• Published 12th Jun 2015
  • 7,143 Views, 423 Comments

I Am Not a Charlatan! I Am Mysterio, Master of the Arcane Arts! - The Quidam



Ethan Mcintyre had dreams to become an actor, magician, and/or special effects artist. So who else should he go to a convention as, but the supervillain, Mysterio! How could things have ended with him in a magical world due to a mysterious figure?

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Issue 2-Two Mares' Ancient Ruins Is Another Man's Castle!

When it comes to the Everfree Forest it always spoken with a hint of trepidation. For the local inhabitants that live within eyeshot of its border always consider its strange and unpredictable nature. The weather was under its own whims without so much as a pattern to follow its bizarre occurrences. The plants had the outlandish capabilities of blooming into florae with unpredictable properties. None of that compared to the number of ferocious beasts in the Everfree. There is such a wide array of dangers to avoid that whispers spoke of how any who would dare to venture into the deep wood would become lost and no trace of them would be found.

Still, none of that seemed to matter to its newest resident for a few reasons. He wasn’t a native-born member of this realm’s inhabitants so he never heard the tales told of the place, nor developed the opinion to consider the oddity of its self-sufficient ecosystem. The other reason that stuck out the most was that this fellow, a young human male named Ethan McIntyre, was coming to discover that he inexplicably had the means to face the more deadly of Everfree’s challenges.

Take for example where he currently was: near a den of large feline creatures with scorpion tails and bat-like wings. Some had long shaggy manes to indicate they were males, while the ones that didn’t were probably the females due to how they stuck near their cubs. All of them looked threateningly at the approaching person.

For Ethan, accidentally walking in on this should have been the equivalent of being stranded on an island without your pants: an embarrassing way to die. That would be the case were it not for how he had been given something to extend his chances of getting past these creatures: a working suit of the character Mysterio.

I am a friend.” A slow and steady voice came from the figure, despite no mouth being visible. “I am no danger to your kind. I am a friend.

Each step he made seemed to release a greenish fog that slowly seeped into the environment. The manticores keep their distance, but still stood ready to strike. Rather than appear intimidated, this ‘Mysterio’ smoothly stepped towards the one at the forefront. Normally, this utterance of words would be synonymous with such terms as ‘suicidal’ and ‘insane’. It wasn’t helped by how calmly he walked up to it with a hand extended as if to pet it. The lead manticore reared itself to be ready to pounce on this imprudent challenge by prey and-

Not Prey! Friend! Happy to see Friend! Friend is good! Friend likes when we stay still to scratch ears! Friend may reward good behavior with snacks!

The manticore sat down like an obedient pet. The other members of his pride convened in a similar manner soon after. Each of them looked a bit sleepy, but enthralled to see the strangely dressed figure with what may have been a big pearl for a head.

That’s a good fellow.” The strange figure said in a deep echoing voice. He then reached into his cap and pulled out a strip of dried meat to give to the docile manticore. The others slowly walked near as well, to which he broke off more pieces to hand out to the pride. When that was settled he scratched the ears of the last cub who approached him and simply walked out of there with no trouble at all.

That was good. That meant that his heart could cease its thundering in his chest and settle itself now that they were a good distance away from the now settle downed scorpion lions.

Holy-ulp!” He had to bend over to stop himself from throwing up, which in his fishbowl-like helmet would be a horrible idea. After a good amount of breathing settled his stomach, he stood up taking the time to look around for any sign of civilization or danger. While he was thankful for the lack of the later, he had yet to see any signs of the first. Thus he knew he was still not out of the woods yet, literally!

I’ve gotta to at least find something to stay in when the night comes.” He spoke aloud to himself. “I may be able to fool the creatures to keep away now, but I’ve got nothing in case I pass out from exhaustion.

That was only partly true. The truth was Ethan had no idea what his limits were. He only woke up in this costume that gave him the capabilities of the supervillain; it wasn’t like he understood it like the back of his hand yet. For all he knew it was solar powered in which case, come nightfall he’d be worse than a sitting duck to whatever else this forest wanted to toss his way.

So Ethan walked through the woods, not having a set destination in mind, only a general idea that something had to be this way. After all, this forest couldn’t go on forever.

