• Published 22nd Oct 2021
  • 3,498 Views, 116 Comments

Discord's New Fluttershy - Kaidan

When magic returned to Equestria, it awoke Discord from a long slumber he entered to escape his sorrow and grief. He transforms Hitch into Fluttershy to fill the void in his heart. Can his friends save Hitch before they meet similar fates?

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Ch 05 The Aerodynamics of Friendship

“Discord?” Fluttershy had called.

I could have heard her no matter how far I had traveled in the galaxy. With a snap of my fingers, I was there not an instant later than she had said it.

“Yes, love? Need another back rub or maybe a little chaos to liven up the cottage?” I asked.

“I need you to promise to do something for me.”

“Absolutely anything, you know that, just tell me what it is,” I replied.

“You need to promise to do it, no matter what, and then I will tell you. Please, if you love me…” Fluttershy choked on a sob, and stopped speaking.

I raised an eyebrow in surprise, this was not like her and clearly something had deeply troubled her. I took her hoof in my clawed hand.

“I promise, no matter what it is, I will do it for you, Fluttershy.”

She smiled and gave me an affectionate kiss.

“I miss my friends, my family, and I know they’re waiting for me across the veil.”

I felt a weight like an anvil fall into the pit of my stomach, my throat convulsing and dry as I feared the request I thought she was about to make.

“I’m ready to die. I want you to end your magic upon me, and allow me to pass on to the next life” Fluttershy smiled, and I felt all her warmth and love in that moment.

“I… I can’t… I can’t die, I can’t ever see you again if you cross the veil.”

“Twilight, Flurry and Spike are all that are left besides you. This isn’t natural, Discord. I was never meant to live this long, I treasured our time together… but I have to do this. I have to see them again, to know for certain if they’ve been waiting on the other side. Please… keep your promise, and know that if you ever do find a way to cross the veil of death, I will be waiting for you.”

I had never known such sorrow as I did at that moment. I hugged her tightly, kissed her, and cried my eyes out on her shoulder.

She rubbed my back with a hoof. “I love you. You have the strength to carry on. Please… please protect ponykind and let others know the joy we’ve shared…”

We embraced until I was finally ready to let go. And when I did, her body was an empty vessel.

Zipp was cleaning up the old abandoned zeppelin station on the outskirts of Zephyr Heights. She had cleaned up all the fallen debris, and reframed the laminated posters that used to hang on the wall. The place looked almost as good as it had before it had been abandoned and turned into a museum. The museum was then abandoned when the tribes split.

This had made it the perfect place to study the aerodynamics of flight, and build her large fan airlift system. She had used it to try to learn to fly the hard way, with lots of exercise and practice. It had turned out that magic was more a factor of flying than agility, but at least Zipp had stayed in shape in the process. She’d also solved enough formulas that Zipp was confident she could build a working airship without much trouble.

“So, if you step up here once the fan’s on and spread your wings you should be able to get a feel for flying.” Zipp pressed a lever activating the fan.

Hitch hesitated for a moment, before flapping his wings to fly into the gust of wind, immediately tumbling up towards the ceiling.

“Spread your wings back out!” Zipp shouted.

Hitch did, finding it quickly righted him and he began to glide in place. He found it rather exhilarating, slowly drifting side to side as the fans kept him in a small pocket of steady air. “Whoa, this is awesome!” He wasn’t sure if Zipp could hear him over the roar of the fans.

A couple minutes later, Hitch flapped harder and escaped the air stream, and began to flutter down to the floor. Discord was applauding and eating some popcorn as he watched.

“Bravo! What a marvelous little invention you’ve got here Zipp. Not as good as that one Pipp had, or those televisions you told me about, but good nonetheless.” Discord stated.

“Yeah, I’ll let Pipp explain social media to you.” Zipp shrugged. “I’m more into the hard sciences, parkour, and flight.”

“What a lovely resume. You must be quite the egghead then.”

“Egghead?” Zipp asked.

“You know,” Discord snapped his fingers and took on the image of Twilight Sparkle, slapping a ruler against a chalkboard with several formulas on it. “Brainiac, philosopher, you probably wrote a dissertation on the optimal number of friends for a pony to make. You count books to fall asleep.”

