A contradiction, that’s what this room is. This small, cramped space where science has set foot, but not a science of discovery, but conquest. A science of power most people would expect society to shun, when in reality they would salivate at the possibilities.
There were no windows, no paths to the outside world. It was dark, dreary, desolate and solitary, a prime place to hold secret government science research projects. Research projects such as the one completed in this very room, proving that sometimes stereotypes are true, even if we'd like to wish they weren't.
This is the room where liberty dies. This is the room where slavery thrives.
A complex machine was fixated against the back wall. It was composed of a large, glass enclosure underneath a large, oval-shaped generator that was tightly fastened to the ceiling by four metal rods, while two large blades stuck out of it, meant to spin around when the device was in operation.
It was tall enough for a small group of people to stand inside while the generator would turn on and drive the machine work its magic, or in this case…science.
Lights flashed all over, orange, yellow, red and blue, giving some sense of life in the otherwise dark and dreary area. It looked rather Christmas-like, even though this room’s purpose was anything but bright and jolly.
Long, black cords fed out of the machine and into a screen that was placed on a desk. It looked like a thirty-six inch television screen, relaying images back to the viewer; a man.
This lone individual sat at a desk, his eyes glued to the screen as it flashed colorful images back to him, contrasting the very darkness of the room. The images were of an entirely new, far off world that was discovered only a short time before. A world that was animated like it was designed from a children’s cartoon, which is exactly what it looked like. The landscape, the creatures living on the other side of the screen, they were all cartoony, all cartoony, yet still living, breathing organisms that did, in fact, exist.
It was a miraculous discovery that set the international scientific community abuzz. Cheers were heard, champagne bottles were opened, heck some scientists flat-out streaked down city blocks like college boys pledging to a fraternity.
The man behind the desk’s black hair was greasy with sweat. His cold-brown eyes scanned the screen as the cartoon-world’s images flash back to him, giving him a front row seat to observe the daily lives of the different creatures, learning as much about each of them as he could. His rough hands clapsed together over his mouth, elbows on the desk. He had the appearance of a student leaning towards his professor with great interest.
A small, sinister smile crept onto his face, illuminated by the light which only made it possible to see the lower half of his face up to the bottom rim of his glasses, giving him the look not unlike a villain from a thriller film.
This is his creation, his brain-child, his project, something he’d hoped to achieve ever since he was a small boy with a big dream and a big imagination, a trait shared by most inventors.It was his lifelong dream, and now it was accomplished.
Not only that, but the discovery would also be his means to pay back the government for the loans he was given to run such controversial research. He reached out and grabbed a phone that was connected to the panel in front of him. He dialed a number and pressed the receiver to his ear and waited for a response.
The reply came in a creepy voice. A voice that sounded like it was coming from a man wearing a respirator.
”Are the provisions made?”
“Yes. All I need is you and your men.”
”Excellent.” came the voice on the other end, ”Just have the suits ready for us when we get down there, I’m a man of promptness and delays are my pet peeve.”
The man in the chair nodded, but didn’t say anything in response other than: “How’s your face?”
For a moment there was no response, only the labored breathing of the man on the other line. The man could feel his pulse elevating, he held his breath in anticipation, too scared to do anything but sit and wait for the man to get back to him. Eventually, his voice was heard yet again.
“Listen, I’m sorry again for...”
The man looked at his receiver as the ventilator-voiced man hung up on him. He lowered the phone back into the cradle and stared at it for a few moments, any glimmer of joy he had on his face minutes before gone, taken by the man with the horrifying, respirator voice. He was now terrified, as if the person he called directly threatened his life.
Burying his face deep into his hands, he let out a sigh. He rubbed his temples and looked up at the screen in front of him, still showing the cheerful, happy faces of six colorful equines hanging out with each other like good friends should.
His face started to relax as he listened to the little ponies converse with each other.
“So, Pinkie Pie, you wanted help with something?” The white unicorn with the purple mane, Rarity, asked her pink friend.
“Yeah, can you girls help me bake some cupcakes? Mr. and Mrs. Cake are busy for the day, and I could reeeeaaaaally use your help.” replied the crazy pink one that the man recognized as Pinkie Pie.
“Of course, what are friends for?” The violet mare, Twilight said in response before turning to her friends that included Rarity, a orange pony with a cowboy hat, a cyan pegasus with a rainbow mane and tail, and a yellow pegasus with a pink mane. “Come on girls, let’s go!”
“Yeah!” the cyan mare, Rainbow Dash said triumphantly, “Let’s do this!”
"Right behind ya partner!" the orange earth pony, Applejack, said with a smile and a tip of her hat.
"Um...I'll help too...if that's all right." the yellow pegasus, Fluttershy, stated meekly.
"I call dibs on helping with the chocolate cupckes!" Rainbow Dash shouted with great enthusiasm as she flew off, closely followed by her cheerful friends. Once they disappeared from the screen’s view, the man smiled.
“You will all be very valuable.”
He then reached out and pressed the “off” button, turning the screen from bright, hopeful color to complete darkness.
Even the darkest night in Equestria was brighter than daytime in most places. For a while, it seemed like this night was no exception to that rule.
The quaint town of Ponyville was silent as a church. Everypony was either sleeping, or getting ready to after a long day. The town was also dark. The only light sources came from the street-lamps that scattered along the sides of the desolate roads, the beautiful stars that dotted the darkened sky like sprinkles on a cake, and Luna’s proud moon that was hung like a giant, crystalline ornament. There were also a few house windows that provided light as a lamp or candle shone through it from inside.
One such window was on the town’s public library, where a diligent, lavender unicorn was busy doing what she loved to do more than anything else in the world.
The inside of the library was also near pitch-black. A small candle next to the studious pony provided a source of illumination for her reading. The entire place was silent and peaceful, the perfect environment to kick back one’s hooves and crack open a book.
The only interruption to such soundless serenity was the occasional snore from a certain baby dragon that was upstairs sleeping in his little bed, having dreams of Rarity accepting his invitation to the Grand Galloping Gala. Occasionally his mouth would curl into a satisfied smile as the mental shade of his crush would give him a big hug and shout, “Oh! Spikey-wikey, of course I would go to the Gala with you!”
But Twilight didn’t take notice of her sleeping friend, all her focus on the book that was laid out in front of her. Her baggy, exhausted eyes moved side-to-side like the carriage lever of a typewriter. Quick enough that her reading pace wasn’t sluggish yet slow enough to make sure she didn’t miss any words. When she was with Princess Celestia, the majestic alicorn goddess would always tell Twilight how even a single word could be vital in whether a concept was understood or not.
While she read on, Twilight started to feel increasingly tired. Each second was more and more trying on the poor pony’s energy as she struggled to keep herself awake.
She could feel herself exit the stage of simply being tired, and enter the phase of “head-bopping”, where she’d momentarily enter a state of near-sleep before remembering where she was and jolt herself awake. If anypony had been around to see it, it would’ve been quite a humorous sight.
But, ever so determined to finish the chapter she was on, Twilight fought through the fatigue. She gave her eyes a quick rub with the back of her hoof, yawned, and continued to read.
This text was on scientific laws, theories and beleifs, which ranged from the realistic to the downright bizarre. Most ponies would find this boring, but not Twilight. This was her crème de la crème, learning through reading. She found so much joy in reading educational books, and her range of interests was diverse. In the past she read a couple books on unicorn history, two on the history of Ponyville, and, surprisingly, one that dealt with the study on the reproductive cycles of hydra.
