Pony POV Series "Dark World" Part Three By Alex Warlorn DARKEST HOUR
"Sunshine, sunshine, ladybugs awake, clap your hooves, and do a little shake!"
Tragedy never understood why Queen Mi Amore Cadenza Equestria Avalon always said that nonsense whenever she saw her. She didn't turn her flank to her like the first time that left herself open. It seemed vaguely familiar, but the Master told her never to think about it, so she simply...didn't.
Avalon, the kingdom of the changelings that stood for five hundred years, burned. The white trees and their golden leaves crackled in the flames, the green grass becoming a carpet of ashes, and the flowers of love cinders in the air.
"Please Twilight Sparkle, isn't there anything left of the real you at all?"
"There is no such thing as a 'true self', Your Majesty." Twilight said the other five in formation around the unicorn.
"Alright then. We were the closest thing we had to sisters! I'll wake you up, I swear it."
"Less chatting, more killing!" Fluttercruel leapt at the Alicorn, with blades on her hooves and wings.
Three Spikes rammed into her from different angles, claws and fangs flying, knocking back the element of chaos. Traitor Dash caught her and placed her down, TD staining her forelegs red.
The real Spike, hovering in the air a mile off, gasped slightly through his muzzle-straps at the sight. Master Discord shifted his weight on top of him watching the whole scene through opera glasses while eating nachos. "Curs, don't they know blind-siding someone is only fair when my little Princess does it?"
The changelings shifted to their true forms, their white coats gleaming in the flames of what had five hundred years ago been the much smaller Everfree Forest until the Goddess of Harmony had bent its wild magics it to her will.
"I told you all to evacuate, Sting," Queen Cadence said lowly, more like a mother questioning her child than a ruler reprimanding a subject.
"Everyone else is safe, Your Majesty."
"You should obey your Queen's orders without hesitation or question," Twilight admonished the changelings.
"We love our Queen and we won't abandon her!" Said one of the other changelings, bending her butterfly wings and lowering herself to the ground snorting. "Not even to you!"
"Especially to you!" Said the last one narrowing her true blue eye.
"We love her more than the sun and the moon," all three mares voiced together.
"Come on." Traitor Dash almost begged, "We've smashed the Sun Heart Stone-thingie or whatever-" "-mineminemineminemine-" Went Rarigreed. "-You've got nothing left, Avalon no longer exists. Just leave Queen Cadence and save yourselves."
"Morons! The changeling Queen isn't just a queen, she's Mother to all changelings!" Sting snapped.
"As long as Queen Cadence lives, Avalon lives!"
"No, Morning Glow," The Queen said, "As long as any of you live, Avalon lives. You can accept love from others instead of just taking the love I've given you, like your predecessors. You've grown into something better. You can make a new Avalon, a better one, to live in with the peoples you'll protect."
"That's the most gloomy and dark thing Ah've ever heard," Liarjack whispered.
"Sounds like the same changeling-parasites to me!" Angry Pie snapped, "After five hundred years they're still the same emotion suckers!"
"YOU NAG, YOU-" Began Sting before Cadence interrupted her calmly. The flames continues to burn, the immortals not caring about the smoke and the changelings enduring it. The flaming meteor-showers Discord had sent down on the land immune to his magic had been endless and a fire put out started by one, only encourage five more to rain down.
"There is a difference between parasites and symbiotes. I think you once understood that." Queen Cadence said, every word, every second, a delay on these once-pony-monsters beginning to hunt down her subjects. She looked to Twilight sadly. "Have you really stopped learning, Twilight? You used to love it so."
"I am learning only what what I need to learn."
Cadence looked disappointed. "That fact saddens me greatly."
"Look! You held out against Discord of five frikkin' centuries! You gave ponies somewhere they could hide in exchange just for loving your subjects! But it's over now! Just submit to Maser and I'm sure he'll be merciful!"
Discord put on his sunglasses and called out with his megaphone, "Nope! Definitely gonna torture her horribly if she gives up! Sorry Dashie!"
Traitor Dash's face fell.
Twilight Tragedy said, "If you had simply replaced your heart with the stone, it would have been in the safest place imaginable."
"I'd have to have given up a part of myself that I am not willing to surrender for that. You've replaced your hearts with the Elements of Chaos, and it's cost you everything you were."
Liarjack hid her eyes behind her hat and Traitor Dash looked down in despair and self-loathing.
"These changelings will devolve back into the sociopaths they were before you. You have accomplished exactly nothing in five hundred years. From nothing, to nothing, creation and destruction evens out to zero." Tragedy said calmly.
"If you believe that, then I'm sorry Twilight," Queen Cadence said softly.
"DON'T LISTEN TO THEM YOUR MAJESTY! WE'LL NEVER BE THE MONSTERS OUR ANCESTORS WERE!"
"Your ancestors were slaves Lady Bug, not monsters. Never confuse this."
"You saved us."
"I merely gave your ancestors the second chance everypony deserves."
Cadence looked down at Chrysalis. "Why?"
The love within the Changeling Queen spent, she slowly broke apart into tiny black ash as her body tried to starve off the end by consuming itself. Chrysalis stood and faced her eye to eye even as cracks appeared in her legs.
Her voice was hoarse as she spoke, "Since dawn of memory we have cowered in the shadows of history. Feeding on you cattle and retreating like criminals into the dark."
Her wings dissolved into dust.
"Our nests hidden like some unholy shame. Our own history forgotten. Our true faces forever masked. We tire of this hollow existence. WE DESERVE A NATION OF OUR OWN!"
One of Chrysalis' legs broke off and shattered when it hit the ground. Chrysalis glanced at it in a moment of fear but glared defiantly at the Alicorn to the end. Chrysalis' royal guard lay already broken around them.
"...Your eyes. Why are they different?"
"What?!" Those were the Alicorn's last words to her-?!
"The paintings of the previous queens in the hallway had the same eyes as the rest of your swarm. Why are yours different?"
"Heh!" A fang broke off. "I wish I knew myself, cattle. But I know one thing, those fat slugs were never family of mine."
"You're all alone."
"Clop off cattle. I won't die with your pity!" By now the only thing holding her body together was the Queen's own will power. Cadence involuntarily felt impressed.
"Discord has left the world with love nearly non-existent. And what love there is your people can not reach to sustain yourselves. . . I came here hoping for help." Cadence's eyes widened. "You attacked me to kill you!"
"I was first hoping I could dominate you. Maybe you could have fed the entire swarm yourself, made us powerful enough to put an end to the mad monster and take Equestria for our own. But better death in battle than crumbling into dust while ruling a dead shadow kingdom of dying tribes... I leave it all to you little pony." Chrysalis laughed that then turned into a hacking cough as her chest cracked and began to collapse. She lunged at Cadence, the Alicorn braced herself, but was stunned when Chrysalis embraced her. A flash of light, and the Changeling Queen's body was ashes on her coat.
And Cadence's eyes shrunk to pin pricks as she suddenly remembered another life, a realm beyond this one, of Celestia and Luna, not her aunts, but her sisters, and two forces that had been her Parents before the ones she knew and loved who had been taken by Discord. Draconequi. A war beyond wars. Hugging Rota Fortuna as the goddess of fate cried over her torn off wing obtained as an enemy captive. Justitia's mask of the iron hearted warrior cracked from tears as the Justice Alicorn carried Currus' Chariot behind her, her brother forcing his portfolio, his very being, into her rather than have Havoc devour him.
The Alicorn dropped her barriers surrounding the entrances to the 'royal chamber' (a hastily set up room furnished for their Queen). The changelings swarmed in, stopping in awe at the goddess before them, sensing something strange about her, familiar.
She spoke in the Royal Canterlot Voice, for the first time she could remember, "I AM FOURTEENTH MI AMORE CADENZA EQUESTRIA. CONCEPT OF MUSIC AND HARMONY. PRINCESS OF BINDS AND JOY! QUEEN CHRYSALIS KIPEPEO LINSILA AVALON IS DEAD. WHAT SAY YOU?"
The black insect creatures looked at each other. Confused compound eyes looking into confused compound eyes. Horns meant for stabbing not magic dulled and cracked. Finally they bowed and hissed in their own language. "'Long Live The Queen Of The Changelings. Long Live Queen Cadence.' "
"And long live you all. Accept the love of your Queen." Light shined from her horn.
"For the first time ever, your people were given what they always had to take. I just gave them a chance to become more than what they were. To evolve. I couldn't be more proud."
Cadence looked at Twilight. "You believe that creation and destruction balances everything to zero, but others believe destruction is the chance for a fresh start from zero. A second chance to rebuild what was lost into something better than it was before, like a Phoenix beginning it's new life from the ashes of its old body. If you're really holding the other side of Magic shouldn't you know that better than anypony?"
"THIS IS BORING!" Angry Pie hissed.
"MORE THAN THAT IT'S STUPID! WHY AREN'T WE KILLING HER ALREADY? ARE WE WAITING UNTIL WE'RE FIGHTING IN A FIELD OF ASHES?!" Fluttercruel snapped.
"Let them have their melodrama young mare," Discord called out downing a two liter bottle of soda at once. "I brought plenty of video tape!"
Cadence gritted her teeth.
"Lady Bug, Morning Glow, Sting, assume my form."
