Veil of Thoughts
The ceiling was moving. Why was the ceiling moving? Ceilings didn’t move. Yet, there it was, racing by overhead. The white panels were broken only by bright circular lights, orbs of whiteness shining down from above; they shouldn’t be moving either. Of course, if they weren’t moving, what else should they be doing?
Now the walls had joined in. Maybe they didn’t want to be left behind? After all, what was a ceiling without walls? The walls were white too, mostly. Every so often a door would run by — that made sense — walls needed doors, didn’t they? How else would doors keep up with the walls if they didn’t run?
Now the talking was moving too. No. That wasn’t right, talking didn’t move. The talking was speaking. No. that wasn’t right either. Why was it so hard to focus? Why was the ceiling still moving?
A head moved out from the walls. The face was little more than an indistinct blur with mouths opening and closing. It was pouring out words and colors. Blinking made it all go away. Blinking made everything a little easier to deal with. Blinking made it easier to think.
What was going on?
More words, words that had something else, not color… meaning… that’s what they had. Words that were being spoken, words that made sense!
“I think she’s waking up. Are you alright? Do you know where you are?” the words asked. No, the voice asked. No. That wasn’t right either.
The answer was no.
“Yes,” answered the sound, spoken but wrong. A sound that had come from within the outside. Yes. That was right. “What happened?” asked the whisper.
“I’m afraid there has been an accident, stay calm,” said the voice.
I am calm. Why won’t you answer the question?
“What happened!” the sound demanded.
“Just relax Miss, we are almost to the doctor, he will explain everything,” said the voice.
“Ok,” was the whisper.
The ceiling jumped as the world stayed still. No, that wasn’t right. The walls turned, the doors flew away. Then all at once, everything stopped. The ceiling stopped moving. That wasn’t right, ceilings were supposed to move, weren’t they?
New mumbles approached, a gray face leaned over, sharp blue eyes staring down. It spoke mumbles that drifted in and out like the wind. The voice answered in meaningless babble.
At last the noise halted, the words were silent, the voice quiet.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” whispered the mumbles. “I must contact my colleagues. Has anyone informed the Princess?” The answer was yes in the voice. “Take her to a room, no visitors, not until we know more.”
If you could just say what’s wrong, this would be a lot easier.
“What’s wrong!” shouted the sound. Odd, that time was almost like… like… what was the symbol… No. That wasn’t right… what was the word? Yes. It had almost been like speaking, except, it was wrong.
“I’m not sure how to tell you this,” answered the mumble. No. The doctor. That was the doctor, he was… speaking? Yes. That was right. “It seems that there has been a magical accident. It might be easier if I show you.”
The world moved, shifted, turned, toppled and finally reflected. Not a wall and not a ceiling. Not a door or a window. It was… self. Those were eyes, snout, mane and ears. That’s what those were. A neck with shoulders attached below; no more than that to see. Maybe there was no more? No. That wasn’t right, there must be more, had to be more.
But… eyes were wrong, one pink, one purple. And the mane, red, orange, yellow, green… that was… Yes? No, that didn’t taste right. Between the hair, a purple horn with a tip of light blue. That shouldn’t be, but, it belonged there. Wrong but right. All of it, all of it was…
“What… what…” not even the sound seemed to know.
It’s wrong. Why can’t you see it’s wrong?
“Like I said, there seems to have been a magical accident,” said the reflected mumble—no, the doctor, he is a doctor. “Do you… do you know your name?”
Of course, I’m Twilight “Dash!” said the sound. That was odd. I’m Rainbow “Sparkle!” said the whisper. The mumble frowned. No. That wasn’t right. The face. The face frowned.
“Who, am I talking to right now Miss?” asked the face. No. The doctor. He was the doctor! Why was it so hard to keep that thought?
“Rainbow” Sparkle “that’s who you’re talking to,” said the sound. “What happen? All mixed up.”
“What is the last thing you remember?” asked the doctor.
“Flash,” was the whisper, “breaking.” The doctor nodded. “What wrong with **?” the word was stuck. It was struggling to get out, to get free. Pushing against itself, trapped. Then at last, it came free. “…Us!” That had been wrong. No. that was right.
Everything tumbled, the reflection tumbled and there was ground, jumping up. The ground wasn’t supposed to… hurt. That word was easy, that feeling too well known to be jumbled up in the mess. The floor hurt.
“Are you alright,” asked the panicked mumb… doctor.
