65w, 4dUK Bronies
Twilight Sparkle yawned and sat up. She rubbed her eyes, and then put her hoof to her head. It felt like her brain had been replaced with a great big chunk of stone. She rubbed her temples slowly and moved her well-kept, sensible fringe out of her eyes. She looked around at her environment. Well, first things first, it was very pink, though there were shifting veins consisting of pastel colours permeating the pink. It was like being within a cloud of some description.
She felt for what she was sitting on. It was a red leather sofa, and smelled brand-new. It was rather comfortable, and had two cushions with quaint little patterns on them. It was rather nice and homely, bizarrely, because it wasn't actually in itself sitting on anything. It just appeared to be suspended in the middle of nowhere.
How had she got here? She decided to retrace her steps. Let's see...she had been at the castle...and the clock had struck noon...then what? She remembered Pinkie Pie running...a flash of orange light...intense heat...and then...nothing. She felt as if she had woken from some strange, horrible dream, and that this strange world she now occupied was her home, which she had somehow forgotten in her dream.
The air smelled sweet, like sugar. It seemed silent in here, but Twilight could hear her own breathing. Huff, puff, huff, puff. She experienced that annoying thing where you remember that you're breathing and can't stop thinking about it, so now all she could hear was the sound of her own breathing. Huff, puff, huff, puff, Twilight... puff, huff, puff.
Wait, what was that...? Twilight held her breath and waited for the sound. It was like wind, faint, but there. Twilight...
"Wh...who's there?" she stammered, as the voice grew louder.
"All right, bossy-boots," the voice responded, and took form immediately.
Floating before her was a large, snake-like beast, with a furry body, a reptilian tail, two mismatched horns, a displaced fang, two red, unmatched pupils, a goatee, four legs from four different creatures, and a devilish grin on its face.
"Discord!" Twilight exclaimed.
"How wonderful it is to see you again, my little pony!" the creature responded, its voice filled with childish pleasure at tormenting Twilight.
"What are you doing here? Where are we?"
"Well, strictly speaking, I don't actually exist any more," Discord smirked. He had been, before the destruction of Equestria, the spirit of chaos and disharmony, the total polar opposite to sense, rules, and order. It was in his nature to disrupt things. In fact, one could argue Discord was not actually evil, it was just the fact that harmony was necessary to keep the structure of Equestria in balance. He continued. "But, I do believe we're inside your little noggin. Well, the cotton candy clouds and general psychedelia is my doing, mood lighting, you see, but the rest of it is all in your head."
"Well, get out of my head!" Twilight said. "This is my head, not yours!"
Discord looked at her with contempt. "Oh, p'shaw. Honestly, Twilight, you don't think I have any kind of power any more? I've barely managed to reconstruct myself from the memories you had of me. Like I say, outside your head, I'm as good as dead."
"Well, what do you want?" Twilight asked.
"Twilight, do you know why I existed?" Discord asked. "Why I, the spirit of chaos and disharmony, existed in the most perfect, harmonious world anypony has ever known?" he briefly pointed a finger down his throat.
"Because everything has an opposite," Twilight reasoned. "Harmony is no exception. But opposites do not have to be equal."
"Oh, don't they?" Discord asked. "Opposites don't have to be equal? Is that your shoddy excuse for why I was imprisoned in stone for more than a millennium? Because, ooh, chaos always loses out in the end! You know, for a smart little pony, you're really rather stupid."
"How dare you?!" Twilight shouted in outrage. "If you're going to stay in my head, then you treat me with a little respect."
Discord disdainfully frowned. "Ugh, fine. You're not all that clever. Better?"
Twilight did not react.
"I'll take that as a yes. Twilight, the reason I was ever born was because, simply, I am the antithesis to anything that has order or balance. It's in my nature to break things up and harm things. But I in myself have not always existed, you see?"
"What are you getting at, Discord?"
"Twilight, think about this logically for one second, will you? I may be the spirit OF chaos and disharmony, and have the means by which to cause those things, and I may be those things personified, but I am not those things as a general whole. And why? Because, little Twilight, chaos and disharmony has existed since the beginning of time and space."
"You mean to say that you are older than you look?"
"No, I am a fact of physical laws – or rather the lack thereof – made flesh. Think about it. Ever since the Big Bang, anti-matter has collided with matter and annihilated, and atoms have been split. Stars could not exist without chaos, Twilight. Without random intervention. Nothing could. Harmony, the laws of physics and nature, are merely the chaos taming itself. But chaos will always exist, Twilight. Randomness is a key factor in everything. Heck, even in YOU. Evolution could not happen without random chance. You're a product of my doing. Weird, huh."
Twilight struggled to digest this information. "Why are you telling me this?"
