I woke up the next morning quite blissfully, despite not exactly remembering why my bed was so much more comfortable than the previous night. I opened my eyes, a smile on face and then it quickly disappeared at the sight of a mint green unicorn snuggled into my chest. My eyes widened and my pupils shrank. Then I remembered that I actually allowed her to sleep with me. I noticed that she actually was smiling in her sleep, snuggling herself deeper into my chest. ...Yeah, that’s kind of adorable.
Unfortunately, I had to get up. Nature’s call and all. I lightly shook her, whispering her name. “Lyra, Lyra? Time to get up.”
“Hmm?” she mumbled as she slowly came to. “G’morning Benny,” she said with a happy smile before wrapping me in a hug. “I haven’t slept that blissfully in years. You’re comfy and warm.”
I blushed a little, but I needed to remember that this mare was crazy and stalking me. Don’t be too nice to your stalkers, kids. It doesn’t end well for you. I pushed her away gently. “I’m going to go clean up, you do… whatever it is you do.”
“I’ll go make breakfast!” she said gleefully, even if she was still a little droopy from waking up. “You like pancakes?”
I wanted to say no. I really did, but, “Love ‘em to death.” Damn it!
“Goody!” She clapped her hooves and jumped off the bed. “I’ll get to work on them and then I know you’ll love me! The fastest way to a stallion’s heart is his stomach after all!” She trotted away, a little skip in her step.
I sighed and put my head in my hands. “What have I done to deserve this?”
After a good cleansing and release, I was ready for the day. I threw on my jacket as I walked through the castle halls, checking the bedrooms nearby. Spike must have come back later that night as he was asleep in his room next to mine. Twilight and Nyx were still passed out in their own rooms as well. I inwardly sighed as this gave me more time to think on how I was going to explain the whole multiverse thing. I barely understood it myself so it was going to take a while.
I peaked in on Lyra, who subsequently shoved me right out of the kitchen. “No! Not until it’s ready!” she shouted at me. I found myself confused and hungry so I decided to go for a little stroll through the castle before finding myself in a large room with seven thrones.
“This must be Twilight’s council room. I recognize the marks as those of our friends, so they must be the council. I’m gonna guess the small one by Twilight’s is Spike’s. That’s good, he gets to be involved in politics, the poor sap.” I actually liked this room, had a simplistic feel to it. I decided to lay back in Twilight’s throne, as it was actually quite comfy despite being made of crystal. I kicked my feet up and just relax, closing my eyes and enjoying the peace. Just out of nostalgia, I even began to sing a little bit. Ironically, what pops into my head is the theme song to the original Ben 10 tv show.
I smiled as I hum out the old tune, relishing in the nostalgic moment. Which was ruined a minute later when a tear in time and space appeared, shocking me right out of the chair and face first on to the floor. ...Huh, tastes like wood in here, too.
“Ow… the hell was that?” a deep voice uttered. I got up and saw a large armored human in the throne room. I facepalmed, catching his attention.
“Oh come on! Can’t I get at least one day of peace after my imprisonment? Just one? This is getting ridiculous.”
“Gah! Keep the shouting to a minimum, please! My head feels like a party full of jackhammers are dancing to the bunny hop inside of it!”
“And he’s got a hangover. Great, just great. First a living shadow, then a ass with an attitude, and now a drunkard. Things were so much easier way back when.” I sighed and then fell back in the chair. “So, whassup knight dude? Whatcha doing in castle de Twilight?”
“Ok, first of all, I don’t have a hangover. I think I just got shoved into your multiverse while I was travelling the Rift. By what, I don’t know. Second, I prefer ‘samurai’ over ‘knight’, thank you. And third, ‘Castle de Twilight’? Since when does Twilight own a castle? I mean, I’m sure she could’ve taken over the old Castle of the Pony Sisters, but this looks more like the Fortress of Sol- wait a minute.” He cut himself off as he finally took his hands off his eyes and got a clear look at me. “Oh hey, you’re Ben 10!”
I smiled. “My reputation precedes me. Yep, that’s me. To answer your question, though, I got no clue. I’ve only been here two days and all I know is that she used to have some library, it got blown up by a demon, and now she has a shiny crystal castle that for some reason tastes like wood. I don’t get it, but hey this is where the strange things happen, am I right?”
“A demon blew up Golden Oaks? Oh man, I bet she was piiiiiiised. And actually, I was referring not to the fact that you were ‘Ben 10 the character’, but ‘Ben 10, the same Displaced that Jason told me about.”
“Oh, so you know the ass. We treat his wound, give him food, even unlocked voice commands for him and how does he repay us? By dissing us every chance he got. He nearly got all of us smited when he nearly insulted the gods. You don’t do that when there’s a child in the house!”
“Ok, one, that’s my student you’re talking about. I care about him very much, so please don’t insult him. And two, he did mention that the Greek Gods were apparently actually living here. Can they actually listen to anything and everything we say?”
“If they want to. I’m always on constant watch, so they’re always listening in.” Bunch of paranoid jackasses.
“Then it’s probably best if we don’t talk about them at all. I’m not exactly afraid of them, but I don’t really want more enemies than I already have, and if they’ve done all the same things that the Greek Gods of legend back on Earth did, or even anything similar… well, let’s just say I’ll be sticking to the advice of ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.’”
“Well, at least you seem normal compared to the last two Displaced I met. As long as you don’t insult Zeus, you’ll be fine. He’s the one always listening and watching me. Anyway, you know who I am, but I don’t believe I know you. Care to make an introduction?”
“‘Normal?’ Please, normal is a myth made up by those in power who want to keep the status quo. As for who I am,” he took a deep breath before unclipping his spear from his back before spinning it. Music began to play from seemingly nowhere. “I AM THE WARRIOR WHO TRAVELS THE MULTIVERSE SEEKING ADVENTURE, CHALLENGE, AND WORTHY OPPONENTS! I AM HE WHOSE ARMOR HAS BEEN TEMPERED BY EONS OF BLOOD SWEAT AND DUST! GAZE UPON MY GLORIOUS STRENGTH WHICH INSPIRES THE RIGHTEOUS AND TERRIFIES THE IMMORAL! I AM THE ONE, THE ONLY, THE MIGHTY GILGAMESH!”
As he finished with a dramatic pose I saw a tumbleweed blow by behind him. A tumbleweed. Inside.
“Also master of tumbleweeds and awkwardness.”
“Ya don’t say?”
“HEY!!” Both of us turn around to see a very disheveled and very angry Twilight standing in the doorway. “I don’t care why there is another human in my house again, but if you two don’t keep it down, humanity will be extinct on this planet by day’s end. Do I make myself clear?”
We both nod, maybe a little bit too hurriedly, the music also cutting out. Twilight huffed and then shuffled back into the hallways. “Lyra’s making breakfast!” I called after to which she waved a dismissive hoof to. I then look back to our visitor. “Well, could’ve been worse, at least we didn’t wake her kids.”
“Yeah, Spike is a really heavy- wait, ‘kids’? As in plural?”
“Uh, yeah. Twilight has a filly named Nyx. I mean she’s like ten years old, why does it seem like no other Displaced knows who the heck she is?”
“Oh… ooooh. That Nyx. Huh. I suppose it’s appropriate that she would exist in a universe where the Greek Gods are, what with her having the same name as the Goddess of Night.”
I shake my head. “Whatever,” I sighed. “Now before we get any further, I’d like to-”
“Oh Benny!” Lyra sings out as she pokes her head in through the door. She blinked at the sight of us. “Ooh, another human! Well, if either of you two want breakfast, it’s hot and ready!” She ducks back out and my mouth starts to water.
“Okay, breakfast first, then we talk!”
“Oh god, it’s Lyra. Tell me, is she obsessed with humans or hands?”
“She’s obsessed with me.”
Gilgamesh stared at me for a moment before chuckling. “And yet another Omnitrix wielder gets a lover interested he never wanted. And you don’t even have the luxury of her not being in love with your base form.”
We both began walking. “Tell me about it. First she finds out that I’m really a human and then she discovered the fact that I’m the adopted son of Poseidon. It’s gonna be hard to get rid of this stalker, even if she is cuddly at night.”
“Aha! You’re already breaking! I personally say, go for it, pal. After all, my heart’s been stolen by a Princess!”
“As long as it ain’t the princesses here, that’s fine,” I said with a glare. “And no, I’m not already breaking, have some respect for your elders. She ain’t the first pony I’ve had in my bed. And keep your mind out of the gutter, boy,” I said when I could feel him grin.
“Aww, how sweet. I’ve met and heard of a few Displaced who haven’t embraced the ‘Magic of Friendship’ during their stays, even some of the heroic ones, so it’s nice to meet another who’s embraced it wholeheartedly. Even if I don’t quite celebrate in the same way they do. Also, though I promise I won’t try to court her, I can’t promise no flirting with the lovely azure mistress of the night.”
I glared harshly at Gilgamesh and got right in his face. “You so much as go near my sister, I will personally punt you into the next solar system, do I make myself clear, boy?”
“‘Sister?’ Oh my, so close and strong a bond! Only once have I seen anything like it! And that would certainly explain the ‘pony in my bed’ comment.”
