• Published 17th Sep 2014
  • 2,071 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.

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Memory-7: What Really Counts

Memory-7: What Truly Counts

"This facility has only the best of the best, ponies who are trying to make a difference. It was here before the war, and it will be here long after it."

White.

That was the only color that could be seen everywhere I turned my head within my small, but spacious, room. White walls, white floor, white ceiling, even bed sheets were white. The only thing not white in here was the small brown desk that sat near the foot of my bed.

It was almost blinding, but I was slowly getting used to it. The fact that I had a big window I could look outside through helped a bit as well.

The Manehattan Research Facility of Science, that was the name of the place where I would be staying (though dad said it wouldn't be for a long time). During the carriage ride here, Daddy told me what little he knew about it. He said that the scientists here were going to help me. Try to make me better. But it didn't seem like it, I wasn't calling Dad a liar, I know he's loves me and wants to see me get back to the way I was before, I just had a hard time of seeing the scientists as 'helping me' when they constantly stuck me full of needles and starred at me like I was some type of lab experiment gone wrong.

...But, maybe they weren't wrong to look at me that way. The doctors told me, and even my dad agreed, even though it was hard for him to. I should be dead, just like Tea Leaf and Autumn Rain and all my other friends and teachers. I wasn't saved, I didn't get away from the pink cloud.

And yet, here I was. Alive, and at the same time, not very alive at all. I was a freak of nature in every sense of the word. I was a ...I was a monster.

I groaned, and rolled over to my side. This place had everything a pony needed to live, but it was missing one simple thing, there was nothing fun to do. There were no games, or toys and not many ponies to talk to aside from the doctors and the unicorn janitor, Mr. Side Sweeper, he was nice and even brought me candy from outside. It was still boring in here, though. I didn't die from the pink cloud, but I was gonna die from boredom if I didn't find something to do soon.

A few minutes later, I found myself playing with my pillow, kicking it up and down with my hooves. I found myself making a game of it to see how long I could keep it going without dropping it, when somepony decided to mess me up by knocking on the door. The pillow fell flat on my muzzle, and I used my magic to shove it to the side, before sitting up on my hunches.

"Rose Blossom, are you awake?" A feminine voice asked through the door. It was Doctor Isotope, she was sorta nerdy, but not in a bad way, not that nerds were bad.

"I don't need sleep, remember." I uttered. That was another thing that made life in this place boring, I couldn't just sleep the day away like I used to when I had nothing to do, because I never get tired anymore. Sleeping for me in just laying there with my eyes closed, trying to drift off.

"Oh ...right. Well, can I come in?"

"Uh-huh."

The door unlocked and slid into the wall, and there was Doctor Isotope. She was a peach colored unicorn mare, wearing her usual white lab coat with her name tag on the front pocket, and her long, black mane was tied back into a ponytail. The thing that stood out the most was that she wasn't wearing her big rimmed glasses today; she always had them on whenever I saw her, but not wearing them made her look different. In a good way.

She smiled at me as she trotted in, a clip board and pen hovering at her side. "Morning, Rose," she greeted.

"Morning," I said back, returning her smile.

She stopped next to my bed, placing the clip board and pen on the desk. "So, how are you feeling today?" She asked.

"Bored." I answered plainly, sighing. "There's nothing to do here! I don't even have any games to play with!"

Doctor Isotope nodded. "Trust me, I know how boring it can be around here sometimes. If not for all the work I have to do, I'd be at home right now." She said, before whispering. "It makes it worse since some of the others here don't seem to have a sense of humor, but you didn't here that from me." I giggled, understanding exactly where the science mare was coming from. Telling a joke to some of the other ponies here was like talking to a brick wall. Some of them didn't even crack a smile. The peach colored mare leaned up, still smiling. "Anyway, your father is here to visit today."

"Really~!" I hopped up onto all my hooves and leaped onto the white tile floor. "Where is he?"

"In the visiting lounge, he just got here a few minutes ago. He also said he has a surprise for you."

"Oh, wow, this is great. No, more then great, this is awesome!" I said in excitement as I skipped towards the door. "What are we waiting for, let's go!"

