• Published 19th Nov 2013
  • 9,790 Views, 90 Comments

Soft Diplomacy - Bastinator



After arriving in Equestria, Anon was at the mercy of life. He has a crap job, a boring life and he can't even speak up for himself if his life depended on it, but books have always been there for him. What if they got the attention of royalty?

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Chapter 13: The Three Discords

Hmmm… Booze… Beer farther than the eye can see, so thick you can almost float in that fizzy ocean. You wrap your lips around one of the many beer nipples and suckle the tit until a nice cold stream fills your mouth. You could live this way forever.

The blinds are thrust open before you eliminating your dreamy state and forcing you to shield your eyes. “Ugh! Turn off the lights.”

”Are you going to sit in here all day or do I need to get the bucket again?” Not the bucket! Anything but the bucket!

“I’m getting up damn, no need to be such a bitch.” Gilda doesn’t say anything and opens up another set of blinds. “GAH! I said I was getting up!”

”If you’re going to stay here then you’re going to have to- What the fuck.”

“W- *hic* What?”

She pushes her talon through the sea of beer bottles you’ve left lying around like clothes to a teenager. ”How the hell do you walk around with all this shit?”

I kind of slide along the floor like a slug,” you yawn, “What’s for breakfast?”

”Depends on what you’re paying for.”

“Pfft… You know I don’t have any money.”

”That’s my point.”

It’s been… Uhh, you have to double check using your fingers. Two weeks? That’s two right? After your little ‘misunderstanding’ with the guard you wound up in prison for about a month. Pablo turned out really cool except for the whole soap thing. He found it fascinating to listen to soap hitting the shower floor. You never thought it was that nice, but to each their own. Needless to say you got the fuck out of there as soon as you could and when you got out you immediately wanted back in.

Your shit had all been impounded or sold off; the only money given back was what you had in your pockets when they detained you. Heh, you showed them how far you could stretch five bits. A whole half an hour. That’s a world record right? Of course it is, you’re Anon. Anyways, after that little fiasco you kind of didn’t have food for the end of the day so you had to mooch off your friends. Thank god Iron Will had a spare room or else you’d have to sleep on the street like some sort of hobo. The very thought is detestable.

Anyways, you’ve been living here for, what’d you say two weeks? You’ve got to admit, all this booze and nothing to do has to be the best gig you got set up with. Sure this is the only set of clothes you’ve got and you haven’t made a bit since you got out, but no obligations is just awesome.

You find your way to the kitchen table and try to sneak a sip from your canteen. ”Hey! What’s that?”

“Nothing… Just some orange juice…”

”Bullshit give me that,” she snatches it out of your hands and takes a sip, “Awfully strong stuff for some orange juice.”

“Well uh, you see the Orangopolis place out uh, north, is famous for its OJ so if you wouldn’t mind…”

She keeps the canteen out of reach as you paw after it, “And you expect me to believe that?”

“Yes…”

Gilda reaches over the table and slaps you across the face, “Fucking hell Anon get a hold of yourself.” You give her the puppy dog eyes and hold your arms like you were hugging yourself, “No Anon. That shit doesn’t work on me.” Activate Puppy Eyes Level 2. “Anon…” she shakes her head, “Just get out. I don’t have time for this right now.”

“Can I have some spending money then?”

”So you can spend it on booze and whatever else you do in that dungeon of yours? No. Just get out.”

