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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151. Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Five

It took me three hours to escape that blasted woman after Flo betrayed me. One of those hours was spent at that cafe, with her gossiping at me. I tried to pretend to care, but she was smart enough to realize I was just pretending.

Didn’t stop her from talking my fucking ears off anyway.

The next hour was spent wandering around town. She walked uncomfortably close to me, too. Apparently it was to show everyone that we had made up and were now great pals. I’m sure anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together could see the pained look on my face, but she seemed happy anyway.

The last hour was spent in one of her sitting rooms, discussing Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Kohlberg’s stages of moral development. And let me tell you, neither of those are overly interesting topics. Honestly, I would have rather kept listening to who was cheating on who.

Finally though, I pulled my ‘get out of everything free’ card and mentioned my daughter. She was all too happy to let me leave at that point, but still offered to walk me to the palace so she could meet my adorable Taya. I turned her down, of course, mentioning that she had been out all day and the sun probably wasn’t good for her fur.

I know it doesn’t make sense, but she bought it anyway. Or maybe she realized I was tired of dealing with her and was just trying to be polite about it.

Either way, I got back to the palace in a somewhat unpleasant mood. And I still had a few hours before I was supposed to start working on the dream machine thing, so I didn’t really have anything to do. Taya wasn’t waiting in my room and there were no messages for me, so I just pulled out some paper and started writing the books Fleur requested.

“Life lesson time,” I said to Twilight when we were both in Luna’s main room. “Don’t fuck a chick who paints her walls fucking black.”

“Yes, because that was definitely on the top of my to-do list,” she sarcastically answered. “It’s not like I had much of a choice the last time the option presented itself.”

“Hey, I told you straight up what would happen.”

“Like that helped. I was in heat and the pheromones in here were so strong I couldn’t say no. I didn’t even get a chance to look around, then. How does she even see anything in here?” There were practically no lights in Luna’s room, leaving the entire place very gloomy.

“Enchantments on her eyes, like the ones on mine, I guess. Want to dig around her drawers before we find the dream machine? I bet we can find some hot panties or a diary.”

“...Do you want to risk any traps? And why would you even want her panties, after what she did to you?”

“So I can let someone jerk off over them and put them back, duh. If she ever comes back, she’ll have all kinds of nasty crust in there.”

“That’s disgusting. You’re disgusting. Let’s just find the dream machine.”

“Fine, fine. You might as well at least look over the books on the shelves, see if there’s any you’d want to read. She probably had access to all kinds of things you don’t, and she also got all those books we found in the old castle.”

“...True. I’ll look over these while you find the machine. Just let me know when you do, okay?”

“Yeah, sure, whatever.” She rolled her eyes and magicked up a light while I wandered deeper into Luna’s abandoned domain. I actually would be really interested in finding a diary or something so I could tell just what the fuck was going through her mind, but I kind of didn’t care enough to look for one. Especially since, as Twilight said, there might be traps.

The machine wasn’t in her bedroom or in her unrealistically large closet. I did find her weird sex table and all the toys in her closet, though. Christ, why did I think anything with her was a good idea?

“Because you were young and inexperienced,” Flo answered. “You’re still young, but at least you’re slightly more experienced.”

“I imagine the good feelings on my dick also helped. God, I really want a blowjob now.”

“I’m afraid the only participation you’ll have with one of those is on the giving end, unless you opt for a rather pointless strap-on.” Since I was still in the closet, I slowly looked toward the box of sex toys.

A smile came to my lips when I remembered a certain thing Twilight and I discussed.

She was still looking over books as I crept back into the main room, my hands behind my back. “Find it?” she asked, looking up.

“Nope. Catch.” I tossed one of the dildos at her and held up the other one like a sword. “En garde!”

She reflexively caught her toy and looked at it in confusion. “Really? Now?”

“Why not? This side of the castle’s fucking abandoned now, so it’s not like anyone’ll hear us. And you know she kept these things clean. Probably had a servant do it for her.”

“Don’t you… you know, hate her? Why do anything with her toys?”

“I don’t hate the toys, just her. Now come on!”

“As… interesting an experience as that would be, I’m afraid I will have to decline for now. When we are safely ensconced away in my own area, with my own toys, and we are both properly nude and lubed, I shall consent. But for now, I have plans after we finish with the device and would quite like to get this over with relatively quickly.”

“Man, you never let me have fun anymore,” I said, tossing the toy aside.

She set hers down with some distaste on her face. “As I just said, we can do it later. I’ll likely be in Canterlot for a while, and I suspect you shall be here as well. I have… private areas here and devices we can work with. I’m sure that, given Celestia’s attempt to dose me with a sleep aid, she’ll be all too happy to give me some time off.”

“...So Aqua told you about that, huh?”

“She did.”

