• Published 14th Aug 2020
  • 7,355 Views, 508 Comments

Queen Of The Wasteland - Jest

Twilight awakens to find that she is no longer an alicorn, nor a pony for that matter. Rather she has become the fearsome queen of the wasteland.

  • ...

An Eighteen Karat Run Of Bad Luck

Reality was a slippery, tumultuous thing, and for a long time Twilight Sparkle could do nothing but fall endlessly, unable to grab hold of anything solid. Sound blurred around her, the beeps and whirrs of unseen machines turning into an auditory mess that made it difficult to locate where these phantom devices were located. Her vision faded in and out, sometimes giving her a glimpse of a pale white room, other times she saw only darkness. Throughout it all the only constant was the numbness that surrounded and encapsulated her entire body. Even her limbs had become little more than dead weight, the pony unable to even feel them or be certain they were still attached.

Panic was constant, but her own distant consciousness stopped her from being able to truly succumb to that fear. The few moments of awareness she did have were filled with little more than screaming, and the endless sensation of falling without ever hitting the ground. It was in these moments of partial awareness that she caught a glimpse of her friends, suspended in tubes all around her, only for her vision to swim almost immediately and the world to fade away.

Throughout it all, Twilight kicked, screamed, and clawed desperately at reality, trying to get a grip on the fleeting thing and give her the strength to reenter the world. Thoughts of her friends, and what they must be going through gave her the clarity of focus amidst a world of blurred colors, and altered perception. Friendship had guided her through so much in recent years, and it was that hope, that dream, that friendship would guide her through even this, that gave her the strength to push through and continue fighting.

Then, after what felt like a small eternity, Twilight’s eyes flicked open and her mind instantly latched on to that realization, forcing her eyelids to remain open. Weariness clawed at the edge of her mind, trying to return her to her slumber, but she refused to allow it any grip. Her friends needed her, and though she couldn't think of the exact reason why she knew that, she felt, deep in her heart, that it was true. She had to get up, she had to fight this, she had to save them, and with a groan and a lurch, she stumbled forward.

Only for her limbs to not cooperate with her demands and end up flailing in all directions and being rendered completely useless. She could feel small tube like objects tear from her sides and back when she lurched forward, but that pain was small in comparison to the agony that came immediately after, when she landed face first on the cold floor. Twilight was vaguely aware of something clattering across the ground, as the sound of metal bouncing near her head was unmistakable, yet her eyes refused to function as she demanded of them.

Every color and shape seemed to blur together, creating a collage of blues, whites, and greys that did little to help her figure out where she was. Her sense of smell was also of little help, as everything smelled vaguely of raspberries for some reason. She could at least feel everything, but even that sense seemed to have failed her, as Twilight quickly realized she had neither hooves, horn, or wings, which was clearly impossible. She was an alicorn last she checked, yet when she went to extend the feathery appendages that grew from her back there were no limbs to answer her command.

She could feel the familiar well of magic deep inside her, but it was muted, distant and despite her focus on it, she could not summon so much as a spark of power. Which made sense as her horn was completely gone, and in it's place was a flat expanse of forehead. A twist of her cranium brought forth new sensations that only challenged the idea that she was hornless, as she felt two long objects attached to her skull bump against the ground as well as something else.

Brushing aside that feeling, Twilight focused on just putting whatever manner of limb she had under her command, beneath her. With a groan, the mare lifted said limb and used it to push against the ground in an attempt to raise her body upwards. And though she was successful, it was only for a moment, as she landed back on the ground with another groan a second later.

The action wasn't completely useless though, as she found that blood now filled her body, and her heart was no longer lazily beating in her chest but was instead pounding for all it's worth. Her vision slowly came together, the blurred lines and sporadic bits of color aligning to create solid objects for the first time in what felt like forever. A second later and the collage of sound that came from a variety of machines coalesced into their own distinct noises.

