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I collected my notes and prepared for my debriefing with Master. How long did that take?

Days and nights are too unpredictable to be used to keep time. We simply sleep when tired, and do our tasks when we rise. We come when Master calls and leave when we're dismissed. After that, we do whatever we please until we're tired or he calls us again. That is all there needs to be.

LJ stood in line behind me as I stood in Master's cluttered throne room, opposite the big screen TV.

"So, my dearest Twilight Tragedy, what's the newest up-and-up in the kingdom of eternal chaos?"

Master has no actual need for these reports, his eyes and ears are everywhere. After a thousand years or so, everything alive fears and/or hates him. Nearly all know better than to ever disobey him.

"I found the note in my bedroom just where you told me, Master, I burned it without reading it, as per your instructions. I also burned all the time travel spells in the library without memorizing them, they are no threat to you. I then went down to the basement and burned the twenty-four scrolls with the seal of the sun and my cutie mark on them, again without reading them as your commanded, and then scattered the ashes across every corner of your domain."

"And the library of Pre-Chaos-Era fiction, with the time resistance seal on it to prevent decay?"

"Burned to the ground. Starting with the Daring Do section as you commanded me."

Why did LJ shudder when I said that?

I continued. "The Virgacorns teaching magic have fled Ponyville. I believe the magic students in Ponyville were meant as bait, given how quickly both the Changelings and the Hippogriffs ambushed us. Since none of us can be killed, I theorize they were hoping to capture us."

"And what would you say were their losses total, my dear?"

"I calculate Master it was-" Snap of his fingers. "FAR TOO MANY YOU SACK OF-" Snap. "-pure chaos that prevents stagnant order from dominating and freezing all the world. I believe they'll know better than to try a brute force approach, but I strongly believe they've recognized they can easily reach the heart of Equestria and-" Snap. "SHOW EVERYPONY HOW LIMITED YOUR VISION REALLY IS YOU-" Snap. "-are well aware Master that our information network is far too lax and disorganized. I believe-" Snap. "THIS JUST GOES TO SHOW THAT-" Snap. "-that perhaps we should-" Snap. "-SHOW YOU JUST WHAT-" Snap. "-ways we can more effectively-" Snap. "-GIVE YOU A-" Snap. "-superior level of-" Snap. "-PAIN AND HUMILIATION YOU DESERVE-" Snap. "-to hand out to the enemies of chaos. And-" Snap. "-YOU-" Snap. "-shall-" Snap. "-GET-" Snap. "-our-" Snap. "-TOTAL-" Snap. "effect-" Snap. "-IVE-" Snap. "-ness.... Master, I do not feel well." I slid off all four hooves with my tongue out and my eyes spinning.

Master laughs and claps. "Take a little break, my Twilight Tragedy. Liarjack, how did your personal assignment go?"

Liarjack trotted forward proudly with her chest puffed out. "Ah absolutely did NOT hunt down and exterminate every callow youth and wise mentor in the kingdom!" Liarjack said proudly.

Fluttercruel and Angry Pie both trotted in on cue, carrying a pair of bloody butcher knives and a spiked mace, respectively. 'Cruel smiled. "We know you didn't because we just did."

"Wha? How in tha' Mastah did ya know?!"

"We figured you might have been telling the truth to throw us off," Angry Pie grumbled. LJ had been becoming more creative with her Element of Deceit lately, I don't know whether to be concerned or impressed.

Liarjack looked at Master shaking in her horseshoes.

"My my my, Liarjack you've become a baaad pony," Master whispered as he floated down right in front of her, his eyes never leaving hers. He kissed her and patted her on the cheek. "I love bad ponies." He turned away from her back to his throne with a seductive sway in his hips. He slid down grinning.

Angry Pie and Fluttercruel looked at each other confused and disappointed. LJ looked ready to wet herself.

"An adorable job, Fluttercruel."

"Thank you Master."

Angry Pie growled at her own lack of praise.

"Twilight Tragedy."

Master needed me, I forced myself up. "Yes Master?"

"I have a tiny tinny errand I'd like you to take care of for me. Just a flight of fancy." That was different from everything else how? "Nothing important. Just a little side project in your spare time."

"Anything, Master."

"Heh, beware 'anything' Tragedy. Oh and Twilight, friendship is magic."

I tilted my head in confusion, "Master that makes no sense." I then groaned, remembering who I was talking to and quoted, "'And what fun is there in making sense.'"

"Good pony."

