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Morrigan’s grip was vice-tight. The moment her claws had closed around his neck, he felt as though several ever-tightening iron bands had been fastened to his throat. Despite all the malicious cruelty he had glimpsed in his momentary invasion of her mind, the Draconequus seemed completely content simply choking the life out of him. He feebly brought his right hand up to Morrigan’s wrist in a futile effort to pry her hand from his throat, while his left hung limply at his side.
Warren was surprised by just how badly her imagination had seemingly dwindled in her rage at his continued interference. She had maimed—possibly irreparably—two harmless fillies, caused the dismemberment of another, put him through the most agonizing experience in his entire life, and on top of it all, she was even to blame for his death in this world. She was probably behind uprisings cropping up in Equestria, yet she didn’t have a more creative way of dealing with him.
Even as darkness encroached on the edges of his vision, a spark of realization struck him. The enraged Draconequus was not thinking with any clarity, and there was always some degree of predictability to rage. If he played his cards right, and if the odds were in his favor, he might live long enough to formulate a real plan.
“So... tell me...” he rasped, fighting for his voice to be heard. “Why waste your energy on... me? It’s the others you should... worry about.” It was difficult to breathe, much less speak. He found himself pausing as he gasped for air. “Right now... they’re probably kicking Discord’s flank... seven ways... to Tuesday.” He sneered at her.
The death-grip she held on his throat loosened, and an amused look filled her eyes. “You would think that, wouldn’t you?” she crooned. “Ah, how I forgot how arrogantly optimistic your kind can be.” A sinister cackle filled the air.
Taking the opportunity he’d been given, he greedily sucked in a deep breath. He needed to take stock. Combat boots? Check. Combat knife? Tucked into the left side of my belt. Not sure what good it will be. Revolver? Right side of belt, four more rounds in the cylinder. What about the girls? Looking down, he saw that Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle were no longer at his side. They had moved over to the wall to be with Scootaloo, who was vigorously hugging them even as they exchanged scared and confused looks.
“You see,” the Draconequus said with a vicious snicker. She released her hold on his throat, letting him drop to the ground. He’d barely recovered from the sudden drop to the ground when she spun him to look out towards the flagpole on the other side of the island. “I think you’ll find that your friends aren’t going to have such an easy time with my brother as they did the first time.”
Sure enough, Warren could see Discord circling about in the air above the terrace, diving at shield barriers that cropped up randomly. Each time the dragon took a dive, he watched in mute disgust as the creature would somehow dismember itself upon a shield bubble, and then slowly stitch itself back together. It didn’t help any that the shield became smaller each time it appeared.
It took Warren a moment to process what was happening. He didn’t think that Discord was actually regenerating. Something in the back of his mind gleaned from the invasion of Morrigan’s mental processes insisted that the draconic form kept reasserting itself. That’s... “... a self-renewing enchantment...”
He didn’t even realize that he’d spoken aloud until Morrigan spun him back around and yanked him up by the collar of his shirt. “Thank you for reminding me why I need to kill you,” she hissed angrily. “I guess all that’s left to do is to is put an end to your wretched existence.”
“Yeah?” Warren spat in her face. “You first!”
He yanked the revolver from his belt. With a grunt of exertion, he forced the muzzle of the revolver up underneath her ribs. Sneering at her, he squeezed the trigger. Click. He squeezed twice more. Click. Click. His sneer quickly faded away as he realized something had gone very wrong. Well crap...
Warren held up the revolver and stared at it. Pointing it at Morrigan’s face, he pulled the trigger one last time. Click. In mute horror, he watched as a stick emerged from the barrel of the handgun. At the end of it, he noticed something white wrapped around the end of it. His gut dropped as the white thing unfurled into a banner. Printed on the banner was the word NOPE. Not knowing what else to do, he dropped the now useless implement.
