• Published 21st Aug 2015
  • 13,408 Views, 310 Comments

Everypony Lives - Chinchillax

It’s been eight hundred years since Princess Twilight made death illegal. And now life is perfect. Perfect for everypony but Care Free.

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I added the last ingredient to the potion and watched the cauldron’s green glow turn gray. I breathed a sigh of relief; she usually caught on and intervened by this point. Stepping away from the stove, I trotted away to my cat’s kennel, opening the door. She hissed at me and raced toward her food dish.

It had been a while since I last fed her.

“Just a minute, Clover,” I said, ladling out the gray potion into a cup. I stared at it for a moment, taking in a deep breath and exhaling slowly. My heart was pounding. I lifted the potion to my muzzle and downed it in two gulps.

I immediately started shrinking. I lost my grip on the cup and it clattered to the wood floor. My yellow coat turned gray, my hooves fractured in front of me into tiny paws. I felt the hairs in my tail fuse together and elongate into a pink wormlike tail.

By the time the transformation ended, my new heart was racing far faster than my stallion one ever did. I sniffed, and my mouse brain started screaming every instinct it could throw at me to run away from the cat. I ignored the instincts and scampered to the famished Clover.

I felt the paw as it struck me, the long sharp claws ripping into my back.

At long last, I felt the sweet release of—

“Care Free!” shouted the Princess. “What are you doing!?”

I stared down at my tiny paws and the crystal floor beneath them. I felt my entire body seized in a lilac magic, all traces of the potion vanishing away from me.

My paws hardened back into hooves, my legs straightening out as the crystal floor zoomed away from me. My eyes widened as the chasm surrounding the crystal bridge came into focus.

I looked up to face Princess Twilight. Her glowing eyes made her look alien and unnatural. Her strange servants stood by awaiting her every command.

“You already know what I was doing, Princess Twilight.”

“Need I remind you that we no longer allow death here in Equestria?” Her words rang all around me, echoing throughout the crystal tower.

I said nothing.

Her horn lit and I felt a rush of air behind me.

“Both of you, come closer,” demanded the Princess.

I turned to see the frightened face of Red Ribbon. My heart sank as I turned forward and walked to the Princess. I wasn’t even trying to be careful navigating the narrow passageway, it’s not like it would matter if I fell.

Discord stared at me out of the corner of his eyes and her dragon looked down at me with pity. Red Ribbon’s shaky hooves trotted slowly against the crystal floor as we both stood side by side at the small flight of stairs leading up to the Princess.

“Red Ribbon,” the Princess began. “You were assigned to be Care Free’s friend. He just now made an attempt to violate our supreme law. Where were you and why couldn’t you prevent this?”

Her eyes shot to me. “You did what!?” she cried.

I tried to not meet her gaze.

“I… I visited as much as I could, just like you requested, Princess.” Her voice was shaky as she tried to give her explanation. “But he wasn’t… umm… receptive. He wouldn’t let me talk to him for more than a few minutes every week.”

“Then why didn’t you send me a letter explaining that? His mandatory quota of friendship would be reassigned to another pony.”

“I—I would have, Princess, but he begged me not to. He umm… told me he was closest with me out of all other ponies he’s met. Even then he only wanted to spend a few moments at a time. I just thought he was really introverted.”

“Care Free? Is this true?”

“Don’t you know the answer?” I muttered quietly.

Her eyes narrowed. “Spike, prepare letter template 4963-B. Red Ribbon, you will report to Calm Day for debriefing and therapy. She’ll be aware of your situation when you arrive. Be sure to spend a long time recuperating after this traumatic experience.”

“But what about Care Free?” she asked, leaning over and putting a hoof around my neck. I flinched away, leaning closer to the chasm than to her.

“We may or may not inform you of his condition afterwards,” she said, the rhythm of her words hinting nothing. “Spike, are you ready?”

The loyal drake nodded his massive head before breathing fire on an enormous parchment. I watched as the letter shrunk before disappearing into emerald embers. The princess nodded in response and her horn glowed, Red Ribbon completely vanishing into nothingness. If only Princess Twilight could do that to me— except modify the spell so that I didn’t come out afterwards.

“The last time you were here,” said the Princess, “I told you to make friends.”

“Sorry,” I said, with no hint of an apology in my voice.

“Why are you not trying to make friends?”

I glanced at the symbols of the bearers above me, long dead from before transition. Don’t answer. Never. Ever. Ever. Answer. If she knew the truth she’d never let me go live a normal life and try again. I got further this time than I ever have before. She's losing her grip on monitoring everyone. A couple more centuries and the population will be large enough that I might be able to pull it off.

The Princess said nothing.

But what if I told her the truth this time and she gave me permission to pass on?

She towered above me, watching and waiting.

She has more valuable things to do with her time than to wait on me. A few more moments and she will change the subject. But then again, the previous four tries I didn’t tell the whole truth, perhaps that’s why I didn’t succeed in convincing her?

“I want an answer, Care Free. Why don’t you make friends?”

I tried to say nothing but the argument in my mind broke through.