+++

Mah name is Liarjack, always has been, always will be. Ya can't change what is. What scares me more than anythin' is glaring, straight and heartless truth, lies at least have a heart. What Ah want more than anythin', is us to stay together. Who Ah loved more than anythin' passed away a long long time ago. What makes me happy is pears and gardenin', pretty dresses and rodeos. What matters most is you girls.
-
If ponies have to call me something then call me Angry Pie. If you call me something I don't like you'll know fast! When things aren't the way you like them you force it to change with your own two hooves! I DON'T FEAR ANYTHING! WHAT I WANT MORE ANYTHING IS FOR DUMB PONIES TO STOP LAUGHING! Love? Pst! What I love is the peace and quiet ponies always want to screw up! HAPPINESS? Who give a flying feather about that?! What matters most to me is making sure ponies know Angry Pie is no laughing matter!
-
You may call me Rarigreed or Greedity, I don't really care which, just so long as you remember they're both mine. What matters to mommy is her precious babies. They're all so precious and beautiful. I don't care about anything else as long my precious family keeps having new members. If I am forced to name a fear, it would be losing my babies. Mommy's greatest desire is for her and Tom's family to always grow. Mommy's greatest love and happiness is her children of course. All is mine to keep.
-
A name? Fluttercruel. It is what it is. If it isn't what I like I'll break it and make it what I want it to be. Fear is a weakness I don't have. I desire for the fun and games to never ever end. Love? Ick. Humph! If-if you must know, there is something who is a very special someone to me. But that is none of your beeswax. Happiness is making creatures remember they're dirt under your hooves. What matters most is me... and my very special someone.
-
My name is Traitor Dash. That's the only name that matters now. There are things that can matter so much one minute, then not matter at all, everything is always changing, so what's the point of even trying to keep up? I fear failing, I fear losing, I fear falling short, I fear nothing is ever going right, I fear everything being for nothing, I fear a lot of things. What I desire most? Was this was all just a bad dream I could wake up from. Greatest love? I lost the right to love anypony forever ago. I have no right to be happy. What matters most? Everything is equal.
-
(Interview's Notes (Twilight Tragedy): Spike?... I know you're not on the list of those Master wanted me to interview but... I feel I should ask you too. You're a part of our, group, after all.)

I am Kenbroth Gilspotten Heathspike 'Spike' The Seventh. Dragons are supposed to be titans who can bend the world to what they want it to be, for lesser creatures to bow and cower before us and make our place in the world what we want it to be. I'm the opposite of that. I have nothing left to fear, Twilight, because my worst fears have already all come true. I wish this could just end. I wish you'd smile again. I wish Rarity would look at me again. And, and I still love her. I love the Rarity I remember. You being near makes me happy. What matters most, what's left to matter most, is the two of you.

(Interview's Notes (Twilight Tragedy): As for myself? I am Twilight Tragedy. I neither accept or reject what is handed to me. I fear nothing. I desire nothing. I love nothing. I feel satisfaction, but not happiness. Nothing matters but serving Master. That is all that I am, that is all I need to know.)
++++

Cloudsdale is always moving, wherever the wind may blow it. It's not always near Ponyville anymore. And me, I just hope I'm unable to find it. I hope I can tell Master I wasn't able to fill out his orders this 'morning.' Just don't try too hard, don't look too hard, let yourself get distracted by the Sky Ocean over the Valley of Needles, yeah that's the ticket and, dangit, I spotted it. I can't run away. If I do, then Master might find out and do... worse than if I don't.

Place sure has changed in the last thousand years. It's bigger. The windows, the doors, the streets, have been resized to fit the locals better. They've had plenty of time to resize since they cleared out the lunatic pegasi. There isn't much in the way of defenses. There's no real point in them when you're up against an evil spirit who can turn your cloud city into lead.

Time for a perfect three point landing on top of the highest building, dang, this brings back nasty memories, of course, knowing Master that's half the point.

A hippogriff filly...chick...child...kid too young to know she's supposed to be afraid of me flutters up to me atop of the building. Her cutie mark is a question mark. "Hello Miss, what are you?"

When I answer her, I try to act like I wasn't the bad guy, delaying the inevitable as long as I can, "I'm a pegasus."

She tilted her head. Other hippogriffs begin her gasped at the sight of me. "What's that? Are you half-hippogriff and half-Earth-pony?"

I chuckle. My first laugh in a long time. "Naw. You pay attention in history right?" At Twilight's urging, Master actually began allowing history to be taught. At least... his own version of it. Master's games wouldn't be as fun if he was the only one who knew life wasn't always this way. Good? Bad? Don't ask me.

"Yeah! Wait a minute! I know you! I've seen pictures in books! You're one half of us hippogriffs, right? And the other half were called G... gri...-"

"Griffins. They were called Griffins."

"Right! Then Big Banana Boss Discord brought the two halves together and made us hippogriffs!"

Actually, the pegasi and the griffins fled Master together towards the wastelands. A lot like how the unicorns mass-migrated to Zebrafrica. As if there was anywhere in the universe they could escape to. Gotta give props to Queen Cadence; she kept us busy for a good five hundred years. But while we were busy fighting her and her changelings... griffins and pegasi, and the unicorns and zebras, had had plenty of time to get to know each other and start families! Donkeys assimilated in with the Earth Ponies, but as they were never a widespread species, they hadn't affected the race as much.

I actually don't mind, the Pegasi and Griffins live on in them, like the unicorns and zebras live on in the virgacorns.

"So what's your name?"

"... Traitor Dash."

"That's a weird name."

"It's the one I'm stuck with," I said ruffling her golden feathers and coat. "What's your name?"

"Inquisition! GET AWAY FROM IT!" Shouted a rightfully scared mother.

And vacation's over.

"But Mom!" Inquisition whines, "We're just talkin-"

"I said get away!" The ruby and green hippogriff mother shouted, and dove for her child, I flapped up some to give them some room. I sighed. That ended way too quick... always does...

