• Published 1st Jun 2013
  • 749 Views, 8 Comments

A Draconequus by Any Other Name - Educated Guess

Twilight has a few questions for Discord. Discord has more than a few answers.

  • ...

A Mad Cow's Child

“So. The beginning, eh?”

“Yes,” said Twilight, taking a scroll from the pile next to her and flattening it on the floor. “The beginning.”

“Well, alright,” Discord said reluctantly. “I must warn you, though - it might be a bit hard to believe.”

“As long as you tell the truth, I’ll believe anything.”

“As you wish.” The draconequus cleared his throat dramatically, then began in a very theatrical tone, gesturing with his arms as though he were the narrator of a play. “‘Twas a dark and stormy night. The rocky slopes of Mount Harnessus were slick with precipitation, and the howling winds threatened to tear Castle Daedalon from its very foundations...”

“Wait,” Twilight interrupted. “Mount Harnessus? As in, the-tallest-mountain-in-Bulleotia Mount Harnessus?”

“No, the other Mount Harnessus.” Discord rolled his eyes. “Pay attention, will you? This is important. Now, where was I...”

Despite the fury of the storm, however, inside the walls, the roar of thunder was nearly drowned out by the deep, bone-rattling hums of the castle’s countless machines. Flashes of lightning cast ominous shadows throughout the darkened hallways, and the wind drove the rain against the windows like the fists and cries of an angry mob.

Silver Platter glanced around furtively, and prayed to whatever gods were nearby that a real mob wasn’t on its way.

The path to the laboratory was difficult, though it was no more so than the path to anywhere else in the castle. In all his years of servitude, and the travel around the lands of Minos that that had entailed, Silver had never been able to understand the needless complexity of the Minosian building aesthetic. There was always too much hallway, twisting left and right and every which way, and more often than not, leading to nothing but flat walls.

But in other labyrinths, the routes from place to place could, at least, be memorized. In the castle of Cracked Kettle, bringing dinner from the kitchen to the dining room was just as much of an ordeal as rushing from the servant quarters to the bathroom in the middle of the night, because Dr. Kettle, with his infinite ego and ingenuity, had designed his labyrinth to be able to change, and it always seemed to do so at the most inconvenient of times.

Like now, for instance. Here Silver was, trying to find the laboratory, with the handle of a metal ice-box gripped in his mouth - an ice-box which held, in Dr. Kettle’s own words, “an indescribably important piece” of the mad minotaur’s latest project, and in which the aforementioned ice was unavoidably melting - and the path from the secret passage behind the fireplace to the west antechamber had inexplicably disappeared, replaced by a circuitous route that had, after many false ends, brought him to the floor hatch of the second guest bedroom. When he had opened the main door, it had led to only a solid gray-brick wall.

And so, the next ten minutes had been spent laying on the bed, listening to the raging storm and watching fat drops of condensation roll lazily down the misted sides of the ice-box, waiting for the maze to begin shifting.

If it’s on the usual schedule, Silver thought, it should be happening right about...

The sudden sounds of clanking gears and grinding stone confirmed his suspicions. Silver hopped down to his hooves, picked up the ice-box, and waited patiently at the door. When the rumbling had settled, he opened it to reveal...

...another door. The door to the laboratory, in fact. How convenient.

The acrid odor of years of built-up chemical residue stung his nostrils as soon as he opened the door. Silver had tried to clean the laboratory only once before, and Dr. Kettle had rewarded him by using him as a guinea pig for a batch of experimental eyedrops. As a result, he could no longer see the color yellow (which thankfully only came up when he was trying to cook squash soup) - but on the bright side, he could now cut onions without shedding a single tear.

Silver set down the ice-box and cleared his throat emphatically. A triple-pierced nose and a pair of curved, oil-splotched horns emerged from around a corner, along with the crazed, wide-eyed face that owned them. A blood-splotched lab coat hung around his shoulders like a taut curtain, framing the naturally chiseled musculature his species was famous for.

“Ah, Silver!” Dr. Kettle shouted, in a voice that rivaled the thunder outside. “You’re back! What took you so long?”

“You sent me all the way to Hindia to collect tiger blood. How long did you expect me to take?”

“A few days, at most. That’s how long it took me to fly round-trip from Minos to Hindia, back in the day!”

“But you had a personal airship that I am strictly forbidden from operating,” Silver grumbled. “I had to call in a half-dozen favors from my friends in the Griffrancian air force. Then, once I was there, I had to trick the Virgata tribe into attacking the Corbetti as a distraction, so that I could spirit away their freshest concubine, and...”

