• Published 29th Mar 2014
  • 16,180 Views, 628 Comments

I Will Hunt You Down - TGM



Have you ever wanted to be something else? I know I have. Did I ever imagine that I would get turned into a bio weapon of mass destruction in a world full of talking ponies? Nope. And yet...

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Star-ving for Vengeance [Part I]

~Applejack~

“Princess, Rainbow, wait up!” Princess Luna and Rainbow Dash came to a stop in the air as Applejack trotted up behind them with Rarity sprawled across her back. Normally Applejack would reprimand Rarity for being lazy, but the fashionista certainly was not used to running for this long, and Applejack had begun to carry her when she collapsed. Surprisingly, she had not once complained about it.

“Can we jus’...” the farm mare took a deep breath. “...wait for a second?” The four ponies had been travelling on hoof nonstop since Luna had raised the moon, and the first glimmers of dawn were beginning to spread across the sky.Applejack was certain that they were farther away from Ponyville than they were from their destination now. They had to be...

Princess Luna circled once before landing. “Art thou well, fair Applejack?” She sounded concerned.

“Ah’m fine, princess. Ah jus’ need a second…” She coughed.

Rainbow landed nearby. “Oh, c’mon AJ! After all those times you’ve gloated about being a better runner than me, now you’re letting me down?”

“You were FLYIN’ RD.” AJ glared at her friend. “An’ I ain’t got no way to rest my hooves. Some of us don’t have a fluffy pair o’ wings that we can resort to when our legs get tired, an’ you ain’t got to carry another pony on your back.”

Rainbow gave AJ a bemused expression, and looked about to respond when Princess Luna suddenly cut in. “We believe we have located the fiend.”

“Really?!” Rarity suddenly jolted awake, looking at the Princess from atop Applejack’s back. “Where is he?! Ooooh when I get my hooves on him I’ll—”

“Calm yourself, Miss Rarity,” Luna spoke again, looking into the distance. “We are going to need answers when we find him. I need everypony to close their eyes.”

When they complied, Luna closed her eyes as well, her horn glowing very, very bright, then the ponies vanished from sight in a dark blue flash.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Applejack’s whole body tingled for just a moment, and when she saw a second flash, she resisted the urge to open her eyes.

“You may open them now.” Applejack opened her eyes, and needed only a moment to take in the very western-esque buildings and landscape silhouetted by the rising sun before saying, “Appleoosa? Princess, why are we here?”

Applejack lowered herself to the ground, allowing Rarity to get off of her back and stand shakily to her hooves.

The fashionista shook herself. “W-we ran all that distance just to…teleport? Why didn’t we do that in the first place?!”

“Ah don’t know about you Rarity,” Applejack whispered. “but ah’d run around the world twice over for Applebloom.”

Luna trotted out into the middle of the road. It was nearing morning, so no ponies were not out and about on the street yet. “I couldn’t determine an exact location just yet,” Luna spoke, glancing back to the elements. “Only when I got close enough did I notice a particularly strong magical residue in this area. I am sorry to have troubled you, Miss Rarity.”

At Applejack’s comment and Luna’s explanation, Rarity’s ears laid flat against her skull and she looked down at her hooves.

“In any case, he may or may not be here. I am certain that criminal spent a good amount of time here recently though, the spell is reacting strongly.” Luna shifted her gaze to some of the nearby buildings.

“I’ll ask around.” Rainbow shot into the air and made her way over to some of the far off structures.

“I as well.” Rarity trotted off into a nearby barber shop. Applejack, however, had something else on her mind.

“Uhm...Your Highness?”

“Hm?” Princess Luna snapped out of whatever trance she had set herself into and turned to face the orange mare. “Yes, fair Applejack?”

“This varmint, you don’t suppose he...hurt mah sister and her friends do you? Are they gonna be okay?” Applejack’s voice was shaky, as if she was afraid of the answer the Princess might give.

