• Published 26th Jan 2013
  • 5,751 Views, 408 Comments

Batmare Begins - Batbrony



Derpy's life takes a whole new direction when she is given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But where will this new journey take her, and who will she be at the end?

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Aucune Licorne Magique

She was flying. High in the sky, far above the earth, Ponyville, the Unicorn Range, even Canterlot and Cloudsdale themselves. A pleasant sensation flowed through her body as the bright sun above warmed her coat and feathers. The air was still and peaceful, save for the faintest of breezes. She felt tranquil and relaxed, and, dare she think it, stable even. Flying for once wasn’t the challenge that it usually was for her. Maybe she’d stop by Sugarcube Corner afterward and grab a muffin on her way home. “Everything’s always better with muffins,” she thought cheerily.

Suddenly, she stopped in midair, eyes wide and jaw agape. There in front of her was a pegasus pony with a lavender coat, indigo mane, and yellow eyes. Flying ahead of her… was her mother. “Mom?” she said to herself in disbelief. “Mom!” she called, much louder this time, but the pegasus didn’t even turn around, and kept flying away from her. “Mom, come back!” she called again, beating her wings furiously. They kept flying further and further west, past the Unicorn Range, drawing ever closer to the Smokey Mountain, and soon, a band of menacing clouds appeared on the horizon. Celestia willing, her mother would turn sooner or later, but she simply kept flying straight towards the clouds. Soon, it became evident that they were more than just clouds, but rather, a massive storm. “Mom, get away from there, you’re going to get hurt, Mom, Mom!”

She tried to fly faster, but it seemed that the harder she tried, the further away her mother got; before long, they were both in the heart of the storm itself. The stinging rain and gale force winds made keeping up even harder than before, and she could barely make out the shape of her mom at this point. She’d stopped calling out to her after entering the storm, and instead focused all of her energy on catching up, but still she made no progress. Finally, her mother flew into a cloud far ahead of her and out of sight; a second later, the cloud spectacularly lit up as lightning crashed all around and inside it. “MOM, NO!!!” she screamed in despair, only to be struck by a thunderbolt herself right between her wings. An excruciating pain engulfed her, and then everything faded to black.

“No!” Derpy screamed, waking up in a cold sweat. She took a second to get her bearings, gazing around at the cold, dark walls of the prison cell she was currently confined to. She was panting. Her body felt hot, but she remembered where she was. She sighed as she let herself fall back, feeling the cool covers against her too-warm body. It was just a dream... thank heavens for that.

Unfortunately the same could not be said for her current situation, a fact that the young Derpy Hooves glumly took in stride. Well, better here than there she thought, thankful that the nightmare was isolated in some dark recess of her subconscious. As she noticed light shining through the bars of her cell window, Derpy happily considered that it was just about morning. That also meant it was almost breakfast, and she perked up in an instant from her previously glum state at this thought. Derpy always tried to think positive, not disregarding the bad, but simply letting the good things in her life outweigh it, and breakfast was by far her favorite meal of the day, so that certainly was something. Sure enough, a few moments later there was a sharp knock at her cell door.

“Breakfast time, rise and shine, inmate!” a gruff pegasus guard bellowed. As he unlocked her cell door, Derpy trotted over.

“Good morning, Mister Guard, sir,” she chirped, smiling widely and staring at him with her derpy eyes.

“Uh... good morning, um, inmate,” he said, taken aback by her cheery demeanor, and even more so by her strange looking eyes. Derpy didn’t mind; she’d always gotten strange looks from other ponies because of her eyes, and she figured her happy disposition, considering her current circumstances, must seem rather odd as well.

“How’s breakfast look this morning, Mister Guard? Any chance there might be some muffins?”

“Don’t hold your breath, inmate, we’re not running some five-star hotel here!”

“Awww, that’s too bad… oh well, I’m sure it’ll still be something good at least. Have a good day, Mister Guard!” she said. With that, she went off to join the other inmates of the Manehattan Correctional Facility now making their way to the dimly lit mess hall, leaving behind a now very puzzled guard wondering how anypony could be so cheerful in a place like this.

