A gazillion bats fly across an orange & black sky. Their combined screeches a cacophony being heard for miles, announcing the arrival of something or someone. The time is dusk and as their frantic and chaotic flight continues, we see a shape emerge out of thin air. It is the head of a mare, curly hair and all.
“Fluttershy! Let me see! Ooh, let me have me a look” a voice calls out loud rushing through what seems like a forest. It is a botanical garden and we see a young yellow filly with pink hair rush inside. The voice belonging to a pink pony with curly pink hair manages to catch up to her friend now hiding under a table.
“Finder’s Keepers!” declares Fluttershy showing off a stone cupcake, probably part of a larger sculpture.
The pink filly snatches it away, “Yes, and I found it silly! Ahahahaha!”
She runs off, Fluttershy hot on her tail screaming her name, “Pinkie! Um… okay… you can have it.”
As Pinkie bounces along, she forgets to watch where she was going and crashes through loose wooden boards covering up an old tunnel. She falls far and lands hard. Fluttershy’s voice above distant and fading, calling for someone named Big Mac. Meanwhile, Pinkie cowers in the darkness as a pitch black shape flies towards her.
Pinkie lies on dirty old cot, in a dirty old prison cell, in a dirty old forgotten corner of the Pony equivalent of Tibet. It has been many years and we can clearly see the signs, gone is the innocent young face now replaced with more mature features including a mustache beard combination known as a French Beard, her skin a darker shade of pink, her mane no longer curly and poufy but straight and falling.
She notices her cell mate, an old and wrinkly Mongolian war horse. He asks her, “Bad dream?”
She replies with hoarseness in her voice, “Worse, a bad dream inside another bad dream.”
The war horse continues, “Worse than this place?”
Pinkie ponders the question, looking at the sad dull textures and the sad dull faces including an especially grumpy looking pony whose head was all round and scrunched up like a potato. A few balloons & streamers could really improve the atmosphere she wondered out loud.
Prisoners are led out into the yard, muddy, yucky, icky soil under a dull grey and cloudy sky. Armed guards lined the boundary ready to slaughter if necessary. As Pinkie and her cellmate walk along the queue to where gruel was being served to prisoners under the pretense of breakfast, they notice potato face walking up to them.
The Mongolian spoke up with concern, “He wanna fight you!”
Pinkie now holding the plate in her mouth retorted with amusement, “Nah! He just wants to be friends.”
Pinkie was proved wrong as the black & brown colored stallion known as potato face grabbed the plate and smashed it into her face rubbing it in while declaring, “You are in a fanfic my little pony, and I am the author” , implying that he was in full control of her life.
As the plate fell to the ground, Potato Face was surprised to see a giggling Pinkie. She chuckled, “No silly! He is!” pointing to somewhere in the distance, beyond the fourth wall.
As Potato Face tried to strike, Pinkie headbutts him sending him reeling and proceeded to hoof him in the stomach with all her might causing him to drop. Pinkie proceeded to smash his head with her foot while laughing, “That’s a mean thing to do! This is how we make friends.”
She lowered herself and to the shock & horror of other prisoners began to tickle him with all her might. Potato face laughed and laughed as he begged her to stop while the other ponies, even the Mongolian were terrified of the sight before them.
The guards had enough; they tore Pinkie from Potato Face. She protested while being dragged away by her front hooves, “Hey! What are you doing? We were just making friends!”
“Protection” said one guard in a stereotypical Chinese accent.
Pinkie giggled menacingly, “No silly! I don’t need protection. THEY need protection!”
She is unceremoniously thrown into her cell. As she begins to clean herself up she notices someone else in the room, a dark blue unicorn mare with a light blue mane, wearing a tuxedo. She speaks, “Are you so desperate to make friends that you throttle them one at a time?” a hint of sarcasm in her voice.
“I can’t help it! I garb one and the others run like chickens!” declared Pinkie dryly.
“If you say so Miss Pie” replied the tuxedo wearing Pony.
Pinkie is a bit taken aback at hearing her last name. She would have forgotten it were it not so short and simple. She asks the stranger how she knows her name. The tuxedo pony smiles warmly and replies, “The world is a bit too small for someone as famous as Pinkie Pie to disappear.”
“Who are you?” Pinkie demands.
The tuxedo pony replies, “My name is simply Tromperi but I speak for one Ra’s Al Qamar. A pony greatly feared in the criminal underworld, a pony who can offer you a bath, cakes, pastries and even a party.”
Pinkie protests, “What makes you think I need a bath? I’ll take the rest though!”
“Somepony like you is not here by choice. You immersed yourself in the criminal fraternity but whatever you’re true intentions were you have become truly lost.” Tromperi answers.
Pinkie questions further, “And what path does this Ra’s Al Qamar offer”
Tromperi replies, “The path of a pony that shares your love of justice, parties and hates dull mean spirited people, the path of the League of Laughter. You may refer to us as LoL.”
Pinkie Pie laughs, “Seriously? That’s hilarious. You people are vigilantes!”
Tromperi retorts, her voice slightly harsher, “No no! A vigilante is just a pony lost in the scramble for his own gratification as if to prove some sort of ideal or concept. Such a pony can be destroyed or banished or banished and then destroyed.”
She leans closer to Pinkie whispering, “But if you make yourself more than just another mare, if you devote yourself to an idea, and if they can’t stop you, then you become something else entirely.”
Pinkie’s eyes light as up as she asks inquisitively, “Which is?”