“Can’t imagine you’re all too happy.”

“I’m not.”

“Would a hug make you feel better?”

“Unlikely.” I walked over and knelt down to hug her. After a moment or two, she slowly hugged me back. “Am I… not good enough?” she quietly whispered.

“You’re the element of magic,” I replied. “You’re the best at this. But everyone needs time off, even Celestia. You need to learn to recognize when you’re going too far so you don’t drive her to the extremes. How would you feel it someone hounded you day and night about something you didn’t want to talk about, and refused to take any hints?”

“I’d… want them to stop…”

“Celestia is your teacher, Twilight, but she’s also your friend. Or at least, I guess she technically is? Not really sure about that, honestly. Either way, she’s someone you care about. You need to learn to think about her as a person instead of just as a teacher.”

“That’s—”

“A nice, slutty teacher that likes to bend over for her students’ friends…”

She pushed me away. “Way to kill the moment, Nav.”

I shrugged. “It was getting sappy. I’m gonna go check out the rest of the rooms. Tell Aqua to stop being an uber-cunt and tell you when you’re being annoying.”

“I don’t think she appreciates being called an uber-cunt, Nav.”

“If she stops being one, I won’t have to call her that. Pretty simple stuff, Twilight.” She lifted a hoof to massage her temple while I walked away, heading toward one of the offshoots that I had never actually been in.

The first one I looked in was not only empty, but seemingly cursed so that no light or sound at all was allowed in. I pulled my head out of that one and checked the room next to it, since I didn’t feel like dealing with Luna’s creepy shadowmagic at the moment.

The other room had a ‘scrapbook’ feel to it, like she was using it to catalogue her life or something. I had a feeling that if I went in there and started walking around, I’d have a major epiphany and realize Luna was actually a tortured soul all along and not all bad, so instead I put on my ring and went back into the cursed room.

With the ring, I was able to see that it was some kind of personal treasury. The statue was there, along with a few bookcases, safes, and a very pissed off looking apparition of shadow. When I finally noticed it, the thing surged toward me. I had enough time to shout in surprise before it slid harmlessly around me, bouncing off the ring.

Of course, that shout alerted Twilight, who ran to the door. “What’s—Dear Celestia, shadow magic!”

“Bad time for a letter!” I shouted, running toward her. The shadow thing also noticed her and started surging. She couldn’t see it in the darkness, though, so she had no idea what was coming.

Somehow I beat the shadow and tackled her out of the room. She ended up falling back on her ass and sliding a few feet with me just sort of awkwardly hugging her, since tackling horses is fucking hard. “...Nav, why did you tackle-hug… What is that?”

I let go and turned around to look at the door. The shadow thing was pressing part of its body against it, making a horrifying mockery of a face. After a moment, its mouth opened and it wheezed, “Enter. Not. Mortals. I. Am. Doom.”

“That’s doom,” I said, looking back at her. She rolled her eyes and shot the thing with a beam of light. It absorbed it and then started laughing. “Well, you tickled it, at least. See if you can keep it laughing until it dies.”

“Your snark isn’t helping,” she said as she finally stood back up. “I assume your ring blocks it?”

“Seems so.”

“Hm. Think it can affect physical objects?” I reached over to a conveniently placed couch and tossed one of the pillows inside. It passed right through the shadow, and we could hear it hit the floor somewhere inside. “It seems not, or it didn’t see a need to.” Her horn lit up and a rope appeared. “Go tie this to the statue.”

“What makes you think the statue is in there?”

“...Nav, is the statue in there?”

“Be right back,” I said, grabbing the rope. She just sighed.

The shadow thing started chuckling as I walked toward it, which sounded really creepy and kinda annoying, like rocks grating against each other. It stopped laughing when I stepped right through it without a moment’s pause, though. Then it started spinning around me, trying to do… something. I paid it no mind and tied a shitty knot around the statue, one I was hoping would hold.

And just like that, I was walking back out, the end of the rope in my hand. “I hope you’re gonna be the one pulling, because it took three guards to move that thing,” I said.

She grabbed the rope with magic and started slowly pulling, presumably trying not to break the rope or disentangle the knot. “Was there anything else with this statue in the vault where you found it?”

“Oh yeah, all kinds of shit. We only grabbed the magical stuff, though.”

“Hm. It might be wise to send some historians there to salvage what they can. With Celestia’s apparent attempts to censor the past, there’s no telling what they might uncover.”

“Some things are better off forgotten, but I agree. As long as I’m not in that group of historians, of course.”

“Right. You’re too busy having sex with another relic.”

“Hey, your mom isn’t that old!”

“...Now that I think about it, have you ever actually met my parents?”

