• Published 6th Jul 2015
  • 1,886 Views, 93 Comments

The Reject Chronicles - Darth Pestilence



All Mason, Robert, and John wanted to do was have fun at a convention. That's all they wanted! But when they purchased items from a mysterious being they are sent to a foreign world. And thus, the adventure of a lifetime began. (Now cancelled)

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You can run, but you can't hide.

Author's Note:

It's been awhile, hasn't it? I'm really sorry for the delay in updates, but I've been doing some other stuff. The good news is that you don't have to wait any longer!

Before you start reading, let me give you some advice: If you haven't read the edited chapters already, then you're probably going to be confused about what's going on, so I recommend that you go back in give them a look.

Anyway, on with the chapter! And leave a comment, please!

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Robert muttered, rubbing his eyes just to make sure that he wasn’t seeing things. When he was positive that his stress and anxiety wasn’t causing him to hallucinate in any way, he opted to face-palm.

“Hello! Anypony home?” Lyra called out, causing the paranoia of the inhabitants of the cabin to skyrocket with each successive knock on the door.

“Who is that?!” Mason whispered loudly, reaching for where his weapon was lying.

Robert didn’t answer, instead, walking over to the door and unlocking it.

“What are you doing?!” John panicked, almost dropping his loud whisper and just yelling outright.

“Are you crazy!?” Mason also panicked.

“Not as crazy as this mare,” Robert replied simply before opening the door and standing in the now open threshold in plain view of Lyra. The soft green mare’s eyes widened to saucers at this, her hoof, which had been halfway to knocking on the door again frozen, just like her expression, in mid-air.

The two, human and pony, stood there, staring at the other for a few moments, Robert looking away a few times and scratching the back of his head nervously before he noticed a wide, cheshire grin slowly grow on Lyra’s face. “I knew you were--!”

“Shut up and come inside,” Robert interrupted, quite irritably, in fact. While the teen would not normally be so rude to Lyra, he wasn’t feeling all that kind as of late.

Lyra paused for a moment before nodding like a bobblehead entering the hut, brightening up even more (if such a thing were possible) at the sight of the other two humans… and flinching at the sight of Zecora.

“So,” Robert began, shutting the door and locking it behind him. “Why did you come here, how did you know we were here, and have you told anyone else where we are?”

“W-Well,” Lyra said with a stutter, nervousness and excitement overwhelming her senses, “I came here to see you guys… I couldn’t wait to meet an actual human, let alone three!”

‘Sounds about right,’ Robert thought to himself while the other inhabitants glanced at each other in confusion.

“Second, I kind of figured that the only place the elusive humans could be hiding would be with the almost as elusive Zecora. That part was kind of more a hunch than a concrete thing, but hey, my gut was right, wasn’t it? And third, no, I’m the only one who knows about you guys being here,” Lyra concluded, beaming with pride.

Robert raised an eyebrow. “So you didn’t even tell your roommate, Bon Bon?”

“No, of course no--” Lyra’s eyes widened. “How did you know Bon Bon was my roommate?”

‘Should not have said that!’ Robert thought, cursing himself for his lack of forethought. But then, Lyra said something that caught his attention.

“Wow! I knew humans were powerful, but I didn’t know they could read minds!” the mint-green mare exclaimed with a smile.

“What do you mean?” he inquired. The others stood back and watched, thinking that Robert knew what he was doing, as he seemed to know more about this world than they did.

“Well, according to the legends I’ve read about the other two, I suppose it’s only natural that one of the next three is a mind-reader!” Lyra said.

“What other two?!” Robert exclaimed loudly, unintentionally doing so in stereo with Mason and John, his mind reeling from with ideas and possibilities. Maybe these ‘other two’ could be the key to getting back home!

“Um, the Warrior and the Wielder of Storms. I read about them in a book passed down from generation to generation in my family.”

Robert nealt down to Lyra’s eye level and grabbed a firm hold of the shoulders of her forelegs. Perhaps too firm, but at the moment, he was too overcome with blazing curiosity to care. “Lyra, I need you to focus and focus… uhhh… just... just focus, okay?”

Lyra, wincing from how hard he was squeezing her shoulders, said, “Uhhh… you’re kind of… hurting me right now.”

“Oh! Um... sorry!” Robert apologized, loosening his grip on Lyra. “But could you tell me more? Did they ever leave Equestria? What were they like? How long ago did they appear? Tell me, tell me, tell me!”