A frighteningly girlish laugh caused him to look back to Morrigan’s face. The expression on her face was one of complete amusement, and it somehow frightened him most of all. The laughter continued to intensify until tears began spilling down her cheeks. “Oh my...” she said, wiping the tears away with her lion paw. “Jokes are usually Discord’s domain, but that one has always held a special place in my heart. You might even say that I pioneered it—at least in this world.”
Just as Warren intended to slam his palm against his face, however, something most unexpected happened. A loud crack resounded from the battlefield behind him, buffeting them all with an explosive force that made his very bones ache. He couldn’t turn his head far enough to see what had happened, but it was certainly enough for him to receive a face full of gore. From what he could tell, the whole of the island was streaked in an impossible degree of gore.
“Well, that was unexpected.” Morrigan said, nonplussed, as she idly wiped a large gobbet of flesh off of her nose. “I’m surprised that the little unicorn had it in her to do such a thing.”
Fluttershy cringed away as Discord’s maw snapped in her direction. Only Twilight’s shield spell separated the timid pegasus from certain death. The draconic Embodiment of Chaos and Disharmony eyed her hungrily from the other side of the barrier, even as it hammered away. She had long since determined that it had taken a keen interest in her; after all, Discord was almost feral in his animalism, and her fear was the most powerful of all of her friends.
Each time the shield broke, Princess Luna would teleport them to a new position. Fluttershy couldn’t help but notice the strain Twilight was suffering; each time she erected a shield, it became slightly smaller, and slightly more brittle each time. The butter-yellow pegasus couldn’t help but fear that Discord might actually break the shield and get one of them before Luna could whisk them away.
The Princess was being put through her paces as well. The way sweat beaded her regal brow told Fluttershy that a mass teleportation spell—like the one she’d been doing continuously for what felt like hours—was not intended for repeated rapid use. Every time, Discord became closer and closer to touching her, in addition to other abnormalities. On one occasion, Applejack’s hat had materialized on Rarity’s head, and Pinkie had appeared upside down.
Like the shell of an overly large egg, the magical purple barrier began to crack and crumble. Again, Discord lunged through through a newly formed aperture in the shield at Fluttershy. Unlike so many previous attempts to do so, the pegasus couldn’t resist the flight instinct, forcing a terrified squeak from her lungs. Frantically beating her wings, she began to fly away from the Draconequus dragon’s snapping maw. A bright flash filled her vision, and suddenly she was elsewhere.
From there, things began moving in slow motion for the mare. She gazed around at her surroundings, and found she was many yards above her friends. Before Twilight had even noticed that one of her friends was no longer in the area the shield would encompass, the magical hemisphere of energy began to coalesce. Her friends looked up at her, their mouths agape in horror.
A hungry roar filled the air. She turned her head without having to know the source. Discord was surging towards her in all of his serpentine glory. His mouth was open wide to receive his most desired pony morsel. The look in his eyes all but conveyed the thought ‘I will eat you, and you will taste good to me.’
Fluttershy stared at her oncoming death as one might look towards an oncoming train. She was absolutely paralyzed with fear. One part of her mind screamed that she should fly away, while another gibbered that she was nowhere near as fast as Rainbow Dash, that fleeing was futile. Then her mind inappropriately offered up the question, ‘Who will take care of all the animals when I’m gone?’
As Discord finally closed in on her, she settled on a course of action. The Draconequus made to swallow her whole. Before his mouth had closed completely around his butter-yellow morsel, there was a piercing scream from within his mouth. “GIRLS!”
Twilight Sparkle focused inwardly trying to draw out every last bit of energy she could muster. Even as she did so, a second, brighter aura enveloped her horn. She couldn’t just let her friend die like that. It wasn’t the Equestrian way! It wasn’t Celestia’s way!
Even though Discord was turning his attention from his snack to the covered dinner platter below, her friends turned toward her. Their faces showed it all; devastation at the perceived death of their friend was burned into their faces. Rainbow Dash was worst off; her sobs at the loss of one of her oldest friends wracked her entire body.
