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[spg] Untitled - Meadow Flower

By fang
Created: 4th November 2020 11:05:47 PM

  1. ==============================
  2.  
  3.  
  4. >You are Meadow Flower
  5. >And this is it.
  6. >The humans are here.
  7.  
  8. >Things went as they always do.
  9. >They rolled up in their giant metal vehicles.  Completely ignoring the pits we dug, the traps we set, and the walls we built.  Smashing through them like they weren’t there at all.  Like we had spent the last few days sitting on our rumps; waiting for these ponies’ homes, with two hundred years of history to them, to get destroyed.  A metallic tide of gray and brown, flattening everything it touched, and nothing anypony could do to stop them.
  10. >No Wonderbolts were with you.  They were either captured, injured, or being sent on important missions for the good of Equestria.
  11. >No Royal Guards either.  Most were lost trying to slow down the main invasion force.  Those left were being shifted around wherever they could help:  training the cobbled-together volunteer militia, keeping the evacuation orderly, and leading the counterattacks whenever there was an opportunity.
  12. >This was just a small trading town.  Too small and too isolated to put up a real fight.
  13. >Not worth even a token resistance.
  14. >Not worth real soldiers.
  15. >The only ponies here were volunteers.
  16. >Everypony who would go had already been evacuated to one of the larger cities, where the Princesses were organizing defenses.  
  17. >But not everypony left.  Some ponies wouldn’t abandon their homes.  Some just wanted to fight back.
  18. >That last part included you.
  19.  
  20. >Once the machines had passed the marked stone, the fight began.  The unicorns in your group, four ponies hiding in holes and trenches, tried to slow their advance.
  21. >’Tried’ being the important word.  It had almost no effect.
  22. >Only one unicorn knew an offensive spell, and that just shot a stream of blue fire that sputtered uselessly after a few seconds.  The others used telekinesis to push against the machines or feebly reinforce the makeshift walls.
  23. >The machines did stop, but it wasn’t because anypony threatened them.
  24. >The long, thin cannon started to tilt downwards...
  25. >“NOW!”  screamed one of the unicorns.  You couldn’t tell who it was, but it was your cue to move.
  26. >Your group had talked it over, planned for days, and agreed this was only chance you had.  The unicorns would distract the machines, get their weapons turned the other way to give you time to work.
  27. >All of the fliers—yourself, seven other pegasi, and one griffon—were counting on this distraction.  Counting on their sacrifice.
  28. >You flapped your wings desperately:  the nine of you trying to lift a massive cloud that normally would take twenty trained cloudworkers to move.
  29. >It was the largest stormcloud you could form.  Maybe the biggest in all of Equestria since the weather factories had been destroyed.
  30. >Your muscles were strained harder than they’ve ever been pushed.  You didn’t have enough wingpower to do this properly, but it had to get done.  The others groaned and grunted in exertion.  It was oversized for the fliers you had, but size wasn’t the problem.
  31. >The problem was how quickly you had to move it.
  32.  
  33. >From resting on the ground, all the way up to several ponies’ height above the treetops.  It would be very easy to spot once you started moving, and the machines would only be vulnerable for a few seconds as the ground team was taken out.
  34. >You clenched your teeth and flattened your ears back.  You knew what was coming, you knew it would hurt, and you knew if you stopped everypony (and griffon) would be taken.
  35. >And nopony knows what happens after that...
  36.  
  37. >Don’t think about it.  Do your duty.  Keep pushing the cloud up, out of the forest clearing you had been waiting in, and into position.
  38. >Just before you cleared the treetops, it happened.
  39. >They fired their weapon.
  40.  
  41. >A ‘thunk’, and a series of seven rapid BANGs louder than anything that had existed in all of Equestria.  Each one accompanied by a blinding flash of light, brighter and harsher than Celestia’s sun has ever been.
  42. >The flashes were blocked by the canopy of a half-dozen trees.  An instant later, the sound hit you like a physical force.
