It’s been a few days since Gilgamesh came and went, but I was slowly getting into this new ‘life’ of mine. Sure, it was a little jarring having to constantly help my ‘best friends’, but it was fun, I’ll admit. For most of the day after I was helping out Fluttershy with her animals. It was kind of fun being around all the different critters. Reminded me of that month I got lost in the Amazon… don’t ask.
But then, I met Angel Bunny.
I instantly did not like that little rodent. He was rude, pretty sure he was crude, and just a complete and utter jerk. I have never hated an animal as much as I have that bunny. All I did was try to give him a carrot and he tried to shank me with it! I don’t care what Fluttershy says, if he tries anything, I'm having rabbit stew.
About two days after that was spent with Rainbow Dash. By Poseidon, that mare is boastful. Every other word out of her mouth was about how awesome she was. Even claiming she was the fastest in Equestria. Oh, I was so tempted to show her who the real fastest creature was. I don’t even need to be a pegasus to show her up. I kept that to myself, though. No need to make her feel bad...oh gods, I’m sounding just like her.
Today, I was currently reverse sitting in Twilight’s throne, just twiddling my thumbs and dozing off here or there. It’s actually very comfortable like this, my legs leaning up against the back of the crystal chair, while my head lay on top of my arms at the bottom.
Out of nowhere, I felt a tapping on my head. I adjusted my neck a little to look up and see Twilight there. “Wassup, pony princess?”
“I’m wondering why you’re just lazing about,” she said like the mother she is. “Nyx and Spike are out playing with the crusaders. Why don’t you join them?”
“I don’t think you’d want that,” I said, adjusting myself into a more comfortable position.
“I’m pretty dangerous, Twi. And I don’t just mean the Voices and the watch. Look, things happen around me and I’d rather not drag your kids, or any others for that matter, into my shenanigans. I don’t go looking for trouble, trouble just seems to find me.”
“Oh come on, it couldn’t be that bad,” she said with a wave of her hoof.
“Oh yeah?” I said with a daring smirk. “Did I tell you about the time I nearly destroyed Earth?”
Twilight clammed up and started opening and closing her mouth like a fish. “Wh-wh-what?! What do you mean nearly destroyed?!”
“Let’s just say that my time on Earth wasn’t very peaceful,” I answered cryptically. Truth be told, some of the details are a little blurred. Don’t look at me like that! I’m old, we forget things, lay off!
Twilight hmmphed, obviously not liking my answer. “You know something, Ben? You’re just one mystery after another. The Omnitrix, the Voices, your past. Come to think of it, we really don’t know much about you. Why is that?”
“Because you haven’t asked, for one,” I said with a smirk, earning me a quick bop on my noggin. “Hehe, and because I just don’t talk about my past. It’s the past, I look to the future. I live for the future. That’s my code.”
“Odd code,” Twilight whispered to herself. “Well, I’m asking now. Would you like to share?”
I thought on that for a moment or so. “Well… I suppose I could tell a tale or two. Sure, why not? On one condition!”
“Food?” Clever girl.
“Lead the way,” I said with a smile, flipping myself around. Twilight rolled her eyes and we headed for the kitchen. Didn’t take too long thankfully, but just as we made the last turn, I got tackled to the ground. Do I even need to say by whom anymore?
“Gah!” I shouted as I went down. I groaned, knowing who it was. “Lyra, was that really necessary?”
“Surprise hugs are always necessary, Benny! Boop!” She booped my nose, making it crinkle involuntarily. I hate that. It makes me look cute. I am not cute!
“I am getting so sick and tired of this shiz!” I moaned, but stopped. “Wait, a second, I heard it! I heard it that time!”
“Ever since Gilgamesh mentioned I was saying stupid ways of cursing, I’ve been trying to pay more attention to what I’ve been saying. That time, I heard it! I said ‘shiz’! I don’t say shiz, who says shiz? Shiz isn’t even a real word!”
Lyra and Twilight looked at each other before turning back to me. “But you always say shiz. And dafaq. (I really don’t like that one). And other crazy things. Didn’t you know?”
Wait a second… those words… oh gods! I groaned loudly. “That spell still hasn’t worn off?! Aw man!!”
“What spell?” Twilight asked as Lyra finally got off of me.
