• 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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Results and meetings. Plans for the future

The once faceless puppet had taken a mask at random, and upon first glance had identified and shoved it on, a quick set of thoughts giving its magical form once more as not one of his usual lot but as Maleficent. The villain by default of the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty. I remembered the tale keenly as the fairy tale had been made once, from the fairy godmothers of the princess, an the hero their prince, before being remade into a heart wrenching story of heartbreak and betrayal before ultimately coming to conclusion with Maleificents wings being taken back for her. A friend of mine had once commented that the morale of the story was that true love doesn't entail a prince and princess, and that motherly love could triumph where love at first glance was an illusion. Another friend went into detail of how the real fairy tale had ended with childbirth waking the princess nine months after non consented intercourse in the bedroom.

Guess who got the fist to the face?

The first movie had been alright, but the second movie had inspired several revisions of attempting those seemingly leather wrapped horns of her, the lesson I had learned with making Discord's horn having been ultimately the final keystone needed between making the mask and breaking it. Each finite curve had bolstered the image and power of the puppet, and even while she wasn't in need of that power currently, her appearance was almost exactly the same as it had been in that live action version. I could even use it as a secondary prop, or personal prop by popping out the carved eyeless mask that I had made for it. The only problem was, that it wasn't a pony, or conformed to shape like them in their strange colored furs and muzzled mouths.

Much like most of my villains thus far, few were able to get away with that, Freeze and his helmet of misty ice could obscure most of his facial details. Bowser was a turtle, and while odd, wasn't human. Aku, who was a master shapeshifter and could be mistaken as imitating a minotaur with multiple horns like an Elk. Or myself, who mysteriously wore a flat surfaced mask for a face. I had added her appearance in the court room so that some people might identify her as one of mine in the future, her odd appearance being allowed as her dragon like horns and slightly green skin coloring differed her from myself and that she would probably be counted as another oddity in my forces rather than as similar to myself. Though, still, I worried.

Maleifcent luckily, though, had only to cross the portal to find the Siren and her entourage waiting in an massively overlarge fountain that had decorated the center square of the main entrance, ponies occasionally staring at the group of sirens as they stood in knee deep water and conversed to each other. Melody waited outside the edge of the pool. Pacing nervously in that way that a fish does when its cornered in a tank waiting for a fresh tank cleaning.

Marching forward Maleificent caught the gasps of various nobles who were about the place and sent them fleeing as guards showed up again, ignoring them I drove my puppet to Melody and asked, in a clear soothing voice that fit the faeries of her forest, "Are you alright, dear child?"

Noticing me, she ceased her inaudible rumblings and looked to Maleificent, knowing her from the court room, she asked, quite calmly, an underlying panic having gone to a cold quiet anger in her eyes that made me momentarily flinch even as I gave the squad of power armored soldiers of doom at home a tour of my base.

Odd that, end up in the middle of a war after being in a court room? Slightly confused but willing to fight. The gaze of cold gaze of anger and scorn from a woman siren who probably couldn't make a dent in my bedroom door? Heart attack. Angry siren lady was scarier than an Ork and Space Marine fight. Go figure.

"Do you know how long we've been waiting here?" She asked, before interrupting me as I opened my puppets mouth to answer, "Eight hours! Eight hours of not knowing where you went and then worrying our fishy tails off that you suddenly were wiped from existence by a giant maniac of a portal!"

"My master sends his apologies." Maleificent replied, cooly, a lot more calm than my beating heart, "We were summoned elsewhere and it was beyond our control. We have a few new guests in any case, but please, tell us what has happened in our absence."

Melody's glare lasted another few bone chilling seconds before she relented, a softer gaze taking its place, "He's been sentenced to become the janitor of Tartarus as community service for the next one thousand life times. A tenth of what I tried propositioning, but still a good deal of years, far older than any of which we will ever see. Twilight Sparkle managed to lessen the punishment as much as she could, defending what little rights he still deserved, but the life of an immortal tyrant comes with heavy consequences once they are caught."

Internally I breathed out a huge sigh of relief, at least he wasn't stoned, "It is good news," I said through my puppets voice, "Though we have to wonder what the media and others think about all this... Commotion."

"There is a newspaper system, correct?" Melody asked, and my puppet nodded, "Then we should find out when it hits the news in the coming week or two."

