Fluttercruel: Chaos Theory
A tribute to: My Little Pony Friendship is Magic
Healing Pony POV Series by alexwarlorn
The white endless space stretched as far as he could see and his vision was very good. It had been his prison when he was defeated by Luna and Celestia and he was forced back into it after his last defeat by the six Elements of Harmony. His name was Discord, Spirit of Chaos. But something had changed. He wasn't alone anymore.
After the first good deed since eons the Draconequus finally found some company in the form of his daughter, Fluttercruel.
The former pegasus curiously examined her changed now chimera-like body. She had perfect control over her eagle claw and easily picked up the empty glass before her with it. It was a lot more precise than the hoof she had before and it felt like she always had had this limb. The lizard leg that replaced one of her hind legs didn't seem to have any noticeable advantages or downsides. Finally she carefully flapped her wings and despite one of them now being a batwing both moved in flawless unity. She noticed that the new limbs were the only thing colorful about her and contrasted her grey fur.
Discord had created a garden chair and sat there seemingly lost in thoughts, but right now the grey chimera was more focussed on the question if these wings could fly. She did however notice his shocked look when the personification of Chaos felt the scars on his face and body and finally used his power to let those disappear.
With one small jump from the bed she spread her wings and glided a few meters before she rose into the air with a few flaps of her new wings. She felt like nothing could stop her. Now she began to try one simple trick in the air, flying a loop, only for a brick wall to appear literally before her.
As she braced herself for the inevitable impact a big white pillow appeared before the obstacle and softened the crash. Feathers of all colors spread everywhere as she slowly fluttered to the ground. She wanted to ram her hoof into whoever was responsible for the barrier. Annoyed she groaned at the incarnation of Chaos next to her.
"Who thought this was funny?"
He teleported off the garden chair and stood before her with a strangely serious expression.
"It seems you did find that hilarious. Chaos isn't so easily controlled."
"So you mean if I think about anything, that random thing will pop up?"
A bucket of cold water landed on Discords head, leaving the Draconequus soaking wet.
"I see where this is going." Fluttercruel said with a slight smirk.
She did this almost on instinct but she was worried about the old man's reaction. The Discord she knew didn't seem like someone who could take a prank, intentional or not. She wouldn't forget the look he gave Fluttershy after she managed to resist his deception. But the incarnation of Chaos merely chuckled and teleported to her right side, now completely dry. As the bucket vanished into nothing he spoke to her with an almost gloomy voice.
"You leave me no choice. I can't have you running around and give Chaos a bad reputation. Too many already do that. I will have to
Then his voice sounded jubilant as he cracked a smile.
teach you how to use these powers. Trust me; I know how you could use Chaos to do things you have never even dreamed of."
The former pegasus felt the alien urge to faint at this turn of events. Learning Chaos from the spirit of Chaos himself? While this somehow seemed very logical, it still sounded like total nonsense. Then again her entire existence went against everything she knew. Mostly because she still had all the memories of the shy pony. It was strange to look at the past, she never had. All these memories of being kind, scared and submissive contrasted everything she felt right now.
"But first we need a more fitting background. Behold!"
Behind his back the Draconequus pulled out a green frisbee and threw it to the white ground with enough force to shake the white space, they were somehow standing on. The small object grew and grass began to grow out of it. Soon a field of green field surrounded them as far as she could see.
"Ha! I have finally proven those ignorant pony scientists that the world is flat. Just take a look."
For a few seconds both teleported to park bench floating further away in the white space and she could see, that Discord had indeed created a flat miniature grass-covered world around the size of Ponyville. When they arrived back at the field she had a hard time believing that she could ever create something remotely like this.
And why did it have to be a field of grass of all things? But after the dark place she just came from any bit of color was a change of pace and all this white was pretty boring as well. There was nopony here besides the two of them.
With another snap of his eagle claw, both were sitting on chairs facing a board the size of an average house. Twilight Sparkle stood next to the blackboard. She did look just like the original, walked energetically and smiling like the real deal but somehow Fluttercruel knew that this wasn't the true purple unicorn.
Besides common sense something else told her that this was an imitation. All these thoughts made her almost forgot to tell the unicorn what she thought of her. Fluttcruel opened her mouth, ready to say her how little her magic mattered when another idea stopped her.
The young chimera looked at the lively pony before her and wondered if that being was any different from her. If that Twilight was a fake despite looking so lively, then what did that mean for herself? Was she even alive? Or was she just a leftover spell that gained a mind of her own? Did she even have a mind of her own or was she just another puppet like the fake unicorn? Was she just something to pass Discord's time until he was unsealed again? All these questions made her head swim.
But somehow she felt there was a very important difference between the imitation of Twilight standing before her and herself. The young chimera decided that it would be pointless to torture herself any longer with questions she couldn't answer; she would get her answers now.
"What is the difference between me and her?" she demanded to know from the Draconequus that could squash her like a bug if he wanted to.
