= "Each And All" - Devil Survivor 2 Anime =
My Name Is Apple Bloom
Let me think for a bit how to describe it. It was a whole buncha meanings overlappin', but it was still something totally new. Dang, Ah’m not doin’ too good a job, am Ah?
Ah knew this wasn't a dream or a vision. If there was a machine for makin' the world, right now Ah was the big gear. If the world was an animal, Ah was where its nerve center was.
Ah was in the tower still, but most of me wasn't. Ah saw everywhere in Equestria, but Ah was outside it too. Time was movin' forward, but only if Ah thought about it. It was like Father Time had gone out to lunch, and Ah had to draw up the new blueprints on his lunch break.
Ah was in a white void, in space with a zillion stars, Ah was at a 'Ogres and Oubliettes' table.
Ah had the printin' press in front me, Ah had a big book in front of me, Ah had a deck of cards with pictures of different ponies and events spreads out.
Ah was me, Apple Bloom, Ah was Equestria, Ah was Princess Fortuna's spider web.
Ah was a filly in overalls with a big wrench surrounded by pipes that were a convoluted mess with the water turned off so Ah could fix'em. Yeah, me. And like any major repair job, the house owners had some revisions they wanted put in while Ah was at it.
First thing Ah did was make sure Nightfilly Diamond Tiara's command for the curse to erase itself once it was finished with these changes was still in place. Even without the Truth messin' up my brain, Ah'd seen havin' reality be whatever the most ponies decided it was, pulled the tapestry of everythin' to pieces.
And in this moment stretched out forever, Ah could see not just the now, but all the stuff before, and all the stuff after. Like a book placed in my head, a reference guide, it was just there until my assignment was done, then it had to be returned to the teacher.
Time to clean up this mess. There was so much, too much, Ah can't explain everythin' Ah did. The violence. The gore. This wasn't a lesson, this wasn't grownin' up, and this wasn't to toughen 'em up when nasties showed up. Ah remember AJ talkin' 'bout Ma and Pa, the hurt in her eyes, this hadn't been like that kinda pain at all.
Ah saw... Ah saw what Nightmare Whisper really looked like... what was the word Sweetie would use? Gratutious? Grotutious? Oh, gratuitous? Gratuitous. Ah knew she was carryin' all the troubles everypony had, and she was carryin' the curse on Sunny Town too... But this felt too gross. Like somepony had made her look extra horrible so she'd be taken seriously. Let's dial it back some. Equestria didn't have THAT much hidden misery, Ah knew (for the moment) lots of ponies died and bled to get us where we are, it made a mockery of everythin' they sacrificed.
Equestria wasn't some secretly horrible place with some secret organization of monster wranglers who used memory erase spells on ponies to keep 'em all happy and docile. Me and Truth were one and the same right now: Ah said that wasn't so, so it wasn't so.
And 'peeved' was a dirty now fer some reason. Ah don't remember what that was about.
A razor sharp piece of stone went clean for Cheerilee's eye and the brain behind it. But Cheerilee, with cat like reflexes, dodged it just enough so instead the stone smacked into her forehead leaving a bleeding mark.
No. Ah saw Rarity and Cheerilee. They'd been friends since before they got their cutie marks. And Rarity would've known Miss Cheerilee was under mind control. Ah know how much Rarity loves Sweetie Belle... but Rarity isn't a murderer... Ah... Ah see how far Rarity was willin' to go to save Fluttershy from herself, but this was completely different! She wouldn't try to sucker kill Miss Cheerilee when she was under mind control! When Sweetie wasn't even in, what's the word? Oh right, mortal danger.
...But if Ah just MADE that change...Instead Ah whisper that in her ear and Rarity realizes it herself. Got it, nudge in some places, push in others. Geeze, is this what it's like tah be a big spirit? Ah don't envy 'em.
Ah wiped Ponyville clean of the curse. All them self contained bubbles floatin' in the ocean that ugly fog, they all became one big bubble again! No more charcoal colors, no dusty pink everywhere. No bein' possessed by demons and havin' to be put down, no more love without compassion, and no more fear without reason. No more ponies bein' like strangers not because of how they're actin', but what they're doin'!
But even with the muck washed away, there was damage that needed fixin'.
"Honey! I'm home!" Bellowed a big blue minotaur holding a suitcase. He could have found his way to the center of the maze blindfolded. Minotaurs had a natural affinity for mazes, and it was part of their cultural heritage that their homes, their cities, even their nation to an extent, all be built like one.
"DAD!" Iron Will Junior rushed up and hugged his father. It was a rare treat to see his father home, first during his military service, and again when he'd taken up his new passion as a self-help guru, saying how proud he was to bring minotaur culture to other species.
His wife, Indomitable Will (maiden name Indomitable Warrior), felt a wave of shock and delight. "Dear! You're back early!" While they'd butt heads on occasion on the best way to raise Junior, she'd always admired her husband for becoming a service-bull instead of a lumberjack as had been a proud tradition in his family for hundreds of years.
"Uh, yeah, I uh... kinda had a bad dream and... uh." The bull who could give Princess Luna a run for her money on the Royal Canterlot Voice, stumbled over his words. "I just really wanted to make sure you and Junior were okay."
Indomitable Will kissed him. "We're fine honey, I promise. Even more so now that you're here. Why don't you stay a little while? It won't hurt."
Iron Will drew her into a hug. "No, I'm sure it wouldn't."
"Yer off to a good start, Apple Bloom, but mind if Ah give ya some pointers?" Said a colt's voice.
Ah was still in the workshop/white void/everyplace... now it was a gazebo too, in a field of stars. With a table and book with lots of the pages torn out and scribbled on with glue, parchment, and quill nearby.
In front of me was a colt about my age, yellow fur, red mane, orange eyes... his cutie mark was a copy of the white butterfly mask he was wearin'. He had a polite smile on his face and never raised his voice.
"Who are ya?"
"When you get my attention, ya really get my attention," said the colt. "Call me Fillimon."
"What are ya?"
"Ya could say Ah'm the other half of the Shadows-Who-Watch."
"So yer part of some other group of Watchin'-Shadows?"
"Oh no, the same shadows."
"Part of the same group?"
"No, the same ones."
"That don't make sense."
Fillimon shrugged, smilin'. "Come now Apple Bloom, you have your light and yer shadow, but they're both still you. Ah'm like my twin, Ah have no real gender, even if Ah may look like a colt right now. Sometimes Ah'm a guide, and somethings a mentor, sometimes a trickster, sometimes a big sister, or sometimes a little brother. Ah'm whatever Ah'm needed to be."
