• Published 16th Nov 2012
  • 1,921 Views, 24 Comments

Samurai Applejack - A. Tuesday

After being sent forward in time, Applejack must find a way back to her time to undo Sombra's evil.

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The train clacked along the rail, jumping every couple of revolutions as if making sure the ponies inside were still alive and warm. It might as well have; the locomotive had since left the Crystal Empire, in all its’ dead grass and musty drought, and into the tundra that was the Frozen North. Frost collected on the windows, fogging the vision of anypony who wanted to get a better look at the snow collecting outside.

She sat on the chair, motionless. No depression or sadness went through her mind now. That would come later. She knew it would. There was only one emotion that was running through Applejack’s veins at the moment, and it was anger.

She exhaled a short, hate-filled breath into the car, and it materialized in front of her. One of the windows was cracked open, letting in a draft.

“Is that it, then?”

Applejack chose not to answer the question. Never before in her life, not even once she found that he had tricked her into thinking her friends were all against her, had she hated the draconequus sitting opposite her in the small train car.

“You’re just not going to speak to me? Not after I saved your life?”

The tangerine pony glared up at Discord from under her brow, emerald eyes piercing into his hide of many species. “There’s another life ya didn’t save.”

He waved a paw dismissedly at AJ. “You cannot possibly blame her death on me. I wasn’t the one who drew her sword.”

Applejack’s nostrils flared. “You were there the whole time. You coulda said somethin’ earlier, but ya didn’t. Ya let this happen.”

Discord returned AJ’s earlier glare. “I witnessed the extent it was getting to. You didn’t hear my calling, Applejack.”

“Ya never did. Not ‘til after I’d killed her.”

“Oh, didn’t I?”

Regrettably, a memory surfaced in Applejack’s mind: one of hearing a voice louder than the others, a cautionary one. But, it was a memory of rage, rage the made Applejack deaf to the words of prevention.

The pony bit her lip as the train sped on, clacking against the metal of the track. “It don’t matter,” she said back, though it was more for herself than the other creature, “Ya coulda stopped the whole thing earlier on, too. She didn’ have ta die. You coulda saved the both of us.”

She was looking Discord dead in the face at the point. Discord raised an eyebrow; then, slowly, painfully, shook his head.

“You tell yourself that, Applejack. And remember that you didn’t kill yourself and let Twilight live. You could’ve saved her as easy as that, but no, blame the one who saved you. I will never understand why ponies are saved and then torment their saviors so.”

Applejack opened her mouth to say something, but found it dry. No vocal chord stretched, no response seemed suitable in her mind. The words from her savior fell into her heart and sat there.

And remember that you didn’t kill yourself and let Twilight live.

AJ tried to tell herself that there was something wrong with this statement, some reason why she should’ve kept herself alive. Was it because it would’ve upset Twilight? Probably as much as Applejack was feeling right now about her dead friend. Even so, that wasn’t it. That didn’t justify it.

He was… right.

“However, this is the exact reason that I am glad you’re alive.”

Applejack picked her mourning head up and looked, curiously, into the draconequus’s eyes. She didn’t understand.

He pointed a claw at her. “You are tough. Killing yourself would’ve been the easy way out. But, you didn’t. Not even when Twilight began assaulting you, both physically and verbally. Resilient. And, unlike Twilight, you possess no magical ability that might become strong enough to usurp me. You are an admirable young mare.”

Applejack looked back down to the wooden floor, blinking a bit to try and comprehend this. The snow continued to batter the train from outside.

“But… why?” Applejack questioned, “Why am I worth savin’?”

Discord stared into the pony’s eyes. “Well, I know you personally, don’t I? That makes us friends. And friends look out for each other, even when it’s been three centuries without so much as a postcard. Thanks, for that, by the way,” he added, jokingly.

The pony continued to look questioningly at her savior as he continued, “There’s a faded line between chaos and tyranny, Applejack. Tyranny can be chaotic, but true chaos does not involve tyranny. You are going to a place that’s chaotic, not tyrannical. A better place. A place you can handle yourself in without the watchful eye of the shadow pony himself. That’s why I chose to save you.”

He added, with a smirk, “Plus, I happened to be there already for various reasons. Isn’t coincidence wonderful?”

Applejack couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something the draconequus was hiding from her. It didn’t make sense for Discord, who had previously turned her mind and her homeland into atrocities which only rivaled the modern-day Crystal Empire, to save her out of the blue. And, because he was there? What are the odds? And why?

She had the urge to ask all of these, but the question that left her mouth was:

“What are ya doing out of yer stone prison?”

Discord laughed in the pony’s face, who only became more confused as the train rolled on down the tracks.

“An interesting question,” he observed. “But, I suppose an answer is in order. It seems like you’re pretty lost.”

A snap of his talons, and a sly grin, and the train car disappeared.