“Uh… I saw them at the wedding, but I don’t think I actually spoke to them. It would probably be pretty awkward. Oh, hi Mrs. Twilight’s mom. I have tasted your daughter’s nipples. Nice to meet you.”

“...Well, at least they’d stop sending me letters about finding a special somepony.” The statue finally appeared from the shadows, dragging some of the ever-watching shadow creature out like puffs of smoke. “Do you think Celestia knows her sister is using dark magic to protect her room?”

“I dunno, maybe? We should probably close that door and put a sign on it or something so a maid doesn’t wander in and get raped by tentacles of darkness.”

“Why does your mind always go right to sex?”

“Why does your mind always go right to pointing out the faults in what I said instead of agreeing with the good points?”

“...Close the door. I’ll find some paper.” I walked back over to it while she waltzed over to a writing desk. The shadow thing was banging on the wall of light separating it from us, trying to break through. The door was on its side, unfortunately, so I had to reach through to grab it. As soon as my head got stuck through its body, I started hearing dark whispering. But since I didn’t care enough to listen, I just grabbed the handle and slammed the door shut behind me.

“That thing is hella creepy.”

“Indeed it is. The princess will probably send someone by to deal with it eventually, or at least seal this door in a more permanent manner. Until then…” She floated the sign over and fastened it to the door with a tack.

‘Danger: Opening this door might result in getting raped by tentacles of shadow. Love, Navarone’

“I like how you signed it with my name.”

She shrugged. “I was using your wording, so I thought it was appropriate for everyone to know who to quote.”

“And you signed it with love.”

“Love sounds better than lust.”

“Depends on how you say it, I guess. Anyway, the Morpheus statue.”

We both turned to it and she flew it further into the room, so it wasn’t right in front of the door, and started untying the rope. “This knot is pretty bad, Nav.”

“Shut up.”

“I’m just saying. If you want to learn how to tie better ones, I saw a book about it on one of her shelves.”

“...That’s probably for tying up people.”

Her face got a small red tinge and she tossed the rope aside. “Anyway. Why did you call this thing the Morpheus statue?”

I pointed to the writing on the front. “That’s Greek for Morpheus.”

“...Greek?”

“An ancient language from back in my time.”

“Ah, yes. I forgot your kind had more than one language. And who was Morpheus?”

“The Greek god of dreams. One of his incarnations was as a demon, which is what the statue is of.”

“Right. Now what’s a god, again?”

Oh boy. “Humans had things called religions, which were ways of worshipping the ideas of higher powers, called gods. Most religions had their own edicts that had to be followed, set forth by the god that the religion worships. Explaining it all would take a long and detailed conversation and ain’t no one got time for that.”

“So humans worshipped gods like Morpheus? To what end?”

“So when they died, the gods would take pity on their souls and save them from an eternity of suffering or something like that. Depends on the religion, really, and I don’t know too much about Greek mythology.”

“Oh. Do all humans worship gods?”

“Nope.”

“...Weird. Why do some of them do that, but not all of them?”

“That’s part of the long explanation that ain’t no one got time for. You ready to get started with the statue, or are you just gonna keep yammering?”

“Forgive me for trying to learn more about a part of your culture that you’ve been very close-lipped about in the past.”

“I forgive you this time, but don’t let it happen again.”

“Ugh. You’re lucky you’re cute, or I might start getting annoyed.”

“And you’re lucky your tongue can eat carpet so well, or… Well, I don’t actually have an or. So, how do you want to proceed?”

“You said Aqua and Flo can connect to this thing, right?”

Probably can connect. And Luna was able to use her horn as a primitive I/O device.”

“I/O?”

“Input/Output. It’s a computer term for something that can input information to the computer from the user or output information to the user from the computer.”

“And how did she do that?”

“She just sort of plugged her horn into that hole.”

“Did she… use any spells?”

“I didn’t see her horn light up, but my hand was covering most of it at the time.”

“...Hm. And what happened when the two of you went into the device?”

“We both entered a copy of this world and were immediately faced by our greatest fears. I got dropped in the ocean, she got put on the moon. After we regrouped, we went to this device’s physical location, which was her room, and did some stuff there. Finally, we went to where the device was originally stored and plugged into it. That gave both of us control over it.”

“And you think I could get that control?”

“Yeah, if you let me guide you through it and I helped you beat the machine.”

“...Beat it?”

“It fights you the whole way. As long as you close your eyes when I tell you to and resist the urge to open them no matter what, you should be good.”

“Nav, I’m not a filly. I can take a few scares.”

“I killed all of my and Luna’s loved ones.”

“...That’s somewhat disturbing, but they’re just fakes. It’s not like we can really get hurt.”

“About that…” I said, rubbing at the back of my neck.

“...We can actually get hurt?”

“According to Luna, yes. Apparently we can’t actually die, but there are worse things than death, whatever that means. Our bodies remain out here, so I assume if we die in there, we fall into a coma that we never get out of.”