That one was quite strange to say the least.
But this book was more interesting to her than any of those for the simple reason that, while she enjoyed magic, she also loved science. Physics, biology, chemistry, neurology; she loved them all, especially the things this book was talking about. Not only was it based on science, it was also about beliefs and theories, two other things she took joy in learning about.
Some were mundane, even to Twilight, to learn about. But many other sections dealt with very interesting and unique theories, like the chapter she was on, which was entitled, “Our Universe and the Possibility of Others”.
One section of this chapter dealt with the "string theory", or the idea that there were an infinite number of parallel universes that could be either very different, or very similar, to the one she was in currently.
”Hm…an infinite number of universes? That sounds intriguing.”
Immediately, her mind began to race with ideas of possible parallel universes. What if there was a universe where everypony was made out of food? What if there was a universe where she and everypony else were opposite genders?
What if there was a universe where Rainbow Dash never did her first sonic rainboom and none of her friends got their cutie marks?
What if there was a universe where she and her friends never defeated Discord and their personalities were still reversed?
Thinking about the last two made a cold chill run down Twilight’s spine. She mentally hoped there weren’t any Equestrias in different universes that had to suffer like that.
Living in a world of disharmony, chaos and suffering all day, every day, for the rest of his or her life? She couldn’t imagine a worse torture.
Eventually, she finished reading the chapter, and in doing so, gained a new insight on different universes and other scientific theories involving that subject, but the string theory stood out in her mind above everything else. Regardless, Twilight concluded that it had been a very productive night for her, and that made her feel accomplished and content.
She closed the book and let out a big yawn. ”Guess it’s time to hit the hay.”
Twilight raised her hooves up towards the ceiling. She listened to the little “pops” and “cracks” as she stretched the stiffness from her joints. She lowered her hooves back down onto the table and let out yet another yawn.
She then used her magic to levitate the book back over to its proper place on the shelves; gently sliding it into place in the space between the two books it was in before she started reading it earlier that evening.
She then levitated the still lit candle with her aura, and made her way over to the staircase. As soon as she started walking, the physical signs of exhaustion began to reveal themselves. She could feel herself begin to wobble, her body swayed uneasily from side to side as her legs started to feel like they were about to give out.
She reached the first step and looked up at the steep journey that lay ahead. She sighed upon seeing the long procession of burdensome steps that stood between her and the sweet salvation that was her comfortable bed.
Slowly, but surely, she began her climb up the stairs. Her mind was focused on both her walking, as well as the candle she was levitating. Each step was like another pang to her energy, sucking her dry to the point where she almost collapsed face-first into the step below her. Fortunately, she re-gained her composure and continued her climb.
She got up about five steps when there was a sudden flash from outside.
Alarmed by the phenomenon, Twilight turned her attention to one of the nearby windows to see a very large, bright light glowing outside, the sky illuminated as if it were day rather than night. It was so bright, that she could make out the grass on the lawn of her library; she could make out trees; she could make out Ponyville itself. That is how bright the flash was.
The flash slowly went away, the darkness gradually reverting to night as Twilight continued to stare blankly at the window, pondering what in Celestia’s great name just happened.
Somewhat nervous, the purple mare took a few, cautious steps back down the stairs so that she was back on the ground floor of her library. Even though the flash was gone, her eyes never left the window, even as she climbed down the stairs. Thankfully, she managed not to stumble as she made her descent.
Upstairs, the pervious sound of snoring disappeared, replaced with an obnoxious groan and some mumblings before the voice of a familiar baby dragon was heard.
“Ugh, Twilight, what…what was that light?” Spike called down. He sounded tired; his voice slurred like a drunk who’s lost a bet.
“I don’t know.” Twilight’s face went from confusion to determination. “But I’m going to find out.”
“…okay.” Spike muttered before there was a small “thud” followed by the return of his snoring, his mind going back to the dream he was having about he and Rarity after the Gala.
Twilight rolled her eyes at her assistant’s lazy nature that rivaled only that of Rainbow Dash. Sure he was a great assistant, and she understood how he could get tired after a long day of work, but she couldn’t help but think that he was exaggerating a bit.
Then again, it was extremely early so it wasn’t completely unreasonable that he’d be tired.
She slowly made her way to the front door of the library. The candle was still aflame and floating in the air beside her, bobbing a little with each step the pony made.
Once she reached the front door, she stopped and took in a deep breath. She slowly exhaled to get her bearings as she started to feel a bit nervous. Moments later, she returned to her confident, leader-like self and placed her hoof onto the door-knob. She opened the door and slowly trotted out into the night.
Just as it had been before the flash of light, it was dark. It was so dark, that Twilight could only see clearly what was directly around street-lamps, while everything else was obscured by the darkness. Sure she could make out the occasional tree, house, shop, or towering, bipedal thing that…
”Wait…towering bipedal thing?”
Twilight squinted at a large creature that was standing about fifteen feet away from her. He was in the dark, completely shaded by the night sky to the point where Twilight could only make out his shape. Burly, hulking, massive…anything that could be used as a synonym for “big” would fit the description perfectly.
She had never seen anything like it before, it was bizarre. Maybe she could try talking to it? Perhaps it was friendly. Maybe it was just lost and needed some help finding its way home?
But then Twilight pondered the possibility that it wasn’t benign. Maybe it was hostile and would attack her if she did get to close to it, or simply made herself known.
As she contemplated the plethora of ways she could deal with the situation, the creature slowly turned around so that it was looking down directly into the little pony’s eyes. Twilight’s blood froze when she saw the intimidating stature of the creature that stood in front of her, towering over her small frame, he had the look of a man in complete control.
Its entire body was still hidden by the darkness of the night. All of it, that is, except two luminous, bright glowing orbs where they eyes should have been. There were no pupils, just brightness. Horrible, horrible brightness that seemed to jab its way into Twilight’s very soul and bury itself there.
Twilight slowly began to back away, eyes still meeting the gaze of the strange creature as it took a few, small steps towards her. She dropped the candle on the ground next to her, not caring that the grass slowly began to light up in a small blaze of fire; all she cared about was this terrifying individual.
Realizing it was getting closer to her, Twilight quickly turned and made a dash to the front door of her library, not once looking back at the place she was running from.
Behind her, the creature took a few steps forward and stomped out the fire with the sole of its shoe; extinguishing what could have been a devastating catastrophe for the entire town.
The being spoke in a familiar, ventilator-laced voice, “You should be more careful with your candle little pony, you could set the entire town on fire…and that’s our job.”
Back near the library, Twilight slid to a stop just in time to avoid slamming face-first into the door. She pulled the door open with her magic, jumped inside the tree, and slammed the door shut behind her. For one of the first times in her life, Twilight used all of the locks on the door, including three dead-bolts that she never touched except when she put them in.
Normally so many locks weren’t a necessity, as hardly anypony robbed each other; it just wasn’t in their nature. And those who did rob usually wouldn’t go to such lengths as to buck the door down when it was locked. They’d simply move onto the next house where they hoped a more naïve pony resided.
But Twilight wasn’t naïve; therefore she had some extra locks put into the door just in case she needed them.
Slowly, she backed away from the door, her ears plastered against her head, her eyes filled with worry, and her tail partially tucked between her legs. She rarely was ever this scared, even some of Equestria’s nastiest monsters hadn’t ever driven her to become the cowering mess she was now. But those eyes were enough to drive anypony to madness.
