My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic
Reharmonization Series Pony POV Series
FlutterCruel and Fluttershy Chapter "Black Pearl"
"I have you now sister!" Luna said darkly.
"I don't plan to go down without a fight," Celestia replied without fear.
"My knights surround you, you can't escape."
"Guess again. Castle."
Luna started as Celestia used the obscure but perfectly legal move to relocate her Alicorn out of check.
"Did we agree to use that rule?"
"We didn't agree not to use that rule," Celestia replied smirking.
Luna grumbled at her failed two pronged assault and observed the damage. The chess board was custom made for the princess. Luna of course always played black and Celestia always played white. The Alicorns of course would be made to resemble the royal pony sisters.
Luna couldn't help but notice the chess pieces Celestia's side of the board bore a strong resemblance to a certain close circle of friends. Luna's customized pieces resemble a group of ponies who had died trying to help her bring about her black magic tainted vision of the eternal night.
Celestia considered showing the chess set to Twilight on April Foals Day.
Luna sighed, her brain hurting as she put the game on hold and said, "Sister, I would speak with you."
"No need to be so formal Lulu. What do you want to talk about?"
"Have you SEEN these articles and stories?" Luna declared floating up a stack of papers by her hooves onto the table and began to read samples.
"'Princess Luna was possessed by the demon Nightmare Moon.' 'Nightmare Moon was really an evil mind control slug inside Princess Luna.' 'Princess Luna assumed the form of Nightmare Moon in revenge for the demonization history gave her after her banishment.' 'Princess Luna pretended to be evil so Princess Celestia could have the day off for the Summer Sun Festival' ... "
"We're royalty Luna, gossip comes with the territory. And when you were presented in Ponyville for the first time after you were cured, you were small, demure, and cute, of course everyone was going to assume the whole Nightmare Moon thing had to be a misunderstanding or ruse."
"I guess it's better than having everyone assume I was going to fall back into insanity. But sister, how can I earn anypony's forgiveness if they won't even realize I did anything wrong?!"
"Remember sister, you weren't exactly in your right mind. Remember the black magic? That could have happened to any pony."
"I STILL believe you use that as an excuse for me 'Tia so I wouldn't spend every night punishing myself. And I'm much more inclined to believe some of Discord's lies had something to do with it. Listen to THIS ONE! 'Princess Celestia, in a bid to maintain absolute control over Equestria, banished her sister to the moon when Princess Luna began to crusade for the rights of the common pony, rewrote the history books on the lie of there ever having been an eternal night, and used mind control to make Luna play the part of Nightmare Moon so the people would fear her and never trust her." Luna looked closer at this one. "Wait a minute. Written by SUNNY DAY-!? CELLY! That's one of your alias'!"
Celestia chuckled. "So it is."
"No one wants to believe you were ever Nightmare Moon. They either don't want to believe that the sweet innocent Princess Luna they see could have ever been evil, or need me to be a tyrant for their conspiracy theories to work and you make a good tragic hero for their drama."
"Answer the question already!"
"If no pony wants to believe that you could have ever been Nightmare Moon, you might as well be a hero instead. The tabloids have wanted me to be a tyrant for centuries. Which is actually the KINDEST thing they've written about me." Celestia shuddered at the 'Molestia' articles that had run rampant when she had taken Twilight as her apprentice. "Besides, that's only one of several contradictory articles circulating. You should be happy the tabloids want you to be a hero instead of a co-dictator. Just wait a few hundred years and they'll be saying you defeated Nightmare Moon yourself ... with no mention of the friends who were there to help you." Celestia said the last part with the slightest hint of bitterness.
"But I WANT people to accept I'm Nightmare Moon! I want to be FORGIVEN for what I did, not have it swept under the rug!"
"People don't want to realize your real mistakes Lulu, they want to invent their own. It comes with the job. And this way, I can hand some more of the nobles' power to the common worker pony and they'll think I'm doing it just to please the accusations rather than WANTING power decentralized. Besides little sister ..." Celestia leaned in close. "Didn't you play a part in that story that I was the one who sent Twilight the letters to bring her out of Discord's taint?"
"Twilight loves YOU Celly. Not me. You're the only one who could have saved her. She wouldn't have ... accepted it ... any other ... way. Okay. I get it." Luna then noticed a small set of notes next to Celestia. "And what precisely is that?"
"OH! That's the one 'Sunny Day' is working on for Nightmare Night."
"Brings back memories from a thousand years ago, doesn't it?"
"I find it interesting the night that would become Nightmare Night was the night I faked my own kidnapping by Nightmare Moon."
"But looking back on it you played your part well sister. I'm glad you've finally taken up my advice to try the theater. The people love you and are connecting with you even more."
