• Published 9th Jan 2016
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Distorted Resonance - Tangent

Crystal Synergy used to be a middle-aged brony before she appeared in Ponyville in a bolt from the clear blue sky. She only wants to help...

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Distorted Beginnings: Chapter Three

Nightmare Moon rested and tried to recoup at least some of the power she had expended. It wasn’t easy. Keeping Celestia restrained in the ethereal plane was tying up a fair portion of her power as it was, and she would have to find a more permanent solution sooner or later. Sealing her in the moon for a thousand years as she herself had been was very tempting, but she didn’t have enough reserves to accomplish such a task as of yet.

Oh, there was no doubt that she’d get there. There were ways of gathering and accumulating mana for such a task, especially when one’s biothaumic system had the versatility, capacity, and (most importantly) the endurance inherent with being a fully mature alicorn. It would take a while though, and she couldn’t accomplish it when she might be interrupted by the proverbial rag-tag group of would-be heroes.

So the heroes would have to be dealt with one way or another.

The easiest and simplest way to do so would have been to just kill them. However, as much as the neglect their ancestors had for her beautiful night had irritated her, she shared her sister’s deep love for their little ponies. Hers was a more tough love, perhaps, but she loved them nonetheless.

She even wanted them to succeed and prosper. To a point, anyway. While their quest was doomed to fail long before she had returned from the moon due to the Elements being inert and the sixth one missing completely, it was better to let them have their epic quest so that they could honestly say that they had tried their best. And then move on with their lives and have stories that they could tell their grand foals.

There were a few ways that such a quest could be handled.

One was to discreetly spy on the party of adventurers and set up suitably tailored challenges and tests of character before letting them have their big boss encounter at the end. This method would conserve the most energy, but was time consuming and would leave her little time to recover whatever power she ended up having to spend in order to set up the encounters on the fly.

Another, costing significantly more mana at the beginning, gave her more time to recover as she waited for the adventurers to reach the castle. It was a more scatter-shot method, as there were a number of ways that the party could approach the castle and even she couldn’t watch them all.

Still, they had seemed like a capable group of mares. Surely such an experienced party could traverse a few hazards safely enough without having to have their hooves held. It wasn’t like they had just walked blindly into the forest without making any preparations whatsoever after all…

*O o O o O*

“That’s right, ladies Eat up! Have your fill! You’re going to need that energy in just a bit if you want to keep up your stamina! Don’t worry, there’s plenty to go around. Help yourself to a drink or two while you’re at it! Couldn’t hurt, after all, if ya know what I mean,” the satyr poured on the charm offensive like there was no tomorrow.

Which might just be the case, considering that the sun had yet to come up.

He wasn’t sure why he had decided to start playing his pipes a while ago. Something about… either overcoming or providing a challenge of some sort to a group of mares if he happened to encounter them. The impulse had sort of come out of nowhere, and he hadn’t actually expected it to pay off like it had, but hey, who was he to complain if fortune suddenly dropped a group of lovely mares in his lap, right?

There wasn’t any need to rush. Being hasty had been the death of more than one satyr after all. Ponies weren’t weak, despite their size, and even one unhappy client could leave him crippled or dead if he wasn’t careful.

So he’d ease them into it. Get them in the mood, and then make sure that they enjoyed the experience. Whether they wanted to or not. He’d be happy, and they’d be… well… sort of happy. For a while anyway.

Still, he couldn’t help but feel a thrill of anticipation as he primed his guests to be more receptive. All those animals had been strangely determined to keep him far away from even the outer reaches of that pony community to the west of the forest, and it had been very frustrating. Especially once that thrice-be-damned zebra shaman had moved in and started actively hunting him whenever he got too close to her hut.

Unnatural abomination his fuzzy ass. What could possibly be more natural than what a satyr did? Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow you might actually meet Mary! And what could be better than that?

*O o O o O*

Something was wrong, although Crystal had trouble thinking of what it might be. The food was good, and while the cup she had selected may have been a bit larger than what her sister would have preferred her to pick, she was still limiting herself to just the one drink, so that was fine. The music was fine too, when the guy bothered to play his pipes instead of blathering on about getting to know them.

Honestly, something just seemed… off… with everything that came out of that guy’s mouth. Not nearly as off as the quirky rise of her libido, which she had thus far just plain ignored ever since she had started her second puberty, but for some reason she just couldn’t bring herself to feel alarmed about it for once. This despite the fact that he was entirely the wrong gender to interest her at all, normally.

“Such a lovely set you all are. I can hardly wait to give you all an experience you will remember for a long time to come. Don’t be afraid now, it’ll be fun! Nothing more natural even, so the best kind of fun there is!”

