• Published 1st Dec 2019
  • 1,089 Views, 34 Comments

Nightmare on Two Feet - FanOfMostEverything



The good news is that it's much easier for Rainbow Dash to get a grip on a Nightmare Night gone mad. The bad news is that it's because she has thumbs.

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Going Ape

Ever since Twilight had published the Friendship Journal for the world to see and willingly misinterpret, questions about her and her friends stuck in the public consciousness like oat flakes caught in a pony's teeth. One of the more prominent ones was "Wait, so what does Fluttershy actually do for a living?"

However, unlike questions like "Hang on, what exactly happened to Applejack's parents anyway?" or the always popular "So who's dating whom?", the matter of Fluttershy's finances was a very regional query, localized in Equestria's urban areas. The smaller towns and villages understood precisely what Fluttershy did, and if it was an unusual job for a pegasus, well, the Journal had made it abundantly clear that she was an unusual pegasus.

Fluttershy, like a fair number of ponies in the more pastoral parts of the nation, was an ecosystem manager, and a darn good one at that. She polished the links of the food chain, greased the wheels of countless reproductive cycles, and generally acted as part of the reason why Everfree animals looking after themselves were so disturbing to the pony mindset. And, like the Weather Patrol, she was a government employee, which meant that Mayor Mare was technically her boss. Neither made much mention of this relationship, especially not after Fluttershy became one of the chief advisors to Equestria's reigning monarch.

So when Fluttershy found a discreet envelope one morning that told her to come to Town Hall at her earliest convenience, it was more than a little unusual.


Rainbow Dash groaned as she awoke. This was the worst hangover she'd ever—

Wait, she'd never been drunk. Had she?

Her vision focused properly, allowing her to get a proper look at the forelimb cradling her aching head. And the five sublimbs coming out of it.

Which were the perfectly normal fingers she'd definitely had her whole life.

Her headache worsened as she tried to make sense of that. Then she realized she was sitting on the ground between two thatched-roof cottages decorated with strings of bats and grinning pumpkins.

Which was a completely strange and—

Okay, no. She knew precisely where she was in Ponyville. She struggled to her feet, then realized only two of them actually were feet. Naturally, her unrivaled athleticism let her get fully upright almost instantly.

The next try saw her stay upright almost instantly. At that point, she took stock of herself: Jacket, shirt with her cutie mark, necklace, sweatbands, pants with awesome rainbow lightning going down the sides, no wings whatsoever...

After the flashbacks to the hedge maze, she nodded as it all started to come together. It all matched the photos Twilight had shown her.

But wait. Was she the pony in the human's body, or the human with the pony's mind?

A scream in the distance decided the matter for her. It didn't matter what she was; she was Rainbow Dash and someone needed help.

And she'd provide as soon as she figured out how galloping with just two legs worked.

"Rainbow Dash!"

She looked up. "Twilight!" She stopped looking up, though not by choice. "Darn it, how am I supposed to move? I don't even have a tail!"

"Here." Twilight landed and gave her a helping hoof. Dash decided to sit for the time being. "Do you know what's going on?"

Dash wracked her brain "I can tell it's Nightmare Night, but everything leading up to it is..." She shook her head. "Yeah, drawing a blank." After a moment, she frowned. "Wait, weren't you going to be in Canterlot tonight? You said something about livening things up in your old neighborhood."

Twilight gently tugged her to her feet with magic. "I don't know if you've noticed, but the situation here's a bit more important than nostalgia." She guided Dash's hand to her back and walked her out of the alley.

Outside of it lay utter pandemonium. Zombies shambled, blackened changelings buzzed through the sky, horned demons cackled as flames burned in their hoofsteps. "I see what you mean," said Dash. She smacked a fist into an open palm and found it so satisfactory, she did it again. "So, how do we stop it?"

Twilight grinned up at her. "We need to find the others. Together, we can—"

"Hey!"

Both looked up to see an identical Twilight scowling down at them. Dash looked back and forth between the two. "Uh..."

"What do you think you're doing, impostor?"

"'Impostor'?" The first Twilight flew up to meet her counterpart, leaving Dash to windmill her arms for balance. "You're one to talk!"

"Impersonating royalty is a serious crime!"

"It certainly is! Let's talk about your sentence."

"Yes," said a third Twilight as she swooped in to the conversation. "Let's."

Dash stumbled away as best she could, even as two more Twilights flew into the growing argument. That was a bust. She'd have to figure stuff out on her own. Like wherever that scream had come from. She moved in the direction she thought closest, gaining more confidence on her feet as she went. There was definitely a knack to it, and she was picking it up. By the time she made it to another alley, she'd gotten up to a jog and was feeling good about going full tilt.

