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My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
Pony POV Series
Dark World Part 22 "Off The Rails"
Second And Third BAMS Of Three!

"So go for the 'feel sorry for yourself' route instead? Sure. Whatever makes you comfortable. But I've seen your real faces! Cry me a river and jump into it!" Fluttercruel swore angrily with Sparkler's face.

Spike growled. "The difference between us and you, Cruel, is that yeah, we were went astray, but at least we STARTED OUT good..."

*Spike, please don't!*

"Twilight was able to save us BECAUSE she was able to remind us of the good people we were in the past."

*SPIKE! STOP!*

"You? You've been evil from the minute Discord MIS-conceived you; and you haven't stopped being evil for one moment since. A bad seed that blossomed into a poisonous monster weed!!"

(Hear that clapping, Spike? That's me. You're a poet with words, my friend...truly, you are. You have never ever been not useful for me.)

"I AM NOT A MISTAKE!!!" Sparkler's voice echoed off the walls.

Derpy just cringed.

Then she laughed like a Windigo after drinking a tankard of liquid nitrogen at a 'Unicorn Supremacy' rally.

"So...So those who started out...start out your definition of good are the only ones who CAN BE GOOD at heart? Those who start out your definition of bad can only BE BAD at heart?" She moved drunkenly, "...well...then I have nothing to be ashamed of. I don't have to feel negative about anything I do. Because there's no chance of me ever betraying my cutie mark, no chance of me being 'redeemed' anyway. I don't have to fear going astray because this is the only path I can walk whether I like it or not. Thank you."

*Congratulations Spike. You just convinced the confused serial-killer in her moment of doubt of fatalism and determinism and that free-will is an illusion and therefore she can ignore her budding conscience. Are you happy?*

The look Rarity gave Spike in that moment...

Spike strangely felt like a baby dragon for a moment, he had a strange flash back to a thousand years ago when he tried to frame Owlowiscious out of jealous and had only succeeded in gaining Twilight's disappointment.

"Ya know, Auntie Pinkie Pie was a lot like you," Pinkie Pie said everypony looked at her, "She thought she had to have 'Party!' or 'Prank' or 'Pastry' be the solution for everything, or she wasn't following her cutie mark. She became very narrow minded. She was terrified her friends might leave her. She didn't want to face being sacred, angry, or sad. So when she finally had to face those feeling, she broke."

"Fluttercruel." Applejack said, stepping up, with a diplomat's gentle smile. "You've made yer point. Allow us ta make up for our past mistake, and our bias against ya. Do ya honestly WANT to turn over a new leaf?"

"You're asking me to betray my cutie mark and my father!"

"Couldn't you tell your dad to just give up please?" Pinkie Pie asked politely. "Maybe if he fixes everything he changed and then leaves us all alone, we won't even need to fight?"

"The draconequi always go down fighting!" 'Sparkler' snapped assuming a fighting pose.

(Sure! Wonderful! Go down fighting, as long as you GO DOWN.)

Rarity turned to Sparkler. "Now, I believe it's my turn to ask questions," said Rarity, simply, narrowing her eyes. "When you thanked Derpy for her show of compassion, that wasn't a lie."

"I...c'mon...that isn't...!" 'Sparkler' stammered.

"If you truly believe the proper way to show affection is through mutilation, then why did you genuinely thank Derpy for showing you compassion?"

"For the love of Granddad! Do I need to be like you, Miss 'Did I Mention My Ghosts Are Willing' Every-Five-Minutes? Showing love with blades is my special talent! Not Derpy's, not Auntie's, or anyequus else's!"

"Has your father ever shared in your special talent by you torturing him?"

"I told you already! Geeze! Cutting PONIES is my love sonata to him!"

"Discord's shown no interest in flat-out mutilation or murder for its own sake. Come now, you're not that dense. That isn't a dead pony on your rump. And you're a pony, yourself, Fluttercruel! Have you ever cut yourself for him? You're immortal, it's not like it would kill you. Have you ever asked him to do it to you? Never have I seen it. And judging by your general reaction to being truly hurt, you don't have the pain tolerance you to be on the receiving end of torture. And why did you hesitate with your attacks? I know you're not THAT sloppy."

"You expect me to take anything my own killer says seriously?! You're blowing smoke!"

"You've attempted to kill me, you're aiming to kill us all, right now! Again! And yet, here we all are, honestly trying to take YOUR words and feelings seriously, same as with Rainbow Dash and Angry Pie. And since when do you honestly, yes honestly, care about ethics? You've reveled in having the moral low ground! You've hated moral high ground that's so hard to keep. But suddenly, you want proof to yourself that you're on the right side. I'm guessing something happened between my killing you and now, hmm? Can Sparkler be pulling control from you?"

"Not a chance," Fluttercruel said honestly. Derpy was nailed in the heart again.

"So it was your tear then."

"What!"

"Just before you tried to kill Derpy, you were crying."

"No I wasn't!"

"You can't lie to me. Why were you crying?"  

"I...I don't know!"

Twilight took a trot forward. "You said you were born with all of your mother's memories?" Twilight's horn glowed.

'Sparkler' took a hoof step back. "W-what? That didn't work with Yard-Sale, what makes you think it'll on me?"

"I'm wondering...if you're seeing them all clearly."

Exploding yodeling turnips crashed down from above between Fluttercruel and her opponents, the wall of destruction pushing the ponies and dragon back. Fluttercruel cheered and clapped her hooves.

"LADIES AND GENTLEEQUUS! PUT YOUR HANDS TOGETHER! FOR THE ONE! THE ONLY! DISCORD!!!!!" Confetti sprinkled down from the high ceiling as an invisible crowd cheered.

"AND PRESENTING! THE ROCKING! THE AWESOME! THE RADICAL! AND ABSOLUTE TWENTY PERCENT COOLER THAN YOU! RANCOR!!!" Pony Metal music blared as colored lights flashed among theater smoke.

The voices bellowed like announcers at a wresting match.

The heroes tensed, Discord, the real target, had finally shown himself.

"That's enough now, Tragedy, come back to me and destroy your friends." Discord snapped his fingers, nothing happened.

"YOU CAN NO LONGER CORRUPT ME!" Twilight shouted.

Discord shrugged. "Meh, didn't think that would work anyway."

Rancor snapped her fingers, and her black spear with its pink bow and skull chain appeared. She twirled it expertly in her claw and paw. "At last! It's finally time! I've waited too long for this! It was great and all, meeting you guys and fighting you, but it's time to finally end this farce of a conflict."

"AND LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, HEIR APPARENT, THE SWEET AND WONDERFUL, VICIOUS AND CRUEL, MY PRINCESS FLUTTERCRUEL TYPHON!"

Fluttercruel ran up to her father and kissed him.

"Charge up Elements and blast 'em?" Spike asked pragmatically.

"Pinkie Pie can you keep them distracted?" Twilight asked.

"I could keep maybe two of them distracted, but not all three at once."

"Then we need to take one of them out first!" Twilight said. "Derpy, I hate to say it, but Fluttercruel, in Sparkler's body-"

"She's the most vulnerable one. I understand. We'll focus on her." Derpy said in an even voice even though her wings were trembling.

Discord pointed at Rarity, "You hurt my daughter."

"And how many daughters did you bring madness and ruin to?"

Discord rolled his eyes. "Let's not bring statistics into this, please."

"Indeed," Rancor said, "Ponies tend to get more charged up over the loss of somepony close to them rather than a million strangers. So focus on the ponies you know who my brother has had his fun with if you want self-righteous fury. But yes, those who hurt family MUST be punished." Rancor's eyes practically glowed with blood lust.

"I don't suppose, my sweet Pinkie Pie, you'd be interesting in becoming my Queen of Chaos?" He bent down on one knee before Pinkie Pie, and opened a box. Pinkie could not help gasping at the enormous, shimmering paperweight of a diamond upon the engagement band. Rarity eyed it enviously. "Marry me, Pinkie Pie! My echoing void beats for you! You don't need to die! Only you can seduce me over to the Light Side! I'm a fixer-upper!"

"I think I could live to be one zillion years old, and my life would still be too short for me to change your ways." Pinkie Pie replied, very politely. "Sorry. Not interested."

The diamond melted like a stick of butter in a microwave as Discord's smiled turned upside down.

"Good! Seriously, Angry Pie, having you as a stepmother would be too weird! And I'm the only one my dad needs!"

Discord said nothing.
+
*In an alternate universe a zillion and one years later.*

"I offically give up all nasty pranks and sadistic chaos in the name of joyful accidents and happy surprises!" Discord declared, his pink queen nuzzled him.
+
"Any equus or anydragon or anypony else have any other pre-battle banter they want to get out of their system, before it all ends?" Rancor asked casually.

"Now that you say so," Discord took out a pair of tiny reading glasses and unfurled a cross that went all across the room, "My lovely Elements Of Chaos, in the first place, to begin with. Secondly, in the second place..."

Spike fireballed the speech into ashes. Discord looked on drolly, removing his melted glasses, "Alright, fine. I guess our audience has waited long enough."

AJ said, "Give up, Discord."

Twilight said, "We've come this far, we suffered for so long, and caused so much suffering, it's time to make up for it, even a little."

Rarity said, "We'll atone by trying our hardest to do what's right every hoof-fall of the way! You can either do the same, or face the consequences of your own actions!"

Derpy shouted, "Give Sparkler back her body!"

"I can't give it back anymore than you can give back a heart transplant...But there's no time in the spirit world, so I'll grant you all the reunion Auntie Rarity wanted so bad to give me."

"Since your mom isn't here, Auntie Pinkie Pie is gonna haveta give ya a spanking for her!"

Discord sighed, "Nothing's worse than others who tell you how to raise your kid. Some chocolate rain before the end, Pinkie?"

"Naw, I'm good. I ate earlier."

Apple Pie said, "Ah've somethin' ta say. When Magica, Puella, and Caster all died in Ponyville, so soon after ya took Poison Apple from me. Ah thought, Ah felt, Ah KNEW, Equestria would be a better place without any ya ponies here, except Auntie Saint Abigail. Just bad rocks that needed takin' out of the barrel. The end. But then Ah met Half-Light…"

(And you played your role to awaken Twilight perfectly, good filly.)

*And you've been a great friend, Apple Pie. I only wish I there was more time to get to know you.*

"And Mr. Spike and Miss Rarity. And Ah saw...Ah learned...monsters can come from anywhere, and things ya take for granted from Sky Ocean's lights to rocks they can...not be so sure . . they're...Ah'm really not sure how ta say this...well, but Ah made some friends with some ponies Ah never thought Ah would andthat'swhatcounts!" She panted.

Discord burst out laughing. "Forgive and forget from a pony who's only known my world! What a contradiction!"

"Thank ya kindly."

"You've made me laugh again, little pony. Thank you again. I'll resurrect you as my royal jester. Fluttercruel, have fun. I'll watch your back. Rancor, watch my back."

"What do you think I've been doin' all this time, big bro'?"

Twilight's mind galloped a hundred miles an hour.

'Mathematically, the odds are seven to three in our favor. But six of us are needed to charge up the Elements, and I doubt Discord is going to stare at us slack-jawed like Nightmare Moon did since he already knows we have the Elements. Rancor and Discord are spirits, so Apple Pie can't logic bomb them.

'Pinkie Pie is our ace in the hole. Can Rarity animate her...allies while charging up Honesty? Pinkie Pie said she can keep two of them busy but not three. SO our main goal has to be to take Fluttercruel out first. I'm sorry Derpy. But if Fluttercruel can steal bodies more than once? I can't gamble that death will do a better job of catching her this time. What if she can fully regenerate with her new body? Trapping her is going to be a lot harder since Discord will do his hardest to free her... Perhaps it's Rancor we should focus on, Spike's been spending all this time figuring out how to beat her, and Spike said she's not as powerful as Discord assuming she wasn't lying, but that new weapon she's carrying, she never used it before, that makes it a question mark. And I doubt we can just mob Discord or that would have worked ages ago.