“Gilli willie-“

”OUT!” Jeez, she didn’t need to be such a bitch. No wonder her father left her.

~~~

Gilda pushes you out the door and slams it shut behind you, the clamp coming down for extra measure. “You’re not my mom!” you shout through the door before walking down the steps. The cunt didn’t even give you breakfast and- That bitch! You slam on the door screaming for your canteen, eventually resorting to kicking and slamming your head against it.

”You want your fucking canteen?” she shouts from the upper floor, dangling it like a cat toy.

“Gimme gimme!” you leap up trying to reach it.

The anger behind her is almost cute, “Want it? Then go fucking get it!” She sends it flying out into the street and you chase after the rolling fun container. Almost- almost… You do a dive, finger touching the edge while it keeps rolling straight into a storm drain…

“BITCH!” you scream and pick up a sizeable stone pelting it at the gryphon, “Do you think that’s fucking funny!”

”Get a job you bum!” she shouts back before slamming the window.

“FUCK!” you turn to some of the onlookers who’re quite shocked at the scene, “You want to lick my balls? What’re you looking at then?! Piss off!” No respect for others damn.

You lift the sewer grate and hold your nose to block the repugnant stench of whatever died down there. This brings you back to when you were just a little bitch, oh how shitty life was back then. You actually worked and stuff, HA. You were such a sucker. You slide down the ladder and squint into the tunnel of darkness, the scent of mildew one that you recognize.

All that cunt had to do was drop it down, but noo… Now you have to search the fucking sewers. Streams of light come shining down through some of the storm drains, each one almost blinding you if you get too close. Fucking sun and its fucking bullshit. OH wait! You reach down into the side of your shoe and pull out a small vial. You picked this off some fancy pants the last time Gilda kicked you out.

You pop the cap and pour it down the hatch, almost coughing on the stuff. This could burn the skin off your bones if you’d let it, but you’d rather just kill your liver instead. Your eyes slowly begin adjusting to the darkness and at the end of the tunnel you spot your canteen sitting there damp with leftover rainwater. You kneel down to the floor, eye on the prize and beckon it over. “Come on little one. I won’t hurt you, you beautiful circle of liquid glory.” If you were crazy you’d say it almost reacted to your praise, but that’d be- Whoa shit!

The canteen jiggles about before rolling out of the small puddle and to the middle of the tunnel. ”It’s dangerous to go alone take this.” What type of Zelda bullshit is this?

Before you can even respond it twirls around in place before rolling around the corner. What in the blueberry fuck just happened? Gathering your wits you stand back up and have to hold the wall to not fall down in sheer shock. Are- are you still dreaming? You decide to slap yourself to test it out. *slap* “Yep!” you grumble holding your cheek, “Very much awake.” Okay just take a few steps towards it; there we go, not too fast now.

You ease forward making sure not to accidently fall and break your- “You coming or what?”

“Shit,” your legs give way causing you to crash onto your stomach. This has to be a dream. A very vivid painful dream.

The canteen rolls over to you, plumping through the small puddles of water that rest on the floor until it reaches you, “Ehh, what’s up doc?” Maybe if you just rest here it’ll lose sentience and shut up, “I will drink your milkshake!” This thing isn’t going to shut up is it? Raising your head you eye the suspicious nature of your fugitive canteen.

“What?”

”But the prize…” Mother-

You lunge at the quoting canteen and wrap your arms around it until it’s snug right up to your chest. “Gotcha you piece of- Whoa now…” An invisible force seems to be pulling at the container in your grasp and it only strengthens while you hold it.

”Never give up! Never surrender!” Oh you will have its… cap. Might not be a head but- Fuuuu- A swift tug sends you being dragged forwards, your knees bashing against every stone along the way.

“Whoa nelly! Hold…” you try and calm it down like a horse, but it only pulls harder.

”I ain’t no horse you stupid human!” Stupid ass inanimate objects trying to be real people. You manage to pull yourself up to a standing position with your heels digging into the ground.

“You have the right to remain silent. Everything you say and do may be used against you in a court of law.” The possessed demon flings around the corner crashing you into a wall while you hold on for dear life. The lights from above flash by as you’re led through the maze that is the city’s sewers. All you wanted was your damned canteen… Just as you’re about to give up when it appears to start losing speed. “Yeah that’s right, give up you little son of a-” *thunk*

You hit the ground hard, the back of your head slamming against the ground while the front recovers from whatever smacked you in the face. “Mommy I don’t like Equestria anymore…” you groan rubbing the indent on your forehead. Why can’t there be a day where you aren’t chasing after sentient objects in the bowels of the sewers? …There used to be a lot of those days weren’t there?

Struggling to sit up you wait for blood to return to your head, silently cursing the overhang that knocked you on your ass. When you find that damned… The canteen is just lying there illuminated in a small circle of light. Oh you are mine!

