• Published 17th Sep 2014
  • 1,910 Views, 33 Comments

Fallout Equestria: Days Long Gone - Raikage77



Back in the old world it was World War 3, then I ended up in this world, thinking it would be different. I was wrong. I geuss it really true what they say. War ...it never changes.

  • ...
7
 33
 1,910

Memory-6: First Of Her Kind

Memory-6: First Of Her Kind

"It is impossible not to feel loss, rather it's loss of love or loss of life, we must all go through that pain. But, it's up to us rather we endure it or give into grief."

The sun was shinning overhead, and the rocking motion of the train seemed to have a calming effect. I sat in the seat closest to the window, with my head leaned up against the glass. The past few weeks had to have been the hardest time of my life. Finding out that Rose Blossom was gone ...it hurt, and I mean it hurt bad.

It felt like a cold pit was in my chest whenever I thought about her. The only thing that seemed to make anything feel better, was the burning sensation of apple whiskey. It was too bad that drinking was not allowed on the train, if it was I'd probably be drinking at the moment, rather then starring out the window, watching as the hills passed by.

Babs Seed was sitting across from me, quieter then I've ever seen her. No jokes. No conversation; I guess I was just giving off that aura that said: leave me the hell alone. When she had first found out about Rose, she was devastated, my little girl was a huge part of her life, and even though Babs wasn't around all the time, Rose looked up to her, sorta like a mother and sister in one, Babs had even been there when I first adopted her.

We were on our way to Ponyville for Rose Blossom's funeral. I wanted her to be buried there, a place where she had the most fun, and felt the most safe, the small rural town was the best place I could think of.

Rather it was running around helping Fluttershy with her animals, or harvesting apples at Sweet Apple Acres, we loved it there. The home of my best friends, and the place I spent majority of my teen years.

After a half hour of so of quiet, Babs finally decided to speak. And I was sorta happy she did.

"Hey, do ya remember that time last summer, when the three of us went stargazing," she brought up, smiling a bit. "We all had a blast. It was close to Fluttershy's cottage, right?"

I nodded. "Yeah, that's actually where I wanted Rose to be put to rest." I smiled at the memory, the telescope I had gotten Rose Blossom for her birthday was still in her bedroom. "Rose ...she loved that hill. Before you went with us, we went stargazing there whenever we visited Ponyville with Fluttershy, and even Big Mac a few times."

"Really? I didn't know that," Babs replied.

I sighed, and starred back out the window as I spoke. "I-I wanted us to do that again, when she got back for school break. You should have read the letters, Babs, she was having so much fun there ...I ...I," I stopped and let out a shaky breath, a few tears welling up in my eyes. I quickly whipped them away with my shirt sleeve. "I don't know what to do anymore Babs ...where do I go from here? I miss her so much."

Babs Seed placed a comforting hoof on my lap. "I know you do. I do too. But, it's gonna be alright. And I'm here for you, ya know that."

Sniffling, I gave a nod. "Thanks, Babs. I'm really happy your here for this, I can't thank you enough for all the help you've been to me."

"There's no need to thank me, we're friends, crusaders forever and all that. It's what we do for each other," Babs said with a smile. "No matter how much changes, friendship will always stay the same."

"I know. But, even so, thank you."

The train pulled to a stop at Ponyville station an hour or so later. I stood up and grabbed both my and Babs Seed's luggage, then we walked off the out the car with the rest of the passengers. I looked around for a moment, and smiled when I saw that two of my best friends had come to meet us. Big Macintosh and Apple Bloom began trotting over, after finally taking notice in us. We met them half way.

"Hey, cousins." Babs Seed hugged Apple Bloom and Big Mac, and the two farm ponies returned it.

"Hey, Babs. How ya holdin' up?"

After they ended the hug, Babs gave a small smile. "I'm as fine as I can be, I wish I could have visited under better circumstances."

Big Macintosh nodded. "You an' us both." He turned his attention to me, and stood up on his hid-legs, giving me one of those hugs you'd give to a brother. It caught me off guard for a moment, but I didn't push away, I just leaned into it. "Ah'm sorry for yer lose, Steven. When Ah heard about it on the radio ...Ah couldn't believe it. We all care for 'er, but ya loved that filly ta pieces. Ya were th' best father a child could have."

"Thanks, Mac."

