The cool night was calm and still as a hooded figure appeared on the edge of Ponyville, looking down towards the town.
“I wonder if they will take me back?" the hooded figure wondered as it looked around, looking for the large crystalline structure but instead only finding an empty field, "Wait, where’s Twilight’s castle?”
A thought quickly occurred to the being. It headed down to the graveyard where its body was supposedly buried and began searching. After half an hour of scouring the cemetery, the hooded figure had no success in finding its own grave.
“Don’t tell me…” the being says to itself, hoping it is wrong and that they were just at the wrong time. The hooded figure worried and wandered towards
the town, desperately hoping to prove itself wrong.
Meanwhile, in another part of Ponyville; sober ponies were filing out of the Rose and Crown, Ponyville’s most popular pub. Amongst the not-sober patrons was Equestria’s most famous other-worldly resident.
Connor Wakefield. Born a human, though technically a pony for complicated reasons, he was staggering out of the pub, barely able to stay on his two legs. With him were two of his friends and partners in pranking, Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash.
They staggered along to an open clearing, Connor and Rainbow intending to return to their respective cloud houses. Pinkie, oblivious to her friends having stopped walking, continued to drunkenly bounce back home.
Connor looked bleary eyed to Rainbow, “We’ll....we’ll have to go out another night……”
Rainbow, barely able to stay on four hooves, slurred a semi-coherent response, “Yeah….we should do this every week.”
“I don’t think my liver could take it,” replied Connor, “Anyway, I better be going; I told Spitfire I’d be back earlier…..she’s going to yell at me.”
“Spitfire yells at everypony.”
“And blows her whistle,” Connor replied wincing, “A loud whistle and a hangover…...not a nice combination.”
“I know what you mean, Twilight once woke me up after a drunk night out by blasting an air horn in my ear.”
“Yeah, made my hangover worse. Anyway, see you around Connor.”
Rainbow flapped her wings and took slowly to the air, leaving Connor alone. He turned towards the direction of Cloudsdale and, after a few flaps of his wings, generated enough lift to become airborne.
It took longer than usual to return to Cloudsdale, mostly due to being inebriated and flying slow, but Connor got home eventually. He fumbled with the keys to the door of his home, eventually getting the key into the slot and opening the door. He staggered inside and headed straight for his bedroom, stumbling in the way. Spitfire was already fast asleep, tucked up under the covers on her side of the bed.
Connor quickly joined her, too tired to even bother removing his Wonderbolt flight suit. He flopped down on top of the bed, not even bothering to get under the covers.
He was asleep within seconds.
A witness to all of this, was the hooded figure; watching from a distance still floating mid-air. It saw Connor fly up to his house and followed suit.
“Maybe the human can help me expedite the process.”
The hooded figure went to open the door. But before it could get there though, the figure fell through the clouds and plummeted towards the ground. The being quickly began levitating once more, and floated inside Connor's house; closing and locking the door behind it. The figure floated over to the living room and, sitting on the sofa, began the long wait for the occupants to awake.
This is going to be a long night the being thought.
It was around 8am when Connor finally woke up. Laid on his side, he noticed the empty half of Spitfire’s bed. Sitting up slowly and rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, he looked around for his fiery marefriend.
“In here Sleepy Head,” came the response from the en-suite.
Connor got up and stretched out his wings and muscles, easing some tension in them, and walked over to the en-suite. Going inside just in time to see Spitfire drying herself off.
“Morning sleepy,” Spitfire said, “Enjoy your night out?”
“Yeah, I had fun. Pity you couldn’t join us.”
“Yeah, but duty called.”
“So,” Connor started, “Any plans for today?”
“Well everypony has the day off, and you are ahead with your studies; so why don’t we just have a lazy day with nothing to complicate things?”
“Sounds great, but remember this IS Equestria.”
“You don’t have to tell me,” Spitfire replied with a laugh, “Anyway, I'm about to make breakfast, want anything?”
“Peanut butter on toast, while you do that I’ll get a quick shower and change flight suits.”
“Sure thing. Your breakfast will be waiting for you.”
Spitfire made her way to the kitchen to prepare breakfast, while Connor remained in the en-suite. His fingers had just touched the zip on his flight suit when the angry voice of Spitfire thundered through the home.
“WHO THE BUCK ARE YOU?!”
“Ah so the loving couple wakes up, hello there,” the hooded figure says calmly, not even looking at Spitfire.
“Who are you?!” Spitfire demanded.
“I am like your companion yet different, I ended up here by mistake and I think I require his assistance.”
“Who needs my assistance?” asked Connor, walking into the room.
“Ah there you are, I need help, I am in the wrong world, again.”
“What do you mean ‘the wrong world’?” he asked.
"I died in my world in an accident, then Discord brought me to my Equestria. I died again in a magical accident involving molten metal and a slow painful death again, and then after a few years I ended up here from a void.”
“Well I’ve never heard of this Discord,” replied Connor, “And you have my condolences for what happened to you, but you still kind of broke into our home.”
“You left the door wide open and after I entered I locked it, you should really be more careful.”
Connor felt a sense of dread as he felt to warm breath of an even hotter mare on his neck. Turning slowly, he saw an angry looking Spitfire.
“You left to front door open?”
“Errrrrr….it was an accident?” he replied, grinning sheepishly.
Spitfire squinted disapprovingly, “We’ll discuss this at a later date. Make no mistake Connor, you will be punished.”
Spitfire hopped back down to the floor and turned back to the unexpected guest.
“If you’re here, could you at least tell us your name?”
“The inhabitants of these Equestrias call me Sketch.”
“I’m Group Captain Spitfire and this lovable dork behind me is my coltfriend, Connor Wakefield.”
Sketch looked at the winged-human, “Hmmmm, where are you from Connor?”
Connor stepped closer to Sketch, “It’s complicated. Though I was born on Earth, I technically originate from this Equestria. My mother, a Pegasus, was transported somehow to ‘my world’ and transformed into a human, when I was born. A few months ago I transported mysteriously back here and grew Pegasus wings, due to me having Pegasus DNA.”
"What country specific on Earth? I bet you can tell by my accent where I am from, and my method of ‘speak quietly and carry a big stick’” Sketch teased.
“I was born in England, and you’re from the USA.”
“Ah, glad you got that reference, either you that or you inferred where I am from by lack of respect for boundaries.” Sketch laughed a deep laugh.
Connor joined in the laugh, “Yeah, Americans do have a habit of showing up unannounced. Anyway, we were about to have breakfast, do you want to join us?”
“I don’t eat anymore.”
“Oh, well more juicy steak for me.”
“Yeah, the only sustenance I need anymore is liquid to keep hydrated,” Sketch says as he pulled out a large bottle and chugging it. The bottle is long clear and has a golden label stuck in its centre.
“Well we have plenty of drinks in, mostly banana milkshakes, so if you want a drink, help yourself.”
“Any blueberry vodka? I drank the last bottle in my possession waiting for you lovebirds to wake up,” Sketch said, motioning to the three empty bottles beneath him.
“No but we can get some, there’s a corner shop not too far away. About a five minute walk, or float in your case.”
“Oh, I can walk, I actually prefer it. I just can’t walk on clouds.”
“Well if Spitfire doesn't mind, why don’t we go there now?”
“Okay, and since you don’t know of Discord, I assume Twilight isn't a princess yet?”
Both Connor and Spitfire looked at each other, confused. Connor was the one to respond, “No, it's not been long since she moved to Ponyville herself.”
“Still the early days, I see….hmmmm well, why don't you help introduce me to the matriarchs, hmm?”
“You mean Celestia and Luna?”
“Yup, are you ready right now? We can leave immediately if you are.”
“Sure, just let me do the talking first, the guards know me.”
But before Connor could do anything, a large hole opened in the room and Sketch walked through. After a second he poked his cloaked head back through the portal and looked at Spitfire and Connor, “You coming?”
Spitfire and Connor looked at each other again. They shrugged their soldiers, “Why not?” replied Spitfire.
The pair walked towards the portal and nervously went through. They opened their eyes they saw nothing but pure darkness as Sketch lead them down a dark path towards the other portal, which they assumed lead them to the other end of the teleport.
“So, feeling nauseous at all? I know I did the first time I did this.”
Connor, looking a little green around the gills managed to get out a response, “I'd feel better if I didn't have a hangover.”
“I can fix that, Cure Poison. There, better?” Sketch said as he waved his hand over Connor and then turned back toward the hallway.
Connor immediately felt a lot better, “That works even better than a bacon sandwich.”
“Heh, I miss food. Oh well, I can see the end of the portal, looks like Luna and Celestia are just about to switch shifts in the throne room. Got an explanation for a high level untraceable mass portal spell buddy?” Sketch asked as they neared the end of their walk.
“I'm sure I'll think of something,” Connor replied.
“Welp, we're here.” Sketch announced as the three appear in the throne room to the surprise of the Princesses who look on in shock as Connor appears from nowhere followed immediately by Spitfire and then Sketch. Immediately, the guards around the throne room swarmed around their Princesses and raised their spears in the direction of the unknown being.
“Connor? What is going on? Who is this? Is it another human?” Celestia asked, trotting up to him.
“Hello princess," Sketch said, "It's has been a while, although you aren't the same as last time, I arrived at the wrong place, he is never very trustworthy.”
“Who is not trustworthy?” asked Celestia.
“Your creator. The creator,” Sketch replied, ”Also it is refreshing to see the guards are still willing to throw themselves in harms way to slow me down.”
“They are merely doing their duty,” Luna added, joining in the conversation.
“Can't be a leader with adequate meat shields, anyways, I will keep this short. If you want this to be easier to understand I suggest we go to the courtyard and visit a certain statue, an old friend of yours.”
Celestia, and Luna, looked at Sketch with horror.
“No!” Celestia replied harshly, “You can't be serious! Not him!”
“We are birds of a feather him and I, although, unlike him I follow orders, he….lost interest in his duties and wound up having too much fun,” Sketch explained.
“What is your business with Discord?” Luna demanded to know.
“To tell him he is fired.”
Celestia looked to Connor, hoping he would know something. Unfortunately for Celestia, her human friend just shrugged his shoulders.
Celestia looked back to Sketch and sighed, “Perhaps we should discuss details on the way. If you would follow me. Luna, would you mind holding morning court until I return?”
“Not at all sister.”
Celestia turned to her guards, “You may stand down and return to your posts.”
Before they went anywhere, Sketch turned to Luna, “Also Luna, the thing you are hiding, I know about it. What you are currently doing will only end badly for all involved, get some therapy, helped me a lot.”
With that Sketch turned and walked away, going with Celestia, Connor and Spitfire as they made their way to the garden.
Luna's mouth was agape as Sketch’s words struck home.
How does he know? she wondered as she watched her sister, student, Spitfire and Sketch walk away.
The quartet quickly reached the palace gardens, the lawns as green and immaculate as always. As they were walking, Celestia turned to the mysterious being.
“I do not believe you told us your name.”
“I go by Sketch, but no matter what Equestria I’m in you always found the nickname odd.”
“I get the feeling you already know me, or at least some version of me.”
“Yeah, you put on some weight in an alternate one, all that cake really went straight to your flanks. Luna enjoyed mocking you a bit too much as did Discord.”
“This Celestia loves cake as well,” Connor said, grinning cheekily.
Celestia looked at Connor through squinted eyes.
Connor silently gulped as he knew deep down the Princess would find a way to ‘punish’ him.
“It is one of her universal constants, each being has a few things about them that stay true to their character no matter what universe they inhabit. For Celestia, it is cake; for Luna it is her issues, for Twilight it is not wanting to disappoint her teacher etc etc. Much like you and your cake Celestia, Discord himself is a multiversal constant; meaning there is a form of him in every plane of existence, created for one purpose, which he turned his back on.”
“Well Mr Sketch, how do you plan to tell Discord of his soon to be unemployed status?” Celestia asked.
“Localized un-petrification spell, I could use mental messages but what would be the point of bringing you here then? And don't worry he is powerless now.”
“Are you absolutely certain he is powerless? If he gets even half a chance to take advantage he will do so.”
“Think of it like this, the creator is a boss right? You, Luna, and Discord are managers, each serving a purpose. Power given to you by your boss can be taken away just as easily as it is given. He didn't do his job so he lost privilege.”
“Very well, I'll allow it, but I will remain close by to act just in case.”
“If he does somehow retain some power and he does try to escape, look away.”
Celestia, Connor and Spitfire all nodded. Celestia motioned to Sketch with her hoof towards Discord’s statue.
“This should be fun for him, for a minute anyways,” Sketch said.
Sketch walked up to the statue, floated up to eye level with it and waved his hand over the head, “Break Enchantment.”
Cracks began to form around Discord's eyes and expanded down to his mouth. After a few more seconds his head became free, as well as his talon.
“Hello Discord,” Sketch said.
Discord groaned and stretched out his neck muscles, the cracking in his joints audible for everyone around him, “Now I know how an ironing board feels.”
He began looking around his surroundings when he saw four beings. Three of them he didn't know, the last one…..he knew all too well.
“Celestia!” he hissed.
“Be silent Discord, and listen well!” Sketch bellowed, “As of this moment hence forth in all realities, including this one, you are relieved of duty and subsequently your powers and general abilities are revoked. Your employment by the creator has been terminated, have a nice day.”
Discord guffawed at the words, “Who are YOU to tell ME what I can and can't do?”
“Isn't it obvious? I'm your replacement,” Sketch grinned under his hood, his eyes glowed yellow with red pupils much like Discord's.
Discord, unamused, snapped his talon hand to get rid of the interloper.
“Judging by your motion you just attempted either a teleportation spell or a plane shift, nice choice. I am a fan of Hold Person.”
“What do you plan to do to me now?” Discord asked, reigning in all his fury with all the might he had left.
“I merely came to tell you of your unemployment,” Sketch said as he clapped his hands together. The rest of the stone containing Discord shattered and he fell to the ground in front of them, “You really should read the fine print.”
