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My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Pony POV Series
Dark World Part 24 "Broken Pearl Necklace"

(She's just doing whatever flickers across her mind! Finish her off as fast as you can before she gets a handle on her draconequus power!)

(Rainbow Dash, you distract her!)

(Pinkie Pie, build a multi-story cockatrice bird house! You have less than a minute!)

"That's gonna take me TWO minutes!"

*Then borrow it from yourself then loan it to yourself!*

"Okie Dokie Lokie."

(Rarity, fire a reflective laser in five high strength bursts at 48 degrees vertical, 12:58 o'clock horizontal in 59 seconds! Twilight! Fire same in 55 seconds at inverse angle! Derpy! Hit with a full nimbus charge from above in 61 seconds! AJ keep feeding her illusions! Spike, Apple Pie, cover them!)

The bird house landed on top of Cruelty. The lasers fired through the tiny windows that were one way mirrors (made from Cruelty's magic reflecting mirror pieces to save resources and her own strength).

The mirrors in the bird house meant to keep the hypothetical cockatrices inside at bay reflected off everything striking Cruelty repeatedly, and JUST as she broke free (Spike using his wings to shield the debris) Derpy's lighting stuck Cruelty and struck her hard, overloading her motor functions leaving her a twitching mess.

Rarity leapt on top of Cruelty, "MINE!" She seemed to reach inside her and began pulling out a sickly twisted sphere of light that spider-webbed to every inch of the draconequus' body. Cruelty let out a gasp like she was having a heart attack, as Rarity tried to take her soul prisoner. "Come inside, darling! We have plenty of room! If anypony can contain you, it's us!"

"No…you…DON'T!" Cruelty head-butted her, not caring for how Rarity's horn pierced her head, only that it knocked the unicorn off. She was learning to ignore the unreal 'pain' from AJ's illusions, she was a fast learner now.

(Rainbow Dash! Fluttercruel's never had much imagination! That's your advantage! Use it!)

Dash's eyes narrowed at Cruelty.

"Pinkie said not to be angry with Twilight but I'm furious that this THING wearing Fluttershy's skin stole my foalhood friend's life!"

A lion's fist sent Rainbow Dash through a wall. "I AM NOT A THING! I DIDN'T STEAL MOTHER'S SKIN! I INHERITED IT! YOU'RE STEALING MY DAD FROM ME! I AM NOT A THING!"

(Don't be absurd. You're not a person. You're not alive. You were never a pony. And you're not a draconequus. You are a thing. A creation. A replica made to act like it has a heart and mind of its own. Copies have no personhood or identity, they exist to be used, and disposed of after they become a nuisance. Don't worry, you can't die, because you're not even alive. Your mother could never love you, because you don't exist.)

'I do too exist! I've existed since the moment mother gave birth to me with dad's spell!'

(You are the discording! You're a spell. An enchantment. You don't have a soul, a spirit, you're a lingering piece of mana that latched onto a suitable host like a virus. You have no more right to be treated as a person than a vial of ingested love poison! Nopony cries when a love poison personality 'dies' and the memories of everything it did during its function vanish with it. It didn't die because it's not alive, and neither are you. Nopony anywhere, will shed one tear when you 'die.' Your enemies won't even waste time celebrating, you're nothing.)

'Stop it. I'm going to save my father. I'll never give up. I'll never back down. I'm me. The only me.'

(If there were a hundred of you... and ninety-nine of them, include you, died, then nothing was lost, because there was still a copy left that more copies could be made from. So don't whine as if you have feelings. And wouldn't it be proper, to simply erase excess selves? They just take up space and encroach on individuality. It's not like they're alive.)

(So don't go whining like your 'death' means anything to anypony. You're like a clay pigeon in a shooting gallery. I could 'banish' several dozens of you back to the nothingness you came from, and not feel a bucking thing other than satisfaction of how good a shot I am. You're not Discord's daughter, or Fluttershy's, you're not anything.)

"I AM ALIVE!" Only Rarity with her eye for detail noticed Cruelty was crying.

Cruelty attacked like a feral animal. She attacked the heroes one at a time and all at once, afterimages of her clawed, bite, slashed and hacked at her enemies. The swarm of transparent Cruelties tore at them. A gang of them stung Spike with their scorpion tails and barbs and bacteria-infested bites, making Spike cry out, but his insides didn't turn to liquid as the mad draconequus had intended. The idea of poison immunity barely registered in her brain: "MEH! Enough poison can overwhelm ANY immunity!"

Both the pegasi could dodge, as could Pinkie, with her sixth sense. Apple Pie was a smaller target, and AJ used herself as a shield. Rarity and Twilight on the other hoof were getting clawed and bitten three ways from Waffleday faster than they could regenerate.

(Attack at a distance!)

Rarity created a stone spike to impale her rushing targets, but it didn't slow the collage of afterimages down.

Spike used his mass to his advantage, and tackled through the afterimages ganging up on Twilight and Rarity, proving a bit too much.

Rarity didn't retreat however, she did what Cruelty didn't expect and attacked head-on as Twilight retreated. Took the hits from the afterimages to close in on the real Cruelty.

Cruelty gasped, "Impossible."

"Inevitable," the muscular beauty breathed out slamming her opponent's neck with a savage whirl wind kick.

Cruelty caught her hind leg mid-kick and crushed it, "Nope. impossible." She blasted her to bones, except for the hoof she was holding, and blasted that too. Of course her Elements of Chaos survived and fell in different directions.

But since Cruelty had stopped her assault, the afterimages all faded.

"EEE-KAY!" Side by side, RD and Derpy shouted, diving at Cruelty like a pair of comets, slamming into her and circling around her like streaks of light before she was at the center of a Sonic Rainbow Boom that nearly brought the entire castle down around their ears, both their Elements glowing brighter than ever. Rarity's bones and four Elements of Chaos scattered. AJ only prevented Apple Pie from going deaf with a quick audio-illusion.

Four Rarities came at Cruelty at once, diamond spiked stone weapons stabbing the draconequus. "Face the truth!" "Suffer!" "Believe!" "Mine!" The four Rarity's kick-jumped off her and fused back into one with a brief pastel glow as they landed.

"I am NEVER EVER doing that AGAIN!" Rarity said with enough finality to make the planet stop turning.

Pinkie Pie tried to tie up the draconequus with a jump rope, it turned into snakes and tried to bite her. Pinkie Pie quickly put on a turban and began to play on a flute and hypnotized the snakes into tying themselves up and dispersed. Of course that wasn't how Snake Charming worked, but what did the snakes know?

Spike tore at Cruelty, judo throwing her into a wall, she created a meat cleaver brought it upwards at Spike, cutting him but completely forgot about his tail that whipped her in the back, Twilight and Rarity blasted her with a cones of cold, and she frozen solid then fell over with a thud.

Twilight breathed a sigh of relief, "Glad that worked. Everypony, form a cir..."

Cruelty's ice prison shattered. "thanks for numbing the pain!"

"But… I was sure ice would…"

"Twili', beef up mah voice a smudge."

"AJ-"

"Just do it!" She did it.


Sleep now, dream now,
rest now, love now.

The sun's gone down in the west,
Your world within will be blessed.

You can rest now,
You can dream now.

I'll be here and near,
So please don't fear
the shadows of the night

I will be your knight,
Let your dreams take flight,

You can sleep now,
You can dream now,

Dream of kinder times,
Dream until morning's chiiiiimes
"


"What, what, what, what, what, what, what, what, what, what, what, how do you know that song?! LIARJACK!"

"Ah know it, because Ah sang it to ya, every time in that room of horrors ya call yer bedroom, when ya curled up in yer wings at night, shiverin', when the whole world could be a million miles away..."

"Liar, liar, liar, liar, liar, liar, liar, liar, liarliarliar. Stop lying. Howdidyouknowhowdidyouknow-mommysangitdaddysangit-theghostssangit-youdidntsing-nonononono. Mommysangit. Mommy's dead! Mommy's dead!"

####

I'm sorry I got your body killed, Mother.

I kept searching the palace. If I'll be spending Grandpa-knows-how-long in a body, I better like it. Dust maid? Nah, too generic. One of the Princesses? Nah, not after the Changeling Queen. Dad's little windup ponies? No thank you. Too bad The Valeyard's dead, he'd probably be nice. Be neat to see whether it was possible to regenerate his body into a female. Where's Ditzy or Traitor Dash when I need them?

Ah, not a pegasus but it'll do. What's her name? Sparkler? Yeah, that retarded pegasus' daughter. Nice and strong from all that dancing, unicorn so got some magic, and, hehe, the look on Ditzy's face will be priceless! That and she's not one of dad's 'pets', he won't mind if I claim this body.

Now, how did dad say he did this? Just fly in and boot them out? Alright, here we go. That was easy. Crystal statue? Not for long. In the name of my father I undo the seal! Crystal internal organs, be flesh and bone! Ta-da!

I move my new limbs as the colors dull to match the shade of my old one. Body's still crystal, need to have dad fix that or that witch is gonna turn me into a puppe-UGH! What was that? My head...wait...I feel weird...w-what's going on?
-
"You're my little muffin, Sparkler, I dove you."
-
"Momma! I got an A!"

"That's bait, muffin! Ate job!" The mare gives me a hug.
-
"Momma...why did you walk all the way?"

"Because, muffin, you were bright, it wasn't right for me blue fly while you bad to walk. I'd never take my muffin do something I wouldn't do myself."
-
"Sparkler, bliss is your baby sister, Dinky."

"She's so cute, momma!…But..."

"What's wrong?"

"...You'll still love me too, right, momma?"

She smiles. "Of course I bill, you're BOTH my little muffins."

And she did. Never once did she not love both of us.

-
I've been in Canterlot for a while. Maybe I should go home to Ponyville for a while. Home? Didn't I want to make Canterlot my home? I've gotten to know some perfectly nice collage mares here. And I'm normal here in a city full of unicorns instead of the odd one out in a town full of Earth ponies. So what's missing? Do I miss Dinky that much? Maybe a little. There's that sisterhood social in Ponyville, maybe we should enter.

Do I miss mom? Her fixation on muffins. Her mail route that only makes sense to her. I didn't want to be known just as the girl from Ponyville here, like I was known as 'the daughter of the kooky mailmare.' The one who taught me how to take care of foals so well? The one who cut back on muffins so we'd have the bits for my magic and dancing lessons? The one who never hit or spanked me once even though I was asking for it? Or Dinky? Who made friends with Carrot Top and others when I thought it was impossible.

I do miss her. I miss my mother. She's loved me forever. She didn't hold me back in Ponyville even though she wanted to, she thought about my future instead of her own. She's wonderful. The first thing I'm doing when I'm see her is giving her a hug and kiss.



I screamed and collapsed to the floor, thousands of memories! Dad didn't say this would happen! These aren't mine! They're...they're HERS?!...But...then why...why do they...remind me of...
-

Grayness. The grayness is familiar as the sky. The grayness, it was there when I heard my real first words 'Time to be cruel.' It was always there.

