• Published 18th Mar 2017
  • 3,323 Views, 185 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 4 - "Field Tests"

Aria stirred from her sleep, pulling the lavender sheets up to her chest as she glanced around the bedroom. A small fireplace lit the king size bed she laid in, flickering illumination across her face and shoulders. With her hair out of place and not in it’s usual ponytail, she pulled a hairband from the end table and began brushing her hair back before securing it, simultaneously allowing the sheets to drop. Sliding out of bed to the cold marble floor, her fuschia toned feet recoiled back a split second after contact before coming to rest comfortably on the smooth surface, having become adjusted to the temperature. Walking across the room she stepped before a full length mirror and looked at herself, her expression that of uncertainty after nearly a decade. The gentle popping and crackling of the fire was all that filled the room as she examined herself in detail.

Not much had changed since she had arrived in the world. Thanks to that meddling wizard, Starswirl the Bearded, she and her “sisters” had been banished to this world by Canterlot’s leading magical wielding unicorn after they started to cause too much trouble. They had adjusted quickly, having been left with barely enough magic to survive in this new world. Despite their alien surroundings, she and her siren sisters were able to sustain themselves by doing what they did best: stirring up arguments and feeding off the negative energy.


Her body was thin and toned, as it always had been, through it now bore the scars of her life that radically changed ten years prior. There were just two really noticeable glaring anomalies. The first of which was the largest and on her chest in the form of the magic gem she and her sisters had used to provoke people. It was slightly larger than the ones they had arrived with, and it no longer hung from her neck by a ribbon. It was embedded in her skin with several large tendrils of flesh wrapped around it and holding it in place on the sides. She felt conflicted about it the most as it was a bit of an eyesore on her previously flawless body, but it gave her the powers of her sisters and her own just ten fold. The embedding process was painful but, as her missing bed partner had claimed, the price was well worth the power.


She had doubts at times, despite the power being as described.


The second was her forearms and those bothered her the most. The series of jagged scars up and down them both was ever present in most of her outfits she’d choose. The blast at the concert had been life changing for everyone: it either killed you, hurt you or, in her case, gave you powers. A brief thought to that day reminded her that she had been inches from death when her new found partner appeared out of nowhere, and made her an offer she quite honestly couldn’t refuse: Escape or death.


The hesitation she did have towards accepting the offer was what gave her the scars on her arms, as an explosion nearby had sent shards of glass and scrap hurdling towards her. Instinct saved her face from disfigurement but at the cost of her forearms, which she had pulled up to shield herself. The pain from it was motivation enough to take his offer and escape with him.


She played the scene of the explosion in her head again, watching the wave of raw magic roll over people left and right, as well as the moment Adagio and Sonata had realized they were all in trouble. The moment she finally found a way to be rid of her two lesser sisters. She allowed these memories to dance across her mind while she stared at the image of herself.


“Well, well, look who's up and contemplating. What's wrong, Aria? You look like you’re regretting things.” A voice in her head echoed, its tone was instantly recognizable: Adagio.


“She’s not contemplating. She’s thinking hard!” Sonata’s voice piped in, a small giggle following it.


Almost free of her sisters, she meant.


“Poor, poor Aria. The price of ultimate power too much for you to bear?”


“She’s got no problem ‘bearing’ to her new boyfriend.”


“Yes, lets not forget we’re always in your head now, watching. The things you do to keep your so called--”


Aria clenched her eyes shut and balled her fists, willing the voices away as her gem glimmered for a time, using the power she so rightfully deserved to make them silent.


The fire was the only sound again as she opened her eyes, staring back at herself again. She smiled at herself this time, confident in her choices and opened her hands. Green magic shot from her gem and into her palms, collecting in a small orb of energy in each. Lifting them above her head, she slowly brought them down in front of her and across her body, leaving a glowing trail of glittering energy in it’s path. As the glow faded from her body, from head to toe, she closed her eyes and concentrated, starting to manifest the clothing she wanted for herself with sheer mental projection.


The clothing settled onto her body, a dark plum colored midriff top with a sleeveless short jacket started her off. A pair of dark indigo colored jeans with a pair of black biker boots followed. Lastly a set of three banded leather arm wraps with buckles to match finished her off as she spun slowly in front of the mirror.


“I..AM...irresistible.” She said out loud, giving her rear end a small tap before laughing wickedly and walking to the door. Opening it, the brass handle turned softly and the door swung open into the room, exposing the hallway it was part of. The charcoal carpeting was silent under her boots as she made her way down the hallway to the only other source of light besides the room she had been in.


Seldom if ever was her partner there when she woke up. At times she often wondered why but most of the time she didn’t care. They both got what they wanted from this arrangement, why make it more difficult? Part of her couldn’t help but feel somewhat offended at not having the person she shared a bed with next to her after a night of--


“Aria, my dear. I trust you slept well?” Malcontent, or Mal as she called him, had a voice that made almost anyone snap to attention. She wasn’t one of them. Standing in the doorway to the main room he liked to brood in, she walked in with a sense of ownership as she was not one to cower to him like the fodder he was used to.


The main room was a mixture between medieval and modern minimalist architecture. Most of the pillars and support were black marble, while the walls bespoke of granite and old stone. The center of the room was peppered with pieces of technology, such as monitors and data banks. They were positioned in the shape of a horseshoe so they all were surrounding a tall angular black chair. Near the fireplace, which was much larger than the one in the bedroom, sat a similar chair and in front of it was a large obsidian table. On this table was etched a map of Equestrian City with a chess like grid on it.


At the chess table sat Malcontent, dressed in a dark purple turtleneck and black slacks. A black set of gloves covered his hands as he picked up a chess piece in the shape of a small exclamation point and set it on the outskirts of the city. A pair of glasses rested on his nose, black like his short kempt hair, as a tinge of purple magic was evident as small wisps of energy that left his eyes on occasion. He picked up another piece to examine while not passing her a glance. This one was in the shape of Mistress Mayhem, setting it in the downtown area.


“Well enough, I had a very decent night cap.” She smiled while swaying her hips as she closed the distance. She had found that playing to his ego, like most men, was the key to keeping him under her control. “How's the game going?”


He paused as she neared him as her hips were at his eye level, yet he didn’t appear to fully take notice. Staring at the pieces across the city, he gave a half cocked smile. “All according to plan.” He linked an arm around her waist as she stroked his hair, both motions dripping with false affection.


“As a matter of fact, I think the next conflict is going to reveal quite a bit about our newest pawn.” He said before pushing his glasses up with his index finger.


“Bad hair day with a side order of crazy?” Aria asked, smiling down at the small peice he set down.


