• Published 8th Feb 2012
  • 4,450 Views, 64 Comments

... And I was having such a nice day - Preda



Freshly released, Discord pays Doctor Whooves a visit. Chaos ensues.

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Clash

“Explain thy presence here expediently, lest We supply a bloody end to this intrusion, sir!” echoed the royal declaration.

Luna’s voice was unmistakable, even if the Doctor couldn’t see precisely where it was coming from. They were in a shadowed, unlit section of the Archives, with little visible beyond a faint glimmer from the windows leading outside. What little they could see of their surroundings showed a messy, destroyed room, with many books and scrolls shredded and strewn across the floor. He suspected some sort of twilight, no doubt Discord’s doing, had covered the land, reducing the amount of available light. Any attempt to move forward into a better-lit position, and reveal himself, would sink the rapier into his throat.

A pair of distressed squeals came from behind him, adding to his own whimper. Turning his head, he saw that a pair of threatening pegasus Night Guards had similarly positioned their windblades at his companions’ necks, standing behind them so as not to let them see face-to-face. Why would they avoid eye contact?

“Princess Luna! It’s me, Décor,” said the royal aide. “Please release us, Your Majesty. This pony has a warning for your sister!”

“This warning he shall deliver to Us instead, Madam Décor,” said the Princess of the Night. “Our sister is occupied at the moment, and We shan’t allow her to be interrupted. You all could be thralls of Discord.”

“Princess, please! You know me, I’m the Doctor, you’ve met me before,” called the Time Lord. It wasn’t a total lie. He’d met the Princess before, soon after he’d arrived, at last year’s Summer Sun Celebration debacle. A couple of exchanged greetings, and her familiarity with him told him that, more likely than not, he’d be meeting her again in her subjective past… which was his subjective future. Time travel…

“That voice…” the Princess came into view from… above them? Apparently she had been silently floating above the room, observing the entrance for intruders. No doubt the TARDIS materializing had drawn her attention. Such paranoia spoke volumes of how much of a threat the draconequus presented. “’Tis most fortunate that thou hast come here, then, Sir Doctor. We find ourselves in a situation most dire.” The Princess landed before them, and signalled the guards to unhand- unhoof- the two mares. “We trust you all see the necessity of caution. The enemy can take any form, and subvert the strongest mind.”

“Oh, yeah, totally,” said the Doctor, as the silver blade removed itself from the vicinity of his carotid. “I’d have done the same, sword and everything…”

“Thy spunk is apprreciated, Doctor, but ill-timed. ‘Tis not the time for jest,” she said dryly. Luna led the way through the labyrinthine library, followed by the Doctor and his friends. The guards fell behind, to watch the entrance. “Prithee, Time Lord, do tell Us of this warning most dire thou hast for Our sister!”

“It’s better that you both hear it together, it’s more of a question-warning, ‘am-I-right-I-hope-I’m-not’ sort of thing,” he told her as they reached a ‘clearing’ in the paper forest, a circular reading area of sorts. The whole place was in sorry shape: chunks of masonry littered the floor, the large hourglass in the center had been smashed open, several bookcases had been chewed-on or simply smashed to pieces and others still had been turned into some form of marzipan cake. Certainly, having Discord and a swarm of Parasprites loose in a library was a recipe for disaster.

“Say, I thought Celestia was looking for a magic mirror in here. Did you find it?”

“Behold,” said Luna, pointing at the far end of the clearing, where an empty frame stood surrounded by broken shards, “’Tis broken, the mirror. The damage to this part of the Archive is minimal, but for some reason, the Scrying Silverglass we use to keep watchful eye on our subjects has been smashed asunder. No doubt the demon Discord saw it as a threat.”

“Broken glass, Princess? I’m the ma- I’m the pony you need then! Ditzy, your digits please!” He pranced over to the shattered mirror. Ditzy followed him, responding to Décor’s puzzled look with a whisper: “It’s how he calls my feathers…” Luna seemed unfazed by the eccentricity.

“Put the big shards together for me please, while I find the resonant frequency for the sonic, you’ll be much faster at this than I am,” he said, remembering his own debillitating lack of fine motor skills.

“We doubt your wand will have effect,” said Luna. “Silverglass such as this cannot be put back together once it has been broken.”

The Doctor ignored her warnings, consumed as he was with the controls of his equine-optimized Sonic Screwdriver. In the meantime, Ditzy had begun reconstituting the puzzle of the broken mirror.

“There we are!” declared the stallion after a while. He pointed his wand at the silverglass mozaic on the floor.

“Doctor, We must insist against this course of action!” Luna intervened. “Vibratory backfeed from the mirror can be quite destructive!”