“Spike!” she shouted, not taking her eyes off the locked door as if she expected the creature to break through it at any moment. suddenly, another bright flash, similar to the first one, stremed into the library through the windows. Twilight began to get even more scared, her heart rate increasing to a point where she started to consider the possibility of having a heart-attack.
“Spike!” she screamed with more urgency.
She heard screams, explosions; she heard destruction coming from the direction of Ponyville. She sawanother bright flash, followed by more sounds of chaos and confusion. She wasn’t sure exactly what was happening, but she didn’t want to wait to find out. She wanted to do the logical thing and leave with Spike to find her friends before that thing came for her.
Maybe they could use the elements against these beings?
It was a hopeful thought, but Twilight knew that her first priority was going to be finding the others.
“Twilight?” Spike said as he walked to the stairs. He still looked tired, but his eyes showed some sense of urgency as he could hear the panic in her voice, “What’s going on?”
“We need to leave…” before she could finish her statement, Twilight was interrupted by a loud blast of noise that sent her diving under her desk. She also heard Spike scream from upstairs when the explosion sounded. She wanted to go out to make sure he was okay, but her fear overrode the desire to stupidly expose herself so she stayed under the desk for the time being.
She covered her ears with her hooves as debris made up of pieces of bark and wood went flying her way. She closed her eyes for a moment out of fear; fear of the unknown force that sounded like it just decimated half her library in one blast.
Slowly Twilight opened her eyes and pulled her hooves away from her ears.
When she saw what happened to her library, her blood froze.
Not only was front door completely blown in, the entire wall around where the door had once stood was demolished. All that was left was a gaping hole that was somewhat hidden only by the cloud of white smoke billowing from it. Books were strewn all across the floor, pages that had been ripped out danced around the floor in the gentle night breeze that crept into the library.
Ever so slowly, Twilight cautiously made her way out from under the desk. The air in the library became thick with ash. She could feel dust from the smoke cloud land on her face and body, working its way into her fur so she appeared to have just climbed out of a collapsed mine shaft. Some even seeped into her nose, causing Twilight to have a small fit of coughing.
Once in the open, she slowly stood up onto her hooves. She was still coughing every now and again as her body tried to rid itself of the dust that made its way into her lungs. Though the smoke started to dissipate, the air was still tainted with its presence.
“Spike! cough…cough…Spike!” Twilight called; her voice hoarse and her eyes watering from the coughing. She looked up at the top step where Spike had once been. When she didn’t see any baby dragon, she became worried.
“Spike!” she called roughly before letting a few more coughs escape her throat.
Twilight was just about to run up the stairs to make sure her number one assistant was okay when two blinding lights flashed into her library. She turned and covered her eyes with her leg as she looked back towards the gaping hole where two bright, yellow beams of light shone through the cloud, directly into the mare’s purple eyes.
She stared in horror as two towering, shadowy figures made their way towards her. All she could hear was their footsteps, as well as exaggerated breathing. It sounded like the two beings were breathing through a machine.
Before she could do anything, one of them pulled something out from what appeared to be their belt, but they were still in the dust cloud so she wasn’t sure what it was.
The creature pointed the mystery object directly at the unicorn. Twilight couldn’t see what it was through the smoke.
There was a “click” sound, followed by something flying directly at the mare’s left leg. Before anything could register in Twilight’s mind, she felt the projectile latch itself onto her leg and lock into place.
She looked down to see a silver bracelet just above her hoof, a small, violet light flashing in the center. A high pitched “beep” sounded from the strange band. Immediately, Twilight felt like her energy got sucked right out of her. Her legs, which had managed to hold her up even when she was on the verge of falling asleep about ten minutes before, gave out beneath her. The poor unicorn collapsed to the floor.
Her horn felt like something was inside of it, pressure building from within. She could also feel every ounce of her energy burn up and evaporating into nothingness, making her more and more tired with each passing second. She groaned in agony as the discomfort continued to flow through her, hitting each centimeter of her body with equal power.
The pain slowly began to abate, leaving her thoroughly exhausted, with a feeling of absence. It was like she was missing something, but she wasn’t exactly sure what it was.
As she lay on the ground, she heard laughter coming from directly above her. She slowly opened her eyes to see the two things standing above her.
Getting a prime view of what they looked like, Twilight couldn’t help but to be in awe of their appearance.
They were tall, about five to six feet in height. Both wore shiny, white suits that hid most of their bodies from view.
The only thing that Twilight could make out that indicated they were biological rather than mechanical were their eyes. Now that the light the eyes originally gave off was turned down, she could see that the yellow orbs she saw before and mistook for eyes were really two lenses. The outlines of each lens had lights within it, which gave these creatures the appearance of being soulless thugs. In reality, however, Twilight could now see eyes behind the glass. However, the small size of them, in contrast with the larger size of pony eyes, definitely created an uneasy feeling within the unicorn.
Then again, her original assessment wasn’t too far off base.
“Well, what do we have here?” asked the being two the left of Twilight. The thing’s mouth was hidden; heck both of their mouths were hidden, behind a small, silver disk that was sewn into the white suit. By the odd tone in the man’s voice, his strange breathing, and the small tubes that led out of the disc and behind the men’s head, Twilight assumed the disc must’ve been some kind of breathing apparatus.
“Looks like another pony to take with us.” Said the man to Twilight’s right in a much more normal, but still synthesized, voice.
Twilight suddenly snapped out of her shock-induced daze long enough to stand back up and attempt to teleport herself away from her library. She closed her eyes, gritted her teeth, planted her hooves firmly into the wooden floor, and concentrated all of her attention on her horn. Concentrating to cast the teleportation spell that would lead her to safety, as it had done many times before.
But after a few seconds of straining and concentrating that made her look both pissed off and constipated, nothing happened. Not even a single spark of energy or a sliver of aura-induced light escaped the purple horn atop Twilight’s head. Her magic wasn’t working; it was failing her when she needed it the most. She was powerless and the two things above her seemed to sense her insecurities.
The being on the right let out a small, yet malicious, laugh as he eyed the confused pony.
“Little trouble with your magic there, eh?”
Twilight closed her eyes and tried her magic again, and again, and again. Every time nothing would happen, her horn as useful as a fire-extinguisher filled with kerosene. Eventually she gave up and collapsed onto the floor. Her breathing labored her eyes tired-looking up at the two men above her, who just looked down at her.
“Never have I felt such a mixture of power, and pity.” said the man on the right.
“Now you know how I feel every day, when I’m around people like you.”
The two men looked up at the source of the voice. Twilight noticed that thier previosuly malicious eyes were suddenly filled with terror.
That voice, that horrifying voice wasn’t just behind a respirator like the voices of the men above Twilight, it sounded like it was behind two breathing apparatuses, like the man was wearing one underneath the mask and silver disc.
Twilight looked up at the man with the scary voice. He was hulking, even more so than the other two men. His head looked slightly dis-proportionate, as if there was indeed something under that mask besides flesh and bone; something over this man’s mouth. Other than that, from where Twilight was lying there was nothing else, except the size and odd face, to differentiate him from the other two men.
Except for one thing, the air of superiority he had. Without him even saying so, she could tell he was in charge of everything. The screams in Ponyville that echoed throughout the library, the fires she could see roaring in the distance, the gaping hole in her library; she didn’t need anyone to tell her that this was at least one of the main men responsible. She could only hope he wasn’t completely in charge.