"Whose yer twin?"
"WHAT?! ... So like Princess Luna and Princess Celestia... Huh?"
"Pretty much, yes, kinda, maybe. We're a bit more joined at the hip if ya take my meanin'."
"Well DO, you can't afford not to." Fillimon frowned at me.
"... Like how me and my shadow can't get away from each other." Fillimon nodded. "Where ya been, all this time?"
"Here, there, everywhere. We're never too far away each other. But this ain't 'bout me Apple Bloom, it's about ya. The Shadow-Who-Makes don't only make darkness for the reason the Nightfilly said. Some of them do, and that's bad, but that isn't the ONLY reason. Ya have faith in fundamental goodness, and the mentality that they CAN'T be universally evil and there ARE times the dark is used responsibly.
"It shows ya ARE different from Alula, Tootsie, and the Nightfilly. Instead of bein' broken by the revelation, ya were able to come a positive interpretation. Which yeah, ya NEEDED to be a difference to show why yer the right pony to heal the world."
Ah blushed. "Thank ya..."
"That bein' said, Ah think there are a few things ya outta know before ya dive in deeper. Whatever ya do, that's it, no goin' back, that's that, and ya ain't gonna have it ever held against ya. But there's some stuff ya outta remember."
"Ah don't wanna mess up fixin' the world. So tell me: what outta Ah remember?"
"That everypony is the hero of their own story. And a story with no conflict is no story at all. Ordeals have to be faced fer growth ta happen... or it's not a happy endin', or a happy anythin'. It's only the scale and shape of the ordeal that changes. Fer some ponies it's savin' Equestria, others it's finishin' their homework, others it's findin' the willpower not to eat another pastry when they really want to."
"Why not just have everypony start smart and wise and everythin'?"
"You're a smart little filly Apple Bloom, ya already know the answer."
"... Because if a story only had the endin', and nothin' else, it wouldn't really be a story.”
“Correct. A world where there are no challenges is a world without growth. The most empty world Ah've ever been a part of was one where every thought, action, and idea went well. Nopony was allowed to die, mess up, make mistakes, be sad, angry, or hurt, or scared, or worried, Ah actually began to miss my twin by the end."
Ah nodded to what he was sayin’.
“A forced happiness is one that damaged reality as much as the forced suffering you've seen here. Nythy has his purpose, same as me, we're meant to work together. If Dracozilla was destroying a city, and in the last sixty seconds of the film, Superstallion showed up even if they're not from the same setting and beat him up and saved the city, would it be a good story?"
"There was a book once that ended with two dogs almost drowning, but the way they were saved was so forced, audiences preferred it in the play adaption where they DID drown. If the Evil Emperor turned good in the last scene after six plays of laughing when he blew up kingdoms, would that be a good story?"
"If a story was about an evil robot telling all the new robots that the robots before them were the good guys, when they were really the bad guys who wiped out ponies not in self defense but because they hated ponies: and suddenly at the end you had a goddess rise out of nowhere and turn all the robots into ponies would that be a good story?"
"Would it be a good story, if there was a terrible civil war, and suddenly heroes from a completely different setting popped up without bein' mentioned before and bullied the two sides into playin' nice ... would THAT be a good story?"
"What's good for one story isn't good for another. Ever read the comic, 'Whatever Happened To the Cape Crusader?' Batmare experiences her own funeral as a spirit. Her friends and enemies giving different accounts of how she died. Turns out at the end that they're all true. Batmare's reward for a lifetime of bein' Batmare is eight years as Brucia Whinne before becoming Batmare again, in an eternal cycle, because she never gives up, and never gives in."
"...Sound interestin', and kinda makes sense about Batmare, if Scoots was here she'd say that Batmare would never be happy retired."
"And it's a story myself and my twin BOTH like! Both for our own reasons."
"Ah... Ah think Ah'm beginnin' to understand. The way heroes in comics always come back from the dead makes it borin'. But they're supposed to be timeless characters like Sinbad and Aladdin."
"Good, Apple Bloom... For the record, my twin bein' thwarted here means They're in time-out for eight billion years."
"He/She/it kept tryin' to snuff me out... which is kinda crazy. They can't snuff me out, anymore than Ah can snuff them out. We're the light and shadow from the same source... but neither of us are PURELY these thing. Ah am the Light, the thing embraced and held true. He/she/it is the Dark, the thing they bury and hide. It is only natural each of us has a small bit of what makes up most of the other inside of them. There's a piece of Nyarlathotrot as bright as most of me, and a piece of me as dark as the rest of he/she/it. Without contrast, neither of us are anythin'."
"Ah suppose so!” Ah said with a grin.
"Now Ah've told ya what it's my role to tell ya, Apple Bloom. Ah'd say see ya later, but-" Fillimon took off his mask, and he shifted into me! "-Ah, myself, Ah all of ya." Fillimon vanished, or maybe Ah couldn't perceive 'em right now, that sounds 'bout right.
"Okay, back to work."
Ah had the power of a goddess right now... Ah thought of Button Mash and Tootsie Flute... both had been so lonely... Tootsie was gonna be without a special friend again... if I had they were always destine to be special friends, then they were always destine to be special friends, no ifs, ands or buts, Tootsie wouldn't have be alone, and Button Mash wouldn't... "Ah'm not the Alicorn of Love... so it wouldn’t be right fer me ta 'pair the spares.' Would feel too much like the 'love poison.'”
Across all the threads... like Ah said, Ah can't explain all Ah did, but Ah can share some. Ah'd never met'em, but fer now at least, Ah knew 'em. The three pegasus bullies, Hoops, Score, and Dumb-Bell.
If they weren’t jerks that... the Sonic Rainboom would never have happened. Indirectly, they're the whole reason Rainbow Dash became friends with Fluttershy and Gilda, they're part of what inspired Rainbow Dash to become heroic to begin with. (Least they got 'nicer' after Best Young Fliers).
Now Ah'm gonna put every single thing in Equestria down to every last blade of grass back exactly the way it was before this whole curse business started and not change anythin' what so ever... Ya really thought Ah was serious about that last part didn't ya?
