Here we go!
It was the worst kind of hell for Discord, the living embodiment of chaos. Here he was, frozen in place and unable to move even the tiniest fraction of a millimeter. He banged metaphorical fists against his prison, shouted at the top of theoretical lungs and railed against the injustice, his true body not moving even an angstrom.
For an eternity of days, he probed every piece of what the cursed Elements of Harmony sealed him in, looking for something-anything!-to exploit, to pierce and blow through. And finally, after so long... he found a chink in the armor.
And it was useless.
He saw Equestria through it, saw the ponies and griffins and dragons out there. But only the tiniest, merest fraction of his being could leak through. And not all the time, no! Once or twice, and then it would close up forevermore. So the spirit of chaos did the one thing most anathema to his psyche. He watched, waited and planned. And he looked for something rather alien to his thinking, allies.
He saw a blue Unicorn mare in Hoofington, coming home after a day working at an inn. She mumbled to herself while tossing a battered cloak onto a hook in the wall and bits into a pot.
A female griffin at the edge of the Everfree Forest snapped the neck of a deer despite him pleading for his life. She then ripped into his body for her supper.
A white Unicorn stallion lounged about on a couch, telekinetically throwing a glass of wine at a poster of a Unicorn mare. He sat up and scowled, his horn flaring for a moment.
A pair of Unicorn stallions rode down a dirt road atop an odd, contraption, one holding up a map with his magic and the other somehow steering their vehicle with his front hooves.
Three Diamond Dogs ripped apart the ground, digging up gemstones and tossing them into carts. One of them tilted his head back and shouted, shaking a paw at the air, but the others quickly covered their ears and whimpered.
Discord grinned from tail to ear. I have them, my Elements of Discord! He rubbed his forehead. Hmm, rather catchy title. I'll have to patent it when I get out.
Trixie, no longer great or powerful, leaned on her small home's table, forelegs supporting her. She counted the bits in the pot and a half-smile crossed her lips. "Enough for a meal at the cafe," she muttered. "Could be worse, I suppose."
A voice suddenly boomed out throughout the house and her head, a thunderous whisper and mocking voice. "But wouldn't it be so much nicer to be back on top, dear Trixie?" Discord's body suddenly appeared before the Unicorn, translucent. "Wouldn't you want to pay back those who humiliated you?"
Trixie tumbled out of her seat, the chair knocked back and to the floor. She huddled up against the wall, horn glowing. "D-Discord?" she cried out, eyes wide. She looked around, spotting the door and finding it so far away. "W-what-b-but how are you-"
Discord held up a paw and waved her off. "Oh, don't worry, Trixie. I'm not here to mock you, turn you into a shell of your former self or make you a laughingstock." He leaned down, his ethereal form coming within a few feet of her. "The ponies of Ponyville already did that to you, didn't they." He straightened up. "And here I am, ready to help you out!" He suddenly turned around, looking at the table. "She broke off your lifelong friendship for some interloper who didn't even have the decency to be honest about the pranks she pulled on you!"
Trixie's mouth fell open. "What?" She cantered around as Discord began carrying on a conversation with her table. "Trixie... asks what's going on! When did my table get pranks pulled on it?"
Gilda the griffin looked up from the carcass and shoved it aside. She wiped her bloodstained beak and looked up at Discord's shade. Her claws curled into fists. "Pinkie Pie, that lame dweeb from dweebsville?" She shook her fists, spittle flying from her beak. "I'll rip her apart for taking Dash from me!" Her arms abruptly dropped to her sides and her head drooped. "Taking Dash... from me..."
Discord slithered around, body twisting to and fro. "Ah, but Dash tossed you aside for that dweeb, did she not?" He rested a translucent 'arm' on her shoulder, partially going through her flesh. "Doesn't she deserve your anger as well?"
Gilda snorted and shook her head. "Dash? No... but she left me. All alone." She hugged herself. "She sided with that pink dweeb and that yellow loser-oh, I hated that yellow freak!" She tossed her arms into the air. "Lemme at 'em!"
Discord rubbed his lion's paw and eagle's claw together and grinned. "Of course!" He suddenly turned from Gilda and spread his arms wide. "And how she embarrassed you at the Gala, my dear prince! She hurled cake onto you and she and her friends made a mockery of the Gala!"
