Statice was once again being escorted back into his cell. This time the ones that were escorting him were Applejack and Pinkie Pie. After Celestia stopped the brawl between him and Shining Armor, she had both mares be in charge of him while she and the other princesses discussed his punishment. Rainbow Dash had offered to go with them but Celestia forbid it, quickly figuring out that she also had a grudge against the green stallion that would result in another altercation. Rarity had refused to go with them because she didn’t want to be associated with a “ruffian” as she had called him. Fluttershy was too scared and shocked at how violent the trial got that she hid under the chair, leaving Rarity in charge of consoling her. Spike wanted to be around Statice as well, wanting to see what else was going to happen around him, only for Twilight to levitate him onto her back and carry him away.
“Ya have a big mouth,” Applejack scowled at Statice.
“I have a big mouth as well,” Pinkie Pie bounced, stopping in midair to get a large cake out of nowhere before opening her mouth extra wide to swallow it. Statice stared in surprise while Applejack kept her eyes on him.
“It’s bigger than mine,” Statice remarked in surprise as the pink mare returned to the floor, licking her lips in delight.
“Thanks Static,” she hugged him. “Oops, I meant to say Statice,” she giggled before giving him a sad pout. “Why did you lie about your name? That wasn’t very nice, Statice! I could have made you a cake with the wrong name because I missed a letter.”
“I’m embarrassed of my name,” Statice blushed. Although his father was a florist, it was kind of humiliating to have been named after a flower when you were a stallion.
“But some ponies are named after flowers, silly,” Pinkie Pie corrected him, bopping him on the nose playfully. “There is Rose, Lily, and Daisy in Ponyville…”
“And how many of those ponies you mentioned are stallions?” Statice asked, expecting Pinkie to get his point.
“They’re all mares,” Pinkie Pie grinned, somehow making a squeaky sound in the process. “But that doesn’t mean that there is not a stallion that is not named after a flower apart from you.”
“Let it go, Pinkie Pie,” Applejack stuck her hoof on the pink mare’s mouth before she continued talking. “This vermin ain’t worth it.”
“Like I care,” Statice snorted as he finally reached his cell. When he extended his hoof to enter his prison, he felt two strong hooves grab him by the shoulders, lifting him from the ground and slamming him into a wall. He was now looking at the livid green eyes of the orange pony.
“Listen here, ya no good fellah. Ah will excuse yer previous behavior because you are not from ‘round here but that ends now. Everypony in that trial is mah friend and you have shown to be a disrespectful scoundrel. The princesses, mah friends, and Ah have worked hard to keep peace in Equestria so if yer goin’ to be here ya better learn some respect. Ya got that?”
Statice stared at the orange pony. Despite her appearance, she had monstrous strength, not only in her hind legs but in her front legs as well. As he looked at her in surprise, he noticed that there was something about her green eyes. They were emerald pools that reflected who he was and what he was feeling inside. It was as if no secret was safe from them and that all the truth that was hiding within him had to come out. He felt that desire to be honest come out of him as he said the first thing that was in his mind.
“You have pretty eyes,” he blurted out. He spoke those words reflexively and without even thinking it, immediately regretting it when he covered his mouth with his hooves. He couldn’t believe he had said something so…embarrassing. He looked down at the mare that held him and was surprised at what he saw.
Those green eyes he complimented were very small, the size of pinpricks. There was a rosy tint on her cheeks. Her lips were trembling as if they were trying to say something. He felt her forelegs tremble as her grip on his shoulders reduced to nothing, letting him slump against the wall. As he stared more into her face, he noticed that her lips were grimacing and that her teeth were bared. He tried to contemplate the meaning behind those facial gestures only to find out the answer when he felt her hind hooves kicking him in the chest. The wind was knocked out of him as he was sent colliding into the door, forcefully opening it with his body, which then landed on the floor.
“That’s what ya get for tryin’ to sweet-talk me, you scoundrel!” Applejack yelled with her face still flushed. She looked angry but the tone of her voice sounded flustered… and a little bit scared. Without giving him another look, she slammed the door closed and galloped away from the cell.
“Applejack, wait up!” Pinkie Pie called out for her friend to no avail. She turned around and gave Statice an apologetic look. “I’m sorry for that. She doesn’t normally act that way.”
“You don’t say,” Statice gave her a sarcastic look as he rubbed his sore chest.