"Like what happened in Ponyville on Nightmare Night?"
"Luna, that was the one place where the myth became reality. No pony else really SAW Nightmare Moon. It was only there that you were -real- opposed to fantasy like the glue-maker."
"And after treating me as welcomed as you after I was saved from myself, once Nightmare Night rolls around they go back to treating me like nothing changed at all."
"Well remember they've had to deal with the stress of Discord's 'fun' and 'games', and with Discord gone they needed SOMETHING to focus their fears and dreads on ..."
"Should I excuse their actions on the stress Discord put them through then? How many excuses should I give them?"
"You showing up with Night Guard Pegasi riding Tirac's old chariot didn't help matters. Sister what were you THINKING taking that as a trophy anyway?"
"I am the only true embodiment of night. I will tolerate no pretenders to my throne, and I liked the color. And every pony that swears themselves to my half of the army KNOWS the conditions for joining. You infuse your troops with a micro-fraction of your essence, I infuse mine the same way. It's written in BIG BOLD LETTERS in size forty font across two pages with before and after pictures that they'll turn black, become nocturnal, grow to dislike sunlight and exchange feather wings for batwings when they become Night Guards. Bats are my creation, of course I'd use those opposed to birds."
"What I'm saying is that showing up on a holiday made in fear of your alter-ego wasn't such a good idea."
"I wanted to CHANGE IT! I was hoping that if I made it a night of 'fun' (I really need to read a dictionary on what words have been invented in the last thousand years, that 'fun' one is only three hundred years old), ponies would begin to love the night instead of fear it. And Celestia, what were you THINKING of that horrid Holiday to begin with?"
"I was hoping that with your alter-ego in the pop culture mind that you would be tamed, that ponies would start to feel accustomed to you. They'd forget to fear you."
"And me eating foals? Who invented that dribble?"
"I swear on Mother and Father, Their Absolute Selves Luna, that I had nothing to do with that. It's the classic story Luna. You were what they feared, so they assigned EVERY fearful thought they could to you. If the thing that could eat their foals was something that would be pacified with an offering of candy, that gave them peace of mind. We don't control what our subjects THINK Luna."
"I was hoping at least the bearers and the dragonling would know I was no longer insane."
"There were MANY factors working against you sister. Like I said, when you first came to Ponyville as yourself you were small, cute, and during the DAY. Now that your power has returned and your Alicorn shape has reasserted itself, ponies have a hard time connecting you with the 'you' they met that day. I told you to go as a cat-pony."
"There is no way you're getting me into that fluffy costume Celly, sorry."
"Was worth a try. But I'm very serious Luna, you simply had the deck stacked against you. You didn't use your 'divine voice' and 'divine we' and 'divine old butchered High Equestrian' when you were greeted that day opposed to that -night!-"
"I was still reeling from being reduced to a little filly again after a thousand years as a full grown mare, and from you forgiving me with barely a 'you did a bad thing Luna.'"
'I felt events prior spoke for themselves on that matter.' Celestia thought as Luna continued.
"I thought they'd BE IMPRESSED AND LIKE ME IF I ACTED LIKE A PRINCESS! They'd know I was like you and wasn't to be scared of!"
"Luna that was the proper way to speak to ponies a thousand years ago! I got rid of those cursed creeds the same time the nobility stopped wearing those painful high collars!"
"I thought everyone was just being casual at the new castle." Luna said sadly.
"And it was a mistake on my part to not make things more clear to you, no, a failure on my part. But Luna ... one last thing, I could understand your reaction, I really can. But your royal temper was threatening to explode that night and it did. I don't blame you, and I doubt few ponies would not have acted the same way: but Luna, you just terrified them more."
"I know that now ... By the way sister, I have to ask, I saw one of the costumes at the festival. How did the ponies get their hooves on a DEVIL costume-?! We haven't been connected to the other world in ages."
"I think it was some cultural leftovers from when the last visitors from the other world came. We did base many of our inventions on theirs." Celestia shrugged off handedly. "So anything of interest happen AFTER you finally managed to endear yourself to Ponyville?"
"Well I gave the Element of Loyalty an object lesson in how practical jokes aren't so funny when you're the one being practically joked."
Celestia wasn't sure that was the right grammar.
"She was actually wearing a costume based on the 'Shadow Bolt' forms I took during their quest for the Elements. Maybe I should form the team for real, just for laughs. Might give the Wonderbolts some motivation if they weren't suddenly the only top fliers in Equestria."
"One of Twilight's friends is an excellent costume designer if you fancy it enough."