[}0{]

He wasn’t quite sure what time it was. When he was at the convention, it was nearing late into the afternoon. Yet, he got the impression that he may have been walking in these woods since some time in the morning for it was still the better of daytime. In fact the sun didn’t seem to change position whatsoever despite Ethan knowing for a fact that he had been walking for a couple hours now. It was strange and unnerving to someone used to seeing the slight change of it when walking outside. He was certain that it would eventually set, but the mere idea that he might have spent a night here with no memory of it was disturbing.

There’s gotta be something that explains where I am.” He looked constantly for any signs of civilization. Although he wasn’t quite sure if he would greet the locals with great salutations, considering that so far everything he met seemed to be some sort of predator, and not a person with some form of civility. Still, he hoped to see some sign of reasonable folk living nearby.

Finally, he came to the end of his path at a cliff’s edge. Before he could call it quits, he found an old rope bridge. What struck his attention more was what it led to on the other side.

It was an old ruin of what might have been a castle. It looked as if a massive blast of something struck it long ago, leaving it to appear as it the vegetation growing on it was the handyman’s method of plugging up holes with duct tape. Still despite the age of the structure, it seemed to be his best bet of finding shelter from the woods.

The Mysterio cosplayer walked carefully, but swiftly across the bridge, hoping that it didn’t break under him. Once he made it across, it was but a good stone’s throw until he reached the grand doors of the entryway and let himself inside.

The inner foyer of the castle was a bit better than outside. While the floor had been worn away to dirt and patches of grass, it still seemed well kept. Even the walls made of stone and perhaps some sort of concrete looked like they could stand tall against invaders. What stood out the most in the chamber was this broken fountain in the center. It had no water, but seemed to be incomplete for it had space to display six objects. Perhaps time had destroyed whatever baubles they were?

In any castle, even with the dust and the rubble this castle still held on to the semblance of grandeur it once possessed long ago. Even up here at the top of this platform which once housed two thrones, Ethan felt as if there was a lingering presence of royalty. The only other signs that life was once present were the tattered banners that depicted either the sun, the moon, or some form of flying unicorn.

I hereby proclaim this derelict place to now be designated as…WONDER CASTLE!” ‘Mysterio’ decreed with his cloak outstretched and flowing behind him. His forced proudly echoed thanks to being next to the thrones and his helmet’s apparent speaker system. “May all come to know that I, the Great Mysterio shall hence reign force as its lord for many years to come! Dah-dah-dah-DAH!

The only response to this momentous event was that his echoes slowly died away until the silence resumed once more.

Damn it. I’m lonely.” He said aloud to break the silence. What kind of castle lord was he if he had no subjects to share it with? All of this brought him down to the unignorably honest conclusion: He had no idea where he was and no idea on what he should do.

So as a preventative measure for that depressing thought, Ethan did what he always did when he felt troubled: find something to occupy his mind.

I suppose the first thing to do is an inventory check.” He said, going through his backpack. “Hopefully I have something I can use.

He placed each item carefully in front of his as he sat on the steps. However, he found a majority of the items that made his life convenient were not that useful in these circumstances.

Firstly, his cell phone was not useful. For some reason he couldn’t get as much as a bar of signal out here. This worried him because in this day and age he should at the very least be able to contact some sort of emergency number. Of course every attempt was met with silence. That was not good.

He checked out his Vita. Yes, he had a Vita. It was well kept for being through a great deal of playtime. While it did have some of his favorite games to play like the Persona and Disgaea series, they wouldn’t do him much good when it came time to eat. Still, having the device gave him some things to do keep the bucket list dwindling.

He had the chargers for his devices which would be great if this castle even had electricity.

He had a spare undershirt, pair of briefs, sports shorts, and socks in case he got too sweaty in his costume. He also had a t-shirt with a ‘Safari Zone’ logo done in homage of Jurassic Park that he bought. So at least he had some clothes…

Aha! He did have some emergency snacks that he brought to avoid buying food at the convention. He had another bag of beef jerky, a large bag of trail mix, and some animal crackers. These were some of his favorite snacks. All of which would make him thirsty…for water he barely had left in two bottles…and would need to stretch from now until he got back home.

