• Published 1st Apr 2014
  • 15,517 Views, 1,427 Comments

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.

  • ...

PreviousChapters Next
To pull the Heartstrings

Luna was the first to awake, her presence fading away from the dream after an eternity of staring at the shifting night sky. Soon after, I came to wake, to Luna laying beside me, propped on one elbow, with a hoof resting against her cheek as she stared at me, I slowly blinked and stared back. She looked to be considering something, but what I didn't know. I was still sore, but at least now I could move, and with that movement I rolled onto my side as well.

"You are a most curious creature, Puppet Master." Luna said, and I sighed, with a small grin responded.

"Please, call me Xander." At her curious expression I continued, "Its my name, what friends call me."

"Ah the Griffonic method of naming." Luna nodded, "Very well. Xander." She booped me. What was with ponies and booping today? Well tonight; as the window outside had clearly changed from midday to night time.

I slowly sat up, and Luna did likewise, swapping to a kneeling posture on both knees as I brought myself to the edge of the bed and continued sitting there as I stood up. Still taller than me sitting down on her bed than I was standing on the ground, "I take it it is time for you to go home?" Luna inquired.

"I need to make sure everypony is alright at home." I said truthfully. Without me to power GLaDOS, the mask was likely on the ground back in the cave of the dragon. Which meant that I didn't know to the state of the rest of the base. In combination if something happened while I was gone, that would be unforgivable on my part. I genuinely liked most of the people staying in my home, and it would be remiss if I was to be gone for too long.

However, as I donned my massive sleeved coat and strapped the marionette tool back to my side, I knew I would need to take the long route home. GLaDOS had the portals and the rest of the puppets had been left back at home. As much as I would like to, I simply couldn't create a puppet across the country without line of sight at least. That, and for the first time in long while I didn't have coverage over Ponyville either anymore.

There was a desire, of course, to keep talking to Luna. She was adorable and drop dead gorgeous for a humanoid pony after all. Alongside a great personality and fun aura about her since the Star Swirl event had faded away the gloom she had first had. But a new voice on the other side of the door interrupted another train of thought.

"I am here to report with Princess Luna about the Night Guard." A murmured reply, "Someone is already visiting the princess? Who?"

The voice was Shining Armor. I and Luna locked gazes, and I looked to her balcony door. Beginning to head towards it. Luna caught my motive, and got up heading in the same direction as I was, unlocking the door with her magic as we reached the balcony.

The door burst open as the balcony doors opened alongside them, as a fully armored Shining Armor entered the room. "Puppet Master! Halt! You are under arrest!"

I winked to Luna, as I made ready to jump, "Sup Shining Armor? Well Luna, I believe we shall meet another night perhaps."

"Indeed, it has been a pleasure." Luna smiled, and as Shining charged across the room, Luna did a surprising thing.

A kiss. On the cheek, but a kiss no less. I froze, as she smiled, and gestured me to go ahead. My mind, unprocessing, went forward. Air flew past me as I fell, briefly I recalled the last time I fell from such a height as I heard Shining armor cursing me out from the balcony above. None of the night guard moved to intercept me, other than a token slow fly, one of them staring at me in disbelief as I fell.

I was elated, and digging in my pockets in mild panic now. Last time I fell from such a height a mask broke. Now I needed to take care that I didn't break.

I tossed a set of cards ahead of me, stacking them as they enlarged, and caught onto them as they began to slow down my ascent at a reasonable rate. Last thing I wanted after... That was to be smashed by the pavement. Again. After that it was like a glider, heading towards my descent as I glided above Canterlots various buildings. Starting from over the noble quarters and gliding all the way over to the train station, where I hid in the cargo car inside a card that was destined for Ponyville. Surprisingly Shining Armor didn't chase me like that first day, I was glad since I was still far stronger than I was when we first clashed, but the first time had been a victory of sheer luck as well. After the conductor checked the baggage car for stowaways, dismissing my card as a painting someone must of brought aboard, they closed the door and the train was on its way.