Ah can see it all, even if Ah won't be able to remember most of it after Ah'm done. Ah'm not just removin' the horror for horror's sake that Umbra Breeze added with the curse, Ah'm gonna do my dang hardest to clear out the junk he's been sneakin' in for a long time! And the stuff that makes Equestria feel more like Ogre Chess than Equestria. This stuff... that's just there... the darkness just so stuff is taken seriously, instead of stuff havin' darkness because it's serious.
Ah can feel some bad stuff, that if Ah just throw it away, it'll cause bad stuff to happen another way.
That's when Ah sense her... Ah... Ah feel super calm... Ah not scared at all... she can't do a thing to me... and Ah can't do a thing to her in this place... not 'right now'... Ah don't wanna trigger a paradox (how did Ah know that word again? Did Ah learn it from Doctor Whooves?).
She's a splotch of black ink on the pure whiteness of everythin', a snake slitherin' along, but her fangs didn't mean anythin' here. How is she here? Why not sooner or later? Did Ah call 'er here? Maybe Ah did without meanin’ ta. Makes as much sense as anything else here.
She can't really seem to form here, it's takin' all the black magic she knows to just appear lookin' like the Phantom Ink-Blot. But it's enough that we can speak for a split moment.
"What are you waiting for? Rewrite me into a different pony. Wipe away everything I've done that you disapprove of. You have the power. Make me the nicest pony in existence. Strip away what makes me, me."
Ah shook mah head. "... Ah ain't helpin' ya off yerself, Tiara... Not here. Either we're gonna save ya or Twilight and her friends will. Applejack said so herself. Yer troubles ain't somethin' ya can give a quick fix to."
"So you admit we're just Fate's pawns?"
"No! Ah ain’t no pawn. And ya chose to help at the weddin', or am Ah wrong? And this whole mess is about to be nothin' more than a bad dream. But that ain't mean there ain't stuff Ah can't save ya from."
"...Yah know some of the things Ah'm doin' are gonna make yer life better, Diamond. Fer starters, yah ain't gonna have that nasty teacher this thin' my other big sis put in mah eye tells meh never set right with yah. We tossed out that racist garbage when we beat the Windigos, and if this junk was still really that big a deal, they've have turned us all to icicles by now. Didn't ya ever read Snowfall Frost's story? Think he's gonna be happier too tah be honest. So's yer pa. He'll probably have lots more friends too."
"...Why? Because you're just that noble?"
"You're a pony, and yer a friend of a friend, so Ah'd hope to be friends too!"
"You're still delusional. All I can be is your monster. Any compassion by you is a waste: that's how it works."
"That so? Well that's the first rule Ah'm changin'."
"For villains like me, for me to be redeemed... they have to pin the blame on somepony else. That's why ponies needed the Nightmare Force to forgive Princess Luna, they couldn't bear the idea of somepony that good being that evil. I can't let that happen. I've seen what happens, and I won't let it happen to her."
"Well, Ah guess that's the SECOND RULE Ah'm changin'!"
"You can't change that, it's impossible to change."
"They need somepony to blame. They won't accept troubles with nopony to blame."
"... What happened to ya bein' dead to yer feelings, Diamond Tiara?"
"Diamond Tiara is dead."
"Nightmare Moon said the same thing. Ya Nightmares need some new material. Applejack, well, didn't really tell as much as Ah know, Lone Ranger thought ponies' had to learn about war and violence and stop bein' 'naive.' If that's how the universe works, NOT ANYMORE'."
"You're just doing this to weaken me. That's not kind, that's a battle tactic."
"Ah'm doin' it cause... cause... " Ah KNOW Ah'm not gonna remember this next part when this is over and... Ah think Ah GRATEFUL that Ah won't remember how it was before Ah fixed that part of. "Because there are some things no pony should have to go through... " She's right about one thing... there is some stuff Ah can't change, not without triggerin' a paradox. But that doesn't mean Ah can't take back the misery for misery's sake.
Ah can't fix 'er ma, not without her becomin' somepony worse, somepony who'd make her filly an emotion wreck who was easy pickin's for Discord anyway! And it won't make her Pa's guilt go away. But maybe Ah can soften the blow, just a little...
She fled, Ah don't blame 'er, Ah wouldn't want anypony to live through this again. But she couldn't escape the new memories that were coming.
Tears well up in my eyes, "Momma, I'm, I'm sorry! I just wanted to try them on! I didn't take anything! I didn't steal anything!"
She growled. "You weren't supposed to go in there and you did, you lied to me, you lied to my prince, you made a horrid mess and then tried to cover it up by putting everything back several millimeters out of place-?!" Mom rose out of her seat and trotted towards me like a Timber Wolf towards a deer. My hooves were glued to the carpet.
"You are a bad filly. Fillies are fruits of their parents. Bad fruit should be thrown out. Thrown out fruit is turned into mulch."
She was right in front of me, I could smell her hot breath. Her eyes looked...not like mom's. "I can't believe the servants would leave fertilizer in the house like this."
Mom's cutie mark melted, the colors twisted around and turned into a baseball with a screw. Looking in her eyes... it was like they warped into whirlpools.
"You-are-the-most worthless and selfish filly who has ever lived!" My mother's spittle peppered my face.
I should run, no, turning your back on mommy was bad. Maybe Silver Spoon'd been right all along, maybe just doing whatever you're told is best.
This wasn't right. This wasn't real. Mom wasn't the wicked stepmother. I had to still be in the nightmare! I had to be! I was still in my bed sleeping! I'd wake up and run to mom and she'd hug me and tell me it's alright! That's it!
"You spoiled rotten, self-serving, self-centered, self-absorbed, self-promoting, useless annoying waste!"
She smashed her hoof right through a cedar chest that had taken four stallions to carry in here, filled with treasure from beyond Equestria, she lifted it up like it was cardboard, holding it over her head. "Now hold still here. Mommy's going to knock all the bad out of you, and we're going start over from scratch, doesn't that sound nice? Better than having a cutie mark for disobeying your mother!"
Mommy wasn't really saying these things. I'd wake up from this nightmare now. Wake up from it forever.
"You're a pile of mistakes, mistakes it's now my job as a parent to correction."
My mother's eyes were wrong. Everything was wrong. So this had to be a dream.
"You're screwballs, all of you, even my own daughter."
"SWEET MOTHER OF EQUESTRIA!"
That was dad?... Right... Dad's here to wake me up from the bad dream now.
"GOLDEN, WHAT IN TARTARUS- IMPOSTER! GET AWAY FROM TIARA!"