"Alright, just calm down a little, Rose," Doctor Isotope said, giggling as she followed me. We exited the room into the hallway, and the door slid shut behind us. The corridor was long, and had multiple rooms running along it, each baring a number. My room was labeled 45, across from that was 44, and right next to me was room 43; most of the rooms were empty since no one had much use for them at the moment.

The hallway was pure white(save for the posters and painting that decorated the wall), and nearly sparkling clean, not a smudge to be seen. It was a testament to how good the cleaning ponies like Mr. Side Sweeper were at keeping the facility germ free and spotless.

We trotted down the hall to the very end where the elevator was. Doctor Isotope pressed the down button with a hoof and we stood there silently waiting for it to arrive on our floor. A few moments later, there was a loud ding, and the elevator doors slid open and we got on.

As the metal cube descended towards the first floor, music played out of the speakers in the top right corner. It was easy to tell who it was, I knew Aunt Sweetie's beautiful voice anywhere.

"-The sun is shinning,
ponies so radiant and warming,
as I take the A-train to Manehattan square.
The clubs are booming,
the cats are chillin' out on the mid-night express!
Taking the A-train, down to Manehattan square!"

I found myself humming along with the song, I hadn't heard it in a while and it was one of my favorite tracks from her last album. Maybe, I could get a radio put in my room, of course I would have to ask the doctors first. But I don't see a reason why they wouldn't let me have one. It was my room after all, Doctor Isotope said so.

Ding!

"I take it you like Sweetie Belle's music?" The mare asked as we stepped off the lift.

I nodded. "Of course, who doesn't like her singing. Besides, her and my daddy are, like, bestest best friends."

"Really, I didn't know that."

"Yep. She visits us sometimes at home when she's in town, and this one time last year, she got me backstage tickets to one of her concerts for my birthday." That had been a great time, being able to watch my idol sing from so close to the stage. Aunt Sweetie even song happy birthday to me on stage in front of the entire audience. I was happy. Daddy was happy. Everything was just as it should be.

I stopped where I was. My thoughts on how much fun I had last year immediately saddened.

Would I ever be able to have fun like that anymore ...the way I was now?

Doctor Isotope must have noticed the saddened expression I had. She trotted next to me, giving me a look of concern. "Rose, are you okay?"

"Yes." My answer changed a moment later. "N-no. I was just wondering if things were going to get better," I starred up at the doctor with desperate, pink eyes. "I am gonna get better, right? Or-or am I going to stay looking like this ...this thing forever?"

The doctor sighed, sadly. "To be honest, hon, I just don't know. No one does. There's never been a case like yours before, most would be long dead, but you lived somehow." Isotope said, putting a hoof on my shoulder. On one of the areas where my fur hadn't fallen off. "But, as a doctor, I can promise you that we're going to try our best to fix whats been done to you. No matter how long it takes."

I smiled sadly. Knowing that Doctor Isotope cared so much for me, a filly that she had only known for a few weeks, now. It made me happy. "Thank you, Doctor."

"There's no need to thank me, little one," Doctor Isotope said. "Our job here is to help the ponies of Equestria have an easier life. Yours included. Even if it wasn't, we would still help in any way we could." She removed her hoof, and began trotting towards the way we were headed before. "Now, let's go see your father. I'm sure he's as excited to see you as you are to see him."

I gave a nod, following behind her. "Right~!"

XxxxX

The visitors lounge was the same way it was the last time I had seen it. A few of the doctors were spending time with their families who came to the facility to visit them; many of the ponies in charge of the big weapons experiments and medicine testing spent weeks away from home, living in the dorms that were provided. I asked Doctor Isotope once why she never seemed to leave, and she gave me a pretty simple answer: "the war could only end if one side wins, or both sides agree on a peace treaty. Since the second scenario was unlikely at the moment, and the war seemed to be getting worse rather then better, it was only logical that the side with the best weapons, medicine and tactics would win. Since the leaders of the military were in charge of tactics, it was up to the Manehattan Facility and other facilities like it to provide stronger weapons and better potions."

It was pretty sad knowing that so many ponies had to stay away from there families and friends to work on weapons meant to kill, but they were also trying to save lives too by making medicine.

In a way, I was sorta torn on how to feel about the whole thing.

...After what happened at school, I couldn't bring myself to care about the zebras much anymore. I used to feel sad for the way they were treated by other ponies. Now a part of me just didn't care.

Did that make me a bad pony?

