• Published 8th Feb 2016
  • 1,696 Views, 63 Comments

DOCTOR - Deidorimu

Equestria has fallen into chaos by Discord, Celestia and Luna fight desperately to keep Equestria in peace. Simultaneously, criminals and villains take this time as an opportunity for greed and power. And in the mid-center of this chaos lies a doctor

  • ...

One, Two, Five Steps: Part Four (S1C6)

"That's enough."

There was a flash of white light. Everything disappeared, and he was blinded. As the light dispersed Dean found the hard ground shift suddenly. Somehow morphing beneath him, until it was soft. Dean covered his eyes, waited for a moment, before he blinked. Everything was a blur, and the bright light made him squint as his eyes adjusted. Slowly, the room became clear, and Dean's mind turned blank as all rationality seemed to have left him.

He found himself laying in a bed, the very same beds that the Doctor had in his medical room, back in the M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T. In fact, looking to his left, there was the same cabinets that held the mysterious chemicals. The walls were lined with a row of identical beds, each with their own bedside table between. And looking to his right made Dean confirm where he was.

To his right, opposite end from him, was Silver. Still resting, his eyes shut as he slept soundly. He looked better than he had before. Still covered in injuries, and his sunken gut exposing his ribs from malnourish. But as his chest bobbed up and down gently, he appeared pleasantly content. Recovering, as he slumbered upon beds that were far cozier than any hospital bed. That confirmed it, there was no where else Dean could have possibly been. How this was possible, Dean's brain seem to stop working just to comprehend it.

"Hey there". Startled, Dean gasped, before a gentle hoof rested on his shoulder to calm him. "Hey hey hey. Take it easy."

Dean relaxed, taking a breath as he saw the Doctor, smiling to him from beside the bed. "D- Doctor?"

"Hey, you alright?"

A thousand questions rushed through Dean's mind, and he could only sum them all into one word. "H- How?"

The Doctor was aware of Dean's confusion, but now wasn't the time to answer him. He reached to the bedside table, where a pill bottle and glass of water sat. Removing the cap, the Doctor jiggled the bottle, tilting it as a small white pill fell into his hoof. He sealed the bottle, placed it back onto the bedside table, then took the glass of water and held it to Dean. "Here, take this."

Left in his bewilderment, Dean pressed on, "Doctor. How am I here?"

"Don't worry about that now. Just take this and you'll feel better."

"What is it?" Dean asked, eyeing the pill with uncertainty.

"Just a sleeping pill. Your hurt, and tired, this'll put you into a deep sleep. You'll feel much better after a good nights rest". Dean remained uncertain, so the Doctor added with a grin, "and there's cereal once you wake up."

Dean chuckled weakly, "you know that's not the only thing I eat."

"Yeah, but I know you like cereal."

"I do, I do like cereal". He hesitated a moment, before slowly taking the pill and glass. He sat up, popping the pill into his mouth, then took a large swig until the glass was empty. The Doctor took the glass from him, placing it onto the table, before returning a gentle smile back to Dean. "Alright, just lay down and rest. I'll check on you every once in awhile. If you wake up and I'm not here I'll most likely be in the control room. Okay?"

Dean nodded, laying back as he yawned. The medicine kicked in almost immediately, and he felt his mind go blank. As slumber washed over his body, and he accepted it gratefully. He relaxed, and slowly, he fell into a deep sleep.

The Doctor waited until he was completely asleep. As soon as he was sure Dean was out, he sighed. "You've been through a lot for a colt who isn't used to adventure. But everything you have done, the choices you've made, I can't begin to tell you how proud I am."

The Doctor turned and walked to the door, flipping the light switch as he looked back to Dean. Checking one last time just to make sure he was asleep. That, and to confirm to himself that the colt was safe. He took a breath, reassuring himself that Dean would be fine. "I admit . . . that I am concerned for you. Your smart, your kind, but you are also courage's. No . . . no not just that. If you keep going the way you are, you may find yourself to becoming a hero."

The Doctor sighed, thinking back to three weeks ago. When he and Dean rode in the carriage, pulled by Sticky Bun, as they returned from delivering Peter's body. " . . . A hero is the one who does an extraordinary act of courage . . . which will or may result in the conscious sacrifice of himself . . . to protect the good of others". The Doctor choked, rubbing tears out from his eyes. He sniffed, composing himself, as he took a good look at Dean through glistening eyes. "If you ever go down that path, I'll be rooting for you kid. But should you ever have to make that decision . . . well . . . its not going to happen. Never . . . not as long as I'm here".

