• Published 2nd Mar 2017
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Land of Equines - Daddy Joe

Who would've thought that being at the wrong place at the wrong time would bring something so surreal.

  • ...

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Harmony's Next Chapter

Harmony's Next Chapter
June 8th, 2014

I know this is a bit of a timeskip, but I was serious when I stated that I didn't like the human dimension. Everyone is really cool there, yes, but I couldn't stay there any longer and went back to Equestria the following morning. Of course, Twilight understood my decision and managed to retrieve her crown.

To make a long story short, she teamed up with the human counterparts of Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash, was elected princess of the Fall Formal and earned her crown back, Sunset Shimmer basically turned into a demon when she got her hands on the elements magic and was ultimately defeated by the magic of friendship. Now after all that, Twilight finally had her princess summit and we all relaxed for the time being.

However, Equestria's repose would be very short-lived. A new threat has fallen upon Equestria, and it's no unicorn turned human that seeks complete world domination. Twilight let me in on the fact that the land of Equestria is now under the threat of power-driven centaur by the alias of Lord Tirek. This centaur was apparently imprisoned in the lowest depths of Tartarus due to his previous crimes against Equestria, but he somehow found out how to escape and is back. Now, the only reason he is a true threat is because his powers are just starting to regain, but slowly. Princess Celestia and Princess Luna have already confirmed that Tirek is preying upon the ponies magic through a vision they both had in their sleep, but nopony has a damn clue on where he even is at.

Due to the lack of knowledge of Tirek's location and how poweful he has gotten so far, Princess Celestia assigned Discord in tracking down and capturing Tirek. I myself and the girls were very skeptical about this decision, but Twilight and I have learned to accept it. Discord may be an annoying fool sometimes, but he is one of the most powerful beings in Equestria, more than Tirek, and has the ability to detect magical imbalances, such as Tirek's draining. If Discord complete's his daring mission, then I will truly know that he has turned over a new leaf....

The sun and moon erratically twitched and orbited the Earth in all directions as the sky changed from day to night until the sun slowly situated in the north. Flabbergasted, I walked into Twilight's bedroom where she gazed out the window.

"Looks like Celestia and Luna were having a bit trouble deciding who raises and who lowers," I remarked. "What did they have to say to you anyways?"

"Oh, y'know. Just letting me on what will happen once Discord doesn't-- er, I mean, does turn in Tirek." Twilight replied as her entire body subtly trembled.

"Oh, okay," I could easily tell she was covering something up, but I stupidly didn't assume the worse. "I was expecting Discord to have gotten him already, but chaos is said to be unpredictable." I said.

"Ain't that the truth." Spike mumbled, lying on his bed.

Bridgette let out a prominent sigh while she stood by the bedroom entrance and stared at me with those puppy eyes. She was growing impatient on waiting for me before we headed out to scout the Everfree Forest.

"Don't worry, Bridgette, we're going, we're going," I assured to the pouty Labrador.

"Going where?" Twilight asked, concerned.

"To the Everfree. We're going for a ride." I replied.

Twilight conflictily looked at me to the response, almost as if she was thinking while her brain fired a million miles a minute. Biting her lower lip nervously, she only had this say.

"Promise me you won't take a single unnecessary risk if you somehow come across Tirek." Twilight heeded.

I didn't say anything back, but I kinda just looked at Twilight before slowly heading out to the Defender. "God, I sure hope Discord found him by now."

The drive through the streets of Ponyville was very strange. Bridgette calmly lied in the passenger seat, which is a bit rare. Bridgette usually likes to sit up and watch the ponies as we drive by, but nopony was outside. It was like going through a ghost town. As I came to think about it, Discord has been gone for two days without any report back. It shouldn't take this long for a creature of his nature to discover a magical imbalance. But above it all, I remained alert for Tirek. I had no idea what he looked like, but I'll probably know him when I see him.

Sometime later, Bridgette and I gently cruised along the Everfree Forest's stretch at about seventy kilometers an hour. Bridgette was now sitting up in her seat because she knew that it was her job to help me spot things that were out of the ordinary. And that, well, that's what she did today. Suddenly, Bridgette straightened her gaze to the tree-line up ahead to our right.

