• Published 19th Nov 2013
  • 9,773 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 5: A Dash of Chaos

It feels great to be back home. Oh you can’t wait to slip back underneath your covers and finish up that last chapter of Remin Therchis. A man such as you can enjoy some fiction every once in a while. You open your door, take a deep breath and- ”Sup.” God fucking…

“I thought you were, you know, somewhere else.”

”Life’s full of surprises ain’t it?” the gryphon chortles as she stretches out over your couch. It’s almost entirely in tatters, just look at the- Your blanky. She destroyed it. Wholly and completely. You had that thing since you came here and she just… ”What’s wrong with you? Is it about the bottles? I told the others to clean it up, but you know how parties can get.”

“Get out…” you mutter under your breath.

”Whoa watch out we got a badass over he-“

“I said GET OUT!” All sense of pride disappears from her face as she sees just how serious you are. You lower your fist and fish out your paper bag. “Please, just go.” She nods and makes her way out, the door clicking through the vast silence. Fucking Gilda.

You round up the bottles and fill up two trash bags with them, leaving them by the door. How the hell did she get so many people inside the castle for a party? She probably invited everyone who worked in the castle. You wouldn’t be surprised if you found one of Celestia’s hoofguards here. You fish the garbage out from under your bed and pick up the powder blue piece of armor. Nope, but you got one of Luna’s. To be honest you’re not even phased anymore. There’s nothing that can remotely…

How did chocolate milk get in your copy of Deg’s Mementos: Volume II? You’re fist clenches tightly. You’d planned to read this the day after next. Petal Peach gave you this book out of her personal collection and they… “FUCK!” you strike a vase right off its mantle, the piece shattering into a hundred shards, water splashing outwards in all directions. “Dammit!” You rub your forehead painfully and sit just across from your bookshelf. This room was a gift from Celestia herself and look at what’s become of it. If she were to see it now… Magic Kindergarten would look like a slap on the wrist.

A pair of talons rests on your slouched shoulders, “I’m sorry dude.” You could go off on her right now. Just chew her out for this. But that’s not you, so you place your hand on her talon.

“It’s alright.”

”Want some help?”

“Sure,” you smile up at her.

She picks the tufts of horse hair out from your bed sheets while you begin lining your books out to air dry. She really is sorry isn’t she? ”What’re you looking at? You smile and shake your head as you continue cleaning. It was the feathers at the nape of her neck, you never noticed it until now. When she’s flustered they rise high, but when she’s sad or ashamed they droop low. She didn’t like it that you were angry with her so they fell. How did you miss these things before?

”Maybe if your nose wasn’t so deep in those books you might have seen it?” That voice… Oh dear god please say it isn’t him.

”Dang, and I thought I looked bad in the morning,” you hear Gilda say. That voice and her comment, there’s no way it couldn’t be.

”I’ll have you know I won the chaos beauty pageant a millennium running.” You turn to find the draconequus leaned against your doorway, a cup in one paw and a rod of cotton candy in his other talon.

”Wait a minute, you were here last night weren’t you?”

”Your memories as quick as a fox caught in a pool of quicksand.

”Thank you.”

“T-that wasn’t a compliment.”

She cocks her head to the side before that lightbulb goes off, “HEY!”

”At least someone’s awake at this hour,” he says facing you. His steps send nervous spikes up your back before he extends his talon, the cotton candy floating away. ”We never were introduced.”

“The c-cotton candy.”

”Excuse me?” he looks back, “Oh that. Don’t worry about that it’ll come back.”

“That doesn’t make any-“ you shake your head. Remember who you’re talking to.

”The name’s-“

“Discord. I know.”

He accentuates his extended hand, but you keep your eyes on him instead. ”Spoil sport aren’t we? You’re too much like that Twilight girl.”

Gilda joins you and moves to shake his talon, “Jeez Anon what’s the big-“ *zap* She goes up in a puff of smoke, her feathers blackened as the jolt of electricity fries her to a crisp. Gilda’s eyes are the only thing left that isn’t black and a soft exhale leaves a comical circle of smoke floating away.

“That’s the big deal.”

”HA HAHAHA! Oh I am simply beside myself here,” he holds onto his side, “To think I get to enjoy your company all day.”

