you took down!”
  557. >Her eyes widened while you felt your tuft puff up with pride
  558. “Well, the Fashion world is a tough place, Pinkie, so one learns what one must to survive, even if it means making things like…those.”
  559. >You gestured with a hoof to the various “outfits’ you’d sealed the Ponies in, including the one Pinkie was wiggling around in
  560. >”I can tell! They oughta replace straight jackets with these, Rarity, because I’d have a tough time getting outta one of these!”
  561. “Well I-wait, what?”
  562. >”For my shows, silly!”
  563. >Of course
  564. >Wait a second
  565. “Pinkie wait, didn’t you have something important you wanted to tell me?”
  566. >She nodded quickly as you began to pull apart your outfit, planning on burning these once all this was done and over with
  567. >”Mhm! I think I know what all the Zombies want!”
  568. >You paused for a moment, causing Pinkie to fall on her face, having expected to have all four of her legs out by now
  569. “Wh-What? You do? Well why didn’t you say so?”
  570. >”And /not/ compliment you on your new fashion line? Come on, Rarity, what kind of friend would I be if I didn’t notice these outfits?”
  571. >It was a little frustrating how widely she was smiling in the face of all this
  572. >While normally, yes your outfits would certainly come first, the matter of what was going on outside was more than a little pressing!
  573. >”Plus, there’s a liiiiiittle problem, too.”
  574. >Removing Pinkie’s bindings fully, she shook out her hooves, still smiling at you though…
  575. >Had she always drooled that much?
  576. >And was it always that pink?
  577. “What is the problem, Pinkie?”
  578. >”Well, I figured the best way to find out what they wanted was to let them infect me, y-y’know?”
  579. >Your eyes widened as you took a step back, Pinkie moving forwards to match, her body starting to twitch while her eyelids drooped
  580. “Y-You’re just joking, right D-Darling?”
  581. >She sat on her generous flank and facehoofed, before smiling back up at you
  582. >”It’s getting a little hard to…to think of much else, so why…uh…why don’t I…huh.”
  583. >She shut her eyes, looking like she was trying to concentrate on something, until she reopened them, only now they were fogged over, much like the other Ponies outside
  584. >She lunged forwards jerkily, hooves finding the sides of your head, dragging you forwards
  585. >When Twilight eventually fixed this, and you were making Pinkie a new dress, you were going to make her wear a damned corset!
  586. >Forcing you in, her pink lips met yours, warm and soft, just like her
  587. >There was a certain sweetness to them, though whether or not that was due to all the sweets Pinkie ate, or the copious amounts of drool leaking down her, you had no clue, as you were far too focused on the fact that this in no way felt good and you were most definitely not finding yourself pressing into the kiss soon enough
  588. >Of course, the only reason all of this was happening was due to the infectious nature of whatever was plaguing the town
  589. >Definitely
  590. >The last bits of your resistance (damnable Earth Pony strength) was broken down as Pinkie pushed her tongue into your mouth, her drool mixing with yours, tongue flowing over and around yours, getting a taste of you, and giving you one hell of one of her
  591. >As you did, the infection starting to seep into you quickly enough, you quickly came to realize just what the infected Ponies were moaning, though you had no idea why it was the case
  592. >Pinkie finally broke the kiss, and using the last amount of the time you figured you had, going off your more gentlemarely disposition, you made sure to complete a few tasks
  593. >Even if you were about to become some sort of mindless creature, you were a Pony with goals, standards, and determination!
  594. >Firstly, you flung Pinkie out of your boutique through the same window she came in from
  595. >Secondly you dragged a few heavy items up and over to the door upstairs, making sure nopony would be going in or out
  596. >Thirdly, you opened your emergency closet, quickly picking out an outfit made for just such an occasion
  597. >It was a padded outfit, one that would ensure that should you fall, be hit, or bump into things, you’d stay relatively unharmed, while also looking fashionable
  598. >As it became harder to control yourself, you thankfully managed to do the last button up
  599. >You could feel a heat rising inside you, one that was drowning out most of your other thoughts
  600. >It was a deep, powerful craving, one that demanded an answer
  601. >Opening your mouth, your sight tinting as your eyes fogged up, white drool beginning to drip from your mouth, you staggered towards one of the windows, your moan joining those of the Ponies outside
  602. “Anooooooooooooooooon…”
  603.  
  604. -----
  605.  
  606. >You must be Twilight Sparkle, because you were no longer flying above Ponyville, but resting on a chair that was so comfortable, it was hard to focus on how mad you were, and you were pretty darn mad!
  607. >Across from you sat Eris, calmly sipping some tea
  608. >You took a moment to examine your surroundings, noting that you appeared to be in a richly decorated study
  609. >There were shelves with books on them lining one wall, an unoccupied desk in the corner, a rich carpet beneath the chairs the two of you were sitting in, a small table with a well-stocked platter resting on it, and a fireplace to your left
  610. >Of course, as your previous encounters with Eris had proved, she had no trouble in manipulating environments just as well as she could manipulate Ponies
  611. >Before you could speak, she shut your mouth with her paw, hushing you
  612. >”Ah, one moment, Pinkie juuust got Rarity! You know, this really is working out even better than I could have planned it!”
  613. >Your friends were in danger and she was trying to shut you up so she could watch?!
  614. >If nothing else, Eris was the one thing you could always count on being the same while around her
  615. >Tugging your head back and out of her grasp, you noticed her arm extended like a coiled spring, following you, though with a small blast of magic, she was retracting her arm, rubbing her paw
  616. >”Honestly, I invite you into my little Sanctum Sanctorum and that’s how you react to my hospitality? No wonder I’m Fluttershy’s number one bestie~”
  617. “Well /I/ don’t think it’s very “friendly” of you to have turned almost all of Ponyville into /Zombies/!”
  618. >Your host feigned shock at the accusation, if you could even call it that, her “sore” paw forgotten
  619. >”Twilight! How could you accuse me of something like that? Why I’m a reformed-“
  620. “The only part of you that’ll be “reformed” will be your butt after I kick it! Either let me go, or tell me what’s going on.”
  621. >Eris rolled her eyes before taking another sip of her coffee, gesturing with her claw to…was there always a window there?
  622. >”If I’m really such poor company, then why not just peep on everypony through the window, hm?”
  623. >While you might not like the insinuation of “peeping”, you definitely took the opportunity to look out onto the streets of Ponyville, your heart sinking as you watched the waves of your home’s citizens stagger through town
  624. >”Now tell me, what do you see?”
  625. “Well…everypony out there seems to be drooling a lot.”
  626. >Another sip of chocolate milk disappeared down Eris’ throat as she nodded
  627. >”Yes, and?”
  628. “And…the color appears to match up to the natural color of everypony’s coat!”
  629. >Eris nodded again, her head squeaking like a rusty hinge
  630. “Considering the…erm…primary way the infection seems to spread, I take it the copious saliva is no doubt a part of the process though I…well I don’t understand the reasoning /behind/ it. Why do this? I can see how it all works, and by process of elimination, I can tell that it was more than likely your doing, but I can’t see /why/.”
  631. >Turning back to Eris, she was…why was there a vending machine where the fireplace should be?
  632. >”You see, Twilight, I’m just not sure why I should even bother telling you? Knowing you, you’ll probably complain about my “methods” or tell me how you “already know” and it’ll all just wind up so /you/. You know, reasonable, nerdy, and boringly bland. In fact, your next line will be, “I’m not boring!” right?”
  633. “I’m not boring!”
  634. >You huffed with indignancy, before striking some kind of strange pose
  635. “What in Equestria?”
  636. >”See what I mean? Bland bland bland! If I had to suffer every mundane detail of life, I’d die, and I wouldn’t even come back! /That’s/ how bad it is!”
  637. >You watched as she turned from the machine, peeling some kind of wrapped bar of chocolate like a banana, before eating the wrapper, dropping the bar on the ground
  638. >Through the window, you could almost hear Pinkie Pie weeping at it’s loss
  639. >”No, I’ve got my sights set on something /much/ more interesting than any Pony, something quite literally bigger, and most definitely better!”
  640. >Bigger, not a Pony, and better than anypony, by Eris’ standards, at least?
  641. “You’re doing this because of Anonymous?”
  642. >Eris was currently in the process of mashing her face against the window, to the point where her eyes stayed cartoonishly stuck to the glass when she turned around, a big grin on her face
  643. >”/There/ we go! I knew if you strained that big, grey brain of yours you’d figure it out!”
  644. >Confetti fell from the ceiling, fluttering down around you and, as it cleared, Eris was gone and dark, blue water began to flood the now-sphere-like room
  645. >Swimming, you rose to the top just in time to see a massive claw and paw grab hold of the room from outside of it, lifting it up higher and higher until you could see Eris’ massive face looking in at you
  646. >”Now, /why/ am I doing this to Anonymous?”
  647. >She said before shaking the room, water sloshing all around you, sending you wildly around the flooded room, a whirlpool forming, dragging down into that dark water until Eris finally stopped, right as your face slammed up against the glass
  648. “I don’t know!”
  649. >The massive Mare grinned, raising the room up closer so you could hear her whisper, even though it was still a booming tone when you were at this size
  650. >”I want to know what kind of Pony he /likes/~”
  651.  
  652. -----
  653.  
  654. “Fasten up them windows, Anon, and do it faster’n a strawberry goes bad!”
  655. >From up the stairs, you could hear anon yell back
  656. >”How fast is that supposed to be!”
  657. “Pretty darn fast!”
  658. >You were pretty sure you heard an indignant huff from the gathered Ponies, and that made this just a little bit better
  659. >A dislike for Strawberries, a folksy twang like a guitar being strummed, and strong enough to move a massive bookshelf on your own?
  660. >You were most definitely Applejack
  661. >Less that fortunately though was the lack of building materials in Twilight’s castle
  662. >Why, you bet you couldn’t even build a decent outhouse with what Twilight had here!
  663. >You’d given Anon the tools to do the windows, while you pushed and pulled bookshelves in front of any entrances on the bottom floor
  664. >Thankfully, Twilight liked big, heavy books
  665. >Glancing back over at the window, you saw a few hooves begin to reach in, and so you bucked the shelf, sending it skidding backwards, slamming into the wall
  666. >You could repay Twilight for the books you’d squashed when all this was fixed
  667. >Then again, considering the continued swarm outside that was only moaning louder, you were starting to worry about how long it’d take to get things done with
  668. >Normally, Twilight would have started blasting, or she’d have rushed in with some kind of spell she was “completely sure” would work
  669. >The lack of, well, anything, was more than a might disturbing!
  670. >Another shelf got bucked, another entrance sealed for now
  671. >There was a hidden downside to Twilight’s books that you didn’t know about, though
  672. >As quite possibly the nerdiest way of working out ever, Twilight had decided to reorganize what went where
  673. >Whenever she was done reading a heavier book, or had to put some away, she’d always store them on the higher shelves
  674. >As she figured, she’d either have to strain her magic more to lift them, or she’d have to work her wings to fly them up
  675. >As such, she’d get more training in all three categories, mind, physical, and magical
  676. >This of course meant that her shelves were rather top heavy
  677. >As more and more Ponies piled up outside, smacking at the shelves, they began to wobble and tilt, the sound of falling books alerting you to one, and then the other
  678. >You’d steady one, only for another to begin to fall and, once you’d gotten that one back up, two more started to topple!
  679. >As you grew more tired from all the lifting and running, you knew you didn’t have much choice
  680. >You’d have to buy some time
  681. “All ‘o y’all, upstairs, on the double!”
  682. >Your group looked more than a little scared an unsure at the command, not wanting to move from the seemingly safe throne room
  683. >When one of the shelves was knocked over, and a trio of Zombie Mares tumbled through, they decided to follow orders
  684. >While they ran upstairs, you took your lasso out, shelves and books falling to the ground around you as the horde began to climb in, more and more mindless Ponies struggling to get inside, with only you standing in their way
  685. “Come on, y’daughters ah bastards! Come’n git me!”
  686. >Your lasso flew out, wrapping around a Mare and dragging her in, right in time for you to buck her square on the snout, sending her crashing back into one group, your aim shifting to the next closest
  687. >Looping it around her, you gave the lasso a hard yank, bringing her down to the ground, causing the Ponies behind her to tumble and fall into a pile, clogging and slowing their entrance
  688. >One Pony moved up behind you and caught your hind hooves, going flying back and into one of the last bookshelves that was still standing, bringing it down on top of a small group, pinning them to the floor
  689. >A mane brushed against the back of your neck, warm drool dripping onto your coat, but your lasso flew out, finding a bust of Starswirl
  690. >It was probably some sort of artifact or important item but to you?
  691. >It was heavy enough to hurt
  692. >Twirling it around your head, you swung it in a large circle, slamming it into Ponies, knocking them back, clearing you some space
  693. >You were grateful that these Ponies didn’t seem to feel much, as you’d otherwise feel bad slamming some kind of statue against them
  694. >As you drove it into one of the many Ponies, it knocked them off, your lasso getting twisted up in their legs, tugging it from your mouth
  695. >Defenseless, the horde began to surround you, drawing in slowly
  696. >You bucked and kicked and threw and headbutted them as they got close, tossing out insults and challenges, but even you couldn’t stand up to dozens of unfeeling Ponies
  697. >Grunting, they piled on to you, forcing you down to the floor, a sea of hooves surrounding your head as the air grew hot and damp
  698. >This was it
  699. >You were going to become one of them
  700. >You struggled to rise, but there was just too much weight fighting against you
  701. “Y-Y’daughters..ah bastards..”
  702. >Had you been able to hear anything over the moaning and the echoing pounding of your heart, you might have heard something heavy running towards you, followed by the sound of a broom hitting Pony
  703. >Instead, you felt your load lighten slightly, and then it lightened again, and again!
  704. >Soon, it was light enough that you could force yourself up, the Iron-Pony that you were, other Ponies cascading off of you!
  705. >Looking around, your eyes widened as you focused on Anon, a broom in his “hands”, sending another Pony flying with a wallop!
  706. >”Get off of her!”
  707. “A-Anon? What in Tartarus are y’doin’?”
  708. >”Saving your hide, now come on, if we herd them to the stairs we can throttle their numbers!”
  709. >A pony staggered towards him and he sent it flying, only making your eyes widen further in disbelief
  710. “How d’you know all that?”
  711. >”I’ll tell you later, move!”
  712. >Before you had a chance to, he’d reached down, one of those large arms of his wrapping around under your body, lifting you up into their air
  713. >He leapt over a Pony, grabbed the banister, and jumped, using his grip to twirl himself around mid-air, landing on the stairs
  714. >He set you down, and then rose back up, jabbing his broom down like a guard with her spear would do, keeping the Ponies at bay as the two of you rose up the steps, you providing the frontline defense while he’d jab at Ponies from behind
  715.  
  716. -----
  717.  
  718. >You were currently Eris, and you were far too distracted to think of any good titles for yourself
  719. “Look! Did you /see/ that? He’s sending Ponies flying with- Ha ha! Look at Applejack’s /face/! Oh wait wait, he’s pulling an Amaponian on her and carrying her and, wait a second, did he just come up with some kind of fighting defense? Just look at him /go/!”
  720. >You continued to either jab or smack Twilight every time Anonymous did something, and boy was he /doing/ things!
  721. >It’s a good thing you were getting Twilight’s attention lightly as she’d otherwise wind up with Luna’s color scheme!
  722. >Still, despite your good intentions, she seemed more focused on getting out of the chair you had her strapped down on instead of watching all this gloriousity play out before the two of you!
  723. >Maybe you should get the eye-openers out next time
  724. “Honestly Twilight, if you’re not going to watch all this I won’t going to invite you over next time.”
  725. >You scolded, pouring some soup into your tea cup
  726. >She wasn’t getting any due to the gag covering her mouth, something which was completely not your fault
  727. >She was the one who kept going on and on about how she “needed to help her friends” and how “you should just ask Anon” and that you were, and you quote, “digging a deeper hole for yourself”, a statement that was certainly incorrect
  728. >After all, you weren’t even starting to dig a hole, let alone deepen a pre-existing one!
  729. >Unless, of course, this event helped to fill a hole in Anonymous’ heart
  730. >Maybe you ought to take over for Cadence!
  731. >After all, no one had even noticed when that amateur replaced her, so it couldn’t be /that/ hard, right?
  732. >While you continued to think, your second head watched Anon and Applejack bravely fight back
  733. >After all, how could you afford to miss a second of /this/?
  734. >A Stallion who could, and would, fight alongside a Mare?
  735. >Not only that, one who could do it just as well?
  736. >Eat your collective hearts out, Stallionists
  737. >There really was only one downside to all this, and that was the fact that your plan wasn’t going to come to fruition if the two of them knocked out all the infected Ponies!
  738. >It wasn’t like you could just pull this off a second time!
  739. >Talk about being lazy!
  740. >No, they’d need to succumb now, but how?
  741. >How?
  742. >You grabbed the head that had been talking to twilight by the horn and neck, twisting it around like a towel so you could wring it for ideas, but you found yourself coming up dry!
  743. >Sure, you could just appear and force this to happen, but it had to be natural
  744. >How would you know your answer for sure otherwise?
  745. >The answer to your problem, if nothing else, was soon provided
  746. >Somehow you’d managed to forget that stairs covered in a copious amount of drool and sweat would be quite slippery!
  747. >Enough so that Anon, with his weight raised much higher than that of a Pony, would come crashing down
  748. >Applejack, the hard-worker that she was, managed to catch him and keep him from hurting herself, but it also meant she couldn’t move or properly defend herself against the remaining Ponies and, with Anon temporarily down, she had no back-up either
  749. >With a defiant growl, she hoisted him up and onto the stairs, telling him to leave but, with barely a moment of hesitation, he reached out and grabbed her
  750. >Heart (literally!) in your throat, you watched as he tore her from the grasps below the two of them, throwing her back up and onto the stairs as he fell into the horde
  751. >Both of your heads became one as you watched through the window, Anonymous’ large form disappearing under the horde of Ponies, the colorful Mares and Stallions alike turning their focus entirely on the Human who’d gone under, leaving Applejack alone as she gawked
  752. >Even Twilight, the fussy little whiner she was, had decided to stop fiddling with her straps so she could focus on the heroic sacrifice!
