• Published 23rd May 2015
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The Last Pony on Earth - Starscribe


One day, Earth. The next, everyone is gone and I'm a pony. What the heck is going on?

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Chapter 28: July 5-7
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Dear Journal,

It’s a little earlier than when I usually record these. I’m alone in the truck, figure I might as well pass the time and get this stuff out of the way now. After last night, I’m getting tired and it isn’t even full dark yet. I know when we stop I’m going to want to drop dead and not have the energy left to do any journal-writing.

Satellite communications project is cancelled. Joseph added the office to our network as another node, I figure even if we can’t do the call thing he should at least be able to finish whatever configuration crap he was trying to do remotely. He agrees, though he doesn’t like it.

At a time like this, it seemed even stupider than normal to separate from our small group. The caravan didn’t get near the hospital, so Oliver never felt how… awful… being near it was. We couldn’t move him to see just how important this situation was. He insisted on the drugs, refusing to leave them behind. So Joseph went to help him load up a truck, while Huan and I did the hoof-handicap conversion. Okay, Huan watched my back while I did the hardware stuff, but you get the idea.

Amazing how fast a determined unicorn can load a truck. Joseph’s been getting better at his levitation; he lifted whole shrink-wrapped pallets like they were cardboard boxes on moving day. Filled the truck with contents of the hospital freezer, or at least the things Oliver determined were most important. I only helped with the last part of that process. Wasn’t as hard as it sounds, the hospital had such a great loading dock.

Naturally Oliver wanted to be the one to transport the drugs, felt like nobody but him could appreciate their value and drive with “appropriate care.” Unfortunately for him, I can drive a semi (much better than I could a month ago) and he can’t. Sorry, no time for training. No time to cater to your eccentricity when my friends are in danger.

Well, they might not be in danger. Maybe not. I feel awful leaving Cloudy Skies alone. We ought to face danger together, the same way we’ve been doing all this month. She’s too delicate to be alone, with only a recently rescued stranger. Maybe Moriah’s a great pony, just the kind of strong-willed mare our group needs.

But she’s not right now. Right now she’s injured and can barely walk. Sky needs me… and even Joseph. Moriah probably needs a real doctor, and now we’ve finally got one.

I’m starting to think being a little eccentric was also somehow the determining factor for being left behind. Left behind. Like that movie, only it’s not something I’m laughing at from the theater and there’s no god in sight. Interesting thought, though. What if the rapture crazy people on street corners were yelling about has come at least? Maybe it didn’t come exactly the way we thought it did; no Gog and Magog, no mark of the beast or any of that other insane stuff. Were the righteous caught up to meet God at his coming or were they all the wicked?

First magic, now religion. Next thing you know, I’ll be praying to a tribal spirit and pouring blood on a cactus. Blood for the blood god. Pony for the pone god.

No, no. Recent developments don’t change anything. Those airships weren’t divine, and they (absolutely) weren’t magic. They were iron and copper and steel. Blood? Not sure about the blood. Never saw a face. Never saw anything humanoid, or equinoid for that matter. No idea what was inside.

Vehicle looked like it was built to hold humans, but that doesn’t prove anything. Everything we drive was built to hold humans too, so it feels super roomy and spacious even when we know it shouldn’t. I bet we could save a fortune staying in the cheapest of cheap motels, cram a dozen ponies all in one room. I wish we had a dozen ponies to cram in one room

Sky and the cows arrived safely in that old farm, and she managed to get power to the well pumps somehow. Whatever. Once they got some water, they turned everything off again. Live electrical signals would be a beacon for those… people. What if they turn around and come upon the caravan driving down the highway? There’s nowhere to hide here, and even if we turn everything off… there are very few vehicles on the side of the road, and so many stretches of highway where there aren’t towns or anywhere to hide.

Just because something feels strange doesn’t mean it’s dangerous. It might, or it might not. Guess we’ll find out. There’s no way they could have hidden everything in the base in time. Sky says she didn’t turn off anything; the radio is still transmitting, the water generators are still water generating… there won’t be any mistaking that building for anything other than the home of living ponies. Now we see just what kind of ponies these are.

Looks like Oliver is moving to pull off. I’m feeling kinda tired myself, so that’s probably for the best. A little cramped in that RV: too many stallions. I think if Joseph pesters me again I’ll just sleep on the couch. Whatever.

Yeah, I’ll sleep in the buff in front of basically a total stranger. Yeah, I know it’s weird. It’s Sky’s fault, she’s the one who suggested I start at nighttime. Blame her if human culture goes extinct. Guess that’s better than all of us going extinct with it.