Then the timberwolf pounced on her, and she wasn't feeling good about much of anything. She had one hand free to hold the jagged lump of sticks back by the throat, so she just gagged on its breath rather than taking a bunch of splintery fangs to the face, but she had no idea how to actually fight in a body where most of the joints bent the wrong way.

She managed to kick the timberwolf away with a leg, then tried to blow it back. That just gave it time to lunge again, and remind Dash that humans weren't just missing wings. They didn't have magic either.

For all her clothing, she felt awfully naked.

The timberwolf going for her face broke her out of the stupor. Dash gritted her teeth and held it back as best she could. The green glows in front of her narrowed. Another puff of rotten green mist washed over her. Her arms trembled with effort.

And then a smoke bomb burst, and an almost blinding flash of light caught the timberwolf in its side.

Rainbow Dash just stayed where she lay for a moment, trying to gather her thoughts. And also her breath. Timberwolf funk and smoke bombs were not a pleasant mix. Judging by the wooden thwacks and whimpers, there wasn't any rush.

Soon enough, the smoke cleared and a pony helped her up to a sitting position for the second time that night. The pony in question was a unicorn in a three-piece suit and sunglasses, despite there being little more than starlight above the partial cloud cover.

By the unicorn's side was... Well, it was certainly quadrupedal. Dash could almost tell herself it was somepony in a suit of armor if it weren't for the limbs made of bare mechanisms and the barrel that was just an exposed, metallic spine. And the smoking tube telescoping into its withers; that was a tipoff. Glowing lights focused on her where there should've been eyes, disturbingly close to the timberwolf's, especially since the color was only a bit more blue.

Another coughing fit brought Dash out of her fugue. Once she could breathe again, she said, "So, uh... thanks?"

The unicorn nodded. "All in a night's work, Miss Dash."

"Statement: Master desires the meatbags' safety." The words definitely came out of the armor, but it didn't really sound like it had said them. More like there was a speaker in there somewhere. "I remain neutral on the subject."

"Uh huh..." Long experience with the stranger parts of Equestria told Dash she didn't want to dig into the "meatbag" thing. "Who are you guys?"

The unicorn hesitated for a moment before shaking her head. "Desperate times." She offered her hoof. "Agent Heartstrings, Secret Monster Intelligence League of Equestria."

Dash shook it. "Right, Twilight's told me a little about SMILE. She didn't mention they had robots."

"Objection: I am not a robot. I am 8N-X2, an execution poid."

"Uh..." Dash decided to start with the less concerning part of that. "Poid?"

"Short for 'hippoid,' meaning 'pony-shaped,'" said Agent Heartstrings. "Basically, she's a robot."

8N turned its—her?—gaze to the agent with a faint, motorized whine. "Objection: That is a gross oversimplification, master."

"Right, sure," said Dash. "And 'execution?'"

"Explanation: An execution poid is a poid that executes a wide variety of tasks."

"Okay, that's a relief."

"Mandatory addendum: Some tasks are living prior to execution."

"That's less of a relief." Dash shook her head and got to her feet. "Don't suppose you two know what's going on?"

8N nodded and, with two words, brought Rainbow Dash to new heights of horror. "Explanation:..."


After feeding, grooming, changing bandages, the first stages of migration prep, and commiserating with her sewing circle about how hard it was to find a male worth eating, Fluttershy made it into town around lunchtime.

"You know," Mayor Mare said once Fluttershy made it into her office, "'at your earliest convenience' is more a polite term for 'as soon as possible.'"

"I'm sorry. I didn't think you'd want any of my friends to interrupt the meeting."

After a moment of thought, the mayor nodded. "Understandable."

"Is this about the budget request for next year?"

"No, and I'm afraid I haven't heard back on making Sweetfeather Sanctuary a national park, either." Mayor Mare fussed with a few forms for a moment. "I was... actually hoping you could get me in touch with Discord."

Fluttershy bit back her first response. "You were?"

"Yes. You seemed like the most reliable means of contacting him." The mayor's expression grew almost as nervous as when she and the zoning board had gone to talk to Twilight about her castle. "Is that a problem?"

"Oh, no. It's just..." Fluttershy tapped her hooves on the desk and she looked for a polite way to express herself. "You, uh, may not want to speak with him in your office."

"Why not?"

"Because," came a snide reply from outside the office window, "asking to discuss matters with me in Ponyville's core of bureaucratic order is a bit like me inviting you to do so a septic tank. It's disgusting and one of us will probably catch something." A snap of talons and both mares found themselves atop Town Hall's roof. "I think this is an acceptable compromise, don't you?" said Discord.

Mayor Mare yelped and started sliding. Fluttershy scooped her up and managed to get the both of them to the guardrailed balcony just below the actual top of the building. She shot Discord a flat look.