“Yeah, yeah, don’t expect to see them anyways. They don’t know I’m back and that’s how it’s going to stay for a while. I need to think things through before I meet them again.”
“But why? You obviously love them, why not meet with them again? Did you do something that soured your sibling bonds?”
“...They think I’m dead. And it’s kind of hard to suddenly show up saying that I’m alive and having to explain to them that I’ve been harboring Equestria’s Top Ten Most Wanted Creatures for over five millennia.”
“‘Harboring Equestria’s Top-’ Oh, Jason mentioned something about alternate personalities. He didn’t go into much detail. I love the boy like a brother but, bless his heart, he has some focus problems. I hope Slash can help him with that.”
“He was still an annoying prick. He insulted my watch when all I did was point out that his was the incomplete version. I happen to like this watch,” I moaned slightly. We finally walked into the kitchen to the sight of several stacks of pancakes waiting for us.
“Dig in, Benny Boo!” Lyra cheered, rubbing her head on my leg. “I made them with love… and cinnamon.”
Normally, I would have gone off on her for the affection, but there was food in my face and I wasn’t gonna waste. Of course, I still needed to do my ritual, so I excused myself to the den and returned a minute later with a few chunks of pancake missing. I sat down opposite of Gilgamesh and chowed down, which he was already doing.
Twilight and Nyx showed up a few minutes later, though Nyx still seemed hesitant. With a little pushing, Twilight managed to get her to the table, though she tried to sit as far away from me as possible.
“So Benny, who’s your friend?” asked Lyra as she cleaned up the kitchen.
“Girls, Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh, girls. Wait, where’s Spike?”
“Still sleeping. He didn’t get back until nearly midnight, so he can get a little bit more rest. Though you still owe me an explanation, mister.”
“Who, me?” the warrior asked, just having swallowing a large chunk of pancakes.
“No, not you Mr. Gilgamesh. I’m talking to Ben. What are Displaced and what is this about a war?!”
“Wait a minute, ‘war?’ What war?” Gilgamesh asked.
“Oh great, another one who doesn’t know. Do I just attract weirdness or something?” I sighed, while eating. “Well, I learned everything I know about the Displaced from Umbra. Gilgamesh here seems to have been free a lot longer than I have, though, so maybe he knows a little more than I do? Would you be willing to explain a little more?”
“Uh, sure, I guess. Well, ‘Displaced’ has been used as a term for any of us that have been spirited away from our own planets and dimensions to another. So far those all seem to be different versions of Equestria, but for all I know there could be others. The story usually goes ‘I was a convention or a party, I bought something from some weird dude that was related to my costume, and that thing I bought brought me to a different dimension.’ This almost always includes suddenly having the powers of whatever you were dressed up as and, in most cases, assuming the physical form of your costume. For example, I was always human, but I never looked this well built, and I probably never would’ve.”
“That sounds about right,” I nodded, then deadpanned at the alicorn next to him scratching away some notes with a quill and paper. Lyra was just watching with fascination. “She just had to be a bookworm,” I mumbled with my face in my hand. “Anyway, the war, is known as the War of Understanding. Two displaced, Makuta Teridax and Auric Fulcrum, have declared war on each other and are recruiting Displaced throughout the worlds to assist them. I’ve joined Auric’s side because, well, I offered and I never go back on my word.”
“Whoa, first I heard of this. I guess it’s because I’m not really in tune with the multiverse and everything.”
“So you just suddenly decided to join a war without even knowing anything about the two sides?” Twilight criticized.
“Well, I can personally attest that he picked the right side,” Gilgamesh answered. “I only met the guy once, but Auric makes one hell of a positive impression. I’ve heard of him assisting other Displaced several times. And if you still doubt me, then check this out.” The warrior reached behind him and pulled out a folder from… somewhere.
“Awhile ago Auric sent copies of these out into the multiverse. I’ve had my version of Luna commission several copies be made so I can hand them out to whomever didn’t get one yet. Here, give it a read.”
The warrior gave me the folder and I opened it up before reading the first page.
To you who find this folder-If you are reading this, you are what I refer to as a Displaced. Some of us are being held here, in worlds not our own, by one known as The Merchant, a Void-Dweller of great power. If you can use these notes to find your way back to your relative home, I wish you the best of luck. Either because The Merchant is not to be trifled with, or because finding your relative Earth in all the Multiverse is like trying to find a grain of sand in a sandstorm.
Personally, I do not desire to leave. True, abandoning my life on Earth seems cowardly. But the power I now wield confers a responsibility, one that I fulfill willingly. And life in Equestria is more likely to be peaceable than life on Earth.
To those that want to return, I wish you the best of luck, and tell you that the best of results could be gathered by using something that you brought with you.
To those that wish to remain, I tell you that these notes can easily be reversed and used to shield your home from intrusions. Most notably, Discord could find them useful.
To those of you that wish to try to fight The Merchant, I tell you that he will likely not go down easy. Your best bet is to find the one known as Xante and team up with him.
And to those of you that wish to drag us all back...
Do not test me.
-Auric Fulcrum, Master of Psynergy, Wielder of the Flames of Alchemy, Slayer of the Wise One, Knight of the Eclipse, Lord of Eureka, Blade of Understanding.
I blinked after finishing the folder. I looked at Gilgamesh. “That’s a lot of titles.” Gilgamesh just shrugged in response. “Okay, so I have to give this to Discord? Great, I really have to deal with that guy more, I frickin’ hate that draconequus.”
“I’m guessing you actually faced him before. I never did, myself. Hell, I was imprisoned in stone even before Sombra came along.”
“What’s so bad about Sombra? Dude was awesome, if not for being practically terrified of his own shadow. Fluttershy kinda reminds me of him. Anyway, yeah, I fought Discord. Took nearly a millennia, but the three of us finally locked that bastard away in stone. Sucks that not even a five hundred years later, I joined him.” I sighed at the memory. “Ya never know how alone ya are until you’ve been sealed in stone for four thousand years.”
Gilgamesh just stared at me for a moment before turning to Twilight. “He doesn’t know?”
“He refuses to believe it. He won’t believe me about Nightmare Moon, either. He almost freaked out on me when I told him.”
“Because Luna promised to never go evil. I saw the signs back then, but I made sure she would follow the right path. So until you can prove me wrong, I ain’t believing a single dang word you say.” I crossed my arms and humphed.
“How am I supposed to get you a picture?!” Twilight screeched.
“Not my problem, that’s yours.”
“You know, at some point holding onto what you believe in stops becoming admirable and starts becoming ignorant,” Gilgamesh said. “In addition… promises, even the ones we make to those we hold dear, can be broken.”
I was about to retort when I noticed his almost defeated tone, not to mention that his eyes seemed to drain of life for a moment.
“Anyway, believe it or not, here’s the events that happened that everypony is going to tell you happened, whether or not you still believe them. Despite the differences between multiverses some things seem to stay constant. Twilight, feel free to add or correct me on anything. First, Sombra went evil. Don’t know how, don’t know why, but he took over the Crystal Empire and enslaved the Crystal Ponies. Celestia and Luna broke him down into a living shadow before banishing him into ice, but Sombra thought ahead and due to a curse, when he disappeared so did the Crystal Empire. Just poof, right off the map, like it was never there.”
I stared at him in shock, but it soon turned to anger. “You dare? You dare tell me that my best friend tried to destroy the kingdom he was willing to lay his life down to protect?!” I slammed my fist down on the table, scaring Nyx slightly, but I didn’t care. “I don’t care what you say, I will never believe that Sombra would turn evil, nor my Lulu. So, I will hear no more on the subject. Do I make myself clear, boy?”
“First of all, ‘boy’? I don’t know how old you are, but even if you are older than me I don’t consider anyone or anything inferior or superior to anyone else based on age. Secondly, you need to hear these things, if for no other reason than to understand how much can change in your absence. I’ve had that experience myself. One who I saw and still do see as a sister did some… terrible things when I was away.”
“Well, first off, I call you boy because, well, it’s more out of habit than anything else. When you’re the older brother of the Sisters, you have to demand some respect at political meetings, otherwise they discount you as just being a babysitter. It was like that sometimes, but not all the time. And I don’t care if this stuff happened in your world, but Sombra could never be a threat. He was a scientist, not a villain. Nor could Luna because she promised. I’ll take the change when it comes, but so far I’m liking it here better than how things used to be. More technology, not much more, but still more. Could’ve sworn I saw a TV at Rarity’s. Also, if you were wondering, I’m over five thousand years old. I look great for my age, no?”
“I’m guessing a large portion of that was spent in stone? Sixteen-hundred years for me, the first century I did what I wanted before I let the Princesses seal me in stone for another fifteen-hundred.”
“If what Hum read was correct, I’ve been in stone for about 3,876 years.”
“Wait, I thought you and them had different minds. How could you know what Hum read?”
“When we switch, certain bits of information are shared for a moment. That’s how he knew all of your names and how I know what he read. Comes in handy.”
“I don’t care how old you are Benny!” Lyra said as she wrapped me in a hug. “You’re still my sexy little human!”
