Everything hurts. From the top of head, down all the way towards the soles of my feet, everything is in pain. It’s as if I was repeatedly run over by a truck after getting crushed by an elevator. But a bit ago when I was talking to Luna I didn’t feel a thing. I felt darn right near perfect. Though, if my memory serves me right it shouldn’t be a surprise that I feel like this, given what Chrysalis put me through.
“Yes yes. But only after he adjusts. I haven’t heard everything, but he’s been through a lot already.”
“That would be putting it mildly.”
Voices? Alright then, hopefully that means I’m in a hospital of some kind. But, that wouldn’t mean I’m in Equestria, right? No, no of course it wouldn’t. Luna didn’t mean any of what she said, there’s no way. It was all a regular dream. I’m just in a hospital bed in Seattle. I got no idea what happened to Twilight and the others, but I’m sure that they’re fine.
I open my eyes, but do so slowly. The room is very bright, as a hospital room normally is. It takes a bit for my eyes to adjust after being shut for… Well, I don’t know exactly how long. But when they do, I notice the ceiling at least looks normal, like it should.
“True. Hopefully he-”
Whoever it was that was speaking gasps, which of course causes my gaze to fall on them.
What I see, however, is not what I was hoping for at all.
There are two ponies here. One of them looks like a stallion, but since I have no real knowledge of pony anatomy I could be wrong. The supposed stallion is a unicorn, with a brown coat and an equally brown mane. Its cutie mark is a cross with a needle sticking it. The other pony, one I presume is a mare, is has a white coat with a pink mane, done up in a bun and tucked underneath a nurse’s cap. Her cutie mark is a red cross with hearts at every corner of the cross. Each of them seem surprised that I happen to be awake.
I am as well.
I immediately try and get back, wanting to put as much distance between the two of them as possible. But my arms and legs scream in pain the moment I try to, as they give out from underneath me. “Stay away f-from me!”
The unicorn steps closer towards me, as the earth pony mare does the same. “Easy there Micah, you don’t have to worry. You’re safe here.”
“This isn’t r-real. I’m n-not here, I c-can’t be here!” I shout, flinching back from the unicorn as he gets closer, my heart pounding away in my chest.
The earth pony steps to the side of my bed. “I know this is all very strange for you, but please, just try and stay calm.”
“Th-this isn’t real, it’s j-just a dream. Only a dream, it h-has to be!” I shout, my hand over my heart as it continues to beat like crazy. “I’m on earth, in S-Seattle! I’m not in Equestria!”
This just has to be some kind of sick, screwed up joke. Skittles must have decided to do this, and talked Twilight into doing this. I’m not sure why the hell she’d do that, but that’s the only possibility.
I’m able to press against the bed, trying my best to ignore the horrid pain from my weakened arms. “TWILIGHT! Whatever th-this spell is, stop it! It’s n-not funny!”
The pony with the nurses cap places a hoof on my chest, and gently starts to push me back down onto the bed. “Please, Micah, you need to stop this, just lay down and relax.”
I back away as much as I can from her, which isn’t much. “Don’t touch me!” I shout at this pony, as I swat away her hoof.
Next, though, this nurse pushes down on me with her hooves, keeping me stuck to the bed. I try to push her away as hard as possible, but try as I might I just can’t do it.
Stepping towards me, the unicorns horn begins to glow as he lowers it towards my head. “I’m sorry about this Micah, but I have to do this for your own good. I won’t let you hurt yourself. When you wake up, one of your friends will be here to speak to you.”
The second that unicorns horn gets close my eyes feel heavy. So heavy that it seems that they are coated with lead, though I still try to back away from him.“Stay a-away! J-just stay away… from…”
“I haven’t seen a patient that terrified for a long time, Doctor Haywick.”
“That’s putting it mildly. I’ve never had a patient like him before. I also normally don’t have to use a sleep spell on a patient because of their behavior. He’s definitely very interesting.”
He’s right about that. Ever since I’ve started to work here, I’ve cared for every type of pony you can think of, along with gryphons, minotaurs, deer, and others. But this guy surprises me more than any other patient I’ve had.
Even when he first got here.
“It hurts! Take it out, please!”
“I haven’t even given you the shot yet Sweetie Belle. Now, count to three, and it’ll all be over before you know it.”
