Fallout Equestria: Memories Best Left Buried

by CivilWarPony

Part Seven: An Encounter With Chaos

Part Seven: An Encounter With Chaos

"I wonder what is taking Duty and Celestial so long to get back to us? Duty is usually very prompt about these sorts of things and Celestial wouldn't miss out on a good fight even if she had been hurt Duty could fix something like a fall right?," Airborne thought as he waited in the building opposite the one where Discord had taken up residence in. Discord had chosen a Pre-War office building called Cimarron Plaza. The building had once house the offices of various wartime ministries that were an extension of the government in Equestria. Discord's magic had turned the building into a twisted spiral making the building stand out among the destroyed skyline of the ruined building. "Might as well hang a giant neon sign advertising his location." Fractured said.

Airborne sighed and sat down flicking his tail impatiently, "Where are Duty and Celestial? This isn't normal for them to be taking so long." Sunrise checked the clock on her Pipbuck while Starshine kept watch for any sign of activity coming from Discord's twisted palace. Duty arrived with a blinding flash that briefly blinded Airborne and his friends. Duty sat down on his haunches facing away from both Airborne, Starshine, and Sunrise. His sides were heaving from the strain of the magic he had used to fly himself to his friend's position, but Starshine could see a few tears dripping down the sides of his cheek. "Where is Celestial?" Starshine asked as she pinned her ears back in concern for the normally so composed immortal pony.

Duty sighed and turned around facing his friends, "I am sorry to have to say this but Celestial is gone. She fought valiantly against Nightmare Moon but the Mad Princess was too much for her to handle. She died sacrificing herself so we could complete our mission." Airborne found himself unable to breath as Duty told him that Celestial was gone. Out of everypony he had ever met in his time in the Wasteland he always thought that Celestial was the most formidable pony who could survive any situation. He couldn't imagine that she was actually gone. He had journeyed with her through the frozen wastes of the Crystal Empire and she had fought by his side against a resurgent Enclave. Now she was gone. Airborne felt hot tears roll down his cheeks as his legs wobbled before they gave out. Starshine caught him before he hit the ground, "Duty, are you sure she is gone? Could you be mistaken?" She said.

Duty nods, "I am sure. I performed my duty on her personally. Out of all of the souls I have escorted from this life she was the bravest pony I have ever met. I was an honor to be there for her in those last few seconds." Starshine hugged Airborne close as she tried to comfort him. While Sunrise quietly stood nearby holding her grief inside. Celestial's death here in this forsaken place reminded her of when Baleout had died in Coltpolis. This city was an evil place where nopony deserved to die. Airborne sniffled and nuzzled into Starshine. Her warmth comforted him, he looked up into her eyes and she nodded. "Let's finish this. For her, and for everypony who has helped us get this far."

Discord sat upon his twisted throne, "Oh dear it looks like Nightmare Moon went and over did it again. I specifically told her not to delay my guests and look at the tea I boiled for them is already starting to grow cold. I shall have to take measures into my own claws should Nightmare Moon kill anymore of my guests." Discord snapped his fingers, within a few seconds Airborne, Duty, Starshine, Fractured, and Sunrise sat bound before him. "Now who might you all be? Have you come to pay me a visit?" Airborne blinked at Discord then turned to his companions who all sat with equally confused looks on their faces.

As they sat their Nightmare Moon flew in through a broken window. "What is it now Discord? Can't you see that I am busy?" She noticed the four ponies sitting bound before Discord. "So why have you summoned me if you already have apprehended them? Why waste my time Discord?" Normally Nightmare's crass comments didn't bother Discord. He had grown used to the unruly princess chiding him at every opportunity that she got but this time she had crossed the line in delaying his guests after he specifically instructed her not to do so. Discord quickly rose from his throne whipping his tail across the Princess's muzzle knocking her across the room and into a metal beam. Nightmare hit the ancient metal beam with enough force that it brought down not only the beam but a part of the ceiling above as well. Nightmare rose from the pile like a long dead ghost covered in bits of dust from the ancient dry wall and paint. She glared at Discord, her icy pupils contracting into slits. Discord merely stared back, a large vein on his forehead throbbing just beneath the surface of his skin. She couldn't believe that she had been caught off guard by Discord's sudden attack. Discord had never in all the centuries she had known the wily draconequus, had she ever seen him once lose his temper with her despite all she did to resist his strange holdover her.