“Precisely. Mayhem is going to be on her maiden voyage of anarchy tonight. The prey that moves in will be most revealing about the state of things.” He let go of her and stood up, walking to a workbench that was at the far end of the room. It was a long wooden table that looked to have seen better days with various tools strewn about it. In the center of the mess was the object Malcontent received from Aria earlier in the month, scuff marks and lead wires hung from the inside of its partially disassembled shell.


Picking up a pair of small pliers, he began to pull the wires out of the device with each letting a small spark off as he did. He paid little attention to Aria as she walked behind him and peered onto the device.


“So the plan is to get her to cause enough negativity so we can feast for days? “ she asked, clearly curious at the device more than her question let on.


“In the short run, certainly. “ He said lowly while grunting as he finished stripping the device’s wires and, at the same moment, cracking open the top of the device. Inside was a mesh of small circuits and wiring that looked less than professional. A few purple hairs popped out of the aide, no doubt from the last user. “The larger goal is much more marvellous.” He picked up a pair of extraction tools and set the cracked object down in front of him, peering into a small magnifying lens that hung from the wall. Positioning the tiny tools just so, he started to disconnect the central circuit board from the main chassis.


“So...” Aria swallowed the next word. “Dear,” she smiled and rubbed his hips. “What exactly is that thing going to do for us? The guy who gave it to me mentioned it was found in an dig site in the southern continent, and didn't seem too broken up over losing it.”


“He obviously didn't know what he had. Nor contained the ability to use it properly.” Malcontent said flatly moving away from her hand, focusing again on his work. He squinted a bit more, carefully severing another set of wires. “As you, I and at least two other people know without a doubt, there are alternate dimensions, world’s, timelines, and each one can cross into the other given the right circumstances.”


“Right, that's how I got here and how you claimed you--”


“Correct. Now, in the other worlds, there are people near my intellect and of course closer to yours, that figured this out also.” He continued his work, disregarding the offense Aria clearly took. “This was the work of one such student. It inevitably became her undoing. So naturally, afraid of the unknown, the residents there discarded it into a portal where it landed here many, many decades ago.” He set down the tools and pulled a four pronged extractor out from a drawer.


“How exactly do you know so much about it?” Aria asked, crossing her arms and quite taken by the story, despite the insult.


“I told you the story of Celestia, Tartarus, and that so called “rehabilitation” she tried? As time went by and they forgot of me, the spell started to lose cohesion and I was allowed to see a great many things across the multiverse.” He grunted and pulled at the chip, finally hearing a small click as it was freed.


“So, what happened to that world?” Aria bobbed her head to see the small chip.


“It was eventually destroyed by the energy the young student had unwittingly let loose on the world. It consumed her, then her friends, then the small town and so on and so forth.” He held the chip up to his magnifying lens and looked it over for damage. “A very final lesson I guess you would say.” He smiled at the prize he had extracted. “But all is not lost. For on the shoulders of that tragedy, I will be able to send you and I home at last.”


Aria grinned at that statement, throwing her arms up in glee. “Now that's more like it. When do we leave?”


“Patience.” Malcontent said, securing the chip in a socket on a much larger board. He began to solder it into place. “One must learn to walk, before they try to run.” He closed the cover on the device, picking up an small data tablet shaped unit. “We need a field test first.” He flipped a small switch on the side and a high pitch whine sounded from it.


“I still don't understand...what does it do?” Aria grunted in frustration.


“I'll explain that in a moment but first, why don't you go change into something more travel worthy? You’re going to observe our new friend, and see exactly how many guinea pigs she can scrounge up.” He set the device on the workbench and smiled, running a hand across her chin. “I'll even make sure you get a meal, but again, go change...” he made a small dismissive wave to her before turning back to his chessboard and picking up a small piece painted like Mistress Mayhem, placing it in the main city map.


***


“Propulsion is still a bit under performing to what I’d like. We’ll need to adjust the power supply when we get back, Spike.” Twilight said, adjusting her heading to land on one of the larger skyscraper roofs of the city. The glow of the city lights reflected off her armor, the fresh paint job of the Matterhorn pattern contrasting her barely visible skin tone. The boot thrusters cut prematurely and she stumbled on the landing, nearly tumbling over a rooftop garden before regaining her balance.


“Careful, you’re still adjusting to the extra weight and center of gravity, Twilight.” Spike’s voice pattern moved up and down as he spoke. “I’ve made a note of the propulsion. I think we should head back.”


Twilight’s eyes darted back and forth, the HUD in her goggles executing several commands and bringing her targeting systems back online. The metal irises on her palms opened quickly and there was a distinct whine that came from them. “Not yet, I want to get more. If we can get a massive amount of field testing in, we can set the, well, set YOU to cook them overnight to process.” She smiled, catching herself in the mistake.


“You’re the boss but I think we should be careful. After all, I’m in here too. You get toasted, I do too!” Spike said, a frowning dragon emote appearing in her upper right vision.


Twilight giggled. “Spike, you’re mainframe is back at the lab, you’re just here by proxy. But…” she executed a few more commands, selecting a calibrating program and taking aim at a few empty planter pots. “I appreciate the concern...and I promise to be careful, but remember the reason we’re doing this. That is to beat Tiara to the punch. Not to mention it’ll probably help Rarity focus on something else besides…” she paused.


“Booze?” Spike asked with a somewhat somber tone.


She fired her right gauntlet, shattering the potter. “Yeah.”


“Nice shot.”


“Thank you.” She said proudly.


Twilight turned and the hand projectors closed as she faced the direction of the western part of the city. A few commands on her display flickered by as she booted up the receiver and transmitter system, coding it into the police band. Static filled her ears for a brief moment and she winced, tilting her head instinctively.


“Is the helmet modification working well?” Spike asked, muting the static and autotuning the frequency to be less annoying. “I noticed it kind of resembles, well, pony ears. You realize you may not be entirely secure from weapons fire with that the way it is, don’tcha?”


“It’s fine, Spike. As long as I can project a barrier spell should I need to.” She answered, turning the volume on her earpiece up with a sharp look left on the HUD. She wasn’t entirely sure she’d be safe but all the risks had to pay off, something she didn’t want to worry her assistant with, digital or not.


“--require immediate assistance on the corner of Buttercup and 12th. Suspects numbering 4, discharging high power weaponry in Tombestoner’s Guns Guns Guns and onto 12th street. Units on site already engaged and in need of immediate reinforcements.” The scanner spoke into her ear as Spike pulled up a nearby mini map in the lower right of her vision.


“Ok. Sounds like it’s now or never.” Twilight said, still a bit of uncertainty in her voice but less than before. “Spike, plot me a course.”


