My consciousness returned to me. I stood up to see rather than green grass and plains or forests and life but an empty void, random objects floated defying all logic. I scoured the landscape in hopes to see any landmarks or any other living beings. A cracked old wall stood out among the crowd, various holes shaped like a ponies were carved into it. On top of the wall a man in a black leather jacket. His words echoed in the void as he sung a tune.
"Forged in a fire.
May all draw your ire?
The chances are dire,
But you. Are a liar.
And Turn!" He pushed himself up to a sitting position and looked down to me.
"AH Craig or is it Celt now? Doesn't matter how have you been?"
"Don't answer that I already know. Anyway how'd you like the poem? Doesn't matter either since I know your gunna say it sucks."
"Loki where the fuck are we?"
"Ah we my friend are in the land of dreams!" He pats the stone wall. "And this specifically is the fourth wall."
"You’re sitting... on the fourth wall?" I tilt my head to the side as I ask.
"Well it's a physical representation of a metaphysical concept, I could explain but," He reaches behind him and pulls out a large booklet, "the Author wants to get the move on."
The snap of his fingers rings all around, a pair of glasses form out of thin air. He grabs them and begins to read the book all while having a bored expression on his face.
"Loki what the fuck do you want and why am I here?"
"Hey you skipped some lines! Meh, doesn't matter much. We can just wing it." He tosses the book behind him.
"Well you see your here in this world because my brother and father don't want me visiting Equestria to talk to you. So I just pulled you here to talk to you. As for your other question, I need to make sure my piece doesn't die." He pushes himself off the wall and lands just in front of me. He quickly pulls my arm in front of him. "You know I said almost indestructible not completely indestructible. You know how long it took to make this arm? 5 hours of dwarf labor!"
"How was I supposed to know his sword was that sharp?"
"Doesn't matter," my arm drops down after being released from his grip, "I removed the ugly scratch that walking feather duster put in it. Alrighty, now I am going to explain uru to you so you don’t get the arm cut off."
"If it can be cut off it's not very indestructible." I retort back at the god.
"Do not speak to me like in that manner mortal! I can easily replace you!" He boomed with divine power.
He clears his throat. "Ah well yes we all have our breaking points, Anyway uru is a unique metal. The more magic contained in it the harder it becomes. You faced that turkey dinner with a near empty battery. So your arm was as strong as diamond. So yah, always keep that arm charged or I may be looking for a new piece."
Thunder echoed in the background. Slowly storm clouds started to form around Loki.
"Well it seems my brother figured out my trick. Well," A bat appeared from the air, " goodbye."
"Wait what's the bat for..." I could never finish as the bat made contact with my head.
The water sprayed against my feet. A feeling of tingling ran up my spine waking me up. I pushed myself on to my back and looked up at the sky. No clouds wandered the empty sky. I pushed myself up into a sitting position using my mechanical arm as a balance.
I grab my head with my free arm, "Oh God it's like one drill going into one ear, and another drill going in the other ear, and they're meeting in the MIDDLE."
I crawl over to the river I had come from. I look over to see my reflection and cup my hands to splash water on my face. After I finished washing my face, I begin to search around for a town that may be close. I look back up and see a pegasus fly overhead. Well I guess I head that way. I begin to trek through the forest. My journey was mostly unhindered with the exceptions of the thick brush and a few low branches. I crawled out of the forest to see familiar town. Must have floated all the way down the valley. The gravel shifts under the weight of each of my steps. Better look for somewhere quiet to read the books. God I hope I grabbed the one with the recipe. I made my way into the town not caring for stealth at this time, mostly due to the feeling of my brain being beaten with a sledgehammer. The ponies shifted to the side of the street as I walked by. I came to the town square where most of the vendors were located. I scanned the area briefly for anything of use. I spotted a large red stallion by a cart labeled "Sweet Apple Acres Apples". I walked up to the cart with the bag of bits in my hands.
"Hello, how much for an apple?"
The stallion opened his mouth only for a high pitched voice to come out. "3 bits mister."
"That's a.... interesting voice you have." I hand him 3 bits while he hoofs me an apple.
"That was me not mah brother!" Exclaimed a voice from below me
I look down to see Applebloom. "Oh hello. I'm sorry I didn't see you down there. Well I must be off have a good day."
I began amble around the town in hopes to find a peaceful place to read my recently 'borrowed' books. As I walked I had the strangest feeling that someone or more precisely someponies were following me. I turned my head back toward the street. Three boxes were in a straight line were right behind me. My god they must think I am stupid... I continue my walk until I reached the park. I found a corner of the park where no ponies were and sat on a bench. I shuffled through my bag looking for one of the books. From the void I pulled a medium sized book. I began to read it taking the occasional break to enjoy the scenery. About half way through the book I began to hear whispers,
"He is just sitting there reading."
