• Published 14th Jun 2013
  • 12,709 Views, 933 Comments

Shattered Prism - Kaidan

Each night I’m trapped in the dark, immobilized. I hear whispers as they operate on me: they say I shouldn’t be alive. Twilight refuses to tell me about the operation. Sometimes she can’t look me in the eye. What did they do to me?

  • ...

1. My First Day Back

I don’t feel so good. I must have had one hell of a party to feel this groggy. Why is it so dark in here? I should wake up and turn the light on.

“IV is in.”

Ouch. There’s something pinching my leg. I can’t feel the rest of my leg, but I can feel something sticking into it. I need to move my leg and make the pain stop, but I can’t.

“How will we know if the treatment worked?”

Hello? Who is there? I need help, I can’t move. Hello? What is going on here? Don’t you know how maddening it is to be stuck in the dark? Can anyone turn a light on?

“If it worked, brainwave activity should increase as she wakes up.”

She? What’s going on? I need to get up, but I can’t feel my legs. I know they’re there: I can sense them, but there’s no feeling. Just the darkness, everywhere. I want to touch something, to feel something other than pain. My leg is sore and I have to move it to stop the pain.

“Can she hear us?”

Yes! I can hear you! Please, help me! Oh god, there’s something in my throat too. It hurts, and I want to cough but I can’t. I can feel it, going through my nose and down my throat. Is it. . . in my stomach? Please, take it out. All I can feel is the pinching and the tube pushing down my throat. I don’t like it.

“I’m not sure. It’s more likely as the sedatives wear off.”

Sedatives? Was I in an accident? Come on, you have to tell me, right? Maybe it was on my way to work, but I don’t remember how. Did I get paralyzed? Is that why I can’t move? But I can feel pain. Maybe that’s a good thing, feeling pain.

“As long as she doesn’t remember the procedure, Doctor. You can assure that?”

What procedure? Wait, what if I can’t feel my legs because they’re gone? What if I just think they’re there? I need to move, I need to show them I’m still alive! Please, help me! I can hear you, I just can’t feel, and I’m stuck in here!

“Oh, yes. Between the medicine Versed, the morphine, and your magic, she will be good as new and won’t remember anything about the procedure.”

Wait, why don’t they want me to remember? Oh God, I knew it. It’s my legs, isn’t it? What if they’re not there anymore and that is why I can’t feel them? I was probably in a crash, I shouldn’t have been showing off. They’re trying to make sure I can’t remember how awful it was. Or maybe they had to cut open my chest to fix the injuries! What if it was my spine?

“Look at that, her heartbeat is increasing.”

Yes, yes my heart. I got her attention, please help me wake up! Maybe if I can just take a deeper breath. I have to get them to understand! Why can’t I move my lungs? There’s something in them too, I can feel it now. It’s against my tongue, scratching the back of my throat. The air pushes through it and fills up my lungs, then it pulls the air back out. I can’t even breathe on my own.

“Brainwave activity is increasing. She should be conscious and able to hear us soon.”

Oh crap, oh crap! The crash mutilated me, didn’t it? I must have been crushed in a horrible accident. Where’d the pinching go? Why can’t I feel my leg anymore? Do I even have legs? Oh God I’m dead. I’m on my deathbed aren’t I?

“Shoot, get the crash cart and call a code blue!”

I’m a vegetable! This is my life, laying here, waiting for them to turn the machines off!

“What’s the matter?”

I am dying, I knew it. I don’t want to die, I want to live! There should be a light shouldn’t there? Why is it so dark? It’s getting too cold now. There must be a way out, please. . . I don’t want to die, I’ll do anything! Please, help me!

“Her heart rate is too high and her BP is dropping. Stand back, Princess, I’ll let you know if your magic is needed.”

Her? I’m. . . a girl? How bad was I hurt that I can’t even remember my name or gender? All I remember is darkness. Why is my back itching all of the sudden? Where am I? Who am I?

“300mg amiodarone, stat!”

There, I felt it! My leg is still there, I can feel it burning. But why can’t I move it? I’m still trapped here. I don’t belong here. I remember now. This isn’t my body. I’m a prisoner here.

“We can’t lose her, Doctor, we need the elements!”

I’m sorry. Please, let me go! I didn’t mean to do—whatever it was! You’ve got the wrong person!

“Stop it! Your magic is just going to make it worse at this point.”

Magic? Elements? That’s it, I remember—what they did to me.


The room was illuminated by lightning as a large roll of thunder broke overhead. It was enough to cause the entire house to vibrate. I opened my eyes and immediately had to move and make sure my wings still worked. I couldn’t lose my wings. Maybe a leg, but never my wings.