I exited the card and sat down on a case of luggage as the train pressed onward throughout the night. I sat in the confining box as the hours rolled by, Daybreak forming before arriving in Ponyville. I was too excited to try and sleep in the cargo car. Luna had kissed me. The Princess of the night, formerly Nightmare Moon had kissed me. Now that I had a proper moment inside the car, I cheered, and continued to cheer until my bodys soreness pressed me to sit down again as I reviewed my dream, unlike most that faded away after waking, thanks to Lunas involvement, I remembered every detail of it. Would I of considered that Dream a date then? Or just hanging out? The dream itself also sparked new ideas of things to craft. Even though I didn't call myself a Gardener, the memory was too priceless to not attempt to make the scene a reality. Not that I even had the faintest idea of how to play the piano, or how I was going to replicate even half of what had occurred in there. Maybe I'd start at the Flowers. The heavens mirror flower had looked great in Luna's mane in the dream.

My mind wandered, to the rest of the dreamscape and some words began to wonder. Yoko calling Aku not tragic, in particular. As well as the various villains and heroes I'd seen in my dreams. I looked to my gloves, themed after a hero's tool in another series, and began to wonder more. Was the tragic villain masks really a restriction? Or could I make more? Experiments and creations were now abound and brimming as the rest of the ride to Ponyville went by uneventful. However, when I arrived, a giant purple dragon was terrorizing ponyville in the early morning. The hell?

Spike was about towards the later half of his episode, if I vaguely recalled. The Wonderbolts had already arrived, and were trying to stop the rampaging dragon, but I didn't recall this episode very much. I could see Rarity pony-napped by the dragon, but I could recall the exact details of what happened. It had been a while, and not every episode was laser imprinted on my brain with exact accuracy. I was pretty sure Rainbow was supposed to distract the dragon from finishing off the Wonderbolts, who were currently now trapped beneath a water-tower lid in the side of a small mountain's side.

Sighing, as this was the last thing I had on my agenda, I considered my options of distracting the rampaging greed-growth dragon. Cards? Burnt to a crisp if I tried. Explosions? Maybe, but I didn't have enough of a magic supply to use those willy nilly. Puppets? Same as cards I supposed but more expendable. I dug around in my pockets, the rosary on my shoulder coming to life on its own accord as I prepared for the worst. I couldn't drain Spike, I didn't know what that would cause on him and he was a really good person at heart. I'll use a hit and run tactic.

I expanded three cards to support me in a fast manner and flew towards the dragon. Unlike the weaving and graceful flying of the Wonderbolts, I came at him almost dead on and rolled back my sleeve as the dragon roared. I'd make a quick distraction to get him away from the wonderbolts and let Rarity handle the rest.

"HI SPIKE! BYE SPIKE!" I yelled in panic as I snapped with my gloved hand, causing a chain of explosions to bounce off his hide and get his attention. I ducked into the Everfree to throw him off but the job was done. At least in my book as the rest of the episode continued on normally. Briefly I heard Twilight yell, "What?!" but that was the only other divergence. I'd come back later to deal with the aftermath...

Or the aftermath could chase after me, I had assumed too soon, and now Spike was chasing me, proclaiming my stuff to be his. Bugger off Spike I made this stuff, its mine! I scattered cards in every direction, confusing the simple mind induced greed dragon as I split off into fifty directions at once, the cards scattering among the start of the forest being enough to disperse his attention in my direction anyway as he brought his focus back to climbing the mountain he had left the still Dazed Wonderbolts stuck in. I took a breather as I was climbing my own mountain, sticking my upper body out of a card as I enjoyed the wind flowing past me up the ascent of the mountain. Cards recollecting themselves, and all but three fading back into a deck in my hands as the rest supported my ascent back up the mountain.

