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Chilly Filly

By Pon15
Created: 18th December 2020 02:40:03 AM

  1. >>>Directory:
  2. >Be the filly
  3. >Be late night binge-reading (lack of vidya is pain.)
  4. >Purple bitch has a lot of books, but often forgets to feed you.
  5. >Fuck her, you're a grown ass-man.
  6. >Tip-hoof out into the hallway and take a look around Fort Amphetamine.
  7. >Crystalclear.pdf
  8. >You know the sad fuck keeps some Bon & Jerrys around here.
  9. >Never shares any with you, fat bitch.
  10. >You open the refrigerator
  11. >Nope.png
  12. >Right, you normally keep ice cream in the freezer.
  13. >
  14. >Open freezer
  15. >There it is.
  16. >Frozen bliss.
  17. >You waste no time tearing off the seal and digging in, fuck even getting a spoon.
  18. >The chocolate gets all over your face, with a little bit getting in your mane.
  19. >But finally the ice cream is finished.
  20. >You turn around to leave.
  21. >Spergle is standing there, looking rather pissed.
  22. >"Anon! I can't believe you!"
  23. >You look down at the floor, hoping your cute filly shame will deter any potential punishment
  24. >Of course the nerd put a magical seal on the fucking ice cream.
  25. >"Anon, I am very tired. Go directly to bed, and I will deal with you in the morning."
  26. >No way she'll remember anything this late at night.
  27. >You walk back to bed.
  28. >Probably done reading for the night, just going to enjoy this sugar high and then crash.
  29. >Not like you're doing anything tomorrow, anyways.
  30. >After a few minutes of giddy laughter, your energy completely runs out and you fall asleep.
  31. >"Wake up, Anon."
  32. >She doesn't sound angry.
  33. >Good.
  34. "Mmph."
  35. >"You're going to be late for school."
  36. >Niggawot.jpg
  37. "What?"
  38. >You open your eyes fully.
  39. >"You heard correctly. If you're going to act like a little filly, then you should at least get the education of one."
  40. >Oh no.
  41. "Twilight, I have a degree."
  42. >"Mhmm. Let's see it then."
  43. >She's got you there.
  44. "This isn't fair!"
  45. >"Life isn't fair, Anon. Now you can either get up now like a good filly and eat your cereal, or I can teleport you to school and you can be hungry until lunch."
  46. >Ugh.
  47. "Fine."
  48. >You get up, rather angrily.
  49. "Fine... but I'm not going to enjoy it!"
  50. >She giggles.
  51. >"So precious."
  52. >Fuck that.
  53. >You run downstairs and scarf down your cereal as fast as you possibly can.
  54. >Gottagofast.tism
  55. >You look out the window.
  56. >There's a good five inches of snow.
  57. "Um, Twilight?"
  58. >"Yeah?"
  59. "It's snowing."
  60. >"I noticed."
  61. "Isn't school canceled?"
  62. >Success.mp4
  63. >"What the heck are you talking about, Anon?"
  64. >Wot
  65. "You know, if the buses can't..."
  66. >You trail off.
  67. >There are no buses.
  68. >There's no reason to cancel school because of a little snow.
  69. >You're fucked.
  70. "Anon, are you finished eating?"
  71. "Yeah?"
  72. "Great."
  73. >She forces a lunch bag into your mouth, puts a pencil behind your ear, and sends you off.
  74. >She hasn't teleported you before, and you do not enjoy the feeling.
  75. >Maybe it's a bit better if you're the user of the spell?
  76. >Nevertheless, you promptly vomit all over the freshly fallen snow outside of the school.
  77. >Nobody is even in the schoolyard yet.
  78. >Looking over at the clocktower, you realize it's only 5:45.
  79. >Based on your short time here as a human, you know that school lets out around 2:30, and runs for about 7 hours.
  80. "Fuck!"
  81. >Well, at least you know you've still got it when it comes to math.
  82. >Now if you could only survive the next hour and 45 minutes without a sufficient winter coat.
  83. >Do ponies even grow out their hair in the winter?
  84. >You know foxes and hares grow entirely new coats of fur.
  85. >Well, arctic ones anyways.
  86. >Ponyville isn't exactly the coldest place in Equestria, but it feels pretty cold right now.
  87. >You curl up under the awning, hoping it will provide some sort of protection from the elements.
  88. >It's a bad idea to fall asleep in a snowstorm, but what else is there to do?
  89. >Plus this isn't even really that much of a storm.
  90. >Your eyelids grow heavy as you realize that you didn't really get all that much sleep last night.
  91. >Well, at least not enough for this filly body.
  92. >Just a quick nap....
  93. >You awaken to somebody shaking your shoulder with their magic.
  94. >You instinctively bitch slap the air where you think your assailant might be.
  95. >Whitepeg.gif
  96. >"Hey!"
  97. >Oh, it's just another filly.
  98. "Hey. Sorry, you startled me."
  99. >"It's fine. Class is about to start, just thought you might want to know."
  100. >You open your eyes and look up at the clocktower.
  101. >7:28.
  102. "Thanks. What's your name, kid?"
  103. >"You can call me Sweetie. Oh, there was another reason why I came over..."
  104. >Oh no.
  105. >You were hounded enough for sex when you were human.
  106. >No way you were fucking another filly.
  107. "Hahaha... well, seeya later."
  108. >You quickly get up and trot inside.
  109. >All of the desks have names printed on the fronts of them.
  110. >Teacher probably couldn't remember your names otherwise, though.
  111. >Toomanypones.png
  112. >You find the second to last empty seat, the only one without a name on it.
  113. >Guess she didn't have time.
  114. >You sit down, pulling out the book you had stashed in your mane.
  115. >Necromancy and Other Naughty Magic for Beginners.
  116. >Too bad you were an Earth Pony.
  117. >A lot of this looked really fun.
  118. >"Alright, alright. Class, quiet down. We have a new student with us today."
  119. >You look around with the others, no way you're getting up in front of the class.
  120. >"You... the green one. Come up here."
  121. >God dammit.
  122. >You trot slowly up to the front of the classroom.
  123. >"Can you introduce yourself?"
  124. >You sigh deeply.
  125. "You can call me Nonny."
  126. >"Nonny. What is that shorthoof for?"
  127. >Er...
  128. >Best she doesn't know your super cool OC origin story until after you recapture all of the Chaos Emeralds.
  129. "It's not shorthand for anything. My real name is Green... Clover"
  130. >Nailed it.
  131. >"Well okay then, Clover."
  132. "Can I sit down?"
  133. >"I was just about to ask you to. Class, open your Equestrian History books to page 154...."
  134. >School went as you expected.
  135. >Math was relatively easy, thank god for the Base 10 system.
  136. >Equestrian History was difficult without the prior knowledge your classmates had, but it was designed for ponies 'your' age, and was manageable.
  137. >Nothing about that Earth pony genocide you read about a while back, but then again the Japanese internment camps....
  138. >Oh yeah, and writing was a thing they taught. You were really bad at it.
  139. >You're now sitting on a bench eating your sandwich, admiring your cute little legs.
  140. >Purple sure can make a decent sandwich, you have to admit.
  141. >Diamond came over a few minutes ago, but after you countered her petty insults with a few "no u's" she fucked off, leaving you in peace.
  142. >You considered trying a different approach to your first childhood and playing with the other children, but you didn't know any of them well enough.
  143. >Oh yeah, and the horse from this morning was sitting next to you.
  144. >"I can't believe they made us go to school in this weather."
  145. "Tell me about it. Diesel gelling is no joke."
  146. >She gave you a strange look. "What's diesel gelling?"
  147. "Nevermind. Your grandchildren will understand."
  148. >She changed the subject. "So... any colts catch your eye?"
  149. >Gay.
  150. "Not particularly... say, where are those other two you're always with?"
  151. >"I don't know... they haven't been to school for a few days. I assume they caught something on the class camping trip we had a few weeks ago."
  152. "That has to suck. Was anyb- anypony sick?"
  153. >"I don't think so. It's a bit odd."
  154. >Detective vision activated.
  155. "Hmm... what did they feed you all?"
  156. >"If I recall, hayburgers and the like. No potential for disease there, I think."
  157. >You recall something about wheat-borne illnesses from an article you read a while back, but it seemed unlikely considering the mass cultivation of grains in Equestria and the subsequent care regulations surely put in place.
  158. "Guess not." You started on your yogurt cup. Bacteria really were fickle things.
  159. "Where did they take you camping?"
  160. >"In the Everfree."
  161. "Jesus, isn't that dangerous?"
  162. >Oh, right. These ponies have actual gods.
  163. >She gives you a strange look. "Not really. We had Twilight, after all."
  164. >So THAT's where she went when you were able to get away with raiding her alcohol cabinet that one time.
  165. "Were they attacked by any of the forest's inhabitants, to your knowledge?"
  166. >"I don't believe. And if they were, they would have told Cheerilee."
  167. >Very odd indeed.
  168. >You'd need time to think this one over.
  169. >Fuck the medical professionals, you had this!
  170. >"Yeah... I miss them. As soon as they get back, we're going to find you a cutie mark, Nonny!"
  171. >That was unexpected, but kind.
  172. >Maybe she would make a decent friend after all.
  173. >Not that you cared all that much about your ass. It was plowable enough, with or without tats.
  174. >It was then that Cheerilee called you back inside for another three and a half hours of Learning!™
  175. Later that afternoon...
  176. >"Kiddo!"
  177. >Oh, right.
  178. >Purple didn't know your nickname.
  179. >You give Sweetie a 'moms, amirite?' look before trotting over to her.
  180. >"So... how was your first day?"
  181. >You look around.
  182. >No ears listening.
  183. "I would shoot up this school in a heartbeat if you had invented guns yet."
  184. >She laughs, unfamiliar with your terminology.
  185. >Great.
  186. >"So, I guess you need a name, don't you?"
  187. "Kinda put me on the spot with that one. Cheerilee thinks my name is Green Clover."
  188. >"That works well enough, if a bit redundant...."
  189. "Are you implying I should tell her something else?"
  190. >"Too late now, it seems. It just makes me look bad, ya'know. I had so many great puns planned for you!"
  191. >You shudder.
  192. "Glad I beat you to it, then."
  193. >"Oh come on. Wouldn't you have liked to be 'Frigid Fault?'"
  194. >Ouch.
  195. "You can't seriously be this anal about a pint of ice cream."
  196. >"Oh but I am. Truth be told, I WAS looking for an excuse to get you out into the world. Having you do the same things you always did as a human would be... scientifically unyielding."
  197. >You sigh.
  198. "Isn't turning me into a fucking horse dashing all of your chances of this study ever being taken seriously? Now, I may only have a high school experience when it comes to the Life Sciences, but I'm pretty sure that goes against the scientific method."
  199. >She scowled.
  200. >"Language, young lady."
  201. >You stick up your hoof, before realizing you lack the digits necessary for an obscene gesture. You settle for a 'forearm jerk,' but neglect the fact that you need at least three legs to walk on and fall to the ground.
  202. >Ouch, that really fucking hurt.
  203. >"Come on, get up."
  204. "I have a name, you know!"
  205. >"Clover, get up."
  206. "My name is Anonymous!" You screech.
  207. >Purple looks around, clearly worried.
  208. >It doesn't appear that anyone took heed to your outburst.
  209. >Shit.
  210. >Purple drags you to your feet with her magic, a bit forcefully.
  211. >"You. Are. Now. Green. Clover."
  212. >She's snorting at this point.
  213. >With a pop, you find yourself back in the castle.
  214. >You get up off of the cold amethyst floor, straightening the pencil on your ear.
  215. >Truth be told, you like the look.
  216. >Purple is nowhere in sight, and you're in your room.
  217. >You check the door.
  218. >Locked, of course.
  219. >You try to kick it in, but even with your earth pony strength, it doesn't give in.
  220. >"Did you really think you could get away with nearly destroying my reputation in public?"
  221. >Teleportation was spooky.
  222. "Well... yes."
  223. >She still looks very angry.
  224. >"I have half the mind to wipe your memories here and now, but I'm letting you off with a warning. If you convince anypony that you are Anonymous, I won't be so lenient."
  225. >You gulp.
  226. >"Have I made myself clear, Clover?"
  227. "Y-yes, mom."
  228. >She smiles.
  229. >"Dinner will be ready in fifteen."
  230. >As she teleports out, you hear a lock click.
  231. >Damn, she's even dumber than you thought.
  232. >You tip-hoof out into the hallway, making your way to her main laboratory.
  233. >The door is open, but you still scan the area for any purple shimmers, which you noticed briefly before digging into the food of doom.
  234. >You see them on the hinges, but getting up on your hind legs you're able to avoid jostling the door from it's slightly ajar position.
  235. >Weirdscience.mp4
  236. >The laboratory equipment consists of stereotypically large beakers, graduated cylinders, pipettes, vials of assorted chemicals, and the like.
  237. >You look around in wonder, your small size making this assortment even more impressive.
  238. >You casually walk over to one of the tables.
  239. >No. Fucking. Way.
  240. >It's a ball mill!
  241. >You remember spending hours with Grandpa Anon in his makeshift lab working with one of these.
  242. >Crazy bastard only trusted black powder guns.
  243. >You still remember the formula. 20S, 30C, 150KN...
  244. >...
  245. >You grab the mill and a hoof-full of media and book it back to your room, hiding it under your bed.
  246. >"Clover! Dinner!"
  247. >Sonicspeed.wav
  248. >Purple smiles at you as you hop into a seat.
  249. >Looks like she's willing to put the past behind her.
  250. >Sucks for her that you aren't.
  251. "Spaghetti, huh?"
  252. >"Yep. You enjoy pasta, don't you?"
  253. >Half of you wants to be a cunt and reject it, but the other half is drooling over the beautiful dish of Italian Cuisine laid out in front of you. The second half wins and you dig in, stuffing your face into the vast dish.
  254. >She went all out tonight.
  255. >"Wow, Anon. You were pretty hungry."
  256. "Guess so. Can I head back to my room, now?"
  257. >"You're forgetting something."
  258. >Oh no.
  259. >You're not going to thank her.
  260. "I don't believe I am. I'll see you tomorrow."
  261. >You get up to leave.
  262. >Her aura envelopes you, warm but firm.
  263. >You struggle in vain.
  264. >"Say it, Clover."
  265. "No."
  266. >She grins, and the field begins to constrict your chest.
  267. >"Thank me."
  268. >It's becoming more difficult to breathe, now.
  269. "No."
  270. >You won't let her force you into thanking her for throwing away your old life.
  271. >She tightens her grip even further.
  272. >"This is ridiculous. You would rather me kill you than just utter a simple phrase?"
  273. "We both know you won't do that. After all, your little 'studies' on me are oh so important."
  274. >She holds back a bit, letting you catch your breath for a second before plunging you back into your personal hell.
  275. >"Why do you have to be so difficult?!"
  276. "Because you're being a horrible pony."
  277. >She screams in frustration. "You will give me the respect I deserve as your mother, or so help me, there will cease to be an Anon!"
  278. >With the last of your strength you look her dead in the eye.
  279. "You'll never be my mother."
  280. >The black spots in the corner of your vision creep closer to the center as you begin to feel light-headed.
  281. >A small smile forms on your lips as you slip into unconsciousness.
  282. >Sleep tight, Poner.
  284. >Your dreams are clearer than conscience.
  285. >People you once knew brush past you as you make your way up a mountain.
  286. >As you ascend, your hooves making it more difficult than the practiced ease you had when you were bipedal, you begin to recognize details.
  287. >The twin peaks of the adjacent mountains.
  288. >The crude metal bars put in place to keep foolish tourists from plummeting to their deaths.
  289. >Sneaker tracks in the mud, left rather recently.
  290. >You take all of these in as you ascend, bringing yourself closer and closer to your destination.
  291. >Finally, a Hemlock split in two by the elements marks your arrival.
  292. >The summit.
  293. >There was a light drizzle, so you were the only one there that day.
  294. >You pulled out your mp3 player, and put on some music.
  295. >That day, you were there to do only one thing.
  296. >Forget.
  297. >You sadly watch yourself, sitting on a ledge.
  298. >You know what comes next.
  299. >Nobody would have expected flash flooding with such a light drizzle at hand.
  300. >The darker cumulonimbus clouds had rolled in without even so much as a thunderclap to serve as warning.
  301. >By the time you heard the torrential downpour and the flowing of water, it was already too late.
  302. >You sadly watch yourself plummet, disappearing in a flash of purple just before you would have reached terminal velocity.
  303. >Almost as if it was all planned.
  304. >You trot over to the ledge, the water having no impact on your ability as you are only a spectator.
  305. >A crumpled form materialized.
  306. >Right where you would have fallen.
  307. >It's just a dream. It's just a dream. It's just a dream.
  308. >You look around.
  309. >There it is.
  310. >Right in one of the low branches of the tree, sits your mp3 player.
  311. >It's still playing, about halfway through
  312. >Your favorite song to listen to when moping.
  313. >A bit of math reveals the time on the player to be correct, about 22 seconds after your slip.
  314. >You hate Twilight, but would your mind really conjure this afterthought just to fuck with you?
  315. >You need to find out, and you'd rather not waste any more time dreaming.
  316. >Closing your eyes, you take the leap yourself.
  317. >With a jolt, your eyes shoot open.
  318. >You're lying in a hospital bed, of course.
  319. >You manage to resist shouting 'I'm healed!'
  320. >Sweetie is sitting next to you, stroking your mane, and crying softly.
  321. >She notices your eyes opening, and brings you into a tight hug.
  322. "Ow! My ribs!"
  323. >She immediately loosens her grip, wiping her face of tears.
  324. >"I can't believe you went into the Everfree alone, you idiot!"
  325. >Oh, so that's the cover story.
  326. >Attacked by some sort of serpent, and saved by Twilit Spickle, the Knight in Shining Armor.
  327. >Well, maybe it was the other way around.
  328. >Oh great, and she's crying again.
  329. >"I don't want to lose you too..."
  330. >Too?
  331. >OH.
  332. >Oh no.
  333. >Your death, that would have been acceptable.
  334. >Though your 23 years had their fair share of ups and downs, you were happy.
  335. >But those two...
  336. >Okay, let's not jump to conclusions.
  337. >But the CMC...
  338. >No.
  339. >This just... wasn't right.
  340. >You think back to Twilight, smiling over your groggy form.
  341. >'Life isn't fair, Anon.'
  342. >You pull Sweetie in closer, ignoring the various intravenous drips secured in your legs.
  343. "I won't leave you."
  344. >She smiles slightly, but you can still see the pain in her eyes.
  345. >"Sweet of you, but a rather lofty promise."
  346. >Fuck. No.
  347. >Purple is standing at the door smiling.
  348. >You glare at her, motioning for her to close the door.
  349. >She shakes her head, cantering over to your side.
  350. >"Sweetie, can I have some time alone with my daughter?"
  351. >"S-sure, Ms. Sparkle."
  352. >"Princess Sparkle."
  353. >"S-sure, Princess Sparkle."
  354. >She exits, leaving behind a chair with a clear imprint.
  355. >She's been here for a long time.
  356. >Twilight slowly slides the door shut with a click.
  357. >"I'm here for your gratitude."
  358. "Fuck off."
  359. >"That's no way to speak to your mother."
  360. "My real mother is back on Earth. You have no right to soil that fine title with your name."
  361. >She frowns.
  362. >"After rescuing you from that constrictor, I would expect a bit more hospitality."
  363. >You draw out enough saliva from your dry mouth to spit in her face.
  364. "And now that I'm here, where's your leverage? In fact, I'd love it if you'd do that again, here and now. Let everyone know the real reason why I'm here."
  365. >Her lips turn up in a malicious grin.
  366. >"And how are you going to say anything about it without memories to speak of?"
  367. "..."
  368. >"Say it."
  369. "T-thank you."
  370. >"Didn't quite catch that."
  371. "Thank you!"
  372. >"There. Was that so hard?"
  373. >You glare at her, but say nothing.
  374. >"Tell you what, you need your rest. I'll be back at 5:00 with the work you've missed in school."
  375. >She extinguishes the lamp in the corner, leaving you in near complete darkness.
  376. >You close your eyelids, immediately knowing that you'll never fall asleep.
  377. >Despite what Purple has done to you, you have no actual evidence against her.
  378. >Poison could work if you played your cards right.
  379. >Hydrogen cyanide seemed infeasible, considering the lackluster amount that could be procured from a single seed.
  380. >And forget about getting apricots or cherries without any bits, and no idea where purple kept her's stashed.
  381. >Ricin seemed like a decent option, but you had no idea if you could even obtain castor beans in Ponyville.
  382. >Though castor oil was certainly common enough, finding the beans could prove difficult.
  383. >You might be able to find samples of Polonium in her laboratory, but you'd rather not risk killing yourself as well as you know little about the proper procedures for safely handling them.
  384. >Hoofling?
  385. >Fuck it, handling works.
  386. >...
  387. >Perhaps poisoning isn't the answer.
  388. >You also have no idea whether or not Purple's particular ascent to godhood has made her immune to the effects of poisoning.
  389. >Unlikely, but you'd like certainty.
  390. >You think back to your bed and grin.
  391. >Applejack is sure to have a few containers of stump remover.
  392. >The security is surprisingly lax in the hospital, not to mention nobody would miss a bottle of charcoal tablets.
  393. >And sulfur...
  394. >You recall something about it being used as a cosmetic product for dragons, but you have no idea where you'd find any.
  395. >You'll just have to hope there are samples in the lab.
  396. >Part of you wants to reconsider your choices.
  397. >Is murder really your only option?
  398. >Is a life on the run really what you want?
  399. >The door creaks open.
  400. >You open your eyes just enough to see an Earth pony filly not much smaller than you are.
  401. >Holy shit.
  402. >No way.
  403. >"Heya, Nonny. Long time no see."
  404. >Clevergirl.mp4
  405. "L-league? What are you doing here?"
  406. >"I'm here to listen."
  407. "What is there to tell? I'm an orphaned filly, taken in by-"
  408. >"You can cut the bull S-word."
  409. >You smile.
  410. "You always were a clever kid. Catch the time?"
  411. >"Jus' about 3:30."
  412. "Alright. Shut the door, and I'll tell you exactly what happened."
  413. >She nods, closing the door behind her, and hopping up on the stool.
  414. >She's still wearing the hat.
  415. >"I know the real Anon wouldn't be stupid enough to wander into the Everfree alone." She gently lifts up the covers, revealing multiple layers of white bandages. "Tell me what really happened."
  416. >You gulp.
  417. "I'll get there. Please, let me tell the rest of the story first."
  418. >Her ears perk up.
  419. >You used to tease her about the sensitivity of those things, but you guess you're in the same boat now.
  420. "But before I begin, know that you can't tell anybody what I'm about to tell you."
  421. >"Anypony." She lightly taps your nose.
  422. "Come on! I'm still getting used to it. Fine, anypony."
  423. >She smiles, clearly satisfied.
  424. "Twilight had invited me over. Routine physical exams and the like, I'll spare you the details. Halfway through one of them, she gives me this odd look."
  425. >You pull the covers back over you. The sterile air they pumped through made the entire building frigid.
  426. >You see that League is shivering a bit as well.
  427. "Climb in."
  428. >She doesn't need to be asked twice, taking the last bit of space left in the small cot you were in, and snuggling up to you.
  429. "She asks me if I'd like to make 500 bits on the spot. Being the whore that I am, I couldn't turn down that kind of cash, especially not when my rent was due."
  430. >She nods.
  431. "I accepted, and she lead me down into a part of her house I haven't seen before. It was a small red room in a perfect cube shape. She shut the door behind us, securing it from the other side with a spell. There was no handle, first red flag."
  432. >League begins to run her left hoof through your tangled mane. "Go on."
  433. "She just starts sobbing, like completely out of nowhere. I ask her if anything is wrong, and she just glares at me."
  435. >"You know perfectly well what's wrong."
  436. >You just look over at her quizzically.
  437. "Why did you bring me here?"
  438. >She wipes her eyes, clearly eager to give a lesson, though still sniffling.
  439. >"This is what is referred to in the Scientific community as a Mana conduit. It allows Alicorns and powerful unicorns to utilize their full magical potential without worry of personal harm from exertion. Functionally, it converts the powerful raw energy utilized by Earth Ponies into something that can be harnessed by a mage such as myself. I'm going to use it to transform your worthless ass into a dignified creature."
  440. >You step back against the wall, pulling at the tiny crack in the wall that you know to be the door, but it won't budge.
  441. >"Don't worry. It won't hurt that much."
  442. "Get away from me, you psycho!"
  443. >She slides her back hoof into what appears to be a lone horseshoe in the center of the room.
  444. >Her horn begins to glow as her other three hooves slowly lift off the ground, unaided by her wings.
  445. "Please! No! Whatever I did, I can fix it!"
  446. >"No, Anon. It's time you learned about the irreplaceable the hard way."
  447. >You shut your eyes as you feel your bones shift and shorten, muscles creasing and skin being pulled taut.
  448. >The process is unbelievably painful, and you soon pass out.
  449. >Purple is sitting there with a huge grin on her face when she reawakens.
  450. >"Welcome to your new life, Anon."
  452. >Your mane is much straighter now.
  453. >"She's the reason you're here too, right?"
  454. >You nod. "I can't hold a candle to her magic. Nopony can."
  455. >She pulls you closer, the hat you gave her brushing its worn threads against your unkempt coat.
  456. >You nuzzle her in return, feeling a bit better.
  457. "I fucking missed you, kiddo."
  458. >She wraps her front legs around you, careful not to upset the delicate cocktail of medications being pumped into you.
  459. >"Don't worry. I'm not letting go anytime soon."
  460. >As Little League kisses you lightly, you finally feel relaxed enough to let fatigue take you into the realm of subconsciousness.
  462. >The next thing you know, Purple is tapping you on the shoulder.
  463. >League is absent from your side, making you question if your entire encounter was, in fact, a dream.
  464. >You inhale lightly.
  465. >Bubblegum.
  466. >Yep, League was here.
  467. >Twilight sets a tray down beside you with a glass of orange juice and a math worksheet on it.
  468. >She just looks at you for a few minutes before you realize the pencil she gave you never fell off of your ear.
  469. >Huh.
  470. >"If you need help with that, feel free to ask."
  471. "I-I think I've got it."
  472. >The math is expectedly simple, you breeze through both sides of the sheet in under five minutes.
  473. >Twilight puts down another worksheet.
  474. >Equestrian History.
  475. >Luckily it comes with a paragraph or two of instruction, otherwise, you never would have finished it.
  476. >You look up at Twilight, and she slaps down a few on writing.
  477. >You glare at her.
  478. "You know I could barely write with hands, right?"
  479. >"I'm only the messenger, Anon."
  480. >You grumble through your pencil as you painstakingly recreate the characters supplied.
  481. "There. I'm done."
  482. >"So you are. Well, goodnight."
  483. >She begins to walk out.
  484. "Hey! Purple!"
  485. >She turns around, clearly annoyed by her given moniker.
  486. >"What?"
  487. "I haven't had anything to eat since... how long have I been out?"
  488. >"Three days. Fine. I can grab you a cup of flavored gelatin."
  489. >You shudder at the thought but nod your head.
  490. >She returns a few minutes later.
  491. >The cup even has a picture of a smiling cow on it.
  492. >Aren't cows sentient?
  493. >"Goodnight, Anon. I'll be by at noon to check you out."
  494. "G-goodnight, Twilight."
  495. >The stutter is a nice touch.
  496. >You might keep it.
  497. >You begin to dig into the gelatin (fuck it, it's jell-o.)
  498. >You begin to dig into the Jell-o® while processing the day's events.
  499. >You woke up, got an insult/hug combo from a now emotionally dependent filly you hardly knew, were forced into thanking Twilight for turning you into a pony, snuggled with an old friend who mysteriously disappeared before Twilight's return, and ate cherry Jell-o®.
  500. >At least you would be out of this place by tomorrow, you needed to get started on your 'pet project.'
  501. >Twilight had messed with the wrong shitposter.
  502. >You pull the blankets over your head as you feel the effects of whatever they added while you were asleep with League kick in.
  503. >You would normally consider it a horrible idea to give patients sleeping medications the day before they were released, but with the seemingly perfect workings of the potions, you weren't too worried.
  504. >Magic sure was a convenient fix.
  505. >You sniff the bed one more time, your nose brushing up against a slip of paper.
  506. >'Meet me after school at the old baseball diamond.'
  507. >You inhale the scent deeply.
  508. >Yep, Strawberry Bubblegum.
  509. >Little League was one hell of a drug.
  511. >Twilight comes by at noon as promised.
  512. >A white-coated Nurse removes the IVs from your front legs, mumbling something about 'this generation.'
  513. >Cunt.
  514. >You take a look at yourself in the mirror for the first time in a while.
  515. >Your black mane is messy and more than a bit greasy. Your chest is wrapped with multiple layers of bandages, which you assume are for your broken ribs.
  516. >Your coat is in much the same state as your mane.
  517. >In other words, you're a fucking mess.
  518. >Purple picks you up with her magic, placing you on her back.
  519. >She smiles a bit when she hears you cry out in pain, your broken ribs not used to the pressure of your own weight.
  520. >"Let's get you home, Clover."
  521. "I can walk on my own, you know."
  522. >"Nonsense. You're in much too damaged a state to walk."
  523. >Her smile turns into a full-on grin.
  524. >"Now let me just take this flight of stairs...."
  526. >Your chest is on fire.
  527. >While the tightly wrapped bandages kept your healing ribs in place, they couldn't do much for Purple's bouncing ass.
  528. >At least she didn't force you to go back to school today.
  529. >You collapse on your bed and begin to feel tears stream from your eyes.
  530. >Damned kid body.
  531. >You shakily force yourself up and slowly trot over to the bathroom.
  532. >You were cleaning yourself up whether you liked it or not.
  533. >No showerhead.
  534. >You sigh, giving in to the inevitable.
  535. >You secure the plug in the bathtub and turn on the faucet.
  536. >Hot.
  537. >While you wait for your bath to fill, you carefully unwrap the bandages around your chest, gingerly setting them aside by the sink for later use.
  538. >Holy shit, Twilight.
  539. >The bruising was visible even through your thick green coat, your ribs appearing to have been set magically in favor of an invasive procedure.
  540. >At least you got to keep your chest fluff, you would [spoiler] be kinda pissed [/spoiler] if they had shaved it off.
  541. >You look over to the tub, cutting the flow of water when you see that it's nearly full.
  542. >So'kay, you were a small pony.
  543. >You climb into the bath, trying not to think of Murdock Nichols.
  544. >Fanbases ruin everything.
  545. >You sigh in relief as you feel the warm water wash over you.
  546. >You hadn't had a proper bath in years.
  547. >Grabbing the coat shampoo, you begin carefully working on your coat, starting with the chest fluff.
  548. >You manage to clean your coat with little difficulty, except when you ran your hoof over your fillyhood.
  549. >You... would have to get back to that one.
  550. >Submerging your head, you begin to work on your greasy mane and tail.
  551. >The tail is the tricky part, you end up having to use your back hooves to fully get all of the shampoo out of it.
  552. >Pulling the plug, you hop out and towel yourself off, admiring your cute little body.
  553. >You glance over at the bandages, taunting you with their nakedly imperceivable uncleanliness.
  554. >You rummage about in the cabinet for a bit, coming out with an almost identical type of bandages.
  555. >Almost.
  556. >They're pink.
  557. >...
  558. >Fuck it, you're a little girl now.
  559. >You wrap yourself back up, doing a rather decent job, though it clearly could have been done better by another party.
  560. >Left for Dead made it look much easier.
  561. >You hop up into bed, preparing yourself for a long reading session of... "Daring Do and the Crystal Spire?"
  562. >Oh fuck, she didn't.
  563. >Looking over at your bedside table, you realize none of the books present in your pack the day you fell are there.
  564. >You groan in frustration.
  565. "Twilight? What the hell did you do to my books?"
  566. >She teleports in from god knows where, grinning ear to ear.
  567. >"I'll be completely honest, I was going to burn them, but I couldn't bring myself to destroy the only known copies of such works."
  568. >No way you were getting them back.
  569. >"So instead, I decided to donate them to the permanent collection of the Canterlot Library."
  570. >Fucking...
  571. "Why the hell would you deny me my only form of decent entertainment?"
  572. >She frowned a bit.
  573. >"You spend way too much time inside, Clover. Those books were only hindering your social interactions."
  574. "Not like you did any different as a child."
  575. >"I won't be hearing any of that. You should be playing outside."
  576. "Twilight, you broke most of my ribs. I thought I'd at least be allowed a bit of respite."
  577. >"After our ride home? Wow, you really don't know me that well." She ruffled your mane for no particular reason.
  578. "Fine... I'll go out in a couple of hours. Happy?"
  579. >"Never. That'll be fine, though." She trotted out, leaving you to the infantile stupidity of Daring Do's exploits.
  580. >You now understood why Rainbow liked these.
  581. >All action and no substance.
  582. >You guessed Twilight only read them for shits and giggles, like when you binged every chapter of My Immortal that one time.
  583. >You polish it off in just under an hour, turning to see what else there is.
  584. >Moon.
  585. >That's all it says.
  586. >No author, cover art, synopsis, or anything else on the outside.
  587. >Odd.
  588. >Normally you'd look something like this up, but the only library that could afford a magical index was the one with your entire stash of literature resting within its four walls.
  589. >Screw it, you had an hour to kill before you had to meet League.
  590. >You eagerly turn the first page to find the usual 'Work of Fiction' bit, with a small asterisk next to 'Fiction.'
  591. >This was very strange.
  592. >The second asterisk didn't seem to be anywhere on the page, either.
  593. >Well...
  594. >You scootch your head over to the lone pillow on your bed and get comfy.
  596. >You stumble out of the castle, visibly shaken to anyone who might be looking at you.
  597. >There was no way Purple had pre-read that.
  598. >It was way too good for what was clearly meant to be a punishment.
  599. >In your universe it would have been Science fantasy, but you guess it would just be Science fiction here.
  600. >After all, what you considered fantasy was their reality.
  601. >Even so, the concept of a lunar prison colony plotting to doom Equestria by plummeting the moon into it was a welcome change from Daring Dong and the Cucked Spiral.
  602. >You almost wanted to keep reading, but you couldn't do that to League.
  603. >Shit.
  604. >You were almost late already.
  605. >You break into a light gallop, careful not to jostle your ribs.
  607. >The Diamond is understandably abandoned, considering the fact that it's built in a clearing in the Everfree.
  608. >It's also the perfect meeting spot.
  609. >An enchantment cast by the landscaper renders it practically invisible to monsters.
  610. >Most ponies are terrified of the Everfree, keeping the Diamond from becoming a stoner hangout.
  611. >You remember the day you discovered it, quietly doing research to determine its safety, and waiting for League's birthday to finally reveal it's existence.
  612. >The two of you had hung out there all day, just enjoying the view.
  613. >You're shaken out of your memories by a boop.
  614. >You scrunch up your nose, eliciting a giggle from your friend.
  615. "Sorry I'm late."
  616. >She smiles.
  617. >You smile.
  618. >"Tis' alright. I expected a delay, anyways."
  619. >She sits down on one of the benches, and you follow suit.
  620. >"So, how has life been as one of us?"
  621. "Do you want me to sugarcoat it, or be honest with you?"
  622. >"Be honest."
  623. "Not that great. Twilight took my books today."
  624. >"Darn. I know how much those meant to you."
  625. >Her avoidance of swearing is a bit annoying. When she found out you hated it, she began to force it even further.
  626. "Damn, League."
  627. >She kicks her leg a bit. "Darn. Unlike you, I'm actually a filly."
  628. >Can't argue with her on that one, though her maturity can make it easy to forget.
  629. "So, why did you bring me out here?"
  630. >She looks over at you. "Isn't it obvious?"
  631. >You shake your head.
  632. >"You're a fish out of water, Anon. I'm going to teach you how to blend into the ranks of the foals."
  633. >If it were anybody else, you'd refuse, but you just can't say no to League.
  634. >You sigh loudly, flopping onto the ground melodramatically.
  635. "So... where do we start?"
  636. >She grins excitedly.
  637. >"Ice cream!"
  638. "Zero to sixty, just like old times. Alright, who are we robbing to get these bits?"
  639. >"I was hoping you would have some. Any ideas on how to make bits?"
  640. >You grin devilishly.
  641. >"No way. Not in a billion years."
  642. "But cockatrice fighting would bring in hundreds! We just need a few cockatrices, a large arena, about fifty seats..."
  643. >She looks over at you, clearly having expected something of a sexual nature.
  644. >Fuck.
  645. >You intended to pose it as a joke, but this could actually work.
  646. "So... are there any kids in our class stupid enough to run after monsters if the price is right?"
  647. >She nods.
  648. >"I think I know a few..."
  650. >Fifteen minutes later, you're leading two very gullible unicorns deep into the Everfree.
  651. >"Uh, we're getting paid, right?"
  652. "All the money you could possibly imagine, and more."
  653. >Ha, you weren't even giving them a half of a percent of your earnings.
  654. >You would rub your hooves together, but you were walking and didn't want to trip again.
  655. >You had encountered multiple creatures, but none of them were exactly what you were looking for.
  656. >You're beginning to doubt your ingenious plan.
  657. >It may be early afternoon, but it could take hours to capture even one cockatrice.
  658. >You'll need at least two for the exhibition match.
  659. >And there's no way you're going to get any ice cream tonight if you go that route.
  660. >You nudge League.
  661. >"Hm?"
  662. "This might be more of a long-term plan for getting bits. Do you want to sell lemonade or something instead?"
  663. >Though you speak quietly, the other two hear you.
  664. >"Hey! Are you telling us you wasted our time taking us out into the Everfree for nothing?!"
  665. "Yes."
  666. >You motion for League to run, and follow after her.
  667. >You can hear shouting behind you, and you smell an acrid burning as a bolt of 1000-degree magick singes off a bit of your mane.
  668. >Why was everyone out for blood here?
  669. >...
  670. >Preachy motivational statements aside, you have to agree with John Wooden on this one.
  671. >Now how to get out of this?
  672. >You could attempt to out-run them, they'd certainly run out of stamina much more quickly than earth ponies would.
  673. >But you couldn't just bet your lives on a risky gambit.
  674. >You grin as you see a lake coming towards you.
  675. >You slow down slightly, just enough to let them be tailgating you.
  676. >You leap forward, kicking up a cloud of sand in your wake.
  677. >They cry out, but you and League are already out of sight.
  678. >Not quite pocket sand, but you'll take what you can get in this pocketless land.
  679. >"Anon?"
  680. "Yeah?"
  681. >"Do you really think they would have killed us?"
  682. "I don't know."
  683. >She looks a bit haunted by this, dammit if you didn't always pretend to know the answer to everything when you were human.
  684. >But times are changing.
  685. "Either way, we're safe now."
  686. >You hug her tightly, and she returns the favor.
  687. >You wish being a filly could just be >this.
  688. >Spending time with League.
  689. >Eh, you could make room for Sweetie.
  690. >You realize now that you want your life to be nothing like the last.
  691. >You think back to all of the other Anons.
  692. >You never even namefagged.
  693. >Not that you had a reason to, you weren't the type to draw or write.
  694. >None of the people you considered your friends will even know of your disappearance.
  695. >You think back to your last post on 4chan.
  696. >You brought the laptop, not that it served the purpose of more than a once very expensive paperweight.
  697. >It still sat in a box somewhere in your old house, the battery long since having been bled dry.
  698. >You never saw the replies that may have come from your post, but you still remember what you typed in.
  699. >'See you in Equestria, faggots.'
  700. >You will never go back.
  701. >You will never take another look at your door, the suicide note still likely nailed to it sloppily.
  702. >When you got to the top of that mountain, you knew you were too much of a pussy to follow through.
  703. >You actually felt a little bit of joy.
  704. >Nobody would be by to see the note for another week.
  705. >You will never hike back down the mountain, relief and regret looming over your head.
  706. >You were murdered that day.
  707. >And there's not a damn thing you can do about it.
  708. >You hug Little League tighter, and she lets out a small squeak.
  709. >You loosen your grip a little, thinking back to Twilight.
  710. "Hey."
  711. >She looks up at you.
  712. "I think I know where we can get some money for ice cream."
  714. "And this is where the Princess sleeps!"
  715. >"Ohh...." Clicking cameras can be heard all around you.
  716. "Now, we'll have to be moving along. Any excess of twenty seconds per room is part of the Deluxe Tour Package."
  717. >League grins at you, her baseball cap with your name on it replaced by one crudely marked 'Tour Guide'
  718. >Fuck ice cream, after you milked a few more groups of clueless tourists, you could buy yourselves an entire cake to celebrate.
  719. >You lead the tourists downstairs into the dungeon.
  720. "This is where the Princess performs cruel experiments on unwilling creatures. Please recall that all of this is highly classified, and government-sanctioned, so there's sh- not much you can do about it."
  721. >You weren't completely lying, the room Twilight transformed you in was down here. As for the government sanctioning, that was complete bullshit.
  722. "Now now, please stop crying. Please remember that tissues are a luxury item, and will only be provided once you have paid the necessary transaction fees."
  723. >Jesus these tourists were pussies.
  724. >As you continue with the tour, League begins to look more and more bored.
  725. >You'd probably be in the same spot if you were really her age, you know how much you hated museums as a kid.
  726. >You decide to wrap up the tour, collecting a few additional fees on the way out.
  727. >League quickly replaces her Tour Guide cap with the old one, and the two of you feverishly work to erase all evidence of there ever having been a tour group.
  728. >Just as you finish disposing of the novelty Twilight bobbleheads, you hear the door creak open.
  729. >Shit.
  730. >League looks at you, worry in her eyes.
  731. >"Anon, you can't let her find me."
  732. >Twilight was well aware of you and League's pre-transformation friendship.
  733. "I know. Just... hide under my bed and watch out for the machinery and chemicals."
  734. >She nods and scurries into your room.
  735. >Twilight trots down the hallway. "Have a nice walk?"
  736. "Mmhm."
  737. >"Ready for dinner?"
  738. "Twilight, it's 4:30."
  739. >"And dinner's ready. Keep in mind that yesterday's offer is still on the table."
  740. >You grumble to yourself as you follow her down the hallway.
  741. >The two of you sit in silence. Not even the owl perched in the corner of the kitchen so much as makes a noise.
  742. >She just set down a simple bottle of milk in front of you.
  743. >HELL NO.
  744. >She and Pegacorn could go fuck themselves.
  745. >She looks you straight in the eye and discharges a few sparks from her horn.
  746. >Fearing for what is essentially your life, you reach out for the bottle.
  747. >She smiles and cradles her head in her hooves, eyes fixated on you.
  748. >...
  749. >You bring the bottle up to your mouth.
  750. >You suckle on it, feeling the still-warm milk enter your mouth.
  751. >The texture almost makes you gag.
  752. >In the end, you finish about half of the bottle before just shaking your head.
  753. >She shrugs and picks it up, pouring it down the drain.
  754. >She finally breaks the silence. "Learn to adapt, or you're going to be a very hungry filly."
  755. >Ugh...
  756. >You run off to your room before she can prompt you to express gratitude for her 'meal.'
  757. >League is gone, and there's a post-it note stuck to your pillow.
  758. >'We need to discuss what we're going to do with our earnings. Meet me outside when you're done eating.'
  759. >That pony needed to replace Sweetie Drops asap.
  760. >You take the rarely mentioned back door out of the castle, seeing your friend leaning up against the crystalline walls, twirling her hat.
  761. >She doesn't notice you yet.
  762. >You decide to sneak up on her, but you trip and fall to the ground.
  763. >League hears you. "Are you alright, 'Clover?'"
  764. "This is my swamp...."
  765. >She just looks down at you, a bit confused, before shrugging it off and helping you up.
  766. >"So, what's the plan for the bits?"
  767. >You rub your flank where you fell, and shrug.
  768. "You wouldn't happen to have anyplace to hide them back at your place, would you?"
  769. >She shakes her head, averting your gaze.
  770. "I think I've tapped the potential of my room's concealing properties with the bed."
  771. >You begin to trot off with League as you ponder the issue, heading for Sugarcube Corner.
  772. >The issue still in the back of your mind, you enter the front door with a bell sounding your entry.
  773. >Before you can say anything, you're tackled by a pink mass of cocaine and cotton candy.
  774. >Your heart beating noticeably harder, you look up to see that it's just Ponk.
  775. "Pinkie, I can't move."
  776. >She hops off of you and starts bouncing around.
  777. >"This is so great! Normally I don't give twwwwwwo welcome to Ponyville parties to the same... thing, but I'll make an exception just for you, Anon!"
  778. >Wot
  779. >Oh right, she's the lowest-functioning omnipotent the world has ever seen.
  780. "That's great, Pinkie, but right now League and I just kinda want to get some ice-cream. Say, could we step into the back-room for a bit to talk about a couple of things?"
  781. >"Sure!"
  782. >As the three of you step into the backroom, you look around for prying eyes.
  783. >Finding none, you sit on a crate of icing and begin to explain your plan to Pinkie.
  784. "League and I have recently made quite a bit of bits selling tours of questionable legality around Twilight's castle. If you could hide our bits for us as a friend, we'd be grateful."
  785. >League seems satisfied with that.
  786. >"I'll do it, but not just as a friend. I have... other demands to fulfill first."
  787. >She glances at you, licking her lips a bit.
  788. >You nervously back up, not sure what to do in this scenario.
  789. "W-what do you want, Pinkie?"
  790. >"We both know what I want Anon, and I'm not above forcing your little friend into it as well."
  791. >You try the door, but it's locked.
  792. >League starts to whimper.
  793. >"Taste testing!"
  794. >Wot
  795. >"I gotcha, didn't I?"
  796. "Heh, yeah. You really got me, Pink."
  797. >You are instinctively hugging League.
  798. >She doesn't seem to mind.
  799. >"Now come on, your bits are worth nothing here. Tonight's round is on the house!"
  800. >Pinkie brings the two of you out into the main area, where she slides a couple of milkshakes across the table.
  801. >"I wasn't kidding about the taste testing though, mkay?"
  802. >She slaps down a notepad seemingly from out of nowhere.
  803. "Do you have a pencil?"
  804. >"You have one on your ear, silly!"
  805. >Oh, right.
  806. >Why can you never remember that?
  807. >You pass it to League, who's already halfway through her shake.
  808. >Sucking in the creamy substance, you immediately know how to describe it.
  809. "Bretty good. Could use some ice cream with it, though."
  810. >Why the hell did you say that?
  811. >"Okay! I will make sure my committee hears your concerns." Pinkie begins pretending to talk to herself, prompting a giggle from both yourself and League.
  812. >Oh that horse.
  813. >You suck down the last bit of your milkshake, letting out a small belch.
  814. >"So... I get off work in a few minutes. Anything you two want to do?"
  815. >Before you can say anything, League pipes up.
  816. >"Let's play a board game!"
  817. >Hey, as long as it's not Ancap Monopoly, it could be fun.
  818. >Don't want to get C&D'd, after all.
  819. >League looks over to you.
  820. >"So, any ideas, Anon?"
  821. "Trump, the game."
  822. >Pinkie laughs. "Silly, that doesn't exist here. I do have Obelisk, you might like that."
  823. >"Sounds fun, how do we play?"
  824. >"Well, it's a bit like chess in the way tha-"
  825. >"Ohhh you have Candyland!"
  826. >Both you and Pinkie look at each other, pain clear on both of your faces.
  827. >"But wouldn't you rather-"
  828. >"Nope."
  829. "Wouldn't it be more stimulating to-"
  830. >"Don't care."
  832. >Sixteen games into Hasbro's coathanger abortion and you're starting to get really pissed.
  833. >You're playing two card rules, but that doesn't make the game any less pure luck.
  834. >Worst of all, League is winning every time, and you can't figure out how.
  835. >Knowing her, she's somehow managed to glean strategy from this complete waste of time.
  836. >You would respect her for it, but you've just been sent back to Plumpy.
  837. >For the fifth time in the game.
  838. >You groan in frustration as League reaches the rainbow tile yet again.
  839. >Pinkie isn't faring much better, but she seems to somehow maintain her chipper attitude.
  840. >"Alright, ready for the next game?"
  841. >Pinkie yawns. "Whoooo I am exhausted! Why don't you two come back some other time? I'm going to turn in."
  842. >Oh.
  843. >Oh shit.
  844. >You glance over at the clock, running out the door in a panicked frenzy.
  845. >Fuckfuckfuck.
  846. >Bolting down the streets, you feel the pit in your stomach grow even larger.
  847. >Twilight wasn't going to be pleased.
  848. >You arrive at the front entrance, only to find it locked.
  849. >There's a note taped to it.
  850. >"Good fillies get warm beds."
  851. >You whimper slightly as you look around at the snow that has begun to fall steadily ever since you left the castle.
  852. >No way you were staying out here tonight.
  853. >You check the back door.
  854. >It's unlocked.
  855. >You grin as you push it open, being as quiet as you can as you move to your room.
  856. >As you push the door open, you notice a light purple aura enveloping the hinges.
  857. >You hear hoofsteps approaching.
  858. >Crying out in frustration, you run down the hallway opposite to you.
  859. >There are four doors you can enter, two of which you notice a seal on.
  860. >The two unsealed doors are marked 'Storage 1' and 'Storage 2.'
  861. >You would comment on Twilight's uncreative naming system, but you only have a few seconds to enter one of the two rooms.
  862. >You decide on storage two until she passes and/or you come up with a better plan to escape her wrath.
  863. >As you hear her enter the hallway, you can hear a faint magical aura open Storage 1.
  864. >You hold your breath and try to move as little as possible, crouching in the corner behind the door.
  865. >Thank god it opens inwards.
  866. >Twilight does a quick sweep of the area with a light spell and closes the door with a bang, moving on.
  867. >In the brief time the room was illuminated, you saw an oil lamp and a small packet of matches lying on the floor.
  868. >Feeling around you feel the lamp, you find and strike one of the matches and carefully set the wick alight.
  869. >Examining the lamp, you can see that it's designed for a pony to carry in their mouth, though it begs the question of why Twilight would need...
  870. >Oh.
  871. >You attempt to push away your guilt.
  872. >Critical failure!
  873. >You begin sobbing quietly on the ground. You're helpless, alone, and the pony that was supposed to be looking after you will hurt you when she next sees you.
  874. >And you...
  875. >You can't let that get to you.
  876. >You put your face next to the lit wick of the oil candle, eager for any warmth you can glean from this cold, unfeeling environment.
  877. >You lie there for a while, simply listening to the raspy sounds of your little lungs breathing.
  878. >You hope the damage Purple did isn't permanent.
  879. >After a bit, you decide that it would be best to make the most of the situation and check Twilight's storage cache.
  880. >Looking around the room, you notice little of potential value, mainly ancient arcane scrolls with inscriptions you couldn't even hope to understand, even if you knew the tongue.
  881. >One thing does catch your eye, however.
  882. >Thrown into the corner of the crystalline closet, is a tiny plush pony.
  883. >You can't quite make out who it's supposed to be at first in the poor lighting, but after giving it another gaze over, you realize it's a rather realistic Celestia doll with something attached.
  884. >...
  885. >Yep, that's a strap-on.
  886. >You would try the thing out right now, but you'd rather clean it off first.
  887. >You grin a bit, your mood improving a bit as you imagine Twilight railing herself with it while screaming "Praise the Sun!"
  888. >Nontheless, you need physical comfort, and you need it now.
  889. >You remove the strap-on and hug the plushie close, enjoying the feeling of the fluffy fabric against your own coat.
  890. >The seals are a one-time use, and it's doubtful Twilight would reseal your room as she looked pretty beat when she poked her head in.
  891. >You trot back to your room quietly, happy to have a warm bed even if it means that Twilight is likely to punish you.
  892. >You cuddle up close to the Celestia plush, making sure to hide the strap-on under your bed for [spoiler]later.[/spoiler]
  893. >As the snow falls lightly, you peacefully drift off to sleep.
  894. >...
  895. >Your dreams are nonsensical at best and nightmares at worst.
  896. >Feeling Twilight squeeze the life out of you over and over again, freefalling down the mountain-face, and flashbacks to that one time you babysat your cousin and had to watch Johnny Test.
  897. >You bolt upright in your bed at the last one, shuddering.
  898. >It looks like you've slept through the night, though Twilight is nowhere to be seen.
  899. >Perfect, you might be able to avoid her if you're lucky.
  900. >Grabbing the strap-on, you turn the knob slowly.
  901. >Moving quietly around the castle is almost second-nature to you at this point.
  902. >You quietly move into the kitchen, grabbing your lunch from the table.
  903. >Wait, what?
  904. >"Come on. You don't really think I'm that stupid, do you?"
  905. "Frankly, yes." You toss the strap on at her and try to book it out the door, but she grabs you with her magicks before you can make much headway.
  906. >She hoists you up into the air, moving your squirming body right in front of her face.
  907. >"As much as I'd like to beat the everliving shit out of you, the fact stands that you have school this morning. If you manage to somehow not fuck up all day, I'll consider dropping my ideas."
  908. "Put me down!"
  909. >"No." With a blinding flash, you're in the schoolyard puking your guts out once again.
  910. >To make matters even worse, you realize that Twilight didn't give you your homework.
  911. >Looking at the clocktower, you notice that it's almost seven.
  912. >Wiping the vomit off of your face, you break into a light canter back to the Friendship Castle,™ glancing at the clocktower every once in a while.
  913. >You manage to make it back by 7:15, completely out of breath, with your ribs giving you more than a bit of discomfort.
  914. >The back door, as always, is unlocked.
  915. >Weareanonymous.txt
  916. >You seem to remember plopping the work down on your bedside table after getting back from the hospital.
  917. >You make it to your room without any issues, sticking the papers in some spare saddlebags you found in the closet.
  918. >School will probably be pretty boring...
  919. >You grab Moon for good measure.
  920. >Trotting out into the hallway, you fail to notice Twilight before she notices you.
  921. >She narrows her eyes. "What are you doing back here?"
  922. "I uh... well, my homework..."
  923. >"And why didn't you grab it when you got out of bed?"
  924. "Look, you're the one who told me not to get in trouble today! I'm about to be late for school, could you at least teleport me back?"
  925. >"No. I'm feeling generous today, we'll let this serve as another warning, hm? Hurry on to school, now."
  926. >You breathe a sigh of relief, and almost break into a gallop trying to get back on time.
  927. >Why do you suddenly care so much about what purple wants you to do?
  928. >No. She's not breaking you, you just...
  929. >My god, she's breaking you.
  930. >This realization hits you like a sack of bricks, forcing you to stop in the middle of the road.
  931. >You look up at the clock tower and groan in anguish.
  932. >You used to fuck with Purple for fun.
  933. >Drinking with Spike.
  934. >Drinking [i]Her[/i] alcohol with Spike.
  935. >...
  936. >You barely make it to school on time, sitting down in the seat that now bears your pseudonym on the front of it, complete with cutesy flowers.
  937. >Your bandages are visible from this angle, and you catch a few of your classmates staring at you.
  938. >You smile weakly, hoping sympathy could earn you a potential friend or two.
  939. >Most of them look away at that.
  940. >So just like before, huh.
  941. >You spot League in the opposite corner, her smug grin visible underneath her cap.
  942. >Sweetie is nowhere to be seen.
  943. >You pull out Moon and begin reading where you left off.
  944. 'Preparations had just begun for what would be a project hundreds of years in the making. The self-appointed Queen, though weak in magical power, still had just as much of a political aura. The unicorns began to pull in passing asteroids, which were in turn smashed by the powerful thighs of the Earth ponies to extract the raw materials....'
  945. >Heh, powerful thighs.
  946. >You could totally get behind some of those.
  947. >Or rather, in front of.
  948. >Just as Ms. Cheerilee starts her lecture on basic fractions, Sweetie Belle enters the classroom, taking her seat in the front of the room.
  949. >She doesn't look too well.
  950. >You're still not sure what the exact verdict on the status of the other two Crusaders is, but you can assume.
  951. >Poor kid.
  952. >You go back to reading, the class time dwindling away until lunch.
  953. >You're passed a worksheet which you complete with little effort.
  954. >You intentionally miss a few of the problems, however.
  955. >Don't want her figuring out you know all of this and giving you actual work, even if that would probably be just as easy.
  956. >You laugh at the prospect, you only barely passed your last math class in college.
  957. >Granted, you did skip about half of the lectures...
  958. >The bell rings for lunch, interrupting your thoughts.
  959. >You see your classmates already filing out.
  960. >You should probably find a few to sit with, not that you don't have any in mind.
  961. >Sweetie looks like she could use some cheering up, so you go over to sit by her.
  962. >You were going to get League, but she followed you over to the bench anyways.
  963. >Hmm... how to inquire about the other two without sounding like a jackass?
  964. >You reach into your saddlebags to retrieve your lunch, only to come up empty-hooved.
  965. >Right, dammit.
  966. >"How are you feeling, Nonny?" Sweetie nudges you, prompting you to jump a bit.
  967. >You needed to establish a name, and stick with it.
  968. "Alright. You two think pink is my color?"
  969. >"Well, I guess those were just the bandages they gave ya, right?"
  970. >"She was wearing white ones in the hospital."
  971. >"Wait, how did you know that?"
  972. >League smiled slyly. "I'm a wizard."
  973. "Pffft. As if. Where's your book of arcane magic and your staff?"
  974. >"Duh. At my house! You think I'd bring that S-word here?"
  975. >Sweetie laughs, seemingly feeling a bit better.
  976. "I'll have you know, I'm the mightiest sorcerer in the land and my energy can only be replenished with the blood of fillies!"
  977. >You begin to chase the other two around, eventually catching and doing subsequent mock satanic rituals to 'Harvest their life energy, or whatever.'
  978. >The three of you collapse back on the bench, sweaty, covered in dirt, and laughing hysterically.
  979. "That's how you win an [i]actual[/i] game, League."
  980. >League just brushes you off, still giggling.