Then again if someone as intimidating as him wasn’t at the top of the chain, who was?
Another thing that caught her attention was a small, purple and green dragon that was being held upside-down like a freshly caught salmon. Her eyes widened when she realized who it was.
Spike’s eyes were closed, his mouth open as he hung unconscious from the hold of the scary-voiced man. Twilight suddenly felt her heart rate increase as even more panic set in. She looked back up at the man that let her number one assistant dangle by his feet.
Suddenly, Twilight felt something tighten around her neck. She looked up to see the man on the left, the one who first spoke to her, holding a stick that led to a lasso-like loop which was currently wrapped around the defenseless unicorn’s neck. She tried to pull away, but soon realized, much like her attempts to teleport, it was no use.
“Don’t even think about it little missy, you aren’t going anywhere.”
Twilight eventually gave in and simply glared up at the man that was holding the stick that was attached to her collar. He was like some sort of animal handler.
“But I’m not an animal.” Twilight thought with a hint of sadness.
But her determined and angry looking face concealed her defeatist-sounding thoughts.
“What are you doing here?” she hissed.
“Well I think I would be better suited to answer that question.” She heard the voice of the large man behind her. That voice, that artificial sounding voice that didn’t sound like anything a living thing could produce.
Twilight purposely looked down and kept her back to the man, too frightened to look back at the large white-clad creature that let Spike dangle above the ground.
The man noticed her fear, even when she was facing away from him. All it took was him to see her shivering body and her refusal to look in his direction, even when he spoke to her.
He couldn’t help but let out a small, near diabolical, chuckle.
“Do I frighten you?”
Twilight, without looking at the man, meekly replied, “What are you going to do to us?”
“In time, my dear Twilight, you shall find out.” Said the main with a sinister voice not even the devil could conjure up, “Yes, all of you here in Ponyville shall find out.
Twilight turned to the man, now looking up into the two, glass lenses where his little, beady, black eyes could now be seen. Initially she was freaked out that he knew her name, and was about to ask him how.
But then she realized something, something that scared her even more than his voice. This thing, this being that towered over the other two in height and muscle, was the same one she saw outside after the flash of light entered her library.
The man chuckled at the mare’s scared expression, taking as caused by her confusion regarding his knowledge of her name.
“And then you will learn how I know your name, whether you wish to or not.” The man then looked up at the other two. He pointed out of the gaping hole towards the pillar of smoke that was rising from the rubble once known as Ponyville. Seeing the chaos and destruction sent a chill so far down Twilight’s spine it reached her tail and made it give a little spasm.
“I see the rest of the team is having success.” The scary-voiced man said.
“Yes, soon the entire town will be ours to take back.” The man on the right said.
“Excellent,” the leader motioned for the group to head outside. The men obliged. The one who held the stick attached to Twilight’s collar dragged the purple pony behind him as she struggled and fought with each step they took.
Eventually they got her outside into the previously cool night air. But all coolness was gone, replaced by warmth, and not pleasant warmth like one would discover by sitting in front of a fireplace on a cold winter’s night.
No, this warmth felt threatening, causing Twilight to get nervous. But what really added to the ominous feeling of the fire was what lay ahead.
Ponyville was on fire, houses and buildings were engulfed in monstrous flames. Smoke filled the air, making it even darker by blocking out the moon and stars in the sky. Most of the street lights were either broken or malfunctioning; giving little flickers of light every couple of seconds before petering out. But even with the lack of the moon and functioning lamps, it wasn’t dark. In fact, it was far from it, much brighter as the roaring fires reached impressive heights, erasing all shadows that once obscured outside. If one were to look at Ponyville from a distance, they would have seen something of a "halo effect" as a bright orange aura glistened above the town.
While she was being dragged down the main street of Ponyville to Celestia knows where, Twilight got a front row view to watch as ponies she knew get ambushed, beaten and dragged through the streets. Some kicked and struggled, while others, like Caramel and Fluttershy, seemed to accept their fate and allowed their handlers to pull them along as they watched the town burn down with tears in their eyes.
The black pegasus Thunderlane started to make a break for the skies with Blossomforth when two bracelets were shot at them. One hit Thunderlane in the front, right leg while the other hit Blossomforth in the back, right leg.
Instantly, there was the familiar sight of a light flashing on the bracelet, followed by the pegasis’ wings collapsing in against their sides.
Their eyes squeezed shut as, Twilight assumed; a pain similar to the one she felt went through their body and zapped their energy. A second later, they both fell to the ground with a solid “thud”. Groaning and rolling around in a daze, the two pegasis were completely unaware that two men had gotten collars on them until it was already too late. They started to weakly struggle against the grip, only to receive some jolts of electricity from the bracelets. They eventually gave up and were promptly dragged off with everypony else.
Suddenly, there was a scream that much closer than the others. Twilight turned her attention to the direction of the scream to see Lyra trying to teleport away with Bon Bon as a few men started to converge on them.
Just before her horn could charge up its green aura, Lyra was hit with a bracelet not unlike the one that hit Twilight, Thunderlane and Blossomforth. Her horn started to peeter out and fail. Lyra suddenly collapsed to the ground just like Twilight had, her energy completely zapped. Quiet groans of pain escaped her lips as she lay on the ground, her hooves clutching her stomach.
Bon Bon screamed her sea-green friend’s name, only to be hit with a second bracelet. The light on it began to flash, but her reaction wasn’t as severe as twilight’s or the others. It still seemed to hurt her, as she grimaced and shut her eyes tight, but Bon-Bon still had enough energy to stand when it was all finished.
Based on what the bracelet’s behavior, Twilight deduced that it sucked the magical energy out of ponies, which would explain why Bon Bon was less affected, as an earth pony, than unicorns and pegasis seemed to be.
Sure the magic zapping bracelet didn’t seem to hurt the white earth pony too horribly, but it did succeed in distracting her long enough for two men in white to tackle her to the ground. After a brief wrestling match with the feisty pony, the men managed to get a collar around her neck.
Around the corner, Twilight saw Applejack and Apple Bloom being pulled apart by two different men, who were trying to drag them off in opposite directions. Applejack’s hat was gone, her hair frazzled and body littered with cuts and bruises as if she had just gotten into a brawl. In fact, Twilight was amazed she still had her ponytail somewhat intact. Twilight also noticed that both sisters had bracelets on their legs already. They were at the mercy of the creatures holding them.
A moment later, Twilight saw two men dragging an unconscious Big Macintosh down the road, a large lump on his head and a familiar silver bracelet on his foreleg. One of the men pulling the red stallion shouted for the person who was handling Applejack to follow him.
After some effort, the two men controlling Applejack and Apple Bloom managed to start on their way, the gap between the two country-pony sisters widening as they shouted each other’s names, their hooves outstretched as they tried to reach each other.
“Applejack!” Apple Bloom shouted; her eyes filled to the brim with tears. “Big sis, help me!”
“Apple Bloom! Let go of me you varmints, Apple Bloom!” Applejack shouted back, her face equally moist with tears as they ran down her cheeks.
Soon, Apple Bloom was taken around a corner and left Applejack’s view. Applejack couldn’t control herself anymore and started to bawl. She continued to pull against the collar, but it was no good. Her handler had too strong of a grip.
