• Published 1st Apr 2014
  • 14,644 Views, 1,424 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
Interlude: A Chaotic Reprise

Canterlot was in chaos. A war was good for that, I knew. Ever since Xander had been released into the world, those pesky bindings had gotten weaker and weaker. Slowly at first, but whatever it is he was doing, it had worked wonders as they waned. I the master of disharmony and chaos, Discord was soon to be free in a manner far earlier than expected. The timeline must of changed tremendously, as I was dimly aware of the fragments of my work being put to use nearby. What must of been a serious investment into the war of Changelings vs Ponies, Xander was giving. He'd be running himself ragged with what I had supplied his human form, just in supporting those troops. But as it came, it left, and I thought perhaps my bindings may of had a few hundred years left on them still... But less than minutes later, after the fighting stopped, I was awarded with them falling to pieces.

Breaking free of the stone shell around me was after that point, much like a baby chicken breaking out of its eggshell. Only I was a Draconequus, instead of a chicken. All I had to do was convince the shell of stone that the chicken came first, and boom I was free. Free to this messy city of chains and misery. I'd need to fix that, but only after making my grand debute. Oh How I hope I didn't miss it. Though to put myself into the right mood, I'd just have to turn off my own vision of the flow of magic, as it seemed my guests for this latest show were dwelling right under Celestia. Any creature with the ability to see magic, as it flowed, would be in agony, myself included. Ordinarily, I'd mess with spells on that scale, but until now the Elements of Harmony had been a major deterrent, and as I sensed out the borders, Celestia had taken measures against me specifically after my first string of thefts with the Elements of Blatant Boringism.

I took one step forward, smiling as I stepped between places, and arrived in the same motion to the ballroom, the blinding forest of chains replaced with a barely more pleasant sort. They didn't see me yet, as I had yet to think myself here, and it would of been so straight forward if I just popped into view, no I had to be more artistic than some pedestrian street magician. I took in the brief scene around me, the Element bearers of Chekov Guns were in shock, my number one minion of the evening was on the floor struggling to live, and Luna was propping him up. Ah, had they sparked up a romance? From her actions, it was a new thing, still hesitating on the kiss, even with a final goodbye, no dear lulu? Looking up, it seemed Celestia had gained a new taste for ceiling bound thrones, and I wondered if I was to blame for that. Decidedly not, I decided after a second. Queen Cheese Legs was here. Still trying to process what happened, while Celestia looked like a PiƱata that had been spooked by their first vision of a baseball bat.

Moving sideways in my thoughts, I returned to Xander Red Herrington. The red fish of our bundle of ponies, well purple now from the skin color and lack of breathing... Something fatal for most mortals, and some immortals besides. I'd have to address that in a mundane sort of way, as it seemed that his mask had turned to stone and shattered. Did he get hit by the Elements of Harmony? If so, impressive he managed to beat them off with what little magic I had given him. But willpower wasn't something that was in short supply with earthling humans it seemed. I sent my senses outwards, excluding the rooms own headache potential as I left them to search the trail of his activites to see just where he holed up in, perhaps that would be the solution to this conundrum. I almost didn't want to know, but curiosity was often more chaos inducing than just leaving things to be mysteries.

None the less he was about to faint, so lets give him some sign of hope. I was still undecided on if I was going to save him or not, but at least I could put off the decision. The orderly thing would be to save him, and get in the graces of Lulu and who ever else he was in alignment with, but that would be so painfully straight forward that I might need to turn a certain farm from apples to oranges in produce. Princess of Bree was about to skitter away though, return to her woodworks oh so boringly, so I spiced it up.

Clapping, felt appropriate, both to startle them and draw the eye, as well as pay homage to my wayward little chaos minion who had came so far. Irritatingly he decided to faint the moment I started though, but I suppose it was a small blessing he had managed to stay awake to hear the first few notes anyway. As I came from behind the Princess of Cheese Graters, the alarm was drawn back to the other villain in the room and myself as the cockroach princess jumped, startled and clumsily put the wedding ceremony altar between herself and I. Was she out of magic? My mad lad must of done that. In a weird way I was both proud that this human whom In just randomly threw into this world had caused that as well if it was the case. The telling bit was her horn not lighting up, and neither did anyone elses of the horned variety for that matter. I greeted them with my most devil-may-care, jaw dropping and certainly demonically good looking smiles, "Well Done, mares and gentleman. You've put on quite the war today, it seems and the audience is almost looking for an Encore."