Gilda blinked. "Hey, hey!" She flew up, flying around Discord. She waved her claws in front of his face. "Anyone home?"
Blueblood peeked up from behind his couch as Discord floated before him. "B-but you're Discord!" he said, ducking back down.
Discord thumped his chest and his face fell, eyes drooping. "Aw, I'm hurt, Blueblood! All I want to do is have a little fun!" He disappeared and reappeared next to the cowering Unicorn. "And my friends and allies always have the most fun!" He swept his lion's paw through the air. "And imagine getting back at Rarity, and those foals that your aunts indulge so much... " He leaned in close to him. "Those same aunts that ignore you and dote on that little Unicorn trollop and her friends?"
Blueblood's mouth worked for a bit before he spoke. "They... ignore me? Me, their nephew and most important Unicorn in Equestria?" He shot to his four hooves. "No, it's not possible!"
Discord held a paw up to his misshapen brow and looked around. "Then where are they, Blueblood?" He twisted around, his lithe body writhing in the air. "They're not here, Blueblood!" He swept around, flying around Blueblood. "But I'm here for you, my friend." He extended a paw. "Would you be my friend?"
Blueblood looked at Discord and shakily extended a foreleg. He touched thedraconequus' spectral form, gasping as his hoof passed through. "Gah!" he shouted, scooting back against the couch and trying to shrink himself into a ball.
Discord glanced to the side and bobbed his shoulders. "I'll take what I can get." He suddenly shot up and flew over the couch. "And you were tossed out of Ponyville even though you won the bet! Your machine is a wonder of magical technology, my fine stallions!" he proclaimed., spreading his arms wide.
Blueblood's head rose up from behind the couch's back and he stared at Discord. "Discord? I-who are you talking to?" He trotted around and up to Discord as the specter gestured. "Discord!" he proclaimed, stomping a hoof. "Discord, do not ignore me!" Tears formed in his eyes. "Nopony ignores Prince Blueblood!"
Flim glanced to his brother, then to the mishmashed cobbled-together translucent creature floating before him. He chuckled slightly. "So, my fine... friend? You like the machine?" he said, patting a barrel set between him and Flam.
Discord nodded. "But of course! A shame the ponies of Ponyville can't appreciate such a fine piece of machinery." He floated by and held up a paw. An apple appeared in it and he bit the core, leaving the exterior intact. "A shame the Apple clan spread such awful slander about your business practices!" He pointed back down the road. "And of course those at Sweet Apple Acres who started it all."
Flam put the map down and looked at Discord. He rubbed his chin. Muzzle and mustache twitching. "Of course!" he declared, stomping a hind hoof on the running boards and standing up on his hindlegs. "If it wasn't for those back at that two-bit town, we'd be rolling in bits!"
Flim looked to his brother and nodded. "Of course, brother of mine!" He thrust a foreleg into the air. "All we wanted was the bits due to us, but those lousy Apples and those stupid friends of theirs and that family trick!" He reached up and tipped his hat off his head and onto his hoof. "Why if I had my way I'd show them whatfor!"
Discord nodded. "Yes, yes! And I'd be more than willing to help you in getting back at those greedy little ponies!" His head and neck suddenly twisted around. "And all you wanted was a day's work from the prissy pony, isn't that right?"
Flim and Flam stared as Discord talked to the air. "Brother of mine," Flam said, "I think our possible benefactor isn't all here."
The three Diamond Dogs peeked their heads up from behind their mining cart and looked at Discord as he floated in the air. Spot, the smallest, hopped up onto the gems inside the cart. "Strange being!" he screeched, jabbing a paw at Discord.
Fido, the largest, loped around. He waved a long, lanky arm at Discord. "He dig gems for us?"
Their leader, Rover, reached over and swatted at Fido's head. "No, he speaks of the Shrill One, she who possesses the voice to shatter walls!" He looked up at Discord. "You help us against petty pony"
Discord nodded, grinning. "But of course! She'll dig up all the gems you want and won't make any of those awful noises!" He suddenly stopped and whirled around. "Oh, no," he mumbled.
