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NECROPONY

By TheGearMan
Created: 19th December 2020 01:07:57 AM

  1. NECROPONY
  2. A Halloween Short by Solanon
  3.  
  4. >"Necromancy? You can't be serious, Anon."
  5. "Serious as I’ll ever be. C’mon, Twilight, it’s… wait, what’s your stupid Not-Halloween called again?”
  6. >”It’s Nightmare Night, and it’s late, Anon. I can’t believe you dragged me all the way out here just to do THIS.”
  7. >When you first brought up the idea of necromancy to Twilight, you had no idea she’d get so riled up about it
  8. >Apparently, that sort of magic is a lost art in Equestria; Starswirl the Bearded, her role model, had some mythical tome detailing it, but it’s been lost to time
  9. >Now, you’re about to show her what science can really do in comparison to magic
  10. >You’re walking together in the old cemetery now, Twilight looking up at you with a mixture of nervousness and annoyance on her face
  11. >”How did you even get into the library anyway?”
  12. “What? Oh, I used the spare key Pinkie gave me.”
  13. >”Pinkie gave you… ugh. Why did I EVER think I could trust her with that?”
  14. “She said things would be more fun if I had it.”
  15. >”Yeah, fun. You shook me awake, screamed some story about Discord being loose again in my half-asleep face, and now you’re telling me it was for nothing at all?”
  16. “Not nothing. You have no idea what I just discovered today. C’mon, keep up!”
  17. >You climb the next low hill, the dim yellow lantern lights of Ponyville far behind you
  18. >Ponies keep their dead far away from their living, for fear of some kind of superstitious curse that will manifest if the soul of a dead person transfers… well, it’s all made up anyway
  19. >For creatures so familiar with real, tangible magic, ponies have all sorts of crazy beliefs with no basis in reality
  20. >So now, about two miles north of the furthest northern stretch of the town, the two of you pass between the simple headstones of ponies long past
  21. >”I thought we already had this conversation, Anon. There’s no surviving spell for resurrection. Once a pony’s gone, they’re gone for good, and not even Starswirl could bring them back without terrible consequences. They came back deformed, they came back… something else.”
  22. “Look, Twilight. I’m doing this for you more than anybody… er, anypony. That’s why I brought you along. I think you’re the most rational of everyone I’ve met here thus far, and certainly the most interested in what I’ve got to offer you.”
  23. >”Offer? If this is about that thing you talked about when you were drunk…”
  24. “What? No, Jesus. Get your mind out of the gutter, horse.”
  25. >”YOU get your mind out of the gutter! You’re the one that said it! ‘Oh, Twilight, why don’t we just get some tanning oil, get one of Rarity’s dress mannequins, and…”
  26. “Shhh! Will you stop it! That isn’t what I’m saying!”
  27. >”Then what?”
  28. “I’m talking about science. Human science, Twilight. I’ll say it now so that there’s no confusion between us. I think I can resurrect a dead pony using nothing but what I know from Chemistry 101.”
  29. >Twilight stops in her tracks and stares at you
  30. >It’s a somewhat frightening stare, since you’re not sure whether she’s startled or enraged in this light, but all the same those giant purple eyes are looking into your soul
  31. >What does she think she knows?
  32. >”Anon… if this is some kind of practical joke…”
  33. “It isn’t.”
  34. >”Because the foals all went home at nine, and I thought I could finally get some sleep for once, and if you’ve brought me out here just to terrify me with one of your stupid practical jokes…”
  35. “I’m not.”
  36. >”Then you can just call it quits right now. Let me guess, is Pinkie hiding behind that tree there? Is she going to jump out all covered in corn syrup and toilet paper?”
  37. >You sigh
  38. >You completely expected this reaction, but you’re not going to get annoyed by it
  39. >It’s natural, after all, to react this way when you’re at risk of getting your entire worldview overturned
  40. >But this knowledge was presented to you so suddenly, so startlingly, that you knew you had no option but to test it in her presence
  41. >If it doesn’t work, then you can both just pretend like this never happened, right?
