Fluttershy's Path (Part One of Three): Maud God
You will tell the orb.
Upon passing through the portal, Fluttershy, Luna, Rarity, and Sky arrived in a strange small town resembling Ponyville. It was deserted, with wind blowing through the air inside deserted buildings. No one was around…
"Wow, this place is a ghost town." Fluttershy commented as she examined the area. "It's so desolate I doubt even ghosts would live here…"
"Heh." Luna gave a small hint that she knew something. "This is only what Ponyville used to be like some time in the past. ...Rarity?"
"Already on it…" Rarity said as she changed into a familiar black ninja outfit and pulled out a scroll and pocket watch from her fur. "Downgrade Fusion Hidden Art No. 12: Future Bend!"
With incomprehensible movements, the scroll and pocket watch inexplicably contorted into vibrant, pulsating waves that transformed the beautifully depraved hovel-like town of Ponyville into an extraordinary metropolis that looked cool and nice.
"THIS is the Ponyville we want to explore," said Luna as she was viewing the beautiful statues of a certain earth pony's head being built by people who didn't like their jobs. "We must seek the ruler of this town, they should know where the orb is. Once we have one of the orbs, it will guide us to the others by pinpointing their exact locations on our map."
"Wait, how do we know that the ruler of this town is going to help us?" Fluttershy asked quietly, making herself sound smart. "Should we ask his or her subordinates to tell us whether he slash she is bad with or without good?"
"Who said we couldn't use force if necessary?" Rarity donned a cocky grin with that line, leading the way into town as a slightly annoyed Luna followed.
"I wonder if that's not a good idea," replied a hapless Sky as he walked with them. "You can actually break a ruler if you put too much force on it."
"That kid…" Fluttershy thought, getting a strange feeling as she followed the group as well. "Why is it that what he says reminds me so much of what I think? Does he just really admire my brain, or…"
After the group walked for five minutes, Rarity suddenly stopped and pulled a beeping wristwatch out of her fur pocket.
"Time out guys," said Rarity as she pulled out the watch and turned the alarm off. "It's time I realized that I have no idea where we're going."
"Celestia damn it to God, Rarity!" Luna shouted. "This is why I was the one leading the way! Thanks to you, we're now in...THAT part of town."
"But the map says you're in THIS part of town…" Fluttershy said as she pointed to a pony stick figure on Luna's map that had the words "YOU'RE THIS GUY" inscribed below it.
"What does it matter?" Luna retorted. "I don't wanna be the guy!"
"Hey, you unknown folk." two figures dressed in gray robes with hoods that covered their faces said in a less-than-dull tone, approaching the group. "What is your purpose for being in the parking lot of our church?"
"Um...none." Sky tried to talk everyone's way out of this. "But we mean you no harm in having no meaning to be here, trust everyone here."
"I'm afraid we can not do that…" the figure replied as they pulled off their hoods. "We haven't reached that level yet, for we can not even trust ourselves."
"Hey, you guys are…" Rarity responded upon seeing their faces. "Maud Pie!"
"You are about 80% correct…" they tried to give their statement some color with statistics. "We weren't born Maud Pie. We are but two of the many humans brought to the pony world by Chrysalis to be experimented on for BMS summoning tests."
"...!" Fluttershy had an exclamatory thought. "Why does this feel...like it should be familiar?"
"Chrysalis took the bodies and minds of two hundred humans and transformed them into the bodies and minds of Maud Pie." they continued. "Before she completed the experiment by transforming our souls too, Chrysalis died, and we were only left with about three places to go. And out of those three places, Celestia forced us and all of the other incomplete Mauds to come here, the World of Creation."
"You guys sure are talkative for ponies who don't trust us." Rarity snickered as she flashed her IDPD badge. "You do realize we're cops, right? We came to this world to investigate the case of Chrysalis' murder, and anything you say here regarding Chrysalis can be considered testimony for said case. We could have you brought to court as witnesses on a day where you really don't want to come if we wanted, so I hope you don't have any ideas that you have power over us..."
"Rarity, please…" Luna pleaded. "That went on for even longer than what they just said...To put it bluntly, "Maud Pies", we're not here for trouble. We're here to look for something vital to our investigation, this town's orb."
"So you want to find the one who did it…" the Maud Pies replied with smiles on their faces. "That interests us. Whoever killed Chrysalis was clearly more powerful than her. If they knew, and if it were to benefit them, they would show us how to complete our transformation. ...Alright, we'll take you to a pony who knows where the orb is. Ironically*, that pony is our leader."
*They don't know what the word means, they're just trying to be colorful.
"Wait, where are we going?" Fluttershy asked as everyone followed the Maud Pies to the front of a church building.
