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Flash Notion


BEHOLD MY SUPERIOR INTELLIGENCE AND MASTERY OF WRITING! MWAH HA HA HA HA- (ack) (cough) (cough)- urgh, I think I pulled something...

Get Inside My Head- If You Dare

Look over there. Do you see that tiny pin-prick of light, in the distance? That is Equestria Prime. Or, as you might know it, the My Little Pony universe. The one where it all started. The events that happen there are what you might call "canon".

What is this place? This is my domain. I am one of the Writers; we are many, but not equal. We are... well, we are gods, for lack of a better term. We create and define entire universes, using nothing apart from our words. Some universes are small and close to canon. Some are vast, interconnected, and so far from canon they almost become a new canon themselves.

For example, over here is the Blink-verse. It started quite small, but is quickly growing. I'm proud of my contribution, and the horrors I inflicted there.

Of course, you can find out more about those by reading. You want to know about me, something you can't learn from my stories. Oh, where to begin...

I am male, by the standards of mortal beings. Fairly young, too. Casting aside false-modesty, I suppose I am intelligent. I never feel as intelligent as others tell me I am, but there is evidence that I'm smart.

I have some fairly strong opinions about the characters in Equestria Prime. Of the Element Bearers, Rarity is by far my favorite. She possesses creative brilliance and charm nearly matching my own!

Her companion Pinkie Pie, however-

Hiya Flashie!

Oh, um- Hello, Pinkie. H-how are you?

I'm great! Were you maybe about to ask me something? (Eye Flutter)

Hmm, herrr... N-no. Nope! No questions here!

Oh. Okay! I'll see you later then.

Is she gone? Yeah, she's gone. Thank goodness. I uh... I suppose you might say I have a crush on her. What? Like you've never done something similar. (Grumble) Unfortunately, Pinkie can only observe this realm. She can't remain here, nor can I enter Equestria Prime. Even Writers are not omnipotent. If it were in any way possible...

Alas, that's not how the multiverse works.

I think that's enough for now. If you'd like to see or hear more from me, you can find it by activating the following links:
My YouTube Channel
My Facebook Page
My FanFiction.Net Profile

Flash's Library Catalog

I've taken it upon myself to review each and every story saved into my bookshelves- which is 99% of everything I've ever read on this site. Enjoy the entries so far:

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- - - Volume I - - - - - - - - - Volume II - - - - - - - - Volume III - - -

Comments ( 19 )
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2560341
"I ate a window"

"Well, it's because I wanted to look sharp"

2560324
Blinding lights... fill your eyes
I won't think twice

2560280
English dude. English.

2560274
rgjier908gjuasdf98guaer!!!!!

234@#$%^&IKmbc5ui449o

I appreciate the fave on "Can Ya Fix Her?" :twilightsmile:

Thanks for the fav!

2446462 ah, okay. took a look at your story list. :facehoof: to be honest, I hardly ever look at author names unless i'm specifically looking for more stuff by that author.

  • Viewing 10 - 19 of 19
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A Story That Can't Be Published (b/c Site Rules)

So, a while back I found a story by Deadman (TM), in which the Mane 6 and Spike (and the occasional side character) would sit down and watch episodes of the popular YouTube series Death Battle. It was... not the best written story ever, but it was fun, and I like things that are fun. I asked Deadman if I could write a chapter for the story, and he said okay. It even got published!

And then the story got taken down.

It can still be found and read over on DeviantArt- in fact, here's a link: https://fallenx513.deviantart.com/gallery/64782225/Main-six-watches-Death-Battle

But I want folks on this site to be able to read it, and in my original formatting. Firstly, though, I re-wrote his prologue because he once asked for volunteers to do so then did not take me up on it, so here's that:

Within the vast emptiness of space, two beings of great power and infinite wisdom gathered to talk about subjects of such great importance and complexity that we mere mortals could never hope to comprehend.

“This is the stupidest idea ever… of all time,” drawled one of the “grand” beings: a creature that took the appearance of a human-shaped mass of blue energy, wearing a nice, black business suit and giving off an air of boredom. This entity was known as Trepp, the being of tamed mischief; he overlooked the more controlled forms of Chaos and made sure nothing got too out of hand.

“I’m telling you, Trepp, this will be the best way to relieve our boredom yet,” proclaimed a being of fire that was restrained by a straight jacket and chains. This creature was named “DEADMAN!™.” He ruled over insane mischief, and his job consisted of watching over the more random forms of Chaos. His form of Chaos brought the most danger, but also the most change, in whatever world he visited.

……… Yeeeaaah. Anyways, as I was saying, these great beings of mischief and chaos were known throughout the multiverse as the “bumbling duo”. A pair of Chaos gods who went around messing with worlds governed by other gods of Chaos. They were infamous for going world to world, leaving something that didn’t belong, and having it change the world- for better or worse.

“Ya, it’s like the the narrator said! This is our thing!” proclaimed the insane ball of fire, completely shattering the fourth wall.

“Sigh…. I wish you would stop breaking the fourth wall like that,” muttered the bored being of Chaos (HA IRONY!). “You know it angers the beings of order when you ignore the boundaries set by the other gods,” he drawled.

“Oh please! You worry too much,” replied the living inferno, completely brushing his fellow ruler of mischief’s concern aside, and showing that he was dead set on going through with whatever plan he had cooked up. “Besides if they haven't done anything to us before, why would they now?” he questioned.

“Okay, 1: I hope you realize that you just jinxed us big time with that little comment of yours,” Trepp said, while also sending a weak glare at his insane friend. “And 2: what makes this idea any more interesting than the previous ones?” he questioned.

Deadman seem to brighten up both figuratively and quite literally when Trepp asked that one simple question. “You see, my blue friend, the reason why this will be different is because the world we will be watching is home to our good friend Harmony!” cheered Deadman; completely missing Trepp in the background banging his head on a random asteroid in frustration.

After spending a good few seconds pounding the poor asteroid into rubble with his own head, Trepp was able to calm down enough to turn to his fellow chaos god with the best calm look he could muster. Taking a deep breath, Trepp slowly calmed his nerves, knowing he would need every ounce of patience he had for what was to come.

“So. You're telling me that you're planning on messing with the world of one of the oldest gods of Order?” he questioned. “The same goddess that put you in those very chains in the first place?” Some irritation was slowly building up.

“HAHA! I know right!?” laughed the insane deity. “Best payback prank ev-!” But his enjoyment was cut short as he realized the his stoic friend was giving him the most chilling glare he’d ever seen.

“AND YOU THINK IT’S GOOD IDEA TO SEND SOMETHING TO HER WORLD THAT COULD DRIVE IT TO OBLIVION!?” screamed the usually stoic god as he glared daggers at his irresponsible friend. “Do you have any idea what she would do to us if any of her subjects are harmed because of your impulses and attitude!?” ranted Trepp.

“C-calm down, Trepp! You're just overreacting, nothing is going to go wrong!” stammered out Deadman, releasing a nervous chuckle as he noticed his blue companion’s glare didn't leave his face. “Everything will turn out just fine! Right narrator?” he begged as he gave the disembodied voice a pleading look.

Don’t get me involved in this….

“Shit!” hissed the living inferno as he took a quick glance at his upset friend, breaking out in a cold sweat when he noticed his usually stoic friend was still sending him a scathing glare. “Hehehehe…would it make you feel better if I said sorry?” he laughed nervously.

Trepp could only keep his glare up for a few seconds longer before he released a tired sigh and settled with giving his squirming friend an annoyed look.

“Whatever… I’m just glad I nipped this in the bud before anything could happen,” groaned the exhausted deity. But he was quick to notice that the nervous look was still planted on Deadman’s face. “What happened?” he questioned, feeling that he would not like the answer.

“Well…… I might’ve, possibly, more than likely… SentThePackageAlready!!” blurted out the fiery being, hoping his friend didn’t catch what he said. But unfortunately he did- if the sporadic head twitching and the clenching of his hands were any indication. “Hehehe~ oops?” Deadman said sheepishly.

“YOU DID WHAT!? WHERE DID YOU SEND IT!!” Trepp screamed as he quickly rushed towards his friend, planning to strangle him for this colossal mess-up that could end badly for the both of them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Meanwhile in Equestria: location, Castle of Friendship.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“I’m telling you, Twilight, I really think you shouldn't be messing with something that somehow got into the castle,” spoke a nervous purple and green baby dragon. His green eyes looking towards said object as his friend/mother-figure was poking and prodding the strange objects.

“Spike, I told you all ready, it’s just a TV. Just like the ones in the human world,” explained a lavender pony with large purple eyes and a straight Prussian-blue mane and tail, with violet and rose streaks. And to top off the look, she was sporting a horn and a set of wings, officially making her an alicorn- one of the rarest species in the whole world.

“I know what it is, Twilight. I’m just not sure you should be messing with something that shouldn't even be in our world,” said the nervous drake. He kept a safe distance from the 70 inch plasma widescreen TV (WITH NETFLIX!) which was hanging on the wall of the ballroom.

“And that's what I’m trying to figure out,” muttered Twilight as she tried every type of scanning spell to make sure it wasn’t a trap. But every scan ended with it coming out clean. “But from what every spell is telling me.. is that it’s safe!” she exclaimed.

“Well, maybe you could take a look at the box now,” Spike said, as he pointed towards the mentioned box which was set in the corner of the room.

“I was getting to that,” the young alicorn said as she made her way to the lone box, keeping her guard up. “Hm? There's a note taped on it?” she questioned, using her magic to pull the note from the box.

Dear Twilight Sparkle,

You are no doubt wondering about the two items that I have left within your home. Firstly, I would like to put to rest any fears you might have about the objects being some sort of trap. I sent these items to you so you could glimpse into other worlds. Held within this box are a set of DVDs and a DVD player to go with the TV that was also provided for you. The DVDs contain all of the episodes of a show from another world that dedicated itself on answering the most important question ever asked… Who would win in a fight? This show pits some of the greatest warriors against each other to see who would come out on top! But if this doesn't catch your interest and you think this would be a waste of your time, then you are free to put everything up where you found it and both the TV, and the box and it’s contents, will be gone from your castle within an hour. But if you are interested in the concept of seeing warriors from other worlds battling it out and LEARNING about other worlds and their cultures, then please take a seat, and enjoy the show!