  42. >But if it does work… then you’ll have Twilight as a witness
  43. >And you doubt anypony will have reason to doubt her when she backs you up
  44. >So you kneel down and rest your hand on her wither, causing Twilight to spook away at first but then gradually become comfortable with your touch
  45. “Twilight, this could be big. This could be the most important discovery you or I have ever made. Didn’t I teach you about the atomic structure to the best of my abilities? Didn’t I supply you with Maxwell’s equations, and their gravitational equivalents?”
  46. >”Yes. But you’re also an insane person who delights in playing tricks on me. And to pick Nightmare Night of all nights for some hackneyed experiment with raising the dead… I’m not buying it.”
  47. “Look. Pony bodies are flesh and blood, just like humans, right?”
  48. >”Well… not exactly like humans. Pony cells are still mostly water and what you call carbon, but we lack nitrogen. You confirmed that much already. We have silicate compounds instead.”
  49. “Hence why I need these.”
  50. >You pull the case of nitrate supplements out of your pocket and juggle it in your hand
  51. “Your proteins are silicon-based. Your muscles, your skin, your manes, your DNA… hell, I thought you were all artificial when I first examined you on a microscopic level. Some kind of robotics experiment cooked up by a demigod. But when I realized you weren’t, that you’re entirely organic, my next question was this: why don’t ponies EXHALE silicates? I mean, we carbon-based lifeforms feed our plant cousins with the nitrogen we exude, just as they feed us in turn with oxygen. So how does the cycle work here in Equestria? When you breathe out, what does your breath carry?”
  52. >Twilight scratches her chin with one hoof and then brushes her mane nervously
  53. >”Um… I don’t remember. You told me once, but it’s slipped my mind.”
  54. “I’ll give you a hint: I’m not gasping for breath right now, nor are my blood vessels exploding. The air composition in Equestria is nearly identical to that of Earth; roughly 80% nitrogen with enough oxygen to sustain my species without any sort of breathing apparatus.  Ponies, and by extension all animal species in Equestria, still exhale nitrogen. That in turn is absorbed by plants, who produce the oxygen you and I breathe, yadda yadda.”
  55. >”You didn’t tell me this part before. What’s in the duffle bag, anyway?”
  56. “A few things. For starters, this.”
  57. >You throw the black bag off your shoulder and unzip it, producing from its folds a periodic chart you brought with you when you were transported here
  58. “Recognize this?”
  59. >Twilight giggles
  60. >”I should. You only emphasized its importance about a million times when we were first sharing information.”
  61. >You point to the square labeled ‘N’
  62. ”Nitrogen. Element 7. Atomic weight approximately 14.006 u, that’s seven protons and seven neutrons. What’s seven times two?”
  63. >”Fourteen. I may be smaller than you, Anon, but I’m not in grade school.”
  64. “Element 14. Silicon. Atomic weight 28.084 u, fourteen protons and fourteen neutrons in its base state, but most commonly found in nature as one of an assortment of oxide compounds.”
  65. >You lick your lips in anticipation of Twilight’s expected reaction
  66. “Semiconductor.”
  67. >Surprisingly, this single word doesn’t immediately make the sparks fly, as Twilight continues to merely look at you
  68. >”You’re saying… silicon turns to nitrogen within a pony’s body?”
  69. “I’m saying it occurs instantaneously, that as soon as the compound within you that’s analogous to our own ATP carrier degenerates into waste silicates, those silicates at some point during the exhalation process fission into nitrates. Fourteen divided by two, Twilight. Do you see?”
  70. >”You told me… you told me fission… you told me it was a dangerous process. Destructive!”
  71. >Growing tired of kneeling, you stand and continue, letting Twilight follow closely behind
  72. >Though this time, she doesn’t follow; instead, she stands her ground, as though demanding an answer
  73. “The horizon’s nice this time of night. There’s a bit of a glow to it.”
  74. >”Don’t, Anon. You told me—”
  75. “I told you that nuclear fission is what powers the atomic bomb. I told you it also powers nuclear energy sources. When stabilized, it can result in something beautiful, something highly efficient. When unstable, it can cause devastation. Within your body, Twilight… within every pony’s body… well, this is only theoretical, of course. I’ve had no way of proving it until now.”
