I walked into the convention, and took a breath. I was going as a human version of Bill Cipher from Gravity Falls. My costume had almost everything; a yellow suit, some black trousers, a bow tie and top hat and of course an eyepatch.
While I was there, I did decide to buy some things so I wasn't just loitering around the shops. Basically just buying some shirts and looking at things that might give me ideas for my next convention. One shop in particular had a guy cosplaying as the merchant from the Resident Evil games. There didn't seem to be many people there, but what he was selling looked really good. He appeared to have Sharingan contacts that looked very realistic, a venom spider man suit, but what really caught my eye was the simple cane. It wasn't much, but it went very well with his costume, since Bill did have a cane. I suppose I never really paid much mind to it, since he wasn't always with one and Lily had urged me along.
"Something catch your..." He stopped. His voice was surprisingly high- pitched there. "Sorry... Something catch youe eye?" He asked, his voice lower.
"Yeah, how much for that cane?" I responded.
"£9.99." I paid the man his money and left. I strode with pride through the building, happy with myself. The cane was great, it looked really good and just felt... right. I allowed myself a bit of a chuckle as I was happy with my little find. I passed the toilets and stopped, turning to the direction of the aforementioned men's room. I wanted to see how I looked. It may sound vain, but I was quite happy with myself that I had forgotten to watch out for any shady characters, not that it mattered before I even entered the loo, despite stumbling a bit due to a small dizziness that had come out of nowhere.
"Wow, I look awesome!" It was odd; I usually wasn't all this enthusiastic and vain about my appearance. But the minute I noticed the bathroom, I just felt like I had to enter and take a good look at myself. Well, I was there and decided to turn around. Oddly enough, the door was locked. I frowned as I gave it a tug again, still nothing. I knocked, but no one answered. So I reached into my pocket for my phone to call Lily, only for it to fall out of my hand as I pulled it out. I frowned, before I started to feel an incredible pain. I clutched my chest, stumbling and held onto the sink as I fell, before slowly seeing consciousness slip away through my fingers.
A cloaked figure looked through the books to see which one was useful to her. She plucked some advanced spellbooks and history books. She searched through all of them, but couldn't find many that were useful.
"Halt! State your business!" The cloaked mare's head snapped to the right, where two royal guards were standing at the end of the bookshelf, whilst one stood at the ready on the other side. She quickly grabbed all the books she had found and stuffed them in her bag.
"Stop!" The first guard yelled, but his orders fell upon deaf ears as the thief turned and ran the other way. One of the guards let his wings flare out and shot towards the third, who quickly took a left forcing the stallion that could not stop in time to hit a bookshelf. Meanwhile, the other Pegasus guard who had known better kept tailing the thief on hoof.
"Halt now and you might get off a bit easier!" He shouted, but got ignored as well. She took a right turn and he followed, but when he took the same turn as she had, he saw only a black unicorn mare guard, who seemed confused and dazed.
"Which way did she go?" He asked, and she pointed at the opposite end of the shelf to the left side. He ran, while the unicorn guard's face went from confused to satisfied with herself. She grinned as she went from a guard back to a thief ran away from where she had pointed the guard but her disguise broke due to her being low on magic.
"Who's that?" She turned too see the same guards that had originally noticed her. "It's the thief, get her!" She groaned as she quickly resumed running. She saw the window that she had originally used to enter the library and jumped out of it, landing on a balcony below. The guards on that floor turned their heads too late as she kicked them in their faces. She walked towards a door and peeked through, showing the main hallway of the castle. She quickly morphed back into her guard disguise. She calmly walked out of the room and into the hallway. She passed by unsuspecting guards who were running in the opposite direction as her. She grinned as she simply walked out of the front door of the castle and disappeared into the streets of Canterlot, pulling her cloak up when her disguise broke again after some more effort to prolong it.
Celestia shot out of bed. She felt as if she had just had a nightmare, but she couldn't quite remember what it was. Something just felt... off. She looked around; her room was empty. It was still dark outside; she had yet to raise the sun; a task she always did when she woke up. She sighed, her thoughts once again drifting to her sister. Even now, she still felt guilty controlling Luna's realm, that she was intruding. She was just about to get over her uneasy feeling and raise the sun on her balcony when she heard a knocking on her door.
"Princess Celestia?" The voice belonged to some of her royal guards, specifically the captain. "There has been an incident in the Archives."
"What happened?" She stood up.
"The Canterlot Archives have been robbed, Princess." This got the Princesses attention. The Canterlot Archives was a very secure area where many guards were placed; and access had to be permitted by somepony with clearance. It possessed many different spellbooks and secret information. There was a whole area dedicated to Starswirl the Bearded, and many of his old spells. If somepony got a hold on any of those spells there was no telling what they would do.
"Take me up there and show me what has been stolen after a raise the sun." She said sternly. Once she raised the sun, Shining lead Celestia to the Archives.
"Luckily Celestia, not many books were stolen, however there are one or two missing from the less... accessible parts of the archives. Would you like to take a look?"
Celestia nodded at him and inspected the shelves. She was about to go over the list of which books were so far missing, but her attention was drawn to the far end of the shelf, in a lower corner and barely noticeable to anypony, anypony except her. She quickly knelt down to get a closer look as the space, getting more worried as she got closer. Certain books had symbols under where they were placed so she or somepony else would know if a particularly important book was gone. When she got close enough and saw the symbol she stopped with her eyes wide. She saw a triangle symbol with an eye in the middle. She knew exactly which book was missing.
"I want that book found." She said, and Shining could tell that she was mad. "I also want the names of all the guards that were in the Archives."
"Princess, if you don't mind me asking, what was in that book that's so dangerous?" Shining asked.
As the book was being carried away, three different voices conversed.
"It appears that we are moving. Someone is bringing us somewhere for reasons that I am not aware of." A quiet voice spoke, barely above a whisper.
"SILENCE! I'm trying to look at the streets Canterlot. Hooray, it looks different!" The third and most cheerful voice of the bunch said, but also sounded vaguely robotic.
"Different from what? You have never actually seen other streets. Either way, it is probably best if you stay quiet; Bill is in thought." The quiet voice commented, though it was barely above a whisper. "Maybe it'll give us an inkling of where we are heading." He stared at their creator, who had his back faced at them.
(A couple of days later)
In an unknown area, changelings routinely flew in and out of their hive. A certain changeling flew in and removed her cloak. She was a little disappointed with her findings. She had only gotten a couple of books, and one which she wasn't quite sure about. She was worried about going back to Queen Chrysalis because of this fact, but she had to.
She passed the hidden guards and went on brought the homes. She didn't need to look through the windows to see how 'lings were struggling. It was getting more difficult to find love, meaning that more of her kind was slowly starving, due to it being difficult to find love, and they could not live off their own love alone. They need something extremely drastic to save them if this kept up.
"Shadow Moth?" She turned to see her older brother; Black Buzz. He was a changeling with an identical set of grey eyes and wings like her, but he was much taller than her and had a bigger build. "You're back from the pony palace? What was it called, Camelot?"
"Canterlot." Moth corrected.
"Whatever." He shrugged and got her in a playful headlock. "I bet my sneaky little sis got some great info that we can use, eh?"
"...I'm not sure really, I guess I'll just have to see." She replied to her brother, who let her out of the headlock.
"Well, good luck I guess." Black Buzz nodded as he watched his sister fly away. She hovered over to the castle. There she spoke to the secretary on the desk, who directed her to the throne room of their queen. She took one look at her ruler, who was waiting patiently for her.
"Shadow Moth." The eyes of Queen Chrysalis locked onto one of her best spies. "I trust your mission was a success?"
"Here are the books I could get from the archives..." Not knowing how else to answer.
"I see." Chrysalis frowned. "Show me what you have." With that, Shadow Moth took out all the books she stole, and Queen Chrysalis looked briefly at each one. Most were history books, though there was a quite advanced spellbook. She didn't think much of what Moth had gotten, until she got a look at the final book. It was very old and simple; the brown hardback cover was very plain and the book didn't even have a title. Instead, there was a yellow triangle with bricks in it. The eye in the middle stared back at her.
"That book was an odd one." Moth admitted, oblivious to the fact that her queen was speechless, and simply staring at the book. "I found it at the bottom of a shelf. I really don't know why I noticed it over the others. I guess I was just... drawn to it."
"Thank you Shadow Moth. You may leave now."
"Okay." She nodded and turned around, but remembered something before she left. "By the way, there's a certain spell in that book. I'm not sure exactly what type of spell it is, since I'm not a magic expert. I just thought I'd tell you that." She then walked out of the door, leaving Chrysalis to look through the book. It spoke of monsters and beasts unheard of, but she stopped at one particular page; one with an image identical to that on the cover. There was a spell on that page, just like Moth had said. It was okay, it looked like something that she could cast. She went over the spell a couple more times making sure she understood it, and then got ready to cast it, and apparently there was a chant she had to say and a ritual to perform, so she went to the top of her castle and got the necessary items for the ritual- like summoning.
"Are you sure this is a good idea my Queen?" Switcheroo asked. He was a former scout of hers but had switched jobs and become her neurotic assistant. "Perhaps this thing was sealed away for a reason?" She had told him what she had planned to do, and he thought it would be best to have some other changelings with her if anything went wrong, so she decided to have him there and three guards.
"Alright." Chrysalis said. "Let's begin." She put the book in the middle of the circle of candles.
"Triangulum, entangulum. Vene foris dominus mentium. Vene foris videntis omnium!" She felt a pain in her stomach, but ignored it.
"Egassem sdrawkcab. egassem sdrawkcab. Egassem sdrawkcab! Egassem sdrawkcab! Egassem sdrawkcab!" Her eyes glowed blue and suddenly everything around them went grey.
"Wait, is the queen just saying 'backwards message'?" Switcheroo thought.
The guards looked around when they heard laughing, but they couldn't pinpoint where it was coming from. A triangle outlined with fire appeared above, looking at each any every one of them with a single large eye.
"Oh, I have always wanted to do that!" Everything stopped as the demon from the book emerged from the fire. "I've been in there for such a long time." He stretched out, and looked around. "So where am I? Looks like some kind of castle." He asked aloud. "So, who's the one that set me free eh? Did ya say the chants? I bet you said the chants~."
"...Is it really you?" Bill stopped his thinking as he turned around. "Who said tha-" He stopped when he turned to see the one who spoke; Queen Chrysalis.
Bill and Chrysalis stared at each other for what felt an eternity. Neither Switcheroo nor the guards did anything, and simply watched, the former of which was very worried.
"So this is where you've been?" Chrysalis finally asked. "The sisters trapped you in a book?"
"Not just any book." Bill replied. "It's one of my own books; one that I wrote myself." He said, making no effort to hide the spite and rage in his voice.
"...Do you remember me?" She decided to as another question, and she had to be sure of this one.
"Of course I do." Bill floated towards the Queen of the changelings. "How could I ever forget you Chryssie?" They were now very close to each other. "I remember when I first met you 1,634 years ago. Wow were you tiny back then."
"You taught me so much." Chrysalis smiled. "You're the reason we can even survive in the Badlands. Without you we'd still be wandering and scattered, with no place in the world and little to no knowledge but now we have that as well. I even still have your book."
"Eh... I wish I could've found a better place than the Badlands for you to live."
"We've made it work for this long, haven't we?" The Queen of changelings smiled.
"Yeah, I guess you have." The two smiled, or at least Bill would if he still had a mouth.
"...Well what're you all waiting for?" He called out. Two more beings appeared. The first had long pink hair, with a ribbon highly resembling of a cable whilst he second being was the tallest out of all of them. His body was entirely black, save for the two yellow eyes that were carefully observing all the changelings present.
"Let me introduce you." He gestured to the two figures behind him. "The love child of Groot and Slenderman on my left is the Hide- Behind." The tall beast in question merely nodded
"And this young woman is Giffany..." Bill averted his eye slightly, while the Giffany paid no notice and waved.
"Would anyone like to hold my books?"
"You don't have any books." Hide pointed out.
"Okay..." Switcheroo spoke up. "So what now? Where does this all leave us?"
"Hmmm." Bill thought aloud. "I guess you could show me around; it'd be interesting to see how much the place has changed."
"Okay then, let me lead the way." With everything will grey, she led Bill down the stairs, along with the two other demons. Switcheroo and the guards also tagged along from behind.
"The hive is actually very well- concealed." Chrysalis commented. "The Macintosh Hills separate us from the rest of Equestria. For most species, it would be difficult to live in an area like this, but we were able to find home here." They finished walking through the hall. "The castle is more or less the same though. There are some new additions to the castle, let me show you." They went downstairs into a room with books and chairs, as well as an old sofa. Chrysalis went to the shelf and got picked something from the top of the shelf. It was a book with a cover exactly the same as the one that Bill was trapped in.
"Surprised I still have this?" The changeling queen grinned when his single eye widened slightly.
"I'm a bit more surprised that it lasted so long. How did you preserve it for over 1,500 years?"
"I used a spell to preserve it." She explained. "It has to be recast every couple of months, in hope that you would finally return after your abrupt disappearance."
"Aaw, that's so sweet." Giff commented.
"I had hope, and that hope has paid off after more than a millennium and a half."
"I wish I had as much patience as that Chryssie." Bill replied. If he had a mouth he could smile.
"Speaking of which, where did you two come from?" She turned to the other two demons behind Bill.
"Nowhere actually, Bill created us." Hide explained.
"Well yeah, I did need some company otherwise I would've really gone insane." Bill didn't have the benefit of being turned into a statue or being sent to Tartarus, so he didn't get to at least have the company of Discord or Tirek or whoever else was in Tartarus. Some of them were created sooner than others. Giff was one of the youngest and was the most cheerful; probably because she took a lot from Shooting Star."
"Why is everything still grey?" Switcheroo asked, rubbing his eyes.
"That's because you're in the mindscape. Everything is pretty much grey except for your actual mind. Your bodies are still back in the room where Chryssie summoned me. You'll automatically return to them once you leave the mindscape." The yellow triangle answered.
"Here's the kingdom; some of it anyway." She gestured to a window. What Bill could see appeared to be a bunch of houses made of stone, all under an extremely large stone. A fair distance from the houses was what looked like a particularly rough area of the badlands; with dozens of smaller sharper rocks covering the floor and if there weren't spikes there were cracks and crevices to replace them. "That's one of the training grounds." She said after noticing what Bill was looking at. "The rest of the houses are underground; in caves underground and such. Let me show you them."
Celestia looked over the papers grades by the teachers of her school for gifted unicorns. They were mostly really good and she should be happy for all the talented unicorns that were able to do so well, but she wasn't really in a smiling mood after what happened in the Archives and couldn't stop thinking or worrying about it.
She couldn't deal with this right now. Her sister would soon be returning from her banishment which was difficult enough to prepare for on its own, and her being free along with Bill only complicated matters even further, not to mention the summer sun celebration which she still had to account for.
"Princess Celestia." A guard addressed her, hopefully with some good news. "I'm afraid that we still haven't found the thief yet."
"Very well." She replied. "You are dismissed."
Once he was gone, she sighed deeply. It had been four days and the guards still haven't found any sign of the thief or more importantly the book when she had no idea who this mysterious pony was or why she had stolen the book. She could only imagine what the thief wanted with the book or even Bill. She had never found the other two either, which only added to her frustration. She couldn't trust Bill or his unnatural experiments, but she had luckily been able to convince Luna of that. Maybe her sister could talk some sense into him; she used to be his best friend after all.
"And these are some of the houses inside the caves." She was almost finished with Bills tour of her Kingdom. Luckily since they were still in the mindscape, she wouldn't have to deal with any formalities from her subjects and she could just focus on talking to Bill while Switcheroo was distracted by Giff; who just hummed a happy tune.
Bill was silent for most of the tour when Chrysalis wasn't speaking, and appeared to be thinking as he looked at the two books.
"Is everything alright Bill?" Chrysalis asked.
"I wonder what those two have done with all my research, or the other book. For all I know, they could've trashed everything and most of my work could be lost to time." He went through all the possibilities of what could've happened.
"You really hate them, don't you?" Switcheroo said.
"They sealed me in a book for over 1,000 years, how do you expect me to feel?" Bill asked rhetorically.
"I know but... Was it really that bad? Did something in- particular happen?"
"What happened was I trusted them." His eye glowed red.
After Bill was given the tour, they all opened their eyes and looked around. They were still in the room where he had been summoned. Chrysalis smiled joyfully and quickly rushed out to gather the other book. Meanwhile, the others were in shock at what had happened. Switcheroo quickly got up after Chrysalis left, and wasn't quite sure what had happened, or if it had actually happened.
"Wow just... Wow." Switcheroo looked up, looking at everything and how it was all no longer all grey.
"Quite something, wasn't it?" He turned to his right to see one of Chrysalis's royal guards; Thorn Sting.
"That's one way of putting it, I suppose." Switcheroo replied and stumbled forward, when a hoof belonging to Thorn hit his back.
"Hehehe. Same old Switcheroo." Thorn chuckled.
"Argh!" The former scout grunted after landing on his left leg, which sent him random shots of unbearable pain, from time to time.
"Oh, sorry about that, didn't mean to trigger any pain. Kinda forgot about that, I guess." Thorn apologised. Despite his name, he was actually a nice guy to those who got to know him, but that didn't mean that he didn't like to appear tough to others.
"Yeah it's fine, but just be careful about that." Switcheroo said, but was still quite irritated at his friend's carelessness.
"So what do you think? Is the triangle guy here to help?"
"To be honest I have no idea, but the Queen seems to trust him so I suppose he deserves the benefit of the doubt." He then trailed off and thought for a moment. "But that doesn't mean I still won't check his books out." He said as he readied his wings and hovered towards the break room.
Chrysalis was asleep in her room; most likely in the mindscape. Switcheroo was worried that she'd be protective of the books, she apparently had book for a very long time now.
He entered the break room, which was fairly empty save for a group of cleaners chatting amongst themselves and got the two books off of the shelf and went to a random page in the third one. He looked at the page entitled "Bugbear" which showed a black and white bear with gigantic bumblebee wings and multiple large arms. He read through the pages and found a lot of information on the beast, and in large capitals there were words that read "placed in stasis". He went onto another page, with a beast the had two heads on its front, and one on its tail with "Chimera" written on it, detailing information about it including where it lived, which according to the book was a fiery swamp, and their weakness was their indecisiveness. He slicked through the book and put his hoof on another random page, showing some sort of necklace with a red gem encased in a metal upside down equilateral triangle, with the head and wings of a black alicorn with red eyes. Above the image it read "Alicorn Amulet", and the bottom of the page read "incomplete".
Chrysalis was with Bill in the mindscape, they spoke until something popped into the Queen's mind.
"Will we always have to be in the mindscape to even talk to each other?" Chrysalis asked.
"No, I can find a body to inhabit, it'll be nothing much I just have to trick someone with one of my deals and then it'd be easier to get my research." Bill answered. "Of course I'd have to find the keys, which Celestia probably has hidden, somewhere..." He trailed off as he thought of something. "Hey, is the Summer Sun Celebration today?"
"You mean the pony holiday? I think so." Chrysalis replied. "Why do you ask?"
"Well like I said I need to look for my keys."
"So where are you going?"
"I'm going to see if an old friend knows."
"So you're going back to Equestria?"
"Yeah; I need to find the location of those keys. I'll be back."
"Okay, just be careful. Celestia's probably still looking for you." Bill nodded and disappeared.
Bill floated through Ponyville, watching the citizens from the mindscape. It was the late afternoon and he saw lights coming from Twilight's Library meaning that Twilight was in Pinkie's party. When he was on earth, he had watched the show briefly so he pretty much knew what was going to happen at this point. If it wasn't for Chrysalis, he would've completely hated the show after he was imprisoned.