"What do you see?" I asked, taking my eyes off the path.

Out of the corner of my left eye, I caught a glimpse of a small figure walk out to the center of the path and stop. I slammed on the brakes and the tires grinded against the gravel as the vehicle came to slow but complete stop. Before us was a screaming deer who was faced up against the grill of the Defender, but unharmed.

"Hello, Caleb!" Discord greeted, still in his deer form.

"What the heck are you doing?" I asked, stepping out the Defender.

"I had to make you stop somehow," Discord replied, returning to his draconequus form. "Just thought I'd do something a little more daring."

"Well, try creating a red stop sign next time. That would be a lot more suitable," I suggested, leaning against the Defender. "So, you working hard on finding Tirek?" I asked.

"Actually, I found him yesterday." Discord cheerfully revealed.

"Really?! You got him?" I asked.

"Well, yes, but technically no..." Discord replied, his tone getting guttural at the end.

"What do you mean? Where is he at?" I asked while looking around uneasily.

"Ask him yourself." Discord said, backing away for a short distance.

From behind the vehicle came a thumping sound that made the ground rumble. I then turned around to the sight of a towering, red centaur walking towards me. Instinctively, I went to get my Igneous in hopes to petrify Tirek, but Discord levitated the Defender out of my reach, causing Bridgette to leap out.

I was at a lost for words at that moment. There I stood with Discord preventing my actions that could possibly stop Tirek, Bridgette barking, and the threat to Equestria coming right towards me. I stared at Discord with disbelief and shock, and he stared right back.

"I had faith in you, Discord. You betrayed us all, you son of a bitch." I managed to spit out, but he didn't respond.

Before I knew it, Lord Tirek was standing right behind me. His shadow casted over Bridgette and I even though he was about fifteen feet tall at the moment. I turned to face him and stared up at him. His skin was red, his entire build was brawny, and sported metal shackels on both of his wrists. He had the face of a bull and had a white beard that resembled a goats. It took me a moment to realize that his bottom half was of a horse, but I was truly terrified to get a full look at him. He then grabbed me with an iron grip and lifted me up to his level.

"Hmm. A fine bounty of magic indeed. Quite more than the average Earth pony." Tirek said to Discord.

Tirek opened his mouth wide open and started to drain the magic from my body. My own mouth involuntarily opened and my eyes rolled back as I felt my magic physically leave through my throat. It was a discomforting period of time, but it came to a stop once all of my magic had been depleted, leaving me feel weak.

"ARRRGH!" Tirek yelled out in a state of pain.

Like a piece of trash, Tirek tossed me onto the hard gravel path and I grunted in pain upon impact. With my vision fading in and out as I felt Bridgette lick my cheek, I made sure to look over to Discord. All he did was advert his look.

Turning my blurry attention to Tirek again, he had turned around and shot a beam of powerful energy from between his two horns that decimated a portion of the path. The back of his left hind leg had four big lacerations that appeared to be claw marks, each bleeding out dark red blood. Whatever had attacked him from behind had to be nothing but dust now.

"Why did you not make the effort to stop what just attacked me?" Tirek questioned Discord.

"I didn't see anything, honest. If I were to of seen a presumed attacker, I would've turned them into nothing but a pair of harmless safety scissors." Discord explained.

"Is that so? Well, I might as well just consider a Wraith followed me out of Tartarus just to give me a little scratch." Tirek said, his wound healing at a rapid pace.

"You're guess is as good as mine." Discord said.

"Nevertheless, excellent find, Discord. Now, we must deal with the five embodiment's and Princess Twilight Sparkle. Once the alicorn magic is mine, victory shall be achieved." Tirek said.

"Of course, of course. Now that you mention it, they're in Ponyville as a matter of speaking! Excluding Twilight, unfortunately." Discord said.

"Princess Twilight will be dealt with soon enough. I will await your signal once the five have been detained." Tirek said, teleporting to an unknown location.

