• Published 13th Nov 2017
  • 881 Views, 22 Comments

I Can Read Names in Clouds - Yuu



In the aftermath of the confusion with replacing the newest princess, a human arrives to learn about pony society.

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It's a Sin

For some reason she still had the cerise shag and the tail of the same colour, even as she became a doppelgänger. I dived, pulled up just before hitting the ground, and changed into my hybrid form. She turned to me and jumped backwards.

“Who did that to you?” I pointed at mare’s partially bandaged leg.

“Well...” She mumbled something quietly.

“I don't want to hurt you, and as you can see, I'm not even a pony,” I said, showing off my claws and beak as I hovered before her. “I even met your queen recently, so I know some of your people live with ponies.”

“If you’ve met the queen, you should know her name,” she said after a pause.

“Yes, as close as I can get it, her name is Golden Beryl,” I said. “Unfortunately I rely on translation magic to speak your language, so I can't repeat exact names.”

She gazed at me and nodded. I decided to ask some questions I had already guessed the answers to, to make her say something. I landed before her and made my wings disappear.

“Did you do it to yourself?”

“No,” she said.

“By the way,” I began, having forgotten to introduce myself. Well, better late than never… “My name is Snowy Clothes, what’s yours?”

“Well, my name is...”

Some flower, it sounded like. I didn't know many flowers, but she had a flower mark on her flank, so... Was it Daisy? Possibly wrong colour. Maybe Lily? No, those had the wrong kind of petals.

“I don't know many flowers, so could I call you Agrimony?”

“You know, it isn't exactly my name, but it’s still close,” she said after a minute.

“I also remembered the sound of your real name, so if someone mentions you I would most likely recognize it,” I said. She was noticeably calmer now, but still looking on-edge. “Back to the main topic, who did that to you?”

“Why should I tell you?”

“You intrigued me,” I said. “I haven't seen other ponies with health problems, even if you aren’t really a pony. This seems wrong to me, so I want to know the truth.”

“You can't force me to say anything,” she said.

“Actually, I can.” I took off my backpack without removing my eyes from her. Then I took my spear out and extended it. “I'm not going to harm you, but I can bring you to your queen or to the queen of ponies. They should be interested in your injuries, I think.”

Agrimony opened her mouth and silently gazed at the spear.

“I also know that doppelgängers aren't very good flyers,” I said, smiling, “and I can fly very fast.”

“Fine, you win,” she said. “A doctor did this to me.”

“Isn't a doctor expected to heal injuries?”

“Well, yes,” Agrimony said. “I let him take samples of my skin. It's no big deal, really.”

“And why do you let him do this?”

“He helps other ponies.”

“But, in doing so, he harms you,” I added. “No, I want to know why you really do this. It didn't start with your wish to help ponies, I don’t think.”

She paused for a long time before she spoke again. “He found out I wasn’t a pony, and promised to tell my friends about me if I didn’t help him. First he examined my anatomy, then he found some properties of my skin and decided to make me a donor.”

“Why didn't you run?”

“I can’t just leave everypony behind,” she said. “Of course, the other doppelgängers would accept me back, but still... And at least I'm helping other ponies with my donations.”

“I hate to repeat myself, but he’s hurting you.”

“Actually, my tissues regenerate pretty quickly—”

“Are you completely sure you can donate your tissues this often? And are you sure this doctor doesn't harm you in other ways?”

“Well, I...” she started, but trailed off. Her ears rotated nervously, and her expression changed several times.

“I know a doctor in town who isn’t biased towards non-pony species,” I said, after a pause. “He or your queen should examine you, make sure you’re healthy. I also want you to meet some ponies I know here.”

“Why?”

“They thought I was a doppelgänger, but trusted me anyway,” I said. “Two of them also met your queen with me, so together I think we can help you.”

“I don't feel comfortable showing ponies who I am,” she said. “What if my friends find out?”

“If they really are your friends, they won’t abandon you if they find out,” I said, thinking about my companions during our trip to the queen. “And at least one of my friends wants to become acquainted with more doppelgängers.”

“If I don't go willingly, will you take me by force?”

“I prefer not to, but I will if I need to.” I folded my spear and put it in my backpack. “And don't think I can't do anything without a spear.”

“Fine, let's go.”

“I can carry you, if you have trouble using your leg,” I said. “Let’s show it to ponies before you can heal it.”

“I see. I can walk, just not very fast,” Agrimony said. “I don't think my muscles or bones are injured.”

“Well, if you have any difficulties walking, please tell me immediately. I want to restore your health, not make it worse.”

She nodded and changed back to her pony form. I helped her apply a new bandage, then we went back to the town.

When we were halfway to the library I noticed Curiosity, she was headed in the same direction as us. She stopped and waved when she noticed me.

“Made a new friend already, darling?” Then she turned to Agrimony. “Oh, I don't think we've met. Curiosity, pleased to meet you.”

“Likewise. I'm Agrimony.” She stopped.