Trixie eyed him. "'Oh, no'?" She stepped forward. "What do you mean by that? And who the hay have you been talking to? Blueblood, as in Prince Blueblood? Who is Gilda, and did you mention-"
"No time, no time!" Discord interrupted, waving her off. He spun around in midair, his already-spectral form fading with each gesture. "Well, Trixie, Gilda, Blueblood, Flim, Flam, Fido, Rover and Spot, if you wish to become gods, to take revenge on those who wronged you, then come to the Canterlot Royal Gardens at midnight." He stopped spinning for a second and his eyes focused on a tea kettle. "You'll find something at my prison to aid you in your quest." He held up his paw and waggled his fingers as he faded away. "Ta-ta for now..."
Discord felt the hole closing up around the part of himself still outside. He pushed with all his might against the seal as it reformed, keeping some tiny essence of his power outside the stone. It was a risk, but a calculated one. He shouted in utter, unimaginable pain as part of himself was cut off, left outside. A little something, indeed...
Six blood-red jewels popped into existence in front of the statue in the Royal Canterlot Gardens, dropping onto the grass with a muffled thud. Nopony paid it any attention as the sun dipped down.
Trixie stood there for a moment, silent and head bowed slightly. Her gaze drifted up and her head rose, her eyes landing on a bulletin board on the wall and several clippings from Equestria Daily, Canterlot Times and a few other newspapers, both national and local. She stepped up to it and focused on one picture of a purple Unicorn with a starburst cutie mark and a rather sheepish smile on her muzzle.
"Trixie thinks she hated you, at first," Trixie muttered, looking askance at the table, then at the cupboards. "But time and hindsight helps out with that." A short bark of laughter escaped her and she looked to the ceiling and beyond. "Trixie also is not stupid, Discord. She trusts you about as far as she could throw you. 'Gods'? More like favored playthings for you when you get bored."
She whirled around and her horn glowed. A plain cape and hat floated off a coat-rack and over to her, the cape fastening around her throat and the hat landing right behind her horn. She walked up to the door, but stopped. She looked back as a drawer opened and a map floated up and over to her, unfurling in midair. "If Trixie leaves soon, she'll get to Canterlot with time to spare, assuming that was Blueblood Discord was talking to." The map floated back to the drawer and Trixie's eyes narrowed. "She could tell somepony else... but who?" She nickered and stomped the floor, snorting. "Who would believe her?" she asked herself, eyes going back to the board and an article entitled, 'Local Hero Saves Ponyville from Ursa major'. "Twilight Sparkle? By the time Trixie gets there... Discord might already be loose. And as for those around here? Would anyone believe Trixie?" She shook her head. "Trixie does not think so."
A slightly manic smile crossed her face. "So, Trixie. Nopony will believe such a tale from you, and anypony who might take you seriously, there's no way for you to get to them. I doubt I could get to either Princess Celestia or Luna in Canterlot." She dropped back to all four hooves and walked to the door. "So, does Trixie have any options left to her? Stay here and do nothing?" She shook her head. "Not very likely. Trixie is no saint, but she prefers the sun to rise in the morning and set in the evening."
The door opened and Trixie stepped out. Her horn flared and she began galloping down the road as Celestia's sun set and the sky darkened, the stars twinkling into sight as Luna's moon slowly began rising. Her horn lit the way as she left the street her house was on and continued on one of the main roads leading out to Canterlot, visible off in the distance as it perched on the side of Mount Eohippus. She quickly left Hoofington behind, keeping to the perimeter of the Everfree Forest.
Her mind wandered as she galloped along. So, Trixie. There's almost nopony who will believe you, and those who might believe you, there's little to no chance of contacting them in time. A smile slowly crept across her muzzle as her hooves pounded into the dirt, carrying her along. All up to you, then. All up to Trixie to stop the others and foil Discord's plans.
She suddenly skidded to a halt, hooves leaving small troughs in the dirt road. She looked up into the night sky, breath fogging slightly in the chilly night air. "Trixie is going to stop the others and foil Discord's plans..." Trixie stood there, mulling over her own words before shaking her head. "If Trixie lives through this, she might die from the shock after."
And with that, she took off once more for Canterlot.
Trixie approached the outer gates of the capitol, legs shaking from exhaustion and nerves. From Hoofington, Canterlot was impressive, but distant. Up close, it was spectacular! White towers topped with golden minarets jutted into the sky, the entire city curling around the mountain.
