Good evening, my subjects. I am Treyson Amadeus Reginald Dontes the Third and I will be your guide into this story. No flash photography or autographs until after we are finished. I have won over 3,000 writing awards and have been declared the universe’s greatest writer. Of those awards is the Nobel Literature Prize of Space..which I won twice. Needless to say, I’m a big deal around here.
“And it’s all a lie, you talentless hack.” Ah, if it isn’t my worthless excuse for a son. “Don’t flatter yourself, you are not my father. You’re just a pathetic cougar-hunter who charmed my mom when my real dad passed away. Then you just rode his coat-tails and stole away his legacy.”
Now Steve, who’s going to believe that? You’re a nobody, a miserable pile of secrets. Pity, the council went too easy on you. “Bet they’d love to know that you’re manipulating the story now. First spiking Erwin’s water and then bringing him here.” “Nyaha, anyone ever tell you that you have beautiful eyes.” “..Point is, Trey, you’re up crap creek without a paddle.”
Au contraire, Stevie boy, the council worships me. But just as a precaution, I’ve completely locked them out of this. You’re dealing with the Master. You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wan- “I like turtles!”
In hindsight, I probably put more alcohol than I should have into his drink. “Yeah, whatever. Soon as I get outta here, I’m gonna beat the stupid from you.” Good luck with that. Now I’ll just put the narration into my droid’s system while I set up your doom. Adieu, mon idiots.
“I hate that guy with a passion,” Steve muttered to Doctor Whooves.
“Oh, we can acknowledge him now? Good, I was sick of worrying if the council was gonna haunt us if we mentioned them,” the doctor replied.
The gang of miscreants were still in the town square of Ponyville, yet to plot a course of action. Erwin, despite being more drunk than a Scottish sailor, was enjoying his new fan club. All the mares in the vicinity clung around him, only Pinkie Pie and Twilight stood back with raised eyebrows.
“Nyaha, all the hotties, to my right for makeouts! All the stallions, to my left for hoof bumps! I.. am.. Erwin!” the intoxicated accountant pony shouted triumphantly. His albino coat somehow glistened in the sunlight and dazzled his followers.
“I don’t even.. Steve, what do we do? Erwin’s out of his mind, your dad-” “He’s not my dad!” “Fine, Trey is plotting against you, and we still don’t know what to do,” Twilight said in exasperation.
Pinkie suddenly bounced out of her stupor and waver her hooves wildly. “Ooo! Pick me, oo oo ooo! Pick me!”
The doctor sighed. “What is it, Pinkie?”
“Let’s use this!” she responded cheerfully. Out of nowhere, Pinkie unearthed a ghastly-looking machine. It was vaguely similar to a mini-gun, but equipped for hooves. She stroked the barrel daintily. “It’s a plot device, but I call her Sasha.”
“Pinkie, we don’t have time for this,” Steve angrily replied.
She giggled. “Just watch, silly.” Before Steve could protest more, Pinkie pushed a button on ‘Sasha.’ It began to whir quietly, but slowly amplified and rumbled about. Pinkie was still holding onto it and said, her voice now reverberating, “Heeeeerrrrreeeee weeeeee goooooo!” At that last word, an oven bell dinged and a piece of toast popped out of the device.
Whooves, Twilight, and Steve face-hooved at the same time. “Pinkie, how is this going to help us?” Twilight asked.
“Lookie look!” Pinkie exclaimed and shoved the toasted bread into Twilight’s face. “It has a message on it!”
The doctor raised his eyebrows. “Toast that gives advice? Sweet Molestia, this day keeps getting stranger and stranger.”
Twilight gently pushed Pinkie’s hoof out of the way and examined the toast. Sure enough, there was a note emblazoned upon it. She read out loud, “To the Everfree Forest you must go, in order to defeat your fears and foe. A mighty weapon you will see, the element of insanity.”
“What?! Cute rhyme and all, but what?!” Steve cried out.
