Have you been shunned by society for deeds you've comitted?
Is your cutie mark incompatable with today's social structure?
Do you want to serve yourself, and those you care about?
Look no further!
The Forces of Eviltm are here to help!
Simply tear off a slip of this advertisement, and you will be given an interview!
If you are adversely affected by magic, teleportation, sudden displacement, vertigo, claustrophobia, or have a fear of changelings, we have excellent psychologists and physicians on standby to assist!
Take charge of your life, and others, today!
Garotte, eight times arrested in attempted strangling charges (a complete misunderstanding!) took notice of the advertisement before her. It seemed like a trap. Who would call themselves The Forces of Evil, and then talk of community service? Also, teleportation and an instant interview? It looked too sketchy to even be truthful, but Garotte was completely bit-less. She even wore tattered rags to non-verbally communicate her complete absense of funding. She couldn't get a job anywhere because of both her record, and her cutiemark of piano wire in a circle.
She really liked hugging ponies, but they always got the wrong idea.
Garotte decided she had relatively little to lose, so the grey coated unicorn decided 'the hay with it'.
They weren't kidding about the disorientation. That felt weird.
Shaking her head free of foreign magic (meaning magic that wasn't her own, not as if magic had immigrated with different customs), Garotte found herself in a well lit and cheerfully decorated waiting lobby. There were cushioned seats, sky blue in color and actually comfortable. The walls were a pleasant shade of dark blue with white clouds painted on, and the carpetting was a grassy green. Actually, it was grass. How'd they manage that?
Finding herself as the only pony present, she took note of a nearby door marked 'Cleaning room' with a picture of a mare with a head towel. There was a stallion's stall to the right, and matching rooms for griffons, minotaur, changelings and even one for bison! She used the opportunity presented to at least get herself a free shower, and pushed her way through the swinging door to have her jaw drop.
It wasn't a shower room with lockers as she had expected. It was a full blown spa.
"Hallo! How may ve help you today?" A germane accented mare chirped from behind a counter. Garotte gulped and walked to the front, taking in the massive array of available treatments, all of which were completely free of charge.
How do they pay for this?
"Is there anythink in pahticular you vould like, dahling?" The mare asked.
"U-um, what do you... recommend?" Garotte replied, taken aback by the surreal experience and still trying to come to terms with this actually happening.
"Oh, vell why dont we just go through everything we have to offer? It's free, and you'll want to feel relaxed before you meet our 'Evil Overlords'." She winked.
Being evil comes with a free spa? I'm already sold on that alone!
"Sure! That sounds great." Garotte smiled.
"Adding the spa was a wonderful idea, Viscera." Aether praised.
Their recruitment efforts had gone well enough, but the beings that had accepted the invitation for an interview were already the abused and forgotten members of society. The waiting room had made them suspicious, and some decided to leave when they found out that it wasn't a prank.
Adding the spa changed all of that. Sure, some would maintain the tough shell and refuse the pampering, but after awhile their own stench fought with their desire for creature comforts and their will to resist quickly imploded.
"Life is hard. Why not make it a bit easier?" was Viscera's reasoning.
"Well it's well worth the expense, especially considering we only had to pay 5,000 bits to each of the workers and provide food and housing. Now they can get whatever they want for life, and enjoy their work free of stress!"
"What about that new mare that showed up? The grey unicorn. She looks different from the others that have shown up. She doesn't seem as hardened as the others." Song noted.
The three Overlords took notice from their position of observation, a one way mirror, and spotted the mentioned mare.
Soft blue eyes, grey coat, mane of blended white and black. Unicorn.
"What makes you say that? She seems pretty standard to me." Aether replied.
"That's just it. She doesn't seem like a villain."
"Maybe she's unfortunate?" Viscera suggested.
"Hmm... I didn't think about recruiting the poor or disabled. We should do that, shouldn't we?"