  43. >Tailwind wasn’t ready for it.  He dropped to the ground, clutching his head.  But you had planned for that:  you put yourself under the heaviest part of the cloud.  This wasn’t the first time you’ve experienced that weapon.  You know what it takes to stay in the air when it fires.  You know how to keep flying when it feels like you’re being slammed into a brick wall.  Nopony could afford the stormcloud shifting off balance and getting snagged on the branches as you pass them.
  44. >As you cleared the treetops, you don’t bother looking towards the machines.  There’s no point.  You’ve seen them before.  Giant blocky monsters:  four smaller machines the size of a house on wheels, and one massive beast on flexible metal treads, flattening terrain and grinding a clear path for the others.  All of them the color of sand, dirt and stone.
  45. >You know what happened to the unicorns.  There’s nothing that can be done to help them until those machines are broken.
  46. >Your whole world is this thundercloud, and the only way to fix things starts with what you do today.
  47. >“Meadow,” called Gerald, the griffon next to you, “on the count of three...”
  48. >He was panting and sweating, feathers matted into a mess, clearly at his limit.  You couldn’t see the others but they were probably just as bad.
  49.  
  50. >“One”
  51. >You kick off and shoot backwards.  This is going to need you to build up a proper speed.
  52. >“Twwwooooo” he groans it more than he says it.
  53. >You fly upwards and slightly to your left, positioning the thundercloud directly between you and the lead vehicle.  You tuck your legs in and take a deep breath.
  54. >“THREE!” he shouts at the top of his voice, and everypony lets go of the thundercloud.
  55. >You flap your wings as hard as you can.  This is it.  The one chance to stop those giant machines before they take another piece of Equestria from you.  Your chance to show the humans that they aren’t better than you.  That for everything ponies have lost, you refuse to give up.
  56. >You charge at the thundercloud as fast as you can move, intent on putting its entire power into stopping the humans.
  57. >Emptying your mind, you focus on your pegasus magic.  You put all of your force and magical essence:  everything you learned in flight school, everything you learned from the Wonderbolts, everything you learned since you joined the Sky Guard, and the entirety of your will into one solid strike.
  58. >At the last second you tuck into a ball, spin, and give the cloud the BUCK of your life.
  59.  
  60. >KRA-KOW!
  61.  
  62. >The flash is just as bright as the human weapons, but thankfully the thunder isn’t as disorientating.
  63. >After a few seconds righting yourself, you fly upwards to see how much damage it caused.
  64.  
  65. >The others start cheering before you crest the top of the cloud.
  66. >Did it work?  It had to have worked...
  67. >...
  68. >It...
  69. >It did.
  70. >...
  71. >The giant rolling machine is blackened and smoking along its nearest side.
  72. >That’s it.
  73. >The humans can’t continue with their machines broken...
  74. >We...  we did it.
  75. >WE DID IT!
  76.  
  77. >*fwump*
  78. >*fweeeeeeeeeeeeee*
  79. >That’s a new sound.  Looking to the right, you see a small white object shooting towards you on a thin smoke trail.
  80. >On instinct alone you dive into the cloud.
  81. >The gigantic stormcloud that had been completely drained with the surprise attack.  It was now puffy and white, and completely useless except to hide in.  You’d need a different approach for the other machines.
  82. >Okay Meadow, keep your wits about you.  You can do this.  Their main fighting machine is down, but of course the smaller ones would have something on them too.  The humans are too clever to leave them defenseless, even with the big one to escort them.  We managed to stop the most dangerous one—now we can handle the others.
  83. >There’s four smaller, boxy machines.  Those ones have actual wheels instead of that grinding flexible surface, so they can’t go off the trail as easily.  We’ll need to lure them away from each other, get them stuck in rougher parts of the forest.  Just follow the plan.
  84. >*pop*
  85. >...
  86. >See?  Barely worth getting worried about.  This weapon is slow and weak.  Any pegasus out of flight school can dodge that thing.
  87. >All we have to do is move faster than it can turn and...
