Diaries of a Madman

When Discord breaks free of his stone prison, he proves to be much older and wiser than he was on the show. A being of ancient and unimaginable power, he forces Celestia to make a deal to save her little ponies. What she doesn't realize is that one of the terms of the deal is that she forgets ever making it. Enter Navarone, a poor human just trying to get by—or at least, to the ponies that's what he looks like. Pulled from his home by an accidental summoning from one Twilight Sparkle, Navarone is thrust into a world of ponies and more violence than he expected from such a peaceful seeming world. These are his adventures—with a few asides from everybody's favorite Lord of Chaos, of course.

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107. Chapter Eighty-Six—Rambunctiously Radical Rave Part 1

Three days later, I got a knock on my door. I opened it to find a somewhat tired looking Spike standing there, holding a letter. “What does she want this time?” I sighed, taking the letter.

“What is it with you two?” he asked. “And for that matter, what did Rarity mean when she said she was you?”

“We did a competition thing,” I said, opening the letter. “Rarity and I, I mean. Swapped bodies, pretended to be each other. As for me and Celestia, the same thing that’s going on between you and Doppel. Now let’s see what this says.” I let him inside and kicked the door shut, walking into the living room.

“Doppel here?” Spike asked as I plopped into my arm chair.

“Somewhere, yeah. Have fun.” I wasn’t really paying that much attention to what he was saying, but I also didn’t care.

Ah, Navarone… Such a fun few days we had! Though I think you know all about that. *wink*

“Wait, what? Did she seriously write wink on here?”

Spike was already gone, so Flo answered, “Yes, it looks like it.”

I just shook my head and continued reading. I was wondering if you’d be interested in a nice little cool down session? I know it’s been a few days, but I just can’t stop thinking about it! – Big C.

“Well, it would be a good way to set the record straight, make sure she realizes just who she was fucking.” After checking my neck to make sure I had the necklace with the ring on it, I set off to track down Spike.

He was standing at the entrance to Doppel’s room, the door slightly cracked open. His eyes were watching whatever was happening inside with a strange intensity that I’m glad wasn’t focused at me.

“Need you to send a reply,” I said, taking a second to peek inside the room. Doppel was on one of Eva’s personalities, having a good time.

Spike snorted smoke and turned around, snatching the paper from my hands. He sent it off without even looking at it. I was about to ask if he was okay when I was teleported off.

When I landed, I found that I was on a large bed. That’s all I had time to see before Celestia’s horsey body was on top of me, holding me down with her furry mass. She looked down at me with a smile.

“Before we start, I have something pretty important to tell you,” I said.

“Mmm?” she hummed, her head getting closer to mine.

“The last time you saw me, that wasn’t me.”

She blinked in confusion. “What?”

“Long story short, Rarity and I swapped bodies. Everything you did to this body was done to Rarity, not to me.”

“That’s… You’re joking, right?” The smile on her face transferred to mine.

“Nope. I had to go to some boring fucking statue thing in Detrot. The governor guy there is a total sleazebag, too.”

“So I did… With Rarity?”

“Yep. She was traumatized. It was really funny.”

“…That explains a lot.”

“I’m really surprised you didn’t realize something was wrong. Apparently, she was terrified.”

“Well, I did realize you were acting strangely. But you passed the changeling test. I never once thought that might be the reason!”

“Ah well. So, we gonna fuck or what?”

“I’m afraid not… All the plans I had were for the things that apparently Rarity enjoys. And… Well, I need to have a talk with her now.”

“Heh, sure. A ‘talk’.”

She narrowed her eyes, glaring at me. “I would not do that to somepony like her, not on purpose. I will have a chariot drawn up and we’ll ride back to Ponyville together. That’ll save me the energy of having to teleport you that distance.”

“If you go in that chariot thing, you just know Twilight will be all over you before you even land. Also, get off me; you’re heavy.”

“Are you calling me fat?” she asked, rolling off me and onto the floor, catching herself before her body hit the ground.

“I’m not saying you’re fat… but you’re fat.” I was trying to sit up, but that became hard when I caught a wing to the face. It knocked me back and I coughed, a feather in my mouth.

“Hm? Oh, sorry. Just stretching. Since we can’t use the chariot, we’ll just fly.”

“Stretching, my ass,” I muttered, picking myself back off the bed.

“Well, I was going to,” she mused, rolling her withers. “Rarity quite enjoyed that. Let me tell you, I was really surprised, not that I was complaining.”

“I don’t even want to know. You ready to go?”

“Yes. It’s been quite a while since I’ve had such a flight. Do you want to make a game of it?”

“No. Let’s go.”

“Oh, you’re no fun. Are you really so afraid of losing that you won’t even try?”

“Is it a crime to want to enjoy a nice flight? Or to spend some time with you? Christ, if you want to go fast, we can just teleport there.”

“If you’re afraid of losing, you can just say so. I won’t judge you.”

“That’s nice. We going or what?” I was starting to get annoyed.

She smirked at me. “You’re starting to get annoyed, I think. Did I strike a nerve?”

“Bitch, I’m about to strike a nerve if you don’t leave me be. Just for that…” I hopped off the bed and used my wings to propel me onto her back. “I’m riding you into Ponyville.”

“I think we both know how well things went for you the last time you tried this.”

