A New Hour
“Why hello there!”
What...what happened...I jumped...why...
I remembered a flash of white - and it was all around me now - but there hadn’t been any pain. Surely I should’ve felt something? I jam my eyes shut to reduce the glare and reach up to touch my neck-
“Oh for...just get up. You’re fine.”
I recognize that voice; there’s no way I couldn’t. I’d only seen him the once whilst in Equestria, and that had been from a relatively safe distance of over fifty metres away. I don’t dare look up. The white space all around is bright enough as it is.
I said get up!”
A huge jolt almost knocks me clean out, and suddenly I find myself forcibly seated in a floating deck chair. With my eyes also forced open, there’s no mistaking the familiar form of Discord, seated in the same throne I remember seeing from his brief moment of victory over Twilight on the show. Despite feeling like I should be dead, I still recognize the cavalier attitude and dangerous intelligence easily from his posture alone. Of course, he’s grinning like there’s no tomorrow.
“Jason Wright….what a positively awful name. Perhaps you could sue whoever bestowed that upon you?”
I resisted speaking. This was all far too much for me to process. Five minutes ago I had been committed to choosing death over everything else. The one thing I could’ve done that would’ve given me the slightest bit of satisfaction in Equestria, and this chaotic sack of shit has apparently taken that away from me.
His continuous sneer is too much. Finally the words come to me.
“Piss off Discord!”
The yell is weaker than I’d like but I simply don’t have the strength. I would flip the bird too but his magic is keeping my limbs forced down.
“Tich. Such filth. Where is my thanks for saving that scrawny little neck of yours, hmm?”
If anything he looks to be still revelling in this! But I know his character, I did even before coming here. Underneath the god-like abilities and pandemonic behavior lies a simple attention-seeker, and without the spotlight he craves, he’s not invincible. Whatever his game is here, I might be able to stop it. I would crane my neck to look around, but that’s stuck in place too. And good God...why is everything so white? This should be the last sort of place Discord would be hanging around; there’s nothing here!
“Where are we? This can’t be your home,” I ask, hoping to buy some time.
“I don’t think we’re being very appreciative of our surroundings are we?” he says with a loud cackle. Then his fingers click and I feel the deckchair tipping forward. As the angle lowers, I see what looks like a horizon line underneath our position, where the whiteness just stops. The movement makes me feel nauseated, and I have to close my eyes. Then the tipping stops and I feel my eyelids pulled upwards once more.
Oh my God…
What I see is beyond words, beyond description, beyond any resemblance of understanding. The closest I get is thinking that it makes his efforts in Equestria look absolutely miniscule in comparison. Colours that should not be, shapes that have never been. Creatures that wouldn’t belong even in an Outer God’s imagination. I can’t look...it’s too much...but I can’t stop….and all I hear is laughing…
Stop it...stop it….stop it!
The chair jolts back up; obscuring the view. All is whiteness once again, and though my breathing has become heavy and disjointed, I don’t remember anything.
Did I even see….what….what just happened?
“How is this for a thought? If I let you out of there and you promise not to scream, then I’ll spare you the view.”
He’s behind me now, rapping one clawed hand on my shoulder while the other furry appendage ruffles my hair. It feels longer than it should, and it’s clearly knotted in some places otherwise this wouldn’t be hurting my head. And yet...to have another being touch me again after so long...it feels good...
“Yes…” I manage to grimace.
Immediately I’m on my feet, and equally quickly I make sure to keep my neck craned upwards. Discord himself has vanished. I don’t care what he said, if whatever’s down there is still visible...
“Tu tu tu...I’m no expert on whatever species you’re supposed to be, but you look ridiculous! Have you even seen yourself?” the disembodied voice echoes around.
A mirror pops up from nowhere, right in front of me. If what I saw before was shocking, this isn’t much better. I’ve seen homeless drug addicts in better shape then the man I see staring back. The long and straggly hair I’d guessed at, but the hollow and dark eyes, dishevelled physique and hopeless aura are all new. Equally disgusting are the clothes. I knew I’d had nothing new to wear for three years but still. There were more holes than fabric in some places, sickly looking skin revealed in at least a dozen places all over my body. This cannot be the man I’ve become.
