• Published 29th May 2020
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Sunset Glimmer - Ninjadeadbeard

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1 - Through a Mirror, Sunny

It didn’t seem to matter how many times she made the trip through the portal, how many precautions she took on her side of the Mirror, nor anything the Princesses did on their side in Equestria, Sunset Shimmer just could not stick the landing. By this point, she had just learned to roll with the bumpy ride.

Literally. She tucked her arms and legs… soon to be forelegs and hindlegs… in and her wings the same as soon as she felt them take shape on her soon-to-be Alicorn body. Even months after the… incident that transformed the once-failed student of Princess Celestia and Diarch of the Sun into an immortal alicorn, she still wasn’t used to the additional appendages. Not that she thought she’d ever feel comfortable with the new reality, but there wasn’t really any way around it.

Truth be told, ‘incident’ covered the event in the same way ‘snafu’ might be used to describe a nuclear war. Over a year before, Sunset and her friends had been caught up in a magical disaster involving the Lord of Chaos himself, and the only way for them to have the raw power necessary to fix things – and more importantly, prevent the destruction of the entire human dimension – was for Sunset to accept an ‘upgrade’ from the just-then-reformed Midnight Sparkle.

And, voila. Alicorn Sunset.

But that was in the past, and landing was in Sunset’s rapidly approaching future.

She hit the stack of pillows first, but momentum dictated that Sunset smash through those and careen into the bookshelf behind them. Repeated such crash-landings had, however, made her used to the impacts and the dizziness which followed, so she was able to drag herself into a sitting position easily enough.

But since that was a human sitting position, Sunset quickly toppled over again.

“Wow,” an infuriatingly familiar voice filled Sunset’s ears, “Glad I don’t have to do that anytime soon.”

Sunset slowly picked herself back up, and shook her whole body out, her wingtips and tail finishing off with a flourish.

“Trixie,” Sunset nodded to the azure unicorn who stood before her, “To what do I-I-I-ayAYAYAYAY!!!???”

The Great and Powerful Trixie, now the School of Friendship’s Greatest and Most Caringest [sic] of her Students’ Wellbeing, Counselor Trixie, appeared quite put out by Sunset’s scream. It was clear by her face that she also did not approve of how Sunset recoiled physically from her, nor how the Alicorn’s eyes seemed to bulge almost out of her skull.

Not… that she could reasonably blame Sunset for the reaction. But ‘reasonable’ was for ponies who weren’t showmares.

“It’s called being pregnant, Sunset,” she snarled lightly while placing a gentle hoof on her massive belly, “You are being exceptionally rude to Trixie right now. Especially after I went to the trouble to set up those pillows for you!”

Sunset shook her head again, and took a moment to rub both eyes with her wings.

“It’s…” she stammered, “It’s real? But how!?”

Trixie smirked, “Well, Sunbutt, when two ponies love each other… or cider… very, very much, they…”

“Shut up! That’s not what I meant!” Sunset started trotting quickly around the boisterous showpony, her eye taking in every detail of the, to put it bluntly, severely pregnant pony before her.

She paused after a full circuit, and tried shaking her head one more time.

Didn’t work. Still a pregnant Trixie in front of her.

“I was at your wedding! How did this happen in three months!?”

“Well, the boring answer is… it didn’t,” Trixie chuckled, and lit her horn. Her pink magical aura flowed down the length of her horn, and quickly surged down her face, her neck, and across her withers like it was flowing water.

Seconds later, there was no pregnant mare standing before Sunset, but rather the slim, even athletic, blue unicorn she’d seen the last few times she’d been over to this side of the Mirror.

Trixie struck one of her best showmare poses, one foreleg dramatically high in the air.

“Before you, stands one of the greatest illusory spells I, the Great and POWERFUL Trixie, ever devised!”

Sunset gingerly reached out a hoof, and after getting an approving nod from Trixie herself, she pushed it into the space where she’d seen the unicorn’s belly bulging from before. Her hoof instantly met resistance, though of the soft and pliable sort.

“Wow,” Sunset uttered, mind completely blanking as she took in the information, “That’s… so impressive! I mean, the power-draw must be ridiculous…!”

She paused, her eyes narrowing at Trixie’s shaking legs.

