Of Night and Stone
Accusations, Adaptation, and Anarchy (Part 2)
“Hey!” Twilight snapped. “Watch your language!”
The trickster, who was floating in front of them just outside of Town Hall, stopped for a second. “What? Did I say something offensive?”
Elisa glared at him. “Puck! I should have known it was you!”
“Stop that!” Twilight said to Elisa.
“Stop what?” Elisa’s face bore a look of sincere confusion.
“I’m not swearing, Twilight.”
“Yes, you are! Both of you keep saying… that word!”
“I’m confused,” the Mayor replied. “Who is Puck?”
“There!” Twilight pointed at the Mayor. “She said it, too!”
Elisa groaned. “No, Twilight. We’re saying Puck, not… that other word.”
Twilight paused. “Puck?”
“Yes,” Puck’s arms were crossed. “That’s my name, Puck.”
A blush spread across Twilight’s face. “Hehe, oops.”
Elisa rolled her eyes. “As I was saying, Puck, I should have known it was you!”
“Yes, you really should have.” Puck chuckled. “What else could it be, really?”
“Honestly, in this world it could be a number of things,” Twilight answered matter-of-factly. “Poison joke, a temporary magic spell cast by an alicorn, Discord’s return…”
“Okay, okay, I get it,” Puck answered as he floated next to Twilight. “Still, though, you have to admit you haven’t seen anyone--or anypony--exactly like me.”
“Actually, you’re pretty similar to Discord in a few ways…”
“No I’m not.”
“Wait, Puck is this guy’s name?” the Mayor asked, finally putting it together. “As in, a hockey puck? That’s a pretty dumb name…”
“Stop it!” Puck shouted. “You three are almost making this not fun for me.”
“Well, sorry to ruin your fun,” Elisa began, “but how are you doing all this? I was told that Oberon, king of the third race, stopped you from using your powers unless you were training young Alexander.”
“Mmm, yes, it would seem he did that,” Puck replied, floating over to Elisa. “Oh, but my dear Elisa, when will you learn that when it comes to unknown dimensions, there are always loopholes to even the best made contracts?”
“What do you mean?”
“Precisely that we are in a dimension that even Oberon is unfamiliar with. His power has no meaning or binding here, in this world of Celestial worship and completely different laws of physics where even the sun and moon are controlled differently. Supposing he finds out about this world, maybe Oberon has some power over me. But until then? I’m free as a bird, and this trickster you cannot change!”
“Ugh, great. As if this wasn’t bad enough, you have to reference Lynyrd Skynyrd songs.” Frustrated, Elisa rubbed her temples. It was Twilight who spoke next.
“Puck, why have you used your powers on Maud?”
“Oh, have I now?” Puck pouted in mock sadness. “Little old moi?”
“Don’t play all innocent on us, Puck. Maud told us what you did.”
“Oh alright, so maybe I did make a few changes,” Puck finally admitted while shrugging goofily. “Anyway, what difference does it make? All I wanted to do was help out our dear old Brooklyn in his relationship! Is that so wrong?”
Elisa glared at him. “I knew Xanatos was up to trouble, but I had no idea he would--”
“Now hold on just a minute!” Puck held out his hands in front of him. “What makes you think Mr. Xanatos would have anything to do with this? This was all my own choice.”
“Oh, that makes it even better,” Elisa sarcastically remarked.
“No, really! All of this is my own choice! I may serve Mr. Xanatos, but I am still Puck, and I can still do what I want.”
“Prove it, then,” Elisa commanded. “Make Maud like the others again.”
“With pleasure.” Puck cleared his throat, and then began reciting a spell.
“Elisa hath no satisfaction,
Thus the time is now to take action,
Dusk to dawn, clouds to sky,
Make the other ponies be like Maud Pie!”
There was a large, blinding flash of white light.
Brooklyn stepped out onto the balcony of Town Hall to see Maud talking to Angela. Upon a closer listen, he found that Maud was finishing a poem.
“…smooth and round, asleep in the ground. Shades of brown and gray… hello, Brooklyn.”
“Well hi, girls,” Brooklyn said with a grin. Seeing his former crush and his current marefriend, now a gargoyle, was a nice sight. It was ruined when Angela suddenly turned to Brooklyn with a near-crazed expression on her face.
“Brooklyn! Great, you’re here!”
