2w, 2dThe Phoenix Rising Club
I woke up early in the morning, feeling quite eager about today's tour of Ponyville. Even though I already knew what it looked like, it would still be quite amazing to see it with myself. I stretched my limbs out, and got up off the couch. I slowly started becoming awake, and began to notice a smell wafting throughout the room. It smelt like somepony was cooking. Oh, right! Spike always gets up early to make breakfast. I began to sleepily walk into the kitchen. I noticed a dining table, and took my seat. Spike immediately noticed my presence.
"Oh, wow, you're up much earlier than I expected. How'd you sleep on the couch?"
My brain was still tired, and I had some trouble thinking of a good answer. "Meh...it was ok, I guess..."
"Still a little tired, are we? You have any nightmares?"
"I don’t think so...why?"
Spike had just finished making breakfast and was beginning to set the table. "That couch always seems to do that. Well, it did for Twi. She's sometimes been so tired that she sleeps on the nearest comfy object nearby. She'd always have nightmares while she slept on it, but they weren't so bad as to wake her up. They seemed to shake her up a bit though, and she's avoided sleeping on it since."
"That's quite interesting, to say the least. What does Twilight think?"
"Oh, she just thinks that it's just coincidence. I'm not so sure myself; they’re her only nightmares in a very long time. I think it's the couch that causes them."
"That sure does pose a few questions. Do you know what they're about?"
Spike shook his head. "She'll never tell me. She just ignores me now whenever I bring it up. I should expect as much, she has never been very open with anypony, even me." Spike sighed. "Still, you can’t blame her. You seem to know why, so I don’t have to explain it to you."
I nodded, and thought back to when I had to coax her out of the bathroom. It was quite depressing, knowing somepony whose fillyhood was filled with over-expectations and failures. That's definitely not what fillies and colts should have to deal with at that age. The fact that Twilight had survived all of that, without losing her mind or worse, made me have more respect for her. I couldn't possibly imagine going through that, even if I did go through that. Not like I would know if I did or not back when I was...human. If only there was some way to get it all back...
Two different thoughts went through my head at that moment. One was a question for Twilight, so I would save that for later. The other one, also a question, was for Spike to answer.
Spike had begun to place food onto the table. "What is it?"
"Well, do you remember that one pony that visited, Eclipse? What she wanted?"
Spike thought for a moment, and then had a light bulb moment. "Oh, right! She was after some human who had made their way into Equestria. Quite unusual, don’t you think?"
"Yeah, about that human...I know where he is, and who he is as well."
Spike didn't look as surprised as I thought he would. "Really? We can go find him and give him to Eclipse! Maybe she'll give us a reward..." Spike started to daydream, most likely about receiving a delectable jewel as a reward.
"I don’t really think that's going to happen..."
That snapped the dragon out of his fantasies. "What? Are you trying to protect him or something? He some sort of ruler, or maybe has some sort of unusual power, or-"
"No, that's not it at all. The truth is that...well, I'm the human."
Now he became as surprised as I thought he would. "WHAT!? How can that be? You're a pony, obviously! There's no way you can be human!"
"Look, I have as much of any idea than you at how I'm a pony. All I know, I was a human before, I'm a pony now. I don’t remember much else. I've only been remembering bits and pieces these last days, but I need to find out the rest. And I was hoping that-"
"-that Twilight could help you, right? I'm sure she could do something. She does have that memory spell....and you're absolutely sure that this human, the one Eclipse is looking for, is you?"
"Guaranteed sure. I just have to somehow explain everything to Twi. I'm definitely going to need her help..."
"Help with what?"
I spun around, only to find that Twilight was standing right in the doorway. She looked almost exactly the same as when I first met her yesterday, except her eyes were much less threatening. Her mane was quite in need for a good brushing, along with some patches of her coat. Although she stays up late almost every night with research, she didn't look any sort of tired at all. Could be that her body is just used to the lack of sleep.