It was worse than when Discord was around. Forget simple chaos, this was hell, the likes of which the peaceful land of Equestria has never seen, even in its darker days.
Twilight turned her head to the direction of the voice to see a hostile Rainbow Dash trying to break free of the person that was holding her with the collar. She eventually managed to buck him in the gut and sprint over to Twilight.
“Rainbow Dash!” Twilight said excitedly.
Just before the cyan Pegasus reached her friend, she suddenly stopped running and fell to the ground. Twilight watched in horror as her friend began to twitch and groan in agony as tiny little electric bolts shot up her legs from the bracelet that she had on.
“Rainbow!” Twilight screamed, looking up at the man Rainbow Dash had bucked to see that he had gotten his bearings and was pressing a small button that was on a string around his neck. After a few more seconds, he stopped and Rainbow Dash relaxed on the ground, her tongue hanging out and tiny moans passing her lips as she looked up at Twilight with weak eyes.
Seeing this was all Twilight could take before she looked over at the man responsible, who was making his way towards the downed pegasus. Twilight struggled against her handler, pulling with all her might towards her friend’s tormentor. She growled, snarled and fought with the hopes of reaching him.
Eventually, however, the man with the terrible voice saw what was happening from a distance and started to make his way over, a metal baton in one hand as he handed Spike off to one of his men with the orders to take him back to ”the portal”.
Twilight continued to struggle against the collar until she felt every inch of her body light up in excruciating pain. Her nerves screamed bloody murder, as the electricity pumped into her body.
Her teeth were gritted together. In fact, her jaws being clamped was the only reason she wasn’t screaming out. It was by far the worst pain she felt in her life. No amount of magic spells gone wrong, burns involving Spike and her face, or objects falling onto her head courtesy of a certain cross-eyed mail-mare, could compare to the agony she felt at that moment. Completely vulnerable, completely at the mercy of her handler, she was cornered, caught like a common animal.
Once the electricity stopped pumping into her body, she collapsed to the dirt road similarly to how Rainbow Dash had moments before. She slowly opened her eyes, her vision blurry so the only thing she could see was a cyan and rainbow blur directly in front of her.
She could hear her friend respond just as weakly, “Twilight…"
Twilight slowly reached out her hoof in an attempt to reach her blurry friend as she laid a couple of feet away from her. But she was still too far away. Rainbow Dash also extended her hoof towards Twilight, but it was still not enough.
"I've...got...you..." Rainbow Dash muttered weakly, "just...a...little...more..."
Before either pony could scoot closer to each other so their hooves would touch, Rainbow Dash was pulled back. Twilight's vision returned just in time to see the man in control of Rainbow Dash drag her limp body down the road, further away from the downed unicorn who was now truly alone. Just before she called back out to her, Twilight’s vision was cut off by an enormous pair of white boots that stepped directly in front of her.
She looked up to see the all too familiar figure of the scary-voiced man towering over her defeated body. It was funny, even with the suit on, which looked exactly like every other suit the beings were wearing, this particular man was immediately recognizable by Twilight solely due to his large frame that dwarfed the others.
Even though she couldn’t see his mouth, or most of his face for that matter, Twilight could swear that the man was smiling as he looked down at her helpless position. It was mostly because of his still-visible eyes that seemed to squint in a way eyes do when someone smiles.
The man then held out his baton and tapped it against the palm of one hand as he held it in the other, like a cop about to issue a beat-down on a man trying to evade arrest.
“Bad pony.” The man held the baton up as if he were about to bring it down, “Don’t worry, soon you’ll learn to respect a proper authority.”
Those were the last words she heard before the metal baton slammed directly into the side of her face, knocking her out cold and sending her to a world darker than Luna’s night.
Twilight opened her eyes to a world of darkness no better than the one she just woke from. She could hear sobs, crying and screaming all around her. She looked from side to side to see that she there was a long procession of ponies with their sides lined up. All of them looked miserable, but in varying degrees. Some looked defeated and hung their heads, some bawled openly, and some others screamed and struggled against what held them to the ground.
Noticing their struggling, Twilight saw each pony had chains clamped onto their legs. She looked down to see that her own hooves were chained to a strange black surface that stood out from the rest of the floor, which was made of hard-wood. She looked to her right and saw Colgate was right next to her, pulling at the chains with all her might, snarling and cursing when she didn’t break free. She also seemed to attempt to use her horn to cast a spell, but, as with Twilight, she failed.
Twilight noticed that the light blue unicorn had the same bracelet on that she did. She looked down to see that the bracelet was still in the exact same place it was in before she got knocked out. She contemplated trying to break through the chains with her magic, or teleport, but decided against it when she remembered how futile her past attempt was.
Besides, her attention was drawn to her left where the other pony that was right next to her was crying. She turned to see Pinkie Pie looking down at the floor, tears running down her face, her mane flattened against her head. Her front legs were trembling from fear.
“Pinkie Pie?” Twilight asked.
Pinkie Pie looked over at Twilight, giving the purple pony a perfect view of her friend’s moist eyes.
“Twilight?” she whimpered through her sobs. “Where are we?”
“I don’t know.” Twilight said, looking around, but besides the line of ponies that were illuminated in lights that came up out of the floor, all she could see was darkness. Hell, the walls could’ve been pure white and she wouldn’t have been able to tell through the obscurity of the room.
“I’m scared.” Pinkie Pie said sadly, her body starting to shake even more like a leaf caught in a windstorm.
Twilight tried to put her hoof out to her friend for support, but her hoof was still chained to the ground. She sighed and decided to approach the issue with words.
Twilight was suddenly interrupted by a door opened at the other end of the room. Twilight turned towards the sound only to be blinded by the light that shone brightly through the door. She shut her eyes just as the door shut. The lights to the room turned on. Twilight slowly opened her eyes, squinting to prevent too much light from coming through, to see what the commotion was all about.
Standing in front of the ponies were four men. One was formally dressed in a shining suit-coat; his hair was spiked and his face was neatly shaven. He was also wearing a pair of thin-rimmed glasses, giving him the appearance of a man with intelligence and power, a potent combination.
Behind him stood three men, two of whom looked almost identical to each other. Both men were roughly the same size, both had roughly the same frame, both had the same suits on. In fact, the only true difference was that one had greased-back brown hair and the other had no hair at all.
But it was the man in front of them that got Twilight’s attention the most. He might not have led the procession, as the man with spiky brown hair did, but there was something about him that demanded respect.
But it was his face that got her attention the most. His mouth had a thick, mechanical mask covering it, tubes running into a band that was clipped around his head to keep the mask in place. His breathing could be heard echoing throughout the room.
It didn’t take much time for Twilight to identify him as the burly man with the scary voice that she met in Ponyville during the invasion; the one that knocked her out.
“Hello everypony.” The man in the front said with a smile. “My name is Christopher Maloney, and before you ask, yes I am the reason that you’re here with us today.”
“Why did you kidnap us!?!” Rainbow Dash screamed, followed by a slew of equally angry “yeah” and “tell us!” from the long line of assembled ponies.
Maloney just let out a small chuckle, “Ah Rainbow Dash, your brazen attitude is so prevalent even in his universe.”
Rainbow Dash’s expression fell from anger to confusion, as did everypony elses’.
“How…how do you know my name?”
“Oh we know more than just your names.” Maloney said as he took a few steps towards the blue pegasus, who had a very uncharacteristic look of fear in her eyes. “We know everything there is to know about you, where you work, what your special talent is, who your friends are and so much more.”
