• Published 2nd Feb 2013
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The Opera Phantom Discord - Alexandrite Ward



Fluttershy's father is captured by the villianous Discord, Phantom of the Opera! Can she save him while being pursued by the handsome and charming Prince Blueblood?

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Choices

Choices

The clang of the stage door closing behind her sounded like an iron gate that was locking her in. Fluttershy stood silent for a moment, holding the oil lamp with a shaky hoof and observing the never-ending darkness that stood before her. She was alone; no one chose to follow her for they were too afraid, and Fluttershy could hear a tiny voice in her head telling her how foolish it was for her to go into the unknown all by herself.

But her father needed her. He was down here somewhere, she could feel it. He could be hurt, he could be trapped, he could be lost in the shadows. She had to find him, she had to save him, he was all she had left in the world.

Fluttershy took a deep breath and reached up to touch a rusty locket that hung around her neck. The metal was tarnished and beyond repair, but the picture inside was of her mother, and it was all Fluttershy had left of the mare. She said a silent prayer and with it, ventured into the dark unknown.

"She's…she's here!" Derpy cried out happily. Despite her size, she was jumping around like a joyful filly at Christmas, clumping her hooves and grinning madly.
Rarity, who had fallen asleep near the spinning wheel that only a little while ago they had gone to fetch, awoke with a start to Derpy’s jovial dancing. "S-s-s-she's here, R-r-r-rarity!" she stuttered, grasping the mare and twirling her around. "S-s-she's come a-a-at last!"

Rarity squealed when she felt her hooves lift off the ground. "Derpy! Put me down at once!" she cried, preferring to be dropped than crushed to death by the exuberant pony. Derpy blushed and then immediately placed the mare back on the ground, but her grin never disappeared. Rarity straightened herself. "What on earth are you talking about?"

Derpy found herself dancing again. "T-t-the gypsy mare! I…I know it's h-h-her!"

Rarity sighed, regretting telling her that story in the first place, especially since she lied about the ending. "Derpy, that's only a story, there is no-"

"NO!" she shouted, her smile disappearing. "I s-s-saw her! S-s-she's here! S-s-she's wandering near the old p-p-p-prop r-r-room!"

Rarity stared up at Derpy, her brow furrowed. She knew Derpy could get carried away with the stories she read to her, but this time was different. She could tell by simply looking into her eyes that it was true, she had seen a mare, and that the mare she had seen…was here.

"Near the old prop room?" she asked, feeling her hooves carry her away from the cavern they had been occupying. Derpy simply nodded her head before giggling again. Rarity was glad that she was so happy, but her blood ran cold at the thought of the innocent mare becoming another victim of Discord's booby traps…or of Discord's rage. "Come Derpy," she whispered. "Take me to her."

In a further cavern, Shortround sat by candlelight reading quietly. Rainbow Dash was sitting a few feet away, sharpening a knife on an old piece of leather. Now and then she would glance at the stallion, rolling her eyes as she watched Shortround lean close to the book he held.
"How many times have you read that stupid thing?" Rainbow Dash asked irritably. Shortround made no comment. "Waste of time," Rainbow Dash grunted.

Without lifting his head, Shortround muttered, "I have nothing to say to you, so continue sharpening your toy and leave me to read in peace."

Rainbow Dash cast Shortround an angry glare. "What's wrong with you?"

"You mean besides the countless times you mock me?" Shortround muttered, without looking up. "How about…you running to the Master to tattle on the rest of us?"

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes and rose to her hooves. "The stallion was a trespasser! Does that not mean anything to you?" she threw her front legs up in frustration. "Tell me something Shortround, did you like the carnival? Did you like performing for those clops and being called names? Because I know I didn't! And I am never going back there!"

Shortround sighed. "The stallion only wanted a spinning wheel-"

"And the second he came back to the surface, he would tell everypony about us down here and a mob would be after us in a second! Think what you like Shortround, but you're wrong! I for one share the Master's feelings, I for one will not go against the Master's orders! I-"

"Papa?"

The word was soft and distant, but it rang out loud and clear and both were silenced immediately upon hearing it.

"W-w-w-what was that?" Rainbow Dash asked, whirling her head around the cavern.

Silence, and then another call. "Papa?" This time it sounded closer.

"Sounds like…a mare?"

"A MARE!" Rainbow Dash exclaimed, her eyes widening with horror. "Are we to have no peace? How are these ponies finding us!"

