• Published 20th Apr 2020
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Disharmony: Gods Among Ponies - Mr-Astounding

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Rarity

Author's Note:

Here, as some of you have likely already guessed given what I'm basing this story off of, we have the first chapter where mirror matches will be taking place. Now, obviously, the narrative’s going to get confusing real quick unless I find a way to differentiate between universes, so here’s what I’m going to do: whenever I refer to a character that’s originally from the...let’s call it “Disharmony-verse”, I’ll just place their name in bold as well as an indication of which side of the war (i.e. the Solar Empire or the Lunar Republic) he/she is fighting for every so often. For example, when referring to the Disharmony-verse’s Twilight Sparkle, I’ll be referring to her as Lunar Twilight Sparkle or simply as Twilight (Sparkle). Okay? Okay. Anyways, on with the show.

Chapter 2: Rarity

As she and her companions regained consciousness following their forced teleportation, Princess Ember couldn’t help but let out a groan. “Where are we?”

Rarity, having taken a look around at their surroundings and noting that Canterlot was still standing in the distance, still couldn’t help but frown. “Ponyville...sort of. At the very least we know the bomb hasn’t gone off yet. Looks like Twilight made the right call in sending Spike to spend some time with Torch in the Dragonlands to help set up trade routes with the rest of Equestria about a week ago. If she had waited even a few more days...”

Fluttershy shook her head. "Let's not worry about the 'what ifs.' He's safe and that's what's important. So, um, what happened?”

“Yeah: is this some kind of temporal displacement or an alternate Equestria?” Rainbow couldn’t help but blink as everycreature slowly turned their head in her direction, even as she continued to comfort her oldest friend, causing her to give a sheepish blush. “I, uh, found some other reading materials while waiting for the next Daring Do book to come out. Real shame that Ahuizotl and Dr. Caballeron held her up in Saddle Arabia or we’d have wrapped this up by now.”

Applejack rolled her eyes. “Well, however ya found out about those terms, it honestly coulda been either: we may have jumped to another reality,” she declared, gesturing to an unconscious Sci-Twi, who had been accidentally brought along on their journey and knocked out in the process.

Dragon Lord Ember nodded. “...or events in our own timeline have changed and we're in a new alternate present.” Noticing the looks everycreature was giving her, she couldn’t help but give a sheepish grin “Yeah, uh, Spike lent me some reading materials.”

Rarity just sighed. “Well, whatever the case, darling, we need to get back, and soon. Bomb or not, Sombra must be stopped.”

Fluttershy nodded. “Well, um, the royal guard would know how to get us home, right?”

Rarity shook her head. “The royal guard might not exist: while admittedly, my spellwork isn’t as powerful as Twilight’s - either one of them - I’m fairly certain I would still be able to make contact with somepony, and yet I have come up short in that regard.”

The fashionista then shrugged. “Well, I do happen to have some special jewels that might speed up the process. I just need to gather them up from my boutique…”

Princess Ember nodded. “Meanwhile, perhaps I should check the Dragon Land's archives: if this is an alternate timeline, we might be able to find a triggering point there…”

“Assuming the Dragon Lands still exist…” Noticing the glares she earned due to that comment, Rainbow Dash held up her hooves in a calming manner. “I'm just saying!”

Applejack, hoisting Sci-Twi to her back, simply shrugged. “It's still worth looking into: the rest of us can check out things here.”

Rarity nodded before lighting her horn. “Now if I can just remember to…” As she manages to attune her locator spell to magical gems, as opposed to non-magical ones, she couldn’t help but smile as she found herself being pointed in the direction of her Ponyville boutique. “Well, nice to know that hasn't changed.” She quickly directed a smile to her companions. “I'll be back shortly, Darlings.”

Sometime later, in Carousel Boutique, Rarity couldn’t help but grow concerned: unless her horn was on the fritz, the gems she was looking for were currently located where she'd normally kept her fabrics.

Her worries only grew as the sound of somepony yelling out in pain came from what supposed to be the sewing room. Quickly running over to the door, she listened into what was being said on the other side.

“You seem to be handling this better than I expected.”

“I'm not afraid of you…”

“Please do dispense with these lies: the brew I made clearly says otherwise.”

Back in the hallway, Rarity couldn’t help but feel concerned/confused. Sunburst? Zecora? And what were you doing with Lightning Dust?