“Um…”

Trixie’s face was beet-red. Her eyes were straining, and sweat pooled down her face in rivers as the sheer effort to maintain the spell made itself plain.

“Uh, Trixie?”

The showmare gasped, and let the illusion fade. She nearly fell to the floor herself, before Sunset pressed up against her, and quickly wrapped a strong, yet comforting, wing across her body.

“Trixie!?”

“Sorry!” Trixie’s face shifted to a more sheepish, embarrassed shade of red, “I… forgot how much of my magic goes to the kid these days…”

Sunset held up her friend for a few more seconds, but it was clear that the moment of weakness had passed. Slowly, and with great care, she released Trixie to stand on her own four hooves.

Trixie coughed, and then gestured to herself, “I combined some basic illusion spells with part of the spell that lets non-pegasi walk on clouds. Just the weight-reduction part, specifically.”

“Huh,” Sunset looked over the mare before her with an inquisitive, academic eye. You could take the filly out of school, but the reverse was far more difficult a task. “That’s pretty clever. Probably helped you keep your old balance and walking gait.”

“Exactly!” Trixie nodded happily, especially for the explicit praise of her ability, “I wanted a white dress for my wedding, after all, because it went best with my coat…”

“And Starswirl was okay with… this?”

Trixie’s eyes sparkled at the name of her dearest husband. “Oh, it took some convincing. He wanted to shout it from the rooftops! Prove to everypony that he wasn’t that old!”

Both mares giggled at the thought of Starswirl the Bearded dancing on a rooftop.

“Speaking of Starswirl,” Sunset said, after bringing herself back down to reality, “Where is he? Or, anyone else, for that matter? I was sort of expecting Twilight to be here. She said she could help me introduce magic publicly to the Mirror world…”

Anypony,” Trixie corrected, with an authoritative sniff, “You’re a pony, in case you’ve forgotten, living with those colorful monkeys for so long. As an Alicorn, you’re the apex of ponykind, so please… act like it.”

Sunset rolled her eyes and nodded, “Uh huh, okay. So? Where is everycreature?” She made certain to emphasize the technically correct, yet incorrect, terminology for her blue host.

Trixie smirked at the visiting pony, and began walking out of the room, the comfortingly familiar crystallized library of Twilight – now Starlight’s – Castle of Friendship. Sunset followed closely, though with Trixie’s newfound size and gait, she didn’t follow too closely.

“Discord grabbed Swirly and a few of ‘The Guys’, as he calls them,” she took a turn to roll her own eyes at this, “and hauled them off to some sort of Colt’s Night, since Swirly’s not going to have as much free time once the baby arrives. Or, something. You know how Discord just does things.”

“Yeah,” Sunset smiled, “He’s a character. And, just when is…?”

“Days,” Trixie growled as they reached the front doors to the castle, “Which means, I lost the bet.”

Sunset opened the door for Trixie, lighting up the doors with her golden aura – yet another change from her ascension she wasn’t quite used to yet – and followed her out into the bright, Ponyville day.

“Bet?” Sunset raised an eyebrow.

“It… was stupid,” Trixie shook her head, “Starlight and I found out we were both expecting around the same time. Actually, the same day.”

The two mares paused to let a crowd of foals rush across the road in front of them. Most were trapped in bubbles made out of tree sap, with the familiar Cutie Mark Crusaders chasing after the impromptu stampede of laughing, bouncing foals alongside a rather worried-looking Derpy Hooves.

Trixie didn’t even blink.

Only in Ponyville

“But it would appear Starlight will defeat the otherwise Great and Pregnant Trixie,” Trixie said.

Sunset, dragging her eyes away from the misadventure in progress, asked, “Does that mean…?”

“Yes,” Trixie cut in, “Starlight’s having her foal right now.”

Sunset nearly tripped over her own hooves, “Already!?”

“She’s eleven months, Sunny,” Trixie looked back over her shoulder and frowned, “You should keep better track of the time.”

Trixie’s frown further deepened as she watched the visiting Alicorn trot through the air in a wide circle around her, a giddy, bubbly smile indicating just how over the moon this news had put her.

“Oh! I can’t believe it! Is that where you’re taking me?”

Trixie snorted, “Of course. Twilight had me wait behind just for you, you weirdo.”

Sunset’s exuberance subsided as she landed in front of Trixie, and carefully looked over the rotund mare.

