• Published 7th Aug 2018
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Equestrian City: Side Streets - Malcontent

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No Matter The Cost (Professor Midnight/SciTwi)

No Matter The Cost
By DarkMalcontent
Proofread by Alisia and Zap
Special consultation by Wubcake

***

“Ms. Sparkle?” the nurse’s voice snapped Twilight from her gaze. Adjusting her glasses Twilight turned towards the portly nurse. “The doctor would like a word with you.”

Twilight cleared her throat. “Certainly,” she politely said and her stare returned back to the hospital bed, the sheets tucked snugly around the body to keep the young man warm. She walked out after touching his hand and brushing the IV that was in it, closing the door behind her. She looked back through the window periodically to watch her brother, folding her arms to hold herself close. Why not speak to me with him present? I shouldn’t be away from his side, she thought with concern.

Adjusting her formal attire she was wearing, the attending doctor stood just outside the room where a piece of tempered glass was letting anyone see in. Next to it was a sign that was labeled “Shining Armor”. Twilight crossed her arms in front of her and stared at her brothers caregiver. “Hello, Twilight,” she said finally while flipping a few papers on her clipboard, which also bared the name of her brother. “The latest scans are in.”

“I take it then they aren't too good...otherwise you'd have told me in front of him.” Twilight stared down slowly with the distant yet constant pulse of the heartbeat monitor keeping perfect pace in her ears from behind her brothers door.

“I'm very sorry,” the doctor replied.

“We’re still learning how to treat magical illnesses. The field is so new and unpredictable it's hard to compensate for so many new and unknown variables,” the nurse added and sighed remorsefully, “he's just not responding to any treatment…” she grimaced frustratedly before continuing. “He’s displaying every symptom of high end radiation sickness but…-”

“But he's not dying,” Twilight interrupted before turning and staring through the window. “The painkillers and sedatives are the only thing keeping him from screaming right now, correct?”

“That's correct, Ms. Sparkle...” the doctor answered, taken aback slightly from her seemingly detached demeanor. “I’m afraid there’s nothing left that this facility can do, save keep him sedated and on the pain control.”

“Very well,” Twilight said emotionlessly to keep from hurting.

“There’s another matter however,” the doctor hesitating slightly began. “It seems billing wants to have a word with you regarding the long term care possibilities for your brother. As he can’t take care of or speak for himself, you’ve been named caretaker,” she finished and slid the clipboard back into the mailbox outside the room.

“There’s not much to do about that,” Twilight stated without removing her distant stare from her sibling before checking her watch moments later. “He’s due for more sedation soon.”

“Yes, the nurse will be in shortly.” The doctor quirked an eyebrow. “Are you having...financial trouble?”

Twilight was silent as she saw her brother’s hand twitch and turned away from him to face the doctor. I can’t watch… she thought in a quiet remorsefulness. “When my parents died in the magical wave, it left me and my brother alone. He had the sense of mind to push me out of the way and he took the blast meant for me,” Twilight’s eyes watered a bit and she took her glasses off, rubbing her tear ducts slightly before wiping her lenses with her shirt softly.

“I’m very sorry,” the doctor said, putting a hand on her shoulder. “I realize this must be difficult for you,” she finished, removed her appendage and took notice of Shining Armor’s vitals rising slightly in the background.

“You’re very kind,” Twilight cleared her throat. “We’re all each other has left and with the settlement the city has given us dwindling, due to the need for constant sedation and high end painkillers, it’s become...dire.” She didn’t look the woman in the eye anymore, now staring ahead into the room next door. The attending nurses there were pulling the covers over the body of a now departed magic victim with the family crying in the background. Their whimpering was slowly being drowned out by the increased sound of hospital monitoring equipment from her brother’s room sounding a series of alarms.

“Have you considered...giving him peace?” the doctor hesitated at the last few words, unsure how to soften the subject. The topic itself was touchy before the wave but had become a firestorm as of late with all the terminally, everlasting pain the medical community was now combatting.

“I have. I’ve decided against it,” Twilight answered with little emotion, even though the doctor could see that the area of her cheeks her glasses rested on was pooling with tears ever so slowly. “I promised him, when he could still think straight and we talked more...that I wouldn’t give up on him. I’d find a cure no matter the cost,” she finished and wiped her glasses again, now staring at the tiled floor.

A group of about three nurses ran into Shining Armor’s room as Twilight kept vigilant, almost detached from the situation while she heard the sounds of her brother waking up, and the sudden burst of pain that she knew was always there for him now. He began to bellow slightly and moan as his nerves lit up from his pain centres. The magic that afflicted him sadly was bypassing science’s known treatments and driving him mad with anguish. The straps around his wrists and legs held him in place as the nursing staff began to administer a premixed cocktail of sedatives to his IV line.

“So you see, I can’t simply give up on my brother. We’re all each other has,” Twilight concluded, snapping her head towards the doctor who was watching the chaos unfold in the room behind her.