Meanwhile, inside what was supposed to be Rarity's sewing room - which looked more akin to an interrogation/torture chamber - Solar Zercora - sporting a more, for lack of a better word, tribal ensemble then usual - gave a stern growl. “I'd like to end these games, so surrender, please: this is your final chance to accept the Empress' humble mercy…”

Lunar Lightning Dust - covered in bruises and occasionally looking at a rainbow-colored handkerchief in the corner - managed to give a weak grunt. “You mean get re-educated in that improvised boot camp? Become a puppet...like you?” She soon found herself crying out in pain as Zecora's brews continued to torment her.

Solar Sunburst - wearing a menacing rendition of what could be considered wizard garb - quickly gained a scowl. “I suggest you comply: a lot of our friends suffered in the Canterlot incident five years ago…”

Lightning Dust sighed, her eyes seeming to showcase pity for the stallion. “I had nothing to do with that…”

Sunburst just gave a growl. “Even if I were to ignore that you aided with the distraction that was set up around the same time, it wouldn't matter. Her majesty doesn't have the time or the energy to have to constantly reign in loose cannons like you.”

“Tell this...to your boss.” Lightning Dust declared before spitting in their general direction, before crying out in pain as Zecora starts pouring another potion onto her still-fresh wounds.

Rarity, having seen just about enough, quickly yanked the potion out of Zecora's grasp. “Is this how you conduct yourselves now?”

Here, Sunburst couldn’t help but quirk an eyebrow. “Since when did regular grooming become important to you again?”

Zecora, however, showed some concern. “Somethings not right, that much is sure: it looks like Rarity, but I can't say…”

Rarity, deciding to interrupt the Zebra's rhyme, sternly yelled out, “Stand down: this isn't how you should treat other ponies, whether they be friend or foe.”

“Definitely not ours,” Sunburst declared, quickly popping a pill into his mouth. Before the fashionista could ponder what that was about, she quickly found herself ensnared by a pulse of telekinesis that seemed to be much stronger than what she’d come to expect of Starlight’s childhood friend, in spite of how his glowing horn showed that he was indeed responsible for this. “After we’re done here, let's see if we can't arrange a talk with the Solar Empress.”

“Let’s not,” Rarity quickly remarked, using her own horn to grab some fabric from nearby - luckily it seemed that some sewing did still take place in here, even if it didn’t seem to be as common an occurrence anymore - to blind Zecora, causing her to trip into Sunburst, releasing his hold on the Element of Generosity.

“Enough!” Sunburst yelled out. “Whoever you are, you’re under arrest.”

Whatever that pill was, it obviously gave him a boast to the stallion’s magic reserves. Between that and how Sunburst in any world was almost as knowledgeable in the arcane ways as Twilight and Starlight, Rarity found herself on the defensive for a short while. That said, while the fashionista didn’t possess the raw power of the Element of Magic or her student, she more than made up for it with her raw cunning. Taking advantage of the fact that they were technically still inside her boutique, Rarity distracted Sunburst by throwing some equipment that had been lying around before placing some well-aimed needles to lock the stallion in place before finishing her opponent off with a swift kick to the head.

“I really must thank Fluttershy for teaching me about pressure points and acupuncture when all this is over,” Rarity remarked before turning to glare at Zecora, who had sense managed to break free of her improvised trap. “Now, why don't you tell me who this ‘Solar Empress’ is? I’m very interested in who managed to turn you into a second-rate thug.”

“I'll show you ‘second-rate’, pony's double,” Zecora declared before splashing the fashionista with a special potion that temporarily blinded her. “But right now, let's talk about your mess of trouble.”

“You first,” Lightning Dust, who had managed to escape her bindings in the chaos, declared before knocking the Zebra to the ground. “You call me reckless, but I’m not the one turning my back on the enemy.”

“Your defiance is quite a sight,” Zecora remarked, “but with those wounds, you are not fit to fight.”

“She’s not wrong,” Rarity declared, having poured some water onto her own eyes to clear up her own sight. “Rest up for a bit, Darling. I’ll take it from here.”

Lightning Dust just growled, “If you think I’m just going to…” ...and that was as far as she got before being knocked back by Zecora, a shelf landing on her soon afterwards.

