• Published 13th Jun 2013
  • 2,932 Views, 118 Comments

Alternate Geoverse #6: A Season Of Terror - GeodesicDragon



Ace has snapped, and now Doctor Robo terrorises Equestria in his bid to reform the world in his own image. Will his friends be able to stop him? Part Seven of the Geoverse.

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Prologue (Edited)

CHAPTER ONE

Prologue

Version 2.0

Ace woke up with a start, sweat pouring from his brow as he struggled to make sense of the dark room around him. He grasped at the air next to him, his hand clenching into a fist when it failed to make contact with anything. "Of course," he muttered. "Pinkie isn't here anymore. And why should she be? I'm a monster." He looked down to see that he had curled himself into the foetal position during his sleep. With a sigh he sat upright and stared blankly at the wall. Silence was his companion in the cold night, his lab blocking anything to do with the outside word. He buried his head in his hands with a sigh, past actions parading relentlessly through his mind. He closed his eyes, seeing the faces of men he had killed in cold blood. Letting out a sniffle he lay back down on the bed.

"I'm a monster," he whispered. "A monster who doesn't deserve any happiness after what he has done."

"You're a being of evil, aren't you?"

Ace sat bolt upright at the sound of the voice. He looked frantically around the darkened room, as if expecting the owner to be hiding in plain sight. "Who's there?" he demanded. "Where are you?!"

"I'm the one who will make you great," the voice replied. "Listen well to what I have to say and you'll never have to experience your trauma ever again."

"I... I deserve my trauma," Ace conceded. "I'm a villain and a monster, someone who doesn't deserve to live in this world."

"I don't deny most of that," the voice said. "But you don't deserve this. This world will not accept you, and you can't change."

"But what can I do?" Ace questioned. "My wife has left me, and nobody will ever love me like she did."

"Ignore that which you cannot control," the unknown voice said malevolently. "Instead, focus on what you can."

***

"Call me Doctor Robo!" Ace yelled over the loudspeaker. "Ruler of the Steel Empire!"

The rest of us stood frozen to the spot as we watched the enormous vessel in front of us. Various gasps of shock escaped our lips as we attempted to process what was going on. Eventually I regained my composure, and turned to the three pegasi who made up my guard detail.

"What are you waiting for?" I shouted. "An invitation?! Stop him!"

The guards saluted and took off towards the ship, albeit with some hesitation. As they approached, Ace spoke again.

"Ah ah ah!" he taunted. "You can't come after me! Isn't there a fire in Ponyville that you guys need to be taking care of?"

The three guards stopped and hovered, exchanging puzzled glances with each other and Ponyville in the distance.

"But..." one of them them trailed off. "Ponyville isn't on fire."

"Oh, really?" Ace replied. "Well, let me fix that. Fire heat ray!"

A tremendous surge of light blazed from one of the ships many cannons. I could feel the raging inferno, even when it was a few hundred feet above my head. The light hit Ponyville, engulfing several of the buildings in flames. Ace cackled maniacally as his ship began to fly away. The guards looked at him, and then back to the burning town. "Now what's it going to be?" Ace mocked. "Apprehend me, or save Ponyville? Choose wisely, because you don't have the horsepower to do both!"

The ship slowly moved out of sight, heading to parts unknown. I stuck my fingers in my mouth and whistled, attracting everyone's attention. I pointed towards Ponyville, the cries of those affected by the fire now being carried on the air.

"Forget about him!" I shouted. "We need to save the town, so let's get a fucking move on!" With those words we all ran as fast as we could towards the burning town. I could see that several homes and other buildings were ablaze: the schoolhouse, Sugarcube Corner and Vinyl's club. "Rainbow Dash," I ordered. "Get your flank up there and grab as many rainclouds as you can muster, because we're going to need them! Fluttershy and Haywick, you both have medical training so put it to use! Applejack, help with the water buckets! The rest of you, do whatever you can to help!"