He dodged to her other side, though the slipstream did make his goatee shake. "Relax, I'll plop her back in her comfy nest of red tape when this is over and done with." He turned his attention to the mayor. "Now, Mayor Marion Marigold Mare, to what do I owe this summons?"

Once she'd adjusted her glasses and cravat, she said, calm as could be, "I assure you, you aren't being conjured or served. I wanted to ask if you'd be willing to help with Nightmare Night this year."


"Discord?" cried Rainbow Dash. "Helping with Nightmare Night? I know he's gotten a little better over the years, but what was the mayor thinking?"

Agent Heartstrings shrugged. "Don't ask me. I don't remember any more than you do, and 8N isn't much better."

"Clarification: My memory core is much more robust than a meatbag's lump of conductive fat. I recall the time prior to Discord's antics with vastly greater clarity."

The agent shook her head as she moved to the mouth of the alley. "Unfortunately, that doesn't tell us where he is or how to fix this."

"I know how," said Dash. "First, we get to Fluttershy. He'll undo everything if she tells him to knock it off."

"Well, she spends every Nightmare Night in her house. She'll be easy to find."

"Correction:" said 8N. "Discord's participation was enough to coax her out into the open."

Agent Heartstrings facehooved. "Of course," she groaned. "It's never easy."

"Affirmation: Indeed not."

"And she could be anything," added Dash.

"Correction: My records show her dressed as a vampire bat pony."

"Even better." Dash looked up longingly. "We need to search the skies when none of us have actual wings. This'll be fun. We'll have to find some pegasi who didn't get turned into humans." A sound somewhere between a scream, a snarl, and a bleat sounded from outside of the alley, making her frown in thought. "And how come you two aren't going nuts, anyway?"

"I'm just in a suit," said the agent. "Not much to change."

"Explanation: I am programmed to be totally obedient to my owner, who is registered in my systems as Agent Heartstrings." 8N's faceplate couldn't move, yet she still managed to look at Heartstrings judgmentally. "She has only authorized the use of nonlethal force, to my inexpressible disappointment."

"And I'm technically dressed as me." After a moment, Dash said, “Uh, this is called a—”

The agent held up a hoof. “We know what humans are, Miss Dash. It’s not exactly princess-level classified information.”

“Okay, cool.” Dash paced. At least there was more room to do that when standing like a minotaur. "We gotta find a pegasus who didn't have much of a costume." She gasped. "Derpy! What was she dressed as?"

Almost as soon as she finished the question, 8N said, "Analysis: Records show her costume as similar to mine, though inspired by a different work of fiction."

"And probably with a lot more cardboard boxes. Well, maybe she can still fly. Which series?"

A rising hum filled the air, shaking thatch off of roofs and sending clouds of birds flying off of every perch in Ponyville. A starless chunk of sky, one Dash had thought had just been overcast, began glowing with far more worrisome lights against a silver chassis. One golden spotlight shone down on the town, while its opposite number lit up the night sky like the festivities at an Applewood premiere.

"Oh, just Gunmother," Agent Heartstrings said lightly, one eye twitching. "You know, the Neighponese comic with the giant robotic battlesuits?"

"Observation: Somepony has found the giant robotic battlesuit's cockpit. My envy is immeasurable."

"Let's run before they find the missile controls!" Heartstrings said before racing out of the alley.

"Missile controls!?" Dash bolted. At first, she outpaced her companions. Then they got their legs sorted out and ran further ahead, making her push herself further.

Then they all trampled a pack of hengstwolves before the skinchangers even knew what was happening, Dash vaulting off of hers to extend her lead. And even still, it felt like the enormous mecha-Derp had gotten no closer.

The town square, on the other hand, had. And as it approached, Dash could appreciate the sheer madness there: yak berserkers trying to smash ninjas, landsharks gnawing on golems, niriks and djinni creating flaming tornadoes from their magical crossfire. Every conceivable entity from history and fantasy fought for supremacy.

None of them paid Dash any mind, but they also didn't make any room for her. She paced along the edges of the brawl, trying to find a way through, or at least around. "Come on, come on, don't tell me I've gotta double back." She looked to the others.

8N's gaze panned across the crowd. Her eyes glinted with something sinister as the tube in her withers extended into a thin cannon that did not at all look like it would fire party supplies. "Request: Please, master, just a few executions. You won't even notice they're gone."

"No... means... no... 8N," panted Agent Heartstrings.

"Condescension: Very well, master. I'll just wait while your meatbag sponge pockets get you more of that oxygen you seem to like so much."

Dash gritted her teeth and looked back at the giant robot. None of the creatures in town square even seemed to notice it. Who was in there? Who knew when they'd figure out how to use the weapons? Who knew who would get hurt?

She knew the answer to that last one: Everyone. All of Ponyville, and maybe more besides.

