• Published 26th May 2016
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Sometimes They Call Me Super - KorenCZ11

My name is Jaquline Apple, but most ponies call me Applejack. However, that isn't my only name. Every now and again, ponies know me as Marevelous Red. Sometimes they call me Super, other times they call me a Hero.

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Origin Story VII: Marevelous Red


“Well, I suppose we should decide who goes first. Any volunteers?” asked the violet… pega-corn. Ah looked around and met the eyes of the other three mares in the room. As far as Ah could tell, nopony wanted ta speak up. Twilight scoffed and rolled her eyes.

“Really now? Nopony? Pinkie?” Twilight asked, irritation crawlin' back inta her voice.

“I would, but the details are still fuzzy. If you could like, I don't know, let somepony else go first, then it would probably come back to me,” the pink earthy pony said, flickin' at one of her ears with her hoof. Must have been some kinda nervous habit because she was doin' it so fast, Ah could barely see her ear at all.

“Okay then... how about Rarity?” Twilight asked, turnin' ta the mare closest ta me.

Rarity looked at me, then ta Twilight, then back ta me, and finally ta the floor. She bit deep in her lip. “Umm… I… I need some time to gather my thoughts on the subject. I um, can't quite remember exactly what happened at the moment. Putting me on the spot like that is making my head go blank, er, it would seem.” She kept checkin' ta see if Ah was still watchin' her. Guess she didn't really want ta tell me whatever it was that set her here.

“We can't just not have the stories told. Applejack, I would tell you mine, but like I said, I'm really more or less a government secret myself, so I can't say anything until you sign. Um… oh! Joining Harmony is kinda like accepting a job, so you'll be compensated for your time. But uh… that also means you'll technically be employed by the government too, so um… there are certain 'restrictions' that we have to follow, so…” Ah shook my head as Twilight began ta trail off. Clearly, none of these ponies other than Twilight were gonna say anythin' unless somepony came and kicked ‘em in the rear ta do so, and Ah wasn't about ta force a victim of a tragedy ta tell her story if she didn't want ta.

“Look, it don't seem like any one of y'all really wanna say anythin' at all. So be honest and nod yer heads. 'Yes, Applejack, Ah don't wanna tell ya my story.' Go on.” Slowly but surely, Ah had all four nods, includin’ the first intentional eye contact from Fluttershy today.

“And that brings us ta an impasse. Since y'all were kind enough ta tell the truth, Ah'll go first. Ah haven't told anypony this story, ever. But, Ah get the feelin’, y'all have worse stories ta tell than Ah do, am Ah right?” Eventually, they all nodded again, every one of them droppin' their heads a little lower than before.

“Ah figured as much. So here's the deal. Ah tell y'all my story, then y'all follow up with yours. If Ah'm satisfied with that, Ah'll sign yer contract or whatever bindin' legal agreement filled with all that complicated bullshit, and then you tell me just what exactly you are. Deal?” This time, the nods came a little quicker, and Pinkie even said 'yes ma'am' like she was talkin' ta her mother. Figures.

“Alright then. Listen close, 'cause Ah'm only gonna say this once. Ah guess Ah'll have ta start from the beginnin' Ah'm twenty now, but my parents met almost thirty years ago…

“My mother's name was Rosie Apple, the only child of Granny Smith Apple, who was the current head of the Apple family over all, the owner of the original orchard. My father was… supposedly, a Manehattan born stallion who met Ma on his last legs after he had escaped Manehattan fer some reason or other. He never told anypony why he left, and if my uncle knows, he won't say either. We looked inta it once, and as it turns out, 'Citrus Root' may not have even been his real name.

“From Ma's stories, at least what Ah could remember, they were a 'love at first sight' couple like some kinda fairy tale. They were quick ta hook up but cautious enough ta wait since my older brother was born about three years later. There were complications with him, but it seemed like everythin' was fine. Five years pass, then Ah'm next in line. Since Ah was considerably smaller than he was, takin' after Pa, Ah was born with minimal complications. That didn't mean there wasn't a toll taken on Ma though. Time went by, and it looked like she had recovered herself in about three years.