I sat up in the bed as the next thunderbolt cracked through the air. My chest was heaving and my bed was soaked in sweat. This nightmare of being frozen in a dark hospital had repeated every night for a week. Twilight had said I’d been in an accident, and a bad one, but she had helped save me.

My gaze fell to the right where I found Tank watching me. He smiled slowly. Memories flooded back to me, erasing the horrible thoughts planted in my head by the nightmare. Each flashback of the day Tank had chosen me as his owner eased the fear that I had forgotten who I really was.

The rapid beat of my heart against the cloud mattress caught my attention and I tried to calm down. I managed a weak smile and began to pet his shell. He was the best pet I could have asked for; a bastion of loyalty and strength—everything I had been before the accident, and what I was trying to become again.

“Thanks, Tank, I’ll be fine. I just had the nightmare again.”

Tank rubbed his head against my foreleg and I held it still while he tried to comfort me. Before long, my heart had calmed down and I no longer felt so nervous. I was supposed to start working with the weather team again today, and it was going to be exhausting since I could not sleep.

The icy air was beginning to freeze me, and I slid back down under the comforter. It had a large Wonderbolts logo on it. Twilight had told me they'd wanted to make me an honorary Wonderbolt after the accident. All I remembered was refusing as soon as I'd woken up in the hospital. I wanted to earn it, not be given it because I'd nearly killed myself doing a stunt. I would get better, then I'd get even faster. One day, I'd earn a spot on the Wonderbolts, because I was—no, I am, the fastest pony in Equestria.

Aren’t I?

The familiar sensation of being watched fell over me. Nopony would be able to get in my house; I made sure to keep it locked up at night now. It was bad enough to have Applejack treat me like one wrong word would break me, like I was a weak foal with a broken leg. Now I had to put up with an entire town walking on eggshells, afraid the Awesome Rainbow Dash was on the verge of a mental breakdown.

Only the other Pegasi treated me normal, for the most part. Fluttershy and the weather team were there for me, even Derpy. It was the rest of the town that seemed afraid of me. Not that I’d hurt them, but that they’d say or do something that would make me remember the day I nearly died. The whole town seemed to act like I actually had died, and it drove me crazy.

“There’s nothing wrong with my mind,” I said. The words seemed hollow, lacking significance. I wanted them to be true, but a part of me knew they weren't. Something had changed, taking a chunk of my memories with it. Had the accident caused me to forget who I was, or was it something else? I could fly, do stunts, and even control the weather. It was the details—like what Pinkie had done for my birthday, or the name of the new adventure book Twilight had told me about—that eluded me.

The thunder caused me to flinch again. I used to enjoy creating thunderstorms, yet now they frightened me. Why would they frighten me now? I’d saved Equestria, kicked dragons in the nose, and flown faster than any pegasus. I’d been fearless, and now a little lightning was getting to me.

The knowledge of how to create the perfect thunderhead was in my mind. Knowing that there was nothing to fear unless we lost control of a low pressure system didn’t comfort me. One time I’d seen Applejack and Rarity take shelter in Twilight’s library. The thunderstorm had grown beyond our control, knocking a tree down and sending it crashing through the window of her Library. I had personally flown into that storm to disperse it. Now, I’d specifically asked Thunderlane to create all the local storms and to keep them the hell away from my house. They evoked some memory deep inside me, some fear, that I didn’t understand.

I couldn’t let anypony know I was afraid of a little lightning, not even Fluttershy.

Tank had crawled up closer to me and I could not help but smile. “Really, I’m fine. I just—I’ve never been this scared since I had to compete against Rarity at the Best Young Fliers contest.” I still hadn’t admitted that to her. . .

Tank yawned and rested his head in the entrance to his shell before falling asleep. I closed my eyes and tried to join him but couldn’t sleep. The disturbing thoughts, the voices, and that feeling of being trapped in a body that feels wrong would return.

My biggest concern was making the nightmares stop. Of all the things that felt wrong, for some reason the most horrific images almost seemed right. They had me afraid of a little weather, and scared to fall asleep at night. I knew I’d been in an accident, but did not know if it was normal for survivors of such injuries to constantly relive the fears.

The sunlight was never welcome in my home. I had positioned my house in the sky so that it’d burst through the window regardless. Were it not for the harsh rays bathing me each morning, I wouldn’t wake up. I would sleep in until noon every day. Still, the fact I needed Celestia’s sun to wake up didn’t mean I liked it. Sunlight was a necessary evil or I'd have scheduled clouds year-round.

I rolled over in protest and hid my eyes. I had to wake up and take care of the morning weather, and was determined not to. The only bright side was that the sooner I was done, the sooner I could take a nap over Sweet Apple Acres. Last night had been rough, and the extra sleep would be worth rolling out of bed. My memories were vague yet I recalled the thunderstorm, and the nightmares. Perhaps on a sunny afternoon I’d be able to get a decent few hours of sleep.

