• Published 4th Jan 2018
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The Adventures of Test Subject SP-1K3 - Dedion

Test Subject SP-1K3 and friends begin a journey across Equestria to escape their life of being nothing more than lab rats.

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Chapter 13.5: "Hero"

Twilight Sparkle was many things. She had a list of the titles she had obtained throughout her years. Most of the said titles had to do with academics. However, a few of her latest accomplishments had to do with the advancement of spells and enchantments for the war effort. What the average ponies applaud her for was her work in generalizing spells and charms any unicorn could cast and prepare. It didn't matter what one's skill was in magic. It didn't matter if one could only levitate a pair of scissors or an entire house. If one were to use a spell that Twilight Sparkle made, chances are it would work without a problem.

Now, these enchantments and spells were nowhere near what was needed on a battlefield. They mainly consisted of highly illusionary and defensive spells. Twilight had made them with the mindset that the Equestrian army can't be everywhere at once. She knew that, eventually, the civilians of Equestia would have to learn how to fend for themselves, even it was only for a few hours.

An incident occurred at one point during the war, some dragons and their allies had gotten through the cracks in an Equestria border checkpoint. They quickly worked to cut off the troops' supply line, destroying many settlements and small towns. It took nearly two months to catch them. Almost two months of destruction was left for the ponies to clean up. Many children lost parents, and many parents lost their children. It was this incident that Twilight used to fuel her motivation to craft her spells, and it was her motivation that eventually earned her a position as one of Equestria's research facility's directors.

She was excited at first, and who wouldn't be? A species that has been on their planet for eons and barely anybody knew any facts about them. Not a single being has ever recorded the traditions, magical and physical features, or any relevant information? And she was going to be one of the ponies that got to learn, document, and eventually publish this practical gold mine of information? This opportunity was like a dream come true for the lavender mare; a dream that would soon shatter into a million pieces.

It all started the day a clutch of baby dragons and their mother had been captured. Each of them was given a designated number for "identification purposes" as per regulation. Every researcher was buzzing around as they had never seen a baby dragon before. They had hypothesized hours upon hours as to why that was. Teenage dragons were about as rampant as their adult counterparts and could be seen in most parts of the land they inhabited. It didn't matter at the moment to them, however. There was testing to be done and discoveries to be made.

Nothing too drastic was done at first. A few sketches of the baby dragon were made along with profiles of them added to their database. They were examined quite thoroughly also. This made the mother angry beyond belief when her children told her exactly where they had been touched. She then tried to smash through the wall of her containment cell using her weight. Thankfully, the protection enchantments were in place, and they were able to stop the raging mother long enough for her to be sedated. The incident made everyone realize that any baby dragon were going to have to be treated more carefully. Which, now that Twilight looked back on it, is a bit ironic considering what happened.

She could remember it so clearly. It was a hot summer day the operation started. Many of the researchers, Twilight included, had performed dissections on dragons who were killed and transported from the battlefield. Part of her didn't like the idea of cutting open a sapient being to figure out how they worked. It felt wrong somehow. At the same time, another part of her wanted to know how these beasts could be practically immune to magic or how could their elemental breath be so powerful. That type of information could save lives! Plus, Twilight thought of herself a careful and cautious mare. It's not like anyone was going to get hurt. Maybe that was another contributor that made her accept a proposal of vivisection of one of the mother's children as well as partake in operation. They had already seen an adult's biological workings as well as a teenager's that was similar to the dragons they had captured. They only need a baby dragon to complete the cycle. With a chance to complete the cycle, as well as prove some theories, Twilight soon found herself in an operating room on Level C with a female baby dragon, D-0148, under anesthetics and injected with muscle relaxants.

It was about halfway through the vivisection that Twilight felt that something was wrong. She shrugged it off as her researchers continued to take notes. However, Twilight could have sworn that out the corner of her eye she had seen the baby dragon's eyes opened. She once again shrugged it off, blaming it on sweat getting into her eye. Why had she not double checked? Why didn't anyone else catch on to what had happened? Twilight didn't know. After they stitched the baby dragon back up and started the healing process, they had believed everything was fine. Sadly, it was not.

Over the next few days, D-0148 began showing some worrying signs. Large bags started to form under the young red dragon's eyes. She began to become more sluggish in her movements. She rarely ate and her attempts at escaping being with ponies, which was usually normal among the baby dragons, had drastically grown in intensity. Twilight remembered seeing her during one of the tests she supervised. It was a test to see if they could make a dragon see an illusion rather than placing an illusionary spell on something else. A directly applied illusionary spell would be more effective than an indirect one as it would affect all of the five senses rather than just sight and hearing.

The spell was simple. It would show a short vision of something the target feared. The spell lasted approximately ten seconds, but ten seconds could be more than enough when a life was at stake. D-0148 couldn't stand still, and her eyes kept moving back and forth between the ponies in the room. It seemed as if she was keeping track of their every move. If a pony happened to get too close, she would press her body against the wall in an attempt to get as far away from them as possible without moving too much. It was apparent now that D-0148 was showing signs of high emotional stress, but, in Twilight's mind, a new spell seemed to overrule of what the test subject was feeling.