“Plotting now, if you’re sure.” Spike answered, a projected flight path appearing on her center vision. “Locked.”


Taking a step forward towards the edge of the building’s roof, the former Princess of Equestria fired her thrusters, pulling in power from the energy cylinders embedded in the back of the suit. She took care not to drain them immediately, as they powered just about everything inside the armor, she felt the lift from the propulsion system take over. The shattering of more potted plants being knocked over, the rustling of newspaper and the clattering of various other debris scattering reached her ears as she quickly accelerated above the nearby buildings. Glancing towards the direction Spike had put on her guidence system, a waypoint appeared and locked into place with a small chirp.


“Here goes nothing.” Twilight said softly.


***


Sitting at the furthest booth in the diner she worked at, Sunset Shimmer took her break not with food but with data. Huddled up with a notepad and her data tablet, Sunset kept an eye on the door out of habit as she searched online for clues. Chewing on the end of her pencil, the former apprentice of Princess Celestia knew a few hard facts and none of them added up.


She knew that the girl who fell was an employee of Rarity’s company. She knew that the chemicals that she fell into were most likely lethal. She also knew that the vial she had that broke and mixed with the chemicals was not supposed to be there. Narrowing down the list taken from the inventory she had “borrowed” sent her down another path of puzzling revelations.


Swiping left and up a few times on her tablet, she was on the trail of the last clue she had. The list of additives and chemicals that Sassy could have had in her hand was down to one last possibility: Faustatrine. Based on what she found about it, it seemed the most likely to be the one chemical that shouldn’t have been there. It had no application for civilian use. It was a fairly unstable mutagenic compound that was discovered quite by accident by scientists working on a cure for depression. When added to almost any organic subject, the subject would mutate rapidly, almost forcing an evolution based on the surroundings at the time. It was banned from civilian applications for that reason and quietly locked away in government vaults.


Swiping left again, Sunset frowned and scribbled a few more notes as she checked her time, making sure not to go over on her break. She still had a few more minutes and she took a draw from a cup of coffee she had been nursing for the entire break. Pulling out the folded inventory sheet, she checked the tracking numbers and history of the item against known suppliers, all of which came up as unknown or fake.


“This thing literally appeared out of nowhere.” She whispered to herself, making another note. Normally a opportunist like this Sassy Saddles wouldn’t really show up on Sunset’s radar, but the more recent happenings in the city had begun to form a problem in her head. Based on all the smaller bits of information she had gathered, someone or something was setting a lot of people up for various crimes to be committed. Pulling strings like some sort of mastermin--


The door opened, causing Sunset’s eyes to snap up and her to close the tablet before stashing the paper into her apron pocket. Taking the cup of coffee with her, she set it down behind the counter and pulled out her pad for ordering, smiling quietly at the customers as they sat down at the front counter.


“Today marks the third time Canterlot Commonwealth forces have repelled an attack on friendly territory from members of the Eastern Empire. Despite the fact an ocean separates us, the Eastern Empire has been engaged with Canterlot Commonwealth forces for some time now. Canterlot Commonwealth's All Encompassing Government Intelligence Services, or A.E.G.I.S., issued a statement today condemning the acts.” The television droned on as Sunset took the orders, sighing softly as the door brought two more people in.


“Not since the first aggressive moves from the Sombra Empire of the East have we been as shocked as we are today. This city and furthermore the entire Canterlot Commonwealth, stands ready to do it’s part against any further hostile actions from them.” The Mayor said on screen, slamming her fist on a podium. “As the Mayor, I have sworn to do all within my power to protect the capital of the Canterlot Commonwealth, and I will do just that. I will continue to ensure this is a place not where we are ruled by fear, but are driven by the purpose that Equestrian City was founded on so many centuries ago: to build a better world away from the Imperialist Empire that now threatens us! Be it a fight here on the streets with super villains, regular criminals, or even Imperial agents, we will show the world that the Commonwealth of Canterlot is a peace loving society. But, at the same time, we will not be intimidated!”


Sunset threw the slips up on the order window and turned the television down a small bit, yelling for the short order cook. She watched the mayor finish her speech and then the main news come back on.


“Today lawmakers from all sections of Equestrian City met to work on two of the more controversial bills in Congress today. Bill COH-7, which allows the formation of privately funded militia, or “supergroups” has begun to pick up support after the increase in super crime. A vote is expected soon, though several sources indicate there are several hurdles to overcome in the fine print.” The newscaster cleared his throat. “The other is Bill MCU--16, that would unify both J.U.S.T.I.C.E., ECPD, and all other civil services under control of A.E.G.I.S. in the event of a state of emergency is met with a majority against it. Citing the bill’s intent, while pure, could easily be misused unless further fine print is added.”


Sunset leaned against the counter and began to fill more condiments as she waited on her orders. She had tried her best to stay out of the political scene, but some of the issues were starting to concern her. The democracy here was fairly new to her when she first arrived. Equestria was governed by a vastly different form then she was in now. Over the years she had been in the human world, she had learned this city was not only the capital of the kingdom, or Commonwealth in this case, but was formed by settlers fleeing persecution for their urge to be free from the totalitarianism of the Sombra Empire. The fact that Sombra was here, let alone alive still, was a shock to her. Sombra was not a very liked figure in Equestrian history and she had found the same was true here, save a few more differences. This Sombra had amassed a great kingdom, one he passed on to each successor who took on the mantle and name “King Sombra” as they took the throne, hand picked by their predecessor. Magic was also heavily saturated in the Eastern Empire, and after ten years, they had learned quite a bit more on harnessing it for somewhat evil purposes. While the Commonwealth was still in it’s infancy with magic, having denied the existence of it for fear of panic, the Eastern Empire had embraced it as a tool to be utilized.


“Order up!” the voice snapped Sunset out of her thoughts. Reaching over and picking up the plates, she began to deliver them to the proper owners. Thanking them, she retired to the front of the diner, cleaning up the tables quickly.


“Tonight’s Focus On features part 2 of Diamond Tiara. Heir to the Rich fortune, she was one of the many victims of the Canterlot Disaster. This episode focuses on her sudden disappearance from the public eye after healing in the private health facility her parents sent her to. Join us as we try to chip away at the enigma of Diamond Tiara!”


Sunset flipped off the channel and scoffed. “I’d rather not.” She smirked, tucking her pencil behind her ear and walking over to tally up the checks.



***


With a determined look on her face, eyes squinted half way and focusing on the direction the flight computer had plotted, Twilight increased the thrust while moving with controlled momentum over the roofs, the streets below her peppered with the citizens pointing up at her as she flew by. A few more stable seconds gave Twilight the confidence she needed and she tilted forward, the basic principles of flight running through her thoughts as she did, angling towards the destination. Wobbling a moment, she corrected her hand thrusts and looked forward once more. Satisfied with her kinetic value, Twilight opened the thrusters up to a ten percent power focus and shot forward at a surprising amount of speed, causing a small yelp from her.


