• Published 4th Jan 2018
  • 3,018 Views, 146 Comments

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 15: Lets Have a Talk

Princess Celestia and Luna walked side by side with one another. They would be having a meeting today, a special meeting. They had received a letter from Twilight Sparkle yesterday detailing her findings and wanting to present them. The two princesses had been ecstatic about this for two reasons. First of all, they would have a chance to meet Twilight again. They had previously met briefly when Twilight and her crew were brought back to Canterlot, but they left earlier than expected as they wanted the mare to get some rest. Another chance to meet and have a somewhat friendly chit-chat would be a nice break from their routine. The second reason is that Twilight had informed them that there might be a way to rid the baby dragon of his dark magic. That was most likely going to be the main focus of this meeting. Both princesses agreed that the faster a solution was found, the quicker they would have one less problem to worry about.

The door to the meeting room came into view faster than the princesses thought. Stationed outside the room were two guards standing at attention. "Has Miss Sparkle arrived yet?" asked Luna. Both guards gave a quick nod. The guard to their left was the first to speak.

"Miss Twilight Sparkle arrived an hour ahead of schedule, your majesties," he stated, "She said she wanted to have everything prepared for when you arrived." Luna chuckled a bit.

"She still has that student spark about her, doesn't she?" she asked Celestia.

"Yes, she does," Celestia replied. A slight smile was seen on her face. She then turned her full attention to the guards in front of her. "This meeting is a crucial one. Unless permitted by myself or Luna, nobody is to enter this room. Am I clear?"

"Crystal clear, your highness!" answered the two guards as they saluted.

"Good. Now then, Luna, let's not keep Twilight waiting any longer, shall we?" as Celestia finished her sentence, the two walked into the room and closed the door behind them.

The sight of the room was mind-boggling. On the round table in front of the princesses rested stacks upon stacks of research papers, data tables, graphs, and written recordings. Surrounding the far half of the table were five large chalkboards filled to be brim with equations, theories, and conversions. It had been barely half a minute, and the princesses already felt more than a little lost.

With her back facing the two alicorns, Twilight was mumbling to herself as she sat in her wheelchair. Celestia frowned a bit before she greeted her old student. Twilight continued to mutter to herself. She flipped through an assortment of papers in her magical grip. Celestia greeted her ex-student again, this time with much more volume. Twilight jumped a bit in her chair before she looked back at the two alicorn sisters; an embarrassed smile was plastered on her face. The two princesses gave a low laugh at the mare's sudden surprise. "You still have that habit of getting engrossed in your work, don't you, Twilight?" Celestia giggled.

"Well, you know what they say. Old habits die hard," Twilight nervously chuckled.

"How are you getting used to your new wheels?" Luna asked bluntly. Celestia gave her a stern look as the words left her sister's mouth. Twilight gave a small chuckle.

"It's weird having to get around in a wheelchair like this. Expecially after being used to walking on all fours my whole life. I doubt I'll ever get used to it," Twilight admitted, "I'm getting the other kind of wheelchair soon, though. The one that you can use your forelegs to walk with."

"That's good to hear," Celestia said. She looked over the table, filled with paper. "Is this all your research?" She shouldn't have been surprised at how much a pony can write when in the right position. Nor should she have been surprised with the stacks of paper that threatened to collapse the table. She was the ruler of a whole kingdom. She was used to seeing mountains of paper. However, laws and politics were well-sharpened tools of her position. Her skills and memory of science and physics were subpar at best. Perhaps that was the reason as to why she was dumbfounded by the about of numbers and jargon.

"About eighty percent is mine. The other twenty percent is from some colleagues of mine. I'm sure that there are a few papers here that we all collaborated on as well." The three ponies talked for quite some time about normal things, such as upcoming books and events. Soon enough, the princesses wanted to know how Twilight was doing. The princesses' hearts shanked a bit when they heard she was planning on seeing a psychiatrist. Also, while she wasn't having them now, Twilight estimated that some vivid nightmares were going to come her way in the future. Luna said that she would banish any nightmares that Twilight would have, but Twilight requested that she didn't. When asked as to why she would make such a potentially scaring request, Twilight began her speech.

"Call it what you will, but I see this as the only form of punishment I'm going to get for the time being," she said. Her horn ignited as she used her magic to flip one of the chalkboards directly behind her. She picked up four chalk sticks in her magic aura and began quickly drawing four diagrams. "Celestia... Luna, what are your thoughts on Spike?" The two princesses took a moment to process.