Everyone nodded and rushed off in their attempts to save as much of the town as they could. As I ran through the area I looked around at the desperate townsponies trying to fight the fires. Ponies were running and screaming, confusion and chaos at the situation setting in. I caught a glimpse of the schoolhouse, where Cheerilee and Big Macintosh were doing all they could to put out the raging inferno that had engulfed it. But even with the help of the local weather ponies, it seemed like a lost cause.

I continued running until I got to the club. I knew that Vinyl would want to try and save her pride and joy, so I stood outside and waited until she arrived. Suddenly, there was a loud crack as the roof collapsed, sending clouds of dust and smoke into the air. I jumped backwards to avoid a piece of burning wood which smashed into the ground beside me. As I stood staring at it, I heard something which made the blood in my veins freeze.

"Somepony help!" the voice was definitely Vinyl's. "I'm trapped!"

I looked around frantically for her only to realise, to my horror, that she was inside the burning club. Without hesitation I rushed inside, the thick black smoke clouding my vision and making me cough. I dropped to all fours and crawled through the rubble. "Vinyl!" I shouted. "Where are you?!"

"Geo?!" I heard her exclaim from my right. "Over here! Hurry!"

I crawled through the twisted, burning wreckage of the club. The searing hot flames of the fire causing every breath I took to cook me from the inside. I kept my head low, to avoid the smoke. "Vinyl!" I shouted. "Keep talking! I’m on my way!"

"I’m by the bar!" I heard her reply. "It’s getting hot in here! And not because of the music!" she joked.

"That means it’s bad, right?" I joked back, following the sound of her voice. A beam from the roof fell down next to me but I ignored it, too focused on getting to Vinyl.

"You’d better believe it’s bad, buddy!" I heard Vinyl again, coughs following her words. "Just hurry up! I can’t see anything!"

Within moments of those words being said, I finally caught sight of Vinyl next to the bar. A beam had fallen on top of her and pinned her down by her shoulders and I also noticed that her shades had fallen off, probably due to the beam’s collapse. The beam was only slightly charred on one side, but it looked like it would reignite soon if something didn’t change. I moved closer, hell-bent on saving her from the blazing inferno. I examined the beam noting that, while bulky, it didn’t seem very heavy. However it still seemed that my strength alone wouldn’t cut it. I needed help, but thankfully I came up an idea. "Vinyl!" I shouted over the roaring flames. "I need you to help me help you!"

She looked up at me in confusion and shook her head.

"What do you mean?" she asked.

"I can’t move this beam on my own," I replied as I looked down at her. "But if you use your magic then it might give me the boost I need to get it off! Can you concentrate hard enough to do that?"

Vinyl nodded. "I think so!" she said with determination in her voice. "I‘ll give it a shot!" She began to concentrate and soon a misty blue aura had surrounded the beam.

It began to move, and I quickly reached around it, wrapping the parts I was gripping in the royal cape that formerly adorned my back. Lifting with my legs, I began moving the beam until Vinyl was free from it. A large bruise covered her upper back, and was visible through her white coat. Working simultaneously, we tossed the beam away, behind the bar. I took a sharp intake of breath upon seeing Vinyl’s injury. "Don’t move!" I told her. "We don’t know how bad you’re hurt!"

Vinyl rolled her eyes. "Well I can’t just stay here!" she protested.

"Of course not!" I shot back. "Because I’m gonna carry you out!" I grabbed her glasses and then hoisted her onto my back, letting her place her forehooves on my shoulders. I gently lifted her up and turned to go out the way I came in, only for various mixtures of high proof alcohol to explode near the bar, cutting off our escape route.

I glanced around, trying to get a bearing of my surroundings. The smoke made my eyes water, and I coughed, attempting to keep both mine and Vinyl’s heads down. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the entrance to the restroom. From my experience working at the club as a security guard, I knew that it had a small window which Vinyl could probably fit through, but I would still need a way out. It didn’t take me long to decide to go there, as I felt that it was better to have one life in danger than two.

