• Published 4th Nov 2011
  • 5,282 Views, 104 Comments

Trixcord - RTStephens



Two grandstanders. Only one horn.

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8
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Sequelitis

The road to Manehattan turned out to be long, arduous and annoying.

But mostly annoying.

“C’mon, Pinkie!” Twilight Sparkle yelled at the earth pony lagging behind.

“Just one more jar!” Pinkie Pie called to her. “I swear!”

“You said that fifteen minutes ago!” Rainbow Dash scolded. “We could have been there by now if it weren’t for you! Even Fluttershy’s outpacing ya!”

“Please don’t bring me into this,” Fluttershy squeaked and hid as much of her face as she could under her mane.

“You guys don’t understand!” Pinkie continued to plead. “Once we dust dopey Discord again, I won’t have another chance at this!”

“Darling, you can always just buy more!” Rarity pointed out. “At this rate, I’ll be practically living at the spa to get all this filth out of my poor mane and coat...”

“But this isn’t just ordinary chocolate milk!” Pinkie held up a glass jar filled with the delicious liquid. A cart bulging with identical jars was being pulled behind her. “This is Discord branded chocolate milk! Once you’ve had a taste, nothing else can compare!”

“Sugarcube, you’re starting to sound like Filthy Rich now,” Applejack commented. She took off her hat and gave it a shake to clean off as much of the milk as she could and then placed it back on her head. With how hard the unnatural chocolate rain was coming down from the pink clouds above, Applejack figured it would only take minutes for the hat to get completely soaked again. “Honestly, that scares me more than having to face Discord again.”

“Oh! Do you think he’d be interested in buying these? He and I will have the market covered!”

Yes. Very, very annoying.

Just keep moving forward, Twilight mentally told herself, trying to ignore Pinkie’s antics and the sticky chocolate running down her body. Ahead of her, the lights of Manehattan’s skyline shone like a beacon in this chaotic storm. We’re almost there. We’re going to make it and beat Discord like we did last time. Then, I’m going to take his statue and dump it in the deepest corner of the Everfree Forest where nopony will ever be able to find him. Maybe at the bottom of Froggy Bottom Bog. Hopefully that stupid hydra will swallow him.

These dark thoughts kept her going. Days of traveling through increasingly bizarre and random countryside were beginning to fray at her nerves. Twilight was sure the same was happening to the others. At least this time they were together and not corrupted. Though, with how stressed everypony was becoming, it wouldn’t be long before they were at each others throats anyway. Pinkie was definitely coping with the situation the best but her constant need to stop and gather up as much chocolate rain as she could was really starting to get old fast. Twilight wouldn’t be surprised if the earth pony was now composed of seventy percent chocolate milk with how much she had drunk on the way to Manehattan.

“Almost there, girls!” Twilight called out to her friends in an attempt to bolster their spirits. She turned her head and motioned towards Applejack. The farmer trotted up until she was walking besides her. “You’re the only one of us to be here before, Applejack. What’s the best way to get in?”

Applejack dipped her head down for a minute in thought. Finally, she raised back up and said, “Well, I haven’t been here since I was a filly so some things might have changed since then. Most of Manehattan’s on an island so bridges are the only way in or out. I suggest we cross the Hooflyn Bridge since it’s closest to us and all.”

“Great. Anything else you can tell us?”

“Not really. Can’t remember a whole lot off the top of my head at the moment. I’m just so worried about my Aunt and Uncle Orange that I can’t think of anythin’ else!” Applejack tilted her head forward, the brim of her hat casting a shadow over her eyes. “If that big palooka did anythin’ to them, I’ll buck him so hard his arse will kiss the moon.”

Twilight shivered and cautiously backed away from Applejack, letting the earth pony lead the way. “R-right. I’m sure t-they’re safe. It’s a big city after all...” She trailed off as she followed, casting uneasy glances towards her fellow pony.

The others’ demeanor changed soon afterwards. Whether from Applejack’s quiet threat or the city growing larger as they drew closer, everypony, including Pinkie Pie, grew silent. Gradually, the traffic of ponies began to increase and the group was forced to press closer together in order to stay close. Moving forward was made all the more difficult due to most of the traffic moving away from the city.