I don't know. And at this point, it hurt too much to think about.

We walked around the other families happily chatting with each other. Every so often somepony would stop talking and would whisper to one another while glancing in my direction. My ears folded downward as I kept my eyes on the ground to try and block them out. I was beginning to regret coming down here. And all the starring from some of the other kids wasn't making things any better.

"Daddy's not here," I uttered.

"I'm sure he is somewhere around. Let's just find a seat, I'm sure he won't be long." Doctor Isotope replied.

We found an empty table and took a seat, waiting for Dad. A few minutes later, the sound of chatter returned, though not as loud as before. Doctor Isotope tried making small talk with me, and I answered the best I could without making much noise to attract attention to myself.

That was when a younger pegesus foal from the next table over looked at us, before tugging on some middle aged mare's tail(she must have been his mother).

"Mommy?"

She turned her head to the little winged pony. "What is it, Sky?"

"What wrong with her eyes?" He asked, pointing in my direction. This did nothing but drawn the rest of the family's eyes on me. They must have not notice me when me and the Doctor walked in, now they were all just starring.

I felt like curling up into a ball and dying. And what the light red filly said next only made it worse.

"Eww, look at her mane, it's all gross and stringy," the slightly younger filly uttered loudly with a scrunched up face.

The filly's mom turned to her, frowning. "Pepper, that is no way to talk about somepony," she scolded. "Apologize. Now."

"But, Mom, look at her! She so ...ugh! I can't even find a word for it."

That was all I could take. It felt like everypony in the room was starring. Judging me for something I had no control over. My eyes started to water, and I did the only thing I could think of to do.

I ran. I hopped out of my seat and ran for the door as fast as my legs would go and shoved it open the lounge doors as hard as I could manage with my magic.

"Rose Blossom, wait!" Doctor Isotope called out. I could hear her hooves hitting the tile floor just a few feet behind me. I soon found an opened closet, I hurried through the door and closed it behind me and locked it. This was exactly like what had happened at school, only this time it wasn't a pink cloud of death, but the judging eyes and whispers of ponies who didn't understand a thing at all.

The door nob moved a bit, but that was all.

"Rose, sweetie, can you open the door please?"

"Go away!" I shouted through the door. I fell onto my hunches and cried. I didn't went anypony to see me like this, not ever again. I turned to my left, and saw two glowing pink eyes starring back at me. It scared me half to death, before I noticed it was only my reflection in the closet mirror.

I frowned, glaring at the mirror. Ponies talked about me behind my back and gave me looks, but I couldn't even blame them. Just like that filly said, I was disgusting. I was gross. My mane was half gone and discolored, my fur was missing in patches. I couldn't help but think of what all those ponies must have thought when they saw me, both the things I could hear and what I couldn't quite catch.

"Oh Celestia, what happened to her face?"

"Eww, she's so gross looking."

"Her eyes are so weird."

"I should have died," I sobbed. "I should have just stayed dead." That's what I wanted more then anything right now. To go limp and not feel like this ...thing. It was better then having to go through this.

I kept starring at the mirror. And my refection starred right back. Those haunting pink eye, that face, that mane. I hated it ...I hated myself for looking like this, and I hated myself for feeling so much self hate.

What happened next was even weirder. Maybe I had been starring at the mirror for too long in this dimly lite room, because as I sat there sobbing I could have sworn my refection started grinning at me, and I snapped.

"Stop laughing at me!" I encased a paint can at my side in my magic and throw it at the mirror, shattering it almost completely.

"Rose! Open the door right now! Rose!"

I didn't pay attention to the doctor. I sat there breathing heavy and starred down at one of the larger pieces of glass. Maybe I could end it right now, just put the glass up to my neck and pull-.

That was when a few heavy knocks rapped on the door, but it didn't sound like a hoof.

I didn't say anything and the knocks came again, this time with a voice. "Rose, it's me." It was a voice I knew all too well. "Can you open the door, please."

"Dad ..?" I trotted over to the door and opened it slowly with my magic, the door handle encased in a red glow. And there he was, knelling in front of the doorway. The person I wanted to see more then anything in the world; with his blue button up shirt and brown pants, and the same big hair. I leaped up into his arm, my joy of seeing him causing me to momentary forget what I had been feeling previously. "Daddy!"

