A Cog in the Machine

by ManlyDerp

Chapter 1: To Be Deceived

Chapter 1, To be Deceived

Equestria is truly a beautiful place...

... Or at least from orbit it is.

The world the mighty country resides in is a pure blue shining globe that sits motionless in the vastness of space. It doesn’t rotate like a normal planet, nor does it share its section of the galaxy with other large bodies of floating rocks. No, Equestria seems to be set in, for lack of a better phrase, its own little world; one where the sun revolves around it like the moon and, instead of being a constant presence, the stars wink into existence for only one half of the globe at a time instead. The rest of the time there is nothing but blackness in their place, but this is soon rectified with the return of the sun.

I briefly allowed myself to ponder if the stars were actually real and if Luna simply allows them to shine through the darkness, or if they're instead magic constructs, perhaps used by Luna herself and the unicorns of the past to practice interplanetary levitation. From what I've seen this night, most of the constellations remain the same as the ones that can be seen from Earth... its almost as if Equestria's planet has taken Earth’s galactic position amongst the stars... Maybe Luna actually copies Earth’s sky from human mental images and that's why its so accurate?

... No no, that seems ridiculous... although it would explain shooting stars.


No... no, wait, it wouldn’t. That wouldn't explain them at all! Stupid brain, sleeping through astronomy classes...

Well... whatever. What if…

“You’re getting distracted, dragon.”

I quickly snapped out of my moment of universal assessment at the sound of my one and only companion’s voice.

“Oh, right. S-sorry!” I quickly sputter out in my now awkward (to me at least) sounding voice. I'm still not quite used to its higher pitch... Being a dragon? Not a problem, but being a girl? Heh, still working on it! Ha!


Yeah... I’m going to need to explain a few things, aren’t I? Just give me a sec, would ya? I'm not used to being put on the spot like this...


After letting out a small sigh of frustration, my companion takes advantage of the moment of silence to readjust the logs in our campfire with her magic. She was making sure that the lovely orange fire that I spat-up earlier kept on burning and thus kept us warm against the early fall windchill. Sitting back on my tail, I watched quietly as leaves, old newspapers, and the various wooden sticks (that we found around the campsite) were consumed by the flames. Inside I was smiling and mentally patting myself on the spiky back (somewhere between the new wings) for figuring out how to breathe fire right off the bat. Sure the circumstances for figuring it out kind of sucked... but whatever.

Fire breathing is sooooo coo-


Another small interruption from my friend once again sets my thoughts back on track. Embarrassed, I rubbed my clawed hand against the back of my head while making sure to not scratch myself with it or get it tangled in my new longer hair… again.

“Um, where was I?” I questioned sheepishly.

My friend sighed a second time. “You were speaking about Equestria; about how you were observing it from space while comparing it to your supposed homeland, an 'Earth'?”

I snapped my claws: a habit carried over from my former form which did not seemed dampened by the lack of smooth fingers. “Oh, right! Well yes, I was observing all of this from space. How? I have no real idea. It was like I was in a small transparent cocoon, simply orbiting around in the atmosphere...”


The images and feelings from that time returned to me as I continued my tale.

Before me lies Equestria, yet I didn’t know it at the time. At that moment, I was in a state of hyper relaxation... I think. It’s the only possible explanation I can think of as to why I didn’t freak the buck out when I woke up and found myself in a tightened fetal position in pitch black darkness.

Instead of panic stricken I was calm and capable of forming basic thought. I could discern that something massive was in front of me but what it was exactly I couldn’t quite figure out. My first solid decision with my refreshed brain was to take an emergency inventory check.

Shifting my form around slightly, I had to rely on small finger and toe movements, followed by fetal position pat downs, to figure out if I was in one piece or not.

All limbs were accounted for, thank goodness, along with all ten digits on both fronts. From what I could tell, I was in one piece. Good.

Shifting my arms around as much as I could in this position, I was able to feel the outside of my pant's pockets, confirming that I still had my wallet; house keys, and cell phone on me... but I couldn't reach any of it in my current 'cage'...


My companion interrupts my train of thought once more. “Cell phone?”

“Uh, it’s kind of hard to explain without showing you, but unfortunately it disappeared later on along with my clothes." 'And my manhood.' I mentally added. “But I’m getting ahead of myself. Anyways…”


After the check, I began using my finger tips to instead feel around the surface of the cocoon in a bid to figure out where I was.

The surface was smooth yet springy, like what I'd imagine being inside of a rubber ball would feel like. I breathed a small sigh of relief when I made the connection that I was probably not in a burlap sack and probably not being kidnapped. Still, the question of where I was had yet to be solved and the surface of my prison didn't yield any answers.

I attempted to speak.


But my words were muted here, like I was being gagged magically but not actually... if that makes any sense.

Frustratingly, with that last action performed I had reached the extent of what I could do in this confined space. Fear was starting to grip my senses and the walls of the cocoon seemed to react to this, tightening themselves for my discomfort.

I took a deep breath to relax my nerves and mentally berated myself for slipping up like that. 'Now's not the time to panic.'

Once I calmed down, I attempted to search my memories in order to retrace my steps. The beginning seemed as good a place as any.

'Okay, lets start with the obvious.' I thought. 'I'm a rather un-remarkable college student, 21 years of age. Accounting is my major but I'm not as fluent with numbers as people would assume I would or should be for the job. I’m the eldest of five brothers, to my poor mother’s eternal regret, and I’ve been living on my own now for almost three years. To my knowledge, I don’t have any rich relatives that would give enough of a damn to deal with a hostage situation so, once again, I can rule out kidnapping. Most of my brothers are still in elementary school except for one, and I highly doubt he would have anything to do with this. Even if he did make an enemy of someone powerful, these guys should have known better then to take me. Its like trying to bait a cat with a dog...'

This left me to recount the events of that current day, opening with breakfast. I started out with scrambled eggs made with rice-milk and fake butter in a vain attempt to offset a cruddy milk allergy, and once devoured and out of the way I finished up some extensive accounting homework... which was due that day... which was assigned weeks ago... and only started that morning.

... Nothing out of the ordinary so far, in my opinion.

After that a shower was taken, clothes were worn, a backpack was loaded, a door was locked, a massive hill that was needed to be traversed was given the one finger salute, and after that a destination was to be reached but instead my mind drew a blank.

This could have either meant that I had a hole in my memory that could coincide with when I was placed into this situation...

...Or it simply could have been my brain deciding not to function anymore when the sun decided, or Celestia in this case, that this would be the perfect time to rise and douse my world in light, revealing for me that I was in freaking space.

My panic attack returned immediately after that.

'Now's the time to panic! OhGodohGodoh... ugh, stupid nerves. Knock that off.'

After once again calming my nerves (which took much more effort then last time) I did the only thing I could do.

Sit back, relax, and blankly watch my surroundings.

My spacey surroundings.

As strange as it sounds, staring directly into the sun became my new favorite hobby. Whatever the heck that cocoon was made out of, it blocked off most of the sun's harmful rays, making it safe for viewing. I’d like to use the word 'breathtaking' to describe the scene but that would have reminded me that I was in the vacuum of space and thus such a statement could be considered an oxymoron, and I wasn't in the mood for laughing at stupid thoughts. Moving on, the whole being in freaking space thing kind of throws off a guy’s sense of time, but if I were to wager a guess I’d say I was staring into that hot gassy beauty for a good, oh, three days.


“Three days? What makes you think that?” asked my companion.

I shrugged. “This world only has like, what, two major continents, right?”

“That is correct." She replied. "Although they are connected together by the Northern and Southern Great White Ice lands.”

“Well I saw the sun grace both their surfaces three times.”

My companion raised her muzzle up in the air and gave a little huff. “Little dragon, your statement seems to contradict the story. You have stated that the world does not spin, something even a foal knows, and then you claim to have witnessed the sunrise not only in person, but three times in person on two separate sides of the planet? Impossible.”

I bit my tongue, hoping to hold back the constant wave of stupid ideas my brain was currently cooking. The most recent one was to scream ‘objection’ at the pony before explaining her mistake.

I mean, come on. Rude much?

