• 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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Knot Enough Time For This

It was the rough estimate that the time was around dusk when the two alicorns and their old mentor Starswirl the Beard-on-fire master of magic arrived to my little medical dungeon that was a room. Shining armor had sure left in a huff, and it had annoyed me to no end that my face had been face down on the table for three hours before another medical pony had put it back upright. I gave the other medical mare a short thanks before she hurried off. Not nearly as panicked by my words as the first one had been, but then again I was apparently a villain of some renown here. So understandable at the least. The presumed morphine coursing through my system had nearly knocked me out again, but after the first few hours it calmed down again to let me regain some clarity of mind by the time they arrived.

First through the door was whom I suspected was most anxious if anypony were to be so in this castle. Luna had the look of someone who had just recently risen from bed, having tied their flowing mane into an approximation of a pony tail given that they were ponies and that the hair was waving in invisible winds unknown to man and most ponies at least. I really wanted to blurt out the question about how the heck her mane worked but kept that urge under control as the rest of them filed in. Celestia was looking a little tired, but well kept. From a distance I imagined she'd look like she always did, but makeup could only cover so much I noted. She would probably be going to sleep soon after this meeting. Starswirl for his part was... hard to read as he entered. The flaming beard and mane that made up his face making him difficult to look at directly for facial expressions. I imagine he had reason to like me after having saved his life from being a mildly popular bird-stand of a statue. After having so many discussions with Luna in the past I was banking on her being the merciful side of this conversation, but I was still wary. Betrayal by Rainbow Dash had been a small eye opener, and I was wary of repeats now.

I gave a brief noise of muffled greetings before I was picked up with magic, and began with again with a, "Thank you for picking me up, can I please be put back onto my body?"

"Why so you can try to escape?" Celestia calmly remarked, and I noted it was she who was holding my mask and not Luna or Star-swirl.

"Because it is rather awkward to talk to someone who is holding my face in a non-lover relationship, as well as disconcerting to be away from it for hours on end after having a table pressed to my face for several hours." I snipped back at the positively serene Sunny ruler that was Celestia.

Celestia and Starswirl exchanged glances, before obliging, giving me a moment to sigh in relief as the mask sank back onto my face, well whatever wasn't bandaged anyway.

"So we do have some questions that need answering from you before we proceed." Star Swirl was the first to speak up after the sigh, but it wasn't him who asked the question.

"Just who and what was that creature we fought?" Celestia finished, her gaze was studious now, I noted between the false pretense of motherly-ness. It was a subtle shift, a slight sharpening and focusing of the eyes. Almost like a buyer checking the quality of their Commission, only for a different intent.

"I have no idea, but I imagine they won't be bothering you again before you start the process of interrogation." I remarked dryly. It was the truth in a way, while the fellow displaced was something I knew about, I had not the foggiest knowledge of just what that was. If anything she had looked like a bad fanfiction being played by a complete psychopath.

"But you have some ideas who they are regardless?" Celestia queried, and I narrowed my eyes slightly irked.

"In fiction and theory, yes. But what I have is a mere bit of fantasy in term of knowledge. It bears similarity to a bit of children entertainment back home. Positively barbaric and no longer relevant now that she is gone." Diverting topic I added in, "I'm more curious to why the three of you have come here and just what you will ascertain is my fate to become?"

In the slight pause as they thought over their next words I chimed in looking between the three present, Starting with Luna, and slowly working my way between the two as their fates mixed, "Banishment to a place of certain death for a mere mortal? Being turned to stone? Mind control and reprogramming to an acceptable member of society in a method suitable to evil overlords?"

"That is for us to decide," Celestia remarked calmly, her gaze was scrutinizing now, as if she was trying to read my mind.

"Ah, yes. I do wonder if you heard from your Captain yet." My remark was finished with a slightly widening but positively icy grin, Cheshire like was what I was going for, but if it had an effect it was in vain to the cold mask of Celestia and Star swirl I couldn't tell. Luna was looking more curious between the rest of us, while Starswirl was slowly shifting his gaze between the exchanges, flaming mane and beard roiling with the slight noises of a campfire crackling.