“Yeah, but that was in your dreams. I bet you’d love to be broken in and treated like my personal horse, wouldn’t you? All the little ponies watching their big princess get dominated and ridden like a common animal, brought low by the big, predatory human.” I leaned down and gently bit the back of her neck with my canines. To my surprise, she actually moaned and arched her neck backwards. “Wait, you actually get off to—”

Her horn lit up and tossed me onto the bed. “Rarity can wait,” she huskily whispered, turning to me. “Make me your animal!”

Welp.

 

The next day, I realized why riding horses bareback is a bad idea. Totally worth it, all things told, but Christ.

Also, I had a pair of visitors. “…Who are you?” I asked, looking down at the changeling on my doorstop.

“Oh right, sorry,” she answered, turning into Bon-Bon. “Lyra, stop messing with his flowers!”

The named pony walked into my view, looking at Bonnie. “Hey, he has some really pretty ones!” Then she looked over to me. “Hiya, Nav! You ready to fuck?”

I think Bonnie and I were both taken aback by that. “Do you really have to be so… up front about it?” Bon-Bon sighed, a hint of a blush on her face.

“Why sugarcoat it?” she asked, shrugging. “He knows why we’re here.”

“Actually, I have a confession of sorts to make,” I said. “That wasn’t me who agreed to it.”

“What do you mean, it wasn’t you?” Bon-Bon asked. “I know it wasn’t a changeling, because I was there. When Lyra asked. At the top of her lungs.” She turned to glare at her partner. “In the middle of the market.” She looked back to me. “I would have known if you were a changeling.”

“Long story short, there’s a spell out there that allows two people to swap bodies. Rarity and I swapped bodies that day as part of a bet. She thinks I’m a total slut and will fuck anything that moves.”

“Well… aren’t you?” Lyra asked.

“That’s beside the point. I do have some rules. One of those is that I don’t do anything with married or dating couples. It’s an honor thing.”

Bon-Bon seemed to let out a sigh of relief, but Lyra looked almost disappointed. “How else can we ever repay you?” she asked, honestly sounding distraught.

“By living together happily. And I might need to ask a favor later, but I’ll leave that for if I do end up needing it.”

Bonnie smiled. “I won’t say I’m disappointed, that’s for sure. One is more than enough for me. Two? Celestia, I don’t think I could handle two of you. I—we—do have some… other questions for you, though. Do you think you could help us?”

“Depends. What are the questions about?”

“Adoption.”

“Come on in,” I sighed, backing away from the entryway. “I’ll answer what I can.” The two of them stepped inside and I pushed the door closed behind them, then led the way to the living room. “Make yourselves comfortable. You two want anything?”

Lyra opened her mouth, but Bon-Bon cut her off with, “We’re fine,” as she sat on the couch. Lyra looked somewhat disappointed, but joined her lover on the couch. I sat down in my chair, happy that none of them could fit easily in it.

“Well, what do you want to know?”

“First, how did you go about adopting Taya?” Bonnie asked.

“My method was rather… different, I imagine, than how most would go about it. I found her in Egypt and brought her here. Celestia gave her the choice of staying with me or going to the orphanage. She stayed with me and that was that. If you wanted to adopt, though, you’d probably want to go to Canterlot and find Celestia’s orphanage.”

“How did Taya take to it?”

“Very well. It was by her request that she came with me, after all. I imagine you’d have to spend some time with whoever you wanted to adopt to see if you can get along. You’d be better off not adopting at all—maybe finding a sperm donor—if you can’t find anyone at the agency you can get along with.”

“That was the original plan,” Lyra said with a shrug.

“But we figured we could help somepony,” Bon-Bon added. “Besides, it might be easier to explain to somepony older why I’m so different.”

“Whatever works for you. I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t many kids there, though; I don’t think Equestria breeds many orphans.”

“Probably not, but we’ll try,” Bon-Bon said. “Have you had any big… problems with Taya? That would stem from her adoption, I mean.”

“From that, no, but I believe Taya is very different in that matter. You might get some resentment if you adopt. Might, might not. It really depends on the kid. However… Well, the big part of adoption is that at some point, the kids being adopted were abandoned. Be it through death, injury, disaster, or just purposeful abandonment, they were left behind. It took me a while to get Taya to open up about it and I only even tried when I knew she was comfortable. So if you adopt one of these kids, you better make absolutely sure that you give no indication that you’d abandon them or return them.”

“We’ll remember that,” Bon-Bon said, nodding. “Would it be a good idea to try to get them to open up about it?”

“Yes. Don’t push them and wait until you think they’re ready. I know I was depressed as all hell when… Well, never mind. Basically, just wait until they’re ready. You’ll probably know when.”

“When were you depressed?” Lyra asked.

“Let’s just say that Taya isn’t the only one that’s an orphan. Except instead of just my parents, my entire race is dead. Not important. Any other questions?” The two of them shared what seemed like a shocked look. I rolled my eyes. “Yes, I’m fine. Yes, I said that callously. It happened and that’s the end of it. I’m over it. And don’t ask. Now, questions about the adoption thing?”

They shared another look and shrugged before turning back to me. “How much does it cost to cover her food?”

“Not much, but I don’t really pay attention to that. I usually send Doppel to get groceries. Since I don’t eat much and Doppel and Eva feed off me, groceries are cheap. It would probably cost more to get them toys and a place to sleep and all that fun stuff. But whatever the cost, I assure you that it’s well worth it.”

“What about school?”

“Yeah… I fucked up there. I didn’t put her in school, thinking the magic education she was getting was good enough. Definitely put your kid there. You’d have to talk to Cheerilee to get the information about it. I can’t really help you with bullies. Taya solved that problem for herself.”

“Hm… Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?”