“N-es,” half whisper half sound. Floor was falling away once more as unsteady legs worked to get up. Why was standing so hard? The reflection, it was still there, all there. It was wrong. That was it. That made sense. It was wrong. The mirror was a liar.
“Please, you shouldn’t be standing!” the voice urged. Nurse, she was a nurse not a voice. Was she working with the mirror against **? No. Not that word.
Pacing did not seem to help, every angle was different. Every angle was the same. Wings, there were wings now too. Four hooves planted firmly on the floor, nothing out of place there. Tail, purple with a stripe of pink and mane still made of all the colors. Starburst on the left flank, rainbow colored lighting on the right. And the coat, that was the worst of all! It was lavender mostly but with the slightest shine of sky-blue when the light hit it just right.
It looked totally awesome!
The wings flapped, purple with tips of blue. The left eye was pink, right eye purple. Blinking didn’t make them look normal. The left eye closed. Everything was fixed but everything was broken. The right eye closed. Vision filled with bright vibrant colors and thoughts filled with unending darkness. Blinking was fine. The horn, that was the worst of all! Mostly lavender with a tip of sky-blue.
At least that was still there. Would have to make a checklist later, see what else was missing.
“Please, Miss, you need to get back in bed,” the doctor said. He was the doctor, the name was right.
“Yes,” answered the sound at last. “In back bed. We sorry.”
Mouth closed tight. The doctor gave a funny look.
Hard to walk, hard to climb. Legs not working like they should — thoughts not working like they should. Is hard. Wings flap, faster and faster, left one harder than the right. Tumble into the bed. Hooves are helping, putting right the mess. Wing still flapping, it doesn’t want to stop. Rolling to the side finally made it stop.
“Now, stay in bed this time,” said the nurse. A nod, don’t trust the sound.
The doctor on call at Ponyville Hospital that day went by the name of Red Cross. He was an expert physician who specialized in magical accidents and ailments. He had trained at the Canterlot Magic Emergency Medical Center before coming to Ponyville several years ago to serve as one of its doctors.
His magical injury patients were few and far between. Magic didn’t often go wrong, and usually when it did the problems were minor at best. There also weren’t that many unicorns in Ponyville, but still, every so often a spell would go wrong, or an accident would happen. He was the expert who was here to care for the hurt pony.
Of course he knew just as much about normal treatment as he did magical ones. Most of the time, he helped treat every day illnesses or sprained hooves, just like the other doctors.
Up until twenty minutes ago, Doctor Red Cross thought he had seen it all while working at the CMEMC. He was sure he had seen the worst of the worst in magical accidents. Yet he had been sitting, just where he was sitting now, when he had been proven completely wrong. The strangest magical accident he had ever seen rolled through his door.
The pony had been incoherent, speaking nonsense. She had been dazed and disoriented. Her motor skills severely impacted and her speech slightly slurred. It hadn’t been until he had seen both the wings and the horn that he had been truly startled though.
For a third time he checked the chart sitting in front of him. Name: Twilight Sparkle, Gender: Mare, Kind: Unicorn, Age: … he ran a hoof over the details again, back tracking to kind: unicorn. Not pegasus. Yet she’d had wings, he had seen the wings! He had watched them flap.
He rubbed a hoof against his face.
He had used his own magic to try and discover the cause of the problem, not really having any idea where to start. The first spells had been to detect a curse, but there had been none. The second was to check for any injuries, again, none. Or at least he assumed so. His spell had reacted strangely, but the result was undeniable, no physical injuries. The last thing he had done was trying to identify the spell that had been cast on her. He had not been prepared for that. Whatever magic had been used on Twilight Sparkle was so strong it nearly overpowered him.
That was the other thing that was bothering him. He flipped over the chart. On the back were notes about the patient. Twilight Sparkle was no ordinary unicorn. She was Princess Celestia’s star pupil and a master magic user. Unicorns of Twilight Sparkle’s skills very rarely had accidents like this, but when they did things usually went very, very, bad.
At least they had sent a letter to the Princess the moment Twilight Sparkle had arrived. The last thing Red Cross wanted was to have the Princess’ wrath come down upon him for not informing her of her prize student’s condition.
He scratched his chin with a hoof, still pondering the magic he had sensed around Twilight Sparkle. The question wasn’t just what had happened to her, but why? Why would Twilight Sparkle try anything that could possibly lead to her current predicament? Red Cross wasn’t sure if it was something he would ever have answered.
Shifting the papers a little he looked at the second set of medical records he had pulled and stared at the picture on the front of the folder. He’d had a hunch, a crazy, impossible idea. Yet the more he looked at the second picture the more sense it seemed to make.