Bill decided to check around the town hall for either Celestia or Nightmare Moon. He couldn't see either of them at the hall, but he had an idea of where else they might be. He flew towards the Everfree, going past Fluttershy's cottage and straight through the forest.
"Chrysalis said you'd be here." Bill turned to his right to see Hide flying next to him.
"Hi." Giffany popped up as well on Bills left.
"...Seriously?" He looked between the two.
"We've never seen the outside firsthand. It's gonna be great to go and see it!"
"She has a point; firsthand experience would be useful." Hide added. Bill paused before facepalming.
"Fine... Let's go." Bill sighed and they all flew towards that castle. Soon, the clashing of swords could be heard and magic blasts could be seen. The three peered in and saw Celestia battling Nightmare Moon. Nightmare Moon was swinging her sword non- stop; slashing at Celestia from the left and the right and never once letting up. Celestia on the other hand was on the defensive, not once striking even when she was given the chance.
"She's holding back." Bill commented. "Celestia I mean. She still sees Nightmare Moon as her sister. I wouldn't make that mistake." Nightmare Moon wore the same armour that she had 1,000 years ago; Bill remembered it clearly. Celestia wore armour that looked very similar to her old armour but Bill wasn't surprised; she always did like doing the same song and dance.
Celestia thrust her sword at her sister, who easily parried and sent three more swords towards Celestia. The sun princess shot up and flew all over the room, dodging several blasts of magic and went down for another strike but hesitated for a second and got hit by a blast of magic when she slowed down mere centimetres from Nightmare Moon. She crashed into the ceiling and fell, but caught flight before she fell to the ground.
"Is this all the great Princess Celestia has to offer?" Nightmare laughed. "No wonder you always used the Elements." She effortlessly avoided four levitated swords. Nightmare Moon then caught Celestia with her magic then threw her across the room. Celestia slammed into a wall, but was protected by her armour.
"As much as I want to see them destroy each other, we have business to do." Bill jumped into Nightmare Moon's mind, and he went for Celestia's mind, with Giffany and Hide behind him. Unfortunately Nightmare Moon ran forwards and slashed her sword at Celestia, getting in the way.
Bill looked around and saw stars, the moon and the ocean. He was not in Celestia's mind.
"Aaw great, I missed." He groaned.
"Let's see if we can find anything you two."
"...I'm the only one here. I can't see Giffany." Hide replied.
"Well that's great, we lost Giffany as well." Bill sighed. "Let's go look for her." I front of them was the Castle of the Two Sisters, but with various large black stains covering more than half of the structure. "Maybe she'll even know where my keys are." He went through another door which was labelled "memories". As soon as he entered, the door shut behind him, locking Hide out and he soon heard laughter.
"Well well, if it isn't Mr Cipher." The voice began. "At last we meet, I've heard so much about you from Luna's memories."
"Pleased to make your acquaintance." Bill said sarcastically, trying to ignore how much she sounded like Luna and keep the sourness out of his own voice. "Look, first off saying 'Well well well' is my thing and you were one off anyway. Secondly, I'm not here to stop you or free Luna; that happens in a few hours." He muttered the last part. "I'm just going to look for something and someone if they're even in here, then I'll be one my merry way." He floated away from the door only for Nightmare to block his way again with a laugh.
"Well I'm sorry, I'd love to believe you but I'm afraid can't really trust you on that can I? Not to mention that it'd be much easier to absorb you and become even stronger." Nightmare flared the dark glittery mist that was surrounding her body. "You didn't really leave me many options by coming here I'm afraid."
"Alright then." Bill sighed and fire appeared in his hand. "I guess we're doing this now... Let's go." He shot the blue fire at Nightmare Moon, who took the form of a giant serpent and ducked, before slithering towards Bill, who dodged the attack and shot thousands of yellow needles at Nightmare before floating away in a corridor to the left only hearing a hiss of pain. Upon seeing a stairway he flew up it.
Once up, in another hallway, he stopped halfway and turned around to find that he didn't see her anymore. Before he could even wonder where she went, the bricks floor broke and all he saw was two large pitch black manticore jaws engulf him. When Nightmare tried to bite, she found that she couldn't fully close her mouth in her manticore form, which was the same as a regular manticore but was purple and black instead of being yellow and red, but the tail was still the same colour. She looked up to see what was holding her back and saw a large log inbetween her teeth.
"Haha, Substitution Jutsu!" Bill taunted, appearing a couple of metres away, a metal headband appeared briefly over his top hat. Nightmare then crushed the log after a moment, splitting it in two before it exploded in her face. "...Also paper bombs. I love Naruto." The smoke cleared showing Nightmare still in her manticore form, and her eyes filled with pure rage. She jumped at Bill in a blinding speed and slashed his body multiple times from the left and right with her sharp claws as well as swinging her tail at him causing the yellow dream demon to slam into the opposite wall. When he opened his eye he saw her fist/ paw make contact with his face. She went in for another blow only to hit the wall.
"Okay, that hurt more than I thought." Bill said a couple of rooms away. "Miiiight have been a bad idea to jump into this so soon after just getting free..." Before he could question his choices on recharging his powers some more, a dark Timberwolf lunged at him, but only grabbed thing air as he ducked. Soon two more attacked and Bill shot them with lasers.
"Geez Nightmare, these Timberwolf designs are terrible, you didn't even get the smell right." Bill continued to dodge the attacks, but only barely. He needed to find that memory quickly. He flew away and shot some lasers at the wolves, who easily avoided them.
"Annoying clown..."She growled.
"Well I think I've overstayed my welcome so...." He then teleported to another random hallway lined with windows and brushed him off.
"Let's see, no, no, no, no and no." He quickly went through each and every door near him, but found nothing relating to what he was looking for. He kept going until he looked through one door, where Celestia and Luna were hiding a set of keys. He caught a glimpse of one which had an eye engraved on it. Yes, this was it. This was what he was looking for. He just needed to take it and-
"Ha!" She emerged from the wall this time in the form of a Gargoyle and grabbed the memory. "This is what you're looking for, I presume?" She asked tauntingly as she crushed the door in her jaws and consumed it. "Now Mr Cipher, where were we?" Nightmare grinned as she then jumped at him with all of her speed.
"Argh!" Before she could reach him, she felt black spikes make contact with her body. "WHO DID THAT!?" After she slammed into a wall looked up to see who else was in her mind.
"It took me so long to find a way into this castle. Now that I'm here, I find that you've already started a fight without me?" Hide emerged and helped up his creator.
"You impudent beast!" Nightmare roared as she changed into a giant millipede and attempted to bite Hide, but he threw a wall of shadows her, causing the parasite to stumble back. She changed into a cragadile and snapped her jaws at Hide. "Let's see how your fire fares against this!" Suddenly, dark trees began to rapidly grow from under her, trapping and tangling her.
"Enough!" In a single moment she destroyed all the trees and went back to her alicorn form. Nightmare Moon sent a blast of magic towards Hide, who responded with shadows bursting out of the ground. The nightmare magic was quickly overpowering the ghost's shadows, but the alicorn was hit by an even larger laser.
"Did you forget about me?" Bill stared down at her, tipping his hat as Hide joined him.
"Well it's been fun but we've got to go. Bye!"
The two demons left Nightmare Moons mind and stretched out.
"Well we didn't find anything. She ate the memory we needed so let's grab Giffany and-" He stopped "...Wait."
"We forgot Giffany!"
"Pardon? Then we must go back and-"
Go back and what? They turned to see the cheerful cable- haired girl standing behind them, her head tilted.
"Giffany!" They both shouted when they saw her. "Where were you two? I searched all over Celestia's mind but I couldn't find either of you anywhere."
"We missed and ended up in Nightmare Moon's head. We couldn't find the location of the keys." Giffany smiled at Bill's statement. Show showed them a door. Bill was silent for a moment.
"Wow, between you finding the memory and Hide saving my life, I am so glad I have you guys, now let's go." They all then teleported away before Nightmare Moon slowly rose up and glared at where they had been. She would've followed them and taught them not to oppose her, but she a celebration to crash.
(After the Celebration in the Golden Oak Library)
"I am very proud of you Twilight." Celestia smiled at her prized pupil. "Words cannot express how grateful I am that you were all able brought my sister back." Twilight, Spike and their new friends smiled back at Celestia. "However, there is another threat at large, and I must warn you all to be careful."
"W- What is it Princess?" Twilight got very worried when she heard how seriously she spoke of the matter. Celestia got a book out and turned to a certain page. It showed a silhouetted equilateral triangle arms, legs and a large eye in the middle. It also appeared to be wearing a bow tie and top hat.
"What in tarnation is that thing?" Applejack asked.
"It looks like the cover for the story." Pinkie answered. "Unless the author gets a new one."
"That my little ponies, is Bill Cipher." Celestia began. "Thousands of years ago he mysteriously appeared in Equestria. He is a dream demon who made friends with Luna and I."
"His knowledge was unparalleled by any, even by Starswirl the Bearded." Luna continued. "He devoted himself to science and experiments, and often secluded himself in one of his many bunkers when he was not with us, writing in his journals. Of course over time, we slowly grew more distant and his experiments became more drastic. We had tried to talk him out of them, but he would not listen to reason."
"We had to seal him in one of those very books that he wrote. There are three in total but the location of the other two is unknown and the one we kept in the archives; the same one which we kept Bill in has been stolen. It could be anywhere and so could he." The mane 6 and Spike were all silent.
"Wait, so after Nightmare Moon, now we have to deal with an evil triangle monster?" Rainbow asked.
"Only once we find him Twilight." The white alicorn replied. "Until we know where he is, we cannot send you to use the elements on him. We can only ask you to be careful until we find him."
Bill looked at the memory; it was Celestia and Luna hiding the one of his keys somewhere in the the castle. HIS keys, to HIS bunkers.
"Are we simply going to keep these keys down here?" "Bill knows where the Bunkers are." Celestia replied. "But without his keys or a body to inhabit, he will not be able to do anything in them. We must find them ourselves, and I refuse to ask him. We must destroy everything in those bunkers."
The others were probably either exploring Equestria or messing around in the kingdom. Twas still the night time, so he didn't want to wake up Chrysalis or bother her. It was probably about 4am if he were to guess, but he didn't have a clock with him. They knew he was free, so they would likely redouble their efforts to find them before him, and guard those keys. The last thing he wanted was for all his work to go to waste. Bill had no body to inhabit, so he could only wait and wander the mindscape while the others were asleep.
His singular eye darted from left to right, trying to find something, anything of interest. He didn’t particularly feel like trolling ponies in the dream world. He would’ve simply stopped and went back to the castle to search for the others, had he not seen something twinkle in the corner of his eye. With nothing better to do, he flew towards the shining object and inspected it. It had colour, to his surprise as most things in the mindscape were grey. It was a dagger, with a blade of an unknown mossy green metal on a hilt of teal/blue metal. When he picked it up two voices spoke from it.
“For those who need a knight or a robot to lend a hand or just to hang out, feel free to give us a call, and Cthulhu and XJ9 will be on the way!”
The dagger began to glow, and Bill raised his hand over his face. After a moment, the light faded and before him stood an odd figure. She stood at a height of seven feet, but with the looks of a teenager. She had white skin and hair a shade darker than cyan. On her head were a pair of what seemed to be a pair of blade-like pigtails. She wore a gray hoodie with a short-skirt the same color of her hair. Her legs were more armored than the rest of her, looking human but ending in flat circular ‘hooves’ of some sort. She looked around, confused and Bill saw that she had a round, somewhat cute face though rather than ears she had a pair of metal discs and her face seemed to have a slight bump to it rather than any sort of nose. All the while an aura of static seemed to hover about her in the mindscape. She finally turned to see him and blinked.
“I’m gonna guess you’re the Displaced that called me?”
“The what?” Bill stared at her, confused. “I’m afraid I don’t know what that is.” He was Bill Cipher and he didn’t know something. It felt kind of odd.
The girls blinked again and put a hand to her jaw.
“Well first of all, did you used to be human?”
“Yeah, I did. How did you know?”
“Okay good. Well excuse me if this gets confusing, this is one of my first times explaining all this. A Displaced is someone who goes to a convention in cosplay, at least usually it is, and buys an item from this jerk called the Merchant. Well usually bought sometimes the jerk forces it on them. Anyway, the item makes them either black out or just makes a big portal and it sends them onward to a version of Equestria. Usually they arrive and find themself/themselves turned into the character that they were dressed as. I say ‘a version of’ Equestria because there’s actually a massive multiverse out there, with Displaced getting sent to different Equestrias. Most Displaced keep in contact with other Displaced with the use of tokens, which get scattered out throughout the void. The void is sorta… It’s like where the multiverse is created I think. I’m a bit blurry on that. Anyway, the knife you found is the token I share with my boyfriend, Kyth. I got Displaced originally as XJ9 but I met this awesome anthro alicorn chick named F.A.U.S.T., and she helped me construct this biomechanical form that I’m in now. Still have all the abilities but it’s got unique stuff and it’s actually my own. Anyway, I’m gonna guess that you were Displaced as Bill Cipher?”
“Well given your description of displaced, I’d say yes.” He answered, and was silent for a moment. “So where does that leave us?”
“Well Displaced usually make friends and enemies out in the multiverse since most have super-strong alignments. Like inflexibly so. Anyway, before anything are you a villain a hero, or a neutral type? For the moment I’m gonna take your word for this, so be honest.”
“Well… I guess I’m neutral right now. Though I won’t help the princesses, especially Luna.”
“Something go down between you?”
“Not really sure if I want to do into detail with someone I just met, but we used to be friends, best friends until we drifted apart and she sealed me in her own book along with that sister of hers. Don’t think I was ever really close with Celestia, looking back.”
Jen nodded. “Sorry dude. I’ve only been in my Equestria for a couple weeks, I’ve kinda been avoiding meeting with either of the Princesses just from the stories I’ve heard from other Displaced. Still, do you need help with something?”
“Well, I do need help finding my keys, so to say.’ I need to find the keys to my bunkers, which the sisters scattered and hid. Those contained all the work and research and… experiments I did before my imprisonment. I’m also missing one of my books. You can check through the ones I have; they’re in the break room.” He lead her through the castle to the location of his two books. She walked over and picked them before turning back to him.
“It okay if I scan these? They seem like they could have some interesting information to acquire.”
“Sure, knock yourself out… I don’t think you told me your name.”
She blinked and blushed. “Eheh whoopsie. Uh, sorry. Hi there, my name’s Jen. What’s yours?”
“I was William, but it’s just Bill now.”
She nodded. “Nice to meet you Will.”
She smiled at him for a moment before turning back to the books. She picked them up and rapidly starting flipping through them, a green glow covering her eyes. After a few minutes she set them back down and turned back to face Bill.
“There we go, all scanned. Now then, what can you tell me about these ‘keys’?”
“Well let’s see.” He looked through the memory to find a location. “Here’s one, and it appears to be under Ponyville.”
“Like buried or stored in a building’s basement?”
“Buried right under the Town Hall.”
“Hmm… Well that should be pretty easy to retrieve then as long as there’s no magical defenses.”
As he said this her right hand seemed to reconstruct into a drill. She looked to be about to go when she stopped and turned back to him.
“I’m still able to interact with the world while in the mindscape, right?”
“No, I’ll have to let you out. I’ll go with you though. You’re in the changeling kingdom and it’s night, by the way.” Just as he finished his sentence, everything went from grey back to their original colours which were still very murky. She shrugged and looked around, one eye gaining the green glow which her eyes expressed while analyzing the books. She spoke to the empty space around her.
“Uh… Bill make sure to tell Chrysalis or whatever changeling queen rules this place that I’m not an enemy alright?”
After a moment of silence she shrugged again and started walking to find the exit. A short while later she was out of the kingdom and flying towards Ponyville. When she reached the edge of the town’s sight she stopped and spoke into the air after landing.
“Hey Bill, you still there?”
“Eeyup.” Big Mac appeared in front of her, and morphed into Bill.
“Okay, how about you keep me in the mindscape until I’m in position to drill to your key? That way no one can see me grabbing it until I’m on the way out.”
“I can keep ponies distracted, sure. Not certain we’ll see any though.”
“Why’s that?” Bill simply pointed at the moon.
“It’s still night. They’ll mostly be asleep.”
“Eh I suppose that’s true. Well I’ll get to work then.”
She dashed off with this, slowly flying over the town and landing by Town Hall around the rear of the building. Jen promptly began drilling at the back, going under the hall and leaving a mess of torn soil behind her. Within a few minutes, she stopped as she found a small chest. The drill in her hand disappeared as she placed her index finger in front of the lock,sending a small beam of energy into the lock and melting it. The chest opened and in front of her was an old rusty brass key with an eye engraved on it.
“Hey.” Bill popped up behind her. “~ heard you stop digging and-” He noticed the key in her hand. “Yes, you found it!” He punched his fist in the air. “Thank you so much!”
She smiled and held it out. “Eh no problem. So, is this all you need for now?”
“Sure, sounds worth seeing. Back home I was just disposing of our version of the Alicorn Amulet when you called so I don’t really have a time constraint.”
“Oh yeah, I remember when I made that. Good times, though it had those annoying side effects that I wasn’t able to fix.”
Jen nodded. “Tons of magical power mixed with violent madness. Not a good combination.”
“No. We should probably go before anypony notices us. Celestia and Luna will know I was here if they get word of this hole under the Town Hall.”
“Well I could collapse the tunnel, filling the hole and all. It’ll look like something was messing with the ground but not necessarily a hole.”
“If you say so, then knock yourself out.” He shrugged, and Jen rocketed out of the hole, morphing a bulldozer of sorts to fill the hole and patted it down. With a final step the hole was filled with little evidence of its existence.
Bill and Jen flew in the night sky towards the Macintosh Hills beyond Appeloosa. It wasn’t too far from their current position; they could see it in the distance.
“...Hey Jen?” The triangle in the top hat turned to his new friend.
“You said your boyfriend was also displaced. What’s he like?”
She put a hand to her jaw to indicate that she was thinking.
“Well he’s… Well, smart. And he’s been one of my best friends since we were little. And he sorta… Balances me. Like back home I was sorta self conscious, but being with Kyth helps me hold together. And most importantly he cares about me, even though we haven’t been dating that long. Heck, if he wasn’t Displaced with me then I probably wouldn’t have made it this far.”
“That must be nice.” Bill began. “Having someone there for you, and you got to stay together even when you travelled worlds. I never really had anyone like that, I was too afraid to approach people on earth, constantly playing ‘what if’ scenarios through my head. I was still able to end up with a number of friends in my life though, but never really found ‘the one’ I guess, if that’s what some people call it. I’m surprised I even remember all of this, when all that knowledge and those memories filled my head after I became displaced.”
“Well maybe you can find her/him here! Kyth and I have met a few other Displaced, some of them have found ‘the one’ or in some cases ‘the ones’ in their Equestrias. This guy, Dox, he’s getting married to multiple different ladies himself. And if not in Equestria, maybe she’s somewhere out in the Multiverse. There’s all kinds of Displaced out there you know.”
“I’ll have to keep that in mind, but what if…” He shook his head and stopped himself from finishing that sentence. Jen floated up with her pigtails and flicked him jokingly.
“What iiiif there’s a sexy lady out there waiting for ya?”
She gave him a slight smile. “I can understand overthinking stuff to a fault. But all it takes is a little faith to get to where you have to go. Don’t worry about it, it’ll happen for you Bill.”
He was about to respond when he looked down. “Hey, we’re here.”
The two floated down, will Bill leading the way to a small cave. He floated through with Jen following him. They stopped when they saw a fairly small metal door that was about 4 feet tall.