“Uhhh… okay… just… please get your face out of my face first… please? I mean, it’s an interesting face and all that I’d love to study this close in the future… but I kind of need to breathe.”

It was then that Robert noticed that he had indeed mashed his face against Lyra’s… and hadn’t even noticed until she had mentioned it. He indeed had a tendency to invade personal space when he got overly excited or interested about something, much to his chagrin.

“I’m sorry, I tend to do that when I get… uhhh… anxious. Forgive me. Please.” Robert backed away.

“Eh, don’t sweat it. I forgive you. Anyway, the book doesn’t say much about them specifically, but it does tell their story: a tale of how they liberated Equestria from an evil ruler and defeated a dark god that I’ve always been fascinated with since I was a filly.”

“Is that why everyone’s looking for us?” John interrupted. “Because we’re mythical creatures?”

Lyra lowered her head. “No, I’m the only one who knows the tale of the two human heroes that I know of. Even Twilight didn’t know about the book when I asked her, and she’s an even bigger egghead than I am in a lot of areas! I think all copies of that book were either destroyed or lost to time, and I’m the only pony who has a copy.”

“So, they’re looking for us because of what we did to Twilight, then?” John asked.

Lyra frowned. “That’s the official story, anyways.”

Everyone was silent for a moment before Robert spoke up once again. “Do you… think you could let us read this book?”

Lyra beamed. “Sure!”

Robert sighed in the relief.

Then, Lyra continued. “If you let me bring all of my scientific equipment with me to study you guys sometime, that is.”

Robert raised a brow. “You’re not going to… dissect us or anything… are you?”

“What? Of course not!” Lyra said, offended. “I’d never dissect a living organism… though… I’m probably going to need some blood samples. And some urine sa--”

“Okay, let me just stop you right there,” Robert interrupted, noting the weirded out expressions of his friends (not counting his own disgust). “There won’t be any samples taken of us. You can ask us questions, but that’s IT.”

Lyra looked crestfallen. “Awww… not even just a hair or skin sample?”

“No. No samples. At all. Period.”

“Awww… pony feathers!” Lyra said with a stomp of her hoof before looking back at Robert. “How am I going to begin cracking your species’ genetic code, then? Analyzing billions of DNA sequences kind of takes a toll on a pony’s time, ya know.”

Robert shrugged. “Don’t know, but you’re not going to be getting any DNA from us, at all, so that condition of yours is a non-starter.”

“Shoot,” Lyra said, stomping her hoof again. “Can I at least interview the three of you to find out more about where you come from, your race, and you guys specifically, then? Please?”

“Sure, why not? How about you guys?” Robert asked with a sigh. Mason and John gave reluctant nods. “We’ll let you ask all the questions you want, but only after we read that book.”

Lyra nodded in understanding, “Gotcha. Let you guys read the book and I get to ask all the questions I want.” Lyra then smooshed her mouth in between her forehooves, gushing, “I get to ask all the questions I want to a band of humans. O… M… C! Finally! My dreams are all coming true!”

“Small problem,” John interjected.

Lyra looked at John, blinking. “Problem? What--” Her eyes then widened. “Oh no! Please! Please, please, please, please, PLEASE tell me this isn’t all a dream just like the last hundred times!” She quickly galloped over to John, rearing up on her hind legs and placing his forehooves roughly on his solar plexus. “Quick! Pinch me! Pinch me so that I can be sure!”

Mason raised an eyebrow while Robert sighed, and gave John a shrug.

“... That’s not what I meant, Lyra. As much as I’d like it, this is not a dream.”

“But how can you be sure!? Nopony… human… has caused me enough pain yet so we can know for certain that I’m not just laying down in my bed at home or a couch or on a park bench like I usually am whenever something this awesome happens!”

“Wait..” Robert said, looking thoughtful. “Wasn’t I hurting you earlier when I was asking about the book?” Robert asked.

Lyra blinked, and then dropped back down to all fours. “Oh yeah. Hehe, Sorry about that, John.”

“... Anyway, like I was saying, how is she going to walk all the way back to Ponyville, get that book, and walk back here without being caught or attacked. Not to mention, how is she going to do all of this, and this is the real important part here... in broad daylight?” John asked.

“Uhhh… the same way I got here without the book? Duh!” Lyra said with a confident look on her face.

“I don’t know… there’s supposed to be a lot of guards walking around during the day. Sure, they’re somewhat incompetent at times, but it still would be hard to explain away the fact that you’re wandering around Everfree. Plus, what’re you going to say to Bon Bon when she sees that you’re back from your little escapade?” Robert said, crossing his arms.

