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[Author's Notes: Whoa, technically, this is Chapter Twenty...
Anyways, this chapter's title should help hint what is happening... Oh, and don't throw a hissy-fit at what you see, because more can always be added. Enjoy!]
'Two thousand nine-hundred and ninety-eight... Two thousand nine-hundred and ninety-nine...Three thousand!'
"Finally, that took forever to count."
'What's more surprising is that the girls haven't arrived yet.'
"Well perhaps they got lost-"
Ed was drowned out by the sound of the closets door being slammed open, accompanied by several Equine figures charging through the doorway. They stopped almost instantaneously at seeing me still sitting on the thief, and briefly glanced around the room. I chuckled at the girls reactions and stole a glance through the 'improvised' skylight.
"Took you ten whole minutes to get here, eh?" I snickered lightly as I looked back towards the group. "Got stuck in traffic on the way over?"
Lyra looked across at the room while slowly speaking to me, "Storm... what exactly happened?"
I chuckled and sweeped my arms across the room. "Found these thugs waiting for me in this supply closet. They were trying to apprehend the bits I managed to recover, so I had to... restrain them."
Rainbow Dash looked at one of the bodies and gasped slightly, slowly fluttering away for a few feet. When she landed, she turned towards me with horror in her eyes. "And how exactly did you restrain them?"
I sighed as I knew where this was going. "Well I had to kill them." The girls gasped at this, but I quickly continued my speech. "In my defense, they attacked me first with daggers."
"And you think that gives you the excuse to kill ponies?!" Lyra shouted, staring at one of the thug's bodies in disgust. The others seemed to be quiet in the matter, which was good and bad in a sense. Bad would be they're afraid of me now, and think of me as a murderer. Good would be...
Okay, it's pretty much just bad I suppose.
I raised my hands in mock surrender. "Not at all, but what did you expect me to do when I was being attacked with the intent of killing me?"
She seemed ready to unleash a torrent of rage at me, before Applejack briefly put a hoof over her mouth. "How 'bout y'all let sugercube here explain what happened before ya yell at him some more?"
I flashed a grateful smile towards Applejack before addressing the group. "I would explain some more about why, but I don't really see a reason-"
I froze and quickly glanced down, noting the thief was slowly coming too. I scowled and responded by swiftly grabbing his long black mane, and slamming his head on an exposed part of the stone floor. There was a very audible 'thud', then silence. I looked back up to see the girls looking at me as if I was insane.
"If it makes you feel better..." I began, motioning towards my stool. "He's only unconscious."
"Why did you let him live and not the others then?" Rainbow Dash remarked, a grim frown on her face as she looked around the room.
I shrugged. "Well by the time I was going to finish him, I had an idea. Unfortunately, he was the only one left alive."
"And what exactly was that thought?" Lyra replied with badly-masked anger in her voice. One thing was for certain, these ponies seemed quite apprehensive about murder... Then again, these thugs make me think otherwise.
"If he gets to live, he can go tell his comrades to stay away."
"'Comrades'? What comrades?"
I simply shook my head. "It's not my place to say until a later time, so how about we properly introduce myself to the other girls eh?" I smiled towards Rarity and smiled. "Pleasure to meet you, name's Storm."
She briefly nodded. "Of course darling. As you probably know, from what Lyra told me, you know my name is Rarity?" I nodded and looked towards Pinkie Pie, who somehow still had a large grin despite the dead corpses still littering the area around me.
It brought a smile to my face. "Hey Pinkie Pie, what's up?"
Her smile widened at hearing me speak to her, and began her usual sugar-rushed speech. "So you're the human that showed up and helped Matt in the forest? That's so cool! I saw you jump off the roof earlier too, and it was really really cool! Why are you going through those pouches full of bits-" Thankfully Rarity beat me to shutting up Pinkie by placing her hoof over Pinkie's mouth.
I chuckled lightly and motioned toward the bags that were placed near my feet. "I was counting them to make sure that the amount was indeed what the thugs said it was."