From: A friend.

Both residents of the castle stared at the letter before giving each other a confused look. After a few more seconds of silence, it was Spike who spoke up.

“So… what should we do?” questioned the young dragon as he waited for his parental figure to come up with an answer, like she usually did when faced with the sort of abnormal situations that always seemed to find their way to their doorstep.

Said lavender pony just stood there in deep thought, until she looked towards the box and used her magic to remove it’s contents and gently lay them on the floor in front of the TV.

“Spike, could you do me a favor and please get the girls while I set everything up?” asked Twilight as she started connecting the wires in the correct areas, just like the human counterpart of her friend Rainbow Dash showed her, during her second time in the human world.

“So… The others will be watching the show as well?” Spike asked, wondering if it was a good idea to involve more ponies in this strange situation.

“Well if it’s not a trap like the letter says, then I don’t see any reason to not let them in on a rare chance to see something from a whole new world,” replied the Princess of Friendship with a simple shrug. “Besides, I’d rather have our friends here with us in case it is a trap,” she explained further.

The young drake thought Twilight’s words over a few more seconds before giving her a bright smile and running off to complete the task that he was given, leaving an amused Twilight. She couldn't help but smile at her young charge’s enthusiasm. Shaking her head slightly, she decided to get back to her own task, stopping only after she took a quick glance at the title of the DVDS.

DEATH BATTLE?”


Deadman and Trepp were eventually joined in their ethereal plane by a couple other "gods", namely Harmony, who did not take kindly to Deadman's antics, and Alpha, who's kind of like a grizzled veteran.

A few more notes: the ponies use human swears and sexual references, and there are a couple other oddities in the writing that I tried to replicate.
I wrote this before I ever watched the Guts vs Nightmare battle, and I didn't know how bad Beserk was in terms of gore. Keep that in mind.
Deadman established in the story that his version of Sunset Shimmer was Celestia's daughter. Her father was Marvel Comic Book Thor (he came through a portal and turned into a stallion. Considering Loki once turned into a mare and gave birth to the 8-legged horse sleipnir, shipping Thor and Celestia is tame). Also, Thor and Celestia have started dating again recently.
Ever since they watched his episode, Deadpool occasionally breaks the fourth wall to talk to the ponies. It's kinda creepy.
Fluttershy has a plushie of DoomGuy that may or may not be sentient.
Twilight developed a slight crush on Peter Parker. Likewise, Rainbow Dash is obsessed with Sonic the Hedgehog. Twilight has also been trying to build an artificially intelligent pony-bot in her basement, and Spike's been sabotaging her.
Rarity hates Boomstick, due to how crude he is. (Or does she? :trixieshiftright:)

Okay, so now that that's done, we can move onto my chapter, which takes place sometime after the beginning of Season 6 of FiM:

Trepp turned another page of the Douglas Adams novel, trying to ignore what was happening a parsec over. Finally though, he could stand it no longer. He dog-eared his page and slammed the book down on a table of his own making. “Would you two keep it down!”

Harmony looked up and frowned. “What's the problem?”

“I'm trying to understand the secret of life, the universe, and everything, and I can't concentrate over-”

“SOMEBODY FUCKING HELP ME!” Deadman shrieked.

“-Over that.” Trepp raised his equivalent of an eyebrow. “I suppose I have to ask if he's all right.”

Harmony had Deadman strung up between celestial bodies; his head and arms were chained to a couple of quasars while black holes pulled at his feet. A snap of her fingers conjured an acid vat a couple light-years across above him. “He's fine,” she said flippantly.

“I AM NOT FINE YOU BITCH!”

Trepp shrugged. “Okay then. Just put a sock in him or something.” He picked up his book and leaned back again.

“HA! THERE ISN”T A MUZZLE THICK ENOUGH TO-”

Harmony waved her hand, and an asteroid lodged itself in Deadman's open mouth. “Mrrmph!” he tried to yell. “Hmm-hrungh!”

“Hey everypony, what's up!” The cheerful voice made all of the gods wince.

“Oh, yes, this is exactly what this day needed,” Trepp muttered as he turned another page.

“Hey, Deadman! Hey Harmony!” Another, smaller being popped into the ethereal plane. He looked distinctly pony-ish, with purple fur and golden mane and tail. He had a short muzzle, large eyes, and a unicorn horn. He even had hooves. He also had arms with hands, and he stood upright. He wore a full business suit, but it didn't fit him well. The pant legs were far too long, and he was lost inside the huge jacket.

“Forgetting someone, aren't you boy?” Alpha reminded him.

“Oh! Of course not; hello Alpha, sir!” he saluted.

“Flash Notion,” Harmony mused. “Shouldn't you be off torturing an alicorn princess?”

Flash pouted. “Probably. But I was more interested in what you guys were doing. There's been a lot of noise over here lately.”

Deadman tried to scream again, but it came out as a choking cough.

“Ignore him,” Harmony advised.

“Not a problem.” Flash was more than happy to ignore the plight of Deadman. It was what the elder god had taught him, in fact. “So what's going on- aside from the obvious?”

Trepp felt a tingle, and looked up to see all the gods- even Deadman, who was starting to develop a hole in his stomach from the acid- looking at him. “What?”

“Isn't it obvious?” Alpha unsheathed his gigantic sword. And started polishing it. “Tell the kid.”

“Why me?”

“Because your friend,” Harmony ground her teeth, “Is the one responsible for all this. And you're responsible for him.”

“I never agreed to that,” Trepp muttered. “Fine!” He held up his hands before the others could protest. He leaned down to speak with Flash more at the young god's level. “Deadman got the bright idea to send the ponies a gift- a television and every episode of Death Battle on DVD.”

“Death Battle!” Flash's eyes widened with excitement. “I love that show! Can I watch, too?”

“Erm-” Trepp hesitated.

“Let 'im,” Alpha declared. “Might do him some good, see why he should be helping people instead of making their lives miserable, the way you two do.”

“Hey, I help,” Trepp protested. “I add that little bit of spice that keeps them from getting bored out of their minds. The way I am.”

“Mrrrrmph!” Deadman shouted. He seemed to be agreeing with Trepp, though it was hard to tell.

“Whatever. The kid can stay.”

Trepp gave Harmony a pleading look. She simply rolled her eyes. “He might as well. Deadman's going to be busy a while, and none of us are going to do his usual schtick.”

Flash floated up through the void towards Trepp. “What is she they talking about?”

“She's talking about the box,” Trepp muttered. “Every time the ponies watch a battle, they receive presents from Deadman via a box he placed in the world. Occasionally, we have to clarify certain aspects of the characters for them as well. So we toss notes through. Things like that; but since Deadman is otherwise occupied...”

“I'd love to do it!” Flash bounced up and down, even though he was floating. “What battle are they watching next?”

Trepp cast a bored glance down at Equestria. “Iron Man versus Lex Luthor.”

Flash gasped. “Ohmigosh! I love that battle! Oh, thank you thank you thank you!” He bounced around space for a moment, then remembered who all was watching. “Oh, um-” He straightened his suit as best as he could. “Thank you, Alpha,” he said politely. “Thank you, Harmony, Trepp.” They all nodded. “Right!” Flash rubbed his hands together, and a slightly mad gleam entered his eyes. “Let's get started!”



Pinkie was polishing the muscles on her life-size statue of Kratos, while wearing her fake mustache and glancing at the picture of her with White Bomberman and Michelangelo.

“Continuity!” Flash yelled.

Pinkie set down her polishing cloth with a frown. “Something feels... different today,” she mused. Quite suddenly and conveniently, she was distracted by a glowing vibration on her haunches. “Huh! My cutie mark!” The triplicate of balloons floated out the window, and Pinkie started to follow. She hesitated at the last moment, then took off the mustache. “I should leave that here,” she decided. Then she hopped out the top floor of Sugarcube Corner.

Five minutes later Pinkie burst into the Castle of Friendship. “Twilight! My cutie mark-” She stopped when she saw that all of her friends were there, too. “Oooo-oooh. Did you girls get called, too?”

“Indeed,” Rarity said with a sniff. “And I was just about to finish up the stitching on my latest project- I'm a bit behind, I'll admit.”

“No way- you?” Rainbow couldn't help but laugh. “Lemme guess- you're still trying to find a way to make Deadpool's outfit fit your standards?”

Rarity thought of the pile of red and black fabric she had burned yesterday. “I've given up on that, actually. He'll simply have to remain hideous forever.”

“Screw you!” The group winced at the familiar voice. “But I'll have to check my schedule first, we all know I'm quite busy with the ladies. Let's see... my penis has an opening next Thursday?”

Rarity gagged and fanned herself. “How... uncouth.”

“Awww, you know you love me. Mmm-wah!”

She actually felt the air kiss somehow.

“Hey!” Pinkie glared at the air in front of Rarity. “You're not supposed to show up again until Season Four! We're still on Season Two! Get lost.”

“It's actually the end of Season Three that I come back, and it will be awesome. You're supposed to be a party planner, not a party pooper,” Deadpool's disembodied voice muttered. “Whatever. See ya around, Pinkster!” It faded out on the last word.

“Well that was... different,” Twilight observed. “In any case, yes, we've all been summoned by the map.” She rested a hoof on the glowing crystal. “Strange though. Our cutie marks are all hovering... here.”

Fluttershy frowned at the map. “You don't suppose there's a friendship problem with us, do you?”

“That's ridiculous,” Applejack chuckled. “Why, we ain't had any problems in ages! I certainly ain't holdin' nothin' against anypony.”

“That's right!” A new voice emanated from the map.