* * *

The world spread out before her, grass and trees sprouting out of the ground that seeped into a void like spilled water. Along with it came the buildings; dilapidated, falling down, destroyed and burning. Shouts of pain and anger resounded with magical bursts and the metallic clanking of swords.

Applejack was standing in tall, unkempt grass the brushed against her legs every time a gust of wind came along. Debris rustled past her in the wind as her vision slowly came to her, de-fogging from the sudden change.

A voice from thin air whispered within her ear: “It was best to show you, than to tell you. Tell me, when is this?”

It was Discord; he had immersed Applejack in a vision of the past. Among the din, a banner flew lazily across the overcast sky, soaking wet with freezing raindrops that went right through Applejack’s coat. The banner came to rest atop a statue in the center of a field of monuments, draping over every appendage and revealing to Applejack large, crumpled, red letters.

“’ALL CITIES FOR FELICITY’” Applejack read aloud. She turned around from the monument garden to look at the city itself.

The whole thing was in shambles. A massive rock wall dominated the far side of it, as if the city was part of a large mountain; its foreground consisted of fire, destruction, and silhouettes of ponies doing all sorts of things from burglary to brawling to arson.

A cracking noise made Applejack whip around in the smoke that filled the air. From a distance, the large spire of a castle in ruins cracked halfway up, tipping the pillar off its side and off the castle completely, coming detached from the castle and the city and falling onto the plains below. The castle had some words inscribed upon it that were now faded and crumbled, rendered indecipherable.

“The Canterlot Riots,” Applejack said aloud.

Very good,” the otherworldly voice of Discord responded, “No princesses left to govern their subjects. Overcome with sadness and nearing insanity as troubles associated with the Magical Cycle arose, they passed power down to the Council. The Elements, no use. Without all Six, they were virtually powerless to stop the threats. The problems. The monsters. The darkness and fear and anger and hate. None of it.

Especially since Twilight, Element of Magic, was nowhere to be found, no prowess or special authority could’ve been used effectively. Twilight was a pupil of the princess; the rest were not. They all left, going their separate ways before things got too heated. The Council tried. But, twelve of the Princess’ royal staff did not equal two Princesses. The problems escalated.

And so, this occurs. An entire capital in shambles. The Riots. What you’re looking at is the end; seven months’ culmination into the end of an era. Kicked back up into excitement by the Council’s attempt to solve everything… again.

“Seven months?” Applejack wheeled around, taking in the sight of what she saw. This was seven months’ doing? Ponies had been doing this for more than half a year?

What happens to this world without guidance?

You see what happens to this world without guidance?” Discord echoed, reading her thoughts. “As long as ponies have figure that’s even somewhat powerful and intimidating stepping before them, they can live through anything. The Council was neither of these things.

“Did…” Applejack asked, trailing off. Then, getting her voice back, “D-did it ever get better?”

As if to answer her question, loud panting and the sprinting of many hooves resounded in her ears. The pony turned around to see three shadowy silhouettes racing across the monument garden, but with no real intent to do anything. They were simply there to cause damage.

The trio stopped in front of the statue that the wind had draped a banner over. One of them grabbed the cloth with their mouths and yanked it off the structure.

“’Felicity’, my flank,” one of them spat in a gruff voice, “It’s too late for that.”

The statue was now illuminated before all of them by Luna’s moon: it showed a creature with the head of a pony and the body of all sorts of other animals, showing surprise on its face and holding its arms out in mercy, as if the fate that had cast him into stone was of some dastardly, unspeakable horror.

“Well, looky here,” another of the figures said, “It’s one of the Council’s prized idols.”

“Actually, boss,” the third said, “That looks Princess-Era to me.”

“All the better,” the other said.

With effort, the three ponies all turned around, and began bucking the statue at the legs repeatedly, cracks forming in the legs and traveling their way up the rest of the figure like small rivers. Applejack watched in amazement as pink light began to filter in through the cracks.

As they kicked more, one of the shards of the statue fell loose, revealing a long shaft of pink light.

The magical explosion that ensued blinded Applejack.

* * *

“I was free the same way I always was,” Discord said, “Three ponies fighting, arguing, or doing anything they can to create a lack of harmony. That city was full of it; I just needed the right push.”

They were back in the train car. Applejack held her head with a hoof, reeling from the vision. The windows had changed their view from fierce and snowy to lusciously green.

“So,” Discord said, “I re-instilled myself as the rightful leader of that place. Organized chaos, I like to call it. Everypony tries to get along and do their own sort of thing with a different kind of chaos; mine. Anarchy is an interesting thing when handled the right way.”

Applejack looked to her savior. “So… you’re the leader of Equestria, now?”

“Equestria, no,” he corrected, “The New Principality of Chaos, yes.”

The pony’s gaze shifted back down to the wooden floor again. “A lot has changed,” she murmured.

“Indeed it has,” Discord replied. “And you can find that out yourself once we get to the NPC, once you decide what you’re going to do.”

Their gaze met once more, a suspicious look once more finding itself growing on AJ’s face. “Huh?”