“This is it, all you need to do is put the key in.” Jen saw the keyhole and pushed Bill’s key through. She twisted it, and while it was stiff for a couple of moments she managed to hear a ‘click’. The door creaked open, and everything was dark. One of Jen’s eyes glowed green again as she looked around.
“So what are we looking for?” She asked.
“Some of my notes, research, experiments and maybe my last book.” She nodded at Bill’s response as she scanned the room. To her left, she saw old and broken down scanners as well as buttons.
“I was able to make some old tech. It’s kinda on the same level as something you’d find in the 1960s or 70s, but it’s not really easy to make machines all by yourself.” He paused for a moment. “Be careful, there might be something in here.” He eyed his broken down and ripped- apart old fridge. He saw his old filing cabinet; there was a draw loose and paper was scattered everywhere around it.
“How big is this place?” Jen asked, eyeing how high the ceiling was.
“This was one of my bigger bunkers. It had to be considering…”
He paused, before giving a look as if he remembered something. “We should go.” He said sternly.
“What?” Jen turned to him and cocked her head. “Why?”
“Do you know why the door is so small, Jen?”
They both heard a roar echo through the cave. Soon, the roaring was replaced with the sound of hovering wings. Jen looked back down the hall and back to him.
“This is where I keep some of my biggest experiments.”
A different sound was heard, it was like the roaring but not as loud.
“And what exactly do you mean by ‘experiment’’?”
“Ugh.” He groaned. “I mean DUCK!” He brought her down to the ground as a large white stinger shot past them, into a wall. Jen shone here eye- torch on it and as a gigantic bear. Its body was covered in black and white stripes and it was using its four arms to pull its stinger out of the rocky wall. Once it succeeded, it used its wasp- like wings to fly towards Jen, who was not in the mindscape. She screamed and immediately started running.
“DYAA I FREAKING HATE BEES! WHY WOULD YOU FUSE BEES WITH A BEAR!?”
“Would this be a bad time to mention that he also has some level of intelligence?”
“WHY WOULD YOU GIVE INTELLIGENCE TO SOMETHING LIKE THAT!? THAT’S JUST BEGGING FOR BEES TO OVERTHROW YOU!”
“Intelligence means he’s a better tactician. That’s also something you should watch out for. You don’t like bees do you?” Bill tried to change the subject. She glared at him.
“YES! I HATE THEM!”
“Well now you know why I fused a bear with bees! Who likes bees?”
“FINE! KILL IT THOUGH!”
“I don’t have a physical form, remember? I’m just a mind without a body. Speaking of which…” He stopped as he dived into its mind. “You’ve scanned the books, right? Look for his entry!” He called out. As the beast was clenching its head, Jen remembered back to the page which described it. It was entitled ‘Bugbear.’ She also remembered the words ‘Became too dangerous’ as well as ‘Extremely durable’. She groaned and turned to face it, her right arm opening into a grenade launcher of sorts.
"Any objections to me blowing this thing apart?!"
“No objections to trying.”
“Good! EAT BATTLE BATTLE BAZOOKA SKAG!!”
She opened fire, explosive pods of some sort arcing out of her weapon and ricocheting off of the walls of the hallway before impacting and detonating against the creature. It roared in anger at her, showing some signs of damage but not enough to stop it. It flew towards her, ignoring the dream demon in its mind and swung its bottom left arm at the teenage robot. It left some slight scratching but didn’t tear through any armor, and at that point a grin came across her face.
“I have battle armor now… Bees can’t hurt me anymore. Well maybe your giant stinger but not your claws..Heheheh...HAhahaHA! EAT IT SKAG!”
One of her fists opened into an armored gauntlet which she plowed right into its jaw.
“STING THAT SKAG!” At that moment the Bugbear began to fly away and headed for the door that it was too big to have any chance of fitting out of. Both of her arms extended otu and grabbed it, pulling it back and slamming it against a wall.
“Hey Bill what do you want me to do with this thing?”
“Hmmm…” He popped out of the Bugbear’s head and thought. “I doubt I can put the old boy back in cryostasis, since that’s probably long broken. I guess you could either punch his lights out or nuke him.” At this moment, the bear tried to claw at the door and punch the rock surrounding it.
“You will not make me go back, Cipher!” Bill translated the Bear’s roars. “I will destroy you and your automaton friend!”
“Wow, someone found the dictionary.” Bill joked. Jen put a hand to her jaw.
“Well if he’s this intelligent then maybe we can just drop him off in one of the kingdoms outside Equestria. Big guy like him would probably be able to make it on his own after all.”
“I will mount your head on my sti- I mean yes, I could do that.”
“Well I guess.” Bill thought. “But we’ll need to get him out, and I don’t have my alicorn amulet to teleport him like last time.
“I could use my drills to widen the tunnels maybe.”
“Yes that could definitely work. Do it now.” Bugbear nodded his head, not showing any signs of gratitude but instead was just being impatient.
“You see? This is why I never gave you the ability to speak.”
“Uh… I’m not all that familiar with Bug..Bear...thing body signals. Should I be worried?”
“Probably, you can tell he’s very aggressive.”
“I’m right here Sherclop!” Bugbear folded his multiple arms.
“Yeah we know ya big ball of anger. Regardless, I’m gonna think it through before letting a massive murder bear out into the wild.”
“Yes the wild, that’s definitely where I’ll go…” He muttered.
“Oh you get what I mean!”
“I get that you still haven’t dug that hole.”
Jen turned to deadpan at the bear. “You know, I already hate bees. And the fact that you were talking about putting my head on your stinger like a pike doesn’t help. So being a huge dick is hurting your chances of me actually helping you.”
“I am simply stating that someone will be digging someone a hole one for someone else way or another.” Bugbear growled. Bill rolled his eye and went back into the monster’s head. His top right paw moved on its own and then slugged him across the face.
“Stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself…” Bill taunted. He eventually stopped after several more blows.
“Better?” The bear grumbled in response. “Good.”
“Should I go ahead and free him then?”
Bill looked at Bugbear, then at the door. “I’m going to hate myself for this later…” He sighed then gestured to the door. “If I left him here he would probably starve to death and it would take too long to fix the cryostasis chamber.”
Jen shrugged and then extended her hands into drill form, quickly tearing through the entrance. After a few minutes she was done, and the exit was large enough for the Bugbear to leave. Before he had the chance to though Jen stopped him.
“Remember big guy. I can fly faster than light and my body is variably an arsenal of munitions. If you start trying to pull shit then we’ll have a little...chat.”
With this her right arm opened into a large fly swatter. “Kapische?” He reluctantly nodded and flew away down the large hills. The two were left alone with Bill’s notes.
“You were very weird about bees. Why’s that?”
Jen averted her eyes and then shuddered. “When I was little a few friends I liked to play around in the woods outside of the city where we lived. One time we found this old treehouse and decided to check it out. While the others started climbing I was left on the ground. Well as it turns out there was a beehive in the tree. It got knocked down and dropped aaaallll the way down and right onto my head. Head injury plus swarming, horrible bees…””
She shuddered. “That kinda thing gives you serious issues. Gleh, anyway...Why exactly did you make a bee-bear fusion meal? And with intelligence?”
“He’s not the only thing I made.” Bill sighed. She deserved an answer after how much she helped him. “I’ve made lots of other things with my experiments. They were made to protect Equestria, because Celestia and Luna rely too much on the Elements of Harmony. I wanted to have another line of defence. Bear- o down there is just one of them. He became more and more unstable over time so I ended up freezing him. I made them because… ‘what if’?”
She nodded. “Well yeah… They do seriously rely on them in the show. Kyth and I have been skirting the lines of which events of the show we interact in, that way we can keep certain events from cancelling out. Though… Huh.”
She put a hand to her jaw in thought. “We had Magic Duel happen late… Uh oh. That… could mean trouble. A-Anyway, what other kinds of experiments did you make?”
“Well I already told you about the Alicorn Amulet. Funny thing, its original purpose was to give magic to earth ponies and pegasi, but it just became another contingency after a while. I reckon it puts you on the same level as Cadence or something, which is kind of a let down. I also used dark magic on clay to animate whatever it is moulded into. If you’ve seen ‘Little Gift Shop of Horrors’ then you’ll know what I mean. I’d be able to sculpt my own army.” He chuckled at the thought. “I also tried to construct my own body to inhabit, but those never really worked out well.”
“A body? Oh! You mean like Bill did in the show with Dipper! Well… Can you inhabit robotic bodies? I could maybe help you build something, I got blueprints saved in my datastores for different components.”
“After all you’ve done for me? I couldn’t. I’d have to find some way to repay you at least.”
“Well.. If you say so. Oh yeah! You want me to help you make a token? I think I can remember how to do it from making mine and Kyth’s.”
“Alright, first pick out an object which either describes you or relates to you. That’s more of a recommendation than a rule though, me and Kyth had no idea what to do for ours though so we just used the dagger that you found. Pretty much anything will do, as long as it’s not something perishable.”
“Hmmm.” He went back into the cave and reappeared moments later. He was holding a notebook. It wasn’t one like the other two in the changeling kingdom; it was just plain and blank.
“Okay, I choose this notebook. What now?”
“Alright. To make it a token just sorta… Okay, focus your essence into it. Bind it to you, and then leave a message on it for other Displaced to hear when they receive it.”
Bill went through the steps and after a few moments, the notebook changed to have an eye on the front and the pages faded to brown.
“To those who seek knowledge and maybe a bit of chaos on the side, call Bill Cipher.”
“How was that?”
“Better than ours. Anyway, here I’ll show you how to throw it into the void and distribute it around the Multiverse.”
A few minutes later, the token was gone and faded from sight. With a flash a copy of it appeared and was caught by Jen.
“And here’s my copy of the thing. You already have my token of course, but is there anything else you need before I go?”
“Yeah, anything I can help you with? If I’m doing that body thing I want to repay you somehow.”
“Well… There’s a chance that my brother and Kyth’s cousin got Displaced as well. If you hear or see anything about a Golden Freddy Displaced or a Necromorph, you mind letting me know?”
“Sure. What’re the names of your family members?”
“Jack and Calvin. Calvin would be the Golden Freddy and Jack the Necromorph.”
“Alright then Jenny. See ya.”
“See you too Bill!”
A wave of light passed over her and with that, she was gone.
“Bye Jen. Hope you and Kyth enjoy yourselves.” He waved as his notes were transported back to the changeling kingdom.
Hours later during the daytime, Bill was with Chrysalis outside in the badlands during an overcast afternoon. Suddenly, a light appeared in front of them. It was a robotic body, complete with a light blue shining eye on the front, as well as slender black arms and legs. It hovered in the air in front of the two, seeming to be made as a changeling version of him. A small note on it read
I whipped this up using scraps from my old body. It isn’t advanced enough to do magic or anything but it’s able to move and is decently strong. I figured you could use it as a base for your own workings, y’know upgrades and stuff. Enjoy!
“What’s this?” Chrysalis wasn’t sure what it was at all.
“A gift from a friend.” Bill said. “ A gift that will be repaid.”
They ran. They all ran and hid from her. Why shouldn't they? She ruled this school, and she would make sure they knew it. Of course, Canterlot High was only the beginning for Sunset Shimmer. She would have to wait many moons, and come up with the perfect plan. She would control Canterlot High and then all of Equestria.
For now however, she would sleep in her apartment and wait for the portal to open again.
A young filly Sunset grunted as she went into her room. She put her bag down near her bed. She couldn't be bothered to change out of her uniform. She sat alone on her bed. Sunset didn't have any friends at all, nor did she really have any parents. Her mum and dad... How could she describe them? You know that Canterlot stereotype that every pony is just a Nobel wannabe with their heads up their own plots almost as much as the actual nobles? Except her parents were actual nobles, so there was that. She was glad to get away from them and do some actual work. Of course, they were all too happy to send her to this school to get close to Princess Celestia.
It was far more than she thought she could handle however. She had expected a lot and loved to learn, but she was being slowly overwhelmed. She was stressed and finding it difficult to get used to the rhythm of the school. She sighed as she thought to herself while she was alone in her room.
Sunset was happy; she had finished all her school work and homework. She was being given an award by Princess Celestia herself and all the students were there, clapping for her achievement while the fillies and colt that had put her down and told her to quit ate their own shirts. She had stars in her eyes and a plaque in her hoof. Yes, she was destined for great things.
Little did she know that there was a faded eye above her, watching curiously and thoughtfully, but that eye could not do much; it barely had enough power to even see the dream as it was.
"Who is that?" A female voice popped up next to him.
"A pony." Bill replied. "A pony that has a lot of ambition and drive, she should get a reward."
"Do you want me to get one of the screaming heads Bill?"
"Nah, that won't be necessary. She should get something else."
"Two screaming heads?"
Bill thought about the whole concept of "displaced". There was an indefinite amount of Equestrias. There were so many out there which he didn't know anything about. As Bill it felt unnatural to not know too many things.
He decided to take his mind off of it by working on his new mechanical body. Jen had told him it was made out of the spare parts of her old body, which was excellent. Even the original XJ9 could hold who- knows how many gadgets. Of course, right now he was trying to keep it simple and installed buzzsaw in his left hand. He couldn't do anything too complicated right now; he didn't have a sufficient power source. He really needed to find his Alicorn Amulet soon. It was a shame that it wasn't in one of his bunkers; it was completely lost. He hoped Jen was doing well and that she found his info useful.
She was having that same dream again; the one about the award ceremony. It was one of her most common dreams, especially after a stressful day. Other dreams involved her being a professor studying and creating new spells with her name going up there with Starswirl the Bearded. The third one involved her sitting it's her parents on a beach somewhere, just those three all sitting calmly and watching the sun set with the only sound being the soothing waves crashing in on the orange sand.
She was once again accepting her plaque when she heard something. It sounded like... Screaming. There were to screaming voices that came from right above her. Before she could look up, two pony heads fell down next to her with one her left and another on her right.
"Hey." Her head snapped forward and she saw an eye a bright yellow triangle made up of bricks. It had a single eye. She screamed herself as she tripped and fell on her back.
"You must be Sunset."
"What? How do you know my name? Who are you?"
"I've been watching you a lot Sunset and I couldn't help but see that you need some help."
"Okay but wh-" She was cut off as she found herself in a seat and the wall of the assembly hall was changed into a giant blackboard.
"Sorry I couldn't make an actual classroom; my powers are kind of limited at the moment. Now let's begin."
"Wait." Sunset stopped him. "What's going on? Who are you?"
"Me? Name's Bill Cipher." He spun his cane. as he spoke to her. "And I'm here to help you Sunset."
"What? Why?" She asked curiously.
"Can't a dream demon just help a filly out?" He asked. "Now, let's begin..."
"Nothing." Twilight looked again. She had been up for about three hours now trying to find something on Bill. There were some things, but most of them appeared to be in the form of theories and speculation from crazy ponies. Some were useful though, an example was a theorist called Vail Skibum. It sounded foreign.
"You're still reading that book?" Spike rubbed his eyes as he groggily approached Twilight.
"You shouldn't be up this late Spike."
"And you said that you would stop reading late so often."
"Well I do have a good reason. I'm finding out more about 'Bill' so we can be prepared when he comes for us."
"Well what did you find out Twi?"
"Not much Spike." She sighed. "All I really found on him was that he had tons of research but spread all of it out across Equestria. It also mentions a pony called Golden Stride."
The next morning, Sunset woke up again. She easily answered all of the questions she was given on her paper. A public school like this with foal's play to her, while she saw others frown at their papers, she simply grinned before allowing herself a small chuckle at the entertainment she was getting from watching them squirm. The only thing she had to look forward to were her two little projects. Her dreams had inspired her to build something; something that didn't need magic and was far easier to build than in Equestria.
The day went by and she went home to see her second project. It was an incredible device; far beyond the technology of both here and Equestria. She went under her small bed to get a chest, as well as her blueprints for the device. It was almost complete, and she had a feeling that it would be used soon. She had never quite figured out why she had those dreams, but maybe someday she would. She brain probably just made it up to help her or something like that, or at least that was what the student counsellor said. She knew it was real, she just did. Maybe it was because of how close she felt to it and how she always enjoyed enjoyed those dreams. She had searched the mythology books for a monster that could invade dreams. The only one ever known to do that was Nightmare Moon, and it didn't look at all like what the legends said she was. Those dreams had gone on for three years until. For now, she just stared at it.
The next morning, Twilight woke up surprisingly quick, she didn’t even need coffee to fully wake up. She cantered right up to the table where I was studying a book.
Before she could say anything, I cut her off, ”I could have erased your memory you know. Would you like to guess why I didn’t?”
She was obviously caught off guard, but thought about the question none the less. “Because such drastic alteration would be obvious to the princesses and they would punish you for it.”
”Wrong but understandable. I didn’t do it because I morally hate doing such things to truly sapient beings. Every mind is unique, I think of them as songs, but every time I alter a mind by taking control, erasing or changing memories, or altering perceptions the mind becomes less itself and more like mine. Subconscious nudges don’t make other minds like mine, but they can change it drastically over time, but it remains itself.” I said, then looking her in the eye, ”I’m not worried about the knowledge but how you’ll react. I wont tell you about what your future might hold, but just trust your friends and it should turn out alright no matter how bleak things might seem at times.”
“I’ve known that for a long time now.” she said giggling. She then looked at the book on the table, “What is that? I don’t recognise that book or the symbol.” Pointing to the eye on the center of the cover.
”I think it’s a token, haven’t touched it to find out. It was just sitting on the table when I came upstairs. I feel some type of psychic resonance I’ve been trying to understand… Screw it!” I said as I grabbed book. An instant later I heard, “To those who seek knowledge and maybe a bit of chaos on the side, call Bill Cipher.”
I’ll keep this on hand. I thought. I then told, ”Yep it’s a summoning token.”
Just then I felt the presence of Celestia approaching the town with intent to hire. ”See you later, make sure to tell Rainbow training will be delayed. And Tia the answer is still no.” With that I teleported to a small lake across from Canterlot.
They still don’t get it. Then I guess once all the ‘Teach Rainbow to be less self obsessed’ crap is over I better explain it to all of them. As I sat there thinking, I felt an unfamiliar mind. It was fractured, dissonant, and pained. Only seconds later I was hit square in the back by radiant darkness. I went flying off the mountain towards Canterlot. I landed in the wall near the city gate. after my vision cleared I was what had attacked me screaming through the air headed directly for me, Cresselia.
I rushed forward stopping her Giga Impact with Protect. Her face mere inches from mine. ”What the hell is Arceus thinking, sending a healer to kill?”
”Father did not send us, we came on our own!” she exclaimed before blasting me in the face with a pink ball of energy I think may have been Moonblast.
As I fell back to Canterlot a took out Bill’s notebook focused on it and just before I hit the ground I called out to him, ”Hey Bill, I'm Medulla and I might need some help with a fight and possibly restoration of sanity” and ”Ow” as I crashed.
[3rd Person POV]
Bill slouched in his chair. He was done fitting gadgets into his new body, and was designing bodies for the others at the moment. Not only that, but he also had to help build up the kingdom. He had more of his notes there were still a fair amount of bunkers left to clear out. He was currently residing in his mechanical body, which he was just about to leave.
”Hey Bill, I’m Medulla and I might need some help with a fight and possibly restoration of sanity.” As he heard the voice he felt a light envelop him, as well as an ”Ow.”
“Awesome, I’m getting summoned. This should be fun.” He cheered, and decided to take his body with him; it’d make for a nice test drive.
Once the light died down, Bill found himself standing next to a Mewtwo, with what appeared to be a Cresselia up in the blue sky staring down at both of them with pure rage but also slightly confused about his presence.
“Okay.” Bill yelled out, so Cresselia could hear him. “Which one of you two is Medulla? I’m getting the feeling that it’s you.” He pointed to the feline Pokemon in the small crater.
