• Published 20th Mar 2016
  • 3,378 Views, 88 Comments

Shadowbolts Adventures: The Chaos Lord - DragonShadow



Twilight Sparkle has a surprise waiting for her one day when she arrives home in the form of the Lord of Chaos himself. His presence seems annoying at first, but things aren't quite what they seem.

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Chapter 02: Chaos and Order

Chapter 02: Chaos and Order

Something was wrong here. Princess Twilight Sparkle looked back and forth in the main throne room of her friendship castle. The incredibly, disturbingly quiet friendship castle. There wasn't a creak anywhere to be heard, even the usual noise from Ponyville outside was strangely absent. Her hooves click-clacking across the polished diamond was the only sound she heard as she approached the door, using her magic to fling it open.

Everypony was there. All going about their daily business with sunshine and smiles, but there was still something creepy about it all. There was a stillness and silence in the almost picturesque town of Ponyville. The clouds were all lined up perfectly high in the sky with only the barest cooling breeze to be felt, and not a single pony so much as bumped into another. Quiet mutterings of greeting passed from pony to pony as each went about their day. Quiet, serene, perfect.

"Twilight?" Spike's quizzical voice came from behind. "Is everything okay?"

"Yeah, everything's perfect. Like... creepy perfect." Twilight turned back towards her number one assistant. "Doesn't anything feel off to you? Like there's something missing..."

Spike shrugged his draconic shoulders. "Not really, it's a nice day." He smiled. "I think you may be overworking yourself a little, maybe you should take the rest of the day off. With all of the friendship problems you've been facing and Starlight Glimmer's whole time-travel plan, you've been a little on-edge. Let's go out and hang with some of our friends. I bet you'll relax if you do."

Twilight rubbed the back of her neck with one hoof, unable to keep a soft blush from spreading across her cheeks. "Yeah, you may be right, Spike. Come on, let's go see how the rest of Ponyville is doing today."

Spike exclaimed excitedly, "we can check on Rarity first! You know... because she's our friend..."

Twilight gave her assistant a knowing, but accepting smile. "Sure, of course we can do that." Twilight's horn lit up, floating her favorite dragon from the floor to set him on her back as she set out across town. The peaceful day remained bright and cheery, as she made her way through town towards Carousel Boutique. She pushed her way inside to find her friend in the front room humming to herself as she set up a few new mannequins near the windows.

Twilight called out to let her know they were there. "Good afternoon, Rarity."

"Oh, Twilight, good afternoon. It is quite a lovely day, isn't it? I don't think I've ever gotten so much done!" Rarity's horn pulsed with light and two mannequins in dresses began to dance around in front of her. "I managed to finish these two pieces just today!"

"Wow, that's amazing Rarity!" Twilight grinned. "And they're beautiful, too!"

"Yeah, they sure are," Spike agreed with a goofy smile. "Those might be the most amazing dresses in Equestria."

"Oh I don't know about all that, Spike," Rarity replied with a modest blush. "But I do thank you for the lovely compliment. I don't know what came over me while I was working. It was as if my head cleared up and any worry of mistakes just... vanished from my mind. They turned out exactly the way I intended with minimal effort. I don't know if I've ever felt anything like it before."

"So you feel strange, too?" Twilight pursed her lips thoughtfully. "I've been feeling the same way. Like I have this complete focus I've never had before. Isn't that strange?"

Spike just laughed it off. "Come on, so it's a good day! How could you see that as something suspicious?"

Twilight laughed along with him. "Yeah, you're right. I really am overworking myself, I think."

"If you need to relax I believe Fluttershy is at the edge of the forest having a picnic with all of her animal friends," Rarity suggested. "I would offer to join you but the inspiration simply won't stop flowing today! And I'm afraid if I don't at least get it down on paper I'll lose it."

"Okay, we won't take up any more of your inspiration time." Twilight turned away from her. "Come on, Spike."

