• Member Since 16th May, 2015
  • offline last seen 19 hours ago

Accordant Author


Somebody who loves to read stories, and has finally gotten around to writing a few of his own.

T

When Discord taught Prince Illusion how to enchant comics, he didn't see any harm in it. When Prince Illusion decided to prank his friends using his new spell, he didn't expect to hurt anything more than Prism Bolt's pride.

But chaos magic is unpredictable, and now the Next Generation is in peril. They are trapped in another world, and the only way out is through the worst villains the Power Pony's rouges gallery has to offer. They will face tests of their strength, tests of their skill, and tests of their smarts, as they try to their way out of Maretropolis. But they will also face a test of their friendship, and their opponent is playing for keeps...

For the purposes of this story, the events of My Little Pony Annual 2014 will not be considered canon.
The Next Generation is the property of excellent artist Kilala97.
In the Official Next Generation Timeline, this story takes place after Whirlwind develops and gets over her crush on Amber Lily but before Pixel Bit's sibling is born.

Chapters (5)
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Comments ( 44 )

6114788 And it is well said.

Both Star and Nidra will be receiving powers in the story, but I'm actually going to try to create original superhero identities for all of the Next Generation. Well, as original as anything can be when dealing with a world as vast as comic books.

6114809 well okay then I'm interested in what you come up with

Could you put in the character Starfall?

6114972 Probably not. I already have a general skeleton for the story outlined, and he didn't figure into it. I might be able to fit him in as a cameo, but I can make no promises

Why do I get the feeling that by the time they all get out of this mess, Illusion's going to have a big target on his head?

6348958 Why wait until they all get out of this mess? The Next Generation is smart, and only two ponies are known to routinely cause chaos such as this. The seeds of the Draconequine Purge have already been planted...

Or maybe not.

6349664

Fun idea: they get out and decide to get back at him by trapping him in a video game without his powers: Dragon's Lair

6780619 Well, based on the rather less than thorough education about that game I got from it's Wikipedia page and Youtube Walkthrough over the past fifteen minutes, all I can say is that Illusion probably wouldn't notice his power's going missing. Singe is plainly a true Discordian at heart, at least where trap construction is concerned.

Irregardless, it's something the Next Generation will only be able to consider after escaping their current predicament. Thanks for teaching me about a famed retro game series, though! And for reading!

6780858 Just saying, I'm hoping Illusion get's some form of comeuppance.

6784374 Oh, he will. Not specifying what, but this isn't the sort of disaster you walk away from with no consequences.

8121182 It's been a year an a half now, hasn't it? It's strange; it feels like longer, actually.

The short answer to your question is probably never. I started this story in order to force myself to keep to an update schedule and write consistently. The issue was that I had so little experience writting on a deadline, and the story I had selected involved so many characters and such a complex plot (the central antagonist hasn't even been mentioned yet, actually), that even if I wrote for the dozens of hours each month needed to turn out ten-thousand word chapters, I would have taken years to finish. I hadn't been thinking of that when I started, and now, frankly, I don't have enough interest in this story to put in that sort of time, or enough thought to rewrite the plot into something more concise (which would also demand rewriting some of the earlier chapters).

So, while it is not impossible a miracle will occur and I will pick this up again, that is probably not going to happen. I apologize to you, if you enjoyed reading what I have and wanted more. I myself have enjoyed stories on this site that have simply stopped updating, and I know that it feels almost like a betrayal. But now, over a year later, I've moved on to other things, and am not capable of giving this story more time or focus.

I'm sorry about this, and sorry I failed to express any of it earlier (to be fair, you were the first to ask). On the very remote chance someone else wants to pick this story up and keep writting it, I will help them in whatever way they ask. For now, I simply hope you enjoyed reading what was there.

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Out of curiosity, what were your plans for the future chapters of this story?

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They were quite long. I have two chapters half-finished, though both desperately needed to be rewritten for brevity and clarity, and I knew the broad outlines of the plot to its conclusion (I had an idea for a sequel, actually. Well, we all learn to but the horse before the cart in some way or another).

Looking back on it, I realize that the reason I has able to write so much on this was because I loved thinking about how superpowers and their positives and negatives would interact with Kilala's cast of characters. The superpowers I made up were the most detailed part of this story; only a few villains were original, actually; most ponies in the Power Ponies Universe were based on side characters from the show. Monsieur Maladie is Gustave le Grand). If you wanted to know the powers and backstory I had planned for any of the next generation and several of the main cast, name a character and I can write a paragraph on it.

In terms of plot, though, the story would have been plodding. The great conceit here was that Illusion's magic interacted poorly with making multiple comic books from the same universe; it wound up entangling all three books into the larger over-arching plot of the Power Ponies Universe at the time, which was the resurrection of the Second Annihilator, Pandemonium. He's that main villain I didn't introduce yet, and in the end he would have gone up against everybody already in the comics plus Claire, T, Nidra, and Illusion, who found their way in over the course of searching for their friends and realizing that Illusion's magic has spun out of control. While that was happening, the ponies inside the books would have basically had a long series of fights; I was not being good about keeping the plot moving, I think.

The climax of the story would have been the fight against Pandemonium, an extremely powerful illusionist whose illusions "attune" to the people he's fighting to try to break their will to go on. Only problem is, Pandemonium has been scoping out the Next Generation for some time, and in the process of attuning has realized that these ponies' thoughts and desires really don't gel with cartoon characters. If he's too fulfill his role as Master Manipulator, he needs to understand his prey, and eventually he realizes that he's stuck in a fake universe and that his existence ends when it stops, becoming self-aware. There was going to be a scene where Pandemonium tries to break Illusion with the fact that he created a doomed intelligence, and ultimately tried to make him sacrifice one of the other ponies to provide a shell that Pandemonium could live in and escape the book from. And Illusion would have refused, the mission goal would have been completed, and the NG would have been fine, except Illusion who was going to wind up fairly traumatized. This was going to take twenty chapters of fights to get to, though.

Like I said, If you want more specific information on somepony's powers or backstory, which is what I think I was focusing far more on in this story, or you want me to enumerate the fight combinations, tell me and I'll send it to you.

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Like I said, If you want more specific information on somepony's powers or backstory, which is what I think I was focusing far more on in this story, or you want me to enumerate the fight combinations, tell me and I'll send it to you.

Well I'd like both actually, it's sad to see a story with such potential go unfinished, that and Illusion's overall comeuppance, or more specifically the NG's vengeance on him... if they ever get any.

8714106
Well, that’s very nice of you to say. I’d honestly considered this story a failure, so I’m glad people enjoyed it. There’s a lot of stuff, so I’ll probably be writing multiple responses piecemeal.

Firstly, on how the Comic Books work: they’re basically extremely determined barely-sentient artificial intelligences that are tasked with telling the story. Their like a Dungeon Master who’s a bit of a railroader, essentially, and the books can futz with a lot of stuff to make the plot work. This is why Prism has his episodes of being “possessed;” the Books are feeding information on how his technology works into his mind because so much of Spectrum’s powers were wrapped up in his ability to tinker. The books don’t do this to anybody else because their powers are a lot more intuitive.

Well, to start enumerating the fights: The only one we got to in-story was Anthea (Cheerleader) and and Cotton Candy (Jestress) vs. Monsieur Maladie (Sort-of Gustav le Grand). Gustav is a tinker who creates biological weapons, though they’re ponyland biological weapons, so mud-zombies and little vials that make choking gases or capturing foam, mostly. Jestress is actually the daughter of the Mane-iac. What with her mother being put away for most of her life, she’s had the opportunity to find better role models, Her hair is a pocket dimension of great size, which Jestress uses to store solutions to just about everything. Cheerleader has the ability to see emotions as color, and her magic can be used to manipulate emotions. She affects ponies’ mental state, not their feelings towards other things; she can make you feel angry but you’ll just feel angry in general. The fight between Monsieur Maladie and these two was mostly the heroes dodging until Anthea figured out how her powers worked and made Monsieur Maladie have a breakdown; his heart’s not really in these things anymore.

upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/ce/Plutchik-wheel.svg/1894px-Plutchik-wheel.svg.png
Anthea see's emotions based on Plutchik's Wheel.

