Twisted Metal: Equestria

by Lab Matt

14. Dungeons & Draconequus

Cars were parked in front of a lake with a huge temple on an island located in the middle of it. The old temple was very similar to the one from "Daring Do And The Quest For The Sapphire Stone" - a fact pointed out by Rainbow Dash, who was wearing her new Wonderbolt outfit, which Twilight felt the need to point out that said temple was based on the Mayan architecture. The entrance was a simple drawbridge, used to reach the stone bridge that crossed the lake, connecting it to the land.
"I have a bad feeling about this..." Twilight said.
"And why is that, Twilight Sparkle?" Discord, who was sitting on the passenger's seat with his arms crossed behind his head, asked. "Do you think I will sink the arena once you're all in?"
"I wouldn't be surprised if you did. And get out of my car!"
"You hurt my feelings, Twilight! Why would I ever do that?"
"To stop us, of course! You know we're planning on turning you back into stone."
"Yes, I am completely aware of that, but think about it: if all the contestants suddenly disappear, don't you think everypony else will be too afraid to participate? A game with no one playing is no fun at all!"
"But still, I don't trust you. I never will! You are planning something, I just know it!"
"We'll see about that!" with a snap of his fingers, he was gone.
"Attention, everypony!" his disembodied voice called. "The seventh Twisted Metal is starting now. Form a line in front of the bridge, the arena will open soon."
Twilight was the first in line. Once all the cars were on the bridge, the drawbridge slowly started to be lowered.
"Remember what I said, everypony. Twisted Metal is starting now!"
The mare behind Twilight smirked and accelerated her car, slamming it against Twilight's.
"Hey, what are you doing?!" the Alicorn shouted.
"Twisted Metal is starting now!" she repeated Discord's words.
Twilight engaged reverse, doing her best to not be pushed out of the bridge, but the other car was stronger than hers. It didn't take long for her front wheels to be out of the bridge. Applejack and Braeburn's car was right behind the mare's, but they couldn't do anything, or it would only make the situation worse for their friend.
"I will not be thrown out of the competition by one of Discord's tricks." she said. "Not again!"
"It's too late!" the mare said before giving one last bump on her car, throwing her out of the bridge and out of the competition.
"If she's outta the competition, then so are ya!" Applejack said.
"Oh, yeah?" the mare said while slowly turning her head. "And what are you going to d--" her eyes widened when saw how big the car behind her was. It took a single bump to throw the mare out of the bridge.
"Anypony wanna throw us out? We're takin' all challenges! What about ya? Ya look like a tough pony!" Braeburn asked while pointing at the driver behind them, who shook his head as fast as he could. "Good! Save it for the real competition."
"You guys are no fun!" Discord said before the bridge started lowering itself faster. All the drivers then entered the temple, which was pitch black.
"Hey, Discord, did you know that temples usually have torches inside? You know, to light the path of the brave adventurers who dare to explore it?"
"You have headlamps in your cars. Use them!"
She turned on the headlights of her car, soon followed by all the other drivers. "Oh. Yes, we have those!" she chuckled awkwardly.
"Enough talking! You all have a game to play!"
Once Discord said those words, the drivers separated themselves in two groups: the group that drove away from the entrance in order to hide and ambush others, and the ones who stood there, turning the dark entrance hall into a makeshift arena. Rainbow Dash and the Wonderbolts were part of the first group; Applejack tried to follow them, but her Monster Truck was surrounded by six other cars.
"You look dangerous." one of the six drivers said. "So we're taking you two down while we still outnumber you!"
"Oh, fiddlesticks..." Braeburn said.
"Well, whaddya wanna do, cousin?" Applejack asked.
"What else there is to do, cuz? Let's twist some metal!"
The drivers pointed their rocket launchers at the Apples. Applejack drove the car toward the two closest foes.