"Oh, er, right!" Spike sounded almost disappointed as she marched back out of Carousel Boutique with him still on her back. "I'll see you later Rarity!"

"Have a lovely day!" Rarity called out to them.

They made their way through Ponyville, sliding through the thin crowds without interruption until they reached the edge of the Everfree Forest, where they caught sight of Fluttershy sitting atop a red-and-white checkered picnic blanket. She was surrounded by animals and, to Twilight's surprise, Rainbow Dash sitting across from her. They both spoke in low companionable voices, as if nothing could interfere with their relaxation.

"My job's actually been really easy." Rainbow Dash plopped to her back on the picnic blanket with a wide yawn, putting her hooves behind her head. "The clouds have been staying put right where I leave them. Usually I have to chase around at least a few stragglers throughout the day."

"Oh, that's wonderful to hear." Fluttershy smiled brightly. "It lets you spend more time with your friends, which I'm very grateful for."

"Yep." Rainbow Dash opened her mouth expectantly, until Fluttershy flipped a grape through the air straight into her waiting lips. Rainbow munched as she spoke. "I wish every day was like this. I could totally stand to get paid for not doing anything."

"As nice as that sounds, I think Mayor Mare would catch on eventually and you'd be out of a job," Twilight pointed out with a wry smile as she approached the blanket.

"Eh, I still got the Wonderbolts." Rainbow Dash shrugged carelessly.

"Would you like to join us, Twilight?" Fluttershy patted the blanket beside her, where Angel Bunny and a blue jay Twilight didn't know scampered out of the way to make space. "We have plenty of tea and sandwiches."

Twilight held up one hoof. "I would love to, but I couldn't help but hear what you were saying about having a strangely good day..."

"Twilight..." Spike groaned. "I thought you were going to relax."

Fluttershy giggled. "Oh, Twilight, it's nothing to be concerned about. Rainbow Dash was just telling me about how the clouds have been really cooperative with her today. Though I suppose my day has been going really good too. Angel Bunny has been a perfect angel all day, and even Opalescence was really calm when I gave her a bath earlier." Fluttershy leaned close to Twilight. "Do you know how she usually behaves when she gets near water?"

"I think I can imagine." Twilight stroked her chin with ne hoof. "So everypony I know is having a really good day... I think this officially warrants an investigation, don't you think so, Spike?" She turned her head to look back only to see her assistant giving her a sharp glare with his arms crossed over his chest. "Oh don't give me that look. We all relax in our own ways, and this does give me an excuse to talk to the rest of my friends."

"You don't need an excuse to say hi, Twilight. You're welcome any time," Fluttershy reminded her with a bright smile. "And if you stay, you can get to know Tree Hugger better too."

"Yeah?" Twilight mused. "You've been spending a lot of time with her lately, haven't you?"

Fluttershy blushed shyly. "Yes... it's been... nice."

"Of course, you're even more welcome if you keep the grapes coming." Rainbow Dash jerked a hoof at her butterfly-marked friend. Fluttershy blushed softly and flicked another grape at her, which flew straight between her lips without even touching her cheek.

"Two perfect shots in a row..." Twilight mused. "That is suspicious..." She ignored Spike's groan and the sound of his palm slapping his forehead as she turned to trot away from the pegasus pair. "I'll catch up with you girls later."

"Take care!" Fluttershy waved after her while Rainbow jerked a dismissive hoof after her.

"Seriously, Twilight?" Spike demanded. "How hard is it to sit down and not do anything? I know it's been a while with all of your princess duties, but you've got to learn to relax. Go with the flow, at least occasionally."

"I will... right after I get to the bottom of this." Twilight ignored the dragon's sigh as she took to the sky, clearing the distance to Sweet Apple Acres at a swift, but easygoing pace thanks to her wings. Even before approaching the ground they could see dozens of wicker baskets dotting the farm, each packed with ripe juicy red apples. Even as they watched Applejack approached one tree, reared up on her hindlegs, and with one kick brought down dozens of the fruits neatly into the baskets. Not only did every single apple come down in one buck, but every single apple fell neatly into the baskets. Not even the ones piled over the rim of the basket started to roll.