Instead, I decided to take a deep breath. This proved to be a poor choice on my part as all it did was cause my companion to wince in fear over being struck down with my fire-breath. Her reaction caused me to faceclaw; an act resulting in 20% less accidental eye gouging compared to my first few attempts.

I groaned before continuing. “Look, I only said that the sun raised once while I was up there. After the initial rising I can only assume that that my cocoon, prison, thing followed the sun around on its journey across the globe. I honestly don’t know... all I did was stare at the sun and give this world a couple of glances every now and then...”


And please allow me to reiterate on that last point. Equestria, and by extension this entire world, is beautiful, especially from space. Both oceans (my companion's earlier comment about connected continents leads me to believe that there are only two) are pure blue with not a single cloud obscuring the view. I believe this is because of the supposed monopoly Cloudsdale and whatever the other continent’s equivalent has on cloud production. If ever there was a need, however, to water the ocean I’m sure the pegasi would simply take care of it closer to shore, or something.

The continents of the world were something else too, full of life and color even from space. I was amazed by how much detail I could actually make out from up here. On one han-, er, claw/hoof, we have a mostly flat spread of land with a sprinkling of mountains here and there, a big old stretch of brown plains followed by green foliage (which I assume now was the Everfree), and a southern section that seems to be covered up by clouds of ash and smoke.

The other continent is pretty much entirely mountains outside of a few small patches of land where I assume they pray for fertile dirt or else they’d have to rely on the other continent for food. I remember my thoughts drifting to China (an Earthen country, I explained to my single planetary audience) which has a similar geology.

The northern section of this continent is pitch white from orbit, suggesting that eskimo ponies have their work cut out for them there. My prison seemed to be rotating around from the southern to the northern hemisphere of the planet, so I didn’t receive a good look at the southern region of this continent, but I do believe that I saw a large amount of foliage, so I guess that it can’t be all mountains and snow.

The last point of interest was the moon and boy if the moving sun, the standstill globe, the completely different geology, or the cloudless oceans didn’t tip me off that this wasn’t Kansas anymore then the moon sure did.

It was quite a doozy, but one I'll make a point to brag about in the near future, now that I know I didn't just imagine it. I mean, how many people can say that they had a face to face stare off with the Mare in the Moon?!



I placed my claws over the two red spiky horns that were fixated to the sides of my head (both of which were pointing towards the back of my head slightly to the sides) in response to the yelling. I don’t know how it works, but despite being slightly above where such a thing should be on a person’s head, these things were now my new ears and holding on to them protected me from my companion’s sudden outburst.

She went on. “The Mare in the Moon hasn’t existed for over a year now! With Princess Luna’s return the moon has returned to its former glory... yet you claim to have seen it recently? How? How could a mere hatchling, no older than a day, have seen something that no longer exists?"

She then huffed. "This is not the first time your story has become odd, dragon. How do you expect to entertain anypony with this when you've not only been calling yourself a colt during the course of it, but also been naming places and events that don't exist?! No... I'm sorry, green one; but your story has become a bore and one that should not be continued.”

... Rubbing my temples used to be another one of the little habits I’d do in my human form to relieve stress, but sadly unlike finger snapping this one didn’t carry over as well. It now offers an 80% chance of eye gouging, thus making it no longer my default 'calming' technique.

I opted to instead huff and blow smoke out of my nostrils, something I found infinitely more relaxing and amusing. Once completed, I began my 'attack'.

“I never said my story was going to be interesting. I’m merely trying to offer to you an explanation as to how a ‘mere hatchling, no older than a day’...” I used my claws to make air quotes around that statement... a motion I fear was lost on my equine friend, “... could be able to walk, talk, and hold a relatively intelligent conversation with you. Maybe it’ll also answer why I look like a 21 year old dragon despite only just being hatched today... By the way, been meaning to run this by you... 21 year old dragons look and are considered baby dragons while dragons 50 years of age act like and are called teenagers? That’s kind of messed up when you think about i-”

It was at this point that I noticed that my little rant seemed to have shut up my little pony... something I was not aiming to do.

I owe this mare a lot, after all.

Thus I looked up at her apologetically. “Look… just… just let me continue my story and maybe it’ll make more sense to you. I didn’t mean to talk to you, of all ponies, like that... I owe you my life, Trixie, and I didn’t mean to bore you with my literal life story... but this is kind of necessary if I’m going to have any chance of going home. There has to be something from my recollection that could be useful to a mage like you...”

My blue unicorn companion stares at me for a moment, making no noticeable facial expressions or any other kind of movement that would insinuate what she was thinking, before raising her muzzle into the air again. She huffs and replies “Very well. Trixie would like to hear the end of your tale, but make it quick.”

I offered her a smile. “I’ll try to hurry up…”

She smiled in return.

Despite not quite having a handle on them yet, I was still able to exercise enough control over my new bat wings to order them to cover me up in a nice blanket of flesh. This successfully blocked my bright, blushing cheeks as I added “…But I’m not even at the half way point yet…”

I tried smiling again only to produce the infamous squeeing sound effect, which in turn was followed by me trying to hide my embarrassment in my wings in the same way Fluttershy tries to hide it with her hair. I mostly did this to be silly, but also because I actually was embarrassed. Not even a day here and I’m already adorable... lord help us.

Trixie only facehoofed in response to my antics.

"So, um, where was I?" I asked, before remembering myself. "Ah yes, the moon. Yes I bared witness to the Mare in the Moon in all her former glory. Big old tattoo on the moon and what not. I swear to my Earthen God that I saw some sand castles when I passed by as well, followed by some writing in the sand making out; ‘Discord was here’ and ‘Celly can kiss my fat black…’”

Trixie started tapping a forehoof impatiently.

"Er, yes, anyways, I was only there for but the briefest of seconds before I was finally sent hurtling into the sun."

“Oh for the love of Celestia!”

My wings flared backwards as I threw my claws into the air. “I’m just telling it as it is!”


Yes... my epic adventure into space ended with me being banished to the sun, bizarro eternal-day-Nightmare-whatever style.

I remember feeling intense heat and the very air in my throat igniting into pillars of fire as I tried to scream. It was unbearably agonizing... but after a moment I felt… nothing.

I felt and was surrounded by nothingness.

The only source of light was again gone and I was once more surrounded by darkness. The difference this time, however, was that my mind was starting to feel dark as well, along with my senses. I couldn’t think straight anymore and my fingers were numb and motionless.

It truly felt as though I was dead.

I’m usually a very optimistic person, as things rarely get me down and I’ve had experience in the past in finding reasons to smile even in the darkest of times, but this…

This was death to me.

And the very notion that this is what I’d have to face for the rest of eternity, just the idea that nothingness was all that I’d get to look forward to... it nearly broke me.


And that's when the cocoon began to break down.

It was very subtle at first... just the tiniest of cracks; small enough to see some light but so small it makes you question whether its even there...

Over time, this crack began to grow.

For the longest time I really did think that is was just my imagination, but even if it was my heart rejuvenated at the mere idea that my brain was actually working again to a level where it could produce imaginary items. Sure, any doctor would tell you that this was probably a sign of me going insane, and for all I know this is all just a really neat fever dream, but dream or no dream I had hope again.

After awhile that crack started to grow even faster, and it quickly became apparent that this wasn't an illusion. It went straight down the middle of the cocoon, starting right where I assume my eyes were looking down at. From there, it broke off and started to grow towards the left and right sides of the chamber.

Oh, it went as slow as molasses, but my God it was something.

The greatest test of my faith, however, came when the crack started to grow outside of my limited field of vision. My senses were still shot, so I couldn’t hear or feel if it was still working its way back there, so all I could do was pray.

And prayed I did, for what felt like an eternity...

... Until the day when my prison hatched.

My eternal patience was finally rewarded with a blast of green light coming straight out the crack. This blinding light hit me squarely in the eyes and, well, blinded me before also hitting me with a huge amount of blinding pain. I can’t really describe it too well... try to imagine your entire body falling asleep and then being forced to move everything at once in order to smash open a cocoon/brick wall… and then get hit by a lightning bolt.

Not fun, to say the least. At least all my senses were kick-started thanks to this...

... You know what else is not fun? Experiencing sunlight again after being in complete darkness for so freaking long, followed by trying to block out the sun with your hands only to gouge your eyes out with your new super sharp claws. Let’s just say that I had a few choice words for such a rude return to the land of the living, and it went a little something like this...

