As I Was Walking Down The Stair, I Was A Pony Who Wasn't There

I'm just trying to decide who I'm going to use to do it. Maybe if I use this journal to talk through the options it'll be easier to figure out.

It can't be Golden Apple, because Applejack probably knows every single Apple in Equestria. That's too bad, really. I mean, the fact that he's an earth pony and that therefore I actually have to use my hooves to pick things up when I'm him used to annoy me greatly, if I recall correctly... I've noticed my memory from the time before I was stone isn't what it used to be. I suppose a thousand years is a lot of wear and tear on anyone's memory. Golden Apple would have been perfect for this because he was the rabble-rouser, the revolutionary, the guy who went to all the secret meetings about how can we possibly overthrow Discord? I'm chuckling just remembering that. All those ponies, thinking their plans were so Top Secret and being so afraid that if I ever found out I'd send secret police to take them away in the night (apparently, I had police? They must have been so secret even I didn't know about them), or possibly show up and turn them into a turnip. (Heaven forfend. Ponies plotting to rebel against my unrule were far too entertaining to make them into turnips. Though screech owls wasn't beyond the question), and there I was, in the form of Golden Apple, riling them up and encouraging them to come up with all kinds of ridiculous plans. Oh, I miss those days.

...is that a problem? The thought just occurred to me, I'm planning all this to prevent myself from becoming evil again, but if I'm looking back on the days of my unrule fondly, does that mean I'm evil now? I wouldn't do that now; I don't even want to take over Equestria. When Tirek offered that we could rule together, I had every intention of sticking him with all of the 'ruling' parts and only exercising my authority if he did something I didn't like. But I think back to how funny it was that those ponies trying to overthrow me didn't know I was a member of their revolutionary cells, listening in on all their plans, even contributing... and it's still funny. I'm sorry, it is. If you can't see the funny side of it, I feel sorry for you that being "good" has obviously caused a terminal failure of your sense of humor. (I have no idea who "you" are. No one is ever supposed to read this. Am I talking to my journal as if it's a pony? Should I animate it? Ponify it? Make it capable of having a conversation with me? No, not that one, somepony would overhear. Maybe I should give it eyeballs though.)

But that means I'm evil, doesn't it? Because I know perfectly well what Fluttershy's opinion would be, or any of the gang. They'd be horrified that I played a prank like that on ponies that wanted to destroy me. They'd be even more horrified if I told them that sometimes I used the information I learned about who they were to better disharmonize them; that trick always works better if you know enough about the target to know how to mess with their head, and hey, those ponies wanted to kill me, banish me, or imprison me, so by any standard they ought to have been fair game. But I know Fluttershy wouldn't approve. And yet... it's still funny! I know what pony morality says, I know what Fluttershy believes, and I want to be a worthy friend, I want to be someone she can look at and say 'no, Discord's not evil' and have it be true... but it's not, is it. I'm just fooling her. The only reason she's still my friend is she doesn't know how much I miss it. Not just the chaos – of course, I'd love to have the chaos back, if it weren't for the fact that right now I feel like having the chaos back would prove how terrible I am and that I don't deserve to have any friends. But I actually miss messing with ponies. Scaring them, disharmonizing them, finding just the perfect combination of cruelties to tip them over the edge into madness, or trying to lock themselves in a hut far away from ponies for the rest of their lives.

I'm not supposed to like that anymore. I'm supposed to feel ashamed when I remember the things I did. But I don't. I feel ashamed that I don't, but I don't feel ashamed. They were toys. They were fun to play with. They weren't real, like Fluttershy.

I know that isn't right. But I can't help feeling what I feel. Which is why I have to do this. I already miss messing with ponies' heads. How long will it be before I miss it enough that I sneak around behind Fluttershy's back and do it anyway? How long before the only reason I care about what she thinks is that she'll stop being my friend if she knows how awful I really am? (To be completely honest... it was several months after she made friends with me before I actually did start to care about what she thinks for any reason other than being afraid that she'd stop being my friend.)

So anyway. Golden Apple's out. Turbulence is an option; it's not like Rainbow Dash knows every pegasus that ever lived in Cloudsdale, and if I have him on the Vanhoover weather team, maybe raised in Las Pegasus rather than Cloudsdale, there's no way she'd think she ought to know him. But Turbulence isn't the kind of guy who makes friends and influences ponies. The last time I used him, I was playing weather pranks on ponies more or less nonstop, because if I was playing weather pranks in the form of a pegasus there was no way it was going to get back to Fluttershy in any way that she'd think it was me. I mean, he's fictional, so I suppose I could play him with a different characterization, but the whole point to giving them all distinct personalities was so that ponies who met them twice wouldn't figure out from the inconsistencies that they aren't real ponies. Turbulence is kind of like Rainbow Dash with a more aggressive attitude, less posturing about being an awesome stunt flyer and more about his skill with weather effects (which, since he's me, really are better than any other pegasus, at least in terms of getting the weather started... stopping it's another story, but who really wants to stop a really wild thunderstorm? Or a tornado. Sweet chaos, but I love tornadoes. I know ponies hate them, judging from the fact that pegasi are always shutting those things down and very rarely starting them, but I think they're marvelous. They're a solid cone of nothing but wind that destroys every pony-made object in their path, and a lot of things that aren't pony-made, like trees. If it weren't for the fact that sometimes they can kill, and I have never liked killing, I would have used them all the time.)

Eris is a draconequus, and after I was stuck for a thousand years as a statue no one is going to believe there's another draconequus around, considering they never saw any while I was in stone. Besides, anyone who knows Minotian knows that her name means the same thing that mine does. I suppose I could re-cast her as a pony femme fatale, but being a slinky sexy mare would probably only be good for influencing a pony or two at a time, not the massive outcry I'm trying to stir up. Besides... I'm just not feeling it. Anarchy is an alicorn and everypony knows there are no male alicorns, that there are only four alicorns total (which is actually incorrect but nopony's seen the Alicorn of Desolation in a couple of centuries... wonder if Celestia would tell me her name if I told her that I know about that one?), and also, educated ponies today know what the word anarchy means. I only got away with that one ever because pony vocabularies were a lot less sophisticated after I turned all the books into pies.

No. It's going to have to be Twister. Which could be a problem if anypony saw me shift to take on Tirek, but I'm fairly sure no one did. He's a unicorn, he supposedly has ties in Canterlot even if he's a weather pony in Las Pegasus (I looked this up; a unicorn doing weather working is actually not as ridiculous and implausible as I thought it was, which is unfortunate. I really wanted it to be ridiculous and implausible. But I suppose he's a better cover if his story doesn't seem impossible to the average pony.) He's already a member of one exclusive club, and while there's a fairly large difference between an upscale, discreet club for xenophiles of all species, and a club for wealthy upper-class unicorns, I know how they work well enough to be able to fake my way into a club. Twister would be better able to meet with some noble ponies, in a place where they feel free to say whatever they want, and get them on board with the idea of demanding justice.

I've been considering who can influence a fairly large group of politically experienced and powerful ponies who can actually bring pressure to bear on Celestia. So I did some research on the nobility, and I think I know who my target is going to be.

You hear that, Twister? You're going to go make a new friend!

(Why do I have conversations with the imaginary ponies I made up, anyway? It's not like I need them anymore. I'm not in stone. I can have conversations with real ponies.

Maybe it's just that I don't want to offend their little imaginary sensibilities and make them stomp off in a huff on their little imaginary hooves, because I know, where I'm going, I'm going to need them again.)


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