Sadly, breakfast was hardly what one would call savory, much less good, unless of course there was somepony out there who found watery oatmeal to be particularly enjoyable. Derpy sighed as the cafeteria mare dished out the cold, runny liquid into her bowl, her mind wandering, as it frequently did, this time to the thought of muffins. Oh what she would give for a delicious blueberry muffin right now!

Unfortunately, in her moment of absentmindedness, Derpy carelessly continued trotting forward without much thought of where she was going, bumping into and knocking over a large earth pony standing ahead of her with a group of inmates. Within a moment, the two ponies lay sprawled out on the ground, their meager breakfasts upset and spreading in a sad puddle before them. Recovering from the fall, Derpy looked up only to see the now very angry earth pony standing over her, glaring at her and flaring her nostrils as she huffed furiously.

“What’s the big idea, ya clutz?” she snarled.

“Oops… my bad! Didn’t see you there, mister.”

“I’m a mare!”

“You are?”

“What?!”

“Oh, I mean… well, um, gee, this sure is awkward. Say, ya ever have one of those mornings where it just seems like nothing can go right and everything just keeps getting worse and worse?”

“No, I don’t.”

“Oh, well that’s good–”

“But you’re about to!”

“Wait, what?”

“Welcome to Tartarus, ya freak!” The furious inmate raised both of her forelegs as she prepared to unload some serious punishment on the poor pegasus. Terrified, Derpy tried to get up and back away as quickly as she could, but in her haste her hind legs slipped on some of the oatmeal lying on the mess hall floor. In an instant she was flying through the air. Falling onto her back, her hind legs kicked up into the air, knocking the hulking earth pony square in the jaw and back into the group of inmates behind her. As Derpy recovered from her latest fall, she first noticed that everypony’s gazes in the mess hall were now fixed on the rapidly escalating situation. Then she noticed the angry group of inmates picking themselves up and turning their threatening gazes to where she lay.

“Uh oh.”

“Get her!” a pegasus screamed. Without another word, the inmates bore down on Derpy as she scrambled to escape their fury. Slipping under one of the smaller mess hall tables, she accidentally overturned it as she emerged from the other end, upending it into and knocking out two of the pursuing inmates. Galloping as fast as she could while simultaneously flapping her wings furiously in the hope of flying into the rafters of the mess hall away from her pursuers, Derpy tripped on one of her wings midstride, falling flat on her face. As she fell, her hind legs bucked back, straight into another one of the pursuing inmate’s chests, knocking the breath out of her. Picking herself up, Derpy realized that she was now surrounded by about a dozen very angry looking inmates, all of them large earth ponies.

“Heheh, don’t suppose you gals just want to laugh this off and let bygones be bygones?”

“No, not really. Think we’ll just beat the crap outta you instead!”

With that, four of the inmates charged at once towards Derpy. Terrified, her mind went completely blank, until, a split second before they were upon her, her instincts suddenly kicked in and she flew straight up into the air. The four inmates subsequently crashed into each other in spectacular fashion and lay in a crumpled heap on the floor. Flying higher towards the safety of the rafters Derpy breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that she was safe now from the inmates below. However, she failed to notice one of said inmates, who just so happened to be a pegasus, flying right at her until it was too late. Just as she reached the rafters, the angry inmate collided with her, tackling Derpy from her perch and sending them both hurtling in a rapid, spinning descent toward the ground below.

As they came crashing down, Derpy’s impact was slightly softened by the pegasus beneath her, who relinquished her grasp as Derpy landed on her chest. Unfortunately, as she rebounded from the hard landing and struggled to regain her balance, Derpy’s frantically flapping wings, along with the added momentum of the crash, carried her straight into a group of inmates at an alarming speed, bowling over all of them until she finally came to a halt in the middle of the mess hall, flat on her face.