“Ah suppose she and Pa felt like she was up ta it again because it wasn't long after she regained herself that they announced she was pregnant fer the third time. Ah don't know about y'all, but it's a pretty surreal feelin' ta think that yer gonna have a little sister. Everypony was excited, the whole family came ta visit and bring gifts fer the new baby. It was probably one of the happiest times in my life really. But those complications from the first birth reared their ugly heads again.

“About mid way through, Ma got sick, and she never got better. Time went by, and it was beginnin' ta look like the baby wouldn't make it either. Her coat was losin' color, she couldn't eat very much, and nopony knew what was wrong with her. We later came ta the conclusion that it probably had somethin' ta do with the virus, but nopony but Ma knew about Pa until after he was gone. Applebloom made it out alive, but Ma didn't survive labor. From what Ah was told, she actually passed before Applebloom was born, and that's why my sister survived in the first place.

“This is where things begin ta get complicated. Ah was three at the time, so Ah didn't really know what was goin' on, but Granny Smith fell inta a deep depression after Ma died. She was already old, and it didn't look like she was gonna last another five years in the first place, but this sped up her deterioration. Another year passes and… Granny kicks the bucket.

“Since Ah still don't know all the details about this, Pa was essentially kicked off the farm by our relatives after a fight over the land. The will was specifically was left fer Ma, and she wasn't around no more. A legal battle over who was ‘next of kin’ ensues, and Pa doesn’t win. With nowhere else ta go, we moved in with my uncle and his wife. We stayed with them fer about two weeks before Pa came inta a whole bunch of money and bought his own place.

“Ah didn't know this at the time, and Ah'm still unsure about it myself, but Ah'm pretty sure he was Red Hoof.” Ah wasn't too concerned about what everypony else was doin' ta see their reaction as Ah was tryin' ta remember everythin', but because Twilight interjected Ah noticed that the jaws of everypony in the room, save fer me, were about on the floor.

“Woah, woah, woah. Okay, one moment please,” she said, regaining her composure. “You think he was Red Hoof? Shouldn't you know if he was or wasn't? That's kind of important, isn't it?” She'd tilted her head so far over that it was almost sideways.

Ah adjusted my hat. “Well, Ah was young while he was still around. Ah'm still not sure, even if it makes sense. It was all just… so much like a bad dream…”

Ah guess Twilight realized she was tilted so far out at some point because she was sittin' straight up before she spoke again. “What do you mean by ‘like a bad dream?’”

“Just let me finish, and Ah'll tell ya. Ah think Ah can get a hold of some pony who actually knows the truth, but Ah haven't found her yet. Fer now, I'll tell ya my story. Once Ah know everythin', Ah'll tell y'all about Pa.

“Anyway, goin' forward with the assumption that Pa was Red Hoof, he ended up turnin' in the first bounty collected in this city fer the mob boss, Shark Tooth, which is what netted him so much money. However, that wasn't enough ta support us and buy the house we lived in outright. We moved in, and every day Pa would come home in the mornin', sleep, put us ta bed, then leave at night ta do whatever it was he did. He would always say he was a 'street janitor' who worked nights, but after he stopped workin', it was clear ta Macintosh that he didn't have a job at all. Of course, my brother still doesn't know what he did or what he really was, Ah think Ah'm the only one of us that does, but Ah'll explain that later.

“Things were pretty good in the first year. Pa had a lot of money, Ah started my first year of school, and we didn't have problems, save for the occasional morning when Pa would come home all bruised. It was probably the only time Ah'd ever seen Pa so… sociable. He had other ponies over constantly, even if it was only one or two different ponies that ever visited. Ah guess… Pa had friends.” Ah let out a half chuckle. “Heh, it's kinda funny… how that happened. Ah've never done anythin' that makes me feel this alone all the time, but somehow, Pa made friends doin' it." Ah shook my head. So alone, fer so damn long.

“It was durin' this year that Ah figured out that Ah had my own powers. My brother and Ah were playin' with a hoofball outside one day, and he threw it a little wide. Naturally, Ah went ta get it, not really think about hard or fast, just whatever it took ta catch it. The ball was about ta hit a telephone pole so, Ah jumped fer it. Ah caught the ball, and hit the telephone pole, but… well, Ah broke it. Not the ball, but the telephone pole. Knocked the damn thing over. Ah was more afraid of Pa’s wrath than concerned about the thick wooden pole Ah broke so Ah didn’t think about it until much later. The child's brain doesn't concern itself with logic, Ah don't think. Ah didn't try anythin' again until after an incident happened.