Tromperi replies, “Legend, Miss Pie. A sort of pop culture icon worshipped like a god.”
Then as if by magic, for the first time in over a decade, Pinkie’s mane and tail explode back into their original curly and poufy shape, not only that but her skin has become a brighter shade of pink as a wave of pure excitement washes over her.
Tromperi smiles as she gets up announcing, “Tomorrow you will be released. If you are tired of your dull surroundings full of mean people then I suggest you search for a rare blue flower that grows in the eastern slopes and bring one to the top of the mountain, when you see a scary looking castle, you will have reached your destination. However handle it with caution because its effects can be rather… humorous.”
The next day Pinkie is once again unceremoniously thrown onto the road from a truck bed. It did not take her long to find the flower but reaching the top of the mountain was the hard part. The flower is called ‘Poison Joke’ and its spores are known for playing tricks on anypony unfortunate enough to touch them.
In Pinkie’s case it caused her tongue to develop polka dots, swell and hang out of her mouth giving her a lisp. Understandably this made asking for directions to the scary castle difficult and hilarious. She did eventually reach the top and knocked on the massive wooden double doors of the Chinese styled castle.
The doors open and she walks a narrow passageway lined with tables with candles on them. Faint voices can heard from the foreboding interiors and in front of her sitting on a throne with glass paneling behind it giving it an almost divine glow was an old black Chinese stallion with a white mane wearing simple brown robes.
“Rash Al Kamal” she whispers. A loud rap startles her as she turns around to see a mare lock the door behind her. Other ponies emerge from the shadows surrounding Pinkie, each one more menacing than the last. Before a fight could breakout, a voice orders them to stop. It was Tromperi, now wearing a tan colored suit.
Ra’s Al Qamar speaks in some long forgotten dead language, “Nǐ yāoqiú shénme?”
“What do you seek?” translates Tromperi.
Pinkie Pie replies, “I seekh the meansh two fight injushtish. The meansh two spreadh lafter and joy. The meansh two puth pfear in the heartsh of parthy poophers and meany facesh.”
She presents the flower as a sign of being successful in her quest.
Qamar speaks again and Tromperi translates, “To spread joy and laughter in the world you must first learn to master your own emotions and learn to manipulate those of others. Are you ready to begin?”
“SURE!” Pinkie announced with much cheer and enthusiasm which surprised everyone who expected her to be exhausted and ripe for the hazing that every potential member must face. Tromperi continues anyway pushing Pinkie as hard as possible causing her to topple over and fall thanks to a pony crouching just behind her feet.
A third promptly smashed a Pie into her face.
“Death or in this case misfortune does not wait Miss Pie, you must always be prepared. Make no mistake, by the time I’m done, you will be screaming for your mother” gloated Tromperi.
To everypony’s shock Pinkie jumps back on her feet and attacks Tromperi. She dodges Pinkie’s punch and lands a headbutt, “Wrestling!” she declares.
Pinkie tries to kick her but Tromperi dodges that and delivers a karate chop to her hind leg, “Kung Fu!”
Pinkie winces with pain as Tromperi grabs one of Pinkie’s hooves and uses it to punch her in the face, “Schoolyard Bullying!”
As Pinkie lies on the floor, half unconscious, Ra’s as Qamar claps with enthusiasm at the sheer display of skill.
Tromprei places a hoof on Pinkie’s chest and leans down, “You have plenty of moxie and enthusiasm but are held back by your fear. You clearly don’t fear me, so tell me Miss Pie. What are you really afraid of?”
As Pinkie loses consciousness, she falls, down into her childhood all those years ago, down that old tunnel filled with one of her greatest fears, something primal and terrifying. As they swarmed around her, she screamed, “AAAH! BATS! BATS ON MY FACE! HELP!!”
After a while, filly Pinkie sees a glimmer of hope as a handsome middle aged white stallion lowers himself into the tunnel offering his hoof. It was her father, Custard Pie. His voice soothing and calming like honey, “Pinkie! It’s okay. Give me your hoof.”
As the Custard carried his daughter up the steps towards their lavish mansion they were joined by the family butler Big Macintosh, a heavy set red stallion. He asks Custard, “Should I call the doctor sir?”
Custard declines, “No need Macintosh. She seems fine but we’ll get her an X-Ray later.”
They pass by Fluttershy and her mother who apologizes but Custard tells them not to worry, he never considered the little accident as their fault. As they pass, Pinkie returns the stone cupcake to Fluttershy.
“Quite a fall we had there Miss Pie, I am sure you were quite scared” quips Macintosh.
To which Custard replies in a sing song voice, “And what did Granny Pie teach us to do when scared Pinkie? We giggle at all the ghosties and guffaw at the grosslies.”
Pinkie lies in bed shuffling about while her father watches over her. He asks her, “The bats again?”
To which she silently nods.
Custard questions, “You know why they attacked you right? They were scared of you.”
Pinkie is surprised, “Scared of me?”
Custard replies, “Yes. All creatures feel fear, especially the scary ones. We just need a certain amount of courage to be friendly and patient around them and most of the time they reciprocate in kind.”
Pinkie smiled as did her father in return.
“I have something to show you. Do you think your mother will like it?” said Custard opening an elegant velvet box to show a pearl necklace inside. Pinkie’s eyes lit up with wonder. She answers by saying that they were beautiful and that her mother would love them.
Sometime later, we see the Pie family on the overhead metro train. Pinkie was wearing an elegant dress sitting opposite to her parents, her mother, a beautiful deep red mare with eyes like stars named Apple Pie. Pinkie looks out inquisitively at the city passing by and asks, “Did you build this train dad?”