Sweetie Belle, like her friends Scootaloo and Applebloom like to act brave, but like most fillies she is terrified of shots. I’m yet to have the needle touch her and she’s acting up. But, I can’t really blame her. When I was her age I was terrified of getting shots too.
“Oh,” Sweetie Belle says as she opens her eyes, looking at the needle still on the tray. Grinning sheepishly, she says, “Um, I knew that.”
“Mhm. Now, count to three, and take a deep breath, alright?” I ask, picking up the needle.
She does as I ask, closing her eyes tightly, and starts counting down. “One…. Two-OW! Hey, you said you wouldn’t do it till three!”
“There we go, all done,” I say with a grin as I place the needle back on the tray, and get a bandage onto the puncture point. “And, I only asked you to count to three,that’s all. Besides, I bet it doesn’t hurt now.”
I begin placing the bandage on her leg. “Well, yeah, I guess so,” Sweetie Belle says as she looks. “Rarity said they don’t hurt though.”
“Rarity’s a grown unicorn. They won’t hurt so bad when you’re bigger,” I say. Saying a tiny little fib like that won’t do any harm.
Oddly though, Sweetie’s expression suddenly changes. Shuffling her hoof on the ground, I notice her frowning as our eyes meet. “I miss my sister.”
Oh. I should have guessed she’d say that. It’s been more than a month since her sister, Twilight, and the others were gone. I wasn’t there in Canterlot when Chrysalis attacked, but I know that Twilight and her friends stopped her somehow. But they haven’t come back since then, and Princess Celestia is missing as well.
This has been hard on many of us, but I’ve noticed it’s been awful on Scootaloo, Applebloom and Sweetie Belle. Big Mac’s been trying to keep an eye on Applebloom, but with the need to care for Sweet Apple Acres, there’s not much he can do, and Granny Smith is getting on in years. Scootaloo has been seen to by her parents, but, with her father working hard, and her mother away fighting, she’s been taking the absence of Rainbow Dash hard.
Sweetie Belle has had it easier, but, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t miss her sister. She’s been drowning her sorrows at SugarCube Corner whenever she had enough allowance money saved up. Her parents though are able to help her stay happy. But, being a little sister, she still misses Rarity.
I kneel down to be at eye level with Sweetie Belle. “Hey, Sweetie Belle? It’s okay to miss your sister.”
“I want her back. She’s been gone for a whole month!” Sweetie Belle shouts as her eyes start to water. “I want her to come home!”
“She’ll come home, I promise,” I say as I gently rustle her mane. “I know she will.”
“Mom and Dad always say the same thing,” she says as tears start falling from her eyes. “But she still isn’t back yet.”
“Just give it some time,” I say as I pull her in for a hug. “She’ll be back, I promise, they’ll all be back.”
Sweetie Belle buries her face into my chest as I hold her. If I can give her even a little bit of comfort it will be enough. I hate seeing somepony like this. But, I honestly don’t know if they’ll be back.
But for our sakes I do hope so.
“Redheart! You’ve got to come see this!”
Quickly looking behind me, I see a familiar doctor in the doorway, wide eyed and shocked for some reason. “Doctor Haywick? What is it? Did somepony have an accident?” I ask as Sweetie Belle and I both show interest.
The doctor looks down the hall, then back to the two of us before answering. “No, it’s just, you have to see this. Sweetie Belle, you better come too,” he says, before dashing back down the hall.
Looking down at the still sobbing Sweetie Belle, I say, “Come on. Let’s go. After this, since I’m almost done with my shift, I’ll take you to SugarCube Corner, alright?”
Sweetie Belle sniffles for a second, before summoning the strength to smile. “O-okay,” she says, as she wipes tears from her eyes.
With a friendly grin I start walking, with Sweetie Belle at my side. Hopefully whatever is happening will help her to keep her mind off of her sister.
It doesn’t take long for me to tell that we aren’t the only ones to know that something’s up. Other ponies here are rushing towards the entrance of the hospital, each and every one of them with a look of urgency. One of them nearly runs into Sweetie Belle and I.
“What’s going on?” Sweetie Belle asks as we near the entrance. The closer we get the more ponies we see, some in hospital uniforms, and some in hospital gowns.