"From what we have heard and read in your letter, Spike is a dangerous one," Luna started, "As of now, we have no idea where he is or what he is planning, but we have received info that some of the dragons he helped escaped have been recaptured. The interrogations so far have not given us any useful results, so at the very least, this Spike is a danger that we will stamp out once we have enough resources freed up."

"I agree with Luna to an extent," Celestia commented, "While I do believe that this dragon needs to be recaptured as soon as possible, I believe purging the dark magic from him would be enough. We have enough blood on our hooves as it is." Luna looked at her sister with a degree of shock and disappointment. Before she could say her opinion, the snap of one of Twilight's chalk sticks drew their attention back to her.

"It would seem that you two have different outlooks on this," Twilight sighed, "That makes this a bit more difficult, but I can work with that." She placed down the chalk sticks and picked up a wooden ruler in her magic grasp. She moved out of the way of the chalkboard. Using her ruler, She gestured to three pictures of ponies on the left side of the board. "What do these remind you of?" The princesses stared at the images for a few moments before commenting.

"Those are diagrams of each pony race's magic system," answered Celestia.

"Correct! Each of these diagrams represents the magic system that runs throughout all ponies. Notice how each race has different locations for their mana pools." Twilight gestured to white dots that represented the pools of mana of each race. Each dot had lines drawn between them, connecting them in a variety of ways. "Each pony race has a certain number of mana pools and connection paths that allow them to do what their race is unique for. Out of all the species, ponies are the most tuned to magic. Dragons are close to us in that regard, however..."

Twilight quickly sketched a diagram of a dragon. In the center, a large white dot was drawn with lines that branched outwards from it. "... While they only have one mana pool, it is very potent and only grows in strength the more the dragon ages until it reaches its physical peak. That is one of the reasons why using magic directly on a dragon is incredibly difficult. Most adult dragons have too much potent mana in them that they're able to repel foreign magic. The same cannot be said for their younger counterparts." Twilight rotated the chalkboard so that the back could be seen. A sketch of a young dragon was already drawn on it.

"Dragons that have not reached early adulthood are more susceptible to outside magic. Teenage dragons are in the middle of the range. They are at the stage in which their mana is no longer as weak as a younger dragon, but not as strong as an adult. That is why request the capture of teenage to hatchling dragons was sent, as I'm sure you know. A few requests for unhatched dragon eggs were sent as well because there were some researching wanting to experiment with them, but they were denied." Twilight looked towards the princesses. Both of them continued to watch Twilight as she continued her lecture. Neither of them had an easy to detect emotion on their face. "Moving on to the point," Twilight started.

"A little interesting fact about dragons: until they reach their teenage years, a dragon's mana pool can change properties based on the magical environment they're in. If one were to take a young dragon from a frozen environment and into an environment with fire, their mana pool would eventually adapt to the new environment quite easily. There is a limit to this, however. Not to mention that this trait is lost as they come of age, but they can only do this a certain number of times before they are stuck with whatever element power they currently have," Twilight levitated some notes from the table.

"Spike was an interesting case. It seems as though they wanted to not only test new magic spells and enchantments, but they also wanted to see how young dragons react to excessive magical stimuli. Spike has been experimented on multiple times. If I read the documents correctly, he was the only baby dragon to survive just over 1,000 spell experiments. Due to the experiments, I theorized that his mana pool tried to adapt to its environment. However, with all the different types of magic being used, I've concluded that his mana pool didn't know how to adapt properly and was left weakened. With the Black Dragon Protocol being used, the dark magic would have little to no resistance from Spike's mana pool."

At the mention of that name, both princesses seem to tense only for a moment, but Twilight caught onto it. "I'm not here to judge what you ordered. Though, I will come back on another date to debate that. I'm only here to discuss a way to help someone who can still be saved."

"So you believe that this Spike can still be rescued?" asked Luna.

"It won't be easy, but it is possible. Dark magic is never an easy thing to cure, even for ponies. It infects our mana pools and slowly corrupts our minds. However, due to the nature of our magic system, the spread of dark magic is slowed. For a mild case, studies have shown that it would take a month to cleanse a pony fully. Dragons, on the other hoof, are a different story. They are naturally magic resistant, and that resistance only grows the more they age. That doesn't mean that they can't be corrupted. For dark magic to corrupt dragons, the source of it would need an extremely long time or for Spike's case, a heavily unstable mana pool. And when corruption takes hold..." Twilight levitated a red piece of chalk and began shading over the white chalk with red.