"You mean your comparisons to the Twilight and her friends to your crime spree throughout Equestria? Where you stole artifacts from a museum, physically assaulted several guards in resisting arrest, attempted kidnapping of a royal, alongside other various misdemeanors and crimes against its people?"

"Oh lets not compare notes just yet Celestia, You should know better than to make me bring up the particularly bright spot that is your Pupil or the violations to the Magical Sanctions she has committed in this land of yours."

The Magical Sanctions had been brought up by Trixie when I had asked her laws in regards to Magic and the governments laws and restrictions on them. As it was, it was a rather well written legal document on magic and its practices that was signed internationally as a part of an agreement in order to prevent nations with or without magic from completely ruining each other with mass devastation or cruel and unusual use. It was meant to prevent occurrences of things such as Necromancy, and Diabolism apparently from wrecking havoc upon the world but it also covered such various acts of magic such as unwilling use upon another civilians. It also covered inhumane uses of certain spells such as memory and mind alteration outside of an approved government sanction or for approved therapy. Many such spells that could be dangerous or lethal to another individual were included in here, from Age Alteration, transmutation, to such simple things like shooting someone with a raw blast of magical energy. Interestingly enough, Celestia had been one of the causes for this, having caused a Drought which turned Ancient Neighgypt, a parody of Egypt, into a desert by bringing the sun closer and holding it there during a war to force surrender around 800 years ago. Officially the document was labeled the 'Magic Morales Sanctions Contract' or the MMSC for short. Such violations were likely to be handled by an international court if it affected more than one nation, in order to learn of the cause, the effect, and what appropriate punishment to decide upon in regards to the offender.

Funnily enough, in the form of the Elements of Harmony alone, they violated at least half a dozen different sanctions by itself, let alone Twilights little magical attempts to fix things at various points. I imagine had she stayed in Canterlot rather than go to a remote village isolated from the rest of the nation, she would have been arrested for even half of what she managed to do in the small period of a year alone should it of been reported. Clicking it together, this also explained the severe lack of guards or police force in Ponyville, which made me rise my eyebrow as I realized a bit of the reasoning behind it, "Oh, I see why you sent her to that small remote village now. Tricky, tricky." I compliment the last two words with three taps of my fingers on the bed.

She had very slightly flinched about halfway between my two sentences, meaning she actually was reading my mind somehow, that or she came to the same conclusion that I had. That cold falsely mother like look actually faded a tiniest sliver of a bit to what I could recognized as calculated anger, one of the most dangerous forms of it. Like a cheated ex-girlfriend who wanted revenge on an unfaithful lover, her own tone matched, calm and slightly caring in the false pretense sort of way, "And just why are you hung up on laws, oh agent of Chaos?" her tone implied a sense of 'be careful what you say'-ness to her that I found completely unwarranted.

"Simply put, oh lady of Order." I snarked back at her attempts to passive aggressively threaten me, "One needs rules to prove a point. Though I never imagined one such as you to be acting so..." I paused for a good moment before choosing my next words, "Rash. In comparison to the very laws your land is meant to uphold. But I supposed laws can be bent and ignored altogether if it happens to be broken by someone who either saves the day or is the rulers apprentice in the arcane after all." I spoke the words in the same sense of sick justification one could match to a member of nobility down trodding a lower class family into the ground in the name of profit. If she was reading my mind, she would be getting a sense to just how many villains had used that argument. Of choosing 'The ends justify the means'. Hell several of my villains that I had made the masks for did just that.

"Hmm, we will have to see about assigning a just punishment for all offending parties then." Star swirl interrupted, breaking the tension with his elderly guffaw of presumably thoughtful thinking, "In this case, a lot of heroes could be tried for the same crimes then, no? Does the intent disprove the violation, or does the intent fly out the window in the regards to completing a crime?"

"We would think it would be similar to Self Defense," Luna commented, "A crime of violence being placed on another in order not to have a crime done to themselves, no?"

"A debate for another time." Celestia broke the conversation before it could spiral out of control, "We are not here to judge yet today, but to simply check on our criminal prisoner. Though to be certain, you won't be lonely for long. Puppet Master."