The sound of tables and chairs toppling as Shining Armor broke free with one arm. “Make it stop! Please make it STOP!” he demanded with all further manner of cries for relief filling the ears of everyone, yet not affecting Twilight as deeply as any of the others.

Adjusting her glasses, Twilight looked back at the doctor again from the floor. “That's why I’ve decided to take him with me abroad,” she disclosed finally. “I’ve been accepted as part of a program in the Eastern Empire. Due in no small part to my breakthrough work in the field of--”

“Magical Theory and Application,” the doctor nodded as she finished Twilight’s sentence. “I read one of your papers recently on the matter. Though not geared towards the medical profession, we look for all the help we can get these days with this new...science.”

Twilight looked annoyed at being cut off but nodded. “Then you’ll make the arrangements,” she inquired flatly before she continued. “One of the conditions of my employment is my brother comes with me and is given all the care needed. They’re prepping a chamber so we can put him in a coma for the long journey.”

“I’ve heard they are making breakthroughs in medical and military applications of magic,” the doctor stated and raised an eyebrow. “But I also hear they may not have the most humane rules when it comes to experimentation.” She put a hand on her shoulder, “Twilight...your brother has...terminal cancer for lack of a better term. But it’s not killing him because of the magic.” Twilight eyed the doctor from over her glasses with a slightly narrowed gaze. “You have to ask yourself if he wants to keep on existing...because this isn’t living. You have to let him go,” she finally said. “It’s hard for a lot of the families of victims of this god awful plague that's hit us all, but he’s either unconscious or in constant pain. Do you want to keep him like that forever?”

Twilight turned away and stared at her brother's bed. He was returning to a state of calm as the monitors slowed down and two of the nurses left, a frazzled look on their faces. A moment of silence filled the hallway as she thought, a stern look on her face of determination and stubbornness. “I won’t give up on my brother. How dare you ask me to,” she quietly growled, turned and gave her a scornful look. “You’ll have my brother prepped. Someone will be in touch with details,” Twilight ordered and narrowed her cold orbs. “Good day, doctor.” She twisted on her high heels and walked loudly down the hospital hallway, pushing a set of doors open and letting them swing behind her.

“Professor Midnight?”

Twilight snapped out of her day dream, sitting up at her desk and adjusting her glasses. She turned to the voice and stood, looking at the junior scientist and her very timid demeanor conveyed by her posture. “Yes? What is it and be quick,” she stated sternly.

“I...I just transferred in ma’am. They said...” she swallowed loudly. “They said to ask you where to put me,” the girl handed her a set of papers, shaking slightly.

Professor Midnight, formally known as Twilight Sparkle, grabbed the papers and examined them with a look of disdain on her face. Browsing them quickly she tossed them back. “Division 5-Y. Geriatric Disposal Technologies,” she said firmly.

“Thank you ma’am.” The timid girl turned and left but, after a couple steps, hesitated and turned back. “Ma’am if I may say, I’ve read all your papers and I’d like to say you’re an idle of mine. The advances you’ve made for the Empire these last eight years, no matter the cost, are inspiring.”

“Yes I’m sure. Off with you.” Twilight turned and picked up a folder on her desk, flipping a picture out of the way.

“Ma’am I was wondering...if you had any advice for a new researcher...any at all?”

She sighed and rubbed the bridge of her nose but turned back sternly staring at the timid girl. For a moment she gave herself pause, briefly feeling like she was viewing herself in a mirror: wide eyed and eager to learn, to understand and to discover. Slowly Midnight smiled, “if you want to find the answer for something...don’t let anything get in your way. So-called ethics and emotion are the enemy of researchers like us,” she explained calmly. “Due diligence. That is the key to proper research, no matter the cost.” She waved the girl on after she had finished. The young girl left with a grin on her face and a spring in her step, closing the doors behind her.

Twilight set the folder down and walked to the far end of the room, past a series of empty but blood stained tables. Littered about were surgical instruments and jars full of different organs and magical glowing auras. Pushing past a door at the end of the lab, she locked it with a loud click. Turning to the center of the room, she picked up a small chair and set it to face a large medical stasis tube.

Shining Armor’s body, adorned with tubing and monitoring equipment, sat unceremoniously in this tube with a medical preserving solution filling it and a respirator keeping him alive. Several monitors on the side were spitting out data and recording every new event during his time being comatose. She stared at her brother’s form and walked up to the holding tube. Pulling off her lab gloves and setting them down on the table nearby, she pressed a hand to the cold exterior of it as she looked him over. The usual demeanor she was known for fell and she furrowed her eyebrows, and for once a single tear left her eyes.

Without warning, the room lit up gently and rows upon rows of deceased patients in preserving solution became visible. Each with a set of wiring from their holding tubes to a main rigging of sorts. All of this was funneling toward her brother’s holding in the center. “No matter the cost,” she whispered again, a gentle smile coming across her face proud of her genius.

****

Author's Note:

There's our 2nd episode, both this and the previous we hope to get Wubcake to read for us when life settles down for her.

SciTwi is always fun to write because shes gone down such a dark and isolated path since we didn't get that third movie in this timeline.

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