• Published 7th Jan 2014
  • 1,575 Views, 29 Comments

Mane-iac's Return - Art Inspired

She made a mess of things. It took two whole gallons of calming gel just to lock her up. Unfortunately, Arkhoof Asylum had another inmate who'd been waiting for her own chance at revenge. Maretropolis had more than just one nut to worry about.

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Part One: The Frying Pan

“So, make all the manes in the city go wild, eh?”

She’d heard this question far too many times. How long had she been there? Time seems to speed up, and then slow down suddenly when one’s in an asylum, or if they might be truly crazy. Unfortunately for Mane-iac, she was both bonkers and locked up in a tiny room, all by herself. Well, not entirely all by herself.

Whoever must’ve built her cozy little home just so happened to be kind enough to also craft a window just big enough for one to speak through, and maybe peek into if they were desperate enough to see somepony other than themselves in the broken, rotting mirror for once. To Mane-iac, actually, that was the only thing keeping her mentally mad.

Her room was just as she liked it. Green, ivy-like drawings done by her mouth with crayons circled the walls completely, making her feel like she was in a cocoon of her own mane. It was a good substitute, seeing as how the real deal was wrapped up in an ultra scrunchy. They even had to go to great lengths and use her very own hair spray on her once a day.

Her neighbor, a new girl that got in for a stabbing had been pestering her all evening. Mane-iac was normally open to talking with somepony as long as they didn’t carry on, and she had to start the conversation. Instead, the moment this newbie gets in, she finds the hole and says, “Hey, wanna talk?!”

After that, the green maned psycho started ignoring the wall that was trying to speak with her. Besides, her daily spraying was coming up pretty soon here. They both heard the guards outside enter the halls, one of them saying, “B13,” which was Mane-iac’s cell number.

“Quick! Just tell me,” the inmate pleaded. “What chemical made you like this?”

That got her attention easily. Sharply looking over and finally seeing those lustrous, deep blue eyes, she huffed, “How…?”

“Never mind,” The boggy eyed mare said. “You fell into a batch of hair chemicals, and it made you go mad, right?”

“Y-yes…” She was cautious, but for some reason, she also felt like she could trust this pony, whoever she was.

“What was the chemical called?”

Gulping with a twitching eyebrow, Mane-iac said, “Conditioner extract for extra strengthened batches…”

Her doors opened, and the bulky stallions shadowed in blackness grabbed her roughly, yanking her out of the room. Unlike so many times where she’d be afraid and struggle, or not care and howl like a banshee, this time, she was used to it. She didn’t care, and allowed them to drag her off for the torture chamber, or as they liked to call it, the treatment center.

She’d been there enough to learn that if she didn’t struggle, it wouldn’t hurt as much. Still, when she stopped showing such resilience, the forces tried their best to keep her on edge. They’d change their tactics again and again, but no matter what they did, shortly after her fourth month, she just wouldn’t react to their name calling, or even anything seriously physical, though that wasn't really all that devastating before she basically gave up on resisting. It was no secret they liked to drive the ill-minded to the brim. That, and insulting the inmates while patrolling by their cells were their favorite activities.

It must’ve been over a hundred times Mane-iac had been in this room, where she’d be strapped down and numbed up with shots. Everything else went by quickly after that. It almost made her feel sane, something she was beginning to despise more and more. One of the usual scum that spat at the ground she walked on didn’t even try to get a response from her as he strapped each mane lock in.

Perhaps, she would be ready to resume a normal, boring life again, like she once did before all this excitement struck her life. What kind of an existence was that, anyway? To her, being one with reality was to truly be mad, not the other way around. “We all set?” the voice on the com asked. He was shielded by a two way mirror.

“All good on our end,” the locker said as though he wasn’t phased by his daily job at all.

Mane-iac’s head was put flat down on a table that resembled something one might see at a spa, though this one was mode out of worn wood with tattered bloodstains on the ridges from previous ponies being wrestled into this thing and being treated in whatever manner the superiors saw fit. It wasn’t at all comfy, but it was better, at least, now that they started giving her the pain killers. Before, she’d have to earn them by taking their humiliation.