“Oh, for Celestia's sake,” Twilight muttered. It was getting hard to keep track of all the different disembodied voices they'd encountered.

“There's no friendship problem,” the voice announced. The holograms on the map swirled until they formed into a six-foot tall humanoid pony creature wearing an over-sized business suit. Flash Notion stepped down and smiled at them. “I simply needed you all to get here, and this was the fastest way I could think of.”

Twilight glared at him. “So you used our map- one of the most powerful tools of harmony in the universe, as a pager?

Flash shrugged. “Truly sorry about that. But it will all be worth it, I promise you. My name is Flash Notion, and I'm a friend of Deadman's.”

“NO HE ISN'T!” The voice of the chaos god echoed through the chamber.

“Fine!” Flash rolled his eyes. “But I do know him. And I'm filling in for him this week!”

“Does that mean what I think it means?” Rainbow asked, excited.

“Yep!” Flash snapped his fingers, and suddenly all the ponies were in Twilight's living room. “It's time for a Death Battle!

“Um... couldn't you have just done that to get us here?” Fluttershy asked.

Flash waved her question aside. “You're in for a real treat today. My personal favorite battle. Here's some snacks-” He snapped his fingers, and a buffet of popcorn, ice cream, and cakes appeared. Pinkie's tongue fell out of her mouth. “Some mood lighting-” Another snap, and the curtains drew over the windows; in the room, strips of LEDs along the floor glowed first green, then red and gold, then green again, and so on. “And finally, some comfort.” Flash gave a final snap, and the ponies were joined by their favorite Death Battle-based possessions.

Fluttershy clutched her Doomie close to her chest and sighed. “Yay,” she smiled.

Pinkie stroked her mustache. “So that's why I left that at home...”

Rarity admired the way she looked in her Zelda dress; it was accessorized perfectly with Cloud's ribbon.

Twilight smiled at the webshooter on her foreleg. “Ooh, I almost forgot about this. Note to self: try out that duplication spell later.”

Rainbow set down the autographed picture of herself and Sonic. She then positioned herself between it and her friends, though they had all seen it.

Only Applejack was left without a significant piece of loot. She looked around and raised an eyebrow. “Ah don't want to sound selfish, but where's mah stuff? Ah know ah brought home plenty from that there box.”

Flash looked just as surprised. “Hmm. I suppose you simply haven't yet taken home anything of true personal value. Not like Rainbow with her inter-species romance, or Fluttershy with her stuffed guardian.”

“Ah guess,” Applejack looked downcast.

“Cheer up,” Flash assured her. “I imagine it's simply a matter of time.” He glanced at his bare wrist. “Speaking of, it's time to start the battle. Happy watching!”

Flash faded out of sight as the familiar drums and guitar came through the television speakers. The ponies perked up at seeing the words, DEATH BATTLE.

“Technology,” Wiz lectured. “It improves our lives, lets you watch cool shows on the internet- and sometimes, it can help you to rival gods.”

The ponies collectively oohed and awed as they watched the metal-suited humans move onscreen. “Spike will not be happy with me,” Twilight predicted, levitating a notebook and quill.

“Like with Iron Man, the Armored Avenger,” Boomstick proclaimed.

“And Lex Luthor, arch-nemesis of Superman.”

“WHAT!” They all shouted.

“No way,” Rainbow declared. “Superman's arch-nemesis is a guy in a suit? That is soooo lame!”

“I dunno, sugarcube.” Applejack scratched at her chin. “Seems like if an Earth Pony got all suited up and fought Princess Celestia. You'd have to admire 'em, no matter how bad they were.”

“He does seem awfully brave,” Fluttershy put out.

“Shh!” Twilight hushed them. “I don't want to miss any details.”

“-S our job to analyze their weapons, armor, and skills to find out who would win a Death Battle,” Wiz was just finishing up. As he did, the screen showed the usual fight preview.

“Whoo! Three dimensions!” Pinkie cheered.

“My word,” Rarity pointed. “Is that a Gundam?”

“Huh.” The others nodded. “Weird.”

The logo slammed shut, indicating it was time for the first combatant's run-through. Instantly, hard guitar riffs ripped through the air. Rainbow Dash headbanged righteously.

“Aw yeah!” she cried. “This guy's gonna be cool.”

“There are the talented,” Wiz said. “There are the prodigies...” Onscreen, armor plating unfolded over a muscle-bound man. “And then, there's Anthony Edward Stark.” The man, sporting a rather awesome beard and mustache, donned the helmet of his suit.

“Please,” Boomstick jumped in. “He prefers Tony.”

“Howard and Maria Stark ruled a nine billion dollar military tech empire. They could have anything they ever wanted... Except a child.”

“Awww,” the girls looked at their hooves.

“Oh, that would just be awful,” Fluttershy sniffed. “I mean, to want a foal, but never be able to have one? Can you think of anything sadder?”

“Then Howard met- an ALIEN who decided to build a baby for them!” Boomstick sounded incredulous.

“WHAT!” Pinkie agreed.

“Fearing humanity would perish to more advanced alien races, this child was genetically engineered to lead the world to a new tech age- buuuuut that was Arno Stark. We don't speak of him.” Wiz quickly moved on. “When Howard and Maria were dissapointed with what they created, they adopted Tony instead.”

“Yep,” Boomstick was amused. “That's the 'secret origin' of Tony Stark. Didn't see that comin', did ya?”

The ponies couldn't help but laughing at the comic page. The dull look on Tony's face perfectly summed up their own feelings about his origin story.

“Despite not being the alien-engineered child of prodigy, Tony's gifted intelligence and world-changing destiny were obvious at an early age.” Twilight listened to Wiz with one ear while writing down everything onscreen. These battles sure were educational!

Real name: Anthony Edward Stark
Aliases: Armored Avenger, Shellhead, Master of Machines
Height: 6'1'' | 185 cm
Weight: 225 lbs | 102 kg
Estimated net worth: $9.3 billion
Owner of Area 51
Claims to have beaten Mr. Fantastic in chess twice

”He graduated from MIT with top honors- and a physics and engineering double major- when he was just 19 years old.” Twilight whistled as Wiz wrapped up Tony's education. Having been to a human world, she understood just how impressive the feat was. Sure, there were humans who graduated faster, but they didn't usually have double majors and achieve the highest possible position in their class.

“But since this is a superhero origin, it wasn't long before tragedy struck.” In spite of how insensitive Boomstick was, Rainbow couldn't help but gloat over her accuracy.

“See! It's like I said: the hero's parents always die. It's ridiculous.”

“We don't know that they're dead,” Rarity tried to say.

At the same time, Boomstick continued: “And by 'struck', I mean a car crash, and by 'tragedy' I mean his parents... so all of a sudden, Tony was an orphan.”

“Dammit, Boomstick!”

“But on the bright side, it also made him the sole heir of Stark Industries. Nice.”

“Ah'm pretty sure a mountain o' bits ain't gonna make up fer dead parents,” Applejack grunted.

The others exchanged meaningful glances.

“What?” she asked.

“Oh, nothing,” Twilight motioned for them all to turn back to the TV.

“With the entire family fortune at his fingertips, Tony pursued a life of reckless indulgence and mechanical tinkering.”

“Oh my,” Rarity blushed at the sight of Tony and a woman passionately kissing. Twilight glanced up and saw him taking apart an engine, and she blushed as well.

“War was his income,” Wiz continued, “And he enjoyed every bit of it- until the day his eyes were opened.”

“Yeah, opened with a shrapnel-filled irony bomb!”

They winced when they saw the missile bearing Tony's name land right beside him. “Move!” Rainbow yelled.

The bomb exploded just as Tony got to his feet, and he collapsed against the sand, blood oozing out of his chest.

“Too late,” Fluttershy winced, holding up her Doomie.

“Held captive by terrorists in Afghanistan, Tony learned the bomb left shrapnel in his heart; which would kill him in a week,” Wiz explained. Twilight winced in sympathy, remembering how many times her own projects had blown up in her face.

Rarity also winced, but at the terrible grammar of the comic book. “Really, now,” she muttered. “What were those writers thinking?”

“That's RACIST!” Pinkie yelled, almost incoherently.

“I thought that was a dead meme?”

“Eh- not yet.”

Wiz continued: “The terrorists gave Tony an ultimatum: construct weapons for them and receive treatment... or be left to die.”

“But being Tony Stark, he chose door number three.” Twilight felt a chill run down her spine as she watched Tony hammering at a piece of metal. She sensed that what happened today would be vital to her work, somehow. And... something else, too. “He built a space age pacemaker to save his own life. And then built a mech-suit around it and murdered his way to freedom!” Boomstick laughed. “This taught Stark one of life's most important lessons: heroes aren't born.” Tony slammed the metal mask down on a table, and Twilight felt the same chill. “They're built. A lesson which also made for a pretty sweet tag-line.”

“Wow!” Rainbow gaped at the alicorn princess. “Twilight?”

Twilight looked around, not understanding. “What? What's wrong?”

Rainbow giggled, then burst out laughing. “Ha ha- I should've known! Super-genius and super-awesome! He's just your type.”

“Huh?”

“Er- darling?” Rarity pointed, seeming quite embarrassed. Her cheeks were as red as Twilight had ever seen.

Twilight followed Rarity's hoof to her own body. To her wings, which were pointed straight up at the ceiling. “Oh. Wait- no!” Twilight protested. “No way- it was the suit, that's all! Look, it's amazing!” She pointed at the screen, which showed Tony walk out of a cave encased in a heavy-looking sheath of armor.

“My turn,” he hissed, and then cut loose with a pair of flamethrowers, blowing the entire terrorist compound to smithereens. Out of the fireball flew the man in the suit, seeming to ride the explosion; heavy guitar riffs accompanied his daring escape.

“That was pretty cool,” Rainbow admitted. “But I don't buy it.”

“You two do have a lot in common,” Rarity needled.

Twilight turned red as a cherry tomato. “Whatever,” she muttered. “Let's just watch the episode, please?”