'Think of the solution Twilight, not the problem. Spike lures Rancor with what she wants, but keeping his distance, and keep his eye out for that spear no matter what. Or it could just be a decoy-ugh! Don't double guess yourself now Twilight! THINK!

'...Don't fight the way they want, don't fight the way they expect. Having Rarity's ghosts fight Rancor from all sides. Have Spike and Derpy rush Discord under the cover of a fire-blast and AJ's illusions, and have Apple Pie do her thing on Fluttercruel and I'll hammer away at her with my magic like...like I did with Pinkie Pie, and Pinkie causes havoc where needed. This'll lure Discord to Apple Pie if she begins to effect Fluttercruel, and I should be able to teleport in at close range with the destruction spell if I force it. If it killed Cadence, maybe it'll do the same to Draconequi. Anything more complex than that Discord will just pick apart!' "Alright! Let's go!"

"It's about time," Discord said focusing his attention totally on the ponies before him and his child.

"Agreed," Rancor said, giving her shark toothed grin and lunging with her spear...right into Discord's back. Her spear drove straight through Discord's heart, and clear out the other side, black and yellow blood seeped out from the hole.

All the world went silent.

In Sky Ocean, the seaponies' gasped in alarm but they knew not why.

For a moment it was like a still photograph had been taken and none could move or speak.

(This wasn't supposed to happen!!!)

This did not compute in anypony or dragon's brain. Their minds pathetically struggled to make sense of the sight.

Fluttercruel's mind couldn't understand what she was seeing, her eyes were like saucers, her centers pinpricks, her entire body felt numb, like she had been disconnected from her body, no thoughts could form.

Twilight saw all her plans, thoughts, ideas, predictions, anticipations fade away, leaving her in a void.

Apple Pie felt a sense of unrealness. No attack on Big Beer Tankard Discord ever got through, no betrayal ever worked, no move ever succeeded, and he certainly was never hurt, legends of Grogar and Cadance being able to do so where just that to her, legends. They'd come here to beat him yeah, she was gonna dance later on, but seeing it like this...it was like it wasn't real.

(This is wrong! This is all wrong!!!)

Pinkie Pie only whispered, looking with her one good eye, feelings old, "Everything just changed."

Applejack tried to tell herself she was seeing an illusion, this was an 'fake easy victory' that wasn't really Discord, Rancor was playing them for idiots, after all, she hadn't seen through Fluttercruel's cutie mark. But...but, she could sense it, she knew deception, she knew lies, and this was no performance.

Spike couldn't believe what he was seeing at all. What happened to the epic battle they were about to have? They were going to settle things right here and right now! Not...this wasn't supposed to happen. He had been ready, he had been preped, the final battle, and he'd be one of the big heroes for Twilight and Rarity. He was ready to give up everything he was and who he was, if he could give the world to them. He...felt cheated.

Derpy knew Discord was the bad guy, a moldy muffin in the basket of Equestria: who was the one who had raised Fluttershy's foal into a monster, who had cursed her babies, destroyed their home, made her say such horrible things to Dinky, who had tortured her endless just for the fun of it? But...there was something so fundamentally wrong about this. Getting betrayed by one of your own teammates? A member of your own family? When they needed you most? It...it wasn't right.

Rarity knew the reality that Discord for all intents and purposes likely deserved this several times over. He had lied and manipulated how many just to get what he wanted? How many broken minds? She knew a quick backstab meant one less deadly battle where a friends of theirs could be lost. She couldn't resist the sense of satisfaction. All the same, she knew the end of a tyrant, didn't always mean the end of tyranny's evil. And what Rancor had done WAS shockingly evil.

Discord looked around in surprise and confusion, then looked down at the black spear poking out of his body covered in his fluids, he whispered. "Will this?...Finally end it?"

(This is completely wrong!)

Thrill, greed, and triumph were carved into Rancor's sharp grinning face. "Destruction's power, mine at last!"

The ponies didn't know how to describe it other than Discord somehow becoming lesser in their eyes, he didn't become smaller, or he didn't become more frail, but Twilight's (and Rarity's) senses felt something that had become an integrated part of his being torn out of him like a single thread being torn from a tapestry, leaving the rest damaged. A power, an existence ripped from his body, leaving his spiritual essence a mangled mess.

And what was torn out of him, was being absorbed by Rancor like a dry sponge does water. No, it was being brutally clawed out of him, and being inserted neatly and perfectly into her, like it had been made for her, or she had been made perfectly for it. Red flames danced from Discord, along the spear into Rancor, the shapes of howling half-formed draconequi faces in the fire, pulled into her like a maelstrom.

"Yes...yesssssss." Rancor hissed in ecstasy, her body, her very being beginning to pulsate in preparation for…something, "I, am, whole." She kicked Discord off her spear, he fell to the floor, catching himself, coughing and bleeding.

"No...no." Somewhere inside her, Fluttercruel felt herself shatter. "Family isn't...family can't...Auntie..."

"Yes, my little niece?" Rancor said simply like she had finished watering the plants.

"How...how could...PAPA!" Fluttercruel wailed, going to her father's side. "THIS IS A BAD DREAM! THIS IS A JOKE! THIS ONE OF LIARJACK'S ILLUSIONS! STOP IT RIGHT NOW, LIARJACK! STOP IT!!!"

"Ah...Ah can't. It ain't mah doing!"

"LIAR!!!"
+
Ah knew that mix of sorrow and rage. It had been inside me the day mah folks...mah folks, when Ah saw'em for the last time a thousand years back, all still, not movin', fadin' away.
+
"Auntie! Help!" Fluttercruel begged insanely. It strangely didn't occur to the heroes to use the Elements when their enemies was their most vulnerable.

"Sorry, Cruelly," Rancor shrugged like she couldn't help Fluttercruel with her homework. "but I have an appointment with grandpa and the rest of the family, and neither of you are invited."

"Auntie! You said you came here to help!" Fluttercruel hissed.

"Silly filly. I said never who I was here to help. You know that twisting language around is what our family does best. That's what you get for living in that meat-sack your entire life." She gently admonished, as though Fluttercruel were a child who still thought Vikings had horns or cats could resurrect eight times.

"You...you came...to..."

"To stab your dad in the back? Yeah. He had something I was literally 'born to get.' Wasn't about to go toe to toe with'em when he had Destruction's, Dad's, and his own magic beefing him up and a half dozen little mares watching his back," She said like she was explaining fixing a roof.

"Welcome...That is..." Apple Pie managed to get out, "Ah get ya were fightin' for 'em ya could get the bad guy, read about that all the time, so welcome ya all to the good-guys."

Pinkie Pie put a hoof between her niece and the draconequus still standing.

"Tch. Who said I was helping you? I've helped myself to Big Brother Destruction's essence that Big Brother Dissy has been holding inside him since before you knew 'em!"

Twilight had enough of this madness. "WHAT DO YOU MEAN? Destruction's power?! His father's?!"

"Oh? Did you know? Did they know, Fluttercruel? Never heard of Destruction? Ya see, after the war between my family and the Alicorns, big brother ATE Big Brother Destruction!" Rancor slammed her hoofed leg into Discord's back, creating an impression from the impact. "Didn't you, big brother?"

Only Derpy looked sick, only Apple Pie looked shocked. After a thousand years, the ponies and dragons had long since stopped believing there was any line Discord wouldn't cross.

"Yeah...neither of us were in the best of shape after the 'last battle' and...I might have been a little crazy...-ier than normal myself...can't remember it all that well. Except he tasted like Hiroshima."

Ranor causally kicked him again.

"STOP IT!" Fluttercruel sprang forward.

(HEHEHE.)

Rancor kicked 'Sparkler' in the abdomen, sending her flying across the room in a blur and nearly hitting a wall, but Derpy caught her. Fluttercruel shivered at the caring warm touch and quickly broke contact. She felt a fever coming on, which was wrong, since she never got sick.

"Auntie's not done with her story time, niece. And Dad's Avatar, who had gone kinda off the deep even by our tolerant and understanding standards, told the rest of the family to let ya gobble Destruction down. Then he told you to eat up himself too, well, his Avatar. You can keep his Avatar's power, by the way, it was a gift."

Discord tried to get up, Rancor pushed him back down staining him in his own blood. It wasn't healing.

"So yeah, I think I've used up enough time expositing all of that. Thanks for letting me finish my errand for Dad. And by all means, try to disrupt what comes next, I bet you'll make it a real blast for your Equestria and most of the universe."
+
I-I already knew about Uncle Destruction, how he was always reluctant to do what Grandma and Grandpa told him to do. How he and dad had been so messed up after Queen Cadence blew up Grandpa's Avatar that neither of 'em were gonna make it and dad did what was natural and chose to live.

*And if it had been you instead of Destruction? Would you have just let him do it?*

...Yes. I would. Because...because that's family...family doesn't...family wouldn't...family loves, family doesn't hurt...

*You hurt Fluttershy.*

It's love when I do it! Why does no one understand that?! Like if I was good at arranging flowers or bowling...I would've just arranged flowers for Mom or gone bowling with her! And it wouldn't have even had some kind of psychotic, homicidal twist to it, either! Honest!

*Did Discord show his love for you by twisting you like he had everyone else?*

I-I don't stab family in the back, family doesn't stab family in the back, family is...Auntie Rancor didn't just...Papa, he's bleedin', he's bleedin' all over-
+
Fluttercruel screamed her lungs out. She pushed her hooves against her head so hard she nearly bled, her eyes were like a wild pony's. The ponies winced. It hurt Derpy to see her foal's face so twisted in torment.

"Meh, builds character. And now might be a good time to hit the 'record' button on your cell phones, because cause you won't see anything quite like this again! Watch me go all Dragon Egg Z!"

The red flames from before engulfed Rancor, the very earth shook, lightning tore down through the roof around her, allowing the sky above, now a viscous thunderstorm to be seen. It was like the fury of nature itself was showing its approval at the transformation. And she grew.

The ponies all felt it, the fires of passion, revenge, violence, destruction, the flames as they consumed all in their path, never quenched, never put out, always the flames.

The seaponies of Sky Ocean hugged each other as their water risked boiling.

She became larger, more muscle on her bones, bones lengthening and rearranging with sinking sounding cracks, her figure became more 'shapely' if that was even the right term for a chaos spirit. Her proportions matured as she became taller. She was now only a bit shorter than Discord.

"Follow your passions, let the fire devour you, become the fire itself. Let loose the savage that exists inside each of you. And bring destruction on those who you crave revenge against."

"I take a name worth of my family: all of us have at least one alias that starts with the letter 'D': call me Disruption."

"...you look good..." Discord breathed out, tasting blood in his mouth.

"Thank you," Rancor replied with a smile and nod. "Oh and...Twilight The Unicorn?"

Twilight was startled at being addressed by name by her. "Y-yes?"

Rancor moved like lightning, she teleported behind Twilight and flashed past her, the black spear cut along her side. Twilight felt it cutting into her flesh, her spirit, her existence like somepony had slashed through the name Twilight. She screamed.

Fire-breath, lightning, and diamond projectiles all followed, behind her an instant later, but Rancor's spear as she spun it like a propeller dispersed them all.

Twilight looked, to see the cut she knew she had felt as she knew she existed, was gone.

"That's for later. Don't waste it." Rancor said sternly. She took the ribbon off the spear and placed it in the back of her mane.

She held the spear in her left claw. A pulsing red ball of light grew and quivered on her right paw. She tossed the spear in the air, an instant later the sphere flooded into a torrent of ruinous red light, taking out every floor above it, and poking a hole in Sky Ocean above.

The black spear broke apart and dissolved into nothing in the outpouring of annihilation.

"So long Concept Killing Spear, don't need you anymore." She looked at the ponies like they were an audience. "No, seriously, I wasn't leaving that thing laying around so I can get stabbed by irony, thank you!...and MOM AND POPS, WHAT A RUSH! Destruction's power is everything I imagined it would be and more!" Rancor broke into maniacal laughter, stopped abruptly and waved at the bearers and her niece. "Well, tootles."

