How Two Worthless Genetic Freaks Founded a Nation

by TheDriderPony

Chapter 1: Occam's Razor

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"Oh you should see the looks on your faces! So intense, so sure of yourselves! Ah haha! Hiiilarious~! Ha ha ha ha-"

*Thunk!* *Thunk!* *Thunk!* ... *Thunk, Thunk, Squish, Pwap, Thunk!*

Eight impacts echoed across the suddenly quiet landscape, quickly followed by a single much louder sound of something significantly more fleshly hitting the ground. A silence followed, as small things slowly began to shift. Floating houses and sections of hills quietly made their way back to solid ground. Whole groves of lollipops shriveled into their stems as green grass began pushing upward through rapidly expanding holes in the checkerboard floor. And in the middle of it all, two ponies stood with their mouths agape.

"Was... was that it?" the taller one finally ventured.

"I... guess so," came a reply from the other. "He's down, isn't he? Look, even the chaos is starting to recede."

"Yes, but didn't that seem a little too... easy? I expected the Mad King to put up a bit more of a fight."

The shorter blue one snorted. "And I expected you to have something more of a plan."

"More of a- whatever do you mean?" she asked incredulously, nostrils flaring.

The blue mare rolled her eyes. "Really Celly? Starswirl gave us those things specifically to defeat the Mad King, and your first line of thinking was 'let's lob 'em at his head' ?!" Her wings flared in agitation. "You could have at least told me that was the plan! I barely had time to react and throw mine!"

Celly frowned. "Well what did you expect me to do with a bunch of shiny rocks? Bribe him off the throne? I figured it was like the tale of Marevid and Goliath Hammer."

"Oh, so you didn't just think 'let's hit him with the rocks', you actually thought 'let's hit him with the rocks like in that old folk-story' ! Stars, I can't believe you!"

As the two bickered pettily, the local landscape was rapidly returning to its natural state. Tress regained their verdant hues. Horrible atrocities shrunk back into woodland critters. Most notably, a certain throne was sinking into the ground, leaving the limp body of its occupant behind. As the seat vanished into the grass, Discord's body finally won the fight against friction and tumbled down the hill. Rolling head over heels over tail, the sudden motion caught the attention of the bickering sisters.

"Sneak attack!" Celly cried in alarm, "Get back Lulu, he's headed right for you!"

Lulu shrieked in fear, her fight-or-flight response taking over as she stumbled backwards. "I'm sorry!" she cried, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, please please don't kill me-he-he!"

"Lu." Celly interrupted, having taken a closer note of the situation, "It's alright, it was a false alarm. I think he just rolled down the hill."

It took a minute for Lulu to regain her composition and breathe the adrenaline out of her system. Meanwhile, Celly leaned in over the deposed king to take a closer look at him. She noted his mismatched limbs, the odd patches where fur made the transition to feathers or scales. His face, an insulting mimicry of that of a pony, lay flat down in the mud.

"Stars, he's even uglier up close." She reached out to poke him as she delivered her verdict.

"Don't touch him!" Lulu exclaimed, lunging forward to block her sister's hooves. "What are you going to do if he wakes up, huh? I doubt he'll be decent enough to sit still and monologue so you can practice your pitching again." She blinked and paused, having realized something important. "Actually, what are we supposed to do with him? When he eventually comes to, I mean."

Celly paused as well, and Lulu could almost see the gears in her head turning. "I- I don't know," She finally admitted. "I think maybe I didn't think this plan all the way through."

"I'm liking this plan of yours less and less." Lulu rolled her eyes, the end result of which left her looking at the back of Discord's head. She stopped. Something was... wrong with the image in front of her. She just couldn't quite put her hoof on it. King of Chaos defeated, good, all's well there. Knocked out by eight rocks to the head, unconventional but effective. Defeated foe lying humiliatingly face down in the mud, face down... in the mud...

"Oh sweet stars above!" she exclaimed loudly, startling Celly out of her worried ruminations. Leaping forward, she wrapped her forelegs around the Mad King's head and flipped him head over heels so he laid on his back. Celly snapped out of her shock just quickly enough to dodge.

"What are you doing?! You just said not to move him! What if he wakes up?!"

"He was face down in the mud!" Lulu explained quickly as she tried to wipe the muck off his face, "I don't think he was breathing!" She laid her head against his chest, roughly where she assumed his heart and lungs to be, and swiveled her ear to get the best possible line-up with his chest. Celly held her breath, partially in shock over the ramifications of her sister's realization, and partially so as to not create undo noise. Tense moments passed. Tense moments turned into a full tense minute before Lulu finally lifted her head. "I- I think he's dead."

"What?! No, he can't- he can't be dead!"

"Well he isn't breathing! Oh my stars we're murderers!" Lulu wailed.

"What's this 'we'? I didn't kill him, you killed him!"

"It was your bright idea to lob rocks at him!" She noticed a trickle of blood coming out of his mouth and mingling with the remaining mud. "See, he's bleeding. I'll bet you cracked his skull with that pointy pink one."

"I didn't even throw the pink one, that was one of yours," Celly rebutted.

