• Published 17th Aug 2015
  • 1,357 Views, 146 Comments

Bruce Wayne, dark knight of Ponyville - ultronquake



Ponyville has changed greatly in fifteen years, most all of the landscape is unrecognizable. But one constant remains, the ponies. After years of training Bruce Wayne is ready to begin his crusade to save the city he calls home.

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Excitement and insecurity

The park was a peaceful place this time of day, plenty of business ponies out and about grabbing a quick lunch before being dragged back into the corporate titans they worked for. There were a few foals flying kites under the watchful gaze of their parents as well as a swan boat paddling clumsily across the placid pond.

Diamond for her part was sitting tensely on one of the memorial benches, a little placard with 'In memory of Gray Mare' was etched onto the brass. 'Kind of sad when you think of it.' She internalized. Years of leadership and dedication and the only thing left to memorialize the former mayor was a park bench. Even if her exit from office was less than savory she was a much better elected official than the current mayor, an officious little prick by the name of Pipsqueak.

Well bygone embezzlers and current fatheads did little to hold her attention. Her entire purpose behind coming here was yet to arrive, it had taken all her restraint not to come running when her father had called, even more to hide the fact that she knew what the surprise he had in store was. For the first time in her life, Diamond Tiara was going to meet her real mother, not the insane husk rambling in the asylum, but the mare Filthy had fallen in love with and together created her.

She had all the expected questions to ask and more, it would be hard to find out where to start. "So mom, what was your life like before you became ill? Do you remember us coming to visit all those times? Am I the kind of pony you hoped I'd be-"

"Princess there you are!" said the booming voice of her father, any rehearsal of the questions was over now. "I'm glad you could come on such short notice."

"For you daddy I always have the time. So where should we eat?"

"Actually princess there is something rather important we need to discuss before hoof."

"Oh really? What's that?" Diamond could hardly suppress the excitement.

Filthy took a seat beside his daughter, "Do you remember what we were talking about yesterday in my office? About your mother?"

"Yes."

"Well something has come up that taking care of your mother won't be possible anymore."

"Oh Celestia, you don't mean she got hurt out there do you? She's not..." To finish her own thought Diamond already knew perfectly well that Screwball wasn't dead or injured, anything for the act.

"Actually dear it's something miraculous. We don't quite know how but when she was admitted to the hospital last night, well why don't I just let her tell you herself." As he motioned to the pretzel stand out walked a mare she'd seen her entire life, but not quite. Gone was the silly green propeller beanie, now she accessorized with a beautiful bronze necklace of sorts. Gone too was her youthful skin, no longer forced that way by constant smiling it now rested in a more natural pallor.

Cautiously she walked out as if afraid any wrong move would result in disaster, that only lasted until the mare caught sight of her reflection, her daughter. In that instant she was beyond joy, it was ecstasy. But it was also sorrow, regret over the life never lived. "I- I- I- I'm your-"

"Mother!" For as much mental preparation Diamond Tiara had been making, nothing could ever have prepared her for that moment. It had been twenty four years, the entire span of her life without ever being acknowledged as her child and now that was hers. Even though it hurt like all Tartarus to run with her pulled mussel she did anyway, all the way to embrace her mother. "It really is true, you are my mother!"

"Yes princess, I am." With tears in her eyes she stroked the her mane, noting how closely it resembled her own.

"How did you know, that ponies call me princess? I suppose daddy told you."

"Actually Diamond it was your mother who started that trend, she wanted to make sure you were always treated like a princess your whole life."

"We always hoped you'd aspire to great things, maybe even one day to become one yourself." Screwball wiped the tears away, never letting her grip loosen.

'Become a princess myself huh? I suppose that's why daddy would buy me all the Princess Cadence dolls.' "I guess I'm a big disappointment then. All I've ever done is get my M.B.A. and become a professional athlete representing Ponyville in the Equestria Games."

"That's, wow, that's good. That's amazing! My daughter is an athlete! Filthy why didn't you tell me my daughter is a champion?" Sheer excitement and pride permeated her being, screw princess-hood, she had a daughter who would inspire ponies across the globe.

