• 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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Court Interruption

The sudden realization that the sun was gone, had sent a smile on his face. That meant that the princess of the day had finally fallen, and that his forces had succeeded in taking down the last major leader of the Equestrian forces, with a bellowing cheer his men rallied once more, supporting their warbosses as they stampeded into the bunker, as the gunfire halted from within. Rows upon rows of slavering masses seeking flesh and the biggest conquest of them all, an Alicorns skull along with the heads of the power armored soldiers inside it. Several orks tackled the defenders, only for their armor to shatter apart, as if held together through only a floating force in its place, as bolters, long gathering dust from lack of ammunition, resumed firing magically made similarities.

The Ork god frowned. Bringing his own magic to bear once more, the signs of life had long since left these power armored suits, not even bodies were within these suits, only a slight golden aura as an injured Alicorn sat, stock still eyes glowing a brilliant firey red. "Gotcha." She said, knowing that he was listening in, before his vision was blinded with fire.

The screams began again, though this time not of blood lust, but sudden terror, as a mass of fire expanded from their target, and only then did he understand. The sun hadn't vanished... She had brought the sun to Equis. He yelled telepathically for his forces to retreat from the dying Alicorns last taste of revenge, but it was too late, thousands upon thousands of his finest warriors were caught in the expanding blast as his own rage grew once more for the infuriating princesses actions. It was that sour moment when his throne room's front door exploded inwards, revealing the power armored rival he had sought to finish alongside the magical ponies.

"FOR THE PRINCESSES!" came the augmented battle cry as no less than two dozen heavily armored men, four of which towered over the rest, charged forward, lead by his rival.

She was one of a kind, he would often think in retrospect. Into becoming a Space marine, each marine member started from an early age in recruitment heavily training their bodies and discipline so that they could bear the unfortold heresies that they would expect to find in combat with their orders. This was also added into the number of times that each chapter had their marine undertake going beneath the knife of a surgeons chair as they added up to sixteen different organs to a marine to better suit their power armored burdened forms, each organ serving a specific purpose, though while not all were necessary, in fact some chapters had mutated versions of an organ, or were missing some of them alltogether, it was the black carapace that was applied underneath the skin that gave a marine its uncanny ability to move and operate the Power Armor as if it were not much more than burdening clothing.

This genetic modification was made primarily for males, as it only modified the Y chromosome, which males had. This is why she was interesting. For she wore the armor, as if tailored to her, yet moved better, faster, and stronger, than the rest. He had suspected magic was the cause of this, but lacked the evidence, as it wasn't like any he had witnessed before. She charged ahead of the rest, slaughtering those who stood in her way with an ease that spoke magnitudes of what she had experienced. He was caught in this surprise attack in his most sacred sanctuary, and possibly the most well guarded spot on the miserable rock that was called Equis, well before he had sent his generals to deal with the final stronghold.

The Ork god hadn't even considered what to do about his intruders before a powered gauntlet of a fist smashed into his face, budging only slightly from the impact, before he raised his own magically reinforced hand to stopped the chain-blade that was coming at his neck, "Ah, Space Marine. What a surprise."

The blade dug into his flesh, but halted, as its internal engines within its hilt whined in protest. His grin was stopped short as the attacker rapidly let go of her blade, pulling from her armored belt a spike, and driving it into his leg. He frowned, kicking the armored warrior back from him, throwing her from his raised platform of a throne and reversing the grip of the chain blade so that he had it by the handle. A suitable weapon, blessed with the scriptures of an organization that worshiped technology, but that was rapidly corrupted in the Ork's grasp. "You would of thought that our last duel you would of realized, that such things have little to no impact on me." He grunted, striding casually towards the warriors, as reinforcements began to flood in, occupying each others groups in bloody combat.

From the back rows, a tech priest had emerged, but he ignored the snivling coward as he approached his long hated rival. The later drawing a second blade, one of shining crystals, and charged towards him, screaming at the top of her augmented lungs, "This farce ends now Skar!"