“Oh… Is it like that in dreams, too? When you’re visiting them?”

“Nope. If you get killed there, you just get booted out and back into the… big dream realm. Anyway, are you ready to try connecting to it?”

“Uh… Are you sure we shouldn’t try using Flo or Aqua first?”

“I really doubt they could add you to the list of recognized users, so we’ll almost definitely have to do that manually. But if you’d prefer… Flo, what do you think?”

“If I can talk to the laptop, I believe I can talk to this.” She took over my mouth and continued, “Aqua, I have more experience with human relics. Do you want me to attempt to interface with it?”

“By all means, sister,” Aqua replied through Twilight’s succulent mouth. “But of course, I would like all the information you obtain.”

“As always, if I think what I find is important, I will be all too happy to share it with my sisters.” Of course, we all picked up on what she actually meant by that, which made me smile. Neither of them replied, though, so I held my hand up next to the plug. Flo slid out of me and slithered on down, oozing into the hole.

As before, her entire form turned jet black. “Is that normal?” Twilight asked.

“It’s what happened when she linked with my laptop. So what do you want to do while we wait?”

“So why do some humans worship gods but not others?”

I walked over to the bookcase. “Let’s see what we have here…”

“Oh come on, Nav! Compared to all the other stuff we talked about, how is this really so bad?”

“You know, you could just ask Aqua. She was in my mind and probably read all my thoughts and shit.”

She paused for a moment and then said, “Aqua didn’t get too many of your memories, Nav. Flo told her to stay away from the ones that didn’t concern her.”

“Well, at least there’s that.” I stopped scanning over titles when my eyes found a particular one. Hello there, mister banned book. I thought you were in Celestia’s personal library… Maybe a naughty princess was making copies without telling me.

“So why won’t you tell me?”

“What did I just say about learning when to take a hint? If it’s something I don’t want to talk about, it’s something I don’t want to talk about. As in, don’t ask me about it. How would you feel if I kept bugging you about that time you talked someone out of incest? Or the time you genderbent half the palace? Or hell, the time you and Fluttershy took down the goblin king and ended his reign of tyranny?”

“Wait, what?”

“The point is, sometimes people just don’t want to talk about things. You always claimed amnesia about the goblin thing, but the others you just don’t want to talk about.”

“Seriously, what goblin thing? What are you talking about?”

“Like I said: You always claim amnesia. And either way, you aren’t talking about it. Just like I’m not talking about religion. Ask me again and I’m going to shove my tongue in your ear.”

Her eyes went unfocused. “Aqua, what goblin thing is he talking about?” I smiled and turned back to the bookcase. “What do you mean, you don’t want to talk about it? I know he’s lying!” There’s another banned one. “Ugh, why do you always take his side?!” And there’s one that Fleur would like. “I am not cute! I am a powerful student of Princess Celestia!” My oh my, Luna was a naughty little princess. The Pony Sutra? Fun stuff. “AND I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT GOBLINS ARE!”

Since it had been a little while, I looked back at the machine and found that Flo was moving and not black anymore. I walked over and let her slide back up my arm. So?

“Too much corruption. I’m amazed it even still works. But there are some booleans I can change. Right now it’s set only for… Well, the technical term is strange, but essentially it’s only set for ponies. Gotta be some kind of genetic algorithm. I have no idea how they’re keeping track of the races, but I’m fairly certain I can set it so other races dream.”

“We’ll have to test it on Doppel or something first, to see if we can change it and then to see if we can set it so they only have good dreams.”

“Are you certain it’s… wise to—”

Twilight started talking over her, because she has no home training and also couldn’t tell Flo was even speaking. “It might not the best idea to just turn it on all of a sudden.”

“...Right. That,” Flo said. “It might disturb the other races.”

“If the ponies can handle it, the others can, too. As long as, you know, I don’t accidentally set it to mind-melting nightmares.”

“Do you even know how to set it?”

“Not a clue. But Flo can probably jury-rig something up. If all else fails, we can get Celestia to ask Luna, and then you can do it.”

“True.” We stood in silence for a moment before she sighed. “Do you… think you could walk me through it?”

“Help you get admin access?”

“Help me get dream access. And then maybe… teach me?”

It’s not really my place to give her access, but it would be good to have more than one person able to send dream messages. “Don’t tell Celestia or Luna about this.” She beamed. “But I’ll wait until we’re on the ship again to start teaching you. The sleep you get when your mind is dream walking is much less restful, and that won’t help you learn magic from Celestia.”

Her smile dipped slightly. “That’s… weird. What makes it less restful?”

“I don’t know for certain, but if I had to guess, I’d say it was because you get less REM sleep. But I think ponies are actually constantly in REM, so it might just be because your mind is actually active instead of resting.”

