New Chaotic Friends!

by GMBlackjack

V - In Which Crime Isn't What it Used To be

The Joker decided he liked having wings. 

His reason for liking them, like most things in his life, was rather unorthodox. Sure, he liked seeing everything from above as much as the next guy and being aerodynamic definitely had its perks. As a career criminal, he was already thinking about how it could be used to royally screw with law enforcement. 

But the main reason?

He liked what it did to his laughs. Every time he belted out a pure shout of freedom, the air would shoot right back down his mouth, rather painfully, and create a new sound. A sound he couldn't get enough of. Who cared that it was a little uncomfortable? It was a new laugh! That sort of thing didn’t just happen every day, you know. 

Despite his gleeful enjoyment, he still had a plan. That plan?

Fly into Canterlot and continue laughing like a madman, drawing the bewildered attention of everypony. 

...Okay, so that wasn’t so much a plan as a thing he did upon arriving, but he didn’t concern himself with pesky things like truth beating down his self-image. 

Still, he did have a plan. The real first step?

Steal a harlequin mask from the first traveling salesman he could find. This was not only pathetically easy, the salespony didn’t even notice he had been stolen from. He didn’t exactly keep inventory on his masks, which made the game of theft a bit less… rewarding. Ponies were too trusting to be any fun. 

Maybe he should move to one of the other nations, where things might be a bit darker? Kludgetown was full of scoundrels - he’d already heard some ponies talking about it in hushed, terrified whispers. 

Nah. Then he’d probably be out of the way of his replacement for Batman - Discord. Surely Discord would prove to be an excellent nemesis? 

No matter that Discord didn’t stand for justice wasn’t comically serious and wasn’t all that dark most of the time… it would work. It had to. Because he was the Joker!

“Hey Rainbow Dash, can I get an autograph?” a filly asked. 

“Sure thing, kiddo!” the Joker said, signing Rainbow Dash’s name on the photo without missing a beat. “Now I gotta Dash, keep watching the skies for me!” He flew away, finding his way into a small alley filled with trash, rats, and a copious amount of moldy oranges. 

“CALLING ME RAINBOW DASH!?” he shouted at the oranges. “Who does she think she is, some kind of CHILD? Hah! No… No, there are no children. Only ponies.” 

“You’re a few sandwiches short of a picnic.”

Joker smirked behind his mask. “Ah… an intruder. Good. Got here without me noticing, sneaky. Planning to jump me? Should have stuck with that plan. Might’ve gotten away with a few bits and my new face.”

The burly stallion behind the Joker snorted. “You’re just a runaway from the nuthouse. You’re not worth my time.”

Joker whipped around, making full use of Rainbow Dash’s athletic body to tackle the small-time criminal to the ground, knocking out some teeth in the process. “Tsk tsk tsk. You’re such a horrible thief…”

“I wasn't going to steal from you! You can’t prove anything!”

The Joker cackled. “Like I want proof. No, I just want connections. You work for me now. You will learn the name of the Joker and listen to his every word…”


“Quiet!” the Joker hissed. “Take me to your… previous boss so I can have some fun with him.”

“Big Gold… he’s uh… at the hideout. You wouldn’t stand a chance…”

“Then you should be glad to direct me there so they can get rid of me, hmmm?” He pushed down a little harder, threatening to dislocate a leg.

“Fine! Fine! I’ll do it! Don’t say I didn’t warn you, crazy lady…”

“I am going to enjoy feeding you to my shark tank when I get it installed.” The Joker lifted the stallion off the ground, keeping a form hoof around his neck. “Let’s roll.”

The stallion seemed offended that the Joker had said that, but seeing as he was already fearing for his life he had no intention on commenting. 

The stallion led Joker through the back alleys of Canterlot. Joker was sorely disappointed. There was very little in the way of real crime here, scarcely any more than petty theft! This was the shadiest place in the entire city and he hadn’t even found evidence of a single murder. Granted, he thought murder was a little boring, but still - the principle of the thing! Murder was the most basic of the high crimes. If it was almost nonexistent, what would he have to work with?

The stallion knocked on the door to the hideout. 

“Password?” a mare on the other side asked.

“Eggs Benedict.”

The mare opened the door. “Who’s your friend?”

