Author's Note: Yay, merged C1 and C1.5 into one chapter.
Chapter 1: The Dangers of the Everfree Part 1
'Oh dear Luna, my head.'
He had woken up with a pounding headache, which caused him to cringe in pain. He shifted around in the bed, and tried to get himself into a more comfortable position. He sleepily rolled over to his left side, and he felt an immense pain on his wing, causing him to yell out in pain. Now wide awake, he pulled the blankets off, and saw the unknown room that he was staying in.
“What? How did I get here?”
He was in a relatively simple room, with a single bed, a bedside table with a small lamp on it, and a light blue curtain surrounding one side of the bed. The design choice of the room was questionable, since the walls were painted blue and brown, and the ceiling was painted a dark-ish green colour. When he looked to the right of the bed, he noticed that he had a full wing cast on his left wing and several smaller bandages all over his body. He was also connected to a blood bag, and I.V., both of which seemed to to be half empty.
'I presume that this is a hospital of some kind.'
On the bedside table, there was a medical clipboard filled with information about him, and why he is here. He couldn't reach over to grab it though, since that was also on the left side of the bed, and would require him to roll back on his injured (?) wing to get it. He couldn't see anypony else in the room, so he calls out to the hallway in the hopes of getting somepony to come in.
“Hello? Is anypony here?”
He sees a young, white coated mare enter the room. "Ah yes, so I see that you have woken up." He could see that she was one of the nurses, since she was wearing the white, uniform headpiece. Her pink mane was tied into a neat bun, and her long tail was untouched. He could see that her cutie mark was a red cross, with small pink hearts in each corner. (Which was coincidentally the exact same design as the symbol on her nurse's hat) Her sky blue eyes were directed towards him as she continued. "Well you seem to have recovered well. You caused quite a ruckus yesterday when you were brought here."
He gave her a confused look, "Really? What happened?"
“A mare flew you to the hospital at about 5pm yesterday. You were losing blood, and had a broken wing, and so we-"
"Wait, did you just say that my wing is broken?" He asks in a shaky tone.
"Yes." She could see him pale for a few moments, "You have been unconscious for about 18 hours, mainly because of blood loss."
Thinking of no good words to say to express his conflicted emotions, he just says, "Well damn." in response.
'I can't believe it. I move to a new town that requires flying, and the very first thing I do is break a wing. Well done Dusk.'
There was a bit of a silence between the nurse and the patient, neither of them knowing of any new topics to talk about. Just as the nurse turned back towards the door, Dusk had thought of a question about his arrival.
"So uh... who was the mare that carried me here?"
She seems to try and remember something, "um... I don't remember her name, but she has come back here just to check up on you. Do you want me to get her for you?"
"Sure." He wanted to see the mare for himself.
She walks out of the hospital room, leaving the stallion alone again. While he waited, he decided to gather his thoughts, as to what must have happened yesterday for him to get like this. He starts to retrace his steps, back to when he was about to leave Manehatten...
(Two Days Ago - 1:30pm )
Before Dusk left for his trip to Ponyville, he needed to see the owner of the apartment that he was renting. He needed to pay him for the week that he had stayed there for. (He honestly believed he would stay for a longer period of time) He already knew the location of the owner's home, since it had been provided just in case something like this would happen. Based on the location of the home, it was just on the outskirts of 'New' Manehatten, since not only were the houses more diverse and colourful, but they were a bit larger as well. The perfect location for a semi-successful pony. Dusk trotted over to his home, and knocked on the wooden door, waiting for the inevitable answer. Sure enough, the door opens, revealing a rather lanky grey stallion. He had a short white mane and tail, and his cutie mark seemed to be a quill on paper.
He stares at Dusk with confusion, asking who he was, and why he was here. Dusk told him that he was the one who recently rented the property, and that he was going to be moving out. The homeowner's response was a simple "What?" Which led to the question of why he needed to leave. After some explaining, Dusk was able to tell him of his current job predicament, and his reasons for leaving.
The owner could understand why he needed to leave, and stopped pressing him for information. He still asked for the weeks pay, as well as a small amount extra for the sudden leave. Dusk was able to pay him the required amount, before leaving the house. He looked at his map, and could see the next marked location on the map. The Hoof and Stone Inn. To get there, he needed to take a train to Vanhoover, and then walk to the inn. From there, he would need to hoof it through the Everfree to finally get to Ponyville. He would have preferred to take the train straight to Ponyville, but he needed to save his bits for the new town.
(One Day Ago - 8:30am)
He had arrived at the Hoof and Stone without a hitch, and slept there for the night. After a freely provided breakfast, he had begun to fly towards the edge of the Everfree Forest, which was about a ten minute flight from the inn. It was a relatively easy flight, since the winds were quite calm from where he was flying. He notices that the winds got stronger the closer he got to the Everfree. It was well known that these forests in particular are more wild than the other forests in Equestria, because the forest governed itself. The animals would always do their own thing without ponies assistance, and the weather wasn't controlled; it would always change at random.