  76. >”Tell me.”
  77. >You’re surprised by the command in her tone
  78. >You suppose she does have to wrangle her friends from time to time in saving the world, or whatever it is they do when they’re not just jacking it over the power of friendship
  79. “Within every pony’s body, there may well be a miniature nuclear reactor. Some miracle of biology, something crafted by a divine hand, what have you… but the energy that powers your heart, your brain, your everything, is nuclear in nature. Very small amounts at a time, but when concentrated in bursts… well, you didn’t think a unicorn’s magical energy came from nowhere, did you? The pegasus’ ability to lift their body off the ground with those tiny wings? An earth pony’s feats of impossible strength?”
  80. >”No… that can’t be, Anon. If you’re saying what I think you’re saying, then magic is…”
  81. “Magic is a force I’ll probably never understand. But if this works out, then I’ll at least know how ponies are able to use it without destroying themselves. Which brings me to the next item in my little bag here, and… by the way, do you know if there’s any rhyme or reason to the layout of this place?”
  82. >”Uh?”
  83. >Twilight shakes her head and finally starts to trot behind you
  84. >”I’m still trying to process what you just said to me. Nuclear fission within ponies... but yes, the cemetery’s apparently organized by year, but there’s always a few outliers who—”
  85. “Never mind. I found it.”
  86. >”Found what?”
  87. >You gesture ahead of you at the headstone you’ve been searching for
  88. >”’Pumpkin Spice, 939-957. Our little unicorn. May she rest in harmony.’ Only eighteen. That’s horrible.”
  89. “It’s just what I need. A young unicorn, the body preferably between thirty and fifty years old. Under these conditions…”
  90. >Before you can even pull more than the hilt of the shovel you brought with you out of the bag, Twilight realizes it
  91. >”Anon, no.”
  92. >The magenta pony backs away from you and stands fiercely, her horn glowing with elemental magic
  93. >”If you’re even considering what I think you’re considering, then I won’t hesitate to stun you right here and now. I’ve never stunned a friend before, but—”
  94. “That’s what you consider me? Your friend?”
  95. >”I…”
  96. >The magic in Twilight’s horn dims slightly, giving you an opportunity to move closer
  97. >”Of course you’re my friend, Anon.”
  98. “Then don’t fight me on this. Have you never considered what your precious Starswirl had to do to test his own necromancy spells? You think he never plundered a graveyard?”
  99. >”It was a different time. And that’s neither here nor there. If you want to play with cadavers, then you can go ask the mortician, but I won’t go along with this.”
  100. “No. You just think you won’t. You hope you won’t. See, Twilight, the process that gives your body energy is both simpler and far more difficult to replicate than with humans. We can stimulate human corpses with electrical impulses, but we can do nothing to restore brain activity. To put it in the simplest terms, we don’t conduct well enough. It isn’t self-sustaining like a chain reaction is. But you… if we could get Pumpkin Spice here breathing again, if we could stimulate her lungs…”
  101. >”Then WHAT? Even if you could do all that, she’d still be vegetative! She’d have no memories, she’d have no… oh. Oh, Celestia. That’s why I’m really here, isn’t it?”
  102. >You can do nothing but grin, and plant the shovel deep into the earth
  103. “You’ve got experience with restoring memories, haven’t you, Twilight Sparkle?”
  104.  
  105. ~~~~~
  106.  
  107. >In the end, she went along with it
  108. >You knew from the beginning she would, that she only needed a little convincing that what you’re doing has merit
  109. >If it were just digging up and defiling a corpse, then sweet little Twilight Sparkle, guardian of friendship, would want nothing to do with it
  110. >But if it were for science, and if it had a chance of working, well then…
  111. >”This thing is heavy, Anon. And I’m afraid we’re going to be seen. Will you hurry up?”
  112. “Relax. Everyone’s just gonna think we’re carrying a decoration or something. Look around, huh? There are fake coffins everywhere.”