”That would be correct...” Medulla said telepathically before tackling Bill out of the path of a Shadow Ball. ”And it would be a good idea to stay very alert here.”
“Sure.” Bill replied before looking back at Cresselia. “So you’re a Mewtwo displaced? Why are we being attacked by Cresselia? Isn’t she supposed to be nice?”
”No idea, haven’t had the chance to ask yet.” He replied firing back with his own Shadow Balls.
“Alright; shoot first and ask questions later.” He turned to face Cresselia. “Let’s see how well this body works.” He flew up to the opposing Pokemon, barely avoiding an Ice Beam and grabbed onto her by her neck. She instantly tried to shake him off and didn't notice the electricity dancing on his forehooves. The power increased and he gave her a huge electric shock. Through all the painful electricity, her eyes lit up and Bill suddenly found himself being lifted off of her and caught by Medulla. “Psychic. Figures.” He grumbled.
”Time to try a new combo move...” The Mewtwo said crushing a Shadow Ball in his hand, and appearing behind Cresselia shouting, ”Shadow Break!” and slamming his fist into her back. She crashed into a market street that had been abandoned early during the fight. ”I just want her unconscious so we fix her mind without any distractions. And please let’s try to keep collateral to a minimum I have a new nice guy reputation to keep.” He said floating down to where Cresselia was.
“That’s fine. I fight better when someone’s unconscious anyway.” Bill shrugged before launching a freeze ray out of his mouth based off of his cryogenic chambers. Cresselia responded with a Moonblast. The two collided, causing smoke to form in the markets. Bill took it as an opportunity to attack head- on with his electric hooves again, finding Cresselia and slugging her in the face after seeing a pair of blue eyes. She crashed into a wall while the demon in the robot’s body advanced, but found his body being heavily damaged by a barrage of Psychic energy. After recovering from the Future Sight attack, he followed Cresselia up into the sky, wobbling slightly at the damage and lack of flying practice in a long time.
“So what’re you doing here space duck? I’m pretty sure Darkrai was the evil one last time I checked.”
”We came here to destroy that which has caused our father pain.” She retorted firing another Moonblast.
“You mean Arceus? I don’t really know anything about this Equestria, so elaborate on that. What did this world do to hurt him enough and want to destroy it?” He evaded the Moonblast before firing his own electric attack.
She paused, a very confused look on her face before she simply roaring and charging Bill with a Giga Impact.
“Crap.” He thought before trying to fly upwards to get away. “Gonna need some help here Medulla! I doubt this body will last against that attack!” He yelled while she gained on him.
Medulla moved between the two of them and fired a Psystike at Cresselia knocking her out of the sky again. ”I think she means me, but I know she isn't thinking clearly. I've already fought off Giratina and Palkia, but I have no idea what Arceus wants here.”
“All the more reason to go into her mind.” He said. “You have any sleeping moves at all?”
”Nope, but I could paralyse her.”
“That could work.” He looked and saw the Lunar Pokemon incoming. They moved out of the way and he shot another unsuccessful freezing blast.
”Here goes nothing.” The mutant said, snapping his fingers as a wave of electricity raced towards Cresselia. She tried to move away but it was too late. The paralysis already had her. She started to fall to the ground but was caught at the last second by Medulla. ”I’ll set up a barrier. I don’t trust the guards to get to close while we’re in her head.” Cresselia glared at both of them.
“Okay, time to invade her mind.” He stretched out as his mechanical body shot out small sparks from the damage it had received. Soon his body went limp and fell down. Without missing a beat, Medulla took a meditative posture as they both entered the Lunar Pokemon’s mind.
Inside they saw Crescent Isle, but it looked as if it had been ravaged by years of war. The vegetation was charred, and craters marked the landscape.
“Wow, what happened here?” Bill wondered aloud in his true triangle form. “It looks… lifeless.” He stared at the surface of the island. “Any ideas why she’d be thinking this?”
“If I had to guess, she’s conflicted. When I first sensed her she was… broken… like looking through a kaleidoscope but sad and horrifying.” Medulla now in the form of Gold from the second generation.
“We should probably go deeper.” Bill said, eyeing the only place to go through the only trees left. “Unless you think taking the boat back to the city will help.” He floated in front of the entrance.
“Through the trees, that’s where you would encounter her in the games.” He replied walking confidently forward. They went through the trees and everything went pitch black for a single second, before they could see again and saw Spear Pillar but looking like it had been built the day before. They could hear the wind blowing through the freshly made pillars.
“Spear Pillar? Why would she be thinking of this place?” Bill cautiously looked around and formed blue fire in his hands in case something was to attack them. “We need to find her memories. They’ll most likely have the answer to all of this.”
As they walked a door appeared between the pillars. The door was made of marble, it opened as they approached and a blinding light washed over them. The light cleared and they found themselves in some sort of ethereal plane. Everything around them had an indigo colour, with bright stars shining above and below them with the crescent moon as the crown jewel of it all. Around them were plenty of doors leading to different memories. However, there were dark cracks everywhere, plastered on everything from the doors to even the crescent moon. Every crack seemed to emanate from a single door. It was metal but appeared to have been broken open from the inside. It read “Father’s Pain”.
“... I guess I know where we have to go.” Bill stared at the door, preparing himself.
“Trauma like this might not be remembered fully or correctly, but I don’t see any other options.” Medulla stated as he grabbed the handle. He took a breath and pulled the door open and stepped through. Inside the door, there were no cracks as everything was the exact same shade as those cracks. There was a small number of doors, but each was larger than both of them and some had been infected with that same darkness.
“These are not her memories… They’re Arceus’s, which makes sense. She is a self sacrificing healer, to help Arceus she took these away from him and onto herself. But she couldn’t handle them and they broke her.” Medulla said suddenly looking very distraught.
“...Which should we open?” Bill asked reluctantly.
“I can look at them later, the best thing to do would be to remove these. She should recover once these are gone, it’s like excising a tumor.”
“Step out for a second.” Bill said firmly. Medulla nodded and exited the room. Bill looked at all of the doors, debating whether or not to open one. He decided to leave it be in the end and went back to the main door. He floated to the top, grabbed it and pulled. The door creaked and whined as the cracks around the entire room disappeared and reappeared, as if someone was flickering a light switch. As he pulled, the door got heavier as he tried to take it out, almost like the door itself was deliberately trying to stay in place. Bill’s body became inverted as he tried even harder to remove the infectious memories. He kept on trying, but the door kept on going back. Seeing Bill struggle, Medulla floated up next to him the door began to rise even more, and with one final pull, they removed the series of memories. Bill panted momentarily before shrinking the door and making it small enough to carry.
Bill stared at them. “You might wanna be careful with them, they are the memories of a God after all. The remaining cracks should clear up shortly.”
Medulla took the tiny door, and in a flash it were gone, “I’ve seen into the depths of the mind of a void dweller. My mind has already been shattered before, I just built myself a new personality. But I’ll put some extra security on these.”
“Sure.” Bill shrugged. “Just be careful. I imagine it’d be a pain to keep rebuilding.”
“It sure was, but let’s get out of here. The Canterlot royal guards are probably freaking out over this.” Medulla said before disappearing, with Bill following suit.
Medulla awoke and Bill stood up in his body again, with the royal guards still pointing their swords and spears at all three of them.
”Back off, they’re with me. Shining, there won't be any more destruction today.”
“Yeah, all of you looked really friendly up there a few minutes ago.” A red unicorn stallion commented.
“Yeah and you seem terrific too, Streak.” Bill said, reading the stallion’s mind. Meanwhile, Cresselia was opening her eyes slowly. “Now if ya don’t mind, we have to get to the nearest hospital; it’s really noisy here.” They all looked confused as the majority hadn’t said much.
”I’ll explain this later.” Medulla said to Shining Armor before teleporting all three to Canterlot Hospital. ”Thanks for the help. Is there anything I could give you? I could teach you Psyshock, it might allow you to effect the physical plane even without that body.”
“Sounds interesting, but I doubt I could learn from a TM. Right now I’m just focused on finding my Alicorn Amulet.”
”Depending on when you are, you might have to wait until Magic Duel. I would suggest searching for some kind of signature it leaves, I could give you Miracle Eye to help with that. I don’t have TM’s, but I just implant the knowledge in your mind.” Medulla passed around a few potions while they waited.
“Well if you can do that, then sure. I’d have to say no to Miracle Eye, though. I’ve seen futures before and I repressed it for a reason.”
“That’s using Future Sight, Miracle Eye can be used to see things that are normally invisible.”
“Meh, then it couldn’t hurt.” Bill shrugged.
With that, Medulla connected to Bill’s mind and gave him the knowledge for both Psyshock and Miracle Eye.
“Well there we go.” Bill said. “What do you do here, anyway, out of curiosity?”
”Mostly I’ve been training some of the Elements, and just hanging out. Not that much outside of the plot has happened other than incursions from Legendaries. Though back about a thousand years ago I did accidentally cause a lot of Lulu and Tia’s problems. ”
“That sounds funny. You should show me your memories of that sometime.” Bill commented. “Me, I’ve been working with the changelings and continuing to do what I do best; make things. There’s a lot to do with all this knowledge, it really overwhelms you a lot, though I guess you know what I mean. What’s going to happen to her by the way?” He pointed at Cresselia in the bed next to them.
”I don’t know, but I think she’s been through enough for now. I’ll make sure that nopony tries to harm her. She has a good heart, and any idiot could see that… at least when she’s thinking straight.”
“Yeah. I hope she recovers okay.” Bill stared at her before looking back to Medulla. “You have a lot to ‘look forward’ to in those memories.”
“Something you’ve got to understand, even with the extra thousand years, I’m still infantile to these guys. They’re ancient beyond measure, anything that could break her… let’s just say I’m lucky that I had that thousand years to master my psychic powers.”
“I guess you’re right. I just can’t resist knowing something anymore. If it’s anything I can’t handle, I’ll just repress it. But still… take care of her.” He looked down at the ground then back to the Lunar Pokemon.
”I’ll do my best, it was great meeting you. Stay safe and our contract is complete.“ With that, Bill vanished.
It’s wasn’t long after Bill left that I felt the presence of not only the princesses, but a large portion of the royal guard. Of course only Celestia, Luna, Shining Armor, and a few of the guards were even allowed in.
”Before you say anything, that is Cresselia. She’s not a threat she’s a healer.” I said taking a defensive posture.
The same red unicorn from before came scoffed, “That sure was an incredible amount of healing she did to your face.”
Surprisingly, Cresselia looked him straight in the eye and responded, ”I’m sorry for any pain I may have caused. I was unable to think clearly and do not remember what you are talking about.”
”Celestia, Luna, I would like to speak with you privately. Cresselia, this concerns you so you should stay, too.”
Bill ended up back home, with his ‘children’ waiting for him.
“Hooray, Bill is back!” Giffany hugged him in the mindscape.
“Not to rush, but being physical would be a wonderful change of pace. When would the bodies be ready?” Hide inquired, leaning down.
“Don’t be so impatient, I’ll get to it.” Bill shrugged them off. His contract with Medulla had inspired yet another project.
Bill had been back from his first summoning for a few days. It was interesting to meet a Mewtwo Displaced. However, these were questions for later, as now he was working on the bodies of the others. He was making their bodies by reverse engineering his own and its incredibly advanced technology. He wanted to give them powers. That part would be easy once he fully scanned his body. How much weaponry could it hold, he wondered. It would even help with some of his future projects, as well up open up the hive to have more tech. It seemed like only yesterday that they were wanderers looking for a home. Giff’s was 40% done while Hide's 50% finished. He was also adding the blueprints and details to his body and their bodies on some notes which also gave him the opportunity to practice his magic. He then felt a familiar light envelop him as he disappeared once again.
Although, something happened that Bill hadn’t expected, the summoning rejected him, and instead brought the summoner to his world.
After the light died down, Bill saw who had tried to summon him, it was a young boy, probably no older than 15 years old, he wore an open blue shirt and a black t-shirt underneath, he had brown hair that he wore behind his ears and had blue eyes. He also wore a necklace with the symbol of the sun embedded in the medallion. He wore white trainers and light blue jeans. The boy looked around the room, finding only unfinished metal bodies.
“Hmm, strange, I thought that notebook was meant to summon Cipher, not me.”
Bill just watched as the boy as he looked at the robots.
“Come to think of it, these robots look familiar, wait, where’s Cipher?”
Bill realised that the boy wasn’t in the mindscape, he was about to enter the boys mind until the boy did something.
“A lot of weird things have happened since I got this new medallion, maybe it can…” The medallion glowed purple as did his eyes; a blinding light enveloped him and died down. Somehow this boy had entered the mindscape on his own. “Ah, there we go, strange, it looks different from my mindscape.”
Bill had seen enough and made himself known.
“Strange; no costume. I guess that’s not necessarily a rule though.” He circled the boy and inspected him. He could also sense that the boy wasn’t alone; at least he wasn’t alone in the mindscape. He could sense two other beings. The boy turned around and shouted into the air.
“I know you’re there you two so stop hiding!” He shouted before the two beings appeared beside him. One was the spitting image of the boy except covered in black and a red aura, the next was a woman coloured light blue with a ponytail.
“Can’t ever hide from you, huh brother?”
“Shut up Forge, why did you two even follow me here?”
“We thought you could use our help, Symbol.”
“Well, as long as you’re here you can help me find Cipher.”
“Yeah, I wonder where he could be.” Bill made his entrance by appearing on a seat behind them with a magnifying glass in his hand.
“Sarcasm is unbecoming of you Cipher.” The boy turned to face him with an unamused expression.
“Well excuuuse me, princess.” He turned green and his cane became a sword:
“Really, you’re using that reference, I’m so surprised.”
“Didn’t know there was someone in existence that could reference something like Symbol could.”
“Shut up Forge.”
“You’d be surprised Forge and I love being surprising.”
“Boys, stop fighting.”
“Sorry, look, I think we got off on the wrong foot Cipher, let’s try again, and try not to reference a really bad video game while we’re at it?”
“I make no promises, unless you made lots of spaghetti!”
“Don’t make me say it…”
“Don’t worry I won’t, I just really used to love watching Youtube poops and their sheer randomness when I was human. You don’t really seem very surprised to see me, especially since none of you even know what a displaced is.”
“Wait what, when did something called a ‘displaced’ come up, and what do you mean, when you were human?”
“Well, displaced is short for dimensionally misplaced and usually involve going to a convention and buying something from some prick who calls himself ‘The Merchant’ who sends people to Equestria for fun. They end up as whatever character they were cosplaying as. Looking at you proves that there is indeed an exception to every rule. I, myself became Bill Cipher.”
“Well nothing like that happened to me, I got sent to Equestria after I sabotaged a government project that would allow humans to travel to other worlds. It was just by chance that I happened to end up in Equestria.”
Bill listened to the exclamation and looked at Symbol curiously. It was the truth, indeed.
“When I went to stop the experiment I didn’t even think I would make it out with my freedom intact, I half expected someone to shoot me. I honestly didn’t care at the time, my life was horrible, all because of that, pathetic excuse of a man I called my father!”
Purple mist started seeping out of Symbols body as his anger rose.
“Son calm down, your mindscape is already dark enough!”
Upon hearing the woman's voice Symbol immediately calmed down and the mist vanished.
“That was close.”
Bill simply observed as Vivi and Forge calmed Symbol down. If his father really pissed him off that much then he wouldn’t ask about him, let alone her…
Symbol finally calmed down, he rubbed his temples and started murmuring.
“If I ever see him again I’m going to kill him for what he did to Leo and Abigail…”
“Yo Symbol, Imma totally let you finish but if you’re here, then I could use some help with some things.”
“Like what, you’re obviously not like the shows Cipher, so what can we help you with?”
“Yeah and I hope I never am, though with all those secrets and that knowledge it’s no wonder he was insane.” He shivered when he remembered some of the things he had tried to desperately to forget. “Anyway, there’s a key I need to dig up, along with a scary bunker that we need to visit. It’s totally safe and danger- free aside from the potential headcrab infestation…” He muttered the last part.
“Wait, What?! YOU MADE A SWARM OF HEADCRABS ARE YOU INSANE!?!”
“You weren’t supposed to hear that, and I personally consider myself semi- insane, thank you very much.”
“That doesn’t help, as long as you didn’t create the G-man to go along with them...you didn’t right?”
“I wish I could say yes.” He sulked slightly.
“You’ve doomed us all Cipher, you’ve doomed us all…”
“Okay, I was joking.” He rolled his eye.
“Enough joking, let’s get down to business already.”
“Well, I suppose I should do something for you.”
“Hmmm, there is something...I don’t know if you’ll be able to do it though…”
“Come on, tell Uncle Bill what’s wrong, and I don’t mean everything.”
“In my Equestria, there is this group I’m investigating called The Cult of the Rings, I need information. If you can get me the info I need, I’ll happily help you find the bunker AND the key.”
“Okay, but you’ll need to create your own token.”
“Alright, how do I do that?”
“Well first you’ll need to find an object and pour your essence into it.”
Symbol thought for a moment before reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a purple diamond. “Can you duplicate this?”
“It duplicates itself. You’ll also need to add a phrase to the token as well.”
Symbol looked at the gem in his hand, he held it tightly and it began to glow, he closed his eyes as the gem absorbed his energy. When the light died down a second diamond appeared, he grabbed it and spoke into it.
“To anyone that is in need of assistance, I will answer your call, Symbol Shattered.” “Interesting…” Symbol tossed the gem to Bill and returned the original one to his pocket. “If you don’t mind me asking, why did you want the gem duplicated?”
“I made a promise to my brother and sister that I would hold onto this, we each have one, as well as these necklaces, my brother has a star on his and my sister has a cloud.”
“You mean Forge?”
“No, my biological brother, his name is Leo, Forge is a spiritual relative.”
“Yeah, I once inhabited Symbols body before Vivi switched our souls by mistake.”
“Well I’d love to finish this, but shall I get that book now?”
“Yeah, enough family drama for one day, eh?”
“Okay. BRB.” He took a copy of the token and teleported away. Symbol, Forge and Vivi were alone. Once he was out of the mindscape, he decided to look around the little workshop. He eyed the metal bodies for a moment.
“I swear to griffith I’ve seen these people before…”
Just then, the door opened and revealed Queen Chrysalis. “Bill, I have tremendous news, our scouts have located one of your bunkers…” She paused when she saw Symbol, she readied her horn. “Who are you, explain yourself!”
Symbol jumped at the sudden outburst. “Easy there lady, I’m a friend of Cipher.”
“Likely story, who are you?”
“My name is Symbol Shattered; I tried to summon Cipher but got pulled here instead.”
Chrysalis could tell that he was telling the truth. Although he just seemed like a normal boy, then she scanned his emotions, what she saw was almost horrifying. She saw only darkness, hatred, anger and sadness. She started to back away slowly.
“He’s right you know.” Symbol heard a voice which he was unfamiliar with. He found the voice was in the mindscape as he could hear it coming from his necklace. He could see a tall boy who looked a couple of years older than him with grey hair. Most of his clothing was also grey. “Apologies, I seem to be appearing in my human form.” He quickly changed and became much taller and skinnier with two blank yellow eyes. The best way that Symbol could describe him was that he looked like a cross between Groot and Slenderman.
“I will admit that I didn’t expect to see the Hide-Behind here, next you’ll be telling me that Blendin is here as well.”
“Eh... Not so much. Might do that in the future. Giffany is though.”
“No wonder these bodies look familiar, but really, Cipher made Giffany? Boy he is just full of surprises isn’t he?”
“Who are you talking to?”
“Oh right, you can’t enter the mindscape by yourself, here, let me try something…”
He held his medallion and his eyes glowed purple, soon the world turned grey and Hide became visible to Chrysalis.
“Oh, its you Hide-Behind, wait, why are you out in the open like this?”
