Many Sided Coin
I don't own MLP
Summary: Discord during Tantabus
Thoughts and Flashbacks
Demonic or Animalistic Speak
Demonic or Animalistic Thoughts
Luna honestly had no inkling of how long she continued to stare and gape at the self-dubbed Batcord, Long enough for his grin to turn sheepish, before fading away as he scratched his head awkwardly under her gaze, "...Come on, don't leave me hanging here?" He joked weakly.
Luna blinked and shook her head, rounding on Discord...only to quickly realize she wasn't in Fluttershy's cottage anymore. In fact, she wasn't in Ponyville at all.
"You really need to fire the maids," Discord teased playfully as he sat on what was once her throne, glancing at the ruins of the Everfree Castle.
"Discord, what is the meaning of this? Why have you brought me here?" Luna asked with a scowl.
"I was half-expecting you to roll out the Royal Canterlot voice and wake Fluttershy up," He answered with a shrug, sipping from a plastic glass of...it was red, looked like a milkshake and had some kind of pink-orange froth at the top, that's all Luna knew.
"But why here?" Luna pushed with a meaningful glare.
Discord rolled his eyes, "I figured I shouldn't be the only one going down memory lane," He answered in annoyance.
Batcord sighed audibly at that, getting Luna's attention, "You'll have to excuse myself, I'm not the most tactful of ponies these days," He apologized, giving his future counterpart a look that was clearly asking him to behave.
And there it was, the Ursa Major in the room. Discord, the once great enemy of ponykind and all things harmonious, was a pony, "How do I know you're not some trick of Discord's, merely playing some mind game for his amusement?" Luna asked suspiciously.
Batcord looked conflicted, maybe even a bit hurt by that as he glanced away, "Nothing really. All I have is me...well, this me, I mean," He answered uncertainly.
And yet Batcord himself was a unique bit of proof. Luna remembered all too freshly Discord's reign thousands of years ago. And in all his chaotic schemes and games, there had always been this...pride and ego about him, this haughtiness as he stared down his nose at all caught in his web, pony or not. It was tamer now, even hidden at times, but she still saw it; the pride of a being that, by undeniable fact, was essentially a god. She'd be lying if she said there hadn't been some of that about herself or her sister, past and present.
That wasn't here. This pony had all the pride of a mortal, tempered with a good deal of humility. Mortal...That still didn't make sense to her, really, "What are you, exactly?" She asked, tilting her head curiously, "You claim to be a past version of Discord. Are you...a fragment of his mind?"
"Do you mean, is he the Luna if I'm the Nightmare?" Discord called with a smirk from his seat, "It's not nice to project like that, Moonflanks."
Luna opened her mouth, but stopped as Batcord groaned, "Could you please-!" He stopped himself before taking a breath, "...You know what, could you please just explain this to her? I mean actually explain it?" He requested with a pitiful look on his face.
Luna raised an eyebrow, both at the outburst and the ceasing of referring to himself and Discord as a singular 'I'.
Discord sighed in annoyance, "Oh, fine," He allowed, as he rose from the throne. He looked at his empty glass, before making it float off and curl in on itself, turning into a jellyfish, "Where do I even begin?" He wondered out loud, walking down to them.
"The beginning would be a good start," Luna snapped, a bit impatiently.
"Um, I'm right here?" Batcord reminded with a small, mirthful smile.
"So I am," Discord grumbled as he walked past them briefly before turning about face…
And now they were in a classroom. Batcord was wearing some kinds of sports jacket, Discord was wearing a brown suit and white wig to make himself look like Albert Einstein and Luna...
"Helloooooo cheerleader," Batcord quipped flirtingly, eyeing the annoyed princess that was now dolled up with pigtails, a miniskirt and a tight short top.
"Why am I in this attire?" Luna questioned with gritted teeth.
"You vanted to learn, ja?" Discord countered with a false German accent as he pulled down a chart, showing the outline of an earth pony at various stages at life: newborn, infant, child, teenager, adult, prime, mild-age, and elderly, "Ve often say "I am not ze pony I use to be" and to zome extent, zis is true," Professor Disbert Cordstein started as he produced a ruler from behind his back and started to use it as a pointer, "Ze teen often zinks zey are not ze same as vhen zey vere a filly or colt. Equally true is ze pony past zeir prime vhen considering zeir years as a teen or young adult."
"Obviously," Luna agreed, wondering where this was going, "I wouldn't trust myself and Tia when we were young to plan a festival, let alone run a nation."