“I’ll try to talk to Applejack to see what’s wrong,” Pinkie Pie smiled reassuringly at him. “And speaking of sweet talking, next time we talk let’s eat sweets as we do. Now that will be some real sweet talking.”
She giggled before bouncing away. Statice groaned in annoyance, yelping in pain when he touched the injured area. Applejack left him another bruise in his chest. He concentrated magic on his horn and spread it across the area, feeling the pain go away after a few seconds. Once it was done, he realized something important.
He had done magic and it didn’t backfire on him. He wanted to celebrate but refused to do so out of fear of being overheard by a guard. The last thing he needed was for his cell to get an upgrade.
“I can use magic in this area just as long as it is not focused on the walls,” Statice concluded to himself happily in a voice barely above a whisper. “Things are turning better than expected.”
“Indeed they are!” a mysterious voice chuckled. Statice’s eyes turned into pinpricks when he realized that he was not alone. The owner of that voice sounded dangerous based on how deep it was. There was also an air of charm in the way his visitor spoke, which reminded him of several tricksters from his past.
“Show yourself!” Statice yelled, trying to sound courageous.
Be careful, Statice! If somepony got inside this cell without anypony noticing, then that means that this guy is the real deal.
“Your wish is my command,” the voice responded. A snap of fingers was heard, followed by a puff of smoke. From within came out a mismatched creature that Statice never thought could exist.
He had the head, beard, and horns of a goat with one fang curling from one side of his lips and two red eyes mismatched in size. He had the body of a serpentine dragon with each limb being different from the other. One arm resembled a lion and the other resembled an eagle. One leg resembled a goat’s cloven hoof and the other resembled a lizard. On his back, there were two mismatched wings, one resembled a bat and another was a feathered wing.
By the stars, what kind of chimera is that?
“What are you?” Statice asked, taking a few steps back in awe. He had seen many exotic creatures in his life but none as bizarre as the being standing in front of him.
“I am Discord, the Spirit of Disharmony!” the creature made a bow. “But I think I just told you who I am rather than what I am. I am a draconequus to be exact.”
“What is a draconequus?” Statice asked, feeling genuine interest.
“Can’t you figure it out by looking at me?” the Spirit of Disharmony knocked on the green unicorn’s head playfully with his lion paw.
“No,” Statice deadpanned. “And I would appreciate if you don’t treat me like a child and just tell me already. I am not fond of the ‘you’re too young to understand the world’ garbage that I’ve been told all my life.”
Instead of looking enraged, as Statice expected, Discord burst into laughter. “I like your attitude, kid! If Celestia and Luna had half of your charm I would have had more fun dealing with them in the past!”
“I amuse you?” Statice asked, surprised at the thought of accomplishing something like that with a being he assumed to be ancient.
I hope that whatever amusement I bring to him is the good one. I’m not looking forward to becoming some monster’s toy.
“I’ve been around for eons, kid,” Discord wrapped his lion arm around Statice’s neck while he waved his eagle arm at the side as if he were showing something. “You’d be surprised at how anypony speaks to me unless they have some magical trinkets of ultimate power with them.”
Now it was Statice’s turn to laugh. Something about Discord was off but in the fun way. “I like you, Discord. You’re funny. But I need to ask you why you are here.”
“I heard about the commotion between you and Celestia’s pompous nephew,” Discord shrugged his shoulders. “The fight you had with Twilight and her friends, your interrogation with Shining Armor, and your trial with Celestia and Luna piqued my interest.”
“How do you know about all of that?” Statice asked, not comfortable with how much Discord found out about him.
“I am a spirit of chaos, my dear boy!” Discord laughed as he snapped his eagle fingers and reappeared wearing a suit. “If there is something chaotic happening then I’ll be the first one to know…especially if it involves Celestia and the Elements of Harmony.”
“Can you tell me everything about them?” Statice asked, feeling interested about his captors. “I’m probably gonna see them soon and something tells me that things won’t go well if my lack of knowledge of Equestria plays against me.”
Discord gave it a thought. “I am not sure on how to answer this, Statice. On one side, if Celestia finds out, then I’ll be in big trouble. On the other side, I’ve got a feeling that tells me that you have something between hooves and I’m dying to find out.”
Statice closed his eyes, measuring his options before coming out with a plan. “How about I give you something?” Statice proposed.
“I’m listening!” Discord came out with a hearing device on one of his ears.