She couldn't let that happen. She wouldn't.

Her necklace glowed a brilliant blue. A wonderfully familiar warmth rushed through her veins, every fine hair on her transformed body stood up on end, and time slowed to a crawl.

Dash didn't run at first. The initial rush of Loyalty's power left her in a euphoric, half-conscious state like a flier's high. She waded her way through the molasses-slow melee without really taking it in, like it was a dream. Duck under the angry dragon here. Shimmy between the two feuding Chrysalises here. Avoid stepping on any of the checklists in the ten-pony strong committee of Twilights; they won't like that.

Once she was through, another look at the mecha on the horizon restored Dash's sense of urgency. Time picked up a bit as she lost the comforting serenity that came from sinking into Harmony, but she still felt a tingle she'd been missing all night.

Most humans didn't have magic, but she hadn't dressed up as just any human.

She raced for the Derp Gunmother with all the speed she'd come to expect from herself, easily sidestepping any stray monsters on the way. As she got closer and her target loomed higher and higher, she began to appreciate just what she was dealing with, but she wasn't worried. After all, she'd seen what Pinkie Pie had done with this kind of power in the magic comic book.

Dash didn't even slow down as she approached the mecha's hind legs. She certainly didn't slow down when she started to run up them. The jump across the hock joint was a bit sketchy, gravity trying to make itself known as she got up to speed on the gaskin plating, but she had plenty of experience with telling the force where it could shove it.

Soon enough, she was on the behemoth's back, and from there it was a straight shot to the head. The actual cockpit was an open latch at the base of the neck, and within, amid all kinds of buttons and levers and screens, was a very confused looking batpony.

Also a very familiar one. Dash's shock broke her magical focus as she blurted out, "Fluttershy!?"

Flutterbat's ears twitched, each movement still visible, though speeding up. She looked up, and Dash was able to make out a "Rainbow?" before the speech sped up to an ear-piercing shriek.

Dash opened her mouth, but her body chose then to ask for the check her magic had been writing. She went to her knees, panting for breath as her pulse pounded in her ears. The hard metal did not make that a pleasant experience. "Jus... Just a..." She gave up on trying to get out the thought and focused on her breathing.

Once she'd recovered enough to pull her face away from the plating, she saw Fluttershy looking at her with clear concern. "Hey-heya, Shy. Guess this is just like one of your Neighponese manga, huh?"

Fluttershy's lips quirked at that, and she gave a giggle so high-pitched, it was like a moth screaming in the next room. Then she scowled.

"Lemme guess. Can't speak?"

Her answer was another wince-inducing squeak.

"I got an idea. Be ready to talk fast." Dash grabbed her necklace, shut her eyes, and focused as best she could. "Okay. Try now."

"Whyyyy arrre yoouu speeaakiiing sooo faaast?" There. Right pitch, even if the words were stretched out a dozen times as long as they should have been.

"Sorry. Speed magic." Dash frowned. This would be tricky, especially since she needed answers. "Why'd. The. Mayor. Ask. Discord. To help?"

"Weeell..."


"Moi?" Discord brought his lion paw to his chest even as he smiled. "Help with Nightmare Night? Really?"

"Princess... Emerita Luna will not be favoring us with her presence this year. She wants to thank Silver Shoals for hosting her and her sister through her favorite holiday. Despite Ponyville extending invitations to both." Mayor Mare took a deep breath and let her smile grow less wooden. "After the last several years, she's become something of an attraction in Ponyville, and I didn't want to let down the foals without some sort of special guest."

"So you call on me to help with a night of mischief, mummery, and manic herds of sugar-crazed children." Discord grinned and pinched the mayor's cheek. "You know, for a governmental drone who dyes her mane the most boring color imaginable, you're almost likeable."

"That's the closest you'll get to a compliment while you're in office," said Fluttershy.

Mayor Mare shrugged. "I've heard far worse on the campaign trail, to say nothing of budget meetings. So, I was thinking—"

"A dangerous habit," said Discord, shaking a brain-shaped bottle full of amber liquid. "I rarely indulge myself, though I suppose I'll need to with Nightmare Night scant weeks away. Rest assured, I won't step on the hooves of your board of planning committee regulators, or however it is you dissect fun." He held up a talon as the mayor opened her mouth. "But you don't get to dictate the terms when you ask me to help. You'll enjoy it, that I assure you, but it's going to be a surprise." And with that, he vanished.

Mayor Mare stared at where he'd been for a few moments. "I just made a horrible mistake, didn't I?"

"It can be hard to tell sometimes," said Fluttershy. "I'll see if he's willing to give me any hints."

"Thank you." After a moment, the mayor added, "Could you also give me a lift back to the ground floor?"

Fluttershy sighed and started stretching her wings. "Sure thing."