“Twilight, you’re going to fast!”


“I know, I know!” she hollered back with the buildings rushing past her as she tilted left and right to avoid several collisions in the air, dodging another flying heroine almost too close for comfort. Rolling to her left she clipped a flagpole and sent herself on a random vector, spiralling as she did.


“Twilight, you overshot the waypoint!” Spike chirped in her ear as the world spun around and around.


“I KNOW!” she answered in frustration, countering the spin with correction thrusts until she leveled out and took a sharp climb to avoid sailing into a skyscraper. Several windows shook and one or two cracked as she soared up the side, desperately trying to regain complete control. Shooting past the roof of the building, she turned down the thrust and corrected again, turning in midair and shooting back down like a human missile. Taking care to eyeball her direction, she watched as the flight computer recalculated her path and adjusted her estimated time to arrive. Fully in control again, she couldn’t help but smile. The thrill of the armor actually working right began overtaking her for a moment. She quickly snapped out of it before moving down to near street level and coming within a block of the shoot out.


“Approaching destination. Looks like three are still up and firing at the ECPD.” Spike commented, a thermographic overlay displaying on her goggles now. “Standard non-armor piercing rounds, automatic rifles and one sub machine gun are in play. How do I even know what--”


“Spike, we really need to focus now.” Twilight said, taking a moment to survey both possible landing points that came up on her goggles. Two of the shooters were female, both using the rifles and peppering the two police cruisers about half a block away, a third car was actually on fire already. The last was a male crouched down behind a car, reloading his submachine gun.


Choosing the closest landing zone, she shifted her body weight with the momentum and went in faster than she anticipated. Her boots hit the pavement with a metallic thud, startling the nearest thug.


“What da hell is dat?” the girl asked in a thick urban accent as her two toned amaranth hair twirled out of the way towards Twilight’s impact. The worn leather jacket flashing open to show her white shirt under it, a collection of stains all over it. A matching set of freckles on her cheeks accented her rather large silver hoop earrings.


The other girl snapped her head towards the sound, her blonde hair short and unkempt swinging around her face briefly. “Don’t care, SHOOT ‘EM!” she shouted, turning her sights on the new player on the field and opening fire seconds before her accomplice did the same.


Twilight barely had the time to throw her hands up and focus on a barrier spell, causing a half hemisphere of purple energy to appear in front of her. The bullets bounced off as they made contact, ricocheting in all directions. Wincing from the bullets out of instinct, she quickly redoubled her efforts, essentially at a standoff. “Ok, this may be more then I was ready for.”


The male thug cocked his gun and turned from his crouching position towards Twilight’s side, pulling up the peep sight to his eyeline and opening fire. Spike’s awareness systems alerted her in time as she moved her left hand towards the incoming barrage, resulting in the shield she was making to enlarge itself at the cost of vital power. Both attacks were now being deflected from her projected force field. The one seemingly in charge cursed at Twilight and pulled out her empty magazine from her firearm, throwing it in disgust and at the same time pulling a small revolver from her belt. Ducking down she returned fire at the pincher like attack that was pinning them down.


“This is screwed up, Babs! You said we’d be fine without a heavy, and now--”
the other girl said while pulling a fresh magazine from her belt and loading it, chambering the first round loudly. “--here we are wishing we had one!”


“You really need to shut up...” the red haired, freckled faced girl answered back while emptying two rounds towards the ECPD from her handgun. “Just keep that freak busy, I gotta’ think!”


A flashbang landed in from the ECPD side, landing between the leader and the male. “Lenny! Look out!!” the leader yelled, turning her eyes from it as it ignited and blinded the only man in their seemingly three person gang.


Twilight quickly closed her eyes and thanks to her armor the concussive force wasn’t anything to worry about. Her optical sensors compensated and refocused on the battle. The one man was down but the other two girls were reloading, with the one called Babs having taken the fallen man’s firearm.


“Screw this!” Babs said while pulling open a backpack she had been wearing and reaching inside, fishing around inside before pulling out a few objects.


“Twilight that's a fragmentation grenade!” Spike said as her targeting system locked onto it.


“Can’t do anything about that now, Spike. It’s taking all the power I have to keep from being overwhelmed.” Twilight said, her voice only heard by Spike thanks to her ability to cut off her external speakers. “I’m going to chance it in a moment, their aim seems pretty bad at targeting my vulnerable zones.”


Babs pulled the pin and hurled the orb towards the ECPD cruisers. It rolled towards the center of the two intersecting bumpers.


“Grenade!” Snips yelled before diving behind a mailbox as Snails did the same, taking cover behind a phone booth. The explosive discharged and both cruisers went up in a small mushroom cloud of fire and smoke, covering the area in debris and fragments of shrapnel. Car alarms and store security systems blared loudly as glass fell from the sky, and a license plate twirled to the ground.


“How come we get all the really crappy calls?!” Snips yelled in frustration, his partners were busy calling in a situation. His training kicked in and he started yelling for civilians to leave and seek shelter immediately, to those that had decided to stay and observe.


“Repeat, Meta Human on the field, unknown identity. Request immediate assistance!” Snails hollered into his mic on his shoulder while dodging the occasional burst of gunfire from Babs.


“That nearly killed them, I need to chance it. Now, Spike, convert power from barrier to ice!” she shouted with the barrier dropping a split second later and two quick blasts of frozen magic firing at the two girls. The impact startled them both, their guns dropping and shattering into several pieces.


“What the frick was dat!?” Bab’s partner shouted, shaking her hands as the cold stung her still. Vapor trails from the pieces wafted up towards both her and Babs.


Twilight’s gauntlets clicked once and then with a single movement of her thumbs triggered a blast of purple kinetic force, propelling two precise thin bolts hurdling towards both of the girls.


Babs moved before her accomplice, pulling the blonde towards her before another word could be uttered. The bolt meant for Babs hit the girl square in the chest, knocking the wind out of her and rendering her unconscious as the other bolt, meant for the blonde, missed entirely thanks to the selfish maneuver. “Sorry, Babe.” She said as the air left her. Babs leaped up and behind the car they were using for cover while at the same time tossing another grenade, this time directly at Twilight. “Later tin can!”


Twilight instinctively held her hand up, but then grabbed hold of the small metal orb before tossing it down a nearby ally. The explosion’s only casualty was a dumpster from the boutique across the street. Turning back to face off her last attacker, the HUD started scanning for Babs, having lost track of her.