"Quiet!" Shortround ordered. Both he and Rainbow Dash moved to a crack in the cavern wall, peering out to see if the voice was coming from that direction.

Sure enough, after a few seconds, a small light appeared in the distance, and with it, another cry. "Papa? Can you hear me? Are you there?"

"It is a mare…" Shortround whispered.

"I KNOW WHAT IT IS!" Rainbow Dash exploded. "WHAT I WANT TO KNOW IS HOW DO WE GET RID OF HER!"

Shortround winced to Rainbow Dash's cries, and then paled when he heard, "Papa? Is that…you?"

"See what you've done!" Shortround hissed. "She's heading this way!"

"No…I…I'm not going back there…I'm never going back there!" Rainbow Dash mumbled, stepping back frantically and stumbling.

"Get a hold of yourself!"

But it was no use. Despite Shortround's attempt to calm her, Rainbow Dash rose to her hooves and immediately took off down a dark passage wailing for the Master. Damn! "Papa?" Shortround froze; the voice was nearly there! He quickly moved himself away, leaving his book and candle behind.

Fluttershy heard the sound of…hooves? She wasn't sure, but she quickly followed the sound, especially as she heard the sound moving faster. "Wait!" she cried out. "Please, I'm trying to find my father-"

She entered the cavern and saw the small candle glowing as brightly as it could, lying next to an open book. Somepony was here. It could have been her father, but…why would he run from her? The shuffling sound echoed off a cavern wall, coming from a dark tunnel; Fluttershy took off after it. "Papa! Please! Don't run away, I just want to find my father, Monsieur Time Turner! Please! I-"

"F-f-fluttershy?"

Fluttershy froze as her father's voice filled her ears. He was alive. He was HERE! "PAPA!" she cried, whirling around the darkness, trying to find him. She lifted her lamp, which was quickly running out of oil, to try and spot him. His voice sounded so faint, she could hear his ragged breathing, which was interrupted by violent coughs. "Papa, where are you? I can't see…"

"It…doesn't…matter!" he said through his coughs. "You must…get yourself out of here!"

She continued to look around, and finally, in a tiny corner of the stone floor, she saw a small iron grate, and her father's hooves clinging to the bars. "PAPA!" she cried, rushing over to the bars and immediately grasping a hold of the cold iron and attempting to force it open.

It was hopeless, the bars were too strong, and it was clear that the tiny door was locked. She looked down at her father, horrified to see him lying on his back in such a tiny space. His face was hidden by shadows, but his hooves gripped the bars with all his strength. He was wet too, his body barely rising out of dark murky water that surrounded his prison. The space so was tiny, it was as if he were…buried.

"Fluttershy-"

"Who's done this to you?" she asked angrily, placing the lamp down and seeking out a hairpin. She remembered from one of the gothic novels her mother had read to her about a mare who picked a lock with only a hairpin. She prayed that that part of the story was true.

"There's no time my dear, you must leave, now!"

"No! I'm not going to leave you down here to waste away in the earth!" she went to work with picking the lock, cursing the bitter cold for making her hooves clumsy.

"Fluttershy, please, if you love me, you'll leave this place! He'll be here any second!"

"Who?" she asked, not stopping one second with the lock. It was the only way she could avoid allowing the fear to overtake her.

"The Phantom! He's real, Fluttershy! He'll kill you for sure! He's-"

"…right behind you."

Fluttershy froze. The voice was dark, lower than anything she had ever heard, and every hair on her coat stood on end at the deep growl that reverberated around the cavern walls. Before she could begin to turn her head, a claw grabbed her by the shoulder and whirled her around, so rapidly, that her oil lamp broke and she was encased in shadows.

"W-w-w-who's there! What do you want with us?"

She could hear movement, and felt a soft wind hit her face with each step. "Who am I?" his voice was a deep sinister growl that sent freezing shivers down her spine. "Your father knows…"

"RUN FLUTTERSHY! SAVE YOURSELF!" the old stallion shouted.

Fluttershy had never felt so frightened. She found herself reaching for the locket of her mother and pressing it tightly into her neck. She wanted to run, she wanted to flee for her life, but she couldn't abandon her father! She prayed for courage, prayed for resourcefulness, prayed for anything to have this…creature, show mercy upon both she and her father. "Please let my father go…" she whispered. "He didn't mean any harm, it was all a mistake-"

"MISTAKE?" he shouted, causing the cavern walls to shake. "HE KNEW THE RULES! NO PONY IS ALLOWED DOWN HERE! NO PONY!"

