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/bootleg/ - Apuljyak by MexicanCactus

By BlueGem
Created: 2021-07-16 21:31:33
Updated: 2021-01-15 00:13:56
Expiry: Never

  1. >it was a nice and warm sunny day
  2. >maybe a little more than usual, but it was still nice
  3. >living as a wheat farmer has more benefits than you initially thought
  4. >great and vast open spaces, fresh air, you grow your own food in your orchard pretty much for free
  5. >One would have never expect for an old and busted hut like yours to actually have a working computer, with internet none the less
  6. >it was pretty small at the beginning, the owner of the farm gave it to you when you took the job, since traveling all the way from the city to the fields it’s kind of difficult
  7. >the entire thing was just one big room, made out of wood and galvanized steel sheets
  8. >you kitchen, living room, and bedroom had nothing to separate them from each other
  9. >the bathroom was the exception...since it was outside
  10. >with the passing of time you customized it at your liking, first, you added some extra rooms to make a proper kitchen, living room and bedroom
  11. >your orchard and porch came next
  12. >you were young when you took this job, and your, now proper house, grew up along with you
  13. >it may not be perfect, and it may be somewhat isolated from the other huts where the rest of your farming partners live, but its home, sweet, sweet, lonely home
  14. >you were never much of a “people” person, so it never really bothered you to be alone most of the time
  15. >you have your co-workers but you don’t really consider them as friends, they offer a small chit-chat from time to time, but that’s only when you cross paths when harvesting the wheat
  16. >so, as a result you spent pretty much your free time doing two things
  17. >improving your house
  18. >and watching cartoons and browsing some forums here and there on your PC
  19. >eventually, you found out about MLP and quickly grew fond to it
  20. >the cute episodes and colorful scenarios always cheered you up
  21. >and it had colorful horses, you are always surrounded by horses, so it felt natural for you to like it
  22. >every time a new episode came out you were always the first one to finish the wheat quota and ran straight to home to watch it
  23. >it was always sad that the Applejack episodes were “ok” at best most of the time, after all, she was your favorite of the gang
  24. >you even had a small plastic toy that you always carried with you as your keychain
  25. >…it’s pretty hard to get stuff delivered this far away from the city, so this is the only show related thing that you owned
  26. >at least for the next week
  27. >a couple of days ago, you somehow managed to get your hands on a “limited edition applejack-bot”
  28. >it was pretty expensive, but the thought of having your own applejack, living with you and actually talking to her was pretty exciting
  29. >they also told you that she will learn from you and even adapt herself to your needs, that sounds pretty much like the applejack from the show, and you love it
  30. >she will be arriving in the next couple of days according to the store´s page
  31. >it’s amazing that such prestigious store got such a shady looking internet page, but they deliver all around the world, so you know a store with this amount of coverage gotta be legit
  32. >but as excited as you are, you have to sleep, you are the “waking rooster” next morning, so you have to wake up early to start your daily routine.
  33. >its around 04:00 AM
  34. >the sun is not even out, but since you went to bed pretty early yesterday you feel like you had enough rest
  35. >you already had a quick breakfast consisting mostly of eggs and bacon with an apple and milk
  36. >the breakfast of champs
  37. >now the only thing left to do is to go and wake everyone up so you can start with your day
  38. >you stretch as you open the main door of your cozy house
  39. >as soon as you take a step out of your house you are greeted with a bump
  40. >it’s a plain brown box covered almost in its entirety with grey tape
  41. >it’s a big one, slightly lower than the height of your hip
  42. Oh no way…
  43. >you rub your hands in excitement
  44. >you grab the box and do your best to get it inside your house, but the box it’s just slightly larger than the door frame, so you can’t actually get it inside
  45. Fuck, I wasn’t expecting it to be this big…is it real-live-sized? I don’t remember them mentioning the size of it…guess i´ll have to unpack it here
  46. >you run inside your house for a knife and come back to slice the box open
  47. >it’s the thick kind of cardboard, so you struggled a little to get your applejack out
  48. >after a couple of minutes of slashing, the box just fell into pieces, a small torrent of foam peanuts came out of it first, followed by a couple of disks and instruction manuals
  49. >and at the very end, what you were expecting since you made your order
  50. >your very own…tiny applejack
  51. >it was around the height of your shin
  52. Hmm, maybe all this foam it’s to keep it safe, makes sense, after all, this bot was really expensive
  53. >she is inside a plastic box, like one of those amibos that you have seen in the internet
  54. >as you crouched to pick the box up, you noticed that something wasn’t completely right with her
  55. >Why is she mustard yellow?
  56. >why is the joint from her front right leg exposed?
  57. …Is that woody´s hat from toy story?
  58. >Oh son of a bitch!
  59. Oh son of a bitch!
  60. >you say as you see that the page for the store its now gone
  61. >you tried refreshing it and even accessing in from different browsers, but all you get it’s a 404 error
  62. Twelve thousand dollars! God Fucking Dammit!
  63. >you let your arms fall to your sides as you slump into your armchair
  64. I knew it, I fucking knew it! What internet page ends with “.fcku”? ...FUCK!
  65. >you sigh as your view lands on the manual sheet on top of your old wooden table next to you
  66. “to start your new applejack™ simply connect it to your computer and run disc one, after the installation process its completed, run disc two, make sure to let your applejack get enough charge after the installation process is completed”…
  67. >you flip the manual sheet only to find a blank page
  68. Is that it? …Jesus fucking-fine, let’s just hope they only fucked up the exterior model…
  69. >you go to your computer and open the disk tray
  70. >you just noticed it also has a floppy disk reader bellow the disk one…you have to get a new computer
  71. >you put disk one in and run the installation program
  72. >after a couple of minutes, the installation program is done configurating itself
  73. Ok, now I just take this cable and plug it…where do i plu-Aha! There you are.
  74. >you take her stupid woody hat away and plug the usb cable to the back of her head
  75. >even touching the hat feels like a rip-off, it’s made of some kind of cheap smooth plastic, you are sure that thing wasn’t made to last for long
  76. >applejack herself feels a pretty light, almost like she were empty inside, even though you can see the exo-skeleton exposed in her right front leg, you can even feel it moving from side to side every time you move applejack to any angle that is not her standing position
  77. >her “skin” feels rough like a sack and her mane and tail feel like the plushies that you win on those claw games
  78. >you run disk two and see a window pop-up in your screen
  79. “This process might take several hours, please be patient”
  80. >you sigh as you see the clock on the corner of your screen
  81. >04:30 AM
  82. Shit, im gonna be late
  83. >you take your jacket and go on your way, leaving your applejack next to the computer, hoping for the best to happen while you are gone for the day.
  84. >you exit your house and run to the opposite side of the horse stables between your house and those of your partners
  85. >the first rays of sun are starting to shine out of the mountains back, so whatever its not getting a direct hit of light its covered in total darkness
  86. >you stumble your way to the “rooster bell”, that’s the name you and your partners gave to the bell next to the huts, everyday somebody has to wake up earlier than everybody else and ring the bell so everybody wakes up, today it was your turn and you are late
  87. Shit! shit! shit! shit!
  88. >you take the small hammer and hit the bell several times, sounding the waking signal that everybody is so used to
  90. >you leave the hammer and run back to the stables, hitting your head in the way back with a hook hanging in front of the main door
  91. AAH! SONOVA!
  92. >you shake the pain away as you release and lace 5 horses, one for each including yours
  93. >a voice can be heard from the other side of the stable
  94. >”hey! Anon! What gives? You are late today!”
  95. >”dan git, now ah don´ave tahm ta eet muh breakfust!”
  96. >”uuughhhh…”
  97. >fuckin-are you serious, anon?!”
  98. >shit, today is gonna be one of those days
  99. Sorry fellas! Got tangled in my sheets today!
  100. >you walk the horses behind you as you walk to the edge of the main fence
  101. >there is not much in the near vicinity, just the path of dirt that you and your co-workers take every day to collect the daily wheat
  102. >”yeah roight, Ah bet yeu stood woke wotchin´ them cartun pawnis ahgain! BAHAH!”
  103. Could you not, please? At least not today?
  104. >your co-workers mock you as they mount their horses and ride to the wheat fields
  105. >a sigh escapes you as you mount your horse
  106. C´mon girl, the faster we get that wheat, the faster we can get home, eyaah!.
  107. >it’s around midday, the sun shines brightly as you collect the wheat with your sickle
  108. >you wear a ten-gallon hat and a bandanna to protect you from the sun
  109. >a big backpack almost filled to the brim slightly drags you down with every step you take, that thing gets really heavy really fast
  110. >your breath gets heavier and drier with every minute that passes as you watch the rest of your co-workers collecting their respective wheat at the distance
  111. I swear to god, if that bot it’s not working by the time im back…
  112. >you take a sip out of your canteen, drinking the last drop of water that was left
  113. Why did it have to be so hot today?
  114. >you hear your name at the distance
  115. >”oi! Anon! we leaving early today! Take care of whats left from our bags, will ya?”
  116. What the fuck? Why would I do that?
  117. >you scream back
  118. >”maybe because you woke us later than usual and we haven’t eaten since morning, so this is all your fault, now shut up and fill what’s left of our bags”
  119. What? No! im not-
  120. >you want to finish your sentence, but you are rudely interrupted by several horses running pass your side
  121. …doing your…
  122. >you see four backpacks filled at 3/4s of their maximum capacity just sitting on the ground not too far away from where you are currently kneeling
  123. >”NEKTS TOIM FUGGEDABOUT THEM CARTUN DONKYS! HAH!” you hear that toothless bastard scream as he rides away
  124. >you hear a coyote´s howl echoing through the night as you make your way back to the stables to get your horse back to where it belongs
  125. >all 5 backpacks are filled and resting at their usual place
  126. >and you, are pretty much dragging yourself back to your house
  127. >right now, you are tired, hungry, dirty and angry
  128. >the last thing you want it’s to be bothered, you just want a quick meal and your armchair, you are way too dirty to sleep in your bed but are too tired to take a bath
  129. >you kick the door open and go straight to your kitchen, maybe a piece of ham will calm you down
  130. >there is not much in your fridge, just some milk in a glass bottle, a piece of cheese, sex eggs and a big, cartoony looking ham with a big bone coming out of one side
  131. >you took a big bite from it yesterday, but you take it anyway, you also take the bottle of milk and walk your way back to the armchair
  132. >you take a big bite and gulp it down with milk
  133. >the stress of the day slowly going away as your stomach gets filled
  134. >”Hola compañero!”
  135. >you choke on your food as milk comes out of your nostrils
  136. WHO´S THERE!?
  137. >you look around as you do your best attempt to look intimidating while holding a piece of ham and a bottle of milk
  138. >”down here, amigo”
  139. >you look down and are greeted with a smiling applejack looking up to you
  140. >her left eye is flickering
  141. >”the name´s apuljyak, nice to conocerte!”
  142. >what little piece of ham that was left inside your mouth falls to the ground.
  143. >you are sitting at the edge of your bed, resting your head on your hands while looking down to that little bot that calls itself “applejack” …but it sounded weird when “she” says it…
  144. What was your name again?
  145. >”the name´s apuljyak, un gusto to meet ya!”
  146. >she keeps switching languages midsentence
  147. Why are you talking like that?
  148. >”what do you mean, compadre?”
  149. That! that right there, you keep talking in Spanish midsentence
  150. >”oh, eso, I think your computer wasn’t powerful enough to run my program at maxima capacidad, maybe something got mixed up while I was booting up”
  151. >her left eye flickers again
  152. And what’s wrong with your eye?
  153. >Apuljyak goes cross-eyed for a second
  154. >”Production error?”
  155. >You sigh heavily while rubbing your nose bridge
  156. >you pick her up and place her on top of your night stand, next to your lamp
  157. And how can I fix that?
  158. >Apuljyak sits on her hinds while tapping her chin with her hoof
  159. >”I think running the program again might fix that, but it won’t do any good with your current equipment, you need a more powerful computer”
  160. So you are saying that im stuck with you until I get a new, more powerful computer?
  161. >”S-stuck with me?
  162. >her left eye completely shut´s down
  163. >”is it that bad?”
  164. >she covers her left eye with her hoof and turns around
  165. >hold on a second
  166. >this doesn’t feel right
  167. >does she have actual feelings?
  168. >has technology come this far?
  169. >shit, you didn’t think of that, no regular AI should be able to do that, at least not that you know
  170. >and you hurted her feelings
  171. >maybe it would be best if you apologized
  172. …shit, I ammm, look im sorry, I didn’t mean it like that, its just-
  173. >”no, that’s ok, im defectuosa, I knew it as soon as I woke up”
  174. >woke up?
  175. >she jumps out of the night stand and falls flat on the ground
  176. >you see her eye flicker on again as she stand up and limps out of your bedroom
  177. Wait, applejack, hold on
  178. >you catch up to her and lift her up
  179. >she does her best to hide her flickering eye from you
  180. >shit, she is fully conscious about her state, this is pulling your heart strings
  181. >you sigh as you walk back to your bed and let her walk out of your arms
  182. >she is keeping her head down, you have to cheer her up
  183. Here
  184. >you comb her mane a bit, it’s a bit stiff but otherwise it moves smoothly
  185. It’s not that bad, maybe we can...fix it later, yeah, we can do it
  186. >”You, you think you can hacer eso?”
  187. …of course, how hard can it be? Besides, you are Applejack, the toughest and handiest pony of them all, and im…me! We got this!
  188. >”Yeah…Yeah!, you are right! Im Apuljyak! Aint no handywork I can’t hacer!
  189. That’s the AJ I know! Now…
  190. >you yawn
  191. …lets go to sleep, its late, we´ll start with your repairing tomorrow
  192. >”Excelente!”
  193. >you take off some of your clothes and lie on your bed, you may be a bit dirty, but honestly, you don’t even care anymore
  194. >besides, having a new project with your soon to be perfect Applejack- bot might be fun, it’s been a long time since the last time you had a project to work on and you are definitely going to need the energy
  195. >”ooh, I almost forgot”
  196. Hmm?
  197. >you see her spin in circles a couple of times and then lie on top of your second pillow next to your head
  198. >”what´s your nombre?”
  199. My nombre?...oh, my name!, the name is Anon, nice to meet ya.
  200. >”Anon, that’s a fine name”
  201. >she smiles at you
  202. Thanks
  203. >”Anon?”
  204. Yeah?
  205. >”Thanks for giving me a chance”
  206. >you are about to reply but you see her eyes flicker off and her eyelids close
  207. >you smile as you close your eyes.
  208. >Today is Saturday, that means you have the day completely free, hey, even the farm life needs some free time every week
  209. >you wake up and find Applejack right where she was last night
  210. >she wakes up as you rise from your bed
  211. >you smile at each other
  212. >Your day starts as usually does every weekend, you take a quick bath, brush your teeth, some eggs and bacon and finally you go to your computer to browse the web for awful memes and shitpost in some forums
  213. >except Applejack has been following you wherever you go, paying attention to everything you do and trying her best to help you in any way she possibly can
  214. >when you woke up, she tried her best to fold the sheets, it was both cute and sad at the same time, she could barely grab the sheet with her mouth, looks like she doesn’t have much grip with her plastic jaw
  215. >then, when you took your bath, she somehow took your dirty clothes and put them inside the dirty laundry basket, but you still heard some heavy struggling
  216. >she didn’t do much when you brushed your teeth, she just stood there, watching you, it looked like she was trying to think of something to do to be of any kind of use for you, but she ended up doing nothing at all but observe
  217. >finally, when you had your breakfast, she spent the entire time trying to open the fridge, you actually helped her that time without her realizing, she kept pulling the door without any success, so you pulled from one of the upper corners of the door when she was trying her hardest to open it, she looked so proud when she saw the eggs and bacon sizzling on the frying pan
  218. >now she is at your side, making some commentary while browsing for new computers and looking for supplies for circuit welding and some fabrics
  219. What do you think about this one?
  220. >”that one looks mejor than my actual color”
  221. Cool, add to cart then
  222. >you click the orange- y fabric and add it to your virtual shopping list
  223. >you stretch while sitting on your chair
  224. I think this is as much as I can afford to buy for now, we´ll order more stuff later on, ok?
  225. >”very bien!”
  226. So…
  227. >you stand up
  228. what do you wanna do?
  229. >”me? Shucks, no lo se…maybe…”
  230. >she looks like she is struggling to thinking of something to do
  231. >Apuljyak turns around and stares out the window, looking at the field
  232. >there is nothing but yellow wheat that fills the plains, mountains far far away
  233. >One lonely tree catches her attention at the edge of the farm
  234. >”is that an apple arbol?, anon?
  235. Huh?
  236. >you take a look out your window
  237. Oh, The old one, yeah, that’s an apple tree, the owner of the farm planted it when he started building the farm, been here far longer than I have
  238. >”can we go visit it?”
  239. Visit it? i guess we can
  240. >you put on your hat and an old backpack
  241. Cmon, hop in
  242. >you lower yourself for her to jump into the backpack, but she refuses
  243. >”I actually want to caminar over there, if it’s not mucha molestia”
  244. A-are you sure?
  245. >”yup”
  246. >Apuljyak jumps out the table where your pc stands, slamming herself on the ground
  247. >looks like she still can’t land the jumps, this is starting to worry you, if she keeps that up she might break a leg or something, her frame doesn’t feel too solid even for something as light weighted as her, luckily, there seems to be no damage whatsoever.
  248. If you say so
  249. >you walk out of your house, Apuljyak following at your side at a surprisingly consistent pace
  250. >maybe you didn’t give that exo-skeleton of hers the credit it deserved
  251. >the walk to the tree it’s filled with questions from you tiny friend
  252. >”is this an actual farm?”
  253. Well, as far as farms go, yeah, we only farm wheat thought, there is too much to do already, if we go for any other kind of product we may chew more than we can swallow
  254. >”are there any caballos around here? What about ponies?”
  255. Caballos? Oh, horses, yeah, we have 5 horses somewhere around here, they help us with the recollection and transportation pretty often, and no, sorry, no ponies around here
  256. >maybe, just maybe, if you manage to fix her properly, you might get her a friend, maybe a Flutter-bot may do the trick, just remember to get it from a proper dealer this time…
  257. >”hmm… ya recon I might be able to ayudar around here alguna ves?”
  258. >…shit
  259. Hmm i-I don’t know, maybe in the future, first, you need to get used to this place, then you might be able to help around here
  260. >for a moment you forgot that she is supposed to be Applejack, even if she is not a perfect version of her she still wants to help and be useful like the original does
  261. >”I guess that tiene sentido, thanks anon, I promise to be as useful as I can possibly be”
  262. >…fuck, that is gonna come back and haunt you in the future, you know it will…
  263. >after that question, a small and uneventful walk finally leads you to the lonely apple tree, Apuljyak is the first one to speak
  264. >”its even bigger than I thought!”
  265. >a small chuckle escapes you as you regain your composure
  266. >it’s been here for a long time, so yeah, makes sense for it to be this big
  267. >Apuljyak gets close to it and gives it her best kick, as expected, nothing happens
  268. Umm, AJ?
  269. >she gives another kick, still nothing
  270. What are you doing?
  271. >”I want an apple”
  272. An apple? What for? You know you can eat stuff
  273. >”I know, its not for eating”
  274. >another kick to the tree
  275. Thennn…
  276. >one more kick
  277. >”if I want to be util sometime, I gotta al menos be able to do a simple task”
  278. >she delivers another kick to the trunk, not even denting or chipping the bark
  279. Uuuh, I don’t think-
  280. >one more
  281. >”cmon! Solo una!”
  282. >another kick
  283. AJ, stop, you´re gonna hurt yourself
  284. >I wont!”
  285. >she is raising her voice and sounding desperate
  286. >”I just”
  287. >kick
  288. >”want”
  289. >kick
  290. >”an”
  291. >a final kick to the trunk finally damages her left hind leg with a pretty audible “CRACK”, cracking it a bit, making it hold itself together just by the rough fabric sticked to the plastic beneath it
  292. >”MANZANA!”
  293. >she finally stops, taking a few steps back before sitting on her hind legs, her left hind leg slightly out of place
  294. What was that sound?
  295. >”it-it was nothing”
  296. Applejack…
  297. >she actually sighs
  298. >”it was my hind leg…”
  299. Aah, see? I told you!
  300. >you kneel to her side and gently hold her leg
  301. >a quick examination lets you know the full scale of the damage, which, luckily, is not that much
  302. Hmm, seems like the plastic snapped where it meets with its other half
  303. >”Is it bad?”
  304. Hmm, nothing that a bit of heat and some thread and needle can’t fix, you´ll be fine
  305. >she looks somewhat relieved, but you never expected for her face to execute such believable expression of sadness, she looks devastated
  306. >her eyes are flickering again, it’s barely noticeable due to the sun, but you can see it
  307. AJ?...
  308. >she doesn’t lifts her gaze
  309. >”…”
  310. >you sigh as you lift her from the ground and carry her back to your house like you would a wounded dog
  311. C’mon, let’s fix you up
  312. >you walk slowly so you don't somehow end up hurting her even more
  313. >by the time when you walk pass the stables where the horses are, AJ finally lifts her gaze
  314. >she is staring at them, and all five of them are staring back at her
  315. >you take a notice of this, but you continue on your way, maybe you´ll bring her back so she can meet them another day
  316. >you carefully leave her on your PC table, on top of an old cushion
  317. I´ll be right back AJ, please don’t move, i´ll just go for a few things to fix you up, it won’t take long
  318. >”esta bien…”
  319. >around 20 to 30 minutes go by
  320. >that took you a bit longer than expected, but you got everything necessary to fix her up
  321. >or at least you hope you did, you have fixed tractors and generators, but never something this small and frail
  322. >so you got what you thought would be the most useful for this, a sharp knife, a heat gun, a few small pincers and a piece of rubber that you took from an old tire from your porch
  323. >you leave everything next to AJ as you sit down in front of her
  324. >she still looks sad, but her expression is not a deep as before, she seems to have lighted up a little
  325. >then, she said something that frozed you in place
  326. >” Will it still hurt when you termines?”
  327. >never, in all this time, has the thought of her actually being able to feel pain crossed your mind
  328. >is she actually in pain right now?
  329. >”…Anon?”
  330. >will you hurt her if you do something wrong?
  331. >”Anónimo…”
  332. >how can she be so sure? You still have some doubts about her
  333. >”Anon”
  334. >is it a legit sensation or just some serious coding under all that cheap plastic and fabric?
  335. >”Anon!”
  336. >you feel a small hoof touch your hand
  337. >Applejack is looking at you with a worried expression
  338. >”Anon, estas bien? You haven’t moved since you sat down, and you look…asustado”
  339. >shit, you froze thinking about all of this, better keep it cool
  340. What´s that?...oh! Sorry, I was just…thinking
  341. >”pensando? Thinking of what?
  342. Just…
  343. >you take the sharpened knife and hold it for a couple of seconds
  344. Thinking how am I going to start, I don’t want to hurt you more than what you already are
  345. >looks like she trusts you, since she seems to relax a little
  346. >”I know you won’t hurt me, just tomatelo con calma and everything will be alright”
  347. >she gives you a smile as she lowers her head and extends her leg to you, giving you room to work
  348. >you take a deep breath as you close the distance between her leg and the tip of the knife
  349. >a few threads of her “skin” cut loose with the simple graze of your knife
  350. >you try your hardest to go as carefully as possible, so it feels agonizingly slow because of it
  351. Feel any pain, AJ?
  352. >”none so far, anon”
  353. >you take a small breath
  354. Good
  355. >you continue cutting in a straight line until you go through her hoof and the backside of her leg, allowing you to carefully peel the skin like a banana
  356. >and there it is, clear as the day, the meeting point between both halves of her leg, snapped
  357. Hmm, doesn’t look that bad, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem
  358. >”enserio? Ooh, that’s a relief”
  359. >you take a piece of rubber and begin the heating process with your heat gun, it doesn’t take that long for it to start melting into the gash and create a cheap but effective cauterization effect, melting the pieces back together
  360. >”it seems to be funcionando anon!”
  361. >she stands up and moves her leg before taking a few steps in circles
  362. Feel any pain yet?
  363. >”not sure…I don’t think so”
  364. So you do not feel anything uncomfortable? pain?
  365. >she stomps a couple of times
  366. >”nope”
  367. >you feel a weight being lifted from your shoulders and release a big relaxed sigh
  368. Don’t scare me like that AJ, I really thought that you could feel some form of pain or something awful
  369. >”im sorry anon, I didn’t knew tampoco”
  370. >you crack your neck, releasing some tension
  371. That’s…that’s alright AJ, im just glad you are safe
  372. >you comb her mane for a few seconds before taking the thread and needle in your hands
  373. >it didn’t took long for you to sew her “skin” back
  374. >after that tension filled hour, you felt like taking a nap, AJ slept on your lap while you did it on your armchair
  375. >it was around 8:10 pm when you woke up, the sky was already dark and you could hear the wind blowing outside of your house, and since you forgot to turn on any candles everything is almost pitch black
  376. >you stood up and walked to your computer
  377. >there was a flashlight in a drawer that you always kept fully charged for cases like these
  378. >AJ wasn’t on your lap when you woke up, maybe she was exploring your house, you haven’t really showed it to her yet
  379. AJ? Where are you?
  380. >welp, gotta find her
  381. >AJ, come out from wherever you are hiding, I can’t really see you in the dark
  382. >…
  383. >you hear a few steps coming from your bedroom
  384. There you are
  385. >you light your way with the flashlight as you make your way to your room
  386. cmon AJ, what are yo-AAH SHIT!
