• Published 1st Apr 2014
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Puppets of Tragedy - Iridescence T Wind

We all know the story, human from earth goes to Equestria from buying a mystical prop from a mysterious unnamed salesman to attend Comicon. But what you didn't expect was the prop to be a puppeteers crafting kit.

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Strange Strings A Foot

"It twas a dark and stormy night-"

"Its the middle of the evening," I commented.

"-all was quiet in the usually bustling town as the Boss and his loyal adviser entered the town."

"That's because we are in the sewers. You know, with several feet of stone between us and the city above to muffle the sound?"

"The reek of industry and the influence of the rich weighed heavily upon the populace-"

"What populace? The mice? That and I'm pretty sure that stench is the waste product of its inhabitants, not its industry."

"We tramped through the mud, reaching the entrance of the secret villain tavern-"

"That's not mud."

"Oh ew...." Amber muttered, her wings flapping as she cleaned wiped the bottom of her feet off against a sewer wall. I myself was walking on top of cards hovering in the air in order to avoid stepping in sewage, "Hey it was your idea to play the 'story making' game, sorry if I embellish a little."

"Yeah, and I ended up acting out a violent scene while describing it in heavy narrative context when we got ambushed by Timber Wolves."

That had been a boring fight to be honest, for once they had attacked us in the middle of a stone road, and without the worry of accidentally setting trees aflame, it had taken but a snap of my gloves and an explosion to scare them off. The rest of the walk to Manehatten had been uneventful, as my mind was preoccupied with how to continue my projects. Many things had to be made, and others tested. I knew my creations strengths and weaknesses but I didn't know three things in order to continue. The first was the strength of my enemy, that being what sort of force Twilight, Celestia, Luna, and the rest of their kingdom could bring in combined.

The second thing that plagued my mind was my own reserve. Controlling a numerous amount of masked puppets was both taxing on the mind as well as on my body. Every blast, and motion had its limits. Creations that used their own body to strike, like my cards for instance, took a considerably less amount of energy but it was energy all the same. I was revising several strategies in case of a battle, but all of my plans relied on keeping far behind the scenes. But I couldn't always just watch on from afar or put a mask on over my face, thus the need of my tools. But as it was, I myself was still in essence an untrained human being in a world of magic, even if I did have my own brand of magic, it wouldn't be enough if by some chance someone got past my primary defenses. That and I didn't know just how far I could go with my 'magic'.

The third thing was the magic in this world. I had not a clue how it operated or if my 'magic' was even natural in this world considering who brought me here. There was a definite spark to the way mine worked in comparison to the others. For one, multitasking here was a lot easier than it had ever been for me in the past. A trait needed for when I had to operate half a dozen puppets doing separate things at far distances at once. It was the same multitasking which allowed me to continue building my newest projects via GLaDOS while I myself kept a slightly hurried walk to keep up with Amber in this dark disgusting deluge of a sewer. At least we had entered from near a farm on the outskirts of Manehatten, so that the waste was being used as fertilizer or something.

"How much further?" I asked, and she pointed into the general gloom of black ahead of us.

"At the end of this stretch, not to worry, we can leave from the surface entrance when we're done. I think it'll be night time when we do get out in any case."

I nodded, acknowledging her comment, ignoring how when I looked down, my eyes dimly lit my face in a creepy blue light. We arrived there after a few more minutes of walking. No surface down here was completely smooth or flat, instead everything was curved, as if we walked on the inside of a cylinder that had two sidewalks, one on either side, within it. Everything was wet and the constant sound of dripping fluids and moving sewage was nothing short of pungent in their odor. It seemed like hours but in reality it was minutes before we reached the door, one that was locked, at least until Amber whispered something to the crack of it, and then it opened.