"I think that having blind guards would be cool! They could fight in the dark or in smokey areas where the regular Legions of Terror can't. Oh, and deaf guards could counteract the Thestrals! It's hard to screech somepony helpless when they can't hear you, after all."
Aether clacked his hooves together. "Alright! It is decided. We will broaden our horisons to the poor, disabled and forgotten of Equestria."
"Orphans?" Viscera brought up.
"Oh! Right..." Aether pondered a moment before an idea struck. "We'll open an Orphanage of Evil!"
"How is it evil?"
"We'll teach them basic life skills, and the laws of Equestria. They'll never need a lawyer because they'll already be a lawyer, and they can do everything that the 'normal' ponies can't, like balance a checkbook and cook!"
"So our orphans will be an army of self accomplished and independent lawyers?"
A nearby guard shivered at the idea. They truely were evil overlords.
Garotte had reluctantly finished the last portion of her scheduled spa day some hours later. She felt cleaner than ever and completely relaxed, though the thought of an interview was giving her some jitters.
'What if they don't think I'm evil enough? What if the spa was a test? Oh no! Did I already mess up?!'
Reinforced double doors then swung inward, and a guard walked toward her. The guard in question was a well built minotaur, armor of some unseen design covering his chest, shoulders and thighs. It was etched with glowing runes with mysterious purpose to Garotte, who had never really put a focus on her magic to begin with.
"The Overlords will see you now." He commented with a pleasant voice, throwing off Garotte's expectations.
"Th-thank you!" She stammered nervously, quickly moving past the minotaur that was three times her size.
She walked into a lavish office with three chairs facing the opposite wall, their backs towards her. The floor was a soft carpet of white, accented with a crimson rug. The rest of the office appeared to be a library of sorts, with shelves and books everywhere. Garotte observed all of this while taking the seat provided and patiently waiting.
"So, you wish to join the Forces of Evil?" A male voice asked from the center chair.
"You don't sound too sure of that, Ms. Garotte." A soft feminine voice to the right accused.
How do they know my name?!
"I'm pretty sure!" Garotte insisted, steeling herself so she didn't appear weak.
"Only 'pretty sure'?" Another female sounding voice teplied to her left.
"Well, If I'm being honest, I don't have any other options." Garotte confessed.
"So, you're not a bloodthirsty murderer or raging psycopath?" The left voice sounded dissapointed.
"You wouldn't kill a foal while they slept?" The right asked.
"You wouldn't injure somepony to the point that they begged for death?" The middle sounded upset.
Garotte could lie, and say she could do those things, but she would never be able to live with herself if she actually had to.
"N-no... I'm sorry, I can't do those things." Garotte wilted.
The three chairs spun, revealing Queen Song, King Aether and Queen Viscera.
"You're hired." The three said in unison, a smile spreading across their faces.
"We should do that more often, her reaction was priceless!" Song giggled.
The three Evils were exiting the interviewing room, having just arranged living quarters and payment for Ms. Garotte.
"This is going along very nicely. I'm very fond of the fact that we haven't been harassed by the authorities of any nation thus far as well." Aether mentioned.
"Why bother us? We haven't done anything illegal." Viscera pointed out.
"True. Just because we call ourselves evil doesn't give anybeing the right to descriminate." Aether grinned.
"Shouldn't we go to Ponyville to pick up that orphan before we 'attack'?" Song questioned.
"Oh! I completely forgot about that. Do we have the adoption papers from Celestia?" Aether asked, patting his suit jacket in search of documents."
"Mhm!" Viscera hummed, holding said papers in her mouth.
"You know you have magic, right?" Song asked, tugging at the papers with her own magic as an example.
"Grr!" Viscera was behaving like a dog, the paper her bone.
"Viscera, please. This is serious."
She let go, pouting.
"Alright," Aether annouced, unravelling the scroll. "Let's see who we're adopting..."
The three read through the document, before a familliar face greeted them.
"Didn't Grandma say something about that one?"
"I think I've seen her before."