"It was not," Lulu tossed her head indignantly as she made a point to step away from the corpse. "I threw the orange one, the blue one, the yellow one, the brown one, and the green one."

"I threw at least two of those." Celly did a quick tally. "Wait, that too many. Starswirl only gave us six. There was no yellow one."

"Of course there was! I should know, because I threw it. It landed over there." She indicated off to their left with a foreleg.

Celly trotted over, gathering up the other former projectiles as she passed them. She paused when she got to the one yellow splotch in the field of green. She gave it a cautious poke, followed by a more confident investigative jab. It squished under the pressure, and a little stuck to her hooves. "This is a cheese!" she yelled back, before noticing a brown object slightly farther on, "And there's a loaf of bread here too. You threw our lunch at him, you ninny!"

"Well sor-ry, I panicked okay?!" she threw her hooves up in exasperation, "You didn't give me any time to prepare for this masterstroke of a plan of yours, so I grabbed everything in my saddlebag and threw it."

The pink maned mare returned to her sister and the body of the former Mad King, the six colorful rocks clutched beneath her wings. The two shared a cold stare for a moment, before the shorter one looked away with a sigh. "Whatever. Anyway he's defeated, and the kingdom is safe." She glanced once more at Discord's body. "Do we- I mean- would it be right to bury him?"

"I think Starswirl said we need to bring something back to prove we defeated him. In the old stories, heroes used to cut off the heads of monsters they defeated as trophies."

"Eewwwwwww..." Lulu shuddered. "No, no, and no again. I don't care what he did, I am not carrying his icky severed head all the way back to the city. That's disgusting, why would you even suggest such a thing?"

"I'm not suggesting anything!" Celly said defensively, "I'm just saying what they did in the stories. I've no more experience with this than you do. So, maybe, you'd like to cut me some slack and help me think of a way to deal with the dead body of ponykind's greatest tormentor?"

The two fell into silence again as each tried to puzzle out a solution. The blue mare's mind however, was preoccupied with thoughts of repercussions. They had killed, killed. Killed the most hated being in the mapped territories, but the laws were very clear. 'An eye for an eye, and a wing for a wing', as the old Pegasus law stated. Bureaucracy had expanded and complicated the axiom until it was ten scrolls long, but the core remained the same. How could they possibly prove they defeated the Mad King, without revealing that they killed him?

The white mare's mind took a different track. Though she lacked a formal education, she was clever, and used to having to think her way out of tough spots. An idea struck her. What if they brought the Mad King's body back, and had Starswirl control it like a puppet from afar? Parade him around town as if he were still alive, then stage a mock battle him which they could defeat him publicly? Yes... it was a plan so crazy, it just might work. She opened her mouth to tell her sister of the idea, before another thought struck and she closed it again. The plan had too many weak links, too many unknowns. What if Starswirl couldn't replicate chaos magic well enough to fool the crowds? What if the guards intervened and decided to fight Discord themselves? Worst of all, if anything happened which made the plan fall through they'd likely be charged with murder as well as necromancy. No, puppeteering his body around simply had too many risks.

The sisters turned back to each other.

"I've got nothing." Lulu shook her head in disappointment.

Her sister nodded. "Same." She stomped the ground in frustration. "Oh... why couldn't those blasted magic rocks do whatever they were supposed to do? If they'd gone ahead and done it when we needed them we wouldn't be in this mess."

The younger one snorted. "Maybe if Swirly had given us any sort of instructions..."

"That's right. 'You will know what to do when the time comes' is about as unhelpful as it gets. This is really all his fault!"

Their eyes widened and their gazes met. A slow smile crept across their faces. "Yes... he sent us off on this mission," one began.

"He gave us the magic rocks, " the other continued.

"So he should know how to fix this!" they said together, a glimmer of hopeful excitement entering their voices.

It dimmed as they returned their gaze to the corpse. The blood from his head had mingled with the mud, and already curious flies had begun circling.

"Soooo..." Lu began, "How're we getting him back to the city?"

Cel snorted. "I think that's your problem. You killed him, so you get to carry him back."

"What? No!" she retorted eloquently. "For one thing, I didn't kill him! That was you!" She pointed an accusatory hoof. "And secondly, look how big he is! He has to be at least ten stone! My magic can't lift that, I could barely throw those rocks to begin with. So unless you want me to drag him all the way home, I say you carry him!"

The white pony gave her sister an even look before lighting up her horn. It flickered slightly, like a candle in a breeze before finally stabilizing in a weak glow. Her face twisted in exertion as the glow of her magic enveloped his body. She jerked her head aside like a fishermare trying to hook a bite. Discord's body slid forward, aided greatly by the mud which was progressively coating more of his remains. Her magic flickered out, leaving the mare sweating and breathing heavy. She turned back to her sister. "See? He's... too heavy... for me too."

Lu sighed as she eyed up the dimensions of the corpse. "Well, I suppose that settles it. I guess we're dragging him back. You rest up, I know that took a lot out of you, while I go get some branches to make a sled we can pull." She muttered under her breath as she walked off. "I really hope Starswirl has a way to fix this, otherwise things are only going to go downhill from here."

Next Chapter: Knock Before Entering Estimated time remaining: 3 Hours, 13 Minutes
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