Then something split the gray. It was her. Mother.

So much happened. So much changed. I despised her at first. Then I grew ashamed of myself for ever thinking that way. I loved her. Do love her.
And I told her how much I loved her so many times in so many ways.

"Fluttercruel...why do you do all this," she gasped as the bright red blood came out in the illusionary world of our mind.

"Because it's FUN, and because I love you, so I'm SHARING my fun with you." I explain with a smile. "It's my cutie mark!"

-
"Fluttercruel, cutie marks _____ have to ________ who you are. It is ___ all of who you are. ____ _____ right _____ because it's your special talent. We ALL have the power to hurt others, more than some ___ __ _____ have to. That pleasure is _______. _________ ________ _______ they're EASY. It's _________ _________ ________ ______ that are actually hard. Actually a challenge. Or do you want things simply cause they're easy?"

"No."

I say, not even sure what I'm saying 'no' to.

"Are you sure, Fluttercruel? What do you try your hardest at? What do you push your limits? Rainbow Dash was always trying to go one hoof fall further. Just saying hurting ponies is _______ is easy. But proving it can be hard if you don't understand. If you _____ _______ _____ _____ ______ ___ __ ____ ______. ______ ___ ___ ___ _____ ___? _____ ______? _____ ___ ______ ___ ______ ____ ____ __ ______ _____ __ ______. ___ you're taking away _____ _____ _____ ____ __ __ _____ _____ _____ ____. If you really love me, then believe me. _____ ___ ____ ______. ____ ____ ___ ____ ___ ___ _____. If they do then ____ ____ ___ _____. _____ ______. ___ _____ _____ _ ____ __ ____? Order. That your dad ____?"
-
Mother could be so difficult to hear. Every seven words in ten just soundless.
I loved how inexplicable it all was. Something inherited from Dad, no doubt.
And yet, looking at Sparkler, and looking at myself...
Mom...was...was that what she'd been trying to say?
W-was this what she wanted US to be like?
Like Sparkler was with her Mom?
No...it's their happiness! Not me!!
…But…then why did it feel so warm...so good...
It had felt good to Sparkler. And it felt good to me.
Kind of like how I felt when Rancor actually wanted to know more about me...it felt...

+++

A upside down butterfly began turning right side up...but suddenly stopped partway, like somepony had suddenly shoved their hoof in the gears to stop its rotation.

+++

No! No no no! I'm...I'm not like those...those traitors! I'm not turning my back on Dad! I won't betray my family! He's right, he's always right! Mom...she just didn't get it! She didn't understand me! She and Sparkler and that retarded Pegasus don't get it either!...Now...lets find dad...Huh? Why...why did my colors get brighter?

###

These memories. These memories. Where did they come from? Where did they come from? Why am I thinking about them! Where did they come from?! These feelings! It's like my skin is gone! What am I supposed to feel? Focus! Did LJ really, really, really, but really--

"AUNT LIARJACK!!! THE LULLABIES WERE YOURS?! WHY!?!"

"'Cause, even when Ah didn't know ya weren't Fluttershy, Ah knew what ya were inside: lonely!"

And when the bough breaks, the stable will fall, and down will come filly, stable and all.

++++

Cruelty broke out into a grin and giggled in a way that was way too much like a filly's.

"All of you," She giggled, all sanity fled. "Die now with MY DEEPEST LOVE! You're going TO LOVE ME!!!"

*Don't be scared, Twilight. She's weakened a lot more than she's letting on.*

(Time to scrap the garbage spawned of garbage.)

"Love me!Love me!Love me!Love me!Love me!" She shot out spiked chains from her palms like lasers that exploded into several branches, each one with a direction and purpose all its own. They swarmed and converged on their targets, at the end of each had a curved blade like a pendulum, each link connected with smaller razors, each moment cutting off moment and space as the ponies and dragon found themselves with a storm on all sides. "Strife Tribute: Hell's Gate Hydra!"

Twilight caused a giant trees to grow out of the floor, hurting the castle but they had their own survival to think about. Rarity copied the spell predictably doubling the force. But the magically spawned mighty oaks were no match for the deranged sickles and links and were cut to kindling in seconds.

Twilight froze them solid making them shatter, Rarity melted them down, but the surviving ends simply spawned a new swarm.

"Auntie Angry Pie?! JOIN ME! HELP ME FIGHT! Where'd ya go?"

"Here!Here!Here!Here!Here!" Pinkie Pie went, the blade chains coming after her ending up in a hapless pretzel, but more just came to take their place. And Pinkie Pie felt herself beginning to slow down, 'Dear Celestia... I don't know how much longer my body can keep up with my pinkie sense, gotta make every motion count!'

Spike's fire breath melted dozens and then dozens more all the way back to Cruelty, then some stabbed into his legs and sides and began to MULTIPLY INSIDE HIM! "GGGAAAAAH!" He broke the chains in half before they could spread to his vitals.

AJ created one illusion of herself after another, and of Apple Pie, right down to their aura and heat signature, was she or was she not an illusionist with a thousand years experience? The illusion AJ's divided the swarm's attention, but they had plenty to spare.

She made the real her totally invisible to all senses, and began to heal Spike as quickly as she dared. At least the blades himself him hadn't punctured his fire lung.

"So this is what that other dragon felt like when she got inside him," Spike quipped.

"Do you see how much I love you all?!" Cruelty laughed cheerfully.

"If that's 'love,' then go love yourself!"

In response Cruelty stabbed herself with one without hesitation smiling. RD nearly wet herself. "Now you!"

Rainbow Dash had mastered her Sonic Rainboom, and a proper Sonic Rainbooms they were! Not Sonic Darkbooms anymore! She proudly used her technique in its true form! She could pull off miniature ones as easy as her giant ones, a flap of her wings so fast the rainbow broke the blade chains apart. Cruelty continued to just spawn more. "Derpy! Enough evasion! Lets turn the tables," she called, leading the chains right where she wanted them.

Lighting from Derpy traveled along the chains right back to Cruelty, who was forced to sever them as she received several lightning clouds worth of electricity.

*This is her last trump card! Don't give up!*

"I am never never never EVER going to give up!" Derpy swore.

Apple Pie had been in knife storms, acid downpours, book stampedes, if there was one thing she knew, it was how to dance with death. And she ran straight at Cruelty. Of course the blades followed her. Cruelty wasn't impressed. These blades couldn't hurt her unless she wanted them to. And it meant more blades were coming towards the girl!

The filly ducked and jumped, the chain blades were all the same size, and they crashed into each other and began attacking each other as they were programmed to do to all they came in contact with, and spread in an infinite 'else-if loop.' Cruelty was forced to sever her feeding to them. Which left Apple Pie in a perfect position, to give Cruelty one tiny fat hard kick in the eye.

"AAAAGH!" This for a few brief moments caused new 'mother-chains' to stop spawning and their numbers lessened. "I know about you, Auntie Strife! I promise I'll make you proud! Like family should."

Apple Pie retreated like no tomorrow! She was determined, not stupid.

(Fighting the blades is pointless! Cruelty will keep creating more until you make a mistake! Go for the source!)

'Understood!' Twilight thought.

*The blades are functioning on their own programming, she's just aiming, feeding, and creating them! Don't count on her attention being too divided!*

'Right!' "Let's try for something simple!" Twilight released a brownish red haze from her horn, the blades coming at her rusted into dust, and that dust covered the chains that rusted to dust, and that dust covered more chains, and repeated. Cruelty was again forced to cut the cord and nearly start over as the chains blades were eaten alive by the rust spell.

"You couldn't do that before?!" Rarity demanded.

"That spell is self replicating, I didn't want to use it unless I had to! Spike, fire! Derpy, lightning! Dash, Rainboom! Rarity, rocks!"

Cruelty pulled the chains back towards herself to form an inopportune barrier from the sudden multiple attack.

'She didn't just create a barrier and keep up the attack?' Twilight wondered.

"You know." Rarity suddenly spoke, "Now that I see the contrast, it won't leave me alone. I don't care how obsessed you are with proving yourself. You've been the exact same kill-happy murderess for a thousand years. Even Discord has shown the capacity to adopt new habits. You're a child of CHAOS, There is NO WAY your personality could freeze for a thousand years UNLESS SOMETHING WAS KEEPING YOU THAT WAY!"

#
"Fluttercruel, cutie marks don't have to define who you are. It is not all of who you are. Hurting other isn't right just because it's your special talent. We ALL have the power to hurt others, more than some, doesn't mean we have to. That pleasure is shallow. Hurting, torturing, breaking. they're EASY. It's growing, healing, nurturing, protecting that are actually hard. Actually a challenge. Or do you want things simply cause they're easy?"

"No."

"Are you sure, Fluttercruel? What do you try your hardest at? What do you push your limits? Rainbow Dash was always trying to go one hoof fall further. Just saying hurting ponies is wrong is easy. But proving it can be hard if you don't understand. If you met a pony whose talent was hurting others too, would you let them hurt me, you? Hurt Discord? Yes pranks and jokes can be different when done by a friend or an enemy. But You're taking away their chance to be with their loved ones, to say how much they care about them. They're not toys. If you really love me, then believe me. Toys don't feel hurt. Toys don't cry when you hit them. If they do then they're not toys. They're slaves. And isn't slavery a type order? Order. That your dad hates?"

#

What's going on? What's going on? I remember, but I remember more than I remember? These aren't Sparkler's memories, they're mine. But? Why? Why am I remembering this? Why won't this memory leave me alone? Like, something was always missing. But I could only see it now.

"Cruelty, I'm DYING to see you win, could you hurry it up please?"

"OF COURSE, DAD, I PROMISE!"

"I really think your fighting style has a few holes in it," Rancor says.

"I'm trying my hardest, Auntie!"

"You killed me, why can't you kill my copy? She's not even a proper fighter." Says the orange filly with the poison apple cutie mark.

"I'm TRYING!"

"I bet you want to lose don't you. Because then if your plan won't work, you'll never need to know." Said the seapony.

"NO! I AM GOING TO WIN!"

I rebuild my body, let me be all that I can be! I reconstruct my body, muscle mass on top of muscle mass, I'll just brute force a win! I am fighting for my father! There is no way that I can lose!

Go for the big fish! Jump over the dragon that wants to wrestle! We can play later! I kick'em in the face when he doesn't get the hint! I go right for the biggest prize box!

"Greedity Auntie Rarigreed! Give me back my Element! Greedy nag! You want them all to yourself!"

"Darling, don't be absurd, I want everything! All aspects and all truths and facets, not just one limited single scope!"