“Excuse me?”

He can hardly breathe without erupting into laughter, but he manages to snap a scroll before you. ’Dear Anon… I hope your trip helped you in your endeavors yadda yadda…’

“What?”

Discord calms down at long last and takes a sip from his cup, “Hmm that’s good stuff.”

“This can’t be right.”

Gilda shakes the ash off and snatches it out of your hands, “Let me see.”

”It’s all there in the fine print,” Discord explains cheerfully before chugging the rest of his cup.

She can’t honestly expect you to do this. You just got back. Gilda reaches the end and hands you back the note, “Well then… See you tomorrow when you aren’t quite so busy.” She shoots daggers at Discord as she passes, “I swear if you do anything wrong…”

He shivers, “Ooooh I’m so scared.” You can’t believe this, and you only realize Gilda’s leaving when she reaches the door.

“HEY! Where’re you going?”

”Look Anon, helping you get to know gryphons is one thing, but I’m no foalsitter.” She looks to Discord, “And this is outta my league. Best of luck dude. Peace.”

”Ta ta,” he slams the door behind her. “Oh… you’re still here aren’t you?”

“This is my room.” Celestia said she cast a spell on that scroll, so long as you have it he won’t be able to do harm you. That’s going right in your pocket and not going to be removed… ever.

”You say it’s yours, but why do I have the feeling it only became so recently?” Mind games, it’s what he excels at. ”Ohhh, this was Twilight’s wasn’t it?” He grins and lies down on your couch, “Hit the nail on the head didn’t I?”

He can’t do anything to you. You have nothing to worry about. That means you can do anything.

“Get off my couch.”

”No.”

No? That wasn’t supposed to happen. He was supposed to… “Get off my couch.”

”No.” Why isn’t this working? You always do what someone asks. That’s it; you just have to ask instead of demand.

“Can you please get off my couch?”

”Well since you asked so nicely…” He’s actually going to- “No.” Why do you even bother? You’ve still got work to do around here. He slurps noisily as you sweep up the vase shards, “So…” Just keep sweeping Anon. Swish swish *crash* You find a shattered cup right next to where you just cleaned up. ”Whoops, my bad.”

What an ass- Why is his drink brown and milky? “You…” You inspect the mess closer and dab your finger in the mixture. “That was your chocolate milk!”

”And the prize goes to… ANON!”

That… asshole! No! Calm down Anon, just calm down. It was a party, you don’t know what happened. Let it slide on by. Discord slithers around your walls like a snake, poking at everything in sight, “Come on, let’s do something fun.” You do your best to ignore him and pick up the last pieces off the floor. ”I know you can hear me.” He’s going to do this all day isn’t he? ”Only if you don’t answer me.” S-stay out of my head. ”Oh but what fun is that? I want to see the goodies in that noggin of yours.”

“There’s no goodies, just boring old scripture.”

”If that’s what you really think…” You pause as you finish tying the trash bag.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

”What I said? Nothing for you to worry about. Now how about some fun?” Mind games Anon. Keep your head straight and you’ll be fine. You heave up the last of your bags and head to the door, a glimmer catching your eye on the counter. Setting your bags down you inspect the silver box lying there so innocently. You pop open the lid before slamming it shut.

“What is this?”

”What is what?”

If Celestia saw this in your room… Pablo… “This,” you grab the box angrily.

”I have no idea where that came from,” he puts on his best innocent face. Bullshit. He knows damn well and you know it. You’re thorough when it comes to cleaning and you wouldn’t have missed this.

“Are you trying to get me arrested by the guard?”

”I don’t see what the big deal is. If you don’t want it just say so.” You give him a knowing look and he rolls his eyes, “Fine, but don’t come crawling back to me.” With a snap of his fingers the box disappears in a flash of green, “You could’ve used some focus.”

“I don’t need a syringe to help me focus. I’m perfectly-“ you hold your chest and breathe deep, “I’m sorry.”

Discord looks genuinely amused at this, “Sorry? For what?”

“I don’t like to raise my voice,” you murmur quietly.

He chuckles and slaps you on the back, “Don’t tell me you need someone to talk to? I’ve got a certificate of Psychology at the Chaos University of Discord I’ll have you know.” No doubt signed off by the draconequus himself. You grab the load of bags and hold the door open for him.