He pulled back out of the hug, still keeping his hooves on my shoulder. "If ya need somethin', anything at all, let me know, ya hear?" I smiled and nodded. Big Mac got down on all four hooves, and using his head, signaled for us that it was time to go. "Let's head on home, everypony is wantin' for us at th' farm."

And with that, we began our walk from the train station through Ponyville. The rural town didn't seem to ever change. But, there seemed to be a sadness in the air, the town wasn't as peppy up as it usually was. As we went through town hall, I noticed a small mamorial had been made.

I stopped and starred at it; the wooden poll was surrounded by lit candles and stuff toys, along with other kids things. On the was a sign that read: To the victims of the Little Horn Massacre, may Celestia help their souls find peace.

It gave me a happy feeling, seeing what the town had done to honor the memory of all those who had died. There were a half dozen ponies around the hoof-made memorial, some giving their respects, while others were placing hallmark cards and stuffed toys. Among those ponies giving their respects, I saw the Cake kids, Pound Cake and Pumpkin Cake.

I felt relief, knowing that that the filly I had helped babysit from time to time had made it out alive; Pound must have been trying to comfort her, because Pumpkin looked miserable. I decided to talk to her, and at least try and make her feel better. I hated seeing her like this.

"Guys, hold up a minute," I called out, before the others could get too far. They stopped and turned to me, as I continued. "Can you wait ...I want to talk to the Pound and Pumpkin for a minute."

Big Macintosh looked over in their direction, then gave a nod. "Go on, we ain't goin' no where without ya."

"Thanks." I walked over to them and placed my bags on the ground. "I'll only be a moment." And with that being said, I starting walking over to the memorial. A few ponies placed down a toy and left just as I approached, they stopped and gave me a sad greeting, along with their condolences, before continuing on doing whatever they were doing.

When I got next to the Cake children, I tried greeting them with my best smile. A smile I wasn't feeling in the slightest. "Hey, you two, I didn't expect to see you guys out this early," I said with a waved.

Pound Cake turned to me, a wide smile forming on his face as he launch himself at me. "Uncle Steven~!" He shouted out, hugging me around my torso. "It's great to see you again, I haven't seen you in forever." He looked up at me, his smile giving way to a sad frown. "I-I heard about what happened to Rose. If I was there, maybe I could've beat those bad zebras and saved everypony."

I patted his head. Even if he didn't know the zebras weren't completely at fault here, I appreciated him trying to cheer me up. "I know you would have, champ," I said, before turning my attention to his older sibling. "How is your sister doing?"

Pumpkin let go of me, and began to hover in the air next to my head. "I don't know," he said, sadly. "She won't talk to anypony. Not to mom or dad not even to me, and we tell each other everything. Pumpkin just stays locked up in her room most of the time. I ...don't know what to do."

"I'll try to talk to her, alright."

Pound Cake nodded. "Okay, but if she yells at you. Please, don't get mad."

"I won't, don't worry. It take a lot more then yelling to get me upset," I replied.

I walked over to the quiet filly. She had her back turned to me, starring sadly down at the ground in front of her hooves. I heard her sniffle a little, as if she was trying to cover up the fact that she was crying. I knelled down next to her, and pat her gently on the back.

"There, there, it's okay. Everything's gonna be okay." I didn't feel that way, but if it would help her, I felt I might as well say it.

Pumpkin Cake hiccuped and sniffled. "N-no ...no it's not gonna be okay, Rose Blossom's dead ...all because of me."

"None of this is your fault."

"Yes, it is!" She shouted turning to me, her eyes were red and fresh tears were rolling do her muzzle. The ponies around faced us at the sound of her shouting. "If I hadn't been so stupid and forgotten our project! Rose would still be alive! She wouldn't have had to go to the other classroom to get it! If ...if I had gone instead, Rose would be here right now." She broke down in a fit of sobs.

I picked her up and hugged her to my chest, gently stroking her mane. So that was it, she blamed herself. I guess I should have expected that. "Listen, Pumpkin, I know your hurting. And, I miss Rose, too; I'd give anything to have her back. But, if you had gone instead of her, how would your parents feel? What about your brother?" I said, softly. "The pain of losing someone is hard. Trust me, I know first hand. But you can't blame yourself for something you didn't know was going to happen." I stopped for a moment. "Pumpkin, you're coming to the funeral, right?"