I weakly pushed myself up and rested on my elbows while Bridgette began lapping her tongue on my scrapes from the fall.

"I'm okay, I'm okay, I'm okay," I said, pushing Bridgette's mouth away and looking back at Discord. But by that time, Discord had already teleported to Ponyville. "Shit."

My body felt absolutely drained at that moment. I didn't even want to get up, I just wanted to lay there and do nothing. But above all of it, I knew that that the girls and Equestria were in deep trouble. Discord had also dropped the Defender back onto the ground before he departed and my new Igneous was still inside. I had no idea wether the Igneous would have any effect on Tirek on the level of power he has, but I was willing to try something.

My body slightly trembled as I pulled myself up, using the vehicle as support. My magic-given strength was completely gone and reverted back to the average human strength, but I still maintained my tall stature and stocky build. Once Bridgette and I had gotten into the vehicle, I began driving back towards Ponyville at a steady speed. I was far too drowsy to be going extraordinarily fast.

By the time I passed Sweet Apple Acres, the sky had quickly changed from a blue, sunny day to a sinister grayish-red. My energy levels and alertness had slightly improved since getting drained so I picked up the speed a bit more.

"We never should've trusted The Spirit of Chaos and stayed away," I reminisced to myself in frustration. Bridgette just stared at me as if she thought I was talking to her. "But not you. You's a good girl."

When I reached the town square of Ponyville, there was a giant steel barred cage that housed none other than Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash. Quickly, I pulled up aside it and hopped out to check on the girls.

"You guys okay?" I asked.

"We're okay! Discord locked us in here and Tirek stole all of our magic." Pinkie Pie replied.

"I figured. He betrayed me, too, and all my strength is gone. I honestly thought he would stop Tirek." I said.

"Yeah. Their partnership didn't seem to work out, huh, Discord?" Rainbow Dash hotly remarked to a now powerless Discord who limply lied beside the cage in shame.

A flare of rage surged through my head at the sight of him and the thought of what he had done. I wanted to take a hit at him, but I knew it wouldn't accomplish anything and wasn't necessary. And so, it left as soon as it came.

"Whatever. He knows what he's done. Now, Spike, where did Twilight go?" I said.

"I'm not sure. She was heading to The Castle of Two Sister's, but she could be anywhere by now." Spike nervously replied.

"Damn. Well, there's no doubt that Tirek is hunting her down at this moment. But.... I-- I'm going to find her. I can still help her." I said. Everypony in the cage stared at me in shock to my bold statement under the current circumstances.

"I don't know, Caleb. Tirek is way too powerful at this point. You can't fight him, no way!" Rainbow Dash said.

"I have to strongly agree. I don't mean to put things so bluntly, but he will kill you if he gets the chance, darling." Rarity said.

"Possibly. But... but I've got a trick up my sleeve. Try not to--"

Just then, a nearly deafening explosion boomed across the entirety of Ponyville, sending out a shockwave. The blast was visible over the houses, followed by billowing smoke and burning paper that fluttered back down to the ground.

"I gotta go. Bridgette, stay here. Stay." I said before speeding off towards the site of the explosion.

Anxiety built up as I assumed the worst case scenario. I knew for a fact that the explosion site was near The Golden Oak Library based on the location. Sure enough, my fear turned out to be true.

Exiting the Defender one more time with the Igneous now equipped, I hopelessly stared at the now destroyed Golden Oak Library that was blown in half. The entire left side of the library was no more and small portion of the right remained, but utterly burnt and charred. The smell of burning wood filled the air, paper continued to rain down fire and the books burned into nothing but a pile of embers; a scene of pure destruction. But however, the grieving had to wait.

Further away now, another gargantuan explosion erupted in the form of mushroom cloud. I dashed in between houses and alleyways until I reached the outskirts of Ponyville and into the vast meadow that lied southeast, the same meadow where I coincidently entered this world.

Dead center in the valley was a gaping column of the Earth that had been destroyed by whatever great power was exerted, leaving nothing but dirt. On the far end was Tirek, who was smuggly glaring at Twilight who stood on the side closest to me. Although Tirek was now up to the stature of a three-story building and had consumed more powerful, it had appeared Twilight held her ground.

