Magical Mystery Oops

Twilight Sparkle has spent months researching chaos magic, developing a new spell to unlock magic nopony has ever experienced before. But when something goes wrong with casting, Twilight finds herself turned into a Draconequus and unable to control her new chaos magic. If she ever wants to be a pony again, there is only one who can help her learn to control her new magic.

Of course, learning from Discord was never going to be simple. And after a while, being a draconequus doesn't seem so bad anyway....


9. Everything Works if You Let It

The shrubbery, it called to her.

Also, it was getting really, really annoying. It did, however, have one very useful feature at the moment - It was exactly where she wanted to go.

She let that nagging little voice that had been whispering in the back of her mind since she had touched that thrice-damned shrubbery guide her as she charged through the woods at full-speed, the forest passing by in a blur.

Behind her, she could hear the faint sound of her friends chasing after her, but her entire attention was focused ahead of her as she hoped to see a glimpse of red tail. "Darn it, Discord," she muttered under her breath as she ran, "You had to get heroic on me now of all times?" She didn't know what he was thinking any more than she usually did, but she knew him well enough by now to know this was weird even for him.

Musings on Discord's sudden out-of-character moment came to a halt as Twilight found herself barreling toward a ravine. Claws and paws dug into the ground as she skidded to a halt a half-step from the edge. Twilight took a deep breath in relief before she peered over the edge. "Stupid mind-controlling piece of horticulture," she muttered, "can't even give proper directions." Well, no matter - this was why she had wings.

Twilight backed up a few steps before she readied herself, purple feathered wings stretched out wide before flapping down as Twilight leapt skyward - and promptly face-planted. "Figures," Twilight grumbled as she wiped loose dirt from her face.

She was about half-way back onto her hooves when a small shout echoed from behind her, slowly growing louder before something crashed into the back of her and drove her back into the ground. "Hehe," the familiar voice of Rainbow Dash said from above her, "Sorry,"

"Don't tell me," Twilight replied flatly as she cleared her face again, "You suddenly lost the ability to fly?"

"Yep," Dash replied without moving.

"Weather control too?" Twilight asked.

"Uh, yeah," Rainbow replied, "How'd you know?"

"Just another effect of the shrubbery," Twilight replied, as she turned around enough to see Rainbow sitting on her back, "you alright?"

"Yup," the blue pegasus replied with a nod, making no move to get off, "Gotta admit, Twi - you make a much better cushion now then you did as a pony,"

"That's good to know, Dash," Twilight replied calmly, "Now, excuse me, but get. Off." Twilight punctuated the statement by wrapping her tail around the blue pegasus and removing her from atop her. She turned around, setting Rainbow down as she cleared the dirt from her face, in time to see three of her friends appear from around the trees. Applejack looked slightly more winded than usual, while Rarity was taking being in the woods as well as she usually did. Pinkie looked like she was out for a stroll. "Where's Fluttershy?"

"She was worried about leavin' her critters alone durin' all of this," Applejack replied, "though I don't think that's all it was..."

"The tree is emitting a wave of existential terror," Twilight replied as she dusted herself off, "frankly, I'm surprised any of us are still coherent this close to it."

"This is no time to be hysterical," Applejack said as she stepped closer to the chasm, peering over the edge.

"This is the perfect time to be hysterical!" Rarity replied quickly as she struggled to clear the twigs from her tail without her magic.

Pinkie stopped her hopping and glanced between Rarity, Applejack, and Twilight. "Should we be hysterical?"

"No!" Applejack quickly replied at the same time Rarity shouted a "Yes!"

"Maybe!" Twilight cut in, "But not right now!"

"Okay then!" Pinkie replied with her usual cheery tone, "So, how are we getting across that big ol' pit?"

"I don't suppose you brought any rope?" Twilight replied idly as she studied the chasm. It was deep, but not unnervingly so. Climbing down might be an option, though she would prefer to just go around it...