Once I had reached the peak of the mountain I took a good look behind me as a trio of puppets marched forth ahead of me. Spike was still rampaging, however my little stunt hadn't set the show on course. He was still rampaging on his own mountain now, and that had angered another dragon in a different set of woods. A green one actually this time. I vaguely recalled this one from some episode where spike got a case of 'oh no i'm being replaced' by an Owl of all things. Now the dragons were fighting. Well it would be fighting if they were properly doing it with fire and slashes. The scene I was witnessing instead was something out of a childrens cartoon.

Spike and the other dragon were pansy slapping at each other their faces turned away from each other. Each one trying to find purchase or bruise the other with the palm of their claws ineffective against each others scales. It would be completely silly if the force wasn't enough to cause local trees around them to be swaying backwards from the force. But it only grew worse the more I looked at it. They soon added their tails to the mix and eventually began headbutting each other. All the while a small purple mare and a white mare in a hot air balloon now were trying to get them both to stop.

Eventually the green one tried to breathe regular dragonfire at the balloon. This caused Spike to snap, yell something that even I could distantly hear as if a whisper, "THOSE ARE MY FRIENDS!" and grab the dragon by the snout, huck him off the mountain, and jump off himself to piledrive the green drake at the forest below. Then spike breathed a gout of green fire onto the dragon, and then the dragon... vanished?

I tried to figure out what happened as the puppets finally managed to pry open the hidden door, thankfully intact, and meander in to grab the GLaDOS mask discarded on the floor. Briefly I noted that the rest of the facility had just fallen inert, though after putting it back on, the various mechanical defenses and cameras had been vanished. Now with power restored I could get a better look as I tried to put two and two together.

Lets see. Dragons are immune to lava, so burning to ashes is out. Spike mails things with his green fire. Wait...

Oh god no.

I turned cameras to Canterlot and zoomed in as far as I could go just in time to see a green dragon form in the far far far distance away struggling to get out of the throneroom. While a swarm of angry bugs in my eyes, Royal guards probably in actuality were jabbing at the poor thing, some trying to pull it out, and others pushing. The dragon itself looked massively confused, as if in the last few moments since it was teleported straight to Celestia that it had received a massive flash grenade to the face. I opened a portal and dropped a camera for a better look at a closer point, and I could see the dragon was smoking, a good portion of its scales turned black around its hindquarters, and a rather pissed off Sun-Alicorn flying straight at Ponyville.

Two and two went together and made a four, but I refused to believe it. Spike, in his rage, had mailed an entire dragon to Celestia. And then Celestia had been sat on most likely, and then proceeded to blast the dragon off of her? She wasn't crushed by its massive weight? I didn't give Celestia enough credit it seems. Though I do hope she regained her usual calm by the time she reached Ponyville. Unlike Trixie, Tia couldn't pull of Tsundere. She was much too... Royal for that kinda attitude. Even Luna was more informal than her sister, and she was a thousand years behind where tradition and the royal canterlot voice were massive indicators. My attention, and cameras returned to focus on Spike as he was shrinking down, his friends talking him down and calming him down. For the most part they looked unhurt. That was good.

Though I now had about a few dozen more questions for Celestia in 'Why the fragging heck would you leave Twilight Sparkle as a child to handle a creature that can turn larger than a skyscrapper if it got a bit greedy' Or if she 'didn't know' why the hell she'd let her student have something that even she did not know would happen with. Not that I disliked Spike but this was a serious safety hazard on par with letting a ten year old child having a lizard that breathes fire and has a lighter for the tip of a tail as a pet in the middle of a forest that never seems to rain. No even worse, since that professor knew just what he was giving that kid! I left three cameras to monitor both Canterlot, Spike and company, and Celestia's progress as I went back inside myself.

The Elevator had been dropped into the abyss far below, and as I worked to replace it, I made a temporary elevator system using portals instead to go visit the living level. There I found several people awaiting for me in the main hallway.

"Boss, what happened to the power?" Amber was the first to notice me, and as per usual straight to the point as I made my entrance, "The base has been down for ages, had to use candles and stuff to light the place up for several hours while we tried to figure out what happened."

Yoko joined in next, "Thought you had been captured or turned to stone or something. We were planning a rescue team."