As I brushed myself off, I answered her. “See, way back when, Celestia, Luna, and I enjoyed pulling pranks on each other. A common one they would use would be the ‘Stupid Curse’ spell. It makes me saying stupid things to curse, such as shiz and dafaq. It also makes me curse more often than I should. And trust me, I really am not one for cursing. You have to tick me off massively for that to happen.”
“So your weird expressions are the result of a prank spell?” Twilight and Lyra looked at each other again for a moment… before bursting out laughing. I deadpanned as they laughed themselves silly.
“It’s not particularly that funny, you two.” I rolled my eyes. Mares, bleh. “I had hoped that it had worn off after all this time, but apparently not. I’m going to need to remember that so I can get them back. The zebra ambassador was not all that pleased when I began cursing sillily at him.”
“They did that before a political meeting?” Twilight sounded shocked.
“Oh yeah. They loved to see the expressions of those stuck snoods. I don’t know what they had against Zenanan, he was a good guy… more often than not.”
As we finally moved to the kitchen, we found Spike back at the stove. “Spike?” Twilight asked, startling the poor drake. “What are you doing here? I thought you were with the Crusaders.”
Spike sheepishly hid a few gems behind his back. “Uh, well they wanted to try and get, blech, make-up cutie marks. I wasn’t interested, since I knew they would use me as a model. Don’t give me that look! You know they would!” Got give it to the guy, he knows when to run. Spike, whether you know it or not, you have my respect.
“So… you came back to steal some gems, huh?” Twilight said with a knowing smirk. Ooh, busted.
“Uh… nooo?” Don’t quit your day-job, sweetie.
“Uh huh, you’re fine Spike, but keep it at three. Don’t want to spoil your dinner.”
Spike beamed as he munched on an emerald. “Thanks, Twi. So, what are you three up to?”
“Ben’s going to tell us of his early years… in exchange for food,” Twilight explained as she got out some food supplies.
Spike chuckled as he sat at the table with Lyra and me. “It’s always food with you, isn’t it?”
“I like food, shut up!” I crossed my arms in front of me as I leaned back in the chair. The all shared a little chuckle at my expense.
“Well, while I make us all some sandwiches (without flowers for you, I know, Ben), why don’t you tell us about your beginnings Ben. I’m very eager to know, considering you’re our first Displaced.”
And I’m gonna try to keep it that way. “Well, let’s see. I suppose it all--” I was interrupted by a loud beeping coming from my pocket. Confused, I pulled out the prototool (still in PDA form) and found it to be beeping at me. I touched the screen, trying to scroll through it.
I looked up to see they were all transfixed by the device. “Hmm? Oh, this?” I held up the PDA. “It’s a prototool. Basically the greatest multipurpose device to ever exist. Can change shape into almost anything.”
“Is that the sword you pulled on Gilgamesh?” asked Lyra.
I nodded. “Yep, can even turn into weapons. Right now though… looks like I have a message.”
“You mean like a letter?”
“Kind of, Twi. It’s more like digital instant messaging than the kind I’ve seen you use with Spike. Now let’s see... uh… hit this button right? Oh, nope, not that one… okay let’s try that one. Ack! No, definitely not that one… whoa! Why is that even on here?!” What in Ares’ name did Umbra put on this thing?! Note to self: never let Spike or Nyx near this thing. “Aha! There it is! Oh, it’s from Umbra!”
“Umbra? Oh, he’s that shadow being you mentioned right?”
“That’s him.” I read over the message and blinked. “Huh, well that’s convenient. Looks like the war has been called off.” I put the PDA away. “Good enough, frees me up to focus more on my own plans.”
“That’s a little too convenient, don’t you think?” asked Twilight. “Almost like just an easy way of covering up a mistake.”
I shrugged. “Eh, I’ll take his word on it. If it’s just a ruse, he’ll come get me anyway. Now, where was I?”
“You were about to start your story!” Lyra said as she looked through some books.
“What are you doing?” I asked as she put another book away.
“Looking for a counterspell to your cursing! Can’t have my Benny be cursed, now can I?” she replied with a smile.
I was actually a little stunned, seeing how helpful she was. “Oh, thanks Lyra. That’s really nice of you.”
“Anything for you!” she said very happily, her tail wagging slightly.
