-Cosmic Castaway, Electrasy
The first inkling that Twilight Sparkle, protégée to Princess Celestia and bearer of the Element of Magic, had that something was dreadfully wrong was the intrusion of sunlight onto her sleeping face. Shifting restlessly, her peaceful countenance contorting in annoyance, she flopped onto her belly and attempted to grind her face into her suddenly gritty pillow. The bed was damp beneath her, and startlingly cold, and her ordered and rational mind attempted to correctly analyze the sensation even in her state of interrupted repose.
"Spiiike, you forgot to close the curtains again... how many times do I-"
A sudden wave of cold seawater washed over her face like the harsh bitchslap of cold hard reality, smacking her into full panicked wakefulness.
Sputtering and flailing wildly, she bounded to her hooves and shook her bedraggled mane from disbelieving eyes. The images were blurred from seawater and nonsensical, and by the time she had shaken the stinging salt moisture from her purple gaze she was assaulted by a second wave of cold seawater, this one washing over her legs and staggering her slightly before receding backwards.
The sight that greeted her sapped the strength from her legs and she flopped backwards onto her hindquarters, her gaze panning dizzyingly across the now alien landscape. What could only have been a few hours prior, she had finished her schedule for the new week, added a few lines to her current report (still a work in progress, as the days immediately after her BBBFF and Princess Cadence's wedding were admittedly pretty slow) for her mentor before flopping into a contented sleep in her tree-cum-library home. Staring in complete disbelief at the scene in front of her, she literally could not process the radical changes to her environment.
No book-lined, wooden walls.
No stacks of errant books awaiting reorganization.
No stairway leading up to the tall upper window and her various astronomy apparatus.
No rich, invitingly solid wood floor.
Just sand stretching in a wide unbroken white arc, and what appeared to be the endless blue crystal waters of an ocean she had never seen before.
The surf crashed against her barrel and flanks, rocking her slightly, but she took no notice of the chilled seawater.
A few more details penetrated her benumbed state. White and grey seabirds darted and wove low across the blue and whitecapped expanse, occasionally darting downwards with predatory glee to pick at this or that seacreature foolish enough to peek its fishy face too close to the surface. The forlorn driftwood remnants of some storm or another bleached white by the unforgiving sun not too far on her left. Bits of dried seaweed and other indeterminate seaborne plant matter scattered here and there like a patina of rust on the otherwise pristine beach.
She stood, trembling, and turned slowly, casting about desperately for some familiar detail, some hint or clue that would make this insanity make SENSE. Her mind jumped like a panicked mare from one factoid to another. The nearest coastline was several hundred miles away from Ponyville... east, towards Manehattan. Was somepony playing some sort of practical joke on her? Had she... somehow... sleep teleported?!
The white expanse of beach continued for fifty yards or so up a gentle incline before turning into a lush mass of verdant vegetation. She could faintly hear the droning buzz of distant, unfamiliar insects and bits and pieces of foreign birdsong over the raucous cries of the seabirds behind her. The expanse of beach was unbroken save for the occasional sand dune. She took several faltering steps towards the jungle, her eyes darting over the details.
Her initial sounds were almost inaudible, shocked as she was.
Her faltering, drunken trot became a canter.
She broke into a curving gallop, not quite willing to break into the verdant undergrowth. Still, it felt good to run, as though she might leave this suddenly cruel and senseless reality behind her.
"OWLOYSIUS?! APPLEJACK?!! RARITY!?"
Sand sprayed behind her as her hooves churned up the beach. Her pink-striped purple mane streamed behind her. Adrenaline and instinct spurred her like a rider perched on her back. Ancient herd mentality pushed her to seek others in her panic, turning a rational, logical, genius level intellect into a frightened animal racing around its enclosure seeking some way out...
"DASH?! PINKIE PIE?!! FLUTTERSHY!?"
She came barreling around a bend, turning inward toward what appeared to be a natural cove, the landscape graduating upwards towards a distant purple mountain with a top shrouded by clouds and a base shrouded in jungle. The natural beauty of the scene was like a palpable fist, but such realizations would come only later. For now, there was only panic.
"PRINCESS CELESTIA!? PRINCESS... ANYPONY?!! PLEASE!"
The fifteen minute, full on gallop took its toll on the somewhat less than athletic unicorn and she stumble-trotted a few staggering steps further, sweat painting her sides and flanks. Her head drooped, eyes closed tight against the sudden blur of tears.