The Doctor smiled proudly to Dean, and he couldn't stop the tear that fell as he did. "Your a daring kid, Dean Do. I think, in another time, you would have made quite the Element". The Doctor turned away, exiting the medical room. He closed the door quietly, leaving the two patients to their sleep, as Dean smiled soundly in his slumber.

The Control Room

The Doctor paced back and forth before the three ponies. Barney, Cleo, and Redger, all waiting anxiously for the Doctor to speak. Stripped of their weapons, but their armor and accessories remained. Barnies twin scabbards, Cleo's holster, their saddlebags and such. Yet, the contents were removed from their saddlebags. So they hung uselessly at their sides.

Barney felt timid under the Doctor's scowl, and Cleo, holding a brave face, couldn't help but feel underpowered by the stallion before him. Redger was visibly shaking, as he sat to the far left of the three. With Cleo in the middle, and Barney to the right; the three waited a few feet in front of the M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T exit, as the Doctor paced close to his console. Unlike the other two, Redger had been bound by a tight, thick brown rope. Wrapped around his body, keeping his upper legs strapped to his sides firmly, as he sat on his hunches.

Finally, the Doctor stopped. The three perking as the Doctor sighed, "I know that eighteen isn't exactly the age of a child. But as an adult, a very young adult, the first year of an adult in fact, most tend to still see ponies this age as a kid. A kid learning to be an adult, if you will". The Doctor turned to them, glaring each of them under his stern scowl. Barney gulped aloud, Cleo shifted in his spot uncomfortably, and Redger flinched as he shook. "Barney, age twenty six. Cleo, age twenty seven. And, Redger". The way the Doctor said Redger's name was filled with malice, and Cleo and Barney felt an icy chill run down their spines as they feared for Redger. Redger just about nearly froze at that. The Doctor continued, "you are the oldest, age thirty one. Thirty. One. Years. Old. And kicking a colt on the ground? Shouting at him? Threatening him with a mace? You were aware that he was of no threat to you. And yet, you still proceeded to hurt him?"

Redger gulped, "I- I- I t- thought-"

"Thought what, Redger?" the Doctor interrupted, speaking so short that he practically spat malice at Redger. "Thought he was demon? Just like how you thought I was a demon? Even after a tried talking to you, pleading with you, you still thought that we were demons!" The Doctor's voice rose, and Redger failed to find anything more to say. The Doctor didn't wait long for a response before he pressed on, "I have seen everything you have done tonight. Everything all three of you have done tonight!" the Doctor said, surveying each of them.

Each looked to the Doctor in bewilderment, and Cleo was the first one to ask, "you've been watching us?"

"Oh yes", the Doctor nodded. "I've seen everything you three have done. At least, from the moment I tried begging Redger to return Dean to me. Which. He didn't!" Redger winced, as the Doctor's scowl returned on him.

"B- But how? We never saw you at all. Redger was the only one who had seen you", said Barney, shivering as the Doctor turned to him.

"Yes you have. Of course you have". The Doctor paused a moment, letting them ponder what he had meant, before pressing on. "Two of you are brave, one of you is stubborn, we all know who that one is", Redger winced once more. "And none of you are so much as talking back to me? An old stallion, talking down on three strong ponies. Granted one of you is tied up, but that didn't stop your mouth when you were tied in that sewing room. So what's different now? Hmm?"

The Doctor waited for an answer, one that none of them could find. It confused them, the way they were acting, and they pondered. But the Doctor didn't need them to, he already knew why they were afraid. "Aside from waking up in a strange place. Confused, without your weapons. I've tended your wounds while you were unconscious so none of you should be afflicted by that anymore". It was then they noticed the lack of pain they felt. True to the Doctor's word, they checked their bodies, finding that the only damage that remained was left on their armor. Scratches, dents, burns, and covered in ash, but nothing more. They only looked for a split second, before the Doctor continued. "Aside from some sore bones and muscles, none of you should be held back. Your capable ponies, you don't need those weapons. So what's keeping you?" The Doctor didn't wait for a reply, "I'll tell you. Its because deep down you sense something, something you know that, if taken about the wrong way, you will be punished most severely."

Cleo gulped, "w- what's that supposed to mean?"

The Doctor turned to Cleo, smirking. "What? You haven't figured it out? Well, maybe this will give you some insight."