Stopping to consider the available selection, the figure looked them all over appreciatively. “So… Who wants to go first?”

Crystal recognized what he was now, and the threat he represented. A satyr. A mythical embodiment of sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll. And he had them all under his spell. Had this happened after the others had bonded with the Elements, this wouldn’t have been a problem. The link would have protected them, and they would have protected her.

As it stood though, there was no guarantee that any of the others would be able to summon the will to resist in time to do much of anything. And even with this knowledge, she couldn’t bring herself to actually fight the satyr.

Crystal really didn’t want to do this, but to buy time for the others to find the will to preserve their own innocence, she would have to sacrifice her own…

*O o O o O*

“Well now, looks like we have a volunteer!” the satyr commented as one of the white ones got up from her repast and approached him nervously. “Oh, hey, you’re trembling… None of that now. Calm down and enjoy the ride. Trust me, you’ll enjoy it*urk!!!”

He impacted a tree on the other side of the clearing hard enough to rattle its branches.

“You lay another hand on one of us again, you low down dirty snake, and I’m gonna buck you so hard they’ll feel it all the way in Baltimare!” the orange mare challenged, standing protectively over the still trembling body of the short maned white one.

The pink one suddenly appeared before him, rearing up on her hind legs. Her once frizzy mane mysteriously hung limp and straight off to one side, no humor in her eyes at all. “You scared my friends. And not in the good way. I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to hurt you now.” And then she grinned. A horrible, terrifying, slasher grin. “Oh, wait… I’m not sorry at all! Buh-bye now!”

The blow that followed could have shattered stone…

*O o O o O*

“Huh!? Wha?” Nightmare Moon’s head popped up from her impromptu nap. That had sounded like some sort of high pitched scream? Or perhaps the call of some sort of wounded monkey?

Whatever it had been, it had not sounded like a pony.

No matter.

It would be hours before the mares could possibly get anywhere near the castle. They’d be fine. She still had time to rest.

*O o O o O*

Crystal cried, great shuddering sobs wracking her body as Pinkie Pie and Rarity hugged her from either side. The others joined in shortly afterwards. Even Twilight Sparkle, who barely knew any of them.

Nothing had happened in the end, but a little of their innocence was gone all the same.

Still, there was at least one satyr that would never threaten another mare ever again.

The blood-splattered, shattered trunk of a nearby tree stood as a testament to that…

*O o O o O*

Moondancer, Minuette, Twinkleshine, and Lemon Hearts waited in a small drawing room in the palace. The chains, collars, shackles, and suppressor rings had all been carefully removed, and their coats, manes, and tails had been brushed out by some mares on the palace staff, who were really nice and understanding. It had allowed them to decompress and release a lot of the tension they had been feeling since the Canterlot City Watch had taken them into custody.

“I’m sorry I yelled at you,” Moondancer apologized to Minuette.

“And I’m sorry I suggested throwing a research party at Twilight’s place,” Minuette apologized in turn. “It was a really dumb idea.”

“I’m sorry too!” Lemon Hearts added.

“What are you sorry for?” Twinkleshine asked, tilting her head curiously.

“I don’t know!” Lemon Hearts admitted tearfully. “I’m just glad we’re all still friends!”

“Well, that’s good to hear,” Captain Shining Armor commented as he entered the room, causing the four to jump skittishly. “Heh… sorry for startling you. Anyway, while Sergeant Roughly is waiting under guard for the Commander of the Watch to come deal with him, how about we get some warm food into you four,” he said with a gentle smile. "Contrary to rumor, the food in a military commissary isn’t all that bad. It may not be five-star quality, but it’s fast, healthy, and there’s plenty of it. We even get cake from time to time on special occasions.”

“I heard that ponies in the military had to eat meat…” Lemon Hearts said hesitantly as the four moved to follow the Captain.

“That’s an old pegasi tradition,” Shining Armor admitted with a nod. “And it does have an actual basis behind it: meats tend to be the most efficient way to get certain complex proteins, and those proteins are essential for remaining healthy in rarified air environments such as clouds or high in the mountains. It’s an available option, but we can get the same protein combinations by making sure we eat enough of the right variety of grains, fruits, and vegetables. Also, somepony recently introduced the concept of pre-mixed protein bars as a viable high efficiency substitute. I can’t tell you how much the ponies in Logistics and Supply want to thank whoever came up with that idea.”

“As interesting as this topic is, I don’t think Lemon Hearts should be this shade of green.”

“Aheh heh…” the queasy mare laughed half heartedly. “The bars sound okay, I guess. They’re made from plants, right?”

