24w, 5dNew amazing Memverse side story Jumpers Take A Beach Break 0 comments · 178 views
24w, 6dQ&A 4 Full Teaser! 0 comments · 66 views
29w, 5dMy work place is looking for programmers, database admins, data analysts, etc 4 comments · 84 views
31w, 6dLooking for artists! 3 comments · 75 views
34w, 5dSemi Pony related news everyone. 1 comments · 90 views
41w, 1dBig thanks to my awesome editors and pre-readers! 10 comments · 159 views
41w, 3dHappy birthday Pen Brush! 2 comments · 141 views
42w, 5dNew chapter soon and Pen Brush is ready to make your OC for you! 8 comments · 162 views
44w, 3dYou owe us a new chapter! Get on with it! 10 comments · 175 views
46w, 5dI want your opinion: The ethics of a duplication spell, pool, or similar effect 25 comments · 201 views
It took me over an hour to regain my composure. My hands were shaking and eyes hurt from all the tears. I had never let myself crash like that before. It was exhausting, but it was also like the massive weight on my soul got just a little lighter.
“Alex, let me look at your hands,” Fluttershy ordered. I numbly lifted my hands so she could examine them. She expertly appraised the damage. After almost a full minute, “They'll need some attention. Disinfectant and bandages, maybe a few stitches.” Fluttershy went back to her cottage and returned with her medical kit. She took out a small bottle and some cotton swabs. I could smell the alcohol and winced despite myself. That stuff stings no matter what you do. “You're lucky, no stitches.” Then, with great care, she helped me put bandages on my hands.
“Could I have a moment alone? I just want to collect my thoughts, and I'll be right there.” She went back to her cottage as I looked into the sky, the pegasi were busy clearing the clouds, and there was a beautiful rainbow to go with the glorious sunshine. I sighed and I went back inside. I had to finish this conversation with Ann.
When I came in, Fluttershy was speaking to Ann, but, all I heard was, "Oh, here he is. I look forward to the next time we can speak Ann."
I sat down at the laptop, the screen was still on. She answered, smiling and wiping away a tear. "That Fluttershy is something else. So, how are you doing?"
"Never mind me, how about you? Look, for you it will only be a few weeks, a month tops, don't worry about me. I'll be fine. It's not the first time we've been in this kind of situation. Anyway, look where I am! I mean, it's not like I'm going to be pressed into a slave gang, and I'm fairly sure I won't be on any pony menu." I put on a good half smile, trying to make it easier for her.
Ann blew her nose. "Yes, I know. And, I want to say this now, so don't you dare forget. If you find someone that's kind and loving, please, make a life for yourself. I don't care if they're an elf, or a dwarf, or a pony, I wan..."
I interrupted her, "Stop. We've had this discussion before, and I don't want to have it again right now. I promise that if I ever do, you will be the second one to know. Anyway, like I said, I don't want to have this discussion right now, I have important fish to fry."
I whispered to Fluttershy once I saw the expression on her face, 'It's just a metaphor my people use'.
I paused for a moment rubbing my eyes. "Now that I know I'm here for the long run, I have to setup house. I'll be away for a few hours, your time, so don't panic. I'll be setting up my house, getting established, looking into citizenship, avoiding mobs with pitchforks, all that jazz. So, this world is about 10 minutes per day plus connected time, I'm guessing about two or three hours for me to get things started. Here's hoping the government bureaucracy works better than back home. Oh, and I'll try to record anything interesting I see. When I get back, I'll leave everything connected so I can see Dan."
We continued for a few minutes more. I noticed that Ann didn't ask about my hands. I think Fluttershy had filled her in. She thanked Fluttershy for her kindness, and we said our goodbyes.
I sat quietly and stared at the blank screen for a few minutes. I took a deep breath and let it out. There was no time like the present. It was late morning, and it was now a beautiful day. Without saying a word, I quickly folded and rolled my laptop, and stuffed it in the bag. I quickly rummaged around my pack for my hiking boots, found them, put them on, shouldered my pack, and started leaving. I stopped, standing at the door.
"My dear, kind, Miss Fluttershy. I'll be going to visit Miss Twilight Sparkle. If I remember correctly you mentioned she is a very intelligent, knowledgeable unicorn. I am eternally grateful to you, and will strive to repay you in any way I can as soon as I can, but I have already taken advantage of your kindness and used too many of your resources. My last request would be for you to point me toward Ponyville, and I shall no longer be a burden to you."
Something totally unexpected happened. I found myself looking into the huge, beautiful, angry eyes of an indignant pony, standing on her hind legs so she can look me straight in the eye. "How dare you! How dare you assume you are an inconvenience to me." She prodded me in the chest, and I was a little surprised at the strength of the impact, but I didn't say anything. "If I found you an inconvenience, I would tell you myself, Alex Roberts. You have been nothing but a proper gentlecolt from the moment I met you. You have done nothing but be thankful, grateful, and helpful. You will not tell me what I can and can't think. I will go with you and introduce you properly to my friend Twilight Sparkle. Do I make myself clear mister?" She stood with her fore hooves on her hips, glaring at me.
I blinked at the unexpected tirade and stammered, "Um... er... ok?"
She dropped to all fours with a bashful smile, hiding behind her mane. "My friend Rainbow Dash has been giving me assertiveness lessons. I think they're working."
"I would say so." I grinned, rubbing my chest where she prodded me. "At the risk of getting a second round of that, you have no idea how much it means to me to have you with me."
I was walking a few steps behind Fluttershy, lost in thought. Staying a few steps behind was not hard. I discovered what they call a walk, humans would call a jog. Still, nice day for a jog.
