My Little Pony Friendship is Magic
* "'For every yang, there supposedly exists an equal and opposite yin.'
That day and night exist as a whole.
Taken to another level the law states every good choice must result in a bad choice somewhere else.
That for every Daring Do there was a Ahuizotl.
"Actual harmony is not bound by such arbitrary ideas of equal goodness or badness must equal an equal amount of the opposite.
Rota Fortuna is not so heartless.
But this in the minds of the wicked justify their existence.
Enraptured by the idea that for every saintly do-gooder in the world, there must exist a sinning evildoer.
Building themselves up upon the idea that the object of their obsession would be as empty without them as they would be in vice versa.
That for the heroic Doctor, there must exist... The Master." * -- Princess ????????
"NOW I AM TRULY THE MASTER OF EVERYTHING!!! ALL EXISTENCE!!!" The Master chortled.
Cadence, Discord, the Elements of Chaos, the statues of Celestia and Luna, all laid prone and drained of their magic, underneath The Master.
Like a malevolent genie, The Master towered over all of them, over the entire landscape! In one hoof, the renegade Time Lord held the power to annihilate all existence, in the other, the power to remake it all, he was truly the Master of All.
"HA!" barked the Valeyard, far down below. "You think so, do you, Master?"
The Master favored his lifelong personal nemesis with a triumphant sneer. "Ah... my dear Doctor... or rather, my dear Valeyard. As utterly entertaining as it has been to see you turn your whole 'savior of the downtrodden' routine on its head... I fear there's only enough room in this universe for ONE megalomaniacal mastermind of our caliber!"
"I would certainly have to agree with you there." The Valeyard conceded.
"And just what are YOU smirking about?!" the Master growled. "I have all the power!"
"You do, do you?" The Valeyard shot back. "You don't have anything! You can't even stop the drums in your head! The drums that have been pounding, pounding, pounding, POUNDING incessantly within your head since your boyhood... spurring you into psychopathy, worsening with each new regeneration! Those drums are still beating away within your skull! Against those drums, Master, you're powerless!"
"Fool! I have silenced those drums! I am free! And you are . . . and . . . you are . . . no . . . NO IMPOSSIBLE! THIS Can't! This can't! WHY WON'T THEY STOP!? I AM ALL POWERFUL! I COMMAND THESE DRUMS CEASE! I COMMAND IT! I AM THE MASTER I COMMAND IT!!! WHY WON'T THE DRUMS BE SILENCED?!"
"YES! Nothing! You have nothing! You are nothing! Always have been! Never will be! Fade away, be silent . . . silent . . . never were, can never be, Master of None."
"Master . . . of . . . . n-o-n-e . . . . "
The Master crumpled into a fetal position, shrinking to the size of a normal blue and blond maned Earth Pony, shivering where he lay as The Valeyard approached.
"Oh, Master, Master, Master..." crooned The Valeyard. "All those times I stayed my hand... all those times I didn't kill you out of my moronic mercy... high time I made up for it all, hmm? ALL of it. Right here and now."
The Valeyard bent down lower, so the Master could get a good look at his smile.
"I have this... theory. I hypothesize that if I kill you enough times, in rapid succession... at the end, you'll be left as a kindhearted little altruist! It'll be the exact OPPOSITE of what happened to ME! Worth a try, anyway, wouldn't you say, Master...?"
"No . . no, no, nooooooo."
Within Sky Ocean, which just so happened to be floating right above the two Time Lords at this very moment in time, Lyra turned to Octotvia and Ocean Hymn. "Say.. why do you think Lord Discord requested us to do a drum solo right here, of all places?"
Octotvia shrugged, "Who knows, but Judge Valeyard is always right."
Ocean Hymn smiled and nodded, "Yes, Judge Valeyard knows best."
Lyra was instantaneous to agree, "Yes, and Master Discord knows what's right."
Ocean Hymn smiled and nodded, "Master Discord knows best."
Octotvia said, "I said that already."
Ocean Hymn nodded and smiled, "Oh! Right! Sorry."
--Year 101 AD (After Discord)
My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic
Fanfiction By Alex Warlorn
Pony POV Series
Dark World Part 17
Storming The Castle
"Traitor Dash I can't believe you! You failed! Again! Do I need to get involved in your fight next time and hand you a win?" I exclaimed at my totally awesome big screen TV, with my lovely Fluttercruel, the Valeyard, oh and Angry Pie all sitting nearby. Had to put dear Angry Pie on a leash.
(Well, well, well... Traitor Dash failed.)
(What are you waiting for? Sky Ocean is still there. Existing.)
I didn't tell her I'd wipe it out for failing that time.