“I don’t know… But if it was dangerous, I’m sure Doctor Haywick would have told us,” I tell her as we both make our way through the crowd of ponies. Soon enough we get to the front of the crowd, which at this point is spilling out of the hospital.
And looking up, I immediately know why Haywick called me out.
Up in the blue sky, I see something I definitely did not expect to see today. Flying above us are the same ponies that disappeared from Equestria a month ago. I don’t know how they got here, nor where they’ve been, but right now I don’t give a flying feather about any of that. They’re finally back!
As they all get closer, I notice Rainbow Dash holding onto Applejack. For some reason, both of them look dirty, as if they’ve been trudging through filth for hours. Applejack’s mane, normally in a ponytail style is loose and matted. Rainbow Dash’s normally vibrant colored mane looks greasy.
Once they touch down, Rainbow Dash lets go of Applejack, and quickly flies up into the sky with towards the rest of them. Applejack immediately makes her way through the crowd until she comes across Doctor Haywick.
“Doc! Ya need to get an operatin’ room ready!” Applejack says as she glances back at the other ponies as they get closer to the ground. “My friend’s hurt!”
Sweetie Belle gasps and quickly runs at full speed to Applejack, grabbing onto her mane to get her attention. “Is my sister with you? Is she hurt? What happened?”
“Sweetie belle, your sister’s fine, I promise, but I’m busy right now,” Applejack quickly says, then goes back to speaking to Doctor Haywick.
Everypony immediately moves as fast as they can, because right above us is none other than Celestia herself, with something draped over her back. But, she does not look the best. She looks exhausted. Her eyes have bags underneath them, her mane is lying flat against her skin, and her tail hangs down, instead of flowing in the wind like normal. Yet her gaze alone commands respect, as her eyes lock on Doctor Haywick.
“Doctor, I have a patient for you. He is severely wounded, and needs medical attention at once,” Princess Celestia says as Rainbow appears carrying Pinkie Pie, and Fluttershy holding Twilight who held Rarity in her magical grasp, all equally as dirty as Applejack.
As Haywick walks towards the princess, Sweetie Belle dashes towards her sister the moment she reaches the ground. “Rarity! I missed you so much!” Sweetie Belle shouts as she jumps into her sisters already open hooves.
“Oh Sweetie Belle, I missed you too. I’m so glad you’re alright,” Rarity says as she holds her little sister tightly, a wide smile crossing over her muzzle.
Well, this day is turning out great! Princess Celestia is back, Twilight and her friends are back, and apart from being dirty, they seem fine!
“Nurse Redheart, come over here!”
But time to go back to work.
Quickly, I move to Doctor Haywick and Princess Celestia. “Yes doctor, what do you-What in the name of Celestia is this?!”
What kind of place did they go to to find this?! It’s some kind of odd looking ape! And… Oh my, it looks awful. There are bruises on every bit of it’s skin I see, and its hands are blistered and red, as if it was keeping its hands on a red hot stove.
I can clearly tell he has been hurt horribly. His breathing is shallow and difficult to hear. One of the poor things paws looks like it was struck by a hammer. The small appendages splintering off from its paw look all twisted and going in what I think are wrong directions. Who would have done such an awful thing?
“Doctor Haywick, this young man needs the absolute best care you can give. Do whatever it takes, no matter what,” Princess Celestia says as Twilight makes her way over towards us. “Twilight will assist you. While in his world, she was able to learn some of his anatomy. Her insight should prove invaluable to you.”
“Understood Princess Celestia,” Doctor Haywick says as he gives a slight bow. “I will do what I can to help it.”
Before Doctor Haywick has the chance to do so however, he is suddenly confronted by Rainbow Dash, whose eyes show a mixture of anger, and stress. “He’s not an ‘it’! His name is Micah, and you’re going to get him better! You got that?!”
Not wanting to wait a moment more considering his wounds, I grasp Rainbow Dash’s chin with my hoof to get her to look at me. “Rainbow Dash, please calm down. The more you delay, the longer it will take for us to get him inside and help him. I promise you, he’ll be fine.”
Rainbow Dash looks from myself to this ‘Micah’. I’ve seen that look many times before. Whenever somepony has a close friend that’s going to go into surgery, they have that look. Their ears flat, emotions high, and extremely protective. Every species acts in a similar manner. Whoever this fellow is, Rainbow obviously cares about him.
