• Published 14th Jun 2012
  • 9,335 Views, 179 Comments

Mare Genius - Samarkand



Agatha Heterodyne comes to Equestria

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For CHAOS!

My Little Pony is the creation of Lauren Faust. Agatha Heterodyne is the creation of Phil and Kaja Foglio. No claim is made to either parties' intellectual property. Just playing around in the sandbox here...

*****


Being an ancient being of chaos trapped in the prison of a stone statue sucked.

Being an ancient being of chaos trapped in stone while delicious, hilarious strife was happening not far away was suction to the billionth degree.

Discord seethed as he sensed the battle raging in Canterlot Castle between the changelings and his "beloved" ponies-cum-favorite targets. Oh, how he wished he could join into the fun. Queen Chrysalis and her ilk would have been perfect allies--well, until he had them eaten by marshmallow parakeets--to teach Celestia a lesson about doing this to him. Instead, he had to stay in this calcified form on the sidelines. It wasn't fair!

Wait.

The magical barrier around Canterlot was weakened.

He couldn't do anything impressive. It wouldn't be focused. But Discord was not the only being that truly terrified a nigh-immortal avatar of the sun for no reason. Subtle mischief would do when fancier tricks failed. He had just enough power--

--to SHOW THEM ALL!

++++

Chaos writhed and slipped through the cracks in the fabric of reality.

Not quite sentient, the impulse of a trickster abomination obeyed the dictates of its creator: SHOW THEM ALL. It flitted through thousands of different realities in nanoseconds.

In a direction not comprehensible to most beings limited to three-dimensions, it found the agent of chaos that would fulfill its creator's wishes.

"Alright do it! And get back!"

Such madness! Such potential! And that was the HEROIC personality dominant at the moment. The one suppressed within her mind was even better!

"Got it!"

The spell sensed the wonderful evil come free of its shackles. It reached out and--

Discord's spell was imperfect. It activated just on the cusp of transition. The wrong personality was copied into its structure and sent back to Equestria.

Well. Perhaps not. Certainly Agatha Heterodyne would serve to create more than enough chaos by herself...

Deep in the mountains northwest of a small town in Equestria, a small form shimmered into being.

Green eyes opened.

"Ow."

++++

Agatha's mind whirled with confusion. One minute, she had been strapped down into the Si Vales rig while Violetta tore away the locket. The idea was for her less-than-beloved mother to take the psychic stress and agony of the hideous resurrection procedure; Agatha's own psyche would have been safe from the shock of untold amounts of current blasting her. Well, that was the intent. It would have worked. Probably it did. But she certainly wasn't in the Great Movement chamber of the Castle.

Glasses, glasses, where were her glasses?

Ah! Good. Agatha fumbled with her hooves to hook her glasses behind her ears. The world came into focus. How in Europa had she ended up here? "Here" being a steep-sided mountain valley barren of trees save for a few conifers. The Castle and the town itself were nowhere in sight. Had there been an explosion? No! Gil! Tarvek! The others! After all that she had gone through, only for them to--

Er.

Agatha held up her arms.

Correction: her forelegs, at the end of which were aforementioned hooves.

She had the only reasonable reaction under such circumstances.

"YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!"

++++

Standing shakily on four legs, Agatha reviewed the modified quadrupedal locomotion script she had fixed into her consciousness. It turned out that whatever mind transfer technique had put her into this body had not granted her the instinctive knowledge of how to move it. Her first few attempts at walking had been rather painful. She had given up relying on her own instincts, instead drawing upon her clank programming skills. Modern clanks were collections of modeled animal behaviors acting in a subsumption architecture. Presumably the same synthetic behaviors could be applied to the organic form they had been originally based upon.

Right foreleg like this, left like that, don't think, let the script run and the brain adjust for outside variables.

Clip-clop.

Hmmm. It seemed to be working, perhaps she could try a trot ARRRGHHHH--

Agatha groaned as she lay on her back, legs twined up in a Gordian knot.

Simple steps. Very simple steps.

++++

Okay, that was an improvement. Agatha walked up and down the valley without adding to the many bruises all over her body. It had only taken her about three hours. She rewarded herself with cropping at a sparse patch of grass by the banks of a stream. At least she wouldn't starve, though she assumed she was restricted to the vegetarian option. She didn't sense any evidence that she could sprout tentacles and fangs like that dreaded horse beastie.