"Anypony..." She croaked weakly.
The shushing, susurrus roar of the uncaring surf was her only answer.
An indeterminate amount of time later, she came to herself with a start, her head lifting in alarm, having drifted off into a miserable daze while still standing, her thoughts revolving in a closed loop of stunned misery. She sniffled, took in a deep breath, closed her eyes for a moment, let it out slowly, then opened her eyes again. Her mind relatively clear for the first time this morning, she made a bleak self-assessment and looked at the facts of her situation.
An unknown power or powers had removed her from her home, her very bed, and deposited her an unknown distance into unclaimed wilderness to fend for herself, with only her (admittedly formidable) wits between her and the unknown dangers around her.
Her friends either could not respond, or were not close enough to hear her. Unless this was a concerted attack upon the Elements of Harmony, and she had no desire to jump to conclusions as dire as that just yet without evidence, she had to assume that she alone had been spirited away. They would certainly notice she was missing before too long, and begin to look for her. Her mentor would be informed of her disappearance, and she and Princess Luna would literally move sun and moon to locate their missing charge. It simply wasn't in her friends' nature to abandon her. They WOULD find her.
In the meantime, she was on her own in what she was rapidly discovering was a dire survival situation. Her initial panic, while understandable under the circumstances, had not aided her in the least. She was dreadfully thirsty, hungry, hot, and tired. There was no telling what, if any, civilization was close at hand, or what sort of dangerous animals might lurk in the nearby jungle. She remembered reading somewhere that jungles were some of the most dangerous environments in existence for the unwary. Predators, unpredictable terrain, venomous creatures...
She shivered involuntarily.
She began to prioritize what she would need in order to survive long enough for help to arrive. In this she was being entirely pragmatic. She had no idea where she was, and no way of determining her bearings... at least until nightfall. Picking a direction and moving in it might sound proactive, but it would really just mean expending a lot of energy floundering towards an objective that might be the complete opposite of her intended destination. She had a scholar's knowledge of geography and the properly scientific mindset to get a general idea of her whereabouts, but that would come later. For now there were things that were more important to her immediate survival.
The big three. Of these, fresh water was the absolute top priority. A pony could survive for perhaps a month without food, and judging from the lush vegetation surrounding her food was NOT going to be a problem. Lack of fresh water would kill her in only a few days at most. Her ears perked and she strained, her muzzle scenting the air cautiously. The smell of salt and warm beach, rotting vegetable matter, and the rythmic roar of the surf made detecting anything useful an impossibility. She eyed the jungle with trepidation, then shook her head, her face tightening into a visage of iron determination.
Jungle it is, then.
Less then twenty minutes later remembered snippets from Sure Hoof's Guide to Wilderness Survival: Jungle (2nd Edition, the rare, limited printing, with full color pictures) had led her to a babbling, mid-sized stream. She eyed the flank deep water warily, senses tuned for potential predators. What she remembered of the book said it was probably best to err on the side of caution where drinking any water in the wilderness was concerned, as bacteria and parasites abounded, but she was just so thirsty, and she didn't have the necessary trappings to start a fire, nor any sort of container to boil it in even if she did. The water was absolutely crystal clear, and a few small fish darted in silvery streaks along the bottom. She mentally shrugged and, taking one last moment to look for anything potentially life threatening, bent her head for a long drink.
The water was cold, had a slightly mineral tang that suggested springwater (Which she thought was a very good sign) and tasted like ambrosial nectar. She carefully paced her drinking, mindful of the need not to drink too fast and become sick, then waded a bit out into the cold water and sluiced the sweat and sand of her trek from her sides and flanks. She lingered a bit, bending down and dipping her head and mane beneath the surface, enjoying the sudden coolness after the long, hot morning, then straightened, stepped back onto dry land, and shook herself dry.
Her stomach gurgled noisily and she blushed, then let out a deep sigh. Right. Next order of business, food.
Deeper into the jungle, she had to remind herself several times that she was, in fact, not on a pleasurable excursion. It was difficult to keep a properly cautious attitude, the jungle was full of amazing sights and sounds. Thousands of insects, several of which she was almost positive had never been identified by Equestrian naturalists, buzzed, crawled, and darted through the steamy canopy, and the sounds of birds turned the jungle into a modest cacaphony of conflicting calls. At some point she had stumbled upon a natural trail that made a jagged run through the brush. Following this was simply the path of least resistance, and even though she thought she could identify several edible species of plants, she restrained her appetite, seeing as she wasn't absolutely sure. In fact, some of the leaves showed signs of being cropped by local wildlife, although she wasn't absolutely certain of that, nor was she able to identify the species that had done the eating just by the marks.