Exhaling shallowly, the studious unicorn looked from Rarity to Princess Luna. “I can still save her!” she said weakly. “Lend me your strength... Please!”
Everypony in the group seemed to sober a bit at her words. Princess Luna was the first to begin channeling energy into her sister’s student. Rarity blinked away a stream of tears before nodding and adding her own strength. The flow of their magic flooded her entire being with much-needed relief. It was as though she’d been trudging through a sun, only to be cast into a wellspring of cool, refreshing magical energy.
To her surprise, the aid of the Princess and the dressmaker was not the only aid she received. Rainbow Dash, Applejack, and Pinkie Pie all moved to her side. Each of them added their own supportive hoof to her withers or back. The confidence they felt for her surged in to bolster her own strengthening resolve. Friendship truly was magic; a third, nearly smouldering white aura caressed her horn.
“We believe in ya, sugar-cube,” Applejack whispered, nodding. “Y’all can do it!”
“Yeah!” Rainbow Dash said with a grin that conflicted with her own tear-streaked face. “Show Discord who the boss is!”
“Inspirational quotes always help at times like this!” Pinkie exclaimed. “Your magic rocks, Twilight!”
Despite being confused by Pinkie’s ‘support’, she grinned before looking up at Discord. “Give us back our friend right now, Discord!” she all but screamed. “... or I’m going to give you one wicked stomach-ache!”
The dragon paused, seemingly considering her proposal. His consideration was incredibly short-lived; without even blinking, he spat a massive white-hot ball of flame at their shield bubble. It splashed harmlessly against the protective force-field, which only seemed to agitate the beast. He ungraciously dove at them, hoping to use all of his mass to smash through the shield.
Twilight didn’t even blink. She magnified the power to the second spell she’d been pooling all the magic into, causing a fourth and fifth aura to ignite around her horn. Her vision faded for only a moment, but it felt like an eternity. When the blinding white light that had been her eyes ceased, she cast one uneasy glance up at the dragon, unaware that she was no longer actively channeling magic into any spells.
Discord’s gut began to bloat and grow impossibly large. A loud crack filled the air, and then Discord was torn to bloody rivulets and meaty hunks. The canopy of trees on the island was blasted clean of any foliage, and the brick ground outside the barrier was pulverized into dust as a shield inside of him exploded outward. In the epicenter of the shield explosion sat a mortified, but otherwise unharmed Fluttershy. A shower flesh and blood rained down all around them, not hitting any of them but for the presence of the shield.
Slowly, the shield surrounding the rest of her friends faded out of existence. It was becoming a great effort for Twilight to even stand at this point. Her legs felt like jelly, and that was saying nothing of the way her horn burned. It was probably the exhaustion talking, but she couldn’t help but be glad the shield spell that rid Canterlot of the Changeling invasion force hadn’t had the same destructive force as hers had. Celestia would have been furious that all of Canterlot had been destroyed.
A weak laugh escaped her muzzle before her legs gave out. Her friends were all on her in an instant, smothering her with one great big group hug and cheering loudly. Even Princess Luna had moved closer to the festive pony-pile, and while was not actively participating in the smothering of Twilight, she still exuded warmth and admiration. It felt like their victory over Nightmare Moon all over again, only all the more tiring.
Even the festive revelry of her friends couldn’t distract her from a sickening revelation. Twilight had long been aware of the destructive potential that magic possessed. In addition to the combative magics wielded by the UniCorps of the Equestrian Guard in times of war, the destructive potential of even the most mundane magic was often used to emphasize proper supervision of unicorns in training; one popular example was of a unicorn colt who, in attempt to make lemonade, burned his entire house down.
While she could admit that she had her share of magical mishaps—there wasn’t a unicorn who didn’t on occasion—it was the first time she’d ever purposefully utilized the destructive potential of magic. She couldn’t deny that there was a certain component of anger there, and that scared her more than anything. If I could do this to Discord, what other horrors could I be capable of?