'It's almost supernatural in nature.'
The weather looked fine inside the forest, but he knew it would be a bad idea to fly above the treetops, with the unpredictable weather and all. He began to make his trek into the forests, preparing himself for the long walk ahead.
As he walked, he couldn't help but to just look at the beautiful scenery that surrounded him. The dark green trees give off an eerie feeling, yet they seemed at also give off a serene feeling of peace. The forest almost seemed to glow as well, with the light of the sun seeping through the healthy green foliage, and giving the illusion of a faint green glow enveloping the entire forest. Even if you looked away from the main path, and into the depths of the forest, you could see the darkness of the foreboding forest which brought an air of mystery all around. It was a tranquil place.
The scenery of the forest had taken his attention for the entire trek, and made him almost forget why he was actually walking down the forest in the first place. He remembered seeing the ruins of what looked to be an old abandoned castle, which had become part of the scenery itself. He had to pause, just to look at the ruins of the old castle. When he had continued to walk down the path, he could see what looked like some kind of home. It was made from an old tree, and seemed to glow much brighter than the rest of the forest; too bright to be natural light, most likely some kind of light source. He began to walk towards the home, when-
'towards the home, when... I woke up here, injured, and apparently carried by some mare. Wait, what happened in between then?'
There was just a giant mental blank in his mind, like somepony just invaded his mind, and ripped out the memory. He tried to remember what had happened between finding the house, and being in hospital, but he had nothing.
His attention had changed, when the nurse returned to the room with a second mare, who seemed to be hiding her face behind her mane.
The nurse began to speak, “So Dusk, I would like to introduce the mare who saved your life.”
To say that he was surprised would be an understatement, "Um... hi. Nice to meet you."
"..." She had said something, but he couldn't hear what.
"...hello..." She says quietly, almost at a whisper tone.
'Okay, maybe a bit more than an understatement...'
Dusk was surprised by how timid and shy this mare was. It took her about half a minute for her to nervously tell him her name. Her name was Fluttershy, which Dusk complimented on, to lift her confidence. She would hide behind her long, pink mane as she spoke, still acting nervous around him. Whether this was her personality, or just a one time thing was still unknown to him. While he was 'talking' to her, he noticed how slim, and elegant she looked. In fact, her whole body seemed to have these qualities; her form, her wings, her mane and tail, even her eyes, which were the colour of emerald green. Her cutie mark was simple, consisting of three pink and blue butterflies. It seemed to suit her.
He couldn’t think of anything else that he could say to her, and there was a small silence in the room. Dusk didn’t know what to talk about, and Fluttershy was too shy to say anything. The nurse, whom was still in the room, had attempted to start up a new conversation. “So... Fluttershy, weren’t you going to tell Dusk how he got here?”
“O-Oh yeah, I was, wasn’t I...” She still seemed to be nervous around him, seemingly afraid of him. Dusk was looking curiously at the pegasus, obviously expecting a story. "Okay... I was a-at my home feeding my animals...
(18 hours earlier)
Celestia's sun was shining over the land of Equestria, and directly over the town of Ponyville. Near the outskirts, bordering the Everfree Forest was Fluttershy, who was busy feeding the birds of the forest with her bird seed. They loved the mare, abs she loved them back. They, as as well as all her other animal friends, were like family. She couldn't help but to smile anytime she was around them. She had picked up the bucket of bird seed, when-
She heard a stallion yell from inside the Everfree Forest. A few of her birds had flown away, and some of the deer; rabbits; and other land animals were looking at the entrance of the forest. She knew that she was the only one who heard the voice, but she was hesitant to enter the forest. Despite living so close to it, she was still scared of it.
“Maybe I j-just imagined it," She took one more glance at the forest, before turning around. "I should probably jus-“
She stops as she sees a particular white bunny blocking her path, with his forearms crossed, and it has an annoyed expression. As soon as he knew he had her attention, he pointed a paw at the forest. She seemed apprehensive about going in the Everfree, “I-I don’t think-”
Angel shook his head, resorting to unsuccessfully pushing the mare into the forest. “Oh... okay then Angel...” She began to quickly fly towards the entrance of the Everfree, to see what was going on. As she flew under the top of the underbrush, she scanned the main path below her, trying to find anything out of the ordinary. She flew for five minutes, until hitting Zecora’s hut, which was empty. She was a friend of Fluttershy’s; a zebra. She would be considered as a tribal apothecarium in most ponies eyes.
