• Published 1st Apr 2014
  • 14,117 Views, 1,418 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.

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A Midnight Treat Mint

The first sign of something wrong was going on, in Luna's opinion, was when a beam of unknown energy had collided with her sisters cloud cake. Turning it not to ash, but into a slab of raw steak. The response, as her sister had unknowingly lifted the fork full of the fluffy, sugary, and almost air light delight towards her mouth; eyes shut in anticipation of the joyous sensation, and then being treated to a mouthful of what could only be assumed was some kind of steak, was both hilarious and worrying at the same time. Neither sister was unfamiliar with the taste of meat, as it was only polite with the carnivorous neighbors they shared with the Griffons, alongside the occasional other delegates from further away countries that would on occasion, come to visit. Luna could also still remember the odd taste of gemstone as well, specially augmented just so that they could eat alongside a dragon delegate back before her banishment. Celestia's reaction had been priceless to the point where Luna wish she could copy it down and watch it repeatedly at her leisure, or show it to others.

Upon discovering the taste, to her amusement, her sister didn't freak out. Rather she slowly opened her eyes, let go of the steak to examine it in front of her eyes. Then said in the most disapointed and ashamed of someone else kind of way that would send children shivering from a mothers cold glare, "Who took my cake?"

"Not took, dear sister. Transformed."

Luna stifled a giggle as Celestia's death glare went from the cake to her, and then Tia responded back, in equal tranquil fury, "Who, transfigured my cake?"

"I believe the beam of energy came from somewhere that way." Luna gestured with her hoof then, and off her sister had went.

Luna continued to laugh to herself for that moment, but as she raised her doughnut to dunk it into her morning coffee, it was struck by a second beam. Resulting in perfectly ruined coffee filled with meat.

"Why me too?" Luna lamented, tossing both over to the nearby guard, "Get us fresh snacks, We'll be back soon enough." Luna had then took off, following after her sister to capture this horrible monster that was the bane of confectionery delights.

A few minutes into the flight, she had caught up to her sister, "Spot them?"

"No... but..." Celestias eyes were sharp however, like the eyes of an eagle... or if Luna was to compare it, the eyes of a very annoyed swan. Not that she'd ever admit to that in presence of her sister, "There seems to be... something odd near the edge of the Everfree Forest..."

Luna scanned with her own senses, a faint distant surge of energy was indeed present. Two beings of considerable strength were fighting each other. One desperate and startled, the other... Hungry? "Perhaps the source of our interrupted meal?" Luna asked, as her sister banked towards the surge. Luna adjusted accordingly, flying just behind her. At this elevation, fighting the wind was hardly the issue, but rather going with it would provide much needed acceleration to their course. They skimmed between the start of the mountain and the edge of the forest, cutting a path across as little of the unnatural place as possible without being detoured too far.

Distantly, they could spot the pyrotechnics of several beings locked into battle. Too far to make out most details, but as they approached they could plainly see that the battle was many against one, but the powers being hurled about was coming from just two people. "It seems the Puppet Master is fighting someone..." her sister commented, taking a gauge of the situation as they approached.

"Another figure from Equestria's rather complicated history?" Luna asked, her own eyes still adjusting to compensate for the distance. Her sisters powers of observation was usually far more adept than her own, and in combination with her absence, she wondered what other villains had survived the long thousand year period. Starswirl, their mentor did after all. Who else could of defied death from the ages of time?

"No, not one I recognize, at least." Celestia hummed, as the fight below continued in the distance. Puppets of all sizes and sorts were rising and falling just as quickly as they were being made it seemed. That, and one was getting pummeled quite relentlessly. Another minute of flight and Luna recognized that it was indeed Xander, the Puppet Master who was being flung about while his creations tried to hold off his crazed attacker.

"He's panicking," Celestia commented, "Lets see if we can get them both down by surprise. It would be convenient if both of them wore each other out enough to capture them without resorting to more violence."

"I think the pink one is trying to eat him..." Luna muttered, disgusted by the barbaric tactics the pink almost lizard like form was taking. Puppets were falling one after another, and now the larger ones were being maimed, crippled, and destroyed. While she was taking blows in return, it seemed no matter what the Puppet Master tried to do, she would just regenerate and continue beating his defenses down. With each puppet impaled, the balance of energy would shift a little more into her favor.

"Shouldn't we help him at this point?" Luna asked.

"He doesn't seem done yet..." Celestia murmured, her voice almost lost among the wind.

Luna squinted, seeing the talied injuries, "His arm's dislocated."

"He'll be fine. He broke it once and came back fine, didn't he?"

"His shields cracked, bleeding from multiple points, and a moderate concussion from the looks of the faltering concentration he's keeping on his energy...."

"Okay, now we should help." Celestia agreed, "Last thing we need is an accidental magic surge to level the area."