(I was under the impression those were standing orders. In fact, I'm pretty sur-)
Well I changed my mind, I do that. I'm Chaos Incarnate! I don't recall swearing to My Parents on it.
(So here you are again, yet again playing the Chaos card to justify your little quote-unquote 'whim.' You can't even live up to your own death threats, can you? You're pathetic.)
'It's unexpected of me to spare them! That's all!'
(Keep telling yourself that. It doesn't make it any less of an excuse.)
'How is it an excuse? I do what I want. I don't kiss anyequus' hooves. Nothing else to it. Screw you. And if I am pathetic, go get me ice-cream to make me smile!'
"OKAY! TIME TO BLOW UP SKY OCEAN! I'LL GET THE PLUNGER AND THE 5643.12 kilotons of TNT!" My little Cruelty cheered and hopped off the couch. I had my music box ponies grow to giant size, pick her up and toss her back on the couch.
"No," I said firmly.
"But you PROMISED you'd destroy Sky Ocean if Traitor Dash failed a mission! You promised!" Fluttercruel cried, stomping her hoof.
"She's not exactly Traitor Dash anymore, more like Undecided Dash or Votes-Third-Party Dash. So Traitor Dash didn't fail any mission."
"BUT YOU PROMISED!" Fluttercruel snarled crying. "YOU PROMISED WE'D BLOW UP SKY OCEAN IF SHE EVER FAILED! YOU PROMISED!"
"I'm sorry, my little Cruelty, if I don't go twisting my words around, what will all the other Evil Overlords think? They might demote my membership to Malcontent Baron!"
"YOU ALWAYS KEEP YOUR PROMISES WITH ME! ALWAYS ME! HOW CAN YOU DO THIS?!" She hammered her hooves on me, stabbing me in the legs with her knives, meh, like pinpricks. "I HATE YOU!"
Huh? What was that weird feeling my chest just now? Probably nothing.
"No means 'no,' young lady! And that promise was NEVER to you! I applaud you for twisting my words around, but this is not the time! Now behave yourself or you can sit in your room until the heroes get here!"
"Thank you, dear."
"I MEAN YOU SUCK! YOU SUCK GIANT, NEATLY-ORGANIZED RULEBOOKS!"
" . . . YOU DO NOT SPEAK THAT WAY TO ME, YOUNG LADY!" I grew myself so big I cracked the ceiling as I roared down at her.
"So shut it, you spoiled crybaby!" Angry Pie hammer-blowed Cruelty from behind smashing her through the floor.
"Thank you, Angry Pie."
"You're welcome!" She snarled, like hot coals on soft skin.
"But I'M the only one who disciplines my little princess!" I slapped her flat with my palm. "First there was Cupcakes, then Pattycake, now I present the new sensation, pink Pancakes!"
"Cram it, you jerk!"
"Come on... don't tell me it wasn't funny, Angry Pie, dearest."
"There's NOTHING funny about you!"
There was that odd feeling in my chest again. What was it?
The Valeyard looked at his watch. "Well, it looks like it's about time for me to be going." He got off the couch and trotted towards his blue shed.
"Running away, you coward?" Angry Pie snapped from her spot on the floor.
The Valeyard waved without turning around, "Hardly. I'm just off to deal with our pest problem. Traitor Dash did all the hard work so I think I'll just trot in now and finish the job. ...Actually, I lie. What she did amounted to being a sheep you send across a minefield."
"If the sheep were smart they'd send YOU across the minefield!" Angry said.
"Such a notion never occurs to most sheep. Funny how that works out. Good luck on your parenting, Discord."
"Any advice, Valeyard? You were a grandfather once..."
"Eh?" I lifted an eyebrow.
"I still am, and always shall be, a grandfather. Just as you will always be your parents' son, Discord. Familial estrangement does not change biological blood ties."
I snorted loudly through my nostrils and gave quite a large eye roll, grumbling, "I suppose...."
"Ah, Susan..." The Valeyard then sighed, with deepest wistfulness. "Haven't seen you since my fifth regeneration. Looking back from where I now stand, I so dearly miss how ridiculously easy it was to make you scream, cry, and suffer nervous breakdowns!"
At this point, the Valeyard's smile might as well have been filled with razor blades. Hadn't seen that since 'The Master' ran out of regenerations.
"Ah-HEM." I coughed, impatiently. "I think I said: 'Any advice, Valeyard?'"
"Eh? Oh! Oh, yes, well... every child is different. Though I'll admit, actually saying no to your little pet for once? I'm impressed."
"DON'T YOU TALK TO ME LIKE I'M NOT HERE, BRICKYARD!!" Fluttercruel hissed.
"Quiet, filly, the adults are talking."