“One hundred percent meat free,” Captain Armor assured her.

“I think I’d like to try one then,” Lemon Hearts stated. “Maybe I can get an idea of what can be done with them.”

“That’s all well and good,” Moondancer interjected, “but after we eat, we really should get back to the research Twilight asked us to do.”

“I already set the archivists on that task, based on the note Twily sent you,” Shining Armor informed them. “If you four are still interested in helping her though, perhaps you’d like to join her in Ponyville? I can set you up with a priority train car and an operational budget for food, lodging, and expenses up to a certain level.”

The four looked at each other, then nodded before looking back at the captain. “Yes, please!”

“Excellent. Twily was granted access to the living quarters in the Golden Oaks Library. You can’t miss it - it’s the only mage tree in the town. If she’s not there, she’s most likely with another of your mutual friends, Lyra Heartstrings. I can have her residential address provided while I arrange for the train tickets.”

“Have you really read our files?” Moondancer asked.

“Pfft… no,” Shining Armor grinned. “I may have requested a background check once Twily told me about her friends, but all I got to see was a pass/fail report. If anything important had turned up, I’d have been told about it of course, but all the information I have on you four comes from Twily herself.”

“Twilight never told us about you,” Moondancer stated.

“Twilight has an aversion to bragging,” Shining Armor informed them. “Having a high ranking brother in the Royal Guard is the type of thing she would keep quiet about. I bet she didn‘t even tell you that Princess Cadence used to be her babysitter.”

“What, really!?” Minuette exclaimed in astonishment.

“Ask her about it sometime. She’ll be happy to tell you now that you know.”

*O o O o O*

“Th-thanks, everypony…” Crystal Synergy murmured as she finally cried out. “Sorry about that. I just felt so… So… I don’t know… Like I couldn’t bring myself to even be angry about what he was doing! Like my mind was so muddled that I couldn’t even keep my own feelings straight!”

“That was his Allure,” Twilight Sparkle stated.

“I had always thought that a satyr’s allure was more of a figurative statement of how charming they could be,” Rarity commented. “But thinking back on it, he was anything but charming.”

“Got that right,” Applejack agreed with a huff, “but I reckon Twilight was about to explain what the dirty snake was doin’ to muddy up our thoughts and feelings like that.”

“Yes,” Twilight nodded at the orange mare. “A satyr’s Allure is their special ability to dull the minds and raise the libido of almost any sapient female. According to what I’ve read about them, it’s a combination of their musky scent and their specialized biothaumic aura. They can’t really shut it off, but they can enhance the effect if they want. Even more so if they sing or play a musical instrument. Even so, they are most dangerous to the unwary, who might get caught up in the effect before getting a chance to resist it. Which is what happened to us.”

“Well, that explains the pipes then,” Rainbow Dash concluded. “I can’t imagine that guy being able to sing.”

“When we get back home, Crystal, be a dear and remind me to burn my Dusk novels. I may enjoy a good romantic thriller, but they really misrepresent satyrs as being merely dashing rogues with good social skills.”

“Sparkly Vampire Syndrome,” Crystal quipped, feeling more like herself.

Um…” Fluttershy interjected hesitantly. “We should really wash this blood off before the scent attracts hungry animals…”

“A bit late for that, I think,” a new voice said. It was deep but feminine, and somehow feline. Which was oddly appropriate, considering that the owner of the voice had a mostly leonine body, if one discounted the wings and certain attributes more commonly associated with female minotaurs and centaurs. She was massive, easily the size of a covered wagon. She was smirking. And she was far, far too close for comfort.

“Those are some really big hooters…” Crystal commented, unable to help herself.

“That’s funny,” Pinkie replied as she looked around. “I don’t see any owls anywhere.”

The sphinx put a paw to her own face.

Author's Note:

Lust and Loss

Satyrs as they appear and function in the setting of this story:

Satyrs are nearly mythological beings (as in mythological even within the context of a setting that has mythological residents), embodying lust and hedonism. They are few and far between. No one has ever seen a female satyr, there are no records of satyrs being born or even having anything resembling a childhood, and they appear infrequently enough that myths and rumors about them have become altered by time and popular culture.

For example, the Dusk trilogy Rarity is familiar with would be comparable to a cross between Twilight and The memoirs of Jacques Casanova, and does not accurately portray how actual satyr powers function. For one thing, if all anypony knows of satyrs comes from what they read about them in Dusk, then they will tend to think that satyrs are great lovers skilled in the arts of romance, when the truth is that they are randy jerks who have abilities that let them take shortcuts to what they really want: food, drink, and a sapient female to 'play' with that isn't actively attacking them.