“Surrender and I promise you fair treatment!” Twilight shouted with her true eye color hidden by her goggles opaque color to the outside observer. Her hands were poised in a ready-to-fire position as she circled around to the other side, trying to cut Babs off from escaping.


“Wow, that one’s got a lot of neat tech!” Snips said while leaning out from his hiding space behind the mailbox, his revolver poised and ready to fire at Babs. “I got a shot--GAH!” he was interrupted from his aim by a vermillion colored tendril wrapping tightly around his neck and lifting him up off his feet.


“Snips, what did--whoa!” Snails turned and fell backwards as he gazed at a towering female, her body held up by multiple tendrils that were all whipping around rapidly, knocking over cars and trash cans with the greatest of ease. “Central, super villain on the field! I repeat--” he was interrupted by a swift punch to the jaw by one of the girl’s hair tendrils impacting him like a steel girder. Sailing backwards with a huge amount of kinetic force, he impacted into a storefront security gate, knocking him completely out with his revolver and badge flying in opposite directions. Shallow breathing was all that came from his crumpled form as Snips’ body went hurdling towards the same area, hitting the gate as well and landing on his partner.


“A decent start, but this is hardly enough mayhem for me!” she giggled out, her pupils dilated and shifting back and forth before her gaze stopped on Babs in the distance, who was still dodging and keeping the line of sight between her and Twilight’s blasters. Mayhem’s tendrils shot out like octopus arms and grabbed nearby items, one of them being a yellow taxi, with ease. Hurling it forward with a mental command, she laughed with delight as it went spinning towards the two in front of her. Babs was the first one to see it and duck out of the way.


“Twilight, look--” Spike didn’t have enough time to warn her as the midsized car impacted Twilight’s chest plating. A loud dull impact sounding as she went flying backwards and into an abandoned brick building, creating a crater in it as dust and debris went flying in the aftermath. Twilight’s senses were still in chaos as she tried to stand, only to hear the distinct sound of another grenade landing nearby. “Oh cra-” the explosion cut off her curse as she pulled up her barrier spell barely in time, sending her backwards again through an interior wall, the ceiling giving away in some areas and the floor above collapsing on her. The barrier held but she found herself disoriented again, her power systems reporting miscalibration due to the three successive hits she had taken. “Stabilizer has trouble compensating kinetic impact, gotta fix that.”


Mayhem’s cackle echoed in the now deserted but completely devastated street, the sounds of various alarms ringing from cars and stores alike from the shattering impacts she had made moments ago. “Now that's more like it, but hardly proper anarchy!” she snickered while her appendages grabbing random items again, most of them explosive in one way or another, and started hurling them in random directions. Each impact starting a new fire that burned unattended as rescue crews were not able to move in.


A larger tendril picked up the two unconscious officers, lifting them by their legs and hanging them in front of her, a mischievous grin on her face as she contemplated what to do with them. “What shall we do with Equestrian City’s fFinest, hmmm?” several more smaller tendrils shot from her head like serpents and solidified to a razor sharp point as she shifted them in her grip. She gained an iron grip on each’s throat, cutting off their air just as they stirred awake from the trauma, resulting in their arms flailing and trying to pull at their necks for precious air. Pulling them closer to her vision, the sheer panic in their eyes fueled her motivation as the spikes she had formed drew back like a scorpion’s tail, aiming at each’s head. “Officers…” she smiled widely. “You seem to be having trouble breathing…” she laughed loudly. “Why don’t we see if a few new holes can fix that!”


A flurry of bright impacts hit the Mistress of Mayhem from behind, the glow taking her by surprise and causing her tendrils to go limp as she lost concentration. The two officers dropped unceremoniously to the concrete as did she, the two officers coughing and gasping for breath.


“Stop, villain! You are no match for..” a female voice shouted from behind her with the figure coming into focus as Mayhem’s vision cleared up and her tendrils resumed their operation, snaking out at the voice. Dressed in what appeared to be surgeon's scrubs and a mask was a taller female figure, in her hand was a handful of gravel from the broken concrete. “Doctor Sprinkles!”


There was a moment of silence, save for the sound of the fires burning, Mayhem’s tendrils picked herself up and she towered over the would-be hero. Adjusting her outfit with three of her appendages, she snickered and folded her arms in front of her. “Really? That's your name...Doctor Sprinkles? Was every other name registered?” she asked while her back tendrils roughly uprooted a decorative tree each with a concrete hold, throwing one with alarming speed at the new entry on the street. “Physician, KILL THYSELF!” she shouted with the other two trees flying soon after the first one.


The figure didn’t seem surprised and shook the gravel pellets in her hand, and threw them in an arc in front of her. Each one coming in contact with the trees and exploding upon impact in a fantastic lightshow, blinding Mayhem and the recovering officers. Snips and Snails moved to the alley out of the way as the explosions died down, trying to let the meta humans take each other out as they were clearly out classed without proper assistance from Central, or J.U.S.T.I.C.E.


Mayhem lowered her hands from shielding her face and took the hero by surprise as she closed the distance quickly, her hair slashing out at the figure and grabbing hold of her by the wrists and legs. “You can’t begin to understand the awful week I’ve been having, so I’ll spare you the details and just get down to the fun of it.” The hero tried to break free, only to lose against the iron grip of each strand of hair that grew in size and layer, like a giant boa constrictor starting to entangle her. “There, there, just try and relax.”


Twilight shot two full powered bolts from her hands and they struck with such concussive force that Mayhem’s grip loosened on the hero, growling in pain and annoyance.


“You’re the one who needs to take a breather...er...Ma’am.” Twilight said, trying her best to maintain some level of confidence despite the fact she was clearly making up her tactics as she went along. “Now surrender!”


“What a polite little brat you are!” Mayhem politely returned the tone, turning to Twilight and at the same moment sending Dr. Sprinkles sailing into a further alleyway, landing with enough force to knock her out cold. “Tell me, what hospital do you want to be sent to!?” she yelled with strands shooting out at all directions and grabbing at the armored hero. Twilight’s thrusters kicked in and she dodged the salvo of psycho hair. A series of fire based blasts shot out from her gauntlets and singed Mayhem’s main weapons, causing her to recoil in fear and pain as several locks dropped off and seemed to squeal in death tones as they fell to the pavement.


“You’ll pay for that!” the multitasking villain gained volume in both voice and hair as she narrowed her eyes while a collection of random objects started flying towards Twilight. Locking onto the incoming trajectories, Twilight evaded the salvo of death, nearly being struck by a set of hubcaps and ducking under a broken telephone pole as it sailed by.