I choked on my bite of pancake and Twilight covered Nyx’s ears, flushing red. “Okay, I think that’s a step too far.”
“Yeah, how could a burn victim be sexy?” Twilight asked with a smirk.
“Hey, I’m devilishly handsome! Of course that translates to sexy, multiple times over!”
“Ok, even I’m willing to say ‘that kind of talk belongs in the bedroom, or at least whispered over a candlelit dinner table’, so please spare the young one’s ears. And burn victim? Who did that to you?” Gilgamesh asked.
“Some drunkard when I was one. He crashed into my family’s car, killing my parents and nearly burning me alive. Docs said it was a miracle that I lived. I had to have some synthflesh grafted to me, but I’m still alive, that’s what counts.”
Gilgamesh just stopped and stared for a moment, his eyes completely wide in shock.
“Um, dude, you ok?”
“I am about to ask you something and the answer could cause me to have a very significant reaction,” he began seriously before leaning in uncomfortably close to me. “Do you have a sister? A human sister?”
“Uh, yeah? An older one. I found out when I went looking through my father’s military records that I stumbled on. Tracked her down to some small town in Nebraska. But I didn’t find her, she had disappeared a year prior at some convention.”
“Oh Benny!” Lyra squeezed me even tighter. “That’s so sad!”
“Yeah, it was kinda hard not being able to find Allison. It’s a cute name; I bet she was cute, maybe then I could’ve bragged to my friends that I had the cute sister.”
Gilgamesh was completely silent. I couldn’t even hear him breathing.
After a moment he began to mutter to himself.
“A car crash. A drunk driver. A military family. Nebraska. Disappearing at a convention. Named Allison. There’s no way it could be anyone else.”
He rose from his seat and placed his hands on my shoulders. “You’re her brother. You’re Kat’s brother, the one she thought was dead. You’re alive.” Before I could answer he picked me up and wrapped me in a chokingly tight bear hug. “YOU’RE ALIVE! OH MY GOD YOU’RE ALIVE!”
“What...the...hell...are...you...talking...about?” I wheezed. “Let me...go! Dear father...this is...worse than...Pinkie!”
“Sorry! Sorry!” he put me down and I gasped for breath. “It’s just that I know your sister! She’s a Displaced! She goes by ‘Kat Shifter’ now, and all these years she thought you were dead! And now… here you are!”
I stared at him in a stupor. She’s… she’s… “You’re serious? My sister is… ALIVE?! And a Displaced?!” Twilight, Nyx, and Lyra were watching us with wide eyes, not knowing whether they should speak or not.
“Yes! She’s a student of mine! My first, actually, and she-!” he stopped himself and suddenly all that enthusiasm drained away. “And she’s a had a very hard life. She’s had horrible things done to her and she’s done terrible things in return. Though she tries to hide it she’s very fragile and very broken.”
“W-what?!” I looked at him, heartbroken. “What has she done? What could possibly be so bad?”
He sighed and took a seat. “You’re going to want to sit down for this.”
I complied and took my seat and he began telling me the sad, tragic, horrible tale of Kat Shifter. “When I first met Kat, she was a sweet girl. Fun to be around, a good person to banter with. She wanted me to teach her in the art of combat and I agreed, without knowing what she would use it for. When I did learn, it was too late, I had already taught her far too much. She’s not been Equestria nearly as long as us, but she was free for longer than I was. She controls gravity, calls herself the Queen of it, even, but she was originally a General in Celestia’s army and was extremely close to the sisters. That was until they betrayed her by killing her familiar, a cat named Dusty.”
We were all watching and listening him to intently, and I was secretly wishing to scold those two sisters for hurting my sister. “The result caused Kat to go ballistic in her grief, nearly destroying the planet itself.” Okay, maybe more than wishing, I need to talk to Voiceless on getting some revenge here. “The sisters were forced to seal her away with the Elements of Harmony, but she was freed over a thousand years later, wanting nothing, but to kill the Sisters. Thankfully, she was convinced not to by none other than Auric Fulcrum, but it only worked so far. She decided not to kill them because of the consequences she would bring to the civilians of the planet, so she would simply beat the crap out of them instead. That was why she wanted to learn how to fight, instead of simply relying on her powers.”
I stared at him in shock, this was getting heavy, quick. “When I learned that, I sent her away, a massive mistake on my part. In doing so, I sealed the fate of both a sentient race as well as Celestia and Luna’s health. She committed a mass genocide to protect the citizens of Equestria and then fought the sisters, badly beating Luna and smashing Celestia’s horn to bits.”
“She did what?!” Twilight screeched, hurting my ears...again.
“What is with you young ponies and trying to yell my ears off?!” I shout back at her.
“She has severe anxiety issues,” Gilgamesh explained with a chuckle. “You should’ve seen her when the Crystal Empire returned and Twilight was told Celestia was giving her a ‘test’.”
“‘Returned’? Never mind, what’s more important: my sister committed genocide?!”
Gilgamesh sighed, the mood turning somber again. “One of the constant events that happens between universes is the Canterlot Wedding Invasion. Twilight’s older brother, Shining Armor, was the captain of the Royal Guard and was getting married to Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, better known as Cadence, who also just so happens to be Twilight’s old foalsitter. In addition, Canterlot was issued a threat from an outside force so in addition to planning his own wedding Shining had to keep a barrier around Canterlot at all times. Turns out it was pointless, as Cadence had been replaced by Chrysalis, a Changeling Queen, who was feeding off Shining’s love for his fiance. In the end Chrysalis gathered enough power to even give Celestia a beat down. The city was taken over, however briefly, before Shining and Cadence used their love and magic to cast another barrier that expelled all the Changelings from the city. In Kat’s Equestria, things played out… significantly differently.”
“Okay, I asked this before and Twilight brushed me off. What dafaq is a changeling?”
“Basically bug-pony emotion vampires. How they work is a little different from dimension to dimension, but what’s basically consistent is they feed off love and they have magic that allows them to change their form.”
“Vampires, huh? Cool! I don’t have them in the Omnitrix, maybe they could be cool. Then again, I think I unlocked Whampire already, plus I can already shapeshift, so then it would be pretty pointless. Wait… Kat Shifter...Kat Shifter… where have I heard that name?” Then it clicked. “Holy shiz wagon!”
“You know, I know we’re trying to avoid swearing in front of the filly, but could you please use less stupid substitutes?”
“What are you talking about? This is how I talk!”
“Ugh, whatever. Anyway, if you’re thinking she’s from a Playstation Vita game called ‘Gravity Rush’, then that’d be right.”
“What the heck is a Vita? Wait, didn’t Sony release that in 2012? Wow, talk about Retro.”
“How is that retro? What year are you from?”
“Huh. 2014 for me. And do you really see something seven years old as retro? Ugh, and I thought technology was moving too fast already.”
“Yes, because Sony went under in 2015. Most of their stuff was destroyed by the Great Tsunami of that year. Ever since, their stuff was rarer than anything.”
“I am deeply saddened to hear that any amount of video games were wiped from the face of the planet. This is why I took better care of my own than even the Crown Jewels. But I digress, yes, your sister was dressed up as and later assumed the form and powers of Kat from ‘Gravity Rush.’”
“That’s awesome, but what I was freaking out about was that when Umbra showed up, so did three totems. An hourglass, a strip of chain, and a diamond. He told me that the diamond belonged to a Displaced named Kat Shifter! I have her totem!”
“Which means nothing is physically keeping you from seeing her. As for whether or not you want to… well, I believe I was getting to the part about how the wedding invasion played out differently?”
“Yeah, but I can pretty much guess. She killed them off, right? Did she at least have a good reason? Was peace ever attempted?”
“Yes, but it was over a thousand years prior, when she first attempted to wipe them out. She left one alive, a young Queen Chrysalis, and warned her to never attempt to take over Equestria again or she would finish the job. Chrysalis didn’t listen and paid the price. Kat did so to protect the family of ponies she had befriended, specifically Fluttershy who was descended from a pony that Kat loved like a daughter. I was furious with her when I found out what she did, so much that I ordered her to make peace between the changelings and Equestria in at least ten different worlds. Successfully, make peace.”
“Well, while not the prefered route, Kat did in a sense solve the problem. I don’t condone genocide, mind you, but if she was left no other choice… I can understand how she would go to that, especially if what you said about her state of mind was correct.”
“That’s no excuse!” he shouted back angrily, his fists clenched. “As far as I’m concerned killing is something you do only when you have to, and to me there are only two reasons when it is a necessity. Either when the being is truly evil without even a shred of redeeming value or if you won’t live to see another day without taking the life of one threatening you. Chrysalis and her Changelings were neither. True they killed ponies in their invasion but it was to preserve their species, to gather food, to secure supplies. I’m not saying it was right to invade, but at least it wasn’t done for a reason like ‘because I thought it would be funny to see you all die.’ And furthermore Kat annihilated them like they were nothing. Wiping out her entire hive was no more difficult for her than stepping on ants. She had no reason not to at least restrain them all long enough to be imprisoned.”