  753. >Applejack tried to buck Ponies off of him, but with the raised elevation of her position, it wasn’t doing much good
  754. >The collective moaning grew louder and louder, the pile shuddering as Anonymous struggled beneath it, his muffled cries almost impossible to hear amidst the cacophony
  755. >Then, the pile grew quiet and still, no longer moving, until a fist burst up through the top of it!
  756. >You were pretty sure you heard a pin drop somewhere in your room
  757. >The pile started to shift again, though it wasn’t the Ponies causing it, the shapeless mass rising up higher and higher until Ponies began to cascade off of Anon’s form
  758. >Shoving them free, he forced himself up, coughing and spitting up a variety of colorful drools that had gotten in his mouth, but who were they from?
  759. >Was he kissing Stallions or Mares down there?
  760. >You should have gotten better cameras, darn it all!
  761. >Still coughing, wiping the colorful slime from his face, he looked around at the unmoving Ponies piling up on the floor, slowly speaking between coughs
  762. >”What…what the fuck…”
  763.  
  764. -----
  765.  
  766. >Did you learn a facial hair-growth spell just so you could give yourself a beard to match Starswirl’s?
  767. >Since you did, you must be Twilight “Friendship is my jam, on villains I’ll go ham” Sparkle
  768. >While preferring books as your primary source of entertainment, you couldn’t deny that visual storytelling certainly had it’s values
  769. >In fact, you’d written no less than three essays on the matter
  770. >You’d also written four about the various coprophilic natures of certain species of insect
  771. >As such, you were one of the foremost authorities when it came to saying that you had just seen some shit go down
  772. >While you were more than a little upset with Eris for, well, everything, you’d certainly spent the last five minutes stuck staring through the window, unable to look away
  773. >How could you even easily sum up what you’d just watched?
  774. >You knew Anon acted like a Mare more often than not, but that?
  775. >All he’d have needed to do would have been to throw in some referential one-liner when he sacrificed himself and he’d probably have been the talk of folklore for years!
  776. >Again, you were furious with Eris, but this had been something else
  777. >Looking over at the Draconequus in question she appeared to be…pouting?
  778. “What could you /possibly/ be upset about after all that?”
  779. >Eris huffed, crossing her arms as she looked down at the floor
  780. >”I didn’t get my answer.”
  781. >What
  782. “How could possibly miss that? How did you set all of this up and then overlook the part you actually wanted to see accomplished?!”
  783. >While it /was/ incredibly frustrating, as well as worrying, you found yourself more upset over the absolute botching of the closest Eris came to a scientific experiment!
  784. >How could one Mare be /so/ infuriating?!
  785. >While you glared at her, movement out of the corner of your eye drew your attention back to the window
  786. >The Ponies on the ground were starting to move again, though it wasn’t quite as freely as they had before
  787. >Not only that, but their groaning seemed more “ow I’m hurting” than it did “I want to kiss Anonymous”
  788. >They weren’t even drooling anymore!
  789. >Anonymous and Applejack drew back, but they seemed to realize what was going on, Ponies very slowly getting up, bruises starting to form as they questioned what was going on, where they were, running through the “W”s while Anonymous and Applejack tried to figure out the situation, all while answering the questions being posed
  790. >Overall, they were handling things very well
  791. >Okay, the Mares were handling things very well
  792. >The Stallions…well they didn’t stick around for long, most of them rushing off looking like quite the hot messes!
  793. >The spa would likely be getting quite a few customers tomorrow morning
  794. >When it came to Eris, other than Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie, the sisters who worked there were big fans of the various, often messy, shenanigans Eris caused
  795. >Speaking of which, you hear Eris snap her claws, and then you were in the air in your castle
  796. >Once you’d gotten up off the slimy ground, you made your way over to the main group, lifting up bookcases, reorganizing books, and helping other Ponies up and out, assuring them that all would be explained in the morning
  797. >When you got to Applejack, you gave her a (totally Marely) hug, not too surprised that you could feel her shaking, even if she tried to act like she wasn’t
  798. >The fighting had clearly taken a lot out of her and Anonymous, the two of them sweating and breathing heavily and yet, despite all this, they helped you to corral the Ponies still hanging around, as well as letting those that were hiding upstairs know they were safe
  799. >A few hours later and the three of you had helped everypony get home, to a friend’s house, or to the hospital if they needed it, though thankfully the most anypony had was some bruises or scrapes, nothing life-threatening or broken
  800. >As Anonymous staggered home, Applejack decided to walk him there, partially to keep him safe and partially because it was mostly on the way
  801. >While they headed home, you went to write a letter to Princess Celestia
  802. >You needed some advice on what to do with Eris
  803.  
  804. -----
  805.  
  806. >Who always lifts the sun up?
  807. >Tia!
  808. >Who always makes breakfast up?
  809. >Tia!
  810. >Who ends all her rhymes with up?
  811. >Tia!
  812. >What was her name again (up)?
  813. >Celestia!
  814. >Humming to yourself you, Celestia, raiser of the sun, creator of delicious pancakes, and biggest Pony, set out yet another well-made platter if you do say so yourself, which you do
  815. >Even this long after your Cutie Mark swap with your sister, you still spoke to yourself every now and then when you were alone
  816. >Speaking of your sis, Luna wandered into the hall, flopping down at the breakfast table
  817. >While she was still fairly unresponsive in the mornings, she always made an effort to compliment your food and eat some, a fact that made your mornings even better, much like how her lavender improved your nights
  818. “Good morning, sister~”
  819. >”’mmrning dear sisterrm…”
  820. >Like you said, an effort was certainly made
  821. >As Luna shoved an entire pancake into her mouth, you were startled from enjoying yours as a letter appeared
  822. >You were sorely tempted to finish breakfast first, even when noting Twilight’s now-official seal
  823. >While you did love your student, she had a tendency to write you very long and detailed letters, sometime so much so that you had to review them a few times to make sure you got it all right!
  824. >Of course, part of that was due to Spike’s rather “interesting” approach to writing
  825. >You knew that she was fond of including Spike in what she did, but he /was/ still a baby, even if he was a surprisingly eloquent one
  826. >Glancing back over at your sister, she appeared to be drowning herself in the syrup currently, so you supposed it would be fine to have the letter read aloud
  827. >Raising it into the air, you broke the seal, unfurled the letter, and with a simple spell, an oddly stiff, nondescript voice began to read the letter aloud while you ate
  828. >”Dear Princess Celestia, I hope that this letter finds you in good health, happiness, Friendship, Harmony, love, sisterly bonds-“
  829. >Noting that the writing seemed to imply Twilight had wrote this herself, you wondered if the excessive praise and titles were a part of the reason for Spike’s involvement in her letters
  830. >While he was a sweet little dragon, he also didn’t have the patience to write down every single little thing and would simplify things
  831. >You took a mental note to find some large and valuable gems as a “thank you” for Spike next time you saw him
  832. >About a third of the way through your stack, the letter arrived at the hay of the matter, and what hay it was!
  833. >From the sounds of things, Twilight and the rest of her friends were having some trouble with Eris over the last two or three days and-
  834. >Wait, didn’t Luna mention something about encountering Eris recently?
  835. >Looking over at your sister, you noted that she’d freed herself from a sticky fate, though she was using her pancakes as a pillow now
  836. >It would have been nice to get a photo of her like this, but from the way Twilight spoke, this was a more important issue
  837. “Luna? Are you awake?”
  838. >Your sister jerked her head up at your question, a pancake coming with her
  839. >One of her eyes met yours, the other currently covered by the pancake sliding down her face
  840. >”Yes, dearest sister? What wouldst thou ask of us?
  841. >It was almost impressive the way Luna was able to maintain a regal attitude even when it looked like her eyes were leaving for a long vacation
  842. “You met with Eris recently, correct? I remember you mentioned it briefly.”
  843. >She looked panicked for a moment before calming herself, nodding and removing the pancake from her face
  844. >”W-We didst indeed, dearest sister, th-though it twere not by our own consent! Eris, the damnable creature that she is, summoned us from our very room.”
  845. “What did she want, Luna?”
  846. >At that, she puffed up, looking ripe with indignation
  847. >”Her want was truly great, as she summoned us to aid in her attempts unto unlocking the dreamscape of Anonymous.”
  848. >Well now, /that/ was quite the interesting tidbit
  849. “Did you help her?”
  850. >”O-Of course not! It wounds us to thinkst thou thinkst so little of us, sister!”
  851. “Not at all, Luna, and besides, we both know that that should be impossible, though it does surprise me even Eris was stumped by it. Did she say why she wanted in, other than to be her normal, chaotic self?”
  852. >”Nay, not a word worthy of being uttered.”
  853. >Frowning, you turned your attention back to the letter, reading it for yourself so that you could go through it faster
  854. >From everything Twilight had said, her own encounters as well as those of her friends, not to mention some kind of…zombie virus (what?), Eris seemed to be entirely focus on Anonymous
  855. >It was a curious state of affairs to say the least
  856. >Of course, you couldn’t simply ask Eris what her endgame was
  857. >While she might have revealed some things to Twilight, what her true feelings were, what she honestly desired, what might happen should she not receive it, there was no way you or any of your little Ponies could figure that out
  858. >Thankfully, you had someone here who could figure that out in a different way
  859. >Looking back over at Luna, who appeared to be sneaking away, you cleared your throat, causing her to freeze up
  860. “Luna, I have a task for you.”
  861. >She paused for a moment, potentially contemplating throwing something and running for it, but instead she turned to face you, though not as enthusiastically as you might have hoped, even stifling a yawn
  862. >”What wouldst thou ask of us, dear sister?”
  863. “I want you to go into Eris’ dreams to find out what she’s planning with Anonymous.”
  864. >Wow
  865. >Who knew your sister could turn as pale as you?
  866. >”Th-Thou…Thou wouldst have us enter the mind of that…thing?
  867. >Luna could definitely do it, you didn’t doubt that, she might just require a push
  868. “Well, if you don’t think you can handle it, that’s alright I only-“
  869. >”No! No, we can, as you say, “handle it”. We shall rest well and then in the eve, upon raising the moon, we shall prepare ourselves to do battle with the Demon’s brain.”
  870. >Well, she wasn’t using the RCV for her declaration, so that was progress
  871. >Though she /did/ hurry off before you could make any more requests
  872. >Meanwhile, your pancakes had gotten all cold and soggy
  873. >At least you still had plenty of fresh fruit
  874.  
  875. -----
  876.  
  877. >Be you
  878. >The Hotness of the Lochness
  879. >The Magistrate of Magic’s State!
  880. >The Big Kahuna of all Tuna!
  881. >Yeah, that’s right, you’re pansexual
  882. >The “Pan” standing for PANdemic, PANdemonium, and Never-wearing-PANties!
  883. >Note to self, add a dash of PANther to my look sometime
  884. >Currently though, you’d taken on a whole lot of fly, quite literally down to the size and the wings which you currently had strapped to your back
  885. >Perched on a wall in Twilight’s “castle”, if you could call it that, you were listening to a delightfully heated discussion on you, of all people!
  886. >Using a miniature fire extinguisher on your ears while simultaneously blowing your nose, you listened in
  887. >”Are ya ser’ously tellin’ me that that /whole/ thing was on account ah Eris?!”
  888. >”O-Oh dear, it wasn’t /that/ bad…was it?”
  889. >Of course it wasn’t!
  890. >You just added a bit of thrill to an otherwise boring day, and all in the name of discovering something!
  891. >If Twilight couldn’t be on your side for that well you just didn’t know any more
  892. >”It was /worse/ than bad, Fluttershy! It was the worst! /Possible/! /THING/!”
  893. >Rarity then fainted carefully onto the pillows adorning her seat
  894. >What a spoilsport!
  895. >”Aww, I /wish/ I’d been awake when everything was happening! I would’a flown in and started kicking butt!”
  896. >”I don’t really remember much after I got into Rarity’s shop though. Hey Rarity, what happened after I-“
  897. >”N-Nothing at all, Pinkie, D-Darling! I was m-merely stuck defending Sweetie Bell and Spike, and that’s final!”
  898. >”Okay Rarity, if you say sooooooo~!”
  899. >Twilight coughed, drawing the attention in the room to her
  900. >”Alright girls, I know odd things have been happening a lot with Eris lately-“
  901. >”I’ll say! You should’ve seen what she did to me! She nearly rode me into the ground!”
  902. >The silence in the room was deafening
  903. >My and look at that, both Rainbow /and/ Rarity are doing impressions of Big Mac!
  904. >Twilight cleared her throat again and continued on
  905. >”From what I’ve both observed and documented, all of these events seem to either involve, or are related to, Anonymous. I don’t know what Eris wants exactly, but she seems to be focused on him currently. I have a few theories, but there’s no solid evidence. As we all know, Eris enjoys her mindgames so I don’t believe we can dismiss the idea that this is to get to us, or somepony else, as well. After all, we’ve all had a hoof in helping Anonymous settle into Ponyville.”
  906. >The rest of the girls nodded, each recalling various events or moments they’d undergone since Anonymous’ arrival to their world
  907. >Still, I think focusing our ideas on Anonymous would be the best decision for now. In any scenario, Eris has kept constant attention on him, so our best odds for figuring this out will be to maintain that focus.”
  908. >Wait, did this mean that they’d all be spending more time with him?
  909. >Even Fluttershy?
  910. >Well that wouldn’t do!
  911. >Heck, the whole reason you’d even started this was because you wanted to make sure he wasn’t trying to use her or anything!
  912. >You’d need to figure out some way of keeping them away from him for the time being
  913. >Oh, wait, Twilight was still talking, better tune back in
  914. >Adjusting one of your horns like a knob, you quickly found Twilight’s voice again
  915. >Incess Luna, as they know more about Eris than most anypony, so hopefully we’ll hear back from them soon with some answers. Until then, keep an eye on Anonymous, and an eye out for Eris, Okay?”
  916. >”Oki Doki Loki~!”
  917. >Pinkie Pie replied, her eyes swivelling in two different directions much like that bubbles-flanked pony
  918. >Oddly enough, one eye swivelled to where you had no doubts about Anonymous being, and the other shifted to look directly at you
  919. >While she shouldn’t have been able to notice you, you’d learned not to take chances with that Pink Pmenace
  920. >The P is silent
  921. >Teleporting away, you returned to your home in the Chaos Realm
  922. >You had Princesses to prepare for, after all!
  923.  
  924. -----
  925.  
  926. >The moon shone down upon Equestria from it’s place amongst the stars, brighter now than before considering you were no longer marking it’s surface
  927. >Wide awake and trying to calm yourself, you were Princess Luna, and this was a load of horseapples
  928. >That was apparently the new term for it
  929. >You’d been informed that the one from your time was shocking, out-of-date, and horribly offensive
  930. >Focusing back in on your mental preparation, you settled yourself on your bed
  931. >It had been a great many years since you’d last done this and you were in no hurry to do it again
  932. >Curse yourself for still trying to improve, especially when it meant you agreed to things such as this!
  933. >You re-checked the various spells you’d cast upon yourself, making sure they were holding firm
  934. >They weren’t as “pretty” or “sophisticated” as the spells many Unicorns crafted this millennium
  935. >Yours were from a time of power and feuds
  936. >What they lacked in finesse they more than made up for in raw power, and you’d gained enough back over time
  937. >You considered, and then followed through on, checking your spells one third and final time before settling down
  938. >Good things came in threes, right?
  939. “Threes…”
  940. >Shutting your eyes, you focused on the dreamscape, and it lit up like the night sky
  941. >You could see the dreams of every creature in Ponyville, bar one
  942. >Pushing yourself further, you began to see dreams pour in from farther away, but that wasn’t what you wanted
  943. >One of your spells ignited and then in front of you grew a line in the air
  944. >Touching your horn to it, you pulled your head downwards, carving a vertical hole in the dreamscape, one that lead to Eris’ realm
  945. >The fact that she had a house in here was some kind of strange joke, but it at least made her home easy to pinpoint, and through it’s walls, the “Goddess” herself
  946. >The fact that Eris appeared to be asleep though, that was the most disconcerting thing of all
  947. >Eris did not sleep
  948. >She might make references to it, or joke about it, but you’d never once actually caught her sleeping
  949. >You highly doubted she’d taken it up, either
  950. >Reflecting on that fact, a part of you wanted to stop right now
  951. >You’d much prefer to guard the dreams of every one of your subjects than dive into that lunatic creature’s mind
  952. >You’d be happier puzzling for hours over Anon’s resistance than do what you were about to do
  953. >And yet…
  954. >Twilight and her friends had helped you begin to forgive yourself for what you’d done, and Twilight’s student had helped you reconcile your feelings with your sister
  955. >If you could repay them even just a fraction for what they’d done for you, you would do this
  956. >Focusing on Eris, you entered her dreams
  957.  
  958. -----
  959.  
  960. >You were Luna, queen of the bounce house and ruler of all things inflatable!
  961. >Pulling a balloon out of your oversized pocket, you puffed it up, long enough that you could use your hooves to seal it, and then fold it into a variety of shapes, while foals watched, their parents smiling from the sidelines
  962. “Alright, what should I make next, hm?”
  963. >”A bear!”
  964. >”No, an eagle!”
  965. >”I wanna goat!”
  966. >”Nuh uh! Dragons are waaay cooler!”
  967. >You’d started out with a bear, but you tried to be fair to all the different voices popping up
  968. >How could you say no to those excited faces?
  969. >You folded and twisted and bent until you came to a stop, wiping a hoof easily across your bare forehead
  970. “Done!”
  971. >You proclaimed, holding the balloon out to your audience who gawked at it
  972. >Odd, you’d expected more cheers, perhaps some applause, or at least some smiling
  973. >Instead, your gathered crowd just looked confused
  974. >”Miss Woona? What /is/ it?”
  975. “It? Well, it’s a…”
  976. >You looked down at the thing you’d created and you tried to figure out just what it actually was
  977. “It’s a…”
  978. >Maybe it was a bear?
  979. >No, it had horns like a…
  980. “It’s…”
  981. >But it’s tail and wings fit together
  982. >No, wait, one of the wings was different
  983. >Leaning in, you tried to focus on the colorful thing while foals began to cry
  984. “What /are/ you?”