~Earlier that day~


A voice spoke over my cries of pain. “It looks like it worked, brother of mine… but did that dragon just talk or has the stress finally gotten to me?”

Another voice answered him. “Not at all, my good Flam. I heard it too... Shall we consult the manual once more?”

“Yes... lets.”

As my mind started working again, I began to form rational thought. 'Voices... oh sweet Jebus, voices. Other people! And they sound… show-tuney... Oh they could be drunk for all I care at this point, just so long as they aren’t going to mug me or something. Now if only I could freaking see...'

Weather report? Sunny with a 100% chance of eye gouging. Where’s Pinkie’s eye-patch-stash when you need it?



“What I can only describe as a telekinetic bitch slap followed; nothing but raw telekinetic force aimed directly at the side of my head. I didn’t quite know it was magic at the time, but all the same it shut me up good. One of them said,” I tried my best to impersonate that one’s accent. “'Shut your Lunadamn mouth thing, we’re trying to read here!’ They called me a thing! A freaking thing! What the hell?!”

Trixie's face remain bored looking. “Yes, Trixie is afraid that some ponies in this part of Equestria tend to have an older mind set when it comes to non-equines. ‘No mark, no soul’ is how Trixie believes the old saying goes.”

I blinked. “R-really?”

She nodded her head. “Afraid so.”

This stunned me greatly. As you've probably discerned from my behavior earlier today and from my few references to the show, I’m a brony. No, I haven’t explained what that is to Trixie yet, so all the references are flying right over her head. Anyways, I’m a regular watcher so no, I don’t have a 'waifu' or a laptop full of pony. I just feel that its a very good show that I love so I’m a normal nerd about it, whatever... but that bit of information doesn’t matter for the point I’m about to make.

On the show, anything non-pony is a minority and rarely seen. Its a show about ponies so it makes sense, but then we get to things like the cows and sheep that seemingly live on Applejack’s farm...

You know, the ones that are herded and lockup up in pins?

It’s not like they're only semi-sentient either, as cows have been seen shopping at Sugercube corner for cookies! That has to mean that they're paid for their labor… their labor that involves sleeping in a barn overnight and yet still having to pay to feed themselves.

Sure, I could see there being racism for winged, fire-breathing, as-large-as-your-house dragons... but any creature without a cutie mark is considered a minority? Cows, mules, buffaloes, sheep, griffons, minotaurs, and everything else that’s sentient on this planet isn't considered a person unless their flanks are branded? If that's true, that just leaves ponies and maybe zebras at the top of the food chain...

Wow... just, wow...

Obviously, I’m going to need to hit up a few books and dive into some history first chance I get… after I figure out how to stop setting things on fire every time I yawn, that is.

“Trixie is getting impatient, little dragon. Either finish your story or allow Trixie to get on with her chores,” huffed, well, Trixie.

I blushed. “Right right, sorry again. Okay, so after the slap I rubbed the side of my head where I had been struck, somewhere near the ear area, only to discover that my ears were missing!”

~Earlier that day~

“Oh God, not again! Wherearetheywherearethey?!”


“Again?” asked Trixie.

“Long story.” I replied.

~Earlier that day~

While still being blinded by the sun, I began to pat the ground around me in order to try and find the allusive appendages. First thing I noticed was that I seemed to be sitting on something crumbly... something that seemed to be made up of hundreds of little pieces, all of which were scattered everywhere around me.

I tried to organize my thoughts. 'Lets see, what could this be... kinda feels like… an egg shell? Was this what I was in? Wait... did any of that freaky stuff actually happen or has the stress of these stupid exams finally gotten to me? Where am I anyways...?'

I attempted to speak to my current company again. “Um, excuse me?”

And this earned me another slap.

“Ow!" I shirked. "Alright I’ll drop it... jeeze." If my eyes weren't shut, I would have then blinked blankly over the sound of my own voice. "Hey, wait…oh God, what happened to my voice?! It’s like I swallowed helium or something... what the heck have I been doing?”

Abandoning my search for my ears, I decided I was sick of being blind. I attempted to open my eyes again and was met with a blurry haze. I could vaguely make out the image of a dark corner, presumably shade, and closed my eyes again. I attempted to stand up and make my way over there, but this resulted in me taking notice of a few… quirks… that had somehow been made to my body... quirks such as the fact that I seemed be rocking two to three extra appendages.

I reacted to this in the most dignified matter I could think of...

... By freaking the buck out.


This outburst was followed by another collective bitch slap from my (presumably two) hosts, this time with enough force to propel me in the direction I was facing. I crashed against a wooden wall of some description and was shortly thereby bombarded with the contents of said wall’s shelves falling off and nearly giving me a concussion.

Despite how much that hurt, the one good thing that came out of this was that I was now in the shade, where the sun wasn’t so bright, and it was now safe to open my eyes. Slowly, I began to open my teal colored babies and found myself staring into the side of a red tool box. I pushed this off of my head with the help of my… green claws?

... Oh haha, must be someone’s joke. I just have to pull these gloves off and… ow… Okay, so my hands are actually four-fingered green claws now.

... Neat. No problem there. Nope, none at all. Panicking isn’t going to solve anything and my current company doesn’t find it amusing, so moving on...

I pushed off the rest of the junk that I was buried in and began to take stock of the front half of my body. Green limbs for my arms and legs, feet are also made of green skin... no, scales. Yup these are scales... My belly seems to be cream colored and I appear to be naked... cool.

So I’m now Kermit the Frog’s demonic love child...

Again, neat.

... What the hell is going on?

No, more importantly, where the hell am I where this is a thing that is happening?!

I decided that looking around at my new surroundings was a much better course of action then giving myself a migraine was. I need to calm down before even attempting to glance at my backside to discern what the extra pair of limbs are.

Let's see now... I'm in a garage of some sort, and a dark one at that. There are workbenches around me that are up to my eye level... great, so I’m short too. Some things stay constant, it seems...

Anyhow, beyond the work benches and the single window providing light (outside of the open garage door), the only other thing of interest in here is the giant machine covered in a tarp.


... In all honesty, I probably should have spotted this thing first before the benches.

Heck, I probably should have noticed it before the green claws.

“Oh brother of mine, this isn’t making any sense to me.”

“Nor does it to me, Flam.”

In my… excitement question mark… I seemed to have forgotten that I wasn’t alone. Discovering who these people are, or at least glancing at them, should help alleviate some of my questions.

With that in mind I carefully stepped over the mess I had made…

... And tripped on my own tail.

Tail? What the fu- argh, no! You’re getting distracted, Nathan! Focus! Mysterious strangers first, additions to the condo later.

I picked myself back up and walked up to the edge of the garage. Carefully, I peeked around the corner...

... And what I saw nearly caused me to disengage all of my safety switches and go into full on geek mode.

I’m looking at a pair of ponies here.

Honest to God... oh, I should probably say Celestia now, shouldn’t I?

... Ah, who cares? Ponies!

And it's the Flim Flam brothers to boot! Not my first choice for a first encounter, but again, who cares? I’m in Equestria, baby!


“So you claim that you had prior knowledge of the pair that hatched you before the initial hatching, and knowledge of Equestria as well? Trixie finds this hard to believe.”

I chuckled to myself. “Oh, and that’s the beauty of my story... you can’t prove that I’m lying about anything I’m saying, can you? Need I remind you what that carnie-level age reading spell that you cast on me said?”

We’re getting to that part, folks. Don’t worry.

Trixie looked away, unable to face me. “I-it said that you were only about four hours old at the time.”

“Yet, once again, I have the brain power necessary to give you this story in the first place.” I have probably the biggest dragon dung eating smile ever on my face right now. “Plus, I’m clearly a dragon 21 years of age, as you've said." I put my claws behind my head and leaned backwards. "So you’re claiming that I’m lying about my story, yet in going down that train of thought you would have to admit that you still don’t have a logical explanation for how I can talk and lie in the first place, do you?”

Oh God, Trixie’s angry pout-y face is adorable! Must, resist, urge, to, pinch, cheeks!

“J-just continue your stupid story, lizard,” she spat out.

