• Published 19th Aug 2012
  • 7,945 Views, 568 Comments

PonyFall: The Dawning of Twilight - MrBackpack



Twilight Sparkle was more than confident that Discord was going to reset into his stone prison

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Chapter 7: On Your Marks...

Just like when Twilight has spoken her name, images and sound bites of Luna flashed through my head, leaving me cut off from the rest of the world for the briefest of moments.

I felt the blood drain from my face and into the pit that had opened up within my stomach. I never did hear the rest Ashleigh’s words; the images and scenes playing in my mind drowned everything else out.

“No,” I gasped softly, my mind reeling at the possibilities. Princess Luna was a fully grown adult alicorn and the master of the moon and the night sky of Equestria. Why was she here? Why was she a child?

I made a half-hearted excuse to leave the desk and and took off down the hall as fast as I safely could. I was so focused on the door that led to her room that I barely dodged my co-workers and patients on the way.

I didn’t bother any attempt with protocol or proper procedure, I just pushed the door open and stared at the little girl sitting on the bed.

She watched me as I let the door shut automatically behind me, her turquoise eyes searching my face as I approached the bed and knelt on the floor, putting my face on level with hers.

I could see it in my mind’s eye, the flowing blue hair that had been there the night that she had been brought to the hospital, how she must have shouted at the nurses and EMTs as they tried to treat her wounds, her voice failing to match the power of the Royal Canterlot Voice. Her tears as they cut off her hair and her crying for her sister as they prepared her for surgery.

“Luna,” I breathed softly, my heart still pounding in my ears and my brain begging for Ashliegh to have been wrong.

To my utter horror the little girl nodded, looking as shocked as I felt; her wide, expressive eyes telling the whole story.

Without any warning she threw herself into my arms, buried her face into my neck and started to cry. It took my brain a couple of seconds to catch up with the situation and wrap my own arms around her trembling frame and pull her completely into my arms.

The two of us sat in her room for a long while as she cried herself out of tears. At some point, I had lifted her into my lap and sat on the bed. She had latched onto me and was holding on as tight as her little arms could hold her.

We sat together for a long time even after she stopped crying. I told her about my fiance and our house and my dog. I told her about finding Twilight and how I knew who she was. She told me about her sister and her home. Everything matched up with Twilight’s version of Equestria. She never seemed to run out of things to discuss, and just kept talking about everything and nothing.

She had the cutest little lisp from a missing central incisor.

There was a knock at the door to the room and Ashleigh and a middle aged woman in tweeds entered the room.

If either of the two women thought that my presence in the room was unusual, neither of them mentioned it. The woman was holding a leather folio under one arm and sported a firm, unyielding expression.

“Matt,” said Ashleigh a little hesitantly “This is-”

“I am Judith Ratchet,” the woman cut in without a single emotion on her face. “I am from the Austin branch of the Child Protection Services here to oversee the transfer of a-” she opened her folio to look sheet of paper. “Jane Doe to foster care.”

“So soon?” I asked, my heart hammering behind my ears and my mind racing.

“I’m sorry,” she said, cocking her head ever so slightly to the right and appraising me with her hard flint-colored eyes. “What was your position here in the hospital again?”

“Nurse Mxxxxxxx,” interjected Ashleigh before I could say anything, “is one of the best nurses that we have here in the Children’s wing. He’s usually assigned to the hardest cases that we have and can relate to the kids and make their stay much more bearable.”

“Is that so?” the social worker said with a prim upturning of her lips.

“Yes ma’am,” I quipped, placing Luna on the bed next to me and and standing, putting myself between Luna and the social worker.

She let out an amused hum through her pursed lips and walked around me to get a better look at Luna, who just looked back at her.

“Well,” Ms. Ratchet said, not bothering to actually say anything to Luna, “she seems well enough to be removed from this environment.”

Neither Ashleigh nor I responded.

“I will return tomorrow to retrieve Ms. Doe-”

“Luna.” I cut in, interrupting her.

“Hmm?” Ms. Ratchet was writing on the paperwork in her folio with a pen that she had snatched out of Ashleigh’s scrubs pocket. She didn’t look up.

“She said that her name is Luna,” I said as I crossed my arms over my chest, the beginnings of a migraine pounding behind my eyes and a scowl darkening my face.

“Her name is listed as Jane Doe,” was the only reply that I received as she slapped her folio shut. “Nurse Ashleigh... Mr. Mxxxxxxx. I will return here tomorrow.” Without another word, Judith Ratchet walked out of the room, leaving the three of us standing in a stunned silence.

“Did that really just happen?” asked Ashleigh, her voice showing her barely contained anger. “Did she really just steal my pen?”

“I- I don’t know, I’m as confused as you are,” I said, dropping onto the bed, my hand running through my hair.

“How can she be a social worker?” Ashleigh rounded on me, her face alight with fury. “Does she even know how to work with children?”

“I doubt it,” I muttered darkly.

Ashleigh heaved a sigh of her own and sat down on the bed, on the other side of Luna, and put an arm around the little girl.

“We’re so sorry about her, Little One,” she said in the most soothing tone that she could muster considering the circumstances. “But at least you’ll be out of here and somewhere where you can get all the attention that you deserve.”

My brain, dismissing the social worker as yet another workplace annoyance, finally caught up to the what the miserable woman had said.

Luna was to be transferred to a foster home.