“I could use some fun right about now.”

His grin sends shivers to your core, “That’s what I like to hear.” You walk down the hallway with Discord weaving around you like a carnival ride. The guards always seem to tense up when he gets near and all it takes is a quick jut to make them trip over their own hooves. You do your best to keep a straight face, but you know what? After having these assholes make fun of you for months on end it feels good to laugh when the tables are turned. ”Jeez, you’re more stone-faced than that Twilight. You have no idea how good it feels to get away from that aged mare.”

“I used to.”

”Really now? You’ve met the big girl herself? Was she the one who turned you to stone? That’s what she did to me at least.”

“Nah, and I wouldn’t say met. More like passing recognition.”

”I see, so you stalked her.”

“Wha- No. How do you even… You were joking weren’t you?”

”Correct!” he snaps and rains confetti on the two of you like you just won the grand prize. He toots on his party horn and every pony in the vicinity takes a look forcing you to scurry along even faster. You hit the corner and whip out your paper bag to calm down. ”Not a fan of attention huh?” Control your breathing, good Anon.

Discord winds around the corner, “Everypony! Look at this guy!” Son of a... You should’ve known his idea of fun was no better than Gilda’s. You turn back and accidently run into Discord and- Oh boy he looks pissed. ”No better than Gilda? Perhaps you don’t understand exactly who you’re dealing with here.” You can see where this is going and you don’t like it.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it, you know?”

”How about we have some fun then huh?” he says grabbing your bags and stomping off.

“H-hey! Where’re you going?” You chase down after him across the castle. He moves a lot faster than you thought he would. Turning the corner your run straight into his paw who grips your arm to stop your fall.

”We’re here.”

“Where?” He nods to the row of rooms along the hallway and you peak your head out. You look for something that stands out, but for the life of you, you don’t see-

”Hmmm, yeah…” You’d recognize that smug voice anywhere. The bastard soon makes his way out of his room, locking the door behind him. He hovers his mug of coffee beside him and goes down the hall.

”Ready to have fun?”

“You don’t mean…” Before you know it Discord’ slinking over to his door and peeping through the keyhole. “D-Discord,” you try and keep your voice down, “No, we can’t do this.”

He sticks his talon into the key hole and with a few wiggles cracks the door open. ”Don’t be a spoil sport,” he slips inside. You rush over to the door and rub your palms nervously before heading inside and shutting the door. You look through the keyhole, your heart picking back up.

“No no we shouldn’t be here. This is wrong.”

”This is your old bosses place right?” He needs to stop going through your head like it’s his personal playground.

“Yes, but-“

”Then let’s make some chaos.” You grab his hoof just before he kicks over one of your bosses old trophies. ”You can let go.”

“N-no.”

”Excuse me?” No more running. Face your fears.

“I s-said no.” Discord lowers his leg but never turns his head away from yours. Be strong Anon. “Celestia wants me to look over you to make sure you don’t cause trouble and I won’t let you ruin this stallion’s home.”

”Is that really what you think?” You nod firmly. Discord sighs, handing over the bags, “Fine then. You do it.”

“Huh?”

”I’m willing to sit on the sidelines for this one, but one way or another this room’s getting a chaotic makeover.”

“But Celestia wanted me to-“

”She never said anything about you did she?”

“I- I guess she didn’t.”

”I can name a few jobs where these fine points might be handy to know, perhaps yours.” She wants you to keep Discord out of trouble. She never said you couldn’t be doing the trouble. And if it keeps Discord off your back… Your reach into one of your bags and pull out a handful of junk. ”Now WHAT do you think you’re doing?”

“I’m going to make a mess.”

”Oh yeah because throwing some garbage around will really stick it to him right?”

“Do you want to do this?”

”Yes.”

“Well, you can’t.”

Discord slumps over his bed, “Do something sneaky, devious perhaps. ANYTHING that isn’t a bore.”

“But I can’t do this to him. What’s he ever…”

He sits up smiling, “Done to you?” Before you know it he’s twirling around you again, coiling about like a serpent confusing its prey. ”He worked you hour after hour in that forsaken job of yours didn’t he? How many times did you curse his name when he worked you overtime?” Get- Get out of my head. ”Someone needs to give you a wakeup call, might as well be a friend.”