I held back a snicker. “Sure thing, Tricky.”

She shot me a glare. “Call Trixie that again and she’ll turn you into a green toad.


I gulped.

~Earlier that day~

After discovering where I was I just stood there, dumbfound in silent awe, for a good two minutes all the while still trying to process this new information.

I’m in Equestria...

In a new body...

With the Flim Flam brothers...

Whoa. Just... whoa.

Okay... time for another inventory check. I have claws and things on my back. Soooo… a griffon? No, I’m clearly standing on two legs and my feet also have claws on them, not paws. Scales… crap, that means I’m a dragon. Well, it looks like I’ve got hundreds of years of watching everypony I wanted to meet and be friends with grow old and die without me to look forward to...

... But I can breathe fire, so I guess that’s a fair trade off.

Let’s see that tail now… nice! It looks like a green tuning fork, with two prongs as the tip and the entire tail itself is covered in red spins that go from the tip all the way up my back and between my… wings? I have wings?! Ballin'!

Wait, so I’m clearly older then Spike (he's like, what, seven?) but not old enough to be as big as this workshop/garage. Soooo, what? Am I just in that awkward stage of dragon growth?

... Meh, at least I can still walk inside buildings for a few more years... not that I’m planning on staying that long, but one thing at a time for now-

My train of thought was cut off by a tape measure levitating itself up to me in a green magic aura. It quickly measured my height and around my waist before returning to one of the two yellow unicorns, the one with the mustache… Flim, I believe?

“What does it say, Flam?

Swing and a miss.

“According to the book, brother of mine, we have what appears to be a baby dragon, at least 18 years older than what we were aiming for, Flim.”

“Well ain’t that a pickle. Do you know why it’s a talking already despite having just been hatched?”

Just hatched? I was hatched? Well, I guess that’s an… interesting way to get here, but it makes me worried about how I’m going to get back home…

“Can’t say that I do, brother. I told you we shouldn’t have nabbed that derpy looking dragon’s egg! Remember what that thing looked like? It had at least six legs and was covered in gems! Probably considered discarded food in dragon terms, like crumbs in my mustache... Certainly not a good sign of quality, brother of mine!”

I decided that I was far away enough to begin testing out my new voice. “Derpy looking dragon? Oh, for the love of all that is holy please don’t tell me my ‘mother’ is Crackle the Dragon!”

Flim raised a hoof to his mouth, holding back a cheeky laugh. “It may not have been the best of quality, brother, but unlike the rest of the pickings this one’s mother is less likely to hunt us down across Celestia’s great land in pursuit of fire based justice. You saw it, Flam; wimpy little wings, big and bloated, couldn’t even talk! It just made these yelping noises that reminded me of a content dog. There’s no way, I say there’s no way it’s going to notice her egg is a rock until half a year from now when it’s supposed to hatch! Hahaha!”

“Haha! You're right, Flim! Nothing for us to worry about! Hahah!”

This caused me to shake my fist in anger. No… pony… insults my mother; no matter what world, dimension, or possible fever dream. Besides, Crackle takes up the same place as Derpy Hooves in my heart; as best, pony, ever.

I decided that I needed to cool down before I did something stupid on my first day in a strange new land. Be still my brony heart if I have to choke a bitch. I peeked around the corner again in order to continue hearing their conversation.

Flim continued. “So what’s with the wings, Flam? Baby dragons aren’t supposed to have wings, right?”

“That’s correct, brother of mine." Replied Flam. "That is... unless they are girl dragons; looks like we have a dragoness to work with, Flim.”

“Ah shoot, a dame. Just our luck.” Pouted Flim.


The phrase, ‘the size of saucers’, does not do what my eyes did justice.

“G-girl?" I squeaked. "What?! Oh, my, God. W-where’s a mirror? Need a mirror need a mirror!

With that I ran back into the garage as fast as my new legs could take me and, looking around for any kind of reflective surface, finally spotting a rear-view mirror laying down on its side on one of the workbenches. I assumed it was for the Flim Flam brother’s machine, the Super Squeezy something 6000. I gingerly picked it up in my claws, making sure not to scratch it, and I raised it to my head.

After that I raised a claw to my mouth and gasped.

As anime and manga have taught me, many things can run through a man’s head if they were suddenly transformed into a girl. Some may openly weep the loss of their favorite limb, some may just openly weep for other good reasons. Some may become confused as the rush of new hormones and new body singles enters their brains, threatening to change their very being. Some may become introspective; reflecting on all that they've taken for granted up to this point and become humbled by their new perspective on life. Fear seems to be a popular one amongst these 'victims'; fear of the new world of public expectations and glass ceilings that they have accidentally stepped into, or fear of how their relationship with their friends and loved ones has changed along with their body. Fear of not being recognized, or fear of being recognized...

Fear of what the future brings.

... None of these things were going through my head at the time.



I was listening to a choir of Angels singing.

“Hair! Honest to goodness hair!" I wiped away a tear. "Ponies, Equestria, hair; t-this is the best, day, ever!

Yes, well, about that. You see... I kind of got the short end of the stick when it came to the gene pool. Males on both sides of my family are doomed for baldness, this much I was assured of, but somehow the two baldness genes had combined at one point into a super gene and thus, at the fresh age of 21, I was already bidding farewell to a good chunk of the top of my head. The second eldest brother next to me got skipped completely, the lucky son of a bitch, and was currently rocking a goddamn mullet... but I digress.

As I was saying; being a dragon, I would have assumed that I’d be bald as well, given what I’ve seen of other dragons from the show, but I did remember that a few of them did have hair so there was a slim chance that I too would be blessed. With the revelation that I was a girl, I figured that the odds could only go up in my favor.

Boy, er, girl was I right! I have what could probably pass as a mare’s mane in length! Its bright red like my mother’s (the original one, not Crackle) and it replaces the greasy black mess that I usually hide in shame quite majestically. A redheaded dragoness? Ha! Nothing strange there!

Cue the rim-shot.

I also took note of my two new red horns that were pointing towards the back of my head, coming up about to where the spines on the back of my head were in length. They were pretty noticeable on my green scaly face, but the red hair seems to compliment it quite nicely, making them stand out a little less.

After playing with my hair and horns for a good chunk of time, I passingly glanced into my mouth and observed my fangs, my weird snaky dragon tongue thing, and a tiny orange flame in the back of my throat that appeared and disappeared as I was breathing.

Orange flames huh... hmmmm, I would have liked blue, but at least it’s not generic red or green. I'm not the biggest fan of the color green (yes I’m aware of the irony of being an accountant and not liking green), as it was my grandfather’s favorite color and my grandfather was a man I’d like to punch in the face.

That’s a story for another time.

Moving on, the green scales thing was kind of a downer, but I felt that the red hair, horns, and spinal fins were enough to make it okay… also the fact that I was in a mystical land of magic and ponies... but mostly the hair.

I winked at myself in the mirror with my teal eyes. At least something carried over from my old form, even if the eyelashes are a bit longer now... also the whole slit pupils thing.

“Looking good, Nathan. Oh... hehe, I guess that name’s not going to work anymore while I’m here, is it? Let’s see, the female version of Nathan is... Nathania? Nathenia?

"... Blah, nope. Forget those. Hmmm... I wonder what could be considered a good female dragon nam-“

I was suddenly rudely cut off by being yanked into the air by one of the Flim Flam Brother’s magic. They dragged me out of the garage and towards themselves, but once I got to their location they didn’t let go. They were having a conversation while I was being taken to them, and my addition to the group didn’t change that fact.

“… while your concerns are logical, my good Flam, I assure you that the only thing that matters in the end is whether the dragon can breathe fire or not. We’re not getting this machine off the ground without some magic flames coursing through its veins!”

“I’m aware of this, brother of mine, I just wanted to make sure you're aware of what we’re about to get ourselves into. Yes this can be the start of our great new life, the one we’ve dreamed about since we were small, but one wrong step and shink!” Flam used is front hoof to make a little line across his throat, severing it through the power of imagination. “There goes our one chance at fame and fortune!”

I cleared my throat in a futile attempt to get attention. “Um, excuse me?”