She drew a glowing line in the air behind her, and it the air split open. A portal or injury in existence tore open, looking like the maul of a beast. Air began to be sucked inside. Pinkie Pie took hold of Apple Pie. Fluttercruel held onto her hair. The temperature dropped like a stone. Frost formed around the gateway.

Spike's eyes just grew wider, and wider, and wider, his blood might have turned to water.

Applejack put up the illusion of a brave mare for her friends. But the real her was screaming inside. Her Element of Chaos stopped beating at the sight. She recognized that passageway. But there was no plague of pony shadows to block the view.

Pinkie Pie closed her eyes and covered Apple Pie's vision for all she was worth before Rancor could finish opening the gateway. And a cream pie in her face just to make sure she couldn't peek.

Derpy actually folded her wings over her face.
+
Oh Celestia, Celestia, Celestia. I took a step back, several, the souls inside me all shrieking in fear and all my instincts telling ne to run away as fast as I could as far as I could. A part of me feeling like the room would turn vertical any moment, and I'd fall forever through that.
+
What is that place? I feel a sense of wonderment. It's calling to me. I've never been to that place. But it feels so familiar. I can hear it. It's wants me to come home. To be with it. To be one with it, so we can both be whole. I can feel fear and void inside me calling out, wanting to be there too.

Something inside me want to run away and never look back. I crush it.

I trot forward. Just a few hoof falls away. What's beyond is what I'm a part of, what I'm meant to be. Nothing else needs to matter. Nothing else should matter. I'm coming. I'm coming. Yes, Grandma. Yes, Grandpa. I'm coming. I'm coming. I'm-something gets in the way of my hooves taking me to where I need to go. It's...

"Dad."


And the spell is broken.
+
Fluttercruel hung onto and hugged her father.

On the other side...on the other side, Twilight saw, oh sweet Celestia she saw she saw! She could feel it trying to suck the life out of her even as she watched, her Element restoring it as it was stolen.

It hated her. It hated her for thinking. It hated her for feeling. It hated her for living. It hated her for existing. One of a centillion criminals who had dared disturb on the silence. Pure. Still. Peaceful. Calm. It didn't want her dead. It wanted it to be that she had never existed at all.

A chilling blasted landscape under a blasted chilling sky, a unfeeling moon looking down all. Little hollowed out buildings, decayed rock formations that were one part rubble. And shadows, shadows that were not cast by any natural light, shaped like strange ponies. And all of them, all of them were looking right at her. They wanted what she had. She had light. Why should she be realized while they forgotten? What right did she have to exist while they were forsaken and forgotten? Why did she exist in the new world while they were abandoned? Two would glare extra hatefully at her if they had emotion. Her memories from the first Minty stirred. Toola-Roola and Starsong Melody? No! No!

Rancor didn't turn her back, she simply back-stepped inside, the silence and the dark welcomed her, she too disturbed the silence, but she was born of the silence, and the silence could not be turned against itself. So it embraced her instead.

"HEY! WAIT! Where are you going?" Spike bellowed.

"Home. Bye."

"You're not even going to try and finish Discord off?!"

"Why would I? Get a clue, I have what I came for. I have no reason to kill my own brother."

"YOU CAN'T JUST GO!"

"Looks like that's just what I'm doing. Sorry, big boy. I don't have time to dance anymore, got a party to attend in my honor, or I'd stay for your girlfriend's lovely singing voice. Very happy for you both, you know. So long." Rancor slowly backpedaled inside the schism.

Spike stampeded after her, Rarity and Twilight's telekinesis grabbed hold, AJ and Pinkie Pie's earth pony strength slow him down just enough, that the rift in existence healed over before Spike could enter after her.

"We still have round three! You don't get to just leave!" Spike fell on his knees and elbows with a tremor. "But, but that's not fair! That's not fair at all! THIS ISN'T FAIR! NO!"

"Believe me, I know exactly how you feel." Discord said, face-down on the floor before 'Sparkler' strained her muscles and magic to lift him up into a sitting position.

The whirlwind of confusion didn't stop coming. Rancor had impaled her brother, but there was nothing visible in the hole but blackness like an ocean at night, the edges of the wound looked to be slowly crumbling granite. Discord swept his paw over the ghastly wound, and it didn't vanish. "Well...didn't see that-" Discord coughed.

(This is absurd! This is illogical! This is irrational! Totally unscientific!)

I know...it's almost refreshing.

"PAPA!" 'Sparkler' screamed and her horn flashed, and suddenly, both were gone.
+
"You're...you're going to be okay, Papa, I promise, you'll be okay, nothing bad is going to happen to you." The hole wasn't getting larger, the gray and the cracks weren't spreading. Her father wasn't dying. He was a Concept, immortal, that was just silly, silly-silly as Auntie Angry Pie would say.

She carried him over to his throne, a trail of yellow and black behind them. She placed him on the giant plush throne. What was she supposed to do?! She knew how to take flesh apart, it was part of her special talent, but putting it back? Mama's memories! Right! They could help! Remember! Why did it hurt so much to remember? Remember!

She...created some bandages using Sparkler's magic.

"Fluttercruel...those won't do anything, nothing can do anything."

"Don't be silly, Papa! OF course this'll work! Pleaseworkpleaseworkpleaseworkworkdammit!!!! No! Work!" Fluttercruel blinked then said plainly. "Papa, eat me."

"WHAT?" Discord coughed. "Have you finally gone more crazy than me-" Discord broke into hacking coughs.

"You got better when you ate Uncle Destruction, right? Here, eat me, EAT ME!" Tears were in 'Sparkler's eyes. "Devour me! I'll become one with your flesh! You'll be all better! Please!" She flew onto the throne, fell flat on her muzzle when she remembered she didn't have have wings anymore, and galloped onto him and tried to stuff her foreleg down his throat. "Doesn't pony flesh taste good? Things made with love taster better, so I'm extra tasty!" She began trying to stretch his mouth wider. "Eat me all up-"

With more Herculean effort than Discord had put into anything in a thousand years, he knocked 'Sparkler' off his throne and out of his mouth. "NO!" Discord voice boomed into several echoes off the throne room wall, followed by another hacking fit.

'Curses...I forget how heavy my body feels without Destruction's raw power...Ugh. Dangit. Without Destruction's magic I can't powerhouse the magic from Dad's Avatar...then again, I did just have open spirit surgery, heh-heh-Ow! It's no fun when I'm in pain when I laugh. You think I'd enjoy the change of pace.'

"Just...just make the choice to live, like you did before...it's..."

"I SAID NO! Besides, I'm absolutely certain it wouldn't work anyway. Our spiritual essences are too different."

'I think that's the first time I've ever lied to her. Where's my normal happy feeling that lying brings me?'

"I...I understand, maybe if I was more like you...I could help you more...W-what what am I saying? Heheh. You'll...you'll be fine." She turned on the TV. "You...just sit and watch, I promise, I'll take care of those backstabbers all by myself. I'll...I'll show them for you."

"Cruelty… just LEAVE!"

"What?"

"Ditch this castle and me."

"Never."

"I order you."

"I refuse."

"Please."

"I won't abandon you, ever. I'll protect you."

(Your mother never loved you.)

'Shut up,' Discord thought.

(The moment she learned what you were, she wanted nothing more to do with you. Unlike Mimic with her daughters. Face it, no one could love a loser like you. As soon as she was free of your influence, she went and had other children. I wonder why. You never had a chance at redemption. Even if you did honestly want redemption, you'd fail. Like you fail at everything! You couldn't even make your mother smile once during your first thousand-year rule of Equestria! Even though you pampered her worse than Fluttercruel! Now THAT is a worthless son!)

'Be quiet.'

(And Rancor's the proof your other Parents don't care about you either! Giving birth to a girl like her, for the explicit purpose of stabbing you in the back! Ha!)

"D-don't worry, Papa, I'll deal with those losers, and we'll figure out something. Maybe if I get all the Elements of Chaos together, they can save you! I'll take them back one by one!"

(Guess who you have to watch die next? Helplessly? Like an anamatronic robot in a theater that's caught fire, you'll both follow your script even as the stage burns around you.)

"Cruelty, don't go."

"I won't let them near you. I won't let them hurt you."

'My own magic and Father's are too much of a mess inside after losing Destruction's...if I could just...'

"Please don't leave me, Cruelty."

"I'll be back...and I'll save you."

(Take a good look, this is the last time you'll see her in person here.)

'Give it a rest. We both know you're tiptoeing around the real issue, babe.'

(Ehhhh?)

'Your insults don't have your usual level of acid wit. Something's different. Rancor just torched your nice little script to ashes, didn't she? Disruption, I wonder if she knew how fitting a name she chose. And you can't stand that, can you? So you're attacking me with every little thing you can think of to distract yourself. You're trying to make me feel worse so you'll feel better. I understand how it goes.'

(I'M NOTHING LIKE YOU!!!)

I felt like I was making my spirit hemorrhage internally as I constructed my chaos to do as I desired.

(Just what are you doing?)

"Cruelty...all of my power and...all the power of Your Grandfather's Avatar is yours...take it..."
+
"And so it is with great pleasure, that I give Manehatten back to you...the people." Discord said on top of a soap box to the crowd, "The hardworking ponies, not those ponies in their plush houses who don't work a minute a day. Leeches who feed off your hard work. Give them the justice you feel like giving them."

-

"Mr and Mrs. Orange!" Grinned the scruffy Earth pony with glasses, his cutie mark was a scarecrow. It was covered by a sticker of a pair of glasses with swirl eyes. "You have been found guilty of having more than your fellow ponies! Of feeding off the work of others! Of doing no labor in your life yet stinking of wealth...how do you plead?" He looked down from the judge's seat. The courthouse's real judge beaten to a pulp and left tied up with several other 'fat pony elite.'

The 'courtroom' was a mad house, the 'jury' was a lynch mob, and the bailiff was Screwball with a giant wooden hammer (wearing a 'I HEART MH' T-Shirt).

"This is insane! I want my lawyer!" Mr. Orange knew it was futile, but he'd call out this performance every step of the way.

"There are no lawyers. We killed them all and made the world a brighter, happier place as a result."

"YOU ANIMAL!" Mrs. Orange snapped.

"Contempt of court!" said Screwball, hitting her on the head, hard.

"ENOUGH!" Traitor Dash smashed through the window on top of the judge's station. "These proceeding end now! By order of Master Discord!"

The crowd gasped.

"There are no laws in Master's kingdom! Therefore there are no laws to be guilty of! Therefore this trial, for the punishment of breaking laws is, of itself, a crime! Who here wishes to break Master's no-law law?!"

She crackled with red lightning. The mob shrunk from her. After all, wasn't she one of the Chaos Six?

"And as for YOU!" Traitor Dash narrowed her eyes at the two orange ponies. "Time to die."
-
Liarjack hugged her Aunt and Uncle. "Whao kay, everypony thinks yer dead. Ya'll be okay now. Cadence is keepin' Discord from spreading out from Equestria, don't ask me how them fairy ponies are doin' it, but there doin' it."

"That was...a very vivid illusion." Uncle Orange said, a bandage was now on his wife's head, "Couldn't you have told us before, Abigail?"

"Am'm sorry, Ah'm still gettin' the hang of this, and ya needed ta truly look scared. Ah'm sorry. Head for Neighpon, they love oranges there and it's as far from Equestria as ya can git."

"But what about you, Abigail?" Mrs. Orange asked.

"Ah still have mah friends here."

-

"Traitor Dash! You faked my authority! You pretended to be on my orders! You deceived and manipulated with permission you didn't have! All to get what YOU wanted..." Discord gave her noggie. "You've made me so proud my little Traitor Dash!"

