• Published 3rd Oct 2020
  • 3,710 Views, 159 Comments

The Rookie - dicerollball



A struggling young adult finds herself in Tartarus as the nefarious Cozy Glow. If she wants to go out and freely explore all of Equestria with her villainous buddies... she was first going to have to change this evil filly's future.

  • ...
19
 159
 3,710

Chapter 1: Too Much

I sat on my bed and contemplated everything. My life. My home. My family. I can't help it sometimes. I just get existential when alone for too long. The silence just claws at me and my thoughts start to become too loud.

I didn't like it. Everything about me. Everything that I was part of.

I fell back onto my pillow and just stared at the ceiling. Should I run away tomorrow? Disappear and hope to never return? Could I really do that to them though? To those I knew?

Probably not now.

I was going to this new school soon. Maybe my life will change then? Maybe I'll be entirely different after a year or two? Heh, I guess I could only hope really.

I didn't like myself.

I couldn't help but wish I was somepony else.

I pressed my face against my pillow and let out a frustrated groan. I shouldn't focus on that right now. Instead, I should be focusing on sleep. I have a big day ahead of me after all! Many to meet and smiles to be had. I allowed myself to relax and closed my eyes with a tired sigh.

Time to see what tomorrow brings.


When I had stirred awake my eyes were heavy and my body was sore. It felt like I had been sleeping atop metal and stone for a good hell of a while. I felt this pounding in my head and this cold chill seeping through my body. I scrunched up my nose in discomfort and curled in on myself in an attempt to get warmer. At least I had some sort of blanket, though it was itchy and strange... was it attached to my back? At this I was a bit unnerved. Something didn’t sit right with me. My whole body felt wrong. Did I get smaller? Did my head get larger? My hair felt longer for some reason... and heavily uncomfortable. It was like as if someone had decided to tighten each lock of hair and repeatedly tugged at it with no rest throughout the night. I found this odd because not only did I get a haircut recently, but I was also usually very low maintenance as well. However that wasn’t what freaked me out the most. What really freaked me out was the fact that my hands and fingers were completely gone.

My eyes snapped open as I quickly sat up and spotted the flat pink nubs where my light beige hands were supposed to be. I let out a surprised gasp before the top of my head suddenly slammed against the solid metal roof above me. I gritted my surprisingly flat teeth and rubbed one of my fingerless nubs over my aching forehead. My ears would fall back, pressing themselves against the back of my skull.

Wait- what? I blinked and reached up to pat down the long ears sitting atop my head. What were they doing up there??? Why weren’t they on the side of my head? I gave myself a good once over and saw a splash of pink and blue colors. I frantically tried to figure out what was happening until I suddenly spotted the small feathered wings on my back. I froze, stared at them, and gave them a good flap. That’s when I lost it.
What was- when did- I couldn’t even process what was happening. All I could do was scream.

I screamed into the heavens and clutched myself with my nubs. I’m dead! I have to be! There was no other logical explanation for all this! I wasn’t usually this religious but- I’ve been cast into heaven and then thrown into hell! I’m in the afterlife! A small cold and cramped afterlife in the body of a spiritual fallen angel!! This was my fate! My torture! My-

“Oh would you shut up in there??” The disgruntled voice of an old demon growled from his cell.

I shouted out in surprise and scurried away from the voice. When I banged the back of my head against the metal bars behind me I suddenly felt this hot breath against my fur. I slightly turned my head to see three pairs of eyes stare down at me as a loud multitude of concerned whimpers rang through my ears.

I slammed into the bars behind me and looked up at the beast that neighbored my cage. Thanks to the tears streaming down my face my vision was blurry and the details were muddled. All I could really see was a hunched over red creature with black eyes and two goat-like horns, “A-Are you the devil..? Am I in hell??” I croaked out in a voice that sounded surprisingly young.

“The devil? What are you going on about this time, Cozy Glow? And are you crying? Please. It hasn’t been that long since you’ve been here.” The tall creature grunted.

