The curtain on the stage opened, revealing Pound and Pumpkin, a spotlight focused on them.
“Following the defeat of Nightmare Moon, Twilight Sparkle moved to Ponyville,” said Pumpkin.
“Which was totally awesome, by the way, because she has been a great and patient teacher,” said Pound, winking.
Twilight let out an appreciative chuckle, her heart soaring, They poked fun at her a lot in their play, but she knew they really admired her.
“That would come later, though. Before she could become a teacher she had to learn herself.”
Twilight nodded. That was sure true.
“But that would be all boring to go into, so we’re just going to skip a bunch of it.”
“Figures,” said Twilight, unbothered. “We’d be here forever if we went into all of it.”
“We want to get to the next villain: DISCORD!” Pound’s eyes went wide. “I-I mean, he’s good now, but back then you know...” He flushed deeply, looking at the floor and saying quietly, “I guess we’ll just go to the next one."
Discord crossed his arms. “Oh, please. That isn’t even worthy of an eye roll. I’m not like that now, so why would I be embarrassed? I was never really evil, anyway. I just only cared about myself.
“I want my screen time. You sure had no problems making fun of book horse over there.” He pointed to Twilight. “BOOOKS!” he said in a high pitched voice. “Just make sure and do me justice, hmm? I don’t know if I could forgive you for not making me as dastardly and devious as I deserve to be.”
He had a point, Pound had to admit. “Okay,” he said. Floating away they began to narrate again.
“As Twilight lived in Ponyville she learned a bunch of stuff about friendship, sending letters to Princess Celestia whenever she learned important stuff.”
“Sometimes they had to deal with some annoying characters, like Trixie.”
A mini-stage appeared on the show, with Trixie on it, and the rest of them watching. “Gaze upon me, everyone,” said Trixie. “I have the biggest ego in the world! Trixie is the best. Trixie is awesome. Trixie! Trixie! Trixie! Trixie! Trixie!”
Rainbow flew onto the stage. “Nobody is better than Rainbow Dash. I challenge you to an ego-off!”
Rainbow Dash was laughing away, slapping the seat of her chair. “An ego-off?” she sputtered out, once more totally loving the way they portrayed her.
“Trixie accepts! TRIIIXIE!” Her horn began to glow.
“Okay. Contest start. I win!” She gave Trixie a whack on the top of the head, knocking her unconscious. “I’m Rainbow Dash. That automatically makes me the winner in any competition. Unless it’s a competition on how to be the biggest loser. Though I COULD win that if I tried. Ponies only beat me because I allow them to.” She began posing, fireworks going off. “Oh, yeah!” She flexed her body. “Ah, it isn’t easy being just so amazing and better than everyone else. It’s such a hard burden to bear.”
Twilight looked at Rainbow, who was only laughing all the harder, wondering how she didn’t seem to feel even mildly insulted. The twins were just taking their base elements and amplifying them to ridiculously exaggerated levels.
Pound’s voice sounded out as the stage grew dim. “Of course, there were worse things to come. Much worse.”
“An ancient creature, long sealed away, was about to escape,” said Pumpkin.
The stage lit up again, revealing the palace garden.
Scootaloo, Apple Bloom, and Sweetie Belle were standing in front of Discord’s statue.
“I’m so bored,” said Apple Bloom.
“CUTIE MARKS!” yelled Scootaloo. “I mean, go on.”
“Hey, ya wanna fight?”
“Okay!” Scootaloo said.
The three of them wound up in a cloud of smoke, hitting each other.
Discord, though still trapped in stone, had magical strings pulling at them, directing their actions. Cracks appeared in the stone, and then he popped out.
“Marvelous!” he yelled out. “I’m free! Free to cause chaos once again!”
“Hey! A new playmate,” said Sweetie Belle, and the three of them ganged up on him, hitting him.
“Ow, ow, ow, ow! Stop that!” He flew up out of their range. “Maybe I should have turned the fighting spell off first.”
“What’s wrong, Discord?” asked Applejack, smirking at him. “Ya can’t handle a couple o’ children?”
“I wouldn’t hurt children,” he replied. “Much,” he added deviously.
“Cool, we got ta beat up Discord,” said Apple Bloom.