“I'm a Lord of Chaos, not a lawyer,” Discord said, standing up straight.
“You were,” Sketch corrected, ”Plus in hindsight it is your fault you lost it. You neglected your duties and then involved me. Albeit it was another version of you, you still brought upon your own downfall.”
Discord sighed, “So what now, what is to become of me? Will I be allowed to continue existing?”
“You did a good job for a while so he did give you that right as a condition of termination. What you do now is none of my or his slash her business. Although Celestia might have a few ideas,” Sketch said and turned towards the white alicorn.
Celestia pondered just what Discord could do. What do you give an entity with a vast intellect to do?
“For now, you will remain in Canterlot Castle. We…..have much to discuss. Luna also will join us.”
“I have no interest in seeing Luna,” Discord groaned.
“You lie," Celestia replied, "I know you and Luna were close friends, and I know how much it hurt her to seal you away in stone.”
“I'll see her when I feel like it.”
“Very well, I will not force you to….but I suggest you do see her, if only to help start the healing process.”
Discord said nothing more and walked away, looking at Connor and Spitfire on the way, “Who needs me for chaos anyway when there are humans around?”
“Well, now that that's done, who's up for going home?” Sketch asked, his head turning around to face the group. His face was still hidden in the cloak's hood, his yellow eyes the only thing visible through the darkness.
“Sure, whenever you're ready,” Connor replied, before turning to Celestia, “I'll see you sometime.”
“Of course Connor, come by whenever you please.”
“Oh Celestia, seriously, get Luna some therapy,” Sketch said as he cast mass teleportation on the group. They poofed back into Connor's living room, an act which resulted in Sketch once more falling through the clouds. Within three seconds he floated back up, “Damn it, forgot about that.”
“You should be fine if you're sitting on the furniture as they're enchanted to not go through clouds,” Connor said, “In the meantime, I'm going to get a shower.”
“Okay, I think I might swing by the library and read a book or play a tabletop game with Spike and Big Mac,” Sketch thought aloud.
“Before you do just let me write out a note so Twilight knows who you are and that you're not there to eat the natives of Ponyville.”
“You do realise that you are talking to the newly appointed avatar of chaos, right?”
With that Sketch poofed from the room leaving Spitfire and Connor to their home.
Connor looked to Spitfire, “I'm sure they won't overreact.”
Sketch poofed into existence in the middle of the library, four feet above the ground. He looked around and noticed how the books were organized in a different manner, ”Is that the Dewy Decimal system?”
Curious, he hovered over to a shelf; peering at the exposed spines.
“Who are you?”
Sketch turned around and saw a familiar looking lavender pony.
“Twilight Sparkle,” Sketch said.
Twilight gasped, “How do you know my name?”
“Is Spike here by any chance? Oh and how are your friendship studies going?” Sketch asked as he floated to the ground and sat cross legged in front of the unicorn.
“How do you know Spike? How do you know about my friendship studies?” Twilight asked with increasing inquisitiveness.
“Long story short I am a being on the same level as Celestia and Luna, you will be there soon don't worry.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“In most realities, minus a few unsavoury ones, you become an alicorn after saving Equestria for the umpteenth time.”
Twilight went wide eyed in shock, “I....become....an Alicorn?!”
“Well, at first your friends think they turned you to ash, but turns out you just went to the next level, I wasn't there for it in person but I watched it.”
“Well, if I know about it couldn't that change things?”
“You are correct there Twily, but there is one thing this universe didn't account for, me! I was wrongly transported here, so just by me being here this world's fate was changed forever. Anything I do has already happened and there's no stopping it.”
“Well….why are you here?”
“You know when you are in a new city and you are looking for your friend's house but you walk up the the wrong one? Well in this case I got the wrong one and can't fix it, for now I am stuck here. Also your brother is a huge dork.”
“Yup, since he hasn't married yet I thought that if I teleported directly into Celestia's throne room I would get to meet him, but alas, I was just confronted by his underlings. Not all plans work out how we want. Also as a friend, stop worrying so much about being sent back to magic kindergarten, it is just irrational.”
“How long do you plan on being here?”
“No idea, I'm waiting for my boss to realise his slash her mistake and fix it, until then I am stuck here, or maybe he slash she put me here for yucks? Who can tell with him slash her.”
“Well if you need a place to stay then you're more than welcome to stay here with me.”
“I already knew you would offer, you did so last time, so I took the liberty of putting all my stuff in the spare room as I got here.”
“Oh…..then in that case, welcome. Would you like to meet my friends?”
“Again? Eh, why not? Also here's something Spike can give to Rarity,” Sketch said as he reached into his cloak and pulled out a large green and purple box, complete with a bow.
Twilight took the box and looked at the tag attached.
“I owe him a favour,” Sketch added.
“We could try now if you like, though it's unlikely Rainbow Dash will be up at this time.”
“I could just bring them here if you want, Connor and his little friend too.”
Twilight's eyes widened in shock, “You can do that?!”
“I am on the same level as Celestia and Luna, the only difference is I got a manual for it.”
Sketch poofed into the room a very large, thick book that made a loud thud as it hit the ground. The massive tome had a cover with constantly changing colours.
Twilight nearly lost herself at the sight of such a book.
“You can't read it Bookhorse, one you couldn't do this even in your alicorn state; two, this is a different type of power I have; three, you have to catch it first.”
With that the book grew legs and began running circles around Twilight.
“What in Celestia's name is is going on?” she asked as she watched in bewilderment at the running book.
“You are looking at the Book of Chaos as it gets in its cardio in before lunch, anyways, shall I bring everyone here?”
Twilight nodded and Sketch wiggled his nose and then the book began to glow bright red and then all of Twilight’s friends, Spike, and Connor appeared in the library.
“What the bloody hell?!” Came the voice of a familiar winged human.
“It's Twilight’s fault.” Sketch admitted as the girls stood up.
“No it's not!” Twilight denied, “You were the one that teleported them!”
“Then why is there a name tag on your chest that says you did it?” Sketch points to her front.
Twilight looked down and there is a large nametag that read 'Hi, I'm Twilight and I am to blame for this and I love books more than life itself!'
She clenched her teeth angrily and quickly removed the nametag, incinerating it in a burst of magic.
“Harsh. Anyways, introduce me to your friends," Sketch said, turning to the colourful equines, "My name is Sketch, and yes Pinkie, you can throw me a party and yes I like pin the tail on the pony. Yes Rarity, this cloak is ghastly, and Applejack; you're going to ask who in tarnation I am, once you get rid of the sickness that accompanies a mass teleport spell. Any questions?”
“Are you a spy?!” asked Rainbow, getting in close to Sketch’s face.
“No, I'm just a replacement for Discord.”
“Who's Discord?” she asked.
“Think of a being as powerful as Celestia who's sole job it is to make this happy rule abiding world just a tad more chaotic. Well, it was his job, now it's mine.”
“So you're a troublemaker! Is that it Cloak Boy?”
“Yes it is, and don't make me tell your parents, they miss you. Your mom still makes your favourite sandwich, which I believe it involves potatoes and various types of pasta.”
Rainbow suddenly became very sheepish and slunk to the floor.
Connor however walked over to Sketch, “Why have we been brought here?”
“I asked Twilight if I should bring you here, she said yes, and that's all there is to it.”
“Couldn't you have waited a few more minutes, I was just about to get a shower! I'll have to wear this sweaty flightsuit even longer now.”
“Use Twilight's. Or you could just take it off.”
Connor sighed, “I'll just wait, I'm not wearing anything underneath, apart from underwear, and I don't think I have any spare clothes here.”
“How about this?” Sketch waves his hand over Connor and the smell of roses permeates the air, ”I'm like a can of air freshener.”
“You smell wonderful Connor,” Rarity commented, sniffing the pleasant aroma.
“I smell like a girl.”
“Well you have worn dresses in the past," Rainbow snickered, "I'm sure if you asked Rarity she'd set you up with something now.”
Connor glared at Rainbow whereas Sketch looked like Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa had a love child.
Connor noted the look of glee in Sketch’s face, “Don't you DARE!”
Before he could make his threat he was in a white frilly dress accented with red bows and brushed hair.
Connor grumbled fiercely, “I preferred the red one Rarity made.”
“Be glad I didn't make it a celebrity dress, now those are bad.”
“So,” Connor began, ignoring the snickers of his friends, “What are we doing now?”
“Well Twilight wanted to introduce me to her friends, but for some reason she didn't object to bringing you along as well.”
“Well it's not like I had anything planned today, "Connor replied, "So I'm not missing anything. If anything you saved me from a verbal roasting from Spitfire.”
“Oh right, that, one second.”
Just then, Spitfire's mouth appeared floating next to Connor.
“What the…...that is freaky.”
“Silence Connor! Just you wait when you get back, your punishment will be even more severe!”
Spitfire's mouth then suddenly disappeared, leaving a very understandably nervous Connor.
“So...Twilight, you were saying something before you incinerated the evidence?” Sketch said.
“How do you intend to get back to your Equestria? Do you need our help?”
“I can't plane shift accurately enough to do so, I might end up in mine or one of the other infinite realms, it would be like blindly hopping worlds. So until it fixes itself you all are stuck with yet another human.”
“Technically I'm a pony but I grew up as a human, so I usually go with that,” Connor said, “So, are we off into Ponyville?”
“I dunno, I have nothing to do. Maybe I will just sit here and read and then let you and your significant other deal with things, unless you want someone to be a witness.”
Connor shook his head, “Thank you, but no. I will face this alone, like a man. Would you mind sending me back though…..preferably with me back in my flightsuit?”
“Hmmm how about a golden banana hammock, maybe that’ll get a laugh out of Spitfire.”
“Just my flight suit….those things are expensive.”
A second later, his flight suit lands on his head. Connor grumbled what sounded like a thank you and got back into his flight suit in record speed.
“So, what now?” Connor asked.
“I dunno. It's your world, do something with it.”
“How about hitting the casino's in Las Pegasus?”
Sketch shook his head, “No fun, I know what will win and betting with knowing the outcome...well, that goes against one of my rules of employment. Wanna troll people at a strip club there, now that you mention it?”
Connor grimaced, “That could attract negative publicity on my part, and pass some on to Luna...considering she's my teacher and all that.”
“Fine….wanna overthrow an empire?” Sketch suggested.
“Which ones exist in this world? I am currently scattered over thousands of planes of existence, I can't be expected to know everything,” Sketch replies.
“There's no Empires as such. There's Kingdoms and Republics…..how about we troll some nobles instead?”
“....I'm listening,” Sketch replied, stroking his chin in amused interest.
“A few pranks here and there, we watch from a distance and revel in their misery.”
“Or I could pay a hoard of prostitutes to show up on their doorsteps claiming they got them pregnant. Just because I can't directly benefit from my powers doesn't mean I can't have fun with them.”
“As…..interesting, as that would be to watch, there's no prostitutes in this Equestria. Even finding strong booze is a challenge.”
“I could turn into one and do that, given that I have no designated form in this state that would be easy; although I haven't the slightest idea what constitutes ‘sexy’ in this one.”
“Go ahead. My recommendation would be Jet Set. He's a pompous twat who's wrote some unflattering and untrue stories regarding myself in his newspaper column.”
“What would cause the biggest controversy and by that extension biggest problem to cover up for him?”
“He runs a major business and whenever he tries to takeover a smaller company, he attempts to strip them of their assets before laying off the entire staff. But obviously, such actions are illegal in Equestria so he manipulates the law and uses loopholes to get around it.”
“Sounds like a harmless target no one would mind laughing at, give me the best case scenario that would humiliate him so bad no PR team in the known world could recover his social standing.”
Connor remained silent for a few moments as he racked his brain for ideas, “I’ve heard rumours down the grapevine that he's trying to bully a small business in Canterlot, a jewellers I believe, into accepting his takeover offer. The business owner doesn't want to sell, so Jet Set is coming in from a side wind and is now focussing on buying the suppliers to the business owner-”
“I said give me a way to fuck with him not his shopping list,” Sketch interrupted harshly.
Connor glared fiercely at Sketch, “Catch him in the act of threatening to cut off the business owner's supplies.”
“How about I convince him to do it on his own?”
“Sure, just make him an offer he can't refuse.”
“Here's the scene, I come in as a business partner doing the same thing and I am willing to aid him in his take over for my fees plus 10% of the initial profit, and then…” Sketch clapped his hands together, “HE ANNOUNCES EVERYTHING TO EVERYONE WITHIN 100 MILES DUE TO MY ENHANCE VOICE ABILITY?”
Sketch clapped his hands together again, and spoke once more, “Man that hurts my head.”
“Hmmmm, we have radio's here in Equestria. If I ask a few friends we could broadcast his confession to the entire nation.”
“But if he notices the wire we're boned. My way would broadcast our conversation nearly countrywide real time without any trace, only people other than the speaker hear it, which is why I don’t go deaf from my own use of it...I also forget I have it on sometimes, kinda embarrassing, similar to the week I forgot to un-mute myself.”
“OK, just make him think he'll get your money and he'll agree. He's a greedy bastard.”
“Is this enough?” Sketch clapped his hands together and a brick of gold the size of a hummer appears, “This is real gold, as long as I don't use it for myself or to help slash hurt people directly I can use it however I want. Loopholes man, pretty sweet.”
“It should be, but maybe break it down into smaller bars.”
Sketch clapped his hands together again and it split into one thousand smaller bars still equal to the original combined mass.
“Now we only just need to arrange a meeting with Jet Set," Connor stated, "I can't meet him myself however, given his loathing of me.”
“I could go into one of his stores and buy everything to get his attention,” Sketch suggested.
“Or maybe waltz into his office, put down some gold bars on his desk and offer to go into business with him, taking over that jewellers.”
“That is too direct and would cause him to be suspicious. Wouldn't you wonder what someone was up to if they suddenly appeared and wanted to help you complete your goals with very little benefit to themselves? I mean, if a hooker came up to you and asked if you could try her out and tell her how to improve you wouldn't give it a second thought?”
