• Published 20th Apr 2015
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A New Lease on Life - Digital Phoenix



When Kyle feels his life going down the drain, fate gives him a chance on a new world, one teeming with unbridled magic. Worrying that his past will prevent him from finding peace, he finds that settling in might not be as hard as he thought.

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Chapter 3: Of Pain and Confusion

Chapter 3:
Of Pain and Confusion

**********

Kyle stirred from his slumber, desperately trying to fight off the waking world. Unfortunately, reality was a demanding mistress. Consciousness shrugged off his attempts and he found himself fully awake, with a throbbing pain in his head, a queasy stomach, and a dry, scratchy throat.

“Oh god, how much did I drink last night?” he asked himself. “This is the worst hangover I’ve ever had.” He tried to move his hands to his head, but stopped when his arms screamed out in agony.

“Why does it hurt to move my... everything?” he thought. Like a wave, the memories crashed down on him and his eyes snapped open, an action he instantly regretted. The bright lights of his surroundings sent a stabbing pain through his eyes and directly to his brain. He quickly closed them and waited for the throbbing of his head to lessen before cautiously trying again. He scanned the room, hoping that it was all just a bad dream, that he would find himself back in his apartment laying on his bed, but his eyes were filled with the sterile white of a hospital. Even though some of the previous night’s events might be true, he held on to the hope that the rest was just a dream. That was until his roaming eyes landed on the purple unicorn pegasus—he wasn’t sure what to call her—was sleeping in a chair with her head on his bed.

“So it wasn’t a dream. You are real,” he said reaching out a hand toward the pegasus unicorn in the futile hope that he was hallucinating. The movement awoke the sleeping equine. Her eyes fluttered open and found Kyle’s outstretched hand mere inches away.

She let out a startled scream, jumping back from the bed and flaring her wings open. Kyle, not expecting this reaction, screamed as well, trying to move backwards, only to yell out in pain. The mare folded her wings and moved forward with what appeared to concern filling her face. “Sorry, I forgot where I was for a second. How–” she was cut off by Kyle screaming again. Summoned by the noise, a white horse with a bun of pink hair ran in to investigate, a purple lizard on its heels.

“Twi, are you okay? What happened? Did it hurt you?” the purple lizard asked in rapid succession, looking between the purple unicorn and Kyle. At hearing the talking lizard, Kyle screamed again. They all shifted their gazes to Kyle, causing him to flinch in embarrassment.

“You… lizard… talking… but, but…” Kyle gave up trying to form words and just stared at the trio, dumbfounded. They settled into an uncomfortable silence. Kyle was too shocked to form coherent thought, and the rest were unsure of what to do. After a few uneasy moments, Kyle regained enough of his senses to speak and broke the silence

“Uh… Hi.”

A little too eager to end the awkwardness, the three creatures said, in unison, “Hello!” They looked at each other and gave a nervous laugh. The purple lizard and white horse looked at the purple one while an unspoken conversation took place between them. The interaction only took a second, and at the end of it, the purple unicorn pegasus nodded and looked back at Kyle.

“Ahem, my name is Twilight Sparkle. This here is Spike and Nurse Redheart,” she introduced pointing out the other two. “Now, I know you must have a few questions and I am more than willing to answer these for you.”

Kyle stared at Twilight Sparkle for a long moment before pulling in his thoughts enough to know that he should give his name in return. “Um… yeah hehe… I’m Kyle Pierce… It’s nice to meet you…”

Twilight’s forced smile turned more natural. “It is nice to meet you as well, Mr. Pierce.”

Kyle relaxed a bit at her soft smile and friendly tone. He took a moment to get a better look at his surroundings and noticed that he seemed to be in a hospital room with an ECG attached to him. “Um… where am I?”

“You’re at the Ponyville General Hospital,” Twilight replied.

“Where… why am I in a Hospital?”

Nurse Redheart stepped forward and cleared her throat. “You were brought here by Twilight. You had some pretty serious injuries.”