All of this combined to give Twilight the power to finally stand up and observe her surroundings clearly for the first time. The room she was in immediately reminded her of a laboratory of some kind as various machines clicked and whirred all around her. What stood out the most however were the six large tubes against two of the main walls, three on each side. Every one large enough to contain a manticore and strangely reminiscent of the tubes she saw in her brief snippet of consciousness. Next to her was an equally large table, stained red in some places and green in others, adding a foreboding feeling to the room.

It was obvious at that moment that this was indeed some manner of lab, and that it was also doubled as an operating room of some kind. She tried to cry out, to ask if anyone was nearby, but her voice wasn't there, and all that came out was a strange croaking noise that unnerved her immensely. It was at that point, with fear rising in her chest that she looked down and truly took stock of her strange body.

What she saw immediately unsettled her, as the familiar purple fur and soft skin was replaced by a tough, leathery hide of black with only the occasional splash of lavender here and there. More disturbing than her clearly reptilian flesh were the massive claws that grew from the ends of her fingers. The fact that she had hands was almost reassuring, as it meant that she wasn't in the body of something completely alien, as the mare had experience being a bipedal human in the past. That reassurance was dashed when she looked upon the long black talons sprouting from the end of each finger, noting how they appeared sharp enough to tear through leather or maybe even wood and thin metal with relative ease.

That sense of terror and dysphoria only grew as she gazed down her body in all it's alien horror. Her thick, leathery hide covered every inch of her body, including her torso, which had two small mounds where she assumed her breasts would be. Though overall her body appeared vaguely humanoid, her hips were too wide and helped to support a pair of powerful legs that ended with clawed feet. The toes on the end of each resembled the clawed appendages of dinosaurs, and sporting long claws not unlike the ones attached to her hands. Stranger still was the long tail that sprouted from her butt, a tail which swished nervously behind her, the scaled limb nearly as long as she was tall and ending in a nearly whip-like thinness.

Mirror, I need a mirror! Twilight thought to herself, the former pony unable to breathe amidst the wave of panic rising in her breast.

Looking around, Twilight found a small metal plate of some kind, one that had been obviously designed to hold various surgical tools. Noting it's shine, Twilight reached out and grabbed it, hoping to use it's reflective surface to see herself in, only for her claws to pierce straight through the thin metal like it was mere tissue paper. Putting aside the terror that came from that small realization, Twilight gently gripped the edge of the thing and slowly turned it, unsure if she even wanted to see what her reflection held. Between grim fascination, and cold logic, Twilight found herself twisting the metal pan and gazing at what it contained.

The face staring back at her could not be more alien, while also still remaining at least vaguely humanoid. Two small, beady violet eyes were stood out on either side of her head, the placement of which confirming that she was some manner of reptile. Thin slit like nostrils at the end of her sloped muzzle like snout helped to cement this assumption almost as much as the dagger sharp teeth within said mouth did. Clamping her jaw shut, Twilight tried to look away, only to notice the two massive horns growing out of either side of her head.

If Twilight had been thinking clearly she would have realized that she had already noticed the horns earlier, but had blocked their existence from her mind, but right now she was not aware of that fact. Her mind was busy reeling as she stared at the huge, boney growths that extended from her head, each one nearly two and a half feet long. The base of each horn nearly covered one half of her skull and grew up, and forward before bending back down slightly only to turn sharply at the ends.

The word demon echoed in her mind, and looking back at her reflection Twilight couldn't deny that such a description was apt for her new body. A small part of her was silently glad that she had no obvious sexual organs that needed to be covered, but that thought was drowned out by sheer terror. Alien urges, thoughts, and instincts flooded her system, all of which was brushed aside by panic, and turning into a flailing cry of pain and confusion.

Her large, taloned hands tore through the operating table, rending metal with ease and reducing it to little more than a pile of scrap in only a few swipes. Her breath came in hard and labored, and Twilight noticed that she had fallen to the ground sometime during her panic attack. Laying there, Twilight tried to think of a solution, or at least a reason for her predicament, only to come up with nothing. The last thing she remembered was laughter, though whose laughter that was, and why that creature was laughing was beyond her.