“Uh… Butter. Her name is Butter. She’s got some… propositions.”

“I see…” The mare looked the Joker up and down. “That mask doesn’t really hide much, you know.”

“Recognize me?” the Joker asked.

“Duh, of course I do, I’m not an id-”

The Joker bucked her right in the face, sending her to the far wall. “Excuse me, what were you saying?” He cackled. “Now, about that leader.”

“They won’t let you in now…” the stallion said, shivering. 

“I think they will.” The Joker smashed down another door, getting deeper into the safehouse. On the other side were a handful of rag-tag criminals pointing spears and bows at him. None of them looked particularly eager to use them. “Disappointing…” He considered charging them all, but decided against it. Even if they didn’t want to use the weapons, they could

The Joker cleared his throat. “So, let’s try the easy way. Take me to your leader and nobody gets hurt.”

The disappointments never ended; they stood down without any prompting. He was led down a staircase to the deepest part of the safehouse, where a fat earth pony stallion sat on a large bed. 

“Quite the commotion you’ve caused up there,” Big Gold said, a distinct, refined voice hiding behind his immense girth. “You aren’t Rainbow Dash.”

“At least the boss isn’t an idiot,” the Joker chuckled. “I am the Joker!

“Literal…” Big Gold smirked. “What sort of proposition do you have?”

“I’ve seen your city. Your crime is lacking. An organized crime ring and the ponies don’t live in fear of you? Unacceptable!

“We must tread carefully, Joker. Celestia will only tolerate so much before she wipes us off the face of Equestria! This isn’t Kludgetown, there is an art to getting rich and not drawing unwanted attention.”

“What you have is a failure of imagination! All you have to do is take care of your biggest problem first and you’ll have free reign!”

“Celestia?” Big Gold leaned in. “You have a plan?”

“Naturally. Cause enough panic to make her take immediate action - light a ton of fires around orphanages or something. She’ll come right where you want her…”


Celestia noticed a pattern when she was putting out the fourth fire with her masterful control over the solar energies. Every last one of these fires had been set next to an orphanage. There was no way this was a coincidence or even the work of a single fire-crazed magician. This was planned with a purpose

She ran through the possibilities in her head - why would somepony try to burn down all the orphanages in Canterlot? Who would even have the resources to do something like this? 

The why was easier: either someone hated orphanages, or was trying to make a statement and get a reaction - possibly a reaction out of her. The latter made the most sense, seeing how she doubted it would be possible to perpetuate an organized crime racket around a hatred of orphanages. Orphans weren’t all that common, and even then the system generally treated them well and provided positive futures. A few bad eggs wouldn’t be able to do this. 

So a pre-existing group, one that wanted to send a message. Most likely? We will hit you where it hurts.

It didn’t matter if the message was intended for Celestia or the government in general, it meant it was time to step in. She had clearly been too relaxed on the minor gangs lately. Time to bring them down

She teleported from random alley to random alley until she found somepony who gave the correct response to her sudden presence - horrendous, guilty fear. He was a burly stallion who looked as though he had been recently beaten up. 

WHERE?” Celestia boomed.

“Again…?” the stallion whimpered. “T-the safehouse is… is…” 

Celestia had no time for this. She took it from his mind - getting a fair bit of conflicted guilt and confusion with it. 

No matter. She knew where she needed to go. With a flash of solar energy, she teleported to the safehouse and blew the doors off. Her hooves singed the ground as she moved. 

She arrived in a room that was completely empty - abandoned save for a small blue potion on the ground. 


The invisible magic runes in the ground activated, latching onto her magic with dark magics Celestia… well, had felt a few weeks ago, when the last major villain had captured her. At this point, the feeling was annoyingly familiar and brought nothing more than an overly dramatic sigh from her lips. 

A few unicorns revealed themselves - all of them with glowing yellow eyes. Bill

“You! The dreamscape wasn’t enough for you?”

“OH, THIS ISN’T MY PLAN, I’M JUST OFFERING SOME EXTRA BODIES!” Bill tossed the blue potion over, activating what Celestia recognized as a long-distance communication spell. “SAY HELLO TO THE MASTERMIND OF CRIME, THE MAN WITH THE BEST NAME, THEEEEEE JOKER!”