"Hello my prince," she said welcoming but still holding that chest over her head. "I'm banging some loose screwballs our filly has. Just be a minute, then we can get working on a baby sister," she said sultrily winking at him.
He took a trot forward. "I'd have to be screwballs to think my princess would ever harm our foal!"
Still holding the chest like it was toy mom struck an indignant pose. "Humph. My Prince never places anything or anypony above me."
"And my princess would never place herself above her filly!"
She looked at me. So, indifferent. Like I wasn't a pony. "This is no filly of mine. I don't even see the resemblance. My purple pink coat, my purple white hair, your blue eyes. You must have cheated on me. You should be ashamed."
I heard a stallion's battle cry, a brown and black freight train rammed into my mother. The chest came crashing down right in front of me, spilling out everything in it...
Have'ta move forward, gotta move forwards, got no choice. Ah feel that memory of that fadin' even as Ah finish it changin' it as much as Ah can without rippin' the world apart again.
Ah just see things that did happen and are happenin'. Ah see things that could happen. The future ain't set, and Ah see lots of things, like it or not, are part of the ordeals Applejack and her friends had'ta face.
But Ah do see one thing that doesn't belong... A huge war with the dragons... being led by a Dragon Queen who claims she's a direct heir to Queen Tiamat and even uses her name... it's horrible... Okay, no way is that flyin'. It doesn't do anything but cause more death and destruction!
Ah see... somethin' else, before Ah really get a chance ta do much... somecreature else pulls at a string... and that war is pulled apart, and goes into vapor... Instead... I see a huge blue dragon in gold armor peacefully talkin' it out with an Alicorn of Twilight. Ah won't remember this later.
Ah DEFINITELY saw some stuff no filly was supposed to. And a lot of it carried this sense of wrongness, bein' out of place, like it had been shoehorned in and made to fit. And there was a lot of stuff that was just senseless and cruel. It was actually really painful knowin' the stuff Ah could change and help, and the stuff Ah couldn't change without makin' things go bad.
But there was still bad apples in this bustle Ah was takin' out!
Bye-bye red-light houses... ya ain't the oldest profession, that belongs to the hunters and the gatherers. They were never in Equestria before Umbra Breeze and Diamond Tiara put'em in... now they didn't exist on Equus, the IDEA of them were was gone. There were now tons of other jobs for equines past desperate for work that didn't involve what Ah saw at Rarity's house in the corruption, just like Princess Celestia had done for Equestria... Dang that took a lot of work...
Chrysalis? There were still jobs for pretty mares, they just didn't involve THAT... and she actually MADE FRIENDS with the other zebra mares who were treated like fashion plates (even Ah couldn't fix that industry, Ah'll have to leave that one to Rarity if/when she becomes a princess).
And... Ah was able to save Kufiko's tribe... most of them... Nothin' Ah did got Kifuko to try and understand her magic better... her parents still ended up sucked dry into loveless husks no matter how Ah tried to nudge things... and then Mauna just, kept, dying! Ah nearly broke myself tryin' to fix that one. Ah think for Sweetie, Ah had to try everythin' to save Chrysalis... but... she... she didn't WANT to be saved.
Maua's teacher still tried to kill Chrysalis after what she did to her parents and Maua, and he still died... This time however, there was no overpowered rain dance that wiped away her own home town... This time, instead of draining the village dry, she erased every memory of her having ever lived there from their memories, the parasprites being stopped by Maua's singing instead. Today they known in Zebrica for specializin' in mask magic.
But nothin' Ah did steered away from her and Cadence fightin' for the swarm... and Chrysalis' dyin', and Kifuko bein' born in her place. Ah think... deep down, Chrysalis just hated herself not for who she was but what she was that much.
Ah think it was a good thing time had no meanin' here, or Ah might've died of old age from all this fixin', whether Ah was able to remember most of it after or not, Ah remembered DOIN' IT, but most of it Ah wouldn't remember (Ah made a point of markin' stuff in my brain TO remember).
And Ah saw... there was one thing Ah absolutely, positively, and completely had to do... except... for one... Ah found out that Ah really didn't need to do anythin'... except get the seaponies to realize the surface wasn't ruled by Discord anymore a whole lot sooner... You heard me right. It's the honest truth. The seaponies were alive!!! Oh and the mereponies too and the sea-glow, and others but that's splittin' hairs! THEY WERE ALIVE!!! Ah knew Princess Celestia and Princess Luna would be cryin' tears of joy right about now. Ah could feel 'em even if Ah couldn't see 'em, Ah knew they were watchin' somehow. King Leo... he was Celestia and Luna's cousin. He'd been leadin' and protectin' the ocean-ponies all this time! Discord had missed some. Guess he wasn't omnipresent after all. Who, what, where? Ah... Ah think Ah'll leave for somepony else to explain if they feel like it.
Ah also found a posted note in the book. It was somethin' from before... from the never was happy dream time. It was a place. Full of a tribe of ponies who had never existed now. They'd never been born... but they'd never died neither... they'd been kept safe from just, disappearin'... It's name, was Breezie Blossom... It was their kingdom, their home... So Ah made it its own little pocket work, and connected it to Equestria, the rules between the two worlds were still too different however for Breezie Blossom to exist DIRECTLY as part of Equestria, but Ah could still create a openin' for the two worlds to exist in harmony. Ah think there's somepony else whose gonna gives details on how they came about in Equestria now... with them havin' a beginnin' and a history in the world now... ya'll see eventually.
Of all the stuff Ah did, Ah think those last two might've been the most important somehow... not ta sound cruel or anythin'... but all the stuff Ah fixed up, those two felt the most right.
Next came... this really weird part... remember how Ah said that Ah could see not just the stuff that was happenin', but did happen, and could happen? This was one of those last ones. It was still just a possibility, technically, Ah think Princess Fortuna throws that in just so ponies don't go crazy.
But Ah saw what one of the rumors had done with the collective belief of ponies... this one pony, who thought she was doin' good, and so did all the ponies' with 'er... so she became good... she'd actually been keepin' back one of Umbra Breeze's kin from doin' more damage the whole time. But what she thought was good, and what everypony outside her group thought was good... didn't really match up... not now that belief wasn't gonna equal reality. It was kinda sad really... But Ah saw quick-fixin' her would have REALLY REALLY REALLY made things worse, like an entire city buried under snow worse!