That was when I brought a giant flyswatter down on top of the Valeyard.
"I said I'm the only one who speaks to her like that."
Fluttercruel crossed her arms, pouted and turned away from me. "Well I'M not speaking to you AT ALL until I get to blow up Sky Ocean or Cloudsdale!"
I twisted around her. "Now now my dear, don't be a spoilsport. Tell me what's really bothering you. You can't fool the master of manipulation that easy!"
"I hate it when you two act like a family, when you're really just jerks!" Angry Pie hissed.
"No one asked you." I put a giant vase on top of Angry Pie flattening her again. "Now how about you sit back, relax, and enjoy the show? A good show builds up momentum in a neat, steadily-elevating crescendo. I HATE THAT.
A great show calls for curveballs. chAoS."
I have brought chaos to weed out the idiots, and I have brought order to stupid-horse civilizations so deeply mired in their petty squabbles, that they're unable to move a hoof-fall forward.
I have lived for well over nine hundred years. I stand victorious... ALIVE... while the rest of my species lies extinct. And I humor this spoiled brat of a mad god. Well, 'gods', now, considering the 'Big Banana's' sister... pah! No matter! I am the final authority! There is nothing above me! I am the top link in the chain! The laws of time and space obey me!
I could destroy them all! Him and his newly arrived little sister... easily. Plus their criminally incompetent and hypocritical parents and their equally gratuitous equine neighbors, I could annihilate them all, and there would be nothing they could do to stop me, besides rant and rave as they realized I had won before the game had even started. And the universe would run perfectly smoothly without them, better than ever, because I would be manning the helm!
If I were not a humble stallion, I'd have them each licking my hooves as I brought them balance and equilibrium that their aloof and petty minds could never have achieved on their own.
I am the Valeyard, The Doctor Of Law, My Will Be done. Amen.
HAHAHAHAHAH! I kill me! Not like anyone else ever could.
All you stupid worthless Draconequui and Alicorns! I fear this gang of ponies and their dragon sidekick more than I could ever fear any of you. You Big Four to the howling void, forever and before. All your foals and hatchlings reduced to mere mortals to age and perish, never to interfere again. HA! If any of you were even as remotely as intelligent as you claimed your infinite selves to be, you'd tremble in terror of me!
(As much as I admire and approve what you say, you're in Twilight's way.)
Flattery will get you everywhere, my sweet. But you are in my way, which is the last place you'll ever want to be.
The Valeyard opened the doors to his blue police box only to find himself buried under an avalanche's worth of cream pies, again.
Discord laughed . . . and so did Fluttercruel.
"You see, my dear? It CAN BE FUNNY!"
"Yes, Master." Fluttercruel said.
The two hugged.
"Now, Fluttercruel, let me explain something to you, now that you've calmed down a notch." Discord said in a serious tone. "If I destroyed Sky Ocean and Cloudsdale, I'd be proving Dash was right to follow me for the last thousand years, meaning she would see herself, once again, as the good guy. Guilty, yes, but she'd see it as a necessary evil. By NOT destroying Cloudsdale and Sky Ocean, she realizes the last thousand years have been nothing more than her doing my bidding for nothing. She realizes she's been the bad guy. And my dear, nothing hurts a girl like Dash worse than realizing you're the bad guy, understand?"
"So you're hurting her worse than by NOT destroying them?"
"Yes, exactly, my dear. Plus, why should I destroy my birdcage and an entire toy box for the sake of one toy? For the sake of 'chaos?' Pfff. Cloudsdale not being destroyed offers us both more playthings!"
After leaving Rainbow Dash to heal at Sweet Apple Acres, I teleported us directly to Discord's castle.
Or at least I tried to. Instead, we appeared in Neighpon.
"Huh?" I tried again, only to reappear in the same spot.
"This reminds me of the Doctor!" Derpy said looking at the neon signs and the precious normal looking ponies with big eyes and small mouths.
"Doctor who?" Apple Pie asked.
"Exactly." Derpy nodded.
"'The Doctor' was his name," Twilight explained. She looked at some of the oddly proportioned ponies with a sorrowful, nostalgic look.
"Oh. Well that must have been mighty confusin'! What happened when ya had to go to the doctor and they took ya to The Doctor instead?" Apple Pie laughed at the use of words other than their literal intention.
"Doctor was always making bad creatures who used teleportation either teleport back where they started or go where they didn't want to."
"Terrific." Rarity groaned.
Twilight tried experimenting several times... eventually teleporting her and her compatriots as close to their destination as this strange... impediment permitted. From where they stood, the castle was visible on the horizon. Once, this had been Canterlot. Now the entire thing was Discord's palace.
