• Published 24th May 2020
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Up to Fate - Onomonopia

  • ...

Controlled Chaos

Pinkie sighed as she lifted the helm off of her head.

She checked to her left and right to see that her family and Star-Swirl were all with her, so at least she had gotten her teleportation spell right. She then looked up to see the surf coming in, with little crabs scurrying along the beach. The palm trees rustled at the sea breeze whipped through them, and, for a moment, she felt peaceful. Then her family got up and began to look around.

"Where are we?" Lil' Cheese said in amazement. "The sky is so blue! The water is crystal clear! And what are those little...bugs? How are we here?"

"I think the question we should be asking is why are we here?" Star-Swirl asked, looking to Pinkie for answers.

"My oldest sister always talked about wanting to visit the beach. Before Tirek took over and everything," Pinkie explained. "It's been a place that has often been on my mind. Figured that one day maybe I could take my family here. Now I have. She was right. It's really pretty."

"Is everypony alright?" Cheese asked.

"I believe so."

"I'm okay."

Cheese looked to his wife when he didn't hear her answer. He walked over and sat down on the beach with her, taking a moment for both of them to enjoy the peace and quiet for a moment. "You okay?"

"They attacked my family again. Because of me," Pinkie whispered. "That's twice now I've put you guys in danger."

"Hmm, think nothing of it, Pinkie. It is not the first time I've nearly been killed by ruffians and I hope that it is not the last," Star-Swirl chuckled.

"Yeah, you saved us! We're fine!" Lil' Cheese said. He bounded over to his mother and cuddled up to her. "Like a hero! And there's no greater hero in the world than mommy!"

"What about me?" Cheese asked.

"You're like mommy's sidekick."

"Still...they attacked Star-Swirl's home to get me. Or they went after our son to harm me that way. And, just like with Jack, I almost didn't make it in time. And I almost did something I would come to regret," Pinkie whispered. Cheese gave her a small smile before pulling Pinkie into a hug, while Star-Swirl sat down next to the family.

"Yeah, maybe they attacked us. But we're all fine. And you brought us here, so I say the experience was more than worth it," Cheese said in a joking tone. "Pleasant skies, blue water and a lovely breeze. We could make our homes here and never have to worry about anything else ever again. I know that I wouldn't mind living here."

"I wouldn't get too excited. These tropical paradises are famous for being struck by hurricane's," Star-Swirl warned.

"With Nabu here, a hurricane would be a mild breeze."

"Speaking of Nabu, he's been awfully quiet," Cheese noted.

'Do not concern yourself for my well being. I am simply...observing,' Nabu replied.

"What? Trying to learn how a family acts?" Cheese smirked at the helmet.

'I am not observing you. I am observing another,' Nabu said. 'At what I see is...concerning, to say the least.'

The group lost their good humor upon hearing that. "Concerning? Something concerns you? Is the that guy you were thinking of?"

'No. That being is not here. I am observing Tirek,' Nabu revealed. When the group glared at him, the helm shined indignantly. 'What? With my power of course I can observe him. I have been doing it ever since I arrived here.'

"Then why, in the name of Faust-"

'Pinkie. Star-Swirl. I must speak with you both. Alone.'

Cheese snarled at the helm, but when Pinkie gave him a pleading eyes he sighed and rose to his hooves. "Come on, Lil' Cheese, let's go see if we can find some coconuts and maybe make a tree house."

"Sounds awesome! What's a tree house?"

Nabu waited until the pair were out of earshot before he began to speak. 'Yes, I can observe Tirek. It is easy. He is up to something. But nothing that we cannot handle.'

"Then why would his actions unnerve you?" Star-Swirl asked.

'Because he is not acting like a tyrant. Nor is he acting like an underling. No, his actions...I am not sure. But I believe that the time will soon be at hand. When you and Tirek do battle,' Nabu said directly to Pinkie. 'Sooner than we had planned.'

"How soon are we talking?" she asked.

'A few days.'

"A few days? Are you kidding me? I can't fight him in a few days," Pinkie laughed. "I've only been practicing magic for a week! He took the magic of an entire world! There is no way-"

'You can crush him with ease.' Pinkie looked at Nabu like he was crazy. 'What you have managed in a week is far superior to any magic that has absorbed. What my concern is...is that you cannot get the job done.'

"You mean kill him?"

'I mean overcome what he throws at you,' Nabu corrected. 'You are kind. You are loving. And you...can be strong. But I will need you to be at your strongest here. Tirek will be your first real test. If you can conquer him...then I will feel better about what is to come.'

"Do you think I can do it?"

'What I think is irrelevant. It is up to you to show whether or not you can restore order,' Nabu said. 'But the fate of this world rests in your hands...hooves. All will be decided by your actions.'

"No pressure."

"Pinkie, my dear, listen to me," Star-Swirl said, turning her attention to him. "I may not remember much of the old world, but I do remember having plenty of students. But none of them, and I mean none of them, had the same love and restraint that you have. Not wanting to harm another is not a weakness. It is a strength. It means that you know the measure of your power. It means that you consider ever action. It means you know the consequences for messing up. Your restraint is one of your strongest gifts. Right behind your kindness for old fools who don't deserve it."

For a brief second Pinkie was certain that Star-Swirl had glanced at Nabu as he said that. She stifled a small laugh at the thought before letting out a small sigh, her eternal smile returning to her face a moment later. "Sure. Fate of the world. Seeing whether or not I can save everypony. No pressure. It'll be easy. Fun even. And when it's done, I'm going to come back here, build the nicest house the world has ever seen and spend the rest of my days sitting on the beach with my family and drinking smoothies."

"That's the spirit," Star-Swirl chuckled. Pinkie chuckled back before she gave him a look.

