• Published 19th May 2018
  • 2,378 Views, 72 Comments

Corruption - PixelMoon

Twilight Sparkle finds herself being led to question things she's never questioned and try things she'd never tried by Rarity. But slowly Twilight begins to feel like she's being corrupted, and begins to wonder if Rarity is a vampire.

  • ...

Chapter 1

The train made another stop. Twilight silently and nervously hoped no one getting on the train would sit next to her.

She glanced out the window at the platform. Only a few ponies were out there. Meanwhile, there were at least five seats completely empty in this cart alone. Twilight let out a sigh of relief. It looked very unlikely that anyone would sit by her now.

Twilight glanced towards the aisle out of the corner of her eyes to see a yellow pegasus mare passing by, wearing an octopus plush toy on her head like it was a hat. The moment that pegasus came into Twilight’s line of sight, it was like she was stepping over a trip wire. She froze, mid step with one hoof still raise and turned her head in Twilight direction.

Twilight snapped her eyes back to her book and pretended to read. Before Twilight even got the chance to hope, the pegasus made it clear she was going to sit next to Twilight, throwing some of her luggage in the compartment above the seats. Twilight moaned internally as she listened to the pegasus rustle through one of her bags, unpacking things.

It couldn’t have been more than fifteen seconds before Twilight glanced back at her, and yet she’d already settled in, unpacked a dozen or so stuffed animals and set them all around her. There was a huge stuffed turtle resting between the edge of her seat and the back of the one in front of them, making escape impossible.

The pegasus turned to Twilight and gave a warm smile. There was something strange about this pony. Twilight found herself unable to look away the moment she saw that smile. Or maybe ‘didn’t want to’ was a better phrase. She was just really pretty, to the point where Twilight found herself staring, studying her every feature out of curiosity more than anything else.

But then the pegasus grabbed one of her plushies, a stuffed cat, and slowly pushed it over to Twilight, moving it up and down like it was hoping towards her. When the cat was right next to Twilight’s cutie mark, the pegasus tiled its head up to look at her.

Oh boy. Twilight was sitting next to a crazy pony, wasn’t she?

“Do you want one?” she asked.

“W-wuh?” Twilight stared at her. How was any sane pony supposed to react in this situation?

“A stuffed animal, I mean.” She held the cat up and gave it a little shake. “I have tons of these. I’d give you any of the ones here if you want, except the one on my head. Octomus is my favorite.”

“No thank you,” Twilight muttered. She did that more than she cared to admit.

Twilight really hoped this pony wouldn’t be next to her the whole way. She glanced up at the board that stated the next stop. Twilight never heard of ‘Davus Town’ but hoped this pony was going there. That sounded like the name of a town ponies like this would live in.

“Um. Er... Where are you going?” Twilight made herself smile, though the smile was probably so forced and big that you’d think she was the crazy one.

“Ponyville,” she said.

Argh! That was where Twilight was going!

“You’re going to Ponyville too, right?”

Twilight blinked. “H-how did you...?”

The pegasus pointed at a little ticket stub on the rack above. Twilight just now noticed this must be a system for marking where each passenger was supposed to be going.

“I travel on the train a lot. My name’s Fluttershy, by the way,” said Fluttershy. “I actually live in Ponyville. Why are you headed there? You look like you’re staying for a while.”

Fluttershy looked over all of Twilight’s luggage. Twilight had managed to get everything she owned into these boxes and bags, or at least everything she cared to save. She’d sold off most of the things in her parents house. It would be just too expensive to move everything, save her book collection and some essentials. She’d have to get a bed once she’d gotten to Ponyville.

As for why she was moving into Ponyville...

“I don’t really want to talk about it.” Twilight turned back to the window, but she could feel Fluttershy looking at her.

It wasn’t even the normal way you felt somepony’s stare, it was somehow so much stronger. Try as she might, Twilight couldn’t ignore it, couldn’t even get it out of her head. Twilight glanced back, feeling like she didn’t really have a choice in the matter.

Fluttershy gave her a little smile. There was just something about that smile, about Fluttershy. She was just so cute somehow. Twilight couldn’t help but soften her expression a little, feeling some of her tension relax. Maybe it was being surrounded by all those cuddly animals or something?

“Are you upset about something?” Fluttershy asked.

“M’fine,” Twilight mumbled.

“You know, when I’m feeling sad I just buy more stuffed animals until I feel better.” Fluttershy grabbed the arms of one of her toys and made it do a little dance. “Though I guess that doesn’t work for most ponies.”

It’s not like Twilight would be talking to a pony much more than this normally, but with this pony there just didn’t seem to be any sensible responses to make.

“But if you’re going to be staying in Ponyville long, I have to warn you about something,” she continued. Fluttershy held up another one of her plushies and gave it a shake. “Recently a dreadstalker’s been in the woods nearby. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard about those before but they’re like giant spiders. They have a tendency to rip open your rib cage and bit onto your heart to suck out all the blood, so you know, they’re kind of dangerous.”

“A dreadstalker?” Twilight did know what that was, she’d read all about them in ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Arachnids’. “But shouldn’t we be too far north for one of them to be here? I didn’t think Ponyville was that far south. If I’m not mistaken, those are native to the Zevar jungles south of the badlands and they’re supposed to need lots of humidity to live.”

“Ah! You do know about them,” said Fluttershy. “Well yes, normally that is true, but during particularly hot summers sometimes they wander way up north. Once they get here they can last all the way until fall before freezing.”

“But this summer wasn’t hot,” said Twilight. “At least it wasn’t in Canterlot.”

