• Published 18th Mar 2017
  • 2,989 Views, 303 Comments

Equestrian City - Malcontent



It's been almost a decade since the Battle of the Bands and Sunset Shimmer has been trying to clean up the mess she made. After series of unrelated crimes, Sunset, now known as The Phoenix, may need to finally ask for help.

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Episode 15 - 'Convergence"'

Episode 15
“Convergence”
By DarkMalcontent
Co-Author Alisia
Professor of Writing Brawny Buck

***
Twilight took a step back as the mysterious stranger and Aria chuckled. The chill of uncertainty and compromise sent tingles through her stomach. A growing sense of dread she soon shook off as her stance became more aggressive again. She refocused on the moment as Spike trained several more reticle on them both.

“I think she’s in shock.” Twilight heard Aria muse, walking from her place at Malcontents side and standing directly in Spikes targeting grid. “She's at a loss for words? Some princess.”

The stoic face she wore betrayed her growing doubt as Twilight steadied herself mentally. The palm canons she primed now began glowing a deep purple. “Come quietly or there will be,” she paused and tried to sound stern. “Heck to pay.” She finished. The helmet and speakers partially protected her identity and thankfully hid her embarrassment at her awkward words. The fact the two in front of her began laughing didn't help a bit.

“I do believe she means to kill us with laughter.” Malcontent chuckled. “Maim but do not kill her. I'd like her intact.” He said, clutching the sack of stolen Everfree Gems close to his side. “But be quick. This has surely alerted more bothersome heroes.”

“Tonight’s just full of fun.” Aria responded to her keeper, levitating again as energy whips snapped free from the nothingness they resided in. “Let's open up this pitiful cage first!” she shouted as she gave a guttural groan in time with her sisters souls flowing out of her gem. The two soulfires twirled and spun in glee and despair as they flew through all the barrier emitters, passing through each one as they short circuited. The barrier dropped and they spun back to behind their sister, with all three sirens staring at Twilight now. “Now then, Muddlefoot was it?”

“Matterhorn!” Sunset shouted as she landed behind Aria. Summoning all her magical powers at once, Sunset levitated to match Aria and her entire body enveloped in flames. Before Aria could turn to respond the flames exploded out in all directions, sending the soulfires back and into the brick walls on either side.

The explosion knocked the siren forward and drove Malcontent backwards at the same moment. Aria took the brunt of the damage as her cohort froze an ice shield in front of him. The steam from the collision covered the entire alley for a brief second, giving Aria time to recover.

“Her name is Matterhorn.” Sunset finished, the blast apparently taking as much out of her as it did Aria, since she stumbled a brief moment. Recovering and standing tall again, she tightened her gloves at the wrist and sized up the siren for round two. “Ready for another go, second string?”

“Been aching to shut you up for good, bitch.” Aria sailed at Sunset and the two grappled at each others shoulders. Using her momentum, she threw Sunset into a brick wall, narrowly missing a recovering Adagio soulfire that popped out of a dumpster. “Come on!”

The minor lead was short lived as Sunset ducked under Aria's whips, tackling into the floating girl and pulling back in time to land a perfectly placed uppercut to her chin. The strike to the face brought Aria to growl in a mixture of pain and annoyance, retaliating out of instinct with a right hook that missed its mark. As her target leaned back from the dodge, Aria’s energy whip landed and wrapped around Sunset’s right forearm.

Ready this time, the siren took off to the sky and brought Sunset with her to the rooftops. Slamming her like the end of a mace into a billboard for Wubcakes cereal, splinters littered the ground below them as the fight continued.

Malcontent tucked the bag of gems into his belt as he watched his guard dog go to work on the city's most lethal hero. Smiling at the sound of wood shattering, he turned his attention back to Twilight, walking towards her at an unsettlingly calm pace. “Now then,” Malcontent began with a smug smile as shards of glass and wood shifted from hitting him. Glints of ice and wind pushing them away as he walked to the Princess of Friendship. “Why don't you and I have a talk?”

“I don't think we have anything to talk about.” Twilight firmly replied and fired two purple kinetic blasts for good measure.