"And the total is...?" Lyra trailed off, staring at me expectantly to answer. She didn't seem as miffed, but there's certainly going to a discussion towards me later for this.
"Three thounsand bits exactly."
All the girls eyes opened wide and stared at me in shock. I glanced uneasily at the seven faces staring at me. I wasn't well-versed in how much these bits actually were, so I decided to ask.
Rarity shook her head out of her surprised stupor and addressed my question. "That's how much I make in a month! Oh, Miss Cheerilee is probably stricken with grief over losing that many bits."
"Who?" I asked rather stupidly.
"She's the local teacher for the foals." Fluttershy murmured from the back of the group, which sparked my curiosity. She didn't say anything since her arrival, and the fact that she answered that surprised me. A brief realization came to me when I realized that I hadn't introduced myself to her yet.
"Oh, my apologies for being so rude. The name's Storm."
Fluttershy's eyes widened once she realized that she just spoke rather fearlessly to someone she didn't know, and prompted to hide herself using her mane. She attempted to say something, but only slightly comprehensible whimpers were made. However, she finally was able to get over herself and murmured in a hush voice, "M-my name's Fluttershy..."
If I didn't already know that, I'd have had to ask again due to her tones softness. I simply smiled and nodded at her before directly my attention back to someone more capable of speaking normally to me...
"So Lyra, where's Twilight?"
"We decided to leave that particular introduction for you when we get back to the Library."
'Eh, at least it gives us something to look forward too I suppose.'
'Hey Ed, I've been meaning to do this since the thought popped into my head earlier...'
'We need to severely update my abilities and weaponry from the Armory.'
I facepalmed, attracting the attention of the others. However, I simply ignored their stares as I continued to speak to Ed in a rather irritated voice.
'How could you have possibly forgotten about the Armory?'
"Well did you honestly expect something like that would come to me instantaneously Storm?!"
'The last time we used the Armory was only a millennium ago...'
"Um... Storm?" Rarity began, staring at me with a hint of worry. "Are you alright dear?"
I looked at her and smiled. "Yeah, just thinking about something." I grabbed the bags of coins and fitted them on my belt before standing. The other girls (besides Applejack, Rainbow, and Lyra) backed up slightly at my height, but I pretended not to notice. I stretched slightly, eliciting a variety of pops and snaps across my spines vertebrates.
"So what should we do with that one?" Lyra asked, pointing a forehoof at the thief who was previously my bench. She looked around the closet, looked up at the hole in the ceiling, and then back at me. "Furthermore, I hope you aren't just leaving this here for somepony else to clean..."
I chuckled and bent over to pick up the thief. With his unconscious body over my shoulder, I stood and scanned the room. "I suppose I might as well..." I lifted up a hand.
My fingers made contact to unleash a very audible *snap*, followed by an orange shock-wave pulsing out of my feet. The wave danced along the walls, floor, and ceiling. It became progressively darker in the room as the ceilings 'skylight' became no more, and the table behind reconstructed itself into its original form. The bodies simply turned into ash, and with a well-placed gust of wind from the still-open doorway, they were swept away.
I ignored the still-relatively shocked faces and walked outside. Noting that they hadn't moved, I called to them over my shoulder as I walked. "Come now, we got an idiot to deliver, and another pony for me to meet again!"
We had finally arrived at the doorstep of Twi's Library. The thief had been left behind at the Hospital by Lyra, and now she had returned back to us. Apparently a detachment of Royal Guards would be arriving to take care of him, allowing me to push him out of my mind as I observed Rainbow Dash knock on the door.
"Hey Twilight! You in there?"
"Come in!" A feminine voice yelled from within. Twilight. I motioned for the girls to go first, and they filed inside with me bringing up the rear. The inside was basically the same as the one in my dimension, with the only difference being the considerably huge-sized pile of scrolls being organized by a familiar looking dragon.
"Hey Spikey-wikey!" Rarity shouted, trotting over to greet Spike. I had to refrain from laughing at the display of utter happiness dominating Spike's previously bored expression.