Fluttershy wailed, throwing her hooves over her head, afraid a piece of rock would come crashing down and hit her. The movement continued, and Fluttershy bit her lip, forcing herself not to cry. She had to show courage! "P-please…" she whispered. "My father…he'll catch his death if he stays in there…"

A dark menacing chuckle came from the Phantom's lips. "Catch his death?" he chuckled some more. "My dear…I am death."

The chuckles were more than Fluttershy could take. She found her own anger flaring up at the sound of the laughter, at the sound of someone mocking her concern for the life of another being. She bolted to her hooves and squared her shoulders. "You want to punish somepony so badly for breaking your rules? Fine! TAKE ME!"

The Phantom's laughter ceased. There was a long pause of silence before Time Turner cried in protest. "Fluttershy! W-w-what are you saying? Don't do this!"

The Phantom looked at the mare before him. After years of living in darkness his eyes had adapted to the point of where he could see clearly through shadow. Indeed, he had never seen the costume mare like this. She was small; the top of her head would come just to his chest. But she was no waif-like creature. She looked strong for somepony so small, and his eyes began raking up and down her body. She wore a simple dull blue dress, which lacked lace and ruffles. She was not thin, but deliciously curved; indeed, he could not help himself from gazing at her chest which rose and fell with every breath. Her hair was a vibrant pink, cascading down her shoulders and back in beautiful waves that seemed to have a life of their own. Her beautiful face was a natural beauty, with rosy cheeks that lacked the over-zealous amount of make-up that Fleur De Lis threw upon herself. Her coat was a mellow and soft yellow with wings that were pert and well formed, though they were small enough that they were probably not useable. Her eyes were wild, a light blue, that right now held a fire within them. Of course he knew she was spirited, he had witnessed that several times now since she came to his theater. Indeed…having her as his personal slave was not an idea he was against. He moved around her, knowing she could not see him, but enjoying how she looked for him whenever she felt the breeze billowing off his cape. "Do you know what you are asking?" he whispered darkly.

Fluttershy lifted her chin. "Yes."

"Are you sure?" he asked, his claws reaching out and with the touch that felt like a soft wind, brushing against her hair. "Because there's no going back. You do this, you can never return. You'll be mine…forever."

Fluttershy felt a lump rise in her throat. Trapped for all eternity in this hell, with no sunlight, no love…nothing. But a protesting cough that escaped her father's lips resolved Fluttershy's decision.

"I promise you," she said with a shaky voice, pressing against the locket tightly. "I will stay and take his place."

"NO FLUTTERSHY! NO!"

The Phantom breathed out a heavy sigh, amazed that he had been on tenterhooks while awaiting her decision. "Then it's done," he growled, removing a key from his pocket and quickly unlocking the small prison door that contained her father.

Fluttershy crumpled to the floor, gasping as the weight of what just took place overcame her. She had agreed to be this creature's prisoner, his…his slave, for…who knows what. She trembled at the thought and felt the bile rise in her throat.

"Fluttershy! What have you done?" she felt her father's arms envelope her from behind, and she turned to cling to him. "I'm an old stallion who has lived his life, and you're still young with so much ahead of you! Please, don't do this, I-"

He was yanked out of her arms violently by the unseen Phantom before Fluttershy had the opportunity to say anything. "Wait!" she cried to the darkness, her hooves seeking out her father, but finding nothing. "Please! Let me say goodbye!" But her pleas fell on death ears.

"RAINBOW DASH!" the Phantom bellowed. The mare immediately appeared, and the Phantom pushed the old stallion into her arms. "Take him away," he growled.

"NO! Please! Spare my daughter! Take me back!" Time Turner wailed.

Rainbow Dash was still in shock. "T-t-t-take him away? You mean…release him? Master, are you sure that's wise?"

One glare from the Phantom said everything Rainbow Dash needed to know. She quickly dragged the screaming old stallion away, leaving the Phantom alone with his silent captive.

Fluttershy was numb. She lay in a crumpled heap on the cavern floor, her breathing slow and uneven. Did this just happen? Did not that morning her father rouse her out of bed, happy and excited for the opening gala that would be taking place? Was it not a week ago that they had come to Maris with such high hopes? She had lost her father; she had lost everything she had ever dreamed for. She was truly alone.