"You mean your raid upon my base of operations?" I gave her a dour glare, "Harm any one of them and the price will be repaid ten fold."

Star swirl actually had the gall to chuckle, "That is awfully big words for someone who is hospitalized with at least half the bones in their body currently on the mend."

"Your base is completely surrounded, with an entire regiment searching the mountains high and low for an escape passage. Shining Armor is personally leading the charge with Twilight and her friends in tow as well."

"Bringing civilians into a military operation, really Celestia?" I gave the dry snark back at her.

Her gaze was almost venomous, and I felt kinda proud that I had gotten that sort of look out of her. Mildly terrified, mind you that she could call upon the entire wrath of the sun upon me, but proud, "We should have a report any moment now, so please, do keep up that bravado." she turned away, momentarily looking to Luna, "Sister, please make sure he ends up in the dungeon proper by the end of your shift, I have no more time to spare before the Day Court begins."

Luna gave a somber nod, her own gaze mildly confused but calculating. Star swirl bid his goodbye as well after patting me on the head for some reason like an irresponsible foal who managed to do something both impressive but highly irresponsible, but left without a word as well. Leaving me with Luna. Once the door was shut, I let out a breathe I didn't know I was holding which turned into a sigh of relief.

"You really ought to manage your tongue." Luna cheekily commented, her eyebrow raised at me.

"Yeah, yeah. Just doing the classic villain thing and digging under her skin." I let go of the pretense of villainous flair, she had already seen my dreams a fair few times and I knew better than to try and hide that much from her at this point.

"So making mine sister furious is your master plan then?" Luna chirped, now that Celestia and Star swirl was gone, she took up a chair I couldn't previously see, and sat on it, leaning her self upon the bed like one would a desk of a study.

"No, it is to make her think," I would of tapped the side of my head if my arms weren't tied down, "Double standards are one of the few things I can't stand at all. Especially when it comes to classifying people as heroes or villains."

"Oh? I don't think you read enough layers into her as I have then." Luna smiled a bit softly, as if a joke was forming, "She has been very frantic as of late managing the safety of Equestria, and it seems you pulled on just the wrong cord for a large number of reasons."

"I will handle that when it comes down to it," I dismissed the topic, not wanting to dwell on such a serious topic further while heavily injured and numb off pain medicines meant for another species, it was a miracle I could form coherent thoughts considering most of my body felt like it was full of loose sand beneath the skin at the moment, "In any case I do need to thank you."

"Oh, what for?" Luna remarked, her grin implied she already knew what for, but wanted to hear me say it anyway.

I rolled my eyes at her little bit of wit but continued on with it anyway like she wasn't being cheeky, "For helping out back there with... This." I eyed the rest of my body, "Had things gone on longer, or you've not shown up, I'd be dead at the moment, so thought I'd give credit where its due to the one actually willing to work with me and as a result save me from that psychopath."

Lunas smile went from mischievous to gentle, "Well you're welcome then, though I do have much to ask of you for tonight. We can continue this discussion once we get you settled in. Celestia does want you in the dungeon after all, and it is not like you're going anywhere else in a while."

"Ah, yes indeed..." I paused as Luna began lifting me, and all the medical equipment attached to me with her magic, and as she began taking me out of the room, I asked quietly, "Luna?"

She hummed a pause, before answering, "Yes?"

"Would you mind giving me an update when it arrives if anything has happened to my..." I paused to think of the correct word, considering the variations of acquaintances to close friends and colleagues in my home, as well as my boss/minion relation to Amber, "Friends? I am rather worried when it comes to armed conflicts and them."

"Only if you don't mind becoming a conversation partner once and a while." Luna remarked back, as we walked and floated down a windowless stone hallway.

"Deal." I replied, without hesitation.

"Deal it is." Luna confirmed, and I let out a much louder sigh of relief.

Well I might be a prisoner, but at least there was someone who could be counted as a friend in here. I just hoped that everyone working for me stayed safe and sound. My mind already going into overwork in trying to predict the results or what my long held bestie would do given me being taken out of action. Quietly, we descended the depths of Canterlot Castle to the dungeon.

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