'I'm sorry, Inquisition,' I ached inside.

"YOU! What are YOU here for, Shadow Bolt?" A gold and red hippogriff with a lance cutie mark snarled at me. He flew so he was between the noncombatants and me. Other males joined him claws bared. I hate that nickname like I hate my name. The only name I don't hate...is the one I don't deserve anymore.

"I'm here because Master ordered it. Hippogriffs have challenged the eternal chaos." I look at the males, unable to keep the hurt out of my voice. "Did you think he was going to let you off?! Did you think you were actually going to change anything?!"

"As long as anything has free will, there'll be resistance to your tyranny, you freak!" a random hippogriff shouted.

I look at the leader. "What's yer name?"

"Horus, monster."

"... Please, Horus, tell me whose idea it was to help the changelings in that ambush! Give me somepony, anypony, LIE to me if you have to! Otherwise, Master will destroy Cloudsdale and you!"

Poor Inquisition gawks at me in horror. I can't bear to look at her.

"SHE'S ALL ALONE! I SAY WE TAKE'ER! Deathless abomination or not she can't take all of-" A fast micro-Sonic Darkboom of mine shatters his wings and breaks his back, knocking all the hippogriffs around him off their claws.

"PLEASE! Just tell me!"

The hippogriffs gather round their fallen friend, helping him up, and they look at me even more hatefully. Great.

"I AM!" shouted Horus.

Less than a second later the 'griff holding Inquisition shouted, "I did!"

"It was I!" Shouted an elderly 'griff with one eye missing.

"I was the one!" Screamed a violet and blue 'griff with a ball lightning cutie mark.

It turned into a chorus.

"IT WAS ME!" Inquisition shouted at me.

I shudder, close my eyes, and break the beak of the 'griff who chooses that moment to come at my throat.

Why couldn't they just throw me some lowlife they all hate?! Why?!

I open my eyes and look over everyone in the crowd, individually. Finally I point at one. "It was you. You were going to speak up first, but Horus beat you to it, then you were the last one to speak up after looking at everypony else in surprise. I'm sorry. You're the guilty wrongdoer."

She shouted back, "Save the garbage, you sadistic murderer!"

Horus screamed, "Storm-Cracker, fly for it!"

The 'griff opens up her wings, but not to fly away but to dive right at me!

"YOU MORON!" I scream at the top of my lungs, tears in my eyes as I Sonic Darkboom her in the gut, shattering her hollow bones, as we both sail clear out of Cloudsdale. "A LEADER IS SUPPOSED TO LISTEN TO THEIR FRIENDS, NOT GO LOOKING FOR MARTYRDOM!"

"There'll... always be... anoth-"

"THERE'LL NEVER BE ANOTHER 'YOU', YOU IDIOT!" I howl as I we both crash us both into Old Dragon's Peak. "... You can't replace family."

Storm-Cracker dies instantly.


It'll take a bad while to dig myself out. At least I don't have to face the hateful crowd. Stupid Dash. Have to make it back to Master as soon as I can before he thinks I'm napping on the job and need 'motivation.'

Maybe I can make up a story about being ambushed by the Dragon Remnants, he'll let it slide, heck, he'll -reward- me if I make it sound interesting enough. Doesn't matter it's a lie as long as it's a good story.

++++

"Applejack, help me, please."

"That ain't mah name no more, 'Bloom."

"... Ah'm sorry Applejack, Ah couldn't fix yer heart."

"Don't say that, it ain't yer fault mah heart can't be fixed."

"Then help me."

"...Ah-Ah...Ah don't wanna be alone."

"What 'bout everypony else?"

"...They're as good as dead. Ah'm alone. Ah'd be... if ya weren't here."

"Honest fer once, are ya? But Big sister, Ah miss Granny Smith, Ah miss Big Mac, Ah miss Lance, Ah miss Scootaloo, Ah miss Sweetie Belle! And the pain, the pain never goes away. Ah miss mah youngin's. Ah didn't ask ya before, cause Ah had a job to do, fixin' the ponies here in Sunnytown, since...Ah Lord Boss' remade me to be like them. Please, Ah know Ah'm being selfish! But Ah'm yer little sister, Don't Ah have a right ta be... Just a little?

"Ah know Ah'm quittin', but...b-but Big Sister, Ah can't take it no more! Durin' the light, Ah'm alive but it hurts, durin' the dark, Ah'm dead but it still hurts! And even when Ah'm dead, Ah can't see 'em!...Big sis...please... Ruby, Threeleaf, Mitta, Scoots, Sweetie, Lance...they're all waitin' fer me now. Please, Sweetie could've been a doll forever, but Discord let her live instead to be with her own big sister! Didn't that make yah happy?"

"No."

"Liar."

"It's the kinder thing to say. As a doll she didn't need to see what was left of her sister, and Ah wish ya didn't need to see what's left of yers."

"Ah'm sorry Ah couldn't fix ya... Ah'm sorry Ah couldn't fix any of ya. Ah failed."

"Just like ya failed to help the rest of the Sunnytowners finally move on so Master couldn't toy with'em no more. Master was soooo happy you didn't."