Discord continued to return her gaze before turning away from her and towards the captive ponies who sat in stunned silence. "I do so apologize for Nightmare's behavior. In all this time she has never had very good manners especially when it came to guests visiting my city. Do apologize to our guest Nightmare for your rude behavior?" Nightmare humphed crossing her forehooves across her chest and turning her nose up at Discord. Discord this time asked more forcibly, "Do apologize to our guest Nightmare. RIGHT NOW!" Nightmare felt a burning sensation spread like lightning across her body. At first she tried to block out the sensation but the more she resisted the more pain she felt. Nightmare writhed on the floor in agony in front of Discord refusing to apologize to such a pathetic creature. Soon the pain crept into her heart making her gasp for breath. Every nerve felt like they were caught in a searing blaze from fires from Tartarus. Finally she screamed, "I'M SORRY DISCORD!!!!!! MAKE IT STOP!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Nightmare's chest heaved as her body labored to breath, the pain pressing down onto her like an anvil. Suddenly the pain relented as Discord spoke, "Was that so hard for you to do Princess? Such uncouth behavior from a ruler of Equestria."

Airborne gulped nervously as he watched Nightmare stagger to her feet. He had never thought to see one of the legendary godlike rulers of Equestria be made humble by the God of Chaos. Duty sat unimpressed by Discord's antics. This demonstration of control over the Princess was just another reason why he should finally put Discord in his place for having subverted the powers of his Mistress. Duty then decided he had enough of this charade severing the bonds that held him and his friends. "Discord, this game of yours has gone on long enough. In the name of my Mistress, I will allow you one chance to surrender before I sunder your soul into a thousand pieces." Duty drew his long fierce knife from its sheath. Airborne and his friends took up firing positions on either side of Duty waiting for Discord to make his move.

Discord sauntered back to his throne and sat down upon it. "Really Servant? Do you and your little rabble of pony pals think that you can tangle with the likes of me and stand a chance? You seem to overestimate your ability to hurt me. I have known Sleipnir for eons and not once has her power ever even rivaled my own. She might control the balance of life and death in this world but I control something far more powerful. Since the war chaos has reigned in every corner and every heart of the pony that still call this blasted heap of horse apples home. There is nothing you can do to me that I cannot do unto you a thousand fold so why even bother trying? Now can I offer you some tea?" Discord offered up a cold cup of tea to Duty who sliced the bottom half of the cup spilling some of its contents onto the dusty floor. Discord rolled his eyes and took a swig of the remaining liquid in the cup which was held in place by his magic before tossing the cup out the window which landed below with a massive explosion that rocked the entire building. "Shall we begin?" Discord said as he disappeared in a blinding flash along with Nightmare Moon.

"We need to find them quickly otherwise that devious draconequus might destroy all of Equestria if we allow him to escape. Normally I would suggest splitting up but in this case I will advise against using such a tactic. All the easier it will be for Discord and his thrall Nightmare Moon to pick us off one by one until nopony is left to stand in his way." Duty said. Fractured snorted in annoyance, "I hate all this sneaking about minotaur shit. I prefer stand up fights. I wonder where Discord has gone to anyway? It's not like this place leaves a whole lot of places to hide." Both Airborne and Starshine shrugged while Sunrise flipped through her Pipbuck looking to see if she had any files on the layout of the building.

"I don't have any files on hoof showing the layout of this place. Records from Mustangia were fairly limited even during the War. So I would suggest looking for them starting with the most obvious place. The roof, if Discord is not there then we can search the lower floors for him. I would imagine that Nightmare is nearby as well." Sunrise stated as she turned off her Pipbuck. Duty's horned glowed as a spell which sent magical tendrils through the floor and ceiling. After a few moments his face contorted with frustration, "I cannot sense either of Discord's or Nightmare's magical energy signatures. Has Discord found a way to block me?" Fractured watches as the tentacles ripple out from the immortal unicorn. He smiled, "I do hope you find them and I get to live long enough to see you rip Discord into tiny bloody pieces what a memory that will make!"