Trixie crossed the drawbridge separating the city itself from Mount Eohippus. She kept her head low and stared straight ahead as she passed by a pair of unicorns in the armor of the Royal Guard standing at attention. She held her breath, finally exhaling as she passed. She looked around, her eyes widening at the white walls and stately elegance of the capitol.
A bump to her flank and another jostle broke her from her reverie. Even now, Canterlot's streets were full. Carriages rolled down the streets and pedestrians trotted down the sidetrots. Trixie cantered a bit to the side, her cape wrapping around her. She looked around, realization settling in on her. Trixie has no idea where to go or what to do-have they reached Discord already?
She weaved in and around other ponies and the occasional zebra and donkey, snorting and even bumping some out of her way. Their cries of protest were met with either a sharp glare or simply ignored as Trixie trudged on, finally coming upon an alley. She ducked inside the comparatively narrow opening, finding herself in what could pass for a normal street in Hoofington. "Even their trash is neater," she muttered, looking at a group of wooden crates stacked neatly next to the side of a building.
A flicker of movement out of the corner of her eye caught her attention. Trixie turned back to the alley and reared up on her hind legs, her horn glowing. "Show yourself!" she shouted. "Trixie is not afraid of you!"
"Good," a female voice said as a shadow emerged from the far end, behind a barrel. She was a griffin, rather muscular beneath her brown and white feathers. She held up a gold-colored claw and blew onto her talons. "Gotta say, you're a lot cooler than I thought you'd be." She walked forward. "Name's Gilda."
Trixie dropped back to all fours and eyed Gilda. "Gilda, as in..."
Gilda snorted and waved a talon at her. "Nope, your name first." She clenched her claw into a fist. "And don't try anything, either."
Trixie snorted. "As if you could do anything to me." She walked forward, horn still lit. "Trixie is my name, Gilda. Trixie assumes you received the same message from Discord and are here for his offer."
Gilda eyed Trixie. "Yeah, that's right." She stalked forward, stopping only a foot from Trixie. "Not sure what his game is, though, but if it helps me get back at that pink loser and the yellow wimp, I'm all for it!." She leaned to her left and peered out to the street beyond. "I passed over the Royal Gardens on my way here, and they're right next to the Royal Palace."
Trixie nodded. "We should be able to run into Blueblood at least, then."
Gilda motioned to the sky. "I landed and found out the Royal Gardens are open 'til midnight, then I took off to find some others Discord mentioned. You're the first one I found, though. Think we should go straight there or search for some of the others?"
Trixie raised her head, following Gilda's own gaze. "To find the others before midnight might be neigh-impossible at this time, especially since Trixie is not even sure what they look like or if they even came." My luck they're already at the Royal Gardens. She looked back to Gilda. "As for the Gardens, as you said, they're open to the public, and you at least are sure of their location. Who knows? Perhaps more of our... allies are there too." She turned on a horseshoe to fully face the mouth. "Shall we?"
Gilda rubbed her beak. "Makes sense." She followed Trixie as they left the alley once more and began walking. Gilda walked past Trixie. "Okay, follow me and try to keep up!"
Trixie snorted. "Trixie is quite sure she can keep up with you, Gilda." She increased her gait, pulling up alongside the griffin. "Hard work and Trixie are no strangers, after all."
Gilda rolled her eyes as the two walked along. "Do you have to speak so weird? 'Trixie' this and 'Trixie' that, it's so lame?"
Trixie kept her gaze straight ahead as she walked. "Trixie could say the same thing about you," she muttered.
"... And so I told her to buck off! And so I got detention, but it was worth it!"
Trixie's ears folded down and she snorted as she and Gilda walked around the perimeter of a hedge maze in the Royal Gardens. It was night with Luna's moon shining overhead and bathing everything in its silver light. "And so you missed out on the trip with Rainbow Dash, correct?"
Gilda shrugged as they turned a corner. "Eh, it was still worth it. Besides, who cares about seeing some dumb weather factory?"
Trixie glanced out of the corner of her eye at the Royal Palace, a few hundred meters away. Trixie could try for it, at least. Even if Gilda catches up and tears out Trixie's throat, it would be worth it to never listen to her again! She held up a foreleg as she spotted a group near a statue at the entrance to the maze's interior. "It appears Discord's offer was taken up after all," she said, increasing her gait towards three unicorns and three Diamond Dogs.