Her introspection proved to be short-lived, regardless of how she felt. Through the legs of her friends, she could just make out a single gobbet of blood-soaked meat slowly creeping across the ground like some macabre snail. While his regeneration would be undeniably slower, she hadn’t managed to defeat Discord after all, and now she was out of energy and options!
Warren gazed past Morrigan, setting his eyes upon the three fillies. They’d been spared a coating of whatever or whoever the gory mess had once been, but they were no less mortified. The looks of horror on their faces as they cringed away from his gore-streaked visage only compounded the sick feeling in his stomach as he got his first good look at Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle.
The chimeric fusion they’d been a part of hadn’t been lifted without leaving scars. Right off the bat, the first symptom of the change he noticed was their manes. Sweetie Belle’s two-toned mane of grayish mulberry and grayish rose now bore a third highlight: an amaranth that perfectly matched Apple Bloom’s mane. The Apple filly, on the other hand, bore a streak of grayish rose. It was then that he was drawn to their eyes. They each bore one of the other’s colors; Apple Bloom’s right eye was now sap green, and Sweetie’s right eye was unmistakably gamboge. Even as he looked at them, they backed away to hide behind Scootaloo, recognizing that he was sizing them up.
If he hadn’t known they’d been of two separate blood-lines, he might have thought they shared a common ancestor or parent. They probably share similar genetic markers now, too, he thought glumly. This is my fault, but I have to remember that it could have been worse. If I hadn’t taken that knowledge, I’m not sure I’d have been able to save them.
“You still won’t be able to save them, human.” Morrigan snarled. “Have you forgotten all about me?”
Enraged, the Draconequus threw Warren into the air with her eagle claw, and then spiked him down into the ground like a volleyball with her lion paw. His body slammed to the ground, and he could feel his internal injuries cry out in protest. Before he could even spit the mouthful of blood, a goat’s hoof slammed itself down into his stomach. He shut his eyes in pain.
“Leave him alone!” a small voice cried out. Morrigan’s hoof continued kicking him. That small voice cried out again. “I said, leave him alone, you b-b-bully!”
Morrigan stopped kicking him. “What was that, little one?” The cruelty in her voice did not belie the amusement at being challenged. Warren forced open his eyes, only to see Scootaloo standing between her friends and Morrigan, wings spread defiantly. “By all means, go ahead and repeat yourself.”
“I said,” the filly sucked in a shaky breath. Her face was chock-full of grim defiance. “Leave my big brother the buck alone!”
“Oh my! If this were a schoolyard row, your courage might be meritorious.” Morrigan crooned condescendingly. “Unfortunately for you, this isn’t. I’ve had enough of you pitiful whelps.”
The Draconequus strode up to the pegasus filly, and stared down into her eyes. Warren felt a hot flash of rage as Morrigan kicked out with her hoof. Scootaloo went tumbling backwards, landing in a heap in front of Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom. The Draconequus stomped her way towards them, stepping through a migrating ocean of gore.
Not even thinking—he was completely blind to the pain—Warren silently rose to his feet. Ignoring his dislocated shoulder, he pulled combat the knife from his sash. Malice and rage filled the pit of his stomach as he staggered after Morrigan. He wanted nothing better than to sink that knife into her back, and that was exactly what he planned on doing.
“You won’t lay another hand on these girls ever again!” he shouted, catching the Morrigan off guard. Plunging the combat knife into her spine, he felt the satisfying click as the blade nicked bone. “It’s high time you paid for everything you’ve done. Not just to me or the girls, but to both worlds!”
He wrenched the blade left and right, eliciting a pained exhalation of air from Morrigan. With her spine severed, she no longer had the ability to stand. She crumpled to the ground—her head lopsided—as he withdrew his blade from her, a seething anger rising to her face. Warren glared down at the monster, before moving around to place himself between the fillies. With one booted foot, he kicked Morrigan over.
“Girls, I don’t want you to see what I’m about to do.” he said flatly, not taking his eyes off of the Draconequus. “This isn’t anything you girls need to see.” Not hearing the clip-clop of hooves moving away from him, he half-turned his head and raised his voice. “Scootaloo, go! Take Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle and make sure they’re alright.”
“Alright, big brother...” her soft voice came after a moment. He knew he’d hurt her, but he couldn’t do what he needed to do next to end this if they were watching him. “Come on. Let’s give him some space.”
Warren listened to the receding hoof-beats of the three fillies. Once he was certain they had rounded the corner, he knelt crouched down over the Draconequus until his face was hovering just above hers. “You know, it didn’t have to be this way.” he whispered into her ear as he lowered his knife to the bottom of her ribcage. “You had plenty of chances to leave well enough alone, but instead you chose to be greedy. What has it gotten you now? You’re going to die very soon, and it isn’t a god or a king that has slain you; it was but a simple man.”
He flipped the blade’s cutting edge so that it pointed towards where he assumed her belly button was. With a grunt of pain, he forced the blade into her body cavity, quickly tearing through muscle and tendon. Drawing the blade downward, he cut a bloody furrow down through her chest, eliciting an enticing dark image to flow into his mind. Oh how easy it would be to just stab her repeatedly... But then I’d be worse than her.
“I really must thank you, though.” he whispered idly as he withdrew the blade and moved backwards, allowing himself better access to her chest cavity. “If you hadn’t killed me and put me through all of this, Scootaloo would be all alone. If she hadn’t met me, she might not have known the feeling of family again while she was still a child. For this, I promise your actual death will be quick.” He paused to spit out a wad of congealing blood. “This next part, however, will be excruciating. I know it will be.”
Tearing his eyes away from the face of the crippled Draconequus, he plunged his good arm up into her torso. The moment his hand passed up into her body cavity, he could feel her lungs vibrating against his hand in a silent scream. Where was it when she was rooting around in my chest? he wondered, as his hand groped blindly around inside her chest.
It was up behind my heart, wasn’t it? The thought came to him as his hand brushed against a pulsating organ. Yeah! That’s right. It was right behind this old thing. I’m kind of surprised I didn’t manage to botch it and kill her outright... He pulled his had back slightly, and slid it behind her heart. His fingers grazed something simultaneously unyielding, yet gelatinous. It had enough give in it to get a grip, but not to puncture it. If I’d killed her, they’d all be trapped here... I don’t even want to think what would become of their lives.
It’s rather large... Not like the one she took out of me. Hell, this has to be almost as big as my head. Tugging and guiding his prize out of her chest was no easy feat. More than once, he had to release his grip and find better purchase. Finally, he found he had to widen the incision in order to pull out his prize.
To think, so much power could be compressed into something the size of my own head... He stared at the glowing concentrated magic sitting in his hand. It was incredibly light, yet at the same time he could feel the weight it would hold on his future. The thrum of its power pulsed through his hand, and within him, he could feel something respond. Warren felt drawn to the power of the egg-shaped energy mass resting in his palm.
‘With this, you could heal all of your wounds, and fix most of the damage done to this world,’ the egg seemed to whisper. ‘You could live a life of luxury wherever you choose to live. You’d never have to worry about illness or dying of natural causes. You could...’
“You could become a God.” Morrigan managed a whisper.
Warren frowned, looking from the egg to Morrigan and back. “Yes, I certainly could, couldn’t I?” he said softly. “That’s not what I want, though. Even with just a bit of your power, I could feel the malignant effects it had on my spells. Your magic craves wanton carnage,” he said, thinking back to the minotaurs, and the skeleton. “If I made this a part of myself...” He glared down into Morrigan’s eyes. “I’d be no better than you.
“No,” he said firmly. “I can still use this without actually making it a part of me. I’d only need to channel it. I’d only need to use it three times, anyway.” He looked up at the Nightmare Moon statue. “Okay... maybe more than a few times. Then, once we cross through the portal, its use will have ended, and I’ll smash it.”
