A Change of Pace

by Discord_Nations

Fortunate meetings. Unfortunate circumstances

I awoke to the sounds of birds, animals running around, and rustling of foliage. I slowly sat up taking great notice of the pain and soreness that shot through me. “Ugh…” I lifted my hand to my head. Well I still had my armor and weapons. I took a look around me and saw a forest. So obviously I must be dead. There aren’t many forests left from where I was from. It seemed to be dark and gloomy in there. Not much sun light but enough to tell where I was going and could get a look around. This forest was pretty dense. I was in a larger clearing it seemed. No more that 6 feet across? Then I heard a low growl coming from my left side. I looked over and saw a wolf, made of…. wood? Oh well this was just great. I stood up and watched the creature circle me for a bit. I heard more low growls from around me. Great. I’m dead and now I have to fight my way out of this forest. I readied my shield and sword for the incoming attacks.

The one in front of me charges as does another one to my right. I throw my shield in front of me deflecting the first on and swing sword in my right hand. The blow from the sword made it look like it made a crack in some of the wood. A third one tried to claw at my back. The claws bounced harmlessly off the armor. But it sent me stumbling and I felt an ache in my back. These things had some power to them for being made of wood. I managed to keep my footing and connect with a bash from my shield by whipping around quickly putting my weight into it. That one seemed to have been hit much harder than the one from my sword because the head fell apart and it crumbled to being a pile of sticks.

The second one came in and bit down on my shield, holding it in place. I couldn’t get it from the jaws of the thing, and another one was coming to attack. I decide to let go of my shield and dodge the attack. Moving not so gracefully I swung my sword right at the next of the one holding my shield. It twisted its head and slammed my shield into my arm and knocking out the sword. “You have gotta be kidding me!” I yelled. I grab my greatsword from my back and ready it. Both wolves come to attack me. I let out a short sweeping strike, and manage to catch both. Though they both look pretty damaged, neither fell. This was quickly getting out of hand. I couldn’t swing my greatsword nearly as fast as the longsword. Though it was good against larger enemies, this was not the time, nor the place to use this thing.

The two wolves were eyeing me up, wondering how best to kill this strange being. One start to run at me while the other ran to my side. I lunged forward and jammed my greatsword into the ground using it to vault myself into the one charging and vaulted my foot to meet it. This time it got sent flying back and broke against a tree. The second one charged me from behind and hopped onto my back. I got thrown forward and the wolf took a bite on my left shoulder. A few teeth got through the cracks in it and i felt blood running from it as its head jerked trying to tear the armor. I managed to throw it off and run to my shield. My left arm being in no shape to move this shield I used my right arm and caught the wolf on the side of the head with the shield. Its head shattered and body fell apart. Breathing heavily I went to gather my things. The long sword back in my right hand ready to fight, with the shield and greatsword on my back.

Seeing no immediate trail out of this forest I decided to walk toward the area where more light seemed to come through. I walked for about 1 hour, the bite wound on my shoulder wasn’t getting much better. The bleeding wasn’t very significant, but it still leaked. I didn’t dare to take off my armor incase something else happened. I continued to walk in the direction of what I hoped was the end of the forest. Weary from the fight with the…. I’m not even sure what to call them. Wooden wolves would be accurate. But not quite accurate. They were made from small pieces of wood, not solid. Timber wolves? Oh that is just great! I’m somewhere I don’t know and the universe decides to be funny.

I seemed to be nearing the edge of the forest and into a clearing. As I pushed past the last of the bushes and tree branches, I saw a large tree in the clearing. Only…. it had windows? A door too? Along with a garden, a chicken coop, and flower pots? Ok this was getting really weird really fast. There were little critters running around. Bunnies, squirrels, deer, birds and the like. I started to hear singing from the other side of the strange tree. I think it was the same voice that I heard before I fell. I walked slowly around the edge of the cottage and peered around the corner. What I saw had me standing there with my jaw dropping to the ground and dazed. In front of me I saw a pink-maned yellow pegasus. Not to mention she was singing. I only knew it was female because of the voice. Ok I think I lost too much blood from walking around. Before I knew it I had fallen to the ground, on my ass, with a loud resounding crash. Wearing metal tends to do that when you fall.

The pegasus jumped at the sound and quickly took cover by the door. After a bit she decided to check where the noise had come from. I was still sitting there in all my elegance and poise with my mouth gaping open like a fish out of water. As the pegasus laid eyes on me she froze. “W-what might you be little guy?” She said nervously. Not very often was I called little. It was made weird since she was obviously much shorter than I was. “H-hello? Are you okay? C-can you talk?” she managed to get out. I finally shook myself from my dazed state.

“Oh, uhm. Well yeah I can talk.” I replied nervously. “And to answer what I am, I’m a human.”

“I’ve never heard of that before” She said. Her eyes then seemed to focus on my left shoulder and went wide. I look there myself and see that blood has started to seep over the metal and run down my arm.

“Oh yeah, I forgot that I had that” I said calmly. Though in all actuality I was nervous from the blood I looked like I had lost.

She quickly flew over to me, covering what little distance there was between us, and hastily grabbed my arm connected to my good shoulder. “Oh dear, we must get you looked at right away!” She was obviously worried. She almost dragged me by my arm and into her little cottage. “You take a seat on the couch, I’ll get everything to take care of that.”

Deciding not to argue with a magical flying talking pony, I followed what she said. But I proceeded to take off my chestpiece. To my horror half of my shirt across my torso was covered in blood. Yeah, this was a bad day. I tried to lift my shirt off, but I cringed as pain shot through my shoulder. So taking off my shirt was a no go. Guess I’ll have to ask that strange pony when she gets back in here. Speaking of which she just arrived almost burdened by medical supplies. Well at least I got the feeling she knew what she was doing.