Ignoring the lack of blood up there in your cranium you stumble off and leap at it, rolling around the damp ground in victory. Finally! It’s yours! No bullshit magic could stop you. Now let’s get this cap off, here we go. You start to suckle, face slowly contorting to disgust. You spit out the sickly sweet abomination and try not to vomit as you purge the chocolate mix from your system. There’s a lot of stuff you put in your body, but chocolate milk isn’t one of them. How did you- ”Hehehe, not a fan I see.”

That draconequus son of a… He’s not going to fuck with you again. Throwing away the canteen you stand up and back up to the entrance, “Now now there’s no need to be like that. I was just having a little fun.” Your back hits the wall and- How the hell did the wall get there? Your fingers search for a corner as you silently pray you just missed the exit. Nothing… You’re trapped here, alone, with Discord. ”You shouldn’t bother wasting your time,” his voice seemingly coming from all sides, “but do go ahead. Oh how I enjoy watching you squirm.”

His words cut deep as you search the around the darkness for the mad god. Perhaps there’s a route left untouched… ”Why would I just leave a grate open in the middle of the room for someone to escape through? Whoops…” Before you can think you sprint to the center, indeed finding a grate that you didn’t initially see and struggle to pull it open. You set the lid aside and look do- “BOO!” Discord’s head juts out from the opening with a devilish grin.

He laughs as you fall back and crawl to the wall, “Oho that never gets old. An oldie but a goodie.” Wiping a tear from his eye he swoops his paw down and snatches your canteen, “Yum! Just the way I like it. 90% chocolate, 10% milk, and 100% delicious.” Dear god, if you’re up there, get me the fuck out of here. ”How many times has that gotten you out of trouble before now Anon?”

“I can try…” If you pretend he isn’t there- No that doesn’t work either. Why you?

”Because you’re just so fun to watch. Not so much when you act like this though, too predictable.” You stand up facing the wall and press your head against the wall, “I like them with some fight in them.” You swing around throwing your fist through the darkness, finding nothing but air. “Good! That’s what I like to see. Come on, just a little more.”

“You piece of shit… Why? Tell me why!”

”Didn’t I already tell you? You’re just so fun.” He laughs as you try to strike his voice and wind up looking like a flailing tard. ”I’m on your left. Nope, on the right this time. Oooh so close, keep it up. You’ll get me one of these days.” After another failure you lower your trembling fists, “Don’t give up so easily. Maybe you’ll actually beat the embodiment of chaos one of these days.” You step up to the open grate and stand in the light, the ceaseless blackness within likely the only escape you’ll take. Closing your eyes and jump down.

You come in too fast and nearly break your leg upon impact with the floor, but at least his voice is gone. Now you can get out of… When you open your eyes you find yourself in the same circular room, the same beam of light surrounding you. What the- “Fuck? You humans have such an interesting choice of words.”

“Why won’t you leave me alone? Haven’t I been through enough already?”

You look up, the draconequus standing there above you, his signature grin absent on his face, “No. No you haven’t.” With a snap he disappears in a flash of green as you struggle back to your feet.

“Face me you coward! Don’t hide behind your trickery!”

”Why should I? It’s just so fun this way,” he giggles like a school girl. The rage that’s been building up in you only swelters further as you listen to his poking and prodding laughter.

“You’ve fucked up my life since I met you, so at least have the balls to own up to it!”

This manages to shut him up for a time before he continues, “Go on…”

“Go on from what!? Every step of the way it’s been you! You played with my life like it was a pile of Play-Doh and I’m sick of it.”

”That’s… not entirely false.”

Not entirely… Not entirely! “I had everything until you stepped in and fucked it up!”

The walls tremble at his voice, “Were it not for me you’d still be mopping halls for the rest of your life you ungrateful foal!”

“…What?”

You whirl around, Discord standing just off by the wall, shoulders slouched but with a lingering anger in his eyes. ”You mortals are so blind that you cannot see the obvious unless pointed out for you.”

“What did you mean by that?”

He snaps his fingers again and the exit pops back into view, “Go on, leave. The exit’s right there.” You stand your ground only seemingly to infuriate him further, “Are you blind as well as deaf? Go.”

“No. Not until you tell me what you meant by that.”

”My powers may be limitless, but my patience is not. Do not attempt to test them.” Oh you’ll do more than test them, you’ll give them a run for his money.

“After all your bullshit I’m entitled to a little information and guess what? I ain’t leaving until I get it, you got that?”

He glances to the exit and snaps his fingers, “As you wish.”

Green mist fills your vision and lungs forcing a painful fit of coughs and wheezes. If he keeps this up he’s going to… He wouldn’t. “Okay- *cough* I get it. *cough cough* I’ll leave!”

”This was your choice, not mine. You’ll learn that soon enough.” You grab your chest as the mist continues to seep down your throat and burn your eyes. He can’t just… kill you… Everything goes black, “Welcome home.”