"You...ponies, you were so proud, so proud of your accomplishments. You built cities, gained successful government infrastructure, built schools, hospitals..." he smiled villainously at Twilight. "...libraries. You wrote books, you questioned theories, just as any scientific civilisation would. Your race even developed an ability to harness the natural, what was it you called it, 'magical' energy in the air. Poppycock, of course, what you really gained was an ability to warp energy and matter, but 'magic' works as a name. Your pegasus friends evolved an ability to walk on clouds, your earth pony friends gained an ability to 'speak to nature', which is earth pony talk for 'pretend they were at all special'. And then one day, you all took it too far."
"How so?" Twilight asked.
"Your pride swallowed you up. Your royal family, pureblood alicorns, born of a rare genetic malformation – again, caused by chaos – were so arrogant, so cock-sure of their abilities, they decided they would freeze the entire planet in orbit, and force the sun to orbit them instead, so they could feel important in their tiny little patch of universe. They learned to move the Moon. They even convinced their subjects that they could control the stars."
"But what does this have to do with anything?" Twilight impatiently interrupted.
"In due time, my dear. You see, I had control of the entire planet at one point. I am by birth a freak of nature. I simply appeared out of nowhere one day – my father, the chaos and disharmony that controlled – and controls – all, my mother, the so called 'magic' in the air. But then the Royals just had to arrive and spoil it. They imprisoned me in stone, and then arrogantly took the Sun and Moon for themselves."
"But I've seen you make the sun rise and set in the middle of the day!" Twilight interrupted. "You're guilty of it, too!"
"That was an illusion," Discord argued. "Stop interrupting." He gave her a glare with his mismatched red pupils, a glare that said, "Shut up, the grown-ups are talking."
"When I escaped again, you set about imprisoning me once and for all. And for the most part you succeeded, and harmony was restored, and chaos was vanquished. Aww." he paused, sardonically. "But it was not to last. Chaos may not be able to prevail over harmony, but at the same time, neither can harmony over chaos. You broke a fundamental rule of nature, that day, when you put me back in stone, and that is what led to your downfall."
"Which is?" Twilight asked.
"You mean you don't know?" Discord asked. Then he laughed, loudly. "Oh, that's just priceless!" he pounded the air as if it were solid. "Good one."
Twilight stared, dumbfounded.
"You mean you really don't know?" he asked. "Oh dear." He grinned. "Well, I'll leave you to fill in the gaps in the story. Right now, it's my time to go."
He conjured up a hat and donned it.
"Discord, wait!" Twilight shouted.
"No, Ms. Sparkle, this is a road you must walk alone."
"So, is this it, you're just going to...die?"
"Not die, no. Well, this old body is going to disappear for good, yes, but it was ugly anyway. My essence, however, will remain alive until the end of time. Chaos is everywhere, Twilight Sparkle. You cannot escape disharmony. It will follow you. And while harmony may help tame the beast within me, it will, inevitably, always win. Well, I say that...there's no winning in this game," he chuckled. "Just a matter of losing the least. Oh, would you look at the time? I'm afraid my essence has some life to cause and life to ruin. I bid you, adieu." He paused momentarily. "Oh, but Twilight," he added. Twilight Sparkle looked up. "You owe me one."
With that, the old spirit straightened his hat, gave one last laugh, and then vanished without a trace.
Twilight sat still for a few moments and waited. Sure enough, the sofa disappeared, the candy-floss walls of her mind fell apart, and slowly, she fell back into her body again.
The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say when it comes to the subject of the Mary Sue Field. It was invented by the young Lt. Mary Sue by complete accident during her service with the short-lived Galactic Federation, which lasted about two weeks. It involved lots of silly costumes and many of the most silly-looking aliens from the Galaxy took part in it. It was so silly that it has now embedded itself into the racial memory of many worlds, and one can expect to find a weekly fictionalised version of the fabled Galactic Federation on most primitive worlds' television sets.
Lt. Mary Sue was by far the laziest, most flawed, ugliest girl one could ever see. Her face was so riddled with acne vulgaris, rosacea, and sapiens (an aggressive and sentient form of acne that screamed swear words if you tried to pop the spots), that creatures lacking stomachs were known to vomit upon seeing it. Not an inch of the skin of her face did not come at least two millimetres away from the muscle. She was, by all accounts of the word, hideous. She barely did any sort of military paperwork, and she smelled a good deal, so men tended to run away screaming when given blind dates with her, proceeding to bleach their skin off and usually dying in agony from chemical burns. Lt. Mary Sue was not a very hygenic lady.
