• 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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Strand of Thought

It took half an hour before somepony in the guard actually bothered to check the dungeon itself for me, when Shining had called a search of all the castle and the nearby Roadways for my 'escape'. It had then taken dumping him and his retinue of guards into the pond located in the castle garden to calm him down enough to realize that if I had wanted to escape, I would of already. Though in the end of the night as I was getting comfortable, he had decided to erect a shield against me around me to keep me contained. To which I had to comment that it was too little too late. For in a way, I had already sent around a dozen puppets going every which way out of Canterlot.

Eventually one of them were going to reach the city, and among all the others acting as decoys should they be followed, it would be a fairly difficult mission on foot to track which doll was going where if any of them realized it. When it came to rest, I found I could also maintain the puppets motor functions somewhat automatically, or at least keep them from disappearing at further distances. While I had maintained an Aperture portal at great distances before, it seemed I had drained enough magic to maintain that distance in puppets now near effortlessly for the dozen that was out. I imagined I'd still have great difficulty with more than that if it was cross country, and even leaving the city into the distant countryside I could feel a slight delay between what I received, and what was being inputted as they left my more immediate control range.

I was out of the loop, but given the lack of smug coming from the captain of the guard, it was a given that something had happened to prevent my friends capture. One such puppet found itself wandering the way back through the various roadways and forests towards the mountain I had called home for several months. Just in the event that they had been repelled, or if the worst had occurred. The direct most path would be swarming with guards soon, so I had sent the puppet on a roundabout path to the mountain, deciding that if I were to get there, I might as well use the entrance at the foot of the mountain, instead of using an entrance near where Rainbow Dash had escaped. The lack of information I had was only given comfort by the fact that Yoko had summoned me elsewhere, meaning she was at the least, safe.

I dozed off for the night, puppets in the far distance moving to hide themselves, and my gear hidden away in cards once more. I decided to try something that would likely piss off any of Shining Armors guards and carded myself and the bed I was in, leaving in the place of it one large playing card with me comfortably in it. Being in the card was like being in stasis, almost. I was aware of my surroundings, one side, lit by moonlight and the natural ambience of the room like a giant window from the surface of the pool, and the rest an inky void, confining yet comfortable. I gave one last grin as I snuggled in, sleep slowly overtaking me as the outside world had been muted by choice.

When I found myself aware of the dream, it was a scene somewhat new for me. I wasn't in the car, driving away with boundless imagination, or the library of stories with the piano and acting castle... Instead I found myself laying in a massive grass field of a rolling hills, as fictional aircraft slowly glided by without a care in the world. Distantly I could see a kid standing atop the base of what seemed to be a brick tower, and as I noticed he began to blow into a trumpet. As the pleasant tune came, a distant golem began to descend from a flying castle in the sky, and I marveled the theme, as the sound of rustling grass not caught by wind unseen, but rather a body moving to it caught my attention.

Sitting up, I found myself suddenly realizing that no, the kid was not atop the base of a tower, but rather near the top of an uncompleted one, as the field ended to a cliff top... It was overlooking a peaceful quiet town below, but midway through it transitioned to a completely different city in somehow a both natural yet somehow unnatural way that I couldn't put my tongue on. The first half was a mining town turning towards that of windmills and blimps as I caught myself paused on the view. The reminder was uncanny as if I had remembered a scene I hadn't seen in years. Tilting my head, I ripped my eyes from the scene, as I met eyes with the Princess of the Night. Luna for her part dressed in seemingly a white summer dress, with a wide brimmed hat that matched the outfit, a large stitched flower decorating it in an odd way that was somehow endearing. The details of the flower kept shifting, as if trying to find the perfect match to the dream it was in, and failing. A moment of tranquility drained to reality as I stared upon the detail.

After a few moments it settled down on an odd combination of different tropical flower details, and my attention returned to Luna proper as she was looking not at me but the scene past me, towards the boy who had stopped playing once a familiar golem had come down to pick him up, and off they had flown. Distantly the music had switched, as a young girl flew past, upon a broomstick with an odd pair of black cats. A package of some sort hanging from it as she went about her way, stopping at a house to deliver a package, and fly back the way she came.

