Nurse Redheart stood next to Matt, who had been asleep for the past day or so. While she was doing a checkup on his stitches and cast, she noticed that Matt began twitching and mumbling in his sleep.
Redheart tried to listen to what he was saying, but could only comprehend the occasional word.
This made no sense to Redheart, but perhaps this was a traumatic event that had happened in his life. His voice sounded strained, and the last two words she had comprehended were more or less...disturbing.
Redheart continued to watch Matt for a few more minutes, as he twitched and turned in his sleep, before she left to check on the other patients.
Redheart thought. "What happened to him?"
"Come here!" Matt whispered to the woman across the room, beckoning her into the kitchen.
The woman looked like she saw a ghost, her face completely pale from shock and fear. Matt didn't blame her, there were Russian solders just down the hall, shooting as soon as they broke down the doors.
Matt quietly stood up and reached into one of the cabinets, pulling out a half-empty bag of flour. He handed this bag to the woman next to him.
"Alright, here is the plan. We are going to barricade the door with that table." Indicating the kitchen table that was just next to the pantry. "And we are going to roadblock the small hallway with the couch over there, Forcing them to climb over it and giving us a bit more time. When they break down the door, and they are, I need you to take that bag, and throw it to the ground. The cloud of flour will blur their vision, and I'm sure that they won't be expecting it. While they are dazed, I am going to shoot at them, hopefully I will get a few hits on them and incapacitate them."
"But what if they shoot you first!?! Then what?!?" Whispered the woman.
Matt sighed. "Look, you and I both know that this is our only chance. If I get shot, but kill at least one of them in the process, then that is one less for the Allies to worry about." Matt handed her a kitchen knife. "If they kill me, you will be behind them when they bust it down, behind that lip next to the door. You also have Rocky with you, so you won't be completely defenseless. Now come on! We are losing precious seconds."
Matt and the woman positioned the table in front of the door, giving it a bit more reinforcement. They then began to quickly drag the couch towards the door, and roadblocked the small hallway leading from the oak door. The woman ran behind the wall lip, into the bathroom next to the door. While Matt threw a living chair on its side, giving Matt some cover.
He heard voices, and footsteps from outside the door, all speaking in mumbled Russian. Matt looked to the woman, and whispered. "They're here..."
Matt quickly looked around, something was wrong...but what...?
Matt started, Rocky! Where was he!?!
No time, there was a knocking on the door. Getting more forceful with every rasping.
*knock, Knock, KNOCK, KNOCK!"
Matt held his breath, blood roaring in his ears. He pulled his M-9 from its holster, and pointed it at the door He looked to the woman next to the door lip, she was scared, but had a face of determination. Matt smiled, she was a tough one.
One last knocking, then silence. His neck hairs stood on end, time seemed to slow down. Footsteps. Voices.
The door flew off its hinges, shattering the kitchen table meant for protection. Three red coated solders ran inside of his hotel room, one of which quickly tripped on the remains of the wooden table and fell behind the couch. The woman rounded the lip, and threw the powder on the ground. resulting in a cloud of white flying into the solder's eyes.
Matt took this instant of confusion to unleash a hail of 9mm hell. Getting out of cover from the chair, he began firing into the cloud of white, aiming at the silhouette of the solders.
He hit one of the men in the head, blood and brains flew everywhere and coated the once white walls with a fresh layer of crimson. He then got another of the solders by filling his chest with lead. The man cried out in pain until another bullet hit him in the throat. The man fell to his knees, eyes wide as he watched the blood fountain from his neck, then fell and joined his comrade in the afterlife.
Several bullets flew over Matt's head forcing him to take cover. The solder that had tripped behind the couch was now using it for cover, something that Matt had hoped to avoid. Holes began getting punched through the chair as the solder unleashed a wall of AK-74 bullets, Tearing the chair apart. Matt's pistol was out of ammunition and although he had another clip, there was no time to reload. The bullets from the solder was tearing the chair apart, and in seconds, will render his cover useless and he would be shot. He quickly looked around for other cover, but the couch had been moved and the counter was too far away to run over towards.