***


In the alleyway, the hero known as Dr. Sprinkles groaned while holding her head before pulling her scrub cap and mask down, revealing a purple set of hair and a green toned skin color. She barely felt like moving let alone standing when she thought she heard footsteps getting closer, the ambient noise from the street making it hard to focus on anything directly.


Aria Blaze gave a gentle gesture with her hands while at the same time the gem embedded in her chest twinkled. Lifting the fallen hero up and to her feet was nothing for the power she had gained by teaming up with Malcontent. Despite the favors he required, she had never felt more powerful as the beaten hero hovered in front of her, paralyzed and unable to move. Two orbs shot out from behind Aria and circled her. One was a bright blue and the other a dull orange, and then focused on the hero.


The two souls of her sisters, Sonata and Adagio, let out different sounds: Adagio was clearly in some sort of torment based on her wails while Sonata seemed to be having fun being incorporeal. Holding out her right hand, Aria commanded them both and held the hero in place while keeping her from screaming as the two soulfires began to orbit Dr. Sprinkles quickly, all the while Aria’s painfully embedded gem sparkled in the alleyway.


“Dr. Sprinkles...I’ve heard of you. Everything you touch and then throw explodes doesn't it?” Aria scoffed, her tone expressing her somewhat bored mood. Reaching behind her back with her left hand, she pulled out the pistol shaped device Malcontent had given her, turning it on. “Ugh, whatever, that's like one of the worst super powers I’ve ever heard of.” She aimed the pistol at the helpless hero, a small whining noise coming from it as something spun to life inside. “That's like something a cartoon would think of at the last minute. Don’t worry, I’ll put you out of your misery.” She gave a half cocked smile, the soulfire orbs coming to a stop and retreating behind Aria’s back again as she pulled the trigger on it.


The heroine felt a mild tingle at first, almost like someone tickled her whole body. Then it got worse as the device spun up faster and faster in it’s casing, causing a mellow blue aura to form around the girl and slip towards the gun, as if spiraling down a drain into the barrel. As the feelings increased, the heroine shook and barely was able to cry out as she felt all her powers drain from her and leave her body, the last bit of dull blue aura disappearing into the device.


“Huh. Guess he was right.” Aria dropped her hold on Dr. Sprinkles as she fell in a heap onto a pile of old pizza boxes and gas cans, holding her stomach.


“What...what did you do to me...?” she weakly asked, unable to catch her breath. None of the power she had before was present, it was an empty feeling, like despair was expanding inside her.


“Don’t you worry about that…” Aria pocketed the device and cracked her back, clearly not stimulated enough to care about the fight in the street in front of them. The fact they were in an alley kept them hidden from the explosions and banter from the two meta humans fighting. “Just know it worked perfectly.” She smirked before letting her expression go blank again, she rolled her eyes as she remembered something. “Oh that’s right.”


“W...what?” the heroine asked, nearly able to stand as she braced herself on the brick wall of the alleyway, panting now due to being out of breath.


Aria snapped her right arm forward so her open palm faced her victim, the gem lighting up on her chest started illuminating her darkened features as the only light in the area popped from the surge of energy she let out. The two soulfires of Adagio and Sonata sprang to life again, materializing behind her and hovering around Aria’s head for a moment. “‘No one can tell the tale just yet,’ he said.” She gave a wide smile, her index finger and thumb forming a gun like grip in front of her. At the same time the two souls of her siren sisters shot forward and both impacted into the scrubs of the former hero, creating two gaping hole in the chest of Dr. Sprinkles. Her body going rigid for a moment then collapsing to a heap on the ground in front of Aria.


The souls materialized from the body of the hero and two streams of red energy floated up, one from each of the startling unnatural holes they had made. As quickly as that occurred, the distorted faces of her sisters appeared in the glowing orbs with razor like teeth and sinister eyes unlike before, followed by the frightening sound of a pair of savage creatures devouring their meal. The very soul of the deceased hero was quickly consumed, rejuvenating them and in turn, revitalizing Aria. The entire scene ended in seconds, the hollow shell was all that was left as a reminder to Aria that her new powers required a terrible price to maintain.


The orbs vanished and she turned around, walking down the alley towards the dead end while singing softly in a single voice that was both lonely and enchanting, until she simply vanished as she stepped into the shadows of the dead end.


***


“Twilight, we can’t keep this up!” Spike hollered into her earpiece, the distinct sound of metal hitting metal when another car door collided with her. Twilight was doing her best and even with Spikes automated assistance she was having to take a defensive posture against Mistress Mayhem. Another salvo of random objects flew from down the devastated street towards the lavender princess of Equestria, sending her flying to the left and right to dodge it all. As a fire hydrant flew past her right shoulder, Twilight was all but convinced she had overestimated the armor she was field testing now.


“You know this might have been a mistake...” Twilight said to herself, thankfully her speakers were shut off. “Spike plot me a course out of here.”


“Working on it now. You need to keep her busy, I’m having trouble compensating all the incoming dat--DUMPTRUCK!” he suddenly shouted, the armor moving to take less of a hit as it was clipped on the right side. Twilight’s systems flickered a moment and her boots went dead, dropping her to the pavement.


“Oh my, that did the trick!” Mayhem said as her tendrils pulled up several parking meters and the last of the decorative trees on the sidewalk. The barren look of the street was getting worse each salvo, but the only good part Twilight could note was that Mayhem was getting close to running out of ammo to throw. “Now I don’t have a proper can opener, but this will do in a pinch!” she grinned and her hair smashed the meters to the ground, each coming back into view with deadly jagged ends to them. “Time to play ‘Who's inside’!”.


Twilight’s eyes widened as the crazed villain closed the distance at a frightening speed, giving her little to no time to react so she pulled her hands up and fired wildly. Each kinetic blast launched one after another, two hitting their mark but not with nearly enough force to entirely disarm her assailant. It did buy her enough time to move out of the way. Her firmware on the thrusters having fully rebooted, she flew up and out of the reach of Mayhem’s wild swings and strikes which missed her by inches as she put distance between the two, landing with another loud clang as the boots hit the cracked pavement at the far end of the street.


Sassy turned in time to see her target leave a trail of vapor behind her, but the sound of tires screeching to her right distracted her. Several E.C.P.D. cruisers had closed down the side streets to the one she was on and several J.U.S.T.I.C.E. vans were behind them. Darting her eyes back and forth between the new armored hero and the veteran officers, she turned her immediate attention to the cars and officers taking cover behind them. Hurling what she had left from her last grab, she turned to face one set to the south, only to have the team behind her open fire with shotguns and pistols with the rounds deflecting off her new outfit. Flinching for a moment, she grinned wide. “Well...damn...this is handy stuff!” she laughed while throwing her head back and extending her arms outward as more rounds bounced off her, her hair snapping in random directions and grabbing at the officers.