"Oh no, not her." Luna shook her head. "That fixated perfectionist was still working on her costume halfway through the evening! And when Twilight brought me over to her to try and give me an appearance that would be less threatening to the common pony ... And ... ugh ... I have never seen or ever wish to see again so many ruffles in my life! I'll admit most of her dresses were brilliant but I did not appreciate being a dress up doll pony. I had to rip off the garish thing before my eyes melted! Then the pink pony screamed in terror of me again and ran away thinking I had eaten her friend."
"At least it's all behind you now Luna, and the people can now accept and love you both from a distance and close by."
"I hope it lasts until I make my next formal and officially appearance as a PRINCESS: after I'm not 'new' anymore. We both know all it takes is one tiny little detail, one tiny little thing, to make something slip out of the reigns and run wild. I read about your ruinous 'make every pony a princess' scheme from a couple hundred years back."
Celestia's eyes narrowed. "What you read was a simplification and an exaggeration. What I original meant and said was 'Every Pony A Princess In Name' to encourage equality. But it turned out Equestria wasn't ready for it. And a lot of young ponies thought I meant everyone being treated like royalty. And the nobles were scared I was stripping them of their privileges."
"Why do you even keep nobles around?"
"It's not like they're expensive pets I tend to Lulu. We can't run this entire country by ourselves sister and we don't have long distance communication yet that doesn't rely on messengers or dragon. And their parents or their parents parents, Et cetera were very successful so they feel that makes them successful by default."
"I know our parents determine a lot about us sister, but they don't determine our worth."
"Sadly most ponies seem to ignore that lesson."
I flew laughing as I entered Ponyville. Oh this felt so good! So very good!
"Fluttercruel! Slow down! You're making me nervous!" I heard my own voice say in Scaredy-Cat tone!
"NO WAY Flutterface! You might be too chicken to actually USE my wings but I'm not!" I did a couple loop-de-loops under and over some branches just because I could. "Whoo-hoo!"
I swallow back the cowardly cry Fluttershy tried to shout out from my mouth.
I had no idea how it happened or why it happened: but I was now the Alicorn and Fluttershy was the Steed. Like it should have been in the first place! What right did she have to come back after I came into existence? I was here! I was me! I was hearing, seeing, and smelling all of this! The taste of the air as I flew was mine, the sound of wind as it ran over my primaries was mine! And where I was going to go next and what I was going to do? That was all mine too!
"Fluttercruel you really should just turn around and go back. I hadn't finished feeding some of the animals yet and-"
"Whatever! Angel can take care of it! He's actually smarter and more decisive than you, you know that?"
"Yes." I hear my own voice say plainly and honestly with no hint of bitterness or shame.
I forgot for a precious moment this was the pegasus that had no problem admitting she was 'weak and helpless' and didn't mind her flaws being pointed out in the absolute least! No wonder the old man's scheme of appealing to or smashing her ego didn't work! Stupid filly didn't have one! There were martial arts masters who trained for years to reach that elusive zen like state of freeing yourself from your own Ego, and this pinkette did it all naturally!
"Good! Then you shouldn't mind this new arrangement at all! Now YOU can be the odd voice in MY head! Your prison cell? My body! You can be the steed that carries me around instead."
"Okay." I nearly crash. I made a quick landing as I was knock dizzy from the response.
"What?" I asked not believing what I was hearing.
My own voice spoke in a calm, gentle, friendly tone. "Okay. If it makes you happy. But we do need to take another look for that filly today. I know the weather team is looking for her too, but we should really-"
"Shut your mouth and get out of my head!"
"Technically it was my head first dear. But I know there's enough room for both of us."
I growled in a most unpony-like manner. I took a very deep breath and let out slowly. How could she stay so calm at times like this and turn into a crying wreck in the face of Gilda? She's just as alone now as she was then!
I had no intention of showing weakness by telling her, but I could admire how she managed to turn the old man purple just by smiling and a few words.
Still feeling too jarred to fly, I folded my wings and trotted into Ponyville proper. I felt a little dirty walking like Fluttershy. I mean, I wasn't scared of flying like she apparently was. What was the point of having wings if you never use them? I deserved them more than somepony who wasn't even going to TRY! Didn't she know you have to try to get anything or anywhere in life? Not just be a flower whose a slave to the whims of the wind.
I trotted through town my head held high and proud. No one gave 'me' much of a glance. After all, there was Fluttershy going through town again. Maybe she was wearing a skirt which she'd never do before. But even if they saw she didn't have her cutie mark they'd roll their eyes and assume they were seeing things.
All they would see was Fluttershy.
All they would see was Fluttershy.
I shook her head violently! I spotted Ditzy Doo better known as the dunce Derpy Hooves behind a small stand. On it was a plate of muffins and a small sign reading 'Free Sample, One Per Customers.'
I grinned like a fox.