The Doctor turned away from the three, pulling a lever suddenly from his console. The moment he did the lights turned off, and the console screen turned to them on its own. A small light appeared at the top of the screen. It brightened slowly, before projecting several beams of light by the Doctor. The beams of light connected, creating a creature that towered above them. The demon, roaring upon the three as it had back in the stone building. The three screamed, and the Doctor flipped the switch back up. The lights turned on, the screen shut off, and the demon vanished.

Slowly, they realized the demon was no longer there, and one by one they caught their bearings. Redger was the first to speak, "w- what the tarterus was that!?!"

"That Redger is a hologram. Its similar to illusions casted by unicorns. Only, this isn't magic."

That revelation dawned on them, and they each looked to the Doctor in surprise. "S- So t- that means. The whole time, that demon-"

Cleo was cut off, as the Doctor confessed with a smirk. "Was me the whole time. Yes, I was the demon."

"B- But how!?!" Barney asked.

The Doctor took a breath, leaning his back against the console as he explained. "You see, this place your in right now, well I mean you should already know what it is. When you were talking to Dean back in that sewing room, he told you about our adventures. And he told you about the M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T."

"So, everything he said-"

Barney was cut off, "is all true. Everything Dean told you, its all true. You three are inside my M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T. Multipurpose, Expeditious, Inner, Dimensional, Phoenix, Home, And, Transporter. Its real, being inside it is proof that its real. Therefore, everything else that Dean told you is real as well."

"So, you really are a phoenix pony?" Cleo asked.

"That's right."

"But, that still doesn't explain how you were the demon the whole time", said Cleo.

"Doesn't it? Phoenix pony in a box that's bigger on the inside while adventuring the world; now if a sentence like that is real than anything would be possible right? So, how am I the big bad demon?" The Doctor paused, letting them soak in their bewilderment, before pressing on. "M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T's have this device installed known as a chameleon circuit. It allows it to disguise itself into just about anything. That way it can blend in with the environment and go unnoticed. These beauties are incredible, so no doubt nearly anypony who finds out that these exist would want to steal one for themselves". The Doctor chuckled at that, leaving the others to wonder why he did. He coughed into his hoof, composing himself before continuing, "anyway. With that in mind my M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T can also scan areas of up to fifty miles, as well as the infrastructure of buildings. So, that's what I did. Scanned the building, memorize the layout, than I transported my M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T into the building. After that I tuned my setting to make my M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T appear as a demon. Its a default appearance that nearly every M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T has. You never know when something big might try to eat your M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T, so with the flip of a switch we can scare off whatever dangerous creatures are around with this."

"B- But you attacked us! Why!?!" Cleo asked.

The Doctor scoffed, "it didn't start that way you know. M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T's are designed with defense mechanisms that keep you safe but aren't really intended for attacking. I mean the headache I had trying to fly this while using my phoenix fire, ugh! Anyway, so when I trapped you in that metal room my intent was to scare you off. I figured you three to be nothing more than cowards, and I was hoping you'd toss Dean at me so that you could get away. But, than I saw you two speak up in his defense", the Doctor said, looking to Barney and Cleo.

"B- But you still attacked us", said Cleo.

"As I said, that wasn't the plan initially. Too many times on my travels have I seen ponies that appeared good on the surface, when deep down their intentions were bad. And vice versa; after seeing you two speak up after Redger hurt Dean I reconsidered frightening you away. Perhaps you didn't seem that great on the outside, but fear can give off the wrong impressions. I think you two were just scared at the time, which is why you helped Redger take Dean hostage before switching to Dean's aid."

"So, you attacked us because we helped Dean?" Barney asked.


" . . . Sorry, what?" said Cleo.

"I wanted to test you, see who you three really were. That and, well, after seeing you take Dean captive in the first place I was rather crossed. I still am in fact, mostly at Redger. A little bit to you Cleo, but not so much Barney."

"What did I do!?" Cleo asked.

"You sided with Redger first-"

"I helped Dean after that!"

"I know, I know. Like I said, I'm not nearly as crossed with you. Let me explain", the Doctor said, Cleo becoming silent to listen once more.

