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Star Metal Powers.

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Jul 28th, 2020
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  1. ---Chapter 39---
  2.  
  3. “Thank you for the compliment,” Discord interjected with mock sincerity, “But really, I must admit that I’m nothing compared to you, Goldie, when it comes to manipulating, tormenting, and hurting others. How’s Fluttershy?” Goldenblood’s face didn’t change a bit, but his horn flared, pushing a button and turning a dial. The metal began to hum, and the hum became a scream. Discord’s manic laughter grew into a manic scream as well.
  4.  
  5. “Goldenblood! Stop!” Twilight shouted, her horn lighting and turning the dial back the other way.
  6.  
  7. Discord panted, chuckling a low, slow, pained laugh. “Too soon?”
  8.  
  9. Goldenblood glared up at the statue as calm reasserted itself. “Even before Luna assumed the throne, zebra agents attempted to capture Discord. After what you and Celestia did to him, everypony fairly assumed he’d focus mostly on us if he got free, and that made the zebras think that they might be able to use him as a bargaining chip or deterrent. Celestia’s original solution was to have him buried here; there’s a special ore underneath Hoofington that counteracts his powers. But as the war escalated, we knew the enchantment wouldn’t last even there. His size had already increased fifty percent in just over ten years, and the petrifaction spell was already in doubt.”
  10.  
  11. “Well, when you have a steady diet of war, chaos, and uncertainty with zero exercise, you tend to pack on the pounds,” Discord murmured.
  12.  
  13. “It’s hard to believe our efforts were so weak,” Twilight murmured, hanging her head a little. “What he did to my friends, and bringing them back together... Now it looks like it was all for nothing.”
  14.  
  15. Goldenblood stared at her for a few inscrutable seconds, then looked back at the statue. “It’s not your fault, Twilight. Celestia had many centuries of relative peace after Discord was trapped; the closest he came to release was during Nightmare Moon’s bid for power, and that still wasn’t enough. Had things remained as they were, he likely would have stayed in stone for at least another millennium. But this war… so much confusion and hatred, widespread violence and turbulent emotion, and for nearly twenty straight years now... It was the perfect diet to set Discord loose.”
  16.  
  17. “And given how exciting everything is, can you blame me for wanting to get involved? I was so looking forward to seeing how much more interesting I could make things for everybody! Being a statue is so boring, you know… oh, wait, you don’t. You have no idea what that’s like, do you?” Discord said with the sound of a sneer. “And you called me a villain.”
  18.  
  19. “We had to contain him quickly. Fortunately, Luna recommended utilizing the ore we were excavating in the reconstruction, and it has indeed proven quite effective in keeping him trapped,” Goldenblood explained, not taking his eyes off the statue.
  20.  
  21. “Funny how she suggested it,” Discord said in a faintly hurt tone. “And I’d always had a soft spot for little Luna. I never appreciated how much potential she had.”
  22.  
  23. “How does this metal work? Why can’t Discord just teleport out of it or turn it into cheese?” Twilight asked with a frown.
  24.  
  25. “This metal,” Goldenblood replied, “Unique in all our experience, resonates at only one magical frequency. Not ‘effectively’ one like some of the experimental materials we’ve developed, but truly only one single pure tone; it fully ignores all other magical effects. Discord, being a creature of chaos, can’t focus his power to such a narrow degree.”
  26.  
  27. “And I’m not stupid enough to try and play that note,” Discord muttered, and my ears perked. There was a definite undercurrent of deadly seriousness in his voice.
  28.  
  29. Twilight sighed softly. “All right. I can understand containing him, but how did you go from that to… pulling Flux out of him?”
  30.  
  31. Goldenblood smiled that humorless little smirk. “Do you really want to know, Twilight?” She glared back at him, and for a moment their eyes remained locked. Then Goldenblood gave a little shrug. “It was my idea. The raw magical essence of Discord was simply sitting there, unused, gaining power all the time, and the potential for his magic was mind-boggling. Once the research was begun, it actually didn’t take that long for a method to drain it in a usable form to be developed.” Goldenblood pointed at the hoses with his hoof. “Needles were drilled into the stone and hooked up to extraction lines; to create base Flux, the metal is resonated, liquefying portions of his essence.”
  32.  
  33. “You drilled into him?” Twilight gaped. “You drilled holes in him?!”
  34.  
  35. “Don’t worry. It’s exactly as painful as it sounds,” Discord said in a sarcastic mutter.
  36.  
  37. ---Chapter 53---
  38.  
  39. “Down,” he replied simply. “There’s a lot of ‘down’ in Hoofington. Even before the original city was razed, it had a rather stunning amount of drains, sewers, and access tunnels. It’s as if the city’s always been trying to draw its inhabitants to explore deeper and deeper into the earth.” He glanced at her and gave a grin. “Nervous?”
  40.  
  41. “No,” she said sharply.
  42.  