"Yes, Your Majesty!" They echoed and were engulfed in blue flames.
"Wow this is gonna be an original fight," Liarjack declared.
"You think I can't pick up tells from decoys?" Rarigreed asked drolly sounding insulted.
"My subjects, what am I to you?"
Sting shouted in Cadence's voice, "You are the light in our darkness!"
Morning Glow said, "You liberated us from slavery."
Lady Bug whispered, "You're our mother. All of us."
"Lady Bug... from this day forth, your name is Princess Mi Amore Cadenza Equestria Avalon."
"WHAT?" Morning Glow and Sting said together then looked at their swarm mate in awe. Her horn glowed briefly blue, then the aura shattered and turned to yellow.
Spike blinked a mile away, "Wha-?" Dragon brain need reboot.
Discord lowered his sunglasses and narrowed his eyes, "What's this now?"
Tragedy kept her mouth shut in confusion.
"HUH-?! Did she just give away--Ow! My head hurts!" Rarigreed held her skull.
"Did she just-" Traitor Dash stared.
Angry Pie felt nothing.
Fluttercruel narrowed her eyes.
"Well that doesn't make a lick of sense," Liarjack said.
"Your Majesty! Why are you-" Lady Bug began.
"The changelings will need a new queen no matter how this battle turns out. Sting, Morning Glow, take your Princess and insure she escapes here unharmed."
In visible pain, the two other changelings said, "Y-Yes, Y-Your Majesty."
"NO!" Lady Bug cried.
"That's a command from your Mother."
Lady Bug lowered her head, "Yes, Your Majesty."
"I am not the Majesty, that is your position now. Don't worry Lady Bug. Even if you won't be able to see me, I promise I will always be walking alongside you. Now go!"
Morning Glow and Sting took the Princess and vanished in a swirl of blue flames (though the ones surrounding the Princess were yellow), to who knows where, knowing better than to risk flying away and become tempting targets.
"Let me go you moron!" Fluttercruel back-hoofed TD, "They had their backs exposed!"
"Master didn't say 'attack' yet."
"HE SAID ATTACK AFTER HE RAINED FIERY DEATH DOWN ON THIS LOSER NEVER NEVER FOREST, LOSER!"
Liarjack was meanwhile also holding Angry Pie back as well, LJ's broken eye socket would regenerate quickly enough.
"Don't worry!" Discord called out, "I have all the cameras in place now for the bloopers reels, the DVD release, and the making-of! Now my young mare: kill'er."
"'BOUT BLOODY TIME!" Fluttercruel flew sidesways.
"Well Ah guess the rest of us can just can just hang-"
"And the rest of you too!"
"AT! LAST!" Angry Pie roared and charged head on.
"Harmony," Cadence whispered, her banter to Discord lost under the assault of six fighters with five hundred years experience.
"A darling regalia with matching horseshoes! Mine! And diamond dust! All the diamonddust!" She actually gave herself a short rub in the ashes as she charged at Cadence, still carrying the remains of the artifact with her telekinesis.
Twilight Tragedy never understood why while Rarigreed saw rocks as precious gems, that she still saw regular gold and jewels still as gold and jewels after all.
'What are you waiting for, my little Liarjack?'
'Ah've got no reason to fight anythin', you've got nothin' left to take from me. Ah'm nothin'.'
'Is that so? What do you think will happen if Cadence reawakens Rarigreed and my Twilight's memories? Care to guess? The awful full truth of the awful things they've done... Realizing the monsters they've become. Or do you want that? If you do, maybe I'll just do it right now-'
'-Ah'm goin' Master.'
Traitor Dash fidgeted, the last to move.
'You know Dashie, there's a small chance that if you sit out this fight your group might lose, and well, maybe I need to find six OTHER emotionally crippled or insane ponies to be my gofers instead, maybe some of those hippogriffs will make better holders than you. After your friends are disposed of, and I finish violating the minds of some OTHER innocent ponies into-'
'And if Cadence beats you too?'
'Then so goes my magic, and Sky Ocean and all the sea ponies in it fall and go-'
Traitor Dash moved like a streak of light towards Cadence in a zigzag pattern, tears briefly in her eyes.
"Twilight, I am so sorry," Queen Cadence whispered.
"Ponies of chaos Ponies of chaos The world is in your hooves,"
Angry Pie, in a blur, punched down on Cadence's head, but she connected with the forest ground instead, kicking up a cloud of ash and cinders, obscuring her vision and leaving her standing in an impact crater. She shook her head, the queen's words resonating in her head, making her feel dizzy.
"WHERE IS SHE-?!" POW!
Before the dust even cleared a hoof stomped on her from above, leaving her in a pony-shaped impression in the ground.
"So much for that sixth sense of yours I heard about!
"Please remember." Cadence touched her horn to Angry Pie's head. The gray and red mare screamed like an animal. Her eyes became lifeless dots as her body fell over sideways, rigid, her face frozen in a hateful howl as drool slowly came out of her mouth. Even her limp rearleg held its pose.
"Wind of Blades!"
A flurry of grip-less edge weapons whistled through the air at the queen as she countered with a powerful wind of her own, knocking them off course.
"But I will fight until the end. Ponies of chaos Discord of chaos I won't follow your commands, But I will fight and I will stand."
Fluttercruel felt the words resonate in her ears, breaking her concentration and allowing Cadence to dive through the opening right at the yellow Pegasus. Cadence drew upon magic based purely upon her Concept and managed to stab her horn into Fluttercruel's shoulder as she continued to sing.
"When discord falls, Pain is all, The Ponies of chaos will leave behind, but I will fight."
As Fluttercruel shook her head to clear it, the rainbow colored light spread, leaving cold lifeless stone in its wake.
"DAMMIT!" Fluttercruel snarled, and with her other forehoof she shattered her stone shoulder and foreleg and dropped as Cadence flew over her, her horn now holding nothing. Fluttercruel hissed as bones and muscle grew as fast as they could to replaced the petrified parts of her body.
Discord gritted his teeth at the sight.
Tragedy teleported next to the completely stiff Angry Pie and touched her horn to Angry's chest. Blue electric sparks like those the color of Pinkie Pie's old element of Harmony spread over the angry mare, who blinked and drew in a breath, then stood up and instinctively punched the nearest thing near her, which was Twilight. "Thank you!" Angry Pie spat out.
"You are welcome," Twilight answered emotionlessly.
Traitor Dash created a Sonic Darkboom sending the ashes out in a sphere as the burning trees were knocked off their roots, many grateful to be put out of their misery while the rest silently cheered the Alicorn on.
Cadence magically caught Traitor Dash with a barrier spell and telekinesis, magically enhanced her wings to buffer air, and was pushed through the air flying backwards from the force of TD's head on impact.
"Our love is lost, beauty and light, have vanished from garden of delight. The dreams are gone, the last hour has come, madness is our the kingdom."
Finally she managed to throw Traitor Dash above her as her enchanted song broke the Pegasus' focus for the moment she needed. The two became zipping lines in the sky above the burning trees.
A flash of blue flame, and Morning Glow appeared and shouted, "I'm sorry Your Majesty! I couldn't just-" A purple beam of light destroyed one of her wings from nowhere and she began to fall. "Your Majesty!"
Cadence created a flash of white light blinding TD and dove for her subject, who turned into Liarjack, who used both her back legs to buck the Alicorn in the snout hard, cracking bones and drawing blood, knocking Cadence back. LJ fell the ground with a thud creating a plume of ash as she fell on top of a burn tree that scorched the skin off her back.
"Thanks for the teleport Twilight." LJ coughed out, her spine stitching itself back together.
"You are welcome."
TD recovered her sight and Sonic Darkboomed Cadence in the back sending both down into the ground below, which created yet another crater. Before the first specks of ash hit the dirt a cyan pegasus came screaming out of the debris, while being carried on the point of a massive beam of light blue magic that made her a dot in the sky. She began to fall straight down, blubbering like a baby, mumbling apologies to long dead ponies.
Cadence brought up a barrier from all sides even before she sensed the swarm of fireballs coming from one direction with another fleet of edged weapons from the other. Within seconds pieces of wood flying at twice the speed of bullets hammered into her shield from yet another direction.
"GRAAAAH!" Angry Pie, ignoring what attacks accidentally hit her, leapt on top of Cadence's omi-barrier and began to kick, punch, and most of all head-bang against it causing the ground under Cadence's hooves to shake.
Liarjack meanwhile, made a beeline for Traitor Dash and leapt towards her and caught her before she crashed. She knew TD would just regenerate, but that was besides the point. She hesitated for a moment, looking back to the battle with a mix of emotions... As TD blubbered Liarjack whispered, "It's alright, it's fine, everythin's just fine, nothing's bad, nothin's wrong, nothin' hurts, nothin' is wrong, ya ain't got no reason to cry, yer a big tough pony, it's alright." Liarjack stroked TD's mane as she shuddered from the horrible, horrible TRUTH Cadence's magic had hit her with.
"Ponies of chaos Ponies of chaos The world is in your hooves, But I will fight until the end. Ponies of chaos
Discord of Chaos I won't follow your commands, But I will fight and I will stand."