  113. >You point out the Carousel Boutique across the street, where Rarity has lovingly positioned several of her mannequins in horrific poses as they rise out of wooden caskets like zombies
  114. >”But this one’s REAL… and the smell, sweet Celestia…”
  115. “Everyone’s inside, Twi. The party’s over. And besides, even if we did get caught, what’s the harm? It’s a science experiment, nothing more.”
  116. >With Twilight’s levitation spell assisting you on one end, the two of you haul the coffin containing Pumpkin Spice’s body through the candlelit streets of Ponyville
  117. >The air’s quiet at this hour, even on Nightmare Night; with all the foals back inside enjoying the spoils of their trick-or-treating, the festivities have died down
  118. >You’ve seen a few ponies strolling here and there, but none of them have paid you much mind
  119. >This really is the perfect night for something like this…
  120. >“What makes you think this body’s even going to be able to sustain life, Anon? Despite all the scary movies you might’ve seen, if a body hasn’t got a brain at all it’s not going to come back to life.”
  121. ”Ponies decompose slower than humans, don’t they? That’s what you told me.”
  122. >“Slower doesn’t mean not at all. This body was buried almost forty-five years ago, it’s not going to be a pretty sight.”
  123. >You sigh as the weight of the casket starts to get to you
  124. >What kind of wood is this, tungstenwood?
  125. “I couldn’t get a more recent one, those parts of the cemetery are more frequented. We don’t want someone tripping and falling into the hole we just dug out and blowing the whole thing before it even gets started. But more so than that, you also told me unicorn bodies are a bit less susceptible to the effects of age than other ponies due to their intrinsic magical field.”
  126. >”But aging isn’t the same as decomposition. Aging is cellular breakdown, right? And decomposition is mostly bacterial in nature.”
  127. “Partly. But the biggest cause of that breakdown is the shortening of telomeres in chromosomes, and—”
  128. >”Chromosomes? That thing you told Rainbow Dash she has too many of?”
  129. >You stifle a chuckle, and continue
  130. “Yes, those.”
  131. >”She should really get that checked out.”
  132. “Telomeres are protein caps for our DNA. Humans have them, ponies have them. The amino acids in YOURS, however, contain silicates. Silicates we can electrically polarize and isolate.”
  133. >”And if I applied a restoring charm just to those silicates in a static field… Anon, you’re a genius!”
  134. “I like to try.”
  135. >”But wait… all this extra work, just because the body isn’t as fresh as it could’ve been? There were other workarounds, you know.”
  136. “Avoiding detection wasn’t the only reason I chose a body this old, Twilight. We can reverse the effects of the decomposition using telomere restoration, but not only is that assuming the DNA is intact, but also that the body won’t just explode into fluffy little bits as soon as we charge every cell in it at once. I did some rough math, and it looks like a cadaver thirty to fifty years old would have just enough silicate deposition to let us charge it, but not enough to cause a catastrophe like that. It’s a safe zone, if you will.”
  137. >”I still don’t feel right about what we did back there. What we’re about to do.”
  138. “Look, Twilight, the worse that might happen is that we shock a body and nothing happens. That’ll be the case if the brain’s already got too much missing to regenerate when we fire the telomeres off. But the telomeres of an eighteen-year old should be long enough that regeneration shouldn’t be a problem with an isolated burst, and even if, say, 70% of the brain is still there, we might just be in business.”
  139. >”And if this doesn’t work the first time… you promise we’ll just go right back and bury this pony again?”
  140. “Bottom of my black, twisted heart. Well, what do you know? We’re here.”
  141. >The arched doorway of Twilight’s tree home stretches over you, and you practically kick in the door just so that you can set this casket down sooner
  142. >”Be quiet, Anon! Spike’s sleeping, you know.”
  143. “Would he tell anybody if he knew what we were doing?”
  144. >”I… I don’t think so. He can keep a secret.”
  145. “Good. Then go wake him up, we could use an extra pair of hands… er… claws.”
