• Published 27th Dec 2014
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Who Is This Lord Tirek You Speak Of? - Bucking Nonsense



A human, after a tragic accident, ends up in the body of Lord Tirek. It all goes downhill from there.

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Seriously, I Have No Idea! My Name's Conrad!

Ever seen something that you knew, without a doubt, would end in tears?

Yeah, this whole sorry mess started out with me trying to do one good deed. I mean, I'm not a boy scout or anything, but I do try to do at least one good deed per day, and I try not to be a dick the rest of the time. That's more than most folks try, you have to admit. I'm no angel, but at least I don't go out of my way to be mean to others.

Of course, you know what they say about good deeds...

Wait, you don't know what they say about good deeds? Seriously? Fine, I'll say it: "No good deed goes unpunished." Of course, most good deeds require that you give up something of yours to help another, right?

This last one, the one good deed that brought me here, it cost me a lot more than I thought it would. See, I was just getting off from work, and was walking to the bus stop. There's a busy street that runs between where I used to work (I worked as the assistant manager at a KB Toy Store at the mall. It was just something to pay the bills until I got an answer to one of the two dozen job applications I had put out after graduating college), and in spite of the speed limit being at most thirty-five miles per, some guys would go faster than that. A lot faster. It was a speed trap, of sorts, since it was a two mile stretch, situated between two sixty-five mile per hour zones. Were it not for the stop light, folks likely wouldn't slow down, period. The cops had a field day with that place, most days, but it made for a dangerous crossing. Since some of those fast-moving assholes were driving semi-trucks...

Yeah, if you tried to cross before the light turned red, and without looking both ways first, you could end up as a spectacular stain on the front of a motor vehicle.

So, yeah, I was standing at the corner, waiting for the light to change, so that I could walk across the street in relative safety, when I hear a very distinctive sound. You know the one, right? The sound a child's ball makes when it bounces. Poit, poit, poit, poit. There really should be a law against children playing with balls within fifty feet of a busy street, honestly. I swear, it's like no one ever even heard of Yu Yu Hakusho.

What's Yu Yu Hakusho? Well, it's a show whose story, I'm sad to say, starts a whole lot like mine did...

So, anyhow, there I was, standing on the corner, hearing the one sound that no one should ever hear at a busy intersection. A small child, couldn't be a day older than six, with his mother, walked up beside me. The moment I saw that kid, I wanted to reach down, grab that ball, and stop what I knew was about to happen. I mean, I'm no prophet, but even I could see what was going to happen. I mean, seriously, who in their right mind lets a kid play with a ball on the sidewalk? But if I did take his ball, someone might take things the wrong way, someone might think I'm trying to hurt their child, instead of trying to prevent an accident. The problem with preventing an accident before it happens is that too many people fail to realize that the accident was about to happen in the first place...

So, instead of being a well-intentioned dick and taking the child's ball, I decided to wait until the inevitable happened, and make certain that if and/or when it did, all that would be lost was the kid's ball, instead of the kid's life.

As expected, the ball slipped from the kid's grasp, and bounced into traffic. As expected, and in defiance of all common sense, the kid began running off into traffic, his mother a step too slow to stop him. However, I was ready for it. With an action so smooth, it should have been choreographed, I took one step forward, grabbed the kid by his collar, spun, lifting him as I went, and threw him into his mother's arms. All without having left the safety of the sidewalk. I honestly think it would have looked really, incredibly, insanely cool, had I not slipped at the last second. It seems that someone had spilled a drink or something, and my foot happened to find the one wet patch on the entire corner. I lost my balance, and ended up falling directly into the street, and in the path of a speeding semi-truck going seventy-five miles per hour.

The last thing to go through my mind (Asides from the grill of the semi, I suspect), was that how terrible a waste it was. Maybe I should have been a dick, and just took the kid's ball in the first place. After all, if I had, then nobody would have been hurt. Instead, because I was was trying to do the right thing in the nicest way possible, I was going to pay for it. And not just me: My three younger sisters would mourn my loss, and my parents would be stuck paying my student loans for the rest of their lives. It just wasn't fair...

