Shady: Line Of Fate
A tribute to: My Little Pony Friendship is Magic
Healing Pony POV Series by alexwarlorn
Surprise was still awake in the middle of the night. Ever since she heard about his nightmares from his mother the pegasus tried to find ways to cheer her friend up. After all the fun she had with his games it was only fair. Sure Galaxy, Wind Whistler, Spike, Star-Reacher and even Mimic didn't seem to like him that much, but the others were fond of Discord. He was one of them.
Around the time little Celestia and Luna were born the nightmares disappeared. She wondered if those two had something to do with it. But that would be silly.
The time afterwards was pure bliss. Discord cheered Luna up after the poor filly overheard what Wind Whistler said about her. Surprise had never seen so many funny faces in such a short time. And there were still some ponies out there who thought he was dangerous.
Soon she, AJ and Discord started to combine their efforts to make the best pranks ever. Most of them targeted Celestia and Luna. Primarily because the things the two did in return were always fun. What kind of prankster could only dish it out but can't take it?
The little group around Discord still wondered what a good comeback to the cheerleader costume incident could be.
Eventually Discord spent less time with pranks and more time with Celestia and Luna and his magic became even better. The mere thought about the pranks they could pull with this kind of power almost made Surprise drool.
This went on for several decades and Discord even got monsters to bow to him. Even Wind Whistler had to admit, that this ability could make the entire Paradise Estate a safer place for everypony. Eventually Luna got over her annoyance at the night creatures following her around. The future was bright.
Then in the night after Celestia was somehow able to move the sun, his nightmares returned, worse than ever. He stayed the entire day afterwards close to Shady. Neither of them told her, but Surprise just had to look into his eyes to see what had happened. The entire rest of the day, no matter what she did, every single thing the pegasus tried to cheer him up failed.
Even now in the middle of the night she could only think about something that could distract him from the nightmares.
"Maybe a game or a challenge
Thanks to his impressive power it was hard to come up with a game that was even remotely difficult for Discord.
Suddenly she had an idea. It would involve a lot of mirrors to make it look like Discord could move the sunlight. It was a work in progress but Surprise felt a sudden burst of energy and rushed into action.
She was sure that the other ponies wouldn't mind if she borrowed a few mirrors and other reflective things. Around ten minutes later she had already an impressive collection of items placed around Shady's house. But there still weren't enough materials. Surprise needed 4 additional mirrors.
Then she remembered Mimic's horseshoes.
She decided to apologize later and soon she snuck into house of the gifted unicorn. In the darkness it was unexpectedly hard to find Mimic's bedroom. Carefully Surprise approached the bed, only to find Celestia and Luna sleeping inside. Then she saw that one of Mimic's horseshoes hanged above the bed of the two, shining in the moonlight.
Surprise was so concentrated on her target, that she didn't notice Luna emitting a strange glow. Carefully the white pegasus fluttered over them and removed the horseshoe. Now she just had to land carefully.
Her landing was less graceful and even Applejack would criticise it as clumsy. Somehow Surprise ended up on Luna's head. It was only a brief moment, causing Luna's glow to flicker. But the pegasus didn't see that and immediately jumped off the pony.
To her own astonishment even this didn't wake the two up. But she still had three more horseshoes to borrow, so she silently left the room.
Luna wanted to see what his dreams were like. After the entire day without him, she wondered if the nightmares Discord once talked about had returned.
Somehow the incantation of the moon made it. Somehow she looked into his dreams, no his nightmares. It was worse than anything Luna had ever seen. Discord legs and wings were broken. Still he desperately tried to escape from an equator long horned snake monster. It was exactly like in his description. And it was strangely similar to Discord himself.
But he hadn't told them about the landscape. It was filled with broken and deformed bodies. The air was so cold her breath was visible and strange shadows of ponies moved around.
Luna had to help him, she had to reach him.
But even as young goddess tried to take one step forward the shadows overwhelmed her and she was helpless to watch.
Suddenly Luna felt a headache and found herself in a green field, birds sung in the air and she could see two beings before her. Shady sat under a tree and caressed little Discord.
At first it seemed like his nightmare was over but somehow the incantation of the moon knew this wasn't his dream anymore. It was Shady's. Luna could feel it.