I nodded in agreement, mentally adding yet another note to my growing forest of them, and having my puppet gesture to a portal as it was made on the ground next to her, "We imagine your friends must be weary from a long day at Canterlot, let us return and rest. I believe a cause of celebration is at... Hoof." I said that last word somewhat caught, having almost reverted to saying hand. Ugh, why couldn't these ponies use fingers and thumbs instead of weird hoof magic to hold things. It was constantly bugging me that the flat surface of their hooves could pick up and even manipulate objects as good as a hand could, and in some cases even better. Twirling quills and holding tools in a fashion that would make several scientists roll in their graves back home. I was convinced that they had an invisible telekinetic field around the bottoms of their hooves in order to manipulate such things. It was the only explanation I could think of in this world of magic and technicolor horses.

My mind flickered back to myself, where I was giving Yoko and her rangers settled in, and installing a map in a few of the corridors in my fortress. I also gave them the specific instruction that the "Command Center" labeled on the map was actually the incinerator room for garbage, and the garbage room was vice versa. It was a small idea that I had incorporated in case my base was ever breached by equestrian forces, so that they would pass over the actual command center and provide additional chances to recover from whatever sort of surprise they could think up. Initially Yoko just wanted a barrack set up, though since she was an old friend, I told her to be patient for about half an hour and I instead installed a group wing to the complex. Sometimes it was really useful when you could control an entire base with the flick of a puppet's control. Mastery of multitasking was no easy feat, yet it was getting easier and easier with practice. The place was decorated with the basics needed for a comfortable stay. Both myself and they would probably add in their own stuff, later on. But for now, there was enough.

After I got the troops settled in, I asked Yoko if she would mind sharing some tea and catch up once she was cleaned up. She agreed, and I left them to their devices as I prepared another portal. It was for a quick run to the store with my Aku puppet to gather several sets of their largest sets of clothes. Hardly thought that they'd like to do nothing but either be in their armor 24/7 or naked. Shortly after, I entered my bedroom, with the intention to flop down for a few minutes on my bed and unwind. Instead I was greeted, by a collection of guests who had gathered in my room.

Trixie was the first to speak, with Cass lounging at my desk, in the seat reserved for her usually, and Amber who was examining the wall of blueprints that I had above my desk, trying to decipher some meaning out of the various sketches of future tools and designs I had made, "Greetings Puppet." She said, "We heard the news from Melody, though we were a bit concerned to where you went. Several of us wished to inquire."

I filled them in, shortly, starting from earlier for the two of them who hadn't met Skargor, and leaving out details that concerned my puppets having been dematerialized back into mask form during the transfer to, though oddly not from, the other Equestria. No point in revealing that particular weakness, after a few comments questioning my sanity and rebuking them with a few more explanations, and a skeptical set of stares. I bid the topic away. Amber left with the explanation, happier to know the circumstances of why the base had momentarily been without power while I had been gone.

Trixie and Cass however stayed, "Just who are you in any case?" Trixie asked, abruptly, "You're very clearly not a pony, nor a minotaur, and your face is flatter than my mothers old cat."

Now my eyebrow perked, "Your mothers cat?"

She deadpanned, "He was hit in the face with a frying pan on accident when Trixie was still learning her great and powerful magics. Though that is besides the point, explain what trickery is about your being!"

I gave her a little flourish, "My body is a mystery wrapped in an enigma oh so Stupendous and Marvelous Trixie."

"It's Great and Powerful Trixie," Trixie snapped, "Stupendous and Marvelous is reserved for Trixies mother; and that explains nothing about you!"

I deadpanned, "That's why I said it."

"And how come you feel the need to hide yourself behind such words of deception and ruse?" Trixie asked.

I replied, "How come you have to declare yourself as Great and Powerful? Wouldn't it simply be easier to just show it rather than declare yourself upon an audience as such?"

Trixie became flabbergasted, her argumentative and prying voice dissolving into a momentary sputtering of incoherence, "This isn't over! Trixie will get a straight answer out of you!"

She left with a huff, and Cass turned towards me by flapping one of her wings, "You know her curiosity is only going to worsen, right?"

My response was a wink, "The best held secrets are behind the facade we put up for our public faces. Interest in the mystery of the unknown is something I find is best solved with effort."

I didn't put in that I had no idea what discord had done to my body, nor what magic the spirit of chaos had inflicted to remove my face from its realm, and grant me my own amount of magic. My mind still considered myself human, for all but the face seemed the same, at least until my arm started changing colors with large amounts of magic being drained from artifacts, and a number of other changes happening to my body. For one, I felt a little taller!

No wait, still short. Darn it.

