• 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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All Tied Up

The pain of cooking is to accidentally burn oneself upon the stove. There was just sharp pain, coating the entirety of my body. As though one had landed face first in the hot stove top and rolled around upon it. Waking moments in agony followed by dreamless sleep from either magic or medicine I did not know. Everything hurt and all I could remember was that brief connection. Where a single strand of energy had laced from the moon lit sky, and connected to me. With it, it had felt as if an ocean wave filled to the brim with crushed, dry ice had washed over me like a sneaker wave. Caught off guard, reserves filled far past maximum I had the feeling of being about to burst, like I would of exploded. Then a snap of my fingers and nothing.

It was this bleak darkness that surrounded me for this time. But it didn't seem like much time passed at all, as though a mere blink of the eyes had transferred me from the falling sensation of the ground rushing to meet me, to the hospital bed... Then an overwhelming feeling of tiredness, in combination with the headache of having slept far longer than one should. The pain was dulled, and I could see why. There was an IV in my arm, pushing into me what I supposed was painkillers into my otherwise mummy wrapped body. But I wasn't attached to my body, it was laying there on the bed, sure. But I was set upon the nightstand. Left to face it. Like a common piece of decoration. I couldn't see my own face, it was wrapped up as much as the rest of me.

I noted, with some disconcerting awareness that my usual clothes were gone, replaced with a loose and large nightgown over the heavy bandages and that also meant someone had undressed me as a logical conclusion. I didn't know who and didn't want to know how I had come to end up in the drab teal blue almost sickly green patient garb. But as I tried to move to recover my face, my body didn't move, still sluggish and waking up, I figured it must be whatever medicine they had me on and focused on regaining feeling in my limbs. After a few minutes I was regretting the decision as dull pains, and burns began to make themselves known, still rather numb I tried to move again, and managed to tug on a blanket enough to reveal the reason I couldn't move. Which was a quadruple series of metal and leather locks on the medical bed, keeping each limb stationary and held down, while another fifth and sixth band held down my waist and torso to the bed.

Now I was concerned... Well as concerned as one who felt barely anything could be in this state. Briefly I considered my options. Which were near none until some more of the medicine wore off. During the time between passing out and waking up, it had seemed a decent portion of my magic had recovered, the energy was there but without anything to use it with it was practically useless, unless I felt like trying to learn how to levitate the bed I was on. Wait maybe I didn't have to levitate the bed... If I could concentrate...

I felt a wave of nausea overtake me as I tried to do magic on my own disembodied face. Enough so that I lost concentration, and with similar results occurring repeatedly, I gave up after the tenth try. Perhaps someone would be nice enough to put my face back on my body if I asked politely. The farthest I got was about a quarter inch off the tables surface before falling back down into where I had been laid. Which was okay I guess, perhaps I could do that cliche thing where I pretended to still be unconscious if someone came in the room and told me either their deepest darkest secrets or gave a love confession. That seemed to happen all the damn time in anime and games if someone was hospitalized.

About an hour passed without incident as if just to spite me, and I contemplated trying to go back to sleep without anything to do but wonder and plot my own eventual escape. But my position away from my body disabused me of the notion considering it was still freaky to be able to watch myself wiggle. Was my hair always that messy? I needed to get a haircut soon. I did not have hair cement to try being an anime or JRPG character. It had always been a bit long for a guy, but the time within Equestria had lengthened my chocolate colored hair to just past shoulder length before I knew it. I'd either need to invest in a brush soon or cut it. I briefly wondered if I should also dye it, then wondered if Equestria had magical hair dye in consideration to the alicorn Princesses of day and night. Before I had mostly just kept my hair in a bun behind me while working or let it down for rest or occasionally when I wanted to feel dramatic, but that probably wasn't noticed at all with my hood constantly up.

As I contemplated how Luna and Celestia maintained such extraordinary hair; the noise of hooves on stone became faintly audible. Quickly, I pretended to go back to sleep, falling limp in body like a marionette cut from its strings and letting my approximation of eyes cease to move. Something that had horrified me now that I noted it as a physical reaction was that I had never needed to blink since my face was replaced, I wasn't entirely sure how I was supposed to look when asleep, when I had tried 'shutting my eyes' in view of my puppets, my vision had never faultered from the blue orbs of fire that occupied the masks hollows. And unfortunately I was a bit too paranoid of Amber and my other companions back at base to let myself rest to find out. Yoko was a valid option, but to bother her with such a trifling matter at the time had never crossed my mind. I settled for the famous 'thousand yard stare', focusing on a line where the corner met the ceiling on the opposite side of the room, the straight forward position of how my mask was laid as the door entered and a semi out of focus white with pink mane entered the room.

She was replacing the drips that were in my arms, which signaled she was a medical pony. Boring. Alright, this was going nowhere. I guess I could wait or get some answered, so once she was done and about to leave the room I gave my best snarky opening line I had in a while, "Hello, there! I don't suppose you can put my face back on my body can you?"

The mare for her part jumped visibly and ran out of the room before I could say anything else, but my eyes managed to focus on her cutie mark, a red cross, as she quickly exited and slammed the metal door shut. Well that was fun. It was another hour before another came, and this time it was a white and Blue pony. I turned my gaze to him, "The armored Captain of the Royal Guard, Shining Armor. Is this a pleasure visit or business?"

Shield-butt gave my body a disdained scowl completely ignoring my face, as he walked up to my bedside form, before addressing my body, "You're awake."

"Eyes over here Sir Fluff." I drawled out annoyed, which caught his attention at least.

"Ah so it seems that I am addressing the wrong person then, Puppet." Shining commented as he went to the other side of the bed, picking me up in his hoof, and bringing me to eye level.