"Hey, baby girl," Dad said, smiling sadly down at me. Doctor Isotope must have told him what happened. "I'm sorry for not waiting. I had to talk to one of the doctors for a minute and lost track of time."

"Everypony being so mean to me, Dad! I didn't even do anything," I cried as he hugged me. "They just keep starring at me and whispering things about me."

"Shush, it's okay. Everything is gonna be okay." Dad cooed, as he gently rocked me in his arms, stroking my mane. It was something he always did when I felt sad or upset about something, and no matter how old I got, it still worked. "I know what it's like to be starred at and talked about, believe me I do. But it'll get better, you'll see."

"It doesn't feel like it." I uttered, sniffling. "The filly in the lounge said I was gross. And she's probably right, look at me. I'm ugly."

"You are not ugly, Rose." Dad put me down in front of him and gave me a stern look. "Don't you ever think that, cause it's not true."

"Of course you would say that. You're my dad, you're not suppose to agree with the bad things others say about me." I muttered. "You are just saying that to make me feel better."

Dad sighed. "I'm not lying, baby girl."

"Yes, you are!" I backed up a bit, starring him right in the eyes. There was no way Dad still found me pretty, not anymore. "Look at me, Dad, if I'm not ugly. Then what am I, huh?"

"Hurt," he uttered, sadly.

I blinked. "What?"

"You're hurt, Rose. Something terrible happened, and you got hurt," Dad said. "You're not ugly. You're scarred. But, they don't make you ugly, if you don't believe though, then maybe you'll believe her." He finished, pointing off to the side towards Doctor Isotope.

That's who I thought he was talking about at first, but when I turned my head, I was shocked by who I saw standing next to the doctor. Somepony I hadn't seen since the incident at school, my closest friend in the world.

"Pumpkin Cake," I breathed out. She was just sitting there starring at me, just like everypony else, but this time it was for a different reason then to judge me. I knew that because she was crying. "But when ...what ...are you doing here?"

She didn't say a word. Then out of no where Pumpkin Cake darted over to me and pulled me into one of the tightest hugs I've ever gotten in my life. I tensed up from the unexpected contact, but didn't dare push her away.

"You're really okay ...thank Celestia," the orange maned filly sobbed. I could feel her tears soaking my fur. She pulled back, looking into my pinkish green eyes with her tearful blue ones. "We thought you were dead. I-I thought I'd never see you again."

"Pumpkin, what are you doing here," I asked once again, my voice shaky. I didn't want her to see me, not like this.

"What do you mean? I wanted to see you, so your dad brought me with him," Pumpkin said. "My parents said he could."

I shook my head, and backed away from her. "No. No! Y-you can't be here," I stuttered. "You shouldn't have come here."

Pumpkin raised an eyebrow in confusion. "Why not …? What reason is there not to see you?" I didn't answer. I just looked down at the white tile floor. "What, is it because of the way you look, do you really think I care about something like that? So what if you look different. You're my friend. My best friend. I-I thought you were dead, and then by some miracle you are alive. You really think I'd not come see you? What kind of friend do you take me for, Rose!"

I jumped at the sudden change in the tone of her voice.

"I don't care about your apprentice. None of that matters to me," Pumpkin continued as she trotted up to me and gave me another firm, but gentler hug. "I ...I just wanted my friend back."

The tears came and before I knew it, I was crying, returning Pumpkin's embrace. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Pumpkin," I sobbed.

"It's okay, Rose, you have nothing to apologize for," Pumpkin said.

All this time I'd only thought about what other ponies would think of me. What they would say, the way they would look at me. I was so worried about that, that I never occurred to me how my family and friends felt, and how much my death had effected them. Especially, Daddy.

I was being so selfish, and I hadn't even realized it until now.

"See, baby girl, it doesn't matter what other people think. You are you," Dad said with a smile, taking a knee next to Pumpkin. "The ones who truly care about you will never think of you any differently, and that's all that should matter. Actually, now that I think about it," Dad chuckled. "That's the same thing Granny Smith said to me when I was down about the way ponies reacted to me. They never gave me the time of day, always running in fear, boarding up their homes, some completely over the top stuff. And all that starring."

"So ...how did you get over it?" I asked. Pumpkin Cake pulled out of the hug, giving me a small nuzzle that I returned.