"To church." they answered as they opened the doors of the church. The inside of it was filled with benches made of stone, a gray and purple carpet leading to a stone stage and a stone statue of Maud Pie at the end of the room, and a jewel chandelier above the stage that housed candles made of wax mixed with a few materials found in rocks. The stone benches also contained 197 Maud Pies who were in the middle of a church service singing a song…
Thy Pie, God Maud
God Maud, you are our god
Pie, you are the word after her name
At the end of our trod, our bodies are sod
But forever and ever, our souls will proclaim
The praises we give you, they never will cease
Only with you, shall we find our peace
THY PIE! …..The name that we know.
GOD MAUD! …..The one who will show.
"Our leader makes a fabulous appearance at the end of every service," explained the robed Maud Pies, "following Pastor Pinkie Pie's sermon. Until then, you'll have to wait."
While the Maud Pies were singing, the group found themselves a seat on one of the benches. The Maud Pies sitting adjacent to them noticed that Rarity, Sky, Luna, and Fluttershy looked nothing like them. They gave them a quick glance and then turned their heads straight back out of apparent embarrassment for their concern...
"It's as if they find our appearance strange," said Sky with a weird expression on his face, "but they don't want to look strange themselves by doing something that's considered strange in their world. Isn't that uncanny?"
"We already figured that out, shit-for-brains Sherlock." Rarity demeaned like an illegible dictionary that didn't know what was on the shelf next to it.
"Why do I feel like…I just got insulted too?" Fluttershy asked herself in her mind as Sky slumped in the bench and gave himself a head knock with his fist in confusion.
Once the singing part of the service ended with a mildly resounding "Amen.", Pastor Pinkie Pie finally appeared from behind the Maud Pie statue and walked up on stage dressed in a red devil costume.
"Great job on the singing everyone!" she complimented them as she clapped her hooves together. "A bit dynamic on some keys, but pretty flat for the most part, so it's all good! And moving on, what do you all have to say about me today?"
"That you are evil incarnate and the sight of your face makes us want to puke." the Maud Pies answered in unison.
"Ooh, your remarks of disdain for me are getting less colorful and less imaginative." Pinkie continued her laud. "I can still remember the first time I had you guys insult me. Oh boy, that was so bad you had me crying for days!"
"Am I the only one who finds this out of place?" Luna whispered to Rarity. "Why is she trying to get them to hate her when the real Maud Pie is supposed to love Pinkie Pie?"
"Excuse me!" Pinkie exclaimed as she pointed to the police officers, creating a scene before Sky or Fluttershy could. "What are you whispering about? And what are you doing here in the first place?! We're in the middle of a Pies-only church service! Visitors are prohibited! Come back when we're in the middle of a bake sale!"
"Hold on for a quick minute!" the robed Mauds from earlier called out. "These officers are with us! They're investigating the case our leader has been trying to solve since the founding of this cult, the case of Queen Chrysalis' murder!"
"Gasp." responded all the Maud Pies in the service as they tried to create dull silence.
"Our god's prayers have been answered…" the devil Pinkie said with her eyes lighting up. "Come now everypony! It's time to take communion! That goes for you guys too!"
With those words, the group and all the Maud Pies in the church lined up facing the stage. The two robed Mauds came to the stage holding a silver platter of a myriad of tiny rocks and one single purple goblet containing rainbow juice. Each Maud Pie in line came forward to the platter, took one of the rocks and swallowed it, took a sip of the juice, and walked to the back of the line. When it was the group's turn, Luna picked up the rock and goblet and glanced over at her teammates with a look of discomfort.
"Remember…" she told them. "It's for the good of everyone."
"Huh, that's what my mom said when she drank." Sky said, thinking of Celestia.
After the communion was over, the group's suffering was not yet over, as all the Maud Pies in the church began to chant something incomprehensible. During the chanting, Pinkie Pie pulled out a scroll, a small rock, and a vial of rainbow juice. She ingested the rock and juice and sort of squished the scroll between her hooves.
"Upgrade Fusion: Hidden Art No. 21: BMS Summoning!" she shouted as a gray aura surrounded the scroll and a purple aura illuminated from inside her belly. "Body: Maud Pie, Mind: Maud Pie, Soul: Maud Pie, ASSEMBLE!"
With a blinding flash of light...a wooden door appeared on the Maud Pie statue and an odd looking figure walked out of it. Dressed in a bright pink leather jacket, dark pink boots, white sunglasses with yellow shades, a black choker around her neck that looked like a guitar strap, and with three tattoos on her body of Maud Pie's face (one was on each of her arms with words below it saying "FREE RIDES" and one was on her crotch with words below it saying "Heavy Lifter"), God Maud Pie had entered the holy house.