I was silent for a second, my eyes closed and my hands clasped together. Then, I looked at Gilgamesh, going into my ‘negotiator mode’ (patent pending). “Are you certain?” I asked simply, getting a blank stare back. “Are you absolutely certain they weren’t evil? Did you ever meet them? Did you ever speak with this Queen? Because how you make it sound is that you are comparing this to other worlds and how it happened there. No two worlds are the same, this is something we both know by heart. So, isn’t it possible that Kat truly dealt a lethal blow to a truly vile and evil being?”
He stopped for a moment before closing his. He took in a deep breath and exhaled. “Perhaps. It could perhaps be that she was truly evil in that version of Equis. However, I managed to drive off her hive in my own dimension without killing a single one. Auric Fulcrum managed to make peace between the ponies and changelings in his universe. Another Displaced I met, Typhon, mentioned that he was friends with several of them, even hives who did not approve of Chrysalis’ more aggressive stance. Even in Jason’s universe Celestia and Luna have a changeling as one of their most trusted guards, one whose subordinates know of this and accept him. With those things in mind I find it hard to believe that there was no other option.”
I sighed. “That is your problem right there: you don’t believe. You are letting emotions cloud your judgment. To be able to fully see this situation, you must first understand what both parties were going through. From what you have described, this was not the first time this happened in Kat’s world and both times was unprovoked. What we are missing is their side, but that will never see the light of day. As such, we cannot condemn her based on what has happened elsewhere. They are not the same. As Voiceless has pounded into my head, time and time again, every world is unique and anything can happen. I am not saying what she did right, not in the slightest as I am an advocator for peace. What I am saying is that you are passing judgement based not on facts, but on emotions. Look past your heart and see the situation with your mind.” I lean back and sigh. “I apologize if this comes out as heartless, but as a negotiator, I have trained myself to not let my feelings guide me, as they can bring more harm than good in these kinds of situations. Elsewhere, it’s perfectly fine, but these are too volatile to depend on sentiments.”
He inhaled and exhaled slowly again. “You are very wise, Ben. I respect your ability to separate your emotions and your thoughts so completely. However, it seems we will never agree on this point. The very fact that Kat has wiped a species off the face of her planet is inexcusable to me no matter what the circumstance. Even still, what’s done is done, and no amount of debate on the subject will bring the Changelings back in her world. I move to simply drop the subject and agree to disagree.”
“I admire your heart, Gilgamesh, it’s a good thing. While we may never agree on this, I thank you for telling me about my sister, it means a lot to me. So, why don’t we move on to another topic? Twilight, which of ‘our’ friends were you planning on making me slave for today?”
“First was going to be Fluttershy, so you could help with her animals,” she read off a list she poofed out of nowhere. “Then Rainbow wants to test your pegasus form in a race. That would it for the day.”
I groaned and hit my head on the table. “You ponies keep making me work!”
“It’s your fault for agreeing to be our best friend and do anything we told you to.”
“Then I also wish to add something to the list,” Gilgamesh declared. “This talk about death and broken lives has depressed me greatly and I wish for you to help cheer me up before I leave back to my realm.”
“Um, what? How do I do that? Do I bring you to Pinkie’s or something?”
“But you haven’t done anything to me. Why would I fight you?”
“For the same reason two runners would want to compete in a sprint together. A bit of competitive fun. Also, though I think I’ve gotten to know quite a bit about you, I find there is no better way to truly know someone than to fight them.”
“Um… no.” I said, which took him back a little. “I don’t fight without reason. Sparring is not a reason.”
The warrior just stared at me for a moment before he did the last thing I was expecting him to. His eyes welled up with tears before he slammed his head on the table and began to bawl like baby.
Nyx walked up to him and put a hoof on his back. “Mr. Gilgamesh, why are you crying?” That is so adorable, if not for the big weirdo crying like a baby.
“I C-CAN’T FIGHT SOMEO-ONE IF THEY D-DON’T WANT ME TO!” he cried through his sobs. “I DID-D THAT B-BEF-FORE AND I ENDED UP H-HURTING SOMEONE’S F-FEELINGS! A LOT!”
“Ben has feelings?” asked Twilight. I glared at her, and I could swear that Lyra growled at the princess. She giggled a little into her hoof.
“Harsh, Twi, really harsh. Ugh, fine, ya big baby, I’ll fight you. I just don’t know where we could fight. Nopony else knows that there’s a human living in this town.”
The big baby sniffed before he raised his head. “There’s always the Everfree Forest. That’s where I train in my Equestria. And where I live.”
“The Everfree still exists?” I asked turning to Twilight who nodded. “Huh, I thought they would have leveled that place looooong ago. Well, it’s as good a place as any. Hold on,” I started to type on the Omnitrix and the faceplate slid back and I hit the core. There was flash and I was back in my pegasus form. “Ready to go! Oh wait, Form Lock Code 1010. Now we’re good.”
“Um, if you’re really concerned with nopony knowing there are humans here, there’s also the little issue of me.”
“Oh, right. Um… oh I got it! ...This is gonna suck. Omnitrix, Jade Blaster.” There was another flash and I appeared before them, lacking wings, but with the addition of a horn. I shuddered a little. “I hate the feeling of magic running through my veins like this.” I powered up my horn, lighting it in a dark green aura. “Now hold still, this is a special illusion spell Tia taught me to hide my human form.” I blasted Gilgamesh straight on, and he was coated in my magic. “There, now only those who know you’re here will be able to see you.”
“Wow, Benny, good looking and good at magic?” She gave me a sultry look. “I’m not gonna be able to hold myself back for much longer at this rate.” She nuzzled me while giggling.
“...I don’t like this!”
“Shut up and love me.”
“OK, LET’S GO PLEASE!” Gilgamesh shouted.
“Thank you! Come on.” With that over with, thank the gods, we moved on out of the castle. Gilgamesh had to be pulled away, gawking at the massive crystal palace for a minute. Along the way we talked a little bit, learning a bit more about our guest, like the diamond in his chest plate was a gift from Kat and how he was enchanted to play music out of nowhere. Then,
“Hey guys!” I looked up to see Rainbow Dash flying above us. “What’s up Ben? You ready to… hey! Why aren’t you a pegasus?”
“I’m casting a spell, so I need to be a unicorn.”
“What spell?” I blasted Rainbow, who immediately shook her head. “Woah! Hey, what was that…” Then she saw Gilgamesh, who waved in return. “What the hay is that thing?”
“That’s mister Gilgamesh,” Nyx said with smile. She was even walking close to me now, guess she only liked me as a pony. Well don’t that just beat all.
“And I’m going to have a sparring match with your friend because if he refuse again I’m going to bawl and kick and scream like a baby!” the warrior added in a voice that was far too cheerful for what he just said.
“Seriously?” I asked as I glared at him.
“I have no shame.”
“Wow, and I thought Pinkie was weird,” Rainbow commented. “Wait, a sparring match? Cool! Can I watch? I wanna see what the great Ben 10 can do!”
“Fine, come on. We’re going to the forest so nopony will see it.”
“Awesome!” So, now Lyra, Twilight, Nyx, and Rainbow joined us to an open clearing not too far into the Everfree forest.
“Disengage Form Lock Code 1010.” The light flashed again and I was now a human staring down Gilgamesh who stood some distance away from me. He put himself in a starting position, while I just stood there. “Normally I’d say age before beauty, but since I have both I’m just gonna say that you go first.”
“Har har. Now go on, choose whatever form you want. I’d say that I’d even let you pick Way Big or Atomix, but I’m sure you don’t want to attract that much attention.”
“I don’t have Atomix, yet, and I think I’m gonna stay just as is. I actually prefer my human form.” Gilgamesh just stared at me in surprise. “What? Afraid to fight one of your own kind?”
“I’m afraid of punching you hard enough that your skull shoots out of the back of your head and splits a boulder behind you.”
I smirked. “Oh trust me, that’s not gonna happen. So come on, junior,” I said while indicating with my hand to bring it, “Show me what you got.”
“Are… are you sure? I mean, not to brag, but in my dimension I was the single most powerful being on the planet. I beat both the Princesses simultaneously multiple times. I decimated entire armies… without even killing anyone. The dragons think of me as the boogeyman.”
“Heh, I’d tell you what they think of me, but then we’d be here all day. So come on, show an old man some new tricks, boy!”
“Heh. Alright, but I’m still not convinced. Gonna start with just physical attacks. Even if you are a great fighter, I doubt you can take a lightning bolt to the chest.” He began to play a song as he took a few sweeping motions before settling into a fighting stance. “Here I come!”
He charged at me before rolling forwards and then launching up at my head with a kick. I back flipped out of the way and land on my feet to see he was at least six feet in the air. He then flipped forwards and came down at me with another kick, somehow propelling himself at me instead of simply falling. I smirked as he got just above me… and then sidestepped out of the way as he impacted the ground. I looked into the crater, smiling a bit.
“How’s that skull smashing coming along?” I asked down to him.
“You tell me!” he shouted before dashing out of the crater with a jumping punch. I easily sidestepped it only for him to stop right next to me and try to hit me in the temple with a wrist strike. I ducked under that and lifted my foot to avoid the sweep he did right after. He quickly spun and launched both arms at me which I hopped back away from, though I did still feel the force.