“What’s REM sleep?”

“Stands for rapid eye movement. Humans sleep in cycles of an hour and a half. You only have dreams for a small portion of that cycle, which is called REM sleep. If that cycle is disturbed, you’ll wake up feeling like absolute shit because you didn’t complete a cycle.”

“...Weird. So you’d need to sleep in increments of an hour and a half?”

“If you want to wake up rested instead of feeling like shit, yeah. Seven and a half or nine hours is good for most people. Ten and a half for kids.” I shrugged. “Depends on the person. And the cycles can be changed, but polyphasic sleeping’s a bitch to keep track of and I don’t care enough to keep talking about it. You ready to do this?”

“Yep! What do we need to do?”

“First, get comfortable,” I said, walking over to one of the couches and tossing some cushions in front of the statue. She knelt down on them and I walked back over. “Now, put your horn right in front of the hole.”

“...Are you sure you’re talking about the statue and not yourself?”

“That’s later.” She smiled and lowered her horn right to the entrance. I gently grasped it with my hand. “Gird yourself, Twilight. Horrors are coming.”

“I’m ready. I think.”

“You’re not. Plug your horn in.” She took a deep breath and closed the gap.

I blinked and then nothing happened.

“So uh… Maybe it does need a spell?” She didn’t respond at all. “Twilight?” I let go of her horn and poked her. She didn’t move at all. Huh.

My immediate guess is that we got into the dream world and Twilight’s mind was pulled away to deal with her greatest fear. Since I had already conquered the place, I didn’t have to worry about that, and stayed where my physical body had been.

“Think I should help her out, or what?” I asked as I stood.

“It would be nice, yes. And the sooner you can get this over with, the sooner you can fix the machine and get back to writing or painting.”

“Yes, because those are really things I look forward to.” I closed my eyes, focused, and snapped. When I opened my eyes again, Twilight was in front of me, looking rather confused.

“Where… What happened?”

“I got bored of waiting, so I brought you here,” I said. “This was easier than dealing with whatever you might have been afraid of.”

“...Thank you. And… thank you for not barging in on it, too.”

“I’ve seen your dreams, remember. Which means I’ve seen your nightmares. I have a pretty good idea of what it was.” She blushed and looked away. “If I want to see Spike cuckolding you, I can hit up Sweetie Belle’s dreams and just toss you in.”

“...What?”

“Nothing. Let’s do the next step.”

“Does Sweetie Belle actually have a crush on Spike?”

“Is that really what you took away from what I said?”

She giggled. “Nav, I know how to deal with you now. It’s usually obvious when you’re just looking for a reaction.”

“Well, time to work on my game, I guess. Gotta start doing more reaction-worthy things. I’ll have to arrange for you to walk in on Doppel railing me with your brother’s body.”

“Ew. Anyway, now what?”

“Touch your horn to the other Twilight’s horn, if you know what I mean.”

She smirked. “No, I don’t know what you mean. Please explain it.”

I pointed to the Twilight chilling on the floor. “Put your horn against that thing’s horn. God Twilight, I didn’t know you were this retarded. Do you need me to hold your horn while you do it so you don’t fuck up and chip it?”

She shivered. “Ooh, chipping a horn would be awful… But no, I believe I’ll be fine. What happens after I do that?”

Um. How to explain this… “Everything you’re afraid of will start spawning in this room and I’ll kill them all with an assault rifle, leaving a very bloody mess all over the place.”

“Oh. What’s an assault rifle?”

I summoned forth another AK-47 and held it up for her. “This here’s a kalashnikov, a gun that fires bullets at a very fast speed. The actual definition of an assault rifle depends on whether you’re talking to a democrat or a republican, but it’s essentially a long arm that’s capable of doing immense amounts of damage very quickly.

“What are—”

“Shut up and put your horn against the other horn. We ain’t got all day. Time in the dream world is iffy and we are quite capable of starving to death if we take too long.”

“...Right.” She walked over to the other Twilight and touched horns.

A moment later, a disappointed Celestia appeared and I immediately shot her. Then (male) me in armor, and I only paused for a moment before shooting. Sombra also appeared and I deep sixed his ass. Then Trixie, a giant spider, one of the paper golems from Athena’s place (which I killed by dumping acid on it), Pinkie, Nightmare Moon, regular Luna, Chrysalis, another random changeling, a large being made of fire (which I killed with water), a naga, an older stallion that seemed rather disapproving, and the female me, dressed like a fucking slut.

Then I heard her start coughing behind me. “What is that smell?” she hoarsely and horsely asked, still struggling to breathe.

“Gunpowder. And probably some burst lower intestines. I get being afraid of the me in armor, but why the slut me?”

