Alternate POV Series: Discord World War.
Written by James Sylar (myself) with the help of Drake Epsilon and Astum Legancy.
Edited by Louis Badalament.
Idea original by Alex Warlorn.
MLP: FIM is owned by Hasbro (?).
Loyalty’s chords. Part 3.
*Unofficial Opening Song: Key plus words by Shihoko Hirata*
"Hey, kids! I'm going to tell you an incredible story!" Pinkie told the couple of fillies that were sitting in front of her. "The story of how I met your mother."
"So are we being punished for something?" Moaned a dark pink unicorn with straight hair.
"Yes. Yes, you are. Now keep quiet, and listen to Aunt Pinkie Pie. It all started when Discord's World War was just beginning. We went to Canterlot after Twilight got an amazing idea to fight Discord! But just as we arrived, one of his harlequins attacked the city, destroying the magical shield that was protecting the residential area. Dashie jumped into action, vowing to look for ponies that were left behind! But then, when she came back, we were all super-duped amazed by who she was carrying back! In a semi-destroyed cabbage cart of all things! It has been ages since I'd seen her last, but it was definitively her, and at the same time it wasn't her…
I opened my eyes and found myself in some kind of infirmary. I looked in all directions for Vinyl, but I only found a pony whose mane and coat were just two different shades of pink.
"You are... Pinkie Pie, aren't you?"
Her face shone. "Oh! You remember me!?"
"How could I forget you after all you and your friends ruined the Grand Galloping Gala last year..."
"...that's ALL you know me for? Nothing else whatsoever?"
""Emmm... well... I guess there was some kind of bizarre rumor going around that you'd helped with Nightmare Moon, Princess Gaia and Discord..."
Her bright, shining eagerness just seemed to vanish. Her coloration had even seemed to have darkened one or two shades, and her mane also deflated.
"I see, you don't remember me..." For a moment she looked like she was about to cry, but she just shook it off and hopped close to me again, perhaps a little too close for comfort. "Don't worry; we just have to get to know each other all over again! I'm Pinkie Diane Pie, or just Pinkie Pie, or Pinkie Diane, even Pinkamina, my sister used to call me just Pinka…"
"It's a pleasure, I guess... I'm Octavia Strings. And I don't want to be rude but, what brought you here?"
"Well... I heard that laughter's the best medicine so you should heal right up with me here! I'm laughter incarnate, after all!" she said, smiling nervously.
An awkward silent pause stretched out between us.
"Because...I-I'm the holder of the Element of Laughter... It-it was a joke!"
I knew she was trying to cheer me up, I didn't want to be rude, but I couldn't smile without it looking, well, fake.
The gates opened dramatically, allowing the entrance of that gallant white knight do-gooder: The Doctor and his beautiful, adorable, blond companion.
Yeah, I'm speaking in third person, allow me that guilty pleasure.
Inside the room your beloved Princess of the Sun and her loyal student Twilight Sparkle were already present.
"Sorry for the delay, Your Highness. Dinky had a little tantrum and wouldn't let us leave until I let her ride me a couple of times. Strange how that works on this world."
"Muffins!" exclaimed Derpy delivering a basket full of them to both the princess and her faithful student "Enjoy them, but remember to share with your friends!"
"HE'S the expert that you called?"
Ouch, Twilight, you hurt my feelings.
"He is, Twilight. There is nopony that knows more about time travel, its effects and its risks than The Doctor." answered the incarnation of the Sun.
"And I thought he was only the clockmaker of Ponyville…"
"It's just a day job. Even I have to put bread on the table, I mean, hay."
The purple unicorn frowned. "I remember you were one of the ponies who laughed at me when I was telling everypony about what my Future Self went back in time to tell me! Way to lend a helping hoof, Mr. Time Travel Expert!"
"Haha!" I could not avoid letting out a chuckle. Derpy had to give me a nudge to remind me who was standing in front of me. "Eh… I apologize for laughing. But at that moment I knew how it would end, and I knew it was necessary for you to learn that lesson on your own. I laughed not because I was making fun of you, but for the irony of the paradox on itself."