One day, Lt. Mary Sue woke from a nap in a daze, and sleepwalked all the way on to the main bridge, where, by staggering coincidence, everyone had gone off to dinner without her. In her dream-state, Lt. Mary was apparently an expert technician and began to fiddle with the ship's Main Warp Drive. She accidentally shocked herself awake, however, and when she awoke, she found that the air had taken on a bluish tinge and smelled curiously of geraniums.
The crew returned from dinner, and rather than having her instantly court-martialled, they thanked her for her amazing repair abilities, admiring her "perfect skin" and her "amazing scent". They absolutely adored her. She was promoted to Admiral instantly and controlled the ship for about ten minutes, at which point they crashed into an enormous asteroid and died in the dark emptiness of space. The Galactic Federation Planning Committee said the incident was "a bit of a shame" and "made them feel a bit bad". They disbanded two days later over insurance agreements (the personal and life insurance money for the incident still hasn't materialised, cheeky bastards).
Thankfully, Lt. Mary Sue managed to beam the blueprints for what she called the "Mary Sue Field Generator" all across the Galaxy, and at the time, the fledgling Vogon race, who had just invented communication technology, thought it was a terribly smashing idea – the Mary Sue Field bent reality and psychological perceptions to benefit whoever was using it to irritatingly over-perfect levels, which could reduce planetary protests against demolition by 99.9%: If people were begging to be destroyed by the Vogons, they could increase efficiency massively (the remaining 0.1% would be the Belcerebons, who would spend more time talking about how crap the weather was to worry about Vogon attacks to possibly come in the future anyway). There was a minor setback, however: When scientists tested the Mary Sue generator on a Vogon, he instantly became hated and feared by everyone and everything around him. Vogons were just that disgusting that even the Mary Sue Field wouldn't work on them.
Upon abducting and testing humans with the device (misbelieving that the human brain was located in the posterior area of the body, as in many creatures found around the Galaxy), and finding humans were just too stupid to run the machine, the Vogons filed the blueprints away until they could find a suitable organism to run the device. That is, until now.
Twilight Sparkle's blank expression faltered slightly. The others continued to stare in horror.
"What in Luna's Moon have you done to Twilight Sparkle?" Rarity demanded out of the hulking mass of flab sitting in the Prostetnic's seat.
"I have no idea," Reth replied, slowly. Almost remorsefully. "I really don't know what's going on here."
"Stop this!" Pinkie Pie shouted. "Stop this now! This is a low form of torture, even for Vogons."
"I'm telling you, I'm not the one behind this," Reth insisted. "Vogons don't do this kind of thing. Even callous bureaucracy has standards. We just read our poetry to people, we'd never..."
"Then who's behind this?" Pinkie Pie asked, rhetorically.
"Can't you do anything?" Spike asked, desperately. "There's got to be a way – "
"No," one of the technicians replied. "The experiment has begun. There's no override. We can't stop it."
The four stared up at Twilight's floppy body. She looked as if she was dead.
"So it's not torture," Pinkie Pie said. "It's an experiment. Is that how it is, is it? A planet gets destroyed, and you use the survivors as guinea pigs, is that it?"
"No!" Reth insisted. "I mean...the Vogons...we...I don't even know...I heard what happened to Equestria, but...I had no idea..."
"So tell me," Pinkie Pie interrogated. "Who are you working for?"
"I'm telling you, I don't know!" Reth shouted, standing up from his seat, clutching his fat, slug-like head with a pair of beastly hands. "A Vogon's duty is to do his job. Which is to do his job. Do you honestly think a race such as ours has time for petty villainous scheming? No! We're just here to run an experiment. It's one of the many services Vogsphere offers, you see. It's not all destroying planets, you know."
These words caught Rarity's attention. "Was it you?!" she shouted. "Was it you that destroyed our planet...killed everyone..."
Reth sighed and took out some rather dingy-looking grey tablets from under his seat. He dusted them off, dropped them into a glass of water, and drank it.
"That was far too clean a destruction for us to be involved," Reth said. "We use thermonuclear warheads and death rays. Your planet and everything on it was turned into a dust cloud," he said. "Which we're floating in right now."
The four suddenly noticed the dim haze out of a rare window in the control room. Vague yellow light from the star they knew entered through it.
Fluttershy retched at the thoughts this conjured. She wasn't much for science, but as a lover of all living things she was fully aware that somewhere in that mix were organic molecules that had once made up the blood and bodies of friends and relatives, enemies and rivals. All reduced to dust in the end. She tried not to weep.
"So what now?" Pinkie Pie roared. "You just fry our friend, too. Let her work this Mary Sue Field? What are you planning?"