Custard smiles, “Yes. Gotham has been good to our family but other people, those less fortunate than us have been going through some very hard times. So we built a cheap mode of transportation to unite the city. And at the center is Pie Tower, I’m sure my little self indulgence with the center will not backfire anytime soon.” He points towards a massive steel and concrete structure emerging out of the skyline with a solid gold P on all four faces with Pie written underneath each one.
Staring at the massive building Pinkie asks, “Is that where you work?”
“No. I work at the hospital. I could never stand paperwork. At least as a doctor I get to meet new people, put some smiles on their faces, and give them hope to get better. I do this especially for the younger patients.”
He continues, “And I leave the company in the hands of … better ponies.”
“Better? You’re the best!” giggles Pinkie innocently as the train glides majestically through the city.
They are at the opera. The play is about a young warrior traversing the twisted and evil confines of a castle to fight its owner and free his beloved, armed with nothing but his humble whip. The hero draped in blue confronts the castle’s master, a giant of a man sitting on an elaborate throne, sipping wine. The master laughs and mocks the hero, informing him that he deals with powers way beyond his comprehension.
Suddenly the lights go dark and red spotlight shines over the villain, his voice now reverberating and echoing in the room suggesting some form of demonic presence. The lights turn off once more and as they come back on, we see the villain has transformed into a hideous bat like monster. The hero, unfazed, strikes out with his whip. The monster screeches in pain, this was no mere ordinary whip; it was imbued with the power of the gods.
As the epic battle continued Pinkie felt more and more uncomfortable. Seeing the bat like monster caused her great discomfort and nervousness as the fear she experienced the tunnel resurfaced, she begged her parents to leave, they agree to do so.
They leave through the back door and decide to go through one of Gotham’s less glamorous paths, affectionately titled Crime Alley. As they continue to walk they are suddenly confronted by a sickly looking golden brown stallion. He’s jittery and nervous, threatening them with a gun in one hoof and demanding money with the other.
Custard attempts to reason with the beleaguered pony. Requesting him to put the gun down and he can have the wallet. The mugger carefully grabs the wallet, his gun still pointed at the Pie family. Suddenly, the sound of a car alarm going off startles him and his pulls the trigger shooting Apple, Custard screams in horror and is shot as well while attempting to retaliate. The mugger runs away leaving a shocked and traumatized Pinkie Pie at the foot of her dying parents.
Her father’s last words to her, “Remember Pinkie, always smile, always laugh. Never cry. Promise me.”
It starts to rain, drenching Pinkie causing her hail to fall straight. She just sits there silently, with the occasional tear rolling down her previously rosy cheeks.
They are inside a police station, other officers holding back photographers and journalists trying to take advantage of the trauma of a small filly. An orange earth pony with blonde mane consoles the tearful pink earth pony. A passing officer, a rather chubby and angry grey stallion looks at the scene and protests, “Let it go Applejack, the kid’s butler is coming to pick her up. You hear that, a butler. She’ll be fine.”
Applejack shouts at the grey stallion in protest, accusing him of lacking basic pony sympathy. They are soon interrupted by the police commissioner, a large white mare who informs her that the mugger has been arrested.
The next day it is raining again. A congregation has assembled in the cemetery just outside of the Pie Mansion to pay their respects to the fallen. A young filly stands in front of two graves backed by a red stallion. Both are wearing black as custom. They are joined by a middle aged mulberry colored mare who reassures Pinkie that her and the rest of the board of directors will be taking care of the company and will be waiting for her until she is old enough to take her place, hollow words to a child who has just lost everything.
Later, Big Mac offers to serve Pinkie supper in her room. Pinkie simply stares solemnly out her window, watching her friend Fluttershy leave. Just as Big Mac turns away, Pinkie calls for him, her voice choking on her own words, her eyes watery, “It’s my entire fault isn’t it… I... if only I wasn’t afraid. I miss them.”
Mac embraces the crying filly and consoles her, “No, not at all. It was him and him alone. I miss them too Miss Pie but we must learn to be strong.”
Pinkie Pie looks out over the horizon from a balcony belonging to a Chinese castle, no longer the young, naive scared little filly, now cleaned up having removed her fake moustache and beard, wearing simple robes. A voice, Tromperi asks sagely, “Do you still blame yourself for your parents death?”
Pinkie responds grimly, “Anger outweighs my guilt. My smiles and laughter mask my anger.”
Tromperi leads her away to begin her training, “You have learned to bury your true emotions. I will teach you to confront them, to find joy and humor no matter the situation. A positive attitude goes a long way.”
Tromperi and Pinkie Pie stand on a frozen lake circling each other while holding wooden training swords in their mouths. A nearby sign reads, Danger! Thin Ice. Tromperi announces, “You know how to handle 6 party guests, we’ll teach you how to handle 600. You know how to play pranks; we’ll teach you how to become a true practical jokester. We’ll teach you how to fight criminals as well, so don’t worry.”
Tromperi attacks with all the grace and style of a ballet dancer. Pinkie defends. Wood clashes against wood as they battle while struggling to maintain balance realizing that a frozen lake is a terrible place for a sword fight.
Later, Pinkie walks into a dark room, expecting an attack any second. She attempts to listen for the slightest hint, the slightest noise that would prove somepony was there. She squints in the darkness, hoping that she was as invisible to potential assailants as they were to her. Suddenly, she hears a shout, “SURPISE!!”
