• Published 21st May 2016
  • 995 Views, 30 Comments

Gems - Moheart7



Created from gems by an evil being, six chaotic creatures suddenly find themselves under the watchful eyes of the Mane Six as they discover that they may very well have a choice between following their evil purpose, or becoming something better.

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Chapter 2: Terrible News

Around noon the day after Starlight Glimmer showed Twilight her Trottingham Gazette, things seemed to have gone just as smoothly as they would normally have, both mares enjoyed watching Rainbow Dash perform the previous day and now Starlight was spending the day with Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy. However it turns out not all was well in Ponyville that day, particularly in the shop known as the Carousel Boutique, home and business ran by one of Twilight’s closets friends, Rarity. To be more specific, while Rarity’s little sister, Sweetie Belle, paced around the floor with a nervous manner, Rainbow Dash was opening the front door for Twilight all the while both of them heard the loud wailing coming from upstairs.

“We got here as soon as we could,” Twilight said as she and her friend Applejack walked into the boutique with concerned looked upon their faces “What’s going on?”

It was at those words that Sweetie Belle stopped pacing for a moment and was the first to answer.

“Oh it’s bad, Twilight,” she said, with a worried look. “So VERY bad.”

“What happened?” Applejack asked in response, raising an eyebrow.

That certainly was the million-bit question, ever since Rainbow Dash flew to each of their homes to tell them that Rarity needed help, only to rush off just as quickly as she arrived, both Twilight and Applejack couldn’t help but wonder was going on. Rainbow was of course the first to know of this predicament after she came in to have her Wonderbolt uniform repaired that morning, but while she liked to go solo on many things, in this case she knew Rarity needed the support of as many of her friends as possible. Before long all four ponies stood outside Rarity’s bedroom, where all they could hear was the upset cries of their friend through the door.

“Rarity’s been in there, crying her eyes out all morning,” Rainbow Dash explained, finally letting out some details on the situation at hoof. “We’ve never seen her like this before.”

“It all started when she opened up her mail today,” Sweetie Belle added. “After that she just wouldn’t leave her room.”

Twilight instantly raised an eyebrow at that.

“Her mail?” she repeated, clearly confused on the matter.

To emphasis her explanation, Sweetie Belle then ran downstairs, only to come back up again with a small letter floating in front of her face surrounded by her magic, eager to find out more about what was going on, Twilight graciously accepted the letter with her own magic and proceeded to read it aloud:

Dear Miss Rarity,

Hope this finds you well,
It is with deepest sympathy and regret that I inform you that your place of business, known as “Rarity for You”, has met with unfortunate circumstances and has been severely damaged by a fire that has almost destroyed the entire building.

Thankfully no pony was harmed during this terrible event and injuries were kept to a minimum. In regards to your…

However after the Twilight couldn’t bear to read anymore, Rarity’s Boutique in Manehattan has been destroyed!?! No wonder she was devastated.

“After that it just drags on about insurance and how she not going to get much since the building wasn’t technically hers!” Rainbow Dash pointed out, sensing Twilight’s distress and filling in the blanks that she missed.

“Mr Stripes is going mad with rage over this,” Sweetie Belle added, her look of worry worsening as Rarity’s wails seemed to get even louder at the mention of Mr Stripes’ name.

Rainbow Dash couldn’t help but roll her eyes at that.

“Hey, I don’t blame him!” she stated bluntly. “I’d be upset too if my building was burnt to the ground by a punch of little monsters.”

At those words both Applejack and Twilight shared a confused glance, did they really just hear what they thought they did?

“Say what now?” Applejack asked, raising and eyebrow.

“Monsters?” Twilight added, sharing the same expression.

“You guys didn’t see the Equestria Daily this morning?” Rainbow Dash in response, earning herself a shake of the head from both mares before pulling out a newspaper from under her wing. “Well then, take a look, turns out Rarity’s shop wasn’t the ONLY place that got fried.”