"Technically the same, just happens my face is away from the rest of myself. Guess you could say I've lost my breathe at this endeavor," I tried for a pun just to get a reaction but without receiving one, I joked, "Get it? Cause my mouth is not connected to my body at the-"

I was interrupted as he lightly thwacked my face into the side of the stand, leaving me to groan in pain as he held me back up, "You think this is a joke?"

That got a smile out of me, with a dry chuckle at that, "I very much believe this is above your pay grade captain. Why do they call you a captain anyway? Do you command a naval vessel? Shouldn't it be something along the lines of 'Base Commander' or Colonel?"

My good point was answered with a deadpan expression, "It is a term used for military guardsmen of the royal defense. Not the matter at issue here, you have been placed under arrest and strict guard by the Diarchy of Equestria for multiple broken laws within its lands."

"Hah, tell that to heroes as well as villains do you?" My grin was a bit forced, "Though I bet you've made it personal considering the incidents on the train and Museu-" Another face full of table, and this time I bit the damn leg of it. That caught his grip sliding off me for a moment before magic enveloped me and drug me off it. Stupid cheater magic.

"Continued talking can and will be used against you in the monarchs trial. Your right to a lawyer has been approved of by Princess Luna, and you will be able to appoint one by letter. And in case you are thinking about being rescued by your allies..." Shining Armors gaze narrowed, "We've found the location of your base and are currently undergoing the raid of it as we speak."

My heart skipped a beat, forcefully concealing my shock, and thinking it over. How had they found it? My thought skimmed through my mind, circling back through the chain of events that had lead to me being here. It couldn't of been Luna, in my mind I didn't ever see her trying to force herself into my memories. Which meant further back. And I realized that there had been a new exit and entrance made into my base before the battle had started. My eyes hardened into a glare, and Shining Armor's magical grip almost faltered at the pure venom in my voice, "Rainbow Dash."

It made sense, the hole in the mountain made by that 'Android' lady, a beam meant to kill me in its first strike had instead opened a half-person sized hole that could of been climbed out of if desired. She probably saw it as a perfect chance. So much for being loyalty, though I had doubted that allegiance at the start. No doubt when she saw that my base wasn't in the woods but rather at the mountain, she had flown back and done the loyal thing to her nation and friends and made my base of operations public. To think I had just armed her with a sword as well. Well there was a bit of my plans to make Rainbow a witness to tragedy into a different tragedy. There was likely going to be casualties for this, Yoko and her group of space marines would cut a lot of folk down before they could be brought down. Though I hoped they saw the subsequent loss of power as a reason to evacuate. I had no longer any control over the GLaDOS puppet mask I had early on noted, and with the mask there they should be able to escape instead hopefully.

"She came directly to the castle and told the entire day court where your base was. Did you expect her not to?" Shining Armors face was neutral, "You endangered several of her friends, and on your first meeting knocked her unconcious with a shovel." Shining Armor pointed out, and I sighed.

"Yeah, well I was hoping after the disaster with your sister and her friends, that her position would of changed somewhat. After the ill advised idea that was Mare Do Well."

Shining armored Tsked at me, which was mildly surprising. So I asked, "So when are the rest of the element bearers going to get arrested?" Which got me a raised eyebrow.

"Why would I arrest my sister and her friends?"

"Well lets see..." I rolled my eyes, "Do you want individual accounts which will take a while, or the rough approximation? No wait don't answer that I'll begin with your sister," Shining armor went to open his mouth and retort but I interrupted him, "Attempted extinction and mass genocide of an entire species through use of magic. The mass brainwashing and mind rape of the use of the 'Want it Need it spell'. Neglect and mild abuse of a minor, as well as complicit in robbery of gemstones of a tribe of Diamond Dogs with Rarity, among unlawful use of magic and other things. If you give me a sheet of paper and a pen I could write a complete list given a day or two."

Shining armor paused, "You're lying."

"That's the fun thing with people like you Shining Armor. I don't need to. Heroes are just Criminals with a moral high ground." I laughed, and laughed hard, "You lot are blind to the crimes as long as the villain or monster of the week is brought down in the end. They could demolish a barn with a Rainboom without a permit and no one would care because they are 'heroes'. The alternative is the Villain wins."

"They are heroes of Equestria, having beat both Nightmare Moon and Discord, the spirit of chaos, even if they commit minor crimes, its for the greater good of all of Equestria..." Shining armor started to say before he realized where I was going with this.

I felt particularly smug when his white face mildly cracked in horror, and continued on, "And you now realize it, don't you? That no matter how you answer you lose. Ignore me and crimes go unpunished, revealing what sort of government is at this core. Prosecute them, and you sentence your sister to jail time as well as me. Because letting someone go on from minor crimes based on benefit means a dangerous precedent." My smile cracked, edges of my mouth turning into a particularly demonic grin, "And I'm willing to bet with two major threats as well out of the way, as well as having Aided in the return of a certain so and so, and the other net benefits of my existence, that if leeway is given to the Elements of Harmony, for what rules they have broken. Some will be forced to apply to me as well."

"You're a monster. You'll never get away with this." Shining armor murmured, placing my mask down on the table face down, probably just to annoy me, "I'll make sure of it."

I rolled my eyes, as he left. The boy was painfully predictable. And I did mean boy instead of man. His maturity was flawed and he was doomed to being tricked by Chrysalis soon anyway. Vaguely I wondered when my next visitor appeared, and hoped to gain some better amusement from them while I was confined to this bed. Pondering about the fate of my friends, and hoping against some odds that they would get away to safety. A lingering sense of dread in my heart.

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