“But Tony's heart was changed in more ways than one that day. Upon returning to America, he nullified all weapons development at Stark Industries, and dedicated his life to saving the world.” Wiz paused. “In his own way.”

“Yeah, we're not talking, like, just donating to charity, and being kind to your neighbor- Tony became a one-man army of justice. And began creating a new and improved armored suit that the public would eventually dub... Iron Man. The girls clapped appreciatively. Twilight realized she was staring just a bit too hard as Tony hammered away at his giant anvil. Shirtless. She shook her head and tried to pay attention to what Boomstick was saying. “And then he made another one. And another one. And another... another... and then he made like a shitload more!”

“What the- how many of them suits could he need?” Applejack wondered.

“The Iron Man suits are numerous,” Wiz answered, “But they typically come with a common base-set of tools.” Another list came onscreen, and Twilight quickly began jotting it down. “Generally composed of a gold-titanium alloy, his standard suits have the strength to lift up to 100 tons; fly at supersonic speeds; and come with an on-board intelligence system called JARVIS- which controls his weaponry, and can summon other suits at his beck and call.”

Composed of a gold-titanium alloy
Adds 5 inches to Tony's height, yet only weighs 25 lbs
Capable of high-speed flight, super strength, and enhanced durability
Standard Weaponry
Repulsor Rays
Smart Missiles
Anti-tank Missiles
Unibeam

“Unibeam?” Rainbow read. “What's that?”

“I'm sure they'll explain if it's important,” Twilight assessed.

Pinkie giggled. “You'll like it...” she sang.

“And for good measure, these babies come loaded head-to-toe with weaponry. I'm talkin' shoulder mounted darts, anti-tank missiles, an EMP, and the Iron Man staple: Laser beams!” Boomstick cheerfully listed. He sounded like a filly in a candy store.

“I don't think those are lasers,” Twilight pointed out. “A laser is composed of photons, light particles. I doubt one could be powerful enough destroy asteroids.”

“But what about when you do magic?” Pinkie pointed out.

“That's magic, that's different. The beams are caused by the energies interacting with the particles in the air. Like a neon sign.”

“Ooooh. That's neat!”

“So what are those- those weapons?” Fluttershy asked. She swallowed, not liking talking about this part.

“These 'repulsor blasts',” Wiz explained, “Draw power directly from the reactor in Tony's chest- or chest piece, depending on the time period- to fire high-mass, negatively charged muons as a concussive energy attack.”

“Well holy crap,” Twilight's eyes widened.

“What?”

“They actually have a semi-plausible scientific explanation for something!” She flipped back through her notepad. “Has this ever happened before?”

The other ponies laughed and went back to watching the show.

“Most commonly, these are fired from the palms of his suit,” Wiz finished.

“But if the situation calls for a bit more firepower, he can blast an even larger beam directly from his chest piece. UNI-BEAM!” Iron Man crossed his arms over his chest, then ripped them apart, pushing out a beam of power wider than his whole body.

“Whoa.” Rainbow's jaw dropped a couple inches, along with the rest of her body as she forgot to flap. “That was... that was...”

“Super-duper-omega-awesomely cool?” Pinkie asked.

Rainbow paused. “What you said.”

“All these features come standard in his most often used suit, Model 13: The Modular Armor.”

“This armor specializes in adaptability, allowing Tony to swap out it's individual pieces for ones suited to the mission at hand. Oh, and it also has an extra casing known as Iron Man Armor Model 14. But you can just call it...Hulkbuster.”

The music dropped and the ponies gasped as they saw the enormous secondary armor, which seemed to ooze power.

Wiz seemed just as impressed. “As the name implies, this upgrade was built to contend with one of the universe's strongest beings. With the combination of magnetic and hydraulic technology- in addition to the strength of the modular armor- the Hulkbuster can deliver far more powerful punches and hold its ground against The Incredible Hulk. Who is strong enough to lift a 150 billion ton mountain.”

Fear crept into the hearts of the six little ponies as they stared at the green giant, who was nearly as big as the armor Tony had built. They watched as it held up under the advanced assault and shuddered.

“Land's sakes,” Applejack murmured. “Could y'all imagine somethin' like that getting' loose in Equestria? Ain't no pony strong enough to stand against that.”

“Maybe the Elements of Harmony could stop it?” Fluttershy suggested.

“Or our Rainbow Power?” Rarity put in.

“I'm not sure,” Twilight admitted. “Actually, there's a lot of characters in this show that I'm not sure we could beat.”

“D'you think this Hulk feller will ever be on the show?”

“I hope not,” Rarity sniffed. “That shade of green his skin turns is simply... eurgh!” She shuddered. “No, no, that simply will not do!”

Boomstick's voice drew them back to the program. “But his most advanced armor yet comes in the form of his Endo-Sym armor. Part metal, part... scary space-alien-parasite, Tony can summon it telepathically; use it to imprison his foes; and even suck up electromagnetic fields. Mmm...electricity.

Wiz took over again. “It can take hits from Storm's lighting, and shoot repulsor beams so powerful, they can injure meta-humans who are normally able to absorb energy.”

“Although Tony is a mere man who finds himself fighting with and against unimaginably powerful beings, he has proven time and time again that technology can compete with the world's greatest superheroes.”

“He can survive blows from Thor's hammer, hold his own against Captain America, and move faster than a an Extremis-enhanced superhuman's eye can track.”

Twilight absorbed this information even as she wrote down the third list.

Downed She-Hulk with one punch
Can hold his own against Captain America in hand-to-hand
Can achieve warp speed flight
Tanks hits from Mjolnir
Strong enough to bend metal girders with his suit's hands
Lifts up cars with one hand
First human to possess the reality-warping Infinity Gauntlet

“Wait,” she realized, “He can stand up to Thor's hammer? The only other thing we've seen that can do that is Captain America's shield!”

“And he can fight Captain America!” Applejack pointed out. “Whoo-doggy, I wonder how'd he'd do against that Batman feller.”

“Not to mention,” Boomstick decided to add, “His suit can actually learn and predict its opponents' next move. And withstand the fury of several nuclear bombs! Do not underestimate the Golden Avenger.”

“That being said,” Wiz pointed out, “For all their power, the Iron Man suits are hardly flawless.”

The ponies chuckled as they saw one of the suits bouncing off the walls and ceiling, unable to fly straight.

“They've been known to malfunction in... life threatening ways,” Boomstick said, and they stopped laughing. “And consume too much power too quickly, leaving Tony helpless.”

Twilight winced. “That could prove unfortunate in the middle of a battle, like this one.”

“Tony frequently pushes his suit and his body to their absolute limits... and past them. And his reckless, head-first mentality is responsible for landing him in trouble just as much as it is for getting him out of it. This has led to him setting off a civil war between superheroes, and pissing off the all-powerful Phoenix Force into killing Charles Xavier.”

“What? Charles? But he's the Iron Man,” Boomstick whined.

Wiz wasn't finished. And he once built a device capable of releasing twenty thousand megatons of atomic energy. That's three times more than all of the Earth's known nuclear weapons combined,” he added. Twilight heard this and paled.

“And then he just blasted it straight into the ground!” Boomstick cheered. “All because he wanted to see what was at the Earth's core.”

“I'm certain there's a better way to do that,” Rarity winced. “Though I'm also certain you would do the same, Boomstick,” she muttered.

“It... didn't work out,” Wiz clarified. “But Tony's most diabolical nemesis isn't the Mandarin, or even Ultron. It's his lifelong battle with alcoholism.”

“Say what now,” Applejack said flatly. “What's wrong with downin' a glass o' cider once in a while?”

“Absolutely nothing!” Pinkie agreed. Rainbow nodded.

“Girls!” Rarity interjected. “This is a serious issue- a glass of cider is one thing. But imagine never being able to put the glass down. Imagine how it would effect your family, your loved ones!”

“You speakin' from experience, Rare?”

The unicorn sniffed. “I'd... rather not talk about it any more.”

There came the sound of a can pop-top from the speakers. “Did you say something?” Boomstick asked.

“Oh, that is it!” Rarity shrieked. “You no-good, low-down, dirty-” She launched into a tirade of curses at Boomstick that made even Applejack flinch, and made all the others glad Spike and the CMC weren't there.

Onscreen, Tony faced a tank in his Iron Man Armor. The tank launched a shell at him, but Tony merely twisted out of the way. Then he launched a missile of his own- a relatively small one. It impacted the tank with no noticeable damage, and Tony began to walk away. Then the tank exploded.

“I know who I'm voting for!” Rainbow cheered. She couldn't imagine someone more awesome than the Iron Man.

“Now hold on sugarcube,” Applejack nudged her. “Let's see the competition, first.”

The Death Battle logo slammed shut on Iron Man, then opened on... Superman? The ponies' confusion was not eased by the first few lines of narration.

“Superman,” Wiz began, “Is among the most powerful characters in all of fiction. He can destroy planets, withstand supernovas, and fly faster than light itself.”

“What kind of person could possibly be the arch-nemesis to someone like him?” They all breathed out, remembering now that this fighter was Superman's enemy. Though they had to agree with Boomstick in his assessment. The redneck continued, “You'd have to be like, a god made of magic Kryptonite-”

“WRONG!” Lex screamed in the face of a terrified woman.

“Ha!” Pinkie chuckled. “Memes.”

“Nope,” Wiz agreed. “Just a mortal man with a passion for business, swindling, and green trench-coats: Lex Luthor.”

“G-green?” Rarity didn't even have time to summon her fainting couch before she collapsed. Fluttershy absently patted her friend's shoulder, but kept watching.

“Alexander Joseph Luthor began his rise to the top- from the very bottom. As a child he lived in a run down section of Metropolis called the 'Suicide Slum'.” Wiz faltered. “Yes, it was that bad. Under abusive parents it was only by sheer willpower that Lex moved on to a better life.”