“Uh, you sure you should be walking all the way to Ponyville General? You’re kind of…”

With foal is the nicest way you can end that sentence,” Trixie snorted.

“Erm,” Sunset blushed, “Right, yes. Good call… so, do you want me to teleport us?”

Trixie pursed her lips, and then said, “Sunset? The hospital is, like, a block away. And I wouldn’t trust any spell of yours right now, considering you’ve only had your horn back for five minutes.”

Sunset chuckled at that.

“Alright then, lead the way, O Great and Powerful Trixie!”

Trixie let out a sigh through her nose.

“Trixie knows you’re mocking her… but I love hearing ponies say that name,” she smirked, “Follow me! Trixie shall lead us onward! To Victory!”

“Ponyville General.”

“Potato, topato, same diff.”


The little waiting area in Ponyville General’s Maternity Ward had seen bigger crowds, but never one quite so prestigious as the one currently occupying it. The small, floral-colored room featured enough seats for almost two-dozen ponies, but in this case half that sufficed.

Besides the six Bearers of Harmony, who huddled near the door where Starlight Glimmer had been dragged through an hour before, Princess Celestia herself made small talk with Starlight and Sunburst’s parents, Firelight and Stellar Flare, mostly out of politeness. As a rule, the retired Princess disliked long, boring conversations about traditions and histories that she’d already lived through once, as well as conversations about bulldozing said traditions and histories to build strip malls.

“I… understand where you are coming from,” Celestia’s millennia of political acumen held her tone to an even, neutral, “But I am afraid I am not the pony to talk to about… demolishing any part of Ponyville for a… gated community, you called it?”

Stellar Flare nodded enthusiastically, “With the influx of other creatures into Equestria, and especially into this part of the nation, you can’t put a price on catering to wealthy tourists and those who wish to set down roots with… let’s say, a bit more gold than sense.”

“I can put a price on it,” Firelight snorted, “Nothing! Ponyville is the finest example of Rustic Applewood construction in Equestria! Its architectural legacy is undeniable!”

While the two, theoretically adult, ponies returned to their traditional squabbling, Celestia snuck an envious glance over to her former protégé, Princess Twilight Sparkle, as she and her friends shared yet another laugh at some joke or other that Pinkie Pie had come up with.

“Well, it sure is nice ta see ya’ll outside of a Council meetin’,” Applejack chortled, and leaned into the rainbow-maned pegasus at her side. Nopony had missed the way Dash did not seem to mind the sudden proximity, but nopony was willing to spoil a good thing, either.

“It is,” Fluttershy sighed, contentedly, “I just wish Discord could be here. But you know… Guy’s Night.”

Pinkie Pie nodded, “Yeah, Maud would have been here too, but she and Mud Briar went on some sort of super-duper rock excavation thingamabomber for some reason, and they made me Pinkie Promise not to bother them until they got back. Which is pretty rude, even for them…”

“D-darling?” Rarity frowned, “You do realize a honeymoon is meant for just the newlyweds, yes?”

“I choose not to understand the question…”

Nearby, Silverstream and Ocellus, back in town to take up positions as teachers in the School of Friendship, and to deliver congratulations on behalf of the hippogriffs and changelings respectively, were also caught in an animated discussion with a representative of the Crystal Empire.

“Absolutely not,” Commander Tempest Shadow said with ironclad conviction, “I don’t especially approve of anycreature having offspring, much less myself.”

“Oh, but they’d be adorable!” Silverstream gripped her own beak with squee-ing glee, “Could you imagine what your purple would look like with a little blue and gold!?”

The Commander snorted, “If Flash Sentry tried anything, I’d break his legs. And he knows it.”

Here, Ocellus gave an unsettling, troll-grin, “Oh? Did we say we were thinking of Captain Sentry?”

While Tempest’s face held like stone, her prosthetic horn, a rose-colored crystal held in a copper frame, gave off a little static pop. The younger mares took this as a sign of victory, and silently claw/hoof-bumped.

The individual conversations carried on for a few more minutes, until they were all halted by a sudden burst of magical light and sound. Near the doorway to the rest of the hospital, a golden light faded as quickly as it’d appeared, leaving in its wake an amber-colored Alicorn, and a blue unicorn.

A blue unicorn, who sagged immediately into the nearest chair.