I made my way to the door and tossed it open, smiling at my luck. The fire hadn’t reached this part of the building yet and the marble floor would make it difficult, if not impossible, for the fire to overtake the area. I made my way over to the window, and hoisted Vinyl up towards it. She gasped, knowing the situation which I was putting myself into.

"Geo, no!" she said. "You can’t get out this way! You’ll be trapped in here!" I sighed and showed her her glasses.

"See these, Vinyl?" I asked her, to which she nodded. "There is no way I am not gonna get these back to you, all right?" She pressed her lips together and nodded. "I promise. I’ve pulled through for you countless times before, so just trust me."

I saw her force a smile as tears came to her eyes. She wiped them away with a fetlock and grinned at me. "Good luck, man, you’ve always been the coolest dude I know." At that, she jumped out the window to safety.

So here I am, standing in the bathroom of a club that was burning down... Oh well, time to escape like the boss Vinyl makes me out to be!

I pocketed Vinyl’s glasses and quickly tried to come up with an escape plan for myself. Smoke was filling up the bathroom from the closed door, and flooding out the open window.

Flooding... maybe I could flood the fire?

I quickly went over to the bathroom sinks and ripped some cloth off my shirt. Stuffing the cloth into the drains, I turned the water on at full blast. The sinks began quickly filling and I moved over to the toilets, taking a metal plunger from one of the stalls before taking a few whacks at the pipes with all my strength. A couple of hard strikes later and the water was blasting out from the toilet pipes, all over myself and the floor.

Rarity is going to kill me for ruining this shirt, and now I’m completely soaked... well, at least now I know how Twilight feels when we f— focus, Geo, focus!

At this point the sinks were beginning to overflow, water flowing onto the marble floor and into the crack of the doorway. I heard the slight hissing sound of fires being extinguished.

It’s working!

Elated with my success I struck another toilet’s pipe, and another, until all of the toilets had a symphony of sprays splashing out onto the floor. I got down on my hands and knees and carefully opened the door, seeing that the fires had backed away thanks to the flooding. When I opened the door fully, more water flowed out into the auditorium. It slowed the fire, but didn’t stop it. But what it did manage to do was clear the way to an exit. The walls were still aflame but there, down a hall to the back, was a large window. It was still intact but it had no doubt taken damage from the fire, and I was sure that I could break it. All I had to do was get a running start. With this in mind I got to my feet, hunching over to stay below the smoke.

And then, with a lunge forward, I ran.

***

Twilight rushed up to Vinyl, who was being led off by the medical ponies. "Vinyl!" she called, rushing up. "Where’s Geo?"

"He’s still inside..." Vinyl groaned. "He saved my life."

Without a second thought, Twilight began running towards the building, when she was stopped by one of the weather ponies. "No, princess! You can’t go in there!"

"Let me go!" she ordered. "Geo’s in there! I’m not letting him die!"

"The structure is too unstable, princess!" reasoned the weather pony. "It could collapse at any second!"

As if on cue, the structure fell inside itself, the roof caving in. The walls around it came tumbling down, and before long, there was a pile of smouldering rubble.

Twilight was silent. "No..." she sniffled as tears came to her eyes. "Geo..." She sat on her haunches with her shoulders slumped forward and her head hung low as she tried not to cry, attempting in vain to keep her composure in front of the ponies who looked up to her.

Suddenly, she saw movement out of the corner of her eye. She looked over and saw a figure, covered in soot and glass, coughing as he walked away from the rubble. There were only two humans in Ponyville at that moment, and Twilight’s heart filled with happiness when she realised that it couldn’t be John.

"Geo!" she exclaimed, galloping towards him. He barely had time to turn around and face her before she collided with him, sending the two of them rolling across the grass in a tangled mess of limbs.

***

As we came to a stop, Twilight was on top of me. I looked up at her and, after a moment, grinned weakly and coughed. "See?" I chuckled. "Didn’t I tell you that you like being on top?"