The blasts hit him square in the shoulder and chest, making him stumble a moment in shock. Clutching his chest in amazement and amusement, he chuckled as he examined the hole in his shirt. “You seem to have tapped into your magic without a real horn...” he quietly observed before snapping his eyes towards her suddenly. “How invigorating! Does it give you a sense of normalcy now that you can rely on magic for everything again?”

“Magic is a tool, not a crutch. My teacher taught me that the first day.” Her audio came across the speakers on her helmet.

“Yes, but tools can be so useful at doing the most mundane of tasks,” he continued, his head tilting ever so slightly. “Or horrible things. It's all in how you use them. Now that you’ve got the ability to use your magic again, what will you do about the rest of the world?” Malcontent raised an eyebrow. “Once the world realizes the girl who's responsible for the Canterlot Disaster has magic back, you won’t be safe. Nor will anyone you care for.” A half smile slowly formed on his face as his words hit her. “They’ll tear you apart if you stay.”

Twilight took a step back, her hands drifting down ever so slightly as his words sank in.

“This world isn't as forgiving as Equestria or Ponytown, or even Harmony Falls.” Malcontent added as his eyes began to glow ever so slightly.

“Ponytown…?” Twilight didn't recognize that name, her own head tilting in curiosity. The interest passed as her aggressor was only mere feet away now. “Stop. I won't ask you again.”

“No. You won't.” Twilight felt the same unnerving chill run through her as before, his half smile dripped of assurance. Partially exposing his teeth as he did, he began to resemble less of a geek and more of a frightening psychopath.

A distant scream jolted Twilight into turning to find the source behind her, just in time to see several crumpled cars roll by. Crunched together like balls of aluminum foil, she instinctively shielded her face for half a second from the resulting explosion. Glancing back, she found Malcontent gone from sight.

Before she could begin to question his disappearance, her vision lit up with proximity alarms. “Twilight, look out!” Spike warned her. Turning to her right, she spied Malcontent make a simple gesture with his right hand, a flick of his wrist with gloved fingers open. At the same instant she saw the wispy telltale signs of ice magic casting above her, a combination of wind and cracking ice sounding a split second later. Snapping both hands up, the palm blasters fired and shattered the sudden ice conjure into tiny bits and pieces all around her.

Relieved, she felt a puncture in the right side of her suit, just as Spike alerted her on screen of a seal rupture. Cocking her head as her body screamed in pain, Twilight realized the ice was a distraction. One that gave Malcontent time to close the distance and jam a purple glowing projection into her armor, which shifted into biting ice.

“You're as predictable as your pathetic teacher, Twilight.” He remarked as his spear turned from ice to a glowing purple. The energy blade in his hand sliced through her ice and armor with surprisingly little effort. The bundle of exposed wires and sudden shock of the impact drove her backwards a few steps.

“Don't you dare speak that way about Princess Celestia!” Twilight shouted, bringing her right gauntlet up into his chin, staggering him. She had little time to recover as he spun counter clockwise, the energy bladed knuckle he’d manifested cutting another chunk of her plating as he did. The metal fell cleanly and echoed in the alley, leaving Twilight holding her right arm, now a mess of exposed circuits and metal bars.

“You, my dear, are falling apart without your magic of friendship.” Malcontent laughed at her, his blue glow turning to a deep purple with the manifestation he was using.

Twilight’s breathing quickened, despite all her years of training, even as a pony it took far more effort to cast magic then she saw him use. The possibilities of what he could be doing to augment his powers or even where he got them from swam through her head rapidly.

“Twilight, you need to calm down and concentrate, your blood pressure is sky high!” Spike popped in from the corner of her vision, a small heart monitor in his hand. “Whatever this guy’s doing is on a scale I haven’t even seen here!” a data read out popped up in her center vision for a brief moment. “You need to stay focused!”

At that moment her eyes shifted and a targeting reticle snapped to life on her HUD, targeting Malcontent’s hand again. The readouts spiking again as the familiar readouts lit up in front of her, warning her of her foe’s power levels. She wished for a brief moment she had her real horn, feeling helpless as he levitated her, an aura of purple magic surrounding her.