“One day, Pa didn't come home. This was about in the middle of the second year, and he didn't come home fer a few days. He had Mr. Scales, one of his friends, come watch us but he was gone fer about a week. When he did finally come home, he was real mopey. It wasn't until later did we find out that there was an accident involvin’ Red Hoof that destroyed the roofs of several buildin's, a whole warehouse, and finally, the death of my aunt.

“My uncle completely lost it and had to be taken in by an asylum, and Pa was… never the same. He started ta garden a lot, and he didn't take any visitors. Well, it was just… sad ta see him like that. We… never did figure out how ta cheer him up. Of course, we were hurt pretty good by Aunt Dew's death too. Ah think this is when Ah started to close myself in, but Ah'm not about to analyze myself. The whole house was quiet in those two years.

“Then… then it happened. Do y'all remember the battle from twelve years ago?” Ah looked from pony to pony until Ah saw that nopony made a face.

“Well, I was living… elsewhere, at the time, so I wouldn't know anything. I'm actually a little younger than you if you're already twenty,” Twilight said.

“Uh… yeah, me too. I was still living… not here, back then, and since I'm younger than Twilight, that'd be a no,” Pinkie explained. She had a roundabout way of avoidin' eye contact with anypony. Whatever she had ta say wasn't anythin’ she wanted ta. Somethin' about her bothers me, but Ah just can't figure out what.

“Hmm… I'm afraid not. I didn't move away from Ponyville until about um… eight years ago myself. Sorry darling, I don't know,” Rarity said. She skipped a beat when she was talkin' about how many years ago she moved. Ah wonder if that has somethin' ta do with her story…

“Oh… you mean… T-the Mirror incident… r-right?” Fluttershy stuttered.

Ah nodded, but honestly didn't expect her ta say anythin'. “Well, fer the rest of y'all, there was a villain who showed up callin' himself, 'The Mirror'. This bastard killed more heroes in one week than the number of heroes killed over the previous four years. Ah'm sure y'all know that after Red Hoof showed up, heroes started poppin' up all over the place with Manehattan bein' like, the holy land fer heroes.

“There weren't many that were killed in the first year after they started showin' up, and in the second year, there was a good string of deaths leadin' up ta the disappearance of Red Hoof before the Warehouse incident, but then it was about normal. In all that time, and through the next year, only about thirty heroes were killed.

“After the Mirror showed up though, there were about ninety. The city was in a frenzy, heroes were droppin' like flies in the summer, and nopony knew what this guy's power was, or his reason fer killin' as many as he did. Eventually, his presence pulled Red Hoof out of hidin'. Ah took a breath as ah felt my eyes drift upward. The scene in my head was as clear as it always was, just like the relentless dreams. The crashin’ buildin’s, the breakin’ glass, the flyin’ rubble, the sky of dust. Hell on Earth.

“Ah'll never forget that day. October third, twenty eighteen. Ah can still remember the cereal Ah had fer breakfast that mornin'. Ah woke up, and Pa was nowhere ta be found. It was Saturday, and since Ah was the only one of us that didn't sleep in, Ah was awake pretty early that mornin' fer no particular reason. Must've been… fate or somethin' cosmic like that.

“Instead of bootin' up the TV like Ah normally would, Ah decided Ah wanted ta go around the neighborhood and see if Pa was around. Uncle Blood was gonna be released from the Asylum tomorrow since he'd made it back to his senses after all that time, and Dad was real excited ta see him well. It was the first time Ah’d seen him smile in so long, so Ah figured he might have gone ta the old apartment ta clean it up. Ah thought… maybe he’d need help.

“The sky was… cloudy that day. It looked like it might rain soon, so Ah took a chance and headed toward the old apartment in the central district pretty quick. Ah think Ah heard a clock bell ring ten times when… the first buildin' went down. The explosion could be heard from anywhere in the city, pieces of rubble were sent flyin' from one skyscraper ta the next, breakin' dust inta the air.