“Thank you, Sunset!” Trixie gasped in relief, “My fetlocks were so swollen, I couldn’t possibly have continued on!”

“I told you I could teleport us from the start,” Sunset smiled, ruefully, “You were the one who said she could make it here on her own.”

“Trixie was mist…” the showmare sank a little into a pout, and whispered, “… mistaken.”

“Yeah, well…” Sunset was about to toss in a quick, laughing barb, when her eyes flashed up and towards a small mob of approaching ponies.

She waved as both her former teachers approached her.

“Princesses! Nice to see you guys again!”

Celestia, naturally beaming as bright as the sun, went in for a quick, affectionate nuzzle, “As it is a joy to see you as well, Sunset. But, as you well know, I am technically no longer a Princess.”

“And titles aren’t necessary between us, either,” Twilight stepped in, and gave her transdimensional protégé a one-legged hug, “We’re past that sort of thing, right?”

Sunset pursed her lips, and narrowed her eyes once the hug had broken. "Do you remember what I agreed to when I got these?" she asked, briefly holding her wings out to the side.

Twilight’s smile faltered, for a moment, before she let out an exasperated sigh.

“Wings: yes. Crown: no…”

Sunset nodded, sagely, “I’m happy enough to be your official Friendship Ambassador, but a Princess? That’s… not really my style, you know?”

Celestia’s eyes twinkled, and a little smile cut across her muzzle.

“Oh? Ambassadors are usually drawn from the nobility, as I recall,” the smile creeped its way up her face, until it nearly touched both of the ancient Alicorn’s eyes, “Surely that alone deserves a Duchesshood, at the very least!”

Sunset’s breathing quickened, slightly, in a moment of panic. Not at Celestia’s smile, but at how Twilight’s smile matched hers perfectly.

“You are correct,” Twilight said without breaking eye contact with Sunset, “In fact, Prince Blueblood is still our acting head of the diplomatic corps…”

“Oh, would you look at that!” Sunset charged past the two royals, a slightly manic grin on her face now, “Pinkie? AJ? Dash? Rarity? Fluttershy? How are you girls!?”

Both Alicorns shared a chuckle, and looked on as Sunset began joyfully greeting the other ponies and creatures in attendance. Despite only meeting them a few times before, Sunset still considered the other Elements of Harmony her friends, if not her closest ones, and they in turn had never found a reason to not share in that familiarity and comradery, outside of their very first meeting. Tempest Shadow seemed happy enough to see Sunset again, and helped break the ice with Silverstream and Ocellus, who had never actually managed to meet the mysterious mare from across the Mirror.

Trixie took the opportunity to snooze on the hard, yet oddly comfortable, plastic chair.

But, if Sunset had hoped for a long, slow reunion with the ponies from this side of the Mirror, she would be sadly disappointed. For, within moments of finishing their greetings, and one bone-crushing hug from Pinkie Pie, the door to the rest of the Maternity Ward burst wide open.

A pink earth pony mare, with a pastel green mane tied back in a loose bun and a set of blue scrubs, nearly tumbled through the doorway. She quickly found her hoofing, however, and locked slightly manic eyes with the nearest Princess, Twilight Sparkle.

“Doctor Feel Good?” the Princess noted something eerily familiar in the way the mare’s hair was becoming undone. The term ‘Twilinanas’ came, unbidden, to the forefront of her mind as Dr. Good trotted up to her.

“Oh, Princess! Good!” she took a few deep, calming breaths, “I’m so glad you’re here. We have a bit of an emergency going on with the patient…”

Celestia herself stepped up besides Twilight, and arrested the Doctor’s attention instantly with her naturally commanding presence.

“Is something wrong?” her voice was utterly neutral, though edged ever so slightly in a way that demanded a prompt and complete answer, “Is something wrong with the foal?”

“N-no!” Feel Good shook her head, “Not at all! It’s just… well, the parents seem to be having an issue. And not one I’ve seen all that often.”

Both Princesses narrowed their eyes, and flattened their ears in a dangerous way, each calling upon an intrinsic grace that made each one worthy of their titles. Twilight’s mind, from the way she stood, was clearly absorbing every detail with remarkable precision and speed. Celestia’s aura practically exuded ‘crisis management’ as she stood stoically beside her successor.

Seeing this, the Doctor took another breath, and pressed on.