~~~

When you open your eyes you find yourself back in Canterlot, just outside the throne room where you wait to be called on. ”Ugh… My desk’s all dusty,” Discord complains behind the desk, a pair of secretary glasses hanging above his nose, “Oh hello Anon. Do you have an appointment?” The torches on the wall are extinguished and the room seems to have lost its glow, not the literal one mind you. It doesn’t seem right. “Anon I do believe I’m calling your name.”

You stand up, your clothes still the same wrinkled mess you’ve had for the past weeks. “Where- Where am I?”

”Well you should know where we are, but the question is when we are. Ahh!” he inspects his talon, “I think it just chipped…” You wipe your hand across desk and blow off the thin layer of dust coating it. Where did the receptionist go?

“Where’s um-“ you snap your fingers trying to remember her name.

”That only works for me you know.” You don’t even remember her name even after you had… consorted with her… You try to pick up her clipboard but Discord slaps your hand away, “Didn’t anyone tell you not to touch a lady’s things?” He pops a mirror into existence and adjusts his hair. Oh yeah, he’s trying to be in character after all.

Your eyes turn to the door, a tinge of fear running through you. “What’s in there?”

”Only what take with you.”

“Thanks Yoda,” you sneer sarcastically and push open the doors.

You find the inside much the same as the room you just left. No torches are lit nor do any guards take position near you, in fact there isn’t sign of anypony. The walk to the throne sends shivers down your spine as you look around for any monsters that might want to pop out. When you get there you find the small fountains of the throne to be still, the esteemed seat at the top long absent of its ruler. “Where is Celestia?”

Discord puts his head just over your shoulder, “Why don’t you ask her?’ He turns your chin to the side, Twilight sitting out by the stained glass windows, looking down at her hooves.

“Twilight?” you ask but she doesn’t respond.

”It’s no use. She can’t hear you.”

“She can’t- Then why’d you say ask her?” Discord shrugs and you stand beside her trying to figure out why she’s here. “What happened here Discord? Why is Twilight-” Discord puts a paw to your lips.

”All in due time.”

Twilight sniffs and wipes her eye, “Where did I go wrong? Why did it turn out like this?” She shakes her head, “I tried my best just like I was taught, but it didn’t work. He was always a step ahead of us.”

You know exactly who she’s talking about, the same one who’d led you around by the nose. “Rinn…”

”If only we knew what he’d been planning… No, we already knew. It wasn’t him. It wasn’t Celestia. It was me…”

“Don’t do this to yourself. It never winds up good in the end,” you try to plead her.

”Didn’t I say she couldn’t hear you?” you hear Discord chuckle at your ignorance.

“I don’t care. Twilight, it’s not your fault. Rinn’s been planning this for who knows how long. It’s not right to take the blame for his actions.”

”I haven’t been the same since the Gala, none of us were, but it’s what Anon said that got me.”

“Twilight you’re nothing like me. You’ve always been better.”

Discord lets out another laugh, “Is she Anon? Is she really?”

“Yes!” you fire back, “She’s better than me. Stronger. Smarter.”

”I choked up,” Twilight continues, “By the time I’d stopped it was too late…”

“Twilight, please don’t tell me…”

”Check for yourself,” Discord motions you forward.