“At first, Ah didn't think it was real, like maybe Ah was still asleep, dreamin' about this. Ah kept headin' inta the city, and another buildin' started ta come crashin' down on itself, like the base supports had failed or been ripped out. The rain started ta come down, not very hard at first, and then it stopped. What Ah thought was rain… was actually rubble. Little pieces of concrete and asphalt, hittin' me like rain drops… Sirens were going off by now, ponies all over started runnin' out inta the streets, headin' the opposite way Ah was. Fer whatever reason, Ah felt like Ah needed ta see what was causin' all this, so Ah kept goin'.

“Then, Ah saw them. Right about when Ah got ta the old apartment, they crashed ta the ground. Red hoof had his foreleg across The Mirror's neck, the crater they were in kept gettin' deeper, until finally, the Mirror punched him solid in the ribs and sent him inta the buildin' across the street. Another apartment complex crashed ta the ground and The Mirror shot inta the air.

“He bounded off the apartments that Uncle Blood lived in and darted after Red Hoof. Ah remember hearin' him yellin somethin' about his dead family, and other thin's along the lines of, 'It's all your fault!' They kept fightin', punch after block after kick after punch. One of 'em got a good hit in at the same time the other did, and that knocked Red Hoof a few feet in front of me. Ah never saw his face, and there weren't any tears in his costume, but Ah heard him speak.” Ah swallowed.

“In my father's voice, in his accent, the same voice that Ah had never heard scared before, he shouted, 'Applejack run!' Ah was so shocked, Ah couldn't think straight. He said it again, and Ah still couldn't move. Finally, he called me by my real name. Ah didn't question anythin', and my body responded before my brain processed what had happened. Ah ran, as fast and hard as Ah could, away from the fight. Red Hoof knocked the Mirror away and the two left the scene. When Ah saw them go, Ah felt like Ah would never see them again if Ah left, so Ah tried ta follow. A police officer caught me and dragged me away kickin' and screamin'.

“Ah... Ah never did see Pa again, after that day. He… had ta be Red Hoof, but, Ah always feel like somethin' so surreal could never have been the truth. It had ta be a dream right? My Papa was the strongest pony around, but he couldn't have been the Red Hoof. He couldn't have died that day at the hooves of a hero killer, there was just no way, right? At least… that's what Ah thought. Hoped that maybe… somewhere out there, he was still…”

Ah shook my head and restarted. “The four of us became depressed after that. But, Ah suppose that anypony who'd just lost their last parent would, right? Since Uncle Blood was the only relative Pa had left, we were given ta his custody, and we lived in that apartment again. One of the few buildin's in central Manehattan that wasn't destroyed in their fight, in his last fight. Macintosh hardly ever spoke ta anypony fer years afterward, Applebloom became self dependent and closed off like Ah was before, and me, well… Ah couldn't get over the depression, and Ah couldn't cope with it either.” Ah took a deep shaky breath. “Heh… Ah cried so much… Ah though it wasn't worth livin' anymore.

“About a month went by, and Ah couldn't handle it any more. Ah was goin' crazy, and Ah just wanted everythin' ta end. My first attempt was at the top of our apartment buildin', since it was at least eight stories, Ah figured that Ah wouldn't survive a dive off the top. But ya know somethin'? My body is pretty damn tough. There's a reason that rubble never hurt me, even as big as it was, and that Ah didn't really feel anythin' when Ah broke that telephone pole. Ah jumped off that roof and landed on my back in the alley behind it. But, Ah didn't have a scratch on me. It was like my body didn't care. The rules didn't apply here. The ground sure cared though. There was a me shaped hole in the concrete. Ah was a little sore, but there was practically nothin' wrong.

“Ah sat there and cried again. Even when Ah tried to make it stop, there was nothin' Ah could do. Ah broke a kitchen knife on my neck, my body doesn't conduct electricity at all as the toaster proved, and even when Ah managed ta sneak inta higher buildin's, Ah was never more than a little bruised. Eventually, Ah just gave up. Ah couldn't die, and Ah couldn't live. Ah didn't know what ta do anymore, so Ah kept tryin' ta off myself until my uncle caught me once.

