• Published 4th Jun 2020
  • 1,343 Views, 50 Comments

It Takes A Princess - Casketbase77

Creativa's struggle against Order's tyranny isn't going well. Another humiliating defeat has her hurled her across time and space... and into the lap of a Moon Princess who was just starting to get bored of retirement.

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To Break Up A Fight

Tap, scritch, thump, clop.

Tap, scritch, thump, clop.

The sound of Creativa’s mismatched footsteps echoed through the cave, loud enough to cover her apprehensive breathing, but nowhere near loud enough to drown her thoughts.

Per usual, Creativa had no idea where she was. She knew it had been dangerous to fire up her magic to boost her troupe’s morale, but they’d all been hiding in the mountains for so long, she’d hoped an impromptu rainbow-colored campfire might lighten their collective mood. No dice; Order detected it across the world and appeared in their midst immediately. The first snap of his pale fingers sent everypony present scattering in terror as he erased the unnatural fire from existence. Creativa of course counterattacked him with everything she had, igniting like a one mare whirlwind of anti-matter and entropic autoloaded hexes. These encounters were so routine that Creativa’s faithful student Twiddle Spiral was experienced enough to untraceably teleport everypony else to safety within seconds. Which was fortunate, since ‘mere seconds’ was usually all Creativa could keep Order occupied. Like so many times before, Creativa watched him fend off her most intense attacks before growing annoyed and snapping again. Cue her spitting silt as she lay winded from her impact on this cave’s dirty floor.

Tap, scritch, thump, clop.

Creativa was too bruised from her landing to run. Worse, she was afraid to spellcast again. Wherever this place was that Order had dumped her off, it was utterly saturated with so much Harmony magic Creativa could feel it on her tongue. Even if she was able to pick out a precious Chaos-enabled leyline amid all this smothering normal mana, she couldn’t risk incurring Order’s wrath again. Not so soon. He'd been able to track her magic signature all the way in the barren Prancing Peaks, so in here he'd be on her in an instant with a massive environmental advantage. The awful truth was that Order was stronger than Creativa. Much stronger. She had her bag of eclectic tricks, but even when they were supercharged by the desperate belief of the hunted ponies under her protection, nothing compared to Order’s authority over the Sun, the seas, and even the ground itself.

Creativa’s informal rebellion was hanging by a thread. She reckoned the only reason Order hadn’t just atomized her loyalists already was because he was too anal to dispose of reclaimable horsepower. Creativa had swayed them to her cause with extreme difficulty, and Order was winning large chunks of the defectors back by simply making a humiliating example of Creativa whenever she stepped out of line. Creativa could count on one pseudo-claw the number of sentences Order had bothered speaking to her in the past few years of their feud, but every word of his had cut her deep. Certainly more deep than any of her own wild extravagant efforts to weaken and dethrone him anyway.

“Eventually, they will all see the weary mortal mare under all that patchwork regalia.”

“Spread your fingerpaint for your fans so my tides may wash your work away in front of them.”

“Your colors are clashing less and less nowadays.”

Creativa loosed a double harmonic whinny of sad frustration and bucked the cave wall impotently. There was a light up ahead, an exit to open ground. But realistically, what was waiting for her out there? Endless fields of uniform grass that grew in perfect unison. Perpetually temperate weather that resisted all her attempts to add either storm or shine. And (most painful of all) pockets of browbeaten, passionless ponies mulling around the sterile boxy houses provided to them by their monster king. This world belonged to Order. A single alicorn, even an expert Chaos mage like Creativa, couldn’t change that. Faust knew she’d been trying all her life.

And yet, despite the differing aches in both her heart and legs, the motley leader of the naysayers continued limping toward the cave exit. Like always, she needed to get to trust Twiddle to keep everypony together until she found them again. Besides, giving up wouldn’t be what Loopa would’ve wanted.

In the dark of the cave, Creativa could almost imagine Loopa still with her. She would yipp at Creativa’s heels like she always did whenever she got excited, demanding Creativa drop the “sad clown” act. Then she'd bellow out loud how Order had power over their world, not their attitudes. Creativa closed her eyes and shook her tri-horned head, trying to clear the doubt away. Loopa may have been gone, but it’d be a snow day in the Kalahorsey Desert before Creativa disrespected her little sister’s memory by losing hope.

Hmm… a blizzard in the Kalahorsey might actually be a good idea. A strong, symbolic sign that Order’s grip on that region wasn't ironclad. Creativa made a mental note to try conjuring one of those when she and her followers were inevitably forced to retreat to that area of the world. The anticipation was enough to managed a melancholy smile.

