A New Life

by Lunafan1k


Twilight sighed in defeat, “Alright, come on. Let’s grab Pinkie and head back home.” We followed her through the dispersing crowd toward the sounds of the party where Pinkie was hosting a multitude of party games, none of which I knew a thing about.

“Hey guys! Here to play Pin the Tail on the Donkey? Or Ring Toss? Darts? Bobbing for Apples? Or how about-” Pinkie was interrupted as Twilight cast a spell that put a zipper over her lips and sealed it shut, though that didn’t stop her from talking.

“… That’s a very odd spell.” I heard Rose comment.

“Pinkie, were heading back to Ponyville for the night so we can head to Canterlot in the morning.” Twilight said.

Pinkie un-zipped her mouth, “Okie dokie! Say hi to Zecora for me!”

“What do you mean? Are you not coming?” Twilight asked.

“Duh, of course not! These party ponies need to get those creaks out of their bones, hehe!” Pinkie giggled as she hopped around and passed out a few pastries which were eagerly devoured.

“But we need to report this to the Princess!” Twilight exclaimed.

“Hmm… Well, you could report it to Princess Celestia but right now, I’m needed here. These ponies need help adjusting to their new lives, they were dead for over a thousand years and now they are back only to see everything they knew and loved has changed and turned to rubble. They all need a bit of laughter in their hearts.” Pinkie said with a surprising amount of seriousness.

Rose stepped passed me and pulled Pinkie into a tight hug, which Pinkie happily returned, “Thank you.” She said. Pinkie hummed in response and snuggled into the hug.

I smiled at the sight; Pinkie was such a kind hearted pony. I heard somepony gag, I turned to see Twilight clamping her eyes shut with a hoof shoved in her mouth.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

She nodded in response, “Sorry, Just the thought of hugging a walking corpse kind of makes me sick.” She turned and walked away a few steps.

As I watched her wander off I felt myself growing warm in anger. On a fundamental note, hugging a dead smelly thing may not be appealing, but Rose is alive, she has feelings, it’s not her fault she’s this way! We should be focused on trying to make them feel better about themselves; because as far as they know yesterday they were alive and well, and today they are rotting meat.

I broke my gaze away from Twilight to see Rose awkwardly break out of the hug, “Sorry about that…” She said.

“Hey, no need to be sorry. Ponies deserve hugs no matter what!” Pinkie exclaimed, “Now turn that frown upside down!”

“What?” Rose asked in confusion.

Pinkie giggled, “It means cheer up, silly!”

Rose chuckled with a small smile, “Yes, I suppose there is a lot to be happy for, thank you.”

“That’s the spirit!” Pinkie cheered and bounced off to another part of the party.

Rose stood there, watching her go. I walked up to her and placed a hoof on her withers, “You okay?”

She shook her head, “Not really, but I will be. It’s a lot to take in, at best everyone is in too much shock to realize, but come tomorrow or the next few days, and the realization is going to hit pretty hard. Not to mention your purple friend, if she sees us as shambling corpses, how many thousands out there will see us that way too? What will happen then?”

“Honestly, it seems like there are too many questions to speculate, but from what I could see, most ponies are rude by nature. I’m sure she didn’t mean to insult you or anyone else, she’s just really stressed I think. What with all this talk of ancient magic and evil and stuff.” I reasoned.

“Yes… I suppose you’re right.” She said.

“Well I hope I am. Besides, we’re staying with her for a while so there’s plenty of time to sit down and talk it out.” I said. “Come on, let’s catch up with them and see if Binks will give us a gondola ride back to town.”

Rose smiled and laughed, “A gondola ride? Isn’t that a bit fancy for somepony you just met?”

I looked at her in confusion as we walked, “I… don’t think I follow…”

“I’m kidding, just giving you a hard time.” She said with a chuckle.

Once we caught up, Twilight, AJ, Rarity, Rose and I sought out Binks. He was using his skills on the edge of the forest, stripping down trees into logs and timber materials for building wooden houses.