“What? Those guys? Pfff…” Lyra began with a casual, dismissive wave of her hoof. “Even if I do get caught, I’ll just tell them I was hunting for some special ingredients that only grow in this forest. It is kind of a free one stop shop for a ton of exotic ingredients that a lot of the ponies in the town market use to fill up their stock, after all.”

“And Bon Bon?” Robert asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Eh, Bonnie’s usually way too busy manning her store, and when she comes home, she usually just plops on a sofa or on the floor in her own room before even getting to her bed and sleeps like a rock,” Lyra then chuckled. “Oh, if you could only see the look on her face when she realizes I wrote on it… which I do sometimes when she’s asleep. Oh! Oh! I have pictures! If you want I could bring them over--”

“Okay then. I suppose you should be relatively all right. Although, since I’d rather not hear that you’ve been eaten, I’ll guide you through the safest path to the border that we know of. John, hand me the cloak please,” Robert said, the older man handing over the magical garment.

“Ooo! What’s that?” Lyra asked.

“It’s a magical cloak that keeps the person who wears it invisible. Now follow me. We’re burning daylight,” Robert said, donning the cloak and beckoning for Lyra to follow him. The teen and the bouncing, overjoyed mare left, leaving the others all alone.

“So… what should we do while we wait here?” Mason asked.


“Okay,” Robert whispered, removing the cloak. “You remember how to get back to this cave-tunnel from the town?” Lyra nodded. “Okay then. Just grab the book along with anything else you might need, and come back here. Do you remember the rules I told you about going to and from here?”

Lyra nodded enthusiastically. “Yep! Stay away from water, don’t tell anypony where I’ve been, make sure I’m not followed, and lastly: don’t get caught!”

“Good girl,” Robert complimented, much to the mare’s satisfaction. “Also, would you mind picking up a book about basic spell casting from Twilight’s library while you’re in Ponyville?”

Lyra cocked her head to the side. “Sure, but why?”

“I’ll answer all of your questions when we’re back at the cabin. Now go on and make me proud!”

“Sir, yes sir!”

Lyra took off, leaving Robert to sit in the cave and wait for her, alone. After a mere minute, however, his impatience had already grown that he decided to throw some bit of caution to the wind, take out his batarang, and begin throwing it as high as he could in the air between him and the cave ceiling and catching it again and again as though it were a baseball rather than an advanced, aerodynamically designed, carbon nanofiber (or maybe even some previously thought to be fictional material) throwing weapons and implement.

He began catching and throwing it quicker when thoughts of what had happened last night began to claw their way back to the forefront of his mind…


“Mason, what are you doing?” John asked, seeing Mason outstretching his hands in the direction of one of Zecora’s glass vials that was lying at the edge of the table.

“Since Freddy said I would be able to use magic soon, I’ve decided that I might as well try and use mine in case it’s needed,” Mason responded, straining as hard as he could in an attempt to bring forth at least a bit of magic. “Besides, I’ve watched Carrie. I have at least a vague idea of how to use telekinesis,” he thought.

John and Zecora watched in minor amusement as Mason strained until he was literally blue in the face in his attempt to use magic.

“Cut it out, Mason. You’re going to faint if you--”

In a matter of a few seconds, a few things happened. A red aura surrounded both Mason’s hands and the vial. The vial moved, falling off of the table and cracking upon impact with the floor. And, finally, Mason fell down, unconscious.

John and Zecora chuckled, and then moved Mason over to the mattress on the floor, where he would lay until he awoke.


Like a fox--no! Like a ninja! Wait, no! Like a fox that was also a ninja, Lyra stealthily sneakily made her way back to the small, two story dwelling that she and her best friend had to pay rent to that SUPER crabby old mare of a landlady to stay in every month, but that they put up with because both her and Bon Bon were cheapskates and didn’t want to move somewhere with more hospitable management. She darted into and out of back alleys, she glided over rooftops, she blended in with the crowd when she had to, and then, finally, after an amount of time spent methodically making her way to her apartment that any other pony wouldn’t have had the patience for, but that she did because she was totally a fox, ninja, there she was on a rooftop on one of the houses overlooking hers, binoculars in hoof.

It had been five minutes since she had begun scoping out the place to make sure that she didn’t catch even the golden gleam of Royal Guard armor or a hair belonging to ponies she thought could have been spies for the Royal Guard or any of a number of equestrian agencies (official and not so official, if her conspiracy theorist friends were to be believed) that would have an interest in her newfound, human friends.