The grey pony stared at the old man, as Discord countered her stare with a face that seemed almost disappointed. Not disappointed at her, she knew that face perfectly well. Thanks to Fluttershy's memories she had very clear pictures of disappointed flight teachers in her head.
Fluttercruel wished that there would be anything she could do to show those arrogant idiots what it was like to fall to the ground with wings that were glued together. When they caught her and told her that they will repeat that until she learns to fly, Fluttershy had merely stammered something in return. But then the Draconequus let out another chuckle, interrupting her train of thoughts.
"Tell me, can you see it or do you feel it?"
The pegasus realized that whatever she did, this ability was somewhat normal for Discord. She was so frustrated, that she hardly realised what she had done. Maybe it was the power to distinguish between the Chaos he created and everything else. She remembered that back in the chaotic Ponyville he had no problem spotting the six ponies, no matter how much bisons danced around or pies fell to the ground.
"I can somehow sense that she isn't the real Twilight
"Hmmm, maybe you should concentrate harder. Just try it."
The former pony wasn't sure what he meant. As she focused on the purple unicorn again, she just saw something that looked and smiled exactly like the nerd she remembered. Unlike the butterflies, Discord had used in his failed corruption of the fluttering pegasus, this creation seemed like a perfect copy. Still there was just something wrong. A strange flow surrounded the unicorn. No, it was the unicorn itself. It was like watching a three-dimensional picture projected onto a river.
Suddenly Fluttercruel saw only shades of grey. Instead of the pony she viewed floating energy formed into the general shape of the unicorn. The power was in constant flow not unlike a river. Over the first form was another layer, copying the fur and face of the book-loving pony. Everything here was made with the same power, from the chair she was sitting on to the grass and ground under her. Despite the lack of color the energy was full of life, pulsating and ever-changing. It had its own rhythm.
Curiously she looked at herself and saw something totally different then the fake unicorn before her. The pegasus still saw her own body, solid as she expected it to be, but through and across it flowed Chaos. But there were much more layers to this Chaos than the construct before her had and it shifted over the grey pegasus like waves. It was like comparing an ocean to a river. And in her center she saw a glowing ball of light.
As sudden as the change came, it ended while she still looked at herself. All colors returned to normal.
was that Chaos?"
When she returned her attention to her old man she noticed he had turned his back to her. Something fell into the grass. Was it some water left from her bucket incident? When he turned around towards her his smile was different then anything she had ever seen on his face before. He didn't seem as confident as before, instead he looked like he was about to burst with joy.
"After all these eons there is finally someone else in this world who can see how my creations really look like. Not even Celestia and Luna can view the very core of Chaos."
"But what did I just see and why is it grey of all colors?"
"Oh, I think we should leave the long-winded explanation to the world champion of exposition."
As her attention returned to the copy of Twilight Sparkle Fluttercruel noticed that the purple unicorn seemed to look impatiently at them. She noticed Discord sitting next to her and looking extremely attentive to the teacher. Fluttercruel knew that was just an act but she still had to chuckle. What sense would there be in insulting a construct?
"May I have your attention class? Today we learn about Chaos. It is usually known as the force between Light and Darkness but what does this actually mean? Neutrality? No, instead most scholars like to describe it as change or conflict. The bigger the differences between two forces the more Chaos can be found between them. This ranges from physical opposites like fire and water to the emotional spectrum like calmness and agitation."
Cheerful the teacher walked forward, her horn brimming with power. Two transparent images of Celestia and Luna appeared above her. The Sun Goddess was surrounded by white energy and the Goddess of the Night radiated a dark power.
"Here we have the incarnation of Light Princess Celestia - and in the other corner the personification of Darkness Princess Luna. Both represent two forces different than each other in nearly every way. Both are two cornerstones of reality. And both govern their element and control it but there will always be frictions between these powers and this energy is known as Chaos."
At the point where both energies collided, both of their colors merged and became grey. A transparent image of Discord floated above it.
"I think we should take a short break here." The copy looked like she could talk for a few more hours about the topic but was barely able to hold herself back.
Without any further words, the teacher bowed politely and teleported away, leaving the former pegasus and Discord behind. The Draconequus stared at her curiously.
"Do you understand what I am trying to say? Most would say that teaching Chaos is actually impossible and nonsensical. Then again that is exactly my thing. But you did see Chaos, felt it and even created it. I think you can understand."
"I think I do," said the young chimera to her own surprise.
She smiled confidently as suddenly an empty bucket fell down next to Discord. Both looked somewhat embarrassed.
"Give me a break, I just discovered this ability!"
"I still consider this an improvement, at least I am not
The water followed separately and again Discord was dripping wet. Fluttercruel decided to change the topic as fast as possible.
"I honestly don't want to constantly water my teacher. How about we skip to the part where I learn to actually control my Chaos?"
As two floating blowers appeared next to him and dried Discord, the Draconequus gave a constrained smile.