Can it…? Jason Wright...what happened...oh. Yeah…
“The Big Amazing Idea” happened. Equestria happened. They happened. Ponies I thought I knew and cared about genuinely. Their actions led to this. If only one had been accepting, been decent enough to care, that would’ve been enough. Hope to hold on for.
But no. They had all been the same.
Discord strolls into frame inside the mirror despite not being next to me in...whatever ‘real life’ this is. Either he’s grown at some point, or he’s taller than I imagined him to be, as he towers over my body by at least a foot. He leans against my reflection and looks directly at me, though I feel nothing on my shoulder. For whatever mad reason, he sniffs above my head and pulls back in disgust.
“Urgh. You reek worse than a hydra my boy. I cannot stand to look at you any longer. Let’s just adjust something here and…”
He reaches out and pushes the top of the mirror from his side - tilting the mirror downwards. The entire frame flips 180 degrees, and when it stops, so does my heart nearly.
Discord is still there in the reflection but I feel him against my side now. It’s not enough to distract me from what I see though. A man maybe half the age of the previous now looks back. Clean shaven, short yet wavy hair, brand new digs. This is Jason Wright, as I was perhaps just before I left Earth. Finally I summon the courage to look down...and there they are. Clean hands, fresh clothes, it’s all there. Hurriedly I pat myself everywhere and run one hand through my hair, touching my face on the way.
It’s me! It’s all me! Ha ha! I’m back!
For the first time in maybe over two years, I’m genuinely happy. Without realising it, I’m grinning as madly as Discord.
Two citrine eyes and a furry head glide into my vision and wait expectantly. It’s all I can do to not jump into the air ecstatically, but I haven’t forgotten everything just yet.
Remember who he is…
“Yeah...I like….thank you. But...why? You saved me and now, this?”
His head snaps back and he glides around me a few times, as if admiring his handiwork.
“Oh, I have been watching you for a long time Sir Jason,” he says, not quite managing to eliminate a level of creepiness in his tone. “Our interests have aligned for sometime now, and I was close to approaching you anyway. Your rash actions merely hastened the process.”
Applejack’s rope materializes between us. Whereas before I looked upon it with a sense of purpose, now I feel frankly empty seeing it again. Unconsciously, my left hand has reached up towards my neck again, and I quickly move it back down to my side. It appears that death isn’t quite ready for me just yet.
“I have an alternative motion for you,” Discord says, while lighting the end of his finger with another click. He flicks the flame and almost immediately the rope burns into a pile of ash. “You seek answers, yes?”
“Well, yeah!” I proclaim. “All those years and no-one explains anything to me!? Why no-one ever gave me a single chance! I don’t get it!” I finish by almost yelling.
“Woe is me, for I cannot help you there,” he says hand over where I imagine his heart would be, before breaking out into probably the widest grin I’ve seen him bear. “But I can give you the means to find out.”
“My...hm hm hm...talents have gone to such a waste lately. For a little something in return, I will take you back and let you borrow all of my considerable skills to do with as you please. I imagine a few certain ponies would be more inclined to listen to you then, wouldn’t you say?”
I force myself to ignore the events of the last twenty minutes and zone in on the implications. Discord’s powers...all the power...and I could use it to explain everything. Who wouldn’t do tha-
“Something in return? What’s that?” I ask nervously. Of course...of course it’s not going to be as easy as that.
I swear his grin becomes so large that it dwarfs his entire face.
“If what the Princesses say is true, you - my newly best friend - arrived here from somewhere quite different. Share with me exactly how you managed that, and all I possess will be yours.”
I try to remember briefly what else Discord was capable of in the show. Teleporting was definitely already part of his repertoire right? Guess he’ll be surprised knowing he could’ve likely done it anyway.
Without wanting to look hesitant, I nod my head. And then his grin really does erupt from his face. The very next second, he’s caught me in a bone-crunching hug. Before I can quite react, he whispers in my ear.
“Oh this is stupendous! Thrilling! You and I are going to have so much fun…”