There was a flash of brilliant white light, and then everything went black.

I wish I could tell you what happened to the kid. I wish I could say that he grew up to be a doctor and saved a thousand lives. I wish I could say that he was bitten by a radioactive insect and became a superhero. I wish I could say that he grew up to be president, and became responsible for leading mankind into a new golden age. I can't, though. What I can tell you is, he damn well better not have ever played with another ball anywhere near another street as long as he lived, and that he made sure his children never did like he did, either...
-------------------------------------

Before I woke up, I heard a voice, or voices, I think. Maybe it was a dream, or maybe it was a hallucination, but I swear I heard someone, or several someones, speaking.

"You can't do this to me!"

"Yes, as a matter of fact, we can, and we will. You've proven yourself too dangerous to keep contained through normal methods, and even now, after a thousand years of imprisonment to reflect upon your misdeeds, you've shown not even a shred of contrition. Clearly, more severe action needs to be taken. A thousand years bereft of your physical body should be sufficient punishment for now. If, after that time, you've decided to behave yourself, we'll see if you might be reunited with your body. In the meantime, we'll take steps to ensure that it doesn't waste away in your absence..."

"No... NO! STOP!!!"

And then, I felt a strange sensation. It was like... Have you ever put on a sweater that was too big for you? I mean, like when you were a kid and you tried to put on your father's coat or something? It felt like that, only with my own skin... or someone else's. Like I said: Strange.

"Supply him with enough magic that he can defend himself, if someone decides to attack him."

"Done. But, are you certain we should just... drop him off like this? He isn't from this place, and he knows nothing of what this body's owner has done, or of the land of Equestria in general. He could end up in a great deal of trouble..."

"If so, he'll have to get himself out of it: That body is resilient in the extreme, even at its weakest, so unless he does something unforgivably stupid, he should be fine. Besides, we cannot risk Tirek's body remaining in Tartarus while his... essence has been separated from it. Should an accident occur, and his essence escape..."

"Fine, fine. I see your point. But... what will we do with the two of them, in a thousand years?"

"I have some ideas on that. I'll see what can be arranged: It's not exactly an urgent issue, after all. But honestly, do you really think that he'll likely reform, even after a thousand more years of imprisonment?"

"...Yeah, you're probably right."

"Sorry. I know that the two of you were close..."

"Yeah. Yeah, we were. And I still have hope for him. Forever is a long time, and all that. Whether it takes a thousand, ten thousand, or a million years, I will continue to wait. And hope..."
----------------------------

After that, I don't remember much, except a feeling of warmth. At first, I though it might have been the fact that I was in heaven. I mean, sure, being in a blind darkness with nothing but a pleasant warmth may not sound like much to you, but I've always been of the opinion that paradise was something like sleeping in a grassy field on a warm, sunny spring day: Warm, peaceful, content, and safe. Maybe I'm wrong, but if I am, I hope that what is waiting is better than that, rather than worse.

Regardless, I eventually became aware of a weight on my chest. Strangely, it didn't feel that heavy, really. More like a large cat or a medium sized dog had decided to stand on me than anything else. Still, I didn't own a cat or dog at the time, so that struck me as deeply suspicious. My eyes snapped open, and...

Alright, let's be honest here: Nobody, but maybe another changeling of the opposite sex, should wake up with a changeling staring them right in the face. Seriously. That will wake you up faster than getting a bucket of ice water dumped on your head. Or down the front of your pants.

I woke up, scrambling to my feet, screaming... only to stumble, suddenly shocked to discover that instead of the original two, I now had four legs, now arrayed radically differently than before. It took me a little time to take stock, and work out what was going on. From the waist up, it seemed, my body was... similar, but different. I was never the most built person in the world. I mean, I wasn't fat or anything, but I had, at best, a medium build. Now, I had arms with biceps that you could crack walnuts with (I know for a fact that I can. I've done it), and shoulders far wider than before. The skin on my arms was blood red, and the... fur across my chest was pitch black, bizarrely enough, making me look like I was wearing a black muscle shirt. Examination of my face through use of my hands informed me that I had a rather gnarly white beard and a rather bitchin' set of horns. Oh, and it also told me I had a nose ring. Obviously, though, the shape of my face was radically different than before. Meanwhile, below the waist...