"Don't worry. The nightmares are over."
Even in her dreams his mother was there for him. Then Luna realized that the real Discord was still trapped in his horrible nightmare. She couldn't help him. But if there was one pony who could, then she was standing right in front of the young goddess.
"Shady, this is your dream. Your son needs you."
The earth pony eyed her, and then looked at her sleeping child. Shady wished with all her heart that this could be real, but somehow she could feel that it wasn't true. Her beloved child was still suffering in a way she could not fight or even see. Slowly her vision of him vanished in her hoofs.
"Let me try something."
Luna moved closer to her, put her wings around Shady and suddenly they were both in the creepiest and most twisted landscape the earth pony had ever seen. Countless shadows of ponies swarmed them immediately.
Luna was overwhelmed in seconds, Shady was surrounded as well. Slowly they started to cover her. Then she saw her Discord.
He was wounded, his legs and wings broken. A gigantic beast chased after him, the very same thing that had suggested his name. Then it tortured him with images of his mother being brutally murdered over and over. Some things were too horrible for her to even comprehend. And this monster did this to her child.
Desperately she tried to reach him as the shadows around her started to melt away.
Her child saw his mother. Both immediately rushed at each other. The beast tried to grab him but Discord evaded it at the very last second. He had to reach his mother.
Both hugged in the middle of the nightmarish landscape. More shadows started to melt into nothing.
"It's okay. It's over. I am here for you."
Discord's wounds started to heal. Luna managed to crawl out of her imprisonment.
"Not so fast!"
Both Discord and Shady were grabbed by the gigantic monster, Shady simply refused to see him as anything similar to the child she raised. The beast simply grinned at them and opened its jaws revealing a firestorm.
"Oh don't resist yourself! That's just silly! We're going to love it! You loved it so much before! And you will again in a second! You just need to remember how fun it is!"
Tears came down Discord's face.
"And mother can join into the fun as well!"
Suddenly Discord started to burn. The heat was so intense that his counterpart screamed in pain, dropping both of his victims. Luna managed to grab Shady, while Discord charged at his other side.
The beast merely grinned and slashed at the Draconequus with his claw. To the shock of everyone present the collision destroyed the claw instead, knocking little Discord back next to his mother. Despite the crash landing on the ground, he didn't stop glaring at the monster.
"Leave my mother alone!"
The wounded monster also took a few steps back. It looked at Dissy with wide eyes, then snarled with fury the likes of which no one present had seen. "Oh no you don't, it's time I put you in your place."
Suddenly two huge and impossible to comprehend shades loomed over Discord and his counterpart. The images made the beast look tiny in comparison and without a single word they devoured the beast in one bite. Then they moved closer to Discord.
With one final look at his mother behind him Discord flew right at the shades. Then his mother heard her little child swear at the abominations.
"Go back to PONY HELLLLLL!"
The fire around him shifted in strange forms. The images before him spoke; somehow Luna was able to recognize the two voices.
Luna had to hold Shady back from running after her child.
The fire around Discord erupted until the form was as large as the devoured beast.
The fire suddenly took a different form, not resembling Discord but another Draconequus. It looked like it had the rear legs of a buffalo and a bull, the tail of a monkey, the arm of a gorilla, and the other one was a tentacle. Its wings were one lizard crest and one dove wing.
Before they could devour him, the Draconequus exploded right before their faces. The abominations merely swallowed the explosion.
"Haha! See, you little brat?! You're nothing!" yelled the beast from within the shades. The shades eyes widened. "What?!"
Images of Shady playing with Discord appeared around the creatures. The few remaining shadows on the ground vanished into nothing.
The bodies of the abominations started to deform like something was trying to push its way out from the inside.
"No! This...this can't be happening!" the beast screamed in disbelief. "You...you're not this strong!"
More and more memories surrounded them: Visions of Firefly saving Discord from a cockatrice, images of the flowers he made in Posey's garden, visions of pranks he pulled with Applejack and Surprise, images of Discord making faces at Luna, visions of Celestia talking with him at the sunset.
The images became clearer and clearer. Eventually Shady and Luna could even hear the voices of these memories.