I whistled a bit in appreciation as I stood straight, only just now taking my hands out of my pockets to give him a round of applause. “Those are some impressive shockwaves, my friend. Speed, power, strength, you certainly got them, but.... it’s not gonna be enough to beat me. Come on, junior! Step it up! You got a big ol’ spear on yer back just for collecting dust or something?”
“Sorry, but I really, really, really just refuse to take the chance that I might lop something off. I’m still not even going full throttle here-”
“Let me just stop you there,” I said, still smiling. “Kid, you don’t get it. I don’t fear what you think you’re going to do to me. I used to do this daily with Tia and Lulu, and they used an axe and a broadsword on me. You gotta step up your game.”
He stared at me for a moment before cutting the music. “Ok, I get what you’re saying. But I still don’t feel like using my weapon yet. At least not the one attached to my back.” He stood up before taking a deep breath, holding both hands to his stomach. “Here we go then. From here on out, I’m not responsible for what happens to you.” ] He started to play a different song before taking a different fighting stance. For a moment he just stood there, only slightly breathing. The next he was right in front of me.
I dodged the first jab at my chest and noticed that he was attacking with two fingers and not fists. We continued on, him unleashing a flurry of lightning fast jabs, swings, kicks, and sweeps at me. I dodged them all perfectly, but this wasn’t like before. I wasn’t just showing off how he couldn’t touch me, this time it was more like if I didn’t dodge them perfectly I would get annihilated. Almost every strike was meant to kill, or at least seriously wound.
“Woo! You were holdin’ back on ol’ Benny, were ya?” I asked through a smirk as I kept up my dodging. “Well, that’s just plain rude if I do say so mahself!” I jumped back and pulled out my ‘PDA’. “Big Ben’s gonna have to punish ya!” I brandished my device at him, though all he did was stare at me like I’d gone crazy (which I was on the fence still whether I had or not; it’s hard to tell when you got ten, er, nine other voices yelling in your head).
After recovering from the initial shock of seeing me pull out the device he leaped back several yards and resumed his fighting stance. At the very least, it seemed like he wasn’t taking chances. I smirked, as it was a good call on his part… but not good enough. With a single twitch of my finger, I moved, rushing forward. I could feel the wind blow through my hair at break neck speed and the next thing Gilgamesh knew was that I was directly in front of him with an orange sword pointed at his neck. I didn’t say a word, just grinning at him with my winning smile. There was a rush of wind that blew from behind me and then past us both; I was wondering when it would catch up, the air can be really slow sometimes, ya know?
“Impressive. But I wonder if you can dodged this?” His eyes turned red and I could practically feel the heat radiating from them.
Twin blasts were fired from his eyes and they almost got me… almost. I ducked down low and slid underneath him, coming out from behind. I tapped his shoulder and he turned to meet me. “Yo!” I said with a cheerful smile before hefting up my sword-turned-laser cannon. “Bye!” I fired the cannon, sending him flying back a couple feet. Not much, but enough to give us some space. “Neat trick! But I had to face dragons, so something like that ain’t gonna cut it. What else ya got?” I’m pretty sure my cheery attitude was ticking him off. Well, until I heard him chuckle.
He got up quickly and the first thing I noticed was that my laser blast didn’t leave a single mark.
“I will admit, Ben, I did underestimate you. Of course, I didn’t expect you to be using a weapon. I still refuse to use mine, however, I will be taking you much more seriously.”
He struck a pose with one arm out to the side before sweeping it over to the other and extending the other arm. ”HENSHIN!” Suddenly there was a bright flash of light. After it dispelled I was surprised to find that he now bore a different appearance, with them main one being that he now had eight arms.
“Woah, that’s some trick! It looks so cool!” I looked down at the Proto-tool with a depressed face. “Yeah, I don’t think my Proto-tool is gonna help fight you when yer like this. SO! Let’s get to the real party! Any preferences?” I asked as I started to skim through the watch. “There a certain alien you’ve always wanted to fight?”
“Well, I don’t have much practice fighting opponents faster than me, mostly because they don’t really exist, so XLR8 if you don’t mind.”
“Ah a classic, very good monsieur,” I said with a faux french accent. I found him in the watch and pressed the core. I was transformed into a blue, velociraptor-like creature with black orbs on my feat and a special helmet on my head. I looked down at myself, feeling the nostalgia. "Heh. Haven't been this guy in a long time," I said, my voice a little hoarser than before.
“Is that because you haven’t been free or because you haven’t chosen it, because I can’t see a reason for the latter.”
“Oh, I just wasn’t in need of a speeder all that much. As you saw,” I zipped around a few times and then right back where I started, “I’m pretty quick on my feet without either XLR8 or Fasttrack. I did use Jetray a few times, but I mostly stuck with Emerald Streak. My pegasus form, that is.”
“Hm. I guess. Now then, whenever you’re ready,” he said before taking his stance. “Alright then!” I rushed him, nearly tripping, but I tried to hide it. Dang, I knew I shouldn’t have gone through with this one. I almost never used this guy; flying so beats running. It was that little distraction that he used against me, slamming a fist into my gut and sending me back into a tree. I shook my head, getting rid of the grogginess. “That could of gone better.”
“STAY FOCUSED!” I heard him shout. I looked up and saw him about to land on me. I quickly zipped a few yards away and he responded by firing another laser eye beam at me, which I easily dodged.
“Did you really think you’d hit me with that?” I taunted before rushing at him. I stopped right in front of him to dodged a punch, only to have to continue dodging a series of rapid fire punches from all eight of his arms. “Too slow!”
“Let’s change that,” he said as he slammed all eight of his hands together and creating a shockwave that threw me off balance. He tried to grab me but I managed to slip away. As I did though, one of his hands managed to touch my arm and I think a felt a jolt of something. I sprinted away before turning around to face him, only to find him gone.
That was the only thing I heard before I felt his fist slam into the side of my head, sending me tumbling away. I groaned as I got up.
“How the hell did you do that?”
“Oh, did I forget to mention? Jason gave me a little reward for helping to train him into a warrior. I’ve been gene-spliced by the Omnitrix, specifically osmosian DNA.”
My eyes widened at him. “You have got to be kidding me. You’re an absorber now? Oh that’s just not fair.” Then the omnitrix let out its warning tone and my form was flashed red and returned to normal. “And so was that!”
“Well, I think we’re done. Unless you want to try and deal with the extra strength, magic power, and arms of my first transformation in addition to XLR8 speed.”
“Well, I kinda do. See I may have timed out, but I still have power,” I said as I lifted up my watch to show it was still green. “The time-out is a safety feature on this one, not necessarily a battery drain. So, let’s see who to--” I froze up right there. There was a tingling in the back of my head, almost like… OH GODS NO!! Not now! It was the Voices, one wanted out! Then it happened, the first sign of what was to come. I gripped my head with hands, hard, and started screaming in pain. Oh gods the pain! It’s always the worst part. They literally try to take over my mind and it is never pleasant. I felt myself fall to my knees and almost certain that my fingers were drawing blood. I could feel one coming but who… oh shiz, not him! Anyone but him!
“GYAAA!!!!!” Then everything went black.
Ok, what the hell? He looked raring to go and now he’s just suddenly keeling over in pain? Is it his burn scars acting up or something?
“Oh no!” I heard Rainbow and Twilight shout. I looked over and saw that Twilight was holding Nyx close to her and Rainbow was pushing Lyra back. They were slowly edging away from Ben. What the hell was going on?
“Uh, girls, what’s happening?” I asked.
“It-it’s one of them!” Twilight nearly screams. “It’s one of the Voices. It must be forcing its way out of Ben’s psyche. Hum told us about his brothers, how only about three of them would pose no harm to us. The others…”
“He said to stay the hay away from them!” Rainbow finished for her.
Oh shitmuffins. There was the typical flash of green light from Ben. When the light died down, in his place was a green, humanoid figure that appeared to be made of gelatin with a flying saucer above its head. The omnitrix symbol was right in the middle of the blobby mass and it’s voice was high pitched and a little garbled.
“Goop!” it yelled out. Then it started laughing, like maniacally laughing. “Oh it’s been so long since I’ve been allowed to have some fun, hahaha!!!” My god it’s like Woody the Woodpecker had a bastard child with Stitch. “Oohh! A human and some ponies?! Yay! I have playmates!”
“I do not like the implications of that word,” I replied before turning to the girls. “You wouldn’t happen to know the detail of this guy?”
“Dear Celestia,” I heard Twilight whisper in fear. “Not him. That’s Goop, the Voice of Laughter.”
“The fact that you’re scared of him means that is likely nowhere near as non-threatening as it sounds.”
“Hum said that Goop does anything for a laugh. To him, everything is just one big joke, even *gulp* life itself. He’s a sociopath!”
Goop just giggled. “Oh, you sound so scared little pony. You do want to play with me, right? Cause I’ll kill you if you don’t! AHAHAHA!!!”
Oh great, it’s basically the ‘Cupcakes’ version of Pinkie Pie… Wait a minute… Sociopath who just wants a laugh and doesn’t care how he gets it?
