• Published 15th Jun 2015
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Anypony for Doomsday? - PhycoKrusk



The world is about to end, and assuming there are no technical issues, it's all Princess Twilight's fault.

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Phase 2

It was a beautiful, sunny day in the Crystal Empire that a pair of shimmering Crystal Guards had the excellent misfortune of spending entirely standing on either side on a gate that led onto one of the many thoroughfares that went straight to the Crystal Castle (and were also generally of an unreasonably large width). Unlike certain baby dragons and dusting, however, they were bored witless with hardly any visitors to even talk to. They were practically falling asleep!

“Good afternoon, gentlestallions.”

“Sir,” said one as they both straighten up. “How can we-eee-eeeee….”

They stood frozen, wide-eyes fixed squarely on the manifestation of their worst nightmares standing right before them. With a fanged, toothy grin, Sombra took a step closer and leaned in close.

“Boo.”

Without wasting another moment, both Guards deserted their posts and ran into the great crystalline city, screaming their heads off. Sombra laughed. “I love doing that!” he said to himself.

He little joke done, Sombra trotted down the street and into the Crystal Empire proper, ignoring the panicked shrieks that began rising into the air not long after. “I can’t remember the last time I walked these streets,” he mused to himself. “I was still a strapping young lad, then. And now, all these new shops are opened. It’s like seeing it for the first time again! I wonder if this is how Sparkle felt.” He stopped in his tracks. “I wonder what Sparkle’s even up to….”


Meanwhile…

Twilight’s eyes danced over the sheafs of paper covering the desk in her study. “Out of the frying pan, or in the deep freeze,” she said as she read back the ideas she’d come up with. “Turned inside out, or popped like a balloon.” She looked over a few more without repeating what she’d written aloud, and then leaned back in her chair as she reached a conclusion:

“This is a lot harder than I was expecting.”


Sombra looked down at the ground for a moment before shaking his head. “I’m sure she’s fine,” he concluded, resuming his walk for exactly one step before he realized there was a shimmering wall of raspberry magic. A quick glance around revealed that he was, in fact, surrounded by a dome of the stuff, and that Prince-Consort Shining Armor and a pair of Crystal Guards were just outside of it, the former’s horn glowing with a magic aura and all of them looking smug.

“I don’t know what you thought you’d get away with, Sombra, but now you’re trapped,” Shining said. “You’re under arrest.”

Inside of the magic dome, Sombra lifted a hoof up to his ear.

“I said that you’re under arrest for crimes against the Crystal Empire,” Shining said much more loudly.

Inside the magic dome, Sombra returned his hoof to the ground and shrugged his shoulders.

Shining groaned, and the dome blinked out of existence. “I said you’re under arrest.”

“What?! That’s absurd!” Sombra replied. “On what charges?”

“On what — overthrowing the rightful ruler of the Crystal Empire, enslaving the populace, assaulting the reigning Princesses of Equestria, baby dragon abuse, unsanctioned use of Third Circle Dark Magic —”

Fourth Circle!” interrupted Sombra.

“Wanton destruction of public and private property, reckless endangerment, snubbing your mare for no good reason, taking candy from a baby, and lollygagging!” Shining sucked in several deep breaths in an effort to calm down. “And because of all that, we are arresting you!”

“That’s what you think, for the Sword of Justice is on my side! If you recall, when I was turned to crystal and shattered, a great cry of ‘justice is served’ rose from the masses. I claim immunity to those charges on the grounds of double jeopardy!” Sombra replied with a grin full of snark.

Shining opened his mouth to reply, but then bit his lip nervously before looking to each of the Guards accompanying him in turn to find they looked to be at as much of a loss as he was. Sombra had them on that.

“Well, what about the panic you incited just a couple minutes ago?” Shining tried, much less confident than he’d been mere moments earlier.

“That sounds like a personal problem to me. Panickers gonna panic, you know.”

Shining Armor ground his teeth together and growled. “Why are you here?!” he demanded, stomping his hoof for emphasis.

“Business, although now that you’re here, I’m suddenly interested in learning more about your doomsday device,” Sombra said.

“Fool! Do your delusions have no end?” snapped one of the Crystal Guards. His name was ‘Rightie’, Sombra decided. “His Highness is kind, humble, and attentive. Everything that you never were. One so radiant as he would never possess such a thing!”

“What are you talking about?” Shining asked of his guard. “I totally built a doomsday device!”

Rightie blanched. “W-what?!” he asked.

“Two of them, actually,” Shining admitted proudly.

“T-two?!” Righty exclaimed.

“Did they work?!” asked the other Guard — Clyde, Sombra decided — in something of a panic.

“Well, the first one was supposed to destroy the whole world, so no to that one,” Shining answered.

“And the second?” Sombra asked, leaning in close.