Ah knew the best thing to do was to make that creepy thing of hers fake again like it had been before, it was the right thing to do, the proper thing to do... except... Because she hadn't been keepin' the fact she still had her cutie mark a secret, because she didn't... she and her second-in-command-among-equals, Double Diamond and her... they'd had a foal... Glitter Diamond. They weren't married, this lady considered marriage just another form of not bein' equal to everypony else... Heck, every foal was a youngin' of the community, not their parents. but if Ah had that thing fake again... it would mean erasin' an innocent filly out of existence... Ah... Ah couldn't do it!
But with Own Town no longer bein' it's own little bubble universe, (no matter how much that lady wanted it to be), ponies' thinkin' it was a pure, happy, perfect, and flawless 'you-to-pi-ah' town, didn't mean squat. Good thing too... after workin' so hard to get my cutie mark... it would suck if it was turned into some evil magic parasite thingie like they'd all thought.
Ah see... Ah won't remember later... but Ah see, that exposin' she still had her cutie mark had been the whole reason they'd gotten the whole town to turn on her... but Ah was thinkin'... if her beliefs were actually wrong, and some ponies were chaffin' already... then Applejack and her friends didn't NEED to attack the messenger to prove that everypony bein' special was a GOOD THING!
Ah... Ah don't she was actually evil. She was like Alula and Tootsie... No, that ain't it. Ah knew somethin' Ah wouldn't later, she was like Discord's biggest brother,
But there was no way in Tartarus that dang gum magic staff thingie was made to take away the parts of what made a pony that pony! Not if Ah had a thing to say about, and right now Ah did!
Because she hadn't had to keep the farce up, she was actually kinda saner, as sane as ya can be after havin' part of yer soul cut-out, doin' it to herself first! So she didn't have her magic ... it's weird... that raw magic of hers had to come from somewhere... She was weaker, and a little less clever with it gone too. It also meant she hadn't ever invented, or memorized the cutie-mark spell, because she'd had her cutie mark removed while she'd been usin' it!
Her mane cut was the same as everypony else's too. She still lived in that house at the end of the road though.
One of the weirder things Ah saw was somethin' that changed Ah didn't know WHY it'd changed. Trixie was there... Holdin' this empty pendant she'd said that had guided her there. This was really really REALLY gettin' into just the 'possibility' stuff! This was becomin' more vague and cloudy the more Ah reached for it, so many ways the threads could go!
Everythin' surroundin' it all was in flux... why were Applejack and her friends talkin' with a deer doe with crystals for alters? And why did they go off into the middle of nowhere just cause she asked'em too?
What it all came down to though, it was this lady's Sameness, (meanin' lowest common denominator and doctors and guards not being able to excel at savin' lives or protectin' ponies) that the Elements of Harmony had to prove was wrong now, not that messiah-complex black-and-white-insanity sliver-tongued zealot monster wrong.
What actually made it HARDER was that... well, while they saw cutie marks as evil... she wasn't micromanagin' the village as much with the staff bein' real... because she didn't have the TALENT to do so... so ironically there were more bits of free will floatin' about.
And Glitter Diamond wasn't the only foal in the town... what was gonna happen to all of 'em when their parents turned around and told 'em everythin' they'd told'em their whole lives was right was wrong, and everythin' they told'em was wrong was right?
Lots of it was bits and pieces, threads flyin' all over the place. But Ah was still able to nudge some things along. But Starlight Glimmer still couldn't resist the temptation of havin' a Equalized Princess on her side.
"If ponies without cutie marks have lots of potential. Won't it be better if nobody had them then? Are't you now LESS than you were before getting your cutie mark? Why have all that potential taken away from you? Isn't the staff giving us our freedom back?"
Twilight Sparkle regretted ever having said those words at Diamond Tiara's cute-ceañera. She'd said them to encourage Apple Bloom and her friends that the future was theirs for the taking, not that being a blank flank somehow made you SUPERIOR to ponies who were cutie marked!
Equal Ponies kept marching at her like grinning zombies.
"Cutie marks are reflections! Not straightjackets! POTENTIAL IS MEANINGLESS UNLESS IT'S REALIZED!"
"Better that, than being robots to our cutie marks. You just do whatever it is your cutie mark is telling you. Doing what whatever is your destiny even if it's no fun being you, how is that any different from a slave?"
And in Twilight Sparkle's mind... the incident that had led to her becoming an Alicorn in the first place, to create the Alicornification Spell to begin with... and what had happened to her friends, blindly trying to fulfill their cutie marks no matter how miserable it made them.
The light in Twilight's horn died out. She lowered her head. "... You win."
Dear Celestia... Ah... Ah...
This CAN'T be the whole thing! What... what's Trixie doin'?
She's actin' like the nicest and friendliest 'equal pony' ya've ever seen... she makes fast friends with 'em... instead of talkin' 'bout all the great stuff she done did (that wouldn't be equal) she encourages to talk about the great stuff her new friends have done, fer others!
The others are still locked up, and Twilight is not even tryin'! Wait! TRIXIE! You! HAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!!!! HA HA! You sly horndog! Ya could give Flim and Flam a run for fer there money!
Ah sure didn't see THAT COMIN'! HA HA HA HA!!!!!
Starlight Glimmer gasped, as did the other soul-lobotomized ponies. "You... you... YOU STILL HAD YOUR CUTIE MARK THE WHOLE TIME?!"
"No... I suck back into the vault, took it back... and applied some of Rarity's make up ... her idea."
"You... you FRAUD! You dissenter!"
"You only cared I had a Cutie Mark when you knew I had it. Prejudice only cares about what it can SEE. When it can't see that thing, it stops mattering. Did I, or did I not make friends with you?" Trixie asked looking at the foursome of friends.
The lady snarled. "DIFFERENCE is the problem. Different talents is a symptom!"
"No. INTOLERANCE is the disease. If we were all grey blobs, there'd be grey blobs who'd argue who's the greyest and the blobbest," Trixie said with her normal flare for the dramatic.
Now Applejack was free along with the others.
"YOU'RE THE ONES WHO WANT TO MAKE OUR TOWN THE SAME AS EVERY OTHER TOWN IN EQUESTRIA!"
"Have you actually SEEN another town in Equestria? Cause I can say one thing: Manehatten and Ponyville aren't one bit alike except they've got ponies in 'em."
Everythin' is jumping around. But it seems to be following one line Ah think.
"If Cutie Marks were like she said, then why COULDN'T we do everything perfectly? How COULD we fail at what our Cutie Marks were?" Her accent and cutie mark gone, Applejack asked this to the equalized Alicorn.