“...What?” She finally looked over the bodies on the floor and seemed to pale slightly, despite knowing they were fake. “Um… I think I know why…”

“Well?” I shouldered the AK and propped my leg up on Celestia’s body.

She sighed. “Ever since I was a filly blossoming into a mare, I was… anxious about some things. Namely… sexual things. Just the thought could make me hyperventilate. Even today, thinking about it makes me feel… nervous, sometimes. And I associate you with sex more than anything else.”

“Wow. So I’m just a sex object to you? I see how it is.”

“No! That’s not—” She saw my smirk. “Fine, you got me that time. So now what?”

“Now we get to go on an adventure,” I said. “Unless I can cheat and Luna was just trying to show off.”

“What do you mean?”

“Take my hand,” I said, holding it out for her. She shrugged and grabbed it. I thought about the room full of artifacts hidden deep within the other human bunker and tried to force myself there.

Nothing happened.

“So…” she started.

“Didn’t work.” Then I thought about where Luna took us in the first time. We appeared in the dark in an instant and my body involuntarily froze when I heard Twilight move. Oh dear god, I’m back in the bunker.

Even though I should have been able to partially see, darkness consumed my vision and I started hearing the whispers come back. My breathing started picking up pace as I spun my head around, trying to pinpoint where the noise was coming from.

Then Twilight summoned a light and saw me. “Nav, what’s wrong?”

As soon as I realized I wasn’t actually alone, I took a deep breath and practically fell to the ground. “I… thought I was back in the bunker,” I quietly said. “This place… preys on your fears. And it doesn’t help that the layout is practically the same… This is an underground bunker…”

She wrapped me in a warm hug. “This time, you’re not alone. I’m here and Flo is here. Haunted or not, we can beat this.”

“I know,” I sighed, not standing or returning the hug. “I’m just so, so tired. Tired of being afraid. Tired of wandering listlessly through barren, metallic halls. Tired of the whispers, of the darkness, of the monsters waiting and watching…”

“But this is a dream, Nav. A dream you are in control of. Make this place whatever you want and it’ll have to obey your will.”

“All I want it to be is a glass of cold whiskey and a gun with a single bullet. But life has a way of never giving me what I want.” I slowly stood back up and stretched. As I did so, the room started lighting up until it was practically bright as day.

“Is that… you?” she asked.

“Yeah. And so is this.” I knelt down and touched the floor. Grass began spreading out from my fingertips, shooting up from the metal floor until it covered all the ground before us. I stood back up and started walking along the path, trailing a hand along the wall. As we walked further down, the walls started sprouting flowers and leaves, turning into a blooming wall of bushes.

When they were both converted, I turned my gaze up to the dull roof. Twilight squawked in surprise when I stepped onto her back to stroke the ceiling, making it turn a pale blue all the way down before us. By the time I hopped off her back, it looked like we were in an outdoor hedge maze.

And then a beholder floated around one of the corners we were coming up to. I vaporized it before it could even turn toward us and just kept walking.

“What… was that?” Twilight asked, following.

“Beholder. Something from my mind, probably.” I slid my hands against my sides before I realized I didn’t have any pockets, then made pockets to jam my hands into. “Enjoy the scenery. It’s going to be a long walk.”

“How long?”

“Dunno. We made it in an hour or two when I was running a few kilometers per hour. I guess if we were in a real hurry and you trusted Flo, we could probably make it in a few minutes.”

“How?”

I snapped my fingers and summoned a jet bike from Jet Moto. “Flo, you got control.” I hopped on and patted the back of it for Twilight.

“What… is that?” she asked.

“A good mode of transportation. We’ll get there before we can get spooked too much, hopefully.”

“It’s floating.”

“Sure is. You gonna hop on or what?”

“Is it… safe?”

“Dunno. Flo’s driving and she’s like an overprotective grandma with perfect memory of our path, so probably.”

Twilight sighed and used magic to pull a helmet from nowhere. She strapped it on and then awkwardly got on behind me. It was a tight fit and she had to wrap her forelegs around me so she didn’t fall off, but we were both quickly situated.

“Are you sure—SWEET CELESTIA!” Flo popped the boost immediately, shooting us forward at an insane speed and making Twilight hold on so tightly it hurt.

Since it was actually fucking terrifying to watch the place zoom by at ridiculous speeds, I let Flo take full control and slipped back inside my mind until she slid the bike to a stop. “We’re at the catwalk,” she told me.

“You’re the best, Flo,” I said before taking control back. The bike was gone and Twilight and I were sitting on the grassy ground, with her holding on for dear life. “Twilight, we’re there.”

“I… I think I… may have wet myself…”

“Gross. Are you gonna let go or what?”

“What was that?”