"Now I understand what you're fellow princesses have done." Tirek slyly remarked.

Getting into a stance, the ground violently shook as Twilight shot off into sky like a bullet and quickly headed straight down towards Tirek in attack formation. The centaur charged all of his powerful magic and expelled it in a beam of energy at Twilight, but Twilight was fast to react and shielded herself was a protective orb whilst high off the ground. With Tirek, distracted, I started sprinting in order to better position myself and to get a good shot at Tirek, and that required to get closer to the battle between Centaur and Alicorn.

As soon as I started moving, Twilight teleported back to ground level, catching Tirek off guard, and fired another power laser right at his face. Tirek yelled out in a fit of anger and pain as he shoved the laser out of his face, revealing some burnt skin and his singed beard. Tirek followed up the attack by levitating Twilight up to his level and just threw her right into a summit of nearby mountain. He then got an immensely fast running start and leaped towards the mountain where Twilight impacted horizontally, yelling once again with his head pointed and rammed all the way through the mountain.

"Oh, no, no, no, no!" I said, moving towards the other side of the mountain.

With Twilight latching onto Tirek's head, she countered the headbutt by quickly pushing herself off to face him and knee'd him in the jaw at a sudden burst of high-speed, followed by a punch in the face that was so forceful that it sent Tirek backwards and caused him to land on his back. To finish, Twilight generated a giant ball of energy through her horn and sent it raining down on Tirek, encasing him under thick layer of the Earth's crust. But it wasn't enough. Tirek easily cut a circle around where he was trapped, lifted the chunk of Earth overhead with Twilight still on, and tossed it a good distance, crumbling to pieces upon impact as the ground shook. Twilight now flew directly at Tirek, which angered him more immensely than before. He slammed both of his clenched fists onto the ground and summoned pillars of rock to penetrate the crust in attempt to block her, but Twilight blasted each rock away with ease. With one last charge, Tirek and threw everything they had at each other in the form of thick, powerful beams of lethal magic that radiated off with pure energy. When both beams made contact, a chain reaction than occurred that caused both to form into one big ball that instantly expanded and blew up. The energy of the explosion sent me flying back despite being at least two-tenth of a mile away, but perhaps that was a bit too close.

After the flash of light had subsided, I picked myself back up and looked onwards at the destruction of the blast. The best way I can simply describe it is that it looked like a tiny nuclear bomb had gone off. The ground of the blast had flattened into a small crater, leaving the circumference as a steep hill. Fortunately, Twilight survived the blast.

"Jesus, these two are real terrors." I thought, standing near the crater's edge.

Unfortunately, Tirek survived as well and shoved a pile of boulders that crushed him off his back, standing tall once again. Twilight drifted down and into the crater where they both stood on opposite sides, glaring. This seemed to be my perfect opportunity, so I went prone and switched the firing mode to thick beam, max power. At first, Twilight was moderately bruised up on her legs and underbelly and her mane was unkempt while Tirek's body was more covered with cuts and bruises, but the wounds had healed in record time.

"It seems we are at an impasse. How about a trade?" Tirek suggested, teleporting the girls, Spike, and Discord over to the crater in hovering bubbles that imprisoned them. "Their release for all the Alicorn magic in Equestria."

Through the Igneous' scope, I could see that Twilight had a expression that showed turmoil. I had no idea she was carrying all Alicorn magic, I legit thought she was this powerful on her own.

"Take the shot...... No, wait, what are thinking? If Twilight isn't powerful enough to stop Tirek, what's a petrifying beam going to do? Sombra easily shook it off, so what's the point?"

But really, I didn't want to screw anything up by possibly getting myself killed by Tirek or something terrible happening to Twilight as a retaliation to my shot. Biting my lower lip, I set the Igneous on the warm dirt and rose to my knees, watching the scene unfold. I barely hear how Twilight replied due to her smaller size, but Tirek's actions said it all. Tirek then released all the five mares and Spike, but not Discord. There was a brief pause.