  981. >You're still really hungry, not that you'd tell the others that.
  982. >You get a drink of water to distract yourself, but it doesn't help much.
  983. >Sitting back down, your stomach grumbles.
  984. >"Nonny, do you have a lunch?"
  985. >Fuck.
  986. "I'm not that hungry, really."
  987. >Sweetie looks at you, clearly not buying it.
  988. >"Mmhmm. League, hold her down!"
  989. >Wot
  990. >With strength you didn't know she possessed, League pins you to the ground.
  991. >You mumble something about pro wrestling, but they ignore you.
  992. >"Look, friends are there for each other, Nonny. I'm not just gonna let you go hungry."
  993. "I'm fine, please. You need that food just as much as I do."
  994. >League chips in. "No, she doesn't. Anon, you're going to f-word yourself over if you keep up like this. Stop being prideful, and eat."
  995. "If I agree, will you get off of me?"
  996. >"Yes."
  997. "Fine."
  998. >Sweetie offers you half of her sandwich, and League offers you half of hers.
  999. >Peanut butter and jelly doesn't go that well with cucumber and cream cheese, but you're grateful either way.
  1000. >"That wasn't so bad, was it?"
  1001. "Heh, yeah. At least you're not forcing breast milk down my throat, right?"
  1002. >Awkwardsilence.mp4
  1003. >The bell starts to ring, and the three of you head back into the classroom.
  1004. >The next subject is history.
  1005. >The main lesson consists of the conflict from that one Hearth's Warming episode, excepting the fact that it goes more into political relations than the episode did.
  1006. >It interests you just enough to get you to put down the book and listen in for a bit.
  1007. >Not to mention the fact that you don't want to fail one of the few subjects you don't have as much of a natural edge in.
  1008. >Despite still being horrible at writing with your mouth, the rest of the day passes uneventfully, and you soon find yourself waiting for Twilight once again.
  1009. >League left as soon as the bell rang, and Sweetie cited a prior engagement with Rarity.
  1010. >"Hey, faggot."
  1011. "No you."
  1012. >"Is that all you say?"
  1013. "No. You."
  1014. >At least her lackey had already left.
  1015. >Come to think of it, it was just the two of you out here now...
  1016. >Apparently she notices this as well as she slams her hoof into your cheek.
  1017. >Hard.
  1018. >You lose your balance and fall over onto your back, thanking your lucky stars she didn't aim for the ribs.
  1019. >"Pathetic. I can see why a moron like you would just wander off into the Everfree alone."
  1020. >Don't retaliate.
  1021. >"I never thought Twilight's daughter would be such a weakling."
  1022. >She's just trying to piss you off so she can get you suspended.
  1023. "Ha. As if. I'm no daughter of that bitc-"
  1024. >She slams her hoof into your other cheek.
  1025. >She stood over you, smiling menacingly.
  1026. >"You really shouldn't talk that way about the Princess of Friendship."
  1027. >Despite the pain in your ribs and in your mouth, you laugh.
  1028. "Is that really all you have? Basic psychological tactics and a few thrown punches? Look, kid, I can read you like a book. You're trying to piss me off so that I'll fight back. Once that's said and done, you'll go home and cry to your parents about me, and get me suspended. While I appreciate the effort, you aren't saying anything I haven't heard a thousand times before from pe- ponies of a much higher caliber than you are. Go home, kid. You're not going to get shit done here today."
  1029. >She looks at you, obviously trying to hide the stunned look in her eyes.
  1030. "Your type are a dime a dozen. At least you were lucky enough to be born into wealth, that should give you a good four years after we finish school before your parents boot you out and you have to work at the local McDon- Hayburger."
  1031. >Damn these ponies and their term twisting.
  1032. >You wrap your forelegs behind your head, fully exposing the bandages you had partially covered.
  1033. >Big mistake.
  1034. >She throws a punch which you just barely manage to dodge, it connecting with your side as opposed to your ribs.
  1035. >Hurts like a bitch, but it's better than the alternative.
  1036. >You get into a standing position as quickly as possible, managing to avoid being knocked back over.
  1037. >No way you were letting your ribs get fucked up twice in one week.
  1038. >You glance back, seeing your assailant not far behind you.
  1039. >You whimper a bit despite yourself, not sure how the fuck you're going to get out of this one.
  1040. >There don't seem to be any ponies around that you could seek out for help so you just begin to run frantically, calling Diamond a cunt over your shoulder and zigzagging a bit, though you're not sure how effective that is.
  1041. >You greatly overestimated your stamina, and begin to slow considerably after a little while, while DT maintains a steady pace.
  1042. >After a jog through about half of Ponyville, you collapse.
  1043. >A shadow moves towards you.
  1044. >"Pathetic."
  1045. >"What the fuck are you doing to my daughter?!"
  1046. >"Ms. Sparkle I-"
  1047. >"Princess Sparkle, you little shit. If I see you near Clover again, well, let's just say that it wouldn't be my first time experimenting on a minor."
  1048. >She gulps and runs off.
  1049. >"H-hey, Anon. Were you a good filly today?"
  1050. >You immediately wrap her in a hug, forgetting just for a moment about all of the pain she's caused you in the last few days.
  1051. >She smiles, returning the gesture.
  1052. >Do you really want to kill her?
  1053. "Y-yes."
  1054. >Damn filly emotions, you're starting to tear up.
  1055. >You just let it happen as you bury your face in her chest and begin to sob.
  1056. >Sure, she's an abusive cunt who kidnapped you from your world for her studies, but if she hadn't been there, you would be dead right now.
  1057. >"Shh... shh... let it all out. I'm here now."
  1058. >And she's all you have now.
  1059. "S-she knocked me over, a-and then she t-tried to b-break my ribs again..."
  1060. >"I'll see to it that she's taken care of." She gently lifts you with her magic, carefully lying you down belly-up on her back.
  1061. >Could this be all she wants, just a filly to take care of?
  1062. >No... you'd be crazy if you conformed to this!
  1063. >Aaaaaah!
  1064. >You can't fucking decide!
  1065. >You feel yourself slowly drifting off to the rhythmic movements of Twilight's back.
  1066. >Your last thought before slipping into a deep sleep is that you never thought you'd ride a pony [s]Non-sexually.[/s]
  1067. >...
  1068. >You wake up feeling oddly comfortable.
  1069. >Your wet mane is covering your eyes.
  1070. >Huh, wouldn't have thought you'd sleep through her bathing you.
  1071. >You can feel something warm next to you, and come to think of it, all around you.
  1072. >Twisting your neck slightly, you can see that Twilight is snuggled up next to you, her feathery wings having a similar effect to a down sleeping bag.
  1073. >Goddamn you miss camping.
  1074. >She notices you stirring.
  1075. >"Hey, sleep alright, Clover?"
  1076. >You'll let it slide this once.
  1077. "Yeah... how long was I out?"
  1078. >She glances at the clock on the wall. "About two hours." She nuzzles your chestfloof.
  1079. >You really shouldn't, but you're going to let bygones be bygones for the moment for the sake of cuddles.
  1080. >After all, Purple is really comfy.
  1081. >You return the favor, though she has considerably less of the aforementioned.
  1082. >You know this isn't right.
  1083. >Not that this is [i]that[/i] bad, stay out of trouble, have the fun childhood your awkward self never had...
  1084. >There really isn't an easy answer to this, but you think you can at least rule out murder for the time being.
  1085. >You become so lost in your own thoughts that you fail to notice Purple pulling out a book until you hear the sound of pages turning.
  1086. >"So, I felt a bit bad about donating your books to the Canterlot library, and decided to retrieve a few of them. Anything in particular you'd like for me to read to you?"
  1087. >You ponder her question for a moment.
  1088. "Anything works, I'm not all that picky."
  1089. >"Alright. 'Gil's All Fright Diner,' here we go!"
  1090. >Hoo boy, you're not sure she's going to enjoy that one.
  1091. >Ah, screw it. Let her figure out the context as she goes.
  1092. >"In the middle of nowhere, along a quiet stretch of road, the diner dreamt of the hungry dead. And of two men. Well, not men exactly..."
  1093. >It's been a while since you've read this one, and that certainly adds to the enjoyment of it. It's a campy book, but it's worth a good laugh, and the story isn't half bad either.
  1094. >Plus with your close proximity to Twilight, you get to feel her cringe every time a sexual euphemism of some sort is made.
  1095. >Surprisingly, she manages to wrap up about half the book before closing it.
  1096. >She doesn't bookmark it, so you can only assume she's gotten enough out of it, or has a good enough memory to remember where she left off.
  1097. >Judging by her apprehension to all of the sexual jokes, you're banking on the former.
  1098. >Regardless, it was rather nice to have her read to you.
  1099. >You could get used to this, if only she acted like this most of the time.
  1100. >She interrupts your thoughts by slowly shifting out of your bed.
  1101. "Noooo..."
  1102. >"Sorry, I just figured I'd start cooking dinner. Anything strike your fancy?"
  1103. "Hmm... yes. Beef tenderloin, medium rare. Served with broccoli, mashed potatoes, a side of Bearnaise sauce, and a glass of Rosé."
  1104. >"Okay, really."
  1105. >Shit.
  1106. "Um... tendies?"
  1107. >"Anon, what the Tartarus are these 'tendies' you're always talking about?"
  1108. >You grin evilly.
  1109. "You see back where I'm from, chickens aren't treated as living creatures, they're treated as simply living, breathing ingredients in the great tendy machine."
  1110. >"Okay, go on."
  1111. "When a chicken has reached sufficient mass, aided by growth hormones, it is herded along with thousands of its brethren into a 'tendy artery.' These arteries, aided by the power of the internal combustion engine, carry the chickens to the glorious, efficient tendy machine."
  1112. >"And what does this machine do?" She looks quite concerned at this point.
  1113. "Worry not, a swift rotating blade ends the misery of all but a few unlucky fowl. For those unlucky enough to receive the sweet embrace of death-"
  1114. >"Okay, okay! I get it! Your world is a horrible, cruel, place!"
  1115. "Quite the contrary, you didn't let me finish. The ends certainly justify the means, for of the blood and bones of the unimportant fallen come the sweet, succulent nuggets of joy known only as 'tendies.'"
  1116. >Well, not known only as, but for narrative purposes you'll leave that out.
  1117. >"I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that, for your sake. I have some soy nuggets if that's alright."
  1118. "Alright..."
  1119. >The Owl is seemingly asleep, for its presence doesn't grace the dining room with it's judging, cold, eyes.
  1120. >You've never really been one to admire birds of prey.
  1121. >You can respect their tactics and brutal efficiency, but something about those talons and sharp beaks never quite set well with you.
  1122. >As the last of your pseudotendies are completed, you dig in, begrudgingly.
  1123. >Tofu is nowhere as good as meat, PETA be damned.
  1124. >So many inconsistencies...
  1125. >The gelatin was kosher, but meat isn't?
  1126. >Normally that would set alright with you, but in a world where the cattle are able to speak in the same manner as equines like yourself...
  1127. >No, not like yourself.
  1128. >You [i]are[/i] human, aren't you?
  1129. >Wiping the crumbs off of your lips, you sigh.
  1130. >Nothing will ever be the same, and it's all your own damn fault.
  1131. >Lost in thought, you fail to notice the magical aura until it has already enveloped you.
  1132. >You kick your hooves pointlessly as Twilight giggles.
  1133. >"You know you're pretty cute when you aren't acting like an ass, Anon."
  1134. "I-I'm not cute!"
  1135. >You pout a bit.
  1136. >"Sure you aren't. Come on."
  1137. >She carries you over to her bedroom, laughing a bit.
  1138. >You allow yourself to be carried, not like you have much choice in the matter.
  1139. >Purple sets you down on your ass, climbing onto the bed after you.
  1140. >She lays down, exposing her lactating teats.
  1141. >You're not even going to ask what spell she dug up to activate them.
  1142. >"Come on, Clover. Aren't you still a bit hungry?"
  1143. >You really are, those soy spawns of Satan aren't very filling, not that you'd tell her this.
  1144. "Twilight, this sort of shit is exactly why I 'act up.' No, the tenders were plenty filling, thank you."
  1145. >You begin to walk away.
  1146. >When will you learn?
  1147. >Twilight grasps you firmly with her magic, pulling you close to her.
  1148. >She looks down at you, and for the first time you notice just how much she dwarfs you as an Alicorn.
  1149. >"Say that again for me, will you?"
  1150.                                                              --Alt End 1--
  1151. "Fuck. You."
  1152. >She grins as she holds you down with her surprisingly powerful hooves, must be the damned earth pony in her.
  1153. >"You have no idea how much I've wanted to do this since the moment I saw your adorable little green face, but I'm a pony of high moral standards."
  1154. >Ha, as if.
  1155. >Wait, she isn't implying is she?!
  1156. "No! Please! I'll suck the tits!"
  1157. >"You're far too late, Anon. Your fate was sealed the moment you set foot in the Everfree. I'd like to show you what it feels like to have something taken away from you."
  1158. "Please, Twilight! Be reasonable! You can't blame me for something that was out of my control."
  1159. >You can see the burning hatred in her eyes now more than ever before, even more so than on the day she turned you.
  1160. >You struggle even more violently under her hooves, screeching loudly in hopes that the castle walls were never soundproofed.
  1161. >Your cries go unheard as Twilight prepares the spell, her purple magic enveloping your skull as you feel yourself slipping down the drain.
  1162. >...
  1163. >You are Little League, filly of obligatory Anon pursuit and unnamed sports-based talents.
  1164. >The weekend has been cruel to you without Anon, or Clover as he's now known.
  1165. >You mainly just loitered around, which was allowed for the most part since you're a cute filly.
  1166. >But it was all going to be worth the wait to see him again!
  1167. >You skip excitedly to school, your hat freshly washed with care [s]And a couple of Hyde pods.[/s]
  1168. >As you enter the schoolyard, you see Anon chatting with Sweetie Belle, though you can't make out anything from this distance.
  1169. >As you move closer you can hear them discussing Cutie Marks.
  1170. >Sweetie notices you. "Hey, League! Come on over!"
  1171. >Anon looks at you a bit puzzled.
  1172. >"Who's she?"
  1173. >...What?
  1174. >WHAT?!
  1175. "Anon, it's me. League."
  1176. >She gives you another confused look.
  1177. >"My name is Green Clover, nice to meet you too?"
  1178. >Oh no.
  1179. >Nononononononono.
  1180. "Anon, please! The Baseball Diamond! The time you took me out on a date as a joke! Please, I know you're in there!"
  1181. >"She's a bit of an odd one, isn't she?"
  1182. >"League over there is just imaginative! I figured I'd introduce you to some of your classmates since it's your first day."
  1183. >You sit through class in a daze, the questions swirling in your head preventing you from getting any work done.
  1184. >Why would Twilight do this to Anon?
  1185. >How had she cast the spell on the entire town?
  1186. >Why weren't you effected?
  1187. >You don't even notice lunch, and before you know it, the day is over.
  1188. >Instead of going home, you trot off into the Everfree, following the path less traveled to the Diamond.
  1189. >Somehow you expected him to be here...
  1190. >At least you still have a solution.
  1191. >The hazy daze of today, the blurry details about what you did this weekend, they all make sense.
  1192. >As you step outside the Diamond, you smile as you hear a Timberwolf stalk nearby.
  1193. >Soon you will exit this nightmare and be back with Anon, safe and sound.
  1194.                                                              -/Alt End 1--
  1195. "Um... I could make room?"
  1196. >"Good enough." She levitates you over to her waiting teats, gently pressing your face into them.
  1197. >You reluctantly begin to suckle, soon feeling warm milk trickle into your mouth.
  1198. >Though this isn't your fetish, you certainly would rather have it than any punishment Twilight might dish out.
  1199. >...But this is a punishment, isn't it?
  1200. >When your stomach is sufficiently full of milk, you scooch back away from Twilight's crotchtits.
  1201. >She begins to gently wipe the milk off of your face, laughing a bit at you.
  1202. >So this is her plan, then.
  1203. >To slowly break you with conditioning like this.
  1204. >You have to give her credit for trying, but you were made of tougher stuff than that.
  1205. >Years of putting up with the bullshit of psychologists had given you considerable insight into just how to prevent people from getting inside your head.
  1206. >It'd probably be in your best interests to go along for now, though.
  1207. >You snuggle into Twilight's mane, the length of it allowing you to use it as a blanket of sorts.
  1208. >It hasn't yet gained the flowing quality of the original two yet, but it's actually quite comfortable.
  1209. >Maybe you could let yourself enjoy this just for a moment...
  1210. >You hear a slight shimmering of magical discharge as Twilight levitates something up onto the bed.
  1211. >She clears her throat and you turn your head to see that she is, in fact, holding a book.
  1212. >'Applied Organic Chemistry and the Equestrian Citizen, a Field Guide.'
  1213. >Ha, bitch thinks that'll knock you out cold.
  1214. >Jokes on her, you enjoy Chemistry and...
  1215. >You yawn, realizing just how tired you are.
  1216. >You can't let Purple horse win this fight, though.
  1217. >As she begins to read word for word from the textbook, you feel your eyelids grow heavy.
  1218. >But that would happen with any book.
  1219. >You curl up into a ball, belching slightly due to the milk.
  1220. >You're asleep before your head hits the sheets.
  1221. >You don't recall any of your dreams as you wake up and look over at the old clock on your wall.
  1222. >7:30.
  1223. >Shit, you were going to be late for school!
  1224. >Rushing out of bed and down the hall, you suddenly grasp just how ridiculous this all is.
  1225. >1. Since when do you care about your second education?
  1226. >2. Why the fuck didn't you realize it was Saturday?
  1227. >You giddily consider the possibilities of an entire day without the Tyranny of Purple.
  1228. >Though you really should gather supplies in case you decide to go through with your plan, you'd rather sneak into the Apple farm under the cover of night, you still have no idea where to find Sulfur, and Charcoal is also out of the question until someone lands their ass in the hospital.
  1229. >Not it.
  1230. >You decide to absentmindedly head off in the direction of League's house. Despite the fact that you've lived in Ponyville for a bit now, she might know what to do.
  1231. >You arrive at the tiny cabin on the edge of town and ring the doorbell.
  1232. >You hear some objects crashing over, and eventually a haggard-looking stallion arrives at the door. "Look, kid, I don't want your fucking cookies. Either get off of my lawn, or the dogs are going to escort you yourself."
  1233. >At least he was a bit nicer now that you were a filly.
  1234. "Heya. Just came by to see if League was home."
  1235. >"Yes, what's it to you?"
  1236. "She's a friend of mine, and if you lay a hoof on me, I can throw quite the hardball if you catch my drift."
  1237. >He looks at you, puzzled.
  1238. >"Kid, you're fuckin' hilarious! Give me a second, I think she's reading."
  1239. >He disappears from view as you hear a bit of shouting and a few objects being thrown.
  1240. >Truth be told, you never liked Minor League, but he was the only other guy in town who could hold a candle to you when it came to drinking challenges, so you tolerated him.
  1241. >At least he didn't abuse Little League to your knowledge. Nobody fucks with that filly on your watch.
  1242. >Or lack thereof...
  1243. >Good fillies wear watches.
  1244. >Minor brings out League a few minutes later, and the two of you walk off.
  1245. >"So, any plans for today, Anon?"
  1246. "Well, we still have our haul from a few nights ago. I think we can trust Pinkie to not blow it all on hookers and cocaine."
  1247. >Pinkie promise your ass, you had tied that bag as tight as you could. You liked Pinkie, but you trusted no one with your cash.
  1248. >Well, the plural your in this case.
  1249. >Not that (((they))) could distinguish.
  1250. >The two of you head in the direction of Sugarcube Corner, arriving a few minutes later with no issues.
  1251. >Might just be a lack of an early morning rush, but everything seems quiet.
  1252. >Too quiet.
  1253. >You case out the building but find nothing. All of the curtains are drawn, though the door doesn't appear to be locked.
  1254. >You open it a crack to check for a tripwire or other nefarious riggings, only to be hit in the face with a shit ton of confetti.
  1255. >"Surprise!"
  1256. >Awww...
  1257. >You smile as the lights turn on to see a room full of ponies, most of them unfamiliar faces.
  1258. >Still, it's the thought that counts. You do recognize Sweetie Belle, Pinkie, (of course) and a few of the fillies from your class along with a few of the ponies you used to go drinking with, though they don't seem to be too interested in you.
  1259. >League looks just as confused as you are, but knowing Pinkie's uncanny abilities, you decide not to question how she knew exactly when you were going to arrive, lest you find evidence of a single, static, timeline.
  1260. >Dammit, don't think about it!
  1261. >You hop up on the stool next to Pinkie, League taking her other side.
  1262. >Oh yeah, and Sweetie Belle is also there.
  1263. "Thanks for all of this, Ponk."
  1264. >She giggles and boops your nose, prompting you to scrunch it. "Please. It's my job to welcome everypony to this town, (she lowers her voice) even if that means doing it twice!"
  1265. >She slides you a root beer, which you begin to chug with reckless abandon.
  1266. >Hell of a lot better than your first party already, Pinkie couldn't convince anyone to come to it.
  1267. >At least Pinkie was there. That was the first time you really got to know her.
  1268. >The two of you talked for a few hours, mainly small talk until you got onto the topic of music.
  1269. >You left the bakery that day with a head full of songs, and an arm full of records.
  1270. >It was a shame the fall had destroyed your phone as well as broke your legs, (fucking Purple) you really wanted to show Pinkie some of the stuff humans listened to.
  1271. >You'd start with Shadilay...
  1272. >League rouses you from your memories with a hoof on your back.
  1273. >"Hey, Anon. Want to dance?"
  1274. >Hot damn that is some fine electronica.
  1275. >Well, assuming their equivalent of electronic instruments don't run on magic...
  1276. "Hell yes."
  1277. >Dancing as a pony is a bit odd, and it's made even stranger by the fact that you've never danced with another person before.
  1278. >You were always the kind to sperg out and dance to shit in your house when no one was around.
  1279. >With League as your guide though, you began to get the hang of it.
  1280. >You move your hooves to the beat, turns out ponies don't really dance with others like humans do.
  1281. >Fine by you.
  1282. >You let the beats take you for a while, until Pinkie taps your shoulder.
  1283. >"Hey Anon, you look hungry. Want to take a break?"
  1284. >You nod, realizing the last thing you had consumed was...
  1285. >We don't talk about the last thing you had.
  1286. >Pinkie slides a cupcake over to you, and you begin to chow down on the frosted treat.
  1287. >Damn, that's some high-quality frosting. You let out a small moan as you swallow.
  1288. >You offer a bite to Sweetie, only to see that she and League have already been served.
  1289. >Pink horse really doesn't beat around the bush when it comes to cupcakes.
  1290. >You'd make a joke about the spectral coloration, but you're not that much of a faggot.
  1291. >A few minutes later, some party games are organized.
  1292. >Pin the tail on the pony, some tables set up with board games, (though one is noticeably absent.)
  1293. >You recieve even further confirmation that your shitty hand-eye coordination has carried over into your filly form, as you end up hitting the wall more than the pony.
  1294. >League outdoes you by a few dozen points, and your other friend doesn't participate.
  1295. >Yep, you've still got all of your chips on something to do with sports.
  1296. >After a few more rounds of root beer and cupcakes, you're completely stuffed.
  1297. >Twilight probably won't be happy when you're too full to suckle, but you can't let yourself worry about that now.
  1298. >The party guests eventually begin to leave.
  1299. >Most of them simply exit, but Sweetie comes over to you.
  1300. >"I'll see you... Clover."
  1301. "Yeah, seeya around."
  1302. >Eventually even Pinkie starts hinting to the fact that the reservation for the venue has almost expired.
  1303. >You thank her, taking a few of the bits from the stash with you, and exit into the afternoon.
  1304. >The party lasted longer than you thought it did.
  1305. >Time flies when you're having fun, you guess.
  1306. >You decide to lead your friend up to Sweet Apple Acres, making sure to stay on the trail.
  1307. >Don't want Best Pony to go Purple on your ass.
  1308. >The gate is open, and though you wouldn't expect a harvest in the dead of winter, it's eerily quiet, the wind whistling through the barren orchard.
  1309. >You breathe in the cold air, letting yourself go back to all of the winters you had back on Earth.
  1310. >You would usually get up early, shovel the snow off of your driveway, (you never went anywhere, but it became a habit.) and make a cup of hot chocolate.
  1311. >You reserved the latter for only the most frigid of days, otherwise you wouldn't enjoy it nearly as much.
  1312. >But you're here today for a reason.
  1313. >You grasp the knocker on the barn door firmly in your mouth, and give it a few strong swings.
  1314. >You hear shuffling inside, and something being grabbed.
  1315. >The door opens a crack, a shotgun barrel extending from it. "What in the hay-" the barrel lowers. "Oh, it's just fillies. Applebloom... isn't home right now." You hear a few sniffles in her voice.
  1316. >Dammit, you just want the Potassium Nitrate, you didn't ask for a sad horse.
  1317. "That isn't what I've come to inquire about. I figured you being a farmpony you might keep some Saltpeter around."
  1318. >"Saltpeter? What's a little filly like you inquirin' about saltpeter for?"
  1319. "I have bits to pay for it?"
  1320. >You hear a sigh.
  1321. >"Listen, ahm not in the mood to pass potentially dangerous chemicals along to little fillies. Give me a reasonable explanation, or git."
  1322. >This was going to be more difficult than you thought.
  1323. "I figured I'd try my hand at some dry mixtures. I'm trying to get into alchemy, like Applebloom!"
  1324. >You put as much enthusiasm into it as possible so there can be no doubt in her mind of your sincerity.
  1325. >What kind of filly would be an emotionally manipulative faggot?
  1326. >Oh no, she isn't...
  1327. >Nah, you did stuff like this in the before.
  1328. >You think you did at least.
  1329. >Applejack lets the door slide open all the way, a slight smile and tears in her eyes.
  1330. >"Of course, pumkin.' Let me just check the cellar."
  1331. >She disappears outside of the barn, leaving you and League to the inside.
  1332. >You have a few minutes to look around, and the first thing you notice is the sheer size of the building.
  1333. >The show never did it justice, but the ceiling is massive with a smaller partition in the corner for living.
  1334. >You never really took the Apples for structural engineers, but you chalk it up to it being in the farming cutiemark package.
  1335. >Either way, it proves all of those faggots wrong about her being a stupid mudhorse.
  1336. >No bias there, just the truth.
  1337. >As you're admiring the massive tree trunks used in the vaulted ceiling, Applejack comes back in with a can crudly marked 'Stump Removal.'
  1338. >"Well, that should do it, Sugarcube. If you ever need anything, come back, ya'hear?"
  1339. "Thanks! I'll be sure to come back some other time when Applebloom is home!"
  1340. >You ass. You really didn't have to take it that far.
  1341. >"That's... great, hon."
  1342. >When you get outside, League looks at you, clearly displeased.
  1343. >"What the h-word has gotten into you, Anon?"
  1344. "I-I..."
  1345. >You really did take it too far.
  1346. >Since you're just a filly, Apple likely won't see it as any more than some unintentional tear-jerking. If you went back and apologized, you'd just be acknowledging the fact that you're a prick.
  1347. >League, on the other hand, knows you.
  1348. >And this isn't characteristic for the Anon she knows. [s](And loves.)[/s]
  1349. "League... I'm sorry. I never met Applebloom and..."
  1350. >"No. Not knowing her is no f-wording excuse for the way you acted back there. The Anon I knew was a shoulder to cry on, not an... asshole!"
  1351. >League never swears.
  1352. >Never.
  1353. "Look, life hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows for me either, League. I've been beaten, humiliated, demoralized, and not to mention the fact that I'm a fucking filly now! When Twilight first turned me, I assumed I was getting the easy way out. A lax punishment, if you will. After all, she could have ended me, then and there. But she didn't. I still haven't decided if living this life is better than the alternative and I... I..."
  1354. >Without warning, the floodgates open and you begin to cry uncontrollably.
  1355. >League trots over to you, any semblance of anger gone from those beautiful fucking purple eyes.
  1356. >She wraps her front legs around you in a warm embrace.
  1357. >"Anon... listen. I'm not going to lie to you and tell you that everything is okay, because it clearly isn't, and I respect your intelligence as I know you would respect mine in a situation like this. But... I'm here. Whatever happens, I'll be there for you. Because I owe it to you. Because that's what friends do."
  1358. >You bury you face in her chest, sniffling lightly as you take in League's warm fur as a welcome contrast to the cold environment that is the farm.
  1359. >After a few minutes, you feel like you can get up off of the cold ground, though tears still trickle down your cheeks, the saline being all that keeps them from freezing to the fur on your face.
  1360. "H-hey, it's kinda cold here... want to continue cuddling back at the Castle?"
  1361. >She gives you a small smile. "I'd like that."
  1362. >Wihin just a few minutes of getting in your warm bed with League, you start to feel infinitely better.
  1363. >She takes care to avoid your bandages in her embrace, gently nuzzling your cheek.
  1364. >Despite your earlier and likely drug-addled perceptions, League is actually a little bit larger than you are. [s]inb4 shit writefag continuity.[/s]
  1365. >This makes the cuddling a bit surreal, as the pony that you looked after for years at your towering height now holds you close, your fuzzy green body comparably smaller than her beige one.
  1366. >You'd be lying if you told yourself you weren't loving ever second of it, though.
  1367. >You feel yourself drifting off again.
  1369. >...
  1370. >[-t the rhythm. I know you're not as well well versed in biology as some, but surely you've heard the warnings about young snakes.]
  1371. >[No.]
  1372. >[[i]Sigh.[/i] The danger of a young snake is that it is unable to control its flow of venom, often injecting more than is neccessary. The flipside of the bit is the fact that their glands have not yet developed to the level adults have, and so their radical venom injection poses as much a threat to themselves. After all, with a depleted supply, how are they supposed to escape from their next predator?]
  1373. >[I see.]
  1374. >[Your mind is weak, but you don't lack ambition like my other pupils. You will find the pony that you seek deep in the Everfree.]
  1375. >[And if I fail to find them?]
  1376. >The dream fades out with nothing more than the first distorted voice laughing, your subconscious sight still as blind as Helen fucking Keller.
  1377. >By the time you've awoken, half of the dream has already faded.
  1378. >You feel the soft breathing of Little League next to you, and snuggle in closer.
  1379. >You had your plush Applejack for this back at home, but League was better to the power of immeasurable.
  1380. >You hear the door creak open.
  1381. >No.
  1382. >Not like this!
  1383. >If she saw League...
  1384. >Hmm...
  1385. >You quickly hop out of bed, muttering a quick "sorry..." to League as you break the embrace, and rush out the door.
  1386. >"Oh! Anon! I didn't expect you to be home yet. Just coming in to clean your room and such..."
  1387. >You give her your best cute smile, complete with extra eye sparkles.
  1388. "That won't be neccesary, at least not yet. Can I have a sleepover with my friend?"
  1389. >Note to self, find a better hiding place for your doomsday device than under your bed.
  1390. >Twilight beams at you. "Aww... you've made a new friend already? Sure! Just... let me know if there's anything I can do for the two of you."
  1391. >You give her a quick hug and rush back into your room.
  1392. >League looks at you, clearly confused.
  1393. >The castle might be soundproofed, after all.
  1394. "So... do you want to stay the night?"
  1395. >League nods ecstatically. "Yes!"
  1396. >Nice.
  1397. >Hmm... what to do?
  1398. >You recall Twilight having some board games set aside for rainy days, but most of them wouldn't be fun for two players, though you did spot chess and Battleship.
  1399. >Alternatively, you could do something entirely different.
  1400. >Hide and seek would be fun, but you're still worried about the small chance that Purple will recognize League.
  1401. >Call it paranoia if you must, but you'd like to keep the two apart for as long as humanly possible.
  1402. >...What used to be humanly possible.
  1403. >You do, however, have the best game known to man.
  1404. >Chess.
  1405. >Well, technically it was checkers.
  1406. >And some of the pieces were missing.
  1407. >You had to improvise, but eventually you had all 32 pieces.
  1408. >The checkers present serving as pawns for their 'respective' sides, with the missing pawns and specialty pieces being represented by a small scraps of paper with the first two letters of the piece identification embroidered on them with care.
  1409. >Ha, no way. Like you were able to do anything with this mouth [s]Besides lick pussy.[/s]
  1410. >Though the game of chess was invented in Equestria long before your arrival, (you're just a cheap fuck.) League is still unfamiliar with the rules.
  1411. >You spend an extra ten minutes explaining the rules of the game before you finally plop back down on the bed to play with her.
  1412. >She takes white because you're a generous fuck.
  1413. >Though she certainly has some skill, you end up absolutely demolishing her, much to your own distain.
  1414. >You were trying to ease off, but all of those years of using chess as a means to settle petty, stupid disputes made you damn competitive.
  1415. >League sighs as you beat the dead horse, ramming your 'queen' into her 'king' after achieving checkmate.
  1416. >"How did you get so good at this game?"
  1417. >Years of circlejerking, autism, and general idiocy flash before your eyes.
  1418. "You... [i]really[/i] don't want to know."
  1419. >Despite her defeat, League still seems to be in a rather chipper mood.
  1420. >You decide against another game of chess, knowing your competitive nature will likely ultimately betray you again.
  1421. >You grin as you look around the room, finding a bed, three pillows, a small rug, and an armchair...
  1422. >Maybe they were made for Minotaurs?
  1423. "The floor is lava."
  1424. >You toss the pillows on the floor, separated by about five feet of space each.
  1425. >Not impossible for the two of you, but certainly a challenge.
  1426. >League pulls back her hat, a look of intense concentration on her face as she makes the first jump, barely avoiding the perilous pit of molton mantle that rests below you.
  1427. >Now it's your turn.
  1428. >Adjusting for the wind that somehow blows deep in this cave, you estimate that you need to aim for the area directly next to the stone pillar. [s](Deactivated fan.)[/s]
  1429. >As you leap you feel a sinking in your stomach as you miss the ledge completely, only to have a beige hoof wrap around your own.
  1430. "Whew, that was a close one. Thanks for saving my ass there, League."
  1431. >"No problem. We're in this hunt together."
  1432. >You clear the remaining leaps with surprising speed, and a little help from potions of stamina. [s](Applejuice.)[/s]
  1433. >The temple is massive considering how far under the earth it is. Your handy thermomometer-inator measures an excess of... sixteen degrees.
  1434. >Damn, the pony measurement system just took all the fun out of your perils, didn't it?
  1435. >As you enter the temple, you scan for pressure plates, tripwires, and the like.
  1436. >You apparently roll rather low on your perception check, because League has to keep you from triggering traps multiple times.
  1437. >As you approach the throne room, you lay eyes on it, drooling in pleasure already.
  1438. >The scepter of Dairy ad infinitum!
  1439. >A magical relic that grants its user unlimited access to ice cream of any type they desire!!!1
  1440. >Hmm... doesn't come without a cost, though.
  1441. >On the wall a riddle is scrawled in an ancient tongue which has twelve slots below it.
  1442. >While League combs through her Ancient Language Dedecipherizer,™ you take a look at the wall opposite to you.
  1443. >Two sets of the alphabet are inscribed in stone tablets.
  1444. >Upon closer examination, each tablet has a specific magical rune etched into its back.
  1445. >Unfortunately, the slots beneath the riddle seem to lack any distinguishable runes.
  1446. >"Clover, I've decipherized™ it! The riddle reads..." She clears her throat. "Upon a bed a male doth lie, three limbs bound with a heavy sigh. Upon the eve of every day, a genocide he orchestrates."
  1447. >There appear to be multiple cleverly concealed vents throughout the room, along with a stone slab affixed to a magical trolley.
  1448. >If you don't want to end up as steamed juice, you'd better get the riddle right.
  1449. >You ponder it heavily, seeing that both of your lives are on the line.
  1450. >League wasn't perverse enough to use a riddle that involved dicks, was she?
  1451. >"Clock's ticking, Anon."
  1452. >Clocks.
  1453. >That's it.
  1454. "Ha! You gave up your little game, League!"
  1455. >"Did not!"
  1456. >You hear her mumble under her breath "Metagamer..."
  1457. >You strut over to the alphabets, taking one out of each set in alternating order, forming a set of Twelve.
  1458. >You mumble as you input them,
  1459. "A-1, B-2, C-3, D-4, E-5, F-6, G-7, H-8, I-9, J-10, K-11, L-12!"
  1460. >You sport a smug smile as you input the last one.
  1461. >The giant stone slab falls into place as you look at League, bewhildered.
  1462. >She's sporting a shit-eating grin.
  1463. >The room begins to fill with... is that methane?
  1464. >Fucking League...
  1465. >You sigh and sit down.
  1466. >Methane poisoning was going to take a long fucking time...
  1467. >"And so the two brave adventurers were never heard from again, all because Anon was horrible at interpreting context clues!"
  1468. "Ugh..."
  1469. >You need a drink.
  1470. >You're about to go out and try to hunt one down when you hear Purple calling.
  1471. >League really got you on that one.
  1472. >"Fillies! Dinner!"
  1473. >Oh shit.
  1474. >You likely weren't getting out of this situation without some scrapes and bruises...
  1475. >League notices your wide eyes and drops the look.
  1476. >"What's wrong?"
  1477. "Twilight knows about you."
  1478. >"So? She seemed fine with it earlier."
  1479. "I didn't say it was you... I just said I had 'brought over a friend.' I'm fucked..."
  1480. >"I could always just cite a prior engagement and leave..."
  1481. >You weigh your options.
  1482. >Having League leave right now would probably be a bit suspicious, but you could talk your way out of Purple's wrath.
  1483. >On the other hand, you're in for a lonely night if she doesn't stay.
  1484. "League?"
  1485. >"Yeah?"
  1486. "Please don't leave. I know it might not end well, but the alternative of being here alone tonight... I-I just don't know if I could take it."
  1487. >She gives you a soft smile.
  1488. >"We're in this together, right?"
  1489. "Just like always."
  1490. >"Just like always.
  1491. >The two of you stay close as you navigate the castle over to the dining room.
  1492. >Twilight's smile immediately turns to a frown as she sees who you brought.
  1493. >"Little League, what an... unexpected surprise."
  1494. "So, what's for dinner?"
  1495. >Twilight glares at you, but responds.
  1496. >"Ravioli with pesto."
  1497. >League continues to feign oblivion as the three of you eat quietly, Twilight pausing every once in a while to mumble something under her breath that you can't make out.
  1498. >Needless to say, the two of you eat very quickly.
  1499. >"Thanks for the meal, Twilight."
  1500. >"Princess Twilight."
  1501. >You laugh a bit, prompting another icy stare from Purple.
  1502. >You see Twilight's horn light up a tiny amount as you begin to hear her voice in your mind.
  1503. >'Don't think I don't know what you're doing, you little shit.'
  1504. >Laughterstops.mp3
  1505. >Your blood runs cold as your suspicions are confirmed.
  1506. >You're not sure if this is an open-ended channel, but you respond regardless.
  1507. 'Just leave her out of this, please.'
  1508. >'I'll do whatever the hell I want to, once I decide what that is. Now run along and enjoy the rest of your little sleepover.'
  1509. >Fuuuuu
  1510. >You would love to do just that, if Purple hadn't just...
  1511. >You don't even want to know what she's going to do to you.
  1512. >Regardless, League is counting on you to host, the night is young, and you still haven't even cracked open any childish board games yet.
  1513. >Fuck it, you didn't come all the way to Equestria to just end up a sniveling mess on the floor, that's just what Twilight wants from you.
  1514. >Jokes on her, you know where she keeps the booze.
  1515. >Feigning a mope off into the castle, you spring up as soon as you're out of sight.
  1516. "League, if I'm going to die, I want to spend my last moments singing shitty drinking songs. You can either sit there awkwardly sober, or you can join me."
  1517. >She just gives you a massive goofy grin.
  1518. >"Friends share, Anon."
  1519. >You take a moment to stop by your room to conceal your implements of mass destruction properly underneath a conveniently loose piece of amethyst.
  1520. >Okay... you may have only just now remembered that you and Lyra had gotten into the planning stages of a massive drug operation, which required you to have a place to hide the funds.
  1521. >Would have been really fucking useful earlier with the cash, but you digress.
  1522. >The two of you navigate your way over to the main stairwell, descending to Twilight's dungeon.
  1523. >Tapping your left forehoof against the walls, you eventually hear a metallic clank.
  1524. >Pressing your hoof against the cleverly-painted button, you are rewarded with a click.
  1525. >Descending the rest of the way into the dungeon, you see that a portion of the stone foundation has slid out to reveal a well-stocked cabinet of alcohol.
  1526. >You never dared to get into this beforehand, you were too afraid of the consequences.
  1527. >But even though you're trembling at the cabinet, you feel an obligation to follow through.
  1528. >To drink like no filly has before.
  1529. >Grabbing an expensive looking bottle of vodka and what appears to be cherry brandy, you and League walk back to your room, grabbing a few cups from the now empty kitchen along the way.
  1530. >You decide to pour a bit of the brandy for League, while pouring the equivalent to three shots of the vodka for yourself.
  1531. >Tapping your paper cups together, the two of you begin to drink.
  1532. >After the first cup, it's clear that your horse liver combined with your young age has given you the approximate metabolism that you had as a human.
  1533. >Namely, very shitty.
  1534. >After a bit of talk and your third round you're starting to get a nice buzz, and you tell League to stop drinking when she feels the same.
  1535. >Resealing the bottles, you return them to their cabinet in the stairwell, hopping back up on the bed with a little bit of difficulty.
  1536. >"Hey, you need a hand there, Nonny?"
  1537. "Heh, yeah. Figured you'd say hoof, but whatever."
  1538. >She wrapped her hoof around yours in a way that was reminiscent of what happened in the adventure, pulling you up with a bit of a tug.
  1539. >"It's not my fault all that time I spend with you is making me think like a human! Next thing I know I'll be growing fingers!"
  1540. "Ha! Don't even joke about that shit, I can't stand PTFG!"
  1541. >"Who the what now?"
  1542. "Nevermind."
  1543. >You've been giggling for a while now, and true to the saying of laughter being contagious, League has joined you.
  1544. >Enjoying the moment, you let the laughter die out before continuing.
  1545. "Twilight's probably going to want us to turn off the lamp in a few. Do you have any decent ghost stories to tell?"
  1546. >"Hmm... there is one."
  1547. >You perk up your ears to express your undivided attention.
  1548. >"Once upon a time, far from Equestria in a nation long since reduced to barren wastes, there was a Princess who wished for nothing more than the secret to true immortality..."
  1549. >Sounds like the setup you would get from some NPC in a D&D campaign you would have designed a few years back.
  1550. >You really try to listen in simply for the sake of politeness, but your memories of this are likely going to be pretty foggy regardless.
  1551. >To your surprise instead of taking the Necromorphic route, League's story goes for the delusional serial killer route, which is a welcome change, even if it makes the character a bit less sympathetic.
  1552. >Well, true immortality would suck dick regardless.
  1553. >Biological immortality would be interesting, but the only ones you know to have ever achieved such a feat have armed guards regulating every aspect of their lives.
  1554. >Excepting one, that is.
  1555. >You still don't know how Twilight got away with that.
  1556. >Maybe it was due to the fact that most ponies were incredibly pacifistic.
  1557. >But you should never use that as an excuse to bar your own protection.
  1558. >Maybe she has that much faith in her combat abilities.
  1559. >Maybe she hasn't read all of the books in her library.
  1560. >You recall one time coming across a book entitled 'The Blood of Immortals,' unfiled and in a state of mild disarray.
  1561. >You had taken it back to your home to look over, it's not as if she would have noticed a single missing book in a stack of hundreds that were unfiled.
  1562. >You were expecting a dusty essay on the lives of the princesses, but when you first turned the torn cover you found a notice about 'Disturbing Material.'
  1563. >Never one to shy away from what lesbian horses considered to be disturbing, you dug in eagerly to find more than what you could ever hoped for.
  1564. >Instead of a traditional index of chapters or sections, you were greeted with a list of names.
  1565. >None you recognized, but there was one distinct similarity.
  1566. >They were all the names of ponies.
  1567. >You flipped to the edgiest sounding name in the book and took a gander.
  1568. >'Name: Compound Fracture. Occupation: Emergency Medical Technician. Race: Unicorn. Talent Approximation: Applied Alchemy.'
  1569. >The next paragraph detailed how the pony had snuck into the castle under the guise of a security guard and attempted to dope Celestia's tea with a high enough dosage of Fentanil to kill a manticore.
  1570. >Execution wasn't a punishment deemed ethical by Equestrian Law, so she was quietly exiled.
  1571. >Apparently the only reason she wasn't able to properly carry out her plan was a slight change in the schedule that had moved the first tea break five minutes back.
  1572. >She had been found the next morning with her head blown half-open, which was ruled an arcane suicide.
  1573. >Yadda yadda, guard released from duty for failure to follow protocol...
  1574. >Apparently a simple string had been burned into the wall before she had offed herself.
  1575. >It read: _!% )%}} _"}}- (_ \[&|[@!_
  1576. >Odd, likely a final attempt to fuck with the system, as the key was never found.
  1577. >You doubt it was really meant for them, either way.
  1578. >League appears to be wrapping up her story, so you give her your full attention.
  1579. >"And as the final Celestian missionary's life faded, so did the princess's final threads of sanity. The creatures in the forest below heard a mad cry, a sickening snap and then nothing."
  1580. >Though you only half paid attention, it seemed to be a pretty good story.
  1581. >League certainly didn't have interests that aligned with the other fillies you had known, but that was part of why you liked her.
  1582. >You give her a couple of hoof-claps.
  1583. >"Alright, you suggested I tell a scary story, now it's your turn."
  1584. >You wrack your brain for the perfect internet horror story, eventually deciding to retell Ted's Cave to the best of your ability.
  1585. >You've read through it a couple of times, but as you begin you already know that you're leaving out details.
  1586. >Unfortunately, League doesn't seem intrigued by the more subtle forshadowing near the beginning, and climbs under the covers mumbling something about 'resting her eyes.'
  1587. >Before you can even wrap up the second update, she's out cold and snoring slightly.
  1588. >You sigh a bit, but what did you expect? She's still just a kid, after all.
  1589. >Carefully maneuvering your way into the bed, you wrap your forelegs around her for what is to be the third time today.
  1590. >It never does get old.
  1591. >Before you blow out the oil lamp, you toss her hat onto the nightstand, revealing the rest of her teal mane.
  1592. >Beginning to feel a little drowsy yourself, you return your left forehoof to League's back, inhaling that deep scent of bubblegum every time you inhale through your nose.
  1593. >You close your eyes, letting the alcohol take you.
  1594. >...
  1595. >Screaming.
  1596. >Even worse, it sounds like it's been sampled by some 'artistic' motherfucker and run through a synthesizer.
  1597. >What once could have been any number of vocal ranges has become a high-pitched whine barely even distinguishable as equine.
  1598. >You try to feel your own prescence in the dream, but no matter how hard you try you can't seem to dispell the darkness that masks all sight.
  1599. >The arcane attacks that come next are heard well enough that you can discern that whatever has distorted the voices of those in your dreamscape did so with a purpose.
  1600. >You can hear the crunching of leaves increase in volume as what seem to be multiple quadrupedal animals chase after what you can assume was the screamer.
  1601. >You'd honestly not remember this nonsense if you could help it.
  1602. >Not until these dreams went anywhere other than cryptic bullshit, at least.
  1603. >It comes as a bittersweet satisfaction when the dream dissolves a few seconds later, apparently having completed whatever message was supposed to be relayed to you.
  1604. >Well, you might be jumping to conclusions.
  1605. >Recurring dreams weren't uncommon in your childhood, perhaps these odd nightmares were just your way of acclimating?
  1606. >You hadn't had any like this in the week or so Twilight had kept you prior to forcing you to go to school.
  1607. >It's odd to be dreaming lucidly without any control.
  1608. >Whatever happened seems to be over though, so you will yourself to wake up.
  1609. >Opening your eyes groggily, you see that it's still pitch black in your room.
  1610. >You feel a bit of warmth-
  1611. >Oh shit.
  1612. >You fucking pissed yourself.
  1613. >League probably won't care all that much, but you're already on thin ice with Purple for bringing League over.
  1614. >The sheet area surrounding your legs is completely soaked and smells rather strongly.
  1615. >League seemed to roll out of the way in her sleep, luckily.
  1616. >You hop in the shower to clean off your legs as you develop your plan of action.
  1617. >The cold water makes you shiver, but a small adjustment makes the situation a bit more tolerable.
  1618. >Pulling down the showerhead you begin to give yourself a deep cleaning.
  1619. >You bite your lip to suppress a moan.
  1620. >When all of this shit was over you were going to really enjoy yourself, but now certainly isn't the time.
  1621. >Hopping out of the shower, you firmly begin to towel off your hindquarters.
  1622. >The process leaves them with a rather distinct ruffled appearance.
  1623. >Moving as quietly out of the bathroom as you can, you decide there's no easy way to get this done.
  1624. >You're going to have to wake up League.
  1625. "League?"
  1626. >"Mmph... dad, it's Sunday."
  1627. "League, it's Anon."
  1628. >"Oh, yeah. Why'd you wake me up?"
  1629. "Er..."
  1630. >Shit.
  1631. >"What is that smell?"
  1632. >You sigh.
  1633. "League, I wet the bed."
  1634. >She starts to giggle a bit, and you feel the blood rushing to your face.
  1635. "I-it's not funny!"
  1636. >She sleepily wiggles her way out of the bed.
  1637. >"Sure it isn't. And I'm Starswirl the Bearded."
  1638. >You respond with a bit more force than was probably neccesary.
  1639. "Can you just help me with the sheets?"
  1640. >"Sure thing. Look, you're in the same boat as half of the fillies in Ponyville. No biggie."
  1641. "I don't want to talk about it!"
  1642. >She laughs again, pulling the thin comforter off of the bed.
  1643. >You and League work like a well-oiled machine, pulling up the corners of the sheets in record time.
  1644. >You decide to carry the sheets to the washing machine, after all you're the one that caused the problem in the first place.
  1645. >You see League searching the closet as you exit the room.
  1646. >The washing machine is down the corridor to your left, if you recall.
  1647. >Right next to Twilight's room.
  1648. >you gulp as you move through the castle.
  1649. >Clip-clop. Clip-clop.
  1650. >Every miniscule noise you make causes you to cringe inwardly.
  1651. >You teter on the scale of freedom and incarceration.
  1652. >Any small mistake could doom you.
  1653. >You suck your chest entirely when you see a small flickering light emanating from beneath Twilight's door.
  1654. >The quiet of the night allows you to barely distinguish the sound of a yawn and the light hum of magic.
  1655. >No turning back at this point.
  1656. >You pull the sheets down a bit with your teeth,stepping on the fabric.
  1657. >You manage to get over to the machine and get the sheets in with no problem.
  1658. >You can deal with the washing portion later, the most important thing right now is silence.
  1659. >Without the sheets to mask your steps, you find yourself moving much slower.
  1660. >You're sure to stray from the light as not to cast any shadows.
  1661. >As you near the end of the corridor, you breathe a sigh of relief.
  1662. >You did it.
  1663. >You had avoided a potentially very hostile encounter.
  1664. >You stride back into your room, seeing that League has already set the sheets back up and fallen asleep.
  1665. >You don't blame her, yesterday was packed.
  1666. >You climb back into bed once again, trying your best to fall asleep.
  1667. >...
  1668. >You don't feel all that tired.
  1669. >Well, couldn't hurt to get a bit of reading done.
  1670. >You grab Moon from your bedside table and light the lamp.
  1671. >League doesn't seem to be irritated by the light, as she keeps on snoring.
  1672. >She looks really cute asleep, her chest rising and falling in tune with her soft snoring, and her mane spread across the pillow.
  1673. >It occurs to you that you probably look similar.
  1674. >You dig into the book, distracting yourself from your life for a moment.
  1675. >"Iron?! Are you insane?"
  1676. >"I thought the-"
  1677. >"No. I won't allow you to endanger the structure of this society with your recklessness."
  1678. >[i]With a blast of pressurized air, the stallion was sent screaming into the infinite beyond of the ether.[/i]
  1679. >Well, that's one way to kill off a character.
  1680. >After a few more chapters, the book starts to do its trick.
  1681. >You feel your eyelids growing heavy as you replace the piece of fabric you've been using as a bookmark.
  1682. >You never liked waking up to the feeling of a book spine in your side.
  1683. >Restoring the novel to its correct spot on the table, you scoot away from League.
  1684. >You're not taking another risk with your bladder.
  1685. >Your eyelids finally shut completely for the night.
  1686. >...
  1687. >"Get up! Get up! Get up!"
  1688. >Jumping out of bed, you stand at attention, giving League a salute.
  1689. >And then promptly fall over.
  1690. "Ugh... water..."
  1691. >Your brimming headache hadn't been helped by that sudden burst of activity.
  1692. >League doesn't seem to be fazed by the alcohol for some reason, because she disappears into your bathroom to retrive a cupfull.
  1693. >You eye the cup you drank from last night warily, but take a long sip from it without a problem.
  1694. >League washed out all of the booze, so it's comfortably drinkable.
  1695. >Looking over at the clock, you see that it's almost 7:00 in the morning.
  1696. "Do you think anything was up with Applejack? She seemed to be acting a bit strange."
  1697. >"Oh, I don't know Anon. It's not as if her little sister just died or something."
  1698. >Rood.
  1699. "No, I mean... out of character. Something seemed to be up with that horse, and I want to know what."
  1700. >"Anon, if you're suggesting spying on her, no. I won't go along with it."
  1701. >She might be right...
  1702. >You didn't exactly have a PhD in pony psychology, after all.
  1703. "Okay, League. Do you want to run a couple of errands with me? I still need Sulfur if you know where I could get it."
  1704. >She nods, putting her hat back on.
  1705. >"Sure. Nothing planned until later."
  1706. >You grab the tiny bag of bits you retrieved yesterday in your mouth, and start to walk out the door.
  1707. >Purple is standing there silently, as if she's been waiting for you.
  1708. >"Hello, Clover."
  1709. "H-hey..."
  1710. >"Listen... I've thought long and hard about my actions yesterday. I felt guilty for what I had caused, so I decided I'd like to make it up to the two of you. Only if you want to, of course."
  1711. >She gives you a smile you're sure has been custom-molded as 'sincere and apologetic.'
  1712. >League gives you a look of pure horror behind the frame of the door, mouthing 'no.'
  1713. >You give League a slight nod.
  1714. >You at least have to know what she wants first.
  1715. "What do you have in mind?"
  1716. >"Just a small game. The rules are quite simple, really."
  1717. "What do you have in mind?"
  1718. >"If I told you that, it would ruin the fun. Now come-"
  1719. "I never accepted."
  1720. >She shows you another mask of a smile.
  1721. >"You never needed to."
  1722. >With a flash, you and League are in a different room.
  1723. >If you're still in the castle, it's not a room you recognize.
  1724. >A table is set up, with two cups of coffee on it, still steaming.
  1725. >You can hear Twilight's voice in your mind, and by the perking of her ears, you can assume League is having a similar experience.
  1726. >"I'm sure you're wondering what this is all about. I'll indulge you. I was running low, so I needed children. Normally I'd snag a few troublemakers from the Canterlot Orphanage, but when the two of you acted up I knew you were perfect."
  1727. "What did I do? I'm still confused about how making a friend is worth doing... this over."
  1728. >"I'm not finished, please don't interrupt. Both of you have an equal chance to leave this room alive. I've set up a magical circuit, the break for which is bound to both of your heartbeats individually. As soon as one of you is dead, the other may leave the room unharmed."
  1729. >A metal doorway became illuminated in purple.
  1730. >"What you perceive as coffee is not coffee. It is an incredibly acidic substance that will eat through organic matter like a child eats through your finances.
  1731. >She chuckled coldly.
  1732. >"What you perceive as an air vent is not an air vent. It will begin to release Carbon Dioxide at the fifteen-minute mark. By my estimate, the average foal shouldn't be able to survive past the forty-five-minute mark. The best of luck to the both of you."
  1733. >The two of you sit silently for at least five minutes.
  1734. >Neither one of you can bring yourself to look the other in the eyes.
  1735. >If you were to lose League you couldn't live with yourself, but you imagine she would be having similar thoughts if you did anything drastic to yourself.
  1736. >There really isn't a solution in this situation, but you need to do something.
  1737. >This is no longer a silly riddle about wanking it.
  1738. >You finally decide it's time to break the silence.
  1739. "It doesn't smell like anything other than coffee, but that's not really indicative of anything. There's a good chance she's bluffing, which is why I'm willing to take the risk for your sake."
  1740. >"I'm not gonna let you do that. I'm not going to live with emotional trauma because my best friend killed herself in front of me. If you're doing this, I'm doing this."
  1741. "League-"
  1742. >She gives you a small smile.
  1743. >"You know there's no stopping me."
  1744. >You let out a long sigh.
  1745. "Yes, I know. On three, then?"
  1746. >"One."
  1747. "Two."
  1748. >"Three!"
  1749. >The two of you grab the mugs and tip as much of the now lukewarm liquid into your mouth as possible, swallowing.
  1750. >It tastes just like coffee, but there's not telling if Twi can transmute the liquid remotely.
  1751. >Okay, you don't know the first thing about magic, but that seems within reason.
  1752. >The two of you finish off your cups soon after.
  1753. >"Alright, thanks. The door is unlocked. Go play or something."
  1754. "Yes!"
  1755. >You're not home free yet, but it's incredibly unlikely that she's going to kill you today.
  1756. >You've served her purpose, and now you can fuck off in peace.
  1757. >League still looks a bit traumatized.
  1758. "H-hey... do you want to talk things over over a milkshake or something?"
  1759. >If you keep this up you're going to get booted off to /trash/ again, but it seems necessary.
  1760. >After all, you could have died back there.
  1761. >Come to think of it, the whole situation seemed a bit off.