I guess they think getting out of Manehattan is safer than being it in, Twilight thought sadly. They just don’t realize that nowhere is safe until Discord is gone.

Just then, the flow of equines ahead of them parted and a half dozen ponies in police garb and two Canterlot pegasi guards appeared. The police created a perimeter around the six mares while the two guards approached them.

“Twilight Sparkle?” one of the guards spoke up.

“I’m here!” Twilight announced and bounded forward.

“The princess is waiting ahead. Follow us.” The two turned smartly and marched ahead. Twilight and the rest followed close behind, picking up speed now that the local authorities were giving them an escort. It wasn’t long before they came upon the suspension bridge named Hooflyn Bridge. Next to the pathway that led onto it were several more guards, creating a circle where no civilians were allowed to enter. Inside that circle, in the very center, stood Princess Celestia.

“Princess!” Twilight cried and ran up to her beloved mentor.

“I’m glad to see you well, my student,” Celestia said and nuzzled Twilight. Celestia straightened up when the others came up to stand next to her. “And to the rest of you. It pleases me that nopony has been harmed.”

“Speak for yourself...” Rainbow Dash grumbled.

“Oh?” Celestia quirked an elegant eyebrow at the pegasus. “Care to explain?”

“One word. Trixie.”

“So she was involved in all of this,” the princess concluded with a sigh. She firmed up her features and levitated a chest from her carriage located nearby. “We’ll have to deal with her later. For now, we’ve got bigger problems to deal with. To solve them, you’ll be needing these.” Celestia hovered the chest in front of the six ponies and opened it.

“The Elements of Harmony!” Twilight exclaimed. Indeed, the five necklaces and one crown that made up the most powerful magic known to ponykind were inside.

“Yes,” Celestia confirmed. “I got your letter and rushed here as soon as I could. With these, I’m sure you’ll send Discord back where he came from.” With a flick of magic, Celestia placed the artifacts on their respective holders.

“Oh, yeah!” Rainbow cheered, posing for everypony to see her lightning bolt adorned necklace. “Now we’re talkin’!”

“It’s a good thing that brute didn’t steal them again,” Rarity commented while she adjusted her own element. “I’d hate to have to go through all that hullabaloo like last time.”

“Indeed,” Celestia agreed. “By the way. Where is Spike? He didn’t come with you?”

“We convinced him to stay in Horschester,” Twilight explained. “I thought it would be better if he didn’t come.”

“Oh, I don’t think he minded too much,” Fluttershy said. “Especially, when he found out that Horschester was one of the biggest gem mining towns around.”

Everyone shared a laugh at that. Then, with utter seriousness, Celestia turned away and motioned for the Elements of Harmony to follow her. Pinkie Pie took a moment to unhook herself from her jar filled cart, got a promise from one of the guards to look after it, and then scampered after her fellows.

“We’ll cross into the city from here,” Celestia told the group as they passed under the first arch of the bridge. “Mayor York Guardia and I have done our best to evacuate the city so that we can keep others from being hurt.”

“Has Discord appeared yet?” Applejack asked as she took her first step on the Hooflyn Bridge in years. Nostalgia flooded her briefly before reminding herself that she had a job to do. She would take her friends sightseeing later.

The princess frowned but continued moving forward at a brisk gallop. “No,” she said at length. “I know he’s in there somewhere, but other than a few scattered sightings a few days ago, Discord hasn’t made his entrance yet. I believe he is waiting for all of you.”

“How about Trixie?” Twilight queried next.

“There’s been no sign of her either. I don’t know what’s become of her.”

Silence fell over them as each mare prepared herself for another confrontation with the spirit of chaos himself. Crossing the bridge proved uneventful, even with all the citizens of Manehattan passing them on either side. The throng of ponies leaving the city seemed endless and Twilight wondered how so many could live all on one island. When they reached the other side, Celestia led them through the emptying streets.

“Whoa, nelly,” Applejack breathed as she gazed at the deserted walkways that should have been bustling with activity at this time of day. “I never in mah life would have thought that this town could get so... quiet.”

“It’s spooky,” Fluttershy agreed. “Do we really need to go deeper?”

“Where are we going, princess?” Twilight wanted to know.