Dad gave a thoughtful expression, then shrugged a moment later. "Hmm ...that's a good question. The thing is you never get over it, not really, anyway." He said, "you just learn not to care as much. To focus on other things, like the folks you care about." He stood up, his lips forming a small smile. "That's all I can really tell you, baby girl."

"Oh," I sighed sadly.

"But today's not about other people, ponies, whatever. Today is about you, Rose, and I'm tired of all this stuff, how about we go get some ice cream from the cafeteria. That always helps me feel better."

Dad picked me up and put me on his shoulder, like he always did. As he began walking, I rested my chin on his puffy black hair, breathing in the scent of his Manehattan Party Hardy mane spray(proven to keep party manes fluffy, soft and perfect, no matter the weather). In the midst of this, I remembered something Dad probably forgot.

"Um ...Daddy, I don't get hungry, remember?" I said to him. "I don't need to eat. So you don't have to get me anything. I'm okay."

Pumpkin Cake seemed confused by this. "You don't need to eat," she said in disbelief. "But everypony needs to eat, even the princesses."

"Well, I don't have to anymore."

"Why not?"

I shrugged. "Nopony knows. It's been like this ever since I 'rose from the dead' as the doctors put it." If I had fingers like Daddy did, this might have been a good time to add air quotes. "I don't need sleep, either."

Pumpkin's expression, saddened. "So that means, you won't be coming over my house for sleepovers and sweets anymore?"

I was about to answer with an 'I guess', but Dad beat me to it. "Don't be silly, Pumpkin, of course she'll be able to," he said, happily. "You don't need to be hungry to enjoy sweets. You eat it because you want to, not because you have to."

"As for the sleeping, however," Doctor Isotope added, glancing up at us. More so Dad then me. "We may have a new potion to remedy that; it's a new medicine for ponies suffering from insomnia. Made from the leaves of the White Lunar Trees in the Everfree Forest. You can think Ms. Zecora for that."

"Ha good ol' Zecora. She never stops impressing me with her brews and potions," Dad chuckled.

"So ...I won't have to stay up the whole night, anymore," I asked with hopeful glee. If I was able to sleep for once, that would be nothing short of awesome!

"If it works for you," the doctor answered with confidence. "Then yes, you'll be able to sleep any time you want."

"You don't know how happy I am to here that, doc." Dad said, reaching his right hand up and patting my head over my ear. "See, Rose, bringing you here wasn't as bad as you thought it would be, huh? I guess I made the right call going to the princesses for help."

"I just hope I get to go home soon." I uttered, nuzzling the soft pillow of black hair.

Doctor Isotope replied. "Believe me, I don't want to keep you here, hon. We're doing our best to get you better, and I think we are getting closer to knowing exactly what it is that did this to you. This place isn't the funniest to be, but until we know what's happened, have patience, alright." The black maned mare said, looking up at me with a smile.

I sighed. "Yes, ma'am." There wasn't much else I could say, she was the doctor here, and I was the patient, so what she says goes.

We took a left at the end of the corridor and took a set of stairs down into the huge cafeteria area, which the sign on the wall clearly stated it was. In no more then a few minutes, we had gotten out ice cream and were enjoying each others company. The table we sat at was next to one of the large second floor windows, and the view of the beautiful outdoors was enough to make even the gloomiest pony feel happy and upbeat.

Pumpkin smiled as we talked. "Oh, and guess what, my mom's having another foal! I'm gonna be the older sibling this time around. You know how Pound loves to brag about being the oldest, now I'll have somepony younger then me to watch over," she said, happily. "I really hope it's a girl, though."

"That's so great, I'm happy for you guys, Pumpkin," I said with a small smile. I was happy for her. I truly was, but I was also feeling a bit ...jealous of her family as well. Whenever I spent time with the Cakes, they never seemed to have an upset moment. Sure, Pound and Pumpkin did argue quite a bit sometimes, but it never lasted long or put a dent in their relationship.

I'd always wanted a brother or sister. Then again, Babs Seed was sorta like an older sister to me; we hang out whenever she came to visit and she even took me to the playground quite a few times when Daddy was too busy to do it.

The best part about today(besides Dad and Pumpkin being here) was that unlike the normal food I had tired, the ice cream wasn't bitter and tasteless. If anything, the taste seemed to be ...better, somehow.

