Carl's Hardened Heart (/nmp/ story)

Sep 10th, 2020 (edited)
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  1. Carl's Hardened Heart
  2. A /nmp/ story
  3. By Reggie Something
  5. >[Dr. Weird's Laboratory]
  6. >[South Jersey Shore]
  7. >Be Steve, longtime assistant to Dr. Weird, who was showing you his latest invention.
  8. >An invention undoubtedly born from the unholy union of Dr. Weird's natural insanity and his ketamine habit.
  9. >"Gentlemen...BEHOLD! My quantum gateway device!"
  10. >To the untrained eye, said device appeared to be a riding lawn mower with a crude, homemade Tesla coil attached to the hood.
  11. >But you knew better.
  12. >Your intuition based on past experience told you this contraption could actually do something.
  13. >You just hoped it wouldn't do anything to you, unpleasant or otherwise.
  14. >Your boss continues, "Steve, fetch the resonance control crystal. There's a multiverse calling my name!"
  15. "The uh... what now?"
  16. >Dr. Weird facepalms with a loud 'smack', then starts the lawnmower.
  17. >"The resonance control crystal, damn it! It was attached to my mother's wedding ring, which was in the small black box on my desk!"
  18. >Ohh...right. About that.
  19. "Uh, Dr. Weird? You know you pawned that ring last week?"
  20. >"WHAT!? I would never part with such a priceless family heirloom!"
  21. >An electrical hum starts to drown out the noise of the lawnmower engine.
  22. >Meanwhile, a sapphire-colored aura begins to surround the Tesla coil apparatus.
  23. >"Steve! Quit fucking around and bring me the goddamn ring! The device is unstable without that crystal!"
  24. >Maybe you should've installed it before turning it on, brain trust.
  25. "I already told you! You pawned it off last week! You said something about needing your next fix!"
  26. >"Well hold onto your dick, sonny Jim! Without that crystal, we're about to see some real Black Mesa shit! If we're lucky-"
  27. >That's the last thing you hear him say. The humming noise drowns out everything. The frequency of its pitch increases.
  28. >The aura that was previously limited to the Tesla coil has now enveloped the entire mower.
  29. >The aura becomes spherical in shape.
  30. >The vibrations from the mower prove to be too much for the coil's shoddy mount. The coil begins to lean heavily to the side.
  31. >Dr. Weird hasn't stopped yelling at you, but you can't hear him over the noise.
  32. >He grabs you by the shoulders and shakes you vigorously before gesticulating towards the back exit.
  33. >The aura continues to grow in diameter. You estimate it's exceeded ten feet by this point.
  34. >As bright as it's become, it surprisingly doesn't hurt to look at.
  35. >Before you can take a step towards the door, the energetic sphere collapses, enveloping just the coil once more.
  36. >The aura, now cylindrical, begins to oscillate wildly along the length of the coil.
  37. >Heh, it reminds you of something...lewd.
  38. >As you are dragged to the exit, you see the aura erupt from the end of the coil. It resembles a sphere once more as it flies diagonally towards where the ceiling meets the wall.
  39. >The aura passes through the ceiling with an audible 'WHOOOOOZZZZSSSSHHHH'.
  40. >The Tesla coil falls off the mower, whose engine sputters and dies.
  41. >Dr. Weird releases your shoulder from his grip. "Huh. I wasn't expecting that."
  42. >You are still concerned.
  43. "Uh, shouldn't we, you know, be worried about where that giant ball of energy went? It didn't even leave any burn marks on the ceiling as it passed through!"
  44. >"Oh, that actually happened, Steve? I thought that was just another hallucination, courtesy of my good friend...PROFESSOR KETAMINE! BWAH HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAA!"
  45. >Maybe it's time you put in your two week notice. For real this time.
  47. ...
  49. >Be Carl Brutananadilewski.
  50. >AKA The Garden State Stud.
  51. >And today is judgment day.
  52. >Not for you, no way. For Candy.
  53. >That bitch who refused you service when you offered to pay with pennies.
  54. >A water cooler jug's worth of pennies. Seriously, there had to be at least two hundred dollars in there!
  55. >No matter. Today you would have your vengeance.
  56. >You see, hard times had befallen Candy. She needed cash, and she needed it bad. Guess who she called?
  57. >That's right, you. And you'd be damned if she wasn't gonna earn those pennies.
  58. >Not only did you have another jug of pennies waiting for payment, you had abstained from all forms of personal hygiene the past three days.
  59. >Your junk reeked of vinegar. Give it another day, and the aroma may rival ammonia for its pungency.
  60. >Good thing that cream the doctor gave you cleared out your crabs, or the discomfort would've been unbearable.
  61. >Your trademark blue sweatpants and white wifebeater were covered in food stains and sweat salt lines.
  62. >Oh yeah. And she thought she was gonna have it easy when you told her you only wanted oral tonight.
  63. >Nothing was going to spoil your evening.
  64. >Nothing besides the fact that she was running late. Like fifteen friggin' minutes late.
  65. >No matter, she'll just have to toss your salad to atone for her tardiness.
  66. >Seriously, though. Where was this bitch?
  67. >You walk to the front door, open it, and step outside.
  68. >You take in the sights and sounds of a pleasant late August evening.
  69. >Well, as pleasant an evening as you could get in Jersey, especially in your neighborhood. It would be better if you could see that whore walking your your place.
  70. >2 Wycked sat on the street directly in front of your front door, shining proudly in the sunset.
  71. >You could even hear crickets chirping softly. The freaks next door were nowhere to be seen or heard, thank friggin' God.
  72. >Yup, a picture perfect south Jersey evening. Crickets chirping, gentle breeze, deep red sunset, a sapphire blue ball of light in the sky to the southeast-
  73. >what
  74. >WHAT!?