"See, Spike?" Twilight insisted. "That simply doesn't look natural."

Spike sighed. "It looks about as natural as it did the other hundreds of times we've watched her buck trees. She's a pro, Twilight."

"But what if this isn't normal? What if it's-"

"Completely harmless?" Spike asked. Twilight looked back at him. "No offense, Twi, but I think you're looking for something to worry about on a day where everything's fine." He put a gentle claw on her shoulder. "We haven't had much time to relax lately. If the Cutie Map's not acting up we're getting pulled into Bugbear attacks, rushing to the human world and meeting dopplegangers, or time loops or something. It's been a busy couple of months. Please, for your own sake, and because I'm worried about you... let's go home and relax."

Twilight gave him a long, searching look, then sighed with one more glance down at Applejack. "Okay, Spike. Let's go home. I'm sure we can find a book we can read together."

"Power Ponies?" Spike's eyes lit up.

"We'll see." Twilight gave him a smirk as she turned in mid-air to head back towards her glittering diamond castle that towered over Ponyville. She swooped down to land on her front porch and approach the door, but was surprised to see that it was already open. "Hello? Is anypony in here?" She walked inside with a suspicious squint.

"Twilight!" Starlight Gimmer, her newest Friendship Intern, rushed out of the library with a look of concern on her face. "Oh I'm glad you're back, something's wrong with Pinkie Pie!"

"I knew something was wrong!" Twilight stamped her hoof down before rushing down the hallway with her newest friend, speaking as they ran. "What's wrong? Was she attacked? Is there a friendship problem? Does she need emotional support?"

"No, she's..." Starlight Glimmer trailed off when they reached the library. Inside Pinkie Pie was seated quietly on one of the fluffy cushions, leaning down over a pad of paper with a pencil propped between her lips. The lipwriting on the paper was surprisingly neat and tidy, almost as neat and tidy as the long, flowing mane that hung down around her body in a waterfall of bright pink strands. "... Incredibly boring."

"Pinkie Pie?" Twilight approached the pink pony cautiously. "Are you alright?"

"Oh, good afternoon, Twilight." Pinkie greeted her with a warm, but subdued smile. "I'm fine. Perfect, in fact. I feel so perfect I feel like I can think really well now. So I decided to take the opportunity to write my memoir, The Life Of Pie. It's longer and less delicious than it sounds." She looked down at the paper in front of her. "So far I've only written fifty-seven pages, but I'm hoping to have a hundred by the end of the day."

Spike's mouth opened and closed a couple of times in shock before letting out a resigned sigh and settling back with his arms over his chest. "Okay, things have officially gotten weird."

"O... 'kay." Twilight cleared her throat into one hoof. "Well, I'm glad you feel good, Pinkie, but uh... are you sure you're feeling okay? I mean, this isn't really like you..."

"I know." Pinkie nodded solemnly. "But I don't feel hurt or anything. I just feel..." Pinkie pursed her lips thoughtfully. "I don't know how to describe it... some way I've never felt before... like I can control my energy."

"Calm?" Spike suggested helpfully.

"Ah, yes, that's a very good word. Thank you, Spike." Pinkie Pie turned back to Twilight with a smile. "Anyway, Twilight, I was hoping you would help me out. I feel like I can focus real well... but I'm still not so good with words." She blushed. "Do you think you could help me figure out how to say what I want to say?"

"You want me to help you write?" Twilight blinked in surprise.

"It's okay if you're busy, I understand. You are a big important princess and all."

"Pinkie..." Twilight's lips curled into a wide smile. "I would love nothing more! Starlight Glimmer, hold my calls."

"Your calls? On what?" Starlight Glimmer rubbed her head in confusion.