“Joker…” Celestia said, glaring at the monster hijacking Rainbow Dash’s body. She could not see his face, only the eternally smiling mask. 

“You know, you’ve done a pretty good job keeping crime out of this city,” the Joker said, stretching his wings as if he were having a casual conversation over lunch. “I had to do some work to get here! But I’m nothing if not… devoted. Fitting for Loyalty, isn’t it? Isn’t it?”

“You won’t get away with this…” Celestia said.

The Joker laughed. “Who cares?”

“You’re mad.”

“Your point?”

Celestia frowned. “You really are like Discord… you could have friendship, you know.”

“Tried that, ended up fighting tooth and nail for years over a city with the guy. So not worth it. Creepy obsession with bats.” The Joker snorted, amused at his words. Then he froze, glaring at her. “Why aren’t you laughing?”

“This isn’t funny.”

“That will change.” The Joker rubbed the tips of his wings together. “Laughing Gas in my world is deadly. It annoyingly isn’t here, but you know what? That just means the laughter lasts longer! In your case… eternity!”

Celestia couldn’t smell it or feel it, but she knew the gas was here. She started to chuckle, despite having forced her breathing to stop prior. The chuckles became laughs, and soon she was rolling on the floor laughing. 

Bills unicorns were too, at first, but at some point in the middle of the laugh he was banished from all of them at once. 

Luna succeeded, Celesita managed to think through her laughs. There is hope.

The Joker chuckled. “I wonder how long before you give up hope? The guffaw of tears is so rewarding. Shame I won’t be here to see it.”

The communication spell ended.


“You help Celestia, I shall deal with the nobles,” Luna said the moment they woke up - which was just after sunset. “No doubt there is panic that needs to be contained.”

“Got it,” Discord said, saluting. “Where’s good ol’ Celly?”

“She’s…” Luna’s pupils dilated. “I… I can’t pinpoint her magic!”

“But didn’t Bill-” Spike began.

“This might not be Bill,” Fluttershy interrupted. “The Joker might be here too. Maybe he had time to figure out how to hide the Princesses from each other?”

“How do we find her?” Spike asked. “We have to…”

“I know!” the Mask said, grinning. “We cheat!” She pulled Discord and Spike away - leaving Luna - appearing in a small alley where a burly, tired stallion was just trying to get away from it all. “We can ask this guy!”

“Oh no…”

“You’ve got a bingo! Three in a row!” the Mask giggled.

“Um, you need five for a bingo,” Fluttershy said.

“Well depending on how you count, there’s three of us, and he’s already been through this two times before, soooo…” She pulled out a slot machine and treated it as if it were a calculator. “BINGO is perfectly acceptable in this situation.”

“Just… I’ll tell you where the hideout is, okay?” He curled into a ball and started rocking back and forth. “Just leave me alone…”

“Oh, my… you poor thing…” Fluttershy walked up to him.

“S-stay back! Not falling for this again! No! You’re probably not Fluttershy! Just…” he sputtered out the location of the hideout and ran off. 

Fluttershy sighed. “I tried.”

“It was a good try,” Spike encouraged. 

“He was a pretty lost cause anyway,” Discord admitted. He snapped his fingers, appearing in front of the hideout. They walked right through the blown-down doors, finding the room empty save for a single blue potion. 

They walked in. Nothing happened. 

The Mask jumped forward, tapping the potion. “Helloooo…? Gonna imprison us or something?”

The potion flashed, forming an image of the Joker, mask and all. “Do not try to trace this or I will cut the connection and you’ll never know what’s happened to Celestia.”

“Clever girl…” the Mask said, adjusting her hat. 

The Joker glared at her. 

“What have you done with Celestia?” Spike demanded. 

The Joker cackled, his image getting replaced with that of Celestia imprisoned in enchanted chains, laughing uncontrollably. The image left as soon as they could identify what it was. “Alive. She might nooooot be if you don’t do what I want!”

“What are your demands?” Spike asked.

“Stop hunting me,” Joker said. 

“Not happening,” Discord snorted. “You have Rainbow Dash.”

“And now I have Celestia! I can take more, and more, and more! How many do I need to take before you cut your losses?” The Joker leaned in, the happy face on his mask unfalteringly creepy. “All I have to do is press a button and your Princess falls.”