“I’m not sure,” Celestia admitted. “Though, I have a feeling we’ll find out soon enough.”

They were coming up to an intersection and Celestia made to keep going straight. However, a pair of railroad crossing gates suddenly appeared before her in a flash. Warning sounds and lights from the gates began to blare and blink and the gates closed. The princess and her fellow ponies screeched to a halt to avoid crashing into them.

Before anypony could say anything, they all felt the ground begin to shake. The tremors grew with each passing second, making it hard for any pony without wings to stay on their hooves. They braced themselves as best they could and steeled their resolve for whatever was coming towards them.

A pair of tap-dancing, six story buildings rumbled into view, stage right.

A collective blink passed through the group.

Except for Pinkie Pie. “Oh! Dinner and a show!” she squealed and began munching on some popcorn.

The two massive structures, each complete with a pair of stone legs and arms, performed a nimble dance routine that miraculously didn’t crack the pavement. In one of their hands, they twirled a wooden cane the size of a train passenger car and on the top of their roofs sat a black top hat. The brief show finally ended when the buildings took off their hats and bowed to their equine audience.

“Yay!” Pinkie Pie cheered and clopped her hooves together. “That’s the way to bring down the house!”

The railroad gates lifted. The buildings righted themselves and pointed their canes further down the lane. Their free hands motioned for the ponies to come forward.

A few moments passed before Rainbow Dash dared to speak. “Do... we keep going?

Celestia slowly nodded. “Come along. And stay close.” She cautiously trotted forward. Her smaller companions did the same though Fluttershy needed to be dragged by the tail by Applejack due to freezing up in fear. The buildings snapped to attention and marched down the street ahead of them.

After two blocks of following their “escorts,” the walking buildings came to a stop. The princess and the Ponyvillians did the same but tensed to act whenever necessary. Applejack took note that they had stopped right in front of the Equire State Building. The buildings stepped to the side to allow another normally inanimate object to step forward.

A loud gasp escaped from the lips of all the bearers of harmony. The Statue of Ponity, one of the most recognizable landmarks of the city, walked up to them.

“Hello, girls!”

The gathered ponies numbly looked up. On top of the Statue of Ponity’s crowned head, Discord happily waved down at them. The statue lifted the arm that carried its book upwards so that the draconequus could hop onto it and then lowered him to the ground. Discord jumped to the pavement and turned towards the symbol of hope and freedom.

“Thank you for the ride, dear,” Discord said gratefully. He pointed his eagle claw towards the direction of the harbor. “Fancy is that way. Have a nice trip!” The Statue of Ponity cracked a smile and lumbered off to begin its journey home.

“Hate to see what the fare will be for that carriage ride,” Discord commented as he watched the statue disappear around a bend. He smirked and turned around to face his guests. “Now then, where were-WHOA!”

Discord flattened himself to the ground as a harmonized rainbow flew past where his body used to be. The rainbow continued on and impacted against his dancing buildings. A blinding white light, accompanied by a roaring sound like a crashing wave, lit up the area. As the light gradually receded, Discord peeked his eyes open and looked at where the rainbow had flown. His wonderful creations, the tap-dancing buildings, were now just regular structures placed in the middle of the street.

Discord scowled and leaped to his feet. “Hey! I wasn’t ready yet!” he yelled.

The source of his ire touched down from their magically combined attack. The Elements of Harmony glared back at him.

“Shoot,” Fluttershy cursed, her features scrunched up into a disappointed frown. “I was sure we’d get him while he wasn’t paying attention.”

“Okay, girls,” Twilight called to them, setting herself for another try. “Let’s make this next one count!”

Discord frantically waved two white flags above his head. “Hold on! Hold on! Hold on! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves!”

“We are not interested in anything you have to say, Discord!” Princess Celestia shot back.

“Oh, it’s the daymare herself,” Discord mocked. “Finally decided to get off your duff and mingle with us commoners?”

Celestia brushed off the insult. “The only thing I need to know from you is how you escaped! I’ll be sure to make no more mistakes once you are back to being stone.”