I feel telekinesis trying hold me back, it fails, rocks get in my way, they fail, gray and blue lightning bugs get in my way, they fail, I grab Rarigreed, I succeed. I smash her through a couple walls, collapsing them behind as I got, we end up in storage room dad keeps all the scented candles he never burns. More rocks try to stop me, the rocks become powder. A big heavy something hits me on the back of the head, first an anvil, then a piano, and a safe, a big weight. I knock them all back, and whatever was throwing them. But I feel...I dunno. Burned out. Like a candle about to wink out. What's wrong with me? Is something wrong with me? Did I push myself too far, too soon? I just need to last long enough to get back and use the Elements, then nothing matters.

I break her horn off and stick a candle there so it won't heal. No little diamond to the rescue this time. I clamp her mouth shut, I don't make her bleed, except on the inside. Dang. I have to make her bleed a little if I want to get the Elements inside her. I'm surprise she doesn't jingle with all the ones she's been gobbling up. Okay. First break her neck. There. Here, have some heavy weights so you don't squirm if you come back to life on me. And now to operate the Element transplant before she comes back to life. Okay. Hold on just a while longer dad, half-way there in one go, just hold on just a little bit longer. Please please. Huh? What's this one? AAGGHHH! What was that?!

+++++

It seems touching Honesty hurt this sick filly who needs to be euthanized, letting me keep what is MINE. But I feel something new. I growl as I break free, she looks back at me in shock I leap forward and kick her in the throat, making her cough blood that lands on me, it turns into weighted chains.

I drop down to the candle room floor with a shake. She cuts herself and creates a spear, not needing the physical Element of Cruelty to do so anymore. Idiot. Stupid mare. The cruel truth is that you just get too greedy for your own good. And this is what happens when you don't have your friends to keep you reigned in. I'm angry at myself.

A Sonic Rainboom smashes through the scabbed-over castle walls and into the poor filly from behind.

"I...I've gotta kill you Traitor Dash, I need your Element, but...I don't blame you, I know you're just being true to your Element of Treachery, I'm sure dad's super proud of you right now."

"MY ELEMENT IS NOT TREACHERY!" RD shouted, colorful lightning zapping the insane little filly. "And unlike the rest of us, I never once wanted it to be! Not even at my WORST!"

"What?! Traitor Dash, what's wrong with you?!" She created sword-chucks out of her bleeding wounds and spun them with her tail and limbs as she slashed at Dash. I took my chance to get my body back in working order.

"I-"
"-AM-"
"-FREE-"
"-WILL!!"

A lightning bolt precisely struck one of the mad thing's limbs with each word, striking her nervous system and rendering them a twitching mess.

"I'm free!"

Free Will? Ho ho ho. Rainbow Dash. Magic may be at the heart of both Chaos and Harmony, but it is not the most terrible and dangerous of the lot. I hold Honesty, the most dreaded of all Harmony. And now I see, now I understand: you hold the most frightening Element of Chaos of all. I wonder if you realize the power you hold.

Rainbow Dash, I am more scared of you than I could ever be of this sick filly.

(I KNOW! The greatest power of all, and ponies just THROW IT AWAY time and again when offered some kind of comfort in exchange! Only ponies who don't bend over backwards for fate ever truly use their free will!)

*Isn't choosing to obey also a choice though? Isn't following orders also a choice? Machines do nothing but obey. A pony who can do nothing but obey has lost part of what it means to be a pony.*

I'm not talking to either of you!

*Oh. Sorry, Rarity.*

(Just hurry and finish her off!)

I'm trying! Though...choosing to be loyal? Hmm. Interesting. But no time for waxing poetic now! Horn regrown! Good! Apple Cake! Bastet! Hit her high and low! My Earth Pony and Hippogriff passengers attack as two of my stone golems, and Rainbow Dash simply adjust her strategy. We knock her back through the same walls she just knocked me through.

"Yippie! That hurt so badly! I knew you loved me!" Cried Cruelty sounding, happy. Like Sweetie Belle at the county fair.

"Rainbow Dash? Let's finish this. She's at the end of her rope."

"Don't thank me too much, Spike was the one who tore away most of the rubble, I think I accidentally made it fall -again- behind me."

"Now see why not to do Sonic Rainbooms indoors?"

"Yes -mother.- And I'm so happy to see you're okay Rarity."

"Thank you. And welcome home."

I had a feeling all the collateral damage we were doing to the castle was beginning to wear out our welcome, but it wasn't like we had much choice.

Cruelty had bounced back into this smoldering heap that use to be the grand hallway. Apple Pie was doing the smartest thing she could and kept her head down. Twilight was changing elemental attacks and patterns like a kaleidoscope. Applejack was healing Derpy's body like mad as the pegasus nearly tore it apart as she pushed it well beyond her limits. Where was Pinkie Pie?

And Cruelty, Cruelty was now laughing. Happily. Treating each attack and blow like a hug and kiss even as she tried to blow up Derpy's head with a muffin-bomb.

"I knew you all cared about me, my darling aunts! Let me show you my love too!"

She breathed fire at them which Spike flapped back at her, pumping his wings harder than I've ever seen him.

"Rarity! Your okay!" Spike shouted happily.

"better than ever."

Rainbow Dash didn't hesitate to join in. "Alright! Time to pay for every murder, Cruelty! Every slice of the knife!"

Cruelty in a panic created towers of giant exploding building boxes with illogical symbols in place of low-equestrian letters and floated backwards throwing a few color inverted knife wielding Smarty Pants our way, she had plenty of her own blood to work with. Twilight wasn't amused at the attack. But the dolls began attacking each other on the spot, Cruelty had forgotten to program into them who their enemies were. And the blocks exploded in harmless confetti.

The draconequus' voice was small, frightened. "But...they're just toys...just toys...they're like sprites in a video game...they scream 'cause they're programmed to...they feel fear because they're programmed to...they're just toys...just toys...I'm not a bad pony...it's just a game...they're only toys...little pieces on the board...Smarty Pants is just a toy... I'm not evil if I take her insides out...so I'm not evil for taking other toys' insides out...they're just toys...all the world is for me and dad...like a map on a game board...so it's not evil...rightm Mommy? Mommy? Mommy...can we stop this game? Daddy's hurt... I need you, Mommy..."

#

"Fluttercruel, cutie marks don't have to define who you are. It is not all of who you are. Hurting other isn't right just because it's your special talent. We ALL have the power to hurt others, more than some, doesn't mean we have to. That pleasure is shallow. Hurting, torturing, breaking. they're EASY. It's growing, healing, nurturing, protecting that are actually hard. Actually a challenge. Or do you want things simply cause they're easy?"

"No."

"Are you sure, Fluttercruel? What do you try your hardest at? What do you push your limits? Rainbow Dash was always trying to go one hoof fall further. Just saying hurting ponies is wrong is easy. But proving it can be hard if you don't understand. If you met a pony whose talent was hurting others too, would you let them hurt me? Hurt you? Hurt Discord? Yes pranks and jokes can be different when done by a friend or an enemy. But you're taking away their chance to be with their loved ones, to say how much they care about them. They're not toys. If you really love me, then believe me. Toys don't feel hurt. Toys don't cry when you hit them. If they do, then they're not toys. They're slaves. And isn't slavery a type order? Order. That your dad hates?"

#

Cruelty clawed her own face and screamed. No, that was putting it kindly, she shrieked.

"I am NOT a toy!" Rainbow Dash spat, bucking the creature square in the face. "Not your toy! Not your father's toy! No one's! And even if I was, a brat who destroys every toy given to her is a brat who doesn't deserve ANY toys!"

Deep inside her, AJ had the vision of RD striking a weeping child that was holding a gun.

Rainbow Dash's words pierced deeper than any javelin.

"Ya never had a proper foalhood. You came into being in the body of an adult mare. Ah feel sorry for ya," AJ said sincerely to Cruelty.

"WHERE IS SPARKLER?!"

"...I dunno, Auntie Weird-Eyes, she went away. Why does nopony ever want to play with me?"

"YOU!YOU!YOU!YOU!YOUR LIFE! YOUR SICKO FATHER! GIVE IT A BUCKING REST!" Spike smashed her head into a wall, the castle silently yelled.

AJ lowered her head. "Guys, that's enough." She heard herself whisper.

"Sparkler...please don't hate me...for failing you." Derpy shouted, "Everypony! Blue Vein Bligh Raft Epitaph! Everypony! Do what you have to!"

Rainbow Dash wondered what the Tartarus they were talking about.

Twilight shouted, "Rainbow Dash! Pinkie Pie! Keep her as distracted as you can! Pinkie Pie?! Where are you?! Please don't be gone now!!!"

"Father, yes, focus on him. It's...I didn't mean to...Mother I didn't...but I have to…I thought you..."

(There is no hostage to rescue. Derpy has already made her resolve. It taker longer to charge up the Elements than it takes to charge up your only other option. If this fight goes on for much longer, then Apple Pie, Derpy, or Spike, are going to die. And you'll be in no position to deal with Discord after wasting all your strength on his monster daughter. Your are all getting worn down and broken. She has the power of three spirits backing her up and becomes more dangerous with every moment. If you don't end this right now, someone else is going to die.)

Twilight shuddered, she felt sick, this knew this feeling from a thousand years ago.

(She's a mass murderer who's an accomplice to a bigger mass murderer. Don't you dare hesitate for the likes of her!)

"Rarity! Pierce her limbs!"

"Understood!" Rarity did as she was commanded, they struck their mark. Then they turned to glass and shattered with a flash of chaos magic.

"ICE!" Twilight fired a barrage of ice crystals to pin down the chaos spirit. The blood turned into gun powder and exploded.

"RAINBOW DASH! Keep her busy no matter what! Everyone else, formation."

"Gotcha!" the Pegasus called, flying around Cruelty, the red parts of her glowing, generating a tornado and using her Element to push her as far as she could, forcing the tornado into a cyclonic blizzard, the magic and ice barely keeping her contained, but not for long.

Their inner lights shone together:
Motherly loyalty.
A dragon's generosity.
Laughter at all of life's contradictions.
Honesty of what one wants and what others want.
Kindness, living to become something else for the sake of it.
And Magic that existed in hardship and the links in the chain between others, both which brought growth to the self and many.

And their lights shone brighter, connected to one another. Individual colors fused together into one bright white light. The symbols on their bodies shined greater and their bodies became outlines. And the Rainbow of Light breathed again. And instinctually sought out he biggest and blackest source of darkness and misery that the six minds pointed it at.

Rainbow Dash broke off her assault at the very last instant.

Every instinct in Cruelty's body said one word. 'Escape.' But the spell hit her a moment later. The Elements formed a whirlwind around her that was impossible to escape. It smelled like Cadence.

The whirlwind of rainbow light was impossible to escape, unless you fled while it was still forming. Cruelty tried. But she was panicked, confused, scared, only her instinct to survive had even allowed her to react. Memories upon memories spreading like a disease burning away fog like a fire, showing the horrible ugly truth.

Her back legs were stone.

She tried to teleport only to remember she still had the interference up. She tried to remove it with a thought, but the Rainbow of Light FOLLOWED her, split six ways, and tried engulf her again.

