Pound and Pumpkin were pretty stoked. They had gotten just the reaction they had wanted. Their fused form had everyone spellbound. Even Discord was at a loss for words.
“Well, Pumpkin?” said Pound, fluttering his wings. “What say you?”
“I say we go on and kick some Changeling flank. With our powers combined and the hearts of all our friends beside us we can’t possibly lose.”
Chrysalis kept opening her mouth as if to give an order, than closing it.
“Something wrong, Chryssie?” asked Pound, smirking. “Are you afraid?”
She backed up a step, a bead of sweat coming down her face.
“There’s no need to be ashamed,” Pumpkin said dispassionately, looking at her hoof and brushing some dust off of it. “I mean, we can’t all be as awesome as us.”
They crouched down into a ready position. “Let’s get this over with,” they said together, kicking off.
“Whoa!” Applejack cried out as a blast of air nearly knocked all of them off their hooves, putting her hooves in front of her face. “Those little squirts are incredible!”
“I can’t believe what I’m seeing,” Twilight said as Changelings went flying in every direction. “I… I can’t even keep up with their teleportation.”
“That’s not teleporting,” Rainbow said, squinting through the blasts of air. "It’s speed! They’re taking off so rapidly that it’s causing a small shockwave. Darn. I have to admit I’m a little jealous of those two. We should all get some of Discord’s power and join the fray too.”
“Tsk, tsk, Rainbow,” Discord said, watching Poundkin whumping Changelings. “That wouldn’t be very original.”
“Stop them!” Chrysalis called out. “Stop these freaks! Combine your powers! Fire!”
Poundkin stopped for a moment, seeing all the Changelings near them, including the Queen herself, charging up.
“Did you hear that, Pumpkin?” said Pound. “She called us freaks.”
“That’s not very nice,” Pumpkin replied. “But I guess it’s true, and it does come with its perks.”
Blasts of magic came at them from all directions. The twins inhaled deeply, their body swelling up like a balloon.
Chrysalis began to get a bad feeling.
Both of their heads went backward, before coming forward and releasing a yell that ripped up trees and shredded the ground in front of them.
Rarity let out a heavy breath. "I'm speechless," she said, trying to see through the air currents being generated.
Chrysalis put up a shield, dissipating the blast around her army. It wasn’t big enough to save everyone, and about a quarter of her army collapsed to the ground in pieces.
“This… this can’t be happening,” Chrysalis said with a growl. “They’re just kids! How could they be doing all this?”
“You don’t get it?” said Pound seriously. “It’s because of all our friends.”
“That’s right!” said Pumpkin. “You may be able to steal love to make yourself stronger, but it will never be as powerful as the deep love shared between those that love each other.”
“All our friends hearts are with us, giving us power beyond anything you can muster.”
“So how about it? Are you gonna give up? You have to know you can’t win.”
Chrysalis glared at them for a while, before smiling. “Give up? Ha! If you say your friends are the source of your power then let’s just take them out of the equation.”
“NOW, MY CHANGELINGS! Attack them! Attack them all! Get rid of them!”
“WHAT?” Poundkin dropped until he was between Chrysalis and their family. “I don’t think so.”
“We far outnumber you. No matter how strong you are you can’t be everywhere at once. We’ll get them eventually.”
Poundkin looked around at the scattering Changelings, all preparing to fire. Their horns both began to brightly glow, and overhead the sky darkened. Dark clouds gathered, making all of them look up.
The aura around them faded, and they nearly crashed into the ground before flapping their wings, making a soft landing, the two of them panting.
“What’s wrong, ‘Poundkin?’” Chrysalis asked mockingly. “Your bodies have not yet caught up with your new power, huh? Greedy little tykes you are, and now you’re paying for it. And this is all you have to show for it.” She raised her hoof as a gentle downpour rained down upon the Changelings. “Oh, no. I’m wet. Now then. Without your annoying interference we can get back to business.