"Perhaps our most practical option would be to have me simply fly you ladies there. What was the point of being a fully grown adult dragon and the Element of Generosity if I didn't help in?" They were air-born in seconds cutting through the air.
"He wants us alive," Rarity observed. "He could have had you teleport us into a volcano if he actually wanted us dead."
"That sounds like something the Doctor said once too."
"Not now, Derpy."
"It also means Discord wasn't behind it, not humiliating or sadistic enough." Twilight said.
"Too bad we couldn't stay, those fairy ponies looked like fun," Apple Pie said.
"We'll have plenty of time to play with'em after we save the world," Saint AJ told her great-niece.
"Please don't destroy Discord, we don't want to die," pleaded one of the fairy ponies whose name was Nana with tiny tears.
"You won't die, I promise, the Elements of Harmony would never kill." The Element of Kindness assured them.
"On the bright side, there's no sign of Little Miss Mary-Draconequus-Sue." Spike noted looking around the skies.
"Too bad, she was nice," Apple Pie said.
"It also means she can ambush us at any..."
Help us! Help feed us!
We're starving for your brains!
In front of them lumbered a viable WALL of zombie hippogriffs, changelings, and dragons! They looked freshly dead, and hungry.
"Yah know, somehow it slipped mah mind Discord promised Fluttercruel an airborne zombie army for her birthday," the Element of Deceit said quickly when she noticed the blue feathers on some.
"Ah never heard zombies sing," Apple Pie said.
"We don't have time for this," Rarity hissed.
Twilight said, "Agreed. We'll cover your flanks, Spike, burn on through!"
The undead mass of bodies closed in around the ponies like an insect swarm. Twilight's barrier spell created an oval shield enveloping dragon and riders.
Spike's fire breath burned a path through the air. Zombie ashes fell around him.
'Blast it!' Rarity thought. 'We're too far away from the ground! Have to improvise!' She telekinetically slammed an undead hippogriff into a small swarm of undead changelings, animated corpses that could no longer shape-shift. She magically grabbed another unwilling weapon and bashed them as they came every which way.
"Ya know Ah could create an illusion of a couple of 'em bein' alive. We could slip by while they ate each other."
Twilight shouted, "Good idea! Do as much as you can!"
"Whoa kay!" AJ nodded, and suddenly the undead dragons looked alive and healthy. Instantly their fellow zombies turned on them.
Since attacking other zombies went against basic zombie programming... the dragon zombies had little choice but to endure being consumed as they tried their best to struggle towards the truly living prey.
"Uh," Derpy tilted her head, "If AJ can make the zombies look normal, and they'll attack them, can't she make us look like zombies and the real zombies will leave us alone?"
"Yer a smart cookie!" Applejack said, and a moment later, they all bore the outward appearance of five zombie ponies riding atop a large zombie dragon. One of the zombies riding the dragon cried out in fear and leapt into the arms of another zombie.
The rest of the zombie army promptly lost all interest in them.
"Oh no you don't!" Fluttercruel snapped at the TV, and pulled out a couple game controllers and tossed one to Angry Pie who accepted it without comment. "You are NOT getting through that easy!"
Suddenly all the zombies' eyes glowed with new energy. Half with vicious sadism. The other with rabid rage.
"Ah crud," Spike groaned. "Stupid villain steel-underwear."
Apple Pie had grown up with zombies. Big Roofing Tile Discord kept changing it back and forth on whether ponies rose from the dead or not. Her sisters and pa Apple Computer had to even put down some of their own family's dead bodies. They were like the 'Timber Wolves' Saint Abigail Jacqueline talked about, dangerous, but nothing to panic over.
But after the glowing cutie mark on her neck had showed up, lookin' at 'em now, she realized somethin' else.
She laughed at a zombie hippogriff as it landed on Spike's tail after brute forcing its way through Twilight barrier as they hit the same spot over and over.
"Hey, Mr. Zombie! Don't ya know the dead don't move? But yer movin' but yer dead! So ya'd have 'ta be alive, but alive things are warm and don't rot! So ya have ta' be dead too! But you're supposed to be alive and dead, but can't be alive or dead." She chuckled at the contradiction, jumping back to dodge a swipe from the zombie. "Then what are ya exactly? Ya can't really be 'half-dead' or 'half-alive' so ya can't be any of those. 'Undead' is 'un' as in 'undo' so 'undo-death' so ya'd be alive right? And if yah are alive, shouldn't yah be eating yourself cause zombies eat living things? If yer not alive and yer dead, then shouldn't ya stop movin' now?"
The zombie hippogriff stiffed, the light in its dead eyes flickered out, its eyeballs rolled in back of its head, and it bounced off Spike as rigid as a ponyequin. Apple Pie watching it fall.