“Be patient: we’re not quite done,” the Zebra declared, before turning to Rarity with a dark grin. “But for now, let’s have some fun.”

To say that the following battle was not an easy one would be an understatement. Between Zecora’s shamanistic practices and Rarity’s creative/pragmatic fighting techniques, the two combatants were just about evenly matched. However, there was something to be said about the home field advantage, and while Carousel Boutique had been given a sinister makeover, that didn’t change the fact that Rarity still knew just about every inch of the place, and thus Rarity was able to pull a similar trick to what she pulled before facing off against Sunburst, causing the Zebra to run headfirst into a wall, knocking her out as she did.

“Was that as fun for you as it was for me?” Rarity couldn’t help but remark before approaching the downed ex-Wonderbolt trainee.

“Those scum…” Lightning Dust mumbled even as Rarity moved the shelf and it’s contents off of her back, attempting to heal her as she did. “As if they hadn’t taken enough from me…” Noting that Rarity was still trying to attend to her wounds, she couldn’t help but growl. “Admiring the work of your friends, are we?”

Rarity, briefly taken aback by this statement, simply shook her head in response. “Believe me: I’m just as upset about this as you are.”

“I doubt that,” Lightning Dust remarked, before looking the mare over a bit, nodding as if realizing something she hadn’t before. “Still, I suppose I should thank you. It’s been a while since I’ve seen some genuine Generosity.”

“Believe me, Darling,” Rarity said with a smile, “We’d never force you to help us. All I care about is that you care for the ponies around you.”

“Yeah: wish I’d realized that a few years back,” Lightning Dust declared as she wrapped her handkerchief around her neck, gently stroking some rainbow colored fibers that had been sewed into the fabric as she did. “Faust knows that there are a lot of mistakes that I wish I could take back...least of all not appreciating the ponies I knew when I had the chance.” She then gave Rarity a serious look. “That said, whoever you are, the Solar Empire knows of your existence now. They catch you...will you have the guts to turn them down?”

Rarity just gave her a look of determination. “Who are they working for?”

Lightning Dust just scoffed. “Who's the only pony capable of instilling fear in even the Elements of Harmony?”

Rarity, understanding the picture Rainbow’s old rival was trying to paint for her, and not liking what she was seeing, was soon brought out of her thoughts by a bit of static entering her mind. “Hold on: I think somepony’s trying to contact me.” With that, she activated her horn, trying to tune into the telepathy spell being sent her way. “Sci-Twi, are you there?”

Sci-Twi could practically be seen giving a sigh of relief. “Oh good, it worked.” Said relief was temporary, however, as she soon gave a panicked grunt. “Listen, I don't have much time: Chrysalis has been spotted downtown, she's attacking civilians and…” Unfortunately, Princess Twilight’s human counterpart never got to finish her warning, as her attempt at a telepathy spell was soon cut off.

Rarity just gained stern expression. “Twilight, if you can hear me, we're…” Unfortunately, whatever plan she had was soon thrown out the window upon discovering that Lightning Dust was nowhere to be seen. “I’m on my way.” Rarity just shook her head. “Just as impatient as always, I see.”

Meanwhile, Solar Queen Chrysalis and some of her Changeling forces were doing a decent job of holding Sci-Twi, Fluttershy, and Applejack at bay. At one point, Solar Chrysalis managed to toss Sci-Twi like a ragdoll against a nearby wall before giving a sigh in a rather smug tone. “If I didn't already know you weren't the one I'm used to dealing with, I might be a touch underwhelmed.” She then shrugged. “Oh, well: this will be over fast…”

“Did somepony say fast?” With that declaration made, Rainbow Dash was easily able to get in a few quick shots, but unfortunately, the Changeling Queen managed to get in a cheap shot, knocking the Pegasus to the ground.

Chrysalis couldn’t help but give a dark chuckle as she charged up a spell. “...and thus Rainbow Dash dies...again.”

“Not if I can help it,” Lunar Lightning Dust declared as she blindsided the Changeling Queen, causing her to lose concentration on her spell. “I let you Solar Empire jerks kill her once: never again.”

Here, Queen Chrysalis couldn’t help but growl. “And here I thought those two had your interrogation covered, but I suppose it’s like they always say: if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” Whatever she had planned, however, was soon cut short by a well placed blast to her side.

