A New Life

by Lunafan1k

The Mission

The dawn came and so did my consciousness. My room was on fire with the vivid orange of the morning sun, and as I sat up in bed I realized I must be a morning pony. Changeling. Whatever. My throat was a bit dry again but I solved that with a quick drink of water. My body was feeling tight and sluggish today, probably from lack of movement, so I tried to get out of the bed.

I tossed the sheets off me and looked over the side of the bed. I realized something I didn’t quite notice before, the bed was rather tall and I couldn’t see any hoof holds. Sheer boredom compelled me to go for it, so I laid on my side, mindful of the wires and tubes still connected to me, and reached down with my rear right leg as far as I could.

It was no use, I couldn’t feel the floor. I tried to climb up but my struggling pulled the sheets loose and I slid further off the side of the bed. I panicked and pulled harder, causing the sheets and blankets to pull free and I fell! For barely a moment before my back hooves touched the floor. I stood there with my forelegs gripping a bundle of blankets for a few moments, the floor was barely out of reach, and I had made it down safely.

With the hard part out of the way I checked the edge of the bed, there was a bar about mid-way up that could be used to climb in and out of the bed easier, I’ll have to remember that. I traced the cables and tubes to the series of machines, but was unable to determine if I could move the machines with me. Instead I looked at the length of the wires and tubes to see if they were long enough to walk around without breaking anything, and was sadly disappointed.

I had barely enough length to walk around to the other side of the bed, where I was able to peer into the basket out of curiosity. There were several envelopes with well wishes and some candies. Overall I was disappointed, don’t know why. Am I greedy? No, feels like I was expecting something else. I pulled the balloons closer and looked at them lazily. Yep, they are balloons.

My ears perked as I thought of something, why didn’t I look out the window?! It might trigger a memory! I reared up and placed my hooves on the window ledge and peered outside for the first time. The view wasn’t overall great, but I was able to see a small park and a few paths leading to a smallish town, the thatched roofs and a few taller buildings and a tree being the only buildings I could see, but it was enough. I don’t know how long I stood there gazing down at the ponies in awe.

“Ahem, enjoying the view?”

I look behind me to see the doctor smiling at me. “I got bored.”

“I can see that. Come on over here and hop back on the bed so I can look at you.” He said as he started fiddling with the machines.

I did as he asked and using the bar I saw I was able to climb up without any issues. Once I was settled the doctor checked my throat again.

“Looking much better, we can go ahead and take you off the IV and the monitor, but I would like another blood sample for the lab for screening, just in case there is anything else that might happen in the future.” He said, pulling out a weird tube with a needle poking out the side.

“How’s that work?” I asked.

He pressed the needle into a tube by my ear, “Basically we closely examine the blood for any diseases, infections, or low blood sugar and other such things.” He stuck a tube inside the other tube and I was able to see green blood pump into it and fill it up. He repeated it with a few more small tubes and set them in a box.

“And we’re done! Let’s get you disconnected.” The wires were removed easily, they were held to my chest with sticky tape. But the tubes were weird, they ended in a long needle that was deep inside the base of my ear. It felt weird when it was removed. Also a bit of blood shot out, that was pretty neat. The doctor was quick to place a bandage on it.

“That should stop the bleeding shortly, you can take it off in a few hours. Other than that you are free to go.” He said.

“Uh, go where?” I asked.

“Twilight offered to let you stay in her spare room at the library, if I recall she’s in the waiting room at the moment.” He said. I nodded and climbed out of the bed.

I left the two books, one un-read, on the stand and gathered the basket with balloons in my mouth. I didn’t know which way to go at first but the doctor pointed me down the hall and mentioned something about an elevator to the first floor.

I had no idea what that was, but I did my best! I went to the end of the hall and before me was a pair of metal doors. I pressed against them but they refused to open. I set the basket down and looked over the door and the metal frame, there appeared to be a panel on the left with the two triangles I saw on the bed. I needed to go down to the first floor, so I pressed the bottom one.

Nothing is happening. I pressed it several more times to no avail. I sighed and picked up the basket to find somepony, but as I did there was a ‘Ding!’ and the metal doors slid apart! They seemed to lead to a mysterious small room. I hesitantly entered and looked around. There was a hoof rail along the wall, and a panel of glowing numbers. I pressed 1 for the first floor.