"I pretended to be a demon after that to test you, to see what kind of ponies you were. Barney, you were always trying to help Dean. And as I discovered, you were the one who caught him in the first place, so you have my thanks", Barney couldn't help but blush a little, as he looked away modestly. "Cleo, though I don't like what you did to Dean in the first place, I was relieved to see you weren't as bad as I thought you were. In fact, seeing the way you worked through the situation, you've shown great leadership skills. Though you don't get along well with Redger, your friendship with Barney is clear. The way you two fought together, you were a perfect team", Cleo had mixed feelings for the Doctor. A moment ago he was angry, now he was giving him compliments. In turn, it made him anxious, yet proud. Then, the Doctor turned to Redger. The way he spoke, it was clear he was holding back his temper. "And you. Do I really need to say much?" Redger didn't respond, giving the Doctor a timid look. Like a child fearing punishment from an adult. "Not once did I see you do the right thing. Not once did I see you show kindness, or loyalty, or any form of friendship towards the ones who are supposed to be your friends!"

"T- They aren't really my . . . friends", Redger said, a weak attempt at arguing back.

"I thought I was your friend", Barney said, taking Redger by surprise as Barney frowned sadly at him.

Redger looked over, seeing the hurt look on Barney, and he glanced back to the Doctor, who was scowling deeply at him. He stuttered meekly, "I- I- I, I- I mean, he- he is- is- um-"

"Redger", said Cleo.


"Stop talkin."

" . . . Right", Redger said, drooping his head down.

The Doctor sighed, "you know what angers me the most. It isn't the things you did tonight, nor the kind of pony you are. Its that, after everything, I can't even punish you."

Redger's head perked at that, "what?"

The Doctor explained, "after watching you tonight I had hoped to find that you were a better pony. This turned out not to be the case, however, I did find something else. A reason behind why you are the way you are. Tell me, what did you tell Dean after he said I was coming to save him?"

Redger shook his head, "I- I don't know, what are you talking about?"

"Oh you know what I'm talking about! You were hiding in one of the sewing rooms! You were tied up and brought out of the closet. You told Dean I was dead! Why would you tell him that?"

"Why wou- because I saw you die of course! How are you even still alive anyway!?! And how did you even hear that conversation!?! You weren't there! Or, the demon wasn't there- whatever! You know what I mean!"

"I switched the M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T to incognito mode and enhanced the sound perimeters to listen on the conversation without being detected."

" . . . I don't know what you just said."

"He said-"

The Doctor cut Barney off, "nevermind. The point is, is that I want to know why you told them that I died. Why I was dragged by my legs by the demon, the door ripped from its hinges when, in fact, that never happened."

"What!?! B- But that's what I saw! I swear!" said Redger.

"I don't like to agree with Redger, but I saw the demon- er- you I guess, chasing him to the metal room. I remember holding the door open for him and shutting it closed", said Cleo.

"Ah! That part actually happened. I did chase Redger to trap him in the metal room, but I never faked my own death", the Doctor explained.

"Than, what actually happened?" Barney asked.

"Nothing happened, after he refused to return Dean to me I walked away-"


"That's it, huh? You'll just grab the kid and leave?" Redger asked, his voice muffled through the door.

"Yes, that's it. I'll grab my friend and leave, you'll never see us again!"

"Okay . . . and what if I don't open the door?"

The Doctor sighed, hoping that Redger would reconsider. That he would show at least a shimmer of kindness, "I would really like it if you opened the door, please? I just want my friend back."

"No no no, you- you think its that easy? Pretending to be all nice and friendly just so you can get in here?"

"Young stallion please listen-"

"No! You listen here demon! I will not let your sweet talk be the end of me! That's how my wife got taken! And I will not go down the same way! You hear!" Redger shouted. The Doctor stepped back, as he felt Redger pound the door from the other side.

A pause followed, as he realized it was no use to talk with him. He tried once more, hoping in vein that Redger might still change his mind. But he knew it was no use, and his tone expressed that. "You really won't listen to me? I really mean it, I am not a demon. Please sir, please reconsider. I just want my friend."

Redger scoffed again, shouting stubbornly, "yeah? Well I want my friends too. But there all demons! Taken by creatures like you!"

That was it, he was done trying. Sighing aloud, the Doctor walked away without another word to Redger. The M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T was waiting for him around the corner. He rounded the corner, entered his machine, closed the door, and dropped his face into his hooves. He groaned, "I tried, I really did". The Doctor proceeded forth, approaching his console and pulling a lever. A whirring electronic sound emitted from around him, and the Doctor thought aloud. "He wants to do it the hard way. We'll do it the hard way."


"After that I place my M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T into its demon form, used my phoenix fire to cut the lock on the door and broke in. Yes I chased Redger but I never ripped the door off or faked my own death", said the Doctor.

"So, Redger was lying to us?" said Cleo, frowning at Redger.

Redger replied defensively, "what! No no no! I never lied! I swear that's what I saw!"

