I stood in a dark room with three large pillars standing in front of me. On top of the pillars, all three Crusaders cast hate-filled eyes at me. They were ponies again.
“How could you do it?!” Scootaloo yelled.
“We trusted you!” Sweetie screamed.
“Now we’re gonna be blank flanks forever because of you!” Apple Bloom pointed a finger at me. The girls were now in their human forms.
“Please!” I begged and fell to my knees. “It’s not my fault! I’m doing everything I can to fix this!”
“You shouldn’t have written those stories then!” Sweetie leaned over her pillar and glared at me.
“Yeah!” Scootaloo leaned forward as well. “Maybe if you hadn’t been so obsessed with ponies this wouldn’t have happened.”
“Girls, please! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it! I’d never want to do this to anypony!” I closed my mouth, realizing I was using ponyisms.
“That’s fine.” Apple Bloom banged a gavel on her pillar and then pointed it at me. “Let’s see how you like being a blank flank... forever!”
My right arm started to burn. I clenched it in pain and watched in horror as it turned brown and my hand started to deform into a big lump. My back started to burn as well. “I’m sorry! I can fix this! I swear!” My glasses fell off as a muzzle pushed out of my face.
“You can’t fix it,” said all three Crusaders. I collapsed as a bony wing exploded out of my back.
I sat up and breathed deeply. I swathed my hands over my body to make sure I was still human. “Oh... oh thank god!” I brought a hand to my forehead and breathed until my heartbeat went back to normal. Then I noticed the small indents all over my face. A small bit of drool covered the keyboard in front of me. My computer screen was dark now. I must have fallen asleep at the desk. I reached out and grabbed my alarm clock and looked at the time.
Digital numbers read “5:53.” I scratched my head and quietly stood up from my chair. Some of my joints cracked from being in one position for too long. The alarm had little point now, sleep was a commodity I’d given up. I need to make breakfast. It was part of my penance to the girls to make them a good breakfast every morning, it was the least I could do.
I stretched and then sifted through my fridge for eggs and milk. I silently grabbed the rest of my cookware and made my way to the kitchen. I had about forty-five minutes before the girls got up.
Somehow we’d managed to keep the Crusaders’ presence relatively hidden over the weekend. Thank god my RM couldn’t give a crap about anything on the hall. Sybil and Jane moved the girls around during the early hours when no one in their right mind would be up. Heh, “right mind”, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.
I got into the kitchen and started preparing breakfast. I mixed the eggs, milk, and seasoning in a bowl and then poured it into the frying pan. “A fitting meal for a monster.”
After I told them about the cutie marks, things were rough to say the least. If they weren’t crying, they only talked to Jane and Sybil. Not that I made attempts to talk with them. I couldn’t even face them after what I’d done. Instead, I poured all my effort into finding a way back home for them. Countless emails were sent, numerous chat rooms were visited, and hundreds upon hundreds of sites were visited. My eye twitched a little as I watched the eggs cook.
All I got for my online efforts were either compliments on what a good cosplay the Crusaders had or that I was crazy. My attempts at visiting physics websites went even worse. It was like reading an entirely different language. I just got odd stares when I talked to the professors at school. I couldn’t tell them everything and vagueness didn’t get me anywhere. Too much information and I’d be on NBC by nighttime. I had virtually no leads.
I mechanically moved the egg mixture around with a spatula. I drifted off for a second and then had to hurry to make sure the scrambled eggs didn’t burn. I hadn’t touched my bed since I told the CMC about cutie marks. I’d either been moving around campus trying to talk to professors without setting off alarm bells or going online and trying to find something, anything to help. I probably crashed a few hours ago, I think I was on ponychan again.
I was just pouring the eggs onto the plates when they came in. I didn’t turn to face them. I moved the plates over to the table. I quickly moved past them. Jane grabbed my arm. “Wait.”
“There’s some for you too,” I mumbled. “I need to get back to work.”
“Wait.” It wasn’t Jane’s voice this time. Something tugged at my shirt. I think it was the one I wore when I told the truth to the girls. “Mr. John, can ya just have breakfast with us?” Aside from the eyes, Apple Bloom also had a certain tone that that could only be described as “puppydog.”
“I... I can’t. I need to get you home.” My eyeballs hurt now. That happened when I was too focused on something without enough sleep. I didn’t care, I had work to do.