“A good mode of transportation. You’re actually kinda hurting me, Twilight.” Her grip slowly eased up until I could pull away and stand, stretching again to get the kinks out from where Twilight tried to break me in half. “You know, if you were really that afraid, you should have just had Aqua take over and escape to your center.”

“I… can do that?”

“Oh yeah. I let Flo take over when I’m doing boring things, like having sex with Doppel or talking about your feelings. I just retreat inward and cut off any contact with the outside world. She also occasionally takes over at the worst possible moments, like…” My eyes went unfocused and I said, “Disregard that, I suck cocks.” I blinked and shook my head. “Like that.”

Flo took over and said, “He’s lying.”

I cleared my throat. “She’s just trying to confuse you. Don’t listen to her lies.”

Twilight smirked and shook her head. “Nav, you’re really silly sometimes. So, are we where we’re supposed to be?”

“Almost. Just gotta get over there,” I said, pointing to the far end of the catwalk.

She nodded and stood, tossing off the helmet. “So what is this place?” she asked, looking around.

“If I had to guess, I’d say this was either some kind of cryogenic storage facility or a place to store a lot of chemicals. Those vats down there could definitely hold a lot of fluids, but the pods on the walls make me curious.”

“I don’t know what cryogenic means.”

“Oh well.” We both started walking to the end, where the door was already open and waiting for us. “This was a lot easier than last time.”

“You also have experience and a lot more control. And, of course, Flo.”

“Luna had experience and control last time. But she’s also kind of a bitch, so she didn’t really use either in any useful way.”

She stopped and grabbed my hand with a hoof, making me also stop. “Nav, can we… talk about Luna?”

“No.” I pulled my hand away and kept walking. “Let’s get out of here quickly.”

She sighed and continued following me. “I know you’re not happy, Nav.”

“And talking won’t make it better. I’ve tried. And remember, it’s not too late for me to turn this dream mobile behind. This is a very prestigious privilege you’re about to get, Twilight. One you probably shouldn’t have. And it’s one I definitely don’t want to see you abusing.”

“Nav, I’m not a foal. I probably won’t use this power much anyway, since you said it isn’t like real sleep.”

“You say that now, but entering dreams can be… addicting. You can do whatever you want to whoever you want and there aren’t any consequences because to them, it’s just a dream. Luna gave me this power to bust nightmares, which I do, but I also spend a lot of time just messing around.”

“Isn’t that abusing your power?”

“Absolutely. But I don’t do anything that might hurt anyone. The only person I ever gave nightmares was Diamond Tiara, because she was trying to get my dick and it was creepy.”

“Huh. And… will I be able to see if anyone’s having… wet dreams? About me?”

“Wet dreams, yes. You can see what they’re about by peeking in. I’ll explain it all once I start teaching you. You can also, as I’m sure you know, change dreams. So if they weren’t having a wet dream…”

“Yes, I know that full well, thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” She rolled her eyes. And since we were coming up on the storage room thing, I didn’t bother teasing her any more. Once we stepped inside. “...That’s unexpected.” Copies of Luna and I were sitting right in front of the other statue. Luna’s horn was jammed in and my hand was around it.

“So… why are you both sitting there?” Twilight asked.

“This is the last step of getting control. Luna plugged her horn in with my hand around it. I didn’t figure we’d be stuck here. Huh.”

“So… what do I do?”

I shrugged. “Try putting your horn in Luna’s vag.”

“No.”

“Ugh, fine. Try putting your horn against hers.”

“Easy enough.” She walked over and pressed her horn up against the Luna’s, then spasmed as she locked into place.

“Weird. Flo, thoughts?”

“I’d say it worked for Twilight. The question is, how do we get out?”

“Seems simple,” I said, walking up to the other me. I put my hand against his head and found myself sitting back on the outside. “Alright, that was fun.” It felt like my legs had fallen asleep, so I stretched them out.

“So… now what?” Twilight asked, looking to me.

“We let Flo screw around with the settings to see if she can get it to work with other races, and set it to good dreams. Then I’ll test to see if I have access to Doppel’s dreams.”

“Can you enter dreams while you’re awake?”

“Yeah. Flo’s the only thing in control of my body at that point, though. Something else I can teach you when we start.”

“I’m really looking forward to it. It sounds like a really useful and fun skill.”

“It is. Now…” I held my hand up next to the dataport on the machine. “Flo?”

“Do you want me to try to activate all races, or just changelings to test?”

“All. If we fuck up, well, what’s a night of bad dreams?”

Twilight said, “To those not used to dreams at all, a nightmare might make them afraid to sleep for a while.”

“Fear’s good for you,” I said. “Just activate it.” Flo sighed and slid out of me again, speeding on down to the machine. “Alright. Twilight, what time is it?”