Flim just kept talking. “Relax, Flam! Noponies going to know! Besides, like mama Shim and Auntie Sham would always say, ‘Morals, smorals! The ends always justify the means, especially if bits are involved!’ Also, it’s just a damn talker like the rest of them, and they live to serve ponies everywhere... I’m sure we’ll find plenty of supporters down the road!”

This whole conversation was starting to make me nervous. What did they need a dragon for exactly? Magic fire was brought up a couple times, I remember that much. Unfortunately, I found it hard to think while hanging upside down from my tail, blood rushing to my head.

“Hey, guys….”

Flam put his hoof down. “Oh I’m sure there will be supporters, Flim, but we’re bound to run into ponies who are soft and weak of heart. We might even run into a town full of damn talkers, Celestia protect us. All I’m saying is to make sure you’re concentrating all the way while we put in these protective wards, because we will need them one way or another.”

“You have my word, brother: nopony is going to catch us. I swear to Celestia that you have nothing to fear. Now let’s get back to checking out our ‘precious cargo’ Flam.”

“Fine fine. After you Flim!”

They both turned to me, finally acknowledging my existence. While upside down I was observing where this garage was set up. It seemed to be located out in the middle of the woods with only a single beaten path in or out of the area. A small campsite was to the side with a pair of tents and in the middle of the clearing was the shattered remains of a red egg, presumably the one I was just birthed from. Eww.

Flim’s magic field intensified, covering my whole body now and repositioning myself away from the two. Not sure what to make of this... I again tried to speak up.

“Yo, Flim and Flam, what’s up?”

I assumed that hearing their own names would cause them to take at least one glance at me, maybe even making them want to ask me how I knew who they were. I would then answer this question by simply stating that I overheard them talking and move on to questions of my own. Then we'd go back and forth with questions until we're all buddy-buddy and having a good time...

None of that happened, sadly, as Flam instead struck me with magic lightning.


Most painful experience in my second life. My insides were quite literally on fire, as evident by fire spewing forth from my mouth.

Yup, orange flames. Koolio. I tried to make a mental note about how it felt so I could use it willingly later on, but my mind was too busy crying in pain to form rational thought.

“You’ve could have just asked!” I cried.

“Brother! The dragon can breathe fire!” Chirped Flim happily, ignoring my shouting.

“Indeed it does, Flim. Looks like it’s not completely as defective as its mother after all!” Replied Flam, equally as happy.

“Is the fire hot enough though, Flam?”

“I would need another reading, brother of mine. Ready?”

I was titled around in my magic hold again by Flim. "Ready."

Panicking, I tried desperately to remember how I just breathed fire “N-no no! That’s not necessary, my good gents! I am perfectly capable of doing it on my own! See? Watch!”

I took a deep breath, after cooling down from my rapid panting, and attempted to bellow forth fire. All I could manage was a pitiful tongue of fire… not a tongue as in a small amount of fire, but as in my tongue actually caught on fire.


Flam struck me again with lightning.


And ushered forth a great pillar of orange flame. My tongue somehow extinguished itself with help of the saliva exiting my open mouth. I was letting it hang open, not really giving a damn anymore, as I was in too much pain to care.

“Well, Flam?”

“This flame will work one hundred percent, Flim! We’re in business!”


They hoofbumped, abruptly ending their magic hold on me as Flim removed his hat and wiped away sweat from his brow. I simple fell into a heap on the ground, panting heavily. I think I was laying on a wing funnily but I really couldn’t care less.

“This morning has been pretty eventful, hasn’t it brother?”

“It sure has, Flim. Let’s take a break, shall we?”

“Oh lets. We’ll have to discuss how we’re going to keep the thing though. Do we simply chain it up inside the machine? How would that affect its performance?”

My eyes shot open and my breathing stopped when I heard the word 'chain'.

“Well I don’t see the negatives of doing such a thing, brother of mine. We would just need to make a few modifications to compensate for the thing; make sure it doesn’t damage anything important in there, make sure it can’t escape, and make sure it doesn’t make any noise.”

“Can’t we simply gag it, Flam?”

“I’m afraid not, Flim. We need it to breathe fire, remember? We’re going to have to magically soundproof the walls I'm afraid. I know a charm we can use, but it’ll set us back a little bit... I’m sure that it will be worth every bit, though, as we can then start selling 'Dragon Roasted Cider' to all of Equestria!

"Oh... actually, I guess we can’t really call it dragon Roasted without somepony asking about the dragon, can we?”

“That is true, Flam. Maybe simply 'cider'? We’ll lose one of our marketing strategies but we’ll still have the speedy part to work with!”

“Excellent idea, Fli-… brother of mine? Why aren’t you holding the dragon anymore?”

“I thought you had it, Flam!”

“Me?! I just fired off three lightning bolts in a row! Do you honestly think I can still hold up a spell of any description after that?!”

“Hey I helped with cracking open the damnable egg too you know! Plus, I had to endure the mental backlash every time you struck the inside of my aura! I’m just as tried as you are!”

“Why you little, ugh, never mind, brother. Where is the thing now?”

That was the last I heard of them before diving into the woods.


“Where you ran into the Great and Powerful Trixie." Finished Trixie, as she felt it necessary to wrap up my own story. "There... your story ends, little dragon. Please grace Trixie with the sound of silence now.”

“But, I still have a bit left to say,” I argued.

“That is not necessary. Trixie was there so Trixie does not need to be reminded.”

While we were talking, I started experimenting a little bit with how my wings felt. I was running my claw up and down the smooth red membrane in-between the green fingers, making sure not to slice anything.

Not looking up, I replied “At this point it’s kind of more for my own benefit. Everything that happened was just so… unreal. I just need to speak my mind a bit in order to get over it and to assure myself that it was real. It’s the reason why I started talking about things that you honestly wouldn’t know about; things like what a brony is, ponies named Derpy and Pinkie Pie, or how I know my mother’s name is Crackle. Its all really for my own benefit...”

Letting go of my wing, I allowed it to fold itself behind me. I opted to start playing with my tail instead.

“I just… I need to do this for myself, okay? Would you allow me to please do this, Trixie?”

After glaring at me for a bit, Trixie threw her hooves in the air in defeat.“Ugh, fine! Continue with your little soapbox. Afterwards, Trixie is going to go into town and pick up some more supplies from the stores that are still open. Somedragon ate all of Trixie’s cheese!”

I dropped my tail. “Hey! You’re the one who told a kid who went his whole life without milk that his draconian immune system could handle the stuff now! I’ve got 21 milk-less years to make up for now, thank you very much! Oh, please tell me you have some form of pizza in this universe!”

“Finish your damn story, dragon!”


~Earlier that day~

Oh God, this feels amazing.

No, not the whole being chased through a forest at break neck speeds while trying to escape a pair of slaver ponies thing. I meant gliding. Gliding felt amazing.

Getting a little ahead of myself here, as soon as I heard that chains would be involved I changed my plan from 'befriend and help misunderstood background ponies' to 'get the buck out of dodge'.

And thus I did, through the forest.

I figured that I’d be able to outrun them better while bobbing and weaving through the trees, as they were a tad bigger them my new shrimpy form. Speaking of size, in comparison to where those two stack up to normal ponies and where Spike stacks up to them I’d say that I’m just a tad bigger them him, not by much but I think I might be a little below eye level with a normal pony, where Spike is about Sweetie Belle’s sized. During my run I also discovered that I didn’t have as much baby fat as Spike and was in fact a pretty thin thing. Picture a female Spike with Garble’s body shape and you’d have a good idea.

Anyhow, so I came to a cliff.

No indication.

No warning.

Just suddenly the forest ended and a giant cliff began.

Even better, I didn’t spot it until the last minute so I didn’t have enough time to put on the breaks. I think you can guess what happened next.

So I fell off it and began plummeting to the ground. I don’t know if it was instinct, dumb luck, a combination of the two, or the will of a flying spaghetti monster in the sky but somehow I was able to manage enough control on my new leathery appendages and enough sense to simple stretch them out and hold them both vertically to the sides. This is what saved me from becoming a flat imprint in the ground. Sure my fall was still very fast, sure I only really pulled up at the last second, and sure it wasn’t so much gliding as it was zooming dangerously fast vertically vs. horizontally...

... But it was still gliding to me and it was amazing...