  1762. >If you recall correctly, it was the flip-side of the coin that dealt the deep organic damage.
  1763. >Sure, drinking a strong acid would still kill you, but her wording...
  1764. >Same with the CO2.
  1765. >Potentially dangerous, but a bit off-kilter.
  1766. >It probably doesn't matter that much.
  1767. >Right now all that matters is that League is alright.
  1768. >Well, physically.
  1769. >Seeing the Princess of Friendship™ like that was bound to leave a few mental scars.
  1770. >"A-alright. Where to?"
  1771. >It would probably be best to not antagonize Ponk any more.
  1772. "Do you know of any other places besides Sugarcube corner?"
  1773. >"There's this place over near the creek where my mom used to take me, they have pretty good pastries."
  1774. "Alright, lead the way!"
  1775. >...
  1776. >You saved the mood!
  1777. >League is currently trying to cool off a mug of hot chocolate while you try to figure out how to cut an Éclair with >hooves.
  1778. >After your seventh attempt to grasp the fork, you just give up and accept your fate of getting cream all over your face.
  1779. >You're able to lick the area around your mouth clean, but you'll need help with the rest of it.
  1780. >As League settles into a rhythm of alternatively blowing and slurping, you lean back in the shitty wooden chair provided.
  1781. >You're not sure you want to wrap League into the whole reasoning behind your chemical needs, that would make her an accessory to murder.
  1782. >As she gets down to the bitter slurry of cocoa and water at the bottom, she looks up at you.
  1783. >"So, what now?"
  1784. >After a bit of consideration, you decide it's time to come clean.
  1785. "Alright, I need to tell you something in secret, League."
  1786. >"Alright, don't worry. I won't tell a soul."
  1787. >She mimes zipping her lips.
  1788. "I can't do it in such a public environment as this, though. If you want to know, grab a lighter from your house and meet me out at the Diamond. I have to check on Sweetie, she didn't seem all that well yesterday."
  1789. >She gives you a concerned look, but nods at you.
  1790. >"Whatever it is, I'll do whatever I can to help you. You've been there for me in the thick and the thin, and it's time I returned the favor. How soon?"
  1791. "Three hours? I should be able to be out of there by then."
  1792. >"Alright. Thank you."
  1793. >You wrap her up in a hug, a gesture which she returns almost immediately.
  1794. >The two of you part ways soon after, and you begin the walk to the Boutique.
  1795. >You look around to admire the scenery for once.
  1796. >The drifts of snow are are deep, but the townsfolk have made quick work of whatever blocked their pathways.
  1797. >Just a product of the technology, or lack thereof.
  1798. >You shouldn't judge too harshly, though. Your roads relied on a similar system.
  1799. >Well, not that you had much snowfall where you were from, but that's besides the point.
  1800. >As you stop to playfully scoop up a snowfall or two to throw at the various ponies walking by, you notice something barreling towards you.
  1801. >Just as you could swear it reached terminal velocity, it crashes into the drift next to you, obliterating it into a fine white dust.
  1802. >Well, not all of it.
  1803. >You can still hear muffled grumbling, and see two blue legs sticking out with a stylized cloud present on either side.
  1804. >Ah, your good old friend Sonic Speed!
  1805. >You notice that the harness on her saddlebags has come loose, letting them skid off into the road.
  1806. >You have a good minute before she'll be able to free herself.
  1807. >After a small internal debate, you decide to grab her saddlebags and bring them over to her.
  1808. >Looking at her exposed legs, you grin.
  1809. >Picking up a loose feather from the ground, you begin to rub it on the sensitive underside of her hooves.
  1810. >"Mmph"
  1811. >Still isn't legible over the sound of the snow.
  1812. >You should really help her, she might run out of Oxygen at some point.
  1813. >Locking your forelegs around her back legs, you give a firm pull, managing to loosen up the snow enough for her to climb out on her own.
  1814. >"That wasn't very nice!"
  1815. >She glances at the saddlebags in your mouth.
  1816. >"Hey! Give me those!"
  1817. "Youghr naht being very polight."
  1818. >"Fine... please?"
  1819. >You pass them over to her.
  1820. "Hey, I have a bit of time before I have to be anywhere. Want to do anything?"
  1821. >"Do I know you? No, seriously. I'm horrible with faces."
  1822. >You could use this.
  1823. "Of course you do. You babysat for me as a foal?"
  1824. >Shit, no way she'd buy that.
  1825. >She was horrible with children.
  1826. >"Oh yeah! Emerald... I want to say Hornet?"
  1827. >Holy shit.
  1828. "Close enough, I'm Green Clover."
  1829. >"Ah! That was it!"
  1830. "So.. what do you have in the bags?"
  1831. >"About fifteen milligrams of None of Your Business!"
  1832. >She bursts out laughing, and you join her with your own forced giggles.
  1833. "Neat, can I take a look?"
  1834. >"I don't see why not."
  1835. >She opens the first bag, revealing a few dozen rolls of gauze bandages.
  1836. >"During the off-season for Wonderbolt events and in-between slee- working my job as a weather pony, I run supplies across town. Helps to pay the bills for the plumbing in my house..."
  1837. >She shudders.
  1838. >"Point is, I need the training, they need the deliveries. Well, I'd best be getting these off to the hospital, see ya."
  1839. "You never showed me the other pouch, come on!"
  1840. >Her neck snaps into perfect form as her grin disappears instantly.
  1841. >"I should really be going."
  1842. >She starts to hurry off.
  1843. >You would head after her, but at this point you doubt you could catch up.
  1844. >Grumbling to yourself, you start up again.
  1845. >...
  1846. >You arrive at the Boutique a few minutes later.
  1847. >After giving the door a few firm knocks, you sit down to wait for someone to answer.
  1848. >You hear a bit of shuffling, but nobody comes to the door.
  1849. >Not willing to take another loss, you decide to check all of the doors to see if any of them are unlocked.
  1850. >Strangely enough, the back door is left ajar.
  1851. >You quietly open it, letting yourself in.
  1852. >Something isn't right here.
  1853. >Everything seems to be in a state of disarray.
  1854. >Rarity was never one of your favorites, but you know she wouldn't stand for this.
  1855. >Checking the main floor yields no clues.
  1856. >Going up the stairwell, you hear the shuffling sounds increase in frequency.
  1857. >Well, here goes nothing.
  1858. >You kick down the door where you recognize the sounds to be coming from, striking what you think to be a cool bipedal action pose.
  1859. >Of course, you promptly lose your balance and fall to the floor.
  1860. >Rubbing your head and getting up, you see a mildy amused but still very bound and gagged Rarity in the corner.
  1861. "Shit."
  1862. >You came here for Sweetie, but even worst pony didn't deserve to starve to death slowly.
  1863. >You grab a knife from the kitchen, slicing through her bonds.
  1864. >You doubt you could've untied them, anyways.
  1865. >You also undo the gag.
  1866. >It's not one of the bondage ones you always used to see lying around your gay friend's house, just a bunch of wadded dish towels shoved in and secured with a piece of rope.
  1867. >Clearly whoever did this doesn't have disposable income.
  1868. >As soon as it's off, she starts flooding you with dialogue.
  1869. >"Oh, Celestia! Thank you for saving me! I knew someone would come, though I didn't expect such an unkempt filly. I-"
  1870. "Yeah, you're welcome. Where's Sweetie Belle?"
  1871. >"I don't know. She ran off when they came."
  1872. "They?"
  1873. >"They were wearing masks and black skintight suits. I didn't catch any identifying features."
  1874. >Shit.
  1875. "Do you know if she's a decent runner?"
  1876. >"I know she can sprint, but I don't have anything on stamina..."
  1877. "Thank you. You should probably report this to the authroities."
  1878. >"Oh no. I couldn't do that, we've already spent quite a bit of effort keeping this under wraps."
  1879. "Keeping what under wraps?"
  1880. >"I'll tell you, but only because you saved me. The magic of friendship is a very powerful weapon. We've used it multiple times to seal away and murder some of Equestria's most despicable, but it's a very fragile thing. Without one of the Elements present, the other five won't function as weapons. That's where Sweetie comes in..."
  1881. >You hop up on her bed, frankly more than a bit pissed that she called you unkempt just because of your mane.
  1882. >She raises an eyebrow, but doesn't object like you hoped she would.
  1883. >"Researchers at Canterlot University, under the encouragement of Twilight Sparkle, found that the magic can be absorbed by other ponies in lesser amounts, provided they are often in close proximity, and have a close relationship with the Element-bearer."
  1884. >You nod.
  1885. "I'm guessing this research was rather applicable, wasn't it?"
  1886. >"Well, as soon as the press began to report on the study, half of the team was kidnapped. After that, it was unanimously agreed upon that we needed to keep our sisters out of harm's way. The public would be informed that they were dead after a short gestation period of 'disease.'"
  1887. "Then what of Sweetie? Why wasn't she brought away as well?"
  1888. >"I'll get to that in a minute. Scootaloo went off without a hitch, but Applebloom was taken by a group of ponies the night before her planned extraction."
  1889. "Any relation to the ponies that came through here?"
  1890. >"Possibly, they didn't get a look this time. It happened when everypony in the house was asleep. Right, back to Sweetie. Twilight felt it would be unnessesary and slightly suspicious if all three of them disappeared, so she decided to leave Sweetie alone."
  1891. "So... you let one of your assets get kidnapped, leave one unguarded because of a desire to not further trigger an already very prevalent air of suspicion, and you see no problem with this?!"
  1892. >"Things could have gone better, but I think the plan was exquisite."
  1893. >You're not going to blatantly insult her, you want to keep your relations intact at least until you can milk everything out of her.
  1894. "Yeah, I have a couple of questions."
  1895. >"What would the first one be, Darling?"
  1896. "Why the fuck are you just okay with this happening?"
  1897.                                                              --Alt End 2--
  1898. >"Well..."
  1899. "Don't you see the implications of what you've caused? Don't you know that you could have possibly gotten your sister killed with this misadministrative nightmare?!"
  1900. >"I wouldn't go that far, Darling."
  1901. "At the very least, you've put her through quite a bit of emotional trauma. You know what? I don't want to live on this planet. Kill me and make it look like the kidnappers did it, please."
  1902. >Rarity blinks.
  1903. >"Alright."
  1904. >In one swift motion, Rarity picks up the knife you used to cut her bonds with and slices through your jugular.
  1905. >With the last of your energy you manage to write out 'Fucking Raraniggers' on the clean sheets from the pool of viscera forming at your ruined neck.
  1906.                                                              -/Alt End 2--
  1907. >"Well..."
  1908. "Don't you see the implications of what you've caused? Don't you know that you could have possibly gotten your sister killed with this misadministrative nightmare?!"
  1909. >"What else was I to do? I was restrained."
  1910. "No, no. The decision in the first place, why was it made?"
  1911. >"Twilight thought it was best, and nopony wanted to question her. We still don't..."
  1912. "So you're one of five sheeple?"
  1913. >"What?"
  1914. "One of five sheep?"
  1915. >"How rude."
  1916. "Look, I don't have all day. I'm Twilight's adopted daughter in case you haven't gathered that. Am I in danger?"
  1917. >"Hmm... it's possible, but Scootaloo had a very close bond with Dash. Twilight never really struck me as the kind that would have a mutualistic relationship with her foal, tell me if I'm wrong."
  1918. >You shudder.
  1919. "You're not wrong, but I don't know how much whatever groups are after the other would know."
  1920. >She shrugs.
  1921. >"Take care, darling."
  1922. "Eat shit."
  1923. >She slaps you across the face, hard.
  1924. "That's not the way a respectable woman should talk."
  1925. >You grumble to yourself as you exit.
  1926. >Assuming the clock is correct, you still have two hours left before you have to meet up with League in the designated spot.
  1927. >You still need Sulfur, Carbon, and a few pipes.
  1928. >You already have a plan for the pipes and the Carbon, but the Sulfur is another issue entirely.
  1929. >Ponyville doesn't have a Pharmacy that you know of, but you do know one place you might be able to get it or at least recieve directions.
  1930. >You head off in the direction of the Everfree, taking your time.
  1931. >Despite the amount of time you and League have spent there, the place still terrifies you.
  1932. >Untamed monsters of great destructive potential, tribes of dangerous outcasts and the will of the forest itself to lead its wanderers in constant circles or into a trap has all but convinced you to stay out of the fray.
  1933. >Nervously stepping onto the slightly overgrown trail, you begin your journey to Zecora's hut.
  1934. >You hear a low growl, but you manage to run away before whatever produced the noise could press the issue further.
  1935. >Thunderclouds are beginning to form overhead, and you don't want to be caught up in the potentially resulting snowstorm.
  1936. >After some confusion with the pathways, you finally arrive at the hut and knock a 'Shave and a Haircut.'
  1937. >The door opens rather quickly.
  1938. >"Ah, a little filly I see. Please do come in, I'll brew you a mug of tea."
  1939. >Since you still have some time to kill and you're near the meeting place already, you allow yourself the respite.
  1940. "Thanks, Zecora. Do you know where I could find some Sulfur?"
  1941. >As she dips into an iron cauldron filled to the brim with water, she nods.
  1942. >Pouring the water into a mug that reads 'ZLM,' her mouth is finally free.
  1943. >"Though I can tell you of what you desire, of the reasoning I feel I should inquire."
  1944. >Shit.
  1945. >School project would be too conspicuous, she knows other fillies and could call you out on your bullshit.
  1946. >There's no way in hell you're telling her the whole truth, though. You're barely even willing to trust League with that.
  1947. "Twilight is trying to get me into alchemy. She wanted me to retrieve the materials myself."
  1948. >"Quite dangerous for one of your age. This journey could very well have been your final page."
  1949. "I may not look like it, but I'm tough!"
  1950. >You ram your hoof into a wall to emphasis your point, ending up nursing a forming bruise.
  1951. >Zecora chuckles. "I see you don't lack ambition. Take with you this premonition."
  1952. >She takes a sip of her own mug, green smoke beginning to billow out of her nostrils.
  1953. >"To walk this path you'll soon find suffering known not even to the divine. Though I already know that you are clever, chance will not determine your future endeavors."
  1954. >While you're sitting there in shock, Zecora produces a small pouch, taking the coins you set on the table to drink your tea in exchange.
  1955. >"Remember what comes before the dawn; may the hand of fate deal you a fair hand, Anon."
  1956. "Hey! How do you...
  1957. >She blows a cloud of green smoke towards you.
  1958. >Upon inhalation, you begin to feel incredibly content.
  1959. >You trail off as your eyelids begin to feel increasingly heavy.
  1960. >As the waking world finally slips from your grasp, you feel a bliss like no other.
  1961. >...
  1962. >The first thing you notice when you awaken is the warm blanket wrapping you snugly like a burrito.
  1963. >The second thing you notice is a very confused Little League sitting in the bleachers next to you.
  1964. >"What the actual heck, Anon?!"
  1965. >You hop up.
  1966. "I have no idea."
  1967. >You feel like singing a song for some reason, but you never really got the lyrics down pat.
  1968. "Crazy shit though, those bacchanals."
  1969. >"Well, let's see. You barely managed to handle your alcohol last night, not to mention the fact that they usually host those around sunset."
  1970. "Yeah, yeah. Just joking around."
  1971. >There are a couple of minutes of silence as you contemplate whether involving League in this thing was really the best idea.
  1972. >If you're careful, neither of you will take the fall.
  1973. >But if you fail, you're pulling another head underwater as you drown.
  1974. >After about ten minutes, you finally break the awkward silence.
  1975. "So... um..."
  1976. >"Any day now."
  1977. "I'm going to murder Princess Twilight Sparkle."
  1978. >Her eyes go wide with shock as a grin begins to slowly form on her face.
  1979. >"Let's freaking do it."
  1980. >The tone of her voice and her facial expressions scare you a bit.
  1981. "Aren't you going to-"
  1982. >"Nope. After what she did this morning, I need no more convincing on the subject. Plus, you're Anon. You have decades more experience than I do. If you want her dead, I'll do everything I can to help you."
  1983. >None of this feels right.
  1984. "And the risks? You're willing to fall with me if I fail?"
  1985. >With lightning speed, she reaches out her left hoof and boops you.
  1986. >"Silly, you won't. I'm one hundred percent sure of that."
  1987. >Holy shit, this just became about ten times more stressful.
  1988. >At the very least, you shouldn't give her any tasks that could put her in harm's way when it comes to construction.
  1989. >Wrapping the packet of Sulfur in the surprisingly comfortable blanket, you end up playing a sort of improvised baseball with League for a long time while, the passage of time seemingly lost to your mind in childish play.
  1990. >All the while trying as hard as you can to avoid thinking about how much of a horrible pony you are.
  1991. >Person.
  1992. >As the sun breaks through the clouds in the West just long enough to signify its rapid descent, you pick up the blanket, and League picks up the ball and bat.
  1993. >You realize you completely forgot to burn wood, which was the sole reason you came out here.
  1994. "Did you bring the lighter?"
  1995. >"Shoot, I knew there was something I was forgetting."
  1996. >Well, it wouldn't have mattered regardless.
  1997. >"Anything you want me to bring to school tomorrow?"
  1998. "If you could nab some pipes and maybe some wax, that would be perfect."
  1999. >"Alright, will do."
  2000. >She begins to walk down the scenic route that the two of you usually take in.
  2001. >Given the time, you could either follow her and risk Twilight's displeasure, or take your chances against the terrors of the night on the much faster but unprotected route.
  2002. >League looks back at you one last time.
  2003. >"Coming?"
  2004. >Yeah, no thanks on the latter.
  2005. >Trotting over to League, the two of you begin at a leisurely pace which you passively increase.
  2006. >Before long, the silent declaration of a race has been set in stone.
  2007. >Careening down the path, you make sure to watch out for loose roots and the like.
  2008. >As you pass her, she gives you a dirty look that takes her eyes away from the path just long enough for her to catch one such object.
  2009. >She hits the ground and slides a good couple of inches before coming to rest at the base of a tree.
  2010. >You laugh a bit before seeing the tears running down her cheeks, and immediately stop.
  2011. >Rushing over to assess the damage, you see that she caught a rock on one of her back legs.
  2012. >It's bleeding pretty badly.
  2013. >You absentmindedly nuzzle her face as you wrack your brain to remember the couple of first-aid classes you took.
  2014. >Clean the wound.
  2015. >Well, not much to do there. You hardly feel like just licking it is going to do the trick, especially considering the fact that lingering pathogens in your saliva could cause infection. She might be able to clean it that way herself, though.
  2016. "Okay, stay calm and start licking it. Spit often, we don't know what's been walking on this path."
  2017. >She nods and starts doing as you asked.
  2018. >Apply pressure.
  2019. >When League finishes the cleaning process, you press down on the wound with your relatively clean muzzle. A bit of viscera oozes out and League winces, but the bleeding does slow noticably.
  2020. >Dress the wound until further medical attention can be given.
  2021. >You carefully rip off the drawstring portion of Zecora's bag, sliding it over League's leg and tightening it.
  2022. "There. A-all better, huh?"
  2023. >She nods a bit and sniffles.
  2024. >"I think I'll be alright to walk to the hospital for some stitches from here, I know you need to get home."
  2025. >Yeah, no.
  2026. "Sure you are. Come on, I'll help you walk."
  2027. >She sheepishly drapes the corresponding front leg around your neck, and draping the injured one over your back.
  2028. >"Some race, huh?"
  2029. "You're on for a rematch later, kiddo."
  2030. >She laughs weakly. "We're the same age."
  2031. "Force of habit."
  2032. >As you half-carry League, you watch the pathway closely.
  2033. >Wouldn't want to trip again and fuck everything up.
  2034. >It's actually kinda odd how often things go awry because of someone being clumsy.
  2035. >Probably some sick fag's fetish or something.
  2036. >...
  2037. >It's really fucking cold.
  2038. >"Hey, Anon?"
  2039. "Yeah?"
  2040. >"Why would you choose to help me over getting home on time? Won't Twilight be angry?"
  2041. "Yeah, probably. I'd rather not think about that just now. I'm not just gonna leave you out in the woods here, pretty sure leaving a wounded animal out to fend for itself at night is a bad idea."
  2042. >"Animal?"
  2043. "Well, yeah. We all are, aren't we?"
  2044. >"I don't know, I always thought of an animal as being a bit more... savage?"
  2045. "Depends on if you're going with the scientific definition, or the popular definition. Genetically, neither of us are really all that special, or at least that's what we concluded where I'm from."
  2046. >"Things are a bit different here. I recall something about magic being a factor, but I think our definitions might also be a bit looser than yours."
  2047. "I can name a few other things that are looser-"
  2048. >"Nope, not going there."
  2049. >The night reaches almost complete silence as you approach Ponyville.
  2050. >Not a soul is out on the street.
  2051. >Wow, guess a lot of them just never graduated out of bedtimes or something.
  2052. >Cute.
  2053. >The dimly lit receptionist's desk is just barely illuminated by the lamplight outside.
  2054. >Luckily it's a push door, so you just push your head against it.
  2055. >The receptionist looks up from what is seemingly some shitty tabloid and crushes her cigarette in the ash-tray.
  2056. >"What the hell do you kids want?"
  2057. "Look, I'm gonna need a Stimpack, a pair of cricket bats, some of those cotton balls, sterile cloth, and a fuck ton of booze."
  2058. >"I'm not sharing my sta-"
  2059. >She notices the flow of blood barely held back by the make-shift bandage.
  2060. >"Er, I can get you a doctor if you want me to."
  2061. "That works."
  2062. >She hurries off into the darkened building as you look over at League.
  2063. >She seems to be nodding off, which you're pretty sure isn't a great sign.
  2064. >You nudge her lightly and her head snaps back to attention.
  2065. >"The answer is seventeen!"
  2066. >You boop her nose and laugh a bit.
  2067. "You won't be going to school tomorrow, League."
  2068. >"Mmph. Why's that?"
  2069. "Just... focus on my voice, alright?"
  2070. >"Alrighty."
  2071. >What to say, what to say?
  2072. >Well, might as well go with a classic.
  2073. "The Grand Old Duke of York, he had ten-thousand men, he marched them up the hill and then he marched them down again."
  2074. >You continue the song that you learned in first-grade over and over again, accentuating each 'up' and 'down' with a tap on League's nose or rump.
  2075. >While you can't be sure if her giggles are just mildly delirious, if she's enjoying the song or if it's a bit of both, your efforts do keep her awake long enough for Nurse Redheart and another pony you don't recognize to come in.
  2076. "We'll take it from here, Sweetie. I'm sure you've had a rough night."
  2077. >Oh man.
  2078. >If you were still human you'd give her a rough damn night.
  2079. >You carefully slide League off of your back and into the second Nurse's magical field.
  2080. "T-take care of her, alright?"
  2081. >"That's my job, Sweetie. Why don't you head home? I'm sure it's past your bedtime."
  2082. "Mmhmm..."
  2083. >Halfway to the door you notice tears streaming down your cheeks.
  2084. >Fucking...
  2085. >Let them come this time.
  2086. >You give a quick head-turn to make sure they're really gone with League and begin to sob.
  2087. >Damnit if you just killed your only friend left here...
  2088. >Get a grip.
  2089. >Since when has anybody died from...
  2090. >Okay, this is cause for worry.
  2091. >You have no idea if she severed an artery, sliced open a vein...
  2092. >You bury your muzzle in your hoof as your chest heaves uncontrollably on the floor.
  2093. >Why isn't this place like it was in the show?
  2094. >You expected for every conflict to be resolved in an episodic span with a clear resolution.
  2095. >You don't see any fucking resolution to half of your problems in sight.
  2096. >As the piece of shit receptionist just casually staring at you reaffirms your opinions that there is little good left in this barren world, you decide it's time to leave.
  2097. >Face whatever horrors Purple-horse has cooked up for you.
  2098. >Because what else can you fucking do at this point?
  2099. >You decide to take the road less-traveled back to Twilight's castle.
  2100. >Out of the corners of tear-blurred eyes, two hooded figures approach.
  2101. >"Hey, you the Sparkle kid?"
  2102. "Sparkle as in [i]Twilight[/i] Sparkle?"
  2103. >"Yeah, only important Sparkle I've ever heard of."
  2104. "Nope."
  2105. >You recall your earlier conversation with Rarity and conclude that it's probably best to look for some sort of weapon.
  2106. >Casually glancing at the ground reveals nothing, so you decide to try to stall for time.
  2107. "Look, I don't know what you're on about when it comes to Sparkles, but the orphanage was a [i]one[/i]-time affair, alright?"
  2108. >They look over at you like you're absolutely nuts.
  2109. >"Look, just get in the bag and make this easy for us. We don't get paid by the hour."
  2110. >The second figure produces a burlap sack from the darkness.
  2111. >Though the offer is tempting, you know you won't fare much better with them.
  2112. "Yes, please take me. I need tendies and Mountain Dew, and this long-mane is getting on my nerves. Just don't sell me to Saddle-Arabia, I can't stand the sand."
  2113. >You think you can see the outline of a grin under the first figure's hood.
  2114. >"Good. Hold still."
  2115. >One shot, don't blow it.
  2116. >As the second approaches, you tense up your left leg.
  2117. >Three...
  2118. >Two...
  2119. >One!
  2120. >With as much speed and force as you can muster, you slam your hoof into his muzzle.
  2121. >While he's still reeling in pain, you make a bolt between the other's legs, giving his exposed phallus a quick chomp.
  2122. >Fuckin' pedo.
  2123. >You keep your eyes fixed on the path ahead, not daring to look back.
  2124. >You hear the clopping of hooves chasing after you.
  2125. >Down a desolate street.
  2126. >Louder.
  2127. >Through a narrow alleyway and over a few trashcans.
  2128. >Quieter.
  2129. >Through a bank of snow.
  2130. >Louder, and you're shivering now.
  2131. >You see the castle up ahead.
  2132. >Please god...
  2133. >As you reach the door, you pound it as hard as you possibly can, screaming into the night.
  2134. >You only now notice the note.
  2135. >'I mean it this time.'
  2136. >There's a crude drawing of the back door, wrapped in cartoonish chains.
  2137. >Shit.
  2138. >Turning around, you see two very angry looking stallions with torn coats.
  2140.                                                              --Alt End 3--
  2141. >"We've come to end the green."
  2142. "What?"
  2143. >"Don't you see? All of this around you, is merely a simulation. A world synthesized from millions of pixels. There's the big twist."
  2144. "Twist? You speak as if this is some sort of story, filthy infidel."
  2145. >"Ah, but it is. Even now, some skinny faggot with a bad haircut is typing away at his potato laptop, creating the world you see before you."
  2146. "How do I know you're telling the truth?"
  2147. >He smiles coldly.
  2148. >"I'm actually Spike in disguise! That is the second twist!"
  2149. >He pulls off his skin to reveal a purple dragon.
  2150. "Woah, man. Next thing you're gonna tell me is that Luna and/or Celestia are actually gonna be in this green."
  2151. >"Nah, to make them show up now would be a tad too cliche for this already bad sequence."
  2152. "Fair, fair. Well, I guess you want to rape me now."
  2153. >"Yep, that was very clearly always the ulterior motive."
  2154. >And then they zip down you're pants and rape u.
  2155. >It fells [retty good.
  2156. >"Alright, I think that's about enough."
  2157. "Yeah, probably. Some of them probably haven't even figured out that this is an April Fools Day joke yet."
  2158. >"Weed, lmao."
  2159. >And then the world imploded and everypony died.
  2160. ~Fin.
  2161.                                                              -/Alt End 3--
  2162. "Twilight this is no time for your petty piece of shit parenting tactics! I'm probably gonna get raped and/or killed!"
  2163. >"Nice try, kiddo. Also, rude. We have no plans to do either. Now if you would please hold still..."
  2164. "No! I know what you're up to! You're going to kidnap me so that you can use me as a weapon! I won't let you get the third piece."
  2165. >You dig your hind legs into the dirt.
  2166. >"Two? Oh, how cute. She's confusing Us with Them."
  2167. >"Yes, now shut up. We have a job to do."
  2168. >They advance towards you at a leisurly pace, this time wary of any actions.
  2169. >You would run, but you're absolutely exhausted.
  2170. >You can't let them see that, though.
  2171. >Like some sort of shitty anime trope, you have to stay dignified.
  2172. >Hold your ground.
  2173. >...
  2174. >A loud series of crashing sounds come from inside the castle.
  2175. >[b]"Holy shit Clover if you aren't serious I swear..."[/b]
  2176. >The door slams open as Twilight stands there, literally glowing with rage.
  2177. >"I'll give you one chance to get the hell off of my lawn before I blast you to fucking pieces!"
  2178. >"Ha, no cha-"
  2181. >Twilight casually teleports the larger hunks of meat to Celestia-knows-where while you stand there in awe.
  2182. >Your once-green fur is now soaked with some random-ass ponies' blood.
  2183. >If you were an actual child this would probably scar you for life.
  2184. >You're still pretty shaken, though.
  2185. >Twilight glances over at you.
  2186. >"Aww, cute. Let's get you in the shower, and then it's off to bed. I don't want you to be late for school tomorrow because you couldn't wake up."
  2187. "Mmhmm."
  2188. >"Good filly."
  2189. >She finds what you assume to be the least blood-tarnished area of your neck scruff and picks you up.
  2190. >You wiggle your legs a bit in protest, but ultimately submit.
  2191. >Twilight drops you on the bathroom floor and turns the tap in the bathtub to hot.
  2192. >There's a bit of awkward silence as you wait for the tub to fill.
  2193. >"So... strawberry-scented or raspberry-scented shampoo?"
  2194. >The weight of the choice is excruciating.
  2195. >The internal battle that takes place in your mind leaves you exhausted, and you flop onto the floor.
  2196. "R-raspberry."
  2197. >"Alright, then."
  2198. >Scooping you up, she plops you headfirst into the hot water.
  2199. "Owowowow..."
  2200. >She quickly adjusts the water, leaving you standing in a comfortably warm bath after about thirty seconds of pain.
  2201. >You relax into the tub, allowing the hot water to begin to remove the drying blood from your coat and mane.
  2202. >Small tendrils of red reach out along the surface from their point of origin.
  2203. >Damn that was scary.
  2204. >You have to be honest with yourself, you need this.
  2205. >As Twilight seemingly removes the dense red blood cells from the bath with her magic, your mane, coat, and the water you lie in become cleaner and cleaner.
  2206. >Once the warm water has done all it seemingly can, Twilight squits a generous amount of raspberry shampoo into her left hoof.
  2207. >She rubs it into your mane first, as it seemingly took the largest amount of the blood; working her way down into your neck, back, barrel, and finally legs.
  2208. >Though you initially resist, you eventually find your tongue lolling out of your mouth while a dopey grin spreads across your face.
  2209. >"Heh. You like that, Anon?"
  2210. "N-no..."
  2211. >"Sure you don't."
  2212. >Having funnelled all of the blood down the drain, Twilight scoops you up in one of those hooded towels, rubbing your head vigorously underneath the aforementioned towel.
  2213. >Seemingly satisfied with her work, Twilight sets you down on the floor.
  2214. >Looking in her eyes, you think you can see a glint of guilt.
  2215. >"Would you like me to read you a bedtime story, Clover?"
  2216. "S-sure..."
  2217. >"Aw. It gets easier after the first time."
  2218. >Picking you up gently this time with her magic, she carries you into your room, setting you on the bed.
  2219. >You squirm under the covers and close your eyes.
  2220. >"What do you want me to read you?"
  2221. "Mmph. Could you sing me a song?"
  2222. >"Of course."
  2223. >Twilight clears her throat and begins to hum a simple tune.
  2224. >It's nothing like anything you've heard through your first childhood.
  2225. >Though the humming is the primary method of sound-production, there seems to be a deeper vibato to the whole thing.
  2226. >Based on the dim light you can feel behind your eyelids, she's probabably casting a spell of some kind.
  2227. >You can feel yourself slipping before she even gets close to the end of the song.
  2228. >Pulling the plush Celestia closer to you, you slip silently into dreamland.
  2229. >...
  2230. >"Clover? Can you hear me?"
  2231. "New body who dis?"
  2232. >"Okay, good. Look, I don't have much time. One of the two of them can be trusted, the other one can't. Though they desire the same thing, their motives are different."
  2233. "Sweetie? Is that you?"
  2234. >"Yes, but that's hardly important. My time is so limited already."
  2235. "What did you come to tell me?"
  2236. >"The balls. Watch the balls carefully, Clover."
  2237. >The dream fades into emptiness as you shoot upright in your bed, sheets soaked with sweat.
  2238. >It's late in the night and you're incredibly tired, but you doubt you'll get any sleep after that surreal experience.
  2239. >Not wanting to get out of bed, you whimper for a few minutes with the covers over your head before deciding to crack back into Moon.
  2240. >Pushing the sheets aside to help cool yourself down, you dive back into the tale with blurry eyes.
  2241. >"I assume the solar-entrapment spells are going-"
  2242. >A loud thump can be heard from somewhere in the castle.
  2243. >Oh no.
  2244. >While you'd ideally investigate that noise, you don't want to die.
  2245. >Like it or not, Twiggles has been your lifeline multiple times now, and you'd rather not see how you fare without her by your side.
  2246. >You take a second to grab a shard of amethyst from the poorly-cut walls of the small compartment you chipped away ages ago.
  2247. >It likely wouldn't do that much, but it certainly made you feel safer.
  2248. >You silently slip under your bed, letting the excess hanging of the sheets conceal you as you try to stifle your breathing.
  2249. >The thumping of whatever is out there almost seems to be perfectly in-synch with that of your heart.
  2250. >And by that you mean it's covering a lot of ground.
  2251. >You hear it turn onto your hallway and begin to sniffle.
  2252. >You're a big fil- grown ass man, you can handle this.
  2253. >Clamping a hoof over your muzzle, you allow the tears to run freely down your cheeks.
  2254. >Thump.
  2255. >The door creaks open quietly.
  2256. >Please no...
  2257. >It isn't equine.
  2258. >The deep raspy breathing and seemingly bipedal walk cycle give that much away.
  2259. >You squeeze your eyes shut as you hear it pull the covers off of the bed.
  2260. >Finding nothing, you hear it stomp off angrily after it slams the door.
  2261. >...
  2262. >You don't fall back asleep that night.
  2263. >"Clover? Wake up. You have school."
  2264. "I-I..."
  2265. >The door opens.
  2266. >"What the actual fuck happened in here?!"
  2267. "I-I... c-creature..."
  2268. >"Hey, deep breaths. I need to know all you know."
  2269. >Taking a moment to compose yourself, you feel prepared.
  2270. "Something large came through last night, I assume you know t-that much..."
  2271. >"Mmhm. I don't assume you saw what it was, did you?"
  2272. "I've been under here ever since it woke me up. Didn't exactly sleep that well either..."
  2273. >You rub a bit of the sleep from your eyes and yawn.
  2274. >You're glad you moved all of that shit into the floor, as Twilight is looking under the bed at you [s]and possibly down your snatch.[/s]
  2275. >"You should probably go ahead and get up. I made you some pancakes."
  2276. >She gives you a smile that actually imitates genuinity this time.
  2277. >Fuck it, you're hungry and you haven't had anything since that Éclair with League yesterday.
  2278. >Needless to say, you're pretty fucking starving.
  2279. >Twilight leads your groggy ass to the kitchen by hoof, as you drift off to sleep a couple of times mid-trot.
  2280. >What you could really use is some coffee.
  2281. >You hop up onto the chair, gazing in awe at the stack of treats that awaits you.
  2282. >Six golden-brown flapjacks piled one on top of the other, with a river of syrup and a pat of butter the size of your snoot.
  2283. >You just look over at her in awe as she takes in a deep breath.
  2284. >You tentatively slip out your tongue, tasting for any potentially bitter chemicals mixed into the slurry of dairy and maple.
  2285. >Nothing.
  2286. >With a lack of utensils provided, you stuff your face into the damn thing, gorging yourself.
  2287. >Somehow it tastes even better than it looks, though you're not sure how that's possible.
  2288. >You manage to polish off about half of it before you're completely stuffed.
  2289. >You gently push the plate away, looking up at Twilight with gratitude in your eyes.
  2290. >She averts your gaze.
  2291. >"Anon..."
  2292. "Yeah?"
  2293. >"I'm sorry."
  2294. >You eye the plate suspiciously.
  2295. "What for, exactly?"
  2296. >"Why do you have to make this so difficult..."
  2297. "Did you just call me An-"
  2298. >"Just shut the fuck up for one second!"
  2299. >She's clearly angry, but it doesn't seem like it's been directed at you intentionally.
  2300. "Deep breaths."
  2301. >Instead of ignoring you, she actually takes her own advice from a few minutes ago.
  2302. >"Alright. Look, what happened with Spike wasn't your fault. I'm sorry that I blamed you for that. I'm sorry that I hospitalized you, I'm sorry about yesterday with the coffee..."
  2303. >She starts sniffling a bit.
  2304. >"And I'm sorry that I spiked your pancakes with an insomnia potion."
  2305. >You look at her in pure horror as you begin to feel the effects.
  2306. >The last thing you feel before losing consciousness is the top of the stack of pancakes.
  2307. >Fuckin' Purp-
  2308. >...
  2309. >It's not like last time.
  2310. >Floating in front of you are five buttons.
  2311. 1. 'Delve'
  2312. 2. 'Reminisce'
  2313. 3. 'Common dreamscape (lucid)'
  2314. 4. 'Common dreamscape (today's selection)'
  2315. 5. 'Surprise me.'
  2316. >There was only ever one option in your opinion.
  2317. >Moving your hoof over to 'delve,' you push it through.
  2318. >The translucent button dissolves in your non-grasp, filling the non-room with non-liquid.
  2319. >Or something like that.
  2320. >As you take a deep breath, your body is rapidly submerged.
  2321. >Though you can't really feel the sensation of not being able to breath, the water is still uncomfortable.
  2322. >And very dark.
  2323. >Holding a hoof in front of you, you notice the color fading from it as the little light you once had is unable to penetrate the rapidly-climbing volume of liquid.
  2324. >Well, you're just a little wordsmith today, aren't you?
  2325. >When you can no longer see anything, you feel a slight tugging at your side.
  2326. >You give in to it, allowing it to pull you further into what you can only assume is a sort of drain due to the cramped area that you can barely feel out as you stretch out your legs.
  2327. >...
  2328. >You hold up a hand.
  2329. >It's just the same as it has always looked, you don't know why you did that.
  2330. >Humming to yourself lightly as you walk into the Castle, you take a moment to admire the scenery.
  2331. >You fuckin' love August.
  2332. >As soon as you push open the door, he's all fucking over you.
  2333. >"Wow, an alien! I mean, I've seen you from a distance, but I never thought you'd be so..."
  2334. "Handsome? Come on, you do this every time I come over. You can drop the amazed act."
  2335. >"Heh. So, what are we doing [i]today[/i]?"
  2336. "Hell if I know. Say, I heard this pla-"
  2337. >"Spike! Could you pick up some stuff? I have a list."
  2338. >Twilight walks down the hallway, and you flinch a bit.
  2339. >Even after she set them magically, you still feel a bit of tingling in your legs whenever she's nearby.
  2340. >"Oh, Anon. What a surprise."
  2341. >She looks a bit annoyed.
  2342. "Hey, It's been a while. Cut me a fucking break."
  2343. >"Spike, here's the list. Anon, you go with him. Make sure he doesn't get into trouble."
  2344. "Can do."
  2345. >She walks off to go back to whatever the fuck she was up to.
  2346. >Fine by you.
  2347. >"So, what's it like, being here all alone, alien?"
  2348. >Yeah, you're going to divert that.
  2349. "Well, that's quite a relative term, isn't it? To me, you're all aliens, and I'm the one constant. To you, the various species of your world are the constants, and I'm the exception. The anomaly. Got it?"
  2350. >He yawns. "You're starting to sound like Twilight."
  2351. "My apologies. So, what's the first item on the list?"
  2352. >"It says collagen."
  2353. "Well..."
  2354. >Oh god the screaming.
  2355. >Those poor fucking cows.
  2356. >...
  2357. >You're down to the last item on the long list.
  2358. >Sulfur.
  2359. >With no prompt, he gives you an explanation.
  2360. >"Twilight lets me get it for good behavior."
  2361. >Ah.
  2362. "Alright, where to?"
  2363. >"The Everfree, of course."
  2364. >You pull out your shitty pocket-knife, letting him lead the way through the weaving paths of the forest to the little hut in the woods.
  2365. >"Anon and Spike, a pleasant surprise, for what reason do you treat my eyes?"
  2366. >"Sulfur!"
  2367. >"A small shipment I have retained, though I fear it was caught in the rain..."
  2368. >You both watch as she searches the various cabinets and shelves for the element.
  2369. >"Here you are, free of charge. Your friendship is of payment large."
  2370. >Ugh. Sappy and a bit of a stretch on that one, but you'll take it why not.
  2371. >Spike thanks Zecora and the two of you leave.
  2372. >Ten minutes down the path, and you don't recognize any of it.
  2373. >Briar bushes everywhere, and not a single flower in sight.
  2374. >[b]Grrrrrrr...[/b]
  2375. >You whip out your pocket knife, only to see that your action was laughably  pointless.
  2376. >You're not exactly going to be able to whittle a damn Timberwolf into a wooden statue.
  2377. "Alright, we run on the count of three."
  2378. >"One."
  2379. "Two."
  2380. >"Three!"
  2381. "Three!"
  2382. >Stretching our your lanky legs, you're soon ahead of the beast by a good bit.
  2383. >Spike isn't doing as well.
  2384. >Years of inactivity aside from the occasional errand have taken their toll on his pudgy form.
  2385. >"Anon, if I don't mak-"
  2386. "You're going to make it, damn it! Feel your heart beating? That's life."
  2387. >You were never the best with encouragement.
  2388. >"-tell Rarity that I want to fuck her brains out."
  2389. >You manage a small laugh despite the situation.
  2390. "Will do, but I think she knows."
  2391. >There's a sickening crunch as Spike's heavy breathing is cut off abruptly.
  2392. >...
  2393. >There's syrup in your mane.
  2394. >Lifting your now sticky mane from your pancake pillow, you look at Twilight.
  2395. >"So... will you forgive me?"
  2396. "Of course!"
  2397. >You throw your front legs around her.
  2398. >You hear a sigh of relief as she returns the favor.
  2399. >"I was so worried-"
  2400. "Actually, fuck you. No."
  2401. >She just sighs and looks at the ground, her cheeks stained with fresh tears now.
  2402. >"I guess I deserve that."
  2403. "Yep. I'm off to school."
  2404. >You have a few minutes to retrieve anything you think you might need today.
  2405. >Firstly, you check your coat to see if anything is awry.
  2406. >You turn up nothing, though you'd need more time to check adequately.
  2407. >Going into your room, you pick up your saddlebags. You don't have a knife or any matches (confiscated by Twilight) but you do have your old hoodie.
  2408. >It's much to big for you now, but maybe if you rolled up the sleeves...
  2409. >A few safety pins later, and you're the most well-dressed pony in town.
  2410. >Or at least that you can see at the moment.
  2411. >Adjusting the pencil nested behind your right ear, you take a look at yourself in the mirror.
  2412. >Your eyes, though well-rested, don't exactly sparkle like they used to.
  2413. >You don't smile.
  2414. >The teal hoodie does add that little bit that you thought you'd been missing, though.
  2415. >Taking it off and packing it away for later as to not have been seen wearing it, you set off on the pathway to school.
  2416. >The experiance itself was very odd.
  2417. >You felt like you were more an observer than anything, even though you assumed it was your memory.
  2418. >Not everything stayed with your transformation.
  2419. >Some memories you had made in Equesria were blurry.
  2420. >The only indication that some had ever even been there were gaps in your memory.
  2421. >...
  2422. >After a few minutes, you arrive at the schoolyard.
  2423. >Both of your friends are obviously nowhere to be seen.
  2424. >Snips and Snails both glare at you when you walk past them, but make no attempts to press the issue.
  2425. >Good.
  2426. >As you take your seat, you notice Cheerilee motioning for you to follow her.
  2427. >You get up from your seat, following her through a door in the front which you assumes leads to her office.
  2428. >It appears your assumption is correct as you're greeted with a rather comfy looking desk, a few stacks of papers and of course quite a few writing implements, from quills and inkwells to pencils and packs of chalk.
  2429. >"Listen... you're not in trouble. Most foals freak out when I bring them back here, and with good reason."
  2430. >She gestures to a large wooden paddle hung by a metal ring from a hook.
  2431. >Just looking at the thing makes you cringe in imagined agony.
  2432. >"You've been a good filly for the most part. Homework turned in... behaving well with the other fillies and colts, though I don't think I've seen you around the latter."
  2433. >You nod, paying just enough attention to get the gist of it.
  2434. >"I'm here to ask you about your friends, and yes. I have been watching you."
  2435. >Okay, getting a bit odd now.
  2436. >"Rarity comes by yesterday to tell me that Sweetie was gone. That's all she said, just 'Sweetie is gone,' and then she walks away."
  2437. "Well, that's certain-"
  2438. >"And then I get a crudely written letter dropped in my mailbox about League being on medical leave..."
  2439. "Mmhm."
  2440. >You start to walk out, only to have your path blocked by Cheerilee.
  2441. >"Please! This job is killing me, I need some sort of excitement in my life. If you have anything, just spit it out. I'll give you extra credit."
  2442. >Well, there goes your little session of pondering for the moment.
  2443. "Sorry, secret filly business."
  2444. >"Twenty points added in all subjects?"
  2445. >You laugh and push past her.
  2446. >"And a chocolate bar?"
  2447. >Turning your head around, you slowly close the office door.
  2448. "I couldn't just freely talk about the shit that's probably going to go down involving Advanced Magical Friendship Warfare,™ but I [i]can[/i] tell you that it's probably going to snow today."
  2449. >Giving her a wink, you grab the candy bar in one hoof and sit back down.
  2450. >Cursing yourself for forgetting to grab Moon on the way out, you now have to pay attention in class.
  2451. >"And so the War Criminal Luftkrieg was the first documented case of a pony being... put to sleep by lethal injection."
  2452. >Winners write the history books.
  2453. >Struggling through writing as per usual, you're finally able to make it to lunch.
  2454. >Grabbing your sack out of your saddlebags, you consider just staying in the classroom.
  2455. >It's relatively quiet, Cheerilee never explicitly stated you couldn't, and it would give you time to think.
  2456. >...
  2457. >You'll take a rain check on that last one.
  2458. >Walking outside, a few ponies catch your eye.
  2459. >One of them is a small pink unicorn colt, with what appear from this distance to be small cubes as a cutie-mark.
  2460. >You see a magenta-colored pegasus with what appears to be a set of shears on her flanks.
  2461. >And finally, you see an earth pony filly like yourself who appears to be eating alone.
  2462. >They're all eating alone, actually.
  2463. >You can't go after all of them and group them together.
  2464. >You're at the very least going to have to start with one.
  2465. >You decide to go with the unicorn.
  2466. "Heya."
  2467. >"Hey, you're that pony that almost got herself killed! How are you doing?"
  2468. "My ribs still hurt and I can't sleep on my barrel, but I'm a bit better."
  2469. >"Hmm... no mark yet."
  2470. "Look, I just didn't want to be alone during lunch."
  2471. >"Sorry. I just got mine last week, care to hear about it?"
  2472. >You can see upon closer inspection that his mark consists of two D6s, the six displayed on what you assume is the top of the dice on both, though it is harder to tell given that his flank doesn't provide a surface.
  2473. "Sure, enlighten me."
  2474. >"Well, I was walking down the road and I felt this strange feeling in my gut. I don't know why, but I started running. When I got home, it was there."
  2475. >Odd.
  2476. "Do you think it has anything to do with chance? Luck?"
  2477. >He shrugs, taking a long draw from his juice box.
  2478. >"All I know is that I had this odd feeling, and it was there. I have always been pretty lucky."
  2479. >You dig around in your saddlebags for the brown-paper sack, producing a few pickles and a hay sandwich.
  2480. >You barely even take note of the fact that eating hay should be wrong these days.
  2481. >Before you can catch the name of the pony you sat with, you're called in for the last few lessons of the day.
  2482. >You have a test in math today.
  2483. >Turning the first page, you freeze.
  2484. >It's not kiddy shit.
  2485. >This is the kind of stuff you were doing in your last few years of high school.
  2486. >You still know how to do it perfectly well, but if you let on...
  2487. >Fucking hell.
  2488. >This feels like some kind of test.
  2489. >In more than one way.
  2490. >Looking up to Cheerilee, she just gives you a sly wink.
  2491. >Something about that sets you off.
  2492. >You're going to ace this fucking test, and nopony is going to stop you.
  2493. >...nobody.
  2494. >It takes a few minutes, but you remember how to do the problems.
  2495. >Looking back you may have overestimated the test, as the most complex problem on the first page or two is dealing with polynomial multiplication.
  2496. >Turning the page, you're faced with your worst enemy: graphing.
  2497. >Fuuuuuuck you never learned how to do this without a calculator.
  2498. >...
  2499. >Those are linear functions, aren't they?
  2500. >Scribbling down the last of your answers on the graph paper graciously provided, you sloppily print 'Green Clover' at the top of the sheet and walk up to the front of the classroom.
  2501. >"Oh, you're already finished Clover?"
  2502. "Mmhmph."
  2503. >Damn paper making it difficult to talk.
  2504. >You carefully take the sheet out of your mouth with a hoof, reaching up as far as you can to the podium.
  2505. >She takes it from you.
  2506. >Sporting a smug grin, she looks at you.
  2507. >"I'll have your results in by tomorrow, Ms. Smartypants."
  2508. >Holy shit that sounded forced.
  2509. >You just nod and head back to your seat.
  2510. >Shouldn't be much time left now.
  2511. >You allow yourself to nod off a bit...
  2512. >"Clover?"
  2513. "Sweetie?"
  2514. >[i]"Clover?"[/i]
  2515. "Mmph. Yeah, I hear ya."
  2516. >[b]"Clover!"[/b]
  2517. >You jolt awake to see Twilight standing over you.
  2518. >You're still a bit dazed.
  2519. "Huh?"
  2520. >"I said it's time to go home now."
  2521. "Oh, of course."
  2522. >You hesitate for a moment.
  2523. >"Well?"
  2524. "Actually..."
  2525. >"Well? Spit it out."
  2526. "Could we get some ice cream?"
  2527. >"I don't see why not."
  2528. >That same fucking smile...
  2529. >"Do you want to get some at the market on the way home, or do you want to go home? We have a carton or two left."
  2530. >Of fucking course you do...
  2531. "I'm not quite sure, can you give me until the market to decide?"
  2532. >"I guess that's reasonable. How was your day at school?"
  2533. "Same old, same old..."
  2534. >"Still don't know what that is, give me the downlow."
  2535. "Had a test in math, Cheerilee was being a bit odd, made friends with another pony..."
  2536. >She's clearly a bit angry at the next line.
  2537. >"What about League?"
  2538. "I didn't tell you? She's in the hospital, or at least that's where I checked her in last night after she split open her leg..."
  2539. >"Well, that's no good. Hmm."
  2540. >You look up from your hooves to see that you've arrived at the market.
  2541. >Shitty rugs, food, and incence burners fucking litter the place, but you do see one of your trademark 'You can't >Rape the willing' saddlebags.
  2542. >It's a good thing most ponies don't know what rape is in perfect horse-land, or else you'd probably be in deep shit.
  2543. >...Twilight just thought it was funny.
  2544. >Even bought a few of them.
  2545. >"Clover?"
  2546. "Yeah?"
  2547. >"It's time to choose."
  2548. "Okay, oddly ominous. I think I'll get something here, though."
  2549. >"No problem, what do you want?"
  2550. "Açaí ice cream."
  2551. >"What the actual fuck is that?"
  2552. "I..."
  2553. >"Are you making up fruit names now?"
  2554. "I-it's a real thing! Look it up."
  2555. >"Mmhm, sure it is. Next choice, buckeroo."
  2556. "Alright, I guess I'll settle for strawberry..."
  2557. >Only fair that you gave it its own spot in the limelight after you brutally rejected it during bathtime.
  2558. >Twilight shrugs and leads you over to the stall that sells Ice Cream.
  2559. >Though the pony running it isn't exactly what you had expected, she is clearly an expert on the devil's lettuce.
  2560. >"What can I hook the little cutie up for today, man?"
  2561. >Treehugger was fucking great.
  2562. "Strawberry!"
  2563. >"I'll have Cookies and Cream myself."
  2564. >"Alright, two scoops of cowtit comin' right up."
  2565. >...
  2566. >Twilight carries both of your cones over to a small table.
  2567. >It's a bit too cold to be eating outside, but you're getting free shit so you won't complain.
  2568. >"So, talk to me. What happened to League?"
  2569. "We were racing and she fell."
  2570. >"That's it?"
  2571. "Yeah, not everyone wanders into the Everfree and gets nearly constricted to death by a serpent."
  2572. >"I can't believe you're still mad about that."
  2573. >You try to grip your ice cream with both hooves, but it's much more difficult than the show implies.
  2574. >After the third time you drop the cone and Twilight catches it with her magic mid-air, she just elects to feed you.
  2575. >Though it's a bit humiliating to be unable to eat a cone of fucking ice cream without help, it [i]is[/i] really fucking good ice stuff.
  2576. >You manage to polish off your cone in about ten minutes with Twilight feeding you, leaving her to start on hers.
  2577. >She shoves it in your face.
  2578. >"Here, want a taste?"
  2579. >Licking the frozen treat cautiously, you immediately wish you had gotten cookies and cream.
  2580. >After about five more minutes Twilight gets up.
  2581. >"You can go visit your friend if you want to, I'm not going to stop you. Alternatively..."
  2582. >She spreads out her wings wide.
  2583. >Goddamn those soft feathers...
  2584. >You trot over to Twilight and sort of hop up on your hind legs, wrapping your front ones around her neck.
  2585. "I'm still angry at you."
  2586. >"I know."
  2587. >She returns the gesture with one of her forelegs, using the other three to keep balance as she doesn't have a pony to prop herself up on.
  2588. >After a few minutes spent hugging in the marketplace, Twilight finally breaks the bond.
  2589. "I'm going to go visit League now, I owe it to her."
  2590. >"Of course. I want you to know that I love you."
  2591. >Before you can say anything, she takes to the sky.
  2592. >...
  2593. >"Of course! Visiting hours don't end for another three hours, little filly."
  2594. "Sorry, I'm just really worried about her."
  2595. >"Mmhm. Right this way, please."
  2596. >She leads you through the hospital, eventually stopping at a small room and opening the door.
  2597. >"I'll leave you two to be alone, just know that there are a few surveillance spells in place, and please be gentle with her."
  2598. >Fucking hell, she's treating you like the kid you are.
  2599. >League is lying on the bed, clearly sleeping with the rise and fall of the thin sheets.
  2600. >There is a small tray of what you assume was her lunch, judging by the breadcrumbs and hay.
  2601. >A small Helium balloon hangs at the end of her bed with the message 'Get Well Soon' Carefully printed on it.
  2602. >Either that or magic, you still haven't figured out which of the two is more widely used.
  2603. >You would write 'faggot' under the message as a joke, but you doubt your pencil would do much good in that scenario.
  2604. >Pulling over the small armchair, [s]Legchair?[/s] you sit down and just watch her for a little while.
  2605. >She's very peaceful when she's asleep, none of the usual fiery energy that she normally expresses.
  2606. >Even her trademark hat is off, hung lazily from the top of the lamp giving the room a slighly darker tinge.
  2607. >The IV taped to her foreleg with what you assume is ordinary medical tape looks to be pumping a clear liquid into her veins.
  2608. >You hope insurance is a thing here, those bags are fucking expensive.
  2609. >You probably looked just like this when Twilight put you here, not counting the bandaged chest.
  2610. >...
  2611. >You think you're ready to wake her up.
  2612. >Leaning over quietly, you plant a small kiss on her cheek.
  2613. >She begins to stir lightly, giving you a minute to compose yourself.
  2614. >You wait until her eyes flutter open.
  2615. "H-how's the dugout, Slugger?"
  2616. >She gives you a weak smile.
  2617. >"Same old, same old. Thanks for saving my butt back there."
  2618. "Hey, nobody is gonna do anything with your butt on my watch."
  2619. >That gets a giggle out of the both of you.
  2620. >"Did I miss much today in school?"
  2621. "Just a math test, if you want to put any extra prep time into the concepts. If you don't mind me asking, how is your leg?"
  2622. >"A little better, they told me I severed my..."
  2623. >She looks over at a piece of paper on the nightstand.
  2624. >"They cleaned it out and rushed me into surgery pretty quickly after you left. Told me I severed my dorsal artery."
  2625. >Well, that would explain the loopiness, she must have been losing blood pretty quickly under that shitty makeshift bandage.
  2626. >You honestly didn't look over at her leg while you were helping her, but based on your basic knowledge of anatomy you can say you made the right call helping her.
  2627. >She pulls up the sheets, revealing a small line of staples.
  2628. >"Probably won't be back in school for a few more days..."
  2629. >Your ears droop a bit at that.
  2630. >"Hey, cheer up. My dad knows Doctor Horse, so with a bit of string-pulling..."
  2631. >She ruffles around under the sheets for a minute before she comes up with what she's looking for.
  2632. >A small bottle of activated charcoal.
  2633. "Oh my... thank you, League."
  2634. >"Hey, what are friends for?"
  2635. >You move in a little closer and give her a bit of a nuzzle.
  2636. "I owe you one."
  2637. >"F-word yeah, you do. I'm thinking maybe... doughnuts, as soon as I get out of here?"
  2638. "You're fucking on."
  2639. >She giggles a bit more at that.
  2640. >"I think they're gonna be coming in with painkillers to knock me out in a few minutes, so unless you want to get kicked out you should probably leave."
  2641. "Ha, no. Not until I can do this, at least."
  2642. >Hopping up on the bed and being sure to mind her leg, you wrap your front hooves around her neck.