The lights turn on and four ponies drop a net on top of Pinkie ensnaring her. Pinkie starts to laugh with much gusto. Tromperi walks in clapping, “Happy Birthday Miss Pie. I hope you now understand what the element of surprise truly entails.”
The sword battle on the ice continues. Pinkie’s movements are hampered by the slick ice but still managing to defend while Tromperi literally skates around her attacking with full ferocity.
Pinkie stands precariously on a set of poles jutting out of the floor. In her hooves are darts with pony tails on one end and a sharp point on the other. Tromperi walks out onto one of the balconies on either side and announces, throwing up framed pictures of tailless ponies, “Pin the tail on the pony Miss Pie.”
Pinkie braces herself and begins flinging darts. A task made that much more impossible when other ponies attempt to pull her off using cartoonish and large candy canes. She is successful nonetheless to the point that Tromperi is quite impressed.
Shifting back to the sword fight we see that the status quo has not changed. Pinkie slashes frantically hoping to catch her opponent off guard but Tromperi deftly parries each blow. Her attacks have such force and power behind each blow that Pinkie falls down at one point while Tromperi gloats, “Always mind your surroundings.”
Tromperi shows off some fireworks announcing that something so simple can have a multitude of uses. She sets of a rocket causing it to fly up and explode on the ceiling creating a shower of sparks. When asked about their uses, Tromperi declares them to be effective methods of distraction and as well as non-lethal weapons, “Theatricality, deception, pulling pranks makes you more than what you are in the mind of your opponent.”
A prisoner in a wooden cage is hauled up to the balcony where they are standing. A sad looking green skinned pony with a pink mane. Pinkie asks for her identity, Tromperi answers coldly, “A neighbor came to her with a party invitation; this pony was apparently irritated by the random act of friendliness and killed the neighbor. Her defense was that she was constantly pestered by her neighbor and just snapped. Regardless, she must be punished.”
“Society seeks to understand criminals; I seek to destroy them all.”
Returning to the sword fight, Pinkie swings with all her might but Tromperi ducks. Her own direct blows however are expertly blocked. Pinkie ends up exhausting herself while Tromperi takes the opportunity to strike hard and fast. Pinkie falls once more while Tromperi walks away, “Your parent’s death was not your fault. It was your father’s.”
This angers Pinkie as she runs up behind Tromperi attempting to strike but is surprised to see her sword stuck in the spikes of a gauntlet Tromperi was wearing. She pulls away tearing the sword from Pinkie’s mouth leaving her disarmed and at Tromperi’s mercy. She grabs Pinkie as she attacks with her hooves and drops her to the ground, blade to throat as she protests, “The pony had a gun.”
Tromperi walks away again waiting for her opponent to get up and asks, “Would that stop you?”
Pinkie answers, “I need training first.”
Tromperi makes a quick turn and rushes Pinkie who attempts to block using the gauntlets on her hooves.
“Training is nothing. The will and desire to act is everything.” shouts Tromperi striking with all her might causing Pinkie to drop once more, her feet sliding on the ice.
Pinkie pushes herself along the ice surprising Tromperi. As she slides around she manages to grab her sword and block just in time. Pinkie uses her hind legs to sweep and cause Tromperi to drop as she gains the upper hoof and places the blade to her throat while declaring, “Party’s over!”
Tromperi laughs, “You haven’t beaten me! You’ve sacrificed your footing for a killing stroke!”
She slams her gauntlet against the ice sheet. To her shock and horror she notices that Pinkie was standing next to the sign that warned against the thin ice. Tromperi herself was behind it. Before she could utter a curse word the ice cracks and drops her into the freezing cold water.
Later we see the dynamic duo sitting near a campfire. Pinkie was trying as hard as possible to stifle her laughter. Tromperi draped in a blanket, hot water bottle on head, fore legs wrapped around herself, hind legs in a bucket of hot water and a thermometer in her mouth. She spoke bitterly, “Not. One. Word. This never happened.”
As Tromperi continues to shiver, Pinkie ponders a question Tromperi once asked her, “Vengeance helped me find peace in the face of loss. On the other hoof, why did you never avenge your parents Pinkie?”
--- TO BE CONTINUED ---
“Would you be heading back to Pranceton University after the court hearing madam or can I persuade you to stay on for a day to or two?” asked Macintosh while carrying teenage Pinkie’s bags through the now colorless hallways of Pie Manor, the pretty furniture, paintings and expensive statues now covered with white sheets.
As they climb up a set of stairs, Pinkie declines, “I’m not heading back. I mean wow, bunch of stuffy no fun bookworms who can’t take a joke. Sure it would take weeks to clean the mess and the bill would be huge but I just livened up the place a bit, I mean duh! Hello! Plus, I was going to pay the bill myself.”
“I’ll prepare the master bedroom then” replies Macintosh
Pinkie refuses, “My room will be fine Big Mac.”
Macintosh protested, “With all due respect, Pie Manor is now your home.”
Pinkie responds with resentment in her voice, her fur becoming a darker shade of pink, “This is my father’s house Big Mac. This is a mausoleum now and if I had my way I would pull it down brick by brick.”
Macintosh retorts, his voice slightly harsher, “This house has sheltered 6 generations of your family.”
“It’s not your family Big Mac, why do you give a hoot?” Pinkie asks nearly gritting her teeth.
Macintosh answers, “I give a hoot because a good stallion made me responsible for what was most precious to him in the whole world. Anyway, Miss Fluttershy is here to drive you to the hearing, just know this Miss Pinkie, that there are many people out there who care for you and want only the best.”