“Hey Binks!” I called out as we approached. He set aside the sharpened rocks and makeshift tools, the steel ones sat in a pile off to the side, far too rusted to be of use.

“Yo hohoho! My, my! Aren’t you a sight for sore eyes! Ah, though I don’t have any. Yo hohoho!” The skeletonized diamond dog laughed cheerfully. “I am so glad for what you and your friends have done for us all, if there is anything we can do, just ask away!”

“Thanks! Although we did have some help in the end, I don’t think I would have beaten the lich without it.” I said as I shoulder bumped Rose. She said the order was a secret, I wasn’t about to let that out. She chuckled a bit in response.

“Modesty! He’s modest! Yo hohoho!” Binks cheered.

“Haha, I try. Anyway, think you could ferry us along the river out of the woods?” I asked.

“Of course! I’m sure I could step away for a few hours, not like they’re going to die of old age waiting on my return! Yo hohoho!” Binks cheered and started dancing his way to the river beyond the old market.

Rose and I followed right behind and looked around as all the undead were working hard to finish tearing down the old buildings and recycling the bricks for future use. Near the docks we found Caster pointing out a few different locations to the workers. She flew through the rubble with a few other ghosts and directed them to various locations.

“Hey Caster, what’s going on?” I asked as we neared.

“Oh hey guys! Us ghosts are searching around for anyone trapped under the rubble, and we found over a dozen so far!” She said, “There’s a lot of ground to cover, so I’ll see you guys later, okay?” Rose and I waved as she flew off.

“Wow, there really is a lot of work that needs doen, isn’t there?” AJ commented as we piled into the gondola.

“Yes, the city has been invaded by the forest from what we could gather, what you see as ruins is only the center most part of the city.” Rose filled in. “We estimate that the excavation of materials and buried survivors is going to take around a month or two, and we have another team set to constructing simple, temporary homes. Right, Binks?”

“Yo hohoho! Right you are! I’m doing what I can to help out as much as possible!” He laughed happily as we made our way downstream.

I looked over the edge of the boat at the thick black slime of the river. “Has anyone had a chance to look at this yet?”

Rose peered over the opposite side and gave it a sniff, “It’s not pure unicorn or ancient magic… almost seems like a failure at mixing incompatible powers…” She dipped a hoof into the goop, much to the revulsion of the others, and examined it closely. “Oh hush, it’s been nullified. But other than the black magic there are traces of spiritual magic. Your friend, the zebra, was she a shaman by some chance?” She asked as she wiped her hoof clean on Binks.

“Hey!” He protested but let it slide, not like he was super clean anyway.

“A shaman? No, she’s just a potion brewer. Besides, shamans aren’t real.” Twilight said with finality.

Rose looked her over carefully, “Yes, of course, how foolish of me.” She said, causing Twilight to grin in triumph.

Rose sounded… reserved? Confused? No, more like she knows something we don’t, but doesn’t want to cause an argument. From what I’ve noticed, Twilight seems to consider herself an expert in all things magical and doesn’t take well to criticism or new ideas, so I guess I understand Rose’s reasoning.

“Hey, Binks, mind if'n we sing that song again?” AJ asked. “Would take mah mind off the forest…”

“Yo hohoho! Of course! Ready? All together now!”

Yo hohoho, yo hohoho…
Yo hohoho, yo hohoho…

When the light of the evening sun finally broke through the trees as we neared the edge of the forest I was overjoyed. The last hour spent trapped on the small boat with a bunch of ponies belting out the same song over and over was driving me mad! Rose seemed to be having a good time though, she was proving to be quite an amazing singer and was the only one I enjoyed singing the song. The others weren’t BAD I guess, but they still annoy me.

“Hey look! We made it back! You can all stop singing now!” I called out over them in the middle of their twenty-sixth sing along. Luckily they stopped and looked mad that I didn’t let them finish. “Oh thank you!” I called out to the blissful silence.

“They weren’t that bad.” Rose said with a chuckle.

“No, they weren’t, but I can only stand the same song so many times, I just found out.” I explained, to which she nodded her head in understanding.