Trixie, who looked like she was trying and failing to be mildly upset instead of full blown, "Trixie was working on the most fabulous plan to convince Sparkle to destone you."

Cass cut in deadpan, "Your plan was to beg her and cry until she submitted or at least get yourself stoned in a method that would of proven most inconvenient for Twilight."

Trixie looked abashed, "Th-that's not how it was going to go."

Amber chuckled, "You were prancing circles for hours in worry girl, stop playing coy."

"Uh..."I began, breaking my usual composure, I was mildly... Well shocked. They were going to go set up a rescue attempt? I mean I could see Cass trying to do something like that, since I gave her limbs again. But all of them? I thought Amber was only in it for the money, Trixie in here for no better reason than it was a place to stay. Yoko probably would of been sent back to her 'home' dimension in the event I 'was' dead, so her rescue attempt would of failed had I been deceased by stone. I continued on my sentence, not sure where else to go with it for once, "Well... I'm here...?"

I got a punch in the arm by Yoko, not an easy thing to shrug off and left my arm massively sore for the sentence, "You, me. Training hall, tomorrow morning." She told me sternly, "You are going to learn to fight."

My mind reeled at that, "Uh, no offense, but I think one hit of either of your weapons, or a full powered punch might just kill me Yoko." She glared at me, so I continued, "Besides, I know how to fight." As I brought forth some puppets next to me, only to get another punch to the arm, disrupting my concentration and causing the new ones to fade as I winced, "Owwwww."

"I mean in person. Your work when we first met was sloppy." Yoko's hard look continued on for a few seconds before it faded to a softer look, "Look, you worried us sick, and if I know you, you only have anime and video games to go off of. What if you come across an opponent who absorbs magic, or is highly skilled in melee combat?"

Amber grinned in the malicious fashion that only a griffon could properly pull off, "I call front row seats to this. Always wanted to see the boss get their flank handed to them in direct combat."

I sighed as Trixie chimed in, "Trixie thinks you should be worried about calling a front seat, The Great and Powerful Trixie hears the first three rows are something of a splash zone."

I sighed, "Well... Might as well let a few cats out of bags, and-"

"Keeping cats in bags are a horrible idea." Cass cut in earnestly and I continued on.

"Give the rest of you a bit more knowhow, since apparently this is happening." I said, and looked back to Amber, "I'm going to need to be somewhere for a bit, then I'll spend the rest of the night resting up for tomorrow. I have something I'd like to do first."

Yoko and Amber nodded, the later responding with, "Just don't go disappearing on us all day again Boss. Still want to hear about what happened to cause you to be gone this long anyway."

"All will be explained in due time." Mentally I berated myself. Few in the complex had known about the whole puppets thing, though oddly I saw Rainbow Dash was absent among the rest of them. Turning a Camera inward, revealed Rainbow to be sleeping with a tortoise in her bed. Easily visible through an open window in the underground Cloud House. I sighed in relief. "I hope someone will keep Rainbow occupied, since I'd rather not blow all my secrets to a member of the Elements of Harmony just yet though."

"I'll have a few mercs I've recruited keep her busy with tales of Griffonia and some sparring." Amber offered, and I nodded my thanks.

"Thank you Amber, now I can concentrate on the goals ahead for now. I'll be back in a bit."

I went back to the storage area of my bedroom to take a look at my belongings. Turning to concentrate on my GLaDOS puppet, I began to print out a book with a gold case and pages. Filling it rapidly with legends and stories, far from the lengthy novels they originally were, I filled in the few missing gaps, and even converted a few games into stories but after a solid half an hour of work, I was staring at the first proper non-prop item I had made in a decent while.

It was as thick as spike was, and filled with legends of dragons. It started with one that could be considered closest to Spike, in that it started with the legend of a small purple dragon named Spyro, but other dragons were included with their own tales and legends. Dragons such as Saphira from Eragon, Firedrake from Dragonrider, and even the lore of several dragons within an older MMO of my youth, world of warcraft. Including the kind Alexstrasza and her tragic tales and the equally tragic tale of the corruption of Deathwing, the former warden of the earth in that game. Others joined afterwards, providing a myriad of details and even including pictures of each dragon, left unaltered. As for the Title, I left it as 'Dragons of Other Worlds'.