… Up until I hit a tree at like 65 miles per hour and blacked out.


“… Is it dead?”

“I think so, Captain. What are your orders?”

“Continue poking it with a stick, first mate Shrimpy!”

“Eye,eye Captain Pip!”

I stirred from my slumber. “Ugh, wha?”

“It's alive!”

“Ah! Flee Mateys! Flee!"

I woke up to the sound of children fleeing. Just a typical Saturday morning... except its not Saturday and this time it was random kids because I’m a dragon as opposed to my brothers because I’m home for the weekend.

... Wait, was that Pipsqueak? Huh... so that means there’s a chance that I’m in Ponyville… or I’m in Trottingham and this encounter was horrific enough to mentally scar the kid so badly that he had to move away.


Shaking away a few strands of hair, I slowly got back to my feet and placed my claw on a nearby tree. Oh man was I dizzy. I briefly wished that I kept that mirror. I bet I’m doing a good Derpy impression right now. I laughed at the mental image.

“Anything yet Flim?!”

“Nothing over here Flam!”

“Well keep looking!”

I abruptly stopped laughing and covered my mouth to prevent a gasp from escaping. Speaking of escaping, I should probably keep doing that.

I pushed past the tree I was using as support and fell down flat on my face again. Ugh, still dizzy. I opted to instead start running on all fours, which worked a lot better than I thought it would. Wasn’t as fast as earlier, and I tripped over myself a couple of times, but it was better than nothing. I kept diving further into the forest, away from the voices. As long as they don’t head my way I should be fin-

“Whaa! Monster!"

“Hold it there, my good colts. Tell uncle Flimmy here what you saw.”

“Y-you have to help us, mister! There’s a green monster after us!”

"Lead the way boys!"

Damn it Pip you rat face bastard!

With that I kept pushing forward into the foliage.


-Huff--huff-… "C-can’t stop, going to die. Can’t stop, going to die.”

It’s been hours, hours since I woke up and started running. I’ve been switching back and forth between four and two legs in order to keep moving. Somehow, they haven’t caught me yet. Said forest hasn’t stopped yet either… what, the, hell? This place looks way too nice and empty to be the Everfree, so I haven't got a clue where I am. Where are all the animals, by the way? I know they don’t take care of themselves in Equestria, but you’d think some would at least make these trees their home or something.

I haven’t seen Flim or Flam either in a while either and I’m unsure if they’ve even seen me yet or not in their pursuit, but I can for sure still hear their galloping echoing throughout the forest. Why are they still chasing me? How are they still chasing me? They have to be tired by now! Am I actually moving slowly and they're just waiting for me to tire myself out so they can take me back? If that’s the case, why are they letting me go so far? Ah! This makes no sense and is driving me nut-

My current panicked thoughts were instantly halted by me crashing into something furry.

Omph! Watch where you’re going, dragon! You almost scratched the Great and Powerful Trixie with your filthy claws!”

I took a moment, while flat on my tail in front of the lady (sounded like one anyways), to take a huge gulp of air and rest.

“S-s-sorry, Miss!" I gasped. "I-I was running f-from these… these…" I took another big gulp of air. "These bad ponies and I wasn’t looking where I was going.”

I took a glance backwards, but was surprised when I couldn’t hear the two anymore. I also noticed that I was in a clearing that I didn’t remember seeing while running earlier. Also behind me was a… treadmill?

“Is there something wrong, green one?”

I shook my head and glanced at the pony in my company… only for my mind to shut down again when I realized that I was talking to a very familiar blue unicorn.

“What is it?” She asked.

Pointing a claw backwards, I stuttered a response. “N-nothing, ma’am! I was just wondering about the… giant rock?”

That treadmill was gone now, replaced with a Tom-sized rock… although now I’m not really even sure if it was ever there in the first place. I’m so tired from running, my mind was probably playing tricks on me. That makes sense, I guess. I mean, what are the odds that I’m really talking to Trixie of all ponies?

“Trixie sees no problem with having a giant rock in her campsite. Now, you have yet to answer Trixie, dragon; what are you doing here in her campsite?”

Oh... so I am speaking to the Great and Powerful Trixie.

Wow... I must have some amazing luck. Not even here a day and I’ve already seen four ponies from the show, plus one background colt that I didn’t get a good look at. More importantly though, this pony seems to actually be willing to listen to me! Better be on my best behavior.

“Oh, um, well you see Miss… Trixie, is it?" I asked, already well aware of the answer.

“The Great and Powerful, but that is correct. You may grace Trixie with your name now.”

Hehe, oh that’s so me. Always finishing assignments at the last second... at least something somewhat normal is happening to me for once today.

“I, uh, don’t really have one yet. You see…”

I guess I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was actually staring at Trixie’s horn while we were talking. It was glowing pink like she was about to cast a spell. What exactly I’m not sure. I only remembered this detail because my eyes started staring past it as my ears picked up the sound of galloping in the distance. Crap, they've caught up!

I jumped up. “Nononono! I’m sorry Trixie but I’ve got to run! Those bad ponies are going to catch me if I stick around! I’m sorry for disturbing you!”

I started to straighten myself and got ready to flee...

“… Hide in Trixie’s tent over there.”

... Only to trip over myself thanks to Trixie’s sudden comment. “W-what?”

She tilted her head backwards. “It’s by the rock over there, dragon. Hide under Trixie’s hat and cape until she comes in to tell you that the coast is clear.”

Trixie is… being nice? Wha? Sure, I’m not one of the bronies who thinks she’s evil, in fact I’m in the group that thinks she’s just misunderstood. Even so, willingly helping a dragon without asking any questions? Well… actually, now that I think about it, she did try to save Ponyville from the Ursa, so I guess it’s not so farfetched.

Better not look a gift pony in the mouth.

... Hehe, I’m already making terrible puns.

I beamed at her. “Thank you! Thank you so much!”

“Keep it down!”

“Oops, sorry!”

She had a rather small tent, only large enough for one pony, but I didn’t care as I dived in. I quickly located her hat and cape in the corner by her star and wand branded saddle bags and hid underneath them. The cape and hat were charred and torn in a couple of areas, I noted. Coupled with the fact that I didn’t see her wagon anywhere in the clearing, I think it’s safe to say that she might have been to Ponyville already. A bit of a shot in the dark but I'll take all I can get at this point.

I remained deathly quiet as I listened to the sound of galloping approaching the campsite. It slowed down as it came near and then finally came to a complete halt. After what felt like an eternity of silence, the galloping picked up again and disappeared into the distance. A single pair of hoofsteps then approached the tent.

“The coast is clear. You can come out no-“

I pounced out of the tent a smothered Trixie in a bear hug. "Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!"

“Trixie, would like, to breathe, please!”

Blushing, I let go. “S-sorry.” Damn, I don’t remember being a huggy person, nor do I remember being the kind of person who blushes a lot. I blame the new double X chromosome. Sexist? Probably, but it’s the best explanation I have at the moment outside of Equestria’s atmosphere being made out of pure love and kindness, which is obviously not true.

“That’s much better. Now, dragon... care to explain why you were running away from your hatchers?”

“H-how did you know that those two were the ones who hatched me?” I’m starting to notice that this whole incident has left me with a bad case of shuttering when I speak.

“It’s quite elementary. Your scales are green, the same green as the Flim Flam brother’s magic. Despite how little ponies know of your kind, Trixie remembers her lessons from magic kindergarten about how a dragon’s color is based off of their hatcher’s aura, unless they were hatched naturally.”

Oh great, so I have those two to thank for my hideous scale coloring. Looks like I have even more reason to burn their stupid machine down now...

... Wait…

“H-how do you know what color their magic is, Trixie?”

Trixie sighed. “Trixie has had the great, displeasure,” She literally spat out that word, “of being business partners with those two dolt colts in the past.”

Dolt colts. Cute.

“That is a story for another time. Trixie is more curious about you, dragon. She does not seem to remember those two having a dragon in their possession the last their paths crossed her own. Trixie’s aware that they’ve been in need of one for a while now for their grand masterpiece's completion. They’ve even sought out her assistance in locating one, something Trixie refused to do simply on the principle of the matter. “

How amazingly noble.

