• Published 20th Dec 2015
  • 6,561 Views, 304 Comments

John Honeycrisp Apple - Robo Bro



The human farmer, John Apple, has been injured. With no family to inherit, he is set to lose his farm. Unable to cope, he seeks to end it all. Much to his confusion, he wakes up as a pony and surrounded by talking ponies who are calling him "father".

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Chapter 1

“It ain’t yer fault, I know ya didn’t mean to hurt me big guy. Shhhh.”

John Apple rubbed a horse’s neck soothingly with his large hand, trying to calm the anxious beast. He was a big man, downright huge even, but he was dwarfed by the equine he stood beside.

“I don’t blame ya, and ya shouldn’t blame yerself either. It was an accident. Coulda happened to anybody, Mack.”

The horse in question let out a soft whinny at his owner’s hushed tones and physical affection, leaning his head into the hand that was stroking him. One of the other horses in the stable walked up to the two and nudged the man on the shoulder, enticing a slight chuckle.

“Jealous, Jackie?” John gave the mare an affectionate scratch behind her ears. “Just a moment, I’ve got somethin’ for ya.”

John bent over to reach into a bag he had brought into the stable with him and a twinge of pain in his back caused him to wince. He ignored it as best he could and brought out an apple. He dragged a pocket knife out of his pants and cut it in half then handed each half to the two eager horses.

“I’m gonna miss you guys, thanks for always being there for me. Be good to your new owner for me, will ya? Jacobs is a little slow upstairs, but he’s a good guy. He’ll take care of ya.” A few tears streamed down the aging man’s face. He wasn’t that old, truth be told, but his hair had turned mostly grey by now with only a spattering of the brown he had in his youth here and there and his face was lined with the beginnings of wrinkles. No, he wasn’t quite old, but at this moment he sure felt like he was.

With his palm, he wiped away the tears. He shouldn’t be crying, not in front of Mack and Jackie. His cheeks didn’t seem to dry much, and a quick look at his hand explained why. He had cut himself while splitting the apple earlier and his palm was bleeding freely. He imagined that his face must have looked a fright all smeared with blood. He supposed it didn’t really matter.

He took a bottle out of his pocket, fumbled with the lid, silently cursing the man who invented childproof containers, until he could get it off and popped a few pills into his mouth. He staggered his way to the stable door and paused to look back to the horses. Jackie and Mack were eyeing him, and on the far side of the stable sleeping on a pile of hay was the newest addition to the stable, a little foal named Blossom that he had gotten a couple months back. It was a shame he wouldn’t have the chance to properly get to know the little filly.

“Goodbye.”

John Apple left the stable one last time and trudged off to the woods on the edge of his property with an old pistol in his hand.

____________________________________

Twilight Sparkle, a short, purple unicorn, was walking through the Everfree Forest towards Ponyville after visiting Zecora, ever careful not to accidentally step off the path. As powerful as she was, all it would take was one swipe of a manticore’s claws or even a simple look into the eyes of a stealthy cockatrice to end her. No matter how often she went into the forest, she never let complacency get the better of her.

As the trees began to thin, she felt the tension in her body start to dissipate. She loved visiting Zecora for tea and conversation, but sometimes she really wished she didn’t live inside the Everfree Forest. Zecora steadfastly refused to move into Ponyville proper, though. She claimed that being inside the Everfree was a practical necessity for collecting all the herbs she needed for her various concoctions.

As she stepped past the final batch of trees, careful to step around the poison joke that was growing on the path, she could finally let her guard down. The stress of travelling the forest was tremendous, but unavoidable. If she didn’t maintain constant vigilance then she could end up lying in an unconscious heap on the verge of death, just like that red stallion off to the side of the path entering the forest.

“Oh sweet Celestia! There’s a collapsed, earth pony stallion just outside the Everfree Forest!” Twilight panicked as the realization of what was before her sunk in. She rushed towards the fallen pony.

“Okay...breathe Twilight...you can handle this! You can handle this! First things first, make sure there’s no threats around that could take your head off.” Twilight did a quick visual scan of the area, finding nothing more than a few chirping birds on a nearby branch.

“Check! Next make sure he’s still breathing!” She placed her head on his barrel, feeling his chest rise and fall as he took breath while simultaneously hearing his steady heart beat.

“Check, next attempt to identify the pony. Large, red, earth pony stallion, faded green mane with a hint of grey forming along the edges, cutie mark is a bucket of apples. Eyes,” Twilight lifted an eyelid with a hoof to get a look, “orange. Possibly a part of the Apple family. Is that blood?” Twilight stared at the red splotch that had stained her hoof where she had touched the stallion’s face. She sniffed at the stain and confirmed that yes, it definitely was blood. Looking closer at the stallion, she noticed that there was a considerable smearing of the stuff near his eyes, though it was hard to spot given his colouration.

“Next I...um...lift him up gently and take him to the hospital I guess. Or maybe I should leave him here and get a doctor to come to him, I probably shouldn’t risk moving him if I don’t know what’s wrong.”

As if on cue, an eerie moaning came from the Everfree Forest beside them. Twilight gave an audible gulp.

“It’s...probably just the wind. Yeah, just the wind.” The bird that had been singing moments ago tilted its head while it stared at Twilight as if to question her assertion. The forest gave another moan, eliciting a nervous eye twitch from the unicorn.

“On the other hoof, carrying him out of here can’t be any more dangerous than leaving him alone by the Everfree.”

Having established her justification, Twilight lifted the red stallion with her magic and hastily ran off to the Ponyville Hospital.