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I'm loving this so far! What about the others?

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I’m glad. I think I can get in one comment per day; time is tight but not as tight as it was.

Spectrum (Prism), Aerial (Whirlwind), and Birr (Icy) were going to wind up fighting Beatdown (forget who he was based off of, actually) and afterward the Avians, Killer Mist (Cloudchaser), Downdraft (Flitter) and Shocklance (Thunderlane). Beatdown is a trans-pony who manipulates the way kinetic energy moves through his body; he can diffuse the forces of kicks and punches to take hits, or turn the energies from a wind-up into a very efficient and powerful punch. He’s just dumb muscle, though; The Avians are the ones with plans for world domination. Beatdown was going to lose to Birr, who basically has Zapps' meterokinesis but with snow and ice instead of rain and lightning. Freezing mist is very effective against Beatdown; kinetic energy diffusion doesn’t mix well with temperature attacks. Spectrum and Whirlwind would have had more of a chance to shine against the Avians. Shocklance was a small-time crook who recruited his cohorts after the twins got kicked out of higher education for discipline issues. Downdraft and Killer Mist built the team weapons, wind-manipulating drones, cloud generating grenades, and a shocking lance (guess who got which), and since have been stealing parts to build bigger and better devices.

Spectrum is an inventor himself, and might have had a scene where he understood some of how the Avian’s tech works; but his primary focus is on photosolids, which are what Radience’s bracelets produce. Creating photosolids using just technology is difficult; it’s a field that Pixelnaut (Button Mash) is capable in. Spectrum’s origin story is a long history of science-driven juvenile delinquency that culminates in stealing a bunch of photosolid technology schematics and equipment from various organizations and tinkering with it until he had built his pseudodermis projectors, which offer him armor, let his spit out duplicates (three max) and shoot bolts of force. Spectrum was originally a member fo the Deviants (I think they were mentioned briefly), which are a group of misfits who try to be left alone; Spectrum quit because he developed affections for Aerial, then on the Young Harmony team. Her powers come from knowing Pegasi magical techniques from a land far away; it’s pretty straight aerokinesis and martial arts, she’s a lot like an airbender. Aerial and Spectrum have advantages of numbers and good reflexes that would have made them useful against the Avians, who are smart enough to know to shoot the squishy wizard on the enemy team.

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Earthshaker (Golden Delicious) and Marvel Mare (Red June) got thrown into a fight with the Questing Beast, a creature of the Arthurian Tradition that I’m rather fond of. Earthshaker is Mistress Marvelous’ newest sidekick (Humdrums’ graduated from that position a while ago), and he receives his powers from a set of enchanted horseshoes; I forget if I gave them an origin, but now I’d say they came from the same place Mistress Marvelous’ lasso came from, ancient relic of an Earth Pony Goddess passed down through the generations. Point of the matter is that Earthshaker's shoes give him broad but strong geokinesis, less earthbending and more localized earthquakes. He's also strong enough to wear bulky armor, which makes him less of a squishy target.

Marvel Mare has a rather long backstory. She is the daughter of Lifeforce (Big Mac) and Metamare (Cheerilee). Lifeforce has From a Single Cell regeneration abilities and a fine Earth Pony physique and not much else; Metamare has a high level of autobiokinesis; she can make herself bone armor or grow extra limbs or alter her digestive tract to spit acid; a lot of different powers that take time and a lot of food to get working. Lifeforce derived his powers from Harmony itself, as best scientists could tell; Metamare was a transpony who triggered while receiving an experimental medical operation. They married and had a daughter, and while neither of their powers were directly hereditary, the result of a nigh-divine imperative to survive and a lot of leeway with the laws of biology gave Marvel Mare an extraordinary physiology. Her body is made of thousands of redundant organs and systems to contain damage and more efficiently perform bodily functions; she has superequine speed, strength, and mental acuity and is next to impossible to put down.

The Questing Beast is basically an enormous snake leopard that’s very poisonous, but those traits don’t work well against targets as tough as Earthshaker and Marvel Mare. Once Del and June stopped panicking they could just hold it in place and pound it back to Tartarus. The Beast is technically immortal, but that just means it’ll come back and go after some other poor soul in a year or two.

Now to Ponygeist (Star). Ponygeist is the daughter of the Masked Matterhorn, who is a Pegasus who uses an incredibly rare magical metal (let’s just call it thaumite, that sounds cool) and a great deal of technical knowledge to build her horns, which can cast evocation spells. Ponygeist is her daughter and was trained from birth to inherit the Matterhorn’s company and super-heroine identity, and that pressure drove her to desperate measures. The Matterhorn had been experimenting with directly implanting parts of her horn into herself; Ponygeist used that technology to help her become more powerful, botched it badly, and gave herself what amounts to really bad mercury poisoning. In the fallout of the loss her life’s purpose Ponygeist was given by an as yet unknown benefactor her Amulet. It uses the same type of stone as Radience’s bracelets, but is heavily enchanted; a hard to understand syncretism of many different types of magic, with no clear origin. What Ponygeist cared about was that is let her project a proxy, a “ghost” version of herself that could see and pass through solid matter. Inside her body she has a very weak telekinesis, which is just strong enough to, say, clot a vein. She’s basically the scariest sort of ghost, who pops out of the floor and kills you with a hoof through the brain. And Ponygeist used that, too. She became a supervillain after her mother blamed her for her accident and failed to help her recover, and has been living on the lamb after fleeing from the hospital.

Ponygeist would have gone up against the Horologist (Doctor Whooves, Time Turner, whatever his official name is). He also derives his powers from a mysterious item, though his magical hourglass is from the future. It’s literally indestructible, and also is one of the few things that Ponygeists’ ghost vision can’t see though, which is why Star would have found the guy. Horologist’s hourglass lets him go back in time exactly one minute, after which it stops working for exactly one minute. He doesn't split the timeline or alter the past or such and such; he cannot change events that have come to pass. What he does is go back one minute, then after that minute’s up, he goes back again and again. What he gets is the appearance of cloning himself, possibly dozens of times. His power has a lot of uses can figure out if you think about it; he was actually going to escape from Ponygeist by using his hourglass over and over and traversing the entire city in one minute and three dozen clones.

8718482
Alright, I think the next chapter would have been Annie and Candy (Cheerleader and Jestress) against the Grey Horse (Maud Pie). This occurred at Jestress’s massive Warehouse of Stuff, where the two came to find answers. Grey Horses powers were tied into Cheerleader’s backstory, I think I remember the broad strokes and I’ll fill in the rest.

Ponies manipulate nature to their benefit, keeping it stable and healthy for them and their crops. One of the more unusual ideas the Powered Comics writers had (well, I had) was that idea applied to ponies. They imagined diminutive little fairy-ponies who manipulated big ponies’ emotions, keeping them stable and harmonious so the fairy-ponies could safely live among them and take tribute from ponies in exchange for keeping them happy. This was the state of affairs a few millennia ago; then an unnamed pony discovered a powerful fairy artifact, a magical pool, that made him immune to their power and he lead a crusade to destroy them and “free” Equestria. He succeeded.

Fast forward to the present, Cheerleader gets her powers from a tiny cabal of fairy survivors guarding the fairy Princess (Mi Amore Cadenza). Cheerleader promises to help restore the world to the lost harmony the Princess desires. This is not idle chance; the fairies’ old places are being rediscovered by modern expansion. Another pony rediscovers the Pool, which stripes from her all emotion. She feels no pain and no fear, never becomes bored or distracted, forever pursues her goal, which is “defending “ the world from the fairies. This is the Grey Mare.