"This is the end then..." Matt thought
Matt's head shot up, and he watched his dog come flying out of the bedroom and charged at the solder hiding behind the couch. Rocky jumped over the roadblock and landed behind a very surprised Russian solder. Before the man could reach for his combat knife, Rocky leaped at his neck, and tore the man's throat out. More blood grazed the walls and the man fell face-first onto the wooden floor.
"Rocky!" Matt cried. The dog then padded over to him and laid his head on his lap. Rocky had just saved his life, had he not been there, he would most certainly be dead, or been held captive by the communist forces.
Leading Rocky and the woman, who had been hiding in the bathroom, into the bedroom. He closed the door and picked up what was left of the door and laid it against the door frame, blocking most of the view inside the room. He began scavenging the men for weapons and ammunition. He found that two of the men, including the one that nearly killed him, had been using AK-74s and the other had drawn a pistol, with a sniper rifle on his back. They were probably going to make a sniper nest on this roof, as the hotel they were in was one of the highest in the street, at about thirty floors. He picked up the three rifles and their ammunition, a combat knife, and a single grenade.
Rushing back into the bedroom with the equipment, He quickly learned how to reload his new rifle and gave the other gun to the woman sitting on the bed. Matt looked out the window, and saw a team of American solders fighting their way back into his street. If they were to get out alive, the Americans needed control of the hotel.
Looking towards the sniper that was laid out in front of the bed, he quickly made up his mind. Matt told the woman of his plan, then picked up the two rifles in each hand and began making his way up fifteen flights of stairs. When they got to the top, the door to the roof was locked.
Matt sighed, then dropped the two guns to the ground. He took a step back, then kicked the door out, throwing every bit of force into the old metal door. A hinge cracked, and Matt pushed the door down onto the ground. Grunting, he picked up the two rifles and made his way outside.
The sky was a orange-red color of sunset, leading Matt to think that it was about 6:00. Russian planes flew overhead, dropping bombs on streets and buildings alike. There was constant explosions and cracking coming from the streets below him, from firearms and cars exploding.
Running to the end of the building, he dropped the AK-74 next to him, and began looking through the scope of the Russian sniper. Rocky and the woman stood guard next to what remained of the door, to warn Matt of any stragglers that had come by.
Matt looked to the streets, and saw that the American team had begun to fall back, the red horde advancing upon them. Matt saw an American getting knocked in the head by a Russian gun, and was about to have been finished off before Matt pulled the trigger.
The Russian's head exploded, sending blood, bone, and brain in all directions. The remainder of the body fell backwards onto some shrapnel. The American solder, though dazed, was picked up by his vest by another solder and thrown forward behind a overturned car. Matt continued to cover the advance of the American solders, killing any Russian stupid enough to poke his head over the cover he was behind.
Matt was down to his last magazine, and the Americans were almost in front of the hotel, and at this moment, Matt heard an all too familiar sound.
He looked to the left, and saw Russian armor plowing through the cars is if it was foam, A solder was above the tank cover, manning the turret and unleashing hell upon the Americans, who all took cover.
The long barrel of the tank then began rotating right, and up. Until it was pointed straight at Matt's location.
Matt yelled, picked up his rifles, and ran towards the woman and Rocky.
"RUN!" He screamed, sprinting to the other end of the building as fast as he could.
Matt heard and felt an explosion behind him and was thrown forward, dust clouding his vision...
"ah, Ah, AHHHHH!" Matt yelled, shooting upwards in a sitting position on his bed, getting instant protest from his chest. A startled, and worried lavender unicorn next to him.
"Oh thank Celestia! You're awake!" Said Twilight as she dropped her two forelegs off Matt's bed.
"Wha...what happened?" Matt asked, still reeling from the explosion in his dream.
"You looked to be having a nightmare." Said Twilight. "You were screaming, turning and tossing in bed. You sounded tortured, and scared. So I tried waking you up, I guess I did too good of a job at that..." She smiled sheepishly.
Matt turned to face her. "No no, thanks. That was something that I had hoped I would never live again."
"What? That happened to you? What happened exactly?" Twilight asked worriedly.