____________________________________

Twilight trotted around the fields of Sweet Apple Acres, searching for her friend, Applejack, among the rows of apple trees. The stallion she had rescued less than an hour ago was safely in the hospital being examined by the medical staff. Twilight, despite all her tremendous stores of personal knowledge, knew very little of medicine or handling the sick and injured, so she was sent away to let the professionals do their work. Her duty to help the stallion fulfilled, she felt obligated to contact his possible next of kin, hence her presence at Sweet Apple Acres.

It didn’t take Twilight long to find the orange, earth pony mare. She was pulling out weeds from the fields where she grew non-apple related produce, a sheen of sweat covering her well toned body and her yellow mane and tail swaying slightly in the day’s breeze. Upon noticing her friend approaching, Applejack waved a jovial hoof at Twilight.

“Hey, Twi! What brings ya to the farm?” Applejack greeted with a large smile on her face.

“Hello, AJ. It’s about somepony I found collapsed near the Everfree Forest.” Twilight began.

“What in tarnation would somepony be doing there? Is she okay?” Twilight’s ear twitched in irritation at being interrupted.

“I don’t know, and he is at the hospital right now.”

“If he’s already bein’ taken care of, why are you comin' to me?” AJ asked. Her face twisted from one of confusion into one of worry. “Wait, is it somepony I know? Did Big Mac get hurt in the forest?!” Applejack tried to remember the last time she had seen her brother. It had been hours, plenty of time for him to get into trouble.

“No! Big Mac is fine, I think. It’s not him anyway, but he did kind of remind me of him. He’s almost as big as your brother, is a similar shade of red and has a bucket of apples for a cutie mark. I thought he may be a relative of yours.”

“Hmm...big, red and a bucket o’ apples? Did ya get his name, Twi?”

Twilight shook her head. “No, he was unconscious the entire time, so I couldn’t ask.”

“Well, shucks, ah don’t know who it is off the top of my head, but it would be awfully un-family like to not go see how he’s doin. Lead the way, Twi.”

____________________________________

“Hello Twilight, and Applejack. Are you two here to see the stallion you brought in earlier today?” Nurse Redheart asked of the two.

“Yes. How is he doing?” Twilight responded. Redheart scanned a clipboard that was on the counter in front of her.

“Let’s see...he had a small cut on his foreleg near the hoof, it’s possibly where the blood on his face came from since we found no evidence of bleeding there. His back seems to be injured by some kind of recent impact, considerable bruising is still present in addition to less obvious damage. We can treat it with magic and medicine, but it’s likely to cause at least some chronic pain for the rest of his life. He also had unusually high levels of some unknown drug in his system.”

“Somepony drugged him?” Twilight asked, her brow furrowed with concern. “Was there any evidence of...umm...how do I say this... being taken advantage of?” She winced at the thought that Redheart wouldn’t understand what she was getting at and blushed at the possibility of going any more detailed than she already had. Fortunately for her, the nurse seemed to immediately understand what she was getting at.

“While we can’t rule it out entirely, we did not find enough evidence to suggest such a thing.” Twilight exhaled with relief.

“All this talk is great an’ all, but Twilight tells me he might be an Apple, so ah want to see him.” Applejack voiced impatiently.

“What AJ means is that if he is well enough for visitors, we would appreciate it if we could see him.” Twilight hastily interjected with an apologetic look.

“Well, if you think you could identify him that’d be great. His injuries shouldn’t keep him here for more than a couple of days, so having some family to stay with after his release might do him some good.”

“Well then, what’re we waitin’ for? Let’s go.”

“Just one thing, he may not be awake yet. If he is still asleep you aren’t to try and wake him.”

“Just cause ah have a barn don’t mean ah was born in one, ah know not to go disturbin’ sick ponies when they’re restin’.”

Content with AJ’s assurance, Redheart gave a slight nod and beckoned the two mares to follow her down a hallway and to a closed door. She cracked it open and looked inside before turning back to the others and placed a hoof over her lips. Once the two nodded their understanding, she pushed the door open the rest of the way and the three mares quietly entered the room.

The patient was lying in his bed with his back towards them, his barrel expanding and contracting rhythmically. As the mares approached, he rolled over in his sleep, now facing them. Two of the mares failed to notice Applejack freezing in place.

“Do you recognize him, AJ?” Twilight whispered from her position beside the bed. When Applejack didn’t respond, she looked back to see her standing still near the entrance with wide eyes and a slack jaw.

“Is something the matter? Are you in need of assistance?” Redheart asked as she approached the shocked mare, but Applejack refused to let the nurse do anything to her, instead opting to slip outside the room. Confused, Twilight followed after her friend.

Applejack had sit down and was leaning against the wall just outside the door. She had a distant look in her eyes and was trembling something fierce.

“Applejack!” She called out to her. “What’s wrong?”

The shaking mare didn’t respond at first. Just as Twilight was about to press further, she began whispering, almost to herself.

“Ah thought he was dead.”

“What?”

“All these years he’s been gone. If he’s been alive all this time, then why hasn’t he tried to tell me? Was ah really that unimportant to him?” Tears began flowing down Applejack’s face.

“Who is he?!” Twilight demanded with the beginnings of panic forming in the edges of her voice. She did not like seeing her friend this upset.

Applejack looked up with a mixture of confusion, pain and hope.

“My father.”

Author's Note:

Just a little idea that popped into my head one day when I was thinking about Applejack's missing parents. I probably won't update this story often, though I do plan on writing at least a few more chapters eventually.