"After the way he has betrayed you, you still call him a friend?" Tirek questioned Twilight.

Twilight must've stayed true to her title because Tirek released Discord from his bubble, plopping to the ground. After the deed was done, Tirek turned to Twilight and immediately started draining all of the Alicorn magic out through Twilight's horn. Even from a far distance, I could hear Twilight's screams of pain as the process continued.

"Fuck! Ugh!" I reacted, swiping at the Igneous. It only took ten seconds for all of the Alicorn magic to fall into Tirek's possession, and the effect on him was terrifying.

"Ugh! UGGHH! AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGHHHH!!! YES! YES!" Tirek roared as his entire body grew from thirty or so feet to the size of a skyscraper. His body radiated with a yellow-orange glow and pure energy as he stormed off to cause more destruction to the land of Equestria.

I then slid down the slope and ran towards Twilight and the others. Twilight was very weak, but she managed to stand back up on her four hooves.

"Are you alright, Twilight?" I asked, Spike and I supporting her as she stood.

"I am. Thank you." Twilight wearily replied.

"Oh, Twilight. What were you thinking?" Spike asked.

"Tirek tricked me into believing he could offer me something more valuable than friendship, but there is nothing worth more. I see that now." Discord whole-heartedly admitted with his head sunk, full of regret and remorse. I could tell.

"But did you fully intend to take over Equestria alongside him?" Twilight asked.

"Partially, I have to admit, but it was a foolish mistake I never should have made," Discord replied, ashamed. "He also lied when he said this medallion was sign of gratitude and loyalty."

"Well, I have to appreciate your humbleness." Twilight said.

"I'm sorry. But when I say that is a sign of true friendship and loyalty, I am telling the truth to all of you." Discord said, removing the medallion from his scruff and placing it around Twilight's neck. As soon as the medallion was placed, a subtle rainbow flash emitted from it, lighting up Twilight's eyes.

"Hey, the medallion did the flash!" I exclaimed.

"You think it might be the last key we need?" Applejack asked Twilight.

"It is. We have to get to the chest." Twilight said.

"Here, follow me. We'll take the Land Rover to the castle." I said.

The drive took no more than eight or so minutes and we headed down the stairs to the bottom of a ravine and into a cave where the Tree of Harmony resided. From what I was told about two months ago, Twilight and the girls sacrificed their Elements and gave them to this majestic, crystalized tree that has been standing for thousands of years inactive up until two months ago. The six have each collected an item that represented their Element and transformed them into keys for this mysterious chest that bloomed right in front of the tree once it started becoming active again. Twilight was the only left without a key, but it seemed now was the moment that she did.

The girls around the mystifying chest, which already had the keys of Honesty, Kindness, Generosity, Laughter, and Loyalty already inserted. Bridgette, Discord, Spike and I stood back a short distance as we watched the gold medallion morph into the final key, automatically inserting itself into the keyhole.

"Together! We have to do this together." Twilight instructed.

The six then turned their individual key at the same time. Instantly, the chest glowed brightly and began to magically hum. A mini rainbow spurted out the chest and absorbed into the Tree of Harmony, activating the Elements of Harmony that resided on it. The Elements shined and flashed various colors before sending down columns of light or energy onto their designated mares. All this light being illuminated was too much and I had to shield my eyes, as well as Discord and Spike. Hell, even Bridgette was squinting her eyes. When I managed to lower the palm of my hand, I saw a giant ball of magic with six silhouette's of the girls inside.

As the ball hovered out of the ravine, the towering Tirek was standing right at the top and watched in astonishment as the ball rose above his stature. Enraged, he shot a gargantuan laser at the girls, but the ball was too powerful to be broken.

"How is this possible?" Tirek questioned in utter confusion. "You have no magic!"

"You're wrong, Tirek! I may have my given you my Alicorn magic, but I carry within me the most powerful magic of all!" Twilight ever so elegantly replied.

"Hit him with the magic of friendship!" Discord shouted.