"Calm down Scoots he looks just like the poster."
"Not a chicken are yah Scoots?"
"No way! Come on let's do this!"
I turn my head back just in time to see three little fillies launch out of a tree screaming.
"CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS BOUNTY HUNTERS!" You must be kidding...
A white unicorn used her magic and flung a basket over my head. The small pegasus and earth pony managed to hit me in the back sending me forward out of the bench. My god they are serious. May as well play the part. I push myself up sending the two fillies tumbling off me. Hmm how over board do I go? I grabbed the basket on my head, I used it to scoop up the unicorn head first. I rolled the basket with the filly still inside toward the two still dazed ponies. A large crash was heard from the collision. I walk up the three and squat to be closer to eye level.
"Can you tell me why you three are jumping out of trees screaming?"
"You look like that guy in the poster, and we thought we could get our cutie marks in bounty hunting." Scootaloo explained, she looked at the ground, "I was hoping if we caught you and got my cutie mark in bounty hunting I could join my dad on his adventures."
I stood to full size and crossed my arms, "One, I'm taller than all three of you combined. Two, bounty hunting does not fit you three in the slightest. Lastly, what poster are you talking about?"
"There's a poster with a picture of you that says you’re wanted."
"Probably a mistake," Christ their mail system works fast. "show me where the poster is."
The girls began to lead me around the town until we arrived back at the town center. In the middle of the square was a poster board. Directly in the middle of the board was a picture that read "Celt the Bugbear, Terror of Cantorlot. Wanted for theft, assault and destruction of the Royal Archive." Oh that's bullshit! Her damn security system did that! "Reward is 5000 bits. Caution, his crossbow dubbed Spellslinger is capable of shooting magic. His arm also has a hidden blade." 5k for little ol'me? Celestia you flatter me. I grab the poster and put it in my coat pocket.
"I haven't even been to Cantorlot, so it can't be me." Fake joy fills my voice in hopes to trick the girls.
"We're sorry for attacking you mister." They say in unison.
"Don't worry about it. Now you should run home, it's getting dark."
The three fillies run off to their homes. I should find a place to sleep. I walk a little more around the town until I found a suitable alley where I could sleep. I hid behind a few boxes and began to read more of the books until I found what I was looking for. Here it is the Restit potion. I scanned over the page until I found the recipe list. Let's see, grounded changeling queen horn, bark of the world tree, water from the river Styx, alpha diamond dog teeth ground into fine powder, tooth of a hydra matriarch, Jewel of a griffin king, a piece of pyremare's mane, a shaman's staff, fang from each head of the elements, string of fate, sands of time and a scale off the World Snake. Holy fuck couldn't they have made it an easier list? I close the book now knowing what I needed to get my arm back. Tomorrow I'll visit the library to get some info on some of the ingredients and maybe a map or two. I should also get a few more supplies. Slowly darkness overcomes me.
The sounds of commerce filled my ears as I slowly wake up. I yawn as I stood up. I began my walk around the town making my way slowly to the giant tree library. I round the corner to the Books and Branches Library when I collide with something. I push myself out of whatever I ran into only to be in front a humanoid Chrysalis, I look up at her face and then back down the bosoms which I had just had my face in. She looks at me and was about to say something when something that sounded like "mew" came from the library. She ran faster than lighting, quickly after a human Celestia with a large kitten plushy making childish cat noises. I feel like I missed something. I look back toward to see another thing come out of it. I was half expecting Luna to come running out of the building but instead it was a twelve-foot-tall mountain of muscle cat women. She stomps toward me. Wow how I wonder if she knows roid-rage. Most likely does. Strange no beard.
".....Wassup?" 'she' asks, shifting to the form of Ted the Changeling. "Long time no see, brony!"
"Ted? Is that you, you changeling bastard?" I wonder if I should ask him his real name...
"....Ted!? ....." *He grabs me and slams me into the wall, "How the ever-loving FUCK do you know that name!?" he hisses, breathing rapidly in panic.
"Um I’m god? I know all!" I laugh as he tries and holds me up
Ted's eye twitches, "Inside...NOW!" He shoves me inside the Library rapidly
"Looks like I hit a nerve didn’t I?" I look at the changeling breathing hard, "From the looks of you either you just had sex or you're worried that I somehow know your name."
"Little bit of both, actually... NO ONE knows my name, here!!!!"
"Who said I did?" I look at my nails acting nonchalantly, "You’re the one who told me jackass. Also not nice slamming people into walls."