Twilight still looked skeptical.
"And it's DOCTOR Time Travel Expert, just so you know. Just 'The Doctor' will do."
Her teacher cleared her throat.
"Tell him what you told me." The Morning Empress asked her student.
"Okay, but please promise not to laugh."
"I can promise to try."
"It happened when we came back to Ponyville after the Changeling incident at my brother's wedding," the unicorn began. Derpy shuddered visibly at the memory of those foul creatures. I just consider them a little misunderstood, and deprived of affection, but that doesn't excuse what they did. And, in case you ask, yes, Derpy and I also lent our aid in that fiasco, (behind the scenes.) I have to admit that without the intervention of "The Power of Love" (TM), maybe we would not be here...
"I arrived at the library extremely tired, thinking only about crawling into my bed to sleep. I considered reorganizing the next day's schedule to allow me to stay 1 or 2 more hours in bed, but then I had to reschedule my brunch with Pinkie Pie, and she is a nightmare when it comes to scheduling! And just when I was thinking about her, Pinkie appeared on my doorstep, almost bringing down the door with the sheer force of her knocking."
"Twilight! Pack all your stuff, we have to go!
"Go? Where to? What are you talking about?"
"We have to leave this universe, now! If we combine my inventiveness with your raw intellect, we'll surely find a way to move everypony to a safe place; maybe push Ponyville to an empty dimension or something like that."
I had to levitate Pinkie to prevent her from running in senseless circles. It would be only a matter of time before she rammed against Spike, me, or one of the shelves.
"Pinkie, you're making no sense. Again. Take a deep breath and calm down for a moment."
She inhaled and exhaled deeply a few times, and I only let her hooves touch the ground again after I checked that her heartbeat had returned to normal.
"Now, tell me what's going on." I was exhausted at the time. All I wanted to do was hear what she had to say, reassure her it was nothing to worry about, and then send her home so I could sleep. It was just Pinkie being Pinkie.
"It's a retcon, Twilight! They changed the past and it only a matter of time before they try to erase this universe like what they did to G3! I don't want to lose you as I lost Minty!"
Now I was paying more attention. It's... complicated to explain, Doctor. Not only is Pinkie Pie one of the best friends I've ever had, but I owe my very existence to her just as much as to my biological parents. Both of us originally came from a different universe that had been erased from the time-space continuum. One half of me, though."
The Doctor shook his head sympathetically, saying, "Always tragic when that happens."
"Tell me, what makes you think there's going to be a retcon?" I then asked Pinkie Pie.
"It just that… when I went back to my room, all my family pictures had changed! In place of my sisters, there were two completely different ponies! Well, not that different, they were really similar, but they weren't THEM! And not only that, my memories also changed! Now, in addition to my memories of the G3 world, and the ones I have here, in good ol' G4, I have a completely NEW set! I don't even know what my true origin is anymore… I feel like Deadpool…" she said, letting her body fall to the ground like it was made of liquid.
"Never mind that, the point is that someone changed MY past, and he could strike again! Do the same to everypony else! Over and over, again and again, in fact, and… and nopony would even notice but myself! You have to help me, Twilight!"
"I will." I assured her. "I'm sure that the princess would warn us well in advance if anything like what happened to G3 was threatening to occur again in this timeline, but there are still so many unanswered questions! Why has the past been changed? We'll need to do some exhaustive research! And we won't stop until we find out what happened!"
A yawn escaped from my mouth as I finished that sentence. How dare my body betray me after such an inspirational speech? Pinkie could not help to laugh.
"Maybe we should wait until tomorrow."
She said when she recovered her breath. She enveloped me with her front legs, giving me one of the warmest hugs in my life.
"Thanks for believing in me, Twilight."
"That's what friends are for."