I noticed that Twilight was still staring at me, expecting an answer. I quickly tried to think of something to say.
"Oh, um, nothing. I don’t need help with anything. Nothing at all!"
She squinted suspiciously, knowing that something was up. "Just so you know, I was standing right here the whole time you mentioned that."
Well, that explains why she could tell I was lying.
"Wait, how much did you hear?"
"Oh, just the end of it. Also, who's Eclipse?"
This time, it was Spike's turn to speak. "She was just some mare who came along looking for a human. Apparently, he somehow got into Equestria. She didn't really fill us in on any details, including what they planned to do with him."
"A human? Here? Doesn't that seem a little odd to you? What would a human be doing here anyway?"
Spike perked up. "Well, if you want to find out, why not ask him yourself?"
"Spike, what are you talking about? That human could be dead for all we know, maybe filling the stomach of a hydra. We couldn't possibly try looking for him, where would we start?"
"I know exactly where to start, Twi. Why don’t you ask our-"
I placed a hoof over the dragon's mouth, afraid he was going to give me away. "Uh, Spike? Can we talk...in private please?"
I removed my hoof, and was met with sputtering sounds. Once he had finished, Spike replied, "Uh, sure, I guess."
I turned to Twilight, who was standing with a confused look on her face, "Please, excuse us."
I led Spike out of the room, then turned on him. "What are you doing in there?"
"What? Can’t I tell her? She deserves to know!"
"Yes, I know, but won’t she freak out? She's been going through a lot lately, so I don’t think now is the best time to tell her something as big as this."
Spike was pondering as I said this. "Yeah, maybe you're right. We'll keep it between us." He pauses. "Maybe we should go back into the kitchen, before Twi gets suspicious."
I nodded. "Right. Let's go."
We walked back inside the kitchen, but couldn't find Twilight anywhere inside. The space where she stood was empty, with no sign of her ever being there. Spike and I gave each other confused looks, neither of us knowing where she went. We both heard a shuffle behind us, turned to face it, and saw Twilight reappearing from an invisibility spell. She was giving us both dirty looks.
She first looked at Spike. "Spike, you KNOW I hate secrets being kept from me. Especially if they are going to be revealed to me anyway!"
Then she turned to me. "And YOU! Why do you suddenly start keeping secrets? Are you part of some sort of rebellion against Celestia, and gaining the trust of her star student is your first step? Well, I've finally figured you out!"
I tried to butt in. "Twilight-"
She didn't hear a syllable, and continued to "rat me out". "You won’t be able to catch Celestia off guard now, not while I still live! I'm going to write to her RIGHT NOW, and she'll take care of you, ohhhh yes she will!"
I tried again. "Twilight! Listen to me!"
She heard me this time, but refused to listen, and began to walk upstairs. "Why should I listen to you? You've obviously poisoned Spike with your talk, so I won’t fall for it! You better say your goodbyes to your fellow traitors, while you’re not on the moon!" With that, she galloped upstairs. I didn't want to start attracting attention to myself, especially not from the Princess herself! So, I did what I had to. I galloped up the stairs myself and reached Twilight Sparkle. Still galloping, I made a diving tackle towards her, and forced her into the ground. She immediately began to struggle, but I was able to keep her on the ground, immobile. She began to scream out words.
"Get OFF me you traitor! You have NO IDEA-"
Suddenly, a voice roared out, one that didn't originate from either of us. "TWILIGHT SPARKLE!"
I immediately could tell who that voice came from, but had no time to react. A blinding light filled the library, and I lifted up my hooves to shield my eyes away. Twilight took the opportunity and escaped my grasp. She threw me off her and ran towards the blinding light. By the time she had reached it, the light had solidified into a shape.
It was none other than Princess Celestia herself!
Twilight bowed to the Princess, but immediately raised herself and began talking a mile a minute.