"Yes, but that pony you used to be isn't really gone," Batcord pointed out, looking at her with his head resting on his crossed forelegs over the desk, "After all, isn't it like hearing your old self talking to you when you consider pulling a prank or really want your childhood snack?"
"Yes, I suppose so, but what's the point? Ponies grow and mature," Luna countered with a shrug.
"Wrong," Discord denied bluntly. When Luna looked back at him, the outfits and classroom were gone, but the chart remained, "The truth is that maturity and time itself have absolutely nothing to do with personality."
"What?" Luna asked completely lost.
"It's true, there are mental defects at birth and some disorders that affect how someone thinks and feels, but in most cases? It's merely about experiences and circumstances," Discord explained, motioning to the chart, "The young adult can be one of the most determined and idealistic of ponies while the past-prime one could be cynical and disillusioned...and they can become a wizened and helpful elder. Or the other way around, wizened mild age, cynical elder," Discord elaborated with a dismissive wave.
"I'm sorry, I don't think I follow where you're going?" Luna asked with a raised eyebrow.
"The point is that a sentient being's personality and outlooks will change based on their own experience and circumstances over time," Discord continued on, rolling the chart up into a roll of licorice, "In truth, if one was left in the same situation with no change, they would stay in a certain mindset until an outside stimulus changes the circumstances: these include boredom and the various affects time has on the world. And because those mindsets never just vanish, they still influence us: That is actually the summation of a conscious, to be honest, the voices of our pasts weighing on our present."
"So...there is a filly Luna in my head?" Luna questioned with a raised eyebrow.
"No," Discord answered with a smirk, "You're getting to the right place, Lulu. Except in certain mental practices and some multi-personality situations, most beings don't have their various phases taking up their own personality because even if the surface looks different, they are ultimately made of the same stuff underneath. But when one lives long enough to have their circumstances and personality changed radically enough, building layers upon layers? The older personality will...divorce itself from the mind, taking up its own semi-consciousness as a distinct mental entity as the new personality takes shape."
"We're still the same being," Batcord cut in with a grin, "This me is just how that me used to originally be."
"I call him a Mask," Discord summarized offhoofedly, examining his claws.
"A...mask?" Luna asked slowly, trying to process all of this.
"Technically speaking, if you find yourself in similar circumstances of a pleasant phase in your life, you're likely to slip back into that mindset to some extent," Batcord elaborated, "Hence, a Mask."
"So it's like how my sister and I switch from acting like princesses to acting like sisters?" Luna shortened with a raised eyebrow.
"That...is a LOT easier way to look at it- why the buck did I explain it the long way?!" Batcord asked, looking to his present self in annoyance.
"Because Moony is a good listener and she can show this little memory to Twilight when she inevitably asks about how this mess works," Discord answered with a smirk, "Besides, one less info dump to worry about."
"Wait, Twilight? You intend to introduce them to your...self?" Luna inquired, putting a hoof to her chin in thought. Really, if handled carefully, that didn't seem like a bad idea.
"Nooooooo, youare going to introduce him to the Mane-crew," Discord corrected with a smirk before stroking his beard with a hum, "Mane-crew, that sounds good. Like a band name."
"Wait, what? Why am I saddled with such a task?" Luna argued with a glare.
"Besides you inviting me into your bed?" Discord asked knowingly, letting her sputter for a moment, "You and your little Tanti gave him a bus trip out of my mind."
"...What?" Luna asked flatly, glaring at Batcord.
The bat-stallion grinned sheepishly, "Yeah...This me is out and about because I figured out how to enter the real world after seeing the Tantabus nearly do it...and I maaaay have jumped out of its portal before it closed up?" He explained nervously.
Luna stared at him for a long moment before giving Discord a suffering glare, "I am starting to see the resemblance," She noted evenly.
"Good for you," Discord commented with an eye roll, "So, you let the bat out of the bag, you get to show him around," He finished, floating off the ground and heading to the exit.
"Wait, Disco-" Luna called, sighing as he vanished, "Insufferable old coot."
"I know, right?" Batcord agreed with a head tilt, "I used to be so cool too."
"Do not think this means I will go along with this so easily," Luna warned with a scowl, turning back to him.
"And what do you expect me to do?" Batcord asked in surprise.
"Why not simply return to your mind?" Luna suggested plainly.