"Heh, you're right, thanks. Please big sister, help me move on. It was a gift that Ah could still bring life inta the world even cursed. Ponies keep havin' foals because they're hopin' Queen Cadence can one day kill Lord Boss Discord. But Ah'm worn out. Mah grandkids' grandkids are waitin' fer me with all mah friend Ah helped. Please, indulge yer little sister in this selfishness and look after mah family 'stead?"

"Ah can't promise nothin'."

"Please."

". . . Ah'll try."

"Please AJ. Let me go...Yer the only one who can..."

"Ah... Ah can't go on without ya! Not in 'dis world!"

"If ya still love me, ya'll help me."

"No. I DON'T STILL LOVE YOU! AT ALL! AH HAVE NO HEART! HOW COULD AH LOVE ANYTHIN'?!"

"A-a-applejack."

"...And, yer still mah little sistah, and ah still love ya more than anything, Ah'm dang proud of everythin' ya've done. All yer sins are forgivin', let go of yer guilt, yer free, lay down and get some rest."

"AJ?"

"Bad Lies makes for happy surprises."

And Ah watch, as the mare in front of me ages before mah eyes, growin' as old as Granny Smith was Master's day, then older, an' older, she lays down on the grass, and closes her eyes, "Thank ya, Abigail."

... A little pink bow lay on top of a pile of dust.


"APPLEBLOOM!" Mah eyes shot open. No Ah didn't sit up, that only happens in tha movies. Ah think.

Mah bedroom. Least it's not upside down this time. Master must've gotten bored of that. Ah'm not cryin'...Ah already done did mah cryin' ...

Ah needed some rest after Master dang and found me out. Just Ah think Ah have'em figured out he goes and pulls somethin' like that. Ah hope none of'em realize Ah was tellin' the truth too when Ah said Ah spared those ponies in Ponyville.

Ah never though Ah'd end up dreamin' 'bout that day in Sunnytown Everfree.

That whole mess happened over five hundred years ago, Ah think, Master likes to keep mah memories clearer than Twili's. Ah don't think he thought Ah'd ever let Applebloom... leave.

Ah was lucky ta have 'Bloom long as Ah did. So many bloodlines were ended that day. So many ponies died or transformed into things ya couldn't call ponies no more. Later along, Master reigned himself in a bit. Worried he might run out of toys.

By then, Princess Blueblood was a puddle on the floor, and Philomina's ashes were made inta a clay pot. Ah think she's still technically alive. Maybe.

Screwball was his new enforcer 'till he finished breakin' us in. Nowadays, Ah think she and her daughter are together in a music box in his throne room. Ya can never be sure what's real and what's a lie with Master. Kinda like me.

Ah think that crazy mare who thought she was a mutt became queen of the Diamond Dogs or somethin'.

And the rest of Ponyville? They got rescued by space-ponies and lived happily ever after in a spaceship.

Okay, that last one wasn't really one of mah best lies.

Bon-Bon had turned to candy and Lyra tried to hang herself after she ate her and Master made her head clear again. But Ah intervened. And Ah suggested ta Master she could be useful to him as one of his new seaponies. Miss Octavia, mercifully, went deaf. Ah... Ah never bothered to find out who she ended up marryin'. Maybe some pony from her band. Then Master found out how good of a musician she still was... even when deaf, even when she was feelin' the notes instead of hearin' em. So he gave 'er back her hearin', then added her to his fish tank and wiped away her memories of her family. She didn't even recognize her own Earth Pony youngin's.

Ah think Ah actually ran out of hate for Master a long time ago.

At least Octavia and Lyra are happy.

Still, poor seaponies. They're all just songbirds in a gilded cage and they don't even know it!

Seein' Master all calm and smilin' listenin' to 'em sing, it's downright scary!

True to Master's style he hasn't brain-zapped a single one after the first generation. After all, they were born what they are. And their parents couldn't stop talkin' 'bout how great Master is. They ain't got a clue how bad everythin' outside their little ocean is. Lucky ponies!

Ya know what sucks 'bout bein' so good at lyin'? It gets harder and harder ta believe yer own lies.

+++++++

The stars are so distant, silent. Stars look so orderly, at first glance. So still, like a photograph that never changes. Returning and returning every year in a perfect cycle. A completely flawless order. But after a thousand years, you begin to notice the tiny shifts most ponies are blind too in their all-too-brief-lifespans. Constellations begin to slightly drift apart and form new ones. Stars wink out and new stars are born. Chaos creeps out of the order. I don't know why, but it seems so beautiful.

In an instant, it's daytime, the clouds fly about like mad. White clouds produced by hippogriffs get bumped and bruised by wild cotton candy clouds zipping, Master's sugary creations, drenching anything underneath them in chocolate milk, syrup, or DJ P0N-3 records. It was just like watching parasprites swarm, no order or reason...Or was there? If you looked long enough, you'd see patterns begin to emerge. Cycles begin to play out. Order crawling out of the very Chaos. In fact, in some ways, the cycles in them seemed more reliable than the stars...

Then night comes again. Always the two extremes of day and night. Twilight, my name, it meant between daytime and nighttime, so I knew it existed. But why only these two absolutes in Master's world of perfect chaos? Always perfect night or perfect day, no in-between. It made no sense, 'and what fun is there in making sense?' But rather than another bit of Master's randomness, it felt like a critical error.