Twilight stared, her brain assimilating the new data, "Did she just reason that zombie back to death?"
AJ said, "Ah saw Pinkie do that in another universe I think."
"Save the tall tales for later, AJ!" Spike said between breaths.
"Apple Pie! FRONT AND CENTER!"
"Ya got it, Half-Light!"
Twilight got on Spike's head, and let Apple Pie scramble atop her back. The countless zombies beat themselves against Twilight's barrier until it weakened and they began trickling through.
Rarity's telekinesis missiled the corpses away as best she could.
"Alright, Apple Pie! I want you to repeat what you said to ALL of them! All zombie programming is completely identical so let it rip!" Twilight's horn glowed.
"OKAY HALF-LIGHT! AH-WHOA! MAH VOICE IS HUGE!"
"Just for you! Now go for it!"
"YA GOT IT!"
One sonorously loud observation of a paradox later, all of the undead army within earshot fell from the sky like pebbles, hitting the ground far below... properly lifeless.
"YA! Look at that!" Apple Pie cheered.
"Mark one up to the good guys!" Spike smirked.
(Nice use of resources.)
"We win! Woohoo!" Derpy clapped.
"Simply smashing darling."
"Indeed Darling! AH mean! YEE-HAA!" Applejack cheered.
"Don't worry and don't give up," Rarity whispered looking over the side, her eyes focusing on one body at a time.
"So what was that, Half-Light?" Apple Pie asked calmly.
"Just a spell I learned from my old foalsitter."
Apple Pie laughed, so did Twilight.
"She DID NOT just wipe out my flying zombie army, with a freakin' logic paradox!" Fluttercruel snarled, throwing her controller at the TV. The screen shattered, static flickered as bright rainbow liquid dripped out of the cracks.
"HEY! It was my zombie army too!" Angry Pie snapped.
"Watch your temper, Cruelty! Now I have to go snap my fingers and will a new television set into existence!" Discord admonished her.
She ignored him, "Where's Rancor? Shouldn't she be back here with us by now?! I bet we'd have won if she was helping us play!"
"I could have helped if you had let me have a turn at the controller," Discord said plainly. Fluttercruel just stuck out her tongue at him.
"HEY, YOU JERKS! NO FAIR CHEATING LIKE THAT! YOU CAN'T JUST LAUGH AWAY THE MONSTERS! THAT'S STUPID AND NEVER WORKS!" Angry Pie hit the TV with her hooves as if the rebels were actually inside it. "DON'T YOU KNOW THAT JUST MAKES THE MONSTERS RETREAT TO DARK CORNERS?! THEY DON'T GO AWAY! THEY JUST WAIT FOR YOU TO TURN YOUR BACK AND THEN THEY HURT YOU WORSE THAN BEFORE! YOU DON'T GET TO DO THAT! IT'S NOT FAIR! YOU DON'T GET TO WIN BY JUST LAUGHING YOUR PROBLEMS AWAY!!!"
"Don't worry my little Angry Pie." Discord said, kindly patting her on the head. "They won't." Discord then went to push a red button on his throne at the center of a clown face, but looked to Fluttercruel. "You want to do the honors, my little princess?"
Fluttercruel grinned from ear to ear. She slammed a hoof down on the button. "Discord rules! Celestia drools!" The button jingled.
"You both drool," Angry Pie said under her breath earning her an anvil on the head.
". . .Good job, Apple Pie, I'm proud of you," Twilight said, giving the filly a hug.
The ground between the Elements and the palace rumbled. Out of the checkered dirt rose a ground invasion force's worth of double-gunned tank turrets, color blue with gold trim. Non-sensical symbols were painted on one of the side of each other. They formed a multiple layer ring around the palace. The turrets all began to turn as one and raised their gun barrels.
"SPIKE! DROP! NOW!" Twilight yelled just as dozens of laser canons went off as one shattered her shield like cheap glass and the beams creating a collective shock wave.
Spike veered away, but it was a sharp turn. Rarity held onto his neck, the others were thrown off in the blind dodge. Derpy caught Applejack. And Twilight shifted species and caught Apple Pie.
"I helped reverse-engineer those cannons!" Twilight shouted, sounding scandalized.
"Dirt Maid Number Tangerine."
"Yes, Master?" The dirt maid pony curtsied.
"Thank you for your original suggestion for the REBELS to reverse engineer the alien invaders' laser cannons. You were very helpful even before you became our maid."
"You're welcome, Master." The dirt maid pony curtsied again. "Shall I send out those recruitment letters for replacement dirt maids now?"
"Time to drop the hammer and dispense some indiscriminate violence!" Fluttercruel grinned ear-to-ear, wearing an army helmet.