"If cutie mark were arbitrary! Then my friends WOULDN'T HAVE been broken wrecks from trying to live out each others'! They're PROOF we've found our calling! Not programming!" Twilight shouted, flarin' up her wings.
"Starlight? Can you name anything about any of your friends other than their names or what they are? Things about who they are?" Fluttershy asked without a trace of malice in her voice.
"... What... what does it matter?! We're friends! That's all that matters!"
"... You're right starlight ... friendship? It's doesn't matter what your past is, you being friends IS what should matter! If somepony decides to be your friend, then that's that. Me and my friends? Most of us BECAME friends because we CHOSE to face the Everfree with Twilight rather than see her face Nightmare Moon alone! But what got the Elements working and let us save Princess Luna from herself wasn't just that! It was Twilight seeing who we were! ... Tell me about your daughter, Starlight Glimmer!"
And there was only silence.
"I'd rather DIE than become one of you! You say I'm the villain! But you're the one who wants me to just silently smile and nod as you act out what YOU believe without fear!"
"If you hadn't stolen our cutie marks, locked us up like criminals and tried to indoctrinate us, we'd have simply LEFT YOU ALONE! You did that on your own!"
It didn't end with the whole town turning on Starlight for bein' a fraud, since in this worldine she wasn't one... instead, ponies were makin' their own choices as individuals on who was right and who was wrong now that Trixie and Fluttershy had punched a giant hole in their beliefs. The town was split on ponies who wanted to take their cutie marks back, and ponies who didn't want'em back. Double Diamond after realizin' how little he knew his own filly was askin' Glimmer to consider that, "Maybe we were wrong this whole time."
"Starlight! Ponies SHOULDN'T be bullied by others for being 'weaker' at something, and there ARE ponies who act like others are their peons, everypony should be friends, but this isn't the way to go about it!"
"It's the only way to make sure friends never leave each other! NEVER AGAIN!"
"I... I won't... I won't... I won't let them make me... one of them..." Starlight was draggin' herself through the snow... looked like she was bleedin'... She stopped and gasped... there was Trixie right in front of her... holdin' a jar with Starlight's cutie mark in it.
"... I know how you feel... terrified that you'll lose what makes you who YOU ARE. That every 'compromise' is just letting another part of you die. But not everypony is like that... I made some horrible mistakes... and others nearly paid the price for it... I had trust I had to earn back... but they let me try! You don't have to be scared... REAL FRIENDS will help you become a better you, not have you give up or shut up about what you hold dear."
"I... I just wanted everypony to be equal, instead of 'betters' lording over 'lessers.'"
"And this won't make that go away..." Twilight said. "Even without your cutie mark you were terrified of anything unique ruining what you made."
"What would happen if everypony was an Alicon?" Applejack asked.
"Princess Celestia would jump for joy, and retire," Pinkie Pie injected.
Twilight Sparkle asked. "If I'm proof that anypony can BECOME an Alicorn, then isn't just pushing everypony DOWN the easy way out?"
Princess Twilight Sparkle explained. "It's name isn't the Staff of Sameness... I'm guessing that's a name you came up with on your own. And it's a lot older than you think it is. It's been used to save ponies from the cutie pox, and stop a stallion with a talent for lock picking from escaping jail. But these aren't its real purpose." She flipped through a really old book that looked like some teenage filly's diary, there was three wrapped candy stickers on the cover.
"'The Magic Message Ponies... they're were a gambit to save the magical knowledge of the Age of Myths, and they'll also now save the technological knowledge of our Age of Wonders. Magically encoded into the cutie marks of certain ponies' bloodlines. I've included information on identifying and locating them if their families still exist to any pony who might read this, if us ponies are still around: the Earth Ponies Cuddles, Magic Hat, Windy, Mirror Mirror, the pegasus Floater, and the unicorn Cloud Dreamer. Sweet Heart, has volunteered as well, wanting our time's medical knowledge not to be lost. Her family Nurse Loveheart, and Nurse Tender Heart, have volunteered as well, apparently they're part of the Magic Message Pony line already, it'll make things easier. Encoding this knowledge won't be easy, but any of these families survive by the time you find this, hope the Key Staff is still around... The Key Staff will be able to UNLOCK this knowledge.'"
"So... all that other stuff with cutie marks..." Applejack trailed off.
"Was just a side effect of what the staff is really meant for," Twilight finished.
Twilight ended up goin' through lots of family records, there was the Hearts of course... and all the knowledge that had been buried in their cutie marks... but Twilight was surprised at somepony else...
Magic Hat... her line had married into Trixie's... Once Twilight read the instructions on how to use it the RIGHT WAY. But all that was in the future, okay, the future-future-maybe-the-future-I-Dunno-future. But somethin' else got Trixie's attention, that fancy golden pendant of hers.
Trixie mostly empty pendant's light shined right at the first-among-equals of Our Town... With her soul no longer so deep in order that it had been practically drowning... and a silhouette of her restored cutie mark shined on her front front leg... And a jewel formed inside the pendant, making it slightly less empty.
"... Starlight... you're... YOU'RE the Element of Chaos, I've been searching for!" Trixie gasped.
"... I don't think I deserve the name Starlight right now... call me, Aurora Glimmer."
At the heart of the Crystal Empire, everything went white. The crystal ponies were 'before' evil eyed corrupted mockeries of their former selves with hard angles. 'Now' they sparkled and shined with the smooth rounded shapes they'd been famous for before King Sombra had come... King Sombra had never corrupted the Crystal Heart, could never corrupt the Crystal Heart, if anything, him even trying could have 'corrupted' him.
And the Crystal Empire had never arrived in the present a year earlier than they'd been meant to... Had never taken Shining Armor, Princess Cadence, and Princess Celestia as willing slaves. These powers and abilities of Sombra's had come from nowhere, and they returned to nowhere.
But those were the last things on Sombra's mind.
The dark magic vanished from his Radiant Hope's eyes. The royal raiments of an empress fell apart from her fading into nothing.
He heard his mother Rabia scream in denial and rage as she along with the rest of his family was pulled away and sealed in the dark even deeper than his.
He felt his body begin to dissolve back into the smoke and shadow the blows from the princesses had left it as... But again, the King didn't care.
He touched Radiant Hope's face with one hoof. She said nothing, she only smiled warmly at him, and she vanished into the white light.