A spicy, citrusy scent perked her muzzle up and caught her attention like a lodestone to iron. There was no mistaking that scent... one advantage of growing up in Canterlot had been that the rarified tastes of high society ponies meant that some extremely exotic delicacies had been available. It wasn't until she'd moved to Ponyville that she'd realized how used she'd been to the everpresent availability of pretty much anything edible she might happen to have a craving for.
Carambola, or star fruit, as they were sometimes called in culinary circles, was a dish rarely seen in Equestria due to its growing most commonly on tropical and subtropical islands. Twilight Sparkle had encountered it exactly three times in her time at the castle as a filly, and twice had been in a candied, dessert form. Still, to the pony palate they were irresistible, and more importantly there was nothing more easily identifable, as combined with the scent, carambola had a distinctive star shape in cross section. Following what she was now convinced was a herbivorous animal's grazing track, she found herself in a small grove of star fruit trees.
Her stomach grumbled noisily, letting its impatience be known. She chuckled at herself, her mouth watering at the sight and smell of the delectable fruit. The twenty to twenty five foot trees swayed slightly in the muggy breeze, those tantalizing bundles several feet out of her reach. She reached up with her magic and snapped one loose, giving it a quick once over before stuffing her face. She rolled her eyes in gustatory ecstasy, finishing the tart and sweet fruit in only a few ravenous bites. She grabbed three more and finished them off with considerably less haste, savoring the delicious taste and the sensation of a full belly after being hungry for most of a day.
A light tinkling noise caused her ears to swivel to her right, towards a dense pack of undergrowth. She frowned, waiting for the sound to be repeated, her eyes scanning the terrain. Almost immediately she spotted something... odd.
Five star fruit rested in a small, tidy pyramid in the leaf choked mixture of loam and white sand. She approached the pile curiously, her head cocked slightly to the side as she gave the oddity her attention. She frowned, mentally gauging the distance from the nearest trees.
"That's peculiar." She mused aloud, somewhat startled at the sound of her own voice.
It was though. The trees weren't nearly close enough for these fruit to land here, and the chances, even if they had, of them piling up into a little pyramid were astronomically small. Her heart began to speed up a bit as the significance of this washed through her.
"There's somepony else out here!" She said, grinning.
She approached the pile to gather more data, frowning as she spotted other details that supported her hypothesis. Confusing details. She could just barely make out what looked like twists of wire lightly buried by the sand. Carefully brushing the detritus from the wire, she could see that it made a small curve around the fruit pile.
"Why would somepony do this?" She mused.
The realization struck her just a tad too late. When she would have time to reflect on it, it wasn't ENTIRELY stupidity on her part. She hadn't, after all, just blithely approached the star fruit pile to begin chomping away. She'd been curious. It should also be noted, in her defense, that ponies, being herbivores, just don't have any reason to trap small animals. Trapping in a survival situation would never have even occurred to a pony.
Grass is not well known for its ability to elude pursuers.
Even still, something about the wire and the fruit bothered her, and like most highly intelligent people, or ponies as the case may be, being bothered by a puzzle means picking at it until the answers emerge. She actually came to the realization that the loop might not be entirely benign when she remembered a similar situation in a Daring Do novel she had read as a filly, of all things. Something involving using a precious artifact as bait, and luring Daring Do towards a... Jerking backwards at that instant probably saved her life.
The trap had obviously been built with a smaller animal in mind, something under thirty pounds or so. Being a young mare, but well gone from filly-hood, Twilight was more than twice that, and furthermore she had been retreating from the loop when it triggered, and she hadn't been examining the pile of fruit so much as the wire itself, so instead of deftly catching her around the neck when it jerked tight, the noose caught her foreleg and the other side of her neck, smacking her violently in the face with her own hoof. She yelped in startled pain, surprise, and fear as the mechanism, a stout sapling which had been bent and restrained by the trigger mechanism and cunningly hidden in the brush on the side of the clearing, straightened with a terrific whip-crack of force, lifting her off of her hooves and dragging her several feet into the air, then bowed under her wiggling, jerking, absolutely terrified weight. The trap had been designed to snap a small animal's neck with mechanical advantage quickly, efficiently, and with as little fuss and pain as possible. The incorrect angle of the wire noose now painfully tight and digging into her neck and foreleg, and her own weight in excess of the trap's intended victims made that basically impossible.