Twilight didn’t reply as she brought her lips to mine in a passionate kiss. I returned the gesture fondly, cupping her face in my hands — and feeling the dampness around her eyes. "Don’t you ever worry me like that again!" she scolded as she pulled away. "I thought I’d lost you again!"

"Sorry," I replied. "But I did have to save my old boss. Again. Don’t worry though, Twi, I’m absolutely fine." Another set of wracking coughs escaped my lungs, betraying the fact that I wasn’t fine at all. Twilight got off me and helped me up before leading me to the makeshift hospital which had been set up outside of town. Along the way, we passed Pinkie and all four of the Cakes who were huddled together, watching silently as Sugarcube Corner went up in flames. Pinkie had looked over at us, before looking back up to the Cakes. Cup Cake nodded solemnly and waved a hoof at Pinkie, who pursed her lips together before joining us, hanging her head.

We continued on to the hospital, neither Twilight or I knowing what to say to Pinkie. We both silently agreed to tackle the situation once my hospital visit was dealt with. As the hospital came into view the gravity of the situation began to dawn on us, as several townsponies were there, most of them injured in one way or another. Despite everything they still found the presence of mind to bow to Twilight and I as we walked past them, ignoring our pleas not to bother.

Doctor Haywick and Fluttershy were both tending to Lyra, who was suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation just like I was. Fluttershy was holding her hoof while Haywick was administering oxygen. He glanced up as Twilight and I approached, allowing a small smile to grace his lips. "Back again?" he said. "I was hoping that wouldn’t be the case... but I heard what you did for Vinyl, so I guess your presence here was inevitable. You’re a good man, Geo."

"Thanks, Doc," I wheezed. "Say, where is Vinyl anyway? I need to give her back her goggles." I removed the goggles from my pocket and dangled them from a finger, the lenses reflecting the flames still raging in town. Haywick nodded and pointed towards a nearby tent.

"She’s in there being treated for her injuries." Haywick replied. "The poor mare has a very nasty bruise across her back, a broken leg, and some third degree burns... not to mention the obvious effects of smoke inhalation."

"I’m guessing that last one is a very common problem right now?" I said flatly.

Haywick nodded as Lyra coughed again. Twilight wrapped a wing around her in a comforting gesture while I sat down and took an oxygen tank from Haywick, applying the mask to my face and breathing in deeply.

"Th-thanks," Lyra said. "I was helping Bon Bon while she tried to save as much of her stock as she could before the fire claimed her shop. We managed to save some of it, but the flames spread quicker than anypony thought."

"I’m sorry." Twilight soothed. "I hope Bon Bon is okay."

"She’s fine," Lyra replied. "She may have lost her store but at least she’s still alive, albeit shaken up by this whole thing." She looked Twilight in the eyes. "I heard Doctor Sorou’s voice earlier," she said mournfully. "But why on Equestria was he saying those horrible things? Why did he do this to us? Why is he calling himself a villain? It just doesn’t make any sense at all!"

Twilight and I exchanged a worried glance before she wrapped Lyra in a tighter embrace. "I don’t know," Twilight’s voice cracked with emotion. "But I assure you that we will find out."

Lyra nodded meekly and buried herself in Twilight’s fur, allowing the alicorn to rock her back and forth while I sat and watched. All the while I was shaking my head and wondering how many other ponies would be asking the same questions.

***

An hour later I was given the all-clear to leave. After thanking Doctor Haywick and wishing Lyra all the best, Twilight and I left the tent. She draped a wing around me as we started walking towards where Vinyl was. As we walked we looked at the smoke billowing over the town. The fires had been contained, but a large portion of Ponyville had been destroyed. Townsponies, some black with soot, bowed to Twilight and I before breaking into applause.

"It would seem that word of your exploits has spread," Twilight said. "I’m very proud of you, Geo."

"I did what any rational person would have done," I replied with a dismissive wave of my hand. "Besides, I’m sure Vinyl would have done the same for me."