The mare turned her head and muttered something under her breath, something that I picked up on. “That and their offer was nowhere near Trixie’s usual price of service.”

Now there’s the Trixie we know and love.

Trixie then lifted her head up and looked at me funnily. She ignited her horn and lifted something that had gotten stuck in my hair out gently, kindly making sure not to take any hair with it.

“What is this, green one? Trixie does not recognize it.”

I took a look at what was in Trixie’s magic grip. It appeared to be a piece of some kind of egg shell. I couldn’t quite make out the color until Trixie shifted it around so it was only being held by a portion of the aura. It was red with some green spots.

“Oh, I think that’s a part of my egg.” I answered.

She raised an eyebrow (where did that come from?). “You still have your egg? Trixie thought a dragon's egg burned up on its own accord a week after hatching.”

“They do? That’s pretty hardcore.”

“Hardwhat now?” Trixie asked.

“It’s not important. But yes, my egg is still out there. I was only hatched, like, a couple hours ago.”

“Obviously not, as Trixie has seen what a newly hatched dragon looks like herself. You are obviously not a hatchling, neither in form nor in mind.”

Dang. I was hoping that I could use ponies’ ignorance of dragons to avoid having to answer any tough questions such as this. I need Trixie on my side if I’m going to survive here long enough to figure out a way home. Sooo... first order of business will be to convince her that what I’m saying is true. Let’s see…

I smiled hopefully. “Well, why don’t you check for yourself? I’m sure a great unicorn, such as yourself, would have an age reading spell in your collection. You did say that you were ‘Great and Powerful’, right?”

This seemed to interest Trixie, as she smiled as well, before shaking her head and resuming her ‘holier than thou’ posture.

“But of course. Was there ever any doubt?”

In the words of Pinkie Pie: 'Nailed it!'

Trixie went on. “Trixie once upon a time worked in a carnival. It was owned by her family and it was there that she earned her cutie mark. During her early days she learned from all the circus unicorns. Trixie can read ages, weight, and height with the simple wave of her horn. Observe, dragon, and be amazed!”

Her horn ignited once again right before she waved it in front of me, encasing me in a pink glow. I could feel an itching in my scales... maybe they're sensitive to magic? No... no I don’t think I felt this when those brothers lifted me up earlier.

Something to ponder for later, I guess.

“And complete! The Great and Powerful Trixie has discerned your age with 100% accuracy! Care to challenge this accusation?”

I blinked. “Um, no?”

She blinked as well. “Oh, um, Trixie is sorry. That was a force of habit from Trixie’s carnie days.”

“So, you would scan somepony and then dare them to tell you otherwise, even though your results are always correct? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Maybe if your horn wasn’t glowing when you did it…”

“Well, Trixie would have to pretend to be wrong every now and then to make it seem legit. She is a showmare first above all else, after all. Anyhow, the results are actually 100% accurate, so Trixie can state with confidence that you are… f-four hours old?! B-butbutbutbut… but that makes no sense! You should be sucking on your own tail and playing with those things on your feet! Toes or whatever they're called! You shouldn’t be able to talk, let alone speak intelligently! Yet, Trixie’s spells are never wrong, so it must be true!”

Oh, that reaction was priceless. My new friend was pacing back and forth and her silver mane was getting all frazzled as she spoke. Her actions were starting to remind me more and more of a certain purple unicorn with her own dragon companion...

... Hmmmm... I wonder if Trixie is hiring.

Shelving my question for now, I held my sides as I wiped away a tear. “Oh Trixie, its okay! Your spells are working just fine! I really am only four hours old… although mentally and, hopefully, physically I’m actually 21… and a monkey… and from another dimension or world entirely... see? There’s always a logical explanation!”

Trixie slammed her hooves on the ground. “B-but that just raises even more questions! This isn’t scientifically possible. You are not scientifically possible!”

And it was at this point that I freaking lost it and fell to the ground laughing my new tail off, much to Trixie’s further confusion.


“Haha, and that's how Equestria was made!” I finished jokingly.

Trixie had long ago fallen asleep while listening to my story. Thank goodness too, because I don’t’ know how she would have reacted to the comments I made about knowing her from the show. She just kind of shrugged off the mentioning of other ponies and places earlier, but I was unsure how she would react to anything involving herself. I’m not sure what she thinks overall either... she was very quiet during all of it. Maybe she thinks I have, I don’t know, residual memories from Flim and Flam? Can something like that happen? Ugh, magic is as magic does I guess.

I briefly reflected on what happened after that meeting. We had a little adventure into the nearby town of Trottingham (called it) in order to help Trixie restock on food, something that we agreed upon after realizing that we both had not eaten yet today. I was initially worried that we were going to run into Flim and Flam, but Trixie assured me that she sent them on a wild goose chase of some description. “They’ll be half way to Fillydelphia by the time you and Trixie are back at camp” she said. I agreed to go, along with promising her I would tell her my story when we returned.

Trixie talked the entire time about herself until we got there. Yes, she did have the incident in Ponyville, something I got out of her by casually asking why she was out here. She apparently retreated here after her wagon and all her possessions were pancaked by the Ursa minor. She remembered how she had done a show here in Trottingham a few months back and also how this town had given her a warmer reception than Ponyville, thus she deemed it the perfect place to regain her footing (hoofing?). Unfortunately, despite the warm reception she received, she had done her usual thing of out talent-ing everypony and this included the local inn keeper. This explained why she was camping out...

Trixie didn’t really speak too much about herself personally, just about her (fake) exploits which I only half paid attention to. Well, she only half paid attention to my own story, so I guess we’re even.


Okay, that’s enough reminiscing for tonight. I’ve had a loooonnngggg day and need my rest. There wasn’t too much to the Trottingham trip anyways, just that Trixie ate up all the extra attention she got with me on her back. The only reason she let me ride her, I figured, was so ponies would think she was some kind of Celestia School for Gifted Unicorns student. One pony we passed pumped his hoof in the air and shouted "Go CSGU! Manticores forever! Whoo!"

... He was an earth pony, by the way.

There were also a few other notable highlights, but my mind is getting really laggy now so I’m just going to have to call it a night.

Trixie's asleep in her tent right now, but she was kind enough to lay out her extra pillow for me to sleep on next to a pair of… open coconuts?

... Wha?

Um... okay then. I guess Trixie likes to eat coconuts. We were wrong, bronies; it’s not pine-cones. Better luck next time.

Well… whatever.

I made it a point throughout the day to keep reminding my companion how I was eternally grateful to her for what she did for me, and how I promised to pay her back for her kindness. She was surprisingly okay with the idea of getting her own dragon assistant, and also okay with helping me get back home at the same time. It’s a bit suspicious, now that I think about it, especially since she hadn’t heard my story until now. Regardless, I’m too tired to worry about it tonight, and I'm just grateful I have a place to sleep at all.

I smiled warmly at Trixie's sleeping form. "... and also grateful that I'm not alone here."


Ugh, okay, enough of that. I attempted to lay down on the pillow, head first, like a normal human being... but then I remembered the horns and spines.

Great, so how am I supposed to sleep? How does Spike do this...?

... Oh, that’s right... like a dog.

... Great.

I curled up on top of the pillow until I was nice and tight. One of my wings folded inwards and the other stretched itself out over my curled body, effectively becoming a small blanket for me against the cold.


... Oh, wow.

This is really freaking comfortable.

No, seriously! I found this out earlier with hay fries. Things in Equestria are never what they seem! Hay fries taste nothing like hay and this position is the opposite of uncomfortable. This place is soooo random, and I’m loving every minute of it!

... Although, I do hope my family isn’t missing me.

“... Dylan, Caleb, Ben, Sam… wait for me, please. I'll be home soon.”

Darkness overtook me as I fell asleep.



I jumped up in a snap and got on all fours, wings flared upwards to appear more menacing.


“Calm down, dragon. It is simply Trixie’s alarm clock.” The awake and dressed Trixie replied.

I stood up and folded my wings back up. “Oh… wait, why is it still night then?”

“It was set for other reasons outside of simply waking up. Come, follow Trixie.”

“Oh… okay then?”