“C-Cozy Glow..? The little Shirley Temple wannabe from that pony show?” I questioned, “What are you-“ I then froze. I gave my body another once-over before swiftly wiping the tears off my face with one of my forelimbs. My eyes cautiously scanned my surroundings before they carefully scrutinized the demon nearby, “... Lord Tirek?”

“Thank you! You finally called me by my full title! Now see, was that so difficult?” He then turned back with a smug smirk that soon fell when he saw my face, “Why are you giving me those large puppy dog eyes? Whatever you’re trying to get out of me, it won’t work. I know your games, Cozy.”

“I- I’m not Cozy...” I started as I swiped another limb- erm hoof- over my tearful eyes, “How did I get here?? I’m so confused- am I in Tartarus??”

“Well of course you’re in Tartarus! You were tossed in here with me for your crimes against Equestria, or have you already forgotten?” The centaur growled, “And why wouldn’t you be Cozy Glow?? Who else would you be?”

“I’m a pony...” I began, half-listening to Tirek, “I’m... in Equestria... I’m not a person anymore- I have wings!?”

“Um- Hello?”

“I’m the most hated child in the whole pastel universe but I’m also not in Hell! I'm in EQUESTRIA!!” I suddenly beamed and threw myself against the bars, “Tirek! I’m in Equestria!!”

Tirek flinched at this and scooted away, “No. You’re in Tartarus.”

“Oh...” I suddenly deflated and slowly sat back down, “Right. I’m in Tartarus...”

Tirek stared at me from his cage, “Why are you acting like this..? Your behavior is all over the place and it hasn't even been that long! Have you snapped so soon?”

“Well it’s just a lot to take in,” I carefully explained, “Am I dead? Am I dreaming? Is this real? It can’t be. This can’t be real. I had hoped to find a world like this but- not like this. And why as Cozy Glow? In Tartarus? There’s a whole world out here I want to explore and yet... I’m stuck here. I’m stuck in some other kid’s body for god knows how long and I’m a criminal of Equestria! I'm locked away in Tartarus... and I don’t know why.”

Tirek seemed taken aback, "I don't see what you have to gain here with these lies. You might be playing this new role of yours surprisingly well but you can't fool me. I know your tricks and I know when you're trying to manipulate me. It won't work."

"I'm not trying to manipulate you! I'm trying to make sense of all this! Here, look, I'll say something I definitely know a child from this world would never say. Not even this one. Ahem... What the ever-living FUCK is going on??"

"Cozy!"

"I'm not Cozy you jackass! I'm a grown ass adult from another bitch of a universe!!" I yelled before banging my head against the bars, "Ow..."

"..." Tirek seemed to stare at me as I rubbed my head, "Did you get that out of your system you annoying little twerp?"

"Oh fuck off." I grunted and turned away to pout.

"You know, I guess I do prefer this over you trying to make me your friend all the time. It was getting really... maddeningly predictable. Though I didn't expect this much of a mood-swing from you. You seem a bit too young for that." The other pinched his fingers together with a smirk.

"Imagine with me for one moment... You go to sleep one night and suddenly wake up in the body of this little pink creature of pure spite and hate. Wouldn't you freak out too??" I questioned as I testily flapped my wings once more.

"I suppose so, yes."

"WELL THAT IS WHAT I'M DOING RIGHT NOW!" I then toppled over and crumbled onto the cage floor. My cheek was now squished against the cold metal and my glare burned through a particular pebble that had seemingly caught my interest. Cerberus, a three-headed dog I’d recognize from anywhere, came into view and tried to lick me through the cage bars.

"I guess I see where you're coming from now... but I'm still not convinced you're not Cozy. Give me a name."

"A name?" I suddenly perked.

"Yes, a name. A name to call you by. If you're really not Cozy it can't be that difficult, right?" Tirek asked as he leaned against the cold bars of his cage.

"... I don't know if I want to share it." I admitted, "I don't want to be associated with this show."

"This show..?"

"Listen Tirek. I don't care right now. I don't care if you believe me or not... We're stuck in Tar Tar us-"

"Tartarus."