I was a horse. A black horse, with a white tail, and rather large hooves. I couldn't make out much more than that, given the lack of a mirror or other reflective surface, but there was one conclusion that I could reach, given the circumstances...

I was obviously now the most metal centaur who had ever lived. I mean, seriously, all I needed was an electric guitar and maybe a hot, scantily-clad blonde clutching one of my legs while something exploded in the background, and I'd be ready for a heavy metal album cover. As it was, my first order of business would need to be working out what in a trillion blue fucks was going on here. I could always pose for album covers later...

How does one regulate four legs with a mindset originally set for two? I don't know how you'd do it, but I envisioned it like this: You control your front legs by walking normally. When you want to move your back legs, you picture moving your legs while your toes are curled. Don't ask me how that works, or why, but it did for me. I think that part of it was because, while my mind was set for two legs, the brain it currently occupied was hardwired for four legs. Biology can sometimes cope when psychology can't.

Anyways, I looked around, but there was no sign of the creature that woke me up earlier. Just... trees. I seemed to be in a small clearing in the middle of a big forest. I couldn't help but wonder what that earlier encounter had been about, though: In the seconds before I lost sight of it, that creature had seemed as frightened of me as I had been of it. Given that, in comparison to me, it was rather small, that did make a certain amount of sense, but if so, how had it worked up the courage to get that close to me in the first place?

I was interrupted from my ruminations by the sound of voices approaching...

One of the voices was loud, and gruff, the kind you'd expect from a grizzled sergeant, who was stating, "Look, we've already seen enough signs that changelings are present in the area, lieutenant. We really should turn back now if we want to return to camp before sunset. We can send a message back for reinforcements, and..."

The voice which cut off the 'sarge' was younger, probably in her early twenties or younger, and was... aristocratic, like one might expect from some kind of period drama. You know, arrogant, haughty, and bitchy as hell. The type born with a silver spoon in her mouth and absolutely certain that anyone born otherwise didn't matter. "...And we'll be told that, without visual confirmation, they won't send more than a pittance to placate us. Sergeant Flint, we will keep going until we see proof."

The voices went silent for a moment, as if this Flint fellow was giving the female speaker a long look. "If we go much further, the only proof we'll see is an enemy ambush after sunset," he stated, gruffly.

I began to become aware of the sound of what sounded like advancing cavalry: Hoofbeats, in large numbers, moving in unison, oddly enough.

The female voice stated, rather haughtily, "Oh please, as if there was anything in these woods that would be a match..." The speaker finally came into view, and her voice trailed off weakly as she finished, saying, "...for a... company of rangers..."

The speaker... was a unicorn. She was fluorescent pink, garbed in golden armor with a matching helmet, and had big blue eyes. Well, I say that they were big, mainly because they were wide open in shock. Obviously, she was as surprised to see me as I was to see her.

A moment later, a... pony stepped into the clearing as well. It was flint gray, and seemed to be a bit older than the one who had just walked in. He seemed... grizzled. Seasoned. And he was just as shocked as the unicorn. However, he was quicker on the uptake, and immediately turned and shouted over his shoulder, "All units, pull back!"

He tried to grab the unicorn and pull her away, but she seemed to come to her senses, then broke free of his grasp, then shouted, "Disregard that order! All units, advance on my position, immediately!"

The hoofsteps that I'd heard became louder as whatever force, likely equine in origin, began to come closer. The sergeant turned towards the unicorn and asked, "Have you lost your mind, Lieutenant Skyflower? That's Lord Tirek! We need to get out of here!"

Who?