"No no, Redgers telling the truth. He really did see that. Or, at least, that's what he believed he saw", said the Doctor.

"What do you mean by that", Cleo asked, the three looking curiously to the Doctor.

The Doctor removed his hat, scratching his mane. He couldn't suppress a yawn that came, as he remembered how tired he was. He couldn't recall the last time he slept, three days perhaps? Caressing his mane, the Doctor crossed that from his mind. Groaning softly, unnoticeably, as the shear thought alone made him dizzy, and he still needed to focus at the moment. Adjusting the fedora comfortably back on his head, the Doctor explained. "Redger, from what I hear you have shown severe signs of paranoia. You have shown that you see and believe things that differ from reality, and I also took the liberty in testing your brain while you were unconscious."

"What! What do you mean you-"

The Doctor cut Redger off, "you weren't going to give me permission anyways and at this point I quite frankly don't care". The Doctor took a step towards Redger, making Redger uneasy. He sat comfortably on his hunch, looking to Redger curiously, "tell me. Have you always been like this? Paranoid? Unnerved? Maybe you feel like someone's out to get you? Even when your safe, even when you are with friends? You said you had a wife, did she ever notice you showing any of these signs?"

Redger didn't respond, glaring at the Doctor with a mixture of hate and puzzlement. The Doctor sighed, he had hoped Redger would be cooperative. But that seemed not to be the case, so he took a step back and spoke bluntly. "Redger, I believe you have schizophrenia."

"What!?" Redger spat, astonished that the Doctor would make such a claim.

Barney and Cleo on the other hand appeared skeptical, for only a moment. Before the idea became rational, and it showed on them like a lightbulb turning on. Barney seemed confused, before he looked to Redger with sympathy. Cleo was the same, but he instead turned to the Doctor. His eyes wide in revelation, "that makes sense!"

"What!?!" Redger turned to Cleo, fuming.

"He's always been on edge, he always thought something was out to get him ever since we met."

"And when did you meet Redger?" the Doctor asked.

"Two years ago. Barney, Redger and I met at the same time. We were, eh, w- we were poor. Didn't have two coins to rub together, you know", said Cleo. "Yeah", the Doctor nodded, and Cleo continued. "Back than we were working a few different jobs. Barney was a blacksmith, Redger was, what was it? A circus performer?"

"I was an experienced sword specialist! Not a circus clown!" Redger growled.

"And yet I recall you performing under a circus tent", Cleo said with a smirk.

Redger shot back, "at least I didn't mug ponies to feed my greedy mouth!"

That retort seemed to hit a soft spot in Cleo, and Cleo was about to retort before the Doctor piped in. "Sorry, Cleo did what now?"

Cleo sighed, "I'm not proud of what I did back then. Me and a couple others, we would rob ponies along the road. We had to be fast so I never armed myself heavy. So I threatened them with knives, and I soon found out I was actually really good at throwing them to. But I didn't like that life style, none of us did. Money became scarce and we all wanted a change. And that change happened the day we met-"

"The day you tried to rob Barney", said Redger, smirking at his chance to say something bad about Cleo.

Cleo blushed, "in my defense I didn't know we were going to rob him. The crew leader we followed, gosh I don't even remember his name anymore, he said he knew of this place that might be a huge hit for us! I remember not caring so much and just going with it. Had I known at the time we were trying to rob a large blacksmith I . . . actually I probably would have still gone and robbed you."

"Oh", said Barney, chuckling.

The Doctor laughed, Redger groaned, and Cleo grinned to Barney. "Let's just say that this blacksmith certainly knows how to use the weapons he makes. Specifically with maces. Managed to take down everyone in my crew except for me, I still can't believe he didn't kill anyone outta that beating."

"So you managed to fight back or-", the Doctor asked.

"Fight back? Oh heck no. After seeing Barney thrash my crew I ran like a little filly out of there!" Cleo said, making Barney and the Doctor laugh. Redger rolled his eyes, growing frustrated at the retelling of their story. "Anyway, Redger's circus-"

"Performance!" Redger spat.

"Alright! His "performance" just so happen to take place at Trotingham, where Barney used to live. He chased me over to the circus tent- don't give me that look! It is what it is!" Cleo said to Redger, who was scowling. "Anyway, he chased me to the circus tent and our little feud kind of interrupted the show."

"Kind of?" Barney asked, cocking a cheeky brow.