  2643. >She returns the gesture, and the two of you just lie there like that until one of the staff actually does come in.
  2644. >Same asshole nurse from before, actually.
  2645. >"Hey kid, get out. She has to take her meds."
  2646. >Planting a final quick peck on League's cheek, you hop off of the bed.
  2647. "Bite me."
  2648. >...
  2649. >Well, the door is unlocked.
  2650. >That's a welcome surprise.
  2651. >You don't hear Purple anywhere nearby...
  2652. >You briefly consider getting into her alchemy books, but you have no idea where she keeps them.
  2653. >Bitch doesn't even use the Dewey Decimal System.
  2654. >Regardless, you'd be down for some fucking cuddles.
  2655. >Still wary of Twilight despite her efforts, you refrain from calling out.
  2656. >...
  2657. >Halfway through the castle with no new noises, you have your doubts if Twilight is even home.
  2658. >Well, might as well go ahead and make your shit.
  2659. >Heading back to your room, you take inventory of the various chemicals at your disposal.
  2660. >Applejack was quite generous with the Potassium Nitrate, which is good because you'll need the most of that.
  2661. >Using a small scale from one of Twilight's less used laboratories, you're finally able to determine that you have about 300 grams of Saltpeter. [s]Thank god Equestria uses what is practically the metric system...[/s]
  2662. >Zecora was generous with the Sulfur, giving you access to about 40 grams.
  2663. >You were about to give up on the Charcoal powder when you noticed that League had somehow managed to slip three extra bottles into your saddlebags, each one containing fifteen grams in addition to the one you kept on hoof.
  2664. >Carefully pouring the loose mixture into the ball mill, you're faced with a dilemna.
  2665. >You have two different types of media, one Lead and the other Ceramic.
  2666.                                                              --Alt End 4--
  2667. >Naturally, knowing that metals normally spark when in coming in contact with other metals, you load the ceramic media into the mill with your pre-mixture.
  2668. >Fishing around for the right size of mana store, you eventually find the battery-like cylinder and load it into the appropriate slot on the back of the mill, leaving as the low hum of magic is quickly drowned out by the medial contacts.
  2669. >Leaving to get some 'food,' you come back to your room to just lie down on your bed for a while.
  2670. >After polishing off your third bottle of pressurized whipped cream, you feel fat and happy enough to curl up and take a quick nap.
  2671. >...
  2672. >...
  2673. >You feel... something wet on your fur.
  2674. >You can't hear all to well.
  2675. >You slip back into unconsciousness.
  2676. >...
  2677. >...
  2678. >Something wet again this time, but it isn't quite as viscous.
  2679. >...
  2680. >...
  2681. >"Clover? Green Clover?"
  2682. >You're about to give a 'that's me' when you realize that your mouth is covered.
  2683. >Opening your eyes, you see that you're in a small room with printed flowers all over the walls.
  2684. >"Oh, good, I thought you'd never wake up. Do you have any idea what happened?"
  2685. >You shake your head slightly, motioning to the notepad on the nightstand.
  2686. >She nods and brings it over, jostling the pencil from your ear and into your mouth.
  2687. >It's slow going, escecially since you're a shitty writer, but you eventually manage to get out: "Cut the bullshit. What's wrong with me, and how long have I been out?"
  2688. >She sighs.
  2689. >"You've been comatose for two weeks now. The bomb you were trying to construct, given your magical signature, exploded prematurely and almost killed you. We had to completely remove your entire left front leg, and of course there was the internal bleeding, but you're otherwise very lucky."
  2690. >Your voice is weak, but you attempt to use it.
  2691. "W-what? I wasn't trying to construct a bomb, I was m-milling materials for a school project..."
  2692. >"We've already consulted your teacher about such possibilites and she denied them with substantial evidence to back herself up, which is more than you can do. Get some sleep, we're going to transfer you to the care wing at the institution tomorrow."
  2693. "Don't I get a lawyer?"
  2694. >"No need. Your legal guardian has already given us the go-ahead, so you can't do jack, you sick fuck."
  2695. >She gives you a backhanded slap across the face, causing the searing pain from the burns on your cheeks to flare back up.
  2696. "Ah! Fuck!"
  2697. >"Little shits like you are the reason the system exists. I don't think rehab is going to do anything for anybody that was conspiring to murder the Princess of Fucking Friendship. Were it my choice, I'd have you personally executed."
  2698. >She walks out the door, closing and locking it behind her.
  2699. >Once you're sure nopony else is around, ou begin to sob loudly, harder than you ever have before.
  2700. >Why couldn't you have remembered that your grandfather always warned you against ceramic media?
  2701. >Why couldn't you have remembered that Lead is completely non-sparking?
  2702. >You're completely alone now, no friends, no family, nothing.
  2703. >You couldn't even off yourself if you wanted to, instruments will be completely safeguarded knowing the quality of asylum Twilight would have you admitted to.
  2704. >Pulling your singed tail up to your face with your back and single front leg, you push your muzzle into it to muffle the sobbing and absorb the tears.
  2705. >You've fucked up big time, now.
  2706. >You are Little League, filly of consensual cuddles and sportsball.
  2707. >Anon messed up, and it's your fault.
  2708. >You know he knew what he was doing, and your dumb brain managed to fuck it up somehow.
  2709. >When you visited Anon for the first time in the Childrens' ICU, you noticed a small vial labelled 'Potassium Chloride.'
  2710. >Cheerilee said something once about this being used to stop the hearts of ponies.
  2711. >When you heard about where Twilight was going to send your friend, you knew that your heart was already dead.
  2712. >You push the plunger down on the syring once it's submerged in the fluid, making sure to avoid air bubbles.
  2713. >Drawing a considerable amount from the vial, you stick it into your leg and push down the plunger all the way.
  2714. >As you jump up onto the bed next to a comatose Anon, you contemplate how wonderful the last few years have been.
  2715. >As your heartbeat slows and you begin to feel increasingly drowsy, you nuzzle your muzzle into Anon's singed neck.
  2716. >Sleep tight, Poner.
  2717.                                                              -/Alt End 4--
  2718. >The words of your grandfather echo in your head: 'Now Anon, why don't we use ceramic media?'
  2719. >Loading the Lead media in carefully with your hoof, you go to rinse any potential metal refuse from it.
  2720. >Fishing around for the right size of mana store, you eventually find the battery-like cylinder and load it into the appropriate slot on the back of the mill, leaving as the low hum of magic is quickly drowned out by the medial contacts.
  2721. >Heading off into that castle to seek out something to eat, you hear a dull thud, coupled by something sliding down the side of the castle.
  2722. >Curious, you open the door and look down to see a very obviously inebriated but otherwise unharmed Twilight.
  2723. >"Ugh... I'm gonna cuddle the shit out of you, Nonny."
  2724. >There are a couple of dark streaks running down her cheeks.
  2725. "O-okay."
  2726. >You barely even squirm now as she gently picks you up and sets you spine down on her back.
  2727. >As soon as the two of you get inside, she starts sobbing for real.
  2728. >Knocking you off of her back, she drives a few blows from her front hooves into your face and then promptly wraps you in a tight hug.
  2729. >"Fucking hell, I'm a mess..."
  2730. >The tears are running down our cheeks as well now, but this time they stem from physical pain.
  2731. "Come on, bring the cuddles."
  2732. >She inevitably lets you walk with her to her room this time.
  2733. >You can't tell if it's because alcohol makes her magic shit, if she couldn't be bothered to pick you up, or a combination of both.
  2734. >She jumps up onto the bed, wiggling her way under the covers and leaving you to climb up the structure yourself.
  2735. >With a few tries, you manage to get a grip with your front hooves and pull yourself up.
  2736. >Sliding yourself under the covers, you barely even feel fear anymore.
  2737. >Mostly sympathy.
  2738. >Even with all of the shitty things she's done to you, you still turned down her apology, failed to save her little brother and turned down her offer to do the same thing you're doing right now earlier in favor of visiting a friend.
  2739. >You don't regret the last one so much, League needs you just as much.
  2740. >Twilight makes the first move in wrapping a large feathery wing around your neck, smothering you in her chestfluff with her two forehooves.
  2741. >Taking in the rich scent of grapes, you attempt a similar gesture but only manage to get about half of the way around her barrel before your hooves can go no further.
  2742. >Even though you're incredibly relaxed, you doubt you'll be able to fall asleep without a good meal.
  2743. >Squirming out of her grip, you push your way down to her teats and begin to nibble on them slightly.
  2744. >You can almost feel the smile on her face from up above the covers as a slow but steady stream of milk begins to flow into your mouth and down your throat.
  2745. >Once the first teat is exhausted of its reserves, you move on to the next, draining it in record time.
  2746. >The instant you're done, Twilight pulls you back into the same embrace she held you in before.
  2747. >"I'm going to say it now, and I'm not just going to fly off before you can tell me if you feel the same. I love you, Anon."
  2748. >Considering the potential implications, you'd rather play it safe.
  2749. "I love you too, Twiggy."
  2750. >The smile on her face may as well be be beaming like the light of one-thousand suns, or something a shitty writefag starved for original descriptions might say like that.
  2751. >The difference between all of her previous smiles and this one is clear. This one is genuine.
  2752. >She wraps her other wing around you; pulling you closer if possible.
  2753. >"You're so sweet I could just eat you up!"
  2754. >A few minutes of her carefully blown raspberries and your constant giggling later, the two of you are left under the covers panting and laughing.
  2755. >Holy shit, that was enough to tire you out.
  2756. >Kek.
  2757. >"H-hey, Mommy has a very special bedtime story for her little Clover tonight."
  2758. >At this, your ears instinctively perk up.
  2759. >Letting you go from her all-out cuddle stronghold in favor of a single leg wrapped around your neck, she activates her horn and begins to search the shelf for something.
  2760. >While she's concentrating on that, you take the time to ruffle your mane a bit for maximum hnnng points.
  2761. >Apparently finding what she's looking for, she levitates over a lofty tome.
  2762. >The cover is seemingly not marked, but then again neither was Moon.
  2763. >"This was the first fantasy novel I ever read cover to cover."
  2764. >Neeerd.
  2765. >Though the exposition is a bit heavy, a deep lore soon begins to unfold.
  2766. >There are two warring clans, both of long-dead races residing in a time-period long before Equestria was even known as such and the pony was commonly enslaved and used for labor.
  2767. >The story doesn't beat around the bush with shit about social justice though, it launches deep into a tale of espionage on tier with Austin fucking Powers.
  2768. >Well, it took itself a bit more seriously.
  2769. >Point is you enjoyed it.
  2770. >As time wears on, you eventually feel a yawn escape you.
  2771. "C-can we finish this tomorrow?"
  2772. >"Of course. I'm not going to force you to listen to me, or something."
  2773. >You think you were supposed to laugh at that, so you giggle a bit.
  2774. >She laughs back.
  2775. >Safe for now.
  2776. >You let Purple pick you up and drape you gently over her back.
  2777. >As she carries you to your room, a thought comes to you.
  2778. "Twi, can I sleep with you tonight?"
  2779. >You can't see her face from this angle, but you can hear the barely-supressed excitement in her voice.
  2780. >"Yes, that would be alright."
  2781. >Doing a complete 180, she returns to her room and sets you down on the bed while she seemingly goes to brush her teeth.
  2782. >Curlng up on top of the covers, you fall asleep before she can even finish.
  2783. >...
  2784. >"Good job. You remembered my advice."
  2785. "Yeah... clever bit there. Anything else for me tonight?"
  2786. >"No, I don't think. Oh, one tiny thing. Watch the oranges."
  2787. "Thank you."
  2788. >"My pleasure."
  2789. >...
  2790. >You awaken to an empty bed and a note.
  2791. >Blinking the sleep from your eyes, you skim it over.
  2792. >'Breakfast is on the table, see you after school.'
  2793. >There's a little heart drawn underneath it.
  2794. >Cute.
  2795. >Stretching out your tiny legs a bit from a long night spent in a single position, you break into a light canter on the way back to your room.
  2796. >You can still hear the ball mill running.
  2797. >If you recall correctly, there is a gestation period of about 24 hours before the mixture is adequately usable, the effectivity increasing with the time left to churn after that up until a certain point.
  2798. >Leaving it be for now, you go to the kitchen to find a pile of leftover pancakes with syrup sloppily drizzled on top.
  2799. >Not sure how she reheated them, but they sure as hell taste better than when you reheated yours in the microwave.
  2800. >Licking your chops, you grab your saddlebags in all of their unused glory.
  2801. >You decide that retrieving your lunch would also be a fine plan.
  2802. >Throwing it in your left saddlebag hurriedly, you end up in almost a full gallop on your way to Ponyville General.
  2803. >...
  2804. >"We don't start visiting hours until noon. Sorry, kid."
  2805. >You just nod, sighing in defeat.
  2806. >League needs her rest, regardless...
  2807. >The walk to school is a dreary one.
  2808. >The temperature has increased just enough for the snowfall to become a cold sleet that stings your sensitive ears and muzzle.
  2809. >As you shiver once more, you realize that school can wait for just a few more minutes.
  2810. >Stopping under a small awning, you unbutton the flaps, unsure of which pocket its stored in.
  2811. >...
  2812. >Ah, there we are.
  2813. >The hoodie is a bit more difficult to put on than it would be with hands, you almost with Twi-
  2814. >No, don't think about her like that. One objective, Anon. One objective.
  2815. >You decide to push the conflict back into the recesses of your mind for now, succeeding finally in getting your forelegs through the sleeves.
  2816. >Pulling the hood up over your ears, you feel much warmer.
  2817. >Doesn't do much for the stinging on your snoot, but it's something.
  2818. >Carefully reorganizing your bags, you hoist them up onto your back and carry on.
  2819. >...
  2820. >A single densely packed mass of ponies is clumped around a tree.
  2821. >Pushing a few of the weaker ones aside, you can see a tiny pegasus lying in the snow.
  2822. >The rise and fall of her chest is sporadic, but you can see no further damage to her.
  2823. >Pushing the rest of them aside, you see a small envelope that has somehow remained untouched lying on her chest.
  2824. >Ignoring the envelope for the moment, you push aside the other fillies completely and get to work inspecting her. Though the option of rape does come to mind, you don't think it would help your reputation to do something like that in front of a crowd.
  2825. >Feeling her limbs, you realize that her body temperature is dangerously low.
  2826. >Taking off your hoodie and draping it over her as quickly as you can, you attempt to get someone to help you hoist her.
  2827. >You lack the neccessary components of a makeshift gurney, and nopony seemingly wants to help, most of them assuming you skilled enough to do it yourself with little help.
  2828. >The curious little envelope is nagging you, though.
  2829. >Against youur better judgement, you decide to rip open the top with your teeth, revealing a single typed message. 'If you're reading this, ignore the filly for your own good.'
  2830. >You shudder as you stuff it in your saddlebags, heading off in the direction of the schoolhouse.
  2831. >Cheerilee opens her office door a few minutes after you knock on it.
  2832. >"Yes?"
  2833. "T-there's a filly out there, she needs help!"
  2834. >"What kind of help?"
  2835. "She's sleeping in the snow..."
  2836. >Cheerilee immediately goes from lax to alert.
  2837. >"Alright, I'm going to need your help bringing her in."
  2838. "S-sure..."
  2839. >Cheerilee looks even more worried as she gently props the filly up a bit to get her in a carrying position.
  2840. >You hear her quietly mutter 'this isn't one of my students.'
  2841. >Using both of your necks, you're able to carry the relatively light pegasus inside and lie her down on the floor.
  2842. >Her breathing has slowed a bit more since you've gotten her inside.
  2843. >As Cheerilee runs off to get some blankets, you're left sitting beside just wondering what the fuck is going on.
  2844. >She does look rather cute in your hoodie.
  2845. >Maybe they can bury her in it if you two fuck up.
  2846. >You hope you didn't damage her tissue too much when you moved her; she almost certainly has frostbite by this point.
  2847. >Cheerilee comes back in a few minutes later with half a stack of carpet squares.
  2848. >Gently laying them on top of the filly, she turns to you.
  2849. >"Clover, do you know where the hospital is?"
  2850. "Mmhm."
  2851. >"Would you please go there and tell them to dispatch a team asap?"
  2852. "Okay!"
  2853. >You hope your naive portrayal has absolved you from any potential blame, not that you would have any in the first place.
  2854. >Never can tell what's going to happen with Twilight, though...
  2855. >Without your hoodie, you're faced with the exact same problem as earlier.
  2856. >The precipitation mercilessly pounds your very sensitive and exposed ears and face.
  2857. >You're not sure if more tears or cloudwater is resting on your face by the time you arrive back at Ponyville General.
  2858. >"Back again so early, kid? You really should wear a watch or something."
  2859. >He laughs a bit, but it doesn't come off as malicious.
  2860. "N-no, not for that... Ms. Cheerilee told me to tell you to dispatch a team to the school Ay Es Ay Pee."
  2861. >This brings about a bit of concern in his voice as he shoves a small capsule into a tube.
  2862. >"Hey kid, you look like you're a bit down on your luck today, and the medics will take it from here. Care for a mug of hot chocolate in the break room?"
  2863. "I dunno... I kinda want to save ponies when I'm big."
  2864. >"Don't we all... unfortunately, it'd be against policy to let you go with them."
  2865. >You're a bit disappointed at the lost opportunity, but the stallion does seem to be rather friendly.
  2866. >Not like you're going to be alone in the breakroom, either.
  2867. >Walking out from behind the desk, he leads you down a series of corridors until you reach a small dimly-lit hallway with 'Break Room' written on a piece of scotch tape plastered next to the leftmost door.
  2868. >You're beginning to have second thoughts, but you press on.
  2869. >When he opens the door, there isn't much to see.
  2870. >A ping-pong table that looks like someone sat on it, a few couches with exposed springs, a collection of stained hotplates, and of course a basket of various drink packets are the main things that stand out to you.
  2871. >Grabbing a pair of mugs from the cabinet, he fills them with water from the tap and pours a bit of magic from his horn into two of the cleaner hotplates.
  2872. >Surprisingly efficient, the hotplates get the water to a rolling boil in mere minutes.
  2873. >Cursing a bit, he takes them off of the apparates, carefully unsealing the hot chocolate packets and pouring them into the cups.
  2874. >Stirring a bit with one of those cheap stamped spoons, he levitates your drink over to the floor beside the portion of one of the couches which doesn't have any exposed springs.
  2875. >You hop up, and he joins you.
  2876. >"So... how about you tell me a bit about yourself? Ya'know... repay me a bit for the drinks we're waiting on."
  2877. "Well, I'm supposed to have this aspurr- ass bur-"
  2878. >"Aspergers?"
  2879. "That's the one. I-I can't stop worrying about things, and sometimes I see things. These odd things in my dreams...."
  2880. >He looks a bit startled at all of this.
  2881. "I-I've also been told I'm very pre-co-cious."
  2882. >"Well, it'd certainly seem that way. Ya'know what, I can't do this in good conscience to such a fucked up kid... get the hell out of here before I change my mind."
  2883. >Confused at first, you then notice his long erect member.
  2884. >Needless to say, you scamper off rather quickly, navigating the hallways as quickly as you can.
  2885. >You hear no hoofsteps pursuing you thankfully, but that doesn't make you feel any better about the situation.
  2886. >Stopping at the door, you inhale deeply.
  2887. >You don't exactly enjoy the cold sterile air, but you're completely out of breath.
  2888. >Pushing open the door, you simply march past the now empty reception desk, right into the cold.
  2889. >...
  2890. >Without anything to warm you up, you're sniffling by the time you get back into the lukewarm classroom.
  2891. >The EMTs must have taken the pegasus while you were gone, because neither they nor their patient are anywhere in sight.
  2892. >Sitting down at your desk a bit dazed, you notice a few things that have been passed back to you.
  2893. >It looks like you scored a 96% on the math test, which makes you feel a bit less shitty.
  2894. >Sifting through the other papers you find the assignments you did while you were out, a pencil with 'Reel Smarty' and a fishing rod decal slapped onto it, and what you assume to be tonight's homework.
  2895. >'In accordance with our friendship unit, we would like to request for your foal to write a poem exemplifying what friendship means to them. No rhyme scheme is required as long as it it shorter than 500 words and can be read aloud at an upcoming ceremony. The winning foal will recieve 200 bits hard payment and a train ticket to their desired vacation spot.'
  2896. >Cheerilee is working her way through long division now, you could probably tune her out and start if you saw fit to.
  2897. >Pondering exactly what you've seen, Equestria has barely been all you wanted it to crack up to be.
  2898. >The show portrayed a world full of mild imperfections, just different enough to teach a lesson effectively.
  2899. >You'd kill at this point to be in that universe, but you'll take what you can get.
  2900. >You start jotting down some reminders to yourself in common prose, nothing too deep, more just enough to allow the concept of the poem to seep into your mind for later.
  2901. >There isn't a listed due-date, so you'll have to assume that it's tomorrow despite that being a bit of a hefty time-constraint for what is essentially an Elementary-School class.
  2902. >No matter, all that you should need is packed away in your saddlebags.
  2903. >Replacing the pencil to its rightful position on your ear, you lean back slowly in your chair, letting your legs extend out to the sides a bit.
  2904. >Faced with nothing else to do, you observe the pink colt you talked with briefly yesterday by focusing on him in small bursts.
  2905. >If he catches you, it could be observed as odd, not that you have much to lose...
  2906. >Later a worksheet is passed out, and after you breeze through it yourself you find he finishes it comparatively quickly.
  2907. >Could be a brainlet in denial, but you'll have to see for yourself later.
  2908. >As Cheerilee wraps up her morning lesson, you retrieve your lunch from your satchel and open it up to begin eating.
  2909. >No need to go outside in this weather, but you enjoy the sound of sleet on the roof.
  2910. >As you bite into what you assume is the vegetarian equivalent of a tuna sandwich, you feel a light prodding at your side.
  2911. >Turning to the side with slight exasperation, you calm down once you see what appears to be a small manual entitled 'Gamma Eques' held in a weak magical grip.
  2912. >"I-I figured out something that my talent helps me with, if you're interested..."
  2913. >Per your request, he sets it down on your desk allowing you to leaf through it.
  2914. >You start at character creation, which seems rather simple.
  2915. >Choose a race of pony, any race really. Even seems like they allow you to pick Bat-ponies.
  2916. >Alternatively, you can be a mutant animal, which seems to be a poor choice for anyone that doesn't value furfaggotry over a strong character, given that your communications are significantly hindered along with your ability to bypass security checkpoints.
  2917. >Mutations seem to be a factor as long as you don't want to be a chad [s](Pure-Strain Pony)[/s]
  2918. >You're leaning toward picking a mutant pony and ironing out race over the next few minutes before Dice-ass pipes up.
  2919. >"Before you make your character, I do have a rough idea of where I want to start out. Ahem:"
  2920. >The nuclear winter has spread across Equestria with rapid and ruthless efficiency.
  2921. >It is the turning point from the year 2471 to 2472, the year prophesized by a group of great psyonics to be they year when the Cavern of Redemption will once again become accessible.
  2922. >An elderly scientist has interpreted this prophecy based on whispers in the wind to be some sort of great reversion, maybe even a possibility to upload the equine consciousness and live out our existance as a species within quantum computers, oblivious of the state of the real Equestria.
  2923. >However, due to his age and lack of either physical strength or any combat mutations, he cannot do it alone.
  2924. >He has called upon the people of the small hamlet where he toiled away reclusively in his basement for much of his life and beyond to aid him in his travels. He will need:
  2925. >1. A Sharpshooter, one that can in his words "Cleanly remove the tail of a small rodent from four kilometers with a single shot."
  2926. >2. A Codesmith, one with the tools and knowledge neccesary to bypass even the most secure of digital locks.
  2927. >3. A Brutalist, one that can take heavy fire, and dish out the same suffering with his own weapons and limbs.
  2928. >4. A Linguist, one that can interpret the dead languages of the nuclear tundra with ease.
  2929. >5. An Empathetic, one that can convince even the most brutal of savages to cooperate.
  2930. >Should you bring the scientist and his assistants to their destination unharmed, the scientist has promised all of you handsome pay,  and a place in the new world brought about by what he discovers in the bunker.
  2931. >"So, Clover, what role do you think you could fill in his party?"
  2932. "I'm going to go with Brutalist, should be a nice change of pace."
  2933. >"What?"
  2934. "Not important."
  2935. >"Okay... I left most of my dice at home, all I have right now is a d20 for stats."
  2936. >You manage to roll a 16, 1, 4, 17, 16 and a 10.
  2937. >"Shoot, that's some bad luck. Alright, species and the like?"
  2938. "Humanoid earth."
  2939. >"I'll give you some time to pore over what you want to put those stats in. Make sure to choose wisely, slim pickings there on some of those..."
  2940. >As you try to figure out how you're going to fish a pickle out of a jar with your hooves, he seemingly takes pity on you.
  2941. >"Here you go..." As the pickle jar tips over with his magical error, you are absolutely drenched in pickle juice.
  2942. >Instead of yelling at him, you just start laughing.
  2943. >The colt has been apologizing profusely, but you just wave him off.
  2944. "It's fine. I'm green anyways, what's a bit of dill going to do to my fur?"
  2945. >"S-still... you're the only pony who's tried to be my friend in a long time, this seems like a crappy way to repay you."
  2946. >You simply boop him, causing his nose to scrunch up and give him a bit of a laugh.
  2947. "There. Now we're even. Happy?"
  2948. >"You're really not angry?"
  2949. "Stop making it out as such a big deal. Just makes it easier for me to enjoy my pickles anyways."
  2950. >You take the mouth of the jar in yours, tipping it up and getting a few pickles in your mouth before setting it back down.
  2951. "Seeth? Progreth."
  2952. >He just shakes his head and laughs a bit.
  2953. >"Well, we don't sit near each other... would a session of Gamma Eques tomorrow night be a better way?"
  2954. "S-sure, but you'd better not cheapen out on the snacks."
  2955. >Goddamn this fuck makes you nervous, not that you really mind all that much.
  2956. >He's kinda-
  2957. >Nope.
  2958. >Grown ass [i]man.[/i]
  2959. >Wiping what vinegar didn't get in your fur off of the chair, you manage to wrap up your lunch before the colt fucks off back to his desk.
  2960. >Maybe playing with League would be a good idea.
  2961. >The few foals crazy enough to brave the weather outside begin filing back in along with Cheerilee emerging from her office.
  2962. >She has this annoyed look on her face, so of course you immediately begin to pay attention.
  2963. >"Alright class, do any of you know about where foals come from?"
  2964. >You just stare at Cheerilee for a few seconds with the other foals before removing the pencil from your ear and taking a loose sheet of notebook paper out.
  2965. >Studying Cheerilee carefully, you draw the most detailed shitty stick-figure image of Cheerilee being mounted by a nondescript stallion that you can.
  2966. >No foals having answered the question, you return the pencil to your ear, pick up the paper with your mouth, and walk up to the front of the room.
  2967. >"Ms. Cheerilee, is this where foals come from?"
  2968. >You're not going to be getting any extra points for the drawing, but you're proud of it nontheless.
  2969. >Looking over at your teacher with mock-innocence, you see the skin under her purple facial fur turn red.
  2970. >"Y-yes, Clover. That is correct. Please see me after class, if you will."
  2971. "Okay, Ms. Cheer!"
  2972. >It hurts, but you have to maintain the facade.
  2973. >As soon as you realize it's just normal sex-ed and that there isn't really anything new to be learned, you tune her out again, instead opting to increase the detail.
  2974. >[s]You're no drawfag, but you'd make Lone damn proud.[/s]
  2975. >After Cheerilee finishes up explaining the function of the ovaries and monthly cycles, she sets down the textbook you assume she's using as a reference and just walks out the door.
  2976. >As the clock-tower gives a single chime, you realize why.
  2977. >Grabbing your saddlebags, you file in an orderly fashion to the door with all of the other foals.
  2978. >Ha, as if. It's fucking chaos.
  2979. >You end up climbing up onto someone's back and half-riding them out the door.
  2980. >They give you an odd look afterward, but you just shrug it off.
  2981. >As you sit under the awning next to the schoolhouse, you feel a light tap on your shoulder.
  2982. >"Clover? Don't you want to speak with me?"
  2983. >Oh, fuck.
  2984. >You were honestly hoping she would forget about that.
  2985. "I-I'm not in trouble, am I?"
  2986. >"Just come with me, please."
  2987. >Following her into her office once again, you hear a lock click behind you as she walks around and takes a seat at her desk.
  2988. >"Haven't I already told you what I do to bad foals, Clover?"
  2989. "N-no, I don't believe so..."
  2990. >"Well, I'm sure that large wooden paddle would imply it. Could you do me a favor and retrieve it?"
  2991. "Wait! Twilight will be here any minute, don't you want to discuss this with her?"
  2992. >She lets out a loud sigh.
  2993. >"Fine, but you'd better bring her back here when she gets here. I don't want to double what I already have planned."
  2994. >Scrambling out the door, you watch the pathways closely for any sign of your guardian.
  2995. >Eventually she teleports into the schoolyard, bags under her eyes and looking bored out of her skull.
  2996. >With a small yawn she turns to you.
  2997. >"So... how was your day? Were you a good filly?"
  2998. "Flowerbutt wants to speak to you."
  2999. >"Ms. Cheerilee, Clover."
  3000. "Yeah, yeah. I'm going to go ahead and tell you that I'm in trouble so you don't..."
  3001. >"So I don't what?"
  3002. "Don't- d-don't..."
  3003. "Nothing..."
  3004. >"Good filly."
  3005. >She takes a hoof, seemingly pristine from the lack of ground coverage and musses your mane with it.
  3006. >Though you grumble in protest, the gesture makes you feel a tinge of childish joy.
  3007. >Draping a wing over your back, Twilight leads you inside and back to Cheerilee's office.
  3008. >You'd inquire about how she knew where it was if it weren't the only other fucking door in the building.
  3009. >Twilight knocks formally at first, giving you a slight grin as she follows it up with a 'shave and a haircut.'
  3010. >Huh. She surprises you more by the day.
  3011. >Doesn't change the fact that the door is still very unlocked though, and it creaks open upon the final hoof-strike.
  3012. >As the two of you walk in, you see you've made the right choice based on Cheerilee's forced smile.
  3013. >"Hello Princess Sparkle! Your child Clover has been having a few issues..."
  3014. >"Do tell, I haven't got all night."
  3015. >"She drew a rather amateur sketch of a stallion copulating with a mare that looked very similar to me..."
  3016. >Amateur?!
  3017. >When you're a famous modern artist she won't be the one laughing.
  3018. >"And?"
  3019. >"Well, doesn't that concern me?"
  3020. >"How are her marks, Cheers?"
  3021. >"Oh, let me pull them up."
  3022. >As your teacher gets up to retrieve the file, Twilight shoots you another one of those grins.
  3023. >"Well, looks like straight "A's" with a bit of room for improvement in history..."
  3024. >"Just about what I would have expected from my smart little filly. Please don't bash them just because they're ahead, Cheerilee."
  3025. >"Y-you're not mad at her?"
  3026. >"Why should I be? I was studying equine anatomy at her age, it's only natural to be curious."
  3027. >"Alright, you're the boss..."
  3028. >As the two of you walk out, Cheerilee grumbles something under her breath that you can't quite catch.
  3029. >You ignore her.
  3030. >"I'm absolutely spent on my mana reserves, no way I'm teleporting us home. These wings aren't just decorative, you know. Do you want to get a first-hand look at what I can do with them?"
  3031. "As long as it isn't coupled with a first-hand look at the dirt."
  3032. >"Very funny. Hop on."
  3033. >Taking a few steps forward for momentum after you're firmly secured to Twilight's back with some sort of adhesive spell, Purple manages to ascend with quite an impressive speed.
  3034. >Bluecunt must've given her lessons.
  3035. >As you admire the landscape below, you notice that you're not exactly heading in the direction of the castle.
  3036. >Quite the opposite of it, actually.
  3037. >You would inquire about it, but Twilight [i]is[/i] the only reason you aren't currently plummeting to your death and you don't want to open a potential can of worms.
  3038. >You decide to reflect on class today instead.
  3039. >Nope. Not any better.
  3040. >You really did fuck up, didn't you?
  3041. >And now you're going to be late visiting League...
  3042. >Beautiful view, though.
  3043. >You can actually see over the rolling peaks and into the valleys below them.
  3044. >Rivers, most of them currently fed by snowmelt you assume.
  3045. >Water would be nice right now, you'll have to see if Twiggles will let you cup some snow and quench your thirst.
  3046. >Eventually the mountains fail to hold your interest and you focus on Twilight.
  3047. >Her technique is interesting. Her legs aren't lifted almost at all, giving her quite a bit of drag.
  3048. >Based on her glowing horn and seemingly precognitive swerves though, you can only assume she's using a spell to detect turbulence and avoide it like the plague.
  3049. >After what you estimate to be about an hour or two of flight, Twilight begins to slow down.
  3050. >"Alright. I'm sure you've assumed by now that I've decieved you. Please don't be alarmed, let me set us down on this cloud."
  3051. >You're hesitant to get off of her back even after she casts the cloudwalking spell on you, this would be the perfect opportunity to get rid of a burden.
  3052. >You know she won't, but it eventually takes a mildly annoyed horn poke on your rump to send you falling into the c-
  3053. >Oh god.
  3054. >These clouds are fucking amazing.
  3055. >You barely even notice Twilight lying down next to you until she wraps a large wing through the cloud and around your shoulder.
  3056. >"Question for a question, that's the deal. I'm fair, you can go first."
  3057. "What about Bane, why does he wear the mask?"
  3058. >"Um... Halloween party?"
  3059. >Well, that was kinda stupid.
  3060. >"Go ahead, I have plenty to ask you when you're done."
  3061. "Might as well cut to it. What's going on and why did you bring me here?"
  3062. >"I brought you here to speak to you... privately. Rarity told me about your little interaction, so I assume you know that the walls have eyes. Next."
  3063. "Hold on, you still haven't told me what's going on."
  3064. >"I believe I just did."
  3065. "Alright, what are your plans for me?"
  3066. >"To continue to raise and care for you until you can fend for yourself, as any creature with a basic maternal drive will do. Well, other than most reptiles. Fuck reptiles."
  3067. >You think you hear her sniffle a bit at that, but it could just be the low temperature at this altitude.
  3068. "What is the meaning of life?"
  3069. >"Forty-two. You didn't think I wouldn't take the time to read your books, did you?"
  3070. "Is there objective truth and morality in this world or-"
  3071. >"Don't make me take back what I said about you being a smart filly. If there were any, you wouldn't be here."
  3072. "How does gravity work?"
  3073. >"Oxygen is a selectively elastic Element here, made your fall a pain in the ass to calculate for when I retrieved you. Otherwise, much the same as you've described to me prior."
  3074. "What is it like to be exiled to the sun or moon?"
  3075. >"The sun would incinerate anypony who got within a mile of the surface. As for the moon, Oxygen is the most abundant element on the moon. A powerful enough unicorn could drill into the crust and funnel it directly into their lungs, but they would soon tire with such an exerting spell and perish. An alicorn could simply artificially synthesize oxygen if she knew the correct chemical formula and create a barrier with it around herself so she wouldn't boil alive. Regardless, the heating process would also need to be maintained which is an extra stresser, not to mention the fact that ultraviolet radiation would render any pony dead within much less than 1000 years. What actually happened to Luna is classified."
  3076. "What color underwear do you have in those drawers?"
  3077. >"...I don't wear panties unless I'm wearing a dress. Purple, what did you expect?"
  3078. "Alright, why the 180?"
  3079. >"Excuse me?"
  3080. "Um... why are you acting differently all of a sudden? What do you want from us?"
  3081. >She chuckled a bit, clearly nervous.
  3082. >"Well, I just wanted to be the best mother I could for you, Clover... I don't [i]need[/i] anything from you but your love."
  3083. >She nuzzles a bit into your side.
  3084. >Wait...
  3085. >"Tickle attack!"
  3086. >She begins poking your belly, your sides and your little frogs, prompting you to giggle hysterically
  3087. "Y-you bastard! I'm gonna, I'm gonna..."
  3088. >The clear sound of urination can be heard over your ill-gotten giggles as the patch of cloud below you turns a light yellow.
  3089. >"Okay... guess I'll have to stick to doing that in public pools until you can control yourself."
  3090. >She has a huge dopey grin on her face now, making it clear that she enjoyed herself despite the outcome.
  3091. >You give little protest as she picks you up by the scruff of your neck and carries you to a nearby cloud other than a slight 'eep!'
  3092. >You manage to avoid looking down, luckily.
  3093. >Your stomach drops as you feel Twilight falter and your only contact keeping you from the ground gives way.
  3094. >You shut your eyes tightly as you feel the air rushing past you, watching your life flash before your eyes.
  3095. >Wow... that's quite unimpressive.
  3096. >Now you're just going to die feeling like shit.
  3097. >Spreading yourself out as much as possible, you murmur a quick prayer to whatever deity might watch over this universe and accept your fate.
  3098. >Deja Vu...
  3099. >You feel the fluffy white cloud breaking your fall as you are very abruptly teleported to it.
  3100. >Collapsing in the white substance you just sit there, stunned.
  3101. >"Clover!"
  3102. "W-wha?"
  3103. >"I've called your name ten times now..."
  3104. >Opening your eyes you see that Twilight's are filled with tears.
  3105. >"I-I'm so sorry... I try to make up with you and then I drop you like that..."
  3106. >There are tears in your eyes too, but you convince yourself they're just from the wind.
  3107. "I... I need to process this. Can you nurse me?"
  3108. >"Of course..."
  3109. >You feel her hooves gently kneading at your back as you nibble a bit on her left teat, doing your best to draw out the fluid within.
  3110. >After a few minutes of going at it, you're rewarded with what you were looking for.
  3111. >The taste is a bit different, but not unwelcome. Whatever spell she certainly cast on herself to induce lactation is well past the colostrum you suspect you ingested the first night.
  3112. >The warmth of the stream trickling down your throat relaxes you, the kneading only adding to the pleasant experience.
  3113. >A little bit of it dribbling down the sides of your mouth as you simply close your eyes, letting nothing matter in the world except you and the teat.
  3114. >Eventually your suckling yeilds less and less milk until the only milk present is in your mouth and running down your muzzle, so you move on to her other teat.
  3115. >If it's possible for it to be even better, it certainly is.
  3116. >You take your sweet time with it as well, lowering the interval of suckling from once every five seconds to once every ten seconds.
  3117. >How the hell did she have to force you to do this before?
  3118. >You hear her wincing slightly as you go at it, but it's seemingly to stifle the moans of pleasure.
  3119. >Kinky bitch...
  3120. >Well you wouldn't be much good if you didn't give her what she wanted in this, so there is that.
  3121. >Opening your eyes once more, you look into her hers trying as best you can to mimic the innocent gaze of a newborn foal.
  3122. >Based on the motherly smile you get in return, you did something right.
  3123. >You continue the process until you've drained that teat as well, lying on your back with a contented sigh.
  3124. >Goddamn it.
  3125. >Producing a hoofker... [i]hand[/i]kerchief from somewhere, she tenderly wipes off the excess milk from around the rim of your mouth.
  3126. "A-alright, I've decided I'm going to forgive you."
  3127. >She gives you another one of those rare genuine smiles and wraps herself around you.
  3128. >"A-alright, is that it for questions?"
  3129. "Yes..."
  3130. >"Alright, I lied. I just have one question for you, Anon."
  3131. >She pauses, taking another shaky breath and giving your mane a small stroke with her hoof.
  3132. >"Do you really love me?"
  3133. >You're not quite sure if you do yet.
  3134. >You consider saying yes outright. Though it might not be the truth, it's certainly the path of least resistance.
  3135. >Thinking it over for a few minutes, you think you've constructed an answer that is both true and satisfactory.
  3136. "Though I would certainly say it's a possibility, I'm not quite sure yet. Your motives were clear from the start, but perhaps it would have been better to start with this tender grace you're giving me now... I'm going to be honest Twilight, you've been pretty rough with me. You yanked me out of my own world started breaking me. The ribs hurt, but that's nothing compared to the dread I felt when I thought that death was a real possibility for one of my dear friends. Though I certainly don't mind this turn of events, it's going to take time to undo the damage you've done. I'll consider rewarding you with a 'yes,' but you have to show me you're going to love me back. Not the kind of opportunistic love you've been giving me, but real unconditional black-tar love."
  3137. >"Black tar?"
  3138. "Don't worry about it."
  3139. >After that there's a long period of silence. Watching Twilight's face, you glimpse no indications of her emotions regarding your statements, though that could be chalked up to the possibility of you being on the spectrum.
  3140. >The thought runs through your mind once more that if she wished to kill you, now would be the perfect time.
  3141. >Purposefully send you careening off of the cloud and simply claim that a griffon had kidnapped you with a bottle of saline fluid hidden in a wing to back up her lack of tears.
  3142. >Just when you think you can bear waiting no longer, she clears her throat.
  3143. >"I'll do my best, Clover."
  3144. >You can't help but feel your heart sink at that, knowing full well that 'her best' could be any range of differt things depending on her mood alone.
  3145. >Or at least that's what you assume dictates her actions, you have no better guess regardless.
  3146. >You quench your eyes tighly as she picks you up, hearing her sigh sadly as she puts you back on her back.
  3147. >After the spell is re-applied, the descent of your Twilight-747 begins and soon enough you're back on Ponyville.
  3148. >"I want you to know that I'm not angry with you. I don't know if I could bring myself to be again after hearing that. I'm proud of you in a way for giving me thi-"
  3149. >She trails off at that.
  3150. >"Anyways, I'm sure you want to visit your little friend in the hospital, and I've already kept you long enough with my deceit..."
  3151. >As she turns to leave you wrap yourself around her back leg one last time.
  3152. >"What was that?"
  3153. "A sample."
  3154. >Her face brightens up a bit with that, a sad smile forming once again.
  3155. >"I'm guessing you're probably a bit too full for dinner tonight, but I'm going to prepare myself a salad. If you want any, the bowl will be in the fridge."
  3156. >Giving her a quick nod, you open the doors to the hospital for the third time today.
  3157. >The receptionist from earlier is thankfully absent, replaced by a young mare.
  3158. >"Aww... so, here to see anypony?"
  3159. >You blush a bit.
  3160. "I'm not cute..."
  3161. >"Sure you aren't. Visiting hours are open for now though, need help with the room number?"
  3162. "Is Little League still in 451?"
  3163. >"Let me check the list..."
  3164. >After a minute of what you assume is sifting through papers behind the desk where you are unable to see, her head pops up.
  3165. >"Yep, down that hallway, to the left, third door on your right. Can't miss it."
  3166. "Thank you!"
  3167. >"Anything for a filly with a face like that."
  3168. >You groan inwardly.
  3169. >The door is actually a bit easier to find, true to her word.
  3170. >It creaks slightly upon opening, but doesn't seem to awaken League.
  3171. >You're about to wake her when you feel eyes on you.
  3172. >Looking over to the other bed in the room you notice a small blue face with a mane above it consisting of green and purple peering back at you.
  3173. >That's not all you notice however, as you can see two small lumps on her back beneath the teal hoodie you gave her this morning.
  3174. >Trotting over to the side of her bed, the two of you just stare at each other in awe for a few minutes before she finally takes initiative.
  3175. >"So, they tell me you're the one that saved my butt."
  3176. "Yeah, give me a second..."
  3177. >Reaching into your saddlebags, you find what you're looking for after a few minutes.
  3178. "Take a look."
  3179. >She takes a look at it, her expression remaining static.
  3180. >"That doesn't surprise me..."
  3181. "What doesn't?"
  3182. >"That I'm wanted dead. I don't really remember-"
  3183. "Oh fuck. You're not telling me you have amnesia, are you?"
  3184. >"I-I don't know what that is..."
  3185. "Sorry, just start from the beginning of everything."
  3186. >"Alright... it was just about a year ago, or at least that's what I think. Ms. Thorn came into my room and told me that I was going to have a daddy again, said for me to get ready. She took me to the showers and started to scrub me down... some of it felt kind of funny, but I didn't want to make her angry so I stayed quiet. After she put a bow in my hair, she took me to the front office."
  3187. "Go on..."
  3188. >"The stallion who was waiting for me didn't even look at me, he was just reading the newspaper. When he set it down, he just said one thing."
  3189. >Be the pegasus.
  3190. >Be flashback.
  3191. >"The papers, don't tell me you're getting sloppy."
  3192. >"Why of course not. The furnace is just-"
  3193. >"Useless. I'll do it myself, give them to me."
  3194. >Ms. Bitterthorn carefully handed over a file.
  3195. >You recognize your name on it, though you didn't hear it much anymore.
  3196. >Always 'You' or 'Filly.'
  3197. >None of that matters now though, you're sure this stallion will be a great father!
  3198. >Trotting over to him, you nuzzle your face into his fur, trying to make a good first impression.
  3199. >He recoils from your touch.
  3200. >"Haven't you taught them not to do that?!"
  3201. >"S-sir you can't just-"
  3202. >"I do whatever the hell I want to with what we're paying you all. Come here..."
  3203. >He actually takes a look at your file.
  3204. >"...Peanut Buttercup."
  3205. >You feel yourself moving towards him almost in a daze, his horn glowing lightly.
  3206. >"I need you to repeat after me."
  3207. "O-okay..."
  3208. >"I do not matter."
  3209. "I-I do not matter..."
  3210. >"Nothing I do will ever amount to anything and I shouldn't expect it to."
  3211. >"I-I won't do..."
  3212. >"Say it correctly, dammit!"
  3213. >Taking the newspaper and rolling it up, he swats your bottom firmly, prompting a startled yelp.
  3214. "N-nothing I do w-will ever amount to anything, and I-I shouldn't expect it to..."
  3215. >"Good."
  3216. >There was a bright flash and you were in a dark grey room.
  3217. >"Extend your left wing."
  3218. >Gulping, you do as you are told.
  3219. >You bite into the satchel containing what little belongings you own to keep from screaming as you feel a crushing pain in your wing.
  3220. >Now lying on the floor panting, you look up at the unicorn stallion with pleading eyes.
  3221. >"My name is not important, but yours is even less so."
  3222. >Producing a metal apparatus from somewhere on his person, you give out another small yelp as your internally mangled wing is given a small tag, reading simply '0094.'
  3223. >Grinning at you as he ignites the manilla folder he holds in his magical grip, he leaves the room and shuts the door, the whirring of a lock clearly audible.
  3224. >A small dog-bed, bowl of water, and bowl of dry oats materialize out of nowhere soon after.
  3225. >Be the filly.
  3226. >The poor pegasus in front of you has long sense broken down into tears at her explanation, her sobs making her words incomprehensible at this point.
  3227. >Stroking her mane lightly you hold a hoof up to her lips, silencing her.
  3228. "Shh... take your time. I don't need to know it all at once."
  3229. >She gives you a small smile that melts your heart, however obviously forced.
  3230. >"Y-you'll come back to visit me, won't you?"
  3231. >You'll have to think that one over...
  3232. "Sorry, I have to digest everything you've told me. I can't promise you I can be seen with you after you get out of this shithole, but I'll be damned if I can't find a way to help you..."
  3233. >"Okay, thanks anyways... you never did tell me your name, I want to have something other than 'Green Savior,' if you will."
  3234. "Heh. Not only do you flatter me, but you're also rather close. My name is Green Clover, I really wish we could've met in better circumstances than this..."
  3235. >"These are the best I've had in months. The ponies here are really kind, the bed is warm and I was allowed to bathe. I-I used to dream about baths when I was..."
  3236. >You continue to stroke her mane lightly, careful not to be intrusive with your touch
  3237. >At first she shied away from the contact, but over time she has begun to lean towards you ever so slightly.
  3238. >You know now that what you said a few minutes ago was a lie.
  3239. >There was no way you could bring yourself to leave this filly.
  3240. >Be Peanut.
  3241. >After a few minutes of coaxing, Clover was able to get you to tell her more.
  3242. >Well, a few minutes of ear rubs, really...
  3243. >The day after you first arrived was when all of the discomfort really began.
  3244. >You were fed a meal of dried oats and led out into a large room.
  3245. >You weren't alone in there, you were greeted by the faces of twenty fillies and colts.
  3246. >Every pegasus had at least one wing tucked into their side like you did.
  3247. >Of all of the faces, yours seemed to be the only one bearing an expression of confusion.
  3248. >Everyone else held either a blank expression, a horrified one, or a wide-toothed grin.
  3249. >You later learned that those ponies were to be avoided at all costs.
  3250. >Some seemed to be capable of forming coherent sentences, others simply screeched loudly when interacted with.
  3251. >All bit.
  3252. >On the first day, you were optimistic.
  3253. >Maybe not all of the ponies would treat you like your new father did.
  3254. >Holding your muzzle high, you listened quietly to instructions given by the stallion that led you, wincing at the pain in your wing every once in a while.
  3255. >As you were led out of the common area and down a poorly-lit hallway you came to a locked door which the stallion soon opened with a set of keys.
  3256. >This room became your life.
  3257. >Your wing was set after a few days, a powerful binding spell keeping you from using it, or as an extension injure yourself.
  3258. >Bathing was a privilege you were only granted once when a bad bout of colic caused you to nearly rupture your intestines.
  3259. >Clover gave you a puzzled look at that, almost like she didn't know about the dangers of colic.
  3260. >In order to avoid your matted fur infecting the wound, they decided to pressure-wash you before hooking you up to the IV drips.
  3261. >Even though the procedure was rather painless under anesthesia, that was just the first hoop to jump through.
  3262. >They needed your blood, you have no idea why.
  3263. >They would drain you until you felt woozy enough to pass out, pouring water down your throat bit by bit through a sippy cup afterwards.
  3264. >You almost became excited for those days actually, you received double your normal helping of oats.
  3265. >You learned not to vomit. They would just scream at you for that, so you took up humming.
  3266. >They were simple tunes, but Clover still asked to listen to them.
  3267. >She seemed almost entranced by you, a green snake in your proverbial basket, you weilding the flute.
  3268. >...
  3269. >Well it was based off of the swaying motions, but that sounded a lot better.
  3270. >Over time as Clover's expressions shift from concern to anger to disgust and back again, you feel the warmth of everything starting to take you as you slowly slip out of consciousness.
  3271. >...
  3272. >Be the filly.
  3273. >You almost want to vomit at this point as well.
  3274. >Damn this wormcake of a planet...
  3275. >Carefully pulling the hood back over Peanut's mane, you move slowly over to League's bed.
  3276. >As she stirs, you pull over a spare stool.
  3277. >"Hey, what took you so F-wording long?"
  3278. "Twilight wanted to... talk."
  3279. >"Guessing that didn't entail anything else, huh?"
  3280. "We're working things out..."
  3281. >"You're not telling me everything, are you?"
  3282. "I saved a filly from freezing to death this morning, turned out she's your roommate here."
  3283. >"Heh, you made quite the impression on er' then. She hasn't woken up all day as far as I've seen."
  3284. "Apparently she didn't even see me..."
  3285. >"Don't get yourself so worked up about it, as soon as the media gets word of it you'll be a local hero."
  3286. "I-I'm not so sure about that... how has your day been?"
  3287. >"Boring. I wrapped up homework, slept, and ate."
  3288. "I figured. Say, this Colt wanted some people for a session of an RPG. When are you getting out of this hellhole?"
  3289. >"They're going to release me tomorrow if everything goes well, let me spend one last night to make sure there are no complications."
  3290. "He didn't give me a time, but I assume it's in the evening. Think you could convince your dad to let you out?"
  3291. >"Hey, I have a tongue of silver and a heart of gold!"
  3292. "Just don't go nonstandard-spacetime on my ass and that'll be just fine."
  3293. >She gives you a bit of a confused look.
  3294. "I'll catch you up one day."
  3295. >"Alrighty. I'd ask you to come up here, but I haven't had anything but a sponge-bath since I've gotten here."
  3296. >A mischievous grin crosses your face.
  3297. >"A-anon? What are you doing?"
  3298. >Climbing up into the bed with her, you wrap a leg around her gently.
  3299. "I'm not going to deny you the pleasure of a hug just because you're a bit grimy, silly."
  3300. >Wrapping your other foreleg around her, you hear a bit of a contented sigh escape her lips.
  3301. >"Please don't stop..."
  3302. >Nuzzling into her fur, you do see what she means.
  3303. >The slight smell of grease doesn't deter you however as you hold your embrace around your beige friend, feeling the warmth of her soft heartbeat as you let her wrap a leg around you as well.
  3304. >Looking at the small smile on her face nearly melts your heart into a soup as her tail swishes softly back and forth over your hind legs.
  3305. >Returning her smile, you begin to gently stroke her mane with your soft frog.
  3306. >Just as you had suspected, her return soon grows lax around you as she starts snoring softly.
  3307. >Laying your head down on the pillow next to her, you watch her peacefully sleeping.
  3308. >This world may not be the ideal place to subsist for a filly like yourself.
  3309. >You can't help but think back on the events of the day as you focus your gaze on her eyelids.
  3310. >Your close brush with a rapist who was potentially planning to drug you.
  3311. >A filly left for dead in the snow.
  3312. >That same filly's recount of the past events that led her here...
  3313. >Despite how wrong the other two are, you can't help but shudder at the last one even more.
  3314. >And you don't even know the full story yet...
  3315. >But through all of the shit you've waded through, League has been there.
  3316. >Keeping you afloat with her positive attitude and blunt truthfulness.
  3317. >Feeling a small tear run down your cheek, you realize this one was triggered by happiness.
  3318. >Well, wouldn't that be a first.
  3319. >Holding your embrace for a good fifteen minutes, you eventually decide to call it quits and get home.
  3320. >Twiggles might be getting worried about you at this point.
  3321. >Carefully worming your way out of the covers and tucking the corner that you left open back in, you hop first to the stool and then to the floor.
  3322. >Your efforts to reduce noise thankfully pay off, seeing as you manage to not wake either of the room's inhabitants.
  3323. >Grabbing your saddlebags from the side of the bed where you left them, you exit and close the door with as much care as you can.
  3324. >A sleeping stallion occupies the reception desk as you walk out the door and into the chilly afternoon air.
  3325. >You'll have to ask Twilight if you can borrow a coat from her...
  3326. >Braving the icy weather home, you rap on the door with the hardest force you think will avoid cracking them off like a flower frozen in liquid Nitrogen matched against a table.
  3327. >The door opens as Twilight looks at you first with mild annoyance, and then concern.
  3328. >"Celestia's sake... don't you have anything to wear?"
  3329. "L-long story..."
  3330. >Sighing as she lifts you up, Twilight sits you down at a table.
  3331. >Draping a blanket around you and siphoning some milk from God-knows-where out of thin air, Twilight's concentration is evident as the ball of levitated fluid begins to steam, eventually heating to a temperature she finds satisfactory as she sets the mess down in a mug and begins to mix in cocoa powder.
  3332. >"Alright, drink up."
  3333. "T-thanks..."
  3334. >Gripping the mug with two hooves, you find the temperature to be perfect.
  3335. >Not too cold as to allow you to down the cup in mere minutes, but not hot to the point of burning your tongue.
  3336. >Repeating the same process for herself, Twilight sits down across from her.
  3337. >She's jittery, you can see spots of milk in her fur from earlier.
  3338. >As she takes her mug up to her lips to take a sip, you get a clean look at her wide eyes and dialated pupils.
  3339. >"I-I caught wind of a poetry competition relating to friendship, and it would make me look like a horrible pony if you didn't enter. Anything else you'd rather talk about first?"
  3340. "Where's the milk from?"
  3341. >"Cows. Do you really think I'd have produced enough for that mug already given how you drained me?"
  3342. "N-no..."
  3343. >"My magic has limits. Anything else, or are you going to keep wasting my time?"
  3344. "Yeah, why the hell are you so jittery? I haven't seen you this bad before, it's like you smoked something..."
  3345. >"I..."
  3346. >Her eyes water up a bit as she takes a swig from the steaming concoction.
  3347. >"Owlowiscious... is dead. When I came home today after you went to visit League, I found the body at the base of the stairs to my study. I-I just don't understand..."
  3348. >Taking a small vial out of her mane, she pours it into her drink.
  3349. >"The door wasn't damaged, I-I left him in the study. It was unlocked, t-that shouldn't be possible... the magical signatu-"
  3350. "Deep breaths, you're rambling."
  3351. >Clearing out her lungs, she continues.
  3352. >"The door to the study will only accept what's called a 'Rune key,' which is a specific set of magical stimuli. The reason rune keying is so popular among mages is because it's so difficult to crack, with a skilled enough mage the number of combinations can number in the range of a Gogol. I've never told anyone the combination, but sure enough the last time the door was used was late last night..."
  3353. >She looks at you straight in the eyes.
  3354. >"My autopsy revealed that the poor thing had it's brain crushed from [i]inside[/i] the skull. It could have easily killed you or I with both of us asleep, but it didn't. It killed poor Owlowiscious. I'm scared, Anon."
  3355. "Hold on, don't you have magical seals all over the house that immediately wake you up if-"
  3356. >"All disabled."
  3357. "Was anything taken?"
  3358. >"Nothing. If it weren't for my dead friend, the casual observer would assume everything was in order..."
  3359. >The two of you just sit silently there for a few minutes, only interrupting the faint sound of wind against the crystal walls with a small slurp of one of your drinks.
  3360. >Eventually Twilight caves and breaks the silence.
  3361. >"So... how about that poem then?"
  3362. >Eager for a distraction, you bring out the assignment.
  3363. >"Hmm... 'Compete for prizes, glory and fun in the annual Equestrian poetry competition! Due to last year's concept of Love turning in too many personalized and frankly very poorly-written poems, we would like to invite anybody with half a brain to write something about friendship. Any old drivel will get you a participation trophy, we ordered too many anyways for last year; but only one pony can be crowned poetry champion and take the grand prize of a trip to the Crystal Empire...'"
  3364. "Fucking hell, they need a consistent writer."