The familiar glow made Twilight feel home sick for half a moment before a pair of canisters ejected from her shoulders.

“Attempting countermeasures!” Spike shouted, taking control briefly as Twilight seemed lost in a blanket of terror and confusion. The sounds broke her free of it as the clang sounded.

The metal clatter she heard followed by a small explosive charge that released a smoke screen, fully snapped her back to reality. She capitalized on his confusion as her targeting went to the UV spectrum, finding a target lock of his figure in the smoke.

“Spike, divert all power to the horn.” She quickly ordered with the glow at the tip of her helmet gathering in intensity for a brief moment. The horn fired a solid bright beam of lavender magic that hit her target square on the chest, toppling him over and sending the bag of gems flying up and ripping open.

She landed with a gentle thud on her stripped side, moving to regain her footing. Her palm emitters whined to life as the smoke disappeared. “Spike, I need my palms online.” She said after switching the speakers off.

“Sorry Twilight, we lost most of our charge with that blast.” Spike appeared in the upper right of her HUD, appearing as a dragon in an engineering outfit with a pipe wrench. “We're lucky you aren't dead in the water now. You need to--” Spike stopped mid sentence and disappeared as more systems began to shut down. Twilight felt the weight of the suit pull her down to a knee, right into the middle of the split gems. She heard Malcontent grunt as he regained his composure.

“This isn't good.” Twilight muttered as the entire support systems shut down and her muscles buckled under the dead weight of all the armor. She fell with an unceremonious crunch as her exposed arm hit the orange and red gems. She winced in pain as the geodes dug into her exposed flesh. “Ow!” she rolled to the side onto another set of them, the embedded ones harmlessly falling to the pavement.

“Well it seems the Magic of Hugs and Kisses isn't going to pull a surprise comeback after all.” Malcontent chuckled, dusting debris off his tailored shirt and straightening his tie. She heard his energy blade fire back to life and the spikes shot from his gloved hand in unison. “I'll send your regards to Celestia when I get back!” she heard him say as the glow of his weapon shone down on her.

***

Sunset felt the world spin as Aria threw her into the billboard. The world corrected itself quickly as she flipped in midair and landed hard on a set of wooden pallets on the warehouse. She barely evaded the whip sent at her head, rolling and coming to a halt far left of the tendril. Pulling a pellet from her belt pocket, Sunset hurled it at Aria with a trailing fireball. The smoke cloud it created bought her enough time, rounding behind a sturdy looking set of cement blocks laid lazily nearby. I cant keep her at bay long... she thought. That explosion trick took a lot more than I wanted to, Sunset silently admitted while holding her chest as exhaustion fought its way to overcome her body.

“You really don't have many talents do you?” Aria laughed, floating through the white smoke towards Sunsets cover. “Too bad you don't have more toys.” Sunset ducked as an energy whip cut a cinder block in half just above her head.

“Who's your boyfriend?” Sunset ducked behind a stack of cinderblocks, “Doesn't look like much.” She rummaged through her inside jacket pocket. Feeling the tell-tale notches in each capsule and pellet until she found the right one. “That all you could land?”

Aria smirked a moment but her scowl returned. “He ain't much to look at I'll give ya that. But he's my ticket out of here.”

Sunset rolled from her cover, barely dodging a deadly snap of her opponents whips. In the same fluid motion she threw the pellet at Aria with her left hand, a flick of her right sending ignition. Before the two items met, Arias energy whips snuffed the flame out from behind it, letting the pellet fall behind the siren.

“Ha! No super glue or smoke this time!” Sunset heard her say while moving to a safe spot. A half second later the pellet exploded, sending Aria flying forward in surprise.

“Nothing as fancy.” Sunset stood over the crumpled girl. Flames flickered from her hands and danced across as reflections on her goggles. “But it does the trick.”

Aria threw herself forward from her crouched position, a right hook missing its mark as Sunset stepped back. “You little redheaded--” was all she heard before she sent Aria face first into a pile of cinder blocks, shattering them with the force.