“Injuries, what injuries…? Wait, how serious?” Kyle asked.

“Very. You could have died if Princess Celestia hadn’t come to help. You had several broken ribs, your shoulder was dislocated, you had a broken femur, and your left humerus was broken in three places. In addition, one of your ribs punctured your right lung, and you had internal bleeding in your lower abdomen,” she explained, looking over a clipboard at the foot of Kyle’s bed. Kyle lost more and more of his color as the list was read off. By the end, he was feeling faint.

“How… how am I not dead?”

“Like I said, earlier, if it wasn’t for the Princess, you very well could be. You owe her your life.”

Kyle looked down at his limbs looking for casts and noticed, with mild interest, that something else was missing. He knew that he should feel embarrassed that he was missing his clothes, but couldn’t take more than a slight interest. He pushed that out of his mind for the moment, inquiring, “Um… why don’t I have any casts?”

“You can thank Princess Celestia for that as well. She completely healed your bones. She would have done more, but we don’t know enough about your respiratory and muscular systems to safely repair them. However, we were able to stop the internal hemorrhaging.”

“This doesn’t make any sense. How did she do all of that?”

“She used a spell to mend your bones and stop the bleeding.”

“Spell… as in magic?”

“Um, yes.” Kyle laughed hard. It was absolutely absurd. There’s no such thing as magic. His laugh broke down into a coughing fit that took a few minutes for him to recover from. The other occupants of the room looked at Kyle with what he guessed was concern in their expressions.

“Are you alright, Kyle?” Twilight asked, taking a step closer. Kyle nodded, regaining his breath.

Kyle wiped his eye as he replied, “He-he, oh man for a second there I thought that this was all real and that I’d somehow made my way to a land filled with talking ponies, but after hearing that, I know I’m dreaming.”

Twilight gave Kyle a confused look. “But... this isn’t a dream. This is real.”

“Haha, yeah, right, and I can run faster than a speeding bullet and fly.” Kyle could tell Twilight didn’t get the reference. He sighed, “Okay, just for the sake of argument, let’s say I believe you and this isn’t a dream. Could you demonstrate this magic to me or is it that only the Princess is capable?”

“I can show you a few spells, yes.” Twilight’s horn began to glow purple and a glass on Kyle’s bedside table was enveloped in the same luminescence. The light from her horn brightened and suddenly the glass turned into a brass sculpture of a unicorn rearing up on its hind legs. Kyle’s jaw dropped to the ground at the sight. He could feel the power from the transformation and knew what he witnessed was no trick. She’d actually transmuted the glass, right in front of his eyes.

“Wha… but… how?” Kyle stammered, at a loss for words. It felt like he’d lost his mind, seeing something that so clearly violated the laws of physics. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath through his nose, releasing it through his mouth. Kyle continued this process until his thoughts were in order. “That shouldn’t be possible, at least from everything I’ve learned of physics, and, yet, here it is.”

“So, now, do you believe us?” Spike asked looking a tad bit annoyed.

“No,” Kyle said not taking his eyes off the statue. “Hey, Twilight?”

“Yeah?” Twilight said with an amused grin playing at her lips.

“Could I get a closer look at that statue?” He warily moved his hand closer to the brass unicorn.

“Of course you can,” Twilight chuckled, clearly amused by his reaction.

She levitated the brass statue to Kyle. He lightly grabbed the cast statue and nearly dropped it, not expecting it’s weight. It was a rather basic figure without much detail. The tail and mane were a bit longer and ended in a slight curl. There was a small smile played out on the statue’s face. Its eyes were nothing more than their basic shapes. Kyle continued to shift the statue around in his hand as he looked it over.

He stopped looking over the statue, continuing to spin it around in his hands as he lost himself in thought. He couldn’t make sense of any of this. Who was this princess and why did she help? Why would she take the time to do something like that? After several seconds, he finally looked back at Twilight. “Why was it that the Princess was here in the first place? Does she live near here and just happened to hear that there was some creature that was transported to this world, or what?”