"I-I'm not going," Pumpkin uttered. "It's my fault she died. I can't go. I-I don't deserve to go, and even if I could ...I don't want to see her like that."

I put her down in front of me, and she sniffled, starring back at her hooves. I used my finger to get her to look at me. The last thing I wanted was for Pumpkin Cake to blame herself for this. I didn't want to her have to go through that type of self guilt.

"If you don't want to go, I won't be mad." I said, giving her a sad smile. "But, I think you should. Ya know, to say goodbye to her. You're Rose's best friend, and I would like you to at least think about it. Will you do that for me, Pumpkin?" She glanced down, then gave a slow nod. I ruffled her mane a little. "Thank you. And remember what I said: stop blaming yourself, there are a lot of ponies at fault here, but you aren't one of them."

Pumpkin looked down at her hooves, not saying a word. I gave her one last short hug and stood up and walked over to Pound Cake, who was back on his hooves. "Pound, watch your sister, and try to talk to her when you get home. She might not want to, but let her know that you're there when she's ready to."

He nodded. "Okay, see you later, uncle Steven." Pound gave me one last hug, then flew over to his sister.

When I got back to the others, Apple Bloom was the first one to speak.

"How are th' kids doin'?" She asked.

I sighed. "Well, Pound seems to be okay. It's Pumpkin that I'm worried about," I answered. "She blames herself for what happened to Rose. And from what Pound told me, this is really getting to her."

Big Macintosh shook his head. "Poor girl ...she lost 'er best friend." He said. "Ah felt th' same way when ma and pa died, and Ah even blamed myself for a long while 'til Granny Smith talked ta me." He frowned, kicking one of his fore-hooves in the dirt. "Damn zebras. Ah don't care if they weren't the ones ta start shootin', takin' it out on innocent colts and fillies is jus' low, even fer them."

"And I agree with ya one-hundred percent on that, cuz," Babs Seed added.

"We should probably keep going," I said, picking up the lounge I had left on the ground.

"Yea, we don't want ta keep everypony waitin' on us." Apple Bloom said.

Big Macintosh nodded, and we started back down the dirt road again, headed towards Sweet Apple Acres. As we did, I glanced back and saw Pound hugging his sister. I smiled sadly, they say that tragedy brings people together, and it seemed that the same thing went for ponies.

I just wanted things to get better. For this war to end. I don't think I could take losing anyone else.

XxxxX

Tomorrow was the day.

I was still trying to prepare myself for the funeral, that final goodbye, but deep down in my heart I knew that I would never be ready, no matter how long I took. I had to at least try, though. It's not like I could pull an Edger Allen Poe and keep her body at my bed side until I was ready to let her go.

That would be just creepy, and unnatural.

This was the right thing to do, both for Rose, and even if it hurt, for me as well.

Breakfast had been a quiet affair. There had been a few conversations here and there, but it we mostly ate in silence. I had the feeling that I was still giving off that depressed aura, even when I was trying not to. Afterward, I went out into the orchard with Big Macintosh and Applejack, to try and take my mind off of things for a little while through hard labor.

Thud!

The sound of hooves connecting with wood came from under the branches were I sat. Applejack another swift buck, and the apples from the next tree over went falling into the wooden baskets below. At the moment, Big Macintosh was else where, taking care of another part of the orchard.

As I sat on a branch on the highest part of the tree I was in, a small radio played on a wood cart that would be used to take all the baskets of apples to the barn when we were done with the harvesting.

"-And now, for the news." The radio stallion from Canterlot spoke when the last song had ended. "Folks, I'm certain you've all heard about the tragedy that happened a few weeks ago. What some are now calling the Little Horn Massacre, if not, then you'd best clear ya ears, or read a damn newspaper for Celestia's sake."

"Anyway, I've just gotten some info from sources inside Canterlot castle; it seems that some very important ponies from the solar court and the lunar court are calling out to the princesses to put Equestria into a full scale war. ...Yeah, you heard me, folks. There's a chance the zebra nation will officially become our enemies. But, is that truly what we want?" There was a pause, as if he was waiting for someone to answer the question. "No, no it is not, my follow ponies. Ya see, if we go to war, not only will we be paying taxes from hell, but there will be even more lose of life then ever before. So before you patriotic ponies out there go signing forms for the military, I want you to stop and think for a moment, ask yourselves: what am I really signing up for? And, is it worth my life?"

