• Published 11th Nov 2013
  • 531 Views, 29 Comments

Rusted - gallagsp the corgi

A veteran soldier returns home after wandering the landscape after escaping a prison camp for 4 years. How will she cope with the time she lost and her own memories?

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Chapter 1

One week later...

Shimmering Blade opened her eyes slowly. She yawned, wanting to open her mouth more but being unable to. Sitting up in the white sheets of her bed she momentarily held a feeling of fear, confusion as to where she was or how she got here. It quickly passed however, and was replaced by feelings of joy and happiness. She was finally home. Four long years lost in the wilderness over. She smiled and set her head back down on the pillow.

She was sure this was the most comfortable pillow she had ever rested her head upon in the history of ponykind. She chuckled at her own joke and looked out the window of her room. The sun was just beginning its rise over the horizon. Four years since she had to wake up at dawn and she was still doing it. Some habits are hard to break.

Speaking of habits, she hadn't had a cigarette for at least two years. Not since she snuck into that village in the dead of night and stole some supplies. She never got over that feeling of needing to smoke, but it was controllable now and wasn't going to drive her crazy. If she was even still sane to begin with.

A knock at the door stirred her from her thoughts. The door opened slowly and a nurse walked into the room followed by a doctor. They both smiled and the nurse set about checking various readings from the machines in the room. The doctor approached the bed and held a clipboard near his face.

Shimmering Blade looked him over. He was an old army doctor, specializing in military-related injuries and illnesses, besides the few royal guards who got themselves hurt during training, he didn't have much patients. He read the clipboard for what felt like forever before setting it down. "Congratulations, private. I have word that you're recovery is going quite well. Your injuries are healing fine and the antibiotics appear to be working on those Tetanus and Gangrene infections. You're almost back to a healthy weight for somepony your height and everything else seems to check out fine. Unfortunately, you'll never be to where you were before. You'll still have muscle degeneration and tenseness for the unforeseeable future." He set a hoof on her shoulder. "I'm sorry, we've done all we could do, now we just have to wait and see how the rest of your recovery goes."

"Thanks, doc. I don't care. I'm just glad to be home." Shimmering Blade responded through the wire mesh around her jaw. It limited her speak more than the actual infection did, but she didn't question the doctor. He did outrank her by a substantial amount, with him being a Major and her only a Private, but he made it clear that the war was over, rank only matters in the guard now. The doctor smiled and nodded.

"You've been through a lot. Initial tests didn't show any signs of PTSD or any other mental illnesses, but this could be a delayed trigger. If you need to talk to somepony I'll be here, and I only live ten minutes away, so don't hesitate to call."

"Thanks. That means a lot to know I'm not crazy." She laughed, the doctor joined in.

"Take care, a nurse will be here with your breakfast in about an hour." He and the nurse turned and left the room, leaving Shimmering Blade all alone again.

Outside in the hallway, the doctor turned to the nurse. "She's doing very well. Just don't let her see Dr. Ironwing."

"Why not, doctor?" The nurse asked in confusion.

"He's a Griffin. She was captured and tortured by Griffins. You do the math." He turned and walked down the hallway, the nurse wrote something in her file and quickly followed after. She caught up to him quickly.

"Is that why you asked Dr. Ironwing to take a vacation?"

"Partly. He doesn't work this wing of the hospital so interaction would have been minimum anyway, he was also stressing out over some things at home. But yes, she does have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and apparently she's incredibly racist. Given her position however, I don't blame her in the slightest. She's been through hell and back, and if I figure this correctly, she's only at the beginning of her journey." He sighed, stopping in front of the door to the doctor's lounge. "Do me a favor and tell Dr. Quickheart to prepare some therapy sessions. I need some coffee."

"Of course, Doctor." The nurse smiled warmly and walked away from the doctor and toward the nurse's station.

Meanwhile. Shimmering Blade had dozed back to sleep. She dreamed she was flying aboard an airship. The wind swept through her auburn mane as her green eyes scanned the clouds around the ship. She spread her wings and let the undercurrent sweep through her tan feathers. It threatened to carry her away as she felt a particularly strong gust lift her up a bit. A slight adjustment to the angle of her wings set her hooves back on the deck of the ship. She approached the railing and peered over, not afraid of the height at all.

Suddenly, a shout behind her caught her attention. She turned around just in time to see a pony in armor running down the deck. He was dripping blood and had a look of shear terror on his face. Shimmering Blade watched as he approached the railing. He stopped and turned around, nervously looking around. He screamed again as his pursuers attacked him from above. He dodged one of their attacks and hopped up onto the railing. He turned around to look Shimmering Blade in the eye before he jumped.

She watched as several of the attackers dove down after him, then a loud thump next to her drew her attention away from the jumper. She turned and found herself face to face with a griffin nearly twice her size. He smiled in a sinister way and raised his sword high above his head. Shimmering Blade watched in terror, unable to move from the fear inside her.

The griffin brought the sword down.

"Gaah!" She yelled, shooting up in her bed. She winced as the wire mesh cut her lips and her jaw started to ache dully. She looked around and took a deep breath. "Alright, Shimmer. No big deal. You just had a nightmare, no problem." She chuckled. "Okay, note to self- try not to let that happen again." She took a deep breath and closed her eyes again, opening them only a second later.

She peared out the window again. The sun was a little higher in the sky, she could even see some pegasai on their way to their jobs, lazily riding the breeze without a care in the world.

She flexed her own wings. They needed a good preening, but it didn't matter. She couldn't fly anymore anyway, those bastards had clipped her wings so she couldn't escape. She found herself filled with anger. She clenched her sore jaw, making the dull pain hurt worse, and fought back against the tears forming in her eyes. No, she wouldn't cry. Crying meant they won. She wouldn't let them win. She was free, they were probably dead.

That thought had enough of an effect to calm her enough to take a breath. "Alright. It's okay, they're dead, you're alive, they got what they deserved."

Another knock at the door got her attention. It opened and a nurse stepped in carrying a bowl. Shimmering Blade frowned, but accepted the bowl and straw anyway. Because of the mesh she couldn't eat solid food, at least until the mesh came off. She took a sip of the watered down oatmeal and a shiver went down her spine. The nurse tried to hide her laugh but failed.

"Still that bad, huh?" She said.

Shimmering Blade grumbled under her breathe, but said nothing to the nurse.

"Don't worry about it, hun. You'll be out of here in a few days, then you can eat whatever you like."


"You're from Ponyville, right? I have a sister there."

"Yeah. My family is there too. At least I hope they still are, haven't heard anything from them yet."

"Oh you poor thing. I can't imagine how much that must hurt."

"Its alright, I haven't seen them since I was deployed, what's a little more time to track them down?"

"Well. I suppose you're right. Still, I hope you find them quickly. Do they know that you're here?"

"No, I want to surprise them. Plus I'm not really in the best shape to be seeing family. Would give my momma a heart attack."

"I can understand that." The nurse chuckled. "Well, I need to get going. I'll stop by later to see how you're doing, alright?"

"I'll be here, I guess." She waved as the nurse left the room, then turned to the bowl sitting on the table. She frowned and put the straw to her mouth again, taking a long draw and forcing back a gag. Sure she's had worse, but this didn't even seem edible.

She finished the bowl in silence, her mind drifting.