  88.  
  89. >W-what?
  90. >Silver dust is sprinkling down through the cloud.
  91. >... The weapon!
  92. >It was some kind of trick!
  93. >You hold your breath and turn to bolt for the stream to wash this poison off you, when you notice it.
  94. >The dust was eating the cloud; the puffy white lumps fading away, dissolving around you as the silver sparkles fell through it...  Removing it like any other obstacle the humans had faced.
  95. >You spin around and-
  96.  
  97. >and...
  98.  
  99.  
  100. >no...
  101.  
  102.  
  103. >IT WAS STILL MOVING?!?
  104. >HOW?
  105. >You hit it with the biggest thunderbolt you’ve ever heard of!  The entire storm’s magic!
  106. >AN ENTIRE STORM’S MAGIC
  107.  
  108. >But there it was.
  109. >Still moving.
  110. >Casually spinning its top part to face everypony still flying.
  111. >The ponies around you were silent.  They hovered in place, completely stunned.
  112. >...
  113. >You silly pony...
  114. >You didn’t destroy it.
  115. >You didn’t even damage it.
  116. >All you did was scorch the paint.
  117.  
  118. >The cannons tilted upwards as you just hovered and watched.
  119. >What else could you do?  There was no escape.  No part of Equestria they couldn’t reach.  And you just saw with your own eyes how pointless it was to fight back.
  120. >You don’t care if you had just been poisoned by that Tartarus-cursed weapon.  You don’t care that the foremost machine is aiming its weapon directly at you.
  121. >This was the last chance at stopping them.  The only thing anypony could think of that might work.
  122.  
  123. >Time moved at half-speed as the cannon fired.
  124. >You could clearly see the yellow and black, hoof-sized tube fly through the air.
  125. >It popped open—flinging seven little silver canisters in all directions.
  126. >...
  127. >This is it, huh?
  128.  
  129. >The world turned into blinding light and deafening sound.
  130.  
  131. >Completely ignoring your commands, your body folded in on itself.
  132.  
  133. >You may have screamed.  You couldn’t tell.
  134.  
  135. >You passed out before you hit the ground.
  136.  
  137.  
  138. ==========
  139.  
  140.  
  141. >You are Meadow Flower
  142. >And...
  143. >...
  144. >you are still alive.
  145.  
  146. >...
  147. >It takes more effort just to open your eyes than you had thought possible. Every part of you hurts. Not just your sore body, not just the biggest headache you’ve ever had. You feel...
  148. >Tired. Weak.
  149. >Cold.
  150. >Lying there, shivering in a strange bed, it takes you a couple minutes to realize what happened.
  151. >You realise what’s missing.
  152. >You’ve been cut off from the warm glow of magic.
  153. >That’s what the empty feeling means.
  154. >You’ve been taken from your home. To the human world.
  155. >...
  156. >It’s dark and quiet.
  157. >You’re on a simple mattress, under a thin blanket.
  158. >Surrounded on all sides by smooth gray stone.
  159. >The far wall is painted with a dark grid. You don’t even have to turn your head to know what’s casting that faint shadow.
  160. >Bars.
  161. >You were their prisoner.
  162.  
  163. >...
  164. >Well, you guess this was inevitable. The invasion only started three weeks ago but the humans had most of Equestria under their control.
  165. >Your ambush was out of desperation more than anything.
  166. >Wither’s Bend was just a little trading town. Barely large enough to count as a town, at that. You had never even heard of it before the volunteer call.
  167. >But more importantly, it was a two day trot from Los Pegasus. The humans would pass through it as they traveled to the metropolis.
  168. >The cloudbuilt part of the city had been moved: pushed over the ocean and up the coast. You don’t know how far they were moving it, but you had heard rumors that Vanhoover was being reinforced.
  169. >Your sister wouldn’t have gone with them, of course. Her husband was an earth pony and they lived in the grounded part of the city. She wouldn’t leave him like that.
  170. >And anypony that wasn’t a pegasus was trapped.