Twilight blushed. "It's an expression I picked up in the human world. It means I don't want to be disturbed for a while."

"Then why not say that?" Starlight Glimmer retorted grumpily. "Besides, don't you think this is weird? Something weird is happening, right?"

"Oh, absolutely. And I'll try to figure out the cause later..." Twilight approached her pink party friend. "But for now, I think I should take the opportunity to help my friend with something important to her."

Pinkie grinned happily. "Oh, thank you, Twilight."

Starlight Glimmer exchanged a brief glance with Spike before turning to leave the room. "Whatever you say, Twilight. You're the friendship expert... I just hope this isn't a silver lining to a dark cloud..."

***

"Is it me..." Sunny Flare stared out the window at the end of the hallway on Twilight Sparkle's second floor. The streets outside were almost pitch black, illuminated only by the street lights despite her phone telling her it was only 2 PM. "Or are those the darkest clouds you've ever seen in your life that came up in the last five minutes?"

"Maybe global warming is finally catching up with us." Sugarcoat shrugged. "That or you better make peace with your deity of choice."

"Come on, Discord is in here." Twilight gripped the handle of her bedroom door. "Just be warned. He looks a bit... strange, but he doesn't seem to be dangerous. We should try not to do anything to provoke him." All eyes turned towards Sour Sweet.

Sour Sweet raised her eyebrow. "What, you think I'm going to provoke him?" There was silence for a few moments before she sighed. "Yeah, okay, I'll wait out here."

"I'll wait with you." Sugarcoat put a hand on her shoulder. "We can watch the clouds of darkness consume the world together."

"How romantic." Sour Sweet smirked.

"Yeah, I'll stay with you too." Lemon Zest offered with a warm smile as she slipped an arm around her shoulders.

Sour Sweet blushed. "Ah c'mon, you're getting too sappy now..." She didn't move away, however.

"We shouldn't be long. I'm sure he'll be completely reasonable about this..." Twilight slowly turned the doorknob and pushed her way inside. Sunny Flare and Indigo Zap followed her into the bedroom, which was quiet and empty once she flipped on the light. "E-excuse me? Discord? Are you here?" The three girls made their way into the center of the room slowly.

The door suddenly slammed shut behind them. Sunny and Indigo yelped and jumped to the other side of the room as Discord seemed to melt out of the solid wood door, his eyes flaring. "I told you not to tell anybody about me!"

"Uh..." Twilight cleared her throat as she pushed her glasses back into place. "No you didn't."

Discord was silent for a moment, then shrugged and melted back into his usual carefree self. "Oh, I could've sworn I did. No harm done, then." An apple appeared in his claw in a flash of light only to vanish just as quickly into his jaws. Apple juices sprayed from his teeth as he spoke. "It's nice to meet you... I'm guessing Rarity and Rainbow Dash?"

Twilight blushed. "Uh, no, these are-"

"Well I don't really care all that much. You humans all look the same to me." Discord flitted past the three girls over to the window, peering out into the darkness. "Funny weather we're having, isn't it?"

Indigo leaned closer to Twilight to mutter, "he's not exactly the freshest battery in the flashlight, is he?"

Sunny Flare approached the draconequus cautiously. "Yes, it is very funny weather. It's actually unnatural weather, for our world. In fact a lot of unnatural things have been happening lately, and the only variable that has changed is your presence."

Discord's head flopped over to fix her with an almost amused gaze. "Are you accusing me of something?"

"Not at all." Sunny shook her head. "We're just here to ask you about it. Do you know anything?"

Discord shrugged. "How am I supposed to know how Equestrian Magic will affect this world of yours? There might be some side-effects to my presence, it's true, but it's nothing the people can't deal with during my vacation."

"I'm not so sure about that. That level of light could blind people." Sunny Flare pointed to the window, where some time during the last five minutes the wall of cloud-induced darkness had given way to a level of light that made the window look like a layer of white paint spread across the glass.