Sky Ocean floated aimlessly above the castle. Larger than any metropolis, it was a several miles wide, lazily shifting shape, sometimes looking like a sphere, others a spider web or liquid blanket across the sky. Seaponies granted with bioluminescence put on lightshows for however long the nights lasted.

"They sure are the dang plug-ugliest critters ya can ever dream of ever seein', ain't they? They ain't surprising at all, considerin' what ya'd normally expect Master to come up with."

"They are indeed beautiful, LJ." I reply, not even glancing as she sat next to me upon the castle garden bench. I never asked Liarjack how she takes such care of the plants with only chocolate rain and rocks to work with. But I know the roses are just for smelling and not touching. The Venus-Pony-Traps are to be avoided. How I wish Fluttercruel just quit breaking my legs and pushing me into the poison joke, whenever we're both out here.

Liarjack looked at me. "I can totally blame that one pony who jumped in to join 'em."

"I remember." A hippogriff screaming she couldn't take it anymore flew right into the ocean. The sea ponies swarmed her, and the water turned red. They then apologized for using way too much mane dye on her and welcomed their newest sister into their chorus.

"They're not like how ponies used to be at all: scared to death one moment, but as soon as the trouble's gone they swim along like nothin' happened. That turned to be soooooo a good thing!"

"The only time I can remember the seaponies ever being scared was that time three hundred years ago the six of us without Master's help had to deal with extra-reality usurper ponies led by a twisted and powerful version of that pony whose always circling the palace."

"Yep. Ah didn't think about stabbin' Master in the back for a second', it's not like Ah stayed on this side 'cause better the devil ya know than the devil ya don't. Or that at least there was good at one point inside us all at least."

"It was a long, hard, and strenuous battle, I lost count of the number of times I was impaled. Then it turned out they had all been cloned directly from us. Cheap biological copies. But we proved we were the true elements of chaos. It was quite a harrowing crisis though." I wanted to ask 'but aren't we the good' we safeguard chaos from tireless slaves of order born again every generation aren't we? But with Liarjack that felt a wasted effort to ask. So why am I wondering?

"Heh-heh, yeah, those were boring times. Didn't feel nostalgic at all."

"The last time I remember you looking that happy was during the alien invasion some centuries back."

"Yeah!" Liarjack smiled, more than that, her mane shone... lighter? Brighter? Something slightly different about her. "It wasn't just 'bout Master! It was the whole world! Them aliens were gonna invade Equestria! They were gonna blow up the planet! What a good thing that our pony friend with the blue box caught wind of'em! Fought 'em out in space!

"The way you made their planet poppin' missiles explode before they were fired! Fluttercruel impersonatin' their commander's voice, and orderin' them to cluck like chickens!"

"You actually laughed at that."

"Yeah, I did! For a bit it felt just like old times! And the dragons, the virgacorns, the hippogriffs, the changelings, EVERYONE was united because EVERYONE'S lives were on the line! It was great fightin' alongside all of 'em! And Spike! Whoa Nelly! He took one of them big spaceships and used it as a CANNON to shoot down the rest! It was awesome! Dang! Ah sound like Dash!"

"And then Master figured that, considering the heavy losses which the changelings had sustained, it was an ideal moment to finally eliminate Queen Cadence."

I was perplexed when the... difference... around Liarjack faded, and she was back to her old grey colors. "Nope. Don't remember part that at all."

Personally, the near destruction of Equestria was a perplexing experience for me. The invaders had apparently been prepared for Master's power, I don't know how they did it, but they'd managed to protect their army from his power. Thus why we had to side with our sworn enemies to fend off the genocide. Master had seemed almost, excited.

Master had personally traveled to the heart of the invader's empire to hit their leader in the face with a cream pie. Only to find a sad old man on life support. Master dropped the pie, and instead gave him a non-poison joke flower and one day of perfect health.

When Master came back, Master was NOT happy!




"I felt bad because someone else felt bad? I don't understand! It's not opposite day! At least I didn't get the memo if it was!"

"No, Master. Opposite Day's next week."

"And I'm not liking NOT understanding!? That makes less sense! And I'm not happy it doesn't make sense?!"

"I believe it is called 'pity' Master." I said swiftly to save my master.

"Whatever it's called, I hate it!" He dropped a fifty ton weight on my head. That hurts less than you think.

I crawled out from under it as I regenerated. "Pity means showing compassion and empathy for somepony else, or so I've heard."

"Forget it! It never happened! This NEVER HAPPENED!" he yelled at the top of his lungs. He then slunk down in his throne.

"Still," He turned to an Earth Pony beside him with an hourglass cutie mark. "I must thank you, Doctor, I'd rather not have to rebuild the planet my kingdom's built on from atomic ash."

"It was a pleasure to ensure the continued existence of your kingdom of chaos." The earth pony grinned and bowed, then looked up. "And please, call me the Valeyard."

"And to think I only needed to kill you a few dozen times to hit on the right persona."

They both cackled.




"Please! Just leave us alone!"

It was the gray mare again. The black birds never let up. Attacking the muffin was what they'd been conjured for.

It looked like she had knocked off a few hundred laps around the castle since I'd last paid attention to her.