"What is up." God Maud stated. "Why have I been summoned. Pinkie Pie, isn't it time for your stories."
"Those...aren't important right now." Pinkie replied with a bit of sweat trickling down from her face, having once had plans to make up stories for the sermon about laughing at funerals, having parties that literally burned down the house, and showing concern for roadkill insects. "What's important is that we have some very important visitors who can help us with a crucial case! They're police officers trying to figure out who murdered the one we have to thank for everything we've been through, including the good stuff! Queen Chrysalis!"
"So they're finally here." God Maud thought as an apathetically evil grin formed on her face. "I'm finally going to get to prove to Celestia that I'm more than just a puppet with no personality."
"That news is very good, Pinkie Pie." God Maud exclaimed. "Send them up here so I can talk to them."
"Loki in an oak tree with Doki!" Pinkie Pie agreed to get them as God Maud grabbed a joint and lighter from inside her jacket. As Pinkie Pie guided the group onto the stage, she and the others stopped in surprise as they saw God Maud smoking weed.
"Leader, are you...getting high?" Pinkie Pie asked in confusion.
"Pinkie, I'M DRUNK." Maud Pie replied, raising her voice dully. "I'm stoned one-hundred percent of the time in that statue anyways, so like, I don't care about nothing, man."
"But...these cops just showed up to help us." Pinkie Pie said with concern. "How can you provide them with accurate information if you're like this?"
"Like this." God Maud responded, and took off her jacket. She threw it across the stage to where the group was as vials spilled out of it. When the police officers investigated the inside of the coat, they couldn't believe their eyes. The coat had contained a collection of every single illegal drug known to Equestrians, including LSD.
"This can't be real…" Luna remarked with a horrified look on her face. "At least in the World of Origin, the possession of this many drugs would get you something worse than the death penalty! ...Which in retrospect, isn't very difficult to get, but never have I seen a criminal get it for illegal drug possession!"
"Sorry God Maud," said Sky as he got out his handcuffs and walked over to God Maud, "you may be God here, but we have to arrest you."
"NO!" Rarity yelled out, but it was too late. God Maud grabbed the back of Sky's police shirt, and shoved her joint up his right nostril, putting it out and burning a hole through the nostril. The pain was so bad that even the typically detached Sky was hollering in agony.
"Aw yeah, you like that." Maud mocked in a monotone. "Oh yeah, and in your words, not mine, get down on the ground."
God Maud then thrust Sky into the stone floor, sending him flying across it to where the drugs were, scattering the vials everywhere and causing many of them to break, forming a weird substance on the floor.
"SKY!" Luna and Fluttershy cried as they went over to the wounded officer.
"Wait, NO!" Rarity yelled, being too late again as she noticed a pink gas cloud forming from the substance.
"What is our leader doing?" the other Maud Pies in the church asked. "This is not like her!"
"Oh please," said God Maud with dull sarcastic wit, "I've always been like this. The only reason I started this cult is because I wanted to see Pinkie Pie embarrass herself in front of a bunch of me. I was also just pretending to care about the Queen Chrysalis case and created all those drugs with my powers just so I could make a scene like this. I hate Pinkie. I hate the police. I hate everything. I'll kill you all. BURN EVERYTHING TO THE GROUND.."
"No...you're not Maud!" Pinkie shouted. "You're no god...you're not the rock of our salvation...you're...a fraud!"
Pinkie and the Maud Pies in the church succumbed to the fumes, as the gas cloud enveloped the entire church, getting everypony high.
"This ought to be good." God Maud gave a drab chuckle, getting ready to watch the fruit of her evil. However, before as soon as she sat down…
*SHINK* A shuriken was thrust through God Maud's right cheek. As she turned to her right to face her attacker…
"You mean it WILL be good…" the attacker, revealed to be Rarity said. "...after you're DEAD."
God Maud quickly got her head off of Rarity's sword and jumped back. Looking around, she saw that everypony except her and Rarity was in a perfectly still position.
"You froze time…" God Maud looked back to the past. "And you weren't affected by the gas cloud either. So you're a god too. If you weren't trying to kill me, I'd ask you to join me."
"Shove it." Rarity was having none of it. "You lied to everyone, hurt my friend, and got everyone stoned. There's no way I'll ever be allies with a horrible god like you, let alone let you live."
"And if you weren't so dense…" God Maud gave another reason.
"I SAID NO!" Rarity screamed, swinging her shuriken sharply as God Maud dodged dully. Rarity tried to pierce her shuriken through God Maud's head again, but God Maud spat a small boulder out of her mouth. It hit Rarity's shuriken and knocked it away from her. Rarity then tried to throw her ninja blade at God Maud, but God Maud responded by spitting out a larger-than-Rarity sized pebble to shield her.