"Well, I guess you are right. There is no need to beat around the bush any longer. You are ready."
Confidently he floated to the oversized blackboard. A crudely drawn picture of a container with water inside appeared on it.
"Your Chaos will continue to spontaneously create things until you learn how to use it and prevent it from lets say "overflowing". If I wouldn't regularly use my ability it would eventually erupt and create something on its own. And like the brick wall back then this can be somewhat annoying. I noticed that when I once created a porcupine before my face. But that was still no excuse for all the things I
The water level of the drawing rose until it overflowed and poured onto the incarnation before the blackboard. But this time he countered it with a rainbow-colored umbrella hat that manifested itself on his head.
The water started to drift over the landscape and formed a floating river, it continued doing this until part of it reached the edge of the small world and a few moments later the water returned from the other side and reconnected itself with the starting point of the river. It had become a circle floating over this little world. Giant bubbles rose from the water and drifted in the air. Then his umbrella hat meowed and began to fly away on its own.
"In Equestria we can use the Chaos that practically exists everywhere but here in this empty place we are limited to our own recourses. But don't worry much about exhausting it, it will soon grow back. There is also an easier way to do this, but that involves cheating against the rules of existence, so we save that one for later."
The water on the picture did rise again, only for some of it to separate itself and form a yellow ball bouncing out of the blackboard and past the former pegasus.
"The easiest way to do this is to imagine what you want to create, then concentrate and will it into existence. Just try it."
After everything that came before this seemed almost insultingly easy to Fluttercruel but she tried to imagine a yellow ball, just like the one she just saw. Then she concentrated on that image and a ball exactly like that popped up before her. As she grinned at her success the construct exploded before her eyes.
"Hey, I didn't want that to happen!"
She noticed him holding the ball, he had created, in his lion paw.
"If it would be that easy, it would be boring. The catch is that if something breaks your concentration, the Chaos could vanish as well, often with an explosion."
Like a pitcher he tossed the ball into one of the giant bubbles and it exploded in an almost comically large detonation for a mere bubble. The grey pegasus looked around at the field and the floating river, surrounding them that still existed despite herself drawing the attention of the old man. She groaned in annoyance.
"I guess I am the most pathetic user of Chaos you have ever seen
"Sorry, that spot is already taken. You just need more practise. Like everyone does, you should have seen the small sun Celestia created as a foal or the miniature moon when Luna still was young. Not that I am gossiping."
With these words a small moon and a tiny sun appeared above them. Both objects were about the size of the Carousel Boutique. They encircled each other for a bit but then the moon left to the other side of the world and everything around them suddenly seemed a lot brighter and colorful in this new sunlight.
After the young chimera concentrated again a second yellow ball appeared before her as she started to bounce it on her head. She smirked at the bouncing ball as she thought about what she could create next. At the highest point the ball turned into a morning star falling right down at her. In the last moment she jumped aside as it crashed with enough force into the ground to break through the thin soil beneath them.
Now Discord looked really worried. The younger incarnation of Chaos wondered why she couldn't think clear. She tried to summon a normal ball again and it worked just like last time. Fluttercruel would prove him what she could do. She was not his or anyone's doormat.
"Okay, old man I challenge you to a volleyball match! The first who scores one point wins."
Then Discord began to grin broadly. He had actually no idea how to really play this game but he did once saw some ponies play this against each other.
"Bring. It. On."
A volleyball net rose from the ground and lines appeared on the ground framing the playing field. The copy of Twilight teleported next to the net and took the role of the referee.
The former pegasus started her game by bouncing the ball on her eagle claw, before flying two meters in the air to launch an attack on Discord's field. The Draconequus teleported next to the ball and repelled it effortlessly with his tail. More and more constructs of ponies gathered around the game and watched it with interest. Rainbow Dash was one of them.
Fluttercruel had to rush to the left side of the field. It became harder and harder to concentrate on the game and the ball to avoid it from disappearing. The playing field under them turned into water. She launched the ball into the air, flew after it and then kicked it with all her might. Several ponies rooted for her, including a very familiar looking pink pony. Fluttercruel's determination to win this game grew.
The ball dashed at Discord and this time he had to use both his eagle's claw and his lion paw to fend it off. After that it flew to the right side of Fluttercruel's field. Another rush of adrenaline allowed her to reach it in time and she let the ball fly into the air with her head. By now the field under them looked like a sandy beach. The crowd of ponies around them was divided and the group around Rainbow started to support Discord while the ones on the side of Pinkie Pie encouraged her.
Then she jumped after the ball, swung both her pony leg and her eagle claw after it and her hit let the ball to crash down at Discord's field in a spiralling motion. The Draconequus tried to teleport into the path but misjudged the movement and the object flew right past him. It crashed onto the field, which now looked like crystal. The ponies around Pinkie Pie erupted into cheers.
"I won? HA! I won! In your face, old man!"