“Destroy them! Destroy them all!”
“Pound! Pumpkin! Don’t give up, now!” Applejack called out.
“Come on, squirts!” Rainbow yelled. “Teach them a lesson!”
“We believe in you!” Pinkie said. “Don’t you dare lose.”
“That’s right,” said Cup Cake. “Do us proud, kids!”
Poundkin looked behind them to their encouraging friends, then back up to Chrysalis. “We have friends. Friends that love us and would do anything for us. When our hearts are as one our power has no limits.”
With determined expressions they began to run in a circle, kicking up dust, flapping their wings as they rose up, the air solidifying into a tornado as they went higher and higher.
The Changelings backed up some to avoid getting swept into it.
“A tornado? Is that all?” Chrysalis shook her head. “Honestly.”
Poundkin flew off from the tornado, and it stayed perfectly in place, rotating violently. “This is a gift from us to you. Enjoy it.” Turning around they lifted their back legs, bucking it with all their strength.
“Did… they just kick a tornado?” Fluttershy asked, her mouth hanging open.
Discord chuckled to himself.
The tornado was barreling toward the Changelings, but the twins weren’t done yet.
“You know, Pumpkin, I used to be terrified of storms,” said Pound.
“Me too,” Pumpkin replied. “I think it’s time for them to experience that fear.”
The lights sparked brightly as they put their horns together, their front hooves going up, and an ear-splitting peal echoed across the area, forcing everyone to cover their ears.
The black clouds above began to glow an intense yellow, and then with another loud bang they brought their hooves down. The cloud released its payload into the hurricane below, the two of them merging together.
“LIGHTNING TORNADO!” they yelled.
“AWESOME!” Dash yelled, pumping her hoof.
Sweat came down Chrysalis’ face, her eyes barely visible as she felt the pull of the tornado dragging her forward. She tried to throw up a force field, but the twins weren’t having any of that.
“We’ll take that, thank you.” With a flash the Queen’s horn disappeared, reappearing in front of them. The Changelings attempted to retreat, but it was too little too late. The entire army got swept up inside it, countless sparks flaring across its surface.
“Well, I do think that might just be the world’s largest bug zapper,” Applejack said with a chuckle.
“No kidding,” Rarity said slowly, shaking her head.
“Wow,” Twilight said, letting out a heavy breath. “That was intense.”
Once more the twins raised their hooves, the tornado growing smaller and smaller in conjunction with the movement of their hooves downward, until it dissipated completely, leaving nothing behind but the smoking remains of the Changelings.
“OH YEAH!” Poundkin cried out, doing several victory dances.
“Just look at the two of them,” Cup Cake said, running a hoof through her mane.
“I think you mean ONE of them!” Pinkie said excitedly, throwing her hooves around Cup Cake and Carrot Cake. “WOOHOO! GO POUNDKIN!”
Poundkin heard the cheering and applause of their audience and decided that they had had enough solo celebrating. With a poof they disappeared, reappearing in front of the others. “Greetings, mortals,” they said in unison. “Bow to our greatness.”
Discord smirked. “Don’t get too full of yourselves now.”
Fluttershy did bow. “Oh, come on, now. What they did was very impressive.” She walked around them in a circle. Up close they were somewhere between an average pony and Celestia in height. “Poundkin,” she said, putting a hoof to her mouth as she chuckled.
“I still can’t believe you were able to conquer an entire army by yourselves, even with Discord’s magic,” Twilight remarked. “I guess I have to admit I underestimated you a bit.”
“Oh, come now, Twilight Sparkle,” came the derisive voice of Discord as he leaned over her. “All of you are such suckers.”
“And what does that mean?” she asked, turning to him.
He turned into a dunce cap, sitting on top of her head. “Oh, come on! What are the odds that an army of Changelings just happened to invade today, right when the next part of their play would have been the Changeling invasion?”
“Wait…” Twilight looked towards the bodies. “You’re saying that was all fake?”