“Oh, backfeed is for humans! This is Time Lord technology, I’m sure a bit of ding won’t be knocking my knickers off too soon.” With that, he bit down on the controls. The whirring green instrument began to shake, throwing off sparks and all too soon burning itself to a crisp in his mouth.

“But… butbutbut…”

“Egads,” echoed the crystalline laughter of the Princess, “We believe thy kickers are thoroughly off, Sir Doctor!”, eliciting a scandalized Gasp! from the otherwise unperturbed Décor. “Or is that not how one says it these days?”

“Oh,” cried the Time Lord, “not again!”

“So, how many does this make,” asked Ditzy.

“It’s hard to keep track. Does the one I lost during the Crystal Feast count? It was just half-eaten, after all.”

“Do you think maybe next time you could listen to Her Royal Highness before you-”

Ditzy was interrupted, as Celestia walked in, joining their little gathering in the clearing.

“Well, sister,” asked Luna, “any progress?”

“Nothing. There’s no trace of Twilight Sparkle’s letters anywhere in the Archive.”

The Doctor jumped at the sight “Princess Celestia, finally! I wanted to- hold on, what letters?”

Celestia turned to him. “Twilight’s weekly friendship reports. They’re missing.”

“Destroyed, perhaps?” asked Décor.

“Not by Parasprites. The letterbox can only be open by myself of Luna.”

“Sound like a very important bunch of letters.”

“They’re an… insurance policy of sorts. Certainly the most secured objects in the Archive. I doubt Discord went in for anything else.”

“But how would he even know about them? He’s been gone for a thousand-plus years?”

“I’m afraid I do not know… Doctor, was there something you wanted to ask?”

YES! About Discord! He can’t travel in time himself, can he? I’ve heard there are time travel spells in here, does he know any of them?”

Luna intervened “He can, in fact, travel through time, Doctor, but like thyself, he cannot intrude on his own timeline.” She levitated a neaby book from one of the shelves. “This might answer a few questions.”

The Doctor looked at the cover: “Time Travel Mechanics; Extended Edition”, by Star Swirl The... Wise?. The tome looked ancient, battered, and with more than a few pages and parchments falling out. He skimmed through the first few chapters, his face lighting up as he did.

Oh, but that’s IT!” he shouted. “Iwasright! He can’t intrude on his own timeline, so he used my TARDIS to do it! None of the pony spells here are strong enough for that paradox, but the TARDIS can hold it for a while! I’ll bet my fez that he gave the letters to himself!”

Ditzy looked puzzled “But why? Why not just… destroy them, if they’re a threat?”

“Well, that’s the problem! If he remembers receiving them in the past, he HAS to go back give them to himself in the future, it’s how time works!”

“So, when did he go?”

“No idea. The TARDIS hasn’t figured it out just yet. Except… Not even the TARDIS can hold this paradox for long. If the letterbox remains in the past, it could unravel everything! It’s insane!”

A familiar chuckle interrupted their conversation: "And what's wrong with that? It's done wonders for me," said the voice, echoing throughout the empty halls of the Archives.

Discord flashed into existence before the assembled ponies. "Frankly, I'm offended! Here you are, the power club of Equestria: the marshmallow princess, her lunatic sister, members of the Night Guard, and even the Oncoming Storm himself... How could you have this little party without inviting me-"

The dragon had no time to finish rambling, however, before an enraged Luna cast her rapier at his head. He reacted in time, however, and the near-miss sent the sword into the wall behind him, buried half-length into the cracked jawbreaker masonry. The Night Guardsponies threw themselves at Luna’s side, hoof- and wingblades at the ready, prepared to defend her with their lives.

“Oh, dear!” Décor whispered. “This won’t end well…”

“Let me guess. Score to settle?” the Doctor asked quietly.

“I wouldn’t know… but perhaps you’ve wondered why ponies are sometimes terrified of Princess Luna.”

"Have at you, demon!" the Lunar Princess cried, following her first assault with a sizzling beam of light from her horn. The draconequus lazily extended his paw and caught the beam (in defiance of basic relativity, the Doctor noted), then raised his claw in a pulling motion toward the Princess, lifting her off the ground. As her response, a blue bubble materialized around her, negating his power. Where it touched the floor and walls, the random confectionery promptly turned back into the original building materials.

The guards, pressing the attack, flew at the demon. It was for naught, however, as they found themselves suspended in mid-air, surrounded by a yellow aura and unable to move. “Oh, you two...” Discord said mockingly. “Might as well dress you both in red shirts”. A flick of his wrist froze the two hapless ponies into solid ice, and another launched them out a nearby window. Luna’s teeth clenched, as the room began to shake.

“Well, I’ve heard some rumors. Ponies are scared stone-cold of her, but honestly, she’s Celestia’s little sister. How bad could she be?” the Doctor commented, as goddess battled demon before him.