"What?! Discord?!" Rainbow Dazzler, or was it Rain Dasher? Exclaimed, one of the half of the six still standing on the pony side. No no, my notes said it was absolutely Something of the lightning variety. That said, the notes were her cutie mark devastating the appleloosan plains right now with rainbow oil but who was keeping track of it anyway? Oh right, Big Mac!

Thinking of the Apple-turned-mango-farmers, Strawberry-Tonic was up, in typical cowpony showman ship, putting her hoof down like the stamp meant something at all signifcant, "What the hay are you doing here?!"

I opened my mouth to reply, but the pink one I was just starting to like interrupted me, making me like her just a little bit more, "Didn't we turn him into stone? I'm pretty sure we did that, like, a few months ago..."

Before another of them could yap their trap, I interjected myself back into their banter, both vocally and quite literally as I stepped another step, and was now between them all, draping my arms across the shoulders of Twilight and Cherry Fritter, "Well my little ponies," I spoke quietly, "I rather was stuck in stone, until I wasn't." The small tease of information they already knew did wonders for my presence here, "Then lo and behold all the little things that was keeping me in such a boring- neigh say, even insanity inducing despair disappeared!"

Understandably, we were best chums, so I didn't take offense to it as Fruit punch pushed me off her and Twilight shied out from under my arm, I just paced forward with it, flipping myself around as I snapped my fingers catching The Goop Queen in a bubble made of Smooze. Suitable, given her treatment of Tia, and the charming newly made slime just smiled distantly as it stayed entertained with the crown that was now in it alongside the princess of Bleu.

"Discord!" Queen of the Mostly bald or frilled, demanded with her luscious weird hole filled hair, "Free me and together we will-"

I shut her up with a muzzle made of tofu. Ham would of been more suitable, or cheese, but I wasn't a monster nor that predictable, "Now now, little one, if I had any inclination towards your schemes, you'd certainly know. Ruling Equestria would just be so utterly boring and predictable, however."

"Then why are you here?" Twilight asked, nervously. I could tell she was painfully aware of the state of the children's card game was at now. She and everyone else was practically out of cards to play, and I was just getting started.

"Why, to give front row seats to the three ponies here who ever thought they won, of course." I cheerfully announced, "After all, who else would I announce my sudden comeback to, than my bestest of friends in day and night, and the one mare who managed to trick me?" I laughed, most grimly.

Celestia for her part tried to reply, but the goo was getting in the way of speaking. I understood her anyway, "Yes, Celestia, we all know you want things right side up, but lets face it, things were never right side up were they?"

That shut her up, I giggled internally. Served her right as I changed the topic, Twilight and Cadences sputtering of confusion left unwritten as I cheerfully announc-

"Save him." Lulu cut into my thoughts.

Ah, right, my chaos minion, Xander Red Herrington, Puppet Master by his own decree from what we had discussed. Oh how I enjoyed stealing him right from under that salesman. It was worth it in the end though, I admit. However, even I wasn't above pausing my scheme of things for a shcoking note. Dear little Lulu, who had only ever threatened me with disembowling on most of our meetings had asked me to save my own minion. How unusual, was she really a Tsundere? No, that wouldn't keep her interesting in my disjointed aproximation of a book that would send most Librarians howling in a fit of rage and trauma. "Asking a favor from me, Lulu?"

"Is he not your underling, whom brought about where you are now?" Luna retorted, as fast, her mascara was bleeding into her fur, yikes, "You owe it to him."

"That would be painfully predictable, wouldn't it?" I snorted back at her.

"Would it not be more so to do it, given that you are whom you are?" Lulu knew me well, huh, "And keep it that way as well?"

Oh she was good, I tsked tsked her, "And why would I possibly be motivated by that?"

Luna stared daggers at me, and I almost materialized them for the fun of it, "We will give you something in exchange then."

Now I was interested, "Oh? And what would you have to give me, Lulu?"

I reflexively shut Twilight up as she went to go 'no don't do it' or some such cliche. Arching down my neck and body like a snake to meet her sitting form at eye level as my minion spasmed in unconciousness, at the bring of death.