  985.  
  986. -----
  987.  
  988. >You were Luna, and your paintings weren’t selling well
  989. >You were at a sort of joint art exhibit and despite the fact that you’d gotten here first and booked a room for yourself, you’d been shunted off to the side because of some “big star” who’d requested a part in all of this
  990. >Why it was fair, you didn’t know
  991. >You’d done everything right, after all, your paintings were made with love and skill too, and you’d more than put the time in
  992. >And yet no one seemed to care
  993. >Looking back at your various art as it adorned the walls around you, you tried to understand what made them less appealing
  994. >It was a little hard to focus on them though, as the walls you’d been given were small, so you’d had to push your paintings side-by-side to make them all fit
  995. >Despite the variety of styles and colors and subject matter, they actually fit together kind of well, yet there was also a certain unease that came from their union
  996. >Actually, the more you looked at the “bigger picture” so to speak, the more it seemed to come together
  997. “You know, this sort of looks like-“
  998.  
  999. -----
  1000.  
  1001. >You were Luna, and you were too small to ride the roller coaster
  1002. >Which was totally unfair because you’d grown up a lot!
  1003. >Sure, you weren’t the biggest Pony around, but you weren’t the smallest either
  1004. >You were a very respectable size!
  1005. >Glaring up at the bored Pony in their booth, they just shrugged and pointed back at the sign
  1006. >The park’s mascot held one paw out, it’s cardboard countenance grinning down at you as if to mock your /slight/ lack of stature
  1007. >Who was it to look down on you?
  1008. >You were big and strong and noble!
  1009. >It was just some silly creation made up to draw in young foals, offering them a safe, wholesome experience!
  1010. >It didn’t even make sense, either, which was the most frustrating part of it!
  1011. >It was like it’s creators had just taken a bunch of different things and mashed them all together, slapped on some dumb smile and-
  1012. >No
  1013. >It looked familiar, the more you stared at it
  1014. >You’d been to this amusement park for years, but it wasn’t a knowledge as banal as that
  1015. >Had it been a painting?
  1016. >Some kind of toy?
  1017. >It was as if you knew what it was, but the further you pushed to figure out it’s name, the further it tilted over the tip of your tongue
  1018. >Your tongue?
  1019. >Glancing down, you noticed you were indeed sticking your tongue far out of your mouth and, as you stared at it, the tip began to writhe out of your control
  1020. >Watching in horror, you felt something shifting within the muscle, like arms and legs were kicking at you from within, mysterious forms shifting just below the meat
  1021. >Forcing your tongue back into your mouth, you bit down on it hard, hoping to crush whatever it was that was fighting you
  1022. >It struggled, then stilled, leaving you alone in an infinite void
  1023. >You were truly yourself again, and you needed to find the path
  1024. >Shutting your eyes, you sensed your horn, channeling magic through it, the various seals you’d selected helping you to force your way through the inky darkness
  1025. >A beam of light cut through, illuminating your way, and you began to walk along it, making sure not to miss a step or gaze too far into the distance
  1026. >After what felt like one hour exactly, a door appeared before you and, hesitant as you were, you opened it, blinding light pouring through, forcing you to shut your eyes once more, the bridge you’d created disappearing, though it didn’t seem to matter
  1027. >The door was gone when you blinked the after images from your eyes, looking around at an empty white void, the only spot of shadow being your own
  1028. >You could walk around normally in this place if nothing else, though there didn’t appear to be anything to see
  1029. >That is, until you turned around, coming face-to-face with yourself, more or less
  1030. >What you were looking into was a strange mirror, one that had no edge, standing vertically in front of you
  1031. >”What can I help you with, Luna?”
  1032. >You were distinctly aware of the fact that, despite your reflection moving it’s mouth to speak, the voice was coming from something lurking behind the mirror
  1033. >You weren’t sure why, but it made your skin crawl
  1034. >Perhaps it was your desire to speed this process along, or perhaps it was the fact that you didn’t really believe this would work, but you decided to answer as truthfully as you could
  1035. “We wisheth to know the feelings of Eris towards Anonymous.”
  1036. >”One moment, please.”
  1037. >Replied your duplicate, a filing cabinet emerging from the “floor” in front of you, the middle drawer opening outwards, extending towards, and past, you
  1038. >This was quite possibly the most normal thing in here and the fact that it was was putting you on-edge
  1039. >You kept waiting for the other horseshoe to drop
  1040. >Looking into the cabinet, you scrolled through the various folders until you came to Anonymous’
  1041. >Unlike many of the other folders, his had a single, solitary sticker attached to it
  1042. >Examining it, it appeared to be a sticker of your face, smiling up at you
  1043. >How hideous
  1044. >Holding the folder up in the air, you steeled yourself, expecting the worst, only for a single item to fall out of it when it was opened, the rest of the folder appearing empty
  1045. >Casting your vision downwards, it appeared to be some kind of “Jackalope” magazine, a handsome Stallion adorning the cover, body “tastefully” obscured by one or two random items that had been caught in the photograph of him
  1046. “Typical.”
  1047. >You muttered under your breath, dropping the magazine right as it turned into a bear trap, snapping shut in front of your face
  1048. >Stepping backwards, you began to cast a spell, only for your back legs to not find any purchase, sending you tumbling backwards into the void
  1049.  
  1050. -----
  1051.  
  1052. >You tumbled, falling one way, and then the other, twisting back and forth as you spiralled in all sorts of directions
  1053. >It still felt like you were falling, but the direction you were going kept changing
  1054. >Thanks to that, you couldn’t focus on any specific spells as the constant motion kept throwing you off
  1055. >Not knowing what to do, you began to channel your magic into your horn, preparing to use another one of prepared seals, only for a circle of light to appear below you
  1056. >As you practically flew through it, you became aware of the sound of rushing water, moments before you splashed into what felt like a small pool, sinking beneath the surface in a rush of bubbles
  1057. >Surfacing, you had to squint it was so bright
  1058. >The sun shone down on a colorful (even by Pony standards) water park, all manner of Ponies rushing about, splashing and laughing, and all in utterly lascivious outfits!
  1059. >Was it really your fault that fashion standards had changed so much in the past thousand years?
  1060. >You’d been stuck in the Stone Age for all that time, after all
  1061. >Trying not to stare at the Stallions walking about in their tightly-fitting swimsuits, you climbed out of the water, looking around for where you needed to go
  1062. >Dreams were a bit like puzzles, only they were unfinished
  1063. >No matter how fleshed out a dream might be, there was always some level of slacking
  1064. >Sometimes you’d step through a door into another layer, or you might climb into a box
  1065. >You’d even had to squeeze through a locket once!
  1066. >Thankfully you weren’t your sister
  1067. >Still, this dream was worryingly solid
  1068. >Every time you looked up a slide, or through a door, or into a bottle of sunscreen, you found them fully-constructed
  1069. >The dreamscape wasn’t something you manipulated manually when you were dreaming it up, after all
  1070. >Even you had only created a monster to torment you, a manifestation of your guilt
  1071. >Of course, this being Eris’ mind, anything was a give-
  1072. >Coming to a stop, you stared into the wave pool, noting one user in particular who was sitting on an inflatable ring, drifting back and forth
  1073. >Well wasn’t she having /such/ a /pleasant/ dream!
  1074. >Glowering at the oblivious, smiling Draconequus, you started to consider your best plan of action
  1075. >You could traverse through different layers should you find the entrance, but again
  1076. >Eris
  1077. >Considering her impossibility, you did what you thought was best, and grabbed one of the inflatable rings
  1078. >Wading into the pool, you made your way over to the currently still, living nightmare, the waves having ebbed away temporarily
  1079. >Once you were within hoofs reach, she lazily turned around to face you, her smile growing larger still as she lifted her shades, staring
  1080. >”Well /hello/ Luna! What brings you to my humble waterpark?”
  1081. >Humble wasn’t the word for it, considering it’s vast size, but was there really any point arguing with Eris of all creatures?
  1082. >You were fairly certain she considered walking a novelty
  1083. “We wish to find one being, shouldst they be here.”
  1084. >An eyebrow perked almost imperceptibly on Eris’ otherwise calm face, a minor tell that you had her interest
  1085. >Had you gone with a direct approach, you’d no doubt have been flipped, turned upside down and shaken for answers
  1086. >Either that, or Eris would simply have ignored you
  1087. >Despite being a Goddess of Chaos, she was still somewhat predictable
  1088. >”It’s called a paradox, Luna, and it’s my favorite “get out of jail free” card.”
  1089. >Did she just read your thoughts?
  1090. >But she shouldn’t have been able to! You had at least five enchantments established to prevent her from doing so!
  1091. >You tried to check they were still active when you noticed a lack of something important
  1092. >Namely your horn, the very same one Eris was currently using to scratch her back
  1093. >Your horn!
  1094. >Your hooves went up to your head, discovering that you had indeed lost your prized horn
  1095. >Now you were nothing but a Pegasus!
  1096. >Not only that, but if you didn’t have your horn, you couldn’t leave the dreamscape!
  1097. >Had this been your dream, you could have woken from it, but without your magic, you had to wait for Eris to wake up, and who knew how long she could sleep for?
  1098. >In fact, did she even need to wake up?
  1099. >It was entirely plausible that she could have two minds, one awake, and one asleep, leaving you trapped in here until she let you go free!
  1100. >With those thoughts in mind, you flapped your wings, pushing yourself up and at the damnable fiend, only for a wave to rise up and crash into you, dragging you back to the entrance to the pool
  1101. >In the distance you could see Eris floating on her ring, waving over at you
  1102. >Anger rising, you raised your head high, forgetting you could no longer teleport, a fact that lead you to do nothing but pose dramatically
  1103. >Thankfully, you still had wings, and so you took to the air, diving down at Eris
  1104. >Oddly enough, she made no attempt to move as you soared towards her, though you discovered why moments before slamming into her
  1105. >She extended one arm outwards, yanking the inflatable ring from underneath another mare and raising it up in front of her face
  1106. >Thanks to your dive, you went straight through the tube, your snout coming to a stop barely an inch from Eris’, the ring having caught around your middle, pinning your wings to your sides
  1107. >”Oops!”
  1108. “Return our horn at once thou foul abomination!”
  1109. >”Well I /would/ have but…”
  1110. >She wiggled her various digits, indicating that she’d used both paw and claw to hold the ring up
  1111. >Casting your eyes down to the water, you were just in time to see it be washed away by the waves
  1112. “Our horn!”
  1113. >Struggling in Eris’ grasp, you fought for a few seconds before she dropped you
  1114. >As the waves rolled over you, the ring kept you afloat, if spinning around, sending you tumbling back to the entrance once again
  1115. >When you arrived, your horn was almost within reach, only for a passing Pony to accidentally kick it, sending it flying deeper into the park
  1116. >It wasn’t too late though!
  1117. >All you had to do was get the ring off and you could fly after it easily!
  1118. >Two minutes of struggling later and you realized the folly of your fight
  1119. >This was Eris’ dream, of course you couldn’t remove the ring and free your wings
  1120. >Now you were nothing but an Earth Pony
  1121. “Thrice-damned, Tartarus-begotten monstress!”
  1122. >With a snort, you charged into the depths of the waterpark to reclaim your horn
  1123.  
  1124. -----
  1125.  
  1126. >The sheer number of Ponies in this park was incredible to see
  1127. >Normally, most dreams were lucky to have a few complicated devices on the surface level
  1128. >More often that not, they were fairly basic, normal fears and desires being projected outwards
  1129. >This place though, it had layers
  1130. >You were more than certain you could probably even slide down these slides without them melting or turning into giant snakes trying to eat you or any such thing as that
  1131. >As you trotted along at a brisk pace, loathingly admiring the complexity around you, you caught a hint of deep blue in the distance
  1132. >Hope springing in your chest, you began to gallop, only for a strong, deep, and decidedly male voice to ring out, stopping you in your tracks, the blue disappearing into the crowd once more
  1133. >”Stop! No running!”
  1134. >Turning your head towards the source of the noise, you quickly became aware of two things
  1135. >Number one, it was Anonymous, perched high upon the life guard tower, staring down at you from behind dark shades
  1136. >Number two, he was wearing nothing but the aforementioned shades, a hat, and a-
  1137. >By the makers…
  1138. >He /really/ shouldn’t have his legs spread that far apart while wearing a speedo
  1139. >Forcing your eyes up, you focused on the void of his glasses, hoping to make it clear you were looking into his eyes
  1140. >Your sister had made sure to inform you that it was no longer proper for a Princess to stare where she pleased
  1141. >It seemed a little ridiculous to you, and especially considering what Anonymous was currently wearing, but you were doing your best to adapt, and so, despite your body’s protests, you looked him in the eyes
  1142. “Anonymous, thou…thou art the one we were sent to seek! Please, couldst thou journey with us to find our horn? We need it to leave this place.”
  1143. >He seemed to mull it over in his head before speaking
  1144. >”I’m supposed to be on-duty, but I guess I could take my break early to help save you from this mess.”
  1145. >He stood up and, to your delight and shock, turned around and started to climb down
  1146. >By the stars and /moon/!
  1147. >You had no idea what sort of dream-dress code Eris had subconsciously for her internal employees, but this was too much!
  1148. >Or rather, it was far too little!
  1149. >Feeling a heat build in more than just one set of cheeks, you tore your eyes away, dunking your head in the nearest pool, turning around just in time for Anon to reach the bottom of the tower
  1150. >”Alright, lets go find your horn.”
  1151. >With that, he sauntered off and you quickly hurried to match his pace
  1152. >It wasn’t that bad though, as you weren’t sure you could have handled walking behind him
  1153. >You weren’t quite as tall as your sister, so your head rested around the middle of Anonymous’ back
  1154. >This was one of the few times you envied the heights of your subjects, whose heads would generally reach the Human’s hips
  1155. >Everlasting Moon, he was chiseled
  1156.  
  1157. -----
  1158.  
  1159. >Not too long after meeting him, you’d begun to note some strange inconsistencies
  1160. >For the time you’d known him, Anonymous had been thoughtful and quite interesting
  1161. >This Anonymous though, there wasn’t much to him
  1162. >He’d answer when spoken to, he was quite handsome, and he didn’t act like the typical Stallion, loudly laughing off whenever water splashed him, or lifting heavy things, but he also didn’t seem like himself
  1163. >Oddly enough, unlike almost every other aspect of Eris’ dream, he had to be the least normal thing here
  1164. >Everything he did seemed like a caricature of himself, accentuating some features but losing much of the complexity behind the rest
  1165. >Speaking of which, you were more than a little surprised when Anonymous scooped you up, lifting you into the air against his chest
  1166. >”Quickly, Luna, your horn is over there!”
  1167. “A-Anonymous, what art thou-“
  1168. >”No time for chit chat, Princess, this situation demands action!”
  1169. >He bounded off into the park, dashing and dodging between Ponies of all shapes and sizes
  1170. >There in the distance you could see your horn, being held in somepony’s mouth as they ascended the stairs of the largest slide you’d ever seen
  1171. >As the two of you drew nearer, security guardsponies appeared, both of which were pointing strange, black boxes with thin rods sticking out of the top, at you
  1172. >Before you could even say anything though, Anonymous performed a rather spectacular roundhouse kick, sending both of them crashing into various pools
  1173. “A-Anonymous! Put us down, we art quite capable of running ourselves!”
  1174. >”Nonsense, princess, I couldn’t live with myself if I let you get hurt.”
  1175. >As romantically as he’d said it, a knight in shining speedos was hardly most Pony’s idea of a hero
  1176. >On top of that, his “performance” was sorely lacking in believability, and as a frequent purveyor of the stage, you simply could not stand to be in this fake’s presence any longer
  1177. >Twisting around, you kicked free of his grasp, landing safely on the stairs
  1178. >This was a dream, he was not real and so whatever happened behind you didn’t matter
  1179. >Leaving the fake to his own devices, you charged up the stairs, running higher and higher and higher, the top never seeming to grow any closer
  1180. >Until it did
  1181. >Gasping and panting, the stairs came to a sudden stop, nearly sending you flying off the tower, though you managed to skid along the wood until you came to a teetering stop
  1182. >Despite your aching muscles, you forced yourself to stand and turn, just in time to see your horn, and the Pony holding it, slip into the waterslide
  1183. >For a moment, you simply stared at the gaping entrance to the slide, silently cursing Eris before diving in
  1184.  
  1185. -----
  1186.  
  1187. >The slide was dark, no light invading it as you flowed downwards after the horn thief, catching the occasional glimpse before the slide twisted and turned them away from your sight
  1188. >As you rounded a corner though, you found the walls around you fading away
  1189. >You were still in the slide, but the environment around it had become that of a different place, a small, rustic cottage in the middle of a large field, plains as far as the eye could see stretching in each direction
  1190. >The sun was slowly setting in the background, the last rays dwindling away before the moon raised and, right as the last hints of the sun flared in your vision, the door of the house opened, a tall silhouette standing there
  1191. >Then you rounded a corner and the vision was gone
  1192. >You turned another corner, nearly grasping the thief before you were sent down a different path, another vision surrounding the tube
  1193. >It was inside some fancy building, similar to the mansions of nobles you’d visited, only everything seemed slightly off-kilter
  1194. >The sound of hooves drew your attention as a young Eris stormed into the living room, followed by an older Draconequus couple who looked dissatisfied with her protests
  1195. >”But I don’t /want/ to be a goddess of chaos! I /want/ to be a lawyer!”
  1196. >The young Eris said, stamping her hoof
  1197. >Her mother frowned, removing her husband’s belt, snapping it in the air
  1198. >”You’re /going/ to go to Chaos College and you’re /going/ to capitalize that title, young lady!”
  1199. >Another turn, and it was gone
  1200. >Crossing your legs, you sped up, zipping down the slide at breakneck speed
  1201. >Another vision, this one where everypony, Eris included, were sock creatures
  1202. >Just…actual sock creatures
  1203. >The moment it went away, another image took its place, another world, another series of creatures, these ones similar but different at the same time
  1204. >As the slide moved faster and faster, an ominous tone began to drift through the slide, caught halfway between a cry and a song
  1205. >"Round the world and home again"
  1206. >"That's the sailor's way"
  1207. >"Faster faster, faster faster!"