The largest Unicorn, a stallion with a light-gray coat, an amber mane, a long, pointed horn and a cutie mark of a compass rose eyed Trixie and Gilda as they approached. "Well, about time," Prince Blueblood said, his upper lip curling.
Flim and Flam both snickered. "An excellent jest, my good prince!" Flim said, patting Blueblood on his withers.
Blueblood tossed his mane back. "But of course, my good Flam."
"Whatever." He motioned to the Unicorn brothers, each wearing an identical shirt of blue and white stripes and straw hats. "The Flimflam Brothers," he said as the pair doffed their hats and bowed. He then lazily waved in the general direction of the Diamond Dogs. "And this is Spot, Fido and Rover," he said. He looked to the unicorn and griffin. And you two are I assume Trixie and Gilda."
Trixie rolled her eyes. "You assume correctly." She looked to the statue of Discord, suppressing a shudder at the mismatched draconequus frozen in eternal terror. She walked up to it and scratched at the ground at the base. "So, has anything appeared yet? It's almost midnight, Trixie believes."
Blueblood's head whipped back and he motioned to a pair of saddlebags slung across his loin. His horn glowed and the flaps opened, revealing the six jewels tucked inside. One floated out and in front of Blueblood. "Our possible benefactor left these," he said, eyeing it as it floated, glowing with an inner fire.
One of the Diamond Dogs leapt at the jewel, but it floated out of reach. "No, pony!" Spot cried out, his tiny arms flailing as Blueblood kept it just out of reach. "We want the gems! We NEED the gems!"
Blueblood sighed. "Not now, you cur!" He looked around. "I ordered the guards to leave this area alone, at least for now." He floated the jewel back to him and the energy around his horn brightened. "I feel... power from this little bauble." He looked down at the cravat he wore around his neck. "I wonder..." He floated the jewel up to the cloth. An inch away, it bobbed in the air before latching onto the cravat.
There was a flash of light and Blueblood suddenly dropped to his elbows. His eyes rolled into the back of his head and a strangled cry came from him. The jewel pulsed, blood-red energy leaking out from it and seeping into his coat.
Gilda backed away, holding a forearm up over her eyes. "Oh, this is not cool!" she cried out as she spread out her wings.
Trixie nodded as she trotted back, her own horn glowing. "Trixie agrees-for once-and it might be a good-"
Blueblood suddenly rose back to all fours. His eyes, normally ice blue, flashed red for a moment. "No, wait!" he cried out, holding out a foreleg.
Flam looked him over, his mustache twitching. He stepped up to Blueblood's side. "Are you all right?" he asked.
A low chuckle came from the Prince. He turned around, looking at the Flimflam Brothers, then looking to his left at the Diamond Dogs as they cowered near the entrance of the hedge maze. "Never better," he said. His mouth widened in am almost-impossible grin. "I have never felt better." He finally focused on Trixie and Gilda. "The jewels, they're the keys to our godhood!" His saddlebags opened and the other five jewels floated out. "Here, take them!"
Two of the baubles floated to Flim and Flam, fixing themselves to their striped shirts. Another floated to the Diamond Dogs. Fido swatted at it, but it the jewel glowed brightly before splitting in three, each shard attaching to one of their coats. The two unicorns and three canines dropped to the grass, each one crying out as their limbs gave way.
The final two drifted to Gilda and Trixie. Gilda's beak opened wide, but the jewel shot over, attaching to Gilda's feathers. Whatever she might've said was drowned out by a strangled cry as she clutched at her head.
Trixie's eyes widened and her hown glowed. The jewel stopped in midair, pushing back from her. Sweat beaded on her brow slightly as she pushed against it, taking a step back. NO, keep it away from me!
Blueblood's upper lip curled back. "You would reject Discord's gift?" he said, a low rumble coming from his throat.
Gilda clacked her talons together as she stood up straight. "What gives," she glowered, eyes flashing red.
Trixie's head darted around, first to her left and Gilda, then to Blueblood straight ahead and approaching. "Trixie... wishes for you to have it!" she exclaimed, pushing the jewel straight back to Blueblood. Her body trembled slightly, partly from fatigue but largely from fear. "You're the prince, after all! Shouldn't you command the greatest portion of the power?" She pasted a smile on her face and batted her eyelashes, feeling her stomach churn. "So please accept this token of Trixie's admiration!"
