• 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 5: Misunderstandings

Chapter 5:
Misunderstandings

*********

Kyle woke to the sun shining in his eyes. He grumbled, pulling the covers over his head to get at least a few more minutes of sleep. As he moved the covers over his head, his ribs protested vehemently. The pain was a reminder of where he was and why he was there.

Someone tried to kill me; someone pushed me from my window on the thirtieth floor. He… he may have actually succeeded and I might be in some sort of limbo. No, I don’t think I’m in limbo. There wouldn’t be any need for hospitals in the plane between life and death” As these thoughts passed through his head panic began to build.

Something felt… off. He remembered having a similar feeling from the morphine he’d gotten as a kid to ease the pain of a fractured femur. Though the effects were not as pronounced back then it was still very similar.

Okay, Kyle, calm down. They aren’t going to kill you or hurt you. If they were, they wouldn’t have fixed you up… At least, I hope so… unless they’re healing me so I could be more useful to them…” He couldn’t help but think of the rumors he heard of people being kidnaped and either sold into slavery or made to fight to the death for people's entertainment. In both cases, he was worth more in good health than he was half dead so it would make sense to fix him up before then.

Kyle lost all sense of reason as those thoughts played in his mind. “I need to get away from here before they get what they want!” Kyle tried to sit up, but stopped when pain flared in his torso. He fell back onto the bed, taking a moment to steel himself for another attempt. Kyle’s breath came out in a hiss as he finally sat up. “Okay, now all you need to do is stand up and find a way out of here… Yeah, simple.” Kyle swung his legs over the bed, cautiously putting his weight onto them. He stood slowly on shaky legs, the sheet covering him falling away. Feeling a chill where he wasn’t used to, he looked down and was reminded of his missing clothes. He also noticed some wires attached to his chest and upper arms. Following the wires lead him to an early ECG machine. At least, from his standpoint it was an early ECG, but for all he knew it could be the newest model for this place. Unsure if removing the electrodes would set off an alarm, Kyle attempted to turn off the device. As he reached for the off switch, one of the wires caught and was ripped from his chest. This caused the ECG to flatline and in seconds an alarm started to sound through the hospital.

The sound of shouting and hooves on hard floors reached Kyle’s ears and his already panicked mind went into overdrive. He searched for a way out other than the door that led to the noise of panicking doctors and nurses. He found the window and thinking that it was the best way out, he ran to it. To his dismay, it was locked and had no apparent way to unlock it. Kyle ran to the bed and grabbed the sheet from it and proceeded to wrap it around his hand. With the sheet fully wrapped, he ran back to the window and punched it. The window didn’t even budge, so he punched it again with the same results. Remembering that Twilight had been sitting in a chair when she was here, he began to search for it. He soon found it sitting by the door, but before he could grab it, the door swung open, preceding a unicorn he did not recognize and Nurse Redheart. The medical ponies, noticing that Kyle wasn’t where they expected, stopped in the doorway, effectively blocking it.

The unknown unicorn quickly found Kyle standing by the window. He must have noticed Kyle’s fear, for he quickly took a non threatening stance and said, in a low and slow tone, “Kyle, it’s okay. You’re safe now. Let’s just relax and get you back into bed.” As the unicorn talked, he took slow, steady steps toward Kyle.

“You stay back! Stay away from me! I won’t play your sick and twisted game!” The unicorn stopped and Kyle got a good look at him. His coat was an earth-brown, while his hair and tail were a darker mahogany. His eyes were emerald green and his flank sported an image of a stethoscope. Kyle kept his eyes glued on the two ponies in front of him, looking for any sign that they would pounce.

Nurse Redheart took step toward Kyle and he immediately glared daggers at her. She froze beneath the hostile glare, shrinking back a bit before steeling her gaze, she spoke. “Kyle, I don’t know what you’re talking about. What game?”

“You’re going to either sell me as some sort of slave or make me fight to the death in battle for people's entertainment!” he accused, backing up to to the window. “The pain medication is messing with your head. Calm down. Take a deep breath. They aren’t going to hurt you and you know it,” a more rational part of his mind chastised.

Both ponies’ expressions turned confused as they processed what Kyle said. Redheart asked, “Why would we do something like that? Kyle, we would never do that. I swear that we’re not going to hurt you.”

“I not going to fall for your honeyed words. You’re only saying that so I’ll let down my guard!” Kyle shouted, not fully believing his own words. Again, a small voice in the back of his head spoke up, “Will you listen to yourself for a second? You sound like a lunatic.”

“Kyle, what Redheart said is true. We don’t wish to hurt you. We would never do something so… so horrendous. So, please, come and lie back down. You still need your rest,” the brown unicorn said, trying to sound reassuring.

Kyle scanned the ponies’ faces, looking for any sign of deceit, but he found none. All he found was a small amount of fear, some lingering confusion, and overwhelming compassion and worry. The last bit confused him. He’d only felt such emotions from his family and closest friends, never from complete strangers. Yet, here they were, treating him like they’d been friends for years. Feeling their concern soothed a bit of fear, but not enough for him to let his guard down.