  1208. >"There's no Equine way of knowing,"
  1209. >"Which direction you are going,"
  1210. >"There's no knowing where you're sliding,"
  1211. >"Or which way the water's flowing!"
  1212. >"Is it raining, is it snowing,"
  1213. >"Is a hurricane a-blowing?"
  1214. >"Not a speck of light is showing,"
  1215. >"So the danger must be growing!"
  1216. >"Are the fires of Tart'rus glowing,"
  1217. >"Is the grisly reaper mowing,"
  1218. >"Yes, the danger must be growing,"
  1219. >"For the water keeps on flowing,"
  1220. >"And it's certainly not showing"
  1221. >"Any signs that it is slowing!"
  1222. >Wait, what was that one near the end?
  1223. >It almost looked like a bunch of different kinds of Anonymous!
  1224. >Was that a Human world, or something else?
  1225. >You were going so fast, had you just imagined it?
  1226. >You caught sight of the Pony again as you drew close to the end of the slide, light appearing in the distance, silhouetting the Pony ahead of you
  1227. >Coming to the end of the slide, you tackled them, sending the both of you tumbling out of the slide and into the pool below
  1228. >As you both struggled, bubbles flowed around your writhing form, obscuring all from view, until finally you burst from the water, triumphant!
  1229. >Glaring back down at the water, you pulled the Pony out, eager to see what facet of Eris’ mind caused you to go on this wild goose chase, but instead of dragging one of your subjects from the bubbling depths, you hauled Eris out instead!
  1230. “Eris?! Wast that you all along?!”
  1231. >She tried to pluck your horn from your grasp, but you kept it out of her reach until she sighed, poofing out of your grasp and onto the walkway, looking down at you from above
  1232. >”So, did you find what you were looking for, Luna?”
  1233. >Did she know, or was she just bluffing?
  1234. >How far did her knowledge extend?
  1235. >Lifting your horn up, your pressed the base of it to your head, and you felt your magic begin to flow once more, your horn reattaching to you
  1236. “We know not. Didst we?”
  1237. >You felt like you had in some ways, and hadn’t in others
  1238. >For the moment, you were more than happy to take what you had gotten and leave it at that
  1239. >Eris on the other hoof simply stared at you, unmoving and expressionless, until she finally sighed and raised her paw into the air
  1240. >”You Princesses are utterly useless, you know that?”
  1241. >A plug appeared in the water beneath you and, with a snap of her digits, it was magically pulled free, the water all around you beginning to drain away
  1242. >You swirled away, your mind spinning and spinning until you collapsed back on the floor or your room exhausted, aching, and thankful to be free
  1243. >A beam of light hit you from the sun as it rose into the air, yet you couldn’t muster any energy to lower the moon
  1244. >You didn’t even get up off the ground
  1245. >You’d just have to talk to your sister later because at the moment, you were going to take a well-deserved nap
  1246.  
  1247. -----
  1248.  
  1249. >Did you have two arms, one head, and two legs?
  1250. >You did!
  1251. >Therefor, you must be Anonymous
  1252. >Old movie references aside, it was the dawn of another day, and you needed to get to work
  1253. >Apparently Pinkie had this new recipe in mind that involved a copious amount of fireworks and she wanted your help with it
  1254. >If nothing else, you were certain the Cakes would appreciate your help cleaning up
  1255. >If this was anything like the Cannon Cake, well it made you seriously contemplate ordering a raincoat from Rarity
  1256. >Gathering the last of your things, you opened your door…only to have a certain pink Pony collapse onto your floor
  1257. >”Hiya Nonny!”
  1258. >Came her muffled voice, her face somehow completely flat against the floor
  1259. >Despite your attempts to ignore her antics, some remaining, dwindling part of your brain still fought against the sheer absurdity you were subjected to daily
  1260. ”Hello Pinkie. What brings you here?”
  1261. >She pulled her head up from the floor like a suction cup, smiling up at you before springing to her hooves
  1262. >”What, can’t a girl see her favorite co-worker in the morning?”
  1263. “Pinkie, I’m your only co-worker.”
  1264. >She beamed at you like you’d just said something both silly, and yet truly heart-warming
  1265. >”Then that /must/ mean you’re my favorite!”
  1266. >Aww
  1267. >Reaching down, you ruffled her hair lightly before scooting out the door around her, drawing it shut behind you while she peeked into your house
  1268. >With your door securely locked, you turned around and started to walk to work, Pinkie quickly bouncing along beside you
  1269. >It was a little strange that she was here, as normally Pinkie started work extra early due to living above the shop, but you just put it down to one of her many eccentricities
  1270. >Speaking of which, she kept swivelling her head around like it was some kind of periscope, even lifting and lowering it in impossible ways
  1271. “Looking for something?”
  1272. >Blinking, she turned her face to look back to you and, despite her efforts to hide it, there was a very faint, pained expression to her
  1273. >”Just working the kinks out of my neck, Nonny, don’t you worry!”
  1274. “Well, far be it for me to judge a girl and her kinks.”
  1275. >That strained expression got just a little worse, but she quickly changed the subject
  1276. >”S-So Nonny, are you ready to make the bestest cake /ever/?”
  1277. “Well, considering we’ll be making it together, I think it’ll rank in my top ten, even if it blows up.”
  1278. >She laughed at that, visibly calming down
  1279. >”Don’t you worry, Nonny! The only thing that /should/ be exploding will be the taste in everypony’s mouth when they try it!”
  1280. >How had Equestria made edible fireworks, you might have asked at one point in time?
  1281. >Magic and Pinkie Pie was the best answer
  1282. >Worryingly enough, it also made a shocking degree of sense
  1283. “You know, this actually remind me of another candy from home.”
  1284. >Engage Pinkie Mode 2, bouncing has been upgraded to vibrating
  1285. >”It does?! Ooh, tell me tell me tell me!”
  1286. >Despite the similarities of your world and this one, there were also a great many differences
  1287. >While baked goods and cooking was certainly more common, candy seemed somewhat stuck in the hard, wrapped category
  1288. >They had flavors that were unique to their world, but you couldn’t help but wonder if their somewhat limited diets had lead them to not consider a great many other possibilities out there
  1289. >That, or Ponies just like sucking on sweet things here too
  1290. >Either way, once Pinkie had heard about a few kinds from back home, she’d enlisted BonBon’s services, becoming a sort of middleman, or middlepony, between your ideas and recollections of how they were made, as well as BonBon’s knowhow and skill
  1291. >It took a creative mind to figure out how to make things from your world work here, and Pinkie was exactly the right kind of Pony for that
  1292. “They were called ‘Pop Rocks’. Basically, you’d dump some in your mouth, shut it, and you could feel them popping and crackling over your tongue.”
  1293. >Pinkie had pulled a notepad out of her hair, a pencil held in her mouth as she furiously wrote down everything she could from what you remembered
  1294. >She could be as note-nutty as Twilight when it came to stuff like this
  1295. >”Pop Rocks! Ooh, Maud’ll /love/ those! What do you make them with, real rocks, or something else?”
  1296. >Cooking and baking were more your forte, but thankfully you’d included things like this in the various desserts you’d made over the years back home
  1297. >That, as it could be fun to understand the various ingredients that went into different kinds of candy and food
  1298. “Well, as far as I can recall they used sugar, lactose, corn syrup, and some other flavoring, but there's a process to how to make them which might make things tricky."
  1299. >She marked down everything before taking on a pensive look, thinking over the possible ways of fulfilling her sugary thoughts
  1300. >The two of you bounced ideas back and forth until you arrived at work
  1301. >You probably would have kept talking, but Mr Cake dragged Pinkie off once the two of you stepped inside, chastising her for running off in the morning instead of starting her shift on time
  1302. >You almost thought you caught her mentioning something about a mission, but you brushed it off as general Pinkie-related shenanigans
  1303. >Besides, you had things to bake and orders to fill
  1304.  
  1305. -----
  1306.  
  1307. >When your lunch break rolled around, you decided to head in to the market to see what caught your eye
  1308. >It wasn’t long after you’d arrived that you noticed Applejack waving you over to her stall
  1309. >”Howdy, Anon! What can I getcha?”
  1310. “Afternoon, Applejack. How’s it going?”
  1311. >”Better’n a bumble bee in a flower patch, thank y’kindly.”
  1312. >You’d often wondered how many little sayings Applejack had in her, considering the fact that you’d never heard her repeat one, and that she often found a way to work at least one in to each conversation
  1313. >”How’re you holdin’ up? Ah know the situation last last night must’a been pretty upsetting.”
  1314. “Mostly I’m just glad no Pony got hurt too badly. Well, that, and that whatever they had going on wasn’t permanent!”
  1315. >Huh, that was weird
  1316. >AJ was doing that same kind of swivel motion Pinkie did earlier
  1317. >Were they looking for something?
  1318. >Your hands absentmindedly brushed your pockets, making sure you didn’t have any sugarcubes or anything in them
  1319. >”By the by, when’re y’gonna tell me ‘bout how you learned t’fight the way y’did? I’m mighty keen t’find out how a Stallion like you got so good at it.”
  1320. >As she spoke, she pulled out a paper bag, loading a few of her largest, juiciest apples into it, though she stopped you before you could pull out your bits bag
  1321. >”They’re on the house, Anon. Consider it a ‘thank you’ fer savin’ my hide.”
  1322. >Having been around this long, you knew it was better to simply accept than to try and pay her for them after she’d made up her mind
  1323. >She could be as stubborn as a mule (was that speciesist?) once she’d reached that point, though you could at least figure out a work-around
  1324. “Well tell you what, why don’t I bake something up with these apples, then I can come by later and tell you. That sound fair?”
  1325. >”Well now, that sounds like a mighty fine deal t’me! It’s been a long while since ah had a Stallion-cooked meal, after-all.”
  1326. >She glanced around, though it was more deliberate this time, before leaning in close to you
  1327. >”Between you n’me, Big Mac ain’t much of a cook.”
  1328. “Well, I hope I’ll be good enough to satisfy you.”
  1329. >There was a hint of redness to her cheeks, but she just ignored it, tugging her hat a little lower on her head
  1330. >”That a promise?”
  1331. >You chuckled, lifting the bag up into the air, smiling down at AJ
  1332. “It’s a promise.”
  1333. >Digging a hand into the bag, you pulled an apple out, taking bite out of it as you walked away
  1334. >Maybe you’d have a smaller lunch today and save your appetite for dinner
  1335.  
  1336. -----
  1337.  
  1338. >Since it wasn’t too much of a walk, you made your way home to drop the apples off before you went back to work
  1339. >What you hadn’t expected when you arrived was a cluster of storm clouds above your house, topped with a certain multi-colored Pegasus
  1340. >She kept moving around from one spot to another, but she hadn’t seemed to have noticed you just yet
  1341. >Sneaking up, you got under the lip of your roof, looking up into the air as you shouted
  1342. “HEY DASH!”
  1343. >You heard her yelp from above the dark, yet fluffy layer of clouds, though you slammed your back against your door the moment lightning started shooting out from the cloudy ceiling
  1344. >”Who’s there?! Show yourself you coward!”
  1345. “Dash! Holy shit, stop, it’s just me!”
  1346. >Once the lightning had stopped, and you peeled yourself off your door, Dash’s head hung down from her perch, looking at you
  1347. >”Anon? What are you doing here?”
  1348. “This is my house, Dash.”
  1349. >She scrunched up in the way many Ponies do, though you’d have probably found it a whole lot more cute had it not been for the light show
  1350. >”I know /that/, but why’d you come sneaking up here? I could have zapped you!”
  1351. >Shifting the bag to your opposite side, you dug through your pocket for your keys, eager to drop the fruit off before Rainbow tried to fry it along with you
  1352. “I came here to put these apples away for tonight. Besides, why are you hovering around my house? It’s a little off-putting to be the only guy with storm clouds looming overhead.”
  1353. >That caught her and, while she tried to think up some kind of excuse, you unlocked your door, making the short trip, one that should have been even shorter than it became, before returning outside, relocking your door
  1354. >”-and that’s why.”
  1355. >Had she really been talking the whole time you were in the house?
  1356. >You know what?
  1357. >You’re good for today
  1358. “Okay Dash, got it, just try not to burn my house down, okay?”
  1359. >You put a little pep in your step as you returned to Sugar Cube Corner, though you noted that, from the sound, Rainbow was following quietly behind you
  1360. >You just hoped she wasn’t bringing the storm with her
  1361.  
  1362. -----
  1363.  
  1364. >The rest of your day had been fairly uneventful
  1365. >you’d baked cakes and cookies and pies and more, adjusting and adapting different ingredients to suit the different clientele that came in
  1366. >Pinkie had stuck to your side a lot, and every now and then she’d inspect the various tools and ingredients you all were using as if she was looking for something
  1367. >You were pretty certain you’d seen her throttle a spoon when she thought you weren’t looking
  1368. >Heading home for the night, you figured you had just enough time to prepare the food, wash up, and get dressed before you needed to walk over to Sweet Apple Acres
  1369. >Given your pressed time, you decided to be a bit of a basic baking bitch and make an apple pie, though considering how much Applejack seemed to love them you kind of doubted she’d be averse to it
  1370. >You decided to use an old recipe from home, adjusting one or two elements to fit Ponies better, and then slipped it into the oven, heading over to your bathroom to clean up while it cooked
  1371. >You’d be ready to go once it was done
  1372.  
  1373. -----
  1374.  
  1375. >Yeehaw!
  1376. >Ride ‘em, cowgirl!
  1377. >Bucking Broncos!
  1378. >Farming!
  1379. >Applejack!
  1380. >You’d tried to keep casual about it, play things coolly, but Big Mac had already figured out what was going on
  1381. >Granny and Applebloom didn’t have a clue, but him?
  1382. >He had a Stallion’s intuition all right
  1383. “Ah keep tellin’ ya, Big Mac, it’s jus’a friendly, pers’nal call, s’all!”
  1384. >”Eenope.”
  1385. “Anon’s a real good Stallion, no funny bus’ness bout him t’all.”
  1386. >Big Mac snorted in that way he did, rolling his eyes as he headed back over to continue helping Granny with dinner
  1387. >You headed outside, planning on taking a brief walk to work up an appetite
  1388. >That, and you wanted to think
  1389. >Sure, Anon was a sweet Stallion, a great one even!
  1390. >He was strong and helpful, brave and even self-sacrificing should he feel the situation called for it!
  1391. >While you didn’t care for that last one, the rest, as well as whatever else you hadn’t added in to the mix, already made him the kind of Stallion most Mares would be eager to get their hooves on
  1392. >Giving your head a shake, you grumbled, readjusting your hat
  1393. >You didn’t need to be thinking about this sort of stuff tonight, this was just a friendly visit, just like you’d told Big Mac
  1394. >Anon would show up, you’d invite him in, and then the four of you would have dinner, swap stories, and enjoy each other’s company
  1395. >Plus, keeping him nearby was a good plan for keeping him safe from Eris, too
  1396. >Protecting a Stallion from the clutches of a trickster Goddess, your mom would have been proud
  1397. >Hearing the clanging of the dinner bell, you started to head back when you caught a glimpse of a tall figure walking along the path towards your home
  1398. >Even at this distance you could smell something absolutely delicious with him
  1399. >Play it cool, Applejack
  1400. >You met him halfway, leaning on the fence as he approached, crossing your hindlegs, trying to look as relaxed as possible
  1401. ”Howdy, Anon!”
  1402. >He turned his head, eyes focusing on you as he smiled, adjusting to meet you at the fence
  1403. >”Evening, Applejack. I’d wave, but my hands are kind of preoccupied.”
  1404. >Nodding, you looked down at the carboard box containing what you were eighty-nine percent sure was an apple pie
  1405. “Ah noticed. That sure does smell good!”
  1406. >”Thanks. I figured I’d go with something fitting and make an Apple Pie.”
  1407. “Well shoot, Anon, it makes me pleased as a snowpony’n winter t’hear y’like our apples enough t’do that.”
  1408. >To have Stallions using your apples for baking, it certainly made you proud, and even more so when it was some kind of inter-dimensional Stallion doing the baking!
  1409. >There weren’t many who could say their food was as out-of-this-world-good as you could, now!
  1410. >Actually, speaking of Anon, you still had to ask him the question
  1411. “Anon, ‘siderin’ you’re here n’all…would y’like t’come an’ join me’n my family fer dinner?”
  1412. >Before he had a chance to answer, his belly growled out loudly at the mention of food, causing the two of you to pause for a moment before he broke the silence
  1413. >”Well Applejack, I guess you could say I’d be as pleased as a Snowpony in winter to join you all.”
  1414.  
  1415. -----
  1416.  
  1417. >Opening the door, the smell of the food hit the two of you before the voices inside did
  1418. >Applebloom, Big Mac, and Granny Smith all started talking at the same time, Applebloom excitedly asking why hadn’t anyone told her the Human was coming, Big Mac looking Anon up and down in the way that Stallions did, and Granny Smith trying to get up to find some candy for the ‘trick or treater’
  1419. >Going to hush Applebloom and get her to refer to him by his name, you made your way over to her side of the table while Anon introduced himself
  1420. >Granny Smith still didn’t seem to entirely understand what was going on, but she nodded and smiled and did her best to follow in her own way
  1421. >Big Mac was still quiet, but he had his ways about him, ways that let those who knew him know how he felt
  1422. >You really weren’t too sure why he was judging Anon right now though!
  1423. >You thought you made it quite clear this was just a friendly get-together
  1424. >Speaking of which
  1425. “Here, Anon, ah’ll take the box t’the kitchen fer now. Just take a seat at th’side of the table and ah’ll be back in two shakes of a rattlesnake’s tail.”
  1426. >He smiled and nodded, taking a seat while you grabbed hold of the box with your teeth, carrying it in to the kitchen
  1427. >As you did, you wondered if he got a look at your teeth when you took it
  1428. >Not that it mattered to you, of course!
  1429. >Grabbing the steamed carrots, you trotted back into the room, Anon already wrapped up in the conversation, switching between Applebloom and Granny Smith with a surprising amount of ease
  1430. >”An’then Applejack jumped over the fire t’save me! Course I got n’trouble fer it, but it taught us both a valuable lesson!”