  387. >a huge coyote is standing near you bed, it looks pretty malnourish for what little you manage to see, but it is still pretty big
  388. What the fuck are you-how did you get in here?!
  389. >the coyote just growls at you while lowering its body
  390. >you raise your hands in a defensive position while backing away
  391. Easy there buddy, I don’t want any trouble
  392. >”anon!”
  393. >you light your pillows and find a terrified AJ backing into your bed´s header
  394. >your eyes go wide as you see the coyote jumping on top of your bed
  395. Oh no you won’t!
  396. >you throw your flashlight to the animal, hitting it in the head
  397. >that got its attention
  398. >the flashlight turns off when it hits the floor, now you and AJ are stuck in a dark room with a very, very, angry AND hungry coyote
  399. >there are only two sources of light right now, AJ´s flickering eyes, and the barely noticeable moonlight the slips through your window´s swaying curtains
  400. >you notice your curtains are somewhat torn
  401. >so that’s how that bitch got inside, gotta fix that after this
  402. AJ…
  403. >you calmly say
  404. I need you to hide under the pillows, and don’t come out until I told you so
  405. >”pe-pero…”
  406. DO IT!
  407. >you command between your teeth trying not to startle the coyote
  408. >she obeys as you take a really slow step forward and unbuckle your belt
  409. Heeeeere buddy, cmon, I won’t hurt you, com´ere
  410. >you wrap your belt around your hand and arm as you slowly walk around your bed, Mexican stand-off style
  411. >the coyote keeps its attention on you, tail raised, fangs slightly open and always facing your direction
  412. Yeah, that’s it, keep it cool, I won’t hurt ya, I just want you outta here
  413. >you take another step
  414. >the floor creaks loudly
  415. >it growls at you
  416. Ah, shit
  417. >you raise your protected arm as the coyote hurls itself at you
  418. >its bite still hurts but you can tolerate it
  419. >you shake your arm up and down, and side to side trying to get it off you
  420. >its not working, like, at all, its jaw its pretty much locked in place, so you do the next best thing you can think of
  421. >you do your best to turn the coyote around and wrap your other arm around its neck
  422. >it keeps trashing around while you hug it tightly
  423. Keep still you piece o´shit!
  424. >the force on your arm around its neck tightens
  425. >you feel its jaw loosing up a little
  426. >that’s when you take your arm out of its maw and punch the coyote right in the ribs
  427. >it wheezes a bit while flailing out of your grip
  428. OH HELL NO!
  429. >you jump on top of it and grab it by a hind leg and its neck
  430. >shit, this animal is strong, but you manage to pin it in its place
  432. AJ!
  433. >she peeks out of her hiding place
  434. >”are you ok, anon?”
  435. Im fine, just get out of here now that you can!
  436. >you struggle a bit to keep it in place
  437. Run and hide somewhere else, i´ll let you know when-KEEP STILL. When I get this thing out of here!
  438. >she doesn’t seems to think it twice and jumps out of your bed and runs out of your room, there are many places to hide here, she´ll be fine… at least you hope so
  439. >you grab the animal by its belly and the neck while you stand up
  440. Here we go, nice and ea-I SAY NICE AND EASY!
  441. >man you are getting tired, best to get it out of here as fast as you can
  442. >no way in hell you are walking all the way back to your main door to get it out
  443. >guess the window will have to do
  444. >you walk close to it and try to push it out, but of course it’s not that easy, damn animal keep pushing itself back every time it flails
  445. Fucking…Fine! I REALLY didn’t wanted to hurt, but this is your fault now!
  446. >you grab it entirely by its neck
  447. >you take aim
  449. >you throw it with all of your remaining strength left
  450. >pretty sure it hit its head with the frame of the window, oh well, it was its fault, not yours
  451. >you peek out to see where it landed
  452. >yeah, it’s out of your house and dazed because of that hit
  453. >seem to have learnt its lesson though, its running away
  454. >you lean on the frame of the window and remove the belt from your arm
  455. >you are bleeding a lot
  456. >that fucker still got you good, your belt it’s pretty torn and pretty much useless in this state
  457. >you just hope it doesn’t have rabies
  458. Fuck why did I thought about that…?
  459. >you shake your head and hold your arm with your other hand, trying to stop the bleeding
  460. >better get this fixed first
  461. AJ! Come out now, its safe!
  462. >you walk out of your room looking for AJ
  463. AJ? You can come out, its safe now
  464. >you walk your way out of your room, moving your hand and fingers in circular motions
  465. AJ? Cmon, where are you?
  466. >”Anon?”
  467. >she peeks out of your dirty laundry basket next to your door, a sock on her head instead of her hat
  468. >you let out a relaxed sigh
  469. There you are, come out
  470. >you take a sit on your arm chair, resting your injured arm on the armrest and your head on the backrest
  471. >seems like the adrenaline is wearing off, you can feel the pain coming back to your arm with every second
  472. >Applejack comes out of its hiding place and runs towards you
  473. >”Dios mio, anon, are you ok?!”
  474. >you grunt a little when you feel a pulse of pain flowing through your arm
  475. Yeah, im fine, just… fuck
  476. >”wait right here, anon, i´ll go por ayuda!”
  477. AJ, wait, I don’t want you to go out yet, that coyote might still be around
  478. >”but I can’t sit here and do nada!”
  479. That’s ok, I have a small medkit, its under my bed, I need you to go get it for me, I don’t think i´ll be able to crawl under my bed without hurting my arm even more
  480. >”i´ll go get it, don’t move!”
  481. >Applejack runs off to your room, seems like her leg its working perfectly, that’s good, at least something doesn’t need any more fixing for now
  482. >Applejack arrives quickly to your room, she goes under your bed as soon as possible
  483. >”medkit, medkit, donde estas?”
  484. >a lot of dust, a couple of dirty old socks and a couple of magazines with scantily clad women in the covers are the first things that Applejack finds
  485. >”cmon, where are you?”
  486. >there is an old metallic box at the end of the bed, right next to the wall
  487. >”that must be it!”
  488. >she runs to the box and grabs it by the handle with her mouth
  489. >she pulls like a puppy playing tug with a toy, struggling to move it out of its place but slowly making work of it
  490. >the metallic box drags across the floor, screeching each time that she pulls
  491. >after several minutes, she arrives to your location, she is covered in dust and has a worried look on her face
  492. >you open the box with your good hand
  493. >man, the lid feels heavier than you remember, at least you are sure that everything inside this thing its well protected, not even bullets could pass through this box, the bullet dents on its side are proof of it
  494. >you take a bottle of ethyl alcohol and the last sterilized tissue out of its package
  495. >you cringe knowing about the incoming but necessary pain
  496. >”do you need ayuda with that, anon?”
  497. Thanks AJ, but you are covered in dust, we can’t risk contaminating the last tissue
  498. >she looks worried once again
  499. >”is there anything I can do to help? Cualquier cosa?”
  500. Actually, yeah, I need you to do something for me
  501. >”what is it? I’ll do lo que sea!”
  502. >you pour some alcohol into the tissue and hold it with your good hand
  503. We need to alert about the coyote to the others so they can chase it away, otherwise it´ll just come back again
  504. >you bring the tissue closer to your wounds but back it away in fear of the pain
  505. >”como sabes it´ll come back again?”
  506. It’s not the first time that fucker has invaded the farm
  507. >you take a deep breath and place the tissue over your wounds
  508. >stings like hell
  509. >you do your best not to scream so you don’t scare her, but loud grunts still escape you
  511. >AJ recoils a bit
  512. >she somehow manages to look like she is about to cry, funny, she is not the one with a mauled arm and hand
  513. >you troop through the pain and eventually get used to the stinging feel, you hold the tissue in its place with a makeshift tourniquet
  514. >”And what puedo hacer? I can’t leave the house yet, you said it might still be around”
  515. I need you to help me get my gun
  516. >”A…a gun?”
  517. >you stand off your armchair and pick AJ up
  518. Cmon, all you have to do is pass me my gun, its on the top of my closet
  519. >you quickly walk back to your room, a big wooden closet stands on a corner
  520. >”are you seriously planeando to chase the coyote?”
  521. Im not chasing the coyote AJ, its too risky, im just gonna let the others take care of it for me, we have been trying to hunt this thing down for months now, and this is finally our best chance
  522. >you lift AJ with your good arm to the top of your closet
  523. >usually you can reach the top with ease, but that’s a two handed process, so you can’t really do that right now
  524. >AJ jumps out of your hand
  525. It should be right in front of you
  526. >it is in front of her alright, but that’s not just a gun, it’s a two barrel shotgun
  527. >”yeah, I can see it”
  528. Good, just pass it to me, but be careful, it’s loaded
  529. >”por que did you leaved a loaded weapon here?”
  530. Just…stop asking questions and pass me the gun, please
  531. >”esta bien, but you also be careful”
  532. >she grabs the endpoint of the shotgun´s cannon with her mouth
  533. >it barely has any grip on it, so it keeps slipping and falling out of her mouth
  534. >you keep hearing the tapping of the shotgun against the wooden exterior of your closet every time it falls
  535. AJ? Be careful, remember that thing is loaded, try not to-
  536. >BANG
  537. >the corner of your closet is destroyed, there is a big hole on your wall and really loud ringing sound inside of your head
  538. >there are a couple of boxes on the floor that used to be on top of your closet, looks like the recoil of the shot pushed them down along with the shotgun
  539. >naturally, you are crouching with your hands on top of your head, you stay like that for a good twenty seconds or so, then, you feel something land on your head
  540. >it’s a small piece of AJ´s hat, it’s charbroiled from the edges and has small pellets holes all over it
  541. >the rest of the pieces fall next to you
  542. >you stare at the pieces of her hat fearing the worst
  543. AJ?
  544. >there is only silence for several seconds
  545. >you can hear your co-workers far away shouting and running
  546. >”was that anon?!”
  547. >”that fucking coyote again, cmon! I think i can still see it!”
  548. >”there it is, don’t let it scape!”
  549. >yeeehaaawh! Weh gon gitcha this toim, ya dang uversised ruat!”
  550. >looks like they heard the shot, but that thought it’s not your mind for long
  551. >you stand up and jump trying to reach the top of the closet
  552. AJ!
  553. >some of the boxes that fell of the closet are sturdy enough to support you
  554. >they work as some dangerously improvised step, but your own safety it’s not your top priority right now
  555. >you can now see the top of the closet, dust is still floating around and the final remnants of the smoke coming out of the shotgun are disappearing
  556. >AJ is crouching in fear, tail raised and hooves over her head
  557. >well…hoof, to be more precise
  558. >yeah, that leg that showed her exo-skeleton at the joint, gone
  559. >like, completely
  560. >there aren’t even cables dangling outside or something like that, there is just nothing
  561. >you keep staring at the empty space where her leg used to be
  562. >AJ is still cowering in fear
  563. >you want to call her, but no sound leaves your mouth
  564. >instead you turn around, looking at the hole on your wall
  565. >a piece of wood falls from it
  566. >you follow its path until it reaches the floor
  567. >it falls right next to her leg
  568. >or…whatever it’s left of it
  569. >yeah, there is not coming back from that, there is no way you can repair it
  570. >you step down the boxes and gently pick up the scorched plastic that used to be her leg
  571. >still hot
  572. >you peel the burnt plastic away, that’s pretty much the entire leg so you are just left with the exo-skeleton
  573. >that’s odd, it has some scratches, but otherwise looks intact
  574. >looks like its made from some kind of metal, feels pretty sturdy actually
  575. >maybe you can still do something with it, you put it in your pocket for now
  576. >you climb back up the boxes and look at AJ
  577. Ummm…AJ?
  578. >she gently lifts her head and looks to her sides before noticing you
  579. >”Anon?”
  580. I don’t think I should ask this but….are you ok?
  581. >whu-? A que te refieres, anon?
  582. >you cringe a little at her question
  583. >she seems to notice that, she starts checking her self
  584. >”I don’t- I don’t think i…
  585. >that’s when she noticed her leg…well, its absence
  586. >her eyes flicker again
  587. >and after a few seconds of what looks like panicked breaths she starts screaming
  588. >two days have passed since the shotgun accident
  589. >needless to say, that was a pretty rough beginning to your relationship with AJ
  590. >getting her “heart” broken
  591. >realizing that she is not gonna be of much help in the farm since she can’t even get an apple
  592. >breaking her back leg
  593. >being chased by a coyote
  594. >and then losing her front leg entirely by a shotgun
  595. >yeah, that’s a pretty rough way to start your first day and a half after waking up for the first time
  596. >she hasn’t been speaking a lot since then
  597. >when you wake up, she does too, but doesn’t move at all from her pillow next to yours for hours
  598. >you also figured out why she asked you if it would still hurt when you fixed her leg
  599. >turns out the exterior its nothing but rubber and cloth
  600. >but the interior it’s another story, her exo-skeleton seems to be extremely complex and apparently, it’s fully capable of feeling pain
  601. >she couldn’t stop screaming when she lost her leg
  602. >you didn’t even showed up to pick up your wheat the next day, you stayed awake the entire night trying to make her feel better and trying to stop the pain
  603. >but in the end, you couldn’t do anything to help her, eventually her pain started to disappear by itself
  604. >yesterday she was in some weird state of depression and panic
  605. >some pain was still present
  606. >you tried your best to help her and even tried to reattach her leg, but there is only so much you can do without a proper circuit welding kit
  607. >all you could do for now was to close the open wound with more rubber from that wheel outside your porch
  608. >today she seems to have accepted her state, even though she tries her best to look happy, she still looks depressed, she started to talk to you a bit more and it seems that her pain has completely disappeared…for the most part, she still complains from time to time, but she says she can stand it
  609. >but she looks happier now
  610. >this morning you had the best idea to cheer her up
  611. >you told her that you were going to need help picking up the wheat from today and yesterday and since you are gonna be doing two trips today you told her that you are gonna need her help to “organize” the wheat inside the bag so you can get as much as you can before doing the trip back to the farm
  612. >that seemed to have cheer her up
  613. >she ran into some trouble at first finding her balance inside the big wheat-backpack but after that you could heard her having fun, jumping on top of the wheat and compressing it enough to get as much as you can
  614. >that brighten your heart
  615. >”Anon, I don’t think we can put any more trigo inside this bag, maybe its hora to come back”
  616. Yeah, I think you are right, this thing feels heavier than it usually does
  617. >”who the hell are you talking to, anon?”
  618. >One of your co-workers, the one considerer as the one in charge when the boss is not around, is standing next to you
  619. >worn but durable looking clothes, slightly overgrown hair and a brown bandana covering his nose and mouth
  620. >>”did the sun fucked you up already?”
  621. Huh? Ooh no, I was just-
  622. >”who is that, anon?”
  623. >AJ peeks out of the bag, leaning over your shoulder with her only leg and revealing herself
  624. >there is an awkward silence for a few seconds
  625. >>”is…is that-?
  626. >”Hi, my name is Apuljyak! un gusto to meet ya!”
  627. >she waves to greet him but since she uses her only leg to do so, she falls back to the bag
  628. >she gives a small chuckle
  629. You ok there, AJ?
  630. >”yeah im fine”
  631. >she climbs back to your shoulder and smiles at the stranger standing in front of her
  632. >>”…”
  633. >he gives you a worried look, or at least that’s what it looked like, that bandana does a good job covering his face
  634. >”what’s your nombre? Señor…?”
  635. >>”…name´s…Knox”
  636. >he keeps eyeing you
  637. >”Hola, Knox, hope ya having a gran dia!”
  638. >>”well aint you a darling, hope you have a great day too”
  639. >AJ smiles warmly at him and jumps back to the bag
  640. >he gives you a signal to follow him
  641. >alone
  642. >shit
  643. I´ll be right back AJ, don’t go anywhere
  644. >”i´ll be aqui, don’t worry anon”
  645. >she gives tiny hops inside the bag while you go towards knox
  646. H-hey knox, how ya doing?
  647. >>”what are you doing, anon?”
  648. Immm picking up the wheat as always, something wrong?
  649. >>”you have been acting weird these last days, well…weirder, you ok?”
  650. Im fine
  651. >>”what about that…thing on your bag?”
  652. AJ? You worried about her?
  653. >>”i…its just, weird, anon, even for you standard self”
  654. >you give him an annoyed look
  655. >he sighs in a defeated manner
  656. >>”will it cause any trouble?”
  657. Pff, yeah right, don’t worry knox, she is actually helping me, i´ll even be able to pick up the wheat from two days ago thanks to her
  658. >>”really now? Well then, if that’s the case then don’t let me interrupt you”
  659. Thanks
  660. >>”ooh and, anon, how is your arm?”
  661. >you shift your arm around a bit, it’s covered in bandages and has a few stains of blood, but otherwise it feels fine
  662. I´ve been better, but it´ll be perfect in a couple of weeks, don’t worry
  663. >>”very well, good luck with the rest of your wheat”
  664. >he climbs his horse and rides back to the farm, leaving you and AJ alone
  665. >you call Applejack on your way to the bag
  666. Ready to head back?
  667. >”lista!”
  668. >she peeks out of the bag while you pick it up
  669. We´ll take a quick lunch break before coming back for the rest of the wheat, maybe I could even show you the horses while we are at it
  670. >her smile grows bigger
  671. >”what are we esperando for? Lets go!”
  672. >you hop on your horse and ride back to the farm
  673. >after a quick recharge for AJ and a couple of burritos for you, the next thing to do before heading back to the fields is to show AJ the stables, she has been curious and you promised yourself to show it to her
  674. >so that’s where you are right now, it’s a little dark inside the stables but you can see just fine with the light entering through the skylight
  675. >some hay its piled up neatly in big packages on one side of the stable, the corrals for the horses are on the opposite side, a big combine in the middle and miscellaneous farm equipment all around
  676. Welp, here it is, the stables, not really much to see, but I guess that’s how it looks like when you have seen this place a thousand times
  677. >”are you bromeando, anon? This place is awesome!”
  678. >she limps quickly everywhere she goes
  679. >it pains you every time she limps to move around, but her smiling face when exploring the place cheers you up at the same time, that bittersweet feeling has been with you since this morning, at least she is adapted herself quickly to her new state
  680. >that circuit welding equipment can’t arrive fast enough
  681. >”wow!”
  682. >AJ is standing in front of one of the horses, they seem to be staring at each other
  683. >”he is so big and strong!”
  684. Yeah, that’s Maximus, knox´s horse, he never lets me get close to it unless it’s my turn to lash it and get it out the stables
  685. >”por que is that?”
  686. I don’t know, it’s like if Maximus knew it’s not the time to go out, so he trashes around if I go near it with a leash…I also feel like he doesn’t likes me
  687. >”maybe I can be of ayuda!”
  688. How?
  689. >she sits on her hind legs and shakes her head a bit, catching Maximus´s attention
  690. >she then neigh´s at it, sounding almost like a foal due to her size
  691. >Maximus responds with a huff and a shake of its head
  692. >she neighs back at it, this keeps going for a minute until she talk to you
  693. >”carry me, anon, on top of him”
  694. Huh?
  695. >”cmon! He is gonna let me ride him”
  696. >you really want to question this decision and whatever she said to convince that horse to let her ride it…but she looks too happy to burst that bubble, so you just obey and lift her
  697. >with a bit of fear, you approach the horse, gently placing AJ on top of it
  698. >she neighs once again, Maximus starts to trot in circles around you, this somehow feels menacing
  699. >however, AJ seems to be having the time of her life, you are not sure why she is having so much fun riding a horse, maybe it’s one of those things you just can’t and will never understand, but that´s a smile you haven’t seen at all since she came out of that box
  700. >so you do what’s best for everyone and stop questioning things for now
  701. >you still wonder how she has any grip on the horse though…
  702. >the rest of the day went exactly as planned, she had her fun with the horses and you picked all the wheat for today and the lost day, her help packing up the wheat saved you a lot of time and you let her knew
  703. >that’s why you are bringing her with you every day from now on to recollect the wheat
  704. >”are you serious?!”
  705. Yeah, im pretty sure that, together, we´ll be the best team in the farm, you´ll do an amazing job, tomorrow i´ll present you to the rest of the guys, they´ll love you
  706. >”anon, eres el mejor!”
  707. >she lovingly hugs you
  708. >you return the embrace while covering both of you with your blanket
  709. YOU are the best, AJ
  710. >you snuggle together this night, it doesn’t matter that her skin is scratchy and that piece of black rubber covering the hole of her missing leg it’s really stiff
  711. >it doesn’t matter that her missing hat wasn’t even from the same show
  712. >It doesn’t matter that she keeps switching languages in between sentences
  713. >you love this tiny pony and she loves you
  714. >if somebody that hasn’t had any friends in his whole life is capable of loving this pony, you know your co-workers will too
  715. >and even if they don’t, it doesn’t matter, only she matters
  716. >you finally go to sleep with that final thought
  717. Good night Applejack
  718. >”Buenas noches, Anon”
  719. Ooh, and AJ?
  720. >”yeah?”
  721. Thanks for giving ME a chance
  722. >she smiles while drifting to her sleep
  723. >you both wake up at the same time
  724. >you look at each other and smile, both excited for what’s to come today
  725. >you take a quick bath while AJ makes the bed, seems like she finally figure out how to do it, she still struggles a little bit, but she looks proud when the bed it’s all made up
  726. >a small breakfast and a recharge for AJ followed before you go out to the “rooster bell” once again
  727. >AJ hides inside your hat while you walk to the bell, seems like she is comfortable there
  728. >you arrive to the bell
  729. >this time you are ON time, so it looks like a good start so far
  730. >you take the small wooden hammer and hit the bell several times
  732. >the bell chimes loudly, waking everyone up
  735. >”calm down already! We are up!”
  737. >ok, you might have overdone that, but can they blame you? You are excited
  738. >maybe they can
  739. My bad, my bad guys, just woke up in a really good mood, that’s all, cmon, I got the horses ready
  740. >you walk back to the stables, leaving your co-workers begrudgingly walking behind you
  741. >AJ taps your head from inside your hat
  742. >” you sure they´ll like me? You don’t have to hacer esto right now”
  743. Don’t worry, they´ll love you
  744. >at least I hope so, you thought
  745. >you ride to the fields, your co-workers following a few minutes later
  746. >the day goes as usual, you pick the wheat, AJ jumps on it until it somehow fits neatly in place like a puzzle, giving you more space to carry more wheat than usual
  747. >you both do this for hours, with the eventual break to drink some water and for AJ to check her batteries
  748. >you cross paths with your co-workers around every hour
  749. >not much happens besides a casual greet and maybe asking for the time
  750. >the midday approaches, that’s when you have planned to introduce Applejack to the rest of the guys
  751. >”is it time yet, anon?”
  752. Almost, AJ, almost
  753. >”im kinda nerviosa…”
  754. Relax, they´ll love you
  755. >”ah´ sure hope so”
  756. >you hear Knox call you from far away
  757. >>”hey, anon! c´mere, seems like we are done early today!”
  758. COMING!
  759. >you scream back in response
  760. Well, seems like the plan is got ahead of us, you ready?
  761. >”guess i´ll be as ready as i´ll ever be, vamos”
  762. >she hides inside the bag while you walk back to your mates
  763. >they seems to be chatting before riding back, good, everyone is here
  764. Hey guys, whacha doing?
  765. >Knox is the one to respond
  766. >>”just comparing our bags, we made a bet to see who could pick up more wheat this time, sorry we didn’t told you”
  767. That’s ok, wouldn’t want to steal the price from you guys anyway
  768. >>”ooh feeling cocky anon? fine, show us how much ya got”
  769. >you drop your bag next to theirs, yours filled to the brim
  770. >knox is in a close second, followed by everyone else at a distant third, fourth and fifth
  771. >>”hold on, how did you even…?”
  772. >you give a tiny kick to the bag
  773. >AJ pops out of the wheat, her front leg extended almost like wanting to give a hug
  774. >”Trabajo en equipo!”