One by one, six beams shot directly at Tirek before forming into a light-colored rainbow. He growled as he struggled to stand up and fight back, but the power of friendship was immeasurable to his destructive power. Defeated, he let out a scream as his power and stature diminished until there was silence. With one last thing to do, the ball rose high into the sky and expanded outwards like a sonic rainboom. Some of the energy created by this expansion seeped into the ravine and absorbed into Discord and I, returning our magic that Tirek stole.

"Oh. Oh! My magic is back!" I exclaimed, tossing a random boulder that had to weigh hundreds of pounds.

"As is mine, too! Look!" Discord exclaimed.

"Right... How about you use it for good from now on, okay?" I reminded.

"I will. You got my word on it." Discord said, handing me a piece of paper that simply spelled out, word.

"Good. And Discord, bud. You're an idiot sometimes. But let's be fair, you're the spirit of chaos." I said.

"Well, I guess that makes me a little excusable. But I know I can do better." Discord said.

"And I know you can, too. You'll be fine." I said, patting his eagle arm.

"Why thank you, Caleb Barlow. And I also apologize for turning you into Bigfoot that one time." Discord said.

Oh, don't worry about it. It wasn't that bad." I said.

During our conversation, the chest formed another rainbow, much like a normal rainbow, and sent the chest out of the ravine and to an ambiguous location.

"Where do you think that chest is going?" Spike asked.

"I have an idea on where." Princess Celestia said alongside Luna and Cadance.

Celestia than teleported all of us out of the ravine and back to Ponyville where the six mares stood in front of a castle. The said castle had a lot of similarities to the Tree of Harmony. In fact, it did look like the crystalized tree, but more in the form of castle. It stood at least six stories high, had golden stair that led up to the golden front doors, windows, a front balcony, a unique architectural design, a flag with Twilight's cutie mark design, and a star that beamed with light to complete it all. It was quite a magnificent, exquisite castle. But the question was who it belonged to.

"Sweet Celestia! Are you seeing what I'm seeing?" Rarity asked in awe.

"But... whose is it?" Twilight wondered.

"I believe it is your's, Princess Twilight." Celestia answered.

"My castle?" Twilight asked once again.

"It is. When you unlocked the chest, not only did you utilize the powers all six of you possess, but also a new home for it as well." Celestia said. "Shall we head inside?"

Celestia used her magic to slowly open the front door, revealing the beuaty of the interior. There was all of this crazy, fancy decor, a burgundy carpet that stretched all across the castle as a walkway, a true example of class and royalty. There was just so much detail with the interior that I can't list it all. I mean, it's, like, got crystal walls and regular walls that are a purplish-blue, working lights, candles, and even little benches you can sit on.

"You've been wondering what you are meant to do as a princess. Do you know now?" Celestia asked as we all walked the main entrance and to another door on the other side.

"As princess, I believe I have the power to spread the magic of friendship across Equestria. That is the role I am meant to have in our world! The role I choose to have! But I didn't defeat Tirek on my own – it took all of us to unlock the chest!" Twilight replied, the girls then getting into a group hug.

"Then it is unlikely you are meant to take on this task alone." Celestia said, now opening the doors to the next room.

The girls then gasped in awe at the sight. Well, I kinda did as well. This next room housed six throne-like seats, each one having a cutie mark representing who out of the six sits where. Spike's was a smaller one adjacent to Twilights, which I thought was funny. No seat for me, though, but oh well.

"You are now Twilight Sparkle, the princess of friendship. But what is the princess of friendship without her friends?" Celestia said, prompting the girls and Spike to huddle up again. All seven then turned their attention towards Discord and I. Discord shyly hid himself behind a wall while I stood by the door.

"Oh, no, please. I'm just the human tourist." I humbly said.

"Come here, you two. You both did your part in helping." Twilight said, levitating Discord and I to the group. Bridgette trotted over to us and plopped onto the floor, sighing.

Now all together, we shared a hug of embrace and victory in saving Equestria, but Discord had one more thing to say.

"Wait a minute, where's my throne?" Discord asked in a whining manner.

"I don't think you're there quite yet." Fluttershy said.

"Oh, well, I suppose not." Discord chuckled.

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