Cadence had no intention of staying pinned down and forced her magic into the ground, using the ashes as fertile soil . She grew several trees from forgotten nuts in the ground, silently apologizing for using them this way as they bravely gave up their brief lives to absorb damage. A growing branch impaled Angry Pie while the magical music distracted the Earth Pony. The mare hissed and snarled as it grew, pushing her away from the top of the barrier. She broke it off before it grow much inside her and ripped it bloodily out of her. She landed on her able rearleg and hissed to herself, gasping for breath and waiting for her lungs to start working again as the massive wound tried to close itself.
Cadence wasn't prepared for when a different colored version of her spell blasted through the trees and rocketed off her still unbroken barrier and the ground it encased below her tumbling like a bowling ball. Cadence ended the spell and did a rapid succession of random teleports to throw off her opponents.
"It's nice to see you can still learn new spells on the fly as fast as ever."
"There is no magic I can't copy," The expression less Twilight said in a tone not unlike pride.
"So, you admit you learned a spell your Master didn't tell you to learn?"
"It is what I needed to learn."
A stone pegasus flapping its wings in an imitation of actual flight telekinetically burst out of the ground and tried to tackle Cadence, who swiftly dodged it. Two more stone imitation pegasi were lifted out of the ground and came to attack her, mimicking different martial arts techniques simultaneously.
"Louis! Daniel! Paul! Show her what you've got!" Rarigreed shouted standing on top of another stone imitation pegasus as she magically raised it. She had five hundred years of practice.
But so did Cadence. She felt a flying dragon kick give her mane a close shave and stabbed a golem with her horn, hitting it with a blast of massive cold then a blast of heat a moment later the stone pegasus blasted apart.
"DANIEL!!!" Rarigreed cried out in horror. "Come back to mommy, sweeties! Mommy won't let the bad mare hurt you!"
The stone imitations of ponies made the illusion of 'flying' back to their 'mother' via Rarigreed's telekinesis.
"Why didn't you get a shot in!" Angry Pie snapped at Twilight.
"I couldn't score a hit without destroying one of Rarigreed's 'children.'"
"Do you want to be on the receiving end of an angry mother?"
"It would be you." Angry Pie growled and coughed up blood, not yet completely regenerated.
"You'll PAY FOR HURTING MY BABY DANIEL YOU NAG!" Rarigreed growled.
Cadence sighed. "'Daniel' was a puppet with your own magic! It didn't have a life, it didn't have a mind!"
"WHAT RIGHT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY WHAT ISN'T AND IS ALIVE WITCH-?! THEY'RE MINE! MINE! MINE!" Rarigreed magicked the stone pegasus she wasn't standing on to nuzzle her as she lovingly put her hooves around their necks.
Soft gray-yellow feathers gently fell around Cadence, which turned into knives, razors and switch blades as they fell. Cadence, for a moment, though they were another illusion of Liarjack's until she felt one very real knife graze her side and felt Fluttercruel's spiritual essence. The blade turned to stone when its magic touched her blood.
"NOW, TWILIGHT!" 'Cruel shouted from high above diving down.
Tragedy fired another imitation of Cadence's beam attack and Cadence teleported away. But the blade that had cut her side teleported with her and gave Fluttercruel a glaring signal to where she'd reappear. FlutterCruel drop kicked her in the cut side, the blood making the bottom of her hooves turn to stone. 'Cruel ignored it and tore more feathers out of her own wings, that quickly regenerated, the torn off ones turning into daggers and corrugated knives. The weapons turned to stone as soon as they made contact with Cadence, but Fluttercruel had plenty where they came from.
"Hunt goes on, deep in the night, time to pray, down on your knees, you can't hide from the eternal light, until my last breath I will fight".
Fluttercruel grunted, shaking her head to try and clear it. Using the distraction, Cadence created a series of stormclouds above them using enhanced pegasus magic and the lightning went straight for the mess of metal weapons that 'Cruel had created and prepared to use before being stunned. She ignored the bloody stone weapons around Cadence. The gigavolts of electricity had fried her motor functions.
Cadence blasted her in the gut with magic based on harmony, turning her stomach and secondary organs to stone.
At that moment a stone imitation pegasus came between them, doing a double-inside-out loop followed by a rather majestic corkscrew that Cadence barely managed to avoid, distracted by the professional looking acrobatics. She took the time to regenerate her own wounds, making a gamble by dividing her attention further.
Fluttercruel hit the ground, the stone parts of her shattering and regenerating.
"That's it Soarin' dear! Keep her busy just a bit!" Rarigreed cheered on the collection of rocks shaped like pegasi. Her constantly glowing horn shined even more and the destroyed pile of rocks that had been 'Daniel' reshaped into an imitation of a pegasus mare with a stone replica of a fiery mane. Rarigreed magicked it to fly up to her and nuzzle her gently flapping its wings though her magic was what was lifting it up. "Go help your brother, Spitfire."
The collection of random rocks was made to nod and flew (more like threw) at the Alicorn, joining the other puppet.
Cadence was thrown off her center, not from fighting two of Rarigreed's 'children' at once, but from the sickeningly familiar maneuvers and flight styles of the stone puppets. Every nuance, every motion, was tethered to the names she had called her puppets. Realization and pity rippled through Cadence.
"Your 'children' are nothing more than replacements for those you'll never get back, aren't they?"
Cadence was startled when the puppets ceased their attack and were made to look at each other then at Rarigreed, all three for a moment seeming very shocked.
"It's not true babies! She's just saying that! Mommy loves you! Don't let up!" Rarigreed said in the most heartfelt voice Twilight remembered her ever using. "Even if you fall you'll still be with mommy!" The puppets nodded and resumed their two pronged assault.
Fluttercruel got up, having fully healed. She cupped her hooves and shouted, "HEY! Angry! How about some real double team?"
"Just remember! I might look like I'm having fun with you! But I won't be!" Angry said fully healed as well.
"Wouldn't have it any other way." Cruel grinned.
"YOUNG MARE WITHDRAW!" Discord's voice bellowed through the air. Coming from anyone else, Fluttercruel could have sworn he sounded, concerned?
"You're joking, Master!"
"THAT WASN'T A SUGGESTION!" Discord roared.
"I can take her!"
Fluttercruel pouted, "Fine!" Fluttercruel threw a miniature blizzard of throwing stars at Cadence's face, making a hasty retreat in the added confusion.
Cadence, like any intelligent and long lived Alicorn with many enemies, had countless enchantments in place to prevent something or somepony from being teleported directly inside her, let alone a fireball being manifested directly in her lungs' air.
"Now realize, the stars they die, darkness has fallen in paradise. but we'll be strong, and we will fight, against the creatures of your blight."
This was annoying for Twilight who for other such dangerous opponents could try to teleport inside her: suicide for a normal pony, but being immortal did have its advantages. So, she calculated a new strategy. No easy feat, with the Alicorn's enchanted song resonating in her ears, making it even more difficult for her to get her thoughts in order. After a moment of jumbled thought, she simply magicked up a pair of ear plugs, surprised she had not thought of that before.
Master had made Fluttercruel retreat, and Cadence telekinetically redirected the throwing stars at Rarigreed, when one of her children quickly took the blow and threw them back at their actual target.
It was only a matter of time before Cadence destroyed another of Rarigreed's 'children' and she became reckless with 'loss.'
Liarjack was still helping Traitor Dash recover from Cadence's magic attack.
Angry Pie was fully ready and could be teleported above Cadence if the Alicorn was properly distracted to make a crushing blow. Distracted by two stone imitation Wonderbolts? Yes that worked.
Sadly, that WOULD have been the case if Rarigreed didn't withdrawn her puppets at that moment.
'Louis', and 'Paul', still flanking Rarigreed riding atop their 'brother', shifted shape as Rarigreed's horn magic increased slightly for a moment, the rocks making the imitations up shifting about utill they resembled instead a Earth Pony stallion with a slick mane and a unicorn stallion with a cultured and high class mane style. They floated next to Rarigreed's ears as if they were capable of saying something.
"Yes Filthy Rich, and you too Fancy Pants, mother has trust in her children, but this bad mare might just be too much for you to handle. I can't imagine how I'm going to break the news to Tom about Daniel. No, no, no, I'll be careful. Her crown and armor will look simply lovely in the diamond room don't you agree? I knew you would! Soarin'! Spitfire! Come back to your mother!"
The stone ponies imitated flying back as Rarigreed pulled them back towards her. "Eh? Don't worry Filthy, I'll steal your wife and child from Master's collection someday."
'She's doing ALL of this with telekensis-?!' Cadence thought. 'How is that even possible? Even Twilight's reserves would be hard pressed for this!'
Cadence was pushed out of her thoughts as she sensed the fireball, the lightning spell right behind it, along with the shards of ice behind that!
"Oh no you don't, Twilight!" Cadence shouted as she redirected all three spells like a train around her, back towards their original position. Twilight teleported away before the three spells annihilated the ground where she stood.
Angry Pie came down above her, but Cadence safely caught her out of range of her three flaying hooves, holding her up by her forth limp one.
Angry Pie hissed and snarled at her like a mad animal.
"Why are you even working for Discord little pony? What do you have to gain from it?"
"I don't know and I don't care! Discord's world is the kind of world where ponies learn not to laugh at anything because they know that it could happen to them next! That'll teach them to laugh at other ponies!"