* * *

"So, what's the plan, Captain?" Rainbow Dash asked while driving side by side with Spitfire and Soarin's car, which was light blue with yellow doors and roof; the car was named "Outlaw". The new member chuckled. "Captain! I always wanted to call you that."
"Well, the plan is quite simple." Spitfire said. She then slowed her car and stopped in in front of a bifurcation. Rainbow Dash stopped her car as well. "Divide and conquer! Soarin' and I will go right. You and Fleetfoot go left. Neutralize as many contestants as possible in a non-lethal way."
"Yes, ma'am!" she said with a salute.
"Gotcha!" Fleetfoot said.
"We're counting on you gals!" Soarin' said as Spitfire turned the car, where they soon disappeared in the darkness.
"Time to smash the competition! Are you ready?" the senior asked.
"Are you kidding?" the junior said. "I'm Rainbow Dash. I was ready before I was even born!"
"That's what I like to hear. Now we--" she was interrupted by the sound of a crash and a scream coming from the direction Outlaw went.
"Was that Spitfire?" Rainbow Dash asked.
"Nope! Soarin'. His scream is girly like that."
"Should we...?"
"Captain's orders were to go the other way."
"Captain's orders."
Rainbow Dash sighed, then accelerated and turned right.
"What are you doing, Rainbow Dash?"
"They might be in serious danger, Fleetfoot!"
"I never leave my friends hanging! And if members of my team are in danger, then screw the rules, I have to save them!"
Fleetfoot sighed, but chuckled. "They will either commend you for that and give you a promotion or kick you out of the team after your first mission."
"I'm willing to take the risk!"
The hallway led to a big and empty room, which only way out was the hallway they came from.
"Captain?" Rainbow Dash called. "Soarin'? Are you here?"
"It's... It's empty!" Fleetfoot said while looking around. "No car, no Wonderbolts, nothing!"
"Maybe they fell through a trap door?"
"Impossible, look at the floor!"
"Uh... What am I supposed to see? Rocks?"
"And... Why?"
"There are rocks all over the floor, big and small. If there were trap doors around here, a part of the floor should be clean of them!"
"Ohhh, I get it."
"Which means that the only way they could have gone is..."
An orange feather slowly hovered down and gently landed on Rainboom's hood. Rainbow Dash and Fleetfoot looked at each other before slowly looking up. It was dark, but fortunately Fleetfoot had placed some essential items in the glove compartment, one of them being a flashlight, which she turned on and pointed up. Outlaw was pinned to the ceiling by two big stalactites, with Soarin' and Spitfire hanging from the windows, unconcious.
"Captain! Soarin'!" Rainbow Dash called.
"Do you think they're...?"
"Well, they don't look dead."
While they were distracted talking to each other, something quickly passed in front of the car, drawing their attention.
"Did... Did you see that?" the senior asked.
"I... I... I think so?"
They heard the sound of screeching and started looking around frantically.
"I don't think we're alone here..." Rainbow Dash whispered.
"No joke, Sherclop!" she said, opening the window and aiming the machine gun on the side of the car at the darkness. "Hey! Show yourself."
They heard the screeching again, but this time coming from above the car. They stuck their heads out of their windows and looked at the ceiling of the car, where they spotted a pair of golden glowing eyes.
"What the buck is that?!" Rainbow Dash nearly shouted.
Fleetfoot grabbed the flashlight and pointed it at the eyes, revealing a dark grey mare with dark blue mane, glowing golden eyes, fluffy ears and fangs.
"Who..." Rainbow Dash started.
"I think you mean 'what'!" Fleetfoot interrupted. Rainbow Dash nodded.
The mare flared her wings, revealing that they were the same wings of a bat. She hissed at the Wonderbolts, who quickly retreated back into the car and closed the windows. The pony jumped and landed on the hood, staring at the mares with a blank expression.
"What the hay is that thing?" Fleetfoot asked.
"I... I think it's a dracula!"
"Don't you mean vampony?"
"Vampony, dracula, all the same. They bite, it hurts, you die!"
Soon three other ponies joined the first; two were other dark ponies - another mare and a stallion - but the third was just a regular pony. This one was yellow with pink mane and tail and cyan eyes.
"Fluttershy!" Rainbow Dash said. "I was wondering when you would show up. Never expected you to come with minions, though."
"Minions? Oh, no no no no no! The batponies are no minions. They're my friends." Fluttershy explained while scratching behind the ears of the second mare, who seemed to be enjoying it. "This temple is their home. But Discord wanted them gone so he could turn it into a Twisted Metal arena. He was planning on wiping them out, but I offered myself to keep them at bay until the tournament is over."
"Does that mean you're not playing Twisted Metal this time?"
She chuckled. "I'm not finished! After I managed to round them up and explain the situation, they were grateful that I did my best to spare their lives. So grateful that they agreed to team up with me and help me win this month's Twisted Metal!"
Another pair of glowing golden eyes appeared behind her. And another, another, another... Soon there were dozens of pairs of golden and a few red eyes staring at Rainboom.
"Every single one of them."
Rainbow Dash and Fleetfoot stared at the wall of glowing eyes.
"It looks like we're doomed." Fleetfoot said.
"No joke, Sherclop!"