“It wasn’t in Ponyville either.” Fluttershy frowned for the first time. “It’s very strange, actually. But anyway, the important thing to know is that dreadstalkers are very dangerous. You should try not to go outside at night alone.”

“Right.” Twilight nodded, that did make sense given what she knew about dreadstalkers. “Because dreadstalkers only stalk solitary prey and while their special chitin makes them invisible it also decomposes rapidly in ultraviolet light, making them incapable of going out during the day.”

“That’s exactly right,” Fluttershy agreed with a nod. “You know must know a lot about dangerous animals.”

Twilight’s ears twitched. Normally, when she started ‘lecturing’, reciting facts like this, other ponies would just ignore her. That, or they’d be polite and give Twilight a thousand mile gaze or mock her for being a ‘nerd’.

“I know I don’t look it, but my job is actually to deal with dangerous animals.” Fluttershy ruffled through her stuffed animals until she found a mantis and held that up to Twilight. Apparently, that was her most dangerous one. “I’m actually coming back from an expedition in the east Equestrian island. I discovered a new species of giant mantis that doesn’t even have a name yet. Do you want to hear about it? It hunts by sending out these tiny mites that crawl into your ears and devour your brain!”

An actually interesting subject? Twilight wasn’t about to let that one go!

“Yes!” Twilight nodded quickly. “I would love to hear about that!”

Maybe this train ride wouldn’t be so bad...

And then the conversation took a turn for the worse. Twilight stared out the window mournfully, watching the bright, sunny day roll by, mocking her.

It had been great for a while, Twilight got to hear so many new facts and Fluttershy actually listened to all of her ‘fun facts’. Maybe it was a bit scary how casually she described all the horrible ways monsters could eviscerate you, but it was a nice distraction. That is, until Fluttershy managed to slowly change the subject to why Twilight was moving to Ponyville, the very thing she’d been trying to distract herself from.

Even though they just met an hour or so ago, Twilight already felt a connection with Fluttershy. Maybe it was her soft voice or gentle demeanor, but somehow Fluttershy’s presence was just so calming. Twilight had always had trouble talking to other ponies, but found talking to this pony, even about sensitive things like the recent death of her parents, so easy.

“It really is terrible,” said Fluttershy. “Are you moving to Ponyville to come live with another relative?”

“No,” said Twilight. “I’m moving to Ponyville because its impossible for me to afford living in the city anymore. It’s just insane how much they want for an apartment in Canterlot. Even in Ponyville the money I inherited enough from my parents will only last a few months, and after that...”

That fear that had been plaguing Twilight for the last few days began to return. She was at the absolute worst age for this to happen. Too old for any foster care, but not yet finished with school. After all that hard work studying, Twilight wold probably end up with a job flipping burgers if she was lucky. If she wasn’t-

“You’ll be okay,” said Fluttershy, interrupting the thought. She put a hoof on Twilight’s shoulder and gave her a gentle smile.

In a strange way, that was all it took to calm Twilight down to a reasonable level. Twilight had tears in her eyes, but it was hard to keep herself from smiling back at Fluttershy a little.

“You can’t really be alone, though,” said Fluttershy. “Don’t you have any friends or family?”

“I don’t think so,” said Twilight. “I was home schooled and my family was everything to me. I spent most of my time in my room reading and never really met anypony else, I guess.”

“It’s okay,” said Fluttershy, dispelling the feeling of guilt Twilight had always felt over being friendless before it began to sink in. “Everypony has friends, though. Sometimes you just haven’t met them is all.”

Twilight shook her head, shame and sorrow flooding into her gut.

“I’ve never had any friends,” said Twilight. “And I probably never will. I’m just too worthless.”

Twilight turned back to the window. The bright, sunny day and idyllic landscapes that passed by the train as it moved seemed to be mocking Twilight. It should have been raining or something. Why was the world so cruel? Everything was terrible, every single thing.

Fluttershy turned Twilight’s head back to herself and to the inside of the train. It was relatively dark in there, but Fluttershy was also there with genuine concern and that feeling of calm.

“Don’t talk like that,” said Fluttershy. “You’re better than you think.”

Twilight wanted to disagree, to berate herself for being terrible, but somehow found it hard to speak. Not because she was choking on tears, but for some reason she couldn’t put her hoof on. It was hard to explain, but Fluttershy just said that last part that in a way that made Twilight believe it, Twilight herself not entirely sure what made it like that.

“You know, I used to be the same way,” said Fluttershy. “I’ve always been very shy which made it hard to meet ponies. Actually, I used to be much more shy than I am now. I spent a really long time alone because of how shy I was and because I thought I was just too terrible to even deserve friends.”

Twilight listened to Fluttershy very intently, forgetting her own troubles for a moment. If she felt any sadness it was for Fluttershy, not herself.

“But I do have friends now,” said Fluttershy with a smile. “Sometimes we just haven’t met our friends yet, but if you don’t go looking for them you might never meet them.”

The train suddenly stopped and Fluttershy stood up.

“I live next to the pond on the edge of town,” said Fluttershy. “Feel free to visit me any time. I’d be happy to be your first friend.”

“Thanks,” said Twilight. “You can come visit me whenever you want too. I am supposed to be living near the edge too.”

“Thank you.” Fluttershy smiled. “I’ll remember that.”

Twilight thanked Fluttershy and the two of them parted ways, Twilight staying behind slightly longer to gather her bags. Make some friends... That was easier said than done.

Author's Note:

This is a reboot of a story deleted from this site a long time ago. With permission, I am allowed to recreate this and continue it. For my own convenience, I am making the chapters more my size of writing, but I will try to publish new chapters frequently.