• 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 18: Pony Town Shake Up pt 2

The three young dragons continued to stand there, looking at one another. Little Fang and Spike stood in shock as their minds raced to figure out any explanation as to why the red and green baby dragon was here. Let only how he came out of the floor. Meanwhile, Ruhbarb remained still out of fear and confusion, having never seen another dragon in real life before. Stories, research notes, and drawings were all he ever knew about his kind. However, there were two dragons in front of him now. Both of them looked to be about his age. His mind raced to find words to say. Anything that could break the tension in the air would have been nice. Just as Rhubarb opened his mouth to say something, a noise came from outside that startled the two other baby dragons.

"Quick, close the door!" Spike quickly whispered as he rushed to the hatch Rhubarb was still holding up. Fang promptly closed the door behind her before also running to hatch. Rhubarb was still trying to process the whole situation and couldn't react in time to move out of the way of the two young dragons. He lost his balance and quickly tried to grab onto something or, in this case, someone. The falling Rhubarb seized both Spike and Little Fang, and all three of them lost their balance and tumbled down the stairs before crashing into Rhubarb's underground room. The three dragons rested in a pile for a while after their fall. The makeshift backpacks Spike and Little Fang were carrying now lay on the ground.

"Ow..." Rhubarb muttered as he rested underneath the other two.

"I second that," Spike agreed as he pushed himself up and rubbed his head. Little Fang and Rhubarb slowly got up on their feet as well. The three dragons once again looked at one another, trying to find something to say. Fang was the first one to speak up.

"So... uh..." she started, "Nice place you got here. I feel kinda sad for the pony you had to kill to get this place."

"K-kill?!" exclaimed Rhubarb. This encounter was the first Rhubarb Sweets ever had with another of his kind. He had dreamt of this moment a few times before and even daydreamed what it would be like. He had never expected that his first meeting with his species would involve implied murder.

"Yeah," Spike spoke up, "This place seems well made, and to have that secret door must have meant that that pony spent a while planning and building this place. Could have done without that awful smell upstairs, though." Spike nearly gagged as the smell of fermentation still lingered in his nostrils. Little Fang nodded her head in agreement. "Either way, this seems like a decent place to hide out for a while. At least, until those soldiers go away. Jet just had to go and-"

"Wait!" Rhubarb interrupted. "There are soldiers here?! Why?!" Panic was quick to set in. A thousand questions filled his head so quickly that he could barely keep up. His mother had reassured him countless times that the chance of a patrol coming out this far would be next to none. Yet, they were here. Why were they here? How long were they going to stay? With his food supplies gone, when would his mother come to replenish them? If the guards found him, what would happen to him and his mother? The questions piled higher and higher. Meanwhile, Rhubarb didn't have a single answer for them. His breathing became erratic as his claws began to dig into the scales on his arms.

It was then that Rhubarb felt the two other dragons pull him into an embrace. The sudden action had brought him back to reality from his short panic attack. "Don't worry," Spike calmly said, "We won't let the ponies get you." His words, while soothing, held a note of determination and something else Rhubarb couldn't quite pin down. Rhubarb knew Spike tried to calm him down, yet he could help but be unnerved by him.

"Yeah, and if they try to," Rhubarb could see arcs of lightning run up and down Little Fang's back-spines for a brief moment before she continued speaking, "We'll destroy them!" Her declaration oozed with malice.

Rhubarb knew that the other two meant well by their words and actions. All three of them were dragons in a world where ponies and dragons were at war. It was natural for them to look out for one another. That was what Rhubarb had learned from his mother's teachings as well as from his studies. However, the way the other two dragons spoke and how they seemed to carry themselves scared Rhubarb. The young red and green dragon would be the first to admit that he was never one for violence. He found that words worked far more often than punches. Where words failed, his feet were more than enough to let him escape. Rhubarb often thought of violence as a very last resort. Words can fail if the one on the receiving end chooses not to listen. His feet can only take him so far and can only move so fast. So when backed into a corner and with little hope, a good enough punch or a well-timed use of his elemental breath would be his trump card.

These other dragons, however, were another story. Rhubarb wasn't sure how they felt about other races, but they held little to no love for ponies. To make matters worse, they were willing to kill ponies if it meant Rhubarb wouldn't be harmed. They even assumed that he had killed a pony to the underground bunker for himself. Rhubarb could feel his heart pounding as he realized just how deep into trouble he was in. However, in a moment of clarity, he forced himself to calm down. He knew that one day he would need to be strong and confident. Even if the war had ended and he could travel around the world with his mother as they had planned, he would need to be a strong dragon who could brave the world that was beyond his hometown. So, Rhubarb took a deep breath. He could find a way out of this. He just needed to use his words.

"T-thank you," Rhubarb nervously replied as he returned the hug, "that's good to know."

"No problem," said Spike.

"Yeah," Little Fang chimed in, "Us dragons have to stick together, right?"

"...r-right," Rhubarb said as the three continued to hug for some time. After some time, Spike and Little Fing broke the embrace and began to look around the room. As they did, Rhubarb considered himself lucky that he didn't keep any pictures of himself and his mother down here. Those photos remained in their house, and Rhubarb had forgotten to ask his mother to bring some the next time she visited. Now, however, he thanked his past self for never asking.