Matt looked away towards the window, not answering for several minutes. Finally, he replied. "I...I don't want to talk about it. Its a terrible story that no man, or pony, should ever have to live." Not a lie, but not true either. The story that he would give would be heart-wrenching to himself, but also had information that he could not afford to give the Russian scientists.
Twilight was silent for a little bit, but accepted Matt's answer. If he does not want to talk about it, then I won't force it out of him. Twilight thought.
"Alright, well, I came over here to pick you up. I was going to show you around town, and introduce you to all of my friends. I was also going to give you some knowledge on our lifestyle and other bits of information. I was also hoping that you would be able to tell me what some of your stuff was, and how it works." She said the last part indicating the bags in the corner, by the window.
Matt nodded, still suspicious. "Of course, let me just put some more decent clothes on, I gotta get out of this ruined shirt anyway. Oh and where is the bathroom?"
Twilight pointed over towards a door to the right of the entrance. Picking up a pair of jeans, a long-sleeved, blue shirt, and a pair of white sneakers, Matt walked into the bathroom and closed the door.
Twilight waited outside, thinking of questions to ask the human. It seemed like he always wanted to wear clothes, despite every-pony in town was usually naked. But she noticed that Matt had very little hair on his body, save for the top of his head, and he must of lost body heat faster than ponies did. They also probably had a...different anatomy in their "privates" then ponies. But Twilight noticed something else, Matt seemed...suspicious for some reason. It sounded like he still did not trust them, thinking that perhaps we might do something to him. Twilight made a note to ask him about that later.
Matt walked out of the bathroom, wearing much cleaner clothes then what he had before. He did not have many sets of clothing, but enough to last him for a few days.
Twilight looked over to him. "You ready?" She asked.
Matt nodded, picking up his crutch and started moving towards the door. They walked out into the hallway and proceeded to the main desk, where Nurse Redheart was seated.
Matt walked up to her. "Hey nurse, just wanna let you know that I am going out to town to meet others with Twilight." Matt indicated the purple unicorn next to him.
Redheart looked away from her papers and spoke to Matt. "Of course! Don't wanna keep you cooped up in a hospital like this. Oh, by the way, Zecora dropped off her potion to help you heal, its right here." Redheart handed a small glass vial with a red liquid inside of it, kept in by a cork.
"So...I just drink this?" Matt asked.
"Yep, be careful though, Zecora said that it was a little hot and spicy. There is a water fountain over there." She pointed down the hall.
"Alright then, bottoms up!" Matt uncorked the vial and drank the liquid in one gulp. He started sweating and his face turned cherry-red.
Bad idea Matt, a very, very bad idea. Matt thought.
He began sprinting down the hall to the water fountain, taking huge gulps of clear liquid leaving a laughing pair of ponies behind.
"Hey Twilight." Redheart said. "When you went inside of Matt's room, was he tossing and turning? As if he was living a dream?"
Twilight sighed. "Yes. I asked him about it but he said that no pony should ever have to hear about his story. From the way he was reacting in his sleep, I don't doubt him."
Redheart nodded and Matt walked back to the desk, placing the vial on the top.
"A little hot and spicy?!? That thing burned hotter than swallowing fire!"
Redheart giggled. "Well you don't have to worry about it any more, you don't need to drink another potion. Zecora said that this potion should triple your healing rate, fixing your leg and closing up the cuts on your body faster. Although, those cuts and holes will scar."
Matt nodded, then turned back to Twilight. "Ready to go?" He asked.
Twilight nodded and they both walked outside, Matt squinted at the sudden exposure to the sun.
Twilight giggled. "Haven't seen the sun in awhile have you? Anyways, I think that we should go see Rarity, at the Carousel Boutique first."
Matt shrugged. "Your choice, I haven't got a clue where I'm going so I'll just follow your judgement."
They began walking down the path, Matt taking in the sights of birds and pegasi flying in the skies. They then made it inside the limits of Ponyville, small houses on both sides of the road with the occasional store in between. Matt began, predictably, to attract a lot of attention. This was bound to happen, as Matt was a full three feet taller than all of the ponies in the roads. They more or less ignored him however, giving him the occasional glance when he looked elsewhere.
"Ah, we're here!" Twilight stopped in front of a store with a blue/purple walls in a circular style. There was also a small tower-like protrusion at the top of the building.