"I think I can answer that," a voice behind Reth answered, in a tone so deeply unpleasant that even other Vogons found the sound positively repulsive. In fact, several bacteria in the area released a large amount of gas as the bacterial equivalent of crapping themselves, so for a few moments the air smelled faintly of rotten eggs, giving the new Vogon an even more unpleasant entrance.
"Prostetnic Vogon Kath!" Reth exclaimed, saluting politely. "Awake from suspended animation so soon?"
"Yes," Kath replied, his voice a low, gruff groan, like a building slowly collapsing in on itself combined with a whale with wind and a sore throat. "You know the drill. You initiate the experiment, I oversee it, and then Prostetnic Vogon Shightz takes over as we leave."
"Well, with all due respect, Kath," Reth replied, "I'm in the middle of dealing with some..." he glanced at them, almost apologetically. "...hitchhikers."
"Hitchhikers?!" bellowed Kath. "Hitchhikers! Bah!"
He stared down at them with beady eyes.
"You bunch of freeloading, jobless, stupid, saccharine little quadruped merrychippi!"
"Hey!" Pinkie Pie retorted. "That was uncalled for. At least call us 'pliohippi'."
"Shut up, you pink furball," spat Kath. He surveyed the experiment. "Ah, yes. The classic Mary Sue Field treatment." he gazed at Twilight Sparkle. "What on earth is that?" he asked.
"That's a unicorn, sir," a technician answered. receiving a smack on the head.
"I know that, you dolt. I've just never seen an M.S.F. set-up like this before."
"I have the papers right here," Reth answered, as if speaking to a superior rather than an equal.
"Let's have them," Kath said.
He glanced over them, looking at the diagrams. The words were printed in large print, BLOCK CAPITALS, and used lots of short words.
"Incredible," Kath murmured. "It's perfect."
"Perfect for what?" Reth asked.
"Nothing," Kath replied.
Reth gave him a look that was banned in several galactic sectors and zones for "being bloody irritating". Thankfully, he currently had diplomatic immunity, so the look was allowed through, and Kath shot him back a look that was banned on a dwarf planet somewhere in the vicinity of Sirius for "looking extremely stupid".
"Excuse me," Rarity enunciated in an even more regal tone than was typical of her, "But I do believe you're forgetting that you've captured our friend and strapped her to this abomination hanging from the ceiling."
Kath looked at her and growled.
"That 'abomination', pony," he spat, making sure the 'p' in 'pony' released as much saliva as was vogonly possible, "is cutting-edge technology."
"That doesn't change the fact you've shoved a bunch of cables into her face!" Pinkie Pie shouted. "What's wrong with you?!"
"We're just following orders," Kath replied, smiling a smile that could probably cause terminal illness in some species.
"We can't say!"
"Because we're under contract."
"So you signed a contract with someone to say you could kidnap a pony and fly your ship into the remnants of her home planet for some plan you don't even know the details of?"
"That seems legitimate," Rarity sarcastically proclaimed.
"Enough!" shouted Kath, bringing his enormous, flabby green hands down on the control panel. "Reth, let me take control of this situation."
Reth felt that twinge in his heart again.
"Prostetnic Kath, I'm fine as it is – "
"Really? Then why haven't you thrown these freeloaders off the ship yet, hmm?"
"Damn shame," Kath said. "I didn't bring any poetry. Looks like I'll just have to make do with having them thrown out of the airlock."
Fluttershy cowered behind Pinkie Pie.
"But, Kath, we appear to have accidentally kidnapped their friend."
"And? Why does that concern you?"
"Well, this doesn't seem ethical."
"Ethical?!" Kath bellowed. "Ethical?! You dare call yourself a Vogon with that attitude?"
"Perhaps we could tell our employers – "
"Tell them what? That a bunch of stowaways demanded we ditch their plans entirely so they could get their friend back? You're an idiot, Reth. Now, go back to suspended animation!"
"No!" Reth shouted, without even realising.
"Did you just say 'No' to a fellow Prostetnic's order, Reth?"
Reth fell silent once again.
"Did you or did you not just say 'No', Reth?"
"Yes, Kath, I said 'No'. Because I don't think what we're doing here is right, and I want to resolve it in a peaceful manner."
Kath stared at him with a cold, hard look.
"Very well," he said.
"Did you hear that? They're going to free Twilight!" Spike whispered, excitedly.
Reth stepped forward. "I will fill out the paperwork allowing your friend to be freed," he said. "We apologise gravely for the inconvenience. I'm sure this has been very distressing and you are entitled to a free pen as you leave the sh-"
There was a loud, electrical crash that bounced around the ship. A green flash of light appeared and disappeared instantly. Reth looked down at his chest to see his own green blood pouring out of a large wound.
"No!" Pinkie Pie cried.
He didn't have a chance to look back at his assailant before he was shot several more times.