And Sombra, looked around at the whiteness as his body continued to break down. "Did... did I only imagine her into being? Was she ever real? Or... or did I only dream... of somepony... who'd have ever wanted to be a monster's friend..." Sombra's fell back into the shadows of ponies' hearts and smoke his small tribe was born from. "I... I don't know."
Ah... Ah took a look into a place that was kinda, well, Ah guess ya could call it bein' pushed forward in time, ya know, time travel? Sent a thousand years into the future. Ah see... Ah see a big evil monster end the last ... the last crystal pegasus after the last crystal unicorns! There weren't many to start out with!
Come on... Ya've done already so much Apple Bloom ya can do this too... see from every angle... look at every chance... No wait, Ah see it. There's already at least one crystal unicorn left. Just gotta... have'em hide somewhere safe when it happens...
Crystal Unicorns... manage to miss ... manage to miss at least a few... a mare and her filly... another mare that, Ah almost swear she looks at me with the stink eye, and whoever else Ah can save. Crystal Pegasi, were a few more of 'em than the crystal unicorns to start out with. This place was inhabited mostly by earth ponies before they all got turned into livin' crystals. Okay, managed to save... managed to save an entire sub-clan of ponies from goin' extinct... that... that was good.
The cabin and serene meadow had vanished into the white light. Harry The Bear, who loved collect seashells, and play volleyball, looked at Harry The Bear who loved to collect volleyballs and play with seashells... As they vanished into the white light... the two grown mighty bears broke down crying and hugged each other.
"I'M GONNA MISS YOU, HARRY!"
"YOU TOO, HARRY!"
The two bears bravely faced whatever came next.
Princess Trixie Midsummernight Lulamoon's wings faded away into the white light along with her earth pony strength and the traits of the other tribes.
Her family faded into the white light too. The bright colors and sunflower wand cutie mark on her mother dissolved, becoming the mare who had raised Trixie the best she could ... It had been a wonderful dream being Tracy Sunflower Midsummernight, but it wasn't meant for her. She had a gift, she'd been taught not to be ashamed of it, and she'd help other ponies not be ashamed of their gifts.
Princess Trixie Midsummernight looked towards Princess Loving-Bright-Shinny-Star Sparkling-Dawn-Flower The Eighty-Eighth... her first friend, her best friend, imaginary or not. Princess Loving-Bright-Shiny-Star Sparkling-Dawn-Flower The Eighty-Eighth finished having tea with a young donkey jenny with polkadot shorts with dreadlocks mane.
The two imaginary friends share a polite nod before Princess Loving-Bright-Shinny-Star Sparkling-Dawn-Flower The Eighty-Eighth stood before Trixie. "It was fun while it lasted wasn't it?"
Trixie's eyes misted over. "Yeah... it was... " The two hugged each other, nuzzling. "I promise I'll never forget you."
"I'm... I'm just happy you have real friends now."
"... So am I."
"You're MY best friend!"
Silence. Then Trixie laughed as they faded into the white light.
Lord Grogar had roared as the white light had dissolved him from Princess Luna's soul, cleansing her of the cancer.
As the world was remade, restore and rewritten, healing what it would, where it could, and removing deeply rooted rot... It also meant creatures whose existence was sustained purely by the crawling chaos' curse, either fell into a niche the world could provide for them, or like many of the faceless nameless horrors, dissolved back into the lies they'd been born from. But that wasn't the only place from whence they came.
"Hello Olo," Princess Luna greeted within her own mind.
"Hoot-Hoot!" Replied the Owl Bear, standing at perfect attention.
"As the curse fades, the power for imaginary friends to be present in the physical world fades as well. I am sorry. But you returned here because it was where you were born."
"... Yes... you are a hero... you fought bravely and risked a life that was now your own against the forces of evil."
"You will not fade into nothing. You are a brave and honor warrior, Olo, you always have been, and you are a good friend. Now I ask you to be my friend again... You served Pipsqueak and his crew honorably, and you'll continue to serve them in their dreams. For I ask you... to become my knight in the dream world, shall you?"
Olo the owl bear knelt before his friend. "Hoot-hoo."
"Well... this is it," said Doctor Whooves, standing in his TARDIS, which was once again an alien time-machine instead of just a blue shed. It floated inside the great white void. "The fabric of reality is stitching itself back together, and I don't think it'll be very fond of 'scraps.' Leaving this place won't be very healthy for any of you."
Derpy Hooves, stood next to an identical Ditzy Doo, and for some reason a THIRD identical pony named Muffin. And a stallion version of them whose name was Kirward Derby.
Golden Harvest stood next to an identical Carrot Top... whom she could still distinguish because Carrot Top had the rope burns and thorn scratches.
And next to the male Derpy was a female Doctor Whooves.
All of them had been born from the rumors curse regarding their cutie mark names being listed on their paper work along with their birth names, and this leading to the confusion on staff making them think they'd been married to themselves.
Sparkler/Amethyst Star thankfully hadn't that trouble with her paper work. Now that things had been settled, she'd been asked to be dropped off wherever Dinky was to keep an eye on her, and Lemon Hearts had decided to go to keep an eye on the both of them!
"Don't you go anywhere without me," Lemon Hearts warned the Doctor before leaving.
Sparkler had hugged her mother and wishing them 'good luck.' Derpy promised she'd be along soon. But first, they had family.
"Well," the male Time Turner clapped his hooves together. "How about we find a universe where you all just died, but is otherwise identical to your own? And just slip into their horseshoes?"
"No. And never mention that idea again," Golden Harvest said, the other nodded darkly.
"Well, we could have you all be identical twins, or triplets, or quadruplets... long lost relatives, I'm sure I could convince Celestia to turn a blind eye on the cosmic paper work... Of course there's no telling how much distortion that would cause to the time-space continuum."
"This is the only Equestria I know," said Muffin, with a more feminine voice than Derpy. "I don't want to leave it."
"You can't just exist in a void. There are THINGS in this universe, its own version of Time Reapers, who take care of 'misplaced' things in time and space... Not to mention I wasn't even born on this planet, not even in this universe, so I can't even have an identical twin! The Time Reapers barely tolerate me here!"
"He's right," the female Doctor Whooves sighed. "Five ponies whose existences were being sustained by an artificial causalities distortion will be one big beacon to the Time Reapers."
There was knock on the TARDIS' door.
"Why am I still surprised when that keeps happening in this world?" Time Turner asked before checking the TARDIS' censors. "Seems we hae a surprise guest." He said sounding rather annoyed and then opening the doors.