"You bet your flank I would, boss." Twilight and I stopped walking as we saw Vinyl’s head poking out between the flaps of a tent. I walked over to her, whereupon she reared up onto her hind legs and pulled me in for a bone-crushing hug. "I may have lost my club," she whispered. "But at least I have my life... as well as friends I can rely on to get me through." She looked up at me, tears running down her cheeks and onto what remained of my shirt. "I owe you big time," she said. "Whatever you want, you come to me. Hell, if being a Prince doesn’t work out for you then I’ll make you manager of the club once I rebuild it."

We both chuckled as Vinyl got back onto all fours and wiped her eyes again. I reached into my pocket and removed the goggles, presenting them to Vinyl on the flat of my hand.

"I believe these are yours?" I mused. "I told you that I’d get them back to you."

Vinyl squealed with glee and took the goggles in her magic, levitating them back into position atop her head. She beamed from ear to ear before hugging me again, much tighter than the last time. Twilight, watching from nearby, stifled a giggle as she watched the unicorn squeeze the life out of me.

***

Twilight and I decided to spend some time talking to the townsponies, especially the injured ones. Every single one of them had asked us why Ace had attacked the town, but we found ourselves unable to answer. Even we didn’t know why he had done this. All of our attempts to speak to him had been ruined because of his bots’ refusal to let us into his laboratory. Who knows what those eleven months alone with his thoughts had done to him?

We told everypony that we would get the answers they wanted at a later date, and that the main priority right now was getting the damage repaired and our lives back on track. The latter would be hard, given the circumstances, but we knew in our hearts that as long as we stood together we would get through it all with our heads held high.

Leaving the hospital, we caught sight of Pinkie Pie sitting on a bench with a sullen expression on her face. Her mane and tail were completely straight, and her usually bubbly personality had given way to sorrow and pain.

"It’s not fair..." she muttered. "I was going back to him... I was gonna make things right..." She began crying as she trailed off. Twilight and I sat down on either side of her, wrapping a wing and an arm around her. Pinkie’s sobbing became full-blown bawling as she buried her head in her forehooves. "This is all my fault!" she whimpered. "If I had just stayed with him, then none of this would have happened!"

"Don’t blame yourself, Pinkie," I soothed. "You didn’t know that this was going to happen. None of us did. If you had stayed with him, how could be sure that things would have been different?"

"I could have talked to him!" she shouted. "I could have talked him out of whatever crazy ideas he had! I COULD HAVE BEEN THERE FOR HIM!" Twilight and I both flinched as Pinkie’s anguished cry echoed across Ponyville. She let out a defeated sigh and looked up to the night sky, the smoke having now cleared. "But I wasn’t there for him," she lamented. "Instead I left him because I couldn’t bear to give him a chance. All that he’s done: Manglanosa, the killing, the hostages, the lying... it all became too much for me to bear. But maybe I should have paid more attention to what was going on in his mind. Something drove him to act the way he did."

"And whatever that something is," Twilight said gently, "we’ll figure it out and get him the help he needs."

"But what if he’s beyond help?" Pinkie said flatly. "What then?"

"Then..." I trailed off for a moment. "We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. But despite everything, Pinkie, Ace is still our friend and your husband. We will not give up on him, you have my word."

A small smile graced Pinkie’s lips as she nodded.

"You’re right, Geo." she replied. "Ace does need our help. I can only hope that we get to him before somepony gets seriously hurt."

I returned her nod and we sat in silence. As I watched the sky I could only begin to imagine how Pinkie must have felt about everything. And as I looked at her despairing face, I knew that nothing would ever be the same again.

Author's Note:

It's finally here! You would not believe how much effort went into this thing. Thank fuck for co-writers, eh?

Anyway, enjoy this start to what (I hope) will be a fantastic adventure!

VERSION HISTORY

Version 2.0: Indented paragraphs, fixed grammar to reflect my current standards, and changed how the voice in Ace's head is depicted.
Version 1.0: Original Version