• Published 6th Oct 2012
  • 1,877 Views, 101 Comments

A Discordant Tale - piedol



A story of Ponies, Humans and Discord, and the tragedy lost to history.

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Chapter 1

Chapter 1

"... Ouch." The pain. The all-encompassing, burning, agonizing pain. I feel like I've been torn to pieces by wolves and then hastily put back together, but not before each of those pieces were dunked in pure alcohol and then set on fire.

Pain is good. At least you're alive to feel it.

"... Shut... Up."

You must really be out of it if you expect me to honor that request. Now stop whining and open your eyes. Remember what Discord said. We have to make a good-

"First impression, blah blah bladeh blah. I know. And getting caught here would hardly help that. But frankly, I'm finding it hard to care much about anything on account of the fact that I feel like I'm being burned alive! Also, did you just say 'we'? You may have individuality now, but you're still part of me."

You're looking at it the wrong way. Two halves make a whole. In this case, your once split personality is now two completely independent minds continuously coexisting in the same body. Neither of us controls the other, but we cannot be separated.

"So... Essentially you're like a hobo that's moved into my house and now refuses to move out?"

If that's what makes your uncomfortable, then yes.

"This is far from what I had in mind when Discord said he’d let me control magic, but whatever. I just hope I don't regret it."

I finally opened my eyes to find myself lying prone on a patch of grass before Discord's stone prison, right where he said he'd transport us. To my left was the entrance to the Canterlot Maze. Much further off to my right, the regal beauty of Canterlot Palace. Directly above my head, the midnight moon shone with a white so bright it was almost blinding, and the stars twinkled in the sky far more clearly than I'd ever seen them from my city home.

I forced myself up with a groan and attempted to steady my nerves. Already, feeling was returning to my limbs and the pain had begun to fade. I noted that I had arrived in the very same clothes I’d left the human Earth in (A plain black T, knee-long khakis and some cheap slip-on shoes) despite the fact that I had been buck naked in-between worlds. At the very least Discord had been practical enough to allow me to cover up my hairless body in the chill of the night. I had a couples tasks to perform, I knew that much, but I wasn't sure where to begin.

I can help with that. Mental recap time!

For the love of god, please don-

You are now in the magical, wonderful world of Equestria. Your life back on Earth came to a magnificently violent end at the hands of Discord, but through your own consent.

I'm already beginning to regret doing th-

In return, you got to come here with a brand spanking new body that looks, sounds and feels exactly like the old one did, but has the added benefits of being able to channel the magic present in this world, and having me as a sort of on-board AI, though I guess since I'm not artificial, that would make me just I. Haha. See that? I made a funny.

DISCORD, I SWEAR THE NEXT TIME I FIND YOU I’M GOING TO TEAR OFF YOUR-

Tone down the volume there, Spartacus. I can barely hear myself think! See, it's funny because I'm in your mind and- well, I think you get the gist of it. Anyway, now that we are here, we get to do almost anything we want, and use our magic however we want, so long as we do as Discord said and play it relatively safe around Celestia.

I still find it hard to believe that he'd give us all this in return for doing something we'd have done anyway if we'd found ourselves here under any other circumstances. Why does he want us to be a part of their lives? What does he gain out of it?

We'll find out eventually, he said so himself. Also, you just said 'us'. Looks like you're warming up the idea of us being two separate minds already!

Actually, I just don't want to consider myself one and the same with such an annoying creature.

:(

Did you just put an emoticon in my head?! What the- HOW?!!!

Well for starters I-

Forget it. Something tells me it'd only make my head hurt more than it already is. Look, let's put our conversation on hold till after we've managed to make Celestia aware of our existence in a way that doesn't alarm her to the point where she exiles me to the Everfree Forest or something. The longer we sit here chatting, the higher my chances are of being spotted by a guard and being subsequently hauled off in chains.

About that, I don't think Celestia should be your prime concern at the moment.

What do you mean? She's the ruler of all the land. If I gain her favor, I doubt I'd have much difficulty joining Ponyville's society.