Traitor Dash had once taken her and her filly shaped muffin and sped them both around the castle a few hundred thousand times before Master stopped her.
-
"Oh, Traitor Dash! You must want that muffin so badly! Why don't you eat it? I'll even chop it up so it'll go down easier."

"OH NO NO NO! Not at all, Master! Not at all!"

"Then don't go taking things that aren't yours, my little pony."

"Yes, Master!"
-
Maybe I should interview her as well. She feels familiar now that I think about it. Usually, I didn't. I've been experiencing all sorts of strange thoughts and memories... ever since Master had spared that laughing filly. Could that act of mercy have, perhaps, really disturbed me? Confused me? Disrupted my cycle? Cycles? In Master's perfect chaos? Had we decayed so far into Order?

I hadn't felt this confused since our final battle with Queen Cadence in Old Avalon. But my memory of that battle is so foggy. My memory is just horribly faulty in some areas. Not like Liarjack or Traitor Dash...

"Liarjack."

"Yeah, Twilight?"

"Please tell me the exact opposite of every detail you remember of our razing of Old Avalon."

She looked confused, but hurt too. I'm guessing these memories are painful for her (doesn't matter, you need information). I shook my head looking around a bit. There was no one else.

LJ began, "Well, if ya really wanna know the opposite of what happened..."
Welcome to dark world. Please stay. And you WILL find there is light in the darkness. And you will find this tragedy has a happy ending!

First part of the look into the 'day to day' lives of Discord's six minions.

Previous Chapter: [link]
Next Chapter: [link]

Music suggested for this part. This Broken Soul [link]

Inspiration for the Virgacorns. [link]

MLP:FiM Copyright Hasbro

20120625 Uber edits by the producer of the audio adaption.

20120703: Edited the mention of crisis to be more in tune with what it was tributing.

20120707: Edits by Sentreiaaa.


20120707: [link] Moon-Struck Badger's cover art added!
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We continue our journey through darkness with the depressing notion that Twilight not only has no idea how much time did pass since her corruption but the chaotic change of day and night means that it is even hard to tell when a day is over. So the Elements all usually work themselves to exhaustion and then fall asleep. Twilight did burn all her notes to herself, all time travel spells, a note from Celestia and any historical records of the events before eternal chaos. She was ordered to start with burning all Daring Do books, just because Discord could do it. The idea of the book-loving pony burning down all those books is incredible depressing. According to her comments and the poll this was all Twilight’s idea to prove her loyalty to Chaos. And this is probably a good moment to mention that her coming up with this idea completely humiliates Discord. A pony that can hardly remember what day it is found several flaws in his world of endless Chaos. Any random rebel or some Chaos could have activated the time travel spells and turned Discord into a flower or something. Was he really that blind to overlook these dangers for all these years? This also shows a strange dynamic that the Elements of Chaos develop over time. Give Twilight as the server of Chaos a few hundred more years and she will start to consider the Draconequus himself the greatest danger to the continued existence of Chaos and would shatter his spirit all over the world to ensure that the order of Chaos prevails. She mentions that the entire incident in Ponyville was likely a trap to capture one of the Elements of Chaos and find their weakness. I guess ripping out the Elements, that gives them immortality, would destroy them in seconds. Then she tries to suggest a strategy to get more information about the rebellion but Discord doesn’t care at all about good advice and rather tortures her by switching her back and forth between her corrupted and normal self. That part is incredible depressing to read since when she has her sanity back her she immediately tries to insult him but doesn’t even get to say one sentence before she is changed back. Maybe this is her punishment for surpassing him. In the end she collapses in exhaustion. Applejack claims that she didn’t kill all promising young ones and all wise old masters. And to everyone’s surprise she didn’t and Angry Pie and Fluttercruel did that instead. By now Applejack is using her Element of Deceit so good that she is able to tell truths to lie. She is clearly much more creative with her ability than the rest of the group. Angry Pie and Fluttercruel seem to have no special combat ability on their own and anyone with a similar immortality and healing factor would be just as useful in battle, even more so since they are too insane to fight effectively. In fact Angry Pie lacks Pinkie Pie’s fourth wall breaking ability and Fluttercruel would likely never be able to stare down a reality warper like her counterpart did. But it is somewhat hard to believe that these two alone were able to kill all callow youths and wise mentors. Maybe there weren’t that many of those left anyway or they had more time for this task than it seems. Instead of punishing Applejack for her deception, she is praised for it. In the end Discord gives Twilight another task and she isn’t even able to recognise the phrase “friendship is magic”.