I’ve heard she’s more powerful than Princess Celestia when she's furious,” Ditzy interjected, earning herself an intimidating look from the royal aide. The grey mare promptly looked away, blushing.

“It’s more of an… anger management problem,” Décor whispered. "Her Majesty has been through a lot."

A magic aura was forming around Princess Luna, casting aberrant shadows on the environment. Her mane was turning azure, and pieces of blue armor were materializing themselves on her body. Complete with a very familiar helmet.

"Begone, Discord!” she demanded, her voice now echoing thoughout the Archive. Celestia, who had watched the whole scene from behind the Doctor, now stepped up and joined her sister in facing Discord, but remained quizically silent.

“You foul this ancient place with thy mere presence,” Luna continued. Noticing her sister by her side, she showed the slightest trace of hesitation before declaring: “Begone now, monster, lest Our fury be unleashed!"

"Monster, Luna? Moi?” he asked, almost shocked. Strangely, there was little of his usual cheer this time. “Why, I’m merely a facilitator here, Princess. I help ponies discover their true nature. Remember last time, all those years ago?” A trace of anger could be heard in his voice. “Think of what happened after I was turned into stone, Your Majesty, think of what you did, then look at me, and call me the monster!”.

Luna’s eyes widened in shock. Anger returned soon enough; she looked quite ready to lash out again, when her sister placed her hoof on her shoulder, as if saying “Don’t attack him, it’s just what he wants...”. Luna’s stepped down.

Seeing his ploy thwarted, the draconequus turned, grinning, to the Doctor himself: “I bet you’re wondering what this is all about, eh,” he asked, gesturing to the Alicorns. “See, dear old Luna here... did some things after the sister's glorious victory over me.” Luna’s teeth clenched and the aura around her grew brighter. Seemingly unaware, Discord turned to Ditzy, whose eyes had stopped moving, and were staring straight at him. “Have you ever wondered why it’s called ‘Nightmare’ Night... and why the… monster goes specifically after children?”

SILENCE!” echoed Luna’s voice. Now fully transformed, her Nightmare Moon persona stood tall, towering even over Celestia herself, who moved away, not in fear, but on the verge of tears.

“Come at me, then!" Discord challenged, crossing his arms and narrowing his eyes.

Luna’s eyes were now fully ablaze. “You will swallow you words, monster!” her voice boomed, carrying the terrifying reverberations of Canterlot royalty. Her horn lit up once again, as the room darkened and black storm clouds gathered above them, flinging bolts of lightning at the bored Discord, who deflected them at the surroundings with ease; the strike of each bolt gave birth to different things where it impacted: a lock of daisies on the floor, a pair of toothbrushes lodged into a wall, and a fax machine at the other end of the room. All of this served to further enrage the moon princess, whose mane was becoming more mistlike and immaterial with each second.

It was a rare sight that rendered the Doctor, “The Man Who Talks”, speechless, but the whole thing showed precisely how little he understood about these beings. For one thing, Celestia, instead of helping her sister against the demon Discord, made no effort to interfere, or even calm her sister down, resigning herself to watch in sadness as Luna tried vainly to land a blow.

As for Luna... Was this the same pony he’d met for a few short moments after her return during the Summer Sun Celebration? Back then, the mare seemed like the merest, most pale shadow of her majestic sister, an anthithesis of the terrifying power of Nightmare Moon. Now he saw nothing of that pony, but instead an avatar of anger and vengeance that plainly showed why her subjects were wary to speak her very name.

Discord himself barely seemed to notice, occasionally tossing a pair of slippers at the Princess to provoke her further. Soon, she would no longer be able to control her powers, and all ponies present would be in mortal danger.

Acting swiftly to prevent this, Celestia took position behind her sister. Luna, consumed as she was with her attacks, had no time to react before her sister's sudden spell knocked her out. Before she could hit the ground, Celestia's magic caught her, gently holding her in mid-air.

"Wow," Discord remarked, equally surprised as he was impressed, “that was beautiful… How far you’ve come, Celestia!”

The princess said nothing. Instead, she placed her unconscious sister on the floor, before touching her with her horn. Luna vanished in a white flash. “Monster…” muttered Celestia.

Discord seemed unfazed. “Why does everypony expect the Spirit of Disharmony to share your pedestrian sense of decency?”

"So, Spirit of Disharmony, then?" the Doctor began. "Discord! As in... 'The Pantheon Of'?"

The demon laughed, turning toward the Time Lord. "It took you long enough... Honestly, I was beginning to lose hope, Doctor!"