Brooklyn raised an eyebrow. “Angela, are you alright? You don’t look so good.”
“Yes, I’m fine! Really! Why don’t you talk to Maud now?”
She leaned in and whispered to him. “How in Avalon are you able to put up with her?! All she ever talks about are rocks!”
Brooklyn smiled. “Spend some time with her and she’ll open up to you.”
Angela rolled her eyes. “I’m sure. Jalapeña,” she groaned as she all too eagerly ran back inside.
“Why did she use a type of pepper as a swear word?” Maud asked.
Brooklyn walked up to her. “It’s a long story… honestly kind of stupid.” He faced away from her and looked around awkwardly. Had he had lips, he would be whistling to pass time in this awkward moment. Where to begin… where to begin… Finally, he turned to her and spoke. “Soooo… you’re still a gargoyle.”
Maud looked up at him blankly, as if to say, ‘No duh, Sherlock.’ Brooklyn looked away once more.
“Yeah, that was kind of obvious.” After another awkward pause, Brooklyn looked back at her. “Hey, Maud?”
No response. Brooklyn continued.
“Now that you’re, y’know, a gargoyle and everything…”
Maud still didn’t respond.
“Do you think that… uhm, maybe this will, will--”
Brooklyn caught his breath, then tried to continue. “Maybe it will… will, I mean, if you want to, it will… do you think it will--”
“Will make our relationship a little less awkward?” she answered.
“Well… yes, that’s it.” Brooklyn mentally swore at himself for his lousy choice of words.
“Yes, I think that may happen,” Maud finally replied.
“Oh. Well, good!” Brooklyn stepped closer to her, but she backed away. He frowned. “Hey, what gives?”
Maud looked back at him. “It’s just really sudden. I don’t like being a gargoyle. I know you may prefer it this way, but--” She was cut off by a sudden flash of white light, which engulfed everything around for a few seconds. When the light died down, Maud looked around. “What was that?”
“I don’t know,” said Brooklyn. “Nothing seems too differe--”
Just then, they heard a loud screech of “AAAAAAAAA!” from inside Town Hall, recognizable as Pinkie Pie’s voice. The two of them ran to the door.
“Pinkie, what is it?” Maud asked as she opened the door.
Standing in the middle of the room, with all the other gargoyles looking at her, was a bright pink gargoyle. She had a poofy mane and a pony-like head, as well as the same recognizable blue eyes and high-pitched voice. Brooklyn and Maud took in this bizarre sight and realized that Pinkie, too, had transformed into a gargoyle.
And was completely naked.
Brooklyn’s eyes grew wide and he quickly looked away. “Pinkie?!” he exclaimed.
“Not you too,” Maud muttered. She walked up and placed her claws on Pinkie’s shoulders. “Calm down, sister.”
Pinkie screamed for a few more seconds, then stopped and said, “Okay!” with a grin.
Goliath ran to the front of the crowd. “What’s going o--oh.” A blush spread across his face. “Ohhh myyyy…”
When the blinding light of the spell died down outside Town Hall, Elisa looked around, and was shocked to find that the two ponies next to her were missing. Or rather, not missing--they were still there, but they were both now gargoyles.
The Mayor looked around, first at Elisa, then at Twilight, and asked, “What is this madness?!”
Twilight looked at the Mayor, and stifled a laugh. “Erm, Miss Mayor?” she began. “You do realize you’re mostly nude, right?”
The older gargoyle looked down at her body--all she was wearing was her white collar, teal tie, and spectacles. Her face turned bright red as she realized that her lack of fur left certain parts uncovered, and in shame she wrapped her new wings around her body.
“Uh, Twilight, hate to say it, but you’re entirely nude,” Elisa whispered.
Twilight looked down and blushed, and covering her body with her own wings. Meanwhile, Puck was snickering at all of this as he floated around them. Elisa glared at him now.
“Puck, now you’ve really done it!”
“Oh, what?” Puck replied with a shrug. “You told me to make her like the others, did you not?”
Elisa groaned. “Ugh… Puck, you know what I meant…”
“WHAT’S GOING ON?!” the Mayor shouted. “I don’t like this!”
Twilight angrily approached Puck. “Enough with this nonsense!” she shouted. “I’ll have you know that my friends and I are bearers of the Elements of Harmony, and if you keep this up, we can--”
“Elements of Harmony? Your biggest weapons are the Elements of Harmony? Pfft, if this was any more girly, everything would be bright pink!” And Puck once again broke out into laughter, sending Twilight into a rage.