“Please,” Sweetie cried out. I felt another hand tug at my shirt. “We know we cried a lot, but Ms. Jane said you did it to help us. We didn’t believe it at first, but then she explained how things are different here. How it’s easy for somepony to get hurt here and how you were worried if we tried to get our cutie marks, we’d get really hurt and never get home.”
“I...” Please, don’t make me face you. Not after what I said.
“Yeah and you looking worse than Twilight after that time with the doll isn’t going to help,” Scootaloo nonchalantly said.
“Scootaloo!” Both Sweetie and Applebloom yelled at her.
“Well, it’s true,” Scootaloo replied. “Besides, Mr. John is trying his best and he seemed really sad about telling us. I’m sure he didn’t want to tell us. He was just looking out for us.”
“I tried,” I sighed. “Girls, you have to understand, this world is so much different than Equestria. It’s not just about the cutie marks. It’s something kids like you shouldn’t deal with.”
“But it’s not your fault,” said Apple Bloom.
All of the past forty-eight hours hit me like a stack of bricks. I slumped in Jane’s arm. “John!” she cried out. I hit a wall and slid down. “Oh my gosh! What’s wrong?”
“I-I’m just tired.” I looked at the girls. “I’m sorry girls, but thanks. Eat your breakfast.” Then I was out.
Softness was the first thing I noticed. I hadn’t yet opened my eyes, but I knew a bed simply by touch. My god, did a bed feel good. Then I remembered I’d passed out in the kitchen. My eyes flared open and I looked around. I was in Sybil’s room. Everyone was there.
“Welcome back to the land of the living,” Sybil said.
Then, just to emphasise that I was awake, the CMC jumped on the bed and gave me a hug. A hug that was crushing my ribs. “Mr. John!” They all cried.
“Ugh, crushing! Ow!” They scrambled off, but I could still feel the nearly cracked ribs throbbing in my chest. I turned over to Jane and Sybil. “How long was I out?”
“It’s five now,” Jane answered. I saw that outside the sun was beginning to dip.
“Jeez, I was really out of it, wasn’t I?” Aside from the fake smile, I was also a master of the cocky grin.
“You hadn’t slept since Saturday, right?” Sybil asked.
“Maybe,” I replied.
Sybil gave me a punch in the arm. “Idiot, that’s the sort of stuff reserved for finals. We could have searched in shifts you know.”
“I know but...” I looked at the Crusaders. “I still feel bad about telling them.”
“Stop beating yourself up!” Sybil complained. “You told them, they forgave you, now move on.” Sybil pushed her hand against her forehead. “Guh, you know we both missed class because of you. We had to look out for you while taking care of them as well. You owe us.”
“Okay, okay.” I slowly got out of the bed. At least my eyes didn’t feel like popping out of my head anymore and I couldn’t feeling every single one of my heartbeats. “I’ll cut you a deal, how about I make tuna cassar—” I remembered our guests. Okay, vegetarian places... where it’s hard to make a mess. Crap! Why’d I have to go to school in Texas?! Everything has meat here! Where’s a good... “Got it! Sybil, you mind driving? I’m paying for it all.”
“What’d you have in mind? It better be close.” If I didn’t have my eyes on my phone, I’m sure I’d be seeing Sybil giving me a death glare.
I pulled out my phone. “I think it should be.” I clicked in my password and and pulled up my Yelp app.
“What’s that?” Sweetie asked. I gave her a cursory glance. The light of my phone sparkled in all the Crusaders’ eyes. Guess an Iphone was pretty amazing to ponies from a world where you could float things with a thought. What’s everyday here is magic there and vis-versa. Ugh. My head was spinning a little thinking about the two worlds.
“Remember my computer?” All three Crusaders nodded in response. “It’s like that.” My eyes focused back on the screen. I typed in vegetarian and filtered it down to closest places. A place called Tranquil popped up. I gave it a quick glance. The reviews sounded good even if the price rating was a little high, but it was the closest place. “Got it.” I passed the phone to Sybil. “Think you can drive there?”
“No problem,” she replied. “You better pay for it though.”
“I promise.” I pulled out my wallet and looked at my credit card... the emergency one. Mom and dad are gonna kill me.
“John,” Jane spoke up. “You don’t need to do that.”
“It’s fine.” I stared down at the Crusaders. “It’s probably nothing compared to what you normally eat, but it should be pretty good.”
Oh yeah, the whole “cars are monsters” thing.
“It’s not gonna hurt you,” I assure the girls.