“One thing I learned myself about parenting, though I don’t know if it’s unique to Taya or what. If you treat your kid like an equal, he’ll strive to earn that respect. Don’t just tell him something is wrong. Explain why it’s wrong, if you can. Treat them like they’re smart, not like you think they’re retarded. Of course, this does bring a few problems when you have to remind him who’s boss, but it’s usually worth it. And you might… Well, you might get some hate from other ponies, adults. Bon-Bon, you’re a changeling. I’ve already heard a few whispers that you’re just using Lyra for food. Imagine what those rumors would turn into if you adopted. I don’t know if you’ll actually find any trouble, but you should expect it.”

“I’m aware,” she sighed, looking down. Her eyes actually flickered to their real color for a second. “But Lyra and I want to try anyway. As long as the pony we adopt accepts me, I don’t care what anypony else thinks.”

I shrugged. “Can’t fault your spirit. Any other questions?”

Lyra said, “Sooooo… No threesome?”

“I’m afraid not,” I answered. “Sorry.”

She sighed. “It’s alright… But you,” she said, looking at Bon-Bon, “are going to have to use hands tonight.”

Bonnie sighed. “Yes, dear…” She looked over to me and mouthed, “Help me.”

“Hm… I’m not really interested, but Doppel might be. If you really want to try a threesome, ask her. Just think, Lyra: You can have two Bon-Bons to play with.”

Lyra’s eyes widened and she turned to Bon-Bon with a big smile. “Absolutely not,” Bonnie flatly said. “I will not have anypony else feeding off you.”

“Aww… Well, I guess we can find somepony at the Clam Jousting Club.”

“Hmph. Well Nav, I think that’s everything we need. We’ll go ahead and get out of your mane.”

“Alright. You have any more questions, I’ll be happy to help.”

 

My next visitor, a few days later, was an upset Rarity. When I opened the door, she thrust a piece of paper in my face. “And just what is this about?” she demanded as I took the letter in my hands.

“Let’s see… ‘Ah, Mistress Rarity! What a delightful experience our meeting was! Oh, but I long for your touch again, your commanding words and attitude… By the darkness, I wish you had taken me! At the time, I was too nervous, but now… Now, I want you. I need you. Come back to Detrot and make me your slave of love! Lustfully yours, Intelligentsia.’” I looked up to find her practically fuming. “Yeah, about that…”

“What. Did. You. Do?”

“Alright, in Detrot, the governor tried to rape me in your body. I threw a pitcher of water at him then electrocuted him. The arc lightning hit his bodyguard, who was a changeling of the intelligentsia class who was there to spy on him. Since the governor was dead and I didn’t want questions to be asked, I forced the changeling to take his spot. It turns out that he had a fetish for getting ordered around by a strong woman. I told him to fuck off. Looks like he didn’t take the advice to heart.”

“There are a lot of problems with almost everything you just said. First, the governor tried to rape me?”

“Yeah. Said he had a lot of dirt on you and that if I wanted it kept quiet, I’d play along. I didn’t, so he ordered the changeling to hold me down.”

“…I see. Do the others know?”

“Nope.”

“And then you… murdered him?”

“Self-defense, actually. It wasn’t in cold blood.”

“I don’t know what that means. What’s an intelligentsia?”

“The highest ranking changelings that aren’t royalty. They’re the smartest ones.”

“And now there’s a changeling ruling Detrot?”

“Yep. He’ll only be there for another three weeks before he’s supposed to go back to his hive. You should respond to him before he leaves so he doesn’t show up here.”

“I don’t want to respond to this filth! What if it just encourages him?!”

“Threaten to have him arrested if he shows up here. Tell him upfront that you want nothing to do with him. Although I don’t see what the problem is. You don’t even know the guy. And hell, you seem like the kind of girl that would be into femdom.”

“And what is that supposed to mean?”

“You’re a dominating, conniving cunt that likes to be in control.” Her eyes bulged out and her mouth dropped. “Anyway, have fun with your admirer. I’m sure you’ll figure something out.” Before she could say anything else, I used both hands to slam the letter down on her horn and then closed the door in her face. After a second of thought, I gently turned the lock and walked away.

The next thing of interest happened a week later. It was just a letter from Gilda, though. The fun one, not the royal one.

‘Yo Nav, if you’re still going on that trip thing, count me in. I’m getting really bored in this place and I keep getting proposals from a bunch of ugly old dweebs. When we leaving? – Gilda, OG.’

Christ, her handwriting is awful. I wrote out a quick response, telling her when I was planning on sending the airship to Europe. I was going to teleport there with Spike, Celestia, and whoever she was bringing. The airship would go before we left, hopefully getting there when I did. The goal is to keep everyone from learning that I’m leaving, or at the very least, keep how I’m leaving quiet.

Here’s hoping it works.

My last visitor before the shit hit the fan was a somewhat familiar face. He also interrupted a very important dream session by dragging my consciousness out of the inky void that is the dreamscape.

I shot upright, clutching at my throat and gasping, feeling my skin turn icy-cold. My bloodshot eyes met those of my assailant, a concerned looking night guard unicorn.

“What’s wrong, sir?” Watcher immediately asked, putting a hoof on my shoulder.

“Never. Wake. Me. Up,” I hissed, the feeling of getting forced out of the dream zone finally subsiding.

He blinked in confusion a few times before the realization struck him. “You’re helping the princess with dreams, aren’t you? She forbids us from waking her when she’s in that state.”

“I was. Now I know why she forbids it. Christ!” I shivered and ruffled my wings, trying to shake off the goose bumps. “The fuck do you even want?”