"Everyone back on Spike!" AJ shouted.
"NO! Spike is a big target! Derpy, fly as low as you can! Skid the ground! We get close, then smash them up!" Half-Light Noon ordered.
"That's crazy!" Rarity exclaimed.
"I helped build them remember? TRUST ME! They have a minimum range and a cool down cycle! Don't clump together! We'll just be a bigger-SCATTER!"
Derpy flew like a drunk bumblebee.
"DERPY! THAT WON'T WORK! THERE'S TOO MUCH CROSSFIRE!"
AJ and Derpy vanished, but at the same time appeared somewhere nearby.
Derpy dodged one laser, only be annihilated with Applejack by three more.
Then Derpy and AJ appeared in another spot.
AJ's illusions had just saved her life.
"Spike . . . you're a knight in shining armor," Rarity whispered. Then she channeled so much of her mana at once that micro-fractures appeared in her horn forcing it to regenerate even as she worked. A swarm of rocks floated up from the ground around Spike like a protective ring.
"Rarity, no! Those rocks don't have the strength to withstand any hits!" Twilight shouted.
"All right then . . . then let's try . . . a little . .. something, DIFFERENT!"
Rarity's horn split down the middle and blood came down her face as she launched the entire mass of lifted stones at the ring of tank heads. The cannons spent a round annihilating the incoming debris instead of ponies.
"How about one of you at least have the decency to DIE ALREADY!" Fluttercruel shouted. She created a knife out of one of her bones and grabbed her tail, looking ready to cut it and slice through her own major arteries while she was at it. "YOU'RE NOT GETTING THROUGH THAT EASY!"
"Now-now Fluttercruel, RESTRAIN YOURSELF!"
Fluttercruel shuddered and the knife fell from her mouth.
"What did I say about asking my permission first about THAT?"
"But I could just SEND THEM OUT! They're focused on the guns! Take them by surprise! Wipe them out! The end!"
"Never, but never tip all of your hand at once."
"But we'd kill at least ONE of them!"
"Possibly, but the rest would know... You're saving it for later. Understood?"
Fluttercruel lowered her head. "Yes, Master."
"Hey! I recognize the color of those lasers! Those big guns are anti-chaos thingies! You built 'em to take US out! Not dragons!" Angry Pie accused Discord.
"Aren't you happy you're on the better side?" Cruel smiled.
"HUMPH!" Angry Pie crossed her arms back. "I'm on the side the world deserves."
"What is WITH YOU? We both love seeing ponies squirm! We both love seeing their meaningless life snuffed out! You've got to realize we're friends."
"What word was that?"
"Nothing, Master," Fluttercruel said.
Angry Pie said, "I hate you. I'm just giving everypony what they deserve for laughing at me and a world as sad as this one!"
Fluttercruel pumped a fist. "So you hate me? Ha! I knew I forced my company on you for a reason. And what's 'sad' about this world anyways? It rocks!"
'At least they're firing all at once instead of firing alternately and taking advantage of their numbers. Given their firepower it's a waste to have them all firing at once. Master, you're going to regret not letting me help program the spell matrix for the defense system.' Twilight thought.
"Ready to release payload?" Derpy said.
Derpy dive-bombed the turrets, practically throwing AJ at them, AJ's illusion giving them more to shoot at. AJ's four hooves left a mighty big impact in one of them followed by Derpy's thick skull enhanced by her Element of Loyalty.
"Show them how it's done, darling!" Rarity said.
Twilight was right, they did have a minimum range, and, after taking the ones in front of him in a line, he laid down low, and found them blowing his back spines off -he really liked those spines-, but they couldn't be lowered quite enough to shoot each other. Which was good news to Spike as he began uprooting them like a glorified gopher. Rarity rode him like a mighty steed to victory.
"Looks like Discord built these so they couldn't be aimed at the castle!" Twilight said daring to put down Apple Pie as she transformed back into a unicorn. Being on top of a turret being about the safest place they could be.
"Not like that's an option! Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Sparkler, and the Princesses are all still in there!" Applejack shouted across the field of turrets. "Along with a lot of innocent dirt maids and the like!"
"Ya pull the death ray out, and the death ray shuts down! And ya shake it all about." Spike hummed to the tune of the Pony Pokey, doing just that.
Apple Pie took advantage of her positioning and started tearing wires out to shut the weapons down, her small size letting her reach them.
Spike continued to uproot the forest of cannons, often throwing them into another to kill two birds with one stone.
Having escaped the turret's kill zone, the heroes quickly regrouped and resumed their flight to the closer and closer palace.
'You call that easy?!'
(No booby traps? No close-range support? No air coverage to run interference? Discord might as well have let you through.)