Still breathing noisily the young chimera wondered briefly if the Draconequus let her win. But the look on Discord's face was one of genuine surprise. Pinkie Pie hopped happily near the ball and made silly faces towards her reflection on the crystal ground. As Fluttercruel's concentration broke, the ball exploded again, leaving a huge hole in the crystal-like field.
The young chimera expected the pink pony to be covered in smoke and then maybe sing a song about it. Instead Pinkie Pie looked injured and her face and forelegs were covered in several cuts from the shards of the crystal-like field that were shattered everywhere from the explosion.
But what did unnerve the former pegasus much more was the hurt look the pony gave her. She tried to scan Fluttershy's memories for any reason she could have to want to hurt Pinkie Pie but there was simply none. The partying pony never tried to prank or hurt Fluttershy. Almost all memories showed the pink pony happy.
Then Pinkie Pie started to cry. It was not like the short fake cry after Nightmare Moon's defeat but true misery and unhappiness. Fluttercruel was paralysed with uncertainty. She didn't want this to happen in the first place and now she was somehow completely unable to mock the pink pony for her pain. Wasn't that what cruelty was all about?
A look aside to the old man showed her that he seemed to have a similar reaction. If she wouldn't know that it was impossible, she would think that he was disturbed as well. But he had broken the pink pony emotionally before, so Fluttercruel saw no way that this would phase him in any way.
But she couldn't shake off the feeling that he was as shocked as she was. As the two personifications of Chaos were unable to act the copy of Twilight teleported next to the pink pony and put a hoof on her shoulder. Slowly the crying stopped and eventually the purple unicorn teleported the construct of Pinkie Pie away.
"Until you stop blowing up we will have to keep our games away from them." The Draconequus sounded strangely serious.
I know I can do it. Name the game, I will show you!" the young chimera tried to grin but it looked forced.
"How about we try a niece game of chess?"
Her grin disappeared in one second. While his voice dripped with innocence, she didn't believe that for a second. Fluttercruel realized that she would likely have absolutely no chance against him. But then she remembered the chess lessons Fluttershy's mother gave the shy pony back then. She wouldn't go down without a fight.
At least a few of her memories were useful and didn't make her wanting to strangle the next pony she met. If she would ever meet anypony besides Discord here. She didn't want to get on his bad side; she was cruel, not stupid.
The incarnation of Chaos summoned a floating chess board about the size of Sugarcube Corner and created figures resembling the ponies they knew. His pawns were modelled after ponies Fluttercruel hardly remembered like Carot Top or Bon Bon, his knights looked like Fluttershy, his bishops resembled Applejack, his rooks were similar to Twilight and finally both the queen and the king looked like the Draconequus himself.
Now it was Fluttercruel's turn to create her own figures. Her pawns resembled more ponies she remembered from Ponyville like Lyra Heartstrings and Derpy Hooves, her knights were modelled after Rainbow Dash, her bishops were similar to Pinkie Pie, her rooks looked like Rarity and both her queen and king resembled herself.
She started to move her pieces aggressively, while Discord calmly countered most of her moves. It was clear that he did master this game a long time ago. Maybe he invented it, even that wouldn't surprise the young chimera at this point. But Fluttercruel did manage to take several of his pawns, two of his knights and one of his rooks. She really enjoyed knocking over the pieces with as much force as possible, especially the ones resembling Fluttershy. Then she saw an opening to take his queen and the opportunity to turn this game around.
Just as she removed his most important chess piece from the game, she noticed his smile. The incarnation of Chaos moved one of his few remaining pawns until the end of her field. Now she realized what was going on. He was using the rule of promotion to change his pawn into a queen. Only then did she realize that the new queen put her own king into checkmate. She had lost.
She would be lying if she said that she wasn't angry at her defeat. But the former pegasus was sure that she lasted quite long against someone who had literally an eternity of playing experience on his side. But suddenly she felt incredible tired and found herself asleep in seconds. Her chess pieces vanished into nothing. The last thing she felt was someone catching her before she hit the floating chess board.
Discord began to think about the day he just had. Most of it was the most fun he had since
never actually. He had never felt that good before. It was an eternity since he had played a good game of chess against anypony or anybody. He couldn't play against his constructs as he knew their every move. That was literally like playing chess against himself. At least it was like that before, now he wasn't so sure about that anymore.
The Draconequus slowly began to understand why Celestia continued to teach mortals, despite the pain she knew she would feel whenever one of them would inevitable pass away. Back then it seemed to be total nonsense to him and the incarnation of Chaos had started to wonder if the Sun Goddess had a masochistic trait. But now the Draconequus had to admit that teaching someone, watching them slowly open up to it and growing had a magic in itself. Magic? He had to chuckle.
And it was the one subject he knew better than anything else: Chaos. Discord could spend hundreds or thousands of years to share his knowledge with her. Suddenly he realized that he had found the one thing he always lacked in this empty space. But what was it? Was it company? That did never change him before and the Draconequus spent quite some time outside with the two Alicorns and the mortals before his first imprisonment.