"My eternal resistance," She told me calmly, with the force that reminded me why she'd at one point been feared as a nightmare, "I will fight you, till my last breathe, and reject who you are, completely and utterly."

My heart soared with that, "I will discuss this with you in more detail later, you sweet talker, you. But until we can come to finer terms, it would be... amiss for me to ignore this. But for now, while our friend here has a few more moments left," I straightened myself up, turning my back to her, "Lets make him wait but a moment for this conversations end."

I snapped my fingers and reality bent with my domain over it. The first rule of magic, that knowledge was the basis of power over somebody held true, and as I knew all of Xanders being, having brought him into this world, scarce would be left behind. I snapped my fingers as I walked away. Xander the human, agent of me, puppeteer and delightful prop maker was now as if he never existed in this universe, save our memories of him. His possessions as well, I suppose, as it would be fun to bring him back in naked. For his embarrassment. I didn't have to worry about the magic aspect of him, as I never gave him the tools to take more, and the knowledge of doing so was more or less restricted to Tirek, whom he couldn't of met yet. I just pulled my own shard of chaos magic to me and started to walk towards the Elements of Marketable Plushies again.

"What shall I do first?" I asked them, and they stared at me silently, in object horror. I smiled sweetly at them, "For attempting your first murders?"

They didn't have a response for that, at least for the first few seconds, but Orange Marmalade spoke up, "We weren't tryin' tah kill 'im!"

"Oh, but the majority here certainly targetted him with what would either be death or a fate worse than." I chuckled dryly, "Was it you dashie? So hot headed, that you can't think straight half the time? Blinded by loyalty to your friends and kingdom that you turned tail on the one showing you the truth of how painfully your so called friends were in the wrong?"

It was a lot easier to read Rainbow Dashs record with him, than it was digging through my minions past. A layer of guilt fell on the rest of them, as the rainbow of closet managements felt that wound rip and tear more than I meant it to. Were their chains gone? No, that'd be impossible. Xander shouldn't of been able to see the chains, let alone break theirs. Something was off.

I kept going, "Oh was there perhaps a grudge? Hmm? He did some things that you didn't approve of, and you took it more personally than Twilights suffering towards the president of the Mice Fanclub over there?" I gestured to the changeling queens general direction, the queen giving a muffeled noise of protest at the nickname.

Rarity, Applejack and curiously enough, Pinkie Pie were all looking guilty, as I finally placed their names proper, oddly. But their guilt was slowly consumed by their horror, as well. Was I really that scary? No something else was going on- If I just searched... What? "Hold that thought..." I turned my head to just past them, to the north west. My senses had found where he had holed up... "Another human?" Impossible.

I snapped my fingers and in the air before us all was a woman. Bedecked in armor that must of weighed a ton in of itself, she snarled at me and thrashed, and after a moment to my surprise she broke out of the grip, mostly out of reflexes I noted, as she landed on the ground, drawing an over sized boxy pistol. I snapped my fingers, and it didn't change as she drew and fired it at me. I distorted my body as the grenade like rounds exploded along the back of the wall behind me, shattering a supporting pillar, and obstructing part of the balcony with the resulting rubble. Another snap, and I had the bones and muscles of her arm swapped for now, preventing her from moving them. "Now now, just who are you?"

"Discord, why did you bring me here, and what did you do with-" She eyed the audience, "The Puppet Master?"

"My question first, but your friend is safe. For now." I said contradicting my own sentence.

"Yoko. I've met another of you."

"Clearly, are you one of another mes? No... Certainly not, the hostility is unwarrented otherwise." I was left puzzeled, "How did you get here?"

"Did... Did he just say there are more Discords?" Fluttershy seemed terrified at that. We both ignored her.

"The Puppet Master rescued me when he was summoned by the token that was stolen from me." Her eyes were locked on mine, and I on hers.

"His token? He should of had nothing of the sort." I dismissed.

"He made it with the laptop you gave him." Yoko retorted, and I was left even more confused, which was quite funny given who I was.

"I didn't... give him..." I started, but stopped. There was a hole in my lung, and it wasn't from the angry amazon in armor.