“You let it eat you!” Sweetie yelled. Sybil was impatiently sitting in the driver’s seat. She was tapping her hands on the wheel. She probably wasn’t happy about squeezing five other people—well, two people and three ponies turned human— into her car. She hadn’t liked it when my friends and I clown car-ed in it before.
“It doesn’t eat you,” Jane explained. “You just get in it like...” She snapped her finger. “Like a sky carriage!”
“But only super special ponies get ta ride those!” Apple Bloom exclaimed. “Ah’ve only seen Princess Celestia ride ‘em! Ah mean, Ah heard Twilight also used them, but still, ya must be really special.” Then she looked around and saw all the other cars. “Is everypony here super special?”
I bent down and put a hand on Apple Bloom’s shoulder. “Not really, here a lot of people own cars.”
“Do you?” she asked.
“No, my car’s at home.”
“Ah thought this was your home.”
“Kinda, but my real home is far aw—”
“Hey, John! What’s up?” Oh crap. No! Not him or dear god not... “You all heading out?” Sean walked over.
“Get in the car,” I hissed to the girls.
“What?” Scootaloo asked.
“Just get in. We need to get going.” I shoved all three girls unceremoniously in the car and then got Jane in also. Sean was right by us now.
A word to the unfamiliar. Sean’s the reason I got into MLP. I think he was a fan from the start. Really didn’t help that he looked and acted like he was off of Jersey Shore. Yeah, brony that could belong on that show, crazy world. Plus, he made my love for the show look miniscule. He would not, could not see the Crusaders. That’d be the end of the world. “So who are the kids?”
CrapCrapCrap! “M-my c-cousins!” I jumped into the passenger seat.
“Neat. Ya never mentioned them before.” Sean peaked at the girls, who gave him confused looks. It was probably the artificially blond hair. “They into anime or something? They got some pretty crazy hair.”
Oh, so that’s what a heart attack feels like. Needless to say, my heart was about ready to burst out of my chest like it was in a Ridley Scott movie. “Would really love to talk, but we’ve got reservations!” I twisted at breakneck speeds to Sybil. “Let’s go! Don’t want to be late!” Yup, that forty-eight hours of no sleep was definitely still messing with me. Now it had decided to set my panic button to easy. Luckily, Sybil saw past my panic and the fact that Sean finding out would have the police on me in a second. She hit the gas and pulled out at record speeds. We left Sean in the dust. I’d apologize later.
“Who was that?” Sweetie asked.
“Jane,” I said as I turned around. “Seat belts.” While Jane clicked them in I explained, “A friend.”
Scootaloo squirmed around a little in her belt. “If he’s your friend then why’d you not want to talk to him?” Despite the squirming, I was glad she was secure, as were the other Crusaders. Unfortunately, they took up the three back seats, which banished Jane to a corner of the car’s floor.
“Remember how I said you’re famous here?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Sweetie replied.
“Well, Sean’s a really big fan. If he knew who you were... it wouldn’t be good. That’s why we’ve had to keep you in the rooms... sorry.”
“No, it’s okay. Maybe being a celebrity wouldn’t be that good. I remember this one time Rarity got all nervous and that was because Fluttershy got famous.” The color drained from Sweetie’s face. “Oh no! Fluttershy! What if she’s here too? What if somepony who’s a fan finds her and makes her really famous?”
“I... I’m sure she’d be fine.” Secretly, having Fluttershy get at least a little attention would be good if she was here. Maybe I’d find a link then. “She did take down a dragon once and she saved you from a cocktrice.”
“Cockawhat?” Scootaloo asked.
“The monster that turned ponies to stone.” Now I just felt wrong about mentioning the show. It was like high level stalking.
“You saw that?” Apple Bloom’s eyes went wide in shock.
“Sorry,” I meekly replied. Yep, Chris Hanson will be waiting for me in Hell.
Sybil pulled the car to a stop. “We’re here.” I offered up a prayer to god for ending the car ride before things got even more awkward. The moments where reality and fiction blended took a worse toll on me than lack of sleep. Thankfully, eating was the most basic of all desires, for both ponies and humans. The rumbling in my stomach focused my mind. I needed food, friends needed food, and the Crusaders needed food. We were getting some food, no matter the cost.
Evidently, that cost was some nice clothes. Everyone else at the restaurant was decked out in dresses and button down shirts, while we were in t-shirts and jeans. The fact the Crusader’s clothes didn’t even fit made the whole thing even more awkward. “Um...” I looked over at the maître d'. Crap, there’s a maître d'. “Party of six.”