Pinkie smiles looking back as she enters her room, “You’ll never give up on me will you?”
Macintosh replies, momentarily replacing his British accent with his natural southern drawl, “Eeyup!”
Pinkie opens up her suitcase and fiddles with a picture of her parents. She puts on a large expensive looking overcoat and grabs a small plastic case with a cupcake inside. The case had a yellow screw on lid with a skull drawn with a magic marker. Her eyes fall on a pair of joke glasses, green frame, solid black lenses with yellow swirls and red clown nose attached. A rush of memories passes over her, goofing around with her father.
She quickly descended the steps and walks towards the kitchen where Fluttershy was preparing a sandwich. There was a sexist joke here but the author forgot to include it. Pinkie smiled at her friend and commented, “You know Big Mac still keeps the cookie jar on the top shelf.”
Fluttershy jokes, “He still hasn’t noticed that you’re tall enough now to reach it yourself?”
Pinkie giggles, “Old habits die hard I guess.”
“Well… that never used to stop us” Fluttershy giggled cutely, covering her mouth with one hoof.
She continued, grief in her voice, “You know… um… I miss this place… so does my mom. What about you?”
Pinkie replies, “This house is nothing without the people who made it. I’m just here for the hearing.”
Fluttershy asks with fear in her voice, “If you don’t mind, could I convince you not to come… I mean if you don’t want to.”
Pinkie understood the meaning behind the request, “Why is your boss letting him go?”
Fluttershy squeaks, feeling just the tiny bit nervous, “We all loved your parents Pinkie. Pony Joe deserves jail but in prison he shared a cell with Gilda Falcone. He’ll testify in exchange for early parole. I’m sorry.”
At the hearing, a lawyer, a young stallion with black mane and blue fur makes his case, “The incident occurred at the height of the depression. My client committed a crime yes but it was not motivated by greed but by desperation. My client has already served 14 years and cooperated with a very important investigation, hence we petition for his early release.”
Pony Joe, now much older rises to speak at the request of the judge, “Your honor, not a single day goes by when I regret my actions of that day, and I wish I could take it all back.”
As he speaks, Pinkie slumps in her chair, gritting her teeth with rage, her fur now incredibly dark and her hair equally straight and dull looking. Despite the judge requesting a statement from a member of the Pie family, she refuses to speak until she could take her revenge, her sweet revenge.
Later as Pony Joe leaves the courtroom with his lawyer, he is swarmed by literally a hundred journalists and camera-ponies. Pinkie starts to walk towards the group, plastic case in hand. She would offer the cupcake as a goodwill gesture and wait till he eats it. She would think about waiting till he vomits up his insides and dies a most painful death. If he refused, she would shove it down his throat with her hoof, no matter the consequences.
She was barely halfway until suddenly she sees a grey Pegasus mare with blonde mane scream and slam into Pony Joe with full force shouting something about muffins. The Pegasus had a blade attached to one hoof which instantly killed her target. As commotion and chaos in sued, Pinkie kept watching with grim fascination as Fluttershy came to pull her away.
As they drove away, Fluttershy informed Pinkie of what most likely happened sounding more flustered and worried than usual, “The public hearing was obviously a set up. Falcone must have had the judge paid off which in turn gave him an opportunity to kill Pony Joe so that he could never testify.”
Pinkie smiled darkly, “Can we stop at Gilda’s house? I want to thank her.”
Fluttershy was horrified, “Um… what are you saying Pinkie?”
“That pony killed my parents Fluttershy. He deserved it. Justice served.” Pinkie answered, rage in her voice.
Fluttershy protested, her voice rising, “No Pinkie. That’s not justice, that’s revenge. Justice is an element of harmony while revenge is about giving yourself temporary satisfaction. That’s not how the system works.”
“Your system is broken.” Pinkie Pie replies.
Fluttershy pulls into a below ground passageway wanting to show her the reality of life in Gotham. They pass by several poor, homeless and destitute ponies having only 3 different color variations and multiple copies between them.. Fluttershy informs Pinkie, her voice angrier than before, “You want to talk about justice? Look at these poor souls Pinkie. They talk about the depression as if it never happened but things are worse than ever. Crime and drugs breed like rabbits down here creating new Pony Joe’s every day. Falcone may not have killed your parents but he’s destroying everything they stood for.”
She pulls up to a small restaurant, “You want to thank her for that? There you go. Everypony knows where to find the mean old buzzard but as long as she keeps the bad ponies rich and the good ponies scared no pony will touch her. Good ponies like your parents are gone, so what chance does Gotham have?”
Pinkie hangs her head in shame, she takes the plastic case out of her coat pocket and confesses, “I’m not one of your good ponies though. All these years I wanted to kill him, I made a special cupcake, one filled with poisons just for him. Now I can’t give it to him.”
Fluttershy is horrified, never in all her years she imagined that sweet and innocent Pinkie Pie would stoop to such levels. She turned Pinkie to face her and looked straight into her eyes, Fluttershy’s gaze seemingly penetrating Pinkie’s soul making her feel ashamed and guilty, making her feel the gravity of her actions, a painful feeling. No physical violence was necessary, this was enough. Fluttershy scolds her, “How could you even think of doing something like this? How dare you?! What would your parents think?”