“It’s hard to explain, but it appears that this boy and I share something in common…”
Hide-Behind leaned down and whispered into Symbols ear, Symbols face became filled with shock, then with anger. Hide pulled away and held out his hand which Symbol took in his, they shook before Hide walked out of the room.
“By the way, it was lovely to meet you Vivi, I hope we can talk again sometime.”
At that moment, Vivi reappeared and gave him a small wave.
“As do I Hide.”
Everyone looked at Symbol, the look of rage on his face remained and the purple mist began to appear again. When Chrysalis looked into his memories her face became filled with fear, she saw a younger Symbol standing in the middle of burning ruins with what looked like a gun in his hand, he was pointing it at a man with a look of horror on his face.
“Why would you do this Neo, I thought we had a deal!”
“The deal was that you would protect my sister from my father, and you failed miserably at that, so now there’s nothing stopping me from killing you Chris.”
“The rumors are true aren’t they, you really are the demon of Masereth!”
“One thing you should know about me Chris...I’m an atheist, I don’t believe in demons.”
With that, the young Symbol pulled the trigger and the man dropped dead.
They each watched the memory unfold. There were no words that were spoken. The silence only lasted for a moment when a yellow flash appeared in the mindscape.
Bill appeared with a book in his hands.
“Hey, I got the info you need, now let’s see if Chry…”
Bill looked around the room, Chrysalises face was filled with fear and Vivi looked shocked while Forge was trying to suppress a smile, Symbol just stood there with his arms folded and eyes closed.
Symbol walked over to him and took the book. “Someone made the mistake of looking into my memories, enough drama, it’s time for me to fulfill my end of the deal.”
“You’re right, although it looks like Forge has left.”
“He had stuff to do in another world.”
“Right, let’s get searching for that bunker.”
“No need, her scouts found one.” Symbol looked over to the shivering Chrysalis, Bill began feeling concerned, he floated over to her and placed a hand on her shoulder.
“Is everything ok there Chrysie?” She turned to him and shook her head.
“He scares me…”
“Alright, come this way.” Switcheroo led them to Chrysalis’s throne room. Vivi had left them after they left the left the workshop, after giving Bill a strange warning,
“Whatever you do, don’t let him get enraged unless it’s a life or death situation.”
He didn’t know why she told him this, and if what Chrysalis had told him, there was much more to Symbol, and that was something to fear. Bill had had enough drama for one day, it was time to get to work. The scouts that had found the bunker directly underneath Canterlot, something about this made Bill certain that he will have to face either Celestia or Luna, but he didn’t have a choice. Whatever was in that bunker was of vital importance to his plan. “Hey Cipher, from what I can tell, this Equestria is a little further in its timeline, anything I should watch out for?”
“Depends where you are right now, what episodes events have happened so far?”
Thats when realisation hit him like a brick in his pattern, not knowing about displaced, not knowing what the events to come are.
“Symbol, does a show called My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic exist on your earth?”
“Not that I know of.”
“Not one internet reference about it?”
“I’ve been around the internet my whole life and not one mention of a show like that ever came up.”
“Alright, what’s happened in Ponyville lately?”
“Well, a few days ago we did something called winter wrap up, in the middle of spring mind you, one day sunny, next day snow.”
“Yeah, you can expect to see Discord, the spirit of Chaos and Disharmony. The guy is one of the most powerful beings you’ll see. You’ll also come across King Sombra, the tyrant who rules the Crystal Empire. There’s also your version of Chrysalis and… do me a favour and just talk to her, okay?”
“Uh, sure Bill. Anyone else?”
“Tirek. He’s extremely dangerous. He can absorb magic and use it to make himself stronger. In the show, those elements beat him but just in case, I’d find his younger brother Scorpan if you can. Trust me; he’s a really nice guy.”
“Okay then, shall we go?”
“Yes...let’s go before anything else happens.”
The group were flying over the badlands, Symbol was holding two changeling drones hooves as they flew. The group was remaining silent to avoid any more pointless drama. Bill had finished repairing his body after his last adventure and was now flying beside Chrysalis who was keeping her distance from Symbol. She just couldn’t get over what she saw in his memory, he was probably only nine years old when he did that, the boy was a monster and she knew it. His eyes looked like they had seen many deaths, and probably caused most of those deaths. Bill sensed her distress and placed his hand on her shoulder.
She looked at him and he gave her a reassuring look.
“Hey Chryssie. Look, everything’s fine. I know you’re hung up on Symbol’s memories but you need to forget about them.”
“How did you-”
“I can read minds Chryssie and it’s not like I can turn it off.”
“But Bill, what he did, how can I ever forget something like that?”
“I don’t exactly have a memory gun, but I usually repress something that troubles me, though that’s only if it’s extreme.”
“I’m not proud of that you know.” The two broke eye contact and saw Symbol looking at them. “I hurt a lot of people in the past, but not one day goes by that I don’t regret what I did.” He turned to look at the rising moon. “What I did is unforgivable, but I only did it to protect my sister, and that guy was the head of a mob family, someone had to put him down or he would have hurt a lot of people. Now let’s change the topic, what can we be expected to see in this bunker?”
Bill looked reluctant. “You sure you want to go to the one under Canterlot? We can still go to the one by Dodge Junction. It’s where I keep all my enchanted clay.”
“There’s another reason you want to avoid this bunker isn’t there?”
“Gee, nothing gets past you does it?” He said sarcastically.
“If you looked deeper into my memory you’d see how many people I’ve broken just by talking Cipher, you’re avoiding something and it’s obviously something you need to face so you’re either going to tell me, or keep your non- existent mouth shut until we get there.”
“Kid, I’ve repressed things with more bite than you in my ‘head’. You’re the one who wanted to change the subject. But if you must know it just has too many memories. Besides, the princesses have probably gotten to it already. I say we just go to Dodge Junction.”
“What did the princesses do to you?”
“It doesn’t matter.” He shook away the thoughts and tried to keep himself from going red. “We’re going to Dodge Junction.”
“You trusted them and they betrayed you didn’t they?”
“That’s just the tip of the iceberg.”
The purple mist started to appear again. “You go to Dodge Junction; I’ll handle the one in Canterlot.”
Bill turned to the changelings carrying him. “Take us down.” They obliged and they ended up just outside San Palomino Desert. “This isn’t up for debate.”
“Then we won’t argue about it, you handle the other bunker, I’ll deal with the ones the princesses have guarded, and I don’t care what you say Cipher, but if those sisters betrayed your trust and more I will make them pay!”
His eyes were now glowing purple and his skin became pale.
“For the last time…” Before he could finish Symbol punched him in the face and sent him flying. He stopped instantly when he was a couple of metres away.
Symbols skin was now snow white, his fingers were claws and his hair became dark purple, his mouth was gone as well.
“Like you said, it’s not up for debate.”
“Kid, you think that just because you think you’re the Hulk that you can handle them? Fine.” His cane extended and Symbol was knocked into a large boulder.
Bill faced the other way, but then stopped when he heard the laugh of a psychopath.
“AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, Oh that’s just rich, you don’t realise what you’ve just awakened Cipher!”
“Yeah yeah, ‘Hulk strongest there is’ we get it.” He snapped his fingers and Symbol was swallowed whole by a Sandworm that popped out of the ground below him. After a few moments of silence he burst up out of the ground once again.
The area around them became filled with a dark purple fog, when he looked at Symbol there was only something that could be described as a demon. His skin was dark grey, blood poured from his eyes to create two red lines, his teeth became razor sharp as did his fingers, the bottom of his shirt extended then tore at the ends, his hair became jet black, four black tentacles grew out of his back and became sharp at the ends. He opened his eyes, they were black with glowing red dots as pupils. His medallion switched from the symbol of the sun to one of the moon.
“Well, that’s unexpected.”
“Now I will tell you one more time Cipher, You handle the other bunker, I’ll deal with this one!”
He started walking in the direction of Canterlot.
“Yeah… no.” A fist came from the ground and punched him. When the fist appeared Symbol stopped it with his hand but couldn’t block the other one coming in at his right.
“I didn’t come here to fight you Cipher, so stay out of my way.”
“Remember when you asked me about the G- man?”
“What about it, Cipher?” He growled as he kept walking, but saw smoke coming up from below him. “You gotta be kidding me…”
“Can you smell the ashes, Mr. Shattered?” The blue fire engulfed him completely. He emerged from the fires and a look of pure rage and mostly burned clothes.
“You bet I smelled the ashes.”
“Okay, now this is getting annoying.” A rock fell from the sky and Symbol broke it with a tentacle. It broke into dozens of smaller pieces which all shot at him.
“You said it, Look, I don’t want to fight you, so just let me do this.”
“I would, but none of that is happening.” Bill got a huge rocket launcher from out of pure thin air. He fired and Symbol not expecting much, held his arms up to block it. However, the explosion he expected never came and instead a net popped out of the missile and trapped him in it. It also electrocuted him. Once he broke out, he tried to run at Bill only for an anvil to land on his head.
“Enough of this!” Symbol snapped his fingers and he disappeared.
“Where did he go?” Chrysalis cried out.
“He teleported to Canterlot.”
Celestia was signing some papers when the alarm that told her that someone was near the bunker underneath the city went off, she teleported to the door expecting to see Bill but was instead greeted by a young looking bipedal creature.
“You’re not Bill..”
“No, I’m not, but in some cases I can be much worse, you and I need to have a talk princess.”
“I told you, no.” He couldn’t even turn around before he saw Bill slug him with his hoof and launched him out of the window. Bill was mad. “Now, Chryssie!” A portal appeared out of nowhere and Symbol fell through it, ending up in Bill’s destination.
“What the hell was that for, and could you explain why after I woke up you guys were frozen?”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“After you mentioned some place called Dodge Junction I blacked out, and when I woke up you guys were frozen in place.”
“Kid, you attacked us and farted purple mist.”
“I don’t remember doing something like that…”
“Yeah, well you did Shattered and I’d appreciate it if you shut up. Now let’s go inside that Bunker.” His tone was clearly much colder.
“Wait Cipher, I don’t know what I did but if I hurt you I’m sorry.”
“You did, but that’s not what I’m mad about. I said we weren’t going to Canterlot, yet you ignored me now shut up and let me open this lock.”
“I betrayed your trust...didn’t I?” The look on Symbols face was filled with sadness; he looked to his medallion and closed his eyes. “Damnit not again…” He looked up at Bill and began walking towards the entrance to the bunker. “Not again…”
“I’m not even going to ask and why is this lock not moving?!”
Symbol walked over to the door and punched the lock and it fell apart. This time there was blue mist seeping from his body. Once he made sure that the door was open he began to walk away. “Where are you going?”
“I’m leaving before I cause you more trouble.”
“You can’t leave unless I say you can Symbol. We still need to get through this bunker.” Bill entered the bunker. “I’m waiting! I’d like to get this over with!”
“Symbol Shattered was it?” The young boy turned to see Queen Chrysalis.
“Bill… most likely won’t forgive you easily. You’ll need to prove to him that you can be trusted.”
“How do I do that? I don’t exactly have any special skills or powers.”
“Bullshit!” Bill shouted.
“Chrysalis, what happened after I blacked out?”
“First, you got really angry and your body began to seep purple mist. You grew several appendages out of your back. You nearly attacked us all and you fought Bill. Then you teleported to Canterlot…”
“And alerted the princesses!”
Symbol didn’t take this well, he looked down to his hands and placed his head in them. “God damnit…”
He began to walk away. “I really gotta get outta here before I screw anything else up for him.”
“Listen.” Chrysalis began. “Just do it. With any luck, he’ll trust you a little bit more.”
“Chrysalis, I don’t have a good track record with luck, and you know that, don’t think I couldn’t feel you poking around at my memories again.”
“Get over here, you two!” Bill called them over. They walked inside and saw darkness. Chrysalis made a torch with her magic and they saw that the walls, ceiling and flaw were all composed of rusty white steel metal. Tables had old notes with scribbles scrambled on the tables and the floor. They all looked crumpled, chewed and wet. There could also see a staircase a couple hundred metres away.
“The headcrabs will have multiplied. There hasn’t been a body down here in centuries, so it should just be the crabs.” As Bill explained the facts, Chrysalis and Symbol looked around. They could also hear sounds of animalistic screaming and small tapping.
As Symbol walked through, a picture caught his eye. It was of four people, or three ponies and one gargoyle. He saw Princess Luna on the far right along with two unicorn, one with fur of pale teal and the most impressive facial hair he’d ever seen the other was a bright mustard with eyes very similar to Bill’s in the middle. Finally, on the far left was the gargoyle with chestnut fur and and a mane with a darker brown. They were all smiling happily. Symbol walked over to it and picked it up to get a closer look. “Interesting…”
“Hurry up!” Bill yelled. “We don’t have all day!”
Symbol set the photo down and followed them deeper into the bunker, when a headcrab tried to jump on him he gave it a backhand. He then heard something come from outside the bunker, he then for some reason smelled cake, it didn’t take a genius to figure out who was outside. “Shit…
He ran to the entrance and sure enough there she was, in her armour. I’ve already screwed up enough here, I’m not letting anything else go wrong. The purple mist returned. The least I can do is distract her.
“Where is Bill?” She demanded.
“Sorry, but Cipher is busy at the moment. But I’ll be happy to schedule an appointment for you.”
“I have no business with you boy, move aside!”
“You want Cipher, you gotta go through me sunbutt!”
She didn’t take kindly to that last part and fired a beam of magic at him which he deflected. He charged forward and bunched her horn to cancel out the spell. He swung his foot back and kicked her in the jaw.
I don’t even feel like I’m in control right now, but as long as Cipher gets what needs it will be worth it.
While he was distracted, he didn’t notice one of the swords slashing at him. He ended up with a large gash in the side of his hip, but that didn’t stop him from punching her in the face with a right hook, he grabbed her sword and crushed the blade with his claw.
“There are seven more where that came from, demon.” She growled as her seven other swords each circled him. He kept looking around, trying to keep track of each of them. “What are you, another of Cipher’s creations?”
“No, I’m not from this world, and if you’re going to call me demon, at least let the demon wake up!”
“Silence!” One sword on his left made a simple slash, which he jumped up to avoid. He was helpless to avoid the three others that shot straight at him and cut him deeply in his legs, chest and belly.
He staggered before falling to the ground, Celestia assumed that he was dead so she turned away, but when she did she heard a laugh she hadn’t heard since the last summer sun celebration.
“AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, You call me a demon Celestia, no, I’m something much worse!”
She didn’t have time to turn around before she was staring into dead black eyes with red dots as pupils.
“I, am a Nightmare!”
Suddenly a flash of blue light came from behind them, the newcomer tried to charge Symbol but he grabbed her with one of his tentacles.
“Well well well, what do we have here? Now we’ve got sunbutt AND moonbottom, this is turning into a real party now, all we need is Cadence and Twilight then we’ve got ourselves a literal battle royale!”
A sword sliced the tentacle and he dropped Luna, he didn’t even flinch as he merely regrew the appendage. The two princesses stood side by side ready to fight.
“Well then, shall we dance?”
“Mind if I join in brother?”
Meanwhile in the bunker
Bill slammed his hoof into a clay zombie.
“I’m impressed with these things.” He commented. “Without an actual body, they used the enchanted clay.” Meanwhile, Chrysalis blasted several with her magic. He was too busy blowing off steam on the headcrabs to notice that Symbol had left.
A venomous one nearly crept up behind him but he shocked it with his hooves. Multiple clay zombies surrounded them, but they were quickly dealt with.
“Stupid kid.” He grumbled as he smashed his hoof into another one. “He has no idea what he’s done. For all we know, Celestia and Luna could be knocking at our door right now.”
“I’m sure it’s not that bad.” The changeling queen was fully aware of the fight going on above them; luckily Bill was too focused on punching zombies to notice her thoughts. She knew that if there was any way of Symbol regaining Bills trust it would be by helping him. She was concerned for his safety, but he had managed to fight Bill and survive, she was certain that he could handle Celestia and Luna, especially with Forges help. What she needed to do was distract Bill before he noticed Symbol was gone. “Where is he anyway?”
“He’s dealing with a few headcrab nests a bit back the ways, he thought that he’d stay out of your way for a while.”
“That’s probably a smart move…” Bill was too distracted to detect the lie, and Chrysalis knew it.
“He really is sorry you know, he doesn’t even remember disobeying you.”
Bill sighed and blasted another venom crab. “I know, but, I just...need some time to cool off.” He walked further into the bunker and spotted multiple bookshelves and headcrab nests. “I’m surprised that the princesses haven’t traced our spell yet, and it’s very hard to surprise me.”
“Yeah.” She chuckled nervously. “Have you found anything else?”
“Yes, we just have to go a little bit deeper then we’ll see a Gonarch.” They kept walking deeper and found more nests which they both promptly destroyed. They began to see mounds of clay with swarms of headcrabs crawling around them. They each blasted the crabs away when they attacked and got various samples of the clay. Eventually they began to hear the cries of a Gonarch. The pair moved forward some more and saw a huge hill of clay.
“It’s most likely up there.” Bill said as they both flew up. At the top, they saw the giant crab crawling all over the pile. Queen Chrysalis shot a blast of magic at it, but that only got its attention. It roared at them and shot some baby headcrabs, which both of them promptly dodged. Once they were low enough, the Gonarch charged, but Chrysalis threw it over to the wall. It easily got back up and launched more crabs at Bill.
“It’ very durable. This won’t be easy.”
“You collect some more of the clay Bill. I’ll handle the crab.” Chrysalis said as she teleported them both out of its way when it charged at them.
“You sure Chryssie?”
“I’m the queen of the changelings, and I’ll be damned if I lose.” She grinned as she teleported up into the sky and shot at it with some explosive spells causing it to stagger. It let out another screech, but it did not move. Chrysalis stood her ground until a fast zombie tackled her to the ground. She was about to get up when another zombie tackled her, and another and another. It repeated until dozens of zombies piled on her and clawed at her body. Soon, there was a huge magical surge from the bottom of the pile and they were all destroyed with only Chrysalis and the Gonarch. She shot another beam, but the Gonarch endured it and hit the changeling queen head- on. She was slammed into a wall but retaliated by throwing it at a wall with her magic. Yet again it endured the blow, it was about to lunge at her again but froze in place. Chrysalis held it in place with her magic. She forced it to fall on its side where it wasn’t able to get up with all its weight. She finished it off with a charged beam of magic. She heard a growl come from behind her, she turned to see another Gonarch, when it tried to lunge at her a red light shot past her and hit it in the chest, causing it to become very dazed but not quite beaten.
Chrysalis turned to see Forge standing there with a smirk.
“What are you doing here, aren’t you helping Symbol?”
“I was, but he has everything under control, I’ve had my fun and it looked as if you needed some assistance.”
“But how is he handling them both?”
“We knocked Luna into unconsciousness.”
“I see. What of Celestia?”
“Symbol’s taking care of that.” Forges smile grew. “He’s not strong enough to put her down for good, but he can still fight her to a standstill. She should even be retreating after her sister was knocked out.”
“But she’s angry that he knocked her out and is now out for revenge?”
“Figures, she always was protective of her sister.”
“Which is why she sent her to the moon? Good riddance if you ask me.” Bill appeared with clay and notes in his saddlebags. “I have everything. We can go now.”
“Well, my work is done here, now if you’ll excuse me I have a certain cyborg to visit.” With that, Forge was gone.
“Well that happened.” Bill said. “Can you teleport us back to the kingdom Chryssie?” As he spoke, a boom was heard above them. “What was tha-” He stopped as he felt the presence of Celestia and Luna.
“Teleport me up there.” He said plainly, but she could clearly taste the anger. She took him up there where he saw the two sisters retreating. Symbol was looking at them while he returned to his normal self, he looked over himself.
