• Published 30th Mar 2014
  • 15,405 Views, 863 Comments

Golden Grace, Headless Headaches - Thadius0



Defating foes from Beyond? Easy enough. Making Celly see where her mistakes lie? No problem. Being torn apart and reborn because of the Golden Sun? Okay, that one, I admit, knocked me for a loop.

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Chapter 2 - Tectonic plates are not good for eating off of

I suppose one thing that came of having cool Alchemy powers is that I finally figured out how Alex did his bullshit warping trick and how it works, along with my version of it. Did I not mention I had one? My bad.

It works based on line-of-sight. If he could see it and had the strength, he could go there. If he couldn't see it, then going there was incredibly risky. As in, he could fuse himself into a solid object. Forget walls, he might fuse his feet to the floor if he misjudged where he was going.

I wouldn't have any of that with my version, though. As the thoughts of how to replicate his trick flitted across my mind, the first thing I did was add in several buffers to make sure that wherever I went, I would not be leaving bits of me behind or fused into things.

All this in the time it took for a guard to find me and demand I halt as I exited the sitting room. So not long at all really.

Poor guy must've been really confused when I just dissolved into a cloud of golden fire and vanished. He looked around a bit and saw me looking out a window towards the base of the mountain. Before he could tell me to halt again, I was gone again.

And once I got to the base of the mountain, I doubled over as though I'd taken a punch to the gut. There was something dreadfully wrong here.

From what I could tell, Mt. Aleph had been designed to not only hold the Stars and trick and trap those who sought their power, but as a final 'screw you,' the Ancients built a final failsafe in. Once the Golden Sun shone on it, the mountain was meant to sink into the earth, bringing anyone who'd heard about the power the Sun was supposed to grant into the earth with it. The trigger was, of course, the Sun shining on the mountain and activating some sort of device, as a first showing of Alchemy's power.

Mt. Canterlot had no such device, but the power the Sun had unleashed upon it was no less devastating. I could feel, deep down in the earth, the tectonic plates of the land. And there was not supposed to be a goddamned ring around the mountain!

However, even with the power of Alchemy, one just doesn't 'fix' something like this. We're talking massive amounts of earth no longer having a connection with the rest. The fact that it hadn't sunk yet was a miracle in and of itself. Nearest I could figure, the very magic of the land was doing its best to keep the mountain where it should be, along with trying to keep all the magma deep in the planet where it was meant to be.

Trying, and slowly failing and buckling under the strain.

Just as I sat near the crack and tried to figure out just what to do, there was a sound of fanfare from behind me, and a familiar aura popped into existence behind me. "Well, you're an odd one. No, don't tell me your name. I'm gonna go with...Paul."

I turned to see Discord, my old friend, sitting on a two-legged stool in midair with a dunce's cap (That had the words Thinking Cap written on it in sharpie) on his head, with his lion's paw held up to his chin. I merely smiled and lit up my right hand. "Dissy ol' pal, I'm hurt you don't recognize me!"

Were I anyone else who didn't have wonderful durability, I'm pretty sure the hug he'd given me would have punctured my lungs with my own ribs. "DULLY! Oh I knew you weren't dead, I just KNEW IT! They said I was mad to hold out hope for you, but I knew you wouldn't leave us!"

I carefully pried Discord from my protesting ribs and gave him a Look. "Dissy, they called you mad anyways, and they weren't far off the mark! Now will you lemme go?"

"Can't. Too busy hugging."

I sighed and warped behind him, leaving him crushing himself in his own hug. "Y'done now? We've got a problem or two here!"

Discord sheepishly untangled himself and nodded. "I...I noticed, but I was doing important universe maintenance. Without me around, the boundaries got awfully thin. But now I've strengthened them a good bit! We're safe!"

I sighed. "Dissy, I have...well, let's call them allies, in alternate universes. I'd like to visit them, but not at the cost of this reality. We'll have to work out a sys-"

Discord cut me off with his paw and smiled. "Thought of that too. Your sanctum? It's the one hole I put in. And I watch it regularly, closing it up when something comes near, but opening it when nothing is. So what other problems we got, Frank?"

I sighed and pushed Discord off of me. "For starters, I'm NOT Frank. Not anymore."

Discord cocked his head to the side in confusion. "But you're the spirit that was bound within the armor, right? And you're free to be who you are again, yes? So if you're not Dullahan, then why aren't you Frank DeFontaine again?"

I held a lock of hair out in front of me and looked at him. "Frank DeFontaine was a boy without fantastic Alchemy powers granted to him by the Golden Sun. I'm the improved model. Call me Auric Fulcrum."

Discord's eyes widened and he snapped his talons, producing a golden miniature see-saw from nowhere that bobbed up and down. "Really, a golden pivot point? You sure you want to claim that title?"