Princess Luna frowned deeply before looking up at the sky towards the moon. “We do not think that he has harmed them in any way, not physically at least…”

Applejack blinked. “Wait, ‘not physically?’ What does that mean?”

“It means that, if the images of the Cutie Mark Crusader’s dreams we’ve seen are anything to go by, you may be more worried about your little sister’s mental health than her physical well-being.”

Applejack’s pupils shrank. “Oh no…” She and Luna stood in silence for a moment.

“I got something!” Rainbow Dash’s voice called from the skies above as she touched down close to the two. “Some of the ponies over in the pub told me they’d seen a suspicious looking stallion not from around here heading out of town just the other day!”

“I as well.” Rarity emerged from a nearby building, approaching the three quickly. “The barber’s wife had talked to the stallion in question, heard that he was headed for Manehattan next!”

“Well done, element bearers. We may catch this fiend before too long. Close your eyes once more.”

“Figures that ya’d go straight for the pub, RD,” Applejack said, nudging her friend in the ribs.

“Aw, c’mon AJ!” Dash laughed. But it was a hollow laugh, and one that Applejack shared.

A laugh covering fear.

And then in another dark blue flash, the group of mares was gone once more.

~Twilight Sparkle~

Twilight peeked from around the corner of a building, looking at the massive Ellura building in its entirety. From this angle, the only real entrance she could see were the front doors, but seeing as they were being watched by the guard, that sort of entrance was immediately struck from her mind. They needed to be subtle. “Okay, this is the plan,” Twilight turned to her friends. Pinkie looked excited; Fluttershy, however was cowering.

“Is the p-plan going up to the g-guards and being asked r-reaaaaaaaaally nicely to be let in?”

Twilight deadpanned. “Not exactly. We’re going to circle around and see if we can find a second entrance. If not, I know a spell that’s able to cut through glass, and we can drop down into the building without being detected.”

“Oooh, we’re just like Blueblood’s Angels!” Pinkie jumped up and down excitedly.

Twilight blinked. “What?”

“Ooooh, nothing~” Pinkie grinned.

Twilight rolled her eyes, turning her attention back to the building. When she saw three more ponies leave, she motioned to her two friends with her hoof, and the three mares dashed around the side of the structure. Twilight didn’t immediately see anything, but after a few minutes of trotting, Twilight saw what she was hoping for. A door reading “AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY” came into her view. “Bingo,” Twilight mumbled. She grabbed the door handle with her magic, but it wouldn’t give.

“Locked. How do we—” just then, the sound of a doorknob jingling caused Twilight ears to twitch. “Back, get back!” She pushed her friends behind a nearby dumpster, and peeked her head out to watch. The door opened, and a blue stallion in a white lab coat exited the door. He yawned, turning and bumping the wall with his hoof. The wall slid aside, revealing a keypad. The stallion punched some numbers in, and the definitive sound of a lock clicking into place came from the door. The stallion nodded, bumping the wall with his hoof again. The wall slid closed, hiding the keypad once more, and the stallion trotted off.

Once Twilight was sure he was gone, she approached the wall and bumped it with her hoof. Sure enough, a section of the wall slid aside to reveal a keypad. “Numerical code.” Twilight frowned. “I don’t know the combination.”

“Uhm...Twilight, can I try?” Twilight looked over at Fluttershy in surprise, then back at the keypad.

“Oh, uh...sure. I don’t know how the system will react to an incorrect password though, so if an alarm goes off be ready to run, okay?” Fluttershy nodded, then moved in front of the keypad and began pushing buttons with the tip of her muzzle.

With a confirmation beep, the sound of something unlocking could be heard. Twilight, in the meantime, was baffled. “Wha-? How-?”

“Oh, uhm...when you pushed us behind that dumpster, I flew above and peeked down from the roof, watching the numbers the stallion punched in. I don’t like spying but, I thought you might be happy…” Fluttershy traced the ground with a hoof. “I’m sorry…”

“No, no it’s fine. Thank you, Fluttershy.” Twilight said with a smile. Then the three of them slipped inside. They found themselves in the lab, the room they had taken a tour through earlier that day. It was significantly emptier; only a few ponies here and there could be seen. Twilight held a hoof to her mouth and made a soft ‘shhh’ sound as she very quietly closed the door. Her friends nodded in understanding. They slowly made their way along the wall, careful to keep low and below the tables so as to not be seen.