“I could get used to this, could come in handy when facing the creatures in my Equestria.”
“Yeah, well you can get to that. I’m ready to send you back now.”
Symbol sighed and turned to face Bill. “I understand.” He looked at the small painting once again.
“Okay, to send someone away, you just have to say the words ‘our contract is complete’. Understand?”
“I’m sorry, Cipher…”
“Yeah sure. Now, our contract is-”
“I’m disappointed in you, Bill.” Chrysalis said.
“Well, maybe because he fought both of the princesses off, saving you from a painful encounter, trying to correct his mistake. Even now you won’t forgive him.”
“I forget, wasn’t he the one that brought them here in the first place when the princesses traced your teleportation spell because we had to get him back from Canterlot?”
“He didn’t even know what he was doing, it wasn’t him. I could taste another presence of emotions. It was something foreign inside him. I’m not sure exactly what it was, but what I do know is that when you two fought, that wasn’t him in there, it was something else!”
Bill was silent for a moment. He didn’t need to read minds to know that Chrysalis was telling the truth. He trusted her, and he couldn’t say that he was exactly focused on what he was fighting in the mindscape.
“And if you won’t forgive him now, then maybe after you see what he’s went through you will! I know you’ve seen it in his head! Don’t you dare tell me you haven’t!” He remembered what he saw in Symbols head, in his mind and heart there was only anger, loss, sadness and violence in his memories. He then got a look at recent memories, he saw a photo of Lyra, Bon Bon, Vinyl, Derpy and Octavia in a group and Symbol standing beside them facing the left with his arms folded and eyes closed... He compared Symbols memories to his, the memories of the real Bill Cipher. Symbol’s suffering was real. Even compared to the things that he had actually lost and the secrets that he’d much rather forget, Symbol had still suffered. He then realised something, in his entire life, Symbol has never smiled, not once.
“... Symbol?” He called out.
“Yeah Cipher?” Symbol asked quietly.
“I forgive you.” He began. “But only on one condition.”
“... If you forgive me as well.”
There was silence. “...there’s nothing to be sorry about Cipher, there’s also something I want to give you.”
“What?” He saw an amulet, his Alicorn Amulet in Symbol’s hand. “Where did you get this?”
“I don’t know, it must’ve been while I was transformed. I just… felt like I should give it to you, like it would be of some importance to you.” He tossed it over Bill.
You have no idea kid...“Kid, you’re alright.” He chuckled.
“It’s fine. By the way, if you want to you can call me William. That was my name before I came here.”
“...then you can call me Neo, that’s my real name.”
“.... Were your parents fans of The Matrix or somethi- I mean I will.”
“Never watched that movie, no, I was called that by my great grandmother when I was born, my brother is called Leo, we’re two of three triplets.” A swirling vortex appeared beside them, and Symbol looked into it, he turned back to Bill. “I think we should part on better terms.” He held out his hand. “So long William.” Bill placed his hoof in his hand and shook. There was a blue fire that burned between their hands which caused Neo to deadpan.
“You too Neo.” Symbol nodded and looked at Chrysalis.
“Thank you Chrysalis for sticking up for me.”
“No problem Symbol.”
“By the way, you said earlier that I’d meet my version of Chrysalis, what should I say to her exactly?”
“Hmm, say that… You can help, that there’s more than one way to get love for your subjects.”
“Ok, will she be disguised as anyone?”
“Look out for a pink alicorn named Cadence. And find Scorpan if you can, though I don’t know where exactly he is.”
“Alright.” He began walking towards the vortex. “If you ever need my help again, just use the extra token, I’ll try not to screw up next time.” He walked through the vortex; before it closed Bill threw a spare version of his token through it. “Pleasure doing business with you William!” Symbol yelled through the vortex.
“Likewise Neo!” With that, the portal closed...not before two of the drones jumped through as well. “What? Why did they do that?”
“They said they took a liking to Symbol and wanted to go with him.” Chrysalis said with a giggle.
“I guess we can’t really stop them.”
They began walking back to the hive when Bill heard a voice.
“Hello there Bill Cipher.”
“Who is this?”
“I’m called many names, God, Allah, The man upstairs, you get the picture.”
“So I’m talking to God then?”
“Pretty much. I just wanted to thank you for helping my son.”
“Bingo, you win.”
“Um, it was no problem, wait, if you’re the creator of the universe then why did you create the merchant?”
“Things got complicated my dear boy; I created him to send a select few into these Equestrias to fight of a creature known as Nightmare Fuel.”
“Why can’t you do it?”
“Think of it this way, every reality is a story in a book, and I’m the author, over the centuries I create too many books, I have to hand some of the responsibility over to someone else, the books now write themselves, something goes wrong that I cannot fix, I create the heroes that you call Displaced to fight that which has gone wrong, but it is not enough and the process repeats itself over and over, until I create my own hero, one that I can guide without question, my son, Neo or as you may know as The One. Get the picture?”
“So, I’m here to help keep some force of darkness out of this reality?”
“Right again, William.”
“I find it hard to believe that I’m talking to God right now.”
“Look around you.”
Bill looked around to see that time had frozen around him, his friends frozen in place and a bird still in mid- air.
“Believe me now?”
“Little bit, yeah…”
“One last thing before I go, well, two things actually. When you find yourself in the final battle between you and Celestia, call Neo and your other displaced friends, trust me, it will make things so much easier for you. Secondly, Vivi will be visiting this world to talk to Hide, just a heads up incase you see her about Ok? Tata.”
The voice ceased and time started to move again. There was only one question floating in Bills mind as he looked at Symbol’s token. “What is that boy?”
"Are you okay in there Bill?" Chrysalis popped her head through the door, but raised her hoof over her eyes.
"Can't talk Chryssie, I'm working!" Bill was examining the amulet that was now inside his physical mechanical chest for the umpteenth time. "If I can just purify the dark magic in it then it'll finally be complete."
"Is Bill finished yet?" Giffany asked in her new and still unfinished body.
"Not yet, but I intend to fix that." Chrysalis scrunched her face. "You've been working for hours on that thing Bill. You need to take a break."
"Sorry, but I need the amulet to be up and running." Bill replied. "I have a feeling that there'll be some pretty big battles coming up, and having the magical strength of an alicorn wouldn't hurt either. Not to mention that I have my other pet projects to work on." It had been two weeks since Symbol left, and Bill was juggling multiple projects.
"Queen Chrysalis, it's time for-" Switcheroo entered as well, and stopped when he laid his eyes on Bill's workshop. "Wow, so this is everything he's been working on?" His mouth was agape. He couldn't even imagine all of the things he was seeing. "What are all of these?" He looked at the cybernetic bodies. "What are all of these?" Bill sighed as he put down his tools.
"Those are what would be called robots. They're inorganic bodies for the others to inhabit." He gestured to the four on the tables.
"Bill." Chrysalis said.
"I believe that you may be overworking yourself. Take a break, it'll be good for you." Some of the drones have found a island not far from the badlands." Bill paused for a moment, considering Chrysalis's offer.
"Okay." Chrysalis smiled. "Let's go. I have a free day today."
"Here we are, my Queen. This is the island." The first drone said as they landed. The island was dry floral, and full of trees. It had a very cheerful feeling to it.
"Shall we explore Bill?" Chrysalis asked.
"Sure. Let's go." He turned a around and flew into a tree. "Watch out for the trees!" He said as he pulled his horn out. "Gotta say, this island looks familiar though..." He looked around one more time. "Oh, well." He flew in after Chrysalis.
"This is rather peaceful, isn't it?" The queen commented as they went deeper into the island. Bill had to admit, she was right. It was rather relaxing. Just them, the drones and the trees around them. Soon, they found a spot to relax and stopped what they were doing until they heard a rustling in the bushes.
"What's that?" One of the drones asked. The rustling continued until large reptile jumped out. It had huge eyes and blunt spines as well as a small shell on its back. It had a round nore and also appeared to be wearing shoes. It walked towards them cautiously.
"Ah, now I know why this place seemed familiar." Bill beamed. "This place holds another one of my bunkers. It has a lot of Yoshis and Koopa Troopas. They must've gotten out and made their home on the island."
"Ugh, will we have to fight anything?" Chrysalis had wanted a break, away from both of their duties.
"No, I didn't make them to fight, they're really peaceful actually. I made them because they're just so uplifting." Bill replied cheerfully. At that, Chrysalis sighed in relief.
"Don't worry. We mean no harm." Bill told the Yoshi.
"Oh, that's a relief." The Yoshi sighed. "There was a bit of a conflict here recently, so our people have been rather on edge."
"No, we just came here to relax." Chrysalis informed the Yoshi.
"Hey, while we're here I'd like to check one of my bunkers. Some of my research is there."
"You mean the underground cave? Very well. Allow me to lead you back to my tribe."
The Yoshi lead them back to their grounds, where many other Yoshis were present. They turned their heads toward the foreigners in curiosity. There were many mounds and small hills where they were, and it appeared that their guide was leading them deeper.
"Here are the caves." He stopped outside the entrance. Bill could see a broken- down rusty old door. The 'cave' was teaming with overgrowth.
"Who are these foreigners?" They turned to see an Orange Yoshi with feathers in her ear.
"They wish to look inside the cave to search for something."
"Look for something? In there? That place is a maze, they'll get lost before they know it." The orange one scoffed. "Besides, that pony from a few days ago already went in there searching for something as well." This caused Bill to turn his head. She now had his full attention.
"Pony?" Bill questioned. "Hey, what did they look like?"
"Well, she had yellow fur and a grey mane. I'm pretty sure she had wings as well."
"Well, that settles it. I'm going in. Like hell Im letting any pony steal my research."
"Bill?" Chrysalis butted in. "I came here to relax, the last thing I want is to get lost in some underground maze."
"Oh, don't worry Chryssie." Bill stepped through the entrance. "I have a trick up my sleeve that will prevent us from getting lost."
"And what would that be?" Chrysalis raised her eyebrow.
Daring Do trotted through the tunnels. She had been pleasantly surprised when she found out about the cave; it was more adventure for her and more material for her next book. Finding this island and meeting its inhabitants was amazing enough, plus she even stopped Ahuizotl again, though she was pretty sure that he was also down here.
Another interesting thing here had been the plant life here. She had found a large flower that was abundant here and when she ate it, she found herself able to control fire. She also found mushrooms that could either make her bigger or smaller. It wasn't just the plants either, there were feathers that could increase her durability and speed. The islanders had been kind enough to let her keep a few. They would come in handy later, after all. She had found a lot of notes and symbols that mainly consisted of some sort of star.
"I'll take those off of our hooves for you miss Do." She stopped and looked around. She tried to pinpoint where the voice was coming from, but couldn't seem to manage.
"And who might you be?" She asked. A laugh echoed throughout the cave.
"Just the rightful owner of that stuff you stole. Now drop it all on the ground and leave."
"Yeah sorry mystery voice, but I'm not going to do that." She grinned. There was silence for a moment before she was lifted up off of the ground with a levitation spell. She heard the trotting of hooves and saw a singular glowing eye in the darkness. Soon out of that darkness came a yellow stallion in a top had with a silver mane and tail. He also appeared to be wearing a top hat and bowtie. An eyepatch rested on his left eye as the right continued to glow. His cutie mark was an eye surrounded by a triangle inside a wheel. The magic aura around his horn looked less like a regular magic aura and more like a blue fire. This wasn't what caught Daring off guard however. What caught her off guard was the addition of wings as well as a horn. An alicorn was standing in front of her.
"Sorry tuts, but you don't have a say in the matter." He grinned as he levitated the bag away from her, but she grabbed on to it in a futile attempt to keep it with her. After a brief tug of war with the bag, Bill got the bag in his grasp, now not before Daring snagged something out of it. She got the large red and yellow flower and ate it.
"Now, let's see how much you were able to get..." Bill was about to open the saddlebag when a hoof slammed into his face. He was blown back into a wall. When he looked up he saw Daring Do, but there was a heat coming off of her and her clothes were white and red.
"I'm taking this stuff with me." She glared at him.
"Ugh, she's using the fire flower." Bill thought. "I'd hoped that she didn't know how to use them but it seems like this'll be a bit more difficult than I thought, especially since the amulet still needs work. I can't use the magic fully yet."
"Fine, but don't say I didn't warn ya." He chuckled as he shot forward, with Daring doing the same. They collided, ending up on opposite sides of the fields once again. They ran at each other a second time, but at the last minute, Bill flew up and smcked her down with his electrical hooves. He tried to fly down to finish the job, but a huge windy heat- wave forced him furtther up while the pegasus hit him in the stomach.
She couldn't explain it, but she felt stronger and faster than she ever had when she ate that flower. She grinned as she instinctively formed fire in her hooves and shot it at the alicorn, but he made a shield to block it. In all her adventures, she had of course learned how to fight and applied it to whatever power she had received from that plant.
"Hey, who exactly am I walking to?" She asked, while the alicorn stopped and began to think.
"I'm... Cipher Code. Yeah, that's a pretty good name." Bill smiled darkly. As Daring got close, he let out a small magical surge to stun her before throwing her into a wall with his levitation. Daring's body was literally flaming hot, so Bill shot his freeze rays from his horn at her. She rolled her eyes as she used her new powers to get rid of all the ice, but soon she was surrounded by steam and Cipher gave her a powerful blow to the face. She tried to shoot more fire but found that the ability was gone. Her eyes widened as she quickly searched for another random item in the bag.
Bill used his Miracle Eye to find her but couldn't see her rugby tackle him down. When he looked up he saw Daring as she was before she ate the fire flower, but she had a yellow cape that wasn't there before. The two flew at each other, clashing several times before Cipher began chasing after Daring through the cave, who avoided him slamming his electrified hooves on the ground where she was before retaliating with a kick.
"Alright, that's it." His horn glowed, and she slowly felt herself becoming unconscious.
"You should have listened to me."
Queen Chrysalis sat quietly among the Yoshi village that they had lead her to. They were a peaceful, calm, loving race. It tasted pretty good too. She was curious when she saw the yellow bipedal turtles with red and green shells, but they seemed to be alright, but her mind was changed when she saw a few that were black and grey with spikes on their shells.
Apparently it was new to their own kind as well since they earned some more stares. They appeared to be trying to intimidate the others while they walked by. However, this simple intimidation stopped when they saw Chrysalis and her changelings. They lunged at the changelings, ready to fight. Two took on her drones, while the last and darkest one set its sight on Chrysalis. She scoffed at the turtle before it jumped into the air with an attempt to kick her, but she ducked and sent a blast of magic at it. The Koopa was thrown in the air but came back down with the back of its shell facing the changeling queen. She moved to the side and gave the Koopa another magical blast, which it dodged.
"What do you know about Cipher?!" It snapped.
"What do you want to know?" Chrysalis asked, narrowing her eyes.
"Let us start with everything." It chuckled. "And we'll just say that you'll regret it if you don't." Chrysalis was suddenly surrounded by the other two and she looked at her unconscious drones.
"Is this all?" The queen grinned. She bucked the one behind her while blasting one in the left and creating a shield to block the third one, who shot towards her in its shell. She let the shield down, but didn't notice the magic blast coming her way until it hit the back of her head. She growled and let out a surge of magic, knocking all the offending koopas away. However they soon lost their spikes and dark colours; reverting back into standard koopas. She could sense confusion coming off from them as they looked around. They were as lost as she and everyone else was.
"What just happened?"
"So wait, evil koopas attacked you and the drones?" Bill asked.
"Yes, you didn't intend for that to happen, did you?"
"No, both the Yoshis and Koopas were meant to be pacifists who only attacked when they absolutely needed to." The demon put his hoof on his chin for a moment. "But it has been over 1,000 years, I guess things change. I encountered some problems myself or rather. a problem, but she should be waking up by now." He smiled as he looked at his bag of notes, then back to Chrysalis. "Sorry you couldn't have a day off by the way."
"I'm the queen of a struggling hive." Chrysalis sighed. "I shouldn't expect to have many days of relaxation with me." They flew away with the now- conscious drones.
"This is one of my less... successful projects." Bill explained as he closed the door and turned on the light. "The Digimon." The rooms were white, rusty and dusty. Just like the other bunkers, everything was old and barely running but it did look better than the others. He had finished Hide and Giffany's bodies and they were currently with him. "I had tried to make some truly powerful fighters to defend Equestria against a powerful threat like Discord or Tirek."
As they walked down the stairs they came across the stasis chambers. There were about half a dozen in total and they were still running. Inside of each they saw a Motimon, an Impmon, a Guilmon, a Kuramon, a Lalamon and a Koromon.
"But these ones seem pretty good." Giffany cocked her head. "What's wrong with them?"
"I could never get most of them to digivolve." William shook his head. "Only about 2 ever reached champion stage." His gaze fixed on Guilmon and Koromon. "Champion is okay, but it wasn't what I was aiming for. I wanted them to reach mega or at least ultimate level, but I didn't have enough magic for that. How great would it have been if Equestria was defended by a Megakabuterimon or a Beelzemon? But no, they'd rather rely on six rocks."
"What exactly is it you want to do Bill?" Hide asked. "Do you wish vengeance on the sisters?"
"I... I don't know." Bill sighed. "I hate them both with every fiber of my being, but I can't deal with them right now."
"What's that?" Giffany pointed at the large piece of armour on the wall. It looked like it was meant for an incredibly large dragon.
"That is Wargreymon." Bill looked up at it. "Or at least it would've been, but of course fate had other plans. I wanted Wargreymon to be the first mega I made, and to use him as a body. If I recall, I was a unicorn at the time. I think some dragons began base parts of their armor after this." He laughed at the last memory.
"I guess it is kinda funny, yeah." A voice giggled, immediately catching the attention of the three.
"Okay, whoever you are, would you mind showing yourself?" Bill asked as he raised a mechanical eyebrow. He couldn't detect this ponies presence anywhere. Everything was still in place in his little laboratory, so she hadn't taken anything as of yet. Whoever this being was, she was strong.
"Aaw come on. It's kinda cool how mysterious this all is, and isn't that what Gravity Falls is all about?"
That may be, but all I want to do is collect my research, so are you going to interfere?"
"Not really, I guess. On second thought, I think I will appear after all. One second..." The voice disappeared before they heard a *pop* behind them. The three looked and saw a little girl in a light purple dress along with a green and yellow hat. Her eyes and hair were both shades of purple and white. She also appeared to be holding a ball and a bat.
"Hiya!" She waved.
"And who are you?" Hide questioned.
"I'm your displacer, silly!" She laughed. "Well, I'm one of them."
"One of them?"
"Yeah. There are about three of us in total. We're displacing quite a few people from your earth."
"Wait, there are more of us? Specifically from my earth?"
"Displacers or void dwellers tend to stick with one version of earth when displacing people. Stick with what you know, I guess."
"But didn't the Merchant displace me?" Bill questioned.
"Let's just say we had a small disagreement."
"Okay moving on from that, why're you here?"
"I just wanted to introduce myself really, and maybe take some of this stuff? I'm sure the others would be interested in it."
"Okay, I don't know exactly who you are, but do not touch my research; it's all very important to me."
"Why?" The girl tilted her head to the left. "You could easily conjure these up in the Nightmare Realm."
"Well when you have a knack for biology coupled with a near- infinite knowledge with things you didn't know were possible before, you kinda want to use that knowledge. Besides, this isn't the Nightmare Realm is it?"
"I guess. But still, can't I just take one, show my dad and then give it back?"
"I barely even know you, now just listen to me and leave the stuff there!"
"But it'll only take a second, watch... She snapped her fingers and the cryogenic chamber holding Guilmon was gone. Soon, they heard a crash outside. "Wow I was way off." She whistled.