“You’re not my friend,” you twist trying to face him.

”When everything’s said and done I’ll be the one you call on for help, not your precious Celestia or that foolish gryphon.” Games, games games games… ”This pony deserves retribution, and who better to give it to him then one he’s hurt so.” You’re not god. It’s not your place to punish them.

”All those times he demeaned you before your peers, all those tasks he knew you couldn’t do alone but sent you to do regardless. Why did you put up with it?” Your heads getting dizzy from trying to keep up with him. ”Go on, do it. Be a man.” You stop turning and look down on your feet. ”When’s a little chaos hurt someone?”

You’re not a bad guy, but a prank doesn’t make you one. ”Not at all.” You nod and open the door.

“We do it my way.”

~~~

After your preparations you wait for your boss to get home. ”He’s going to be in for a surprise.”

“Shhh…” you hush him when he comes into view. The asshole walks on in and your plan commences.

”You never did tell me what you did,” he pouts, “Making me close my eyes…”

“I didn’t want to spoil the fun.” The unicorn comes out in a jiffy and head back down the hall.

”Look at that he’s pitch perfect.”

“Something must be wrong with the water.”

He takes a few seconds to think about it before he starts to get it, “Devious. I like it.” Before long he’s back empty-handed with no crew to show for it and is audibly cursing to himself. ”What happened? Tell me tell me.”

“I exercised Article XII of the Canterlot Maintenance Contract,” you whisper. “In other words, I sent the working ponies home for the day.” Your boss raises the grate leading to the sewers beneath the castle and now it’s only a matter of time. “Like you said, the fine points are handy to know in a job like mine.”

Discord shakes his head, “Where has this Anon been all along?”

“Same old Anon,” you assure him, “Just letting off a little steam.”

”So… what now?”

“Now? We wait.”

With a snap of his fingers he procures a fresh glass of chocolate milk and takes a sip, “Care for some?”

“I’m not really a- Sure, I’ll take glass if you don’t mind.” You thank him and swig it around, complimenting his ratio of chocolate to milk.

”Millenia over I’ve been in Equestria, yet why do I not recall meeting one of your kind?”

“Not from around here.”

”And where might you be from?”

“You’re the psychic, you tell me.”

He nods and takes another sip, “Fair enough.” You pull out that note from Celestia and read it over, “Still holding onto that?”

“Yeah, I thought I should hold onto it.”

”You know it’s not enchanted right?”

“I know. I still like it though.” You sigh and look back over to the grate, “She’s always helped me, Celestia. She’s one of the few that I can call my friend.”

“The magic of friendship, blegh. Just the phrase makes me want to gag.”

“You’ve never had a friend have you?”

”How absurd, of course I have a friend.” A friend. A. The fine details are what matter. But maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to be like him. Free spirited, happy, completely unbound by- *rumble* Discord shoots up as the earth rocks beneath him.

“Game, set, match.” You position yourself down the hall opposite of the grate and walk on down. A freshly brownified hoof shoots out the opening, the repugnant stench overwhelming the area around him. “Act natural,” you whisper as your boss fishes himself out from the stinking abyss from which he came.

His mouth hangs agape at the layers of shit ground into his coat and mane, his mug filled with the toxic material. You even spot some of the hair you used to plug the pipes caught around his nose. He spots you walking his way and tries to hide himself. “M-Mr. Mosley?”

There’s no hiding it now so he straightens up and adjusts his filth infested tie, “Mr. Anon.”

“W-what happened?”

”Well, it appears there was a clog in one of the pipes so I went down there and… It didn’t turn out well.”

“Didn’t you pull the safety latch?” you ask with a hint of sarcasm, Discord not even trying to hide his laughter.

”Perhaps it was not as safe as I thought it was.”

“Do you need any help sir?”

”Ummmm, yeah that would be-“

“Ooop,” you snap your fingers like you just had a thought. “I almost forgot. You fired me, such a shame. Oh yeah, you might not want to drink that,” you point to the mug. “It’s not coffee anymore.” With that you strut past him with Discord floating behind in laughter.