It did, however, have the comic effect of causing Twilight Sparkle, smartest young mare of her age, to bounce like some insane person's idea of a purple yo-yo wiggling and struggling as she bobbed up and down. The tinkling noise was now plainly identifiable as a small bell attached to the end of the sapling.
To say that Twilight Sparkle went bugfuck would be like saying the Incredible Hulk had some mild anger management issues.
Jerking backwards, while a natural reaction, was the wrong way to go. The wire tightened noticably, and she felt a trickle of something warm on the side of her neck making its way down her coat. Throat closed tight in panic, swallowing convulsively, she gritted her teeth and focused a blast of magical energy at the sapling, but missed due to panic and the awkward angle, not to mention every three seconds or so she was lifted off the ground. That blasted bell wouldn't stop ringing...
Bell ringing? It suddenly occured to her that if the trap had a bell set to ring when it was triggered, then whoever set it must not be too distant...
Or too friendly...
She jerked her head violently left and right, but stopped with a choked gasp of pain as the action sawed at her painfully abraided neck. Involuntary tears of pain welled from the corners of her eyes.
She became aware of a sort of thudding sound, irregular... she couldn't place the noise but it sounded... LUMBERING, like a diamond dog or similar creature. She darted her eyes in the direction of the sound, ears twitching wildly, straining to pick it up. She thought she heard a muttering sound. It sounded suspiciously like, "I'm comin', I'm comin' hold yer horses."
The thudding stopped and she felt what could almost be considered a confused silence.
"H-Help." She whispered, tearing up further.
A longer silence. A grumbling, rusty, disused sort of voice sounded from a position somewhat higher than she thought possible.
"A purple unicorn baby? Sure, why the fuck not? It's no more insane than anything else on this fucking island."
She braced herself, jerking her head into a position where she could better make out the speaker.
She gasped. It was alien. Grotesque, like nothing she'd ever seen before. Taller than the tallest pony she'd ever seen, taller even than the princess or Big Mac, it looked gangly, all corded, wirey muscle. From the waist down it was dressed in a ragged pair of short pants that had a chaotic mottled pattern of tans and browns. A pair of worn light tan boots adorned its feet. A tan belt with various odds and ends attached to it, even in her panic her mind analyzed the alien, smooth lines of a unknown but obviously advanced technology. It was stripped bare from the waist up, the nearly hairless skin a light tanned color, darker than the pants. A strap held some sort of club or item of indeterminate but vaguely unsettling function onto its back, presumably a weapon of some sort, although she couldn't begin to guess its function. It had a small, fine chain around its neck terminating in a pair of shiny rectangular plates. Its dark tanned arms, slightly hairier than the chest, ended in black gloved hands with five long spindly fingers similar to Spike's but with blunt tips rather than claws. Its face was oddly flat and unexpressive, with a tuft of coarse, unruly dark brown hair around its mouth and up its cheeks and completely hiding its chin. Likewise, its mane was similarly unkempt, what she could see of it underneath a nearly shapeless tan canvas hat, and looked as though the creature had styled it by hacking it to a manageable length with a knife. Something about that face looked vaguely primate, with small, round, immobile shell-like ears and a short, tiny nose.
Its face contorted slightly, one eyebrow raising higher than the other in what she assumed to be a quizzical expression.
"Don't eat me." She choked out, beginning to shake miserably.
It never occurred to her to try to hurt it. Of course, it never occurred to her to do much of anything, at that moment. Pain, confusion, exhaustion, fear... This was quite simply the worst day of her life, and it was all just sort of compounding with one setback after another, and now she had failed and she was going to be eaten by a grotesque alien THING and no one would ever-
It snorted slightly. "I'm not gonna eat you... you practically give me diabetes just looking at you. Besides, you should shut up now. Keep acting like you can talk, and you'll prove all the head doctors right about me."
She had no idea how to parse that sentence. None at all. "What?"
It sighed. "Not gonna stop, huh? All right then, nothing for it. Hold still." He, from the deeper voice and the lack of feminine sexual characteristics she was pretty sure it was a he, reached for her with steady confidence.
"No! PLEASE! DON'T! ST-" She renewed her struggles, terror surging anew, trying desperately to angle her head for a better view, or maybe even to cast a spell, anything to stop what she knew was coming...