Traitor Dash felt worse at the praise. But, at least for one little moment, even as her world turned to ash around her helping Discord hold the flame thrower...she'd been a hero again. Like the kind her
friends had believed in.

I drop the crayon box out of my mouth, my entire muzzle tastes like wax. I look from one end of the Junior Flyers CloudBall Field to the other. I see me. All of me.

"Awesome, kiddo," Firefly hugged me.

"It's a beautiful rainbow darling. Made of all of you. All of us."

"I knew you could do it Rainbow Dash." Fluttershy kisses me behind the ear.

"It's almost big enough to show how awesome you really are." Scoots said flapping her tiny wings.

"I'd say it's just about right darling," big wingless me said.

Gildie laughed, "Took ya long enough. Ya couldn't of done it without us."

"You're right. I couldn't have." I said calmly.  

"Because you needed the whole of you, and your friends are a part of you." Fluttershy said, "Just like the colors of a rainbow."

"Er, yeah." I said embarrassed, blushing.  

"That was beautiful darling, simply dashing!"

"Just who are you two anyway?" I asked at the two other adults.

"We're all you've been Rainbow Dash, what you remember, and what you don't and what your heart remembers." The classy mare said.

"Uhhhh..."

"Don't go cofusin' her. Kiddo, we're you, you're us. And we were BOTH friends with who makes up Pinkie Pie. That's all you need to know!" Said Firefly. "Now go get'em winner!"

"Come back soon! YA GOT IT?!" Gildie hugged her.

"Ditto," Scoots joined in.

"Now now, don't rush her girls, she'll come when she's good and ready." Fluttershy said assertively.

"Yes mam," the two said folding their wings.

"But you're still free to just stay here Dash if that's your real choice. No one here will ever judge you, or compare themselves to you. You'll be completely free."

"You ready?" Firefly asked.

"No darling, but I love Minty and Pinkie Pie too much not to. I look forward to when beautiful rainbows arc in the sky again." Before Firefly would respond to that big piece of bluff, mare me hugged her. They glowed and I was looking at ... myself? Except she was big, and a mare with full bright colors.

"Alright ya little fireball," She looked down at me and nuzzled me, I began to glow too. "Ya ready? Not because it's expected of you. But because it's what you chose to do."

..."I choose to help my friends."  I nuzzled and I started to glow.
+
"PINKIE PIE!" Dash woke up. Where was she? Sweet Apple Acres? Was she dreaming still? No. That green pony with the rock candy cutie mark was too plain for any of her dreams.

"You're awake!"

"Where are they?! Where's Pinkie Pie?! I dreamed about her..."

"You dreamed about her too!? Twilight and the others all said they were going to Large Sundae Discord's castle to cure her."

"Gotta go!" Rainbow Dash struggled against the ropes.

"You've got to rest! You just woke up! And the sky . . the sky is still weird!"

Rainbow Dash peered out the window. "That's just twilight!"

"What's Twilight got to do with this?"

"Agh!" Dash flapped her wings like mad, then dislocated a few bones...she figured the whole farm knew she was awake after screaming like a little boy pony.

"Wait! If you're going to Pinkie Pie, take me with you!" Minty begged. "What am I saying...you can't go! Stay down!"

"Sorry no time to chat, gotta dash!" She flew through the door, stone door, zipped like an overcharged firefly, and forced her way outside. Making a beeline for the castle.

And that was when she ran into another flight of dragons. "Do you really have to start paying me back NOW, karma?" Dash moaned.
+
The bearers had all been racing towards Discord's throne room, not sure what else to do after their entire mission had seemingly been turned on its head or simply made much much easier. It felt impossible to tell which anymore.

'Sparkler' teleported in front of them.

(She's garbage spawned of garbage. Dispose of her.)

She looked at Apple Pie, "I'd finish with you, filly, what I began with your twin, but I have more important things to do. Go Home. Go get a new giant orange-apple fruit salad for a cutie mark and be happy, go practice yoga with diamond dogs or write changeling poetry. I don't care! I'm paying back these scum for impaling my father through the heart!"

Spike shouted, "Rancor did that, you IDIOT! You were there! Watching!"

"Heheheheh, 'Rancor,' you say? You think I'm stupid? That was one of Auntie Liarjack's illusions. There's no way family would ever do such awful, unforgivable, evil things to each other. You all want me to just give up, roll over and play dead. But it's not going to happen. I'll never give up! My father's life is on the line! I'll give all of you what you don't deserve in the least: a quick death! So be thankful! Stuck-up Auntie Tragedy! Thieving Aunt Rarigreed! Venomous, ice-hearted Auntie Angry Pie! Weepy Auntie Traitor Dash! Fat Auntie Spike!"

"AUNTIE Spike?!" balked the dragon.

"Lying Aunt Liarjack!"

"That make us all cousins then?" Apple Pie asked. "Since everyone else is your aunt? Then shouldn't we not be fightin'. After all: 'family isn't mean to each other!'"

"Will you just suffer a tragic death already to show how serious everything is, you clown?"

Apple Pie spoke to one of the killers of her friends, this creature who had taken so much from her and so many others. "...Ya said look on the bright side of death, that losin' those ya love ain't nothing cause you end up back with nothin' when ya started...that cryin' when yer back where ya started is silly...but ya wanna save yer dad same as anypony would..." Her voice wasn't baiting or mocking, it was, pleading? "Half-Light, Aunt Pinkie, Miss Dash, Miss Rarity. Yer pa locked ya in a cage inside the same as yer friends were aren't ya?"

The cleaver almost bisected Apple Pie along the line of the scar on her forehead Fluttercruel had given her in Ponyville, instead it went into Pinkie Pie's back. AJ and Rarity began healing her.

Spike wondered why they weren't attacking yet. But it seemed like he was the only one eager to get the monster out of the way.

"My father would never do that to me! You will never say that again you awful brat!!"

"You all were mom's friends, so I'll show you all the love I built up for her! Plucking her feathers out one by one, slicing into her hide until I cut bone slitting my wrists so our blood could mix, cutting off her tail extensions, sawing open her torso like a cow, placing my head against her heart feeling it beat..."

"Shut up." Twilight blasted her face, knocking her down. Her expression completely even.

(THANK YOU, TWILIGHT. About time you showed some truly righteous rage.)

"Envious of the closeness we shared, Twilight? The closeness she never shared with you five losers? At least I SHARED my special talent with her!" She pointed a hoof at Derpy, "You stink as a mother, Derpy Hooves! You never once dove into a icy cold river with your foals chained to you! You never once shared almost-drowning with Sparkler or Dinky! What kind of coldhearted mother doesn't share her special talent with her foals!"

Rarity held the pegasus back, "She's not trying to bait you, Derpy, she really does believe everything she just said."

(Maybe so...but Rarity, surely there must be a way you could phrase that, that DOESN'T make it sound like you're taking Fluttercruel's side?)

"You need serious therapy!" Derpy spat at Cruelty.

"Auntie Angry Pie at least SHARED her Element of Chaos with her foals!"

"Oh? Is that why you tried to hurt Grenade Pie when I let her leave the castle?" Pinkie Pie's old crippled leg was quivering. She sounded sad instead of angry.

"Grenade Pie? Was that your second foal you let go?" For a moment, she sounded like a lost and confused foal, "I honestly don't remember why. Dad didn't give me any orders. Maybe I needed a new toy and I thought you didn't want her as a foal anymore. Maybe we got into a fight and I wanted revenge. Maybe I wanted to practice for mom. Did I know about mom yet? I honestly can't recall. I've cut so many ponies and I don't keep records, or all THAT many trophies. Sorry, Auntie Pinkie Pie."

"And Gummy?"

"Now that part I do remember. He tried to eat me when I tried to express myself on Grenade Pie."

"Yes, I tore your foreleg off and smashed you through several walls. Gummy was bleeding but I still escorted Grenade Pie outside the castle, to safety. He was a couple hundred years old and the size of a tour bus. He had watched Pound, Pumpkin, Fuse Box, Bomb Pie, Powder Cake, and Fire Cracker all die of old age himself. He sure had gotten giant! After I was done with you and Grenade Pie was safely away...I took him to the pond in the castle garden where he could enjoy what time he had left after you hurt him for protecting Grenade Pie."

"I was going to tear you apart for that if Dad hadn't stopped me. We let you keep the skin. And it's not like I managed to actually DO anything to her. Dad told me to leave her and all your other students alone from then on. She died of old age. A grandmother." She pointed at Twilight. "I didn't so much as touch Spring Dew. It was Tragedy who killed Spring Dew when you forgot to tell Master that she was leaving. Tragedy assumed Spring Dew was deserting."
+
My Element of Chaos stopped, I felt sick. Not again. Not again. Not again. No more dark memories! No more hidden sins buried over reset memories over reset memories! No more! No more! Please no more!

(Focus! The past is the past! You can't change it! Focus on the now! You've already accepted all you've done as Tragedy, remember?!)

*You can't change the past, but you can make up for it in the future.*

Apple Pie lowered her head as did AJ and Derpy.

"Pinkie Pie..." I look pleadingly at the pink mare.

Pinkie Pie shed tears. "It's...it's alright, Twilight, old Auntie Pinkie Pie forgives you, and...I'm sure Spring Dew has forgiven you too..."

"So ya never did kill Gummy," Twilight said, "I'm sorry for thinking that."

"I told you," Pinkie Pie said, "Even at my worst, I could have never hurt him. He never once tried to hurt my foals, he was a second protector to them. He was a hero."

"You're an irredeemable mess, Fluttercruel! Get a clue already! You hurt others enough, you're gonna get hurt back sooner or later!" Spike snapped cupping his claws and wings protectively around me.

(Very good, Spike, you've always been reliable.)

"Screw you. Father's approval is the only one I need."

Rarity shouted. "Even with Discord's poison, how could you turn into THIS with your mother, WITH FLUTTERSHY alongside you? Why do you kill? No, how did you come to be so eager to kill when it's clear Discord isn't obsessed with it?"

She blinked in confusion. "...I've never thought about it before...I think when I found out I was father's child, and what he had made me for… He told me 'Time To be Cruel' was the first thing he ever said to be. I vowed I'd make him proud. That I'd prove he had made me right! So… I chose to be horrid and cruel, for him. Then… he began to think that I should cut back, diversify, try being NOT-cruel, every now and then… in other words, he didn't think I was good enough at my special talent! So I redoubled my efforts! I'd be the embodiment of cruelty he had made me to be! And he'd know I was worthy of him. Your death and suffering today will be what I need to prove that I truly love him!"

Rarity looked dismayed, "You made yourself a worse and worse monster thinking it would win your father's approval?!"

"And Mom's. I was born from her too. That must mean the potential for everything I've done had to be inside HER from the start. Which means she must have wanted it too. I think? I haven't really thought about..." Suddenly she seemed to look unsure.

Rarity said, "The cruel truth is that you really are just a foal. You really don't see this is all the opposite of what your mother would want?! Your father wants chaos, your mother wanted kindness, where does cruelty and intentional meaningless murder come from?!"

Fluttercruel looked like she had a headache. "Not murder. Yes, it is murder, I'm a dirty murderer WAIT! WAIT!It's just a game! They're toys they exist to be played with! You can't murder toys! Papa creates new toys - full-grown adults! - with a snap of his fingers! Why does everyequus in the world have to be so absurd?"

Three auras surrounded Sparkler's body.

One was a sickly yellow aura twisting and turning in on itself, unpredictable, random. It felt perfectly familiar in every way and detail. "The world is nonsense!" She shouted.

An ominous red aura, the shapes and shadows almost forming somethings I couldn't tell what, but it terrified me, it brought memories of monsters under my bed, the illusion trees in Everfree, of nearly being eaten by a hydra, of Ponyville in dread over Zecora's 'almost-a-pony-but-not-a-pony' appearance. "Everypony fears then hates what's different from they are!"

The last one was pink, shaped with half image of thorns, butterflies, and hearts all shaped with sharp edges. "The world belongs to father! I'll cut to shreds anypony who hurt him!"