“Now let’s get you all… p-p…” Her voice simply trailed off. She seemed even more horrified by the blood stain, that covered most of my chest, than I was. That was almost saying something. But I’ve been injured a few times like this. So it’s kind of lost some of the fear to it, but still pretty scary to look at, and bleeding out is still very very real to me.

“Yeah it’s a lot of blood, but could you help me get this off?” I said waving a hand slowly in front of her eyes. “If you could grab onto this sleeve and pull, that would be great” I asked holding out my left arm slightly. This seemed to get her back to the problem at hand.

“Oh, yeah, sure,” She replied softly. She gently grabbed the sleeve in her mouth and gently pulled on it. I leaned back to get the shirt to move further down my arm, and managed to tuck my elbow inside of it and get my arm in. Taking off the shirt after that was pretty simple. Now I got the full look at my wound. At least 4 punctures in the front and more in the back, and some were torn out pretty widely for just bite marks. Guess those wolves could do some pretty nasty damage. Not to mention that most of my upper body was stained a slight red color from the blood being there. Worst. Day. Ever….

“Ok wait one second,” She said as she went through what she had. “Hold this onto your shoulder” she stated as she handed me a slightly damp cloth. “Now hold still.” As I held the cloth to my shoulder she started to wipe off most of the blood that was still on my chest. Huh, this is pretty awkward. Once she was done with that she took the damp cloth from my shoulder and put some disinfectant on it. Damn did it hurt! I just clenched my teeth and bared through the pain. Next she put down a dry cloth. She took out a roll of bandages and started to firmly wrap up my shoulder and torso so the wound would be properly covered.

“There, all done” The pegasus said with a cheerful little smile. “You should rest for a while, I’ll go make you some tea to help with the pain.” She went to walk into the kitchen, but stopped in the doorway. “I’m sorry, I haven’t even bothered to ask your name” She said looking back at me.

“My name’s Alexander, Alex for short.” I answered, leaning back into the couch. Wow this was comfortable. “And might I ask what your name is?”

“Oh, yes, I-i’m fluttershy,” She said softly, almost to the point where I couldn’t hear her name when she got to it. “I’ll g-go get that tea ready” and she hastily took off into the kitchen, almost like she didn’t want to talk to me. Oh well, I am some strange creature that she has never seen before. Wouldn’t be too surprised if she didn’t want to interact with me. I might be as scary to her as those wolves were to me. Well that may not be very accurate. I’m sure she’s much more scared of me than I was of those wolves.

Fluttershy came back a short time carrying a tray that held a pot of tea, a single cup, and a small bowl of sugarcubes. She set the tray on the table in front of me without so much as a word and walked over to a chair next to the couch and took a seat. Now that I can actually look around, there are a few chairs, the couch I’m sitting on, a door to a kitchen, with a clock hanging on the wall with various plants and bird perches hanging and standing in various spots.

I slowly took the teapot in my hand and poured out a cup of tea, adding some sugar cubes to it. I slowly take a sip. The taste is interesting to say the least. Not really a bitter taste, but not sweet either. But this one had a more sour taste to it. Can’t say I remember having tea that ever had a sour taste. Luckily the sugarcubes took away most of the taste. As the cup was slowly drained I could feel the pain in my shoulder numbing and feeling, I wouldn’t say energized, but the fatigue is wearing off. I looked over at Fluttershy, the nervous pegasus sitting there looking anywhere but at me. I decided that I should probably leave. After testing my shoulder for pain, realizing there wasn’t much, I put on my chestpiece again and got up.

“Where are you going?” Fluttershy asked, obviously confused.

“I was going to leave, I don’t wish to impose.” I reply, “And I’m still trying to grasp the concept of talking colorful ponies. Thanks a lot for treating my shoulder.” I stepped towards the door to leave. As I was not but a few feet from the door, Fluttershy got in my way.

“No, I can’t allow you to go back out there right now.” She said firmly, “You need to rest and let that wound heal up. You are in no condition to go anywhere.”

I simply laughed at this. Her only response was having a confused look on her face. This didn’t do anything to stop my laugh. If anything I laughed harder. “You don’t seem to understand. I’ve had worse injuries than a few punctures in my shoulder.” I replied with a chuckle, “If you had even stopped for a second to look at my chest you would see multiple scars, much larger than this one, and I’ve had more broken bones than scars. I don’t know what kind of world this is. But in my world, you could die at anytime. I know how to fight, otherwise I would have died to those wolves. I beat them after being shot at, falling down a chasm that should have killed me, and laying there for I have no clue how long, and not thinking very clearly. On top of that,” I pulled out my longsword, “I have this to protect me, as well as the ones on my back. Now, will you let me pass?”

Upon me pulling out my sword her ears folded back and she shrank away from the door. Following her with my eye I made sure she wouldn’t try to stop me. As she backed to a wall another pegasus comes flying in. Only this one has a rainbow for a mane and is sky blue.

“Hey ‘shy. I was just dropping in… for…” Her eyes fell on me with my longsword drawn, then quickly over at fluttershy who was standing near a wall. Her eyes shot back to me with rage coming from every part of her body. Oh great.

“What do you think you’re doing!?” The rainbow one screamed, “You are NOT going to hurt fluttershy!” With that she flew like a bullet at me. She slammed into my chest with enough force to knock me back into the couch and over it. Damn she was strong! Pulling my shield from my back I got ready to defend. This was definitely going to be one hell of a house brawl.