“He owns a yacht shop near the harbour, his biggest yacht available is also the most expensive. Buying that would most certainly get his attention.”
“How about I float by in a History Supreme? It's a boat made out of diamonds, gold slash platinum panelling and is worth 4.5 billion US dollars.”
“Whatever rocks your boat.”
Sketch clapped his hands together and a small bottle rocket appears between them and lights itself. It shot off, exploding right above Sketch's head in red and green pyrotechnics, creating the words, 'Fuck You', before dissipating.
“You seemed to get a blast out of that joke,” Sketch said.
With that last pun Sketch just poofed away.
In the busy harbour of Canterlot, airships and sailing ships departed and arrived; most containing goods from far off exotic lands for Equestrian ponies to enjoy. Along the harbour front there were a line-up of sleek airships, all owned by Jet Set. A business magnate and one of the most powerful nobles in Equestria.
The airships were all readily available for sale to those who could afford the sky high prices. Even the cheapest airship cost 50 million bits, or £5 million in Queen's English.
Inside the office of the yacht company, was the pompous owner himself.
Sat in his office and going over his accounts, his attention was brought to a being looking at his yachts. A being with a similar physical build to that upstart who sued him not so long ago. However, not one to turn away a chance to make more money, except maybe that stupid flying monkey, he darted off towards the harbour front.
Within a couple of minutes he was on the pier, approaching the individual who towers over him with all his features caked in shadow as he wore a heavy cloak.
“Hello there sir,” Jet Set said.
“I want your biggest ship, these dinghies are for peasants,” Sketch said, pointing at the large yachts.
“M-my biggest?” Jet Set stammered in surprise. No one had ever come to him and demanded the biggest, most expensive yacht before. Usually he had to coax them into buying the more expensive ships, especially when they didn't want it. Because then, when the pony couldn't afford the repayments, he only had to get creditors to seize the yacht and sell it again; and the poor pony would still be left with a massive loan to repay on a boat they no longer own.
“Well? Are you going to drool or are you going to show me something worth my platinum?” Sketch asked as he revealed a platinum bar from his cloak, weighing in at 5 lbs.
“The most expensive you say?," Jet Set said, stroking his chin in thought, "Well that would be the Moonlight Serenade. She costs 3 billion bits at the base price. Extras cost more.”
“List these so called extras.”
“Well, you could have enhanced engines that provide an additional boost in power and speed, there's stealth options including a yet-to-be-tested cloaking device, shielding defence systems, missile detection system. We could also refit a room into a swimming pool-”
“Make it salt water, no chlorine needed and less algae.”
Jet Set grinned with delight, “Certainly. Would you like to come to my office and we can formalise things?”
“How about this?”
Sketch clapped his hands together and they appear in front of his office door, ”I haven't the key and entering without permission is rude.”
Jet Set, unperturbed by the telelport, got out the office key and opened the door, strutting confidently to his desk.
“So, let’s talk.”
“Let's…” Sketch strides into the room and sits in the chair.
“So, first I feel I need to ask….who are you? I've never heard of you, yet you seem to be extremely wealthy. And if you are as wealthy as you seem, then I would have heard if you.”
“Not all of us in power wish to be in the limelight, I am one of those who enjoy peace and solitude. And if you wish to inspect this ingot go ahead.”
“I understand. Money is a bit like power. Accumulate it quietly when no-pony’s looking. Anyway, could I see the bar?”
Sketch tossed him the bar and put his left leg over his right leg, relaxing his ankle on his knee as he leant back in the chair, making himself comfortable.
Jet Set examined the bar closely, examining every square millimetre of it for any imperfections or indications it is a fake. After several seconds, he finds none and hoofs the bar back to Sketch.
“Well it seems legitimate to me.”
“That is one of the few I keep on hand at all times, sure it is a bit inconvenient at times but when you buying buildings like a child buys toys it makes transactions simpler in the long run.”
“Tell me about it, I usually keep plenty of money at hoof, or more accurately I get my butlers to carry it around.”
“I can access my vault anywhere any time," Sketch replied, "But I am a bit lazy, hence the teleport. So, I have also heard you are a businessman, yes?”
“Yes, why? Are you interested in a venture of some sort?”
“Well, unbeknownst to most I own quite a bit of ‘real estate’. I have my hand in most of the country draining little bits off the top. It's enough to fund my spending but not enough to be noticeable, and I have also heard you are in the process of a purchase and I would like a cut.”
“You know of my attempted ‘acquisition’ of that jewellers?"
"Well if your assistance is what's necessary to takeover his pathetic little business and therefore give me free access to his products for my ship, then I'm all ears.”
“Yes, I am hoping we can come to an agreement on our takeover, under the table, if you catch my drift. I am in need of a large quantity of gems and I need them in bulk, imagine an adult dragon quantity.”
“I might be able to arrange something. If I targeted that fool's gem suppliers instead…of course all of this would have to be ‘under the table’ as you put it. If it was discovered what was really happening, then I'd be thrown in prison.”
“I am merely a traveller and ‘investor’, could you explain the risks we are taking before I commit fully to our venture?” Sketch asked as he placed six more platinum ingots on the desk in a small pyramid of wealth.
“Well, hostile takeovers are generally frowned upon in Equestria. Business laws are written in such a way to prevent large companies like mine trying to forcibly acquire small businesses. It can be quite annoying at times, especially when a small business has something large business like mine want, but if we copied them then we'd run afoul of copyright laws and what not; so taking over the business is the only way to get what we want.”
“What would be the charges specifically? I would like to have lawyers at the ready in case we are discovered.”
“For starters there's harassment of the business owner, larceny, fraud. Enough to get us many years behind bars, and have our own assets and what not stripped and given in compensation to our ‘victims'.”
“Hmmm, I will prepare my team just in case, you may want to donate to some charities in the meantime to add some social padding.”
With that Sketch clapped his hands together, disappearing along with the seven platinum ingots from Jet's desk.
Jet Set snorted, “Donate to charity. The day that happens is the same day the stupid, incompetent authorities catch me in the act.”
Sketch reappeared in front of Connor, delighted at how the meeting turned out, and immediately began informing Connor on how it went.
“There's a conference at the castle tonight," replied Connor, "All the big business leaders will be there, given what we've all just heard…...things are sure to be interesting.”
“Would I know of it or should I just show up randomly and run into him there? I suck at theatre.”
“Hmmmm, well if you come with me it will be more believable. As Luna's student I've already been invited.”
“Or I could just ‘port’ in and meet him there while you tell Lulu about our plan and then as I get him to lay it all out they hear it all, if I am seen with you he might think something is up.”
“Well I could go on ahead now and tell Luna; that way the sisters can be prepared and have guards in place.”
“On one condition, I get access to the open bar.”
“Sure, just don't help yourself to Celestia's cakes. You'll bitterly regret it if you do.”
“I prefer brownies anyways.”
Several hours later, inside the Great Hall of Canterlot Castle; business ponies from all over Equestria and beyond were gathered for the annual Economic Forum. Amongst the attendees was a reluctant Connor. As a Business Management student of Luna, she felt it would be beneficial to have him attend and learn from the best and brightest.
Also attending, was Jet Set.
Completely oblivious to what awaited him.
Connor, grabbing a pint of bitter, spotted his tutor and approached her, “Hey Luna.”
“Good evening Connor,” Luna replied, “I take it you are enjoying yourself.”
“Not exactly, but if all goes to plan then things are sure to liven up.”
“Indeed. Everything is in place, so when your friend is ready, he only need make his move.”
“I don't even know if he's here yet.”
“We'll be sure to find out when he does.”
“So, has Celestia bought her own Jammie Dodgers yet?”
“Ney, she keeps trying to ‘appropriate’ mine,” Luna replied, scowling in disapproval at her sister's attempted pilfering.
“Speaking of which, have you any idea what her ‘gift’ for me will be at the Grand Galloping Gala? I have a terrifying feeling it’s going to be something she will find amusing.”
“I have no idea what she has planned, and her sense of humour is a little out of date. She thinks her pranks are funny, but they really need work. On another matter, I have read your latest coursework.”
“And? Is it any good?”
“It is,” she replied, smiling approvingly.
“Well it comes down to having a good teacher,“ Connor replied, before grinning cheekily, “Wouldn't you say, Professor Luna?”
Luna's smile turned into a fierce scowl, “If you wish to spend the night chained to the walls in the dungeons then you are going the right way about it.”
“Watch it, it might be his kink,” Sketch stated as he walked up from behind them, draped in a silver lined cloak, "One has to be fancy every now and again, eh ol’ chap?
“It is not a kink of mine.”
“That you know of. Anyways, I'm off to ruin some guy’s life, see ya,” Sketch said as he set his glass on the ground, clapped his hands together and disappeared in a small plume of smoke.
Connor looked on for a few moments before turning back to Luna, “I'll see you later, I'm off to the buffet table to help myself to the bland wallpaper paste the nobility call food.”
Luna giggled, “Worry not Connor. You can have some Jammie Dodgers afterwards to help you recover.”
“And a big cup of coffee?”
Around half an hour later, more and more ponies were in the Great Hall. More than enough to witness Jet Set receive a well overdue dose of Karma. Lurking in the shadows, Equestria's most recent other-worldly visitor watched on; waiting for the right moment to show himself.
Connor meanwhile had been walking around the hall talking to several ponies, in both his capacity as Wonderbolt General Manager and as Luna's student. All was going swimmingly for him, until he encountered one particularly distasteful pony.
“Look who it is,” Jet Set said sneeringly, “The stupid flying monkey.”
“Curb your tongue, Jet Set,” Connor replied venomously, “Luna would not take kindly if she knew you spoke to her personal student like that.”
“So what? Filthy mongrels like you should know your place.”
Connor smiled, deliberately showing his canines in the process; causing Jet Set to pale slightly.
“I know my place Jet Set,“ Connor said, “You'll soon find out what yours is.”
“And what do you mean by that?”
“I'll allow my fellow human to tell you.”
Connor looked over to the curtains beside the balcony and nodded.
“Show time!” Connor yelled, “Come on out Sketch!”
Sketch revealed himself from behind the curtains and strode confidently towards Connor and Jet Set.
“You?” Jet Set said, “Are you here about the yacht?”
“The one with certain gemstones adorning it? Yes.”
“Are you buying now?” Jet Set asked, gold bits the only thing on his mind.
“Depends, is the product ready?”
“She's ready to sail, but if you want the extras you will need to allow us to fit them first. That should take no more than a couple of days.”
“Then let us discuss the acquisition of a certain asset in private, shall we?”
Jet Set smiled devilishly, “Yes, let's. There’s a private room adjacent to this one, we can talk there. If you'll follow me.”
Jet Set began walking with Sketch following close behind. Connor watched on before turning to Luna and giving her a set number of nods. The signal that she was waiting for. Luna returned the predetermined number of nods and left the room.
Meanwhile, in the private room; Jet Set and Sketch were sat down at the table. Jet Set already had his accounting book out, ready to write a receipt and cash in his big sale.
“So,” Jet Set started, “Shall we get straight to the sale?”
“Yes, let's discuss our plan, goals, and how we mean to accomplish them then discuss our investments. Then we shall finalize our deal and drink 'til our livers give out, or until mine would if I had one.”
“Fantastic. Now, do you remember me telling you earlier about that jewellers here in Canterlot that refuses my takeover offer?”
“Go on,” Sketch replied, clapping his hands together in affirmation, and furthering Connor's scheme.
“Well, the jewellers in question is called Emerald Forest. No matter how generous my offer they always refuse, claiming that a: his business is not for sale, and b: if it was then he would still refuse, claiming my offer is ‘insultingly low’. So I am having to come at the fool from a side wind.”
“Well, rather than try to buy his business; I've decided to instead buy out his suppliers and their competitors, and then cut off his supplies and force him out of business, unless he agrees to my takeover offer. What I'm doing is financial blackmail, and if the authorities knew about it...well as I said earlier, I'd end up in prison for sure.”
“Do you have a plan to deflect attention from you if you are caught? I already have a few of my own.”
“I have a few friends in a major news outlet, all I need to do is have another not exactly true story made up about that flying mongrel,” Jet Set replied, laughing to himself, "Just the thought of that filthy ape rotting in the dungeons, chained to the walls like the animal he is, would be like all my Hearth's Warming's coming at once."
“I am not a fan of the news," Sketch replied curtly, "So just give me a short summary of the lies you have spread about the idiot in tights.”
“He's the private student of Princess Luna. I could claim he is courting her in private. That is sure to cause a distraction, and a media sensation.”
“Any amusing previous rumours?”
“Well, I may have been behind a previous ‘inaccurate’ story that the ape sued the paper for. I made up a story about the ape with claims he made up the story about how he had pony parents; so as to be accepted more easily into pony society, and that Cara and Vulcan where actors paid to make the story more believable, and that the ape used the disappearance of Star Light to attract attention and sympathy to his case. I pinned the blame on some idiot apprentice who I believe, is currently occupying a cell in the dungeon for 'his' crimes.”
“More like a soap opera drama than interesting to me, anything more scandalous or damaging?” Sketch asked.
“Not really. Most of the newspapers love him, apart from the Canterlot News Network who I just happen to be an investor of.”
“With my connections we could cause some irreversible damage to him, his associates and his self image. Got any ideas?"
”Well, he's a Wonderbolt and popular with foals; so another story we could make up a story that he and the Wonderbolts are in fact, abusive towards them,” Jet Set said, laughing menacingly, “The Wonderbolts harming foals! That's sure to harm their image!”
“We would have to find something to add authenticity to it, merely spouting garbage won’t accomplish much.”
“Hmmm, well at the Canterlot News Network they regularly doctor images and twist facts to fit their agenda. They could easily splice together several images to make it look like he's harming foals. Or we could wait until he's at a Wonderbolt event where there's sure to be foals, covertly cast a spell on him to make him aggressive, sit back and watch his life fall apart.”