"Oh, sure!" Pinkie replied cheerily as Twilight looked left and right. The only question was which way to go? Guess wrong and they end up taking...

...wait. "What?" Twilight quickly said as she spun around to face Pinkie Pie.

"I said I've got rope!" Pinkie replied as she reached into her mane, "Well, ribbon actually, but it's basically the same thing! You never know...when..." Pinkie's searching slowed down as her grin started to slip, "huh, that’s weird. All I can find is my mane."

The three ponies and the draconequus stared at the pink party planner in silence until Rainbow Dash finally spoke up, "The tree managed to un-Pinkie Pinkie. We're doomed."

"Oh, don't be so dramatic," Twilight replied, but even she was now starting to worry. Though... that did at least prove the Pinkie's abilities were some sort of magic... hmm... Maybe if she could isolate Pinkie long enough, she could reduce the variables and at start working out some upper and lower bounds. Perhaps she could-


Twilight snapped out of her chain of thought at Applejack’s voice. "Sorry, just trying to think. Anypony have an idea for getting across?" A collection of negatives echoed back, "In that case, left or right?"

"Oh! Oh!" Pinkie said as she waved her hoof high overhead, "Lemme choose! Lemme choose! I wanna go left!"

Rainbow Dash gave her a confused look, which was generally the standard look one gave Miss Pie. "Why left?"

"It's south!" Pinkie replied cheerfully, "I always like going south. Somehow it feels like I'm going downhill."

"...Sure," Twilight replied with a shrug, "Why not? Left it is. Everyone good to move?" Another collection of replies, this time in the affirmative, "Excellent - onward then." The four ponies and draconequus started off, Pinkie Pie quickly hopping into the lead, before entering into a Sparkle-centric orbit around the group as the rest of them walked along in a more... ordinary manner.

"Walking sucks," Rainbow complained after a few minutes, "What's magic got to do with flying, anyway?"

"Pegasi aren't able to fly under their own non-magic power," Twilight replied, "How else do you think it worked?"

"For higher speeds and altitudes, sure," Rainbow replied with a roll of her eyes as they continued to walk, "and yeah - fine spatial orientation would have to be magic, since airfoils don't really work backwards and ponies don't really have a proper tail for flight control. But I figured between lightened bone-structure and the specialized musculature I could..." Rainbow Dash paused mid-stride as she noticed the others had stopped. She glanced backwards at the four of her friends who were staring at her in varying degrees of surprise, "What?"

"She sounds like Rainbow Dash..." Applejack said as she tilted her head, "But the words sound like Twilight..."

"Oh, har-har," Rainbow deadpanned, "You think flight training is just flying loops and circles as fast as you can? Gotta know what you're exercising to get better. I just... retained more of it than I expected."

"Well..." Twilight said after a moment, "to answer your question - it's a matter of surface area. Pegasus wings just don't have enough lift surface for more than gross maneuvering and stabilization."

"That's why you couldn't fly when you broke your wing!" Pinkie added with her usual cheer.

"...Thank you for reminding me of that, Pinkie." Rainbow deadpanned.

"No problem!" Pinkie replied cheerfully.

"Anyway!" Twilight cut in as she started forward again, "Try and stay close, everyone - given the current state of the forest splitting up is probably a bad idea."

"Twi, I think this whole thing is a bad idea," Applejack replied as she moved to catch up with the draconequus, "I mean, I know he saved you and all but I don't really think Discord needs us to save him."

"She's got a point, you know," Rainbow added, "I mean, isn't he supposed to like Celestia-tier? I don't think a tree is going to kill him."

"That shrubbery absolutely terrified him, Rainbow," Twilight replied, "nothing good can come of him actively going toward it."

"Except maybe it goes away," Rainbow said with a shrug, "I mean, he said he was sorry, right? Maybe he's trying to be responsible and stuff and clean up his own messes."

"Friends don't let friends go after evil horticulture on their own!" Twilight said back, spinning around to face the others, "If I had run off into the forest, you would have run after me."