"So you said that Rarity was some sort of fashonista?" Matt asked, looking into the windows filled with dresses.
"Yep, get ready for a few questions from her about clothes though. She will probably take all our time with fashion questions if you let her."
"Well she will be pretty disappointed. I may have a nice looking cover, but my pages are blank in this field."
Twilight nodded and pushed the doors open with her magic, a purple hue emanating from the doors, a bell rung above them.
"Just a moment!" Came a voice from upstairs. After a minute or two, an ivory white unicorn trotted down from upstairs. She had a purple mane done up in a style and a purple tail that was in curls.
"Hello darling!" She said to Twilight, then turning to Matt. "Ah! You're standing up! I thought with your injuries that you might not even wake up again!"
Matt flinched slightly, thinking of the injuries that the Russians had given him. "Rarity" must of noticed this.
"Are you okay darling?" She asked Matt.
Matt looked at her. "Hmm? Oh yes, I am fine."
Rarity raised an eyebrow, but then began asking Matt a slew of questions. Matt both expected, and unexpected the questions that she had asked. All of which involved style, clothes, what Matt wore, and anything else of the like. Not one question had involved any information regarding who he was, what he did, why he was in the forest, or anything critical at all for that matter. The closest to critical info she had gotten to, was what his vest was made of, and that was common knowledge for the Russians.
After the questions had gone on for about a half hour, Twilight finally stopped Rarity from asking any more info on what humans wore, much to the disappointment of Rarity.
"Sorry Rarity, but you just spent an hour asking Matt about clothes, and we are losing daylight, I still got to introduce him to every-pony else."
Rarity's eyes dropped. "Oh alright, do come back though Matt, I still didn't ask what kind of head wear your kind has."
"Alright Rarity, some other time." Matt replied.
That will be the day. Matt thought.
They exited the boutique and began walking in the direction, of what Twilight had called, Sugarcube Corner, where her friend Pinkie lived.
After walking for about ten minutes, Matt heard shouting and a scuffle break out to his left.
"Help! Some-pony stop that thief!"
Matt turned left and saw a red stallion running through the crowds, with what appeared to be guards wearing golden armor behind him. Matt saw a small bag that was being held in his teeth, with what appeared to be several coins inside, reflecting the sunlight. The stallion continued to charge through the crowds, going straight towards Matt's location.
Something in Matt snapped, the red coat, the coins the reflected the shine of the sun, the two guards chasing him. This looks exactly like...no...they want me to kill him, yes that's it! They are trying to test me! Well I guess I have to disappoint these communist bastards!
Matt took a single step back, and got ready for when the red-coated pony would pass him. He positioned his good leg. The stallion then galloped only a few feet away.
Matt then took his good leg, and swept his leg underneath the thief's hoofs, sending the red-coated pony into the air. Matt then took his right hand, and pummeled the thief into the stones, not hard enough to kill him, but enough to knock him out. The bag of coins flew out of his mouth, sending a few copper coins among the flagstones.
"Sit down, bitch." Matt said to the unconscious thief.
Twilight stared at Matt, then at the thief, and then back to Matt again, an incredulous look on her face.
It looked like he had done things like that before. What is his background? And why was he so secretive about it?
The guards that donned golden armor galloped up to the unconscious thief, then placed him in hoof-cuffs and picked him up, giving Matt a respectable nod. Another pony, a blue unicorn, galloped to Matt.
"Thank you so much mister!" She said. "I was going to get my little filly a birthday present, when that crazy stallion decided to take my bits!" She began to pick up the spilled coins on the stone, placing them back into her bag. "Again, thank you so much!"
Matt was shocked, the nod of the guards, and the thanks of the blue unicorn, didn't they want Matt to kill the thief, confirming his hate for the Russians? It's almost like they did not want me to kill the red thief, but that makes no sense! They are testing on me right? Right?
Twilight cleared her throat. "Um, Matt. I think we should keep moving, we are gathering a lot of attention.
Matt nodded and picked up his crutch, limping his way to the same direction they were going before. Within five minutes, they arrived at a happy looking, colorful bakery. Matt could smell the pies and pastrys being baked inside.