You're only half right. You see, she USED to be the ruler of all the land. Now, since the return of another Princess from her thousand years of exile, she only rules over it in the daylight hours.

I looked up at the Moon, and it gazed right back.

I muttered a single word under my breath; "Luna." My objective was now clear. Odds were she would be less sensitive to potential dangers in her land than her sister would, considering her millenia of absence from the throne. I would hopefully have an easier time making nice with her than I would with her much more experienced and mature sister. I'd gotten lucky. Or perhaps Discord had planned to transport me there at night? Either way, I now had direction.

I had full confidence in my ability to convince her that I would be no threat, but to do that, I would first need to meet her face to face. And I highly doubted any one of the guards would allow that to happen without causing an uproar about an intruder on palace grounds. I would need to plan carefully, be subtle, and move swiftly before dawn arrived.

I began scheming as I made my way through the castle gardens towards the palace walls, keeping an eye out for any patrols.

Why not use this as an opportunity to test out our magic beyond that crash course we got?

Exactly what I was thinking. How about we make use of an invisibility spell, or teleportation! Or maybe-

Don’t get ahead of yourself here. Discord only gave us the basics to work with; Heat, cold, telekinesis, telepathy and a few others. Nothing too influential. I’m guessing he didn’t exactly trust you with the power to essentially no-clip from the get-go. Even with this relative little though, there are nearly a hundred runes and variants of them to deal with. The simplest to use are the push and pull commands for telekinesis, but that’s not going to be of much use for a stealthy entrance.

So until we get our hands on some reference material, we'll have to settle for using the basics... Which you will also have to guide me through, since I know exactly nothing as of now.

That’s what I’m here for. Our main obstacles are the guards that will doubtless be swarming the castle grounds.

I don't want to have to hurt anyone if I can help it.

So we need a distraction.

Hmm. Well, you did mention Telepathy, right? I’ve got an idea that might work.

Ooh. I like it! Alright, to start off, you’ll be drawing on your body’s own reserves of energy to focus the magic. This won’t be too much of an issue since it’s a non-physical spell, but try to make it as quick as possible just to be safe. Furthermore...

***

Fifteen minutes later, I lay concealed in a nondescript hedge along the path leading up to one of the side gates to the main palace. If I was to find Luna, I figured I would need to search through almost every major room in the structure that a ruler would uh... Rule from, in order of descending likelihood, and at the top of that list was the throne room. Alright, so sue me, it wasn't the best thought out course of action. But it was something!

Before me, two burly white Pegasi in the standard blue and gold armor of Celestia’s regiment stood guard at either side of an ornate golden double door. They were staring dead ahead, and had not made a single move since I'd approached. I hard a hard time even seeing the rise and fall of their chest. The ponies looked more like statues than living creatures, which was both impressive and a tad intimidating. They had yet to notice me, thanks to my stealthy movement through the brush and leaves. All I had left to do was initiate my plan, and hope the sentient part of the creatures still took precedence in their soldiered minds.

Alright, you've had long enough to prepare yourself. I'm getting impatient.

Easy there. I'm still new to this whole magic deal. You may have the knowledge of magical symbols and leylines and whatnot, but I'm the one channeling the energy, right? Try not to overdo it on the first attempt.

Aye-aye! Initiating phase one of my master plan: Split them up! Remember, just will it to happen. You have to mean it if you want this to work.

With those words, my alter ego began superimposing runes on my mind. I closed my eyes and focused on the symbols whilst visualizing the objects I wished the energy I was focusing to affect, and the way in which I wanted it to do so - The guard to the left of the door. His head. His skull. His mind. - I felt my consciousness stretching out and converging on a single point around ten feet away from me. If he felt any disturbances from the magical intrusion, he showed no signs. I had a faint impression of everything in a moderate radius around myself, including both guards. Both remained stoic and calm as I infiltrated the mind of one of the oblivious company.