  43. “Liar,” he replied. “Unicorns always are when it comes to being underground. You love the shiny things… but the rocks? The dirt? The bones? No, you really don’t belong here,” he said as he casually looked over at the wall.
  44.  
  45. Diamond stared at him a moment. “Do you… not like unicorns?”
  46.  
  47. He looked at her and arched a brow, then smiled. “Truth be told, I hate every last one of you.” He turned to looked at the passing stone walls again. “It’s jealousy, really. You get to do magic. We can’t. It’s your dream to do incredible magic. Well, it’s my dream to someday have technology so advanced that there won’t be a difference between unicorns and anypony else. We’ll all be equal.”
  48.  
  49. “You’re… frightfully candid,” she murmured.
  50.  
  51. He gave a short laugh. “It’s this place. It brings out the honesty in me.” He turned and pointed to the wall, which now glittered with huge black bands. “As we dug the tunnels to bring building materials into the Core, we came across this strata of obsidian. One of the thickest ever encountered. Odd, because obsidian rarely forms so deep beneath the earth. It’s also a poor foundation for skyscrapers, to be certain, but, enchanted and processed, proved quite useful as a building material. But beneath it, we encountered something even more amazing… a layer of broken and compressed granite.”
  52.  
  53. “My… geology is somewhat lacking…” Diamond confessed.
  54.  
  55. Horse chuckled mirthlessly. “That was one thing I liked about Goldie. He could talk rocks all day. I think it’s the only thing I like about him.” He pointed at the gray walls. “The granite formed eons ago, some of the hardest stone in the world. But something had shattered it to pieces. This wasn’t some slow process of erosion but a rapid and traumatic event. Even more shocking, in several places we found pockets with intact zebra ruins, buried beneath an avalanche of debris.”
  56.  
  57. “Zebras? In Equestria?” she asked, baffled.
  58.  
  59. “Please. This was centuries before Equestria. We were being exploited for food by Unicornia and Pegasopolis,” he said with a roll of his eyes. “We came to one of two conclusions. Either there had been some sort of cataclysmic volcanic eruption, or a colossal impact had blasted a mountain of granite apart and the debris had rained down all across the valley. Magma then rose and rapidly cooled, forming the obsidian layer, which was buried beneath sediments.” He reached into his tuxedo and casually drew out a fragment of shiny silver metal. “And then we found this.”
  60.  
  61. “What is it?” she asked.
  62.  
  63. “Starmetal. Sky Iron. Meteorite. Or rather, that’s what it appeared to almost everyone. What I discovered was that this metal isn’t simply an element or alloy. It has a peculiar atomic structure capable of manifesting particular macroscopic effects.” He smiled smugly. “And I realized that such a metal had more than simple natural origins. It was technology. Incomprehensible technology to everyone but a very select few. Technology that would allow us to not just end the war with pitiful ease but to also to utterly transform the world. Perhaps the universe.”
  64.  
  65.  
  66. ----
  67.  
  68. The hum began to fill the air as the four crystal wands began to resonate. The spires filled the air with an ominous counterpoint to the strange sound. “Tuning in to the frequency,” Harmonia shouted, the shiny mare barely audible as she turned a knob with her hooves. The swirling motes of light began to whirl around the dangling platform energetically. “Any second now. Be ready,” she said as the humming crystals hit a sweet note.
  69.  
  70. The flickering green lightning along the silver protrusions disappeared. Then the crystal’s note was drowned out by a single, brutal tone blasted from every direction that made Diamond scream and fall to the platform. Thunder boomed all around her, and she looked up to see dozens of streamers of lightning ripping through the space and striking the spires. The lightning ran like water along thick cables stretched along the sides of the metal supporting the platform. The storm lasted a few seconds, then disappeared. Diamond coughed at the acrid reek left in the air.
  71.  
  72. She looked up at the four lightning rods; then gaped at their absence. Four drooping, half-slagged spurs sat in their place. Horse whooped, “Look at that. All the outputs are maxed. Again!”
  73.  
  74. Diamond’s trembling hooves pulled off the earmuffs. “I’ve never seen that happen to any of our heavy duty lightning rods. That was a hundredth of full power?”
  75.  
  76. Toko smiled at her. “No. If our math is correct, it is one hundredth of one percent of the power the Tokomare is capable of.”
  77.  
  78. Sweet Celestia. “Sweet Celestia,” Diamond murmured. “How?”
  79.  
  80. “We’re not certain. The Tokomare seems to… react… to a singular frequency. But as you can see, we need something capable of shielding and channeling the power. And Flash Industries is the forerunner with your F.A.D.E. and other research projects with energy manipulation,” Toko said as she pulled her goggles up. “With your shields, we can not only tame the Tokomare, we can channel its power all across Equestria. Perhaps, all across the world.”
  81.  
  82.  
  83. Fallout Equestria Project Horizons Chapters 39 and 53
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