“To report a few things. How awake do you feel?”

“About as awake as you’d feel after having a gallon of ice water poured on you.”

“Neither of the princesses seem concerned about Discord’s probable return. Both of them mentioned the elements of harmony. I don’t know if they’re hiding their concern to keep morale up or if they truly don’t believe it’s a problem.”

“Is it?”

“…All signs that I see point to yes. I got access to a prisoner that worked with assassins some months ago, the ones that tried to attack Cadance and her foal. He’s a madpony now, with no filter of any kind on him. He spoke of a mix and matched monster that haunts his memory. That’s all I could get from him before he broke down. And I was part of a team that assaulted a monastery on the other side of the planet. By the time we got there, only a few survivors remained. Each was stark raving mad and close to death. One spoke of a unicorn with a destroyed but active horn. Two wailed about a creature of legend and madness come to spread chaos to their minds. One old pony just rocked back and forth, muttering about seeing forever. I heard he withered away in prison. The only coherent thing we got out of him was a single word… Anonymous, whatever that means.”

That hit me like a brick. “Anonymous?” I whispered, blinking. “How would he know that name?”

“That’s a name?” Watcher asked. “Who is it? That could help with our investigation!”

“It’s… a human thing. I just can’t imagine how a pony could have known about it… But yes, all of this definitely points to something. Something big. Did you show the first prisoner pictures of the statue?”

“I did. That’s what made him break down. He did say one thing before I was forced to leave, though. Empty. That’s all he said. I believe he was referring to the statue. When he said that, I remembered what you told me about it being hollow and went to check on it for myself. There’s nothing in there. I’m positive he’s free.”

“So what do we do? If the princesses didn’t believe you or Reginald, they won’t believe me. And what can we do against something like him?”

“Us, nothing. And you’re right, they wouldn’t believe you… Which is what led me to a conclusion. You, Sir Navarone, are hiding something. Something that might give us an edge, I believe. I won’t pry, though Celestia knows I could. No, I decided, and my troops decided with me. We’re going with you, if the offer still stands.”

I felt a smile coming to my face. “It does. It’s… good to have you and your hardened troops aboard. Before we leave, though, you’ll all have to muster out of the guard. I don’t want any old allegiances pulling anyone behind.”

“I have nothing but veterans. We’re all due for retirement. And if we come back wanting to rejoin, I believe Celestia will allow it.”

“Excellent. Make the arrangements. Let me write out the information you’ll need…” As I rolled out of bed, I felt a growing sense of elation. Sure, an old eldritch horror was probably running free and seemed to want to finish the extinction he started millennia ago, but everything else was looking up. I had my griffin and I had a battle-hardened group of soldiers with me. I was starting to feel more confident about the coming trip.

Okay, not quite the last thing… A few days after that, I received a reminder in the mail about a party I was forced to go to, Luna’s so-called ‘Rambunctiously Radical Rave.’ I swear to God, these damn horses need to get better PR departments or something. These names are awful.

Either way, I got the official ‘invitation,’ which for some reason implied that I had a choice in the matter. It did not come with any secondary invitations for a date. I decided to show up with one anyway, because it’s not like the guards would stop me and pissing Luna off is always fun.

Picking who to take was the hard part. I mean, it was already narrowed down to Pinkie and Rainbow Dash, but I didn’t know which of those would enjoy it more. In the end, I flipped a coin and decided mid-flip that fuck Pinkie, I was taking Dash. After all, she’s less annoying and wouldn’t annoy me all night.

…It never occurred to me to take Doppel or Eva, strangely enough. Which, as it turned out, was a good thing.

Now, hunting down Rainbow Dash is a pain in the ass. Always has been. When she’s not napping in the weirdest places, she’s flying around at the speed of sound. Well, usually slower than that, but she does randomly break the sound barrier for the fun of it. Probably the easiest way to find her is to ask Pinkie, I’ve found. Unfortunately, that means talking to Pinkie.

…And also finding Pinkie. When I looked in Sugarcube Corner, Mrs. Cake was behind the counter. “Do you happen to know where Pinkie is?” I asked, already dreading the coming search.

“I believe she said that she was going to ‘hang out’ with Rainbow Dash today,” she answered with a helpful smile.

God fucking dammit. “She didn’t happen to say where they were going, did she?”

“I’m afraid not. You know how she is.”

“Unfortunately, I do. Very well, then, let the hunt begin.” Hunting Pinkie Pie truly is the most dangerous game, assuming you consider getting snuck up on and spooked dangerous.

The closest of her main friends’ houses was Twilight’s library, so that’s where I went first. I was expecting Twilight to be there with Taya, but instead all I found was a bored dragon lounging on a beanbag and reading a geography book.

He looked up when I walked in. “Dude, can we talk?” he asked, tossing the book aside.

“Sure. What’s the subject?”

“Doppel. What’s up with her, man? I thought we had something going!”

Oooh boy. “Alright, there are several kinds of women in the world. Doppel is what we know as a complete and total slut. That means most or all she wants out of any kind of relationship is sex. I thought you knew that.”

“I did! But then I saw her with that other changeling…”

“Maybe you’re not understanding me. All she wants out of all of her relationships is sex. Not just with you. From what I’ve heard, she’s the town bicycle at this point. I think all the unattached stallions have fucked her and so have about half the mares. I forbade her from going after anyone too young or in a relationship, or her collection would be larger. Doppel doesn’t form single relationships, or at least, she hasn’t done it yet. She is a nymphomaniac, physically and mentally addicted to sex. That’s all there really is to it.”