"Yeah," Rainbow replied with a shrug, "but you're you and Discord is, well... Discord."

"Twi, I get that he's earned his way into your good graces, and I'm sure he's not nearly as bad as he used to be," Applejack said as she fiddled with her hat, "but that doesn't change the fact that runnin' in after him like this is a bad idea. You said it yourself - we need a plan."

"And I'd have loved to have come up with one," Twilight grumbled as she started stomping through the forest again, "I mean, really - is that supposed to impress us? 'Ooh, I went and made a mistake so now I have to do some stupid hero-thing.' Oh no you don't! He does not get to die just because he feels sorry for himself!"

"Does he really need us to save him though?" Rarity asked, "After all, you seem rather sure of his capabilities, at the very least."

"Against anything else, maybe," Twilight replied, "but this is a shrubbery that eats. Magic. Including Discord's - his reality warping, his flight, maybe even his immortality."

"Woah, woah, woah," Rainbow Dash gestured quickly with a wing, "back up - are you saying Discord is mortal right now?"

Twilight shrugged, "Maybe - we were discussing the possibility that it could leave one of the princesses vulnerable, and there's no reason to think it wouldn't have the same effect on him..."

"Twilight," Rainbow Dash cut in, "are you saying you found a way to kill an immortal?"

"...I guess?" Twilight replied, confused, "I mean, I have no idea if it can be replicated, but-"

"No buts!" Rainbow quickly replied before turning to the others, "Do you know what would happen if one of the princesses died? It would be a disaster of legendary proportions - we're talking wrath of Nightmare Moon type stuff - Fire and brimstone raining down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! The dead rising from the grave!"

"Cat and dogs living together!" Pinkie added.

"Mass Hysteria!" Rainbow finished, her spiel earning her surprised and vaguely confused stares from AJ and Rarity.

"Rainbow," Twilight said with a sigh as she rested a claw on the pegasus's back, "I never thought I'd say this, but I think you've been reading too much." Twilight turned to the others, "Girls, I understand if you have some misgivings about all of this - Celestia knows I do, but I can't just run away. If you all want to head back, that's fine. I wouldn't blame you. No reason for all of us to get into trouble just because of my own mistake."

"Twilight, darling," Rarity rolled her eyes, "do you really think we would just abandon you like that? As much as I might have my... misgivings on this course of action, Discord is still a friend of yourself and Fluttershy as well."

"Yeah," Rainbow said with a nod, "All for one and all of that jazz - if you aren't going back, then none of us are."

"Yay getting into trouble together!" Pinkie added with a grin, "Is this going to be the sort of trouble that ends with all of us in jail at the end of the night? Those are always fun."

"This is more of the 'calling everyone back so we can die together' sort of trouble," Twilight said with a sigh, "On the bright side - if we mess up, there probably won't be anypony left to get mad at us."

"Darling," Rarity said after a moment, "I do hope that wasn't supposed to be reassuring."

"Right..." Applejack said, "So, I guess that settles it then - we're going to try and save Discord."

"If it makes you feel better," Twilight replied as she turned and started walking again, "assume you're saving Ponyville and Discord is just a bonus."

"Sounds like a normal Saturday then!" Pinkie said as she followed behind the other four as they pressed on.

"Think I'll be able to hold this over him?" Dash asked as they pressed on, a sly grin on her face, "I've never been able to-" Whatever Rainbow was about to say was cut off as the hair on the back of her and everyone else's necks stood on end. They all had just enough time to give each other wide-eyed glances before throwing themselves out of the way as a massive bolt of electricity as thick as a pony's leg cut through the woods and snaked past them, a hair's breadth from some of their limbs before crashing into an errant tree that promptly exploded in a rain of splinters.

"What in heaven's was that!?" Rarity half-shouted as she wobbled back to her hooves, brushing splinters from her mane.

"The shrubbery, most likely," Twilight replied as she dusted herself off, "I think it's a means for it to regulate its own energy levels and prevent some sort of prompt criticality event."