She wanted to curl up into a ball and cry herself to sleep, but her vision strayed towards the other tubes, realization slowly dawning on her. If I’m a monster, does that mean my friends are too? Jolting upwards, Twilight looked around, eyeing the room closer than before, senses keen to the sound of her friends’ voices.

Only for their to be nothing as the room was still and quiet, save for the sounds of the machines all around her. Her second visual inspection was much more successful however, and Twilight realized that the walls, floor, and ceiling were all made of metal panels which covered everything. I’m underground. She thought to herself, jaw hanging open as she looked around in wonder.

Evidently they were fairly deep underground as well, if even her keen hearing couldn't detect a single sound save for the machines behind her. Looking away from the destruction she had rained down upon the table, she noticed there were two exits to the room, each one appearing as a metal door devoid of handle. The one to her right was small, and seemed to be built for a creature three feet shorter than whatever Twilight was while the other was large, but also warped and scorched.

Nearing the second door, Twilight recognized the signs of fire closely, as burn marks were everywhere, and a small control panel near the rightmost side sparked occasionally. Not wanting to push her luck with the larger, and clearly broken door, Twilight took a step towards the smaller one. Only to almost immediately stumble and nearly fall right back onto her face.

Growling to herself, Twilight slowly trod her way over to the metal portal, each step ponderous, and carefully placed. Though experienced with walking bipedally due to her time in an alternate reality, these legs bent backwards just below the knee. This made every movement difficult and that was without mentioning the long reptilian tail that followed behind her. By the time she reached the door however, her brain seemed to make the connections necessary to walk without issue. Though Twilight realized her facial muscles were not complex enough to smile, she imagined herself grinning at least, silently thankful that her new instincts allowed her to walk slowly at least.

With that small hurdle bypassed, Twilight made her way over to the door and looked it over, finding that although there was no handle, the small pad to the right of the door seemed like the obvious method of opening it. Extending a claw, Twilight quickly retracted her hand, not wanting to accidentally slice straight through the button and possibly electrocute herself. Instead of doing that, she merely used the edge of her hand to brush against the large green button at the top of the pad.

Immediately the door opened, splitting into two sections near the middle and receding into the top and bottom of the doorway. Confused, and not wanting to get caught in the closing door, Twilight ducked down and quickly rushed through without looking first. Looking around once through, Twilight found the next area was a small, cramped hallway that bent to her left, and had two doors directly in front of her, and another to her left. Noting that the one to the left likely went to the burnt room, Twilight chose to try the door that lay directly before her. This one opened swiftly, and in the same manner as the first, prompting Twilight to awkwardly durdle her way through the door, fearful of getting caught in it while it closed.

This area was relatively small, but appeared more normal, at least at first glance anyway. The small space she stood in felt like an entryway into someone’s home, complete with welcome mat, a small table wherein one could place their keys and a shoe rack devoid of foot wear. The entire area resembled a bent L and opened up into an apartment devoid of the usual things you would assume an apartment would have.

There was no bed, couch, fridge, or dresser left, and only the distinct different kinds of tiling and cabinets allowed Twilight to figure out what each area used to be before it had been altered. Changed to allow the room to be stuffed with various metal crates piled as high as the ceiling in some places. A sudden clank, hiss from a particularly deep row of boxes drew Twilight’s attention, making her realize she was no longer alone.

Twilight tried to say hello, or utter any word at all really, but all that came out was a garbled, and nonsensical growl of some kind. The former pony didn't have long to think of why that was before the clank hiss happened again, and a large metal creature stepped out from the row of boxes, looking up at the towering creature that was Twilight Sparkle. The former unicorn immediately thought of a toaster on legs, as the creature’s body was strangely boxy, but all such levity vanished the instant the thing spoke.

“Experiment one three three nine, please go back to your pod. Head researcher CORRUPTED, has not authorized your removal.” droned the vaguely masculine sounding robotic voice.

