I’m still shaking. I just spent the last few hours with Sky, but it didn’t help. Ever do something incredibly stressful, like argue with someone you’re really close to? Your whole body seizes up, and you feel so sick you might throw up all over the place. Well that’s kinda what happened today, except none of those things at all.
Today was our meeting with the Human Preservation Initiative. The humans. There are humans and they’re still alive and God they knew this was going to happen and they couldn’t stop it and they didn’t even warn us how am I even supposed to handle this right now?
Okay okay, focus. It isn’t like that’s even what makes me upset. Mostly it was being close to them for so long; the instinct to run away started to dull, but it was still grating. I think it all hit me at once as I was leaving, because boy did I run.
Just finished with the editing on the meeting transcript. Mostly just made it more readable; I’ll glue it in before this page, so hopefully if you’re going through in order you already saw it. I don’t want to rehash everything, not after having a recording listening to the whole thing.
A few things are less obvious in the recording: they looked human. Like, I’m not totally sure since I didn’t actually see the suits off, but there’s no way thick pony legs would fit through the tiny openings for their thin human ones. That neck, the head shaped all wrong.
Sorry, wrong. Guess I’ve been a pony a little too long. I’ve reached the point where I sometimes look twice at the characters in movies we watch and think that their ankles are going to snap when they move. It’s so frustrating, because I know full well human bones never felt fragile, but it’s hard to remember what it felt like to have them. I’ve stopped having my own body in almost all my dreams now.
Sometimes I wonder if I was ever human at all…
No, focus. I have boxes of my old family photos. I can still see my face, even though I haven’t showed it to any of the other ponies. Not questions I want to relive right now. It sucks enough for me without going into detail with other ponies. Not even Moriah, though I did think about it. Ultimately I figured she’d probably just hate me more if I talked about it.
Such a frustrating pony in general, and I’m not even sure. She’s going all up ons with the romance stuff and I sure as heck wouldn’t do that. Maybe I’m just… what’s the word… projecting? Seeing things that aren’t there. Sure as hell don’t have the balls to just ask. That’d mean I knew enough to know what I was asking about. Not gonna happen.
So where am I now? Aside from frightened? Aside from sick...
And not even at the news! The news was good news! Learning that there was a group of humans out there, even a small group, is absolutely fantastic! It means that the weight of carrying mankind's legacy isn't entirely on our pony shoulders. There are others. It's more than just the few ponies we've managed to scrape together. There's hope. Maybe we'll die or just fail and it'll be okay because there are others and life will go on.
Even better, we get to help them. It isn't as though any of us (barring Sky as a possible exception) have any loyalty to whatever it means to be a “pony.” We don't know why this happened, we didn't give our consent, and we would change back in an instant if we could (whether I got my stolen years back or no). I don’t think my loyalty goes far enough to put my friends in danger, though. We want to help, but we also want to live. Even a pony life is better than no life at all.
I say even like it’s bad. Actually, it isn’t. If I think about it. Sure it’s got its suck; the quadruped disability. Not being able to stomach my favorite foods. Losing my family and friends. All that sucks. But I’m not alone, and in our way, we make the most of life. We take turns cooking things we think the others will enjoy. We watch our favorite movies in the theater downstairs. Sky and I go running together, just because we can (and none of the others can gallop).
We aren’t sick, we aren’t starving or thirsty or cold. Aside from Moriah, we aren’t even injured.
I won’t say we’re living in paradise, because that’s just all kinds of wrong. I’ve been attacked by wild animals in the last few days, got blasted again with transforming magic that almost certainly made me the youngest member of the group (hopefully not forever. It might just wear off!). Soon we have the prospect of uprooting everything we’ve built here and traveling east, building a colony. Fending for ourselves as all the old technology starts breaking down.
I guess meeting humans has made me a little existential. I’d started to take it for granted that there weren’t going to be others, and that the weight of the community (and by extension, all of human civilization) fell on me. If future generations were never born, or never knew what it was like to hear a concerto or see a beautiful sculpture, it was going to be my fault.
That’s got to say something about how incredibly self-centered I am, if I think nobody else on the whole planet could stop our memories from being erased. Heck, there are monuments so sturdy that they might last long enough for the freakin’ dolphins to evolve and see them. Mount Rushmore will still look like faces for millions of years. What will the ponies (sea-ponies, dolphins, whatever) think when they see Teddy’s stern face glaring at them. Or will they find the Statue of Liberty thickly patinaed in some sea and know that once, we were here?
I guess it’s wrong of me to be thinking about what might be happening millions and millions of years from now. Even prior to the Event there was no telling our society would live that long. It was probably a bit prideful of us to think western civilization would live longer than its predecessors. Virtus sola nobilitas.
The old Alex was so strong and confident that nothing like this could slow me down. The old Alex would’ve got everypony together for a meeting where we could talk about whether or not we wanted to help the Initiative.
New Alex was too scared of an argument with Moriah or Sky to try it. New Alex curled up and barely talked about it. I wonder if I have some kinda… sickness. Magic sickness. Antimagic? I didn’t go into their thing, or even near it. I didn’t wear one of their suits. So probably not that. Assuming it even would’ve happened. I don’t really know how making the stuff works.
Joseph yelled at me when I got back for not asking any of his questions. He wanted to know how their shields worked. I kinda wish I had, though at the time I was more worried about not getting shot and not running away. Both of those things took most of my attention, I’ll admit. Didn’t leave nearly enough for the more academic questions.
There’s nothing stopping him from using the communicator they left to call and ask. He hasn’t. Guess he didn’t really care that much.
It really doesn't matter how it works so much as it matters that it does work. There’s no reason for them to lie about it; some elaborate tactical misdirection doesn’t make sense when your enemy is inferior in every way.
Joe said, “We don’t know they were humans! Maybe they were the aliens that took all the other people away, and they were only tricking us!” Whatever. Doesn’t make sense. I want to help. Going to help.
Something is coming. Soon, just days away. Maybe its arrival will finally bring answers.
They thought we would all die. They hunkered down in some bunker to let the entire human race die.
I wonder if that makes them monsters. Or… I guess… they probably stuffed that base as full as they could.
But damnit if we didn’t deserve to know! I didn’t ask the reason for such an awful decision, but it’s easy enough to guess. Didn’t want to cause a panic that might destroy the base, or the organization, before the Event actually occurred. Or maybe they thought it was kinder to let humanity quietly die in its sleep.
Just because I would’ve rather known doesn’t mean everybody would have.
I guess… I guess I’m just glad I’m not the one that had to make the decision of what to do. I’m not sure history would’ve thought fondly of me either way.
Not that I’m going to be remembered. Not that there’s going to be a history. Just an animal now. We’re all just animals now.
Or… actually not, I guess. I’m not just an animal. Animals all run, or they fight. I didn’t do either. I’m human. I’m not an animal, I’m human, I’m human, I’m human…