“What do y’all want from us?” screamed a male voice from somewhere in the line. Twilight recognized it as Big Macintosh who, while not one of the most vocal ponies would definitely speak up in a situation like this, where he and his two sisters were being held against their will.
“Glad you asked.” Maloney said with a smile, “as I was about to tell your little rainbow-maned friend here, Big Macintosh…” the red stallion didn’t flinch or show any sign of defeatism as the Maloney hissed his name, “that you are here for a very special reason. To help me repay the debt I owe the federal government for discovering your little universe, you will be auctioned off to the highest bidders.”
There was a panic murmur flooding through the crowd. Twilight could feel her heart rate intensify. Pinkie Pie let out a small, sad squeak next to her before she continued to cry. Applejack was struggling against the chains that held her and Big Macintosh was doing everything he could to calm her down. Sure he was mad as well, as shown by his outburst, but he didn’t want his little sister to strain herself against the chains.
Maloney looked at the long line of victims assembled before him and smiled menacingly, “Such disorder in this crowd.”
He then turned back towards the trio of men behind him, specifically the one with the terrifying voice, “Benedict?”
The man with the respirator gave a small nod before stepping forward so he was in front of Maloney.
There was an immediate silence following this order. Coming out of an ordinary man this would have been frightening, but to come out of a mouth hidden behind a breathing apparatus was one of the most terrifying things anypony ever heard. They all looked over towards the group of men as Maloney gave Benedict a small nod in appreciation before turning his attention back to the ponies.
“Now then, as you can see, each of you is chained to a long conveyor belt that will roll you onstage when your turn is called. You will cooperate, you won’t try to escape or do anything stupid while up there, understood?”
“What if we refuse?” A voice to Twilight’s immediate right said. She looked to see a still defiant, angry looking Colgate trying her best to intimidate the men by staring directly into their eyes, her chest puffed out and a scowl on her face.
Maloney stared down at Colgate and just smiled. He seemed unfazed by the blue unicorn’s outburst. He still had the air of superiority about him, and this frightened Colgate, though she didn’t show it as she kept looking up at the man.
He turned back to Benedict, “Go ahead, show her.”
Benedict nodded and pulled out a strange device from a black bag. It was similar to an iPad in size and look, a large screen in the center of the otherwise silver device. He looked at it for a moment before finding what he wanted. He pressed his finger against the screen of the device and looked up at Colgate.
Moments later, a sound, like the buzzing of hundreds of bees, screamed out from Colgate’s bracelet. The unicorn howled in agony as little, blue bolts of electricity shot through her arm and into her body. Benedict kept his finger on the screen of the device for a few more seconds, seeming to find some sick entertainment at watching the unicorn get tortured.
Finally, he lifted his finger and the buzzing noise stopped, as well as the electric bolts running through the bracelet. Colgate collapsed to the ground, body twitching and tongue sticking out as she panted. Her entire body throbbed in pain and soreness, all of her energy had been zapped.
Everypony stared in horror at the downed mare as Benedict slowly slipped the device back into the bag he was carrying. He then crossed his arms across his chest. Maloney thanked his henchman before turning to the frightened equines that were not too afraid to do anything other than gawk at the downed Colgate and breath rapidly.
“Does that answer your question, dentist pony?”
Colgate moaned and tried to stand up, only to collapse back to the ground. All of the ponies were now looking up at Maloney.
“That’s okay sweetie, stay down; rest.” Maloney told Colgate with malice in his voice. He then looked at the crowd of soon to be auctioned goods, “Any other questions or are you all ready to begin your very special evening?”
Nopony said anything. They were all either too frightened, or to livid to do anything. Maloney waited for a response, though after what he did to Colgate it’d be a lie to say he was expecting one.
Eventually, he conceded, “Then let the show begin.”
With that, Maloney turned and left the room. Benedict and the other two men seemed to stare down the ponies as their boss left. Once the door was shut, everypony started to bawl.
Pinkie Pie worked the waterworks as her eyes turned into tsunamis of tears, creating a huge puddle at her hooves.
“I…don’t…sniff…want to be…SOLD!!!!!” Pinkie Pie sobbed like a baby woken from their afternoon nap.
“Pinkie look, I know it’s bad,” Twilight looked away for a moment and let out a sad sigh, “it’s bad for all of us. But just remember, I’m right here next to you during the whole thing.”
Pinkie Pie turned to Twilight, her crying seemed to slow down enough where she wasn’t even bawling.
Benedict continued to look over the crowd of, now hysterical, ponies that his boss left to him.
“Aw, I just can’t stand to see such sadness.” Benedict said with a tone of mocking depression. He then held up his watch, looked down at it, and pressed a button.
Suddenly, there was a “whirring” sound that came out of the floor. All of the ponies, who stopped doing what they were doing, whether it was crying or consoling those who were crying, and looked at the floor at their hooves. Twilight and Pinkie Pie looked down, both as confused as everypony else about the source of the noise.
Then, without warning, four, steel walls shot up from the ground around Twilight, encasing her in a small block of space that’s only opening was just above her.
But she wasn’t the only one. Soon, everypony on the conveyor belt was trapped in a small, claustrophobic box of their own that was made up of metal walls that went up above their heads.
Now the screams came at an even greater volume. Twilight could hear Pinkie Pie in the block next to her, her own sobbing worse than it was before.
At the sound of the panicking ponies, Benedict let out a feigned, exaggerated sigh of relief, “That’s better.”
Even Twilight started to panic. Her eyes frantically darted from one section of her shiny, silver prison to the other. She eventually looked up at the one reprieve from solitary, dark confinement she was in; a single light bulb hanging from the ceiling.
She couldn’t look away from it. The bulb gave her the only light source for her as she stood in the enclosure. It appeared to taunt her. It seemed so close, yet still out of reach.
Just as she stared longingly up at the light, wishing she could feel its warmth on her hoof, the floor beneath her started to move to the left. There were even more screams as the conveyor belt took the ponies off to front stage to be sold off.
The crowd was massive, people from every walk of life present to place their bids on the new species that would become their servants. There were rich people, middle of the road people. Heck, there were some people from lower income brackets, but they were there mostly to see what the newly discovered ponies looked like as they knew they couldn’t outbid the higher ups.
Chad sat in his chair, his eyes staring up at the massive ceiling above. His hands clasped across his lap and his foot tapping the ground impatiently. He didn’t want to be here. Not only was it boring to sit by and watch as his parents tried to outbid everyone else, but it felt wrong.
Maybe it was his disdain for his parents, two of the wealthier people in town, both dressed stereotypically. Chad’s father had on a sharply-pressed black suit and red tie, while his mother was adorned in an elegant gold dress; a cold, determined look that she always seemed to have. She was cooling herself off with a decorative fan she bought at a fair held recently in the downtown area, which was another event that bored Chad to death.
Chad didn’t hate rich people. In fact he learned most of them didn’t live up to the stereotype that his parents did. For instance, there was Mr. and Mrs. Beverly, both of were very well off. They were at the auction as well, both having much less uptight looks about them. Mr. Beverly wore a collared shirt and khaki pants while Mrs. Beverly wore a beautiful, but not gaudy, dress.