“Kyle, please listen to Dr. Lancet and lie down. We don’t want you to aggravate your wounds,” Redheart said firmly, finally entering the room. Kyle relaxed some, finally able to get his thoughts back in order, until he remembered his lack of attire and began to blush furiously. He looked around for something to cover himself and remembered the sheet that he had wrapped around his hand. He hastily unwrapped it and threw it around himself. Redheart’s eyes got wide as he finished. Confused, Kyle followed her gaze to the sheet, where he saw a fresh blood stain. He looked to the arm that the sheet had wrapped and saw an inch-long gash on the back of his hand. “Now how did that happen?” he wondered as he looked towards the bed and found the culprit: an IV.

Dr. Lancet, noticing what Kyle and Nurse Redheart were looking at, promptly fell over. The dull thud of the doctor hitting the floor drew the others’ attention. Redheart just shook her head and rolled her eyes before turning her attention back to Kyle. She gestured to the bed. “Kyle, please come over to the bed and let me dress your hand.”

“Um… Is he going to be alright?” he asked, looking back over at the unconscious doctor.

“He’ll be fine. Lancet just can’t stand the sight of blood. He faints every time he sees it.” Redheart motioned at the bed again. “Now, will you please lie back down?”

After taking one last glance at Dr. Lancet, Kyle walked back to the bed and settled down. Redheart looked over the gash, eyeing it closely. “Good, it doesn’t look like you need stitches. This shouldn’t take long.” She walked over to a nearby drawer and took out some gauze before returning to Kyle. He watched in fascination as Nurse Redheart wrapped the wound on his hand with an ease that he thought impossible without the use of fingers and opposable thumbs. Yet, here she was with nothing but hooves, professionally dressing his wound.

“How are you doing that?” Kyle asked, watching her work.

“What do you mean, doing what?” she asked her eyes remaining on her task.

“How are you holding the gauze without fingers, or any kind of digits for that matter?”

Redheart paused what she was doing, her eyes losing focus as she mulled the question over. “I don’t know… or, rather, I don’t know the exact details behind it. All I can tell you is that it has to do with our innate magics and some sort of... field? I can’t explain it better than that. Now that I think about it, Twilight said that she would be here later today. I would ask her. She can explain it to you better.” She went back to her task as Kyle continued to watch with almost manic curiosity. He made a mental note to ask Twilight about it when she arrived.

The nurse quickly finished dressing the wound. She looked at her fellow physician, still unconscious on the floor, and sighed. “Hold on for a minute. I’ll be right back.” Redheart left the room, carefully walking around Lancet. A short time later, she came back in, carrying a pitcher on her back and walked to where Dr. Lancet was laying on the floor. “Doctor. Dr. Lancet get your lazy flank off the floor.” She prodded him with her hoof, trying to rouse him. When he didn’t stir she took the pitcher from her back and proceeded to dump its contents on his head.

“GAH!” The doctor jumped to his hooves and looked around, trying to find the one responsible for his rude awakening. He quickly found Redheart sitting next to him with the pitcher still in her mouth. “Redheart, what was that for?!” He glared at her, waiting for her response.

“Well, I tried to wake you so you could finish checking up on Kyle,” she said around the pitcher's handle, “but you wouldn’t wake, so I did the only thing I could think of.”

At the mention of the human, he froze up and turned stiffly toward the bed. Kyle sat there, covering his mouth, trying to hold in his amusement, but failing miserably. He erupted with laughter.

“Bwhahahah, the look, hahaha, on your face, hahaha, too good,” Kyle barely managed to get out. It took some effort, but he finally got himself under control. Whipping away a tear, Kyle said, “Oh, man. I haven’t laughed like that in… too long. Thank you. I needed that.”

“Um, yeah, no problem,” Lancet coughed as his cheeks turned red. He straightened with as much dignity as he could muster, and continued, “Now let's take a look at you, shall we?”

“Sure, doc,” Kyle snickered.

Dr. Lancet adopted a more professional demeanor as he started. “Now, let's begin with the standard questions: is there any pain, and, if there is, where and how severe is it, from one to ten, with ten being the very bad, and one being no pain at all?”

“Well, my ribs still are a bit tender, but I’d put it at a three. It’s not too bad. My arm, I would put at a five with a throbbing ache.” Kyle noticed Redheart jot down something on a clipboard at the end of his bed and again he found himself perplexed by the way simple tasks, like writing, were done by the ponies. Before long, he was lost in thought again and was brought back to reality by someone clearing their throat. “Hmm? Sorry. Drifted off, there. The pain meds you have me on are making it kinda hard to stay in the now.”

“Pain meds… Nurse, have we prescribed Kyle any pain medication?” Dr. Lancet asked, turning to the white mare.