I trotted up to the stand, and without saying a word I kicked the silver platter the muffins were on, and two went flying into the air. I did a Pinkie Pie and opened my mouth wide, eating both in two gulps.
I held back Fluttershy's shocking gasp. I clamped my jaw down hard to keep her from speaking through her muffled voice tried pushing its way through.
I turned to trot away when Derpy shout up. "Hay! Blue are supposed to cake only one!"
I chuckled at her jumbled use of the Equestrian language, her aphasia could be fun to listen to sometimes. "It's okay! I'm eating for two!" I said.
Derpy stared at me several second. Then began to say, "Oh my Celestia! Fluttershy, you're pregnan-" Then a silver platter smacked into her face making the dunce pony fall down go boom on her wings. I laughed.
"What was Ditzy talking about again?" She said her eyes spinning looking in the same direction for once.
"OH MOM! I'm sorry!" The little unicorn Dinky Doo quickly helped her mother to her hooves. At first I wondered if school was suspended again or if she was ditching to help her mother when I remembered that Dinky was home schooled. Supposedly the teasing about her turning out as bad as her mother had gotten so bad that Ditzy had pulled her out. Or as another piece of the gossip vine went that she was teased about her being a unicorn because her mother was a result of mixed breeding and that explained her mom's aphasia. Yet another rumor said she simply learned differently than other fillies. Well, whatever, if she didn't have the courage to stand up to retarded bullies who were using medically disproved and outdated dribble then she deserved whatever she had to deal with.
Everyone looked as Fluttershy walked away from the stand.
Everyone looked as Fluttershy walked away from the stand.
I looked at myself in a storefront window. It was me smirking back. It was my face and my form and my body language. My fur wasn't the right shade however.
I looked up at the store sign and smiled at my good luck. I trotted inside the indoor fashion mall listening to the bland trendy music.
"Fluttercruel wait-! This place, it's owned by, by Photo Finish!" I heard my voice say meekly as my legs started to drag.
"All the better. If I run out of bits we can say to charge it to her. She never did send you your last paycheck."
"But-but-but-but-" I heard myself pathetically stutter.
I wasn't worried. The gossip tree Rarity was always eager to share at her weekly spa met with Fluttershy had said Photo Finish had taken a pegasus flight somewhere in the south islands to recover as per her psychologist's orders and to avoid the high pace and stress of the media circus for a while.
Some of Photo Finish's entourage was apparently running her business' for her while she was on vacation. They recognized me, but were rather polite to a pony who had walked out on their beloved employer.
I trotted out an hour and a half later with my mane and fur dyed a shade or two darker than they had been. It wasn't a perfect match for my fur colors for when I was born, but it would do.
The dress ponies had practically died of shock when I told them the extras I'd like for my skirt which I absolutely refused to take off least I expose my blank butt.
As a rule, ponies in Ponyville normally didn't wear anything, so to dress daringly was to draw -attention- to those spots rather than barely hiding them.
I had wanted black, but the dress ponies insisted that purple went a lot better with my yellow coat.
I trotted out. Feeling so good. I felt even better when I looked in the store front window again. I smiled.
I felt rather warm, Fluttershy had been blushing the entire time as she had flash backs to her time as a model. And by that virtue I had been blushing too. It was humiliating, but at least the dress ponies hadn't said anything. I least I had been able to keep her quiet the whole time.
I trotted with a sway in my flanks. I enjoyed the look in stallion's eyes even as Fluttershy wanted to run away.
I spotted the town dance club, (and night club) near the spa and Photo Finish's fashion mall. As luck would have it there wasn't much of a line. Too bad, I was looking foreword to charming the bouncer into letting me in ahead. Then again, maybe not, as much as that would be fun to feel Fluttershy squirm she'd have likely fainted from the amount of blushing she'd have done and I'd have therefore fainted too and I'd rather not get the attention of her friends yet.
Inside the club there were multiple shadowy spots. But there were a ton of spot lights and multi-color lights. A lot was painted purple and 'black light' lamps everywhere creating an otherworldly effect. There were also curtains and skylights that added to the bizarre mix of light and darkness.
I glanced at the DJ. It wasn't Vinyl Scratch "DJ P0n-3." Guess she was back in Manehatten visiting family as part of her prescribed recovery. -Everyone- knew what had happened to her. She had been blaring classical and country music simultaneously out of her club's speaker system, and smashing all her favorite records with her sunglasses off ranting how much she hated the latest Equestria Girls remix she had helped compose with the Brony Brothers. Pinkie Pie owned three copies (one for herself, one for parties and one for her collection).
I glanced at a monitor with a waiting list. I paid a couple of bits and took a number.
I found my hooves dragging again.