"Princess! You have to help me! There's a rebellion being raised against you, and their agents are trying to foalnap me! You have to do something before they succeed in overthrowing you! Increase the number of patrols, send out search parties, and do something, ANYTHING! If you-"
Celestia raised her hoof to silence Twilight. "Twilight, please! Calm down! Now, what's happening? You said something about a rebellion?"
Twilight nodded furiously. "Yes! Right there, that stallion is trying to foalnap me! He's part of the rebellion!"
Celestia glanced at me, with a fury in her eyes I have never seen before. She began advancing towards me, horn beginning to glow faintly. I began to cower, hoping that my end would be swift and painless. She stood over me like a giant, horn glowing more fiercely now. Her head started lowering down towards me, and angled her horn in my direction. I shut my eyes, expecting her to run me through with her horn. What I felt was much different. It was just a slight tap, followed what sounded by a gasp, then the feeling of my body being whisked away.
After flying through air for a short time, I felt solid ground beneath me. It was grainy, but solid all the same. I looked, and found myself at a familiar beach. Once again, to my right and left were a male and female. Their features were more distinguished, and I felt I was looking at two friends who I hadn't met in many years. They both turned and smiled at me before vanishing into smoke, just like last time. Instead of feeling endless amounts of sadness and despair, I felt...nothing. It was a numbing sensation, and I couldn't move an inch. Suddenly, it was gone. I glanced around, unable to see much beyond where I stood. I attempted a step, and a feeling of warmth flooded over me. I took step after step, the intense feeling growing stronger as I reached one of the darkened sides of the beach. As soon as I tried to pass into the dark area, intense cold and pain flooded in as many quantities as walking along the beach did. I pulled back into the visible part of the beach, and the pain and cold ended immediately. Unable to continue, I tried to see into the darkness, but to no avail. I was just about to attempt another try at entering the darkness, until a very bright light appeared next to me. I stared at it, not feeling any pain from the blinding capabilities. I felt entranced by it, almost as it was calling to me. It began to move towards the darkness, lighting its surroundings as it went. I followed it, almost in a trance. The darkness lit up as we continued, any darkness touched by the light was cleared up, and became visible to me. As more and more darkness was cleared, I began to notice shapes and objects were the darkness had been. There were baby products, child toys, and multiple other things. I couldn't imagine what these could possibly be, or who they belonged to.
I noticed the orb stop up ahead. I walked up to it, and it seemed to motion me to something. I looked where it seemed my attention was supposed to be, and found a letter. I reached down to pick it up, grasped it, and brought it up to my face. It was addressed from someone named "Grandpa", but I knew it was just a title. As I opened the envelope, I found a single piece of paper inside. I skimmed through it, and found just small talk of nothing important. As I reached the end, I saw the name of who the letter was for. At the conclusion, there wasn't any 'sincerely' or 'love' or anything, just a name. A name I hadn't heard in a while now.
Camoran Parker. My name.
All of those belongings, those were mine! But, what were they doing here? Where was "here" anyway? What was my purpose here? Nothing seemed to make sense, and my new friend didn't have any answers either. Well, it might've, but I never got the chance. I had looked up to ask it these questions, but it was long gone. I scanned around, but say nothing but black. The field of black began to close in around me, blocking off my exit to the beach and surrounding me. I was eventually sucked into the pitch blackness, and immense cold and pain washed over me again. There was no escape, my only option was to suffer the pain and hope it ends soon.
For once, my hopes were answered.
The pain ended, and I found myself lying on the ground. I snapped my head up, gasping for air. I was back in the library, right where I had been. I caught sight of Celestia in front of me. She was slumped over, breathing heavily, and wasn't responding to Twilight's questions, who was standing right over her. Twilight looked over at me, and gave me a disgusted look as she saw I was conscious. She trotted over and started screaming words at me.