"Oh hi Rarity! W-what are you doing here?" He asked with a love-struck smile. It appeared his eyes had only noticed Rarity, and not the large primate (That's me by the way...) standing amongst a group of several mares.
"I need to introduce someone to Twilight."
"Oh, and who is that?" Twilight asked as she trotted down the stairs towards Rarity and Spike. I stood there rather awkwardly at somehow not being noticed, but chose to remain silent for the moment. The other girls stifled a laugh at their obliviousness, but Rarity simply motioned her head towards me.
Their reactions were... curious.
Spike looked towards me and tilted his head with wide eyes. i noted he examined my hair briefly before giving me a small nod in acknowledgement before refocusing himself back to Rarity. Twilight, on the other hand (Or is it hoof...? Bah, doesn't matter), seemed to express a bit more emotion than that.
Her eyes locked with mine, and she tilted her head much like Spike did. However, she began walking over to me and started looking me over. Her gaze rested at my hair once again, before she directed her attention to me and spoke with a confused smile.
"Um, hello there! I'm-"
"Twilight Sparkle." I finished for her, giving a small smile. She looked at me quizzically for a moment, before she shrugged it off. I bent down some and stuck out my hand. "My name's Storm, pleasure to meet you."
"I wasn't expecting to meet another Human after Matt..." Twilight said in a surprisingly calm manner. Obviously Matt had done a good job of making a good first impression and keeping it... Unlike me in that regard. She suddenly looked about. "Speaking of which, where's Matt?"
"He's harvesting pumpkins back at the Acres." I muttered, staring out a window towards the farmstead. "Speaking of which..." I turned towards Rainbow and smiled. "I'd appreciate it if you went down there and checked on him."
She nervously looked at me. "Why me?"
"Because you're the fastest." I remarked with a smile.
"Because you have the hots for him, is more like it." Ed remarked as he broadcasted his voice to both me and Rainbow Dash. She initially flinched, but didn't show any other movement or change in her demeanor besides that. "I saw you wink at him back at the Farm."
'Did you have to be so blunt Ed?'
"Eh, not really."
Rainbow simply nodded and flew off, a small hint of a blush adorning her cheeks as she departed. The others didn't see it, but I did, and it was rather humorous.
Turning back around to the group, I smiled and motioned for us to take a seat. "I suppose the others here besides Lyra and Applejack have some questions yes?"
Twilight nodded as she sat down across from me, already wielding a quill and parchment. "Let's start off with some Human basics alright?"
I casually shrugged and leaned back. "As long as you don't go prying into my 'inner workings', then go right ahead."
She nodded as she looked down at her parchment. "Right. First question I have is: How are you here and how did you meet Matt?"
I began to answer when I had a thought. "I'd prefer Lyra to explain this, considering she was pretty much there since the beginning."
Lyra looked over at me curiously. "And why would you prefer if I told the story?"
"Don't feel like doing it myself." I replied simply, letting my head recline against the bookcase I had taken seating at. The other girls were situated in cushions, while Spike was listening in while he worked on his pile of scrolls.
"You're such a lazy man."
'I do what I want.'
"I suppose so..."
'Pull up the Armory.'
I internally sighed. Perhaps Ed truly didn't remember that particular bit of his programming... It was odd actually, consider how I used it several times during my travels.
'Did you truly forget what the Armory is?'
"Well... um... yeah."
'The Armory is the place in your database where I house whatever weapons, abilities, and maneuvers I had seen throughout my travels. I access it to equip and un-equip these fighting techniques so that I'm always prepared for something. Despite you not having a limit to how much I can have equipped at one time, I try to limit myself as a challenge. Ring any bells?'
"Yes actually. Pulling it up."
As I let my physical form relax, and tuned out the tale that Lyra was spinning to the others, I found myself standing within the confines of my own mind. Here, I saw a computer monitor next to a large metal container around my height. Walking towards the monitor, I tapped it and watched it come to life.
Armory System Online.