While the others made sympathetic noises over Lex's unfortunate family situation, Twilight focused on writing down his stats.

Full name: Alexander Joseph Luthor
Height: 6'2'' | 188 cm
Weight: 210 lbs | 95 kg
IQ: Immeasurable

Twilight frowned at that impossibility, but kept writing.

Reason for baldness: classified
Former President of the United States
Once acted as his own son via brain transplant to a new body

Twilight once again considered the possibility of brain-transfers to further her research, and once again dismissed it. She wasn't that desperate. Yet.

Boomstick didn't care about Twilight's mental battle or her friends' sympathy for young Lex. “Yeah,” he laughed, “Willpower and some good old fashion Social Darwinism. His parents died in a car crash when their car's brakes failed, leaving Lex alone. Don't feel bad for a second! He used their life insurance money to get out of the ghetto and start his own company. And he's the one who rigged their brakes!”

Fluttershy gasped. “He- he killed his own parents?

“That ain't right,” Applejack muttered. She looked unsettled.

Wiz sounded it, too. “Though founded through some... legally questionable means, the infamous LexCorp successfully spread it's influence throughout all of Metropolis. In time Lex came to practically run the city itself. Taking ownership of nearly every media outlet, Luthor's positive public image went practically unopposed.”

“I bet that's how Nightmare Moon stayed in power in her timeline,” Twilight realized.

“But everything changed when the Man of Tomorrow showed up.”

“In Lex's eyes, Superman was a massive issue for mankind,” Wiz said, sounding very understanding. “If humans no longer had to solve problems themselves, they would surely become a weaker race, completely dependent upon this otherworldly savior.”

“So Lex began his crusade to remove him from the equation.” Even Boomstick couldn't muster up much contempt- until he continued: “And then promptly insert himself as the ruler of humanity.”

They all rolled their eyes. Of course Lex wouldn't be an actually decent guy.

“Lex is a cunning strategist and mechanical genius, who prefers to place his opponents in un-winnable situations,” Wiz lectured. “However, if physical strength is required, he dons the mighty Warsuit.”

They watched as a fully-suited Lex dropped to the ground, ready to fight. “Must I remind you of my superiority?” he asked.

“The Warsuit is a powerful battle armor created by Superman's other arch-nemesis, the alien god known as Darkseid. And it's been further enhanced by Luthor's own designs.”

“Forged in the fiery pits of Apokolips, Lex's Warsuit is no ordinary piece of machinery.” Applejack gasped and Fluttershy covered her eyes as Lex picked up Wonder Woman by her hair. “Despite it's... less than sleek appearance-”

Rarity woke up just long enough to see Lex's junk-pile of a suit and fainted again.

Boomstick continued: “It comes equipped with force fields; gauntlet blades; a giant Kryptonite ax; and energy blasts powered by Kryptonite generators.”

“A lot of his weapons are powered by Kryptonite,” Twilight noted as she wrote down the suit's capabilities.

Culmination of technology from Lex, Darkseid, and Brainiac
Superhuman strength & durability
Flight
Force fields can negate heat vision
Flamethrowers
Energy blade
Energy blasts
Includes four different Kryptonite energy-generators in each of the suit's fingers

“He is usin' it to fight a Kryptonian,” Applejack pointed out.

“Yeah, but that means it doesn't have any special abilities against anyone who isn't a Kryptonian,” Pinkie replied. They all stared at her. “What?”

“It can also fly,” Wiz announced, bringing them back to the rundown. “And has enough strength and durability to go up against Superman himself.”

“Despite how capable the Warsuit is, you may feel it has an obvious weak spot. The giant hole where his head is! But ol' cue-ball's chrome dome is actually protected by an invisible force field.” They could all picture Boomstick rolling his eyes at the ridiculous idea. “He just wants his opponents to know exactly who's beatin' the shit out of 'em.”

Lex turned towards the screen. “Hello, sunshine!” he said, then grinned evilly. Twilight shivered.

“Lex's weaponry goes beyond an alien metal suit,” Wiz continued. “In addition to his brilliant strategic mind, he has also surrounded the Earth with dozens of satellites bearing his name.”

“Their purpose?” Boomstick asked. “A gigantic game of space laser hot potato!”

They watched what appeared to be a scene from a video game in which Lex somehow caught the laser beam, forming it into a ball over his head. Rainbow scoffed. “He totally just ripped off the spirit bomb-thing from Goku,” she said. Lex hurled the energy ball at his opponent, a creepy looking clown, and it caused an explosion that could be seen from orbit. In spite of that, the clown got back up again. This got a chuckle out of the ponies about the unrealistic nature of video games.

“Being a genius multi-billionaire, it's no surprise Lex's accomplishments match the expectations.” For a moment, Wiz lost his jaunty tone and actually sounded disturbed. “He's equaled Deathstroke in combat, stabbed Supergirl, snapped Brainiac's neck, and defeated Power Girl in a single stroke.”

Rarity came around just as Boomstick said, “You can't blame 'im. I don't think anyone could handle more than a single stroke with Power Girl-”

“Oh, for the love of-”

“However,” Wiz interjected, much to Rarity's relief, “Lex is not solely dependent on his Warsuit. He sometimes subjects himself to a Kryptonite steroid, which has made him much stronger than an ordinary human. Capable of surviving wounds nobody reasonably should.”

The grotesque injection and rippling body-horror made all the ponies flinch. “So not worth it,” Rainbow gagged.

“Yeah,” Boomstick said, sounding like he was about to crack up, “Like the time when a giant gorilla shot him in the chest with a sniper rifle, knocking him out of a helicopter, off the edge of a cliff, and landing headfirst in a canyon. He was up and banging his robot chick in like a day! Oh, yeah,” Boomstick backed up, “He built a robot version of Lois Lane for... you know, sex and murder.”

“Because Lex always wants what he cannot have,” Wiz explained.

“I give up,” Rarity sighed. “All males are pigs!”

“Not all of them,” Twilight said gently. Perhaps she could finally tell Rarity about- Pinkie turned her head a full one-eighty to glare at Twilight. “Eep! I mean- there has to be an exception, right?”

Rarity sighed. “Please dear, if you find him, let me know.”

Wiz continued: “And his know-how with robotics goes past insane and into absurd. While confined to a prison cell, he built a talking, flying robot... that reads Moby Dick at such a high frequency... it carved out an escape route through the floor itself. Including perfectly shaped stairs.”

Twilight's eye twitched. “That isn't just absurd, it's physically impossible! At least, with the design they're showing...” She immediately began thinking up a design which could do it.

“But most diabolical of all,” Boomstick declared, “When no one was looking Lex Luthor took forty cakes. He took 40 cakes Wiz! That's as many as four tens. And that's terrible.”

The ponies couldn't hep but laugh at the ridiculous children's book being shown. Especially since Boomstick had quoted it word-for-word.

”Strange thing is, that's... actually... officially... canon,” Wiz sighed out in exasperation. There was even a comic panel to prove it.

“Bastard!” Boomstick swore. Then he got back to business. “Luthor's hatred of Superman and drive to win are stronger than any machine he can create. Take- for example- the time Superman threw a satellite at Lexcorp tower, bringing the building down on top of poor ol' Lex. This left the guy with half his face ripped off, all four limbs blasted away, and he was impaled in five different places.”

“Oh... my... Celestia,” Twilight whispered. She had never seen injuries so horrific, not even in the previous Death Battles. Usually, the combatants or their victims died, right away. They didn't have to suffer through the pain. Off to the side, Fluttershy actually flew into the bathroom, where the sound of vomiting could be heard. Rainbow glanced around.

“I'm... gonna go help Fluttershy,” the pegasus said nervously. Then she was gone, too.

Boomstick wasn't finished though. “Even like that, he still refused Superman's help. Wiz, if that ever happens to me, do me a solid and...kill yourself in front of me so my dream of outliving you is complete.”

Rarity would've been angry about Boomstick ruining such a potentially heartwarming moment, except for the images of Lex undergoing surgery kept her distracted. It was simply awful to look at. She glanced over, noticed the absence of the pegasi, and saw that Pinkie in particular looked upset. The party pony's mane was beginning to flatten. Rarity eased sideways and placed a hoof around Pinkie's neck. She smiled gratefully.

“Never gonna happen,” Wiz informed his friend, before continuing with the narrative. “But it's also that same cocky independence that serves as Lex's greatest downfall. When he merged with the Zone Child-”

“Whoa!” Boomstick reeled.

“I-it's not what you think,” Wiz said quickly. “He gained, and I quote, 'infinite power'.”

“And a secure spot on somebody's watch list.”

“Oh, Boomstick,” Rarity sniffed. “I hate you, so, so much.”

“The only catch was, he could not use his power to harm others. But because all he wanted to do was kill Superman, he... tried it anyway.”

“So Superman just straight up punched the god out of him,” Boomstick laughed.

“Well, that's hardly accurate...”

“C'mon. How else would you describe that?

Wiz hesitated. “Fair enough,” he decided. “Even so, when the Earth is threatened, you can count on Lex Luthor to look his enemies in the eye and fight for his people.” Wiz paused. “And then exploit the hell out of them afterward.”

Onscreen, Lex walked into a pit and up to a purple- thing. “You know what happens when you take on Lex Luthor?” he asked. He brought up a pistol and emptied the clip into the poor creature. When it was empty, he threw the gun at it and began kicking it mercilessly. “The same thing... that's going to happen... to Superman!” Lex continued to beat and kick the creature, now long past the point of overkill. The ponies were quite thankful when the logo slammed shut.

“All right, the combatants are set. Let's end this debate once and for all!”

“But first, we don't want you to have horrible, earth-shattering regret by missing the best party in gaming. So we're gonna tell you about it!”

Twilight muted the TV while the advertisement played. “Well,” she said, slightly faint. “That was... something.”

“Is it over?” Fluttershy called from the bathroom.

“Come on out, girls,” Applejack called.

Rainbow and Fluttershy came out slowly. “I um, I'm going to vote for Iron Man,” Fluttershy said.