With a final mental push against his natural barriers, I was in. Though my eyelids remained closed, I could see once more. But I didn't see the world from my position in the bushes. Instead, I saw it through the eyes of the Pegasus standing to the left of the palace entrance. I felt the light metal armor on my head and back, the strange numbness of having hooves at the end of each of my extremities, and strangest of all, I felt my wings coiled tightly at my side. I was now experiencing the world from his perspective, and he was completely unaware of it.

Assimilation complete... So this is what a pony's body feels like. Boy, do I feel fiiiiine. Talk about a toned flank. The fillies must have a hard time resistin-

Could you please shut up and get on with it?

Pssh. Have it your way, spoilsport. For starters, your nervous systems are now linked using your own magical aura as a proxy. You see and feel what he does, but he gets nothing from you unless you want him to. In this case, I'm preventing you from sending anything along the connection just yet so that you don't accidentally let him into your own mind, sort of like a firewall. Before I allow you to send anything over, I'll need you to focus. You can't doubt yourself for a moment, or the illusion will waver. You must believe that you are him, and then you must give yourself a fright, all the while truly believing that you are the one in peril. Don't even think about getting into the building, got that?

Sounds simple enough. Putting myself into someone else's shoes - or horseshoes in this case - has always been a strong-point of mine. Basically, I just synchronize with him, then let my imagination run wild till he's out of our hair, correct?

You got it. Feel free to start. I'll loosen my restrictions bit by bit as you settle into your own fantasy.

I relaxed. My own body was nowhere in sight, and with the aid of my mental companion, its senses were completely numbed as I focused on the mind of the guard I was trying to possess. I couldn't directly read his thoughts, but I could feel impressions and emotions running through him. This would've been interesting, if he weren't so... Well trained. All I felt was a gray haze of uninterested consciousness. There was no curiosity, no wayward daydream. He just stood there, staring and waiting, but expecting nothing. I shuddered to think how boring the life of the young stallion was, and if it would always be like that, considering the redundancy of guards for immortal Alicorn goddesses in a veritable utopia.

Suppressing my distaste, I allowed my mind to slow down and adopt his own emotions and thought frequency. Within seconds, I too was staring dead ahead, no longer pondering my future exploits or interactions. All I had was focus, but no goal. I waited, and waited.

Don't lose yourself. I'd hate for you to become a vegetable here and completely copy his mind over yours. It hardly seems the kind that would entertain me. Anyway, your minds are synchronized well enough now, so I'm opening the connection slightly. You can start visualizing the distraction.

***

What was that? A rustle from the bushes? No, it sounded more like a whisper. I glance around, but see nothing out of the ordinary. My partner doesn't seem to have heard it, so perhaps it was just a breeze.

Wait. No, something's up. There it is again. Something's making noise. It sounds almost like... hissing? Where's it coming from? How can he not be hearing it?

"Hey, Hasty, you hear anything?" I ask him. He does not react beyond dragging his eyes about, scanning to his left and right once each before fixing his gaze on me.

"Nothing but the sound of you breaking protocol. Night was silent as ever, and quite frankly, I liked it that way. Now if you don't mind..."

He trails off and looks ahead once more. Who does he think he is? I report hearing a disturbance for the first time since the Changeling incident, and he can't be bothered to at least take me seriously? I was right then, wasn't I? It's times like these that I wish I was one of the higher-ups. I'd make sure every guard showed me the respect I deserve, and-

"There it is again! Can't you hear it? A hissing! It's all around us! Where's it coming from?!"

He groans and turns his head to face me entirely. He seems more angry than worried though. "Look, Leeroy, I can't hear anything but the sound of your own irritating voice! You're killing my mood here. Please, unless I hear it too, it's not real, so don't say a word! Got that?"

He thinks I'm imagining things! Something potentially dangerous is going on, and he can't even listen to me this once? No. To the moon with him! I'll act on my instincts. They've never pointed me wrong before. When all is said and done, and I've averted a major crisis, I'll be the hero, and he'll regret having scoffed at me.