"You just contradicted yourself. You said you didn't know or care about your motive, but then you went along and gave one."
"Buck you!" Angry Pie . . . 'disconnected' her limp limb, and blood flowing, she swung from the disconnected leg with her forelegs, and rammed her head into Cadence's chest like a freight train.
"Stop this! This isn't you! Twilight would never have made friends with a bully who hated laughing!"
"You can bet your bacon it's me!"
"I don't think so-" A rock teleported next to Cadence. One first flash frozen with an ice spell, then super headed from within and teleported away a split second before it exploded. This attack forced Cadence to drop Angry Pie, who by now had regenerated a new, still non-functional fourth leg.
Pieces of part white hot, part burning cold stone struck Cadence's body like shrapnel. Cadence sensed the next teleported rock and began to fly in an unpredictable pattern, the mine field coming into being as she flew chaotically. Cadence hastily split her mind between flying madly, magically healing the damage done to her body, and back-tracking the teleportation spells to their source.
Cadence's sense drew her to a stone built Avalonian bakery alongside what had been a dirt road. Along with any other private buildings set in what been the 'peace and beauty of the Everfree' the roof now burned down.
She summoned a rainstorm low to the ground above the impact crater from Angry Pie's miss. She silently shaped a lightning cloud above the bakery whose cement blocks were vanishing one by one.
She teleported the mass of water right between the black cloud (near invisible in this smoke and fire) and where the roof had been, and less than a second later, had the lightning cloud unleash its payload!
"BWA-WA-WA-WA-WA-WA-WA-WA-WA-WA-WA-!!!" Twilight Tragedy lit up like a christmas tree. Her earplugs popped out. The lightning didn't stop as Tragedy's brain was overloaded. Finally the light show ended and Tragedy stood smoking, the remote minefield assault over. She didn't move a muscle, with a look of faint surprise and awe on her face. Then rolled her eyes in the back of her head and collapsed VERY MUCH unconscious.
Cadence looked down at Angry Pie whose bones had finished resetting.
Cadence's eyes and horns glowed, and light blue chains burst out of the ground like snakes and wrapped around Angry Pie until she was concealed like a mummy, keeping her perfectly harmoniously balanced and immobile, a peaceful and warm hymn vibrating through the chains directly into Angry Pie's brain, the mad pony mollified like any savaged beast soothed by music, probably the most calm she'd been in centuries. "Enjoy the peace you've longed for... " Cadence whispered.
Cadence looked at Discord a mile off sitting using Spike like a couch, Fluttercruel having joined him sulking as she munched a bucket of rabbit-mic-nuggets as her Master shoveled popcorn into his mouth.
Queen Cadence flew straight for him. Discord stopped feeding his face. Cadence cut the time very shortly by teleporting half way.
Discord's eyes widened and grabbed Fluttercruel and reared his arm back... So that Fluttercruel could grab Spike's tail and hold on tight as Discord swung and Fluttercruel let go, throwing the dragon right at Cadence.
Cadence had been prepared for dodging a cursing Fluttercruel, not a gasping dragon. Her altered flight path did not adjust enough and the impact sent them both crashing into the ground.
Cadence sensed Discord teleport away along with Fluttercruel.
"Now Spikey-Wikey don't go damaging her jewelry! I WANT IT!"
" . . . yesth Rarity." Spike sighed through the enchanted straps keeping his jaw closed. "I'm sorry Cadenceth."
"Not your fault Spike." Cadence said under tons of dragon flesh and teleported out from under him.
"Come on my babies! We'll fight together!" Rarigreed declare, the remains of the artifact that had empowered the changelings and Avalon along with 'Soarin', 'Spitfire' 'Filthy Rich' and 'Fancy Pants' and her 'steed' broke apart and still glowing from her magic, covered her like a winged suit of armor with emblems like the faces of Canterlot elite ponies from a thousand years ago. This armor made her twice the size of Cadence.
The dizzy and hurt Spike made no effort to aid or hinder the mad unicorn, he only looked upon her with sad eyes.
The glow never stopped, ever, each piece of rock being gripped and animated by Rarigreed's horn magic.
"How are you doing this?" Cadence asked, she doubted even Rarigreed's magic or her Element of Chaos could empower her this much.
Rarigreed spoke in a sensual voice, like the touch of each dirty rock brought nirvana, "All that I want I take. And I want it all. My treasures are mine. My babies are mine. I lay claim to all that falls within my sight To take what I want, that is my right."
Cadence admonished herself for expecting a straight answer out of the mad mare.
"Yes. But not for myself. I fear for my subjects and the uncertain future they must build for themselves, but I have faith in them, and I wasn't lying when I said no matter what I would forever walk among them and with them. I fear for you, lost in Discord's sway."
"I was blind, naive, stupid, and serving to parasprites before I was introduced to Tom. Master just gives . . . .just gives me all the best treasures."
"Your treasures are rocks, and your 'family' are puppets. Made to replace the one thing you want more than anything, but can never get back."
"DIE LIAR!!!!" Pieces of the armor flew off like bullets as Rarigreed did a tornado kick at Cadence's neck. "THEY LIVE!!!"
Cadence blocked it with a wing, the ground beneath her gave way inches deep.
The queen felt a radiant calm wash over her. "I see through each and everyone of you."
"YOU TAKE BACK WHAT YOU SAID ABOUT MY JEWELS!"
"A pony who has confused all truths for painful truths, and deception and falsehoods for mercy and the love for her friends she truly feels."
Cadence froze the stones around Rarigreed's right rear leg, shattering them.
"A pony terrified of choices and decisions, frozen in her heart in indecision, because she can recognize the value of everyone, and refuses to face the pain of losing anyone."
Rarigreed screamed and brought her front right hoof down on Cadence's head. It stopped dead when it touched the tip of her horn, and Cadence spread her light blue magic through it, canceling out Rarigreed's own telekinesis. The rocks fell to the ground lifeless.
"A pony who has felt one emotion for so long that she knows nothing else, does not want know nothing else, can know nothing else, because she has mistaken happiness for weakness, and believes the only way to not be a child is to act as a hateful child."
Rarigreed hissed and fire her 'wings' at Cadence, the small rocks as uncountable as an insect swarm. They stopped midway, half colored Cadence's shade of blue, and the other half Rarigreed's.
Alicorn and unicorn struggled, Cadence was very surprised at how much force Rarigreed had, but she was still a goddess. The rocks reversed course into Rarigreed's armor and stabbed her exposed parts. "OW! DON'T HURT MOMMY!"
"A pony so long in the darkness, she just wants it to end, so the monster given her body can bring no more misery on Equestria and she can finally enter My Father's heart."
"ENOUGH!" Rarigreed relentlessly swung her four hooves at the Alicorn, her motions a blur, screaming her lungs out in frustration.
Cadence was equally deft in her dodge and blocks of Rarigreed's onslaught. "And you, who has become so fixated on the tiny trivial trinkets around her that she can't see the real treasure staring her in the face!"
Cadence flash froze several of the stones around her, that quickly covered Rarigreed, then superheated them an instant later. The explosion was muted perfectly by the soundproof force field that Cadence created as a sphere around the pony before detonation.
Rarigreed fell, her rock armor burying her as her telekinesis stopped when she lost consciousness.
"Look after her," Cadence told Spike who nodded. Cadence teleported to Twilight's side. The little pony still unconscious. Not being naive to the danger surrounding her, she raised a force-field around herself and Twilight for their protection.
"And my little pony. Who actually taught me so much even as I taught her. So frustrated that ponies aren't as easy to read as books. A little filly who loved to learn, and loved her family, but considered friends to be excesses. A flower who had only started to bloom, and when she for the first time experienced the hurt of losing friends, it struck to her core."
Cadence touched her horn to Twilight Tragedy's head, "Please remember." A dozen tiny hearts floated around the Alicorn before flowing into the unicorn.
Twilight Sparkle blinked her eyes open and looked up at her foalhood sitter. "Cadence? I'm-" Twilight Sparkle blinked away tears, "I'm so sorry, I'm so happy, I'm so scared, I'm feeling so great to see you!"
Twilight got up and they hugged each other. "And it's wonderful to see you too Twilight!"
"All the things I did! Everything I thought-!"
"It wasn't you Twilight!"
"But it was! I didn't want to feel anything! I didn't want to think anything! I didn't want to be anything!"
"It's alright! It's alright! We can talk later! I promise! But first let's go help the others!"
"RIGHT!" Twilight nodded vigorously. "Let's end this once and for all!"
They looked into each other's eyes, smiled, and said together, "Sunshine sunshine ladybugs awake, clap your hooves, and do a little-!"
Six black rods impaled Queen Cadence's body, the lower halves slick with blood, the first shattering her force field so the others could follow, striking the moment her focus was fully on Twilight. They skewered through her at odd angles and impeded into the ground.
Holding onto a different black rod, was an element of chaos. Discord himself, wearing a hazmat suit, held the first one that had pierced her shield.
A dragon beaten to a pulp behind a timely silencing barrier, moaned desperately trying to force his broken arms, legs, tail, and wings to move, and failing.
Rarigreed scowled like a mother looking at someone who had harmed her child. Angry Pie gave a mutant hybrid growl/sigh. Fluttercruel grinned maniacally. Discord grinned even bigger. Liarjack hid her eyes behind her hat. Traitor Dash leaned her gut against the end of the rod, her face tear stained, mortified.
