• Published 17th Apr 2012
  • 8,243 Views, 541 Comments

The Twilight Zone - Bad Horse



25. Necessary Evil: Lord Tirek will return to wreak havoc on Equestria... when he is needed again.

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25. Necessary Evil

Lord Tirek stood in his cage, held his manacled arms out before him, and waited.

Inside he ached with hunger. The knotting and jumping of his empty stomach, the maniac thirst that rode him, certainly, but above all the agonizing hunger for magic. Not to lock a pony’s eyes to his and drink hot draughts of stolen power for another hundred, another thousand years!

He grasped the iron bars of his cage and grinned through the hunger. Though he yet starved, he drank his fill—not of food or drink or magic, but of time.

He had not merely fought the gods of this place before—not merely escaped them—but had been captured, bound with the strongest steel, warded with the most-powerful spells, guarded by the most-ferocious beasts, and buried deep beneath centuries of solitude that would have driven a mere mortal mad.

Lord Tirek giggled at the thought. Mad!

And he had overcome them all and come back from the underworld, and when ponies gazed into his eyes they felt the weight of all those sunken centuries crash down onto them. This cage, these bars had made him legend.

Now, again, he waited.

Far above, stallions frightened their foals with tales of Tirek’s might, then tucked them in bed, reassuring them that he, Tirek, was safely in chains and would never escape again. And the foals thought fool me twice and whispered could and couldn’t to each other in the dark, their eyes shining.

Someday, they would begin to forget. Someday the stories would wither and the nightmares fade, and those above would munch their hay and walk their quiet streets and watch their sunsets, and wonder what they had lost. And then Tirek would emerge again, smashing their staid sums, overturning their confident chronology, breathing the hot breath of history in their faces. Tirek threw his head back and laughed, and rattled the iron bars of his cage in anticipation.

One bar, which had held solid for centuries as he had shaken it and howled in anger, chose that moment to finally break free of the cement foundation. He easily pulled it loose. He held it in his arms and stared at it.

“Guards!” he called, “guards!”

His rasping voice trickled down from his cage, broke on the stalagmites all about, fell back and evaporated.

He scowled at the traitorous bar, then shoved it back in place as best he could. When all was well again, he stroked it gently.

“Too soon, my dear,” he whispered. “Much too soon.”

Lord Tirek stood in his cage, held his manacled arms out before him, and waited.

Comments ( 23 )

A fascinating interpretation of Tirek's motivation. If he cannot have the magic, at least he can have immortality.

Is there a physical law Tirek can't consume?

...Is friendship a physical law in Equestria? I suppose if would have to be, if magic is.

7247824 Good point!

Note to self:
1. Add Tirek to team.
2. Consume friendship first.

7248751 would that make him a better parasite than Chrysalis?

The ponies had all their magic drained away, but they could still make new friendships (with Discord, nonetheless) and keep their old ones. Friendships are magic, thus, friends are batteries Tirek can keep around to consume repeatedly.

He probably just converts everything he sucks up into energy he can use, though. I don't think Chrissy could feed on him.

7340974 I watched all the way to the end and they DIDN'T KISS! :rainbowhuh:

7340987 Did you watch through Season 10? :trollestia:

7341033 Um... would that be more than one minute and 35 seconds?

7341448 oh, so in other words, you didn't :fluttercry:

...or...wait...

...are you talking about Rainbow and Cthulhu kissing? :twilightoops:

Pardus: "Aw, shit, Rainbow! And here you've been telling us all you're 'not into the mushy stuff'! :facehoof: "
Rainbow Dash: "wut?:rainbowderp:"

7392408 Senpai noticed me! :yay:

Very fascinating.

And with that, I'm up to date.

7531395
Well, of course they do, they ringraiths are all dead when they show up.

Will this ever get another installment?

9099577 Hopefully! I haven't written much this year, though.

9100758
All right then.

7341755
"But he's not mushy! He's more... like... squishy. So it's totally different!"

9677931
Well, I thought a lot of the "wow" factor came from the concept of Celestia and Discord swapping out who rules every 1,000 years, regardless of the minutiae of how they rule, but I can see where you're coming from. Mind you, I also don't see why it couldn't be both -- Discord reigns as a good guy, and to signify such he takes on a white coat (with a few appropriate dashes of complimentary colors, done in actual paint of course), while Celestia's coat darkens to... well, she can't very well take Luna's coat, can she? Maybe Celestia rebrands herself as Terra -- brown coat with green fetlocks, flowing mane the color of flowers, maybe become an eco-terrorist?

I think I lost my train of thought somewhere along the lines.

9724169
Well, yeah, but the thing is that even with the poetic license that can rhyme eye with symmetry, I find it easier to stretch the <o> in <worth> from /ɚ/ to /ɔɹ/. I'm not saying the pronunciation would be any better (I did say -born(e) or -port would be better), but you'd be able to stretch it further than <Edinburgh>.

9724585 Yes. I would like to fix it, but I don't think putting in another place name is the best way to fix it. The difference that line is supposed to emphasize is to contrast Equestria with the human world, not with a specific place.

9727690
Yeah, sorry if I sound insistent that it has to change or anything, I just wanted to make my point of view crystal clear, since I was unsure you understood me at first. Also I think I just wanted to show off a bit with my knowledge of IPA and such, which... I honestly don't know why I thought was so important that I had to tell you? I've been worn out this week, so I'm going to chalk that up to sleep deprivation and try not to do it in future. Sorry.

Also, and I realize that this reply is only going to clutter it further, but I didn't mean to reply to the "chapter 1" comment in "chapter 24," but apparently top-level comments automatically go into the last chapter of a story unless you enter a specific chapter first, and FiMFic's automatic reply button doesn't send you into the specific chapters. I hope you can follow along, because that sentence sounded a lot better in my head.

9730033 Also, if you reply to a comment on a different story page than it was posted to, the person you replied to never gets a notification.

10359337 I wish I knew how to describe it more clearly, but how it works isn't important; what it does is important. I got the idea from a book by Temple Grandin, an autistic animal behavior expert. Like many autistic people (not "autistic spectrum", but autistic), she doesn't like being touched and finds personal relationships impossible to manage, but still needs to be touched. So she built a machine to hug her, like the one in the story. I thought it was terribly sad, made sadder because she didn't seem to realize it was sad; she seemed to think it was a clever technical solution to a problem.

10367166
Well, that technical solution at least had net positive effect (as contrasted to no solution implemented). I think really sad technical solutions look more like that.

10369346
I didn't mean it's based on such events; just that it's the same thing at base, as it's the old scapegoat principle. The story here was a writing exercise--an attempt to recreate a famous story I'd read maybe 25 years earlier, without re-reading it, then comparing the result.

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