Some were able to move out of the way in time while others lost their firearms to the invading tentacles from Mayhem’s sudden burst of confidence. Behind the main officers on the first team to open fire from the north was a squad in full J.U.S.T.I.C.E. armor. They hastily began constructing some sort of larger canon they had brought with them, and had their sights set on Mayhem herself.


Twilight’s systems recalibrated finally as she popped up into the air and fired several rounds from her gauntlets, both from the palms and several from the gauntlets themselves. Round after round impacted on Mayhem’s armor and hair, a collection of elemental damage types began to erupt from the targets Twilight hit. Fire, ice and all manner in between lit up the villains shiney new outfit, burning at it and shredding it with her tendrils retracting to shield herself from the assault. “Try that on for size, Mane-iac!” she said, seemingly forgetting who her opponent was and recalling the adventure she once had in her world of similar circumstances.


“Mane-iac?!” Sassy growled, unamused at the mislabel. “Get it right, sister, it’s MISTRESS MAYHEM!” her hair shot out like a striking snake and wrapped around Twilight’s limbs again, pulling at her with surprising force. Her maneuvering thrusters were trying to compensate but failing due to the sudden shock to her kinetic value. She went sailing to the ground and then, without a seconds notice, up again and down into the pavement, cracking it again and digging deeper each time. Two more strikes and Twilight’s systems started to sound alarms in her ear and on her HUD.


“Twilight, you’re really getting bucked up!” Spike said, his voice distorted as the assault wrecked havoc on him too.


“Language!” Twilight yelled but was interrupted midway with a third smash, resulting in parts of her arm plating coming loose and crumpling to the ground.


“Is the brat scared? I bet she is! Forget the hospital...WHAT MORGUE DO YOU WANT TO BE SENT TO?!” Mayhem screamed, her sanity shattering rather violently or what little of it there was left. More rounds deflected from her back as the E.C.P.D. moved in trying to subdue her with little effect. Suddenly from behind them, a massive thundering blast echoed and a puff of red smoke signaled a massive energy balls arrival straight into Mayhem’s back!


“ARGH!” the villainess screamed and her tendrils all went limp, the blast moving her forward and tripping her over the crumpled form of Twilight. Mayhem struggled to get her balance as her hair returned to it’s original shape with her concentration gone. She began to hold her back, the material had finally given way thanks to the shot from J.U.S.T.I.C.E. Exposed to the casual onlooker finally, the apparent source of the tendrils wasn’t just her hair but seemed to originate from a mutated spinal column, the tendrils retracting back in and the slit sealing up behind them. As she regained her footing, she growled and turned towards the shot’s origin.


“HIT HER AGAIN!” a raspy voice yelled, the spotlights from J.U.S.T.I.C.E. all tracking Mayhem and a thundering blast sounded with a ball of red energy impacting her again, sending her backwards and laying her flat onto the pavement on her left side after a brief growl came from her again.


Nightwatch coordinated the onsite E.C.P.D. to help block off the area from onlookers and the news reporters who had moved in. Arriving during the first assault by the two teams, he had quickly taken to his training, despite being the go-between for J.U.S.T.I.C.E. and E.C.P.D., he was still a public servant and he needed to protect them. Satisfied for the moment, he turned back as the second blast fired from the onsite commander’s squad from J.U.S.T.I.C.E. “Holy crap!” he said, rubbing his forehead as he walked towards them while keeping a low cover in case any other surprises came their way.


“Prep it again!” Commander Spitfire barked to her team, the weapon starting a build up sequence again after she said that. Dressed in combat armor with the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. logo on it, a pair of dark sunglasses hanging low on her nose despite the time of day, several medals on her chest and a nameplate that bore her name, all of the attire tactical in design and almost military in color scheme.


“Ma’am, Meta is down, another shot may not be--” one of her troops said while lifting her own faceplate, the helmet black in color with the rest of the armor.


“If I’m out here in this unthinkable hour, I’m not going to be out here long, now get ready on my mark!” Spitfire countered back, the device nearing full charge again as on the side of the canon read “Meta Armed Enforcement Tactical Canon.” She turned back to the street, noting Twilight was getting up finally but so was the new villain. “I don’t know who either of these are, but the damage speaks for itself...READY!”


Twilight’s systems all went into backup mode, Spike wasn’t able to even speak to her due to the lack of power. Looking to the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. M.E.A.T. canon, she turned back to Mayhem who was about to get up again, and aimed her left hand at her. A small puff of smoke came from it to her disappointment, making her comically look at her own weapon in dismay. She tried the other and it let out a spark. A quick system check revealed she had enough thrust to leave the ground, if she was wise about it.


Nightwatch pulled up a bullhorn and shouted down the street at Twilight. “We got this...CLEAR!” he shouted while signalling to the armored hero.


Twilight couldn’t do anything but fire her emergency power into the thrusters and leave the line of sight, the cannon firing a third ball of red energy at Mayhem’s location. The impact fell short of it’s target as Mayhem moved but the hit still knocked the fight out of her however as she landed near the first set of cars that had started this entire night, a distant groan coming from her slumped body.


“Thats better. Move in. Apprehend.” Spitfire said, motioning to her team. “See, that's how you take down a Meta.” She smiled, proud of the handywork as the weaponry powered down. “Takes quite a bit of tax dollars each shot, but it’s effective.”


“I wouldn’t argue that, Ma’am. Course, it did cause a bit more collateral damage each shot. How would you justify that to the media?” Nightwatch asked, holstering his sidearm. The reporters moved in slowly as the scene was secured thanks to the E.C.P.D. Snips and Snails were being evacuated to a nearby ambulance as the main flood of news cameras came towards Spitfire and Nightwatch.


“Oh that's your issue, I’m going home.” Spitfire said, walking back to her van as the mob got to Nightwatch, a gentle sigh coming from him.


A team of armored J.U.S.T.I.C.E. troopers moved in to secure the meta. Mayhem’s breathing was shallow and ragged, scraps across her exposed flesh and her torn suit were evident in the glow casted by the nearby fires. Emergency services themselves were slowly crushing the fires out along the street as the team arrived, shotguns pointed towards her form.


“Jonesy, get her.” One of the troopers said, male by the tone of his command. “We'll cover you.”


“On it, sir.” Jonesy responded, female in tone as she slung her shotgun and pulled out a pair of rather large handcuffs, almost comical in thickness. “What about her other powers? We may need to worry about those before we get her to the van.”


Jonesy rolled her over in time to see Mayhem was laying on the remaining explosives Babs had left, the sound of pins being pulled from the grenades hitting everyone’s ears. “GRENADES!”