More than happy to obliged, he met her own blade with his new one, the two clanging off to each other in shrieking metal to whistling crystal. Sparks showered as the ridged spines of the chain blade started to cut off, and he aimed another kick, only for his aggressor to move to the side at the last moment, and drive a second spike into him, his other leg this time, before spinning back to face him. She barely had time to block the Ork God as he swung mightily at her neck, the marine barely dodging away in time as the blade skidded across the top of her helmet, sheering off half a feedline that had long since broken in the course of action from battles prior.

A dull rumble of an explosion was starting to grow to ears that even a mortal could hear, but they ignored it, to busy fighting for their lives, the sound only causing the other members of her group of warriors to redouble their ferocity. He let out his rallying scream, "WAARRRRRGHHHHHHHHHHHH." Which was joined by the rest of his forces, their own battle lust driven into a frenzy as they went forward.

Trading blows for blow, bullet for bullet, and scream for scream against the remnants of resistance. Which stood with its own maddening wrath, rarely did his sword find itself injuring the feminine warrior before him. Her own sword leaving dozens of slashes for each one of his own mighty chops. But perhaps more infuriating were the constant spikes she kept stabbing into, and leaving the ork god. It was a pointless effort, because he could easily regenerate the injuries, but it was still maddening to have them in, without time to pull them out, lest he lose an arm or head to his enemy.

No less than five of the spikes had been driven into him, one in each arm and one to the center of his exposed chest before the space marine, did what he saw, as a fatal mistake. She brought her sword into the stomach of the Ork god, and he smiled.

His hand reached out to grab the marine, now that it was stuck in him, and she let go, screaming, "Now!" as she dived to the side, only then did he realize the importance of the Tech Priest and the spikes that had been driven into him. Warmth, followed by the sensation of fire that started flooding his body as the tech priest raised a crown, a crown set with a gemstone that represented a star cutie mark of one he had slain months prior.

The end of each spike, a gem of another long dead bearer glowed and his eyes widened, as the tech priest lowered her hood. Long mangled purple locks and more than half of her machine, glared at him. Adorning the tiara. He dropped his chain sword, too late it was to pull those damned spikes out. As a Rainbow combined with the energy of love from the crystal heart contained in the sword, shredded the ork forces between him and the tech priest and went straight into his chest.

The screaming was heard around the world as the room exploded into smoke.

As it died down, the ragged crew of space marines slowly stood back up, their tech priest had vanished amidst the chaos, leaving only a smoked crater in the ground, as the mangled remains of their elements of harmony hit the floors.

"By the golden throne, is it over?" One of the marines asked, to their leader.

"Let us see." The female, who had born the sword and spikes replied, backing slowly away from the intense heat that was still emanating from where the Ork god had stood.

The smoke faded after several minutes, revealing the Ork god, where he stood was a crater of smoking debris. His chest had turned to solid stone, while his arms were burnt beyond recognition. The Ork god, however, breathing ragged, was still standing.

"Damn you Space Marines." He spoke, between breathes, his rage returning two fold, "How dare you use those accursed spawn of the warp against me!" He slowly moved, seeing that all of his forces nearby were ash, for one tool to even the odds, "Puppet Master! Come to me and fulfill your debt!" He reached up and showed the blank mask to the rest of the room, pouring what was left of his shattered magic into hastening and forcing the bonds to bring its owner.

Canterlot Throne Room: 12:51 pm, October 21st, 0002 RoL

The time had come, to my lack of surprise, the verdict was Guilty, and as Luna started to word out the various crimes once more that Sharp Opera was guilty of, and suggested the punishment of petrification until such a time his own natural magics had freed him, I stood up.

"Your honor, if I may be so inclined to suggest a separate punishment?"

Melody had already agreed with me that locking him up in stone would of done nothing to right any of the wrongs he had committed, and my plan was to make some of repayment that would last longer than that stone 'imprisonment'. "Go ahead Puppet Master." Luna said, a bit exasperated from how long this had taken. Already there were hundreds of ponies backed up to bring their issues to the day court, and with this trial having taken several hours, they were going to have to either have some of the line go home unsatisfied, or do the rest of it at a faster pace if they ever wanted to get back on track after this.

"I would like to remind the court of a certain punishment enacted by your benevolent princess of the sun nearly a thousand years prior in regard to the Cerberus V. Bluebloods, where Cerberus was assigned to multiple lifetimes worth of work and labor as the guardian of the gates of Tartarus in order to be punished and provide security against his former masters escape."