  775. >some jump back in surprise
  776. >knox doesn’t flinch whatsoever
  777. >One of them is amazed at the sight of a tiny robotic pony missing a leg
  778. >you carry her out of the bag and leave her on your shoulder
  779. >all eyes are on you now…well, AJ to be more precise
  780. >there is silence so far, getting awkward
  781. >you move your shoulder a little bit, giving AJ a small signal to do something
  782. >looks like she catches it
  783. >”Hola fellow co-workers, im Apuljyak, un gusto to meet ya!”
  784. >silence its their response
  785. >AJ seems to be getting worried
  786. >you give a look to Knox, asking him for help with nothing but your eyes
  787. >he rolls his own, but the message gets across
  788. >he approaches you and gently pets AJ´s mane
  789. >>”well hello there, we meet again”
  790. >”Hola señor Knox, hope you had a good day”
  791. >>”oh its been great, thanks, hope you had a great day too”
  792. >”I did, Gracias!”
  793. >>”aint you a darling, oh almost forgot, these are your co-workers”
  794. >he turns around and proceeds to introduce the other 3 guys to AJ
  795. >>”these are-“
  797. >>>>”where did you even got that!?”
  798. >you are surrounded by those two guys
  799. >you feel a pat on your back
  800. >you turn your head around and see Knox giving you a knowing wink
  801. >he mounts his horse and rides off back to the farm
  802. >you smile under your bandana while the rest of your co-workers ask questions and introduce themselves to AJ
  803. >you ride along with your co-workers for the first time, they keep asking questions to you and AJ
  804. >you both answer their questions when needed
  805. >its goes like this until you reach the farm, you usually would go back to your house, but AJ insist on tagging along with your co-workers
  806. >this is not something that strikes you as comfy territory, but she gives you the biggest puppy eyes you have ever seen
  807. >you never imagined you´ll see the day AJ would do that face…she is grabbing you by your heart´s balls
  808. >you ended up staying up until later than usual, your co-workers turned to be friendlier than you imagined, maybe a bit too loud for your taste, but not enough to kill the mood, so you ended up having fun along with AJ
  809. >but then, right as you both were saying your goodbye´s
  811. >you hear as you feel AJ getting lifted up of your shoulder
  812. Hey, what the fuck!?
  813. >that toothless old man mcgucket-looking guy came out of nowhere and snatched AJ by one of her hind legs, holding her like a mere ragdoll
  816. >”woo! Señor! Be careful! Im not that sturdy yet!”
  817. >you try to snatch her back, but despite being an old rug, that guy moves fast
  820. >”ug-ugly?”
  821. >he shakes her roughly and spins her grabbing her by her mane while laughing like a maniac
  823. >”STOP IT! ANON! AYUDA!
  824. >your co-workers look as worried as you are
  825. >>>”Hey! Old man! Stop it!”
  826. >>>>”That’s not cool dude, give her back!”
  827. >you try jumping on top of him, but he moves away before you could catch him and starts running away
  828. >”ANON! AYUDAME!”
  829. APPLEJACK! IM COMING! Cmon guys! I need your help!
  830. >>>”right behind you anon!”
  832. >the chase begins
  833. >the old man keeps evading you and your friends
  834. >Friends? Yeah I guess you can call them friends now, cool, but never mind that right now, AJ keeps screaming for help
  835. >”ANON, AYUDA, PLEASE!”
  837. >both of your friends stay behind and split up, looking for an opportunity to corner the old man
  838. >you keep chasing him around the main building where the stables are
  840. >he enters the stables, hopping on the hay bales and jumping his way to the top of the combine
  841. >you follow him and jump on top of the hay on the opposite side of the combine
  842. >your friends arrive and block the exits
  843. >>>>”he´s not going anywhere anon, we got him!”
  844. Stay alert, I don’t trust his guy at all!
  845. >you take the hook you head-butted several days ago
  846. >you swing yourself, creating the necessary momentum to reach the top of the combine where the old man is currently chewing AJ´s tail
  847. >you jump, reaching the combine with a stomp
  848. >the old man gets alerted and turns to you, ripping a big part of AJ´s tail in the process
  849. >”Mi cola!”
  850. >his mouth is filled with the stuffing of A´Js tail, some threads stuck between his only two teeth
  851. >that did it
  852. >you are mad
  853. >you jump at him, throwing him off the combine along with yourself
  854. >you land on a loose pile of hay
  855. >he doesn’t
  856. >you hear something cracking
  857. >it sounded almost like…plastic
  858. >you might have landed in a pile of hay, but your back still hurts
  859. >you didn’t felt any weird lumps or bumps on your back when you landed, so you are sure you didn’t fell on top of AJ
  860. AJ!
  861. >you stand up and begin the search for your tiny friend
  862. >you limp a bit, seems like that fall fucked you up a bit
  863. >at least you are not the old man, his fall was not cushioned at all, he is currently whining in pain next to the combine, looks like his hip is broken
  864. >well deserved
  865. >AJ? Where are you?
  866. >”por aqui, anon”
  867. >you turn around, and see a headless Applejack body next to the pile of hay
  868. >you feel a tear building up in your eyes
  869. AJ! DEAR GOD! Are you ok?!
  870. >”i…I think I am”
  871. Where is your head?!
  872. >”it’s a bit oscuro, but i think its de tras the pile of hay”
  873. >you pick up her body and run behind the pile, you are glad her head is actually there, you can spot her easily, her eyes are flickering so it illuminates her surroundings a bit
  874. Are you hurt?
  875. >”no lo creo, I don’t feel pain”
  876. A-are you sure?
  877. >”yeah, c’mon anon, pick me up”
  878. >you grab her head carefully
  879. Let’s go and fix you up
  880. >”what about el Viejo?”
  881. Not my problem
  882. >”Anon, that’s not nice”
  883. Are you serious? he tore your tail off and is responsible for your decapitation!”
  884. >”maybe, but somos buenos pony´s…err people…us”
  885. But I don- I will no- what abo…
  886. >”fellas! C’mon in!”
  887. >your co-workers and now friends, approach you and AJ
  888. >>>”is everything ok? I heard the fall but I didn’t want to- HOLY SHIT! ARE YOU ALRIGHT?!”
  889. >”yeah, im fine, would you mind helping the old man for nosotros, I think he broke algo”
  890. >the other guy comes in
  891. >>>>”hey guys what’s goin-HOLY SHIT!”
  892. Save it dude, just, take the old man to the hospital or something
  893. >they both carry him out in a wheelbarrow that was laying aside
  894. How come you don’t feel any pain? You couldn’t stop screaming when you lost your leg
  895. >”Im not sure either”
  896. >her head is currently on the old pillow where her body used to rest when you fixed her leg
  897. >her body is next to it along with the leg she lost on the shotgun accident
  898. >you are trying to somehow put them back together, but it’s no use, you can’t make sense of it
  899. >you pass your hands over your head in a stressful manner
  900. I don’t know if I can fix this without the necessary tools AJ, I don’t know what to do…
  901. >AJ looks a little defeated, but she tries to cheer you up
  902. >”That’s ok anon, im sure we´ll find a way to arreglarme”
  903. >you take a deep breath and look at AJ
  904. >the light of her eyes is dimming out
  905. How is your battery?
  906. >”hold on, let me check…its getting low, maybe its hora de una recarga”
  907. I guess, hold on let me get the cable
  908. >you open the drawer of the table where your PC rest and pull out her charging chord
  909. >you move her mane to the side and plug her in to your PC
  910. >”Aaah, that’s the good stuff”
  911. At least I can still do that
  912. >you comb your hair with your fingers and rest your head on the table
  913. Im sorry AJ, I never wanted for any of this to happen to you
  914. >”don’t worry anon, it´ll be alright”
  915. >you let a sigh escape
  916. >”huh, eso es nuevo”
  917. >you raise your head
  918. >your monitor is displaying a message you haven’t seen before while AJ re-charges
  920. >you feel a smile appearing on your face
  921. >”ya reckon this could ayudarte to fix me?”
  922. Pretty sure it could, anything is better than working blind
  923. >you grab your mouse and move the cursor over the “NEXT” button
  924. >you click it
  925. >another window appears, it’s smaller than the one before, but the border its bright red and an animated exclamation point at the top of the window catches your attention
  927. >”deactivate? for cuanto tiempo?”
  928. Im not sure, it doesn’t say
  929. >”well…the longer we wait the longer it´ll be”
  930. Are you ready AJ?
  931. >”lista!”
  932. Ok then
  933. >you click “back up and analyze”
  934. >your computer freezes for a few seconds before a new windows shows up
  936. Oh fuck…
  937. >”you mean, there is a chance of me losing mi memoria?”
  938. >this is actually scary, there is the possibility that your best friend could disappear if you do so much as touching her while she is deactivated
  939. >”Anon?”
  940. don’t worry AJ, I won’t let anything happen to you
  941. >AJ gives you an understanding smile
  942. >”I know you won’t anon”
  943. Here, before I do anything
  944. >you run away for a few moments only to return with your hands filled with some clothing and a deep plate
  945. >you lift her head and place it inside the plate, filled with your clothing, creating a soft protection zone for her
  946. This should help to keep you in place and avoid any unwanted movements
  947. >half of her head peeks out, but she doesn’t move at all
  948. >”I think this could work sin problemas”
  949. Great
  950. >she looks at you and says nothing
  951. >”…”
  952. >”go ahead anon, im ready”
  953. >you take a sit in front of her and move your mouse to the “YES” button
  954. I´ll talk to you soon, ok Applejack?
  955. >”ok anon, que tengas buenas noches”
  956. Good night, AJ
  957. >you give her a little kiss on her forehead
  958. >she closes her eyes while smiling
  959. >you click the button
  960. >your computer freezes for a few seconds again
  961. >a new window opens up
  962. >ANALYZING…
  963. >One or two minutes go by
  965. 12 DAYS?!...i need a new computer…
  966. >you lie back on your chair and stare at the ceiling for a minute
  967. >you stand up and go to bed for now, you still gotta go to work tomorrow
  968. Yeah…good night, AJ
  969. >a new day beings, you start your day as usual, quick bath, breakfast, the usual stuff
  970. >but why does it feels so different?
  971. >it can’t be because you grow attached to AJ so quickly…can it?
  972. >come to think of it you didn’t have anyone by your side to tell you “good morning” anymore
  973. >your clothes from yesterday are all piled up in the corner
  974. >it’s only been 2 days
  975. >fuck, you miss her really bad
  976. >you go to the computer, AJ is still there, smiling while…sleeping
  977. >the progress bar it’s a 14%
  978. >at least it’s moving
  979. >you can barely use your computer for anything other than browsing AJ´s repairing instructions
  980. >not that you have wanted to do anything else
  981. >why wasn’t the manual printed still evades you, but you are happy that she at least has one
  982. >you fixed Applejack´s tail yesterday, it was easy but it’s not perfect, you can see a few patches here and there, but that would do until your delivery of fabrics and circuit welding kit arrive next week
  983. >her exo-skeleton was the hard part, apparently she has some kind of safe-trigger than turns off her ability to feel pain if some “life threatening” trauma were to happen, no wonder she didn’t feel pain when she got decapitated
  984. >you also learnt that she IS supposed to feel through her skin, but somehow the circuitry wasn’t connected to the outside sensor that SHOULD have been connected to her external fabric
  985. >lastly, her battery pack and memory center where all localized inside of her head, that’s why her body was so light-weighted
  986. Good morning AJ, how are you doing? Good? Great, that’s great, now, let’s see if I can reattach your leg, shall we?
  987. >”…”
  988. Nice, let’s begin then
  989. >you take the leg that got ripped off by the shotgun in one hand and use your mouse to browse the instructions with the other one
  990. …energy consumption…resetting…feelings…aha, there you are
  991. >you click the tag “limbs and body frame”
  993. Hmm, let’s see then
  994. >you remove what little fabric was left since the shotgun’s not that much
  995. Hmm nothing where her hoof should be…what about
  996. >you flip it over
  997. I guess this must be it
  998. >you flick a tiny switch button and see how what seems to be the meeting point opens a bit like a claw
  999. Progress!
  1000. >you put them back together
  1001. >CLICK
  1002. >you reactivate the switch
  1003. >it’s kind of disturbing looking at AJ´s body without her head and one of her legs without any fabric, but its more complete than before, that’s something to be glad for
  1004. >you let the body on the table to test if it stands on its own
  1005. >it does
  1006. YES!
  1007. >you grab her body again and move her legs with your hands
  1008. >her fabric-less leg it’s the only one that feels stiff
  1009. Must be a circuit or something that got damaged…well, better than walking with 3 legs i suppose
  1010. >you let the body back on the table
  1011. >you were going to stand up but a sudden dizziness stop you
  1012. Whoa! What the fuck?
  1013. >you hold yourself on the table
  1014. >you let yourself fall and puke on the floor
  1015. >that made you feel better
  1016. >you stand up and stare at the stain on the floor
  1017. Great, now I gotta clean that too, god dammit
  1018. >you go to your orchard for a mop and a bucket
  1019. >weird, your arm is itching
  1020. >well that was a weird way to start a day
  1021. >the floor is clean now, but your arm won’t stop itching, you have to be careful not to scratch in a weird way or you may end up ripping open some of the still cicatrizing wounds
  1022. >maybe you should inform your boss about it
  1023. >…
  1024. >maybe you should so some research first, just to be sure
  1025. >you go to your computer again, progress at 15%
  1026. Hang in there AJ
  1027. >you open your browser
  1028. >your PC freezes
  1029. >your browser opens after a minute
  1030. >you let out a breath you didn’t knew you were holding
  1031. >better be careful, you don’t want a blue screen
  1032. >you look if coyotes can get rabies
  1033. >yes they can
  1034. Ok, ok, nothing to panic yet
  1035. >you look for symptoms
  1036. Drooling, headaches, dizziness, itching, nausea, vomiting, seizures…shit…muscle spasms, hallucinations
  1037. Coma
  1038. >getting a little nervous here
  1039. >you keep reading
  1040. The period between the infection and when one becomes ill varies between 10 days and 7 yea-oh cmon…
  1041. >you read something about some shots that you HAVE to get
  1042. >something about antibiotics having no effect on the virus
  1043. It’s possible to avoid the rabies if the injections are applied shortly after the bite-yadda yadda yadda-once the first symptoms appear the person rarely survives the disease…not…even…with treatment
  1044. >you cover your mouth while leaning on the table
  1045. Death due to respiratory failure usually occurs within 7 days after the onset of symptoms…
  1046. >your arm itches again
  1047. >you scratch it and stop after a couple of seconds
  1048. >you want to keep scratching, but you look at AJ´s head instead
  1049. >she is still “sleeping”
  1050. >her smile still as big as the moment she went to “sleep”
  1051. >you look back at your monitor
  1052. >15%
  1053. >you quickly stand up, take your jacket and run outside
  1054. >you have to go to a hospital, the first symptoms already showing up, you don’t know how much time you have left
  1055. >Knox is nowhere to be found
  1056. >you see your two friends playing cards on a box, sitting on a couple of old tires each
  1057. Guys, have you seen Knox? I can’t find him
  1058. >>>”haven’t seen him dude, why? Something wrong?”
  1059. Yeah, that fucking coyote gave me rabies, im most probably going to die if I don’t go to the hospital NOW!
  1060. >>>>”oh…that sucks man…”
  1061. Oh you think?
  1062. >>>>”yeah…full house, I win”
  1063. >>>”oh, fuck you”
  1064. GUYS!
  1065. >>>>”heh, sorry anon, let’s not waste any more time and take you to the hospital, it’s a five hour trip to the city and who knows how much to the hospital”
  1066. Thanks, I wanted to let Knox know, but I can’t find him
  1067. >>>”forget about him dude, we´ll let him know”
  1068. Thanks guys, c´mon lets go
  1069. …Whose truck is this?
  1070. >>>”the boss´s”
  1071. Are we allowed to use it?
  1072. >>>>”yeh”
  1073. How come I never saw it?
  1074. >>>”cuz you never go outside of your house dude”
  1075. i…fair enough
  1076. >you flop back on the back seat of the truck, a bucket next to you…just in case
  1077. Four hour trip to the city you said?
  1078. >>>>”five, I can make it three and a half if i floor it though”
  1079. But?...
  1080. >“But I don’t want an excuse for using the entire gas tank on a single trip”
  1081. Dude, im going to die, I think we can justify the gas for this
  1082. >>>>”fine, but if I have to pay the entire tank then you are paying it”
  1083. Are you seriously making me pay fo-fine whatever I’ll pay it if I survive
  1084. >>>>”good”
  1085. >he stomps on the gas, driving through the empty road at max speed
  1086. >So far you have puked only once since you leaved the farm
  1087. >you started to get dizzy around the first forty minutes of travel
  1088. >it has been an hour since then, so it’s safe to assume you are half way through
  1089. >>>”so, how did that coyote got inside the house?”
  1090. Fucker jumped through the window
  1091. >>>”shit”
  1092. Im gonna hunt it down if I make it back
  1093. >>>>”way ahead of you anon, we manage to kill it”
  1094. No shit? Finally!
  1095. >>>”yeah, boss took it to make a rug out of it, said he´s gonna give it to whoever recollects the most wheat in the month”
  1096. Neat
  1097. >>>>”yeah”
  1098. >>>”…”
  1099. >>>>”…”
  1100. >you puke into the bucket
  1101. >another hour passes, you can see the city in the distance now
  1102. >>>>”we are almost there anon”
  1103. Cool…
  1104. >>>”how ya hanging buddy?”
  1105. >he turns around in his seat to take a look at you
  1106. Is it just me or is it getting hot in here?
  1107. >you are sweating now, several drops of sweat falling form your face
  1108. >>>”oh man, you don’t look so good”
  1109. …im…im cold guys
  1110. >>>”ok… Im actually worrying about him now”
  1111. >>>>”he´ll be fine, just one more hour”
  1112. >>>”but why is it advancing so fast?”
  1113. >>>>”do I look like a doctor to you?
  1114. Guys?...
  1115. >>>”your handwriting certainly looks like”
  1116. Guys…
  1117. >>>>”you said that you would never mention that again…”
  1118. guys…
  1119. >>>”well maybe if you weren’t such a dick sometimes, maybe I wouldn’t mention it”
  1120. >>>>”we are not having this conversation while driving anon to the hospital, we´ll talk about it later, aight?”
  1121. >you don’t really feel like listening to their discussion, so you take that as your queue to pass out in your fever
  1122. >back in the farm
  1123. >the computer went to 16%
  1124. >Knox was sitting in front of it
  1125. >he was weirded out by all the “technology” in front of him
  1126. >but the note that he found on his door said that he had to take care of AJ while anon was gone
  1127. >or at least that’s what he thought it said, whoever wrote that down must have never picked up a pencil in his life
  1128. >so all he does is staring at the screen, reading AJ´s instructions while playing around with her body
  1129. >”maybe I could do something with this…how hard can it be?”
  1130. >Knox is playing around with some tools next to AJ´s head
  1131. >he is not the best managing small tools, he is used to big tools and trucks, but he seems to be getting the hang of it
  1132. >”this is actually relaxing, I think I can see what anon sees in this whole technology thing”
  1133. >he moves AJ´s legs trying to make her body stand up
  1134. >it falls due to the faulty leg
  1135. >”hmm maybe I can help anon with this”
  1136. >he looks at the monitor and reads the instructions, he struggles a bit navigating with the mouse, but he figured out rather easily
  1137. >”looks like i´ll need some special tools for this”
  1138. >just as he was about to look for more tools, a knock on the door called his attention
  1139. >he went and opened the door
  1140. >”Yes?”
  1141. >>”package for…Annonymuse?”
  1142. >”anon? Oh, he is not here, but i´ll receive it for him”
  1143. >>”usually I would said no, but it is a 5 hour trip to reach this place, so whatever”
  1144. >the delivery guy hands over an office tablet for him to sign up
  1145. >>”here you go”
  1146. >he drags a couple of rolls of fabric and a big box out of his delivery van
  1147. >>”hope you enjoy…whatever you are doing with this”
  1148. >he leaves without saying anything else
  1149. >Knox takes everything inside and opens the box
  1150. >it’s the circuit welding kit that anon waited for
  1151. >”hey, I remember using one of these before! Perfect timing!”
  1152. >he turns around and sits in front of the computer again, unpacking the kit and preparing himself to, what he thinks, is playing doctor with AJ´s body
  1153. >”oh, this brings back so many memories”
  1154. >he gives another look to the instructions on the screen and takes the electric welder
  1155. >”Now, let’s see if I still remember how to do this”
  1156. >you don’t know for how long have you been out, but apparently it was enough for your friends to reach the city, find a hospital, go to eat, come back, find you connected to some tubes and bags with some liquid inside them and then go to a motel to pass the night
  1157. >you try to stand up, but your body feels too weak to move
  1158. >you give up after the third attempt and instead call for somebody
  1159. Doc?...nurse?...AJ?...anyone?
  1160. >your tongue drags in your mouth when you talk
  1161. >there is no response
  1162. >looks like nobody is around
  1163. >you rest your head on the damp pillow below it
  1164. >man, you are hot right now but there is nothing you can do
  1165. >you look at the clock above the door in front of you
  1166. >09:43 PM
  1167. >you catch a couple of voices on the other side of the door
  1168. >you can’t make up what they are saying, something about a hotdog? You can’t tell
  1169. Guys?
  1170. >they don’t seem to hear you
  1171. >you try your hardest to shout and catch their attention
  1172. GUYS?
  1173. >that wasn’t exactly a shout, but it did the trick
  1174. >you hear some footsteps and then see a doctor opening the door
  1175. >”looks like you are up, great! How ya feeling champ?”
  1176. I feel like a got bent over by a rabid coyote and raped me trying to get the rabies inside
  1177. >”well, according to your friends, that’s not too far away from the truth, that coyote did a number on your arm, it’s a miracle it’s not rotting due to an infection”
  1178. I did my best to disinfect it as best as I could…
  1179. >”yeah, well, you did give yourself enough time to make it here, that’s good”
  1180. Doc, why is it going so fast? The symptoms I mean, I read about this and it said that it could take up to 7 years
  1181. >”well, several factors could affect the progression of the infection”
  1182. Like?
  1183. >”did you ever have your shots as a kid?”
  1184. What shots?
  1185. >”i´ll take that as a no…your anti rabies shots”
  1186. Oh, those, yeah, my dad said that those would turn me gay, so he didn’t gave them to me
  1187. >”…”
  1188. He was a bit of a conspiracy theorist guy…
  1189. >”u-hu…”
  1190. >”yeah, that could be the main reason”
  1191. Dammit dad!
  1192. >you sigh a little bit and then ask the doctor
  1193. Will I make it?
  1194. >”I don’t know, only a handful of people have survived an infection of rabies in the last two decades, but it is a possibility, we already gave you the PEP vaccination, now it’s just a matter of your body doing the rest of the work, but since the infection is somewhat advanced, there is still a chance of it being fatal”
  1195. So…I just have to be lucky?
  1196. >”as a doctor and man of science I don’t really believe in luck, nor I want to use the term for medical cases…but im afraid that’s the case right now”
  1197. Well…fuck me
  1198. >you rub your palm across your face
  1199. >”pretty sure the coyote already did”
  1200. Oh shut up and bring me some water…and a new pillow please, im sweating way too much
  1201. >a small contained chuckle escapes the doctor
  1202. >”I’ll have a nurse bring them too you”
  1203. >without saying anything else, he walks out of the room and closes the door behind him
  1204. >your friends arrive the next day, you didn’t sleep at all last night, and no, you don’t count passing out as sleeping, you don’t even feel rested
  1205. >>>”hey mate, how ya feeling?”
  1206. Like shit
  1207. >>>>”yah, you look like it”
  1208. Doc gave any news?
  1209. >>>”just that it may take up to two weeks for you to get better…that if you manage to”
  1210. What if I don’t?
  1211. >>>>”his guess it’s that you would die in the next 5 days if you don’t”
  1212. >>>”do you have to be so blunt about it?”
  1213. >>>>”hey, he asked for the info, I gave it to him, what else do you want from me?”
  1214. Ladies, please, I have something important to ask you
  1215. >they both look at each other with awkward faces and then at you
  1216. >>>>”wacha want?”
  1217. AJ is back at home, she is being analyzed by my computer as we speak
  1218. >>>>”The little robot pony thingy?”
  1219. >he gets a slap in the back of his head by the other guy
  1220. >>>”you mean his friend”
  1221. >>>>”Agh fuck right right”
  1222. Yeah, her, I need you guys to go and bring her here
  1223. >>>”that´ll be easy don’t worry”
  1224. No it won’t, she is connected to my computer and cannot be disconnected or her memory could be wiped out
  1225. >>>>”wait, you want US to bring her AND an entire computer to this room without disconnecting it? How on earth could we do that? I’m not expert on computers, but I’m pretty sure you can’t do that”
  1226. Please, figure it out, I just want to see her one last time if I die
  1227. >>>”don’t worry anon, we´ll figure it out”
  1228. And one last thing, if I die, please take care of her
  1229. >>>”we will anon, cmon, lets go”
  1230. >>>>”can I keep your shotgun?”