"No hints?" Dash had managed to get something resembling a normal conversation going through trial and error as Fluttershy had explained the situation.

Shy gave a single slow shake of her head. "He wanted to surprise me most of all. He insisted I wear a costume, even if I stayed in, so I dug out the one from when Angel helped me scare all of you."

"So why'd you turn on the giant Derpy robot?"

"To get some creature's attention. I'd hoped it would be you or one of the other girls, though Discord would work just as well."

"And get it you did!" cried a voice from nowhere.

The shock broke Dash's concentration again, just in time for her to see Discord manifest. Fluttershy scowled and shrieked at him, which made him frown in turn. "Now that's hardly fair."

"Skreeee!"

"Oh." Discord looked down at Derpy, as though just noticing her. "Yes, that is a bit of an issue." He looked back at Fluttershy and smirked. "Though as I recall, I'm not the one who gave her those first few issues of Gunmother."

"Eeee," came the rejoinder.

"Oh, come now. I've been busy making sure no one actually gets hurt, just like when I first broke out."

Both mares gave him a flat look.

"Dude, mental scars are a thing. I still don't like to think about the castle hedge maze."

Fluttershy nodded. "Eeee."

"Which is why I was careful when I overwrote their minds! This is just going to seem like an enjoyably bizarre dream to most of them. Only the ones who essentially dressed as themselves should recognize what's going on right now." Discord eyed Dash's necklace. "Though I have to say, I'm actually rather impressed by your costume, Rainbow Dash. Deriving Harmony from Discord is no mean feat, even if it was by complete accident."

"Yeah, yeah, I'm awesome. Now fix this!"

Discord flinched back. "What? But we've hardly even begun! Turning ponies into their Nightmare Night costumes is a classic! Practically baked into the foundations of chaos magic, back in the days of the Hellmouth." He shook a pair of pom-poms full of wooden spikes for emphasis.

Fluttershy crossed her forelegs. "Skreeee."

"Oh, relax. No one's going to get hurt as long as I'm paying attention!" A bright flash made all three turn to see a cottage go up in flames.

"And how much attention are you paying right now?" said Dash.

"That hardly counts. You two are distracting me."

"Eeee."

Discord sighed until he deflated like a leaky balloon. "All right, all right," said his empty skin, "but only because I won't deny foals their chance to extort candy from those who they have to obey the rest of the year."

He snapped his talons, and light filled Dash's vision. By the time she blinked the spots out of her eyes, she found herself in front of Town Hall, standing on all four hooves in the same outfit as before, only tailored for an equine body. Fluttershy sported the wing sleeves, fake fangs, and other parts of her costume from a few years ago, except for the dress. Derpy was just wearing a pony-sized cardboard box with "Gunmother" written on the side in marker.

Even as Dash took stock of herself—twitching her ears, ruffling her wings, lashing her tail—Mayor Mare came galloping towards them out of what had been a massive fight and was now a bunch of very confused ponies trying to figure out what was going on. "Discord!" the mayor bellowed.

Discord leaned down and stage-whispered, "The mime outfit really ruins those outraged shouts, don't you think?"

The mayor angrily adjusted her beret and said, "I hope you're pleased with yourself, because I am never allowing you to help with an event in this town again!"

He smirked. "I really don't know what you expected. You literally asked for this."

"I was expecting some harmless fun, not utter pandemonium and destruction!"

"So you're saying you weren't expecting chaos." Discord waited a beat. "From me." Another. "When you asked me to help with a holiday about scaring ponies for fun."

Mayor Mare still glared at him. "Certainly not to this degree."

"Oh, please, there were zero injuries and one wrecked building. You face worse than this every other Tuesday. And I'm already helping with the latter." Discord pointed to the cottage that had caught on fire. A greenish cloud had formed above it, raining down... something.

"Should it be hissing like that?" said Dash. She could hear it even from this far away, like a passive-aggressive snake, and she was pretty sure bits were bubbling.

"Of course. The green ones rain seltzer. Unflavored seltzer in this case." Discord turned up his muzzle. "Not that you fillystines appreciate the sacrifices I make to render my art palatable to the orderly masses."

"Discord," said Fluttershy, "be nice."

"I'm being nice! Especially given how Homophone Helga here is by far the most incensed participant in the whole exercise."

Mayor Mare scoffed. "I find that hard to believe."

"Fine, then I'll take a straw poll." Discord dug into his goatee and produced such a tremendously convoluted silly straw, it was more like a tuba made of thin plastic. He put his lips to it and Mayor Mare's voice boomed out at Traditional Royal Canterlot Volume. "Attention, Ponyville! Who's enjoyed the Nightmate Night festivities so far?"