The scene shifted to Twilight and the rest in Celestia’s throne room. “Ponies! Discord has escaped!”
“OH, NOOOOO!” yelled Pinkie in a panic. “HIDE ME!” She flew off the stage into the real Pinkie’s lap, shivering.
Pinkie patted her doll comfortingly as the others on the stage looked around for her. “Shh, my little me. You don’t have to be afraid. It’s okay. You get to enjoy some cotton candy clouds that rain chocolate.”
The doll froze, her eye’s going so wide they expanded out of her head. “That… is… awesome!” She hopped off back onto the stage lickety split.
Rarity let out a strained sigh. “Makes about as much sense as the real Pinkie.”
“You can say that again,” said Applejack. “I sometimes wonder if she’s actually Discord’s child.”
“Could be,” said Pinkie with a giggle.
“Princess Celestia, who is Discord?” asked Twilight.
Pinkie raised her hoof. “I heard from someone that there would be chocolate rain!”
Twilight glared at her. “Anyway…”
Celestia directed them to a glass window. “Discord is one of the most powerful enemies we ever fought. It took the Elements of Harmony to lock him away. But now you girls are the owners of the Elements, so it is up to you to defeat him again. Good thing I locked the Elements somewhere super safe.” With a flash Celestia’s bed appeared. She lifted up the mattress and gasped. “They’re gone!”
Twilight grimaced and sighed. No one was safe from their mocking. She didn’t think she would ever understand the minds of children if that’s what they could come up with when left to their own devices.
Discord appeared. “Hello, everyone! Great to be here. Excuse me for a moment. I need to stretch.” His arms and legs went off into the horizon as his body contorted into all sorts of weird shapes before they snapped back into place. “Ah. That’s better. I was feeling a little stiff! Ah, but you’d know all about that Celestia, wouldn’t you? Turning me to stone like that?”
“Discord, where are the Elements of Harmony?”
Discord moved his head all around, letting out thoughtful moans. “I suppose I could give them back, or I could let you have something else.”
“And that is?”
With a snap of his fingers out came a cake that rose all the way up to the ceiling of the throne room. The Elements appeared on his other side. “You can have whichever one you choose, but only one. “
“Ha ha ha!” Twilight said confidently. “My mentor will make the right choice.”
Celestia looked between the two for a second before diving onto the cake with a very Pinkie-ish squeal of delight.
“Princess Celestia!” Twilight said sternly.
The princess was shoveling down pieces of cake when she suddenly stopped, turning awkwardly to Twilight. “Oh, um… go play with Discord. It’s a, um… a test! Yeah. A secret test! Go make me proud.”
Twilight’s eyes sparkled. “A TEST?” she said joyously. “WOOHOO! I won’t let you down.” She turned to Discord. “Okay, whatcha got? I’ll pass this test easily!”
Discord floated toward her. “Hmmm, let’s play hide and seek. I’ll go hide the Elements somewhere, and you’ll have to find them. Ta ta!” He disappeared.
“I wonder where we should look,” said Applejack.
“Let’s go to the maze!” said Pinkie.
“I don’t know, but that’s where we go. I read it in the script.”
They all looked at each other. “Uh… script?” said Rarity.
“Uh-huh.” She pulled out a piece of paper. “”Everyone goes to the maze to look for the Elements of Harmony.’”
Twilight rolled her eyes. “Okay, then,” she responded sarcastically. “So what happens next? Do we find the Elements?”
“I don’t know,” Pinkie said, throwing the paper behind her. “It’s no fun if I already know what the ending is.”
“Of course not.” Twilight shook her head. “Let’s just go. I have a test to pass!”
They all arrived at the maze. “Okay, let’s just stick together.”
They took a few steps into the maze, and the walls suddenly rearranged themselves, separating all of them. Fluttershy screamed in fright.
Pinkie just laughed. “Ooh, this is just what the script said was gonna happen. We were all going to have to go through the maze alone.”
Twilight smacked her head. “And you didn’t think to mention that?”
Pinkie shrugged. “I didn’t want to ruin the surprise for you.”
“PINKIE!” everyone else shouted.
“What?” she replied defensively. “I don’t want to hog all the fun.”
Rainbow Dash sighed. “Oh, yeah. Just like the real Pinkie.”
“Wouldn’t surprise me in the least,” said Applejack, shaking her head.