“Get on with the story please!” Spike whined. “I’d like to hear it too!”
I chuckled, leaning back. “Let’s see, some of my memories are a little fuzzy, but I know the majority. A long, long, long time ago…”
Five thousand years ago…
It all began that fateful day. It was my very first convention and it was the most famous in the country: San Diego Comic Con. Where people of every fandom gathered to meet, socialize, shop, and experience their favorite characters in person. Of course, being that I was more broke than Warren Buffet was rich, I had to find an… alternate way in.
“So you snuck in through a backdoor or something?”
Don’t interrupt Spike, it’s very rude.
Anyway, after getting in, well… I had the time of my life! Honestly, it was amazing! Sure, I was surrounded by a ton of people, which I don’t like by the way, but it was so much fun! I got to see so much stuff from my favorite tv shows and the few movies I’ve seen. I got to meet some of the characters, voice actors and the people behind them. I spent hours wandering about the convention center, loving every single minute.
Then came the point where historians will argue was either the greatest or stupidest thing I did in my life.
Near the back of the convention center was a little prop shop. There gizmos and gadgets all over the place, stuff from shows even I’d long forgotten. There was a scroll from Xiaolin Showdown, a plush raven from some old video game, a few Animaniacs dolls, and even an old Freakazoid costume. As I stared at the collection, the shop owner came over to me, his voice Russian with a hint of Polish. Not very much, but it was there.
“I see you are enjoying my stock,” he said, startling me from my daze.
“Oh, yeah! You got one of everything here. Holy! Are those the Talisman’s from Jackie Chan Adventures?!”
“Indeed,” he lifted up the little trinkets, their pristine surface reflecting off the fluorescent lights of the center.
“Awesome,” I said in awe.
He chuckled a little. “I see you are a cartoon enthusiast. Your costume displays it quite nicely. Could I perchance offer you this Omnitrix? I’ll give you a good deal on it.”
The merchant had lifted up a model of the original Omnitrix. It’s organic looking form was a little enticing, but I more prefered the one I had. “It’s a nice piece man, but I think I’m good,” I lifted up my wrist displaying the watch you see now.
He seemed very interested in it all of a sudden. “Oh my word, where on Earth did you acquire such an exquisite piece?”
“I, uh… it was a gift! Yeah, that’s it! A gift… from… a collector! Yeah, a collector of Cartoon Network memorabilia.” I felt proud just being able to properly use “memorabilia”, but in all honesty, the watch is stolen.
What did I say about shouting? Yes, I stole this thing from the original creators of the show, Man of Action studios. I snuck in there once to try and meet some of them, when I found this thing hidden away in the basement. No idea why it was down there, but I figured no one would miss it, so I took it.
“Stealing is wrong, Ben!”
It sure is. Remember Spike, don’t steal.
Enough interruptions Twilight, you’re being rude. Anyways, he asked to see it, so I put my arm out for him to examine it. “Oh my, such craftsmanship. You could almost say it was the real thing.”
“Yeah, she’s a beauty, ain’t she?”
“Heh, your accent’s slipping, boy.” I clamped my hand over my mouth. Back then, I was a little more self-conscious about the little twang that slips in every now and then. That’s what comes when most of your life was lived in the southern states. “However, it seems your device is incomplete.”
“Incomplete? How so?”
“See here?” he pointed to a little slot on the back of my watch. How I never noticed, I have no idea. “It appears there was meant to be a special kind of computer chip to be installed here.”
“Aw, dang,” I moaned a little. I was pretty proud of having the watch, but knowing that it was incomplete was a little disheartening.
His light chuckling made me look back at him. “There is no need to be upset, my friend.” He reached down beneath the shelves and pulled out a little computer chip, roughly the size that would fit in the slot. “I have just the piece you need. Install this, and you’ll have quite the interactive Omnitrix up and running.”
Oh, it was so tempting, but I declined his offer. “Sorry. As much as I want that thing, I just don’t have any cash on me. Flat broke, man.”
“Oh no no no! I give to you for free!”
“I cannot stand to see such work go uncompleted. Please, take it. Be best Ben you can be.” He held out the chip, tempting me with it like a fat kid and a Twinkie (I’ll explain those later). And, of course, I caved.