“It’s simple, we kill the Batm- I mean, we find the seventh element, nyaha,” Erwin interjected, still being mobbed by his crowd.
“The seventh element? This is huge! Why didn’t we know about it before?” Twilight quizzed Erwin.
Pinkie jumped in between them. “Because no pony ever needed it before. It’s time to save the day!”
“Pinkie, the Everfree Forest is enormous, how will we find it?” Whooves asked.
A spark of realization ignited in the center of Steve’s pupils. His face paled and he whispered, “I know where it is.”
Literally everypony, even those in rapture of Erwin, turned their attention to him. “How do you-” Twilight started to ask, but paused when Steve held up a hoof.
“It was an ol’ bedtime story my pops told me growing up. I had completely forgotten about it. Until just now when something clicked. I remember. That cheesy tale he always told me is exactly what’s going on now,” he explained.
It was eerily silent for a moment. “Dude, that makes no sense,” Pinkie stated.
“Well, does that mean you know what will happen from now?” Twilight asked.
Steve shook his head. “Unfortunately no, but he retold the buildup to screw around with me. Said we needed to finish the story in one setting and that he didn’t know how it would end yet. It was always this particular point where the ponies.. us.. would go to find the seventh element.”
Erwin’s ear twitched. “Wait wait wait. We’re talking about a story of the story that we’re in right now?” he asked. Erwin mulled this over and then nodded to a select few of his group. “We have to go deeper.”
They nodded in return and suddenly formed into a whole brass ensemble. BRRNNNN BRRNNNNNN!
Whooves looked like he was going to drop multiple expletives from surprise. However, Pinkie nudged his side and said, “Don’t worry, the top stops spinning. Trust me.”
“We’re getting off-track again, everypony, focus!” Twilight exclaimed. “Steve, where do we go then to find the seventh element?”
Steve gazed off into the distance. He pointed a hoof northward and quietly responded, “The cliffs of insanity.”
“Dun dun dunnnnnnnnnn!”
Meanwhile, in a far off undisclosed location, a droid was commanded by his master to revert to narrating their own status. Log entry 0991N, Master Treyson and Droiden.
“So how are those little twits doing, Droiden?” Master Treyson asked.
Expected results, your highness. They are on their way to a location known as ‘The Cliffs of Insanity.’ The droid (we robots must refer to ourselves in third-person) looked over at the-
“Ah ah ah, no revealing of my glorious visage yet. We must make my appearance even more dramatic,” Master Treyson stated. “Anything else going on? Actually, forget that question, it doesn’t matter. Soon, little Steve will have what’s coming to him. Now, continue narrating and make sure that I am not interrupted. The ritual is very delicate.”
Yes, Master Treyson. His highness returned to his private quarters while Droiden accessed the correct input. The droid looked back to see if he truly left. Prick. “What was that?” Nothing!
The Fine Five (Steve, Twilight, Doctor Whooves, Pinkie, and Erwin) were now minutes away from reaching their destination. They had already traveled quite a way through the Everfree Forest. Luckily, Pinkie was able to convince Erwin’s legion that it was too dangerous and that they should instead prep a welcome back party for afterwards.
Steve mused about his father’s story more and more as they trotted. Twilight glanced over at him and asked, “So.. whatever happened to your parents?”
“Bit of a personal question, don’tcha think?” Steve replied.
“Oh, c’mon Steve, it’s not like she’s asking how big your *HIC!* is,” Erwin said, hiccuping a tad.
Whooves rolled his eyes. “You really need to sober up, mate. But he does have a point, I was wondering about them, too.”
“..alright. Basically, they met each other in a forest much like this one. My real father was starting his career with the council and was looking for inspiration. My mother was on her daily hunt when they encountered. He was captivated by her. She was repulsed of him. Badabing badaboom, I’m born.”
Pinkie cocked her head to the side, confused. “Your parents were human too, right?”
“Nope. Dad was a dragon and Mum was a cougar,” Steve answered.