I am going to die…painfully!” He whimpered. He turned to the last thing he had in his inventory: the box that possessed that shiny object he bought alongside his new costume bits.

He could feel the key to it hanging from the chain he wore around his neck. The thought of seeing this object here too made the chain feel more like a prepared nose. So of course, he was quick to take it off, but that still left the idea of using it to open the box. He was hesitant to approach it, but considered to at least see if it was damaged in the day’s activities.

He stuck the key into the hole. He was about to turn the key until he remembered just what this thing cost him to own.

All this for a stupid piece of glass that I would have probably left on my desk to collect dust.” He tossed the box and the foyer’s central fountain display thing. “I’m sure it was worth my life!!

The Mysterio cosplayers rushed to grab at his helmet, hearing a few locks disengage before he was finally able to remove it. He threw it alongside the box as he fell forward in despair. Ethan crouched as he huddled into a ball, finally having enough of this horrific feeling he was struggling to hold back.

He was alone.

He had no idea where he was.

He was trapped in a place full of danger.

He somehow had tools that he never had before.

He had no way to get home.

As the saying goes, while crawling on the ground, you can then see the light; for the light came to Ethan in his time of need. He turned to face the source which was the box that contained that glowing crystal sphere. It must have opened with his throw because the key was turned.

The light shone brightly to Ethan, amplified further by his tossed aside helmet like a light-bulb. Never before had he seen something so beautiful. For a moment, his eyes seemed to glow with blue, then yellow, until they turned back to his usual brown.

“What was that?” He murmured as he picked himself off the ground. His mind seemed to be racing with new ideas as if he was thinking clearer than he ever had in his life. He felt renewed and refreshed.

“No! I may be lost, but that doesn’t mean I’m just going to lie down and just die! I’m better than that!”

He picked up his helmet and set it back on. As he picked up the box, he gave it one last reverent look before locking it shut. Maybe it was good he had the thing after all.

In any case, the first order of business is clear enough: find a good place to set up as my base of operations.” He announced, finally speaking with a determined tone in his voice. “Once located, I shall ensure that it is hospitable enough for my needs. That and barricaded to stop anything from ambushing me.

His cloak seemed to wrap up around him, before he turned to walk down a hallway with a sweep of his arm.

Thus I have decreed it, so mote it be!” The costumed man affirmed with a new distortion in his voice. No longer did he sound like a young fellow with a cheap microphone, but a resolute supervillain named Mysterio.

[}0{]

Hmm, whoever owned this castle certainly had an artistic affinity for pegacorns.” ‘Mysterio’ noted as he looked at the worn banners. While the sun and the moon he could understand as some sort of sign of royalty, he had yet to interpret why this creature in particular was so predominately featured. “Maybe they were attracted to the idea of widespread purity. In which case they must have been a zealous lot!

He looked about the other details of the hallway for any signs of what kind of people made this castle. So far, nothing stood out that was intact enough to identify a clue.

When he reached the end of the hallway, he found another pair of massive doors. Opening them led to possibly the best thing he saw all day.

It was a library! Tall shelves of books stretched out as far as his eye could see. Surely this would be the place to answer all of these questions he had.

He picked one up at random, taking heed to consider it carefully as it may be ancient. He was surprised to instead see it so well kept and intact. The environment should have not made such a thing possible; for crying out loud, there wasn’t much of a ceiling to this great hallway of books! Yet this one he held looked fairly new, if worn like an average library shelf resident; not barely holding itself together like an ancient tome from the dark ages.

The Effects of Sunbeams on Cabbages?” The costumed character looked at the names of the author. “As penned by…Clover the Clever?

With a title like that, it could be something poetic, or a literal interpretation. Considering it was a pretty large tome, he figured it was more likely to be the first choice. At the very least it would be best to give the book a quick skim to see what it could contain. About fifteen minutes later, he stood up with the book in his outstretched arms.

This is…! This is literally hundreds of pages about sunbeams hitting cabbages! Somehow this overblown drivel was dedicated to a Princess Platinum?” He threw it over his shoulder. “No wonder no one has heard about it. A timeless classic it is not!

He picked up another book.

‘’The Chancellor Puddinghead’s Perfect Party by…Smart Cookie?” He pondered. “Is this some sort of children’s book?