"-and already this life is looking as shitty as the last one..." I grumbled as I stuffed my muzzle underneath my forelegs.

"Hm. Yes. It seems we're going to be stuck here for a long while, filly. You better get comfortable." Tirek grumbled as he went to lay his hooves once more.

"Yeah... for a while..." I muttered as I slowly closed my eyes in defeat. Then I perked in realization. I hopped up on my hooves and faced Lord Tirek with another large grin, “But not for long!”

“Huh?” Tirek blinked as he turned towards me, "What do you mean by that?"

It was then I slowly put pieces of the show back together. It had been years since I've seen those villain episodes and during my panic I had been confused. For a moment I somehow forgot that this wasn't their final defeat. This was another beginning... This was a chance of escape! Not only that but this could also be my proof. My proof that I wasn't Cozy Glow!!
"I know what happens next." I told Tirek, "I can prove I'm not Cozy Glow. I've seen her future and I have seen yours. If it happens you gotta believe me, okay?"

The centaur looked uncertain, "You know you did hit your head pretty hard earlier. Are you sure this is not a side effect of that?"

"Oh shut up and just listen to me! Uh... Please. I could save your life."

"Are you saying we die?"

"Well- kind of. ANYWAYS! This is what happens. After you make a billion tally-marks for whatever reason you decide to make them for-"

Tirek glanced down at the few tallymarks he's already made.

"-we both suddenly get transported elsewhere by this very powerful goat-guy named Grogar. Father of all evil monsters or something."

"Grogar..? Ah yes, Emperor Grogar. I've heard of him when I was young. But that was eons ago. How do you know of him?"

"Because I've seen this all happen. Grogar will take me, you, Queen Chrysalis, and King Sombra and put us all together in an attempt to make friends or whatever. Queen Chrysalis will think we took her first, then King Sombra will appear and we'll think he was the one who took us out of Tartarus, but then the goat guy will appear and go 'HE DIDN'T. IT WAS I, GROGARRRR!' and he'll try to be all evil while King Sombra starts acting all stupid for some reason- more flamboyant and weird?? And-"

"You have one imaginative mind, filly."

"Shut up. And then Grogar will introduce himself to me because I'm a puny pony who isn't scared of him and stuff then King Sombra will go- 'I don't do ours, I only do MINE! Ahahah, I'm so evil and selfish and I'm going to go get myself killed.' and he'll be sent off to go try and conquer Equestria on his own as part of a deal he made with Grogar. If he fails he has to work with us and- as expected- he failed. He doesn't come back though. Grogar hates him and so keeps him dead. Which is- wow. It's pretty messed up. At least to me, that's pretty messed up to me."

"... Is that everything?" Tirek questioned.

"Well- yeah! That's all I want you to know right now!" I smiled.

"Right. And how do you know all this?"

"I'm from another universe entirely. In this universe you and everyone else in Equestria is innnnnnnnnnnn.... um-" I bit my lip and tapped my hooves together. Sure I had already mentioned the 'pony show' several times to Tirek by now but I suddenly found myself hoping it might've slipped his mind. After all, finding out your entire life was a television show could create a mental breakdown in itself... and right now I did not need the only person who could believe me to fall into some sort of manic frenzy.
"Well uh- let's just say that in my universe my kind... observed yours?" I smiled sheepishly. Yeah. Alien approach. That could work, right?

"Oh really?" Tirek raised a brow towards me before turning away, "Like I said before Cozy, get comfortable... It's going to be a long eternity."

I huffed, "You'll see! Soon we'll be whisked away to some secret lair and then you'll believe me!"

"Whatever you say filly... now stop bothering me." Tirek grunted as he slumped over and rested his head against the icy bars.

I let out a sigh and lowered my head again. I wanted nothing more but to untie the ribbons in this filly's mane but I didn't want to risk "Grogar" getting suspicious in the future. I had hairpins clamped underneath my swirly blue hair and felt this annoying tug against the back of my neck. Ugh. I wanted nothing more but to let it all go loose. I held back for now though, but when I get the chance; I'm not wearing this hair like this ever again.