Some entries had some of my own head canons to fill in some missing information that I had forgotten over the years, and I left some a bit more open to interpretation, but the point of the storybook was to give Spike a bit of a birthday present. I might admit that I had a soft spot for the drake. Dragons were cool, and the bullying the universe gave him in the show was plainly unfair. That and I do love that he is a deadpan snarker type as they shine in pointing out how idiotic certain plans are.

Once it was done, I tried to pick it up. I groaned under the weight. Gold is freaking heavy. How do guards patrol wearing full damned suits of it!? I made three puppets carry it instead and sighed in relief before pinpointing the Drakes current location. He was in the library, laying down after having returned all the I'll gotten goods. Twilight had left a window open, and now I knew how to enter. Grinning, I shot a portal from one point to a rooftop nearby, and from there, appeared on the rooftop with my puppets, and shot another one inside.

Spike sat up straight looking around in shock when he heard the pwoosh of a portal opening up. He was more shocked, when I came through it. "Woah, uh-" He was about to shout for Twilight but I cut him off.

"Please calm yourself. I'm not here to cause trouble today, quite the opposite." I said in the most gentlemanly tone I could manage, considering I was talking to a young dragon who could mail me to Celestia at a moments notice.

Thankfully, Spike was very smart. He gave me a quizzical eyebrow raise however, "And what do you mean by that? Are you here to ask for an apology for earlier?"

"No, no. I understand that was..." I paused, and thought a moment, or well pretended to, "Greed Growth, was it? Yes." I said more to myself than to Spike, "But I wanted to celebrate the occasion of your birthday, since everything has calmed down now."

Spike looked suspicious, "Right, and I should take your word that it isn't some crazy scheme to turn me against Twilight, why? You already took Rainbow Dash from us after all. For all I know, you're planning some trick."

I dropped my aloof expression, and gave him a serious one, my tone changing to a deeper respect and authority oriented one that would match more of a wise sage instructing his skilled student, "Spike, there is nothing I value more than those who are willing to learn and listen if given the chance. I take the matter seriously, and thus I appreciate that you learned about how to better conduct yourself today, and thus want to give you an opportunity to learn about something I know you've been dying to know about."

Spikes suspicion gave way to curiosity as well as skeptism at the same time, "And that would be?"

"Dragons." I said, and the three puppets stepped through, golden book in hands, "This is a compiled book of legends of dragons from various places. I hoped to give this to you when the time was right."

Yes, play it off as if I hadn't recently just made this, "This book contains information regarding several dragons of legends from the place I come from. I hope you enjoy it."

The puppets dropped the book with a loud thunk that was enough to shake the nearby bookshelves and startle a certain unicorn downstairs. Already I could hear her hooves approaching. Spike looked at the solid gold book with disbelief, and I grinned at the expression, "Read it or don't, I'll enjoy a good conversation sometime if you do."

I dropped through the portal again with my puppets, it shutting behind us as we left not a moment too soon. Twilight came in, "Spike, what are you doing in her-" Twilights eyes lit up, "Is that a solid gold book?"

"Yeah, that weird puppet dude came by and wanted to wish me a happy birthday of all things, told me I should read it." Spike said, "Though it looks like it'd be a bit heavy to lug around."

I chuckled from my viewpoint, as Twilight was torn between suspicion, curiosity since it was a new book, and well, the sort of zealous instinct only a bibliophile could properly have. Spike, understanding this deftly waived through the situation, "If you want we could read it together, you know so you can check for anything weird he might of done to the book. He said it was about dragons from wherever he came from."

I grinned as they continued to chat, and warped home. As I got ready for bed, I had a small grin, and whispered to myself, "Happy Birthday Spike."

PreviousChapters Next