"What the BUCK did you do?! You just injured our PRINCESS!! How could you sabotage her like this? You have NO IDEA what you're in for now. I swear in Celestia's name I will DESTROY YOU for this! You're rebellion will fall, along with every single one of your friends. I can guarantee you that-"
Celestia had heard every word that came out of her mouth. She had regained enough strength to stand, and enough energy to finally speak out. She continued her lecture to her favorite student.
"Don't blame this pony for my condition. In fact, please do me a favor and don't blame him for anything! There is no rebellion, he wasn't foalnapping you, and he definitely didn't try and sabotage me."
Twilight attempted to argue. "But, Princess! I saw him, he-"
"No, Twilight. He wasn't attempting anything of that sort. It was all just a misunderstanding! Trust me on this, Twilight. He means no harm."
"How can you be so sure, Princess?"
"I-I saw the same thing you told me about Twilight. When you had experimented with your spell on him. You had sent me a letter describing the spell, and I got to learning it right away. I had decided to try it on him for myself, to see if you were correct in your letter. I saw the same, if not more. His mind is truly broken, and there is nothing to be done about it. His whole mind is clouded, and there doesn't seem to be a way to help. I'm sorry, but it just seems that he-"
They were obviously talking about me, and I had to know what they were talking about exactly.
"Um, I don't understand. What about my mind?"
Celestia swiveled her head. "Oh, I'm sorry! I had forgotten you had awoken. As to answer your question, everything you heard is quite accurate. It seems as though your mind is clouded, filled with a "smoke", for lack of a better word. It's been blocking you of all of your memories. It's not a natural thing, like amnesia, but magical in every sense. Until a remedy can be found, your memory will be the same as it is now."
"That's the thing though! There IS a way, I know it. I had experienced it while I was lying here."
Celestia's eyes went wide. "Tell me, what happened?"
So, I told her about the beach, the darkness, the blinding light, everything I could remember. Celestia kept a focused eye on me, as if focusing on every single word that passed my lips. Twilight, who still hadn't fixed herself from breakfast, stood behind Celestia, watching my every move, still worried that I would attack her.
"...and I think that the light might've been you searching inside my mind."
Once I had finished, Celestia kept staring, her mind processing this information. Finally, she spoke.
"So, did you remember anything?"
"Just one thing. My name."
Celestia looked aghast. "Even your name was gone? That is some powerful magic that is tampering with your memory. Anyways, what is your name? I don’t think I've seen you before."
I scratched behind my head. "Yeah, I'm kinda new here..."
"Oh, well why didn't you say so? I'm-"
"Princess Celestia, I know." I realized how rude that sounded, and tried making up for it. "Oh, sorry, I didn't mean to cut you off. I'm having a tendency to do that now..."
Celestia looked puzzled. "Why is that?"
Twilight answered before I did. "He believes he already knows everyone here, yet he knows nothing about himself! It doesn't make any sense."
"That is quite strange. But, I want to put that knowledge to the test. I want to see how much you really know!"
Celestia gave me a competitive smile, and took a seat next to Twilight, who also sat down. The situation had suddenly turned into a game show. Celestia cleared her throat and spoke.
"Now, I'm going to ask one thing and one thing only. What do you know, if anything, about me?"
That question shocked me, as I expected her to ask about one of her fellow subjects. Either way, I knew exactly what to say to her question.
"Well, I can definitely tell you about your relationship with Discord, and your past history with him too."
The princess frowned at what I had said, not of sadness, but of defeat. Twilight looked up at her teacher with a quizzical look on her face.
"P-princess? You have a history with Discord?"
She didn't answer. She instead stared at me, waiting for me to continue. I didn't keep her waiting for long.
I talked about how they first met, and how badly Celestia had broken Discord's heart. I moved on to his transformation of which he is now, the chaotic monster that enjoyed the unhappiness of other ponies. I referenced the battle between the alicorns, how he had utterly destroyed them. Well, all but two. Celestia and Luna had survived, and began to bring back order to Equestria. Discord was beaten at every turn, and was forced to fight the two princesses head-on. He horribly underestimated them, and was incarcerated into stone. The last thing he had ever seen was the face of the one he loved, the one who had destroyed him and made him into the monster that he is. All the while I was telling this story, I observed Celestia's reactions. I saw only one.