"So," Rainbow asked as she recovered, "You were going to tell us this thing could shoot giant bolts of lightning when?"

"The last time it did it was when I touched it," Twilight replied with a frown, "If its discharging into the air..."

"I'm guessin' that's bad?" Applejack asked.

Twilight nodded. "Very."

"So, now the Everfree really is trying to kill us," Rainbow lamented, "Awesome."

"That bolt means we're closer than I thought..." Twilight added, before frowning, "but that makes no sense - the shrubbery is still trying to pull me the other way..." Twilight pushed further forward, pushing aside a tree branch before she stopped and gasped.

Applejack quickly moved up next to her, peering past the branches at what Twilight saw. "Is that one of those Discord vines?" Ahead of them, in a small woodland clearing, a tangled knot of familiar looking vine sat coiled. Sharp, wicked spikes protruded from it across its entire length, but it was the wrong color. Instead of the black organic appearance of those vines, this instead looked more like clouded quartz, bluish-white crystal shot through with veins of obsidian black.

"The Tree of Harmony should have eradicated every trace of Plunderseed vines," Twilight said as she carefully stepped forward, examining the growth, "and these don't look right - in fact, they look like-"

"part of the Tree of Harmony," Rarity finished for her before glancing at the draconequus, "You said that this... shrubbery, looked a great deal like the Tree, yes?"

Twilight nodded, "Whatever is going on, it's... hybridized the two entities into some sort of gestalt."

"What?" Applejack asked, "Like some sort of uber-plant?"

"More like some sort of chimera..." Twilight started before trailing off, her eyes going wide, "or draconequus. That's why."

"Uh, Twilight?" Rainbow said, raising any eyebrow, "What are you talking about?"

"Why Discord ran out here!" Twilight said as she spun around, "The shrubbery is-" They were cut off as there was another deafening crack of thunder a split second before a tree exploded into splinters as a familiar serpentine brown and grey form crashed into the clearing, landing near their hooves with a groan.

"Okay," Discord groaned, eyes squeeze shut, "that hurt."

"Did you just go through a tree!?" Twilight shouted incredulously

"Twilight?" Discord said as he cracked an eye open, closing it again with a groan as he saw everyone, "And you brought the whole gang too..."

"You ran off into a forest to go after tree that you said could kill you!" Twilight shouted, "What did you expect me to do?"

"Send Celestia a letter?" Discord suggested weakly.

"Oh, of course!" Twilight replied in mock realization, "How could I have forgotten! Let me grab Spike and have him shoot off a letter via the magic that isn't working at the moment!"

"No need to get snippy." Discord grumbled as climbed to his feet, "You still haven't told me what you are doing here."

"Stopping that shrubbery," Twilight replied, "What did you think I was doing?"

"I don't think you appreciate the gravity of the situation," Discord said as he threw an arm around Twilight, "What we are dealing with here is a perfect engine - an eating machine. It's really a miracle of magic. All this machine does is grow and eat and make little shrubberies, and that's all," Discord turned her around and gestured at the tangled vine in the center of the clearing, "You see that? It's the first of many."

"Which is why we are here to help," Twilight replied flatly as she met Discord's gaze, "I don't care if I have to take you out myself, but you aren't doing this alone. I'll tell Fluttershy if I have to."

"Backstabbing, coercion, and black-mail," Discord said with a sigh, "the basis of every great relationship. You realize-" Discord cut himself off before spinning around and leaping toward the others. Pinkie, Applejack, Rarity and Rainbow Dash found themselves flattened under the draconequus a split-second before another arc of electricity cut through the air, the space above their heads burning as the bolt coursed through where they had been a moment before.

Twilight blinked in surprise as her brain processed what just happened. "How did you see that coming?"

"I didn't," Discord replied as he eased himself off the four ponies, "but this thing is, how you say, kind of a dick. This is why I don't want you here!"

"It’s also the exact reason why we need to be here!" Twilight shot back, "No more of this lone ranger stuff!"