Mayhem cackled loudly as her hair snapped sharply to the nearby building and alley, slingshotting her away as the team ran for cover. Officers and troopers dove over the cars and behind the rather sturdy mailbox that still stood as a massive explosion rocked the already ravaged street.


***


Sitting back in his larger chair, the architect of the most explosive event in Equestrian City of recent date, clasp his hands together. Happy with the television reports of the evening pouring in, the marble doors at the far end of the room opened and Malcontent’s eyes narrowed as the clicking of Aria’s heels sounded in the hall. Wisps of purple and black magical energy escaped from his eyes for a moment as he turned, the chair gliding on it’s base with ease.


“Honey, I’m home.” Aria said, a complete lack of sincerity in her tone as she pulled the device she had used on Dr. Sprinkles from her pocket. Examining the device, she had a curiosity on her face, her footsteps slowing as she heard the television broadcasts. “Looks like your newest toy did it’s job.” She smiled while crossing her arms as she stood in front of him, images of Mistress Mayhem’s destructive tirade flooding the various screens behind him. “Not to mention this little device.” She added, the insinuation and almost jealous tone dripping from her.


A half cocked smile formed on his lips as he pushed his glasses back up, his leather gloves returning to a half pyramid in front of him. He, like his partner, was able to feed off the negative energy she was emitting, his eyes flickering with power and magic as it seeped into him. Aria felt the drain herself, though had learned not to protest and not to make overt actions. He enjoyed a more subtle approach at anything, save a select few instances. The ten years they had been using each other had given the other insight that rang true: Don’t give in to intimidation or you lose. A lesson she learned early on in her attempts to dominate him as she did with so many others in her time in Equestria, and the silly humans of this world. She quickly learned that he wasn’t just another man to be led around by his--


“How did the test go, dear Aria?” he interrupted her thoughts, his narrowing gaze lowering from her eyes before stalling at her chest and to the device itself in her right hand. He motioned towards the gun and tilted his head slightly, a gesture of dominance in itself.


“Rather interesting. It drained that poor hero in no time. But my question is…” she tossed it back and forth in her hands, toying with it as she tried to with him. “Why did you want me to leave no witnesses, not that it wasn’t fun.” She grinned, moving the gun from his grasp as he gently reached for it while still closing the gap as her boots clicked one last time before the carpet, now under her, shielded the sounds. Aria noticed a twinge of unhappiness in his face, and took that as a point in the game they constantly played with each other. Despite her hating the fact that she was the last siren, she hated the fact more that anyone, let alone a man, had gotten the better of her. Yet, she found him rather intriguing just not in a really attractive matter physically as she had seen better.


They both craved disharmony, hatred, disloyalty, and all manner of feelings that typically weren’t exactly cherished in Equestria. The fact they were both banished from there to this world also contributed to her fascination with him. She knew there weren’t any male sirens but still, she couldn’t help feeling a somewhat kindred spirit in him.


“This was just a test run. The full use of this technology…” he began to explain, tilting his head back the other way as she got dangerously close to him with the barrel of the weapon pointing up to his chin casually. She pushed his gloves aside and sat on his lap abruptly, and without any consideration for him: a show of defiance. His cheek twitched at the sudden shift of perceived power between the two, but he continued all the while stroking her back affectionately. “...is something I can’t have anyone concluding, until it’s too late.” He smiled calmly as her eyes widened at his words and perhaps his next actions as well.

Suddenly, when his hand tugged her single ponytail harder than she had ever had him do in any setting, her mouth opened. “Now...don’t tease…” he finished as she dropped the gun into his hand. “...‘Princess’,” he took it and stood up, shoving her from his lap and walking to the workbench.


Aria rubbed the back of her head before straightening up her outfit from the abrupt shove from Malcontent. “Well, ‘darling’, I’d love to know what ‘we’re’ planning.” She said as she walked behind him slowly and carefully after the display he just put on. Despite all that, she was both interested in the device and still in his actions as, for the most part, they always provided her with sustenance.


“You don’t ‘love’ anything. Your species can’t.” He smiled to himself, setting the gun down and examining the side of it with a few smaller tools. A long silence occurred as she didn’t quite know what to say to that statement, and he focused on the smaller unit in front of him. Sensing a tense moment, he sighed and turned back to her after setting the tools down gently. “Though neither can mine for that matter.” He smiled finally and felt a bit better after she did too.


“It’s a good thing we have each other then, isn’t it?” Aria asked, linking her arms around him from behind and started toying with his hair a moment. She stepped back after he shrugged her off, kept off balance by his guarded emotional states.


Malcontent stared down at the device another moment and looked back up at her, the televisions blaring about a sudden explosion as the villain seemed to escape. “Yes. We both have our use for each other, don’t we?” he said blankly, watching the camera feed cut out. “Why don’t you be a dear and go find us something to snack on? After all, our bodies still need upkeep…among other activities.” He glanced her over as he said the final part, half interested in the outfit she was wearing.


Aria grinned a moment, only to have her mood fade again as he finished his words. “I’ll find something you’ll enjoy, trust me.” She said before turning and leaving, doing her best to make her body curve as she left the room.


He turned back before she even left, cracking open the side of the device and opening a small cylinder on the inside. The contents lit up with a magical glow, the bright blue color contrasting the purple in his eyes. A smile covered his face slowly but surely, as the energy from it swirled up and formed a sphere of sorts before halting in front of him, and the center of it slowly parting. Gazing into the opening it made first appeared empty but as he looked closer, he saw it was far from empty. Inside was a brighter blue hue, almost to the point where he felt a need to shield his eyes as he winced at the sudden light. Finally his eyes adjusted and he lowered his hand. In the spiraling mist and sparkles he glimpsed a beautiful blue sky. Peering harder, he saw before him a weathered stone face as its features became apparent to him after a moment of focus. A griffon, a King, or perhaps a statue of one but it was in horrible disrepair, almost as if those around had all but forgotten it or its meaning.


Just as quickly as it had appeared, the image and sphere disappeared in a blink. The energy and the vision it brought with it was gone as the aura swirled and rushed towards his eyes, mixing with the purple he already was displaying and intensifying the color of them for a brief moment. But he had what he needed and the smile stayed on his face as stood up. He laughed softly before closing the gun and preparing it again.


“Field test successful.” He said quietly, lifting the gun up to eye level as the next step in his plans were starting to take shape.


***


End of Episode

Author's Note:

I'd like to thank Drewdini, Discourt, Hannah, Alisia Lanet and Rivet Rose for all the help and input they gave me during this first chapter. I hope everyone reading enjoys this for what it is: a flight of fancy. I value all feedback and questions so don't be shy!

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