  146. >While Twilight heads upstairs to retrieve her faithful assistant, you set the casket down gently on a tabletop and carefully unhinge the lid
  147. >Now that you think about it, you never did even check to see if there was even a body inside… that would’ve been awkward
  148. >But sure enough, you open the lid fully, and below you lies the small, withered body of Pumpkin Spice
  149. >Bacteria in Equestria must really like hair, because the first thing you notice is that she’s completely bald save for a few short strands of pale orange mane
  150. >Her fur is the color of cardboard, either naturally or due to decomposition or both, and it’s matted and moldy in spots but mostly intact
  151. >Her muzzle is eaten through; so many mucus membranes attracted a lot of hungry customers, because her teeth are totally exposed through what used to be her lips and her nostrils are about three times the size they should be
  152. >Other than that, however, aside from a few sticky puddles here and there where certain things used to be, she almost looks like she’s sleeping
  153. >Her eyes… you wonder if her eyes remain
  154. >You part the lids with your forefinger and thumb, and while they’ve glossed over and lost their pigment the eyes are also intact
  155. >God, decomposition in Equestria is fucking bananas…
  156. >You close the eyes and lift her head and neck together so as not to break anything
  157. >There’s no apparent decay in the brain from the outside, but just to be safe you’re going to cut her open and see for yourself
  158. >”Anon? He’s up. He’ll be down in a few minutes.”
  159. >You turn around to see Twilight silhouetted against the staircase
  160. “Good. Thanks. He’s got no problem working with a dead body?”
  161. >Twilight squirms in place
  162. >”I told him… that it’s a decoration. For a haunted house. That you’re trying to make it look as realistic as possible.”
  163. “Pffft. Nice cover. What’ll he think when he smells it?”
  164. >”The smell’s not THAT bad, I doubt he’ll—oh Celestia!”
  165. >Twilight reels away from the sight of the corpse as soon as she lays eyes on it
  166. >For a second it looks like she’s going to retch, but after a few heavy breaths she seems to control herself
  167. “All good?”
  168. >”N-no, it’s not ‘all good,’ Anon! Celestia, it’s terrible…”
  169. “What exactly did you expect? And if it makes you feel any better, human corpses look and smell a hell of a lot worse. This is downright peachy in comparison.”
  170. >”Fine. I’ll try to suppress my conscience for a little while.”
  171. “That’s the spirit.”
  172. >Twilight approaches your makeshift operating table, and together you lift the body entirely out of the coffin so that you can toss the latter aside
  173. >You give the limp body entirely over to Twilight’s levitation field, then lay a few sheets of cloth over the table for her to rest it on
  174. >”You know, this could’ve waited. Under different circumstances, this wouldn’t have felt as wrong as it does. We could’ve gotten a cadaver from donation, we could’ve made a PROPER procedure out of it, we could’ve… why are you smiling?”
  175. “Does any of that sound like something I’d do, Twilight?”
  176. >”What, planning ahead? NOT throwing something insane together on a whim? You’re right, what was I thinking…”
  177. “Speaking of throwing something together, I’m still expecting someone to show up…”
  178. >”Show up? Don’t tell me you invited… no. Please no.”
  179. >”YES!”
  180. >Before Twilight even has a chance to smack her hoof against her forehead, the front door bursts open again, and a terrible shadow is cast across the floor
  181. >It’s bobbing up and down, practically trembling from excitement and fear, and it’s also covered in… wait, are those bits of rubber?
  182. >”Nonny! You didn’t tell me Twilight would be here too! Now it’s a party!”
  183. >”Pinkie…”
  184. >You step forward to greet the pink pony, but she bounds twice as fast towards you and nearly tackles you to the floor
  185. “Guh… you hit harder than you think you do, Ponks.”
  186. >”I didn’t hurt you, did I, Anon?”
  187. “Nahhh. You know I’m made of tougher stuff than that. And how could Twilight not be in on this? We’re meeting at her place.”
  188. >”Ohhhh… didn’t even think of that!”
  189. >”Yes, and without my permission, mind you. Apparently the two of you had this all figured out before you even clued me in, did you?”