“You… you monster!” Fluttershy shrieked.

“It’s time you learned what real crime was! Your world has lived in th-”

“We’ve been to Kludgetown,” Spike deadpanned. “We know what real crime is.”

The Joker’s ears twitched. “I am getting real tired of hearing that…”

“Kludgetown,” the Mask said, holding up a diorama of the city. “Kludgetown, Kludgetown, Kludgetown…”

The Joker chuckled. “I waste my time. Don’t try to find me or Celestia will be no more.” The call ended.

Fluttershy allowed herself to start breathing heavily. “W-what do we do?”

“I got this,” Spike said, taking out a piece of paper and blowing fire on it. “Discord, trace that letter and be prepared for whatever.”

“Nice going, Spike,” Discord said, patting him on the back.

“I’m not completely useless, you know.”

Discord teleported them directly to the location of the letter, which happened to be a chamber of laughing gas with Celestia inside of it. Fluttershy and Spike fell to the gas easily, cackling uncontrollably. Discord banished the gas with a roll of his eyes and a snap of his fingers. 

“T-trap…” Celestia wheezed.

The warehouse they were in exploded. 

The smoke cleared, revealing Discord, Celestia, Spike, and Fluttershy inside a chaotic bubble shield. 

“Did he really think that would get me?” Discord asked. “The gall!”

“It was probably for Celestia…” Spike said, shivering.

Celestia let out a sigh of relief. “I… never thought… I would grow tired of laughing…” 

“At least your face didn’t get stuck like this!” the Mask said, demonstrating what her face looked like a minute ago. 

“...Egh…” Celestia shivered. 

Spike took a look around the smoldering crater. “So. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess the Joker wasn’t here.”

“Probably a good deduction,” Fluttershy admitted. 

“No closer to finding him.” Discord threw his arms in the air, sending several crying oranges flying. “What now?

“Simple, we use the communication spell to track him,” Spike said. 

Fluttershy cocked her head. “He already cut that.”

“Oh, not through the spell itself. See, it was in a potion, right? Had to be made. He hasn’t had time to make it and he’s been here less than a day. Those spells are hard to make, there’s probably a record of purchase we can follow.”

Fluttershy and Discord stared at him in disbelief. 

“What? Twilight orders a lot of spells. I learn a lot about them. Just have to trace the paper trail.”

“And I can help with that,” Celestia said, standing up to her full height. “There’s more than just a network of small-time criminals in Canterlot. There are… informants.”

“Informants?” Fluttershy asked. “...Were you going to tell us about them before giving Twilight the crown?”

Celestia frowned. “You are never going to let me live that down, are you?”



The nobles turned out to be useful for something. 

Fancy Pants dropped a pile of paper in front of Discord, Fluttershy, and Spike. “A trail of receipts, suspicious transactions of bits, and a rather large amount of conspicuous evil laughter… It was harder to track ‘him’ than expected, but we believe we have his location.”

The Mask pulled out a watch. “That only took an hour!”

“When the city is on fire, we work fast.”

“...Celestia still hasn’t put out all the fires?” Fluttershy asked, worried.

“Most of them are out… but some have grown. It is not a simple task to remove them.” Fancy Pants pointed at the address at the top of the stack. “We believe ‘he’ is hiding here. Be careful.”

“We won’t,” Spike grumbled. 

The Mask pulled out a rocket launcher and shot the ground with it, proving Spike’s point. Somehow, when the smoke cleared, they were standing outside a warehouse covered in spray-painted laughing faces. 

Discord snapped his fingers, ripping the doors off their hinges. The Joker was inside - a knife to the throat of a random mare he had pulled off the street. “You couldn’t have done this…”

“The Canterlot nobles are good for something.” Fluttershy shrugged. “Who knew?”

“No…” The Joker twitched. “They were oafs! They…”

“Apparently they were able to trace ‘conspicuous evil laughter’,” the Mask said. “I wish I could do that, it’d make so many things much easier…”

“Let’s just get this over with,” Discord said. 

“NO!” the Joker shouted, poking the knife to the mare’s neck. “Do anything and she dies! You won’t be able to life with the blood on your claws! Y-”

Discord teleported her out of the Joker’s grip. 