"Oh, that's not light, I just transported the bedroom to another dimension so we could speak in peace." Discord chuckled. "Honestly, assuming it's light... that's just silly..."

"We're in a-" Indigo blinked in shock. "Take us home right now!"

"When we're done." Discord waved off her concern. "You know, if you dislike my presence here you could take my place in Equestria. I wonder how things are going, there..."

"You could go home and find out," Indigo Zap suggested. "I bet they miss you there and we wouldn't miss you here."

"Indigo!" Twilight hissed between her teeth.

Discord's lips curled into a toothy grin. "You know Twilight, a thing occurs to me." He vanished suddenly, and moments later his head appeared on her shoulder, with his body floating behind her. "You can't use friendship magic, can you? The elements of harmony? Petrifying rainbow rays of rainbow doom? You have no magic at all."

"Uh... n-no...?" Twilight stuttered.

Discord's grin widened. "Well then, I think this vacation may have just gotten extended..." Discord lifted one claw to her other shoulder. "As long as nobody knows I'm here, nobody can stop me from doing whatever I want."

Twilight gulped. "Uh, I-I mean..."

"Discord, please. You came peacefully, I'm sure we can resolve this peacefully." Sunny Flare moved close quickly. "Let's talk. Calmly."

"See, the thing is I'm already bored with talking. You'll just try to make friends with me or something, and I've been there, done that." Discord squeezed Twilight's shoulder. "My, my, you're so very tense. I think you could use a vacation too."

"Discord, please, just let us go..." Twilight shivered.

"Oh I will!" Discord flung his arms out around the three girls, pushing them helplessly towards the bedroom door. "I wouldn't dream of harming you, in fact I want to return the favor! You invited me into your home... I hope you enjoy your stay in mine." The door opened itself in front of them, revealing a vortex of swirling space and colors that Twilight couldn't even recognize spinning in the air just beyond a hunk of rock floating in the seemingly infinite abyss. "I'll come get you when my vacation is over! For now relax and enjoy yours! Toodles!"

Twilight yelped in protest as she was suddenly flung forward by the strong pair of arms, tumbling through the door to the ground beyond. She landed hard on her chest, her hooves spreading out across the ground in front of her. "W-wait! Please! We can talk this out!" Twilight leapt to her hooves and raced back to the door, but it closed before she could get to it. Twilight smacked the doorknob with her hoof and it swung open, but it opened into a dirty, but cozy little house that floated serenely by itself through the chaotic maelstrom that surrounded them.

Indigo Zap's voice quaked as she spoke from behind her. "What just happened...?"

"You provoked him." Sunny grunted. "Thanks, Indigo."

"I wasn't trying to..." Indigo's pony cheeks were blushing as Twilight turned to face her friends. Indigo Zap was sitting on the ground, looking a lot like the other ponies Twilight had seen, but with neither horns nor wings. She looked like a normal pony from Earth, just... tinier. Sunny Flare, on the other hand, looked like Indigo in shape, but her body was just slightly reflective, beaming the light from the vortex beyond her in every direction in a crystalline rainbow of color.

Twilight approached her two friends. "I am so sorry, he seemed harmless when he showed up earlier. I didn't expect this at all..."

"Don't blame yourself for his actions." Sunny stumbled slightly as she climbed to her hooves, taking a few extra moments to get her balance. "What we need to worry about now is figuring out how to get home."

"Oh yeah, that sounds easy." Indigo Zap marched up to them stiffly. Somehow despite the rest of her clothes vanishing, she kept her goggles on top of her head, perched behind her long pony ears. "Let's just pick a random direction and fling ourselves into the infinite void that makes no sense!"

Sunny Flare glared. "I never said it would be easy."

"Well good! Because it won't! And oh yeah, since nobody else is saying it, I will! We're freaking ponies now!" Indigo Zap's breath was coming in quick, deep, almost panicked gasps.