This... Skyflower turned towards Flint with a haughty sneer (And let me tell you, it was one hell of a sneer, given that it was easily recognizable on the face of a freakin' unicorn), and said, "Yes, and if we capture him here and now, think of the commendations we'll receive!"

The sarge gave the lieutenant a look that seemed to imply that she'd lost her mind, and said, "Commendations aren't much good if you're not alive to receive them! We're barely equipped to deal with a small hive of changelings! There's no way we'd be able to take both them AND Lord Tirek at the same time!"

Again, who?

"COWARD!" Skyflower practically spat in his face, as dozens of ponies began to enter the valley, all of them wearing similar expressions of shock at seeing me. I was beginning to understand why: The distance between me and the equine visitors had made it difficult to tell at first, but now it was beginning to become clear. I was bigger than they were. I mean, a great deal bigger. I think that the tallest one's head might have reached the chest of my equine half. They were little ponies in comparison to me.

And strangely enough, they seemed to think I was someone else. Someone they obviously didn't like.

Skyflower, clearly angry, turned towards me, and shouted, "All units! Attack!"

The clearing was filled with the deafening sound of absolutely no one making a move.

Looking about, angrily, the lieutenant was clearly unhappy about the fact that no one was obeying that order. If there was a single thought that seemed to be shared by everyone else in the clearing, it was 'No, YOU go first.'

It seemed that, while Lord Tirek wasn't someone they liked, it was also clear that he wasn't someone that they wanted to fuck with, either.

I crossed my arms over my muscular chest, and looked at the group of ponies (At a rough estimate, there was at least a hundred, probably more). A few seemed to be taking a step back: It seemed that by just crossing my arms, I had succeeded in making myself even more intimidating than before. I'd need to remember that I could do that now. I idly wondered what would happen if I began cracking my knuckles while smiling...

Before I could begin doing so, Skyflower blew a gasket. Hopping up and down in anger, she screamed, almost like a brat in the middle of a tantrum (Which, to be honest, she kinda was), "COWARDS! INCOMPETENTS! WEAKLINGS! YOU DISGRACE THE NAME OF EQUESTRIA! I'LL HAVE YOUR HIDES FOR THIS!!!"

I snorted in amusement. I mean, I'm sorry, but she was not, right now, acting like a military officer. She was acting like a five year old who wasn't getting what she wanted (And having worked in a toy store, I have seen a lot of that). I raised an eyebrow, and turned my attention towards Flint, asking, "Is she having her period, or is she always like this?"

Skyflower stopped, mid-rant, her expression turning so red that I thought her face might melt, while Flint, with a feat of flexibility I would have thought impossible for a pony, raised a hoof to scratch the back of his head, and began to say, "Actually..."

"SILENCE!!!" the unicorn shouted, as a few of the soldiers snickered, and she pointed towards me, and shouted, "And you! Surrender now, or face the full fury of the Equestrian army, Lord Tirek!"

My priorities, in this situation, were a little skewed, I freely admit. I would normally have been happy to sit down and calmly explain to her that no, I wasn't this 'Tirek' character she thought I was, but she was just so... ridiculous when she was angry that I couldn't help but to poke her a little more. It was free entertainment! I didn't know if this was a dream, a hallucination, or just some bizarre version of the afterlife, but I was nowhere near taking this situation seriously. Who would? Besides, right now, 'calm' and Skyflower didn't belong on the same planet, let alone the same sentence.

Chuckling, I asked, "What fury? So far, all I've seen is a little girl throwing a hissy-fit because no one is doing what she's telling them to."

I swear, I thought her head was about to explode, right then and there. Grinding her teeth in fury, her horn suddenly burst into blood red light, and a beam of energy sped towards me. Shocked, I raised a hand up, to block the beam. A stupid thing to do, normally, but in this case, it seemed to work: The light gathered in the palm of my hand, and when the beam stopped, Skyflower seemed stunned that there had proven to be no effect.