"Stay away from my things." He growled before flying outside with Giffany and Hide. They got outside just in time to see a red claw break through the glass. Then out stepped Guilmon, staggering slightly. It was almost nothing like the one in Digimon Tamers, which meant no adorable love of bread or anything like that. No, the only thing they had in common was the savage look in the eyes, which this Guilmon had all the time.
"Well it's just a rookie, so it shouldn't be so bad." Giffany shrugged.
"Yeah... No." Bill answered as he saw the Digimon starting to grow. "Guilmon was one of my two Digimon experiments that was able to reach champion level. It messed the little guy up and now he'll automatically digivolve into Growlmon, kinda like what he's doing right now." By the time he was finished, the red Digimon was now much bigger, with new spiky white hair going down to its back. It shot a glare at the three before lunging at them with its claws ready to slash. The three quickly dispersed as Growlmon's claws slashed into dirt, instead of its three target. Standing behind the beast, the trio was staring as it roared. Bill tapped his chin momentarily as a lightbulb appeared on his head.
"Hey guys, wanna try something cool?" Hide and Giff nodded, causing Bill to grin. "Okay, let's see what these robot bodies can do." Bill flew up and shot Growlmon in the back, while electricity built up in Giff's hands and she shot them at the red beast from the front.
"How does it feel to be back with the machines Giff?"
"I thought so." Growlmon roared while the two conversed. It ran towards them, but felt something sting it in the back, causing it to fall down. Hide stood above it, with a needle protruding from his machine hands. As it fell asleep, it reverted back to its Guilmon form, dropping to the ground.
They placed the locks back on the door, with Bill using the magic of his amulet to make increase their strength. Giff and Hide seemed alright, but Bill was just pissed. The girl who had claimed to be one of his displacers just left after Growlmon had been released.
"She didn't even help to clean up her mess, which would probably be very easy." He thought, before turning back to the others.
"We have our notes, the doors are locked, now let's go."
"Do you believe that we'll see her again?" Hide asked.
"Ugh, probably. I hope they're all not like her. I don't need any multiverse- travelling being interfering in my hard work, now I'm sure Chryssi's waiting for us so let's go."
Ms. Harshwhinny fell forwards onto the hard floor, the black on the teacher's left eye was still fresh. The gun sizzling in Sunset's hand like the bacon her hair was so reminiscent of cooking on a pan. It became unbearably hot, so she dropped it on the floor next to Harshwhinny's feet. Cursing under her breath so she didn't attract any attention, she shook her hand and knelt down, waited a moment so the thing could cool down and proceeded to pick up the gun. She placed the device in her bag as Harshwhinny began to stir.
"Ugh, what on earth happened to me?" The downed teacher rubbed her temple. She focused herself and saw one of her students staring at her. "Sunset?" What on earth is going on? What happened in here?"
"I don't Ms Harshwhinny, I just got here and you were passed out with the room in a mess. Don't you know?"
"I... am afraid I don't, but thank you for your concern. How unprofessional of me to allow something like this to happen, and I'm not even sure what happened." She got up and dusted herself off, proceeding to head out of the room.
"Are you going to see the nurse?"
"That black eye of yours, it looks pretty bad." Ms' Harshwhinny got a small mirror out of her bag, and was surprised so see a a black circle covering here right eye.
"Ah yes, I shall indeed." A scowl formed on her face as she briskly walked out of the room, hitting her head on the side of the door. She herself then left the classroom after her teacher turned a corner. She headed towards acertain part of the school that hadn't had its lightbulbs changed in a long time, making it much darker than any other area. She didn't mind though, it just meant that she could do what she wanted on her own without anyone disturbing her. She stood on the outskirts of the area, got a notebook out and began writing in it.
"Test #5 Subject: Ms. Harshwhinny Analysis: First attempt at testing device on someone other than those two little idiots Snips and Snails. So far, it appears to be successful, with her having little recollection of the prior events in the class. However, she appeared to frown at me quite a bit. Of course, she usually wears a frown but I must assume the possibility that she might have some recollection of what occurred. For now, I'll follow her to see if there are any side effects of using the gun. Another issue encountered in the test was that the gun appeared to still burn up after it is fired. Other than that, everything appears to be in order. Hints of a small decrease in depth perception were evident, but that is to be expected with use of the gun." She closed the notebook, and ran towards the nurse's office.
"How did this happen?" Nurse Redheart frowned.
"That's the thing, I don't know how." The teacher said. "I simply woke up in my class with no recollection of what happened."
"Was anyone in there with you?"
"Hmm. Yes actually, there was. When I woke up I saw-"
"Hello Ms. Harshwhinny." Sunset popped through the door.
"Ah, Sunset Shimmer. Yes, she was with me when I woke up."
"Sunset?" Nurse Redheart raised an eyebrow at the girl. "Why were you there? From what Ms. Harshwhinny said she was in there alone besides you, but why were you in the room in the first place?"
"I walked by the classroom and she was passed out." Sunset said, smiling. "I went in and helped her up. How is she?"
"I'll live." Harshwhinny responded.
"And you have no idea how she could've gotten a black eye and a wrecked classroom?" Redheart asked, eyebrow still raised.
"Sorry, can't think of anything." The young girl shrugged.
"Alright then, thank you for your help. I'll let Cranky know you were here." Sunset nodded and left the room.
"Okay Harshwhinny, it looks like you weren't roughed up too badly aside from the eye. Just wear this eye patch, take a few painkillers for a few days and you'll be as right as rain."
"That's a relief." The teacher sighed. "But I'd be slightly more at ease if I knew how I got it in the first place."
"I'm sure we'll know sooner or later." Sunset smiled hopefully.
"It just doesn't make sense Stable." She sighed, rubbing her temples. "How does one just not remember how they got hit?"
"Mild amnesia, perhaps?" The calm doctor said.
"It didn't look like it was that severe at all though, not nearly enough for amnesia."
"Maybe the fall is what caused her to forget?"
"Checked I checked for head and skull injuries, but it was just that black eye as well as a few bruises in the stomach area. And get this; Sunset was the only one there when she woke up, and she just got there right after all of this happened, when she was supposed to be in a lesson for Cranky."
I don't know, maybe she was going to the bathroom and stumbled across her."
"Ugh, why are you being so resistant?"
"I'm just playing devil's advocate Redheart; things aren't always what they look like on the exterior."
"I guess you're right, but it just all seems so strange."
"I will agree that it does all seem a tad too coincidental, there is still a part of me that thinks you've been reading too many Shadow Spade novels."
"Okay, so what do you suggest I do?"
"Well my opinion on the matter is if you really feel like there's more to it, check the school cameras, they'll be sure to see what happened." Stable said.
Sunset left the gallery, being sure to log out of the administrator's computer. Idiot had left it on and she saved it just before he logged off. It was the perfect opportunity to slip in and out to collect what she needed for further examination, as well as remove any traces of her. Soon the footage was off the school server permanently and on her USB drive.
"Okay let's see, I'll just get the camera footage from 11:10 to 12:15 and... done. Now let's just delete this." She thought as she tapped her fingers on the keyboard. Everything was where she wanted it to be. She sat up and quickly made sure she hadn't left anything behind before walking out the door to see nurse Redheart.
"Oh hey Ms Redheart, what are you doing here?"
"I'm just helping look through the camera footage to see if I can he Ms Harshwhinny."
"Oh, well good luck to you. I was just finishing off some homework. I'll be going now." She smiled and left.
School was over, and she had everything she needed at the moment. She'd find out what was wrong with the gun and fix it in due time.
"Testing appears to be successful, Ms. Harshwhinny seems to have no recollection of the events, but I still need to figure out why the memory gun burnt out, but I may have. The memory canister is safe as well, no damage from the burning out appears to be sustained. However, my work might be compromised. Nurse Redheart could possibly be getting close to what I'm doing, but I suppose it doesn't really matter. Worst case scenario is I have a new test subject."
The dream demon stared blankly at his box of spare parts. He tapped his hoof, waiting for something to hit him. He was stumped for inspiration; he wanted to make something but he had no idea where to start. He didn't feel like searching for his keys or going to a bunker. He stared at a picture on his side. He missed his old research team, but most of them were dead and those that weren't hated him. It wasn't like him to be low on energy. Ever since he became Bill Cipher, he had become so full of energy, an energy he had lacked when he was human.
Chrysalis was still in her court, hearing requests from the hive. He was still trying to get back in the swing of things even now, he was working slowly. He remembered how industrious he had been all those years ago, constantly building new bunkers and refusing to call them labs. He had almost lost track of how many he had built in the first place. Then again, he did have help. He had...
"No." He shook his mechanical head. "This is now. That was then. I need to get to work but I can't think of anything. Ugh, maybe I'll just take a walk." Sighing, he trotted out of his research room, shutting the door as it cracked and splintered. He wanted to walk around the hive; maybe then something would come to him. As he walked down the stairs of the hive's castle, he came across the Queen's secretary.
"Lock my room for me Switcheroo. I'll be a tad busy for the moment." He handed the 'ling his keys for the door, remembering he had forgotten to lock them. He needed a much better door.
He thought about the changelings, how he wasn't really close with many of them personally. Making friends had always been troubling for him. Hell, even Giff and Hide were better than he ever was. They were probably out socialising with some of the changelings right now. Well at least Giff was.
"Little scamps." Bill chuckled. "Huh. Never thought I'd say that." He shook his head, continuing his walk. The closest thing he had to a non- displaced friend was Chrysalis. Neither the hive nor the badlands outside of it seemed fit for a walk, but they were the best there was for Bill. Even he had to get out of the lab sometime. Well that and he liked being in a body. It made him feel a bit more normal. Even if he wasn't really there. Not that he had anything against being abnormal, it came with being Bill that he enjoyed weirdness. He wanted to still feel like he was actually there, and not just... in the mindscape all the time.
However right now, he only wanted to consider becoming physical again and continuing his research. After that... he didn't know. He didn't like Luna in the slightest, or her sister. But revenge? He would admit he craved it, but wasn't exactly sure what to do. He had considered going after them, but wasn't sure. despite what The Author said to him, he just didn't know. Bill wasn't used to being in charge of himself. He had found that bad things happened when he made any major choices for himself.
"I guess I don't really know what to do with myself." He thought. "Well, I guess I could keep researching, it is what I'm good at." Maybe just continue the research and see where I go from there."
"Argh!" Bill turned to see two changelings fighting. Nothing too serious, just a little scuffle, it didn't seem like either of them was hurt too much and none of the other 'lings seemed to care. He recognised one of them as the changeling who stole his book that fateful day in Canterlot.
"Shut up, Buzz!"
"No you shut up!"
"Say a soldier is better than a thief!"
"Oh right, because a soldier could get the omniscient being trapped from the book?"
"Oh what do you even do, sneak around? Any larvae can do that!"
"Why you..!" The older one was clearly stronger, yet the sister was better at dodging. She attacked him, but they were little more than bug bites. Literally bug bites, she was actually biting him after she saw that her punches weren't doing much. Of course, that left her vulnerable to his punches. Suddenly, everything went grey around them, causing them to stop. They heard a laugh and the triangle demon twirled his cane.
"Well well well. Yes, all of the wells!" He twirled his cane and spun around. "If it ain't the little 'ling who was kind enough to free me from Canterlot, and her big brother's with her." Buzz stepped back, surprised with Moth following suit.
"Um, hello Mr. Cipher?" Moth said. "What brings you out?"
"Oh ya know, just taking a stroll. I never see the sight much."
"There... Aren't that many sights to see Mr. Cipher." Buzz exclaimed.
"Okay first off..." He bonked both of them on the head with his cane. "I know I'm a lot older than either of you could ever hope to be but you don't need to keep calling me Mr. Cipher, I'm not a teacher. My name is Bill. And secondly, a lab can get boring even for me. The same thing everyday gets boring."
"Okay, Mr. Ci- I mean Bill, what is it you'd like to do?" Moth asked.
"Well I never properly thanked you for freeing me, so thanks kiddo." He ruffled her mane.
"Uh... Thanks?" She frowned.
"Another thing is door shopping."
"Getting a new door. I'm pretty sure mine is broken."
"There... aren't many places to buy furniture, let alone doors."
"Then it'll give me something to do, which is why I'm here in the first place." He retreated back into his cybernetic body and trotted away.
"What kind would you like, sir?" The cashier asked.
"Hmm..." Bill frowned, looking at all the doors. There weren't really many options, and it was the one of the few furniture stores in the hive. He hovered around the doors waving a metal cane that he'd teleported in. He inspected each of the doors, frowning and knocking each. "Well this one just look terrific but..." He knocked it again and cringed. "Do you kiss your maker with that knock?" He asked... the door.
"Are... You talking to the door, Mr Cipher?" The shopkeeper frowned.
"Well not anymore." He rolled his eye, before moving on to the next door. "Alright, let's see what you have to offer." He tapped the door with his cane, before letting out an "Ech!" And pushing it away.
"Mr Cipher, all the knocks sound the same." The shopkeeper frowned, only for Bill's head to turn 180 degrees. Even if it was a machine, he still found it creepy.
"How dare you, good sir." His 'head' snapped back to the doors. He looked at a hardwood door, frowning at it. His robot body couldn't feel it, but it had a good finish and seemed smooth enough from looking at it. Now it all came down to the knock.
"Let's see if you pass the test, eh door?" It didn't answer. It was a door. But he didn't care, the confused look of the shopkeeper was all the reason enough for him to keep acting coo- coo. He tapped it with his hoof.
"Will!" A delightful voice called out, I chose to ignore it, continuing to read the book my parents gave me. I wouldn't disappoint them while I could help it.
"William!" The voice called again, this time closer and knocking on the door. I buried my head in the textbook even further.
"William!" I tried to ignore the banging on the door, but she was knocking twice as loud. Just a moment later, the door burst open. Before I had time to react, a familiar little girl my age and height hugged me from behind.
"Hi, Will." She chirped, but I was less than amused. It might've had something to do with the fact that I could barely breath.
"Get... Off..." I said, choking from the hold she had me in. She let go, that cheerful smile still on her face while I caught my breath. "How're you doing?"
"I was just fine until you nearly choked me." I huffed.
"But I can't help it, you're my favourite brother." She chimed.
"I'm your only brother."
"Which makes you my favourite by default." I groaned at her almost unnatural happiness.
"Can't you just hate me like a normal sister?"
"Can't you just go outside and kick a ball like a normal boy?" She retorted, poking my arm.
"Why're you here?"
"I told you, you're my favourite brother. Do you wanna go play outside?"
"I can't, mum and dad won't like it if they think I'm getting distracted."
"Oh, come on. You can't just stay in here forever."
"You don't know that."
"I know it because I'm dragging you out."
"Wait wha-" Before I could finish, she had already grabbed my arm and was pulling me out of my room. She hoisted me down the stairs despite my resistance. "Let go of me, I have to get back to my revision! Mum and dad trusted me to do my work while they're out!"
"You've done plenty, now let's go." She pulled me into the front yard.
"Can I go inside, no- hey!" I said as a ball hit my forehead.
"Come on Will." She grinned. "Don't be a wuss."
"Fine." I grumbled, picking up the ball and throwing it at his sister, who happily threw it back, but his time I caught it.
"See?" She smiled. "You can catch it just fine. Now throw it back." Hesitantly, I obliged, tossing the ball back to my sister.
Bill sighed as he heard another knock from his new door. "Must be the extra parts I ordered." He didn't answer, waiting for them to knock a second time in case he hadn't heard them. "Come on in." He chirped, smiling as more metal and gems were brought in. Gems, he had found, were excellent catalysts for magic. They were so easy to enchant and store magical power in. He smiled as the drones brought his new parts in.
"Hey hey guys, thanks a million!" As he spoke, the same number of copies of himself appeared in the room, albeit smaller, they had to fit in the room somehow, after all. The drones did their best to ignore how cramped the room had suddenly become, nodding and walking away, shutting the door behind them. He looked at his pieces before staring back at the closed door, for what felt like hours before turning back.
Daring sighed as she kept trotting. She rubbed her torso, which still hurt from the fight with Cipher.
“An odd guy. He claims he’s the owner of that stuff but it looks lost to time, and he didn’t seen that old. Then again, he was an alicorn… But that could’ve just been an illusion to intimidate me. It wouldn’t be the first time someone pretended to be an alicorn to get ponies to follow them… Ugh, I need to figure him out, that won’t be the last time I see him for sure.” She thought, but she couldn’t worry about that right now. Though, that wasn't entirely true. Before the notes she'd looked at had been taken, she had saw something mentioned about the south.
As she trotted on the outskirts of Clopshire, she checked every nook and cranny she could for something even resembling a hidden door. The key around her neck shook slightly as she trotted through the forest. She'd heard a bit about this place already. It was close to the border of Equestria, near to the minotaur kingdom; Labyrinthia. The place was mostly populated by ponies but had a few minotaurs there as well.
“Well well, who’s this?” She stopped and turned around, looking at the figure who called out her name. It was bipedal, but too small to be a minotaur… Far too small... In fact… It appeared to be a diamond dog. “Pony shouldn’t be trespassing in this forest.”
“And who exactly are you?” Daring raised a brow.
“Tch. Stupid pony shouldn’t have come here.” He scoffed.
“Oh?” She raised a brow. “And why not?” The dog laughed.
“Because this is our territory! The territory of the Devil Gang!” He pounced at Daring, who jumped up in the air and got out her whip, grabbing the canine’s arm and throwing him into a tree
“Ow!” He yelped as his head hit the trunk. “Stupid pony doesn’t know when to quit!” He got up and tried running at the pony again, but with the same result. Suddenly, a whip coiled around the dog’s leg and was thrown around into another trunk.
“So you gonna leave me alone or should I keep going?” Daring asked. “Or are you stalling for backup or something like that?”
“Heh…” The dog got up, laughing. “Don’t need backup for stupid weak pony.”
“You dazed or something? I’ve been doing nothing but throwing you around and you call me weak?”
“I admit, pony is not as weak as most, but pony is still pony.” The diamond dog suddenly started to change.
“What the..?” Daring thought as she watched his fur brighten slightly, the fur around his head becoming crimson. Her eyes widened as the dog grew in front of her. Not only that, but a pair of wings sprouted on his back.
“I see stupid pony is having second thoughts.” The dog, if she could even call it that anymore, grinned at her. “Never thought anything good could come from a cat, but I was proved wrong.” Her hoof reached inside her bag for one of the power- ups, but before she could, the dog flew forward, slamming its fist into her body, knocking her away. She shook her head before she hit a tree herself, instead landing on it with her hooves and flying back at the transformed canine, who highly resembled a manticore now.
“I’ll beat your flank, and then you’ll tell me what you are!” Daring declared, whilst the canine manticore hybrid just laughed. She flew under him, wrapping her whip round his neck and pulling him into the ground.
“Ugh…” The dazed hybrid shook his head, getting up and trying to pull the whip off of himself, but whilst he was distracted, his leg was bucked and he fell back to the ground.
“A tip; stay down and your body will stop hurting.” Daring said. He growled at this, turning into a Manticore fully and roaring, flying up whilst grabbing onto the whip, pulling Daring up with him. After her surprise subsided, she let go of the whip, causing him to stop midair and fly down, trying to punch her, but she dodged all of them.
“Stand still!” He roared, as she kept avoiding his attacks with a light chuckle. However, a stinger was rammed into her side, her only barely seeing it coming. Wincing, she fell from the sky, only barely regaining herself.
“Forgot about the tail…” She grunted as the manticore pulled the whip off of his neck and threw it to the ground. “Didn’t want to use them sparingly but…” She pulled out a feather and suddenly found a cape adorned on her back like before. She shot at the Manticore with a blinding speed, kicking him in the face, causing the Manticore to howl as it was knocked away. He growled, trying to impale her with his stinger again, but she grabbed it and threw him to the ground. She flew down, trying to deliver the final blow, but felt her power wearing off, weakened by the manticore venom, but she wouldn’t feel its effects anymore. With this in mind, she ceased her attack, but grabbed her whip and tied him up.