  171.  
  172. >To the west was an ocean, to the south a featureless desert. Human forces controlled everything north and east. Everypony was boxed in.
  173. >A friend in the Wonderbolts told you they weren’t going to fight for it. It was too far out, and the humans had already taken the surrounding lands. The Princesses had spoken with the military council and decided that their limited forces were better used somewhere else.
  174. >...
  175. >You know they were right. But you had to try.
  176. >And it didn’t work.
  177. >You can feel the gloom trying to overtake you. The crushing weight of failure. But you know there’s no point to that...
  178. >From here on out you had to wing it as best you could manage.
  179. >You were a prisoner, and the only thing left was to resist. In any way possible.
  180. >...
  181.  
  182. >You reach up a hoof to examine the weight on your neck-
  183. >A collar.
  184. >Thick, heavy metal, with a boxy bulge on one side.
  185. >You really hope it wasn’t an bomb. You had heard stories of zebras putting explosive collars on prisoners, but that had always seemed like something from a comicbook’s gritty reboot.
  186. >But here you were, in some absolutely ridiculous situation.
  187. >Captured by interdimensional aliens that worshipped machines.
  188. >Taken from any life you had made for yourself.
  189. >In a stone tomb.
  190. >Locked, and chained, and cut off from everything that made Equestria worth protecting.
  191.  
  192. >Being separated from the magic essence of Equestria wasn’t what hurt the most.
  193. >No...
  194. >The worst part was that you had failed.
  195. >Everypony had counted on you to stop that gigantic machine. You had led all of them into a plan that you were sure would work. Something that, after everything you had seen, everything you had learned about them, would absolutely halt their advance.
  196. >But none of that was true.
  197. >And there was nothing you could do to fix it.
  198. >Wither’s Bend fell because you weren’t good enough.
  199. >Los Pegasus would be next, because you weren’t good enough.
  200. >You try to fight the tears as you realize that your little sister would soon be in the same place you are right now, and it’s entirely because you couldn’t manage to stop a couple hunks of metal from rolling their way through a single town.
  201. >After everything that’s happened...
  202. >You couldn’t even stand up to them once...
  203.  
  204. >...
  205.  
  206. >You’ve been tough for a long time. And tomorrow things are just going to get worse. But tonight...
  207. >You pull your legs tight against your barrel and curl into a ball. You grab your tail with both hooves and extend a wing over your head, trying to block out the world around you.
  208. >You try to ignore the heavy metal collar weighing down on you.
  209. >And you cry.
  210.  
  211.  
  212. ==========
  213.  
  214.  
  215. >You jump out of bed so fast you barely remain standing.
  216. >THE ALARM!
  217. >THE HUMANS ARE ATTACKING!
  218. >You twist and kick, trying to untangle yourself from this blanket so you can—
  219. >So you can...
  220.  
  221. >You are Meadow Flower, and you’re not in the guard barracks at the Everfree castle.
  222. >You’re not in Equestria at all.
  223. >You’re in a human prison, in the human world.
  224. >And that blaring noise isn’t the alarm.  Through the open doorway you can hear metal banging on metal and a human shouting-
  225. >“ALRIGHT PONIES, TIME TO WAKE UP!  TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIVES!”
  226. >The voice is gruff and overwhelmingly confident.
  227. >Not boastful, not aggressive.  Just confident.
  228. >That must be the mare in charge.
  229. >...
  230. >Well, it’s not like there’s any other option.  Face the future as a Sky Guard should.  The others will be counting on you to be strong.
  231. >You take a few seconds to gather your nerve before you start moving.
  232.  
  233. >The room outside your cell stretches to either side, like the hallway connecting a line of apartments.  The wall opposite you has a giant mirror on it, but placed high enough you can only see a reflection of the ceiling.
  234. >Standing in the middle of the room was a human.  Light brown skin.  Bright red mane.  You had never seen a human’s mane that color before.  She's wearing a blue and black uniform with a badge on the breast.  Not a uniform you had seen before either.