"Thanks for the distraction my Twilight Tragedy," Discord said in casual praise, giving one of his deep, bone-chilling chuckles.
Twilight's eyes were huge. Her legs were shaking. The light of her horn sparked and sputtered but no spells formed in her panicked and horrified mind.
Cadence tried to light her horn, but she felt like the rods were literally feeding off her magic. "T-twilight." Cadence tasted something metallic in her mouth. She coughed and red liquid came forth. Her lungs were pierced, she no longer had the ability to sing. Breathing was ripping them apart. "D-Don't listen to him, it's not y-your fault! RUN!"
"Run where Queen Cadence? As of today. I. Own. The world! Now I can make you a platinum statue to be used as bait for an epic rescue trap for your follows that'll backfire spectacularly on me... Naw. Let's skip that."
"Master?" Three of the minions asked confused.
"As far as saviors go," He gave a sick grin, and raised her paw, a small sphere of red light appeared in his palm. He floated behind the back of her head.
Cadence quickly looked at the slaves who had spoken, "I forgive-"
"You're only second rate!" A torrent of red light rampaged forth, annihilating her flesh, leaving her blackened skeleton visible for a moment before that too was torn down past its base atoms. Her crown, horseshoes, and harness fell, tarnished and scarred.
"MINE!" Rarigreed instinctively claimed her trophies.
"DON'T YOU TOUCH-"
"Oh be quiet." Discord snapped his fingers, and Twilight's jaw fused together and her mouth vanished.
"'Bout time someone shut her up," Angry Pie said about Twilight but looking more at the spot Cadence had existed a moment before, " . . . dammit."
"I'll deal with you in a minute." Discord said simply to Twilight Sparkle.
When Discord had slew Cadence, the lower parts of her legs had been missed. Fluttercruel took one by the bone and tore into the flesh.
Twilight Sparkle's eyes quivered as her hooves were suddenly encased in cement blocks. Tears streamed more and more down her face.
Liarjack kept her hat over her face as much as she could, but turned towards Twilight. "It It's alright, Twili'... This is all just a nightmare...you're gonna...you're gonna wake up soon..." she said, likely the most unconvincing lie she'd ever told even as she poured her heart into it.
"Heeeeeyyyy," Fluttercruel stopped and turned around slowly at Traitor Dash, "I bet you want some of this, don't you Dashie?"
"NO! No no no! Not at all! None! Y-you can, you can-" Dash looked green.
"OH COME ON NOW! DON'T BE SHY!" She tackled Dash and straddled on top of her, "Open wide!" And began to force feed her. TD vomited, she forced it down again.
"STOP IT! LEAVE HER ALONE!" An already crying Liarjack scream leaping at Fluttercruel who backhoofed her with the hoof of what she had been holding. She was hit so hard her jaw broke.
"Who asked you? Oh right! No one! So shut up!"
Dash's body went limp to Fluttercruel annoyance she had stopped squirming. One thought pulsed in her mind, 'I deserve this. I deserve this. I deserve this.'
"You know this is hard on me too Twilight," Discord put a 'sympathetic' arm around Twilight Sparkle, "I didn't even get to play with her like I did a sister of hers, Galaxia, oh I need to tell you that story sometime. It's a story of happiness and wonderful and joy for me." Twilight's entire body shook. Her eyes were bloodshot. Her thoughts falling apart before she could even form them. The mad house scene before her replaying in her brain over and over and over and over AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER!!!!
"Ooooh, don't be sad Twilight, time to wake up, or maybe go back to sleep. Hard to tell which is which anymore, isn't it? You don't need to feel anything anymore." Twilight felt the gray, Twilight did not resist the gray, Twilight welcomed the gray, Twilight embraced the gray, Twilight wanted the gray, Twilight was the gray.
"And every single bit of that is totally and utterly false and not the least bit true," Liarjack declared her forehooves visibly shaking, her face hidden with her hat as best she could.
Twilight Tragedy thought over everything she had heard, and asked, "But wait, how did you know that part between Cadence and Chrysalis?"
"Maybe Ah got it out of Ah changeling Queen Cadence told and felt it added to the narrative. Maybe."
"And the thoughts of the others?"
"Maybe they went and told me cause they knew no pony would believe a liar if Ah squealed to anypony. Maybe."
"I see," Tragedy replied as the night shifted to day again. A couple mad ponies outside the castle had a one-sneaker cheese-wiz war with the prize being a lifetime supply of singing pickles in a seven-sided tupperware box with a matching Gazorninplat.
The second most victory-ful pony getting a pet Kwyjibo.
The seaponies were cheering for Team Mayonnaise while Team Felt-Tip Pen had a decent cult following. They were currently leading sideways by three Whoopers to five Jabberwocks.
A seapony colt took the chance to steal a kiss from the seapony Waterflower.
"So that's why all those changelings were willing to die to just steal some bones and where those dented pieces of armor Rarigreed keeps underneath her room's floor stones came from. And why changeling flames are yellow when they used to be blue, and some of them before that had green."
"Nope. And Ah'm not sorry in the least for tellin' ya, and . . . It's a bad thing yer not feelin' anythin' rather than feelin' sad or angry."
"I see." She did not feel any of those things. But she did feel dizzy. And hot. And her stomach muscles were making strange contractions. And her vision was slightly blurry. Her hooves were shaking when she tried to be still. What was happening to her? "Thank you Liarjack, thank you . . . I believe, I wish to rest before Master's visit to the opera."
What do I think of my six little ponies? I don't think I've ever been actually asked that before. And I can't say I've given it all that much thought either. Well, might as well go down the list right?
Hmmmm. Give me a moment to think here. This is harder than I thought.
First there's Liarjack of course, my first one. Oh, just where did I go wrong with her? What happened to the shameless, gratuitous, prolific, pathological liar who would lie through her teeth about her own accomplishments and accusing others of wrongdoings that never happened and deny having just wronged a friend TO that friend?
Instead, I get a pony who has spent the last thousand years playing nurse to the whole lot of 'em no matter how much they abuse her and just keeps on smiling and wanting to see them happy. Even her lies to Twilight are done out of love , ugh. She's gotten the mechanics down without embracing the spirit.
How could she have gone so terribly wrong? I envisioned her juggling the elements in front of Twilight beautifully asking 'What Elements?' as she begged her to hand them over.
Now she just smiles and nods at everything Rarigreed says. She's even started wearing dresses and moving like a lady she's hanging around her so much! And she acts like Replacement Fluttershy to Traitor Dash. She dares to talk back to Fluttercruel. And just stands there and takes any beating Angry Pie give her without flinching.
Ah, Angry Pie she was truly a success. I completely outdid myself! A few well placed lies and her own beautiful and majestic backwards brain did the rest.
A total success. A complete success! Maybe too much a success I crushed her little heart! I turned her oh so serious! Maybe a little too serious. I took that little ball of fun unpredictability and randomness and turned her into a one-note lump of aimless fury that beats to death anything that gets in her way. Maoi? Regret? I'm the absurd one around here. Gods don't feel regret. It's in our job description right after 'fundamental law of the universe' and before 'born before the dawn of time.'
When I kept Lulu from vaporizing her from time and space ,I knew she was a kindred spirit. A being of randomness and disorder, just like me. She and Surprise were truly best pony. And Surprise saw pranking me as a challenge, like I would, it was so much fun. It's little wonder Pinkie absorbing her shadow yielded such a beautiful ball of chaos. Then she had to go and get involved in that Elements of non-non-sense. Why couldn't that stupid wall-eyed pegasus have gotten the job instead? I had the names picked out for our first half-dozen kids and the ideas for the cloning mirror after turning/brainwashing Mrs. Cake into the perfect Sleipnir nanny and Mr. Cake into a good and willing nurse mare (had to toss out those plans). I'd let her name our first one though. Now those rooms are filled with Rarigreed's 'children.' Maybe I should start charging her rent.
Rarigreed. Credit where credit is due, she's managed to make a joke fresh for one thousand years. She deserves a medal. In fact I'll give her one! Now where is, oh, she took that already, my bad. I could have easily created a real diamond to draw out her inner vice. Oh she's no Fluttercruel. That greed was always there. I just got her to stop denying it and embrace it like an old lover. She should thank me.
So yes, I could have given her a real diamond, but this was more funny! Except we seemed to have lost our way to the punchline. At least she's come up with plenty of new and fascinating ways to tell the joke in the meantime.
She still knows gold and jewels when she sees them, it's just rocks are everywhere, so of course she stops to pick them up. It wouldn't be very greedy if she didn't take everything of value she laid her eyes on. And she's taken the joke in directions I didn't think she could. I guess I'm just curious as to where she could possibly take it next. The 'making stone golems to be the family she can never have' thing? That was all her. What a wonderful little joke she came up with!
And next is Traitor Dash, oh oh oh oh! She has NEVER stopped being so fun! So arrogant with her 'I'll always be loyal to the princess', thinking loyalty is something that can't be broken! Oh yes I enjoyed seeing her squirm, her oath that her devotion to Celly would never end, breaking in a matter of seconds with just the right choice pushed in front of her muzzle with no neat and tidy third option to latch upon these ponies are always so blindly expecting! If she'd chosen the other choice? Well then I'd have shown her her hometown crumbling before her eyes thanks to her choice on a high depth plasma screen. Like I said, she doesn't get to eat her cake and have it too.