"... It holds on tight and continues to creep in." Most of the sketch's mana pool was now red with only a white dot in the center. "At this point, Spike is still in control, but I do not doubt that the dark magic will influence him more and more."

"And what makes you think he hasn't been taken over already?" Luna asked.

"Because, as far as I know, there haven't been reports of a dragon chomping down on ponies like Celestia chomps down on cake or how you devour pies," Twilight replied without thinking. Her eyes widened as she realized what came out of her mouth. The room was silent as the two princesses sat with their mouths nearly reaching the floor. It took some time for everyone involved to regain their composure. A light chuckle managed to escape Celestia's mouth.

"Did not expect that today," she said. A small smile had appeared on her face for a second before turning back to its neutral position.

"Yes, quite," Luna mumbled. Twilight cleared her throat before she continued.

"Disregarding that, I believe Spike is still in control. However, that control is bound to slip now that his collar is off, and I don't think that I can replicate the enchantments that were on it," said Twilight.

"And what enchantments would those be?" asked Celestia.

"That is the thing. I don't know. As far as I'm aware, the enchantments were to smother Spike's emotions completely."

"Why would someone make enchantments that do that?" asked Luna.

"Well, think about it. What fuels dark magic?" Twilight questioned. The princesses took a few seconds to answer.

"Negative emotions," answered Celestia and Luna.

"Exactly. Hatred, sadness, envy, regret, and every other negative emotion serve as fuel for dark magic. If you remove the fuel, then the fire will die out. And Spike, well dragons in general, have a reason to hate us. Now that that collar is no longer retraining him or his emotions. His dark magic can have more than enough fuel to burn."

"All the more reason to put him out of his misery while we have the chance," Luna stated.

"Luna, what would you do if there was a colt out there, and he was tainted with dark magic, but there was still a chance to save him?" Twilight stared right at Luna as she asked the question. "Would you still say that he should be killed? Or would you try to save him?"

"That's different."

"How so? Both the colt and Spike have dark magic, a magic that corrupts anything it touches. Both of them are male and the youth of their species. In both cases, nothing is different except that one is a pony, and the other is a dragon. Is that the only difference that is stopping you from helping this boy? This child who has been effect by and is going to suffer by your hoof is just another name on the long list of children you've already sent to their deaths, isn't he?" Twilight's calm yet angry tone was unnerving.

"Why you...!" Luna was stopped by Celestia, raising a hoof.

"Twilight, nobody in this room is innocent in these times. It is not fair to hold the actions of a pony, of which they have regrets..." Celestia looked over at her sister, who seemed to have found something interesting on the floor. "...over their heads like a guillotine while you also have done actions that you regret as well." Twilight rubbed her temples before she spoke.

"I know, princess, but I'm... I'm just so tired. Of all of this. This war, this fighting, these experiments. By all that's sacred in this world, do you realize what we've become? Do you realize what we are doing?!" Twilight turned to face both of the princesses. "This war has brought out the worst in us. We have troops out there hunting down and capturing children! We are capturing children and experimenting with them like lab rats!! What good did we think could come out of this?!"

"We have saved the lives of our fellow ponies," Luna answered. "Had it not been for your efforts and your colleagues, Equestria might not have been standing as of today. That is the 'good' that came out of it. I thought that you would know that being that you happily did the work." Twilight looked stung by Luna's last comment.

"Of course, I was happy. Who in their right mind wouldn't be? Not only did I have the chance to be a part of history in discovering the secrets to dragons, but I thought what we were doing would bring an end to this war faster. In many ways, you can say that I succeeded in the first goal and somewhat in the latter. However, I now realize that I may have helped open up a can of worms that should have stayed closed. Do you know what the dragons are saying about us?"

"The words of the enemy hold no-"

"They're saying that we're child-killing monsters. They say that we'll take any kids from their parents. We'll even take eggs housing unborn children so that we can use our magic to twist and turn them into slaves to use however we want. We have dragons taking extra precautions to hide their children from us. We have dragons willing to kill their offspring so that they don't have to suffer through whatever it is we would do to them! If what I've uncovered from Spike's records, my research, and reports on what happens in other facilities, I don't think that I blame them," Twilight ranted. "What I'm trying to say is: since did we become the monsters?"

"Twilight, in war and life, you sometimes have to do things for the better of the people. Even if it means that you have to bloody your hooves," Celestia said calmly.