  235. >Legs in a wide stance, arms behind her back.  Not expecting a fight but definitely ready for one.  You can see the tip of a black object she's holding peaking out from behind her.  Doesn't look like a gun.  Some sort of club?
  236. >You stop in front of her, head held high and posture challenging.  You're the first pony to leave their cell, and you need to represent the best ponykind has to offer.
  237. >You're nervous.  Oh Celestia you're nervous.  Humans are even bigger up close; this one is several times your size.  Taller than Celestia, taller than the only minotaur you've seen.  So tall she would have crawl to fit through a pony door.  But it doesn't matter how you feel.  The others will be looking to you for guidance, and if need be, to take a beating so they don't have to.  You need to show strength and courage... even if you have to force it.
  238. >Behind you and to your sides, the sound of hoofsteps.  Slow and cautious.  You follow them with your ears as the other ponies gather around you, but your eyes don't leave the human.
  239.  
  240. >”Good morning, little ponies.  My name is Ms. Drake and I will be your guide at this facility."
  241. >She sweeps her gaze across the herd.  A calculating look, sizing us up.  She lingers on you for a second too long.
  242. >Yeah, that's right.  I'm not going to be easy.
  243. >"I imagine you all know where you are by now, but just to make things clear:  You’re not on Equestria anymore.  This is Earth.  All of you are prisoners of interspecies war and you will remain so until hostilities end.  That may be months, that may be years, that may even be the rest of your natural lives.”
  244. >As she talks you scan the crowd of ponies around you.  Six unicorns: four of which lived in Wither’s Bend and two you hadn’t seen before.  Two earth ponies you also hadn’t seen before—not part of the evacuating families.  Six pegasi, also from Wither's Bend.  And on all their faces, fear.  Hopelessness.  Some were crying, most just stared straight ahead with dead eyes.  Civilians, all of them.
  245. >On the far left, you spot a griffon.  Gerald.  He has the collar like everypony else, but it connects to a muzzle and there are chains linking his forelegs.  The look of defiance he’s wearing reminds you why you liked him from the start.
  246.  
  247. “Where’s Tailwind?”  
  248. >The human pauses this well-rehearsed speech and turns to you.  You meet her gaze.  Everypony around you flinches back.  So scared they don’t know what to do but cower and obey.  But not you.
  249. >”... The blue stallion that came through with you?  The retrieval squad found him in the forest with a broken wing.  Until that heals he’ll be staying in the medical quarters.”
  250. >It’s hard to read human emotions with their freakishly tiny eyes and lack of ears, but you know the look on her face.  She’s not angry you’ve interrupted her.  She’s bored.  
  251.  
  252. >She breaks eye contact and returns to her speech.
  253. >”As I was saying...  Due to the sheer number of captured ponies, we are taking a different approach than with human warfare.  Starting tomorrow, all of you will go through a training course to familiarize yourselves with our customs, to prepare you for your new duties, and to instill proper behavior for your new lives.  After which you will be sold.  Some of you to government offices, some of you to local businesses, and some of you to private citizens."
  254. >So that’s what happened to everypony else.  You didn’t know what to expect.
  255. >You were going to be slaves.
  256. >Somepony behind you is making choked sobs.
  257.  
  258. "That's what all this is?  Slavery?  You bucking humans just wanted cheap labor!?"
  259. >The ponies around you gasp at your outburst.  You're not shouting, but your voice is low and dangerous.
  260. >You lower your stance and flair your wings.  To be honest, you don't know what made you speak out.  Part of it is your indignation over Equestria being destroyed for such a stupid reason.  Part of it is to let the other ponies know they shouldn't give up hope; that the humans haven't won yet.  Maybe it was raw defiance and everything else is just you rationalizing it.
  261. "Do you think everypony is just going to play along?  Be good little workers for the rest of our lives?  Because. I. Won't."
  262.  
  263. >”John, give her five seconds on medium.”