“Oooh, origin story time, is it?!” Discord cackled with glee and regaining much of his former enthusiasm. A snap of his fingers later and a comic book appeared in his hands. He held it before him so that they could all get a good look at it. On the cover was the title, “My Little Pony: The Return of Discord! Collector’s Issue #1” and below that was a picture of the draconequus himself explosively breaking out of his stone prison.

Discord flipped through the comic until he came to the page he was looking for. “Here we are! Looky!” He threw the comic into the air where it hovered and increased to billboard size. “There’s me right as I’m being turned to stone by you naughty elements. I strained with everything I had but I still got stoned. That might have been the end of me if it weren’t for a curious little pony.” The page flipped to show Discord as a statue in the sculpture garden. Beneath his pedestal stood a light blue unicorn.

“Trixie!” Twilight cried out.

“Hmm, was that her name?” Discord pondered as his lion paw stroked his beard. “Whatever. There’s so many of you, it’s impossible to keep track. Anyway, she happened across me and a little bit of luck allowed me to get a hold on her magic. From there, it was a simple matter of soaking up what I could and break free! And here I am!” He finished by spreading his arms wide in triumph with the comic book exploding into fireworks that streaked across the sky.

When the celebratory display ended, Celestia stepped forward. “It was you I sensed when I checked Trixie over. If only I had been quicker, I could have stopped you then.”

“Yes, yes,” Discord waved impatiently towards her. “But you lost your chance and now I’ve got things in place to bring forth my wonderful chaos to all of Equestria!”

“Not if we can help it!” Twilight spoke up and jumped in front of Celestia. The rest of her friends took up positions next to her. “We’re going to stop you! Just like we did last time!”

With an exaggerated sigh, Discord placed his hands on his hips and said, “Are we really going to go through this tired routine again?”

“We’ll fight you as much as we have to!” Applejack proclaimed. “Ain’t no way we’re lettin’ ya get away with this!”

The spirit of disharmony rolled his eyes at all the foolish heroics on display before him. “Oh, very well. If you insist. But first...” A flash encompassed everyone present, leaving the street deserted afterwards.

After another flash of light, the ponies stumbled about, disoriented from being teleported with no warning. It took a few moments to clear their heads of a sudden bout of dizziness. When they finally managed to see clearly, they found themselves standing on metal grating rather than the pavement of the streets.

“... a little change of scenery.”

Celestia was the first to regain her bearings. “Where did you take us?” she demanded.

Discord swiped his arm around to encompass the area. “Look around and see for yourself.”

The group did so. The first thing they noticed was that the vast expanse of Manehatten was spread out before them, alerting them that they were much higher up. Looking around further, they appeared to be on some type of observation walkway with guardrails and coin operated binoculars set up at regular intervals. Celestia looked upwards and beheld a massive spire spiking the sky. Before anymore could be taken in, a gasp from Applejack caught their attention.

“We’re on top of the Equire State Building!”

“Bingo!” Discord congratulated the earth pony. “Got it in one!”

“Why are we here?” Rainbow Dash complained. “Now we have to lug your ugly mug all the way down when we beat you!”

“I thought this spot would be appropriate for our epic showdown,” Discord explained, seemingly unfazed by Rainbow’s assurance that they would win. He drew himself up to his full height and donned a more serious expression. “Now, listen up. This is how it’s going to go down. I’m going to give you ponies one free shot. Better put your all into it, ladies.” His terms given, he crossed his arms and smiled smugly at their confused faces.

“That’s it?” Twilight asked suspiciously. “You’re going to just stand there and let us use the elements?”

“Did I stutter, Twilight Sparkle? Surely your hearing can’t be as bad as your magic.”

Twilight growled through clenched teeth and set herself into an attack stance. “Fine. Girls?! We’re taking him down!” She heard her friends give similar shouts of encouragement and grouped together.

Concentrating, the Elements of Harmony began radiating pure unity among them. A brilliant burst of white light enveloped them and they all rose up into the air. The ponies’ manes and tails billowed in the magical gust of wind that sprang up. Twilight’s body floated to the center of the circle created by the others and her tightly shut eyes opened to reveal that they were completely white. That act heralded the creation of a spectacular rainbow that shot up into the sky before descending down upon its intended target.

Discord smiled and spread his arms wide as if welcoming a hug from a long lost friend.