I turned my palm to where I could see it, and was surprised to see that a globe of energy was crackling violently in my hand, the same color as the beam that had just been launched my way. I don't know where the urge came from, but I felt an overwhelming desire... to eat it.

I raised it to my mouth, and took a small bite out of it. A smile immediately came to my face as I said, "Mmmm, cinnamony!" I promptly ate the entire thing, to the horror of the watching ponies.

Skyflower, clearly stunned, uttered, "That shot could have taken a chunk out of a fortress wall... and he thought it was delicious..."

Once I finished my rather unusual meal, I said, "Thank you sir, may I have another?" I admit, I was still kind of hungry for more...

This seemed to be the wrong thing to say, as Skyflower lost what little sanity she had left, and promptly charged me, screaming, her horn lowered. It was... honestly, the most ridiculous thing I had ever seen. Never mind the size difference, her horn had a rounded tip: She'd have to be running a whole lot faster, and have a lot more weight behind her, before she'd do much more than annoy someone with that thing.

Still, I figured I should stop her before she hurt herself. As she came within range of my arms, I reached forward and grabbed her with one hand, lifting her up off the ground. Then, holding her in front of me, and giving her my best 'What the hell did you think was going to happen?' look, I chuckled. And I will freely admit, I am very good at those kinds of looks.

Skyflower promptly began to call me every name under the sun... that didn't include the major curse words. It seemed that her sheltered upbringing had resulted in her lacking a few chunks of her vocabulary. Still, I was impressed: She might not have known the best words for the job, but she made up for it with creativity. Still, her voice was getting on my nerves. With one hand still holding her, I raised the other towards her head, held my thumb and middle finger together close to her ear, and snapped my fingers. Loudly.

The effect was impressive, far more so than I had expected. My fingers were much larger in comparison to how they were before, and much stronger. The snap was as loud as a rifle shot. Skyflower clutched her ears in pain, giving a shouted 'Arhg!', and went silent.

Giving her another look, this time a little more compassionate than before, I said, "Now, how about we..."

I was interrupted by a shout of "Attack!", followed by what seemed like hundreds of weird bug-pony things like the one I originally saw when I first woke up, all of whom were converging upon the other equines. What courage the ponies had left deserted them, and they ran for the hills without a backwards glance. I swear I heard someone say, "I never liked that nag, anyways," as they retreated.

Within seconds, the clearing had been emptied of ponies, and was now filled with bugs. I looked first at Skyflower, then at the newcomers, and then decided that the best way to do this would be to play it tough: Obviously, folks seemed to think I had a nasty reputation. Better to seem like I knew what I was doing, rather than seem like I was weak or unsure of myself.

"Who is in charge here?" I asked, gruffly.

One of the bug ponies, dressed in armor similar, but more... intimidating, than the armor that the ponies had been wearing, stepped forward, then said, "I am, sir." His voice was surprisingly respectful, and he actually saluted. "I... I am certain that the Queen will wish to see you, sir. Would you be willing to come with us?"

With a shrug, still holding Skyflower (Who'd gone very pale, after seeing her small army get chased off by a force that now seemed to be twenty times the size of her own), I said, "Sure, why not. Lead the way."

Nodding, the leader said, "Very good sir." Eying my captive, he asked, "Shall I take her off your hands, sir?"

Looking at the unicorn, I said, "Alright." After a moment's thought, I added, "But don't handle her too roughly. She's having a very bad day."

The armored one snickered, then said, "Yes sir. We saw that, sir." A little more seriously, he added, "I can promise you, she will come to no harm under our watch, sir. However, I should tell you that I cannot speak for what may happen when we reach the queen. She has not been in the best of moods, lately."

I nodded, then said, "Very well. I will keep that in mind. Lead the way."

Had I known what was going to happen shortly after we reached the hive, I would have gone ahead and let Skyflower go. She honestly didn't deserve the kind of trouble that she was about to go through. Then again, she needed to be brought down a peg or two, and the days and weeks to come would be more than enough to knock some of the bitch out of her...

And speaking of bitches...