  1431. >”Eh? Did’ja say ‘Listen’? Ah am listenin’, n’count a’this newfangled hearin’ horn ah bought!”
  1432. >”Granny, that’s the tea kettle, not your hearin’ horn!”
  1433. >”It is? Ah thought m’ear was burnin’ ‘couse ah sommun talkin’bout me!”
  1434. >Ducking out of the back and forth (after offering a napkin to help Granny as she tried to wipe her ear clean), Anon turned his attention back to you, a smile on his face
  1435. >”Is that the last of it?”
  1436. >He gestured to the bowl you had clenched in your mouth and you had to stop yourself from nodding, setting it down carefully before you did, taking a seat at the table
  1437. >He settled, and you noted him looking at you, not touching a thing
  1438. >Once you began to fill your plate, the rest of your family joining in, he did too, making himself a respectable pile of a variety of foods
  1439. >With food flowing and conversation starting, the five of you enjoyed your meals, and each other’s company
  1440.  
  1441. -----
  1442.  
  1443. >”Alright, who wants ice cream with’er pie?”
  1444. >Doling out a generous scoop to each Pony, and one Human, you gave yourself one as well, set the tub back in the ice-filled box, and rejoined the rest of your family and friend out on the porch
  1445. >Granny Smith was sitting on her rocking chair, Big Mac had taken up much of the wicker couch, and Applebloom as flopped out on the grass
  1446. >Considering the size of your furniture, Anon seemed to have opted to rest on the edge of your porch, leaning against a wooden column, his shoes-covered feet resting on the grass
  1447. >Taking a seat on the other side of the porch, you looked over at Anon who was currently staring up at the sky
  1448. >Nightime was upon you all, the stars twinkling down from the sky above, the empty moon shining the brightest out of all of them
  1449. >In the distance, you could see faint lights from Ponyville, and even further than that you could spy Rainbow’s cloud house floating in the air
  1450. >”You know, it’s still kind of weird to look at the stars.”
  1451. >All things considered, that wasn’t too strange a statement
  1452. >Part of Luna’s whole thing had been the fact that nopony enjoyed her nigh times as they slept through them
  1453. >The interesting part came from whatever that might mean for Anon, considering his history
  1454. “They that different?”
  1455. >He tilted his head towards you, his eyes shifting to look at yours before looking back up
  1456. >”Well, aside from them being completely different from mine, I can actually see them.”
  1457. “See them?”
  1458. >You asked, Applebloom quickly piping up in agreement
  1459. >”Why wouldn’ you be able t’see them, Mister ‘Nonymous? D’ya need glasses’r somethin’?”
  1460. >He laughed at that, a deep, rich tone that warmed you up from the chill of the ice cream
  1461. >”No, it’s just back home, our cities made it hard to see them. Things were lit up so brightly, it drowned them out, not to mention pollution.”
  1462. >Well now, guess story time was starting
  1463. >You’d heard this and that about his home, but he didn’t go in to too much detail about it
  1464. >Did he think you might judge him or something?
  1465. >”Lution?”
  1466. >”Lotion? Sure, ah have some right here.”
  1467. >He waved Granny off, smiling despite her attempts to start spreading goop over him
  1468. >”Basically, Humans made a whole lot of stuff, but making it and maintaining it wasn’t very healthy for the world. The more smog we made, the harder it gets to see past it. You add lots of lights to that, and you need to go out to more rural areas to see much out there.”
  1469. >Applebloom nodded, eating spoonfulls of icecream and pie and, when she seemed to shiver in delight from the taste, you picked up the pace, digging your spoon in to the pie, enjoying the faint wisps of sweet-smelling vapor as the hot pie and cold ice was exposed to the air
  1470. >Scooping up a generous portion, you slipped it into your mouth, getting a taste of Anon’s cooking
  1471. >Well shucks…
  1472. >This was one of the best damn apple pies you’d ever had
  1473. >It was similar in some ways to the ones you and your family had made in the past, but there were some twists to it that you hadn’t expected, ones you couldn’t really account for
  1474. >It felt like you knew what the extra flavoring was, but you couldn’t place it when it was mixed in like this
  1475. >Not only that, but the crispy, golden shell around the warm, softer center mixed near-perfectly with the colder portion of your dessert
  1476. >Eating this, you knew one thing, something you’d suspected for a long while, but hadn’t been confident enough to really say
  1477. >Big Mac was a /really/ bad cook
  1478. >”-changed from what it looked like before, huh?”
  1479. >”Yep! The ol’moon there used t’have a big ol’ Pony on-it, th’Mare’n th’Moon, we called’er! Course that was before w’knew it was Nightmare Moon’r Princess Luna t’boot!”
  1480. >Returning from your culinary delights, you picked up on Granny explaining to Anon about the Mare in the Moon
  1481. >You’d heard Twilight mention Humans having something similar, though almost predictably it was a Stallion instead of a Mare
  1482. >It was probably for the best
  1483. >If there’d been a Stallion in the Moon, fillies would have made endless jokes about some mysterious Stallion “mooning” them
  1484. “Speakin’a stories, Anon, weren’t y’gonna tell me ‘bout how y’learned t’fight the way y’do?”
  1485. >Applebloom perked up at that, sitting up on the grass, careful not to spill what was left of her food
  1486. >She was a filly after all, and an adventurous one, just like her friends
  1487. >Granny seemed pretty interested too, given the way she was leaning forwards
  1488. >Big Mac…well, he didn’t seem against hearing it
  1489. >Anon, he seemed to think about it, like he was trying to pick the best place to start
  1490. >How complicated had this Stallion’s life been back home that he actually had to think about where he’d learned to fight?
  1491. >Or was he trying to pick and choose the best parts?
  1492. >”Well, I guess the best thing to start with would be the differences between our worlds. Violence isn’t so much a normal staple for Ponies as it is for Humans. I know you guys need to fend off monsters and stuff, but normal, day-to-day Ponies, you don’t really focus on violence, right?”
  1493. >You shook your head to say no, because that seemed like a fairly correct run-down of the case
  1494. >There were guardsponies, and some Ponies committed crimes, but by and large, Ponies were a peaceful, caring race
  1495. >The fact that the strongest force for good that existed in Equestria were the Elements of /Harmony/ was a good indication of that
  1496. >”Alright so, for Humans, violence is a common occurrence. Better in some places, and worse in others, sure, but we don’t get along nearly as well as you all do. A lot of us are innocent of that, but it’s ingrained in all our societies to varying degrees.”
  1497. >”So…do Humans /like/ hurtin’ each other?”
  1498. >Applebloom and the other girls might like to rough house, and no doubt they’d been forced to face some scary monsters out there, but you couldn’t think of violence being an integral part of society
  1499. >It was something to be avoided mostly, and looked down on
  1500. >”No Applebloom, most of us don’t. Usually there’s a reason why some people do things, whether it be issues around them, or internal ones. We’d have probably benefitted from having someone like Princess Luna in our dreams, or like your sister and her friends helping us out.”
  1501. >That seemed to satisfy her, and you couldn’t help but smile a little
  1502. >It might be a little selfish, but it made you feel good to know you’d helped others, and it also made you happy to know that other Ponies, or strange, otherworldly beings, thought you could help too
  1503. >”The reason I bring this up is that, while I haven’t got a guard’s training, or too much fighting, I guessed I’ve picked up a few things over the years, or at least ideas on how to use it. That, and our size differences definitely helped too.”
  1504. >That made sense for the most part, except for one thing
  1505. “Anon, ah suppose that helps explain it a lil’, but y’seemed to have some ideas ‘bout how the Ponies’d react’n how to fight’em best. How’d y’know all that?”
  1506. “Well, you know the whole violence thing? We’ve had a lot of media in the past that had to do with zombies, so I had some idea of dealing with them. Mostly I just got lucky with the fact that they were fairly similar to fiction back home.”
  1507. >”Fiction?”
  1508. >”Naw, my chair’s rockin’ jus’fine, Applebloom!”
  1509. >This really was nice
  1510. >It was nice having another voice over for dinner, swapping stories and talking to you all
  1511. >Sure, you loved get-togethers with the rest of your extended family, but this felt really personal
  1512. >Leaning back on the porch, you listened to Anon talking to Applebloom and Granny, occasionally interjecting into the conversation or helping explain things when either of the girls didn’t get it
  1513. >Taking another bite of dessert, you shivered again, feeling a different kind of heat build inside you
  1514. >Well, countryisms were all truthful, after all
  1515. >The best way to a Mare’s heart was through her stomach
  1516.  
  1517. -----
  1518.  
  1519. >Little did anypony know, over the course of your thousand year stay on/as a part of the moon, you’d gained quite an affinity for rocks, stone, and other earthy materials
  1520. >You’d found a great deal of enjoyment in looking them over, and particularly in sculpting them
  1521. >It was a task you could zone out in doing, letting your mind rest to think about other things, or you could focus intensely on it, noting every bit of what you were doing
  1522. >If you hadn’t guessed it already, you were Luna
  1523. >you kept chiseling away at the slab while you thought, running over the different discoveries you’d made
  1524. >Eris had either gone easy on you, or she hadn’t been prepared for you
  1525. >The best thing to assume was that she’d gone easy on you
  1526. >Breaking off a piece, you started to smooth and round out a longer portion into a pointed tip
  1527. >Going by that, it meant she clearly knew you wanted something, and with the way Anon appeared before you in her dream, despite the massive amount of creatures there meant Eris either wanted you to find him, or it was dumb luck
  1528. >Once again, the smarter option was to go with the idea that Eris wanted it to happen
  1529. >With that in mind, why did she show you him?
  1530. >He /had/ been odd and flat, after all
  1531. >Was she trying to point out his flaws?
  1532. >Maybe she thought you had certain assumptions about him?
  1533. >”ASSumptions, huh? Are you just thinking about his butt in his speedo~?”
  1534. >With a yelp, you stumbled back from your seat, dropping your hammer and chisel, your eyes swiveling around your personal room while your horn flared to life, scanning for magical presences
  1535. >One flared up, and you turned to face it, really looking at the statue you’d been absentmindedly creating all this time
  1536. >A stone version of Eris smiled at you, the statue like a miniature version of the one she had become all those centuries ago
  1537. “Eris?”
  1538. >”In the flesh!”
  1539. >Said the statue, moving jerkily and slowly, stone grinding against stone whenever she shifted clunkily in her position
  1540. >”Well, this kind of thing /was/ my flesh for a thousand years, give or take, so I think it’s fair to count it.”
  1541. “What doth thou want?”
  1542. >Usually your chambers were off-limits to most, if not by rules then by magic wards
  1543. >Eris just didn’t seem to care about either
  1544. >Instead of answering immediately, she took the time to look around your room, only pausing when you raised your tools up above her form
  1545. >”Oh alright, if that’s the way you ‘re going to be about all this, fine. I wanted to know if you’d figured it out yet or not!”
  1546. “Figured what out?”
  1547. >”The answer to my question, duh! Honestly, this response really isn’t filling me with much hope, you know.”
  1548. >So this is what she wanted?
  1549. >If she could be difficult, then so could you
  1550. “We know not. We know not what thou knowest, and as such, how canst we know what thou knowest is not what thou wants us to knowest?”
  1551. >That seemed to puzzle her, and she hunched her stone form over, thinking
  1552. >Eventually she raised herself back up, shrugged, and started to walk back over to your work space, settling down into the same pose she’d been in before she came to life, smiling up at you
  1553. >”Got me there.”
  1554. >With the final word spoken, she ceased to move, becoming a statue yet again
  1555. >Just in case, you waited a few minutes, not moving away until you heard the sound of one of your guardsponies knocking on your door
  1556. >No doubt they were here to inform you that the meeting was soon ready to begin
  1557. >You informed them you’d be only a minute more, and then adorned yourself with your regal accoutrements
  1558. >With them on, your hair flowing, and a lack of bags under your eyes thanks in part to a long day’s rest, you were all but ready to begin
  1559. >The last thing to do was to walk to your balcony, lift the statue into the air, and then hurl it off into a distant mountain to dispose of it
  1560. >A small smirk grew on you as you watched it tumble though the air before hitting the wall of earth, shattering into hundreds of thousands of pieces
  1561. >With your sloppy work gone from the castle, you made your way to the door, and headed off to the meeting room soon after to unite with your Sister and the Elements
  1562.  
  1563. -----
  1564.  
  1565. >Your sun was in the sky, a meeting had been called in one of your private rooms, and you were currently staring at Twilight, five of her friends, and your sister
  1566. >You were Celestia, and you were about ready to start this meeting
  1567. >Food and drinks had been served and you, upon mercilessly devouring your (you wouldn’t really call it) generous slice of cake, gently cleared your throat, drawing attention to you
  1568. “It’s good to see you all again, my little Ponies, Princess Twilight, and of course my dear sister, Princess Luna. Thank you all for heeding my summons so that we may have what I believe will be an important conversation.”
  1569. >The group nodded and smiled, adjusting themselves in their seats
  1570. >No doubt they were a finding themselves quite comfortable in these well-padded chairs
  1571. >Twilight’s map, and the chairs around it, were fancy but those crystal chairs hardly looked enjoyable to sit on for extended periods of time
  1572. >With your long life, you’d discovered that sometimes, the creature comforts were far more valuable than maintaining the utmost of regal standards
  1573. >Ah, you were rambling to yourself again
  1574. >At least it was internal this time
  1575. >Covering your slip with a sip of your tea, you continued on
  1576. “Before I ask Luna to recount her experiences from her latest endeavor, Twilight, would you please bring out the papers I know you’ve written up about this subject matter?”
  1577. >She looked slightly surprised about the fact that you knew she’d written up more than a few pages on all of this, and you smiled as she magically drew a few pounds worth of filled-paper, placing them on the table
  1578. >You had been her teacher after all
  1579. “Now Twilight, while I do appreciate your having written all this up, I may ask you to summarize your points now and then solely to make sure we don’t divert too much time from the many accounts of this group. Have no fear though, I’ll make sure that every last page is read eventually.”
  1580. >She nodded, and you returned it, before looking back at her assembled friends
  1581. “Each of you, within recent days, have had at least one encounter with Eris, or one of her many, shall we call them ‘pranks’?”
  1582. >”Pranks?!”
  1583. >You swivelled your head, looking to Applejack as she sat up in her chair, an angry look on her face
  1584. >”How can y’call what she did’a prank? She turned most’a Ponyville int’a bunch’a droolin’, kiss-cravin’ zombies! She didn’ even care ‘bout whether it was infectin’ Stallions’r not, which it was!”
  1585. >She wilted slightly under your gaze, but maintained much of her frustration, glaring back at you
  1586. >It was only natural she’d speak her mind, of course
  1587. “I know the event must certainly have been a rather terrifying experience for the fairer sex, but that’s not the entire story of what she did, nor is it the explanation as to why she did it, which as I have been informed is quite interesting.”
  1588. >She snorted, but sat back down, grumbling a little but at least she had calmed down some
  1589. “Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? Does anypony here know why Eris began to focus on Anonymous?”
  1590. >Twilight and most of her friends turned to look at Fluttershy, who squeaked, seeming to sink into her seat
  1591. “Fluttershy? Would you care to tell us what happened? It’s important that we know where things began so that we can move forwards from there.”
  1592. >She looked around the group as if to find someone else who could tell it for her, but when nopony came forwards, she sighed and sat up
  1593. >”S-So, I was having tea with Eris a few days ago. We were just talking about a few of my furry friends when I mentioned Anonymous. After I did, she cut things short and left in a bit of a hurry.”
  1594. >Fluttershy looked around the table, sinking a little lower into her seat
  1595. >”D-Does that help?”
  1596. “So Eris didn’t know about Anonymous before then?”
  1597. >Fluttershy shook her head, confirming your suspicion, a fact that helped cement another one of yours
  1598. “Thank you, Fluttershy. Now, who saw Eris next?”
  1599. >This time, Twilight raised a hoof, drawing your attention back to her
  1600. >”I was the next “stop”, Celestia.”
  1601. >”Hey!”
  1602. >Rainbow piped up from her seat, sitting up and staring over at Twilight
  1603. >”She messed with me before she got to you, you know!”
  1604. >”I thought you didn’t want to talk about it, Darling~”
  1605. >While you’d heard a little bit about the events from Twilight’s letter, the way Rainbow blushed certainly surprised you
  1606. >”Well, I mean…yeah, but don’t cut me out of the story, okay?”
  1607. >Rainbow plopped back down into her seat, Twilight comfortingly patting the paper stack before continuing on
  1608. >”So, after she…harassed Rainbow Dash, she tried to get Anonymous’ address out of me. I, of course, didn’t budge an inch, even though we had a Throw Out with some pies.”
  1609. >A pie-based Throw Out?
  1610. >Eris was quite serious about this, wasn’t she?
  1611. “I’m glad to see you’re alright. Now, who did she visit next?”
  1612. >”Ooh! Ooh, I know this one, I know this one!”
  1613. >Pinkie’s foreleg was a blur as she waved it above her head, smiling at you
  1614. >Considering the amount of candy she ate, she must have some incredible brushing abilities
  1615. “Yes, Pinkie Pie?”
  1616. >”Mhm! Eris came to visit Anonymous!”
  1617. >Well now /that/ was unexpected
  1618. >You were quite certain she’d not had any direct interaction with him!
  1619. >The rest of the girls looked just as surprised as you as they turned to stare at Pinkie alongside yourself
  1620. “Pinkie Pie? I’m sorry, but I thought Anonymous hadn’t interacted with Eris so far?”
  1621. >”Well, she didn’t really! She showed up at Sugar Cube Corner and she said she wanted to see him, but as soon as he got there, she started acting all weird! Then, poof, she was gone!”
  1622. >To emphasize the “poofing” aspect of the events, Pinkie threw a home-made smoke bomb onto the floor, filling the room with pink smoke, and a liberal amount of confetti
  1623. >After much coughing, you managed to engulf the smoke with your magic, condensing it back down to a small ball of the stuff, which you stuffed into a now-sealed glass
  1624. “I appreciate your enthusiasm, Pinkie Pie, but maybe we should leave some of the theatrics to the parties for now.”