“Ah, my apologies, perhaps I should have sang a different song.” Binks said as he pulled up to the riverbank. “Anyway, I don’t think your town would appreciate a skeleton making its way down the river.”

“I’m sure once we tell the Princess she’ll help us integrate back to the ponies.” Rose said.

“Yes, I’m sure that’s true, but it still saddens me. Hard times are ahead.” He remarked.

“Perhaps, but I’m sure we’ll pull through fine.” Rose assured as we disembarked.

“Yeah! I’ll come by and help you guys too!” I said. I was actually surprised when a few of the others offered help as well.

“If’n ya’ll need help with the land, just send word to the farm!” AJ added.

“And I would be honored to assist with the decorating and any outfits anypony needs.” Rarity said regally.

“See Binks? We already made some pony friends.” Rose said. “Now head back and don’t slack off, you hear?”

“Yo hohoho! Of course my dear!” He said as he pushed off back into the river. “Yo hohoho… Yo hohoho…!” He sang out as he disappeared into the forest.

“I like him.” I found myself commenting again.

“He’s a good guy. Now, which way is it to your village?” Rose asked.

“Oh, it’s this way.” Twilight said as she took the lead. “Ponyville is rather new in comparison to the other cities of Equestria, close to about seventy five years since AJ’s grandmother’s parents founded the town.”

Twilight led us back to town as the sun set on the horizon, allowing the moon to rise smoothly in its place, bringing with it a multitude of stars. We came upon a crossroads as we entered the outer edge of the town.

“Well girls, should we head to the hospital to see how Zecora is holding up?” Twilight asked.

“Well, Ah should be getten home soon, but Ah could spare a few minutes for a good friend.” AJ said.

“I feel the same darling, but I think we simply must let her know we’re here for her.” Rarity added.

“She might want some answers about what happened, so I think we should at least check in. Although I’m sure she won’t wake up for a while yet.” I said.

“I have to agree with Beetle, it would be a kind gesture regardless though.” Rose said.

Twilight looked us over for a moment with squinted eyes, “Well alright, come on girls and Beetle, the hospital is just this way.”

Rose and I shared a glance in confusion; something was up with that purple unicorn. In the end we followed along, the travel itself was un-eventful as Rose looked over the simple architecture of the town with a frown.

“Something the matter, darling?” Rarity asked as she noticed Rose’s gaze.

“Not really, was just thinking that after a thousand years ponies would move onto something other than simple huts with thatch roofs.” Rose said as she gestured around.

“Well, they are fairly easy and cheap to re-construct, which is vital for a small town such as ours.” Rarity informed.

“How do you mean?” Rose asked.

“Well, seems like something strange happens just about every week, and more than half the town gets destroyed on a monthly basis. It’s actually surprisingly good for the economy.” Rarity said casually.

“Wait, how and what destroys the town!?” I asked in shock.

“Well, last time was a few days before we found you Beetle. Discord, the God of Chaos broke free and tried making Ponyville the chaos capital of the world. But in the end we managed to re-connect with our elements and seal him back in stone.” Rarity explained.

I had no idea who that was, but it looked like Rose sure did. “He escaped!? You can all wield the Elements that effectively!?”

Rarity smirked as she tapped her necklace with a hoof, “We also used them to free Princess Luna from Nightmare Moon.”

Rose’s jaw dropped and she stopped walking, completely stunned. I poked her a few times before she shook her head and laughed, “Perhaps I underestimated you ponies, this era is promising to be interesting at least.”

“In that case I should probably give you a history lesson at some point, but that can wait for now, the hospital is just ahead.” Twilight said. We followed her around the final bend in the path and came upon the familiar sight of Ponyville Hospital. “Rose, you might appreciate some of our technological advancements in the hospital.”

“Yes… It does seem very odd structurally and is simple yet elegant in its own right, seems sturdy too.” She remarked, giving it a critical eye.

“Were you an architect too dear?” Rarity asked.

Rose shook her head, “No, I’m just comparing to what I’ve seen from my day.”