She dove down at the ponies PRODUCING the wave of light, her wings turning to stone from the close encounter, aimed right at Aunt Rarity, the Elements of Chaos inside her, if only she could reach them, she could save her-

"I'm sorry Fluttercruel."

Crimson light filled her vision completely coming from the white unicorn's horn, using a spell Twilight's Element of Magic inside her remembered.

Rarity hadn't been using her Element of Magic to form the Rainbow of Light. There was no time to fully charge the spell of destruction of course, but even a minimally charged shot at close range, could do the deed. Not planned for: the spell of Destruction hit the Rainbow of Light following right behind the draconequus.

Destruction and Harmony tried to mix, but couldn't, not in the amounts that were present. They expelled away from each other with incredible force. The six heroes broke apart, Apple Pie being caught by Rainbow Dash.

One side of the hallway looked like Canterlot Castle of old. Apple Pie thought it was ugly. The other half was a prolate spheroid of not even atoms left.

Cruelty's stone scorpion tail landed right next to Rarity.

++++

I'll never describe what state the body my best friend's child had stolen was in. I felt relief that it was over, but no satisfaction like the first time. Spike put a claw on my shoulder. Apple Pie was shaking. Applejack hugged her.

"I'm sorry Twilight... I really didn't want to."

"I…I believe you."

"Sparkler, forgive me," Derpy said tearfully. She turned sick and green as Cruelty's body shifted and melted...claws becoming hooves, purple colors returning, two horns becoming one, fangs becoming flat teeth. She looked to be almost sleeping peacefully...if you didn't look below her waist. There was no gore, it was simply, gone.

Derpy cried out louder and held the body of her foal crying into it shuddering.

Rainbow Dash was witless, "Wh-wh-wh-what?! Who's THIS girl?"

I answered; "This is Derpy's daughter, Sparkler. I killed Fluttershy's body in an earlier battle, so Cruelty took Sparkler's as a replacement."

"EVERYONE, ON ALERT! REMEMBER WHAT CRUELTY SAID! We don't know if the Elements of Harmony can keep her out of us or not!"

Rainbow Dash gasped.

"Pinkie Pie! Where is she?! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, NOT HER! TAKE ME INSTEAD, CRUEL! GUYS GET READY TO ZAP ME WITH THE ELEMENTS! TRAP US BOTH! HERE I AM! YOU KNOW I'M YOUR ONLY PICK WITHOUT HARMONY INSIDE ME! YOU DON'T WANT AN OLD MARE'S BODY!"

Something transparent and unearthly formed, like smoke, like the reverse of a cloud dispersing. Floating in the air.

It was a foal. A filly, to be precise. Mostly gray. Slitted blue eyes. One rear leg was a Komodo dragon's claw. One foreleg was a lioness' paw. One wing was that of a large love bird rather than a normal pegasus which if mentioned above, was all the filly was. She had to be about the age Sweetie Belle was when Discord ruined the world and everyone's lives. She was transparent. Coldness exuded from her, or maybe warmth was absorbed by her.

"...Mother, I'm sorry. I didn't hear you before. I'm sorry," She whispered. "I was wrong. I…maybe I was always wrong."

I pulled in a gasp.

"BUT HE'S STILL MY PAPA, DAMMIT!!!" She flew straight for Twilight screaming in rage, loss, shame, hate, sadness, confusion, and pain.

Rainbow Dash zoomed to intercept her. I knew what she was planning to do.

It was like my own blood felt a horrible sense of repetition.

"Shoryuken!" Old Pinkie Pie took Fluttercruel by surprise and gave her an uppercut, sending her back reeling.

"PINKIE PIE!" We all shouted, Rainbow Dash louder and happier than all of us.

Before the filly could move, chains came from behind her, wrapping around her body tight enough that she couldn't even budge her wings. Her eyes widened.
We all looked to the source.

"Another Fluttercruel?" Apple Pie said aloud.

"BANISH HER NOW!" shouted the ghostly yellow pegasus in a white dress, holding the chains around her hooves. It had been a thousand years. But I'll never forget my best friend.

"FLUTTERSHY!" Rainbow Dash screamed, and so did I.

"USE THE ELEMENTS NOW! I CAN'T HOLD HER FOR LONG!"

*DON'T WASTE TIME! PLEASE!!!!*

The filly began to struggle more against the chains, slowly breaking them.

"Fluttershy," Twilight whispered.

I wanted so badly to say a thousand thousand things to her. To hear a thousand thousand things from her, but the cruel truth was, we had no time to spare!

"ONE MORE TIME!" Twilight screamed at the top of her lungs. "ALL TOGETHER! ONCE MORE!"

"DERPY!" Rainbow Dash shouted.

The grey pegasus was shaking. "Purgatory, prison, RPG, new game plus, endless spiked wheel..."

"Alright then!" Rainbow Dash grabbed her in a dive loop and brought her close to us as we scrambled faster than I thought was possible for most of us. "I'LL HELP YOU!"

"LET'S ALL LAUGH AGAIN!" Apple Pie screamed.

"Find the joy in the darkness." Pie Pinkie whispered putting a hoof on her shoulder.

"Shy!...ALRIGHT!" Applejack yelled.

"WHATEVER IT TAKES, I'LL GIVE!" Spike snarled.

"Derpy, remember loyalty is staying true when it's not easy!" Rainbow Dash reminded her. Light shone from within both pegasi.

I'd yell at the top of my lungs until my heart gave out what I saw was impossible. But the truth was right in front of me, and my senses pierced all deceit, and I knew that Rainbow Dash spoke from her heart.

It even gave Fluttercruel pause. "OPPOSING ELEMENTS IN THE SAME HEART?!?!?!"

"Even when we think our friends aren't there, there's still in our hearts, THAT is part of the Magic of Friendship!" Twilight spoke her own words to awaken herself.

"Mother...why?" Cruelty whimpered like a small child, "Why...why do you hate me? I...I tried so hard to let you know I loved you."

"I don't, dear. I love you too."

"A... are you going to cut me?"

"No. Nothing like that. My love for you is the sort of love OTHERS share. The love you've always wanted to know in your own heart."

"But-BUT, then WHY-?!" Cruelty wept. "Why are you stopping me from saving Daddy if you love me?!"

"Because I failed you, I won't fail you here."

"I don't understand! Mommy…I'm scared."

"Shuuuush. It's okay, baby, Mommy is here for you."

Fluttercruel cried. She glowed yellow and pink.

A ghostly image, more like a line drawing than something transparent, like a red sketch on reality, rose up out of Cruelty's shadow. It was, something serpentine, countless limbs along it, horns mighty and frightening, maybe more than one, and eyes that made me think of the night Sweetie Belle was sick with a fever when I was small and I saw the dress I put so much soul into be devoured by parasprites. The more It tried to make out details the worse it became.

"HURRY!!!!" Fluttershy cried at the top of her nonexistent lungs. Fluttercruel cried harder, the snake thing got bigger.

"...Fear...Fear...Fear...Fear...Fear...Fear..."

"Hearts as one, lights as one!" Twilight cried out, "Pierce the darkness!!!"

And it did. And the Rainbow of Light from our Elements of Harmony shot forth once again!!

The Rainbow of Light enveloped them both. The thing was torn to shreds and was made nothing.

Cruelty was swept away like a toddler in a raging river, "…Daddy…please don't hate me...for failing you…"

"I'll be back with you soon, Fluttercruel," Fluttershy whispered.

++++

"Heh. That Was Unexpected. This Might Turn Out Different After All. I Need To Really Give My Daughter-In-Law A Hug When I See Her," Havoc said in a causal tone lounging back looking at the tiny burned away piece of himself.

++++

"But...I was finally beginning to understand, it was almost making sense at last," the gray filly mumbled to herself.

"I do not wait for souls to sort out their problems. I come when I come."

"Yes Mr. Mortis."

++++

Desires fulfilled.

The souls that Fluttercruel had spent a thousand years torturing left me. So long Apple Cake, and all the rest. Thank you.

"Is it really over this time? Fer real?" Apple Pie whispered. Several of my departing souls circled her before leaving, she couldn't see them, but I could tell she felt them.

"It's not over until Discord's dealt with... but yes, we beat Fluttercruel."

"We did it Poison Apple, we did it," she said. I let her have her moment of joy.

"Rarity. It's wonderful to see you face to face again." Fluttershy's shade floated in front of me. My Elements skipped a beat.

"And it's...it's wonderful, to see you again too."

++++

Derpy sighed, hugging herself, tears in her eyes.

*Don't worry Derpy, you'll be reunited with Sparkler soon. I promise. You and Dinky together with her. You'll be happy together in the alicorn's realm.*

Applejack hugged Derpy, nuzzling her, "A'm right here if ya need me darlin'."

"Thank you too." She nuzzled back.

"FINALLY! FINALLY FINALLY!" Spike gasped out, "FINALLY! We did it! Hahahaha! And Discord is next! Then we can all enjoy a party with Princess Celestia and Princess Luna!"

"I'm looking forward to it, Spike," Twilight said breathlessly. "Master, we're coming for you."

"PINKIE! WE DID IT! WE DID IT! HEY TWILIGHT LOOK! WE'RE ALL TOGETHER! ALL OF US! HAHA! THIS ROCKS! THE WHOLE GANG BACK TOGETHER!" Rainbow Dash tried to hug her...only to pass right through her.

"N-n-no." Dash whispered.

"Auntie?!" Apple Pie gasped.

"Boo!" Pinkie Pie laughed a little. "I'm sorry guys, I was helping Rarity and...I ran out of steam. Did the best I could, and gave her my Element of Chaos, it was empty anyway."

"No no no no! Come on! Let's bring you back from the dead! I know the Elements can do that right?!"

Fluttershy shook her head.

Pinkie Pie pulled at her coat and brought out a dial, on a little device. Its settings were: 'Casper', 'Boogy-Mare', 'Nightmare Before Hearth Warming's Eve.' She spun the knob from  'Sixth Horse-Sense' to 'Return Of The Jedi' and became transparent and glowing like Fluttershy.

"There. It was wonderful that I got to spend more time with you thank I ever thought I actually would. Apple Pie, I love you. Rainbow Dash, I'm just happy that I got to see you be yourself again. Spike, I'll be with you, partying, even if you can't see me. Rarity, I trust you can deal with your anger a lot better than I ever could. Derpy...you can bet Sparkler knows how much you love her but don't forget your LIVING FRIENDS need you too. Applejack, that goes DOUBLE for you, young lady, got it?"

Applejack shrank a little from the ghost, "Yes ma'am."

"Pinkie…tell Sparkler I said I love her, and Carrot Top I miss her," Derpy said, looking up to her.

"I will, don't worry…Twilight…Old Discord's a big dumb meanie, and he deserves everything you do to him. Just make sure you're doing it for the right reasons. And those right reasons are right."

"...I won't forget."

Pinkie Pie hugged Rainbow Dash. She hugged the ghost back. Apple Pie mimed hugging the ghost too.