"Idon'tlikeithereweshouldleaveIdon'tlikeithereweshouldleaveIdon'tlikeithereweshouldleave-" I began mumbling under my breath before I clamped my hooves on my mouth.
My hooves fighting me I trotted over the bar.
"What can I do for you pretty thing? Don't remember seeing the likes of you in here before." Said the male bartender who had of all things a ying-yang cutie mark.
"Water-SALT WATER." I corrected Fluttershy quickly.
The bartender raised an eyebrow but complied. He made the mix and slid it my way. Instead of taking a straw I took it in both my hoofs and downed it in one gulp before Fluttershy could close our mouth.
I felt a bit tipsy. From one glass? Guess Fluttershy never drank.
"You shouldn't drink." I hear myself say in a concerned voice, worried eyes looked back at me from the reflection in the glass. "You only damage yourself and those around you and it's a slippery slope that's very easy to loose your hoof hold on."
"You're not my mother." I said to myself.
"Actually, if Discord was your father, and your were made based on me, I think by default that would make me your mother. And as your mother I think this behavior is awful."
"Whatever." I slapped a stallion on the butt as he passed. He glared at me. Whatever.
"'Cruel that's enough!" I snapped. A couple ponies looked at me.
"You'd really like to be a mother wouldn't you?" I said lowly. "I bet if you could reduce Rainbow Dash's mind to that of a newborn filly, you'd do it just to fill that hole."
I ordered and took another drink.
"How can you say such a horrid thing? I'd never do that!" I enjoyed hearing the dismay in her voice.
"Oh come on," I said enjoying being back in control of the discussion. Yes, everyone was looking at me. Let them look. "Playing patty cake? Playing mommy? Give RD a chance to wash the slate clean? You'd love it."
"Not if I couldn't give her those years to live again. If I made her just a filly in mind, then I'd just be stealing her life from her. It would only be a real clean slate if you could give them those childhood years back too. Otherwise I'd be just selfish! And Rainbow Dash's life is nowhere near that bad that she'd need a clean slate!"
"Heh. Good thing you were born a filly Flutter-girl. If you had been born a colt everyone would call you a spineless wimp rather than being cute and graceful. Yellow moe-blob."
"I wouldn't be that awful! ... Though I guess Rainbow Dash might be happier as a boy without everypony expecting her to be girlie when she doesn't want to be ..."
"Y-Yeah. I-I bet you just wanna cut off these pretty little wings of mines and spend your time pretending your an Earth pony. Yeah . . . I bet that's what you really want. S-Such an awful flyer, better to just hack off your useless wings and just be an Earth pony with hollow bones and no magical connection with the ground. You coward."
"No!" I heard her gasp out in horror as our wings winced.
The screen flashed my number. Another glass. I tossed the bits from my hiding place in my wing folds onto the counter.
I trotted up to the stage, feeling a lot better. I nearly trip and fall face first on stage, the salt in my system making my head swim a little. I walked over to a pole in the center of the stage.
"Can we least sing Equestria Girls?" I heard myself whisper. The salt water had loosened up Fluttershy some enough that at least she didn't run away from the stage screaming.
"No." Was the first, last and only answer to that.
I glanced at the DJ and shot him a hoof, "HIT IT!"
And the music began to play.
" You don't like the way I act
Girl you better face the fact "
I did a spin hoof motion at the audience as I stood on my hind legs and leaned foreword.
" You've waited a long while
But I wasn't about to change my style "
I grabbed the pole and spun around a couple and times and hung on and smiled coyly at the audience.
" I am me, how I was meant to be
Take it or leave it "
I let go of the pole and do a few sweeping motions with my arms pushing my body foreword. I blew a kiss at the audience.
" You think I should change my pace
Why don't you get off my case
You say I'm the hurting kind
Girl you oughta keep in mind "
I strike a few poses keeping pace with the music. I spread out my wings. PROUD OF THEM.
" This is me, how I was meant to be
What you get is what you see
Whether or not you believe it
Now take it or leave it "
The song ended. The audience roared in approval. I was covered in sweat. Fluttershy's body wasn't used to this kind of exercise and I feel sore in places.
I trot off stage slowly, slowly cooling down as another mare comes up to take her turn.
Music to my ears. Though I wish the music would cut down a little. I order another drink, this time booze and salt mixed together, the bar tender's eyes widen but he complies, I down it one gulp. What's the big deal about drinking anyway?
I declared in triumph. "And now we're back where we began. Where we belonged in the first place! Is this where you struggle to regain control so you can have Twilight murder me?"
"Twilight isn't a murderer!" She shouted. People began to wonder if I was on the after effects of a bad batch of Witch Weed.
"She murdered my four sisters didn't she?"
"What?" She asked in confusion mixed with sickness.