I merely smiled at him. "Hey, half of Alchemy is molding matter and energy with a liberal application of willpower. The other half is using or making massive, complex devices to do things previously thought impossible. It works for me."

Discord nodded and made the see-saw vanish. "So, Auric. What else we got goin' on? I've been busy this past week and a half."

I motioned to the ground and then the mountain. "Well for starters, we've got a mountain and a city to save. Care to help me?"

-----

It was quickly determined by the joint council of Discord and myself that we could, in theory, try to save the mountain one of two ways.

The first way would be to walk the perimeter of the disturbance and slowly, painfully, fuse the tectonic plates back together.

While it could work, I didn't want to test out the limits of my powers just yet. They may be massive, but I was uncertain as to the amount I could channel before I hit up against a wall. And doing so in the middle of saving the mountain that way was a quick way for all our work to be undone. So there was another option that I was far more comfortable with, and it would let me test out the other facet of my strength.

Discord and I would build a device. One that would stabilize the mountain.

The first thing that happened was Discord got samples of the stones on both sides of the tectonic rift. While I shaped and molded them into a representation of Canterlot and its surroundings, I was also calculating how much power we would need to activate and keep it running.

In theory, once I turned it on, so long as it was fed some manner of power, the device would be able to do its job while we attempted to make it unnecessary in our own time.

In the end, the inner sample of stone turned into a miniature representation of Canterlot, city and all, while the outer sample was formed into a ring around it. I molded a series of symbols into the 'inside' of the device, and fed it a small jolt of power.

The slight gap between the two stones lit up in gold and filled in, while I nodded to myself and powered it down. I showed the symbols to Discord and told him to try and write them into the walls of the rift and keep them proportionate. He merely snapped his talons and said 'That should be good enough.'

I decided to show the device to the Princesses, while Discord said he had things to do elsewhen.

I shrugged and vanished in a burst of golden flames.

-----

"Tell us, Auric, how does the device work?"

I shrugged and continued to work on the block of marble that Luna had given to me. "Law of Contagion. Any piece broken off from the whole still has a connection to the whole because they were once one and the same. I'm merely telling both the mountain and the world at large to get their acts together. Think of it like a voodoo doll, only instead of someone being the recipient of your dislike, the mountain is the recipient of my power and efforts to keep it stable."

I finished shaping the channels for the power and nodded to myself as I looked them over. As it turned out, I couldn't just let the model sit on the ground, or on anything, because that would disrupt the sympathetic runes carved into it. So I went for the next best thing.

I'd carved a chunk of marble so that the energy infused into it would be able to keep something of a few pounds worth of weight aloft indefinitely. I would have used Float, but I'd infused that one before I'd been hit, and I was pretty sure I didn't have access to it anymore. This simulation of it would be the best I could do for a while.

I motioned for Luna to hand me the model, and she floated it over as I reset it ever so slightly, to reflect reality. I then looked at the marble, then looked around at the stained glass windows. "Hmm. Maybe we should have done this somewhere else."

Luna shrugged with her wings at my statement. "Tis too late for now. Our priority must be Canterlot's safety first. We can worry about the floor plan later. Activate your device."

I nodded and poured power into the marble. It lit up with a green glow, and I held my left hand over it to test out just how much it made objects float. As my hand crossed the circle in the middle, I noticed a pressure pushing it upwards. I moved the inactive model out with my right hand and watched it hover exactly where I placed it, and my smile grew.

I activated the device, and there was a lurch that everyone, everyone felt. It was small, but then I looked out the window to see the flash of gold on the ground. I slowly, carefully reached out a finger and moved the outer ring downwards, so that the tops of both were level.

There was a rumble, and the golden flow from before showed itself as part of a huge ring that went around the entire mountain. And then there was the lurch.

The horizon shifted downwards, or more accurately, the mountain moved upwards.

After the world stopped shaking, I looked at the model, out the window, and back to the model. I blinked a few times in surprise that my idea had worked, and worked on such a grand scale as well. I slowly turned to Luna, who had a look of shock on her face. I waved a hand at my device and managed to croak out one smartass saying.

"Behold, the Terrene Stabilizer!"

And then everything went black.

-----

When I came to, the first thing I noticed was that the ceiling was a lovely shade of white.

Then there was a voice, one that sounded vaguely familiar.

"Send word to Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, he's waking up!"

Then my vision was invaded by a very familiar purple face with a horn.

"We have a few minutes before that messenger reaches the Princesses, Auric. Why don't we start with you telling me everything..."

As a quill and scroll hovered nearby, I realized that I had finally been caught by one knowledge-obsessed Twilight Sparkle in full Research Mode. This would probably sting...

Author's Note:

So, first announcement. Officially looking for coverart, since it was barely a day since I put this story up, and it got featured.
Preferably of Auric.
Second announcement: My inbox is crazy. I've gotten 250 messages in one day. 140 favorites. What. The. Christ.