Matt and Twilight walked inside, and immediately took in the fresh and sweet aroma.
"HI THERE!" Screamed a pink pony, hanging directly in front of Matt from the rafters.
"Jesus Christ!" Matt yelled in shock, hand instinctively going to where his pistol holster would be. When he realized that he had forgotten it, he raised his fist to knock the crazy pony out cold.
"Wait Matt!" Cried Twilight, to which Matt slowly began lowering his fist.
Twilight sighed in relief. "Matt, this is Pinkie Pie, and trust me, you will get used to her after a while. She may be a bit...rambunctious but she grows on you."
"HAHAHAHAHAHA, you should have seen the look on your face! You were all like..." She made a huge circle with her mouth and widened her eyes. "...And then you were like this..." She raised her hoof above her head, looking to be about to punch. "...And I thought, 'Whoa he is actually going to hit me!' But then you stopped when Twilight said stop. HAHAHA that was so fun!" She was about to talk more until Twilight shoved a purple hoof into Pinkie's mouth.
"That's very nice Pinkie, but I was hoping that you could simply introduce yourself to Matt here, without giving him a heart attack. Oh, and could you get down from there?"
"Okey dokey loky!" Replied Pinkie as she dropped straight on her face from the rafters. She got up and stuck a pink hoof out towards Matt.
Matt studied her for a few seconds, and then shook the pony's hoof.
"So, what do you do Pinkie?" Matt asked.
"Well, I work here! I cook stuff that tastes good, especially cupcakes! Would you like to try one?" She reached a hoof back into her poofy mane and pulled out a chocolate cupcake covered in rainbow sprinkles. Matt raised an eyebrow at this, and slowly shook his head.
Pinkie turned to Twilight, and asked her the same thing, and she declined.
Pinkie then looked up at the ceiling. "What about you reader person?"
"Alright then, more for me!" Pinkie threw the cupcake up into the air, opened her mouth, and swallowed the cupcake whole.
Matt and Twilight both stared at her in confusion. Pinkie eventually broke the silence.
"So Matt! Can you cook? Twilight can't cook at all so she just gets Spike to cook everything for her. Isn't that right Twilight?" Pinkie said.
Twilight grinned sheepishly. "Don't rub it in Pinkie." Twilight laughed.
"Yea, I can cook pretty well, what were you planning to make?" Matt replied to Pinkie Pie.
"Super! I need you to help me make some vanilla cupcakes! I am hosting a party later today and I am super duper far behind!" She threw an apron towards Matt.
"How many bowls of mix?" Matt asked.
Pinkie smiled. "Twenty!"
Matt stared at her. "Twenty? That is a lot of batter Pinkie. Is there that much time?"
"Duh! Of course there is silly! I'll mix the ingredients together, and you mix it all up!"
Matt looked to Twilight for help, who just shrugged and trotted over to a chair in the corner, and began to read a book.
Matt then started mixing the batter as fast as he could, his arm quickly getting tired from the constant rotations. He looked over towards pinkie, who was literally throwing the ingredients into a bowl from every corner of the room. She slid a bowl down every few seconds, perfectly measured in the ingredients.
Matt had only stirred five bowls when Pinkie was done with her part and walked over to where Matt was working.
"Wowee, you are sloooooooow! Here, lemme try."
"By all means, go right ahead." Replied Matt as he took a step back from the counter.
Pinkie pie cracked her neck, and then took the whisk and began beating the batter into submission. Her fore-leg looked like a blur as she spun it around. Pinkie slid a mixed bowl every few seconds, quickly filling up the end of the table.
Matt looked back at Twilight, to see if she had just seen what Pinkie did. She looked back at him, then giggled as she got up from the chair and began walking over.
"Well, I hope you two got along, but I still gotta introduce him to Dash and Applejack. See you later Pinkie."
She waved at Matt and Twilight as they left the bakery back into the light of the sun, which had begun to dwindle over the horizon.
"Oops, I guess I lost track of time!" Said Twilight. "Say Matt, do you wan to stay in my guest room? I would think that you have had enough of that cramped hospital room."