“Sweet!!” I snagged the chip and immediately threw it in the slot. But I did feel bad for just taking, it so I pulled out the only dollar I had, and put in his hand. “For the trouble.” The watch let out a series of beeps and glowed a little. The cover slid back, and the core popped out. “Woah, didn’t know it could do that.”
“Well,” the merchant said, waving his hand at me. “Go on, give a go!”
I smirked a raised my hand up. “Here goes nothin’! Going hero!” I slammed down on the watch, a blinding green light being emitted immediately. To this day, I swear that before I blacked out, I saw the merchant smile wickedly at me.
“And that’s how I got to Equestria,” I finished, taking a sip of apple juice. That farm mare knows her stuff, I’ll give her that.
“That was an interesting story, Ben,” Twilight said as she finished writing in her little book. I noticed that it was the same book she had out when Gilgamesh showed up.
“What is that, anyway?”
“Hmm? Oh, this?” She lifted up the book for me to see a little better and I saw it had the Omnitrix symbol on it. “It’s the journal I’ve made for your kind. It’s a guide for the Displaced. So when more visit, I can expand on the study of it all!”
“Huh,” was all I could say. Personally, I was hoping to not have to deal with anymore for a while. One can only take so much craziness after all.
“Ooh ooh! I found it, I found it!” Lyra shouted with a beaming smile.
“Found what? Oh, the counterspell! You found it?”
“Uh huh,” she nodded. “Are you ready, Benny-wenny?”
“As long as you never call me that again, sure.”
“No promises~!” Lyra fired up her horn and shot a quick bolt of magic that bowled me over to the floor. “Oh! I’m sorry, Benny! I didn’t know it had that much force!”
“You okay, Ben?” Spike asked, leaning over the table.
“Finland!” I shot up, standing tall. “Kidding! Ah, I feel great! Now let’s see… crap! Heck! Son of a--” There was suddenly a magenta light surrounding my mouth.
“You finish that sentence and you’re doing Spike’s chores for the next month,” Twilight threatened with a death glare.
“Sweetness!” Spike cheered. I deadpanned at him. Little traitor.
I nodded a “yes” and Twilight let my mouth go. “I wasn’t actually going to say it, girl. Was just testing if I could. Yesh.”
“I’m not taking any chances.”
“So what happened next, Benny?”
“Hmm? Oh! With the story. Well, when I woke up, I was in some field, surrounded by corn. I find that a little insulting, being from Nebraska, but I digress. Anyways, I woke up in basically a crop circle, feeling incredibly groggy. Next thing I know, a large angry mob of ponies is chasing me with pitchforks and torches! I didn’t even figure out why until a few days after I lost ‘em I snuck into town and found out what happened there.”
“Which was?” Spike encouraged.
“Rath happened.” They all paled, trust me, I did too when I saw that article. “When I activated the watch, not only did it send me to Equestria, but I was also transformed into the first programmed alien. That being big bad and angry himself. For the next century, I was on the run from one town to the next, trying to keep the Voices under control. Usually I tried to let them out in the middle of nowhere so that no one would be hurt. Didn’t always work since some of them are very impatient.”
“But when did you meet Celestia and Luna?” asked Twilight, writing everything down.
“Well now, that is a tale. Let’s see…”
About 4,900 years ago…
...after that first grueling century, my life had been somewhat of a habit. I hadn’t even been able to build up any new forms yet, so I was still stuck with the Voices. I was never able to get close enough for me to scan a new species, nor did I ever have any true time to mess with the watch. Which is a bad idea, don’t try to, it doesn’t end well.
Back to the habit thing. I would find a town, grab a few bits of food and what not without being seen, and make it out of there as fast as I could. Hopefully without an angry mob chasing my butt out of there. Oh hey, I said ‘butt’ instead of some weird version! Sweet, thank you, Lyra!
“You’re welcome, Benny! ...can I get a smooch?”
“Can’t blame a mare for trying.”
Moving on. Anyways, it wasn’t all that different than the life I had been living, only it just lasted a heck of a lot longer. A century on your own and being afraid of your own self is not healthy.
But that’s not the story you want to hear.
Began like any other day, cooking up some grilled corn and beets. Blech, I hate beets. Only thing is, apparently you shouldn’t have an open grill running in the Everfree forest. Hey, to be fair, I didn’t know that was what I was in. Not like I had a map on me. Anyways, out of nowhere, I got ambushed by a pack of timberwolves. Yeah, not good.