“I don’t-“

”Check!” he demands this time.

”He gave me one piece of advice, ‘Don’t be like me.’” You sit in front of her, small puncture marks on her legs, “I guess I couldn’t even do that.” You block your eyes, but the sight’s already burned into your mind, “I’m so sorry Anon, but I couldn’t do as you asked…”

“Why are you showing me this?” you weakly ask to Discord who’s watching over the scene.

”Because, it’s what you need to see.”

“How long… How long until this happens?”

”Do you think you can make a difference? Well you can’t.” Yes you can. You could’ve- Where were you?

“Where am I right now? Show me.”

He clenches his teeth and inhales sharply, “That’s not a good idea. Let’s-“

“Show me.”

He sighs, “As you wish…”

~~~

With another snap of his fingers you’re taken to the slums of Equestria which, well they look as shit as ever. You’d taken a stroll or two while you were drunk off your ass but you don’t see your ass anywhere in sight. All you see is an abandoned alleyway and the rest of this desolate city, not even a chirping bird to break the silence. “I said show me where I am. Not take me to some alley.”

Discord’s slumped over on the ground in some rags, a rusted old cup in his grip. So now he’s a hobo, delightful. ”I fulfilled your request, though you may not like what you find.” Your eyes look to the end of the alley, heart dropping.

“I’m a hobo. No home, no job, nothing… I lost complete contact with her and when she needed me…”

Discord pops in a glass of milk and chugs it down, “You’re being a tad optimistic.” What could be worse than that?

“I don’t see what else it could be? What did I drink myself into a stupor and wind up dead in an, abandoned… alley…”

”I told you it wasn’t a good idea.”

It turns out like this? As much as you hate to admit, you’re not that surprised. “Why couldn’t you just take me to my grave?”

”You think you were buried? Now I know you’re an optimist.” You know that the ponies around here had food issues but… That’s just wrong.

“I’ve seen enough. I’m ready to go home.”

Discord stands up with yet another laugh, “Not even close.” *snap*

~~~

It’s bright, not like the city you just left. This is Iron Will’s house, you can tell because of the small figurines he has scattered around like vases. You move the curtain aside and look out the window, the roads bustling with activity. Where were these ponies before? Why’s it busy all of a sudden? “Discord, where’d all these ponies come from? Discord?”

You hear some commotion from on the tables and look closer to one of the minotaur figurines. With a snap Discord’s face pops through, albeit a smaller version, but it’s still his face on a minotaur body. ”I probably should’ve thought this one through first,” he says dusting off his ceramic body before flexing in different poses, “But I can’t say I don’t like the look. Whoa mama!”

“Discord,” you interrupt his invisible photo shoot, “Where are we?” He looks at you knowingly forcing you to roll your eyes. “When are we?”

”Now,” he answers before snapping in an oversized glass of milk and takes a quick swim.

“Now? You mean like, the present?”

He comes up for air, “Yes, like the present. You have something you want to say?”

“It’s just- Why’d you start with taking me to the future and then go to the present? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?”

It’s his turn to roll his eyes, “Anon, who am I?”

“Discord…”

”That’s right, now shut up before I turn you into a popsicle.” At least he’s not directly plagiarizing Charles Dickens. You’re about to explore the rest of the house when you hear Discord clearing his throat, “Aren’t you forgetting someone?” He isn’t serious. He can’t be. “Oh but I am.” You pick him up by his ear and set him on your shoulder, “What’re you waiting for? Hurry up.”

“But I was just-“

”Don’t talk back. Go.” Man, Discord’s an ass even when he’s smaller than your head.

You head to the front door, turning your head at the soft sobs coming from upstairs. There’s only one person you know who cries like that. Turns out this’ll be the third time you hear it. ”Sounds like you made her pretty upset.”

“We didn’t leave on the best of terms this morning…”

You take your time walking upstairs, stopping just before Iron Will’s bedroom door, resting your head against the wall. ”Go on, she’s in there.”

It’s their bedroom. Even when you were drunk you knew better than to go in there. “It’s a matter of principle, and besides, she wouldn’t want me listening to this.”