  1231. >he gets dragged out by his friend”
  1232. >AJ´s body is standing on its own
  1233. >Knox fixed her leg, of course it still has no fabric around it, so it still looks like the insides of the animatronics from Five Nights At Freddie’s
  1234. >Knox it’s not in the house
  1235. >the screen on the computer still displays the progress bar
  1236. >33%
  1237. >not much happens for a couple of hours
  1238. >Knox came back from a quick shift at the fields, since he is the one still in charge when the boss is not around he has to get some work done
  1239. >he sits on anon´s armchair to rest
  1240. >”wonder how long until that thing finish whatever its doing”
  1241. >he glances at the screen while stretching
  1242. >the screen goes black and the sound of the spinning fans inside the CPU stop completely
  1243. >”…I don’t think that’s a good thing”
  1244. >he quickly stands up and runs to the computer to check it out
  1245. >>”i- I don’t-oh man, what do I do?!”
  1246. >he moves the mouse side by side
  1247. >nothing
  1248. >he presses the space bar several times
  1249. >nothing
  1250. >he hits the side of the screen with his palm
  1251. >the sound of the fans comes back, they are spinning again
  1252. >the screen comes back
  1253. >it’s a programmed restart commanded by the scanning program itself
  1254. >at least that’s what it says on the screen along with the following
  1255. >>””your pony will wake up for a while to run a quick checkup, you may interact with your pony until the checkup is completed” wait, now?”
  1256. >AJ´s eyes open up and flicker to life once again
  1257. >she scans her surroundings using her eyes only
  1258. >”Señor Knox? What are you haciendo aqui?”
  1259. >>”oh, hello AJ, anon leaved me a note asking me to take care of you while he is gone”
  1260. >”gone? A donde fue?”
  1261. >>”eehhh, don’t worry about it”
  1262. >that was an awful lie
  1263. >”Mr Knox, I may be based on a pony who cannot mentir whatsoever, but even I can tell you are lying, porfavor tell me, where did anon go?”
  1264. >>”am I really that bad?”
  1265. >”Señor Knox…”
  1266. >>”he is at the hospital, he’s got the rabies”
  1267. >”he is sick?!”
  1268. >>”yeah”
  1269. >”Please! Mr Knox, you have to take me to him!”
  1270. >>”sorry girl, his note specifically asked me not to unplug you from this computer under any circumstance whatsoever”
  1271. >”Mr Knox, I beg you! I must verlo”
  1272. >>”im awfully sorry AJ, aint non i can do until this thing is done”
  1273. >he places his hand on top of the computer
  1274. >>”my hands are tied until then”
  1275. >the computer beeps
  1276. >both turn to look at the screen
  1278. >AJ deactivates one more time
  1279. >the screen goes black for a second and come back to the desktop
  1280. >the progress bar shows up
  1281. >the bar jumped from 33% to 66%
  1282. >a text file opens up on its own
  1284. >”uuh ok?”
  1285. >HELLO?_MR_KNOX?_
  1286. >Knox replies by typing on the keyboard
  1287. >>AJ? YOU THERE?_
  1288. >I_AM_
  1297. >>70%_
  1298. >!_
  1300. >SI!_
  1306. >he stops typing and goes to the instructions, looking for the appropriated set of instructions to follow
  1307. >you are lying on your bed, drinking some water
  1308. >you are feeling dehydrated and your vision is starting to get blurry
  1309. >according to your calculations, they should be back with Applejack early in the morning
  1310. >that if they figure out how to bring her without disconnecting her, hopefully the scanning is done when they arrive
  1311. >the tiredness is starting to get a toll on your body, but you don’t want to go to sleep yet
  1312. >you are afraid that if you fall asleep you might not wake up again
  1313. >but that is not happening, not yet, you must stay awake. For Applejack
  1314. Come on guys, hurry up
  1315. >you blink several times, each time you keep your eyelids closed longer and longer
  1316. NO! Not yet!
  1317. >you shake your head trying to shake the tiredness away
  1318. >is not working, the weight on your eyelids it’s too much
  1319. Maybe just a quick nap, yeah, that´ll help
  1320. >you take a quick glance at the clock above the door
  1321. >4:22 AM
  1322. >you give up and fall asleep
  1323. >you wake up
  1324. >Still feeling tired
  1325. >looks like not even sleeping can help you anymore
  1326. >you feel like your eyes are bulging out of its sockets and the fever keeps getting worse
  1327. >the clock is barely visible
  1328. >5:07 PM
  1329. >that’s not good, they should have been back by now
  1330. >you try calling the nurse, but your throat is to sore and dry
  1331. >there should be a button to call for a nurse around here-there you are
  1332. >you press the button next to your bed
  1333. >it beeps several times
  1334. >god that’s annoying
  1335. >the nurse walks in
  1336. >”need anything?”
  1337. Yeah, I think I fell asleep for a couple of hours, are my friends back yet?
  1338. >”I think you mean a couple of days, we had to keep waking you up at your request, but even then you were barely conscious”
  1339. Couple of what?!
  1340. >”im sorry, but if you don’t need anything, I have to go”
  1341. Wait, just bring me some more water, please
  1342. >”very well, i´ll be back in a minute”
  1343. >she leaves the room as you rub your hand on your face
  1344. It has to be done by now, right?
  1345. >back on your house, Knox is still messing around with AJ´s head and talking to her through the text file
  1346. >>I THINK I GO IT, AJ!_
  1348. >Knox spins her head like a bolt
  1349. >creak, creak, click
  1350. >>”YEAHAHA!”
  1351. >he types in the keyboard
  1354. >>YES MA´AM_
  1355. >he navigates through a couple of windows before reaching the transference process
  1356. >it begins
  1357. >25%
  1358. >50%
  1359. >75%
  1360. >98%
  1361. >99%
  1362. >99%
  1363. >99%
  1364. >100%
  1365. >Applejack´s eyes flicker back to life once again
  1366. >”estoy de vuelta!”
  1367. >Knox cheers as well as your friends who were standing behind him the entire time
  1368. >”rapido! Tengo que ir con anon antes de que sea muy tarde”
  1369. >>”wait, AJ, something is not right…”
  1370. >”a que te refieres?”
  1371. >she examines her body
  1372. >”todo parece estar en orden”
  1373. >that’s when she realized
  1374. >she covers her muzzle with her fabric-less hoof
  1375. >she moves the hoof aside and opens her mouth to speak
  1376. >”pueden entender lo que digo?”
  1377. >she covers her muzzle again, eyes wide with surprise and annoyance
  1378. >”con un demonio, ahora solo puedo hablar español!”
  1379. >Knox replies back
  1380. >>”well, most of us can understand some level of Spanish and I’m pretty sure anon is the one with the most knowledge of it, hopefully it won’t be too much of a problem?”
  1381. >AJ sighs and responds with an annoyed tone
  1382. >”Estoy cansada de estas fallas! Pero saben qué? eso no importa ahora, rápido! llévenme con anon!”
  1383. >>>”you said you want us to take you to anon, right?
  1384. >”SI!”
  1385. >>>”ok, just checking, we´ll be back soon, Knox”
  1386. >>”oh no, you won’t, even if I barely know anon, he is still one of us, I’m going with you guys”
  1387. >” vamos! andando!”
  1388. >AJ jumps out of the PC table, she lands the jump this time and starts running outside towards the pick-up truck
  1389. >everyone follows shortly after
  1390. >Knox is the one driving this time, driving at max speed across the road, stopping once to let one of the guys take a quick rest behind a bush
  1391. >after several hours of driving they arrive to the hospital one more time
  1392. >its around midnight, there are few people in the waiting room, most of them sleeping or distracted with old magazines or their phones
  1393. >the main desk it’s next to the wall, corridors at both sides of it with several rooms with some patients
  1394. >they almost burst into the room but quickly regain their composure before calling any unnecessary attention
  1395. >some are still looking though
  1396. >Knox is carrying AJ on his hands
  1397. >they all walk to the main desk but the other two guys hold back and take a sit close to a bunch of old and tore magazines
  1398. >Knox and AJ are the only ones that actually made it to the desk, the receptionist looks friendly but somewhat tired
  1399. >>”hello, we came to visit anon”
  1400. >”anon?”
  1401. >>”oh, full name: Anon-y-mous”
  1402. >her expression goes from tiredness to full concern
  1403. >”ooh, sir, afraid I have some news regarding…Mr. Anonymous”
  1404. >”a que se refiere con, “noticias”?”
  1405. >”oh god, that thing speaks?!”
  1406. >AJ´s face it’s a mix of hurt and annoyance
  1407. >>”ma´am, please, anon?”
  1408. >”right, my apologies…actually, are you a relative of Mr. Anonymous?”
  1409. >>”uuh, no, im just an acquaintance”
  1410. >”iiiis there any relative of him here?”
  1411. >>Knox look back at the two guys that are sitting near the magazines, they look at each other and shrug back at him
  1412. >AJ clears her throat and pokes Knox´s chest a couple of times
  1413. >he looks down and hesitates for a second
  1414. >he then extends his arms, presenting Applejack to the receptionist
  1415. >she looks really confused
  1416. >”Are...are you serious?”
  1417. >>”she knows anon…maybe not longer, but far better than any of us, im pretty sure she is the closest person he has to an actual family, the rest of us are just acquaintances or friends”
  1418. >AJ actually lights up at being called a “person”
  1419. >Knox gives her a small but reassuring smile
  1420. >AJ smiles back
  1421. >”Por favor señorita…Necesito ver a Anon…”
  1422. >”i…i mean, this is a little unorthodox…”
  1423. >she scratches her head with a pen and stands up
  1424. >”Please, give me a second, I’ll be right back”
  1425. >she leaves
  1426. >AJ and Knox look at each other
  1427. >He carries AJ back with him and takes the closest seat to the desk
  1428. >AJ jumps off of him and sits on the seat next to him
  1429. >A few seconds pass
  1430. >they turn into a couple of minutes
  1431. >then ten minutes
  1432. >then fifteen
  1433. >after the twentieth minute the nurse comes back along with a doctor
  1434. >”I presume you are…Applejack, am I correct?”
  1435. >Knox, along with the guys and AJ turn to look at him
  1436. >”S-si, soy yo”
  1437. >”Oh, Spanish? I did not expected that…anyway, anon informed us about his case, he…was…expecting you”
  1438. >she jumps out of her seat, everyone in the waiting room looking at her walk to the doctor
  1439. >”estaba?”
  1440. >”come, i´ll take you to him”
  1441. >”vamos chicos, Anon nos esta esperando”
  1442. >they all stand up but the nurse interrupts them
  1443. >”im sorry, but as weird as it may be, only…Miss…Applejack, is allowed to visit him right now”
  1444. >AJ looks conflicted, but she won’t question that back, she just want to see anon already
  1445. >”pero…esta bien, vamos”
  1446. >she follows the doctor across the left corridor, no one saying anything
  1447. >AJ tries her best not to look around and let her curiosity get the best of her, but she can’t help but notice several patients on their beds
  1448. >there was one covered in bloody bandages, another one with a wheelchair next to him, another one without an arm, and the last one was completely covered with a white sheet, his bed surrounded by nurses and a couple of doctors
  1449. >they reach the final room
  1450. >the doctor opens the door and reveals four beds, two of them are empty
  1451. >the room is in total darkness except for a couple of flashing lights coming out of some machines
  1452. >one of the two occupied beds has an old slender man, he looks like he is on his last days, a thin sheet covers his chest all the way down to his feet
  1453. >looks like he is sleeping for now
  1454. >the other bed is surrounded by curtains
  1455. >the doctor takes an office tablet hanging on a bin mounted on a wall, he writes something on it and returns it
  1456. >”are you seriously his only family?”
  1457. >AJ doesn’t responds for a few moments
  1458. >”must suck to be completely alone”
  1459. >”Anon no esta solo, me tiene a mi”
  1460. >she replies
  1461. >”if you say so”
  1462. >he turns around to leave but AJ calls him before he does
  1463. >”necesito ayuda para subir”
  1464. >”what? oh, right, sorry”
  1465. >he lifts her with both hands and walks next to the curtain
  1466. >”are you ready?”
  1467. >”si”
  1468. >he turns on a small light and slides the curtains, revealing an unconscious anon with some tubes coming out of his mouth and nose
  1469. >”Anon!”
  1470. >he leaves her on the bed
  1471. >”I´ll leave you alone for now, just be careful and try not to touch the tubes, they are the only thing keeping him alive right now”
  1472. >AJ doesn’t ignore him, but she doesn’t reply either
  1473. >she carefully walks to the side of his face
  1474. >”Anon, estoy aqui, despierta!”
  1475. >”yeah, he cant hear you”
  1476. >”por que?”
  1477. >”he is in a clinically induced coma”
  1478. >”en coma?!”
  1479. >”im gonna ask you to not shout, please, this is a hospital, and yeah, a coma, it was necessary, he started to convulse and had a lung failure, if we hadn’t put him in a coma to treat him he would have died a long time ago”
  1480. >it looked like Applejack was about to cry, but that was something she wasn’t physically capable off
  1481. >”y no puede despertarlo? Si lo pusieron a dormir seguro pueden despertarlo, verdad?”
  1482. >”wake him up? That’s not how it works, if we try to wake him up in his current state he will most likely die within the hours, all we can do is wait for him to recover and wake up on his own, that´s if he does at all”
  1483. >she sits next to his face and gently strokes his cheek
  1484. >”cuanto tiempo?”
  1485. >”im sorry, whats that?”
  1486. >”cuanto tiempo tomara para que se mejore?”
  1487. >”how much time you ask? There is no telling, it could be days, it could be weeks”
  1488. >she stays silent
  1489. >”…im gonna go now”
  1490. >he turns around and leaves the room, leaving AJ alone with anon
  1491. >”no te preocupes, estoy aqui para cuidarte, no me ire hasta que te mejores”
  1492. >AJ takes the sheet next to him and carefully covers him
  1493. >she does it with rather ease this time, her time of practice with anon´s bed seems to have helped her figure out the best way to do it
  1494. >and the repairs that Knox did on her also gave her more grip on her jaw
  1495. >hopefully, when she is fully repaired she could do so much more to help anon
  1496. >she curls up and lies next to him, in between his neck and shoulder, nuzzling him
  1497. >”por favor mejorate rapido…”
  1498. >she gives him a small kiss
  1499. >”buenas noches…”
  1500. >she wakes up around 3:30 AM
  1501. >the faint beeping of the electrocardiogram machine keeps the room from being in total silence
  1502. >that and anon´s faint breathing
  1503. >the bed sheet seems to have slid off a bit
  1504. >she navigates her way to it and pulls it back, placing it how it used to be
  1505. >”that your friend?”
  1506. >AJ gets startled
  1507. >she looks around before landing her view on the old man on the next bed
  1508. >he is now sitting, hands resting on his stomach
  1509. >”heh heh, sorry there girl, wusnt my intention to startle you”
  1510. >AJ relaxes and sits on the edge of the bed, looking at the old man
  1511. >”no hay problema…”
  1512. >”oh, Spanish? ya´ll have to excuse me if I take longer than expected to reply, my spanish is a bit rusty theehhee”
  1513. >he coughs a bit before continuing
  1514. >”name´s Abe, pleashur to meecha”
  1515. >he extends his arm for a salutation and waits
  1516. >”Hola Abe, mi nombre es Apuljyak, un gusto conocerte…lo siento, pero no puedo alcanzarlo”
  1517. >Abe mumbles what AJ just said, doing his best to translate it
  1518. >”oh i get it, heh heh, ya a small lass, aint´cha?”
  1519. >he takes his arm back and places it on top of his resting hand
  1520. >”that’s ok, the smaller they are, the cuter they get when they grow up…I think, I haven’t seen anything since I was born so I don’t know, tho I gotta say, ya sound mighty mature, must be whatever´s in the food ya kids eat these days”
  1521. >she doesn’t reply, not because she is ignoring him, but because she doesn’t know what to say
  1522. >”ya seem a bit down girl, somethin´wrong? Ya know…besides being in a hospital”
  1523. >”solo estoy preocupada por anon, que si nunca despierta? O peor?”
  1524. >”i wouldn’t worry about him, im pretty sure he will”
  1525. >”como puede estar tan seguro?”
  1526. >”i know cuz he said so, and he sounded convinced, something about doing it for the most important girl of the world, presume that’s you”
  1527. >”la mas importante del mundo?”
  1528. >”that’s right, must be great having such loving family”
  1529. >”si…”
  1530. >she stops and thinks for a few moments
  1531. >”Familia…supongo que lo soy…”
  1532. >”Ya adopted I suppose?”
  1533. >”en cierta manera”
  1534. >” I see…hah! get it?”
  1535. >he points at his eyes while smiling
  1536. >AJ chuckles a bit
  1537. >”aah, that’s better, laughter has always been the best medicine”
  1538. >they both laugh for a minute until it dies down
  1539. >”can ya promise me something lass?”
  1540. >”Una promesa? Uh, seguro, que cosa?”
  1541. >”when he wakes up, make sure you enjoy ya life with him, i´ve meet some awful people on my time, some i don’t even know If I would be able to call them humans…but you, being so young, I can tell you are already more human than some of them”
  1542. >AJ looks a bit confused to where is all of this coming from, maybe he hasn’t realized that he is talking to a small pony
  1543. >nevertheless, she plans on keeping that promise
  1544. >”I can tell that you love him and he loves you back…not in a romantic way of course, that would be weird…and maybe illegal, I don’t know, things is, that love is what will make you a better person, no matter the circumstances, no matter the times”
  1545. >”lo are, lo prometo”
  1546. >she looks back at anon and smiles a bit
  1547. >”Gracias por animarme, Sr. Abe”
  1548. >”Thank you, lass”
  1549. >”yo? Porque?”
  1550. >”for giving this old man one last glance of humanity before he dies…hah, get it?”
  1551. >AJ chuckles again before realizing what he said
  1552. >he exhales and lies back on his bed
  1553. >”no! espere! No puede morir aun! SEÑOR!”
  1554. >”im not dying!”
  1555. >he stretches and covers himself with the bed sheet
  1556. >”just tired, its like 4am that’s all”
  1557. >”oh, cierto, lo siento heh”
  1558. >”talk to you later Apuljyak, have a good night”
  1559. >”usted tambien Sr. Abe, buenas noches”
  1560. >”No...Por favor no, Anon, las capas!”
  1561. >AJ suddenly wakes up screaming
  1562. >”OGRO VERDE! NO!”
  1563. >a nurse is standing next to her
  1564. >she is looking at AJ with curious eyes and many questions inside of her head
  1565. >AJ replies after an exchange of looks with the nurse
  1566. >”lo siento, sueños con…cebollas, ugh”
  1567. >”aah…sure”
  1568. >she takes the office tablet hanging on the wall and writes something on it before turning to anon
  1569. >then, she takes his arm and unravels the bandages covering his mauled arm and uses new ones to bandage it again
  1570. >”como esta?”
  1571. >”Excuse me?”
  1572. >”anon? como esta?”
  1573. >”oh Mr. Anon, sorry, I’m not good with Spanish, he seems to be fine for now, we need to wait a bit more to notice any noticeable changes”
  1574. >”rayos…”
  1575. >”im just gonna give him another shot and then i´ll be on my way”
  1576. >she takes a syringe and slowly injects some medicine on his arm
  1577. >AJ observes carefully
  1578. >”there we go, that should help him to get better”
  1579. >the nurse disposes of the syringe
  1580. >”now, before i go, do you need anything?”
  1581. >AJ lifts her head to look at the nurse
  1582. >”si, podria conectarme a la pared? Mi batería se esta agotando”
  1583. >”…i…could…maybe…i…”
  1584. >”no entiendes lo que digo, verdad?”
  1585. >the nurse just gives her an awkward smile
  1586. >AJ exhales in a frustrated manner while somehow getting her charging chord out of her body through the exposed exo-skeleton of her leg
  1587. >she gives it to the nurse and points to the wall plug then to herself
  1588. >the nurse gets it now
  1589. >”oh, I get it!”
  1590. >she carries AJ next to the wall and plugs her in
  1591. >a couple of hours go by
  1592. >her battery its back to full charge
  1593. >And its midday now, that means its visits time
  1594. >Knox and friends visited anon one by one
  1595. >they mostly chatted with AJ though, since anon can’t do much in his current state
  1596. >they asked if she saw any changes, AJ replied by saying what the nurse said before
  1597. >after a couple of hours and a slap to the face from one of the nurses to one of the guys that tried to flirt on her, its time for the group to go back to the farm
  1598. >Knox tried to convince AJ to go with them, since there isn’t much she can do until he wakes up
  1599. >”you sure you wanna stay?”
  1600. >”si, alguien debe quedarse a cuidarlo mientras no estan”
  1601. >”are you completely sure of it? We can’t come back every day, so if you stay you will be stuck here until the next week”
  1602. >”estoy segura, no se preocupe Sr. Knox, estare bien”
  1603. >”well, if you say so, then i trust ya”
  1604. >”Gracias”
  1605. >”don’t mention it”
  1606. >he lifts AJ and leaves her on top of the bed
  1607. >”we´ll be back next week, take care”
  1608. >”los veo la proxima semana, adios”
  1609. >and with that, they leaved
  1610. >leaving AJ alone to take care of anon
  1611. >every hour, she inspected anon to make sure nothing was out of place
  1612. >she couldn’t change his bandages, so she tightens them up so they wouldn’t get loose
  1613. >every time his bed sheet slid to the side, she pulled it back and placed it back in place
  1614. >she even puffed his pillow several times with the occasional help of a nurse
  1615. >hours passed, and the night arrived one more time, despite being there for solely for anon, she was getting bored fast, hospitals aren’t a great source of fun or entertainment anyway
  1616. >but she had a friend now
  1617. >”you there Apuljyak?”
  1618. >”Oh, hola Abe, aqui estoy”
  1619. >every day it was the same routine
  1620. >AJ did her best to take care of anon, she had a small chat with a couple of nurses before them returning to their labor
  1621. >every night, AJ and Abe had a conversation for a couple of hours before he went back to sleep
  1622. >every week Knox and friends came back to visit anon and get an update on his state
  1623. >every time, AJ told them how she took care of him, they did the same with the farm
  1624. >they took care of anon´s orchard so his vegetables wouldn’t go to waste
  1625. >they actually started growing orchards of their own so they could save some money to keep affording anon´s stay in the hospital
  1626. >time passed, and it seemed that anon wasn’t getting any better
  1627. >of course, the doctor said that most changes were internal, so there was no way for her to notice them
  1628. >it was like this for a couple of months
  1629. >his arm was completely fine by now, a few scars as a reminder of his encounter with the coyote were still there, but the rest of it was perfect
  1630. >other than that, there was no noticeable change other than him getting a bit skinnier
  1631. >until one night during her nightly chat with Abe
  1632. >”A coyote? Seriously?”
  1633. >”si, en serio!”
  1634. >”Man, thats some ROTTEN luck! Did they at least got the animal?”
  1635. >”si, lo convirtieron en un tapete, planean dárselo a anon cuando despierte”
  1636. >”i feel bad for the animal, wasn’t exactly its fault, but i guess it was necessary”
  1637. >”si, tampoco me gustó la idea al principio pero…espera”
  1638. >”something wrong girl?”
  1639. >“sentí algo moverse!”
  1640. >”you what?”
  1641. >AJ started to examine his body, looking for any sign of movement
  1642. >but instead of a finger twitching or an arm moving she found something better
  1643. >his eyes were open
  1644. A..J?
  1645. >”ANON!”
  1646. >She jumps across the bed and hugs you
  1647. >”estaba tan preocupada!”
  1648. Whu-whasgoinon? Whahappund?
  1649. >”esta bien, anon, ya despertaste, todo esta bien”
  1650. >”well, howdy there, fella, looks like you’re up, congrats”
  1651. >you slowly turn your head and are greeted by an old man, looks like he is blind, that would explain the round black glasses he is wearing
  1652. h-hey…agh, my head is killing me
  1653. >”N-no te preocupes anon, ire por ayuda!”
  1654. >AJ jumps down the bed, and runs to the door
  1655. >its not entirely closed so she manages to squeeze through the side
  1656. >”Doctor! Desperto! Anon desperto!”
  1657. >since its around 2 AM there is no one at first sights
  1658. >most of the corridors have the lights off and the few lights that are on are flickering
  1659. >AJ goes to the reception, but there is nobody there
  1660. >she struggles to open a few doors to the other rooms, but there are no doctors in sight
  1661. >she could have sworn she heard a few voices a couple of minutes ago, so she is sure they can’t be far away
  1662. >”Doctor! Enfermera! Alguien?!”
  1663. >she runs while shouting
  1664. >luckily, at the end of the corridor, she sees a nurse entering a room
  1665. >a small smile appears on her face
  1666. >”Enfermera!”