"Come on, Twilight," Discord said beseechingly, "Be smart about this-"

"I tried," Twilight replied flatly, "you ran off. So if I can't do something smart, I'm going to do something right."

Discord threw his claws up in exasperation, "This is insane."

"So was going after Nightmare Moon," Twilight replied, "So was going after Sombra, or trying to fight Chrysalis. I took a chance on you once," She poked him in the chest, "and I'll do it again, whether you like it or not."

Discord looked at Twilight for a moment, before turning to the others, "She isn't going to back down on this, is she?"

"We've been trying to get her to back down since we ran out here - no dice." Rainbow said with a shrug before getting a hoof to the side from Applejack, "Hey! I was just being honest - isn't that literally your thing?"

Discord sighed, "Yeah - I figured as much."

"Discord," Twilight said, softly, "we want to help-" she glanced back at her friends briefly, "-okay, I want to help you."

"Why can't you you just disavow me like-" Discord was cut off as the ground rumbled beneath them, and a moment later the ground ripped open as vines and roots shot upward, curving overhead before diving back down toward the group of draconequi and ponies. Without magic or flight, they scattered as the vines weaved around them, twisting walls of roots circled around them as the vines dived in and out of the ground as they gave chase, dust and dirt kicking up into the air until the entire clearing was clouded.

Twilight coughed in the dust, waving a claw in a vain attempt to clear the air. "Alright," she croaked, "Who's not dead? Sound off," A collection of groans from around her echoed back.

"Dang blasted vines bit me I think," Discord's voice sounded from somewhere right below her before he sat up with a groan and Twilight found herself perched more-or-less in his lap, "Someone's gonna have to suck out this poison! Now don't everybody jump up at once."

"The vine's aren't poisonous, Discord," Twilight said with a roll of her eyes, before saying more loudly, "Can anyone see anything?"

"Can't see squat, Twilight," Applejack sounded back, "This is worse than Appaloosa in a dust storm."

"Shorter though," Rainbow sounded from vaguely the same direction, "No wind to keep kicking it up."

"Oh sweet Celestia it's everywhere!" Rarity screamed from...well, Twilight wasn't quite sure. It sounded close though, "GetitoffgetitoffGETITOFF!"

"Well, they sound fine," Discord said before glancing up at Twilight, "You alright?"

"I'm fine," Twilight replied as she gave him a reassuring smile, "thank you for asking though."

"Of course..." Discord said as he brought a claw up.

"What are you-" Twilight froze as one of the draconequus's claws gently stroked across her cheek, gliding down to her chin.

"Shh.." Discord whispered, his claw coming up to rest against her lips, "just let it happen..."

Twilight could feel her heart pounding in her chest as Discord leaned closer, the same self-confident smirk that he always had on his face, his eyes gazing into her own...

...and then Twilight's own eyes went wide as she felt Discord's tail wrap a vine around her waist before yanking her back. She couldn't suppress the small 'hurk' that escaped her as she crashed back into a wall of tangled plant-life, Discord dashing off into the forest without her. "Oh, blast me to the moon!"

"Twilight?" Rainbow's voice carried over the barrier of vines again, "What happened?"

"Discord ran off!" Twilight shouted back, annoyed as she untangled herself, "Again!"

"Well, wait for us!" Applejack called over, before adding with a sigh "Twilight - I get it, you wanna help Discord since he's your friend. But its like you keep telling Discord - you can't go it alone! So why don't you..." Applejack paused before adding flatly, "...she's gone, ain't she?"

One of the vines shuddered before a hoof and blue-coated leg popped through before pulling back and being replaced with a pink eye. "She's gone." Rainbow Dash confirmed.

Another sigh from the farmpony. "We're all gonna die."

Any further complaints were far from Twilight's hearing and mind as she charged after Discord. She was of half a mind to drag him back to her castle and tie him to the bed to keep him from running off. The other half of her mind was busy panicking over the fate of Equestria.

