The laughter died down, it was a more serious tone. I wasn't controling anything it was as if I was watching now. I opened my mouth to adress the table.
"You all know this is our last dinner together for a while..." I told them all.
They seemed to stop eating as they took in the information. I got the feeling that this was a subject we had all tried to avoid, like the first time I was shipped overseas. This must have been Bucks first time out, his first time away. They all sat in silence.
"May Ah please be excused!" Applebloom said, you could tell she was on the verge of tears. She was holding them back as hard as she could. I nodded and she swept up her plate and left the table.
We all sat there still in silence, Big Macintosh looked at me. His eyes were pleading me not to leave, I had always been there for my son. Although he had never talked much I knew better than anypony else the struggles he went through on a daily basis to maintain stability. He wasn't ever all that bright, he stayed in the back of the class to avoid being called on. He really wasn't like my real son, my son was head of the football team. He got straight A's and never faultered. Mac was different, he needed somepony to be there for him, Buck was right. He was different, now I understood how Macintosh was different than Jeffry. Applebloom was still a kid, but she still had similar ways to my little Madie.
"Dad, Ma...." AJ said, we both looked at her, she didn't look up she stared at her plate, "Ya'll come home safe ok?" I could see the tears welling up in her eyes.
AJ never asked for much, she mostly gave everything she had to help others out. She really didn't need much to go by. I saw now that she was a different card than my spoiled middle Steffanie. She couldn't go a day without her phone. My family would probably crumble without the kids' mother, and me without my legs I knew I was in for a rough ride.
Granny Smith seemed to be the only one who still hadn't let anything off, then again she was the only one who WAS like my mother. I could see now that our lives were different.
I felt myself thrusted upwards back into the white room. I was flat on my face, I looked up and saw Bucks hooves in front of me.
"You see now?" He asked.
I got up into a sitting position to look him in the eyes, I nodded. I realized now that I couldn't ever truly understand how he would react to his family. Or base myown families reaction on his.
"Your friends callin' so I guess I'll see ya later. But make sure you talk ta Mac, he ain't to bright but he's honest, just nod yer head and listen."
I was going to say ask what he was talking about but my eyes shot open and I was looking into the face of Twilight Sparkle.
"Buck are you ok?" she asked.
I rubbed my forhead a sudden headache had ensued. "My real names not Buck." I told her, "I just have this body, my name is James." I told her.
She nodded, "Ok then James, you wanna tell me what happened?" she asked.
"What you didn't see it?" I asked.
"Well... no," she admitted sitting down, "I mean I saw you talking to a human, and then you pushed him into a pool. I lost your presence for a while for some reason, even though I saw you right there."
"That human was me, for some reason only in that place I can be in my real body." I told her, I looked down and stared at the face of my hoof. Wishing it would transform into a hand.
"So then where did you go?" she asked.
I pondered telling her, "I don't know." I lied. It was probably best to leave family issues between Buck and his family. "Why am I here?" I asked aloud.
The question seemed to puzzle Twilight.
"You get the info you needed on that place?" I asked.
She nodded, "Yes, now that I know a little about it I can start studying how to send you back." she said.
I nodded and began to leave.
"One more thing," she said I turned around, she pointed a hoof at an owl in the corner, "That's Owlisious, if I ever need to run any more tests I'll send him to get you ok?" she asked I nodded and let myself out.
The walk back to the farm seemed to be longer than the search for the library. I trotted onto the farm, it was strange it was as if the family had deserted the place. I went up to the barn door and opened it, the lights were all off. I clicked them on.
"SUPRISE!!!!" I heard dozens of voices call. They were the entire Apple Family here at the party, Pinkie Pie, the mare that cracked me up every time on the screen was at the front.
"Oh my gosh, you must be Applejacks DAD! I've heard so much about you, well not really. AJ doesn't say much about you but I bet you have a bunch of cool war stories you can tell me. Oooh I love stories can you tell me one right now please, please, please, pleeaaaasseee!" I was staring at the pink mare, it was a lot more annoying when her attention was directed straight at you.
"Alright Pink, that's enough." AJ shoved her away, "Sorry dad, she's a friend a mine. She's always like that don't pay her any mind. Anyways, uh..." she looked around, "Big Mac wants ta talk to ya in the back a the farm." she said. She walked away.
I stood there like an idiot, I wheeled over to the back of the barn through the thick crowd of ponies. Greeting them as the told me their congragulations, I finally made it. I opened the back door, into the cool night air. I saw Mac sitting over by a barrel staring into the moon. I went over, got out of my chair and place a seat next to him.
"Luna did a great job tonight, huh?" I asked.
There was an awkward silence for a few minutes, the both of us staring at the moon like idiots. Finally Big Macintosh looked at the ground I turned to face him. He didn't look up to me he just mumbled.
"I'm leavin' tamarra." He said.
"Huh?" the news caught me off guard.
"They need somepony ta take yer place, ah volunteered ta go." he said.
I nodded, he was already enlisted so there was no turning back now. We both knew the penalty for desertion. He had to go, he was taking my place where Buck got injured.
We sat there not saying anything, but then again guy code you never had to. He got up and turned around then looked to me and dug his hoof into my shoulder.
'Love you dad.'
'See you when you get back?'
'Won't let ya down.'
I nudged him back.