“Yeah,” Rainbow agreed. “Me, too.”

Twilight sighed. “Me as well. And not for the reasons you think!” she snapped at Rainbow.

“Sure...” the pegasus giggled. “Oh man, finally! I get to tease somepony else for a change!”

“Ugh,” Twilight groaned. “Okay, is there anypony who wants to vote for the bad guy? Speak now, or forever hold your peace.”

Slowly, hesitantly, Applejack raised a hoof.

They all stared at her.

“Ah'm sorry, ah'm sorry!” she said. “But ah just gotta. Ah know he's a horrible person, but he's got a point about Superman. Ah mean, it'd be like if Princess Celestia went around solvin' everypony's problems herself, stickin' her muzzle where it don't belong.”

“But isn't that what we do?” Fluttershy pointed out.

“No!” Applejack shook her head. “We help them solve their own problems. We don't solve the problems for 'em! Why, if Celestia did what Superman did, she'd be one step away from bein' a tyrant bad as Sombra or Chrysalis.”

“It's all right, Applejack,” Twilight said. “We might not understand, but we can respect your choice. It's just a show, after all.”

“Yeah,” Rainbow nudged her. “It's not like this show'll change the fate of Equestria or anything.”



In her bed chamber in Canterlot, Princess Celestia nuzzled her godly colt-friend. “I've missed you,” she whispered.

“Sooth,” he said. “I am most grateful for the contest which hast brought us together again.”

“I just wish we could all be together,” Celestia sighed. “We should talk to Sunset.”

The stallion shrugged. “In good time. I think thou should perhaps focus on thy kingdom first. Would it not be prudent to take a more active role in affairs?”

“I'll take an active role in our affair,” she teased.

“Oh ho!” he laughed. “I accept thy challenge. But I was serious,” he motioned towards the window with one hoof. “Thou art a natural leader; thou should be amongst the people of thy land, leading them in glorious interaction with the other nations.”

Celestia pinned him down. “We're going to interact first,” she breathed into his ear. “Then we can talk about other nations...”



“Okay,” Twilight said back in her castle. “So it's five of us for Iron Man, Applejack for Lex?”

They all nodded.

“Right then. Let's see how it turns out.” She un-muted the Battle just as it started.

The warehouse was large, but quite full. Military vehicles and other, stranger things were packed so tight there was barely enough room for the security guards to patrol. That made it easy for a stealthy individual to slip inside.

He waited for the guard to walk past, hearing the man's radio squawk. “Colonel Rhodes copies all,” it said.

The target was at the center of the building, with an extra guard: a large crate labeled 'Stark Industries'. With only one aisle left to go, his confidence and impatience won out. Lex Luthor stepped behind the first guard and took him out with a taser gun.

The second guard heard the noise of the discharge and turned around, bringing his rifle to bear. He got off a few shots, but Lex's personal force field deflected them easily. He took the second guard out as well, and the screen cut to black.

They all winced, and a collective “Ooooh” escaped the ponies.

The screen faded in on Tony Stark's workshop, where he was working on yet another suit of armor. While also listening to the theme song from one of his many TV series. His hubris did not go unnoticed.

“If I had my own theme song, I'd totally listen to it,” Rainbow bragged. “On repeat.”

However, Tony wasn't left alone for very long. There was a beep, and a computerized voice spoke. “Sir, we have a visitor,” JARVIS said. The alarm went off a moment later, and the monitors around the workshop displayed Lex's face. Tony stood up, then looked over at a glass case. Inside was a greenish-colored crystal.

“Kryptonite?” Pinkie asked.

“Dunno,” Twilight admitted.

Back in the warehouse, Lex reached his target and got to one knee. “All clear,” he muttered. He opened the case, revealing-

“Are those the Dragonballs!” Applejack exclaimed. “How in the hay does Iron Man have the Dragonballs?

Nopony could think of a satisfying answer for that.

But Lex ignored the balls, as well as a large key-shaped relic, in favor of a crystal stuffed into the side of the crate. “What a joke,” he laughed, though they weren't sure what he was referring to. Lex stood up, taking the crystal.

At that moment Iron Man flew into the warehouse, his entrance accompanied by a long, vibrating guitar. “Hands off, Baldy!” Tony declared. He strutted forward. “What's that you got there?” Lex turned around, crystal in hand. “Oh yeah!” Tony fired off a repulsor blast, obliterating the crystal. “It's mine. I'll send you the bill.”

Lex pulled out a remote control, and his Warsuit dropped from... somewhere. As he got into it, JARVIS felt the need to speak up. “Actually, sir,” he said, “I should probably remind you: the contents of this warehouse belong to Miss Potts.”

“Pepper?” Tony winced.

“I'll forward the estimated damages fee to her account.”

“Great. Be discreet about it.”

“One of us has to be.”

Lex laughed giddily, then launched himself through the air a few feet. He came down opposite Tony in the center of the warehouse. His shield flared to life. “Remember my face, Stark,” he said. “It'll be the last thing you ever see.”

FIGHT!

The music picked up, and the two armored men launched themselves at one another, meeting in the middle with energy already building around their fists. Lex's energy increased faster, shoving Tony back several meters.

“So... Awesome!” Rainbow squeed. The others couldn't help agreeing.

Tony fired repulsor blast after repulsor blast, but Lex's shield absorbed them all. He switched tactics and activated the missile packs built into his shoulder blades.

The dozens of miniature warheads spiraled outward, turning the floor around Lex into a raging conflagration. But the man himself was unaffected; he blocked any rocket that came near with an energy projection from one arm. Many of the missiles, however, did not come near him. They flew out into the rest of the warehouse and detonated against the stored items. Many cars turned into flaming wrecks.

“His system's are confusing my targeting,” JARVIS admitted. “Also, adding two million to your charges.”

The ponies laughed at the AI's snark.

“Not now, JARVIS,” Tony snapped. “What do we got here?” He flew up and forwards, slamming a fist into Lex's armor. But he simply bounced backward several feet.

“I'm having trouble determining the suit's alloy. Alien, perhaps.”

Tony tried again, rushing forward at ground level and slamming his fist into the plating between Lex's legs.

Twilight winced, recalling a time she accidentally kneed human Flash Sentry in the same spot while they were dancing.

But the blow had no effect on Lex. Angry now, Tony began punching Lex's torso repeatedly. All the while, his foe simply stood there and laughed.

“My suit... is invincible!”

Tony launched himself into the air and brought both repulsors down to Lex's face. “How 'bout this part?” he said. Tony let off both blasts, the explosion filling the area with smoke.

“Nope,” Applejack said, “It's just as tough as the rest of 'im!”

Before the smoke even cleared, Lex reached out and grabbed Tony's leg. He swung the Iron Man into the ground once, twice. Then he hauled Tony up and crushed the shin of his armor with one hand. “And I thought you were smart,” Lex shook his head.

“Hey, you're the one who looks like a giant rusty trash can with legs,” Tony quipped. “No judging!”

Lex snarled and smashed Stark into the ground again, then turned and hurled him into the leg of the Gundam robot. Broken conductors in the robot created feedback, and the leg exploded; the rest of the robot collapsed, taking out a row of artifacts.

“Sir, I estimate that will be a five hundred and eighty three million dollar fee.”

“Whoa whoa!” Tony cut JARVIS off. “That one's on him.”

The ponies laughed again, loving the running gag. Fluttershy perked up. “You better win, then,” she said to the TV, “Or good luck getting your money back!”

The ponies who hadn't played buckball with her looked sideways in surprise.

The music kicked back into high gear as Lex brought out his Kryptonite ax. He rushed forward and slashed through Iron Man's defenses. “Ah ha ha ha!” Lex laughed. He charged up a Kryptonite laser and gave it a wide sweep, obliterating half the remaining warehouse stock. Tony deployed a limited shield, which was all that saved him from being cut in half as well. It didn't keep him from being knocked back, though. He stumbled on his feet, then spotted a possible weapon behind him.

“Here we go...” He muttered. “Activate the EMP!” JARVIS dutifully charged it up and unleashed the electromagnetic pulse. Instantly, all the improperly shielded systems in the warehouse shut down or were damaged. Even Lex's suit.

“Ug- what!” Lex fell to one knee. “Impossible!”

While Lex was distracted, Tony picked up what he'd spotted earlier. “All right,” he laughed. “Come to mama!” Giving it an extra boost with his back thrusters, he tossed it at Lex. “Heave ho!”

“Wait a minute,” Rarity said. “Isn't that-”

At the same time, Lex regained control over his suit and stood up, just in time to see the black car hurtling towards his face. “Wait, is that the-” That was all he had time to say before he was forced to chop the vehicle in half with his ax. The two halves flew behind him and decimated yet more treasures.

“That one might actually put a dent in your wallet,” JARVIS said.

“Uh huh!” the ponies agreed.

“What are you talking about, it's just a car,” Tony rolled his eyes. JARVIS brought up a price list for all the uniquely themed items that car contained. “Seriously?” Tony was aghast. “What kind of car was that? Where do I get one of those?”

“An' why in tarnation did this Miss Potts have it?” Applejack wondered.

“I think there are more pressing concerns, AJ,” Twilight pointed out. Though she, too, was curious about how Pepper Potts had come to own the Batmobile.

Lex hefted a giant crate over his head, labeled 'Model 14'. “Wake up, sunshine!” he called out, right before he hurled it at Tony.

“Watch your left,” JARVIS advised. A split second before the crate plowed into Tony.

The crate smashed Tony through the wall of the warehouse and into the street, coming to rest directly on top of him. The music faded out, and Lex flew through the opening. He took his ax out again as he landed. “Thanks for the fun, Stark,” he said. “It was... smashing.”

“It ain't over yet, you bowling pin!” Rainbow growled.

Sure enough, a large fist punched through the box, and the large form of the Hulkbuster leaped out. It crashed back to the ground, making a crater in the street. “No problem, pal. Thanks for the suit.” The secondary helmet came down, and the background music soared into an electric beat.