“Mothers are often affected in strange ways, once they’ve given birth,” she said, quickly, “Some are ecstatic, while others are depressed and morose. Some don’t seem to recognize their child for the first few days, which isn’t all that odd… but…

“Well,” she shrugged, helplessly, “This is the first time I’ve seen both parents share in a delusion.”

“Delusion?” Sunset frowned, concern for her friend outweighing any deference to the other Alicorns, “What sort of delusion?”

Doctor Feel Good looked to this third voice… and froze. Her pupils almost vanished entirely amidst the white of her eyes. Her jaw dangled from her head, and her throat made a sudden, quiet choking sound.

“Um… Doc?” Sunset glanced from the medical pony to Twilight and Celestia, whose faces were shifting to their own confused expressions. “Is… is there something on my face?”

The Doctor blinked, and let loose a long, ragged gasp, finally realizing she’d been holding her breath the whole time. Her eyes did not shift back to a normal dilation, but her mouth finally found out how to work itself, as she began licking her lips.

“Does…” she glanced about the room, “Does anypony happen to have some hard cider on them?”

Applejack, a wide smile on her face, was just about to reach up into her Stetson, when she caught a narrow glare from her mare… friend. Friend who was a mare. Deciding that an angry, cider-less Dashie was worse than a couple extra bits in the tin, she quietly lowered her hoof.

Doctor Feel Good turned back around, her shoulders heavy.

“Ah, well,” she sighed, “Guess I can see if Doctor House still has that malted…”

She seemed to note the presence of two… three? Three Princesses, and snapped her mouth shut. Then, as she focused back on the third Alicorn in the room, her right eye twitched.

“Oh, buck me,” she whispered, “You’re real!”

Sunset scrunched up her nose, and glanced over to the Princesses. “I’m… not some kind of state secret, am I?”

Both Alicorns shook their heads.

“You…” the Doctor slowly approached Sunset, like a little filly investigating their closet for the Boogiemare, “Are you… Sunset Shimmer?”

Sunset pulled back, just to keep some personal space to herself, “Uh, yeah? Do… do I know you?”

“Kind of,” Feel Good dropped back onto her haunches, her eyes drifting into the middle distance, “Your… uh, the patient… Starlight Glimmer said your name a couple of times after I…

“… after I delivered you,” the Doctor sighed as her eyes rolled back, and she fainted dead away.

At first, there was silence. Not one pony moved, or even breathed, in the moments following Feel Good’s pronouncement. Then, Firelight and Stellar Flare, quite forgotten up until this moment, collapsed right into one another and slumped to the ground, which signaled the start of grand pandemonium. Everypony was suddenly alternating between stuttering, chattering, and simply balking. Trixie was startled awake, Silverstream and Ocellus blanched, Tempest’s horn started sparking, and total and complete Chaos swept through the room.


Discord sneezed, quite suddenly. He idly pondered whether or not he should try and get involved with whatever had just happened, but ultimately declined. Chaos could handle itself for one day without him.

After all, it wouldn’t do to interrupt Guy’s Night.

“My turn, then?” he grinned at Spike, Big Mac, Starswirl, and a human Pinkie Pie, one after the next, before he picked up one of the miniatures that made up his delightfully chaotic army.

Bacon hair will probably fix things before too long, he reasoned.

“Gum for the Gum Gods,” he laughed as he rattled the dice in his talons, “Scones for the Scone Throne…!”


Every creature was still in a panic, except for three Alicorns. Celestia, Twilight, and Sunset spared one another nothing more than a glance, before they simultaneously bolted for the door to the wardrooms.

A door which, being made of wood, vanished in a flash of ash and smoke as the ex-Princess of the Sun roared through it in a headlong sprint. Sunset almost had the sense to stop her, or at least protest.

Almost.

Nearly.

But Sunset’s mind had also almost stopped functioning as she and the Princesses hurtled down the hall towards...

What exactly are we running towards?

“Uh…” she started to say as they raced past more doors, and more and more startled nurses, staff, and strangely, a Doctor dressed as a clown.

“No time!” Twilight hyperventilated in her general direction, “Time-Space… *gasp* … Continuum… *gasp* … imploding on… *gasp* … itself!”

Sunset nearly tripped.

What!? Really!?”