“How would you accomplish that? You are no mage.”
“I have a few friends capable of such things. I've used them before in business dealings to coerce the business owner to accept. A small spell cast to give the owner a gentle nudge into accepting what they, under normal circumstances would see is a poor deal for them," Jet Set then looked up to Sketch with a sinister grin, "How do you think I got so rich?”
“Mine I just acquired through certain means not many are aware of. You know of the multi-verse theory?”
“I've heard of it, but money is my business.”
“Well, I exist in many worlds, this being one of them. A little money here and there adds up when there are thousands of yourself.”
“Money is money.”
“We say the same thing. And with that I bid you adieu, my investment will be delivered one week from now and will have no indication of who sent it or from where, use it to manipulate the system to your little heart's content. Meanwhile, I have a bar to empty.”
With that Sketch clapped his hands, ending the megaphone spell on Jet and teleported out of the room.
Jet Set, oozing smugness and greed, got up from the table and walked towards the door; delighted that yet another business would be brought under his control and the owner left with little more than nothing. And as an added bonus, the filthy flying mongrel would be ruined also, maybe even thrown into the dungeons for the rest of its life.
He opened the door and walked out, only to be startled by the presence of angry looking Solar Guards; all with spears pointed at him.
“What's going on? I demand to know!”
“What is going on, Jet Set,” Luna said harshly, walking into view, “Is that you are under arrest. GUARDS!”
The guards immediately put Jet Set in shackles and began dragging him away, the now disgraced noble attempting in vain to resist.
“Unhoof me at once you brutes!”
“SILENCE!” Luna bellowed, “You are already facing very serious charges, so unless you wish to add resisting arrest you would do well to comply with the guards!”
Jet Set continued to struggle, prompting unicorns guards to cast a stasis spell on him.
“Take him to the dungeons,” Luna commanded, "And chain him to the walls."
“Yes ma'am,” the guards replied.
"And free the stallion he admitted to false accusing, set him up in the Moonlight Suite in my wing of the castle and extend my and my sister's deepest apologies for his wrongful incarceration."
"Yes ma'am," the guards replied once more before walking away with their new prisoner.
Every other noble looked on in shock at what had transpired. They, along with the Princesses and Connor, heard every word that was spoken.
“Job well done by me, off to the bar!” Sketch announced as he walked past Connor, patting him on the back before strolling across the room.
Connor looked around the room, noticing the motionless ponies, “Well I don't know about you lot, but I'm off to the pub. See ya.”
Connor began to leave but felt himself wrapped in Luna's magic, “Not yet Connor, we first have to meet more nobles. You are my student after all.”
Connor groaned quietly. He really didn't want to be in a room full of stuffy business types and nobles but, as Luna said, he's her student and walking out would reflect badly on her.
“Can I go out afterwards?” he whined.
“Of course, I shall go with you.”
Can Luna get drunk? Connor thought.
Several hours later, Connor and Luna walked out of the castle and headed for The Old Falcon Inn, a pub in Canterlot Old Town. It was nearing 9pm so there were few ponies about, and those that were out were all in the pubs. Luna loved the ponies who drank during her night. They waited until the perfect time of day to enjoy themselves and her beautiful night.
“Come my student, tonight all drinks are on me!”
“All the drinks?” queried Connor.
“ALL the drinks.”
Connor grinned euphorically.
Before long they entered the pub in question. From the noise they could tell it was already packed with veteran pissheads, all of whom making sure the alcohol available did not go to waste.
“Barpony, two pints of special brew!” Luna bellowed, throwing some bits over.
“Right away ma'am!”
The bar pony pulled two pints and brought them over to Connor and Luna, who were sat at a table watching two other ponies play pool; Connor pleased that they used red and yellow balls like in the UK. Comforting reminders of home.
“Does this place sell dry roasted peanuts, or pork scratchings?” asked Connor.
“We believe so,” Luna replied, taking a large sip of beer, “Would you like some?”
“Are you two following me?”
Luna and Connor turned to the source of the voice.
“What are you doing here?” asked Connor, “I didn't know you Yanks could cope with proper booze.”
“You kidding? I'm half German, and then the rest of me died when I started drinking vodka on a daily basis.”
“Wunderbar. Germans certainly know their beers, they have one third of the world's breweries after all.”
“Sadly my home town was home to the foremost American brewery, meaning everyone had a shit taste in beer, makes me want to drink,” Sketch said as he raised an absurdly large tanker of clear liquid and began chugging, only to hear the bartender sigh in defeat.
“That's the fourth ‘Liver-Cidal Cider’ he's had tonight.”
Connor and Luna looked at the menu and saw it was the largest, most potent, and expensive drink served there, but if one were to drink it fast enough they got it for free.
“I will cover the cost,” Luna said, “In fact, I will pay for everypony’s drinks tonight.”
The cheers from everypony nearly took the roof off. Needless to say they were delighted with free booze.
“Now the bartender won't go broke.”
“So,” Connor started, “Anyone fancy a game of Darts?”
“Are you sure?” replied Luna, “Playing a game with sharp, pointy projectiles when one has been drinking inebriating beverages seems to be rather….silly.”
“We could play ‘Never Have I Ever’, Luna you're in the same boat as me age wise, you know of it, correct?”
Luna looked insulted, “Art thou saying we are old?”
“Compared to us Connor is a toddler.”
“I'm old enough thank you,” Connor replied, “But I don't mind playing.”
“I shall join in too,” Luna added.
“Okay, I'll go first, never have I ever tried to take over a kingdom,” Sketch looks to Luna.
Luna scowled at Sketch, but nonetheless took a sip of her beer.
“I shall go next,” Luna said, “Never have I ever put pineapple on a pizza.”
“Me next,” said Connor, “Never have I ever put milk in first when making a cup of tea.”
Luna took a regretful sip, noting Connor's look of abject horror.
“Luna, how could you?!”
“WE WERE CONFUSED!”
“My turn,"Sketch said, "Never have I ever, hmmmmm, had crumpets.”
Connor drank, scowling at Sketch in the process..
“My turn again,” Luna said, “Never have I ever abused a sports official.”
Connor drank again, once again it was his turn.
“Never have I ever left a pub sober.”
No one drank.
“Never have I ever called the subway, the ‘Underground’.”
Connor takes yet another drink.
“So that's what it was called, I think that exchange student was defective.”
“My turn,” Luna said, “Never have I ever objected to driving on the right hand side of the road.”
Connor, sighing, took yet another drink, “Are you lot trying to get me drunk?”
“We aren't trying, we're doing,” Sketch replied, amused.
“Well I wouldn’t mind so much but going for a piss in a flight suit is quite problematic given there's no fly-hole.”
“I have a normally useless ability for just such an occasion. Localized portals, if you don't mind I could enable you to go number one and not have to take off your suit cause that would slow down us destroying your liver, I mean, having a good time.”
“Sure, it's better than the alternative I endured when I was in hospital.”
“Okay one second,” Sketch said, standing up.
He walked over to Connor, clapped his hands together, and then hovered his hands over Connor, “There, now it will end up in deep space.”
Sketch sat back down, ”The majority of my abilities here are very situational, my boss doesn't want me to reign in the apocalypse in every dimension, otherwise it would be in my selected skill set, here it is on, 'Know-It-All Trickster’ mode.”
“Thanks, now I believe it's my turn," Connor said, "Never have I ever been barred from a pub.”
No one drinks.
“Never have I ever used the phrase ‘to go pear shaped’,” Luna said.
“Oh for fuck's sake!” Connor moaned as he took another drink.
“Never have I ever," Sketch started, grinning in the process, "While staying in hospital, had the Matron put me in nappies.”
”Damn,” Connor drank, "How did you know about that?"
Sketch just had a grin on his face, thoroughly enjoying every moment of Connor's misfortunes.
"Fine, don't answer," Connor replied, slightly irritated, "Go ahead and do your thing, get it over with.”
“Oh no, I will wait till the time is just right.”
“Right before I piss myself probably, anyway I think it's my turn again. Never have I ever set fire to a bag of dog shit on a doorstep and then ran away.”
Luna took a drink, then Sketch took his turn once more.
“Never have I ever.......named my significant other after a food product.”
Connor, for the umpteenth time for the night, took another sip of beer.
Connor and Sketch looked to Luna.
“Never have I ever put cling film over a toilet seat.”
“I did it to a doorway, never a toilet,” Sketch said.
“Never have I ever punched a copper in the face,” Connor said.
Luna took a very quick drink, “‘Twas a misunderstanding many years ago. We shall not speak of it.”
“Never have I ever called chips, crisps,” Sketch said, looking at Connor with a grin, “Go on…”
With a reluctant sigh, Connor drank again, “If you'll excuse me, I need a piss. Where are the toilets?”
“Remember? I set the other portal to deep space, you can pee right here.”
“I can't 'let go' if I'm not on the John. I'll just go like normal.”
“So you're going to the washroom, stand in the stall, and pee, have it end up in deep space, and then come out here again when you can accomplish the same thing while sitting?”
“Well, what other option is there?”
“Man up and pee wherever you goddamn please?”
“Fine!” Connor huffed, “Let's just get on with the game.”
Several hours had passed and over the course of the evening, Connor had drunk more than Luna and Sketch combined. Too drunk to even stand, he was being levitated by Sketch as they went back to the castle.
Luna, while not as drunk as Connor, was still staggering along; at one point colliding with a lamp post and vowing everlasting revenge against it.
As they entered the castle, they were greeted by a frowning Celestia.
“What time do you call this?” she demanded, looking between her drunk sister, an even drunker Connor and a not drunk Sketch.
“The end of last call?”
Celesta sighed tiredly, “Just take them up to bed…..and have Matron attend to Connor. Tell her he's drunk again, she'll know what to do.”
“I could cure poison but I want him to feel this tomorrow, you want Luna to feel it also or should I cure it?”
“Let her feel it. Had she shared with me her Jammie Dodgers then things would be different.”
“Weird thought just occurred, the only world I have existed in that had Jammie dodgers had a human from the UK there as well...huh.”
“We live in a small universe, anyway; I bid you goodnight.”
“It may be small, but as numerous as grains of rice.”
Sketch levitated Luna and Connor to their respective rooms before heading to the library, via the infirmary, to read for a while. He grinned in delight when he saw what Celestia meant by, 'the Matron knows what to do'.
The next morning, Sketch headed to the dining hall and saw Connor in his flight suit. As he walked past he saw a slight, but noticeable bulge around his waist.
This is rich, he has an adult diaper on!
“So, Connor, how was Matron this morning?” Sketch asked with glee.
Connor glared daggers at Sketch's grinning mug, "Fuck off."
“Do you normally wear them under your flight suit?”
Connor looked away, not answering the question.
Sketch however, burst into laughter, “That's brilliant! Is it at least soft?”
“Annoyingly so,” he moaned.
“Heh. So what's for breakfast?”
“Whatever you want,” replied Connor, “Just tell the maids.”
“Do you know of the series 'Llamas with hats'?”
“Never heard of it,” replied Connor.
“Then my joke order would fall on deaf ears.”
“So,” Connor started, “What shall we do today? We could go and see Jet Set in his new accommodation.”
“I don't want to interrupt alone time with his new cellmate.”
“How about going to Ponyville and rearranging the books in Twilight's library?”
“I got a subtle joke, there are dog bone shaped paper-clips but when you put them on papers to hold them together they look like micro-dicks, sound good?”
Connor began nodding, “We'll just have to be sure she doesn't see us doing it, but if we team up with Rainbow and Pinkie, it will be possible.”
“No, it is best if she uses them herself, they look harmless and I doubt she will think twice about it until Rainbow starts laughing.”
“OK, besides if she catches us with our hands on her papers she may…..overreact.”
“Just replace them while she's gone, but how to distract her….”
“Why not coax her out by telling her about your adventures?”
“I let her interview me about my thousands of worldly adventures while you slip in and replace all her regular paperclips with dick shaped ones.”
“Sure thing. But first, breakfast.”
As if one cue, the dining hall doors opened and in walked some maids carrying breakfast. Connor opted for a Full English with a cup of tea.
“Just how many stereotypes do you prove correct on a daily basis?”
Connor laughed, “I'll let you know during afternoon tea.”
“I feel the need to spread some freedom right about now.”
“You do that while I have my breakfast,” Connor said as he took a sip of tea.
With that Sketch clapped his hands together and he suddenly appeared next to Twilight, who was just about to pour some liquid into a test tube.
Sketch's sudden appearance cause her to spill the liquid all over her apparatus and drop her equipment.
“ARGH!” she fumed, turning to whoever disturbed her, “YOU!”
Twilight stomped over to Sketch, fuming, “Would you mind explaining why you interrupted an experiment I was conducting?”
“Connor thought you might want to talk to a being that has been to thousands of universes and worlds and to learn about multi dimensional travel and what not, also the curiosity of all the choices you didn't make that were made by other versions of you intrigue you, don't they?”
Twilight pondered the thought, she couldn't deny it was interesting.
“Hmmm, fine. But first you help me clean up.”
Sketch clapped his hands together and all the liquid that was spilled went back into their respective containers.
“Isn't magic fun? Now, where would you want to talk? This library is a bit stale.”
“Let's just walk around Ponyville,” Twilight replied, a little miffed at Sketch calling her library 'stale'.
Twilight walked up the stairs out of the basement and onwards out of the front door, followed closely by Sketch.
“So,” Twilight began, “How many worlds have you visited?”
“I am always in thousands of worlds at the same time, each consciousness mildly aware of each...other.........FUCK!”
“What's wrong?” Twilight asked, worry etched on her face.
“One of my alternate selves just broke a rule, now I have a strike….shit.”
“Three strikes and you're out? I heard Connor mention something like that once.”
“Worse than out….try three strikes and you never existed, I never died, I was never born, I was never conceived, I was never thought of, in all current and possible realities.”
Twilight blinked in astonishment, “That seems a little harsh.”
“The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward.”
“So…..moving on. How old are you?”
“Currently, when I was alive, or combined?”
“I was created when I entered this world so my birthday is technically was when I appeared ass my consciousness needed form to serve my boss's needs.”
“And who is your boss?”
“The beginning and end of all things.”
“Why do you have the powers you do?”
“To do their bidding. If you want it explained in an analogy here’s my favourite, you know how you are Celestia's student?"
"Well compared to my boss I am more like an unpaid intern. In each world I have a certain goal to accomplish or mission failed, and in each one I am allowed certain abilities. In one I am meant to eliminate all life and reset the world so they can try again where they have failed, others I am meant to observe, and this one….well, this one I am kinda given free reign with a few strings attached.”
“Sorry, can't tell you why I'm here, spoilers and all.”
Twilight harrumphed, “Don't tell me then. Anyway, what's your business with Connor?”
“The most I can tell you is that he's the main character and I have to help him with a few things.”
“Is Ponyville in danger?”
“Spoilers. Plus in some cases the danger is me.”
“You don't have malevolent intent do you? Is Connor OK?”
“I have no intent, just a job that needs doing, and as far as I know Connor is fine, just...in disposed right now.”
“Did he say what he was doing?”
“Something involving not safe for work materials, probably with Milkshake.”
“Do you mean his marefriend, or the beverage?”
“I hope the first one, but with him you never know.”
“Hmm, he is a bit if an odd one. I mean I've seen him wearing a dress, completely naked and wearing nappies. Humans are very peculiar beings.”
“Well considering I used to be one, I can vouch for that, plus his country is a bit off.”
“I wouldn't let him hear you say that. Anyway, more questions. When you finish your business here, what do you intend to do?”
“I will cease to exist in this world and continue my existence in others, my mind is in the void and if I do my job without getting 2 more strikes I will be given a third chance.”
“I won't pretend to fully understand, but it's nice to have you here regardless.”
“You say that seven out of ten times Twily”
“Then three out of ten Twilight's can’t be the student of friendship they probably claim to be.”
“In some you aren't happy to see me because I am there for something you don't approve of, and in a few….you don't want to know about those Twilights.”
“Why? Are some versions of me….what did Connor call it?.....Misanthropic?”
“In one you were sent to Ponyville to make friends, failed horribly, couldn't stop Nightmare Moon, went into exile. You came back a powerful necromancer and killed Nightmare Moon in cold blood, who then resurrected all her victims and acted like they were alive and well when they were just shambling corpses feeding on the remains of your victims, until they themselves turned on you, and then life as you knew it ended.”
Twilight had gone a slightly pale shade of purple, “I don't think I want to visit that Equestria. Anyway, why don't we go for a drin-”
“This early? I like your style.”
“What? The pub? They won't be open yet, it's only 8am.”
“Never too early to start.”
Twilight groaned, “Fine, but if the barman gets angry it's all your fault.”
Meanwhile, in another part of Ponyville, Connor had just landed behind the library. Moving quickly, he went around to the front and went inside. He quickly shut the door behind him and immediately began looking for any of Twilight's notes.
Knowing her study was upstairs, he went up there first.
He quickly found notes stacked together, but nothing holding them together.
He would help with that.
He got out the paper clips Sketch had given him and began clipping the papers together, stifling childish giggles as the gentleman sausage was apparent to those who knew human anatomy.
His heart pounding fiercely, he turned around and saw Spike standing in the doorway.
“Oh Spike, it's only you,” Connor said, regaining his breath.
“Yeah, what are you doing though?”
Spike didn't look convinced, “Connor?”
Connor groaned, “Sketch and I are playing a prank on Twilight.”
Spike walked forward, looked at the papers and immediately burst into laughter, “Twilight's sure to get a laugh out of that!”
“You know what it is?”
“I know enough about anatomy to recognise male genitalia.”
“So…..are you in on the joke?”
“Great, where else does she have stacks of paper?”
“In her lab. Come on, I'll show you.”
As they were walking, an odd smell lingered in the air.
“What's that smell?” asked Spike, looking at Connor.
A beat red Connor began walking quickly away, “Excuse me a moment while I pay a visit to the bathroom.”
Meanwhile over drinks, Sketch told Twilight about some of the more….unique Twilight’s, one involved a anthropomorphic Twilight who had some interesting hobbies and relationships with her friends.
“There's two legged versions of me? Like you and Connor?”
“Yeah, you still are pony in most ways, and for some reason you are all really….intimate and coincidently that is the world where one of me earned us a strike, never involve the locals.”
“You're not allowed to be intimate?”
“No, I can, I just see no point because why build a relationship if it is going to end in a few weeks. Also the zebra of interest, damn that Sketch, got involved in a way that Sketch was specifically told not to involve the general population in. Sometimes you can be really stupid you know that? I mean ourselves can be incredibly stupid and then we hear it from a different point of view and we recoil in horror at our choices, you know?”
“Yeah, I think so. Do you want to come back to the library with me?”
“Depends, do you want to hear about the world where Pinkie is dating Rarity?”
“Pinkie and Rarity? Are you serious?”
“And in one you are a stallion named Dusk Shine and the other elements become your harem over the course of your adventures.”
“There's male versions of me as well? What about my friends?”
“Probably, remember? Infinite possibilities, there are even ridiculously pointless ones where you’re an inch shorter or taller with literally everything else the same.”
“Well some ponies say the smallest things make the biggest difference.”
“No seriously, my boss told me to not even bother with some because of such stupid differences, in one your hair is one inch shorter. You can't even comprehend the stupidity that the multi-verse can produce. In some the only changes that occur is what you had for breakfast on your fifth birthday!”
“For every event there's an infinite number of combinations, something like that?”
“Sadly yes, but I am so thankful they ignore those chan-er, worlds.” Sketch said, almost making a mistake that would've resulted in another strike.
“Speaking of other worlds, what do you make of Connor?”
“Typical Brit, loves his tea, loyal to a fault and soooooooooooo childish.”
“He does sometimes act like an overgrown child, no wonder Princess Luna took a liking to him.”
“Wanna hear something funny? In one of my personal favourites, a world I only got to read about, Celestia ate so much cake she had to make all the doors in the castle double wide!” Sketch said, bursting out laughing, ”Same for Luna but with her it was cookies, but I can't take them seriously when they can't even walk without violently shaking.”
Twilight grumbled a little at hearing jokes at the expense of her mentor, or at least her mentor’s counterpart.
“Anyway,” she started, “What happened last night? I got a very drunken letter from Princess Luna talking about being chased by super-sized Jammie Dodgers.”
“Luna and Connor made the biggest mistake they could without dying, playing a game of drink with me, as I have no physical form, I have no blood, therefore I can't get drunk, but they tried their hardest to keep up. Call me a cheater all you want, I just wanted to see what would happen.”
Twilight deadpanned, “Connor was tended to by the Matron, wasn't he?”
“Probably. I just dropped him off and read in the library.”
Twilight sighed, “It's not the first time they've gone drinking together and gotten so drunk the Royal Guard had to bring them back to the castle.”
“Yup, Luna even declared lifelong vengeance on a poor innocent bystander.”
“Yeah, poor lamp never saw it coming.”
“Lamp? You mean a street light? Luna swore vengeance against a street lamp?”
“And everyone of its descendants.”
“What about Connor? Was he too drunk too stand?”
“I had to levitate him while while controlling Princess of the moonshine.”
Twilight shook her head, “Those two together are a dangerous mix.”
“Like Bleach and ammonia. If they get together everyone suffers.”
“I wonder what Connor's doing now,” Twilight pondered.
“Probably dicking around.”
“One time he got drunk, he snuck into my library, hid speakers for his laptop and played really loud music; waking both myself and Spitfire up!”
“Want me to get back at him for ya? I could, theoretically, alter my form to get some dirt on him.”
“No thanks. As annoying as it was, it was only a harmless prank.”
“Ours would also be harmless, the worst thing that would happen is that his pride would be shot 'til his significant other makes him feel better.”
“I still wouldn't. Connor seems to hold a grudge at times, besides; he's a friend with powerful allies. They may decide to 'get even' with you.”
“How does one get even with a omnipotent world hopper who never sleeps and can bend the world to his will? I almost want to see what he comes up with.”
“Why would you want to harm his pride?”
“Part of my job.”
“Well if you want to prank him, I can't exactly stop you. But you'll be on your own.”
“Hmm but how,” Sketch clapped his hands together but nothing obvious happens, “Welp, Let's head back, maybe I can show you how to go 'Breaking Bad'."
Twilight and Sketch left the pub and headed back to the library. Upon entering, Twilight saw both Connor and Spike sat in the main library area, chatting.
“Hey Twilight,” Spike said.
“Hi Spike, hi Connor, are you two behaving yourselves?”
“Why wouldn't we be?” asked Connor.
Twilight squinted at him suspiciously, “What have you two been up to?”
“Probably dicking around,” Sketch added.
“Spike was telling me about his comics,” Connor said.
“Was he now?” Twilight replied sceptically.
“Were they at least about something other than zombies? Humans were way too interested in that trope,” Sketch admits.
“Something called Power Ponies,” Connor replied, “Sort of a cross between X-Men and Power Rangers. So, what brings you here?”
“I scarred Twilight with one universe where she went bat-shit crazy.”
“Ah, nothing too scary I hope.”
“It was where she failed to stop Nightmare Moon, fell into a deep depression, everyone she knew in Ponyville died due to their reluctance to join their new leader in her army of the night so she killed them all. Twilight being the mage she was she learned a powerful spell strong enough to defeat her and resurrected her friends in the ways of necromancy and then was so delusional she thought they were normal and went about everyday for the next year, living like nothing bad had ever happened even though all her 'friends' and neighbours were shambling husks of ponies she once knew. That is, until I showed up.”
Connor let out a breath he hadn't realised he was holding, “Sounds dreadful.”
“Was fun for that me, I got to exterminate zombies and fight a necromancer! Was like a D&D campaign dream come true.”
“OK for some then. Anyway, what are we doing now?”
“I don't plan further ahead per day then what I might eat for lunch, so….I have no clue. I would do what my instincts tell me to but that would break my breach my contract and one of me already did it once….fucking idiot, we were told not to get involved with the locals.”
“Speaking of locals, are you interested in a water gun fight?” asked Connor.
“Battle Royale free for all style or team Deathmatch?”
“Team Deathmatch. Twilight and I spoke about a watergun fight a few weeks ago and she offered to write up a few rules.”
“Indeed I did,” Twilight responded, “I finished writing them up a few days ago, the notes are upstairs. If you wait here I'll go and get them.”
Twilight trotted away to get the notes, leaving Connor, Sketch and Spike in the library foyer.
“Do you want me to get the others?” asked Spike.
“Sure,” replied Connor.
Spike hopped down to the ground and walked towards the library door, “I won't be long.”
“No need, I'll get 'em, maybe this time not two feet off the ground, I really thought they could stick the landing.”
Sketch clapped his hands together and in a bright flash the girls appeared, this time each on their haunches sitting on the ground. The girls all grumbled and moaned in annoyance at the unexpected transport.
“Hey what gives!” Rainbow exclaimed.
“Easy now Dashie,” Connor replied, “Sketch brought you all here so we could tell you about something Twilight and I planned.”
“What plan?” she enquired, folding her forelegs.
“A water gun fight.”
Rainbow’s scowl slowly morphed into a big, cheesy grin, “When do we fight?!”
“Soon. Twilight's just gone to get the rules she's written up.”
Rainbow scoffed, “It's just like Twilight to ruin the fun with 'rules'.”
“I heard that Rainbow,” Twilight said, re-entering the main library area.
Twilight levitated the notes up for everyone to see. Everyone immediately started snickering, though it was oblivious to Twilight.
“Now,” she began, “Firstly, everypony taking part will be divided into two teams-”
“Twilight,” Connor interjected, “How about a Paintball Gun fight instead?”
“Sure, but how would that work?”
“Two teams with a specific colour paint. Whichever team has the last member standing wins.”
“I will be the third team, for shits and giggles.”
“Very well,” Twilight replied, “I only need to make a few adjustments to the rules.”
The snickering from the others got louder, so much so it finally got Twilight's attention.
“What do you all find funny?”
“Twilight darling,” Rarity replied, “Though it's not really any of our business but I must ask why you errr…..why do those paper clips resemble a stallion's…. erm……”
Rarity began making circling motions with her hoof, trying to find the 'right' word to use.
“Stubby shillelagh!” Rainbow shouted excitedly, quickly bursting into a fit of giggles.
“Rainbow Dash!” Rarity scolded, “That is NOT the term I was going to use!”
Twilight turned her papers around and looked at the paper's clips.
After a few seconds, the penny dropped and her brows furrowed into a frown. She slowly turned around to Spike and Connor.
“So,” she started, “This is what you were up to.”
Spike and Connor looked nervously at Twilight, her piercing gaze pushing them to the brink of breaking.
“IT WAS ALL CONNOR'S IDEA!” Spike yelled, pointing a claw at Connor.
Connor spluttered indignantly, “That is not true! You watched me do it so that makes you an accomplice. Besides, it was Sketch who provided the tools.”
Twilight turned to Sketch, “Would you care to explain yourself Mister?”
“How would I have done that while I was with you, you know full well I have to clap my hands together to do things, did I do it once during our interview? Also, boner-clips are hilarious.”
Twilight turned back to Connor, “Well?”
Connor sighed tiredly, “Fine! I may have found some in a joke shop in Cloudsdale.”
“Which joke shop?”
“The Joke's On You.”
“That's the name of the store?” she asked sceptically.
“Yeah, next door to ‘I Saw You Coming’, a store that rips ponies off selling them cheap shit at high prices.”
“Ahh, the wonders of capitalism, brings a tear to my eye,” Sketch commented romantically.
Twilight set the papers down, “We shall discuss this later Connor. In the meantime, why don't we go out for something to eat?”
“I could eat...I don't have to, but I could.”
“Ask for a juicy steak while baring your teeth,” Connor suggested, “It's hilarious.”
“Oh, well have an apple juice then.”
“I guess? Wait, I could telepathically show them how and when they're going to die, but doing that would change their fate entirely. They would worry for that day pointlessly as since they knew it was coming they would change things and alter the future, hehehe.”
“Anyway,” Connor said, shuffling slightly away from Sketch, “How about the food?”
“Already on it!” Rainbow replied, taking to the air and flying out of the window.
“While she does that, shall I get everyone their guns? Tell me what you want it to do and how fast, far, and much it fires.”
“Why not, to make it a fair fight, give everyone the same weapon? I’d base it on the SA-80 used by the British Army.”
“Meh, I was thinking each one gets a unique gun with strengths and weaknesses, like shotguns ones, large spread, decent range, horrible firing rate and reload, one shot you can take out three people. If you miss, well, bye bye.”
“Sure, in that case I'll have two weapons.”
“How big are they, how fast do they shoot, ammo capacity?”
“It's the M6G magnum pistol and M395B DMR from Halo 5.”
Sketch clapped his hands together and the weapons appeared in Connor's hands, each one is bright orange to signify his team, and modified to fire orange paint balls.
"There will be an orange team, a blue team, and then me solo mode. I won’t spawn my weapon in front of you and you won't see it coming.”
“How about red vs blue?” Connor suggested.
“Heh, you are definitely a Simmons, alright RvB it is! And I will be team Freelancer.”
Sketch clapped his hands and Connor's guns turned a Sarge red, and the paint balls modified in the same manner.
“Nice, while you're at it it could you turn the blue of my flight suit red, and I'll join the red team?”
Sketch clapped his hands together once more and Connor's flight suit was now maroon with yellow bolts, showing off his inner kiss-ass.
“Now that that's done, what weapons does everyone else want?” Connor asked turning to the girls.
“Who said we were even takin' part?” asked Applejack.
“Fair enough. I guess you'll just have to live with Rainbow gloating over you being to scared to face her in battle.”
Applejack flared her nostrils and took a fighting stance,”Never! Ah'll face Rainbow in battle!”
”Excellent, what about the rest of you?” Connor asked.
They all looked amongst themselves and agreed to join the fight also. They began giving their weapon specification preferences, with guidance from Connor and Sketch on the advantages and drawbacks of weapon types.
After a discussion and Connor telling the ponies of the greatest FPS ever made, Goldeneye 007, Rainbow decided on a pair of DD44 Dostovei.
Though how she planned to pulled the triggers with hooves baffled Connor, unless she planned to use her wing tips.
Rarity, settled on an Saints Row 3 custom Rifle, as it was an average rifle but splattered in purple paint and white accents. Rarity’s colours.
Pinkie decided, unsurprisingly, on an RPG in bright pink.
Twilight chose a burst rifle similar to Connor's.
And Applejack…...a shotgun.
Sketch then left to devise his plan of how he would eliminate everyone in town. Good thing he was top 25k in Playerunknown's Battle Grounds solo.
The day of the battle began with each team assembling on opposing sides of the forest with Sketch already hidden somewhere within Whitetail Woods. He had a master plan which involved his PUBG skills, and many hours logged in Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
Using his voice amplification ability, Sketch addressed the assembled ponies, “Alright sheep, let's recap the rules! This woods is my dominion, you enter here, there will be no mercy. Shoot on sight at anyone not on your team, friendly fire is an instant out for the shooter and victim, no exceptions. The Blue team and Red team will be using their respective colours, while I will be using black ink, so prepare yourselves as the match begins in 1 hour!”
Connor, busy cleaning his weapons, turned to his marefriend; she too was cleaning her choice of firearms, a pair of Brute Plasma Rifles from Halo 2. Although these ones modified to shoot paint instead of plasma. To comply with Twilight's Health and Safety rules.
“Ready to fight Milkshake?”
“You bet,” replied Spitfire, putting her goggles on, “Did you ever do anything like this on Earth?”
“Once. But it didn't end so well.”
“I got disqualified.”
Spitfire began laughing heartily, “How did THAT happen?”
“I hit an opposing team member in the face with the butt of my rifle.”
Spitfire stopped laughing, “Why?”
“The twat insulted my mother.”
Spitfire shrugged her shoulders, “Fair enough.”
About an hour later, Spitfire and Connor walked over to the entrance of the Whitetail Woods. The girls, Spike, and several towns ponies were already eagerly waiting.
“Look who finally showed up to get their flanks whooped,” Rainbow boasted confidently.
“Look who waited around only to get their wings clipped,” Connor retorted.
“Oh really, wanna fight about it?”
“Ready when you are little Dashie.”
Rainbow scowled fiercely, “By the time I'm through kicking your flank, you'll be spending an extra long time in the care of Matron.”
“Ten minutes till the start of the game you filthy casuals!” Sketch announced once again from an unknown position within the woods.
“We best start taking our positions,” Connor stated, “Have fun losing, losers.”
“Begin!” As Sketch shouts a loud buzzer sounds signalling the start of the full out war.
“That was a very short ten minutes,” Connor said aloud, “Anyway, come on guys.”
Ponies in Connor's team, including Applejack, Twilight and Rarity, followed him into the woods. Blue Team, whose members include Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie, were teleported by Twilight and several other unicorns to the other side of the woods.
Theoretically, the two teams should meet in the middle.
Meanwhile, within the 'battlefield' Sketch had set up various traps, the closer you got to the centre the more numerous they were. He just planned on hiding out near the centre until each team is too focused on the other for him to start moving in.
Further out, Connor and his team were approaching the centre of the forest; his team following closely behind.
“See anything?” Connor asked Spitfire quietly.
“Negative, they’re here though; I can smell their odour in the wind.”
“Keep your eyes peeled,” Connor replied, looking through the cross-hair of his rifle.
Scanning the environment, he carefully watched for any signs of movement or indications something or someone was nearby. He lowered his rifle and motioned for his team to move forwards.
They moved slowly and quietly forward, being careful not to rustle the leaves or snap twigs.
The silence however, was suddenly ended.
“PREPARE TO GET SHOT, WUSSIES!”
In a second, Rainbow’s cyan blue fur was now decorated with red paint; fired from Connor's rifle.
“FIRST BLOOD!” Sketch announced as Rainbow was the first out, not surprising, either she was going to be in the top or bottom 5%, nowhere else.
A cacophony of screams filled the air as Blue Team ponies began randomly running around like headless chickens, which also made them easy pickings for Red Team.
Particularly Connor, who, despite not serving in the armed forces, had used firearms before, albeit at a shooting range.
Ponies left, right and centre were falling like flies, disappearing in flashes of light to the ‘Loser Boxes’ outside the forest. Within a couple of minutes, almost half the ponies had been shot, with Connor's red team the more numerous.
Sketch must be nearby, Connor thought, There's too few of Blue Team left for it to have been all us.
A group of five ponies wandered about in a especially dense part of the woods, they were of the Blue team. If Sketch wiped them out there would be less competition for Connor's head.
Perfect, thought Sketch.
He waited until they were directly below him before he jumped down, they all turned toward each other as he hand landed in the centre of the group.
Too fast for the ponies to react, he managed to knife two of them with some plastic butter knives he acquired that were smeared with black ink. Two down but the ones to his back-left, back-right, and directly behind him were getting ready to fire. Sketch ran into the bushes and out of sight as there were a few tress between them now. Panicking, they did the only appropriate thing for ponies in danger to do, book it. They ran ahead blindly into a pitfall, just a wide two foot deep pit filled with an inch of black ink at the bottom, the second it touched them they were moved to the loser's boxes.
"Five down, Connor to go,” Sketch said before climbing another tree so he could literally get the drop on his next victims.
While Sketch eliminated the players his medals were announced.
“Double kill! TR-QU-PENTAKILL!” The announcements rang out throughout the playing field.
As the battle raged on, Connor and Spitfire were unintentionally split up and were soon out of sight from each other. More than once, Connor's arse was saved from from being shot by team mates sacrificing themselves or shooting the assailant first. As Connor dispatched another Blue Team pony, he looked up and saw Spitfire.
He was about to call out but instead could only watch as a non-pony figure appeared and took a knife to her throat. It was Sketch, he disappeared as quickly as he appeared and began taunting Connor.
“One, two, three, you can't catch me! Four, five, six, this system's really fixed! Seven, eight, nine, victory shall be mine! Ten, eleven, twelve, you can't protect yourself!” Echoed from the area around Connor.
Sketch wanted him and Connor to be the last players standing so he had more ponies to eliminate, so for now, Connor would live.
Retreating behind a group of trees and bushes, Connor tried to attempt to avoid being seen. A difficult thing to accomplish wneh you're wearing a brightly coloured flightsuit.
There were several ponies still fighting, but Connor ignored them. His one and only target now was the one who 'killed' his marefriend.
Connor would have his vengeance, in this life or the next.
He continued to move around the battlefield, dodging shots until he eventually found himself on the opposite side. He scanned the area once more in an attempt to find Sketch, but failed to do so. Only ponies scattered the area, both Red and Blue team. Looking to his rifle, he saw he only had one pellet remaining in his 'rifle'.
Deciding to keep it for Sketch, he holstered the rifle and got out the magnum pistol. Once he had a clean shot, he began firing at Blue Team Ponies, quickly racking up another three 'kills'; though it would be easier to hit them if they remained still.
Soon though, all Blue Team ponies were defeated; leaving only Red Team and Sketch.
Connor skulked through the bushes, talking quietly to himself, “Come out, come out wherever you are.”
Connor continued to move quietly, that is, until he heard a commotion.
“Where are you Connor?” Sketch sang out.
Connor didn't reply. Silence was key to winning now. He just had to remain silent long enough, and get into a position where he could fire a clean shot.
“So, how do you want this to go down? Everyone is watching.”
Connor ignored Sketch's taunts, discipline was more important than ever right now. One lapse in concentration and the battle would be lost, the war lost, the Kingdom lost.
“By the way, how did you enjoy the solo mission? I loved it!” Sketch said, continuing to taunt Connor.
Connor moved slowly a little more, an opening almost within reach. As he made his way to the opening he felt something tug at his foot, he back stepped immediately and saw a net fall down where he would have been.
“Awww, so close.”
Connor's heart skipped a beat, though quickly resumed its pounding rhythm. A beat that grew stronger when he believed he neared Sketch's position.
Connor slowly peered over the bush, only to discover the area in front of him empty.
Where is he? he thought.
Connor was so busy on looking in front of him, he neglected to check what was coming from behind.
“Gotcha!” Sketch shouted as he lunged from the brush at Connor, his white plastic butter knife smeared with a fresh coat of black ink.
Instinctively turning around, Connor was met with the sight of an approaching Sketch with his butter knife in hand. Connor, acting quickly, raised the rifle he was holding and fired.
And missed. But so did Sketch as Connor side stepped at the last second causing Sketch to land on the net, he turned to his now unarmed opponent and took a step forward, but when he tried to move his left foot it was caught on something.
“Shit!” Sketch looked down to see his left foot was tangled in the net and Connor was beyond melee range.
It was over.
Connor slowly drew his pistol, aimed, and fired a shot dead centre at Sketch. He poofed out in a black smoke and Connor was now the last man standing, pony or otherwise. Victorious, Connor made his way out to the victim boxes full of cheering ponies who saw everything on the display, one screen for each team; but when it was just Connor and Sketch they all showed the same scene. Connor looked at each box and saw a decent number of ponies but when he saw Sketch's kill box he was a bit surprised at the number he got with just a butter knife, a ghillie suit, and guerilla tactics.
“Not too bad I suppose,” Connor mumbled.
“Damn right, you had firearms and I used something only a bagel would find threatening. Anyways good on ya, we both won.”
Sketch pointed to the scoreboard where Connor had 25 kills and was the winner overall but Sketch had won MVP.
“How the heck did you get 42 eliminations?” Connor asked.
“Well if it wasn't for IT work, or science I would have been a history teacher, so war is a big subject. You study war, you know war, plus my father was in Vietnam where guerilla warfare was commonplace so I had a bit of second hand experience with it. Anyways, what should be done with the losing team?” Sketch looked at the Blue team members.
“They have to be our servants for the rest of the day. And talking of fathers, my step-dad was a Group Captain in the RAF. Regularly flew fighter jets and blew the shit out of things…..and people.”
“Nice, well I guess we should pack things up.”
Sketch clapped his hands together and all the equipment, screens, traps, everything minus the player’s paint ball guns disappeared.
”Why not let them keep souvenirs of the game, right?”
“Right," replied Connor, "So, shall we head back to Ponyville?”
“Sure wh-Wait, I sense a disturbance in the force, as if two horny males cried out for the attention of someone they wished to bang.”
Just as Sketch said that, a Hydra landed in the playing field, landing on its back; only to be accosted by the other Hydra.
“What the fuck are Hydras doing here?!” Connor bellowed, “Twilight, how do you get rid of Hydras?”
“I don't know,” she frantically replied, “I've no idea what could work!”
“Sketch, have you any ideas?” Connor asked.
“One, but first, Bookhorse, can you freeze the paint balls?”
Twilight turned to Sketch, a puzzled look in her eyes, “I can, but why?”
“I can't help you fight these things, would be against the rules put in place, but I can advise you. Get everyone's ammo frozen and tell them all to aim for the Hydra's eyes. I don't know about these Hydra's but I assume if you try to kill them it only makes things worse for you, so why not just blind them? Even if their eyes regenerate getting shot in the eye is far from pleasant. And as to why the balls will be frozen, more impact damage, the balls don't have enough paint in them to do much plus it would be momentary blindness, this will be longer term."
“OK, we'll try.”
Connor approached Twilight, weapons in hand, “Twilight, maybe it would be better if we limited how many ponies combat the hydras. Limit the number of casualties.”