“My life as a mercenary was chaotic,” Statice started with an obvious fact. “I promise you a story about my mercenary days if you tell me everything about you, the Princesses, and the Elements of Harmony.”
Discord looked intrigued, scratching his chin with his eagle hand. “I’ve never seen a mercenary pony before. Still, the way you spoke to the Princesses suggests that you are indeed a very chaotic pony. I’ll give it a go.”
“Good,” Statice smiled at his progress. “Let’s go to a more appropriate setting for this story.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Discord shook his head. “Celestia and Luna will know if you try to leave your cell room and the guards don’t like me well enough to omit me in a report if they ever see us talking together.”
“It’s a good thing that the place we’re going to is a place inside the inside of this cell,” Statice smirked as he charged his horn with magic.
Discord’s eyes widened at what the unicorn was trying to do. He was not sure what he meant by the place inside the inside of the cell but he wanted to see what it was. His answer came in the form of a large vertical green line that opened to reveal a white hole in front of him.
“Follow me,” Statice smiled as he entered into the hole. Shrugging his shoulders, Discord put on a swimming cap and then he launched himself into the hole.
After crossing the opening, Discord was met by pure whiteness. This place was empty, devoid of anything. He was just floating around in a blank space with an eerie silence being the only noise there.
“Scary, isn’t it?” Statice asked from behind Discord, making him scream girlishly before disappearing with a snap of his fingers. “I can’t believe I just scared the Spirit of Disharmony that easily.”
“Is that so?” Discord reappeared in front of Statice, putting on his best scary face with a lower and deeper voice to induce extra fear. The green stallion yelped, falling on his flank and crawling away from Discord. The draconequus laughed at him in response, angering him to the point of sulking.
“Are you done laughing?” Statice asked, heavily irritated by the mismatched creature’s antics.
“Yes,” Discord wiped away a tear from his eye. “Now straight to business, I am impressed with this. You used an intradimensional space to travel to a new location without abandoning the old one! That is thinking outside the box! Or should I say inside the box?”
“It is my Hammerspace Spell,” Statice admitted, feeling pride swelling inside of him for earning praise from an immortal’s mouth. “It is a special dimension that I use for storage of anything, from supplies to treasures.”
To reinforce his claim, Statice focused on the first thing that came out of his mind and from nothing came out mountains of gold, precious metals, and gems. Next came out several supplies, such as snacks, and even a cart full of ice cream that was still perfectly cold.
“This place is amazing!” Discord grinned upon seeing the bulk of things Statice had there. “This is a perfect place for souvenirs.”
Did the Spirit of Disharmony praise my spell? I’m honored. Well, I’m more or less honored since the guy is kind of a creep.
“Tell me about it!” Statice bragged. “This place is not bound by the rules of physics so I don’t have to worry about running out of space! Things such as gravity, space, time, and temperature are worth nothing here! Are you ready for the show? I got some snacks right here if you want some.”
“That won’t be a problem,” Discord shook his head and snapped his fingers. A large bag of popcorn materialized in his lion paw along with a huge couch. “Show me what you have, Statice!”
The green stallion sighed as he focused all of his memories into his horn, turning them into magic. He never expected to talk about his past, but this was the only way to get what he needed to escape. A little favor for another was always good every once in a while. Taking one deep breath, Statice let all of his life flow out of his horn and into the screen.
You can do it, Statice. It’s just one time. Besides, having somepony that can bypass the magic of the Princesses may be handy someday in the future.
It took him several hours inside Hammerspace until he reached the end of his memories. Once the show was over, Discord was in tears, loudly blowing his nose with a small handkerchief. He delivered the snotty tissue to Statice, who quickly vaporized it with his magic in disgust.
“That was it,” Statice said with finality. “I gave you my life’s story.”
“Your life is the best story that I’ve ever seen!” Discord cried with tears in his eyes, blowing his nose once again. “It made me laugh and cry. It made me love you and sometimes hate you. You should get an award for that. You’re not just a mercenary, bounty hunter, thief, and spy. You are also an excellent anti-hero! I wish there were more interesting ponies like you.”
I just made Discord cry with my life story. That’s awesome…I think.
In spite of the accomplishment, Discord’s approval somehow filled Statice with shame. “I did my end of the deal so now it’s your turn. Tell me everything about the Princesses and the Elements of Harmony. I need to know what I’m going to fight when I escape from this place.”
“Fair enough,” Discord grinned, quickly recovering from his crying fit. “You might as well take a seat because this is going to take a lot of time.”