  75. >The ball of light travels higher in the dimming sky, before beginning its descent.
  76. >It's getting bigger. Why is it getting bigger?
  77. >Oh, yeah, because it's getting closer to you, heh heh heh.
  78. >Oh shit.
  79. >You try to run back into the safety of your house, but your body doesn't comply.
  80. >Instead, you stay rooted to the spot, mouth agape, staring in horror at the sapphire sphere that is following a parabolic path to directly where you stand.
  81. >You manage to cry out, "AAAAAAAAAAHHH," before the sphere hits your body.
  82. >Bright light floods your field of view. You experience a primal, pants-pissing terror.
  83. >Seriously, though. You're pretty sure you pissed your pants.
  84. >The last thing you feel is an intense heat and the sensation of falling before everything goes dark.
  86. ...
  88. >Be Twilight Sparkle, Princess of Friendship, protege of Princess Celestia.
  89. >It's been a long couple of weeks.
  90. >Most recently, you've had to deal with a power-crazed unicorn that tried to change the past.
  91. >This was after you had to free an entire village from her control.
  92. >But everything worked out in the end. Starlight Glimmer even became your friend and student! Yay, magic of friendship!
  93. >For once, Equestria hasn't needed you and the rest of the Elements to save it.
  94. >Now, it was time for some well-deserved /relaxation/.
  95. >Spike had left for Sugarcube Corner, Starlight was doing whatever she was doing, and your nethers had a date with your hoof.
  96. >You light several lavender-scented candles around your bed with your magic.
  97. >Next, you turn on your record player. The pleasing sounds of smooth jazz reach your ears.
  98. >Laying down in your bed, you close your eyes and begin to indulge in your favorite fantasy.
  99. >A fantasy involving a certain white alicorn.
  100. >You've been a naughty student, and your mentor was going to punish you...
  101. >Oh, Celestia, how you've needed this...
  102. >You roll onto your back, extending your wings as your fluids start to soak your dock.
  103. >You inhale deeply through your nose, taking in the combined scents of the candles and your musk.
  104. >In your mind, you're bent over your mentor's desk, about to be spanked.
  105. >You envision Celestia holding up a bare foreleg, ready to strike your eager rump.
  106. "Oooh, punish me, Teacher. I've been such a bad stu-"
  108. >This orgasm was denied to you, courtesy of Starlight Glimmer.
  109. >inb4 autistic bitching about "poochie"
  110. "Buck me."
  111. >You magically extinguish your candles, deactivate your record player, and clean yourself before rolling to your hooves.
  112. >You exit your room and trot down the hall to Starlight's room. Glimmer bucking better have a good reason for interrupting your "study time".
  113. 'Starlight is a powerful and gifted unicorn,' you think to yourself. 'What has her so freaked out? Usually I'm the one freaking out!'
  114. >This thought makes you shift from a trot to a full gallop, your own freakout ready to erupt from your copious anxiety reserves.
  115. >You magically throw open Starlight's door. You're greeted with a pungent smell of smoke, vinegar, and... urine?
  116. >"Starlight, what's wrong!? Are you- *gasp!*"
  118. ...
  120. >Be Discord, Lord of Chaos, Prince of Pandemonium
  121. >You've just sat down on your sofa for a nice cup of tea with your best friend Fluttershy.
  122. >It's so nice that she visits you at your house, in your own personal pocket dimension of chaos.
  123. >For all your past transgressions, you must've done something right to gain and retain her friendship.
  124. >But that's left you wanting something more...
  125. >You thoroughly enjoy your new friendships, but the novelty has worn of a bit. After all, you've been around for thousands of years, you crave something new, something exciting, something...romantic.
  126. >Fluttershy is a beautiful mare. One of the most beautiful in all of Equestria. It's only natural that you feel physically attracted to her.
  127. >Yes, today, you would make your desires known to her. You would gather your courage and-
  128. "OOOOHHHHHHH," you gasp, shuddering uncontrollably.
  129. >"Discord? Is something wrong? I didn't upset you, did I?" Fluttershy asks, clearly concerned.
  130. "No, no, my dear Fluttershy," you say, regaining your composure. "Odd, I just felt an extremely strong surge of deliciously chaotic energy pass through this dimension, en route to Equestria."
  131. >"Oh dear, that can't be good," your pegasus friend replies. "We should probably go alert Twilight and gather the rest of the Elements!"
  132. >You sigh, torn between your desire to sate your curiosity regarding the chaotic energy surge and your desire to confess your feelings to Fluttershy.
  133. "Well, I suppose you're right. Tell you what, I'll send you to Twilight's castle, then gather the rest of the girls myself. I can portal them through to the map room. It'll be faster that way!"
  134. >"Aww, that's awfully kind of you, Discord. I guess I'm rubbing off on you!"
  135. >Indeed, she has. Hopefully more ways than one in the near future.
  137. ...
  139. >You are Carl, and everything hurts.
  140. >You can't see or hear anything.
  141. >You remember is being excited for that whore to lick your sweaty, salty balls.
  142. >Wait, you remember being outside. Why were you outside?
  143. >You remember a light, warmth, then falling.
  144. >Your vision slowly returns. Everything is blurry and mostly purple.
  145. >You hear muffled voices, but the speech is unintelligible.
  146. >Gaining control of your gross motor functions, you sit up, groaning loudly.
  147. >You hear a female voice exclaim, "Look! The creature is getting up!"
  148. >Oh, this whore is calling you "creature"!?
  149. >First the bitch is late, and now she dares to insult you!?
  150. >You clench your jaw and close your eyes, preparing to direct your wrath to whom you presume is your no-good, thieving hooker.
