Chapter Three “A Startling Revelation”
Once inside Twilight brought out a rather large machine and began setting it up while the other two watched.
“So what is this,” Rainbow Dash asked studying the strange device while hovering midair.
“This is a magical imaging device that allows us to get a visible readout of the bone density of a pony, in this case of Applejack here.”
“I shoulda known not to ask.”
Twilight sighed and said, “It lets us see through her skin to check on her bones.”
“Ohhhhh,” said both Applejack and Rainbow Dash at the same time.
Once set up Twilight pointed the device at Applejack's head and said. “Now try to stand still Applejack, or else this won't work very well.”
“OK, I'm ready,” Applejack said with a slight bit of nervousness creeping into her voice.
The machine began to hum for a moment and on the other side a black and white translucent picture began to form.
Twilight studied the picture as it formed and once it was said, “let's see here, oh my.”
“What,” Applejack said, a slight amount of panic rising in her voice.
“Well to be honest, I'm not quite sure what it is, you appear to have no damage to the front of your skull as I would have predicted, however you seem to have a small extra mass forming on the center of your skull.”
“Well what is that s'posed to mean?”
“Sorry AJ, I don't really know, I'm afraid will have to take you to a osteopathologist, and show her this.”
Applejack and Rainbow Dash stared at Twilight for a few moments before Twilight realized she had once again used words they didn't understand. She made an angry huffing sound and then said in a slightly raised and annoyed voice, “it's a doctor that specializes in bones.”
“Ohhhhh,” said both Applejack and Rainbow Dash at the same time again.
Loosing the look of annoyance Twilight turned back to face the bone picture again, “I haven't seen, or even heard of something like this, I hope Dr. Patella will know what this is, and what to do about it.”
“Twi, ah don't see any reason to do nothin, it taint hurtin nothin is it?”
“It could be the cause of your headaches.”
“Oh yeah,” Applejack said remembering the headache she has had since she woke up.
“Go ahead and go lay down for a bit Applejack, I'll send for Dr. Patella, she will be here by tomorrow, then hopefully we will get to the bottom of this.”
“OK, but um, first can I get some more food, I'm getting hungry again.”
Twilight was about to open her mouth when Rainbow Dash got in front of her and said, “Twilight whatever you do, DON'T offer to buy, she will eat EVERYTHING.”
Twilight and Applejack shot Rainbow Dash a dirty look. “What? I'm down two hundred bits, can you really blame me,” Rainbow Dash said as the other two continued to stare at her, “fine well don't say I didn't warn you egg head,” at that Rainbow Dash flew out the front door, heading to her home in the clouds.
“Come on Applejack,” Twilight said, “lets go to Ponyville, and I AM buying.”
Applejack smiled a bit, “thank ya, Twilight.”
The next day Dr. Patella made it, slightly behind schedule, to Sweet Apple Acres.
“OK, let me make one thing clear,” Dr. Patella said as she walked in the door. She stopped to stare a moment at Twilight. “Oh hey Twilight, am I working on YOU today.”
“No doctor, although I'm glad to see you, how are you today.”
“Pretty good, although if your friend here didn't have Celestia send me a personal request for a house call out in the middle of nowhere, you can guarantee I wouldn't be here. But, I'd be willing to bet my doctorate that you had something to do with that, Miss Element of Magic, and student of the Princess.”
Applejack was preparing to get offended on the part of her friend, but saw Twilight smile a bit at the remark. “I don't know if that means you would get a second doctorate or just a a tenure on your current one.”
The green coated, white maned Pegasus, laughed a little, “still quick on the comebacks, eh Twilight? Alright, well, I'll drop the high and mighty doctor act for a friend of one of my favorite students.”
“So you two are friends,” Applejack asked slowly catching up.
“Yes, I studied under Dr. Patella here for a while in Canterlot. She was one of the first few pegasi to get a doctorate.”
Dr. Patella smiled, and turned to show her cutie mark which appeared to be a skeleton. “I got this back in flight school, I worked the sick ward like nopony's business. No one understood bone structure like me. I went to Canterlot shortly after that to study medicine. I'm actually the fifth ever Pegasus to get a doctorate.”
“And the only one to practice medicine after getting said degree,” Twilight reminded her.
“Well there's that, but I seem to have picked up the snooty attitude of the stuffy Unicorn professors, Twilight here is one of the only Unicorns I met there that wasn't too stuck up for her own good, and sometimes I get carried away with the high and mighty doctor act, but enough chat, Twilight what seems to be the problem with our patient here?”
“Well,” Twilight said as she levitated the picture she had made with her machine the previous day. “It seems as if she has a small bone mass growing on her mid upper portion of her cranium,” Twilight pointed to the small, but obvious bump on the picture of Applejacks skull.
“I see, that is interesting, and you say she is a normal Earth Pony, from a normal Earth Pony family?”
“Yes doctor, but why do you ask?”
“Oh come now Twilight, think outside the box for a moment, doesn't the location of this mass look familiar to you?”
“Well yes it looks like, ohhhhh, no, no, no, no, doctor that's just not possible, the Apple family has been nothing but Earth Ponys for generations.”