“Hrmmm… no signs of any breaking and entering, or of any suspicious ponies… except for Pinkie Pie, but really, she’s suspicious for a bunch of different reasons. Plus, really, trotting down the street playing bagpipes is the LEAST of those reasons anyways, so--”

Before she could finish that sentence she was saying under her breath, however, she was startled out of her stakeout by a friendly, “Hiya, Lyra!”

“Gaaahhh!” Lyra said, her binoculars dropping onto the street below and shattering into multiple, large fragments. Turning onto her back, she closed her eyes and flailed her legs about frantically, shouting just as frantically, “Please! Don’t hurt me! I’m just a lyre player with a higher than average interest in humans! I swear! Don’t beat me up or lock me up or banish me, or lock me up in the place you’ll banish me to after beating me up! Please! I have kids and a big, strong, handsome, totally-as-into-humans-as-I-am husband who’d be--”

“Uhmmm… Lyra? Are you… okay?” the pony that had up’ed her jig interrupted. “I don’t mean to be rude, but, you’re acting really, really weird. Like, almost Pinkie Pie levels.”

Her legs running out of energy, and seeing as nothing bad had happened to her… yet… Lyra stopped her frenetic motions and cautiously, fearfully, opened them up to find… a pony. A grey furred pegasus. Mare. Early 20’s. Lyra knew this mare, and, when she realized that she knew this mare, she felt silly, rather silly, that she had thought she had meant her harm. For the mare looking down at Lyra, confused, was about the least threatening, least suspicious pony in town Lyra could think of. In fact, the mare wasn’t suspicious even in the Pinkie Pie way. She was just… well… kind of derpy. Hay, her name was Derpy!

Realizing that Derpy was waiting for her to give an answer, Lyra’s eyes darted back and forth and her brow began to work up a sweat as she desperately tried to come up with something on the fly like a supercool, fox, ninja would. “Uhhh… I’m… errr… bluhhh…”

Before she could utter her supercool response, however, she saw Derpy’s eyes widen as though she had just realized something. “Wait… you have kids? And a husband? When? How come I’ve never seen you with them? Are they any ponies I know? Do you mind asking your kids if they could be friends with my little Dinky, because I’m afraid that she hasn’t made any real friends with any of the other foals in Ms. Cheerilee's and she always seems so--”

“Uhhhmmm… Derpy?” Lyra interrupted.

“Yeah?”

“Uhhhmmm… I don’t actually have kids or a husband, so, yeah.”

Derpy went back to looking confused. “Huh. But, I thought I heard you say just now that you did.”

Lyra’s eyes widened and she stammered out a hasty response. “Oh… that… well… uhhh… see… the thing is… what I meant to say was that… uhhh… I just WANT kids and a husband one day. You know… when I’m ready, and stuff, not that I had them… presently… already… right… now?”

Lyra closed her eyes, peaking out with one as narrow as she could to see if Derpy had bought any of what she had just sold.

Derpy smiled broadly. “Okay!” Her look of confusion then returned. “So… why are you on my roof?”

“Oh, uh… just… checking to make sure that… the… uhhh… MAILMARE! YES! Just checking to make sure that the mailmare delivered a package I’ve been really, really, REALLY waiting for a while. A…. uhhh… MAGICAL… uhhh… lyre?”

“A magical lyre?” Derpy asked, tilting her head to the side. “What’s that?”

“Nevermind! The point is, I’ve been waiting for it, and it hasn’t shown up yet, and I’m just watching my doorstep from here to make sure it gets here! Honest!”

“Wait…” Derpy said as her eyes narrowed upon Lyra. “Why don’t you just watch for the mailmare from your own roof? Why come to mine? In fact…” Derpy looked at the ground and tapped a hoof on her chin before looking back at Lyra. “Aren’t I your mailmare? And isn’t today Sunday? Why would you be waiting for me to deliver you mail on Sunday from the top of my own house?”

Lyra began sweating bullets then, and tried her hardest to come up with an excuse. “Uh… um… le gasp! Is that Doctor Whooves calling for you?”

Derpy’s eyes widened. “Really?!”

Lyra nodded rapidly. “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah! And what’s that!? Le gasp again! He wants to treat you to some muffins he baked himself?!”

Derpy’s wings flared up. “REALLY?!”

“You better get going before Dinky eats all of them!” Lyra commanded.

Derpy nodded firmly and took off at speeds that would make Rainbow Dash look like a snail in comparison.