Man, this guy looked disgruntled. I’m sure if he had a mustache he’d be ruffling it in snooty fury. I think I must have caused him a breakdown or something, cause his eye started twitching. He let out a large sigh. “This way.” I think he mumbled, “Should have had a dress code.” Whatever, a table was a table. It’s not like I’d never dealt with a jerky waiter before, I think everyone has at some point.
“Wow.” Apple Bloom craned her head around the restaurant and focused on all the neat tableclothes and silverware. “Why, Ah haven’t seen anything like this since we all went to Canterlot for the pageant.”
“I remember that,” Sweetie exclaimed. “I think Rarity made it sound really weird, but it was nice an—”
“Easy for you to say,” Scootaloo interrupted. “You didn’t get your tongue stuck to a giant candy cane.” The other girls giggled at this. Scootaloo turned bright red. “S-shut up!”
“Somehow I get the feeling this place isn’t as fancy as Canterl—” I bumped right into the maître d'.
“Ugh,” he grunted. “Your booth, sir.” He began to walk away with an upturned nose, but turned his head around to get in some final words. “We don’t have kids menus.”
“He sounds a lot like the mean prince Rarity met,” said Sweetie. Jane, Sybil, and I looked at each other and then we laughed. “What?”
Jane giggled a little more. “We think he’s a jerk here too.”
Sweetie corked her head at Jane.“Really? How can a prince be a jerk? I asked Rarity the same thing, but she just said...”
“Cake?” said Sybil.
Sweetie tilted her head, looked at the the other Crusaders, and then turned back to us. “Does that Care-tone thing show everything?” Scootaloo asked.
I sighed again, the talk about the show really took it out of me. I waved a hand over to the booth. “Why don’t we look over the menus a little first? I get the feeling they want us out of here as fast as possible.” I noticed that the maître d' was still giving us the stink eye from his little stand at the front of the restaurant.
“Okay,” all three Crusaders replied.
“Where should we sit?” asked Apple Bloom.
“Why don’t you three sit on one end of the booth,” Jane suggested. “It’ll be easy for you to get out if you need to use the bathroom.”
“Jane, Sybil, you two sit on the opposite end then.” I shuddered a little. “The girl’s room is something I’d rather not deal with.” I slid into the booth and took up the middle position. Everyone else followed suit.
“Well, the little fillies’ room isn’t too bad, it’s just annoying to wear all these cl—” I slammed a menu down and opened it to shut Scootaloo up.
“W-why don’t we look over the menu? I-I’m sure they some good stuff here.” I stuffed my face into the menu and pushed out the nightmare in my head. Not my problem, Sybil and Jane can deal with that. I relaxed a little and looked at the menu. Oh sweet, they got soft-shell crab here. I smiled for a second. Then my eyes must have gone a foot outside of my head. Crab?! Damnit Yelp! It said this place was vegetarian. If the menu hadn’t been so thick, I’d probably be crushing it in half. Okay, just stay calm, order for the girls and it’ll be fi—
“Oooh!” Apple Bloom exclaimed. “What’s this? It’s got a lot of scribbles next to it, so it’s probably good, right?” She was pointing a finger right at the venison dish.
Okay, something has it out for me. I looked up from my menu. Sybil and Jane must have looked as pale as I did. “Um, you probably wouldn’t like that. Actually, I’ll order for you! Humans use such different words than ponies do.”
“Yeah,” Scootaloo replied. “What’s up with that? You talk like we do, but all your writing is weird. It’s like somepony just scribbled on everything.”
All three of of us breathed deeply. Thank god for illiteracy. “Okay, well they’ve got lots of great salads here.” I scanned the menu for stuff that I was sure didn’t have meat in it. Thankfully, the salads did fulfill that role, along with a some noodle dishes.
A few minutes later, we’d ordered and were now playing the waiting game. The girls kept staring at me. “Something wrong?” I asked.
“You’re not gonna go crazy are ya?” Apple Bloom spoke up.
“What? No, I was just a little sleepy is all. Trust me, it’ll take more than a little lack of sleep to get to me,” I lied. Yeah, just add running into cartoon ponies, taking care of them, and then telling them they’re essentially in Hell. Yep, that’s a good mental breakdown right there.
“Okay.” Sweetie wasn’t looking at my eyes, but rather above it. “It’s just your mane kinda looks like Twlight’s that time with the doll.”