”You understand that she can’t hear or see you right?”

“I know what you want me to see, but I can’t okay?”

”There’s two ways we can do this. The easy way,” he rubs his tiny fists together, “Or the hard way.” He almost looks cute if it wasn’t for the… you know… ugly. ”Your choice.”

He has the power to see his threat through so you decide to play along and open the door. On the bed sits Iron Will, Gilda crying in his arms while he pets to calm her down. You thought you’d pissed her off, not gotten her like this. It’s a bit disheartening. ”It’s alright Gil, he gets like that sometimes. When he gets back I’ll talk to him, promise.”

She looks back up to him as she clutches his chest, “How much longer are we going to let this go on? I know it hurt him, but it’s been weeks since he got out.”

”Anon’s our friend and we should be by his side while he’s at his lowest.”

”Every night Iron Will? How many more times is he going to come home drunk and high on whatever he gets his hands on?”

”He’ll come around. I believe in him, and I know he can make it through this.”

You can’t help but look down, “Sorry to disappoint…”

Gilda sits up beside him and holds his hand, “If this was his lowest then I would be there with him, but… I know it isn’t.”

”We have to give him time.”

Gilda’s expression turns to stone, “No. I can’t do this anymore. We can’t do this anymore.”

Iron Will sighs and places his other hand on hers, “Okay. What do you want to do?”

You’ve heard enough and walk back out, the closest friends you had left turning their backs on you. ”A little harsh if you ask me,” Discord comments.

“A part of me wants to hate them for this, but the other part knows they were right. I would’ve just taken them down with me.”

”Do you honestly believe that?”

“I wouldn’t have ended up in a dozen other pony’s bellies if I didn’t.”

”Fair enough,” he nods and snaps his fingers.

~~~

Aviaris, the last place you wanted to visit again. Discords stands next to you in his normal form nibbling on a stick of cotton candy.

“No funny form this time?”

”Impersonating the dead king would be in bad taste. Cotton candy?”

“I’m good thanks.” You walk outside to the courtyard and clench your fist when you spot Rinn out by the balcony. “You son of a bitch!” you charge the gryphon fully intent on splitting his skull open. True to your luck you pass right through him and end up falling to your death, Discord lifting you up at the last second.

”If they can’t hear or see you, what makes you think you can interact with them?”

“It was worth the chance.” Hoisting you back onto the balcony he leans nearby to make sure you don’t pull another stunt like that. But honestly, all you care about is this prick right here. “Long time no see asshole. Enjoying your new city you dickhole smelly pants? And yes Discord, I know he can’t hear me.”

Discord shuts his mouth and continues nibbling on his candy. How that bastard doesn’t have fifty seven different types of diabetes is beyond you. “Are you happy with this? Do you get off on knowing that you have everyone outmaneuvered? Huh? How about it?”

Rinn turns his head, “Update please.” Another gryphon comes and kneels before him, “Yes sir. Our agent has successfully riled up the buffalos. Disguising him as the ambassador was a mark of genius my lord.”

”Ah good. Send a messenger to the hive and let Chrysalis know that we appreciate her aid. Oh… send her one of the lonelier messengers. A gift.”

“You sick bastard…” That makes so much more sense as to how you’ve been failing to negotiate with the others. He’s literally been feeding them what to say to crumble your efforts.

”However, my main concern was regarding our friend in Canterlot. Is he… Ha, is he doing well?”

The gryphon searches through his bag, “Oh yes that human. Here we are, nothing unusual to report. Our last report says he had been thrown out of the castle for breaking into his previous quarters.”

”And what does it say of his behavior?”

”Hmm… Drunk and disorderly, sire.”

Hearing this brings a grin to his face, “Good. I think you can pull reconnaissance off our old friend. He’s no longer a threat.”

”As you wish my lord.”

Rinn stands triumphantly over his city as his lackey departs, “Ahh Anon. It was a good game you played, but I’m afraid you underestimated your opponent. If only you’d joined me… We could’ve ruled this world as partners… A shame.”

This bastard took everything from you, not Discord. “I’m sorry Discord. I blamed you for this, but I see who’s fault it really is.”

”Do you Anon? Did he hand you the bottle and force you to swallow it down or push the needle into your arm?”

“No… It was mine, and Rinn took advantage of that. I think I’m done.”

Discord nods and with a snap of fingers takes you away.