Discord laughed contentedly. “All of it was set up, and you fell for it. Those Changelings are nothing more than props.” An arm came out of his cap, snapping a claw, and the ground became clear of body parts. “You remember earlier, when I told you that no harm would come to them? That was the reason. Because they were in control of what happened. I was a little surprised when it looked like they were hurt, but even that was part of their plan. I certainly didn’t expect ‘super alicorn Poundkin', I admit, but them asking for help was all part of the plan, just like their little brief moment of losing control of their powers."
Pound and Pumpkin looked very satisfied with themselves. Pound opened his mouth, but before he could say anything there was a flash, and the now separate bodies of Pound and Pumpkin went flying in opposite directions, the two of them crashing into the dirt.
Pound stood up, rubbing his stomach. “Hey, what gives?” he complained.
Pumpkin looked behind her, seeing her wings were gone. Looking at Pound he was now just a pegasus again. She concentrated, attempting to make something happen, but she couldn’t feel anything like she did before. “Hey, it’s not working.”
Rainbow couldn’t resist going up to Pumpkin and giving her a gentle push that knocked her over. “Well, kiddies, I guess you’re not so tough anymore.”
“Come on!” she whined as she got up, pointing an accusing hoof at Discord. “You said this power would last until sunset.”
“Indeed I did,” he replied, returning to normal. “But you two were both being so crazy with your powers you used them up early. I mean, creating an entire army of Changelings and having a magic fight with them was bound to exhaust your energy.”
“We want some more!” Pound said, frowning. “You owe us!”
“Yeah!” Pumpkin agreed. “We put on a show and entertained you all, so I think we deserve what we were promised.”
Discord looked toward Twilight and the Cakes, then slowly back to them. “Look,” he started reluctantly, “you two got to have your fun and be the center of attention for a while, but I think it’s about time to settle down.”
Their faces both scrunched up as they glared at him. “Some lord of chaos you are,” Pound said with a huff, crossing his hooves.
“Oh, if looks could kill,” Discord mumbled to himself. To them he said, “There are times when even I could do with a little bit of order. You’ve already hit your peak. There’s no way you’re going to surpass what you just did, so why don’t you just enjoy the rest of the party?”
Their eyes just narrowed even more. “Well?” Discord said, turning to their parents. “What do you say?”
“Oh,” said Cup Cake in fake shock. “You’re actually asking us for permission this time?”
“It wouldn’t have been as much fun if you had known ahead of time,” he replied.
The twins stony faces cracked, their attitudes shifting rapidly as they put on their best pleading faces. “PPLLLLEEASSSEE?” they both begged, putting their hooves together as they pouted.
Carrot knew it was next to impossible to resist those faces. “Well… alright, but no more grandstanding. Just let the rest of us enjoy the party and don’t be disruptive.”
“WOOHOO!” they yelled, slapping each other’s hooves before looking at Discord expectedly.
Discord lifted both arms, a sphere of magic appearing in front of his fingers.
The twins faces grew mutinous again. “Hey!” Pumpkin complained. “That’s a lot smaller than the last one.”
“Deal with it,” Discord replied. “You just asked to have enough power until sunset, and since some time has passed it’s only natural that you would need less magic to last until then.” When they continued to look about to revolt he said sternly, “Well? Take it or leave it. Be grateful you got to experience that kind of fun for the time you did.”
They looked at each other, rolling their eyes. It was better than nothing. The two stepped forward, and Discord touched them both with the sphere. Like before their manes lit up like a static shock, but the other side effects they had had earlier were of a negligent amount.
“Stingy,” Pound muttered under his breath as the two stormed off.
Even though they had the power back they were both feeling too annoyed to play again.
Is that all you get, for all your hard work?
“I know, right!” Pumpkin grumbled.
“Who are you talking to?” asked Pound.
She glanced over at him to see curiosity on his face. “You, obviously.”
Don’t you want more? Don’t you deserve more?