Mr. Beverly was an anesthesiologist while Mrs. Beverly was a writer for the local paper, mostly focusing on local and national politics. Chad assumed they were here to find ponies to take care of their kids, as their last babysitter was fired when she was caught stealing fifty dollars them. Not to mention he couldn’t see them hiring ponies to perform jobs that would be considered overly burdensome.
And they weren’t the only examples of breaking the mold of the media’s “generic rich” label. There were many kind wealthy people that were either attending this auction, or refused out of morality.
Believe it or not morality did exist.
It’s just that Chad’s parents and everyone they hung out with did. They were brash, pretentious, arrogant, and oftentimes aloof. Chad’s parents were often stuck in their own little worlds of golf and caviar, and forget that their son existed.
The teen looked down as the bright lights overhead started to burn into his retinas. He looked down at the stage. Large, red curtains were pulled back from the shining, wooden stage. A long, black strip ran down the center of it. From sitting in this theatre many times before, whether for plays, performances, or other auctions, Chad knew that it was a conveyor belt.
He looked around at some of the other attendees. A few rows down and to Chad’s left was Nick, a fellow sixteen year old with stuffy, elitist parents. He had soft brown hair and cadet blue eyes that shone in the sunlight. He was quite tall, much taller than the average-sized Chad. When both boys stood next to each other, it wasn’t uncommon for some people to take Nick as Chad’s older brother when they were both the same age.
Eventually, Nick’s own eyes met Chads’. He gave his fellow friend in suffering a soft smile and nod to acknowledge him. Chad nodded back before looking straight ahead.
He continued to assess the crowd when his eyes fell on the dreaded Mr. Connolly, the town’s resident bastard that owned one of the local car plants. He was a person that everyone in town seemed to suck up to like he was some kind of God. He was slightly chubby, had wild and greying hair, and a bit of stubble on his face.
If you wanted to see the picturesque image of the generic rich fat-cat, all you’d have to do was look at Mr. Connolly.
Needless to say that Chad loathed his guts. He never donated a cent to charity, when even Chad’s parents, for as snobbish as they were, did. He was known for abusing his servants, both physically, emotionally and, sometimes, even sexually.
Some servants even came forward with complaints, saying that they were sexually harassed while employed by him. But no one ever listened. When the police did question him, he had such a strong team of lawyers he could’ve gotten off with murder, even if they had his fingerprints and five witnesses identify him as the culprit.
“I’m thinking three ponies to help at the farm portion of our house and two pegasi.” Chad’s father said.
Chad’s mother nodded, “Yes, I really hope we get some good fliers.”
Chad rolled his eyes. Of course, the newly forming pegasus races that the town was creating. Ever since the news broke that some of these ponies were, in fact, pegasi, it was only a matter of time until they came up with idea for “Pegasus Flight Races”, which was like dog racing or horse racing, but with pegasus ponies.
Just then the lights began to dim and the talking hushed to a low murmur before silencing altogether. The auction was about to begin.
“Ladies and gentlemen.” A voice boomed out from speakers that circled the auditorium. “Welcome to the Equestrian auction! Here you shall bid on a wide array of ponies, each with their own unique, special talent. Some are great musicians, some are great with magic, and some are just plain loyal.”
Chad rolled his eyes at the enthusiastic tone of the voice. He bit down on his lip and began to tap his foot against the ground even more. He didn’t want to be here, he really didn’t want to be there. He sat back in his neatly-pressed suit that itched the back of his neck and wrists and trapped so much heat from the overhead lights that he could feel sweat start to accumulate under his armpits and on his forehead.
”Damn short button shirt.” Chad thought angrily as he realized the itching was caused by the lack of protection his skin had around his neck and wrists from the itch-causing material on the suit. He knew that he was going to get a rash, and it wasn’t going to be pleasant, but there was nothing he could do other than sit back and give the occasional scratch.
“All right, let the auction begin!” the voice shouted, followed by a round of classy applause from everyone in the crowd. The conveyor belt dragged a long line of metallic boxes out onto stage. Behind each wall was a terrified pony, waiting for their turn.
“First, we start with a little bit of class!”
On cue, the first metal box disappeared back into the floor, revealing a white unicorn with a well-styled purple mane and dazzling blue eyes, which sparkled like diamonds even through the runny mascara as she cried. Her eyes stared out into the crowd of people, face full of fear and terror. Her legs began to wobble, her breathing rate increased.
“What on earth is this madness?” Rarity questioned nobody in particular.
All she got in response the sound of people in the crowd whispering to each other, discussing whether or not she was worth bidding on.
“This little classy lady is a unicorn by the name of Rarity.” The voice boomed out.
Rarity looked up in fear, “How do you know that? Who are you!?!”
Sure she heard the three men talk about Rainbow Dash and how they knew everything about her. But it was something else entirely when it was her in the spotlight, an anonymous voice booming out her name to the mysterious creatures in the crowd around her. But it was only going to get more uncomfortable.
“She has a “passion for fashion” and can make almost any article of clothing if given a fine thread and needle. She is also very classy, possibly the cleanest and best behaved pony that we have here tonight. She is a keeper.”
Rarity looked up, her face changing from confusion to rage, “How do you know that!?! Have you been spying on me!?!”
“She can also be a bit stubborn and somewhat opinionated…”
“Where is my sister!?! Where is Sweetie Belle! If you lay one hoof on her I’ll…”
“But she also is very caring for her little sister, Sweetie Belle, who we will bring out to you a little later. Now I believe it’s time to start the bidding.”
Rarity’s face turned bright red, “Don't you dare bid me!”
She was appalled, aghast, completely shocked at how these beings were degrading her like some household item to be sold off.
“How dare you talk to me like I am an armoire!” She screamed, only to have it fall on deaf ears as the announcer started the auction. A furious bidding war broke out between a very flamboyant man with spiky green hair and Nick’s mother, who seemed to be losing it, her face shining with sweat as her rising voice cracked. She looked like a mental patient getting into a heated debate with someone instead of a person at a supposedly casual auction.
Eventually, Nick’s mother was victorious and Rarity was purchased. Nick simply put his face into his hand and shook his head, embarrassed at his mother’s crazy behavior.
If one could take a photo of the look on her face when she had been purchased, it could be placed in the dictionary under “horrified”. Rarity slowly lay down on the wood stage-floor. Her eyes filled with tears as she realized that she’d been bought like…“an armoire”.
Chad shook his head in disbelief at the sight of the poor unicorn. He couldn’t believe how she was treated by everyone here in the auditorium.
As Rarity cried, the metal walls slowly raised back up, hiding her from the audience’s sight. Once this happened, she was rolled away to make room for the next pony in line.
The event carried on, Chad getting more and more annoyed as he watched pony after pony was purchased by people in the audience.
His own parents managed to get three earth ponies to help at the farm. There were two that were siblings. A red stallion by the name of Big Macintosh stood valiantly in front of the crowd, not uttering a single word and not shedding a single tear. He just stared down everyone with two accusing, ferocious eyes; full of hatred and contempt for the audience taking part in the bidding process.
Chad’s parents also won his sister Applejack just before he went up. She was a feisty one that much was clear. She cursed, tried to buck her chained legs, and screamed at the top of her lungs. Chad’s parents were impressed with her energy, and in winning her, now had two ponies to work on their farm.
Chad’s parents also managed to buy a brown earth pony stallion by the name of Caramel. He was the antithesis of Big Macintosh, timid and fairly small in size. His blue eyes looked at the crowd like it was a jury and he was on trial for a murder he didn’t commit. He openly cried on stage as Chad’s parents bought him for a low price, as nobody wanted what they labeled a “sorry excuse for a colt”.