"Hello," said the faded purple mare earth mare. She had a mostly white mane with pink and blue stripes. Her cutie mark was a birthday present in front of a star. Symbols gleamed on her back and forehead. If the doctor had more spiritual senses, he might have noticed her mortal coil was a few sizes too small for her spirit. "I'm not from this universe... My name is Razzaroo... proto-concept of Wishes and Miracles. And good thing too, if I was a full goddess, I'd be breaking a lot of rules by coming here. But thankfully I'm not. A few spirits told me that you had friends who didn't have a home here... I have some friends who are building a whole new universe... so we have space to spare."
'Half an hour' of pseudo-time of formal introductions, and explanations later, the Lady Doctor said, "A new universe to explore? I'm in."
"Wherever she goes, I go," Kirward Derby declared.
What followed was some intense negotiation with Mineutte about her giving the Lady Doctor her TARDIS. Though Minuette seemed like the negotiation was more a matter of pride and was willing to give it as a gift. She had no interest in explore time and space, she had plenty in Equestria.
Her TARDIS had been another story, given the Doctor's wasn't the only one with a consciousness. Given who the TARDIS had belonged to BEFORE Minuette had gotten it, it was happy to have a master who wasn't psychopathic. But it was ultimately convinced the Lady Doctor would be good to it.
But this still left Muffin, Ditzy, and Golden Harvest, who were less eager to abandon the only reality they knew. And as fate would have it, a Derpy and a Golden Harvest, had been among the ponies saved by Nightmares Manacle and Whisper from Nightmare Eclipse's resets.
"Noi is still my sister, and Cherry is still our father, I... I may not have met them, but I still love them."
"Well, we could have you all fuse with your originals," Said Time Turner.
"Go to Tartarus," Golden Harvest said matter of fact.
"But I don't WANT to give up my memories of Dinky and Sparkler!" Muffin said.
"Me neither!" Ditzy said too.
Time Turner sighed, "I'm so sorry, but since you don't want to fuse with Derpy, you have to accept that Dinky and Sparkler are her foals."
Muffin and Ditzy cried and hugged each other, Derpy couldn't stand it and hugged them too.
"Did you hear something?" the Doctor asked.
Ah said no.
"No to what?" The doctor asked.
No. Ah ain't gonna let this happen. If what Ah say goes, then Ah ain't lettin' this misery happen!
Time Turner's eyes widened. "Bad wolf." Then it was like the golden hoof of All-That-Is reached into his time machine. "What is with girls and absorbing the time vortex?!"
In the space between moment, Golden Harvest and Muffin were picked by the giant golden hoof, and were not there a moment later.
"What just happened?!" Carrot Top yelled at the top of her lungs.
"What's what I'd like to know!" The Doctor said.
"Don't ya worry... Muffin and Golden Harvest didn't want to be without their families, but couldn't be because the world already has Derpy and Carrot Top... so Ah made a new universe for them."
"WHAT?!" The Doctor exclaimed, the others looking at him weird.
"It was simple, kinda... There's lots of stuff that doesn't fit into the big puzzle now that everypony isn't floatin' in different bubbles, but not all of it is evil or nasty, so Ah made a whole new universe where they can all fit in. So Ah made it so in that universe, Derpy and Carrot Top's names were always Muffin Golden Harvest!"
"Come on, Doctor, Ah know you know enough about how the universe works to figure it out...now. Ah just found out when Ah got the reference guide fer this...Now Ah know why yah were mad at us fer messin' with that flux capacitor."
"Sweet loving Gallopfrey."
Good idea! Maybe Ah'll add that to that universe!
"Doc', what's going on?!" Carrot Top demanded to know. "Where are they?! Are they ... gone?"
"... Apparently an all powerful foal created a new universe for them that's like ours except what you two are named..."
Golden Harvest stomped a hoof. "They could have at least let say goodbye!"
Derpy and Ditzy snorted and nodded.
Sorry, Ah was kinda mad there didn't seem like a way ya could all be happy and somepony would have to lose SOMETHING after we tried so hard to fix this before somepony died!
The Doctor looked suddenly quite somber. "...I can sympathize with that."
I've got another idea to help you. Sorry. Ah'm really really REALLY not supposed to be talkin' to anypony while on the job!
This last one is hard... very hard... it feels like Ah'd spent three days goin' nuts over it.
Ditzy Doo isn't just another name Derpy has, it's her ADOPTED name from her foster family... I couldn't just make 'er a twin or somethin'. Rainbow Dash MENTIONED Ditzy Doo during Winter Wrap Up, and Ah can't just have be an identical stranger on the other side of Equestria.
There's lots of stuff again that Ah know now that Ah won't know after Ah'm finished, but it's sure comin' in hoofy right now. Okay, here it goes.
Durin' all that time travelin' with the Doctor, Derpy learned about the mirror pond. Unlike Pinkie Pie, Derpy wanted a pony who fully understood her (with that speakin' problem she has and the weird eyes, wouldn't yah?). Unlike Pinkie Pie's clones who were born with the order 'have fun' in their heads, Derpy's clone was created to 'fully understand' her... and who understands us better than ourselves? So unlike Pinkie Pie's daughters, Ditzy Doo was born with all of Derpy's memories and feelings. Even if Ditzy wasn't a reincarnation of the Breezie Daisyglow.
Unlike in the movies, Derpy couldn't just introduce her to everypony as her long-lost cousin. Derpy had to explain this to her families, (all three of them), and Princess Celestia and Princess Luna ultimately had to do the paperwork for Ditzy to legally exist. Ditzy didn't want most ponies to know what she was, it wasn't exactly kept secret, it just wasn't mentioned unless asked.
Ditzy also stood in for Derpy Hooves during Winter Warp-Up, and being 'twins' nopony really knew the difference. Even if Derpy's horrible sense of direction had been copied over too.
And... the craziest thing Ah'd seen? Seems after Derpy was 'lost', Dancin' Hooves had another foal... A little gray pegasus colt.
The world was being remade, and everything faded into the white light. And Maud Pie had the worst stomach pains she'd ever had in her life! If she'd thought to describe the pain to Mrs. Cake, she'd have stunned the older woman with what sounded very much like contractions!
And just as soon as they had begun, they ended.
Maud Pie had a distant look in her eyes, she whispered, "Her name is Rancor Adrestia Typhon, Animosity, Disruption!" And had no understanding of WHY she said those words.