“He managed ta talk me down, and even arranged it with the Apples ta have me live on the old farm again fer a little while, just ta… try and get away from it all. Ah didn't have any opinion at the time, so Ah went through with it. Honestly, Ah think all that Ah had left as a pony was the ability to take in information. These days, Ah can't remember what Ah was like back then. Really, Ah don't remember much about my childhood at all anymore. All those memories hurt, so now… Ah just don't remember.

“When Ah finally got ta the farm, it was like enterin' a different world. No skyscrapers as far as the eye could see, hardly an ounce of concrete anywhere, just some random small village and a big ol' farm with apple trees that passed the horizon. That smell of fresh apples and soil reminded me of somethin' Ah'd forgotten over those five years of bein' away from her, and Ah cried fer the last time that day. After that, Ah didn't get sad anymore.

“They put me ta work on the farm, harvestin' apples, makin’ cider and pies ta sell. In some… twisted turn of fate, Ah started ta get better. The world was colorful again, Ah actually wanted ta wake up the next mornin', Ah felt like Ah had some place ta belong. And then, Ah got my cutie mark. This… damned thing. It was proof that Ah was meant ta be there. A symbol that told me and everypony else that Ah was an Apple. And Ah hated it.

“Can you imagine, what Ah was like when Ah finally saw this? This, stupid little happy life Ah'd found, one Ah coulda had all my life but never got ta because of some fuckin' argument over who got ta own a goddess damned piece of dirt! Ah was furious! This is where Ah was supposed ta be the whole time! This is where my brother and sister were supposed ta grow up! We were supposed ta be Apple farmers, and they kicked us all out on account of my father bein' from somewhere else!

“The pain and sadness Ah'd forgotten started ta come back little by little as Ah got more and more angry with myself and everypony else. Eventually, Ah made the decision to give it all up. Feelin' that negative toward my relatives, wishin' Ah could see my siblin's again. Hell, Ah even missed the city after a few months of it.

“So, Ah asked ta be taken home. Ah couldn't stand them anymore, and Ah figured that destiny was stupid anyways. It was funny, ya know? When Ah did finally get back, Macintosh had gotten his cutie mark too, and he'd come ta just about the same conclusion that Ah did. Together, we made a vow ta say, 'screw destiny and all it's friends!' We had each other, and we didn't need nopony else.

“Years passed, and the four of us lived off our uncle's income and the money we got from sellin' the old house. None of us could bear ta live there anymore, it was just too much. We lived that way until that wasn't enough. Macintosh was just about old enough ta start workin' when we finally did get desperate fer money, so he got a job ta help support us. His grades fell, and he couldn't keep up with school and work at the same time, so after about a year of it, my uncle made him quit, sayin' that Pa woulda wanted him ta get an education like he never did.

“Ah was fifteen, when life changed again. A late night after Uncle had gotten a raise lead me ta pick him up from a nearby bar. His raise was enough fer the four of us ta live on, and even made it so we could finish high school without havin' ta find a job. Ah suppose the tolerance genes must of missed Uncle Blood, because he can't take more than a few shots before he's off his ass drunk. We lived a little closer ta the border of the southern district at the time, and of course, a drunk stallion and his little niece were an easy target.

“They came in a group, four of ‘em, Ah think. What they looked like, Ah honestly wouldn't know ta this day. Uncle Blood had passed out, and Ah was carryin' him home. They knocked him against a wall, and then tried ta take everythin' we had. Ah don't often get as angry as Ah did that night any more. Now that Ah'm older… Ah'm afraid of what might happen if Ah did. Ah lashed out at them, and that is when my powers really made themselves known. Ah broke all the bones in one of the mare's bodies, one stallion was in critical condition, and the other two... didn't make it.

“Uncle Blood must've woken up durin' the fight, because after Ah realized what Ah'd done, he was the only one who could've kept me from fallin' back inta that… state again. He told me that night, that Ah had a gift. And my gift, was just like a knife. It could be used ta hurt somepony. But, there are plenty of ways ta use a knife. A knife could be used ta protect. And even though Ah used my knife ta hurt that day, it was only because Ah wanted ta protect that Ah did it. Somedays, Ah still beat myself up fer it. Ah can't ever forget what Ah did.