Twilight could see the door that Fluttershy had pointed out earlier, the door that read “AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY, NO ACCESS WITHOUT PERMISSION.” Her eyes narrowed. “We need to get into that door somehow. I don’t think it’s ‘unstable chemicals’ that they’re hiding in there,” Twilight said in a hushed tone. Her two friends nodded, and Twilight very carefully made her way to the door. She was about to try the handle, when the door very suddenly began to open on its own.

Twilight quickly pulled her two friends behind the door as it opened. “Did you get the results of the experiment yet? I understand two new strains of the chemical were used in it today.”

“Nothing significant, unfortunately. There haven’t been any different responses than the first one we acquired. Though subject A was showing some progress, I fear it won’t be useable for much longer.”

“That’s the one that had the newest strain applied to it right? I wonder if…” the two stallion’s voices faded into the distance as they trotted out of Twilight’s range of hearing. Twilight couldn’t help but wonder what they were talking about, but she pushed it out of her mind for now. She caught the door before it closed with her magic and quickly motioned for Pinkie and Fluttershy to rush inside. She followed quickly behind them, closing the door quietly and giving no indication that three mares had just slipped into a place they would not forget anytime soon…

~~~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~~

Darkness. Everything around her was pitch black. “Girls, can you hear me?”

“Y-yes…” Twilight heard Fluttershy’s timid voice.

“Present!” Pinkie’s higher pitched voice pierced through the inky blackness. Twilight concentrated, and the area was lit up with a bright purple glow.

Twilight took a moment to get a grasp on their surroundings. Some sort of haze obscured her forward view so she could only see about five feet in front of her, but she could see pipes running along the walls to their sides, a metal floor beneath their hooves, and a metal staircase descending down into the darkness. Every so often, a puff of steam would shoot in front of them from one of the pipes, obscuring their view even more. “Come on, girls.” Twilight’s voice was shaky, but she wanted to get to the bottom of this. Pinkie wasn’t even her usual bouncy self, and she followed Twilight with a cautiousness that Twilight didn’t even know that she possesed. Fluttershy slowly followed them from behind.

The sound of hooves on metal echoed in the seemingly endless metal abyss as the trio continued their trek downwards until the path ahead split. One way went into a room with a large, cylindrical glass structure with some sort of murky liquid in it, and the other path continued into the darkness. Twilight looked at the path continuing downwards, then at the room that this path branched into. She narrowed her eyes for a moment, before motioning the girls to follow her into the room.

“T-Twilight, this seems like a really bad idea…” Fluttershy mumbled under her breath, but followed all the same. As Twilight emerged into the room, she found that the glass tube she saw from a distance wasn’t the only one in the room. Lining the wall were about 12 more, all filled with the same murky liquid. Twilight could have sworn she saw movement just beyond her veil of sight, but she couldn’t be certain.

“Fluttershy, we need to find out what they’re up to. If this can help us open the Princess’ eyes, then I want to be thorough with it.” Carefully, Twilight approached a computer monitor that was linked to the tubes by a series of cables. On it, Twilight could make out the outline of a vaguely pony-shaped specimen, and on the monitor it read ‘SUBJECT A’ Twilight’s mind began to race as her pupils shrank. “Girls...I think they’re experimenting on poni—” just then, a very loud ‘thunk’ came from the glass tube. Twilight froze and turned towards it slowly. On the glass, beyond the veil of the murky liquid, was something that defied everything Twilight thought she knew. It was a scaly, clawed hoof. Scaly as in the entire hoof was literally covered with tan, spiny scales, jutting out from the hoof itself as well as what little Twilight could make of its leg. Twilight had a feeling, if she tried to touch it, it would cut her badly.

That’s not what really scared her though. What caused her mind to go into a panic was the eye above the hoof, the eye that was staring right at her. The eye whose pupil quickly narrowed into a slit.

Twilight let out a yell and stumbled backwards. Her friends were rooted to the spot.