“Oh, that one was supposed to be the doom of my high school rival, Buck Withers, and what worse kind of doom could there be in high school than sweeping his darling Mi Amore Cadenza off her hooves?”

Without warning, both Shining and Sombra reared back, throwing their front hooves in the air: “Oooooowned!”

“But we’re totally cool now,” Shining added as they dropped back to all fours. A thought occurred to him at that moment. “Wait, why’re you asking about my doomsday device?”

“Well, I hate being the bearer of bad news, but are you aware that your sister hasn’t even started on her first doomsday device?” Sombra asked.

Shining Armor became indignant. “So? So what? Not everypony starts as early as we do, and Twily’s always been something of a late bloomer,” he replied, ending his statement with a snort of irritation.

“Her exact words to me were, ‘I am a sane, rational pony, and sane, rational ponies don’t build doomsday devices’.”

Shining Armor became concerned. “Oh…” he replied, biting his lip as he tried to think of some way to talk Twilight out of the mess she was apparently in.

“Never mind, I’m sure she’s taking care of it right now. I mean, there’s no way she’d take what I said lying down,” Sombra said. “I called her a slacker, Armor! A slacker!”

“What?! And you’re ok?”

“Well, nothing’s broken or ruptured, so there’s no emergency.” Sombra suddenly moved right up into Shining’s face. “Which means we can focus on the more immediately pressing issue of your wife’s doomsday device and when she plans to make one!”

In the true fashion of a military commander unshaken by any situation, Shining Armor made his firm stance on the issue by asking plainly, “I’m sorry, what?”

“Oh, come on, Armor! You’re not a complete idiot,” Sombra replied. “Your sister, the Most Responsible Pony in Equestria, so they say, hasn’t built a doomsday device, so what does that say about your wife, the Least Responsible Pony That I’ve Ever Met in Equestria? Now get out of my way! I’m not leaving until the world is ending!”

Shining stared for a moment, and then smiled coolly and just as smugly as he had been earlier. “Oh, I don’t know anything about her plans for that,” he said in a manner suggesting that he knew exactly what her plans were for that. “In fact, why don’t you just follow me, and I’ll take you right to her so you can give her a talking to.”

“That… would be very neighborly of you and very much appreciated,” Sombra concluded, somewhat taken aback.

“Of course,” Shining replied before turning around to his Guards. “Let’s go… boys?” When he looked left and then right, he of course did not find anything other than empty streets.

“Oh, they rolled their eyes and then slipped off while I was yelling at you,” Sombra said. He came up alongside Shining and draped an arm across his withers. “Seriously, Armor, you have a real discipline problem in your Guard.”

“Let’s just go,” Shining replied grumpily, pulling away from Sombra.

“That’s the spirit! You can tell me all about the changes you’ve been making until we get to where we’re going,” said Sombra.

“We’re here,” replied Shining.

What?” Sombra spun around, eyes wide. Sure enough, they were no longer out on the crystal streets, but were inside the Crystal Castle. Pretty deep inside the Crystal Castle, at that. Just outside the door to the private dining room reserved for the current rulers of the Empire, which was located almost in the heart and quite a distance from the ground. Getting there would not have been a short trip. “When? How?”

“It was probably an editing mistake,” Shining suggested.

“An editing mistake? Geez, Armor, you’ve really let things go to pot around here. When I was King, my reign didn’t see so much as a single editing mistake!”


[Archival record not found]


“Oh, yeah,” Shining said with a smug smirk. "Anypony could see from that extremely long and informative flashback sequence that you never had any editing mistakes while you were King."

Sombra was less impressed. “Blow it out your back end, Armor,” he said as he pushed past the unicorn, and then opened the door to the dining room. “Cadenza!”

Aigh!” had not been the response that either stallion was expecting, and they overcame their surprise just in time to see Cadence’s cornflower magic shining furiously as it rapidly swept charts, pens, and miniatures figurines off the dining table and into a large, burlap sack sitting nearby. Sombra was still too surprised to bother taking in the features of the room outside of it having blue crystal walls and floors, and a round crystal table in the center.

“Cadence? What is that?” Shining Armor asked accusingly.

“Nothing!” Cadence replied. Her horn flashed, and the sack disappeared in a burst of light. “Nothing is wrong! Everything is happy!”

Shining was not convinced. “You were shipping again, weren’t you?” he asked with narrowed eyes.

Cadence replied, frantically, “No! —” Thoughtfully — “Yes? —” Confidently — “No! —” Dejectedly — “Probably….”

“Oh, honey.” With practiced precision, Shining trotted around the table and laid his head across Cadence’s neck, mindful of her drooping wings. “This is the longest you’ve ever gone without it. You’ll have it beat in no time!” Before Cadence had a chance to return his embrace, Shining separated from her. “What you really need is a distraction, and I’ve got the perfect one. Look!” He gestured across the table with a hoof. “Sombra’s here, and he wants to see your doomsday device!”