Everypony except Steve collapsed from befuddlement (Erwin as well, even though his was due to feeling tipsy.) “I thought you said you were normal, that’s nuts!” Whooves proclaimed.
“I thought you were joking when you said Trey was a cougar-hunter!” Pinkie shouted.
Twilight rubbed her temples. “This makes no sense! I thought I knew genetics!”
“I thought Istanbul was Constantinople!” Erwin stammered.
Steve sighed. “Okay, quick summary answers. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Outer-species relationships were all the rage, along with pre-modified children in a lab. My father died in a freak time-blender accident when I was 8, he was completely vaporized. My mom was in mourning when Trey manipulated her and they sent me off that academy. And Erwin... that’s nobody’s business but the Turks'.”
Pinkie scratched her head. “I guess all of that means we’re here.”
Twilight raised herself up. “The Cliffs of Insanity? What makes you say that?”
Pinkie glanced at the nearby rocky crags and listened to the echoing waterfall. She shrugged her shoulders and responded, “Lucky guess?”
The quintet regathered and marched up the hill. When they reached the peak, they marveld at the view before them. A vast chasm spread between them and a large waterfall. With foliage and sunlight, it may have been beautiful. Alas, it was anything but that. The atmosphere and mist from the waterfall darkened the surroundings and left everything in a dull gray.
“Now what?” questioned Whooves. “Isn’t that element contraption supposed to be here?”
“Heck if I know, but I bet I could get some mad crazy echoes from down there,” Erwin stated. He took in a deep breath.
Twilight rushed over to try and stop him. “Wait, Erwin, there might be a-” “WALRUS!” he shouted, his voice resonated through the abyss.
“-monster. Great, now you probably wok-” “RAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!”
A monstrous roar deafened the heroes. The fog increased around them as well as changing into a deep hue of violet. “Huh, looks like we got some purple haze,” suggested Doctor Whooves.
“Nah, more like smoke on the water, nyaha,” Erwin joked.
A resounding yet recognizable voice pierced the air. “And now, little Stevie, you die!” Treyson yelled from within the fog.
A ghostly apparition, very similar-looking to the Grim Reaper, swooped down upon Steve. He was about to shout in surprise, but the phantom slipped into his throat. Steve’s whole body shuddered violently from the new intrusion. His eyes glazed over and he collapsed onto the ground. “Just hang on for a sec, everypony, Trey’s doing a stupid possession thing, BRB,” Steve whispered before he slipped into unconsciousness.
Pinkie tried slapping him back into reality. “Steve! Wake up, darnit, I still need to give you a party!” Pinkie franticly shouted. However, the slaps were only bruising his face and not accomplishing anything.
“Pinkie, calm down! He’s only asleep, let me use a spell to show what’s happening in his head,” Twilight said as she pulled her friend away from Steve. She knelt down beside him, her horn now glowing its’ trademark violet aura. A translucent bubble soon formed above them, showing a confused Steve wandering in an empty warehouse.
“Ooo! Is this the new ‘Transformers 42: This Time It’s Personal’?! Schaweet, I hope they kill LaBeouf finally!” Erwin excitedly said. He whipped out a bag of popcorn and reclined back to watch.
Whooves blankly stared at him. “Erwin, there’s something wrong with you,” he said flatly.
“Shh!” Twilight hushed. All of them quieted down and watched as Steve’s dream continued.
“Alright, Trey, ya giant putz, let’s get this over with!” Steve called out. He had been walking aimlessly for several minutes looking for his antagonist. So far the only response were the clacks of his hooves against the concrete floor.
A sinister chuckle rang out quietly. "Stevie Stevie, it can't be that quick. Haven't you figured it out? Your slow, poetic death will be my coup de grace, my crowning jewel, my-"
"Skidmark on the underwear of literature?" Steve asked sardonically.
"You think you're so clever, huh? That'll make this even sweeter. Time to face your inner demons, Stevie," Treyson challenged.