Cerberus meanwhile found a spot to sit nearby. He- or they- curled into a ball and made themselves comfortable while guarding the two frustrated prisoners.

A silence trickled between the two of us. I tried to stay determined and angry but soon even that had melted away through time. I ended up on my side and found my gaze boring into the pebble I had spotted earlier before. I watched and waited for something to happen to it. Anything, really. If to kill some time before the real exciting stuff happened later. Though even in the silence I was still internally freaking out. My mind was carefully processing everything that had happened and that's going to happen. What was I going to do? I don't want to be turned into stone. Could I stop it? Prevent it? How? How was I going to change what happens to me?

... by starting now, I suppose.

"Hey..." I quietly whispered, "Lord Tirek..."

Tirek grumbled something under his breath before turning his head towards me, "What?"

"Call me... Call me Zeri."

"Zeri, huh?"

I nodded, "Just not around everyone else, okay?"

The centaur shrugged, "Fine. Whatever. But there's not going to be anyone else for a long while, kid."

"Doubt it." I muttered as I pulled Cozy's curly tail up against my side, "It'll happen. You'll see..."

"... If you say so, filly. If you are telling the truth I will be sincerely surprised, but you should know that Grogar has been defeated a millennium ago. There is no chance he would return to bring us together for some silly friendship building exercise."

I silently pressed my face against the fluff of Cozy's tail, "... You'll see."

Tirek narrowed his eyes at me before settling down once more.

I gave the old, frail looking creature one more glance before curling up in a little furry pink ball. The quiet returned and it came back just as unbearable as before. I could be a patient person but I knew what was going to happen. I knew we would be out soon. It just didn't feel fair that I had to wait. Made me wonder how Cozy Glow was able to keep smiling even throughout her imprisonment. Oh yeah, because she was insane. How could I forget?
Now that I was her, others would start calling me that too. An insane friendship-crazy filly. I wasn't sure how I felt about that. A part of me didn't want to be here, but a part of me also saw a chance. Maybe things could get better? Maybe I could change everything? Wouldn't that be something...

It was then I heard another scratch as Tirek added another mark among the many others.

I yawned and tiredly turned my head towards Tirek, "Hey... what're those tallys for anyways?"

"Well seeing as we have no day or night... They mark the many times I wish I could end my life." Tirek sarcastically grunted in response.

"Oh..." I blinked at this and stared down at the metal flooring beneath me. I reached over and used a hoof to push up against the pebble just outside of my cage to scrape it against the floor inside. With it I soon scratched my own tally mark against the ground.

Tirek stared at me for a good solid moment before rolling his eyes, "That's not what they actually are for."

"Well that's what this one means for me!" I announced before kicking the pebble away and toppling back over in a ball of feathers and depression.

"... You are one strange filly." Tirek shook his head in annoyance.

Cerberus curled up nearby and licked at my cage bars.

My ears twitched at the canine's whimpers but I chose to ignore him. There wasn't much left for us to do now but wait... Wait until something new happened or something else occurred. As much as I wanted Tirek to call me by the name I gave him it wasn't worth arguing with that old centaur. No, all I could really do now for the time being was stay where I was and patiently wait. Wait for the proof to come crawling up to us. Wait for everything to soon come together. Wait for "Grogar" to pull us out of this hell just to throw us into another one. Wait. Wait. Wait.
That's all we could do now.

Author's Note:

Yay we're in Equestria! Only inside the body of the evil pink nuisance everyone dislikes or hates!

Don't worry though, just because Zeri is hosting her body doesn't mean Cozy herself is fully gone! She's here alright. She's around!

But we'll have to meet up with her again later.

For now, just enjoy whatever the hell is going on with Zeri in her misadventures through a colorful pastel world that wants to see her dead!

Hope no one minds me making a new story, I still have several more I should be finishing up right now actually. But I'll get to finishing them in due time. For now, I was in the mood to write and finish up this first chapter. And so I DID. Hope you all enjoyed it! Until next time!

:pinkiehappy: