• Published 22nd Dec 2016
  • 2,932 Views, 72 Comments

Altered - Graglithan The Greater

Following the discovery of a strange sphere, Twilight is forced into a unique situation. Christopher isn't happy about it either.

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Chapter 3

The six mares continued to walk in silence, the group as a whole not sure what to say. Each of them either shared worried glances amongst each other every now again or in Twilight’s case, kept leading them down the halls. Soon, the sight of two large doors with red crystalline crosses embedded on them loomed before them.

Before they could enter, Twilight turned and looked at every one of her friends. “Before I show you this, I need to say a few things. One, she is not a changeling, Two, this is going to be weird to see, and three, there are currently doctors looking her over so please refrain from interfering.” With some hesitation, Twilight opened the door and headed in. As her friends followed, one by one, they noticed the purple unicorn that rested in one of the beds. The two doctors from the hospital both were moving about the room, going from machine to machine, making notes.

“Woah...” Rainbow hovered a bit closer and looked her over, before landing next to Twilight. “Uh... Did you have a twin sister and not tell us Twilight? I mean, there was your brother with the marriage, and...”

One of the doctors, a brown unicorn stallion with a caramel mane, looked up when the door opened and gave the princess a warm smile. “Good evening Twilight. My name is Dr. Oath. We came over as soon as word arrived that you needed assistance.”

The other doctor, an earth pony mare with a light blue coat and two-tones red and pink mane, rolled her eyes and kept looking over the mare. “Sure, go right ahead and only introduce yourself. As always.” The blue mare looked up from her clipboard and glared at the bluer pegasus. “If you would please stop flying and leaving feathers all over the place, that would be dandy. Or better yet, just start tap dancing on her. I’m sure it’ll work the kinks out and make my job so much easier.”

The blue flyer looked ready to take off the doctor’s head. “Hey! Don’t be such a jerk you-”

With a shake of her head, Twilight sat down and used her magic to pull Rainbow back over to the group.”Ignore her Rainbow. Dr. Home might be rather crass, but she knows what she’s doing. Back to what I was saying, do you remember when I told you about the adventures I had through the mirror, and how everypony there was a human?”

Pinkie nodded. “Yepperoni! You said that everypony had a human there that matched them in every way possible.”

Fluttershy glanced at the unicorn in the bed. “Did human Twilight come here and something happened to her?”

Twilight shook her head. “Not my human counterpart, no. But... the thing we found brought not only a copy of itself here, but a human-like creature along with it.”

Applejack raised an eyebrow. “Uh... human-like?”

The princess nodded. “I wish I could go into more detail, but I didn’t quite get a good look at it until...” Twilight glanced at the mare and frowned. “Until after it started. What I did notice though, was its body was larger than the humans across the portal. I think I saw what looked like gills on the side of its neck, but that might have been due to the orbs...”

The rainbow flyer scratched her head and raised an eyebrow. “How could a metal ball give somepony gills? Aren’t those supposed to be on fish?”

Twilight shook her head with a sigh. “Yes, they are Rainbow. How the orbs could have done that is the same way they turned her into a mare. And even then, I might have just imagined it all together.”

“Speaking of which,” Dr. Oath trotted over with a clipboard in his magic, “Just what did happen to this mare? We’ve been running the tests you requested performed, but so far, nothing out of the ordinary has been found. Knowing what happened would help us greatly.”

Twilight flinched as her eyes dilated slightly, but she cleared her throat. “Er... right. I guess I should probably have told you that earlier.”

Dr. Home rolled her eyes as she continued to look over the mare, muttering to herself. “Ya don’t say?”

The princess looked between her friends and the doctors. “Around six thirty, one of the orbs that are currently being held in my lab activated after a week of constant beeping. When it did, it brought the second orb, and the mystery creature mentioned earlier. The orbs both then opened several small holes, and mechanical tendrils emerged. One pierced my neck, and from what Nurse Redheart told me earlier while bandaging me, took muscle tissue from the wound. The second orb, however, had begun to embed itself throughout the creature’s body. Judging from,” Twilight shuddered slightly, “from the screams, it did nothing to ease the pain.”

Fluttershy was shaking as she hid behind Applejack. The farm mare was doing her best not to turn entirely pale along with Rainbow. Rarity couldn’t have gotten her coat any whiter if she had tried, and Pinkie’s mane had gone flat. Dr. Oath, for their part, looked positively mortified. Dr. Home was listening with a stone still gaze, frozen between shock and fascination.

Twilight continued regardless, her own eyes unfocusing as she fell into the memory. “The second orb then joined the first, and the creature was... completely unrecognizable. I... would rather not go into details on what it looked like as the orbs did whatever it was to the creature. The end result however, is what you see there.” The lavender princess motioned to the room’s unconscious occupant.

Dr. Home looked over the slumbering mare for a moment before closing her eyes and sighing. “That would explain some of our findings. However, I want to be able to be as thorough as possible with helping her.” She let the clipboard lay on the end of the mare’s bed and started walking from around the table. “I would like to request that we are allowed to look over the devices that caused this.”

Before the princess could say anything, Dr. Oath’s surprise made him hit volumes close to the Royal Voice. “You want to examine something that caused this much damage? Are you insane? It’s a complete disregard for your safety and I will not al-”

Dr. Home glared at the stallion intensely, making him step back a bit as his jaws snapped shut. “Oath, you and I both know that this is far beyond any medical technology we know of, let alone what is available. Somepony is going to have to study those things further if we’re going to get any headway in figuring out what exactly happened, and I doubt your glory seeking posterior has the cerebral capacity to do it.”

“I hope we are not interrupting anything.” Everyone looked over to the door, where Celestia and Luna stood. Seeing her former teacher, Twilight smiled joyfully, rushing over for a brief nuzzle. “We came as fast as we could Twilight.”

“Thank you, Prin- Celestia.” Twilight backed up a bit and frowned. “But shouldn’t one of you still be at the castle?”

Luna huffed a bit as she shook her head. “A princess of the realm was injured. I would believe that would hold more precedence than most of the nobles’ squabbling.”

Smiling a touch, the solar princess glanced at her sister. “Now Luna, we both know that you shouldn’t speak of the nobles like that. They might get cranky.” Celestia’s gaze was resting on the doctor's bickering for a moment before she raised an eyebrow. “Dr. Home, it seems you still have some work to do on how to interact with others. I take it you do not plan on returning to Canterlot General?”

Not even withering under the scrutiny, Dr. Home looked over at the princess and nodded. “The ponies here somehow manage to hurt themselves in the most idiotic of ways, but at least they’re not bigots that try to tell me how to do my job.”

“I see. As for your request,” The lunar princess shared a glance with her sister before trotting closer to the two doctors, “normally my sister and I would be against this, but we would rather this be kept to as few ponies as possible. Information like this could spark events we all would be better without, should it spread uncontrollably.”

Celestia moved to be next to her sister and nodded in agreement. “You both have permission to study the devices that caused this, but only under the condition that you keep this away from public knowledge, and continue to help our unfortunate guest recover. Should any new developments arise, please let my sister and I know? Furthermore, please inform Princess Twilight as well, as this involves her as well.”

Giving a short bow, Dr. Home smirked a bit. “You have my word, Princess.”

Once more, Christopher found himself floating back to the waking world. Only this time, his mind seemed to be a bit more coherent. One of his immediate thoughts was, oddly, how every inch of him was tingling. His limbs still felt wrong, but there was infinitely less pain this time. It felt more like somebody had wrapped him in velvet.

Breathing through his nose, he could smell what had to be antiseptic. Spend enough time in a hospital, and you know that smell anywhere. Daring to crack an eye open, he was pleasantly surprised to not be face to face with the usual blinding white, but at the same time worried. Sure, he wasn’t having his retinas burned out by floodlight levels of illumination, but that meant he wasn’t in the local hospital this time.

He still couldn’t feel any of his fingers and toes, and he started to rake through his mind for even the smallest hint of what could have happened. Purple was one detail, though he wasn't sure why. There was also something vaguely like a horse along with a metallic swarm of tentacles, but again, he couldn’t think of why they were in his memories. Then he remembered the pain and the small beeping metal ball that blinded him with a flash as it detonated.

Were my injuries so bad I got moved to a different hospital? He tried to move his head and open his eyes more, but his neck felt like it was about to roll off of his shoulders. His heart leaped into his throat as an unsettling panic took its place. Good Lord, just how disfigured am I now!? Are my hands nothing but nubs? Did they have to push my shoulders down my spine to close a gap where my stomach should have been!? Is that even physically possible!?

His eyes eventually managed to adjust to the light, and he faintly spotted something purple below his line of sight. He tried to turn and focus on it, albeit only slightly, but it always hung in the same spot. Eventually feeling he just went cross-eyed and blinked dumbly at what he was seeing. Where his nose was supposed to be, was a large fuzzy mass of purple. I... but... sweet baby Jesus is that my nose!? Just how messed up do I have to be to have a nose this swollen and purple!? More importantly, WHY IS IT FURRY!?

The sound of an alarm going off nearby made something move on the top of his head, the sound amplifying slightly as it did. Next, to him, he could hear what could only have been a heart monitor going ninety miles per hour. He rolled his head to the side, and caught a glimpse of the door just as it was opening.

The moment his eyes met with the sight of a small blue and red pony, holding a clipboard, and wearing a lab coat, there was pretty much only one substantial thought left in his mind. It was so constant, that even as the rest of his views began to fly out of his ears, it solely managed to escape his mouth. A thought that was also alarmingly calm compared to the rate at which his heart was beating. The sound of his voice only added to the feeling of alarm, as it was much more feminine than he remembered. “I have so many questions right now.”

He finally found the strength to move his head more, seeing his body’s reasons for feeling so off. His hands, his feet, and most importantly his familiar human body, all gone. Instead, the shape of the lumps under the covers was showing limbs that did not belong on any human. The hooves that were slipping from the far end of the sheets, and at the ends of his wrists, made his panic rise further and further, moving towards the realm of hysteria. The panicked shouts from the pony were not helping with this in the slightest.

“C-Correction, I am m-made of questions.”