He sat there in silence for a few seconds before sighing and looking away. “I don’t understand mares, Nav.”

“Bitches be trippin’, man. There’s one out there for you.”

He snorted. “Yeah, if I keep looking.” He looked back to me. “After Rarity and Doppel, I don’t know if I want to.”

“You’ve got a long life to live. Don’t swear off relationships based on two bad experiences. Besides, Doppel wasn’t even a bad experience. Just not what you expected.”

“I never said I would swear off relationships. Just off mares.”

“…If you go gay, I won’t promise to wingman for you. And you know that would just prove Rarity right. No one wants that to happen.”

“Ah, you’re right… I’ll think it over. What was it you always said about stuff like that? ‘Give it time?’ I guess that’s what I’ll do. Besides, how would guys even have sex? That seems like it would hurt…”

“Eh, they don’t mind as long as you’re gentle and use plenty of lube. Ask Doppel to let you try anal next time you see her.”

“Nah. I think I’m done with her for a while. That was fun, but I’m not certain I want to deal with her again. Besides, what if I walk in on her again?”

“Just go over and join the fun. I bet she wouldn’t mind a threesome.”

“That’s… Huh. So more than one can… Hmm.”

“Yeah. Now before you ever ask a girl that, know that some will find it insulting that you even asked them. And a lot of guys don’t like the idea, either.”

“Have you ever had one?”

“Yeah, but both times I did it, there were two girls. And then there was that orgy when I was drugged, but you were there for that one.”

“I… forgot about that, actually. That night was a haze.”

“I still don’t remember any of it. Anyway, do you know where Pinkie or Rainbow Dash is?”

“Nope.”

“Do you think Twilight would know?”

“I doubt it. She was taking Taya down to one of the lakes to do something with water and magic.”

“Damn. Maybe I should just wait until tonight and break into her dreams…”

“Dude, what? Break into somepony’s dream?”

“Yeah. Being Luna’s knight has some interesting perks. Being able to do weird shit with dreams is one of them.”

“Can you get into mine?”

“Nope. I can only get into pony dreams. If you were attuned to the device thing, I could possibly get into yours.”

“Aww… Oh well.”

“You’re not missing much. Mostly I just fuck with people and give nightmares to those I don’t like or want to scare. I occasionally also bust bad dreams. Gives me something to do. Anyway, I need to go find Dash.”

“Good luck.” I turned to go, but stopped when he said, “Just a sec… Are you sure Doppel wouldn’t mind a threesome?”

“She probably wouldn’t. You can’t know until you ask, though.”

“…Would you?”

“I’ll think about it. See you later, Spike.” I quickly let myself out before he could say anything else. Christ, that’s awkward as hell.

“Could be worse,” Flo said. “At least he’s asking for a threesome with a girl instead of a guy. Or just, you know, to have sex with you.”

True. Still, it’s odd. And I’m not certain I should go for it.

“You really shouldn’t, but it’s been over a week since you last had sex. Just because you aren’t addicted anymore doesn’t mean you can’t at least have some fun. I know how much you normal races enjoy it.”

That isn’t the point and you know it. Should I really do something like that with a good friend of mine? I don’t know if I should risk that kind of awkwardness.

“I don’t think he’d hold it against you if you didn’t. But it would be a new experience, to spitroast someone.”

That you even know that word is strange. Using it is even stranger.

“I’m not a goddess of decorum, Nav. I can let my figurative hair down. Speaking of which, you never did let me try sex in your body…”

Fine. You can play with Doppel tonight, if she’s up for it. No gender stones, though, at least not tonight.

“Something to look forward to, I suppose. I’ll try to mimic you.”

Not like I’ll be watching.

While that internal dialogue was going on, I was walking through Ponyville, trying to find any sign of either the prismatic lesbian or the pink menace. I couldn’t see hide nor tail of either of them, which really wasn’t all that surprising. Ponyville wasn’t a large place, but it was still easy enough to miss someone if you didn’t know where they were.

I finally found Pinkie in front of Rose’s house, seemingly directing Rainbow Dash as she maneuvered an unpleasant looking cloud into position near the door. I was tempted to stand back and watch, but I had a feeling that the two of them would fucking bail as soon as they finished whatever prank they were doing. With that in mind, I walked up to Pinkie. “Can I borrow Dash for a sec?” I asked.

“Does it have to be now?” Pinkie replied.

 “No, but it took me a while to track you two down and I really don’t want to have to do it again. I just want to ask her something.”

“Silly Navi, she’s a lesbian! She’ll probably answer no.”

“I don’t even… Dash! Get down here for a sec! Also, don’t call me that.”

Rainbow flinched when she heard me calling for her, but when she realized it was just me she didn’t waste any time joining us on the ground. “What do you need, Nav?”

“What do you think of rave parties?”

“They’re alright, I guess. Why?”

“Luna’s hosting one. I figured you’d enjoy it. Want to go?”

As I was expecting from asking that question in front of Pinkie, she was suddenly all up in my face. “Oooh, oooh, can I go?”

“No. Dash?”

“Could be fun, I guess. When is it?”

“Why can’t I go?” Pinkie whined.

“Because I can probably only get one other person in. It’s in three days, at night. The invitation said not to dress up.”

“Alright, I’m in. Although if Pinkie really wants to go…”

“Aren’t you Princess Luna’s knight, Nav?” Pinkie asked. “Can’t you get anypony in?”

