Fauna Sutler briskly entered the medical facility, passing straight through the reception hall and past the employees' offices. This time, she wasn't there to talk to any of them. She was there to talk to the walking damage report that should have been on her desk half an hour ago.
Last time she visited, it had been for her mandatory mental health check. There, she had been told by the annoying resident psychologist to "either make some friends or risk mental health problems". What a ridiculous notion. She mentally dominated everyone! The future of scientific discovery did not depend on her making friends, it depended on her being able to keep a cool head and fix the mess everyone else made of things.
She broke her silence once she entered the lab and saw that one of the treatment beds were occupied.
"Mister Arming, I'd like to know exactly what-"
Something wasn't right. As she walked closer, what greeted her wasn't the bearded man she expected, but a small, hairless animal snoring with its head on a pillow and its body covered by a wet, smelly blanket.
Fauna covered her face in disappointment. What had become of the medical frontier? Was there so little for these doctors to do that they had time to treat animals? She made a mental note to double-check the medical budget when she got back to the control center.
She walked out of the lab and back to the reception hall, where she rung a small bell. Soon a lab-coated lady appeared in the window.
"How may I help you?" the attendant gently asked.
"What happened to Daniel Arming?" Fauna interrogated. "I was told he was moved here, but I can't find him anywhere."
Slightly taken aback at Fauna's direct personality, the woman hesitated before replying.
"I'm afraid the medical service is sworn to professional secrecy, meaning I can't answer you."
Sigh. Some days it seemed like the universe itself didn't like that she was snooping about its secrets, and it was placing social norms designed to hinder her at every opportunity.
"No, you misunderstand - I don't need to know what happened to him, I need to know where he is, so I can talk to him."
She decided to accept that her wording had been ambiguous, and she had probably been misinterpreted, implying that she cared about the health of this person she had never met before.
"Oh, right. He was picked up by an ambulance not too long ago. I don't think he is able to receive visitors at the moment, so I suggest you wait until tomorrow before trying to contact him."
Mental note: Triple-check the budget.
Annoyed at her utter lack of progress, she headed back to the control center. There were medical budgets to review.
Tarry, distracted by his brilliant idea, was furiously reading the wikipedia articles on "Pegasus". According to the greek myths, it was a white, winged horse, placed by Zeus as a constellation across the night sky. Most of the information was, unfortunately, irrelevant.
The most shocking discovery he made was when he found out that the plural of the word was given to be "pegasuses". Confused, he decided to look up the word "pegasi", which apparently was a special form only used in astronomy.
Huh. Further research was required!
Other sites were in uproar over the matter, with long discussions ending without any conclusions being drawn. The lack of reliable sources led him to perform a drastic action.
"Hey, Christina," he adressed his assistant. "What is the plural of pegasus? Pegasuses, pegasus' or pegasi?"
What an awesome pick-up line.
"Ehm... I don't think it matters what you use," she replied after a moment of deep thought. "Even the myth states that there was only ever one Pegasus, who now is a bunch of stars... somehow. So it's sort of like asking how you prefer your name pluralized: Tarrys with a y or Tarries with an i and an e?"
She went back to work with the genetic tests. Tarry could see over her shoulder that the insect match was terrible.
"Well, why don't we ask the thing in our sickbay when it wakes up? You see, I think we have ourselves a pegasus here."
He laughed at what he was saying. Soon he'd start thinking unicorns were real too.
Christina didn't laugh. She turned her chair towards him and gave a cold stare. After a good ten seconds of silence, she opened her mouth.
"How? How is that possible? Even if some biology lab had managed to graft horse- and bird-DNA, how did it end up a hundred meters underground? Furthermore, it appeared when the beams were brought together - what does the ALICE have to do with anything? This doesn't make any sense!"
The explosion of frustration surprised Tarry. She was usually a calm, silent girl. A brilliant calm, silent girl, but still calm and silent.
"I'm sure it'll make sense eventually," he assured her. "Obviously, the greek gods are real and this is the actual Pegasus. The greek pantheon is famous for being full of assholes who like to play with and confuse mortals."
"Ha. Funny." Her words were sarcastic, but she bore a warm smile. "You know, I have the perfect experiment to falsify that hypothesis. The sky is clear tonight, so let's look for the Pegasus constellation together."
Flawless pick-up line, in fact.
Something smelled bad. Really, really bad.
Rainbow Dash, barely awake, tried turning her head away from the smell, but instead ended up becoming terribly aware of the pain she felt. Whatever covered her not only smelled bad, it made her skin burn! An attempt to remove it quickly informed her that she could barely move a muscle without amplifying the agony tenfold.
It felt like every tendon in her body had decided to rip at once, leaving her helpless and terrified. Even her eyes seemed to be glued together.
By Celestia, what happened to me?! Why does it hurt so much?
The only sounds that answered were her heart - beating faster and faster - and her own panicked breaths.
I'm sorry I lied to you, Twi... I shouldn't have broken my promise... I didn't know I'd mess up this bad... I'm sorry...
Alone in the dark silence, she cried.