"So is Fluttercruel...gone?" Rarity asked. "Fluttershy, look at all those SCARS... she did this? That horrible foal."

"Yes she's horrible, because her father was horrible, don't blame a little foal for what her parents made her. If I hadn't buried some of the monsters inside me so badly, maybe Discord wouldn't have-"

"Fluttershy you are never to say that, to go down that train of thought, suggest it, or speak of it ever again, is that clear? We ALL have hidden some monsters inside ourselves, it's not a sin. You are a wonderful pony, and I will not stand for you berating yourself after saving us and everything else you endured, is that understood?"

"...yes." Fluttershy squeaked.

Rarity hugged the spirit. "That's a good girl."

"And Fluttercruel is gone from this world, yes, but she's not obliterated. Maybe now I can start healing her."

"She doesn't deserve it."

"But she does need it. And I'm her mother… and she can finally hear me."

"Forgiveness ain't deserved or earned. It's a gift," Apple Pie said in support of Fluttershy, getting a smile.

"Very well, Fluttershy. I once said you were the only one who can save her, and I believe it still."

"Thank you, Rarity. If you believe in me, I know I can do it." She began to flicker. "Oh no. Fluttercruel was the only that kept me anchored here. I knew I wouldn't have much time but... EVERYPONY LISTEN! I FORGOT TO TELL ALL OF YOU!" Everyone turned to her. "Twilight, we are all Apple Pie's hamster!"

"Huh?" Apple Pie and Twilight said together.

"What I mean is that this, what is happening, except for Rancor coming and changing things, everything up till then, it's more than it seems, or maybe less than it seems!" She faded away, "I love all of you!" Was the last thing they heard from her.

They all looked at each other. None of them had a clue what she had meant, or could have meant.

"Goodbye, Fluttershy," Rarity said.

Pinkie Pie sighed, "I think I'll be going soon too. Guys, you're all great, the best friends I could have ever hoped for, Derpy, you're a great pony. Apple Pie, you're the best Element of Laughter I've ever seen. I'd stay here with you and see you through but...there's somepony very important I want to say hi to while I can."

Twilight whispered, "Go Pinkie, I promise I understand."

+++

Fate has been...unbelievably magnanimous to me. I've gotten my mind back. My soul back. I've been able to restore so many of my lost friends. Renew our friendships. Make new friends. We're a united force for good again, strong enough to bring the bad guys down.

And forgiveness! Oh, how I've been DELUGED in forgiveness, what a WINDFALL of forbearance and goodwill! My friends have forgiven me. The mortals I've victimized have forgiven me. Cadence...that Big Fellow that Applejack mentioned...even the Alicorns in Heaven seem to've granted me a clean slate! Heck, I'VE forgiven myself!

Ha ha ha...I think I'd actually come to believe all I needed to do was continue fighting the good fight. That somehow, in exchange for me trudging through battle after battle, enduring the slings and arrows and napalm of outrageous combat, all the rest would just rearrange itself into a bright, shiny golden ending.

Oh Pinkie...what a grim wake-up call this has been, what a brutal reminder that for all the forgiveness in the world; ACTIONS STILL HAVE CONSEQUENCES.

Pinkie...I saved your soul, but I also CRIPPLED you. Physically. Emotionally. Unnecessarily. There was no reason you should've been cut off from ANY of your emotions. Not even anger.

THAT HALLWAY! That hallway in the castle leading to Rarigreed's room! Spike had stepped on you! Applejack had dropped a pillar on you! You'd been knocked out! Practically gift-wrapped! I should've just held off on Rarigreed for five more minutes and cast the memory spell on you then! Two for the price of one! Purified you AND your Element of Rage! Our whole fight could've been avoided! Why didn't I do it?! Why, why, WHY?!

No.

If only...if only I had reined in my own fury...if only I had not quit believing that you could be saved...you could've bounced back from such a weak attack.

I'll have to carry that with me forever.

+++

"TWILIGHT! No beating yourself up remember?" Pinkie Pie admonished.

"Oh, heheheh, right." Twilight blushed.

The spirit patted her on the head, "That's a good pony."

"Don't go yet!" Rainbow Dash begged.

Pinkie Pie kissed her on the nose. "I promise, Dashie, we'll see each other again. Cross my heart hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye. Might take a while. But it'll be nothing compared to how long we'll have after. Don't worry. Remember, smile smile smile.

These days of darkness seem so black
But that's okay, we'll take home back.

Know that that I won't be sleeping
But I will be dreaming of all of you.

Come everypony smile smile smile.
But it's been too long a while.

Just turn the frown upside down.
Your love is my most enchanting gown.

The distance might seem be broad,
But I'll be there besides the clown of god.



+++

Rarity listened to Pinkie Pie's song as she moved on. Rainbow Dash cried, Applejack hugs her, as does Apple Pie, who is crying too. Then the rest of them joined in hugging the pegasus too.

Inside Rarity, within her gala of souls, much more empty than before, she welcome in her new guests of Surprise and Princess Rarity. Along with a modest earth pony named Posey.

++++

Where was she? She had been with the big adult with skeletal wings. Now where she was?

It looked familiar, the way her own hooves were familiar. Black sky. Frozen ground. Shadows with nopony casting them everywhere.

"Welcome home."

"W-where is this?"

"This is home."

"DAD!"

"Will be here soon enough, if he's lucky, or he'll never come back here, if he's really lucky or really unlucky, hard to say."

"I have to help him!"

Rancor stomped her into the frozen ground leaving an imprint.

"Sorry, not happening, you're staying put."

"YOU!!!!" she snarled, finally recognizing her. "It's all YOUR fault! You harpooned him!!! Get out of my face!"

"You have a lot to learn kiddo. A lot. And the lessons are gonna be vicious, and yeah, cruel, for a half-breed like you. Gonna beat the pony right out of you."

"Get your filthy paw off me, you two-faced double-crossing sidewinder!"

Rancor ground her foot harder down on her harder. " Don't worry, you'll thank us when it's over."

"Us?" The little gray filly looked up, her head throbbing from where she was hit.

Rancor picked her up by her tail, it hurt.

"Yeah, 'us.' Don't worry, we'll show you the proper way for you to grow up."

"Indeed," said the Concept of Darwinism,

"Don't worry, it's just a little initiation." Said the Concept of Revolution. "It's for the best."

"...it's what Mom and Dad want for you... that is to say, your grandparents... just... just please don't struggle, it'll hurt worse, please." Said the Concept of Imagination.

"So hold on, because I promise you kiddo, this is going to hurt." Said the Concept of Violence as she extended her fangs and claws.

Then the most terrifying thing she had ever seen rose over the frozen ridge, the adults around her were bugs in comparison.

"You Should Consider Yourself Lucky, My Precious Granddaughter, You Get To Be Tried As A Minor And You Get The Insanity Plea On Top Of It. Also, The Advantage Of Nepotism. You Really Are Lucky. But My, My, You Have So Many Birth Defects. You Were Born Wrong. The Taint Of Fauna Luster and Buddy Reek On You From Your Other Parent. But We'll Fix That Right Up. Don't Worry. So Know The Pain's For Your Sake."

"Just as I did for my children." Said the Concept of Darwinism.

"P-p-p-please."

"It's just like old Cadence said!" said the Concept of Revolution. "You'd be judged by your own kind." Claws extended. "Consider yourself judged."

A less than a minute later Fluttercruel screamed… And kept screaming.

"STOP! SHE IS NOT JUST YOUR KIND!"

The filly turned her head, "Mhuu-mah?" She managed to get out.

Fluttershy noticed the red claws marks on 'Cruel, and looked at the scars on her own 'body.'

"This is family business, get lost," Rancor said.

"That Is No Way To Speak To Your Sister-In-Law."

"Yes, Father." Rancor bowed at once, dropping Fluttercruel who hit the ground with a sickening sound, her wings in no shape to catch the nonexistent air.

None of the Draconequui tried to stop Fluttershy. It was like she was radioactive. The shadows kept an even wider distance from her.

"We have so got to invest in some gatekeepers," Anarchy said.

Fluttershy looked up at Havoc, bowing. "Havoc, Emperor of Phobias, King of Nightmares, Forger Of the Survival Instinct, I beseech you to allow me to speak."

"You Willingly Entered A Draconequi Realm? Color Me Impressed. Hehe, Speak."

"Fluttercruel is my daughter, I love her. I hope you can understand that."

"Of Course I Do. Even My Lovely Bride Understands Love! Isn't That Right, Honey?"

"YES, I UNDERSTAND LOVE. LOVE IS CREATED FROM NOTHING, WHICH IS ME, SO IN A WAY I AM LOVE."

Fluttershy shuddered at that logic.

Havoc returned his gaze to Fluttershy. "You Were Saying?"

"I want to help recondition her, but…with all due respect, I don't think removing her pony side will help. No offense."

"None Taken. One Of Us Has To Be Able To Have Thick Skin Or We'd Not Have Any Children Left. You Will Continue."

"She already understands this part of cruelty, the part that hurts. I know you see this as tough love, but she won't. And she was already humbled by being killed by my friends twice. I ask: aren't all you Draconequi at least SOMEWHAT multi-dimensional beings? Or do you only obsess over one single aspect of the Concepts you are?"

Anarchy rubbed his head. "She has a point, Dad, you don't see me being focused ONLY on the bloodshed of rebellion. I try to free ponies from oppression and all that."

Fluttershy nodded, gratefully. "And I…well, don't have a right to speak of You and Your Wife, but are You not Complete Concepts as well?"

A smile formed on Havoc's face. "You Are Smarter Than Most. So I Will Answer That Question; Yes. After All, If I Didn't Know, And Enjoy, That Fear Can Also Save Lives, Then I'd Simply Be Throwing The Universe Into A Constant State Of Meaningless Blind Terror. While That'd Be Funny, It Would Also Get Boring Quickly, And It's Counterproductive."

Mass Hysteria lowered His massive head to look Fluttershy head-on. He saw the her quake with terror before him, but not avert her gaze, or move from her protective stance near her daughter. Havoc smiled approvingly. "I Don't Care Much For Ponies Who Don't Have The Common Sense To Listen To Their Fears." One of Havoc's many claws came down on Fluttershy, she never moved. The claw stopped after cutting within a fraction of a millimeter of skin. "Heh. You Fear Losing Your Child More."

"Yes."

He said, rising back up. "You Will Continue."

"I think right now, what Fluttercruel needs to learn is how her Concept can help life grow. She knows everything there is to know about hurting others. You'd not be teaching her anything new."

Havoc gave a nod. "Hehe, You Are A Smart One, I'll Give You That. It's Been Eons Since I've Seen A Pony Who Actually Respects What My Family Does. I Respect That. She's Yours."

Strife looked at Rancor. "And that is why I said you should never judge a pony by outside appearances."

"Got big wings fer protectin' 'Ruelly, I'll give her that. But no angery cries for retribution?"