Needless to say, this sudden bit of extra info certainly got Applejack and Twilight’s attention, and they wasted no time in looking over the front page of the newspaper Rainbow just passed to them:

MONSTERS IN EQUESTRIA!
Reporter: Quill Sleuth

After what can only be described as the most chaotic day in Manehattan’s recent history, ponies are still reeling over what happened during the terrible events of yesterday. With many of the populous of the city losing both businesses and homes due to severe fires that has destroyed many of Manehattan’s buildings. It has come to the attention of this reporter that these events were the fault of strange creatures that had begun swarming the city during the hours of yesterday morning.

As per eyewitness reports, these creatures seem to be canine in shape and seem to have crystalline appendages growing out of their fur, and many photos were taken of some of the events, thus confirming the description. Of course no known creatures of Equestria has ever matched this physical description so no pony knows their exact name and biology at this time.

It should also be noted that these creatures’ appearance in Manehattan was not the only reported sighting, upon further investigation it has also been discovered that they had also been sighted in towns such as Trottingham and Appleoosa, and just like those towns, these creatures disappeared almost as quickly they had appeared in Manhattan.

SEE FULL STORY ON PAGE 4:

“And that was just the tip of the iceberg,” Rainbow Dash explained after Twilight and Applejack read the last few words on the page. “There’s like 3 pages of that story in there.”

But after finishing just that one page, both mares didn’t even need to go to the other pages for the rest of the story, the mere summery of it on the front was bad enough. In fact now that Twilight thought about it, she felt like she should have been more shocked, then again she did technically already read about these creatures the previous day. However since the Trottingham Gazette was merely tabloid stuff, she didn’t really give it much thought at the time, but the Equestria Daily was a high-standing newspaper AND it actually had a photo to go along with the story, either way the fact that she already read about them softened the blow a little.

“I just can’t believe it,” she gasped, looking over every detail of the photo on the newspaper with keen interest. “I’ve never seen creatures like this before.”

“Me neither,” Applejack added as she looked at the photo with a little disgust. “Ugly little critters ain’t they?”

“I guess I owe Starlight an apology for not taking that Trottingham Gazette seriously,” Twilight commented in response, though more to say it to herself than anything else. “Though on the plus-side, the paper doesn’t seem to say that anyone was really hurt during the fires.”

Applejack couldn’t help but sigh in relief upon hearing that.

“Ah hope so,” she said. “Ah mean ah got family up that way, Celestia knows what ah’m gonna tell Apple Bloom if something happened to Cousin Babs.”

Needless to say the feeling of anxiety was completely shared between all four ponies at this point, for Sweetie Belle it was mostly for the concern for her sister at first, but after Applejack mentioned Babs she couldn’t help but feel even worse, after all Babs was a good friend to both her and the other Cutie Mark Crusaders. Rainbow Dash on the other hand was more angry than scared though, mostly due to confusion.

“And they just disappeared?” she thought aloud. “How the heck do a bunch of little monsters just disappear!?! I mean, I’m practically waiting for the other Wonderbolts to come knocking on my door to get me to join a hunting party any time now!”

Angry outburst aside Rainbow Dash did have a good point, thus filling Twilight’s mind with many questions, how DID those creatures just disappear? More to the point, what could have brought them to Manehattan in the first place? But the most important question of all… Just where we these little demons now?

#

What no pony realised however was the fact that the creatures never even left Manehattan, in fact every single one of them were smack dab in the centre of it… within the walls of Maximum security Prison, Steel Cage Penitentiary. Built 100 years ago and named after one of the most well respected ponies in Equestrian History, this prison prides itself on being able to keep the most dangerous and powerful criminals in Equestria locked up, thus allowing the outside world to retain its status as a Land of Harmony. Seconded only by Tartarus itself, Steel Cage Penitentiary has housed many dangerous criminals and as such it’s fully equipped to handle each one specifically… and for the past hour the guards have been trying to settle down a riot caused by said criminals. Of course they couldn’t have done it on their own, and that’s where the Gemnites come in, since the guards weren’t expecting anyone to break INTO prison, they were completely shocked and were unable to stop the swarming creatures from opening at least half of all the cells and letting the prisoners out, allowing them to run amok. However for some reason they didn’t let any of them actually get outside, the only reason that the Gemnites did such an act was to keep the guards occupied while their boss visited a… special prisoner.