“I’ll make him pay for what he did to you, Loopa. I promise. No matter how many times I get knocked dow-”

Order’s world had a knack for answering Creativa whenever she tempted fate. This time it chose to surprise her with a sudden drop off that sent the hapless harlequin skidding down a sand-coated downward slope towards the exit. Creativa managed to reflexively flare her asymmetric wings to catch some drag. Enough to avoid toppling, but not enough to avoid splashing down into the ocean after plummeting out of the tide-carved cave’s elevated opening.

Creativa thrashed disgracefully in the water, blinded by salt and daylight as she kicked towards the surface. The propulsion from her webbed hind overtook that of the hooved one, skewing her trajectory and forcing her to paddle wildly with her forelimbs to course correct. Eventually she broke the surface and gasped half a lung’s worth of air before a wave crashed over her. A less panicked, less drowning Creativa would’ve been overjoyed to find a chilly body of water producing tides and waves (after all, most of the oceans under Order’s control stayed tepid and motionless at all times), but abstract moralizing was beyond her hysteric survival efforts right now. It felt like hours and miles before her heaving underside scraped the beach shore, even though it couldn’t have been more than a minute of floundering like a dissenter in Order’s unforgiving grip.

Sinuses burning from snorting in seawater, Creativa heaved weakly before rolling over so the sun wasn’t in her eyes. Then she choked back a bray of alarm as through the black curtain of her dripping mane she saw that this beach was already occupied.

Kneeling on a picnic blanket that was spread out between two lawn chairs, a tall white pony with swan wings and a massive sun hat stared dumbfounded at the stranger who’d washed up on her shore. She looked about the same age as Creativa. Same height and weight too. In fact, Creativa realized with dawning dread, the beach pony currently rising to its hooves and peering cautiously at her through expensive-looking Bray Ban sunglasses was her twin in almost every way. The only difference was their colors. And as the doppelganger levitated her sunhat off and held it up to give Creativa some shade, she revealed two things that made bile rise in Creativa’s parched throat: the first was that she was indeed an alicorn. The second was that her cascading mane and tail were perfect matches for Order’s. Then the nightmarish distortion of Creativa’s reflection asked in a chilling copy of her own voice: “My word, what’s your circumstance?”

Creativa sprang to her feet in adrenaline-spiked fury and began blasting wildly.

“Stop it!” she foamed as her horns and antler ricocheted prismatic bolts in every direction. “Stop it, Order! Stop taunting me!”

It was too much. First Order had taken her sister away, then humiliated her over and over in front of her ever decreasing troupe of fellow freedom fighters, Now he had dumped her here, in an unknown area so thick with Harmony magic it was hard to breathe, to be finished off by a terrible construct of herself modeled in his own image. Creativa had been pushed too far. She was reduced to a mad dog. A flailing spastic creature consumed by it’s desperate drive to survive.

Order’s assassin was stumbling backwards, so Creativa frantically fired everything she had at it. The doppelganger tanked Creativa’s cocktail of unfocused beams head on, barely getting knocked to her knees. She was strong, but Creativa was used to being outmatched. Creativa had been prey all her life, and everypony knew how that old saying went about cornered rats.

Espying magic, Creativa tackled her enemy and pinned her to the sand. Doing so caused those Bray Bans to dislodge and even through the doppelganger’s painful squinting, Creativa could see purple irises, same as Order’s. Her inner fire wavered for a moment, buffeted by a breeze of numbing realization that after a lifetime of struggle, she’d finally gotten the upper hoof. For once, she was the one holding dominion over a stunned opponent. And in that split second of dissociative doubt, an indignantly thrown juice box soared at Creativa from the left to thwap her sensitive nose.

“What in Tartarus have I come back to? Move off my sister, you gaudy oaf!”

Loopa’s voice.

Creativa’s fiery drive to survive was extinguished in an instant, hollowing her spirit so completely she barely managed to moan in defeat as she slid limply off her doppelganger and curled up pathetically in the wet sand. She could barely see Loopa’s approaching doppelganger through the tears beginning to flow thick and fast, but it didn’t matter. Creativa was finished. She couldn’t duel an echo of her sister. Her weak heart wouldn’t let her. This was going to be where her crusade ended: Not in a pitched battle with Order himself, but struck down by a repurposed specter of the pony whose memory she’d fought so hard for. Creativa had nothing left. She didn’t even care enough to look up as she waited for the end.

“Did she harm you?”

“I don’t think she even can. She looks the part of Discord, but seems to spellcast on the exact same biorhythm as me.”

“What in Tartarus is she?”

“Afraid. Which is all we should care about right now.”

Creativa didn’t understand. Order never wasted time when dealing with annoyances. Why weren’t his proxies ending her already? She didn’t understand why her clone was draping the repurposed picnic blanket over her. She didn’t understand why Loopa’s clone was pressing a slightly dented but mercifully cool juice box to her forehead.

She just didn’t understand.