  151. >With your eyes still closed, you take a deep breath and begin to shout.
  153. >It was around the time you yelled "barely" that you opened your eyes. Your vision had returned. What you saw made your brain crash, halting your tirade.
  154. >You were sitting in a room with purple walls and a high, arched ceiling.
  155. >To your right was a very small bed, flanked at the headboard by bookshelf and nightstand on its left and right, respectively.
  156. >Behind you was a window that let in a lot of light. Light that very clearly illuminated two faces hovering in front of you.
  157. >Something was wrong here. Why are the eyes so big?
  158. 'Oh crap," you think. 'Big eyes. That means aliens. I've been abducted by frigging space aliens! Save me, Fox Mulder!'
  159. >Aren't aliens supposed to have solid black eyes?
  160. >On closer inspection, you see the big eyes are part of two separate equine faces, each sporting a single horn above the brow.
  161. >The face on your right has two-toned bangs partially obscuring its right eye. The hair is mostly purple with a stripe of aquamarine in the center. It reminds you of toothpaste.
  162. >This face is attached to a small lavender equine body.
  163. >The face on your left has mostly dark purple bangs with one lighter purple and one pink stripe on one side.
  164. >It's attached to a body slightly taller than it's counterpart, sporting a shade of purple lighter than the mane.
  165. >The taller horse being speaks as it flares its wings. "Hello, I'm Princess Twilight Sparkle. Who, and what, are you? How did you get here?"
  166. >Your jaw falls open and your eyes widen.
  167. "Ohhhh, jeez. What the hell is going on! Did that broad drug me!?"
  168. >"Please calm down! Tell me-"
  169. "Oh sure! Calm down!" you interrupt. "Nothing freaky about friggin' talkin' horses over 'ere!"
  170. >Both "horses" gasp, and the smaller one lunges at you and strikes your head with a hoof.
  171. >Night night, nigga.
  173. ...
  175. >You are Starlight Glimmer, and you bucked up.
  176. >Recently "reformed", you had promised Twilight to abandon your old ways and learn about the magic of friendship.
  177. >The Princess of Friendship was generous enough to let you stay in her castle indefinitely while you made a new life for yourself.
  178. >It's not like Twilight was hurting for space in her obnoxious tree-shaped crystal castle.
  179. >Come to think of it, she likely was very financially stable, being a princess and everything.
  180. >So was her offer of free room, board, and mentorship /that/ generous when you think about it?
  181. >You purge those thoughts from your mind. You can't let yourself succumb to your old ways of thinking; being controlled by fear, doubt and cynicism.
  182. >Twilight was the first pony to offer you friendship knowing full well what you had done; despite what you tried to do her and her friends. She gave you a second chance at life that would otherwise be unobtainable.
  183. >You had promised yourself to repay her by being a better pony.
  184. >And what a way to repay her, by summoning this foul-smelling beast from Celestia-knows-where?
  185. >"Starlight, I need you to tell me what happened. How did this...THING...get here?"
  186. >You hang your head in shame, avoiding eye contact with your mentor. You take a deep breath.
  187. "Please understand Twilight, I didn't mean for this to happen..."
  188. >To be fair, you hadn't intended to summon the creature.
  189. >True, you HAD been studying a rather dubious magical text that may or may not have been in the restricted section of the Canterlot Archives.
  190. >And you HAD drawn those runes in a hexagonal pattern in chalk on your bedroom floor.
  191. >And yes, you DID recite that incantation, despite your tenuous understanding Old Ponish. It didn't help that the ink was smudged in several places, making the words nearly illegible.
  192. >You didn't think quietly sounding out the words to practice the pronunciation would actually DO anything!
  193. >As you finish relaying the series of events to Twilight, you find the courage to meet her gaze. Maybe she wouldn't be that-
  194. >Nope.
  195. >Twilight's pupils had shrunk to pinpricks, her right eye was twitching wildly, and her wings were splayed out at awkward angles.
  196. >"You did WHAT!? ARE. YOU. CRAZY!?"
  197. >You visibly flinch at her outburst. The reaction does not go unnoticed.
  198. >Twilight takes a moment to compose herself, then clears her throat.
  199. >"I'm sorry to have snapped at you Starlight. However, you must understand the gravity of what you've done!"
  200. >Tears start to form in your eyes. Twilight continues, "Not only did you inadvertently cast a spell that you didn't understand from a book you weren't supposed to have, you managed to summon this... CREATURE... from Celestia-knows-where into your own bedroom!"
  201. >Twilight notices your body hitching from your failed attempt to contain your sobs. As she gently raises your chin with her wing, her eyes meet yours.
  202. >"Shhh, I'm sorry I freaked out on you, Starlight. Please understand that I only want what's best for you. I would never forgive myself if something awful happened to you on my watch."
  203. >With a gentle smile, Twilight wipes away your tears with a primary feather.
  204. "I-I'm SO sorry, Tw-Twilight! I really didn't mean to cause all of this!"
  205. >You take a deep breath, hold it for three seconds, and release it slowly. You've managed to stop crying, if only for the moment.
  206. "You know how much I love studying magic, and I was genuinely curious about this spell. I got so absorbed into trying to understand the details that I was setting it up and casting it before I realized what was happening!"
  207. >Twilight gestures for you to continue.
  208. "I swear, I wasn't trying to do anything malicious! I would never betray your trust, at least, not intentionally! I really am trying to be better! Punish me for this, but please, PLEASE, don't send me away!"
  209. >Two soft purple wings wrap around you.
  210. >Twilight gently pulls your face into her neck with her wings. You feel one wing release its grip on you, only for it to softly stroke your mane.