I step away from my post and look around to try and locate the source of the noise. We're not supposed to fidget unnecessarily unless a threat to the throne or its citizens has been confirmed, but if I'm right here, that's exactly what I'm dealing with. I can feel Hasty's eyes boring into my back, as I've now completely broken protocol as far as he's concerned, but I don't have time for him.

There! From the gardens! I think I saw something shift in the shadows. And it did *not* look small. Almost like... No. That's impossible. There's no way something that big could have made its way onto the castle grounds without creating mass panic along its path. Yet, what else could it be? It shifts again, and my fears are that much further away from being allayed. I can make out scales along a massive hose-like form. I take a step towards it, and the hissing exponentially increases in volume. There's no doubt in my mind now.

"SNAAAAAKE!!!!" I cry out. I try my best to alarm Hasty so that he would finally get a sense for the urgency of the situation, but instead of instant concern and battle-readiness, he takes a menacing step towards me.

"Leeroy, I've had it up to here with your nonsense! As of right now, I have every right to arrest you for not only disturbing the peace, but making a mockery of the throne with your pitiful excuse for professionalism. You are a trained soldier of the Canterlot Elite. For Celestia's sake, ACT LIKE IT."

"You're the one who needs to start acting like a soldier!" I shoot back hotly, turning to face the shifting form of the behemoth concealing itself in the shadows, "I've identified a very REAL threat to the throne, and you do nothing but tell me to be quiet about it! In fact, if you intend to get in my way, then you're nothing but an obstacle to me in performing my duties. If you try to subdue me, I'll have no choice but to incapacitate you."

I hear him scoff and take another step. "I'd like to see you tr-!"

Before he can finish, I whirl on him and deliver a swift headbutt to his jaw. Not giving him a chance to recover from the whiplash, I turn again and buck him in the throat as hard as I can. As he crumples into a groaning heap, I get the strangest feeling of regret for hurting him, despite it being part of my duty, but I push it aside. Not-too-Hasty would be fine. I have more pressing matters to attend to. Under normal circumstances, I'd call for assistance from the nearest outpost, but something tells me the other soldiers would act no differently than Hasty had. I'll have to handle this alone.

There's a roar behind me that makes the hair of my mane stand on end. I spin around and come face to face with the head of a gargantuan snake, at least eight feet of flesh stretched between each yellow eye. Its black and green scales glisten in the moonlight, as do its fangs, and the smoking black venom dripping from them. The monster glares at me as it slithers closer, its maw opening wider and wider. I feel my limbs go cold under its petrifying gaze. I can't handle this. What was I thinking? Oh, sweet Celestia, I'm sorry I've failed you.

I close my eyes as it swallows me whole, and my world becomes cold.

***

I whistle at my handiwork. Two guards now lay unconscious before me, and I was free to enter the palace proper.

"Not bad for a first time, eh?"

I concur. You really got into it towards the end. I'm honestly surprised you managed to make him attack his companion like that.

*Honestly, that was not my intention. I merely guided him along with suggestions and impressions. His violent side just happened to arise when the other guard challenged him. I didn't want to hurt anybody.*

Oh, man up. We do what's necessary. Neither of them will die. Now let's quit our dilly-dallying and find that throne room!

With a steadying breath, I emerged from the bushes and approached the ornate wood and gold door. I took a moment to admire the crest of the sun and moon engraved on the split in the thick wood before shoving it in and making my bold entrance.

"Shhhhhhiiiiii-"

You're fucking retarded, you know that?!

I didn't respond. I merely felt regret for all my wasted effort as each and every one of over a dozen guards that lined the hallway turned their heads and stared at the alien intruder and the two unconscious bodies behind it before remembering their precious protocol and charging as one.

End of Chapter 1

This one was a good deal shorter than the Prologue. Don't worry, other chapters will be slightly longer (or a lot, if you want them to be). Remember, give me feedback regarding my tone of speech, pacing, effects, and (most importantly as of now) how long you'd like chapters to be. Remember, if they're short enough, I can move up to two updates a week instead of one. Regardless of what I get for this one, the next update will be longer by some margin.

That aside, any and all comments are read and appreciated. I await your judgement. :3