"What is this place?" Luna asked, as the distant sea breeze somehow carried across town, to our faces as if it was just right in front of us.

"Hmm... I'd say a mixture of two other stories tonight." I pondered, as a blimp, large and marvelous momentarily cast its shadow upon us, a slight chill interrupting the summers day, but when it left it had become night, without either of us noticing at first.

"Things seem to be changing quite a lot," Luna commented, as she sat down beside me, "Though I imagine you already know why I'm here?"

"Hmm... Could be a variety of reasons." I replied, the city itself was alight, and now changing, as we found ourselves slowly descending, as though the cliff we were on was slowly ceasing to exist, and rather transition towards being the border of the town itself. My dream wandering guest paused at the shifting landscape, the marvelous view of the ocean had been interrupted after all, and as details changed, I asked, "Want to walk and talk?"

"Hmm... Yes. To the beach?" Luna asked, the path itself clearing the way around the borders of the field, and I nodded, "By way of the grassy fields." I replied as I stood up, noticing I myself had been wearing casual clothes for summer, plain tan shorts, and a casual long sleeve shirt of green and blue stripes. I didn't really notice the details of my feet, but I was wearing some sort of sneakers as we began to walk. Gradually the fields of grass turning to flowers, both real and fictional as we walked on in companionable silence for a short while.

Luna was the first to break the companionable silence as we walked, "So why didn't you take the opportunity to escape? I imagined you would of taken the first opportunity."

"Simply put, opportunity." was my instant reply as the music slowly shifted, again, a softer and more relaxing tune accompanying our walk as flowers began to bloom at night, glowing softly in the moonlight, distantly airborne blimps were lighting up softly, designs of many petaled flowers, and festivals adorning the field in dim yellows and reds, As we found ourselves stumbling through the flower fields together, I took a moments pause to breathe in the scents of seeming home. Despite its lack of presence, lilac trees and bluebells tickled my nose, as Luna paused beside me, both of turning as we saw our target location before us.

From here, the lowered hills met sand dunes nicely, sand impossibly white like marble and softer than pillows met our touch as I kicked off the sneakers I was wearing. We climbed together, this time hand in hoof to the top, and she asked, "To do what?"

Her voice was serene in combination with the oceans waves and the song playing from an unseen source, I paused and gave her a wry grin, "To prove a few points."

As we crossed over the dune, sliding ever so slightly upon the sands as we did, we walked our way towards the shining water, sparkling like stars upon the surface. Distantly I could see sparkling jewels and upon closer inspection endless arrays of magical tools and weapons beneath the surface, of armor and equipment, robots and vehicles. Even mechas and castles that moved on their own. Like watching a rolling ever shifting mirror, I wondered if this was this dreams version of the library in my head from our last visit, and as we walked along the shores edge, there it was. A piano that sat perfectly still upon an upraised dock, gentle torches lit with glowing crystals leading to it above the oceans edge. I continued my line of thought as we walked towards it, water lapping at our ankles, warm as if made from the embrace of a bed in the morning, "There are countless flaws in Equestria's security, and the fact of the matter was, that relying upon Twilight and her friends for everything was a dangerous idea."

"Hence breaking out of your imprisonment?" Luna asked. Her mane sparkled quite beautifully in the rosy lit night, and as our legs found purchase upon the start of the small dock that had decorated the beach, the response was natural.

"If your guards aren't able to handle me when I'm mostly inoperable, what pray tell will you do if someone stronger than me shows up, or if someone armed with a broom wants to break in?"

Momentarily there was the creation of a royal guard, as I spoke, and a batty old mare running up to him and beating the guy upside the head with a broom, and the guard passing out as a result of the impact. A bit overkill and unrealistic, but it put the point across, "Let alone I have gripes with many of Celestias countermeasures alongside Shining Armors."