Twilight would know what to do, I’d go visit her after weather duty. She’d probably wonder if I had written any of the nightmares down in that silly dream journal. The worst part of having the nightmares was not remembering why. I remembered how scared they made me feel—me, the fearless element of loyalty. The actual content of the dreams continued to elude me, and the bits I did remember made no sense.

The worst part was that the nightmares always involved the hospital, and I was scared to let anypony know about my nightmares or memory loss. They would want to send me back to the hospital. According to Twilight, I had spent nearly a month in a coma. She said it was natural to be wary of hospitals after something like that, and had offered to be my personal nurse until I got better. I hadn’t told anypony that I’d agreed to her terms; what was left of my reputation after the crash needed to be protected. Who had ever heard of a grown mare that was afraid to see a doctor?

Tank started nudging behind my wings to get me out of bed. I hated to admit it, but he was right. The sooner I cleared the clouds and saw Twilight, the sooner I could take a nap. I slid off the edge of the bed and stood up on the floor.

My wings felt amazing as I stretched them out. The feeling was hard to describe to other ponies. There were so many muscles in my back that tightened up overnight. Everything from my flank to my neck, and to the tips of my primaries, tingled and got a rush of relief. My wingspan was impressive for a pegasus my size, and luckily they hadn’t atrophied after the accident. Twilight claimed they had used some sort of electronic gadget to exercise the muscles while I’d slept. For once, I guess the eggheads had done something useful for us Pegasi.

My wings folded back in against my side, comfortably relaxed. I flattened out my back legs and stretched, lowering my flanks towards the floor. I pushed back the other way and stretched my forelegs, raising my flank high in the air. There were a dozen stretches I did each morning. I didn’t know how I knew them, after years I guess this was just a normal day for me.

I was glad I hadn’t gotten worse amnesia. Twilight assured me it was perfectly normal not to remember the accident. I seemed to remember something similar happening in a Daring Do book, but I couldn’t find my collection of them. I was sure I’d left them around here somewhere. maybe Twilight knew where they were. I sure could use a good book.

It felt great to be limber and I couldn’t wait to get outside. I decided to skip breakfast and took off through my window, flying up towards the layer of clouds in the sky. I burst through the nearest cloud, feeling the damp wisps cling to my feathers. The cloud evaporated and I looked around to the half-dozen weather ponies on my team.

“Welcome back, boss!” Cloud Kicker shouted.

“Yeah, glad to have you back, Dash,” Thunderlane said.

“Thanks, no need to sit around. I could use a hoof clearing these clouds out. Today’s forecast is sun,” I explained.

“You know what that means.” Thunderlane turns to the other Pegasi, “Dash wants to take a nap.”

I laughed with the rest of them until my sides started to ache a little. “Alright, but I think I’ve earned a sunny afternoon and a fluffy cloud. We need rain again tonight and I’d appreciate a little less thunder this time.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Cloud Kicker said with a mock salute. “Weatherbolts, roll out!”

I smiled as they spread out over the town to clear the clouds. I felt normal around them. They were my surrogate family since I left the flock in Cloudsdale. Despite my hardships, Pegasi were always there for each other. Whether it was preening, flight lessons, or just a friendly wing to shelter under, I knew I could trust each one of them.

A cloud hit me from behind and evaporated. I turned around and saw one of the weather ponies fly off laughing. Playtime was over, and I took off after her. I let her keep the lead as we busted the rest of the clouds together. The task didn’t take long and I wound up over the library in no time.

The weather team had finished messing around and clearing the clouds. I waved goodbye and tried to recall the names of the various ponies. I seemed to have gotten a couple of the names wrong, judging by their frowns. At least they were good sports.

“See ya later, Thunderlane, and I was serious about the rain tonight! No thunder!” I ordered.

“Sure thing. See ya later, Dash,” Thunderlane said.

“Yeah, have a good day, dude.”

The library seemed different somehow, almost as if it shouldn’t exist. How could a tree be alive and hollowed out at the same time? My mind wandered to some of the giant tree’s I had seen, and some of the lumber camps. If it were so easy to live inside trees, wouldn’t more people be doing it? Why chop down trees to make a house when you could make a house in a tree?

I recalled a tree big enough to drive a carriage through, and suddenly felt a sharp pain in my head. How’d I forget about the headaches? Add concussions and brain injury to the list of fun I get to look forward to. Looks like I need Twilight’s help more than I thought. Already I could see a faint halo around things and the light seemed a little too bright. This might be worse than a simple headache.