Pinkie exits the car as Fluttershy shakes her head in dismay and drives off. Pinkie throws away the plastic case and enters the restaurant. She sees Gilda, a middle aged looking brown feathered griffin eating a stereotypical mobster lunch, Italian Cuisine. As she walks towards her, Pinkie is stopped by another griffin with black feathers and sunglasses on. The black griffin gives Pinkie a thorough search when Gilda notices her, “You’re just as lame in real life as you seem to be on the news Miss Pie. No gun? I’m disappointed.”
Pinkie sits down on the couch opposite to Gilda’s own staring straight into her eyes, “You know why I’m here? I just want you to know that not everyone in Gotham is afraid of you.”
In response Gilda just laughs, “Wow! Why do I always get the heroes? For once I’d like someone to show me some respect, maybe kiss my talons in reverence but no. Look around pipsqueak, the patrons here includes a judge, two high ranking police officials and a guy from the mayor’s office.”
Pinkie looks around and is unable to recognize anyone but takes Gilda’s word for it. Suddenly Gilda grabs her by the throat and pulls her close, “Now I could squeeze the air out those pretty lungs, gut you like fish or just straight up eat you whole and no one would care. I’d even pay the cleaning bill for being a long time customer and all. Now that’s power you can’t buy, for everything else we have MasterCard.”
Gilda smiles smugly at Pinkie who just stares at her blankly. Gilda felt insulted, she had just made the most brilliant joke in comedy history and this peasant in front of her wasn’t laughing. She pulls out her gun and presses it against Pinkie’s forehead making her gasp, “Laugh.”
Pinkie now sweating with fear laughs nervously claiming the joke was too smart for her dumb brain. Pinkie attempted to get off her seat but Gilda ordered her to sit because her monologue wasn’t finished yet. Gilda pulls the gun away and speaks, “Now, where was I. Yes, power you can’t buy. Ponies like you think you have nothing to lose. But you forget your little filly friend at the District Attorney’s office or your butler. Bang. So don’t come to me trying to be all brave when I can shatter what little you have left with one bullet.”
At this point Gilda motions with her talons and some hefty looking colts grab Pinkie and haul her away. As Pinkie is pushed out, Gilda takes the opportunity to pour a dash of salt on the wound, “Oh by the way, Pony Joe told me about the night he killed your parents. Said your dad screamed like a little bitch and tried to run away.”
Now seething with anger and guilt Pinkie is thrown out of the restaurant onto the hard asphalt. She gets up half crying to an uncaring world. She sees an old brown homeless goat with a straw hat on trying to heat himself next to a barrel with newspapers burning inside. She takes off her coat and sells it to him for free, a priceless Hoity-Toity branded coat given away for nothing, signifying leaving her old life behind and trying to find something new. As she walks away she hears the old goat exclaim, “Wow! Nice coat.”
Pinkie runs, just runs. From everything and everyone she knew. She traveled the world trying to find answers, trying to find meaning and purpose. She read comic books, watched movies and even played some video games that would help explain what would be the next step. She was new to this redemption and revenge business you see. She explored the deepest, darkest confines of pony society. Even the internet was not spared as she saw the horrors of websites such as 4colt and Equestrian Daily. Ultimately, it was an attempt at smuggling goods that landed her in prison. As a side note, the goods belonged to Pie Industries; Pinkie was trying to be ironic.
We return to the present as we see Pinkie finally answering that question to a slack jawed Tromperi. It was made worse by the fact that Pinkie seemed to make up half of it as she admitted being a little ‘fuzzy’ on the details. As Pinkie finishes her story, we see that they are decked in full ninja regalia and for the first time Pinkie notices Tromperi’s wings revealing her as an Alicorn. Clearly that was not all she was hiding.
Tromperi offers her a bowl of dried blue petals that had just been burnt to give off a trance inducing odor. Pinkie was unsure what she was supposed to do with it at first but then Tromperi came uncomfortably close to her ear and said one word, “Breathe.”
Pinkie did as commanded not realizing she was inhaling Poison Joke fumes. However, the effect of inhalation as compared to merely touching the spores was interesting to say the least. Tromperi backs away seemingly melting away into nothing and Pinkie is left alone in a dark room. Suddenly the room erupts, the walls shatter like glass revealing a chaotically colored sky as if someone just went mad and painted their insanity onto a canvas.
Pinkie was on a floating platform surrounded on all sides by nothing but the bizarrely colored space. She couldn’t even find the strength to speak as she came to terms with what she was seeing. She stared wide eyed into the distance as a floating set of teeth forming a wide grin with pony like eyes on top came close. It spoke with a familiar voice, Tromperi, “Welcome to Wonderland Miss Pie. This is the last test. A drug test if you will… hahahahaha”
The grin vanished. Pinkie tried to concentrate and suddenly a set of ivory white stairs appeared before her leading up to a large platform with two statues in the center. Pinkie silently strode up to the platform still trying to make sense of everything and feeling a bit frightened. The statues were positioned in a neutral fashion and they were eerily familiar, “Mom! Dad!” she cried.
Suddenly the previously blank faces of the statues turned to anger. They stared at her accusingly and their eyes would follow wherever she turned. The statues spoke, their mouths moving, “Why Pinkie? Why didn’t you save us?”
Pinkie was in tears. She tried to desperately explain but was interrupted by the grin, “You never got over that did you? You don’t fear bats! What you fear is something primal, the darkness itself, whether it is the lack of light or the darkness in the hearts of ponies.”
Suddenly, another statue appears in front of the two, a pony holding a gun in his hoof. Pinkie suddenly jumps up defending her parents. She declares, “No! Not this time!”