Not to mention having a special talent as a “horse-shoe thrower”, in addition to the crying, gave him the image of being a weak pony with an even weaker strength. As the wall rolled up to conceal the poor colt, Chad felt his heart break. Caramel’s blue eyes looked out into the crowd as if to ask why?, before they were hidden by the wall.
Chad’s parents also picked up two pegasis by the names of Soarin’ and Rainbow Dash, both of whom were supposed to be extremely fast. Soarin’ was a member of the Wonderbolts, and therefore was a proven high-quality flier. Rainbow Dash, on the other hand, was more of a “go at her word and the word of the announcer”. Sure she called herself the “fastest flier in Equestria”, and the announcer seemed to push this notion. But there was doubt in the audience.
After all, if she was so fast how come she didn’t have the distinction of being a Wonderbolt like Soarin’ or Spitfire? Spitfire was the other pegasus Chad’s parents really wanted to buy, but they eventually lost the bidding war for her when their competition was willing to go to prices they never would put onto anypony.
In the end, Chad’s parents purchased five ponies and decided to call it quits.
“Come on son, let’s go.” Chad’s father told his son before standing up to help his wife grab all her things. Chad sighed and stood up to leave. He turned towards the aisle when the next pony was announced.
“All right, up next we have a very special pony straight from Canterlot. Please welcome the lovely, intelligent unicorn and personal student to the Princess of all of Equestria…Twilight Sparkle!”
Chad stopped moving and turned towards the stage, his eyes widening as he saw the pathetic pony lying on the wooden floor. Her eyes seemed to be looking away from audience in front of her, staring sadly down at her hooves.
Chad’s heart began to break at the sight. He wanted to run down there, to lift her up and bolt for the exit with her safe in his arms. For some reason while watching this process was horrible to do for each and everypony, Chad seemed drawn to Twilight by some invisible force, like he had to save her. It didn’t make sense, but that’s what he felt.
“Okay, do I hear one thousand?”
Just then, Chad saw a hand shoot up into the air to place a bid on Twilight. Chad recognized the owner of the hand immediately, though he wished he didn’t. It was Mr. Connolly, the town dirt-bag.
Seeing him place a bet on Twilight made Chad’s blood boil. He waited and hoped that someone in the audience would place a bet to save her from the hands of that bastard. But as he looked around the entire auditorium, he didn’t see a single hand raised. Most everybody had bought all the ponies they needed or wanted, and were just staying to enjoy the remainder of the show. After all, some bidding wars got pretty heated and made for good entertainment.
Chad listened as the announcer started the countdown, “One grand going once!”
Chad clenched his fists, biting his lip as he was torn between heading into the aisle and leaving as his parents wanted him to do, and saving the poor lavender pony from the fate of being purchased by Connolly.
“One-thousand going twice!”
“Dad, buy that pony before Mr. Connolly gets her.” Chad said to his father.
But his dad simply shook his head, “No, we’ve already spent more than enough. We’re leaving, now come on.”
Chad couldn’t take it anymore. Maybe it was the smug look of a man thinking he’s cinched a victory in bidding for the pony on Mr. Connolly’s face. Maybe it was Twilight shivering, frail frame and her expressive, tear-filled eyes that slowly closed as she readied herself to accept her fate.
Chad snapped and did something he normally wouldn’t have done. He turned, grabbed the bidding paddle from his father’s hand and threw it up in the air, “Two-thousand!”
Chad’s parents looked at their son with the utmost contempt while everyone around them began to whisper about this sudden turn of events. Mr. Connolly looked back at Chad and gave him a cocky smile as if to say ”prepare to lose”. He turned back to the stage and threw up his own paddle, “Ten-thousand.”
Chad ran from his father's grasp and started to make his descent towards the stage, paddle still in his hand.
“Ten-thousand going once….”
Chad threw up the paddle, “Fifteen!”
“Twenty!” Mr. Connolly retorted. A playful tone in his voice like this was fun for him, both the competition as well as the ludicrous behavior of the young boy.
Chad finally reached the front of the auditorium and looked back to see his father running towards him. He knew he didn’t have time to dawdle. In fact, he only had time for one more bid. He turned towards the stage to see Twilight looking at him curiously, wondering why the human boy was going through so much trouble to buy her. Was he trying to save her, or did he just want to buy her for some less admirable reason?
Chad heard his father’s footsteps approaching. Knowing very well this bid would be his last; Chad knew he had to make it count.
As soon as those words left Chad’s mouth, he felt himself get slammed from behind as his father tackled him to the floor. He pinned him and grabbed the paddle away from me.
But it was too late. Mr. Connolly looked down at the father and son heap at the front of the auditorium and smiled like the arrogant prick he was.
He sat back down in his chair; put his paddle against his lap without taking his eyes off of Chad and his father, his smile persisting as he looked up and motioned his hand so the unseen announcer would notice that he conceded.
“Fifty-thousand going once…twice…SOLD!”
And just like that, Chad had bought the scared Twilight Sparkle. The mare stared at him. The look of sadness and despair gone, replaced by complete befuddlement. Chad looked up and his eyes met with the violet mares’. Twilight opened her mouth, about to ask Chad why he wanted her so badly, when the silver block of the wall rolled back up and cut her off before she could get a syllable out. Chad sadly stared at the silver box as it was pushed down a few feet, making room for the next pony that was to be auctioned off.
Just then, Chad felt someone grab him by the collar of his shirt and hoist him into the air like a dirty rag. His father sternly started to drag him up the stairs, Chad’s mother staring down at her son, foot tapping and a look of annoyance in her face.
Chad and his father walked past row after row of people pointing and whispering and laughing. Neither had to know exactly what they were saying to understand it was at their expense. Eventually they passed Mr. Connolly’s row. Chad’s father turned to Mr. Connolly and apologized on behalf of his “son’s stupid actions”.
Mr. Connolly smiled and waved it off. Chad didn’t look sorry, though. He just looked pissed off, his cold eyes glaring directly into the eyes of the old jerk. Mr. Connolly then leaned forward, a smug smile on his face.
“Just remember money doesn’t grow on trees, and your parents aren’t made of it.”
Chad was about to reply to the old bastard when his father continued to drag his boy up the steps while the bidding began on a very defeatist, flat-maned Pinkie Pie.
After the long, humiliating trek up the stairs and out of the auditorium, Chad’s parents started to lay into their son, scolding him for disrespecting their authority and ruining their image. Chad had to use every fiber in his mental being to keep himself from rolling his eyes as each and every word left his parents’ mouths. His father was livid, his mother was just irritated, and together they created the duo of parents that Chad loathed. Maybe he was so annoyed because he hated authority; after all it isn’t like he did nothing to receive scorn. He did bid their money without their consent. Hell, he forcibly took the damn bidding paddle out of his father’s hand.
But he didn’t care, he didn’t care how badly he hurt them, he hated them immensely. Even though he knew that bidding with his parents’ money against their will was wrong, as it wasn’t his, he still felt good that he saved Twilight from Mr. Connolly.
So as his parents scolded him like a three-year old, Chad simply let the words of his parents go in one ear and out the other, like he always did, his mind still on that sweet little pony he bought, and the uncertainty in her eyes as he made a spectacle of doing so.
Then the question was raised.