Wiping away the sweat that had made her forehead all sticky, Lyra glanced back to her front door and decided that maybe she had done all the staking out she should have done and just enter her house already.

With careful acrobatic deftness, she made her way back to the ground, enveloped the door knob in the glow of her magic, and made a beeline for her front door… promptly crashing into it.

As she lay in a heap on her back on the ground, she wracked her spinning head, wondering why the door hadn’t opened even though she had commanded the knob to telekinetically turn. She then slapped herself in the face when she remembered that she forgot to open the door and promptly got to her feet, pulled out her keychain from her mane with her magic, unlocked the door, put the key back in her made, and rushed inside.

Once inside, she rushed through the living room, down the hallway to the stairs, practically flew up them, went down the hallway there, made a beeline for the door to her room, promptly crashed into it, slapped herself for forgetting she locked the door to her room for security reasons (and so Bon Bon didn’t see what a mess it was and tell her to clean it up), pulled out her keychain again, unlocked her door, ran in, slammed the door behind her, locked it again, and collapsed in a tired, panting heap on the rug at the center of the room. “Whew. Being awesome and undetected by anypony is hard work.”

After wiping her brow of the sweat she had worked up in her celeritous run for her room, Lyra got back up and turned her attention towards her bookcase. Or rather, the bookcase she wanted any prying eyes and nosey… noses… to see. It wasn’t anything special. Just a small, brown, oak thing that barely came up to her neck and was barely as wide as she was long filled mostly with Daring Doo books, her old textbooks from highschool and college, a few Atlases and map books, some tech and magic magazines she bought from way back when she was interested in that kind of stuff but now mostly just kept around as momentos, a few children’s books on legendary and mythological creatures, and, of course, what no bookcase in Equestria could be without: a Power Ponies limited edition Volume 1 Trade Paperback collection with that special, hoof drawn, photorealistic cover.

Anypony snooping around this bookcase would only conclude that Lyra was just a giant nerd. Perhaps with too much of an interest in fiction and maps, but certainly not into any earth shattering discoveries that could change Equestrian history for centuries, maybe even millennia to come.

They would certainly NEVER think to look underneath the floorboards beneath the bookcase, would certainly NEVER think to pry away three that were much more loosely sealed than the others, would certainly NEVER guess the combination to the safe hidden beneath the floorboards, and would certainly NEVER think to touch their magically empowered horn on the opaque screen of glass-looking, but far hardier material that the safe door parted to reveal that served as a second protective layer to the treasure trove that lay within. Even if they did, Lyra’s conspiracy theorist buddies had somehow made it so that the screen of glass-looking, but much stronger material only registered her magical signature. She had wondered how they had done this, but when she asked, they had gotten all freaked out and defensive and questioned if she was a spy and made her do some pretty difficult stealthing to prove that she wasn’t that she REALLY didn’t want to have to go through again.

When the screen of unknown material parted, Lyra took a moment to breath in the stale air that had been trapped within the safe after the last time she had sealed it, which to her, smelt like pure, lemon scented knowledge, and admired her little hoard of paper and bindings that, if anypony with authority knew she had, would likely spell the end of her life as she knew it… if it didn’t just spell the end of her life in the regular way.

Remembering that she was on a tight deadline, Lyra quickly grabbed the book that her new human friends wanted, shoved into her saddlebag, sealed up the safe and floorboards, moved the bookcase back over the floorboards, and was about to stampede out of her room and back out the house when she remembered that she forgot something VERY important, tripped, jumped back up, and practically jumped onto her swivel chair, spinning around at several hundred RPM for a bit before she stopped, coming face to face with her work desk… and the lone, hard bound, green covered book that rested on it with the words, ‘Lyra’s Journal Part 141’ written on a label pasted to the book in black sharpie.

After levitating her journal open to the latest page and a black sharpie from one of the desk’s drawers, Lyra squealed with excitement as she wrote down what was by far her favorite entry ever:

Entry Number # 50001:

Today was better than I ever could have imagined! I found Zecora’s cabin, and it turns out that I was right! The humans were there! And they weren’t mean and savage like everypony makes them out to be! They’re actually really nice and pleasant... if a little stressed.

Anyways, Robert (the youngest of the group: a teenage male that was quite enthusiastic about my studies into the nature of humans, and seemed to know quite a bit about Equestria) made a deal with me! If I let him read my book about the Warrior and the Wielder of Storms, and get him a book on basic spell casting, then he’ll let me ask the three of them any questions I want! My conspiracy theorist friends are going to be so jealous!