"Well, she'll be a hoof full all right."
Scootaloo, whose parents were perpetually absent, wasn't actually an orphan. Her parents were alive and well, and did what they could on their time off, but they were gone so long that everypony just assumed she was an orphan by default.
To her suprise, she now had two more mothers and another father, as CFPS, (Celestia's Foal Protective Services) had deemed her constantly absent parents as 'unfitting parents.'
Scootaloo would've been distressed by this if she didn't already agree with the declaration.
With that, she began packing all of her belongings, (a helmet and pads, backpack for said things, a picture of Rainbow Dash, and her scooter) and set off for the trainstation to the Citadel of Evil.
She would ask her new parents if Applebloom and Sweetie Belle could visit.
Garotte stood in line with several other ponies, all freshly pampered from their visit to the spa. A common theme was amongst them. Their cutiemarks hinted at talents that would make more 'standard' ponies be harsh or judgemental of them. Their marks ranged from daggers to crossbows, and one even had a fireball as their cutiemark.
Her inspection of those around her was interrupted by a soft clinking of metal. Overlord Viscera, also known as Queen Viscera, rounded the corner with an impassive expression.
"You all chose to join?"
Most nodded, some verbally confirmed with variations of yes.
"You want to survive being 'evil'?"
More verbal response.
"I will teach you. Unicorns, move to the left. Pegasus to the right, Earth Ponies stay where you are."
The ponies seperated, Garotte moving left. Viscera adressed the Pegasus first.
"All of you will be trained as shock troopers and specialist capteurs. Go through the door on your right."
The pegasus did so, some confused about the bluntness of the Queen. Viscera then moved to the Earth Ponies.
"You will focus on machinery, golem repair and heavy hitting. Go through the door behind you."
Viscera then looked to Garotte and the remaining Unicorns.
"You will focus on spell based combat, healing magics and recovery efforts." Viscera then held Garotte in a field of orange magic, startling the rest of the ponies gathered. "The rest of you may exit left."
They did so, though some were concerned for Garotte's safety.
"D-did I do something wrong?" Garotte asked nervously, unable to move.
"No. Special assignment." Viscera smiled, taking Garotte with her.
As it turns out, Garotte's special assignment was picking a filly up from the trainstation. Her interview had gone so well that the three Overlords decided she would be suited better in more peaceful roles than the other recruits.
This suited Garotte just fine, as she was a lover, not a fighter. Her hugs could've fooled anypony, however.
The Citadel of Evil's train station was suprisingly welcoming. They had hired greeters of every species they could for newcomers, and even had a gift shop and opera house for tourists. In addition to that, they had shirts with a picture of the Citadel on its snowy mountaintop with the classic, 'I went to the Den of Evil, and all I got was this fantasic memoribillia!'
Garotte's training was to begin after her special assignment had been completed, which was to bring an orange pegasus filly with a purple name (Identified by photo) to the three Overlords.
+Train from: Ponyville; Arriving at: Station, Six.+ The cheerful station golem announced with an upbeat and melodic voice.
Garotte was still getting used to the various forms of life brought about via enchanted gemstones and alchemical tinkering, but at least they weren't death machines. They mainly fufilled utility purposes, as well as doing tasks that nobeing else wanted to. They weren't designed to mind, however.
As the train pulled up, Garotte noticed something odd. The filly was perfectly alright, but she was walking alongside a wild, soft purple maned changeling with glowing magenta eyes and four wings, with a duck on her horn. Recovering enough to do her job, she caught their attention by waving her hooves.
"Over here!" She shouted.
The two took notice, and trotted over.
"Can we help you?" The changeling asked. Now that she was closer, she noticed that the changeling was Celestia's height. Her mane attempted to look defined and regal, but ultimately looked messy as sections of her mane would go where they wanted. Her tail was similar.
Looking up to adress the large changeling, Garotte began to lose her nerve at the sight of its fangs. "U-uhm... I'm here for s-scootaloo!" She forcefully stammered past both her anxiety and fear.