Monsieur Maladie is more comedic than dangerous in many ways, so the Grey Mare was intended to show Anthea and Candy that things were serious. I believe she was also one of the villains that would “win” their encounter, driving Cheerleader and Jestress to flight, and get manipulated by Pandemonium into a larger villain team-up later on.

Though they flee, Annie and Candy do get a next goal: Myriad. He’s a scientist who they hope can help them with this “interdimensional incident.” In reality, he’s who Illusion becomes when dives into the Comic. I’ll explain more of his powers when he becomes relevant.

That brings us to Star, June, and Del meeting up to fight the Archmages, a trio of unicorns consisting of Star Step (Moondancer), Animate Strings (Snips’ father the puppet guy, whatever his name is), and The Transmografigurater (that one background pony with three diamonds as a cutie mark). Star Step is their leader. Animate Strings and Transmo (only she calls herself The Transmografigurater) were skilled magical criminals who developed a rivalry with the Masked Matterhorn after she beat them individually; when it became known that her horn was artificial (publicly revealed in an unrelated incident), they sort of had a crisis of self-worth after realizing their skills had been overpowered by a non-unicorn, and they teamed up. This didn’t do much. Eventually, they got into contact with Star Step, who worked in the Matterhorn’s company and eventually became privy to her secret identity and thaumite research. She worked as the Matterhorn’s research partner, eventually creating magical amplifiers for unicorns, which the Matterhorn hoped could be used to bolster her fellow heroes.

The Masked Matterhorn started out being pretty paranoid about abusers of her research and got more so after a string of accidents that involved her efforts to replicate her teammates powers (long story). She told her identity to Star Step before she veered into extreme secrecy for her research, and Star Step viewed the Matterhorn as getting more and more controlling, refusing to let Star Step in on her own projects while demanding complete transparency from her. Star Step wasn’t without ambition; she wanted the sort of power and wealth that the Matterhorn had, and after years of being sidelined by the Matterhorn and months of contact with her future teammates, she eventually snapped, stole several prototype magic amplifiers, and embarked on a quest to steal the Matterhorn’s other work. Thus the Archmages were formed.

Star Step is a skilled magical tinkerer who often pulls out surprises, but her bread and butter is an amplifier that lets her teleport objects that she gets in her magical grip. She drops flechettes on people, teleports weapons away, maneuvers her team around. Animate Strings casts animate object spells; he’s fond of designing highly variable puppets, ponyquins, giant walkers, flying little bees, lots of minions. He’s not at all a threat in person, he’d prefer not to be in fights at all if it weren’t necessary to direct his constructs. Transmo is a master transfigurer. She’s actually asthmatic, but she’ll turn the area around her into a nightmare of explosives and greased floors and bombs, and she’s the best of the team at throwing up barriers.

The Archmages would have also been part of the Big Penultimate Battle, and their fight with Del and June would have consisted of Star Step teleporting her team around earthquakes while Transmo caged Marvel Mare and some of Animate Strings’ most agile minions distracted Earthshaker until he got ganged up on. Then Ponygeist would have arrived and the Archmages would have noped out of there before they got taken out in three hits by the invulnerable land-shark. Ponygeist is scary.

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And only now do I realize that by replying to my own comments you get no notifications and probably think I’ve gone dark. Blast.

Well, if you’re willing to track down the order, this brings us to where Nidra, T, and Claire entered the story (Claire entered through Candy’s book, and Nidra and T through Prism’s. The books aren’t quite sucking ponies in willy nilly, but if you try too mess with them they’re pretty easy to open by mistake).

T, Claire, and Nidra all become the remaining members of the Deviants, Telegonius, Ctimene, and Nightbat respectively. Telegonius and Ctimene are both half-Tartarian demons who were conceived by the Goldwitch (Sunset Shimmer), and Circe, a demon. Demons can produce half-demons by possessing ponies for long periods of time, which Circe did to Goldwitch. This backstory doesn’t really become relevant, though; what matters is that half-demons are hardly common enough for most ponies to have any idea of what they’re dealing with and they get superpowers.

Telegonius is abnormally strong and has demonic claws and horns, and when he gets angry, he experiences a feedback loop which can cause a sort of berserker rage directed at whatever set him off. While raging, he’s not very cognizant, and also turns into a shifting skeleton covered in fire who can teleport short distances towards his opponents. He’s not very corporeal but is hot enough to melt iron, and with his claws and spines and speed he can wreak a lot of havoc. He’ll stay like this until someone snaps him out of it or he destroys whatever triggered the rage.

Ctimene is sort of Teledonius’s foil; half-demons don’t have a very consistent appearance. She looks like a normal unicorn except her horn is curved and covered in runes. She creates constructs out of demonfire; these don’t have substance but can adopt the appearance of regular objects, and are more or less made of real fire. Ctimene can set a room ablaze and make it seem as if nothing is wrong, disguise burning caltrops as scattered leaves, and hide the exits of traps and prisons. Her fire can take time to grow to large sizes, though, and upon investigation obviously has no substance.

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Don't worry, I'm still listening. I honestly think these backstories would be perfect for a stand-alone fanfic! :pinkiehappy:

BTW, with the whole reality-warping event you mentioned earlier, do our heroes keep their powers?

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Thank you. The possibility of physical bleed between the real and comics worlds wasn’t considered in this story, but doing something like letting ponies keep powers in the real world is Pandemonium’s end goal, because that means he can escape the comics world and have a real life. In the hypothetical sequel to this story, something like this might occur; I would say it is definitely possible with enough Chaos Magic.

On to Nightbat (Nidra). Nightbat is a vampire, because Princess Nidra is like three steps from being canonically a vampire anyway. She’s the daughter of Nightwolf Nocturne (Princess Luna), a hugely powerful vampire Duchess who disappeared when Nightbat was young, stranding her in Maretropolis. She joined up with Ctimene and Telegonius after a chance encounter, recognizing that all of them would never be trusted by normal ponies.

Powered Comics vampires are ponies whose bodies and magic have been permanently changed by an ancient ritual, which is long since lost but is still passed on through vampiric bloodlines. This ritual uses the vampire’s fundamental magic (the magic of cutie marks, souls, life essence, the important stuff) to create magical energy, which is much faster than normal magical generation but also kills the vampire darn quick unless they consume other ponies’ fundamental magic to keep there's going. Vampiric feeding is debilitating even if not fatal; consuming even a tenth of a ponies’ fundamental magic can leave them hospitalized for weeks and full recovery might take up to a year. Therefore most vampires simply find wretched ponies, criminals, the homeless, those who won’t be missed, and out and out kill them when they need to feed (for a typical vampire every other month; Nightbat’s more powerful and needs to feed every five-six weeks. She tries to find murderers and desperate criminals to devour when she can).

Vampires gain from their sins nigh-immortality; only a blow to heart, head, or neck will kill a vampire because any wound not immediately fatal will be regenerated almost instantly. Vampires need no normal food nor drink, and indeed cannot taste such things. Vampires’ natural tribal magic become stronger and can in time be trained into unusual abilities; Pegasi vampires turn into mist or birds of prey, Earth pony vampires can summon lashing thorns and become wolves; unicorns can gain direct telekinetic control over their own ever-regenerating blood. Nightbat is a young vampire, but because of her excellent lineage she’s already powerful, being able to become a bat and control large swarms of the same, in addition to being a skilled athlete, mage, and fighter. Finally, Nightbat is unusually skilled in the only universal vampiric ability, compelling obedience and deadening a ponies’ emotion with a hypnotic gaze.