“How right you are,” Rarity declared as she too joined the battle.

“Honesty, Kindness, Loyalty, and now Generosity.” Needless to say, the nostalgia of the moment brought a dark chuckle to the Changeling Queen’s lips even as she charged up a magical assault. “This day just keeps getting better…”

Luckily, Rarity had managed to grab more than a few gems from her private collection while at the Boutique and thus was able to use a few of them to stop the Changeling Queen's attack in its tracks. Growling, the fashionista gestured to some of the injured, unconscious civilians that were nearby. “Is this how you intend to obtain the Love you wish to consume?”

Chrysalis scoffed. “You are definitely not from around here. Otherwise, you would have already been aware of how the policies of the Solar Empire are similar to my own within the Changeling Hive. An alliance was logical, so for now I tolerate the habits of pony-kind...even the need for a fainting couch.”

Needless to say, Rarity soon found her eyes growing wide in comprehension and shock. “I joined up in this world.”

Chrysalis simply let out a dark laugh. “As did all who wished to live.”

To say that the following fight was difficult would be a massive understatement. As the fiasco during Shining Armor and Cadence’s wedding had proven, the Changeling Queen was on par with Celestia herself when it came to raw power, to say nothing about her shapeshifting abilities and how she would occasionally have some of her drones do the fighting for her. That said, for all her tricks and all her strength, Chrysalis was still only one individual, and it seemed that Lightning Dust wasn’t content to just sit on the sidelines for this battle...which was a good thing, as while she had yet to completely shed her reckless nature, this version of the ex-Wonderbolt trainee had spent a few years fighting against the likes of Chrysalis and her allies and thus had picked up on a few of her tricks. Combined with how while Rarity didn’t have the Changeling’s raw power, the fashionista wasn’t a complete slouch when it came to combat herself, while it was a close match, the Queen soon found herself bowing before her opponents...and with the Queen defeated, the drones did the sensible thing of making a hasty retreat.

With the battle over, Lightning Dust couldn’t help but give an amused snort. “We’re resisting arrest.”

“Again,” Rarity said with equal amounts of dry amusement. Noticing the expression Rainbow was giving her, the fashionista shook her head. “I realize this is a lot to take in, Darling, but I’m sure that we’ll all get an explanation when the time is right.”

Lightning Dust simply nodded. “I promise I’ll explain everything I can later, but for now, just know that...well, I realize this isn’t entirely accurate, but it’s good to see you again, Rainbow Crash.”

Despite being pacified for the moment, Rainbow couldn’t help but groan. “Really?! Even in another reality, I can’t escape that nickname?!”

Applejack just rolled her eyes as she checked up on Sci-Twi. “Not important right now, Dash.” Looking up from where she was seated, however, her eyes widened as she noticed something, or rather somepony, approaching their position. “Rarity…”

“Did somepony mention me?”

The Element of Generosity couldn’t believe her eyes: there, standing before her, wearing some light armor and looking like she hadn't had a good spa visit in at least a good few weeks...was herself. Needless to say, she was utterly flabbergasted. “What is this?!”

Solar Rarity, noting that her doppelganger was referring both to her choice of appearance and her choice of company, couldn’t help but scoff. “The Changelings were right about one thing: appearances have nothing to do with Harmony.”

Rarity simply growled, gesturing to the injured civilians, some of whom are starting to rouse, even as she approached her doppelganger. “So you ditched the beauty of diplomacy and embraced the ugliness of dictatorship.”

Rarity just gave stern glare, even as the two unicorns struggled to overcome the other’s magical discharge. “I'm still about order, Darling, but like our parents always said, ‘Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder.’”

Lightning Dust, wanting to assist some more, did try and take the fashionista’s doppelganger out, but unfortunately, this version of Rarity had a few extra years to practice her spell craft. Combined with how the Pegasus was still sporting injuries both from the battle with Solar Chrysalis and her earlier torture and it was almost insultingly easy for the Element of Generosity’s doppelganger to take the ex-Wonderbolt trainee out.