Landing in front of the library, I marveled at how easy it was to fly. Despite no clear memory of having flown, I knew how and I knew it was where I belonged. I shook my head harder than I needed to, eliciting another wave of agonizing sharp pains. The door vibrated as I pounded a hoof against it.

“Coming!” a voice replied.

The light continued to get brighter, and the more I tried to think, the more my head started to hurt. It was almost as if my body didn’t want me to think certain thoughts. I hope she can fix it, I really don’t want to go see a doctor again.

The door opened and a smiling purple mare stepped out. Her name had been on my mind just seconds ago, yet it now stuck to the tip of my tongue. Dusk. . . Midnight. . . “Twilight! How’s it going?” I asked.

“Good, but how are you? You’re sweating,” she observed.

“Yeah, I uh, may have been having nightmares all week,” I said. I managed an innocent grin and giggled. I looked around to make sure no one had seen my uncool display.

“Come in, Dash, I’ll make you some tea,” Twilight said.


I walked in and took a seat over on her sofa. There was a coffee table and a book sitting on it. I lifted the book up and examined the cover. Daring Do and the Quest for the Sapphire Stone.

Hoofsteps sounded behind me and I turned in time to see Twilight levitating some tea cups. “Hey, Twi, is this a new book? I don’t recognize the title.”

Twilight smiled and set the tea down in front of me. “Actually, that’s the first in the series. You brought it back earlier this week. You’ve read it a few times.”

“Hmm, really?” I stared at the cover and felt something itching in my mind. I was suddenly able to remember a scene where Daring solved a puzzle by avoiding the stones marked with predators. “I guess so.”

I reached over and lifted up the tea. Twilight claimed I’d never touched the stuff before the accident, yet now I found it so soothing. Every time Twilight gave me tea, it made me feel better. After the first sip, the confusing book in front of me slipped from my mind. It really didn’t matter whether or not I’d read it. It was just a book.

“How’s your tea, Dash?” Twilight asked. She smiled and glanced up from her watch.

“Good, of course. So, you—” I stopped and yawned widely. “You gonna help with this migraine or what? I was gonna take a nap.”

“Oh, of course. In fact, I put some of the medicine in the tea. Why don’t you lay down and take that nap. I can fix your headache while you sleep.”

I lay down on the sofa and noticed she’d already brought a blanket over for me to use. She levitated it down over me, and it took all my effort to stay awake. “Hey, thanks. . .” I closed my eyes and yawned. “Really, good tea. . .”

Twilight started tucking the blanket in around me. “Any memories this time? Did you write down what you saw?”

“No,” I replied. I wanted to say more, but I felt like I was melting into the warm couch. I just wanted to sleep until it all got better.

“Spike, I need you to bring a couple books down to my lab.”

Lab? But the couch is so comfy. Am I suppos—wait! Something is wrong. I—I remember now! I don’t want to go to the lab again! I need to wake up.

I stumbled around on the couch trying to find my footing. I needed to get both forearms on the ground, but instead I fell head over hooves and landed on the floor. I tried to shield my face; I could finally remember and I needed to stay awake. The hospital, lab tests, magic, ponies trying so hard to help me hold it together. . . and she was at the center of it all.

Twilight stood over me as the darkness took me.

“Hey, what’s this? ‘Daring Do and the Quest for the Sapphire Stone’?” I asked.

“This is the first story in the series.” Twilight smiled. “I own all of them.” She then squeed.

I rolled over. “No thanks. I so don’t read. I’m a world-class athlete. Reading’s for eggheads like you, Twilight.” I glanced at her and smiled. “Heh, no offense, but I am not reading. It’s undeniably, unquestionably, uncool.”

Everypony started laughing. “Is she serious?” Applejack asked. “Who doesn’t like to read a bang-up tale from time to time?”

Rarity smiled widely. “Why, a good book is almost as magnificent as silk pajamas on a Sunday morning, heh!”

“Reading is for everypony, Rainbow Dash!” Twilight said, sounding like a school teacher.

“Yeah,” Pinkie added. I watched as she launched herself on another tangent. “I love reading, and my head isn’t even close to the shape of an egg! It’s more the shape of an apple, or maybe an orange, but a big orange! More like a grapefruit really...”

Thankfully a nurse came in to shoo my friends away so I could get some sleep. “All right, my little ponies,” the nurse said,” Rainbow Dash needs her rest. . .”

I yawned and stretched out my wings, interrupting my dream. Opening my eyes revealed the inside of the library. Twilight was reading a book on the other side of the library as I slept on her couch. The clock showed it was nearly noon, which meant I’d already taken care of the weather. There was no reason to interrupt a good thing, so I closed my eyes and went back to sleep.

Visiting Twilight always helped, and I was feeling better already.

Author's Note:

This guide to pony anatomy may come in handy for this story when I mention frogs, primaries, hocks, or arms.