"What exactly are you implying, Puppet Master?" Luna asked, curious to my intentions with such a case. Twilight on the other hoof, perked her ears in realization of what I was saying, no doubt having read the case herself during her studies as the star pupil of Celestia.

"What I would like to say, is that we put Mr.Sharp Opera to work as punish-" I was interrupted.

Not by a pony, or Sharp, but rather by a void.

One second I had been standing in the room of a court, about to conclude, the next second, I felt myself ripped from the room by magic, my puppets with me as a giant portal suddenly opened up, formed a giant hand in the span of a split second, grab them all and me, minus the Ponies, Sirens, Alicorns, Spike, and Sharp, and drag my body and puppets through a black section of tunnel as I heard a familiar voice call, "Puppet Master! Come to me and fulfill your debt!"

Damn it to the moon, Skargor, I'm in the middle of something very important! I tried to resist the sensation of being squeezed down a tunnel two inches too small for me, but to no avail. The Ork god's call had me well and good, and I was forced to go to him.

Skargor's Throne room, former Imperium palace of the moon, current capital of the Ork forces. Unknown date/time

The mask glowed with power as the portal opened. Grim faced, the marines stood fast against the portal prepared to face whatever or whoever it was the Ork was summoning. They expected daemons and perhaps a being so evil that the world itself would shake if the mad ork god was summoning it.

Imagine their surprise when a guy in robes who barely met their waist height fell face first out of the portal into the ground, followed by a deludge of cosplay masks, and a marionette tool.

"What." One of the marines commented from the side.

"Is that a kid? Please don't tell me that the Ork god summoned a kid as his last line of defense." Another commented, confused at the sillyness of it all.

As the Puppet Master let out a deep breathe into the oily room, he slowly stood up, adjusting his robes and brushing the dirt off them, as he examined his surroundings, first taking in the Space Marines with a mild look of surprise, then at Skargor, with an masked expression shifting from curiosity to surprise and slight disgust at his appearance, "The hell happened to you?" the Puppet Master asked, straight to the point, rather aghast to the Ork god's ruined form.

"They, are. young Puppet Master." Skargor said with mock sincerity, pointing a grey hued stone hand, that had been curled in mid grasp before it had been partially petrified. Now it lay its accusing chipped point at the armed marines, who readied their bolters as though the stone hand could cause yet more chaos within this dying world. "I ask you, to return the favor you owe me, and take care of these chaos spawned daemons."

"Chaos spawned...?" The puppet master repeated, staring over the armor designs.

One of the other marines shouted back, "The only one of chaos here is you, Ork! Now lay down and perish as the golden sun claims us all for your folly!"

"Move aside Child!" Another shouted, "Or weather a storm of fire of which thee has never before witnessed!"

"Listen..." The Puppet Master intoned, "I have no idea what's going on here, and all. But the armor doesn't match Chaos marines, since those tend to have a lot of... well... spikes. But a friend of mine has been hurt, and as a result, I think I'll stay in the wa-" He hadn't even finished when the first bolter cleared its chamber, molten lead well over the size of a softball and the explosive mass enough to rip the side out of an Ork. It wasn't instinct or luck that saved the Puppet Master from an agonizing fate, but rather another prop, one of the first he had built. The Rosary, that decorated the Puppet Master beneath his robes, activating and diverting the fire off to the side, and several of the shots that followed as well as when it was joined by a second and third bolter revving up into full auto fire, a collection of normally devastating fire about to rend the two figures to shreds.

Or it would have.

Puppets sprang to existence, wooden and massive, some absorbing shots and collapsing back into nonexistence, and others rushing into the masks. the first that had reached one suddenly covering the room in magical darkness that kept refilling the gaps tearing explosive lead would cause, One of the marines threw down a device, a flash bang of magical origins that cleared a pocket around the marines as their visors, meant to resist even the suns mighty brightness, adjusted to compensate. The darkness was staggered for a second, the feedback and surprise of the weapon having caught the Puppet Master and breaking his concentration as the gunfire fired mercilessly into his favorite puppets darkness. The mass retreated, focusing on protecting its wielder and the Ork behind him, as the form of Aku appeared visibly. From the sides the rest of the puppets emerged, rushing in and surrounding the Marines as the fight renewed.