Needless to say, the Deviants are viewed as dangerous criminals by the authorities in Maretropolis, and their first fight would be up against the MPD’s elite Hayvid Task Force (mythological allusion to Hayvid and Goliath). It’s sixteen heavily armed guards with net-throwers, electric pikes, full plate armor, and trained combat mages lead by Lieutenant Longshot (Fletcher, not appearing in this story), who employs bracers which fire metal spikes at full automatic. Thinking back on it, he’s more or less Deadshot but an authority figure. These mooks are well-trained and capable, but the Deviants are extremely powerful when they resort to fighting all out, and in the end T, Claire, and Nidra would blow them away with vampire-level magic, T’s rage, and omnidirectional fire.

Oh, right, vampires can also die to begin set on fire, because that just burns out their regeneration eventually. Thankfully Nidra’s first fight with her incendiary friends occurs near a source of water. Vampires have no distaste for running water or garlic, and they’ll only die to a wooden stake for the same reasons you would. They do loathe mirrors; because a silver-backed mirror shows vampires with the hodgepodge of cutie marks they’ve stolen, tattooed all across their bodies.

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Okay, so at this point in the story people start running around a lot, so let me review (mostly for my sake) where everyone is:
Icy, Whirlwind, and Prism have just defeated the Avians and are talking to Commissioner Honorbound, who’s expressing his thanks in the usual way of policemen to superheroes (grudgingly).
Candy and Annie are gallivanting through the city towards the location of Myriad’s lab.
Del, Star, and June are returning to Star’s apartment after Star casually annihilated the Archmages.
Claire, T, and Nidra are realizing they actually don’t know much about hiding from the law.

The Pegasi’s chat with the Commissioner gets interrupted by the bruised and limping Lieutenant Longshot, who (grudgingly) relates how the Deviants are running amok and the police can’t stop them. He points out to the Commissioner (grudgingly) that, as it happens, a powerful cryokinetic and someone who can spit out duplicates without fundamental magic is exactly what the police needs right now, and so the Pegasi are sent to hunt down the Deviants.

Meanwhile, Candy and Annie run into Star, Del, and June when Star figures out how to use her Ghost-vision well enough to tell that there's a pocket dimension moving across the city, right next to a giant mass of weird energy. That giant mass of weird energy is the fight those five get into shortly after they reunite; the Gremlin Contriver (Discord).

The Gremlin Contriver is an inventor who derives his powers from Dissonance itself, as best science can tell. He can create anything, but his inventions are never what he expects them to be; some are useful, most are weird, and the stress of constantly having brilliant ideas that he knows will prove just slightly impossible has unhinged him a bit, as has the fact that device misfires have mutated him severely. The Gremlin Contriver is moving near Myraid’s lab because he’s trying to search for it; in his usual fashion, he arrived in almost the right place but wound up next to a bunch of powerful superheroes.

The Gremlin Contriver has a lot of machines which do things that by rights out to be impossible, one of which is a machine that exorcises Star and sends her back to her original body. After that, the team fights an organized retreat against the Contriver’s bombardment of mutated penguins, lava-transmutation bombs, and other, similar objects. Eventually, Del realizes that the Gremlin Contriver is liable to defeat himself if he continues as he is, and so, after some arguing, he and Annie lead him away from Myriad’s Lab while Candy and June attack from behind to drive him back and then get into the lab proper. After the Gremlin Contriver’s tractor beam misses and hauls a garbage dumpster on top of him, Del and Annie head off to Star’s appartement to get her back.

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In the meantime, the Deviant’s and Pegasi’s fight would naturally tend to dissolve into smaller skirmishes, as the Pegasi use the element of surprise and their greater mobility to split up their enemies. Icy locks down T, Prism distracts Nidra but his clones get nailed, leaving his physical body next to Claire, and so Whirlwind tries to keep Nidra away. The fight ends when Prism recognizes Claire (for all his flaws, I think he knows his friends rather well, even if he often ignores their feelings) and they hash out what happened. Unfortunately, Nidra experiences her first blood-frenzied urge to feed, nearly “kills” Whirlwind, and runs off, forcing Prism and T, the only fliers fast enough to chase her (Whirlwind is still down a wing) to go off and leave the rest of the group on their own. So it is that the ponies are all off on their little team quests once again, leaving them ever more vulnerable! Buwuhaha !

It is about this time when Illusion and Valiant Heart enter the comics (I completely forgot I had Valiant Heart in here initially, he never played a big role; I did write his character’s backstory, through, so might as well). Since the start of the comics fiasco, Illusion has been getting steadily more concerned, and by now it's been hours and noponies’ come out of their book. So Illusion snags the three books, high-tails it to Canterlot, and explains to his parents what he did, and they figure out more or less what happened and that the best way to end the imprisonment is to finish the story. Valiant Heart takes after his father, and so is enough of a comics buff to know how the storylines Illusion grabbed segway into the larger Pandemonium plot. Ultimately, to minimize complexity that might affect the books, only Illusion and Valiant Heart go in.

Illusion is Myriad. Myriad is the clone of the Gremlin Contriver, or rather one of his attempts at a clone. The Gremlin Contriver’s inability to control his impact on the world gets to him, in no way more than his inability to create children. A misfire rendered him infertile, and whenever he tries to use his powers to create life, something always winds up wrong. Myriad is genetically the son of the Gremlin Contriver, but his fundamental magic got expanded by his creation process. As a result, he is simultaneously every species on Equestria at once.

Well, not actually at once, but he can change into different sentient species, or combinations thereof. I liked his design because it’s the sort of power only an Equestrian would think of as fairly obvious. Myriad can turn into a Pegasus to fly quickly, morph into a Breezy to slip into a locked facility, and then become the classic minotaur-dragon hybrid to wreck havoc. He’s also smart and remarkably well put-together considering who his father is; he does research on himself and genetics in general in his lab, and frequently gets called on to help ponies mutated or affected by powers. Myriad has trouble turning into very magical species, like dragons and alicorns, but he can become half-dragon or use splintered alicorn magic like what Star’s enormous wings stem from; and his research has allowed him to use more powerful species more frequently.

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Right, so thinking on it again, I’m pretty sure I did drop Valiant Heart from the story. Huh. Well, his character was… I forget the name, so I’ll make one up. Excelsior. That fits. He was the son of Radiance and Spearmaster (Shining Armor), and during his youth he suffered a crippling heart disease that would have killed him. Radiance had been researching her bracelets (alien artifacts, in short) and she found another example of their material in her research, a meteorite raw and unpolished crystals. Using her own expertise and help from the Masked Matterhorn, she fused the crystals into her son’s body and he was able to change his magical rhythms to use their photosolid-generating abilities to make up for his failing organs. Because the crystals that have infused his body have a lot more mass than Radiance’s, Excelsior is also very powerful, but because he also has to be generating some (very intricate) constructs constantly to not die, it limits how much he can do with them; he can’t focus intellectually on what he wants to do or else his heart fails. Rather, he uses the crystals to empower his body, giving him a magical suit of armor, improving his strength, firing slicing thorns in time to his wing beats, and other extensions of his natural movements. He needs to do things by reflex instead of by careful thought in order to effectively multitask with his powers. Spearmaster, a capable martial artist (albeit mostly with spears), helped him in developing most of his fighting techniques. I liked his character, which was at once extremely powerful and also constantly on a knife’s edge (he has to be careful falling asleep; getting concussed would probably be fatal). Unfortunately, this story had a few to many characters already.