“I don’t know about any of that, except the moral philosophy bit. I was pretty good on the school debate team.”

Hitch finished flying around the room again to land next to Zipp. “I didn’t know you were into that.”

“I’ve never been into it, all that ethics stuff never made much sense to me,” Discord added.

“Well, we’ve got plenty of time today if you’d like me to teach it to you,” Zipp said.

Discord jolted awake, having pretended to fall asleep while she spoke. “Huh? What was that, it sounded boring?”

She smirked. “Oh and I thought you loved games? I guess you don’t want to hear about the trolley problem then…” Zipp shrugged and started to walk away toward the lift out of the room.

About halfway there she heard a frustrated sigh, and a snap, reappearing right in front of Discord. “Ugh, fine. Please tell me what the trolley problem is? And if you start a checklist, the deal’s off!”

Zipp smiled when Discord took her bait. “You may want to sit down Hitch, this is a bit of a long one.” She went over to the nearby chalkboard and flipped it over to the blank side and began drawing.

“So you see, Discord, the trolley problem is a thought experiment to explain concepts like right and wrong. The problem with most ponies into ethics is they dive right into Stallion Kant, or deontology, or all this other boring stuff. So what better way to explain it than a game, of sorts?”

She tapped at the board where she had finished drawing two sets of train tracks, a trolley, and two groups of ponies. “The thought experiment is this. You’re on a trolley, Discord, and it is about to hit six ponies who are repairing the trolley line. You can pull a lever to make the trolley change tracks. If you pull the lever, it will miss the six ponies, but it will hit two ponies who are on the other track.”

“Therefore, if you do nothing, you will not have made a choice to kill the six ponies. However, if you choose to pull the lever, then you have made a choice that directly results in two deaths, but saves six lives. Do you pull the lever?”

Discord rubbed at his chin for a moment. “Can I just snap my fingers and turn all eight into giraffes with long enough legs to avoid the trolley?”

Zipp shook her head. “No, that’s kinda missing the point. It’s about what is right or wrong: is action better than inaction?”

“Well, I am more of an action kind of guy, but I’m not sure I get it. Seems like there’s no winning this game.”

She nodded. “That’s kind of the point, either choice could be justified, and the reasoning behind it is the thought experiment.”

“I guess I’d pull the lever so fewer ponies died,” Hitch said.

“Hmm, what about you Zipp? I think it’d help me understand this problem if you could show me.”

She tilted her head. “Show you? How would I do that?”

Discord grinned and snapped his fingers.

Zipp gasped, realizing she was standing in a trolley flying down the main street of Maretime bay. Hitch was next to her, holding onto the railing of the trolley to keep her footing. Discord was on the other side of Zipp.

“What’s going on?!” Zipp screamed over the noise of the wind and several ponies shouting at the back of the trolley.

“We’re doing the thought experiment!” Discord explained. “Ahead are six ponies, are you going to pull the lever to switch to the track with two ponies?”

Zipp looked around nervously. “Discord, this isn’t a joke! It’s not that easy, and it’s not like I subscribe to a purely utilitarian worldview!”

“Do something Zipp before anypony gets hurt,” Hitch screamed.

There was a loud screeching sound as the trolley hit the six ponies and skidded to a halt. Zipp and Fluttershy were coated in bits of pony, and let out horrified shouts of panic.

“Okay, so, what did we learn?” Discord asked. “Zipp? Talk it out.”

“You… you just killed a bunch of ponies!” Zipp angrily shouted. “What the hell is wrong with you?”

Discord shrugged. “It’s just an illusion, I’d never make you hurt real ponies. I’m pretty sure that’s against the rules.”

Zipp took a couple deep breaths to calm down. “Well that’s reassuring… because some of the parts of the fake ponies are in my mouth!”

Hitch asked, “So we’re not really in Maretime bay?” He released his death grip on the safety railing.

Discord snapped his fingers, dispelling the illusion and removing all the fake illusory blood. “We’re still in Zephyr heights.”

He snapped his fingers again and returned them to Maretime bay, but the trolley was parked.

“Okay…” Zipp seemed to have calmed down now. The shock was fading from the last experiment, though she couldn’t quite wrap her head around how Discord had made such a convincing illusion. “They’re fake, it’s just a thought experiment.”