Please select which section you'd like to modify:
I tapped the 'Abilities' tab and watched it turn into a search bar, waiting for an entry to be typed. I tapped the bottom of the monitor, forcing out an attached keyboard and mouse attachment. I briefly considered what to do to mix up my Sets, and decided to type in an entry.
I watched the monitor process it before more writng appeared on the screen once again. I noted the slight hum as the monitor started listing off info about the entry.
Age of Discovery (2,300,000)
Description- A fully upgradeable Nano-suit, fitted with a personal Cloaking device, an advanced high-powered armour feature, and a setting that enables the user to increase their speed considerably. Super-human Strength is a side-bonus to the suit. Any weapons relating to this suit will be found in the 'Weapons' Tab.
Would you like to equip this?
I happily pressed the 'Yes' button and waited for the tube to process it. Sure enough, after a few seconds, a slight ding was heard, and the case opens. What is inside is the Nano-suit, fully fitted and ready to be called when needed. I tapped the Suit and felt it being added into a type of queue that I could access at a moment's notice.
After that, the entry disappeared and was replaced by the same search bar. I consider what to search for, before it came to me...
Once again, I examined the monitor going mostly dark save for a slowly spinning green hourglass in the centre. Soon, information became known on the subject.
Age of Discovery (1,575,000)
Description- This form of martial arts enables the user to bend the four basic elements (Earth, Fire, Water, and Air) to their will. It was considered only the one named the 'Avatar' could use all four, which luckily you were crowned one in an alternate reality. Certain sub-elements are known in each primary Element.
Would you like to equip this?
A refined tap later, and I waited for the ding to occur. Once I was satisfied with the sound, I walked over to the tube and gazed inside of it. It was simply a wooden plate with the four Elements guarding their corners, making it seem like nothing more than some work of art from that land. Another tap later, I felt it being added.
Becoming bored with adding Abilities, I backpedaled using the 'back' button near the top. Once again, I was viewing the main menu, but this time I selected 'Weapons'. Another search bar appeared, and I quickly typed in a entry.
More patiently waiting later, the data droned onto the screen, marching like incompetent soldiers.
Keyblade (Requiem's Ballad):
Age of Discovery (8,243,000)
Description- An altered blade designed to magically undue large magicked locks. The blade has a neutral aura; designed so that the wielder's mood reflects the appearance of the blade. Several key-chains are accessible with the Keyblade after equipping it.
Would you like to equip this?
I grabbed the blade from the canister and inserted a new entry.
I smiled at this. It was an interesting piece of weaponry, and I've been meaning to add it back to my Active-Set since... two millions years ago was it?
Age of Discovery (12,768,000)
Description- Sword sharp enough to cut flesh, yet flexible enough to be wrapped in tight coil. Useful as a whip-like weapon. Extremely dangerous weapon, advise heavy caution when wielding.
Would you like to equip?
I pulled out the sword and gave it a solid flick of my wrist. The blade whipped outward smoothly, eliciting a small grin of my face. Adding it the my queue and I went to the 'Miscellaneous' tab and stopped.
What else should I add?
I sat there for awhile, trying to rack my brain for a device, when I realized what I could add as the finishing touch.
This time however, rather than straight-up loading, it brought me to another screen.
Please select which Gels you'd like included with your Portal Gun:
Orange Propulsion Gel (boosts the player's speed as they cross a surface)
Blue Repulsion Gel (allows user to bounce from a surface)
White Conversion Gel (allows many surfaces to accept portals)
I leaned back on my heels as I pondered which to choose. I briefly noticed Ed was currently commandeering my speech patterns, making sure I was responding normally to what was occuring outside of my physique. My attention returned back to the monitor as I selected all three Gels, and awaited for the information to appear once again.
Age of Discovery (967,000)
Description- Officially dubbed the 'Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device', this mechanism would allow the user to launch two portals for transportation betwixt two points. Portals usually were required to make contact with white surfaces, however this upgraded model you obtained can work on any colored surface (Uneven surfaces cannot be Portal'd unless covered with Conversion Gel.) Gels have to been added to assist the wielder; Orange enhances speed, Blue increases jumping capability, and White enables one to create guaranteed points of portal. Gels are susceptible to Water.