The Phantom looked at the mare who lay on the floor before him. She seemed so small and fragile compared to the other times he had seen her. The spirit he admired was gone. He had at least expected the mare to be lost in hysterics, sobbing endlessly or attacking him with what strength she had. But this was not what he expected, this mute shell of a mare. She simply lay there, lifeless, save for the odd sounds that her breathing made.

Now what? Should he approach her? If he did, what then? The prison he had placed the old stallion was an ancient torture chamber where the victim was boxed in a tiny space, while water slowly flooded into the area, bringing the agonizing reality that the pony trapped would soon drown. He couldn't put her in there, although she was a trespasser and deserved death like all the others. But he had never killed a mare; frightened a few into insanity he was sure, but he had never killed one.

Clearly he hadn't thought this plan through, however, to his credit, it had landed upon him out of nowhere. He had to do something with her, he just couldn't leave her there with the opportunity to escape; she would wind up killing herself from one of his elaborate booby traps.

Mares; he was beginning to understand why he never got involved with them; they were too much of a hassle to try and figure out what to do with!

"Rarity," he muttered. The mare appeared at the sound of her name. "Take the mare…to the Southern chamber."

Rarity stared up at him. "But Master…that's where the costume cages are kept-"

"Exactly," he simply said. "Place her in one of those until I decide what to do with her. Or at least till the opera is finished."

Rarity couldn't believe what she was hearing. "You're going back to the opera?"

The Phantom looked down at the little mare, wondering why the shock in her voice. "It's opening night Rarity; I must see that everything is going as it should."

"BUT…THE MARE!" she shouted. Fluttershy still lay lifeless on the ground, not even flinching to the conversation taking place. "Master…you cannot leave, not like this at least. We must…we must do something; she's only a filly, look at her! She's just lost her father and freedom-"

"THEN SHE SHOULDN'T HAVE TRESPASSED!" he growled harshly. Rarity jumped and took a step back, not wishing to anger Discord more than he already was. That was one ill fate she did not wish on the poor mare. He groaned and ran a paw through his short brown hair. "Do as I say…take her to the Southern cavern, lock her in one of the cages, and after the opera, I will be down to see her."

"Yes Master," she whispered. Satisfied, Discord turned to leave, but a soft small voice stopped him dead in his tracks.

"Before you go…" came the faint voice of the costume mare, "…I have but one favor to ask…" A death-like silence filled the cavern. "…let me look upon my captor…so that I may know the monster to which I gave my life away to."

Her words were bitter, filled with anger and hatred. It was expected, but Discord had no pity for the mare, it was her decision and she gave her word. It was too late for her. And because of this reason, he had no problem granting her meek request. Without a word, he lit a match and walked over to the far side of the cavern wall. Every cavern had a candleholder, and Discord proceeded to light it, his back to the costume mare.

As the light slowly illuminated the cavern, Fluttershy peered through the shadows and began to make out a shape, it was tall, thin, and black. She realized that the blackness belonged to his cape that hung from his nonexsistant shoulders all the way to his ankles. Slowly, so slowly, he turned, revealing more of himself to her eyes. His body was too long and thin to be a ponies. She squinted, thinking she could see something more in the darkness. "Come into the light and remove your cape…" she whispered.

Without any word, he slowly moved his body forward and lifted his head to where the candlelight was streaming. She saw amber eyes, like that of a panther, glaring back into hers. His face looked like that of a pony, his left cheek of any stallion; rough and hinted with a few age lines around the mouth and eye. But it was the other half of his face that caused her eyes to widen and her heart to stop. The paleness she had seen earlier belonged to a mask; a smooth off-white mask that covered the right side of his face from the corner of his mouth all the way up to his forehead. His body seemed a mismatch of many different parts. He was much different from anypony she had seen, a deer antler on the right of his head as one horn and a goat horn on the left. His mouth held one long fang, a snake tongue, and a goat beard. His right arm was that of a lion, the left a claw of an eagle, with the right leg of a lizard, and the left leg of a goat. He even had a bat's right wing, a Pegasus' left wing, a horse's mane and a dragon-like snake's tail with a white tail tuft. The shape of his body resembled that of a snake. She was frozen in terror at this monstrously mysterious creature. It was true…everything she heard from the stage hooves and the dancers; the Phantom was real.

Discord held his arms out from his side, as if displaying himself. "Behold your captor my dear; behold your eternity."

She said nothing. Her eyes fluttered slightly, before rolling back and collapsing on the floor.

Author's Note:

www.operaphantomdiscord.tumblr.com

EDITED: 2/23/15