  1625. >Thankfully she nodded, the sound of a few instruments clanking about underneath the table reaching your ears in the process
  1626. >”Pinkie, why didn’t you tell me about this? I could have included it in my report!”
  1627. “Because I wanted it to be a surprise for whenever we had this meeting!”
  1628. >A part of you wondered if it was also because she probably didn’t want to have a few dozens pages of research dedicated to the interaction
  1629. >”Besides, it seemed /so/ obvious I didn’t even think it’d matter, I mean, duuuuuhhhh!”
  1630. “Obvious?”
  1631. >”What d’ya mean, Sugarcube?”
  1632. >”Yes, what /do/ you mean, Darling?”
  1633. >She looked at the rest of you like it was the most obvious thing in the world, her eyes going to you, to Luna, to her friends, back to you, back to Luna, to her friends, to Luna, to her friends, to you, back to Luna, to-
  1634. >Okay she was doing that on purpose
  1635. >You let her twirl for a moment or two longer until your sister finally got fed up with her antics, dark, sparkling magic like the night sky enveloping Pinkie’s head, bringing it to a stop
  1636. >”What information doth thou withhold from our convergence, Pinkie Pie?”
  1637. >With her cheeks mashed together, it was hard to hear her speak, but you, and the rest of the group could still make-out what was said
  1638. >”She likes him, right?”
  1639.  
  1640. -----
  1641.  
  1642. >Currently, you were Anon, and you were trying not to judge what was going on too harshly
  1643. >When you and the girls had arrived back at Canterlot, you’d been given (mostly) free reign to explore while they worked over whatever important, ‘safety-of-the-world-is-at-stake’ issue they needed to talk about
  1644. >Ever since then, you’d been exploring the castle only to notice that a few of the guardsmares appeared to be following you
  1645. >They were trying not to make it too obvious, ducking behind columns or around corners when you looked back, but occasionally you caught a glimpse of them watching you carefully
  1646. >The weirdest part about all this was the fact that they’d only ever done this back when you first arrived in Equestria and were staying in the castle
  1647. >They got over your roaming pretty quickly, saying something about ‘whimsy’ or what not
  1648. >The fact that it was happening again was what was weirding you out
  1649. >You were pretty sure you even recognized a couple of them
  1650. >Well, not every one
  1651. >There were a couple new faces, including one Unicorn with a really weird looking blue horn
  1652. >It didn’t look ugly or anything, it just didn’t match what you’d come to think of as the ‘norm’
  1653. >Plus, while it was blue, the rest of the Mare it was attached to definitely wasn’t
  1654. >Weird
  1655.  
  1656. -----
  1657.  
  1658. >Currently you were Purple Heart, head of the small squadron of Royal Pony guards that had been assigned to you to keep watch over the alien Stallion during his stay in the castle
  1659. >You were pretty sure he wouldn’t have minded had you and the group been less subtle about this, as what Stallion didn’t like a mare in armor?
  1660. >Unfortunately for you and the other Mares, all of which would have greatly enjoyed spending time around a Stallion whose dick was head-level with them, the Princesses had other ideas
  1661. >’Strong, independent Stallion’ this and ‘might feel pressured over being guarded’ that
  1662. >It didn’t help you any that those who knew him from before were taking this a little too lightly
  1663. >Sure, you’d rather this be simpler too, but it was /your/ ass if something happened
  1664. >Thankfully he seemed pretty oblivious as he wandered about, but that was Stallions for you
  1665. >Let them go and you’d be following after them for hours as they bounced around from shop to shop, or room to room in this case
  1666. >Well, other than the kitchen it seemed, as he’d spent the last while in there
  1667. >From the way he was watching, and talking to, the chefs, he seemed pretty invested in food
  1668. >Stallions really were the same no matter where they came from, huh?
  1669. >One thing that /did/ stand out was when he bent over, though
  1670. >The way his pants stretched and creased around his ass?
  1671. >Unf
  1672. >Maybe when your shift was over you could pay a visit to his room and-
  1673. >”Oh my, Captain, are you looking at that Stallion’s butt?”
  1674. >You bet your ass you were!
  1675. “The Princesses /did/ say to watch him, didn’t they?”
  1676. >”Oh certainly, Captain.”
  1677. >When you spent enough time around a Pony, you got to know them
  1678. >The way they moved, how they thought, what they sounded like, and on and on
  1679. >You knew every Pony that was with you right now, and none of them laughed like that
  1680. >Turning around, you found yourself face-to-face with a stranger
  1681. >She was wearing the uniform of one of the Royal Guard, but her face, her horn, her body, none of it fit the image of any Pony you knew
  1682. >She had a warped, blue horn and a long, creamy white mane, and a brown coat in…most places
  1683. >Her eyes were yellow where they should have been white, and small and red where they should have been large and any other color, while down below her snout there was a single, batpony-like fang sticking out from her mouth
  1684. >The more you looked at her, the more confusing she became, and you had to tear your eyes away from her for a moment to focus
  1685. >This situation called for strict and direct measures
  1686. >Of course, making too big a fuss while hiding from the alien in the kitchen would no doubt attract him to your presence, which would mean you failed not just one, but multiple Princesses
  1687. >You needed to be subtle about this
  1688. >Or more accurately
  1689. >You needed to whisper-shout
  1690. (“Who the /buck/ are you?”)
  1691. >She just grinned back, showing off that weird snaggletooth alongside the rest of her bizarre form
  1692. >”Just a loyal Royal Boil, your Sergeantliness!”
  1693. (“Shhhhut up! Quiet!”)
  1694. >”Sorry Major, but I couldn’t quite hear you! Mind speaking up?”
  1695. >You could see heads starting to turn and so you pounced on the Mare, pinning her to the ground to stay out of view
  1696. (“Who the Tartarus are you? Where did you get that armor? What is your name?”)
  1697. >”Eris, Eris, Eris.”
  1698. (“Don’t be a smart-ass with me! What’s going on here?”)
  1699. >She just continued to grin, though she raised one brow as if to question your sanity
  1700. >”Eris.”
  1701. >By Celestia’s teats this Mare just could not be quiet!
  1702. >You’d have to get her out of here
  1703. >You turned to the rest of your group to give them an order, only to notice a startling lack of Royal Guard Ponies
  1704. >When you looked back to the Pony you had trapped under your hooves you discovered a startling lack of a Pony trapped under your hooves
  1705. >Turning around, you saw her peeking up and above the counter you had all been hiding behind
  1706. >Taking a moment to see what she was looking at, you realized she was focused on the alien!
  1707. >Your squad might be missing, but you were still here!
  1708. >All you needed to do was bite her by the tail and you could drag her out of here
  1709. >Rearing back, you swung your head down to bite, your teeth digging in to…
  1710. >Was that a bar of soap?
  1711. (“Wrfrgl?!”)
  1712. >”Oh hush up, you’ve got a dirty mouth and you’re making too much noise”
  1713. >A second bar found it’s way into your mouth, stretching your jaw wide as you tried to spit both out, bubbles starting to rise up and out of your ears
  1714. >Hoofing at the soap, you managed to work one out, the second coming easily
  1715. >Panting with relief, you turned, trying to tackle the Pony again, only to hit a metal cabinet door having been looking at a reflection of the strange Mare instead of the actual one
  1716. (“____”)
  1717. >What the buck?!
  1718. (“___ ____ ___ ___ __?!”)
  1719. >”Whoops, maybe I used too much soap.”
  1720. >You needed back up for this
  1721. >Nothing about this situation was normal
  1722. >You glanced back at the empty space that your allies used to occupy
  1723. >If there was one good thing about their loss it meant that you had far easier access to rush to the rest of the guards
  1724. >You started to leave before you paused, turning to look back at the cooks and the alien
  1725. >Could you really leave them here?
  1726. >No
  1727. >You might have been many things, but you weren’t just going to abandon a bunch of Stallions to whatever was going on here
  1728. >Whatever was…
  1729. >Whatever…
  1730. >Eris
  1731. >She’d said, “Eris”
  1732. >And she was more colorful than a party clown
  1733. >And she did all sorts of stuff that you couldn’t…
  1734. >Oh buck
  1735. >Ohhh /buck/
  1736. >Change of plans, you had to get /everypony/ out of here /now/
  1737. >Rearing back, you galloped into view, the sound of your hooves drawing the room’s attention, unlike your shouting which was literally so quiet you could hear a fly fart
  1738. >The chefs were startled to say the least, though that was probably because they were all colts
  1739. >The alien though didn’t look any more than mildly amused by your rapid response
  1740. >He stared at you while you frantically waved your hooves, pointing to the side door as a way out, and then he seemed to look behind you
  1741. >Oh /BUCK/
  1742. >Not wasting a second, you charged towards him, biting down on his belt before starting to back up as quickly as you could
  1743. >The rest of the Stallions had already run away, no doubt recognizing the serious and totally-in-charge look on your face, but the alien hadn’t budged at all, so you’d just have to drag him along and holy buck was he heavy!
  1744. >You could move him slowly, but he weighed way more than you’d thought he would!
  1745. >That wouldn’t dissuade you though
  1746. >You were a strong Mare and even if you might have been a little freaked out about the fact that the literal Goddess of Chaos was currently bucking with you, you had a duty to do!
  1747. >”Uh, miss?”
  1748. >You were going to get him out of here if it was the last thing you did!
  1749. >”Miss?”
  1750. >Get him out of here!
  1751. >”Could you just stop pulling on me for a moment please?”
  1752. >Gethimouttahere!
  1753. >”Alright, I’m just going to give you a little tap so don’t impale me or anything, okay?”
  1754. >Though it’d be a lot easier to gedimoudaere if he would actually work with you here!
  1755. >You were broken from your current mental state by a light tapping on the top of your helmet, drawing your attention to the Stallion currently looming over you, a confused look on his face
  1756. >”Well, at least you’re looking at me. Would you mind telling me what’s wrong?”
  1757. >Did this stupid Stallion have any sense of self-preservation at all?!
  1758. “I’m trying to get you out of here so Eris doesn’t buck with you, you stupid Stallion!”
  1759. >Oh, you could talk again
  1760. >Wasn’t that nice
  1761. >Still looking up at him, he didn’t look all that upset about the fact that you’d just yelled at him, which was a bit of a relief if nothing else
  1762. >You were actually doubly as grateful that, other than the demon-given-Pony-flesh behind you, you and this Stallion seemed to be the only ones here currently
  1763. >”Okay, who’s Eris?”
  1764. >Who’s Eris
  1765. >Maybe he didn’t look that hurt because he was /so/ dumb he didn’t even understand basic stuff like that!
  1766. >You needed to be direct about this
  1767. >Releasing his now-drool soaked belt from your mouth, you turned to look back at the monstress, jabbing a hoof in her direction
  1768. ”/Her/, you-”
  1769. >Oh, she was gone
  1770. >Wasn’t that nice
  1771. >Ooh, you were going to get in so so much trouble for this
  1772.  
  1773. -----
  1774.  
  1775. >Well that cut to the heart of the matter
  1776. >Currently, you were her royal tallness, C(ake)(cak)e(ca)l(<e)(cak)e(Cake)st(all cakes)(g)i(ant cakes)(c)a(ke), and you were actually somewhat grateful for Pinkie Pie’s uncanny ability to know what was actually going on despite having seemingly no way of knowing what was actually going on
  1777. >Coughing lightly to quieten the sudden uproar of confusion, laughter, and semi-pointed questions, you nodded to Pinkie Pie, before addressing the group again
  1778. “While it might seem strange or unbelievable, given everything that I’ve read, and heard, it seems like a very real possibility.”
  1779. >Other than Pinkie Pie and your sister, the rest of the Ponies at the table looked anywhere from shocked, to confused, and even to upset
  1780. >”Princess Celestia, with all due respect...why would you even think that?”
  1781. >”Ah’m with Rarity on this’n. Why’n Equestria would Eris be int’rested in Anonymous? It just don’t make sense!”
  1782. >”Because she asked about him, duh! Don’t you think they’d just be perfect together?”
  1783. >Rainbow snorted, looking back at Pinkie Pie
  1784. >”The only Stallion I could see hanging out with Eris would be one from the coocoo house!”
  1785. >”…Is that what Pegasi call mental hospitals, Rainbow Dash?”
  1786. >”Ugh, Twilight, this isn’t learning time, this is Eris-is-a-total-wackjob time!”
  1787. >”H-Hey! Eris is /not/ a wackjob!”
  1788. >”Sorry Fluttershy, but you know what I mean, right?”
  1789. >”I don’t think I do.”
  1790. >”Well now y’gon an’upset Fluttershy, Dash. Y’feel proud’a yerself now?”
  1791. >”I’m not upset, I just think that it’s a very rude thing to say about somepony you don’t know too well.”
  1792. >”See AJ? She’s /fine/!”
  1793. >”Darlings, if we could return to the subject on-hoof, please?”
  1794. >”Yeah, we were talking about Nonny and Eris, sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-“
  1795. >”Y-You stop that right now, Pinkie, y’hear?”
  1796. >”First comes /love/, then comes /marriage/-“
  1797. >”Girls, please, can we all stop-“
  1798. >”/QUIET/.”
  1799. >Ah, the Royal Canterlot Voice
  1800. >While you kept from using it these days, you couldn’t deny that it was certainly effective in doing what it was supposed to
  1801. >”With what our sister hath told us, we believe that Eris hath developed a fixation upon innocent Anonymous, most likely due to the circumstances of his nature as both a Human, as well as that of a Stallion.”
  1802. “Normally, Eris has no trouble manipulating others and discovering their secrets, but with Anonymous, as my sister has seen first-hoof, Eris has no apparent way of uncovering these elements. She cannot forcibly enter his mind, nor can she directly affect him with her magic. This has, for better or for worse, left her powerless when it comes to him. Given what we know of her, does it seem like so great a stretch to think that Eris might become focused on something in our world that defies her?”
  1803. >The girls sitting around the table looked from one to another, a sense of agreement passing through them as they considered the Goddess of Chaos’ nature
  1804. >”Upon journeying deep into the realm of Eris’ mind, we discovered that she knows very little of what makes Anonymous Anonymous, thus solidifying this hypothesis.”
  1805. >Twilight decided to pipe up, thankfully leading the conversation along in a way you could work with
  1806. >”So, what do we do about this?”
  1807. >Alright, now you just needed to get the group on board with this plan
  1808. “I believe that the best thing to do in this situation would be to bring the two together.”
  1809.  
  1810. -----
  1811.  
  1812. >Somewhere out there in the dredges of Equestria, a Windigo awoke from it’s slumber for a mere, few minutes before sleeping once more
  1813.  
  1814. -----
  1815.  
  1816. >Being Celestia again, you waited for your little Ponies to settle down before continuing
  1817. “I’m not saying that we need to force them into any kind of romantic relationship. What I think would be beneficial for everypony would be if Eris simply got to know Anonymous. From what Luna has told me, Eris only seems to know very surface level things about him, which is what has been driving her current antics. If she got to know him, her fervor for discovery would lessen to a much more manageable degree.”
  1818. >Thankfully, they seemed to get it, though Applejack also seemed rather hesitant about the idea
  1819. >”N’what if she decides she /doesn’t/ like’im, huh?”
  1820. “That’s why I want at least one of you to watch over them from the shadows when they meet. After they’re done, all you need do is write me a simple report on their activities, then give the reports to Twilight so that she can send them off to me. Does that seem fair?”
  1821. >”What if this interferes with our work?”
  1822. “You’ll be reimbursed for your time. Making sure that Eris is harmless is worth more than the occasional day’s wages.”
  1823. >They all seemed alright with that, which suited you just fine.
  1824. >Even with some of the bizarre and morally questionable things Eris got up to, you couldn’t imagine this plan would cost the taxpayers much
  1825. >Hopefully this plan would work
  1826. “Now, what we need to do is figure out the best way to introduce the two of them. Does anypony have any ideas in that regard?
  1827. >”Ooh, I could throw them a big party!”
  1828. >Pinkie Pie said, a worrying sparkle in her eye
  1829. “A party could work, but it will need some moderation. Fluttershy, would you help Pinkie figure this out? If you’re there, it should make it easier to convince Eris to come, as well as to keep her there once she arrives.”
  1830. >The aforementioned Pegasus nodded, Pinkie already bouncing in her seat, a pencil in her mouth while a notepad hung from her hair
  1831. “I’ll leave Princess Twilight to figure out what kind of schedule would work best for these meetings. One final thing to keep in mind. Eris may very well already know of our plan, and even if she doesn’t, it’s in her nature to try and thwart us. She /is/ the Goddess of Chaos, after all, so make sure your ideas are flexible.”
  1832. >The girls nodded, Twilight already beginning to write out the first of many drafts while you rose up from your seat
  1833. “Thank you all again for meeting with my sister and I. I propose that we take some time to think, and then reconvene together over dinner to go over other details we’ve yet to cover.”
  1834. >That seemed to satisfy everpony, the rest of the girls standing as well, nodding and leaving the room, other than Twilight who needed to be prompted from her notes
  1835. >They all no doubt had business, or pleasure, in Canterlot that they’d be happy to indulge in for the moment, and on top of that, Anon had been left to roam the castle
  1836. >He could handle himself well enough, and his semi-resistance to magic definitely helped, but you still worried about him
  1837. >He was still a Stallion and on top of that, he had a Goddess after him, whether he realized it or not
  1838. >For now though, while you waited for the meeting, perhaps you could indulge yourself a little as well
  1839. >It wasn’t often that your sister and yourself shared a similar schedule
  1840. “Luna, would you care to join me for a slice of cake and some tea?”
  1841. >”We worry why thou wouldst state such as if thine tea was merely a side-dish to the cake, dear sister.”
  1842. “I didn’t hear a ‘no’ there~”
  1843. >Luna snorted, rolling her eyes before trotting up to your side, leaning her head in to give your neck a brief, affectionate nuzzle
  1844. >“We suppose it would be a sweet diversion for the moment.”
  1845. >Then she was back up to her normal, overly-official stance, causing you to stifle a chuckle
  1846. “Alright. Let’s see if they have any of your favorite prepared.”
  1847.  
  1848. -----
  1849.  