Experiment? I have a name you know, and what kind of name is corrupted anyway? Twilight thought to herself.

The creature Twilight had become, tried to speak again, but only more growling noises came out of her mouth, irritating her to no end. Come on voice, work darnit!

“Experiment has grown agitated, elevated heart rate detected. Subject containment protocol enacted,” Announced the metal creature who lifted it's arms and pointed it's hands at her.

Twilight took an awkward step back, only for her horns to catch on the ceiling and make her wince. She wasn't sure what the strangely ovoid creature wanted, or why it was raising it's three clawed hands at her, but from the way it spoke it sounded hostile. Raising her own hands, Twilight tried to get it to calm down, only to forget that she could only growl, and was no longer capable of speech.

Without a word, the metal creature’s left hand lit up with a bright blue light which shot from the end and hit Twilight square in the chest. Pain rippled across the former pony’s body and her knees suddenly became weak, threatening to give out and drop her to the floor. Her reaction time was slowed even more, owing not only from the bolt of blue energy, but also by her own poor understanding of her new body. Resulting in the boxy creature nearly scoring a second hit on Twilight before she managed to duck out of the room.

For a moment rage nearly consumed her, alien instincts threatening to dominate the former pony’s mind and send her into a second psychotic fury. That feeling was buried in an instant however, as Twilight knew that despite this creature’s hostility it did not seem to intend true harm. It's only goal seemed to be knocking Twilight out and dragging her back into the tube, something Twilight wasn't sure she wanted to happen.

Confused and staggered from her brief mental bout with her new instincts, and the blue bolt that had struck her, Twilight’s hand shot out in an attempt to close the door. Only to forget about how sharp her claws were and causing her to slice straight through it and get a nasty zap while also locking the door open. Retracting her claw, Twilight let out a painful cry as she staggered backwards, followed closely by the hiss clank of the strange metallic creature.

“Wait, stop, I’m going! Just don't shoot me with that thing anymore!” Twilight tried to plead only for her voice to remain little more than an incomprehensible noise.

“Do not resist,” droned the metal creature as it rounded the bend and fired another shot.

This time Twilight wasn't quite fast enough and her whole left arm went numb after getting hit by the blue beam of light. Confused, and panicked, Twilight lashed out with the one hand she could feel, attempting to shove the much shorter creature over. Claws connected, and while it was indeed knocked over, four long gash marks were also carved out of the space Twilight assumed it's face was. Retracting her clawed hand in horror, Twilight watched as the brightly lit bulb at the top of the metal thing’s head flickered.

“Do not resissssst...” It exclaimed before falling silent and then over, landing on it's back.

The light atop it's head went out, and the exposed wiring and circuitry stopped sparking a second later . “Oh no, I killed it!” Twilight yelled, the former pony dashing over to the thing and crouching down next to it.

Looking down, Twilight tried to figure out a way to heal the metal creature, only to realize it was indeed just a machine, albeit one far more advanced then she had ever seen before. Remembering the movie she had seen while in that other dimension, Twilight recalled that robots werent truly alive, and thus she had not actually killed anyone. Sighing, Twilight gently pushed the robot aside, still feeling a hint of guilt in the bottom of her soul despite knowing it wasn't a living thing like her.

She considered trying to fix it, as there was still a chance the robot was sentient, but decided against it, as she knew nothing of robotics, and even if she did she was fairly certain she'd do more harm than good. Standing up once more, Twilight slipped into the room she had just backed out of, making sure not to bang her horns on the doorway this time. Once inside she gave the place a better look, inspecting the rows of enormous metal crates and finding a strange tube-like object near the back. A tube that had the same general coloration of the robot she had just accidentally destroyed.

This must be where it charges itself. Twilight reasoned before turning back around and walking away.