“I’m new to all this, but I don’t like the beeping machine, it’s so annoying.” I remarked.

“That annoying beeping machine made sure your heart was still beating, Beetle.” Twilight said bluntly.

“Alright… No need to be rude about it.” She pretended to not hear me.

I heard something shatter to my left. I turned to see a pony staring at us, a broken vase of flowers in front of her. I was about to ask if she was alright but instead she turned and ran screaming into town, yelling something about monsters.

“What was that all about?” I asked in confusion.

“Oh dear, I was afraid of that. A lot of ponies are skittish to new ponies and the fact you both sort of look like a weird monster to them is going to make them panic. Luckily all that means is running and hiding, so the streets will be clear at least. I’ll try and see if Princess Celestia can come down and talk them out of their fear if they still see you as a threat.” Twilight said.

“I see. Pardon me for asking, but you seem to have a lot of faith that she will do as you ask, what is your relationship with her exactly? I figure being the bearers comes with a few perks but not having the Princess doing you favors.” Rose asked.

“I am Princess Celestia’s personal student, I’ve been taught by her since I was a filly in everything regarding magic since I got my cutie mark for it.” She said with pride.

“My my, that is impressive.” Rose remarked in surprise, “I hope it isn’t too stressful, working directly under royalty at such a young age.”

“Well, I do my best to impress her and I’ve never let her down yet!” She declared triumphantly.

“The princess actually assigned her to live here and make friends because she was such a shut in, she’s come quite a long way and manages to keep up her studies and make time for friends.” Rarity whispered to us.

The whole situation just seemed odd to me, mainly because I view ponies as rude by default. But I let those thoughts slide as we came upon the hospital’s main entrance where I first met Twilight and her friends.

“Seems like only yesterday I was last here.” I remarked.

“Actually you were last here this morning, wasn’t expecting to see you so soon!” One of the nurses I met during my stay was manning the counter. “Although, is your new friend alright? She seems awfully… pale.”

“I’m actually feeling much better than I have in the last thousand years.” Rose said with a sly smile.

“Ah, I see then. Strange things usually happen around this lot, I assume a summit for the princess will be soon?” The nurse asked Twilight, who nodded her head.

“You seem pretty calm about this.” I remarked.

“As a professional care provider I have mastered the art of suppressing fear and anxiety until my break where I will probably have a panic attack, your friends kind of explained already and the entire story is quite terrifying.” The nurse said in a rather deadpan voice.

We stood there in silence for a moment until Twilight spoke up, “Um, which room is she in?”

“204, she’s resting at the moment, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy are in there with her, feel free to stay a while.” She said, standing from her chair. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll be taking my break a bit early.”

Rose and I watched as she retreated to a room marked “Employees Only” and closed the door. We were able to see her shadow through the clouded glass clearly freaking out but to the door’s credit we heard nothing.

“Ponies sure are strange.” I remarked.

“Yes, we all have our perks.” Rose stated as we followed behind the group.

We reached the elevator and it was large enough for all five of us to stand comfortably inside. I waited for Rose to say something about how remarkable the machine was but she remained silent. I for one thought this thing was amazing, and voiced as such.

“This thing is amazing.” I said.

“It looks like a fancy dumbwaiter, run by pulleys and counterweights.” Rose remarked.

“If’n it works, don fix it, right?” AJ supplied.

“Yes, that exactly.” Rose said.

There was a ding and the doors opened to reveal the pristine white hallway of 2nd floor. Twilight stepped out and led the way to 204, which looked incredibly familiar to me, but then again each empty room we passed looked nearly identical anyway. Twilight knocked as she entered and met Rarity and Fluttershy with a hug.

“I’m glad you guys made it back!” Fluttershy said.

“Yea, what kept you?” Rainbow asked. “And where’s Pinkie?”

“Rainbow, we can’t just fly back over the tree tops, and Binks was kind enough to offer us a ride along the river.” Rarity said. “Pinkie decided to stay behind a bit to help cheer up the city.”

“That’s so kind of her.” Fluttershy commented.