“What?” Cadence asked, looking from Shining to a surprised Sombra. “He does?”

“Wait, you actually built one?” Sombra asked, rushing around the other side of the table.

“Oh, don’t you know? You’ve already seen it in action,” Cadence replied with a widening grin. “In fact, it was on the day that we beat the stuffing out of you and took back the Empire.”

Sombra’s expression became perplexed, and then somehow even more surprised than it had been before. “You turned the Crystal Heart into a doomsday device?”

Cadence’s grin become somewhat sinister. “No, I took an ancient artifact that spreads joy and love and used it to cause destruction without corrupting it!”

Sombra stared at Cadence for a moment, and then adopted a grin of his own. “That’s incredible!” he said. “You’re incredible!”

With a quick flap of her wings, Cadence leapt from her chair and quickly put distance between them before landing. “I am?” she asked.

“Yes!” Sombra replied. “You’re like some kind of… doom… genie…. Anyway, the point is that you have an incredible talent, and I can only imagine how proud your father must be.”

Cadence scowled. “Well, you won’t have to, because he’s not! He even said so!”

What?”

“Oh, yes.” Cadence rolled her eyes disdainfully. “You see, it wasn’t Celestia that I turned to crystal and shattered, and I’m not ruling over all of Equestria right now, so according to him, the whole thing was a complete waste of time and I should feel bad for even attempting it, much less succeeding.”

Sombra sputtered for a few moments, trying to make sense of the reasoning of a clearly insane stallion, and finally settled on an angry glower. “Well, nuts to that guy, then! From now on, I’ll be your father!” he proclaimed.

Cadence was nonplussed and made no secret of this. “You want to be my… father?” she asked. “Why would you want something like that? I turned you into crystal with a doomsday device and shattered you!”

“Yes, but as you can see, I’ve made almost a full recovery. It’s water under the bridge! Besides, I’ve always wanted a daughter, and don’t all parents want their children to be greater than they were? Beating out your dad for the right to rule is about as great as you can get. Not to mention you’ll get to totally snub that other guy who is obviously a huge jerk and also not your father. So, how about it?” Sombra even smiled as he said this and kept the smile up after to really sell it.

“Hmph!” Cadence turned away, snout turned up in the air indignantly. “It’ll take more than words to convince me,” she said.

Sombra, however, had one last play to make. Still wearing that warm smile, he walked up to Cadence, laid a hoof on her withers and said, “I’m proud of you and I love you.”

That was all it took to send Cadence into bawling tears. She turned and jumped into Sombra, burying her face in his chest. “I love you too, daddy!”

Shining Armor simply stared at both of them, his brain unable to decide if it should be shocked, stunned, or confused. Finally, it settled on a combination of all three, and prompted his body to speak the universal word: “Huh?”

“Oh, there, there, it’s ok,” Sombra said, pulling Cadence into a full hug. “We’ve got plenty of time to catch up. We’re family now! And speaking of family —” He took one hoof from around Cadence’s shoulders and swung it towards Shining Armor — “C’mere, son.”

To his credit, Shining recovered quickly, narrowed his eyes and said, “No.”

“Oh, come on, you’re not still hung up on the whole dark crystals on the horn thing, are you?” Sombra asked. “It’s not a family hug without the family.”

“I’m not hugging you.”

The smile dropped from Sombra’s face. “Armor, you’re making this weird,” he said, eyes narrowing.

“Look, I don’t know what spells you worked on my wife to give her this change of heart, but I’m smart enough to know that I’m out of my depth, so here’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to Ponyville, ok?” Shining replied, turning and walking towards the door. “I’m going to go see my sister, and together, we’re going to build the most terrible doomsday device Equestria’s ever seen!” With more force than was necessary, Shining’s magic swung the door opened. “And then we’ll come back here, and break your spell, and then rub our victory right in your dumb face!” With a slam, he closed the door after himself, leaving Cadence and Sombra alone. For two seconds, before he opened the door and stuck his head back in.

“And then, we’ll destroy the world even bigger than you thought possible!” The door slammed again, and this time, Shining Armor did not come back.

“Mmm,” purred Cadence. “I love it when he takes charge.”

“So it would seem. Did you really choose him because of his doomsday device?” Sombra asked.

“Well, that’s how he likes to remember it, sure. And also probably what he thinks actually happened.” Cadence turned to exit through the heretofore unmentioned other door leading out to the private dining room, Sombra following after. “But, since we’re catching up, let me tell you what really happened. You see, the real story started right after they finished their little display….”

Author's Note:

No author's note today.







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