Meanwhile, Rarity, having used her mirror image’s lapse in concentration to her back, couldn’t help the disgusted look that graced her features. “I'm sure they'd be very proud…”

Rarity scoffed. “Sanctimony is easy when you don't know…”

Rarity just gave a scowl in response. “Save it, Deary: it's time I taught myself some manners…”

It went without saying that the following battle was not easy: fighting with yourself never is. That said, while Solar Rarity had indeed gotten physically stronger by dedicating more of her time towards improving her combat and spell casting capabilities, her tattered outward appearance was just a small indication of how poorly she’d been taking care of herself. Stiff joints, lowered flexibility, and just the sloppy way that she threw some of her spells around: all of it added up to multiple openings that the true Element of Generosity readily capitalized on.

Rarity knew, however, that despite how badly her doppelgangers had failed both others and herself, her mirror image would not go down so easily. Praying that she’d be forgiven for this trick, she adopted a look of shock before yelling out, “Sweetie Belle: what are you doing here?!”

“Wait, WHAT!?” Solar Rarity yelled out, turning towards where her doppelganger was looking, hoping to protect her baby sister...only to realize too late that it had been a trick as she soon found herself knocked out by a mare that remembered to truly look after herself and others.

Even still, the fashionista couldn’t help but sigh as she looked upon her downed doppelganger. “It seems you still care for our little sister: perhaps there is still hope for you yet. Still, I admit that this was...a bit odd…”

Applejack - helping Sci-Twi to her feet - couldn’t help but shudder as the severity of the situation hit her full-force. “...and mighty disturbing.”

Rainbow Dash scoffed. “Yeah: that armor clearly would only provide minimal protection…”

Fluttershy nodded. ”...not to mention it so clashes with her eyes.”

Rarity smiled at the two before losing said smile as the sound of sirens was heard in the distance. “Um, perhaps we should get out of here…”

“WAIT!” The group turned to see what seemed to be a familiar face popping up in the alleyway that paused and turned towards Lightning Dust, gesturing to the civilians as she did. “Get them to safety: the Lunar Republic and/or the Shadow Party will see to it that you're all well informed regarding whether this is good news.” Lunar Lightning simply gave the newcomer a salute before doing just that. Once she was sure that they'd all gotten to safety, the mare turned back towards the group, a quivering lip evident even from where everypony was standing. “Is...is it really you?”

Rainbow Dash couldn’t help but gasp in surprise. “Pinkie Pie!?”

Here, they heard a light chuckle. “I haven't used that name in a long time.” A pink pony with hair laying flat against her body and carrying more menacing versions of party supplies soon stepped into the light. “Call me Pinkamena,” She then frowned as the sound of sirens started to grow louder. “Let's go: we don't have time for fun right now…”

“That felt so wrong hearing her say that…” Applejack couldn’t help but shudder even as she shook her head in disbelief. “..and seriously: hiding from the Royal Guard? This is more messed up than a pear tree sprouting in an orange grove in the middle of Winter Wrap up. Ah mean, aside from Lightning Dust, is there anypony who hasn't been corrupted in some way?”

As if on cue, a new voice let out a bitter chuckle. “Well, there just might be…” With those words, a horn was lit up, a telekinesis spell rearranging some loose bricks to open up a secret passageway. The source of said spell then looked towards Pinkamena. “Go check on your group: the Lunar Republic will be sending you the report shortly...along with the package you'd been requesting.”

Here, Pinkamena, leader of the Shadow Party, the Lunar Republic’s Spec Ops unit, couldn’t help but give a smile more reminiscent of her old party pony self. “Thanks: don't know how much longer I'd last without my baking sheets.” With that she disappeared from sight, almost seeming to teleport despite being an Earth Pony.

The newcomer just gave a sigh, not even bothering with trying to understand how her companion had done that. “It's so hard for her to smile when she's unable to throw even half the parties she used to and/or wants to…” She then smiled as she turned towards the others, giving the group a better view of a purple Alicorn wearing a black jumpsuit and covered in scars and noticeable amounts of muscle. “I realize this isn't entirely accurate, but it's good to see you all again…”

Sci-Twi couldn’t help but give an impressed whistle as she looked upon the pony before her. “So this is why my Rainbow kept insisting I'd get out of the lab…”

Twilight Sparkle, leader of the Lunar Republic, her own personal resistance effort, couldn’t help but give a bitter chuckle. “Yes, I suppose you do tend to get a bit stronger when you're leading a mass resistance effort…”

To be continued