* * *

Braeburn aimed the machine gun at one of the two last remaining cars, but the driver was really good at dodging bullets.
"Dagnabit!" he said before retreating back into Hokuto. "Sorry, cuz! They're just too fast."
"No need to apologize, cousin. Ah know!"
"So, do ya have a plan?"
"Ah'm thinkin'!"
"Do ya think we should...?"
"Ah don't know, cousin! Remember what happened when we were testin' 'em?"
"Yup! That part of the orchard was where we grew braeburn apples, so Ah'm kind of paranoic about it, too, but it seems that we have no other choice."
"Besides, they could get really hurt if they aren't prepared!"
"Don't worry 'bout them. As long as they're inside their cars, they'll be just fine."
"If ya say so..."
Applejack turned the Monster Truck around, pressed a few buttons and drove away as fast as she could, leaving behind small metal balls that fell from the massive center caps.
"Hah! Look at those cowards." one of the drivers said. "Fleeing like roaches from the light."
"Hey, what's those round things they dropped?" the second asked.
"Probably were so scared that lost their marbles!" he chuckled at his own unfunny joke.
"But... They're flashing red. And... Beeping?"

Rainbow Dash was driving as fast as she could while being chased by an army of batponies.
"Faster, faster, faster, FASTER!" Fleetfoot shouted.
"I can't drive faster than that! And I still can't believe you convinced me to leave the others behind."
"They'll be ok! After all, all those things are too busy chasing us to harm Captain or Soarin'!"
"Yeah, you got a point."
"We'll have two in our necks if you don't drive faster!"
"I can't drive--"
Suddenly they heard a sound that was a mix of a roar with an explosion coming from the depths of the temple. Mere seconds after that, they were hit by a shock wave, making the car slow down considerably and throwing all the batponies back.
"Uhh, what the heck was that?" Fleetfot asked.
"Hay if I know. Wanna check?"
"Last time we decided to check a strange noise, we were attack by an army of creatures from the depths of Tartarus. You should have learned the lesson by now!" she looked at Rainbow Dash, who had the bigest smile on her face. Fleetfoot sighed. "But you're the driver, so no matter what I say, we'll always go the way you want to go."
"Damn right!" Rainbow Dash drove until she reached a tunnel not too far away from the entrance of the dungeon, where she found two cars upside down, their drivers still inside. One was unconscious, the other was about to faint as well.
"That... Was intense..." the stallion said before losing consciousness.
"What did we missed?"
"Whoowee!" Applejack shouted while driving back. "Hey, RD an RD's friend! Good to see yer still standin'!"
"What happened here?" the colorful pegasus asked.
"One secret weapon that comes with the car. Ah like to call this beauty 'The Wind Blast'!"
"Ah thought we agreed we were goin' to call it 'Hurricane-In-A-Box'!" Braeburn said. "Anyway, it's only the first of the several tricks these colorful buttons can do."
"Cool!" Fleetfoot said while looking at the panel. "Does Rainboom have secret weapons too?"
"Probably, but Princess Celestia explained that most of the weapons the cars have were made to annihilate our opponents, so we try not to use them. Which reminds me, why did you use it, Applejack?"
"We were runnin' outta options!"
"With this huge things?" Fleetfoot asked. "You could just smash them with those massive wheels of yours!"
"Trust me, we tried." Braeburn explained. "But they were too quick. Unfortunately for them, wind is quicker!"
They heard screeching coming from both tunnels, together with the sound of a motorcycle, both noises getting closer.
"Great, we're surrounded." Rainbow Dash said. "Now that just bites!"
"Oh, they'll bite, alright." Fleetfoot said. "Remember the fangs?"
"What in Sam Hill are y'all talkin' 'bout?" the farmer mare asked.
"Would you believe me if I told you this place is crowded with draculas?" the junior Wonderbolt asked.
"They're not draculas, they're batponies!" the senior Wonderbolt explained.
"So what? Dracula probably was a batpony too!"
"Just because Dracula was a batpony, it doesn't mean every batpony is Dracula."
"Ah'm lost here!" Braeburn said. "Are yer friends always full of nonsense like that?"
"Ya have no idea!"
While the Wonderbolts were still arguing about Dracula's race, the batponies that attacked them before caught up with them. The Apples looked at them, dumbfounded.
"What in tarnation?" Applejack said.
From one of the tunnels came Fluttershy, who was driving a black motorcycle this time.
"I was wondering where you two ran off two. But you are so loud that it was impossible not find you."