She shook her head. “No, Doctor. We haven’t put Kyle on any medications. We didn’t know how he would react to them, and we didn’t want to accidentally poison him. The only form of pain management administered was when the Princess had performed her healing spell.”

Dr. Lancet put a hoof to his chin in thought. “Hmm. That spell shouldn’t have that kind of effect.” The doctor noticed Kyle’s face fall as he thought out loud and quickly tried to rectify his transgression. “I’m sure it’s nothing to be worried about, but I’d like to perform a full body scan just to be on the safe side.”

Kyle forced a smile as he replied, “Um… Sure.”

“Right, if you don’t have any objections, I’d like to perform the spell now,” the doctor said as he took a step forward, light shining from his horn.

Kyle scooted back. “This isn’t going to hurt, is it?”

“Don’t worry. You won't feel a thing.”

Kyle bit back a retort to the poorly-chosen words. It was what every doctor in horror films said right before they sliced their victims open. Instead, he closed his eyes and waited for the doctor to do what he was going to do. “Aaannd done. That wasn’t so bad, was it?”

Kyle opened his eyes, confused. “Wait, that was it? You’re done?”

“Yes, the scan’s complete. You show no internal bleeding, and, as far as I can tell, there’s nothing out of the ordinary. You’re free to go whenever you’re ready.” Dr. Lancet gave Kyle the warmest smile the human had seen in recent memory as he proclaimed the diagnosis.

“Wait, that can’t be right. I show up in the hospital with injuries that should’ve killed me, and you’re telling me I’m good to go? How is that even possible?” Kyle looked between the two ponies, trying to find some sign of their deception.

“The recovery was a bit fast. I know without the aid from Princess Celestia, you’d be looking at another few days, if not weeks, in bed before you were healthy enough to leave.”

Kyle was completely flabbergasted. The look of bewilderment was plain as day as it played across his face. He had heard of people that had similar injuries and it took at least three months before they were discharged. It couldn’t’ve been that long, could it? “Just how long was I out? I thought I was only here for a couple of days?”

“And you’d be right. You were brought in the night before last,” Redheart said, nodding her head.

“But that isn’t possible. The punctured lung, alone, would have me hospitalized for at least two or three weeks without complications, and my other injuries would’ve just caused more complications. I should be looking at at least a month before being released from the hospital, not two days! You have to be confused. Two days is nowhere near long enough!” Kyle couldn’t wrap his head around it. He may not have gone to medical school, but he had picked up some medical knowledge from his mom, and from what he had learned, there was nothing that could speed up the healing process to such an extent.

“Again, Princess Celestia is responsible for your quick recovery.”

“But you said that you didn’t know enough about my anatomy to heal anything other than my bones.”

“I see where we lost you. Yes, we do not know enough about your anatomy to directly heal it, but we were able to speed up the process with magic.” Kyle looked at Redheart as if she had just sprouted a second head for a minute before he shook his head, trying to clear it.

“Right different world, different natural laws… I think…” Kyle’s eyes lost their focus as his thoughts drifted again.

Redheart turned her head toward Dr. Lancet and cleared her throat. She motioned to the clipboard still hanging at the foot of Kyle’s bed. “Doctor, I think you’re forgetting something.”

“Ah, yes. Thank you, Nurse. Okay, next question: you showed a temperature of 97.9 Marenheit. Is that normal, for humans?”

Kyle snickered.

“What?”

“Did you really just say ‘Mareinheit?’” he asked with a large grin.

“Yes. Are you not familiar with Equestrian Standard?” the doctor asked, not understanding Kyle’s implication.

Kyle took a moment to regain his composure before asking, “In Equestrian Standard, what temperature does water freeze and boil at?”

“Well, water freezes at 32° and boils at 212°,” the doctor replied.

“Okay, so you use the same scale to measure temperature as I do, just with a different name. Anywhere between 96.8 and 98.6 is normal for humans.” Dr. Lancet flipped through the papers on the clipboard until he found the one he was looking for. Giving it a cursory glance, he turned back to Kyle.

“Okay, last question: are there any medically relevant issues that we should know about?”

“No. At least, nothing that I’m aware of,” Kyle said, shaking his head.

“Okay. We’ll leave you be for now. Twilight said she’d be back later today. She also asked us to let you know that until she finds a way to send you back home, she will open her home to you.” Dr. Lancet gave Kyle a friendly nod and left, followed by Nurse Redheart.

Kyle sat in silence. He hadn’t moved since the physicians had left his room. The last sentence the doctor had said left Kyle filled with dread. It wasn’t the prospect of living with Twilight that had him so frightened. That was actually a weight off of his shoulders; he no longer needed to find a place to sleep. No, what frightened him was the prospect of returning to his world and his bleak existence there. There was nothing left for him but memories, and that was the last thing he needed.

Author's Note:

Here is the latest chapter! Thank you all for reading!
Big thanks to PeerImagination for all of his work on this story!
Next chapter Kyle finds Pink craziness.