“I’m not gonna push my luck. Come by my house before the sun goes down in three days, Dash. We’ll fly over there.”

“Alright, see you then. Hey, you want to watch something funny?”

I had a suspicion of what they were planning to do and I really didn’t want to watch that. Scaring Rose is funny and all, but it’s too easy to do. “I’ll pass. See you both when I see you. And Pinkie, if you get a chance, pay Spike a visit. He seems pretty down.” As evil as it seems to unleash Pinkie upon someone, I knew she could probably make him smile somehow. She’s good at that.

“I’ll be sure to pay him a visit! After we finish up here, of course…” Dash took off again and went back to the cloud. I just shook my head and walked off, heading back towards my not so humble home.

That night, Flo got to pop her figurative cherry in my body. It was... surprisingly erotic. Actually being able to see Doppel’s reactions from a detached perspective was amazing and well worth the awkwardness I went through.

The day of the party was bitingly cold and snowy. Not at all something either Rainbow Dash or I wanted to fly in, though she pretended she was okay with it. Thankfully, she arranged for a path to be left in the clouds for us to fly out. It would still be bitingly cold, but it wouldn’t be snowy. All I had to do was follow the damn pony.

“You better go slow, Dash,” I said, putting on a heavy coat. The wing slits in the back slid closed over the protrusions. “If I lose you, I’m going up to break the cloud cover.”

“That would be a bad idea. You should know that by now, Nav. If you try going above the clouds, you might get lost up there.”

“There’s a simple solution, then,” I replied, smiling. “Fly slowly.”

“Ugh. Fine. But if we freeze to death on the way because you took too long, it’ll be your fault.”

“I’ll keep that in mind. Next time we can just go by train.”

Rainbow Dash snorted. “That slow thing? Yeah right. Now let’s go.”

My feathers ruffled as I pulled my custom goggles over my face. “Lead the way. Following behind your flickering tail is always fun.”

She smacked me with it, giving me a mock glare. “That was a one-time deal, Nav.”

“Hey, I have gender changing stones… And you did seem to enjoy human chicks.”

“Hmm… We need to go. Let’s get out of here, Nav.”

I nodded to the door. “Lead the way.” She nodded and out we both went, into the cold pre-night gloom. “Christ, I hate winter,” I sighed, rubbing my arms.

“Stop being such a baby.” I pulled the door closed, grumbling. When I turned back, she was already in the air. “Let’s go.”

I hopped into the air and began following behind her. Thankfully, she was going slow enough for me to easily keep up. Not so thankfully, her tail was keeping her well covered. But I’ve seen all she had to offer before, so it’s not like I was really missing anything. On we flew, the clouds hiding the setting sun from our view and casting a premature night over our semi-clear path through the snow.

It took us about ten minutes to get out of the clouds and into the hills approaching the city of Canterlot. When we did, I was able to pull up next to Dash. “Haven’t seen you in town much,” she yelled over the wind.

“Haven’t been in town much,” I called back.

“You should spend more time there! Ponies miss you, Nav. We don’t get to hang out that much anymore and everyone else wouldn’t mind seeing you more often. Hero like you shouldn’t be spending all your time locked inside.”

“Hmph. Why you saying everyone? I thought you damn ponies said shit like everypony.”

“That human guy we talked to in the bunker was right, Nav: Saying things like everypony and anypony… It’s wrong. It excludes everyone else, you know? And I got to thinking about it. Gilda always did give me a look when I said something like that around her.” After a few seconds of silence, she continued, “I just wish some of the other ponies agreed.”

“Most of the ponies in Ponyville don’t see many other races aside from ponies, at least not commonly. They don’t change because there’s no reason to change. Racism is all well and good when there aren’t any other races around. Keeps people united.”

“That… that isn’t right! What about Bon-Bon? Or Spike? Or hay, you?”

“What about us? Until recently, Bon-Bon was just as much a pony as anyone else there. Same for Spike, even if he was more obviously different. And me, I’ve proven my worth. I was treated like an outsider when I got here, but when I proved that I was one of the good ones, someone like Spike, they warmed up to me. All three of us are as good as ponies, now. Same small-town racism and elitism you’d find anywhere else. If I didn’t have you, Twilight, and all your friends backing me up when I got here, how long do you think I would have lasted before I got run out of town?”

She didn’t answer.

“That’s the way things are in towns like that, Dash,” I said. “Remember that minotaur that came by a few years ago? To put on a show? I heard people talking about it. No one went there for his lessons. They all went there to see a freak, to see something that doesn’t belong with them. Something unusual. So yeah. Keep saying everyone and things like that, but don’t expect most people in Ponyville to back you up on it.”

“We should be better than that, Nav!” she shouted, finally turning her head to look at me. “Friendship should be above things like that!”

“Oh believe me, it is. Funny thing about friendship, though: You have to be willing to give it time. I was, with Ponyville. But it took Ponyville a long time to be willing to give me time.”

“Friendliness, then! We should be able to do that! It’s the bucking Equestrian motto!”

“Should and would don’t mean shit, Dash. You have to do. You think your people should be above that? Tell them, not me. Nothing puts a fire under someone’s ass like being shamed. Anyway, we’re there. You see a good place to land?”

“This isn’t over,” she promised, looking back down to the ground. “Follow me in.” I didn’t pay any attention to what she was doing. Landing is easy, after all. I just wanted her to shut up because we were getting into some uncomfortable topics. “So where are we supposed to go now?” she asked when we were on the front lawn of the palace.

