by SpiralWriter

II - A Hero in Our Midst


By: Quisky

Chapter Two:

A Hero in Our Midst

". . ."

"It's a lot to process, I know. Just take your time."

". . ."

"I can imagine that waking up from a deep slumber in stone could be rather surreal. Just let it all soak in."

". . ."

"More tea?"

The tea didn't really help at all, but it did feel nice to have something quench your thirst after ten fuckin' years. Waking up for the first time had left me incredibly dazed. It took them almost thirty minutes to shake me to recognizable consciousness and get me back up on my feet. I was lead inside the castle, most of the ponies around me rambling about something or other. I barely had any of my senses going, and my head was still foggy as a seaside lighthouse at night.

It was only when I was given food that everything started working again. Subsistence never fails.

'Things', as I liked to call them, started coming back piece by piece. My life before the insane events caused by that one email, my adventures in Equestria and the faces I came to know. The last thing I remembered before my mind became a total blank was a sensation of falling and a blast of color overcoming my vision. After that, the dark took over. It wasn't until dear Twilight Sparkle herself filled me in on the details.

I'll repeat myself. Ten. Fucking. Years.

At first I believed the purple pony to be kidding me, plus I thought her wings were fake as well. After tugging on them and having several guards point spears at me proved otherwise.

I was very . . . upset. I had been left stoned for a decade, even after my deeds of heroism began to spread, they kept me under lock and key. Twilight wouldn't go into details about why, but when I asked, she averted my gaze, and looked almost ashamed of herself. That left a twinge of mercy to overcome the seething anger beginning to build, eventually allowing it to cool into a sort of sizzling heat that could roar up again at any time.

Now, I simply sat there quietly to contemplate my thoughts, in a small room within Canterlot Castle, finely furnished, sipping bland tea and talking to Twilight Sparkle, a character I had always wanted to meet, there in the flesh.

" . . . Ten years . . ."I repeated to myself, finishing up my cup, looking down at the emptiness of it, not bothering to ask for a refill. I placed at down on the table before me, the china settling with a light chink. Twilight look at me sympathetically, a small but sad smile upon her face. It kind of warmed me to see it.

"I'm sorry Oddjob . . . it's just that . . . it was important to do so."

"Important enough to forget about me?"

"Forget about you? Oh no . . . here, let me show you something." She stood up from the table, motioning for me to follow her with a flick of her head in the direction of the gardens. I stood up and alongside her. When we exited the room, she turned to the guards and spoke sternly. "I will not need a company of guards, I'm just showing a guest to the gardens."

Before the guard could protest, she silenced him with a "ssh!", one that librarians use to silence those who would dare threaten the sanctity of a library. I chuckled and followed her. The castle hadn't changed much since I last saw it, except it wasn't driven by insanity and you could actually go where you wanted to without being dropped off in another dimension.

"So uh . . . mind if I ask a question?"

"Go ahead." She said cheerily.

"What's up with the wings?"

"It's a . . . long story."

"Shorten it up for a guy who's been asleep for ten years."

"Well," She took a small breath. "I received a book about Starswirl the Bearded, you've heard of him right, and every spell he's ever accomplished, except for his last one, it was unfinished. I read it aloud and unknowingly altered all of my friends' destinies, switching around their cutie marks and basically causing disaster for Ponyville. After lots of singing and soul-searching, I decided to fix it by helping them remember who they were. Eventually everything went back to normal except near the end I the elements of harmony came together and blasted me. I came into a pocket universe, I think, for Princess Celestia to greet me and show me everything I had ever done since moving to Ponyville. It was wonderful seeing all of that, then she told me about my own destiny. Suddenly, I was taller, I had wings, and I was a princess now." She exhaled, took a small intake of breath, then gave me a small smile with that twinkle in her eye.

". . . Uhh . . . nice story?" I said, not really knowing what to say actually. I'd imagine a lot of people would be pissed off about that, but I was pretty cool with it. It did kind of make sense, seeing as her name was Twilight, the balance between dusk and dawn. Still, I could just imagine the butthurt flowing through thousands of angry fans. Glad I was here and not on the internet for that.

"Thank you." Twilight quipped as we left the hallway behind us and into the gardens we went. It was beautiful. Plants and trees I hadn't even seen before grew up from the lush, green ground. Sounds of animals in the distance alerted me to the fauna that thrived here in their own little ecosystem, while some skittered by, not even bothered by the appearance of a pony princess or a towering beast composed of several of them.

We passed several statues, and my natural curiosity could not be sated. "Who's that?" I pointed at a dashing earth pony clad in armor that looked like it weighed a ton.

"Earthshaker, one of the first earth ponies to be Captain of the Guard. His strength was legendary, and it was rumored he could move mountains in an afternoon's time."

"Her?" My claw went to a pony who appeared rather . . . unique. She appeared ponylike, but had liquid water flowing around her, and her back legs were replaced with an mermaid's tail.

"Pacifica. She was the first Seapony to make contact with Equestria."

Seaponies. I really gotta visit them one day.

Before I could have anymore of my questions answered, we stopped before an empty pedestal. It was mine. Twilight pointed with a foreleg at the base of it, and I stepped closer to read it. The inscription read:

Here stands Oddjob the Jabberwocky. Though it is not known whether he was indigenous to Equestria, he represented all of its people as he fought off Discord and his henchmen during the Seizing of Canterlot in the 1024th Year of Celestia, Third Month, First Day. Oddjob had performed many tasks, such as ridding the San Palamino Desert of the Worms that plagued it and disbanding the The King Crime Family. Along with allies such as Alamo Wall, a zebra named Zola, and a mysterious Diamond Dog, they had stalled Discord long enough for the Bearers of Harmony to arrive and defeat the spirit. Here he now stands, a symbol of unity and bravery.

I stood back up, feeling kind of . . . honored. Even though the statue was actually me, they considered my actions inscription-worthy?

"You're a hero, Oddjob. Not the biggest one in Equestrian history, but a hero nevertheless. A month after the attack, they had Oddjob plushies being sold everywhere." Twilight came up and stood beside me, giggling.

". . . Thank you."

"No, thank you."

I turned to look at her. "So what now? I live out my life in luxury as one of Equestria's moderately-known heroes?"

"Not exactly . . ."