Inside the gala, Storm actually freezes up for a moment.
Oh my... I've never seen a place this pretty before. All those jewels, the tapestries, the spectacular windows- they even have real carpet!
"Pinto," growls Discord, "Snap out of it."
"Shut up, beastie. You have no respect for beauty."
"What do you mean?"
"I've never been in a place this pretty in me life!"
"If you want sympathy-"
"Be quiet. Time to make some trouble."
She slinks off into the crowd.
Hmm, who shall I 'borrow' from first? That white stallion over in the corner looks like he might be rich, but that mare has some pretty jewelry... Think I'll go for the stallion first- maybe he'll fight me.
She trots over, keeping on guard.
"Good evening," says Storm.
"Hello... wow, you look lovely!"
"How much of that punch have you had, whitey?"
"You think I'm drunk?"
"You called me pretty. That ain't right."
"Oh but you are! You're the loveliest mare I've ever seen!"
"You are messed up."
"No, I'm Blueblood."
"That's my name, Prince Blueblood."
"I've heard tell of you. Didn't you humiliate that other unicorn when someone threw a pie at you?"
"Er, what do you mean?"
"Some mare name of Rarity. She was talking to you, something happened so a pie or cake flew toward you, and you shoved her in front of it because you were afraid of messing up your perfect mane."
"That was different. I'd never do that to you..."
"Ok, you have had way too much to drink!"
"No I haven't. I've just never seen a mare like you before."
"Yes. You're so graceful, those slender yet strong legs, that deer-like body, the curve of your horn, your long beautiful tail, your colors- you're gorgeous!"
"I'm a black and white pinto. Perfectly ordinary horse color."
"Not around here. I'm so sick of the same parade of pastel ponies, the same body types- I want something exotic. Like you..."
"What's your name?"
"I go by Storm. And I'm about to kick you!"
"You should. I'm such a naughty colt..."
"Ok, you asked for it!"
Storm slams both hooves into Blueblood's chest, full force, and he collapses to the floor, wind knocked out of him.
The pinto rears up like she's about to slam her hooves into the prince's head, but she thinks better of it.
No need to have another murder on my record- this beastie isn't worth killing. Besides, I do believe that annoying chaos demon will be very interested in a helpless prey.
Unfortunately for her, Blueblood snaps out of it faster than anticipated.
"I like girls who play rough..."
"You want rough huh? How about I crack your skull?"
"That would be painful..."
"You said you like it rough. So either leave me be, or you're crow bait."
"I'll leave you be soon enough..."
He moves in uncomfortably close and licks Storm's cheek. This turns out to be too much for the pinto mare. She cracks the stallion one on the head with her hooves, and he goes out.
"I. Hate. Stallions!! Just 'cause you're a mare, they think they're entitled to you- hate them, hate them, hate them!"
"Oh my," says Discord from nearby. "What happened here?"
"Drunk stallion made a pass at me. So naturally I persuaded him to go away."
"Quite a violent method, but it seems to have worked."
"Take it you'll handle things from here?"
"Good. I'm going to borrow that fancy winged mare's jewels over there."
She leaves, sneaking up on the aforementioned pegasus and stealing the jewels, using such subtlety that the victim doesn't notice right away. And when she does, the pinto is long gone.
"THIEF! THIEF! Someone stole my jewels!" yells the pegasus.
That pinto is too clever for her own good, thinks Discord as he sends Blueblood to who-knows-where. Once this alliance is over, that mare needs to die. She's too smart... But for now, I believe I see another easy mark...
He teleports to a table where a light yellow pegasus with a pink mane is sitting with a green earth pony mare with an orange mane.
"D-d-d-Discord!! W-what do you w-want?!"
"Please! D-don't eat me! I-I'm small and weak, n-not a g-good meal..."
"The weak part makes you a target, little pony."
He flicks out his claws, paying no attention to Fluttershy's companion.
"Hey, leave her be. You need to chill, man," says the earth pony.
"Tree Hugger," whispers Fluttershy to her friend, "That's Discord! Run away! He'll kill you!"
"She's right," says Discord, "And I may just kill you anyway. You earth ponies tend to be pretty easy-"
The green mare gets to her feet, her ears flat back.
"I said chill out, man."
"And how will you make me stop?"
Instead of an answer, the green mare starts to sing in a strange language.
"A song, really?" taunts Discord.
Tree Hugger continues to ignore him, her voice raising in pitch.
"What are you doing?"
Still no answer, and her voice gets even stronger and louder.