"Enough fooling around," said God Maud as she picked up the rock that the sword had hardly penetrated and lifted it over her head, "it's time to give up. You of all ponies should know."
As God Maud walked over with the rock in her hooves, the time god Rarity could only put a hoof in her fur and catch her breath…
"Hyah." God Maud had never given a more energetic cry in her life as she crushed Rarity with the rock. "GAME OVER."
God Maud smiled victoriously as she saw time starting to flow again. Everypony was tripping as they slipped back into the present.
"I just don't get how our leader saw us as tools…" a Maud Pie remarked. "I mean, we're so dull. Like, aren't tools better when they're sharp, man?"
"Hey, can I be the cake at your party next week?" Pinkie asked as she laid on the floor crying about what Maud said. "I think that's how ponies would like me...just saying nothing as I'm fading away, fading away as the party goes on…"
"I'm not five years old anymore Celestia!" Luna shouted. "Why do you keep forgetting when you're the one who made me that way!"
"Wah ha ha ha ha." God Maud had a mundane laugh of triumph. "I guess…"
All of a sudden, an explosion blew up the pebble and sent God Maud flying back against the wall behind her. And from the explosion emerged none other than...Robot Alicorn Rarity! When she reached in her fur earlier, she was grabbing a scroll that allowed her to cast a reality-bending spell (Upgrade Fusion: Hidden Art No. 14: Reality Swap) on herself, turning her into her robot alicorn self from the World of Evolution! If you recall, that self of hers can transform into weapons, so she became a bomb just in time!
"You guessed wrong…" Rarity replied as she transformed her robotic right arm into a shuriken edge. "But you can have this as a prize!"
Rarity thrust the edge into God Maud's head, finally destroying her target, a familiar chip in God Maud's brain. As the chip shattered, God Maud imploded into a white orb that rolled across the floor to Rarity's robot hooves that acted as her feet. From the white orb, the soul of the real Maud Pie emerged.
"Thank you for saving me." the soul of the real Maud Pie said with apathetic gratitude. "You even knew that the source of my evil was the immorality chip Chrysalis had implanted into my brain back when I was one of her test subjects. How."
"This version of me once had an immorality chip implanted in her as well." Rarity recalled. "It was the only explanation I could think of for a pony like you being so irrationally evil."
"Aw, you believed in me." Real Maud replied in a tone as sweet as stale candy. "But I'm afraid you won't win the fight against your next great foe with the power of trust. That foe is truly evil and will try to kill you and your friends in the form of a foe you've already killed."
"Thanks for the hint, but it was more like a dead giveaway…" Rarity remarked, already knowing who it was.
"Don't worry, there's another clue that this orb should tell you." Real Maud explained. "Now that you've found this one, there's only two left. One in the Crystal Empire region, and one in the Canterlot region. And something tells me you're going to end up going to the Crystal Empire first…"
"I figured…" Rarity said, giving a grin and a glance over to Fluttershy and Sky, who were staring in space with the stoned Luna.
"I guess there's only one thing left for me to do now." Real Maud gave a content and unenthusiastic sigh of relief. "I'll uphold my promise to these humans the best I can by giving them each a piece of my soul. That should help them become as close to me as they can get. Also, tell Pinkie Pie that she was right. That Maud she saw was just a fake. The real Maud Pie will always be at her side…"
And with that, the real Maud's soul divided itself into 199 small spirits that swam through the air in the church.
"Wow, this book has good graphics." a Maud Pie had one more drug-deluded line before one of the spirits entered her (him?) and the rest of the Mauds.
"Beautiful…" a miraculously healed Sky commented on the sight.
"So appealing to the eyes…" Fluttershy followed up.
"Stop acting like you're in kindergarten!" Luna hollered, still high. "I'm the one who's supposed to be there, damn it!"
"Peculiar…" Rarity gave her opinion as she walked over to the group with the orb in hooves. "How come the wound in your nostril is gone Sky? And how are you and Fluttershy not stoned anymore while Luna is?"
"We were stoned…" said Fluttershy truthfully as Rarity did a reality-bending spell on Luna (Upgrade Fusion: Hidden Art No. 1: Reality Restoration) to cure her highness. "But...this shadow suddenly appeared to us and told us he would...cleanse our bodies and minds."
"Interesting how you say we…" Rarity gave them a suspicious look before she gave one to Luna. "By the way Luna, why were you stoned and affected by my time powers? I thought you were a god too..."
"GodDESS..." Luna replied as she gave an apparently unconvinced Rarity a wink. Rarity could've sworn that she saw a familiar shadow behind Luna before she saw that the orb that came from Maud was glowing and making a message appear in the air…
Search the numbers, the pattern reveals the truth.
Oh yeah, and…