Pound’s head jerked, and he began to look for the source of the voice in his head. “I can hear it too."
“That wasn’t you?” Pumpkin asked, as the voice echoed in her head again.
You deserve much more power. You can use it so much better. Wouldn’t it be great to just be able to play all the time, without rules or boundaries?
“Yeah, yeah!” Pound nodded hard.
“Who are you?” Pumpkin asked, feeling slightly uneasy.
Don’t fret, children. I only want what you want: freedom. You went through so much to entertain everyone, and all you got in return was scorn for simply wanting more time to play. That hardly seems fair.
“No! It wasn’t!” Pumpkin responded, crossing her hooves.
You can change things. You can grow much further beyond what you are now, and become stronger. YOU can be in control for once. You would just have to do one thing for me.
“Anything!” Pound said instantly.
Pumpkin was a little more reserved. “No one is gonna get hurt, are they?”
Of course not, little one. But you have to act now, while this power is still active. Otherwise, you will lose your chance. The tiny little seed of magic inside you will expire rather quickly, unless you can get some more.
“And where are we supposed to get more?” asked Pound.
Why, from the source, of course. It will pay off two-fold. You will gain much more power, as well as stop the only one that would have the ability to ruin everything.
“You mean Discord?” asked Pumpkin.
Correct. I’ve grown quite bored with my host. I would much rather hang around with you two. You seem like you would liven things up considerably.
Pumpkin again asked, “He’s not going to get hurt, right?”
Of course not. He just won’t be able to stop you with his own chaos magic.
Pound and Pumpkin looked at each other uncertainly.
Or you can choose to let this opportunity fade away, and be stuck as just powerless little kids again once you use up the rest of the magic he gave you.
Didn’t you have a blast today, breaking all the rules? You could do so much more, and no one would be able to stop you.
Pound felt a tingling in his tummy. He felt like this was wrong. But then he started getting angry, at how Discord had tried to deny them what they were owed. “I say we do it!” he said firmly.
Pumpkin wasn’t so sure, but if Pound was going to do it she didn’t want to be left out. “Alright, then."
Wonderful. Now you just do exactly what I tell you.
Cup Cake was enjoying a conversation with Fluttershy when she glanced towards her children. They had been unusually quiet ever since Discord had given them a little more power to play around with. Sitting off by themselves, not even doing anything out of the ordinary. It was usually a cause for concern when things were too quiet.
Even as she watched they stood up, looking a whole lot cheerier, with faces that clearly reeked of impending mischief. Before she could say anything they both vanished, appearing in front of Discord.
Discord looked down at the narrow eyed grins of the twins. “Oh, have you two gotten over your little hissy fits?” he asked with a chuckle.
“Oh, yeah,” Pound said victoriously.
Pumpkin raised a hoof, a small ball of energy appearing before she threw it at the ground, covering the whole area in smoke.
“Hey!” Applejack complained, coughing.
There was the sound of an impact, and Discord’s head went flying into the air before it got hit with a blast of energy, covering it in a force field. Gas filled the bubble, and Discord’s eyes began to droop.
There was another poof of magic inside the smoke, and a slurping noise reached their ears, like the sound of trying to get the last little bit of shake from a glass.
Twilight felt a tightness in her tummy, intuition giving off red flags in spades. Using her magic she dissipated the smoke, seeing Pound and Pumpkin with big straws attached to Discord. For a moment she couldn’t process what they were doing, then she saw Discord’s body shuddering like it did when he felt a magical imbalance.
“Stop that right now!” she yelled.
They looked up confidently, letting Discord’s body fall.
Pound began to laugh. “Sure. Why not? He’s no use to us anymore.”
“What did you do?” asked Rainbow Dash.
The twins eyes grew bright with a flash of plaid, their manes shooting up as as they hovered into the air, energy swirling around them in waves, laughing hysterically at the feeling of the immense power flowing through their bodies. They were unstoppable now!