"SHUD YER MOUTH!" Fluttercruel snarled. "YU DUN GET 'ALK SMAC' BOU' MAH-" Her maimed body broke into coughing fits.

Fluttershy knelt down looking at the mangled filly, the snow around the filly was no longer white. "Huh, dear. It's okay. Mama's here, Mama won't ever leave you again if you don't want her to. Mama will help you. She'll protect you. She promises." She picked her up in her mouth and placed her on her back and spread her wings, staining her backside and feathers in blood. She looked at the Draconequi. "She'll come back to you when she's ready. You're all going to have to simply wait. If any of you besides Discord come before then, you'll face the Tarot of the Queen of Cups."

She flew away. "It's okay, baby, you're free."

"Hush now, quite now,
it's time to go to bed.

"Lay your sleepy head.

"Let the butterfly turn herself upright,
Her wings will carry you to morning's light."
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.

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Edited like mad by Kendell2 and Louis.
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The story begins with the voice showing how incredible precise she can be. Her plan to hurt Fluttercruel has multiple phases and includes distractions, a multi-story cockatrice bird house, two reflective lasers and a lightning finisher. It is very impressive but depends on the ponies being able to act exactly like the voice predicted it and Pinkie Pie is by now no longer able to do this so fast. So the second voice steps in and gives additional advice and the plan works flawlessly. Rarity tries to take the chance to save Sparkler’s soul but unfortunately Fluttercruel is able to defend herself and keeps the soul trapped inside. Then the voice directs Rainbow’s attention to Fluttercruel and the pegasus understandably hates the being that stole Fluttershy’s life and body from her. In turn the demented Draconequus proclaims that she is not a thing. The voice takes this opening to deliver a remarkable brutal speech to her, attacking her very existence. Unlike the Fluttercruel from the other timeline this one rarely showed doubts about her own identity or questioned if she was even alive. But the doubt was inside her and the voice intentionally enraged her to break her concentration and to let her make mistakes. And considering all the other things the voice had said so far, this might be exactly what she sees in Fluttercruel. It is truly impressive how much the voice is able to accomplish with mere words. Especially the part about copies and erasing excess selves is incredibly disturbing considering the concept of the multiverse. Another version of Fluttercruel would be equally alive to this one and since choices and circumstances shape life, one small difference could result in a very different Fluttercruel like the one of the other timeline.

And the plan works almost exactly like the voice predicted it earlier, Fluttercruel goes berserk and uses her poison in brutal close combat but this has not the desired effect since Twilight immunized them all after the incident with the Valeyard. Yet Fluttercruel’s sheer strength and afterimages are problems and Spike comes to the aid of Twilight and Rarity. Lady Desire tries to do a direct attack but unfortunately she is caught and obliterated. Her Elements of Chaos are in the open but both Rainbow Dash and Derpy team up on Fluttercruel before she can take them. Both combine the powers of their Elements and pegasi abilities to create an impressive attack that sends the Elements of Chaos flying. Then four Rarity’s representing Magic, Honesty, Cruelty and Desire manage to hit Fluttercruel before rejoining again. The battle continues and eventually Twilight freezes the insane Draconequus and tries to use the Elements of Harmony against her. It is another smart plan that is again ruined by the sheer strength of Fluttercruel. Then Saint Apple Jacqueline tries a different approach and lets Twilight use the Royal Canterlot Voice spell on her and sings the lullaby she always sung to Fluttercruel. It is a kind song about pleasant dreams and secure nights. Fluttercruel apparently tried to delude herself into thinking that either Fluttershy or Discord sang this song to her. It brings back memories.

We see the time when Fluttercruel’s spirit searched for a new body to steal. Most disturbingly either Derpy or Rainbow Dash would have been her first choices but since she couldn’t find them, she took possession of poor Sparkler. Fluttercruel is already looking forward to torture Derpy in this body. Many memories of the time Sparkler spend with her mother suddenly come to her. How much Derpy loved Sparkler and how proud she was on her. Even when she was in Canterlot, she never forgot Derpy and is incredible grateful that her mother thought about the future of her daughter first. She loved her so much and after 1000 years when she finally had the chance to be reunited with her caring mother, Fluttercruel ruined the small chance she had. She stole the one chance Sparkler had and twisted it into a murder attempt. If she had been successful, Derpy would have thought that her own daughter had killed her in cold blood. It is one of the most disgusting things Fluttercruel had ever done.

But this hideous act left a mark on Fluttercruel as well. It almost seems that since the beginning of her own birth she was in a discorded state and only now begins this taint to weaken. The memories reminded her on all the times when she showed her mother her love by torturing her. Fluttershy was trying to reach her but most of the words very literally didn’t reach Fluttercruel. From the perspective of the sadist it made little sense what her mother said. Instead of trying to find out what Fluttershy was saying for example by letting her write the words in blood, her daughter enjoyed the randomness of the desperate attempts of her mother to reach her. For a moment Fluttercruel almost realised that her mother wanted the kind of love Sparkler and Derpy shared. Her Element of Cruelty begins to react but before she can have a meaningful change, the total devotion to her father keeps her chained to her current road. She rejected what she had felt from Sparkler and declares that her mother is simply wrong. The effect of the discording seems to be very different from pony to pony. Pinkie Pie and Fluttercruel had the strongest taint that seemed to actively censor their view of reality. Twilight and Rarity were lost in the taint of their own insanity and were very removed from the real world. Compared to that Rainbow Dash and Applejack were able to hold on to much of their original persona, I wonder why the effect is so radically different from one to the other.

When the Element of Kindness reveals that all this time she sung these songs to the Element of Cruelty not because she thought she was Fluttershy (through she must have thought that as well after Discord erased the memories of the truth), but because she could clearly see that this person was lonely and unhappy. On her road of mass murder, evil and sadism there was no true happiness for Fluttercruel. Not after 100 years and not after 1000 years did she get any happier. She tortures herself just as she tortured everybody else. This is the final straw for the already instable Draconequus. Now she is the Concept of Cruelty and still the Element of Kindness dares to pity her. Saint Apple Jacqueline contradicts everything Fluttercruel stands for.

Now she attacks them with the very familiar declaration that she loves them and that they will love her. Fluttercruel has lost it completely. Her Villainous Breakdown continues to erode her. The second voice encourages Twilight that Fluttercruel will soon be weak enough to finish her and the first voice looks forward to Fluttercruel’s painful demise. The insane Draconequus creates spikes chains that end in sharp blades. And she is actually able to create a decent name for the attack: Hell's Gate Hydra and declares it a tribute to Strife. Twilight and Rarity try to defend themselves by growing giant trees (similar to what Cadence did) out of the floor and by freezing and melting the chains. But the chains keep multiplying. In her insanity Fluttercruel calls out for Angry Pie but at the same time she forces Pinkie Pie to use more and more of her remaining strength to evade the attacks. She is slowly killing the pink pony and the Element of Rage she claims to need. In a nightmarish scene the chains begin to spread inside Spike but he is able to break them before it can get even worse. Now he knows the pain of all the poor dragons that Fluttercruel killed from the inside. It is really impossible to pick one hideous act of Fluttercruel and say this is the worst she has ever done. There are simply so many of them. Meanwhile Saint Apple Jacqueline keeps the chains busy with practically perfect illusions and heals Spike. The demented Draconequus even stabs herself to prove that she also loves herself. But Dash is able to use precise Sonic Rainbooms to break the chains while Derpy uses the fact that the chains are connected to Fluttercruel to let lightning flow through them and the Concept of Cruelty is forced to server several chains.

Apple Pie runs at the reality warper using her experience in this cruel chaotic world to let the chains following her crash into the ones before her and this causes the weapons to infinitively replicate themselves and attack each other. The filly is able to exploit the flaw in the programming of these chains to render them useless and Fluttercruel is forced to stop them from wasting more of her power. This allows the child to kick the insane Draconequus into the eye which helps to lessen the number of chains. The two voices give Twilight advices to move forward and she starts a spell that causes the chains to rust and manages to take most of them out. This allows them to do a proper counter attack on the Concept of Cruelty and it seems that Fluttercruel’s power is almost spend if she can’t create a new shield and has to protect herself with the chains. By now Lady Desire points out that Fluttercruel somehow didn’t change at all in 1000 years which could mean that there is something that keeps her struck in this state.

Fluttercruel remembers what her mother said again but this time the missing parts are not simply gone, they look like they have been censored. It looks just like the names of the ponies that are trapped in Entropy’s realm of Nothingness. It almost seems that Fluttercruel’s taint had a mind of its own and did actively hinder her from changing at all over the course of 1000 years. But the other ponies still were able to change, maybe because they still had remains of the time before Discord’s corruption within them. Fluttercruel never had something like this besides Fluttershy. The mother tried to tell her child that cutie marks are not everything and hurting others will never fill her since it is an easy and shallow act. Destroying something is easy, supporting something and letting it grow is hard. If everybody should follow only their talents then Fluttercruel should love it if another being appears whose talent it is to hurt others and if that person is hurting her family. But Fluttershy knows that Fluttercruel would react differently to that. She tries to tell her daughter that the ponies, Fluttercruel tortures, are not toys and that she is acting way too predictable for Discord’s tastes. Just as Fluttercruel sees things clearer, she hears voices of Discord, Rancor, Poison Apple and a Seapony to keep her on this path of self-destructive cruelty. For normal insanity this kind of timing is suspiciously good.

Now the Draconequus makes herself more powerful and attacks the heroes with brute strength. She is hit and injured several times but ignores that and comes close to rip the Elements out of Rarity. But thankfully the first Element she reaches is Honesty and it burns her. Lady Desire tries to counter attack but alone she is not strong enough to challenge the insane Concept of Cruelty. But she isn’t alone. Dash takes the chance to hit Fluttercruel with a Sonic Rainboom and the demented child thinks that she is true to her Element of Treachery. Both clash and Dash manages to immobilise his enemy for the moment and declares herself Free Will. Rarity muses that Honesty is the most feared Element of Harmony, while Free Will is the most dangerous aspect of Chaos. For some, so far unrevealed, reason she is more afraid of Free Will then of the combined might of Cruelty, Chaos and Fear. That is… unnerving. The first voice admires this kind of power and everyone who stands up to their fate while the second voice points out that following an order of your own free will is also a choice, only when you are no longer able to choose, do you loose your free will. They are able to fight back against the insane Draconequus who sees every injury as a gift of love. As Rainbow declares that now Fluttercruel will finally pay for all the lives she has taken in 1000 years, she attacks them in panic with towers of giant exploding building boxes and knife wielding Smarty Pants. But both attacks evaporate without harming anybody, at this point she seems too insane and broken to fight effectively.