"It's a plains sister, its already mostly level."

"You know what I mean Luna." They were about to move to assist, when they felt that familiar energy erupt around the battlefield. The Puppet Master's trump card had arrived and neither Luna or Celestia wanted to fight through it,slowing their descent, they were now along the edges of the battlefield, and it seemed the balance of power was now flowing the other direction. Where it was once trickling into the pink, lizard-like girl. Now it was flooding backwards into the Puppet Master again.

"It seems he has it handled." Celestia commented. But their attention came again, when they felt the power surge from the edge of the distorted bubble.

A detached arm, pointing at the Puppet Master's back, a pink point of energy that was about to fire, "Watch out!" Luna shouted, but she knew it was too late. It pierced through the bubble like an arrow through warm butter, distorting it and slowing down fast. But not fast enough, it impacted in slow motion right in the back of his neck. The look of shock, unfocused on them, and rather towards the arm was a look Luna wanted to forget.

It was a look of cold fear, blue flaming eyes mere pin pricks in the mask, mouth agape in a jagged gasp. The flickering lights behind the pink woman going out as the puppet shut down. Mask falling to the ground alongside the marionette tool and cracked shield that Xander had been carrying. The bubble popped as no more magic supplied it, and in an act of rash determination...

Luna rushed in.

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To the Confectioner

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He had been a piece of work alright. But boy did he look worth it. Never did she dream of such a wonderful looking desert. He had turned into a slice of cake complete with a candy plate and fork. To be precise, she recognized the form of an ice-cream cake, from the color the lower layer was chocolate chip mint, with a red velvet center. The frosting was an icy blue with yellow spangled stars as sprinkles and a single dollop of cool-whip in the center of the cake that had but a single strawberry resting on it. It was positively drool worthy just in appearance alone to her mind. And as the time bubble began to pop, she took advantage of it to eat it all in one go. Mouth stretching unnaturally large so that she could fit the entire thing in on one go and with her unnatural strength, chewed all of it. The feeling of heaven was hers again.

"Oh ma gawd." she mumbled before swallowing, "Definitely an eighty! So good!" She squeed a little, but as she was celebrating with a little jig, a laser beam hit her in the groin, "Oh, not so good! Ow..." As she began to fall over, missing a good portion of both legs and her pelvis in general, "Ow, ow... that's hot and not in the good way!"

"Luna! Restrain yourself!" the familiar jingle rang.

"Gasp." she spoke the word, "A second course of the princesses so soon? Yay. I was still a bit peckish!" She jumped up and down, like a little girl receiving a new toy as the rest of her body regenerated, before pausing, "Wait... I'm always hungry... So I guess its a good thing anyway. Now, who wants to be my next Treat?"

Celestia's face contorted with disgust, "Okay... Disregard what I just said... Go wild."

Their horns lighted as they began to circle around, how cute. Almost like they were going to flank her. Lets see how they handled a bit of this. When they had begun to face each other again, the pink form of android 21 seemingly vanished without taking a step, only appearing mid air right before bringing her foot down upon the horn of Lunas head. Or at least that had been the plan, hadn't a yellow beam of magic intercepted within the span of a nano-second.

Interesting enough, though, Celestia and Luna both recoiled in surprise, as a spread of beams fired off from their horns directly at Android 21. Who dodged by them in the same manner she had enacted her sneak attack. But the lasers followed. Blasting pieces away entirely without chunks or even a ripple in the flesh. Where the beams hit, flesh seemingly sucked in and disintegrated. No doubt, to stop the same dislocated arm trick from earlier. What puzzled her, however, was that they had reacted with surprise while blasting bits off her at the same time. Was it automated defenses? Interesting.

Their reactions were tested, now was the time to test the defenses. She readied up a beam salvo firing wide and in scatters of rapid fire action. Forcing the princesses to dodge a veritable forest of ringing beams simultaneously. Which they did with the graces of a dancer in the air. Their attempts to dodge made her giggle. No it made her laugh uncontrollably. Adding an element of dementia to the air as she fired off another scattering, and then while the beams were in motion teleported to the side to turn a scattering forest of beams into a true laser based bullet hell. Given little other choice, the princesses pooled their power into a shield, reflecting the beams around them like a mirror while the others flew off into the distance around them.

They were not just staying on the defensive, however. as she observed her own handiwork, Luna vanished from the bubble, and gave her a bit of her own treatment. Only instead of a hoofed leg coming down upon her head, a lance of dark blue energy spearing her from head to toe. Luckily the power of regeneration was hers. The battle raged on.

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In... the Confectioner?

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Darkness... Wetness... The feeling of being surrounded on all sides by used old gum was disgusting... Everything was hazy and the air tasted like rotten sugar. It all felt overwhelmingly oppressive in atmosphere. Like it would be better to just sleep, and let it all fade away. What was I doing? Denying myself a good sleep? No, that wasn't it... Was it?