Pulling at some the crates revealed that although Twilight could open them, they all contained scrap metal and busted electronics, or food that reaked of chemicals. Sticking out her tongue in disgust, Twilight walked away from the room and made her way to the second door along that same wall. Pressing the button carefully, Twilight was greeted with what looked like a completely normal bathroom, save for the fact that everything was covered in dust, and hadn't appeared to have ever been used.

With a shrug, Twilight popped her head back into the hallway and turned to the final door. After a moment’s hesitation, she gently pressed the open button, revealing a large, and utterly destroyed room. Machines lined the wall across from her, each one different, and each one broken in some manner, either due to the explosion that seemed to have gone off in the center of the room, or the ensuing fires it had no doubt spawned. Though the damage was contained to a single room, it was still quite extensive, and there was a small crater in the very middle of the area.

Other than that there was a door to her right, with a small, mostly undamaged boxy display sitting on a table next to it. Attached to the ancient looking machine was a keyboard of some kind, in addition to a large battery that was connected via a series of thick wires. Everything else in the room was unusable, and even the large window that connected this room to the next was almost completely scorched black, leaving only a small area she could actually see out of.

Peering through the glass, Twilight was able to see that there was a lift of some kind beyond, one that went up into the ceiling, though at the moment it was not on her floor. The rest of the room was too blurry to see, but from what Twilight could make out she was left with the impression that it was another storage area of some kind, with bunches of crates littered everywhere.

Brushing that aside for now, Twilight walked over to the button and gently pressed it, expecting the door to open and receiving only a harsh beep in response. Cocking her head, she hit the button again, and received the same harsh beep of denial. Frowning to herself, Twilight pressed it a little harder, and after getting no change she stepped away. With a sigh, Twilight turned to the blocky machine just beside it, figuring that it would help in some manner.

Leaning down, Twilight looked around for a chair, and after finding none, merely kneeled before the electronic device. She was about to tap a key with a claw only to remember how sharp they were, at which point she dug through the various piles of ash nearby until she was able to locate a pencil. Which she then used to tap at the keyboard, prompting the machine to light up and reveal a greenish screen where deeper emerald green letters appeared.

Welcome to Robco Industries (TM) Termlink

Was displayed across the top, and after that, nothing. Leaving Twilight confused, and slightly disappointed, as her knowledge of computers was sparse, but what she did know told her that this was not how they were supposed to work. She tried to find the launch key only to find nothing, and with no mouse of any kind, Twilight was left without any idea on how to activate it.

I have to find a way out of here, the girls need me. Twilight thought to herself, before turning away from the machine and peering back through the glass, instantly noticing that the lift was now down, meaning someone had activated it, and may be outside the room.

Not trusting her damaged vocal cords, Twilight gently pounded her hand on the thick glass. After several hard thumps, Twilight retracted her hand and continued to peer through, her eyes wide, and filled with hope.

Hope that was renewed when she saw a human face poke out from the side and gaze up at her. The human was evidently female, and had sharp blue eyes hidden behind a pair of aged glasses, with her long black hair tucked into a tight ponytail. She wore a long leather coat that went all the way down to her knees, while also coming up to her ears in the form of a high collar. Beneath that coat she wore a black shirt of some kind as well as a pair of black jeans, and large leather boots. In one hand she wielded what looked like a small caliber pistol, while in the other she had a knife. On her wrist was a bulky display of some kind that took up a good chunk of her arm and glowed with a faint green light.

Before Twilight had a chance to do anything, the human’s face vanished, a terrified expression flashing across her face. Twilight could hear the scramble of boots on the ground beyond, and she watched in confusion as the creature ran over to the lift and began hammering on a control panel near the bottom. Seeing her chance of freedom vanishing before her eyes, Twilight pounded harder on the glass, yelling to be let out.

When that action only made the human more panicked, Twilight quickly put a stop to that, mentally reprimanding herself for scaring the young girl. Thinking quickly, Twilight tried to write hello on the window, but her claws, for once, didn't leave a scratch. In front of her, the human was busy typing away at the machine next to the lift, evidently frustrated, and casting nervous glances in Twilight’s direction.