“Now look here!” she responded. “The Elements of Harmony are extremely powerful! The draconequus Discord, Spirit of Chaos and Disharmony, went up against us and we turned him into a stone statue!”
“Pfft, you’re really daft, you know that?” Puck floated next to Twilight. “Some random jewels of friendship cannot act as a proper means of defense!”
“Well, it’s worked for us in the past, so I ask you one more time: turn the gargoyles back into ponies!”
Puck shrugged. “Whatever you say, Ms. Pony.” He began to say his spell.
It was at this time that the words Twilight had said fully sunk in for Elisa. Oh no… not this again!
“No, don’t!” Elisa shouted, but was cut off by Puck finishing his spell and the following flash of light.
“Stop looking!” Angela glared at Broadway, who was looking up and down Pinkie’s curvy body.
“It’s kind of hard not to look, she’s standing right in the middle of the room!” Broadway replied. It was then that Hudson walked up behind Brooklyn.
“What d’ ye think, laddie? This is strange an’ unnatural.”
Goliath, deep in thought, hummed, then looked at his second-in-command. “Brooklyn,” he began, “two ponies have become gargoyles tonight. There can be only one behind this.”
Brooklyn frowned. “Puck,” he replied.
Goliath nodded. “And if Puck is here, then so is Xanatos. This is not good.”
“But I thought you and Xanatos were on good terms last time you met him?” Lex asked.
“Yes, since we helped to save his son. But the time just before that, he tried to kill us. Taking ‘a stab at clichéd villainy,’ as he called it. And obviously he knows we are here.”
“That Xanatos sounds like a super weirdo!” Pinkie said, “and not in the good way, either!”
Goliath raised an eyebrow. “You could say that, Ms. Pie. In any case, we need to go look for him. His base of operation must be somewhere nearby.”
Maud spoke up. “I think I might have some idea where he is.”
Goliath nodded. “Then Maud, you and Brooklyn go check it out.”
Maud nodded and headed to the door. “Hey, wait up!” Brooklyn called as he ran after her.
The two gargoyles looked over the city briefly before taking off. As they began flying to the Everfree forest, Brooklyn spoke up. “Maud, are you sure this is--” He was cut off by another flash of light.
Maud looked next to her. “You were saying?” she began, only to find that Brooklyn was no longer there.
“Maud, help!” The voice came from below her. She looked down and found an earth pony falling down. He was frantically waving his forelegs around to no avail. She soon recognized him: the same coat and mane color as Brooklyn, and even still wearing the loincloth.
With one swoop, she snatched him up only seconds before he hit the ground. Brooklyn looked up at her, then down at his hooves.
“OH COME ON!!” he growled. “I’m a pony?! This is just going too far! First you become a gargoyle, and now this?! I’m not even a pegasus! I can’t fly now!”
“You’re welcome for me saving you,” Maud muttered.
“Huh?” Brooklyn looked up at Maud, who despite keeping her blank expression had a hint of anger. He immediately apologized. “Oh, sorry Maud! I didn’t mean anythi--”
“Forget it,” Maud interrupted. “Only one thing matters right now: we need to find Puck, and make him reverse these changes.”
Brooklyn realized that Maud’s expression was not one of anger, but rather one of extreme determination. He nodded, sneering. “You’re right, Maud. Let’s do this!”
When the flash of light subsided, Twilight looked at the Mayor. “Miss Mayor, you’re… still a gargoyle.”
The Mayor looked down and groaned. “Thank you Twilight, how very insightful of you.”
Elisa facepalmed. “Puck, you better not have done what I think you did.”
Puck grinned. “Oh, but I did what Twilight asked! I turned the gargoyles into ponies!”
As if on cue, Goliath’s unmistakably booming scream pierced from the upper floor of Town Hall. “WHAT IS THIS SORCERY?!”
Elisa glared at Puck, who in return asked, “What? It’s a kind of magic!”
“Puck, you know nopony here is going to get that Highlander reference.”
“Highlander? What’s that?” Puck asked in mock confusion.
Twilight lunged into the air to attack Puck… and instead crashing back down on her face. “Ow!”