The rainbow impacted him with the force of all the honesty, kindness, laughter, generosity, loyalty and magic that had been generated. Stone formed around his feet and swiftly covered the rest of his body all the way to the tips of his horns. A final flash of light obscured the statue from sight.

From the Elements, another flash of light erupted and shot into the sky, spreading out and disintegrating the cotton candy clouds that covered the country. The sun’s rays shone across the land as though bathing it in its own form of love. Finally, their labor finished, the power surrounding the six chosen ponies winked out and they dropped back to the ground. The mares grinned in satisfaction at seeing Discord’s imprisoned form, looking oddly content and serene in his last moments.

Princess Celestia came up to her subjects and beamed down at them. “Well done, my little ponies. Once again, I thank you for lending us your strength in our time of need. Harmony has triumphed once again.”

Twilight blushed at the praise and responded, “I’m just glad Discord didn’t try to turn us against each other. I never want to go through something like that again.”

“Indeed,” Celestia agreed. “I’m going to make sure that it never happens a second time. Discord will not be bothering anypony ever again.”

“Well now, I wouldn’t say that.”

Celestia’s heart skipped a beat. The sound of clapping, intermixed with frogs croaking, cats meowing and crickets chirping, reached her ears. She whirled around and gasped.

The stone statue of Discord was where it should be. Its hands coming together contemptuously were not.

“Lovely work you girls did,” the statue spoke with a sneer. “But, I’m thinking grey is not my color. Wouldn’t you agree, Rarity?” Before the seamstress in question could comment, the statue snapped its fingers. A bucket of paint appeared above it and dumped a white, black, grey and brown liquid over its head. The opposing rainbow of colors washed down the statue’s form and paradoxically filled in Discord’s normal array of hues. In a flash, a large mirror appeared and Discord inspected himself before nodding in satisfaction. “Much better.”

The restored draconequus turned towards his audience. He grinned in delight at their stunned expressions. “Surprised? Don’t be. Your little love taps no longer work on me. I’ve grown beyond even the power of the Elements of Harmony.”

Several moments went by in silence as the gathered ponies continued to stare at him in utter disbelief. Finally, hesitantly, Twilight Sparkle found her voice.

“But... but... but that’s not fair!”

“Haven’t you learned anything about me, Twilight? I don’t play fair!” He disappeared in a flash and reappeared next to her. Before she or anypony else could stop him, Discord picked her up and gave her a not so gentle noogie to the head. “Don’t be such a sore loser! To show I’m a good sport, I’ve got some wonderful runner-up prizes for you all!” He disappeared again and Twilight flopped down onto the metal walkway.

As Twilight painfully made it back to her hooves, a Discord plushie popped into existence before her. Others just like it appeared in front of the other startled ponies as well.

“Do you like them?” Discord asked eagerly as he hovered above. “I’ve been working on these dolls for a while and I think they’ll go viral across Equestria in no time!” Another Discord doll appeared in his lion paw. “They even talk! Listen!” He pulled a string from the doll’s back with his eagle claw, causing a mechanism inside to activate and say in a distorted version of Discord’s voice, “Chaos is a wonderful thing!”

Discord laughed joyously and tossed the doll over the side of the building. “Well, my little ponies,” he said once his chuckles died down. “This has been a hoot but I’ve got places to be and disharmony to spread! Stay tuned for my comeback tour!” With one final parting laugh, he flashed and was gone.

The Elements of Harmony and the Princess of Equestria were left with their mouths hanging open. No pony moved or could even think of anything to say. Eventually, Twilight’s focus turned towards the doll that still hovered in front of her.

“DIE!”

The unfortunate plushie ignited into flames from the unicorn’s magic. She huffed and puffed heavily as she watched the doll disintegrate before her.

“Um, Twilight?” came Rainbow Dash’s concerned voice behind her.

“What?” Twilight bit out.

Rainbow zipped in front of her and held up her own Discord doll. “Could you kill mine with fire next?”

Twilight Sparkle was more than happy to comply.

---------------------------------------------------

A burst of light signaled Discord’s appearance.

“Honey!” he called out. “I’m home!”

He ducked to avoid a waffle iron thrown at his head.