  1667. >she reaches the door and bucks it several times
  1668. >”Enfermera! Venga rapido!”
  1669. >it takes a few moments, but after some shuffling and the sound of a broom hitting the floor, she comes out
  1670. >”I was doing nothing I swear to-oh, its you”
  1671. >she clears her throat and fixes her skirt
  1672. >”what do you need?”
  1673. >”rapido! Anon desperto!”
  1674. >AJ jumps of excitement a couple of times before stopping and noticing the door
  1675. >”Armario de limpieza? Que estaba haciendo en-”
  1676. >the doctor comes out of the closet with a bucket on his head and lipstick smeared on his coat
  1677. >AJ stays silent for a few second before shaking her head trying to dismiss whatever just happened inside that closet
  1678. >”rapido doctor! Anon desperto!”
  1679. >she runs off back to anon´s room
  1680. >she arrives and finds you trying to pull out the tube going inside your mouth
  1681. >you keep gagging every time you pull, so there isn’t much you can do
  1682. >the doctor arrives shortly after Applejack
  1683. >”traje ayuda!”
  1684. >”you leave that tube right there mister, you still need it, for now at least”
  1685. Uuh, Doc, finally, wha-happened?
  1686. >your speech is slowly coming back to you
  1687. >”we had to put you in a coma, your symptoms were just too great for you”
  1688. Symptoms? Like what?
  1689. >”almost dying for starters, lung failure, extreme headaches, uncontrollable fever and convulsion just to mention some”
  1690. Damn…and what’s my state?
  1691. >”well…you are talking, which is a miracle on itself, so I’ll say you are mostly fine, your lungs are still a bit messed up, but we can fix those bad boys up in a few months, in the meantime, DO. NOT. TOUCH. THAT TUBE, that thing comes out, you are dead”
  1692. >you let go of the tube as soon as he stop speaking
  1693. >”al menos ya estas mucho mejor anon”
  1694. >you look at AJ on the floor, big smile on her face, if she could, she would be crying tears of happiness
  1695. Applejack! You are complete! And your head is back where it belongs!
  1696. >you can hear a “huh?” from both the old man and the doctor at the same time, but that’s not important
  1697. Doc, could you please?
  1698. >”oh sure”
  1699. >he lifts AJ and leaves her on the bed
  1700. >she runs to your side and you both hug
  1701. >”te extrañe tanto anon”
  1702. And I missed you too, AJ…are you speaking full Spanish now?
  1703. >”oh, si, el analisis arreglo algunas cosas pero no todo fue de acuerdo a como lo esperábamos, te cuento todo luego, por ahora debes descansar”
  1704. >”she is right, you need some rest now, i´ll come back later with some tests, for now, relax and try to get some sleep, its late and you must be tired”
  1705. >a few weeks have passed
  1706. >your stay at the hospital is starting to get on your nerves
  1707. >if you have to eat any more tasteless paste and celery-flavored serum you are going to lose it
  1708. >”hora de la comida!”
  1709. Please no…
  1710. >AJ arrives with a metallic tray with more of your tasteless food strapped to her back
  1711. >she is wearing a custom made nurse outfit, tiny nurse hat included
  1712. >apparently some nurses took a fond of her and made that for her
  1713. >she was a bit embarrassed of using it at the beginning, but she seems to have gotten used to it
  1714. >”ya sabes que hacer, anon”
  1715. I dont wanna…
  1716. >”Anon”
  1717. Fine
  1718. >you lean over and take the tray out of her back, assuming your sitting position and placing the tray on your legs
  1719. >”Ehum”
  1720. Sorry, I forgot
  1721. >you lean over again and lift her too, leaving her next to you
  1722. >”bien, ahora come”
  1723. Ugh
  1724. >you take your spoon and begrudgingly eat your paste
  1725. >”por cierto, tu jefe esta esperando que termines tu comida para visitarte”
  1726. >you choke on some of your food
  1727. The boss is here?
  1728. >”sip”
  1729. Oh boy
  1730. >you quickly finish your food, not stopping even once to taste it, not that you mind anyway
  1731. Alright, im done
  1732. >”bien, ire a llamarlo”
  1733. >she jumps out of the bed and exits the room
  1734. >a minute passes and someone knock on your door
  1735. Come on in
  1736. >yeah, that’s your boss, the short, bald, muscular old man in a gray business suit wearing shades indoors
  1737. >looks like he has a box under his arm
  1738. Hey boss
  1739. >>”hey yourself, you are looking good”
  1740. Eh, could be better
  1741. >he chuckles a little bit
  1742. >>”I hope you are feeling better, the guys filled me in on what happened at the farm, can’t avoid thinking I’m partly guilty”
  1743. Its ok, at least that damn coyote won’t be a problem anymore, there is no need for that
  1744. >>”oh, nonsense, of course there is, that’s why I brought you this”
  1745. >he shows the box under his arm
  1746. >>”the guys told me that you are into computers, so…”
  1747. >he hands you the box
  1748. >>” this one isn’t supposed to be out in the market until the next year, the latest apparently”
  1749. >both you and AJ stare at the box
  1750. >you open it, revealing the smooth surface of a laptop
  1751. >you don’t even need to get it out of the box to know that is at least a thousand times more powerful than your computer at home
  1752. S-sir, I don’t know what to say
  1753. >>”say nothing, all you have to do is get well as soon as possible”
  1754. >”lo hará, yo me encargare de eso!”
  1755. >AJ does a military salute
  1756. >>”ah, so you are the “friend” everyone is talking about? Gotta say, didn’t expected it…”
  1757. >AJ looks slightly disappointed for a second
  1758. >”y eso es malo?”
  1759. >>”a bad thing? Girl, you increased morale AND productivity on the farm, you are one of the greatest things that have happen to this farm since the time we bought that old combine”
  1760. >she cheers up and her ears perk up
  1761. >>”anyway, I gotta go, stuff to do, promise me you´ll get well soon, anon”
  1762. >he walks to the door
  1763. I will, boss, thanks for everything
  1764. >>”don’t mention it”
  1765. >and just like that, he leaves
  1766. >you and AJ look at each other for a second before getting the laptop out of its box like a pair of kids on Christmas
  1767. >it has already been charged
  1768. Oh, I love it when they do that
  1769. >after almost two hours of queued updates, your new laptop is ready to be used
  1770. >”esta computadora es mas poderosa que la que esta en casa, anon?”
  1771. That’s right, with this laptop, we can re-run your program at maximum efficiency! And it even has enough space to back up your memory, so we can do whatever we want without any worry!
  1772. >”genial! …que haremos primero?”
  1773. >you hesitate a bit before closing it and putting it back inside the box for now
  1774. We´ll do what the boss told me to do, I think that’s the best option right now, besides, im way better than what I used to be, I just need to regain my strength and we´ll be out of here before we know it
  1775. >”hmm eso suena bien, no creo que nos afecte esperar unos dias”
  1776. Yeah, we have all the time of the world, so for now, let’s just focus on getting out of here, i miss my home
  1777. >”entonces empezemos con tu terapia”
  1778. >AJ jumps out of the bed and goes to get your walker closer to you along with the small wheeled oxygen tank connected to your tube
  1779. >you leave the box next to your bed and shimmy your way to the edge of the bed
  1780. >she leaves the walker next to you and walks to the door
  1781. >”tratemos esta vez de llegar hasta aqui, ok?”
  1782. Reach the door, got it
  1783. >you step out of the bed, leaning almost all of your weight on the walker and regaining your standing posture
  1784. Ok, here we go
  1785. >you take a very careful and slow step forward
  1786. >a rush of adrenaline and a tingling sensation on both of your legs suddenly hit you
  1787. >you take another step before stopping dead on your tracks
  1788. >your breathing is heavy and a few drops of sweat are falling down your face
  1789. >”vamos, ya casi estas a mitad del camino!”
  1790. >you take another step
  1791. Why nobody told me that comas could fuck up your nervous system?
  1792. >one more step
  1793. >”vamos, anon, si yo pude caminar con tres piernas, tu puedes tambien!”
  1794. >another step, thats halfway
  1795. >”un poco mas!”
  1796. >you take a deep breath a walk the remaining distance in one go
  1797. >it doesn’t really hurt, but its pretty difficult to do so
  1798. >”muy bien!”
  1799. >she runs back to the bed
  1800. >”Ahora, si llegas aqui sin detenerte te traere un helado, ok?”
  1801. Ice cream?!
  1802. >flashbacks of your insipid pasty food come to your mind
  1804. >you take the first step forward quickly followed by the next one
  1805. >it was hard, but that vanilla ice cream was the first thing that didn’t tasted like medicine since you came here
  1806. >since then, AJ has brought you an ice cream or any other food that you asked for as a reward for completing your therapies
  1807. >when tasteless paste is the only food you can get, walking to get some actual flavor on your food becomes a really good incentive
  1808. >little by little, you started to feel better, the strength on your legs slowly came back and after a couple of weeks you no longer needed your tube to breathe and the doctor said that at this rate you should be able to go home in a week
  1809. >that was a week ago
  1810. >right now you are walking out the entrance of the hospital
  1811. >supported by a cheap cane though
  1812. >but still, you are out
  1813. >you take a deep breath and cough after that
  1814. Agh! city air is not the best to do that, tastes like burnt rubber on the back of my throat
  1815. >>”then let’s get ya back to the farm, im sure that the fresh smell of horse shit and dirt will cleanse your lungs in no time”
  1816. Good try, knox, but not even that will make me want to stay here any longer, I miss my home and I miss my chair, Cmon AJ, lets go back home…AJ?
  1817. >Applejack is waving her goodbyes to the nurses
  1818. >”Adios chicas! Gracias por todo!”
  1819. >the nurses wave back at her saying their goodbyes as well
  1820. >she runs back to your side
  1821. >”lo siento, solo me despedia”
  1822. Don’t worry, maybe we´ll come back to visit them in the future, who knows?
  1823. >”enserio?”
  1824. Maybe, we´ll see, for now, let’s go home
  1825. >you lift AJ and board the truck, Knox goes to the driver seat and starts the car
  1826. So, I guess I got a lot of catching up to do?
  1827. >”what are you talking about?”
  1828. The wheat, I mean, i´ve been gone for like…what, 2, maybe 3 months?
  1829. >”yeah, so what? You seriously expected to go to the fields on your first day out of the hospital? I admire your dedication, but you must be stupid if you think im gonna let you do heavy duty this fast”
  1830. Well, I want to do something, maybe not heavy duty, but…something, I spent a lot of time lying on that bed
  1831. >”fine, i´ll look for something for you to do, but for now you will rest for a couple of days before you start doing anything”
  1832. I can work with that
  1833. >”cool”
  1834. >you stretch a bit and look out the window for the rest of the trip back home
  1835. >the rock-country music coming out of the radio makes the perfect background noise while you admire the view of the hills slowly transforming into plains
  1836. >since this time there are no life threatening events of any kind, Knox its taking his time driving back the road, he is still going fast though
  1837. >it took round 6 to 7 hours to get back home, but seeing the farm appear on the sunset was the perfect view for your tired eyes
  1838. Home, sweet home
  1839. >”wow, extrañe mucho la granja”
  1840. I miss it a lot too, AJ
  1841. >Knox drives across the main gate and to the small residential area where your house is located
  1842. >he parks the truck right outside your house and everyone gets out and stretch
  1843. >”i´ll go let the guys know we are back, be right back”
  1844. Very well, thanks for everything, i´ll see you later
  1845. >”Adios, Señor Knox!”
  1846. >you walk to your porch and sit on top of an old tire, leaving your cane at a side
  1847. >you lift AJ of the ground and place her on top of your lap and pet her mane a bit
  1848. And thank you too Applejack
  1849. >”yo?”
  1850. Yeah, you, thank you for taking care of me while I was in the hospital, you are the best
  1851. >she looks to the side, like if she were embarrassed
  1852. >”oh, no fue nada”
  1853. >you lift her again and hug her
  1854. >she seems to not know how to react for a moment, but then hugs you back with a warm smile on her face
  1855. >you embrace each other for a minute until you decide is time to go back inside your house
  1856. Shall we head inside?
  1857. >”si porfavor, me estoy quedando sin bateria”
  1858. Then let’s go and charge you up
  1859. >she jumps off your lap and walks next to you until you reach the door
  1860. >you turn the doorknob
  1861. >its unlocked
  1862. Hmm, maybe they cleaned and forgot to lock it last time they were here?
  1863. >you look at AJ and she shrugs back at you
  1864. >you push the door open
  1865. >and are greeted by a huge coyote jumping at you
  1866. AH SHIT!
  1867. >you jump back, forgetting about any kind of pain or numbness on your legs and close the door
  1868. >AJ somehow managed to climb to your shoulder and is now shivering in fear
  1870. I DONT KNOW!
  1871. >you walk back and pick up your cane that you dropped without even realizing
  1872. Ok, ok, its trapped, let’s think of something
  1873. >”que hay de la ventana? Talves podamos ver donde esta”
  1874. Great idea AJ!
  1875. >you tip-toe your way to the window on the side of the house and carefully take a peek inside
  1876. >the coyote its still there, but its stuck in place, like if it were frozen in time in the middle of a jump
  1877. Wait a fucking second, that’s a pedestal under its paws…
  1878. >you relax but groan at the same time
  1879. It’s a god damn statue
  1880. >you take a deep breath and walk back to the door
  1881. >you open it and see the the coyote that mauled you, now turned trophy, in front of you
  1882. I thought this fucker was supposed to be turned into a rug
  1883. >you knock on its chest a couple of times, confirming its state as a dead creature
  1884. >you take a step outside of your house and shout
  1886. >you hear a faint laughter in the distance
  1887. Ugh
  1888. >you step back inside and close the door, not even bothering to move the coyote out of the way
  1889. >the first thing on your to-do list is to sit down on your comfy armchair
  1890. >AJ jumps down from your shoulder as you sit down and lays down on your lap
  1891. >you take a moment to appreciate the scene right in front of you
  1892. >the last orange-hue rays of sunlight are projecting your shadow on the wall through the window
  1893. >you feel the warmth of the sunset slowly disappearing as the sun hides behind the distant mountains
  1894. >this is the kind of moments that you love, when you can feel the world around you without even moving
  1895. >you take a deep breath before you notice how AJ is looking at you
  1896. >she looks happy, but more importantly, she looks relaxed
  1897. >you comb her mane with your fingers
  1898. >she smiles calmly
  1899. >you want to tell her how you feel, how thankful you are for her taking care of you and worrying so much for you, but you can’t bring yourself to kill the peaceful silence, not right now
  1900. >besides, you know she knows, so there is no need for it right now
  1901. >despite your internal discussion about enjoying the silence, AJ is the one that breaks it
  1902. >”es bueno estar de vuelta”
  1903. Yeah, good to be back
  1904. >”crees que ahora podramos arreglarme sin problemas, anon?”
  1905. Oh, you want me to fix you now?
  1906. >”si porfavor, me estoy cansando de que no me entiendan cuando hablo”
  1907. Heh, yeah, i imagine it must be pretty annoying not to be understood when you speak, very well, lets fix you up
  1908. >you stand up and walk to your computer desk
  1909. >almost everything looks how you left it, the deep plate with some of your clothing is still there, some cables here and there
  1910. >it looks like your circuit wielding kit arrived, neat, you are gonna use that after you are done with the main problem
  1911. >you sit down on your chair and pull your new laptop from its box
  1912. >it still has that faint smell of new equipment
  1913. >you turn it on and connect AJ to the light socket while you wait for it to finish starting
  1914. >you pull out the installation disk from your drawers and open the disk tray of your laptop
  1915. >good thing they still fabricate laptops with those
  1916. >the disk starts running and the installation program shows up
  1917. >”the installation program has been successfully installed, please insert disk 2”
  1918. Huh, that was way faster than before, cool
  1919. >you take out the first disk and insert the second one
  1920. “This process might take several hours, please be patient”
  1921. Huh, still several hours? I though tha-
  1922. >”installation service and repairing software have finished the installation process, please connect your Pony to the computer”
  1923. >you unplug AJ from the light socket and connect her to your laptop
  1924. >”uuh, hasta la energía de esta máquina se siente diferente!”
  1925. Hm, guess you have a sense of taste after all, that’s interesting
  1926. >”si, supongo, la energía del hospital se sentía…rara”
  1927. I wouldn’t be able to tell, anyway, are you ready?
  1928. >”lista!”
  1929. >you navigate through some menus and find the section you were looking for, you read out loud for AJ
  1930. “Formatting and recovery, use only if your pony has been corrupted or if you have previous experience with the program”
  1931. “Formatting Mode will allow you to modify and fully customize the settings of your pony at your liking, this includes, memory management, language, speed of speech, mannerisms etc. THIS MODE IS HIGHLY RISKY IF DONE INCORRECTLY AND COULD RESULT IN IRREPARABLE DAMAGE”
  1932. “Recovery Mode will analyze and recover your pony´s original settings at the moment of its first activation, your pony´s memory WILL be wiped out and will reset to its original state, basically creating a new pony, however, due to the complexity of the process, SOME memories COULD be recovered or not deleted at all”
  1934. …what do you say AJ? I could try doing it manually with the “formatting mode” or let the “Recovery mode” do the entire job, i´ll do whatever you feel most comfortable with
  1935. >AJ stays silent for a minute before opening her mouth to tell you her answer
  1936. >AJ looks at you and gives you a trusting smile
  1937. >”intenta con el modo de formateo, no quiero que mis memorias de ti desaparezcan, anon”
  1938. Are you absolutely sure of it?
  1939. >”si, estoy segura”
  1940. Ok then, lets just hope I don’t mess anything up
  1941. >she rests her hoof over your hand
  1942. >”se que no lo haras, confio en ti”
  1943. >you smile back at her and brush a bit of her mane out of her face, caressing it for a few seconds before replying
  1944. Very well, formatting mode it is, are you ready?
  1945. >”lista”
  1946. >AJ sits on her hind legs and closes her eyes as you press the big button that says “FORMATTING MODE”
  1947. >a window pops up
  1949. “8520”
  1950. >you press the buttons and the windows disappear letting open the Files explorer
  1951. >there are a lot of folders, each with several gigabytes of information and files you can’t really point out
  1952. >you open the folder named “Core memories”
  1953. “00000_UNKW.mem”? What the hell even is .mem?
  1954. >you open it
  1955. >a black window opens up, a bunch of random numbers and letters move around
  1956. …wait a minute…
  1957. >you hear something, its really distorted, but you manage to make out what it says
  1958. >”Hola compañero!”
  1959. The random numbers and letters on the screen keep moving around
  1960. A video made up with ASCII art? Why?
  1961. >you finally figure out what the numbers are, you take a step back and see a “video recording” of your first ever interaction with Applejack
  1962. >yeah, that’s you sitting on your armchair…and now milk is coming out of your nose
  1963. >WHO´S THERE!?
  1964. >everything looks gigantic from AJ´s perspective, pretty sure you would be intimidated by everything if that were you
  1965. >”down here, amigo”
  1966. >”the name´s apuljyak, nice to conocerte!”
  1967. >a bunch of numbers came out of what looks like your mouth
  1968. >the “video” ends
  1969. Is this how she sees the world?
  1970. >you open the next file
  1971. >00001_DISSA.mem
  1972. >the black window opens up again, showing the “video footage”
  1973. >What was your name again?
  1974. >”the name´s apuljyak, un gusto to meet ya!”
  1975. >Why are you talking like that?
  1976. >”what do you mean, compadre?”
  1977. >That! that right there, you keep talking in Spanish midsentence
  1978. >”oh, eso, I think your computer wasn’t powerful enough to run my program at maxima capacidad, maybe something got mixed up while I was booting up”
  1979. >at this moment, you notice that half of the video flickers and becomes and unrecognizable mess for a few frames
  1980. >And what’s wrong with your eye?
  1981. >”Production error?”
  1982. >the footage shows you sighing heavily while rubbing your nose bridge, then, you pick her up and place her on what looks like your night stand
  1983. >And how can I fix that?
  1984. >”I think running the program again might fix that, but it won’t do any good with your current equipment, you need a more powerful computer”
  1985. >So you are saying that im stuck with you until I get a new, more powerful computer?
  1986. >”S-stuck with me?
  1987. >half of the video goes completely black
  1988. >”is it that bad?”
  1989. >the video ends
  1990. >you sit there, feeling like a piece of shit and rubbing your face with your hand
  1991. Damn…
  1992. >you click open the next one
  1993. >00002_ANON.mem
  1994. >the black window opens up one more time
  1995. >”You, you think you can hacer eso?”
  1996. >…of course, how hard can it be? Besides, you are Applejack, the toughest and handiest pony of them all, and im…me! We got this!
  1997. >”Yeah…Yeah!, you are right! Im Apuljyak! Aint no handywork I can’t hacer!
  1998. >That’s the AJ I know! Now…lets go to sleep, its late, we´ll start with your repairing tomorrow
  1999. >”Excelente!”
  2000. >the screen shows you getting on the bed and ready to sleep
  2001. >”ooh, I almost forgot”
  2002. >Hmm?
  2003. >”what´s your nombre?”
  2004. >My nombre?...oh, my name!, the name is Anon, nice to meet ya.
  2005. >”Anon, that’s a fine name”
  2006. >Thanks
  2007. >”Anon?”
  2008. >Yeah?
  2009. >”Thanks for giving me a chance”
  2010. >the video ends
  2011. >you look at AJ sitting next to you, not moving an inch
  2012. >you feel something in your eyes but brush it off
  2013. Don’t worry girl, i´ll fix you up
  2014. >your attention goes back to the screen and close the core memories section since it doesn’t seems to have what you need right now
  2015. Lets see…
  2016. >you browse through several folders
  2017. Movement settings, nah… Memory management, I aint messing with that… I don’t think I can even pronounce this…Language and communication! There we go!
  2018. >you open the folder and are greeted by a single file
  2019. CONFIGURATION.EXE? Guess this must be it
  2020. >you open it and a really pale blue-colored window shows up
  2021. >it seems to have mostly coding language, but oddly enough, it also has a few sliding bars
  2022. >you hover the mouse over the sliding bars and a small window appears, showing what they are supposed to control
  2023. “This is the speed control, it controls how fast your pony will talk” nah, im fine with that
  2024. >you hover over the next one
  2025. “This is the rudeness control, increasing or decreasing this will affect how often your pony could curse out or behave in a more aggressive way” …ehh, no thanks
  2026. >you spent the next 5 minutes reading the remaining sliders but none of them seem to control her actual language
  2027. Shit, I think that must be somewhere in the middle of all this code…and I don’t see any way to search for specific words, maybe if I do this…
  2028. >you press a key on your keyboard
  2029. >the entire code seems to shift around the new text
  2030. Shit shit shit!
  2031. >you undo your little experiment and the code returns to how it was
  2032. Yeah, no, not fucking with that
  2033. >you stretch a little and stare back at the screen
  2034. I suppose i´ll just have to search for it without moving anything for now
  2035. >…
  2036. >around half an hour has passed since you started your search and there is no sign of anything that controls the language so far
  2037. >you are not expert in coding and can barely read it, but you are sure you haven’t found anything remotely close to that
  2038. >you are currently sitting on your armchair, taking a quick break before resuming your search
  2039. Cmon anon, you know its there, you just have to look carefully
  2040. >you stand up and walk back to your new computer
  2041. >the search continues while you slowly scroll down the code
  2042. Cmon…cmoncmoncmon, you gotta be somewhere around here
  2043. >after another 5 or 6 minutes of searching you realize that you are getting pretty close to the end of the coding and you still haven’t found whatever command controls her language
  2044. >you are getting nervous
  2045. I know you are here, I KNOW you ARE here
  2046. >you catch a particular command out of the corner of your eye
  2048. >it shows the language is set to 100% Spanish
  2049. That’s an odd way to code that…maybe that’s why your old computer gave her intertwined languages
  2050. >you look for some quick info about coding on the internet and find some quick answer to what you were looking for
  2051. Doesn’t look too complicated, should be easy enough
  2052. >you set her language to 90% English and 10% Spanish
  2053. That should do the trick…I think? …only one way to find out
  2054. >you save the changes on the code and close the Files Explorer
  2055. >you do a final check-up on the main window before running AJ´s program again
  2056. Everything seems to be in order
  2057. >you click “Run”
  2058. >the program closes itself
  2059. >AJ´s eyes open and light up like they usually do
  2060. AJ?
  2061. …AJ?
  2062. >Applejack blinks and looks at you
  2063. >”…”
  2064. >”what? Do I have something on my melena?”
  2065. >she checks herself
  2066. >you, meanwhile, take a deep and relaxing breath
  2067. Oh nothing else but your cute self
  2068. >she stops and even though she can’t actually blush, you can feel her getting a bit flustered
  2069. >”aww shucks, stop that, you”
  2070. >and then she realized
  2071. >”wait a minute! It worked! Funciono!”