“Nothing like a nice riot to keep everyone distracted,” he asked as he leaned outside a large iron door. “Am I right?”

Of course the prisoner in question had no idea who he was talking to at the time, a fact which Tak loved taking advantage of, after all his particular cell didn’t allow him any clear vision. To put it in simple terms, the cell was one of many that remained on the lowest, darkest levels in the prison, it was little more than a 9x9 foot square made out of hollowed-out stone, the outside of which was reinforced with steel and magic-dampening enchantments for any Unicorns that may find themselves in there. However these details were merely for any standard prisoner on this particular floor, what made THIS cell so specific for this prisoner was the severe lack of light, in fact it was so dark in there that the prisoner’s ability to see was depleting badly. But despite this, his hearing was more than sharp enough to hear the riot a few floors up, in fact some of the prisoners in the cells next to him were cheering along, it was so chaotic, in any case, he was perfectly able to tell the difference between a guards voice and the slippery tone a complete stranger was using.

“Who are you?” he growled, instantly suspicious of the new arrival.

“Someone who’s a fan of your work, Mr Zeb,” Tak replied casually, pulling out a toothpick from his pocket and chewing on it. “And I have to say, I’ve NEVER seen a thief with your talents before.”

Indeed he hasn’t, for there was no other thief like Zeb in all of Equestria. Unlike most of the prisoners in here, he wasn’t a pony, at least not the usual kind, as his name would suggest he was in fact a zebra, a very suave zebra. Of course no one else would have been able to pick up on that particular fact if they had been in the cell with him, for it was his particular set of skills that made the prison guards reduce the light inside to such extremes. To be more specific, Zeb’s method of thieving involved the use of certain dark spells from his homeland which in turn made him one of the most successful crooks in all of Manehattan. Of course it was also this set of skills that became his downfall once the local police discovered his abilities and set a trap for him, thus the reason why he was stuck in Steel Cage Penitentiary in the first place. Of course in all his time on the inside, he never once got a visitor, until now at least.

“What’s it to you?” he snapped, finding even more suspicion in Tak’s statement.

Tak merely chuckled at that.

“Ah… a zebra who doesn’t take any nonsense, I like that,” he commented with an impressed tone, before changing it to something more stern. “But a zebra who is still trapped behind iron bars for some crime that those goody-goodies out there didn’t fully understand the potential for. How long have you been in here again?”

Of course Zeb was a little hesitant to answer that, after all he had no idea who this guy was or even why he was here. Then again, he didn’t exactly have a lot of conversations with any of the prison guards, so he was at least welcome to the chance for a real talk.

“20 years and counting,” he growled, practically disgusted by the amount of time he had spent in such a place.

“That’s right,” Tak replied, chewing his toothpick with keen interest in the subject matter. “20 years since those gold-plated morons put you away, and I dare say that’s quite long enough, don’t you agree?”

Had anyone be able to see inside the cell, they would have noticed Zeb’s eyebrow raise in confusion upon hearing that statement.

“What are you getting at?” he asked curiously.

“You’re not the only jailbird having this conversation, my friend,” Tak replied bluntly. “I’ve recently broken out of a pretty nasty prison myself, and needless to say I’ve made a few plans since then. YOU, are a key element to those plans.”

Now Zeb was beginning to become invested, was this stranger really implying what he thought he was?

“What’s in it for me?” he asked, his excitement starting to grow as he listened intently to what Tak had to say.

“Your freedom,” Tak replied with a sly grin, giving light to Zeb’s suspicions. “Along with a few other rewards should you accept my offer, all you need do is follow my instructions to the letter.”

