• Published 2nd Nov 2013
  • 7,549 Views, 342 Comments

Alienation - Longtooth

I am not Twilight Sparkle. We share one body, one past, but not our souls. I do not know why I am here, or why I have done these terrible things. This is my story.

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I teleported to Spike’s side without thinking. In retrospect I’m really surprised that I was able to do that. Teleportation isn’t exactly an easy spell, it requires a lot of on-the-spot calculations to deal with the fact that everything is moving all the time. Twilight could practically do that stuff in her sleep, of course, but while I’d like to think I’m as smart as she was, I know that I’m not smart in the same way. I guess she had just become so casual with her teleporting that the skill carried over to me. I’m kinda glad for that, it made some of the stuff that came later a lot easier to get away with.

Of course, it also makes me question why I have any difference in skills at all, but I’ll get to that.

Spike was… hurt. I don’t know if I can fully describe it. I’d hit him with a table using enough force to smash him through the thick wood of the library walls, as well as the drawers, the piping, and part of the oven. If I had done that to a normal pony they’d… well, there wouldn’t be much left of them. The only thing that saved his life was the fact that dragons are nigh indestructible, even as babies.

He looked so terrified. That’s what I remember most. The way his scales had split open in dozens of places, the strange angles that his limbs were contorted into, all of that is just kind of a blur to me. When I think about that moment all I can really see are his eyes. They looked at me with such shock, such fear. His mouth moved, he couldn’t draw the breath to make a sound, but I knew he wanted to scream.

I’d been around for maybe an hour. Conscious, at least. An hour in Twilight Sparkle’s life and I’d already nearly killed her oldest and closest friend. Kinda set the tone for everything that came after it, really. I should have… well, no use in should-haves. I didn’t know what was going on at the time. I didn’t realize who I wasn’t yet. All I knew was that Spike was hurt, and that it was my fault.

I remember crying out his name. Screaming it, really. Tears made everything I looked at seem like it was seen through distorted glass. I dropped next to him, frantically nuzzling him. I don’t know what I thought that’d accomplish, but I think we’ve established that I wasn’t thinking very clearly right then.

Other ponies came to help immediately. They called for a stretcher, something to take Spike to the hospital with. I can’t recall exact words, but they were all ready and willing to do their part to make sure the baby dragon was alright.

It’s the best part of ponykind, really. They see someone hurt and they immediately want to help. I’ve got some issues with my species, but that isn’t one of them.

In some ways it was a good thing that I was still reeling from my breakfast-table self-discovery. I don’t think I would be nearly as co-operative with the ponies trying to help me nowadays. I don’t think Twilight would have been either, but for entirely different reasons. Still, before I could really register what was happening we were being carried to the local hospital, a crowd of concerned ponies sharing the burden to let us go all the faster.

Ponyville hospital is, like many things about that town, bizarrely out of place. Ponyville itself isn’t that big, and while the surrounding countryside has many more ponies living it, the hospital is sized for a much larger population than the town and the area require. I know why, of course: Ponyville is a powderkeg that blows up every few weeks. They need the bed space. The expansion of the original clinic into a full hospital was prompted by a ‘baked bads’ incident soon after I arrived in the town. Yes, that’s what it’s been called, at Pinkie’s insistence. Twilight didn’t get it, but I think it’s kind of funny. Anyways, Celestia was more than happy to pour funds into my new home town, and so we have a hospital. And a hydroelectric dam. And, you know what? I think I’ll just continue the story.

The hospital staff were just as worried by the sight of the injured dragon as everyone else was, but they were more interested in my state. I followed Spike as they lay him on a bed in the emergency room, and they kept asking me questions. I don’t know what I answered, honestly. I think they got the very true impression that I wasn’t in my right mind.

“What happened?” a unicorn doctor asked me, shining a light in my eyes.

I slapped the light away. “I don’t know!” I said, glaring at him before snapping my gaze back to Spike. He was twitching and writhing on the bed, every motion obviously painful, but unable to stay still. He’d begun making a keening noise at some point in the journey over here. I remember wishing he’d stop it. That noise was almost worse than seeing the mangled legs flopping around. I lay my ears flat to dull the noise and looked back to the doctor. “Help him!”

He shook his head. “I’m sorry. I’m a doctor.”

“And he’s a patient! Help him!”

“I’m a doctor,” he repeated. “I work with ponies!”

“I don’t care,” I snarled. “You can give him something for the pain until a real doctor gets here.”

He sighed. “No, I can’t.”

Rage hit me like a screaming bludgeon, hammering my tenuous self-control flat and continuing on to the doctor. Before I even knew what I was doing I had grabbed him with my magic and slammed him against the wall hard enough to rattle the windows. Ponies around me gasped, shocked by the sudden violence. “Help him!” I screamed in the doctor’s face.

His eyes were wide, his legs shuddering against the wall, his horn burned with his own magic as he tried to counter my power, but he couldn’t break my grip. “I can’t,” he wheezed out, the pressure on him enough to make breathing a task. “I don’t know his physiology, giving him a sedative or anesthetic could do more harm than good.”

“I don’t believe you,” I hissed, and increased the pressure. He tried to say something but he was already too constricted to breathe. I watched as the whites of his eyes began to turn red, his struggles intensifying with frantic need, but getting him nowhere. I had to have held him like that for at least half a minute. Maybe more. If anyone tried to stop me, I don’t remember it.