Iron Man and Lex charged forward once more, but this time Tony struck the first blow. He grabbed the blade of Luthor's ax as it swung towards him, then shattered it. Stunned, Lex tossed the now-useless shaft aside and brought up his fists. The two metal titans traded blows that shook the earth, almost equal.

Until Lex charged his fist, and knocked the Hulkbuster back a step. Tony recovered quickly, and plowed forward into Lex. He tackled the other scientist into a building, then activated his jets and pushed them up the side. Brick and concrete slammed into Lex's head, and for a brief moment Lex skipped away from the building.

Tony slammed him back down and kept pushing until they reached the top. Tony let Luthor fall a bit, then fired a repulsor directly into his chest.

“Whoo!” Rainbow cheered. “Kick his butt!”

“Rrr,” Applejack growled. “Come on, you lyin' sack of manure, get up an' fight!”

Lex fell through an overpass and plowed a trench through the street. Tony flew down after him. They charged for a third time, and locked arms, energy flying between them. Lex laughed as the energy built up, until it once more knocked Tony back.

“That current damaged your battery,” JARVIS warned. “Power is at fifteen percent and dropping fast. I recommend a new plan of attack.”

“Uh oh. 'They've been known to consume energy too fast'...” Twilight recalled.

Tony shrugged off the advice and the blow. “I have a plan,” he snarled, even as Lex powered his force field back up. “Attack!” Tony ran forward and pounded on Lex's shield, doing nothing. His opponent laughed at the feeble attempts.

“Power is at ten percent,” JARVIS announced.

“You call that power?” Lex smirked. Tony charged his repulsors and grabbed hold of the shield, but it didn't work. “Ha! You are nothing.”

Desperately, Tony asked, “JARVIS, re-route all power to the arm and leg hydraulics!”

“Will that be enough?” Fluttershy wondered. She was starting to have a hard time breathing.

“There's only six percent power!” Pinkie pointed out. “Six percent!”

Tony began a rapid fire beating of Lex's shield, giving it everything. The shield flickered, but remained, the quintessential immovable object. “I have seen true power,” Lex gloated. “You are nothing more than another ant to crush under my-”

Tony brought his fists together, charged the repulsors, and slammed them both down onto the shield. To everyone's surprise, it shattered out of existence. “Well how about that,” Lex said dully.

Tony drew back for one last punch. “Good night, cue-ball!” The music suddenly faltered as Lex caught the Hulkbuster's fist. “What's happening?” Tony cried.

“We're out of power,”JARVIS reported.

“Aw, figures,” Tony moaned. His suit began to collapse towards the sidewalk, literally kneeling before Lex.

“Fool,” Lex shook his head. “You're just like all the rest.” He opened a touch-screen on his suit's arm and tapped away. “Building a suit to save the world... Trying to play God...” Target Locked, the screen read. High above the battle, a small satellite orbiting the Earth rotated. Red energy built up, until it lanced downward.

Lex raised his arms and used the energy manipulators within his suit's hands to capture the laser. The energy balled up, and drew Lex into the sky as well. Rubble floated up in a halo of destruction, even as the music swelled.

“LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING STARK!” Lex roared. “THERE'S ONLY ONE MAN IN THE WORLD FIT TO PLAY SUCH A ROLE!”

He grunted as he hurled the massive energy ball at the Hulkbuster; it transformed into a sky-high column of fire that obliterated most of the street. What was left of the armor, Tony inside, was launched into a building several blocks down, which shattered and collapsed on top of him.

Lex gently landed on the road, looking smug. “Me,” he finished among the silence.

Everypony stared at the television in awe. For just a moment, they believed it was over, and Lex had won.

Then the music restarted. Drums and stringed instruments rose up, even as streams of metal danced through the air around Lex. He looked around, confused, and the metal flew into the pile of rubble down the street.

Chills ran up and down the backs of all six ponies.

Under the rubble, a new suit was forming. A single repulsor cleared away all of the debris that had been on top of it, even the remains of the Hulkbuster. “I dunno, Lex,” Tony said. His voice was quiet, but confident. And angry. “Being a god can't be too hard, I mean- I'm the most intelligent-capable person on the planet.” Tony strutted forward, fully encased inside his Endo-Sym Armor. The silver suit gleamed under the sun, and radiated power. Glowing blue lines flowed over its surface. “I'm not playing god,” Tony grinned. “All this time-” He crouched down, and the lines in his suit shifted from blue to red. “I've been playing human.”

The suit powered up with a rumble that shook the ground, even as the music transformed into a pure one-woman wail. Tony launched himself forward faster than Lex could react. He smashed into the arm guard, which splintered, and Lex was sent flying. Tony flew after him, reaching the apex before Lex did, and knocked him twice more.

Lex fired off a ball of Kryptonite energy, which slammed directly into Tony. But Tony wasn't affected in the slightest. He flew forward; Luthor desperately unleashed his flamethrowers, but Tony danced around the fire until he was right in front of his opponent. “I'll take this!” He grabbed the arm's of Lex's suit. There was a quick whining energy buildup, and then Lex's suit seemed to collapse. He was knocked backward in the air, still hovering, but he could not move.

“Wha- what... did you take?” Lex demanded.

Tony held up one hand, and green Kryptonite energy danced along it. “Everything,” he hissed. In a single blow, he cleaved apart the top half of the Warsuit, and pulled Lex out. The devastated machine fell to the ground far below.

Tony wasn't finished- he turned and hurled Lex himself toward the ground, smashing him through another overpass first. Lex bounced down the road, but Tony was there in an instant. He tossed Lex back into the air, then jumped after him. “Here's the big one!” Tony crossed his arms over his chest, then arched his back and unleashed the unibeam. All of Lex's power was turned back against him, and the man fell apart under the assault. Literally. His body disintegrated at a sub-cellular level.

Unfortunately, the energy beam didn't stop at Luthor's body. Tony dropped back to the ground and his armor changed from red to blue, and he stared at what was left of a building. He winced. “That... was Pepper's building, wasn't it?”

With horrible timing, a ringtone chimed in his suit. “Phone call from Miss Potts,” JARVIS announced.

“Uh- tell her... I'm not here. I'm, uh... jogging!”

“Already answered, sir.”

“Tony?” a curious female voice filtered through the speaker.

“Uh, hi, Pepper. How are you?”

She got straight to business. “Why did JARVIS just deposit five billion dollars for-” Tony jumped as a piece of the Gundam fell to the ground behind him. “-Collateral damage?”

“I'm- not here,” Tony said unconvincingly. He launched himself into the air and flew away. “I'm jogging.”

KO!

For a moment, they simply sat and stared at the screen.

Then six ponies started cheering so loudly, it was heard all over Ponyville. “That. Was. AWESOME!” Rainbow shouted.

“You're tellin' me!” Applejack didn't even care that she'd lost. Seeing what she'd just seen was worth it. “Ah've never seen anythin' could top that in my whole entire life. An' that's the truth!”

“Twilight, your wings-” Rarity tried to say, but the alicorn wasn't listening.

“He won, he won!” she sang while bouncing around like a school-filly, wings pointing straight up.

“Yay!” Fluttershy said, even as Pinkie Pie shot off a party cannon quartet, which somehow sounded like the music that played when Iron Man first arrived in the warehouse.

“Did you see that? First he was all like, sheeeewm! And then he was all like, whooosh! And then-”

“He won, he won!”

“Yay!”

“He won, he won!”

“-And the fire! It just exploded-”

“Yay!”

“He won, he-”

“EVERYPONY QUIET!” Rarity shrieked. They all stopped- Pinkie Pie in midair- and looked at her. “Ahem,” she pointed at the television. “It isn't quite over yet...”

“Oh, right.” They all sat down, barely containing their giddiness, and watched.

“Bullseye!” Boomstick proclaimed, even as Iron Man pulled out a two-dimension cannon bigger than himself, and used it to annihilate what was left of the Warsuit.

“Both Tony and Lex possessed incredible pieces of technology, but only one was naturally prepared for anything,” Wiz explained. “Although it's true that Lex could trade blows with Superman in his Warsuit, the only reason he ever lasted as long as he did is because many of its weapons are based on Kryptonite. Great for battling Kryptonians, only... okay against everybody else.”

“That's what I was talking about!” Pinkie protested.

“Yes, the Warsuit could take hits from Superman, making it more than a match for even the Hulkbuster's power. But even against the very enemy it was designed to kill, the Warsuit only lasts so long.”

The took in the comic image, which showed Supe's literally punching Lex out of the Warsuit. “Guess he was the one who was, 'wrong',” Fluttershy said.

“Iron Man's greatest advantage was being able to adapt his strategy by remotely summoning and changing suits. The Endo-Sym in particular could counter nearly anything Lex could throw at it.”

“Plus Iron Man has far more actual combat experience. Lex treated physical combat as a last resort, beneath him, while Tony straight up enjoys it.” Boomstick paused, and they waited for the inevitable bad joke. “Lex just wasn't suited for this battle.”

“The winner is Iron Man.”

The ponies cheered for their new hero, even as the logo slammed the episode closed.

“Next time on Death Battle,” Boomstick intoned.

The ponies quieted once more, to see who would fight next. Text appeared onscreen. 'SHUNNED BY SOCIETY', it read. The watched as a man underwent a painful looking transformation, his hands gaining claws, his teeth turning to fangs, his skin sprouting blue fur, and his muscles bulging. He lunged at the ordinary looking humans, who screamed as he roared.

'BEASTS BY NATURE'. Lightning flashed, while a statue cracked apart to reveal a bat-winged humanoid. The ponies flinched, reminded of Discord. This must be a villain, they assumed. Until the next text came up.

'DEFENDERS OF HUMANITY'. A quick montage showed the two beings fighting even worse monsters, saving people, and... doing science? Twilight was intrigued.