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Alright, so now we have four new trios of ponies. I suppose we’ll start with Icy, Claire, and Whirlwind as their fight would occur the soonest after the split. Whirlwind is mildly injured and fairly traumatized because Nidra started sucking out her soul, the others have a lot to think about. At this point, a series of increasingly contrived fights will start occurring because Pandemonium is actively using his illusions and mindreading to influence villains into trying to beat up the heroes, essentially playing the problem ponies around him off one another. One of the simpler ponies to manipulate is Electromare (Lightning Dust), a transpony who experienced her triggering event after being experimented on for some time by a rogue branch of the Equestrian military. She had some mechanical implants, chemical enhancers, and a great deal of magical strengthening pumped into her in a very primitive effort to replicate superpowers. She wasn’t anywhere near the Power Ponies’ level until she got struck by lightning. Transponies normally don’t trigger due to natural phenomena; having lightning fry your mechanical lungs is not a natural phenomenon. Electromare wound up being an equine supercapacitor who desperately needs electrical power to live. She has very serious scaring (mental and physical) and has slowly gotten less berserk since her trigger, her rage sharpening into a colder hatred of the government and of her rival, Zapp, whose unlimited source of lightning is something she rather wants.

Electromare is one of the ponies who would win her fight and come back in the finale. She can’t direct her electrical discharge, simply choosing whether its on or off. However, her hoarded power is by now nigh-bottomless; she’ll discharge lighting into any pony in fifteen feet when trying to, killing them quickly, and she’ also a fast flier. Birr is more resistant to electricity, but also his magical icicle is a conductor of magical power, so he’s in danger within thirty feet. Electromare will beeline for Birr, knowing his connection to Zapp, without pausing to take in the situation; Icy would rely on Whirlwind to keep Electromare away, which only somewhat works. Electromare is quick and strong enough to resist even a hailstorm from Icy, and the fight will consist of him working up to a concealing sleetsorm as Whirlwind and Claire distract Electromare with illusions of Icy and wind gusts. The trio eventually runs off; Electromare will eventually lose track of the and fly away howling her frustration.

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Now let’s slide over to Illusion, Candy, and June. Illusion enters his lab as Myraid, and soon gets the hang of his powers. Unfortunately, Myriad’s lab is a cluster of goodies almost any supervillain would want if they knew where it was; and thanks ot Pandemonium, a great number of them suddenly know just that. Specifically, Oktavia Seckendorff (Octavia Melody) and Cacophony (Vinyl Scratch), both of whom are interested in Myriad’s research into his unique fundamental magic, on account of them being vampires. Oktavia is an ancient vampire, a friend to Nightwolf Nocturne, and Cacophony is her grandchild and reluctant companion after Oktavia got kicked out of her manse by the Power Ponies. The duo are also going after Myriad hoping to gain a better understanding of the Power Ponies’ powers from his research, in the interest of revenge.

Oktavia is an ancient and powerful vampire, capable of becoming a large wolf, possessing great strength and speed, and being able to cling to walls. She is more finesse than raw power, with excellent reflexes and great mobility. She bounces around the room dealing critical damage in close quarters. Cacophony is a tinker in addition to being a vampire, using a massive noise cannon which destroys fragile objects, such as blood vessels. She lacks any major vampiric abilities aside from a weak compelling gaze and regeneration (she’s only 36 from a weaker vampiric bloodline), so she prefers to stand away from the fight, using her noise cannon freely on Oktavia, as her regeneration makes it quite ineffective. Illusion will need to escape from the vampires at first, but when Candy and June arrive, he can start fighting back. June’s abilities will be compromised by the noise cannon, as it attacks all of her redundant systems at once; she’ll rely on Candy to provide earplugs and soundproofing cloth to Myriad, who can turn into a changeling to fight without needing to see (Well, by sensing emotions he can fight well enough to smash large fragile sound systems). Defeating Cacophony first is their best bet; the June can more easily fight Oktavia, overcoming her with sheer tenacity and some help from Myriad turning into a half-dragon.

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Now we can bounce over to Prism, Nidra, and T. against Aurochs (Iron Will). Explaining his powers requires some of Saddle Rager’s backstory in my conception. Saddle Rager is operating under a curse from the fairy-ponies, or rather a very old group of them that tried to revolt against the Princess in ancient times. She was initially an archeologist; she was researching ancient equestrian civilizations and found the Soul of Fury, a superweapon created by the rebel fairy-ponies sealed away by the victors.

Well, ancient seals have a short half-life in MLP, and unsurprisingly this one wasn’t working to well when Saddle Rager found it. She obeyed proper archeological procedure, moved the glowing red gem carefully with padded tongs, and it still exploded and cursed her. Now, whenever she gets angry, her rage fuels the archetype of Fury itself, and she gets incredible strength and also more or less becomes a different person.

Fast-forward through her years of life in hiding and the formation of the Power Ponies, and the Masked Matterhorn is trying to replicate her teammates powers, to create more heroes for the good of society. Spectrum, as I mentioned, distantly owes his inspiration to a failed effort to copy Radiance’s powers. Because the Saddle Rager gets her powers from something meant to be passed along, it was far easier to copy her abilities with the Matterhorn’s magic-replicating Thaumite. Of course, the Matterhorn and Saddle Rager weren’t entirely aware that Saddle Rager has become the host for a WMD, and predictably meddling with her powers lead to bad things.

Aurochs was a Minotian spy who had the good idea of sneaking into Matterhorn’s lab and relying on whatever superpowers he could gain within to escape, a daring move the Matterhorn wasn’t planning on when designing her security. Aurochs found and used the artificial Soul of Fury Matterhorn had made, and due to a combination of him not being a pony, his great mental discipline, and glitches in the Matterhorn’s design, he got slightly different powers. Aurochs has the ability to turn into a large bull-like creature, possessing great strength and an impressive charge, but he retains his mind and can easily transform back. He’s not quite as powerful as Saddle Rager, but is one of her most dangerous foes. Aurochs is no longer associated with Minos; he dislikes the Deviants (of whom Spectrum, Telegonius, and Nightbat are members or ex-members) due to a conflict he had with them where he tried to use them to terrorize a sporting event that they cottoned on to his game and hospitalized him (well, he regenerates well enough to skip the hospital, but it hurt a lot.

Aurochs is good at switching between forms to confuse his enemies in battle, and he’s strong enough to charge up walls and leap from building to building, which takes some of his foes’ airborne advantage away. He’ll go straight for Prism and smash his armor, making him useless for the rest of the fight. From there he can pivot to trying to fight T., who he’ll hope to beat before his anger grows enough to make him a threat. Aurochs is hugely strong and will get some good blows in, and Nidra will primarily be limited to annoying him with her bats (she’s still hungry). In the end, Prism persuades Nidra to fight all-out, gets T. Back from his angered state, and convinces everyone to bail. This would have been a fast fight; Aurochs hits like a train.

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So, finally, we get to Star, Del, and Annie. When the Gremlin Contriver exorcised Star, she got thrown back into her physical body and her amulet lost power, meaning she needs a few hours to regain the ability to project her ghost-self. Del leads Annie to Star’s apartment, and upon arriving they find Goldward (Sunray, Sunset Shimmer’s daughter in the Kilalaverse), who has taken Star’s amulet and is waiting on the authorities to come and arrest Ponygeist formally. She learned where Ponygeist was from Pandemonium (who illusioned some evidence to point her in the right direction) and set up for her attack. When Star got exorcised she moved up her timetable.

Goldward is the daughter of Goldwitch by a mortal pony, making her Telegonius and Ctimene’s half-sister. Goldwitch was a capable magician who journeyed to Tartarus to make acquire greater power. The demons inside Tartarus taught her about demonic summoning and contracts and many other forbidden spells, which Goldwitch tried to use to acquire political leadership. Though the Power Ponies fought hard against her after they cottoned on to her game, Goldwitch’s own ambitions were what destroyed her: her career as a rising political star whose enemies tended to suffer bizarre setbacks on the campaign trail was cut short after Goldwitch let herself be possessed by Circe for a several weeks to access that arch-demons’ power. In the middle of a speech, Circe forced Goldwitch into the back of her own brain and incinerated her political career along with several innocent onlookers, before running off to set several nefarious plots in motion using Goldwitch’s body and magical power. It took nearly six years for Circe to finally be exorcised from Goldwitch (Telegonius and Ctimene were born during this time), and this was entirely thanks to the work of the Power Ponies. After her rescue, Goldwitch essentially tried to live as a hermit, but eventually met somepony whom she married and had a daughter with. She’s now back in politics, actually, after writing some academic work on demonic rituals (and the reason they’re a bad idea).