“Let me out of here!”

The furious cry was followed by more hotel objects magically flung at him from seemingly every direction. Discord took cover behind a sofa just as a lamp, chair and an entire bed collided with where he had just been. He cautiously peeked his head over the top and gasped as knives and forks headed his way. He dipped down but didn’t quite get away this time. Several of the kitchen utensils embedded themselves into the cushions but a few got lodged into his horns.

“I can see you’re feeling better,” Discord drawled. He stood up and plucked the sharp objects from his deer antler and goat horn and leveled a glare at the panting unicorn on the other end of the room.

“You monster!” Trixie screamed. She lifted up more furniture with her magic and prepared to fling them at her captor. “How dare you keep me prisoner!”

“Hey! Hey! Hey! It’s for your own good!” Discord defended, brandishing his hands in a placating manner. “I’m merely keeping you safe from all the dangers out there.”

“Shut up!” Trixie set herself to launch her improvised ammo.

Discord held up a hand in warning. “Ah, ah. I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

“Why?”

“Because what happens to me also happens to you.”

Trixie snarled and kept her levitating bludgeoning weapons ready. “Liar!”

“Don’t believe me? How about this?” Discord formed a fist with his eagle claw and unceremoniously slugged himself in the face.

“Ow!” Trixie yelped as pain blossomed over her muzzle. She lost concentration with her magic and the furniture she had collected crashed to the floor.

“See? What did I tell you?”

Trixie rubbed her head, anger and confusion warring within her. “Ohhh, what happened?”

“Something quite unexpected, my dear,” Discord said as he rounded the sofa and took a seat. “Now, do calm down and I’ll explain.”

The throbbing on her muzzle had dulled so Trixie looked up and stared daggers at the mismatched creature before her. “I don’t want to hear anything from you!”

“On the contrary, I think you’ll be very interested in what I have to say,” Discord countered. “You see, you may have gained immortality.”

Trixie blinked and her prepared rant died on her lips. “What?” she whispered.

Discord pointed at a spot between them and a microscope appeared. “Take a look through that.” He sighed when Trixie didn’t make any move to go near it. “Come now, it won’t hurt you. Just put your eye on the end there and you’ll see something fascinating. I promise.”

A few moments went by as the unicorn looked at him in distrust. “What will I see?”

“Sorry. Can’t spoil the surprise. You’ll just have to find out.”

Despite every iota of her being yelling at her that it was a trap, Trixie’s curiosity got the better of her. She slowly and warily walked up to the device. She gave Discord one final look to check for any funny business before placing an eye down on the top lens. She frowned as all she saw were two threads tightly interwoven together. One red and one blue.

“I don’t get it. All Trixie sees are two different lines tangled up.”

“Those lines are our life force,” Discord revealed. “Don’t ask me how it happened, since I’m not sure myself, but when I hid in your horn to get away from Celestia, I got ourselves all mixed together.”

Trixie backed away from the microscope and gazed up at him in horror. “Wait. You hid in Trixie’s horn?”

“For nearly a month now,” Discord casually answered while filing his claws.

Trixie’s jaw dropped. Little by little, several unexplained instances over the past month began playing through her mind. Her ears flattened and her face fell as she breathed, “It was you.”

“Hm?” Discord smirked as he watched Trixie piece together the puzzle that had eluded her for so long.

“The things those ponies accused me of at the play. The Ursa Minor and the Ursa Major. You sent them to me.”

“Go on...”

Trixie swallowed as she continued. “I ended up in the middle of nowhere without knowing how just before that pegasus attacked me. All those rejections from the talent agencies...” She trailed off as tears began welling in her eyes.

“Good girl!” Discord clapped his hands together as she finished.

“Why...why me?”

The spirit of chaos shrugged. “You happened to be in the wrong place at the right time. But hey, it hasn’t been all bad! You wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for me.”

Trixie sniffled. “What do you mean?”

“Well, I helped you improve on your shows at the beginning. Then I gave you a little boost so that you could scare off that Ursa Major. We both got something out of it in the end, so no hard feelings?”

“No... no hard feelings?” Trixie repeated. Her held back tears finally fell down her cheeks. She ignored them as she reared up and screamed, “You... you ruined my life, you jerk!”