What? What's she doing? And why is it starting to hurt?
The mare keeps singing, her voice getting yet stronger.
"Stop! It's starting to hurt..."
She doesn't stop, and in fact grows even louder.
Discord screams in pain as the sound seems to take over his very mind.
"Stop it! Stop!"
Pretty soon, it hurts to speak, and even to stand up. He falls to the ground, wanting it to be over.
The earth pony stands right over him, continuing the strange song, pounding it into his brain, and Discord passes out cold.
Storm comes in from behind as the mare stops singing.
"How did you do that?"
"Just used sound to interfere with his aura, man."
"I have no idea what that means, but I think I like you. Any pony who can take down Discord like that, alone, is a-ok in my book. But why did you do that in the first place?"
"He was trying to hurt me," says Fluttershy quietly. "And Tree Hugger wouldn't let him."
"Tree Hugger, huh? Interesting name." She turns back to the earth pony. "Girly, you better take that pretty pegasus mare of yours to a safe place. That devil-dragon Discord wants to kill everyone here if he can. Of course, he won't be able to, but still..."
"Thanks for the warning, man, but I should be able to keep her safe here." The earth pony nuzzles the now-blushing pegasus mare, lowering her voice to a whisper. "I won't let anyone hurt you, Flutters..."
"I meant later," says Storm. "Traitor wants to take over and kill everyone he can."
"We'll be safe."
"Be that as it may, if you ever need help, call on me, Storm. I'll do what I can to help you two."
"Thank you," says Fluttershy, though she keeps her attention on the other mare.
"Heh, I'll leave you girls alone."
"Ok..." The two pony mares have almost forgotten the bounty hunter, lost in each other's eyes.
Storm grabs the still-unconscious Discord by the tail and drags him off, then concentrates on her own thoughts.
Now that's a cute pony couple! May the Great Hawk keep them safe. Kind of makes me want to go spend time with Goldfeather... Ah well, once this job is over, I'm staying at that griffin-girl's side unless she tells me to go away.
Discord eventually comes to.
"You messed with the wrong pony, Dissy."
Discord's eyes flash red and he brings out his claws.
"NEVER call me 'Dissy'!"
"If you are trying to scare me, you are doing a poor job."
"I'll kill you!!"
"Before the job's done? No, if you kill me now, the ponies here will see me dead with tell-tale claw marks. Word will get around. And when my allies find out, your life won't be worth a plugged nickel."
"I'd say call this job done now, then you die!"
"You haven't caught much prey, I haven't got many jewels yet."
"I'd gladly give that up to feel your blood running through my claws!"
"Sorry, beastie, but you proposed the deal. And if you break that deal, I'll free all those you captured before you have time to kill anyone."
"You don't even know where they are."
"Oh, I have my ways of finding out. Anyway, looks like the gala will be over soon, so we don't have to tolerate each other much longer."
"That can't come soon enough..."
"Shut it. Just a little longer, and then back to the usual business."
"I. Hate. You."
"As you've said, multiple times."
"Look, beastie, it's just for a little longer, then we can try to kill each other. Though, you can't attack me til I'm done bargaining with the 'fence'."
"But she's a griffin! If I touch you, she'll tear me limb from limb!"
"Exactly. And even if she doesn't take you down, you know I have friends in Griffonia, Avia, and down Below. Kill me, you have all those to deal with. Powers or no, how can you survive an attack from all those warriors?"
"By Tirek, why am I stuck with someone so bucking clever?! And how can you be so clever anyway?! And also, what the devil do you mean by 'Below'?! I still don't know!"
"You have bad luck. As for my being, as you say, 'clever', try spending most of your life with practically everyone aiming to kill you. If you aren't 'clever', you're dead. As for the 'Below' line, that is none of your business."
"Curse you to Tartarus, bounty hunter."
"Whatever. Now shall we finish here?"
"Good. And a word of advice: don't try anything stupid. This is too sweet of a job to be thrown out."
"Stupid? Moi? Would I do anything stupid?"
"Let me think about that for two seconds- yes you would."
Discord mutters a long string of profanity under his breath, but decides to remain an ally for at least a little longer.
By midnight, the job is done. The rich ponies have lost most of their jewels, and quite a number of unlucky ponies are trapped who-knows-where and awaiting a horrific fate at the claws of Discord.
"Now that was fun!" says Storm. "If I'm still alive next year, I might go to this gala-thing again to make trouble!"
"I doubt you will be alive," mutters Discord ominously.