“Truly,” said Rarity.
Pinkie blushed, letting out a little squee. She probably would have done the same thing.
“Okay, then,” said Twilight. “We’ll just have to make our way through the maze on our own.”
“Hey, wait a second!” Rainbow said. “I have wings! Hello! I’ll just get us all together again.”
“Oh, no, no, no,” came Discord’s voice before he phased into view. “That won’t do.” He snapped his claw, and Rainbow Dash fell to the ground, now wingless. “No flying, and no magic. This game can only be won with your hooves alone. If you win you’ll get your wings and horn back.
“My poor horn,” said Twilight, touching her head. “Well, we’ll just have to do this, girls.”
Discord disappeared. “Good luck.”
The ponies all took off in new directions.
Pound’s voice echoed over them. “Of course, splitting them up was just what Discord intended. One by one he tricked all of Twilight’s friends to corrupt them into their opposite selves, starting with Applejack.”
As he spoke Applejack was talking with the apple creatures and turning gray.
“Applejack!” said Twilight as she spotted her friend. “Boy am I glad to see you.”
“Well, I’m not,” she said, putting her liar face on.
“I hate apples. I also hate my family. Hate you too.”
“Mmm…” Twilight scratched her chin with her hoof. “Applejack seems different for some reason.”
“My dream is to be a villain. I eat other ponies for lunch.”
“I’m an alicorn. I steal from everyone I meet.”
“Soooommmeetthinngg…” Her eyes lit up. “Did you get a haircut?”
“Yes!” she replied.
“It looks good.”
“No, it doesn’t.” Her eyes shifted from left to right.
SMERTEST UNICRON EVAH!
The ridiculous face she wore set everyone into laughing fits.
Twilight just sighed. “I guess I’m the target again. Ah, well.”
“He got Pinkie Pie and Rarity next,” said Pumpkin, “before he went for Fluttershy.”
Fluttershy was next. She kept hiding every time she heard a stray noise. Discord slithered out from under a nearby hedge. “Poor Fluttershy. Abandoned by your friends.”
Fluttershy shook her head. “No way. They’re going to find me, and nothing can stop them. I believe in them completely.”
“Of course you do.” He rose up, towering over her. “Are you afraid, Fluttershy? Here I am, devilishly handsome soon to be ruler of Equestria. How does that make you feel?”
“I’m not scared of you,” she said with a kind smile. “I’m sure you’re just misunderstood.”
“Ugh. Gag. Leave behind that cliché nonsense before you make me sick. I took away your wings and made you an earth pony. I could do whatever I want to you with my magic." He got into her face. “And you still want to say you’re unafraid of me?”
She nodded. “I have a secret weapon if push comes to shove.”
Discord just snickered. “Oh, I’m sure. What, your STARE? Oh, no! You might give me a dirty look.”
She shook her head “Oh, no. Not that old thing. I have something much more powerful than that.”
“Oh, really? THIS I have to see.” He crossed his arms. “So let’s see what you got.”
Fluttershy was watching curiously, wondering what her secret weapon was supposed to be. Whatever it was it clearly wouldn’t work, or they would defeat Discord before Rainbow got her turn.
Discord was similarly wondering what the twins had in mind for her.
“Oh, I don’t know,” said Fluttershy, turning her head shyly, her mane covering most of her face. “It might be too strong.”
Discord simply laughed hard. “Oh, please! Hit me already!”
“Well… alright, then. Have you looked at me?”
“Uh, yeah. Obviously. And?”
“Well, I’m just plain adorable. CUTE STARE!” she called out. She looked up at him with a serene grin, her eyes growing wider as her irises shook.
“ACK!” Discord recoiled. “No… too… adorable! Can’t… look… away. Ugh.” He collapsed to the ground, his claw over his heart.
Discord chuckled. “Well, Fluttershy. I guess it’s safe to say you’ve gotten the most favorable representation of your friends. I guess they must think pretty highly of you.”
Fluttershy blushed a little bit. “I think you’re right.”
Fluttershy looked down at the unmoving Discord. “Oh, no,” she said despondently. “It WAS too strong. That’s it. From now on I shall be cruel, because it’s the kindest thing I can do.” Her coat turned gray like the others.