  211. >"I know you're trying to be better, Starlight. I trust you. Your magical ability and thirst for knowledge is something I greatly admire about you!"
  212. >She releases you from her hug and smiles. "I can't let this incident go unpunished, but for now, let's deal with the minotaur... no... monkey... no, that's not right either... creature! Yes, for now, let's deal with the creature in the room."
  213. >Oh yeah, that thing. By Luna's sweet teats, does this thing stink.
  214. >The being lies face down on your floor. It's big; much larger than a full-grown earth pony stallion.
  215. >It's wearing heavily stained blue pants and some form of shirt that was white at some point. It has strange green shoes on its oddly-shaped hooves.
  216. >The hair that it does have on its balding head is short and mostly brown, but there's a moderate sprinkling of grey mixed in.
  217. >Thin patches of coarse black hairs can be seen on the exposed pale skin of its shoulders, back, and forearms.
  218. "Tartarus, is this thing ugly. And stinky."
  219. >Twilight nods her head. "It appears to be breathing. There's no way to tell when it will regain consciousness, though."
  220. >Almost if on cue, the creature begins to stir.
  221. >"Or maybe it'll wake up right now!" Twilight says with a nervous chuckle. "Let me do the talking. There's no telling if this thing is dangerous or not, but we should try to be diplomatic."
  222. "You're the princess," you reply. "But maybe we should have a backup plan?"
  223. >The ugly creature groans in pain and begins to sit up.
  224. "Look! The creature is getting up!" You nervously look over to Twilight for additional guidance.
  225. >The creature looks in your direction with unfocused eyes. It clenches its jaw and closes its eyes tightly before inhaling deeply.
  227. >The being abruptly stopped yelling after opening his eyes. He blinks rapidly, then begins looking around, taking in his surroundings. Finally, his gaze returns to you and Twilight, who has moved next to you.
  228. >As he studies your features, you feel your anxiety getting the better of you. You brace yourself for conflict.
  229. >Thankfully, Twilight takes the initiative. "Hello, I'm Princess Twilight Sparkle. Who, and what, are you? How did you get here?"
  230. >You were no diplomat, but you're pretty sure Twilight's greeting could've been received better, judging by the creature's wide panicked eyes and slack jaw.
  231. >"Ohhhh, jeez. What the hell is going on!" it yells, clearly upset. "Did that broad drug me!?"
  232. >Twilight attempts to salvage the conversation. "Please calm down! Tell me-"
  233. >"Oh sure! Calm down!" the creature yells, interrupting Twilight. "Nothing freaky about friggin' talkin' horses over 'ere!"
  234. >You and Twilight gasp at the insulting word used to describe both of you. You feel your anger swell out of your control.
  235. >You had always struggled controlling your temper. On top of that, you had always been a teensy, tiny bit protective of your friends, especially since you never had many.
  236. >And this motherbucker had not only insulted you, but your friend. A friend who gave you a second chance. A friend who took you in. A friend you didn't deserve.
  237. >Barely a second had passed since the creature's outburst. Before you can stop yourself, you lunge at the creature, retaliating with a right hook aimed at his head. It forcefully impacts above his left ear with a meaty 'thud'.
  238. >The force of the impact spins the insulting being around and his face hits the floor. He doesn't get up.
  239. >"Starlight! What did you do!?"
  240. "Nopony... NOPONY. Insults. My. Friends," you growl as you shake with rage.
  241. >"Whoa, filly! You can't just clobber anypony who insults you or your friends! You might have killed him! That's not how we handle things in polite Equestrian society! Let's not forget that he seemed pretty insulted by you calling him a 'creature'..."
  242. >You take a minute to process what you did. A deep blush forms on your cheeks.
  243. "Oh, right... sorry for going all 'Iron Hoof' just now. Old habits die hard?" you offer sheepishly.
  244. >Twilight stares at you with a deadpan expression. "Uh huh. We will definitely be addressing this in your friendship lessons."
  245. >She leans down over the being and places an ear near his mouth, presumably to check for breathing.
  246. >"Lucky for you, he's still alive. I didn't realize you could even hit that hard!"
  247. >You hoof at the floor, ashamed to look up.
  248. "I may have... augmented... that blow by applying a teeny bit of telekinesis to my hoof..."
  249. >Your mentor just stares at you in disbelief. After a long pause she sighs. "Just help me get him off the floor."
  251. ...
  253. >Be Luna, Princess of the Night.
  254. >AKA Best Princess.
  255. >/moon/chads rise up
  256. >You have detected a strange consciousness enter the dream realm.
  257. >This consciousness is unlike anything you've encountered in your dream domain.
  258. >The magical essence of all creatures is identifiable in the dream realm.
  259. >Even if the dreamer is disguised as another species in their dream, you can easily identify any sapient being by its species-distinct magical signature.
  260. >And yet, you have no idea of what this being is. Is it possible that this consciousness is entirely alien to [spoiler]Equus[/spoiler]?
  261. >You mentally compare the consciousness to an empty vessel, completely devoid of magic. How would magic affect it?
  262. >Despite not knowing the being's species or its origins, you find you are able to manipulate its dreamscape as you normally would for your own subjects.
  263. >Your attempts to look within its subconscious is met with mixed results.
  264. >You can determine that the being is an adult male. It is bipedal and mostly devoid of fur and hair.
  265. >You detect extensive psychological trauma within his psyche. There are deeply repressed feelings of regret and shame. Anger, insecurity, and pain dominate his feelings.
  266. >Interestingly, a distinct feeling of loneliness seems to radiate from him. You know that feeling better than anypony.
  267. >Though it is not your forte, you could swear that this being rarely experienced love. You would need to consult with your niece on this matter.