After so long of simply giving up the fight, so did her holders. There was nothing left for them to do to her that wouldn’t bring about some emotion, like anger or fear. Now, instead of that insane, silly glare she always gave, her eyes were blank. She even smiled less and less as more and more hope slipped away from the tips of her hooves with every passing day.

The jolt hit her spine sharply, but it felt like a friendly pressure now. For fifteen minutes, they would make sure to get almost every inch of her chaotic mane thoroughly doused in that gunk. All they could do after that, though, was hope it stuck. More than not, it did, but stories loomed around. “What if it doesn’t work today?” More questions like that were frequent, too.

While her very own instrument of mane destruction was used on her, she wondered how the outside was doing. It’d been almost five whole months since her defeat. What new villains had taken her place, if any at all?

If one were to look in through the opposite side of the mirror, he or she would see what looked like the lifeless corpse of the once proud, masterminded menace to the city getting her mane done up yet again. It would’ve been a pitiful picture to behold, and that’s why Mane-iac’s savior was happy she could bring some life into the situation. After all, she killed somepony to get in and save Mane-iac in the first place. She wanted a show before packing up and heading out.

The others wouldn’t even notice the noise coming from the other room thanks to the loud spraying sounds ringing in their ears. On the other side, a mare Mane-iac would’ve recognized had she seen her through the mirror stood next to the control panel, and flicked the switch for the air vents.

They slid open directly next to their hooves while a lively mist dodged them by, and reached Mane-iac’s nostrils first. Her head was, after all, closest to the ground, and she got a good five minutes worth of sniffing toxins that would ultimately be everypony else’s doom that was in the room with her. The lead doctor turn off the automated sprayer, and said, “Alright…”

He held up some scissors with his magic towards the edge of Mane-iac’s single loose strand. “What’re you…?” The others didn’t share his enthusiasm.

“Anyone take up chop shop in high school?” He looked from the thread of hair to his fellow doctors, restrainers and nurses. “Always wanted a lock of Mane-iac’s hair…”

He stopped for a moment, the handle bars that held one of her tentative, power-active appendages had moved an inch, but he wasn’t that worried even though he should’ve been. Right at that time, the chemicals were hitting Mane-iac’s brain, and hard.

She gave a startling jump, straining for a bit, but then relaxed before everypony. They all stared at her, frowning, and sweating with fear. The doctor looked back at the scissors he had and noticed the strand he planned on cutting was gone. “Huh?”

By the time he was able to look down, it was too late. The tendril pulled him right on up into the air by his left hind hoof, and then tossed him against a needle holder, pushing him and two other standing mares over. One by one, each mane lock broke free from the sticky substance yet to be fully dried, all the while, Mane-iac’s memories tracing back to that horrible, though wonderful night.

It burned her mouth, her ears, her nose, chest, and even her brain to inhale much more of the life threatening chemical that wafted at torso level. Everything beyond the silencing darkness of her shut eyes were obvious cries of death. Splattering blood and bodies hitting the roof echoed in her ears along with her own wallops of pain.

The only severe difference in tone between Mane-iac and the workers was that she laughed. She couldn’t stop giggling and chortling at the slick gore she was helpless to cause. It was sheer bliss for her, to feel the thwacking of her mane against somepony’s waist, and then hearing the sharp sound of a brutal crash following that. It brought back criminal remembrances.

Even the silence following the massacre was hypnotically nostalgic for her. It’d been far too long since she’d been able to relish in unrelenting madness like that, and it was almost enough to make her feel nicely on edge again were it not for the lack of an explanation.

She didn’t need to wait long for that, though. The creaky door opened slowly, and a pair of white-gloved hooves walked into the painted box. “My, my! The legends were true…”

“Who’s there?” Mane-iac demanded, her hooves and lower body shaking around to get free. “Stay back!”

One of her locks whipped around to smack the approaching pony, but was caught by a bushy hoof as if it were going the speed of a snail. After that, it just fell to the floor with a loud thump. “Ah, ah… Now, is that anyway to treat someone who’s here to help you out?”

“That voice…” While the familiar mare unhatched the mechanism’s clutches and got Mane-iac’s hair free, the strapped down mare rattled her brain to figure out where she’d heard that voice from. It was so, very fresh in her mind, too. “The cell! You’re the pony that was bugging me!”