A spotlight revealed a small, young boy. He was very frightened and clutched his knees, sitting more and more compactly. Steve rolled his eyes and shouted, "Real original, Trey, this has never been done before. Kid, I'm you and you're me. We Steve, he Stupid."
The little boy smiled slightly at the joke. His expression changed instantly when he looked over Steve's shoulder. "Look out!" he cried.
Steve turned his head around to see a faint ghost-beast. It snarled at them and readied itself to pounce. "Nope, not falling for that either. HIT ITS’ WEAK POINT FOR MASSIVE DAMAGE!" Steve shouted before slamming his front hooves into its' face. It whimpered in pain and evaporated away. Steve looked back at the kid version of himself and smiled. He pulled out two pairs of sunglasses, placing a set on himself and one on the kid. "Looks like this ghost's... been busted."
The kid started laughing happily. His frame glowed brightly in a golden hue, fading away entirely. "Bah! Enough of your childish antics, let's see how you handle this!" Trey shouted.
"C'mon punk, I can do this all day. You still gotta show yourself for a beating as well! What's up next? More memories? Ghost babies? Maybe a-" "REEEEIIIIIIT!" a high-pitched shriek interrupted Steve's joking. He glanced upwards at the ceiling and witnessed true horror.
A skeletal banshee glared down at him. Its' blood-red eyes matching the bleeding muscle tissue that was exposed. The banshee's claws destroyed the concrete that it held onto. But all of this wasn't what terrified Steve. It was when it spider-walked rapidly toward him. For those not familiar with spider-walking, it's much like those crab crawls that gym teachers obsess about. Except spider-walking involves grotesque limb movement, freakish head positioning, and all-around crap-your-pants scary (e.g. the girl going down the stairs in 'The Exorcist'..no, I'm not looking it up for you, got enough trippy thoughts from that as it is.)
"NononononononnononononononononononononononononononoNO!" Steve screamed while galloping away in panic. The banshee continued the pursuit, unleashing howls of rage. Steve looked around wildly; the paths went on and on with no exit in sight.
The banshee leapt out in front of Steve, forcing him to stop just inches away. "It's been fun, Steve, but this is where your story ends. Au revoir," Treyson hissed. Steve cowered before his doom, the banshee raising its' arms.
"NOOOOOOO!!!" a new voice shouted. The tip of a blade impaled through the banshee's chest. It gasped for air and tried to scream again, but the fatal wound caused it to collapse. A shadowy white outline quickly crossed over the banshee and lightly touched Steve. "No time, we go now," it whispered urgently.
Before Steve could ask any questions, the two teleported out of the dream. Treyson was left in shock over the sudden change. "EEERRRRRRRAA-"
"-AAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!" Master Treyson roared. "I WAS SO CLOSE! Then that.. that.. GAGH! Droiden!" he yelled, his voice dripping with anger.
Yes, your highness?
"It's time we get our hands dirty! Program the AI to monitor the 'heroes', you're coming with me to see the council!" Master Treyson snarled.
What are we going to do, my liege?
"I, my stupid robot, am going to destroy the stereotype! Once I speak with the council, there's one thing left for that cretin and that whole cosmos of ponies.. Extermination!"
Steve suddenly woke up, his friends were gathered close with looks of concern. He swallowed nervously and whispered, "That was messed up."
"It's alright, chum, I think that shut down Treyson," Whooves consoled.
Pinkie looked up to notice another pony nearing the group. "What are you doing here, Mr. Waddle?"
The rest of them lifted their heads at the older pony. He staggered a bit, but said, "That was the last of my old magic, Steve. Make sure it's not in vain."
Erwin's eyes widened completely. "Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh!" he repeated, wholly dumbstruck.
"What is it, Erwin?!" Twilight frustratingly asked.
Steve pushed himself up and cantered over to the strange pony. He paused a moment before headbutting the daylights out of Mr. Waddle. Twilight's, Whooves', and Pinkie's jaws plummeted down from the action.
"It's good to see you too, Dad."
"OH MY CLIFFHANGER!"
"Shut up, Erwin."