"Hey, Star-Swirl. You knew Tirek in both this and the other world, right?"

"Well, I didn't know him personally, but I knew enough about him. Why?"

"Do you...do you think there's a chance...that I might be able to...talk to him?" Pinkie asked. Neither Star-Swirl or Nabu said anything in reply. "Y'know, maybe reason with him or...or get him to see how pointless it would be to fight Nabu. A way to settle this without having to...fight."

"I...I do not believe so, Pinkie," Star-Swirl said with a shake of his head. "From what I know about Tirek, he is a power hungry tyrant. He tried to take the old world by absorbing all the magic in the world, which he managed to succeed in this world. I have never known him to talk, unless he is at the very end of his rope. And even then, it is most likely to create an opportunity to back stab somepony."

"So talking to him is out of the question, huh?" Pinkie asked with a bitter smile.

"Well...if there is anything magic has taught me in my lifetimes of using it, Pinkie, it's that something is only impossible if you believe it to be," Star-Swirl said. "So, while I would not wager the fate of the world on it, perhaps there is the tiniest of chances that you could talk to Tirek. Get him to see the error of his ways. To see what he's doing is wrong."

'Or you could just erase him and be done with it,' Nabu suggested. When Pinkie and Star-Swirl gave him a look, he sighed. 'I see my humor is not appreciated yet.'

"...do you understand?" Tirek asked Celestia.

For the longest time, Celestia simply sat on the hardened magma, staring into the rivers of fire as she tried to wrap her head around what she had just been told. Slowly she lifted her head and turned to look at Twilight, who was giving her an understanding look.

"And all of this...is true?" she asked.

"As far as I can tell...yes," Twilight bitterly agreed. "And you know that I wouldn't work together with HIM unless the fate of everything was on the line. But here we are. Will you stand with us?"

Celestia stared at Twilight for a moment, her eyes cold. Then she sighed and rose up to her hooves, smiling down at the little unicorn with a shake of her head. "I will stand with you, Twilight. I will never stand with Tirek," she spat at the centaur. "But so long as you need my help, I will aid you. So then, what is next, tyrant?"

"Next, we free Discord." Celestia and Twilight looked at him like he was nuts. "We will need his magic, especially if we are to free and restore your sister. As we need her to pass on the Elements and cannot use them at her, this is the best course of action."

"I do not know what I find stranger. That you are willing to free that lunatic or that you have not eaten his magic yourself yet," Celestia snarled.

"Until this point, I have had no reason to eat his magic," Tirek said, before a snarl crossed his face. "I also had a bad run in with him once before, so believe me when I say that I take no joy in awakening that fool. We will need his help to free the final alicorn."

"Hang on...I remember...another alicorn...my sister?" Twilight asked. Tirek thought about it for a moment.

"Yes...I remember trapping her along with the rest of the empire in crystal when I first awoke in this reality. While she is not your sister in this reality, perhaps Celestia and Luna can turn her to our side."

"This reality. It sickens me to say that," Celestia snarled. She took a deep breath and regained control of herself. "But I will do whatever it takes to save this world. I will talk to Cadence."

"Good. Then let us see Discord." Tirek stamped a hoof on the ground and the next moment they were in the Canterlot garden, where only a single statue remained standing. Discord, a god of chaos. Tirek walked up to the statue and slammed a fist into the side of it, creating a small crack in the statue. The moment after the crack appeared the statue exploded and a mix and match of a creature appeared with a roar.

"OH WOW! Ten thousand years will give you such a crick in the neck," Discord yelled. He reached up and twisted his head around a few times before he gazed at those that had freed him. "Celestia, you finally decided to free me? Knew that you couldn't resist all this forever. And is this your student? Aw, she's like a mini you, especially how she glares. And you-"

Tirek reached out and grabbed Discord by the neck, hoisting him up and glaring into his eyes. "Tirek. I thought you were dead."

"Dead is what we'll all be if you do not shut your mouth and listen," Tirek snarled at the draconis. "There is a force in this land, a force that-"

"I already know," Discord said in a no-nonsense voice. "I read Twilight and Celestia's mind. Oh wow Tirek, you've really stepped in it now."

"If you know what's going on, will you help us?" Celestia asked. Discord thought about for a moment, before he came a decision that had nothing to do with the fact that Tirek squeezed tighter.

"Alright. Why not?" Discord snapped his fingers and a moment later Nightmare Moon was standing with them. The nightmare didn't even have a chance to ask what was going on before Discord created a magic tornado around her, scrubbing away her hatred and jealousy until only Luna remained.

"Sister? What-?"

Once again Luna didn't get the chance to speak as Celestia tackled her sister, pulling her into a tight hug. "Aw, how sweet," Discord said, before looking at Tirek. "So all we need left is Cadence and then we'll be ready?"

"Ready is not how I would describe it. But we will have our best chance. I will go to free her. Celestia and Luna, come with me."

The princesses didn't really have much of a choice and in the next instance they were gone along with Tirek, leaving Twilight alone with the god. She looked up at him, but before she could speak he smiled at her.

"Don't you have a brother somewhere in this city? I think he's a janitor. It's been a long time since you last saw him, so why don't you go say hi?"

Twilight took the hint and raced off into the city, leaving Discord alone. He smiled at the sight before he turned and looked out over the land, taking in his first real deep breath. Then he began to sense, sense the land for this incredible power that had Tirek, a being possibly stronger than him, so scared.

And then he felt it. A source of power so great, so...unfathomable, that even with it trying to hide itself, Discord could still sense it. His eyes snapped open and he staggered backwards, not having expected it to be that great. He could see now why Tirek would need all of them to combat it. He knew why Tirek would be so afraid of it.

But what he couldn't figure out was why this power triggered a primal fear in the depths of his soul.