Where was I? Where was I going? What was going on? My limbs wouldn't move, no they couldn't move... Trying to drag my eyes open was like trying to lift two 60 pound bags of concrete at once. Difficult, and nearly impossible for a shrimp like me. Thing was though, it was just nearly impossible. Which means I could do it, but why should I?

"Xander!"

That voice, it sounded familiar... Like someone I knew. The effort was there now. To figure the simple question out. Curiosity, once damning now being useful as a motivating force. Something was sapping at me. Almost like it was drinking me up of all my energy. Well now it was the time to change that, I began to struggle. To turn the vacuum against itself. Xander was my name, and I was... inside the beast?

I was still contained, arms and legs locked in a pink embrace of gummy-like flesh. Most of my lowerbody too. As my eyes finally opened, I could see that I had also lost my marionette tool somewhere. Alongside my deck of cards, and most of my other tools. The only tools I had still, were ones that were clothing in appearance. Which left, well, two. The worn out Rosarius symbol, and the pair of gloves upon my hands, which was the only thing stopping me from freaking out over the feeling of a near whole body encasement of old gum. It was a disgusting just looking at old gum that people would press into the bottom of the desk surfaces, let alone accidentally touching one of those. Which made the comparison infinitely worse. It was this feeling of disgust that finally got my mind kicking into gear.

I was barely able to move my head, to examine my surroundings. More pink wet gum, shaped like a long cave. There was an upwards, and a downwards direction to exit from. If I could get out of these bonds. Where did I hear that voice? There was no one in sight. More questions without answers. But it was time to figure out a solution. I couldn't snap my fingers to release an explosion, but even if I could what would it solve? Blasting my own arm off was hardly productive in this state. That meant I needed to try and draw upon a different solution. With the Rosarius busted, I couldn't rely upon it either. But maybe I could figure something else out.

First to get rid of this infernal draining. I concentrated as if to control a puppet, or a hundred on myself. Multitasking had become easy, as I narrowed down the tiny lashes that were sapping away at my ability to resist surrounding me. Next, I responded in turn, a lash for every lash, capturing and wrapping around each nugget of energy that was expended to try and take what I had collected back. The response was to double the number of lashes. So I took the next logical step.

I hundred folded it.

Like ash, the gum around my body collapsed into dust, leaving me plunging onto the floor and landing face first.

"Ow..." I muttered to myself, "Alright, so free of the cell... Now how to escape the prison...?"

Well, if this was like Majin Buu... That meant... Searching for a pod to rip down... Right?

Better idea than searching though came to mind... I began to drain energy from the floor.

"Time for one hell of a stomach ache." I muttered, as I began to up the drainage, taking in as much as I could.

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Outside

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Android 21 clutched her stomach after the latest in a series of regeneration, "Why won't you sit still and let me eat you already!?"

Luna responded with her own form of answer, a hammer blow of her hind hooves impacting on Android 21's face, "Give." A blast through the sternum, disconnecting her from her legs, "Him." Finally following up with a choking grip from behind as momentum carried Android 21 into the ground, ripping her head from the rest of her body, "Back!" Tossing the head to Celestia who blasted it like target practice.

Her body just shrugged, and got up as it regenerated, "Ow. Okay, Three answers to that."

She placed herself with Luna interposed between herself and Celestia before kicking the former into the later, "No." her statement was added with a second kick as she rocketed into the two sisters, "Way." A third kick from behind into Celestias back sent the duo from rocketing towards the Everfree into rocketing into the ground this time, "In hell!" As the dust settled, she asked, "Done now?"

The dust wasn't even halfway done when the next spell was launched. Now she felt heavy, heavier than she had any right to be. Looking up, she spotted the source. "Hey, was the moon supposed to be that clos-" A blue and black shell of energy formed around her and she recognized the arcane symbols. "Oh Fu-"

Gravity magnified a thousand fold, crushing the ground she stood on, as well as herself into the ground. Just caught mid run, the radius doubled past what she had expected, and the glare of a mare who was absolutely vivid was in her line of sight.

She groaned under the crushing weight, dirt becoming a circular trench hard as diamond at this point, as the weight crushed down on her, "I thought you were supposed to be weaker than himmm." she complained.

Luna's response was to narrow her eyes and increase the degree of gravity further, apparently not satisfied with a pink pancake. "Luckily for us then, I draw more than status from our moon." Luna added coldly a few seconds later.

"Well... Good thing-" Android 21 tried to respond, but was having difficulty working her jaw in these circumstances, she gave up and just resorted to some of the shot off limbs lying around. A trifecta of pink beams, which forced Luna to dodge, defensive wards already used from earlier laser shenanigans. Celestia caught them, however, and disintegrated the limbs in what could only be described as a solar flame brought forth. Air burning away in a blinding show of light and heat. Leaving even the most powerful oven dwarfed like an significant speck.