“You're right, I'll also write to the Princess as well.”
Twilight walked over to the towns ponies, many of them looking fearful at the monstrous Hydras.
“Listen up everypony, you all have to get back to Ponyville now! It’s too dangerous for you all here!”
“But we can help!” shouted one pony back.
“If you want to help,” Twilight started, “You can help by staying out of the crossfire and returning to your families, make sure they’re safe!”
“She's right!” called out another pony.
The ponies quickly evacuated the area, galloping full speed towards Ponyville while Twilight quickly wrote a letter.
A few seconds later, it was on its way via Dragon Fire and Twilight turned her attention back to the Paint Ball pellets.
“OK,” she said, focussing her attention, “You can do this Twilight.”
Closing her eyes she lit up her horn and all the weapons glowed a light purple. The magic dissipated, leaving everyone to wonder if the spell worked.
Aiming towards the ground, Connor fired a test shot.
The pellet shattered on impact, sending frozen shards everywhere.
“Yeah, it worked. Nice job Twi,” Connor said.
“Great, now let's beat those Hydras!”
Boldly running, well into the jaws of death, the Elements of Harmony and their companions ran into battle..
As they were running, Spike belched; a scroll materialised and Twilight took it in her magic and quickly read through it.
“What's it say Twilight?” Spike asked, currently riding on her back.
“Princess Celestia is sending a contingent of guards to assist. She's asked us to contain the Hydras for the time being.”
“How do we contain something as big as a Hydra?”
“We have to try Spike!”
Connor, Spitfire and Rainbow took to the air and immediately opened fire, hitting the Hydras with a volley of frozen pellets. This action, enraged the Hydras and the pair promptly responded, violently lunging their heads forward in an apparent attempt to bite the attackers.
Applejack, Rarity and Pinkie Pie too attacked the Hydras, though their attack was haphazard and unfocused. They were just aiming and firing.
Several minutes passed as the fight wore on with no progress made.
Connor in particular was becoming more and more agitated.
“Just how many shots can those bastards take!”
In a fit of anger, he fired a one of the Hydra’s heads. Hitting it unintentionally in its eye.
The Hydra howled in pain.
Looking closer, Connor noticed its eye had turned red.
A flash of realisation hit Connor.
“AIM FOR THEIR EYES!”
“WHAT?” Spitfire yelled back.
“AIM FOR THEIR EYES, I THINK IT'S BLINDED THEM!”
“Told them, aim for the eyes, took em long enough,” Sketch sighed as he sat back and watched.
Clapping his hands together, the former avatar of chaos appeared next to him, a bit confused.
“What happened? Why am I here?” Discord demanded. He looked around to see if anyone was available for an explanation when he spotted Sketch. Scowling, he marched over, “You, Yankee Doodle Dandy, why did you bring me here?”
“To show you what you should have been doing, I mean, here I instigated a fight between ponies with paint ball guns and two hydra, this is some decent chaos, something you neglected. I wouldn't be here if you had kept it up and not tried to become ruler.”
Sketch clapped his hands together and spawned some popcorn for Discord.
“Look, what I am saying is my stay here is over, we need to know, me and my boss, that once you are given your powers back you will be the troublemaker you were born to be. I was sent here merely to show you that anyone can be replaced, but look at it this way, most don't get a second chance. I guess they like you.”
“Of course they like me, I'm DISCORD!” he exclaimed, stretching his mismatched arms out wide and grinning widely.
“And that award winning personality Now that everyone thinks you harmless and are free to wander about, when you get your powers back can we trust you to plague this world with as much disorder as possible?”
“Then here you go.”
Sketch clapped his hands together and Discord rose off the ground, glowing a sickly green.
“You are now back at your full power," Sketch said, "Have fun!”
Discord, grinning manically, snapped his claw. A trio of breezies appeared in his claw, and moving his head in close, spoke to it.
“If you think I tormented you in the past my little friends, wait until you see what I do with you NOW!”
“Just nothing sadistic," Sketch said, butting in, "Also I have one you might enjoy. I did it and it got a rise out of her."
Sketch leaned in and whispered his prank into Discord's ear.
Discord grinned mischievously, “I'll be sure to try it out. Anyway, it seems your friends have succeeded in driving away those revolting Hydras.”
“I wouldn't call them friends, I see them as a tourist sees animals on a safari, except these talk and I was told I can't hunt them, I can't help nor hinder them either. But, that is just this world, a few others I get to be a one man apocalypse. But the weirdest one was a utopia, you didn't even exist there. We only keep it around to see what could've been, hell, the rest of the perfect worlds were deleted long before us, they were dull and just like the embodiment of watching paint dry.”
“Just like Celestia's holier than thou lectures.”
“Worse, they are broadcasted to every home and every station twice a day, and four times on holidays. I am so glad one of me wasn't sent there, woulda started a smear campaign against them just to keep myself entertained.”
“Celly’s lectures were broadcast to the nation? Sounds like an Orwellian nightmare.”
“Worse, every COUNTRY. No war and no world politics meant they were all united and shared the same goals and crap, so they appointed Celestia head of Public Encouragement, basically softcore propaganda. Everyone is so brainwashed they don't even have a police force because they are so insanely good hearted that no one would even suspect another of being morally able to do anything not nice.”
“Next you'll be telling me it's illegal to be unhappy.”
“They do hand out anti-depressants like candy, free health care and what not.”
“Sounds dreadfully boring, I may have pay a visit and liven things up a little.”
“Nope! Different universe, that Equestria doesn't and will never exist here. Plus by the terms of your new contract you can only mess with this universe, directly or indirectly. Meaning you have no contact with other Discords.”
Discord groaned loudly, “Fine, ruin my fun. I'll just stick to chocolate rain clouds.”
“Also another favourite is this, convince Luna to play a game called Simcity. Tell her she can do anything including bring the world to ruin, and once she has done so or failed, tell her that she actually made a city somewhere and that was its fate, all because of her. Connor might ruin the fun so do it while he is busy, or get Celestia a cake with chocolate frosting with chocolate laxatives mixed in, simple yet effective.”
Discord began writing all these down on a notepad he pulled out of Hammerspace.
“I'll be sure to use those some time. Anyway, it seems the Friendship Gang has finished,” Discord said, before his face turned to one of annoyance when he saw a Royal Chariot approach.
“Sunbutt is here, might wanna do the prank I told you about, would be so perfect when she addresses her ponies,” Sketch laughed.
“Hmmmm. Not yet. I'll do it when she addresses court, or the next Parliamentary address.”
“Do what Discord?” Celestia asked firmly.
“Errr, sit in and learn about the Magic of Friendship?” he replied not too convincingly.
“Yeah, since he wandered off now powerless, I decided to poof him back so he may make amends with the ponies he wronged those years ago,” Sketch said, lying through his teeth.
Celestia squinted at Sketch and Discord. She'd been around too long to be fooled so easily, but so far Sketch had given her no reason to give her reason to doubt, and Discord deserved a 2nd chance.
“Very well,” Celestia said, “I look forward to hearing your Friendship reports.”
Discord's smile vanished.
Celestia looked over to see Twilight and her friends approach.
“My faithful student, how are you? I see you and your friends have dealt with the Hydras?”
“Yes, we used these paint ball guns to drive them away.”
Celestia looked at the guns in question.
“They seem, vicious.”
“No more so than any other weapon,” Connor said, “These one's though were modified to fire non lethal pellets.”
“Fair point,” she replied, turning back to her guards, “You may stand your troops down Lieutenant. The crisis has been dealt with.”
The Lieutenant turned to his stallions and motioned for them to leave. The only guards remaining were the Princess's Chariot Flyers.
“So, what now?” asked Connor.
“Now, we go back to Canterlot to celebrate,” Celestia replied, “After a fight like that, you must all be hungry.”
“Eh, why not.”
“Are we flying there?” asked Connor.
“Walking would suck.”
“Allow me,” said Discord.
He snapped his claw and in an instant the entire group appeared in the throne room, startling Luna in the process.
“WHAT IN THE NAME OF THINE MOON IS GOING ON?!”
“I've missed you too, Moon Butt!” Discord bellowed.
The next thing Lune felt was a crushing bear hug from Discord.
“Come on Moony, we have pranks to pull!”
The pair disappeared in a flash of light, leaving bemused ponies and non-ponies behind. Celestia though, just chuckled a little with a shake of her head.
“Come,” Celestia said, “Let's go to the Dining Room.”
“What about Princess Luna and Discord?” asked Twilight.
“Let them be Twilight. The nobles could do with being put back in their place.”
The gang made their way through the corridors and into the dining room, the extra long table already had place settings in place.
“The usual for me,” Connor said aloud.
“Same here,” Spitfire added.
Everyone else, except Sketch, put in their orders, taking advantage of the free food and large portions.
“So Sketch,” Celestia began, “What will you do now Discord has his powers back?”
“I was put here to show him he can be replaced if he doesn't do his job adequately. Now that that has been reinforced I no longer need to be here, the only problem is, the exit procedure enacted due to pass incidents is a bit, messy.”
“Messy?” queried Celestia, “How so?”
“Well, plain and simple this body part of me is inhabiting to be here needs to die so it can go back to my main consciousness. I am basically a pool of water and each of the mes in the Equestria's various versions of you all see are little droplets, when my job is done the droplet needs to be put back. They could have just made me cease to exist but one of me broke a rule and this is a punishment, so something instantaneous would be preferred.”
“Like being shot?” Connor suggested.
“This is why it get's messy, it has to be complete annihilation, nothing remaining, maybe incineration?” Sketch pondered. He hadn't thought of an exit strategy yet, and yet he was the first to finish out of all the Sketches, someone had to be first.
“I could vaporise you,” Celestia suggested nonchalantly as she sipped her tea.
“WHAT?!” The rest of the ponies screamed, Connor just continued eating his roast chicken.
“It is what needs to be done, otherwise I will continue to exist for all time even after billions of years when everything in this system, Celestia, Luna, Discord, and even the sun itself included and I would be alone, bored, wandering, and unable to do anything about it. This is a necessity, plus we can do it behind closed doors, unless you all wanna see a snuff film.”
“That will not be necessary,” Celestia replied, “I can vaporise you after our meal.”
“Ah, that will be good. Anyways, anyone want to say anything before I leave?”
“Wait a minute!” Twilight interrupted, looking from Celestia to Sketch, “How can you both be so calm about this?”
“It's quite simple, Twilight. It's the logical course of action.”
“Plus, what else would you suggest?" Sketch added, "That I exist here forever, and watch as all life in this part of the universe decays and leave me all alone for the rest of time or until this universe is erased?”
Celestia walked over to Twilight and nuzzled her consolingly, “Twilight, I know it seems cruel, but it must be done.”
“If it makes you feel any better think of this as returning part of me home,” Sketch added, trying to comfort Twilight.
“Is there really no other way?” Twilight asked desperately.
Twilight looked down at her hooves, tears forming in her eyes. After a few seconds, she looked at Sketch once more, “Before you go, could we at least have a picture taken together? So I can remember you?”
“Sure, and all of you can ask or say things before I go, even though all I did was mess with you, start a paint ball war, and break into Connor's house at 3 a.m.”
“YOU WHAT?!” screeched Rarity.
“Let me answer that,” Connor interjected, “I flew home drunk, went into my home and…..forgot to shut the front door. Sketch walked in and waited in the front room all night.”
“Don't think I’ve forgotten about that,” Spitfire said, “You'll be in for an extra long workout at the academy for your negligence, rookie.”
“Yeah, drunk Connor is an idiot,” Sketch added.
“So is Luna,” Connor defended, “At least I didn't walk into a lamp post and then vow revenge against it.”
“Yeah, also Celly, remember? Luna needs therapy, hint hint.”
Celestia just nodded, “I'll see to it that she gets it. Also, while we're on the subject of drunkenness; Connor, if I were you, I'd suggest avoid getting drunk in Canterlot. Matron is becoming increasingly…..irritated.”
“Why would the Matron be irritated?” asked Twilight.
“You don't need to answer that!” Connor quickly answered, cutting off any other potential response.
“Hehehe, hey Connor, don't forget to check your mailbox,” Sketch said, grinning mischievously.
“What's that supposed to mean?” Connor asked quizzically.
“You'll see every four weeks for the rest of your life.”
Connor had no more idea what Sketch was on about and the rest of the meal went by in relative silence. The silence grew even quieter as the group made their way to an inner courtyard.
Their purpose for doing so not a particularly pleasant one for Twilight and her friends.
“So, this is goodbye,” Twilight said glumly.
“Yup! Anyone got anything they want to know about me or things to come? Last chance, sale ends in ten minutes.”
Everyone looked amongst themselves, trying to think of a question.
“Will I be a Wonderbolt one day?!” Rainbow blurted out in panic.
“You do most of the time, so long as you don't become a felon or break a wing.”
“Do parties still exist in the future?” asked Pinkie.
“Yeah, and copious amounts of hallucinogens.”
“Does fashion stay in fashion?”
“It just gets more technical, too much to explain.”
“Do books remain popular?”
“As more and more ponies are born population grows too fast for wood to keep up, shortage on paper happens and e-books replace regular books as one device can hold a library’s worth of books. Only to rich can afford paper books.”
Twilight's previous gloomy façade morphed into one of joy and she was soon bouncing around the courtyard.
“Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes!”
She carried on, oblivious to the others.
“Anyway,” Applejack said, “Is there life beyond this one? It’s jus' that….mah Ma' and Pa'.....”
Applejack looked down and pawed at the ground with a hoof, trying to get a sensitive message across.
“How to explain it without giving too much away.....ah, you know checker pieces when they die they get put off to the side?"
"Kinda like that. No heaven or hell just, well, incorporeal existence.”
The answer was the best he could give without revealing the meaning for all existence. Had he done so it would be strike 2 of 3, one was bad enough.
“What about animals?” asked Fluttershy, “Do they...move on?”