He sat down beside the dying Draconequus, ignorant of the ever-widening pool of blood. Nesting the egg in his legs, he laboriously took off the shirt which Rarity had crafted. A light clatter drew his attention to a pair of glasses that had landed in the pool of blood. Putting the bundled shirt aside—a fair distance from Morrigan’s paralyzed form—he reached for the glasses. He hadn’t even realized he still had them tucked in the collar of his shirt.
In a moment of wistful reminiscence, Warren plucked the glasses from the ground. He turned them over in his hands, remembering that they had been enchanted to help him overcome his temporary vision impairment. With a sigh, he opened the sides, and moved to place it on his head. Instead of placing it on his nose—it hadn’t sat properly there since he’d returned to being human—he sat the bridge of it over the base of his horn, letting it rest like sunglasses over the bill of a cap.
A pained wheeze from Morrigan returned his attention to what he had been doing. Placing the egg on the bundled shirt, he stood up. Moving to stand over Morrigan’s head, he found himself looking into her suddenly frightened eyes. He gave her an apologetic smile as he knelt down. Placing hands on either side of her head, he sighed before saying, “Even if you don’t rightly deserve it, I hope that you can find the solace in death that you never found in life.” With a pained grunt, he twisted her neck, and continued to do so until he heard a sickening crunch. “Rest in peace.”
Turning his back on the lifeless corpse that had been the biggest threat to the peace of two worlds, he approached the egg. He cast a thoughtful glance back to her body. I can’t just leave this body... Lord knows what madness the scientists would create with her remains. Tentatively, cradled the bundled shirt and egg in his arms. I hope this works like I thought it would.
He immediately began picturing a flame igniting inside Morrigan’s remains. In his mind’s eye, that flame became larger and hotter, growing until it encompassed all of Morrigan’s remains. As the flame burned on, the body broke down into ash. Finally, he added an additional thought to the structure of the spell; one that would allow the spell to carry out on its own, without his focus on it.
Warren turned to face the pyre. As the violet flames licked at Morrigan’s remains, he couldn’t help but feel amused. “I suppose it’s only fitting that a Celtic goddess should receive a funeral pyre... even if it isn’t a standard one,” he said aloud, more to Morrigan than to himself. Turning to the corner around which the fillies had vanished, he called out, “You can come out now, girls. I’ve done what’s needed of me.”
As the fillies gathered at his side, he stared out towards the flagpole. The angry mass of meat and blood that had showered down around the island had almost completely migrated back towards the point of origin. With the Discord dragon nowhere in sight, he could only imagine that the mess was Discord. He couldn’t help but wonder what effect it would have on the Draconequus. After all, he’d ended the enchantment placed on Discord before he’d completely regenerated. Would he be more dragon, or would he be himself again?
“So, girls...” he said, gently patting the egg he cradled in his arms. He gave the three fillies a knowing grin. “Who wants to help save everypony?”
The three fillies lit up at the implication. In unison, the three fillies chanted, “Cutie Mark Crusader Support Squad! YEAH!”
With the help of Applejack, Twilight rose to her hooves. Though she managed to delay Discord’s assault by many minutes, the gathering ocean of flesh in front of them heralded their impending doom. Even as she watched, the last of the gory mess had gathered in a pool beneath the flagpole. Slowly, the bloody mass began to rise out of itself.
“I’m sorry, girls.” Twilight said, turning to her friends. “It looks like this is it. It looks like we’ve failed.”
Pinkie Pie, in spite of the situation, remained sickeningly cheery. Even though Twilight knew the party pony was well aware of the situation, Pinkie didn’t stop smiling or bouncing. “It’s alright, Twilight!” she said, pausing her bouncing. The pink party pony held out a leg, flexing it at her knee. “See? No pinchy knee! If my Pinkie Sense doesn’t say something scary is gonna happen, there’s nothing at all to be worried about!”