They twisted and mingled with each other. It was like someone poured ice water on her as she stature became calm.

"It's creepy." She said in a no-nonsense tone. "I no longer care. Maybe I AM a bad filly. No, no, I'm not. Because I'm doing what a good daughter does! Saving her father! After I rip out and feed your Elements of Chaos to him, I'll save him!"

"CAN'T WE TALK ABOUT THIS RATIONALLY?!" I screamed, hoping beyond hope we could avoid a battle that could get our non-immortal friends killed.

(Are you SERIOUSLY asking this question to FLUTTERCRUEL?!)

"Fluttercruel, look, if yah and yer dad just swear on his mother tah leave Equestria and go somewhere yah ain't hurtin' anyone, leave the universe in peace, we'd GLADLY heal him," Applejack pleaded. "I promise!"

"You think I'm STUPID enough to trust the Element of Deceit and an Element of Honesty who lies?!" All three auras flared, mixing into one and condensed into her.

(Watch out! That is Discord's, his father Havoc's, and Fluttercruel's spiritual essences, all combining!)

"Know the true horror of the Draconequi's wrath! Of Nature's fury!"
+
Ah saw 'em. Shadows, dozens of 'em, more than that? So many of 'em! Comin' out of da floors, da wall, da ceilin'! Just like them nasties who tried to drag me off ta the big black nothin' when I was in the white nothin'! Ponies. Dragons. Changelin's! So many!

Me and Pinkie Pie flank Apple Pie.

But the shadows ain't comin' fer us. They go straight for Fluttercruel, inside poor Sparkler. They crush and claw towards 'er. And they gonna try and fight 'er?

The first one gets close, a baby dragon. An' she eats it! She rips it apart and stuffs it in 'er mouth! Ah'd say 'Sweet Celestia,' but Celestia ain't got nothin' to do with this!

They keep comin', like they want ta get eaten! A lot look at Rarity, like she's a Heart Warmin' Eve Turkey (hey, meat eatin' hasn't been taboo in centuries). But they keep marchin' right towards Sparkler's body. They give Twilight a big leg's length.

"MUFFIN!" Derpy tries ta reach her foal's body, but for every five she knocks away with lightning, five more rise up to take their place; it's like swimmin' up a waterfall. Spike, Twilight, and Rarity all fire away at 'em, but there were ALWAYS more.

Fluttercruel keep rippin' them to pieces and stuffin' 'em in her mouth, Spakler's teeth are like a shark's now. They practically cover 'er. The pile gets smaller as she eats her way out.

The whole castle is shakin'. I feel sick. Like a big 'Not Wanted Here Sign' is being jammed in me. Kindness was not welcome, Kindness was a impurity, I was an impurity.

The entire place turns pitch black, even suckin' the light from Twili' and Rarity's horns and Spike's fire. Or maybe just cancelin' it.

Ah feel like a rabbit in a timber wolves den. Ah keep Apple Pie close ta me. Ah heart her heart poundin'.

Ah felt like we were all in that awful nowhere place we saw Rancor mosey off to. Them shadows tried to drag me into! I was suffocatin'! All the warmth in the world was gone, there was a huge invisible black fire that was somehow even colder!

Ah see Pinkie Pie ripping up Rainbow Dash with a smile on her face.

Ah'm on a farm with a broken leg, I can't move, some strange monkey puts ah gun to mah temple whisperin' she's sorry and pulls the trigger.

I'm a little filly in some third world country with a gun in mah mouth, with a bunch of other little fillies under a hot sun, killin' adults and other foals because their impure race needed to be scrubbed out of existence.

Ah was a little girl in a deep dark pit with a giant bag full of rabid animals tearin' their way out.

Be vicious. Be cruel. Family is the only thing that matter. That can matter. Should matter.

Then everythin' shatters.
+
As long as I can protect father, I don't need to be a pony.
+
The faded-yellow furry body of a snake, faded yellow head, fangs in her jaws, blue slit eyes, faded pink mane, one horn that resembled her father's, the other looked almost like a piece of her mane flowing backwards.
Tail of a scorpion.
Back rear claw of a Komodo dragon.
The rear hoof of a pegasus pony.

One wing was of a Hooded Pitohui.
The other was the wing of a lovebird.
The right forelimb of a lioness.
And a black webbed limb with a barb at the elbow.

They all came into into a chaotic mess of a creature, in other words, a true draconequus.

(This...is has never happened before...I've never seen...Draconequusification doesn't exist! This can't be happening...did seeing Discord harmed give this creature strength? How? HOW?!)

"I am...Odyne Tulasi 'Fluttercruel Cruelty' Typhon. A Concept."

(Impossible. Illogical. This feeling. She's...she's as powerful as Discord?)

Apple Pie knew fear.

Pinkie Pie didn't think this was a ghostie who could be giggled away.

Derpy eyes were red with tears. "Where's my muffin?"

Rarity felt sick looking at the mass, like she had when she'd witnessed a cow slaughtered and processed into a hamburger, for the very first time.

"Even if the whole world becomes my enemy, all worlds, I won't give up the fight if that's what it take to protect him. To the grave with all of it."

"Don't do this kiddo..." AJ asked. "There's no point to this."

"There is every point to this."

(You are treating Fluttercruel as though she is a RATIONAL BEING. Fluttercruel, whom you've known for a thousand years. You might as well be begging a shark not to bite. )

Spike thought, 'Aren't you supposed to feel better when the bad guy you have to kill shape-shifts into a big monster form that doesn't look like a pony anymore?'

*No Spike you're supposed to be scared!*

(Agreed!)

"If this is what you really want." Twilight said trotting forward, "Then come here and get us. We're right here."

Cruelty shouted, "AIR TO STONE!" All the air in the de facto arena turned to solid rock. "I don't have time to play games."

Cruelty felt Rarity began to try and animate the stone, but there were no cracks, no irregularities. To be on the safe side she laid several ghost traps underneath the stone block that filled up every nook and cranny of the grand hallway. She wasn't joking when she said taking this body was like a heart transplant, not a typical possession that could be shook off so she wasn't worried about them effecting her. She also reactivated the 'Do funny things to teleportation' curse her father had placed over the castle and hundred mile spherical radius.

"And I know you can't negate Dad's magic, Tragedy. And if you try to just blast your way out, you'll kill your teammates who aren't immortal. Sorry, you won't stuff defeat into the jaws of victory this time."

A giant boxing glove punch into her from behind, smashing into the stone concrete mass in front of her, not hurting her, but leaving cracks.

"Auntie Angry Pie." Cruelty scowled.

"Auntie Pinkie Pie, actually niece." The straight haired pony panted, looking heavy. "Figured that wouldn't hurt you, but figured you'd hurt the rock. I'm a rock farmer, remember? I know better than anypony where to hit a rock to make it break."

The cracked mass of stone exploded in a myriad of force fields, telekinesis, Earth-Pony muscle, and heat-cold bombs.

Four ponies and one dragon broke their way out of the mess and onto the draconequus who cut up the stone like it was styrofoam.

"You're good for never having done draconequus magic before," Twilight said coldly.

"Father is a very good teacher."

AJ (who had used herself as a cocoon for Apple Pie) kicked a large piece with the filly's help (or vice versa) of concrete shattering it to reveal a gray and blond pegasus.

"You should have suffocated by now," Cruelty said to the pegasus mare.

"I've been holding my breath since I was a filly at the bottom of that river. Do you think that would kill me as a mare when I survived it as a filly?"

"And if you've think I'm a one trick straw giant, then you're all about to receive a very rude awakening. You don't want quick and painless? Then say goodnight with this chaos magic barrage! Two, three, one, GO!"
(I hate 64K limit. . . sigh, you all know it by now.)

Pinkie Pie, "SWEET MAMA OF EVERYTHING!"

Fauna Luster, "YES?"

Pinkie Pie, "The author wasn't joking about the chapter title!"

What if Discord wasn't beaten? What if after a thousand years of slavery Twilight Tragedy finally rediscovers her soul? Anyone can die, living is the real challenge. It's time to save the world Mane Six!

Now take a look and begin to discover the true connection between the two time lines of the Pony POV Series.

Song is a parody/tribute of Miracle Of Sound's Joker Song. Lyrics by Kendell.

Previous Chapter: [link]

Next Chapter: [link]

First Chapter: [link]

The Pony POV Series Trope Page is feeling neglected. You can help keep it up to date! So many characters and so little description on the 'minor' ones. [link]

Check out the recursive fanfiction and fanart of the Pony POV Series! [link] Many of it approved by me as canon.

Did anyone else know about us now being on Fan Labor Wiki? This is a surprise to me.
[link]

[link]

Edited like mad by Kendell2 and Louis. And Kendell2 wrote more than a couple of the scenes too!
MLP FiM: Copyright Hasbro
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The chapter continues with Spike trying a Shut Up Hanibal Lecture but he needs more experience with these sort of things. He could have pointed out that Fluttercruel wasn’t as insane as the others and still turned out the worst. Then he could have continued with saying that they will only fight her if she continues to obstruct their attempt to free the world of its horrible torture. Instead he claims the difference between them and her is that she was evil from the very start and could only turn out like this. The other timeline proves this wrong. The second voice tries to get the dragon to stop but he says that Fluttercruel is beyond redemption because there is no good past she could remember. And he has a point. The memory spell only worked because there was something good in their past. It wouldn’t have worked on Rarity, Rainbow or Pinkie if there would have been no good memories. Then again she has the memories of Fluttershy but Angry Pie showed that there is a point in corruption where the corrupted is not able to understand something like this anymore. The first voice compliments the dragon and calls him her friend for a lecture she couldn’t have said better. Fluttercruel cracks under his counter and it becomes clear how instable her mind actually was the entire time. Discord was truly a horrible father to raise her into this. She claims that she will never again have to have second thoughts or worries as she will follow this path to the very end. The second voice calmly points out that the dragon convinced Fluttercruel that she simply has no choice at all and will be more motivated to continue her murderous acts. Rarity also seems very disappointed that Spike gave in to his instincts and was not able to hold himself back. But it is in character for him to do this since he was the first to want to kill Angry Pie after she had seemingly killed Twilight and Sparkler is currently still trapped in a fate worse then death.

Then Pinkie Pie suddenly tries to tell a story about herself and how she thought she had to be constantly happy and was completely broken when Discord forced her to face her fears. But Fluttercruel seems unable to see the similarities. Applejack takes Fluttercruel’s words serious and asks her if she really wanted to change herself. The answer she gets from the sadist shows that she apparently didn’t consider the possibility that the heroes would want to talk about this matter once she brought it up. Pinkie Pie tells her that neither she nor her father have to die, they can still just leave after healing the world. But Fluttercruel rejects that thought as well. At this point the first voice seems just sick of Discord’s daughter. So now Rarity decides to enter the discussion and points out that Fluttercruel wasn’t lying when she thanked Derpy for her act of compassion and asks why she did this if it doesn’t fit her theme of showing love only by torture. The sadist simply doesn’t answer the question and repeats her claims that it is her special talent to show love through torture. As Fluttercruel did just reject this logic, Rarity tries a different approach and asks if she ever tortured her father to show him love but Fluttercruel just claims that she tortures ponies (and other mortals) to show her love for him. Then Lady Desire points out that the sadist standing before them is still a pony and she never tortured herself or let others torture her. If she would have truly believed that torture is love she would have invited others to hurt her but every time she was hurt, she reacted like she was in pain. When the Valeyard did hurt her with his sonic attack as well (very likely completely intentional, considering what he thought of her), she didn’t react like she got a love letter, she reacted hurt. She knows what her victims experience, she just doesn’t care for their perspective.