"Calm down! Calm down! I'm not gonna hurt you! You're making it worse!" He stopped, settling back on his haunches and waiting patiently, hands making patting, placating gestures in the air.
"Shhh..." He said gently, his voice calming to a deeper register. "Shhh, it's ok, just stop struggling and I'll get you out of that, ok? Trust me."
She managed to calm her panicked struggling enough to watch him warily, trembling and sniffling pathetically. She felt like a filly again. Helpless, powerless.
He reached up slowly, smoothly, obviously taking pains not to startle her again, caught the wire above her and stood, grasping the end of the sapling with the other hand and bending it down to cause the wire to grow slack. She stiffened slightly when he pulled a long knife from his belt, but he whispered gentle assurances again and she calmed, eyes rolling to watch his movements. With a swipe, he cut the end of the sapling loose. The rest of the small tree whipped upright in an instant. He slipped the knife into its sheath again, then bent down and carefully worked his gloved fingers into the small gap between her foreleg and neck. Her trembling increased as the foreign material touched her neck.
"Damn... you really did a number on yourself didn't you?" It mused quietly, meeting her large, liquid eyes with those tiny, beady little predator's eyes.
She noted several details. His eyes were intelligent, sharp and alert, and a sort of pale blue. Almost grey. This close to him, she could make out details that she'd missed in her panic earlier. A nasty scar ran from his cheek bone and into the beard at his jawline. He smelled... alien, just this side of unpleasant. The only way she could describe the scent was... wrong, somehow. Alien. Not pony.
Working carefully with those nimble fingers, he widened the noose until he was able to peel it off of her neck. She winced when it came loose, then backed up a bit, her ears laid back, hunched as though expecting a blow.
His expression softened a bit, obviously taking in her terror. "Hey, relax. I'm not so desperate I'm going to start eating... whatever the hell it is you are. You... you can talk, right? I wasn't just imagining that?"
She sniffled. "I can talk... how... how do you know Equestrian?"
He blinked. "Equestrian? I don't know any riders... oh wait... is Equestrian your language?"
She nodded warily.
He shrugged. "I was just about to ask how you speak English."
She started. "But that's-"
He nodded. "Pretty damn unlikely, but... well..." He gestured around him expansively.
"So's a hitherto undiscovered Pacific island in the middle of Afghanistan."
"A what island in the where?" Twilight said, confused.
He narrowed his eyes, consideringly. "Right. I'm guessing the words Kansas and Toto don't ring a bell either?"
She shook her head mutely.
He nodded, as though this confirmed something, but she had no idea what that might be. She frowned, the novelty of an intellectual challenge easing her fears somewhat.
Realization hit like a fist of an angry god. Her eyes widened. "You don't know where we are either? Or how you got here?!"
It was his turn to nod. "Nothing on this island makes sense."
Realization struck her for the second time. The combination punch of an angry god. "Island?" She whispered mutely.
He shrugged, then stood and gestured vaguely to his right. "You can't see it from here, but there's... kind of a bullshit mountain off that a' ways. Used to do mountain climbing as a hobby. Wasn't tough. You can pretty much see the whole island from the top of it."
He raised an eyebrow again. "You don't have to take my word for it, sweetheart. 'Course I have no idea how you're going to get to the top of a mountain without these."
He wiggled his fingers at her.
She eyed him speculatively. "What... are you, exactly?"
He rolled his eyes skyward. "Species Homo Sapiens, commonly known as human. More specifically, Lieutenant Commander Marshall Bailey, Officer in the United States Armed Forces, and Naval aviator, at your service."
She frowned at that. "What's a Lieutenant Commander Marshal? Is that a guard rank?"
He chuckled. "Sort of. The Marshall bit is my first name, though. Actual rank is Lieutenant Commander."
He frowned. "Call it mid-rank commissioned officer in the United States Armed Forces."
She parsed the rest of his sentence. "Naval Aviator... you're a member of your country's seafaring armed forces, but..." She frowned, puzzling over the unfamiliar word. She decided it probably had something to do with avian, which meant of birds.
She shook her head irritably. "A naval flyer? That doesn't even make sense."
He grinned at her. "The really messed up part is that while us Navy pukes have more planes than the Airforce, the Army has more boats than we do. I could get into tremendous detail as to why it all makes sense, but to simplify things, let's say that projecting United States airpower across the planet has more to do with the sea than the air and leave it at that, 'kay?"