  190. >You scoop up Pinkie and squeeze her against your side, which elicits a giggle from her
  191. “I gave her the broad strokes. If ya know what I mean…”
  192. >”Heehee! Don’t be WEIRD, Nonny!”
  193. “I could say the same to you. What in the hell are you wearing?”
  194. >Pinkie jumps down and does a twirl, showing off what looks to be a bunch of brightly colored rubber strands taped to every inch of her body
  195. >”I’m the scariest thing known to any partygoer… a POPPED BALLOON! Nopony likes a balloon after it’s been popped!”
  196. “You never cease to amaze. So, you ready to get started?”
  197. >”Ready freddy! Let’s take a look at the—oh!”
  198. >Pinkie rushes up to examine the corpse strewn across the table, laughing as she pokes at various parts of its withered figure
  199. >”It’s so squishy!”
  200. >Twilight sighs
  201. >”Wouldn’t have thought she’d have the stomach for this… she knows that’s a real body, right?”
  202. “Like I said, broad strokes. She doesn’t know where we got it from, just that we’re going to be reanimating it. Since she’s got a penchant for getting herself out of sticky situations, I figured I’d keep her handy. For luck.”
  203. >”Luck. We’re going to need a lot of that, Anon.”
  204. >Together, you and Twilight move to join Pinkie around Pumpkin Spice’s body, with you donning surgical gloves as they watch
  205. >You reach into your duffle bag and pull out a scalpel, which you carefully incise into the top of the head
  206. >Twilight cringes, while Pinkie seems more intensely focused than she’s ever been in her life
  207. >After cutting vertically about three inches, you pull apart the folds and examine the brain
  208. >Thank God ponies are so soft, otherwise this would take forever
  209. >The brain is stale and dark, and there’s no blood flow from the incision, but it doesn’t seem to be decomposed in any meaningful capacity
  210. “Let’s see… there are patterns of decay around the occipital lobe and prefrontal cortex, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. If your regenerative spell does its job, Twilight, those should be restored given enough patience.”
  211. >”There ARE limits to what my spell can do, Anon. If we can isolate the telomeres and prompt rapid cellular growth, fine, but who’s to say there won’t be mutations? Who’s to say the regenerated tissue will come back just the way it was?”
  212. “The brain’s a complex instrument, but like everything else in the body it’s replaced bit by bit over time. Leave the details to the DNA. It won’t be an exact science, but it’ll be close enough for a first go.”
  213. >”Close enough? We’re talking about reanimating this pony. What if she comes to life and she’s blind, deaf, and screaming in agony?”
  214. “Then we put her out of her misery. That was the arrangement, wasn’t it?”
  215. >”Nonny… will this pony remember who she was? Will she… be a zombie?”
  216. “Twilight and I discussed this earlier. Twilight, why don’t you tell her?”
  217. >The unicorn sighs, and reluctantly complies with your request
  218. >As both ponies continue watching your fingers pry at the corpse’s scalp, she begins to speak
  219. >”I have a rudimentary understanding of memory restoration magic. When Anonymous arrived in Equestria, his memories weren’t complete. He knew who he was and that he was in a strange place, but the details of his arrival eluded him due to trauma he’d endured in the transportation process. I was able to acquire a tome from Celestia’s collection in Canterlot and performed an incantation that restored those details. Restoring a pony’s entire memory from a cadaver, however… that’s another story.”
  220. “See, Pinkie, as a raging fedoralord it’s difficult for me to invoke the concept of the soul, but the latent magical fields surrounding the brains of ponies endure even after brain death. They last indefinitely so long as the matter keeps its relative shape, and once we jumpstart the respiratory process Twilight will be able to… how did you put it, Twilight?”
  221. >”Ugh. I MAY be able to perform the same memory restoration spell after everything else is functioning again, including the brain. But the problem is that the spell uses existing memories to extrapolate the lost ones, albeit extraordinarily accurately. If we let the jumpstarted brain go for too long without performing the spell, the old and new memories might start to overlap. It could… complicate things. Corrupt the mind.”