"Well, what can I say? There are so many megalomaniacs out there, sometimes it's hard to get the names right..." the Time Lord retorted. "Still, for the “Toclafane” that parents use to scare their children to bed, I can't say I'm impressed."

Discord frowned; room seemed to darken.

"I mean, the Trickster... well that guy at least had the creepy look nailed down. No eyes, sharp teeth and everything," the Doctor continued. "His changelings, too, those gave me the wllies-”

"Oh, don't remind me! I met the Trickster and his ‘brigade’ once," he said with an air-quote. "All work and no play, the lot of them, more boring than any captain to come out of-"

"You on the other hand -uh- hoof” the Doctor interrupted, “... remind me of a street clown... but, y'know, evil… Pennywise, is what you are! Not even played by Tim Curry!"

"I'd rather take that as a compliment, dear, I love making others laugh,” Discord smiled. “Take little Pinkie Pie for instance: she used to be a doll that one, a real barrel of fun. Not so much now, sadly."

The draconequus snapped his fingers. The scattered fragments of the shattered Scrying Silverglass began to pick themselves up, joining eachother and rebuilding that which could not be rebuilt. The Doctor felt more than a little bit offended: “Hold on, I thought that thing couldn’t be mended! How come you get to-?”

Quan-tum,” the dragon interrupted, smiling smugly and giving a double snort through his pointed nostrils. After the glass pieces finished assembling themselves, an image appeared: Pinkie Pie and her friends, running around the Ponyville library, their manes gray their eyes dimmed. Among them, only Twilight Sparkle seemed to have any of her old color in her, and the others seemed to enjoy playing cruel tricks on her. What was Fluttershy doing with that bucket?

“Ooh, this is my cue! Showtime, everypony,” the dragon announced, “live and in color! The end of -”

"What have you done to them, Discord?" Celestia demanded.

"Well it's not my fault! I told you they weren’t all you thought. Pinkie there didn't like the idea that her friends were laughing at her behind her back. Applejack couldn't handle the truth, Rarity wanted Tom all to herself and Fluttershy is just plain black inside," he smiled. "Should I go on?"

"This is your doing, demon! You can't subvert their friendship so you've cast your cheap spell to sow disharmony among them! But it won't work, their bond is stronger than that!” the Princess announced proudly. “They've even found the Elements now! Your reign of chaos is over!"

"Are you willing to put that to the test, Princess? Let's!"

Discord vanished, only to appear a second later in the footage he'd provided for them. Twilight and her friends (sans Rainbow Dash, for some reason) were now leaving the library, only to meet the meddlesome spirit, hovering quaintly next to a tree.

"Well, well, well, I see you've found the Elements of Harmony, how terrifying!"

Discord! I’ve figured out your lame riddle! You’re in for it now,” Twilight Sparkle replied. The Doctor wondered why she hadn’t fallen under the same spell as the rest of her friends.

“I certainly am! You’ve clearly out-dueled me, and now it's time to meet my fate,” Discord mockingly announced, conjuring up a pimp pair of glasses to shield his eyes as the Elements moved into formation. “I'm prepared to be defeated now, ladies. Fire when ready!” He even offered the courtesy of placing a red-and-white target on his chest.

“Doctor, you need to leave here now,” Celestia commanded. “Before he returns. Find the letterbox he stole, it’s the only way to stop this madness!”

“Hold on, didn’t you just say that-” the Doctor stopped, as he took a few seconds to realize. “Oh, Princess, I am so your biggest fan right now! Coming, Ditzy?”

“Where are we going,” the mare asked as she joined the Time Lord in the TARDIS.

“I haven’t the foggiest, but we’ll know soon enough.” He turned to Celestia’s aide: “Décor? I could really use your help here.”

The mare looked puzzled: “Am I missing something here? Didn’t Her Majesty say Discord’s spell didn’t work?”

“I was challenging him. We needed to have him leave so you could get away,” Celestia explained. “Presently there’s not enough friendship between Twilight and her friends to use the Elements. We need the letters to remind them of what they lost!”

The Doctor smiled; Celestia was crafty, even by his standards she was good. River Song-good.

“Décor, go with them. I think they’re going to need your help.”

The mare showed the slightest shimmer of reluctance, before joining the duo in their time machine.

“Right, we’re ready to go,” said the Doctor. “Princess, I have no idea where or when we’re going, or how long this could take, but you have my word: I WILL get you those letters!”

“I know you will, Doctor! Safe travels,” she said, as the box vanished.

***

A few crones later, the TARDIS materialized, elsewhere and elsewhen.

“Well I certainly wasn’t prepared for this…” said the Doctor he peeked out of the TARDIS door

***

Author's note: I'm out of exam season and back to work. As always, please leave any sort of feedback, positive or negative. Any comment is better than none, and critique would be greatly appreciated.