"Rainbow Traitor. Greedity. Liarjack. Angry Pie. Then I guess Celestia killed Twilight Tragedy first."
"I'M THE ONLY ONE WHO HAD SOMETHING LIKE YOU! The others were just twisted! You said I wasn't altered like the others remember-?!"
"I only know what you know! I've had time to THINK about it since then! How can you be so sure? How can ANYPONY be so sure? How do you know that the others didn't die and I stuck around simply because even suppressed and subconscious you couldn't bear to see someone die-?! You remember what you did as me, same way the others did even thought you weren't 'in control.' Besides, you said they weren't acting anything like themselves right? ... Then WHO precisely were they acting like?"
"Like no one! They weren't acting like anyone! They were sick! Twilight just cured them!"
"So I'm no one then? I'm a sickness then?" I ordered another drink that was promptly delivered. Dang glass tried to dodge my grab!
"I never said that." Said my reflection in the mixture's surface.
I shouted at it. "YES YOU DID! When we first met remember-?! But when I gloated how you used me to out pace RD when she was hugging that cloud she was pretending was Cloudsdale, I felt that mute-angry-you then I moaned about how it never speaks. You decided I was lonely ... maybe I am ... but, isn't it nice to think? That maybe, you weren't always one of a kind?" My voice quivered, my hooves shaking so hard they nearly knocked over the glass of salt water.
I looked at my face in the shinny polished bar surface.
Fluttershy with her mane and coat dyed darker. Wearing a risque outfit. Looking tired, angry, and ... scared? But ... but . ... but... WHERE WAS ME?!
And reality hit. Same place I had always been. Nowhere, that's where.
I tossed bits practically in the bartender's face and walked out silently my head low. Back in the bright daylight. My eyes hurt.
Everyone began wondering if I was rehearsing lines for a play as I spoke. Like it mattered. Like I mattered.
"As long as you exist, I'm nothing but a lie. No, it's worse then that! I'm nothing but a PARODY of you! Even if you were to vanish right now I'd still be nothing but 'Fluttershy with bad attitude!'" Then the anger in my voice just vanished, dissolved. All that remained was an disinterested tiredness. "I'm done with this." I toss off the saddle skirt into a nearby garbage can and dropped to all fours and began to trot away in a weaving pattern bumping into more than one pony.
No one believed they saw Fluttershy without her cutie mark.
"Whatever. I've had my day. What does anything else matter now? I don't exist. You do. You win. Go have a giant group hug with your friends later. Mother Chaos." I curse.
Fluttershy spoke up her voice unsure. I had never heard her voice so laced with worry, I felt sick. "Don't you mean Mother Celestia?"
"Celestia is YOUR kind's mother. Ponies. I'm no pony. She's no mother of mine. I don't -have- a mother!"
I hear fillies laughing and Fluttershy turned her head.
I saw Sweetie holding a doll, she looked almost scared of the tiny thing. Next to her, Applebloom was showing off an identical doll but with different wear and tear, and clearly played with a different personality.
"Take a good hard look FlutterCruel, those two girls have the same doll. But those two dolls are completely different where it counts."
I sighed. "You get points for trying Fluttershy. But you can't make something of nothing. Sorry. I was born from nothing, it's about time I returned to nothing." My eyes narrowed. I was hungry. I never got that hamburger. Whatever. "This morning, remember? I got control when I was sick of hearing you say what is and what isn't natural. It occurs to me you've never SEEN the other side of your Element. All the others have at this point. But the old man didn't even try that angle with you! He didn't have a clue how to handle you."
"I'm sorry FlutterCruel. I've tried my best to help you. I'm sorry I couldn't understand you better. I guess I am no good with fillies." I felt tears forming. I had no clue whose they were! Who was I kidding, living things had tears! Not things like me. Oh right, to be a thing you have to least exist!
"You never faced your Element's flip-side Fluttershy ... You know what ... you've spent all this time teaching me lessons. I think it's about time I taught you one in return. Consider it a payment for all your time wasted on me. Maybe you'll learn something from it."
I spread my wings and flew. My wings didn't want to stay level for some reason and the sun seemed brighter than it should have been, but I managed.
"Where are we going?"
"To where Whitetail Woods borders on Everfree. I need to show you a few things. Maybe then you can finally understand."
"Everfree Forest-?!" I heard my voice say with fear.
"Don't worry. We're not going near any of the monster lairs. And I promise we'll leave if we spot one." I said with more peace than I remember using in my entire life.
"Why are you taking us there?"
"Because you said I needed to learn? There are a couple things you need to learn too." I say. It's strange to hear my voice so calm with no sarcasm or bite. But I feel calm, or maybe it's just numbness.
"You'll see when we get there."
The rest of the flight was completely silent.