Twilight shook her head. “No, she doesn’t live near here, and she wouldn’t have been here if Spike hadn’t overreacted.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well… Spike had gotten the idea that the spell I was casting would open a portal to the nether, and, as such, sent an emergency-only memo to Princess Celestia,” Twilight said, glaring at Spike.

“It’s not like you didn’t freak out and end up running in circles when the portal opened,” Spike retorted.

Twilight’s face grew red as she whispered harshly, “I thought we agreed, last night, not speak of that, Spike!”

“All I’m saying is that you can’t hold what I did over my head when you’re guilty of it yourself.”

“That’s not the point, Spike! You used a code red emergency letter when everything was under control!”

“Says the pony that was running around screaming, ‘Oh no, what am I going to do, I’ve doomed all of Equus.’” Kyle couldn’t help but smile at their argument. Anyone that looked on could tell that these two were quite close, and it brought back bittersweet memories. The world slipped away as he lost himself in thoughts of his earlier life. At some time during his reflection the attention of the room shifted back to him and he became aware that Twilight was asking him something.

“Sorry, I spaced out there for a second. What were you saying?”

“I asked if you were alright. You’re crying.”

Kyle lifted his hand to his face and noticed the wet trail on his cheeks quickly wiping them away. “Yeah, I’m fine, just thinking. It’s nothing to worry about.”

“Alright, if you say so…” Twilight replied she seemed skeptical about his response but she didn't call him out on it.

“How about we change the subject, and speaking of change, what happened to my clothes?”

“Oh, your clothes were covered in blood, so I had them cleaned for you. I hope you don’t mind.” Twilight put on a smile that, to Kyle, seemed to be a bit forced.

He gave her a skeptical stare for a second before asking. “So why did you take all of my clothes? If you don’t mind, can I at least have my underwear back?”

Twilight blushed and started to shift on her hooves, looking down at the floor. “Um, well, I thought that you might be more comfortable without those on, so I took them off, and, well, I might have kinda sorta ripped your pants in the process… But don’t worry! I took them to my friend to be repaired. She is wonderful when it comes to clothes and should have them back to you, as good as new, by tomorrow.”

“Ah... I see. Well, as soon as they’re done, could you get those back to me? It’s rather embarrassing to be laying here in the nude.”

“Oh, of course! I completely understand,” Twilight’s blush worsened as she said this, but before Kyle could question her about it, Spike spoke up.

“You do? ‘Cause I certainly don’t. I mean, we’re in the fur, unless it’s for special events, so why do you find it embarrassing?”

“Well, there are many reasons that humans wear clothes. One of which is because the cold affects us more. Unlike most mammals, we don’t have much hair to protect us from the cold. We also find it embarrassing to be naked in a public setting, but that comes more from a cultural aspect. We’re taught from a very young age that it is inappropriate to be nude in front of others.”

Spike was quiet for a bit with his head tilted to one side in thought before stating, “Humans are weird.”

Kyle couldn’t help but laugh at the comment. “Yeah, I agree with you, there, Spike. We can be quite strange.” Kyle let out a huge yawn. “Sorry, I don’t know where that came from.”

Nurse Redheart shook her head. “You’re recovering from some major injuries. It’s no wonder you’re tired.” She gave Kyle a warm smile then turned to the other two. “We should let him get some rest.” Both Twilight and Spike nodded and followed Nurse Redheart out, saying their farewells.

Kyle laid back and stared at the ceiling for a long time, trying to come to terms with what had happened to him, and the strange world that he found himself in. Despite his best, efforts he couldn’t help but feel that he was missing something, but was unable to figure out what it was. He decided that this was a problem for another time, so he did as the nurse suggested and tried to sleep.

Author's Note:

Here is the next chapter, edited and ready for your viewing pleasure.
Big thanks to PeerImagination for all of his work on editing this story!
Next chapter we will learn a bit about Kyle's truoubled past.