I was mostly thinking about practical things, like what I could do here for lifetime. How could I contribute? They have magic and they live in a utopia. An honest to goodness utopia, not one of those anti-utopias (the Paranoia-verse was a nasty place for the three long days I was there). I mean, I had programming skills but I was no genius. Anyway, I seriously doubt they had any use for a Java programmer, even if I could get back up to speed. I had some wood working and metal working skill, again, nothing exceptional. The only thing I was good at was surviving by any means. Not exactly a marketable skill. Also, I'm starting to think I'm not as physically tough as a pony, which was a little worrying. I wonder if...
My world exploded. Something ploughed into my upper back, knocking the wind out of me. I was thrown off my feet, hitting the ground hard, face in the dirt, unable to breathe. There was a weight on my back, and when my vision cleared a little and I turned my head, I saw a blue and maybe a dash of other colours. My arms were pinned but I was able to start levering one arm.
Me and whatever was on my back yelled, “Run for it Fluttershy!” at the same time.
Whatever was on my back continued, “I've got the monster pinned! Run and get help! I'll keep it here until you get back!"
I yelled, “Fluttershy, I'll keep it busy, run for it!”
I was able to get my arm free and I elbowed it, hard. We rolled away from each other. My hand reflexively readying my knife in my right hand, arcane energies crackling in response to my mental commands. My knees slightly bent, left leg forward, arms loose and ready. A classic combat stance. Thank you Fiore dei Liberi, where ever you are.
Her, I now realized, was getting back on all four hooves, head low, a snarl on her face, wings erect in excitement, and front right hoof pawing at the ground, ready to charge. For a moment, we locked eyes, assessing each other. Her eye flitted over my knife, but didn't linger, they stayed on my eyes. She knew how to fight.
Before either one of us could act, there was an ear piercing shriek, "STOP!" We both turned to see Fluttershy charging between us, standing on her hind legs, one hoof to each of us. "Rainbow Dash! Stop! He's not a monster. He's a friend."
Still looking at her, I put the knife away. I looked down sheepishly and sighed. The best course of action would be to take the 'it was my fault you punched me' route. I dropped to one knee to be a little less towering. "Miss Rainbow Dash? I'm really sorry about this. I didn't mean to sca..." I stopped, remembering a detail from the show, "I mean I didn't mean to take you by surprise. I guess I can be a little intimidating." I gave her a bashful smile.
Rainbow Dash's eyes narrowed, "Well, ya. When I see something huge with bloody knuckles stalking behind one of my best friends... Well, you can see why I did what I did." She looked me up and down again, "So, what are you, anyway? Some kind of pink Diamond Dog with a clothes fetish?"
I snorted, but smiled. "Nope, Alex Roberts, a plain old homo sapien, at your service." I gave her a bow. My expression changed to one of concern. "Are you okay by the way? I hope I didn't hurt you." I had hit her hard enough that, had she been human (or elf, or dwarf) it would have caused a serious bruise, maybe break a rib or two. I know my elbow hurt like the moon, but I tried not to show it. On the other hand, she looked completely unhurt. I filed that away for later consideration.
She then looked at me with a look of confusion and annoyance. "Well, of course I'm ok. It wasn't much of a tap. I'm not some foal you know."
I sighed. "Well Rainbow Dash, since our friend Fluttershy has not been scared off my me, can you take it as a given that I'm not a pony eating monster? An incredibly handsome monster perhaps, but not a pony eater." I smirked. "Tell you what, I'm going to be here a while." Rainbow Dash threw me a puzzled look. "How about we talk about this later. In the mean time, if you don't dive bomb me, I promise not to elbow you." I paused, "Now, how did that go? Cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye." I finished with a palm to my eye and chuckled, "and I'll even shake on it." I extended my right hand palm out, fingers slightly spread.
Rainbow looked at my hand, then looked at my face suspiciously, cocking an eyebrow. "How do YOU know how to Pinkie Promise?"
Fluttershy intervened, "Dashie, it's ok, I'll explain along the way. Right now, we're going to visit Twilight."
She finally, reluctantly, shook my hand. Well, she touched my fingertips with her hoof. Close enough, under the circumstances. "Miss Rainbow Dash, I hope you and I can be friends. And, again, I'm really sorry about hitting you." I shrugged. "Reflexes." She stared at me for a moment, slowly nodded at me, and murmured an ok.
We continued our trip. Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash stayed ahead about 10 paces. I stayed back just to give them some space. I could hear the conversation clearly. Fluttershy was relating my story to Rainbow Dash. While she was listening she occasionally glanced back, her expression a little confused, sometimes sad, sometimes both. She even wiped her nose on occasion, and I think I saw a tear forming once. I just kept a little smile on my face, enjoying the view of the country side. It really was quite beautiful out here. Unsurprisingly, it was far more complex and detailed than what was seen on the show, but everything still looked stylized to me.
I was still walking, when I realized there was a steady stream of air coming from in front of me. Rainbow Dash was hovering, staring at me, with a slightly angry expression. She wiped her nose, then suddenly rushed forward, hugging me hard, her voice cracking, "Don't worry big guy, we'll get you home." She sniffed loudly in my ear.
"Rainbow Dash, I appreciate the sentiment. Having the element of loyalty at my side will help, no matter what happens."
She pulled away. "Hey! My friends call me Dash. And so will you, if you know what's good for you." She grinned, and with a surprising rush of air she flew straight up, did a barrel roll, a loop, and a graceful landing.
I clapped, "That was spectacular! Dash, you're amazing! I hope you let the Wonderbolts join you one day, I hear they're not bad. They would be thrilled."
Rainbow Dash blushed, but answered with bravado and a smile, "You mean if I let them join."