Was it the company of someone like him? Both Celestia and Luna originally were just as powerful as he was and they each ruled over an aspect of reality just like him. But soon Discord began to see himself as superior to them. He still wasn't quite sure what he found but the incarnation of Chaos was confident that he would find it out. And the personification still had to process that doing something good felt good.
But Fluttercruel seemed so frustrated at times. It reminded the Draconequus at himself when he realised that there was nopony here to surprise with his Chaos and that there was no way to really do what he wanted to do. Only then it hit him in the face like one of her cold showers: He had created her to be cruel. And there was nopony here she could be cruel to. It was the only thing she knew that was not a memory of Fluttershy and she couldn't truly follow it.
There were the constructs but it didn't seem like she wanted to hurt them. Discord had still a hard time to understand how he could create them so lifelike this time. He had done that a few times before, the last time with the polonaise of fake ponies before he took a look into Truth. But they always followed simple instructions and that was it, these almost acted like their originals. His Chaos had changed as well. What did that mean for his daughter?
Where would her cruelty lead her? Discord already knew two possible ways but it was pretty clear that without Fluttershy there was no way that she would ever become like that Fluttercruel. The only thing he really could teach her was Chaos, trying to teach her any kind of morality or kindness seemed doomed from the start. So if he would raise her instead of Fluttershy would that eventually turn her into something similar to the other Fluttercruel? He only heard her voice but he really didn't want to see what was going on behind that door.
Looking at her sleeping in his arms he wondered if she would just end up repeating his path?
Once he wanted to control Equestria not only to prove to Celestia and Luna how weak those mortals actually were but also because he honestly thought that as the matchless and one of a kind wielder of Chaos, he was the only one fit to rule over everything. After his own encounter with Truth this goal seemed so shallow, pointless and downright horrifying.
Meanwhile the miniature moon rose over the world. Thanks to his Chaos the place suddenly seemed darker and the eternal white space surrounding them couldn't be seen anymore.
He looked around at the world he had created. It was chaotic, incomplete and nonsensical but it had something that wasn't there before. Discord wasn't quite sure what it was but again he had all the time in the world to understand the differences. Maybe that was the key to teach her something else as well? Still carrying the former pegasus he decided to create a house for her. With a snap of his eagle claw he shaped some Chaos into a flying house.
It looked similar to Fluttershy's house with the general shape of a hill, many windows and covered in grass and Poison Joke but it was slightly darker and hovered thanks to its giant batwings constantly flapping in the air. Inside it was decorated to resemble a dungeon with torches, axes and swords firmly placed on the walls. Discord looked forward to her reaction. After all he had briefly seen the world of her mind in a mirror when Fluttershy had sung the other Fluttercruel to sleep.
After he placed her in the bed the incarnation of Chaos went back outside. Suddenly Discord had an inspiration what this world needed to have more structure: Some mountains. Absolutely silent two big mountains landed next to the edge of this little world. Then he started to work on the details, adding some caves and an obstacle course inside and transforming one of the mountains into a (for now silent) volcano. Finally he added three settings to the volcano: popcorn, chocolate and lava. They might have a lava cannonball contest later.
While doing this he wondered how long their exile would last. Discord knew that time passed differently in this world. The Draconequus had tested it dozens of times, before he had to admit that the time here actually went slower than in Equestria. One day here were about 8 hours on the outside. He still had a hard time to believe that he did almost nothing in the 3000 years of his first banishment.
It might have taken even longer for his seal to weaken if the awakening of the Elements and the healing of the corrupted Luna didn't draw so much Harmony from it. Now hardly any time had passed and he already felt like he had done more than in the last 3000 years he was trapped. No matter how long it would take, this time he could hardly blame the ponies anymore for celebrating his defeat. But he still thought that the glass window of him looked horrible. Celestia should have left the art to her sister.
And it wasn't that he had done absolutely nothing in the time of his last banishment. It had given him very literally an eternity to practice his Chaos and eventually he was able to create a way of summoning it without the usual restrictions of having to draw it from conflicts between two opposites first.
The incarnation of Chaos was able to use it for the first time after the Elements had predictably lost his game in the hedge maze. He could have drawn a lot of Chaos from their conflicts but even that wouldn't have been enough for what he had in mind for Equestira back then. As he used the ability, the effect was overwhelming and within moments nearly the entire world drowned in Chaos.
After Twilight broke under the constant assault, Discord quickly stopped paying any attention to the ponies and concentrated on admiring all the random things this flow created. Now he realised the irony of one of his greatest triumphs leading to his eventual defeat.
His journey in Truth did show him so many worlds, so many possibilities. Only slowly Discord began to piece all these information together. Even for the Draconequus it was hard to process seeing countless worlds at the same time. By now he understood how Celestia could have become a Nightmare instead of Luna and how the Goddess of Light could have ended up becoming a merciless tyrant.