“I got time to spare,” Statice shrugged his shoulders. The green unicorn watched with interest as the draconequus snapped his fingers and materialized a movie screen.
It took at least two days in Hammerspace for Statice to get everything he needed to know about his adversaries. He also learned to never underestimate Discord as the strange being was more cunning than expected, especially because he managed to gather information for over a thousand years despite being sealed in stone. The first few hours were focused on Celestia and Luna’s war against Discord, which ended with them defeating him with the Elements of Harmony. Then another hour was focused on Luna’s corruption into Nightmare Moon, ending with her being sealed by Celestia into the moon with the Elements of Harmony. The remaining hours, based on Statice’s calculations, focused on the current wielders of the Elements of Harmony.
Statice had mixed feelings regarding the six saviors of Equestria. Although they accomplished amazing feats together, and even excelled in some fields on their own, he found their personalities to be immature, even wondering how the hay did they ever save Equestria in the first place. Pinkie Pie seemed to be either stupid or crazy depending on the day, Rarity was a drama queen and a somewhat lazy jerk that took advantage of the baby dragon’s crush on her to do chores she would rather not do, and Fluttershy was either an overly scared pony or a pushover. He was aware that he was only focusing on their worst traits and that their redeeming qualities more than made up for them, but he still had trouble thinking of them as hero material.
Rainbow Dash and Applejack had potential as they excelled in athletics and were the fastest and strongest mares in Ponyville, respectively. The former actually earned Statice’s respect based on her dedication to her flying and her Sonic Rainboom. The latter, although not as interesting as the first, still had some potential as a threat based on her physical strength, stubbornness, and cunning when it came to fighting and solving problems with a practical approach.
The biggest threat of them all was Twilight Sparkle. Out of the six, she was the one who had the most focus on Discord’s memories. She started out as a unicorn only to become an alicorn princess. Hay, most of the greatest victories of Equestria were caused because she was the only one smart enough to do something about them. She was the one who found out about Nightmare Moon’s return, released her friends from Discord’s spell, stopped the Changeling Invasion by rescuing Cadence, and found the Crystal Heart. She even travelled to an alternate dimension to recover her crown and was willing to stay trapped there for years to protect the friends that she made there. Even though he found her ascension to be ridiculous for completing a half-made spell made by Star Swirl, he still believed that she deserved her status based on her greatest accomplishments.
His opinion on Celestia and Luna was mixed. For starters, he realized that, although they were the rulers of Equestria and probably the most powerful ponies of the kingdom, both of them were just as fallible as anypony else.
He felt sympathy for Luna’s loneliness while on the moon and for Celestia’s forced decision to seal her there. Despite this, he couldn’t respect them as leaders even if he wanted to coexist with them once Discord had shown him their flaws
. Luna’s descent into darkness sounded like an inferiority complex. He had dealt with enough sibling spats throughout his career to notice one. In her defense though, at least she earned points for trying to atone for her sins.
Celestia was surprisingly worse despite her most pleasing personality, given her tendency to rely on gambits and blind faith in her student’s success. Twilight and her friends could have died facing that sleeping dragon or King Sombra, especially since they didn’t have the Elements of Harmony to help them fight against such odds. The Changeling Invasion was probably her worst mistake for hosting a wedding when there was a threat of an invasion happening and then ignoring Twilight’s warnings about Cadence being replaced by an impostor. The mare was Cadence’s aunt and didn’t realize that her niece was replaced by an imposter who didn’t even bother to imitate her personality.
It’s official. Celestia needs to get some family counseling. You certainly need one if you don’t realize that your sister is having an evil personality growing inside of her or your niece is replaced by a second rate actress who uses the wedding nerves excuse.
Ignoring those failures, he could see that both sisters were smart and powerful despite their flaws and not to be underestimated at any time.
“I got everything I needed to see,” Statice breathed in as he opened a tear on Hammerspace. “Let’s go back to my cell.”
The unicorn and the draconequus entered through the tear and came back into his cell. Discord stretched himself out, cracking his back with an audible pop. “You are indeed a very amusing pony, Statice. I can’t wait to see what you’ll do in the future.”
“That’ll be a surprise,” Statice smiled evilly.
Discord returned the gesture with an evil smirk before vanishing with a snap of his fingers. The green unicorn stretched himself and started some calisthenics to physically prepare himself for his escape.
“Operation Escape is about to begin.”