"But I just got out! Come on, Lulu, be nice to me," Batcord pleaded overdramatically, "Do you know how long it's been since this me has gotten any action?"
Luna raised an eyebrow at him, unimpressed.
"...Bad time?" He asked nervously, glancing away briefly.
"Why did you even come to my dreams and incite this meeting? Discord seemed vastly unaware of you vacating his mind, so why alert him and myself to your arrival in the material world?" Luna asked curiously.
Batcord looked at her for a moment before the most peculiar thing happened.
He took a half-step back, looking down at the ground as his wings twitched and his ears drooped, "I...I'm scared."
The admission was so soft, only by the sheer silence of the ruins did it echo.
"...Truly?" Luna asked in concern, alarmed by the notion of Discord, mortal or not, being scared of anything, "Dis...Batcord? What could possibly trouble you?" She asked in concern, wondering if it was Discord himself.
"You," Batcord answered, making her blink, "Not just you. I...I want to meet everypony, a second first impression I guess, but I'm scared. Even if I pretend I'm...not Discord for a while, it'll get out eventually: trust me on that. And I don't want them to think it's just the current me playing a joke or something," He confessed, his eyes almost looking misty, "I came to you since, well..." He trailed off uneasily.
"Yes?" Luna prompted curiously.
"Because you don't trust me," Batcord explained with a sigh, "When everypony finds out I am Discord, they'll probably think it's just a trick, but I thought if I could convince you? Well, maybe they'd believe you and not just write me off."
"...You really do want to meet them, Twilight and her friends," Luna stated more than asked. Batcord didn't answer, but nodded solemnly.
The more and more she spoke with him, the more and more Luna realized something. She wasn't talking to Discord the Lord of Chaos. She was talking to a pony; just a pony that had become said Draconequus later in his long life. How one became the other was hard to imagine, but that didn't change a simple fact. Regardless of whom he was, this stallion was close to begging for her help.
"...Very well, I shall help yo-UMPH!" Luna started, only to immediately being hugged by a very relieved Batcord.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you!" He cheered with a smile.
"You, um, are most welcome," Luna returned, a bit unsure how to feel about being embraced by the rugged stallion that would become Discord.
"...Huh, so your mane does smell like stardust," Batcord quipped teasingly, "Does the tail match?"
Luna blushed despite her scowl, "I'm sure you'll smell it when I buck you."
"...Didn't really think that through, did you?" Batcord inquired slyly as he pulled back.
Luna paused before stiffening, her blush growing brighter as she did, "Curse this modern language and its many euphemisms in relation to copulation," She grumbled before readdressing him sternly, "But before we even consider a meeting with Princess Twilight, we must return to the palace and...explain some things to my sister, you being only one of those issues," She explained, obviously dreading a few things to come.
"...Going to meet Celestia, eh?" He summarized with some worry.
"You have objections?" Luna inquired with a raised eyebrow.
"No more than you do," Batcord retorted with a small smile, "Shall we take the long way home, Milady?" He suggested playfully, flapping his wings meaningfully.
Luna hesitated before smiling, "A good morning fly would be a pleasant note to end a night," She agreed as they made their way out of the castle.
"Good thing we immortals can go a few days without sleep, eh?" Batcord joked with a chuckle.
"I suppose," Luna acknowledged, "...Do I want to know what Discord's mind is like?"
Batcord flinched at that one, "...No, you really don't," He answered warningly.
Luna raised an eyebrow at that statement but dropped the topic for now, "I hope you have an alias to give the guards, because Batcord simply will not due."
Batcord snorted in amusement, "Trust me, Lulu? That's the least of our issues."
End of Chapter:
There's chapter two, with Batcord continuing his role as half-timid, half-horndog. Than again, he probably has plenty to be nervous about.
And, yes, Discord essentially has a stable, natural version of a multiple personality disorder cause by a VERY long life span with varying experiences.
Of course, Luna hasn't put it together that Discord has other "masks" just yet, and now Batcord is off to meet Celestia...Oh, the ways that could go down.
The Keeper of Worlds- Wait until there are three or four Cords in one scene. XP
duskrider- Its a very long trail between Batcord and Discord. I don't have anything planned like Ixis Naugus, admittedly, and yes, Discord has had some dark lives, some more tragic or twisted than others.
ShiningShadow1965- Trust me, Batcord would probably love to do that too.
nightmaster000- Hmm, nah. Discord is like the Joker- giving him a finite backstory often detracts from his character.