Mayor Mare swung at Puck’s face next, but he floated out of the way just in time. He floated higher than either of the two ponies and said, “Oh, please. I’ve been around for thousands of years. This is child’s play. I know what every one of you is about to do. Nothing can surprise me!”
And he was promptly knocked to the ground by Maud’s fist. Brooklyn jumped off and landed on top of Puck, and proceeded to pummel the trickster’s face with his front hooves. Maud set down nearby, then walked up to Puck, lying on the ground. Brooklyn moved away from the trickster, and Maud grabbed Puck by the neck to lift him into the air.
“You are trespassing.”
Puck was first surprised, then grinned. “Ah, Ms. Pie. I thought I would be meeting you again.”
Brooklyn hissed. “Why did you turn her into a gargoyle, Puck?”
“Oh, and nice to see you again, Brooklyn. It’s been so long! Never knew you were a romantic, always defending your marefriend.”
At this, Maud tightened her grip around Puck’s neck. “I’ve heard a lot about you, Puck. But it’s time to end this, so here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to return everyone in the town to the forms they were in before you changed them, and you’re going to go back to your boss and never return to Ponyville again.”
Puck struggled to break loose, making choking sounds for a few seconds… then looked back up and grinned. “Oh, seriously? You ponies are really quite boring. You don’t think I can just break away any time I want?”
Maud looked back at her hand… to find it empty. She looked up to see Puck standing right in front of her. With one smash of his fist, he blasted her several feet away and left her lying on her back. Brooklyn lunged at Puck, but he just knocked the pony away. “Ha! You seem to forget that I am an immortal being, a child of Oberon with powers you can’t imagine!”
Twilight groaned as she slowly stood up. “Ugh… definitely a more annoying version of Discord.”
Puck sneered. “I know not of this Discord. But unlike the human world, here Oberon has no control over me. I can do what I want and I serve no pony!”
Just then, an ominous voice sounded from above him. “Think again…”
Puck looked up just in time to see a certain pink gargoyle heading straight for him. Within a few seconds the following happened: Pinkie had tackled Puck to the ground, restrained his hands to keep him from moving, and was now squatting on top of him to ensure there was no chance of escape.
Puck blinked a few times in confusion, trying to figure out what just happened, then looked up and down the pink gargoyle’s naked body and grinned. “I must say, you have me in quite the compromising position.”
“Shut up!” Pinkie shouted at him.
A dazed Brooklyn sat up and rubbed his forehead, then looked at Pinkie. He gasped as he noticed something: her mane was flat. He knew from prior experience that when Pinkie’s mane was flat, it was not a good time to mess with her.
“Nopony messes with my sister…” Pinkie muttered under her breath.
Puck’s eyes darted back and forth between the pink gargoyle and the gray one who lay on the ground, motionless. Realization struck him. “Oh, so that’s your sister then?” Puck laughed. “I only wanted to make things easier for--”
“I never asked you!” Pinkie snapped.
“Oh, what are you going to do?” the grinning Puck questioned. “You cannot stop me! I am a god! And you--” Puck found himself lifted in the air by Pinkie’s hand, as she grabbed Puck by the leg, swung him up in the air, and repeatedly smashed him over and over on the ground.
“YOU’RE NO GOD, YOU’RE JUST A BIG POOPYHEAD!!!” Pinkie screamed as she flung him back and forth against the ground. Brooklyn simply watched in awe.
“Are you alright, Brooklyn?” Elisa asked, squatting next to the red pony. Brooklyn looked up at her.
“Well, I’m a pony…” He glanced back at Pinkie and Puck. “…and my masculinity and toughness have forever been compromised, but otherwise I think I’m alright.”
Pinkie finally threw Puck to the floor. “Now… I want you to change everyone back--”
“No!” Puck weakly stood up. Despite his god status, Pinkie’s wrath and strength came as a surprise to him. He started to take off into the air, but Pinkie lunged at him once more. This time, however, he was ready. He immediately floated out of the way… only for Pinkie to tackle him anyway. Pressed up against the outer wall of Town Hall, Puck saw the pink gargoyle’s fist headed straight toward his face. He moved just enough that the fist would hit the wall… but instead the fist simply followed his movement and collided with his face anyway.
“Huh?” the trickster asked. “But how is this possib--”
He was cut off by Pinkie’s two hands wrapped tightly around his neck. He tried to struggle, but it was as if she knew everything he was about to do!
“Say the spell…” Pinkie growled. “SAY THE SPELL!!!”