~~~

This isn’t the sewer. You said you were done. It’s your old room, back when it was yours, but where is Discord? “We’re not all that different you and I.”

You wander out back to the balcony and see you and Discord standing there together. “I’m a good man,” you hear yourself say, bottle of spirits in hand and half empty.

”Perhaps, but I see something in you Anon. Something very familiar.”

“If that’s all, you can leave now.”

You watch him walk behind you and place his paw and talon on your shoulders, “The seeds of chaos have long lied dormant in that heart of yours.” Discord then turns his head and looks directly at you, his voice happy but expression very much that of concern, “I can only hope to wonder how they grow.”

Your double whips around, unable to see the Discord that stands before you now. “You weren’t talking to me when you said that. Well you were but-“

Discord nods, “I was talking to both of you. Believe it or not, you had grown to concern me Anon. This may have been your first time meeting me, but for too long I had watched you.”

“I’m not sure I understand.”

”You and Twilight are very similar, but you saw what you had become and asked her not to follow in your footsteps. Well I was turned to stone twice…”

“And you didn’t want me to fall twice.”

”Perhaps Celestia’s teachings have rubbed off on me, but you were the closest thing I had to a friend at this time.” It wasn’t a damning prophecy after all…

“I think I’m ready this time.”

”One more.” *snap*

~~~

You stand in a conference room, Twilight and Celestia on one side, Sir Rivot and his aide on the other. Where are you? “Discord?”

Nothing, just the four of them. “Equestrian wine, Sir Rivot?”

Celestia hovers the decanter over to the two ambassadors, “Don’t mind if I do.” They get the meeting underway and you find yourself hypnotized by the ordeal. It was this very meeting that spurred your career with Celestia after all and you get to see the opening act. You even see the glass that’ll inevitably spill and get your attention. This whole event is coated in nostalgia. They banter back and forth and you just watch from the sidelines.

You mentally pick apart their arguments like you used to back in the day but always keep one eye on the clock. Sooner or later they’re going to spill it and you’re going to jumpstart your new life.

…Minutes turn into hours and there doesn’t seem any sign of activity. Something should’ve happened by now… You’re so fixed on the clock that you almost miss the draconequus slip in without notice. “Discord?” He doesn’t notice you and moves by Celestia, waving his paw back and forth in front of her. Nobody sees him, but what’s he doing?

He sneaks next to Sir Rivot as he’s about to take a sip and nudges it out of his hand, the red wine spilling all over the floor. ”Gah! Blasted glass!”

”It’s alright. Twilight, can you send for a janitor?” Twilight nods and walks out to talk to the guard. You’re still stunned as Discord looks around and slips out the door.

It- It was- *snap*

~~~

You gasp for air as you wake, finding yourself just outside the city walls where you first appeared in Equestria. “D-Discord? Discord!” you shout out trying to find him, the guards at the gate looking at you like you’re crazy. He’s gone. All he did… You try to wrap your head around it and find yourself walking back home.

The streets are so dead at this time of night, much like the future you saw should things continue the way they are. What’re you going to say to them when you get home? Sorry for being a dick. No, that won’t work. How about: Look, I know I’ve acted like a douche- Nah not that either. You walk up the steps to the house. Okay fine you’ll just wing it then. You raise your hand to the door- But a parcel on the floor catches your eye and you pick it up, taking out the note inside.

’Anon, I’m sorry but this has gone on too long. Here are some bits and some odds and ends. Me and Iron Will care for you Anon, but we can’t do it anymore. I put a little something extra in there for you, something only us eggheads will get. Take care Anon, we’ll miss you. Signed, Gilda.’

You let the bits fall to the floor and take out the last item inside. You smile as you look at Gilda’s personal copy of ‘A Look West.’

You leave the parcel there, book and all with a simple note attached to it. ‘Thanks.’