"This next song goes out to those children who passed away at Little Horn; may you rest in peace, little ones."

"Sleeping on a cloud made out of rainbows,
and what do I see,
The whole world seems smaller, then
I thought it would be,
above me, the stars twinkle in the night
and I thought of you,
Darling child of mine."

I could feel tears starting to well up in my eyes. I was so sick of crying, but I couldn't help it. This was one of Rose Blossom's favorite; the memory was so clear, all the times we'd sing and dance around the living room to Swing songs, me holding Rose up by her fore-hooves so she could dance the same way I did.

I'd never be able to spend times like that with her anymore, and it killed me inside knowing that.

"Damn it. Out of all the songs to play, they had to pick this," I uttered, wiping my eyes with my shirt sleeve. I had been up in this tree for too long, so I began to climb down. There weren't anymore apples to pick, anyway.

When I hopped down from the last branch, Applejack trotted over to me, a worried expression on her face.

"You alright, sugar cube?"

I wanted to say I was, but I couldn't bring myself to do so. "No ...I'm not ready, yet," I said, frowning. "The funerals tomorrow, but it still seems so surreal, you know. This wasn't suppose to happen, Rose wasn't suppose to die, but she did. I know that burying her is the right thing to do, I'm-I'm just not ready to let her go."

"Ah know it's hard." Applejack placed a hoof on my hand. "Everything's gonna be okay."

I gave a chuckle, but it was humorless. "Everyone keeps saying that. I even try to tell myself that. But, I keep finding it harder and harder believe." I didn't feel the need to fix the term 'everyone', simply because I didn't feel like it. Applejack understood what I was trying to say. "What do I do after this? I keep asking myself that. I just can't seem to find an answer, though, even when I talk about it with somepony."

"You'll find a way t' keep goin', Ah promise ya that. It like Granny Smith says," Applejack said with a small smile. "All wounds heal, ya jus' have ta give it time." The cowpony let her hoof fall back to the ground and we got back to work; Applejack was bucking trees and filling the last few baskets with apples, and I took the ones already filled and loaded them into the cart. I was in the midst of doing just that, when I heard my name being called.

It wasn't Applejack, or even anypony else who was on the farm at the moment.

"Steven! Steven!" It was kinda distant at first, but when it got closer I noticed who it was immediately. ...Scootaloo. I sat the wood basket into the cart, and turned towards the sound of her voice; she was flying through the air a few meters away from me and coming in fast. The purple mane mare caught me completely off guard when she hugging me, spinning me in a circle, then coming to a stop, hooves on my shoulders.

I blinked at her, confused. "Scoots, what is it?"

Scootaloo beamed at me. Looking the happiest I'd seen her in days. "You've got to go to Twilight's, like right now," she said with glee. "It's a miracle! A Celestia damned miracle!"

"Calm your wings a moment ...what the hell are you talking about?"

"It's Rose, she's alive!"

I blinked. I didn't know what to think at that. I had to have heard that wrong. "What?"

"What was that ya said 'bout, Rose?" Applejack asked, trotting up next to me.

Scootaloo was more then happy to repeat herself. "I said, Rose is alive! I don't know how, but a doctor came by Twilight's from the hospital and said that two ponies for the funeral home were getting her ready for the tomorrow and she just ...woke up, came back from the dead." She explained. A part of me was filled with more joy then I could stand, but the other part, the more rational part, kept saying not to get my hopes up. That what Scootaloo was saying was completely impossible. Scoots continued. "Now, I don't know all the details, you'll have to ask Twilight. I'm just passing everypony the news."

"Scoots ...your sure you heard right," I asked. I needed to make sure. If my little girl ...if Rose Blossom was truly alive, I'd be the happiest man in the whole world, times ten. "You didn't mishear anything Twilight said?"

"Of course not, I was right in front of her when she told me to come get everypony."

Rose was truly alive …?

I ...I had to see for myself, if this wasn't true the heartbreak might just kill me. But, I was willing to take the chance.

I turned to Applejack. "Are you alright, loading the rest of the cart on your own?"

The blonde mare smiled, giving a nod. "Eeyup, Big Mac should be back any minute now. He'll help me with th' rest," she said, waving a hoof at me. "Now you run along, go see Twilight. It's hard t' believe, but if Twi's calling everypony, it's gotta be true."