Cleo chuckled sheepishly, "I knocked into one of the posts that held the tent up. Part of the tent came down, it startled the animals, some of the tigers escaped from their cages, ponies were fleeing for their lives, it all just went downhill from there.

But Redger, Barney and I manage to keep the ponies safe while the animals were taken care of and the performers got to safety. It was a wild night but that's how we met. Our lives only got wilder from there. I taught Redger how to wield knives, Redger taught Barney how to use swords, and Barney taught me how to carry a mace. I always like the heavier stuff anyway. After that we used our, ehem, "expertise". To build a career for ourselves as body guards", Cleo cleared his throat, and gestured sarcastic quotation signs as he phrased "expertise" to the Doctor. "At least, we used to. Until the day Mane City fell."

"Were you there when it did?" the Doctor asked.

Cleo shook his head, "no we were staying at an inn a couple miles south. We had just finished a job and were staying the night. We were going to head off to Mane City as a matter of fact, but after Mane City fell an onslaught of chaos demons started attacking the rest of the country. Luckily someone warned us about them before they reached the inn, gave us enough time to gallop outta there."

"I see, and has Redger shown any signs of schizophrenia during the time you've known him?" the Doctor asked.

Redger piped in, "now wait just a minute! I may be a little too cautious but that doesn't mean I have schizophrenia!"

"Caution is one thing, Redger. But believing something, seeing something that didn't actually happen is another."

"So what if I thought I saw something different!? I was stressed! We're all stressed! My eyes can play tricks on me! What if that's all it is!?"

"Than you have anything to worry about. But I still want you to see professionals to help you". The Doctor turned to Barney and Cleo, "and I want you two to make sure he does receive help."

"Now wait! I didn't say-"

"We'll help him Doctor. Won't we, Cleo?" said Barney, giving Cleo a bold look.

Cleo sighed, shrugging, "I mean. I don't really want to, but, alright. I'll help too."

"Don't I get a say in this!?" Redger yelled, earning a glare from the Doctor that silenced him.

The Doctor took a step towards Redger, making the small pony gulp anxiously, as he spoke down on him threateningly. "No, no you do not! You're lucky I'm doing this much for you because so help me I had half the mind to transport you to the closest mass of chaos and drop you in it!" Teeth clenched and absolutely fuming, the Doctor's anger radiated enough so for the others to feel it, and it made Barney and Cleo almost feel timid. Redger could feel the Doctor's glare pierce him, and it made him feel at a loss of breath. "And you have no idea how much I wanted to. But I made a promise to never be cruel, to never be cowardly. Punishment is for the wicked, but help is for the sick and lost. And its a shame, it wouldn't be cruel or cowardly if you were just wicked. But I digress". The Doctor turned away, approaching his console while Redger soaked in everything that was said. Left in a puddle of regret, shame, anxiety, and a burning hatred for the Doctor. Barney and Cleo could only watch silently while Redger received his verbal backlash, and they were left stunned even after it was finished.

The Doctor flipped a switch, pressed a few buttons, turned a knob, and flipped a second switch. The M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T whirred to life with its metallic groan, the black square like rods bobbing up and down in the center, see through pillar of the console. A moment after the groans were halted by a sudden stomp. Like a piston slamming down on earth. The Doctor turned, walked to the M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T exit, and stopped. He sighed, "I know I have seemed angry at you two. I really am happy you turned out to be a good pony, Cleo. And Barney, I know I already said it, but you have my thanks. Thank you for catching Dean, and thank you both for keeping him safe. I am just upset that I have to help the one who hurt Dean."

Barney and Cleo were taken aback, not by the Doctor, but by the sudden chuckle that came from Redger. Redger glared to the Doctor, spitting hate stubbornly. "You think this is going to make a difference? You think your justified just because you "think" your helping me! Your not better than me! Your an old, senile pony. Everything, everything you did last night was nothing but shear luck and fear tactics. If you and me fought right now you'd have to wipe the dirt off your face! Your not better you got that! You are just a crazy old goat!"

The Doctor swooped in, getting face to face with Redger. Huffing, holding back everything he had not to explode on the tied pony before him. In a hushed tone, the Doctor explained to Redger, mercifully maintaining himself. "You had better watch that mouth of yours, child. You have no idea what I can do."

For a moment Redger was afflicted, and he started shaking. But stubbornly, he mustered the slimmest bit of courage he could manage and threw it at the Doctor. "Than do it!"