There was no question the new abode of her mind was a construct. Agatha studied her reflection in the surface of the stream. Features that were equine yet subtly anthropomorphized stared back at her. Real ponies did not have muzzle structures so rounded, or eyes so large. The effect was that of a child's idea of what a horse looked like. The strawberry-blonde mane was much longer than any horse's that she had seen. Equines generally also didn't have cowlicks that stuck up from between their ears. Experimentally, she swished the flowing tail at her rump. Such an odd sensation! Agatha tested the range of motion in her limbs. They had an almost human dexterity. Horse anatomy wasn't her strong suit. But she was sure no real one could tap a hoof to their chin.

Her mother must have thought this quite the joke. Tears shimmered behind her glasses. They had lost. Somehow, Lucrezia had broken free and transferred Agatha into this ridiculous organic prison. Who knew what had happened to Moloch or Violetta or Tarvek? As for Gil-- Oh, yes, Mother Undearest would have Big Plans for the heir to the Wulfenbach Empire. Agatha stamped a hoof. Joke? She'd show Mom how funny it was. A flush of rage glowed through the light-brown fur covering her cheeks. She still had her mind. She still had Zeetha's training. She would track down Lucrezia and smash in her own former skull if need be. Snarling, Agatha kicked at a sapling with a back hoof.

*SNAP*

Make that a stump. This body certainly was strong. Excellent muscle to mass ratio.

Yes. Not helpless at all.

++++

It wasn't too bad, actually.

Agatha had managed a slow trot an hour into her walk. Normally, she would have been breathing hard at such a pace. Her pony body had increased stamina as well as strength. She wouldn't bet on her condition handling a gallop. But a steady, distance eating pace suited her form rather well. Her senses were so much sharper! Her nose picked out smells that her old form might have missed. She could swivel her ears about to catch sound coming from all directions. Perhaps she could find a way to keep these abilities when--not if, when--she copied a new human body for mind transfer.

Because there was no way in Hades she was going through life without hands.

Agatha spotted the mine entrance when she came around the curve of the river. She had elected to follow the path of the stream. Zeetha's instruction hadn't included just savage stick beatings. There had also been basic survival tips. A stream meant a water source. Water was far more important than food. Agatha's body could deal with starvation for much longer than it could dehydration. As well, water courses also meant the potential for human settlement along their banks or boat travel. Ha! Zeetha had been right. Agatha would thank her personally for it! Her advice had lead her right to other humans--

Agatha Heterodyne lived in a Europa where the weird was commonplace. Ponies coming out of mines? Quite understandable. They were used all the time to pull ore carts or work in treadmills. The unusual variation of coat colour in these pit ponies was odd. Not too odd considering vitalism science. That they wore miners hats with electric lamps on top could be explained. As could the fact several carried pickaxes and other tools that were perfectly sized for pony use. Sparks came up with the weirdest ideas at times. That they could talk perfect English wasn't anything conclusive. Her chief political advisor and sovereign was a hyper-intelligent cat.

So why did she have a horrible suspicion matters were very wrong?

Ah. Yes. The pony with the horn sticking out of its brow, with a blue radiance surrounding the lunch bucket floating beside it. The unicorn.

Oh, scheisse.

++++

Agatha shook off her paralysis. Dealing with the sheer insanity of a British telekinetic unicorn would come later. They were intelligent. They had the trappings of technological civilization. That meant they might have some way for her to get back home, mein Gott where had she ended up, this couldn't be--

Fifteen equine heads turned as one.

Agatha froze. The last time she had seen expressions of that sort had been in the audience during "The Sprocket Wrench of Prague".

"A MARE!"

++++

Raindrops streaked down Agatha's glasses. The expression of cliche pathetic fallacy in terms of weather and mood fit perfectly. Now she had absolutely no idea where she was. The chase over hill, dale, chasm, and sundry geographic features from a herd of lust-crazed stallions had gotten her more lost than ever. There hadn't been time to apply Zeetha's lessons in landmark memorization while alternately galloping and lashing out. That last unwanted suitor had gone down to a rock clumsily wielded between both forehooves. She had finally climbed up onto this crag to find some way of gaining her bearings. Then she had seen the night sky. None of the stars were in recognizable constellations. The moon's few markings were different.