Rarity tries to point out that she hesitated to kill Derpy but Fluttercruel ignores this point as well. The white unicorn reminds her that she started this discussion and they are taking her serious now. She notices that the sadist seems more unsure then before and wonders if something happened since her body was killed. Eventually Fluttercruel is forced to admit that she did cry before trying to murder Derpy with the body of her daughter. Even she didn’t understand it. Twilight decides that using the memory spell on her could help her and allow her to understand the memories of her mother better. Fluttercruel is absolutely terrified but unfortunately before this promising idea can go anywhere Discord and Rancor interrupt them. The first thing he tries is to force Twilight back into her Tragedy mode and try to kill all her friends but it doesn’t work any longer. Rancor summons her spear and now she can finally do what she wanted to do all this time. While their three opponents make their dramatic entry, Spike thinks pragmatically and just wants to blast them with Harmony and be done. To be honest it would have been hilarious if they had blasted Discord in the middle of his sentence but the Draconequus likely would have seen that coming. But they need an opening for that attack to work and since Pinkie Pie could only distract two of the three opponents Twilight considers killing Fluttercruel in Sparkler’s body. Derpy would be ready to do it to spare her beloved daughter this fate worse then death. Discord says that Rarity hurt his daughter but she merely counters that he hurt and killed countless children and doesn’t care about them at all.

Rancor reminds them that mortals are not able to understand the suffering of millions (This is a sad truth, just look at the death statics of one war, any war… It is impossible to understand its real meaning.) and that they should concentrate on all the misery Discord brought over the ones they knew if they want to be unlock their fury. She also adds that those who hurt family must be punished. Discord still doesn’t seem to get what she is talking about and instead asks Pinkie Pie to marry him. He claims that she doesn’t have to die and that she could eventually change him for the better. The pink pony admits that she believes that this is beyond her ability and even after zillion years she would not be able to heal the void in him. She politely declines his offer and she doesn’t even react angry considering that he just a minute ago ordered Twilight to kill everybody including her. And his daughter tried to kill her a few minutes ago and his minions tried to kill her before that. Fluttercruel is happy that Discord’s hope of a happy ending for him didn’t come true while he seems sad about the result. The second voice points out that Pinkie Pie was absolutely correct. She would have needed a zillion and one year to change Discord into something better and shows a world where that happened. I have to admit that it would be pretty hilarious to see the reaction of the heroes, Fluttercruel and Rancor if the pink pony had accepted that offer, maybe on the condition that he would leave this world.

The incarnation of Revenge asks casually if anyone has anything dramatic to say and Discord did have a speech ready. But apparently he was too lazy to learn it and Spike incinerates it before Discord can give his monologue. But the heroes all have something to say before the dramatic event can take place: Applejack tells him to just give up. Twilight says that they suffered so much to come this far and now they have the chance to make up for what they have brought over Equestria. Rarity reminds him that they all try their hardest to atone for their sins and if he isn’t willing to do the same, he will face the consequences. Derpy pleads to get her daughter back but Fluttercruel says that she can’t do that and she will kill the mother to meet her in the afterlife. Pinkie Pie seems ready to beat some sense into Fluttercruel now that her mother isn’t there to do it. Apple Pie declares that when her friends in Ponyville where slaughtered, she thought all five of them were monsters but she learned that there is a story behind most monsters and was able to expand her horizon and now she is friends with someone she never thought she was able to befriend. Both voices compliment her for different reasons. The first one sees a useful tool to further her own plans while the second one considers her a great friend and wished she could have spent more time with her. Discord merely finds this declaration of redemption amusing and promises to revive Apple Pie after she was killed to be forced into the role of his jester.

Discord’s battle plan seems simple: Fluttercruel will do most of the work while he supports her from the sideline and Rancor watches his back. What could go wrong? His sister even tells him that she was watching his back the entire time. Twilight goes over the options they have. They have seven fighters on their side, they need six to charge up the Elements, logic bombs don’t work against Spirits and they need to find a way to keep Discord in place for the final attack. She wonders what Pinkie Pie could do and if Rarity might be able to aid them with her souls. Considering that Fluttercruel can steal bodies, they should focus on someone else first. But Rancor has now her new weapon and Discord himself is surely too strong for them. She considers letting Spike distract Rancor but eventually she comes up with a plan that involves them using their strengths in different ways and using the distraction to hit Discord point blank with her strongest weapon: The Destruction Spell. It is a very good plan and chaotic enough to work against Discord. It could weaken him enough to be vulnerable to the Elements.

The Draconequus is completely focused on them and Rancor takes the chance and stabs him in the back with her concept-killing spear. She finally makes her move and does what the Valeyard expected her to do. To be honest I expected her to do this for some time now considering that she never fought the heroes with her full power (or her spear), helped them a few times (like when Rainbow’s power could have vaporised them) and her choice of words was always very suspicious. Just go back and read some of her lines in earlier chapters again. Everyone present reacts shocked. Somehow even the seaponies feel something, maybe Discord’s influence on their minds is weakening. Fluttercruel’s mind just keeps falling apart, all of Twilight’s promising plans are suddenly worthless, Apple Pie has trouble to process that the seemingly eternal Discord could even be harmed, the first voice has a breakdown since this wasn’t supposed to happen, Pinkie Pie realises that this changes everything, Applejack doubts this event but is unable to see anything false about it, Spike feels cheated that he doesn’t get the chance to protect those who are dear to him in the final battle against the Draconequus (be careful what you wish for), Derpy knows very well all the horrible atrocious things he did and still does think that it wasn’t right that his family would betray him like that, Rarity does believe that Discord likely deserved much worse for what he did and is happy that this is one battle that doesn’t take place but at the same time she also sees Rancor’s act as very evil.

Discord is shocked, confused but seemingly also curious if this will finally be able to end the circle of misery he is trapped in. Both Twilight and Rarity can see that a part of Discord, Destruction’s essence, is ripped out of him and absorbed into Rancor. The brutal process leaves the Draconequus who seemed invincible as a broken mess. Meanwhile the power of Destruction fits Rancor perfectly and she becomes complete. As she throws Discord aside now that she no longer needs him, Fluttercruel can’t simply understand how family could do that to each other. Which is very ironic considering that both she and Discord are the living proof how much family can hurt each other. Both hurt many of their family members as well like Fluttershy, Shady and Destruction. Rancor doesn’t seem fazed by her breakdown at all and Discord’s daughter starts to deny what is happening here and tries to blame it on Applejack’s illusions. Saint Apple Jacqueline can see the mix of sorrow and rage within Fluttercruel and experienced that feeling herself as well when she had seen her own family die.

In her insanity Fluttercruel asks the one person who just stabbed her father in the back for help. Unfortunately the heroes don’t use this chance to hit Discord’s daughter or Discord himself with the Elements. They might regret not taking this chance later. But Rancor will just leave for the rest of her family now that this event is over and doesn’t consider taking Fluttercruel or Discord with her. She calmly explains that she was born to bring back the stolen essence of Destruction but when Discord had three powers and all his minions she had no chance to be able to take it from him. So she came in a time where most of his minions had turned against him and fought alongside Discord for a while to convince him and everyone else that she was his ally. The Valeyard could have easily warned the Draconequus of her upcoming betrayal but since Discord had only one truly loyal minion, he didn’t bother with that and rather used that information to blackmail Rancor. In the end it was Discord’s inability to get reliable and trustworthy allies that spelled his doom. Nightmare Moon was much better in getting minions that were truly willing to die for her while Discord spent most of the time preparing for the betrayal of his helpers instead of thinking how he could have prevented that from happening in the first place.

Apple Pie struggles to understand these events and wonders if Rancor was actually one of the good girls the entire time but the incarnation of Revenge corrects her. She was only doing it for herself and her family. Then she reveals that Discord devoured his own brother to get this power and is clearly enraged by this betrayal of family. Only Derpy and Apple Pie are shocked to hear this, the others never thought that there was any line Discord wouldn’t cross. The Draconequus doesn’t deny what he did and talks so casually about it that Rancor hurts him again. The first voice REALLY seems to enjoy seeing him suffer. Fluttercruel tries to stop her but gets kicked aside and Derpy catches the body of her daughter before she can crash into a wall. Rancor continues to tell what happen with Havoc’s Avatar and lets Discord keep this power since it was given to him.

And it turns out that Fluttercruel actually knew about Destruction’s demise and Discord claimed that he had to do it to survive. He really tried to find a reason for his act of brutal cannibalism and considering that the rest of his family was in reach it seems very unlikely that the two brothers couldn’t have been saved. That is really the problem with Discord, because of how untrustworthy he is, it is nearly impossible to believe anything he says. The second voice asks his daughter if she would have let herself be devoured by him in this situation and Fluttercruel says she would have let him do this. But it is clear that such a situation basically breaks her views of family completely. Either her father would hurt her by devouring her or she would stand aside as he suffers. And what Rancor just did also contradicted everything she believes in. Rancor did betray and hurt Discord but was loyal and reliable for the rest of her immortal family. The second voice points out that she hurt Fluttershy and the daughter doesn’t even deny it but claims that this was completely different because she did it out of love. When she or her father did it, it was okay for her but someone else doing the same thing broke her mind apart, maybe because part of her realised what they did all this time. The second voice calmly asks if Discord showed her his love by twisting her mind like he did with everybody else. That is basically the point, Fluttercruel shows both her hatred and her love with torture and suffering. Discord was able to act kind (for various often egoistical reasons but his love for his daughter seemed genuine) and since she worships nearly everything he does, there really seems no reason at all to be constantly cruel. Discord herself tried to lessen these tendencies, through mostly so she won’t kill all of his toys. But his daughter seems unable to understand this and just repeats her mantra of family support despite Discord, Rancor and Fluttercruel herself contradicting it.

Rancor doesn’t care much for Fluttercruel’s suffering and undergoes her own transformation. She becomes an adult Draconequus now additionally wielding the concept of Destruction. Rancor also takes the chance to add Disruption to her names. Suddenly she teleports next to Twilight and cuts her with the spear and for a moment Twilight’s very essence and name is injured. The others try to stop Rancor but their attacks are useless. And it turns out that the unicorn seems to recover from it and the Draconequus hints that she is merely repaying a favour for the unicorn. Considering that Rancor is a spirit (and can exist outside of the normal flow of time) it seems that she already met Twilight before even coming to this world. And maybe the ribbon she has was a gift from the pony. Then the Draconequus is smart enough to erase the concept killing spear with her new powers, so that it will not be used against her in the future. Now her victory is complete and she bursts with happiness and opens a portal to Oblivion to leave this world behind. Pinkie Pie tries her best to shield herself and Apple Pie from seeing this but the others are not so lucky. Fluttercruel’s nihilism lures her into the portal and she would have almost stepped inside it, dragging the poor Sparkler with her, but in the last moment Discord holds her back. His daughter hugs him in return.

Meanwhile Twilight sees Entropy and how much the greater concept of Nothingness hates her and every living soul for existing and disrupting her eternal silence. The unicorn can also see the shadows who envy her for existing while they are forever trapped in nonexistence, she can even see Toola Roola and Starsong Melody. Rancor just walks through the portal and Spike calls out for her to finish what she started and seems ready to attack her again. But the spirit of Violence is not interested in this battle anymore and wishes him and Rarity the best and just leaves. There is nothing the dragon can do about that. Discord is unable to erase the wound and in total despair Fluttercruel teleports the two of them away as the first voice rants that this doesn’t make any sense.

In the next scene Fluttercruel is still unable to understand what is going on with her father and tries her hardest to delude herself into thinking that everything will be okay. In her desperation she even uses the memories of Fluttershy to remember how to lessen pain but her father tells her that bandages will do nothing for him. Nothing could heal him at this point. Her mental state becomes even worse and she decides that he must devour her instead to regain his health. It worked once with Destruction and so she is completely ready to sacrifice herself to him. She practically tries to force feed herself into him but the fear for the life of his daughter allows him to knock her aside. Discord seems even weaker then he was before obtaining the two additional powers because he can’t control the might of Havoc’s Avatar without Destruction’s essence. He even lies to his daughter that her sacrifice would not work anyway since they are too different. It is quite the opposite, they are very similar. So while the Element of Cruelty is surely not as strong as Destruction’s power, there is actually a good chance that it would stabilise him. Eventually she snaps completely and simply decides that he will be okay and that she all by herself will take on the ponies trying to overthrow him. In turn he orders and even begs her to just leave him but she seems to be beyond reason, even coming from her father.