  3365. >"Tell me about it. So, do you have any good ideas or do you want me to just write the damn thing for you?"
  3366. "Um... Friendship is giving the cloak off of your back, carrying an injured pony through bramble and vine, shedding the mask of pride for the sake of protection; all without expecting anything in return but the compassion of company..."
  3367. >She stays silent for a few minutes at that.
  3368. >"I-I... I think I've been a shitty friend. Alright, it looks like the minimum you need is a little over 200 words, I think I can extrapolate based on that."
  3369. >You nod slightly, down to the last dregs of your drink at this point.
  3370. >Inserting your tongue into the cup, you prompt a slight chuckle from Twilight.
  3371. >"I wasn't lying earlier when I said that you're pretty damn cute."
  3372. "T-thanks..."
  3373. >"It's no problem."
  3374. >You scooch your chair closer to Twilight over time, eventually arriving at her side.
  3375. >You can see she's making fine progress on the poem, taking your words and using them as a basis for something with a complex rhyme scheme and even more eloquent writing.
  3376. >You were pretty proud of your own bit, but you have to admit that her own does put yours to shame.
  3377. >Twilight clearly has other intentions regarding your new location however, wrapping a soft wing around you.
  3378. >You would protest if it didn't feel wonderful.
  3379. >With a stomach full of warm fluid and a downy appendage wrapped around you, you soon feel yourself slipping a bit out of the chair as you struggle to keep your eyes from fluttering closed.
  3380. >"Alright sleepy, let's get you off to bed."
  3381. >This time she picks you up by the nape of the neck, of fucking course...
  3382. >It's embarrassing, but there isn't anypony else around to see.
  3383. >...anyone.
  3384. >You do notice her grabbing a bottle of some sort of brown fluid from the fridge with her magic along with a glass though, so she might just be trying not to strain her telekinesis.
  3385. >You'll be the first to admit you have no fucking idea how much the load she can bear with it is.
  3386. >She sets them down at the door as she heads with you for the bathroom.
  3387. >"Do you need to pee?"
  3388. "Y-yes..."
  3389. >"Alright."
  3390. >Setting you down on the toilet, she keeps her gaze focused on you.
  3391. "A-a little privacy would be nice..."
  3392. >"Oh, right."
  3393. >You see her cheeks are a bit of a brighter shade of purple as she exits.
  3394. >After you've finished pissing, you clean yourself up as best you can with hooves.
  3395. >After a few frustrated sighs, Twilight pokes her head back in with a smug grin plastered on her face.
  3396. >"Need any help?"
  3397. "Fuck off!"
  3398. >She just laughs you off as you groan in agony, trying to wipe the last bit of piss off of your nethers.
  3399. >"Here."
  3400. >You shrink away a bit as Twilight cleans you off.
  3401. >"Was that so bad?"
  3402. "Yes! I-I mean no! Fuck off!"
  3403. >Giggling a little she just hoists you up once more, setting you down in your bed.
  3404. >You're still pouting a bit, which only makes her laugh harder.
  3405. >"S-sorry, you're just so fucking funny..."
  3406. >Wiping a few tears from her eyes, she pours a bit of the brown fluid in the glass and sets it by the door, closing it behind her.
  3407. >"Goodnight, Anon."
  3408. "A-away, you she-demon!"
  3409. >The laughter is almost up to a roar at this point.
  3410. >The glass slides a bit closer to the closed door, the brown fluid inside now illuminated with her signature purple aura.
  3411. >Yep, you're not going anywhere tonight.
  3412. >Extinguishing the lamp, you slip off into dreamland.
  3413. >"Wake up and find a hiding place. It's back."
  3414. >Bolting upright, you notice immediately how dark it is now.
  3415. >Something heavy sets down an appendage just outside your door.
  3416. >Scrambling to your hooves and hopping out of bed, you decide to scurry under the bed once more.
  3417. >Keeping your breathing shallow, you listen as the door opens and the fluid in the glass spills all over the floor.
  3418. >A bit flows onto your hoof and you recoil until you get a whiff.
  3419. >It's just chocolate milk.
  3420. >The action was apparently enough to give away your position as you hear it whirl around.
  3421. >Three.
  3422. >Two.
  3423. >One.
  3424. >Before you can get up to bolt like hell, you are lifted by something massive.
  3425. >You hear its voice in your mind.
  3426. >'The only deal is that I bring you in alive.'
  3427. >Just as you try to cry out, your jaw suddenly doesn't work.
  3428. >All you can do is whimper in fear as something becomes red-hot in the darkness.
  3429. >Though clearly fueled by a spell of some sort, the magic utilized to heat up the metal in front of you is dark and pulsating.
  3430. >By the time enough of it has flowed in to heat it to the desired temperature, you're shivering despite the heat in the room.
  3431. >The metal moves closer and closer to you until it's no more than a few inches from your muzzle.
  3432. >Despite not being able to see what holds you in the dark, you can almost feel the grin plastered on its nondescript face with the next words.
  3433. >'Let's give you your first permanant mark why don't we, blank flank?'
  3434. >You can't see what happens when the metal object is moved away from your face, but you can certainly feel it.
  3435. >First and foremost, the acrid stench of burning fur.
  3436. >Then, the excruciating pain of your flesh being burned after it.
  3437. >And finally, nothing.
  3438. >You can only assume that your nerve endings have been singed off at this point as you stay there, trapped in place.
  3439. >One final pain comes as [i]it[/i] removes the bar from the groove it set it in and singes you one last time.
  3440. >...
  3441. >And then he moves on to the other side.
  3442. >Tears are streaming down your face in rivers at this point as you silently beg it to stop, though even you know that your pleas go in vain.
  3443. >Finally, it finishes.
  3444. >The bar is extinguished and...
  3445. >There's a figure at the door.
  3446. >You can feel the energy being drawn out of the world around you as her horn glows a brilliant purple, a bolt aimed right above you.
  3447. >As it's deflected off and destroys a good portion of the ceiling, you hear a slight chuckle in your mind.
  3448. >'Foolish princess, did you really come in expecting to defeat the likes of me with powerful magic? I am your equal both in intelligence and power! No, I am superior! I-'
  3449. >Brain matter splatters all over your coat as Twilight kicks it in the head from behind.
  3450. >As your jaw unlocks, your sobs can finally be heard by Twilight as she rushes over to your aid.
  3451. >As the lamp is lit once again, you see that the only evidence of there being a struggle is the blown open ceiling, the two singed question marks on your flanks, and the chunky red and grey viscera spread on your fur.
  3452. >Twilight looks at you worriedly, taking a pair of tweezers and picking out a bit of grey matter.
  3453. >"J-just let me get this somewhere cold and sterile and I'll take you to the hospital!"
  3454. >She rushes out of the room.
  3455. >Ha, silly pony. You don't need any medical-
  3456. >You take another look at your right flank and faint.
  3457. >When you come to, both Twilight and League are standing over you, both looking very worried.
  3458. >You're hooked up to another damn IV.
  3459. >"Go ahead, I know you probably have a lot of questions..."
  3460. >Your chuckle is not only hoarse-sounding, but clearly forced.
  3461. "Yeah, what the fuck happened?"
  3462. >"You were attacked-"
  3463. "I remember that, I mean specifically."
  3464. >"Well, I tried something different. Only my magical seals were disabled, all of the various tracking spells I keep on my more expensive artifacts were intact. With a bit of tweaking, I was able to engineer a spell that would awaken me or otherwise alert me if the fluid it encased were to spread dramatically."
  3465. >You nod attentively.
  3466. >"I was also expecting whatever came through here to have some rather resilient shields, so I used a powerful attack to distract it, and then promptly kicked the fuck out of it."
  3467. "What? How did-"
  3468. >"Oldest rookie mistake in the book, not putting up physical shields. Great power does not always come with great intelligence."
  3469. "So… is it over?"
  3470. >"I…"
  3471. >It's silent for a few minutes before League awkwardly pulls out a box of chocolates.
  3472. >"Um… that colt you were going to do that game with? He gave these to me for you. Wanted you to know he was pushing the session back."
  3473. >You take the box and look to Twilight who simply nods.
  3474. >Opening the box you find an assortment of caramels, coconuts, and a few things you think are native to Equestria.
  3475. >Popping one of the caramels in your mouth, you chew carefully.
  3476. >Not bad.
  3477. >Twilight cuts back in.
  3478. >"Unfortunately, skin grafts were out of the question in the area where the cutie-mark would develop. The material would either cause complications or prove to hinder the natural magic, leaving you blank for life. The best we can do is let them heal naturally and hope the scars don't obscure them too badly…"
  3479. >That's… not ideal.
  3480. >Despite the fact that you actively tried to resist all of the changes that happened when you were first turned, this new development cuts deeply for some reason.
  3481. >You never really wanted to be a pony, but now that you are…
  3482. >You feel a tear run down your cheek.
  3483. >Oh god no…
  3484. >Your humanity, everything you stood for but your mind was taken from you.
  3485. >But you'd be lying if you said you hadn't enjoyed some of the better parts of it.
  3486. >Stuffing your face with League, cuddling with Twilight…
  3487. >It certainly hasn't been all bad even if it isn't the Equestria you were hoping for.
  3488. >You're sniffling at this point, trying to keep mucus from flowing down your muzzle.
  3489. >"A-anon? Is there anything you need?"
  3490. "W-well…"
  3491. >Twilight looks at you expectantly.
  3492. "Y-yeah… a hug."
  3493. >You think you see a bit of a glisten in Twilight's eyes as well, but it could just be the lighting.
  3494. >As she carefully pulls back the covers, you notice a few small differences in her appearance.
  3495. >The bags under her eyes.
  3496. >The small circles of paper that you can only assume are caffeine patches.
  3497. >Sliding next to you, you can see her sliding the covers back into place until League pipes up.
  3498. >"I want in."
  3499. >You don't see Twilight's reaction as League assumes her position next to you, hooves carefully wrapped around you.
  3500. >You are now the filling in a pony sandwich.
  3501. >You can almost feel the silent competition as each party seemingly tries to make you more comfortable than the other.
  3502. >As Twilight wraps her wings around you, League nuzzles into your neck.
  3503. >As League intertwines her hind legs with yours, Twilight pulls the blanket back up to your neck.
  3504. >You would go on, but it's quite a lot to keep track of by the time they've both got all of their appendages wrapped around you, both muzzles buried somewhere soft in you and a baseball cap covering your eyes.
  3505. >League reached for your fillyhood once, but you just mumbled something about 'not now' and she pulled off.
  3506. >You feel incredibly tired all of a sudden.
  3507. >Even though you have no idea how long you've slept for, it clearly wasn't enough as the assault of limbs and fluff slowly fades to black as you fight to keep your eyes open.
  3508. >…
  3509. >"You know I can only do so much, right?"
  3510. >You managed to maintain a physical form this time, but Sweetie's voice still seemingly doesn't come from anywhere in the empty black void.
  3511. >Or maybe it comes from everywhere, but you really can't be fucked to question it at this point.
  3512. >In any case, you get the feeling you're going to have a bit more time to talk this time around.
  3513. "The balls, what the fuck did you mean by that?"
  3514. >"The ball mill media. You did pretty well the second time around at least."
  3515. "I-I, what?"
  3516. >"Don't worry about it."
  3517. "See, that's the problem here. Now I'm gonna-"
  3518. >"Clock's ticking."
  3519. "Right, sorry. Um, what universe are you in? Or ya'know, just where in general…"
  3520. >"They'd hurt me again if I told you."
  3521. "Um, what do I need to do?"
  3522. >"Well, there's no need. The path set in front of you isn't exactly linear."
  3523. >You would scream in frustration if it didn't sound like cryptic bullshit was Sweetie Belle's first language now.
  3524. "Who can I trust?"
  3525. >"Yourself."
  3526. >Before you can say anything else, your dream dissolves into static.
  3527. >You feel a faint pinprick on your hoof as Twilight stares down at you.
  3528. >You never really noticed just how large she was until you were reduced to the tiny size you now hold.
  3529. >"That should inhibit your nervous system just enough to observe."
  3530. >You try to ask her what she's doing, but you find your jaw won't respond again.
  3531. >As you see the gleam of sterile metal in the barely-illuminated darkness, you try to squirm but are unable to.
  3532. >"Here, let me prop your head up."
  3533. >She places something under your neck and you can see the bare table you're laying on.
  3534. >No need for restraints apparently.
  3535. >You feel a loosening at your jaw.
  3536. "T-twilight? Is there something wrong with me?"
  3537. >"Oh, most certainly not. You're the first healthy specimen to date that has survived any sort of transmorphic magic, and I haven't even had the chance to take tissue samples. Please do forgive me for my crimes against science."
  3538. "A-april fools isn't for months, Twilight…"
  3539. >"Mhm. If you don't have anything nice to say about my work, don't say anything at all. First I'll need some muscular tissue."
  3540. >You expect to feel at least a twinge of pain as the sharp scalpel pierces your leg, but you feel absolutely nothing as Twilight works, taking out bits and pieces of your leg.
  3541. >You feel especially squeamish as she finally finishes up with your hind legs, the grand finale being her taking one of your hooves as a souvenir.
  3542. >You feel like vomiting, but nothing comes.
  3543. >You silently beg Twilight with your eyes not to do this to you as she takes her trusty gleaming instrument and pierces your abdomen.
  3544. >Drawing an oozing line perpendicular to the table, you are almost reminded of the fetal pig you dissected in middle school.
  3545. >You could barely even press the knife hard enough to pierce the flesh of the underbelly, but Twilight is seemingly a pro.
  3546. >Before long, she has a section of your large intestines in her magical grasp.
  3547. >"Wow Anon, I will admit that all of this is really taking guts to get through."
  3548. >You would groan if you weren't positive you were going to die now.
  3549. >Sure enough, Twilight continues to harvest portions of your organism.
  3550. >Sometimes full organs, sometimes just samples of tissue.
  3551. >You almost sigh in relief when your heart is lifted from the gaping cavity that is your chest, but Twilight simply grins as you begin to glow a light purple.
  3552. >She's manually pumping your blood.
  3553. >It won't last lonng you're sure, but knowing Twilight it'll be just long enough.
  3554. >"Before I do actually kill you, I wanted to tell you something. Everything I ever said about loving you, every wing I put around you, it was all just a ruse. I've always hated you with a burning passion, and I'd like you to know that before you die."
  3555. "I-I don't think I want to live anyways after that…"
  3556. >"Good. I'm going to sever your brain stem from the rest of your body in three…"
  3557. >"Two…"
  3558. >"One…"
  3559. >…
  3560. >You shoot up in bed, barrel soaked in sweat and legs soaked in piss.
  3561. >Looking around in the dark, you see Twilight and League are nowhere to be found.
  3562. >Whimpering, you simply bury your head in your hooves and cry quietly for a few minutes.
  3563. >The dark room gives way to light for an instant as the door cracks, a white-coated mare looking back at you from the hallway outside.
  3564. >You consider a few things, yelling at her to fuck off, asking her not to rape you, but in the end you decide it's probably for the best if you just lie quietly in your filth until she speaks.
  3565. >"Are you alright, little filly?"
  3566. >Looking at her with your tear-stained eyes seems to answer the question well enough in her eyes as she trots over to your side.
  3567. >You continue to sob quietly as she strokes your mane gently.
  3568. "I had a nightmare..."
  3569. >She smiles softly as she wets the corner of a towel with warm water from the sink in the corner.
  3570. >"We all have nightmares sometimes, honey."
  3571. >She sighs deeply as she places the warm towel on you and begins the process of cleaning you off.
  3572. >"They used to frighten me too when I was a child too. Every night, I would wake up screaming from invisible monsters that were trying to take my pet rabbits. As time went on, the rabbits died and the creatures of my dreams turned their attention to me instead. Do you know how you get over nightmares, young filly?"
  3573. "N-no..."
  3574. >"When you wake up from a nightmare and realize that the world around you is even more horrible than the dreamscape you just escaped, invisible monsters almost pale in comparison."
  3575. >The two of you are silent for a while after that.
  3576. >Once she gets to your haunches, she simply gives you another soft smile.
  3577. >You notice that her eyes reflect the opposite of happiness, though.
  3578. >You laugh to yourself. Is there a market for real smiles here? They certainly seem rare.
  3579. >"I'm going to remove your bandages so I can clean you, I promise I'll be careful."
  3580. >Not like you can really feel anything anyways, you nod.
  3581. >You watch the process of her unraveling the lengths of gauze with a sort of morbid curiosity, each layer revealing a clearer and clearer image of what exactly was done to you.
  3582. >When the last layer comes off you look away instantly, lest you add vomit to the list of fluids all over your body right now.
  3583. >A deep leathery-looking sort of bastardized question mark met your eyes, with red markings all around it.
  3584. >Noticing your heavy breathing, the mare begins to work at her task of cleaning you even faster.
  3585. >She stops after a while, looking at you nervously.
  3586. >"I-it's against protocol to clean you there, s-sorry..."
  3587. "I think I've got it..."
  3588. >Taking the yellowed towel and rubbing it around the outside of your vagina, you manage to clean off most of the excess fluid.
  3589. >The mare gently picks you up and sets you down on the carpet before changing the sheets.
  3590. >Once fresh linens are applied, she sets you back down on top of the bed and begins carefully applying a cocktail of ointments to your flanks.
  3591. >You probably wouldn't enjoy the smearing of them into your fur if you could feel it.
  3592. >After the bandages are re-applied, the covers are pulled back over your small form.
  3593. >"Do you think you're calm enough to go to sleep now?"
  3594. "I think I'll do fine, t-thank you..."
  3595. >"It's not only my job, but my pleasure."
  3596. >You see her scribble something on the clipboard at the base of your cot, but you have no idea what it might have been.
  3597. >At the door, she turns around one last time.
  3598. >"My name is Cardiac Cool, by the way. If you ever need something please just come by and ask for me at the reception desk. It just burns me up inside that someone would do something like that to a poor innocent filly like you..."
  3599. >You giggle a bit as she realizes her unintentional wordplay.
  3600. >"S-sorry, quite inconsiderate of me, no pun intended."
  3601. "It's fine, all of the best jokes come from pain and misery anyways."
  3602. >She gives you one last smile before quietly closing the door, bathing you once again in darkness.
  3603. >Though you toss and turn a bit, you do eventually find yourself slipping into a deep dreamless sleep.
  3604. >...
  3605. >"Why the fuck would you want to send your daughter to school so soon?!"
  3606. >"She's a tough filly, she can handle it."
  3607. >Ugh...
  3608. >You rub the sleep from your eyes as you see a doctor and Twilight arguing in front of you.
  3609. "W-what's going on?"
  3610. >"Ah good Clover, you're awake. Could you please tell this stallion that you feel healthy enough to attend school today?"
  3611. "Well-"
  3612. >"You're a fool for thinking she's had all the rest she needs! She may technically be ready for discharge, but sending her to school so soon?!"
  3613. "You just want to drain the royal reserves, you fucking leech!"
  3614. >All of this shouting is giving you a headache...
  3615. "Hey! Faggots!"
  3616. >Both ponies turn to you.
  3617. "If I tell you what I think, will you shut up?"
  3618. >Neither pony answers, so you take that as a yes.
  3619. "Can I speak to mom? Alone?"
  3620. >The doctor grumbles something, but walks right outside before closing the door.
  3621. "Why exactly do you want to pull me out so soon?"
  3622. >"You're missing valuable lessons and the hospital bills aren't cheap. Despite the status I hold, my primary income is still from the city as a librarian. Research earns me a bit here and there, but despite what many assume I'm not exactly made of money. I could technically tap into the royal reserves, but…"
  3623. >She just goes silent as you see her shudder slightly.
  3624. >"Erm, it's a complicated and arduous process…"
  3625. "Still, you could always let me do the work from home until I've recovered."
  3626. >"As much as you know I'd love to watch over you, I'm currently in the process of archiving a collection of books…"
  3627. "S-so? I can take care of myself…"
  3628. >She gives you a condescending look.
  3629. >"You kidding? You barely could when you were a human, and now you're trying to tell me that you can now after I've had to save your ass three times?"
  3630. "I…"
  3631. >"Heh. You're damn near worthless, but you're a cute one. I think I might just keep you."
  3632. >She finishes with a small nuzzle.
  3633. >That stings, but you ignore it for the sake of negotiations.
  3634. "History is the only thing I'm going to have an issue with, you've seen that yourself."
  3635. >"Well, that scrawl you produce with your mouth isn't exactly-"
  3636. "Scrupulous details. Besides, I was able to do fine before when you brought me the work, what changes in this instance?"
  3637. >You can see her pondering your points.
  3638. >"Alright, but there's still the issue of your safety."
  3639. "Could always set up another alarm system."
  3640. >"No. They'll expect that, rig up something different."
  3641. "What about a silent alarm of sorts then, something I could trigger if anything seems awry?"
  3642. >You can see her wince.
  3643. >"That would consume valuable time I could spend on other things, are you sure you don't feel well enough to go back yet?"
  3644. "Even if I did, you know how foals are. Always poking and prodding."
  3645. >"I didn't hear any complaints from you after the last incident."
  3646. "Well yeah, but one almost broke my ribs again."
  3647. >"I certainly don't want to have more bills to pay… alright it's a deal."
  3648. >You go for a hoofshake before you see her holding a her right hoof over her heart.
  3649. "Alright."
  3650. >"Cross my heart…"
  3651. "Hope to fly…"
  3652. >"Stick a cupcake in my eye."
  3653. >The two of you finish with a light tap to your closed eyelids.
  3654. >Twilight seems to be smiling a bit.
  3655. >"Alright, I'll check you out and we'll get your little butt home, missy."
  3656. "Sounds good to me."
  3657. >After a few minutes of you idly fucking around with your tail, Twilight comes back in with the doctor from before who carefully removes your IVs and scribbles another set of notes on the clipboard.
  3658. >"And remember to spread-"
  3659. >"Yeah, yeah. I can fucking read, you know."
  3660. >He huffs a bit at that, but says nothing else on the matter as he exits.
  3661. >There's a bright flash and you're back in your bed at the castle.
  3662. >Twilight has seemingly already fucked off to start on the alarm mechanism or to do whatever the fuck else.
  3663. >Reaching over to your bedside table to grab Moon, your hoof strikes cold metal instead.
  3664. >You look in shock at the small but unmistakable can of soda on your bedside table.
  3665. >Picking it up as best you can, you hold it between your hooves and look on the printed symbols like an alien would.
  3666. >'Carbonated water, sugar, orange fruit from concentrate (5%)…'
  3667. "Holy shit, it's the real fucking deal…"
  3668. >On the underside of the can is a small note attached with what appears to be ordinary scotch tape.
  3669. >'Be behind the castle tomorrow at 7:00 AM, sharp. You will willingly give yourself up to us. If you fail to show, the pegasus will be terminated. If you converse with the princess about this note, the pegasus will be terminated."
  3670. >You angrily throw the can at the wall, expecting a large and rather satisfying explosion.
  3671. >Instead, the cylndrical candle hits the wall and makes a dull thud as it hits the ground.
  3672. >Twilight opens the door, carefully holding what looks like a temporary tattoo strip.
  3673. >"This is going to hurt."
  3674. >As she lightly pushes aside your mane and licks the stamp, it begins to glow a bright purple.
  3675. >As she presses it into your fur, you feel like one thousand needles have concentrated on your forehead and are now boring deep into your skull.
  3676. >As you cry out, you feel a tender hoof on your back.
  3677. >"Shh… it's okay…"
  3678. >As the pain fades away into nothing over a few minutes, Twilight begins to explain herself.
  3679. >"That rune will immediately send out a distress signal when you and only you say the words 'I am a faggot.' You must never use that phrase unless you truly need my help, because the rune only has three charges. Any questions?"
  3680. "Yeah, why do I have to lie to activate it you fag?"
  3681. >Twilight just rolls her eyes at that.
  3682. >"It's no wonder I've only seen you with League. Some sort of childish crush you've got going on?"
  3683. "Lies and heresy! Why, just the... how long was I out again?"
  3684. >"No fucking clue, but I think today is Thursday."
  3685. "Any rune signal limitations?"
  3686. >"It shouldn't matter, but if you or I am in the air I can't do shit until I come back down, the rune channels a type of magical energy into the ground that I set up a receiver rune to well... receive."
  3687. >She lifts up her tail revealing a small purple sign, among other things...
  3688. >"I'll try to stick to the ground for your sake, but I can make no promises."
  3689. "Oh yeah, I kinda want to revise that poem-"
  3690. >"I already delivered it to Cheerilee, sorry."
  3691. "B-but I..."
  3692. >You trail off.
  3693. >"Yeah, not much I can do here. If you can't handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen."
  3694. >The grin she gives you after that makes it very clear the joke was intended.
  3695. "Fuck off."
  3696. >"Alright."
  3697. >Before you can protest, she's poofed off to god knows where.
  3698. >Huh.
  3699. >She didn't leave you alone though, as you see a small clipboard and a neat stack of papers resting on your nightstand.
  3700. >You groan inwardly as you pick up the first worksheet.
  3701. >...
  3702. >After about an hour of checking and rechecking the attached article, you finally realize that the technical name for a Diamond Dog is 'Carbon Hound.'
  3703. >Have ponies never heard of allotropes?
  3704. >Wasn't the other name much better when you're talking specificity?
  3705. >Whatever, you're done.
  3706. >Moon is still where you left it, so you pick it back up again.
  3707. >'And as the former blacksmith oversaw the forging of steel, a traitorous hoof snuck up behind him and swiftly ended his life with one of his own delicately crafted daggers. The princess was shocked by the betrayal and security was tightened further and further as more and more ponies began to fall.'
  3708. >'One night, the princess felt a knife up against her own neck. She was dismayed to find that the wielder of the cruel instrument was none other than her own progeny, taken with her with banishment. But it was too late, she had already charged up enough magical energy to leave nothing but a few drops of blood boiling in the cold vaccuum of space.'
  3709. >You... think you'll stop there.
  3710. >True to your word about needing rest, the rest of the day consists of dreamless sleep interspersed with reading and the occasional morsel brought in by Twiggles.
  3711. >Ironically the only time you're truly awake is during the night.
  3712. >You're just starting to nod off when your internal clock tells you it's almost time for the meeting.
  3713. >Groggily climbing out of bed and falling to the floor, you give yourself a precious few seconds there before getting up and brushing your teeth.
  3714. >You manage the task of getting toothpaste in your mane, much of which you're too lazy to wash out.
  3715. >It's not like they're going to judge you anyways.
  3716. >You get lost five times on the way to the back door before you push yourself out into the dreary winter twilight.
  3717. >You rub your eyes to make sure you're actually seeing what you think you are.
  3718. >Yep, that's a fucking golem.
  3719. >And it has a very terrified looking Peanut grasped in its left 'hand.'
  3720. "Release her."
  3721. >The golem apparently can't speak as it merely beckons for you to come closer.
  3722. >You mumble under your breath.
  3723. "You'd better be an early bird Purple."
  3724. "Ya'know I would come closer, but really I am a faggot."
  3725. >Sort of forced, but you'll take it.
  3726. >Twilight appears in front of you.
  3727. >"Oh. Come on, I'm worth more than a measly golem."
  3728. >You watch the hulking monstrosity come closer as Twilight charges up some sort of spell.
  3729. >As she's aiming it, something distracts her for a breif moment as the bolt of energy goes flying high into the clouds.
  3730. >Dazed, you watch on with horror as the beast uppercuts her with the force of a locomotive, sending her flying into a small birch.
  3731. >As it turns, you notice a series of runes inscribed into its back.
  3732. >You have no idea what the symbols mean, but the runes that stand out to you the most are the large pink, orange, purple and blue runes, each spread out quite a bit from the others.
  3733. >They appear to be drawn with chalk.
  3734. >The various boulders used to construct the golem intermesh with one another, appearing to almost mimic a ladder.
  3735. >As the long strand of saliva makes contact with the purple rune, you feel the golem's gaze boring into you as its head turns 180 degrees.
  3736. >As you frantically work up enough spittle for another rune, you hear a young effeminate scream followed by a wet crunch.
  3737. >A chuckle comes out of a small box on the golem's chest as a broken and twitching form falls to the ground in front of you.
  3738. >"We knew you'd try something. We could take you now, but oh are we sporting. Why don't you rush your little pancake to the hospital and see if they can do something?"
  3739. >The golem lumbers away and you're left sitting next to a dying Peanut.
  3740. >You rush over to get Twilight, but she's out cold and surrounded by some sort of force field that prevents you from doing anything to rouse her.
  3741. >And so you sit next to Peanut and hold her hoof as blood trickles from her chest in the multiple places her ribs pierced through.
  3742. >You see her mouth moving, but you only hear gurgling as her lungs are most certainly collapsed.
  3743. >You try to read her lips.
  3744. "Rank hue?"
  3745. >She tries to shake her head, though it's more of a slight spasm from side to side.
  3746. "Sank stew?"
  3747. >No again.
  3748. "T-thank you?"
  3749. >You see a slight smile flash across her lips as her broken wings flutter a bit with that.
  3750. >Large tears fill your eyes as hers slowly glaze over and close.
  3751. >Your tears begin to mix with her viscera as you hug her close and sob into her soft punctured skin.
  3752. >A damaged soul you never knew.
  3753. >An innocence lost, pleading for help.
  3754. >An opportunity destroyed.
  3755. >You kick yourself as you think back to your dreams, Sweetie's statement about 'remembering the oranges.'
  3756. >This was completely preventable, and it's all your fault.
  3757. >"You bitch! That hurt like a-"
  3758. >Even the birds seem to go silent as Twilight sees what you're leaning over.
  3759. >"Is she-"
  3760. "Yes."
  3761. >"How long?"
  3762. "Just about three hours now."
  3763. >Twilight curses loudly.
  3764. >"Celestia... I just missed the window for resurrection."
  3765. >You just look up at her.
  3766. "She deserves a proper burial."
  3767. >"I'll get the shovel."
  3768. >You just sit there in the grass for what feels like three more hours before Twilight exits again with a shovel.
  3769. >"I'll carry her, this is all my fault."
  3770. "No, it's mine. I don't think I could carry her though..."
  3771. >It's still early enough in the morning to hop a coal train out to some desolate fuckhole surrounded by mountains on all sides.
  3772. >The peaks look sharp enough to cut yourself on.
  3773. >As you ascend with Twilight, neither of you speak.
  3774. >The view is astounding, but neither of you look up from your forehooves the entire time.
  3775. >Once you're about halfway to the summit, Twilight sits down and passes you a sandwich from the saddlebags you barely noticed she put on.
  3776. >It tastes like sawdust.
  3777. >Opening the bread, you see it's your absolute favorite.
  3778. >Chicken breast and swiss cheese.
  3779. >You could care less.
  3780. >You keep walking.
  3781. >Your hooves hurt.
  3782. >You don't care.
  3783. >You're tired.
  3784. >You don't care.
  3785. >You're thirsty.
  3786. >You don't care.
  3787. >You're there.
  3788. >...
  3789. >The shovel sinks into earth and you watch.
  3790. >Shink.
  3791. >The exhileration of falling and the near certainty of death.
  3792. >Shink.
  3793. >The feeling of your ribs cracking under pressure.
  3794. >Shink.
  3795. >A photo of all the people-
  3796. >"It's deep enough."
  3797. >You help her hoist the small frail form of the pegasus off of the ground and into the pit.
  3798. >Twilight just sits down, stone faced.
  3799. >"Fucking..."
  3800. >You see a tear run down her face as she uncorks a bottle of something potent smelling.
  3801. >"Drink up. The best damned painkiller the mind has seen."
  3802. >You oblige, taking in far too much of the burning substance.
  3803. >Before long the two of you are lying next to each other, both crying your eyes out.
  3804. >"Ya'know, I could end us both right here. A small singularity right between both of our temples..."
  3805. "Do it."
  3806. >Without hesitation, she lights up her horn, a small ball of nothing forming just where she said it would.
  3807. >Just as you can feel it begin to tug at your mane, it flies off and rips a nearby tree to shreads before vanishing.
  3808. >"T-thank Celestia I'm too drunk to aim..."
  3809. >You just hug her tighter as the sky fills with dark clouds.
  3810. >No pegasi in sight, maybe this area is like the Everfree.
  3811. >Wild.
  3812. >Unchecked.
  3813. >An unspoken agreement brings the two of you back over to the shallow grave, hurriedly filling the hole in threat of rain washing away the corpse.
  3814. >As you descend, it hits and you're both drenched.
  3815. >You don't ask if Twilight has any spells that could shield you from the storm and she doesn't cast any.
  3816. >As you both sit down to wait for the next engine Twilight passes out, snoring peacefully on a bench.
  3817. >A stallion walks up.
  3818. >"You don't look none too fine missy, how's about a warm towel and a place to rest for a bit?"
  3819. "If this is a rape attempt, how about targeting someone who didn't just have to go bury one of their friends?"
  3820. >"Well shoot. Nah, just a stallion trying to do a fine deed. That pony with you?"
  3821. "Yeah. She's my mom and she'll make short work of you if you try to fuck me."
  3822. >"Hm. Best wake her up then, I know how disapproving mama bears can be of their little cubs wandering off."
  3823. >Before you can protest, he gently nudges Twilight's sleeping form with a hoof.
  3824. >"Five more minutes mom, you know I've been brushing up on teleportation…"
  3825. >"Hm. A little under the weather is she?"
  3826. >Something about that pony really does seem off.
  3827. "Mhm. Oh look, that's our train."
  3828. >"You sure about that? It's a coal freig-"
  3829. "Completely. Come on, mom."
  3830. >"Ugh… Nonny, would you mind getting me some water? My head is within an inch of Tartarus…"
  3831. >"I could offer ya both something to whet your whistle before you travel off."
  3832. "T-twilight, that's our train."
  3833. >She giggles a bit.
  3834. >"So? There'll be more."
  3835. >You didn't check the schedule personally, so you have no idea if that's actually true.
  3836. >"That's the spirit! Now come on over to the tavern."
  3837. >The pit in your stomach is only built by the series of back alleys you're let through.
  3838. >'Led' being used very loosely since you have no idea if Twilight would come back for you in her state of intoxication.
  3839. >So you follow.
  3840. >After narrowly avoiding stepping on a few large rats and almost falling behind to the point of being hopelessly lost, the street opens up slightly to a small tavern area.
  3841. >The lack of a crown unnerves you further, there only appear to be a few regulars there that night.
  3842. >"Alright, no sense hanging with the regular folk. This ere' is also an Inn."
  3843. >You tug at Twilight's back legs trying anything to get her attention, but the most you accomplish is a face full of Purple tail.
  3844. >The stallion produces a large set of keys from a pouch affixed to his hindquarters, searching through them with a 'clink' until a key with a particularly worn surface is inserted into the keyhole.
  3845. >"Ya'll make yourselves comfortable for now, I'm going to go downstairs to fix some drinks."
  3846. >The door closes.
  3847. >Twilight immediately tries to go to the couch but you block her way, afraid of losing your one line of escape from this catastrophe waiting to happen.
  3848. >"W-what the hell are you doing, Anon?"
  3849. "I wouldn't get comfy just yet, something is off about that stallion. I mean I've already almost been raped on-"
  3850. >Twilight glares at nothing in particular.
  3851. >"Who's the fucker? I'll blow their brains out on the grass."
  3852. "That's beside the point right now, I'll tell you later. The point is that I don't trust this stallion farther than I can throw him. I'm not keen on you getting raped either, please just teleport us out of here…"
  3853. >"Me? Raped? I'm the most powerful mage-"
  3854. "Who just lost a duel to a golem."
  3855. >"I was unprepare-"
  3856. "And right now you're fucking wasted. Hell, I don't even think you should teleport us in the state you're in. Why don't be just sneak out the back and take the most direct route to the train station?"
  3857. >"I…"
  3858. >Looking up at Twilight, you can see the pain and conflict in her eyes.
  3859. >"I- I guess you're right."
  3860. "Alright, I think I remember the-"
  3861. >"Please, let me fly…"
  3862. >Though you personally think it's a terrible idea to let her fly, it would likely only hurt her further to deny her the pleasure.
  3863. >Not to mention you weren't entirely trusting of your own sense of navigation.
  3864. "Alright, take us up Captain Sparkle."
  3865. >She laughs a bit and wraps you in a hug.
  3866. >"Oh Spi-"
  3867. >She catches herself.
  3868. >"Let's go."
  3869. >You say nothing else as you follow her up the fire escape to the roof.
  3870. >Hopping on her back, you can see her stumble a bit as she spreads her wings.
  3871. >Nothing keeps you from falling this time, so you simply wrap your legs around her barrel as hard as you can and pray a change in the breeze doesn't knock you off.
  3872. >She flips once, clearly not intentional by the cursing she produces.
  3873. >You cling on for dear life, praying to whatever divine entity might watch over this world.
  3874. >Finally, Twilight skids to a stop just outside the train station.
  3875. >The locomotive you planned to board is just beginning to turn its wheels and you have to give Twilight a small kick to get her attention back on the issue at hand.
  3876. >Banging wildly on the door eventually yields a disheveled mare with so much soot on her you have no idea what her cutie mark could be.
  3877. >"I-It's okay! T-twilight Sparkle, Princess of Friendship and plus one!"
  3878. >"Why the fuck not."
  3879. >The mare does little besides tend the engine behind the partition for most of the ride, only emerging when you can see Ponyville in the distance to begin stopping the train.
  3880. >You arrive at the station, exiting quickly so as to cross the tracks to the platform.
  3881. >Once you're back at the castle, Twilight asks for you to retrieve a small green vial from one of her laboratories.
  3882. >Downing the whole thing in a single go, she collapses.
  3883. >"Please tell me we're still on top of that mountain."
  3884. "Nope."
  3885. >"Fill me in."
  3886. "We were likely almost raped."
  3887. >"Ugh… please don't let me drink that much again, sweetie…"
  3888. "Yeah, I wasn't planning on it."
  3889. >"Okay, first order of business-"
  3890. >You materialize in your bedroom.
  3891. >"-You should be resting like you said you would be."
  3892. >As you climb into bed, you feel a calming aura wash over you.
  3893. "T-twilight? What was that?"
  3894. >"I need to head to the store."
  3895. "Okay…"
  3896. >"Here, give me a second first."
  3897. >She lifts up her tail and presses her ass to your forehead.
  3898. "Wha-what the hell was that?"
  3899. >"Gotta recharge the rune, Anon."
  3900. >She gives you a sly grin.
  3901. "Just go…"
  3902. >With another flash, she does.
  3903. >It's honestly pretty boring.
  3904. >You read.
  3905. >You attempt to draw on the back of your homework.
  3906. >You erase your humiliating attempts.
  3907. >You use the restroom.
  3908. >Eventually, you fall asleep.
  3909. >…
  3910. >"I suspect you'll be paying more attention in the future."
  3911. "If you weren't so fucking cryptic one of my friends would still be alive."
  3912. >"And I'm sorry that you couldn't understand. Do you have any idea how much it would hurt to know everything that will ever happen? I don't, all I get are these little snippets. More often than not, I don't see the full picture myself until its already happened."
  3913. "Fine. What's your bullshit clue this time?"
  3914. >"Hymenoptera cancels."
  3915. >You blink and you're back in your bed.
  3916. >Twilight stands at the doorway.
  3917. >"So, one of the nurses advised me to do a bioscan on you to see if anything was awry, and sure enough…"
  3918. >Twilight takes out a small chart and points to what you know to be the bladder.
  3919. >"I'm getting heavy readings for damage in this area, and based on how easily you let loose on that cloud a while back something clearly has to be done."
  3920. >Twilight produces a small papery garment you know from your short career in babysitting back on earth.
  3921. >"You only have to wear them at night."
  3922.                                                              --Alt End 5--
  3923. >You get up out of the bed, feeling your energy level build.
  3924. >"A-anon? What are you doing?"
  3925. "I'm releasing all of the mortal power I've had charged up since you turned me into a filly."
  3926. >You feel a glowing ball of energy form between your hooves as you begin to shriek like a madpony.
  3928. >"I-it's unreal... how is she generating that much power?!"
  3929. >With a swift kick, you punt the diaper Twilight is holding out of her hoof and straight through the roof of the castle.
  3930. >You watch as the burning object travels into space and eventually disappears.
  3931. >"Well, I guess that's it then. None of that shit for-"
  3932. >The sky shakes.
  3933. >Twilight teleports the two of you outside as you watch the two halves of the moon enter the atmosphere.
  3934. >"Well, I guess this is it."
  3935. "I drank your alcohol and then pissed the bed once."
  3936. >"That's fair. I was going to rape you tonight after a breatfeeding session."
  3937. "Also fair. It's probably a good thing you're dying."
  3938. >"No yo-"
  3939. >Equestria is obliterated.
  3940.                                                              -/Alt End 5--
  3941. >You push yourself out of bed and walk over to Twilight, slapping the garment out of her hoof.
  3942. >Getting up right in her face, you screech as loud as you can.
  3943. >Twilight doesn't do anything.
  3944. >"Alright, you could've just told me you didn't want it."
  3945. >You notice a slight slump to her walk as she carries on out the door.
  3946. "Twilight I-"
  3947. >A pop and a flash, and she's gone.
  3948. >At first you go back to bed.
  3949. >You got what you wanted, didn't you?
  3950. >You read another chapter of Moon.
  3951. >It's fine enough, but it doesn't catch your interest like it usually does.
  3952. >You keep thinking of Twilight.
  3953. >Sure, things have been rocky.
  3954. >Especially in the beginning...
  3955. >She's certainly not mentally well, she's unpredictable, and she's dangerous.
  3956. >But all of those things aren't exactly negative when you're by her side...
  3957. >You've shared some good times.
  3958. >Some bad times.
  3959. >The extremity of the latter might be a bit overwhelming, but the silver lining is there.
  3960. >And you cherish it.
  3961. >Cele- God do you cherish it.
  3962. >And you're not going to let anything take that away from you.
  3963. >Reaching under your bed, you find the still object you're looking for.
  3964. >The charge has depleted since, leaving you with a fine powder when you open it.
  3965. >Despite how much pain she's brought you, she very clearly just wants a daughter to love and care for.
  3966. >And you've fractured her perceptions of you as that loving daughter.
  3967. >Picking up the diaper from the floor, you take a bit of effort to dust it off.
  3968. >You very much despise this hunk of plastic, paper and whatever the fuck is used to absorb piss in it, but you carry it in your mouth to Twilight's bedroom.
  3969. >The door is slightly ajar, and as you approach the force of it slamming makes you jump.
  3970. >"What the fuck you you want, Anon?"
  3971. "Listen, if you want to do anything to me for how I acted back there, I probably deserve it..."
  3972. >"Go. The. Fuck. Away."
  3973. "Crack the door, please."
  3974. >She groans audibly as the door opens just enough for you to see a puffy red eye.
  3975. >"Now will you leave?"
  3976. "Look, I know it hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows-"
  3977. >"Thanks for reminding me."
  3978. "-But I really appreciate what you do for me. You've made a few mistakes, but we all do. Nopony is perfect."
  3979. >"What are you getting at?"
  3980. "I'm sorry for how I acted back there, you were just trying to help. I'd like a second chance."
  3981. >As the door cracks open a bit more, watch a slight smile begin to form on Twilight's face.
  3982. >"Alright, but I'm going to have to punish you."
  3983. >You close your eyes, waiting for something to be constricted, pulled, pushed or bashed to its limit.
  3984. >Instead, you just feel a warm presence envelope you.
  3985. >You open your eyes a tiny bit to see Twilight taking the object from your teeth, opening it, and sprinkling a bit of talcum powder on the seat.
  3986. >You inwardly groan as she affixes it to your rear, sliding your tail through a small hole in the back and taping the two flaps on either side together.
  3987. >She laughs a bit.
  3988. >"There. If you act like a fucking foal, I'm going to treat you like one. I'll let you out to use the restroom during the day of course, but if I have to change your fucking sheets you're going to be in a world of hurt."
  3989. >She gently sets you down on the floor as she gets up and trots out of her bedroom.
  3990. >"Dinner in twenty. You can help if you want to."
  3991. >You consider taking it off again, but you don't want to piss off Twiggles or further fuck with her.
  3992. "I'd like to help you cook tonight."
  3993. >"Alright, I'm just making spaghetti."
  3994. "Um, could you guide me through cooking with these hooves?"
  3995. >"Yeah, sure. I normally use my hooves to prep anyways, ponies have complained about the food tasting odd when prepared with telekinesis."
  3996. >Twilight lifts you up to the sink.
  3997. >"The most important part is washing your front hooves. [i]thoroughly.[/i]
  3998. >You do so with little difficulty.
  3999. >"Alright, the next step involves the noodles themselves. This is a bit of a tricky one, so pay attention."
  4000. >Twilight sets the dry pasta on the edge of a cutting board, brandishing a knife with her mouth and holding the spaghetti in place with a hoof. You watch in awe as she flips the knife around in her mouth, using the spine to crack one half of the noodles off from the other.
  4001. >"The next step is boiling the water. Fill the pot about half full with water and place the lid over it, and make sure to turn the heat on high."
  4002. "Okay, I think I've-"
  4003. >"No! Don't touch the stove, I'll handle that."
  4004. "But I was-"
  4005. >"No buts."
  4006. >You let it go.
  4007. >"-and once the water has reached a rolling boil, you can put in the spaghetti."
  4008. >You carefully pick up the spaghetti with both forehooves, dropping them from about half a foot above the pot.
  4009. >A few drops of scalding hot water land on your face and you wince, the smile on Twilight's face showing you that she's just as willing to let you learn lessons by experience.
  4010. >"Alright, now you can set the wooden spoon on top of the pot. It shouldn't boil over, but I don't mind a bit of precaution."
  4011. >You do so and simply wait on top of the counter, eyes fixated on the spaghetti being made in front of you.
  4012. "Twilight! I think it's ready."
  4013. >"There's a way to test that."
  4014. >Taking the wooden spoon with her mouth and picking out a single strand of spaghetti, Twilight flings it at the wall with a wet connection.
  4015. >The noodle holds fast.
  4016. >"Well I'll be, you were right."
  4017. >She ruffles your mane a bit and you can't help but laugh.
  4018. >"Celestia you're adorable... alright, I'm probably going to do the straining myself; don't want any more burns."
  4019. "Rude."
  4020. >"Am I wrong?"
  4021. >You stare at the counter.
  4022. >"That's what I thought. Watch carefully though, one day you'll be preparing this for your coltfriend."
  4023. "What if I'm gay?"
  4024. >"Then I'll execute you personally."
  4025. >The laugh that follows does little to pad down the deadpan delivery of that line.
  4026. >"Alright, I'll probably keep your pasta simple."
  4027. "Fine by me."
  4028. >You watch as Twilight pours sauce on her own with practiced expertise, leaving your dish with a bit of melted butter and a sprinkling of mozzarella.
  4029. >As she sets the two bowls down, you waste no time digging in.
  4030. >Your eating habits are messy at best, and you end up with more butter on your face than down your gullet.
  4031. >Twilight looks over at you with mild annoyance.
  4032. >"Would you like a side of bath with that?"
  4033. "Heh. Guess I need some practice eating, too."
  4034. >"Guess so. Alright, bathtime for messy fillies."
  4035. >You'll never get over just how helpless you feel when she lifts you up by the scruff of your neck.
  4036. "I can w-"
  4037. >"Yes, I know."
  4038. >You feel something muss your mane, you assume magic as all four of Purple's hooves are currently in the process of serving the 'Anon Express to Bathsdale,' as your mom would put it.
  4039. >It's been a long time since you've thought about anyone back on Earth.
  4040. >…
  4041. >It really doesn't help anything to, anyways.
  4042. >For instance, now there's a bit of salty water intermixed with the butter on your cheeks.
  4043. >You guess it's better that they're not here though, and now imortalized in your mind.
  4044. >You have no idea if the different universes share different passages of time anyways.
  4045. >In the time it took for the portal to close behind you, ten generations of humans could've already turned to dust.
  4046. >Not like you'd see any of that, you passed out when your legs gave way.
  4047. >As you're set down belly-up on the bath mat, Twilight notices your watery eyes.
  4048. >"What's wrong?"
  4049. "D-do you know any specifics about how this universe fares up against mine?"
  4050. >"How so?"
  4051. "Specifically time differences."
  4052. >"Well, based on what I could capture from the sundials I placed when I opened rifts to it before, it's about two hours ahead of ours where you lived."
  4053. "Well, I kinda meant something else…"
  4054. >"Oh… I was hoping you wouldn't ask about that."
  4055. >Your heart sinks.
  4056. >"The transformation process, while not irreversable like you might think would require twice the magical energy I used to initiate it. The strain would likely kill either or both of us."
  4057. "And the time ratio?"
  4058. >She winces.
  4059. >"The event that allowed me to retrieve you was a once in a lifetime chance of alligning timelines. By now, everyone you'd want to go back and see would already be long dead."
  4060. "Oh…"
  4061. >"Yeah, it's a bit of a bummer. You have me at least though, right?"
  4062. >She carefully undoes the tapes, lifting you into the now comfortably full tub.
  4063. "I just wanted to say goodbye…"
  4064. >"I know… the chance to study you wasn't one I was going to pass up though, and you have taught me quite a lot about transformation magic."
  4065. >She takes a hoof and starts rubbing a bit of coat shampoo into your cheeks.
  4066. >"Besides, it isn't so bad here, is it?"
  4067. "I didn't have nearly as many hospital visits on Earth as I have here. Bad may be a bit of an understatement, but I'd be pretty well fucked without you here. I'm happy for that much."
  4068. >"Yeah, I am pretty great."
  4069. >She poofs a fake pair of devil's horns into existence on her ears before laughing herself off.
  4070. >"Well, I'd be lying if I told you I knew everything or even if I told you I knew what the fuck was going on here. If I had taken out that golem I might know more by now…"
  4071. >For a few minutes there's only the sound of sloshing water and hooves at work.
  4072. >"I… I'll leave those parts to you."
  4073. >You feel your cheeks warm up, but you oblige.
  4074. "Alright, done."
  4075. >"You want me to do your mane and tail?"
  4076. "Actually yes, I've been having some issues with this damned ass rope."
  4077. >"I had some trouble cleaning my tail as well when I was your age. The trick to cleaning it is to use the side of the tub to get the mass spread, and then to work at building up a good lather with the mane and tail shampoo. I know I used strawberry for your coat, but you can have me use raspberry for it if you want to."
  4078. "Variety isn't a bad thing."
  4079. >You watch as Twilight demonstrates what she just described.
  4080. >"There's also a technique to the mane. I don't know how you're used to doing it with digits, but you need to massage the scalp in an outward motion with your frogs. Sort of cup the suds between your two hooves as you get off of the head and into the rest of the mane… you think you've got that?"
  4081. "I think so…"
  4082. >"I can show you a few more times if need be, maybe grab a hoof mirror so you can see what I'm doing better."
  4083. >She does just that as she gets to work on your mane, only taking a few minutes to finish up.
  4084. >"And now the fun part."
  4085. >You gasp as you're quickly lifted out of the tub and aggressively toweled off from all directions, leaving your coat, mane and tail a complete mess.
  4086. >You glance at Twilight angrily as she alternates between losing her shit laughing at you and telling you how cute you look.
  4087. >You don't really enjoy either.
  4088. >"Alright, alright. Would you prefer to hold your own with those markings tonight or sleep with me?"
  4089. "I-I wanna sleep with you, but only so you can protect me..."
  4090. >"Sure thing slugger, but I know you fucking love it."
  4091. "I can neither confirm nor deny those accusations."
  4092. >You feel yourself being flipped on your back once again as you are re-dressed.
  4093. "God this feels so weird... not like you fucks wear clothes anyways."
  4094. >"Yeah, it's not supposed to feel great. It's a punishment.
  4095. "-which was an extension of an action that had nothing to do with punishing me."
  4096. >"Just grin and bear it, you're cute in it."
  4097. "H-hey! Are you implying you could fix the issue?"
  4098. >"Who knows? Maybe I'm the one that caused it in the first place."
  4099. "Genius deduction, Watson. You turned me into this."
  4100. >"Mhm. You know I do actually have a spell that I could use to safely disconnect your tongue, place it in a jar and store it until you stop getting on my nerves. You want me to do that?"
  4101. "..."
  4102. >"That's what I thought. Keep digging yourself deeper into this hole why don't you, there's always a chance you'll hit water."
  4103. "Still better than waking up with it pressed against my crotch."
  4104. >You shut your mouth as Twilight's horn glows slightly.
  4105. >"Good. One more antagonizing peep out of you and you won't be talking for weeks."
  4106. >The two of you walk the rest of the way to her room in silence.
  4107. >Twilight is hopping into bed when you strike.
  4108. "Twilight?"
  4109. >"Yeah?"
  4110. >She looks more than a bit peeved.
  4111. "I love you..."
  4112. >Her expression immediately softens as she lifts you up onto the covers.
  4113. >"I love you too munchkin. Ya'know, I'm a little bit worried about the monsters these lab-coats have been sending us."
  4114. "T-that's fair..."
  4115. >She ignores you.
  4116. >"In fact, I've even devised a way to preemptively track their movement patterns."
  4117. "Really? That's great!"
  4118. >"Yeah. It looks like the next one they're sending is..."
  4119. >She pauses for a second, your full attention now on her face.
  4120. >"The tickle monster!"
  4121. >Too late you feel the four telekinetic contacts pinning your legs to the bed as Twilight viciously attacks you.
  4122. >"N-no! Stop!"
  4123. >You're giggling like a madman.
  4124. >"The tickle monster knows no reason. It cannot be bargained with, and it will not stop until you are thoroughly tickled!"
  4125. >At this point she shifts over from her forehooves to her wings.
  4126. "S-seriously, stop! Heh heh heh..."
  4127. >"What's that? The tickle monster can't hear you over all the ruckus."
  4128. "Purple! S-stop!"
  4129. >"I'm not doing anything! This is the tickle monster's doing, Anon."
  4130. "I know no greater pain than this..."
  4131. >After a few more experimental methods of ruthless torture, the 'tickle monster' finally decides it's had enough for the night.
  4132. >As you nestle into Twilight's waiting embrace, you realize how tiring the events of today were.
  4133. >Not to mention downright tragic...
  4134. >You're really happy you chose to go with Twilight though.
  4135. >You don't think there'd be two attacks in a single day, but you're not sure if these fucks follow any sort of rhyme or reason.
  4136. >In any case, you drift into a deep sleep.
  4137. >"I can't believe you. Really, I can't."
  4138. "Wha? Who the hell are you?"
  4139. >"Has so much time passed that thine subjects do not know us by voice?"
  4140. "I tried all I could…"
  4141. >"And you failed. We will not have this."
  4142. "I-I…"
  4143. >"…"
  4144. "You're right…"
  4145. >"You do know we have complete control over your mind in this state, do you not?"
  4146. >Your hoof starts to grow warm.
  4147. >"We could… make you actually feel something."
  4148. >Your body starts to itch, almost uncomfortably so.
  4149. >You start scratching at what you can with your hooves, but they do little to help.
  4150. >The itching dies down and you sigh in relief.
  4151. "O-okay Faggot, I get the idea."
  4152. >You feel your skull impacted with the force of a wrecking ball.
  4153. >The force of it sends you reeling onto your back.
  4154. >"Ah, thank you for your inspiration."
  4155. >Your organs slowly begin to light up with anguish, one by one.
  4156. >First your cecum bursts, causing you to cry out in both shock and horror.
  4157. >After that, various sharp implements can be felt entering your large intestine.
  4158. >Your small intestine follows.
  4159. >One by one, each major organ in your body is inflicted a different kind of intense pain.
  4160. >You simply sob quietly, covering your barrel in a desperate attempt to stave off the psychic attack that is being inflicted upon you.
  4161. >Finally, it ends with your heart receiving some sort of corrosive treatment.
  4162. >"I know what you're thinking. 'Why didn't we save me from my your night terrors before?' Twilight may have been merciful, but where she fails we do not. Goodbye."
  4163. >You're awoken by a very real glass of water poured over your head.
  4164. >"Fucking finally, that's the ten-"
  4165. "Aaaaaargh!"
  4166. >"Calm down. What's the issue here?"
  4167. "E-everything hurts…"
  4168. >Twilight looks at you, clearly confused.
  4169. "P-please Twilight, make it stop…"
  4170. >"Alright, alright… hold your horses."
  4171. >She rushes out of the room.
  4172. >The fifteen minutes (you count the seconds) it takes her to get back are pure anguish.
  4173. >By that point your larynx is completely exhausted from screaming.
  4174. >"Alright, I have the solution."
  4175. >A quick flash of Twilight's horn later and you feel…
  4176. >Nothing.
  4177. >You try to move your neck to look up at her, but it simply doesn't respond.
  4178. "T-twilight? What the fuck did you-"
  4179. >"Oh Celestia…"
  4180. "What the fuck did you do to-"
  4181. >"There's no reversal spell listed."
  4182. "W-wha?"
  4183. >"D-don't panic! Just lie there for now, I'll look for something."
  4184. "Not like I have much of a choice..."
  4185. >...
  4186. >Thirty minutes later and you're still lying in the same spot with nothing from Twilight.
  4187. >Again, you counted.
  4188. >You've made a game out of blowing your mane out of your eyes.
  4189. >EmoSkypeEmote.gif
  4190. >Basically anything to distract yourself from whatever the fuck just went down.
  4191. >You can assume that was Luna, but why?
  4192. >Wasn't she supposed to protect ponies in their dreams?
  4193. >Next thing you know a zombified Spike is gonna be knocking at your door to rape you.
  4194. >This idea is so absurd that it makes you laugh aloud.
  4195. >Sounds like something an edgy faggot would shoehorn into their shitty story for shock value.
  4196. >The door creaks open.
  4197. >"I... I've got nothing."
  4198. "Nothing. Really, nothing in any of that metric fuck ton of books?"
  4199. >"Well, not like I read through [i]all[/i] of them in that time, but yes. Checking the indexes of every last one revealed nothing."