Anyway, I’ll be sure to record every question and answer for future reference. After this, me and my conspiracy theorist friends can come up with a way to clear their names! I can’t wait!

Notes:

Robert: A teenage male that looks to be around 14 or 15 years old by my estimates. May or may not be able to read minds. Has green eyes, light brown hair, and wears clothes that helps him blend in with the forest. Has a tendency to invade personal space when he is overly excited about something.

Mason: A male that looks to be in his early 20’s or late teens according to my estimates. The most intimidating one in terms of appearance. Has a bladed glove. Has blue eyes and short, black hair. Seemed suspicious of me at first.

John: A male that looked to be in his early or mid twenties according to my estimates. Has no hair on his head and has brown eyes. Looks to be the physically strongest of the group. Had a cloak that turned the wearer invisible. Seemed to be the least stressed out of the group.

After finishing the entry, she closed the journal and ran out of her room to go fetch the book on spell casting from the library, slamming her door behind her. As she opened and exited the front door, however, rather than galloping to the outside world unimpeded, she galloped right into somepony who had been standing on the welcome mat.

After shaking her head clear of the stars that were orbiting about it, which were shaped like her new human friends, Lyra turned her head towards the other pony to find out that it was, much to her mounting horror, her roommate, Bon Bon.

“Bonnie!? What in the hay are you doing--errr… uhhh… I mean… hey… Bon Bon! What, uh… brings you back home so early. You know… when you’re supposed to be… at your store… baking and making stuff… like you usually do?”

After clearing the stars around her head (which Lyra couldn’t see but she reckoned were shaped like candies wrapped up in plastic) Bon Bon raised an eyebrow at Lyra’s obviously suspicious attitude. “I forgot the keys to the store, so I came back to get them. What are YOU doing here? I thought you had work today?”

Quickly getting back up to her feet, Lyra said, “Oh! That! Well… uhhh… I had to come back to the house cuz… I forgot my lyre! That’s it! I forgot something too! Yeah! That’s it! Nothing that out of the usual here. No siree!”

Bon Bon got back to her feet too and fixed Lyra with a look. “Your Lyre? That saddlebag you have there is kind of small to be carrying around an instrument that--”

Slapping herself in the face, Lyra made a surprisingly quick recovery for her and, after bringing her hoof back down, said, “Oh! Did I say my Lyre? Silly me. I meant my collection plate! Can’t get enough tips from playing at the park if I don’t have a big enough collection plate that everypony can see and chip in a bit or two!”

Before anypony could say anything else, the town cloak then let out the chime it did at around this time to indicate that Mane Street was now open for business.

“Oh! 9 AM already!? Would you look at the time! I’ve got to get to work! SEE YA LATER BONNIE, BYE BYE, HAVE A NICE DAY, SO LONG, THANK YOU!!!” Lyra shouted back as she took off in the direction of Twilight’s library, leaving a very confused… and still very much suspicious Bon Bon behind in the trail of dust she kicked up.


Something was up. That much, Bon Bon knew. Lyra was, to put it simply, very weird, but she had known her long enough to know that she didn’t usually act… that weird. It was almost like she was trying to hide something… which left only one possible avenue for Bon Bon to explore.

After dusting herself off, Bon Bon passed through the threshold into her and her roommate's home and closed the door shut behind her. Once that was done, she turned towards the coat rack immediately to her right and lifted the thing up and away from the wall it stood against. Then, after a lot of fidgeting since she was an earthpony and the blunt, lone hooves of her kind weren’t all that good at finesse, she managed to slip out a single white brick. Turning it over, a key fell out: an exact replica of the key to Lyra’s room she had covertly had made at the locksmith’s.

She pocketed the key into her mane, put the brick back, put the coat rack back, and briskly made her wall down the hall past the living room, up the stairs, down the hall on the second floor and towards the door to Lyra’s room.

She was about to pull the key back out of her mane when, remembering the haste Lyra had been in, she grabbed a hold of the knob and was able to twist it completely and open the door to Lyra’s room, unimpeded. She threw her head back and sighed, muttering something about how many IQ points Lyra lost when she was excited, and entered the room.

She growled when she saw the mess it was all in, with unfinished pizza boxes, half eaten sandwiches or all types, and rotting fruits and vegetables all over, but nodded her head in respect when she inspected Lyra’s closet and found all her clothes were neatly tucked away where they should have been without any fuss.