I decided to get two more bowls afterward, not because of hunger, but because it was great to be able to eat something that didn't make me want to spit it out.

I was in the middle of eating ice cream to the point of getting brain freeze, when Dad spoke to me. "Baby girl?"

I looked up at him, giving me full attention. "Yes, Daddy."

"Well, you're birthday is coming up soon, and I know you always wanted to see one of Babs' fights, right?"

"Uh-huh." My eyes widened. "Wait, does that mean you got-."

"Tickets for Babs up coming fight," Dad grinned. He dug into the breast pocket of his shirt and fulled out two light blue tickets. "Yep, and thanks to her, we'll even be able to watch the fight from her corner, up close, just like you wanted."

I leaped across the table and hugged him with all I had. "Yes! This is so awesome! You're the best Dad ever!"

Dad chuckled. "Well, I try to be." He said. "The fight is in a few weeks, so I'll hold on to the tickets until then, okay?"

I nodded in excitement, and nuzzled his cheek. This day just got better.

XxxxX

"Uhh~."

Thud!

The sleep potion didn't work.

...At least that's what it seemed like.

Doctor Isotope had given me a small dosage of it, to be on the safe side. It was pretty strong, and the last thing she wanted to do was have me overdose on it and end up in a coma. All I could do was drink down the potion and wait for it to kick in.

And, It didn't. It's been almost an hour since I took the potion and I wasn't tired in the slightest, I wasn't even drowsy. This had to be the worst thing ever. Not being able to sleep meant not being able to dream, and I enjoyed most of my dreams. Sure, there had been a few nightmares now and then, but they were rarely as bad as I thought they were when I was asleep. They just ended up being really weird, and sometimes even laughable.

So, tonight I was doing what did every single night since I began staying the science facility. Sitting in my room in boredom while the rest of Equestria slept for the night; the ones that weren't out partying at clubs, anyway.

"Uhh ...by Luna's mane, this is so boring," I groaned. I rolled over onto my back and starred up at the ceiling, the entire room was quiet, save for the ticking of the clock on the wall near the door. It was close to midnight; Dad had left a little while before sunset to take Pumpkin Cake back to Ponyville.

I turned my head, looking out of the window at the glowing moon and stars. They were beautiful tonight, just like most nights when me and Dad went stargazing on that hill near Ms. Fluttershy's cottage. "I wish I could see them a bit closer," I uttered to myself.

Saying that sparked an idea. Just because I was here as a patient, that doesn't mean that I have to stay in my room the whole night. It's not like I was a prisoner or anything. I would have to be at my sneakiest, but if I could get past all of the night guards, I'd be able to watch the stars from the roof of the building.

I smiled. That wasn't a bad idea, not a bad idea at all. "It sure beats having to lay down here with nothing to down." With that being said, I rolled off the bedside and land on the floor with a clop as my hooves hit the tile floor. I trotted over to the door and glanced up at the handle, it was way too high for me to reach it with my mouth, so I tried pulling it open with magic.

No such luck, the door was locked from the outside; I'd completely forgotten that the staff set the doors to auto lock after a certain time to keep patients from wondering the halls at night(Doctor Isotope told me that before they did this, there had been a problem with food going missing in the cafeteria). Unfortunately for them however, I learned I pretty basic unlocking spell that should work on a door like this ...if the lock wasn't wasn't charmed, that is. "Well, here goes nothing." I pointed my horned at the door and focused, my horn giving a pinkish red glow and the handle doing the same. It didn't seem to be working, so I focused a bit harder, and the glow got a little brighter. "C'mon ...c'mon." I squeeze my eyes shut in concentration.

Click!

I grinned as the lock gave. "Yes~!" I exclaimed at the sound, before quickly covering my mouth with my fore-hooves. "Alright, calm down, don't be stupid. You've got to be quiet." I whispered to no one.

Celestia, this room was starting to make my sound like a crazy pony.

I shook my head and cracked open the door. I peaked my head out and looked down both ends of the slightly dark hallway. It was empty, just the way I wanted; I opened the door a bit more and squeeze through, pulling it quietly closed with my magic.