Soon though, she looks to Haywick and says, “Okay.”
“Good. Nurse Redheart, get two gurneys, it-I mean, Micah, looks like he’s a bigger guy. He’ll need them,” Doctor Haywick instructs as he looks over him.
Without a moment's delay I head back inside and get the gurneys. Micah is easily placed on them with the help of Celestia’s magic. While Haywick and I take him inside, Twilight walks right by our side.
“Tell us what happened, what are his injuries, how’d he get hurt?” Doctor Haywick asks as we go down the hall.
“It’s a very, very long story. But his injuries, as best I can tell, are broken bones, and internal bleeding. And when he wakes up he’ll probably have emotional scars too,” Twilight says as we arrive at the operating room.
The bit about emotional scars caught my attention most. “Emotional scars? What exactly happened to you girls when you were gone?”
Twilight doesn’t look at me when she answers, and instead looks to Micah. “A lot of things. You can ask him about it when he wakes up.”
By Celestia, what could have happened to them? Whatever happened, they obviously aren’t in too bad shape, but it looks like they’ve been through a lot. But this guy here, what did this to him?
“Nurse Redheart, go scrub up. Twilight, you do the same,” Doctor Haywick says as we wheel him into the operating room. “I’m thinking we’ve got a long surgery ahead of us.”
“Redheart? Hey Redheart, can you hear me?”
“What, huh? Oh, sorry doctor. I was just thinking back to when he got here.”
“Oh. Yeah, that was quite a day, wasn’t it?” Doctor Haywick says as he levitates a pencil, and starts writing on Micah’s medical chart.
As he does that, I make my way to the top of his bed, and start re-adjusting his pillows. “You can say that again. I wish that somepony’d tell us exactly what he went through though.”
“Likewise. But, he’ll tell us himself if he wants to. We can’t make him,” Haywick says as he places down the medical sheet.
A visitor? Hm. Wasn’t expecting any today for him. Twilight and her friends haven’t been in Ponyville or Canterlot for a while. But, still, visiting hours aren’t over, so whoever it is can come in.
“Coming,” I say as I make my way towards the door, and smile as I see a familiar face. “Well hello. I haven’t seen you here for a while.”
“Yeah, Princess Celestia and Princess Luna have us all over the place,” Rainbow Dash says with a slight smile as she glances past me to Micah. “How’s he doing?”
“Actually he’s doing rather well. He woke up a bit ago, but he panicked. We had to use a sleep spell on him,” Doctor Haywick says, causing Rainbow Dash to smile even wider.
She quickly dashes to Micah’s bedside, placing her hoof on his hand. She looks him over from head to toe, the only movement from him being his chest as he breathes. “When will he wake up again?” Rainbow Dash asks as she keeps her eyes locked on him.
“In a few hours. Make sure to be careful when he wakes up, he swatted at me when I was lending a helping hoof,” I state.
Strangely, Rainbow Dash moves a hoof to his face. At first I’m perplexed, but soon I see her gently moving a loose lock of hair out of his face, tenderly moving it past his ear. Why in the world would Rainbow Dash do something like that?
Though, she stops the second she notices me watching her, quickly withdrawing her hoof. “Uh, he, I just didn’t want that hair of his to get all nasty by getting stuck in his mouth,” Rainbow Dash says as she pulls away slightly from him, but still stays close to the bed.
“Mhm,” I say, raising an eyebrow in some confusion. “Just make sure you don’t wake him up too early. He may be healing but he still needs rest. He’s got a while to go yet until he’s fully recovered.”
“Oh come on Redheart, don’t worry so much! You don’t know how much of a tough guy he is,” Rainbow Dash says dismissively.
I shoot her a glare, which seems to get her attention since she scoots back in her chair a little. “I’m not kidding Rainbow Dash. It doesn’t matter how much of a ‘tough guy’ you say he is,” I say to her. “I saw how badly he was hurt. Anypony with wounds that bad needs a lot of rest, not disruption. Understood?”
“Yeah yeah, I got it,” Rainbow says as her eyes drift to Micah once more. “I won’t do anything to get him hurt.”
“Make sure you don’t. When he wakes, come get Haywick or myself,” I say to her as Haywick and I move for the door. “He’s going to have a lot of questions.”