  268. >The being is aware of the dreamscape you prepared for him. It doesn't relax him as you had hoped. He cries out in fear.
  269. >You decide that direct intervention is necessary, though you will not present your true form to him. After all, you still don't know the being's intentions within your realm. It would be to your advantage to remain enigmatic.
  270. >Adopting a disguise that changes your figure and voice, you step into his dreamscape, altering it as you enter.
  271. "Greetings, traveler."
  273. ...
  275. >You are Carl.
  276. >You find yourself floating in space. Countless stars shine brightly all around you.
  277. >With no gravity to give you a sense of up and down, you quickly become disoriented.
  278. "Oh God! Why is dis happening!? Who did I piss off to deserve dis!?"
  279. >You flail your arms in a fruitless attempt to stop your perceived rotation and procession.
  280. >Suddenly, your surroundings freeze. A bright flash of light erupts in front of you, and you raise your hands to shield your eyes.
  281. >The light subsides. You find yourself on solid ground; a vast grassy field. The stars that enveloped you were now twinkling gently far overhead in the night sky.
  282. >"Greetings, traveler," a voice calls from behind you.
  283. >You whirl around, startled. A tall figure wearing hooded black robes approaches slowly. The hood obscures its facial features.
  284. "Who da hell are you?"
  285. >"I would ask the same question. You are in my domain."
  286. >What's up with this thing's voice?
  287. "I'm Carl."
  288. >"Tell me, Carl, what sort of creature are you? From what world do you hail?"
  289. "Hey. I ain't no friggin' creature. I'm a man, and don't you forgeddit."
  290. >"Apologies, I meant no offense. I have simply never met any of your species before. I ask again, where are you from?"
  291. "I'm from Jersey."
  292. >"And where is this... 'Jersey'? Is it on Equus?"
  293. "What's an Equus?"
  294. >"It is the planet you find yourself on."
  295. >Seriously, what's the deal with this thing's voice? You can't tell if it's a dude or a chick.
  296. >Your heartbeat's tempo increases. 'Damn it. Aliens. If it ain't the freakshows next door, it's monsters, and now dis shit,' you think to yourself.
  297. "No, Jersey is on the planet Earth."
  298. >"I am quite familiar with the cosmos... I've never heard of your 'Errf'," the figure replies suspiciously.
  299. "Earth. ERRRTTTHHH," you correct, emphasizing the proper pronunciation. "Jeez, you ain't never heard a Jersey accent before, dingus?"
  300. >The figure stiffens. "Obviously not, considering I've never encountered your species, nor heard of your homeworld before now....dingus."
  301. >You rub your temples with your fingertips. Your head is starting to hurt.
  302. "Alright, ya got me! Dat's my bad. But I got questions fo' yoo too, doe!"
  303. >The mysterious being tilts it's hooded head closer to you. "Oh? Ask away, then."
  304. >First thing's first. You gotta know...
  305. "Alright. First off, are you a dude or a chick? I can't tell by your voice, and your robes ain't givin' me no clues either."
  306. >"What do you mean by 'dude' and 'chick'? Do you inquire about my gender?"
  307. "Yeah, exactly."
  308. >You give your acquaintance dual finger guns to emphasize your answer.
  309. >"Why is that important to you here? Of all things to ask a stranger on an alien world you find yourself on-"
  310. "Because," you interrupt, "I gotta know what I'm dealin' wit 'ere. If you's a dude alien, I gotta be ready to square up and throw down at a moment's notice."
  311. >You clench your fists and take a boxer's stance.
  312. "But... if you're a female alien, ya boy Carl's gotta be able to spit game!"
  313. >"Spit... game?"
  314. ""Yoo know, put on da moves!"
  315. >"You wish to /woo/ a female alien, Carl?"
  316. "Well, I mean, only if she's hot, like some of those Star Trek broads. You could say I'm mostly interested in boldly going... where no man's gone before! Straight to the va-jine system at warp eight, ya know what I mean!? Heh heh ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaa, yeah!"
  317. >The mysterious figure shakes its hooded head slowly. It sighs before clearing its throat and replying with, "Next question."
  318. >Looks like this one isn't gonna put out, if it even is a broad. Oh well.
  319. "Fine, fine. I'll ask you again- who are you? And while we're at it, what are you?"
  320. >Your conversation partner raises a shrouded arm up to where a chin would be, as if pondering your question. You still can't see a hand or any identifying features.
  321. >"That is a tricky question to answer given your lack of knowledge about this realm. Who I am isn't as important to you as what I am. Suffice it to say that I am a guide of sorts."
  322. >You get the feeling that you're about to enter bullshit territory, but you let it slide for now.
  323. "So, what? You're here to guide me or something? Were you the one dat brought me here in da first place, huh?"
  324. >"No, my purpose isn't to guide you specifically. I sensed you enter this realm and I came to investigate. You were in distress, so I made my presence known to you in order to calm your nerves and discover the impetus for your arrival."
  325. "So yer saying you ain't some sort of guardian angel, and you didn't bring me here, yeah?"
  326. >"Correct. Am I to understand you did not mean to come here?"
  327. >You throw up your hands in exasperation.
  328. "Yer goddamn right I didn't mean to come 'ere! I was standing outside my house, mindin' my own friggin' biz-ness when a big-ass ball of blue light fell from the sky and hit me!"
  329. >The apparition tilts its hooded head and moves towards you.
  330. >"A blue ball of light, you say? Fascinating... what else can you tell me about your experience?"
  331. >You think you briefly see the reflection of large eyes behind the hood. The figure's movements are becoming more animated. Its voice is starting to sound more feminine.
  332. >Rubbing your forehead, you try to remember what happened after the energetic sphere hit you.