  2072. >you lean back on your chair and crack your neck
  2073. Thank god it did, I was actually pretty nervous about this whole thing
  2074. >”told ya I trusted ya, I knew you could hacerlo”
  2075. Yeah…
  2076. >”you ok anon? you look tired”
  2077. I am, a bit, finally doing this whole thing took a huge weight of my shoulders, guess it’s just the relieve of it
  2078. >”I guess so, why don’t we go to sleep? It getting dark and I know you could use un descanzo”
  2079. >you stretch as you stand up
  2080. Yeah, maybe we should
  2081. >you stretch your hand to Applejack so she can walk into your arms
  2082. >she walks towards you as usual, with just a barely noticeable limp on her exposed leg
  2083. >but just before she could step onto your hand so you could lift her
  2084. >she freezes
  2085. >its was just for a literal couple of seconds, but for that pair of seconds, she stood there, not moving an inch whatsoever
  2086. >after that instant, she kept going, not noticing any out of the ordinary as if she didn’t knew or felt anything out of place
  2087. >she stepped onto your hand
  2088. >this time, it was you who froze for a couple of seconds before lifting AJ
  2089. >she didn’t notice though
  2090. >good, you don’t want to disappoint her this soon already
  2091. >you are feeling tired, but your mind is also running at a 100 miles per hour
  2092. >you fucked something up
  2093. >and don’t know what it is
  2094. >you go to your room and plug her to the only light socket on your room, good thing her chord is long enough to reach her pillow
  2095. >”buenas noches, anon”
  2096. Good night, AJ
  2097. >she closes her eyes and goes to “sleep”
  2098. >you close your eyes but can’t fall asleep
  2099. God dammit…
  2100. >this time you woke up before your usual time
  2101. >you are feeling tired and not really rested
  2102. >you kept replaying in your head everything you did yesterday, trying to figure out what could you possibly have done to cause AJ´s bug
  2103. >but if you remember everything as it happened, then there shouldn’t be a problem at all
  2104. >AJ is still charging and “sleeping” on your bed, meanwhile, you browse the internet for some info about the whole situation
  2105. >you did found some forums discussing robot-ponies and ponies in general, but there is nothing regarding defective or “bootleg” ponies
  2106. >you even created a thread asking about it, but so far you have only gotten a few replys
  2107. >half of them calling you a poorfag for not buying in a legit, authorized store
  2108. >you give up for now after a couple of hours and insults
  2109. >maybe someone will help you later
  2110. >you leave the comfort of your armchair and leave your laptop on the side table
  2111. >maybe AJ is up now
  2112. >you take a look at your room
  2113. >AJ is still charging, but she is awake now
  2114. >”howdy anon, up earlier today huh?”
  2115. Good morning AJ, yeah, just a bit
  2116. >”well, just as they say: the earlier bird gets th-“
  2117. >she froze again
  2118. >her body is stuck in the middle of her body-expression and her eyes flicker wildly for a second
  2119. ..Aj?
  2120. >”-e worm!”
  2121. >she unfreezes
  2122. >she completes her body-expression and her sentence
  2123. >again, she doesn’t seem to notice what just happen to her
  2124. >you want to tell her, but you also want to don’t want to disappoint her
  2125. Ooh hey, ummm, how do you feel?
  2126. >”what do you refieres, anon?”
  2127. Do you feel anything…weird? Different? Maybe something…adunno, out of place?
  2128. >”I don’t feel anything strange…hold on”
  2129. >she closes her eyes for a few seconds
  2130. >”naw, nothing seems out of place to me, battery fully charged as well, why?”
  2131. Oh, nothing, I just worry about you, that’s all
  2132. >”aw, thanks anon, but don’t you preocupes about me, im perfectly fine!”
  2133. Alright, but if you ever feel something weird, don’t doubt on telling me, ok?
  2134. >”got it”
  2135. >”now”
  2136. >she unplugs herself and jumps down her pillow
  2137. >”what’s today´s plan?”
  2138. What´s what now?
  2139. >”what are we doing today? I mean, you can’t really go to work yet, and my coding is perfectly fine and how it used to be now”
  2140. >that last part stabs you internally but you play it cool
  2141. >”so…what are we doing today?”
  2142. Oh yeah…well
  2143. >you turn around looking for any idea
  2144. >you see the rolls of fabric that came along with your circuit welding kit on the other room
  2145. >that´ll do
  2146. We fixed your interior…what if we finally make the exterior match?
  2147. >she notices the rolls lying on the floor and combs her mane with her exposed leg
  2148. >”that’s a mighty fine idea!”
  2149. Very well then!
  2150. >you pick her up and take her to the table on the kitchen, kicking the rolls of fabric along with your feet
  2151. >some setting up happens for a few minutes, but you soon got everything that you need for a full pony makeover
  2152. >AJ is sitting in front of you, looking at the scissors and needles lying on the table
  2153. Is there anything you want in particular?
  2154. >she looks confused
  2155. >”wacha mean?”
  2156. >you adjust yourself on the chair in front of her
  2157. We got the fabric, the time and the ability, we can make you look however you want
  2158. >”you want me to change my look? Do I still look that bad?
  2159. >she hunches a little
  2160. Oh! No nonononono! Not at all! I didn’t mean it like that, I was just asking if you wanted something new
  2161. >”you want something nuevo?”
  2162. Not really, if im honest, I love your original look, you just need a little upgrade on the quality of you fabric, it’s not exactly the softest of them all
  2163. >she takes a look at herself
  2164. >”I guess it’s not really the comfiest fabric in the world”
  2165. It is a little scratchy, yeah
  2166. >”…am I ugly to you anon?”
  2167. >she said that with a little whimper in her voice, it feels strangely out of character considering she is supposed to be Applejack, but there is something about it that your heart can’t ignore
  2168. >you lift her softly and give her a kiss on her snout
  2169. You are perfect AJ, you have always been and will always be
  2170. >a hug follows
  2171. >she hugs you back, her legs barely wrap your neck
  2172. >you can hear her relax
  2173. >”gracias anon, I love you”
  2174. I love you too AJ
  2175. >you give her another kiss and put her down on the table
  2176. >”just leave it as it is”
  2177. ´scuse me?
  2178. >”my leg, leave it as it is”
  2179. >she moves her exposed leg a little
  2180. You sure?
  2181. >”yeah, im sure, I feel like it’s an important part of me at this punto”
  2182. Hmm, yeah, it does give you a unique look, very well, exposed leg it is
  2183. >you pick up the measuring tape and begin taking some measurements of her body
  2184. >it took for EVER, but the final result is something you are proud of
  2185. >your fingers may need some stitches after this, but you got good at that, so that may not be a problem
  2186. >AJ for the other part looks great
  2187. >she actually looks like the real Applejack from the show
  2188. >her coat is now the proper color of light-orange instead of that mustard-yellowish tone
  2189. >instead of being rough like a sack, she now feels soft and plushy, you imagine this is how the real deal should feel
  2190. >you even managed to make her a real hat with real leather that you forgot you had on the orchard
  2191. >you searched for some pictures to compare your work to, there is no difference at all
  2192. >well, no difference other than her exposed exo-skeleton leg, that does give her a unique look
  2193. >”do ah look bien? Do you have a mirror around here?”
  2194. Hold on, im almost-
  2195. >you style her mane with a few flicks of your fingers, making it look perfect
  2196. -done, you look great!
  2197. >”C´mon anon, i need a espejo!”
  2198. I…I actually don’t own a mirror, remind me to get one later, im tired of cutting myself when I shave, BUT, I do have-
  2199. >you stand up and open one of the lower cabinets of your kitchen, pulling out a frying pan
  2200. -This!
  2201. >”ah frying pan?”
  2202. >you blow some hot breath and polish it with your sleeve, making it shiny enough to draw a reflection
  2203. >you lower it to her height and keep it still for her to see her reflection
  2204. Wacha think? Im no tailor, but I think its fair for me to feel proud of my work
  2205. >she stares for a few moments, admiring her new coat and mane
  2206. >”its perfecto!”
  2207. Thanks, im glad you like it
  2208. >”oh anon! thank yo-“
  2209. >she freezes again for a couple of seconds
  2210. >”-u so much!”
  2211. Y-you are welcome AJ
  2212. >you give her a fake smile mixed with a genuine one
  2213. >you really have to figure out what did you messed up
  2214. >you inhale and try to push that thought out of your head, at least for now
  2215. >you lift the frying pan and place it on top of your stove
  2216. Good, Now that that is out
  2217. >you turn the oven on
  2218. Let’s make use of this, shall we?
  2219. >you make yourself a breakfast since you haven’t eaten anything since you woke up
  2220. >a quick plate of eggs and orange juice as always are enough to fill you up
  2221. >AJ is noticeable happier now, especially now that she was able to help you a little bit more with your cooking
  2222. >it wasn’t much, just opening the fridge like before, but this time she did it without any problems
  2223. >her whole body turned out to be stronger than you expected, now that she has a proper working code inside her body it looks like her movements improved as well
  2224. >her walking seems to have improved too, just a barely noticeable limp on her exposed leg, but you blame that mostly on an imperfect repair job done by Knox, you can fix that anytime
  2225. >right now you are enjoying a small walk to the edge of the farm and AJ is walking to your side
  2226. >you are still supported by your cane
  2227. >not that you really needed, you quickly regained some strength in your legs, but you don’t want to take any unnecessary risks
  2228. >>”hey, good day anon, howdy AJ”
  2229. >”Señor Knox! Hola!”
  2230. >Knox jumps down from a stack of hay that he was tying up
  2231. Hey Knox, how you doing?
  2232. >>”im fine, what about you anon? how ya feelin´?”
  2233. Doing better, that’s for sure
  2234. >>”good to hear, what about you AJ?”
  2235. >he looks down to AJ, who is tilting her head back to look up at Knox
  2236. >”ahm doin great, anon here fixed me right up and gracias to him im as perfect as-“
  2237. >she freezes again
  2238. >you let out a disappointed sigh
  2239. >>”uuuh, is she ok? I don’t remember her doing that before”
  2240. I don’t know, I think I messed up something when i tinkered with her code, but I can’t figure out what it is wrong, and now her pauses are getting longer, she hasn’t froze for this long before…”
  2241. >Knox kneels down to pick her up, but you stop him
  2242. Wait, don’t move, I don’t think she can see or hear anything while she is frozen, and I don’t want to mess with her mind…or…processing, if she unfreezes and finds you in other position or place something bad could happen
  2243. >>”have you tested that out?”
  2244. Not yet, and I don’t want to know if that’s an actual possibility
  2245. >>”dude, you have to fix that”
  2246. I know, im trying to-
  2247. >”-I can be!”
  2248. >she unfreezes, finishing her sentence
  2249. >>”Y-yeah, you look great…and all that, anon did a good job fixin´ you up”
  2250. >he stretches and goes up the pile of hay
  2251. >>”welp, time to get back to work, talk to ya later fellas”
  2252. >”dont worry Señor Knox, we´ll help you as soon as anon gets fully recovered”
  2253. >you both turn around and walk in another direction
  2254. >the rest of your walk is uneventful, no freezing, no unexpected problems
  2255. >you are trying to see if there are any patterns to her freezing, but it seems to be completely random
  2256. >”woo, I think my bateria is emptying faster with all this walking, think we can stop for a quick recarga?”
  2257. >you´ll take any excuse to connect her to your computer at this point
  2258. Sure, lets go back
  2259. >especially now that you have an idea that might work
  2260. >you just hope that the internet pirates have some interest in robotic ponies
  2261. >you both reach your small house
  2262. >you got scared by the coyote again after opening your door, not as badly as before, but it still got your heart rate up
  2263. FUCKING!..
  2264. >you move it aside to the corner of your small living room
  2265. And stay there you rabid bitch
  2266. >”i still feel kinda bad for her, not exactly her culpa”
  2267. Yeah, well, wasn’t our fault either, we only did what we had to do to protect ourselves
  2268. >you go to the kitchen to get something to drink before doing what you came to do
  2269. Hey, AJ, after we are done with this, do you wanna go and take a trip to the fields?
  2270. >you say while opening the fridge and pulling out a glass of milk
  2271. I promise we won’t do any work
  2272. >you close the door and exit the kitchen
  2273. Just a quick trip to stretch our legs, what do you say?
  2274. >”anon? what? Donde? …how did you get there? You were just in front of the coyote…”
  2275. >her eyes flicker like they did before she got repaired and shivers
  2276. AH SHIT!
  2277. >you drop your glass of milk and pick her up, carefully
  2278. AJ! Answer me!
  2279. >you place her on top of your PC table and connect her to your laptop
  2280. >you are instantly greeted with a message you hoped you would never have to see again
  2282. God dammit, no!
  2283. >you click next
  2285. Not this time
  2286. >you click “BACK UP AND ANALYZE”
  2287. >after 15 minutes that felt like an eternity, her backup it’s completed and secured
  2288. >you take a deep breath but it doesn’t really calm you at all
  2289. >her analysis begun after a quick confirmation
  2290. >a new window appeared on your screen
  2292. >a minute and a half passes and the file opens on its own
  2293. >AJ is the first one to “talk”
  2294. >”ANON?_ARE_YOU_THERE?_”
  2298. Shit, guess I don’t have other option but to tell the truth
  2299. >”WHAT_TRUTH?_”
  2300. Huh? Hey, how did you?- I didn’t typed anything
  2302. This thing has a mic?
  2303. >you inspect your laptop for anything that looks like a microphone
  2304. >what you find is a miniscule hole with a picture of a microphone engraved next to it
  2305. Guess this is the one
  2307. >you sigh
  2308. Im sorry AJ, I lied to you when I told you that you were 100% repaired
  2309. >IM_NOT?_”
  2310. No, you are not, I…I think I messed up something when i tweaked your language settings
  2312. I don’t know, I tried looking for my mistake, but I couldn’t find anything wrong with it, and there is just too much code for me to JUST find it
  2313. >”POR_QUE?_”
  2314. There are probably a million lines of code, its gonna take forever even if I search for specific words
  2316. …I didn’t want you to be disappointed, you have already gone through so much to reach your current state, I didn’t want to take that away from you…
  2318. I know, im so sorry
  2320. Thanks, AJ
  2322. I think I have an idea
  2323. >you open the internet browser and start looking through some forums
  2324. I remember seeing some posts about “making your own pony” along with some links
  2325. >you find the thread you were looking for, luckily it was a few links away from one of the pages that you bookmarked before
  2326. There should be a thread dedicated to the technical part of building a pony and its coding around here, I know I saw it
  2328. What? No! Im not stupid, but i KNOW for a fact that if there is an answer to our problem then the answer lies within the original code, and I know someone has it
  2329. >”THE_ORIGINAL_CODE?_”
  2330. I don’t want to sound harsh AJ, but, you are not the only Applejack in the world
  2332. Not if I do it right this time
  2333. >”BUT_”
  2334. AJ, I know I failed last time, but I won’t make the same mistake twice, I promise
  2335. >AJ doesn’t respond
  2336. Do you trust me?
  2337. >”...I_DO_”
  2338. I won’t disappoint you, i promise
  2340. Im gonna look for the original coding and compare them until I find whatever is making you glitch, once I do, im gonna fix it and make sure I won’t mess up anything this time
  2342. It will, but im NOT making any more mistakes, if I have to stay here and compared the entire thing line by line, then i´ll do it
  2343. >you find the code rather quickly, it was in the front page of a forum, highlighted as an essential tool for newbies
  2344. >it took a few hours, but you download the several Gigabytes file and open it
  2345. >it’s a single Microsoft Word file with all of the code neatly arranged and with a few notes describing what does what
  2346. Well, this is useful
  2347. >”WHAT_IS_IT?_”
  2348. Looks like what i had planned was actually a common practice among the forums…
  2349. >you open the file browser for AJ´s files and look for her coding
  2350. >after a couple of minutes and some curiosity browsing, you find her code right where it used to be
  2351. >you copy the entire thing in a second Microsoft Word file and put them side by side
  2352. >the first thing you notice is that the original code is recognized as English language while AJ´s code has some lines recognized as English and others as Spanish and somehow even French
  2353. Well, this could certainly be it
  2354. >you see the icon for AJ´s text file on your taskbar flashing, indicating an update
  2356. Well, I literally just open the files and found that there are some languages differences, my knowledge of coding might be small, but I know that all coding must be done in English
  2358. I don’t think so, but I might have to search every unrecognized line of code and change it to English
  2360. >you continue your search
  2361. >the second thing you notice is the number of pages in each file
  2362. >the original code has 1,249,476 words across 1123 pages
  2363. >AJ´s code has 1,249,476 words across 1124 pages
  2364. i…wait, hold on, what is this?
  2365. >AJ´s text file flashes once again
  2366. >”SOMETHING_WRONG?_”
  2367. Y-yeah, im confused, both files have the exact same number of words but your file has an extra page…
  2368. >”AN_EXTRA_PAGINA?_HOW?_”
  2369. >you go to the last page on both files
  2370. >the original code ends at the very edge of the last page
  2371. >AJ´s ends at the very beginning of a new page, a single word in it
  2372. >you have a hunch, and you seriously hope to be wrong about it
  2373. >you go to the previous line and place the blinking cursors in between a word and a space
  2374. >you press the backspace and delete a single space
  2375. >the last page disappears and AJ´s code looks just like the original
  2376. Oh…ssshhhit, think I found the actual problem…and I don’t like it a single bit
  2377. >”WHAT_IS_IT?_”
  2378. Last time, when I was…”fixing”…
  2379. >you do a “quotation marks” gesture with your hands to express your disappointment at your previous fuck-up
  2380. …your code and couldn’t find the correct line… I did a little experiment to see if I could bring up a word searcher or something like that, you know, to find where the right line of code was
  2382. Nothing too serious! at least that’s what it felt at the moment…
  2383. >”QUE_HICISTE_ANON?_”
  2384. I thought that the code wasn’t selected at the time and I pressed a few keys in my keyboard, it typed some stuff by accident, but I quickly deleted all of it, or so I thought
  2387. Yeah…
  2389. That I didn’t actually deleted everything when I thought I did and now I have to look through the entire code for what could very possibly be A SINGLE letter in some random word that is responsible for messing up your code?
  2391. Yeah, I know
  2392. >you cover your face with your hands and let out an exaggerated groan
  2394. Yeah, I know, but, still! UUUGH! HOW COULD I MAKE SUCH A STUPID MISTAKE!?
  2395. >you got up and kicked your chair, you didn’t even noticed whenever you sat down
  2396. AH FUCK!
  2397. >now you are frustrated and your big toe hurts
  2398. >”WHAT_WAS_ESE_SONIDO?_”
  2399. I kicked my chair, that’s all
  2400. >you said while standing in a single leg and grabbing your foot trying to ease the pain
  2402. Why would I do that?
  2404. >you think for a second, you could use a few minutes of relaxation, its around 3pm now and you haven’t taken a bath since you arrived from the hospital
  2405. >you raise your arm and smell yourself
  2406. >you cringe at your own stench and lower your arm
  2407. Fuck, I reek, fine, i´ll take a few minutes to take a bath and relax…maybe a quick meal, but after that, i´ll come back to fix you once and for all, even if it takes the entire week
  2410. >you take a deep breath
  2411. Ok, just, try not to go to the internet
  2413. >you see how the cursor moves on its own and some files and folders open up
  2414. >you go to your room and take your towel, a change of underwear and your personal sponge, rubber duck from your drawer and your shotgun
  2415. >if you are going to relax, you are doing it your style
  2416. >you carry everything in your arms and speak out loud
  2417. Im going now
  2418. >you see AJ´s text file blink as you get close to your laptop to give it a last check
  2419. >”ENJOY_IT_”
  2420. >you smile a bit and head to the main door
  2421. >you take a left as soon as you exit your house and head to the backyard where your orchard is
  2422. >your orchard is under a sunshade that covers the entire area, most of your plants are planted in the center, surrounding them you have several tables with some extra potted plants
  2423. >as you open the small door to your orchard, you remember how Knox and your other friends took care of your vegetables while you were in the hospital
  2424. >every plant looks healthy and their dirt looks fresh in their pots
  2425. >they could use a little spray of water though, maybe when you finish your bath
  2426. >you go to the very end of your orchard where a small room with a small metallic door is
  2427. >as soon as you open it you are greeted with a refreshing smell
  2428. >a small rock-made Jacuzzi sits in the middle, the Jacuzzi it’s slightly lifted from the ground and has a hole with the remains of burnt wood under it
  2429. >you throw some more timber under it and lit it
  2430. >it takes a while for the water to start to bubble, it’s just hot enough to step in but not enough to be boiling
  2431. >you throw your sponge and rubber duck inside and leave your change of underwear and towel in the floor next to the Jacuzzi and leave your shotgun at hand reach
  2432. >meanwhile, at your computer
  2433. >AJ seems to be browsing some of the few files that you have transferred from your old PC so far
  2434. >a folder named “LEWD STUFF” opens up
  2435. >your rubber ducky floats idly in front of you as you polish your shotgun
  2436. >you needed this, the hot water its taking all the stress away from your shoulders
  2437. >you let yourself float next to your rubber ducky and stare at the ceiling
  2438. >the steam moving across the room forms shapes only you can identify
  2439. >you see a cat
  2440. >a circle
  2441. >26th president of the united states Theodore Roosevelt’s face
  2442. >a coyo-
  2443. SHIT!
  2444. >you swallow a bit of water as you reach for your shotgun and empty the clip, creating a big hole on the roof
  2445. >a chilly air enters the small room as the steam escapes
  2446. >a piece of wood falls on top of your stomach
  2447. God dammit!
  2448. >you step out of the water and go for your clothes
  2449. Fucking coyotes…
  2450. >you stare at the hole in the ceiling
  2451. Well, I guess it was good enough while it lasted
  2452. >another piece of wood falls into the water
  2453. Eh, i´ll fix that later
  2454. >you put your clothes on and exit the room
  2455. >on your way back to your house you water some plants that needed some refreshment
  2456. That´ll do
  2457. >you step back into your house, still drying your hair
  2458. AJ, im back
  2459. >you turn to the computer and watch how around 70-something pictures all close at the same time
  2460. >some of them froze for a second due to the amount of pictures closing at the same time
  2462. >her file blinks several times, indicating several updates
  2463. >”ANON!_”
  2464. >”I_WASNT_”
  2465. >”TE_JURO_QUE_”
  2466. >”I_THOUGHT_YOU_WERE_”
  2467. AJ, were you watching porn?
  2469. Im a lonely man! im in all my right to have porn saved
  2470. >”IF_YOU_SAY_SO_”
  2471. Nevermind that, ok? Im just gonna go make me a quick meal and then we´ll start with your code
  2472. >”OK_”
  2473. And STAY away from my folders
  2474. >”:)_”
  2475. >you head to the kitchen and make yourself a quick meal, nothing fancy, just something to get the hunger out of your system
  2476. >after 20 minutes of you filling your stomach you head back to your laptop
  2477. >a few pictures are open along with some non-important folders and Paint
  2478. AJ, I think im ready to fix your code
  2479. >AJ`s file blinks
  2481. Yeah, im better now
  2482. >you stretch a little and crack your neck moving it side to side
  2483. Thanks for making me take a break, I needed it
  2485. Now, let’s start with your code, shall we?
  2486. >”SI_POR_FAVOR_”
  2487. >you place both text files side by side once again and star from the beginning, dragging your mouse and highlighting every word in the first page and counting the number of characters selected
  2488. >it took you 10 minutes to confirm that the 1st page is 100% correct
  2489. >now you just highlighted every line that’s recognized as another language and simply set it to English
  2490. >you stop and open the calculator on your laptop
  2491. Lets see…10 minutes multiplied by…
  2492. >you look at the number of pages
  2493. 1123…that’s 11230…divided by 60…ok, 187, doesn’t sound like its that much…
  2494. 187 divided by a day…so that means 24…just about 7 days-oh boy
  2495. >if you hadn’t developed a relationship with AJ you could have just copy the entire thing, but that would change a lot of settings and most likely delete important bits of her personality that you would love to keep
  2496. >so that means that if you do this non-stop, it could take you up to a week to find that word, that of course if you don’t accidently skip it or miss it while comparing the codes
  2497. >AJ`s text file blinks once again
  2499. Alright
  2500. >you steel yourself and continue the search
  2501. >a couple of hours have passed, so far you haven’t found any word that has been misspelled and the number of pages remains the same
  2502. >fatigue is starting to creep up on you, but you push through it
  2503. >you owe it to AJ
  2504. >you stretch a bit and take a walk to your kitchen to make yourself some coffee
  2505. >it gives you enough energy to keep going for another couple of hours
  2506. >yet again, nothing so far
  2507. >after 5 straight hours of searching through the code you decided to take a break, your brain can’t take much more of this
  2508. >you have done some marathons on your computer before, but you always kept switching your activities, be it watching some videos or browsing some gardening stuff, never before have you done the same exact thing for 5 hours straight and its really taking a toll on your patience
  2509. >you lift your hands up to your head and sigh
  2510. Man, this is getting tiresome
  2511. >AJ´s text file blinks for the first time in 5 hours
  2512. >”ARE_YOU_OK_ANON?_”
  2513. Ye-yeah, I am, just…ufff, my head is hot and throbbing, I think I need to take a break, but I wont right now, I can keep going
  2514. >”WHY_DONT_YOU_GO_TO_BED?_”
  2515. But if I do that it’s gonna take more time to fix you up
  2517. >you say nothing and glance at the clock on your laptop
  2518. >10:24PM
  2519. >you rub your eyes with the back of your hand and stretch
  2520. I don’t think that’s neces-
  2521. >a long yawn interrupts you
  2522. …fine, you win, i´ll go to sleep…but, what now? Do I leave you inside the computer? Do I put you back inside your body?