“What in tarnation are you two going on about,” Applejack demanded, feeling as if she was being insulted somehow.
“Well let's not jump to any conclusions just yet,” Dr. Patella said as she reached intro her bag to pull out a small device. “Let me take a full body scan, and check everything out before we make any assumptions.”
“Doctor, what is that,” Twilight asked transfixed on the small device.
“My apologies Twilight, you left Canterlot just before I got to unveil my newest version of the bone imaging device. This little puppy can do everything the old large models could, and doesn't need a a Unicorn to power it.”
“That's incredible doctor, how in Equestria did you manage that,” Twilight said incredibly excited and transfixed on the newest version of the bone imaging device.
Dr. Patella smiled a bit, “Later Twilight, for now let me get started on this, it will take me a few minutes since I want a full body scan.”
“OK,” Twilight said, a little disappointed, and sat down to watch the procedure.
Three minutes later, after Dr. Patella was done hovering around Applejack with the strange device, it was time to look at the results.
“Well this is very curious,” Dr. Patella said, looking at the small readout on the device.
Unable to get a good view Twilight was trying to look over her shoulder to see, “What is it doctor, I can't see.”
“Well, based on the patients family history, what I'm seeing here doesn't make much since.”
“Your not seriously saying that... that' just not possible!”
“What in the hay are you two going on about already,” Applejack almost yelled feeling extremely frustrated.
“Well you see, brace yourself Applejack, this is going to be hard to swallow, but it seems that you are growing a horn.”
“WHAT,” Applejack nearly fell over in shock. “You can't be serious doc, like Twilight told ya, the Apple family's been Earth Ponys for generations, we go back farther than Granny Smith can remember.”
“And based on that information Twilight and myself were very skeptical at first, but,” Dr. Patella leaned over and showed the device to Twilight and pointed to something on the screen. “Twilight based on what you see right here, what would you make of this mass.”
Twilight studied the screen for a moment. “By Celestia she's right, this mass is filled with the same semi-porous substance that Unicorns horns are filled with. Applejack you are a Unicorn.”
“Precisely,” Dr. Patella gave a broad smile. “You seem to be one of the rare cases of a very late blooming Unicorn. You are probably the tenth ever documented case.”
“That's just...” Applejack trailed off thinking of what this could mean.
“Don't worry Applejack, you will be fine,” Twilight said holding back some enthusiasm at another one of her friends suddenly being a Unicorn. “I'll help you understand all about magic,” Twilight gave a bit of a squeal and said, “oh this will be so much fun!”
“Calm yourself Twilight,” Dr. Patella turned to face Applejack, “there is till every chance she won't be able to perform magic, only half of the late blooming Unicorns documented were actually able to perform magic after their horns developed.”
“How can someone just become a Unicorn,” Applejack said in a skeptical voice.
“I understand why you're skeptical here, but believe me it can happen. In fact while studying for my doctorate I had the privilege of seeing one of the previous nine documented cases get studied.”
“Studied,” Applejack got very nervous at the sound of that word.
Twilight chimed in to calm Applejack down, “don't worry Applejack, we are just going to observe your horn coming in, and if you can use magic, then the degree of difficulty or ease that you have in performing spells, we won't do anything invasive,” she glanced at Dr. Patella, “Right doctor?”
Noticeably disappointed the doctor said, “of course not, you will be free to do as you please, all we ask you let us know of the growth of the horn and your progress of learning and implementing magic. Oh and if you would be so kind, donating your body to science so that after you...”
Twilight gave the doctor a hard nudge to the side. “What the doctor meant was, I'll help you develop your magic, and I'll send the results to her, right doctor?”
Once again noticeably disappointed the doctor sighed, “of course, I'll be looking forward to your reports, Twilight.”
“I promise to keep you informed,” Twilight said, relieved to see the doctor not pushing the donating to science point.
“Wait one moment, don't I get a say in any of this,” Applejack asked, getting angry at the finality that both of them were speaking with.
“Well Applejack,” Twilight began, “there isn't anything we can do to stop the horn from growing in, after it has fully grown I'm sure we could have it surgically removed if that is really what you want, but if it would bother you that much to have me report on it in the mean time I don't have to.”
At that Dr. Patella began to open her mouth to protest, but was stopped by Twilight's next words.
“However if you won't let me follow it's growth, I can't really help you use, or for that matter control your magic. It can be tough to control newborn Unicorns when they get magic bursts, it will probably be even more difficult for you to control, considering your age and how fast it seems to be growing in.”
Applejack stopped to consider this for a moment, but plenty long enough to drive Dr. Patella into a frenzy waiting for her answer.
“All right,” Applejack finally answered hesitatingly. “But just till I can get the darn thing removed.”
“Yes,” Dr. Patella shouted then remembered her company, “I mean, I'll be looking forward to your reports Twilight, in the mean time I'll go show these images to all my colleagues, they'll be soooo jealous.
Before Applejack had time to protest Dr. Patella had flown out the door on a path straight to Canterlot.