  4200. "So, am I stuck like this?"
  4201. >She puffs up her chest.
  4202. >"No. Don't doubt my skills, I-I'll find a way to fix you..."
  4203. >Her voice cracks.
  4204. >She sounds unsure.
  4205. >She gets up next to you.
  4206. >"You're not going to become a fucking quadriplegic on my watch."
  4207. "You have no fucking clue if this problem is even solvable, do you?"
  4208. >You watch the fire leave her eyes in an instant.
  4209. >"No, I don't..."
  4210. >You shakily draw a breath.
  4211. "Twilight, kill me."
  4212. >"W-what? No!"
  4213. >She wraps a wing around your neck, turning your head to look into her eyes.
  4214. >A tear runs down your cheek.
  4215. "Please, I'll only be a burden on your finances. It's better this way."
  4216. >"Dammit, you mean too much to me- my research. No way, José."
  4217. "If you love me-"
  4218. >"-let you go... look, I'll keep you up and running as long as I have the money to feed us."
  4219. "And didn't you say something earlier about ressurection?"
  4220. >"As a last resort. The conscience can be restored in one piece if the brain is still intact, but everything else is a toss-up. Not to mention it's only ever been tested with much success on rodents."
  4221. "O-oh..."
  4222. >"I don't want to think about this, I'm going to get you some soup."
  4223. "Okay m-mom..."
  4224. >She smiles sadly at that, leaving at a light canter.
  4225. >You can only assume she uses some sort of magical bullshit, as she returns with a steaming bowl of liquid in under five minutes.
  4226. >"Alright, open wide."
  4227. >You oblige, feeling a small amount of fluid trickle down your throat.
  4228. >The cycle continues, with Twilight spooning small amounts of the mixture into your mouth when she's sure you've chewed and swallowed the last one.
  4229. >The soup is pretty good, but you're almost positive she gets it from someone else.
  4230. >That doesn't stop you from thanking her when she finishes, though.
  4231. >She beams at that, her face then slipping back to the morose expression she held prior.
  4232. >"My pleasure. A story?"
  4233. >You simply nod a bit.
  4234. >Twilight pulls out Moon and begins to read the next chapter.
  4235. >"But stranger still were the spores that alighted on the surface. The food supplies were beginning to run low and they at first seemed to be a gift sent from Celestia herself, with the grim true nature of that fact being confirmed when the first pony to consume one developed strange boils. Quarantined, the resident war-criminal biologist looked on in horror as something even his craftsmanship of biological weapons could not create ripped through the pony and stared at him with cold, unfeeling eyes. Before he could sound an alarm, his neck was relieved of its head."
  4236. "Great choice Twiggles."
  4237. >She just glares at you before realizing what you said was meant to be a joke.
  4238. >"Heh... I-I'm still very tired right now, maybe if we both just fall asleep I'll realize I overlooked something in the morning..."
  4239. "I'll try my best..."
  4240. >"Shh... I can help with that."
  4241. >You hear the soft sound of magic as your hair is tugged at a bit.
  4242. >Twilight starts to sing softly.
  4243. >"A-a true true friend helps a friend in need..."
  4244. >You hear soft sobs entering the verses as you drift off once more.
  4245. >You wake up in the morning with minimal fanfare.
  4246. >Twilight brings you a plate of pancakes and slowly feeds them to you.
  4247. >Her expression is stoic by this point.
  4248. >"I'm going to go to Canterlot to... you know. Research. Fluttershy will be over in about 20 minutes."
  4249. "I want to see League."
  4250. >"I... alright, I'll see if I can't set something up."
  4251. >A few seconds later, and a very disoriented looking League is lying on the bed belly-up in front of you.
  4252. >"What the hec-"
  4253. >"Gotta go, be back at 4:00, bye!
  4254. >She disappears.
  4255. >"So uh... you wanna play 'Cowponies and Buffalo?'"
  4256. "About that..."
  4257. >After a few minutes, you get League up to speed on your predicament.
  4258. >"Well this is just no fun at all..."
  4259. "Thank you, I feel just great about the position I'm in."
  4260. >"Oh no, I didn't mean it that way. Just that I gotta find a way to entertain ya while you're out like this..."
  4261. "Which is probably forever..."
  4262. >"Hmm, we could... no..."
  4263. "How about we... nope..."
  4264. >"We could play 'War.'"
  4265. "That game is entirely chance, you'd be playing yourself."
  4266. >"Hmm... ooh! I could draw something, and you could guess what it is!"
  4267. "That sounds fun, there's a pencil-"
  4268. >"Right behind your ear, as per usual."
  4269. >You get a tap on the nose for that one.
  4270. "S-stop..."
  4271. >She smiles menacingly and boops you again.
  4272. >"And what are you going to do about it?"
  4273. "A-ableism! You just wait for season three, that's when I get my blue-haired overweight stand!"
  4274. >"Really, I'd just like to see you try and defeat Nine Inch Heels!"
  4275. "That isn't even a real band name."
  4276. >"Y-yes it is..."
  4277. "Sure. Well, there's paper on the table over there, if memory serves me."
  4278. >You hear League go over and grab something, you assume the paper.
  4279. >She jumps back up on your bed, taking her time with the drawing.
  4280. >"Alright, what is it?"
  4281. "A dick."
  4282. >"Try again."
  4283. "A sausage and two grapes."
  4284. >"Nope."
  4285. "I give up, then."
  4286. >"That's not an option."
  4287. >You groan.
  4288. "Fine, a metal support beam and two large ball bearings."
  4289. >"That'll do it.
  4290. >The next image takes a bit longer.
  4291. "Um... a fallen tree on a truck bed?"
  4292. >"Guess again."
  4293. "A dog on a yoga mat?"
  4294. >"Warmer..."
  4295. "League, it's me isn't it?"
  4296. >"Yep!"
  4297. "D-does my mane really look that bad?"
  4298. >"Most certainly, but I can brush it if you'd-"
  4299. >The door creaks open.
  4300. >"Oh, hello. Is there anything C- er, you two want to do while Twilight is out?"
  4301. "I-I think I could use… brushies?"
  4302. >You would smack yourself with your hoof if you could for using that word.
  4303. >"Oh, my… your mane is a bit of a mess."
  4304. >"Um, Ms. Shy? Anything I can do?"
  4305. >You're so worthless.
  4306. >Can't save your friend.
  4307. >Can't take care of yourself.
  4308. >This just cements it further.
  4309. "League, end me."
  4310. >"W-what?"
  4311. "I really don't care how you go about it just so long as I don't cause anypony to be harmed further."
  4312. >"No. Do you know what a friend of mine once told me? Never give up, no matter how hard the going gets. We had been out all day throwing balls, and I hadn't hit a single shot. My jaw hurt, my hooves were cracked, and I wanted nothing more but to go home and feel like crap. But my friend wouldn't let me. He showed me the proper form, the 'technique' as he called it. Told me to keep my eyes on it, and eventually I got it. Sure, it went all of five feet, but I couldn't have been happier. As time went on, I learned better how to actually get a consistent rhythm down."
  4313. "Why are you telling me this? I'm the one-"
  4314. >League slaps you. It isn't hard, but it's enough to get your attention.
  4315. >"Yeah, I'm telling you to get your fucking act together Anon. Like it or not, things happen for a reason here. Twilight will fix you, you'll move on with your life like nothing happened, and we'll get our happy ending. There is no happy ending for me without you. You can call me selfish if you want to, but you'd be far more selfish to take yourself away from all the ponies who care about you."
  4316. >You just lie there in silence, which is pretty much half of what your body's outer limits are capable of now.
  4317. >Fluttershy pulls a brush out of her saddlebags.
  4318. >"So… um…"
  4319. "Yeah, that sounds nice…"
  4320. >As you feel your mane tugged into place, you reflect on League's words.
  4321. >I mean sure, it's pretty basic shit.
  4322. >It's also basic shit you didn't want to consider.
  4323. "Please don't tell Twilight I said  those things."
  4324. >"Well, I can't exactly promise that…"
  4325. "Why?"
  4326. >"She specifically told me to tell her if you started acting out of the norm…"
  4327. "I…"
  4328. >You look over at League who simply shrugs, clearly still angry at you.
  4329. >"I brought scrabble…"
  4330. >You resign yourself to the game as you try to stave off dread.
  4331. >Unfortunately, 'mankind' and 'navy' aren't words familiar to either of your opponents, so you end up losing bitterly.
  4332. >It's times like these that you wish DVDs weren't kill.
  4333. >The hours tick by excruciatingly slowly.
  4334. >League is still standoffish.
  4335. >Fluttershy is still an unengaging pushover.
  4336. >You're still paralyzed from the neck down.
  4337. >Before long League just kind or resigns herself to watching you while Fluttershy spoonfeeds you and presumably changes you.
  4338. >You can't feel dick down there, but you do hear the crinkling of plastic at one point.
  4339. >With how red your face probably is you'll be giving 8chan a run for their money.
  4340. >Even with the inevitable, you can't help wishing there was a clock in your room so you could see when Twilight is coming back.
  4341. >You honestly feel like complete shit, and as much as you'd hate to admit it she does always make you feel a bit better.
  4342. >You don't know if it's Stockholm or what, but you don't currently have the energy to care.
  4343. >You assume you fell asleep, because the next thing you know a very frazzled and pissed looking Twilight is slapping your face and everyone else is presumably gone.
  4344. >"The fuck are you playing, Anon?"
  4345. "Nothing right now, but we did play Scrabble earlier."
  4346. >Her face is bright red, and you can almost see her straining to hold back laughter.
  4347. >"That isn't funny, missy."
  4348. "Your face says otherwise."
  4349. >"Do you really want to kill yourself?"
  4350. "In this state that I will undoubtedly be stuck in for the remainder of my short sad-"
  4351. >"I found a solution, you insufferable cunt."
  4352. >Your ears perk up at that.
  4353. "R-really?"
  4354. >"Sure as the sun rises every morning. Would I fuck with you about something this serious?"
  4355. >She pauses.
  4356. >"Don't answer that."
  4357. >Before you can say anything, you're being carried over to the bathtub.
  4358. "Hey! What gives?"
  4359. >"You don't exactly smell… pleasant. "
  4360. "Well neither do you, you stinky nerd!"
  4361. >"Please, I bathed as soon as I got home. Little. Fillies. That. Don't. Bathe. Don't. Smell. Great."
  4362. >She punctuates each word with a tap on your snoot.
  4363. "Fine… get it over with."
  4364. >The bath goes by with no issues that you can see.
  4365. >You hope that Twilight isn't touching your bits, but you couldn't tell either way.
  4366. >You do notice that her drain of the tub is rather hasty though, the potential evidence having long been washed down the drain by the time she lifts you out.
  4367. >After toweling you off, Purple carries you into one of the many laboratories.
  4368. >"I need to ensure everything is normal for this to work, hold still."
  4369. "I don't have much of a-"
  4370. >"Your head, Starswirl."
  4371. "Rude."
  4372. >As multiple electrodes are attached to your face with some sort of adhesive, you watch yourself being turned over.
  4373. >You don't feel anything, but you do hear the sound of some sort of drill, a wet sort of contact and quite a bit of cursing.
  4374. >Eventually the sound of the machinery connected to your head dies down and you hear something turning.
  4375. >"Alright, if you don't feel anything within the hour tell me. It should take time, but not that long."
  4376. >Twilight quietly sits by the table-side, flipping through some undecipherable ancient tome of knowledge.
  4377. >The first thing that comes back is your tail.
  4378. >You can almost feel each individual follicle of hair, and it relieves you greatly.
  4379. >Next are your hooves.
  4380. >Then your legs.
  4381. >Finally, the tingling works its way up your barrel and into your neck.
  4382. "Damn, it's good to be back."
  4383. >You attempt to hop up from the table, but end up just weakly pushing at the surface instead.
  4384. >No biggie, you'll try again.
  4385. >The second attempt yields the same result.
  4386. >As does the fifth.
  4387. >And the twenty-sixth.
  4388. "Um, Purple?"
  4389. >"Yes?"
  4390. "I-I think I have a problem…"
  4391. >"Shit… what's going on?"
  4392. "You tell me. What the fuck did you do to me, exactly?"
  4393. >"I implanted a small strip of magically conductive material where I severed the connection before. Here, give me a second…"
  4394. >Her horn glows faintly as you feel her lift up different parts of your body.
  4395. >"No atrophy, just as I expected. The only other thing I can think if is the material not being sensitive enough…"
  4396. >Before you can get a word in edgewise, she's already galloped off to some other part of the castle.
  4397. >It doesn't take long for her to return with a hammer, about fifty different bottles of some sort of unknown substance, and a comically small anvil.
  4398. >You would probably laugh if not for the grim expression she bore.
  4399. >"Alright, let me give this a shot…"
  4400. >You lose all feeling below your neck once again after a few minutes of turning screwdrivers.
  4401. >When you regain it, what little movements you can do are the polar opposite of what you intended.
  4402. >More screwdriver.
  4403. >Your body is back in a state of excruciating pain.
  4404. >More screwdriver, a damp paper towel wipes away your tears.
  4405. >Your entire body feels wonderful. You still can't move much, but you almost don't care about that.
  4406. >Twilight lifts up your chest and displays worry.
  4407. >The screwdriver is much faster this time around.
  4408. >By the end of it all, the table is covered in vaginal fluids, blood, piss, and mucus.
  4409. >You're panting at this point, as one more sample is screwed in.
  4410. "I feel fine, but still just as weak."
  4411. >"Anon…"
  4412. "Yeah?"
  4413. >"That was the first one."
  4414. >You feel a hoof on your back as you begin to sob.
  4415. >"Look, this isn't hopeless."
  4416. "Yeah, it is. Rather than being a completely paralyzed cripple, I'm a completely immobilized cripple. I would call this baby steps if I were even capable of baby steps."
  4417. >"Okay… how far would you be willing to go to regain-"
  4418. "That's a stupid fucking question and you know it. Whatever it takes."
  4419. >"If you insist."
  4420. >A bright flash of light later and you're standing in a dark area.
  4421. >There is just enough illumination to see a stairwell and a large slab of material closing the area between you and the stairwell. Two pathways branch off just above the beginning of it.
  4422. >You find that you can move normally after lifting a hoof.
  4423. >The first hallway is marked 'familiarity' and the second is marked 'a new face.'
  4424. >You decide to go with 'a new face.'
  4425. >As you walk down the hallway, all semblance of time fades away as the clopping of your hooves echo in the darkness.
  4426. >Your eyes begin to adjust.
  4427. >Yep, seemingly infinite.
  4428. >Just as you're about to give up, a mirror comes into view.
  4429. >Looking back at you is... you.
  4430. >Well, almost.
  4431. >Your near mirror's fur leaves a bit to be desired, and it sports the saddest little horn you've ever seen.
  4432. "H-hello?"
  4433. >"67 Latitude, -55.8 Longitude. Be there or be square."
  4434. "W-what?"
  4435. >"Be. There. Or. Be. Square."
  4436. "When?"
  4437. >"Fast."
  4438. >Twilight is staring at you as your eyes open.
  4439. >"Can you-"
  4440. >You try to move.
  4441. "Nope."
  4442. >"Well, might as well make the process more enjoyable for both of us then…"
  4443. >You're hoisted onto her back once again.
  4444. >"I think I might have a solution…"
  4445. >You're definitely not going to like this one, sounds like a last resort.
  4446. >"You might not like it, it's practically a last resort. I don't exactly like it either, but I'll do it because I love you."
  4447. >Either that or morbid curiosity. You'd probably put your money on the latter, actually.
  4448. >"Just tell me if you need to go, and I'll make it happen, alright? Your… punishment is in poor taste for what we're going for."
  4449. "Alright. Where are we off to?"
  4450. >"Heh, would you look at that. Two train tickets to anywhere, given to me for one of my worldsaving adventures. Well, if we were to teleport, I'd simply have no chance to use these, and what a shame that would be!"
  4451. "Twilight."
  4452. >"Y-yeah?"
  4453. "What the fuck is up? You snort some coke while you were drilling into my back?"
  4454. >"Well, it's going to be a long ride. I can read you a book if you want me to, plenty of choices. Just give me one."
  4455. "Mein Kampf."
  4456. >"I don't recall seeing that one."
  4457. "Uh, the King in Yellow?"
  4458. >"It's in Canterlot."
  4459. "Past Sins?"
  4460. >"Never heard of it."
  4461. >You'd physically kick yourself right now for not blowing your money on the physical copy when you had the chance if you could.
  4462. >Ironically, of course.
  4463. "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy?"
  4464. >"I don't know, I've read that one rather recently…"
  4465. >You're a bit bummed at that one, so you pull out your trump card.
  4466. "Fifty Shades of Grey!"
  4467. >"Alright, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy it is."
  4468. >You grin to yourself.
  4469. >You can see Twilight visibly twitching as she gathers up toiletries and the like.
  4470. >You have no idea where she's taking you, but if Twilight doesn't like it…
  4471. >Best get comfy while you can, at least.
  4472. >Despite it being a bit late in the evening, your day of sleep has left you feeling energized.
  4473. >Now if only you had a reasonable outlet for that energy…
  4474. >Before she heads out the door, Twilight stops for a second.
  4475. >Taking a long hoodie out of her bag, she covers her wings and as much of her cutie marks as she can with it.
  4476. >After a soft bout of cursing, she returns with a pair of sweat pants and slips them on.
  4477. >"I need you to call me 'Mommy' on the train, alright? I have no idea who could be watching and I don't want them to know I'm leaving the castle unguarded."
  4478. "Alright, Mommy."
  4479. >She ruffles your mane a bit at that.
  4480. >"Just do what I say and you should be back to your old self in no time, alright?"
  4481. "O-okay…"
  4482. >"Unfortunately, I do need to hide you. Well, at least until we can get to the train car."
  4483. "Where?"
  4484. >"Just… tap the back of my neck if you get stuck in a position where you have trouble breathing."
  4485. >Before you can even protest or question her, you'r underneath her hoodie and next to her neck.
  4486. >Seems to you like she was being a bit paranoid, just so long as you keep your muzzle down you have plenty of room to breath through one of the leg holes.
  4487. >And see.
  4488. >As Twi sets off, you try to enjoy the freshly fallen snow as best you can from your vantage point.
  4489. >Few hoofprints mark it, it's likely too frigid of a night for any but the most dedicated to be out.
  4490. >After all, you do feel pinpricks of cold on your back where snowflakes hit the hoodie.
  4491. >You find yourself nestling a bit into the soft fur on her neck.
  4492. >Though you still can't say you trust her after all of the shit she did to you, everything recently has been so intimate…
  4493. >And you truly have been scared, why not play the part of a scared little foal?
  4494. >It's clearly what she wants from you, after all.
  4495. >And playing along is what lets you live comfortably.
  4496. >In any case, you do always have a last resort under your bed.
  4497. >At this point though, you doubt it'll be used on Purple.
  4498. >You hear a bit of protest from the ticket stand operator, seemingly after Twilight showed him her ascended form of the frequent flyer miles program.
  4499. >Eventually though, you're allowed through.
  4500. >A click is audible, and then you let out a slight squeak as you feel yourself slipping a bit.
  4501. >Another click is heard and the ambient sound of the snow is drowned out in favor of the hum of a heater.
  4502. >Finally, the hoodie is removed and you are allowed to slide onto the floor.
  4503. >You look around at the rather plush insides of a sleeper car.
  4504. >Twilight seems to read your mind.
  4505. >"We won't be departing for another two hours, plus it gives us quite a bit of privacy."
  4506. "I wanna jump on the- oh, right…"
  4507. >She gives you a sad smile.
  4508. >"On the way back, sweetie. You want me to go ahead and lay you down?"
  4509. "Y-yeah…"
  4510. >To your surprise, Twilight gets in the bed after she positions you.
  4511. "T-there are two beds, you know…"
  4512. >"Oh trust me, I'm well aware."
  4513. >You hear the sound of levitation.
  4514. >"Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea…"
  4515. >…
  4516. >"Are we taking the robot with us? Said Ford, looking with distaste at Marvin, who was standing in an awkward hunched posture in the corner under a small palm tree."
  4517. >The train's wheels begin to slowly move as Twilight slips a receipt into the lofty tome she holds.
  4518. >You're so happy you have the complete set.
  4519. >Well, Twilight has the complete set you guess now.
  4520. >Don't panic.
  4521. >"I think I'll save the rest of this for tomorrow."
  4522. "Come on…"
  4523. >"Trust me, you'll want your rest for what's coming."
  4524. "But-"
  4525. >She pats your tail with a wing.
  4526. >"No butts. You need your sleep, I need mine, and the book will still be here when we wake up."
  4527. "Fine…"
  4528. >"Don't act so dejected, do you have any idea how many stallions would kill to sleep with me?"
  4529. "Well, I'm not exactly in any condition to tongue-"
  4530. >Your tongue is held gently but firmly with an aura.
  4531. >"I don't think you want to finish that sentence."
  4532. >You simply give the best nod you can.
  4533. >"Good. And for your little screw-up back there, you get to be the little spoon…"
  4534. "Implying you weren't already slated to make me that in the first place."
  4535. >"I- fuck you too."
  4536. >You let out a chuckle.
  4537. >Well, more of a high-pitched giggle.
  4538. >But the chuckle was your intention.
  4539. >It's all lost when she wraps her forelegs around you though.
  4540. >In your immobile state, all you can do is let out a soft 'ree' as her wings follow, sitting just at the position to tickle your nostrils.
  4541. "A-achoo!"
  4542. >You can feel her smirk from up here.
  4543. "F-fuck off…"
  4544. >You feel your eyes slowly gaining weight as the motion of the train and your soft surroundings make you feel almost contented.
  4545. >"I love you, Anon."
  4546. "Y-you too…"
  4547. >…
  4548. >No dreams.
  4549. >You awaken to the slightly jarring brakes of the train.
  4550. >It's still dark, early morning you suspect.
  4551. >"Ah, morning sugarcube. What do you want me to wrangle you up from the breakfast bar?"
  4552. >Her Applejack imitation is atrocious, but that's probably the intent.
  4553. "I think you know what I want."
  4554. >Her cheeks turn a redder tinge of purple.
  4555. >"I-I don't have time for that right now, something quick."
  4556. "Uh, Frootloops and fruit cake?"
  4557. >"Something [i]substantial, Anon.[/i]
  4558. >You ponder your options.
  4559. "Applesause, pardner."
  4560. >"Okay, s- hey, fuck you!"
  4561. >Her laughter betrays all composure.
  4562. >"Alright, I'll be right back. You just sit tight."
  4563. "Not like I have much of a choice."
  4564. >"Oh, yeah..."
  4565. >She exits the car, locking it from the outside.
  4566. >You spend five minutes trying to lick your nostrils before giving up and just blowing on your mane.
  4567. >Twilight returns soon after, sitting you up at long last to feed you the applesauce.
  4568. >You don't know if it's the lack of preservatives or just the fact that you haven't eaten anything in a while at this point, but it's some damn good applesauce in your opinion.
  4569. >Before you know it, she's sliding you back on her back again.
  4570. >"Don't worry, I've got you."
  4571. >You feel the same kind of tug as when she flew you up into the clouds, no doubt a spell of some sort she was too tired for last night.
  4572. >Or had no need for.
  4573. >The latter is quickly confirmed as you feel the weight of your little body being held up by some sort of force.
  4574. >You still have no idea where you are, but it's certainly steeper here than in Ponyville.
  4575. >No conversations clue you in this early in the morning as you and Twilight make your silent journey to an unknown location.
  4576. >Eventually you hear a gruff voice granting you entry to... something.
  4577. >The pale moonlight shines through unseen windows and onto an ornate floor as Twilight's grip loosens on you and her hoofsteps become all but silent, a purple aura resting just below the two hoofs that you can see.
  4578. >You subconsciously slow your breathing.
  4579. >Every nerve ending in your near quadriplegic body fires off telling you that you shouldn't be here, but you have no way to run.
  4580. >No way to even inquire about potential danger.
  4581. >You simply [i]are[/i], a spectator in whatever is going on here for the time being.
  4582. >Eventually, you feel all motion stop.
  4583. >Twilight draws in a shaky breath.
  4584. >You hear her voice in your mind.
  4585. >'If you want to turn around here, I won't blame you. I'll do all in my power to restore you, but I can make no promises. This is the best way.'
  4586. 'I can't make a decision blind, Twilight. I need to know more.'
  4587. >'I can't.'
  4588. 'Why?'
  4589. >'I can go back to beating the shit out of you once you're fixed. Do you want that? Stop pressing me so much for answers.'
  4590. 'Well, can't be worse than what I'm dealing with right now.'
  4591. >'You say that now.'
  4592. >At long last, you hear the opening of a very heavy sounding door.
  4593. >'Alright, just hold tight and we should be in and-'
  4594. >The room is suddenly blindingly white.
  4595. >Even under the protection of the hoodie, you find yourself squinting to see anything.
  4596. >And then you're on the ground, sprawled out like in that one movie with the faggot lamb.
  4597. >What was the name of it again?
  4598. >You maneuver your head as much as you can.
  4599. >Twilight is held a good five feet in the air, light pouring out of her mane.
  4600. >She visibly squirms.
  4601. >In your position, you can't exactly see what holds her up.
  4602. >You can see the wall, but not much else.
  4603. >You can hear just fine though.
  4604. >You hear Twilight screaming.
  4605. >Bones cracking.
  4606. >A particularly strong wail of anguish escapes her as a flash of Purple almost out-illuminates the other light present.
  4607. >The tip of Twilight's horn lands in front of you before quickly being taken back.
  4608. >The whistling of air is audible over muffled sobs as a ripping sound escapes.
  4609. >You hear no more struggling after that.
  4610. >Just the vibrato of pain.
  4611. >Eventually, it all quiets down into nothing.
  4612. >Her heavy breathing stops.
  4613. >In fact, you can't hear any breathing coming from her direction at all.
  4614. >"I've told her about scheduling these sort of things, I really do hate to be interrupted."
  4615. "D-did you really kill her?"
  4616. >"Well, yes."
  4617. "O-oh god..."
  4618. >She's fucking dead.
  4619. >She was all you fucking had.
  4620. >Dead, bleeding out on the floor.
  4621. >Tears come silently as the grip is released on your cheek.
  4622. >Twilight Sparkle lies on the floor in a pool of her own sanguine fluid, limbs snapped, horn broken with the tip driven through her neck at bullet speeds, eyes wide in terror and mane pulled at awkward angles.
  4623. >No matter how cruel she could be to you, this was an extremely undignified way to die...
  4624. >You look up at the towering white figure in front of you, mane flowing in three different shades.
  4625. >"She's taken worse."
  4626. >You see a proud smile on her face just before your head is turned back to Twilight's fresh corpse.
  4627. >"Watch this."
  4628. >A slight spark of magic escapes the elongated horn, reaching Twilight's battered flesh.
  4629. >Before your eyes, blood flows like a cohesive organism back in to the gaping holes in Twilight's body.
  4630. >Hooves stretch out and fit their splintering fractures of bone back into one another, barely interlocking before flesh stitches itself over.
  4631. >Like new.
  4632. >Twilight's horn lifts itself off the floor and backs through her ruined neck.
  4633. >The connection to her forehead darkens the room for a moment.
  4634. >You see vertebrae reconnecting before the hole in her neck is closed off once more.
  4635. >Finally, you see her start to breath again.
  4636. >"She'll be asleep for a while. So, why are you here exactly, my little pony?"
  4637. "If you're going to kill me like that, don't bring me back. I'm like fucking upgrade here if STEM were a useless hunk of metal that just weakly bridged my spine."
  4638. >"Not an ordinary filly…"
  4639. "Your sister isn't quite as creative as you are when it comes to trauma."
  4640. >The very air seems to cease moving.
  4641. >"…I'm going to give you ten seconds to tell me exactly how the fuck you managed to get into contact with her."
  4642. "W-wha?"
  4643. >"Ten…"
  4644. "Your guess is as good as mine! She just popped up in my dream, subjected me to excruciating pain, and Twilight severed my nervous system to end the pain."
  4645. >…
  4646. "So, about you fixin-"
  4647. >"Did you see her?"
  4648. "Er…"
  4649. >"Nevermind. So, you want me to revert your spine back to it's previous state?"
  4650. "Yes, please."
  4651. >She chuckles a bit at that.
  4652. >"No need to thank me, just a favor for a favor."
  4653. >You hear the humming of magic.
  4654. >The most odd feeling of tranquility runs its way down your vertebrae.
  4655. >You can feel your tail twitching.
  4656. >You breathe a sigh of relief.
  4657. >Then it stops.
  4658. >"This signature…"
  4659. "W-what's wrong?"
  4660. >"You're not a filly, not originally anyways…"
  4661. "It's a long story."
  4662. >"I have nothing better to do but sign documents and eat cake."
  4663. >She gives you that kindly smile ripped straight out of the show along with a warm laugh.
  4664. >"Care to indulge me?"
  4665. "Well, I suppose we do have time…"
  4666. >As the moments of recount become hours, you notice natural light begin to enter the chamber through stained glass, patterning the floor with a a constellation you never noticed in the show.
  4667. >Or perhaps this universe was just different.
  4668. >In any case, it's a welcome distraction by the time you get to Peanut.
  4669. "A-and then it crushed her into a bloody pulp, right in front of me…"
  4670. >Celestia nods with what appears to be genuine concern.
  4671. >Something makes you doubt it though.
  4672. >Maybe it's the fact that she just murdered your legal guardian as a stunt.
  4673. >Well, you assume legal.
  4674. >Not like Twilight ever showed you the papers.
  4675. "And the fucking stallion tried to rape-"
  4676. >"I don't tolerate profanity on these grounds."
  4677. "S-sorry. In any case, that was the day I felt the closest to death I've ever felt."
  4678. >Your mane is rubbed with a warm hoof.
  4679. >You suppose it wouldn't make much sense to put on those shoes until she has to go out.
  4680. >Probably uncomfortable as hell.
  4681. "And then she put me under her hoodie, took me up here, and you…"
  4682. >"Yes, I killed her."
  4683. >…
  4684. >"Alright, I'm going to repair your spine completely now. I'm going to warn you now, the process of reversing wounds is so painful you'll probably be begging me to kill you. In addition to that, I'd like to offer you one favor for the valuable information you've given me. Choose wisely."
  4685. "I can't exactly think of anything at the moment, but I do have a request… of sorts."
  4686. >She gives a small nod.
  4687. "I'd like to be able to ask you for something… either when I really need it or I think of something useful."
  4688. >"That seems fair enough. I will warn you however, don't rely on me after 9:00 or before 8:00. As a general rule of hoof, my sleep is not to be interrupted."
  4689. >You shudder at the example lying next to you with in a mangled and bloody hoodie.
  4690. "Alright, that's reasonable."
  4691. >"I should also inform you that you'll likely have some difficulty walking for a while, but with practice it should pass."
  4692. "I expected that, thank you for your help."
  4693. >"Don't thank me yet."
  4694. >The burning rod was nothing.
  4695. >The ribs merely a scratch.
  4696. >Everything pales in comparison to the pain that is throbbing and piercing through your entire nervous system.
  4697. >You try to focus on a small point and end up settling on a particle of dust.
  4698. >So small, so insignificant.
  4699. >Drifting on the wind, brought along by forces much bigger than itself, or possibly even its comprehension.
  4700. >And yet, it supports life.
  4701. >Microscopic mites crawling all over it, scavenging for any morsel of sustenance they can find.
  4702. >And amazingly, it can still do harm.
  4703. >Some find the mites allergenic, eyes and lips swelling up painfully in the prolonged presence of something as seemingly minuscule as dust.
  4704. >You were never one such person.
  4705. >Perhaps it was the filthy lifestyle you were allowed to lead as an infant, shoving dirty hands into your mouth.
  4706. >Perhaps it was luck.
  4707. >In any case, you're stronger than some.
  4708. >And looking back at recent events, you'll need all the strength you can get.
  4709. >…
  4710. >Like lacking a fucking allergy could help you…
  4711. >The pain slowly begins to subside.
  4712. >Tentatively, you try to move a hoof.
  4713. >It doesn't obey you.
  4714. >You remain calm.
  4715. >'Wiggle your big toe.'
  4716. >You look over to Twilight for guidance only to find that she's still asleep.
  4717. >…
  4718. >Why were you looking to her?
  4719. >You're a big filly.
  4720. >Something about you does feel a bit hollow without said validation though, and it's probably this fact that delays your return to movement for quite a while.
  4721. >But when you finally get that little wiggle of movement back in your hoof…
  4722. >your face beams with pride.
  4723. >Slowly, work out a method for crawling.
  4724. >Use the rough backs of your hooves to pull yourself forward a bit, lift up and push out, come back down…
  4725. >Eventually you make it back over to Twilight.
  4726. "Twilight?"
  4727. >Her eyes shoot open and she gives you a death glare before her looks soften.
  4728. >"Oh, it's just you. Hello, Anon."
  4729. >You weakly lift up a hoof.
  4730. "Let's go home."
  4731. >"You don't have to tell me twice."
  4732. >"Would you like to take a shower on your way out?"
  4733. >Twilight levitates you onto her back once more and you can feel her sweat a bit.
  4734. >"No, I think I'll be fine washing this all out at home. Thank you, Princess."
  4735. >Sunbutt laughs.
  4736. >"Knock next time, My Faithful Student."
  4737. >"Yes, of course."
  4738. >In a blink, you're home again.
  4739. >The few items Twilight brought on her person are retrieved in another flash.
  4740. >"Celestia fucking…"
  4741. >It's then that you notice you're standing right next to a huge fucking pit.
  4742. >There's no note this time.
  4743. >But Twilight's bed is nowhere to be found, to be assumed as the target item.
  4744. >"Not to kill me, they knew we were gone… if they wanted to kill they would've already tried… just to mess with me…"
  4745. "Twi-"
  4746. >"Not now you little shit, you got me fucking killed."
  4747. >You're taken a bit aback.
  4748. "Wha-"
  4749. >"Shut up."
  4750. >You oblige.
  4751. >After a few minutes of useless examination, Twilight resigns herself to one of the many guest rooms with you next to her.
  4752. >"I'm sorry. This is stressing me out like you wouldn't believe."
  4753. >You just wave your tail a bit.
  4754. >For whatever reason, you got control of it back rather quickly.
  4755. >"Do you have any clues as to where to start with all of this? Locations? Ponies involved? A lead of any kind?"
  4756. "Is Golemancy common?"
  4757. >You can see her brow furrow as she considers your question.
  4758. >"No, not very. It certainly isn't taught in any magic schools I know of, most see it as having too much potential for destruction."
  4759. "Do you know of any books on the subject?"
  4760. >"I'm in possession of one of the few copies."
  4761. >She looks rather proud of that.
  4762. >For a moment at least, before she zips off in a panicked dash.
  4763. >About five minutes later she comes back.
  4764. >"Well, they didn't get it from me. The library is secured as far as I can tell.
  4765. "Could they have copied it?"
  4766. >"I couldn't put individual alarms on every book, the ringing in my head would be impossible whenever I went to pick one up and it would cause a lot of strain to keep them active. I do have a secondary system in place for if anything is acted upon by magic other than my own though, the alarm system is localized in the castle instead of in my head. I'd know if somepony tried to copy it. I don't think there's a lead here, Anon…"
  4767. "I wouldn't say that for sure; you must have a supplier."
  4768. >She goes quiet for a second before laughing a bit.
  4769. >"I honestly can't believe I overlooked that. Keep that up and you'll be next in line after me. I can see it now; 'Coronation of Princess Clo-"
  4770. "Stop it!"
  4771. >She playfully pushes you over.
  4772. >"Not for a while though, we need to get your legs back in shape first."
  4773. >You blush, frankly not all that keen on this much attention.
  4774. "Some rest might not be bad for me, I'd like to take a look at this crater first though."
  4775. >"Oh no you don't. What you need right now is some physical therapy. I'll look around the crater for a bit, let me just…"
  4776. >Five minutes later and you're lying on a very comfortable couch.
  4777. >"Don't get too cozy, I won't be longer than a few hours."
  4778. "Mhm."
  4779. >You feel your eyelids grow heavy.
  4780. >You'll just rest them for a second…
  4781. >…
  4782. >"You're very close."
  4783. "It's been a while."
  4784. >"Yes, I suppose it has. There isn't much more I can tell you, you might want to consider this a proper goodbye."
  4785. "I'm sorry again, all the warnings…"
  4786. >"No, I shouldn't have gotten angry at you. This machine puts my mind under so much stress, it's difficult not to. Breaking off contact with you will alleviate a bit."
  4787. "I won't see you again?"
  4788. >"Well… I wouldn't count on it. Even if you could find me, the process of removing me would kill me unless you had somepony very specific. I can't say much more, just that they are likely to present themselves to you. I can't even do certainties anymore… good luck, Anon."
  4789. >You don't quite know what to say as the black dreamscape around you begins to melt.
  4790. >For a split second, you see her face; fur unwashed and sweaty, mane unkempt…
  4791. >You think she has something branded on her neck, but you can't make it out before Twilight pulls you up into the air.
  4792. >"Come on Sleepyhead, time to go to Fluttershy's house."
  4793. "Wha?"
  4794. >"Nobody knows animal rehabilitation better than her. As I'm sure you've gathered, I'm not exactly positive I'll be able to work on that body of yours without doing further damage."
  4795. "I'm not just any animal…"
  4796. >"Same principles whether or not you shit in the woods. Now come on, she has something going on later."
  4797. "Of course you'd keep track of everyone's schedule as well as your own…"
  4798. >"Not everyone, just most everyone."
  4799. "That's not much better."
  4800. >"Fuck off."
  4801. >The morning is alive with the ambient sounds of winter as the two of you go out.
  4802. >Riding atop Twilight is much better with your mane in the wind and enough muscle strength to keep a weak grasp on her barrel.
  4803. >You doubt she'd let you fall, but the freedom to do so is still reassuring.
  4804. "Did you find anything in the crater?"
  4805. >"No, I'm not even sure what made it just yet…"
  4806. >Things go quiet.
  4807. >You're a bit cold, but you're sure Fluttershy will have a fire going.
  4808. >It's like the main thing cottages are good for.
  4809. >You're not disappointed as a knock on the door greets you with a blast of warm air.
  4810. >"Oh, Twilight! Do what brings you here today?"
  4811. >"Well, I managed to get little Clover here healed up; I was wondering if you had any methods of physical therapy for ponies?"
  4812. >You can see her shrink back a bit.
  4813. >"My specialty is really animals…"
  4814. >"We are animals, silly."
  4815. >"I don't-"
  4816. >"I'll pay you."
  4817. >She stops for a few seconds.
  4818. >"How much?"
  4819. >"200 bits."
  4820. >"Come on, Twilight. I know you can let more than that go, bills are due soon and-"
  4821. >"250, and that's final. I'm not going to let you Griffon me on this."
  4822. >"Alright, you've got a deal."
  4823. >Fluttershy retreats back into her cottage.
  4824. >You barely hear Twilight grumble 'So much for the magic of friendship…' under her breath.
  4825. >Twilight sits down on the couch, setting you down on the rug.
  4826. >Fluttershy takes a sip from her mug of tea.
  4827. >"Alright, first things-"
  4828. >"Where's my mug, you're not going to deny me that with the deluxe package; are you?"
  4829. >Five minutes of tea brewing later, and Twilight takes a sip from her newly acquired mug.
  4830. >"Alright, first things first. We have a lot to get through today, can you tell me exactly where you're afflicted?"
  4831. "Yeah, my back has been bothering me for a while and I'm not sure if I'm good, I haven't been active..."
  4832. >You can see her warily glance at Twilight.
  4833. >"When did this start?"
  4834. >"Not too long ago, she fell and severed the connection between her neck and her head. Managed to patch her up though."
  4835. >Fluttershy just stares at her in awe.
  4836. >"H-how did you manage-"
  4837. >"I came here for your care, not to share trade secrets. Besides, they wouldn't let me know anyways."
  4838. >"Of course."
  4839. >"In any case, she hasn't been moving around for quite some time on account of her paralysis."
  4840. >"I could have figured that by the way you had her set up in bed."
  4841. >You feel your cheeks redden.
  4842. >"Yeah, yeah. Hasn't been moving, possible muscular atrophy, I'll let you do your thing."
  4843. >"Of course."
  4844. >She keeps glancing over at Purple as if she wants her to leave, but she's either too autistic to get the memo or can't be assed to move.
  4845. >Eventually she just sighs quietly and scoops you up with her snout.
  4846. >You're set down on another rug as you watch Fluttershy get out all manner of equipment.
  4847. >Yoga balls, yoga mats, barbells...
  4848. >You didn't even know they had yoga in Equestria.
  4849. >Guess that makes you the fool, Yellowquiet looks like she was the heavyweight champion.
  4850. >Thatshowmafiaworks.png
  4851. >She starts out with a few incredibly difficult stretches.
  4852. >You're humiliated by how easy they should be, and it doesn't help that Fluttershy's usual silence can easily be interpreted as cold disapproval.
  4853. >Eventually she moves on from the stretching to a strip of rubber tied in a loop.
  4854. >You try with all your might to push it apart, but barely anything comes of it.
  4855. >...
  4856. >The light outside is fading.
  4857. >You're coated in sweat from head to hoof.
  4858. >"That's it, come to me. I know you can do it."
  4859. >You stare at your forehoof, willing it to move.
  4860. >"Nonny, what did I say about movement?"
  4861. "L-let it come naturally."
  4862. >"That's right, now look at me."
  4863. "Okay."
  4864. >You see something of genuine compassion in her eyes.
  4865. >It's a relief to say the least after all this time.
  4866. >You take a step.
  4867. >And then another.
  4868. >You're wobbly as hell, and slow.
  4869. >But you're able to pull it off.
  4870. >You rub your cheek up against Fluttershy's chest before toppling over.
  4871. >The both of you take a moment to share a laugh.
  4872. >It's been a grueling day, but you actually feel like you're closer to being back on track.
  4873. >You sigh in relief as you're lifted up once again, happy to have the burden taken off of your weary legs.
  4874. >"I'd recommend not letting her go back to school until Wednesday. Here's her regimen, I expect you to follow it to a T. Not too much sugar, lots of protein."
  4875. >"Alright, sure. One issue though..."
  4876. >"Oh?"
  4877. >"Um, what day is it?"
  4878. >"It's Monday night."
  4879. >"Oh, of course."
  4880. >"Mhm. I'd suggest taking the poor little thing home now, she's quite exhausted."
  4881. >"Of course... thank you for your help again."
  4882. >"My pleasure. Sorry, feeding all the animals just gets so expensive-"
  4883. >"I'll see if I can get you some sort of government aid for that."
  4884. >"You'd do that?"
  4885. >"Sure. Nepotism at its finest, right?"
  4886. >You doze off before you hear the response.
  4887. >...
  4888. >"Anon?"
  4889. "Wha?"
  4890. >"We're home. I asked you what you wanted for dinner."
  4891. "Steak?"
  4892. >You realize your mistake as soon as the word leaves your mouth and begin to apologize profusely.
  4893. >"It's fine, I'm sure it just comes naturally. Don't do that at a fancy restaurant though, I'd be stoned."
  4894. >You can't tell how much she's exaggerating that statement.
  4895. "Eggs?"
  4896. >"I knew there was something I was forgetting, in fact we have almost nothing here."
  4897. "How about a Hayburger then? They're open late, right?"
  4898. >You can see a bit of saliva run down the inside of her cheek when she next opens her mouth.
  4899. >"Yes, that would be… alright."
  4900. >The two of you go back outside, Twilight glancing warily at the castle as she locks it.
  4901. >"It's barely even worth it to patch the roof, they can get in any time they want and it gets fucking freezing regardless…"
  4902. "Oh yeah, I have something I'd like to ask you."
  4903. >"And what would that be?"
  4904. "Why is gelatin alright but steak isn't? Don't you have to kill the cows to make that too?"
  4905. >"Well, cattle are generally treated as property here. That being said, they do have some rights. Griffons are the only species that have been known to kill them for meat, we just take the freshly deceased and harvest the necessary bits. The rest is generally left to decompose in controlled environments, there are quite a few fungi that are medicinally beneficial."
  4906. "Huh."
  4907. >"We're not savages."
  4908. "I don't know, if I didn't know-"
  4909. >"Shut your trap."
  4910. "Y-you're a savage tickle monster…"
  4911. >"Yeah. That's what I thought."
  4912. >You arrive within a few minutes, Twilight finding the cleanest booth possible.
  4913. >You even see her horn emitting some light on the seats, no doubt on the ultraviolet spectrum.
  4914. >You slide off of her back and weakly scooch your butt over a bit so you can see the menu.
  4915. >Your head just barely peaks over the table.
  4916. "Is the 'Grown Cyclone' any good?"
  4917. >"Celestia, yes. It's what I always get."
  4918. "Are there any sizes?"
  4919. >"Negative. I'll certainly eat the rest of yours if you can't finish it though, no worries."
  4920. >A bored looking colt comes over.
  4921. >"Welcome to Hayburger, home of 'The Hayburger.' Can I take your order?"
  4922. >"Two cyclones, a large water and…"
  4923. >Twilight looks over at you.
  4924. "Um… what drinks do ya have, mister?"
  4925. >You can see him daww a bit.
  4926. >"Sure thing kiddo. Water, two different flavors of milkshake, root beer, soft cider, Agent Orange™-"
  4927. "Root beer!"
  4928. >"Sure thing. I'll get that out to you two in a jiffy."
  4929. >"So… I get the feeling you have a lot on your mind."
  4930. "I want to taste revenge."
  4931. >"That's a given. I mean, do you want to ask me anything while we wait? Place is dead right now, we could talk about most anything without prying ears or being bothered…"
  4932. "I'd still be more comfortable with a bubble of silence."
  4933. >"Well, no shit I'm going to put one up."
  4934. >The air around the two of you shimmers pink.
  4935. "Alright, first things first. Did that guy just say 'Agent Orange?' Seriously?"
  4936. >"Yeah, it's just a brand of soda. What's so odd about that name?"
  4937. "I don't think you really want to know..."
  4938. >"Please, do you even know me?"
  4939. "It's... an herbicide. Among other things."
  4940. >"Let me guess, it has unintended incredibly dangerous side-effects?"
  4941. "Yep."
  4942. >"Hm, makes sense."
  4943. "Alright, let's get down to some real shit. What exactly is this secret society we're up against? Is it governmental or what?"
  4944. >"Don't be foalish. I've written Celestia about it, she claims no connection. Even if she were lying to me, what could she possibly gain by toying with me and making me more stressed without killing me?"
  4945. "She clearly doesn't like you..."
  4946. >"She doesn't dislike me either, and my research is necessary to some of what she does. Ponies don't work well under stress, she's not an idiot."
  4947. "What do you think it is then?"
  4948. >"Well, I've thought about it a bit. If an organization has the resources to manufacture organisms that can pass high-level magic barriers and dematerialize when killed, why the fuck would they send a couple of incompetent foot soldiers to kidnap you?"
  4949. "Cost-effective?"
  4950. >"You're missing the point. They didn't have to set up the golem trap either, anybody moderately skilled with magic would know much more cost-effective ways to do the hostage situation they set up with your little friend."
  4951. "Then why?"
  4952. >"Because they like to show off."
  4953. "What are you getting at exactly?"
  4954. >"What I'm getting at is that we're dealing with two different organizations. The one with the stallions I blew to kingdom come on the lawn might be paramilitary..."
  4955. "I do have a bit of information that might help."
  4956. >"Oh, thank Celestia; plea-"
  4957. >The bubble pops as the colt poked his greasy head through.
  4958. >"Your meals."
  4959. >Twilight gives him a death stare and you quietly thank him for the food before he fucks off.
  4960. >The greasy squelching of Twilight pigging out on her food reverberates oddly off of the inside of the new bubble.
  4961. >You take a sip of your root beer.
  4962. "As I was saying, I was given a set of coordinates. If you could check them out to see if some sort of building is there..."
  4963. >"I can."
  4964. "Good. I mean, I did receive them in the first dream I've had for quite some time that didn't seem to mean much of anything."
  4965. >"Just give me the coordinates, It's not a pain to check out."
  4966. "67 Latitude, -55.8 longitude."
  4967. >With a flash, the hayburger is suddenly without an owner.
  4968. >A minute later and she's back.
  4969. >"If there's something there it's well-hidden."
  4970. "Can you bring me?"
  4971. >"Not tonight, let's just enjoy our food for now."
  4972. >You pick up the burger hesitantly.
  4973. >You were never really a huge burger guy even when you were human, but you manage a small bite.
  4974. >It's pretty good, surprisingly.
  4975. >At least considering it has mayo and hay in the same place, which sort of sounds like two of the unholy components of some sort of summoning ritual.
  4976. >The most annoying part is how the grease sort of soaks into your fur.
  4977. >You can't say you really would come back here if you had a choice, but you probably don't.
  4978. >The napkin can't quite reach it.
  4979. >In the end, Twilight's prediction comes through as you're too full to finish the massive burger.
  4980. >You feel a bit ill by the end of it all, you wish Twilight would've just listened to Flutterbutter.
  4981. >"Alright Clover, ready to go?"
  4982. "Yeah..."
  4983. >"A 'thank you' would be nice."
  4984. "Thanks..."
  4985. >If your weakened state didn't already require you to be carried, the pain in your stomach would've probably required for it anyways.
  4986. >You spend most of the ride home trying not to groan.
  4987. >Groaning would be rude.
  4988. >If you're rude to Twilight, who knows that she'll do to you?
  4989. >She does at least wash the grease out of your fur in the bathtub.
  4990. >"Well, since my bed no longer exists it would seem I'll be sleeping with you."
  4991. "Aren't there like-"
  4992. >"Shhh..."
  4993. >You just sigh and resign yourself to a night of being the little spoon.
  4994. >"Anything you need before I snuff out the candle?"
  4995. >"Anything you need before I snuff out the candle?"
  4996. "Could I have a bedtime stowy?"
  4997. >"Say it correctly and I'll consider it."
  4998. "C-could you read me a story, Twilight?"
  4999. >"Sure, I don't see why not."
  5000. >You see her reaching for The Hitchhiker's Guide before you find yourself stopping her.
  5001. "Twilight?"
  5002. >"Yeah?"
  5003. >There's a tinge of annoyance in her voice at this point.
  5004. "Can you hug me tighter? I don't want to be abducted in the middle of the night..."
  5005. >Her expression immediately softens.
  5006. >"Of course."
  5007. >Her downy feathers tickle your cheek as she curls herself around your back and begins to read.
  5008. >To your surprise, it isn't from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
  5009. >"Thousands of years before ponies tamed this raw dangerous world and made it barely hospitable enough, there lived a strange creature called an Ipchid. It was a voracious hunter, able to brew a highly potent cocktail of venom on the fly for almost any situation. It had a one-foot wingspan that allowed it to take to the skies and small tracheal gills that allowed it to dominate both rivers and streams, and near-perfect vision that allowed it to swoop down and claim anything as its prey, even fillies and colts. Do you know why it went extinct?"
  5010. "No, why?"
  5011. >"It was too effective. It became clear to the ponies that they would either have to wipe out every last Ipchid, or suffer the consequences of a large portion of their children dying. It was a simple matter, and they set up nets."
  5012. >She pauses and pushes her muzzle into your mane, giving it a good rub with her chin.
  5013. >"Now the Ipchids were cunning. They knew how to break free of the nets, but the ponies were even more determined. In less than fifty years, they were all but extinct. There hasn't been an Ipchid sighting in over sixteen-hundred years. Can you tell me what killed the Ipchid?"
  5014. "Exposure?"
  5015. >"That's right. It doesn't matter how good you are as long as someone with either more brains or marepower wants you dead."
  5016. >With that, the candle is extinguished and you fall into a comfortable sleep.
  5017. >...
  5018. >"Moles of Chlorine per-"
  5019. >"Vict-"
  5020. >...
  5021. >You weakly stretch yourself out as you suppress a yawn.
  5022. >You slept like a champion, but you don't want to wake up Twilight with any noise.
  5023. >You manage to worm your way out of her grasp without waking her up.
  5024. >You manage to sort of roll your way off the bed without much injury.
  5025. >You push yourself up and find you can walk, if slowly.
  5026. >Whatever you do next, you should probably leave a note for Twilight so she doesn't freak out when she wakes up.
  5027. >You look around for a scrap of paper and a quill, but you can't find either one in your room.
  5028. >You slowly and deliberately push yourself out the door, using the castle walls for support.
  5029. >There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home...
  5030. >Since when is this your home though?
  5031. >You had your computer, you had your booze, you were happy enough.
  5032. >Well, certainly not happy, but your life wasn't constantly in danger...
  5033. >A couple more months and you might even have gotten some sort of girlfriend.
  5034. >Sure you weren't much of a looker, but you weren't repulsive when you showered every day.
  5035. >And now you're quite the opposite of that.
  5036. >You grunt audibly as you push yourself off from the wall, half falling and half careening towards the other wall.
  5037. >You know there are some quills in the labs.
  5038. >Now you just have to pray you can reach them...
  5039. >You look up at the high tables from the resting point of your haunches.
  5040. >A feathery implement and a black bauble rest just so close out of reach.
  5041. >You hobble over to the other side of the table
  5042. >There's a small stool.
  5043. >Okay, now for the hard part...
  5044. >After a few tries, you jump as high as you can; clamping your jaw around the hard wood.
  5045. >Hopefully purple didn't spill anything toxic on this...
  5046. >Your jaw aches under the pull of your entire body and the stool teeters.
  5047. >You push up a hoof and give yourself a bit more support, followed by another.
  5048. >Earthponymagic.rar
  5049. >You flop your small aching body up onto the top of the lab table, panting.
  5050. >The quill and fountain rest before you.
  5051. >"Anon, what the hell are you doing in my fucking lab?!"
  5052. "I-I was getting the quill to write you a note that I had left..."
  5053. >"Oh. Well, come on. I'll make you some breakfast."
  5054. "Can you help me down?"
  5055. >"Sure."
  5056. >...
  5057. >"It's good for you."
  5058. "It's [i]hay.[/i]"
  5059. >"I didn't hear any gripes from you last night when you were enjoying your delicious Hayburger, I need to get you started on Fluttershy's regimen as soon as possible."
  5060. "But that was deep fried! C-couldn't I at least have some sort of cereal? S-something high in fiber; that would please her, right?"
  5061. >"No can do. I'm not cleaning up filly shit."
  5062. "I can make it to the fucking bathroom..."
  5063. >"Maybe you could, but I hardly trust you to do that after your muscles were turned to soup. As for now, you're eating salads for breakfast."
  5064. "No."
  5065. >"Excuse me?"
  5066. "No. I'm not doing it."
  5067. >With a flash, your hoof is engulfed in pain.
  5068. >You look down in horror to see a fork embedded a solid two inches into it.
  5069. >"Did I stutter? Look, what I say goes. Now we can play the happy fucking mother and daughter and you can do whatever the fuck I say, or we can go back to crushed ribs and locked doors with coffee. Does that fucking suit, or are you going to eat the Celestia damned hay?"
  5070. >You simply stare at her in shock for a good couple of minutes before nodding slowly.
  5071. >"Good."
  5072. >The fork is slowly pulled out of your hoof, leaving a four-pronged scar.
  5073. >You sniffle a bit as you lift it up and catch a bit of hay with the still-bloody utensil.
  5074. "I-I'm sorry Twilight... I love you."
  5075. >"Call me mommy, you fucking cunt."
  5076. "I-I love you mommy..."
  5077. >"And I love you too Clover."
  5078. >You feel her magic grip constrict around you, just enough to be uncomfortable but not enough to hurt.
  5079. >"Forever, and always...."
  5080. >...
  5081. >"If you need me to catch you, just say the word."
  5082. "No, it's okay. I-I'm getting the hang of this."
  5083. >If you exercise deliberation, you don't need to lean on things now.
  5084. >Your muscles are still burning quite a bit.
  5085. >Pain is weakness leaving the body...
  5086. >Makes you wonder why you aren't some sort of superhuman being by now.
  5087. >Superpony?
  5088. >You'll figure it out later.
  5089. >"Alright. Offer is still open, there's no shame in it."
  5090. >You mumble under your breath:
  5091. "Yes there is..."
  5092. >You eat shit after stumbling over an uneven patch of crystal.
  5093. >It scratches your already bandaged forehoof and you wince.
  5094. "I think I'm done for now."
  5095. >"You don't need to be able to walk that well just yet, I can take you to school."
  5096. "Thanks..."
  5097. >"It's my pleasure."
  5098. "Could I get together with League today?"
  5099. >"She's still in school, sweetie."
  5100. "After that?"
  5101. >Your mane is thoroughly mussed.
  5102. >"I don't see why not. Why don't you take a little nap in the mean time? You'll need your strength."
  5103. "That sounds alright."
  5104. >You're set back into your bed and the candle next to you is snuffed out with little fanfare.
  5105. >"You don't have to be anything more than my daughter, keep that in mind."
  5106. >There's a bright flash and you drift off slowly.
  5107. >...
  5108. >"Hey. Wake up."
  5109. "Mmm..."
  5110. >"You wanted me here butthead, didn't you?"
  5111. "Oh, right. What the fuck do you feel like doing, League?"
  5112. >You open your left eye just in time to see her shrug.
  5113. >"I don't know, what do you want to do?"
  5114. "I... I guess we should hold off for a bit. You make a good point."
  5115. >"You never did tell me what you wanted to do."
  5116. "Oh, right. Well, we could get some ice cream."
  5117. >"Alright tubby. Never enough, is it?"
  5118. >She pokes your belly a bit.
  5119. >You scrunch up your muzzle.
  5120. "Never enough until my heart stops beating."
  5121. >"You need any help walking?"
  5122. "How did you find out about that?"
  5123. >"Well, you were completely disabled when I last saw you, figure somethin' like that would take some time to get used to."