“What is that?!” Pinke sounded scared, Fluttershy was shaking. Then, the unimaginable. The glass tube began to crack around the thing’s hoof.

“Oh no…” Twilight didn’t stop to turn around to get a look at the thing as she heard the glass shatter, she just pushed her friends and started to run. A run that lasted of all about two seconds before she felt something smack into her and force her on her back.

Above her stood a monster Twilight hoped to never see again. It looked like a pony, but the familiar shape was offset by what made up its ‘fur’. Rather than fur or skin, the creature had millions of very sharp, deadly looking scales. Its entire body was a weapon. Razor sharp fangs lined its mouth, and two miniature dragon-like wings extended on either side of it. Its scales were tan in color, and they all bristled and moved as the creature made a sound akin to a hiss, its eye narrowing to a slit once more as it stared down at Twilight. She didn’t have time to think, and she couldn’t move. She could only stare in horror as the thing licked its fangs and slowly lowered them towards her face…

Then a pink pair of hooves smashed into its side and it was sent flying, the sound of glass shattering as it crashed into another tube. warm liquid flowed underneath of Twilight, and she barely registered the alarms and Pinkie yelling at her before she snapped out of her trance.

“Twilight!!” Pinkie yelled, pulling the unicorn up off the floor with all her might. “We need to go! They’ll be here any minute!” Twilight shook her head and blinked. She looked back, and immediately wished she hadn’t. There were now two of those monsters laying side by side, rising to their hooves once again as they hissed. Twilight didn’t need to be told twice. She, Pinkie, and Fluttershy quickly ran from the room.

Only to be met with a wall of glowing horns, and a very upset looking Test Tube.

“You should have minded your own business, Miss Sparkle.”

Twilight barely had time to call to her friends before she felt something being forced over her head, and her world was reduced to blackness. She fought,and struggled, but whatever had her was far stronger than her, and whatever they had placed over her head was rendering her magic useless. She could make out words being said, like “How did they get in here?!” and “Where have the test subjects gone?!” But other than that, much of it was muffled. Finally, the bag was pulled off of her head. In front of her, she could see a small room with grey, concrete walls. She only had time to take in that much before she was thrown in rather harshly, two thumps coming from her either side.

“And don’t think about trying to escape!” A pony with a thick accent spoke. It reminded Twilight vaugely of a small foal she knew back in Ponyville named Pipsqueak. She heard the sound of metallic clanging. “These bars are immune to magic, so don’t get any stupid ideas!” The sound of a crash, and then silence reigned. Twilight took a moment to compose herself before sitting up, seeing Pinkie and Fluttershy laying next to her.

“Please be okay, please be okay…” she shook them, and sure enough, they stirred and moaned. “Oh thank goodness…!”

“Twilight?” Twilight heard a small voice near the back of the cell. When she looked up, a small green and miniature bipedal figure walked into view. “Is that really you?” Tears formed at the edges of the young drake’s eyes.

“SPIKE!” Twilight yelled and bolted over to her friend, embracing him in a hug. “You’re okay! Ohhhhh, thank Celestia! You’re not hurt are you?! What have they done to you?!”

Spike hugged her back for a moment before separating. Twilight took a moment to take him in, his scales were dirty looking, and he looked like he hadn’t been eating properly, but otherwise he looked fine. “They didn’t hurt us, Twi. They…” Spike trailed off and looked in the back of the cell. There, three shapes were huddled together, hugging one another. “Girls? It’s alright.”

Then the three shapes separated and wandered into the light. There, before her very eyes were Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle.

“Girls!” Flutterhsy suddenly shot forward, scooping the three fillies into a hug. “Oh, I’m so glad you’re okay! I don’t know if I’d be able to forgive myself if anything happened to you three!”

Pinkie approached Twilight, Twilight noticed her mane had deflated, and was hanging flat down along the sides of her head. “I’m glad we’re together again, but how are we going to get out of here? He said the doors were anti-magic.” Then, the sound of several alarms went off and loud crashes could be heard from above. “Uh...did anyone else hear that?”