Raucous cheers echoed from every part of the town, including a good dozen foals (and one stallion) who'd all dressed as Twilight.

"Who didn't?"

Crickets chirped.

Discord rolled his eyes as he tossed the straw into nowhere. "Ugh, there's no pleasing them. Act all high and mighty, like they're everyone's conscience."

"Hey, somepony's coming!" All four did a double take and looked up. None of them had realized Derpy was still there. Dash certainly hadn't known that she could fly in her costume. She squinted. "And some... uh, one. I didn't know any Abyssinians moved in."

"None have." Mayor Mare adjusted her glasses as she looked at the approaching pair. "None that I'm aware of, anyway."

The pony and other creature approached. "Hi, guys. Your mayorness. Xanthorple Discord," said Lyra.

He raised an eyebrow. "'Xanthorple'?"

"I figured the best title for you was one I made up on the spot."

The other eyebrow joined it. "I like this one," Discord said to Fluttershy.

Mayor Mare cleared her throat. "I believe we're avoiding the elephant in the room."

"Or the human in the square," said Lyra. "Not how I thought I'd get more information on that article in the Canterlot Journal of Xenocultural Studies."

Dash spread her wings and got up to Discord's eye level, the better to glare at him. "I thought you turned everycreature back."

"I did! I turned everything in the area into their true form." Discord stroked his goatee as he thought. "Well, other than Pinkie Pie and myself; I've been told I should avoid collateral sanity damage."

"Then what happened to me?" Bonbon growled out, her hairless body almost bursting out of the plastic poid chassis she'd been wearing.

"We can figure that out later. Happy Nightmare Night, everypony!" And Discord vanished before anypony else could get a word in edgewise.

Author's Note:

The idea of Bonbon as HK-47 amused me too much to not use.

And given how prominently paper products factor into Best Pony's costumes, how could I not make her Box Gundam?

See Exotic Goods for more on that CJXS article (and, funnily enough, more robots.)

Yes, I published a Halloween story the day after a Christmas story. The idea came to me on November 1st and the rules of the contest required me to keep it unpublished until after they finished judging. Hope you liked it.

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Comments ( 34 )

This was fun. Although, MythrilMoth did this premise already:

TDiscord's Discount Disguises
Discord opens a costume shop in Ponyville for Nightmare Night. But is he on the up and up?
MythrilMoth · 25k words  ·  670  25 · 6.1k views

I'm not sure if he would be upset or flattered, didn't know him very well. Still, it was written during the time of year when dead things return, so I think it's a fitting, if unintended, tribute.

"Gunmother."

Solid.

I remeber this one! I disliked most of them but I think I have this one 2cd? Is there a folder with the other ones?
9968855
Well they both stole it from Buffy, so...

This was such a fun story! Lots of great worldbuilding, and a hoot to read!

Plus, I've been nursing a headcanon that Fluttershy is a forest ranger for some time--though, in my HC, Fluttershy uses her position as an excuse to cuddle ALL THE ANIMALS, and ignores all her other responsibilities because they involve going out into the scary woods all by herself...

In any case, it was a lot of fun to see that premise developed!

Awesome story! Thanks for writing it!

"I did! I turned everything in the area into their true form." Discord stroked his goatee as he thought. "Well, other than Pinkie Pie and myself; I've been told I should avoid collateral sanity damage."

Say what again?

"Then what happened to me?" Bonbon growled out, her hairless body almost bursting out of the plastic poid chassis she'd been wearing.

And I now want to see a follow up to this explaining this, it's gotten me curious.

Really enjoyed this, and would love to see these couple of dangling plot threads followed up on at some point, there's at least another two stories worth of potential in just those two sentences

Tremendous fun! I very much enjoyed reading this.

"Princess... Emerita Luna

Hahaha! My turn of phrase has now entered fanon officially!

…I mean, Discord has a point. They asked him to help, so they don't really have anyone to blame other than themselves.

commiserating with her sewing circle about how hard it was to find a male worth eating

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say her sewing circle is composed of spiders.

"Explanation: I am programmed to be totally obedient to my owner, who is registered in my systems as Agent Heartstrings." 8N's faceplate couldn't move, yet she still managed to look at Heartstrings judgmentally. "She has only authorized the use of nonlethal force, to my inexpressible disappointment."

So, I'm taking it that the second law of robotics never made it into Equestria?

9968855
As Kai noted, that may have been a case of us both drawing from the same well. I suppose I might have been subconsciously drawing on Moth's story, but my primary inspiration was the relevant episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Hence the mention of the Hellmouth.
Knowing Moth, he'd probably have gotten a kick out of this, especially the references involved.