Crossing the threshold we entered a rather well lit room that reeked of old smoke and fresh coffee. A pile of broken furniture decorated one corner of the room while relatively well polished chairs and tables decorated the room in a Gothic design. There was a longer table at the back with a barkeeper who was busy cleaning a glass mug with a well used looking rag. Around the tavern I could see creatures of various shapes and sizes, some ponies, others were minotaurs, a few griffins, and even a young teenage dragon of blue and yellow coloration were here, either talking with each other, or sitting while brooding in a corner with a cup of coffee. What I did note, however, was the uniformity within the room.

The griffins were grouped up at one table for example. While there was a group of presumed ponies in blue and well over trimmed robes at a second, minotaurs at a third, and a table full of guys in armor who would look more at home leading a heavy cavalry charge than at a table with chairs groaning from their immense weight. The members who weren't in one of these tight knit looking groups were at the bar itself, a collection of people who looked so mismatched compared to their neighbors that I think Discord would weep a tear of joy if he could see it. Amber gestured for me to take a seat at the barkeep table and see if I liked any of the odd ones out while she went over to the griffin table.

Hours passed in the blink of an eye it seemed, while there was a variety of skilled mercenaries in the tavern, none in particular caught me as very trustworthy, or even that willing to cooperate or submit. My own unique form did a little to impress, what with having eyes and a tongue made of blue fire and all. It would be a while before news spread of my heist, and security would likely increase on other magical artifacts as well as my own fame in the criminal world. Though I couldn't just be known as a thief. A thief wasn't the kind of reputation that warranted an army. Something more impressive would be required if I wanted to attract more impressive 'goons and minions' as it were. In the end, Amber managed to find a few feathered mercenaries with a track record of never broken contracts, and went on her merry way with them while I continued to weed through the few remaining odd ones at the table. Much to the bartender's dislike.

In the end I left the below ground tavern alone, and night time was already approaching as the sun was slowly lowered below the horizon. I sighed, the cold air of approaching fall on this night leaving a slight mist. I began to walk, pondering once more on what to do. Alleyways and buildings galore as I slid around various trash cans in search of nothing in particular. There was a noise, however, not twenty meters away from the upper exit of the tavern. Curiously, I perked my ears, and caught the noise, it was... sobbing? My interest redoubled and I persued the sound.

Joining the sobbing was another voice, a male, threateningly saying, "Out of the way girly, its not you who we want. Just walk away from this and maybe we won't mug you as well."

An overly familiar voice yelled out, "The Great And Powerful Trixie does not bow to no foul simpleton who would pick on the disabled!"


I rounded a corner, and there they were, three stallions, of lithe build, one of each pony race no less. Each armed with some knives, vs the stage mare herself. Her cloak was torn, and from where I was I could see more than a few ribbons of blood trickling down her coat, behind her, another mare was up against the back wall of the alleyway, her wings both marking her as a pegasus and covering the pegasus up as she hid behind both her wings and Trixie. From the looks of it Trixie was fighting a losing battle, but the stubborn look in her eye was...

It was daring, straight forward, righteously enraged. It was... admirable. It was rare to see such an unsettling glare, even back home. I actually paused for a moment before I noticed they were closing in on the two of them. I sprang into action.

"You picked the wrong gang to mess around with bluey." one of the thugs said, and I resisted the urge to gag at the nickname while I approached, cards in hand and shuffling.

I announced my presence, "And you, the wrong victims."

They glanced back, and Trixie backed off a step, paranoid of my appearance. I didn't blame her. After all, my eyes were made of freaking fire apparently.

"Who's this bub?" One of the less bright thugs asked.

"I don't care but it looks like a third victim joins the bunch." Said the first thug that had threatened Trixie and whoever it was behind her. waving his knife as if it was scary. It was a kitchen knife. Lame.

"Ladies and colts." I announced, "Prepare yourselves for a magic trick for the ages. The Puppet Master would like to perform the ultimate magic trick, and make these thugs..." I grinned, casting a creepy light over my face as the pale flames lit it, "Disappear."

"Lets get this boz-" whatever the thug had been about to say was silenced as I let out my deck of cards.