Suddenly the three statues disappear and reappear a short distance away. Pinkie again jumps in between trying in vain to protect her parents. The statues reposition again and Pinkie once again jumps in between. This cycle continues as Pinkie desperately pleads with the assailant to spare her parents and kill her instead, all the while her parents accuse her of being a failure.
The grin once again interjects, “Stop fighting it. You have to accept reality. Your parents are dead and there is nothing you could have done to stop them. If you don’t the guilt and depression will drive you mad.”
A moment of clarity comes over Pinkie. She was a little filly again. In that dark alley, the assailant was pointing his gun directly at her. She feels a hoof on her shoulder, it’s her father. He whispers into her ear, his voice was sweet as honey, “Its okay Pinkie. It’s okay. We are sorry we couldn’t be with you…”
“… but we will always love you. We are truly sorry you had to go through this. Be strong Pinkie. Be strong, for us.” Her mother finishes. Filly Pinkie protests and watches in horror as her parents take her position, a murderous grin on the killers face. His face proceeds to melt away leaving only the grin with eyes.
Pinkie tearfully moves away from in front of the two statues of her parents. She hears two deafening gunshots and watches the statues crumble, watchers her parents crumble, watches her innocence crumble into dust.
Pinkie is left crying alone in that void.
A few moments later she finds herself on the wooden floor of the castle, an emotional wreck yet somehow feeling liberated as if a huge weight was removed from her back. Tromperi watches her, “Martial arts and party tricks will only get you so far. You need to be a master of both body and mind. Poison Joke fumes are still used by the Chinese Government to torture prisoners, their deepest darkest fears brought to life. Now get up.”
Tromperi picks Pinkie up from the floor and is surprised to hear a weak thank you. Tromperi explains that technically speaking the effects of the fumes don’t actually wear off and depending on how much they inhaled slowly drive the victim insane. But Pinkie was clearly made of tougher stuff and literally fought it off.
Some time later, we see Ra’s Al Qamar showing off a branding iron to Pinkie, for he had just marked a prisoner hanging precariously in a cage over a balcony. Once again Qamar speaks while Tromperi standing next to Pinkie and backed by a dozen or so guards translates, “This prisoner has committed a grievous crime and must be punished accordingly. You must display your commitment to justice by killing her. ”
Pinkie is visibly shocked at the suggestion of such brutality. Tromperi offers her sword to Pinkie who is reluctant as always. She protests, “This is wrong. Criminals should be tried by courts of law and not made examples off.”
Tromperi retorts, “You show compassion for killers and monsters? Trust me your enemies will not be so kind.”
Pinkie replies, “That’s the point. This is what separates us from them. Being heartless to other heartless people doesn’t make you any better than them. It still makes you heartless.”
Tromperi speaks, anger in her voice, “Criminals mock society’s laws. Like your Gilda and Pony Joe who essentially bought their way to freedom. What good did kindness & compassion do there?”
Surprisingly, even Qamar speaks up, talking with a ridiculous Chinese accent, “You cannot lead these ponies, the league of laughter unless you are prepared to do what is necessary.”
Pinkie considers their arguments for a moment. Maybe destroying the bad apples was truly the answer or maybe she should become a masked vigilante who uses party themed gimmicks and trickery. She picks up the blade and notices the conveniently placed barrels of fireworks strewn about. She recalled her knowledge of cartoon physics and realized that even the tiniest spark could set them off resulting in a hilarious chain reaction.
With a boisterous yell she used the blade to knock the branding iron into the closest barrel. Everypony shrieks with horror. As the barrel erupts and fireworks and rockets begin to fly everywhere setting fire to the castle and other fireworks creating a never ending chain reaction. Tromperi begins to utter a curse word but is interrupted as the entire castle erupts into a massive inferno and sends two ponies rocketing outwards.
They land on an icy slope and begin to slide down into a ravine but Pinkie manages to grab onto an unconscious Tromperi with her hind hooves while she slams the gauntlet on her fore hoof into the snow slowing their fall. They finally stop at the very edge with Tromperi hanging precariously over it. Pinkie grunts and pulls her up while shouting, “YOU HAVE WINGS DUMMY! USE THEM!”
Later Pinkie leaves Tromperi in the care of an old colt and leaves. The colt assures her that he will inform Tromperi of the cool explosion and how the two of them flew out like in that pirated dvd movie he once saw and most importantly that Pinkie saved her life.
Several hours pass and a triumphant Pinkie walks towards a waiting private jet with her loyal butler and guardian Big Macintosh waiting in front of the fold out stairs. He smiles and greets her, “Miss Pie, welcome back. You look rather fashionable.”
On the flight Macintosh questions Pinkie while she’s gorging on confectioneries, “Are you coming back to Gotham for good or will you travel to Japan or somewhere equally exotic now?”
Pinkie swallows hard, her eyes gleaming with confidence and feminine bravado, “I’m back for as long as it takes to rid Gotham of every criminal and generally undesirable pony there is and I am NOT alone, I’m bringing the PARTY! I’m going to show the people that there need not be a sad or dull day ever again.”
Macintosh considers Pinkie’s rambling and responds based on his understanding, “During the depression, which is funny because Gotham-ites are always depressed because of the crime and deaths but anyway during that time your father nearly bankrupted Pie Industries in his efforts to help the people. I’m assuming you’ll use him as an example to inspire others or at least force the wealthy of Gotham to uplift the less fortunate?”