Discord shrugged. “I have no use for you in Old Canterlot or the Palace. As far as I’m concerned, you are free to do whatever you would like, Applejack. Live your life! The world is grand! Chaos is grand! Think of how much better you’ll be, away from Sombra and his… Sombra-ness.”

A hiss sounded from the car. Steam poured from the train as Applejack looked out the window and noticed where they were.

“Ponyville,” she said, barely audible.

“Yes,” Discord re-affirmed. “Ponyville.”

The two of them walked off of the train, Applejack’s ruddy Stetson on her head and her magical sword where it always was, sheathed by her side. She squinted into the sunlight at the world around her.

The ground around her wasn’t faded green like she remembered, but a checkered array of darkened grass. The buildings in front of her ranged from her time, all wooden, and old-fashioned in model, to newer ones; these stood out from the rest in their cube-like shape. Tinted reflective glass covered the outside of them, giving the buildings a bluish hue. Applejack wondered why they were designed that way.

Farther, into the heart of the city, large, flashing neon signs advertised products of all sort, while a large radio tower seemed to dominate the skyline. Odd, pony-powered flying machines hovered around some of the taller buildings, very rectangular in their formation. The noise of machinery, business, and general hubbub flowed out of the town, a constant stream of the new world that Applejack had yet to be accustomed to.

Among the new features of the town included its inhabitants – there weren’t just ponies here anymore. Griffons, dragons, some escaped crystal ponies, mules and deer and antelope and all sorts of ungulates, and other, masked ponies with respirators around their mouths, walked among what she was used to. The difference was shocking to Applejack, but everypony else ignored it as if there was nothing wrong.

“It may be called ‘Ponyville’,” Discord said, a paw and claw on his hip, hovering in mid-air, “But, it’s not just ponies here anymore. You certainly have a lot of catching up to do.”

Applejack couldn’t think of anything to say. The world before her was certainly different. Very different. Almost too much for her to handle.

“And, you may start wherever you want,” Discord continued, “So long as its within the NPC.”

AJ squeaked out an “Ooh!” as pressure encircled her right forehoof, not enough to cause pain but enough to be fairly noticeable. She looked down, raising her hoof to see a small band, about an inch wide, encircle the hoof and match its color, giving off a faint glowing aura that would be the only clue to its existence besides its physical presence on Applejack.

“What the hay is this?” she demanded, shaking her hoof and watching as the object did not budge, whatsoever.

“It’s a magical cuff,” Discord explained, “It prevents you from crossing the border of the NPC. Magically fries you from the inside out. If you begin to step over, you’ll feel a slight shock. Get too far away, and you’re fried pony.”

AJ shot Discord a disbelieving glance. “What reason would I have fer leaving Equestria? I don’t even know what everythin’ is yet!”

“The NPC,” Discord corrected, “And, you don’t – not really. I just don’t need you snooping into places where you aren’t needed… not to mention, if Sombra attempts to take you back, you’ll be dead before he can use you.”

She looked at the band on her hoof. “What kinda sick game is this?”

Discord shrugged. “You call it ‘sick’. I call it ‘precautionary’. And this is where I take my leave.”

He held out a claw to Applejack, raising his head up high. “Good day to you, Honest Applejack. Our paths will most likely cross again. Until then, good luck in this new world of yours.”

Warily, and uncomfortably, Applejack stuck out her own banded hoof, and shook with Discord. With a snap of his talons and a white flash, the draconequus had disappeared.

Applejack stood there, facing the train that had taken her here as it sped off into the distance. Discord’s last message had left a bad taste in her mouth.

You call it "sick". I call it "precautionary".

“He’s hidin’ somethin’, all right,” Applejack muttered to herself. “I don’t know what, but I intend to find out.”

The pony turned from the train and faced her old home – now in a futuristic, very random and hectic state. She noticed, from afar, that some buildings seemed to twist and turn as if they were alive, similar to what they did when Discord had Ponyville under his chaotic fist over three centuries ago.

One of these buildings was a short, shout structure, like a cupcake with a thick spire jutting out from its center upwards towards the heavens – it looked like it had been recently refurbished, and obviously painted over and used for different things, but its façade stuck out in Applejack’s mind. It was a building she knew. A structure she had once entered.

The Carousel Boutique.

“Rarity,” she muttered.

All at once, the weight of the day finally crashed upon Applejack.

The pony laid down on the wooden floor of the train station and buried her face in her hooves. The tears started just as the rain did.

Comments ( 3 )

Intresting how you have Discord saving Applejack and that his role now coincedes with the synposis of "Keep Calm and Flutter On" which involves Discord getting a shot at redemption although only Fluttershy will give him a chance. Talk about "Hillarious in Hindsight". :eeyup:/:rainbowlaugh:


Discord was quite interesting as the villain that's not the badguy. I think this chapter was a bit better than last.

1612406 I will fucking stab you!

Love ya!

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