She didn't have any problem with that, seeing as she'd never heard of any "United States". Which is not to say that she wasn't curious... but there were more pressing matters.
She pointedly looked at his bare shoulders. "Where are your wings? If you can fly, wouldn't that make you a..." She paused. "A pegasus human?"
He blinked. "I'm a pilot, if that's what you're asking... I "fly" aircraft. Uh... a sort of mechanical flying apparatus. As for where my wings are..." He shrugged.
"Maybe twenty miles due north, much good as they'll do ya." He paused considering. She considered him back. Of the two of them, she was probably taking it better, now that the initial panic had left her. She was still wary of him, extremely so, but he had demonstrated at least a modicum of civility. He, on the other hand, had no experience with other sapient beings, other than in fiction. He still wasn't entirely convinced he hadn't just finally snapped. It had been... well...
After a moment, she started, then cocked her head slightly to look him more closely in the face.
"My name is Twilight Sparkle, and I am a unicorn pony from the land of Equestria. Pleased to meet you, er... Marshall Bailey."
He blinked, slightly taken aback. "Wow... you really are REAL, aren't you?" He said, wonderingly.
She nodded, tossing her mane slightly, her ears twitching ever so slightly in irritation. "Why wouldn't I be?"
He narrowed his eyes. "Well, for one thing, you're a horse of a different color. For another, where unicorns are concerned, I was expecting something more..." He gestured vaguely over her head. "Grand... less..." He gestured again.
She scowled. If anything it increased the cuteness force multiplier. "Not horse, pony, and you aren't exactly what I was expecting in an alien lifeform either."
He grinned, obviously amused at her response. "Alright, settle down Sparks."
She started to protest the nickname but he waved her down, gently.
"Here's the deal. We should probably get moving, that is, if you don't want to end up something's dinner. It'll be dark soon, and the local predators mostly come out at night." He smirked, as though something funny just occurred to him. "Mostly."
"I-I don't know..." She wasn't sure how much she could trust this thing... it had, after all, nearly... what? Killed her? That wasn't really his fault.
She had blundered into the trap, after all. His teeth, what she could see of them, suggested that he was probably some sort of predatory species. She was familiar with the concept, no one could be a friend of Fluttershy's and not be. While she found the idea of eating meat pretty nauseating personally, she couldn't really begrudge him the dietary requirement. It did unnerve her, a bit, being honest. Additionally, everything about him... his scent, the way he moved... it was all so alien.
His face lost its humor, and he bent down again to get eye level with her. It was difficult to discern his expression, those immobile ears didn't allow for the sort of visual cues she was used to looking for, but his expression appeared earnest.
"Look, no point beating around the bush, right? I'm sorry about the trap. I've been alone on this island so long, it never even occurred to me some... pony would stumble into it, alright? Even if you weren't a thinking, speaking, obviously intelligent being, where I come from we don't, generally, as a rule, eat ponies."
He smirked. "Besides, if your coloration is anything to go by, you're probably poisonous as all hell."
She snorted at this. Despite herself, she was beginning to like his quirky sense of humor.
His face grew earnest again. "Look, I'm not trying to say you're helpless or anything, but you ARE alone in what is essentially an alien wilderness, and believe me when I say, if you haven't had to run for your life today, you've gotten extraordinarily lucky, Miss Sparkle. This place is crazy, and it doesn't necessarily follow the rules. It WILL try to kill you... and I'd rather not see that happen."
His eyes flicked away, a pained expression on his face, as though he had remembered something unpleasant.
"Just... can you trust me a little further?" He met her eyes again.
She wasn't the bearer of the element of Honesty, but she could read the quiet sincerity in Marshall's face. There was also a faint hint of what she suspected might be quiet desperation hidden there, as well. She found herself wondering just how long this human had been stranded here.
She found herself wondering just how long SHE was going to end up being stranded here. She shook her head slightly, clearing away the indecision.
"Alright, Marshall. Let's go."
He smiled, a genuine smile this time, not a smirk or one of those hard little "got you fucker" grins.
"Awesome. Follow me, Miss Sparkle."
She took a deep breath, let it out, and stood, somewhat shakily. Her neck felt sore where the wire had bitten into it, but she wasn't really... afraid anymore.
Not of him, anyway.
"You can call me Twilight, or Twi. All of my friends do."
He nodded. "Alright, Twilight. Welcome to... er, actually I haven't gotten around to naming the damn thing. Nowhere Island?"
Her ears flattened.
He grinned. "You said it, sister."