I smiled. I was off before another word could be spoken, sprinting towards Ponyville with renewed energy. It was as if I hadn't been working the farm for most of the morning. Along the trail, saw Big Macintosh coming up over the hill, hauling a cart of apples behind him.

The red stallion stopped in front of me. I didn't stop running, though. "What's th' big hurry, partner?" He asked as I passed by.

I turned my head to him. "Scootaloo said that Rose is alive!"

Big Mac raised an eyebrow. "What, now?"

I continued on my way. A few minutes later, Ponyville was coming just over the next hill. I prayed over and over again in my head, hoping to God that this was true. I never believed much in miracles, but if there was one, please let this be it.

XxxxX

"I've never seen anything like this before in all my years. I was a doctor early on in the war during the very first battles, one of which, included a pink cloud attack. The lucky ponies who survived the attack got out of the cloud within a few seconds, those who were exposed longer then a minute suffered horrible internal and external damage, along lung complications. They died a few days later."

The doctor went on as me and Twilight followed him down the corridor towards Ponyville General Hospital's intensive care ward. Spike had been left to take care of things in the library when we had came to the hospital, during our walk, the purple unicorn mare told me what little she knew about the situation. She had sent a letter off to Princess Celestia, informing her of what had occurred before I had arrived, and in return, the princess had sent back a letter of her own, saying that she would be coming to Ponyville as soon as she could.

I couldn't help but grow more and more nervous. I was happy; the doctor had confirmed that Rose Blossom was indeed alive. What made me nervous, though, was the fact that he also added there being something seriously wrong with her. We turned down the next hall, into the corridor of the intensive care ward.

Walking through the hall, we passed doors with different numbers and names on them: 16, 25, 34 and finally, the door we stopped at, room 101. In bold black the name 'Rose Blossom' posted under it.

I reached out for the nob to entire. My little girl was right on the other side. But, the doctor's voice stopped me. "Before you go inside," he began, suddenly. "I'd like to warn you. Rose Blossom, is having a hard time."

I dropped my hand and turned to him. "What do you mean?"

"It's nothing life threatening, is it?" Twilight added.

The stallion sigh, fixing the glasses on the bridge of his muzzle with a hoof. "As I've explained before, the pink cloud does both internal and external damage. Rose's internal wounds are healing at an alarming rate. But as for the external damage, that may never heal, it may even get worse if not treated." He said, sounding as professional as a doctor should. "Her body was badly scared, she also suffering from mane and coat loss. I wanted to keep this from her until you showed up, but one of the nurses reacted quite hysterically when entering her room. Poor girl saw her reflection for the first time. She ...didn't take it well. Rose won't let anyone in her room, so we can't examine her further."

"I-I see. I'll go in first then, and talk to her," I muttered. Turning back to the door, I rose my fist to it, pausing for a moment, taking a breath, then knocked.

Knock! Knock! Knock!

"Go away! I told you all to leave me alone!" Rose Blossom's voice came through the door. She sounded like she had been crying.

"Baby girl, it's me."

"D-daddy ...?"

"Yeah, it's me, baby girl," I answered. "Can we come in."

"I-I don't know-."

"Please, I want to see you, Rose."

"I ...okay, b-but only you daddy. No pony else!" A moment later, I heard the door unlock.

I sighed, and turned to Twilight and the doctor. "Sorry, you heard her."

The doctor waved a hoof, dismissively. "Don't worry about us, Mr. Steven. If that's what she wants we won't argue with it."

Twilight nodded. "Go to your daughter. A miracle like this rarely happens," the purple unicorn said, before adding sadly. "There are so many who would jump at a chance like this."

Twilight was right. I was nothing special; compared to what unicorns and pegasi, and even simple earth ponies could do, I wasn't special at all. Asides from my different appearance, I really had nothing going for me. I may have been resistant to magic, but I couldn't use it like Rose or Twilight, I can't fly, and although I'm not weak, I no where near as strong as your average earth pony.

And yet, this miracle was given to me. Out of all the parents who suffered the loss of a child, I got mine back. I was grateful, more grateful for this then anything I'd ever been given before ...but why me?

Did I really deserve such a thing?

I shook my head; thinking things like that wouldn't do me any good. Rose was here, she was alive, and that's all that mattered.