Picking herself up, Derpy saw to her dismay inmates lying all around her, groaning from the surprising amount of pain they’d just suffered at the hooves of the clumsy mare. As she regained her bearings and realized, much to her relief, that nothing was broken, she also noticed more inmates beginning to move in a rather threatening manner towards her. Suddenly a shrill whistle sounded, stopping the inmates dead in their tracks, and a dozen pegasi guards charged into the mess hall, led by a unicorn prison officer. While the other guards filed past Derpy towards the fallen inmates, the unicorn turned his attention towards the grey pegasus and promptly lifted her telekinetically with his magic, levitating her over to where he stood.

“You three, get these inmates to the infirmary; the rest of you escort the rest of the inmates back to their cells, on the double!” the unicorn barked in an authoritative voice. “And as for you,” he said, turning towards the incapacitated Derpy, “solitary confinement!”

“What? Why?”

“For protection.”

“Oh thank goodness! Thank you so much!”

“No, dolt, protection for them!” he said, motioning over to the fallen inmates.

“Oh… right.” Derpy sheepishly replied, blushing embarrassedly at all the destruction she’d caused. Rolling his eyes, the unicorn turned and marched out of the chaotic mess hall with the levitated Derpy beside him, leaving the guards to restore order amongst the inmates. As he made his way through the winding corridors of the prison with Derpy in tow, the evidently unhappy unicorn angrily snorted.

“Unbelievable… un-bucking-believable,” he muttered to himself. “One day. You’re with us one day and you’ve already destroyed half of Mess Hall D and sent a dozen inmates to the infirmary! No wonder they locked you up.”

“B-but it wasn’t my fault, I swear, I-”

“Shut it, inmate! Ponies like you are locked up for a reason. You’re a danger to society, and can’t be trusted on your own to not hurt yourself or anypony around you. You’ve bucked up so many times that, at this point, prison’s the only place you’re suited for, and heck, you’ve already almost gotten yourself killed after only one day! You’re a real piece of work, you know that? Let me make one thing clear to you; the warden doesn’t like troublemakers, understand? So I suggest that if you have any concern in that tiny little brain of yours for your own self-preservation, you cut this bull crap immediately! Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes sir,” she whimpered.

“Good. Well, here we are; enjoy your time in solitary, inmate!” he snarled, roughly tossing Derpy into her new cell and slamming the thick steel door shut.

She just laid there for some time after that. The cell was even darker than her previous one had been, and her eyes strained to adjust to the inky blackness. Eventually she gingerly picked herself up and slowly walked over to the tiny window in the corner from which the tiniest sliver of light entered. For a long while, Derpy simply stood there, a steady, wet stream running down her cheeks.

“Stupid, Derpy! Stupid! How do I always get myself in these situations, huh? How?! Maybe… maybe prison really is the only place I belong. Maybe there really is nothing I can do right. Maybe… I’m just a mistake.”

For the next hour the pegasus remained in her sad, solitary corner, quietly sobbing to herself as she wondered why so many bad things always seemed to happen to her. Why couldn’t she just do something, anything at all, right? Suddenly, there was a sharp rap on the door.

“Inmate, you’ve got a visitor!” a unicorn guard shouted, unlocking her cell door with a levitated set of keys. Wiping away her tears, Derpy timidly turned around, curious, but also uncertain, as to who would possibly be visiting her.

The door slowly opened, and in walked a well-dressed unicorn who Derpy had never seen before. He carried himself with a very disciplined air, and everything about him seemed controlled, unreadable. Two of his features stuck out to Derpy: his cutie mark, which was, as far as she could tell, simply a dark-grey cloud, and his eyes. As he entered the cell, those piercing steel-grey eyes remained fixed on Derpy. She could practically feel them boring into her, like they were searching for something. After a long, drawn out moment of silence, he finally spoke.

“Curious, very curious indeed.”

“Wh-what’s curious?” Derpy asked hesitantly.

“Why you, of course. At first glance, you seem like the last pony who could possibly grievously injure anypony, much less a dozen. In fact, your very presence in this prison is an actuality that, for all intents and purposes, simply should not be.”

“Well I… I’m not very good at most anything.”

“Not very good? Why, Miss Hooves, I’d hardly call dispatching a dozen hardened inmates without even really trying ‘not very good’; on the contrary, it’s rather impressive, really.”

“What? How do you know my name? What’s this all about anyway? Who are you, my lawyer or something?”