Her loyalty to Celly was always going to end, sooner or later, pony hell or high water would come along, and she'd have had to choose, that's how life is, those are the rules (which I'll admit I hate on principle). And after all this, SHE STILL DOESN'T GET IT! So I get to enjoy watching her squirm and break over and over and over. And she tries to cheat, and finds out the world is ready is to cheat right back! Let her find neat and tidy black and white solutions and third options wrapped up with in a pretty bow now! She spent three hundred years trying to cheat and find third options to my games, until she finally got a clue.
And it's funny, for being technically by default my -least- loyal subordinate, she's easily become my most effective with the right carrot and stick (tell that to Fluttercruel, and I'll feed you to the parasprite!). I couldn't have come up with a more unfitting name. Them's irony. I'll admit that was the one thing about Rota Fortuna I like, that Alicorn knows her irony.
Oh Twilight, Twilight, Twilight, my dear Twilight Tragedy. So smart, so devoted, so logical, even when under the sway of ultimate chaos she's still writing out spread sheets and, ugh, organizing things. I think I could remove her brain and replace it with marbles and molasses and she'd still be writing out her timetable between staring at the wall and writing meaningless mad mantras.
At least she's efficient, and proven over, and over, and over, and OVER to be a good debugger. Yes, over and over... Never ending. Nothing-nothing! Just thinking, like I said, I haven't given these much thought!
Yes, I enjoy yanking her chain, knowing it'll take less than a thought from me to restore her to her proper and discorded state no matter how many times it happens or where it happens or how it happens. It's a great joke. If you can't see that, then you're a prude.
I JUST WISH SHE'D LIGHTEN UP! She has such a delightful inner crazy to bring out, I know it's there, but instead she keeps up her 'loyal zombie like following.' I've never been able to get her true crazy come out in her, no matter how many ways I've tried. She was so fixated on order she was on the verge of falling into chaos! Meh. She's a sad and broken toy, not the cheerful and giddy maniac I knew she could have been. At least she's does an admirable job of keeping things interesting and she's fun at parties.
Derpy Hooves? Am I going to really turn her daughter back from a muffin as soon as she finishes her eight, I correct myself, seven quadrillion laps around the castle? Of course. . . . Oh come on, believe me! Cross the thing that pumps my blood, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye! Geeze! I vowed upon my family I would! And the Old Lady hates having her name taken in vain, just ask...oh that's right, you can't, he never existed...Anyway I'm just going to offer to restore her -other- daughter if she does another nine quadrillion laps around the castle, with the number being cut in half if her little unicorn promises to trot them with her mother. I'll figure the interesting details later! Having her haul around a statue would be too boring, I've tried that joke before.
After that, I think I'll crown all three my court jesters or something, strangely nopony else has asked for the job, and they've all given me some good laughs. I could use some non-insane, non-ironic clowns. For right now, she makes a good timepiece going around the castle, (not that I really need one, but it's the thought that counts).
Spikey Wikey? What about him? I've turned door-to-door salesponies into vacuum cleaners more interesting than him. He barely even makes a good straight dragon! Whenever I'm not giving him the honor of carrying my perfect bod to where I choose, when I choose, how I choose, he just sit waiting for Twilight to give him his next scrub down! I swear it's like he's just waiting to die of old age now. I've tried turning him into something else, but he always acts the exact same way. If Twilight won't enjoy crazy land, her accessory doesn't get to either it seems.
I think one of these days I'll teleport him into one of Rarigreed's rooms, kick his hoarding instinct into overdrive, and watch them go at it. They'll either end each other, or end up making out on top of the pile of rocks. Would be entertaining at least. You think Rarigreed would have MORE in common with Spike now, after all, greed runs through both their veins. Yes. I think I will do that. When's the next pancake-rain day? I'll have the Derpy compose a sonnet (equal to thirty thousand laps) just for the two of them as they fight each other or get started on a new race of mutant dragon-ponies (honestly, I'm not sure which outcome I'm hoping for more). Which do you think? Dragon Force 'Dragon's Rule' or Dance Of The Sugarplum Breezie as background music? I think I'll double the lap worth if she can mix them together perfectly with the poem. What? You're surprised I enjoy music? A Spirit of Disharmony can't have his guilty pleasures?
I missed one? Who? Oh. Fluttercruel. I try to not think of her too much as 'my' minion. Have to give her own space to find out who she is after all.
She's grown into such a fine young mare. Always ready to help me spread havoc and anarchy across the land just when you think there's no havoc or anarchy left to spread! It warms my heart.
She was always so cute when she'd crush the throats of ponies trying to appeal to 'the poor scared Fluttershy inside.' She had the most carefree look on her face when I gave her a hamster for her to toy with on her birthday. It was never seen again.
The day she first learned that trick of making her feathers into weapons, I was so proud of her! I made the biggest downpour of the most bitter chocolate rain imaginable just for her! It may or may not have drowned one or five ponies, but that's the way the ball bounces.
Now she's become a pretty young mare who cuts her way through whole towns making the most cuddly laughter. . . Though I wish she'd have more diversity. There are so many horizons she isn't even trying to explore. It saddens me to see her not opening up to all the diversity and uniqueness of chaos, I don't know where she gets it.
Ugh. It took me centuries to get her to realize that killing ends the game, and when the game ends, there's no fun left to be had, and she had so much trouble grasping that ponies aren't infinite and more importantly every pony is unique. So beautifully unique. Each with their own fears, desires, insecurities, pet peeves, phobias, manias, dark sides, vices, and so many other wonderful special things. But it felt so satisfying when she finally understood. I still need to teach her that collateral damage is only fun if it's not on purpose though.
She never wears the dresses I give her, and always wears the ones she makes herself.
Do you think I'm imposing too much on her individuality? She might be just pushing back to prove she's her own person to me. Maybe it's not just one-on-one time I need to give her. Maybe I should get more involved in what she wants to do than forcing her to get involved in what I want. Now where's my battle axe of singing plaid madness?
I'll tell her as a surprise after we've had our outing to the seapony opera. Where's my tuxedo Ponythulu sent me for my last birthday? Eh, that might be too insanity inducing for the seaponies...Hm, I really need to expand my wardrobe.
We continue the journey into one of the darkest chapters of the entire series. Think about that for a minute. We already know that this is Cadence’s final battle and that she, as the Changeling Queen and the last symbol of hope in this world, will die. Even after all this time Cadence still greets Twilight with the chant of their Secret Handshake, trying to get her to remember the time they spent together. It doesn’t work. Meanwhile Avalon the beautiful kingdom of Changelings that resisted Discord for 500 years is burning to the ground. It was once known as the Everfree Forest before Cadence was able to control it. The Queen is determined to heal Twilight, to make her remember the joyful childhood they had spent together. She actually doesn’t have a connection to the other corrupted, since the events of the Canterlot Wedding never happened. And ironically in this battle the immortality and healing factor of the fallen heroes works against them, since Cadence doesn’t have to hold back. As Fluttercruel tries a surprise attack she is knocked out of the sky by three Changelings disguised as Spike and caught by the still loyal Rainbow Dash. Discord is watching this entire battle from the back of the real Spike and is too much of a coward to engage the Alicorn of Harmony in a normal battle. Even his attacks the flaming meteors are long distance attacks, after all these years he is still afraid of Harmony. The three Changelings (Lady Bug, Sting and Morning Glow) are the last ones left; the others did either evacuate or were killed. They are here at the side of their beloved queen against her orders and the Elements react accordingly to their new characters. Twilight tells them to never question an order, Rainbow Dash tells them to abandon their queen to save themselves, Rarity just talks about hording more stuff, Applejack lies about their beliefs being dark and gloomy and Angry Pie in an uncharacteristically talkative mood claims they are the same parasites they were before. Cadence tells her subjects that not a ruler or the place but the people are what make a country what it is. The Changelings did really become something else and were able to change (irony) from parasites to symbionts. Cadence made Avalon into a safe heaven for everyone and all they had to do in return was to love her subjects. It was a great symbiosis that ends now with Avalon burning to the ground. But what really hurts the Queen is to see that Twilight seems to have lost her curiosity that always motivated her to learn new things. Rainbow tries to convince her to give up but Discord immediately ensures the Queen that she will be tortured horribly if she will do that. She criticizes the corrupted for replacing their hearts with the Elements of Chaos and only Rainbow Dash and Applejack feel shame at hearing this. The others are too far gone to care. Twilight tells her that the Changelings will return to their old ways without her but since this is a flashback we already know that she is wrong. Even 500 years later the Changelings are still fighting against Discord and remembering Queen Cadence.