The first voice starts to talk with Discord again and apparently she took the advice of Rancor and did take a look into the past of the Draconequus. She mocks him brutally with the claim that his mortal mother (Shady) never loved him and that even in 1000 years he could have never made her love him or get a smile out of her. Then she brings up Rancor, who his immortal family had born specifically to rip the essence of Destruction out of him, to show that none of his families actually loves him. Meanwhile Fluttercruel tries to talk herself into believing that bringing him the six Elements of Chaos could heal him. The voice claims that Fluttercruel will walk right into her death when she will fight against the heroes again. No matter how hard he tries Discord is unable to talk his daughter out of it. Then he is able to understand why the assault of the first voice is so savage this time. She is trying to distract herself from her plan being derailed by Rancor’s influence. She is enraged that he compares her to him but then he decides to give Fluttercruel his own chaotic power as well as the power of Havoc’s Avatar.

That decision is just horribly wrong. If he had put any thought into it, he would have realised that the first voice lied to him. The heroes tried to reason with Fluttercruel and were ready to search for methods for a non-lethal takedown like the memory spell. They didn’t want to merely kill her anymore. Since they outnumber her, they would have likely tried to immobilise her and would have spared her, at least for the reason that she would have possessed another innocent victim if they had killed her. In fact she did already show that she doesn’t die so easily. While this gift of power had the best intention of protecting the child he loves, ultimately that is the last thing she needs with her already fragile condition. Now it seems that the first voice was sadly right about him and every attempt to do anything good is doomed to fail from the very start.

Then we get a flashback to one of Discord’s many crimes when he let the ponies of Manehatten run amok and form mobs to bring down the wealthy. As a reference to the Dark Knight Rises a pony with a scarecrow cutie mark is holding a mock trial. Screwball is also there to enforce this madness and Mr. and Mrs. Orange are about to be found guilty of being wealthy. Suddenly Rainbow Dash interferes and claims that Discord did erase all laws and therefore the attempt to enforce any law is one of the few crimes left to commit. This claim and her appearance is enough to frighten the mob into submission and then Dash seemingly decides to kill Mr. and Mrs. Orange. It turns out their death was merely a trick masterminded by Applejack and now she sends her beloved relatives away to Neighpon. At this point it is still safe since Cadence is able to keep Discord at bay. AJ herself feels unable to leave her corrupted friends behind. Rainbow Dash gets praised for her deception by Discord but deep down she is not ashamed of it this time. She didn’t do it to get any praise or glory, she did it for somebody else and brought herself into danger with it. This act was heroic, like she and her friends were in the past.

Finally Rainbow Dash was able to complete the rebuilding of her soul. Firefly, the first Rainbow Dash, Scootaloo, Gilda and Fluttershy all praise her hard work. She didn’t do it alone but she is not ashamed to admit that she needed her friends. Only now does Dash wonder who the two other adults are and the first Rainbow Dash gives such a thought-provoking answer that it goes completely over her head but Firefly is able to say it more pragmatically: They are Rainbow Dash, they are her foundation from which she became her own person, her own character. And now it is her time to shine. Both Gilda and Scootaloo would rather not let Rainbow go but Fluttershy reminds them that it is her own decision. Both the first Rainbow Dash and Firefly mere together, now looking like an adult Dash. It is time for Dash’s decision. Her choice is to help her friends. She indeed chose wisely. Rainbow Dash awakens screaming Pinkie Pie’s name and still has to understand where she is now. When Minty tells her that the others went to Discord’s castle to cure the pink pony, the pegasus is ready to follow them instantly. Minty tries to get Rainbow to take a rest or at least take her with her but the pegasus flies without hesitation to the chaotic castle. Or she would have if not a flight of dragons interfered. It seems her arrival will be delayed even further.

Meanwhile the heroes are on their way to Discord’s throne and are still unsure what the last events do mean for their mission. Suddenly Fluttercruel stands in their way. The first voice encourages them to just cut her down but it seems that the little sanity Fluttercruel had left is almost completely gone. At first she gives Apple Pie a chance to flee this battle before accusing the others of impaling her father. Rarity instantly points out that they ALL saw Rancor doing the deed but Fluttercruel claims since family never does this, they must be responsible. And suddenly she calls all of them aunts, including Spike and she seemingly calls Derpy “Traitor Dash.” Apple Pie points out the contradiction that she just declared them all her family and is still trying to kill them. In return Fluttercruel can only scream at the child to just die but the filly almost pleadingly points out that she is contradicting her own “look at the bright side of death” ideology by caring so much about her father (and being unwilling of letting him die) and that she is just as trapped as the others were before their healing. This time Fluttercruel just tries to murder the little filly who is brave enough to stand up to her insanity. But Pinkie Pie takes the attack and Applejack and Rarity begin to heal her in turn. They apparently know that the pink pony no longer has her healing abilities. Fluttercruel seems beyond any reasoning at this point and brags about how she tortured Fluttershy and how Derpy should have tried to drown her children to share her special talent with them. Her ability to think rationally evaporates into nothing. The first voice can’t believe that they are still hesitating to cut her down.

The heroes continue to take pity on her and as she tries to continue to claim that mothers must share their talents with their children Pinkie Pie asks her why she tried to hurt Grenade Pie when Angry Pie set her foal free. And Fluttercruel doesn’t even seem to know anymore why she tried to do that but she still knows that she fatally injured Gummy when he tried to defend the child. In return Angry Pie attacked Fluttercruel savagely, led her child to safety herself and let Gummy die in peace. Fluttercruel just wanted to tear the mother apart in return but Discord stopped her and let Angry Pie keep the skin of Gummy as a reminder of the friend she lost. And after all of that Fluttercruel still couldn’t understand why Angry Pie wasn’t interested in becoming her friend. However Spring Dew was killed by Twilight Tragedy when she thought the foul was deserting. Apparently Discord erased that memory and Twilight is actually shocked to learn this but both voices support her to concentrate on the present. Pinkie Pie is willing to forgive the unicorn for what she did under her corruption and Twilight is ashamed for ever thinking that the pink pony would kill her loyal pet alligator. Spike is understandable sick of Fluttercruel constantly hurting his friends and tells her this will backfire on her sooner or later. But she is beyond caring for that.

Rarity still doesn’t understand why she is so obsessed with torture and killing if Discord is not showing any approval for it. It turns out she did realise that and concluded that she was simply not cruel enough to win his affection and the only way to gain it was to be even crueler. She completely ignored the fact that he was able to show her the most affection when she acted more like a normal, sane daughter. Fluttercruel tries to delude herself into thinking that she gained her cruelty from her mother and therefore Fluttershy wanted her to do all these things. She completely ignored what both of her parents were trying to tell her multiple times. Rarity points out that Fluttershy wanted Kindness and Discord wanted Chaos and what she does has nothing to do with either idea.

Then she is surrounded by Cruelty, Chaos and the power of Havoc’s Avatar and her mind seems to fall apart completely. All three parts merge together to form a mind unable to realise the simple truth that this very act fastens Discord’s demise and that if she truly loved him, she should have spent his last moments with him instead of leaving him all alone. She claims that giving him the Elements of Chaos will cure him and no matter what they say to her it doesn’t change anything. As the auras merge she is able to summon the shadows of existence and Applejack recognises them and tries her best to protect Apple Pie with Pinkie Pie. The poor child had to see so many horrors on this quest and Fluttercruel just forces another one on her. Fluttercruel keeps devouring the shadows that sacrifice themselves to her and it seems that while the shadows consider Rarity tasty, they suspiciously stay away from Twilight. None of them is able to defend poor Sparkler from being dragged into this madness. This event is the worst for Applejack since she is forced to see the birth of the concept that is her total opposite and for a moment various cruel worlds flash past her.

Fluttercruel abandoned her existence as a pony and becomes a pure Draconequus. The first voice is more shocked then ever; she never saw Draconequusification and tries to deny what doesn’t fit her world view. The new Draconequus declares herself Odyne Tulasi Delilah 'Fluttercruel Cruelty' Typhon. Odyne is the Greek Goddess of Pain, Tulasi is the name of the Hindu Goddess of Loyalty (who actually became a goddess because of her refusal to live without her deceased love), Delilah is likely a reference to the women who betrayed Samson and Typhon is the name she shares with her father. Derpy is just horrified where in this mess her poor child could be. It is just like with Discord. The poor mortal that was forced to become his host was completely forgotten over time and by this point only Celestia and Luna do know who might be still suffering inside Discord. Fluttercruel declares that she will fight and kill everybody on this world or any other world if she believes this will protect her father. Applejack tells her this fight is entirely pointless. Fluttercruel has absolutely nothing to gain and in fact loses precious time she could spend with her father instead. Twilight is willing to give the maniac the battle she wants so much but Fluttercruel merely turns all the air in the room into stone.

At this point her mind is basically like that of a Nightmare, she is able to device complex plans and traps but seems completely unable to question what she is doing or realise that she has nothing to gain in this battle. In fact Discord would not appreciate at all that she is trying to kill Pinkie Pie and Apple Pie. The pink pony is able to free them by punching the Draconequus into the stone trap, leaving cracks behind. The others can use that to break themselves free. Thankfully Applejack was able to shield Apple Pie and Derpy was able to hold her breath while this happened. But now Fluttercruel is ready to unleash her full power on them.

Overall this was a great chapter with many memorable events. Rancor’s betrayal of Discord was expected by many but she managed to pull it off in a very impressive manner. Rainbow Dash managed to fully recover her soul and is flying forward to help her friends. The interaction between the heroes was as likeable as always and the interaction of the two voices was very interesting as well, especially the parts where they actually agreed with each other (but for different reasons).

Rancor’s move was very well foreshadowed and you could see it coming. But the main focus of this chapter was the tragedy of Discord’s and Fluttercruel’s interaction. They are two beings who didn’t understand love and tried their hardest not to understand it. But despite that they did genuinely love each other but instead of helping each other, they made everything worse for the other person.

Discord wanted to protect Fluttercruel by giving her his powers but failed to notice that the heroes didn’t want to kill her and now that this insane Draconequus is standing before them, they hardly have any other option left but to use the Elements of Harmony against Fluttercruel to turn her into a statue as well. She made it very clear that nobody on this world or any other world is safe from her. Who knows what horrible crime or atrocity she will decide to do next in her insane belief that it might help her father. She would have been better off without his gift since then the heroes would have tried to just immobilise her or maybe could have reached her and talked her down from the battle where Fluttercruel simply can’t win anything.

Fluttercruel on the other side was completely unable to handle this situation. It is strangely similar to how Discord broke Diamond Tiara in the other timeline, in both cases instable minds were confronted with something their old worldview can’t handle and instead of being able to change and to adapt both Diamond and Fluttercruel fell into madness. Instead of being able to step out of the shadow of her father, she fully embraced it by turning herself almost into a copy of him, now wielding a similar trinity of powers against the heroes. She is fighting a battle that can not gain her anything while she could have spend what little time her father still has with him. Instead she left him all by himself. Their life has become a tragedy.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
9 out of 9 deviants thought this was fair.

:iconeric-emanwu:
(Error...System reboot in progress...reboot in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Enage!)

Aaaaaaahhhhhhh.......(Error, system error conflict. Slow speed has lead to a safe tract action. New reboot in process)

(In a mixture of 'The famous historian' and Doug Walker)

This chapter shows that the author really does take its audience seriously. It can sometimes be a little preachy, but the way that it takes chances, applies long term foreshadowing and yet still creates its own part of the Pony POV mythos.