“But Pinkie, haven’t you seen what-” Twilight stared agape at the pink earth pony. Her friend had stopped bouncing. Instead, a vaguely familiar shuddering had overtaken the pink mare, causing her to vibrate across the ground. Twilight turned to Applejack and asked, “Isn’t that the same...”
“... Pinkie Sense meanin’ somethin’ really unexpected is gonna be happenin’?” Applejack completed the thought. “Yeah, Ah reckon so... but how unexpected can ya possibly get?”
“I don’t know...” Rainbow Dash laughed, allowing a look of relief to cross her face. She lifted a fore-hoof and pointed it toward the puddle of Discord. “But that is pretty unexpected.”
Following the outstretched hoof, everypony gazed back at the writing mass of blood and gore. It was indeed reforming, but instead of the massive dragon, they were relieved to see Discord’s natural chimeric shape forming from the mess. The look on his face spoke multitudes of his own confusion as he regained his color.
A clattering sound inside the group distracted the group from Discord, giving him the opportunity to rise off the ground and look about in confusion. Pinkie Pie was shuddering and vibrating across the ground. Whatever Pinkie’s Sense had predicted, Discord’s return to normalcy wasn’t it.
“... but if that ain’t it, then what-”
“Discord!” a voice boomed out across the park. “Get down from there. It’s time for us to go home.”
Everybody in the square—ponies and villains alike—looked out towards the statue. Limping along the pulverized brick walkway by himself was Goldenrod. With his shirt off, they could see that he was covered in blood and wounds. In his arms, he cradled something bundled up in his shirt. A flat smile worked its way across his blood-streaked face.
The Draconequus stared smugly down at the human bearing a unicorn’s horn. “Too bad for you. I don’t want to go.”
“You don’t at all seem surprised to know that your sister is dead,” the human called back. “You knew then, that this was the only way it could end?”
“Yes.” Discord’s voice seethed with barely contained disgust. “She woke me from my slumber, only to turn me into nothing but a slave the very next instant. You can’t expect me to be sorry she’s dead. If anything, I should thank you for saving me the trouble.”
Goldenrod looked thoughtful for a moment. “Yeah, family is more than just blood,” he said softly, looking away. He gave the pony group a wistful look and turned his gaze back up to Discord. “Seriously, you need to get down here right now! I won’t ask again.”
The Embodiment of Chaos returned the human’s sentiment in a gesture recognizable to any beings that bore digits, or those that spent time around them. Goldenrod didn’t even look angry; instead, he just reached his right hand up to stroke whatever was in his bundled shirt and closed his eyes. Twilight thought she could make out the faintest glimmer of a sickly green aura around his horn. Without warning, Discord came crashing to the ground in front of them. He was thrashing as though he were being held down by an invisible hoof.
“Do it now, Twilight...” he shouted. “I can’t hold him for long.”
She faltered. “I-I’m not sure I can!’
“We know you can, Twilight!” a small voice called out behind her. “We believe in you!”
All at once, a trio of fillies burst from the treeline. Two of them rushed to the sides of Applejack and Rarity to show their support. Twilight watched as the third—a familiar orange pegasus filly with a fuchsia mane—rushed past the group, taking her place beside Goldenrod. Surely I must be mistaken... I could have sworn I saw something on Scootaloo’s flank.
“You can do it!” cheered the three fillies. “You can do it!”
One last time... Twilight smiled to herself before closing her eyes. Again, she reached out to tap the power of the Elements of Harmony. Letting it flow through her, she opened her eyes towards Discord. We will not fail. A blinding white light shot forth from the mares, striking Discord’s thrashing form.
Twilight did not relent until Discord was nothing but a statue. Sinking back to the ground, she allowed a laugh of pride escape her mouth. “We really did it then. It’s all over.”
As if to answer her question, the floating island began to lurch towards the bay. “Oops...” Goldenrod chuckled, unfazed by the island sudden motion. “That’s my bad.”