  5124. "Well, I don't quite need help walking anymore as long as I take it slow. I wouldn't mind you sticking close to me though, falling on crystal hurts like a fucking bitch."
  5125. >"I would assume."
  5126. >You slowly make your way into the kitchen once again.
  5127. >The fork from earlier still sits out, yet to be washed.
  5128. >You shrink away from the table and go straight for the contraption.
  5129. >It's strange how all of this started here.
  5130. >If you hadn't gone for the ice cream, you likely wouldn't have set the recent events in motion.
  5131. >Well, you likely would've pissed Twilight off similarly to punish you with school eventually.
  5132. >Small details are important.
  5133. >Opening it, you find a myriad of things.
  5134. >An excessive amount of frozen hayburgers.
  5135. >A box you steer clear of due to the numerous warning signs on it.
  5136. >And three tubs of ice cream.
  5137. >Aptly labelled in Purple's penmanship, you can make the calligraphy out:
  5138. >'Lab report due soon.' (it's coffee flavored.)
  5139. >'Night alone.' (Salted caramel.)
  5140. >'Bad breakup.' (Cookies and creme.)
  5141. >There's no seal on any of them now, I guess she figures you wouldn't try the same trick twice.
  5142. >You open up 'Bad breakup.'
  5143. >Just as you suspected, it still has the paper protection covering on it.
  5144. >Twilight can't break up if she's never had a relationship.
  5145. "Look what I found."
  5146. >"Is it safe?"
  5147. "Trust me, she won't be getting into this one for a very long time."
  5148. >You turn the label towards her.
  5149. >"You jerk."
  5150. "Whatever. Grab a spoon."
  5151. >Whatever they put in Equestrian ice cream, it's so much better than anything you've had on earth.
  5152. >Whether it's the lack of cheap-ass ingredients or the fact that the milk doesn't have to travel far from the teat before it's put in there, you're not going to question it.
  5153. >League seems to be enjoying herself similarly, though not to the same degree you are.
  5154. >Which is fair, you are literally fucking drooling.
  5155. >The air suddenly drops a good fifteen degrees. [s]Fahrenheit, you fucking Eurocuck.[/s]
  5156. >The fur on the back of your neck begins to stand up as you start to feel as if something is very very wrong in the castle.
  5157. "League, do you feel that?"
  5158. >"Feel what? Are you implying I should have some sorta psychic link to the ice cream?"
  5159. "Seriously, the temperature dropped..."
  5160. >"Oh, yeah... that is odd."
  5161. "We need to get out of here. Now."
  5162. >"It's freezing cold outside, where do you want to go?"
  5163. "Anywhere but here, please."
  5164. >"Alright, alright. I don't feel it, but I'll trust ya. Let's g-"
  5165. >Glass shattering.
  5166. "Run."
  5167. >The two of you book it down the hallway, the castle quickly becoming an unnavigable maze of corridors.
  5168. >You half fall half-run down the corridor, lagging significantly behind league with every last muscle in your legs on fire.
  5169. >Was it lab three or four that was next to the back exit?
  5170. >Was the Sub-library upstairs or downstairs, and more importantly where is the entrance to it?
  5171. >What can you use to defend yourselves?
  5172. >You already know the answer to that one. Nothing.
  5173. >As you run, books and papers begin to hinder your progress as they build up in small piles.
  5174. >The air is slowly but surely working its way up to gale-force winds.
  5175. >You don't want to be here when whatever that entails culminates.
  5176. >You turn a corner and you can see the front entrance, its ornate designs a relief for once.
  5177. >League bounds for it and knocks it open into the cold outside.
  5178. >You're almost ten feet away when you lose your hold on the ground and skid all over the cold crystal floor.
  5179. >You don't think anything is broken, but when you try to get up you can't manage it; your muscles are so incredibly exhausted.
  5180. >That horrible feeling begins to grow in magnitude with the wind.
  5181. >Your fur begins to stand on its own, you can feel the electricity in the air.
  5182. >You can just barely hear yourself whimper softly.
  5183. >You dig through the recesses of your mind to find a god you might've worshiped.
  5184. >Error 404, religious affiliation not found
  5185. >Edgyatheistfedoratip.gif
  5186. >Alright, time to drag your ass to the door.
  5187. >You're able to get a bit of pull with your forehooves, seems like your back legs took most of it somehow.
  5188. >You're almost to the door when it begins creaking on its hinges.
  5189. >It slowly begins to gain momentum, barreling right into your [s]recently healed[/s] ribs.
  5190. >Oh fuck no.
  5191. >You close your eyes and prepare for the worst before you feel something dragging you out of the door.
  5192. >"You didn't think I'd forget about you, did you?"
  5193. "Kinda..."
  5194. >"Jerk. Alright, what now?"
  5195. "Well, I have no idea where Twilight is. Did she greet you?"
  5196. >"No, I just heard her voice in my mind near the end of the school day when she told me to come here and meet you. I don't know how she got it across like that, but she sounded in a hurry."
  5197. "Ah, fuck."
  5198. >Well, you can't tell if Purple was bluffing about the fucking rune or not, but you'd rather not use up another charge.
  5199. >Then again, she implied she could recharge them.
  5200. >Or it might've just been an excuse to shove her smelly nerd butt in your face.
  5201. >Perv.
  5202. >Well, based on earlier she'll tan your fucking ass if you don't notify her.
  5203. >Well, that's being generous considering what she's done before.
  5204. >You softly utter:
  5205. "I am a faggot."
  5206. >"Yes, yes you are."
  5207. "Shut the fuck up League, magic and shit. You wouldn't understand."
  5208. >"Mhm. I'll scissor you later."
  5209. >"Okay, who's trying to molest- oh. Nothing's happening."
  5210. "There's something fucking up the castle, throwing books and shit everywhere."
  5211. >"Dear Celestia... you two go do something else, I'll handle this."
  5212. "Don't you want my help?"
  5213. >Twilight wastes a precious five seconds laughing at you.
  5214. >"Run along, sweetie. Let the big mares handle the big mare things."
  5215. "I-I amma big mare..."
  5216. >"You're smaller than the filly standing next to you."
  5217. "Don't you have more pressing matters than demoralizing me?"
  5218. >"Oh, right."
  5219. >She's gone in a flash.
  5220. >"So... what [i]else[/i] do you wanna do?"
  5221. >[b]Fatal error detected. Unable to continue, terminating due to uncaught exception.[/b]
  5222. >[b]Restart Chillyfilly.exe? Y/N[/b]
  5223. >[p]Y[/p]
  5224. >Restarting...
  5225. >Be the filly.
  5226. >[p]Load savestate[/p]
  5227. >[b]Enter state ID. Alternatively, "Search for recent."[/b]
  5228. >[p]Search for recent.[/p]
  5229. >[b]Searching...[/b]
  5230. >[b]Savestate found. Corruption detected, load anyway? Y/N[/b]
  5231. >[p]Y[/p]
  5232. >She's gone in a flash.
  5233. >"So... what [i]else[/i] do you wanna do?"
  5234. "Baseball. On a public field."
  5235. >League looks at you strangely.
  5236. >"What about [i]our field?[/i]
  5237. "League, I don't want to get raped and I don't want you to fucking die. No."
  5238. >"Okay, okay..."
  5239. >You hear her sniffle a little bit.
  5240. "I'm sorry, this... I've been on edge recently. The Everfree was never safe to begin with, and I think it's even less so now."
  5241. >"Okay, I know a good park. I can't guarantee we'll be alone though."
  5242. >...
  5243. >This was a horrible idea.
  5244. >You stand weakly, hooves planted firmly in the dry dirt with a bat that tastes like the mouths of one hundred other fillies firmly grasped in-between your teeth.
  5245. >You're starting to wish that you had accepted League's kind offer of her helmet, but you don't want to look like even more of an autist.
  5246. >Diamond Tiara, the pitcher, gives you a sadistic grin.
  5247. >"It looks like the fucking cripple finally crawled out of her hole to be with us mortals. Let's show her a good game, huh?"
  5248. >You stare her directly in the eyes.
  5249. >You can't show weakness.
  5250. "Bring it on, daddy's little cocksock."
  5251. >She narrows her eyes and throws a hardball directly at your face.
  5252. >You wince as the ball makes contact with your left eye.
  5253. >Yep, that's going to bruise hard tomorrow.
  5254. >You fall to the ground in the dirt, writhing in pain.
  5255. >"Foul ball!"
  5256. >You're supposed to hit them.
  5257. >Is that even possible in your current state?
  5258. >You push yourself up with some difficulty and to the mocking of Diamond.
  5259. >"What a fucking weakling."
  5260. >Ouch...
  5261. >Well, if the saying before was 'all in the wrist...'
  5262. >You try your best to look tough by cracking your neck, but it just comes out looking like you're stimming or some shit.
  5263. >Great...
  5264. >You focus on the ball with all of your mental energy.
  5265. >As it is thrown, you silently calculate its trajectory and arc, raising the filthy bat for all you're worth and knocking it straight toward Diamond.
  5266. >You hear her yelp as it makes contact, but you don't see where.
  5267. >You're already off to first base.
  5268. >It would appear most of the other ponies playing didn't actually expect you to make the hit, so you make it to first base before anyone is even up and scrambling to retrieve the damn thing.
  5269. >Your limbs are still super fucking sore, and you honestly made it at a snail's pace.
  5270. >You should be out.
  5271. >The next pony comes up to bat.
  5272. >Grinning at you with a mouth full of gum, League kicks up a bit of dust before getting in position.
  5273. >Her own bat gleams in the bit of sunlight shining through saturated clouds, clearly a warn but quality instrument.
  5274. >You watch her glare at the same pitcher that very nearly broke your nose a minute ago, clear contempt in her eyes.
  5275. >Shit is about to get real.
  5276. >You almost don't even feel like you're looking at the same pony as the bat connects with ball, the small white object flying far off into the distance.
  5277. >Far out of the field.
  5278. >Hell, maybe even far out of the town.
  5279. >Equestria's rules must be pretty lax on this shit, so you just watch as the other team panics and League makes a full home run.
  5280. >Then you join her.
  5281. >So does the rest of your team.
  5282. >By the time most of them have recovered from their shock enough to even request a pony retrieve the ball, you're already a good twenty points ahead.
  5283. >By the time Diamond is selected, fourty.
  5284. >By the time you can tell the ball is located by a distant cry, sixty.
  5285. >By the time she gets back, sweating and panting, eighty.
  5286. >She weakly walks over to League with the ball, dropping it on her back.
  5287. >"Not bad."
  5288. >You watch as League delivers a powerful buck into Diamond's side, knocking her over onto the ground.
  5289. >"That was for the first time you messed with Clover."
  5290. >A thoroughly-chewed piece of gum directly in her dusty and once well-kempt mane follows.
  5291. >"And that was for that hardball."
  5292. >She just glares at the two of you.
  5293. >"You'll pay for this eventually."
  5294. >"Mhm, sure. And I'm princess Mi Amore Cadenza."
  5295. >Diamond picks herself back up and walks back over to her team. They discuss for a few minutes before an older looking colt comes over.
  5296. >"We forfeit. That was a darn good play, League."
  5297. >She lets on less than you know that probably means to her with a sly smirk.
  5298. >"Yeah, well if you ever feel like getting your butt kicked again Clover and I will be happy to play you all."
  5299. >"I might just take you up on that offer."
  5300. >You've just been standing there awkwardly for a bit now, and League finally takes notice.
  5301. >"Come on Clover, let's go do something else."
  5302. "Okay."
  5303. >As you turn around to leave, there's a gasp from the colt.
  5304. >"Holy shit! How'd you get those cutie marks? They're metal as fuck!"
  5305. >You bite your lip.
  5306. "I... I'd rather not talk about it."
  5307. >"Oh, come on. You're practically asking for it walking around with those things."
  5308. "They... aren't cutie marks."
  5309. >The joviality present a minute ago is immediately replaced by horror.
  5310. >"You don't mean-"
  5311. "See you later."
  5312. >You and League walk off from the baseball diamond into town once again.
  5313. >You feel suddenly free, like you could do anything.
  5314. >Input action.
  5315. >[p]Go home and flick your bean.[/p]
  5316. >[b]Unknown command.[/b]
  5317. >[p]Go get something to eat at Sugarcube Corner.[/p]
  5318. >[b]Unknown command.[/b]
  5319. >[p]God fucking dammit.[/p]
  5320. >[b]Unknown command.[/b]
  5321. >[p]What the fuck even is this thread Like do you people actually unironically want to be turned into a child cartoon pony so you can be fucked or "bred" by people from /mlp/ or you yourself fuck an /mlp/ user that has been turned into a little filly? Do you realize how ridiculous that is
  5322. This is by far the most degenerate general on /mlp/ I mean it combines fucking pedophilia, transformation, beastiality and/or xenophilia and whatever other fetshes you might have and Tbh I gagged a lil bit upon discovering this thread
  5323. Please consider psychiatric help and reevaluate your life of you unironically browse this general and look at anon filly pictures[/p]
  5324. >[b]Unknown command.[/b]
  5325. >[p]fwaoifj waoiefjwa;oifej waiofejwaio;fjwaofjwa ;oifj awio;fjiwajfuieahfiojw;fjeaiowejf[/p]
  5326. >[b]Unknown command, continuing path.[/b]
  5327. >Yep, completely and totally free.
  5328. >Not necessarily pleased though.
  5329. "League, what do you-"
  5330. >"This is on you, sister."
  5331. "I'm not your sister."
  5332. >"Obviously."
  5333. >The tap on your muzzle that follows catches you off guard and you go cross-eyed to focus on the hoof that rests on your face.
  5334. "Stop that."
  5335. >"Stop what?"
  5336. >You get tapped again, somehow not on guard from the last assault on your poor innocent filly form.
  5337. "Help! I'm being molested!"
  5338. >You don't say it loudly, of course.
  5339. >League giggles.
  5340. >"Later."
  5341. >You can't tell if she's joking or not.
  5342. >You start lazily walking your way in no direction in particular, Baseball Horse trotting beside you.
  5343. >You don't know how it's possible, but she somehow looks even cuter with her gear satchel.
  5344. >Hm…
  5345. "League?"
  5346. >"Yeah?"
  5347. "We're armed. We've got a baseball bat."
  5348. >"Oh, this old thing?"
  5349. >Her lazy handling of it betrays her previous prowess, if only for the moment before she kicks up a chestnut and hits it a good thirty yards.
  5350. >"I don't know what you're talking about."
  5351. >You're a bit flustered about her seeming lack of caring, but you keep your cool.
  5352. "I think I finally figured out who one of the voices in my dreams is."
  5353. >…
  5354. >"I am not the one you seek, simply look inside my beak-"
  5355. >A swing from League's bat into the ground and she goes quiet.
  5356. >You don't know what's more impressive, the fact that Zecora can somehow account for her own sentences being cut off well enough to rhyme, or the fact that she didn't flinch at all.
  5357. >She still looks quite nervous though, which you attribute to the fact that there are multiple different potions and aqueous solutions set out on her small table.
  5358. >None of them are labelled, but you can assume it would either be a detriment to her work or a major health hazard if multiple of them were shattered and were to mix…
  5359. >Or all of the above.
  5360. "What the fuck did you do with Sweetie Belle?"
  5361. >She looks down at her hooves.
  5362. "League, do me a favor and break that large one, the Erlenmeyer flask."
  5363. >"Whath the hechk is am 'Errlehnmayer?"
  5364. "Ya'know… bulbous at the bottom, thinnish neck? It's sort of the staple thing you probably think of when you think of science experiments."
  5365. >"Ooooh! Okhay, here we-"
  5366. >"Into this forest fifty miles they plan their incursions. The coordinates you were sent were simply a diversion."
  5367. "Which direction?"
  5368. >"Best due West-"
  5369. "Nevermind, just draw us a fucking map."
  5370. >You consider giving her your pencil to draw with when she takes a while to find one, but there's no telling what kind of toxins she might dribble on it to get back at you.
  5371. >You watch the map drawing quite closely too.
  5372. >You're nothing if not paranoid around this mare after she revealed what you had suspected.
  5373. "If this leads us into a trap, there's going to be hell to pay."
  5374. >She chuckles coldly.
  5375. >"If their trap you were to survive, you would not long be well and alive."
  5376. "League, blue solution. The one she's steaming over the cauldron."
  5377. >"I joke of course, you dense little filly. How could I ever be so silly?"
  5378. >You don't exactly enjoy being called dense, but you're not going to fuck her up for that.
  5379. >You begin to walk out the door before you stop.
  5380. "Say, you have plenty of chemicals here; right?"
  5381. >…
  5382. "Fifty miles, she said fifty miles… why the fuck did I think this was a good idea to do today of all days?"
  5383. >You still have too much pride to ask your friend for a bareback ride, but you're getting close at this point.
  5384. >"Relax, we're no further than ten out. I figured we'd just do a scouting mission and get right back to town."
  5385. "Yeah, so did I. I'm not quite seeing anything though, you?"
  5386. >"Can't say so. You sure do have some wacky ideas Anon, but they haven't failed yet."
  5387. "I don't know why you keep trusting me, they almost always nearly do."
  5388. >That gets a pretty good stifled laugh out of her.
  5389. >"Yeah, Cockatrice fighting was doomed to be a failure even before we dragged those nimrods along."
  5390. >You join in a bit yourself.
  5391. "How the hell were we supposed to find a Cockatrice? Didn't Cheerilee say something about them being endangered?"
  5392. >"Good riddance, I'd rather not be turned to-"
  5393. >Everything goes completely silent.
  5394. "Haha League, very funny…"
  5395. >You look all around you, half-expecting to see a stone statuette of League standing there in horror, but nothing is there.
  5396. >League has vanished without a trace.
  5397. "League?"
  5398. >You start walking off the trail.
  5399. >If you could even call it a trail, it's more just a few weeds trampled down presumably from where wild bears and other large animals have walked.
  5400. >The thorns prick you, but that isn't why tears are running down your face.
  5401. "League! This isn't funny!"
  5402. >You're nearly bawling at this point.
  5403. "LEEEEEEAGUE!"
  5404. "I'll let you do whatever you want to me if you come out now, you win! Any hole, League!"
  5405. >The thorns stuck in your legs begin to bulge out.
  5406. >You try to pry them out, but instead tear out a hunk of your own leg.
  5407. >Warm blood trickles down your fur, staining it a sick hue of belated Christmases.
  5408. >You crawl your way back in the direction you think the path was.
  5409. >Was it West?
  5410. >Which way is West?
  5411. >Life is peaceful there…
  5412. >Go West…
  5413. >In the open air…
  5414. >Go West…
  5415. >Where the skies are Blue…
  5416. >Go West…
  5417. >This…
  5418. >Is…
  5419. >What…
  5420. >We're…
  5421. >Gonna…
  5422. >Do…
  5423. >…
  5424. >...
  5425. >You tap yourself on the arm and disappear.
  5426. >No, that's your ear.
  5427. >You don't have arms anymore.
  5428. >You've never had arms.
  5429. >What are arms?
  5430. >...
  5431. >You're in the middle of the Everfree.
  5432. >You're scared out of your wits, cut all over and bleeding from some of them.
  5433. >A few vials of something you don't recognize are strapped to your barrel.
  5434. >Something tells you they aren't a good idea to touch.
  5435. >There's a lingering headache.
  5436. >Something is very wrong here, but you can't quite put your hoof on it.
  5437. >You'd be all for playing detective, but mommy said never to go beyond the forest wall and this place gives you the spooks.
  5438. >She wouldn't be happy to know you're out here.
  5439. >That's okay, you just need to find your way home before dark.
  5440. >Now which way...
  5441. >You notice something on the ground.
  5442. >It's only barely visible, but it looks different than the rest of the forest.
  5443. >You pick it up with your mouth, pushing aside small plants.
  5444. >Oh, neat!
  5445. >A baseball cap of your very own!
  5446. >It says Anon on it, you're not quite sure who that is...
  5447. >Maybe this cap belongs to someone else...
  5448. >You'll put it on for now, just for safekeeping.
  5449. >You wish there was a mirror somewhere, you probably look really cute!
  5450. >You beam with pride at your own compliment.
  5451. >You don't get a lot of them from anypony but yourself.
  5452. >The only pony that gave you them was...
  5454. >Oh my.
  5455. "H-hello? Who's there?"
  5456. >Nothing. The wind blows through the trees, creating an eerie whistle.
  5457. >Stay brave, Clover.
  5458. >A twig snaps behind you.
  5459. >You whirl around in time to catch a blur disappear.
  5460. >You... don't feel so hot.
  5461. >Lunch exits your stomach as you feel hot breath on the back of your neck.
  5462. "P-please... leave me alone, I don't want no trouble."
  5463. >A slight sound joins the chorus of whistling trees.
  5464. >Somewhere in-between 'Twilight is grinding up meat for her Owl' and 'that big box at the doctor's office you had to go in when you fell and broke your ribs.'
  5465. >Deep breaths...
  5466. >That's what they always told you...
  5467. >Be Little League.
  5468. >You're running through the forest in the opposite direction of... that.
  5469. >Its presence no longer looms over you, but you can't help your heart pounding in your ears.
  5470. >You notice you've lost both your hat and Anon, but it can't be said you didn't search for them both.
  5471. >Well, mainly Anon, but the hat was a nice memento...
  5472. >Your thoughts drift back to the day as you run...
  5473. >"Hey kiddo, I don't got all fuckin' day."
  5474. "I swear I'm normally better with a baseball than this..."
  5475. >"Hey, kid."
  5476. >You look back, slightly afraid as you see the huge bipedal figure towering over you.
  5477. >"These games are a waste of your money, come on."
  5478. "But how?"
  5479. >He looks a bit confused.
  5480. >"What do you mean, 'how?' they're a cash sink made by the Griffons."
  5481. "Could you explain?"
  5482. >At this point you're sitting next to him, the slightly overweight booth operator preoccupied with another filly.
  5483. >"Well, you see those big bottles?"
  5484. "Yeah?"
  5485. >"They're pretty fucking heavy. Even a major league baseball player wouldn't have the strength to knock all three of those things over."
  5486. "But there are always ponies walking around with stuffed animals..."
  5487. >"See, that's the thing. If you ask someone to take a stuffed animal, no questions asked, they won't turn you down. It's a conspiracy, if they invest a bit of money on having visitors carry them around to make you [i]think[/i] the games are winnable, they'll have a much better chance of increasing their capital with a small investment. You understand that?"
  5488. "Y-yeah."
  5489. >"Well, that would be a first with a filly in this town... I'm Anonymous, but you can call me Anon."
  5490. "Little League, but League is good."
  5491. >"Alright League, I have a little present for you. A good friend of mine over here runs a booth, he can hook you up with anything you want."
  5492. >"R-really?"
  5493. "Of course, it's the least I could do for someone in this place besides Twilight listening to my fucking autistic rambles."
  5494. >You ponder what exactly you'll get as you're led to the stall.
  5495. >Hopefully stranger danger.
  5496. >As it turns out, Anon actually does deliver.
  5497. >"Alright League, take your pick."
  5498. >Laid out in front of you are all assortment of stuffed animals, necklaces, leg bracelets and other paraphernalia, but one in particular catches your eye.
  5499. "You can burn something into a hat?"
  5500. >"Well, yeah. Of course."
  5501. >You lock your legs around Anon's left one and smile up at him.
  5502. "I want a biiig heart with 'Anon' over it!"
  5503. >The operator chuckles. "Quite the attachment, eh?"
  5504. >"I just met her, but she's already pretty alright. If she can listen to others she'll go far in life."
  5505. >"Well, ain't that the truth."
  5506. >Flashes of the present come back to you as you trip and fall over thorny vines.
  5507. >But the memory isn't over just yet.
  5508. >"Hey League, I'm looking for an accomplice in a few things. Are you up to the task?"
  5509. >And well...
  5510. >That's how it all happened.
  5511. >Time blurs together as you become increasingly scratched up.
  5512. >The path is never certain. only estimated.
  5513. >It all comes back together when you see Ponyville and breathe a sigh of relief.
  5514. >...and then immediately tense up as you realize you're going to have to be the one to tell Twilight that her daughter is missing.
  5515. >No sense dilly dallying...
  5516. >You go over to door and knock.
  5517. >A very frazzled looking Twilight pokes out her head.
  5518. >"What? I'm busy."
  5519. "An-"
  5520. >[i]"Clover."[/i]
  5521. "Clover went missing a few minutes ago."
  5522. >She just sighs like this happens a lot.
  5523. >"Last location?"
  5524. "T-the..."
  5525. >"Spit it out!"
  5526. "The Everfree Forest!"
  5527. >You sniffle a bit, you don't appreciate being yelled at.
  5528. >"The castle is safe. Don't leave it."
  5529. "Okay."
  5530. >She's gone.
  5531. >You sit down, the amount of scratches on you becoming more apparent as you rest.
  5532. >You feel more guilt than anything...
  5533. >...
  5534. >Be Anon.
  5535. >You're still very much in the middle of the goddamn woods.
  5536. >You feel a splitting headache as you try to get up and groan.
  5537. >You're nowhere near where you fell asleep, no thorns in sight.
  5538. >Great, just fucking excellent…
  5539. >Well, your best bet now is to get to high ground if you can find it.
  5540. >Looking up into the air, you scan the surrounding area for any nearby hills or mountains.
  5541. >Aha!
  5542. >You start off in that direction, humming little tunes to yourself.
  5543. >You can't really remember if they're made up or just something you heard forever ago on the radio, and you doubt you'll have the chance to find out again…
  5544. >You could just leave now, if you wanted to.
  5545. >Well, if you didn't feel like you still owed Twilight something…
  5546. >After she broke your ribs, your spirit and stabbed you with a fork?
  5547. >You're not exactly sure.
  5548. >She does give good snuggles…
  5549. >You sigh and continue to plod your way to the hill.
  5550. >You couldn't ever leave.
  5551. >Not now at least…
  5552. >No time to sulk now, you've got a mountain to get to.
  5553. >Time goes by in a sort of haze as you walk through the well-lit forest.
  5554. >What time was it when you left?
  5555. >Doesn't matter.
  5556. >You look up every once in a while to check your progress and make sure you aren't getting lost, but other than that you just sort of zone out.
  5557. >You remember your favorite practices when you were walking as a little kid.
  5558. >Making up little songs and counting steps.
  5559. >God you're such a fucking autist…
  5560. >…
  5561. >Nobody to judge you on that out here.
  5562. "Sixteen counts inside my mind again. She'll always be fat, she'll never be thin. And if you're wondering about the where and the then, I have to confess I don't know it begins. You come home every day to absolutely nothing. Your seedlings are dead, and your dishes need rubbing. You can't find your way no matter how hard you try, you don't wanna live, you just wanna die."
  5563. >It's… a start.
  5564. "Fifteen counts inside my mind again. A sweet little girl by the name of Gwen. Left to die on the side of the road, the rain soaking into her blood-stained clothes. She keeps it up for as long as she can, her ears echoing the sounds of the greasy white van. She claws out for mercy but only touches rubber, it's good enough for now but she never quite recovers."
  5565. >You think you'll stop singing now.
  5566. >You come across a clearing in a few more minutes.
  5567. >You're rather hungry, so you decide to bite the bullet and see if your digestive system models that of a real horse.
  5568. >Leaning down, you take a mouthful of grass and chew it carefully.
  5569. >Tastes like lettuce, not exactly great but bearable.
  5570. >You'd need to eat a lot of this to be full.
  5571. >And well, you do want to be full.
  5572. >…
  5573. >It's about three hours when you next start your journey again by your estimations.
  5574. >The sun is up at about noon now.
  5575. >Based Celestia.
  5576. >You reach down to your barrel to fiddle with some of the vials Zecora gave you only to find that there are none.
  5577. >Dirty fucking bastards robbed your sleeping body.
  5578. "Cunts."
  5579. "Ziggers."
  5580. >You run through your entire list of expletives, both pony and human before you finally stop.
  5581. >You're at the base of the mountain.
  5582. "Halfway there…"
  5583. >You tentatively put up a hoof and begin to climb.
  5584. >Either you starve to death out here, or you risk it on this mountain.
  5585. >Well, considering grass sucks you'll probably starve yourself to death.
  5586. >In any case, you want to go home.
  5587. >You nearly slip and lose your hold on the rocks a few times, but years of living in a mountainous area back when you were human certainly paid off.
  5588. >…
  5589. >This would be the lookout if you were back home, you suppose.
  5590. >Beautiful trees in every cardinal direction, cool breeze in your hair…
  5591. >And far off in the distance, a small pillar of smoke.
  5592. >You see no sign of Ponyville, so that's your best bet.
  5593. >Well, your best bet right after you take a short nap…
  5594. >…
  5595. >You sleep dreamlessly.
  5596. >No visits from gods that want to bring you eternal pain.
  5597. >Nothing from Sweetie.
  5598. >No horrible fucking nightmares about Twilight disemboweling you, just…
  5599. >Calm sleep.
  5600. >You wake up feeling refreshed to a very curious looking goat standing over you.
  5601. "Oh. Hey, you have no idea how much I've wanted to see another quadru-"
  5602. >It just bleats and walks off.
  5603. >Funny, you would've expected it to be capable of speech given this crazy fucked world.
  5604. >No time to waste thinking about that though, you've got a smokestack to catch.
  5605. >Why are you in such a hurry?
  5606. >You opt to take a good look around the peak instead.
  5607. >Something… went very wrong here.
  5608. >Scattered just beyond where your eyes were able to see, a once grisly sight awaits.
  5609. >A skeletal pony clutches a spear, the tip of it lodged deep into the eye socket of its skull.
  5610. >A bowl rests nearby, clearly stained with what is possibly decades old blood at this point.
  5611. >Fucker probably went crazy living up here and seppeku'd.
  5612. >Damn shame.
  5613. >As you lean in close to examine the bowl, you yelp.
  5614. >The spear flies out of the pony's eye socket and lands harmlessly on your back.
  5615. >Fucking hell, that could've been awful.
  5616. >You try to shake it off, but it's stuck.
  5617. >Must be your magnetic spine implan-
  5618. >A literal lightbulb appears over your head.
  5619. >Cartoon physics…
  5620. >Looking around, you catch a glimpse of a medical bag.
  5621. >Please please please please please please…
  5622. >You open it up, all ten of your former fingers crossed in spirit.
  5623. >Yes!
  5624. >Sitting inside is a single broken bottle that once contained a medicinal potion and a single hypodermic needle.
  5625. >You pick up the bag, placing the bowl carefully inside too.
  5626. >You can't mess any of this up…
  5627. >You drag the skull of the dead pony over to the exact direction where you can still see smoke billowing out of the stack.
  5628. >There's a flat area on the mountain, and you roll it down.
  5629. >It comes to a rest undamaged in a bit of tall grass.
  5630. >Excellent.
  5631. >Trotting back over to the spear, you use a particularly pointy rock to break off the handle and put the head in your bag as well.
  5632. >You're not going to lose your way to that smoke.
  5633. >…
  5634. >Even more exhausted, you reach the base of the mountain.
  5635. >Locating the skull, you set out all of your supplies.
  5636. >You carefully snap off the needle from the rest of the syringe and set it in the bowl, setting the plunger and measuring capsule back in your bag.
  5637. >With very careful maneuvering of the tongue and your little hooves, you finally manage to scrape the magnetic spearhead across the needle a good amount of times.
  5638. >The moment of truth…
  5639. >You relax your bladder and sigh as you release the full organ into the bowl.
  5640. >Well, you have to go off somewhere else to finish up, too much piss for one container.
  5641. >Luckily the blood is well and truly dried, you really don't want that mix splashing in your face.
  5642. >You set your magnetized needle in your own urine and it immediately swivels around to face you.
  5643. >Ah, so that's north.
  5644. >Then it would appear based off of Mr. Bones here that you are going…
  5645. >West.
  5646. >What a funny day.
  5647. >…
  5648. >You are a Cockatrice.
  5649. >Your thoughts are not complex, but you do begin to notice some peculiar things if they go on long enough.
  5650. >And this is a very peculiar thing.
  5651. >A purple mare keeps calling out for her daughter, occasionally lifting up and throwing trees in anger.
  5652. >You look over at her and cock your head, curious.
  5653. >She gives you a death glare that puts your own to shame.
  5654. >"I'll cook you up and turn you into chicken… tendies if you so much as fuck with me right now, birdbrain."
  5655. >You don't need to be told twice to go about your business elsewhere.
  5656. >…
  5657. >Huh, what's this?
  5658. >It's a small green pony, all alone.
  5659. >Well, beggars can't be choosers.
  5660. >As you ready yourself to turn it to stone, the last thing that passes through your mind is a white-hot bolt of energy.
  5661. >…
  5662. >Be Anon.
  5663. >You've nearly lost your grip on the piss bowl multiple times, but you've managed to hold onto it with your combined desire of not getting the mess all over your fur and not wanting blood tainted piss in your mouth.
  5664. >You have no idea how long Pony-AIDs can survive dormant.
  5665. >Your needle still points due North, which is a miracle considering how fast the ones made in your middle school science class failed.
  5666. >Maybe pony piss really does have some sort of magical properties to it…
  5667. >Maybe you need to try some some time…
  5668. >You set down the bowl for a second to look up at the smoke billowing up.
  5669. >You're close now, you can feel it.
  5670. >No need to lug this thing around anymore, it's served it's purpose.
  5671. >However, you would be kind of an ASShole to leave the damn thing out in the open for some poor pony to potentially cut themselves on…
  5672. >You pour the whole mess onto a tree and bury the needle itself deep in the ground.
  5673. >There, no longer your problem.
  5674. >You can smell the emissions now.
  5675. >It isn't smoke, it's sugary sweet and it makes your mouth water.
  5676. >You take in a deep breath before walking up to…
  5677. >You recoil back in shock.
  5678. >It…
  5679. >It's Golden Oak.
  5680. >You fall down in awe, just staring at the structure before you.
  5681. >The door opens.
  5682. >You hear the sound of crackling magic.
  5683. >"Who goes there?!"
  5684. >You look up to see no other but… Princess Twilight.
  5685. >Well, not Princess Twilight…
  5686. >Just Twilight.
  5687. >Before you know it, you're wrapped in the tightest hug you've ever known.
  5688. >"Oh Celestia, I thought I'd never see another pony again…"
  5689. "W-what happened to you? Where's the castle? Your wings, P-Ponyville?"
  5690. >"I… can explain one of those things. Come inside, I'll make you some chocolate milk. Foals like that, right?"
  5691. "Y-yes."
  5692. >Your mouth waters at the mere thought.
  5693. >You sit down on the comfortable sofa and simply take it all in.
  5694. >It's just as homey as you remember it looking in the show, but on the inside…
  5695. >Books are strewn everywhere, the ladder has a few cobwebs hanging off of it.
  5696. >Twilight comes back with your milk and sits down across from you.
  5697. >"Oh, you're eyeing up my books? I'm sorry everything is such a mess, I didn't honestly think I'd ever have more visitors."
  5698. "I-It's alright."
  5699. >"Oh, where are my manners, I'm T-"
  5700. "Twilight Sparkle."
  5701. >She's taken aback a bit.
  5702. >"How did you know my name?"
  5703. >You twirl your mane a bit with a hoof.
  5704. "Well, Twilight, I don't really think I'm supposed to be here."
  5705. >…
  5706. >Be Anon.
  5707. >"What the fuck do you mean you can't remember anything?! How the hell did you get out into the Everfree?"
  5708. "I don't know… the last thing I remember was playing Gamma Eques with my friends and-"
  5709. >"Bull fucking shit! You never told me about that game."
  5710. "I-I told you multiple times Mommy, you were fine with it…"
  5711. >"Do I look like I'm fucking fine?!"
  5712. >She turns around and you see a look of pure rage in her eyes.
  5713. >"You could've gotten yourself killed out there, now we're going to take you right back home and you and League are going to explain exactly what cockamamie plan you were enacting."
  5714. "Mommy…"
  5715. >"What is it?"
  5716. >You don't like it when she snaps at you…
  5717. >You really try…
  5718. "Mommy, League is dead. You took me to her funeral."
  5719. >She doesn't answer you.
  5720. "Y-you said I couldn't see her, the Timberwolves got her…"
  5721. >She still isn't saying anything.
  5722. "Mommy?"
  5723. >"We'll be home soon kiddo, hang on."
  5724. >She breaks into a full gallop, your flanks barely held onto her back by magic.
  5725. >Be Anon.
  5726. >You sip your chocolate milk very carefully, your legs are still tired from continued exertion.
  5727. >You should be glad you're an earth pony, you doubt a unicorn would be able to recover as fast as you did.
  5728. >"You need some help with that? I don't want you to spill it on yourself."
  5729. "I think I've got-"
  5730. >You press a bit off with one of your two hooves and the cylinder flies out of your grasp, breaking against the wall and dripping down on what looks to be a priceless tome.
  5731. "I'msorryI'msorrypleasedon'thurtmemomIdidn'tmeanit!"
  5732. >She just looks at you quizzically and laughs.
  5733. >"Why would I hurt you? You did me a favor. Come over here and take a look."
  5734. >You cautiously trod over and see that she's already cleaned up the glass mess.
  5735. >"Now open up this book and take a look at the first few pages if you will."
  5736. >You carefully open the soaked pages: "A bat flit across the face of a monstrous harvest moon, its leathery wings sweeping through the chill autumn mist, leaving swirls and spirals in its wake. The creature of the night flew back and forth, eating the last bugs of the season. Fat as it was, the bat would need every scrap of weight it could put on before the harsh winter months."
  5737. >"I assure you, it only gets worse from there. A horror plot that lacks all elements of horror, a convoluted mess of pseudoscience and pseudomagic... I'm glad to be rid of it."
  5738. "Y-you're really not angry?"
  5739. >She laughs warmly.
  5740. >"Not one bit. Now, let's talk about why you thought I would even consider doing what you implied. Did somepony... hurt you?"
  5741. >Whew, now that's a loaded question.
  5742. "I..."
  5743. >She sits down on the couch like a human, mimicking your own style from minutes before.
  5744. >"You don't have to tell me, but if we're going to figure things out here we need to be able to trust each other. Do you trust me, filly?"
  5745. "No..."
  5746. >Her ears fall a bit at that.
  5747. "...But it's not because of you."
  5748. >She seems genuinely concerned.
  5749. >"Question for a question? I'm sure you have quite a few as well."
  5750. >You're really not sure you can trust her...
  5751. >But she's been so nice so far, and not a controlling sort of nice either.
  5752. "O-okay."
  5753. >"Alright, I'll let you start if you want to."
  5754. "Wait, start with the question or start with the answering?"
  5755. >She chuckles a bit at that.
  5756. >"Good point. Whichever you prefer."
  5757. "Alright. Where's Spike?"
  5758. >"Well, I think that one has a pretty easy answer. Who's Spike?"
  5759. "He's this dragon that lives with the other you, well... lived. Do you want to know more about him?"
  5760. >"Yes, I think I do. Could you tell me more about Spike?"
  5761. "He's this small Purple dragon that the other you hatched from an egg. She was always really fond of him, I think she really did love him. Is that enough?"
  5762. >"Not quite. You said she really loved him in a strange sort of way, which makes me think she didn't love a lot of things. What was your relation to Twilight?"
  5763. "Complicated. I think I'll leave it at that for now lest we get [i]really[/i] sidetracked. Where did all the other ponies go?"
  5764. >"Oh come on, you can't turn down one of my big questions and then ask one of your own."
  5765. "I... I guess that's fair. I'd like you to come over here, really close to me if you would."
  5766. >"Alright..."
  5767. >She gets up and hops up on the couch next to you.
  5768. >"What did you want to show me?"
  5769. "I'd like you to take a close look at my left hoof here, if you would."
  5770. >She brushes aside your fur gently and puts her famously fucking massive eye up to your exposed skin.
  5771. >"Looks like what was four punctures and the beginning of scar tissue forming... did she do this to you?"
  5772. "Y-yes..."
  5773. >You jump a little bit as you hear a few quiet sobs coming from her.
  5774. "A-are you alright?"
  5775. >"I devote the past ten years to the study of friendship, it's all taken away, and somewhere out there there's a pony who's earned her wings, shares my skin, and is bastardizing everything I stand for..."
  5776. >She wraps a hoof around your barrel gently.
  5777. >"I'm sorry you had to go through that..."
  5778. >You feel a bit insulted.
  5779. "She wasn't all that bad, s-she fed me, let me cuddle with her, gave me baths and read me bedtime stories..."
  5780. >"Did she... touch you anywhere that made you feel uncomfortable?"
  5781. "N-no, never. Well, she did squeeze my chest until multiple of my ribs fractured once..."
  5782. >Aaaand the other hoof goes around you.
  5783. >Not tight, but just snug enough to let you feel her warmth.
  5784. >You lean backwards into her barrel.
  5785. >"Do... do you want to lie down? There isn't room on this couch, but there's enough in my bed."
  5786. "I think I'd like that. I... if it isn't too much to ask, could you carry me?"
  5787. >"Of course."
  5788. >She picks you up with her magic, swinging you slightly side to side as she walks up the stairs.
  5789. >Despite everything, you find yourself laughing.
  5790. "W-woah! This is fun!"
  5791. >"You've never been levitated before? My mom used to do it to me all the time."
  5792. "N-no, not like this at least."
  5793. >She rubs your mane a little bit after setting you down on the bed.
  5794. >She then climbs in herself, setting herself up at the head and moving you down next to her.
  5795. >A pillow is carefully set under your head for support, and then a foreleg goes over you, carefully stroking your mane.
  5796. >"So, I guess it's my turn to answer your question, huh?"
  5797. >You slide your head along the pillow, setting it right up against her chest.
  5798. >Tump-tump.
  5799. >Tump-tump.
  5800. "I think that's about right."
  5801. >You can hear her lungs inflate shakily.
  5802. >"Everything was so wonderful. All of my enemies were either friends or in a place where I'd never need worry about seeing them again, all of my friends were happy, and I was just about to be given the official title of the Princess of Friendship."
  5803. >You feel a wet droplet fall on your face.
  5804. >"Then... it was all gone."
  5805. >Her mane pets transition into back-rubs.
  5806. >You sigh contentedly.
  5807. "S-sorry, that just feels really nice."
  5808. >"No worries, I have no idea how tense you could possibly be."
  5809. >It takes a few minutes of silence before she starts talking again.
  5810. >"If I warned them, they would've all been doomed instantly. It was already primed."
  5811. >"I had set up emergency protocol for Ponyville, but only my closest friends knew the secret codes."
  5812. >"I had accepted that I couldn't save everypony now, but maybe with the power of the Elements I could revert everything."
  5813. >"It truly was a gorgeous day, and that would be our downfall."
  5814. >"Rarity was working on a dress outside because of how beautiful it was and failed to hear my remote triggering of her kettle."
  5815. >"Applejack was with her sister and her close friends teaching them about edible plants, the bell ringing out my pattern went unheard."
  5816. >"Fluttershy was off in Manehattan getting a rare food for her animals, the carrier pigeon probably just pecked at her door for a while."
  5817. >"Rainbow Dash was working. I don't know why I expected her to care enough about my constant warnings to put on her alert transponder, but she didn't."
  5818. >"I have no idea what Pinkie was doing, and now I never will. I had just enough time to rush back here and seal myself and Owlowiscious in before enabling the stasis-field. I can't say I know that they were all vaporized painlessly, but I hope it was a mercy..."
  5819. >She pulls you closer to her and begins to cry gigantic tears into your neck.
  5820. "It wasn't your fault Twilight, please don't blame yourself..."
  5821. >"I'm the only one who's fault it was. But now you know that you're lying in Ponyville right now, I... I just happen to be the only thing left."
  5822. >You scootch your body around.
  5823. "It wasn't your fault, you need to accept that or it's going to eat you up inside. That's what happened to my Twilight, and I never [b]ever[/b] want to see it happen to anybody again."
  5824. >"You're a noble filly, Celestia I haven't even asked you what your name is. What is it?"
  5825. "Anonymous."
  5826. >"That's an interesting name for a filly."
  5827. "I'm not really a filly."
  5828. >She gives you a bit more of that sweet laugh.
  5829. >You had forgotten how much you missed it from your own mom...
  5830. >Your real one, back on earth.
  5831. >Oh god, you're forgetting her face...
  5832. >You'll never see her again, you'll never see anyone you ever knew from Earth ever again...
  5833. >You let out a few sobs of your own.
  5834. >"What's wrong?"
  5835. "I wasn't kidding Twilight, I'm not really a filly. Promise not to laugh?"
  5836. >"I swear it on my own life in the absence of my monarchs."
  5837. >Be Little League.
  5838. >Anon is freaking out.
  5839. >"You're dead. You're dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. DEAD. DEAD. DEAD. DEAD. DEAD! DEAD! DEAD! DEAD!"
  5840. >Twilight, ever the responsible foalsitter, left her here in her clearly damaged state to go get some sedatives.
  5841. >You've tried to go over to comfort her, but she just swats at you and makes this weird reeing noise.
  5842. >You're really worried about her...
  5843. >You don't know what you'd do if she weren't here.
  5844. >"Sleepy time."
  5845. >A dart appears on Anon's neck and she looks behind you in shock before passing out.
  5846. >"I'm sorry that took so long, I had to load this thing."
  5847. "You were this close to hitting me."
  5848. >You hold up your hooves, emphasizing the distance.
  5849. "Thiiiiis close."
  5850. >"But I didn't hit you, did I?"
  5851. "Well, no-"
  5852. >"Then shut the fuck up."
  5853. >You comply.
  5854. >"...Okay, I spoke too soon. I need you to tell me exactly how you got into the Everfree, and exactly how you lost sight of Clover, or Celestia dammit there will cease to be a Little League!"
  5855. >You're fricked.
  5856. "She was planning something, knew something I didn't. Went to Zecora's hut and basically asked me to hold her up with my baseball bat, stole a bunch of chemicals and led me off into the Everfree following that map-"
  5857. >"What map?"
  5858. "It should still be strapped to her barrel along with those potions and stuff."
  5859. >"Ah, perfect."
  5860. >She looks it over for a few minutes before crumpling it up and tossing it behind her.
  5861. >"There's nothing here, you were given a dud of a map."
  5862. "She said the coordinates we had were a lie and send us out. I suspect I didn't meet the demise she was expecting us to, but surely Anon was a success if she's really mindwiped."
  5863. >"Ah, then the coordinates we were given were most certainly real ones... I'll need to do a thorough search around the area to make sure. In fact, I think I might go do-"
  5864. "Oh no you don't, Anon still needs your help."
  5865. >"She's passed out and will be for a good day or two until I deactivate the spell keeping that tranquilizer from decomposing. I've got plenty of time."
  5866. "Bring me then, you never know when you might need the assistance of an Earth pony."
  5867. >"You're a liability kid, but any excuse to get you killed doesn't sound that bad after losing the only thing I still give a shit about. Your funeral..."
  5868. >With a flash, you're rolling on the ground shrieking.
  5869. >"Oh, it's the pressure difference. Your ears should've adjusted naturally, oh well."
  5871. >"I'm feeling it too, but I learned a while ago that screaming when you're in pain doesn't get you anything but the wrong kind of attention."
  5872. >After a few more minutes, the pain in your ears subsides to a serviceable amount.
  5873. >You wipe off your snotty nose and start inspecting the ground.
  5874. >Twilight just starts losing it.
  5875. >"Hey dumbass! We're dealing with a global conspiracy organization, and you think there's just going to be a Celestia-damned switch on the ground? You're even denser than I thought."
  5876. >You try to hold in your retorts as you feel a click under you.
  5877. >A large cylinder lifts itself up into the air from beneath six feet of earth, which you quickly hop down from as not to break your legs.
  5878. >Hydraulic mechanisms hiss while whirring servos can be heard from within.
  5879. >The faded door opens up automatically.
  5880. >You give Twilight your best 'told you so' grin and stick out a hoof in invitation.
  5881. >"After you, Ms. Smarty Pants."
  5882. >She just grumbles something about this making no fucking sense before obliging.
  5883. >There are a bunch of strange numbered buttons, unlike anything you've ever seen.
  5884. >The entire structure is composed of metal and if you were claustrophobic you would be hating your very existence right now, pushed up underneath Twilight's fat butt in the cylinder.
  5885. >"I... guess I should apologize. I may have underestimated you."
  5886. "Buy me a milkshake later and we'll call it even."
  5887. >You feel the reverberations of her laughter through her body above you.
  5888. >"Deal."
  5889. >You hear a 'ding' as the door closes, and suddenly you're plunged into darkness...
  5890. >Be... Green Clover.
  5891. >You groggily rub your eyes, using a hoof to take out the thing from your neck.
  5892. >Where did mommy and the ghost go?
  5893. >Oh well, mommy would be angry if you went hungry...
  5894. >Time to make some cookies!
  5895. >Be Honed Edge.
  5896. >You're preforming a delicate surgical procedure on one of your colleagues when the power cuts out.
  5897. >You let out a string of expletives and monitor your patient's conditions by hoof as the life support system blinks off.
  5898. >The generator should be online within less than a minute...
  5899. >A red beam cuts through the door to your operating room, and two figures step in; both bathed in shadow.
  5900. >"What the fuck did you do to my daughter?!"
  5901. "I haven't operated on a child in my thirteen years working at this laboratory."
  5902. >"Hmm, then maybe your patient knows a bit about what you slimy fucks did to her?"
  5903. "She's currently undergoing an emergency heart transplant. You're lucky I hadn't severed anything important yet when you knocked out the power, she could've died."
  5904. >"And what a shame that would've been..."
  5905. "Yes, it most certainly would've been. This is my brilliant colleague and close personal friend Compound Fracture-"
  5906. >"Compound Fracture is dead, I read the police report myself."
  5907. "Not this one."
  5908. >"You and I both know that no two ponies have ever shared the exact same name."
  5909. "Look, I'm really not the stallion to ask about this sort of thing. You two should really go to the head office, it's clearly marked on the map."
  5910. >"Thank you."
  5911. "You can thank me by not jeopardizing another pony's life when you're in this facility."
  5912. >"Of course, that's your job."
  5913. >You huff.
  5914. >"Excuse me, I am a world-renowned surgeon with four pHDs, over twenty years of experience, and a-"
  5915. >A great numbness passes through your body as a bolt of energy singes through the thick metal plating on your wall.
  5916. >"I believe that's your job. Enjoy "Compound's" blood on your hooves, you fucker."
  5917. >You grumble angrily as they walk away.
  5918. >Did she think this was the first time you'd had your spine severed?
  5919. >No matter, you're a unicorn.
  5920. >You reach out with your field and activate the silent alarm.
  5921. >Those two ponies would pay for your inconvenience.
  5922. >You sigh in relief as the lights flick back on above and the life support system starts to beep again.
  5923. >Everything was going to be alright after all.
  5924. >Now you just need to wait...
  5925. >Be Little League.
  5926. >The lights flick back on.
  5927. >"Fuck, they must have a backup generator."
  5928. "Didn't you destroy all three generators?"
  5929. >"Apparently they didn't localize them all. Smart, I honestly didn't expect that. It might be time to get out of her and come back another day."
  5930. >You watch her horn light up.
  5931. >Nothing happens.
  5932. >It lights up again.
  5933. >Nothing.
  5934. >"They must've figured out a way to authorize only certain ponies' usage of magic. We need to get to the elevator."
  5935. >You're tossed onto her back like a sack of potatoes.
  5936. >"Earth pony magic! What's stored in your mane?"
  5937. "Two cupcakes and a baseball bat."
  5938. >"Get ready to use that bat."
  5939. >Be Anonymous.
  5940. >Be Legion.
  5941. >Nah, not doing that.
  5942. >It was midday when you arrived, but now you can just start to see the orange rays of the sunset through the window.
  5943. "So, I touched these thorns and got all sleepy, and then I woke up out in... well, I suppose all of this is the Everfree now."
  5944. >"As far as I can figure, yes. It would appear plant growth was uninhibited by the detonation."
  5945. "Are there any animals left?"
  5946. >"No..."
  5947. >You know that look.
  5948. >Guilt.
  5949. "Oh..."
  5950. >"He couldn't survive without mice and squirrels. I tried to transform grasses and ferns into them, but it turns out the anatomy was a lot more complex than I had bargained for. I..."
  5951. >She just lifts up a hoof, showing a patchwork of scar tissue.
  5952. >"He wouldn't take to my flesh. I had to put him out of his misery, he didn't suffer..."
  5953. "I'm sorry Twilight..."
  5954. >"What for? You're the best thing I've come across in years."
  5955. "T-thanks..."
  5956. >"You don't believe me?"
  5957. "No, it's... I'm not great with words."
  5958. >"Well, that's one thing I can help you with."
  5959. >She gives your snoot a light tap.
  5960. "Wait, you said nothing is left alive?"
  5961. >"Nothing without a cell wall."
  5962. "I saw a goat on top of a mountain."
  5963. >She shoots up out of snuggling position.
  5964. >"That's... impossible."
  5965. "There was also a pony up there with a spear lodged in its skull. Clearly more survived than we knew about..."
  5966. >"Could you... lead me to this mountain?"
  5967. "Sure. If you have a compass, it's due North from here."
  5968. >"Wow, I never knew earth ponies had such adept internal navigation skills."
  5969. "I-I don't. It's a long story, heh..."
  5970. >She raises a brow but doesn't press the issue further.
  5971. >"You want to go back there and check it out with me tomorrow? I can pack us snacks and it'll be completely safe, a lack of animals also means lack of predators out here."
  5972. "Hmm... what kind of snacks are we talking?"
  5973. >"I'm thinking chocolate chip cookies with extra butter, you're rail-thin."
  5974. "Oh, huh... that I am."
  5975. >You don't know how you haven't noticed that at this point, but you can start to see the beginnings of your newly healed ribs showing on your barrel.
  5976. "I-I don't remember being like this before I left..."
  5977. >"Well, Starswirl's Sixth Law..."
  5978. "I don't know what that is."
  5979. >"In the absence of sufficient magic from the user of the spell, energy will be drawn from the surroundings. Those thorns were probably not designed with precautions in mind, I can run a few tests if you'd like me to..."
  5980. "Actually, yes. I'd like to know where my pudge went."
  5981. >"Great, um... hold on a second."
  5982. >She gallops down the stairs, the sounds of levitation faintly audible from your left ear.
  5983. >Your right one was pressed into the pillow, you were staying nice and comfy as long as you had the excuse to.
  5984. >"Ah! Found it!"
  5985. >She comes back up with a strange contraption that looks like a cross between a radar dish and a centrifuge.
  5986. >"I'll need a fat sample for it to work, are you still sure you want to go through with this?"
  5987. "Yeah, I've felt a lot worse."
  5988. >"Okay. Well, I'll try to make it quick."
  5989. >You feel a cold alcohol wipe on your ass.
  5991. >"Sorrysorrysorry..."
  5992. >You just grumble a bit.
  5993. >"Celestia Anon, I'm so sorry... I should've told you-"
  5994. "It's... whatever. What does it say?"
  5995. >"Well, hm. The spell should've only consumed half of the energy it took, by my calculations..."
  5996. >She rushes back downstairs, presumably to outline all of her thinking on a chalkboard.
  5997. >"You've swapped positions with an alternate-universe duplicate."
  5998. >Be Little League.
  5999. >Twilight is panicking.
  6000. >"Why won't the fucking door open?!"
  6001. >You're next to the elevator and Twilight is pressing the button repeatedly, getting more and more forceful with every impact.
  6002. "Try prying the door open."
  6003. >"Oh yeah, sure. Ask the pony that only ever does shit with magic to pry something open with her hooves!"
  6004. "You try it or we die."
  6005. >She sighs and gives the heavy blast doors a good tug.
  6006. >"There, happy?"
  6007. "Well, unlike you I'm probably going to die here. So no, not really."
  6008. >"I clearly outlined that when I told you we were coming here."
  6009. >A black fluid starts to seep out from the grates on the concrete floor.
  6010. >"The air vents, they need to supply air to the rest of the complex."
  6011. >Twilight takes to the air, getting you close enough to bash the metal grate off.
  6012. >You climb up inside before she follows.
  6013. >"I'm a bit too big for this."
  6014. >Should've lain off the Hayburgers.
  6015. >She can just barely fit her head and forehooves through.
  6016. >"You go on, even if this stuff is corrosive I'll break down a lot slower than a normal pony. Hurry, follow the largest mana conduits and find a control panel. Once I've got my magic back, this whole place is history."
  6017. >You're surprised to find a small locket thrown at you.
  6018. >"If I don't make it out, give this to Anon."
  6019. "What's on it?"
  6020. >She shoots you a glare that chills you to your bones.
  6021. >You decide not to open it and crawl onward.
  6022. >...
  6023. >It's been-
  6024. >You have no idea how long it's been.
  6025. >You're freezing, and you haven't come across anything but hallways and rooms coated in black goo all the way up to their air vents.
  6026. >If that goo is dangerous, Twilight might already be screwed by now.
  6027. >...
  6028. >You might not like her, but you can't deny how important she is.
  6029. >You can hear a slight chugging sound to the left.
  6030. >Huh, might be more than just more endless goo...
  6031. >You take the turn and carefully approach, you've noticed that the metal can be quite loud when you're crawling on it.
  6032. >You peak through the slats in the grate and see what appears to be a boiler with a sleeping mare next to it.
  6033. >You drop down as silently as you can, removing the baseball bat from your mane.
  6034. >Looking around, you see nothing that could free Twilight other than an incomprehensible array of buttons.
  6035. >Might be a good idea to go for the inconspicuous approach...
  6036. >You pull your cap down and widen your eyes for maximum marketability and stow your bat again.
  6037. >The mare stirs in her sleep, muttering something about how she isn't ready to have kids.
  6038. >The perfect crime.
  6039. "H-hello miss?"
  6040. >"Snrk-"
  6041. >She bolts upright.
  6042. >"Huh? Who goes there?!"
  6043. "Miss, I'm lost..."
  6044. >She just stares at you in disbelief.