“I don’t intend to live, Princess.”

Her eyebrows rose. I could almost see her iris slip to the surface as her observation spells weakened and she focused more on me.

“I’ve heard of the grief you felt for your friends when they died. Your biggest regret is not discovering the immortality spell soon enough before they passed on. I won’t have that problem when I die, for no one will grieve for me as long as I do my best to not know anyone.”

Her monitoring spells stopped, her amethyst, piercing eyes far more intimidating than the white vagueness that had been there before. I heard a flash of magic and felt myself pulled somewhere far away to an ethereal plane where it felt like the stars had been pounded into mist beneath me. It was the same strange place where she made me immortal, where she made everyone immortal.

“You will live forever, Care Free.” The Princess brought out record upon record, the sky around me filling with scenes I’ve lived through and some from ponies I’ve never met. “You and everyone on this planet will never die.”

She brought out a scene of the great Statue of Life in the Griffon Kingdom, which stood atop where the last creature to die in Equestria before the great transition was buried. “You have no need to fear leaving behind grieving friends. There is no need for that kind of pain in the paradise I have strived to create and sustain for Equestria.”

I waved my hooves on the rectangular scene of the statue, dissolving the memory into mist.

“But I am going to die someday. I’ve been wanting to die since my one-hundred forties.” Somehow she pulled up an image of myself from back then. I looked the exact same, only there was some spark in my eyes that had disappeared over the centuries. “I’m six hundred thirty-two now. Your spells have septupled my lifetime beyond what I wanted it to be. I have overstayed my welcome in Equestria and I would like to be done now.”

“You are idolizing a disease long made extinct,” the Princess said coldly, the mist at her hooves swirling. “The absolute worst disease that ever faced Equestria. The most vile affliction that equinity ever had to suffer through!”

“Celestia and Luna didn’t think so.”

“They didn’t know that death could be eradicated. I’m sure if the idea had ever come to them they would have gotten rid of it the same as I did.”

“They ruled for over three millennia, Princess. They knew they were immortal, but even they didn’t tamper with death itself.”

“Tamper with—“ she huffed. “It was a plague on ponykind!”

“Then why did Celestia and Luna choose to die and have you succeed them?”

Her head lowered and her muzzle turned into a sharp scowl. “They didn’t die, they disappeared.”

“They died, Princess! They went on to a better place!”

“A better place!? There is absolutely nothing worse than death. Anything you can imagine can be created right here in Equestria. Any so called 'heaven' that you can think of we will try our best to accommodate.”

She conjured up more scenes in the mist: various paradises that ponies had asked for and that had been dutifully granted by Discord and the Princess. Ponies laughing, playing, reading, creating, being.

“The only thing I want is to be allowed to die.”

The Princess scowled. “Sleep,” she said bringing up another of the paradises where several ponies seemed to be napping for days on end in quiet fields and atop comfortable cumulous clouds. “We can keep you in a coma for a number of years. How does that sound?”

“I don’t want to be taken care of. I don’t want to be here at all!”

I felt myself jerked back to the crystal castle, the ethereal plane shattering back to reality.

“Discord,” the Princess said, turning to face him. Her servants must have heard everything. “Is there anything physically wrong with his mind? Any illnesses that somehow escaped our notice?”

Discord snapped his talons and I felt my brain light on fire as if I had tried to guzzle down powdered snow.

“Nothing,” he said, his eyes low.

The Princess sighed.

“Shall he attend hell again, Twilight?” asked Discord.

“I’ve been to your two-week prisons before,” I said. “They don’t work. You think that by depriving me of comforts that I’ll appreciate your paradises more. But be it paradise or prison, everything is the same level of pain for me.”

For the first time, the anger in her eyes softened, and the muscles on her muzzle weakened. “That’s because you’re doing it wrong.”

I stared at her. “I’m doing what wrong?”

“Life,” she said simply. I felt myself teleported again, this time back to my run down house in Hollow Shades. The rows of locks on my door were deadbolted on in a culture that hadn’t needed locks for centuries. My cat Clover was happily munching on some food I hadn’t put in her bowl.

“You’re trying to live life by yourself!” said the Princess, walking through my living room and kitchen. I’m pretty sure nopony had seen inside my home in decades. “Even when death was normal it was important to have friends to help you every step of the way. But with immortality it is absolutely essential that you share your long life with somepony— everypony!”

I shook my head. “I— no. They’ll only be sad when I inevitably die.”

“But what if that’s not inevitable?” she said, pulling out a town census from out of thin air and flipping through some of the pages, trying to show me a few of the pictures of ponies that lived near me. “What if you gained so many friends that you didn’t even have that feeling anymore?”

“No… this feeling isn’t going to go away with time, or with friends… or anything. Please… just let me go.”

The Princess said nothing, the anger and sadness that had been there before had faded into detached sorrow.

“You’ve done a commendable job, Princess.” I said. “I’m sure everypony else is enjoying their infinity. But as for me, I would like to be done participating now.”

The Princess looked down at me, her eyes drooping. Her horn glowed for a moment and I felt…