Either she was in a nightmare, locked in her mind while Lucrezia free or--

--or she was in another world.

Lightning crashed.

Wait, if she could see the sky all around her, then why was it raining right atop her?

Agatha stared up at the tiny raincloud perfectly sized to drench only her.

Oh, come on!

A small object bonked off her forehead. A bone? It was raining bones. Oh lovely, she might as well be back in Der Kestle already. She absently noted the bloody skull was either lapine or a field rodent. She would have to do a closer examination to be sure. Craned over the side of the cloud was an over-sized avian head. It had the majestic white plumage and golden beak of an eagle. Easing out from under miniature cumulonimbus, she studied the creature further: golden raptor's claws and brown feathered legs and wings, set upon a lion's body. In short, she was looking at a classic griffin. It didn't have the cobbled-together look of the example of one she had seen in the TPU Biological Sciences Museum. It has a natural appearance.

Also, it was sitting on the cloud as if it were a couch.

"What, never seen anyone eat meat before?" the griffin said.

"Vell, yes," Agatha said, carefully constructing her response. She was literate in English, though rusty in spoken form. "I've just never seen anything quite like hyu."

"What kinda hick burg are you from, sister?" the griffin said.

"Very far away from here," Agatha said, trying to parse the creature's idiom. "Have you ever heard of Transylvania? Mechanicsburg?"

"Never heard of 'em," the griffin said, tearing the flesh off a half-eaten rabbit. "You're in the mountains south of Canterlot. Nice job with those stallions."

"That vas not the first--" Agatha narrowed her eyes. "You were vatching that travesty and didn't help?"

"Didn't want to spoil the show." It screeched in laughter. "Funniest thing I saw all year. 'A MARE!' Those miners don't get much female companionship, yanno. You could've let 'em catch you. Would've gotten some gems out of it."

"I am not a wo--uh, mare of easy virtue!" Agatha said, stomping a hoof.

"With those colts, wouldn't have been easy." The griffin pinched her beak. "Peee-yu. Bet they haven't bathed in months."

"Glad I entertained hyu." Agatha trotted off. "The show's over."

"Hey, I'm not done with you yet." In a flash, the griffin had landed in front of her. Its beak somehow curved into a cruel smile. "Tell you what. Eat this, and I'll give you a hint where to go."

"I'm not in the mood for games." Agatha jerked her head back from the bloody rabbit corpse. "And I've already eaten."

"Just a little bite." The griffin waggled its half-eaten meal. "Bet you can't, you dumb blank-flank mare."

Dumb?

Dumb?

This impertinent little bully had called her an idiot?

Agatha clamped the shredded lapine in her mouth. With a wrench, she pulled free a large chunk. Her herbivore teeth made poor progress with the meat and bones, but she had little problem grinding her jaw together with enough fury to make it palatable. She knew she would regret it later. She swallowed it anyway. The griffin's air of amused superiority faded to shock as Agatha took another bite. Then another. Agatha smiled through bloodied teeth and lips after she had left her tormentor with only half a hindquarter left in its claws.

"If you'd had a fire," she said, "and some spices, I could haff cooked up a decent hassenpfeffer. As it is, I'm still feeling hungry. I feel an urge for poultry tonight."

The griffin blinked.

"Okay. You are officially not lame," it said.

"Eh?" Agatha checked her legs. "No, I don't think I hurt myself during the chase."

"I mean, that was awesome." The griffin curled up one set of talons. "Only pony I ever saw eat meat ended up puking up a mouthful after she had to pay up a dare."

"Give me time," Agatha said, her stomach already sounding warnings. "Is there something I'm supposed to do? A custom?"

"Tap a hoof to mine." The griffin screeched, this time in laughter. "For that, I'll put you up in my aerie. 'Snot far. Don't worry, I won't gobble you up. That's old mare's tales about us griffons."

"Ah--" Agatha considered. Her life to date had taught her never to turn down help. "Alright. But no more of that. I've had a very, very hard day."

"Nah, we're cool. Name's Gilda."

"Agatha."