After making a mental note to berate Lyra her for her eating habits and thank her for at least keeping her clothes out of the messy maelstrom, Bon Bon then took a seat at Lyra’s work desk and began flipping through the pages of her latest journal for any new entries since the last time.

About halfway through the reams of paper within the journal, Bon Bon found just such an entry: Entry # 50001.

However, this one, unlike most of Lyra’s previous ones, actually contained important information. Very important information. Information that, as her mind adjusted to the gravity of it all, made Bon Bon’s eyes widen and mutter out, “Lyra… you idiot. What have you gotten yourself into this time?”

As fast as Lyra had when Bon Bon had saw her running off to Faust knows where, Bon Bon grabbed Lyra’s journal, stuffed it into the nearest saddlebag, which Lyra fortunately had about five extra sets of, slung it over her back, and galloped her way out of the house towards where she had last seen Lyra take off to, not stopping even to lock the front door...


Up and down, up and down, down and up, down and up.

For the past thirty minutes, Robert had repeated that sentence in his head over and over again, as though doing so while he focussed on his throwing and catching motions with the batarang would serve as charm to ward off the despicable, horrible thoughts. It worked surprisingly well, but, he didn’t want to test the limits of just how long lasting it was.

“Where is she? She should have both of those stupid books by now,” Robert caught the batarang and held onto it as he bent his knees and sat on the cave ground to rest for the first time since sending Lyra on her way. Sighing bitterly, he said “Maybe Bon Bon is giving her grief like I thought she would. Dang it. She better not take much longer.”

He started to the toss the batarang into the air once more and repeat his little mantra. However, on the third such repetition, he heard the sound of paws running up to him from the entrance of the cave, which he was about five feet away from. Before he could react, he then felt a sharp pain in his right ankle, as whatever creature it was took a rather agonizing bite into his flesh there.

“Son of a--! GAH!” Robert exclaimed in pain. He looked down and took about two seconds to identify his attacker: a large bloodhound that, to his horror, had a collar with the symbol of the Royal guard around its neck, and a leash attached to it, with no owner attached to the leash.

After taking that information in, he kicked the bloodhound in the head with his uninjured foot as hard as he could again and again and again. Up and down, up and down, down and up, down and up.

The dog eventually relented from Robert’s ankle, and he stopped when he noticed the poor thing was well and truly unconscious with a massive bruise forming on the top of its head roughly the size and shape of his foot.

After kicking the unconscious canine aside, Robert knelt down and clutched his wounds, trying his best to make the bleeding stop.

“Okay Robert, focus. You’ve seen enough movies to know what to do in these kind of situations. A ripped off piece of clothing should be a good substitute bandage until I get back to the--” He felt his blood run cold at the sound of hooves, very close to his location.

As in, right outside.

“... and where did ol’ Buster run off…” the guard who was speaking froze, as did the others upon seeing both the unconscious bloodhound, and Robert, who was feeling very much like a deer caught in the headlights.

In a flash, the group of guards (there was about ten of them in total) pointed their spears at him.

“Stay right there! We know you can understand us, so there’s no point in playing dumb! Surrender right now and you won’t be harmed!” the leader of them, Robert presumed, commanded.

“C’mon Robert! Think! How do I get out of this!?” He racked his brain for a decent plan as the guards began to grow impatient.

“If you don’t surrender right now, get on your knees, and put your hands behind your head, then we WILL resort to other methods to detain you!” the leader demanded.

“Okay, I have a plan. It’s not the best, and I don’t know if it’ll actually work, but it’s better than nothing,” he thought. He said a silent prayer before enacting this grand, master plan of his.

“AHHHHHHH!” Robert screamed, pointing behind the guards and donning his most convincing expression of terror. The guards spun around to face the imaginary horror, and Robert took this chance to try and flee. He snatched up his batarang and the cloak, turned, and tried to limp away, about to throw the cloak over his shoulders. However, before that crucial step in his grand master plan could be properly executed… he felt himself freeze up and fell to the ground before he could get any distance from them.

He tried to move, but found that his body would not respond to his brain’s commands.

“Nice try, but I’m wasn’t falling for that trick! Chain him up!” Robert could only watch in silent horror as handcuffs were attached to his wrists and ankles, and he could only watch with even more such horror as they took his batarang and the Cloak of Invisibility.

“Now let’s take him back to Ponyville. I’m sure we can find a cell that’s just right for him.” Robert saw an orange aura surround him, and lift him up. “The rest of you, take Buster and get some backup, just in case.”