“I know what I have to do.”
“Oooh!” Goop said, slithering right up to me with his saucer. “Does that mean you’re going to play with me?” It sounded almost… hopeful? Creepy entirely, but there seemed to be a twinge of desperation in there.
“Actually, yes. First we’re going to play tag.” I bopped him on the nose, or where his nose would be, causing him to jiggle a little. “You’re it.” And with that I used the last of my XLR8 speed (huh, so it tingles when it wears off) to grab all of the girls, and started running into the Everfree Forest, screaming in the most girlish and pathetic voice I could muster.
“Oh goody good, this is gonna be so much fun!” I hear the blob giggled out before following.
*****Third Person POV*****
“Oh this is bad, so very very bad!” Twilight was yelling from Gilgamesh’s grip, clinging tightly to her daughter.
“Mom, why is Mr. 10 chasing us?”
“I’ll explain it to you later sweetie, but right now Ben’s not in his right mind.” She turned to Gilgamesh, fear and desperation on her face. “Please tell me you have a plan!”
“Yes I do.”
There was a pause.
“Do you want to tell us?”
“No. I’ll only tell you it will be very painful… for me.”
Twilight just stared at him and then hung her head. “You know, when I let Ben stay in my house, I never thought it would be this crazy. Why can’t I just have an easy princesshood like Celestia and Luna? Even Cadance has it so much easier than me.”
“You call having to banish your own sister for a thousand years or defending an entire territory from a dark magic crazed unicorn easy?”
“Do they have to do that on a daily basis?” Gilgamesh was silent. “I didn’t think so. My life was already crazy before him, now it’s just so much more.”
“Well, it’s kind of awesome,” Dash added trying to be helpful. “It’s definitely brought some excitement.”
“Isn’t he just dreamy,” Lyra swooned, looking back as Goop followed them.
“...Lyra? You’re beyond help.”
They could all hear the distorted laughter of the gelatinous creature behind them as it followed. Soon they exited the Everfree Forest and, to the ponies’ horror, found themselves headed toward the Ponyville Marketplace.
“WHAT THE HAY ARE YOU DOING! ARE YOU TRYING TO GET OTHER PONIES KILLED!?” Twilight shouted.
“Mom, you have to put a bit in swear jar when we get home,” Nyx said, shying back when her mother glared at her for a moment.
“Don’t worry, I’m just getting more props to use!”
“What kind of props?” asked Dash.
“Allow me to demonstrate,” he said before setting them down, the entire town now focused on the large multi-limbed biped and the strange green creature approaching. He turned towards Goop and summoned several weapons into his hands. “Fear not, fair maidens, for I shall slay this vile, vicious, villain!” He then unleashed a fearsome, if extremely hammy, battlecry as he charged, only for it to turn into a pathetic scream as he stepped on Goop, causing him to slide for several yards before crashing into a house and disappearing behind the debris.
“AHAHA!!!” Goop laughed out. “You fell down, went boom!! AHAHA!! Yer funny! Much better than those others I had to play with in the past. I had to kill them because they were no fun! EHEHE!! More! More!”
Gilgamesh pulled himself from the debris, groaning before standing up heroically.
“Very clever, fiend, but I shall- WHOA!”
He stepped forwards only to slip on more of Goop’s slime. He didn’t fall over though, and instead landed on his other foot, only for that one to slip too. Soon he was slipping and sliding in place, barely managing to keep himself from falling, looking like he was performing some kind of bizarre dance.
Goop was spinning around in circles, laughing out so much. It was only at that point that the girls figured out that the voice was not coming from the creature, but actually the little ship floating above it. It just added a whole lot more to the weirdness. “Yay! Yay! Finally someone who’s not so serious! I could do this all day! Oh, but I do only have a few minutes left, I should probably get in a couple of kill laughs here soon.”
Gilgamesh instantly stopped himself by stabbing his spear into the ground, halting his movement. He then charged forwards, only to slip again and go soaring into the air, flipping backwards, and landing on a roof. “Whew, that was close,” he uttered, just before the roof collapsed under his weight and he fell through.
Goop continued to squeal in joy and it was only then that the girls realized what Gilgamesh was trying to do: give Goop things to laugh at so his time will run out. Suddenly Gilgamesh burst from under a fruit stand, startling the merchant attending it.
“IT’S THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING I’VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE!” he shouted in a strange accent before lifting up a watermelon and ripping it open. “IT’S WATERMELONE INSIDE A WATERMELONE!”
Goop gasped and ran over to look. “No. Way!! That’s amazing!! But do you know what it needs?”
In response to that another Gilgamesh burst out of the same fruit stand. This one held up a batch of bananas. “It needs a banana!”
“H-How are you even doing that!?” Twilight shouted.
“Nanomachines, girls,” both of them answered simultaneously in serious tones before diving back under the debris of the fruit stand… and disappearing.
“Huh? Where did he-?” Goop began, only for the door of a nearby house fell off its hinges, with the warrior behind it.
Nyx gasped. “Wow, that’s at least five bits for the swear jar!”
The warrior then pulled out a plate of hay fries. “Some fries, muthatfucka.” In another hand appeared scrolls and quills. “Supplies, muthafucka.” This continued on with more hands. “Some pies, muthafucka,” for, well, pies. “First prize, muthatfucka,” a trophy. “Heart eyes, muthatfucka,” for a pair of heart glasses. “Disguise, muthatfucka,” for a purple wig, inexplicably styled to look like Rarity’s mane. “Wrong size, muthatfucka,” for a tiny top hat placed on top of his head.
Goop couldn’t stop laughing. “You’re so dumb! Dumb dumb!”
“Don’t hate me because I’ve beautiful,” he replied, mimicking Rarity’s accent almost perfectly while giving his wig a flip. In a puff of smoke he ran out into the middle of the marketplace, leaving all his props behind. “I WILL NOW SING FOR YOU THE SONG OF MY PEOPLE!”
“Ooh hoo! Goody, I like singing! Then afterwards I can give Ponyville its present!”
Suddenly, a piano began to play before some powerful female vocals started. As the song continued Gilgamesh began dancing to them, displaying some rather effeminate and gestures and sassy hip shaking. Goop could barely stand he was laughing so hard.
“Oh ho! Yer so girly! It’s funny because most would think you’re a man!” Goop mimicked wiping away a way tear. “Oh, that was great. Now for your prize!” Goops arms started to bubbly as he displayed himself. “Time to burn you all! It’s time for the perfect fun: ACID TRIP! AHAHAA!!” He was cut off suddenly by an alarm beeping. He looked at his chest and deflated. “AWWW!!! Fun times over?! Awww, not fair!”
“YES! I WIN!” Gilgamesh shouted.
“Maybe this time, funny man, but Goop will get you on acid next time.” Goop disappeared and reappeared right in front of Gilgamesh’s face. “Don’t be so serious!” he whispered to the warrior before giggling as he moved back. There was bright red flash, and Goop was gone.
“Aw my head,” I groaned as I got up off the ground. Then it came flying back to me. “Oh gods! Girls?! Gilgamesh?!” I yelled looking around frantically.
“Fear not, Benjamin! My foolishness and utter lack of shame has kept the injuries to a minimum! And by that I mean ‘I’m going to need an aspirin.’”
“Um… thank the gods?” I said, not really sure how to respond to that.
“Uh, Ben? Gilgamesh?”
“What’s up stalker mare?” I looked over to her and she pointed behind us. I turned around… and blanched.
“We’re in the middle of the market. Why are we in the middle of the market?”
“Oh, I just needed more props to make a fool out of myself and keep Goop laughing so he didn’t kill anyone.”
“Wow, that’s probably the only time Goop hasn’t killed anyone then. Nice work, save for the fact now everypony in town knows there are humans in town!!”
“Princess Twilight?” called out an elderly mare who was approaching.
“Oh no, that’s Mayor Mare! Oh what do I do, what do I do? I promised I keep Ben a secret, so what do I…” She gasped and then flared her horn, blasting both me and Gilgamesh. I heard the crowd gasp behind me and I looked at Twilight. “I remembered the spell you cast on Gilgamesh, so I cast it on both of you,” she whispered. “The Imaginary Friend spell, very useful for hiding in plain sight.”
“Princess Sparkle, what in Celestia blazes is going on around here?”
“Oh hello, Ms. Mayor. Oh, what is going on around here? Um… um… oh, it was a little… uh, experiment! Yeah that’s right, an experiment gone wrong. That’s what it was.”
“What were those creatures?”
“Creatures? Oh uh, they were um… puppets! Yes, puppets, I was experimenting with puppet magic and I guess it got a little out of control huh?”
Mayor Mare looked around, surveying the damages most likely. “Well, at least nopony was hurt.”
“Don’t worry Mayor, I’ll make sure everything gets repaired.”
“Of that I have no doubt Princess. You did save us from Tirek after all, a little magical mishap is nothing to cry over.” She smiled and then walked off, explaining everything was just an accident.
Twilight visibly deflated. “Oh that was so close. Nyx?”
Nyx had walked up to Gilgamesh and pawed at his leg, trying to get his attention. “Mr. Gilgamesh?”