He gave it a chance, and was surprised to find the content was not quite what he expected. It depicted a world in which this ‘Chancellor Puddinghead’ was a head of a class of farmers and other workers who were under the oppressive deal that their crafts and food that they made would be given to two other tribes. One would control the weather, while the other would control the day and night cycle. So long as they were sated, they would not destroy the balance of nature. The story seemed to be a commentary of how Chancellor Puddinghead was telling the author, Smart Cookie, how she was dreaming of a great party in which her oppressed tribe of workers would be able to share their goods with the other tribes as equals instead of being considered lesser to the two. While the Chancellor was presented as silly and scatterbrained, the author seemed to be able to pick up the points of honesty in her words and tried to counterbalance them with her own reasoning of what must be done to actually make such a thing occur.

An interesting work of allegorical satire! Perhaps this Smart Cookie is like Voltaire.” ‘Mysterio’ said as he closed the novel, and found himself finished with it. It was then that he came to see that the moon was out, showing that he was too engrossed in the book to notice time pass. That and his helmet seemed to be a good enough light source to keep reading in the dark.

Feeling the urge to sleep finally hit him, the special effects wizard settled into the chair he found as best as he could and leaned back for a few minutes rest.

Well, I hope someone out there is having a better night than I am.” He bid goodnight and snapped his fingers, not caring how he knew that would turn out all the lights on his suit.

[}0{]

While a young man was dressed up as Mysterio was finally going to sleep in his newfound castle, in another place there was someone else still up at this late hour.

Here on a road with no clear destination in mind was somepony who had nothing but her silvery blue nightdress to keep her from the cold wind of the night. Her hair was disheveled due to being forced out of bed at a late hour. Any other night, she would seek shelter to last the night until morning arrived. Yet she continued to run and cry as if she could literally run from the crushing blow of what she lost: her home, her livelihood, and her possessions up to the very clothes that should have been on her back right now!

Was it her fault some dumb kids did something as imbecilic as bring an Ursa into town!? For crying out loud, it was bad enough her day included hecklers that actually went on her stage to try to outdo her act! Could these country bumpkins not tell themselves the difference between what is a embellishment and what is fact? Apparently not!

Here was a young mare with aspirations to finally show the world how great she and her branch of magic were. Now she was without a home, and running into the night like a criminal on the run in basically her underwear! Where could she possibly go from here?

The worst thing…the absolutlety worst thing…was that she KNEW who was partly to blame for this turn of events! There were a handful of individuals, but one in particular stood out in the forefront of her hurtful memories of what happened. It was a purple unicorn mare, whose very name got Trixie’s eyes to water in anger and her blood to boil in fury.

“One Day, I’ll show that Twilight Sparkle who the best unicorn is!” She promised herself, remembering why that unicorn looked so familiar to her. “Then we’ll see how much of spell castor you really are when everyone realizes what you’ve done!”

This was the oath of Bellatrix ‘Trixie’ Lulamoon took and it would be one that would drive her life into a different direction than the one she hoped for.

[}0{]

While a unicorn mare named Trixie was running into the night to parts not known to even her, somepony else was dealing with those ponies that she left behind. For in Ponyville, that night was filled with people who were dealing with the aftershocks of another attack on their homes. Some felt thankful that a talented mare such as Twilight Sparkle was around to deal with the threat. Others felt angered at the thought that it was one braggart showmare that led to an Ursa Minor invading their town. Yet all of them were feeling free of the stress the event of the night brought to them as they all laid asleep in their beds.

It was all thanks to a special somepony currently visiting their part of the Dream Scape.

It took a special type of being to be able to traverse this ethereal plain. The realm was one of dreams and was thus subject to the had-beens, could-have-beens, and never-weres that were kept in the subconscious and condenced into other forms of pseudo-reality. To navigate such a place required a great deal of delicacy and finesse; both of which she once hade in spades, but now found herself trying to get the hang of once again. It had been at least a thousand years since she last practiced.