Goldwitch’s daughter, Goldward, takes after her mother in magical abilities and sterling leadership skills; she’s actually turned down offers to join the Young Harmony team due to her role as a community leader in Maretropolis’s less prosperous Saltlick District. Goldward avoids demonic magic, but she and her mother have modified magic used to influence demons into magic that can be used to influence ponies. Goldward can magically compel ponies to obey simple commands, force them to pay attention to her, or give more complex ordersusing lengthier rituals. Goldward can’t quite mind control ponies, but she can induce a powerful urge to do what she says, at least for short lengths of time. Part of the issue in this fight will be that Star’s been told to not try to escape or harm other ponies, and so she won’t try to save herself.

Goldwitch is hindered by the fact that she’s a neutral good NPC who doesn’t know the Player Characters have a very different agenda than she does, and so she’ll politely greet Del and Annie and explain how she’s captured Ponygeist. Of course, Goldward is also smart, and she’ll realize before long that Del and Annie don’t recognize her. That will escalate into a fight, as Del and Annie try to overpower her and free Star. Goldward’s commands work unusually well on Annie, as her personality, a “pony-pleaser,” makes her more susceptible. Into the bargain, Del can’t use his earthquakes extensively without injuring all his friends in a small apartment. Goldward’s a passable physical combatant, but not a match for Del, so she’ll try to get Annie to incapacitate him with crippling depression and then have Annie not resist as Goldward ties her up. Then Star will be Star and break the compulsion to shout at Annie about standing up for herself and not losing and how Twilight will be disappointed in her, and Annie stops locking down Del, and Del has a cool moment of controlling his powers to create just the right amount of shaking to throw Goldward off balance and buck her into a wall. Unfortunately, Sunray would need quite a tale to ever find herself in possession of an enchanted comic.

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Okay, so we have:
Icy, Clair, and Whirlwind retreating to Young Harmony HQ.
Prism, Nidra, and Telegonius retreating to Young Harmony HQ.
Star, Del, and Annie discussing whether they can risk heading back to meet up with Candy of if they should stay put.
Illusion, Candy, and June aware of their end-goal of beating Pandemonium and marching towards Star’s appartement.
Pandemonium working to convince Aurochs and the Archmages to not kill each other and maybe recruit Electromare, she's crazy but she can be used…

I think this was a section of story I had glossed over in my original outline, but here’s what I think would be best:

Aurochs and the Archmages would both leap at the chance to attack Young Harmony. The Young Harmony Team is at this moment the biggest group of heroes in town (Power Ponies are down in Trotam City after a giant monster tried to destroy it) and so taking the junior branch out gives the Archmages more-or-less free reign to loot whatever magical materials and technology they want for at least a few days. Aurochs wants to use the Young Harmony base to get more intelligence on the Power Ponies’ abilities, and Aurochs has few qualms about murdering up-and-coming heroes. So, when Pandemonium subtlety informs them of the Young Harmony Team’s base location, they’ll run right off.

Illusion will follow June to Star’s apartment, but the Gremlin Contriver is still out and about, and he’s trying to track the ponies who beat him up and ran off. His trackers make a lot of noise and attract a lot of attention, and one pony they’ll attract attention from is Madamune (Trixie). Madamune is the most powerful unicorn alive. She was (and still is) a rival to the Masked Matterhorn. Madamune is maybe 50% more powerful than Twilight was before her ascension, capable of levitating houses and teleporting and holding herself aloft with pure telekinesis, in addition to all manner of power rays. She developed a God complex and decided that it didn’t matter if she obeyed the law, and devoted herself to arcane study with occasional bank robberies to make ends meet (and, as time went on, stealing increasingly forbidden books of magical lore). She’s one of the oldest characters in Powered Comics, being older than the formation of the Power Ponies. She might be described as the Masked Matterhorn’s Lex Luthor, though in recent years she has become increasingly lonely and distraught with the path of her life. Madamune has realized (maybe in the same way another powerful unicorn came to realize) that friendship is better than studying, but she lacks a good inciting incident to make friends.

Madamune can still muster up enough hatred of the Masked Matterhorn to want to mess with her. She loathes the Matterhorn because despite her being a pretender magician, she’s more well liked, wealthier, and, over time, has become more powerful than Madamune. Madamune hates the concept that her perfection of unicornhood, her identity and role in history, is not important. Thus she’s developed a grudge against the Matterhorn that has turned petty enough to want to mess with her for spite. Like, maybe, possibly, giving her daughter a magic amulet she stole and doesn't want to use to see what happens.

So Madamune turns invisible and skates along behind The Gremlin Contriver’s giant hovercraft until it demolishes Star’s flat, sees Star incapacitated, sees Illusion being horrifically confused as the Gremlin Contriver tearfully rants about his personal issues, and decides that letting Ponygeist die would ruin her fun, so we get a nice three-way fight between Madamune trying to save Star and nobody else, the Gremlin Contriver trying to save Myraid and nobody else, and the Next Generation screaming and trying to dodge bolts of various unnatural energies.

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Hey, haven't heard from you in a while....

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It has been a while. I’m sorry. This post, I started writing over a month ago, and it was difficult even then. Actual fight scenes, for me at least, are way harder than character design; but no new characters are introduced here, so I wanted to detail the fight. So i wound up getting writer’s block for a summary. Sigh. Then I had a rough few weeks and then I sort of forgot this existed. I’m sorry; I’ll try to finish this in future. I am nearly done now.

So while Madamune and Gremlin Contriver are fighting, we’ve got Aurochs and the Archmages making their way to the Young Harmony HQ. Claire, T, Nidra, Whirlwind, Icy, and Prism have all arrived first and are trying to piece together everything that’s happened. With excellent timing, they’ll receive word from the Team’s contacts that there’s an enormous fight occurring between Madamune, the Contriver, and the other members of Young Harmony in the Saltlick District. As they suit up and prepare to rush off, their enemies attack. Star Step teleports in, finds the master security room, and locks it from the inside, giving herself a secure base of operation. She then teleports in and out of it to move ponies around, using the security cameras to direct her fellows. Animate Strings needs to be in close proximity to what he’s animating since he can’t get sensory feedback through his spells; he’d have no idea where his opponents where. He tries to trap Prism, Claire, and Whirlwind (the biggest group and one of the worst in close quarters) inside the Armory and Aurochs drops in to beat them down as Animate blocks the exits. Transmo gets put on guard duty outside this fight and transmutes the hallways to create barriers, keeping everypony else away. The plan is to take the Young Harmony Team apart piecemeal, using Star Step to keep Team Evil out of harm’s way.

So Animate Strings is on occasion a really stupid pony, but he’s smart enough to fireproof his ponyquins. He’s not smart enough to know how to demon-fire proof them, and Claire tries to burn them. Aurochs pounds her into a wall and then tries to get Prism, but Prism is in Spectrum’s workshop, surrounded by technology he understands, and Whirlwind has Aerial’s dodging abilities, and between them they manage to throw Aurochs for a loop, as Animate Strings tries to animate replacements to his ponyquins.

Meanwhile, alarms are going off and T and Nidra are on their own wondering what’s happening. They meet up with Icy just in time for Star Step to shunt Transmo and herself to head them off, recognizing that Animate and Aurochs need more time than expected. Transmo is in her element, turning the walls to liquid and spikes and fumes.The confined space and Transmo all but totally nullify Icy’s powers, and Star Step drags Transmo out of the way whenever T or Nidra get too close, and they hold the group back for a while.