"I've got all of you, and you've got all of us. We're all a family!"
The memories charged at the abominations. The shades growled in pain with each hit.
The detonation inside kept growing, becoming stronger with each memory that joined into. But the shades remained strong. Nothing seemed to be able to overcome them. The force of the explosion inside began to diminish.
"Ha! You had me worried there for a second, but I told you, you're nothing, now accept your fate!"
Slowly the abominations approached Shady and Luna.
Finally only one memory was left: Celestia talking with Discord in the sunset. Without hesitation the last piece flew into the abominations.
Nothing happened. But the shades suddenly seemed VERY scared.
"N-no! Don't do it! I was joking! I was kidding! Haha! Funny, see?...O-Ok! That wasn't funny! Come on, let's fuse together like two good pieces of a personality! Be one big happy Discord!" the beast BEGGED, sounding like a scared child about to be punished.
"I've got all of you, and you've got all of us. We're all a family!"
Then the explosion inside increased tenfold.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" the beast screamed as the blast consumed the abominations and obliterated them completely from the inside out. Absolutely nothing of them remained except the beast's death cry echoing over the dreamscape.
Both Shady and Luna were pushed back by the larger and larger growing destruction. In desperation Luna grabbed the earth pony and escaped from the vanishing nightmare.
As Luna woke up in her bed she rushed over to Shady's home. Countless mirrors were placed around them, some looking strangely familiar but the Goddess of the Night didn't care about that.
Inside several lockers were open and clothes were lying on the ground. Shady frantically searched for someone. Luna immediately understood who was missing. Discord was nowhere to be seen.
They tried to obvious solution first. But Twilight was not able to locate the missing Draconequus with her wishes. Destiny couldn't be altered that easily.
Star-Reacher seemed uneasy but didn't say anything.
Meanwhile Surprise had to return all her borrowed items. Applejack volunteered to help her. Not every mirror reached it's destination in one piece. Mimic had 4 horseshoes back but was too busy to check them any closer.
The weather had become strange and chaotic. Pink clouds constantly rained chocolate rain all over Paradise Estate. Animals and monsters had undergone strange changes, some changed size while others started to dance around. Nopony knew that Timberwolves were such good dancers.
Nopony knew what all of this could mean.
So the ponies decided to form search parties: Galaxy went together with Twilight, Posey decided to follow Applejack, Spike went with Star-Reacher, while the pegasi Firefly, Wind Whistler and Surprise each flew off into different directions to cover as much ground as possible. Luna and Celestia teleported to any place they had ever visited with Discord.
Mimic however choose to stay with Shady. The stress of the entire experience in his dream had exhausted her more than she wanted to admit. Every movement was painful.
Surprise realized that she still had one horseshoe left. She had no idea whose this one was, so the white pegasus decided to keep it as a good luck charm for her search.
After hours of unsuccessful searching for the Draconequus near the Paradise Estate, Surprise heard Discord's voice near a cave.
"No, try harder!"
He sounded strangely serious. Surprise wondered what could have happened.
Slowly she tiptoed into the cave, following it into the darkness as the voice became clearer.
"And again, seriously how hard can this be?"
Eventually she found him together with a cockatrice. Her first instinct was to charge in, rescue him and then maybe sing a song about it later. But something was different.
Discord looked horrible. His body was covered in scars and injuries, constantly bleeding on the floor. Most cuts were on his head. Countless parts of the cave walls were covered in his blood. Surprise didn't understand what could have hurt him with all his powerful magic.
The basilisk seemed outworn but still followed the order. The cockatrice concentrated itself and slowly Discord turned into stone. The spell stopped just before his face was covered in stone.
"This time it almost worked
As the cockatrice collapsed in exhaustion the spell reversed itself and the Draconequus noticed the intruder.
"Surprise, seriously sometimes your timing is worse than AJ's."
"What are you doing?"
While he spoke to the pagasus he avoided to look into her eyes.
"The only thing I can do to make sure that I never hurt anypony or anything again. I think we only need a few more tries and
"Stop this! This doesn't make any sense."
"Actually this makes perfect sense. Even after I defeated my other self, I still got most of my memories back. It is only a matter of time before I become insane. I don't know how much time I have left."