  333. "Yeah, when the ball hit me, it felt really hot, then I felt like I was falling. Then everything went black. I guess I was knocked out or somethin'."
  334. >"And you found yourself here?"
  335. >You think for a moment, then the rest comes flooding back to your mind.
  336. "No, I woke up in a room. There were these friggin' little talkin' horses, man! They both were different shades of purple an' shit, an' they both had horns. The taller one had wings too. The smaller one's hair reminded me of toofpaste. I'm pretty sure toofpaste horse knocked me out, because the last ting I remember is it taking a swing at me."
  337. >You stop and think about what you just said. If you were knocked out in that room how did you get here?
  338. "Wait a minute... if I was knocked out there... how did I end up here? Am I still unconscious?"
  339. >Your visitor chuckles softly. "That would be correct, Carl. However, from what I can tell, you will be regaining consciousness shortly."
  340. >You're reaching the limits of your patience.
  341. "Alright, enough with da bullshit. Who are yoo really, and what's really going on? Where am I really?"
  342. >The figure shakes its head. You catch a glimpse of large eyes under the hood.
  343. >"I now know exactly where you are in the waking world. You are in good hooves, in spite of your propensity for making poor first impressions."
  344. >You open your mouth to retort, but the black figure continues to speak.
  345. >"You would do well to be on your best behavior during your stay here. I WILL be watching you, and we WILL meet again. When we do, I expect your manners to be better."
  346. >That's it. You ain't takin' dis shit.
  347. "Listen 'ere, jackass," you bark, "How 'bout I beat yer ass right now and then let's see yoo talk dat shit!"
  348. >You step towards the hooded figure, whose shape is rapidly morphing into a large black cloud.
  349. >Cocking a fist back as you stride forward, you attempt to deliver your best impression of the famous George Foreman walking KO punch.
  350. >A powerful invisible force stops you dead in your tracks, forces you to your knees, and wrenches your head up.
  351. >The field you were standing in is fading fast, as is the night sky above you.
  352. >The black cloud is now midnight blue with hundreds of small white lights distributed throughout it.
  354. >The cloud dissipates, and you are lifted up before being violently thrown backwards into darkness.
  356. ...
  358. >You are Princess Luna, and you are flustered.
  359. >Pacing around your chambers within Canterlot Castle, you reflect on your interaction with the dimensional traveler known as "Carl".
  360. >The meeting could've gone better. You had lost your temper at the end, and had reverted to using the "royal we" and the Royal Canterlot Voice.
  361. >In all fairness, you were much more patient than the uncouth brute deserved.
  362. >And perhaps the "enigmatic shadow being" approach you took with him didn't help your cause in the end.
  363. >Your disguise began to fail as your emotions surged. Luckily you had enough presence of mind to transform into the miasmic blue cloud you would disguise yourself as when you were Nightmare Moon.
  364. >As frustrating as this "man" was, you'd be lying if you didn't admit that he was somewhat entertaining, if only in a depraved way.
  365. >You think back on the encounter and begin to formulate your assessment of Carl.
  366. >Cadence would eventually need to assess him too, you had no doubt.
  367. >Since he clearly possessed no magic, he was likely to be as dangerous as a minotaur.
  368. >Still, he was nothing young Twilight Sparkle couldn't handle. Starlight "Toothpaste" Glimmer apparently had no trouble subduing him.
  369. >The thought of the former dictator beating Carl senseless made you smile. The mare reminded you of yourself in many ways.
  370. >That settles it. At worst, Carl poses as much a threat to Equestria as an emotionally unstable minotaur.
  371. >Nothing to get worried about. He certainly wasn't something you needed to actively concern your sister with. Or yourself, for that matter.
  372. >For now, you were content to observe from a distance. You would keep an eye on Carl's dreams and occasionally meet with him in the dream realm if you wished to engage in banter.
  373. >Carl was Twilight Sparkle's problem as far as you were concerned.
  375. ...
  377. >You are Twilight, and your patience is being tested.
  378. >You tried to telekinetically move the being. You succeeded in ripping its shirt.
  379. >Starlight also tried and failed to magically move him. Her efforts earned her ripped pants.
  380. >You don't understand why your magic isn't affecting him! It can move the thing's clothes! Why won't it move him?
  381. >Better question, what's happening with the magic that makes contact with his body? Is it being absorbed or passing through him?
  382. >You make a mental note to investigate further after you've finished dragging him to one of the many unused guest rooms in your castle.
  383. >Not wanting to make physical contact with the being's filthy skin and clothes, you and Starlight conjured and tied ropes around his ankles. Fortunately, the ropes responded to telekinesis as expected.
  384. >You had initially wanted to conjure a stretcher underneath him, but Starlight said that level of care was "more than the bucker deserved".
  385. >That mare has issues. You love her to pieces, but she needs help.
  386. >Hopefully the map will have a friendship mission for her in the future. There's nothing that a two-day quest and a few spontaneous songs can't solve, right, Twilight? Right!
  387. >Finally, you and your protege manage to pull the foul-smelling beast into the room next to Starlight's. Celestia, this thing is heavy.
  388. >You take a moment to catch your breath and observe the being once more.
  389. >He's starting to move.
  390. >He's moving!
  391. >"Twilight, he's coming to again! What do we do?"
  392. "We're NOT going to hit him again, for starters. Is that clear?"
  393. >Starlight responds with an embarrassed smile.
  394. "I will handle him. I need you to find Spike and summon the rest of the girls."
  395. >"Are you sure Twilight? I don't feel comfortable leaving you alone with this thing. We don't know what he's capable of!"
  396. >You smile at your newest friend's concern for your safety.
  397. "I appreciate your concern, Starlight. I'll be fine. Please find the girls. The sooner they get here, the sooner we can discuss what to do about this situation."