As Aria bounced from the impact, Sunset’s eyes focused on her old foe and her chest gem. Seems that's less bright then when we started, she thought. She's running out of gas! a brief smirk came and vanished just as quick. “Better press forward since I have her on the ropes.” She concluded, dashing towards the half toppled siren.

Aria leaned back against the broken blocks with her hair flopping out of its ponytail as she did. Barely registering Sunset through her obscured vision, she went wide eyed.

Sunset landed a right cross directly into Aria’s cheek, jolting the girls head back and to the right. Two follow up strikes hit their mark in her sternum, with the final left jab landing on a cinderblock as the siren evaded, her last punch hitting solid wall.

Sunset winced in pain and froze at the strike on the blocks, staggering while holding her chin as Aria countered finally. The sound of grunting and impact sounds filled the entire rooftop as they both returned to close quarters battle that ended just as quick as each retreated a small distance.

“This town is so afraid of you. I have to admit it's inspiring!” Aria bantered with her old enemy. “You have this reputation for being so lethal!” she spit some blood to her opponents feet. “But so far I can't say our fight has been anything but BOR-ring!” she said as Sunset threw another series of punches. The two were both running out of energy, it was clear to each. The usual banter was slowing down and the use of magic was nearly all but gone.

The rooftop erupted in a sudden crash of metal and asphalt, sending both girls for cover. Sunset spied several abnormally large metal balls, like crumpled tin foil, rain down a second time. Those are..cars! she thought, watching several roll off the roof to the street below. What's throwing crumpled cars?!

The answer became apparent as Splitsecond and Shadowstrike both came flying past Sunset, neither on their own power. The two other heroes landed with a grunt, trying to recover as quickly as possible from the impacts. The last set of debris and cars sailed past the rooftop and to the streets below, exploding on impact.

Ok this is getting more complicated. Sunset thought with a groan. In turning to the two new arrivals, she noticed Aria had fled. “Figures...” she sighed as she ran to check on the new pair.

***

Twilight fell flat on her back with a metallic thud. “You can kill me. But it won’t make any difference...” her words almost sounding as if she believed them. “Whoever you are!” she snapped while crawling backwards the best she could, her movement stopped as she felt a final puncture in her elbow. Looking down at it, it was two of the gems he’d stolen: the purple one and the red one.

“You’re half right there.” Malcontent smiled at her. “As for who I am, I’ve been known by many names. This lovely stint I’m known as...” he began manifesting a fiery like purple orb in his palm. “Malcontent.”

At the same moment, Spike and all the systems booted back up at lightning speed, the readouts all registering maximum power.

“Palm online, Twilight.” Spike’s voice pattern popped up on her HUD.

Twilight raised her one remaining weaponry and fired the entire payload her energy reserves would allow. The act of desperation turned on and her face shifted to shock at the sheer amount of power she had. A solid lavender glow of kinetic energy left her palm, unstable flickers and trails surrounding it as it soared at Malcontent.

The impact sound was what shocked her first. Normally she’d be familiar with her shots, but this was far more powerful than she even thought would be sent out. The hit sent him spinning and flying backwards into a pile of piled up garbage cans, the impact sending them sailing further than him. A guttural growl filled her ears as the shock wore off and turned the palm barrel to look it over. “Spike, what happened?!”

“I don’t know, Twilight.” Her AI pulled different schematics up on the side, rapidly examining theories and weapon blueprints. “I think whatever powered the suit back up may have been more than suitable for the power cells. In fact it seemed to overcharge them, with the blast you let out just now being well over 400% of what it should be.” Spike popped up as a small icon in her visor. “I don’t even know how you did it, but whatever it is solved the power consumption issues we’ve been having.”

Twilight’s visor registered a target, she quickly glanced in the direction she’d blown Malcontent back into. She got to her feet, her hydraulics kicking back in and echoing her metal boots slamming to the concrete. Another growl sounded, a mixture of pain and frustration, as he came into full view. Twilight almost took a step back as he did.