This mare that walked through the realm filled with cloudiness of imaginings was different than most. If anything, she looked like she was a teenager budding into the era of womanhood, or marehood as the case may be since she had equine features to her bipedal structure. She had a nightly violet-blue shade of fur with a short kept mane, that seemed to shine with the hint of having perhaps glitter in her blue strands. She had a good sized spiraled horn on her head, which held her tiara steady. However, unlike a unicorn, she also possessed wing which were folded behind her back as she strolled along in her encrusted horseshoes. The rest of her outfit consisted of a dark blue blouse and skirt combo, which had a crescent moon emblazoned on the front. It was the same marking that could be faintly seen on her leg. Overall, even if she appeared young, there was still the sense of dignified royalty that seemed to emanate from her person that belongs to someone twice her age.

This was Luna, Princess of the Night and while she was only getting used to being in a time period that had many new things to her, The Dream Scape should not be much different. It was after all, the one realm she could traverse better than any other in the time when she last reigned as a sovereign. Still, she needed practice to once again gain the level of skill she once possessed with dreams. So having portions of it in turmoil due to recent events like tonight gave her something to apply her capabilities wards and polish them up.

She was essentially done with this sector of the realm, finding most of them now dealing with their shock in more favorable ways thanks to her influence to their dreams. Just as she was about to leave, she saw an intriguing occurrence in a relative vicinity to the zone that consisted of Ponyville citizens.

Unlike those in Ponyville, who were currently being seen as a collection of clouds surrounded by a starry sky this one’s dreams were appearing in the dreamscape as a greenish fog. She couldn’t recall a similar occurrence in her recent memory, so she deemed it worth investigating.

“Such strange dreams! Perhaps this one’s distress is most pressing!” She decided to make haste to find the source of this manifestation and find out what individual was under such cerebral circumstances.

Before she could take another step in the direction of the sensations of emotions, her progress was immediately impeded by the sudden appearance of a blue door. While it was standing in front of her with no foundation to speak of, Luna had the feeling that she was looking at the guarded entry way of a mighty fortress. The door opened with a slow ease, yet she backed up a few meters to get some distance from whatever was stepping out.

Out came possibly one of the strangest figures she had ever met.

She wasn’t quite sure if this figure had wings, or if they were just part of its oddly colored coat. The Dream Scape had a way to make one’s senses blur in their coherent capabilities. Even so, she should at least be strong enough to determine what type of shape this figure was choosing to exhibit. Yet her eyes seemed to distort the figure from being an oddly colored, but simple dressed pegasus male, or some sort of flightless bipedal creature. Even the number of digits he seemed to have shifted constantly from the same she possessed to five in each hand.

The only things that seemed to remain consistent besides the odd color of his coat and other clothing, was that he had no head to speak of and that he was holding a blue bowler hat in one hand and a blue opened umbrella in the other. Still, she had the feeling that she was in the presence of something import like another alicorn.

“Perhaps he is supposed to be one and has no horn due to his missing head?” was something she pondered. Before she could ask anything of him she sensed a feeling of ceasing her inquiry the moment he took a step forward.

<Not yet.> He seemed to speak without a clear voice. Luna felt the emotion from the being speaking these words with no sound, but they rang clear in her mind and her heart. It felt like being spoken to by a kindly gentlestallion, or perhaps a fellow passerby, which was a feeling she longed for in this new point in time.

“But who-?” She started, but stopped as the figure gently raised the hand holding the hat to stop her.

<You have many questions, and while they do indeed have answers, they are not yet forthcoming.> He continued as he stepped towards her. <The time will come when these newly presented mysteries will be answered. But it is not yet time. Nor is it soon, but be assured they will come.>

The door chose to close at that moment. A series of locks seemed to sound off after it did. Still neither character seemed to pay attention to anything else but the other in this realm of dreams.

<Now, I believe that your sister is waiting for you. > The headless one said with a flutter of emotion that felt like a smile as he held his umbrella in her direction like a pointer. <Remember, she only coddles you because she cares!>

“What are thou-?”

POKE! POKE! POKE!

[}0{]

POKE! POKE! POKE!

“Luna! Wake up!”

POKE! POKE! POKE!

“Ugh! Sister! Cease thy poking! We art now awake!” Luna cried out in irritation as she stood up in her bed. She woke up in her royal chambers, dressed not in royal garments, but in her pajamas. To her embarrassment, they were for a young teenager who was obsessed with black kittens. She was an adult, not a young juvenile filly! Her sister seemed to take too much enjoyment from having her dress up as such. If only she could gain back her power quicker.