Fluttershy wanted to go inside and to see if Zecora could help, but she heard a faint growl in the distance. A manticore’s growl to the side of the house
She instinctively ran towards the disturbance, and was both shocked, and surprised with what she saw. She saw Zecora, who seems to be in a limp, who stood between an enraged manticore and an unconscious and a bleeding stallion. Zecora’s striped coat was stained with the blood of either the stallion, or her own injury on her left foreleg. Said foreleg was hit by the manticore, and bleeding, making it hard for the zebra to stand properly. Her short black and white mane was flat, different from her usual mohawk-esque style. In her mouth was a flexible tree branch, which see was using as a makeshift whip. Despite the injury, she still stood strong.
She seemed unfazed by the beast; the towering monstrosity that stood over the zebra. It was a dangerous match of a scorpion's stinger and large dragon like wings, attached to a ferocious lion's body.It was almost three times bigger than its opponent It had its claws out, and its sharp teeth exposed. It emitted a low growl, as the two watched and waited for the next move.
The manticore took the initiative, trying to pounce on zebra, but she deftly dodged, just before another attack, and another from the beast, She was able to dodge out of way of all these attacks, while giving a few strikes of her own. She repeatedly hit the inside of its wing, causing it to roar in pain. This was one of its most sensitive areas, and the zebra knew it.
The manticore had pounced in the zebras direction again, and she had dodged it again, when- *crack* "Ahh!"
She had accidently put too much weight on her injured leg, causing it to buckle and send her into a heap on the ground. She was able to save face, and still look menacingly at the beast in front of her. The manticore was licking its lips in satisfaction, knowing it just earnt two meals.
"Stay away from here, you foul creature, or your head shall be my home's newest feature." Her determined, but rather fruitless threat was unnoticed by the beast, which advanced towards the crippled zebra. The closer it got, the more Zecora's composure slipped and fear took over. The manticore would enjoy this.
"How dare you..." The beast looked up to see an infuriated yellow pegasus.
"How dare you!" She yells, as she glowered at the beast. "I can't believe you. You came into the forest, knowing that there was a town nearby, and you go and attack not one but two innocent ponies.” She had begun to stare down the beast, despite the obvious size difference between the two. She had rooted it to the spot; it was unable to move from fear of the yellow pony. That, was the power of her Stare, which was powerful enough to send creatures hundreds of times her size into a stupor.
“You are a horrible creature, and you should feel ashamed of yourself. Run, get away from Ponyville, and never come back.” The manticore, as unlikely as it seemed, had bolted away from the mare, wanting to escape from the pegasus’ presence. All malice toward the manticore was gone, when she begun to fuss over the zebra and the bleeding stallion on the ground. When she asked if Zecora needed help, she dismissed the help, and responded by saying,
"Do not worry about me Fluttershy, for I'll be fine. You must get this pony to the hospital, since he is running out of time."
She was about to argue, but she thought against it, since Zecora only had what looked like a sprained hoof, and a small cut, which was healable, while the stallion was bleeding out on the ground. She quickly ran inside Zecora’s hut, and grabbed a small roll of fabric, to quickly wrap up the bleeding area. She then lifted the stallion into her back, and started to fly towards the hospital...
“…and that is it... I brought you here, and they just patched you up, and umm... you know the rest."
There was a small silence in the room, as Dusk took in the news, “So... you scared away a manticore, that had almost killed your friend and I, just by looking at it?" He was just a little bit skeptical of this supposed Stare.
"Well kind of... but-"
"You say you used the Stare on it?" Questions the nurse, already knowing the answer. Her expression changes into one of worry. "Poor thing, do you think it'll be alright?"
"Wait, what?" The stallion was surprised with her sudden defense of the beast, "Is the Stare really that powerful?"
"Yes, it is." Confirms the nurse, much to his surprise, "It had even stopped a fully grown and enraged dragon from possibly attacking the town, and made it cry as well."
His jaw drops after hearing this, "A dragon."
"Y-Yes... I'm still afraid of d-d-dragons."
Fluttershy had left the hospital, but not without asking if "I could bring a few of my friends to see you tomorrow."
And he said that "That's fine Fluttershy."
She told him that her friends had already saw him when he was unconscious. She had become a celebrity in Ponyville after yesterday's events for all the wrong reasons, but that was a story for another day.
The nurse was telling Dusk about the details of his injuries. "Okay, so all the cuts covered by the smaller bandages will heal without any problems. However the main bandage which is wrapped across your mid-section may open again. Just, do not apply too much stress for the next two days, and it will recover on its own. Now about your wing...
"You wont be able to fly for three weeks, and you will need to keep the cast on for two of those weeks."
He let the news sink in. He was utterly devastated, although he didn't show it to the mare. He just looks downwards, and says a small, "Oh..." in understanding.
Author's Note: No more Zecora will be edited in. Thinking of rhymes suck. Also, I still don’t know how to do Flutterrages well. I’m better at the more crazed outburst. (e.g. Pinkamena, Crazy Twilight etc)