“How’s she doing girls?” Twilight asked as she broke away to look at Zecora.

“She hasn’t woken up yet, but the doctors say her energy appears to have been drained away. She probably won’t wake up for a while.” Fluttershy said.

“Called it.” I voiced.

“… Well in any case I’m glad she’s doing alright. Tomorrow morning I’ll be heading to Canterlot with Rose and Beetle to report this to the Princess, did any of you want to come with?” Twilight asked.

“I’m on cloud watch all day tomorrow and I need to approve the next week’s weather, I already put it off as much as I could.” Rainbow said.

“I think I’ll stay with Zecora so she’s not alone when she wakes up.” Fluttershy said.

“Ah’ll hafta catch up on the chores I skipped today and see about getting some supplies to the old castle to help the workers.” AJ said.

“I have an idea for a gift for Beetle and Rose, but I’ll need to pull an all-nighter to finish it so I’ll deliver it first thing in the morning! Unfortunately I’ll need to get my beauty sleep afterwards.” Rarity said.

“And Pinkie is staying with the undead so it’s just Beetle, Rose and I.” Twilight sighed. “Alright, let’s get to the library so I can set up your sleeping arrangements.”

“Alright, where is it, by the-” Twilight’s horn flashed, “-way…” and I found myself surrounded by shelves of books. “That’s neat. Why didn’t we do that from the old castle?” I asked.

“Because-” Twilight began.

“-The distance times the mass of the number of ponies would require an output of power at a greater rate than a single pony's mass and at several multitudes due to various factors resulting in a power consumption far beyond what she could have managed. Something like that?” Rose asked with a sly smile.

Twilight was glaring at her and grinding her teeth while her face was slowly growing red to match her bloodshot eyes. Her horn flashed again and there were a bunch of pillows and blankets at our hooves. “There’s your bed, go to sleep!” she vanished in a flash and if the muffled scream of aggravation from upstairs meant anything, she teleported to her bedroom.

“She really doesn’t like the fact you know the intricacies of magic.” I stated to Rose.

“I know; it is a bit rude to automatically assume that earth ponies are uneducated in magic. Truth is, I know far more than her if she hasn’t even considered shaman magic or the magic of the ancients, both of which need a very open mind and a sturdy heart.”

While we spoke I used my magic to arrange a few pillows in a kind of nest then flopped on my belly. I used my magic to pull out my book and started reading it. Rose lied down next to me and read alongside me.

“Interesting.” She commented after a few pages of silent reading.

“What?” I asked.

“It reads unlike any other spell book that I have seen. It’s almost like it’s a guide of some kind, no doubt ensuring that its bearer would be able to handle the more powerful spells. Open it to the back once for a moment.” She asked.

I flipped to the back quarter of the book, but the pages were blank. “Huh, wasn’t expecting that.” Rose said. “Flip back page by page, what section is this?”

I flipped back a few pages, each as blank as the last until one had a label at the top, ‘Available Summons’ and there were two entries, ‘Living Armor’ and ‘Windigo’ each with a 1 on the right.

“Oh sweet, I can summon those now?” I asked. "I really want to give this a try now, they were pretty cool monsters."

“I take you had assumed control of a living armor and a windigo during your big fight?” Rose asked.

“Yea, I kind of just forced my magic into them, sort of like how I freed you and your sister.” I said. Rose’s face slacked, she looked so full of sorrow and pain in a single instant.

“You know, I could never thank you enough for that, so thank you, thank you for saving us…” She said and closed her eyes. She then snuggled her head up under my chin and pressed her body closer, cool flesh against cool chitin. I was filled with a strange feeling as I had no idea what to do, so I rested by chin on the back of her neck.

We lay there cuddled up for a few minutes before the silence was broken by a quite sob. Rose’s sides heaved irregularly as she pressed against me, I could feel the wetness from her eyes against my furry chest. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I used my magic to pull a blanket over us as I pulled her closer into a soft embrace. With another flick of my magic I turned out the light of the candles. I listened as her soft whimpers eventually receded as sleep overtook her, and I followed right after.