Before her was the same rough frame of the man she’d hit, but now clutching at his face, his gloved hand torn as well. Behind the glove was the real surprise to her: atypical to someone who had half their face blown off, there was no gory mess, but blackness. The hollow shell she had shattered crunched on the sides a bit as her foe gripped harder in apparent pain.

“What in the name of--” Twilight began to ask, taking one step forward towards her foe.

Wispy steel blue trails of energy and magic escaped between Mal’s gloved fingers, the entity inside the dark void peering out at her. It’s trails began to combine and form a more stable shape, though semi transparent. The eye that formed stared back at her, blinking once more, the sound of shattered pottery echoing in the alley. Unable to place where she’d seen a form like it before, she paused.

“You...” Malcontent began, his voice shattered as much as his face, an eerie mixture of several voices at once. “...are almost more trouble than you’re worth!” he growled, a powerful ball of purple energy leaving his unharmed hand rapidly. The impact sent the Princess of Friendship flying backwards into the brick wall of the museum, knocking a considerable amount of the masonary work down.

Struggling to stand back up, her visual systems came back online, most of her back up systems trying to boot up. “Spike, how bad was that hit?”

“Wasn’t good. We’re almost in as bad of shape we were before. It’s not lack of energy this time. Hardware’s damaged.” Spike blinked on and off of her screen. “We need to get back fast. You aren’t going to be able to take much more of this.”

“I think he’s in as bad of shape as I am.” She stood up, holding her arm, noticing the pain from before was gone. “Hey, where did he go?” she scanned left and right. “And the gems he stole are gone.”

***

Aria fell down to the street level, knocking her shoulder on a catwalk on the way down and landing with a curse. She stood up and checked for Sunset, or anyone else for that matter, and found nothing. She glanced down at her gem. “Almost out again, need to find Mal...” she admitted reluctantly, the dim glow pulsing slowly.

“Look and you shall find.” She spun around, shocked as her keeper stood in the shadows behind her. “You seem worse for wear. That Phoenix give you trouble?”

“Your voice...” Aria answered back, taking a step towards him as he did the same. She raised an eyebrow for a moment as his face came into sight. “You look pretty roughed up yourself ‘babe,’” she smiled, spitting some blood to the side.

“Seems the gems have an unintended side effect to certain meta humans.” Mal answered, one of his eyes glowing a deep purple in contrast to his exposed wispy eye. She watched as the human flesh reformed around it, the gentle blue aura closing around the hollow hole Twilight had made. Leaving behind freshly knitted skin, the magic left behind the tiniest sound similar to ice or glass being shuffled as it finished up. “No matter. I got what I needed.” He smiled, the final aura leaving behind a pair of fresh glasses on his face. “You need a recharge I take it?”

“I could use a bit of boost.” Aria smirked, eyeing up the velvet bag he pulled out. “Got the gems. What’s next?”

“We need to get ready for the final push.” Malcontent opened the bag in front of her and checked each of the seven gems, replacing them just as quickly. “And leave Mayhem to keep these costumed pests busy, just as I planned.” He turned to her and stroked her chin. “Come, let’s get you a proper meal.” Mal laughed, slapping her cheek softly as he let go.

Aria winced as he did, walking two steps behind her keeper as she pulled out a small black box. She opened it silently and stared at the silver ring inside for a moment, her expression distant and undecided as she closed it back up and hid it away again. “Your generosity fills me to the brim.” She said flatly.

“Not yet it doesn't. Let's save that for back home.” He smiled to himself as he and Aria stepped into a shadow, vanishing from sight and teleporting back as he used the last of his energy.


***

Rainbow Dash groggily groaned, her world a mixture of white flashes and odd shapes. Feeling her temple she winced in pain. “Ok I’m getting reeeal tired of being tossed into buildings.” She grunted, trying to stand and form a solid picture of the world around her.

“You two ok?” a voice asked, making her reach for her now non-existent staff on her belt. “Hey, you ok?” the figure formed solidly in front of her.

Pinkie popped up next to Dash and Sunset, her hands covering the blind heroes face aggressively. “Hey, no peeking!”