Cass giggled once, before asking, "I hope you're not too weary, was hoping we could squeeze in some more work on the 'cybernetics' as you call it."

Ah, right! Had almost forgot about it in the excitement, Yoko would be a while, and after time the cybernetics were reaching a state that I could start to test the limb itself with her. The initial brace that would apply itself to her was already ready to be fitted, and her own natural energies would seal the cybernetic base to her body without the actual horror of going full on hospital horror on the missing limbs.

I smiled as I brought out the surprise, the completed limbs matching Cass's own fur in coloration, and built as a mix breed between various forms of cybernetics. The amount of game and anime jargon that I had taught her would fill a massive list, and I suspected that such a thing would only work for her and myself, if it worked at all. This was a hybrid experiment of both my limits and creativity. The outside it seemed like a mechanical set of limbs, though the inside couldn't be farther from the truth. I'd polish it and refine it in future tune ups, but to see if it'd work, I needed Cass to try and use it.

"This isn't going to hurt, will it?" Cass asked, "I mean, it is going to somehow operate on my magic right? Are you sure you don't need to do any preparations on my side of this?"

I shook my head, as I lined up the prosthetic, "Only thing you need to do is keep in mind all the parts that I have taught you, and to use that knowledge, to begin to move the limb on my signal."

After finishing the first one, tied to her with leather straps, and after a few adjustments asked her, "Try giving it a shot, right arm should be attached finely now. We'll remove the straps and if you recalled what was discussed, it should stick while in use."

"If you say so Doc." Cass replied, uncertainly, a look of concentration on her face.

"I'm not a doctor," I said, with quiet glee, "Just a very villainous geek."

I let her concentrate, offering her the few tips I had about accessing my supplies. It was more by the gut feeling along with the memory, than any amount of effort a unicorn would have in their head. She was neither me nor a unicorn though, but after several minutes of trying, an almost miss-able twitched happened in the hoof. A wide grin adorned my face as that twitch slowly became a range of motion, and soon the next joint started to move, the space between lower and upper arm, flexing, and then she had a full range of motion, "I'm... I'm doing it!" Cass said, marveling that this was actually working.

"Indeed you are." we were both grinning madly, it was infectious, "Now lets get the rest attached, and see if we can get you walking."

Half an hour later, all limbs were attached, and our grins had no less lessened as the first staggered steps were taken, "This feels so weird, yet so right." she commented, as she flexed the new limbs.

I nodded, in agreement, "Its almost like you've already mastered its movements near minutes after putting them on, remember, it relies on your own energy to keep running."

"Yeah, I can feel the... drain... sort of." Cass replied, her eyes wandering over the seem between flesh and metal as she stretched and rotated her arms, the smile widening, "very little though, I feel like I could run around all day like this."

With this her gaze swapped from her limbs to me and my eyes widened as she charged me. I moved my hands up to to protect my face but found my arms trapped to my chest as the now-tall pegasus lifted me off the ground in a hug.

It would of been enjoyable hadn't she been applying enough force to break a bat's back.

I squeaked, while she said something that I couldn't hear. I could feel my ribs fracturing and I barely managed to let out a , "Too... Tight!"

To her credit after she had processed that in her head she let go, and I collapsed back into my chair, wheezing for breath, "Sorry! Sorry!" She worriedly held her hands out, "I didn't hurt you did I? I don't know my own strength." She was flustered, her wings flapping, but not to lift her off the ground, more like a worried movement.

"Ribs... intact... no harm done..." I managed to say after a solid minute of wheezing.

"Sorry Sorry! I was just trying to say thank you Mr.P."

"I'll keep watch over you from the security systems for a bit to make sure that nothing goes wrong with it. I'd recommend heading to the training room to get fully used to the limits of your new limbs, I'll clean up here. Maybe we can celebrate tonight."

She nodded as I set to work, it was an important part to know how effectively that Cass could use the tools that I had given her, and it would be an experiment to see just how far others could use my inventions, and who said being nice wasn't benefical to others! I smirked to myself. Well back to work, it was time to get more projects done and over with, Nightmare Night was around the corner afterall, and, I figure, if in for a penny, go in for a pound! Time to have a party on the best holiday of the year.

Author's Note:

Edit: So apparently auto correct wanted to turn Aku from the shapeshifter into the Shop Lifter. Tried fixing it on my phone five times, before giving up and waiting till I was at home to change it on my lap top. Darn autocorrect, lol. All fear Aku, the great and powerful master of stealing from thrift stores!

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