I hightailed it, of course grabbing the corn. Ya can’t let good corn go to waste. They were hot on my tail for most of the way through the forest. I wasn’t that fast back then. Still a speedy little devil, but not like I am today. Eventually the forest thinned into rocky cliffs. And this is what I was told what happened:
Above me, watching with keen interest were two, young, alicorn fillies. No older than ten, the eldest was white with a pink mane and tail, while the younger, probably around seven or eight, had a dark blue coat and light blue mane and tail.They watched the wolves chase me along the chasm paths, debating amongst themselves.
“But we should help it, big sister!” argued the little filly. “Those mean old timberwolves are gonna get it!”
“We don’t know what it is,” the elder reminded her younger sister. “It could be dangerous.”
“But we can’t just let it get eaten!”
Both looked down as I was cornered by the wolves. And I will swear this with my dying breath that never once did I scream. No matter what those two say, I. Never. Screamed.
“Alright wooden wolves,” I said in a hushed tone, trying to save my own hide. “We can work something out. You don’t wanna eat me. I’m all stringy! See, I’m like a walking matchstick.” They licked their drooling mouths. “Unless of course you eat matchsticks which really doesn’t help me.” I backed up against a wall, and seeing that there was no way I could climb it before getting clawed. “Oh come on! This cannot be how I die! Getting eaten by a pack of moving, snarling kindling!” Obviously, that’s exactly what the wolves had in mind. “Crap!” I lifted up the watch. Desperate times called for desperate measures.
But before I could, the two fillies flew down in front of me, yelling at the top of their lungs. “Stand down, foul beasts! You shall not harm this creature this day!” The eldest shot a blast from her horn, destroying the front runner in to twigs. I was actually surprised a horse was protecting me. Didn’t know you all were ponies back then, to clarify.
“Great job, big sister!” the little one said with pride, the elder drinking in the praise with a pose.
That was a big mistake.
Faster than they could react, the wolf reformed and struck at the elder sister, clawing her wing. She yelped in pain and the younger cried her name, “CELESTIA!!”
She ran to her sister’s side, cradling her in her hooves. Unfortunately, the wolves still weren’t done with them. They moved to surround them on one side, licking their lips in anticipation.
And where was I? Half way up the cliff face that’s where.
“YOU RAN AWAY AND LEFT FOALS TO FIGHT TIMBERWOLVES?!?!”
I’m a coward, but I’m a live coward. Or that’s how I used to be. But when I saw those wolves about to attack to innocent little ponies who actually were there because of me, I just couldn’t let it happen.
“Oh, I’m so gonna regret this. Geronimo!” I shouted, leaping from the cliff and slamming down on one of the wolves. I retreated immediately, getting right between the wolves and the ponies. I looked over shoulder at the crying filly and her wounded sister and smiled. “Don’t worry.” She seemed surprised I could speak. “I’m not gonna let anything happen to you. Get your friend out of here and I’ll take care of the wolves.”
I lifted my hand to the watch, prepared to go down fighting. “B-b-but I can’t just leave you! We came to protect you!”
I smiled sadly at her words, even though she couldn’t see my face anymore. “Then allow me to return the favor. I’m sorry for what you’re about to see.” I flicked back the screen, lifted my hand and, for the first time in over a hundred years, I said, “It’s hero time!” And I slammed down the watch.
I prepared for my mind to be dragged into the depths… but it never happened. I opened my eyes and found myself as a familiar, crystal-humanoid alien. “Diamondhead!!” I shouted in proud joy. “Awesome! I finally have an alien I can control! Now…” I turned to the wolves and my smirk turned to a growl. “You will not hurt me or these younglings ever again!” I turned my arms into twin swords and attacked the wolves.
They jumped at me at the same time, biting and clawing at my crystal skin. No matter how hard they tried, they just couldn’t break it. The only thing they succeeded at breaking was their own claws and teeth.
I, however, was having no trouble ripping those wolves a new one.
“A new what?”
“You’ll find out when you’re older!”