"And we spent the next several days conducting tests and searching for temporal abnormalities, but we barely uncovered anything, aside from the issue of Pinkie suddenly having different sisters." Twilight continued. "But then Discord escaped, and Pinkie was the one who suggested that we suspend our research until we'd dealt with him. Still, I can't simply IGNORE the fact that some scoundrel's going around altering history. And I can't ignore the likelihood that Discord, himself, may be to blame…"
"I doubt even Discord is willing to create paradoxes unto himself." Celestia reasoned.
"But we can't discard that possibility!"
"I see." Derpy and I both frowned. "I have a question, Twilight. Pinkie's old sisters… have they vanished from existence?"
"No, Doctor. They are alive and well. They even hold the same jobs they used too... but have now been born from different mothers and fathers."
"What can you tell me about Pinkie's new sisters?"
"Well, apparently, her new sisters never left the rock farm where Pinkie was born."
"Then I'd say all Pinkie's sisters were pretty lucky, new AND old. In most cases involving time clones, at least one of them is lost to the Darkness Beyond Time."
This time it was I who felt chills. How could I ever forget the Dream Devourer, who dwells in the Darkness Beyond Time? Such a monstrous being, utterly destructive... but it's completely harmless as long as no one ever thinks about it…
"Anyways, I think I understand the situation, Twilight, but I need to investigate a bit. I promise we will keep you informed of our findings, so then, if there's nothing else..."
"Wait, there's still one more thing!" Miss Sparkle interrupted, as we turned to go. "To beat Discord once and for all, we had proposed searching for the second set of Element Bearers. Early, we found one of them right in this city, Octavia Strings…"
"The cellist?!" asked Derpy very excited. "I never miss her radio show! Do you think you can get me her autograph?"
"I'll... see what I can do." Twilight told Derpy.
"Well that's good start!" I said, smiling though Twilight didn't smile back.
"It's worth mentioning that Octavia is... was one of Pinkie's sisters."
Nothing worked with her! I couldn't get even her to roll her eyes at my ridiculousness, nothing! The Octavia I knew was also very serious and poorly expressive, but if I was proud of anything, it was my ability to make her smile. She was definitely not my sister, even if she looked identical, with Octavia's same cutie mark and everything.
I felt so frustrated that I was about to call Pinkamina and let her take control until those feelings vanished, but that was no longer possible. I am Pinkie Diane Pie, the only entity in my mind and soul. Furthermore, since the grand unification, I have been learning to control and deal with my emotions. The steps to surpass this crisis were easy: just bury my face in a pillow and scream the frustration away, and then try again.
But before I was able to execute my flawless strategy, the door burst open, startling both me and Octavia (but she just raised an eyebrow, while I let out a loud gasp.)
"Yahoo!" Screamed the newcomer, a mare with white fur and bright blue hair, over which she sported a pair of dark glasses with broken lenses. Her eyes were scarlet red, something that drew my attention to the point when I almost missed the fact that both of her legs were so covered in bandages, it hid her cutie mark.
She was pushing a cart full of food, basically every type of food that you could find in the menu of the castle's café, and then some.
"I was wondering where you were, Vinyl. Everything was too quiet."
"Teehee, did you miss me so much you were about to cry? I'm sorry but when the doctors told me that you were about to wake up, I knew you'd be hungry!" she said, and then she came closer to where I was sitting, whispering like she was telling me a secret "Can you believe she once eat a whole dozen pancakes?"
Octavia blushed. "That only happened once!"
Vinyl burst out laughing, and to my surprise, my ex-sister smiled a bit too.
"Where are my manners?" she said, somewhat embarrassed "Vinyl, she is Pinkamina Diane Pie. She is the holder of one of the Elements of Harmony, laughter."
Vinyl did a small bow. "Pinkie Pie, right? I think we've seen each other around a couple of times before. I'm called Vinyl Scratch and I'm Tavie's roommate and super best friend for eternity!"
"Wasn't it 'hyper friends forever?'"
"That was last week, Tavie."
It was a little straining on my brain to recall where Vinyl placed in these new set of memories I had.
"Oh! You were the DJ at Cadence's wedding, right?"
"Indeed!" She said smiling, just before she bit a sandwich she had made with bacon-shaped tofu. You don't have the slightest idea what a monumental achievement in genetic engineering it was crossbreeding pigs with tofu. What? That was a joke!