~Nemesis~

I had found it.

After nearly three weeks, I had found the place I was looking for. The word ‘Ellura Corp.’ shone in bright letters above the main entrance doors, and I could see Royal Guards standing guard. Did Sun-butt really think sending her useless guard to watch the place was going to help them against me?

This wasn’t a time for smugness though. I had to be sure I was calm. I couldn’t afford to show any weakness in a place like this. If this facility was anything like the Ellura facilities I had seen in the past, I was not going to like what I saw in there. I had to be quick, and relentless. In and out. Sabotage, destroy, leave. I briefly considered summoning a friend to help me out, as I had picked up a pal-sized piece of paper with some kind of drawing on it earlier that had seemingly appeared out of nowhere, but no. They didn’t need to see some of the things that Ellura did, and it was my responsibility to deal with them. As I took several deep breaths and stood, I heard something that could only be described as the sound of something tearing, and then I noticed a small folder floating down from above, landing at my feet.

What the… I picked it up and began to read.

To you who find this folder-

If you are reading this, you are what I refer to as a Displaced. Some of us are being held here, in worlds not our own, by one known as The Merchant, a Void-Dweller of great power. If you can use these notes to find your way back to your relative home, I wish you the best of luck. Either because The Merchant is not to be trifled with, or because finding your relative Earth in all the Multiverse is like trying to find a grain of sand in a sandstorm.

Personally, I do not desire to leave. True, abandoning my life on Earth seems cowardly. But the power I now wield confers a responsibility, one that I fulfill willingly. And life in Equestria is more likely to be peaceable than life on Earth.

To those that want to return, I wish you the best of luck, and tell you that the best of results could be gathered by using something that you brought with you.

To those that wish to remain, I tell you that these notes can easily be reversed and used to shield your home from intrusions. Most notably, Discord could find them useful.

To those of you that wish to try to fight The Merchant, I tell you that he will likely not go down easy. Your best bet is to find the one known as Xante and team up with him.

And to those of you that wish to drag us all back...

Do not test me.

-Auric Fulcrum, Master of Psynergy, Wielder of the Flames of Alchemy, Slayer of the Wise One, Knight of the Eclipse, Lord of Eureka, Blade of Understanding.

Damn that’s a long name. I scanned the folder twice over to make sure I hadn’t missed anything before folding it up and placing it in the pocket of my trenchcoat.That must be the Auric Fulcrum Gilgy told me about. Well, I have no idea how time works across the void, so I’m not even certain I have a home to return to. I froze at that sudden realization. I hadn’t thought much about it, but what if that was true? I had taken responsibility for Ellura into my own hands, and spurred Discord’s offers to send me home. It was very likely that back on Earth everyone that I knew was dead.

I shook my head, staring down at the gloves Gilgamesh had given me. I slowly closed my hand into a fist. I didn’t ask to start this, but I’m sure as hell going to finish it. Even if I can’t return home, the merchant is the one responsible for all of this. If I see ‘Xante’, I’ll ask him to let me in on what he’s planning. And with those thoughts, I took one step forward and I fell from my rooftop perch.

The guards never even saw it coming, I impacted the ground with a mighty crash in front of the building. They stood, shocked, and with a tentacle sweep I knocked them all to one side. I lifted my foot and kicked down the front door, Leonidas style. THIS. IS. SPAAARTA! There was an earth pony mare at the front desk who, upon seeing me, quickly began to dial a phone. I rushed up and pushed the desk, which broke from its foundation and slid against a nearby wall, pinning the mare behind it. She couldn’t do much but slap her hooves against the desk surface in futility, trying to push it away from her. I stalked past her, making my way towards the lab in the back. Ponies rushed passed me, screaming and yelling in a panic. I paid them no mind; they were probably civilian workers that Ellura hired to maintain their ‘friendly’ cover.