  2524. You sure?
  2525. >”YEAH_”
  2526. Ok then
  2527. >you yawn once again
  2528. Have a good night AJ, i´ll be back in the morning
  2530. >you go to your room and turn off the lights for the night
  2531. >the sound of the rooster singing slowly wakes you up
  2532. >man, you missed that sound while you were in the hospital
  2533. >you got out of bed and walked to the kitchen, making yourself a sandwich and some freshly squeezed orange juice never felt so good
  2534. >you bask in the last shadows of the early morning disappearing to the rising sun while finishing what’s left of the juice before heading to the computer
  2535. >you sit down and crack your neck and knuckles
  2536. Ok, let’s do this
  2537. >looks like the laptop went to sleep mode, you shake your mouse a few times and press the space bar twice
  2538. >it doesn’t respond
  2539. Hmm, looks like it went to hibernation mode
  2540. >you press the power button and the screen turns on
  2541. There we go
  2542. >the usual start up plays before you
  2543. >once it’s done, everything that was open yesterday shows up again
  2544. >AJ´s file flashes and you open it
  2545. Ah, Good morni-
  2546. >”ANON!_”
  2547. >”YOU_ARE_BACK!_”
  2550. >”I_BEG_YOU_”
  2551. Wow! Wow! wow! Easy AJ, whats going on? Are you alright?
  2552. >”I-I_THINK?_I_DONT_KNOW_”
  2553. What happened?
  2555. You WHAT now?!
  2557. Ok, ok, back up, what do you mean you “died”? What happened after I went to bed?
  2559. Ok, nothing out of the ordinary there…
  2561. That must have been the hibernation mode…how do you feel now? Are you alright?
  2563. Don’t worry AJ, i´ll just deactivate hibernation mode so it won’t happen again
  2564. >”GRACIAS_GRACIAS!_”
  2565. >you go to your laptop´s energy settings and quickly disable the hibernation
  2566. There, that should do it, you got nothing to worry about now
  2567. >”THAT’S_GOOD_TO_HEAR_”
  2568. Now, lets just continue where we left off yesterday and get you out of there as soon as possible, shall we?
  2570. >you continue your search for that extra letter
  2571. Seems odd that hibernating had that effect on you, any idea what could have caused that?
  2572. >you stop searching for a moment to see AJ´s response
  2574. Don’t worry, i´l get you out of there as soon as possible
  2575. >you go back to the code and keep searching
  2576. >a couple of hours pass
  2577. >it feels like you checked some pages faster than usual and others took a couple of extra minutes
  2578. >overall it feels like you have saved some time, but not that much
  2579. AJ, you there?
  2581. Just checking you up, how are you feeling so far?
  2583. Yeah, sorry about that, can’t you do some exploring in the background while I finish this?
  2585. So you have just been…”sitting” there, watching?
  2587. Sorry, im trying to do my best to do this as fast as possible
  2589. Oh, cool, that’s helpful, thanks AJ
  2590. >”ANY_TIME_ANON_”
  2591. Welp, break is over, lets keep searching for that-
  2592. >you hear a knock on your door
  2593. Huh? Hold on AJ, somebody is calling at the door
  2594. >”I´LL_BE_AQUI…_AS_ALWAYS_”
  2595. >you stand up and go to the door
  2596. Oh! hey Knox, how ya doin?
  2597. >>”hey anon, ´m fine, thanks, may I come in?”
  2598. Oh, yeah yeah, sure, come in
  2599. >you step aside so the big man can enter
  2600. >>”thanks”
  2601. Can I offer you some milk? Orange juice maybe?
  2602. >>”im fine, thank you”
  2603. >he goes to your arm chair and sits down
  2604. So, uuhhh, what can I do for you?
  2605. >>”well…”
  2606. >he looks kinda uncomfortable
  2607. Everything alright, Knox?
  2608. >>”hmm? Oh ye-yeah, its just…”
  2609. >he wipes a couple of sweat drops from his face with his forearm
  2610. Just?...
  2611. >>”I was just talking with the boss”
  2612. Oh boy, is he still here?
  2613. >>”naw, he just left”
  2614. Oh, ok then…so…what were you talking about?
  2615. >>”you know he is an…eccentric man, right?
  2616. …Yeeeeaaahhhh…what did he said?
  2617. >>”well, we were talking about Applejack”
  2618. AJ? Why?
  2619. >>”seems like the boss wants all of us to get one”
  2620. >you stare at him for a couple of seconds
  2621. …get one what?
  2622. >>”you know…one”
  2623. A pony?
  2624. >>”yeah”
  2625. What the fu-why?
  2626. >>”he keeps saying something about productivity improvement and how you became a more talkative person after you got AJ, so he wants us to get one each to increase morale and all that stuff…”
  2627. >both stay in silence for what seems several minutes, but in reality only a few seconds have passed
  2628. Why would he think that?
  2629. >>”well, he heard about how everyone kept saying that she was so cool and all of that, so I guess he just assumed it”
  2630. And do you guys WANT one?
  2631. >>”im not opposed to the idea, but I also don’t really want one…can’t talk for everyone else though”
  2632. Yeah, I don’t think that’s gonna work, that’s not how things work with these things…i´ll talk to him later
  2633. >>”yeah, you do that”
  2634. >he stands up and heads for the door but stops before reaching it
  2635. >>”oh, by the way, how are you feeling?”
  2636. Better actually, feeling good, I no longer need my cane to walk but I still feel some tingly feeling on my legs, pretty sure it´ll completely go away in a couple of days though
  2637. >>”good, good, glad to hear, we need you in the fields as soon as possible”
  2638. Don’t worry, i´ll be there before you know it
  2639. >he smiles at you and exits through the door, closing it behind him
  2640. >you go back to your laptop
  2642. Yeah…what do you think about it?
  2644. Yeah, guess we´ll have to deal with it as it comes
  2645. >you continue the search once again
  2647. I think I am, Im starting to remember some of these lines of code, should be around here…keep your eyes open
  2648. >another couple of hours go by before you reach your limit once again
  2649. AJ, I don’t think I can’t keep going without a break, my eyes are boiling
  2650. >you stand up and stretch your arms
  2652. Maybe just enough to get something to eat, i´ll be back as soon as possible, promise
  2654. >you head to your fridge to take whatever is left from a piece of meat before it gets spoiled
  2655. >a glass of juice completes your quick meal before you head back to the laptop
  2656. >you stretch once more before sitting down and exhale in relaxation
  2657. Ooh man, that’s the stuff, now…
  2658. >you scroll down the text file to take a quick look at the next few pages out of curiosity
  2659. These lines are looking familiar AJ, I think we should find the line in the next hour or so
  2660. >AJ text file blinks
  2661. >”I_SAW_IT”
  2662. >”NO!_WAIT!_GO_BACK!_”
  2663. >”THERE!_AHI_ESTA!”
  2665. >you feel a small peak of adrenaline in your body and scroll back up
  2666. Where is it? Where is it?!
  2667. >you return to the last page you modified and slowly scroll down, carefully following every line of code for the next 4 pages
  2668. >AJ´s file blinks again
  2669. >you stop as soon as you notice her file blink and check what she said
  2670. >”THERE!_”
  2671. >you go back to the code and analyze the page, looking for the evasive word
  2672. I can’t find it AJ, why don’t you highlight it?
  2673. >your cursor moves and hovers over a line of code at the bottom of the page
  2674. >One word gets highlighted, revealing the extra letter on it
  2675. YES! AJ! YOU FOUND IT!
  2677. >you do as you are told, remove the extra letter and save the file
  2678. >you do a quick scan of the next pages, most lines are still recognized as another language but leave it as it is for now, her code got mixed up because of that word, not the language…for some reason
  2679. >the next few minutes are filled with anxiety
  2680. >you saved the text file 4 times, just to be sure
  2681. >you copied the fixed code and used it to replace the old one
  2682. >you did another quick scan to make sure everything is fine
  2683. >it is
  2684. Neat-o!
  2685. >You saved the code and went back to the main program to see the final result of your work
  2686. I think this is fine now…yeah, it is! perfect!
  2687. >you run her program and a small animation on your screen shows a small hat going from your laptop, through the cable and landing on AJ´s head
  2688. >the program closes itself and you go back to AJ´s body
  2689. >her eyes open up and stays like that for a couple of seconds
  2690. …AJ?
  2691. >she blinks and lifts her head to look at you
  2692. >”Aahhh, feels good to be de vuelta!”
  2693. >you lift your arms in celebration and stand at the same time
  2694. YES!
  2695. >it took some effort not to jump around in excitement
  2696. >AJ noticed that and laughed
  2697. >”Ah see you are feliz, anon, wonder why that is?”
  2698. Oh don’t try to play it cool, I know you are happy and excited too!
  2699. >you lift her and nuzzle her
  2700. >the day ends up rather quickly
  2701. >after giving the news to everyone in the farm and a small celebration with some 75 year old whisky involved, both of you fell exhausted on your bed
  2702. >you out of tiredness and some really potent alcohol in your bloodstream
  2703. >AJ because of a low battery charge
  2704. >you also figured out that she can get “drunk”, looks like old tractor oil has the same effect on her as alcohol has in humans, she kept dragging some words and sometimes forgot what some of those words meant
  2705. >of course, after seeing her like that you knew that you had to go to sleep and recharge, but much to the insistence of your fellow co-workers you had to cut short the celebration on your porch
  2706. >the next morning, nobody in the entire farm woke up in time
  2707. >you had a pretty strong hangover along with the rest of your friends
  2708. >AJ was fine and looked refreshed and ready to take on the world and any challenge that may come up on her path
  2709. >luckily there wasn’t any and you still had a couple of free days before you could go back to the fields, so for now, all you had to do is relax and make sure your legs worked perfectly
  2710. >and fixing the hole on your Jacuzzi room was the perfect test for that
  2711. >of course, you didn’t do that alone, AJ was more than excited to lend a hand…hoof
  2712. >her rather small size kept her from doing anything too complex or heavy but she became an excellent fetcher and tool finder
  2713. >before you knew, the ceiling was patched up and ready to use once again
  2714. >as you step down from the ladder leaning on your wall you hear a familiar voice
  2715. >>”I see you are feeling better now! Great!”
  2716. Well, as good as i can feel with a hangover for now
  2717. >>”where did you even got that whisky anon?”
  2718. It was a gift from the boss when I first joined the farm some 20 years ago
  2719. >>”man, I gotta get some of that stuff, haven’t had a hangover this strong since I was 13”
  2720. I still have some left if you want, though I don’t think you came here just for that, right Knox?
  2721. >>”oh right, me and the boys are going to the fields for a walk, we were wondering if you would like to join us”
  2722. >”just a walk, right? Anon hasn’t fully recovered yet”
  2723. >>”yeah its just a walk to sweat the alcohol away, nobody is any condition to work today”
  2724. >you look at AJ and nod
  2725. Sure, why not? It could help me finally get this tingling sensation out of my legs
  2726. >>”great, we´ll meet ya at the big apple tree in 20 minutes”
  2727. Cool, see you there
  2728. >with that, knox left the orchard and you left your tools next to a potted plant
  2729. You coming AJ?
  2730. >”yeah, vamos, lets get ready”
  2731. >you walk back to your home and fill a couple of bottles with water and connect AJ to your laptop to refill her battery
  2732. >15 minutes later you head to the big apple tree at the edge of the farm, Knox and the other 2 guys are already waiting for you in its shade
  2733. >their horses are there as well
  2734. Hey guys, sorry im late, had to fill some water bottles before leaving
  2735. >>”no worries anon, you are on time, here”
  2736. >he gives you the rein of your horse and you climb on top of it
  2737. >AJ comes out of your hat and lands on top of your horse´s head
  2738. >>>”well, howdy there AJ”
  2739. >>>>”hey Applejack, how ya doin?”
  2740. >”hey guys, im great, como estan ustedes?”
  2741. >everyone kept chatting with everyone while riding to the fields
  2742. >you could see that some of the wheat is starting to overgrow, you are gonna be busy when you start recollecting it again
  2743. >not that you will complain much, as much as you like to stay in home in your computer, you were starting to get bored of it
  2744. >you are not really sure how much time have you been riding outside, but the sun is starting to go down
  2745. >so far the ride has been fun and exhausting, your hangover disappeared in the 1st hour of riding and the tingling sensation on your legs its pretty much gone now
  2746. >you kept switching between walking and riding, mostly to get some movement on your legs, AJ on the other side kept riding your horse and talking to it and the others
  2747. >she even jumped from horse to horse several times
  2748. >mostly to be a show off, but she was having fun
  2749. >right now you are walking next your horse and the group is halfway back to the farm
  2750. >you decided to hang back a bit, mostly to walk the way back and make sure your legs are perfectly fine
  2751. >so far, they seem to be, so that’s another good new
  2752. >AJ is now sleeping on top of your horse, she said she still has over half of her battery, but decided to take a nap to make sure her battery won’t run out
  2753. >you fix her hat on top of her head to make sure it won’t fall off
  2754. >after that, you notice a patch of wheat that has overgrown more than the others
  2755. >it doesn’t look that big, maybe you could take care of it in half an hour, your horse even has a couple of bags in its mount, more than enough space to take that wheat without a problem
  2756. >you could use a little head start from your incoming schedule
  2757. >you poke AJ to wake her up
  2758. AJ…Applejack, wake up
  2759. >”huh, que? What? Oh, hey anon, are we there yet?”
  2760. Not yet, but we are about halfway through, but I saw that
  2761. >you point to the overgrown patch of wheat
  2762. >AJ seems a bit confused
  2763. >”what do you wanna hacer?”
  2764. Want to pick that up? We could use the head start
  2765. >she stood up on top of the horse
  2766. >”do you feel good enough to do it? how are your legs?”
  2767. Im feeling great! The tingling sensation disappeared, my hangover its gone, I still have more than enough energy, besides, its just a small patch, we can take care of it in 30 minutes, 20 with your help
  2768. >”maybe mañana, anon, I don’t want you to hurt yourself”
  2769. Oh cmon, it wont take long, besides, how could I hurt myself? Its just wheat
  2770. >just as you finished that sentence you heard something that you hoped you wouldn’t hear again in a long time
  2771. (link is the sound of some coyotes howling)
  2772. >before you knew, you were on top of your horse riding as fast as you could
  2773. >you caught up with the group before they reached the farm
  2774. >>”there you are anon, I was starting to get worried about you”
  2775. Im fine, but did you heard that?
  2776. >>>”yeah, we all did, sounds like a whole pack of them”
  2777. >>>>”never heard that many before”
  2778. >AJ eyes glow from under your hat
  2779. >”should we be worried?”
  2780. >>”they sound far away, I don’t think we should have a reason to worry as long as we don’t go out in the night…but just to be sure, we´ll head out tomorrow to spook them out of here before they get any closer, we don’t want any more…incidents, alright?”
  2781. >everyone seemed to agree without question
  2782. Lets just go home…
  2783. >a good night of rest goes by followed by your first day of work
  2784. >other than feeling great and finally getting physically exhausted for the first time for other reason other than a sickness or fighting for your life with a coyote, today was a rather uneventful day
  2785. >AJ helped you to get more than your usual quota for the day like she did before
  2786. >maybe just a little bit more now that her code is better than before and has a more fluent movement
  2787. >by the time your working shift ends you are sweaty and tired, but before you can get home you are called by your friends
  2788. >>”Oi! anon!”
  2789. Whats up Knox?
  2790. >>”we going to spook the coyotes so they don’t get close, you coming?”
  2791. Oh…you guys are actually doing that?...
  2792. >>”yeah, after the last time, we wont take any more chances with, we could use your help, the more we are, the better chances we have to spook them off…though, i´ll understand if you are not coming”
  2793. i…give me a sec
  2794. >>”sure thing”
  2795. >you head up to your bag of wheat where AJ is currently jumping on top off to get as much wheat as possible
  2796. Hey AJ, got a sec?
  2797. >”sure thing anon, que paso?
  2798. >you explain the situation rather quickly, you don’t want to leave Knox waiting for long
  2799. >”oof, I don’t know anon, it does sounds dangerous…but he is also right, the more we are, the better chances we have to spook them off…”
  2800. Yeah…what do you think?...are you comfortable if we go?
  2801. >”oh, you mean los dos?
  2802. Yeah, we both going, that’s if you want, of course
  2803. >”let me do something real quick…”
  2804. >her eyes become green for a few seconds, several rows of numbers displaying for less than a second
  2806. >she said that with a cartoonish robotic voice
  2807. >AJ shakes her head and her eyes go back to how they used to be
  2808. What was that?
  2809. >”just some quick calculaciones”
  2810. Oh…and what do you think?
  2811. >”it may be peligroso, but I think it would be better for todos nosotros if we join them, there is strength in numbers”
  2812. Yeah…and honestly, im tired of staying home, alright, we going
  2813. >you stand up and walk back to the group
  2814. Hey! Knox!
  2815. >the big man turns around, laughing at some joke that the two guys just shared
  2816. >>”oh! anon, so…”
  2817. we coming too
  2818. >>”Great! We´ll spook those dogs away tonight and be back before lunch tomorrow…and dont worry, we have your back in case they try something weird”
  2819. Yeah, thanks
  2820. >everyone mounts their respective horses and ride back to the farm
  2821. >Knox gives everyone instructions for tonight
  2822. >>”-and remember to bring your guns, its gonna be a long night and I don’t want to order more coyote trophies, ok?”
  2823. >everyone agrees and head to their home
  2824. >>”we´ll meet here in 3 hours, make sure to eat and bring ammo”
  2825. >you nod and take AJ home, plugged her to your laptop to recharge and eat something while catching up with some episodes that you missed
  2826. >after a few episodes you decide that you had enough and start packing up some rounds on a backpack for tonight
  2827. You ready AJ?
  2828. >”lista!”
  2829. >you put on your backpack and unplug her from your laptop
  2830. Battery?
  2831. >”100% charged y lista to spook some coyotes!”
  2832. >she climbs to your right shoulder with your help and both head to your orchard
  2833. >you pick up a flashlight and some extra tools, just in case
  2834. >some rope, a shovel and a big knife
  2835. >”whats the pala for?”
  2836. Hey, you never know
  2837. >you put everything inside your backpack and tie the shovel to its side, shotgun sheathed in the other side
  2838. Lets go
  2839. >it takes a short 5 minute walk to reach the edge of the farm
  2840. >the stars are out and the a full moon shines, there are a few tiny clouds here and there, but you still have perfect illumination from the moon
  2841. >everyone is on their horses and packed to the brim with ammo and guns
  2842. >>”hey anon, we were just waiting for you, are you ready?”
  2843. As much as I will ever be…I guess
  2844. >>”you nervous boy?”
  2845. Not gonna lie, maybe a bit
  2846. >>”heh, don’t worry, this time we are the ones going to them, they won’t caught us by surprise, and even if they did…”
  2847. >he pulled out a two barreled shotgun and filled it with ammo
  2848. >”…they oughta wish they didn't, cmon, lets go”
  2849. >he is the first one to leave, quickly followed by the other two guys and you at the very last
  2850. >while riding you notice that AJ seems to be enjoying the view, she also seems to be having a little of trouble hanging to your shoulder
  2851. Need any help AJ?
  2852. >”huh? Ooh no, gracias anon, just can’t seem to find a proper position”
  2853. Everything ok with your legs?
  2854. >”my legs are fine, its just that we haven’t ride this fast before, too much jumping around”
  2855. Better hang on tight, we still have to reach the edge of the plantation and then ride for another half an hour or so
  2856. >you feel how she hangs to you by biting a lock of your hair
  2857. >the ride continues for almost an hour before you all stop by Knox´s command at the very edge of the plantation
  2858. >there is nothing but empty plains in front of you except for a couple of rock formations here and there, and only a handful of dead shrubs and dead trees as far as you can see
  2859. >>>”something wrong?”
  2860. >>”shh…I thought I heard something…”
  2861. >everyone fell silent when he said that
  2862. >>>>”ya think those dogs are close?”
  2863. >>”I can’t tell…let’s wait here for a couple of minutes before we continue”
  2864. >everyone dismounts and stretches
  2865. >”señor Knox?”
  2866. >>”yeah?”
  2867. >”are we gonna matar los coyotes? I dont think i´ll be able to-”
  2868. >CRACK
  2869. >It was a tiny snap of a twig, but that sounds caused everyone on the group to pull out their weapons and point at the last row of wheat at the edge of the plantation
  2870. >a few sticks of wheat swayed with the wind
  2871. >others moved to the opposite side of the air current, then stopped
  2872. >nobody moved for what felt like hours
  2873. >>”nobody shoot…”
  2874. >a small bunny came out from the wheat, running as fast as it could, far away from the plantation
  2875. >everyone seemed to relax for a moment, everyone but Knox
  2876. >”oh que bueno, its just a conejo going out for a jog”
  2877. >>”shh…bunnies don’t run at this time of the night, not without a good reason”
  2878. >everyone tensed up once again and raised their weapons
  2879. >not even the sound of the wind running could be heard
  2880. >as if it were waiting for its signal a low growl came out from the wheat along with the barely audible shifting of dirt
  2881. >shift
  2882. >shift
  2883. >shift…step
  2884. >shift, step
  2885. That fucker was behind us the whole time…
  2886. >you said between breaths
  2887. >>”shh…”
  2888. >…
  2889. >BANG
  2890. >Knox shot a round to the air
  2891. >immediately, there was a kick on the ground and the sound of several paws running across the wheat
  2892. >the wheat shifted to the sides as it ran for the empty plains
  2893. >as soon as the first one came out of its hideout everyone started shooting at it
  2894. >then the second came out
  2895. >then the third
  2896. >Knox raised a hand, signaling everybody to stop shooting
  2897. >the fire ceased and you felt your ears ringing
  2898. Aren’t they supposed to be lone hunters?
  2899. >you said slightly louder than you wanted to
  2900. >>”for most of the time, yeah, but its not that unusual for them to hunt in pairs or small groups”
  2901. >he mounted his horse and started following them
  2902. >>”cmon, before we lose them!”
  2903. >everyone follows shortly after
  2904. >after another hour of riding and losing track of the coyotes everyone agrees to stop and camp for the night
  2905. >the group settled next to one of the few rock formations that populated the plains
  2906. >other than a couple of dead shrubs and the remains of a dead tree, the rock formation is the only thing in that area
  2907. >it took around 10 minutes to get a fire started, but after that, everyone sat down and relaxed around it, the gentle cracking of the wood in it sounding every now and then
  2908. >>>”Haven’t heard them in a while, ya think they´re gone, Knox?”
  2909. >>”I don’t think so, those dogs have been around here for years, don’t recon they´ll give up that easily”
  2910. >”maybe they went to dormir?”
  2911. >>”doubt it”
  2912. What should we do?
  2913. >>”We´ll take turns every hour, make sure to shoot at anything that moves and do so every 5 minutes, if we are lucky, we´ll get one of them or at the very least spook them out”
  2914. Sounds fine by me
  2915. >>>”yeah, same here”
  2916. >>>>”sure, why not?”
  2917. >everyone then looks at AJ who is resting on your lap, as if expecting for an answer
  2918. >”que?”
  2919. >>”You are part of the team AJ, can we count on you?”
  2920. >”me?”
  2921. Of course you, AJ, you are one of us
  2922. >”i…honestamente didn’t expect that, I thought I would just…tag along with you guys, I don’t want to decepcionarlos”
  2923. >>”nonsense! You could never disappoint us!”
  2924. >>>”yeah, don’t sell yourself short kid, you are great!”
  2925. >>>>”yeah, you cool”
  2926. >she then looks up to you, a smile on her face
  2927. >you wink back at her, letting her know that she has been fully accepted by them
  2928. >”v-very well! I won’t disappoint you, chicos!”