9968871
Sometimes the trick to a horse pun is realizing the horse pun was there the whole time.

9968877
There's a link to the collected entries in the results thread.

9968907
Ah, but what's scarier? The forest full of huggable critters or the town full of judgemental ponies?

9969037
It's an entirely logical turn of phrase. We certainly can't call them "emeritus" unless there's been something very strange going on for the last millennium.

9969190
Rest assured, most of Ponyville's on Discord's side for this one. Even Fluttershy was more worried about it spiraling out of control than anything else. Goodness knows Discord has a tendency to let that happen.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say her sewing circle is composed of spiders.

Of course. Where did you think Rarity got those trained star spiders for Twilight's accession ceremony?

So, I'm taking it that the second law of robotics never made it into Equestria?

Certainly not into the Chargers of the Old Republic book series.

"I did! I turned everything in the area into their true form." Discord stroked his goatee as he thought. "Well, other than Pinkie Pie and myself; I've been told I should avoid collateral sanity damage."

...I have many questions, but I like where this is going.

"Then what happened to me?" Bonbon growled out, her hairless body almost bursting out of the plastic poid chassis she'd been wearing.

Return to your true forms being a bit spiritual...I think someponies in the area may have just won the lottery. Though fewer than you'd think, it IS Equestria and magical medicine is a thing.

"Explanation: I am programmed to be totally obedient to my owner, who is registered in my systems as Agent Heartstrings."

Kinky. This is the moment I knew who that was, as if there was any doubt.

"Deriving Harmony from Discord is no mean feat, even if it was by complete accident."

Isn't that the best way to derive things from Chaos?

"Of course. The green ones rain seltzer. Unflavored seltzer in this case." Discord turned up his muzzle. "Not that you fillystines appreciate the sacrifices I make to render my art palatable to the orderly masses."

Much appreciated.

"Fine, then I'll take a straw poll." Discord dug into his goatee and produced such a tremendously convoluted silly straw, it was more like a tuba made of thin plastic. He put his lips to it and Mayor Mare's voice boomed out at Traditional Royal Canterlot Volume. "Attention, Ponyville! Who's enjoyed the Nightmate Night festivities so far?"
Raucous cheers echoed from every part of the town, including a good dozen foals (and one stallion) who'd all dressed as Twilight.
"Who didn't?"
Crickets chirped.

Wow... Discord was an actual unqualified success with his magical shenanigans? I think this is an historic occasion!

"Because," came a snide reply from outside the office window, "asking to discuss matters with me in Ponyville's core of bureaucratic order is a bit like me inviting you to do so a septic tank. It's disgusting and one of us will probably catch something."

Fair.

Dash didn't run at first. The initial rush of Loyalty's power left her in a euphoric, half-conscious state like a flier's high. She waded her way through the molasses-slow melee without really taking it in, like it was a dream. Duck under the angry dragon here. Shimmy between the two feuding Chrysalises here. Avoid stepping on any of the checklists in the ten-pony strong committee of Twilights; they won't like that.

Though really, it would be better set to Swan Lake.

"You know," Mayor Mare said once Fluttershy made it into her office, "'at your earliest convenience' is more a polite term for 'as soon as possible.'"

I believe Princess, Second Grade, outranks Mayor. Point goes to Shy.

Even considering her costume, I was thinking that both Lyra and Bon Bon would normally be uncomfortable with the "Master" business. But then I went back and read...

"Explanation: I am programmed to be totally obedient to my owner, who is registered in my systems as Agent Heartstrings."

...which is accurate and sweet.

Your stories are always dense with astute observations. I would be bitter, were I not so busy being entertained.

I’m with Discord on this one. I’m honestly not sure what the Mayor was expecting when she asked the literal embodiment of Chaos to spice up a holiday based around costumes and being scared.

I do, however, know what I got. Namely, a very enjoyable story. All according to cake.

I liked it. :D

Delightful. So BonBon gets to be the long-lost human for a change rather than Lyra?

I feel a bit sorry for Derpy: judging from the Tantabus episode, she'd enjoy walking around town as a giant something-or-other: and she turns into a giant robot which can do absolutely nothing until it gets a pilot.

So, if you weren't wearing a costume at all, you'd just become...,more yourself? In some cases (like Pinkie) that could have frightening results.

9969190 Oh, I'm sure they have, it's just that HK-47 (or 8N-X2 in this case) made sure nopony survived trying to install them into his/her core. (Well, there was that one time with the Exile, but HK-47 refuses to talk about it :pinkiecrazy:)

Now this was a hoot, I'm impressed by Discord's ability to multitask the job of keeping that mess on a (mostly) nondestructive level.

And I'd be fascinated to see a follow-up on the Lyra-Bonbon matter.

It wasn't until the author's note that I finally figured out how you got Gunmother from Gundam. Well fucking done, sir.