In many worlds he had seen four beings watching over everything: Fauna Luster, another huge Alicorn with an unpronounceable name, Havoc, and Entropy. In fact he saw them in so many worlds that he wondered if they existed in this one as well. Maybe in a different form or they were on the universal scale what Celestia, Luna and he were for this world?
He saw so much in Truth but only the things the personification of Chaos saw in the two other worlds led to his own change.
"That is it! The two worlds! Why didn't I realise that earlier?"
He knew that Fluttercruel would eventually ask what did happen to him anyway. The only real way for her to understand it would be to let her see these two worlds and if they were what allowed him to understand something about himself, then maybe that was what she needed to see as well.
Discord concentrated and split off two parts of himself. Then he linked both of them together and sent one right to where Truth was located. The Draconequus smiled when a distorted image of the last world he saw appeared in the part left behind. He was always good at bending rules to his own advantage. Carefully the incarnation shaped the image into a mirror and sealed it for now. Somehow he knew that he would need this window very soon.
The next time the Elements of Harmony were used again, his seal would weaken. But Celestia wasn't stupid and did likely notice the connection by now. She surely did something to strengthen the seal. Discord did notice the irony, after all in the past he did also manipulate the seal the two Goddesses had put on their own powers.
Somehow he felt strange. It was almost like a storm was coming but he didn't understand this strange fear. Nothing of any importance ever happened in this white space, so there was no reason to be worried. The Draconequus decided to ignore this feeling.
Satisfied with himself he decided to take a short nap for now.
Fluttercruel fell out of her bed and crashed into the floor under her. It took her some time to recover and reorientate herself but she soon realised where she was. Her bed was dark blue and the bed sheet was black with red stripes. Somehow it seemed strangely familiar. In fact the entire decoration surrounding her was so similar to what she would have changed Fluttershy's home into if she would have had the chance. All those cute and warm colors annoyed her. That was before the nerd and the farmer had trapped and expelled her into the dark place.
She would have died without any doubt. But she was saved: By Discord of all things. Why? Why did he do this? Something had changed but what was it? What did she feel right now?
The former pegasus was still thinking about the very center of her own Chaos. She was sure that she did see her own core. It was a strange but very comforting feeling. She was no puppet or just a mere leftover of some spell. Fluttercruel knew that she was somepony. For a very short moment her very own soul was floating just before her eyes.
Slowly the memory of her dream returned to her. It even had its own title: Cupcakes. The more she thought about it the funnier it seemed to her. The story was just absurd. There was no way the pink pony of all beings would be actually able or willing to do anything like this, ever. She started to chuckle. It was more like an odd joke, than a horror story.
Unlike with Pinkie Pie before she had a few unpleasant memories about Rainbow Dash. The weather patrol pony could be selfish and arrogant. The time when the blue pegasus completely ignored the fluttering pony falling down below the clouds came into her mind. Rainbow didn't even seem to realise what she had done.
"And for being so clueless Dash deserves
" to her own surprise Fluttercruel could hear her own voice quiver.
She knew what it was like to be on the other side of cruelty. These things in the dark place almost slowly tortured her to death.
nopony deserves that
The young chimera couldn't laugh at Rainbow Dash's suffering no matter how hard she tried. Instead she would like to charge right in, beat that Pinkie Pie imposter up until whoever she really is thinks that she is a cupcake and then mock the ponies in the village with so few ponies inside, that they apparently were too stupid to notice all the missing ponies.
Fluttercruel decided to take a walk to order her thoughts. As she opened the door, she realised that her house was floating over the ground and glided to the grass below her. Flying would have been more entertaining but as long as she could summon random obstacles she rather walked the ground like Fluttershy.
The pegasus started to wonder what their relation was. Since she was created by Discord using Fluttershy as a basis would this make the ultimate doormat her mother? Now this would make her Family Appreciation Days much more interesting then the ones she remembered from Fluttershy's life. But daydreams aside the coward would just be afraid of her, especially with the way she looked right now. Fluttershy was afraid of her own shadow for Chaos's sake!
Soon she found the old man lying on the ground snoring loudly. Several of his pink cotton candy clouds were flying in the air but none of them did rain chocolate. Fluttercruel sat next to him. He didn't react at all. She knew that she had to get an answer out of him why he saved her. But the bucket of water was getting old, so she decided to do something surprising and just wait for him to awaken.
The Draconequus found himself in a huge room sitting on his own throne. Despite its size the place was almost completely filled with all kinds of stuff from creepily moving puppets to stuffed animals to weapons to muffins and a ridiculously big screen TV. Twilight Sparkle and Applejack stood before him but they were completely grey and dried blood could be seen in their fur. Twilight looked at him but he was unable to say anything.