“Yes, young one?” he whispered back.
“You need to put forty bits in the swear jar.”
“...I… I don’t what to say to that.”
“You say sure thing, because you did say a bad word that was worth five bits eight times,” Twilight said with a devious smile. “That word, while not common in Equestria, is used in other lands as the most insulting one there is. I did not appreciate you using such language in front of my impressionable daughter.”
“Dude… I think you made a mother mad.”
“Oh really? I couldn’t tell,” he snapped at me. “And just what am I supposed to do if I don’t have any money?” he asked Twilight.
“Well, then you are going to have to stay the day and help out. For the rest of the day, Gilgamesh, you are going to do whatever Nyx tells you to, do we understand?” I’m pretty sure that there were flickers of flame in the young princess’ mane, so I knew she was ticked.
“Might wanna do what she says, dude. She don’t look like she’s in the mood for us anymore.” As Twilight stared down Gilgamesh, I took the liberty of going back into my pegasus form, so as to not cause any more of a ruckus.
Gilgamesh just looked to me, then to Twilight, then to Nyx. If he was scared, he certainly didn’t show it. Then came the clincher when Nyx gave him a massive puppy dog look. “Yeah sure, fine by me. I love kids,” he said turning back to the princess. “So what do you want to do? Tea party? Coloring books? Oh, I’ve got an idea! Come with me!” he then grabbed the filly and sprinted off back towards the palace, a surprising spring in his step.
“Um, I’m gonna go keep an eye on them,” said Dash. “I’ll make sure Nyx will be fine.”
“Thanks, Dash,” Twilight said as the pegasus flew away. Then she looked to me. “Well, this another fine mess you’ve caused.”
“Oh come on! I couldn’t keep him in! When they want out, they will get out! Thankfully, we won’t be seeing Goop for a long while. They go in a cycle, so the next one, since we’ve had Rath, Hum, Voiceless, and now Goop, should be Cannonbolt. The peaceful one.”
“Well, at least there’s some good news. Anyway, I think we’ll put off Fluttershy until tomorrow. I’ve got something else for you to do.”
“Clean up this mess!” she screamed, pointing to the destroyed building and cart.
“Well, since Gilgamesh is taking care of Nyx, yes, by yourself.”
“He won’t be alone,” said Lyra as I looked to find her trying to meld into my shoulder. “I’ll be with him the entire time. Hey Benny, when we finish rebuilding that house, wanna go inside and ‘break it in’?”
“...I feel very scared and uncomfortable around you.”
“That’s how love works, silly!”
“NO IT DOESN’T WORK LIKE THAT!!”
“I don’t care who helps you, just get the job done!” Twilight let out a huff and began to walk off. “I’m going to let Fluttershy know that we need to reschedule. Please have at least half of it picked up before I get back.”
As we watched Twilight walk off, I looked back to the destroyed stuff. “Soooo,” started Lyra, “Wanna make out before or after we clean this up?”
“Get off me!” I said, prying her from my shoulder. I too flight and began to pick up all the destroyed lumber.
“After it is!”
“Ugh!” This mare is gonna be the death of me, I just know it.
A few hours later, Twilight came back with Gilgamesh (back in his original form) and Nyx, both licking a couple of ice cream cones. Lyra was nuzzling me again, only this time I couldn’t stop her because I was far too exhausted and sprawled out on the ground. Luckily, we got everything picked up, so nothing could possibly go wrong. ...Did I just say that? Crap!
“Good job, you two,” Twilight said, nodding at our work. “Very nice.”
“Thanks Twilight,” replied Lyra for the both of us. “So how was your day, Gilgamesh?”
“Oh, fantastic! To be honest I never really got many chances to do things with kids and, since I’m pretty much a kid myself at heart, we had a great time! First we flew some kites, then we had tea party, with real tea mind you, then we did some baking with Spike, and then we played catch! Oh, and I taught her how to make ice cream. Something I learned in chemistry class eons ago.”
“Yeah it was great! Especially the chemistry lesson, it was soo much fun! I even got Gilgamesh to help with my advanced math homework! He wasn’t all that much help, but it made the time fly by and was a whole lot of fun!”
“Hey, I’m not that bad! It’s just that you’re incredible!”
“Glad you had fun,” I grumbled from the dirt.
“Oh come on, no need to grumble. We saved plenty of ice cream for you and your girlfriend. Er, marefriend.”
“He’s my boyfriend,” Lyra said sing-song like.
“I’m not your boyfriend!” I yelled back. Wow, that came out a little too close to Chowder. What’s next? I’m gonna make Ponyville do the monkey with me? ...Actually that sounds like a lot of fun. Maybe some other time. “Ugh, don’t encourage her dude. She’s been trying to get me to do all this romantic, couple crap for hours. I don’t like you like that!”
“You will some day,” she sighed into my side.
“Heh, this is just like Jason and Chrysalis,” Gilgamesh chuckled.
“Huh?” said Twilight. “What are you talking about?”
“Oh, well you see, in Jason’s dimension the changeling hives don’t rely only the Queen. There are also changeling Kings, who live mostly by themselves, and the Queens do everything they can to woo them. That changeling in the Royal Guard I mentioned? He’s a King named Slash. Jason scanned his DNA and has the ability to change into a King. Chrysalis caught him in this state and she’s been trying to win his affections ever since.”
“Was she constantly trying to rape him, though?”
“I’m not trying to rape you!”
“All you’ve been saying for the past few hours is highly suggestive, very sensual things!”
“Well, duh! I’m trying to get you in the mood!”
“Wait! That’s your plan? To seduce me into wanting to have sex with you?!”
“Right on the money!” she said with an all too happy smile. I stared at her, my right eye twitching and then I sighed out loud. “Everypony in this town is crazy!”
“Why does that sound familiar?” asked Twilight who seriously seemed to be pondering it.
“Oh, I’m sure it’ll come to you,” Gilgamesh said with a smugness in his tone. “As for your question, not exactly. In fact, she’s had to try and make nice with Applejack, seeing as how she considers him an Apple and is basically deciding who’s proper girlfriend material for him.”
“Well goody for him, he’s not dealing with this shiz,” I moaned. “These ponies are gonna kill me, I just know it.”
“Oh, quit your whining,” Twilight waved off.
“Shut up, Twilight. I’m too tired to do anything more than whine.”
“Shouldn’t you give Gilgamesh that thing you gave Jason? You know, that weird badge thing that came out of the watch?” Lyra asked.
“Ugh, yer probably right.” I stood up and typed in the command on the watch, producing another Plumber’s badge. I tossed it to Gilgamesh who caught with one hand. “My totem. Go nuts with it.” I laid back down on the grass. Why? Because it was comfy that’s why!!
“Cool,” he said simply before pocketing it. “So, you want to hear more about the other Displaced, or should I spend the night so we can talk in the morning? I’m sure even with the difference in time flow I can afford to spend one night in another dimension.”
“Oh silly Gilgamesh,” said a familiar bubbly voice. I looked up to see Pinkie on Gilgamesh’s shoulder. “You know you’ve been away from home for too long. What if Luna’s found another coltfriend? You should just tell Benny what he needs to know and get going before you lose your mare.”
“Uh, well, um… I don’t think we’re ‘official’ yet,” he said, rubbing the back of his head as he blushed.
“Well, I just had a pinchy knee, with a wonky eye, and a rumbly tummy.” At everyone’s blank stares, Pinkie rolled her eyes and elaborated. “It means that a guest is going to lose in love if he stays too long. Who else is a guest here, but old Gilgy!” she said while patting him on the head. “And losing in love will make Gilgy sad and Auntie Pinkie can’t have a sad Gilgy, so do your explainy thing and get back that girl!”
“Wow, I honestly thought that nopony would have the guts to actually ask her out. Maybe I should make a move.”
“Wait, you’re not questioning how she can possibly know about your relationship status in another dimension?” I asked.
“It’s Pinkie,” he replied simply.
“...That still doesn’t explain anything.”
“Oh, Benny,” Pinkie said with a shake of her head. “We’ll catch you up one of these days, but for now, just go with it, okay? You’ll be better off that way.”
“I said it once, Imma say it again: everypony in this town is crazy!”
“EMBRACE THE MADNESS!”
“Ok, ok, I’m done. Ok, so first, can you tell me about Umbra? I’ve never met or heard of him before.”
“Umbra Shadow-Walker. An admin of the multiverse, and basically a living shadow. If you meet him, make sure you have money or something of a value, whether it be sentimental or actual worth. He’s got a portable shop on him that literally contains one of everything. I am not kidding. If I wasn’t try to hide, I would have given that dude a ton more money for the stuff in that shop instead of just the Proto-Tool. Don’t make him mad, though. He’s got phenomenal cosmic powers and shiz.”
“Heh. Aladdin reference. Anyway, that sounds interesting. I’ll have to keep an eye out. Anyway, we’ve already mentioned Kat, Auric, and Jason so who else do you know?”
“That’s pretty much it. I’ve only been free for like two or three days, so haven’t had a chance to meet anyone else.”