Suddenly vines grew out of the rocks behind her and dragged Surprise against the cave wall. Her good luck charm fell to the ground.
Almost mechanical the Draconequus moved away from her, deeper into the darkness so the pegaasus couldn't see him anymore.
"When this is over, please tell Shady and the others I am sorry."
Slowly the basilisk rose from the ground and tried once more to turn the Draconequus to stone.
Discord knew it had to work this time. After the ordeal in his mind he only had a fraction of his former power left. Then he spent hours wasting it around the world, repairing a few broken houses and bridges while he was at it. Now finally he should be weak enough to be transformed into stone. Surprise's interruption had cost him enough time.
This wasn't a normal petrification, the incantation of chaos put his own power into it was well. The Draconequus was sure that the others wouldn't be able to reverse this transformation.
He couldn't feel his feet anymore. The personification of chaos considered this a good sign.
Surprise screamed something but he didn't listen, he concentrated on the cockatrice's eyes.
The petrification covered his body as well.
This time it would work.
Only his head was left.
Only a few moments more
A hoof slamming into his face interrupted the eye contact. Again the spell was broken. Angry the Draconequus turned to face the sudden interruption, but when he saw who hit him he froze in fear.
It was Shady.
In his entire life she had never tried to hurt him but this punch was painful.
Behind her stood Galaxia still in her Star-Reacher disguise, Celestia, Luna, Mimic, Spike, Galaxy, Twilight, Posey, Applejack, Firefly and Wind Whistler.
"DISCORD! I ORDER YOU TO STOP!"
"Order? ORDER-?! You have no idea what you are asking me to do! You don't know what I did and what I could do!"
"Then tell me everything."
"No, this would destroy you
His mother starred into his blank and exhausted eyes.
For the first time the Draconequus was completely speechless.
Wordless Mimic picked up her missing horseshoe.
After a few seconds the incantation of chaos was able to answer Shady.
"Only on two conditions: Everyone but my mother leaves this cave and nopony tries to listen in."
To his surprise everyone even Surprise and the basilisk left the cave. Galaxia guarded the entrance. Only his mortal mother remained by his side. They still trusted him. The personification was sure this would change if they knew even a fraction of the truth. Outside the animals and monsters turned back into their original forms and stopped dancing. Posey gave the exhausted cockatrice a backrub.
Then Discord sat next to his mother and told her everything about his story he could remember:
The personification of chaos told her about his other family: Entropy, Havoc, Strife, Destruction, Anarchy and Pandora. Discord warned her to never use the name of his other mother. Entropy had the habit to see this as an attempt to control her by saying that she will or can or cannot do. The punishment was usually oblivion.
He told her about his actions around Celestia and Luna. How he tried to get them to share his point of view.
She calmly listened despite the pain she still felt, sitting on the comfy couch he had created for her. From time to time she interrupted him to patch up some of his wounds with medical equipment a pragmatic Star-Reacher had left behind. Otherwise Shady just nodded politely.
The entire time his voice was distant and serene.
The Draconequus told her about his activities when the world had to end and why he couldn't bear to see another flutterpony.
Discord told her about his role in the attacks of his toys against the ponies.
He only left out a few details about the war between Alicorns and Draconequi.
His voice started to waver.
"Then I saw my weakened brother and father's wounded Avatar. And in the next moment I found myself
I am a
The Draconequus couldn't continue his story. He just wanted to run away. His mother was a withdrawn pony, her entire life her lack of self confidence dragged her down. Some nicknamed her "Little Shadow." Her entire body hurt and she was exhausted. How could he torture her with his own horrible story?
Discord wondered how much easier it could have been Firefly hadn't saved him from the basilisk back then. Outside the sky was completely covered in pink clouds, raining chocolate down at the inhabitants below. The chaotic storm got worse and worse.
He would go to his other mother and ask her to erase him but Discord knew that she would consider this entire turn of events hilarious.
The Draconequus started to turn grey, and then his wings started to become pitch black. The darkness spread around him, slowly covering his torso. Outside the storm had become a hurricane.
Suddenly he felt a warn embrace. His mother hugged him. The incantation of chaos weakly tried to shake her off but she didn't let go.