  222. >Pinkie swoons at this
  223. >”So it WILL be a zombie! Nonny, don’t let the zombie eat our brains! Hoh! What if it eats YOUR brains!? If human brains are tastier than pony brains, that might buy us some time, Twilight!”
  224. >You chuckle, removing your fingers from the brain tissue and stitching up the hole hastily
  225. “Relax, Ponks. Nobody’s eating anybody’s brains. We’re talking some mild disorientation, maybe a readjustment period, but now we’re talking extreme hypotheticals, and there’s no point in that. All we need to say right now is that the memories are the key to the consciousness. We need Pumpkin Spice here to recognize herself first before she can recognize her surroundings.”
  226. >Twilight peers at the body’s head, particularly into its lifeless eyes
  227. >”Is the… ahem, incision properly stitched?”
  228. “Believe so. Where’s Spike?”
  229. >”I don’t know. Maybe it’s better he’s not down here for this.”
  230. “He can suit himself. Ready for the moment of truth?”
  231. >”As I’ll ever be. How are we going to charge the telomeres?”
  232. >You decide to answer Twilight’s question with action rather than words, reaching again into your duffle bag
  233. >From it, you produce a large battery, a bundle of jumper cables, syringes and needles, saline solution, a voltage regulator, insulation pads, a microscope, three pairs of goggles, a pacemaker, and a respirator valve
  234. >Simple, but effective
  235. >”Celestia, is that bag bottomless, Anon?”
  236. “Nope. Just very heavy. Pinkie, jot this down, will you?”
  237. >”Aye aye, Cap’n Nonny!”
  238. >Pinkie dashes out of the room in the blink of an eye, and returns with a notepad and pen drawn between her lips, ready to write
  239. “Alright, to review. Step one is polarizing and reanimating the telomeres. Regenerating the lost cells so that respiration can begin.”
  240. >You fill two syringes with saline solution and insert them into Pumpkin Spice’s throat and hindleg, much to Twilight’s dismay
  241. “We need an arc through the heart. That should stimulate the brain if we can get enough live blood flowing.”
  242. >You carefully pull the plugs from each syringe and replace them with cable ends, attaching the other ends to the battery on the table
  243. >With the regulator then completing the circuit, you gradually increase the voltage passing through the body
  244. >Slow and steady…
  245. “Mary Shelley, eat your heart out.”
  246. >”What was that?”
  247. “Nothing.”
  248. >The low hum of your apparatus raises in pitch as the resistance within the body diminishes
  249. >You cut a small portion of dead flesh out of the body’s flank and pass it under the microscope
  250. >Once in focus, the dead cells seem to be wavering slightly from the current which had just been flowing through them
  251. >You eye Twilight across the table; she’s looking more nervous than ever
  252. >Pinkie, on the other hand, is waiting attentively on the wings for her next order
  253. “Just so this is repeatable, Pinkie, go ahead and mark down the current voltage. Twilight, I’m going to raise it slightly, because I think the proteins might be close to being ionized. The silicates are all about to align. I need you to focus very, very hard. This is going to require some precision.”
  254. >”I… I’m ready. I think.”
  255. “You sure?”
  256. >”I’m sure.”
  257. >Nodding, you grab the respirator and pull it over what’s left of Pumpkin Spice’s mouth, also making sure that her throat is wide open enough to accept oxygen
  258. >You align the pump and start its cycle, listening to its low, artificial breath as oxygen is pumped into the space of her lungs
  259. “Look into the microscope, Twilight. Envision the telomeres, the proteins within the very DNA of this body. Watch them align with one another, charged by the system. You need to restore them, Twilight. You need to cast a restorative spell on just a single one of those telomeres. Doing so will cause a chain reaction. Not THE chain reaction we ultimately want, but still necessary. Can you see it?”
  260. >”I… I see something. I see a strange shape. I see something floating in the blackness. What you’re describing… I can feel its energy. I know it’s there, if I can just… yes. I think I can do it. I really think I’ve got a hold of it, Anon.”
  261. “Good. On my mark, fire it.”