  264. >This Tartarus-damned human, casually turning away from you like you’re a foal having a tantrum.  She’s going to regr—
  265. >!!!
  266.  
  267. >Your body is filled with an indescribable pain as the collar starts making a loud rapid clicking noise.  Every muscle in your body is clenching as hard as it can.  You can’t move.  Can’t breathe.  Can’t think.  Can’t even scream.  Your body belongs to the pain.  You desperately try to gasp for air, but all you manage to do is choke on your own throat.  It’s too much, and it goes on for an eternity.
  268.  
  269. >For a while, your mind is just blank.  It feels like floating through a long tunnel.  
  270.  
  271. >You open your eyes and find yourself on the floor, but you don’t remember falling.  Every fiber of your being hurts.  You’re covered in sweat.  You can taste blood.  
  272.  
  273. >And standing in front of you is that damned human.  Just watching you.  You put everything you have into glaring back.
  274.  
  275. >”And hopefully, every pony here will cooperate.  It's for your own good.”
  276.  
  277.  
  278. ==========
  279.  
  280.  
  281. >Everypony is being marched through narrow hallways with low ceilings.
  282. >Well, low for humans is still really tall for a pony.  It’s probably this size so a pegasus couldn’t get out of their reach.
  283. >Two humans in the front.  Three humans in the back.  Grey and black uniforms, with big bulky belts around their middle.
  284. >You couldn’t stand so you’re being carried by one of them.  A male, but you didn't get a good look at him.
  285. >The shock didn't paralyze you or anything like that, but it did something to your muscles.  Every single part of you feels exhausted beyond belief; muscles weak from overuse.  Worse than the Running of the Leaves, worse than working your tail off for Winter Wrap Up, worse than Wonderbolts or Sky Guard training.  You can breathe, you can blink, but anything beyond that is limited to small twitches and weak flailing.
  286. >Your ride enters a small white room and deposits you on a shiny metal table, then leaves.
  287. >Seated on a chair next to you is another human.  Female.  Wrinkled, sandy-colored skin.  Pale blonde mane.  But more importantly, this human was wearing a different kind of uniform from the others.
  288. >Unmistakably, a doctor’s uniform.  
  289.  
  290. >”Hello dearie.  Ready for your medical exam?”
  291. >...right.
  292. >You weakly nod.
  293. >”Just hold still.  I’ll take care of everything.”
  294. >The next few minutes are filled with measurement after measurement as she mutters numbers and writes them down.  Hoof to withers, nose to tail, wingspan, leg length, barrel and belly, and finally weight.  All in Inches and Pounds, which mean nothing to you.  You pay attention anyway, just on the rare chance that this could be useful later.  Fifteen inches in a wither.  Fifty-three pommes is seventeen pounds, so one is about three pommes.
  295. >She rounds things off by wrapping a black band around one foreleg and pushing a sticky white pad against the other leg’s hoof so that it sticks to the frog.  The black band starts to inflate slowly like some kind of thick, strangely shaped balloon.
  296.  
  297. >Finished with her personal space violation, she returns to the chair and picks up the clipboard again.
  298.  
  299. >”Full name, please?”
  300. >...
  301. “Meadow Flower.”
  302. >”Age?”
  303. “Twenty three winters.”
  304. >”Occupation?”
  305. “Acting Lieutenant in the Sky Guard.  26th Division.”
  306. >More scribbling.
  307. >”And what did you do before first contact?  Were you always a soldier?”
  308. “I—”
  309. >It feels like ages ago, but it’s been barely more than a year since the first humans arrived.
  310. “I.. was a florist...  And I volunteered on the town’s weather team.”
  311. >The thing she fastened to your foreleg is getting uncomfortably tight.
  312. >You try to focus on that, and not what life was like before everything fell apart.
  313.  
  314. >You jump as the monitor next to you lets out a beep.  The doctor spins her chair to face it and copies down the numbers.
  315. >”Blood pressure is a little off, but that’s probably because of the shock.  Heart rate is good.  No variation in speed.”