  398. >Starlight nods and teleports away with an audible 'crack'.
  399. >With a deep breath, you turn to face the being who is groaning in pain and slowly trying to sit up.
  400. >After some effort, he sits upright and takes in his surroundings. His gaze eventually falls to you.
  401. >"Oh, Christ, dat wasn't a dream," it mutters. He looks around once more and sighs. "If you's plannin' on killin' me, jus' do me a favor and get it ovah wit', alright? Quick and painless, if you don't mind."
  402. >You gasp and cover your open mouth with a hoof.
  403. "Please! Don't be alarmed! I'm not going to harm you!"
  404. >"Oh yeah? What about your com-pah-dray that smacked me in da dome piece, huh? How do you explain dat?"
  405. >Ooh, a chance to deal with an upset subject, just like Celestia would! Technically, he's not a "subject", but whatever! You've got this, Twilight.
  406. "I apologize for my friend's behavior. To be fair, she thought you were trying to insult her and I when you called us 'whorses'," you say in a motherly tone that Celestia would approve.
  407. >The being gives you a confused look and gingerly touches the left side of his head where Starlight struck him. You can see a small amount of blood in the hair above his ear.
  408. >"What, isn't dat what you guys are?" he asks.
  409. "No! I mean... no. We're ponies. 'Whorse' is a /very/ offensive term in our society."
  410. >"Oh jeez... sorry about dat. I mean, we got horses where I'm from, but dey don't talk or anyting like dat."
  411. >You smile and wave a hoof.
  412. "It's fine, you didn't know, mister...?"
  413. >"My name's Carl."
  414. "Just 'Carl'?"
  415. >"Carl Brutananadilewski, but ain't nobody can ever say my last name right, so just call me Carl."
  416. "Pleased to meet you, Carl. I am Twilight Sparkle, Princess of Friendship."
  417. >Carl looks at you quizzicaly. "I'm inna place called 'Friendship'?"
  418. >You suppress a giggle.
  419. "No, you're in the country of Equestria. I am the Princess of Friendship. There's also a Princess of the Sun, a Princess of the Moon, though we don't really call them by those titles, a Princess of Love..."
  420. >"Heh hey hey!" Carl chuckles. "Da Princess of Love sounds like my kinda gal. Can you, uh, intra-dooce me to 'er? I know a bit about lovin' myself, if ya know what I mean!"
  421. "Of course I can. She's my sister-in-law! But enough about me for now, please, tell me about yourself! Do you know how you got here?"
  423. ...
  425. >You teleport from your bedroom into the map/throne room of the ugly-ass castle you've come to call home.
  426. >You need a minute to gather your thoughts before you begin to teleport all over Ponyville looking for the Elements of Harmony.
  427. "Okay, Starlight," you say to yourself while pacing around the map. "Who's going to be the easiet pony to track-"
  428. >A green light suddenly appears above the map, breaking your train of thought.
  429. >The shapeless green light turns into a green oval. A familiar pegasus flies out of it, into the map room.
  430. "Fluttershy?" you call out in shock.
  431. >"Oh, hello there, Starlight!" Flutershy responds cheerfully.
  432. "What are you doing here? How did you just appear in the castle like that?"
  433. >"I'm sorry if I startled you! Discord felt an usual surge of chaotic energy pass through his dimension while we were having tea. He thought Twilight ought to know about it, so he sent me here through a portal he created!"
  434. >You brush your bangs away nervously with a foreleg.
  435. "Yeah, about that..."
  436. >Fluttershy continues, "Discord also figured that Twilight would want to discuss the implications of this foreign chaos energy reaching Equestria, so he's gathering the rest of the girls and bringing them here as well. Isn't that sweet?"
  437. >Before you can respond, another green portal opens up above the map. The remaining Elements fall out of it and onto the map, creating a colorful pony pile.
  438. >"What the heck was that for, Discord!?" Rainbow Dash barks indignantly.
  439. >Discord grins while the mares untangle themselves from each other. "Expediency, mostly," he quips.
  440. >"That's not what I meant!" Rainbow huffs. "What's so important that you had to snatch us all without warning and dump us in Twilight's castle!?"
  441. >You take this opportunity to address the group.
  442. "Thank you, Discord, for bringing all the Elements here so quickly," you begin. "Twilight had actually just sent me to gather them myself."
  443. >Dicord cocks an eyebrow. "Reeeeeeaaallly... what did you do, Starlight Glimmer?" He stretches his obnoxiously-long body towards you.
  444. "Nothing! Well... I mean, nothing intentionally..."
  445. >Discord grins widely. "Oh? Please, do elaborate."
  446. "I may have... accidentally... summoned an abomination from another dimension?" you offer sheepishly.
  447. >The draconequus stands upright and folds his arms. He speaks again, and this time his voice oozes condescension. "Starlight. I expected better of you. How ever can you tread the path to reformation if you're summoning beings from beyond this plane of existence?"
  448. >No sooner does Discord finish scolding you when a miniature clone of him appears, floating next to your head.
  449. >The clone whispers in your ear, "I'm so proud of you, Glim-Glam. We need to get together and celebrate your happy accident once all this blows over!"
  450. >You give the full-size Discord a confused look, to which he responds by winking and giving you the universal gesture for "shush".
  451. >Applejack voices her curiosity. "What do ya mean by 'abomination', sugarcube?"
  452. "I really don't want to talk about it right now. I've already offended it and then knocked it unconscious. Twilight can address all of your questions when she gets here."
  453. >Rarity and Fluttershy gasp. Rainbow and Applejack give you expressions of amusement and confusion, respectively. Pinkie just smiles.