  2929. That’s the spirit
  2930. >>”well…”
  2931. >Knox stands up and picks his gun
  2932. >>”…i´ll take the first turn, you guys try to get some sleep in the meanwhile”
  2933. >>>>”yeah, like sleeping its gonna be easy with a shotgun shooting every 5 minutes”
  2934. >>”that’s why I said “try””
  2935. >Knox then walks to the rock and climbs them, getting the best view he can get
  2936. >”hold on, does that mean I get to disparar a gun?”
  2937. Don’t worry, i´ll help you, it´ll be easy
  2938. >you let her climb to your shoulder and reach for your shotgun
  2939. The first thing you got to know…
  2940. >you show her how to reload before Knox´s first shot could be heard
  2941. Now, you try
  2942. >as AJ jumps down from your shoulder, you put the shotgun in between your legs, the tip of the barrel pointing upwards in a 45° angle and the trigger at AJ´s height
  2943. >”ok…primero…”
  2944. >she pushes the lock with her hoof with just a little trouble, letting the barrel fall and the shells come out slightly
  2945. Good, next?
  2946. >”next…”
  2947. >she takes the shells out with her mouth and puts two new shells on the barrel
  2948. Good job
  2949. >after that, she goes to the front part of the barrel and bucks it back up, making it go back to its 45° angle and then locking it
  2950. Perfect! You did it! See? I told you it would be easy
  2951. >”I did it!...wait…”
  2952. hmm?
  2953. >”ok, i can reload it, but how am i supposed to disparar? My hooves won’t fit in the trigger guard…”
  2954. i…haven’t thought of that…
  2955. >AJ puts her hoof next to it, despite her small body, her hoof is way too big to fit the trigger guard
  2956. >her ears fall flat
  2957. Don’t worry, we´ll figure it out before your turn arrives
  2958. >you gently pat her
  2959. >another shot from Knox´s shotgun
  2960. >>”I know you are out there, dogs! You better run!”
  2961. You having fun, Knox?
  2962. >>”I thought I saw them, but it may have been a reflection on some shiny rock or some desert rabbit running away from the sound”
  2963. >he opens his canteen and drinks from it
  2964. >”that better not be alcohol, Señor Knox, we don’t want more accidents”
  2965. >>”relax kid, its just water”
  2966. >the first hour goes by and it’s time for Knox to leave and for one of the other two guys to take his place
  2967. >so far there is no sign of the coyotes but you decided not to go to sleep yet, you haven’t figured out how is AJ going to shoot your gun when her turn arrives
  2968. >AJ, however, went to sleep for now, mostly at your request to save some battery
  2969. >the first shot came faster than you expected
  2970. >Knox and the other guy are somehow sleeping next to their horses on the ground
  2971. >meanwhile, AJ sleeps next to you
  2972. >you kept comparing and looking at her hooves from every angle, you are convinced that she won’t be able to shoot anything at all, her hooves are just too big and round to fit the trigger guard
  2973. >you reach for your backpack, maybe there is something there that she can use
  2974. >bullets
  2975. >bullets
  2976. >bullets
  2977. >bottle of water
  2978. >small blanket
  2979. Ooh, wait, this one I actually need
  2980. >you pull it out and wrap yourself with it, wearing it like a poncho
  2981. That’s better…man it’s getting chilly
  2982. >shovel
  2983. >bullets
  2984. >bullets
  2985. God dammit, nothing…
  2986. >you stand up and start looking around
  2987. Maybe a stick could work
  2988. >you glance at the dead shrub
  2989. >It feels dry and old as you break some branches way too easily
  2990. Dammit, too weak even if bunched up, don’t think a lever with these could work
  2991. >>>”dude, you are starting to freak me out with all that “talking to yourself” thing”
  2992. Shit, sorry mate, just trying to figure out how is AJ gonna shoot when her turn arrives…don’t suppose you got something that could help with that?
  2993. >>>”sorry man, I packed lightly, got nothing on me but bullets”
  2994. Figures…thanks anyway
  2995. >>>”no problem”
  2996. >he aims at the far away bushes and takes another shot
  2997. >A very. Very distant howl responds
  2998. Did you hit one?
  2999. >>>”naw, that’s not a whimpering howl…”
  3000. >another far away howl responds but this one comes from the opposite direction
  3001. >you and the other guy turn around, you get some chills on your back while looking for the source of it
  3002. …they can’t be that smart…
  3003. >you turn to face him, he is looking slightly upset
  3004. …can they?
  3005. >he pumps his shotgun and takes another shot aiming at the second howl
  3006. >Emptiness and silence returns
  3007. >>>”im starting to think this was a bad idea…”
  3008. >he sits back down, making the least amount of sound possible while reloading his gun
  3009. >after several shots every 5 minutes, it’s your turn now
  3010. >you take your shotgun and several rounds from your backpack and climb the rock while the other guy goes to sleep
  3011. >it’s not that high, but the amount of visual coverage that you get from here far exceeds what you expected
  3012. >you sit on top of the last rock, it’s perfectly shaped for your butt and slightly warm from the use that has been getting the last couple of hours
  3013. >you start by loading a couple of shots and firing in front of you and back
  3014. >every 5 minutes, you load another couple of shots and do the same
  3015. >after doing the same thing 6 times you get your first sign of life in a while
  3016. >2 howls, the second one sounded just a few seconds after the first one
  3017. >it was long and it almost sounded beautiful, too bad it gave you chills that ran through your entire body
  3018. Fucking coyotes…
  3019. >maybe a minute has passed since your last couple of shots, but you are not gonna stand around and give those animals the satisfaction of scaring you
  3020. >you take another couple of shots
  3021. >their howling stops
  3022. Yeah! that’s right! fuck all of ya´ll!
  3023. >you take another shot
  3024. Get the fuck out of here you dogs!
  3025. >another couple of shots
  3026. I say! OUT!
  3027. >you shoot as fast as you can reload, easily wasting a dozen rounds before everyone start shouting at you, surrounding the rocks where you are standing
  3029. >>>”ANON! STOP!”
  3030. >>>>”DUDE! CHILL!”
  3031. >even AJ was shouting at you, trying to make you stop
  3032. >”ANON! DETENTE!”
  3033. >you hear her pleads and stop, your body is shaking and you are hyperventilating
  3034. >she climbs the rocks with just a little trouble and makes her way to you
  3035. >”it’s ok anon, estoy aqui, you are fine…”
  3036. >you leave your shotgun next to you and slowly shake your head in between your hands
  3037. I hate coyotes
  3038. >you hear some whispers from below, it sounded like Knox, but you didn’t make out what he said
  3039. >>>>”dude, get down from there, i´ll take the rest of your turn”
  3040. >you sit next to the slowly dying fire, clinging to your blanket and AJ sitting on your lap
  3041. >”you sure you ok anon? eso no fue normal…”
  3042. Im fine, just…I don’t know, something inside me wouldn’t let me be at ease, like a flight or fight instinct took over me…or something like that
  3043. >a shot comes from the top of the rocks, making you jump on your place
  3044. >AJ gives you a worried look and opens her mouth to say something, but is interrupted by Knox when he drops the dead shrub that was close to your camping site
  3045. >the fire reignites back to its former glory
  3046. >he sits next to you and pats your back a couple of times, a little too hard for your taste
  3047. >>”you almost scared us all to dead there anon, thought the coyotes were on top of us, luckily the horses didn’t ran away with all that shooting”
  3048. Sorry Knox, I didn’t meant too
  3049. >>”that’s alright, why don’t you go to sleep? You look tired”
  3050. >a big yawn escapes you
  3051. I am, all that shooting somehow got me really tired, must have been the adrenaline rush
  3052. >you lay on the ground, next to the fire
  3053. >”but anon, we haven’t figured out how am I gonna disparar la escopeta…already asleep…”
  3054. >>”what do you mean by that?”
  3055. >”my hooves are way too big to fit inside the trigger guard, I need a way to pull the trigger before my turn arrives”
  3056. >>”hmm, I got nothing on me that could help you with that…why not use your tail? You know, just get a few strands of your tail inside the trigger guard and pull”
  3057. >”would that work?”
  3058. >>”we can try it, follow me”
  3059. >AJ walks away from you and follows him
  3060. >Knox fixes his gun in between some of the rocks, aiming it in a 45° angle and making sure its stuck in place
  3061. >>”here, that should do, try it”
  3062. >AJ flicks her tail and catches a few strands with her mouth, she walks in reverse and inserts her tail inside the trigger guard like a thread in a needle
  3063. >>”there, now pull”
  3064. >she takes the tail end from the other side of the shotgun and pulls
  3065. >BANG
  3066. >>”there you go, that should take care of your little problem”
  3067. >”gracias señor knox”
  3068. >he takes her tail out of the trigger guard and takes his shotgun
  3069. >>”any time girl, now, go to sleep, you´ll need your energy for later”
  3070. >AJ nods and goes back to your side, sleeping in between your neck and chest
  3071. >after what was supposed to be the rest of your turn and the other guy´s turn passes without incident, it is now AJ´s turn
  3072. >she wakes up and makes her way to the rocks, carrying your shotgun in her mouth like a dog carries a stick
  3073. >she struggles quite a lot with it, but she doesn’t drop it once this time
  3074. >she did struggle to maintain her balance thought
  3075. >half way through her climb she reaches a point where she just can’t keep going while carrying the gun
  3076. >luckily, they guy making his way down the rocks catches her struggles and helps her, lifting her and the gun and placing both next to the top
  3077. >”gracias”
  3078. >>>>”don’t mention it kiddo”
  3079. >”did anything happen while we slept?”
  3080. >>>>”hmm…I did hear some howling, they seemed to be getting closer, but that may have been my imagination, im tired”
  3081. >”i´ll keep that in mind, gracias por la informacion”
  3082. >she took the gun and placed it next to the rock that everybody used as a seat in a way that wouldn’t fly away due to recoil every time she took a shot
  3083. >now all she had to do is shoot every 5 minutes and everything would be fine
  3084. >she takes the first shot using her tail like she did an hour ago, a small counter appears in the lower corner of her eyes, counting down from 5 minutes
  3085. >while waiting for the counter to reach 0, she goes down the rocks and to your backpack
  3086. >she takes several rounds from it and fills her hat as much as she can with them
  3087. >of course, due to its size, she can only fit around 4 to 5 rounds
  3088. >once her hat is filled, she puts it back on and goes back to the rocks
  3089. >the counter in her eyes reaches 0 a few moments after she emptied her hat, leaving the rounds next to her
  3090. >she takes her tail and inserts it inside the trigger guard like she did before
  3091. >BANG BANG
  3092. >”dang it, didn’t meant to shoot twice”
  3093. >she slowly reloads the shotgun
  3094. >by the time she finished reloading, the timer in her eyes its already down to 1 minute
  3095. >she groans in frustration and waits for the timer to reach 0 before shooting again
  3096. >BANG
  3097. >she goes back to the backpack and refills her hat as much as she can
  3098. >once again, as soon as she reaches the top, the timer reaches 0
  3099. >BANG
  3100. >She leaves the rounds next to her and starts reloading
  3101. >she repeats her trip one more time, this time, carrying a couple of rounds in her mouth
  3102. >BANG
  3103. >she goes back down and up again
  3104. >BANG
  3105. >she goes again
  3106. >BANG
  3107. >after a couple of shots, she has enough rounds next to her to last the rest of her turn, so she sits next the gun and relaxes for a minute
  3108. >BANG
  3109. >only 25 minutes left and her turn will be over
  3110. >while reloading, she hears what she was hoping she wouldn’t
  3111. >a howl followed by several others and a few distant barks
  3112. >those are definitely closer
  3113. >WAY too close
  3114. >she turns around only to find several pairs of glowing eyes not too far in the distance
  3115. >”one…two…tres…cuatro…five…six…oh no”
  3116. >she takes the gun out of its place and turns it around, aiming at the incoming pack of coyotes
  3117. >BANG
  3118. >the shotgun flies away and takes AJ with it due to the recoil, landing far, far away from the rocks
  3119. >the coyotes are not running, but they are getting close really fast
  3120. >AJ stands back on her legs and does her best to drag the gun as fast as she can
  3121. >but she is limping again, even worse than before, the recoil and fall damaged her exposed leg this time
  3122. >she shouts as loud as the shotgun in her mouth allows her to
  3124. >it’s the darkest hour of the night, the fire is long gone, and eyes it’s all she can see in the distance
  3125. >”oof!”
  3126. >she trips, the shotgun falling out of her mouth
  3127. >she shakes her head and stands again
  3128. >”ANON!”
  3129. >she is close, but not close enough to be heard loud enough
  3130. >she can’t reach them in time if she carries the shotgun, it’s just not fast enough
  3131. >”Diablos…”
  3132. >she leaves the shotgun behind and trots as fast as she can, using only 3 legs
  3134. >AJ reaches the camp, everyone is asleep, Knox is lying on the ground, the other 2 guys are next to each other, and you are next to the dying fire, covered by your small blanket
  3135. >”Cmon anon! Wake up!”
  3136. >she tries her best to move you but she is too small to do so
  3137. >”Wake! Up!”
  3138. >she kicks some dirt at you
  3139. Hmmm. not now…5 more minutes…
  3140. >”…im sorry, anon”
  3141. >she turns around and bucks you right in the nose
  3142. >she may be small, but a kick to the nose is a kick to the nose
  3143. AAH!
  3144. >you instinctively take your hands to your nose
  3145. What the fuck AJ?! What was that for?!
  3146. >”COYOTES! CLOSE!”
  3147. >you instantly feel the adrenaline run through your body once again
  3148. How close?
  3149. >you hear some growling and barking
  3150. >”VERY!”
  3151. >you throw the blanket away and run off to Knox
  3153. >>”huh, whu?”
  3154. >the big man wakes up quickly
  3155. >>”anon? whats going-“
  3156. They are here! Take your gun!
  3157. >he quickly knew what was going on and stood up, gun in hand since he left his shotgun right next to him before he went to sleep
  3158. >>”i´ll go wake the guys, you go and shoot those dogs!”
  3159. >you turn around
  3160. AJ! Where is my gun!?
  3161. >”I had to leave it behind, sigueme! I´ll take you to it”
  3162. >she starts running but you quickly catch up to her and lift her up while running in the same direction
  3163. Where!?
  3164. >”I cant see it, it’s a little bit further”
  3165. What were you doing all the way over here?
  3166. >you hear several shots behind you along with some screaming
  3167. >>”Die! You bitches!”
  3168. >”AHI ESTA!”
  3169. WHERE?! I CANT-
  3170. >”THERE!”
  3171. >she points to the gun in the floor next to a small lump of dirt
  3172. >you slide and lift some dirt trying to stop to pick your gun up
  3173. >AJ pulls a couple of rounds from under her hat and hands them to you
  3174. >you reload the gun and place AJ on your shoulder
  3175. Hang on!
  3176. >you run back at the camp, shooting a round at the coyotes that are running around the rock to get some cover from the incoming fire
  3178. >Knox fires several shots, the explosions illuminate your surroundings every time they are shot
  3179. >”its not just one group! Hay 2 grupos de coyotes!”
  3180. 2 packs? What the hell? Where are they coming from?!
  3181. >you shoot at a lone coyote and land the hit, the animal falls dead
  3183. >they continue shooting, killing only 2 coyotes so far
  3184. >some coyotes retreat, disappearing in the darkness of the night
  3185. >you aren’t sure, but you seem to be fighting 4 coyotes right now, maybe 5
  3186. Where the hell do they keep going?! There is nowhere here to hide but that rock!
  3187. >”Don’t look for their bodies! Look for los ojos! They shine in the dark!”
  3188. THERE!
  3189. >you raise your gun and pull the trigger
  3191. Fuck! Where is my backpack?!
  3192. >you frantically start looking for your backpack full of ammo, then remember that you leaved it next to where you slept
  3193. >you go back to the dying fire and find it
  3194. >you take AJ from your shoulder and put the backpack on
  3195. Im gonna need your help, AJ
  3196. >you open the main bag and leave AJ inside it, half of her body sticking out
  3197. I can’t look for bullets every pair of shots, so I count on you to pass me rounds every time I shoot, got it?
  3198. >”got it!”
  3199. >you reload your weapon and go back to where Knox is
  3200. >>”you ok anon?!”
  3201. >BANG
  3202. I think im having a PTSD attack right now!
  3203. >BANG
  3204. >>”will it help us kill them?!”
  3205. Maybe!
  3206. >BANG
  3207. >>”great!”
  3208. ROUNDS!
  3209. >AJ takes a couple of rounds and throws them over your head, you catch them and reload
  3210. >BANG BANG
  3211. ROUNDS!
  3212. >you have killed a couple of coyotes so far, but they don’t seem to stop coming and to your surprise they are starting to surround the camp
  3214. >BANG
  3216. >you hear several shots behind you
  3217. >>”How low are on ammo?!”
  3218. >Knox takes another couple of shots
  3219. AJ?!
  3220. >”we are a la mitad!”
  3222. >she passes you another couple of rounds
  3223. >you reload while ducking, letting Knox get a clear view of a coyote who got way too close for your taste
  3224. >BANG
  3225. >it falls dead in its tracks
  3226. >>”Yeah! I don’t like this either!”
  3227. >BANG
  3229. >BANG
  3230. >>>”WHAT?!”
  3231. >BANG BANG
  3233. >BANG
  3235. >you and AJ shoot while walking backwards, heading to your now panicking horses
  3236. >it takes a couple of seconds to calm your horse enough for it to let you mount him
  3237. Cmon girl! Get us out of here! EYAH!
  3238. >Knox is in front of you, holding his shotgun with a single hand and taking random shots every now and then
  3239. >you now notice why he is doing that
  3240. >around 20 coyotes are hot on your trail and ready to torn you to pieces
  3241. >a smaller group of coyotes is mauling something right next to the camp where you spent most of the night
  3242. >you wanted to stop and go back to try to rescue whatever that was, but you were relieved that both of your other friends were mounted in a single horse, one of them looked seriously bothered
  3244. >>>”im sorry dude! But we had no choice! There is nothing we can do now!”
  3245. >>>>”I´LL AVENGE YOU! I PROMISE!”
  3246. >you hear another group of howling’s coming from far away
  3248. >you turn your whole body around, sitting backwards on top of your horse and take aim at the row of coyotes following you closely
  3249. >you shoot at the closest coyote, killing him and making the ones behind it trip over it
  3250. >that didn’t really stop the rest of them though
  3251. ROUNDS!
  3252. >you see a couple of bullets fall in front of you, you grab them before they scape your range and load them into the barrel of your shotgun
  3253. >you aim once again, but before you could shoot you notice something at the corner of your sight
  3254. >coming from not so far away are several rows of speeding eyes
  3255. Ooooh…sssshhhit! KNOX! THEY ARE GOING TO INTERCEPT US! 10 O´CLOCK!
  3256. >you shout at him before taking another shot and turning your body back
  3258. >your horse galloped as fast as it can, slowly reaching the front of the little caravan, reaching Knox´s side
  3259. >>”we don’t have long until our horses get tired!”
  3260. What do we do?!
  3261. >>”keep shooting! We have to outrun them and outnumber them before we stop!
  3262. >”señor Knox! There is no way to outnumber them right now! Nuestra major opcion is to split and hope that we can get rid of them uno por uno!”
  3263. >>”Girl! That’s suicide!”
  3264. Do you have a better idea!? Cuz I can’t think of-SHIT!
  3265. >the intercepting group of coyotes caught up with you and is now running at your side, surrounding the entire group
  3266. >>”SHOOT! SHOOT!”
  3267. >everyone starts shooting at whatever coyote that gets too close, some coyotes trip over each other while their corpses fall to the ground, giving the group enough space and time to get ahead of the chase
  3272. >an explosion of sound assaults your hears, quickly growing louder and louder the closer the lights get
  3273. > (link is a really loud truck horn)
  3274. >you try to cover your eyes using your arm but you can still see the powerful light shining across the field
  3275. WHO THE FU-
  3276. >>”SPLIT!”
  3277. >you and Knox take a sharp turn to the left while the other 2 guys turn to the right
  3278. >just as you turn, the truck tramples over the pack of coyotes, taking half of the pack in a single swoop
  3279. >there was a really disturbing sound of bones breaking, flesh tearing and coyote’s wimping followed by screeching tires
  3280. >your horse doesn’t stop its galloping but you command it to turn back, it almost looks like you are herding the coyotes while trying your best to avoid the few ones that are still chasing you, Knox following behind you
  3281. Is that the boss´s truck?!
  3282. >>”It can’t be! He is out of the country for the next 2 weeks!”
  3283. Then who is driving it?!
  3284. >”cuidado!”
  3285. >AJ shouts while pointing at the incoming lights
  3286. >the truck is heading directly at you, whoever is driving is clearly stepping on the gas at its fullest
  3287. >you split again, you go to the right and Knox to the left, dodging the impact at the last second
  3288. >you can almost feel the impact of the truck´s bumper in each coyote skull, before you knew, you no longer had coyotes chasing you
  3289. >the truck drifts and heads to the last pack of coyotes chasing your friends
  3290. >you and Knox stop while the trucks dashes right by your side
  3291. >the world slows down just enough for you to see the old man behind the steering wheel, laughing his ass off while wearing something akin to an oversized diaper over his old overalls
  3292. Old man?
  3293. >>”what?”
  3294. That’s the old man…what is he doing here?
  3295. >>”who cares? He saved our asses! GO GET´EM YOU OLD MUMMY! HAHA!”
  3296. >you hear the sound of the truck´s horn as it runs over the remaining coyotes chasing your friends
  3297. >you dismount and feel your legs tremble with tiredness
  3298. >AJ climbs to your shoulder
  3299. >”did he really needed to kill them all?”
  3300. I know you didn’t wanted to hurt them AJ, but being honest, I don’t think we would had accomplished anything if we didn’t…im sorry
  3301. >AJ sighs in understanding
  3302. >”supongo…”
  3303. >your friends return riding their horse along with the old man and the truck, both stopping a few meters away from you
  3304. >they dismount and shortly after their horse lays on the ground next to yours and Knox´s, clearly exhausted and doing its best to recover some energy
  3305. >the old man kicks open the driver´s door and jumps out, doing a flip in the process
  3306. >CRACK
  3307. >”AAH! MUH BACK!”
  3308. >”careful, old man, your hip and back are still messed up after that fall”
  3310. >>>>”dude, we didn’t wanted to kill them all”
  3311. >>>”yeah, we just wanted to spook …maybe just hurt a few if things got dangerous but that’s it”
  3313. >he then proceeded to fall face first to the ground, snoring loudly
  3314. >>”I think he took his entire bottle of pain pills”
  3315. >Knox´s carries him bridal style and goes to the truck
  3316. >>”guess our job here is done”
  3317. >he drops the old man on the passenger seat and sits on the driver´s
  3318. >>”let’s go home guys, we need some well-deserved rest”
  3319. >Knox drives the truck while you and AJ ride your horse back to the farm, followed by your other 2 friends
  3320. >”I really hope we can finally get back to trabajar after this, I miss the wheat”
  3321. Me too AJ, me too…
  3322. >”maybe we could relax and take a bath when we lleguemos a casa?”
  3323. I know I will, I don’t know if you can take baths though…
  3324. >”me? Oh no, I can’t, I was mostly talking about you, you look like you need it”
  3325. >you take a look at yourself, indeed, you could use a nice, long, relaxing bath
  3326. >a piece of your pants is missing, you have some bruises on your face and dirt covers your entire body
  3327. Huh…wonder when that happened?
  3328. >”they did get pretty cerca, maybe one of them got a piece of it?”
  3329. If they did then I didn’t even noticed…
  3330. >”well, we still got some leftover fabric back home, maybe you could repararlos?”
  3331. I don’t think I big orange patch would look good on my pants AJ, luckily I own more than a single pair of pants, so don’t worry about it
  3332. >AJ then turns around on your shoulder
  3333. >”are you guys ok?”
  3334. >>>”we are, just a bit tired, that’s all”
  3335. >>>>”speak for yourself…Pancho is dead!”
  3336. >right, you forgot that some coyotes stopped to attack something, it must have been his horse, guess you can’t actually win a war without some unwanted deaths after all
  3337. Hey man, sorry about Pancho, we´ll get you another horse later, ok?
  3338. >he didn’t respond
  3339. C’mon AJ, let’s give him some alone time
  3340. >you increase the distance between your horses, mostly because you actually wanted to talk to AJ
  3341. Hey, how is your leg?
  3342. >AJ turned around with a surprised expression on her face
  3343. >”I almost forgot about that”
  3344. >she moves her exposed leg with some difficulty
  3345. >it has scratches all over and what appears to be a round-ish set of dents
  3346. Is that a bite mark?
  3347. >”nah, I landed on top of a rock or something”
  3348. Landed-what?
  3349. >”that’s a powerful shotgun you have anon, sent me flying to the ground when la dispare at the coyotes”
  3350. So that’s why you were so far away from the camp?
  3351. >”yean, next time, you take care of the shooting, he tenido suficiente guns for a life