Then we get a brief flashback to how Cadence became the Queen of Changelings. She went to the Changelings to look for help against Discord and was attacked. But Cadence was able to defeat the already weakened Chrysalis. A world ruled by Discord doesn’t have enough love to feed the swarm. Now after the battle the old Queen is falling apart. Cadence notices that there is something different in her eyes compared to old queens she saw on pictures. Maybe this Queen had developed a sense of self the others lacked. This would have led her to attack Canterlot at the Wedding to build her own nation and this did motivate her to rather fall in battle than to slowly perish in this horrible world. Instead of one final attack Chrysalis embraces Cadence and leaves the Changelings to her. The shock makes Cadence remember her forgotten life and the horrible war. She recalls how Rota Fortuna lost her wings to Discord’s torture and how Currus sacrificed himself to Justitia instead of being eaten by the insane Havoc. Then the Goddess drops her barriers and introduces herself to the swarm. We also learn Chrysalis’s full name: Chrysalis Kipepeo Linsila AVALON. Now this name is really something, Kipepeo is another term for butterfly and Avalon is the legendary island from the Arthurian legend and also the name of the future kingdom of Changelings. Cadence still named her kingdom after the Queen that attacked her. The love of the new Queen is enough to sustain the Changelings for now and they begin to become something different.
In the present Cadence is still proud on the development of the Changelings and it is very likely that something similar would never happen if Discord didn’t have taken control of the world. She talks about how destruction can be a new start which is extremely ironic, since in an alternate universe written by Kendell2 this was exactly what happened to this world. With Twilight’s magic it destroyed itself by changing the flow of events and became something else. You know you are in a hellish world where the entire world vanishing and being reborn as something different is still considered by the inhabitants to be an improvement. Both Angry Pie and Fluttercruel just want to continue their slaughter but Discord holds them back to get enjoy more suffering. He will regret that in ten seconds. The Queen orders her three loyal subjects to assume her form and tells Lady Bug that her name is now Princess Mi Amore Cadenza Equestria Avalon, the new mother and future Queen of the Changelings. The new Princess’s magic begins to change as well. The reactions of the corrupted are rather telling. Twilight and Rarity are confused, Rainbow and Applejack understand and Fluttercruel and Angry Pie don’t care at all. The pragmatic Cadence did leave a heritage behind to ensure the development of the Changelings and we know that this will work. As the three Changelings teleport away Rainbow Dash holds back Fluttercruel and Applejack stops Angry Pie. Rainbow’s logic is especially entertaining, she claims to be just following Discord’s orders. But Fluttercruel will have a horrible revenge later. When Discord realises his error and gives them the order to attack it is already too late to stop the three from escaping. In all these years he didn’t get any better in cutting loose ends. He always manages to disappoint in one way or another. Twilight follows his orders, Rarity sees it as an opportunity to collect more “treasure”, Fluttercruel and Angry Pie just enjoy the following violence and Applejack and Rainbow Dash openly ignore these orders. Discord has to remind AJ that Rarity and Twilight would be crushed by the realisation what they did and it is very noticeable that he leaves Fluttercruel and Angry Pie out. These two are too far gone. The Draconequus reminds Rainbow that he would need to replace them by corrupting six other ponies to take their place and if he would be defeated as well Sky Ocean would crash into the ground, taking every new Seapony with it. Now the way he talks about them really shows how much he really cares about his daughter or his singing pets.
The following battle shows how powerful the corrupted six truly are. But the irony is that this kind of power is completely wasted in such a world, where there is almost no dangerous opposition. They don’t really need these powers to take down the normal rebels but then the cowardly Discord would have to take on the more powerful threats that appear from time to time like the alien invasion or the Nightmare from another dimension. So it makes perfect sense for him to let them have all these powers, so that once a dangerous battle comes he can hide at the sideline like the coward he is.
Angry Pie is the first one to attack Cadence but the Alicorn evades her easily. The Queen even begins to sing in this battle and the song seems to confuse and weaken the corrupted. Angry Pie is completely lacking the Pinkie Sense and is surprised and punched into the ground. When Cadence uses the orpotunity to cast a memory spell it seemingly leaves the butcher braindead. There seems to be nothing left of her former self. Then Fluttercruel interrupts with a storm of sharp weapons but the Alicorn counters it with a wind spell. When she comes in contact with Harmony she doesn’t just feel pain, she gets turned to stone just like her father. This makes sense since Harmony almost erased the other Fluttercruel as well, even after all her character growth and her willingness to sacrifice herself. Only the reawakened Fluttershy was able to safe her. But this Fluttercruel had none of this. Twilight reawakens Angry Pie with her magic and as thanks she gets a punch from the mad butcher. Rainbow Dash tries her signature move, the Sonic Darkboom but Cadence defends herself with a barrier spell and telekinesis. Both have an aerial battle that is too fast to be seen but it gets soon interrupted. Applejack has apparently gained the ability to shape shift and makes Cadence think for a moment that one of her loyal subjects needs help, only do a surprise attack the first chance she gets. That kind of ability with someone that is a master of manipulation and lies would normally be very unnerving. But since Applejack is easily the most likeable of the corrupted and the seemingly the sanest one of them, it is much more likely that she could use her disguises to sabotage the other corrupted. Twilight did support Applejack in this attack with a teleport. Strange after all this time she is still helping her former friends. Rainbow Dash uses this chance to attack the occupied Alicorn from behind and rams her into the ground. But Cadence again uses Harmony and not only launches Rainbow into the air but also causes the pegasus a breakdown from the realisation of how many innocents she killed. The Queen has to shield herself against magic attacks from Twilight and Rarity, blades from Fluttercruel and raw physical attacks from Angry Pie. Meanwhile Applejack tries to help Rainbow Dash recover from the last attack. Cadence uses her magic to grow trees around her as protection against all these attacks and impales Angry Pie with one. Only a copied version of her own spell forces her to teleport somewhere else. Twilight strangely still has her powerful magic and her ability to copy spells of others just after seeing them cast it. This is really odd since those abilities were said to be linked to her Element of Magic/Friendship. Her ability to copy and reverse spells makes her extremely dangerous but Cadence points out that this also means that she is still learning things not dictated from Discord. Rarity has gained incredible telekinetic powers and uses them to shape worthless rocks into golems to aid her in battle. Her insanity has gotten worse and worse and now she does not only think of these stones as precious treasures but also as her family. She names them like a mother would name her children. After Cadence blasts one of these golems to bits, Rarity calls back her golems and speaks to them. Twilight intentionally didn’t attack at this moment or Rarity would have turned against her for hurting her children. Fluttercruel attacks her by ripping out her own feathers and turning them into weapons. This manages to surprise the Queen since she thought this was another illusion. Fluttercruel manages to have an ability that manages to be dangerous, unique, fitting for her sadistic character and disappointing all at the same time. This contradictory ability shows that this Fluttercruel is truly the daughter of Discord, more on that later. Twilight fires another copy of Cadence’s spell and the Alicorn teleports aside. But Fluttercruel is able to track down the pieces of herself, even when they are teleported to a different location. So she launches another cowardly attack on the wounded side of Cadence. But the Alicorn simply uses strong lighting to fry her attacker thanks to all the metal weapons she is carrying. Then the Queen blasts her with Harmony at point blank rage and this would have likely completely turned Fluttercruel into a statue if Rarity’s golems didn’t interrupt the Goddess. Their movements are nearly perfect copies of the Wonderbolts. Cadence notices that this is likely a sign that Rarity tries to replace what she truly cared about with these things. Fluttercruel and Angry Pie prepare to team up against the Queen but Discord calls his child back. This sudden worry about her is hard to believe since at the beginning of the battle he casually talked about replacing them all with random ponies. Luckily for Cadence she is prepared when Twilight tries to teleport inside her. Unlike the inexperienced just awakened Celestia in her battle against Strife the Queen doesn’t fall for this trick. Just like everyone else Twilight has trouble to concentrate as the harmonic song echoes around the battlefield, but she finds a surprisingly mundane solution in the form of earplugs. Twilight prepares to use the distraction of the stone Wonderbolts to teleport Angry Pie above Cadence for a crushing attack. But suddenly Rarity calls the rock golems back to “talk” to them. She even shapes two to resemble Filthy Rich and Fancy Pants and the Queen is impressed how strong her telekinesis did become. And while Rarity is in complete and total denial about what she is doing, she is extremely honest about other things like planning to steal Diamond Tiara and Golden Tiara from Discord to reunite them with what she thinks is “Filthy Rich”. Then Twilight distracts her with three spells before teleporting Angry Pie above her. But again the Alicorn counters every attack and asks the mad butcher why she is assisting Discord. The answer is very strange. At first Angry Pie claims that there is no reason and then she says that this is the world without laughter she wished for. Twilight forces the Queen to drop the butcher with a series of exploding stones teleported next to her. But in an impressive display of multitasking the experienced Alicorn is able to evade, to heal herself and finally counter the attack by unleashing a powerful lightning attack on Twilight. Now that the powerful unicorn is unconscious Cadence traps Angry Pie in harmonic chains. Then she flies right at the cowardly Discord and Fluttercruel but to her surprise he doesn’t throw Fluttercruel at her but the enormous Spike. Again she is rammed into the ground and all Rarity cares for are that the Queens jewellery might be damaged. There is no love for Spike left. Now Rarity unleashes her full power and shapes a huge armor for herself out of rocks. By now she is twice as big as Cadence. She tries to talk to the insane unicorn but of course doesn’t get a clear answer. But even with this armor Rarity is no match for the Goddess and she calmly talks about the fallen heroes.