Soon bolters were discarded for melee weapons as the ammunition was depleted over the course of both battling to arrive in the throne room, dealing with the orcish hordes, and these new fantastic creations which they assumed were from some far reaches of chaos. Only one marine fought with knowledge of each, and it was that which caught the Puppet Master's attention again. It was the female, who walked upon the hordes of enemies, crushing warrior turtles underfoot, and sweeping through the various tides of minions of several puppets at once. Whoever was underneath that helmet was as much as a gamer, nerd, and displaced as he was. Skargor on the other hand looked on the fight with an almost unconstrained amount of curiosity, and disbelief as he started to gain his second wind.

Like shadow, the Puppet Master hid among his creations, cards flickering to life around him as well as explosions rocking the fields. He was clearly outskilled when it came to combat with these warriors, but he had the advantage of numbers. endless unceasing numbers that drawed upon his stolen supplies of magic. Magic of no less than two powerful elemental users and several of Star Swirl's own artifacts. His time magic, however, as Nox was cut down, was unable to effect those of high willpower as these space marines, and with his attention so divided between dozens upon dozens of puppets, he barely managed to notice and dodge a revved blade of a chain-sword as the woman of their group tore through the card defense around him.

"What else is in your bag of tricks, daemon spawn?" The battle-sister screamed at him, through the helmets augmented microphone.

A wordless frown of concentration was the response as the Puppet Master fell back into one of his cards, deck shuffeling and tearing back away from her, trying to avoid the deadly blade as it followed, tearing through half the deck in a single swing as he continued backing and exiting the back of the deck in a hurry. The battle crazed warrior charged onwards, as the Puppet Master Snapped his gloved hands, alchemcial symbols momentarily igniting as a chain of explosions followed towards the Power armor, adding needless char upon the already worn armor, and presenting a far less visible sign of damage than he would like. Cursing, he couldn't portal away, as GLaDOS was still within his home world, and instead sent more puppets from the twisting marionette he wielded, strings slipping and grasping like a dying squid on a spike as puppet after puppet leapt into being, wooden forms jumping into the guises of far more varities of monsters, minibosses and subordinates of the main group of masks he controlled. Still she trudged on, helmet locked, facing and following him as she charged faster than he could retreat through the mobs.

Orks joined the battle from the side lines, at their masters direction and started to rain yet more gunfire upon the masses, too confused and battle hungry to recognize their own allies, but more than enraged enough to shoot primarily at the Marines that had invaded and hurt their god. The Puppet Master was cornered, and in a last ditch effort to keep her away brought forth yet another of his Puppet's tools. The cutlass of Davy Jones and blocking the chain blade as it tore through his sword. Back against the wall, and sword rapidly succumbing to the serrated rapidly moving edges of the chain blade, the Rosary fell out of the robed collar of the Puppet Master's outfit. The increasing pressure halted, as the Space Marine noticed the logo upon it, "That symbol..." The pressure increased, "Where did you get that symbol?!"

The cutlass was breaking, almost severed as the Puppet Master's other hand, the one holding the marionette tool, ceased to make puppets, its string, lashing out and wrapping around the Marines armor, grabbing it by the joints at his beckoning, and pulling her off him, "What do you mean where I got it? I'm the one who designed it!" The Puppet Master yelled in response, only for the sudden struggles of the Marine to still, as a voice asked in disbelief, "...Xander?"

Eyes widened, as the fighting halted, the puppets momentarily ceasing all movement as the marines, almost overwhelmed, continued fighting, oblivious from their distance, and not questioning their good fortune. The Puppet Master, stunned by the fact that this seemingly random marine knew his name, saw then, the copy of the symbol of his Rosary upon her shoulder pad, and wires removed the helmet. His shock only grew more so.

Held there, by the strings of his greatest tool, was Yoko. Xander's childhood friend.

Author's Note:

Yes this chapter has a different perspective than the normal first person, deal with it. Filler Chapter ahead, since I can't find if I've talked about Yoko yet, too many notes on her in my story arc ideas on my computer to handle ATM. Expect filler chapter on how they meet in around two chapters ahead.

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