“Gaak… urk… okay!” Puck choked out. Pinkie loosened her grip on Puck’s neck enough for him to cough a few times before he began.
“In hope of not being made dead,
Now Pinkie doth will this or have my head,
Ponies and gargoyles ’cross the land,
Be back now as how you began!”
As Puck finished, one more flash of white light filled the land all around. When the light died down, Pinkie looked forward to find that she was no longer gripping Puck, as she was now much smaller and had hooves that could not grip. Elisa looked around and realized that everything seemed back to normal: Brooklyn was a gargoyle once more, and Twilight, the Mayor, and Maud were ponies again.
Puck floated away. “Well, it is clear that I am no longer wanted, so ta-ta!” And with a final flash of light, he disappeared.
“Hey!” Pinkie shouted after him, then lost her balance and fell back down on her face. A few seconds later, her mane and tail puffed up once more, accompanied by the sound of an inflating balloon.
Brooklyn sat back up and brushed himself off, particularly stretching his wings. “Never realized how much I’d miss my wings.” He then looked at Pinkie and asked, “How did you do that?”
Pinkie stood up. “Do what?” she asked. She and he ran to Maud, concerned. The gray pony lay motionless on the ground, her dress torn in several places due to the size change, her eyes closed, and her body very dirty and bruised.
Brooklyn bent down in front of her. “Maud?” he asked. Pinkie leaned in too.
Maud slowly opened her eyes and blinked a few times as they focused. “Oh, you again…” she muttered, then added: “My two favorite faces in the world.”
Brooklyn and Pinkie grinned and helped Maud to her hooves.
“Hey!” the Mayor interrupted. “I hope someone will explain to me what in Equestria that was all about!”
Elisa smiled and led the mare back to the door of Town Hall. “Believe me, we’ll tell you everything. And I’ll introduce you to some friends while I’m at it.”
“Sorry about your dress, by the way,” Brooklyn said to Maud later in the night as he and she sat on top of Sugarcube Corner.
She simply shrugged in response. “It’s just a dress. I have others.”
“Ha ha, yeah…” Brooklyn smiled and stroked Maud’s mane. The pony was curled up in his lap, still wearing her torn dress. He looked across the horizon. The sun wouldn’t rise for a few more minutes, but hints of the approaching daytime were visible. Brooklyn looked back down at Maud and began. “Maud, may I tell you something?”
Barely moving, Maud simply replied, “Never stopped you in the past.”
“Okay.” Brooklyn paused for a second, formulating his thoughts, then continued. “When I found out what happened to you… when Puck turned you into a gargoyle, I was infuriated. Yet at the same time, part of me wanted you to remain a gargoyle.”
Maud looked back up at Brooklyn, who immediately attempted to apologize. “I’m sorry! I really shouldn’t have said anythi--”
“When you were a pony, I almost didn’t want you to change back,” Maud interrupted.
The gargoyle and pony looked back at the view of the town below. It was Brooklyn who spoke next. “Maud, do you think this can work out? You and me, I mean. As a couple. You don’t think that us being different species would make this too strange, do you? Because as far as I’m--”
“Brooklyn,” Maud interrupted again. “Shut up.”
“Right.” Brooklyn looked at the skyline. “I should probably get back to Town Hall.” He stood up, lifting Maud into his arms, and took off, riding the gust of wind.
She looked up at him as he glided, and reached her forelegs around him to hug his neck. Brooklyn looked back down at her and smiled, then looked ahead once more. “I have an idea.”
Before Maud could ask, Brooklyn lifted her close to his face and, while gliding above the town, pressed his beak against her lips. Maud shut her eyes as the wind flew through her hair and she shared this moment with Brooklyn.
After a few seconds, they ended their kiss. Brooklyn smiled down at her, and her face had a hint of a smile as they landed on the deck of Town Hall. The other gargoyles were already getting out and taking their places around the deck’s perimeter.
Brooklyn set Maud down as they landed and gazed out over the town. The sun was about to emerge over the horizon. Brooklyn gave one last smile to Maud before raising his arms and opening his mouth in a dramatic and fearsome pose.
As the sun rose and the gargoyles transformed into their stone forms, Maud looked over the town. Everypony was waking up, getting out of bed and ready to start their days. Meanwhile, Maud would just then be going to bed. This was her life now.
And she was completely okay with it.