'BEAST vs GOLIATH', the screen flashed, with the headings 'X-MEN' and 'GARGOYLES'.

“That looks pretty cool,” Rainbow said, but she sounded subdued. They all had a hard time imagining a more epic fight than the one they just watched.

“Ah'd have to watch 'em back to back, but I dare say that one was even better than the Superman-Goku fight,” Applejack ventured.

“I agree!” Flash faded back into existence, causing the ponies to jump. “Aw, what's the matter? Scared of me?”

“No!” Rainbow declared.

“Y-yes!” Fluttershy whimpered.

“That's sweet,” he said. “But I believe it's about this time that you normally get presents?”

“Oh yeah!” Rainbow flew down next to the glowing box. As soon as it faded, she opened up the flaps and looked inside.

“What'd we get?” Applejack asked.

Rainbow dug around inside. “Huh,” she sounded disappointed.

“What?”

“It's just some comics and action figures,” she said, and pulled them out to demonstrate. “Even less than usual.” Rainbow set the loot on the floor. “Next time we see Deadman, we might want to tell him the box is broke.”

“It isn't broke. Those are for Spike! You know, when he finally decides to show up.” Flash smiled.

“Wait...” Twilight glanced around and frowned. “Where is Spike?”

“I sent him and Starlight on a little trip...”



Meanwhile, in the Crystal Emipre...

“Back! Back you foul beasts!” Spike mashed the controls of the video game. “Hey, thanks for letting us play, Sunburst.”

The stallion shrugged. “It appeared just a minute before you two did. I certainly have no use for it. I'm not even sure how it works!”

“I'm really sorry about all this,” Starlight told him. “I have a feeling it's the fault of our mutual friend-”

“The princess?” Sunburst asked.

“No, Deadman.” Starlight grit her teeth. “I just hope he doesn't strand us in the wilderness again.”

“Well, if you're worried, by all means. Stay as long as you like.”



“And what about the rest of us?” Rarity asked.

Flash scratched at his chin. “I'm getting to it.”

“Could you get to it a little faster?” Rainbow crossed her hooves. She wanted her prizes, already.

“Psssh,” Flash waved her off. “You're no fun.” He snapped his fingers, and a box immediately appeared in front of each pony. “Go ahead, open 'em.”

Fluttershy was the first to peel back the wrapping and reach into her box. Her hoof touched something... odd. “Eep!” She squeaked. Fluttershy dropped the box and shot into the air.

Tentatively, a golden pseudopod reached out of the box and settled onto the couch. It formed into a blob about the size of a pony's head.

“What is that?” Twilight frowned.

“It's an Endo-Sym!” Flash said proudly. “Don't worry- without an AI or the internet, this little guy is hardly smarter than a dog.”

“Are we talkin' like mah puppy Winona or like the Diamond Dogs?”

“What's the difference?”

“Winona's smarter,” Applejack grinned.

Fluttershy settled back onto the couch and leaned towards the blob. “Um... hello,” she said.

The blob glowed blue, and rubbed its top-most portion against Fluttershy's nose. She giggled. “I think I'll call you... Aurum.” Aurum flashed bright white, then wrapped around Fluttershy's foreleg. It seemed to purr.

The others quickly pulled the boxes open.

“Sweet!” Rainbow pulled out a small metal pack, which she slung onto her back. It unfolded to cover the front of her wings. Then, the rear section lit up with a repulsor's glow. In an instant, Rainbow was zooming around the castle, without any effort at all. “This- Is- Awesome!”

Pinkie hugged her new party cannon; like Rainbow's pack, it glowed with repulsor power. Rarity cooed over a miniature Iron Man robot. It bowed to her, and proceeded to re-tie her ribbons.

Twilight looked at a glass box with a glowing circle inside it. Around the circle's edge were the words, 'PROOF THAT TONY STARK HAS A HEART'. Her eyes were about the size of dinner plates, her smile bigger yet.

Only Applejack held off.

“What's the matter, Applejack?” Flash asked.

“Ah don't know,” she murmured. “What if... what if ah don't like it?”

Flash laughed. “I picked it out special. If you don't like it, you can use it on me.”

“Use it on ya'?” Applejack frowned. Slowly, she removed the top from the box and reached inside. She rummaged around a bit, frowned, then pulled out a metal shaft. She hit a button on the side, and a curved, green blade erupted out. “'S Kryptonite,” she said.

“Mmm-hmm.” Flash leaned down closer. “Check out the handle.”

She peered at the metal, and saw that there were words carved in. “'To... Applejack...” she read. “'Sometimes even when you're right, you're wrong. Ah hope ya' can find the balance between actin' on the truth and keepin' your principles, the way ah never could. Be better than me. Alexander J. Luthor.'” Applejack looked up at Flash. “Ah bet that's the nicest thing he's ever said to anypony.”

“To any pony, yes.” Flash stretched. “But you give him far too little credit. Lex did a lot of good in his life. It's just that the bad ended up outweighing the good. And he knows it. Actually, he's been trying to be better recently.”

“Really.”

“Very recently. After this battle was made.”

“Huh. Well, thank ya', Mister Notion. This was fun.”

“Yeah. Maybe we can do it again some day! But for now... adios.” Flash turned sideways and disappeared, like a piece of paper.

“I've got to go, too,” Fluttershy said. “I need to introduce Aurum to the rest of my animals.”

“Yes!” Twilight looked up from her Arc Reactor. “In fact, we should all go. Goodbye!”

A bit put off, but used to their friend's strange antics, the ponies exited the Castle of Friendship and returned to their lives, albeit laden with new treasures.



Fluttershy flew low over Ponyville. Aurum was wrapped tightly around her hoof, and didn't seem to be coming off if it didn't want to. The golden blob rippled in the wind.

Fluttershy was so busy thinking about what was going to happen when she got home, she didn't pay attention to her surroundings. She ended up over the Everfree Forest. She only realized this when she heard the hiss of a monster.

Fluttershy halted in the air and looked down at the dark forest. “Oh dear,” she whispered. Slowly, she started drifting backwards.

Only to bump into something large, cold, and scaly.

Fluttershy turned around and saw four long necks, with reptilian heads attached to each. The hydra stared at her for a moment, then roared. “EEEEEEEEK!” Fluttershy cried. The hydra lunged for her, and she was done for-

Clang!

Fluttershy opened her eyes and saw a very different view. Partially obstructed by gold, and tinged with blue around the edges.

But why hadn't the hydra eaten her?

She looked over herself and saw that her body was sheathed in blue-glowing gold. “Rrrrr-um!” she heard.

“Oh!” Fluttershy realized. “Aurum! You're an armor-pet.”

It hummed.

Fluttershy looked up and saw the hydra watching her. One of its heads was nursing broken teeth. “I'm sorry about your teeth,” Fluttershy said, “But you shouldn't eat ponies!”

The hydra hissed.

“Don't be like that.” She tried using her Stare, but with the armor on, it didn't work. The hydra lunged again.

This time, she brought up her hoof and pointed it at the hydra. “Last chance,” Fluttershy said. “Go. Home!”

It didn't.

Fluttershy concentrated, and a blast of energy exploded from her hoof and splashed against the hydra. It didn't really injure the beast, but it no doubt stung. The hydra yelled and dropped back below the trees.

Fluttershy smiled and looked at her hooves. “Yay!” she said softly. “Let's go home, Aurum.”

“Rrrrrr-um.”

Fluttershy started to flap her wings, then had a thought. She extended her legs out behind her, and concentrated on the energy again. Flares erupted from her hooves, and she rocketed forward, faster than ever before. “YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!”



Flash smiled as he watched Fluttershy speed home. “Well that was fun!”

“I'M GLAD YOU ENJOYED IT,” Deadman said. He was still strung up, but the acid was gone and the hole in his false-guts repaired. “BECAUSE YOU'RE NEVER DOING IT AGAIN.”

“What? But I thought I did a good job!”

“THAT'S JUST IT. YOU DID A GREAT JOB!”

Flash was confused. “So then, what's the problem?

“THE PROBLEM IS YOU'RE MAKING ME LOOK BAD. JETPACKS AND HELPER ROBOTS? AND I CAN'T TAKE THOSE BACK!”

“Oh! I'm sorry,” Flash apologized. “I never meant to screw things up.” He sighed. “But I always do, somehow.”

“He's messing with you, kid.” Alpha slapped him on the back, which nearly broke it. “You did fine. And if you ever want to come back, we can have Harmony gag Deadman again.”

“I'm going to ask her to do it anyway,” Trepp smirked into his book.

Flash smiled. “Well, thanks for the offer. I'll leave it open. But... I'm over this now. I got my own universes to fool around with. Ciao! He snapped his fingers, and the business suit collapsed. There was nothing inside.

“Is he actually gone?” Harmony asked.

They waited a moment, and Alpha grunted. “I think so.”

“Oh, thank us,” Trepp sighed. “He almost makes me appreciate Deadman.”

“THANK YOU!”

“I take it back.”

“THEN, FUCK YOU! BUT SERIOUSLY,” Deadman chuckled, “LET'S GET BACK TO BUSINESS AS USUAL, OKAY? HEY, FOLKS!” he yelled at the fourth wall, “WHAT'D YOU THINK OF THE NEWBIE? SHOULD WE KEEP HIM? LET HIM GO? RUN HIM OVER WITH A TRUCK? LEAVE IT IN THE COMMENTS!”

“Deadman!” Harmony snapped. “Stop breaking the fourth wall so blatantly! You'll wreck the suspension of disbelief.”

“NEVER! BESIDES, HAVE YOU READ THE TITLE OF THE STORY? IT REQUIRES SUSPENDING THE SUSPENSION! I WON'T STOP, AND THERE'S NO WAY YOU CAN-”

Another asteroid wedged its way down his throat, muffling his voice. “Thank you, Harmony” Trepp said.

Harmony shook her head. “It wasn't me.”

They both looked over at Alpha, surprised. He said nothing, just kept polishing his sword. And smiling.