“Well…” Discord sighed. “They’re fake ponies, but their pain is real. Does that make sense? If there’s no stakes then it’s just your silly chalkboard thought experiment.”

“That just makes it worse,” Hitch observed. “Can we please go back to the chalkboard?”

“So, Discord, you understand the moral dilemma now?” Zipp asked.

“No, but one more go ought to help.” Discord snapped his fingers.

The trolley started down the tracks again, getting a squeal of surprise from Hitch. Zipp said something under her breath before deciding it’d be quicker to play along than to argue with the lord of chaos.

“Okay, Zipp, you’ve got this…” She looked at the levers in front of her. “I’m going to pull the lever to switch the tracks and do the least harm possible…”

Zipp pulled the lever, diverting the trolley onto the track with only two ponies.

“Oh, I forgot to tell you.” Discord grinned. “In this scenario the two ponies on the track are two ponies you know.”

She looked up to see Sunny and Pipp standing on the track. They were chatting, and then noticed Zipp. “Hey sis!”

“Pipp? Sunny! Get off the tracks!” Zipp shouted. She waved her hoof to the side, noticing Hitch had closed their eyes.

“I can’t,” Sunny replied. “My roller blades are stuck in the track!”

The pegasus pulled out her phone. “Hold on, I’ve got to livestream this!”

“No!” Zipp yelled, “Get off the tra—”

There was a loud thud, and once again Zipp and Hitch were covered in bits of Discord’s illusion. Zipp got hit in the face with a rollerblade, and caught it before it fell to the ground.

Hitch opened his eyes and gasped in shock.

“I think I get it now!” Discord said. “The right choice is to hurt the fewest ponies possible.”

“The right choice is to resist the urge to punch you in the face to get my favorite Sheriff back,” Zipp muttered, barely resisting the urge to shout.

Discord laughed. “Such loyalty, and yet, such patience for my antics. You’re all right.” He snapped his fingers returning them to Zephyr Heights. “So what do you want to do now?”

Zipp looked up at the clock, it had only been a few hours. She sat down on one of the chairs in the former air travel station, near her chalkboard. A moment later Hitch and Discord found chairs to sit down in. They both took a few minutes to calm down, Discord wisely not interrupting them.

“You’re insane,” Hitch stated. “Absolutely insane.”

“Sanity is boring,” Discord countered, and shrugged.

“Well we’ve got plenty of time to kill. Before you got here I was working on some airship plans, if you want to help build it. Otherwise, maybe you could tell me about them.” Zipp pointed up to the Wonderbolts poster.

“They’re kinda lame.” Discord complained. “Airships are way cooler, and easier to create. I’ll whip you one up real quick.”

He snapped his fingers, causing a large wooden ship with several fans and a large blimp to appear just outside of the room. They all looked at the marvelous vehicle through the missing mosaic window. The blimp promptly caught fire, the hydrogen igniting from some errant bit of Discord’s magic. The entire ship plummeted, crashing into the sheer cliff face of Zephyr Heights into the fog. An explosion rumbled in the distance, and a few more panes of glass fell out of the windows.

Zipp just blinked in disbelief. “You know you could have used a non-flammable gas like helium, right?”

He groaned. “Oh come on. I guess I used up too much of my energy at once for that little trolley ride, I must not be a hundred percent yet.”

“How about no more chaos for the rest of the day? The whole point of building an airship is supposed to be, building it.” Zipp got up and walked through an archway into a larger room, waving a hoof. “Come on, into the launch bay.”

Once everypony was in there, she showed them some blueprints she’d hung on the walls and dozens of crates of supplies.

“We’ve only got one day to spend together,” Discord observed. “Do you really think there’s time for this?”

“I’ll help, plus it’ll let me keep an eye on Discord so he doesn’t mess with me anymore,” Hitch stated.

“Oh yeah,” Zipp said. “We’ve got everything we need, Discord can do the heavy lifting, Hitch you can assemble the smaller parts. They’re all labeled.”

Zipp walked over to a work bench and put on some safety goggles and got out an acetylene blow torch.

“And what are you going to do?” Discord asked.

She smirked. “I’m going to science the shit out of this.”