The first part is almost a tale of what ifs and what is. Where ponies and dragons either blow there chances with the daughter of darkness, or get cut off just as they're getting into good things. Spike's misstep is perhaps the most obvious in missteps, and it goes to show that the first voice has a goal to tear down, while the second seeks to build up. It also appears that Rarity had an idea to probe into Cruel's psyche, trying to figure out what her genuine soft spot is, and trying then to latch onto that spot. In fact, there was that one moment where it almost seemed they were about to break through that it appeared that even here, in the dark world, there was the potential to push Cruelty onto the side of the angels. Perhaps it might have created a world where Fluttercruel could have found a more purified element of cruelty. Something that was more constructive that mere wanton destruction every which way. And then that moment passed in yodeling turnips, and preparations for the final battle began.

Yet even here, we get a little humor from pinkie pie, as she rejects discord's marriage proposal, causing the diamond to MELT! Oddly enough, this demonstrates also the real attachment to Cruelly, as she (Hay!) (I said Cruelly, not ruely. Calm down, oh element of kindness)

And a joke that in one universe, it took a little over the time limit, but they finally managed to get discord to take up good laughter, but perhaps it would be too long.

So they all preparred to go to war, and I admit, Apple Pie's speech was very beautiful, about seeing that monsters can come from anywhere, and sometimes the worst of people can become friends and heroes with a little bit of forgiveness, friendship and the miracle of wisdom. It actually got discord to laugh again, and then, came the long foreshadowed, WHAM!

The Valyard noted it. The shadows who watch saw it, but now that it actually happened, we were in a lull of thoughts, and we're forced to see that the moment of truth is a cruelty that causes even the bearers of Fauna Luster's power to be shocked and stunned by what just happened. Stunned, saddened, surreally watching a legend be hurt, cheated, even a little satisfaction laced with fear over the evils that are still there in front of them.

Not to mention the first voice is in thralls that its plans are totally off the rails right now.

And then, Rancor took the power of Destruction, which in a way, makes sense. After all, vengeance leads to destruction either of the vengeful, or of the people they are striking against. It has passed to a more natural spirit.

Rancor mentioned the death of destruction, and in a nice touch , Hiroshima is a fitting taste of destruction: the herald of absolute destruction in the shadow world.

Meanwhile the second voice spoke to fluttercruel, pushing on her, trying to show her that normally, violence towards others isn't a form of love. Fluttershy, father, love, betrayal, family, and, yeah, she just got apple pied by the real world, instead of always getting a world where daddy would always be there and always protect. She built her life on him, and now she must suffer a crisis of identity because even discord is a movable in the universe.

And then, rancor grew. Enfused with destruction, watching the fires of everything as rancor became the powerful spirit of true emotional powers, taking on her second name: Disruption. For she disrupted the plans of two sides, and so often, emotion will disrupt any plan that people make that doesn't include it: from the chessmaster to the manipulator. Without watching emotion and passion, you will lose it all.

But still the foreshadowing came, as twilight was struck with the spear of concept killing, but seemingly didn't see the wound. If anything, it indicates the rancor has seen something important for twilight later, and there are still things in motion that we shadows cannot see.

Oddly enough, Rancor seems prudent with her gifts, since as soon as she used it a third time, she destroyed it, and then, she opened the way to the realm of nothingness.

Spike grew fearful, aj screamed internally, with even the element of deciet being affected by the gateway to nothingness she once beheld. Rarity was filled with fright from all her guests at seeing nonexistence. Cruelly wanted to embrace the nothingness, but was held back by her father.

And twilight, well, twilight got a glimpse of what Nekron of the DC universe is like: hating the life that disturbs the silence of oblivion, hating that some existed, and others didn't. Seeing that even g3's got pulled here, and Rancor left.

Spike oddly enough seems to have taken to rancor as his archnemesis, and to have her just up and go NOW? So unsatisfying emotionally.

And so, they saw that discord had a black hole in his body, his existence essentially fading away one piece at a time, and the power of restoration no longer his to command.

The first voice was raging, but I suppose that's what happens when the weapons of Gods plague the determinist's mind. It's so surreal, that he can only mutter confusion.

And great surrealities begin happening. Cruellly tries everything to make dad better, while discord meditates on his place in the universe, and seeing that without the power of destruction, the shadow of fear is no longer in his command. And more than that, he doesn't want to eat sparkler's body. He cares too much for his girl. (WHERE'S A COLD CONSCIOUS WHEN YOU NEED IT?) (Oh shut up sore sport)

Incidently, the voice of hate is piling on the insults, trying to say how nobody loved discord in the D1 age (discord's first rule). Discord though finally has more weapons about him though. He knows people. He knows that whoever this lothesome voice is, it has lost its purpose, and now the face of uncertainty stares it down, and discord uses the flipside of laughter against that voice, once again stabbing him hard with implication, before bequeathing his power to his girl.

Meanwhile, we find out that Anarchy's influence spread into the epilogue world, as the world of manehatten had given the scarecrow pony power, only to lose it when traitor dash and liarjack managed to trick the courtroom that the oranges had died, before evacuating them from the madzone. It was a moment of true heroism: a light in the darkness for the traitor and the liar.

And so, here, The traitorous rainbow finally finished her work, and thus, her purgatory was over. Rainbow dash watched as G3 RD and firefly, merged with each other, to become the Rainbow Dash: Element of loyalty, truest of friends. and because the past cannot be ever truly escaped, they asked of the hurt traitor, are you ready to make a choice? And after a twilight of sleep, Rainbow Dash, the element of choice, the purified element of treachery, the original element of loyalty, and the fastest mortal flyer ever, FINALLY, awakened.

And like the friend who realized they missed a party, Dash showed her trademark stubbornness and speed, pulling a pinkie pie, and began her exodus to the castle of destiny. AAAAAAANNNNNDDD then she ran into dragons. IRONY!!!

Actually though, so far we've seen that the species of the dark world, besides growing strong have also grown wise, hence how the diamond dogs could tell that rarity was no longer greed incarnate, or how the apple family eventually took in the ex-elites. This could be the last big damn heroes the dark world has to offer: the dragon corps, lead by the pegasus of rainbows. Buuuuut, that's for after the last of the WHAM@%*&%!

GOOOOOD GRAVY, THAT WHAM HIT ME SO HARD, I'M SPEAKING LIKE FAUNA LUSTER (hack hack). Ok, I'm better.

So, it has happened, again. this is precisely what happens when a draconequi comes into existence: it devours the nothing, taking on its characteristics in order to become a true member of the family of Shiva. It's not pretty, especially since some of the equi represent the things we'd prefer not to have, but must have in order for life to keep going. With nightmare phobia, she became a mess, because she was not of her own spirit fully, and thus having taken on all the shadows she could, became a formless blob that only wanted to consume everything. Rancor, in her will to live, was a bit more controlled, taking on ancient animals, preping herself to be the ancient will and desire to pluck out both eyes.

But here, it appears that while psychologically Cruelly was on the edge of breaking free, (once again, with the truth pushing down her arguments), the auras of familial violence, fear of the unknown, and the randomness of life all condensed in response, and the power (as it cannot be destroyed) pushed herself to do the only thing she could: remold her body to accompany these focuses. She became a new draconequi: The concept of nepotism, racism, nationalism, tribalism, unfounded speciesism (or founded if it goes too far), and all other ways that we hurt, and maim, and kill and shun the other around us. Kindness cannot be allowed in such violence. Generosity must be prevented, laughter only given at the fools. Loyalty only to the clan. To hell with friendship outside those you know. Family must be the ultimate, no matter how big or small. And if anything stands in the way of the family, IT GETS OBLITERATED!!!!!!!!

And, oddly enough, it's also the first time cynicism and idealism agreed that they should be afraid.

We get a first glimpse of the power wielded by this, and indeed, much of the wrong in many of the worlds both shadowy and linked in the multiverse can trace their woes to this as a root cause for such awful things. (at least, by pony and maybe alicorn standards) And already, we begin to see that pinkie might be on the end of her rope. Growing tired despite using the classing boxing glove.

Funny though. We've seen memory spells on pones. Spells in reverse, spells on nightmares, spells on alicorns, but I think we're about to see what happens when you use a memory spell on a draconequi

And thus, we have the dragon ascendant, the princess of discord, as the final serious "normal" boss to face. The king of no power lacks punch at this point, and the bonus boss has yet to reveal her face. But,

"WHOOOOOOOSSEEE THERE? THEY'RE OUT FOR PAPA TOO! I MUST DESTROY THEM!!!!"

No Cruelly, your one winged dragon angel form will not save you here. I think that it's time to test the vash gun. (I pull out a revolver, forged by the will of justina, the fires of venus, the precision of cadence, and the steel of of the father) It's a good thing that when you're a shadow, you can tease the alicorns to give you some toys. You wanna play? Then lets dance! (and thus an epic shootout begins with the most accurate handgun for peace facing the omnicidal princess for domination. A battle so epic, that.....the writer ran out of budget for it, and thus we must cut to the aftermath, right after these messages from Broccoli Pie!)
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:iconyoshiegg64:
Couldn't help myself and re-read this amazing chapter and found even more typos. Hope you don't mind all the nitpicking.

(And you played your role to awaken Twilight perfectly, good flly.) flly to filly.

"Alright ya little fireball," She looked down at me and nuzzled me, I began (to) glow too. "
forgot the t in to.

"Spike (and) wondered why they weren't attacking yet. But it seemed like he was the only one eager to get the monster out of the way." I think 'and' should be removed here.

"Dad told me to leave her and all your other students (alone) from then on." Insert alone here.
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:iconyoshiegg64:
Wow...I felt completely what heroes felt after that back stab. I knew it was coming but I always figured Discord knew and planned for the back stab to happen. Discord what were you doing in "Dark World Pt 16 Duel of Tears 1/2"? Were you away getting popcorn, used a glitchly monitoring spell? Either way it is too late now. Man...I am still having trouble processing what I just read.

Few typos I think I found:

"You're asking (to be) betray my cutie mark and my father!"
to "You're asking (me)to betray my cutie mark and my father!" Delete "be".

"Wasn't about to go toe to toe with'em when (he) had Destruction's, Dad's, and his own magic beefing him up and a half dozen little mares watching his back,"
'Insert he'

They glowed (an) I was looking at ... myself? Except she was big, and a mare with full bright colors.
'An to and.'
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:iconalexwarlorn:
"Wow...I felt completely what heroes felt after that back stab. I knew it was coming but I always figured Discord knew and planned for the back stab to happen. Discord what were you doing in "Dark World Pt 16 Duel of Tears 1/2"? Were you away getting popcorn, used a glitchly monitoring spell? Either way it is too late now. Man...I am still having trouble processing what I just read."

Maybe he did, and didn't care, maybe he did, and he wanted it, maybe he was distracted by something shinny at the time.

Everything will make sense eventually.

This chapter isn't named off da rails for nothing.
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:iconsargasurm:
Sargasurm Jun 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Rancor betraying Discord? Saw it miles away.

Fluttercruel turning into a Draconequus? Not so much.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
And the shocking surprises have only just begun!

And there was a reason this chapter was titled 'Off da Rails!' The Console RPG scenario the heroes were going through just went bye bye.

And I made a POINT to foreshadow Rancor's betrayal. Though you're one of the few readers who DID see it coming!
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:iconmama13579:
Alas poor Discord, this universe is about to become a much less funny place. I did see this coming though why else would Rancor have a concept killing spear. I also liked the alternate universe where Pinkie marries Discord.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
"Alas poor Discord, this universe is about to become a much less funny place. "

Discord, "Thanks for the compliment."

I did see this coming though why else would Rancor have a concept killing spear.

Thanks.

I also liked the alternate universe where Pinkie marries Discord.

THANKS! Pinkie Pie COULD have redeemed DIscord if given the time.
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:iconsonicandmario826:
huh i should of probrably see the backstabing of disord coming but still dang it
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:iconalexwarlorn:
Quite a shocker isn't it?
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