Then he heard her whisper a slow melody into his ear.
There's a place where the broken go
There's a room full of second chances
You're not stranded on your own
You're not invisible
His darkness stopped growing, just before it had reached his head.
I'm ready to listen, there's no need
To hold it all inside
The smallest whisper, I hear it
When your strength has all but died
The blackness vanished and his colors returned to normal.
I need you to believe me, can you trust me
That what you see is not what I see?
The reflection in the mirror is telling lies
'Cause nothing you have done can change how much I love you
The Draconequus sobbed, he was on the verge of tears. Outside the weather returned to normal.
thank you, mother."
Discord had to admit that he knew no mortal or god who could just look into this abyss without blinking. And some ponies called her "Little Shadow."
The Draconequus continued with the things he did to his pleading brother and the broken remains of his father's Avatar.
Eventually he was done, finishing with the return of his other side and his inner struggle.
Only the timely arrival of his mother had saved him from his other side. From the very beginning the other Discord had planed to devour him. In the end he was able to use the full power of Destruction's omega state against the power gained from Havoc. Normally even the incomplete power of Havoc's weakened avatar would still have won against the power of one of his children.
But he wasn't alone in that battle. In the end both powers erased each other.
"Now you know everything I know right now. You have to admit that my punishment was for the best of everypony."
"No, you were just taking the cowardly way out."
To hear this from his mother hurt more than the incantation of chaos wanted to admit.
"So what do I deserve for all the things he... I did?"
Suddenly a third voice interrupted them. Galaxia was standing behind them.
"A wise being once said that a more fitting punishment would be to live forever with all the memories of what you have done never to fade."
Discord smiled a rueful smile.
"I think you are right
Did you already awaken Cellestia and Luna?"
"No, I didn't want to take this chance for a normal life from them. We need to come up with a convincing story to hide this from them for the time being."
Shady rose from her comfy couch and stood before her son.
"Always remember that you are my son. Nopony can change this, not even Entropy."
It was a beautiful day. The seaponies sung their melodies, earth ponies and unicorns worked outside, while pegasi and flutterponies flew through the air.
The class was getting restless. Their teacher still hadn't arrived and she was never too late. But when the door opened instead of the expected white earth pony with a pink mane and three smilie faced suns for a cutie mark, a grey pegasus stallion with a white mane and a hurricane as a cutie mark entered.
"Hello class, I am Calm Tempest and was sent here to tell you that Lady Sunny Days had to leave with her two sisters on an urgent family matter. She truly regretted not being able to properly say good bye to you."
He didn't tell them that the urgent family matter involved the return of a seemingly lost sister in form of the worst Nightmare the universe had ever seen. He knew that the powers of Havoc's avatar and Destruction had to return eventually. But he never suspected her to be the one wielding them.
Normally he would have joined the three sisters in battle but they decided that someone had to remain behind to keep an eye on this world. After all the Nightmare had the disturbing tendency to take what mattered most to her opponents and crush it before their eyes.
But the world of Equestria itself wasn't free of evil. The tension between the griffons and the ponies continued, even if the last war had happened 20 years ago. Often all four of them wished the ponies knew nothing of war. And someone had to guard the Rainbow of Light to prevent tyrants from abusing its power.
Plus it was always interesting to teach some mortals to think outside the box with a small dose of chaos. A few times when Celestia and the others were busy, he took a more direct approach like turning the explosives meant to take out the entire Equestrian Court into pudding while the speechless assassin watched. The look on the face of the would-be assassin was priceless.
The assassin saw this as a sign to confess his crimes and try to learn a new profession in jail; he ended up working for a tabloid.
Of course Discord knew that the others did similar things to help the ponies in their own way. They all did this when they thought that the other three weren't looking. A purple unicorn filly interrupted his train of thoughts.
"Mister Tempest, Trixie is making funny faces at me!"
"If she continues, she will enjoy writing a 10 page essay about how Equestria had become a democracy until tomorrow."
He took a look at the list of his class members: Twilight Sparkle, Trixie Mid-Summernight, Abigail Jacqueline V, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Pinkamena Diane Pie, Rarity Belle.
Some things never change.