"Yep, this time we're done for!" Fleetfoot said. "Any last words, pal?"
"Wait, let me think of an epic catchphrase!" Rainbow Dash said before pressing her right forehoof against her forehead while thinking.
"Time is up. Go for it, my babies!"
Fluttershy turned her motorcycle around and drove away as the dozens of batponies pounced on both cars. She slowly drove back to the entrance, which was open now.
"Congratulations, my little Fluttershy!" Discord, who was sitting on a beach chair while drinking coconut water, said. "I knew you had it in you! Even though I asked you to get rid of those varmints, you found a nice use for them. Good job."
"So, about my wish..."
"Yes, yes, wish!" he got up and snapped his fingers, making the coconut and the chairs sprout legs and run away. "Well, I think we both know that your wish is... Nothing, right?"
"Actually, I--"
"Oh, don't be silly, Flutters!" he placed a finger on her forehead, making her whole body slowly turn grayer. "You have no wish of your own. All you want is to serve me until the day you day, am I right?"
Color started to fade from Fluttershy's vision, turning the hole world monochromatic for her. All the colors were slowly vanished, except for three specific ones:
And green.
Something cracked inside Fluttershy's brain. She slapped Discord's hand away and flapped her wings until she was flying face to face with him, the grey on her coat and mane quickly fading.
"So that's how you're playing, huh? Brainwashing me so I can do your dirty work? Gosh, I was stupid! And to think Rainbow Dash tried to snap me out of it, but I completely ignored her! You really did something to my brain, I can see it now. Oh my, all those awful things I said. Those awful things I did!" she lied down on the wooden bridge, closed her eyes and took a deep breath, looking very saddened.
Discord groaned. "I hate when they turn self-aware. But what surprises me was that you managed to escape from my mental grasp on your own. How did you do that, anyway?"
Fluttershy slowly got back up on her four hooves. "You couldn't possibly understand the power of love, Discord. Now hear me, I have a wish, and you're going to grant it!"
"Whatever, go for it!"
"Bring back to life everypony who died in your dreadful contest!"
Discord stared at her for a few moments before bursting into laughter.
"What's so funny?"
"Do you really think I have enough power to do that?"
"And why wouldn't you? You're the spirit of chaos, aren't you? Surely you have power to do a lot of stuff!"
"Yes, but do you have any idea how old my tournament is? Thousands of years! I wouldn't be surprised if over a million living creatures died while playing it. Pull one damned soul back from Tartarus is already a hard task, and your friends ask me to do it almost every month. If I revive more than one thing per month, I'll be too exausted to make another Twisted Metal the next month. It's one soul back or no deal!"
"But I thought the prize is anything I may want, even if it's not possible. You are clearly violating the rule you yourself created!"
Discord materialized in front of her the flyer of the competition and a comically large magnifying glass. "Did you read the small letters?"
Upon a really closer inspection, Fluttershy was able to see that what she assumed was an underline under the phrase "The prize is anything you may want, even if it is impossible." was actually another phrase, composed of extremely small letters.

The statement above can be easily revoked if the wish is not within the wish-granting capabilities of Discord The Draconequus, our handsome host.

"You cheater!" she said.
"Oh, right. Like I'm the first to put small letters in a contract! Now let's get this over with!" he snapped his fingers once again, making a white glove appear on his right hand and a golf club on his left. "I have a very important game today and it would be an embarrassment to be late." he turned around and looked at the coconut and beach chair, who now had golf clubs as well and looked as impatient as furniture and a drupe could look. "Yes, yes, just give me a minute!"
Fluttershy stared at her hooves, pondering if it was indeed a good idea. Finally, she sighed.
"Bring back... Big Macintosh!"
Discord chuckled. "Oh, young love! Alright, fine. Your wish is granted, yadda yadda yadda, I am Discord, thank you, Twisted Metal, bye."
He snapped his fingers, making him, the chair and the coconut disappear. On their place now stood a big, red gift box with an orange bow on top of it. The words "For Fluttershy" were written on top of it. She flew and removed the lid of the box, which she dropped to the floor when she gasped.