Zeb’s jaw couldn’t help but drop at that, judging from the sincere tone this stranger was using, he seemed to be telling the truth. But this sounded just too good to be true, he was finally getting out? No, it couldn’t be, he must have finally cracked after spending 20 years in the dark and now Zeb was hearing voices in his head. Suddenly a loud creak echoed in Zeb’s ears and a small sliver of light caught his attention as the iron door to his cell opened, allowing the zebra to see his own hoof in front of his face for the first time in years. Like all zebras, his entire body was covered in black stripes over a white coat, however after years without bathing, it was a little hard to tell that fact with all the grime matting his fur, especially when most of his body was covered in a tatty orange prison jumpsuit. After taking a few moments to try to adjust his vision, Zeb soon found that after years of being in the dark, his eyes have gotten so bad that he could only see blurry shapes amongst the dim light, meaning that his eyes had deteriorated more than he thought, had they gotten any worse than he would have been completely blind. But with whatever vision Zeb had, it was enough to see the stranger casually standing in the doorway, looking directly at him, granted the guy looked strange, especially with Zeb’s bad eyesight, but whoever or WHATever he was, the guy was offering him freedom, a statement that was clearly proven by the mere fact that he was actually opening the door.

“So what do you say, Zeb?” Tak finally asked, casually flicking something into the zebra’s face. “You in?”

Though he couldn’t see just what the item was due to his vision, Zeb easily figured it out merely by touch, as such a large grin spread across his face for this was no ordinary item, in fact for Zeb they held so much value that he was devastated when he was forced to part with it. The item: a pair of translucent blue sunglasses infused with pure magic, sunglasses that not only shaded the eyes from the sun, but also improved eyesight 100 times over even in the most blinding of conditions, not only that but it was the spoils of Zeb’s very first steal. With both his freedom at hoof AND his treasured prize back in his possession, Zeb’s grin became too wide for his muzzle to handle.

“I’m listening…” he said, suavely putting on the shades, eagerly waiting for his new assignment as his vision finally returned.

#

But in other regions of Equestria, the mood wasn’t so cheerful for a certain white Alicorn. As she brought the sun down for the night, Princess Celestia, Monarch of the Sun and Ruler of all Equestria alongside her younger sister, was suffering with the terrible thoughts that have been plaguing her mind for the past two days. These thoughts were of course because of the series of terrible events that have occurred throughout certain areas of the land as of late, fires, riots, and now reports of creatures resembling small Diamond Dogs with gems growing out of their very skin? Over time it became so much that her concerns would have put Twilight Sparkle’s frantic episodes to shame, of course being royalty she tried her best not to show it. It was when her younger sister, Princess Luna had finished rising the moon, that Celestia had been given the chance to really go over everything in her mind, all day she had been running through reports and other assorted pieces of paperwork, many of which revolved around rebuilding of certain buildings and the temporary relocation for any pony who have lost their homes. Now that she had time to relax a little, Celestia took the time to visit her own private library to see whether any of the creatures mentioned in the reports were mentioned in any books in her collection. Normally she would have also asked Twilight to assist via letter, but given the uncertainty of everything going on, she felt like her dear student had no need to worry about it… at least for now. After skimming through the first book for several minutes, Celestia soon found herself no longer alone in her library.

“Sister?” Luna uttered as she walked in, her star-spangled mane flowing with radiance.

“Ah Luna,” Celestia replied with a small smile, her own colourful mane flowing with the same radiance as she casually sat down on the large, velvet pillow. “I wasn’t expecting you tonight, do you not have dreams to watch over?”

Luna couldn’t help but roll her eyes at that, while it was true that as Princess of the Night it was her duty to enter dreams and help out with any nightmares that may occur, it wasn’t that big of an issue for the moment, especially when her sister was clearly troubled.

“I believe the ponies of Equestria can make do without me for a short while,” she stated bluntly. “However I couldn’t help but notice your behaviour over the past two days, Tia, you seem distressed.”

At those words, Celestia sighed for she knew all too well that it was pointless to keep anything from her little sister. Besides she did have a point, even if Celestia did try to hide it, there was no denying just how worried she really was.