  1850. >>32761647
  1851. >After cake and tea with your sister, the two of you moved to planning
  1852. >You had faith in your student as well as the rest of the Elements, but as you’d discovered during your long, long life, it never hurt to have back up plans
  1853. >Glancing over at Luna, you smiled softly as you watched her organize papers and attempt to transcribe Eris’ dreamscape
  1854. >After all, when you had lost Luna, you’d needed to survive a thousand years alone, a feat you never again wished to endure
  1855. >So many precious years, lost to your solitude
  1856. >In a way, you wondered if Eris felt some sort of similar feelings
  1857. >Despite her boasts and her powers, she had been alone for even longer than you or your sister
  1858. >Considering that not even yourself, or Starswirl, were sure of the Goddess’ exact age, for all you knew Eris could have weathered a great many millennia without any creature like her existing
  1859. >Perhaps that was, in part, what had lead her to what she was now?
  1860. >Following that, if that assumption did prove correct, how might Anonymous affect her?
  1861. >”Sister, art thine plans in order?”
  1862. “Hm? Oh, yes, Luna, I’ve assembled an admittedly small selection. To be perfectly honest, I never really thought this sort of thing would come up.”
  1863. >”Tis the same with us, dear sister. Not even in days of old couldst we have imagined that any such creature may arise who couldst cause Eris to pause. Had we known that monster wouldst lust upon a citizen of our nation…Despite what good she may have done, we still know not why thou considered her worthy of redemption.”
  1864. >Hm
  1865. “Eris has always been a sort of…odd cog in the clockwork of our lives. She’s the one thing you can’t predict because she doesn’t really fit in anywhere. Would it have been easier to simply leave her trapped and repeat this process a thousand years down the line? Yes, but…”
  1866. >This sort of topic was always difficult for you to discuss
  1867. >For as wise and powerful as you might have been said to be (and goodness knows your little ponies liked their hyperbole) you were no all-knowing Goddess
  1868. >You didn’t always know the right things to say and you didn’t always know the right things to do
  1869. “We’ve always had a certain ‘blunt force’ technique when it came to important issues, haven’t we?”
  1870. >Luna nodded, letting her things rest as she turned to face you, her Mane flowing lightly, the stars within it casting their lights upon the walls around her while your did the same
  1871. >”Indeed we have. Perhaps some of that can be laid to rest at the hooves of our teacher, but our actions are our own.”
  1872. >Old Starswirl “throw it in a portal” the Bearded
  1873. “Perhaps. When we lost him, I agonized for months over what I should have done, how I should have fixed what had happened to him.”
  1874. >”We remember. The grief of his loss pierced even our steely heart.”
  1875. “Then, when I lost you…Luna, you might hate me for this, but when I used the Elements on Nightmare Moon, I didn’t really know what they’d do.”
  1876. >You looked up into Luna’s eyes, worried you might see shock or hatred in them, but she seemed calm, merely nodding, allowing you to continue
  1877. “I hoped that they would be able to make things right, that they could just fix what had happened, but in the end, they got rid of Nightmare Moon, and took you with it.”
  1878. >”Our time as a part of the Moon itself was an odd one. It was in parts terrifying, peaceful, and enraging. As we watched the world from the heavens above, our mind surged with a tempest of emotions, like two unique souls, bound to a single body from which neither of us could escape.”
  1879. “I was a wreck afterwards. For months I scarcely ate or drank, I just waited. I waited and waited until eventually I wondered if you’d ever return. I didn’t know if you hated me or missed me, or if you were even really there. Maybe your mark upon the Moon was simply put there to mock me.”
  1880. >Luna drew her attention away, gesturing to the window, as well as to the world outside it
  1881. >”And yet, despite our absence, Equestria has thrived.”
  1882. >You nodded, lifting a hoof to wipe the beginnings of tears from your eyes
  1883. “More and more problems began to arise. Equestria had essentially lost both it’s leaders over night, and I was in no shape to lead afterwards. Nobles rose in power to fill the void, our “neighbors” began to rally and our ponies started to lose the trust in us that we had built. Again I wondered if there had been another way. I questioned what I had learned, what we had done in the past.”
  1884. >You turned your attention to Canterlot, and beyond there, to Equestria
  1885. “And so I learned. I studied and I practiced and I forced myself to keep going. The Elements were lost to me, and without that crutch to rely upon, I began to use my words. I out-foxed the nobility until they found themselves in a satisfying, yet inoffensive position yet again. I assuaged our citizens fears and worries, promising them that they would be safe. I convinced our spear-shaking neighbors to lay down their weaponry and become our friends instead through trading and diplomacy. When danger arose, I used every bit of cunning I had to plan and to work around it, relying on my own strength, as well as that of our ponies. I forced myself to keep going, waiting and waiting until you came back to me.”
  1886. >With no response from your sister yet again, you continued, some part of yourself wanting to get all this off your chest
  1887. >You hadn’t truly told Luna everything since she returned, and while it might have satisfied her, it wasn’t enough for you
  1888. >Perhaps you really had grown soft with time
  1889. “I praised, and I preached Friendship and kindness. I tried to impress upon our little Ponies the importance of love and, with time, that spread further and further. Just look at young Twilight.”
  1890. >”Yes, she certainly fits the ideals.”
  1891. “Ah, but she didn’t always. She was far too similar to Starswirl, and I vowed to do better this time. I sent her to Ponyville to learn more about the friendship I believed to be so important, and look what happened. She and her friends helped return you to me.”
  1892. >”Through use of the Elements though. Despite all this, is it so different than what we once did? I was different, but Eris was still turned to stone. Tirek was returned to Tartarus, and had it not been for Starlight Glimmer, she would very well have banished The Pony of Shadows alongside Stygian.”.”
  1893. >You smiled at that, turning back to face your sister
  1894. “And Starlight Glimmer nearly destroyed the entirety of the world, but Twilight talked her down. So much of what she has done has made me so proud. She scarcely even uses the Elements. As time has gone on, her Friendships, and the friendships those have inspired, has done so much good for Equestria, as well as those within in.”
  1895. >Luna paused, seeming to mull this over in her head, thinking it through, eventually coming to a conclusion
  1896. >”So…you believe that with further friendship, Eris may indeed change her ways for the better?”
  1897. “It’s been working so far, hasn’t it?”
  1898. >Your sister snorted, though you felt her magic envelop you, dragging you in beside her so that she could wrap her neck around yours, brushing against you affectionately as she had earlier
  1899. >”While we still wish to see more beyond the mere trivialities of “dating” or whatever such “parties” may entail before our judgement is made, we will try and abide by your wishes, dear sister.”
  1900. >You couldn’t help but smile at that, nuzzling Luna back, the two of you enjoying each other’s company
  1901. >It really had been too-
  1902. >”We believe this is one such moment wherein the youth of today say, “Nary Lesbians”?”
  1903. >Pfffft
  1904. >Somethings never changed
  1905. >She could still make you smile~
  1906.  
  1907. -----
  1908.  
  1909. >Dinner rolled around with it’s usual corpulent fanfare, ringing of bells and fancy trumpets sounding the occasion despite the rather familiar crowd that had gathered to eat at the large table
  1910. >While you hadn’t been too worried about decorum, especially considering the private meeting you’d had with Princess Celestia, Luna, and the girls just a few hours back, Rarity and Twilight had insisted pretty firmly on this
  1911. >To be totally honest, you really shouldn’t have been surprised that Rarity had somehow managed to transport a “small” wardrobe for you all, mostly consisting of a few dresses each
  1912. >So, with some struggling and fighting, you’d squeezed into your (admittedly pretty awesome) rainbow dress, readying up to head to get some grub
  1913. >If it wasn’t clear by now, you were Rainbow Dash and you were walking down the hall towards the smaller dining room
  1914. >Twilight was at the front, trying to brief everypony on the proper utensils to eat with, and what went where
  1915. >Rarity had given her a small panic attack when she asked if Princess Celestia and Luna used modern utensil layout, or if they’d be using whatever format they used back in the day
  1916. >Guh, even just thinking about this stuff you could feel yourself becoming more boring by the second
  1917. >You couldn’t even fly in this outfit!
  1918. >Laaaaaame!
  1919. >”-which is why the soup spoon has it’s other, well, rather l-lewd name.”
  1920. >”I /see/ Darling, how fascinating! Do you…do you think the Princesses might still-“
  1921. >”O-Oh no, I could never imagine Princess Celestia doing /anything/ like that!”
  1922. “Yeah, like the uh…like that. Hey look, there’s the door!”
  1923. >You refused to believe you missed anything interesting about soup spoons
  1924. >Focusing on the doorway ahead, you could see two guards standing to attention on either side of the ornate, wooden arch, one wearing Princess Celestia’s golden armor, a brilliantly white coat practically blinding you
  1925. >To their left was a shorter, dark-furred Bat-Pony who was wrapped up in Princess Luna’s armor
  1926. >Looking at them (because flashy armor was also totally awesome and if it didn’t slow you down you might wear some more often) you noticed that their designs seemed similar, but a little different in some areas
  1927. >The golden armor seemed more rounded and smooth, likely so spears and other such weaponry would bounce off and to the sides instead of piercing the metal
  1928. >The dark blue armor looked slightly more reinforced, with sharper edges to boot, vicious-looking points rising up from a few joints, maybe to give other Ponies a “back off” feeling when looking at them
  1929. >Must suck to have to stand side by side though
  1930. >When you all got closer, they nodded and reached out, opening the doors, revealing the large table inside, as well as Equestria’s familial rulers
  1931. >Princess Celestia and Luna were standing when you all came in, Princess Celestia smiling regally as she did, that always-calm demeanor about her
  1932. >Princess Luna…well, she’d certainly softened up a whole lot in your eyes over the years
  1933. >She was still intimidating, sure, but it had helped to learn that her serious tone and look was mostly just how she was and not because she was upset with you or anything
  1934. >”Good Evening, my little Ponies. Thank you all for joining my sister and I for dinner~”
  1935. >It felt good to hear Celestia speak, like your Mom was praising you for something (though in a much more calm manner than you were used to)
  1936. >”Indeed. We art glad all of thou couldst join us for our twilight feast.”
  1937. “No lesbo.”
  1938. >It slipped out of your mouth before could stop yourself
  1939. >Maybe nopony else heard it?
  1940. >Nope, that was definitely an awkward silence aaaand you could feel a heat rising in your cheeks
  1941. >You tried /really hard/ to not make eye contact with Twilight until Princess Celestia cleared her throat, drawing the room’s attention back to her
  1942. >”Now then, while you all take your seats, I’ll give us a brief run down.”
  1943. >You shuffled towards you seat (which of course just happened to be across from Twilight, /thanks/ girls), and wow you were sure having a tough time pulling you attention away from the carpet
  1944. >…
  1945. >Buck it, you knew what you meant!
  1946.  
  1947. -----
  1948.  
  1949. >”Now, I made sure that Anon was informed that dinner will be starting a little later than you all arrived. I felt like it would be good to talk for a few minutes before hand to briefly run through our approach.”
  1950. >You settled down into your large chair, trying to make sure you didn’t squash any of the butterflies Rarity had added to your dress while you listened to Princess Celestia, hoping that she wouldn’t ask you to present your idea yet
  1951. >You’d given it some thought, but you really weren’t sure you had an idea that would make everypony happy yet
  1952. >You were Fluttershy, and you were sitting slightly too far away from the table
  1953. >Glancing around, you saw the rest of the girls listening in, seemingly settled in their seats, which had begun to make you worry
  1954. >Should you get up and adjust your chair?
  1955. >What if they thought something was wrong, or that you were going to the bathroom in the middle of an important conversation?
  1956. >Maybe you could just scoot the chair forwards slightly?
  1957. >Squeak!
  1958. >Oh gosh
  1959. >Maybe you should just leave it in place to keep from making any more noise
  1960. >You were still a little far from the table, but it should work out alright
  1961. >Hopefully
  1962. >Well, maybe you could just-
  1963. >Squeak!
  1964. >Oh dear…
  1965.  
  1966. -----
  1967.  
  1968. >You’re Rarity, Darling!
  1969. >You need no introduction
  1970. >While Twilight had felt just a tad long-winded when explaining about the proper dining tactics, you did appreciate knowing just that much more about how royalty lived
  1971. >Not only that, but the girls all looked fabulous in their outfits!
  1972. >”Considering how bizarre Anonymous’ first time meeting Eris might be, we though that it would be best for us to ease him in to things. We don’t need to outright state our purpose, nor who exactly it is we want him to meet, but it would no doubt be best to let him know in advance, especially so times can be planned for.”
  1973. >Princess Celestia and her sister were just wearing their normal “outfits”, if you could even call them that
  1974. >While, yes, they pulled them off fantastically, they’d been pulling them off as such for the last…goodness, how long had it even been in actuality?
  1975. >You knew a great deal of fashion and styles, but considering that what the Princesses wore was more akin to royal finery than mere garments, they’d been wearing it since the start of their rule!
  1976. >Oh, how you wish you could have the chance to design an outfit for them (if not a whole line!)
  1977. >You’d made sketches and mock-ups and full outfits, of course, but none of it bore a feather’s weight when compared to actually working with them to make their clothes
  1978. >Honestly, Twilight had it so lucky being a Princess!
  1979. >Yes, there was plenty of paperwork to be done, but all those galas!
  1980. >The shows, the meetings, the fancy dinners!
  1981. >Stallion nobility done up in tight pants, lacy shirts and long, elegantly design /socks/!
  1982. >You were roused from your day-fantasies with a nudge from Applejack
  1983. >”Uh Rarity? Yer droolin’.”
  1984.  
  1985. -----
  1986.  
  1987. >As you watched your friend wipe dab at her mouth with a hoofkerchief she pulled out of nowhere, you let out a small snort and leaned back in your seat, trying to get comfortable
  1988. >You never had a head for all the frou-frou’s of fashion, so to speak, and while Rarity assured you that the little dangly bits she’d wrapped around your hat looked, in her words, “simply Celestial!” you couldn’t help but wonder how necessary all of this was
  1989. >You were Applejack, and you were pretty darn sure one of the innumerable straps of this dress had found it’s way up and around your flank like a boa constrictor around it’s favorite meal
  1990. >”Now Applejack, you spent some time with Anonymous most recently, correct?”
  1991. “Yes ma’am. Uh, Princess.”
  1992. >Princess Celestia smiled in that same way Granny Smith smiled, the kind that made you feel proud of a hard day’s work, and you found yourself smiling back at her
  1993. >”How has he been? Did you talk much about him or his world? Might he have said anything that could indicate some sort of interest in Eris?”
  1994. >”What didst thou talk of.”
  1995. >Huh, hadn’t really seemed all that important to you before
  1996. “Well, lemme think…”
  1997. >Thinking back to the dinner you and your family had shared with him, you found yourself getting distracted
  1998. >You’d think about what he said, and then his laugh would rumble through, those low tones stirring things inside you you didn’t know wanted it
  1999. >Still, you had work to do, and you couldn’t let yourself become too fixated on your own, odd feelings for too long
  2000. >Besides, you had a pretty good idea of what they might want
  2001. “Well, we talked ‘bout a lotta things, bunch’ah which included his home.”
  2002. >You could see Twilight perk up out of the corner of your eye, her attention shifting to you along with that of much of the room
  2003. >”Did he say anything that might be of interest to Eris?”
  2004. >Well, he was from a different world, why /wouldn’t/ Eris be interested in him?
  2005. >Being a weirdo from another world was her whole bag
  2006. >Not to say Anon was a weirdo though, no, he was definitely different
  2007. “Ah mean, most everythin’ of what he said would be intr’esting t’her, wouldn’t it? Anonymous is from a whole other world after all. Twilight, you must’a heard’a lotta what his world was like, right?”
  2008.  
  2009. -----
  2010.  
  2011. >Darn it!
  2012. >You were really hoping Applejack would say more about Anon!
  2013. >You were Twilight Sparkle and you were feeling like the proud creator of the term that described how you were feeling right now
  2014. >/Blue Brained/
  2015. “While Anon has told me some, he still seems a little protective of it. I’ve given many interviews, and I could feel that he was holding something back, but I have to agree with Applejack. When it comes to Eris, Anonymous is like a walking, talking, beacon of what she likes. Unique, out-of-place, and a challenge.”
  2016. >Celestia nodded, and you suppressed a happy squeak
  2017. >She might have insisted that you and her were equals, but there would always be a student-teacher dynamic between the two of you, or at least that was how you saw it
  2018. >There was still a lot you could learn from her, after all!
  2019.  
  2020. -----
  2021.  
  2022. >Twilight was doing that thing again!
  2023. >She never noticed it, but when someone who she absolutely idolized praised her or told her she did a good job, her eyes got /really/ huge and sparkly, just like the stars on her flank!
  2024. >You were Pinkie Pie, currently, and you tried to notice these things about your friends
  2025. >What kind of awful friend would you be if you didn’t?
  2026. >Speaking of Twilight, you felt pretty disappointed yourself!
  2027. >You hadn’t known Anon for too long, after all, and while you tried to find out all you could about him, you couldn’t exactly just ask other Ponies or talk to his family
  2028. >You felt close to him thanks to work and your walks and all, but you still had so much space in your “Nonny” file!
  2029. >Ooh, maybe you could learn some stuff on all the dates he was going to be going on with Eris!
  2030. >”Then I suppose we’ll have to wing it somewhat and see. Now, Pinkie Pie, I know it’s a bit much to ask you for anything now, so soon after I discussed this matter with all of you, but-“
  2031. “Don’t you worry your tiara off, Princess, I’ve got everything under control! I’ve been planning up parties for anonymous and Eris for a whiiiile now, so I just need to adapt some of them and I’ll be right as chocolate milk rain!”
  2032. >She raised a brow at that, leaning her head back eeeever so slightly in that way she did when something confused or surprised her, but she soon went back to smiling
  2033. >”Well, tis good that we know as-“
  2034. “Oh oh oh! I’ve also got a few party ideas for both of you too, so if you want to come down and join in, I’ll make sure I make up a huuuuge multi-layer cake, as well as get the candy corn you like, Princess Luna!”
  2035. >”We- What- H-How didst thou-“
  2036. “I have my ways, Princess Luna! Consider party activities; planned!”