Everfree is how it always was. Even during the daylight it was a fortress unto itself of wild trees and nature that did not bend to the will of ponies. How did that zebra witch doctor survive day to day in this death trap? Even with my inner ear apparently doing cartwheels stands I somehow manage to land without crashing. Maybe that's why they say don't drink and fly.
I entered Everfree, a couple of the trees try getting in my way. I'm Not afraid. Not in the least. I was a monster after all. This is where I belonged. But other much more normal living things lived here too. And I sensed them, I felt them, and these senses led me to what I needed to show her before I let myself fall back into that black ocean that I was really just a part of anyway.
We observed a small herd of deer in Everfree. Yes, deer. After all, Everfree was home to more than just parasprites and endless hordes of predators. Nature didn't work that way. You couldn't have an overwhelming number of predators without their numbers imploding from lack of prey. And I felt it, it was going to happen, -right now!-
A pack of wolves ambushed the deer. The herd fled, leaving the weak to die on account of being the slowest. The wolves tore into them. Of course the weaklings tried to flee too or fight back, this was their survival too. And the deer managed to kick one inexperienced wolf in the side, I may or may not have heard the sound of bones breaking. Eventually the stragglers go down in a mass of blood stained claws and fangs. The wolves didn't notice or didn't bother with us. Just to be on the safe side I stayed off the ground and downwind.
"Take a good look Fluttershy."
She's crying, and thus I'm crying too. "This is wrong."
"It's wrong for the wolves to want to survive?"
"It's wrong they should have to do this to survive."
"Would you say this is cruel?"
A male wolf carries one of his kills with him. We follow it at a distance. We lose track of time. But eventually the male wolf returns to its den, and brings its kill to a litter of wolf pups around their mother. The father tears apart the kill for the larger ones to take small bites. The mother gorges herself, then vomits it back up, which the smaller pups quickly eat up.
"Would you call them big bad wolves for killing innocent deer? Or would you call them loving parents?" I ask simply.
"I ... I ... I never said wolves were evil."
"I didn't ask if you thought they were evil. I asked if you thought it was wrong for them to follow what was their nature. This is kind isn't it? The way the mother and father sacrifice for the next generation?"
I glanced up, feeling the sense again guiding me. And Flutter's lips quiver ... seeing a mother bird rip off parts of its own flesh to feed its fledglings.
I know this is all too coincidental. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear Everfree itself was guiding me in this lesson. Everfree itself wanted its point of view known.
I landed a safe distance away from the wolves and dug in the dirt with my hooves between two trees and a number of saplings. "Take a look Fluttershy. Tell me what you see."
"I see tree roots."
"From more than one tree?"
"Do you think these trees are trying to be friends?"
" ... No."
"Then, if time was to be sped up, and we could see these roots grow. What do you think we'd see?"
"We'd ... we'd see ... we'd see the roots struggling with each other, fighting with each other, each tree determined to outgrow and crowd the others out."
"Plants are living beings too. They live and die, and you eat them to survive. Why're they less than the animal you care about? Because they don't have a face? Cause they don't sing?"
"P-plants don't feel pain. They don't feel afraid or happy. They just are."
"Then why do you try to save a tree if it's being eaten alive by a swarm of black beetles? Or is it the black beetles who aren't alive? Why do you feel sad if you fall to save it? Why do you say to it you're sorry? And if a pony had no heart, that pony wouldn't be alive then? Or if they had no childhood? Or they had never experienced the world they were therefore not really a pony or even a living thing? I guess we agree there at least. I should know from personal experience."
" Fluttershy sniffed. "Say whatever you want, but don't say that about yourself! You were unique and precious the moment you existed!"
"I don't exist."
I rebury the roots and let my senses carry me where they will.
Right near the edge of Everfree almost, there is a burrow of rabbits. "I think, this is the burrow that Angel came from." Fluttershy says unsure. I don't know why, but I don't feel any satisfaction now at hearing her unsure and small, if anything I feel small.
I say nothing, I feel what's about to happen next. I steel myself to make sure Fluttershy can't look away.
Two male rabbits with a doe nearby hop up to each other. Then they leap at each other, teeth and little short claws bared. They snarl, they bite, they claw at each other, I resist Fluttershy's efforts to close her eyes or turn her head. "Take a good hard long look Fluttershy. This is what rabbits naturally do to claim a mate. There is no debate, no long term romantic rivalries. The males simply kill each other and the doe goes with the last one living and she doesn't mind in the least."
Fluttershy began to feel dizzy so I did too, but I kept my eyes focused. "These aren't random alien creatures Fluttershy, this is nature!"