The entire story, she had hung her head, unable to look at anything but her hooves. I saw a few tears come forth down her muzzle, and she made no attempt to hide it. Twilight had started to notice, and began to comfort the alicorn. Finally, I had finished the story, eliciting more than a few tears out of Celestia. I felt horrible for bringing up that memory, as it's obviously haunted her since then. I approached her, preparing my apology, but she spoke first.
"No, please don’t apologize. It's my fault. All of it is my fault. I was just so naive back then. I couldn't see anypony past their appearance, and it really affected some ponies. Discord was the worst case I had seen. Most would just never talk to me anymore or just avoid me, but Discord took it to a new level. I just had to stop him, but there was no other way than entrapment in stone. It just killed me do have to do that to him...I-I don’t think I'll ever be able to forgive myself for it..."
I saw a glint in her eye, one filed with determination. Suddenly, she got up and said, "I'm sorry, but I really need to go. I have to...take care of something..."
Her horn flashed, and she was gone. I still felt horrible for doing that to her, even if she had asked for me to do so. I just couldn't bear to stand it, and I felt like a nap was in order. I turned to start trotting away, but Twilight stopped me.
"How...how did you do that?"
"You just...made her cry. I've never seen her cry before. I almost cried myself too...how did you know that?"
I sighed. "Honestly, I'm not sure, nor will I be sure. Not with this brain at least."
"I-I can help you with that, you know..."
I shook my head. "I don’t think your remembrance spell will work on something of this magnitude..."
She shook her head too, improving the style of her hair. "No, I mean the spell Celestia performed. I taught her how to do it, technically. I could try to get into your mind and help improve your memory too!"
I smiled. "Well, I would appreciate that, but that will take everything out of you. It almost knocked out Celestia even!"
"I'll be sure to be careful." She was quiet for a while, staring down at her hooves. She finally spoke up. "Hey, thinking about earlier this morning, what were you two hiding from me? If I'm going to find out about it later, I'd rather find out sooner."
I sighed again. Might as well! "Fine, you heard about Eclipse, right? How she's looking for a human?"
"Yeah, still don’t know what she'd want with one, but yes, I remember."
"Well...I think that...I'm the one she's looking for..." I braced for an outburst from her, but heard nothing. I cracked open my eyes, and found her staring back, eyes wide open and pupils filling most of the space in her eyes. It reminded me of an episode, although I couldn't recall it this moment. She kept staring at me with those eyes, until I was certain her face had frozen like that. Finally, she spoke.
"Not in the slightest!"
Her eyes, somehow, got even larger. "That's...just...wow. There hasn't been a human here in pony history! We can finally perform experiments, do tests-"
"Um, Twi? I'm obviously not a human anymore..."
Disappointment fell across her face. "Oh, right...well, least we can do is try to get your memory back, I guess."
"Yeah, sure. Anyway, it's only morning still. I'm planning on taking a much needed nap, but maybe you can show me around today like we planned?"
"Sure! I'm not going to try and quiz you now, since you seemed to have proved yourself. My friends, however, might test you themselves. Just a warning."
I waved it off. "Don’t worry, I got something for them all. They'll believe before long!"
She giggled. "Well, ok. Enjoy your rest!"
I smirked. "I'll try to enjoy it, if I don’t get nightmares from your couch."
She facehoofed. "Don’t even get me started on that..."
I laughed, and climbed onto the couch and attempted to drown out everything but my thoughts. If I had this, this "smog" floating around in my mind, how come I still remembered everything from the show? A mystery better left for when I wake up later, I thought. I fell into a dreamless sleep, but not exactly nightmareless...