“Invite doesn’t say. I figure the guards’ll know. They should be changing shifts about now, I’d think.”

“You sure you want to mess with the guards? They never do anything!”

“The night guards are much cooler than the day guards. And since I’m a commanding officer, they’re obligated to answer my questions anyway.”

“Unless they’re me,” a new female voice calmly said, making Dash jump. We both turned to see Midnight Blossom, commander of the night guard, standing behind us.

“Where did you come from?” I asked.

“Around. Princess Luna asked me to make sure her guests were safe tonight. I just got on scene.”

“Cool. You going to be joining us at the party? Wouldn’t mind seeing you dancing.”

She snorted. “No. Most of my troops and I will be guarding. There will be a few guards at the party itself, but not many.”

“…Alright. Can you tell us where the main area is? I figure I should let Luna know I’m here.”

“I’ll walk you there. I need to report in myself.”

“Even better. Lead the way. Oh, and this is Rainbow Dash. Dash, this is Captain Midnight, head of the night guard.”

Dash held out a hoof. “Nice to meet you!”

Blossom looked at it for a second before shaking it. “Likewise. Friends of Sir Navarone are welcome. Now come. The party starts soon and stragglers will have a difficult time getting in.” She pushed in front of us, leading us to the palace. Dash and I began following her.

After a few seconds of walking, Dash asked, “So uh… Midnight, what’s with the fangs?”

“They scare criminals and opponents.”

“Are they… you know, real?”

“Very. Why, Miss Dash?” she asked, turning her head to look at Dash.

“N-no reason…”

“So you say,” Blossom faintly whispered, turning back to face forward. “Sir Navarone, I have heard interesting things these past few months about you. Watcher is leaving the guard. Some say he’s leaving them to sign on with you.”

“That’s interesting to hear,” I diplomatically answered.

“A certain princess will be quite livid, if that is the case. After all, the servants of her servant should be loyal to her as well. Why would they need to leave her service explicitly if they are just going to serve you?”

“That would be a very interesting question, if it was true.”

“Watcher and his troops will be missed. Take care of them, Nav. I can’t imagine what use you might have for them, but take care of them.”

I didn’t answer. Dash did, though. “What’s she talking about, Nav? Why would you hire soldiers?”

Ugh. “Don’t you worry about a thing, skittles. And who ever said I hired them?”

“Well, she said—”

“That there was a rumor they signed on with me. A rumor, nothing more.”

“So you didn’t hire them?”

“Nope.” No one ever said anything about paying, after all. It isn’t hiring if you don’t pay.

…I should probably talk to Watcher about that. If they were expecting a salary, I’d need to be ready for it.

“Then what was she talking about, take care of them?”

“Watcher’s a friend of mine. If he doesn’t have a job lined up after he leaves the guard, I might have to help take care of him. What did you think she meant?”

“…I dunno. I just thought… Well, whatever.”

“Navarone, never go into politics,” Blossom said. “You would tear Canterlot apart.”

“I know we don’t always get along, but you don’t have to insult me so rudely,” I said in mock pain. “Politics is beneath me. I am merely an everyman, trying to survive by whatever means I can.”

“Don’t even try to pull that lie. At ease, troopers.” We were finally passing into the entrance of the palace. The two guards saluted as we passed by and dropped it at her command. “I know plenty about you, Navarone. More than enough to say you’re exceptional by pony standards. Human standards, I can’t say.”

“Exceptional, eh? If you’re finally interested, I can skip out on the party and join you instead. I’m sure we can find a nice secluded spot…”

“No. The princess wants—blood, she needs you—at the party tonight.” Never heard that expletive before. “She’d stake me up to dry if I let you skip this thing.”

I sighed. “Ah well. You sure I can’t sneak out once it starts?”

“You don’t know what kind of party this is, do you?”

“Some kind of stupid rave, isn’t it? I don’t like those newfangled things. I’m only here because Luna’s forcing me. And Dash is only here because I figured I could use her to piss Luna off for a few seconds.”

“Hey, what?”

Blossom snorted. “Foolish. But it’s done. As for the party… Well, I have a feeling that you’ll be surprised. Princess Luna and some DJ called Vinyl Scratch prepared very well for this event. Everyone that’s involved will definitely remember it for some time.”

“Blossom, are you ever excited for anything?” I asked. “I swear, your voice is as dead as mine.”

“A long career in a job like mine doesn’t leave much room for excitement,” she answered just as drily as everything else had been.

“True enough. Where the hell is Luna, anyway?”

“The assembly hall. You two are early, as you should be. I’m surprised that the princess hasn’t yet told you what’s going to happen.”

Personally, I didn’t really care. Dash did, though. “So what is going to happen?”

I could see the sides of Blossom’s face perk up in a mirthless grin. “Why, you’re going to take a little nap.”

Now, of course I know what she was talking about, but Dash had no clue. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You’ll see,” I told her. “This party just got interesting. And I guess that explains why Luna would need me.”

“That’s one reason, yes. Moral support is another. She hasn’t done anything like this since… before. And even then, it had been several years since she bothered. She wants to know she has someone she can count on next to her.”

“Then it’s a good thing I brought Dash here. If you can’t depend on the element of loyalty, who can you trust?”

Dash sighed. “She meant you, dude.”

Neither I nor Blossom pointed out the obvious.

When we finally got to the large gathering hall, we found several off-duty night guards talking in small groups. A few early guests mingled as well. There was a small refreshment table set up for early comers. I saw Luna standing next to a large covered object on the stage of the meeting hall, nervously shifting her position. Two guards flanked her. Vinyl Scratch stood in one of the groups of early visitors, talking.