In an instant three cards had managed to shove them inside their surfaces, having grown to full size, and the next instant the cards that held the three thugs were spinning away, I could see them scream silently in confusion and fear inside the cards as they flew off, only to be thrown from the cards surfaces and back into the physical world several alleyways away. Returning the cards back into my deck and putting it away.

Trixie stared at me, "And what, in Equestria was that?"

"A magic trick." I smirked, before my smile went away for a more neutral frown, "Are you two alright?"

"Trixie has naught but a scratch." the blue mare declared, and I raised an eyebrow, she was bleeding. Rather heavily from one arm at that.

"You're kidding right?"

"Trixie is alright, but Trixie is more concerned about her companion." She looked back towards where the shiving wreck of a pegasus was still covered up by her wings. Without Trixie blocking her, I could see that she didn't have any legs or arms for the matter. To my credit, I resisted the urge to cringe. She had been amputated it looked like, and it wasn't recent either. But she still had both wings. Trixie trotted over to her and nudged her, adding in, "Thanks for your help 'Puppet Master' though if you're seeking a reward, we have nothing. My home and living was destroyed and Cass here was kicked out of hers."

"I... wasn't looking for one..." I said, my heart dropped, my mind searched for an idea, and only one really showed up, "Um if you two don't have a place to stay, perhaps I can be of help..."

"We wouldn't wish to impose upon a random stranger, even more so one who got rid of some thugs for us, even if Trixie could of handled it herself." Trixie quipped, helping her friend, Cass, up into a sitting position, The pegasus herself was coated in mud and grime, and thin to the point that I could see her ribcage as if her fur was just a bag over a skeleton.

I barely managed to not wince, "No, seriously, I have way too much space anyway, and it wouldn't be a bother at all."

Trixie rose an eyebrow, "And we're supposed to take your word why?"

"Why not?" I countered.

"Because you might be another ruffian?" Trixie offered in return.

I deadpanned, which is quite creepy actually, when coming from my face as it is, "If I sought to see the 'Great And Powerful' Trixie and her friend harmed, I would of done so already."

"Good point..." Trixie muttered, "Fine, lead the way then."

Cass muttered something, too quiet for me to hear, but Trixie muttered a reassurance back. I offered a small friendly smile, but she just stared. I in the meantime readied a portal. "Now this may seem a bit unsettling at first, but it is perfectly safe." I warned, "This is also to save some time walking back."

The portal opened and Trixie gasped, "Is that a multidimensional door? How? That is an 8th level unicorn spell."

"Actually," I said, "It's just a portal, to home, but if you want to call it that, be my guest." I snerked at my word play, be my guest, ha. I did a funny.

Of course it went over her head, and I rolled my eyes as we entered a hallway. Already the living quarters were expanding to account for the small amount of griffins, but for their sake I would insert another apartment complex for the two of them. Luckily I was quickly able to design and decorate a room and finish constructing it and giving it the necessities before we made it to the doorway, and from there I let them in, "Welcome to your rooms ladies." I told them.

"All this space? Are you sure? Trixie commented, and I nodded, "Well... I... uh... Trixie doesn't know what to say..."

"Thank you..." Cass responded, quietly, her voice like a dove, if birds could talk.

"Feel free to use all the hot water, bandages, food, drink, and etc you need." I told them, "Luckily Amber restocked on groceries yesterday, and the cafeteria isn't exactly that far away. Just follow the signs." I had installed those when Amber kept getting lost trying to find her room among the identical doors, "I'll tell Amber, my..." I stopped myself there, before thinking over it, "Companion... about you two so she doesn't think there's intruders here. If you need me, I'll be in my room, which is also labeled."

She nodded, a bit overwhelmed, and I left them to bandage and clean each other up. I would continue to talk to them later, but for now I had to talk to Amber about our new guests and resume the construction of my projects. That and perhaps... assign a new one for the crippled pegasus... Who said a villain had to be evil, all the time, eh?

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