“Sir, yes sir!” they responded, running away with the unconscious bloodhound in tow.

“I see you’re confused,” the leader said, trotting into Robert’s field of vision as they began taking him in the direction of Ponyville. “When you tried to run, I hit you with a paralysis spell when your back was turned. You won’t be able to move until I hit you with the proper counterspell or just decide to drop the paralysis spell altogether.”

Finding that he could move his mouth, Robert decided to respond. “If we’re just throwing spells around, would you mind healing that bite on my ankle? It hurts, and those cuffs on my ankles aren’t really making things any more comfortable.”

“Ha! Funny! The murderous mythical creature from fairy tales and bedtime stories has jokes. Well, here’s a joke for you, you weird, dirty, hairless ape.”

The leader then promptly, and very harshly, shoved a gold, bell-boot covered hoof into Robert’s nose, breaking it enough that he started to immediately bleed out of his nostrils.

“Gahhh!” Robert yelled out in pain.

“What? My joke wasn’t that bad,” the leader said, snarkily.

Robert growled. He. Was. DONE.

“You know, I don’t think anything you can say is funnier than the fact that after almost a month of searching, it was a dog that found me instead of your pathetic excuse of a royal guard,” Robert said with a smirk, deciding that if he was going to be captured, he was going to give his captors as much grief as he could. He was fed up with his whole situation, and decided that he was about to show them just how infuriating he could be, caution be damned.

“Hell, it’s a wonder no more of you have died searching for us yet.” The guards shot him venomous glares and his smirk widened. “What? Did one of your troops actually take one too many stupid pills before dying or something? Well too bad! I feel it’s only fair to warn you guys that you ended up catching the sarcastic asshole of the group. By the time you’ve locked me up, you guys are going to hate me even more. And I haven’t even made any Molestia jokes.” He muttered that last part under his breath.

The group of royal guards carrying him remained silent after he had finished for a good, long while, their pace not slackening one bit. Robert was honestly starting to feel a little disappointed as the silence continued to linger before, suddenly, the leader of the group took a long, deep breath, and said, “Ponies: STOP!”

The guards accompanying the leader ceased and stood at attention, as the leader had commanded.

“Privates Silver Spear, Crusher, and Barricade! Drop our guest to the ground, pronto!”

The three unicorns that had been holding Robert up with the glow of their magic did as he instructed, Robin falling, on his back, onto some very rough, pebbly feeling ground, a full four feet.

“Ow…” he muttered out.

Before he could say anything else, however, he heard the guard leader say, “Now, I want everypony to take off your helmets and form a circle around our guest. Make sure he can get a good, long, hard look at your faces from where he’s laying!”

Robert heard the sound of metal clinking against the ground and saw all the guards, sans their leader, standing over and around him in a circle, scowls deeper than he thought canon ponies were capable of etched into their faces, some of them even blowing white hot steam into his face.

Robert knew what was about to happen, and although he wasn’t looking forward to the pain that would ensue, he decided that he was going to do two things:

A: Not give these guards the pleasure of hearing him scream again.

B: Get the last word.

He sighed. “Oh, well. I suppose it can’t be helped that you guys aren’t man enough to hike up your skirts and not give me the pleasure of a response. Really shows the quality of your military. Anyways, if you’re going to beat me up, try not to hit me where it will be visible. I doubt Celestia would like hearing that her oh so precious royal guards beat up a defenseless human. Then again, I doubt you guys will listen to someone who isn’t a pony, you racist dirt--”

“GUARDSPONIES!” the leader interrupted.

“YES, SERGEANT!?” the other royal guards said, the venom from their breath just filling Robert’s nostrils as much as what bits of horse food they didn’t properly chew was still left stuck to their teeth.

“SHOW THIS UGLY, HAIRLESS, SCRAWNY, MONKEY LOOKING MONSTER THING WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU MESS WITH HER MAJESTY’S ROYAL GUARD! CAN I GET A HOOOOO-RRRAAAAAHHHH!?”

“HOO-RAH!” the other royal guards shouted before they reared up.

Robert flashed them one last grin. “So, is Sunbutt coming to see me after this or--?” And he laughed. He laughed and laughed and laughed all through the pain that ensued, refusing to give them any satisfaction at all. Through the mind rending agony, he was able to get some satisfaction from the increased expressions of rage they had gained after he had insulted Celestia.

As his world grew dimmer after his beating was finished, he left them with one final phrase: “Worth it…”

And then, he promptly fell into trauma induced unconscious, a look of indescribable pain etched onto his face.

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