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PROLOGUE

A MESSAGE FROM ECHO


Dear Reader,

On my first day in Equestria, I had my throat torn out.

I know, huh?  Not what you'd expect from a cartoon world of happy, carefree ponies who learn about the magic of friendship.  Nope.  I get baptized into my new life with a fight to the death.  What a way to roll out the welcome wagon.

Anyway, I suppose I should introduce myself before I begin recounting my tale.  I am a diamond dog, in case you haven't noticed.  I used to have a human name, just like you, but...I'm not that person anymore, so we can forget about it.  You can call me Echo, if you want to call me anything besides "doggy," "boy," or "fleabag."  And no, I will not fetch the god-damn stick for you.  Get it yourself.

I'm sure you've read those stories about other humans who somehow stumble their way into Equestria.  I'd like to tell you right now that absolutely ninety-two point eight percent of them are completely wrong.  Let me guess, they followed the standard "wake up in the Everfree" shtick?  Maybe they're still human, or they just wake up as a cute, cartoon horse with a tattoo on their ass.  Or even, after some awkward shenanigans around Ponyville, they are turned into a pony so that they can spend the rest of their four-legged lives with their beloved, undoubtedly a member of the Elements of Harmony?

Predictable.

And, unrealistic.

The reality is, the few humans who do end up in Equestria rarely have it so easy.  Usually, they end up like me.  I don't mean as a diamond dog, either.  More often than not, they end up dead or bleeding out on the side of the road.  You see, Equestria isn't really the happy-go-lucky, peaceful realm of rainbows and puppy dogs.  Well, admittedly, it looks that way, but that's besides the point.  Equestria is just as dangerous, if not more so, as Earth.  All those big bad monsters that run around willy-nilly cause a lot more havoc than you'd think.  And Discord?  Oh, man, that guy has got to be the biggest dick in history!  (Counting Earth and Equestrian, of course.)  The ponies you know so well?  The only really difference between them and us is that they learn their lesson if you drive it into their skulls hard enough.

They can be just as prejudiced, just as spiteful, just as cruel as the average human.  Greed, violence, and even racism can be seen in some of the more detestable examples of equine life.

Thankfully, a significant number of them aren't like that.  At least, they aren't that way to me anymore.  Not after I've carved out a place for myself, earned their respect and trust, yadda yadda yadda, that sort of thing.

Bottom line is, Equestria is eerily familiar to Earth.  And yet...different.  Mercifully different.

My first day there, I found this out the hard way.  Why do you think I'm writing this with a claw dipped in ink?  I haven't been able to use my throat for anything besides howling, whining, growling and eating for decades now.

So sit back, relax, and try not to get the facts mixed up with the truth.

My name is Echo.  I am a diamond dog.

And this is my story.