Pinkie stares at Macintosh with a blank expression on her face, turning her head sideways as if literally turning the gears in her mind. She proceeds to laugh and reply, “No silly! The people of Gotham need more than just an example. They need to care, they need to share. I can’t convince them to do that as a simple mare. As a mare I can be ignored or banished or locked up or banished and locked up. They need a symbol; something elemental, something to do with laughter, not to mention something for the cowardly and superstitious lot that are Gotham’s criminals.”
Macintosh began to understand what Pinkie was talking about, he didn’t like it one bit but he knew nothing he said could stop her. So instead he asked her a question, “And I assume you will be using this symbol to both take on the criminal underworld and make them terrified of parties? I also assume you will be taking this literally and have themed costume, gadgets, a car and maybe even a young filly to act as a distraction and imply homoerotic undertones?”
Pinkie simply slumped in her seat, smiled and gave a wink in reply. Macintosh brought his hoof to his face. Pinkie suddenly gasped, “Twitchy Twitch! I feel a doozie. Hey Big Mac! Did you tell anyone I was coming back?”
Macintosh’s face turned pale as if he had just seen a ghost. He replies with fear and nervousness in his voice, “Ah-ctually I had ya declared dead Pinkie. I mean, gone fer 7 years … ah thought you was never comin back so I said you died. Then they started askin about where, how and what happened to the body. I tried ta make somefin up but they never believed me. Now I’m a suspect of murdering ya and the newspapers joke about how the ‘butler did it’ It was entirely the CFO, Miss Cheerlie’s idea cus she wanted yer share of the company.
Pinkie’s face turns to display a mixture of rage and frustration, “Now that’s a doozie.”
Back in Gotham City, we once again enter a courthouse where the trial of one Ziggy Zzaz was underway, a grey colt with electric blue mane and several hundred red scratches covering his body. His defendant was a rather creepy looking female Zebra named Zecora. She pleads her case, “As you can plainly see, my client’s mind is history. He needs urgent medical attention, so put him under my medication. Prison will only enhance his delirium, so I prescribe a stint in… (Dramatic pause)… ARKHAM ASYLUM! Hahahahahaha!”
We see that Fluttershy is also present looking rather perturbed at an obvious attempt to exploit the classic ‘plead insanity’ cliché. She later confronts her outside the courtroom. She gives Zecora the stare, “Listen you mean ‘ol Zebra. I know what you’re doing. That’s the third of Gilda’s thugs that you had declared insane to keep them out of prison. Explain yourself!”
Zecora looks at Fluttershy incredulously and mockingly smiles. She replies with slight rage in her voice, “You think prison an improvement over electro-shock treatment? Pleading insanity is Hollywood stuff; the reality is much more rough. Remember the gangster called Warren White, spent time in Arkham but only one night. Some inmates decided to have bit of a lark; he went insane and began calling himself the Great White Shark. So your argument misses its mark, Zzaz’s life in Arkham will be deservedly dark.”
Zecora walks away, leaving a stunned and impressed Fluttershy, both at her knowledge of criminal history and her mad rhyming skills. She momentarily considers that Zecora might be one of the good guys and not a cartoonish villain who wears a bag over her head and calls herself Scarecrow. Suddenly Fluttershy is grabbed by a handsome stallion, her boss Cement Shoes, “Fluttershy what are you doing?”
Cement had heard the whole conversation and was worried for his friend’s safety. Considering the corruption and under the table dealings that occurred daily in Gotham, his fears were not unfounded, “This is Gotham remember, a city ruled by gangsters and thugs like Gilda. Drop this, it’s no use.”
Fluttershy retorts, ever the noble white knight in a kingdom of barbarians, “How can you say that? We can’t let ourselves be intimidated like this.”
As Fluttershy walks away upset, we see that all this time she was being watched by Pinkie. Back home, Pinkie begins her research into the authorities and public servants of Gotham. Pictures and articles relating to police lieutenant Applejack, the mayor and some of the shadier businessmen lie on the floor as she stands over them. Suddenly, a squeaking sound interrupts her and she notices the source, a bat had entered the room. She exclaims, “Oh I get it. This is like poetic and stuff. But I wonder where you came from.”
She remembers the well she fell down as a child and goes outside to investigate. At the bottom of the well she finds an entrance to a large system of caves. Wayne Manor wasn’t sitting on top of a hill, it was on top of a giant cave complete with a waterfall covering a wide exit from where presumably some sort of vehicle could jump out and back in.
She explores the environs in sheer awe but just as she lights up a flare to see better, she is suddenly ambushed by hundreds of bats that begin circling her, creating a vortex of black wings with her in the center. The cacophony of the bats maintains the poetic beauty of the scene by muffling Pinkie’s girlish shrieks of terror.
We now switch to Zecora & Gilda sitting in the former’s office discussing business. Gilda speaks with authority in her voice, “Listen, you scratch my back, I scratch yours. I’m bringing in the shipments and I demand some favors for that, not just some cash and a pat on the back.”
Zecora is unimpressed by the low class gangster, “Money not enough I see and clearly you are not intimidated by me. But my boss is coming here, who I know you fear. He’ll be very upset, to see that our objectives are not met. You have endangered the success of our crime, just to get your thugs out of some jail time.”
For seemingly the first time in forever, Gilda Falcone felt afraid, as if the grim reaper himself was after her. Keeping composure she asks what the problem is and how she can help. Zecora replies in her usual creepy sing song voice, “A young filly from the DA’s office way over her head, I would greatly appreciate if she ends up dead.”
--- TO BE CONTINUED ---