"Your right, Twi. I should cherish this ...no, I'm going to cherish this."

I then turned to the door, and placed my hand on the nob. Then I walked inside and closed the door behind me. The room was medium sized and white, clean of any dirt or foul smells. It was as clean as a hospital room could get; there was a wide window right in front of me, and before that, a big bed with white sheets. Sighing I walked over to the bed and sat down in the chair stationed there. Rose had yet to say a word to me, the reason being she was nothing but a lump, hidden under her blanket.

I reached out and touched her over her blanket, getting a small flinch in response. "Rose, can you come from under there," I asked, gently. "I want to see you."

Rose shook her head quickly. "No, I don't want to."

"Honey, the doctor already told me. I just want to see you," I said, stroking where I could feel her mane through the blanket. "Everypony misses you. I miss you more then anything, even Pumpkin misses you."

"...Pumpkin's okay ...she didn't get hurt?"

"Yep, she's fine, baby girl. Now can you come from under the blanket ...please?"

"O-okay, but promise you won't say anything."

"...I promise."

There was quiet movement of the blanket being shifted, then Rose used her magic to remove it from herself. I practically had to force myself not to gasp as she looked up at me, probably unsure of how I would react to her appearance.

My breath got caught in my throat, and I shakily let it out. As I looked closer, a horrified expression appeared on my features. I was no longer starring at Rose Blossom's face, but at her coat on her upper body and flank. There were large patches of fur missing on her once smooth coat, and some of her mane had fallen out as well. It was horrible, I never expected something like this.

I felt like I wanted to cry, and I probably looked close to doing so. Rose must have been in so much pain, so much agony ...I didn't even want to think about what she had gone through to end up like this.

I reached my hand out to touch her, flinching my hand back a moment later. I didn't want to. I was afraid to. She looked so fragile, I thought that me touching her would cause more of her coat to fall off.

"Rose, you-."

"I know, dad, you don't have to say it," she uttered, looking down at the sheets on her bed. "I'm ugly."

"No you're not, that's not what I was going to say."

"Yes I am! Look at me!" She cried, tears falling from her already puffy, red eyes. "My coats falling out, and even my mane. You always said my mane was pretty, now I'm losing it all."

I placed a hand on her hoof. "It's going to be alright, baby girl."

"No it's not, almost all my friends are dead, and they didn't even do anything. The nurse told me." Rose Blossom sobbed, falling to her hunches. "Firefly, Ladybug, Bluebell ...their all gone. All of them, even Miss Sue."

I leaned over and pulled Rose into a hug, not caring if some of her coat got on me or not. My little girl was hurting. Her appearance had been ...altered, and her friends were gone. I wanted to tell her that everything was gonna be alright. But how could I. I didn't even believe that myself.

"I don't know what to do, dad. I can't go outside. I-I don't want anypony to see me like this."

I sighed. "Baby girl ...I don't even know what to do. I thought I lost you, and here you are. It's not gonna be easy, but I promise, we'll get through this, just stay strong for me, alright?"

Rose Blossom gave a slow nod. I pulled back, then tilted her head up to me my gaze. I smiled. "Now c'mon and give me a big smile, you remember what your aunt Pinkie said, right?" Rose sent me a small smile. I wasn't focused on that, though, what caught my attention was her eyes. Her left eye had a pink taint in the iris, and the whites of her right eye was slightly pinkish. When noticing all this, I continued to smile as best I could. "See, that's the cute filly I remember."

She a sudden frown formed on her muzzle. "Thanks daddy, but, I know your just lying to make me feel better," Rose muttered. "You're my dad, you're suppose to say I'm cute ...even when I'm not."

"Rose-."

"I miss everypony, daddy. I really do." She back-trotted away from me, and used her magic to cover herself with the blanket, leaving only her face exposed this time. "I just don't want to see anypony else right now."

"If that's what you want, it'll just be me and you for today," I said, bring her into another hug, with my ear against her side. "I'll always be here. Whenever you need me. I promise."

"Okay," Rose sighed, leaning into the hug. "I love you, daddy."

"I love you, too, baby girl."

It was then that I noticed something else, something that shocked me to the core. I couldn't hear anything, not the usual pulse or even the lightest pulse. Even though Rose's body was still warm, I couldn't hear her heart beat at all.