“Everything alive, even plants...Seriously they should have thought of that, you know how many blades of grass have died since time began? Way too many!”
Spitfire was the next too ask a question, “Can you tell me what Connor will be getting every month?”
Connor was the only one left to ask a question.
“Will I ever see my family again?”
“Kinda, you'll see. Alright, Sunbutt, if you would please pass the Kool-aid,” Sketch asked as he stepped away from the group.
Celestia positioned herself so she had a direct line of sight of Sketch.
“Your stay in Equestria, while brief, has been amusing.”
“Eh, just get on with it, the less mes I have to control the better. Seriously, there are literally millions of me at this point among all realities, the faster they die off the better.”
Before Celestia could light her horn, Discord and Luna appeared.
“Did you see the look on that fools face?” Luna laughed, “That will teach the pompous idiot to insult the orphaned foals.”
“Indeed,” Discord replied, “And it seems we're just in time to see Celly vaporise Yankee Doodle Dandy here.”
Discord walked over to Celestia, a 'disappointed' look on his face, “Vaporising guests Celesta, tut tut, I thought you were better than that.”
Celestia wasted no more time. She lit her horn lit up and fired a beam of energy at Sketch, the bright yellow energy beam reduced him to a pile of ash.
“SISTER, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”
“Exactly what Sketch requested of me.”
“What are you talking about?”
“The actions I have just taken were necessary for Sketch to return to his point of origin.”
“What are you talking about?”
“His form in our world needed to die so he could return to his main consciousness. It is the same for all the other worlds his other forms inhabited.”
“So there was no other way?”
Luna sighed, looking a little downtrodden, “Pity. He was rather amusing.”
All that remained of Sketch was his cloak, without him powering it, it returned to being just a piece of fabric.
Luna walked over to the cloak and picked it up in her magic, “This is all we have to remember him by.”
“What should we do with it?” asked Twilight.
“We could bury it,” Connor suggested, turning to the others, “What do you lot think?”
The girls and Spike looked amongst themselves, their looks alone having the conversation. After a few seconds they all turned back to Connor, with Twilight speaking up.
“We would like that, that’s if it’s OK with you Princess.”
“‘Tis fine by us Twilight Sparkle,” Luna replied, “We can do this now, in this courtyard.”
Luna used her magic to lift out a mound of earth, a few feet away from where Sketch last stood. She floated his cloak gently into the hole and covered it once again with the earth.
“Goodbye Sketch,” Luna said.
Everyone else too said their goodbye's, before silently leaving the courtyard and back into the castle.
THE FOLLOWING DAY
Connor was stood in front of his full length mirror, seething with rage while Spitfire laughed her flanks off.
Rather than being the winged human he was, he woke up to find himself turned into a light pink pegasus mare with a white mane and a red heart cutie-mark…...yet he still had his masculine voice.
“Looking good Stiff Wings!” Spitfire teased.
“STOP LAUGHING! IT'S NOT FUNNY!”
Connor's outburst only made her laugh harder. To make matters worse, Connor and Spitfire stayed at Twilight’s library during the night, meaning it would be impossible for Connor to get through his situation unnoticed by the others.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the door.
“What's going on in there?” asked Twilight, “What's with all the noise?”
“NOTHING!” yelled Connor.
“It doesn't sound like nothing,” Twilight responded, “I'm coming in.”
The door opened. Twilight, upon entering, froze upon seeing a pink pegasus she hadn't seen before.
“Who are you?”
Connor didn’t answer.
“I asked you a question,” Twilight said firmly, walking up to 'her', "Who are you?"
Connor still remained silent. The silence allowed Twilight's attention to be directed to Spitfire's belly laugh.
“What's so funny?”
Spitfire attempted to compose herself and pointed a hoof at her ‘coltfriend’, “Connor.”
Twilight looked to where Spitfire's hoof was pointing, right at the pink mare. It took a few seconds, but after noting the mare’s anger and evasion of eye contact, the penny dropped.
Connor sighed, “Yeah, it's me.”
“B-but what happened?” Twilight spluttered, “Did you fall into some Poison Joke?”
“Into what?” he asked.
“I'll take that as a no. But then what-” Twilight stopped talking as realisation hit her, “Sketch.”
“Sketch!” Connor repeated, still seething.
“Why did he do this? I thought he was gone.”
“It was probably time-delayed, either way it's pissed me off!”
“Is it permanent?”
“It better bloody not be!”
Twilight winced at Connor's volume.
“Well, you can't stay in here all the time.”
“Oh yeah? Watch me!”
Twilight shook her head, “No. You've got to leave eventually.”
“But everyone will see me!”
“They won't know it's you….so long as you don't speak.”
“Then I'll silently return to Cloudsdale.”
Connor got up and began leaving the room, ignoring the laughing from Spitfire.
As he descended the stairs and entered the main library area, he was so focussed on brooding to himself he wasn't looking where he was going and bumped into someone.
Being English, he responded as an Englishman would.
He continued walking, but just as his hoof was about to touch the door out of the library, a raspy voice thundered through the room.
He turned around and saw all of the girls and Spike in the library.
“Connor? Is that you darling?”
Connor didn't answer and tried to leave.
“Where do you think you're going missy?” Rainbow demanded, flying over and blocking his path, “You don't walk into my flank, give a half-arsed apology and walk away!”
Connor still said nothing.
“Why aren't you talking?” Rainbow demanded to know.
Connor shrugged his shoulders.
“When making a cup of tea,” Rarity said, “I always put milk in first.”
Connor immediately recoiled in horror and blushed profusely, placing a hoof over his mouth. A look at Rarity and her smug expression said all he needed to know. She knew he would respond to such a statement. He mentally kicked himself though.
Why did I respond like that? I know she NEVER puts milk in first.
Looking to Rainbow, he saw her unamused glare, morph slowly into a shit-eating grin.
He braced himself for her to start laughing uncontrollably.
After about three seconds, her resolve broke and she burst into tears.
“Looking good Connor!”
Connor sighed, “Go ahead and laugh, get it all out of your systems.”
The girls did laugh.
Spike didn’t, instead he walked over to Connor, “Don't worry too much dude. I'm sure this is just temporary.”
“It better be.”
Connor looked over to see Spitfire, and Twilight, approach.
“How are you?” asked Spitfire.
“Absolutely spiffing,” he said, voice dripping with sarcasm.
“Come on Connor, don't be like that.”
“Why shouldn't I be? I’ve been gender-bendered into a pony against my will, I've every reason and right to be pissed off!”
“I'm sure it's only temporary,” Twilight said, “I doubt Sketch will have done this permanently.”
“Whatever, I'm leaving.”
Before anyone could reply, Connor turned around and left, slamming the door behind him. The force of the slam caused Spitfire and Twilight to wince, and the other girl's laughing to stop.
“We did it again, didn't we?” Fluttershy said.
“You mean laugh at Connor and make him feel humiliated?” suggested Pinkie, “Yes, yes we did.”
“We're going to have to make it up to him again, aren't we?” Rarity stated.
Connor was seething as walked through Ponyville. Once more his so-called friends made him feel humiliated.
“Hey there gorgeous,” a stallion's voice sounded, “Wanna come back to my place for some hot coffee?”
Connor turned to the stallion, whom he didn't recognise, and planted a hoof into his face.
“I'll take that as a no,” the stallion said, nursing his now bruised cheekbone.
Connor walked away in a huff, even more angry than before.
He reached the outskirts of Ponyville when Spitfire caught up to him, landing in his path.
“Connor,” she panted, “Found you.”
“What do you want? Come to laugh at me a bit more?”
Spitfire recoiled in horror, “NO! We're sorry about that, it was just such an unexpected…...occurrence.”
“Easy for you to say. Anyway, I'm going back to Cloudsdale.”
Connor ignored her and continued to fly back to Cloudsdale, only wanting to get back to the privacy of his home as soon as possible.
THREE DAYS LATER
Now it was Connor's turn to laugh.
That morning, he flew to Twilight’s library to show-off his now-back-to-human-form, only to see something else entirely.
He, and Spike, laughed their arses off as they looked at the Spitfire, Twilight and the rest.
All of them now in human male form. Spitfire stood about 5'8 with a slim, athletic build. Her hair still its radiant orange and yellow. Rainbow was the same but slightly shorter at 5'6, her hair too remained in its Rainbow coloured state.
Fluttershy was of average build and stood at 5'4, her long pink hair flowing down to her waist. Rarity had a slim figure and stood at 5'7, and her curly purple hair fell down to her shoulders. Twilight too was slim but stood at around 5'5, and had a larger forehead, albeit covered by an equally large fringe of her purple hair.
Pinkie stood at 5'6 and had a fair bit of meat on her bones. She wasn’t fat, but definitely well built. It turns out poofy pink hair does not suit a human male. Unsurprisingly, Applejack was built like a brick shit house. Very clear and well developed muscles and standing at 6'0, slightly smaller than Connor. Her golden locks were tied into a ponytail.
“This is brilliant!” Connor exclaimed excitedly, “Fantastic!”
He continued laughing at his transformed friends, only covered by spare bedsheets, noting their irritated looks.
“Not nice to be laughed at is it?”
None of them responded.
“Well,” Connor continued, “You lot will have to stay here, you can't go outside looking like you are.”
“We can't stay here for three days!” Rainbow responded.
“You don't have a choice. Going out as you are will attract far too much attention.”
“He's right Dash. Besides, what's so bad about staying in a library?” Twilight asked accusingly.
“N-nothing! Nothing at all!”
Twilight looked at Rainbow suspiciously, a few beads of sweat ran down Dash's now human face.
Connor was still laughing a little, “It's really odd hearing you lot with guy voices.”
“Yeah yeah” Spitfire groaned, “Laugh it up Stiff Wings!”
“Do you wanna know what I'm going to do?” Connor said aloud, “I'm going to go home and put my feet up on the coffee table.”
“YOU MOST CERTAINLY ARE NOT!”
“You can't stop me,” Connor cheekily retorted, “Without wings you're stuck down here.”
“Only for three days!”
Connor grinned, “Have fun!”
Connor quickly left the library, narrowly avoiding being hit by a hardback book, though he had no idea who threw it.
“WHY DID YOU THROW THAT BOOK?! WHAT DID IT EVER DO TO YOU?” Twilight bellowed.
The door quickly opened again, Connor poking his head through.
“While I remember, have any of you…….checked between your legs?”
The mare ponies turned human males blushed profusely.
“Well,” Twilight started, “We may have…..”
“Compared sizes,” finished Rainbow.
“RAINBOW!” Rarity scolded, “THERE IS NO NEED TO BE SO VULGAR!”
Rainbow snickered, much to Rarity’s ire.
“So,” Connor began, “......how big are you lot?”
“I thought you were interested in mares?” Spitfire responded suspiciously.
“I am, but I'm just wondering how I compare to you guys.”
Rainbow, feeling cocky and confident, went first.
“I'm 5 inches.”
“5.5 inches,” Fluttershy added, blushing as she did so.
“7 inches,” Applejack stated.
“6.4 inches of party icing goodness,” Pinkie boasted.
Twilight was next. Avoiding eye contact, she blurted out.
“Wow,” replied Connor, “Not bad.”
He then turned to his marefriend, “So Milkshake, how much are you packing?”
“Is 9 inches good?”
If Connor was drinking tea, he'd have spat it out in shock. His face went a crimson red, a reaction not gone unnoticed by Spitfire.
“So Stiff Wings, how big are you? I've never actually asked you.....or measured it myself.”
Connor bent down and whispered into Spitfire’s ear.
“Not bad,” she replied.
“Though that's about average,” Connor defended, “If it's too big it can actually cause internal bleeding to the woman's vagina which from entrance to the 'wall' is 5-6 inches deep on average, internally it is only 4 inches. Yours is just unnecessarily long.”
“So mine is too big?”
“Pretty much. I wouldn't be surprised if Sketch was responsible for 'giving you a boost'.”
“Maybe, but what about us right now? We can't stay here for three days.”
“I'm sure Twilight can think of something. All those tests and experiments she could do.”
Even when human, the goofy smile Twilight gets at the prospect of tests creeped everyone out. Connor and Spike left quickly, leaving their friends at Twilight’s mercy.
THREE DAYS LATER
Connor and Spike were in Connor's railway room. The room Connor kept his prized model railway. The past three days had been a joyous for the pair. Games, comics, snacks, latte night movies….real guy time.
“Thanks for letting me come with you Connor,” Spike said, flicking the switches on the control panel, “We'll have to do this again sometime.”
“We sure will.”
Just then,Connor heard voices outside.
“I'll go and see who it is, might be Spitfire.”
Spike’s response was interrupted by his fire breath belch.
He unfurled the scrolls and began reading aloud.
“Dear Spike, five seconds after reading this, you will return to the library. Uh-oh, I don't think Twilight's-”
He disappeared before he could finish his sentence.
Connor began to feel worry.
“STIFF WINGS! DOWNSTAIRS! NOW!”
Yep, I'm definitely in trouble.
He nervously went downstairs and saw his now returned to pony form marefriend. Next to her was a rather large box.
“This was sent to you. I suggest you open it.”
Connor nervously walked over and slowly removed the packaging tape. He opened the flaps and what he saw…….scared him.
Dear Connor who is secretly a pretty pink pony princess,
After the 6 day jokes I pulled on you guys I feel I need to cement my memory with you, forever. So every month for the rest of your life a large supply of diapers will be mailed to you, no matter where you are, they will appear on your doorstep. No matter what, have fun!
Mutually by you all by now,
P.S. That isn't hugs and kisses, I got bored and played tic tac toe with the mailmare after I wrote this, BTW she likes muffins.
Connor looked up and saw Spitfire had a grin that sent shivers down his spine.
“Time for a change, Sleepyhead.”
Before Connor could react, Spitfire pulled Connor and the box, and dragged him into the bedroom, closing and locking the door behind her.
Connor, was doomed.