—A

July 6, 2015

Dear Journal,

Made it to Bakersfield. Sky said the planes went into the city and haven’t left. We’re going to stay here, hiding until they leave. She’ll call us as soon as it’s safe.

Good thing there’s so much diesel to scavenge. This trip would be really hard when all the fuel goes bad.

—Pone-A

July 7, 2015

[This entry is not typed, but written in slowly-improving handwriting.]
Dear Journal,

This waiting is downright infuriating! I don’t understand why the stupid aliens or soldiers or ponies or whoever they are can’t get the move on in Los Angles and let us come home.

We’re calling back to Sky every hour or so, without difficulty. Thank god Joseph transferred all the calling-related stuff to the office in Sacramento. Otherwise if (when, let’s be real) these soldiers found our base they would know what we were doing with the satellite phones. Seems like an organization with enough power to have a fleet of airships after everybody disappears probably has the resources to overhear (or shut down) our satellite phones.

Joseph has an interesting system in place to keep the phones working as long as possible: the phone shuts down automatically after five minutes on the line. We want to minimize system use, and that seems like a good way. He said before we left he managed to put the whole system into some kind of maintenance mode, which should make all calls free to anyone with a phone AND direct any calls to the operator to his master phone instead of wherever it would’ve gone.

We can only hope somebody thinks of using the system that way. How many people even know satelite phones are still a thing? I wasn’t on the list until Joseph told me. Damn unicorn and your smarts. Oliver is smart too, but he doesn’t cheat. He has to use his mouth like any pony else would.

I wonder if there’s some way to go back to the farm we didn’t think of. It isn’t like Sky ever wrote it down. She led me there from memory the one time we went, and there was no reason to ever expect we would be going back. I hope the dogs don’t tell them.

Is that something dogs could do?

Not Huan, he’s my buddy. He’s slept with me these last few days, and I’d rather have him in bed with me than either of the stallions (shiver). No safer way to sleep than with a gigantic animal who won’t hesitate to tear anyone apart who wants to hurt you. I’ve seen him do it; you don’t mess with a dog this size and not expect consequences. Am I warning anyone in particular? Not really. Just want every pony to know.

They can’t hear me. I’m not actually talking out loud. Not that I think the doctor would. It’s nice to have someone to talk to who can hold a normal conversation. Someone who doesn’t have to be so insufferably smug about their stupid horn and all its stupid magic.

You see that, Joseph! Look at Oliver! He’s a doctor! He’s good with plants, and he’s got an awesome voice! You only wish you could do all that with your horn, and you cheat!

I’d never thought anything would make me eat plants, but Oliver’s showing me how stupid I’ve been. I’ve been pretty open with how disgusting and primitive I think it is, and he’s been pretty sensitive. “We’ll just have to find the ones that taste too good not to eat then.” Why do you have to be so right?

Sky’s not going to let me live it down if she sees me eat a single flower. God, I don’t even care. Actually, I welcome it. Let her give me as hard a time as she wants so long as that means I get to see her again. Don’t find her, invader-people! Take me, if you have to take a pony. I’ll volunteer. Let the colony go on without me.

Okay, maybe not. Realistically, it’ll have some advanced technology and the best milk and eggs but absolutely nothing else if I’m not around. Maybe Oliver would be enough to keep every pony fed. I don’t know. Guess we’ll see when we get back there and we learn if what happened at the hospital was a fluke or if it’s something he can somehow replicate.

You know what else would be convenient right now? If Sky could fly. A flying pony, like the ones I saw when I saw that vision, could easily hide in the wild if the airplanes started moving. Way better than a truck full of cattle, anyway.

I wonder what they’re all eating in that deserted farm. Probably hay. There was tons of it (not that we used any). I wonder if horses can eat hay. Pretty sure real ones can. Pretty sure that wouldn’t taste as good as the herbs Oliver carefully selects for his artisan “salads.”

Now that’ll be neat. Put those two together on a meal. Bet it’ll be the best food has seen since real people. I’d probably even try hay and oats if both of them agreed it was the tastiest way to cook… whatever.

Hey, that’s something to ask! Maybe Oliver can do something about the way I can’t stomach meat anymore. Maybe there’s a spice I can use to cover up the nasty. I don’t think Sky would let me turn one of the herd into top sirloin, but there are still cans of meat the world over. I’m craving a chicken sandwich something fierce.

Please be okay, Sky. Don’t be discovered. You and that hurt unicorn just lie low until we can all be together again.

We’ll be the best of friends.

—Lonely Day (without Sky)

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