Would you like to equip?
I tapped the device as it emerged from the cylinder and smiled widely; that was enough of an overhaul I believe. I disconnected myself from the Armory, and regained control of my body. The conversation was immediately being scanned by me once more, allowing me to not skip a beat as the conversation I was in kept on going.
"...So Storm, could you tell us more about this first Equestria you went to? Like what happened after my um... dissection of you." Twilight shyly asked, frantically scribbling notes about what I've said on several pieces of parchment. At least in this dimension as well, she was also apologetic about what her other-self did.
I noted the quick glance that Lyra gave me, and began telling the truth. "Well... that is something you all may not wish to hear-"
"Oh please, what's the worst that could have possibly happened?"
Lyra snorted slightly at this, but it seemed lost as I had the others full attention. "I... stopped thinking rationally for a brief period of time I suppose. I didn't care about what possible impact I could have on Equestria, and did some things that I'm not sure how I convinced myself to..."
Rarity seemed apprehensive about her next statement, "What exactly did you do during this period?"
I gave a hollow laugh, one that seemed to echo throughout the tree. "I killed."
There was silence. Not even breathing was heard after a short gasp of air. I dared a look at the others, and grimaced slightly at the horrified faces that stared back at me. Lyra simply remained stoic, knowing where my tale was heading. Twilight's quill was frozen and suspended in mid-air, its text temporarily forgotten at the revelation of possibly having a equine-murderer in her home.
"W-why?" Applejack whispered, staring at me with those agonizingly-soft emerald eyes.
I sighed. I realized it was something that was occurring constantly in the presence of these ponies. That and chuckling. It was rather odd, but I supposed I'd have to get over it. "I marched on-wards to Canterlot, where Celestia resided. After all, she was the one who issued the dissection, plus the deception of the others. After that... there was alot of bloodshed. I had to have killed hundreds of Guards before I reached the Throne Room.
"I then got some information from Celestia, which was basically why she issued it; to make sure I wasn't a threat supposedly. After that, she did something rather... unexpected." I paused briefly, mulling over how to say it. "She wished for me to... become her successor."
"WHAT?!" I blinked at the six voices shouting at me. I merely shrugged and waited for one to speak. Thankfully, it seemed Lyra began with a rather innocent tone, "So exactly what happened next?"
"I'd rather not hear..." I noted Force Hearing auto-activating as it picked up Rarity's thought. However, she wasn't the only one thinking...
"Ah had no idea he was ah killer..." I cringed slightly at Applejack thinking like that.
"This is significantly not what I was expecting..." Luckily Twilight didn't seem too shaken by it, so hopefully my next lines would help restore myself in their eyes.
"I wonder what's better; Chocolate Cake or Chocolate Pie? OH OH, I bet Chocolate Sundaes are the best!" I had to refrain from laughing at Pinkie's thoughts.
I cleared my throat and began to speak. "Princess Luna arrived, and both of the Sisters engaged me in combat. When I neared the end of killing Celestia, all of you arrived on the scene. Things were said that sparked some rather... depressing memories, and I forced myself into exile after restoring the damage."
"Wait a second." Twilight interrupted, staring at me questionably. "What do you mean by 'restoring the damage' exactly?"
"I'm able to alter Strands that exist for every living and nonliving thing in each Universe. By altering them in a specific way, I can undo actions due to them by me and others."
Twilight's eyes significantly widened at this prospect, but didn't say anything further on the subject. Rather, Rarity continued on with the questions. "You mentioned Princess Luna, but not what happened..."
"She technically died due to Celestia killing her, but that was an error on her part during combat. A misfire, if you would"
She nodded at this and that allowed Fluttershy to begin speaking. "Um... if you don't mind me asking this, but... what exactly was those 'depressing memories'...?"
My mood darkened slightly at this. "Let's just say it involved my family, who died rather tragically several millenniums ago."
"Millenniums?" Lyra restated, looking at me curiously. "You didn't tell me how old you were Storm..."