She had to figure out just what happened. A Diamond Dog had somehow just turned into a Manticore, but now it was back to being a canine, albeit a dazed one.
“Ugh…” The Diamond Dog groaned. “Hey! What this?!” He turned back into a manticore but found himself out of breath as the whip didn’t snap, but only gave him less breath and turned back into a dog with a groan, the whip being too tight and durable, coupled with being out of energy to begin with.
“I should be asking you that.” Daring asked as the canine started to struggle.
“You’re a Diamond Dog. I just saw you turn into a Manticore. How?”
“Oh, that.” The canine laughed. “That’s not something the pony needs to know.”
Daring glared at the dog. “What’s your name?”
“Hmph, Max.” The dog grunted.
“Well Max, if you’re not going to tell me anything I’ll just give you to the nearest authorities.” She said, pulling him along, him writhing along the way, but not having enough energy do much. He
“You don’t know who you’re dealing with.”
“Well if you enlightened me, maybe I’d be more weary. If not, shut up whilst we go to town.” She said, not slowing down for a second, until she heard something, it was…
“You really want to go to town? Hah, we own the town!” He laughed. “Your lifespan will halt if you don’t let me go right now!” She rolled her eyes and ignored his threats and reached the town. From what she heard, it was on the border between Equestria and the Minotaur kingdom, meaning it was populated by both ponies and Minotaurs.
It was a pretty decent place. Houses were impressive, since Minotaurs were known for their construction skills. Although, it was empty for such a well- built place.
“Where is everyone?” Daring frowned, looking around. “It’s too new to be abandoned, the place clearly isn’t cleaned out… Well not cleaned out enough anyway. No… Maybe they’re-” She suddenly heard yelling.
“Heh heh heh… You might have to repeat that again. I could’ve sworn you said you didn’t have the bits necessary, and I’m gonna guess you don’t have anything else to compensate either!” The voice snarled. There was a pause.
“Gonna take a wild guess… Buddy?” As she spoke, she heard destruction occur.
“Got that right. He’s probably collecting tax. Someone couldn’t pay so he’s wrecking the place, maybe a street.”
“I didn’t think so.” The voice said after the pause and destruction could be heard.
"Yeah... Not letting that happen." Daring said. If anything, maybe this idiot gang of theirs knew something about the bunkers.
“You idiot, you’re gonna die~.” He laughed.
“Oh great, he’s crazy.” Daring sighed, but was on guard as she heard another roar. She immediately flew up with Max to see what the commotion was. She frowned at what she saw. Two… what she could only describe as monsters clashing, growling at each other. One had Diamond dog features, such as the fangs, the muzzle and the floppy ears, hints of fur dirty from digging, but there were also sludge appearing on his body, along with various colours flashing all over him like some sort of vomit- inducing rainbow. The Minotaur, on the other hand wore a shirt and thick gloves was had powerful winds radiating off of him, and she didn’t think sure Minotaurs were capable of air or any kind of weather or elemental magic. Then again, she also didn’t think dogs could become part Manticore but she was learning a lot today.
The dog laughed and pushed against the Minotaur. Getting a more clear view of the Minotaur, she could see scales on his arms, along with what appeared to be claws poking out of the gloves.
“Damn dog...” Storm grunted.
“Oh you really want to do this again? Hah, go ahead and try!”
“Grr… Wind Dragon’s Roar!” Storm took a breath and a powerful tornado burst out of his mouth, enveloping the entire street. Daring quickly took to the ground when this happened, grabbing onto something. When the wind cleared, she saw the entire street was obliterated. The pavement was a mess, some lights were bent. Storm growled at this. He’d been too excessive. One thing that wasn’t caught up in the obliteration of a street, however, was the damn mutt he was aiming for in the first place. He growled and looked around, before his gaze turned to a drain his wind had broken open.
His eyes widened and he jumped up, the sludge dog bursting out of the ground below him. But it looked less like a dog as this point. It was now fully a blob of rainbow sludge with arms, bags under its eyes and more crystals covering his body. He smiled as his teeth glowed purple, jumping at Storm, who punched him to the side with a cyclone in his hand. He landed with a splat on the wall, before picking himself up and glowering at Storm.
“Guess you got pretty strong.” Buddy’s canine features returned through the sludge, showing a snarl that soon turned to a smile, before jumping at the minotaur, who readied an attack.
Purple canine teeth collided mini- tornadoes on both of the minotaur’s horns. They both struggled, one gaining an advantage one second, before the edge was given to the other a second after. Soon Storm pushed forward with a grunt. It was then, that the sludge- dog smiled, and a box slid under the minotaur from behind. It was bright pink with green polka dots and wrapped in a velvet ribbon. Storm’s eyes widened and the box exploded, knocking him up and obliterating the nearby walls. He panted, coughing and getting up.
“You don’t look so good there.” Buddy laughed. Storm on the other hand, got up, panting.
“Craft..!” He muttered under his breath. The minotaur looked around, at which Buddy ran at the minotaur with his claws active. Upon Daring’s inspection, the claws looked a lot like the crystals as well and whatever they were, something was bad about them as the minotaur was doing everything he could to avoid them even through the poison, but it didn’t seem like he was doing very well, barely stepping out of the way of the slashes, knocking Buddy away with a cyclone roar before another present was flung at him, letting out an explosion that covered the street.
Daring’s eyes widened as the wind- user fell to one knee. She shook her head, done watching. As the sludge dog jumped again, she flew inbetween the two, grabbing the first power- up she could get. Soon, cool air came out of her mouth, and her body was a light cyan. As she landed, the moment the dog touched her, he was frozen in a block of ice. However, she wasn’t without harm either, panting as her entire body hurt.
“What the..?” She thought. “I have ice powers which is helpful but… Why does everything hurt? What in the-”
“-Gods are you doing here?!” Storm got up, yelling at her, grunting as he did. “It’s dangerous here!”
“And you were about to die.” She retorted. “Now what is this place? Is he part of this gang I’m hearing about?”
“Well… Yes.” He leaned against a wall. “Well fine. Thanks. Now we need to get out of here. We’ve slowed down his rampage a bit.”
“What? We need to give him to the local police.”
“...There are no police.”
“...What?” She frowned. “How-”
“I can’t explain it right now. If you insist on staying then fine. Just make sure you can defend yourself.”
“Fine…” She sighed. “But you will need to tell me what’s going on here and what’s happening.”
“Very well.” He said as another present landed fairly close to the ice. “And get ready.” The ice slid back and was coated in fires. It began to melt and crack until it broke, showing the canine shivering.
He roared, shaking himself off and running at them. They jumped out of the way and he hit a wall, cracking it. He then removed one of the crystals covering his body, before putting it on his fist. He did the same with other crystals until it seemed like he had spike brass knuckles, but made out of crystal.
“Be careful.” Storm warned. “Even one of those crystals is poisonous enough to kill. And they come off easily.”
“Got it.” She panted and ran at Buddy, her power wavering thanks to the poison. She froze the path under him, causing him to slip.
“Wind Dragon’s Roar!” Then Storm let loose another tornado from his mouth, knocking Buddy back. The dog got up and his cheeks swelled, before shooting a large ball of sludge at them. They both dived to the side and Daring turned to shoot ice balls at him. He grunted at parts of his body getting frozen but broke out and ran at her, his teeth glowing. She froze the floor, causing him to slip into a wall. As he tried to get up, Storm summoned a tornado in his hand and punched Buddy through the wall with it. As he grunted, they ran at him, but he jumped at Daring, his fangs glowing once again, but Storm blocked with another tornado, causing the two to collide. A present slid under Storm as he pushed, but it was promptly frozen by Daring and bucked away before it let out another large explosion.
“I saw where that was thrown! You gonna be okay?” She asked.
“Yeah just find a pony wrapping presents! That’d be Happy Craft!” Storm said. Daring nodded and flew into the sky. Daring did her best work alone so splitting up was fine with her. She saw an Earth Pony, his coat a bright grey with a messy yellow mane and a moustache, green safety goggles covering his eyes. The stallion carried a bag filled with small presents. Daring gave a chuckle at his appearance until he threw one of his presents at her and she darted to the side. Behind her, the present let out a powerful explosion.
“Quick one eh?” He chuckled. “Then again, Pegasi usually are.” He got out another present and threw it at Daring, who easily flew to the side and avoided it. However, the earth pony still smiled, causing Daring to frown. She turned around but it was too late, and a barrage of arrows from above hit her. They were quick, light and sharp. The work of an expert.
She fell from the sky as various parts of her body bled out. Her ice powers disappeared and she grunted. She struggled, pulling the arrows out and just stopping herself from falling. She took back to the skies, only for another exploding present to hit her. She fell to the floor and the Earth pony trotted towards her, his moustache ruffling as he frowned. He noticed that she seemed to be holding onto a few things under her. One was a bag, whilst the other item appeared to be… green. A green mushroom. She bit down on the mushroom quickly and stood up, her injuries healing. Before Craft could react, he was punched into a wall by the pegasus’s hoof. She then bucked his bag away.
“Don’t think you’ve one just yet..!” Craft gritted his teeth. “You had no business coming here and you’ll be crushed if you stay.”
“Ugh, you sound like Max.” Daring rolled her eyes.
“You don’t like advice do you?” He sighs. “If you’re just going to ignore your own safety then I guess I have no choice. I can contain anything inside a present and enhance it. Whether it be weapons, attacks...” He quickly reached behind him, getting another present out and immediately lobbing it at Daring, who dived to the side as out from the present emerged one of her ice balls, only once it hit a wall behind her, it froze the entire thing at once along with a good chunk of the ground, its power having doubled from before.
Using that time, Craft jumped away from Daring before a large box materialised around him, covered in wrapping paper and done up with a ribbon. “...Or ponies.”
She realised what he was trying to do and attempted to fly at him, only to fall. She just noticed how cold she felt. Though, being next to the large patch of ice meant it was a given, but she felt it particularly in her hoof, which turned out to be stuck to the ice. She struggled for a moment and eventually pulled her hind hoof out after a few moments. However, as she did the present began to unwrap.
Out of it came the same earth Pony, except with some differences. His eyes were red and bloodshot. His body was more refined and muscled, with veins all over his body. He charges at Daring, who flies out of the way as he then hits the wall, breaking through it like paper. Daring rummaged through her bag and found a familiar face; the fire flower. She took its power and flames coursed through her body. She shot a fireball at Craft, who jumped straight through it, ignoring the burns he received and socked Daring in the face, making her momentarily dizzy before she was grabbed and thrown onto a roof.
“Do you really think the new me would bother with those lukewarm flames?” He sneered as he dropped, before jumping up to the roof for another punch, but Daring flew out of the way. “I’m not playing around, little filly.”
Daring glared at the stallion, flying far behind him. “Neither am I.” As he turned around, she flew at him, generating fire in her forehooves, and blasting more flames out of her hind hooves. He turned around, smiling as he saw her charge and raised a hoof to block, not bothering to attack. She hit Craft, pushing him back significantly. The stallion in question grit his teeth at the heat and impact of the colliding hooves. He brought up his other hoof to block as he was knocked into a wall that instantly cracked upon impact. Daring generated more flames around him, blinding his view and allowing her to sock him in the face, several times. Craft groaned. His goggles broke in two and he fell limp. Daring stopped and flew back, taking a breath before she saw a familiar diamond dog get knocked through a wall.
“Whoa!” Daring watched with wide eyes before looking back to Storm. She was about to congratulate him when she found he was on the floor. “Hey are you okay?”
“Yeah… Don’t worry… I can handle poison…” He grunted. “Just… Be my support for a bit…”
Daring nodded and helped the minotaur up.
“Take me home… I’ll show you where to go…”
Daring grunted as she supported the large minotaur, though it was difficult whilst also having to drag two diamond dogs and an earth pony, all frozen in blocks of ice and held together by the whip. He walked as best he could, whilst also putting a free hand over his upper body, which glowed. They made their way to a clearing far out from the town. The two found themselves at the bottom of a large ledge, covered with vines and overgrowth.
“Come on! Let go already!
“Move those…” He said, standing more upright. The two of them moved some vines out of the way and found themselves in a dark cave. Storm picked up a match and candles at the mouth, lighting the candle and stepping through. “Okay thanks.” They reached a table with a single seat. “Sorry I don’t usually have company.”
“Hey don’t worry.” She reassured him.
“I’ll take a guess and assume you don’t know what’s going on right?” The Minotaur asked. Daring nodded. He began to reminisce. “A gang rules this town, with powers you couldn’t imagine, a gang that I used to be a part of.” He chuckled emptily. “You know, a year ago, we found a cave where we got these phenomenal powers. It was a lot different from this one though.”
“A cave?” Daring asked. “Um… What did this cave look like?”
“The mouth had a large door in front of it, practically covered with overgrowth like this one. I don’t know how long that door had been there, but it was on its last legs when we found it. We were just a group of friends who happened to be in the right place at the right time. The door’s foundations were weak. With some effort with toppled it to the ground and decided to explore. We found a lot of weird buildings, kinda like those traps kept in temples in adventure books.” Daring chuckled at that. “Most of the stuff in there was rundown and broken but we still hoped we could find something cool and sell it, so we were pretty surprised by what we found instead.”
“And what did you find?” Daring asked, very interested in the story.
“Fruit.” He said.
“Fruit?” She frowned.
“Yeah we were pretty surprised and pretty disappointed. Oddly enough they were the only things intact. No sign of mould or anything, but that must’ve just been the skin because the fruit tasted like shit. They all did, but we were hungry and didn’t question it much. Besides we figured there were more. After that we felt different; weird. It wasn’t until later we found them out.”
“So your’s gave you the ability to use elemental magic?”
“Well yes and no.” He removed his glove showing his hand, which turned into a draconic claw. “The fruit I ate was called the Dragon Dragon fruit, Model: Wind. It gives me the power of a wind dragon, who were not only good at controlling the winds, but apparently pretty good at healing magic too.”
“And Max transforms into a Manticore, right?”
“Yeah.” Storm nodded.
“Hey what about the other guy? Buddy?”
“Well… I don’t quite know… He apparently can turn into a creature, but not one I’ve seen.”
“There are others too. You saw Happy Craft. He has something called the Gift Gift Fruit. He put bombs in his presents. A friend/ cohort of mine, Molly has one too, she uses the Garden Garden fruit. Plants sprout up on her body, making her like a living forest. She should be meeting up with us later.” He brought out some paper. “There’s also others there but no one’s eaten them. We don’t know much about who made them or why.” There’s some notes here but I can’t make sense of them. The only ones I did understand were a list of techniques that helped me learn about the fruit.” He didn't say but he found it fun to call out the names of his attacks as well.
“Hmm… Maybe I can. Hoof them here.” Daring smiled. Storm did so and she read through them.
Entry 12 Welp, that was Yoshi Island. Ah, good time. After those power- ups I was thinking. Maybe I should try something like that again, but more… permanent. Then I realised. There is something like that! The good old Devil Fruits. I combined them with my old Dragon Lacrima research. We’ll see how it goes.
Daring read this and thought. So he went here and put all this into play after the island she was on. These fruits were more advanced, more permanent versions of the power- ups. It was worrying to think that they had stronger versions of her powers but she hadn’t backed down before so why start now? The mare continued to read.
Entry 20 Finally! Did some. I started with the easy ones; Zoan Types. I guess these are technically the Smile fruits since they’re artificial but eh. I converted the lacrimas into the Fruits, which should make the actual process of gaining powers less painful. Paramecia was a little more difficult. I did have to dabble a little in magic to make those happen. Ugh, I don’t like relying on it so much. With how easily things can be solved with magic, I feel like it takes away from the accomplishment of the research. Or maybe I’m just avoiding the simple solution for pride’s sake… I don’t know… Ugh I’ll just keep going with these.
She didn't understand any of this. Lacrimas, paramacias. She most she got from this one was that the fruits were more different more advanced versions of other powers. And that he wasn't fond of magic? But that wouldn't make any sense if the alicorn really was the owner he claimed to be. In this entry, he spoke more like an Earth Pony than an Alicorn. She kept reading.
Entry 25 Well I’ve gotten a good few Zoans and a number of paramecias down. A lot of work but hey, I have a lot of time now. Gotta occupy it. Hell, I even managed to implement some of my scrapped Pokemon research on it. Fun. Gotta thank Pine for the idea. Good to have him around. Combining science with magic can have its benefits, but is mostly trial and error. But hey, that's what a lot of science is like. That gives me an idea, I should get Beardo in on this too!
“Poke… What?” She thought to herself. She felt like storm, not knowing what to make of this. The best she could gather was that he had many other research points like this one and the island. So there could be more instances like this one, where the projects of this crazy alicorn could have gone loose. That being said, it meant that she at least had more to go on, not to mention another name to search for.
She was interrupted from her thoughts as she heard the tapping of paws. She put the notes down and snapped to the mouth of the cave, flaring her wings out. Into the light of the candle, came a diamond dog. Her fur was brown, thick and laced with dirt. She looked more bush than canine in many respects.
“Don’t worry it’s just Molly.” The dog in question went up and punched the minotaur.
“Idiot!” She yelled as Storm stumbled back, rubbing his cheek.
“What was that for?!”
“For not sucking it up and being patient!” She growled before sighing. “Oh Fenrir why…”
“Uh… Do you guys need to solve this?” Daring asked and Molly frowned for a moment, turning to Daring.
“Oh. Sorry, didn’t see you there… I’m guessing you’re roped into this now?”
“Yes and no I guess. I’m choosing to stick around for now. There’s more of those notes in this hideout right?”
“That’s right.” Molly nodded. “Hope you’re ready, because now we have to move fast. Jake has probably already caught wind of what happened.”
Daring nodded. She wasn’t really one for working with others but she at least wanted to press them for information before heading off to the hideout they were talking about. “I’m guessing this Jake guy is their boss or something?”
“Yep.” Molly said.
“Okay, what do I expect from him? Can he do anything?” This earned a light chuckle from the dog.
“Yeah. He’s got a power. It’s kinda funny, at first glance it’s pretty underwhelming but…” She sighed.
Back in the town, the citizens, had very mixed reactions to what had just happened. Some were frantically cleaning up. They didn’t believe this outburst of rebellion would help in the slightest. They believed that, if anything, it would make it worse. So they tried to clean and fix everything in hopes of appeasing their oppressors and minimising and further damage.
Meanwhile, others gather different equipment, kitchen, garden, anything that could pass off as a weapon. They stood on the edge of town, determined to take this opportunity to take back their town.
On the edge of town, a dog stepped out. He was the average size for a dog, not too big or small. His fur was a dull yellow and his ears pointed up. He wore nothing aside from a red sleeveless shirt.
“Hey.” He waved at the ponies and minotaurs who glared at him.
“Leave!” One said.
“You know, I heard something happened whilst I was gone. And three of my good friends haven’t come back yet, so, you know, I got wo-” He fell backwards as a minotaur socked him in the face. “...I got worried.” The citizens all crowded around him and pointed weapons at him.
“Quiet!” An earth pony glared at him. “This is it for you! We’re done with your rule!”
“Nah.” He said plainly. The ponies near his legs fell to the ground, having tripped up. Behind them, was an outstretched hindleg. No, to call it outstretched would be an understatement when it was literally stretched out. The leg snapped back to him and he threw himself up into the air whilst the townsfolk were distracted by their friends falling. He stretched his arms out to them and shot out a barrage of punches, knocking the crowd away into walls. He landed and looked to them with a frown. “So none of you know where my enforcers went? Geez, this is gonna be difficult. Eh, I can just leave it to Ribbon.” He shrugged and left, rubbing his muzzle in annoyance.