“Or ma sister when she tried to buck all the apple trees on the farm.”
“Or Rainbow Dash when Mare Do Well was in town.” Scootaloo rubbed her hand around her chin. “Wonder whatever happened to her.” Have I mentioned the growing creepiness of knowing pretty much everything about Equestria? Yeah, now it’s at DEFCON-2. Crap, how much of that stuff was actually private? The hunger in my stomach decreased a little.
“Don’t worry, my hair’s always messy.” I ran a hand through my hair. There were a few more knots than usual. It also had the greasy feel it only got when I pushed myself too hard. I turned to Sybil with a sad look on my face. “You might need to decontaminate your bed.”
“No crap,” she huffed. “Tch, we should have waited for you to take a shower or something.”
I awkwardly scratched my face. “Sorry, I’ll do that as soon as we get back.” I noticed Scootaloo scratching the t-shirt she was wearing. “Actually, can we make one other stop?”
“I suppose,” Sybil sighed. “I still have work to do though.”
“Don’t worry.” My eyes traced over to Jane and the Crusaders. “I just think we should let Jane have her clothes back and get the girls something that actually fits.”
Jane gazed at the girls for a second. The collar on Sweetie’s t-shirt went down to her shoulders. “Well, that’d probably be best.”
A waiter, thankfully a different one, came up with a cart carrying our food. “Your meal.”
A few seconds later, we all had our food in front of our faces. None of us had ordered meat. Now, I’m a pretty big beef eater and not having it for the past four days was getting to me. I’d probably grab something from the food mart on campus later. The vegetarian gnocchi wouldn’t hold me over. I still had work to do on finding a way back to Equestria. I’d just watch my sleep more carefully now.
All three girls grabbed their forks like they were about to stab someone and jabbed them into their salads. Three large clacks resounded throughout the restaurant that probably turned a few heads. I didn’t care, they got their food and we got ours. I was about to dig into my own food when I saw that attached to Scootaloo’s fork was a piece of pinkish-grey me— “No!”
I lunged forward. “Whoa!” Scootaloo exclaimed. I managed to get everyone’s food all over myself in the process of getting the duck meat away from Scootaloo. I crashed to the ground along with a couple of glasses and plates. “Ugh! I’m gonna kill whoever put meat in the food.”
“Oh...” came a voice behind me.
I got up and shook off meal. Then came a tap on my shoulder. It was the maître d' again. I think flies would tell this guy to lay off the shit-eating grin. “I’m sorry sir, we’ll have to ask you and your party to leave.”
“Er, fine. Come on.” I waved a hand but didn’t look the others. “We’re leaving.” I stormed out without hearing what anyone else had to say. I waited by the car but didn’t have to wait long. They all rushed out. Sybil trailed behind, her eyes on the ground.
“Mr. John, are you okay?” The Crusaders simultaneously asked. They all had the puppy dog eye now. Stop it! Just stop it! Guh!
I sighed deeply. “I... I’m fine, I just need to clean up a little.” I noticed that my little stunt had gotten pretty much everyone messy. “Heh, great, looks like I’m as good as you are at making messes.”
Apple Bloom giggled a little. “At least we’re not sticky this time.”
“You got me there,” I replied. I craned my head at Sybil, who had just caught up with the rest of us. “Oi Sybil, how about we go to the mall near school, grab some ice cream, and get some clothes at a Gap?”
“Y-yeah.” She kept her eyes on the ground.
I raised an eyebrow. “What?”
“I kinda ordered that salad.”
“What?!” I snapped. I strode right into her face. “You mind telling me why you got the one thing that could possibly kill them!” My hand shot out at the Crusaders.
“K-kill us?” Sweetie stuttered.
“John.” Jane walked over, her hands raised in apprehension. “I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration.”
“Yeah?” My eyes were fully open in anger. “Well a few days ago, saying cartoon ponies existed was a bit of an exaggeration! Now we’ve got... crap.” All three girls were shaking and huddled together. I felt dizzy. I braced myself against Sybil’s car. “Just... just take us back to school. I’m not fully recovered.”
We all silently got into the car. The ride back was silent as well. I clasped my hands together. A hand reached out to grab my shoulder. It was Apple Bloom’s. “Mr. John, are you okay?”
“I’m sorry Apple Bloom, I’m not. I’m tired, I’m angry, and I’m no closer to getting you home. I don’t even know if anypony else is out there.” Too tired to filter my words. Yes, I’m a monster to the nth degree.