Then she began to talk about what she did, it was something about burning notes, spells and books but Discord wasn't really listening. He was frozen with fear about what could come next. Finally the grey unicorn listed how many fillies practising magic, Changelings and Hippogriffs they killed in Ponyville on his orders. The number of lost lives was so high.
The grey Applejack began to whisper something to her comrade about this not being like the time with the test pattern on TV. Despite the unresponsiveness of the Draconequus she talked about who she hadn't exterminated. Then Fluttercruel and Pinkie Pie came into the room carrying weapons dripping blood. The eyes and the smile on the blood covered Fluttercruel shocked Discord back to his senses.
"This is not real. This could have been my kingdom but it isn't. And I will never create a world like this!"
Everything fell apart and dissolved into nothing only to replaced by a different image. It was like watching another vision.
"Did you hear a scream, Luna?"
"No, but you shall tell what you think of my design!"
The Sun Goddess looked at the horrifying chariot her sister had created to win the hearts of the ponies from Ponyville with. It looked ready to impale whoever unlucky pegasus flew next to it. And Nightmare Night was only a few days away.
"I like the pointy structure but it needs something round to even that out," the older Alicorn said as politely as possible.
"Hmmm. I know! I shall place a giant green eye on the front."
Princess Celestia had to use all her willpower to not facehoof at this.
She had never heard him scream. The pure look of terror on his face when he awakened startled her. Did he have a nightmare? Several of the floating bubbles and parts of the edge of the world vanished as he lost his concentration.
She had secretly hoped that she would surprise him but now it took the young chimera three minutes before she could hear normally again. The Draconequus had calmed down after seeing her and so she decided not to get sidetracked and concentrate on the question she wanted to ask.
"Why what, Fluttercruel?"
"Why did you save me?"
"What do you think, my little princess?"
"STOP PLAYING GAMES! Just tell me." the young chimera almost exploded.
The Draconequus signed and looked her right into the eyes.
"I think you can take it. Just one more question. Do you remember how it is like to want something more then everything else in the world?"
Fluttercruel started to think about it. She had wanted to change everything about Fluttershy when she had taken her place. But back then she thought she was Fluttershy. Later when she was banished to the dark place she just wanted to live. Now she wanted to understand what was going on and have some way to vent her frustration.
But thanks to Fluttershy's memories she knew what it was like to really want something but being unable to get it. She knew how lonely Fluttershy was when she was just a bullied filly and how happy when she finally made some friends in the other five. She hated to admit it but again the memories of the kind pony were actually useful for something.
"Yes, I think I know what you are talking about."
"Well, my goals involved spreading Chaos all over the world and breaking everyone that dared to stand in my way. I would be lying if I said that I didn't enjoy seeing them fail to resist me. For many lifetimes I followed this way. But then I saw what would await me at the end of this path."
A mirror like image floated before them. It showed a chaotic castle, Derpy Hooves futilely running around the structure, Pinkie Pie attacking random ponies with a look of pure insanity, Applejack constantly lying to her friends, Rarity living in a huge pile of worthless rocks and always trying to add more to her collection, the Princesses being turned into statues and forced to watch everything, Twilight remembering her past only to loose her memory to Discord's interference, Rainbow Dash trying to help somepony only to sacrifice another one in her place and finally Fluttercruel saw herself wearing the same outfit from her nightmare and doing the same things to the pony helplessly tied up. The changes in the scenery and ponies around them aging and dying made her think that this went on for an eternity. And Discord ruled over this madness. But there was something different about that Draconequus.
Only now she did realise she had unintentionally moved closer and closer to Discord. Her entire body was shaking with fear. Suddenly the dream wasn't so funny anymore.
The young chimera saw the image of an Alicorn she didn't know fighting against the corrupted Elements and this Alicorn was completely badflank. She threw around spells like it was nothing, countered every attack of the Elements and finally managed to turn Twilight back to her normal self. Only a few seconds later Discord brutally murdered the Alicorn and the other version of Fluttercruel started to devour the remains.
How was that possible? Sure, she wanted to be cruel to others but this couldn't be her future! The mere thought of cannibalism made her sick. If she had eaten anything since her birth she would probably vomit right now.
At this point Fluttercruel collapsed to the ground. But Discord caught her.
"I had the same reaction. But this isn't everything I witnessed. I also saw this."
The mirage showed Twilight looking into the night sky. For a split second a transparent Discord was sitting next to her. The grey unicorn watched the stars and suddenly said:
"They are still beautiful."
Fluttercruel was shocked that this stargazing unicorn was still able to hold on to the slightest bit of her character after she had suffered for so long. Why did the nerd seem so strong when Fluttercruel's other version just fell into the abyss? By now the grey pegasus was sitting right next to Discord and her body did shake much less then before. The fears started to vanish.
Then the image changed again. This time it showed Fluttershy's house when she suddenly met another Fluttercruel in a mirror, another version of herself. The watching chimera didn't understand why Discord had shown her this. The other Fluttercruel easily dominated her kind half and would likely win this battle of wills and just repeat the same actions she had seen in the earlier vision.