Blueblood tilted his head and leaned forward. He walked up to Trixie, holding the jewel in place between them. He stopped a half-foot away from her before nodding at her. "But of course," he said, levitating the last jewel over to him. It attached itself to his cravat, right next to the other one. His entire body suddenly spasmed and he fell to the ground, limbs twitching.
Trixie shook her head as she watched him on the ground. She followed as Blueblood rose, his eyes a glowing red. "Thank you, Trixie," he intoned. "I'm glad to see some ponies know the order of things." He looked to the statue, then to the jewels on his cravat. "I see." He looked around. "You all see?" He jabbed a foreleg at Discord's statue. "We must free Discord, using the power he gave us!"
Trixie opened her mouth, but Flim spoke up, hopping up onto his hind legs. "But of course!" he proclaimed. "Only fair, there. We've got a deal with the old boy." He looked to Flam, who nodded.
The Diamond Dogs all nodded, turning as one to the statue. "We free Discord, and get pretty pony to dig gems for us for all time!" Rover said, his eyes half-closed. The rest nodded, eerily silent.
Gilda flexed her talons and her beak turned up in a smirk. "Yeah, and I'll be able to gut those two dweebs for taking Dash from me!" She looked to Trixie. "Tough luck, kid, but we'll put in a good word for you when Discord wakes up."
Trixie's head shot around. "Wait, no!" she shouted, waving her hooves around. She galloped forward, skidding to a halt in front of Discord's statue, her cloak billowing out around her. "You can't free him!"
Blueblood reared back, shaking his head and nickering. He leaned forward, his horn glowing. "And pray tell why not?" he snarled out as Gilda, the Diamond Dogs and Flimflam brothers flanked his flanks.
Trixie's mind raced, reeling from possibility to possibility. She suddenly jabbed a foreleg up at the Royal Palace. "Celestia and Luna will know!" she cried out. "And if you-we-free Discord now, they will most certainly summon the Elements of Harmony once more!" A shaky smile crossed her lips. "And they beat him once before."
Blueblood arched an eyebrow. "What are you saying?" he asked, rubbing his chin with a foreleg.
Trixie stepped forward, looking up into his crimson eyes and steadying her body. "Trixie has little doubt they can reseal him if he's let out now. But if those accursed Elements are... dealt with, then Discord could be freed at our leisure."
Gilda scratched the back of her head. "She's... got a point," she grumbled. She leaned back slightly as everyone turned to face her. "What? She does!"
Flam spoke up. "Yes, it'd be a good idea to take out the competition first, then free Discord. Less complications that way."
Blueblood twisted his lips and furrowed his brow before finally nodding. "Very well," he said. He looked up to the statue. "Forgive us, Lord Discord. But never fear, for we shall soon free you from your bonds, so you may rule Equestria!" he shouted, thrusting a foreleg into the air.
And Trixie thought she was a ham. "Very good, Prince Blueblood." She looked around. "But in order for this to work, Trixie thinks we should get out of Canterlot and away from Celestia and Luna's watchful eye." She turned around and looked up at the draconequus. "And perhaps take that with us-for security, of course!"
Rover snorted. "What? But pony princess will know it's gone!"
Trixie shrugged. "Oh, please! What are the odds Celestia will look through a particular window to see this particular part of the Royal Gardens?" Hopefully pretty good. She chuckled and waved a hoof at him. "It's almost laughable!" Her demeanor suddenly shifted. "Besides, not like we'll be able to get back inside Canterlot once we take out the Elements."
Blueblood shook his head. "But couldn't Auntie Celestia track us with magic?" His eyes suddenly widened. "Or Auntie... Luna?" he gulped out.
Trixie turned to him, smirking. "Trust me, Prince. Trixie knows the perfect place to hide." She turned and began trotting off. "Just follow Trixie, and it'll all work out."
Blueblood watched Trixie for a moment before turning to Rover. "Get Discord's statue," he ordered. His horn suddenly glowed. "Now!"
Trixie paid him no mind as she trotted off. The ice in her gut slowly melted as she kept her head high. Perfect, it's all going to Trixie's plan.
Now if Trixie only had a plan, it would be even better.
A little something new from me, spun out of discussion at Spacebattles and my own feelings about Trixie. Hope you like!