  262. >In an instant, you spike the allotted voltage, and the hum reaches a fever pitch
  263. “Mark!”
  264. >Twilight gasps as her violet aura cracks through the air, arcing towards a single point on Pumpkin Spice’s outstretched body
  265. >And then, a miracle happens
  266. >Color returns to the corpse’s coat, even if just a little bit; a few of the decayed regions strewn across the surface of the body begin to close and heal
  267. >Twilight’s spell isn’t healing the body, per se; it just accelerated the natural processes of the body to an extreme degree
  268. >But what this means, ultimately, is…
  269. “It’s working. By God, it’s working. Pinkie, keep that respirator tight!”
  270. >”Stat!”
  271. >”Ohhh, Anon, it’s starting to hurt!”
  272. “Just a few moments longer, Twilight! It’s going to be self-sustaining soon!”
  273. >Now that the body’s self-repairing, you plunge the pacemaker into the soup of flesh surrounding the heart, flicking it to life and letting it stabilize the organ
  274. >Though there’s no blood flowing yet, there will be if you can just make the bitch breathe…
  275. >Pinkie clamps the respirator tight around the dead skin on Pumpkin’s muzzle, which is currently transmuting into what you’d expect from a pony
  276. >The lips swell and surround the exposed teeth, the nostrils close into a long pointed shape, and the equine contours of her face become more apparent than ever
  277. >You watch the pump push pure oxygen into her lungs, imagine the processes occurring within, that somewhere along the line those silicate carriers are splitting at the nuclear level, splitting into nitrogen…
  278. >”Anon!”
  279. “Almost there!”
  280. >”Anon, I can’t… I can’t hold the spell… I’m slipping…”
  281. “Twilight… God, there’s too much blockage! There’s got to be a way to permit passage, jumpstart the chain reaction… if just a single fission reaction occurs, the rest’ll go off like dynamite!”
  282. >”Twilight… ugh, what’s with all the noise? I thought you were—”
  283. >”Spike! Celestia, Spike…”
  284. >”Twilight!”
  285. >Out of the corner of your eye, a small purple figure launches itself down the staircase on stubby legs, rushing towards Twilight’s shuddering form
  286. >He grips Twilight’s side to keep her upright; she looks like she’s about to pass out, after all
  287. >”What are you doing? What’s happening?!”
  288. “Glad you could make it, little fella! Now, can you do me a favor?”
  289. >”A favor? Mister Anonymous, I really have to—HEY!”
  290. >You pluck Spike off the ground and steady Twilight against your own leg, putting the dragon face to face with the body on the table
  291. >”AAAHHHHHHHHHH!”
  292. >You pull the respirator to the side, leaving Pumpkin Spice’s mouth wide open and level with Spike’s
  293. “BREATHE!”
  294. >With one hard slap to the back, you force Spike to spew green fire into the open mouth and down into the lungs
  295. >With any luck, it should open the cavity for good, and the regenerative spell should take care of any incendiary damage within
  296. >You set down the apparently traumatized Spike and wrap the respirator mask back around the body’s mouth, letting the pump do its work
  297. >Then, it happens
  298. >Pumpkin Spice’s barrel begins to heave, first a little, then a lot
  299. >Up and down, up and down…
  300. “Release it, Twilight! Now!”
  301. >”Agh!”
  302. >Twilight’s regenerative arc dies, and her rapid breathing matches that of the body on the table
  303. >She stays on her hooves, though; that’s the important part
  304. >Her usefulness here hasn’t yet expired
  305. “Okay. Okay, okay, okay. Pinkie, make sure the breathing stays normal. Don’t let apnea occur, that’s a break in breathing. If that happens, and it becomes erratic, then we can’t get the brain working again.”
  306. >”Roger, Nonny!”
  307. >”Anonymous!”
  308. >Spike’s stout form looks you squarely in the eye, and you meet his frenzied gaze
  309. >”Twilight told me this was just going to be a decoration! Is this a real body?”
  310. “As real as the world is round, my friend. And we’re about to make it sing.”
  311. >”I’m gonna be sick…”
  312.  
  313. ~~~~~
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