“So, the next day, Ah decided ta try and make up fer it. Ah can't help but have my weapon on all the time, and because that's the case, why not try ta protect with it? Ah would go around after school lookin' fer ponies ta help, criminals ta stop. Nopony was ever stronger than Ah was, and eventually, Ah learned the tricks of the trade. Ah met a stallion that said he made Red Hoof's costume and wanted ta help me out. He taught me everythin' Ah know. What ta do, where ta go, even how ta make money tryin' ta protect ponies.

“The only thin' he ever asked of me was ta help him find his sister one day. Supposedly, she disappeared shortly after the Mirror incident, takin' a whole bunch of his memories with her. If anypony could ever tell me the truth about Pa, it would be her, but nopony's seen her fer twelve years now. So, Ah've been lookin' fer her and supportin' my family ever since. That… is how Ah became Marevelous Red.”

Ah looked around the room ta gauge their reactions again. Pinkie just about looked like she was in pain. Rarity was in tears again, but that wasn't much of a surprise. Now she knows that Ah'm a killer too. Ah can't blame her, Ah guess. Ah wouldn't want ta be friends with a murderer either. Fluttershy was starin' at the ground, and Twilight was lookin' around fer somethin' ta say. Ah expected as much. Ah don't have the happiest life around, and Ah've never been popular at parties either. Heh, Ah guess that much will never change. Suddenly, as if they had shared the thought in unison, they all rushed over and hugged me.

“I'm so sorry… I never should have asked you to share all that,” Twilight said, buryin' her head inta my shoulder and puttin' her wings around everypony.

“I can't believe… nopony should ever have to go through all that…” Pinkie said, somehow from on top of the chair. Ah didn't see her move, but Ah figured she was the first ta arrive.

“I… I-I'm sorry…” Fluttershy whispered. As awful as my life really is, Ah can only wonder what she's been through. Ya don't get that jumpy and shaky fer no reason, and Ah know that Ah couldn't catch about fifty knives all at once with a face like hers was. So… determined.

“You… you…” She sniffed, “you're not the only one! I… we all have… you're not a bad pony, you were just… just trying to protect…!” Rarity sputtered through bursts of tears again. That caught my attention, more so than anythin' else.

Ah pushed them all off, then focused my attention to Rarity. “Now hold on a minute. What do ya mean, ‘we all have?’” They each looked from one ta another with nervous eyes, and eventually silently agreed on somethin'.

“None of us… are free from sin,” Twilight said, slowly making her way back to her chair.

“At some point or other, there have been times when… life or death situations have arisen,” Rarity said, takin’ her seat.

“Or… it was our fault that a friend was killed…” Fluttershy said, turnin' away as she did.

“Or even that something we could have prevented… didn't end up that way…” Pinkie said through her hooves on her mouth.

Ah swallowed. “Ya mean that… all of ya fer what ever reason…” Twilight sniffed, put her wings back on her back, and looked me in the eyes. Ah noticed somethin' fer the first time when Ah looked back. In those sad, even a little lifeless eyes, were flecks of gold all around that sparkled with the light. Haven't Ah... seen that somewhere else before?

“It may be hard to believe, but even though we all wanted to be heroes, we all have seen death. We all have blood on our hooves. It's… funny, really. I've always thought of you and Red Hoof as the model hero, the 'pure and righteous,' the just ones who deserve to judge. But, really, nopony chooses this life because that's what they were born to do. In fact, all of us here? We're all the same.” As Ah looked around again, this time Ah met everypony's eyes. All of them, sad lifeless, and cold.

The room was quiet fer a while, until Rarity cleared her throat. “I suppose now that that's in the air, you deserve to know everything about us. I'm… actually a little relieved really, that you're just like us. Now I can speak to you without the thought that you might really be the idol that we all believed you were, and that my own past… would keep us from being friends.” She smiled weakly.

Ah just shook my head. “No pony is perfect.” Ah didn't have anythin' else ta say, and it seemed that was all Ah needed. She sniffed again and wiped away the runnin' mascara on her face.

“Very well then. My story starts about nine years ago, when I first used my powers...”

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