Upon standing, she saw not a straight jacketed inmate, but a poshly dressed earth mare. Her blue eyes brought out the curly bow that swirled around her neck, and the green gent’s vest matched Mane-iac’s own color rather nicely, though why she wore stallion clothing was beyond mane-powered mare.

The blue flower, however, sitting gently behind her ear made Mane-iac realize just who’d come to her aid. The name had been lit up in lights around the asylum, ponies going off about how they’d finally caught her, and over such a minor crime, too. Stabbing somepony must’ve been a lie. She would’ve had to stab ten to get such high praise.

The crime that got her here had to have been so she could get in in the first place. The reasoning behind that, though, still slipped Mane-iac’s ruptured mind. Even though she wasn’t officially up to date, Mane-iac wasn’t too far off with times. Five months didn’t change much on the outside. Other than herself, this was the most feared and sought out villainess in all the major cities, not just Maretropolis. Her name was Poison Joker.

Nopony knew for sure if that was a self given title, like Mane-iac, or her real name. Either way, it still struck fear into the hearts of many, mostly the forces. Her power is a predictable one by now. She commands poison joke, and bends ponies to her whim just by placing a hoof on their shoulders.

It doesn’t sound like much to be feared at first, but if one looked into the hearts of any guard, they would see a will to help and protect. The opposite of that is exactly what Poison Joker turns them into. They couldn’t stop themselves once graced by those pretty, blue petals. However, over her villainous career, Poison soon learned most would rather die than betray their loyalty to the law.

“It can’t be…”

“Oh, but it is! Me, in the flesh.” She rose her hoof to model before a particularly gory wall. “Now, I like the work here,” she began, pointing out what Mane-iac had done. “That’s a maximum hit count of, what? Ten, twenty? Nice, blind luck!”

Before uttering another word, the Mane-iac shot herself up against a top corner of the room, away from the Joker. “What’re you doing here?”

“Oh, yeah, yep… Should’ve got to that right away.”

“Well?!” Mane-iac was very much on edge by now, unable to smile at the situation anymore, which baffled even her. “Start. Talking.”

With a sigh and a frown, Poison Joker nodded. “Fine, alright! You deserve your silly little explanation… Where do I start?” Her voice wheezed at the last word. “I was nine years old.”

“Oh, come on! Get on with-”

“I will if you’ll let me!” Joker rubbed her chin, and then said, “Me and my best, fillyhood friend were out in the woods exploring together. I was always taking dares from her, like nothing bad could come from eating this, or touching that… One day…”

Mane-iac cut her off. “I’ve heard this story before! You’re tricked into eating poison joke!”

“Correct!” the pony pointed a hoof towards the mare opposite of her. The hoof was positively leaching with the blue plant. “And from that day forth, I’ve been seen as a freak! You’ve heard the news. You know what they call me; what they wish to do to me… But, here’s the best part. You and I have an enemy in common.”

Mane-iac lowered herself down, but kept a balled up tentacle fisted in case Poison Joker tried something fishy. “Who might that be?”

With a smiling muzzle, she nodded, “Masked Matter-Horn.” The room fell silent, and though she didn’t ask it, Poison joker knew her possible new friend wanted to know why that was. “She’s the friend that dared me into eating that strange, colorful plant all those years ago.”

“And, you want revenge…”

She offered a hoof as a symbol of alliance. “Don’t you?” Mane-iac simply watched judgmentally. “I hunted you down, and heard what you were put through. They ruined your plan to give the area a city-wide bad mane millenia. What do you do when you have somepony stopping you from doing something really important to you?”

She raised an eyebrow. “I don’t know. What?”

With a mean, toothy snicker, Poison Joker said, “You get rid of the problem first.”

She started turning around and headed for the door. As for Mane-iac, she simply stared at the mutilated bodies that littered the floor. “Is that what you do?”

“Mane-iac?! You coming, or what?”

With a scrunched up muzzle, the tentacle maned mad mare followed suite, down the halls. They weren’t out of the frying pan just yet, but they would try and go together, as accomplices in a breakout. However, if you thought Arkhoof Asylum would let two baddies like these walk out as if they didn’t do anything wrong at all, sorry friend, but you are wrong.