Writer's Training Grounds #20: "Twilight's Kingdom"

A submission for Equestria Daily.

Prompt: Tirek wasn't the only creature to escape from Tartarus when Cerberus left his post...

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The Apportioner(s)

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Destiny. Fate. Purpose. Lot. Providence. Insert synonym here.

Path and journey and adventure and mystery and all sorts of silly gobbledy-gook to make it sound grander than it really is.

It's all quite dull, really.

Then again, I imagine it always would be if you knew how it would all end.

But these equines, these ponies...such contradictory creatures! How many times has a young foal obsessed over their 'cutie mark'? Such absurd magic this land possesses, that ties my thread to a silly little mark on their flank! Mare or stallion, how desperate are they when something goes awry with their 'special talent'? Such focus, such energy, such passion is directed at determining the nature of their existence.

It would be admirable, if they didn't recoil at the implications.

For you see, pointing out those implications is my 'special talent'. Ha. Ha ha.

Hilarious.

I imagine it won't be long until my presence is noticed. Given my nature, it won't be long before those celestial ninnies in Canterlot drag me back to that dank little hole-in-the-ground that they deign to call 'Tartarus'. As if that pit was worth such a grandiose and imposing name.

It's hard to get really upset. I wish I could; life would be more interesting that way. Ooh, if only I could be as petty as that vainglorious Discord!

Alas, it is not to be.

Imagine it, if you will; I see you. Your destiny, your purpose, your fate. All of it, from beginning to end.

Imagine it. And if you deign yourself to be a creature of free will, I'm currently savoring the chill that went down your spine, however minute it may be.

These ponies harp on and on about determining what they're meant to do, and doing what they can to be good at it. Even if it's something that was absolutely unexpected. Even if it's something esoteric or unintuitive (like that wall-eyed mare that just flew above me; try and guess how bubbles correspond to her destiny. Go ahead, I'll wait), or seemingly beneath them. Throughout it all, they maintain that they're capable of choice, of choosing how to utilize their special talent.

Then I drop in and offer a little show. I reveal just a little bit of the truth. It's always been enough, though; for ponies who place such primacy on choosing their own fate, what worse cruelty could their be to show them that the sum total of their existence lies in my hooves, laid out in full, all illusion of free will stripped away?

Perhaps that's why I was imprisoned the first time, I suppose. It was 'disharmonious' of me, to be so demeaning.

Ah, Celestia. Perhaps you're the one who fears me most of all. Don't think I don't know how your little schemes end. Do you really think you'll be doing your precious student a favor, stringing her along with few explanations and even fewer answers? I know it'll all end well by your reckoning, but the sheer suffering that will result from your inaction is stark and unforgiving in its scope. But it's all part of your plan, hm?

If only your loyal subjects knew how ruthless you really are, Princess.

But I suppose I can forgive an immortal alicorn her faults. Being truthful would alienate too many. Showcasing your true power on a daily basis would intimidate and frighten everypony (can you imagine the sheer thaumatical energy it takes to manipulate a heavenly body of ANY kind, much less a star?). How lowly indeed, to act so casually goofy, so serene yet aloof, to stem the tide of tears you have for mere mortals who have come and gone.

After all, you just want to be loved.

I suppose you could even say that it is your fate to keep up these pretenses, no matter what it may cost you - and your ponies - in the short-term.

Ha. Ha.

Ah, there you are now, floating down imperiously from above. Sombra's little song and dance with the restored Crystal Empire has you looking around a little more closely, has it? Making you wonder just what else might have slipped out when that three-headed mutt went on an unscheduled walk?

Well, me for one.

"You know why I'm here, Moira."

I smile. "Indeed I do."

I smirk. "And me."

I grin. "Me three!"

Oh, that's right. I have three heads. Not too strange, in the grand scheme of things.

"Then I trust you won't resist?"

Oh, as if I could. In terms of magical power, you outrank me by many magnitudes. You simply want to cast me aside into the dark, because I make your little playthings uncomfortable. And deep down, you'll always find yourself unnerved by how this - THIS - is all it takes for you to imprison someone within what your ponies would call 'a hell on earth' (I call it a hotel that I'll be checking into for a few millennia.) Then you'll bury those thoughts down even further and lock me up anyway. Like I said: ruthless!

"What would-"

"-be-"

"-the point?"

The Princess of the Sun gripped me with her telekinetic magic and held me aloft.

But not before I took out a little thread from underneath my cloak, pulling it taut and looking deeply at it. The alicorn paused; as if I could do anything in a situation like this! "Oh, don't fear me; I'm just taking a look."

Oh my. A horned centaur, consuming the energies of every single pony in Equestria. Your student - yes, she's due to become an alicorn princess soon, isn't she? - and the beast, devastating the countryside. The chaotic draconequus, offering a bouquet and a conspiratorial wink, recognizing one of your silly 'plans' coming to fruition once more; even it means Tirek draining (however brief it may be) the magic of your subjects, severing their connection with their fate.

Kind of makes what I do look rather bush league by comparison!

"Put it away. We're leaving."

All three of my heads giggle as Celestia ascends to the sky, my body in tow and awash in a pale yellow glow. The part I relish the most, as I put the thread away, is knowing where she'll be during the mad centaur's rampage. "I'll make sure to keep a cell cozy for you three."

She doesn't answer. Or refuses to. Doesn't matter which one.

Because I know how it all ends.

I know how everything ends.

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Author's Note: Moira. Based off the Moirai, aka the Fates of ancient Greek mythology.

Just a quick little ditty in-between writing time on my original novel.