Barney winced, Cleo, for a second, thought to silence Redger before he goes too far, but the Doctor replied before he could. Shakily, he kept his composure. Mostly so the others needn't be involved, "I am ninety four years old. I have seen things, done things you could never imagine. This funny little thing that's happening, these "chaos" demons as you call them. This is probably the worst you will ever have to experience in your life! But me! Creatures of every kind have died in front of my eyes! Children have screamed while they were slaughtered and creatures wailed as they burned! I watched them die while I could do nothing to stop it!"

The Doctor's voice rose, and from his tone it became evident that the Doctor was talking about something personal. He wasn't just making a point, the emotion he had, this had actually happened. And they realized it, felt it even, his emotion. "You can go back to Equestria once its safe but me! I have no home! This M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T is my home! My only home! Because the one I had known kicked me out! And the one I had lived in is all but a memory now, too painful to ever return to! You have no idea how that feels, you may never even know how that feels!

And do you want to know what that does to a pony! It changes them! Makes them stronger! Makes them scarier! I am better but I am also worse than I ever was before everything that happened! The things I can do because of the things I have lived through! Because I had to get better! I had no choice! While you got to learn things for fun or just because, I had to learn to be better because if I didn't than who would!? Who would be the better pony if not me! Who would be good enough to help them!?! The things I can do! And I'm only ninety four! That may seem old to you but believe me I am in my prime!"

The Doctor shifted uncomfortably close, inches away from Redger. Redger tried shuffling back, but couldn't move with his tied limbs. His menacing, dark tone was like a black cloak casted on Redger. Forcing him to listen to every word spoken, to take in everything whether he liked it or not. "That's scary to think about. The things I can do. The things I am capable of. And yet, I don't think I've even reached my peak yet. Not. Even. Close.

The Doctor inched back slightly, not enough so for Redger to breath easier. "Fear tactics you say? Luck? No no no, that's not what it is at all. I could have fought you, I could have fought all of you, but that would be too easy. Everything I did wasn't just out of mercy, its also because I'm the only one who could have managed it! I knew where you were at all times. I knew where you were going to gallop to next, which room you were hiding in, and the whole way through I was testing you! Testing you to see what kind of ponies you were. Now really, how many ponies, how many of any creature could have managed that?" Redger didn't respond, for he had no answer to that.

The Doctor continued, "because, Redger, what Dean told you was almost true but he's wrong about one thing. I'm not one step ahead of you, I wasn't even two steps ahead. Because with every pony I meet, every creature like you who only cares for themselves. To the ones that I have no choice but to show what I am capable of. One step, two steps, that isn't enough. I am always five steps ahead of you. I was the whole time. From the moment you and I met. I was one, two, five steps ahead of you.

The Doctor backed away from the shivering pony, stepping by the exit once more. Watching the Doctor speak that way to Redger it made more sense to what the Doctor had said earlier. For a moment, for a split second, they all saw the demon the Doctor had pretended to be. Redger, he felt his heart stop, and it didn't seem to start even after the Doctor backed away. His chest thumping hard as he breathed soundlessly, sporadically; his eyes locked wide, stunned as he shivered.

The Doctor opened the M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T door, blinding them momentarily as the daylight flashed in. As they adjusted to the brightness, the Doctor pointed outside. "I've transported us about a mile away from the sewing productions building. So if you see smoke in the sky that's most likely all it is. There's a chest outside the door with all your belongings and some food and water. Keep traveling until you make it to Mason and just stay there until Equestria is safe, then bring Redger there. Find someone who can give him the help he needs". The Doctor added, "oh, and keep the chest if you want it. I'm not going to keep it."

"No. No no no I didn't agree to that!" Redger yelled. He yelped as he was suddenly forced to his hooves. Cleo grabbed him by the upper shoulder, lifting him hard and practically dragging him towards the exit. "Ah! Hey! Let go! Let go of me you piece of hairy garbage!"

The Doctor stepped aside, allowing Cleo the space to leave the M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T. Just before he did, Cleo turned back to the Doctor, giving him a sheepish, yet solace grin. "Sorry for all the trouble we gave you."

"Don't worry about it. I'm not mad at you or Barney. In fact, just wait until Equestria is safe, I have a surprise for you."

Cleo was about to question that, before Redger pounded the back of his head to Cleo's gut. "Oof!" he felt the air leave him, before he aggressively pushed Redger outside. Sucking in through his teeth, Cleo shouted, "you little dung pie!"

Cleo left, and Barney took his place, he too stopping to talk to the Doctor. "Do you really think he has schizophrenia?"