  316. >With an unpleasant staticy tearing sound she unfastens the black band, and gently peels the white pad off your hoof.  
  317.  
  318. >”Well alright then.  That’s nearly everything, but I’m afraid the rest of it will be a little unpleasant.  Let’s do the samples first.”
  319. >Your ears snap upright.  Samples?  You don’t like the sound of that.
  320. >”First I’m going to take a little blood.  It’ll feel like a tiny little pinch.  Just close your eyes and things will be over before you know it.”
  321. >Woah, hold on a second.  Why do they need your blood?
  322. >Oh filly, that’s a needle.  You’re not scared of needles, but that’s when a pony is holding them.
  323. >You try to push away from her, but your body still won’t do what you tell it.  The best you can manage is a light flop of your forehooves that doesn't get any traction.
  324. >”I know dearie.  I’m not fond of them either.  But I’ve been doing this for quite a while and I promise it’ll be over in just a few seconds.”
  325.  
  326. >With escape impossible, you resign to your fate.  Body still, eyes clenched shut.  This’ll be just like getting your shots as a filly.  Only in reverse.
  327. >That thought makes you a little nauseous.
  328. >The doctor rubs a cold wet cloth on your hindleg, then you feel a little pinch on in that spot, just like she said.  Like some small stinging insect.
  329. >A few seconds later it’s gone.
  330. >You let out a breath you didn’t know you were holding.  She’s cooing something about how well you did.  You don’t care.  You’re just glad that’s over.
  331. >Humans should not use needles.
  332.  
  333. ==========
  334. =Most recent update=
  335.  
  336. >The doctor puts on a pair of thin blue gloves.
  337. >You don't know why, but it creeps you out seeing her wiggle them on.
  338. >"Mouth exam next.  Just need to check if any teeth are damaged."
  339. >Oh filly you hope not.  You hate dentists.
  340. >May as well cooperate.  It's not like she's been cruel or anything.  Just normal doctor stuff.
  341. >You let out a tired sigh, close your eyes, and open your mouth as wide as you can.
  342. >"Thank you dear.  I know you're not happy but it makes this a lot easier on both of us."
  343. >!
  344. >Your eyes jolt open at the intruder.  You were expecting her to just poke around at your teeth and stuff like that.  Instead, some kind of metal brace was jammed into the back of your mouth, pushing your jaws apart.
  345. >You try to pull away but it's already in place.  Stuck in that area you don't know the name of, behind your rear-most teeth.  Wedging your jaw open as far as it would go.
  346. >You can't even pry it out with your tongue.
  347. >You close your eyes and whine as the doctor moves a too-bright light around your face, using her other hand to poke and rub your teeth experimentally.
  348. >This is completely different than when a pony does it.  This feels like a violation.
  349. >She hmms and hahs as she works her way along each tooth and stops every few teeth to poke at your gums.
  350. >You're drooling on the table a little bit.  Not that she seems to mind; she's much too focused on exploring every part of your mouth.  All you can really do is lie there and take it.
  351. >"Good condition.  One small bump, but it's only the tiny start of a cavity.  We'll take care of that in a couple days."
  352. >Oh goddesses not more human doctors.
  353. >The light stops blinding you through your eyelids and shuts off with a small click.  You reluctantly open your eyes as she opens another damned drawer.  What now?
  354. >...
  355. >A small stick with a cotton ball on it?
  356. >You try not to gag as she rubs it along the very back of your mouth.
  357. >Finally done, she places it into a small clear tube and tightly caps it, then removes that damned brace.  You move your jaw back and forth, stretching and trying to get rid of the soreness that had built up over the last several minutes.
  358. >"Looks like you're in perfect health.  All that's left is to take your temperature and send you on your way.  I imagine you'd like to get back to the others and rest a bit."
  359. >Understatement of the year.  All you can do is sigh and nod.
  360. "You have no idea."
  361. >She turns back to you with a thermometer in hand.  Just a plain glass rod.  Slightly bigger than the pony version, but the same design.