Silver shivered as the muffled cries and wide, distressed eyes of the tigress came flooding back to him. Even with all he had done in his life, the atrocities he committed in Cracked Kettle’s name never failed to top them.

Dr. Kettle merely nodded in approval, entirely unphased. “Well done, Silver. Very resourceful.”

“Yeah, sure. Anyway, what were you doing while I was gone?”

“I made a quick trip down-range to see if that young dragon was still holed up in that cave on Mount Athamaneika." He picked up the icebox and slotted it into a nearby wall. Silver heard the sound of ice clattering, and a dark red liquid began dripping through the thin glass pipes that ran along the wall. "Luckily, he was, so I paralyzed him and amputated his leg. I’ve already attached it. Now that you’ve brought the blood...”

A sudden flash of lightning cast the shadow of a grotesque figure against the far wall, and the thunder that followed rumbled like the growl of some eldritch beast. The minotaur looked up to the skylight, and grinned manically.

"...I think this is the perfect night to complete it."

Hesitantly, Silver stepped around the corner, past his giggling master. He had seen many things in his life - wars, massacres, unimaginable tortures - but nothing could have prepared him for what currently lay on Dr. Kettle's blood-stained operating table.

It could be called nothing less than an abomination - a crime against every living species. A dragon's leg; a griffon's claw; a pony's head, studded with mismatched eyes and topped with mismatched horns; all linked haphazardly to a long, serpentine body that Silver feared to imagine the origins of. Another flash of lightning glinted menacingly off of a single, oversized fang, and he could have sworn that, somehow, the thing was smiling at him.

"It's... it's..."

"It's beautiful, isn't it?" Dr. Kettle said, approaching his creation with nothing short of reverence. "This will be a triumph of my kind. Life is simple to create with magic. Your kind does it all the time, without even realizing it. Every tree that grows, every hummingbird that suckles nectar - even the sun and moon move at your beck and call. But never - NEVER - has life been guided by wires and gears. Never has a heart's beat been brought to speed by a machine." He ran his hand through the fur of the beast's paw, and smiled. "But today, all that will change. Today, life will be born, not from magic, but from the power of the mind."

"Shall I start the, uh..." Silver paused.

Next to the table, in the floorspace reserved for current projects, sat a hulking, jagged contraption that Silver couldn't have described the purpose of if he tried. The only part he understood was the tall, polished lightning rod that extended up through the ceiling.

"...shall I start the machine, sir?"

"Yeees," said Dr. Kettle, with an evil glint in his eye. "Throw the switch."

"Now hang on a minute!" Twilight shouted.

"What is it this time?"

"A castle in a storm? A machine with a lightning rod? A creature cobbled together from multiple animals?" The princess threw down her quill in disgust, and stood up. "I was willing to suspend my disbelief before, but now there's just too many similarities! You've stolen this plot straight from Frankenhind!"

"I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about," Discord said innocently. "Is that some sort of book?"

"You know very well what it is! Do you think I'm an idiot?" Twilight sighed in disgust, stuffed her scrolls roughly into her saddlebags, and turned to leave. "I'll be back tomorrow morning, Discord, and you'd better be honest with me this time!"

"Wait! Twilight!"

Twilight paused halfway through the door. His cry had sounded so... repentant. Hesitantly, she looked back. Was he really going to apologize?

But when he saw the glimmer of hope in her eyes, Discord only burst out into breathless laughter. "Oh, your face! I don't... I don't think I've ever..."

With a final howl of frustration, Twilight slammed the door, leaving an echoing cackle behind her.

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Comments ( 2 )

Well, I wasn't planning on writing another chapter of this for a while, but after the wonderful reception it got, I just couldn't leave it hanging. :twilightsmile: (Guess that's what happens when you write stories about canon characters, huh?)

Hopefully, this chapter will make what I'm planning to do with this story more clear. The idea isn't to tell Discord's whole story - just to tell his origin story. And then his actual origin story. And then his real actual origin story. And so on, and so forth, until Twilight gets so frustrated that she rage-quits the whole ordeal.

I just wanted to make that clear, so that any of you expecting a serious attempt at a Discord life story wouldn't be disappointed. On the same note, if you have any Discord origin ideas that you want me to flesh out/poke fun at, I would be more than happy to do so! I have three more planned already, but this story can have as many chapters as I can think of ways to create a draconequus.

Conversely, if you want to take any ideas you see here and run with them in your own stories, that's fine too. Just tell me, and credit me in the description.

It's not really my idea, but in the [Cr]applejack tumblr, there's an 'Origins of the Elements of Harmony' story, that kind of has a 'origins of Discord' bit in it.
Not sure how I'd flesh it out, but maybe you can work with it.:twilightsmile:

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