Matt looked to the sunset for a few moments before answering. He honestly did not want to sleep in the hospital again, despite it being fake, as this entire world obviously was, he never liked hospitals. Ever since he was a kid, he has hated needles, doctors, all of that stuff. It was a silly fear, being he was an American Marine, but it was still there nonetheless.
Matt nodded. "That would be great Twilight. Where do you live?"
"Just a few blocks that way." Twilight pointed right and they made it to her home in a few minutes. Matt stared at the house.
"You...live inside of a tree?"
"Well...yes, but it is actually a library."
"So you live inside of a library, that is inside of a huge tree?"
Matt simply nodded, and began limping to the front door and opened it up, quickly revealing many bookshelves filled with what obviously goes into it.
"Twilight? That you?" Called a voice from the kitchen.
"Yes, and I brought Matt along with me!" Replied Twilight from behind Matt, closing the door.
"Matt? Who's Matt?"
"Hes the creature we found in the forest. His name is Matt."
A small, lizard-like creature with green and purple scales rounded the corner and began sizing up Matt.
"Wow, you're huge!
Matt laughed a little bit. "Maybe your just small."
The lizard extended a small, clawed hand. "Hey, my name is Spike. I'm a baby dragon"
Hmph, they put in dragons too? Matt thought.
"Hello there Spike." Matt shook his hand. "My name is Matt, and I am a human."
"Hey Twilight, you said that there is a guest bedroom."
She nodded. "Down that hall and to the right. Go and make yourself comfortable, I'll go back to the hospital and pick up your stuff. I'll also go and get your dog, Rocky back from Fluttershy. She says that his leg and ribs have been healed already from the potion that Zecora made him."
"Great, thanks Twilight." Matt replied, as Twilight exited the house.
"So Matt." Spike said. "What do you eat? Carnivore? Herbivore? I am making some hay spaghetti and a gem sandwich."
"Uhhhhh, I can't eat either of those. I am an Omnivore but I can't digest either hay, or gems."
Stupid scientists, they should already know this. Unless they are trying to fuck around with my head Matt thought.
"Well, we have some Apples, can you eat those? Other than that we have nothing else to eat."
"Sure, apples are fine." Matt walked into the kitchen and checked the fridge for the fruit. He grabbed two apples and then sat down in the middle of the library, looking at all the titles of books.
Matt began to ponder about the past few days all that had happened. He thought of the talking ponies that surrounded him, the respective nod of the guards after he stopped the thief, the thanks of the civilian after he had saved her money. He also thought of how...real his injuries felt. And lastly, he looked around the room at the books. Every single one of them had a different title, leading to yet another question. Why would these scientists bother with making all of these different titles? It looked like this would have taken hours of work. And all of the detail of the ponies, the buildings, the landscape, and the feeling of the sun on his skin.
He got up from his sitting position, picked up his crutch, and threw away his apple cores.
"Hey spike! Tell Twilight that I am going for a walk!"
"Will do!" Replied spike from the kitchen.
Matt limped out to the front door, and opened it. Letting the moonlight spill into the library before he exited and closed the door.
Luna was flying above Ponyville, a bit disappointed that no-pony had been taking a night-walk. Her spirit instantly raised when she saw a pony just below her, walking in the middle of the empty street.
She was going to make her presence known, before she got a better view of this...pony?
This was no pony, in fact, this creature resembled exactly what Twilight's letters described the creature they found in the forest. Twilight had sent another letter to Tia the day before, telling her that the creature, whose name was Matt, seemed very suspicious of the ponies. Tia must have been equally suspicious of the human, asking Luna to fly around Ponyville to get any more info on the humans actions.
Swooping slightly lower, Luna began to follow Matt, who stopped every few minutes. When he stopped, he would always simply stare at some building, as if he were studying its architecture, or determining if it was real or not. After the third stopping, he picked up a fist-full of dirt and stared at it, like he was trying to unlock its secrets.
Suddenly, Matt froze. He stood up, dropped the dirt, and spun quickly around to where Luna was flying, who quickly turned invisible. Matt frowned as he continued to stare in Luna's direction, then turned around and began walking back to Twilight's home.
Luna followed, curious to see what he would do next...