So, eventually, Prism duplicates, and has a Moment of Heroism where he distracts Aurochs with his physical body while his duplicates pull Claire and Whirlwind out of the room. Whirlwind intrepidly stays behind and blows Prism out of the way of the fatal blow, and in the end only Claire gets out. Aurochs clobbers Spectrum and Whirlwind, and then, just as he finally gets to gloat over them before crushing their skulls like a proper villain, Nidra intervenes.

Nidra, who’s getting pretty furious that the world seems to want to kill her and her friends, has a moral event horizon and goes ballistic, rushing next to Transmo and draining her of fundamental magic. Nidra then holds on as Star Step teleports them all away, forcing Star Step to desperately teleport again, next to Aurochs and Animate. Transmo is now incapacitated and also catatonic, and Nidra goes berserk on the entire enemy team. She manages to hold all of them off for a time, but Aurochs is simply such a powerful close-quarters combatant that even Nidra begins to tire eventually.

Meanwhile, Claire is running through the corridors and manages to find T and Icy, both charging towards the workshop. T and Icy are both furiously worried about their siblings/crushes/friends, and Claire has to be the one to talk them into forming a plan and not trying to charge in. Keep in mind none of these ponies is yet aware that they can’t really die in the comics; Illusion hasn’t arrived yet. T in particular is having trouble stopping himself from getting into a berserker rage.

Meanwhile, the baddies are having some problems. Nidra is trying to keep Aurochs out of the fight with her dominating gaze, which lets her get in some hits on ANimate. He flees towards the door and surrounds himself in animated debris. But Aurochs simply gives himself to his rage more and more, growing until he snaps Nidra’s control and gains the upper hand. Just as he gets her pinned and prepares a death blow, he’s interrupted again, by Icy, surrounded by a tide of hail, bursting out of the ventilation shaft.

(The ventilation shaft is cliché, I know, but it’s an underground base; it actually does need a thorough air supply. Plus, they are only big enough for a foal to fit).

Icy leaps out and tries to throw hail at Aurochs, but he only startles him momentarily. Aurochs, however, is no longer thinking rationally; he’s to enraged. He leaps for Icy, Nidra gets free, and The battle is on again. Until Star Step grabs Icy and teleports him right next to Aurochs, who contemptuously snaps his wing and then slams Nidra through several tables to get her back under control.

Aurochs, if he were capable of cognizant thought, would say that the third time’s the charm and then shatter Nidra’s ribcage. He’s currently a rage monster, so he picks her up and tries to rip her in two.

In that instant, Animate Strings gets punched into the ceiling by T, who erupts in an explosion of fire right next to him. During the confusion of Icy’s distraction, T, who is immune to fire, crept into the room disguised as a ponyquin. Claire used her fire illusion magic to do it. T was supposed to get close to Animate and then knock him out; instead he saw Nidra in danger, went berserk, and had to drive through four or five ponyquins to get to Animate Strings, but Animate is still down for the count. As one, the ponyquins collapse

By the time T manages to get to Aurochs, Nidra, were she a normal pony, would have been dead. Nightbat is out of commission regeneration all of her limbs. T and Aurochs go at one another while Star Step teleports out of the way and gets Animate and Transmo to safety in the locked security room. Or she would have, had not Claire been disguised next to Transmo behind a hastily-built flaming disguise. The fight between Claire and Star Step is lightning fast, but by the time Start Step grabs Transmo and gets to her saferoom, her Magic Amplifier is on fire. At that point she’s just a normal teleported, and as she burns her magic to teleport her catatonic teammates above ground, she realizes that she forgot the police would be coming. There’s nowhere to run.

Alright, so T and Aurochs are slugging at each other, and it’s the most destructive fight yet. They simply wreck the room. T is furious, Aurochs is furious, and both of them are durable and powerful. The noise manages to wake Prism, probably with some cracked ribs, up. He grabs ponies and gets them out of the way. Claire is running back to the fight, but she won’t arrive in time to affect the outcome.

T is setting the whole room on fire. That’s what starts to put Aurochs on the back foot. His anger and thoughtless attacks keep setting him on fire, and although he regenerates demonfire is deeply painful. It begins to wear out his body and his mind, and Aurochs gets more lucid. That means T simply starts winning more, his blows wearing Aurochs down. However, Aurochs hates to lose. Even as T overwhelms him, he’s baiting him into maximizing damage, trapping everypony in the flaming room. In the end, spent, Aurochs makes his getaway, running out the door (the police nab him. He’s basically one big scar by that point). As T moves to pursue, he hears Prism shouting. Nidra and Prism snap T out of his rage. They’re trying to shelter Whirlwind and Icy, still unconscious. T realizes, finally, that all of his friends are about to die in the fire.

Prism has another moment of bravery, this one internal. He uses Spectrum’s genius to the fullest. He tries to figure out a way out of the fire using Spectrum's tech. He’s able to recalibrate the experimental Photoshield to withstand the fire. T holds it and lifts his friends over the fire, and when it seems like he’ll fall, Claire arrives ot encourage him. The entire group flees the burning armory and heads to the surface to seek medical attention.

There’s a scene where they all stand around blinking and reflecting on how they all lived through a fight to the death. Policeponies and paramedics start treating their smoke inhalation, broken bones, and general trauma, and inform them that all their foes are super arrested. There’s the desperate happiness that comes from surviving when you weren’t sure you could.

Que Illusion arriving and telling them it was all just a prank gone wrong and they were never in any danger, really, he knew what he was doing.

That goes over well.

I know I said that Aurochs and the Archmages were going to reappear, but writing that, I now realize that their tricks would be played out by the end of a big fight like that. I suppose I can make up new villains to take their place in the final showdown.

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Que Illusion arriving and telling them it was all just a prank gone wrong and they were never in any danger, really, he knew what he was doing.

That goes over well.

I get the feeling he won't be walking straight for a good while...

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While it requires considerable effort by Candy, Annie, and Del to prevent… almost everypony else from incinerating/blasting/eviscerating/slowly freezing Illusion to death on the spot, the Next Generation still is technically on the job. The Comic Books are still mortally determined to finish the Story, and the location of the Final Battle is known; Illusion did his reading before he came in. Pandemonium’s base is a perfectly innocuous office in the Maretropolis business district. There is the small matter that many ponies are critically injured right now, but Illusion confidently explains that Pandemonium himself can just mess with ponies’ heads, and is about as physically threatening as a wet noodle. Since Pandemonium thinks the Next Generation all comic book characters, he's actually a non-threat. Some careful splinting of broken bones and applying of Cheerleader’s reserves of medical supplies will make everypony fit enough to fight the final battle.

In actuality, Pandemonium is very aware of how dangerous his situation is, because Illusion is explaining out loud how the Story Must Go On while illusioned Pandemonium is right next to him. Pandemonium knows he needs to redouble his efforts, and ultimately he’s able to throw together an epic final fight that should satisfy the Story and let him become the Denouement. He convinces the Grey Mare, Electromare, Time Turner, and newcomer Metermare to join forces. I only just now realize that “mare” is the sort of generic component of a superhero name that “man” is in our world for Powered Comics. Anyway, back on topic.

Obviously, an emotionless husk, a mad ex-soldier, a scholar and a gentlepony with an interest in time travel, and Metermare (backstory incoming) would not normally join up, and so Illusion is completely thrown for a loop when the Final Battle happens before it did in the real canonical comic storyline he looked at before diving in.

Metermare, incidentally, is one of the reasons the Matterhorn got stupid paranoid about her technology and research. As you know, she tried to replicate the Power Ponies’ abilities; her research on Radiance got picked up by other heroes like Pixelnaut and Spectrum, her research on Mistress’ Marvelous’ Lasso actually got used later after her husband Orbitar (Flash Sentry) got paralyzed in a fight; the mental control Mistress’ Marevelous has on her lasso inspired Matterhorn to build a remote neural transmitter that bypassed the severed bit of Orbitar’s spine. Before these good things happened, however, the incidents with Aurouchs and Metermare occurred.