"And you would be willing to share your gripes with her?" Luna prodded, and I paused, before nodding sagely.

"Perhaps if it was for community service." I thought out, "You know, as punishment for my few crimes against Equestria, perhaps as mercy for aiding in the defeat of Android 21, Sharp Opera, and the resurgence of the Windiego King. As well as Starswirls Apprentice.

Four screens momentarily popped up, each with the narrow victories and risks that had been taken in defeating each villain I had encountered, but I shooed them away, they were ruining the ambiance. The talk of prisons and cells had nearly transitioned the town into a full security prison before reverting to that of a quiet peaceful fantasy village. Dreams could be finicky environments, I decided to myself, as I sat down on the pianos seat, Luna herself, laying sideways upon a couch that had appeared that looked eerily similar to Raritys infamous fainting couch. If it had been taken from my memory or if Luna herself had manifested it, I did not know. After a moment's consideration she responded, "you would need to discuss this with mine sister. Which means getting into her good graces. Quite the difficult feat for you currently."

I paused as I considered her words. It was true I had been naught but antagonistic to Celestia. Though I had very little reason not to be at the moment. Between her shoving nation level crisis after crisis on others, the ineptitude of her own security, and lack of foresight in the show. Not to mention her apparent abandonment of her own veteran flier Cassette. Among shoving her 'prized pupil' with zero knowledge of acceptable magical practices in the real world. I had not much but ridicule for Celestia. Some of this was given the slightest of leeway by trying to get Twilight Sparkle to become an Alicorn by the power of friendship, but to me that was a thin excuse. In terms of literary tropes, I had stopped watching the show the moment she got her wings because it was such an obvious sellout to the rest of the series working its way up to Twilight claiming it eventually. Of course, I didn't know when the series would end, or how. Be it pulling a sucker punch with the rather forgettable solar princess getting locked in the sun, or more likely returning to status quo and no one even blinking an eye that there was another of an extremely rare species who could be counted on the hooves of a pony in terms of population. Unless you considered the animation glitches of random Alicorns canon...

Focusing back on the piano, as the three second pause vanished, I wondered what I should play at the beach side piano I was sitting on. On one hand, Davy Jones could have a lot of fun here, but in the tranquility of the moment, I don't think I wanted to tell a story of heartbreak to someone whose affections I wanted. Even if it would garner sympathy the foreshadowing would be unwanted. My second thought was instead of doing a movie to do a game, as Davy jones reminded me of the world of that movie being involved in Kingdom Hearts. Specifically the second one. No, it would be awkward to tell the entire story of Sora. Keeping track of all his game titles stories had been a nightmare, let alone to explain it all to someone else. However, a game maybe was a right track.

It sparked then, suddenly. As I actually stood up, ignoring the piano entirely as it disappeared into the void, a new set of orchestral instruments forming into view as if wielded by invisible hands. Luna tilted her head questioningly, "What are you going to play this time?" She asked.

"Not all stories need be tragedy to be worth telling. Just as not all stories need a hero." I replied in my best Gandalf the grey impression, "This is a story of a farmer, who through hard work, brought a farm from ruin to wealth, and had a happy family life." My inside voice would note that Applejack might of liked that sort of thing, but as my instruments began to play the world around us slowly changed.

A young man marched forward from the edge of town, dressed in overalls and wearing a big blue cap backwards. Overall his appearance was that of a farmer, one might of mistaken for a generic npc had he not been the titles cover. A hoe carried over his shoulder, and a smirk on his lips. A single strand of hay posed out of his mouth like one might use a toothpick or cigarette. As he walked forward, so too did other villagers come out of the scenery, as snow began to drift down on gentle winds. Luna sat up as she watched, as many people, some old, some young. Quite a few girls, though only one stood side by side with the farmer. The wife, and their child. The ocean transitioned into a spring and waterfall backed by a cliff, the surrounding cliffs and fields into forest and mountain walls. The peaceful melody continued to play throughout the night.

And for what it was worth we enjoyed the scene together.

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