Luna’s eyes seemed to light up when she saw us and her nervousness vanished. She did seem somewhat put off by Rainbow Dash, but it wasn’t as bad as I was hoping. Either way, she didn’t move as the three of us walked over to her.

Midnight saluted when we were closer. “Reporting, Princess.”

“I see that, Captain. Everypony is in position, I assume?”

The salute dropped. “Yes, Princess. No signs of trouble on the way in. Permission to observe from the shadows?”

“Do what you do best, Captain. Everything should begin on schedule, at this rate.”

Blossom saluted again for a short second before walking between me and Dash, going back the way we came without a word.

“So why are you up here instead of out there?” I asked before Luna could say anything, nodding toward the small crowd.

“That would be… improper,” she hesitantly answered.

“It might have been a thousand years ago. Now you just seem like a dick. You should be out there, socializing.”

“…Perhaps. Navarone, why is Loyalty here with you?”

“It’s Rainbow Dash, Princess,” Dash said before I could answer. “Fastest flier in Equestria!”

Neither of us even spared her a glance. “She likes rave parties. I figured I could bring her by. I assumed you wouldn’t mind.”

“I see,” Luna answered, her tone icy. “Rainbow Dash, please help yourself to the small pre-party hospitalities. I need to speak with my knight.”

“Uh, alright,” Dash somewhat nervously said. “See you later, Nav.” With that, she jumped up and hovered off.

Flo whispered, “Eggshells, Nav. Be careful.”

I grinned, feeling in my element. “What do you need, Luna?”

“You realize that your invitation didn’t include a guest, right?”

“I don’t see what it matters if I brought a date.”

Luna finally grinned. “If she was your date, your voice would be a lot higher. Rainbow Dash prefers mares.”

“Damn, I knew I should have brought someone else. Ah well, you caught me. Now what do you need?”

“Right now, I need you to stabilize the dream realm I have set up. They begin to grow weak after so long of not being tended to. Which leads to your final lesson in dream walking: Getting to the dreamscape while awake. It’s the exact same as escaping from a dream. You just have to block out all your waking senses and escape as you would normally.”

“Easy enough. How do I find your little dream realm?”

“Just search for my mind. You should be able to find it like that. You’ll need to go into another room to do it, though. I have no idea what happens if you get caught in a sleep spell when already in the land of dreams.”

“I’ll find a sitting room or something nearby, then. See you when you get there.”

“Very well. Would you care for a guard? It might be prudent to be watched.”

“I wouldn’t say no, but it probably isn’t necessary.”

“Better to be safe than sorry. And I need to get my on duty guards out of here before the spell is cast anyway.” She looked behind her at one of the guards. “Smiles, go with Navarone. Make sure he comes to no harm.”

Christ, why is it always Smiles? “Yes, Princess,” he happily answered.

“Well, come on then,” I sighed, leading the way back to the doors. “How’s life been treating you?”

“Typical guard fare, sir,” he answered. “I did hear a rumor, though… Is it true that Watcher is working for you now?”

“You shouldn’t listen to rumors, Smiles.”

“That doesn’t answer my question, sir.”

“Are you sure about that? I think it did. And I know it’s the only answer you’ll be getting from me.”

“…If it is true, do you need somepony else? Security guard? Bodyguard? Butler? Fluffer?”

“The hell is a fluffer?”

“…Don’t worry about it.”

“Either way, the answer is possibly. I doubt it, though. The naga I have living with me apparently decided it was a good idea to swear himself to me as my sword. He’s all the bodyguard I need. And he scares everyone away, so there’s that. I already have a maid that also functions as concubine. No telling what the future might bring, though. Why? You looking for a new line of work?”

“I… Forget it, sir.”

“Hey, you got a problem with Luna, I’d like to hear it. If it’s about the captain or life in the royal guard, I don’t care. But if it’s with Luna, it’s important.”

“I have a few problems, but I don’t think this is the time or the place to voice them.”

“Fair enough.” We were back in the hallways, at that point. “Which rooms are empty?”

“Most of these should be.” He walked up to one door and rapped on it with his hoof. After several seconds of silence, he broke physics by turning the handle with his hoof. In doing so, he revealed a rather small sitting room. “This alright, sir?”

“Can the sir shit, Smiles. You know me better than that. And yeah, this is fine. Chair’s too tiny, but I can just curl up on the floor.”

“The princess doesn’t usually need to sit or lie down to enter the dreamscape.”

“She also has four legs to balance on. I have half that number. And I’ll probably be there for the duration of the party.” I pulled my jacket off and bundled it up, dropping it on the carpet. Then I kicked my shoes off. “Find a book and get comfortable. You’re in for a long, dull wait.”

He pulled the door shut behind him as I got on the floor, using the jacket as a pillow. Flo, would you kindly send me off?

She did so without a word, casting me into the world of dreams. I quickly searched for Luna’s little world and found it without much effort. “I wonder how she built this?” I mused aloud as I entered the main room. It was a huge room, bigger than the gathering hall. The floor felt like it was made of grass or perhaps loam, but didn’t leave a mess on my feet. Above me, the stars glittered in the sky, casting a pale light down on the seemingly enclosed room. The moon was full and bright, helping the stars illuminate the area. There were no walls, but there were doorways standing out in the darkness. When I looked closer at one, I realized I couldn’t see anything inside of it besides glowing white words that said ‘POOL’. Each of the several doorways was the same.

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