Applejack confuses all truths for hurtful truths and all deception for mercy and the love for her friends that she still feels. Rainbow Dash is terrified of decisions, values everything equal and runs away from the inevitable loss. Pinkie Pie is completely consumed by her anger and unable to see happiness as anything else but a sign of weakness. Fluttershy had to witness Fluttercruel using her body to torture and murder and now just wants to die so that this monster won’t hurt anybody else. Rarity in her obsession with worthless treasure is unable to see what really matters. Cadence tells Spike to look after the insane Rarity before talking about the final corrupted. Twilight was just beginning to open herself to friendship and when she first experienced the loss of her friends to Discord’s corruption she wasn’t able to handle it. Then she casts the memory spell on Twilight to remind the unicorn what really matters. In the end Cadence actually manages to reach Twilight and heal her. It is no trick, after 500 years she manages to reach her childhood friend. They hug, talk and do their Secret Handshake. And just in this one moment of distraction Discord makes his move and kills her. For a moment he considers to make her a statue just like the other two Alicorns but then he decides to kill her like Galaxia. And just to twist the knife he makes the purple unicorn think that all this was her fault for distracting her. Before she dies, Cadence tries to desperately convince her that this is not true. Twilight is absolutely broken to helpless to do anything, to be forced to see this and the mockeries her former friends have become. This time she doesn’t even resist it when Discord turns her back into his slave. The death of all hope is the darkest hour.
And just after Cadence is dead Fluttercruel starts to devour her remains and even force feeds Rainbow some of the flesh as revenge for her earlier intervention. She only stops when she sees that Rainbow isn’t suffering enough, since in her self-loathing the pegasus convinced herself that she deserves this as punishment. It is easily one of the most disgusting acts ever committed in this Series and makes Fluttercruel easily the second most vile and unlikeable character in the entire series so far. Only Discord himself surpasses her now. The third place goes to the mad butcher Angry Pie who went from killing others, who she thought laughed at her, to killing ponies just to show them that this is a world without laughter. Both may have started as victims themselves but now there is simply nothing even remotely good or likeable left. Since Fluttercruel is a different person from Fluttershy she had absolutely no connection to the others and in all the years they had to spend together this didn’t change, she just got worse. Even the counterpart of Angry Pie in the other world was a complete monster that no one missed when it was forcefully reabsorbed by Pinkie Pie. Both sadists like to team up to bring more suffering over their victims. And the other four ponies show that being infected by Chaos is no excuse for being such monsters, even the insane Rarity is more sympathetic then those two. Twilight does not feel anger or sadness at hearing this horrible story but her body reacts like something within her is in horrible pain.
Then we end this dark chapter with Discord’s thoughts about the corrupted. The weird thing is that these arrogant and hateful opinions would have been a new low for any other villain but for Discord that is completely normal. He did already fall as far as possible when he ruled the world for 1000 years in the past. He tortured the ponies he grew up with, he tortured and ate his own kind personality, he committed genocides just because she could, he corrupted the mother that still loved him into a weapon and he killed Celestia’s and Luna’s caretaker and sister before their eyes and offered Celestia sex after that one. There is no more line to cross; no more act of evil to commit that would be worse than what he already did. For the rest of eternity no matter what vile act he does, it is just more of the same. He quite literally already did everything he ever could do as an evil overlord. And he is not really happy with how the corrupted six turned out to be. He is frustrated that Applejack instead of using lies to hurt others like the Draconequus does, tries to use them to lessen their pain and support Twilight, Rarity and Rainbow Dash. She knows better than to try this on Angry Pie and Fluttercruel. And just like Rainbow Dash she is actually brave enough to stand up to Discord. He is frustrated that Angry Pie is a laughter hating lunatic that would just attack him as well instead of the random and chaotic pony he knew and once saved from Luna. He had already plans to make a chaotic family with her but has given up on that for quite some time. That is a bit strange, since the solution, at least in the past, would have been very easy: Just put Twilight and Angry Pie in the same room, turn Twilight back into her old self, let her cast an memory spell on Angry Pie to cure her, turn Twilight back and then corrupt Pinkie Pie into something different. To be honest now it is much too late for this but if he had tried at all to corrupt Pinkie Pie in a different way, he could have the chaotic family he wanted. And this is the second time he did this mistake; he also turned Surprise into a depressed rock farmer. He really did learn nothing. He is frustrated that Rarity is now just greedy and nothing else and that she started to steal his property. But one the other hand unlike the other she really specialized herself at what she did and became incredible powerful with telekinesis to hold up the illusion of her own family. Discord is even impressed that Rarity came up with this idea. He begins to make plans to breed her together with Spike to either kill the dragon in a horrible way by the hoofs of the person he loved (only the Element is immortal) or to create a race of dragon-ponies. He is frustrated that Rainbow Dash still hasn’t given up yet and still tries to save lives in this broken world. No matter how often she is presented with a sadistic choice, she recovers eventually and continues to try to minimize losses. That Rainbow Dash never broke completely in all those years of Chaos speaks volumes for her character and strength of will. He is frustrated that Twilight is still in perfect order, instead of being as chaotic as she was in the Smarty Pants incident. The Draconequus knows that she can be chaotic but he just can’t unlock this personality. And she keeps removing the flaws in his Chaos; she can do that for all eternity since this Chaos is so poorly created. Discord actually made a promise to his Elders to end the suffering of Derpy once she does enough rounds around his castle but the number of required rounds is ridiculous high (seven quadrillion). He will give her back her child and then both can run around the place to free the other one from transformation. And after that they will be all forced to be his clowns for the rest of eternity. He is frustrated with Fluttercruel’s lack of progress as well. But the irony is that she is his perfect daughter. She is cruel, sadistic and an incredible slow learner. So it took her nearly forever to learn to use her chaotic powers and even after that they are very limited to only one trick. She is the daughter of Chaos itself, she should be much more versatile. And while her ability to turn parts of herself into weapons fits her sadistic character perfectly and is extremely dangerous, it also reflects that this is quite literally all she is. Without her ability to regenerate, which all the other corrupted also have, this one unique ability would cripple her in seconds. That she doesn’t develop any other chaotic abilities really disappoints Discord. He doesn’t realize the irony that deep down he is just as predictable. He still does the same old chocolate rain trick and the same old day and night switch. She shows all his flaws very obviously and he is still unable to truly understand that.
At this point two questions remain: Who is interviewing Discord? It is likely not Twilight since he also talks about her like she isn’t in the same room and he never did that before. But the bigger question is: How is it possible that after ruling this world for hundreds of years and corrupting the heroes for all this time he still isn’t happy with at least one of them? They are all failures; nobody of them is like Discord wanted them to be. How could he fail in a world ruled by Chaos? How can his Chaos be so stagnant and predictable that he needs Twilight to micromanage it? This is the kind of situation Entropy would consider a good joke. He failed at the one thing that should be impossible for him to fail. He failed at Chaos. The personification of Chaos failed at living up to what should be his very nature. Celestia and Luna are more than the Perfect Day and the Perfect Night, they both had very interesting character development and became rulers of the land when they had to take this position. But Discord is actually much less than the Perfect Chaos. Failing at Chaos should be impossible for him and he did that anyway. That is truly an achievement nobody would want. Maybe a more fitting title for him would be the Perfect Nonsense or the Eternal Repetition.
Overall while we already knew that Cadence would die but she surely didn’t went down without a fight. Until the end she managed to dominate the battle. And it least Twilight didn’t kill her in her corruption like she murdered so many others. But the really sad thing about Cadenc’s brave last stand is that she actually could have won if she had different priorities. If she would have concentrated on immobilising the corrupted and then went directly for Discord she could have won. Discord was extremely vulnerable against her powers. Only after that should she have tried to cast memory spells on the fallen heroes. But she can hardly be blamed for wanting to heal her childhood friend as soon as possible. And it would be unfair to criticise her lack of reasonable thinking after she just had to watch her kingdom burn to the ground and countless of her beloved subjects died in the inferno. It also seems clear that both Fluttercruel and Angry Pie will go down with Chaos. We already saw in Truth in AJ’s dreams that they will turn against the others in the critical moment and at the picnic in the final chapter of Mind Games! the interviewers, who are implied to be connected to Twilight from this world, hinted that both Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie were already dead.
Something has been bothering me for awhile. Back in "Different From Everypony Else 2of2" Celestia said:
"And I don't expect you to. Death is but a door for you and me. But Alicorns aren't like the Element of Harmony: If one of us is annihilated, I mean truly no more...for instance, not only would there be no sun, the mere IDEA of something CALLED a 'sun' would vanish from the mind of everything alive."
Discord killed both Cadance and Galaxia so did he also killed the idea/concept of Harmony and galaxies(what did Galaxia represent?) from ponies minds?
What? I am only up to Dark world part 10. I thought I was supposed to read Dark World before I read SA's saga and the 7 Dreams/Nightmares side story saga. Great...did I read out of order? I am going in order from the Reharmonized pony POV folder.
This chapter was so dark it actually made me sick in the stomach. I can see why Pinkie Pie warns on not leaving. Out of the mane 6, I am unsure which to pity the most. Also I may be naive but I won't give up that Angry Pie and Fluttercruel are not past redemption. No one is past redemption.... even Discord. Though the changes of him changing are about the size of an atom.
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More