“You fixed my leg, I’m sure you can help.” Somehow, Scootaloo being nice hurt more than if she’d yelled at me. I turned around and said nothing. A knot in my stomach tightened.
We got out of the car at the school. I pulled Sybil aside while Jane walked the girls to the room. “Look, we both screwed up tonight. I’m in no condition to deal with kids let alone ponies. I just need you to go to GAP or wherever tomorrow and get them some clothes. It’s not fair to Jane to have her lending out her clothes.” She opened her mouth, but I raised my hand to stop her. “I know, I’ll pay for it.”
“No.” Sybil pushed my hand down. “I’ve got it this time. It’s my fault for ordering the duck salad. Sorry, I didn’t think it’d be bad if it was hidden in the greens.” Her eyes narrowed in anger and she pursed her lips. “Tch, stupid waiters.”
“Heh, Yelp’s a piece of crap.” We both laughed at that. I place a hand on Sybil after we finished our little lapse in sanity. “Take care of them, I think I’m off to bed for a bit.”
“You mean more like eight hours?”
“Yeah, something like that.” We walked back to the dorm and I went back to my room and she went back to hers. I closed my door just as she rapped on Jane’s. The Crusaders were in good hands and I needed my rest.
I strode through my room and place my hand on the bathroom door, but I paused. I’ll be knocked out after the shower. I looked back at my computer, I hadn’t even closed it. This morning felt like an eternity ago. Then again, everything felt so long ago, back when things made sense. “What the hell,” I sighed. “Might as well give one more check.”
I clicked my computer and logged in. My last site had been Ponychan. I reloaded it and got pretty much the same replies I’d gotten before. A whole bunch of “fake”, “bullshit”, “nice costume”, and “weirdo”. Eventually a mod had locked the thread. I tried to post a new thread, but I saw I was banned. “Crap.” Should have been more careful with words. Stupid internet, bans me for seeking actual help, but keeps the twelve year olds who scream enough profanity to make a sailor blush. I typed in a new address and pulled up FIMfiction. “Heh, this’ll totally work,” I sarcastically droned to myself. I logged in and clicked the chat icon.
[20:08] == Fullmetal_Pony has joined #fimfiction
[20:08] (PMV) Oh look it’s crazy guy
[20:09] (RDTank) Hey, I like this guy’s stories. What you going Daniel Day Lewis on this?
[20:09] (Fullmetal_Pony) I legitimately am looking for help. Has no one else seen the odd lights in the sky, smelled fudge, and found a strange person nearby?
[20:09] (Ness) this again? Come on man, you were doing this for like what ten hours yesterday
[20:09] (TFS) Try twelve
[20:09] (Yozzoy) I really liked Sweetie’s mane!
[20:09] (Ness) Geez man, you need help
I was at the end of my rope. I hammered the text onto the screen. I gritted my teeth.
[20:10] (Fullmetal_Pony) Yes! Yes I do! For god’s sakes this is the internet! You’re telling me no one else has found a pony and bragged about it or sought help!?
[20:10] (PMV) Idiot
[20:10] (Link27) Troll. How do we call the mods
[20:10] == TheSlorg has joined #fimfiction
[20:10] (TheSlorg) Heya everyone. Anything strange going down? Other than Horse Power x Featherweight shipping.
[20:10] (Yozzoy) Cosplay!
[20:10] (Ness) eh, just ignore him. Trolls’ll be trolls
[20:11] (PMV) sounds good, hey anyone see the new promo for the Royal Wedding?
[20:11] (Link27) Eh, nothing much. Seems more like games. I bet none of it’ll be in the real finale
[20:11] (TheSlorg) Oh lawdy no cosplay please. Anything else?
[20:11] (PMV) I bet some of it’ll work in. Bet DJ-PON3 will be there
[20:12] (Fullmetal_Pony) Please! If somepony has found a pony please help! Please!
“Please,” I pleaded. My eyes stung. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been so frustrated. Everything was wrong and there was no help. I reached my hand out to shut the computer. “Screw it, the internet is useless.”
[20:12] == TheSlorg has changed nick to Pilnkuy
[20:12] (Pilnkuy) Ohoi ohg! Wasrt weaiyt who’;d you fionfd/!
[20:12] (Fullmetal_Pony) what are you talking about?