It wasn’t long before I broke into a sprint, the lab coming up rather quickly. I could see the faces of the ponies as they spotted me, quickly changing from confusion to fear as they ran out of my path of destruction. Once I reached the labs, I stopped. I raised my launcher and turned, a loud explosion ringing through the building as I blew up a whole wall of chemical vials they had on the far side of the laboratory, as well as various pieces of machinery. With that out of the way, I continued my sprint, spying a door nearby that said “AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY, NO ACCESS WITHOUT PERMISSIONS”

Here’s your goddamn permission! With a roar, I charged straight through the door, knocking down an entire section of the wall in the process. I continued into metallic area with a staircase descending downwards. I could hear alarms going off around me, pipes shaking and bursting as I felt the building itself shake when I stepped. I took in a deep breath and I shouted “STAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARS!” as I ran.

I passed a room with shattered and empty large glass tubes, and another with a multitude of vials labeled with code words. I stopped to destroy whatever looked important. Any room with computers or any kind of vials in them was not spared. It was only after I had descended a floor did I hear the pounding of hooves behind me. I stopped, and turned, seeing a squadron of unicorns decked out in security gear.

Oh you’ve got to be kidding me. Without reply, the unicorns all fired a blast from their horns at once, straight at me. I rose my arms in front of myself to block the attack, the Genji Gloves glowed as the magical blast impacted me, but I felt barely anything. I lowered my arms, grinning. Now, it’s my turn. I lifted my launcher to my shoulder and aimed it right at them. Their eyes all widened in panic before they all scrambled to get out of the way. I fired, closing my eye as a massive explosion ripped the small hallway in front of me asunder. Some of the ponies who attacked me lay unconscious, others were rushing at me again. One jumped up and fired a beam of magic at me from above. I raised my launcher to block the attack, then shot a tentacle out and wrapped it around his throat. I turned, smashing him headfirst into a wall then dropped him to the floor. I saw another rushing at me out of the corner of my eye and I turned to face him. However, he stopped in mid-gallop.

His eyes widened, and very slowly, blood began to leak from the corners of his mouth. I tilted my head in confusion, then watched as small red holes began to appear across the stallion’s body. He shook for a moment, then started to scream as he was lifted into the air by some unseen force. I took a step back, unnerved by what was happening before me. Then, the stallion was simply ripped in half, right at the waist. The upper half landed at my feet, the eyes, full of pain and agony slowly darkened, until they were completely devoid of life. I looked up and where the stallion had stood, I could see a faint shimmer.

Slowly, a sort of ‘uncloaking’ effect shimmered across the body of what I could only describe as a monster. The thing looked like a living spike trap, a pony form but with millions of razor-sharp needle-like scales all across its body. Its ears were two razor sharp spikes jutting upwards from its head, and from its hooves jutted a pair of jagged claws. Small, dragon-like wings spread on either side of it. It tilted its head and looked at me, as if it had never seen me before. I growled in response. The creature hissed, then its pupils narrowed into slits and what I could only describe as a sound similar to a rattlesnake was heard. Every individual scale on its body began to shake, and before my very eyes, the thing vanished into thin air, like a cloak was being draped over it as the invisibility spread over its equine-like body.

Well shit, that’s new. I backed up a few steps. I could hear the sound of claws clicking on something metallic, it was circling me. I tried to pinpoint its exact location, but oddly enough it sounded like it was coming from every direction at once. I heard a hiss off to my right, and turned just in time to see a spiked ball launching itself at me. It nailed me right in the gut, causing me to roar in pain as I was knocked over. Holy hell that actually hurt! The spiky ball flew away from me, uncurling to reveal the B.O.W. from earlier. So that was their trick, they turn invisible to ambush you, and curl themselves into spiked balls of death and throw themselves at you. Unusually smart for a B.O.W.