“I am Luna,” she admitted, ushering Luna to take a seat on the cushion next to her. “Ever since those newspaper reports came out, I’ve been having… suspicions.”

Luna raised an eyebrow at that, her worries for her sister turning even worse as she took her seat.

“Suspicions?” She repeated. “What do you mean?”

“There’s too much oddities for it to be merely coincidence,” Celestia explained bluntly. “Fires, prison riots, not to mention those creatures in Manehattan simply disappearing like that, there’s just simply too much chaos happening all at once.”

Listening to every word her sister had to say, Luna soon began to understand just why Celestia seemed so worried, it was just like when Tirek was roaming Equestria not too long ago, only this time there was the clear feeling of uncertainty thrown into the mix.

“You believe that these events really are connected?” Luna asked, wanting a little more confirmation in the matter.

“I’m afraid so,” Celestia answered solemnly, though in truth a little unsure of her own words.

But uncertainty aside, it was still enough to arouse Luna’s own suspicions in the matter, if her sister believed that there was a connection between these recent events then perhaps it was worth looking into, after all whenever Princess Celestia was worried about something it was usually right on the money.

“Perhaps it is Discord who is responsible?” Luna suggested, only for Celestia to shake her head in response.

“No,” she replied bluntly. “Even if Discord wasn’t reformed, this isn’t his style of madness. “Whatever is going on is something else entirely.”

Luna nodded her head at that, even she had to admit the idea of Discord doing this was unlikely, if he had caused this mayhem then there would be a lot of chocolate rain and floating pies involved.

“In that case, we may need to investigate this further,” she finally proposed. “The sooner we find out what really is happening, the better.”

“Agreed,” Celestia replied, also nodding her head. “Though we may have to do so with the utmost discretion…”

Suddenly, before Celestia could properly finish her sentence, one of the palace guards, a white unicorn stallion all clad in golden armour, came bursting in through the double doors and ran up to both the princesses.

“Princess Celestia!” he cried, his face plastered with an expression of panic as he tried to catch his breath after running for so long.

Easily noticing the guard’s current state, it was needless to say that both Celestia and Luna were instantly worried about what he had to say, obviously it must have been important otherwise he wouldn’t have burst in the way he did.

“What is it?” Celestia enquired anxiously.

After taking off his helmet and taking a few moments for some heavy breathing, the guard soon answered.

“Your Majesties,” he said “It’s…”

#

“Discord!?!”

No pony could believe their eyes at this point, and yet what they were seeing was indeed a figment of reality, there, lying unconscious on the table in front of them was none other than the Spirit of Chaos himself… or at least what was left of him. Oh don’t misunderstand, he wasn’t dead, far from it, but at this point in time he was no longer a spirit of chaos, or any spirit for that matter. To be more specific, where once a Draconequis would have been laying was now nothing more than a simple grey Earth Pony just like any other in Equestria, he had no Lion’s paw, no eagle’s claw, no snake tail, not even the single pointed fang that stuck out of the right side of his mouth. Instead all there was four hooves, a simple grey coat with no Cutie Mark and a black mane and tail, the only way that any pony was able to recognise him in the first place was the fact that his face still resembled his old one, mainly due to the skinny structure added to the fact that he still had his bushy white eyebrows and goatee, in fact even his coat was the shade of grey as his old face was now that every pony thought about it. In any regard, this WAS Discord, and judging from the fact that he was now lying in a bed in the palace infirmary, his current form is obviously not of his own doing.

“By the stars,” Princess Luna gasped, turning her head towards one of the guards who brought him in. “What happened?”

“Honestly, we don’t know,” the guard admitted. “We were in the middle of changing the guard for the nightshift and then we found him dumped just outside the front gate.”

“Is he okay?” Celestia asked, her enquiry directed towards a nearby Unicorn with a light green coat wearing a stethoscope around her neck, this being the palace doctor.