The IRC continued to move, but I kept my eyes on whoever Pilnkuy was. Suddenly, another window opened up. Pilnkuy had queried me.
[20:14] (Pilnkuy) Sorry about that. I had to go afk a second. You were saying something about finding ponies?
[20:14] (Fullmetal_Pony) What?
[20:14] (Pilnkuy) Ponies. Why are you talking about finding ponies?
[20:14] (Fullmetal_Pony) Why? You here to call me crazy too?
[20:14] (Pilnkuy) I think everyone in here is crazy. Some more than others. Speaking of which, did you see pink skies a few days ago?
My pace quickened.
[20:14] (Fullmetal_Pony) Did you smell fudge?
[20:17] (Pilnkuy) Maybe. But I sure as hell didn’t find any fudge. Do ‘hooves’ mean anything to you? Or former hooves.
[20:17] (Fullmetal_Pony) Whodidyoufind?!
[20:17] (Pilnkuy) Who said I found anyone. Hooves, mate. What do they mean to you?
I paused typing. This is it. I sucked in so much air it felt like my lungs were gonna break. Okay, he’s probably gonna call me crazy too. I brought my hands back to the keyboard.
[20:17] (Fullmetal_Pony) I found the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
There wasn’t an immediate response. “Heh, of course there wouldn’t be an instant response. He’s probably screencapping it to show off.” I sighed. “What a fricking jo—”
[20:20] (Pilnkuy) YIUfki;dsftrjhecxiutrijewmnsaewcxruidsasdfeerd/21/1212
[20:20] (Fullmetal_Pony) What?
[20:20] (Pilnkuy) Apologies. There’s a couple of pink-haired girls with me who are very interested in what you just typed. You might recognize them if what you’re saying is true. Where are the crusaders?
“What?” I said aloud. Take it slow. Take is slow. This is the internet, just be slightly vague. I’m still not sure if this is the real deal or not.
[20:22] (Fullmetal_Pony) Central United States. Did you find some
I paused for a second and rewrote the words.
[20:23] (Fullmetal_Pony) Did you find somepony?
[20:23] (Pilnkuy) Are the crusaders safe? I need to know how you’re dealing with them before you’re going to find anything else out.
I played the words out in my head before I typed them. The lack of sleep, the disastrous dinner, and the accumulated stress had torn down all the barriers. Now I just wanted help. Being honest was the only way to get it.
[20:23] (Fullmetal_Pony) I’m trying my best, but I’m scared. I’ve been looking everywhere for help and trying to keep them out of harm, but everything keeps going wrong. I just want to get them back to Equestria no matter what.
[20:23] (Pilnkuy) You could try harder. You go telling the world you have the Cutie Mark Crusaders and eventually someone’s going to believe you. Then what? You get media attention. Military. Rabid bronies.
[20:23] (Pilnkuy) Don’t worry. I think you might be alright, but you need to be more careful. Discreet. I’ve kept Pinkie, Fluttershy, and Angel a secret for days. How many people know about the crusaders?
“Oh crap.” What if this guy’s right? I mean, I haven’t been careful at all, I’ve just been looking for a way to get them ho— I think I felt my eyes on the back of my glasses.
[20:23] (Fullmetal_Pony) You said Pinkie, Fluttershy and Angel? God, what if everyone else is here too?
[20:23] (Pilnkuy) I hope not. Dealing with these three is breaking me balls. Pinkie got ahold of Coke and chased me through the outback, Fluttershy almost died when she got bit by a redback, and Angel kicked me in the bloody shin.
“Holy Crap!” I nearly fell out of my chair. I had to flail at my desk to keep from falling to the ground.
[20:24] (Fullmetal_Pony) Holy crap PM everything! I need help. I don’t know what to do. The CMC are here, but I can’t take care of them.
I pressed “enter” and then something clicked in my head. “Outback!”
[20:24] (Fullmetal_Pony) Wait! Please tell me you’re not in Australia
[20:24] (Pilnkuy) Why? Are you here, too? I suspected there might be more ponies here since I ended up with three. Well, two and a bunny. I’m in Sydney. Where are you, Yass?
I took some deep breath, but my heart was still beating like a drum.
[20:25] (Fullmetal_Pony) In Texas, US. Crap, I’m on the other side of the Pacific. Please PM everything you know and I’ll PM you everything I know.
[20:26] (Pilnkuy) Right. Just a word of warning, mate...
[20:26] (Pilnkuy) You seem alright. But I want those kids kept safe. Don't blow it by giving away their identity, and don't let them get hurt.