Her task is to interview the others and with Applejack it is incredible hard to understand what she is actually saying since she is constantly switching between truth and lies. She is telling the truth about being afraid of the truth (that was what Discord had used to break her), that what she loved died a long time ago (her sister) and her love for gardening and rodeos. The remaining things are likely lies. Angry Pie is just a lunatic obsessed with stopping others from laughing about her. Her lack of character compared to her much more interesting counterpart is almost pitiful. Rarity didn’t change that much either, she is still obsessed with taking as many worthless rocks as possible but by now she considers them her family, which is really depressing when her real sister passed away taking care of the mad pony. She didn’t even realize that. Fluttercruel doesn’t care much about her name or anything at all besides torture and murder. And she apparently fell in love with someone. There aren’t exactly many beings left to love and the only one she did show any respect was... Discord. Just wonderful, maybe she did fall in love with her own father. Rainbow Dash is just as broken as the last time we saw her kill Scootaloo and deep in self-loathing and depression. But at least she has some sanity left compared to Angry Pie, Rarity and Fluttercruel. Spike is also very sane and completely aware what he has lost. Just seeing the insane Rarity and the emotionless Twilight hurts him. He has hardly anything left to loose. Twilight herself seems just as empty as Shady had become under Discord’s rule. She sees herself merely as his tool. The strange thing is that in the last chapter Apple Pie did greet the reader like it was an interview as well. Does Twilight record all of these, despite being busy with child murder? In fact if this Twilight would eventually split into the interviewers a lot of scenes from before would make much more sense, like their picnic with Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy, the two ponies who were corrupted into something unrecognizable by Discord but still themselves in the main timeline.

Rainbow Dash was send to slaughter someone in Cloudsdale and hopes not to find the ever-moving place. But she isn’t that lucky and finds that the place did change quit a bit over the years. There are no real defences since nothing they do could protect them from Discord. The question is more why he even allows the city to exist. Maybe he secretly supports the rebellion against himself to find some entertainment from the resulting suffering. Rainbow is greeted by the Hippogriff child Inquisition, who doesn’t know what Rainbow Dash is and both have a friendly conversation. Then we learn that in his new history Discord claims to have brought the Griffons and Pegasi together to form the “complete” Hippogriffs. The truth is that both races fled to the same location and eventually merged together. Just like the Zebras and Unicorns joined to form the Virgacorns. The Donkeys and Earth Ponies became also one race but they are basically still Earth Ponies. But the other two races are very different from what they originally were. By now there are only two Pegasi left: Rainbow Dash and Fluttercruel (if she even counts as a Pegasus, considering who her father is). But then the other Hippogriffs find them and separate the child from Rainbow. We also learn her unofficial title: Bolt of Shadow, somewhat ironic since Rainbow once almost joined the Shadowbolts. But she hates both names she has right now but in her self-loathing she is convinced that she doesn’t deserve her true name anymore. Rainbow Dash tells them that she is here to punish them for their behaviour and that everything they do is pointless anyway. She tells the leader Horus to just sacrifice one of them and she and the Draconequus will leave them alone for now. One tries to rally the others against the Element of Chaos but Rainbow kills him effortlessly (by breaking his back with her signature attack) before he can even finish his sentence. By now the child she just had a nice conversation with is absolutely horrified of her. They refuse to give her a name and instead everyone even the little Inquisition (she is worthy of the Element of Loyalty) claims to be responsible. But neither this “I am Spartacus” moment nor sneak attacks do stop Rainbow. She just chooses one and instead of fleeing like Horus suggested Storm-Cracker tries to attack the Element of Chaos. Rainbow kills her with her special attack sending both out of Cloudsdale. We also learn that if the Pegasus doesn’t return as fast as possible form her missions, Discord motivates her with more senseless death and suffering.

As if that wasn’t depressing enough, we then learn how Applebloom perished. Unlike Sweetie Belle her curse never stopped and she was a normal pony in pain at day and a suffering undead at night. This also made her as immortal as the ponies of Sunnytown. She however had discovered her special talent was to fix broken hearts and Applebloom managed to use her ability to break the curse on the Sunnytown ponies but she could do nothing for her sister or her former friends. But she never stopped to call Applejack by her real name. But now she just wants to die to join her friends and family in the afterlife. Applejack doesn’t want to let her go as she is her last real friend; the others are deader than the undead foal. She claims that she doesn’t love her sister anymore since she doesn’t have a heart. This really hurts her sister and AJ whispers her true feelings: The farmer is proud on everything her sister managed to do, still loves her and forgives her all her sins. This ends the curse and kills her thankful sister before her eyes. Now 500 years later Applejack is still all alone. We also learn that she did spare the foals in Ponyville as well. AJ thinks that Discord intentionally lets her remember this to hurt her more. Countless have died as the result of his Chaos from Prince Blueblood to Philomina (who might have a fate worse than death). Lyra killed Bon-Bon by eating her and then tried to hang herself when she became sane again but in the end she became a clueless Seapony, thanks to Applejack’s intervention. The Draconequus only slowed down when he realized that he would run out of victims. By now Golden Tiara and Diamond are maybe trapped in his music box and the whereabouts of her father are unknown. The mare called Barking Mad became the new leader of the Diamond Dogs. Octavia went deaf, became a Seapony, then her memories of her family were deleted and now she is Discord’s pet. In the end we don’t even know if Applejack did tell the truth or not.