I looked down, a white hand puncturing through me, and I felt it then as my senses flared back into the room, not minding the chains for this level of import. Magic, congealed, and an uncontrolled mess met my eyes. And with it, my legs buckled, as though a storm drain had been opened beneath a pond, magic beginning to flood out of me. I twisted my head to see, but all I could see behind me was a very shocked looking Luna, and the icy footprints leading up to me, I twisted my eyes further to catch a glimpse of a faceless figure, with blue light flooding where the eyes should be.

Impossible, unless... I caught an image of him, an old man in robes that obscured his identity, a beard visible beneath his shadow cloaked face of white. The Merchant I wanted to hiss. Not visible to anyone but those who knew how to look, or he wanted to be looked by. Meddler of the universe. I understood now what had happened. He had meddeled in my game, like I had meddled in his. He'd undercut me when I had undercut his target out from under him. My attention was immediately back on my attacker as he vanished, a smug smile on his face.

Xander, no that would be inaccurate, this thing... Was something else. Time slowed as I analyzed him, and came to dawning horror of what it was. After all, I was the most familiar with this sort of creation. I could hear Twilight already yelling "Cloverfield!" as slowly as molasses, and I wasn't one to disagree. Even Luna and Celestia looked alarmed at that, but the reaction was a bit of an understatement. When a powerful magic bearing creature died, it would release any remaining magic it had out in a final spell, typically uncontrolled but related to whatever its last thoughts were. This was primarily the reason why the ponies had dominated most of the continent and several other smaller islands and nearby countries, and why equines were so prominent today. But, all of those ponies were just one individual each, the magnitude of the harm could be measured in a block radius at most. It would take someone like Starswirl or Twilight Sparkle to affect a city... Several of them to do something as drastic as Clover the Clever and Commander Hurricanes final stand way back when with removing natural weather.

The amount of magic I was looking at was that of several creatures that I didn't have time to figure out the head or tails of. Enough to blast the planet had it chosen to detonate. But this wasn't undirected, wishless magic, its owner had wanted to live, and besides it, it seemed Xander had picked up a hitchhiker along the way with one of the sources of magic bundled together in this tied together mess. Alarmingly, my attempt to escape this drain was canceled, and I recognized why. So thats where the elements magic vanished off to, and here I thought he threw them to the moon and cut their strings shutting the gate on them.

But, the reason for alarm was what I had done to this mass. I had removed Xander from it, turning a bomb into something else inherently, as with humanity came mortality, and with what I knew of it, I took the mortality with the human as I banished him. This meant, that the bomb couldn't go off, it couldn't die as it wasn't alive in the first place, so it followed the directive that Xander had given himself in his final moments. Survival. A chilling word, because that was the same wish I came about in.

Thirteen creatures of moderate magical power had died fighting each other for survival during a desperate straight, and their magic combined had formed me. The spirit of chaos and disharmony. Now, the same process of creation to make a Draconequus was happening here, but instead of thirteen creatures that could honestly be beaten in a thirty minute spree, each, Xander had fueled himself up with several magnitudes of magic stronger than that in contrast, and now was draining me as well for more. What didn't help, was that he apparently had a hitchhiker, as the creatures mouth began to tear itself open, flesh coming undone to an unsettling gore, ice, and... frozen lava? Filled grin, as the light where its eyes should be took on a new intensity.

I let out a mental sigh, the solution to this, forced. If I was going to continue existing, I'd need to change the immediate future, or something that was a multiversal threat would be born here. My role as a hero here, unwanted. "Sorry Lulu, it seems we can't negotiate this time, as much as I wanted to."

Her look of alarm raised several degrees, as did Celestia as they figured out what I intended to do in the second I said it, they were good like that I suppose. Sad, that my freedom was likely to go so soon. "As for you. Oh grinning Jester, you, its time I returned something that was stolen to you."

I raised the effort, cutting off magic from my arm from the rest of my body, and with sheer will, I snapped my fingers once, then twice. With the first, the broken shards of stone that made Xanders mask, collided, a puzzle being fitted back together onto the abominations face. With the second snap, I hoped that a moment wasn't too late, as I brough Xander back onto Equis. The creature screamed, frustration and alarm taking hold as with bated breathe... A moment passed.

Worlds have changed more, in that span of time. Especially with ones like him.

I closed my eyes as magic exploded outwards.

PreviousChapters Next