"I'm sorry, princess. I do understand what you're trying to say, I do, but why do we have to abandon our morals for this? Since when in this country's founding since we've stooped this low? I mean honestly, if we look at it from an outside perspective, it looks like we're the villains! That doesn't even cover what other countries are going to think if they hear about this whole thing. Or are you going to try to cover everything up like with the Black Dragon Protocol? Just going to act like this whole thing never happened? After everything that we've done, that I've done, you're just going to forget about it!? Do all the dragons that died in those facilities mean nothing to you?! We tear apart families, leave children without parents, and snuff out lives for our gains and they're just dust in the wind?! What happens after this war?! Ponies already had misgivings about dragons before. Now that they have a means of fighting back as well as capturing dragons, do you think that everyone is going to sto-"

"TWILIGHT SPARKLE!!" yelled Celestia. The unicorn mare flinched as she was interrupted by the princess of the sun. The room was quiet for a few moments. Celestia placed a hoof on her temple as she sighed. "This war has brought out the worst in us." She started, "I do not doubt that my past self would be disgusted at what she had become. And in a few ways, I am disgusted with myself."

Celestia gazed down at the mountain of paperwork again. Years of research were on display before her as well as years of torment. Another sigh escaped her mouth. "If there is one thing that I want to be clear to you, Twilight, is that we did not wish to take this route. Our backs were against the wall and were given limited options. So when the opportunity to save our little ponies came up, we did not hesitate. If you think that I enjoy the fact that I'm seen as a monster, then I'm afraid you are wrong. If you think for a minute that Luna takes pleasure in being a nightmare to children, no matter what the species, then you are wrong."

"... we've made some terrible decisions," Luna admitted. Her cold princess persona seemed to disappear and left a tired alicorn in her place. "Terrible decisions, decisions that we have to see through to the end and that will no doubt lead to difficulties in the future. However, do not take what we did and what we are doing out of cruelty. Our main goal was for the best chance for our ponies to survive. It seems though that more ponies are more... 'dedicated' to seeing that goal to its conclusion than we expected." The room was silent again. This time the silence hung in the air for quite some time before anyone spoke again.

"Okay, we've all made bad, horrible decisions," Twilight started, "Decisions that are going to leave many beings with nightmares, physical scars, and mental scars that will last them a lifetime. However, that doesn't mean that we can't take action to fix some of the damage."

"Twilight, I'm-" a tired Celestia was interrupted.

"Celestia, we can do this. We need to do this. How long has this war gone on? Four, eight, ten years?" Twilight said, "We've dug ourselves into a hole, a very deep hole. It will take some time, and it will take more than enough work to get ourselves out of that hole. Spike will be our first step, a difficult one, but a much-needed one. I can't guarantee that we can fix everything we did, and I can't guarantee that we can rebuild the bridges we burnt down. I can guarantee that we can stop ourselves from continuing to be the monsters we've made ourselves."

The princesses were silent for a few minutes as they stared at each other. "Okay, Twilight," Luna spoke, "What do you suppose we do about Spike?"

"Before the breakout, I was using a spell on Spike that erases dark magic. It worked as intended, and I was able to erase some of it before things got out of hand." Twilight turned her attention back towards her diagrams. "I should have seen this coming and accounted for it. However, multiple factors made me overlook it. At the same time, I've come up with a plan. As long as we're careful, nothing too bad should happen."

The moon had taken its place in the sky for some time now. Spike and his friends had been flying the moment the sun had set, and the moon had risen. Fizzle had already mapped out their route to the Dragon Lands. If everything went according to plan, they would reach the border within a little over a week. Their food and other supplies would last them a few days. Maybe, after their food ran out, they could make it the rest of the way if they pushed it. Fizzle managed to convince them that they would be better flying on a somewhat full stomach. When their food started to get low, they would have to scavenge around for food. At the very worst, they could raid a pony town while they were on their way.

Even the thought of being close to ponies made Spike's magic flare up. He hoped that it would not come down to that. He didn't know if he would be able to hold himself back. If he couldn't, there would be no doubt in his mind that the princesses would be on the group and his tail until they were caught. He didn't know what he would do if he ever met the two princesses face to face. The thought of meeting them was enough to make his blood boil. Spike did his best to keep his flames under control. They were basically on a stealth mission, and any sign of unusual sightings would surely be reported. Just a couple more hours, and he could vent all he wanted when the sun rose. He could wait until then.

Author's Note:

I can't tell you how many times I've rewritten this chapter. Part of me thinks that this could be better, but I don't know how. If you want, you can leave a comment with any suggestions.

I hope that you enjoyed this.