Oi! Don’t give me that look! That’s the thought process of an American. Anyway, me reshaped limbs were able to slice and rip right through those wooden wolves with no problem. I stomped and squashed their twiggy remains, but even more would keep coming. I began firing crystal shards, but they just wouldn’t stay dead. After a while, the wolves seemed to have caught on and the recently broken reformed themselves together into an alpha timberwolf. That thing was massive! Easily my size, but nearly twice as long.
I backed away, still making sure the fillies were behind me. I had to get them out of there, but how? And then it came to me. I turned one eighty and put myself protectively over the fillies. “Hold on to something!” Was the only warning I could give them before I summoned a massive crystal tower that rose beneath us. Before the alpha could reach us, we were already a good story above him. Higher we went, only stopping once we reached the very top of the cliff. I grabbed the fillies and leaped to the solid high ground. I sat them down and looked back at the timber wolf that was attempting to climb the sheer-face of the cliff.
I rose my arm and fired a few good shots down, splintering right through its head. It collapsed to the ground and I turned to the fillies.
The younger was shaking in fear as she held her sister. She had awakened and was keeping her sister behind her, glaring at me through her pain. I held up my hands defensively.
“I’m not going to hurt you, but you should both get along home. That’s a pretty nasty cut.”
“And what do you care, monster?” Ouch, that hurt. Seriously, the way she said that burned right into my heart. “Don’t want blood in your meal?”
“I said I’m not going to hurt you, either of you. You both tried to save me, so I was simply returning the favor.” The Omnitrix then went off, signaling the end of the transformation. In a red flash, I was back to myself. “Woo! That was a awesome!”
The fillies stared at me with wide-eyes. “Wh-what are you?” the younger asked.
I smiled friendly at them. “Me? Oh I’m just your run of the mill schmuck. Name’s Ben. Who’re you?”
“I-I’m Luna.” The elder glared at Luna for a moment before sighing.
“I’m Celestia. How did you change like that?”
I lifted up the watch. “See this little doodad? It allows me to change into different creatures. What you just saw was… a hero. Yeah, a hero!”
“You’re a hero?” they asked, suspicious yet curiously.
“Well, hero in training, I suppose.”
Luna got out from behind Celestia and started to move towards me. “Luna, careful! He could still be dangerous.”
Standing right there, too. Luna walked up to me and motioned for me to crouch. I did so and found myself hugged by the little alicorn.
“You’re my hero.”
I… I was speechless, honestly. I’d never been a hero before and to see this little filly just openly accept me like that… it’s just wow. I hugged her back.
“Thanks. Now, let’s get you two home, eh?” They both nodded. I picked up Luna and Celestia, the latter a little more resistant than her sister. I held them in my arms and trudged off to take them back where they belonged.
“And that’s how I met Tia and Lulu.”
“What happened next?” Lyra asked, eager for me to continue the story.
“Maybe another time. Always keep ‘em wanting more, right?”
“Aw man! Not cool!”
“I promise to tell more later, Spike. And I’ll even get you some taydenite.”
“Taydenite?” he and Twilight asked.
“What’s that? I’ve never heard of such a thing.”
“Taydenite is an incredibly rare gem that is practically impossible to come across on most planets. However, as Diamondhead, I’ve learned to be able to replicate most any gem. Taydenite took me the longest, but it was worth it. Helped a lot as an offering to the dragon representative when we were renegotiating trade routes and import pricing. Said they were best gems he ever had.”
Spike began to drool a little before Twilight closed his mouth gently with a giggle. “You are awesome, Ben.”
“I know,” I said smugly.
“Well, Mr. ‘Awesome’, could you do me a favor and run to the market with Spike? We need a few groceries or we’ll be out of food.”
“Out of food?!” I was honestly scared of that thought. I think having a constant cook spoiled me a bit to always having food. “I’m your man!”
“No, you’re my stallion,” Twilight corrected. “You need to be a pony or everypony will panic. Then Celestia and Luna will find out and then you’re out of luck.”
“Right, right.” I transformed into Streak and Spike jumped on my back. I looked at him with a raised eyebrow.
“What? It’s more fun this way.”
I rolled my eyes and walked out with Spike. “See ya later girls.” They both waved and said their goodbyes.
“Hey, Princess Twilight?” Lyra said after we had left.
“Just Twilight, Lyra.” she corrected.
“Right. Um, there was something I wanted to ask you about…”