I sat up and shot a tentacle at it, but it jumped away, turning invisible again. I quickly rose to my feet and pressed my back against a wall. I could hear the clicking of hooves on the ground somewhere around me, and a steady hissing noise. I kept my breathing steady, and tried to see past the steam that the broken pipes were spewing. I could hear a click, and then everything went silent. I turned my head in the direction I heard the sound, waiting. Sure enough, a spiked ball flew at me from out of the steam. I was ready this time though. I caught it, it uncurled in my hands and hissed, trying to bite at my face. I ignored this and I turned, throwing it to the ground. It got up to escape again, but I brought my foot down on its head, and it went still. I released a heavy sigh and then silenced myself, waiting to see if I could hear anymore. When I didn’t, I turned and left the still twitching corpse behind.

I didn't want to think about what I had just seen, but where there was one there were likely more. I tried to make as little noise as possible as I trudged through the hallways, I really didn't need one of those things sneaking up on me. It wasn't long before I reached another room, this one with multiple monitors and computers set up in front of a glass holding cell-like area. I stepped inside, prepared to destroy all of the equipment before I looked at the glass.

Inside, were ponies. If you could even call them that anymore. Some were leaning against the wall, blood drooling out of their mouths as they stared at some far off thing that wasn't there. Others were stumbling around aimlessly, and sickeningly, chewing on what looked like the corpses of other ponies, which piled up in the corner of the cell. I approached the cell, looking at all these ponies. They weren't B.O.W.s yet, not even close, but they were well on their way to becoming ones. Some of them looked up at me, but intelligence was lost in their eyes. They didn't even know, or maybe even care, that I was there.

My gaze wandered across them until it came to rest on a little filly, sitting at the back of the cell. She was sitting next to two bigger pony corpses, staring off into space. Her eyes were bloodshot, and her mane was messy and dirty, matted with blood and tears. I took a few steps back, my breath catching at the sight. What…? I growled, looking at the screen of one of the nearby computers, where a journal of some kind was kept.

‘Day One: We picked up this filly and her family off the street, they had no home and they were excited at the promise we made of giving them money for assisting in an experiment. What idiots. My colleagues and I are excited at the opportunity to use a new strain of the virus on a filly. Untapped magic is wild and unpredictable, and I’m rather excited to see how it will cause the virus to mutate.’

My fist clenched.

‘Day Five: The filly’s parents passed away. I suppose their bodies couldn’t take it, but their daughter is proving to be resilient. Though she keeps asking about why her mom and dad aren’t moving. Annoying brat.’

I gritted my teeth.

‘Day Seven: The virus mutated. The filly still seems to maintain most of her intelligence, at the cost of some bodily functions. We shall have to mark this one off as a failure. Fortunately, nothing of value was lost in the experiment. Tomorrow we’ll began exterminating the subjects. This is progress though, and I can’t wait to see what e—’

With a roar, I flipped the table the computer was on over, and began laying waste to the room. I smashed monitors, busted some of the walls down, and tore down the cameras monitoring the area. When all was said and done, I approached the holding cell. My mind was numb, I couldn’t believe that they did this to a little filly. This little filly was suffering, because of a virus that I had brought here. If I had come just a week earlier...maybe...just maybe…

I entered the cell and approached the filly wordlessly. She watched my approach, a hoarse moan leaving her throat as I approached her. She grunted and tried to stand, but I heard a crack and she fell over, her legs flailing uselessly. I bent down to one knee, placing my hand over the little filly’s face. I could feel her trying to bite my hand, her little hooves flailing uselessly trying to hold me down. I couldn’t think. My brain pounded against my skull, screaming at me to stop what I was doing, but this had to be done. It wasn’t right, it was my fault and I needed to correct this. Nopony deserved this. No ONE deserved this. I looked at the other ponies in the cell, who were now steadily creeping towards me with looks of hunger on their faces.

I swallowed hard, and with great effort I managed to say I’m sorry.

And then I granted them peace.