Android 21 did the one thing no one expected in that circumstance. She dodged.

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Inside, again... How many of these are we going to have?

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I'd have one shot at this, unless I'd want to do this the hard way anyway. But I'd need to be quick about this, no telling how far these tunnels would run in either direction. Dragonball had been nothing but time delays after time delays afterall. It wasn't until other series that they stopped running half of the previous episode and what would end up being half the next episode after all. I wouldn't be surprised if there was miles of gum-road down here. However, my target wasn't what was in the road.

Sparks began to flicker as I tested my gloves. Alright, now for step two. I focused as much energy as I could, all the energy gathered from both the crazy psychopath who ate me and what my body had left within itself, leaving just enough to move as I snapped my fingers. A spark turning into an ember, from an ember a flame, and from a flame into an explosion. Followed by another larger explosion, which began to chain in both directions.

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Stop.

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"For a pink lizard-girl-thing. She certainly knows how to dodge as well as she shoots." Luna commented between blasts, the flow of this combat was less than predictable, but it was like she wasn't even trying anymore with the shots.

Celestia had to agree, but she was busy with her own problems. flaming lance might of been a good weapon if it could connect, but as she traded between different sizes and types it seemed that this particular menace was rather deadset on seeing what their limits were rather than ending the fight any time soon. If she liked beam spam so much, how about another trick?

Luna concentrated, to her the ranks of spells were as familiar as the back of her own hoof. In order to cast a spell, one had to imbue it with processes and magical formula. The most basic spell was to make the horn glow, which was the base component to most spells, a foundation of which to activate another spell formula upon it. That was the 0th level. Wheras Telekinesis was considered a second level spell for basic applications. One needed to form the foundation, lift, and hold and object. Two processes, one in the lift, and the other in holding.

In many ways, a unicorn and alicorn shared the limit to how many processes they could use at once, equal to their concentration and amount of energy they pumped into the spell. In this way, though, a spell like teleportation could be performed in many ways depending on how wasteful and masterful of the processes a unicorn was feeling like. One could fold the space between their current location and their destination, or deconstruct and reconstruct themselves to another location. Discord could rewrite reality to say he was somewhere he hadn't been, but then came the laws of magic that prevented such things from shattering the universe.

This was all taken in account, as Luna's horn took a second glow, a foundation reinforced with a second layer. As more and more processes were nesscary, it was also required to take a larger base to support it. One glow could handle spells up to forty processes long. a second glare could handle a string of processes 200 long. "If you enjoy the spam so much, meet my trump card."

Night eclipsed day entirely for just a moment, as Android 21 looked on puzzled for a moment, before shrugging and raising a finger to fire another beam at the preoccupied alicorn... She looked down when the beam didn't fire. Her finger was gone, in its place was a white arrow on the ground with the finger pinned there.Its head like that of a twinkling star. Then she looked up, as a giant swarm of individual points seemed to be moving. Rather rapidly at that.

"This is not fun anymore." she deadpanned, and warped out of the way figuring that was that. Then five more points impacted into her back. Burning away like self contained fires in her back, "What?"

The stars instead of impacting the ground took a sharp swerve to follow her, some scrapping out along the ground, the rest flying like a swarm of angry bees shaped like arrows. Android 21 took the next logical step and put Celestia between herself and the arrows. That didn't work, as the arrows diverted around the white alicorn racing by while missing nearly by a hairsbreadth. Celestia for her part, looked taken aback by her sisters tactics, but refused to comment but instead join the party with a spell of her own, it'd take a while to charge though.

Android 21 was not having fun, these pests were starting to be more annoying than they were worth. Why couldn't they just give up already and become a yummy treat? She was about to foil this so called 'trump card' with a shotgun blast of energy, since they weren't going to give up when something made her trip. Well a lot of somethings, and not arrows this time. Rather, explosions in her gut. What was Celestia capable of causing people to spontaneously burst into flame now or something? No that wasn't it. She looked with shock as something emerged from her exposed stomach this time, and tried to reach for it. Only to be interrupted by several hundred magical arrows impaling her in the instant she had tripped over herself.

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Why won't you stop? Alright, we're back to the Puppet Master this time, I swear to chaos though, if there is another perspective shift in this chapter, I quit.

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The explosions came at the cost of intense heat, but during the instant I watched as the gum like guts flew, I saw my exit, and raced towards it. Propelling myself upward and outward as the way out presented itself. However, I had over estimated my success. As the hole began to close again, Mere seconds before I could reach it, it would be shut again. So I took a deep breathe in as it was shutting itself, grabbed my face...

And threw the only mask I had left.

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