“Hardly,” Discord waved away her outburst. “If anything, your life is just starting.”

“How do you figure?!”

“Trix. Can I call you Trix?”

“NO!”

“Fine. I already told you that you’ve essentially gained eternal life. I’m not joking. I’m a spirit. I live as long as there is disharmony amongst ponies. That means I live for a very, very long time.”

Trixie wiped her tears away with a hoof. “I don’t understand. How could I live as long as you?”

Discord impatiently pointed at the still present microscope. “Our life forces, remember?! Think! With them tied up as they are, we share a link! As far as I can tell, as long as one of us lives, the other survives!” He suddenly hopped off the sofa and spread his arms wide as his tone changed from annoyance to joy. “And I proved it when I had those meddlesome elements strike me with everything they had!”

“The... elements?” Trixie asked. Then realization hit her like a hoof to the face. “You don’t mean the Elements of Harmony?!”

“Yep! Turned me to stone they did! But with you still kicking it here, our link brought me back! Ha! Ha! Ha!” His laughter echoed throughout the room. He fell back onto the sofa and cackled so hard that tears began leaking from his eyes.

Trixie stared ahead blankly. She tuned out the celebrating draconequus as the current revelations began to sink in. It was just too much to take and she sank to the floor. How long she stayed that way, she didn’t know, but she was brought out of her catatonic state when she felt something patting her head.

“Now, now, Missie,” Discord soothed as he affectionately rubbed her head with his paw. “I know what you’re thinking. How could something so wonderfully chaotic happen to little ol’ me? Luck of the draw, I say!”

“Wonderful? Luck?” Trixie spoke with no emotion. She looked up at him with empty, blank eyes. “My life is over. You’re going to keep me locked up here forever so that you can’t be beaten.”

“Well, I could do that,” Discord admitted. He stood and waved his hands. The hotel room wavered before dissolving away. In its place, Trixie found herself laying on a cloud overlooking the city of Manehattan in all its nighttime glory. The lights of the buildings below her twinkled like stars and stretched on for miles in every direction. “Or... I could offer you this.”

Trixie lost her hopeless expression as she took in the magnificent sight below her. “What are you talking about?” she asked in wonderment.

“Why, Manehatten, of course!” Discord exclaimed. “This is where you wanted to make it big, right? Well, here’s your chance! I’ll go and deal with the rest of Equestria the way I want but leave this town all to you.

“Imagine, your name on Bridleway every night! Ponies clamoring for each performance! Fans dying to just get a fleeting glimpse of you as you walk the red carpet or take the stage!”

It was easy for Trixie to imagine. She had been imagining it her entire life. The fame, the glamour and the fortune readily danced before her eyes. Everything she had ever wanted literally lay before her.

However, with this too-good-to-be-true offer came suspicion. She regarded Discord with narrowed eyes and stated, “How do I know that this isn’t a trick?”

“Moi, deceive you?” Discord pouted. “Why ever would you think that?”

“Takes one to know one.”

Surprisingly, Discord chuckled in genuine mirth. “Ah, that’s why I like you. Your sassy self is very refreshing from all the regular pony dullards.

“Don’t you worry, you have my word. I want to keep you nice and happy so that you’ll have plenty to live for while I do my thing elsewhere.” He looped an arm around Trixie’s neck and pulled her in close. “What do you say? Do we have a deal?”

Trixie pushed him away from her personal space. “Don’t touch Trixie.” She then looked away and down at the glittering lights spread across the landscape. She bit her lower lip as indecision battled within her. Allow Equestria to be plunged into eternal disharmony while she basked in glory? Or refuse and be miserable for the rest of eternity?

Her answer came out slowly and hesitantly. “I... I... don’t know.”

Discord frowned. However, he shrugged and floated a few hooves away before turning back to her. “Well, I can see you need some time to think this over. Fair enough. I’ll give you a few days to come to a decision. I’ll even throw in a little incentive to help you along.” Grinning, he snapped his fingers and Trixie’s astonished form winked from sight.

Now alone, Discord rubbed his hands together. “As for me, I’ve got work to do and places to be. Look out, Equestria! Here I come!”

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