Twilight is still finding some relaxation in stargazing. Her immortality allowed her to see the stars dying, being born and constellations changing. They are still beautiful to her. Then it is suddenly day and the cotton candy clouds are swarming around and by now Twilight is able to see their cycles as well and in fact considers the ever-changing stars to be less predictable than them. She starts to wonder why the time of the day always only switches between day and night and never something else, like twilight. Some Seaponies glow in the darkness and put on a very similar light show. Both Applejack and Twilight enjoy it together. Applejack is somehow still able to grow plants in this Chaos, while Fluttercruel just hurts the purple unicorn without any reason. Apparently the Sky Ocean is enchanted and whatever flies inside is turned into a Seapony as one desperate Hippogriff experienced. We also learn that Discord did nothing (or could do nothing) and left the battle against a Nightmare version of Derpy and some “extra-reality usurper ponies” to his Elements. Applejack considered switching sides but apparently the Nightmare and her followers were just as horrible as Discord. While we never really learn what they wanted Twilight calls them “slaves of order”. Then aliens invaded without warning. It is a reference of the Warhammer universe and thankfully it works just as well when you have no idea what is going on in that world. Somehow the invaders had protected their troops against Chaos and the entire world was forced to unite to fight off the total genocide. The corrupted Dr. Whooves warned them in time. An epic battle followed. The Elements managed to detonate the planet destroying missiles inside the ships and Fluttercruel managed to impersonate the commander to make his soldier cluck like chickens. Strange, shouldn’t Applejack as the Element of Deceit be the one working with impersonations? But one the other side this is the first non-nightmarish and non-disturbing thing this Fluttercruel ever did. Everyone fought against the invaders and in the end the Changelings were weakened enough by the conflict so that Queen Cadence could be murdered. These events are almost like in Kid Icarus Uprising, where all groups, including the villains, need to unite against an alien invasion and win, only for Chaos to stab them in the back. Discord didn’t help his Elements; instead he went into the heart of the invading empire to hit the leader in the face with a cream pie. He just tried to hit him with a normal cream pie and no poison or acid pie? When he found a sad old man on life support, he changed his plans and gave him one day of perfect health instead. As Discord comes back to his chaotic world he is furious and confused about what he did. Twilight tries to explain to him that he showed pity, likely for the first time in his life but he immediately ensures her that this will never happen again by crushing her body. Likely the death of Queen Cadence cheered him up again. On another disturbing note Dr. Whooves was killed so many times by Discord and forced to regenerate that he became “the Valeyard”, another loyal servant of Chaos.

Derpy is still suffering her eternal torture and once Rainbow Dash tried to help her. But Discord stopped her very fast by insisting that she should eat the fil… the muffin if she wanted it that badly. Ever since Discord spared Apple Pie Twilight starts to remember things long forgotten. The final battle with Queen Cadence in Old Avalon did have a similar result and Twilight asks Applejack to tell her what happened back then, since she can hardly remember it. Now the purple unicorn suddenly hears a voice telling her that she needs information. The farmer is ready to tell the story about Queen Cadence’s death.

Overall this was a mostly depressing chapter that still had some heartwarming moments like Applejack being able to tell her sister the truth and let her pass on or the way both Twilight and the farmer try to find some comfort in this overwhelming suffering. The lights shine all the brighter in the darkness. Something is about to change in more ways than one.

Keep up the great work.
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:iconkarrinblue:
KarrinBlue Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012
Aww... but the happy epilogue! Curse you, Discord. Also, him switching between Sparkle and Tragedy is way too entertaining for what it is.

Also, nice reference with the whole 'Valeyard' thing. I wonder how Discord would react to the Cybermen...
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012
"Also, him switching between Sparkle and Tragedy is way too entertaining for what it is. "

I'll take that as a compliment.

"Aww... but the happy epilogue! "

Hmmm?

"Also, nice reference with the whole 'Valeyard' thing. I wonder how Discord would react to the Cybermen..."

Discord, "BOR-RING!!!!"
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:iconkarrinblue:
KarrinBlue Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012
It is indeed a compliment.

You know, that epilogue fanfic-of-fanfic where Twilight kept sending messages back in time to herself and erased the bad future timeline?

Ah, of course.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012
"You know, that epilogue fanfic-of-fanfic where Twilight kept sending messages back in time to herself and erased the bad future timeline?"

Yes yes yes and yes. If you read the earlier chapters of the dark world saga, you'll see MANY allusions to it. Like Discord destroying the note that Twilight wrote to herself. And Discord TELLING Tragedy 'Friendship is magic' to her face to which she responded 'That makes no sense.' And then realizes it of course it doesn't since her master said it.

And that story is actually VERY IMPORTANT.
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:iconkarrinblue:
KarrinBlue Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012
Yeah, because Nightmare Purgatory and that sort of thing.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012
You. Have. No. Idea. AT ALL. It is VERY important.
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:iconkarrinblue:
KarrinBlue Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012
In that case, I guess I better go reread it.
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:iconlegofan13:
legofan13 Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012
Hmmm how to defeat discord we can't use the elements of harmony because he likely hid them or destroyed them and even if we did have them and started to try and find bearers he would have everyone who is allied with hunt that group down with a vengenace. However I don't think turning to stone so he can escape later is enough we need to punish by hurting him greviously and them bump him off painfully with the added irony of him accepting the punishment willing. The best kind of person would something he wouldn't deem threatining and could challenge him to shadow game since a pyschopath like discord's spirit would rotten to core and those with weak always lose.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012
If you read further, you realize what he REALLY did with them.

And it's funny you should mention shadow games of all things. Heh.

(Yes. Very ironic. Heh.)
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:iconlegofan13:
legofan13 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2012
I totally just jinxed it didn't I
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