[20:26] (Fullmetal_Pony) Never! Even if it wasn’t a pony I’d be a monster if I let a kid get hurt! Although, I did already get covered in syrup in the process... don’t ask
Crap, I’ve already hurt them... should I tell him about the cutie marks?
[20:26] (Pilnkuy) What? What are you doing with syrup around them? Do I need to come kick your ass right now? I have connections.
[20:26] (Fullmetal_Pony) What no! It’s just I wanted to get them some good food and well I think before this is over I’ll be kicked out of every restaurant in Texas.
[20:27] (Pilnkuy) Right. Sorry about that, but I’ve got enough problems to deal with without having to find out the Crusaders were found by a weirdo.
[20:27] (Fullmetal_Pony) No! That was actually what I thought when I first found them. Not sure what would have been a worse scenario.
[20:27] (Pilnkuy) …
[20:28] (Pilnkuy) Pinkie asks if the syrup is good.
[20:28] (Pilnkuy) *sigh*
[20:29] (Fullmetal_Pony) I guess, I only got through half my pancakes before we got thrown out.
Suddenly, I got an ache in my head, like super migraine level stuff. “Ow! Christ!” I rubbed a palm against my forehead. Ugh! It’s like someone decided to drill a hole in my head. I looked at the screen, it was all blurry looking, even with my glasses. “Damn it. I can’t type like this anymore.”
[20:29] (Fullmetal_Pony) Damn. I’m really sorry, but room is spinning on me. I’ve been looking for the past two days, no sleep, for stuff to help the Crusaders. Now it’s all hitting me at once. Just please please pm everything. I’ll get back when I’m in in a proper condition.
[20:30] (Pilnkuy) Right, whatever. I’ll PM you more info. Just be quiet about this stuff and keep the girls safe. I can book you a flight to Sydney within a week. Keep them safe until then. We don’t need any more problems.
[20:31] (Fullmetal_Pony) I promise
[20:31] == Pilnkuy has quit
I logged out as well and shut my computer. For now, rest was the thing I needed. I stood, but I must have gotten up too fast, the whole room spun on me. I braced myself against the desk and brought a hand to my head. “Damn sleep deprivation. Ugh, why couldn’t I be addicted to energy drinks like everyone else in college.” Regrettably, my fridge was quite bare. “Crap, I need to wash my face and get everything in order.” I stumbled over to my bathroom.
Okay, stay cool John. You’ve got your lead. Hell, you’ve got more than a lead, you found Pinkie and Fluttershy. Before I let the faucet run, I looked up at the ceiling. “Oh god, please, please please don’t let this be someone messing with me.”
I turned on the faucet. I could have sworn the water rushing sounded off, like it was laughing or something. Ugh, now my hearing is going off. Perfect time to find a lead. I jabbed my hands under the lukewarm water and splashed it on my face. Then I scooped up more and continued splashing. It felt really good on my worn out face. I didn’t care that it was soaking my shirt, it was a mess anyway. After probably five minutes of this, I turned the faucet off and dried my face with a towel. I looked at my reflection in the mirror.
Geez, I look like crap! Wait... My reflection was too short. The hair is the wrong color and so are the eyes. I know my clothes were a mess, but they weren’t rags. The reflection looked like a bum. “The hell?” Did I finally snap completely? I waved a hand and it waved its hand. I picked up my glasses and while it mimicked putting on them on, it had no glasses. “The hell?” I repeated. Then it did something on its own. It banged on the glass. I backed away. “Oh man, mental breaks be damned, this is mindfuck now!”
Suddenly, like something out of freaking Inception, the mirror turned all liquid and the reflection tumbled out of it. “Oh screw this crap!” I fell back into my shower stall. The little bathroom stand clattered on top me, sending various soaps and shampoos onto me. The reflection man was moving now. Needless to say, I was crapping bricks at this point. My life had turned into The Ring meeting Stranger than Fiction. Screw these delusions! I’m getting Jane. The reflection man was getting up. He had a wild look in his eyes that sent shivers through me. He’d been around something foul, not in the sense of smell, just wrong, like he was something that shouldn’t be. I placed a hand on the shower stand. My vision was split into three colors now, the room was spinning, and my heart could put Dragonforce to shame at the rate it was going.
The man looked at me. “Hell—”
I hit him with the shower stand. Then I clambered to my feet and darted for Sybil’s room.