  2037.  
  2038. -----
  2039.  
  2040. >How in Tartarus’ name had she found out it was you?
  2041. >You were quite certain that you’d used multiple proxies, and yet she’d still discovered your identity!
  2042. >It was hardly your fault that you enjoyed those candies, you’d never had such delicacies so many years ago
  2043. >Perhaps you should take a break from them
  2044. >Oh, and now your sister was smirking at you!
  2045. >/Very/ regal, sister, truly, you are treating this meeting with the utmost seriousness
  2046. “G-Good, it pleases us to hear that such responsibilities are held in sturdy hooves. Fluttershy, dost though feel capable to direct Eris to these affairs?”
  2047. >The buttery Pegasus nodded quickly, wide eye staring back at you
  2048. >”O-Oh yes, Eris really is a very kind person, I’m sure she’ll be happy t-to come.”
  2049. >Yes, you can only imagine she would be
  2050. >No, you had to stay positive about this
  2051. >After all, the good end of this would be that Eris no longer bothers everypony with her inane, Coltish whimsies and shenanigans
  2052. >A part of you didn’t want to tempt fate and accidentally summon her, so you turned your attention back to the room
  2053. “Well then, shouldst we all be aware of our parts and play them well, all of this shallt be worth the trouble.”
  2054. >”If everypony is ready, I believe Anonymous is almost here.”
  2055. >Speak of the Pony-Devil
  2056.  
  2057. -----
  2058.  
  2059. >You were Anonymous, and currently you were really hoping your outfit fit this dinner
  2060. >You’d had to talk Rarity down a few times from studding the whole thing in gems, managing to work her down to a few accents
  2061. >You were wearing a black, two-piece suit and tie, with a green shirt underneath your jacket
  2062. >Both your cuff-links, as well as your tie clip, were studded with a sparkling-green emerald, the hints of light standing out amidst the darker fabrics that hugged your body tightly
  2063. >Your shoes were black, faux-leather, with some kind of enchantment on them to keep them permanently polished, or at least appearing that way
  2064. >Overall, as far as you knew, you looked pretty crisp
  2065. >You never had the greatest head for fashion, but if you knew one thing, it was that suits looked good
  2066. >Approaching the door, the two guards outside nodded to you, opening the doors up, revealing the dining room, as well as the fact that all the girls already seemed to be here
  2067. “Uh oh, if I’m late, I hope it’s at least fashionably.”
  2068. >You were pretty sure you heard a dramatic cry of approval from Rarity, and that made you feel better
  2069. >Actually, speaking of fashionably, the girls all looked pretty great, each of them wearing some sort of Rarity-made dress, other than Princess Celestia and Luna, who were, as always, simple-yet-effective
  2070. >”Not at all, Anonymous, Twilight and her friends simply arrived a little early. Please, sit down, we’re quite eager to get things started~”
  2071. >With the door shutting behind you, you smiled and found a seat, eager to enjoy a delicious dinner with your friends
  2072.  
  2073. -----
  2074.  
  2075. >”Not at all, Anonymous, Twilight and her friends simply arrived a little early. Please, sit down, we’re quite eager to get things started~”
  2076. >With the door shutting behind you, you smiled and found a seat, eager to enjoy a delicious dinner with your friends
  2077.  
  2078. -----
  2079.  
  2080. >Be you
  2081. >Queen of your dominion
  2082. >A boss without a minion
  2083. >With the only right opinion
  2084. >That opinion being that you, Eris, were the best at what you do
  2085. >Currently, what you were doing best was pouncing and prancing to Pinkie Pie’s parties
  2086. >Ah, assonance
  2087. >At your side was your best gal pal and number-one Pony, Fluttershy, looking slightly more skittish than usual for some odd reason
  2088. >Sure, Fluttershy wasn’t the boldest, but she looked negatively worried about a little get together!
  2089. >Little being the /very/ operative word!
  2090. >While Pinkie hadn’t said it out loud, you knew for a fact that there was only going to be four of you at this little shindig
  2091. >Who the mysterious fourth was going to be though, you had no clue!
  2092. >In fact, to make sure you didn’t spoil things for yourself, you’d made sure to unplug the memory portion of your brain!
  2093. >Speaking of which
  2094. “Say Fluttershy, where are we going again?”
  2095. >She looked back up at you and you could tell she was faking a smile
  2096. >”To Pinkie Pie’s party. Don’t you remember?”
  2097. >Ah, assonance
  2098. >Wait, no, that wasn’t right!
  2099. >No, the real question was why Fluttershy would possibly be worried about one of Pinkie Pie’s practically perfect parties!
  2100. >Just look at that smile!
  2101. >It was obviously a fake!
  2102. >You know what?
  2103. >What?
  2104. >What do I know?
  2105. >Actually, considering all this, where were Fluttershy and yourself heading?
  2106. >She was looking up at you kind of expectantly, after all, and she looked so worried, too!
  2107. >But why?
  2108. “Say Fluttershy, where are we goi-“
  2109. >You found yourself silenced as you crashed into, and through, a window, tumbling into Pinkie Pie’s room, landing in a pile of broken glass
  2110. >Inside your head, you felt something click into place
  2111. “Don’t worry, Pinkie Pie, I’ll be down in a moment!”
  2112. >Pulling out a remote, you rewound yourself, the soreness from your fall leaving you as you reversed back and- oh now this was just going too far!
  2113. >Stopping yourself, you blinked and looked around, before staring down at a card you were holding in your paw
  2114. >Examining it, it appeared to be from Pinkie Pie, of all ponies!
  2115. >Why, whatever could this be for?
  2116.  
  2117. -----
  2118.  
  2119. “And that’s why we’re late, Pinkie my dear!”
  2120. >Eighth time’s the charm!
  2121. >Pinkie Pie, the pink, pontificating pony pondered your plodding and ponderous…
  2122. >Was there a word for “story” that started with a “P”?
  2123. >Saying “tale” or “legend” at the end of that just felt off
  2124. >Proclamation, perhaps?
  2125. >”Weeeell, I suppose I can let it slide thiiiiiis time, but only because this is a party for you!”
  2126. >A party for you?
  2127. >That hadn’t been written on the card!
  2128. “For me? Why Pinkie, how very thoughtful! You know, I don’t think any pony, or other creature, has ever thrown me a party without me knowing it’s a party for me!”
  2129. >Wait, that wasn’t quite right
  2130. >It was more like, nopony, or any other creature, before Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy had ever wanted to throw you much of anything, unless it happened to be them either A) Throwing /you/, or B) Throwing something /at/ you
  2131. >This really was a nice change of pace
  2132. >Reaching into a pocket ala one of those charming kangaroos, you pulled out a bright blue ribbon, pinning it with a bit of magic to Pinkie Pie’s hair
  2133. “Pinkie Pie, on behalf of the intergalactic Eris committee, I hereby congratulate you on being the first Pony, neigh, creature, to have surprised me in, well, however long it’s been since I was last surprised!”
  2134. “Aww, Eris!”
  2135. >Wrapping her hooves around your back, Pinkie Pie pulled you into a particularly powerful..pincer…paneuver
  2136. >Also known as a hug
  2137. >Seems like your mental dictionary still needed more fine-tuning
  2138. >Either that, or maybe you could start making up words like that Shakesmare from years ago
  2139. >Talk about some good theater!
  2140. >While you considered potential stage names, your body floated after Pinkie’s, drifting into the Sugar Cube Corner
  2141. >A squeak from Fluttershy must have alerted your body because your mind’s boss came knocking on your mental door, demanding you get back to work and stop slacking off
  2142. >Normally you’d have paid yourself no mind, but ever since your “boss” put those white, cardboard wings on, as well as the white party hat, they’d been so much more authoritative!
  2143. >It was a whole lot easier to just do as you were told and enjoy yourself along the way
  2144. >Now, what had your body been saying to pass the time?
  2145. “-so that is why I will never sit on a blue chair at seven forty-eight PM on the fourteenth Wednesday of each year, starting fifteen years ago.”
  2146. >”Ohh, I see.”
  2147. >"Wow!"
  2148. >Patting your brain on the metaphysical head, you decided to take some time to enjoy all of Pinkie Pie’s decorations
  2149. >She did such a good job every time that even you had to admit how impressive she was!
  2150. >Honestly, it was a real shame that most Ponies couldn’t notice the ethereal decorations she so painstakingly added for the ghosts’ enjoyment!
  2151. >Ah well, true genius (like your own), is never truly appreciated by the unenlightened (such as yourself)
  2152. >Speaking of enlightening oneself, time to review!
  2153. >Lit candles that set the mood?
  2154. >Check!
  2155. >Soft, low jazz that stirred something inside every creature?
  2156. >Check!
  2157. >The words, “Omelette du Fromage” written on little cue cards on both sides of the table by all the fancy cutlery?
  2158. >Check!
  2159. >Yep, all the party classics!
  2160. >...
  2161. >Wait
  2162. >There was something wrong here!
  2163. >Something very, /very/ WRONG!
  2164. “Pinkie Pie!”
  2165. >You exclaimed, scooping the little Pony up off the ground, a trail of sugar particles drifting through the air behind her as you swung her up and around!
  2166. >”Eris!”
  2167. “Pinkie 'Party Pony' Pie, this is no laughing matter! How can this be a party for four Ponies if there are only two seats at that table!”
  2168. >How could she possibly mess this up?
  2169. >You’d just got done praising her!
  2170. “Oh Pinkie, where did it all go so wrong?”
  2171. >You could feel tears welling up in your eyes, literal faucets just waiting to blow!
  2172. >Hold it in, Eris!
  2173. >Not today, tears!
  2174. >NOT TODAY!
  2175. >”Because this surprise is a multi-level surprise, silly!”
  2176. >Pausing, you slowly pulled a second ribbon out, sticking it to Pinkie Pie’s mane on the opposite side of the first one
  2177. “…Go on.”
  2178. >”You see, the two seats are on purpose! It’s just gonna be you and your ‘mystery guest’ sitting at the table!”
  2179. “/OBJECTION!/”
  2180. >You brought your paw down on the wooden desk, jabbing a claw across the courtroom and over at the prosecutor sitting across from you, that Eris looking shocked, her cravat fluttering in the air
  2181. “You were clever, but you forgot one crucial piece of evidence, Pinkie Pie!”
  2182. >Up on the witness stand, Pinkie brought her hooves to her face, eyes going wide while her hair hung down, deflated!
  2183. >”O-Oh no, I did?”
  2184. “Yes! You see, on your card that you gave to Eris at 1052 hundred hours, you specifically claimed that this was a four-creature party!”
  2185. >Raising the card up, you gave it a few good smacks with your claw
  2186. “Then, when Eris and Fluttershy arrived at Sugar Cube Corner, not only was it not decorated for any normal kind of party, but the only table there was set for a mere two Ponies, not four! What do you have to say to /that/?”
  2187. >”Oh, well, that’s simple, you see-“
  2188. >”/OBJECTION!/”
  2189. >Rocking back at your table, you slumped down as you watched the Draconequis across from you begin their rebuttal, silencing Pinkie Pie in an instant!
  2190. >”Your honor, these claims are simply ludicrous! What proof do we have that Pinkie Pie herself even wrote this card? If you’ll examine evidence 18a, you’ll see that the Donkey family have had trouble before with Ponyville’s resident card-printer, as well as the pony who handles deliveries! My client can hardly be blamed for their error, can they?”
  2191. >Once again, Pinkie’s hair reflated as she tried to speak
  2192. >”No no, that couldn’t have happened because I-“
  2193. “/HOLD IT!/”
  2194. >Back on your hoof and talons, you pointed across the bench again, drawing the crowd’s attention over to you
  2195. “As you can clearly see on the card, your honor, there’s Pinkie Pie’s signature! That means that even if there /was/ a printing error, she would have seen it! Furthermore miss Pie, in a signed letter, confessed to having written these cards herself! That means that any fault that might have been in these cards falls solely on her!”
  2196. >That got the crowd, as well as the judge and jurors, talking, muttering and mumbling among themselves, all while prosecution scrambled, obviously trying to find some way to strike back at you
  2197. “Finally, the last, most crucial evidence is that the table was-“
  2198. >”/HOLD IT!/”
  2199. >Swiveling your head towards Pinkie Pie, she gestured to the apron wrapped around herself. It looked just a little too big for her, slightly trailing along the floor
  2200. >”Like I was trying to say, Fluttershy’s just here as a chaperone, while I’ll be in the kitchen! We only need two spots because of that!”
  2201. >Slowly, you reached a paw into your pocket, pulled out a third ribbon, and attached it to the top of Pinkie’s mane
  2202. >If she kept this up, she’d have expended your entire stock by the end of the night
  2203. >Thankfully, Pinkie’s leg twitched in that odd way it did whenever somepony was at the door and so, while she zipped off to answer it, you checked in with Fluttershy, making sure she was fine with not technically being a part of whatever was about to happen
  2204. >She, however, simply waved you off, telling you to have a good time
  2205. >With that advice in mind, you flowed into the seat facing the kitchen, waiting to see who’d be joining you across the table
  2206. >”Hey there, Pinkie, sorry about being late.”
  2207. >Waaait wait wait, you recognized that voice!
  2208. >That was-
  2209. >”Nonny! Don’t worry about it, you’re right on time! Come on in and take a seat, okay?”
  2210. >What?
  2211. >Pausing time, just, in general, you took a second to reflect on your current situation
  2212. >Hm
  2213. Twisting your head around a full 180 degrees, you looked back at the tall Stallion who’d just entered the shop, dipping his head down to step through the doors, pausing and, no doubt, getting the wrong ideas from the “decorations”
  2214. >”Pinkie, I seem to notice there’s only one table with two chair at it and one of those chairs have already been…Hey, who /is/ that?”
  2215. >While the two of them might have thought they were whispering, you could just turn their volume up so that you could hear them
  2216. >From what you caught, it seemed that Anonymous was just as much in the dark about you as you were about him!
  2217. >That could work in your favor as it helped to stay one hoof ahead of the rest
  2218. >Ooh, perhaps you'd even come to understand more about him tonight!
  2219. >The atmosphere was just right for schmoozing and, if you played your cards right, you'd have him flushed by the end of the night
  2220. >Taking a second to look up your sleeve, you made sure you had the best hand possible ready to go for just such an occasion
  2221. >All Jesters!
  2222. >Adjusting back in your seat, you leaned back to face the Human, one arm folded over the back of your chair, your legs crossed beneath the table
  2223. >He stopped once he got beside you, giving you a small smile and a nod
  2224. >"Nice to meet you properly. Name's Anonymous."
  2225. "Charmed, I'm sure~ The name's Eris, Goddess of Chaos and everything else. Maybe you've heard of me?"
  2226. >He went to sit down, the chair sliding back for him with just a hit of your magic
  2227. >"Please, allow me."
  2228. >There was a strange hint of hesitation there, but then he sat down, adjusting himself in before you could do it for him
  2229. >"Thanks, and yeah, I think Princess Twilight's mentioned you a few times."
  2230. >Hmph!
  2231. >She just "mentioned" you?
  2232. >What, weren't you bombastic enough to get a glowing review?
  2233. >Perhaps a book deal?
  2234. >Surely something more interesting than idle chit-chat!
  2235. >For a moment, you tried to peer into his mind to see exactly what this "mentioning" had been like, only to find yourself blocked yet again, your power running up against the anti-magical wall that was Anonymous
  2236. >Fine, you'd just have to talk like a peasant, then!
  2237. "I should hope so! I don't know if you know this, Anonymous, considering you're new in world and all, but I'm pretty much the top Diamond Dog around here. Sure, the Princesses rule Equestria and all that, but it's really more of a time-share than they might admit. I /used/ to be the rightful, and dare I say, frightful ruler of Draconestria, but I allowed it to come under new management for awhile."
  2238. >That's right, Eris, show him just how important you really are!
  2239. >Stallions love Mares who're confident, and often, wealthy!
  2240. >If you just impress him with your business know-how, he'll be so-
  2241. >"So, you became the CEO, so to speak?"
  2242. "The who-what now?"
  2243. >His head tilted slightly, that smile not leaving his wonderfully unique face as he spoke again in that way that was similar to Ponies but almost imperceptibly different
  2244. >"The Chief Executive Officer? They're the head of the company while other people follow their orders and help run the company from beneath them? Do you have those here, or is there a different name for them?"
  2245. >Dang it, say something, filly!
  2246. "Well I mean, I don't give the orders per se, but I could if I wanted to! Believe you me, I'm the most powerful creature in any land, bar none."
  2247. >"Oh? If that's the case, do you have any idea what's going on here? Pinkie and her friends told me a bit about you, but I'm really not sure how it translates to something this...intimate? Honestly, I hadn't expected something this classy when Pinkie invited me to a party today."
  2248. >"Hey!"
  2249. >Pinkie called out from the back, her voice louder enough to hear over the smooth jazz and faint tinkle of glass and metal in the kitchen
  2250. >"No offense meant by it Pinkie, this just feels like a Canterlot restaurants' kind of aesthetic more than it does one of your parties."
  2251. >The doors to the back opened up, Pinkie Pie emerging from behind them in a sort of swanky, Prench Maid's uniform, a tray held aloft by her mane, twin glasses filled with red wine balanced atop it all
  2252. >Staring at her, you couldn't help but feel under-dressed for the occasion, why even Anonymous was wearing clothes, albeit ones that covered his entire body!
  2253. >Still, not wanting to be the odd one out, you snapped your claws quietly, a fancy bow appearing around one of your horns
  2254. >Classy, yet subtle
  2255. >It must have been a strong choice as Anonymous' eyes flitted up to it the moment it popped into existence
  2256. >He turned his attention back to Pinkie Pie shortly after, but it had been more than enough time to give you a bit of an ego boost
  2257. >Even after being turned to stone for 1000+ years, you were still better at this than Both Celestia and Luna

[RGRE] RD's Dare by SadNonny

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[RGRE] Villanon by AponymousAuthor

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Applejack Season (NSFW clop) - by Operafag

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[RGRE] How Villanon Stole Hearth's Warming by AponymousAuthor

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[AiE] Burning Questions by MINDWAVE

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