  362. >You open your mouth and lift your tongue for the thermometer.  You really hope she doesn't use that metal brace again, but now that you know it's coming it won't be so bad.
  363. >"...  I'm afraid not, dear."
  364. >Not what?
  365.  
  366. >...
  367.  
  368. >Never.  Again.
  369. >You're not going to be treated like a Tartarus-damned newborn foal.
  370. >The doctor had to shock you again.  Twice.
  371. >Not as strong a shock or for as long as the first time, but you weren't going to just let her stick that into you.  Not even if it was a normal part of human medicine.
  372.  
  373. >At least it's over now.  And she told you that everypony has the rest of the day off.
  374. >Something about giving time to adjust to the lack of magic.  You weren't really listening.  Just silently seething at her.
  375. >You don't hate her or anything.  She was nice enough, she was professional, and she didn't get rough until after you took a swing at her.  You just don't agree with being treated like an animal, and aren't happy that human medicine is needlessly invasive.  You don't care if they can't do magic scans.  Some things just aren't okay.
  376. >The same human that brought you there carries you back through empty hall after empty hall.  You’re just glad to be out of that office.
  377. >You feel grimy from that gel, but you can still barely move so you can’t wash it off properly.
  378. >...
  379. >Pretty fitting for the first day, huh?  Electrocuted, prodded, documented, and violated, all before lunch.
  380. >And tomorrow, training.  Whatever that—
  381. >”Hey,” the guard hauling you catches your attention, “what’s your name?”
  382. >Does it even matter?  You’re a prisoner now, and soon you’re going to be a slave.
  383. ”...Meadow.”
  384. >Another short silence.  You don’t turn your head to look at him.  Too much effort to move that much.  And even if you could, you wouldn’t.  You keep your muzzle forward, eager to get back to everypony.  
  385. >”I’m sorry about what happened in there.  The doc can be a bit rough.”
  386. >Pressed up against him like this, you can feel the low rumble when he speaks.
  387. >It’s...
  388. >Soothing.
  389. >”I heard you say you were in the Sky Guard.  What kind of stuff did you do?”
  390. >That doesn’t matter either.  Those days are over.
  391. “Helped ponies evacuate.  Delivered messages and medical supplies.”
  392. >”You must have helped a lot of ponies.”
  393. “Yeah.  We tried to.”
  394. >...
  395. >”Thanks.”
  396. >You don’t know how to respond, so the two of you continue in silence.
  397. >Through the narrow hallways with the low ceiling.  Back to the holding cells.
  398. >Everypony froze when you were carried in, terrified of drawing the human’s attention.  He carried you back to your cell and gently set you on the bed.  He pulled the blanket over you, and left without a word.
  399. >Maybe...
  400. >Maybe some of them aren’t so bad.
  401. >It’s not much for a comforting thought, but at this point you’d take anything you could get.
  402.  
  403. >...
  404.  
  405. >After the human left, had been visited by everypony.  Asking if you were okay, or if you needed anything.  Some just thanked you for standing up for them.  You thanked them for their concern, but turned down their help.  The only thing you needed help with is cleaning that slimy gel out of your tailhole and off the surrounding fur, and you'd do that yourself when you can move again.
  406. >Which, thankfully, was starting to come back.
  407. >The four ponies you didn't know introduced themselves.  They were from Apploosa, trying to make it to Vanhoover.  Spotted while foraging in Whitetail Woods and taken down just as quickly as the rest of you.  Different group of humans though.
  408. >The last to visit was Gerald.  You could tell from the clicking of his claws that he was waiting outside your cell, giving the others time to talk to you first.
  409. >Greeting you with a smirk and a hoof-bump, you know you have a real ally in here.  Just like you, he's not willing to give in so easily.
  410. >Neither of you know enough about this place to come up with an escape plan, of course.  But it's on both of your minds.  And getting everypony out with you is going to be a challenge, even when you do find a way.
Meadow Flower Slave Pony General

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