“We found something interesting,” I said, nodding to Agrimony. “I think we should tell you and other girls about it.”

“Good to hear let's head over,” Curiosity said, taking the lead. She knocked excitedly on the door when we arrived.

A voice soon called us in, and Curiosity opened the door, holding it for Agrimony and me. Inside the library I saw Gracia, who stood on three legs, lifting one foreleg horizontally. Under the foreleg sat Rainbow, her mouth wide open, catching drops of blood from an incision on Gracia's foreleg. Near them Gloaming sat close to the table and wrote something in a journal.

Curiosity inhaled loudly and dropped on the floor, when she saw what was happening. Agrimony only widened her eyes

“Rainbow asked me if my abilities could be transferred with blood,” Gracia said. “I think it is highly improbable, but I haven't tried it on ponies before. So we arranged a small test. By the way, Rainbow, that should be enough.”

Gracia lowered her leg and the incision disappeared in a second. Her gaze settled on Agrimony. Gloaming casually levitated Curiosity onto a pillow nearby, while still writing.

“Do you want me to heal you, or you want to do something else first?” Gracia asked.

“Well, yes,” Agrimony said. “I mean, we need to do something else.”

She and other ponies introduced themselves, but Agrimony fell silent after that.

“Thank you for your offer, Gracia. I would like to show everyone her injury first,” I said. “Agrimony, please remove the bandage.”

She nodded and, with Gloaming’s help, did as I asked.

“We came to you because I suspect one of the doctors in town abuses Agrimony,” I continued. “This isn't the first time I’ve seen her with a similar injury.”

“Why would a doctor do that?” Gloaming asked.

Agrimony began saying something, but I interrupted her.

“I suspect due to his prejudices.” I looked at Curiosity, who begun to wake up. “He knows something about Agrimony, and he’s been blackmailing her.”

“Who in the world would blackmail this nice mare?” Curiosity asked.

“I don't know his name, Agrimony can tell you later.” I said. “I only hope he isn't Steel Hooves. She thinks she may actually be helping other patients by agreeing with his demands. But I don't feel comfortable with her being used like some kind of herb.”

“What do you mean?” Gloaming asked. “I don't understand.”

“I'm terribly sorry, for deceiving the whole town,” Agrimony said. “I'm not a pony.”

She lowered her head and transformed into her original form. Curiosity groaned, Rainbow remained silent, Gloaming widened her eyes, and Gracia smiled.

“And her doctor decided to gather her tissues regularly and make some medicine from it,” I added.

After that, Curiosity covered her mouth with her left foreleg, looking as if she was going to vomit. Rainbow looked only slightly better. Gloaming suddenly sat on the floor and folded her ears backward. Gracia squinted her eyes and made a neutral face. Considering I always saw her cheerfully smiling and hugging ponies, I could only hope she wasn't going to kill the doctor.

“I don't detect any permanent damage in your body, at least ,” Gracia said, after the moment passed. “So that’s… good. And I can testify later about the state of your body, if need be. Anyway, I’ve already increased the regeneration speed of your damaged tissues, so I believe you can redistribute it yourself now.”

Agrimony nodded to Gracia, who was smiling again, and looked at her foreleg. The injury was covered in a familiar green glow, and closed itself in a few seconds.

“You see, I can close these wounds myself, but I can't do that in my pony-form,” Agrimony said.

“It doesn't matter if you aren’t a pony,” Curiosity said. “I see now that you have good intentions, while the doctor's behaviour is reprehensible.”

“Yes,” Gloaming said, “he should have at least asked your permission, not forced that on you through blackmail. But the good thing is that you don't need to donate your tissues anymore.”

Gracia nodded. “From what I know about her anatomy, as it relates to pony medicine, her tissues wouldn’t have made a revolution anyway.”

“Wait a minute, how do you know about my anatomy?” Agrimony asked. “I know we’ve hidden very well, until recent events...”

“Well, I'm good at healing magic, so I have a special understanding of living things,” Gracia said, smiling. “I'm also not a pony, so I use another kind of magic, which works without any light effects.”

“Do not worry,” Curiosity said. “Gracia is a good alien.”

Someone knocked on the door, and after a second Medley came in.

“Girls, have I missed anything?” she said. She wasn’t smiling, but she didn’t look sad, at least.

“Not much,” I said, “I just found a doppelgänger, who was being abused by her doctor, but we solved what we could and we plan to do more.”

I nodded to Agrimony, who quickly returned to her pony form.

“So nothing much, actually,” I added.

“Sweet, now I can have a doppelgänger friend right here in town.” Medley smiled and hugged Agrimony.

“Thank you all for what you have done,” Agrimony said. “I hope you can do something to the doctor.”

“If we can’t, the queen surely can,” Gloaming said.

“And if you need anything, you can come to any of us,” Curiosity said. “Please, don’t forget that.”

Other ponies nodded. Finally after more thanks and hugs Agrimony took leave, because she wanted to meet her friends and possibly tell them her secret.

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