I shrugged. "I figured telling you that I'm sixteen million years old didn't matter much."
"You're how old?!" Spike yelled from his post of stacked-novels. At least, that was the majority of the books the stool composed of, according to some of the titles.
Twilight seemed ready to scold him, but we were interrupted by the Library door being slammed open. The individual who stood there made me groan under my breath; Big Mac and a white pony with medical garb adorning her coat. There was once again silence as both Big Macintosh and the nurse attempted to catch their breath before speaking once again.
"Storm, y'all need ta come down ta th' Hospital!" Big Macintosh yelled, trotting in place while anxiously looking back and forth. I could only imagine what could have happened... Matt probably broke something because of a pumpkin rolling over him or something.
"What happened?" Twilight asked.
"Ah'm not sure, but Ah believe th't when Rainbow Dash crashed into th' shed he was in, it toppled over something..."
"What toppled over?" Lyra questioned, looking over towards the still-silent nurse. I had to stifle a laugh when Ed said, "Note how she didn't even question if Rainbow Dash was alright from the crash."
The nurse shuffled awkwardly while staring at me, before looking back towards the group. "His abdomen was punctured by a pitchfork and he's suffering from mass blood loss."
I quickly stood up, making the nurse flinch slightly. "Is he stable?"
She lightly drew a circle with her hoof on the floor before addressing my question. "Yes and no." I groaned and motioned for the others to fall in on me. With that, I exited the Library with a determined scowl on my face.
"Alright," I began, spinning on my heels to look at the group directly. "Where the bloody hell is the Hospital?"
Twenty minutes, later.....
We arrived at the prestigious buildings door with our now ten-sentient group. I got far less wierd looks when we traversed the Town, although some of them were probably due to me chasing down that thief and still being relatively new. Speaking of which, I had ran into that 'Cheerilee' and funded her back the bits she lost.
Needless to say, she was quite pleased.
Anyways, we quickly rushed through the doors and ran up to the desk. After we got directions (Apparently our accompanying nurse wasn't here when he was assigned to a room...), we began booking it up the stairs towards the second floor. As we made haste, I began questioning the Nurse.
"So what exactly is your name?" I asked trying to sound casual, despite my slight huffing. While I may be in 'tip-top' physical condition, I didn't really have much of a break back at the Library.
"Nurse Redheart, at your service mister...?"
"Oh!" I briefly stuck out my hand as we arrived to the top of the stairwell. "Name's Storm, pleasure." She took my hand and we started off down the hallway, dodging past other patients and doctors to get to our goal. "So what else has he been diagnosed with?"
"From what I saw, he has a broken forearm, a few fractured ribs from a piece of wood landing on his stomach, and a punctured lung."
I grimaced. That was certainly not what I was hoping for. I'd rather have had it where he only had a pitchfork in his gut, since that could be solved simply even without the Editor. Then again, if it was taken care of during her absense, then perhaps that wouldn't be required.
We finally found the room, and I ushered everyone inside. I closed the door and looked towards the bed to see something rather... unexpected.
I saw curtains drawn to cover all beds except one. I noted that it was Rainbow Dash, but I then realized that she was on top of another. The room was dead silence as we saw Rainbow Dash idly rubbed the cheek of the one under her while she... kissed him?
'As am I. Where the bloody hell is Matt, and why is Rainbow making out with another pony if she supposedly fancies Matt-'
My eyes widened in realization as I watched Rainbow pull away to look behind herself. She gasped and toppled over to the side, exposing not only her bandaged shoulder, but the others wrappings all over his chest. She was now positioned to where I could see his face... but most importantly, his hair. When I saw the hair, I knew...
The other pony was Matt.
[Author's Notes: Plot device! The thief will be mentioned later on, but for now don't worry 'bout him none. Also, the crossover is coming towards a close!
But don't fret, there shall be plenty of adventures later on once we both satisfy our own separate plots some more. I'm still taking in ideas for future weapons, technology, and abilities in this chapter aswell, but it won't be considered immediately or added until several chapters.