“Uh.” She looked around the room until she found a clock, then floated it over. “It’s getting late. Late enough that Doppel might be asleep. Or if not her, a griffin or another changeling you might know. One of the naga, maybe.”

“I’ll find someone.”

“Good, good. So, how does this machine work?”

“No fucking clue. I’ve been wondering the same thing for a while. There were some really smart people there at the end of the world, I guess.”

“Do you know why it was made, at least?”

“I can make a few guesses. My main thought is that it’s used to protect minds from Discord at night. But it got deactivated at some point and he didn’t actually take anyone over. My second thought is that it was only supposed to be on long enough for all the human-created species to gain sapience, to help guide their evolution.”

“So… We weren’t created with sapience?”

“I dunno. I honestly have no clue what happened after humans died. Hell, I can only assume you guys were made by humans instead of evolving naturally. But based on some things I was told in the bunker, I’m pretty sure that’s what happened. But again, I don’t know how or why.”

“How do we learn?”

“Two ways. Find all the elementals and see if any of them have answers, or go to the bunker we were just at in the dream and see if it has any answers.”

“What if it’s… haunted?”

“Then the answers can go fuck themselves, because I sure as hell ain’t going in there.” Flo started slithering back up my arm, so Twilight stopped asking stupid questions. “You get it activated?” I asked when she was inside of me, if you know what I mean.

“I think so. We’ll have to test it. And the sooner, the better.”

“Alright. Twilight, I’m heading into the dream world. If you don’t mind sticking around, I could use your help getting this machine back in Luna’s creepy room.”

“Should we put it back there?” she asked. “We’re the only ones that know how to use it now that she’s gone. Does it matter if it’s out in the open?”

“Luna may be a psychopath, but I don’t think she’s a complete idiot. If she had it locked up, there was probably a reason. Besides, Celestia will probably be coming by to remove that creepy shadow thing soon anyway.”

“...Can we wait until she does? I can’t use magic through the miasma of darkness in that room, so you’d have to figure out how to get it in there yourself anyway.”

“Fuck. Whatever, then. Not like anyone’ll be coming up here anyway. Now, I’m heading in. Should be out soon.”

“Alright. Good luck.”

Like I need luck. I closed my eyes and let the darkness consume me. Soon, I stood before Flo. “Anything else you can tell me about the machine?” I asked.

“It’s… complicated. Far more intricate than the laptop. I had to manually flip some bits to… Well, the details aren’t important. I don’t really know much about it and I don’t think I can do much interfacing with it. I’m fairly certain I got dreams on, though.”

“Then let’s find out,” I said. Just like that, we were floating in the anteroom of the dream realm. What were usually thousands of lights were instead tens of thousands, all around me, of all different types and intensities. “I’d say that’s a good sign.”

“But can you access them?” Flo asked. “Find someone we know.” My thoughts went to Doppel first, but I couldn’t find anything from her. Then I thought about Gilda with a similar result. Finally, I thought about Spike and found my head turning. Since it seemed I found his dream, I took a step toward where I was now looking and found myself in front of a golden ball.

Carefully now… I slowly reached in and gingerly peeled the smoke away, then peeked inside. A younger Spike was using my stomach as a pillow. We were both staring up at the sky and he was pointing out clouds or something. Strangely enough, the me in there was also a chick. There wasn’t anyone else in the dream so it was definitely his. I let the smoke go and backed away.

“Yep, I can access his dreams. That’s one race. Let’s try this…” I thought of Ames and my head turned another way. When I scooted over there, I saw another golden dream that I poked open. Ames was chilling in there, fighting his way through hordes of other naga. He looked like he was having fun, so I backed out. “And there’s him.” I thought of Chrysalis, felt my head turning, and then immediately decided I didn’t want to see her dreams anyway, so I thought of Bloodbeak. My head turned yet another way, so I nodded. “I have access.”

“So it seems,” Flo said. “How do you think Luna will take it?”

“Poorly. We used the machine without asking her and modified how it works without any input from her. I can’t imagine she’ll be very happy at all.”

“What a shame.” She didn’t sound very remorseful. “Do you want to do any dream policing while you’re here? Or maybe actually enter one of them?”

“I’ll check on it periodically tonight. But for now, I should probably talk to Twilight and tell her she’s free to go to bed or whatever.”

“Good plan. Then shall we?”

I opened my eyes and started to stand, only to quickly discover that something strange happened while I was out. My arms and legs were restrained and I wasn’t wearing any clothes. “Oh good, you’re back,” Twilight said, hopping up onto the bed and straddling me. “So, I know you said you wanted to ruin her panties, but I hope you’ll settle for ruining her bed!”

“I don’t mind one little bit,” I said with a smile.

Her horn lit up and a riding crop switched me. “Your mistress didn’t say you could speak. Now, how shall we begin…?”

 
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