Ted twitches, "THEN WHY DID YOU CALL ME TED!?"
"Cause I guessed it"
Ted blinks....and facepalms after a pause, "Dammit...OK, sorry I snapped....I...just wanted to leave my old life behind, y'know?"
"Eyup, word to the wise though never pick a fight with someone you don’t know the full power of"
Ted rolls his eyes, "You weren't there for the rest of the Gala, were you?" he chuckles and lets Celt go, "Sorry about that. What do you prefer to be called, anyway?"
"No I wasn’t that furball Griffin hit me out the window. Remind me if I ever meet him, to kill him and everything he has. I go by Celt anyway. You?"
Ted chuckles, "Knightmare is what they call me. 'SIR Knightmare DemonBane' to be exact, at least now. You can call me Knight,"
I laughs at the obvious pun," Sir Knight? Hah that's a ridiculous name yah know.."
Ted chuckles again, "The ponies began calling me 'Knightmare', and the 'DemonBane' thing is a title. I've been officially knighted by Celestia herself...." He takes out his guitar, "Meet Nyx." He play a quick riff, summoning the visage of Nightmare Moon without her armor, "Better known as 'The Nightmare'....."
Huh, I wonder.... oh god that's just stupid. "Oh that's very funny, your incredibly funny aren’t you?" The phrase drips with sarcasm. "Well I have a title apparently as well."
Ted nods, holding up a wanted poster, "The Beast with the Iron Arm. The Terror of Canterlot. Celt the Bugbear...." I smile. "Nice we should finally introduce ourselves."
"Yes it is." I smile "Well anyway since you’re a knight and I'm not going to be back for a while how is Shining? How long did it take to get him out of the wall and please don't spare me the details," I smile," One of my finer works"
Ted laughs bounces off the library walls, "That reminds me, Armor is...kinda pissed about that. Especially since his training session with Celly and me came the morning after....he was...less than pleased."
"Ah to bad I missed it, but you know he would have thrown me off the mountain if Griffin didn't" I grab a few maps off the shelves also some books I had previously read on my last visit and shoved them into my bag. I also took a number of books about legends or anything relating to my ingredients.
"He was barely in shape for throwing punches, let alone tossing out a bugbear. Plus, Celestia already had the archives repaired and the lost books replaced. But she DID beef up security." Damn she works fast. Ted blinks at the number of books I'm taking off the shelf, "you plan on taking those out?"
"Indeed, long journey and many things I have to slay and crap..." I look through the shelves, " "Let’s see ah here we go, 'Legends of Equestria'" I read through the book to find all the creatures I want in it.
"Just wanted to know. Twi might want to know what books need replaced. Apparently there have been a number of book-thefts lately and she's trying to keep track of the missing tomes." Oh crap that reminds me, does Spike remember me?
"Tell me does a sudden blow to the head cause memory loss?"
"Usually, especially with smaller, younger folks. Why? Plan on trying to knock me out?"
"Came to mind but hold on hold my bag for a second" I hand him my bag which now has the combined weight of all the books and survival supplies.
Ted oomphs, stumbling backwards, accidentally knocking into one of the bookshelves, ".....uhoh....."The shelves begin teetering over, slamming into each other like a set of dominoes, "....Twiley's gunna be piiiiiiissed....."
"Lightweight," I grab the final book and grab my bag "Well I should leave soon, you know Twi gunna be pissed and I don't need the extra trouble." I wonder..., "By the way are you a Changeling Queen?"
Ted blinks, and begins laughing, "Tch, No!" he continues laughing, and The ‘Queens’ are the leaders of the different changeling hives the nearest Queen is Chrysalis and she just bolted out because she doesn't have a taste for pussy."
"Hmm I’ll deal with her later then..." I shift through the shelf and find a bag of coins. Well I am running out of funds soon., "Well yah I must be going also tell Twi I’m sorry for stealing some of her money..."
I think about what I just said, "While I'm actually not." I say tossing a bag of coin up and down.
Ted shrugs and waves, "OK, have fun being a bastard and-HEY WAIT WHAT!?"
"She needs to hide this crap better, BYE!" I jump off the ladder and book it out the door.
Ted throws my bag of books at me Fucking idiot gave me the one thing I would have come back for, "GET BACK HERE!!!!"
I begin to run down the street dodging carts and ponies. I run into a huge crowd of ponies ducking low so that I would blend in. I slowed my pace to blend in more. I made my way toward an alley with many patios and over hangs so not to be spotted from the air. I look above to see Ted fly over me. I walk out of the alley and head toward the main path. I see a large sign with the words "Stalliongard" pointing down the road. I begin walking down the road ready to face what I need to. Look out world here I come.