Twilight had quickly lost sight of Discord, his form vanishing into the trees before she had even gotten onto her feet, but that wasn't a problem now. The air felt greasy to her, and that same incessant voice in the back of her head was now more like a shriek as it pushed her toward the shrubbery. And as she pushed through the forest, she found the terrain steadily growing stranger and stranger as the crystalline vines became more and more prevalent to the point is she often found herself running across larger twisted bundles of the strange pseudo-plant matter.

With the vines cutting massive swathes through the Everfree, it didn't take Twilight long until she once again found herself staring at the Shrubbery that seemed to be at the center of this whole mess. And standing in front of it was Discord. "What in Celestia's name are you doing?" she shouted as another rumble of thunder echoed from above the plant. In the time since they had first found it, the shrubbery had grown substantially, and now towered above all but the tallest trees in the forest. Howling winds were pouring off the plant, a whirling cyclone that tried to push everyone away even as it sucked in ever greater amounts of power. A defense mechanism, Twilight guessed - why the shrubbery wasn't interested in getting anybody close any more she didn't know, but it worried her.

Discord turned from the massive tangle of twisting crystal vines and thorns and gave Twilight a small, sad smile, "Celestia? Oh, no, my dear Twilight - this is all me," He turned back to the tree, "and I intend to end it."

"With what!?" Twilight shouted, "Our magic isn't working, remember?"

"Oh, it works," Discord shouted back, "The horticulture from Tartarus here usually eats it faster then you can put it out. It's just a matter of turning it up to eleven."

"Why are you doing this!?" Twilight shouted as she started to force her way forward against the wind, "This isn't your fault!"

"But it is!" Discord yelled, "My seeds corrupted the Tree of Harmony, and chaos magic - my magic - is what set it off. You can't argue with that!"

"I can still argue with you being a colossal idiot though!" Twilight shouted back as she slowly made her way closer to Discord, "Is this supposed to impress me?"

Discord gave a wan smile before turning back to the tree, "No - it's supposed to make sure you live." Discord planted both hind legs before reaching out with both claws, lightning arcing from the shrubbery to them almost instantly. Discord's head started to bow slowly as the force behind the bolts seemed to increase, and soon the draconequus was slowly sliding back, hind hoof and claw digging divots into the ground as he tried to force back a writhing column of lighting as thick around as he was.

Without warning, the massive bolt pulsed before vanishing in a deafening explosion of sound and light that made Twilight flinch back. As the spots cleared from her vision the bolt was gone, only a few wisps of steam curling up from the ground leading from the tree to where its target had landed. "Discord!" Twilight dashed over to him, the wind abating for the moment as the shrubbery presumably recharged. He was still moving, thank Celestia, albeit slowly, and at the moment the only sound he was making was a low moan. Twilight knelt down next to him as she reached his side, carefully lifting lifting him, "Are you alright?"

Discord's eyes slowly fluttered open, yellow eyes spinning around in their sockets before they managed some semblance of focus, "Oh, just-" whatever he was about to say was cut off as he suddenly started hacking, a claw coming up to his mouth until the coughing fit subsided, "...actually, no - I'm not alright."

Twilight looked him over with a combination of horror and dismay; parts of his coat were actually smoking, a few thick burns lancing across his shoulders and chest. A few splotchy bruises were already starting to form underneath his coat, but the most distressing part was... "You're bleeding!"

Discord blinked at Twilight slowly before following her gaze down to his claw, which was now covered in flakes of red. "Don't be silly," Discord replied weakly, "I'm not bleeding - I'm coughing up blood. Much worse." Discord collapsed against Twilight with a sigh, "Really, I thought you'd know better..."

Twilight looked down at Discord with wide eyes as he collapsed into her arms, "Discord? Discord! Come on - we need to move."

Discord chuckled weakly at that. "I don't think I'm going to be moving any time soon. Gah - how do you mortals deal with this sort of thing..." He managed to look up at her before giving her a weak smirk, "Sorry - looks like I couldn't clean up my own mess. Fluttershy would be offended."