9969387
This was the scene I had in mind:

Fair point on accidents being the best way to work with chaos. As for the unqualified success, one house did catch on fire, and the damage probably would've spread further had Discord been allowed to have the whole night to himself. If nothing else, the fright-or-biters probably wouldn't have had any time to collect candy. As always, Fluttershy acted as a much needed safety valve for Discord's antics.

9969397
Fluttershy wears many hats, and Mayor Mare is always careful to address the lowest ranked one. Even if she needed the services of the First Disciple of Chaos. Plus, a good chunk of authority is acting like you have it even when you technically don't.

9969409
"I'm having too much fun to resent you" is one of the stranger compliments I've received, but I'll take it. :derpytongue2:

9969655
Translator's note: "Cake" means flan.

9969793
Given how this is Ponyville, where participation in most festivities is so expected as to be borderline mandatory, I actually hadn't thought about how the spell would affect ponies who weren't wearing costumes. I'm going to say Discord say them as unspoken requests for him to be creative.

9968908 9969983
I don't have anything specific planned for this Lyra and Bonbon, but seeing how the latter's plight has intrigued several people, I'll certainly need to think about it.

9970104
Seconded! I kept thinking it was Gunbuster.

Discord, "I'm turning everypony into their true forms!"

They all become Hasbro executive shills and turn G5 into the original Sonic movie design. :fluttershbad:

Discord wails, "I SHOULDN'T HAVE MEDDLED!!"

that was a really fun read! :twilightsmile:

Hah! This was a lot of fun. Favorite parts were definitely the Gunmother joke (:derpytongue2:) and Dash using speed magic to frequence-shift things so she can have a discussion with Flutterbat that's more than just "EEEEEEEEEEE." :yay:

Discord is lucky he fixed things when he did. The Twilight Conference was probably on the verge of figuring things out, and then he would have been in serious trouble.

I'm gonna have to read this for that title pun alone.

9970149
Point. Still, at least everyone enjoyed themselves this time. It's a major step up.

Forgot to mention, I do like the speed frequency shift to talk with Flutterbat.

I think this is the first time I've seen this specific application of "For Halloween, I'm going as myself".

9970245
This is the exact sort of thing Fluttershy tries to stop.

9970493 9971587
Speeding up one's perception of time carries all kinds of interesting consequences. EqG considers very few of them, but that just means we can freely explore the rest.

9970541
The plan was to keep throwing distractions at them and forcing them to keep the bureaucracy growing to meet the needs of their growing bureaucracy. But yes, they were on the verge of a breakthrough and befriending the various factions of the grand melee, which would not have ended well for Discord.

9971607
Who better than Dash to decide to go as the most awesome thing she could think of? Besides, EqG outfits on ponies are adorable.

Nicely done! Oddly enough, my favorite part was the explanation of where Fluttershy earns her income and what she does to earn her keep (it's not too far from my headcanon, although I had it that part of her government paycheck is for defending Equestria from existential threats).

"Which is why I was careful when I overwrote their minds! This is just going to seem like an enjoyably bizarre dream to most of them.

Yes, I'm sure that the memory of trying to eat their friends and neighbors, longingly fantasizing about mass murder or being an inanimate object entirely subject to the whims of whoever is in the cockpit (to name but a few) will be looked on so fondly.

Yeah, have to be honest, I'm not keen on this one. Liked how it was going for the most part, but the ending of "Don't worry, they enjoyed it (during a period where I'd completely rewritten their minds and, therefore, what they enjoy), so that makes it okay that I altered their minds with neither their knowledge or consent!" kind of soured me.

That doesn't make this a bad piece - the fact I'd enjoyed it up until then and would likely have continued to had Discord's actions* been treated differently shows that this was very deserving of honourable-mentionhood. Nor should this be taken as a discouragement for others to read it - I freely admit that a large part of my negative reaction is due to the fact that this story just happened to trip my neuroses and phobias. But I feel I should be honest about, well, how I feel. I'm legitamately sorry that I'm being so down on the story (and, for that matter, taking a silly story seriously), it just... rubbed me the wrong way and I felt like I had to get my thoughts down. Again, I'm truly sorry.

*Yes, the Mayor's just as much on the hook for what happened and really should not have expected anything different. But that doesn't necessarily mean Discord's off the hook. After all, knowingly antagonizing a gun-wielding maniac does make it your own fault when you get shot, but that doesn't mean the guy who shot you is pure and blameless.

9974377
Entirely fair. I know I've run into stories where something rubbing me the wrong way soured an otherwise enjoyable experience. Sorry for running face first into one of your pet peeves.

9974899

Quite alright. I appreciate you being understanding about it and I'm glad that so many others can get enjoyment from it that I can't.

...I’ll just put on an Omnitrix and carry Thor’s hammer around next time Nightmare Night comes around, then. That’d be fun.

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