There was another ‘Ding!’ as the doors closed, locking me in the tiny room. I looked on in confusion, what was the point in this? Suddenly the pit of my stomach dropped out as I felt lighter. The feeling only lasted for a moment before another ding rang out and the doors opened revealing what could only be the entrance to another world! Or the first floor. Probably the alternate dimension though.

I bravely stepped forward into the hall and was met with stares and odd looks. I stared back at them, basket in mouth, and I walked down the hall. After a few moments the ponies returned to whatever they were doing and I could care less. Luckily there were signs helpfully pointing out the direction to the waiting room and various exits, so I made great time.

I walked into the entrance slash waiting room area to see several more ponies waiting on the various chairs. Some impatient, others injured in some way, I came upon the realization that I had no idea who this Twilight pony was.

“Girls, look! He’s here!” I heard a voice cheerfully announce. I looked behind me, ‘Who’s here?’ I thought. I turned back around to meet a pony nose to nose. Not knowing what to do I stared into those blue eyes idly wondering who this was.

“Pinkie! Give him some space!” The pony in front of me shimmered in purple as she was dragged back, revealing she was indeed pink and overly happy, going by her large smile.

“Sorry about her, you get used to it. Anyway, my name is Twilight Sparke, and these are my friends, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity.” She pointed out two other ponies, a colorful one and a white one with a strange mane. It needed something… but I was unable to put my hoof on it. Oh! She’s still talking!

“There’s also Apple Jack and Fluttershy, but they both had responsibilities to attend to.” She said.

I wondered what duties they had, “Are they guards?” I asked out loud.

“Um, no, AJ is a farmer and Fluttershy had to tend to a wounded animal.” She explained.


“So, what’s your name?” Twilight asked.

I shrug, “I don’t know, but I had a cool dream about a blue flying unicorn that said my mind was shattered and I had to fix it somehow. Let’s see… I think her name was Lumpa?”

“You must mean Princess Luna, and she’s not a dream. She has the ability to enter the dreams of ponies and help them with their nightmares.” Twilight said.

“Yea she’s pretty cool,” Rainbow said and started to fly in front of me, “But you are pretty cool too! Not as much as I am, obviously, but you look like a bug pony!”

“Rainbow Dash! You shouldn’t be so rude! He is what he is, and that’s that!” The white one, Rarity, said.

“Geez, I was just saying he looked like a cool bug pony.” Rainbow defended.

I thought for a moment about bugs, yes, I liked bugs, I think. Ill explore more on that later.

“So if you’re not a bug pony, what are you then?” Rainbow asked.

“I’m a changeling.” I said matter-of-factly.

“And… all changelings look like bug ponies?” She asked.

“Uh, I guess so?” I shrugged, not really knowing if all changelings looked like I did.

“Okay girls, now that introductions are out of the way, let’s go to the library!” Twilight said happily.

“Hey, can I ask a question really quick?” I asked as a though occurred to me. “Can I see the place where you found me?”

“Hmm, well it is still early, and I guess we can stop by Zecora’s and she can see your doing better.”

“She was the one that found me, right?” I asked. Twilight started leading us out of the hospital and down the road my room overlooked. I looked back at the hospital and found the window to my old room; it appeared the nurse was changing out the sheets on the bed. I saw her glance my way, so I smiled and waved, which she returned. I shifted my attention back to Twilight.

“Yes, she was. It was weird though, almost like she wasn’t sure what to do. Anyway, im sure she’ll be happy you’re doing alright.” She said with a smile.

“OH! OH! CAN I COME!?” Pinkie exclaimed excitedly

Twilight giggled, “Yes Pinkie, you’re welcome to join us. How about you two?” She asked Rainbow and Rarity.

“I would love to darling, but I had just enough time to visit this morning. I'm working on a new line for Sapphire Shores and our little changeling friend needs something formal to wear.” She said and patted my head. It made me feel strange, like weightlessness and being both hot and cold. As soon as she stopped the feeling faded as well. She gave me an odd look, maybe she felt it as well?

She shook her head, “Anyway darlings, I’ll catch up with you all tonight for the thing at the place.” She said to Pinkie with a wink, who nodded in return in a completely non subtle way.

“Ta-ta, darlings~!” She sang out. I watched her leave, she was an odd one.

“Well… its about time for my mid-morning nap, but I think I’m up for an adventure in the haunted forest!” Rainbow said, giving me a weird look and making odd noises and waving her arms over her head.

“…. I think she needs to visit the doctor, something is wrong with her.” I said to Twilight.

Rainbow gave me a sour look as Twilight giggled, “I think she was trying to be spooky.”