Before you think to ask: no, I wasn’t trying to kill him. The thought that I might never even crossed my mind. I didn’t want him dead, I wanted him punished. He had given me an answer I didn’t like that left a friend in pain, and I was going to make him hurt for it. Not exactly a rational chain of thought. You could say it was the second in a long series of mistakes that led me here, but I actually think it was the first. Throwing the table was a moment of panic, of intense, existential fear. A massive overreaction, yes, but understandable. Crushing the life out of an innocent doctor? That was… that was all me. The first real indicator of who I am. I wasn’t trying to kill that doctor, but I think I would have.

It was Twilight’s friends that saved me from that.

“Twilight!” Applejack’s voice cut through my rage and shifted my focus away from the asphyxiating doctor. She was shoving her way through the horrified crowd, excusing herself for every pony she displaced, but cutting through them like the prow of an orange ship. Behind her were Rarity and Fluttershy, both looking quite concerned.

“Applejack!” I called back to her, unceremoniously dropping the doctor to the floor. “Spike’s hurt!”

“I heard, sugarcube,” Applejack said, finally making her way to me. I threw my forelegs around her, hugging her tightly. She gently smoothed down my mane and let me hold on to her. Applejack has a strange quality of solidity. She’s a stable pony, both in physical and psychological terms. When all else is confusion, she can be the rock you cling to. Even when she does something crazy, she’s usually doing it in a more sane manner than any of Twilight’s other friends would have. She’s not my favorite pony, but I… well, I connect with her better than I do most of the others.

“Oh, Spike!” Fluttershy cried out, a sentiment echoed by a gasp from Rarity. In an instant the two of them were by his bed, fussing over him.

“Can you help him?” I asked Fluttershy, my voice hitched with broken sobs.

“I’ll try,” Fluttershy said, then looked around until she spotted a nurse. “Could you, um, could you please bring the strongest painkillers you have? They’ll need to be, um, you need to be able to swallow them.” The nurse gave a wary look to me, and I swear if she had said no I would have ripped her head from her body right there and then. Instead she nodded and rushed off through the crowd. “It’s okay, Spike,” Fluttershy cooed to the dragon. “I’m going to make sure you get all better.”

Spike’s eyes rolled towards her, and there was such hope and relief in them that I nearly collapsed from seeing it. Applejack may be solid, but Fluttershy is the one to go to for comfort. It’s almost enough to make me overlook her other qualities. Almost.

“Oh, Spikey-wikey,” Rarity moaned.

Rarity. Rarity, Rarity, Rarity. Of all of Twilight’s friends I think I actually hate her the most. I still don’t understand how Twilight got along so well with her. Oh, I know that she’s got more to her than her public persona, but that persona is such a vain, whiny, selfish, conceited… sorry. I guess it’s a bit of the pot calling the kettle black, you know? I’m not up to her levels of malignant narcissism, but I’m no stranger to any of those qualities. Do I hate her because she reminds me of myself? Or more specifically, who I am not? Or do I...

Ugh, sorry. Getting sidetracked again. I just need to make it clear that I didn’t like Rarity from the beginning, but I didn’t really think about it until much later, and at the time I was too focused on Spike to control my own reactions.

“Stop simpering!” I snapped at her. She gave me this look of utter shock, like I had physically slapped her. “Give Fluttershy some room.” She stepped back from the bed, still watching me carefully.

“I think that’s good advice for everypony,” Applejack said, craning her neck to look out over all the gathered ponies. “Thank y’all kindly for helpin’ Twilight and Spike get here, but it’s probably best if y’all get along now. Fluttershy needs some peace to help, and Twilight’s not doing so well either.” The crowd started to move, sluggishly at first, but when they didn’t go fast enough I hurried them up with a wall of telekinesis that shoved the lot them bodily through the door and down the hall. Applejack gave me a concerned look. “That’s enough, sugarcube. You should probably sit down and let yourself get looked at.”

I nodded, disengaging from her and stumbling over to a chair. I sat down heavily while Applejack had some quiet words with the doctor who I had nearly killed. He shook his head emphatically, though it didn’t look like he was up to much talking himself. I don’t remember their conversation because I wasn’t paying attention to it, too focused on Spike and how Fluttershy was feeling out his broken legs. She wasn’t being too gentle, but I figured that you had to be rough with a dragon if you wanted to do any kind of examination.

The doctor left, all too eager to get out of the room, and Applejack and Rarity exchanged a few quiet words of their own before turning to me.

“Twilight, what happened?” Rarity asked. The tone of voice she used was concerned, calm, controlled. More of what I like to think of as ‘true Rarity’, the one buried under all the stuff that makes me want to toss her out the nearest window.

“I don’t know,” I said. I don’t think I was intentionally lying at this point. I think this was just the first attempt at repressing what I had discovered. Deny everything, and maybe it won’t be real the next time I look. You can see how well that tactic went. Just don’t say I didn’t try.

“The side of the library’s got a great big hole right through it,” Applejack said. “We passed it while we ran here. Were you attacked?” I shook my head. “Was it an experiment gone wrong?” Again, I shook my head. There were tears falling freely from me now, and I was shivering. Adrenaline is a funny thing, it lets you face your greatest fear and do more than you ever thought possible, but when it’s done its work it leaves you feeling raw, hollow, and cold. I was feeling that now. I stared at Spike and I shook in my seat and I tried desperately not to think about why he was in that condition.

And failed spectacularly, I might add.

“Darling, please,” Rarity said, crouching in front of me so that she could look directly into my eyes. “Tell us what happened.”

I could have lied. I could have made up a story that sounded plausible but would be impossible to check for. If this had happened yesterday, I would have. Easily. That day, my first day? I was too new, too unpracticed, and I still thought Rarity was my friend, and that I could trust her. I looked into her eyes, and I told the truth.

“I didn’t like my pancakes.”

Author's Note:

True Word Count: 4326. Days 1-3 covered.