“No, Miss Hooves, I’m not your lawyer. My name is merely Magique, Aucune Licorne Magique; I’m here on the behalf of Dämons Hengst, a stallion of great power and influence throughout Equestria, and one who can offer you a path.”

“A path? But… I already have – well, had – a job with the mail service.”

“A job and a path are not the same thing. A job merely provides monetary compensation and sustenance; a path, on the other hoof, provides so much more, is so much more. It is a mission, an endeavor, a destiny that one believes in wholeheartedly and would happily devote his entire life towards achieving. In short, it is meaningful fulfillment… and it is also something that your life is utterly devoid of at the moment.”

“But I – well – um – but – ” Derpy stammered, completely at a loss for words. As if her day couldn’t possibly get any worse, now some pompous jerk was telling her that her life was meaningless. “I just don’t know what to do!” she cried, struggling to fight back tears.

“I know, Miss Hooves, I know, and Dämons Hengst knows as well. That’s why he’s offering you a path. This is not just some job, this is a chance to discover who you are and what you can become, something that no one else has ever given to you. You have great potential Miss Hooves, but nopony else has ever seen it, and so like a crowd of blind, deaf, and dumb stallions, they’ve all left you to drift in the wind, writing you off as a mistake and failure. But Dämons Hengst doesn’t see failure; on the contrary, he sees untapped potential in you.”

Derpy sat there in disbelief. She hung on every word Aucune said, entranced by his almost unnaturally calm, hypnotic voice.

“So- so you’re saying that this Dämons Hengst could make me a normal pony? That I could be just like everypony else?” Derpy asked with a hopeful expression on her face. At this, Aucune frowned.

“Miss Hooves, perhaps I wasn’t clear; I said you have great potential. The path that Dämons Hengst is offering is no ordinary path; it is the path of the Ordo Extraordinarii. Dämons Hengst does not seek out ponies because he thinks they can be normal; he seeks out ponies because he thinks they can be great, and he does make great ponies, oh yes, he does indeed.

“You see, Miss Hooves, few ponies truly have or follow a path in their lifetimes. Content with the bare necessities, they choose to lead dull, boring, uninteresting lives, and leave this world as unremarkably as they entered into it. These ponies are, in a word, normal, and I wouldn’t wish their sad fate on anypony, nor would Dämons Hengst. But, Miss Hooves, if you make yourself more than just a mare, if you devote yourself to an ideal, and if nopony can stop you, then you become something else entirely.”

“Which is?”

“A legend, Miss Hooves.”

Aucune’s words hung in the air for an instant as they slowly sunk in, delving their way deep into Derpy’s mind and taking root. No words came to the stunned mare, so overwhelmed was she by the torrent of thoughts now streaming through her head. She just stood there, jaw agape in disbelief. The mysterious visitor cracked the slightest grin, content with the obvious impact his words had made on her.

“Tomorrow you will be released. If you are tired of wandering aimlessly through this life without purpose, there is a rare purple flower that grows at the base of the southern slope of the Crystal Mountains. Pick one of these flowers. If you can carry it to the top of the mountain, you may find what you’ve been looking for your whole life.”

“What am I looking for?”

“Only you can know that.” Just like that, Aucune turned and left, the guard locking the cell door behind him. For hours, Derpy remained fixed where she stood, still digesting all that had just happened.

How could anypony in their right mind think that she could do great things? Nopony had ever said anything like that to her before. Nopony! Well, that wasn’t entirely true. There was one who had always told her she could do great things, be anypony she wanted to be, accomplish anything she set her mind to.

“Mom,” she uttered. It had been years since she’d heard such words of encouragement. Any dreams her mother had kept burning bright while she was there for Derpy had all but died by now. Yet, here they were again, those very same dreams aflame once more, rekindled by this strange pony that she’d never even seen before today. Maybe, just maybe, there was something more out there for her, waiting in the Crystal Mountains. Something besides the teasing, the taunts, the ridicule, the constant clumsiness and innumerable mistakes that were the sum of her life thus far. But how could she know for certain?