The Joker looked around, mind racing. “This is nothing like Batman… He’d at least respect the rules!”

“...Rules?” Spike cocked his head. 

“The rules of engagement! Hero, villain! This isn’t how it’s supposed to go!” The Joker screeched. “The plan needs to almost work, not… fall to pieces!” 

Almost work?” 

An ethereal purple smoke rose from behind the Joker - a communication spell that showed the face of Twilight Sparkle. 

Or, rather, Tzeentch. 

“I had such high hopes in you, Joker…” Tzeentch sighed. “But you are obsessed with your pattern. For one so chaotic, you are surprisingly stuck in your ways.”

The Joker twitched. “This is how it needs to b-”

Discord drove him out of Rainbow Dash mid-sentence. “How ‘bout no. You don’t get your climactic battle of nemeses.”

“...Using nemesis in the plural…” Spike facepalmed. 

“They are falling remarkably quickly…” Tzeentch muttered, fixing them with a hard gaze. “There is no good help these days, is there?”

“Evil poni- people always fail,” Fluttershy said. “No matter how much help they have.”

“I was just having a conversation with a nice goat who thinks otherwise… but that is neither here nor there. Guess what also isn’t here? Me. The big Z.”

“We will find you just like we found the Joker!” Spike declared. “You’re going down like the big snore you are!”

“Heard that one before.”

“Discord, find him.”

“You could do that. Or you could go deal with Chara, who’s about to unleash an unspeakable evil upon Equestria. The latter might be slightly more… pressing.”

“This is a trick,” Fluttershy said. 

“Yes, it is, but it’s also completely true! She’s about to figure out how to kill ponies. It’s basically all she lives for - murder, destruction. I would call it boring if she wasn’t so absolute about it. She only stops when there is nothing left… and then she moves on to the next world.”

Discord gawked. “Little Chara?

“Little, tiny, insignificant Chara… the destroyer.” Tzeentch laughed, cutting her connection to them in an instant.

Spike gulped. “C-chara it is.”

“How are we going to find her?” Fluttershy asked.

The Mask chuckled nervously. “We… we’re not going to have to wait very long to figure that one out.”


Chara marched along, a knapsack filled with the most disgusting, dark, evil things she could find within the outer expanses of Pinkie’s mane. 

And yet, she couldn’t use any of the artifacts directly. Any murdering from her would be distinctly pointless. While grabbing monsters had always failed to result in any fatalities… it was her theory that otherworldly essences would not bow to that rule. 

Still, it couldn’t be her. It needed to be… something worthy. 

She looked up, finding herself in front of the doors to Tartarus. She laid a hand on the doors. Behind them lay the worst monsters this world had to offer. Exactly what she needed. 

With a demented giggle, she wedged a knife into the crack between the doors. Since they were not a living thing she could damage them as much as she wanted. She forced her immense Determination into the knife and demanded the door open. 

There was a sharp crack, but the seals on the door parted just enough to allow her to slip through. 

On the other side was Cerberus. She did not have the time or the patience to deal with him, so she produced a giant flyswatter and slapped him across all three faces at once. While he was stunned, she jumped onto his back and produced three bright pink collars, slapping them on his necks. She jumped away before he could even try to eat her, chaining him to one of the larger cages. 

“You’ll be the first…” Chara chuckled. 

Grinning, she waltzed to the middle of all the dark, ominous cages. Monsters of all kinds turned to her with innumerable evil eyes. 

Hungry eyes. 

Good. Let them be hungry. 

She pulled a cauldron out of her mane and lit a fire under it. She untied the knapsack, dumping the various dark artifacts into the bowl. Screams emanated from the objects as they fell, some full of joy, others full of terror - it didn’t matter. They were uncontrolled, which was what Chara needed. 

Flicking her ears, she took out a box of cake mix larger than herself and dumped it into the cauldron. She whisked, stirred, giggled, and added mountains of sugar into the brew over the course of the next few minutes, creating a truly noxious concoction. 

Last, she dropped an egg timer into the brew set a few seconds. It dinged.

With a poof the cauldron was gone, replaced with a brilliant blood-red cake that glowed a soft black

Chara grinned. “Hungry?”

The monsters of Tartarus salivated. 

She opened the cage of a red beast with many eyes. “Then feast.