"Question." Vinyl raised her front leg. "Are you one of the First Holders? Or the Second Holders?"
"Uh?" the question took me by surprise.
"I mean, when I was at this café once, I met a girl, said she was –The one and only Trixie, second holder of the element of magic!– or something like that." Vinyl mimicked every movement that I could have expected from our theatrical friend. Octavia and I both laughed.
"I am the first, and so far, ONLY Bearer of Laughter." I told them when I managed to calm down.
Octavia brought her hoof to her chest, closing her eyes for a brief moment.
"So I really didn't just imagine it, did I?"
"No, you didn't. You woke up an Element of Harmony, Loyalty, the same Element that Rainbow Dash has. The element lost its physical manifestation before you got here, but all of us are capable of feeling it, even in its sleepy state."
And I really could feel it, inside of her, no doubt about it.
"Twilight will come and explain more about it in a bit, although she loves to use all sorts of big long polysyllabic words... like polysyllabic. So you two will get along great."
Octavia smiled. She SMILED at me!
"It must be very interesting, you know.” added Vinyl with a dreamy tone of voice. "Being an Element Bearer. Traveling the world, exploring dungeons and mazes, defeating villains."
"Well, normally we don't go around *looking* for villains until the problems they cause get WAY out of control.... but we had crawl through a dungeon or two." I said. "Like when we crossed the Everfree forest to reach both Nightmare Moon, and Nightmare Whisper later. We needed to go through a hedge maze to get to Discord. Facing Queen Chrysalis was more like a beat'em up," I explained to them, trying to not forget any of our beloved enemies. (Beloved by the audience, anyway.)
"Only Nightmare Whisper had any class and decency. The rest all fought dirty."
I was exaggerating the qualities of Princess Gaia's dark side, but she was Fluttershy, even if she had turned herself into an Eldritch Abomination.
"If I were a villain, I'd probably have spooky yet elegant music playing all over my lair for ambience." Octavia said.
"And I'd be sure to give myself an even more powerful second form!" exclaimed Vinyl, and the three of us laughed again. I couldn't believe it; I was having a pleasant conversation with my ex-sis, when a moment ago I was ready to break down in tears! And all because of Vinyl!
While walking down the castle's hallways, I found the medic wing, and thought about paying a visit to the stubborn mu-- I mean, to Octavia. To my surprise, the Flutters were watching Octavia through a huge window.
"Rainbow!" The tone of voice immediately told me who was in control of the body.
"Cruel, what are you doing here?"
"I'm just inspecting the new girl, she has been chatting with Pinkie and that DJ for a while. I think I like her."
"Oh, of course, you two are going to be best friends as soon as the doctors check her out" I said, trying to be a bit incisive.
Cruel laughed loudly, and a nurse glared at her.
"WHAT?!" the nurses silenced us again. "How is that YOU are scared?" I added as quietly as my surprise allowed.
She looked annoyed and sad, reluctant to talk, but she finally spit it out.
"I'm afraid about facing Discord."
"Oh!" I said.
Cruel was, after all, the draconequus' daughter. He created her only to be an evil bully, an anti-Fluttershy. But the time Cruel spent living with Shy and the rest of us had changed her; she had developed her own identity and a moral compass.
If Discord forced the Flutters to be like before, even if we manage to cure her at the end, it would be a hard hit to their conscience. Cruel always tries to be the strong one of the group.
"Don't worry, we've all got your back, Cruel. Even Shy." I couldn't hear what Shy said to her daughter inside of her mind, but the smile on Cruel's face tipped me that she had managed to cheer her up.
"Thank you, Rainbow."
"That's what friends are for, I guess." And my attention went to Octavia. How ironic, me calling her naïve earlier. We were in the same boat; still with so much to learn about my element, and so many other things!
Life is about balance between what you want it to be and what it truly is. I still didn't like this Second Holder of my element, but I looked forward to see what she could teach me and what I could teach her in return.