”Did you see the look on his face? PRICELESS!” It certainly was hilarious, though you won’t let him see how much you enjoyed it. It’s getting late, and the time with Discord is getting increasingly short. Celestia is surely waiting for Discord in the throne room, best not make her wait. You take your time and get there at your own pace, Discord constantly in your ear about the things we could do together. You push open the doors and bow your head to the Princess sitting on her throne. Discord floats around the open area above while you walk down the ruby red rug to her. ”Ah Anon, it is good to see you again. How was your trip to the Crystal Empire?”

“It was good. Thank you,” your head still bowed.

”No need for that Anon. It was good for you,” her attention turns to the blissful Discord, “And how was your charge?”

You look as he spins about like a flailing child and smile. “Could’ve been worse.”

”That is good to hear. Not many can handle a personality like his, but I was confident in your ability.”

“I thank you for your trust. OH, here,” you hand over the scroll, “I don’t think I needed this.”

She giggles and floats it away, “You’re too keen for your own good.” You blush at her compliment, “Discord. I hope you didn’t cause too much trouble.”

”Me?” he chortles returning to the ground, “I would never.”

”You know Anon, I have reports of some commotion down in the west wing. Something about a pipe malfunction.” Shit she knows. Wait Anon, perhaps not. You don’t know that. ”I take it that Discord was with you all day, correct?”

“Unless his clone is as energetic as he is, then yes he was.”

She nods, “Then Discord had no involvement in the accident. Correct?” He looks to you with those mismatched red pupils of his and you keep calm.

“Discord was not involved, I can attest to that.”

”That is what I wanted to hear,” she smiles, “You’ve grown much since I took you under my wing.”

“Please Princess…”

”Formality Anon…” she reminds you jokingly, “But I speak the truth. It feels as though you’re almost a different person.”

“Same Anon ma’am, just a little confidence.”

”In any case, I am proud of how far you’ve come in such a short time. Soon, you will be ready for your first task.”

“I look forward to it ma’am.”

”Celestia, please,” she clarifies, but… Maybe you can talk as you wish, just for once.

“Yes ma’am.”

”I’ll see you tomorrow. Perhaps we can have breakfast and discuss matters?”

“I would like that.” You bow and make your way back to your room in peace. When you close your door you’re filled with an almost powerful feeling. What is this? It’s so fantastical, and yet so real. Celestia herself had sensed it inside of you. Could it be that you’re becoming… normal? It feels good. You snap your fingers and head on over to your bookshelf. This calls for celebration after all. A Look West, there we are. You flip open the pages and pull out the concealed bottle of spirits within.

Popping the cap you look out over the balcony and into the night’s sky. It’s so beautiful at this time thanks to Luna. “If you’re out there and listening,” you raise your bottle, “You left your slipper.” You take a few swigs and wipe your lips. This stuff isn’t so bad after all, just took your liver a while to harden up.

”Enjoying yourself?” His cheerfully strong voice puts you on edge for a second before you ease up and hand him the bottle.

“Yeah.”

”Oh please I don’t drink.” You screw the cap back on and lean against the railing. Why are you here Discord? Since I already know you’re reading my thoughts. ”Clever one aren’t you. I just wanted to thank you for not ratting me out.”

“For what? You didn’t do anything.”

”Maybe not, but you could’ve easily blamed it on me.”

“I didn’t lie did I? Still a good guy in the end.”

He leans next to you, eyes locked onto you, “We’re not all that different you and I.” You chuckle and shake your head. The two of you couldn’t be more different. ”You may not see it, but not many ponies would do what you did to that stallion.”

“I’m a good man,” you say to yourself in reassurance.

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

“If that’s all, you can leave now.”

He huffs happily and places his talon and paw on your shoulders, “The seeds of chaos have long lied dormant in that heart of yours. I can only hope to wonder how they grow.” You whip around, but he’s already gone, vanished amidst the blackness leaving you alone, bottle of alcohol in hand. You pour the rest out over the balcony in disgust and bring the rest of your books in, filing them back in order. Taking your copy of Remin Therchis you slip under the covers of your bed and flip to the last chapter.

You’re a good man Anon. Good…

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