"Somehow, I doubt that," Twilight replied with a weak smile, "Now, come on - we need to move you."

"Again... with the moving..." Discord said slowly as he started to slump against Twilight, " and your...bad ideas..."

Discord went limp in Twilight's arms, and she soon found herself panicking. "Discord? Discord!" His breathing was coming in shallow breaths, and his pulse was reedy. But it was there.

Twilight carefully lowered him to the ground before slowly standing. Behind her, the shrubbery crackled and rumbled as the wind began to pick up again. She turned to face it, her expression hardened into a mask of determination and fury. She gave Discord one last look before she started toward the shrubbery.

The shrubbery, for its part, seemed to notice this new arrival as the crackling redoubled and the wind grew in intensity until Twilight was forced to stop as she gazed up at the plant. Twilight reached out with her magic, and could instantly feel the web the shrubbery had spun. Countless strings of potentiality snaked out from the core of the bizarre hybrid, strands of probability and influence that formed a dense web that seemed to spread out like a dark facsimile of a root system. numerous wiry filaments had wrapped themselves around Discord, and as she watched several had started coiling around her like ivy.

"You want my magic?" Twilight growled as dug deep into her own reserves of magic and willpower, drawing it out, "Fine! Take it!" Hundreds of strands lashed out from her, every one of them greedily pulled in by the shrubbery.

Which was just what Twilight wanted.

Twilight poured every ounce of magic she could muster through those lines, gossamer filaments ballooning into thick cords as they wrapped around the shrubbery, The shrubbery seemed to realize that something was wrong, and Twilight could feel its screams. She could feel it readying another burst of lightning, pulling in more power ever more rapidly even as its own hunger just drew Twilight's lines even further around it.

She could feel the thrum of magic inside it now - a swirling maelstrom of chaos and magic, of warped probability and potential destruction. Well - no more. Twilight began to twist her lines, forcing the shrubbery to bend to her will.

The shrubbery gave an inequine shriek, like the sound of claws across a chalkboard multiplied a thousand fold, before lashing out at her with magic of its own. Twilight bit back a shriek of pain as it felt like ice picks driving into her skull while every inch of her felt like it simultaneously burned and froze. "I am tired," Twilight shouted out loud as she forced through the pain and poured more of her willpower at the shrubbery, "of this motherbucking tree," she kept pouring magic through the lines until some of them started to snap like over-taut violin strings, "in my motherbucking forest!"

The tree shrieked back as the onslaught from the most powerful mage in a generation burned into its very being, and around Twilight the wind kicked into a powerful cyclone that whipped her mane into a storming halo about her head.

"Just!" Twilight forced her lines into its very core, digging into the nexus of the abominations power.

"Bucking!" The lines coiled around the flickering source of power Twilight could feel deep within the mass of pseudo-plant material, tightening around it like a vice.

"DIE!" Twilight screamed as she poured on everything she had - and pulled. Not sideways, not up, not down - just elsewhere. The shrubbery gave another final piercing shriek as it fought to stay in its native plane of reality, straining against the forces until it finally gave.

The air in the clearing went dead still and every noise stopped. For a moment, absolute silence hung over one corner of the Everfree Forest before an ear-piercing, alien shriek ripped through the air before the shrubbery imploded.

A thundering crash of sound and blinding light washed over Twilight an instant before the shockwave did, flinging her backward until she hit the ground and tumbled until she skidded to a stop near Discord. Twilight coughed weakly as she shakily propped herself up so that she could see what remained of the shrubbery.

The answer was 'not much' - apparently, magic plant-life didn't respond well to being shunted into parallel realities. smoking bits of crystal were scattered around the field, some of the chunks the size of a hoof and embedded into the ground. The shrubbery itself was nowhere to be found - imploded or simply moved elsewhere, she had no idea.

Twilight managed a weak nod before she collapsed, the familiar sound of her friends’ voices like a distant echo in her ears as the world went dark.

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