The three young dragons soon began to talk more. Rhubarb had asked the duo how they managed to get here and was surprised by the retelling of their story. A few times, Rhubarb found himself in a mix of awe, terror, and disgust. Rhubarb Sweets had known that there were cruel beings in this world. For every good person, there seemed to be two or three bad ones. However, if what Spike and Little Fang said was true, then there were ponies out there that could put even the worst pony Rhubarb could think of to shame. That would also mean that the rumors Rhubarb and his mother had heard were not wholly false either. Rhubarb almost lost what little he had left in his stomach by the end of their story.

The rumors that Rhubarb and his mother had been hearing for years had some truth to them. That fact sent shivers down Rhubarb's spine, and fear began to sink in again. He had thought his mother was exaggerating the situation. Both he and his mother often did that. However, now his mother's plans and backup plans felt less tedious and stupid. Rhubarb wished he had remembered even half of those now.

While Rhubarb wished this was all a bad dream, the two dragons in front of him again brought him back to reality. "Yeah, it was weird," Little Fang said as she played around with some of Rhubarb's writing supplies. "I've never seen Jet go off like that. I would have normally pinned that on Garble."

"You think the stress finally got to him?" Spike asked, looking over the flameless fireplace. "He's normally good being under pressure." Ah, yes, one of the teenage dragons Spike and Fang mentioned that were traveling with them. This Jet had recently complained about headaches and acted sluggishly from what the two dragons had told Rhubarb. These symptoms had been happening lately and were suspected to be because of Jet being an ice-blood. Ice-blood dragons were known to become sluggish when placed in warmer environments for too long. However, that theory was shot down as it was early winter. The cold air should have been enough to keep him going, even though it wasn't as freezing as ice-bloods would have preferred. The headaches could have resulted from stress; however, Rhubarb quickly recalled a part of Spike and Fang's story.

"C-coffee," Rhubarb stuttered out. The two dragons turned their heads to look at him. "Y-you said there was coffee being given to some dragons at the facility, correct?"

"Yes," Spike answered, "Why are you bringing that up?"

"Coffee as this chemical called caffeine in it. It helps provide a boost of energy for a person. However, it can be addictive."

"Addict what?" chimed in Little Fang. Her head tilted to the side in confusion.

"It means that you'll want more of it and if you get more of it, there will be some issues," answered Rhubarb, "I'm assuming that the facility you guys were in gave those dragons coffee on a regular basis, right?" Rhubarb received nods from Spike and Fang. "Okay, so it is most likely that those dragons became, at least, somewhat addicted to caffeine. Their body will require it to function without issues. However, since you guys are no longer in the facility and you didn't know about caffeine until now, Jet's body isn't getting the caffeine it's used to. Meaning he's suffering from something called withdrawal. Those scientists were probably testing to see if dragons can even have withdrawal symptoms and if we did, what the effects would be." As Rhubarb finished his lecture, he remembered who he was talking to and was met by the surprised looks of his peers. However, Spike's look of shock quickly turned into an expression of rage. Rhubarb couldn't tell whether to feel glad that he knew that hatred wasn't directed towards him or scared because he knew whom that rage was directed.

On the other hand, Little Fang had an amused look on her face as she nudged Spike with her elbow. "Oh man, I think the new guy's outdoing you in the smarts department, Spike. He's a bit of a chicken, but once he joins the group, how will you feel being the third smartest dragon in the bunch?" Spike scoffed a bit before he smirked.

"At least I'll still be smarter than you, Little Fang," Spike said, "Honestly, besides addition and subtraction, you really suck at math. Even Garble can do multiplication and division." A slightly flustered Fang punched him in the arm before returning her attention to Rhubarb.

"Okay, so what I'm hearing is all we need to do is get some of this caffeine into Jet and he'll be good to go, yeah?" Little Fang asked.

"The effects probably won't be immediate, but yes," replied Rhubarb. " He should be good to go until you run out of coffee or any other caffinated drink to give him."

"Awesome! Do you know where we can get some coffee?" she asked.

"There is a pony town not too far from here," Rhubarb paused for a moment before continuing. He quickly thought over what he was going to say next. "That's where I've been getting my food and water from. You can get a lot of supplies if you're stealthy about it."

"Great," Spike chimed in, "It's night time and while that pony guard patrol is definitely still out there, it's small. So we should be able to get in and out without a problem. After that, it's just a matter of finding Jet, Garble, and Fizzle. Come on you two." Spike grabbed his backpack before rushing towards the staircase with Little Fang right behind him. Rhubarb took a moment to breathe. While he didn't like the idea of stealing, it would be fine if it meant that Spike and Little Fang would leave soon. As long as he helped them quickly, maybe his life would go back to normal. Tonight was enough excitement for him to last a lifetime. He set one foot on the staircase when he recalled what Little Fang had said earlier. His thoughts were still a bit too jumbled at the time to fully understand what she said. His heart skipped a beat now that he had time to think and had relaxed somewhat. What did Fang mean when she said 'once he joins the group'?

Author's Note:

Sorry for the wait. Life kinda got in the way. Either way, I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. I can't promise that I will be faster with uploading new chapters, but I'll try my best. As a consolation, have this doodle I drew of Spike and Little Fang meeting Rhubarb.

Comments ( 6 )

Glad you are back. Enjoy your story.

this might be the best story i have read right now, amazing chapter dude keep up the good work.

Thank you for continuing your story, but I hope you are ok. Also love your doodle. :twilightsmile:

Little fang is adorable!

Awesome glad to see this is picking back up, I've been really enjoying it so far.

Nice doodle.

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