Trixie had already attached the saddle bags to her sides when she levitated me up to her back. Where are we going that needs us to be moving at night? Sadly, the cry for sleep was too great and I simply curled up and continued my rest on Trixie’s bouncing back. Remind me never to joke about Spike's sleep ethic again. Being a dragon is hard work!


Chic… shee… chic… sheee

Something loud interrupted my sleep. It sounded like wheels turning followed by multiple hoofsteps. Trixie’s rhythmic trotting had stopped as well, meaning that we were probably where she needed to be… wherever that was. I shifted around and tried to continue sleeping.

“My, you out did yourself you two. Trixie is impressed.”

“Always a… pleasure… Trixie. Now, if you’d like to return to us our stolen goods, we’d very much appreciate it.”

Ugh, whoever Trixie is talking to sounds a bit... s-show-tuney?! She’s not talking to who I think she’s talking to, is she?!

“Yes yes, don’t get your tails in a knot. See, it’s here in one peace, is it not?”

I heard the familiar twinkle of a horn igniting, followed by a feeling of weightlessness. My eyes shot open as I observed that I wasn’t in Trixie’s pink aura, but instead a green one. A sickeningly familiar green aura. N-no…oh God please tell me it isn’t-

“Well, brother. How’s it look?”

I was lifted off of Trixie’s back and brought forward to the mustached face of, -gulp-, F-flam!

“Seems to be ours, Flim. Same scale coloration, same red mane, and same red skinned wings... just have to check one more thing...”

My eyes were wide open and I could feel myself physically shaking, despite being in the air.

“T-t-Trixie? W-whats going o-AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!”

I was cut off by a familiar feeling of lightning striking me, followed by orange flames escaping my throat.

“Boy oh boy, brother of mine! It’s ours! We’re back in business!”

“Indeed we are, Flim! Indeed we are!" Flam turned to address Trixie. "Thank you for returning it to us, Trixie... even though you were the one who stole it from us in the first place.”

Trixie huffed. “Well, Trixie needed her stage returned to its rightful glory, but she lacked the bits. I’m sure you boys can understand.”

... No.

No... oh please tell me I didn’t just hear that.

My shaking intensified “T-trixie? W-why? Why are you doing this? I thought y-you wanted to h-help me?”

Damn renegade emotions. I wanted to scowl at her, to make her see my anger, to see my pain... yet all I could do was weep uncontrollably. To this, Trixie simply huffed.

Help you? Whatever gave you that idea, dragon? Trixie was simply using you and nothing more.”

I tried to shake away my tears. “B-but you listened to my story! You fed me when I was hungry, you gave me a place to sleep! You saved me that first time in the forest and for that alone I wanted to help you, to be your assistant and help you achieve great things! Why Trixie? Why?!

She raised her damn muzzle in the air again, like this wasn’t a big deal! S-she was even smiling!

“Be my assistant? Please. While Trixie did enjoy the extra attention the ponies of Trottingham garnished her with, it would have been too much of a hassle in the long run. So many of Trixie’s tried and true stories would need to be rewritten to incorporate you. You claim to have been an accountant? Well look at it like this; you’d have been an improper debit when what I needed was credit.”

I shot her an angry glare. “That is not how the concept of debit and credits works and you know it!”

She stomped a hoof. “Trixie does not care, dragon! But rest assured, you have already paid Trixie back by assisting her today. You assisted Trixie with her spells in the forest for example.”

Still being held in the air, I just blinked in response instead of simply standing there and looking stupid. “Wha?”

Trixie smirked. “Yes, you helped Trixie practice how to capture a target in an infinite illusion loop without their knowledge. Did you honestly think a forest could stretch on forever as yours did? Trixie thought the lack of animals would have tipped you off, but Trixie must have given you too much credit. Regardless, you gave Trixie a wonderful magic workout; forcing her to maintain the illusion, a transfiguration spell, and levitation all at the same time will surely increase her mana pool!”

Oh crap, the treadmill from earlier... I guess I didn’t imagine it... oh, and the coconuts too! Why didn’t I think that was strange?! She’s a showmare who focuses on illusions, so of course she’s going to use props to imitate noises! The freaking galloping was her all along! She must have been moving them behind my back when we first met! Damn it damn it damn it! Why is this happening?!

“Oh, and that is not all you have helped Trixie with. You helped sharpen Trixie’s acting skills as well. Pretending to care for so long... it truly was Trixie’s greatest act!” She giggled menacingly.

I held back another sob. “Then… t-then why wait so long to do it, Trixie? W-why did you string me along for so long?”

“Quite simple, my little dragon." She answered nonchalantly. "Trixie had to wait for Flim and Flam to hold up their end of the bargain.”

Flim stepped forward, spitting on the ground in front of me. I felt a little bit of the spit hit me in the face. Despite this, he wasn't looking at me, he was glaring at Trixie.

“Damn broad," he spat. "Stealing our inventory and holding it ransom for a stupid wagon. If we weren’t so exhausted from hatching this here dragon we’d have kicked your sorry flank back to Canterlot!”

Flam held up a hoof in front of Flim. “Steady Flim, we got what we came for."

“Indeed you have, brothers." Trixie added, before shooting me one last smirk. "Trixie must make a comment about the oddity of your dragon though... it’s clearly defective as it spouts nothing but nonsense! Hahah!”

Flim took a threatening step forward. Why? To defend my honor? Please, he just doesn’t want her smack talking his things. Flam stops him by holding out a forehoof again.

“… Let’s just get back to the workshop and start getting things set up, brother of mine.”

“… Coming, Flam.”

While I was still facing Trixie, Flim and Flam turned away and started trotting away. Trixie turned to do the same.

“W-wait. Wait! Trixie! P-please, just… just answer me one thing!” I pleaded.

Trixie stopped in her tracks while Flim and Flam kept walking.

“Wait just one more second, boys.” She demanded.

The brothers groaned and stopped.

“Spit it out quick, dragon. Trixie has already given you enough of her time.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Trixie has already answered this for you, or have you already forgotten?”

“N-no, I mean, why? Really, truly, why did you do it, Trixie? I thought we were friends…”

As a result of my words, Trixie came closer, looked me in the eyes...

... And laughed.

She laughed at me bleeding my heart out here for her, laying myself bare for her. She laughed at me with so much venom I could hardly believe it.

Friends?! Oh, that is rich, dragon. In what world did you think we were friends? Perhaps the fictional one you came from, hmm? No... we were never friends. All you did was steal Trixie's bits, steal Trixie's time, and tested Trixie’s patience with your damnable story!” She stomped her hooves to further her point.

I stared directly into her eyes. “But that’s what friends do, Trixie. They help each other out in dark times, they feed them when they’re hungry, spend time with them when they’re lonely, and lend an ear when they’re hurting. And it’s never one way, Trixie. The term, 'You scratch my back I scratch yours'? It may seem crude, but it applies here. You were my friend as much as I was yours. I truly wanted to help you as your friend, not as your assistant, out of the goodness of my heart, because you opened your heart for me… or, at least I thought you did.

"..." Trixie remained silent for a bit after that rant, she simply looked down at the ground in deep contemplation.


Finally, she spoke up.

“… Friends make you weak, dragon. They steal your thunder, they mooch off your fame, and they kick you when you’re down!” She raised her head and glared right back at me. “I don’t need friends to be great and powerful! I’m not like those foals in Canterlot who shun anypony who isn’t in their social circle or those foals in Ponyville who’ll kick you out for being a loner! I don’t need them or anypony else, dragon! I’ll become the best I can be by, my, self!!



Nothing but silence.

Trixie was silent, the brothers were silent, the forest was silent, and the world was silent...

... I ended this silence by saying probably the dumbest thing I could possibly say.

“… And that is why, Trixie Lulamoon, you will never be better than Twilight Sparkle.”

Throughout the course of the day I had been frozen in space, burned by the sun, birthed from an egg, hit by magic lightning about three times, hit upside the head by a tool box, bitched slapped by magic many times, gouged my own eyes out twice, was dropped several times, and crashed into a tree at high speeds.

... None of those hurt me as badly as being smacked across the face by Trixie, my last saving grace and only friend in this new world.

“You know nothing, dragon.”

With that she left, damnable wagon in tow. Soon, Flim and Flam left as well, dragging me with them as they ventured further into the dark woods.

And thus began the most painful months of my life