  454. >You engage in idle conversation with the girls for twenty minutes before Twilight enters the room.
  455. >When she arrives, everypony goes silent and stares at her expectantly. "Umm, hi?" she asks nervously.
  456. >"Twilight, DARLING, would you be so kind as to tell us why we're here?" Rarity asks with her typical dramatic delivery.
  457. >The princess laughs nervously to her self and takes her seat in front of the map. The other Elements follow suit.
  458. >You briefly consider sitting in Spike's seat, but choose to stand next to Discord instead.
  459. >Twilight looks around to each pony. "As you may or may not know, we have an unexpected visitor here in the castle."
  460. >"Yeah, thanks to Starlight!" Rainbow interjects.
  461. >Your ears fold down involuntarily. Twilight notices your embarrassment and continues, "Not necessarily. Speaking with our visitor, whose name is Carl, by the way, Starlight's actions couldn't have pulled him away from his world."
  462. >"Well what in tarnation did Starlight actually do?" Applejack asks.
  463. "I accidentally cast a summoning spell from a book I wasn't supposed to have!" you yell in frustration. "Can we PLEASE just talk about how we fix all of this?"
  464. >Everypony in the room stares at you.
  465. >Twilight clears her throat loudly. "Carl told me that a ball of light appeared in his world and hit him before he arrived here. I've looked at the spell Starlight cast, and it couldn't have been her that was responsible for his... abduction?"
  466. "Ha!" you shout while pointing a hoof at Rainbow. She sticks her tongue out at you.
  467. >"Don't get too excited, Starlight," Twilight says. "While a third party was responsible for ejecting him from his world, I am convinced you are responsible for his arrival here in Equestria."
  468. "But how? You just said I didn't take him from his world!"
  469. >Twilight nods. "Indeed, but if it wasn't for you, he would have likely remained trapped between realities indefinitely, like some form of limbo. However, the spell you inadvertently completed was designed to pull entities from such a space."
  470. >"Oh, how dreadful!" Fluttershy exclaims. "The poor thing, taken from his home, now alone in a completely new world! He's probably scared to death!"
  471. >"You'd think that, but he's more bothered about not getting a chance to 'pay back' a 'hooker' named 'Candy'," Twilight states flatly. "Also, he is suffering from a major concussion, courtesy of Starlight."
  472. >You blink. When you open your eyes, Pinkie Pie is right in front of you. "Oooh, I just knew something big was going to happen! My Pinkie sense was acting up like never before! So why'd ya hit him, Starlight? Huh?"
  473. "He called Twilight and I 'whorses'."
  474. >Rarity gasps, raises a hoof to her forehead and faints. In typical reality-bending fashion, Pinkie is able to cover the distance between you and Rarity in time to catch her as she falls from her chair.
  475. >"He didn't know how offensive that word is here!" Twilight shouts. "We can get into all the details later, but the fact of the matter is we have an alien being on our hooves. As far as I know, we have no way to reliably or safely return him to his home."
  476. >Discord floats over the map. "I may be able to help..."
  477. >Twilight shakes her head. "I'd rather you not, Discord. For all we know, there are an infinite number of dimensions out there, and there's no way to tell which one is his."
  478. >Discord shrugs and slinks off the map table. "Fine, have it your way," he states indifferently.
  479. >Applejack raises a hoof. "So what do ya suggest we do about this, sugarcube?"
  480. >"Carl will be staying in the castle for the foreseeable future," Twilight replies. "He'll need to take it easy the next few days to recover from his concussion. When he's up for it, I'd like for him to meet you all properly, and yes, Pinkie, that means a 'Welcome to Ponyville' party."
  481. >[What good is a story where a human arrives in Equestria if Pinkie doesn't throw a goddamn welcoming party? Another trope for another update...]
  482. >Pinkie grins from ear to ear. Confetti explodes from behind her. You briefly wonder if her party cannon also goes off when she orgasms.
  483. >As you finish that thought, you make eye contact with Pinkie, who winks and nods her head.
  484. >This is the first and hopefully only time you blush while feeling pure terror.
  485. >"Additionally, Starlight, since you were ultimately responsible for Carl's arrival in Equestria, I'm tasking you to help him acclimatize to our society." Twilight states.
  486. "What!? I mean, why me? I know it's kinda my fault he's here, but even if it wasn't, I'm the first to admit that I'm not the best candidate for the job! Former dictator, remember?"
  487. >"Actually, I think you're perfect for the job," Twilight replies with a giggle. "During my conversation with him, Carl definitely came off as... abrasive? I think given your... past... you are uniquely qualified to deal with him!"
  488. "Gee, thanks, Twilight," you say in a monotone voice. "I feel so much better about this."
  489. >Twilight rolls her eyes. "So you know, he'll be staying in the room next to yours. He's cleaning up right now, but you should formally introduce yourself when he's done. Also, you need to apologize for hurting him."
  490. "Fine," you say in your best annoyed tone. "As long as he doesn't call you or my friends 'whorse' again, I'll be nice."
  491. >Before everypony leaves, Twilight asks a now-conscious Rarity if she would be willing to make Carl some new clothes [because why the fuck not, ain't no brakes on the trope train], to which she agrees.
  492. >Twilight volunteers you to escort Carl to the Carousel Boutique once he has recovered.
  493. >Discord whispers in your ear, "I for one can't wait to see you attempt to befriend this delightfully vulgar creature! While you girls were chatting, I've been watching him in his room. He's been talking to himself about Twilight's 'juicy ass'. Spoiler alert, he doesn't have fur to cover up his fun bits, which he's awfully fond of touching. Ask me how I know."
  494. >You shudder at the thought.
  495. >Perhaps being a villain wasn't so bad after all?
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