"I know! I KNOW! BUT-BUT-I've never-I've-" We hiccuped. "I've never seen it before. I never thought it was
"You mean cruel?" I was decidedly feeling ill now and so was she. Our eyes were red from crying. I wanted to end this now. Slip back into the black ocean, become one with it and leave her here, lesson learned. But I felt the senses pulling at me again. I felt the urge, no, the -need- to show her one last thing, one last truth. And my senses guided me to our last part of the lesson.
"Only one last thing Fluttershy." I promise.
It's a spider and her web. "If a spider doesn't catch the butterflies, the spider dies slowly from starvation: and ... aren't a spider's webs as beautiful as a butterflies' wings? Wait ..." I realize the real lesson my senses drew me here for Fluttershy to see. "You're about to see the final truth of nature Fluttershy. Nothing after this I promise."
The big fat spider huddled near an egg sack that was large, thick and heavy. And before our eyes, the first of the baby spiders forced their way out followed by dozens of its siblings. The mother spider didn't run, didn't flee, didn't leave. If anything she calmly scurried on her web closer to them. And before Fluttershy's eyes, patiently allowed her own babies to eat her alive. The hatchlings using their new-found strength to spin parachutes and flew away from the now empty web. Fluttershy said absolutely nothing. Thought absolutely nothing. Almost like she was a piece of the void instead of me.
Then I let her have it with both hooves.
"Compassion? Empathy towards species outside your own? Ethics? Morals? Laws? Those are things CIVILIZATION invented! You ponies brought them into being when you decided 'I will care about more than whether I live and reproduce.' You decided some things were greater then your own life! You decided some things were greater than passing off GENETIC legacies. You learned what love was when Celestia taught you how to care about something other than your DNA. The natural world? When did you last see parasprites and cockatrices have political debates? Nature's balance doesn't TOLERATE kindness Flutter-girl. The sick and hurt you care for? You go AGAINST nature's will when you step in and tend to them and heal them. They're SUPPOSED to die to make way for the superior survivors. But because you have an empathy sphere larger than the sun, you step in, you CHEAT Fluttershy, you break Darwin The Dragon's law and allow the 'weak' to thrive not making room for the 'strong.' Kindness goes AGAINST nature Fluttershy! You're as unnatural as me."
I feel it behind us, no, behind ME, it's not a part of reality, no more than I'm alive. I'm less than a ghost, a ghost at least used to be alive, and ghosts at least have somewhere to go, someone waiting for them. I have nothing, I was born from nothing, I am nothing.
I feel the blackness wrap around my hooves and wings slowly, I don't resist. I notice out of the corner of my eye Fluttershy's cutie mark reappear even if the dye job I forced on her body is still there. Maybe I should have apologized for that.
Oh whatever, I'd accomplished what I set out to do. 'Shy's seen the real world. Nothing else mattered now. I have no reason left to be here.
"Fluttershy, good-bye," I whisper, "Consider our debts paid. Just remember me."
Wait. Something's wrong.
"This world, it's not fair." Fluttershy says in a strange monotone. I feel scared hearing it from her.
I feel the black threads begin to twist around her as well.
No! Not her! I'm the one you want! Me! Not her! Please! Leave her alone!
"All this death, all this unhappiness, all this cruelty. It's not fair. This world isn't fair."
Fluttershy's colors turn faded, then gray, then a black silhouette!
No this isn't what I wanted! Please stop this! Please!
Her eyes round and large, one last tear dropped form Fluttershy's eyes. Her voice is like a mother's whisper. "I'll make it fair."
The moment the tear hit the ground, the darkness exploded in a twisting maelstrom of black threads, shadowy mist, and gray butterflies. Gossamer wings materialize on her back, overshadowing her pegasus wings. Her mane and tail become larger. Her legs become longer and thinner. Her muzzle elongates. She keeps growing. She continues to change, Pinkie and the unicorns are going to feel this one.
FLUTTERSHY!!! I screamed but I have no voice. I try to sing to her.
Hush now. Quiet now.
Time to Lay Your Sleepy Head
No. Why can't I remember the words?! Please let me sing to her! Let me tell her I didn't mean it to be this way! Let me tell her I'm sorry!!!
I try to reach her, talk to her, say something, anything to her, but the black pulls me away from her, back into it.
I get the joke. I had surpassed my father. I had become greater than him. I had done what he couldn't, and I didn't even need to use mind control to do so. Would he be proud of me? Envy me? Loathe me for daring to rise higher than him and destroy me? Then why do I feel so low? About . . . the only pony who knows me, the only pony who cares about . . .
Hey, do you know how it's possible to from being nothing to feeling like -less- than nothing? I feel like my core of self has become a black hole, pulling me inside it, pulling me back into the murky empty nothingness I was born from.
I return to nothing.
Oh Mother Celestia, what have I done?