“Yea yea, let’s see you do better!” Suddenly for whatever reason my mind was able to conjure up an image of a frightful monster. I had no idea what it was but it would scare me! Unfortunately I doubt it exists, much less use it to scare Rainbow. Maybe I can craft it?

Pinkie giggle-snorted, “Silly Rainbow, it takes more than that to scare even a filly!”

I looked to Twilight as they started to bicker about how scary they can be. Twilight appeared to be glaring at a list of some sort and drawing a number of revisions to it. After a moment she sighed and rolled it up.

“I had to make a few changes to the schedule and the tour, but I was able to drop a few of the less important items, like visiting the lake and other spots that can be seen another day, so we have plenty of time to visit Zecora and the spot she found you. Since its morning, most of the monsters should have gone to bed by now, so there shouldn’t be too much to worry about. And if Zecora comes along then we should be perfectly safe!” She exclaimed.

“Okay.” I said. Wasn’t really sure what else to add but she nodded and continued down the dirt road.

We seemed to take a more direct route, as we didn’t pass through any crowded areas. There were a few houses here and there, made of wood, some with thatch roofing and others with more modern shingles. They seemed to be painted every color imaginable, we even passed a noisy house with two separate color schemes that seemed to split the house in half. It made my eyes hurt, I found myself thinking the colors should be toned down so they weren’t as bright. Maybe that was why the white one with the blue hair wore the eye shades?

Soon enough we were crossing a small bridge that lead to a rather large cottage, and all around us swarmed just about every kind of animal I could imagine. This memory thing was pretty peculiar, ask me five minutes ago what a rabbit or a squirrel was and I wouldn’t have an answer, but as soon as I see one it’s like, duh, this is a squirrel and that’s a rabbit. It was quite the sensation, suddenly remembering things you didn’t know you forgot.

As we neared the hut I made sure to look around as much as possible. Unfortunately my frantic head movements drew attention to myself.

“Yo, um, dude, are you alright?” Rainbow asked me.

“Yes, im trying to see as many animals as I can.” I said simply and kept looking around. I found snakes and badgers and a few different kinds of fish, some more birds, an iguana, a salamander, and so many more! At this rate my memory will be complete!

“Oh, uh, okay…” Rainbow said and gave me a weird look. I have no idea what she is trying to do with her face. I look back with a blank stare for a moment before going back to seeing more animals. OH! An owl!

We reached the house at some point and Twilight said, “This is Fluttershy’s cottage, since we were going to pass by to get to the forest I thought we could introduce you and see if she wanted to come as well.”

“Oh, I thought this was that Zecora's place.” I said. I stopped looking around and focused on Twilight and the door.

“No, she’s a zebra, Fluttershy is a Pegasus.” Twilight explained as she knocked softly on the door. “Be careful though, she’s nervous around new ponies and is kind of quiet.”

I nodded as the door creaked open; I was able to make out a yellow furred head and a big blue eye, and a pink silky mane. Our eyes met, and I have no idea what happened. She was suddenly squeezing the life from me and blabbing about how glad she was that I was better. I didn’t know if she was killing me or trying to help me.

“Fluttershy!” I heard Twilight call out as my vision began to fade. We were encompassed by a purple glow and a moment later we were separated. I coughed and wheezed in thanks as my vision returned and the strange feeling coursed through me again.

“I’m so sorry Mr. Beetle, I didn’t meant to hurt you I was just so worried and when I saw you I was so relived! I’m sorry…” she trailed off and looked like she was about to cry.

I was still wheezing, my throat was suddenly very sore and I think I coughed up some blood… yep, that’s blood. “T-Twi-” I tried but I was coughing some more. I settled for slow breaths and lowering my head, letting the blood drip out my mouth instead of inhaling it.

“Oh no! I think his stitches opened a bit! Rainbow, get him inside! Fluttershy, do you still have some of that potion?” Fluttershy had tears flowing down her face at what she had accidentally done, but she nodded her head and rushed back inside.

Rainbow and Pinkie carried me in and laid me on my back on the couch. There were more animals inside, I could hear them, but I was concentrating on not inhaling my own blood.

I heard the rustle of feathers and hooves then, “Here, Mr. Beetle, drink this, it’ll stop the bleeding.” The soft voice of Fluttershy said.

I was helped sit up as the rim of a cup or bowl was touched to my lips. I slowly drank the fluid, it tasted like honey and had a bitter twang of some herbs. Soon the pain faded to a dull throb and breathing was easier, it also didn’t trigger another coughing fit.