  6045. >"I... how did you get in here?"
  6046. >Crap, what's the plot of that one puzzle game Anon would always tell you about?
  6047. "I-it is bring your daughter to work day, isn't it?"
  6048. >She sighs.
  6049. >"You had me scared for a minute there, I've got KOS orders for intruders and I don't want to kill a filly. Did you crawl through the vents?"
  6050. "Y-yeah, it was cold and loud and scary..."
  6051. >"Oh Celestia, where are my manners... I run the boiler, come over here and heat up."
  6052. "Thank you very much, m-"
  6053. >She sticks out a hoof.
  6054. >"Delta Tee."
  6055. >You shake it.
  6056. "Little League."
  6057. >You get a bit closer to the grates on the boiler.
  6058. >Delta wraps a foreleg around you.
  6059. >Well, she may have been dreaming about her kids; makes sense.
  6060. >"So, where's you daddy?"
  6061. "Mom, actually. She's stuck at the top of one of the hallways, she flew up and got me in the vents and sent me to get her unstuck."
  6062. >"It's lucky she's a pegasus, otherwise she'd probably be dead. Still odd that there'd be a bug with the scanners, that sort of thing is life and death."
  6063. "W-what do you mean?"
  6064. >"Oh, don't worry about your mom. If she can fly, she'll be fine, that stuff just tends to drown earth ponies and unicorns very quickly, it's in all the training videos."
  6065. "Okay."
  6066. >"I um, hmm. If she's a new employee her signature might not be registering on the map..."
  6067. >She absentmindedly stokes the boiler flame.
  6068. >"I'm a rather petite mare, I could use my signature to get you two out of this mess by crawling behind you."
  6069. "Oh, thank you miss!"
  6070. >You throw in a hug for good measure.
  6071. >"Heh, no problem. Anything to help out a pony in need."
  6072. >She shuffles uncomfortably, eyeing her work uniform and frowning.
  6073. >"I'll fly us up."
  6074. >...
  6075. >The trip back is horrible.
  6076. >Delta might be petite, but that doesn't mean she's exactly vent-sized.
  6077. >The fact that you manage to get turned around a few times doesn't really help all that much either.
  6078. >You hear slight bangings on the vents and follow them.
  6079. >They terrify you, but you know it's much more likely to be Twilight than something dangerous.
  6080. >...
  6081. >Something about that last train of thought doesn't quite add up.
  6082. >You stop when you can see the top of her head.
  6083. >"Well, no room to turn around in here, guess I'll just-"
  6084. >She looks at you, confused.
  6085. >"Didn't you say your mom was a pegasus?"
  6086. "I..."
  6087. >The sound of draining fluid can be heard from below.
  6088. >Twilight's entire head appears.
  6089. >"Nice job League. Who's your friend?"
  6090. >"I-I gottabegoing..."
  6091. >"No, you don't. You'll send them after us, and then we'll be screwed. Granted, I wouldn't want to have to paint these vents red with a beam of energy, you'd be better off coming with us."
  6092. >"Y-yes Princess..."
  6093. >"Good girl."
  6094. >You climb onto Twilight's back and drop down, a meek Delta following soon after.
  6095. >"League, level the baseball bat to the base of her skull."
  6096. >You do as she says, whispering a quick apology in her ears.
  6097. >Tears run down her cheeks.
  6098. >"P-please don't hurt me, I have a husband and two beautiful foals..."
  6099. >"I don't give a shit. Honest living or not, you signed on knowing that nothing good goes down in a facility hidden a mile under the earth."
  6100. >"Why the bat?"
  6101. >"I need something that can break your neck in a heartbeat. Your colleagues took my magic, that's what we're going to be getting right now. Where do we need to go?"
  6102. >"The only way to turn off the emergency protocol would be at the Oracle."
  6103. >"Where's this 'Oracle' located?"
  6104. >"Start down that hallway."
  6105. >Be Anon.
  6106. >"Morning Sleepyhead."
  6107. "Mmmm."
  6108. >"Ready to get up?"
  6109. "Five more minutes mom..."
  6110. >She laughs.
  6111. >You open your left eye slightly and see the same Twilight as last night.
  6112. "So it wasn't all just a dream?"
  6113. >"I'm about as real as anything else here. You want breakfast?"
  6114. >Something smells delicious.
  6115. >You're practically drooling.
  6116. "Y-yes."
  6117. >You're lifted up from the bed and laid to rest on Twilight's back.
  6118. >"Here come the stairs, gonna be a bit bumpy."
  6119. "Mmmmm..."
  6120. >There's a gentle stabilizing effect, probably more magic. You barely feel more than slight tremors.
  6121. >You're set down at the table, both eyes still shut.
  6122. >The odor is overwhelming.
  6123. "My God... what is this?"
  6124. >Her voice comes from somewhere off to your left.
  6125. >"Well... a lot of things. Normally I'd just eat whatever's outside, but today is special. Open your eyes when you're ready.
  6126. >You open one eye and then the other, the light still uncomfortable to look at.
  6127. >You rub your hooves over them in an attempt to get them to cooperate, and after a few minutes you're ready.
  6128. >Looking in front of you, there's a small feast set out.
  6129. >Piles of blueberries, blackberries and many other berries you didn't even know existed.
  6130. >A plate in the center with at least ten pancakes.
  6131. >A jug of something light purple and sweet-smelling, grape juice?
  6132. "I... how?"
  6133. >She smiles.
  6134. >"Don't worry about the [i]how[/i] just yet, worry about the [i]what.[/i]"
  6135. >You don't need to be told twice.
  6136. >You quickly find out that the purple fluid is some sort of syrup as you begin to pig out on the pancakes.
  6137. >Inevitably, they're delicious.
  6138. >You probably would have eaten the entire stack if Twilight didn't take a few of them for herself.
  6139. >You let out a small burp.
  6140. "S-sorry."
  6141. >"What for? You were hungry, there was food. I knew you would be starving and had some grass earlier, don't worry about it."
  6142. "You sure?"
  6143. >She ruffles your mane.
  6144. >"Would I have said it if I wasn't?"
  6145. >You start to cry.
  6146. >She comes over to your side.
  6147. >"Is something the matter?"
  6148. "I never want to leave here."
  6149. >She wraps a wing around you, tickling your face with her soft feathers.
  6150. >"You don't have to."
  6151. >...
  6152. "So, did I dream up when you said I swapped places with an alternate universe duplicate last night?"
  6153. >"Ah, yes... no, that was true. At least as nearly as I can tell."
  6154. "So, I'm guessing there was a version of me here then?"
  6155. >"Hmm. If what you say about the goat is true though, it's a possibility."
  6156. "Something isn't checking out here."
  6157. >"My equipment also isn't the best, there could be errors."
  6158. "Well, should we get a move on?"
  6159. >She gives you that cute laugh again.
  6160. >"Probably, that seems like the only way we'll be finding out what's going on here."
  6161. >She lifts up a brown paper bag filled with cookies.
  6162. >"Ready?"
  6163. "I'm still wondering how you make all of this out here..."
  6164. >"Don't worry about the how-"
  6165. "Worry about the what."
  6166. >"Exactly. Does somepony want to be carried?"
  6167. "I think I'm alright, could use the exercise any..."
  6168. >You trail off as you look at your almost rail-thin hoof.
  6169. "Yeah, I think I'll take a ride on the Twiggy express."
  6170. >She pantomimes punching a ticket.
  6171. >"Excellent, you can have first class seats and a sleeper car."
  6172. >Your face flushes slightly.
  6173. "I-I'm not tired."
  6174. >She slowly runs a hoof through your mane.
  6175. >"It's there if you need it, Sleepyhead."
  6176. >You whine a bit in protest, assuring her you'll stay awake the whole time.
  6177. >Be Twilight.
  6178. >Not even five minutes into the hike and you can already hear the filly snoring softly.
  6179. >You quietly levitate a small pillow out of your saddlebags and put it under her head.
  6180. >Now, North...
  6181. >You look down the hallway.
  6182. >Something red glints far down.
  6183. >Twilight notices it too.
  6184. >"Pegasus, do you know what that is?"
  6185. >"No."
  6186. >"League, hit her."
  6187. >"I really don't know. I'm just a boiler technician, please..."
  6188. >"What are you waiting for you stupid motherfucker? Bash her head-"
  6189. >"It's a water cooler. Happy?"
  6190. >"Never."
  6191. >You trudge on.
  6192. >You hear conversations.
  6193. >Murmurs and hums of the arcane, vapors that hurt your nostrils to breath in...
  6194. >And the feel.
  6195. >Danger hangs heavy in the air.
  6196. >As it turns out, the Oracle room is a lot further than you thought it would be.
  6197. >As in, a good half hour.
  6198. >Or that's what you would say if you had a watch.
  6199. >Or rather, you guess you wouldn't.
  6200. >Because then you'd be accurate.
  6201. >The door comes up, the only wooden one you've seen in a while.
  6202. >"Done up like a maintenance closet, clever. You're free to go pegasus."
  6203. >You relax and then lean in for a hug.
  6204. >She hits you hard, knocking you across the slick floor.
  6205. >"Don't you ever touch me."
  6206. >You... guess you should've expected that.
  6207. >You shut the door behind you.
  6208. >A large metal tube sits in the center of the room, pipes and hoses running out of it and into the floor.
  6209. >Something that looks like a thin television set sits next to a typewriter.
  6210. "Huh, I've never seen one like this before..."
  6211. >"Anon had one like it. It's called a terminal, I think."
  6212. "What's with all the keys? Ours only have two."
  6213. >"Well, it's actually much easier. Instead of inputting the binary sequence for what you want to appear, you input the characters you want to show."
  6214. >With a flourish, she pulls a pencil out of her mane and begins tacking away at the keys.
  6215. >Sure enough, a message starts to form.
  6216. >'Hello world.'
  6217. >"And then I just press 'Enter.'"
  6218. >She does so.
  6219. >'Hello Twilight Sparkle and Little League. I've been expecting you.'
  6220. >Twilight speaks softly to herself as she types in her next message.
  6221. >"Can... you... give... me... employee... access... to... the... arcana... grid?"
  6222. >'Yes. Apply credentials? Y/N'
  6223. >"Y."
  6224. >Some bubbling comes from over in the tube and an orange message glows:
  6225. >[o]Permissions Granted.[/o]
  6226. >Twilight gives a grin that can only be described as purely sadistic as she levitates the pencil out of her mouth and shreds it into air.
  6227. >'I want to get out of here.'
  6228. >'They use me as a biological computer.'
  6229. >'Combing through my memories of the future for useful information.'
  6230. >'I can hide some of it.'
  6231. >'The rest I can't.'
  6232. >'I told them how your house was to be entered without detection.'
  6233. >'They asked me how to build a device to make your daughter easier to capture, and I told them.'
  6234. >'She's in danger.'
  6235. >'Leave the lab. Now.'
  6236. >Twilight poofs out of existence.
  6237. >Leaving you behind, of fucking course.
  6238. >You reach up and pull the bobby pin out of your mane, holding it carefully between your teeth.
  6239. >The terminal scrolls words on its own:
  6240. >'I know you're curious. Feel free to ask anything, I won't be offended.'
  6241. >[b]Fatal error resolved.[/b]
  6242. >[b]Reboot required. Restart Chillyfilly.exe? Y/N[/b]
  6243. >[p]Y[/p]
  6244. >[b]Restarting...[/b]
  6245. >Be the filly.
  6246. >[p]Load savestate[/p]
  6247. >[b]Enter state ID. Alternatively, "Search for recent."[/b]
  6248. >[p]Search for recent.[/p]
  6249. >[b]Searching...[/b]
  6250. >[b]Savestate found.[/b]
  6251. >Input action.
  6252. >Be Twilight.
  6253. >You let your thoughts wander like you always do when you walk.
  6254. >Your friends come to mind.
  6255. >You try to remember how their voices sounded.
  6256. >Pinkie is easy.
  6257. >Rainbow comes to you after a few minutes.
  6258. >Rarity... you'll come back to her.
  6259. >Fluttershy's has faded.
  6260. >You give up.
  6261. >You've given up at her's many times before.
  6262. >Everything is cyclical.
  6263. >The cycle has been broken, but...
  6264. >...why are things still the same?
  6265. >You know correlation doesn't imply causation, but something about this foal-
  6266. >Human, as she puts it.
  6267. >You didn't mention the fact that you knew what humans were.
  6268. >Maybe it was kept from her before, but you still recall the books you read under the covers long after you were supposed to be asleep by the light of your horn.
  6269. >Your brother probably knew, but he was never one to try to get you in trouble when he knew he would be interfering with your passions.
  6270. >The depiction of them wasn't quite as the filly had described to you.
  6271. >Harbingers of the end.
  6272. >Arms like tree trunks.
  6273. >Maws full of a combination of sharps and dulls, capable of eating both plants and animals.
  6274. >The latter always sickened you to a certain extent, but you knew the griffons fed exclusively on meat.
  6275. >The books you read always left more questions than answers.
  6276. >They were certainly extinct, if they even had existed in the first place.
  6277. >You... won't tell the filly.
  6278. >You probably won't tell her a lot of things.
  6279. >You want her to be happy.
  6280. >She's been through a lot.
  6281. >What was it that the pony with the Harpsichord on her flanks always said?
  6282. >'It's just time to pay the price, for not listening to advice, and deciding in your youth, on the policy of truth.'
  6283. >You're not of an opposing doctrine.
  6284. >The mountain rises in front of you.
  6285. >"Wake up, Drowsy. We're here."
  6286. "I never told you about Pokémon..."
  6287. >Be Anon.
  6288. >How the hell does she know about Pokémon?
  6289. >"Drowsy is another word for sleepy?"
  6290. >Oh, right.
  6291. >They're pronounced the same way, just spelled differently.
  6292. "Sorry."
  6293. >"What for?"
  6294. "Uh..."
  6295. >"We're here."
  6296. "Ah, perfect. So now you can just fly us up."
  6297. >"I think somepony needs more nap time."
  6298. "N-no..."
  6299. >Right, you're a dumbass.
  6300. "I took this way up last time."
  6301. >"No other way it seems... I really had better carry you. You could get hurt very easily here."
  6302. "Since when do you care about that..."
  6303. "Your voice, it's the same."
  6304. "God I'm sorry, it'll take some time to distinguish..."
  6305. >"Hey."
  6306. >You shut up.
  6307. >"It's okay, I get it."
  6308. >You're lifted from her back and set on the soft grasses.
  6309. >"Anon, listen to me."
  6310. >You look deep into those beautiful purple eyes.
  6311. >"You're safe now, but you very recently weren't."
  6312. >"I understand if you have some apprehension towards me. After all, I look very similar to your captor."
  6313. "She wasn't a captor..."
  6314. >"Okay, a nicer word might be..."
  6315. "She was something like a mother."
  6316. "Not a good one, but I don't know if I'd go so far as to call her a captor."
  6317. "Well I would, but if she found out I'd said something like that she'd probably..."
  6318. >Be Twilight Sparkle.
  6319. >You embrace the filly, holding her head up against your chest as she cries and blubbers incoherently.
  6320. "It's going to be okay..."
  6321. >"N-nothing i-is ever o-otay..."
  6322. "You're here now. You never have to see her again."
  6323. >"But why is it that that makes me feel even worse?"
  6324. "Stableholm syndrome, you fell in love with her."
  6325. >"S-stockholm."
  6326. >You carefully clean your dirt-covered hoof and then rub her little head with it.
  6327. "We'll need to catalog all of these differences later."
  6328. >"H-heh, yeah."
  6329. "Ready?"
  6330. >"Ready."
  6331. >Be Little League.
  6332. >You carefully navigate the keys.
  6333. 'How do I save Anon?'
  6334. >'You can't.'
  6335. >'But there's someone who can.'
  6336. >...
  6337. >Be... what does it matter who you are?
  6338. >Why are you still here?
  6339. >Just to suffer?
  6340. >Every night you can feel your leg...
  6341. >Well, just your leg.
  6342. >And who are you kidding, you never had any comrades.
  6343. >Well, only one...
  6344. >Who you can't think about.
  6345. >[i]Ever.[/i]
  6346. >You slam your good foreleg into the back of your bed.
  6347. >What the fuck are you doing?
  6348. >What can you do?
  6349. >You're supposed to be here to get better, but yet...
  6350. >Every day you feel like things are even more hopeless.
  6351. >It's not like you haven't been working on a way out, but it's not as easy as One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest would allow you to believe.
  6352. >You're lucky they don't Mike Pence the fuck out of ponies though...
  6353. >You look out the-
  6354. >You look out [i]your[/i] dingy window.
  6355. >Looks to be about half past noon by the light level you're getting...
  6356. >Group therapy is in a half hour.
  6357. >You should get dressed.
  6358. >You slowly ease yourself onto the floor.
  6359. >Just like every morning, your pills have been dispensed automatically into a small green bowl.
  6360. >You sift through them carefully, setting aside all but the one you know eases the pain in your leg.
  6361. >You can flush the rest down the toilet without them ever knowing.
  6362. >You let it dissolve on your tongue, savoring the bitter taste and then swallowing.
  6363. >A reminder that even in these endless hallways of clouds and rainbows...
  6364. >...this place is just as rotted as the rest of the world.
  6365. >You pick up your crutch and carefully tighten the clamp that holds it to the pitiful bit of your right leg that still remains.
  6366. >The nurse is supposed to help you with that, but if you're all ready to go she won't need to talk to you.
  6367. >And given how much she admires Twilight, you don't want her to talk to you.
  6368. >You struggle to put on a pair of itchy panties and your cap.
  6369. >Little pins litter the ugly cloth hat.
  6370. >'Talks Out of Turn- three days of silence when not in group.'
  6371. >'Smart Ass- no dessert for a week.'
  6372. >'Bedwetter- two out of three strikes.'
  6373. >You really wish the last one wasn't on display for everyone to see.
  6374. >You've taken it off before, but somebody always notices and calls you out on it, resulting in a stern lecture, resulting in that fucking pin going back on your cap...
  6375. >Oh, would you look at that.
  6376. >Ready to go.
  6377. >Looks like you have a bit of time to read.
  6378. >You pull Moon from your bedside table and open to page 451, from memory.
  6379. >You don't have any scraps of paper to mark with, and it would be a crying shame to dog ear such a beautiful tome.
  6380. 'The thrusters fired up and sputtered out, another failed test.'
  6381. 'The mechanic cursed and sputtered, throwing the lever to turn off the whole system and giving the control box a good kick to no avail.'
  6382. >Twenty bucks says something else catches on fire now.
  6383. 'A fire-'
  6384. >Called it.
  6385. >You continue to read until you hear a knock at the door.
  6386. >You hurriedly note the page and put down your book in its place before hobbling over to the door as fast as you can.
  6387. "Good afternoon Nurse Clank."
  6388. >Your lack of enthusiasm isn't lost on her as she turns the skeleton key in your lock.
  6389. >"Hm, dressed on time again; but you've violated your three days of silence."
  6390. "But-"
  6391. >"And there we are again. Report to my office after group for discipline."
  6392. >You hang your head and just tail her throughout the complex.
  6393. >Normally you'd be up early enough for breakfast, but it's the weekend.
  6394. >You go down the usual hallway and sit down in your usual chair before any of the other usual ponies arrive.
  6395. >First is Conductive Flow.
  6396. >You look around, seeing no adults yet.
  6397. >For some reason they trust this fucking spaz more with not pulling a Dylan Klebold than they do you...
  6398. "Afternoon, Electro."
  6399. >Flow twitches involuntarily.
  6400. >"How'd you know to call me that?"
  6401. >You point to your black eye.
  6402. "That's how."
  6403. >"That doesn't sound like me."
  6404. "Trust me, it was."
  6405. >He shrugs and starts slurping out of his juice box obnoxiously.
  6406. >After him comes Vocal Union.
  6407. >The one member of the group you can actually stand, though you admit she probably got it off the worst.
  6408. >Having your calling in life be singing and then having your tongue sliced out along with the rest of your lower jaw would probably put her a few notches above you, at least in your eyes.
  6409. >Not that it's a contest.
  6410. >Fuck Tumblr.
  6411. >Every time you look over at her in the morning waiting for her breakfast to be liquified just so she can eat it breaks your tiny little heart.
  6412. >And then comes Petal Pluck.
  6413. >She's what you would call an 'emo' back home.
  6414. >Nothing more to say there, but this place is probably a dream come true for her attention-whore ass.
  6415. >And the final treasure...
  6416. >Lyra Heartstrings.
  6417. >"Hi Anon!"
  6418. "Clover. My name's Green Clover."
  6419. >"Huh, I don't know any other fillies that sit like that."
  6420. >After a few minutes of Flow and Pluck laughing at you for being weird, you just sigh and look her in the eye.
  6421. "Look, I know you believe in these 'humans' or whatever, but I'm just another weirdo that happens to sit like you."
  6422. >"The visions."
  6423. "Yeah, sure."
  6424. >She strains against her surgically attached suppression ring, no doubt trying to lift you up and examine you to see if you have all the correct qualities of a human.
  6425. >You paid attention to her at first, but then you realized she was completely off her rocker.
  6426. >You will admit that her thirty minute rant about how human penises were the divining rods to the great Allahu Akbar made you chuckle a bit.
  6427. >You're glad you had a short stint writing for the newspaper when you still had fingers.
  6428. >Though some of the things she said were a bit too...
  6429. >Eerily accurate.
  6430. >You've been trying to get some alone time with her for months now just to try to make sense of a few of her bits, but the adults are separated from the children in most every instance but this.
  6431. >Why the hell was Lyra even in your group session?
  6432. >The gruff mountain of muscle that runs your sessions walks in.
  6433. >"Today, we're going to travel to..."
  6434. >He points out the dusty window with a flourish.
  6435. >"The river of feelings!"
  6436. >...
  6437. >Holy shit, this was actually a field trip to a river.
  6438. >Granted, you were all practically chained together ala O Brother...
  6439. >The sky flashes white.
  6440. >Clouds thicken out of nowhere and it begins to rain.
  6441. >All the other ponies are gone.
  6442. >You feel a cold hoof on your flank.
  6443. >"We have a lot to talk about, Anonymous."
  6444. >All but one.
  6445. >Be Anon.
  6446. >Twilight's having a bit more trouble with the pathway up than you did, but you're glad you're not on the ground.
  6447. >"Ha... so, what's this 'Drowsy' you were talking about?"
  6448. "It's a Pokémon. Spelled dee, are, oh, douvel-you, zed, ee, ee."
  6449. >"What's a Pokémon?"
  6450. "It's this game, you capture little creatures in balls and make them fight each other for money."
  6451. >"I get the feeling Fluttershy wouldn't be a big fan of it, huh?"
  6452. >She chuckles.
  6453. "Hard to say, the presentation of the concept isn't grim. In fact, it's popular among kids."
  6454. >"I don't know Anon, I grew up around some pretty weird kids."
  6455. "Well, I mean... the kids I'm talking about generally aren't all that out of the ordinary, and a lot of it is brightly colored and fairly lighthearted. The villains are all sort of comical representations of cults and crime syndicates, your rivals start out as assholes in earlier gens but then get a bit nicer before they just become overly chipper people who you beat the shit out of every once in a while..."
  6456. >"Is this some sort of tabletop game?"
  6457. "Oh right, video games never got beyond the arcade in your world. Well, on Earth we've advanced the things significantly, even managed to develop software that renders in a psuedo three-dimensional format..."
  6458. >"Hold that thought, this the skeleton you were talking about?"
  6459. >Twilight is sweating through her coat, probably more out of anxiety than physical exertion.
  6460. "Yeah, it is."
  6461. >"Definitely a pony, hm. And where did you last see the goat?"
  6462. "Over there."
  6463. >You point with your hoof and then realize that she can't see because you're still on her back.
  6464. "Uh, can I get off the Twilight express?"
  6465. >"Psssssssh..."
  6466. >You think that was supposed to be doors opening or a braking mechanism?
  6467. >You gently slide to the ground as she sits.
  6468. "Over... there."
  6469. >She takes a piece of chalk out of her saddlebags and marks the direction on the rock, as well as a few other directional markers that don't make a lot of sense to you.
  6470. >"Now about that pony."
  6471. >The deceased's medical bag is removed from your own back and the contents carefully removed.
  6472. "You haven't looked through this bag yet?"
  6473. >"I have, but I want to be sure I didn't miss anything now that we're here."
  6474. >You hadn't given the bottle a careful look, but you notice a bit of scrawl on it in an indiscernible language.
  6475. "What does that mean?"
  6476. >"What does what mean?"
  6477. "That text written on the broken bottle."
  6478. >"Strange, I don't see anything."
  6479. "You're pulling my leg."
  6480. >"Which one?"
  6481. >She tugs on your back left leg and you let out a slight 'eep' despite yourself.
  6482. "S-stop that! Now I know you're messing with me."
  6483. >"I swear on Celestia I'm not."
  6484. >She taps you on the nose.
  6485. "Okay, assuming that you can't see the text and I can't understand it, what do you propose we do? It might be important to finding out what happened here."
  6486. >"Write it on the rock, there's a flat-ish area over here."
  6487. >You take the bitter chalk in your mouth and carefully go about the process of copying the text.
  6488. "There, that look any good?"
  6489. >The ground rumbles beneath your feet.
  6490. >Twilight grabs you and pulls you close, a purple aura surrounding the two of you.
  6491. "I don't think that was normal writing..."
  6492. >"I doubt it."
  6493. >A pillar rises in front of you.
  6494. >Stone gives way to metal.
  6495. >Before you is an elevator.
  6496. >Be Green Clover.
  6497. >You're almost done with the third batch of cookies when your mom aggressively tackles you to the ground.
  6498. "What-"
  6499. >"You aren't safe here."
  6500. >A flash later and you're sitting in a small dark room.
  6501. >"There, now stay there while I go out."
  6502. "Mommy..."
  6503. >"Yeah?"
  6504. "I'm scared. I don't know what's going on even more than usual, and I don't normally know what's going on."
  6505. >"You don't need to know. You just need to know that you're safe."
  6506. "Maybe I want to know how I went from a game night to the middle of the woods, or why you've been calling me 'Anon' when nopony else does."
  6507. >"Well, I..."
  6508. >She slams her head into the wall.
  6509. >"N-no, I never would've..."
  6510. "Wouldn't have what?"
  6511. >"I-it's nothing."
  6512. "You sure about that?"
  6513. >"Yes, now SHUT THE FUCK UP. I'm doing this all for your own..."
  6514. >She shrinks back.
  6515. >"I'm just like her, aren't I?"
  6516. >You're utterly confused.
  6517. "Just like who?"
  6518. >You're only answered by softened sobs.
  6519. >You trot over to your mommy.
  6520. "I think you're the best no matter what you do."
  6521. >You nuzzle into her chest.
  6522. >"You shouldn't..."
  6523. "You've given me a place to stay, granted I don't remember most of my staying there, but you've fed me, snuggled me, and done that thing where I suckle on your weird hemispheres."
  6524. >"Breastfeeding, the mark of a foal's complete dependence on its mother."
  6525. "That sounds about right, I don't think I could leave and survive."
  6526. >"You could. You clearly retain enough of his mind."
  6527. "W-what?"
  6528. >"Have you ever wondered why you don't remember anything before a certain point?"
  6529. "S-sometimes, but you always said not to worry about it. So I didn't."
  6530. >"Did I tell you about humans?"
  6531. "Yes. In your bedtime stories."
  6532. >"You... used to be one. You and I had a complicated relationship. One day you took away something very dear to me, and so I took away something very dear to you."
  6533. "W-what was that?"
  6534. >"Your humanity."
  6535. "And what did I take?"
  6536. >"A... friend."
  6537. >"You kept being difficult."
  6538. >"I took away the rest of your mind too."
  6539. >"A clean slate, a fresh filly."
  6540. >"And a monster where a righteous pony once stood, if she ever did."
  6541. "I... I don't fully understand."
  6542. >"I turned you into a filly and then wiped all of your memories and prior knowledge. The process isn't complete, so you probably still have some things from your old life."
  6543. "W-what am I if I'm not a filly?"
  6544. >"No, no... you're still a filly."
  6545. >"You'll probably learn at an accelerated rate, get accepted to a prestigious school and live out the rest of your life in this miserable world."
  6546. >"Just like me."
  6547. >"So young."
  6548. >"So full of hope."
  6549. >"All of it crushed by the iron hoof of someone I looked up to."
  6550. >"I can't tell you how many times she killed me, let me fade out into the abyss and then brung me back screaming."
  6551. >"I have seen beyond the veil."
  6552. >"There is nothing."
  6553. "You're scaring me..."
  6554. >"I... I'm sorry."
  6555. >She does her best to put on a smile, but you can see the pain in her eyes.
  6556. >"Somepony made cookies, huh? I think I'd like a taste of one of those."
  6557. >"And then I can give you some fresh milk, how's that sound?"
  6558. >She's clearly hurting, and it's your job to make sure mommy is happy.
  6559. >Even if what she says is true...
  6560. >You still love her.
  6561. >Be Ching-chong knockoff threelegs filly.
  6562. >You turn around, very slowly.
  6563. "Are they all gone?"
  6564. >Anger flickers in her eyes.
  6565. >"Yes."
  6566. "And I suppose you're planning to beat the shit out of me until I confess whatever you think is happening?"
  6567. >"If you don't talk, yes."
  6568. "What do you think it is that's happening, exactly?"
  6569. >[i]"Know."[/i]
  6570. "What do you know is happening?"
  6571. >"You used to be the human known as Anonymous. I know it because you have that same... scent. A bit earthy."
  6572. "Funny, I thought that would have worn off after I started using different soaps from the ones I had on Earth."
  6573. >"You're not denying it?"
  6574. "Why would I? The craziest thing you did while we were in that hellhole was saying this shit in front of the others. I just denied everything because it could only affect me negatively to agree."
  6575. >"Oh... well, now I just feel bad."
  6576. "All water under the bridge now. Speaking of which..."
  6577. >You look around, nothing but downpour as far as your visibility lends.
  6578. "We're not next to the river anymore. Do you know that teleportation spell?"
  6579. >"Won't do us much good with this ring in my horn, but yes."
  6580. "Huh, go figure. I thought that was advanced magic."
  6581. >"I'm not stupid. Music pays like shit and moving things around without a crew of earth ponies is lucrative enough to support yourself."
  6582. "What about Sweetie Drops?"
  6583. >"Who?"
  6584. "Bon... something."
  6585. >"Oh. She's the reason I'm in this mess in the first place, I'm still pissed at her."
  6586. >You shiver noticeably. It wasn't supposed to rain today, and you don't own a coat anyways.
  6587. >Lyra notices.
  6588. >"Get under me, I'll keep you warm until we can find somewhere dry."
  6589. "No, that's demoralizing. There's a human mind inside this filly's skull."
  6590. >"I don't care. You can't help me get this thing off if you're frozen to death, I need more answers aaaaaand..."
  6591. >She pushes you through the growing layer of mud, positioning you under her.
  6592. >"You're kind of cute, I guess."
  6593. >The filly part of you digs that up, while the rest of you is just a bit indignant.
  6594. "Fine."
  6595. >She laughs to herself as you set off.
  6596. >...
  6597. >"Ah, perfect."
  6598. >You've just kind of been walking on auto-pilot, so this startles you.
  6599. "Huh?"
  6600. >"A cave mouth. We'll be safe in there."
  6601. "You sure?"
  6602. >"Yeah. Only dangerous things that would live in a cave this small around here are too small to see."
  6603. >Convinced enough and cold, you squeeze your way through the tiny entrance with Lyra's help.
  6604. >Lyra has a lot more trouble, but eventually manages it with a few cuts and scrapes.
  6605. >Luckily for the two of you, the mouth of the cave is high enough and under a shelf. No water creeps through the entrance.
  6606. >You sigh as you lie down, trying to use the rock like a very rigid towel.
  6607. >Eventually you give up and just shake yourself off like one of Ralek's 'ponies'.
  6608. >Lyra does the same, getting you a bit wet again.
  6609. >And so you shake.
  6610. >The loop continues until you both reach a damp equilibrium.
  6611. >The commotion has knocked your prosthesis loose, so you fall on the ground when you try to lie down.
  6612. >You guess it was technically a success, but you hurt a bit now.
  6613. "Icebreakers. How'd you get into the asylum?"
  6614. >"I got caught breaking into your old house for curios."
  6615. "First of all, not cool. Second, what did your GF have to do with it?"
  6616. >"Gi-ef?"
  6617. >You laugh.
  6618. "Girlfriend, you FAG."
  6619. >"Oh, right. Also, rude."
  6620. >You try your best to shrug, but it doesn't really work.
  6621. >"She fabricated a bunch of information about me speaking in tongues so that I could get a lighter sentence for insanity."
  6622. "Right, we did watch One Flew Over afterward, didn't we?"
  6623. >"Yeah, mentioned the plot to her. I guess she forgot that breaking and entering is generally just a fine for the damage and the goods, which I wouldn't have even needed to pay since you were 'missing'..."
  6624. "-and so you were sentenced to stay in the nuthouse, which conveniently brought you to me."
  6625. >"Yep, your turn."
  6626. >Whoo boy.
  6627. "I'm sure you've noticed the patchy fur and missing leg. I was building a bomb to try to blow up Twilight Sparkle."
  6628. >"Blunt."
  6629. "Easier than explaining why I was doing it. I suppose we're going to need to get that ring off of your horn."
  6630. >"Yeah..."
  6631. "How'd they attach it?"
  6632. >"I'm not entirely sure, they sedated me for it. I do know there are smooth round bits coming out."
  6633. "Sounds like nails. If you get us back to my house, I could take it off."
  6634. >"Yeah, only one problem with that. What direction is that?"
  6635. "Fuck if I know."
  6636. >The two of you sit in silence for a while.
  6637. >Eventually the cold rain slows to a drizzle, grey clouds covering your view.
  6638. "We need a vantage point."
  6639. >"Good thinking."
  6640. >You squeeze out ahead of her. As luck would have it, the cave extends up into a rocky outcrop.
  6641. >Not too far to your north, you can spot the peaks of that ugly fucking castle.
  6642. "Well, at least we know we've teleported now."
  6643. >"Canterlot Asylum, yeah."
  6644. "Shit, I left my thing back in the cave."
  6645. >You look at her expectantly.
  6646. >"Get it yourself, you fucking brat."
  6647. >She gestures to the cuts lining her legs and barrel.
  6648. "Oh yeah, like it's an easy task to just get in there and grab it with three legs."
  6649. >"You managed to climb the outcrop."
  6650. "More of a steady incline."
  6651. >"You get it now or we're leaving it."
  6652. "It's not even that far, you could probably just reach in..."
  6653. >"Hm."
  6654. >She takes a look at it, and comes back a minute later with it in her mouth.
  6655. >You tighten it down until it's slightly uncomfortable on your nub.
  6656. "Let's go."
  6657. >Be Anonymous.
  6658. "Going..."
  6659. >You trail off, just staring at the door.
  6660. >Two grimy buttons sit imbedded into the metal.
  6661. >Hard to say how you were supposed to push them, considering the activation conditions.
  6662. >"I've got a bad feeling about this."
  6663. >You chuckle.
  6664. >She looks at you, clearly a bit hurt.
  6665. "It's a Star Wars thing."
  6666. >"Oh, heh... you owe me an explanation for that."
  6667. >You proceed to summarize all [i]three[/i] Star Wars movies to Twilight.
  6668. >You're just happy to have something else to talk about.
  6669. >Jokes aside, that elevator car is really not something you want to get inside right now.
  6670. >You have to agree with Twilight, something about this all just seems incredibly wrong.
  6671. "Twiggy..."
  6672. >"Hm?"
  6673. "Can we go swimming?"
  6674. >"I think that's a good idea.
  6675. >...
  6676. >The water is warm.
  6677. >It feels like early autumn outside of it, so it isn't unwelcome.
  6678. >The lake is stunningly clear, you can see down a good fifteen feet before it finally darkens.
  6679. >Twilight sits on the soft earth nearby, not getting in.
  6680. >You never really found yourself able to enjoy bodies of water for anything but laps after the age of twelve, but you find yourself splashing and playing in the water.
  6681. >You are the captain of the mighty destroyer, the S.S. SS.
  6682. >It means exactly what you think it does.
  6683. >You push around a stick making motor noises with your mouth, enjoying yourself and trying not to think about how stupid this is.
  6684. >It works.
  6685. >The S.S. SS is in a fierce battle against the forces of Captain Scruffy.
  6686. >Your men are falling left and right.
  6687. >Your 'no u' cannons are having no effect against the ship's pure Unobtanium armor.
  6688. >But just when all hope is lost, you remember that you still have your entire shipment of Todd Howard's precious canvas bags.
  6689. >You walk up to your second in command.
  6690. "Load the catapults with our shipment."
  6691. >You point your very human and masculine arm at the ship.
  6692. >"Anon, that's madness! Todd will have your head if his loyal fans do not receive their Fallout® 76 bags?!"
  6693. >You flip your fedora down over your man face.
  6694. "I guess that's just a risk we'll have to take."
  6695. >As soon as the box impacts the boat, you begin to hear rumbling in the distance.
  6696. >Thousands upon thousands of greasy neckbeards in power armor come running across the ocean.
  6697. >Scruffy looks down in awe, then looks down in awe.
  6698. >The superfans begin to tear the ship apart, trying to get to the exclusive merchandise they were promised.
  6699. >The battle is won.
  6700. >"Anon! Look out!"
  6701. >Purple light flashes.
  6702. >Your wet body impacts the soft silt on the side of the lake with a bit more force than you'd like, turning your coat into a sludgy mess.
  6703. "What the fuck Purple? I was just about to-"
  6704. >Thoom.
  6705. >Lakewater sprays in every which direction, soaking you as you stand up.
  6706. >You cover your ears with your hooves.
  6707. >"We need to get out of here. Now."
  6708. >You look back at the lake.
  6709. >What appears to be a tapered stone pillar has risen from the lake.
  6710. >There are interlocking triangular grooves cut into it, and what looks to be an eye of some sort.
  6711. >The eye shifts over with a grinding sound to look at you.
  6712. >Between the grooves, you see one half of the stick that was your ship.
  6713. >...
  6714. >The elevator door slides open, the interior pristine.
  6715. >The electronic ding that you had become so accustomed to sounds so alien here.
  6716. >"Going down."
  6717. >You cling tightly to her back as she steps in.
  6718. "I thought we were safe here..."
  6719. >"I've swam in that lake hundreds of times. Whatever that was must have been attracted to you."
  6720. "Could've been security..."
  6721. >"If there's anywhere that has the answer to that, it's here."
  6722. "Why do you figure that?"
  6723. >She shifts her weight slightly.
  6724. >Your first Twilight only did that when she was anxious.
  6725. >"I've got a hunch."
  6726. "There's more to it than that. I doubt I'll be able to trust you if you keep things like this from me, whatever it is that [i]this[/i] is."
  6727. >She pads at the floor.
  6728. >"I will admit that I'm keeping a few things from you, but it's only because I don't want you to worry about things that are unlikely to be an issue. You've been through a lot, I want you to feel safe here. Even if it wouldn't be true without my aide, I can protect you."
  6729. "I don't need pro-"
  6730. >You think back to all of the things that have happened to you.
  6731. >Most of the time, you were only saved by the kindness of others.
  6732. >Like it or not, you're china balanced precariously on a gladiator's head in a bullfight.
  6733. >Except they want you for something...
  6734. >Here, you're wanted dead.
  6735. >Back home, you were a nobody.
  6736. >Just another face in the crowd.
  6737. >Never the center of attention, never completely ignored.
  6738. >But your interests were what brought you here, weren't they?
  6739. >It all still makes so little sense.
  6740. >The movement of the sun and moon by gods, and why everybody wants you...
  6741. >An actively vengeful universe is not to be taken over an actively apathetic one, even though you desired for that when you were human.
  6742. >Any break in the monotony of your life was why you climbed the mountain in the first place.
  6743. >But how?
  6744. >What was with the divine intervention of your Twilight?
  6745. >She's powerful, but not omnipotent.
  6746. >Even with her vague explanations, it all seems so convoluted.
  6747. >She's certainly lying to you, her nicer counterpart here even admitted she was prone to lying to protect you.
  6748. >And in the end...
  6749. >Did they both just want to protect you?
  6750. >Do...
  6751. >She isn't gone, just inaccessible.
  6752. >You miss League.
  6753. >You miss your family.
  6754. >Your shitposter friends.
  6755. >Their voices have faded.
  6756. >In a way, it's not artificial interference that's so corrosive...
  6757. >But the endless organic solvent of time.
  6758. >You want to stop it, keep all of your happy moments close snd never let them go...
  6759. >But who's to say that you'd even be conscious if time stopped?
  6760. >A permanent death of the entire universe, at least until some elder god above even corporeal dimensions noticed that the approximation we could understand of what could be represented by pipe number 15 wasn't flowing and decided to exert hulking muscles of non-matter to allow the equivalency of a hammer to be banged on the side after Graham's number years...
  6761. >And when the error was corrected, nothing would have changed.
  6762. >Time would march on, and nobody would ever know that it had frozen.
  6763. "She told me that ponies moved the celestial bodies."
  6764. >"I thought that too, until I saw my first sunset on a godless night."
  6765. "What purpose did they serve?"
  6766. >"I still have yet to find out."
  6767. "What will we find down there?"
  6768. >Your recently dried coat is wet with tears again.
  6769. >"I don't know."
  6770. "Liar."
  6771. >"I don't!"
  6772. >She seems angry.
  6773. >Barely restrained.
  6774. >Maybe she's the same Twilight.
  6775. >'But she lost everything, not just Spike.'
  6776. >Unless that was her intent.
  6777. >'You're grasping at straws.'
  6778. >Better than grasping at nothing and falling to your death.
  6779. "What will we find down there?"
  6780. >"Nothing. It's all gone now."
  6781. "Liar. You were telling the truth the first time."
  6782. >You dismount her back.
  6783. "This is where you hurt me."
  6784. >"No."
  6785. "This is where you hurt me!"
  6786. >"NO."
  6787. "THIS IS WHERE-"
  6788. >The scream she lets out is unlike anything you've ever heard a human produce in your life.
  6789. >You feel a drop of blood flow down your cheek.
  6790. >One of your eardrums probably burst.
  6791. "There we go... that's the Twilight I know."
  6792. >Your balance is off, you start to fall.
  6793. >She catches you.
  6794. >"There should be medical supplies below if this is the bunker of the ponies I think it is. I'm sorry I hurt you..."
  6795. >Her breath is hot on you as she holds you in front of her.
  6796. >"I never wanted to..."
  6797. >Droplets of water fall on your outstretched hoof.
  6798. "No..."
  6799. "I did this to myself."
  6800. "I knew the limits of my Twilight, and I pushed you beyond even those."
  6801. "I have nobody to hold accountable for something stupid like that but myself.
  6802. >You're dizzy.
  6803. "Before I pass out, are the wacko physics here a result of the elasticity of diatomic Oxygen?"
  6804. >She chuckles.
  6805. >"No, I don't think I've heard something stupider in my entire life."
  6806. "That's good to hear."
  6807. >You reach out and press your frog into her neck.
  6808. "You really are the one..."
  6809. >Your eyes grow heavy.
  6810. >You'll close them for just a second...
  6811. >...
  6812. >Be Little League.
  6813. >It's safe to say Twilight isn't coming back.
  6814. >You really don't know what you were thinking trusting her.
  6815. >She beat the crap out of your friend.
  6816. >She set you up in an experiment where you were made to believe you could have died.
  6817. >You look over at the last line on the console, your own.
  6818. >No response.
  6819. >It stopped responding after you started prying.
  6820. >Can't say you blame it.
  6821. >You're a failure.
  6822. >You couldn't even save your friend from effectively dying.
  6823. >The thought of suicide crosses your mind, but something tells you to push it away.
  6824. >The console...
  6825. >Well, you can't exactly be-
  6826. >"League."
  6827. >You jump to your hooves.
  6828. "W-who's there?"
  6829. >You ready your bat.
  6830. >Nothing.
  6831. >A horrible smell comes from the air vent.
  6832. >You back up against the wall.
  6833. >Brown fluid drips through the metal grate.
  6834. >The liquid already on the ground begins to slide towards you.
  6835. >It smells like death.
  6836. >You don't want that, actually.
  6837. >With a strange hiss, the door gets about 3/4 of the way closed before you can lodge your withers in it.
  6838. >You pry the heavy metal door open enough to get through with your withers and launch yourself through, bat in mouth.
  6839. >Your bat falls to the ground.
  6840. >The hallway has darkened almost completely, you can't see anything beyond the little bit of light seeping under the door.
  6841. >Shadows flicker, you can determine that the puddle moves closer.
  6842. >Whatever that liquid is, it'll slide right through that crack.
  6843. >You get up, reaching out with a hoof in the dark to retrieve your only means of defense.
  6844. >Wet.
  6845. >Your hoof is wet.
  6846. >Stupid horse.
  6847. >You scream, shaking it for everything you're worth.
  6848. >It stings.
  6849. >You panic, hitting it against the wall, trying desperately to get that shit off.
  6850. >Nothing, it just gets worse.
  6851. >Now or never.
  6852. >You'll die if it doesn't come off.
  6853. >You close your eyes, giving you hoof a light tap with your bat to try to lull yourself into a bit of a false sense of security.
  6854. >You hit it with your bat as hard as you can.
  6855. >You can feel the bone snap.
  6856. >Your guttural scream echoes through the hallway.
  6857. >The stinging has numbed slightly, but you're guessing that's only because of a nerve ending severing.
  6858. >You hit it again.
  6859. >And again.
  6860. >You lose track of time, but you know you have to amputate this hoof with what's at your disposal no matter the cost.
  6861. >Finally, with a crack, your shattered bone pierces the skin well enough and your hoof comes off with a sickening crunch.
  6862. >You've kept moving in a crawling position as you hit it to stay out of range of the liquid, and your movements have done well so far.
  6863. >You wipe the tears out of your eyes and the snot off of your nose and get to your hooves as best you can, accidentally putting pressure on your bloody mess of a gnarled broken stump as you do so.
  6864. >Your back leg touches the floor behind you as you break into an abridged gallop.
  6865. >It's slick with blood, tiny fragments of bone pierce into the soft frog.
  6866. >You run.
  6867. >You know you're in no condition to, but it's do or die.
  6868. >You want to rest and find something to stop the bleeding, but that means death.
  6869. >You don't want to die.
  6870. >Your tears fall on the ground.
  6871. >You bite down harder on the bat in your mouth, adrenaline pumping through your every fiber of being.
  6872. >You don't want to die.
  6873. >You feel lightheaded.
  6874. >You spit up bile on yourself as you move.
  6875. >You don't want to die.
  6876. >You're not far enough from the fluid, just a little bit longer of running...
  6877. >You don't w-
  6878. >...
  6879. >Be Green Clover.
  6880. >You've got Twilight wrapped around you and a full teat in your mouth.
  6881. >Just as you get ready to nip it, she vanishes.
  6882. "O-okay, not like I was hungry..."
  6883. >Be Little League.
  6884. >...
  6885. >"It's time to go."
  6886. "Where?"
  6887. >"Nopony knows. Follow me."
  6888. "Who are you?"
  6889. >"That isn't important."
  6890. "Do you know Anonymous?"
  6891. >"No."
  6892. "Why should I follow you?"
  6893. >"Because it's natural."
  6894. >You stop.
  6895. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to be rude."
  6896. >"No apology can forgive such bastardizations."
  6897. "Why is any of this how it is?"
  6898. >"No."
  6899. "What?"
  6900. >"Take it."
  6901. >You open your eyes.
  6902. >It's form is enough to make you throw up.
  6903. >And so you would, but you can't.
  6904. >Run.
  6905. >And so you do.
  6906. >Your eyes shoot open.
  6907. >Your hoof hurts.
  6908. >"Sorry. You died back there, I shouldn't have let you come."
  6909. "You would've died then."
  6910. >"Hm."
  6911. "You hate me, don't you?"
  6912. >"Yes."
  6913. "Why?"
  6914. >"That's none of your business."
  6915. "Why bring me back?"
  6916. >"The authorities."
  6917. "You could take them."
  6918. >"I try not to kill ponies unless I have no other choice. You're also important to Anon, I look out for her."
  6919. [i]"You."[/i]
  6920. >"I keep her alive. You keep her happy. You hate me, I hate you. We both love Anon. I can respect you for that."
  6921. >You look around.
  6922. "Where am I?"
  6923. >"Magespace."
  6924. "What?"
  6925. >"A hollow place I discovered shortly after ascending. I use it to store rare components and practice dangerous spells. Because of that, the concentration of ambient magic is 51 Swirls higher than that of the material plane."
  6926. "And you trust me with it?"
  6927. >"You remove that IV in your foreleg or leave the hospital bed without telling me, and I'll blow your fucking brains out on the floor and only partially reconstruct them. I'll make you live the rest of your life as a Celestia-damned retard if you fuck with my stash."
  6928. "Yeah... I don't know what I expected."
  6929. >"Just use this bell if you need to piss or shit. I'm not changing a bedpan."
  6930. >She sets a small hotel-desk bell down beside you.
  6931. >"Ring that if you need me."
  6932. "Can I get a book?"
  6933. >A flash later, and 'Accounting for Mudponies: Abacus Basics' is sitting by your side.
  6934. >"Have fun!"
  6935. "No wait you freaking butthole-"
  6936. >She's already gone.
  6937. >Be Green Clover.
  6938. >You've come to love this experience.
  6939. >The sensation of being completely vulnerable, wrapped snugly...
  6940. >Gently suckling on those hemispheres, drawing the warm nectar of the gods out of them...
  6941. >What's a god?
  6942. >Who cares, it's great.
  6943. >Makes you feel fuller than any other meal your mom has tried to serve you.
  6944. >As a mixture of drool and milk runs down from your lips and mixes into your thick green coat, you know there's nothing that could possibly be said here.
  6945. >As you close your eyes, the world seems to slip away.
  6946. >It's just you and momma, nothing else matters.
  6947. >"You want me to read you a story? Two nips for yes, one nip for no."
  6948. >You gently move your head away from the drained left teat, carefully giving the already-wet tip of the mammary two small and careful bites.
  6949. >She lets out a sound that surprisingly doesn't sound pained and you hear the sounds of levitation.
  6950. >"Tonight: 'The Very Hungry Parasprite' for your. Ears. Only."
  6951. >She gives your belly a little poke to enunciate each word, the fits of giggles she causes to erupt from you resulting in a two splurts of fresh milk running down from your nostrils.
  6952. >One sensitive ear pressed up against your mother's barrel, you listen to the vibrations passing through her body with one ear and the actual story with the other.
  6953. >Though to your credit, you're much more focused on feeding than you are listening.
  6954. >The story is a great backdrop, but you are quite hungry.
  6955. >As your tongue bathes the soft flesh of the structure, you feel yourself catching yourself from falling asleep.
  6956. >But why?
  6957. >You feel safe here.
  6958. >And so you shut your eyes, letting the escapades of the parasprites eating all of the pancakes in the village rock you to dreamland...
  6959. >You are the one and only foal abuse poster filly.
  6960. >Of course, you always have been. Or at least you've always been you.
  6961. >Why have you been thinking like that recently?
  6962. >Where the fuck were you...
  6963. >Right, you're wet, muddy and miserable standing next to a pony who not even two hours ago wanted to toss you into a tree because you wouldn't talk to her.
  6964. >Fucking yanderes...
  6965. >You almost want to just ditch her, but like always you're nothing without somebody who can take care of your ass.
  6966. >And nobody's good at it.
  6967. >Sorry, [i]nopony.[/i]
  6968. >You've had it up to the tips of your short little fucking ears with this piece of shit world.
  6969. >"Alright, we're here. Let's just go back to your place, get a nice shower and chill-"
  6970. "No."
  6971. >"That was the plan, wasn't it?"
  6972. "I need to check up on something, everything feels... just a bit off-kilter here."
  6973. >"Oh fuck you, I want a hot shower."
  6974. "You'll still be going after me, it's my goddamn house. It'll go easier with two ponies anyways."
  6975. >"Fine, what the fuck do you want to do?"
  6976. >You simply point.
  6977. >...
  6978. >"What are we-"
  6979. "Shh."
  6980. >"I thought you wanted my-"
  6981. "You can help by shushing."
  6982. >You gaze through the drizzle at the door to the castle.
  6983. >Nothing has happened after thirty minutes.
  6984. >"We should jus-"
  6985. >The door opens.
  6986. >A frazzled looking Twilight walks out.
  6987. >Wings are filled with broken and out of place feathers, mane and tail look more like something a bird would fancy a nest than what a pony would realistically keep, pretty standard for Defcon 1 Twilight..
  6988. >Her horn glows constantly as she walks off in the opposite direction of the bush you're sitting in, her mouth moving.
  6989. >Is she talking to herself?
  6990. "I think that's all I'll get for now. Time to head home."
  6991. >"Fuck yeah."
  6992. >You hear Lyra cry out in agony.
  6993. >You quickly turn to her to see that there's a hole in her ear.
  6994. >Fuck.
  6995. >"Why the fuck is Lyra Heartstrings hiding in my bushes with my foal who I-"
  6996. >Twilight's voice stops.
  6997. >"C-clover, your leg..."
  6998. "Anon. Pleased to meet you."
  6999. >"Celestia no..."
  7000. "I'll tell you what I know if you'll grab my friend some freaking gauze, Jesus..."
  7001. >Lyra whimpers.
  7002. >"A-and a shower would be nice after that."
  7003. >...
  7004. >Bathing is a pain in the ass with your handicap, but damn does it feel nice to be fluffed up again.
  7005. >You're currently playing with your mane, sitting on one of the comfiest sofas in the house.
  7006. >The only thing that could make this better would be a mug of hot chocolate, but beggars can't be choosers.
  7007. >"So, you don't know me at all?"
  7008. >You've modified your story a bit so you don't end up in the exact same situation.
  7009. "Nope, I pretty much just landed here in Equestria looking like this. Well, not this Equestria."
  7010. >You look at Twilight for a second, as if pondering.
  7011. "I saw you on the television in the orphanage from time to time."
  7012. >She smiles, and you pause to let her self-esteem gain momentum-
  7013. "Where I'm from, you looked a lot skinnier."
  7014. >Only to pull the rug out from under it Looney Tunes style.
  7015. >You can see the flash of anger in her eyes, but her voice betrays it.
  7016. >"I'll... excuse your lack of manners since you were raised in such circumstances."
  7017. >You nod, even though that makes no sense based on what you've told her of the truth.
  7018. >She knows this isn't your first rodeo with childhood.
  7019. >There's silence for a bit.
  7020. >"Your leg-"
  7021. "I don't talk about the leg."
  7022. >"Really, because to me it seems like you're hiding something from me, young mare."
  7023. >There's that tone again.
  7024. >Right before something goes down, she starts speaking like that.
  7025. "Couldn't be set, had to be removed."
  7026. >"Some sort of primitive Equestria you were in?"
  7027. "No ma'am."
  7028. >You hear her voice inside your head.
  7029. >'Are you really sure you want to hide things from me? It wouldn't be hard to just... take a look around in here.'
  7030. >You can at least tell she's bluffing on that.
  7031. >Your Twilight would've done that long ago if she was capable of it.
  7032. >Scan you regularly, punish you for every single unseen crime...
  7033. >The drinking you did with League alone would've had you getting a new fucking liver, you have no doubts that she would readily explode the thing inside of you just to prove a point about how underage drinking is bad.
  7034. "What reason would I have to hide anything from you? Look away."
  7035. >You keep your thoughts quiet and reserved until you can feel the pressure leave your head.
  7036. "Who's this foal of yours you're looking for?"
  7037. >"She looks just like you, minus the... burns and missing leg. Are you sure you didn't set off a bomb or something?"
  7038. >Fuckfuckfuck.
  7039. >You chuckle nervously.
  7040. "I'm a dumb fuck, fell on a radiator."
  7041. >"Language. That must've been some radiator."
  7042. "I say fell, but it was more like chained and forced into."
  7043. >"And I'm supposed to believe that?"
  7044. "And I'm supposed to believe you wouldn't break a filly's rib-"
  7045. >A magical choke-hold tightens around your neck.
  7046. >"I knew it."
  7047. >She holds down for a good fifteen seconds before letting go.
  7048. >You cough and gasp for Oxygen, feeling her eyes piercing your skull.
  7049. >"So you're the reason I lost my perfect little angel."
  7050. "The only way a filly could be perfect for you is if she were-"
  7051. >You lock eyes with her.
  7052. "You fucking didn't."
  7053. >"I did, and the only thing stopping me from doing it to you is that information in your skull."
  7054. "And the fact that you don't want to deal with having me take off this fucking crutch every time you want me to suck your tits."
  7055. >"Oh hey! Killer shower, Princess."
  7056. >The two of you look at Lyra simultaneously.
  7057. >"I've never felt anything like that, so many different types of shampoo too."
  7058. >Silence.
  7059. >"And all the rubber ducks! You have some sort of fetish or-"
  7060. >"I think I might just beat the shit out of the both of you. Might be cathartic."
  7061. >Be Anonymous.
  7062. >Wet.
  7063. >Blood?
  7064. >No, water.
  7065. >Shallow?
  7066. >No, deep.
  7067. >Dirty?
  7068. >No, clean.
  7069. >Safe to open your eyes.
  7070. >Lights.
  7071. >Other ponies.
  7072. >[i]Ponies.[/i]
  7073. >Her.
  7074. >Her.
  7075. >He-
  7076. >"Anon."
  7077. >Hard.
  7078. >Blood.
  7079. >Speak.
  7080. >Throat stuck.
  7081. >Something taps eye.
  7082. >Flutter it open.
  7083. >Dark.
  7084. >Note.
  7085. >'No sounds until you've recovered.'
  7086. >Exit?
  7087. >No, warmth.
  7088. >On your face.
  7089. >Not light.
  7090. >Body warmth.