“Probably just some really cruel, twisted joke somepony came up with,” Derpy concluded. Exiting her train of thought, the saddened pegasus ate what she could of the meager dinner of old hay that a guard had dropped off hours ago, then curled up on the damp straw cot in the corner of her cell. It was night now, and the moon’s luminous light barely shone through the cell’s tiny window, dimly illuminating it with its milky-white glow. Slowly, the tired mare drifted off to sleep, just trying to forget her troubles and leave them all behind, at least for a few precious hours. The dreams were different.

The tiny grey filly looked down nervously from the edge of the cloud she was perched upon. Just ten feet below her, a pegasus pony stood on another cloud, smiling up at her, eyes wide in anticipation and excitement.

“C’mon Derpy!” she called. “I know you can do it. Just flap your wings like I taught you to and you’ll be fine!”

“Bu- but it’s so high, Mama!” Derpy stuttered. “Besides, none of the other fillies my age can fly yet.”

“So, what’s that got to do with anything?” her mother countered, chuckling. “Somepony’s got to be the first to fly. Why not you?”

“But what if I fall?”

“Then I’ll be right here to catch you. Trust me!”

“I don’t know… couldn’t we just do this another day?”

“We could, we most certainly could; but Derpy, remember, the best things in life are those which we have to take the greatest leaps of faith to achieve. I have faith in you, Derpy, but you’ve got to have faith in yourself if you’re going to do this, and, like it or not, one of these days, you’ll have to take this leap of faith. So why not take it now, huh? Like I said, I’m here to catch you!”

The lavender pegasus flashed a bright smile and winked at her young filly. Encouraged, Derpy took a deep breath.

“OK Mama,” she called, “here I go!” With new resolve, Derpy backed up to the far side of the cloud to give herself a running start. When she was sure she could go no further, the trembling filly turned and took a nervous gulp, heart pounding and butterflies flitting about in her stomach. No turning back now.

For a moment more she just stood there, still as a statue. And then she was off, dashing as fast as she could and flapping her wings furiously as she approached the edge. With her eyes closed firmly shut, Derpy leapt off the edge, flapping her wings just as her mother had taught her to, anticipating to fall into her mother’s hooves a split second later.

And… nothing. She felt nothing. Her mom should’ve caught her by now, but still all Derpy felt was empty space. After about a minute, the filly alarmingly opened her eyes, terrified that she’d missed and was plummeting through the air. As she did, however, all she saw before her was her mother’s beaming face staring back at her with her beautiful yellow eyes.

“Mama?”

“Well done, my little filly. I knew you could do it.”

“Huh?”

Looking down, Derpy suddenly realized that she was hovering about a foot or two in the air above the cloud her mother stood upon. She was flying!

“Mama, I did it, I’m flying, I’m flying!” she exclaimed with glee.

“Yes you are, my precious Derpy, yes you are! And what a lovely cutie mark to boot, if I do say so myself.”

“My cutie mark? Really? What is it, what is it? Let me see, let me see!!!”

The excited filly landed in front of her mother, straining to catch a glimpse of the fresh cutie mark that now donned her flank.

“Huh? Bubbles? But, Mama, what could bubbles possibly mean?”

“Whatever they need to mean, Derpy, whatever they need to mean. Great things aren’t always clear in the beginning; they require patience, persistence, hard work, and a few more leaps of faith. But in time, mark my words, they will become crystal clear. You, my little filly, are a very, very special pony, and there’s not a doubt in my mind that you’ve got a bright, wonderful future in store for you. I’m so proud of you!” The proud mother wrapped her filly in a warm embrace and lifted her into the air as her daughter squealed with delight.

“I love you Mama!”

“I love you too, Derpy! I love you so very much!”

“Thanks Mama.” Derpy quietly uttered to herself, smiling, as she peacefully awoke from her dream. Her heart brimmed with resolve, a new courage pumping through her veins. The pegasus picked herself up from her cot and stood in her cell, feeling more confident and determined than she had in a long time, ready for a new day, a new beginning, and whatever the future had in store for her.

“Well, guess it’s high time I took another leap of faith. I’ll do it!”