“Oh, so crash course then. The letter I gave you mentioned Xante. He’s a lich mage, very powerful, also very goofy. He gave me the tunic incantation that allows me to play music. Don’t ask his whole title, you’ll have enough time to make and eat a sandwich before you’re done. Also, his Equestria is anthro. So you, know, ponies but with arms, clothes and um,” he made some circle motions on his chest.
“That is just… no. Just no. Next!”
“Right, moving on. Then we’ve got Nemesis, tall mutated monster carrying a rocket launcher. Not one of the bad guys, ok? He’s a good friend of mine and until very recently he’s been the only one that had been fighting an evil with perhaps one of the most effective weapons of all time: good publicity.”
“Sounds like a bunch of problems. Sucks to be him, but I hope it works out in the end. Who else?”
“Typhon, Heir of Breath. Looks like a human teenaged with a blue hoodie. Extremely powerful but one of the good guys, if a bit mischevious. His Equestria works on some very different ways than most of the others. Then, my most recent acquaintance, a steampunk master who goes by ‘Invention.’ Guy also has some problems in his version of Equestria, but they’re really damn complicated so I’m skipping them for now. What you need to know is he’s one of the good guys, made sentient robots that are his ‘children’, and very recently another Displaced ended up in his world. Her name’s Jenny but she’s in the form of Beatrix from Final Fantasy IX. It was the only time I’d seen two Displaced in one dimension, after Jason of course. She’s still getting accustomed to the whole ‘not in her world’ thing.”
“Is every Displaced a gamer? Because if so, I’m not going to know any of these guys’ backgrounds or powers at all.”
“I weep for you. Anyway, no, not all of them. Typhon actually assumed to form of character from a webcomic. Anyway, aside from one, those are all the one’s I’ve met. As for those I’ve been told about, there’s apparently a knight be the name of Solaire out there. Don’t know anything about him. There’s also apparently a Ghost Rider, flaming skull-headed biker. Also don’t know anything about him. The there’s Nocturne, a ‘Demon Lord’ who makes deals and gives help for a price. I still don’t know what that price is, but considering Auric vouches for him I’d say you don’t have much to worry about. Also, you need a mirror to summon him. Then there’s the three you want to watch out for. Auric called them the ‘Triad of Madness.’ There’s Alice, from American McGee’s version of Alice in Wonderland, Jack of Blades from ‘Fable’, and Pyramid Head from ‘Silent Hill.’ Pyramid Head I’ve met, and just so you know he’s a zombie looking guy with a huge metal helmet that covers his entire head and a ‘knife’ that roughly the size of his body. I only heard bad things about him, but when I actually met him… well, he was actually pretty nice. I think his timeline is kinda screwy for some reason.”
“Wibbly wobbly, timey wimey, that’s all I’m hearing there. Hoo boy, what the heck have I gotten myself into. I’m starting to wish I told Umbra to just go the faq away and take the totems with him. Oh well, what are ya gonna do?”
“Hey, there’s no need to shun us, a lot of us like Auric are trying to do what we can to help. And speaking of which, let me give you my token. If you could go human for a moment please?”
“Already cast the spell.”
“Thanks. Disengage Form Lock, Code 1010. Better?” I asked, still lying face down on the ground.
“Yup,” he said as he pulled me to my feet. He then grasped my hands and focused until a bright light appeared on them both. In a moment they were gone and on both my hands were gauntlets, one running down to my elbow, the other stopping at the Omnitrix. “These are my summoning tokens, the Genji Gloves. They will give you defense against physical attacks and magic and will render you completely immune to the Toad and Paralyse status ailments.”
“I don’t know what that means, but these look pretty cool. Thanks for the weird day, Gilgamesh. It’s been… I don’t know what it’s been, but it has been.”
“Hey, a weird day is always better than a boring one in my opinion. And before I go I have two requests.” I was surprised to find that his tone had become serious. “Go see the Princesses. Tell them you are alive. Tell them the truth. They will still love you, they will help you. You’ve put this off for more than four thousand years. That’s more than enough time.”
“I will, soon. I just need to think on how I’m going to do it. I’m not gonna be that jack who just bursts in a pronounces that he’s alive. No, I need to think this through. What’s the other thing?”
He sighed sadly. “Please, please go see your sister. Go see Kat, if for no other reason than just to tell her you are alive. She needs all the help she can get, and the fact is I just can’t be around her all the time. She needs support, the support that can only come from family and friends. Even with those helping her she is still in a dark place.”
I was quiet for a moment, thinking over those words. “I’ll, I’ll think on that Gilgamesh. That’s all I can promise right now. But I want you to promise me something as well.”
“I want you to be less harsh on her. I know she messed up, you know she messed up, and from the sound of it she knows she messed up. Don’t make things any harder on her by using other worlds to compare and contrast hers. It doesn’t work that way, my friend. You must see this logically, not emotionally. I know you care about her, that much is obvious, but adding on pressure like that is only gonna make things worse. I know that may be hard right now, but you have to see past what your emotions are blocking so you can see the truth hidden within the truth. That is all I ask, that you just take it easy on her.”
He chuckled. “I’m a bit hardheaded, and I’m not very tactful, I’ll admit that much. It’ll be difficult, but I’ll try. And believe me, even after all she’s done, I still wouldn’t dream of turning her away if she asked for help. I did what I could for her before I left, and I intend to do more the next time I see her.” He then turned to Twilight. “Oh and speaking of ‘harsh’, Twi?”
“Ease up a bit on Ben, will ya? You trying to force him to be your new ‘friend’ is about as fulfilling as what Lyra is trying to do to him. How about scheduling some things he’ll actually want to do, like what I did with Nyx today? Believe me, the only reason I even stayed is because I wanted to play with her, not because you were telling me to.”
Twilight and I shared a look, that turned to scrunched smiles and then we both broke out laughing. “Oh, oh gods, you actually… haha!” I couldn’t breathe it was so funny. “You, you actually thought she was making a slave out of me? That she was forcing my friendship? Are you nuts? I was playing along with this because when we first met I called them all slave drivers for trying to make me transform.”
“I’m just having a little fun with Ben,” Twilight waved off. “He knows I’m not being serious, besides, I don’t really have anypony I can troll. Celestia taught me how to, but I’ve never had anypony to use it on and Ben makes the cutest reactions.”
“Cute?! I’m not cute! I’ll mess you up!”
“No, you’re cute. See, even your scrunchy nose is cute,” Twilight said in a babyish voice.
“Gah! You suck Twi!”
“Ah, so it was the mutually understood playful jabs between friends. I see. I’ve, uh… I’ve never had that kind of relationship with a friend… In fact, now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve many friends, period… And now I’ve managed to both make a fool out of myself and make myself depressed… great.”
“Ooh! Ooh! Itchy belly, tail twitch, and wobbly knees!” Pinkie shouted out.
“What?” I asked.
“That’s a super special one! That one means that there are friends right around the corner in your future! Hooray for Gilgamesh! He’s got friends a comin’!”
“Wait, yer a fortune cookie now?”
“Madame Pinkie sees all and knows all! Ooooh~~” Pinkie was now dressed like a stereotypical gypsy. The sad thing was that the look worked for her.
“I give up. Someone just stop the madness, hit the kill switch already!”
“Not happening, and considering I feel much better now, I say to crank the crazy meter up to eleven!” Gilgamesh exclaimed. He unclipped his spear and, surprisingly, used it to cut a hole in reality itself.
“Wow, it cuts through reality like butter,” I commented, just deciding to go with it for now. “Can it still slice through a tomato with ease?”
“Considering I’ve consistently used it to hunt for dinner, I’d say so.”
“Yeah. I’ve finally started to experiment with all the different ways to cook hydra.”
“Gross,” I said with my tongue out. “Why would you want to eat hydra? There’s so many poisons in there and you never know when you’re gonna find the Red Skull in there.”
“Ha, Captain America reference. And to that I say ‘why do people eat pufferfish’? Heck, when you think about it, isn’t cheese just really old milk?”
“Ack! Don’t do that! Ew, bad thoughts, bad thoughts. Old milk,” I shuddered thinking back to those few times I didn’t check the date on the carton. Oh gods, the nightmares that followed.
“Ok, so not an adventurous eater. Gotcha. Anyway, I’ve lingered here long enough. May the winds of Freedom carry your wings,” he declared before jumping into his portal, which promptly close behind him.
“And may a mental institution finally take you in, ya big bunch of crazy bolts.” I shook my head sighing from the long day I’ve had. “Hey Twi?”
“Can we go home now?” I whined.
She giggled at me and nodded. I was too lazy to get up so she and Lyra carried me back to the castle, Nyx riding on my back.
Later that night, with Lyra snuggled into my chest once again because she can’t take a hint, I stared up at my ceiling for what felt like hours. All that occupied my thoughts was my sister. She was alive. After all this time, she’s still alive. I couldn’t care less about what she had done, she was alive and that’s what mattered. I lifted up the diamond that was her totem and smiled sadly at it.
“Some day, Allison. Someday we’ll meet and it will the greatest day of my life.” With that happy thought, I put the diamond on my nightstand and rolled over into a nice comfortable sleep. ...Curse this crazy unicorn and her cuddliness.