“Oh, no, of course not!” Celestia said with far more breath control, probably a consequence of her ludicrous stride length, “But also yes. Most likely.”

Twilight suddenly slammed her hooves down, bringing their mad dash to a squealing conclusion as her horseshoes left a long gouge in the floor.

“I had Starlight whip up a Temporal Warning System after Trixie’s… adventure,” she said as she checked the door number, “I’ll add you to the list later, but right now, my horn is killing me!”

And with that, the Reigning Princess of Equestria wrapped the room door in her magical purple aura, and teleported it off its hinges, several feet to the left, and threw herself into the room.

Things were happening quickly, in real time. But, with her mind currently reeling and a bit off kilter, reality seemed to slow down for Sunset, until time itself was more like a syrupy ooze that sort of happened at its own pace.

The room was absolutely state of the art, as far as Equestria went. It was moderately sized, with one long window providing a clear view of the town under a stunning, midmorning sun. Each wall was crammed with shelves covered in supplies, and cabinets housing the sort of equipment that Sunset suspected was only half from Equestria, and half from some of those engineering books and magazines she sent through the Mirror regularly.

It was, as was becoming the norm, also in a state of pandemonium. There were two unicorn nurses, and three aides, two of which were outstandingly muscular earth ponies, and one minotaur.

All of whom were suspended in the air, trapped in a magical turquoise aura that practically pulsated with mystical fury.

Yup, Sunset sighed, She still has a temper.

Starlight Glimmer, the purple mare in question, snarled at the floating medical staff, veins near-to-bursting from her neck and forehead.

“Touch me again, and let’s see what happens!” she scowled and shouted, her forelegs tightening around a bundle of swaddling as she lay back into her sweaty bedsheets, “I’m telling you, something has happened to time!”

“D-dear, please,” Sunburst stuttered from where he stood, on the opposite side of the maternity bed from the magically imprisoned creatures, “We can be reasonable about this…”

“Somepony swapped out my baby!”

“… okay, that does sound bad,” Sunburst readjusted his glasses, “But once the Princess… oh! Twilight!”

The orange stallion’s face lit up as he noticed Twilight enter the room.

“A-and you brought Celestia? Oh, thank… um, Celestia, I guess? That’s…”

His eyes landed on Sunset, and his smile instantly fell.

Starlight hadn’t noticed, her attention focused solely on Twilight. “Where’d the Doc go?”

Sunset coughed, and said, “Um, Doctor Feel Good isn’t… ironically… feeling too good at the moment. Something about… delivering me?”

Now Starlight’s eyes were staring at Sunset as well. She and her husband’s pupils shrank to dots, and their jaws fell. This was becoming distressingly common.

“Please, put the staff down,” Celestia said with her usual stoic tone, “I have a feeling something has happened.”

“S-Sunset?” a meek, and tiny voice bubbled up out of Starlight’s throat, yet almost a choked whisper, “Is… is that you?”

“It’s me,” Sunset said, cautiously, “The… the Doctor said…”

Her throat began to tighten. Starlight had shifted, slightly, protectively. There was a bundle of swaddling in between her hooves, which began to stir.

All eyes drew to the foal.

Sunset took one step forward. And then another.

And another.

And before she knew it, she stood over the new mother. In Starlight’s hooves, there sat the littlest filly possible. Her coat was golden amber, and her mane, though nearly nonexistent yet, could not be mistaken for anything other than a wave of gold and red.

“Is…?”

Sunset’s voice caught again, as the filly’s eyes opened.

With the door to the room crowding with curious ponies, nosy staff, baffled Princesses, and now two utterly bewildered parents leaning in close, Sunset couldn’t help shake the strangest, most eerie sensation of déjà vu she’d ever felt in her life.

Sunset Shimmer looked into the eyes of… Sunset Shimmer, and for a moment, time seemed to stop.

Then, the elder Sunset groaned.

“Oh… horseapples…”

Author's Note:

Oh... that can't be good.


Guy's Night Piehammer 60K builds:

Starswirl runs Tau, because he likes working for the Greater Good.
Spike plays Eldar, because he always rolls Casters.
Big Mac prefers Imperial Guard, because suffering is a farmer's lot in life.
Pinkie plays Orks, because screaming is fun.
Discord... What do you think?


Intro edited on 9/10/2020 for better exposition.