As if on cue, a blue-colored structure -- about the dimensions of an outhouse, but marked with the words 'POLICE BOX' -- materialized on the checkered ground miles ahead of them. This was the TARDIS.
Out from the TARDIS stepped the Valeyard. He spoke through a megaphone. "Excuse me! But I do believe I have something you want!"
And he pulled out a purple crystal statue of a unicorn mare in a dance pose.
"SPARKLER!" Derpy gasped. "PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE STOP!"
"I'd listen to her just this once! Unless you want a lifetime supply of amethyst jewelry!" He picked up a sledgehammer with his mouth.
"Half-Light, we gotta stop!"
AJ shouted, "Spike! Take us down now!"
(Twilight, you know this is a trap!)
'A trap is a trap only if you don't see it coming, then it's a hazard.'
(And you're waltzing right into one!)
'I'd rather we deal with the Valeyard now while he's alone, than at the castle. Be best if we could avoid making this a gang fight, if it's all the same to you.'
(You don't let your enemy decide the when and where of your fight, filly.)
Rarity ground her teeth.
Spike knew it was selfish to every -other- family in the world to stop for one innocent. But he also knew how much Sparkler's death would destroy Derpy Hooves. It wasn't his sacrifice to make. And it'd be selfish to make it his.
Derpy, out of all of them, remained absolutely silent.
The group flew down to the Valeyard and the purple statue, the TARDIS doors were slightly open behind him.
Twilight made a quick scan of the ground and air and Sparkler for any typical Discord booby traps. She watched in horror as The Valeyard then strapped a bomb to the neck of the statue as their group landed right in front of him.
Derpy still said nothing, she actually hid her eyes underneath her mane.
"How very nice of you to stop! Thank you very much." Valeyard said with a polite smile. "I hope you're not planning anything cute."
"Maybe I can breath fire on you and figure the statue will be okay but you won't! How's that for cute?"
"Her name is Sparkler, not 'the statue,'" Derpy said evenly and cool.
Rarity's own eyes were narrowed and still.
"The bomb might not like that idea, Spike! And it's a very temperamental bomb! Teleport it, tamper with it, and Sparkler goes all to pieces! Very sorry about that! Bad pun, I know!"
"But then if Sparkler goes boom, ya wouldn't have a hostage," Apple Pie said.
The Valeyard shrugged. "Plenty of hostages where she came from."
AJ looked in horror. Even if she made an illusion to sneak in and grab Sparkler the bomb would go off. Could she sneak up on him? Or would he see it coming-?! Could she sneak into his blue box? Dangit the opening was too small even for Apple Pie! They all knew the Valeyard was smart, they needed to be smarter.
(You're thinking in the wrong direction.)
"Now let's not drag this out." The Valeyard said sternly. "Surrender to me."
The Element of Loyalty took a trot forward.
Derpy lifted her eyes, tears down her muzzle. "I'm sorry so, Sparkler. But I can't!"
The Valeyard's eyes widened and he drew in a sharp hiss.
Rarity fired a stone bolt with the telekinetic force of a rail gun, the Valeyard stepped out of the way. He wasn't Rarity's target. The crystal statue Sparkler shattered into a million pieces.
"Sparkler!" AJ screamed.
"MRS. RARITY!" Apple Pie shouted in horror.
"Sparkler," Derpy whispered looking at the pile in resignation. "Mommy's sorry."
"HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND?!"
"RARITY! HOW COULD-!"
"You were actually right, Spike." Rarity said. "It was just 'the statue' after all."
"I beg your pardon?"
"That statue was a fake. I sensed no desire to dance in it. I encountered the real statue Sparkler before."
At this point, they all noticed the 'bomb' had broken open. A bunch of gummy-ursas fell out.
"SAY something next time!" Twilight said.
"I'm sorry for the hurt Derpy," Rarity said to the nodding Pegasus then looked at the Valeyard, "Your fake was a flop!"
The Valeyard's expression was perfectly calm in the face of all their incredulous looks. "It got you to stop didn't it?"
"DOCTOR! HOW COULD YOU?!"
He rolled his eyes. "I told you Ditzy, it's Valeyard, try to be a little less thick just this once. Ahem... Rancor! Now."
A dome of crimson blades erupted around the palace, and a relatively smaller one around the Valeyard and the heroes. Each piece fit together and turned like a clockwork machine of pain.
Rancor flew through the barrier next to the Valeyard but looked at Derpy first. "Dang gray pony, Ditzy was it? Getting all around that castle on foot is a killer! And I'm a Draconequus. My sympathies!"
Derpy just nodded calmly. "It's Derpy, Derpy Hooves."
"Alright Derpy, Derpy Hooves. Kiddin', got it Derpy."
'I knew we should have used the Elements on her,' Spike thought.
"You . . . you were DELAYING US?" Twilight gasped for breath.
"You get another gummy-ursa. Would have been nice if you had given up there, but with the cow-pony of Honesty on your side I didn't put much faith in it."
"I needed to carve the lines of the barrier in, PERSONALLY! Didn't think I was gonna make it. But I had too much to gain and too much to lose to fail. Oh and before you think about it, the barrier goes underground too, sorry. Not quite my style, but wasn't my call. So, Lanyard was it?"
"Yeah, I'm usin' 'round ninety ta ninety-nine percent of my power to keep the barrier powered up but still-"
"I don't NEED your help, unless you feel like asking silly questions with obvious answers or gawking at my brilliance."
"... You know I'm getting very annoyed at this," Rancor said agitation slipping into her voice.
"Too bad. I don't need you falling for their reverse psychology or them exploiting some quirk of your powers or personality flaw. Minions are idiots... they just harm me."
"...You'll get yours someday, Barnyard..."
"HEY!" Apple Pie shouted.
"Don't be disrespectin' the good name of barnyards, missy!" Applejack added, equally miffed.
"...and my family will be waiting for you. When you get to Pony Hell, tell Dad I said hi."
"Pish-posh, you worry me even less than these ponies do."
(Twilight, whatever you do, whatever you think of doing. Don't teleport. At all.)
"Gah." Rancor sulked. She eyed the heroes while giving her spear a few spins, she looked at the heroes, "I want to have at least ONE cool boss battle before I'm done here. So please, so some of you try to survive Yard Sale, here!"
Rancor flew away, passing through her barrier unharmed.
Derpy asked, "Doctor, how did you get her to help you?"
"They both work for Discord, duh," Spike said.
"It's VALEYARD, DITZY. And Rancor's just another wannabe with a dirty secret."
"It's painfully obvious to anyone with two synapses firing, which rules out everyone here but me. And what's more... Rancor knows I know."
"So why hasn't she tried to, you know..." Spike coughed, and drew a claw across his neck. The Valeyard chuckled.
"Ah, Spike... if Rancor killed me, it'd only make her scheming more obvious.
Not that she could even if she tried but fools are allowed to dream, which is what makes them so dangerous to intelligent and rational people."
"I must say, Mr. Valeyard, I believe you might be guilty of an overly optimistic outlook on your survivability." Rarity judged. "Such as right now. Six of us, against one of you. Unfair odds." Rarity said.
"Yes, maybe if I fought with three hooves, but I'm here to win. That's why I didn't take along that psychopathic-marefilly Fluttercruel OR that mad-animal Angry Pie."
"Don't EVER call them that again!!!" Applejack snapped.
"Oh, forgive me, Liarjack!" The Valeyard replied, with an apologetic half-bow. "Didn't see you there... mistook you for someone else!"
"Ah AM someone else! Liarjack's gone for g..."
"Whut Ah MINT tah say wuz dat yer PANK 'n' YELLER-coated frey-yends are thuh purdiest, gentlest, sanest, shore-as-sugah lovable dar-lans en thuh whole dag-gun ro-day-yo!"
They were ALL cringing away from the Valeyard's drawl.
"Dah sun dun shane all duh brightar ev'ry tie-yem they breathe ah new breath!" Then he smiled sweetly. "That better, LJ?"
For an answer, Applejack snorted hot steam and stamped the ground aggressively with a forehoof. "Yer goin' DOWN, Junkyard."
"Why are you even WORKING for Discord?" Rarity and Twilight shouted together.
The Valeyard blinked at them several times. "You know... it's still such an oddity, seeing both you unicorn ladies with your heads completely out of La-La Land." He lowered his voice to a stage whisper. "It's not too late to turn back, you know. Reality's quite a SCARY PLACE."
Now they, too, were shooting death glares at The Valeyard.
"As for your chorused question... I'd say gratitude for setting me free but that's a lie. Discord is power, and his actions are no different from those of a child. Like him, I have forever to live. Eventually he'll grow bored of this world, and I'll convince him to GIVE ME his power, or simply lead him by the hand across the galaxies like the toddler he is stringing him along on what to do to help bring the justice and order that eluded the universe for far too long, and I will be judge and jury to the scum and madmen of the cosmos."
"And it's a good plan, Valeyard. Cruelty, pass the soda, nice to have this thing working again," Discord said sitting on a couch watching this all on the replacement, static-snowed black and white TV with rabbit ear receivers -Fluttercruel said they were 'fit for an Angel'-.
"You might want to start with yourself," Rarity muttered.