“It’s alright, I know how to keep a secret.” Sunset said, helping Dash up. “That ripped mask isn’t going to help you keep it long though. You two should get out of here.”

“We can’t just leave.” Dash said, looking around for her weapon. “We have a friend in trouble.”

Pinkie gasped, looking around. “Dash is right! Where’s--”

“Pinkie! No names!” Dash scolded her, only to cover her own mouth, silence falling between the two as they looked at each other, Dash more out of habit.

Raising an eyebrow to them both, the redhead took a breath. “Look, get out of here. My partner and I have this--”

“Partner?” Dash tilted an eyebrow herself. “When did Phoenix get a partner?”

Twilight landed with a metal clunk, proud of her lack of stumbling. “I prefer the term ‘friend’.” She said, her suit very damaged but still intact. “You ok up here?” she asked as half of her helmet simply gave up and fell to the ground, revealing her identity.

“Twilight?” Dash questioned curiously with a tilt of her head.

“Dash?! Pinkie!” Twilight asked in amazement.

“Er..who?” Pinkie covered her hair.

“Pinkie?” Sunset asked in amazement.

“No mistaking that voice, Sunset.” Twilight covered her mouth.

“Sunset?!” Pinkie gasp.

“Twilight!” Sunset grumbled.

“Sunset?” Dash asked, peering at her.

“That's incredible! The only one were missing is Applejack and--”

“Fluttershy!” Pinkie shouted, pointing to the sky behind the group of girls. The distinct sound of a body flying at them pierced the air as the battered body of Fluttershy with Andrea at the helm, crashed into Pinkies arms. The impact sent them both into a crumbling chimney and rolling to a halt.

The group of reunited friends all turned to see the source: Mistress Mayhem and her tendrils filled with her own thugs landed on the roof gracefully.

“Well, what a fine gathering of dead people.” Mayhem smiled, tapping her chin curiously.

“Well.” Sunset turned to face the huge villain. “She's a big one.” She winced as she ignited a flame on her hand, fatigue making it go out.

“You look a bit out of sorts, dearie.” Mayhem mentioned as Babs and her foot soldiers dropped from her hair. The sound of cocking weapons hitting the air as half a dozen girls aimed at the handful of heroes.

“Shes right. I'm almost out of tricks.” Sunset whispered back to her newly found friends. “How about the rest of you?” she carefully asked.

“My suit just fell apart.” Twilight answered and tapped a few manual controls on her wrist. “Got a few reserve shots left.”

“That ain't gunna knock her down, she just tossed a regenerating vampire out like it was Sunday garbage.” Dash whispered back, still unable to find her staff.

“The three of us can't do this. We need an escape plan.” Sunset took a step back.

“We can't leave Fluttershy and Pinkie.” Twilight answered back as her back up power kicked on.

“It looks like this batch is all used up. Babsy, let's finish up here and go prepare for the party.” Mayhem flicked her wrist dismissively.

A distinct whistle pierced the air, growing louder as both sides searched the sky for it’s source. Babs was the first to shout and point up, retreating behind a large pipe sticking from the roof. Mayhem’s eyes widened a moment before she saw a body drop out of the sky and onto the rooftop, landing between her goons and the heroes. The impact sent a ripple through the air, along with gravel that lined the roof, in all directions. The heroes and villains alike shielded their eyes, turning back to the impact point as their vision returned to them. The epicenter of the disturbance cleared of dust quickly, revealing a single figure.

A taller girl in her mid 30’s stood up from her landing, brushing dust off the black thigh high boots. Adjusting her belt buckle that resembled a jeweled apple, her metal bracers glinted the moonlight. She adjusted her green and black mixed top and tightened her diamond style mask strap behind her blond hair. Her peach skin tone contrasted her few visible freckles on her cheeks with her green eyes staring across at the thugs.

“Who the buck?!” Babs asked, waving dust and debris out of the way.

The girl gave a serious expression. “Name's Impervia.” She answered, cracking her knuckles in preparation. “And if I'm being honest,” she smiled sharply. “Y'all should just give up now.”

End of episode

***

Author's Note:

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