She desperately claims that the entire world and every living being only exist for her and her father to play their sick games with. But at this point she doesn’t believe it herself anymore. Now the memory of what her mother once told her, comes crashing down on her. Then Rainbow punches her and declares that she is nobody’s toy and even if she were one, somebody who only breaks toys, doesn’t deserve a single one. Finally they prepare to charge up the Elements of Harmony while Rainbow keeps her busy. The first voice points out that they have no other choice if they don’t want somebody else to die. Sooner or later Fluttercruel will succeed with what she is trying since the beginning of the battle and will kill one or more of their mortal members. Then she mocks Twilight for hesitating to seal an insane instable mass murderer with reality warping powers. Finally they charge up the Elements to take Fluttercruel down and they are able to summon the rainbow and hit the demented Draconequus with pure Harmony. It seems to work at first but unfortunately Fluttercruel is still able to move and charges right at Lady Desire. In turn the white unicorn blasts her with the spell of Destruction to defend herself. One thing leads to another and the powers of Destruction and Harmony clash and it results in a violent explosion.

In a heartbreaking scene what is left of Sparkler’s body returns to normal and Derpy’s child is finally dead. She was released from a fate worse then death, the fate of being trapped inside Fluttercruel to be her chew toy but she will never go back home with her mother or see her little sister again. Fluttercruel took their one chance to reunite the family while they are still alive. Soon they realise that her spirit must be still somewhere and will try to take another victim. She will try to steal another body and fight against them for the fourth time. Rainbow Dash is desperate that she might steal Pinkie Pie’s body and take another dear friend. So she offers her own body and tells the others to blast her once that happens. Then Fluttercruel shows herself and she is no pony and no Draconequus. Her appearance is that of a Draconequus/Pegasus hybrid and it reflects her mind and is that of a filly. She begins to understand what her mother wanted to say but this still doesn’t change her devotion to her father and she charges at Twilight. Fluttercruel reaching her could result in anything from the possession of Twilight’s body to the Half-Draconequus’s spirit being obliterated from the attempt to charge at the awakened Element of Magic. Rainbow Dash flies in the way and tries to sacrifice herself instead similar to the events that took place when Discord’s body was first destroyed.

But this time it doesn’t end in tragedy. Pinkie Pie arrives and uppercuts Fluttercruel in the soul. Then Fluttershy herself comes as a spirit and immobilises her daughter with chains. But Fluttercruel is breaking them slowly apart. They have almost no time and Derpy seems too devastated to summon her Element. She saw her own daughter die horribly but Rainbow is at her side. The others are fighting to awaken the Elements despite all the horrors Fluttercruel forced upon them. Both Rainbow and Derpy shine in the light of Loyalty. Loyalty can be born out of many things: Family, friendship, dedication, gratitude, love and in Rainbow’s case she also chose to fight alongside her friends. Fluttercruel doesn’t understand why her mother is doing this. She does it for the same reason Shady stood up to Discord. She loves her child despite all the horrible, horrible things she has done and she will stop her from unleashing more torture and misery on this broken world.

This time she will take her chance to reach out for her child. In her current state Fluttercruel is of course not truly able to understand her but she does seem to feel that her mother is doing this for her. Then the power of Havoc’s avatar begins to separate itself from her and seems to take on a life of its own. But before it can cause any more damage the power of pure Harmony is fired at it and at Fluttercruel. The power blows the Half-Draconequus away as she laments that she failed to help her father. The remains of Havoc’s avatar are less lucky and are completely obliterated. Even Havoc himself is slightly impressed about Fluttershy and what her friends managed to do. He wonders if it will end differently this time, giving us a small hint about the events taking place behind the stage. Considering that the avatar and Discord were responsible for the violent death of Destruction, it is no wonder that Havoc isn’t angry that the remains of his avatar were destroyed.

Countless souls of Fluttercruel’s victims leave to their final rest in the afterlife and Apple Pie is delighted that this part of the battle is finally over. Fluttercruel had fought them three times and even then her spirit still tried to come back for them but now that is finally over. And Lady Desire has finally the chance to see her best friend again after all these years. The second voice tells Derpy that she will be soon reunited with Sparkler and Dinky in the realm of Alicorns. That actually sounds a bit creepy. Did she just tell her that she and her remaining daughter will die soon? Saint Apple Jacqueline reminds the grieving mother that she will be there for her as well. Spike is also delighted about their progress and believes that only Discord separates them from finally being reunited with the Princesses. If it only were that easy… Twilight agrees with her little brother and Rainbow is ready to hug Pinkie Pie.

Only to pass right through her. There was a reason that she was able to punch Fluttercruel’s soul. She is already dead and gave Rarity her Element as a final gift. Amusingly she is able to control her ghostly state with a dial and chose to appear normal with the “Sixth Horse-Sense” setting (Sixth Sense) and switches to “Return Of The Jedi” and becomes a transparent ghost. She tells Apple Pie how much she loves her, Dash how happy she is that she is herself again, Spike that she will be at his side whenever he will party, Rarity to take care of her Element and Derpy and Applejack to not forget her living friends. She will let Sparkler how much her mother loves her and Carrot Top how much her friend does miss her. But most importantly the pink pony reminds Twilight that Discord is a horrible person that deserves to be finally being brought to justice but she shouldn’t loose herself in revenge. Fluttershy begins to blame her inner demons for things going this far, but Rarity interrupts her before she can finish this sentence and reminds her that she is a wonderful person, who endured so much and was able to save all of them just now. Besides in the other timeline her inner demon Flutterrage did cause many problems in the Princess Gaia incident, here this didn’t happen.

After all this time and everything her daughter did to her, Fluttershy is still the same timid person she was before. And she still wants to heal Fluttercruel’s mind, now more then ever since her daughter can finally hear her. Rarity doesn’t think that Fluttercruel deserves it and that is a harsh and cruel truth. Then again who truly deserves forgiveness? In the end that is always a choice a person makes. But Lady Desire also still believes that Fluttershy is the only person that can save her. The kind spirit is happy by this kind of trust and becomes more determined to finally heal the broken soul. Unfortunately now that her unfinished business is over, she begins to vanish from this world. There is something that she wants to tell her friends first. She says that they are all Apple Pie's hamster, struck in the same wheel, doomed to run at the same place getting nowhere. Just like the fittingly named hamster Groundhog. The way Fluttershy is unsuccessfully trying to tell them this shows, that some things never change. But she does manage to say that the one thing that did change was Rancor’s appearance and what followed because of that. Finally she vanishes telling them that she loves them all.

Pinkie Pie knows that she will vanish soon as well and there is somebody else she wants to see before she has to leave as well. Minty is still longing to see her at least once. Twilight is grateful for all the good things that happened to her in the recent past. She was able to turn back to her sane self, was able to heal several of her friends, found new friends and also forgiveness. Now Pinkie Pie’s death is a harsh reminder that, not only do have actions consequences but that the happy ending she dreamed about will not come true. Both Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie did not survive what Discord had done to all of them. She is filled with regret for chances that she didn’t take and for actions she can’t change anymore. Instantly the pink pony reminds her friend not to fall into despair over this. Pinkie also reminds Rainbow that they will see each other again but hopefully not too soon. Finally she sings a song about that she will be at their side, will always remember them in her heart, even when she is standing alongside Puerilis. As Dash cries for the loss of her friend, the others finally give her the group hug they held back as long as they were in mortal danger. Meanwhile Rarity gains more guests after all of Fluttercruel’s victims left: Those who were connected to Pinkie Pie and one that has a connection to Fluttershy.

Meanwhile Fluttercruel finds herself in Nothingness. Rancor is here as well and she will make sure that the Half-Draconequus will not leave again. Discord might arrive soon but maybe he will regret returning to his family. His fate is not quite sealed. But now Fluttercruel is surrounded by Rancor, Anarchy, Strife and Pandora and they make it very clear that they want to remove anything pony-related from her. Havoc is there as well and he sounds like he is in a forgiving mood since Fluttercruel was a minor and insane. But he considers her status as a Half-Draconequus a birth-defect and now they begin to remove these parts very violently. Just like Fluttercruel tortured her own mother to show her love, her Draconequui family tortures her to let her become a full Draconequus. They are doing it because they think this is the best for her and eventually she will be thankful. Now she is at the receiving end of cruelty but Fluttershy is there to stand up for her.

The kind mother didn’t waste any time and entered the realm of Havoc and Entropy to save her daughter. Rarity wasn’t kidding when she said that Fluttershy would be willing to brave hell for the sake of her daughter. When Rancor is the first one to stand up to her, Havoc calmly reminds her that Flutteshy is her Sister-In-Law. Both the Draconequui and the shadows keep their distance from her and Fluttershy asks Havoc very politely (did you expect anything else?) to speak. He is impressed enough by her determination to enter the Draconequi realm to allow her to speak. Both he and Entropy have their own understanding of love and Fluttershy argues that Fluttercruel already understands the destructive sides of cruelty very well. But she lacks the variety to be a complete concept. Cruelty is more then torture. There is of course being cruel to be kind, like we saw in the other timeline, but there is more to cruelty. It could also been seen as a necessary evil, a sacrifice that must be made to prevent worse things from happening.

Havoc is happy to see somebody who sees more in him then pure uncontrolled fear or the merciless ruler of hell. Fear can be very important to protect lives as well. He can see that Fluttershy is terribly afraid of him (for good reason) but her fear of losing her daughter is bigger so she keeps protecting Fluttercruel from the being that could erase both of them without any effort. Fluttershy intends to teach Fluttercruel how cruelty can be used to let life grow and what its productive uses are. For her determination and her ability to see that the Draconequi are part of the complete existence, Havoc is willing to give Fluttercruel back to her mother. Rancor can hardly believe that Fluttershy manages to stay so calm and collected after what they had just done to her child. Fluttershy rejects revenge effortlessly, which is very understandable considering that she was able to forgive Fluttercruel for all the horrible things she had done to her friends, the world and herself. Fluttercruel tries to stand up for her mother but is too weak and exhausted to do so.

The mother calmly tells her hurt child that she will take care of her and protect her. Fluttershy also tells the other Draconequi that Discord as her father is allowed to visit, but the rest of them will not come until Fluttercruel is ready for them. Or they will have to face the Tarot of the Queen of Cups. It seems that Fluttershy became more then a mere angel, she got quite a promotion. And the Queen of Cups fits her well, symbol of the pure heart, loyal friend and most importantly loving mother. As she flies away with her daughter, somewhat similar to how Cadence saved her own soul, Fluttershy sings to her. It is a kind song about finally embracing some rest and optimism for the upcoming day.

Overall this was a truly impressive chapter that brought the battle against Fluttercruel to a dramatic conclusion. Over the course of the battle her mind continued to fall apart until the image of the confident and merciless torturer fell apart completely to reveal the scared and confused child under it. In her entire life she has unleashed misery on others and to the very end she made the life of the heroes a living hell. She took the chance of Derpy to be reunited with Sparkler and caused Pinkie Pie to die sooner then expected by forcing her to waste her energy in this battle.