"Oh, you poor dear." The changeling cooed, wrapping a hoof around Garotte's withers. "There's no need to be frightened! I'm called Queen Aze, and you already know this filly's name."
"I'm Scootaloo!" The filly helpfully affirmed.
Garotte took a deep breath to steady herself before replying. "Thank you, but I've been told to take Scootaloo here to see the Overlords..."
"That's what they're calling themselves these days? Rascals." Aze smirked. "Well, lead on!"
"It will be fine! They're my son and grand daughters, after all." She winked.
Oh no, what would she think of them being evil? Does she know?
"Come on, I'm going exploring!" Scootaloo announced, her protective gear adorned.
"Come~ing!" Aze musically responded.
I was really getting 'the hang' of all these expressions! I was so proud that the mare I just spoke with didn't seem weirded out by my choices.
Apparently, wiggling your eyebrows at somepony is either part of their mating ritual, or some symbol of cult activity. The looks I recieved, sheesh.
Anyway, I was on my way to the Citadel/Den of Evil, (Cute name,) when I encountered Scootaloo on the train ride there. She was suspicious of me, recognising me from the first night we met, (my changelings subduing them in resin) and radiated unease.
So, I took it upon myself to make a friend, and we began conversating. Her parents were alive and well, but nopony in Ponyville had actually seen them. CFPS, under orders from Celestia herself, decided to register her as an Orphan and send her to the Den of Citadels of Evil, or whatever.
I would later be told that Scootaloo's parents were too busy doing whatever it is that they do, to show up for court and explain their circumstances. I personally think it worked out well for everypony. My son and grand daughters get a new family member, I get a great grandchild, Scootaloo gets parents and siblings that are physically there to actually care about her, and she gets everything material she wants. I'll have to remind Aether about her desire for her friends to be with her, however. Poor filly was sad the entire trip because she couldn't be with her fellow 'crusaders'.
I later caught up to Scootaloo, with the mare named Garotte (We also began conversating while chasing after the filly) outside of the 'Interview Chamber'. It was either where there office was, or a very strange place to first meet your new charge. Honestly, interviewing a filly?
Garotte was out of breath, having chased the filly of endless energy and a changeling queen with no apparent need to breathe. Seriously, she wasn't breathing! She just flew or ran past, always talking and trying to learn more about the place. I think she only paused to give tge impression she needed to take a breath in the first place!
"Scoota...loo, you need... To slow down" Garotte huffed, steadying herself so she didn't collapse on the linestone floor.
"Aw, but my new parents are through there, and I wanna meet them!" Scootaloo protested.
"Scootaloo, how would it represent poor Garotte here if it looked like she was unable to perform her job? She was sent to make sure you safely arrived here, and if you burst through the door while she's out of breath and looking like a mess, they may fire her." Queen Aze explained.
"Oh... I never really thought about that. Sorry, Ms. Garotte." Scootaloo meekly apologised.
Did the Queen just save my flank?
"Thank you for understanding, Scootaloo. Apology accepted." Garotte replied, having caught her breath.
"Now, is everypony ready?" Aze asked.
"Ready for what?"
"To meet your Parents, and your great grandmother!" Aze cheered.
"Wait, who?" Scootaloo asked.
"Me, silly filly!"
The Overlords could hear their conversation through the door, and decided to meet their new child outside rather than having them walk in. Queen Aze being present was a great suprise, and Garotte had performed as well as expected when it came to fillies.
"Overlords! I apologise for how long it took to get everypony here. I should've-" Garrote attempted to apologize, before being cut off.
"Ms. Garotte," Aether interrupted with a raised hoof, causing Garotte to 'meep' in alarm and shut her mouth, "Please. You performed exactly as needed. No apologies or excuses are needed." He lowered his hoof and gave a warm smile. "Your room is ready for you, as well as an appointment with our tailors for your uniforms. After you visit them and have your measurements taken, you have the rest of the day off to get settled. You will be expected to report back to our office tomorrow at nine A.M."