"I'm not a champion... yet. The games wont start for a few months and the competition will be fierce."

"But if it's you out there then it's already a shoe in. I just cant believe this, my daughter the star. Is this what your cutie mark means?"

"What this old thing?" Diamond said in reference to the tiara plastered on her flank. "No it has nothing to do with sports, I got my cutie mark when I realized that I could get anypony to do what I wanted. Most ponies thought I was cruel but I was just doing what I'm best at." Well that was then and this was now, even if it was her special talent Diamond wasn't ever going to abuse her talent the same way she did back when she was a filly. "Do you mind me asking, what does your cutie mark mean? I've always wanted to know."

Screwball peered down at her own flank, the large screw being driven into a baseball was a vivid picture but didn't easily convey her destiny realized. "You know for the longest time I didn't even know myself. I thought maybe I was really good at pitching but that wasn't right. It was only after I married your father that I truly knew, I'm only good at throwing screwballs into ponies lives. Getting pregnant out of nowhere, loosing myself to madness and now coming back. Oh Celestia I'm just ruining everypony's lives, I don't deserve to be here."

The sudden swing in emotion caught Diamond off guard, so much so she didn't have time to react before Screwball ran off further into the park. "Mom wait! What's going on daddy?"

"Damned if I know. Come on let's go find her." Searching high and low yielded only a trail of tears leading to the street corner. She was trying, unsuccessfully to hail a cab. "Dear, what are you doing?"

"I'm trying to leave. I'm going to drive out into the desert and bury myself in the sand."

"Why would you ever want to do a thing like that?"

"Because I've only ever brought pain into your lives, I don't deserve anything as good as you after all the pain I caused." Once again she tried hailing a cab, each yellow car passing by without paying heed. "For ponies sake, I can't even do this right!"

"Mom, Screwball listen to me. I know that this couldn't have been easy for you either, but if you think leaving would spare me some pain then you're wrong. You getting in a cab and disappearing would be the biggest screwball in my life. I've spent every day wishing and hoping to know you, I know it's selfish of me to say but don't take that opportunity away from me. Please!"

"When I took you as my own I took the bad and the good, I promised to love and cherish both. I won't force you to stay but I'd at least appreciate an opportunity to talk about it before. So please, come back with us." Filthy held out a hoof towards his wife, desperately hoping she would take it.

"Are you sure? Because I-"

"There's nothing to be unsure about mom. We're going to stick with you like glue, me, daddy, Bruce, all of us." Diamond too held out a hoof and the mare didn't hesitate to take it.

"I promise I'll try not to screw things up any more for you than I already have." Rather than try to argue the fact that she'd never directly screwed her over, Diamond let the matter drop. Some ponies needed a modicum of self loathing, however unhealthy that was.

"And I promise I'll always forgive you, no matter how badly you do." Mother and daughter embraced once more, this time with more tensity. It was clear that whatever had robbed her of a sane mind for those many year had left her in a state of emotional imbalance, no magical amulet could supplement what she truly needed now. Lots of time, love and patience. "Come on mom, why don't we get something to eat?"

Screwball nodded and accepted the invitation, her feelings were in shambles at the moment and the only way she could rationalize them was severe low blood sugar. "Is there some place that does milk shakes around here? I could really go for one."

"You like milkshakes too!?"

"Who doesn't! I remember going to Mr. Frostie's malt shop every day for one, that's what became Sugar Cube Corner later on. And you gotta make sure to get the tin they mix it in as well, otherwise it's like your paying full price for half a milk shake!"

Filthy listened contently to his wife prattle on about the virtues of a frosted glass of frozen cow's milk. He was worried of course but for different reasons than his daughter. She'd always been like this, to a lesser degree. Filthy worried because of what might catch up, something you can't exactly get of your chest unless you're trying to drive everypony you care about away. Still, as long as it wasn't a problem he wouldn't bring it up.

For the moment he was just going to enjoy this time by the ponies he loved. "Don't forget about the Maraschino cherry dear. It's no good without that on top!"

Author's Note:

One more chapter before the story undergoes some structural changes. If you want details you can read my latest blog update.