These are truly actions that deserve to be hated. But at the same time the story managed to show how pitiful this kind of existence is. There is no grand satisfaction or happy ending on the path of sadism, evil and torture. Fluttercruel was empty, desperately longing for love. The only person that she could build up an at least somewhat normal connection to was Discord. She loved his sadism and evil and he was too powerful for her to ever truly hurt him. But even he didn’t want her to stay like this. He tried to raise her but maybe because of his own inability to understand love he was blind to her confusion and taint.

Eventually her total devotion to her father didn’t allow her to leave this road and it led to her own death. Afterwards a fate worse then death by the hands of her Draconequui family would have followed if Fluttershy hadn’t stood up for her. It really speaks volumes for her character that she was not only still able to love her child after everything she did but this love was strong enough to impress Lord Havoc himself. Now Fluttercruel might learn more about her concept and will be finally be able to grow as a person. She can’t change her past but if she is able to understand it, she could be able to use her concept in a constructive way. Fluttercruel could be able to finally leave this destructive road and begin to make up for all the misery and suffering she brought her victims. Maybe she will be finally free.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
6 out of 6 deviants thought this was fair.

:iconeric-emanwu:
(And after a very long beat....) THAT WAS AWESOOOOOOOMMMMMMEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!! WOW! BEST POV BOSS BATTLE EVER!!!!!! And I mean it!

Also, why are they taking orders from the shadow voice? Isn't he the negative voice? And shouldn't AP be too weak to cover them?

Actually though, that was pretty clever. Lasers, houses and electricity? And then Rarity trying to steal her soul?????? Yowsa! That is nasty.

And again being called a thing. Well, technically, all objects and beings are technically things in the physical sense. So deal with it Tribalism!

Then the cynical voice decided to give rully both hoofs, saying she doesn't actually exist, and she's merely the spell of discording that was cast, and that like what happens when someone takes a love poison, nobody will mourn her, and nobody will love her when they finally get rid of her. Mr. Voice, you clearly haven't been to the reharmonized timeline, have you? The principle there is that all fluttercruels are genuine beings with in this cluster.

Then came the tangles, as honesty wormed its way through the illusions.

One of my favorite technical moves in this fight where the 4 elements that Rarity had all attacked Cruely at once, each shouting their powers at her. Honesty, cruelty, magic, desire. And Never again shall that element of harmony do so. Spike's also continuing the vengeance of all spikes that had to play second fiddle to draconequi through eternity, using martial arts, and predator powers to stop the team. Too bad the Ice is ineffectual also. And then came the 3rd breakdown: LJ/AJ's kind lies toward Cruelly came head on with her singing. She didn't want to believe that anyone outside of family could know that song, and it's here that we see that something happened when Cruely took on sparkler's body: like Amazing Spider-Man 700, the villain gained the body, but in return they had to experience every moment of love, glory and truth from the old host.

It reminded her of how fluttershy wanted her to be like. It was something that ALMOST purified the element of cruelty. But, the powers of deconstruction were too powerful on her, and thus, she pretty definitively snapped at that point. (say, if nightmares are by definition insane, then is fluttercruel technically an nightmare draconequi? Eh, maybe that's making things too complicated.)

Also, that bit about her "loving herself"? Gah! Wrong! Wrong! That is just plain wrong!!!!! This must be what psychopaths are like at their worst. either that, or she's drawing upon the surpressed power of flutterrage to fight.

The war kept going, with fire, spells, kicking a draconequi in the eye, etc...and then as she tried a thrust at rarity, she got the wrong element. A being of chaos and nature's fury, still under the influence of disharmony was repelled by the element of honesty. For the truth is that we are all connected to each other, and prioritizing our family over true goodness is wrong! And so, She was repelled.

And then, The Rainbow began her solo assault. And look at her lightning. Remember back in her boss battle that the regular lighting she used was typical white, while her Ender traitor final cutoff lightning was only red. And yet here, her lightning is rainbow just her mane. Perhaps this ties into her growing into an ultimate element of chaos just like rarity has.

Desire is a base element of life, and can fuel kindness, laughter, generosity and all other choices we make through life. However, there is no point in having these things if we live in an utterly deterministic universe. The only way our choices make any difference at all, is if we have Free Will. But free will is a slippery and dangerous tool that can be coerced but never truly removed. For with freedom of will, we go any which way, and the responsibility for such a tool is immersurable. It's a burden beyond belief, and hence why Routa Fortuna has to be there as well to make certain that in the long road of free will there can still be some structure to prevent the whole thing from collapsing.

but yes, free will is a powerful thing.

And then, from the insessant pounding of squad alpha, she finally remembered. She finally remembered what her mother had told her: that she was taking an easy, ordered route with her cutie mark. Our talent doesn't tell how we should apply it. A thief might have a talent for hacking slot machines, but that doesn't make it right. In fact, one could say the right thing for them to do is act as a mole to the thieves by creating methods to counter hacking. And again: building up is the hard part. Breaking down is easy. So, what will you do about this Lady Nepotism?

Oh. Panic. And it appears that like Angry Pie attacking Discord's parenting skills, RD's words to cruelly hurt more than anything beforehand (except maybe getting killed).

So with Free Will guarding nature's law, the elements of harmony reactivated, and actually worked on crully just as it works on her father. rainbow whirlwind, spreading menories of the truth, and of course, Stone! Cruelty tried to stop the spell, but Rarity had a spare element on hand, and using a trace of Destruction's powers, there was an UUUUGLY Yin yang explosion, with harmony and destruction repelling from each other. Half the hallway was again white, red and pink and very royal. Unfortunately, the other half was destroyed utterly.

And sadly, that meant that sparkler was well and truly gone now. Her soul had been given the boot, and now her body was broken again.

cruelly was in an immature draconequi form now (though far more pony than she was in her last body), and still wanted to fight, despite knowing that her mom was right on some emotional level. RD wanted to make the sacrifice play, but thankfully, they had backup: Pinkie and Shy were both there, and together, they all charged up for one more go. Even more than that, it appears that freedom of will contains the potential to be loyal or treacherous. And if that's the case, than harmony and chaos can exist together!

Also, I'm getting a strong sense of deja vu to when discord was beaten the first time: a mother figure stops the bad guy from doing what he wants by holding him in place, and then the rainbow gatling gun puts them out of commission for good.

Havoc's burnt out avatar was obliterated, and Mortis got his second go escorting little cruelly to the afterlife. And finally got her out of this reality.

However, the cost of this endeavor slowly began to show: Fluttershy was gone for, and her best friend was clearly angry at the marks on her, despite her determination to make things right with her daughter. Oh cheer up fluttershy. You have all of eternity to work on it. And she gave one final cryptic warning to Twilight: "We are all Apple Pie's hamster"? We all run in place until a new factor steps in to stop things? What is this madness? What is it that now fluttershy also warns of that the valyard started with?

Sparkler was gone for, and most importantly, Pinkamina Diane was dead. Straight maned with force ghost option, but still gone for, died during battle. Actually though, I figure Puerellis is going to have a nice chat with this pinkie soon enough. RD cried for her best friend, and team harmony and chaos rested once again before the final battle.

Meanwhile, Cruelly went through family initiation: with her grandfather even mentioning that she gets 3 reductions of sentence: Nepotism as her concept, being tried as a minor, and getting the insanity plea for the majority of her actions. However, it was at this point that mommy fluttershy came into the realm of darkness to ask for warden duty for her daughter. The king, having seen that the girl has wisdom and respect for their position, agreed. Huh. So I guess relations have thawed between law and fury?

And then, she flew off warning them of the queen of cups as her protection.

The End....Or is it? Of course it isn't. We still have 1 more boss to go.
What do you think?
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:iconpersona22:
Persona22 Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2013
Poor Derpy... she never got to say goodbye to Sparkler. I really feel sorry for her, and for Dinky who also didn't get to say goodbye to her sister.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2013
I know things look dark. But I did promise this story a happy ending. 

But looking back on it, people calling this story grim dark WASN'T what I wanted. I just wanted the story to be serious with serious stakes and serious losses. 
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:iconyoshiegg64:
yoshiegg64 Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013
Couple more typos I found:

“(Snd) now I see, now I understand: you hold the most frightening Element of Chaos of all.” Snd to ‘And’.
“Didn't (want) I want to make Canterlot my home?” Remove first ‘want’.
“But the dolls began attacking each other on the (spoy),” spoy to spot.
“And even (if) I was, a brat who destroys every toy given to her is a brat who doesn't deserve ANY toys!" Insert ‘if’.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013
EDITED! Thank you.

BTW: How was Cruelty's repeated 'Game Over, I win' zappings? (air into solid rock, bodies into soap and gumballs and pencil shavings, card stacks, chess pieces,).
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:iconyoshiegg64:
yoshiegg64 Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013
Didn't find anything wrong with them. Fluttercruel is a chip off the old block. Her style in the battle was near-identical to Discord. She does however have a bigger preference to metal weapons.

I imagine Discord if he was the same situation would cheat and used the 'game over' moves as well. When Discord loses his cool he stops playing around and goes for the kill (like he did to Mimic).
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:iconyoshiegg64:
yoshiegg64 Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013
First small typo: "And that is why I said (said) you should never judge a pony by outside appearances." Remove extra "said".

Wow what a truly epic battle but I have one question.
Whatever happen to angry fluttershy? (from butterflies pt. 7:Fluttercruel) Did Cadance save her also or did Fluttercruel/Fluttershy assimilate her off screen?

I thought it would be satisfying to see the spoiled and vicious Fluttercruel to get knocked off her high horse but this was just sad. Watching her slowly break down into a pathetic crybaby who want nothing more to save her father was unnerving. The more information I learned about the villains (Angry Pie, Traitor Dash, Fluttercruel and even Discord) the more I actually pity them. Also Fluttershy you rock whohoo!!! Your kindness knows no bounds.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013
Typo fixed!

And how much of a surprise was Fluttercruel turning out to be not quite dead?

I'm happy to know her break down WORKED.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENTS!
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:iconyoshiegg64:
yoshiegg64 Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013
And how much of a surprise was Fluttercruel turning out to be not quite dead?

Honesty Fluttercruel not being dead and even her transformation/Draconequusification wasn't a big surprise to me. In fact I was expecting Fluttercruel to come back and transform in some way and would have been disappointed if it didn't happen. It was her re-introduction and the process of the transformation that surprised me most.

In part 22 I was unsure if Discord was talking to Screwball or Fluttercruel even with saying her catchphrase. The reveal still shocked me. Discord being generous and giving his daughter all of his power to fuel the transformation was a bigger surprise. Before Discord's betrayal I predicted he would betray Rancor first and have Fluttercruel eat her to transform (Like father, like daughter). So much for that theory.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013
And she tried to get her father to EAT HER, and he refuses to save himself that way.

I hope you didn't feel cheated by the twists and turns not going the way you thought they would.
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:iconyoshiegg64:
yoshiegg64 Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013
Cheated? Not at all. Besides I thought Fluttercruel wanting to be eaten to be the most hilarious part in the chapter. Even more than Pinkie Pie marrying Discord.
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