Metermare is inspired by the Reverse Flash. She’s Fillisecond’s archnemesis. In order to explain what the Masked Matterhorn did to create her, I need to describe how Fillisecond’s powers work. She’s a transpony, but she’s a particularly powerful transpony who gained her abilities due to deliberate tinkering. She was a test subject for a substantial but secretive organization that created a device to give ponies transpony powers. Fillisecond was the only test subject to survive the Wave-Stabilizing Radiation Exposure Chamber, and she promptly used her abilities to escape and bring the government’s gaze to the organization. It did of course reappear later, but that’s another story.

Fillisecond, when she moves at super-speed, is actually turning into a beam of particles. Partially. She losses some of her mass and begins moving faster. If she goes too fast, she’d tear herself apart due to air resistance, but in theory she could hit lightspeed if there were nothing in the way. With less mass, her punches and impacts do less damage, so she can’t pull the Flash’s Indefinite Mass Punch trick, but she can run around without being exhausted, ever, and she can carry things, provided they aren’t too heavy.

Fillisecond was understandably strongly against trying to replicate the conditions of her trigger, and the Masked Matterhorn concurred. Instead she studied how Fillisecond’s body converted between mass and energy, and tried to determine a way to empower the Matterhorn’s thaumite horns with a similar transfer. This became an attempt to transfer the magic that allowed Fillisecond to convert her body between mass and kinetic energy to another object. This was hard, not in the least because the Fillisecond can’t use her powers and stay still for careful examination. The Matterhorn built a very, very elaborate magical field chamber to analyze the Fillisecond’s magic instead. By changing around the fields,  the Masked Matterhorn was able to slow down the Fillisecond and begin to transfer her magic to other objects, though not permanently. This line of experimentation continued for six or seven months; Fillisecond was the first Power Pony to let the Matterhorn study her powers.

Over time, anomalies began to appear in the chamber. It became curiously easy, inside of it, for the Fillisecond to lift large loads and run with them. She became stronger there. Then she got faster. She had more control over her powers, could turn on a dime. Matterhorn presumed it was due to how she was manipulating magic within the chamber. She began to create a suit that would replicate the effects for Fillisecond everywhere, to make her more powerful.

The suit was a tremendous success. Within three months of it being prototyped, Fillisecond was set to surpass the rest of the team in terms of raw power. For the first time she could pick up ponies and speed them to safety. She could run between Maretropolis and Trotam in a minute and change. She could use her powers in only part of her body to deliver full-power punches at super-speed. Supervillains rapidly became quiescent with such a versatile first-responder around, and Fillisecond and the Matterhorn were so thrilled with their wild success that neither bothered to question the specifics of how the suit and the “magic field” were doing all of this.

About a year after Fillisecond and the Masked Matterhorn first began collaborating, five months wit the new suit, Aurochs happened, and even before then the Masked Matterhorn abandoned researching Zapp’s Bolt and Marevelous’ Lasso because godly magic is really hard to replicate. Within the following month, the Masked Matterhorn will seal her incomplete research on Radience’s bracelets because of what happened here. Fillisecond began to get a bit manic.

Fillisecond has always been extremely peppy and energetic, but she got to the point where she’s overexerting herself. She was fighting crime constantly, in Maretropolis and in nearby cities. She was pushing her powers, even with the suit, to the limit, then breaking the limit and pushing the new one. Her power grew with her impulsivity and impatience. The Power Ponies got concerned.

The Fillisecond got more and more obsessed with action. Not fights, but just doing things. Regulations were forgotten. She sometimes randomly completed chores for other ponies, casually building and then destroying an apartment complex that a locality was waffling about. She went halfway across the continent, butting in on other Hero’s duties, on one occasion causing a foreign incident. She started wearing her suit twenty four-seven. She learned to run while sleeping. The Power Ponies called a psychiatrist, who prescribed a vacation. Fillisecond flat-out refused.

Fillisecond started doing the other Power Ponies’ paperwork. She hates paperwork. She spent a day delivering all the mail in Equestria. She no longer talked to the Power Ponies, or anyone. She became an unceasing blur, never stopping, always performing tasks on a list only she knows.  Finally, the other Power Ponies hunted her down, built an elaborate trap, and after she evaded that one, keep trying until they force her to have a conversation.

Fillisecond was dramatically changed. She didn’t listen or care about what the Power Ponies had to say. She just wanted to run. In the end, she and the Power Ponies fought, Fillisecond won, and a substantial run of comics were devoted to how the Power Ponies managed to finally convince her to stop running. In the end, though, she finally burnt out and took off the suit for a vacation.

The suit then got up, called itself the Metermare, and demands that it be reunited with its partner. In order to become faster, it must have the Fillisecond. Otherwise there is no charger for its speed; it is simply stuck at the velocity it currently has achieved.

The Metermare is an echo of the FIlliseocnd herself, her energy trapped like an afterimage inside the magical fields of the suit. The Metermare must have the Fillisecond to continue accruing speed. In what condition is irrelevant; it’s tried to lobotomize her once. The Metermare is the suit, a mass of energy bound into the loose shape of a pony, and yearning to always be running. However, because it was replicating Fillisecond’s brian along with her body, it is also smart enough to plan and think ahead. To fight, it reverses the Filliscond’s powers, turning some of its energy into mass to create a physical impact.

It’s unclear whether the Metermare made Fillisecond so obdurate for those months or whether the Metermare is an extension of the FIllisecond’s own mindset during that time. But the Metermare is overwhelmingly concerned with reuniting with Fillisecond and empowering itself more. It is not unique; it powers are exactly the same as the Fillisecond, but stronger. The suit absorbed so much energy that the Metermare could outrun, outfight, even outhink its progenitor. To this day, Fillisecond has never defeated Metermare without help.

So yeah, this will be a fun fight! Also, I have a fair number of things coming up, so expect this to be the only thing I post this week. It is two pages. Enjoy!

It’s so goodddd! Starburst is going to freaking KILL Illusion 😂

So who put Discord in charge of court petitions?

You know Pumpkin is a girl and Pound is a boy right?

Accompanied by yet another tremendous *ArfrRRf!*, a blur shot into the streetlamp’s radius, nearly five meters above ground , at an angle that could only have been achieved by leaping from one of the surrounding buildings.

“Yeah, great! I saw a record room upstairs when I was going down. We could go and try rifling through it.” I really hope there aren’t any records of insanity-causing phototechnic schematics in there. Oh Luna, I just used phototechnic in a sentence, it’s getting worse!

Embrace it Prisim embrace the nerd culture! Mwah ha ha!

Why can Whirlwind use her powers so well to?

Because your not going nerd!

The visor wings thinned as to they went back, from a starting thickness equal to a half hoof-length to maybe a sixteenth of that.

"Probably a bit late on this, but congratulations, Prism, you officially look like a nerd."

That's what I've been saying! Basically.

“Look, I get that you’re worried that comic might have been sent for something sinister, but T you have to admit, it isn't like we were attacked the moment we got here.”

Ah man, maybe a supervillain really did bring us here…

Prince Illusion is his own supervillain.:ajsmug:

Whirlwind snorted. “I dunno, maybe the nerd costume is affecting you.” Prism attempted not to scream. “But you’re right, we will be careful. Thanks for coming.”

Not screaming was hard. Prism managed to turn his into a sort of choked gurgle.

Too perfect. Just too perfect.

Powered Comic Fun Fact: To give the superheroes of Powered Comics a more meaningful role in their society, the Powered Comics Universe is one without Princesses.

Hardly necessary given their track record. But if the propaganda fits! :pinkiecrazy:

This was a nice read. Shame it ends here.

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