I began making my way down towards the left end of the corridor. As I did I couldn't help but think about my teacher, who had taught me the unlocking spell, Ms. Lemonwater. She was a yellow coated mare with an aqua blue mane; she was a really fun teacher, and always made learning new spells fun and exciting. The unlocking spell was only one of the many spells she was going to teach us. I was looking forward to learning so much more ...to impress Dad and all my friends.

But, that's never going to happen. My teachers were all dead but one, and most of my classmates were dead; out of more then one-hundred ponies, only a class of twenty-two made it out in time.

I was so wrapped up in my thoughts, that I didn't notice that somepony had spot me as I trotted out were the hallway T-ed off.

"Mind tellin' me why yer wonderin' th' halls at night, lil' lady," a voice spoke, suddenly. I jump with a gasp and turned to my left, it was the janitor, Mr. Side Sweeper. "Ah'm pretty sure it's way past yer bedtime."

Oh, crud!

"I ...um, I couldn't sleep," I said. I wasn't exactly lying.

But, that did stop him from continuing to question me. "Ah c'n see that jus' fine, that doesn't explain why yer in th' halls sneakin' about." The cleaning pony didn't really look at me, he just gave me a few glances and continued mopping the floors, his horn glowing the same sea blue as the mop stick. "Ya should be lucky me that found ya an' not th' guards. They'd 'ave dragged yer sorry flank back to yer room, no questions asked."

I sighed. He was right about that, it happened to quite a few ponies. "...I was bored, okay," I admitted. "I was on my way to the roof to do a little stargazing, and that's the truth."

"Stargazin', huh?"

"Yep~!"

"Well, Ah've never been one t' rain on other ponies parades, so Ah'll tell ya what." He placed the mop in the large yellow bucket next to him and looked up at me with a smile. "You run off an' do yer stargazin' thing, an' Ah'll pretend like Ah didn't see ya."

"Uh, are you sure that's okay," I asked, confused. I was happy he was letting me go, but I didn't want him to get in trouble, or worse, lose his job because of me. "Won't you get in trouble for letting me run off ..?"

"Nah, as long as ya don't get caught by th' night guards, there shouldn't be any problems." The unicorn janitor said. "Now if ya want ta do yer stargazin', ya best be runnin' off." He pointed a hoof towards the direction just behind me. "Go down th' hall an' take a right, there you'll find a door leadin' to th' stairway, take those up an' you'll get to th' roof."

I nodded, smiling, and thanked him for being so nice, then began trotting off in the direction he had pointed. I did exactly what he said, took a right at the end of the hall and went down the corridor until I saw the door leading to the stairs. When I opened the door the stairwell was way brighter than the hallway had been. I blinked my eyes a bit, and started up the stairs; the wall near each of the doors held a number that increased as I continued onward (3-F, 4-F, 5-F, and so on).

When I got to the tenth floor there was only one door left. I focused my magic on the handle and gently pushed the door open. The breeze got stronger the wider I opened it. I gave the door one last shove and trotted my way through. The sight that greeted me was a large rooftop filled with a few planted trees and wooden benches. The door made a small click as it closed shut behind me, but I paid that no mind and went over to one of the benches and took a seat, gazing up at the moon and shining dots in the inky darkness of the night. The stars over Manehattan seemed to disappear, but the ones I were starring at were perfect, just like back in Ponyville.

The air was obviously chilly, though, oddly enough, it didn't seem to bother me at all. I still felt as warm as I had felt inside of the building.

As I continued my stargazing, a song that my Dad sometimes sung from his world began to play in my mind, and I began to sing, not noticing at first that I was starting to get sleepy for the first time in weeks.

"Fly me to the moon,
let me play among the stars.
Let me see what spring is like on, Jupiter and Mars
in other words, hold my hand
in other words, baby kiss me."

My eyes started to get droopy. I laid on my side, using my fore-hooves as a pillow.

"Fill my heart with song
and let me sing forevermore.
...You are all I...I long for
all I worship and
...adore...-"

I let the darkness of sleep overtake me for the first time in a long time, feeling like I was on air without wings. I felt at peace. And for once, I was able to dream and forget about the world for a little while.

Author's Note:

Wow, this has got to be my longest chapter yet!

So, yeah, I know I've been gone for a good while, but I'm back. Had some computer trouble, but most of it is taken care of now. So with this chapter out I can now move outward with the story.