Discord poofed into the sky. “Well, it’s a good thing I happen to have seventeen hearts. I think I just lost ten of them. Phew.” He brushed some sweat off his face. “Okay, let’s get the last one.”
Rainbow Dash was running around, and nearly collided into Discord as he appeared in front of her.
“Discord!” Rainbow said, screeching to a halt. She pawed the ground. “Alright, then. It’s go time!”
“Hold on!” he said, putting up a claw. “This is important. Cloudsdale needs you. There is a disaster only you can stop.” He held up a box with her wings. “Just leave the game and you can have your wings back.”
“No way! What do you think I am, stupid? I know it’s just one of your tricks.”
“Ummm...” One of his ears grew larger. “Oh my. I hear they’re throwing a Rainbow Dash Day celebration and want to crown you the Queen of Cloudsdale.”
There was a brief pause, and then-
“Bye, guys!” Rainbow said as she flew past the rest of her friends into the sky.
“Game’s over!” said Discord. “Rainbow left the game.”
The maze disappeared, leaving only the five of them and Discord.
“You’ve lost, Twilight Sparkle. You failed your test. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” He lifted up into the air, laughing in delight.
“The Elements of Harmony were never IN the maze in the first place, were they?” she asked.
“Nope!” he said delightfully.
“Give them back.”
“Sure. Why not?”
They fell in a pile on Twilight’s head.
“Ow,” she said, rubbing her head.
“What now? All your little friends have been corrupted. You can’t use the Elements of Harmony anymore.”
“I know,” said Twilight dismissively. “I still needed them back for the next villain we face. You’re about to lose, because Twilight Sparkle never fails.”
“Oooh, scary,” Discord said, pulling up a throne. “What can you do by yourself? Show me. Here. I’ll even give you your horns and wings back.” He snapped his claw. “There we are.”
“Perfect,” said Twilight. Her horn began to glow, a powerful aura surrounding her, growing stronger and stronger until it was almost blinding. There was a small explosion, and smoke enveloped them for a short time. When it faded away the only thing different was Twilight was now wearing a pair of glasses and there was a chalkboard behind her. “This is your last chance, Discord. Surrender now, or your pain will be legendary.”
Discord began to laugh again, but he noticed that all her other friends were now shaking in fear.
“Twilight, no!” said Applejack. “Have mercy.”
“Don’t do it, Twilight,” said Fluttershy.
“That’s too much. Please reconsider, darling,” said Rarity.
“Well, Discord?” said Twilight. “Will you give up now, or do I have to release my most powerful weapon upon you?”
He yawned. “I’ll take my chances.”
Twilight shook her head. “I warned him.” She took in a deep breath, lifting up a piece of chalk. “LECTURE MODE!” she called out, her voice coming out incredibly fast paced as she wrote nonsense calculations on the board.
“No! No!” Discord said in horror. “So… boring!” His body began to turn to stone. “Can’t take it! NOOOOOO!” He became completely encased.
Twilight blew away the smoke covering the piece of chalk, giving a self-satisfied nod as her friends returned to normal. “Don’t ever underestimate my lesson plans.”
Twilight finally let go, cracking up at the idea that her orderly, structured lessons could easily defeat the lord of chaos.
“Well, that certainly went by faster than I would have expected,” said Discord. “They could have made me so much cooler.”
“Hmmm. That one didn’t seem to have as much oomph as Nightmare Moon’s story,” said Pinkie. “Maybe they should have stopped after the first part.”
“Well, we were the ones who asked for more,” said Fluttershy.
“Hey, do y’all hear that?” said Applejack. There was a loud buzzing noise overhead.
Pound and Pumpkin came out to them, looking above. “What’s that sound? It’s so loud,” said Pumpkin.
“Discord, get rid of this theatre,” said Twilight.
“Sure,” he responded with a snap of his claw.
All of them gasped. The sky was nearly pitch black and moving. “What IS that?” said Cup Cake, looking around.
The mass stopped, and something came out of it. “Well, well, well,” said an all too familiar voice. “If it isn’t the old gang. How touching.”
“Queen Chrysalis,” Twilight said darkly. “Unbelievable! I’m far stronger than I was last time.”
“That makes two of us,” she replied smugly. “It’s time for the second war between ponies and Changelings.”