“There there, rest easy Mr. Beetle. The potion stopped the bleeding to allow it to heal, and I added a few herbs to make it heal a bit faster, so you should be back to normal in about an hour.” Fluttershy said as she propped me up on some pillows. I nodded in response, already used to not talking.

"I’m Fluttershy, by the way, and I’m sorry about hugging you too tight… Can you forgive me? Oh, and is it alright if I call you Mr. Beetle? Just for, you know, until you remember that is.” She asked, looking deeply into my eyes. She was sincere in her apology; I don’t know I just knew, so I nodded to both questions. I’m not going to hold a grudge just because she got caught up in her feelings, I’m not a monster. And Mr. Beetle sounds cool.

The effects were immediate, she cheered up almost instantly and rubbed her cheek against mine, causing that annoying feeling again. I’ll have to look into that feeling later. For now though, it looks like everypony is setting up a tea set for some reason.

“Oh, are we having tea? I’m sorry, I haven’t made anything yet!” Fluttershy apologized.

“It’s alright Fluttershy, we didn’t originally plan on heading out this way, if we did we would have let you know.” Twilight said as the others nodded.

“Oh gosh, well thank you for bringing Mr. Beetle by so I could see he’s doing alright, I’ve just been so busy lately, I think the season’s pollen is affecting the critters more than usual this year.” She said as Twilight prepared the tea.

I relaxed as they had their little tea chat, my throat feeling all tingly from the potion as I listened. Fluttershy detailed what she had been doing, “The flu going around doesn’t seem to respond to any of my normal medicine, and it’s even starting to affect the plants. I’m at my wit’s end Twilight.”

Twilight thought for a moment, “Maybe it’s not the flu? If it’s affecting the plants as well it might be a different disease entirely.”

“I thought about that too.” Fluttershy flew to her bookshelf and returned with a thick tome, “Here, this one was the closest I could find.”

Twilight gasped as Rainbow read over their shoulders, “The Black Death? Plague? What’s that?”

I looked to the left to see Pinkie chilling on the couch with me, off in her own little world.

“What do you mean, ‘what’s that’?!” Twilight suddenly exclaimed, “It’s a terrible disease that almost took out all of Prance and spread across the entire eastern continent!”

“Oh… what do you mean by took out? Like a little cough?” Rainbow winced back from the glare directed at her from Twilight.

“’Took out’ as in dead, Rainbow, hundreds of millions died during the epidemic, the streets were littered with corpses as the sick wandered in pain waiting to die. Luckily this was over 1500 years ago and hasn’t been seen since, thanks to new medicine to fight it, until today anyway…” Twilight looked back to the book in dread.

“But Twilight, it’s not exactly like it, it’s only affecting the animals so far, and there aren’t any blisters or boils forming. It’s the plants that lead me to believe it’s like the plague though, here,” Fluttershy flew off to another room and brought back a glass jar, inside was what once must have been a rose, now sickly black and covered in what looks like tar.

"This rose was from the Everfree, up to yesterday it was just fine in its little vase. I saw it start changing color and put it in the jar, and now it’s like this.” She said, placing it on the table by the book. “Looking at the description, the plants affected by the plague turned black and shriveled, but this one seems like its melted almost, so it’s not the plague detailed here in the book.”

Twilight hummed as she examined the flower, “Mind if I test it quick? It can stay in the jar.”

“Of course.” Fluttershy consented. I heard the sound of munching, I looked over to Pinkie Pie to see that she was indeed chowing down on popcorn like this was the most entertaining thing ever. Frankly I was growing bored.

Twilight set her horn alight and a wide beam shot out and seemed to pass through the rose. It trailed up and down the length a few times before she gasped in shock and cut out the magic.

“Twilight? Are you okay?” Fluttershy asked.

“Yes, I’m fine, Thanks. I’ve got good news and bad news though, this isn’t caused by a virus or a deadly bacteria.” She said carefully.

“Oh thank goodness!” Fluttershy sighed in relief.

“So what’s the bad news? The rose is nasty?” Rainbow asked.

“No, the disease affecting the plants and the wildlife is actually magical in nature, and I’ve identified it as being caused by excessive amounts of black magic. Rainbow, gather the girls, I’ll get the elements. We need to search the Everfree, find the source of this corruption, and purify it with the elements!”

Rainbow let out a battle cry and flew out the door, Pinkie cheered and bounced on the couch, Fluttershy tried to hide, and I was completely confused.