Tomorrow.

.oOo.

“And I’m telling you that there’s no way that we can do this and make it out okay,” Michelle said, pacing the living room as Twilight and I sat at the dining room table. “They’ll know it was you within a few minutes.”

“Don’t you think that I know that?” I shot back, rubbing the back of my neck and glancing over at Twilight. “But we cannot let Luna be lost to the foster care system. She doesn’t belong here.”

“That goes without saying,” sighed Michelle, taking a seat of her own. “But that doesn’t mean that we’re going to be able to do it and succeed. Even if we were able to... procure Luna from the hospital or the CPS, we wouldn’t be able to do or go anywhere.”

“But why can’t we explain the situation to this CPS?” Twilight asked. “Surely they’ll give Luna to us.”

“Things don’t work like that Twi,” I said, putting a hand on hers. “You remember how I reacted to your story?”

She nodded.

“The main reason that you even got a chance to explain yourself was because I am a brony. These people would not only kick us out of their office, they would probably start an investigation into my past and I could lose my job. Not to mention that they’d take Luna even sooner and we would never see her again.”

“But why would they do that?” Twilight asked, growing frustrated.

“Because, Twi,” said Michelle, taking over for me. “These people will only believe what they think is right and won’t be persuaded. Luna is, according to the law, a parentless orphan and ward of the state. As such, they can do whatever they want with her, within reason of course.”

There was an uncomfortable silence before I said, “Michelle, take Twi over to Walmart or something and get Luna some clothes.”

“What? Why?”

“Someway, somehow, we’re going to be getting Luna out of that hospital and there’s no way that we’re going to be okay afterwards. Are the extended bug out bags ready?”

The two women looked at me. Their fear was palpable.

“Look,” I sighed, “There’s something bigger than us going on. We have a duty to help them, the Equestrians, get home.”

Michelle sucked in a ragged breath, stood, and gave me a firm nod. She grabbed her purse and, with Twilight following her, left the house.

I pulled my iPhone from my pocket and activated my contacts list, allowing my thumb to hang over the name of an old friend. I roomed with the same guy in college for all four years. We had been the best of friends but had gone our separate ways when I went into nursing and he went to work at the Department of Defense.

I called the number.

It rang once and someone on the other end said: “I thought that I told-”

I cut him off, knowing full well that I sounded like a fool, but he would know what I was doing. “I fall to my knees, holding my hands to the air and shout ‘Who will help this fatherless son?’”

There was long pause before he gave the response. “And I take you by the hands and say, ‘I have you my brother.’”

I smiled in relief and felt some of the stress bleed out of my shoulders.

“What are you doing?” hissed the voice over the phone. “You know what could happen if someone catches us on this line.”

“I know, I know,” I responded talking as fast as I could. “But I have no one else to turn to.”

He didn’t respond and I could tell that he didn’t want to hear what I had to say.

“I’m calling in everything.”

“Everything?”

“Everything.”

“What are you talking about?”

I explained everything. From meeting Twilight in my yard, the mental phenomenon that Michelle and I experienced when she had said her name, finding Luna in the hospital, and the eventual placement of Luna into the care of the state. I told him what I was planning on doing and what I needed him to do.

“Shit.”

I winced at his choice of words. I could hear his fingers flying over his keyboard. Doing what, I had no idea - this conversation could go down one of two very different ways.

“That’s one hell of a favor that you’re asking,” he said with a sigh. I could hear him lean back in his chair.

“Can you do it?”

“Of course I can do it,” he snapped. “Its not a question if I can do it, its a question of ‘Are you willing to sacrifice everything for this?’”

I took a deep breath and said, “I am.”

“You’re stupid, you know that?”

“So you’ve said. On numerous occasions.”

“You have pictures of everyone?”

“I can have them in the usual place within the next few minutes.”

There was another long pause and I could hear more keystrokes and his dark mutterings.

“Be ready to go, the package will arrive tomorrow morning.”

“That fast?”

“If you’d like to wait...”

“No, no! Fast is good,” I rubbed the back of my neck as the conversation went on.

“You’ll have to leave everything behind, you know that right? Even the dog.”

“I know, I’ll leave Emma with my parents.”

There was another long pause, the two of us hadn’t spoken in over two years and it had been mostly my fault.

“Its been a long time,” I said awkwardly.

“It has.”

“Is there anything that you’d like me to leave you?”

“You know that you can’t do that.”

“I know, but I was trying to repair our friendship.”

“I know,” he sighed, I could hear the old familiar smile creeping into his voice. “You won’t be able to come home after this. We won’t be able to talk anymore or see each other after this.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Me too.”

I heard a couple more keystrokes before he said, “Done. I can get you on that plane, I can get where you’re going, and I can even save your money. But the moment that you step out of that airport I cannot help you anymore.

“Thanks.”

He hung up without saying another word and I sat in silence for a couple of minutes, thinking about our friendship and everything that I was about to sacrifice, everything that my fiance was about to sacrifice as well.

I heaved a sigh and lurched to my feet, leaving my phone sitting on the table, and went about gathering all of the electronics in the house and all of my guns.

It was time for one last cleaning.

Author's Note:

Oh my god, its about time I had a new chapter up.

The next chapter is almost ready to be sent to the editor, so no super long wait this time.

Be on the lookout for my two new stories that I have in the works and tell me what you think of them.

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