Garotte was taken aback by the lenience of 'Evil' overlords, expecting to get hurled across the room by magic or choked out. She wasn't complaining about the lack of abuse; it was just unexpected.
"Thank you, Overlord!" She bowed.
"Ms. Garotte, please." Aether sounded annoyed. Garotte quickly stopped bowing, and looked even more distressed that she had done something wrong. "Calm yourself, Ms. Garotte. You're in a better place now, and nobeing here will harm you. If they do, we will deal with them personally. However, the same rule applies if you harm anybeing else."
"Call me Aether, Ms. Garotte."
As Garotte left, Aze suddenly spoke up.
"You make me so proud, Aether!" She then hugged him, her carapace providing no quarter against his fleshyness, and compressing organs.
"Mother! Squishing!" He complained.
"Oh! My mistake. I've been practicing all these expressions that mammals do, and Twilight told me of 'the hug'. I figured I would try it out, but I think I went too far."
"It was a good hug; I just prefer all my organs to work afterwards." He smiled.
Scootaloo, meanwhile, was weirded out by the entire experience. Aether, her apparent new father, and Aze, her now great grandmother, were an Alicorn and a Changeling Queen (respectively). What the hay is going on?
"Scootaloo, is it?" Aether asked, adressing the filly.
"Yeah. Are you my new dad?"
"That I am. You have new siblings as well! Come, I will introduce you to Queens Song and Viscera." He then used his wing to scoop the filly into his back; Aether informing her of her new life and Scootaloo taking everything in stride.
After everybeing had gotten settled in, Aether took Scootaloo to a planning session for their 'attack' on Ponyville. She was to be an advisor, after all.
The plan had already been laid out, and simplified so Scootaloo could understand what was happening.
"Wait, why are you going to burn everypony's home?"
"So Queen Aze can give them better, newer homes afterwards." Aether explained.
"What about all their favorite stuff? Won't that get burned too?"
"Oh... We totally spaced on that." Queen Song realised.
"How do we fix the oversight?"
"Take all their stuff and put it someplace before you burn everything?" Scootaloo suggested. She had really taken to her role, after realising she could get a cutie mark in 'Evil Advice'. She wasn't sure it was a cutie mark she wanted, but it was something.
"Where would we get the time to run everypony out of town, steal the elements, loot the place, AND burn everything before the Royal Guard showed up?"
"Or our Great-Aunties." Viscera added.
"Wait, you're all related to Rainbow Dash and her friends?" Scootaloo gasped.
"By extension of Pinkie Pie, technically." Aether explained.
"We could use the golems as the pillagers, Pegasus as the civillian extraction team, and the earth ponies to drive off our Aunties. The unicorns can be spread through all the groups as support." Song reasoned.
"What of the Elements themselves?" Aether asked.
"Well, we have to do something, don't we? Most important task for the most important!" Song cheered at the idea.
"What if they capture you?" Scootaloo asked.
"Hmm... I would be an idiot if I didn't account for that. Twilight and her friends might not be immensely powerful without the elements, but since we're not being legitimate villains, we have to play with velvet hoofshoes behind our wings. If we injure anypony, we take them with us to be healed. If one of us needs to be captured, we need to decide who stays behind. We can't let anypony know that we're not actually evil." Aether said.
"You're not?" Scootaloo asked with raised eyebrow.
"No. This is pretty much a grande entertainment. Pinkie Promise us you will tell nobeing of this."
"A Pinkie Promise? Really?"
Aether was deadly serious. "Yes."
"Uhg, fine. I promise to never tell anybeing that you're not evil. Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye." She lowered her hoof from her eye. "There."
"Always remember, never break a Pinkie Promise." Viscera warned.
Coming from the usually serious mare, Scootaloo looked at her promise with a new light.
If she thought it was a big deal... It probably was.