• Published 7th Nov 2019
  • 1,796 Views, 81 Comments

Who I Choose To Be - milesprower06

One of Equestria's youngest and most unpredictable villains faces an uncertain future. After Princess Twilight attempts an unprecedented treatment, things become even more uncertain.

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The Collapse

Ever since he had gotten his cutie mark, Doctor Graymare knew that helping sick and diseased ponies was his life's passion. He continually got an immense sense of pride and accomplishment when he set a patient's mind at ease, doing his best to fix what was wrong with them, and helping them live a better tomorrow, and that pride was only matched by his respect for Princess Twilight Sparkle, who since coming to Ponyville, had become the embodiment of helping others.

That was the sole reason he had accepted this assignment abroad in Canterlot, and it was also why he had, for the first time in his 15-year career, begin to seriously doubt a decision made by the Princess of Friendship. His 'office' conditions he could live with, quite obviously being a re-purposed bunk room just outside of the solitary confinement wing of the Canterlot Castle dungeon. No, what his conscience was constantly battling him over was the state of the patient he was tasked with 'caring' for, though in the past couple weeks, he wouldn't use 'care for' as much as he would use 'just keep alive'.

His patient, the pegasus filly Cozy Glow, was by all official definitions, a war criminal, and probably the youngest one ever on record. She was also a textbook child psychopath, or rather, she had been before Twilight enlisted the help of her two most powerful unicorn friends to attempt a radical new treatment. At first, Graymare had been rather enthusiastic about being able to observe the first attempt at an effective cure for psychopathy.

Then the whimpers, wails, and cries began echoing down the cobblestone hallway.

Cozy Glow's sudden conscience and sense of empathy was causing her very real pain, and Princess Twilight didn't really seem too keen on helping her through it, believing all the filly needed was time to learn to deal with it.

Graymare wasn't doubting the Princess' destination, but he was certainly unsure about her chosen path for the journey there. He had received strict instructions to not medicate or otherwise alleviate any non-life-threatening pain she was going through. Only in the most dire emergency did he have the authority to take her to the hospital for help, and that was with an EUP guard in tow at all times.

Throughout his career, he had learned that sometimes the road to recovery was a long and hard one. To be fair, she was showing very small signs of improvement. Slowly, she had been crying less, sleeping more, and eating more than the bare minimum to stave off malnutrition and Twilight's threats of force feeding, not to mention the food on offer left much to be desired.

Like clockwork, an EUP cook arrived with Cozy's dinner on a simple metal tray, the only utensil to go along with it was a spoon; the Princess wasn't taking any chances after her first poorly thought out suicide attempt.

The food tray looked to contain more than it usually did, and upon a double take, he did notice a small chocolate frosted cake next to her main course. He made a quick check of her file, and confirmed that it was indeed the filly's 12th birthday today. It looked like the most inviting thing he had seen be brought to her in weeks; at least the food he received was direct from the EUP buffet lines. The cook quickly passed the view he had from the office, and heard the iron gate to the solitary wing open. It was quiet enough down here that he could hear almost anything above a whisper. It had been a minute since the cook passed into the wing, maybe two, when he heard a short scream from down the corridor.

"Doctor Graymare!" He heard one of the guards shout for him. He bolted out of his chair and galloped through the gate and down to Cozy's cell at the end, where the cook stood stunned and the lieutenant quickly opened the door for him.

"She collapsed seconds after we set the tray down." He explained as he opened the cell door to let Graymare in.

There, on the floor in front of the simple table and tipped chair where the tray had been set, laid Cozy Glow, convulsing next to a small puddle of vomit. From what he could quickly ascertain, her dinner hadn't been touched. He knelt down next to the seizing filly and gently placed a hoof on her forehead, and his eyes widened immediately.

He quickly turned back to the door, and picked the pegasus up in his magic.

"We need to get her to Canterlot General immediately! Lieutenant, come with me; private, tell Princess Twilight to meet us there." He quickly instructed the two guards before galloping back down the corridor, cradling Cozy in his magical grasp.

Twilight wasn't really expecting her dinner to be interrupted by an EUP private telling her that Cozy Glow had been taken to Canterlot Hospital. But moments after she had been told, she winked out of the dining room at Canterlot Castle and into the lobby of Canterlot General Hospital's reception desk. She quickly inquired about Cozy Glow, and was immediately directed to the Intensive Care Unit. The hospital wasn't exactly bustling with activity today, so she had no trouble picking out the EUP guard and Doctor Graymare from down the hall, where they stood outside a closed door.

"Is she alright?" Twilight asked as she trotted up to Graymare, who was gazing through the window in the door.

Graymare fought the urge to scoff at the question.

"She had a severe febrile seizure. Her fever spiked at 108° when I brought her here. We were able to bring it down with medicine, but I'd recommend keeping her here for observation, to make sure there's no permanent damage." Graymare told her.

"You're the medical professional. Lieutenant, you're to stand watch here." Twilight said, getting an immediate salute in return.

"I would also strongly recommend moving her out of solitary. Actually, at this point, I have to insist." Graymare said, turning fully to the princess.

"Doctor, you have made your opinion on her provided conditions quite clear, I do not need reminding what you—"

"Enough!" Doctor Graymare snarled, getting the complete attention of Princess Twilight along with the guard and every orderly and nurse in the vicinity.

"Princess Twilight, I'm not sure if you realize how much reverence and respect you command from the citizens of Equestria and beyond, and that is why I have ignored my oath and endured this treatment of yours for the past month. But this has gone too far. Solitary confinement for weeks on end? Nothing to do but confront memories that now seem unfathomable? A healthy mind wouldn't be able to deal with that. Hers is the farthest thing from! This treatment of yours is unprecedented. Nothing like it has been attempted in medical science before; you can't do something like that to her mind, then lock her away in some dark corner expecting her to torture herself with these memories until something magical happens! She needs interaction, creative outlets, a goal to strive for, ways to look forward to tomorrow; things a normal, healthy, not to mention still developing mind can grasp and understand. All she has right now are these memories of all this negativity in her life. How do you expect her to find ways to cope with that if you don't give her positive things to mix in? You did this to her, and you haven't so much as given her any guidance. You want her to figure all of this out on her own? You might as well be throwing a newborn foal into a pool and hope they learn how to swim before drowning!"

For once, Graymare saw Twilight's expression falter.

"If something doesn't change, right now, her body is going to continue to try and find ways to end this, regardless of your attempts to keep her alive. Enough is enough. I'm returning to the castle to gather my things. If you return her to that cell, consider it not only an immediate end to my services to you, but an end of my respect for you, Your Majesty. There is no undoing what you've done to her mind. You have to find a better way. I'm begging you, please, find a better way. I hope to Celestia that you realize that you are better than this."

With that, Graymare stepped away from the door to Cozy's room, and walked towards the lobby, leaving Twilight to look into the room where the pegasus filly lay in the hospital bed, sleeping and breathing slowly.

For the first time since she saw Cozy's father fly away from the hedge maze, her resolve began to crack.

"How long are they planning on keeping her here for observation?" Twilight asked the lieutenant she had posted to the room, who snapped to attention at the question.

"Two or three days, Princess. They want to make sure her fever breaks," the lieutenant responded.

"I'll be back for her then. As you were." Twilight instructed, then turned to leave, feeling something starting to squeeze at her chest.

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