“I’m afraid he’s unable to speak at the moment,” the doctor explained in response. “Whatever was done to him has made him severely weak, aside from that I have absolutely no idea what’s going on.”

Though this answer wasn’t exactly something Celestia had hoped for, she nodded with understanding regardless, however that still didn’t stop her from narrowing her eyes in apprehension. First the random acts of madness around Equestria, then strange creatures tearing up Manehattan, and now Discord being turned into an ordinary pony!?! Now she was SURE that there was connection to everything that has been happening recently. As both Princesses looked down at the pony that had once been Discord, laying there all draped up in a hospital blanket, groaning slightly as his head rested upon the pillow, both Celestia and Luna couldn’t help but look at each other with discomfort. Granted Discord still had the habit of causing mischief everywhere he went, but he never takes it too far anymore, in fact he was becoming quite the good friend to Equestria now that he was reformed, and he certainly didn’t deserve this... whatever THIS was.

“He looks so… ordinary,” Celestia commented, being unable to describe it any other way.

“It’s as if he were any other pony,” Luna added, her solemn expression noticeable by all as she caressed Discord’s cheek with a hoof. “But what could have done this?”

Celestia merely shrugged at the question.

“I’m not sure,” she sighed. “I haven’t seen anything like this since…”

That was when Celestia’s eyes widened, at first with realisation, but soon enough it was because of fear for she HAD seen something like this before... a long time ago.

“No…” she gasped, her voice no more than a whisper as she felt a lump form in her throat. “It can’t be.”

Needless to say, Celestia sudden reaction drew some concerns, especially with her younger sister.

“What is it, Tia?” she asked. “Since… when?”

But before Celestia could even muster up a single word to give her sister an answer, another voice joined in the conversation.

“He’s trying to say something!” the doctor cried out, alerting both Princesses to Discord’s now awakened body.

He may not have been fully awake, in fact he was so weak it looked as though he would slump back in unconsciousness any second now, but Discord’s will was still keeping him up long enough for him to say what he needed to before then.

“T… Tia,” he mutter, his voice all raspy as he tried his best to stay awake.

Upon hearing her name, Celestia instantly leaned in close to look Discord in the eyes, both of which were still red and yellow like they should have been. As soon as she was close enough, the Alicorn of the Sun tried to be as comforting as possible despite her current state of fear.

“What is it, my friend?” she asked gently. “Who did this to you?”

What Discord said next, she would never be able to forget.

“Fu… Fuser…” he uttered. “The Fuser.”

After that Discord couldn’t force out another word and fell back into unconsciousness, almost falling off the side of the bed as he tried leaning in closer towards Celestia, who only stepped back with a look of terror etched across her face. After hearing the words that came out of the former Draconequis’s mouth, the Princess of the Sun almost fell over given how petrified she truly felt.

“Sister?” Luna said nervously, easily sensing Celestia’s distress. “What did he mean by that?”

Obviously Luna was trying to listen in when Discord spoke, and even more obviously she recognised when her older sister reacted in such a matter once hearing him, almost as though she knew exactly what he was talking about even though every pony else wouldn’t have had the slightest clue. But before she could question any further, she found herself cut off by the palace guard who she addressed earlier.

“Hey, there’s something written here!” he stated, pointing towards Discord’s back.

Now that the former Draconequis had turned over slightly, it allowed some of the blanket to slip off him to reveal his wingless spine, revealing that something was in fact written upon it. Of course no one really noticed thee words at first when they actually brought Discord in, after all at the time their main concern was simply making sure that the now-turned pony wasn’t seriously hurt. But now that everyone had a clear view, a series of gasps echoed throughout the room, however the worst reaction of all came from Celestia herself, her eyes filling up with tears of dread as she let out a single sentence.

“Mother of me,”

Of course no pony else knew WHY she would say such a thing or even why she was reacting in such a way, but had they realised what the Princess of the Sun knew of the words written in blue ink upon Discord’s back then they would know the significance of what they meant when they say:

TAK IS BACK!

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