But with one sentence Fluttershy managed to turn the confrontation around and finally sung the other Fluttercruel to sleep. Images rushed past her: Fluttershy teaching Fluttercruel about kindness and friendship, Fluttercruel taking over and being nothing like the version she had seen before, Fluttershy being corrupted into a Nightmare by a well meaning Fluttercruel and finally Fluttercruel fighting her way back from oblivion to save her other half with the help of the others.
"These aren't visions of the future. They are other worlds, other timelines I saw. You are free to decide what you want to be. The question is what you want to be and if you are able to live with yourself. Thanks to the powers of Chaos it will be a very long life, so you better think ahead where you want to end. And you can be happy. My counterparts are monsters in both worlds, just like..."
He signed. She looked at him thoughtfully. Fluttercruel understood who managed the impossible and made the Draconequus reconsider himself and save her: Her other self. The other Fluttercruel's determination and strong will let her do the impossible and face down the corrupted Fluttershy. But that strength came from the teachings of the other Fluttershy. How could kindness be so strong? How could both pegasi overcome themselves?
Her father also overcame himself to save her. Discord did what nopony expected him to do.
Now she realised what the difference between the two Discords was: The eyes! There was something in his eyes that was completely gone in the eyes of the Discord ruling over this madness. In fact when she thought back about the moment she had seen him in the labyrinth his eyes were also very different back then, like a fire that was almost extinguished. But now they were burning with something that wasn't there before.
She wondered what she could be. And could the young chimera really be anything from a monster to a hero? That thought didn't even occur to her until now. So many choices were ahead of her and she would not be afraid of them. Maybe she would one day also understand this strength she saw in her other self? Fluttercruel looked at the empty sky above them and started to smile.
"You know what this night needs? Some stars!"
The cotton candy clouds moved aside and the sky was clear. Discord smiled at her and produced a piece of paper and a brush out of nowhere and drew the constellation of "Ursa Minor" on it. And just like this it appeared on the night sky.
Then he handed the brush to Fluttercruel who thought about what she could draw and decided to draw a picture of a dragon she was once shown by Fluttershy's father. It was a strange dragon without wings but with a long body and relatively short arms and legs which overall made him resemble the Draconequus sitting next to her. Again the constellation formed on the sky. It made her also realize that nearly everything she knew, she knew from Fluttershy. It was strange how the pony, that didn't even know that she lived, did so much for her by just existing.
She handed the brush back to the old man who drew a bucket on the paper. So the majestic constellation of the great water bucket appeared on the sky. Both looked at each other and broke into laughter.
Fluttercruel grabbed the brush and decided to place the constellation of the wet Draconequus right next to it. She had to admit that this was much funnier than dropping buckets of water on others.
Again Discord took the brush and this time he painted a very detailed constellation of a stargazing unicorn with a very familiar mane on the night sky.
She understood who this was and she began to wonder if the discorded unicorn saving him was what made him chose Twilight as the form for her teacher. Without even knowing it the grey unicorn managed to reach him, she was there when he needed help the most. This Twilight would never learn what she did with a simple sentence.
The younger incarnation of Chaos knew perfectly well how her father must have felt after seeing this. Without the grey unicorn nopony would have come to Fluttercruel's aid when the shadows started to devour her. Twilight Tragedy did save her as well. The young chimera began to think about herself.
"I am neither of them, not the being that choose to turn nightmares into reality nor was I able to fight my way out of oblivion by myself."
"You don't have to be any of them. I think I begin to understand. But I refuse to lose all sense of humor just because those two other versions drained anything creative and fun out of Chaos. Neither should you. I might not enjoy the suffering of helpless mortals anymore but there many other things we could still laugh at."
Fluttercruel briefly wondered if she would find her own place, her own identity. Some ponies could need a beating but there were some beings she wouldn't want to be hurt. What point did cruelty have if it was just directed at anypony without rhyme or reason? But just looking at her dad was strangely comforting. It was like she was standing right before her goal. She felt like everything would eventually be alright.
Slowly the miniature sun rose and the constellations vanished as the light returned. As she could see clearer, Fluttercruel looked around the small world and noticed the two big mountains that decorated the world. Popcorn erupted in irregular intervals from one mountain and the bubbles floating in the air reflected the light of the sun in all possible and some impossible colors.
The floating river and her hovering house both were chaotic and nonsensical but unlike the Chaos she saw in Ponyville there was some rhythm to it. As she glanced around everything she noticed that her body didn't share the same Cutie Mark Fluttershy had.
"Do you think I will ever get a Cutie Mark? I am not exactly a normal pony anymore."
"Hmmm. To be honest I don't know myself. I never got one but this doesn't mean anything. The other you wasn't exactly normal either. Both Celestia and Luna have those and they are also far from normal. You still have plenty of time to find out if you get one. Those things usually appear when you start to discover yourself."