The sound of racing hoofsteps outside his door interrupted his ponderings. Someone was shouting, a nurse. No, there were many hoofsteps. For one terrible moment Red Cross feared that a second case of the bizarre illness was about to crash into his office. However, when the doors burst open, it was not at all what he was expecting. A group of three ponies now stood before him.
The one at the front was an orange earth pony, with a Stetson hat atop her head. Her name was Applejack. She was a hard working apple farmer, who had been in for more sprains then any other pony he knew. Right behind her and to the left was a white unicorn that Red Cross recognized as Miss Rarity. He had only seen her for regular checkups. Between Rarity and Applejack was the nearly hidden face of Fluttershy. She was here nearly weekly, always with some new and usually imaginary, illness.
A moment later nurse Gentle Touch rushed in behind them, only just now catching up.
“I’m sorry doctor!” said Gentle Touch, slightly out of breath. “They just barged past me!” She glared at the orange earth pony, who glared back.
“This mare was givin’ us the run-around,” said the orange pony. “We heard Twilight is here, where’s she at?”
Red Cross looked at the orange pony. He had thought this might be coming. There wasn’t much that happened in Ponyville that didn’t spread like wildfire through the small town.
“Its alright Gentle Touch, I can take this from here,” said Red Cross to the waiting nurse. She shot one last dirty glance at Applejack before departing back to her duties. “Miss Applejack, if you could calm down a little, I would be happy to tell you what’s happened to your friend.”
“Is she alright?” asked Rarity, looking genuinely concerned for her friend’s well being. “We were told there was some kind of accident at her home.”
“That does appear to be the case,” said Red Cross with a nod. “We are doing everything we can to try and figure out what happened to her. As of yet, we are still not sure.”
“Is she going to be alright?” asked Fluttershy timidly. Despite having talked to Doctor Red Cross now literally hundreds of times, she never ceased to be shy around him. For Fluttershy, that was the case with most every pony in town.
“I cannot say for certain,” answered Red Cross. “For now she seems stable physically. Mentally…”
One of the overhead air vents suddenly burst open with a crash that made everypony in the room jump. Fluttershy let out a squeak of terror, hiding even more behind Applejack. The grate tumbled off the pipe and fell to the floor with a thud, a moment later a pink-cotton-candy-colored earth pony tumbled out of the vent and slammed into the floor, headfirst.
The pink pony sat there, on her head, looking at the room upside down, completely unfazed by either the fall or the fact that she was standing on her head. She began to talk very fast in a sort of made up language that no one seemed to understand.
“Hold on, I think I know what’s wrong,” said Applejack, moving over to the pink pony. With a quick flick of her hooves she righted the pony so that her bottom was on the floor and her head was right side up. Instantly she started making perfect sense, like being upside down had turned her words upside down.
“…not in Sugercube Corner, not at the park, not at the farm, not at Sugercube Corner…” the pony rambled.
“Pinkie!” said Applejack, perhaps a little more loudly than she had meant. “What’re yall talkin’ about? Where’ve you been?”
“Well, my knee got twitch-twitchy-twitch,” explained Pinkie Pie. “And then one of my ears got all itchy, then my teeth started chattering and before I even knew what was going on, my tail went all straight!” Everypony stared at her with a raised eyebrow. Pinkie Pie had an uncanny sixth sense that could often predict events before they happened. Much like the pony herself, the specifics of what those signs were and what they meant were a mystery to everypony but her.
“Come on guys! Don’t you know what this means?” demanded Pinkie when no one answered her. “It means that something really, really, really, really, really, REALLY, bad happened to somepony I know.”
“Why do you think we’re at the hospital dear?” asked Rarity as politely as she could manage. “Twilight has been in some sort of horrible accident.”
Pinkie Pie shook her head. “No, it’s not about Twilight, my side isn’t tingly.”
“If not Twilight, then who?” asked Fluttershy, emerging slightly from behind her new hiding place of Rarity.
“Rainbow Dash!” exclaimed Pinkie, “something really, really, really…”
“We get the point,” interrupted Applejack.
“…bad, happened to Rainbow Dash! I’ve been looking everywhere for her! She’s not in Sugercube Corner, not at the park, not at the farm…”
“We heard this part already too,” said Applejack, once more cutting Pinkie off. “We have to find her.”
“If I might interject,” said Doctor Red Cross, the four mares looked at him, seemingly having forgotten he was there. “I think I may have a theory as to where Miss Rainbow Dash might be.”