The magic effects of Duty's spell recedes as his horn stops glowing. "I cannot sense where Discord has gone so if we are to go search for him we better do it now otherwise he might find a new place to hide from whence we will never find him or Nightmare Moon,"Duty woefully says. At the back of Discord's throne Airborne finds a set of stairs leading to the upper levels of the skyscraper. "Well if we are to start looking for him here is a good place to start." Airborne replies as he places a hoof on the first step. Slowly the rest of the group follows him likewise up the stairs. Most of the upper floors of the Cimarron Plaza building were completely filled with years of sand blown in through the broken windows.

Occasionally echoes of the past would poke up from the sand dunes that filled the upper levels of the building, here and there the swirling dust would move the sifting sands to uncover the remains of an unfortunate Mustang pony caught still in their final moments with their skeleton's mouths agape in a silent scream. Their bones charred and melted to the metal frames of the chairs they were sitting on when hellfire ended their lives. "It isn't right that Discord made his home in this place. It's more of a tomb than a ruin." Sunrise said. Duty tried to ignore the many ghosts that wandered past him, their eyes beseeching him to release them from their eternal torment. If his Mistress allowed it he would try to help these poor ponies move on, they had lingered too long in a world where they no longer belonged.

Nightmare sat silently as Discord awaited for his guests to arrive. She rubbed her right foreleg as it had gone numb from the pain Discord had inflicted upon her earlier. She very rarely felt afraid of anypony especially Discord but she had to admit that she did feel her fear rising inside of her chest like an icy cold that refused to leave. She began to understand that the power Discord held over her extended beyond his ability to simply call her to his side whenever he had need of her but that he could if he felt like it torment her in ways she never expected from the normally inconsistent draconequus. She knew that his nature was so contradictory but his foalish pranks never went beyond deliberately annoying anypony she never expected that he was capable of outright cruelty.

He didn't seem like the draconequus she defeated alongside her sister those many moons ago. Instead he seemed hardened and at times she thought she could see him shaking from silent sobs but she had never known him to cry before. Something had happened to Equestria in her absence as was obvious by ruined city and the lands beyond Mustangia. On some occasions what seemed to be memories of her sister crying over her surfaced in her mind, they were always accompanied by the feeling of something drawing her away as her sister cried out for her not to go. These moments made her feel sad and loved at the same time but she always in the end brushed them off as being meaningless. She hated her sister for imprisoning her in the Moon above after she tried to rightfully claim what was hers.

Discord could feel Nightmare's fear gathering around her like dark storm clouds. He smiled as he turned towards her noticing that she squirmed while averting her eyes from his gaze. "Good, it seems that my little demonstration of my power over her seems to have worked. She seems to have learned her place again. Honestly, these little spurts of independence from her have become so tedious. I wonder why I even bothered to rescue her in the first place?" Discord thought. He sensed something more though bubbling to the surface in Nightmare's mind, had she only known how far his control extended over her that he seriously doubted that he would survive the onslaught that would ensue. With a gentle nudge of his magic he wiped the memories of her past away. This was key in maintaining the short leash he kept her on. She could never have her old memories back, if she did he would be left without his greatest asset and be rendered that much weaker. Even though he could wipe her memories away so easily he could not do the same in his own mind.

Slippery ice sliding like glass underneath his feet as he skates with Fluttershy followed by tea parties inside her warm cottage on the edge of the Everfree forest, these memories and a thousand more from the Last Day cause Discord to hide his face from Nightmare as tears roll down the sides of his face. He tries to suppress everything beneath a veneer of self assurance, but it is a poor ruse that fails as his body quivers with silent sobs that rack his elongated body. Under his breath he mutters, "Oh Fluttershy, I do miss you so." Discord watches the sun set over the city, one way or another all of this would end soon and he could finally set out to find his old friends again.