Speaking of which, here was her sister leaning over the bed. Unlike her younger sibling, she was a tall, Alicorn mare of about nine feet in height. Her fur color was white, but her mane flowed by an unseen air current in the form of pink, blue, and green translucent hues. Even in her simple, but elegant negligée her figure was a thing of beauty with from her greatly proportioned bust, her well-toned build, and well-rounded lower half. The only thing to further enhance her was how a sun-mark perfectly engraved her identity to each of her upper thighs, for in many ways she was a goddess on a mortal plain. She was Celestia, the Princess of the Day, Raiser of the Sun, and elder sibling of Luna.

“Are you alright Luna?” She asked with a hint of worry in her voice. “I finished raising the sun, but instead of finding you ready to partake in a shared breakfast, I found you here tossing and turning in a deep sleep.”

Luna ceased her thoughts of annoyance at her sister’s rude awakening, understanding that it was done not out of mischievousness, but of love. Her sister still worried about her ever since she returned to her from her imprisonment. Maybe the headless one’s words had much more weight than she initially gave them.

“We believe so, dear sister. However we have encountered things that we find even strange to the realm of dreams.”

“Oh, do tell?” Celestia sat down on the bed with full attention.

“We encountered a strange green mist that seemed to permeate from the dreams of some unknown subject. Before we could seek the reason for this alteration to the normal visuals of the realm, we were stopped by another unknown fellow.” “We do not know whom this fellow was. He was skilled in the art of dreams as we, for he too moved as if he were one with the Dream scape. ”

“Can you describe this being?” Celestia asked.

“We cannot, for his form seemed to shift before our eyes. At best we could say that he had no head, but that could mean anything from the place where metaphors are but other actualities.” She sighed. “While he seemed to express himself as not a threat, he was not apportioning any opportunity to ask him our inquiries.”

Celestia stared seriously at her sister as she asked her next question. “Do you believe either of these beings to be a danger, Luna?”

Luna thought long and hard before she answered.

“We think they are not a danger currently, but we fear that perhaps they will provide some ripples that may lead to things that could affect our kingdom’s subjects.” She looked up at her sister to see her reaction. Celestia looked contemplative and serious, and in this manner you could see why she was a sovereign that stood strong for over a thousand years.

“Well there doesn’t seem to be much else we can do for now. If they are malevolent, then they will be boisterous when they arrive, thus they will be easy to deal with. If not, then we will simply be sure to be ready for when they come and determine how to react properly.” Her serious expression then broke into her usual tranquil smile. “For now, let us head to breakfast. I have yet to introduce you to the wonderful confection that is chocolate chip banana bread, and how could I be a good big sister if I didn’t do that!”

Luna sighed with a hint of a smile. “Will it be like the ‘chocolate chip waffles’?”

“It will be twice as good!” The Solar Princess grinned as she pulled her younger sister out of bed. “Now come on, I already raised the sun, and thusly, did your job as well. The least you could do is enjoy breakfast with your sister!”

“We are hurrying as best as we can, dear sister!” The Lunar Princess huffed as she did her best to keep up with the much taller mare dragging her along. “We aren’t all craven barbarians when it comes to baked goods as you!”

‘Still, she is right.’ She thought as she felt a hint of relief due to her sister’s words. ‘The only thing we can do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best!’

It was with that final thought that two sisters found themselves racing to breakfast like they once did long ago. To them it was the start of a relationship finally on the stage of affirming its resilient bond.

[TO BE CONTINUED…]

Author's Note:

Well, this was a chapter I was trying my best to create. I kept struggling to find time to write it, so I apologize for the errors or dings that may still be apparent in it. It was also meant to have much more occur in it, but I realized that this chapter was long enough. So there is definitely a new one up and coming in the works with most of it plotted out. I know the direction I want this story to go to reach the next big event, so the least I can say is that these chapters are building up to things with Ethan and the world he finds himself in. I don't want to give too much away, but rest assured that things are coming and we will definitely be finding more things when they come. At least that's something, right?

Also, bonus points go to whoever can guess why Ethan named the castle with what he chose! Any fan of Spider-Man or Mysterio should know!