Twilight, as well as the other researchers, did not expect much. A frightened shout and a bit of cowering, maybe even some confusion when it was all over. What they got instead was a blood-curdling scream followed by the baby dragon trying to claw her way out of the room. "Momma! Momma! Help me!! Don't let them cut me open again!!" she screamed as she continued to claw at the wall. Those words would haunt Twilight for the rest of her days. The door to the room opened, and guards quickly rushed in to restrain her. This sudden surge of ponies proved not to be the best course of action as upon seeing the armored ponies rushing towards her, the baby dragon even furthered her attempts to escape and screamed even louder. Her claws bloodied by her failed attempts at digging through the wall.

As the ponies tried to pull her away from the wall, she kicked and clawed at them. She managed to land two solid hits on two guards. One was kicked in the throat while another caught a claw to the eye. While the former was only taken by surprise and was momentarily shocked, the latter was bleeding where his eye used to be.

Now the shouts of the guard mixed in with screams of the baby dragon in a confusing mess of anguish and terror. Seeing their comrade getting injured caused the rest of the guards to react before they could think. Their spears came down quickly, and the baby dragon let out one more scream before it faded to a bloody gurgle and eventually nothing. Twilight had enough time to remember how long that scene took to play out: approximately two and a half minutes. In the short span of two and a half minutes, Twilight witnessed the death of a baby dragon. Sure, a baby dragon could have been twice her age, but that does not overshadow the fact that she just witnessed the death of a child. She couldn't remember how long she sat there, staring, as the life drained from the baby dragon's terror-filled eyes. She also didn't remember much else of that day besides seeing the bottom of her first bottle of hard liquor.

Twilight had gotten caught up on what had happened when she returned a day later. The researchers lied, saying that they were holding the dragon mother's daughter for additional testing. At most, they had a about a week until the mother grew restless and demanded to know about her child, and things would get pretty out of hand soon enough after that point was reached. Twilight racked her brain for hours looking for an answer, yet she had none. Soon, hours turned into days and days turned into a week until Twilight finally had her answer. With her face devoid of all emotion, she began to walk to D-0148's mother's containment cell.

"Where is my daughter!?" bellowed the enormous red dragon. Twilight stared at the dragon for a moment. The sizeable female dragon, known as D-0143, glared at the lavender unicorn with such hatred that Twilight practically see lightning leak out of the dragoness' eyes.

"D-0143, I regret to inform you that due to negligence on our behalf, your daughter..." Twilight even couldn't remember the poor baby dragon's name, "... D-0148 has passed away while I was on temporary leave. I'm sorry for your loss." The dragoness stared in disbelief at the mare for what seemed like an eternity.

"You're lying," she claimed, "This is one of those experiments isn't it?!"

"Ma'am, I assure you that this is not an experiment of any nature," answered a monotone Twilight, "Your daughter has passed away and has been buried outside. My researchers thought it would be better to wait until I returned as they thought that I would have been the best choice to give this news to you." A moment of silence filled the air as the dragoness continued to stare. Twilight licked her dry lips before continuing, "Now, ma'am, I'm not going to pretend that I fully understand what you must be going through right now. However, if you cooperate with us just a bit more and let us escort you, you can visit your daughter's gra-" Twilight couldn't finish as a fist came crashing into the window she stood behind. The shield enchantments withstood the impact of the punch and prevented Twilight from meeting an untimely death.

"Don't you dare finish that sentence!" the dragoness hissed. Twilight could feel the pain that coated her words. "Don't you dare lie to me, you filthy pony!! My Sabrina is alive! I know it, and you're keeping her from me!!!" The dragoness began to unleash a barrage of punches on the wall, putting all of her energy into her punches. The shield enchantments began to crack under strain. Twilight feared that she would have to activate the dragoness' collar, but as soon as the dragoness landed one last punch, a loud crunch filled the air. The crunch sound was immediately followed by the pained screams of the dragoness as she held her now broken left hand. The dragoness quickly laid on her side, hissing in pain. Her remaining four children rushed to her side. Twilight couldn't hear what they were saying as they were too far away. Or was it because she couldn't remember what they were saying? Twilight didn't know.

More time passed after that incident, and more dragons died under her watch. It was here that Twilight came to a revelation as to another reason as to why they gave their dragons test subjects numbers. Twilight believed there was something more to it that just procedure or organization. Twilight's theory was that, after seeing them all day and night, the numbers lose all meaning. When Twilight thought of a name, that name was usually attached to a person. A person who had feelings, independent thoughts, family, and friends. It made it harder to deal with the aftermath for when they eventually... "kicked the bucket" as they say. When Twilight thought of a number, it makes it a bit easier to become numb to it all. Twilight didn't know if that made her even more of a bad pony or not.

Numb was an excellent word to describe Twilight Sparkle when she worked for Equestria's Research Facilities after the incident. She continued her work however and, consequently, made a name for herself among the public. Many saw her as a "Hero." They welcomed her back home with open arms after she got off the train in Canterlot. Some pitied her as they saw that she could no longer move her hind legs, yet she was still a "Hero" in their eyes. It made her sick to her stomach. When fillies and colts told their parents they wanted to be just like her when they grow up, Twilight bit her lip. When she was showered in praise for her work and how she gave them all a fighting edge against the dragons, Twilight felt a little bit of pride before snuffing it out and gave empty an "thank you" to them.

Twilight was many things, but a "Hero" is not one of them in her opinion. Heroes shouldn't tear apart families. Heroes shouldn't experiment on children because of the potential information that could be gained from it. A hero shouldn't have nightmares of children crying for their parents to save them from the so-called "Hero." If being a "Hero" meant all of that, Twilight was scared to find out what a "Villain" would do.