"I think we all noticed." Sunny Flare glared. "Do you have any other helpful information to share with us? Would you like to inform us that ponies are quadrupeds?"

"Oh shut up, smartass!"

"Girls, please..." Twilight stepped between them. "I know this is weird... but let's try to relax." She turned back to the small house. "At least we have a place we can rest and collect our thoughts. Maybe there's even something we can eat. It'll be much easier to think on a full stomach."

"I almost wish I filled up on Sugarcoat's burgers..." Indigo Zap grumbled as she walked toward the house, stepping stiffly and carefully on her sudden four hooves.

Twilight turned to Sunny. "You're already working on a plan... aren't you?"

Sunny stared at her for a moment, then blushed and moved past her stiffly towards the house. "Let's focus on calming down for now..."

***

"It's quiet..." Sugarcoat stared at the door to Twilight Sparkle's bedroom with her hands on her hips. "I have too much self-respect to finish that quote, but it is quiet."

"What do you think the odds are that that's a good sign?" Lemon Zest asked.

Sour Sweet grinned. "Aw, I'm sure everything is just peachy! Nothing could possibly be wrong with being trapped in a small room with a Godlike entity for almost half an hour!"

"That's it! I'm going in!" Lemon Zest marched up to the door determinedly and gripped the doorknob. "We need to make sure our friends are okay."

"Or not okay," Sugarcoat pointed out.

Lemon Zest ignored her and gripped the doorknob, flinging it inward. The darkness on the other side of the door almost seemed to be sucking at them. A furious wind tore at their bodies as if trying to drag them into the room as bloodcurdling cries emanated from the milky, almost palpable blackness before them. They could see nothing, but the strange sensation of eyes on them could be felt, a sensation that soon grew to the point of sending a shivering chill down each of their spines.

Lemon Zest closed the door slowly, then turned to her friends with a blank gaze. "Let's... let's not open that door."

"Good call!" Sour Sweet gave her a double thumbs up. "I couldn't have said it better myself!"

"But if we can't open the door, what are we supposed to do? I think that means our friends are in trouble! We have to help them!"

"The logical thing to do is go find Sunset Shimmer," Sugarcoat pointed out simply. "She's the one with any kind of experience dealing with creatures like this."

"Is it safe to go outside?" Lemon asked. "It looks like those clouds aren't going anywhere any time soon."

"We could sit here and do absolutely nothing if you prefer," Sugarcoat pointed out. Lemon Zest bit her lip and shook her head. "I agree. Come on, let's get out of here."

As they made their way downstairs Sugarcoat pulled out her cell phone. As she'd expected, the ridiculous cloudcover overhead had managed to knock out cell phone reception, probably as far as the clouds were spread. Was this an intentional takeover, or was Twilight right and this was just all some kind of accident? The eldritch abyss that was Twilight Sparkle's bedroom now wasn't encouraging, but rushing to judgment wouldn't make things any easier.

"I'll drive," Sugarcoat approached Indigo Zap's car outside next to the curb. It was so dark out that she had to take out her cell phone to lead the way with a flashlight. The street lamps must be on a timer, she realized. Maybe someone would wise up and turn them on soon so things didn't get really dangerous.

She plopped down in the driver's seat and plucked the keys out of the compartment in the armrest. "For once I'm glad she can be so irresponsible."

"Geeze, it is so dark out here I can't even see across the street." Sour Sweet squinted out the window. "Do you think it's really safe to drive?"

"It's safer than the bus, no doubt." Sugarcoat cranked the engine and turned on the headlights. "Trust me, I've driven five whole times in my life. I can handle this."

Sour Sweet and Lemon Zest exchanged a quick glance as the car pulled out of the driveway, jerking to a stop on the street before taking off down the road with its tires squealing in protest. She knew where Sunset Shimmer lived, hopefully they would be able to wait there for her to get home. She would have to know a way to deal with Discord. He was from her homeworld after all, there had to be a way...

To Be Continued

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