The Doctor sighed, "if he's lucky than I'm wrong. But just to be sure you should take him to see a professional."

Barney hesitated, but anxiously extended his hoof to the Doctor. The Doctor could tell, Barney didn't really know how to feel right now. So he shook his hoof like he would a friend, "hey. Your a good stallion. You deserve more than what you've been through. I'm sorry about everything, and for scaring you. But I'm glad I put you through that test, and I'm glad you passed."

Releasing his hoof, Barney looked quizzically to the Doctor. "Passed?"

The Doctor nodded, "like I said, I had my own reason for testing you. But I don't want you to worry about it. For now, just keep an eye on Redger and get to Mason safely, alright."

"Yeah, okay". The Doctor reached into his inner vest pocket, pulling out a metallic circle. Silver, and as large as his hoof, there was nothing special about it, aside from a small, red, glassy orb attached to the center. He handed it to Barney, and Barney turned it around in his hoof, looking at it curiously. "What's this?" he asked.

"That is how you and I will keep in touch. Just hold onto it. If you see that little red ball start to blink it means I'm coming, so watch out for me."

"You want to see us again?" Barney asked.

"Of course, I have a surprise I think you and Cleo will like."

Barney smiled, placing the metal circle in his saddle bag. "Thank you."

"Your welcome, I'll be seeing you again."

Barney nodded and left the M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T. Looking outside, the Doctor saw Barney and Cleo waving back at him, with Redger kicking his hind legs like a child having a tantrum. He was still tied, and Cleo had dropped him to the ground, so he couldn't move or run away. "Bye Doctor!" said Barney.

"See ya Doctor! You better not flake out on whatever that surprise is going to be!" said Cleo, smirking.

The Doctor chuckled, "don't worry. I'm a stallion of my word! You'll get your surprise! Just be sure of it!"

The Doctor reached for his door, closing it. But not before he heard Redger spout his last remarks at him. "You stupid old stallion! I am not sick! I know what I saw! Your all crazy! If it weren't for me you would have all died a long time ago! You hear me! You senile old stool! You stupid mother-" The Doctor closed the door, breathing a tired sigh.

Slowly, he shambled over to his console. Gingerly pressing a button, the monitor beside him beeped, and the Doctor smiled to what he read on the screen. "It took a little longer than I thought, but I finally know where you are."

He pressed a second button and the screen flickered. Turning blank, white for a moment, before a map of Equestria appeared. The map zoomed in passed the southern border, several miles outside of Equestria to a particular location. A small red dot appeared, flashing arithmetically on a pin pointed spot. The Doctor thought aloud, "really? we weren't that far off? Hah, I can't believe it. If those corrupted ponies hadn't been in the forest, than we would have found you by now."

Observing the flashing red dot, the Doctor tapped it, clanking his hoof to the screen. "So you think the Tree of Harmony is somewhere around here? Hmmm . . . well. Only one way to find out."

The Doctor turned from his monitor, running around to the opposite end of his console. The Doctor pulled a lever, flipped a switch, an the M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T groaned to life. "WHOOZE, VIRRR, WHOOZE, VIRRR!!!" metallic groans roared, and the M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T jutted, transporting away. The inner walls shook, and the Doctor moved quickly to the left. Pulling a switch, adjusting the knobs, a quick shift back to the right, another pull of a switch. Then, the Doctor ran to the opposite side, gripping one of his larger levers excitedly. "Its been a long time. Hopefully neither of you will be too mad. Popping in like this so suddenly. But I don't really have a choice. This has gone long enough."

The Doctor pulled the lever, followed by the familiar sound of a piston stomping to earth. The M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T stopped shaking, and the Doctor turned and trotted to the exit. Quickly, he wrapped his hoof around the handle, thrusting the door open. His sights were assaulted by the bright light outside, and it blinded him. He hadn't realized his eyes had readjusted back to the dim light within the M.E.I.D.P.H.A.T, and in his excitement it took him by surprise. Covering his eyes, waiting a moment to adjust, he took in a large breath of the fresh air outside. He could hear hundreds of birds chirping, and distant animals cooing to the forest.

It made him feel determined, and he sighed contently. "Alright, one more step to the end. After that, the road to the proper story begins."

"Celestia, Luna, its time to finish this."

( ( ( TO BE CONTINUED ) ) )

Comments ( 2 )

Oh gosh! What happens next? There were hints that Celestia, Luna, and even Discord knows the Doctor in this story

This is amazing work, and I love how you portray the scenes
please continue the series:fluttershysad:

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