Think Twilight, think! If she leaves, you might starve down here! Twilight closed her eyes, focusing inward and after a few seconds opened her eyes once more, an idea popping into her head.

Placing a single claw against the window, Twilight began to tap in morse code, silently glad that her dad had entertained her younger self’s brief dream of being a train conductor all those years ago. “Stop, please help me, I’m trapped.” Twilight tapped out.

Yet despite her best efforts, the human didn't seem to catch on, and when the lift shuddered to life once more, and she stepped on, Twilight sped up her tapping. “S.O.S” She tapped out, over and over, hoping against hope that the human would at least know that much.

The human’s finger hovered over the lift controls, stopping just before touching them and staring down at Twilight in confusion. For a moment it looked like she may very well leave anyway, but as Twilight continued to tap, the human let her finger fall away, understanding slowly spreading across her face. Though the former pony wanted to raise her fist in excitement, she continued to tap away, this time trying something more in depth.

“Door is locked, can you help?” She asked.

The creature raised a finger and turned to her arm mounted machine, quickly turning the various knobs and buttons on it for almost a minute. The human’s eyes went wide, and she pumped her arm in the air, as if in victory. “There we go, can you understand me?” She asked, turning to Twilight.

The mare nodded, but also tapped out her response, just in case the human didn't understand her. “Yes.”

The already shocked human’s eyes went wider still, to the point that Twilight was fairly certain there was a chance they may roll right out of her head completely. “This is amazing,” she whispered faintly.

“The door is locked, can you get me out?” Twilight asked again.

“I might be able to, but I want to ask you a few questions before I do that.” Replied the human, who became strangely calm.

Twilight nodded, having realized how scary she no doubt looked to the smaller creature. “Go ahead,” she tapped.

The human looked down, and after a few seconds of translating, nodded. “Okay, first things first, how did you get down here?”

Twilight shrugged.

“Well that answer doesn't need translation,” muttered the woman. “Uh, now then, what are you?”

Again, Twilight shrugged, only this time she had to stop herself before she replied ‘a pony’ as something told her she didn't count as an alicorn any longer.

“How do you not know?” Asked the human.

“I have not been in this world for long. I do not know what type of creature I now am,” Twilight explained.

“Wait, repeat that again and slower this time,” replied the human, who was hastily scrolling with her wrist computer.

Twilight did just that, prompting the human to stare off into space for a few seconds before looking at Twilight in a new, and strange light. “Are you an alien?”

Twilight chuckled, only to find that such an action came out more like a series of raspy gasps rather than laughter. “Technically yes, but I am from another dimension, probably, not space.”

“Another dimension? Now that's just silly,” deadpanned the human.

Twilight shrugged. “This isn't the first time this has happened,” she tapped.

“Wow… I don't suppose your going to eat me if I let you out, are you?” Inquired the human with a hint of nervousness.

Twilight shook her head. “I was a herbivore before this and though I haven't figured out if this body requires meat, I have no intention of eating you,” she explained.

“Well then, this must be quite a shock to you then.”

Twilight nodded her large, horned head.

“Step back, I’ll try and get the door open, just keep your distance for now, okay?” Pressed the human, who pointed at the former pony.

Twilight nodded, and did as she was told, the creature stepping back and watching the door closely.

After a few moments of silence punctuated only by the tinkling of metal on metal, the door opened, revealing the human girl who pointed the small snub nosed revolver at her. “Come out here when I can see you better.” She commanded in a shaky tone.

Twilight raised her hands and did just that, only to get nearly blinded by the bright floursenct lights that filled this room with artificial illumination. “Sorry about that, it must be quite a change compared to the dark,” apologized the girl.

Twilight had been about to agree with her before the ex pony realized that she had seen just fine despite the fact that the other room had been pitch black. Putting that thought aside for now, Twilight realized she was being inspected by a still nervous human, who kept one finger firmly on the trigger of her weapon while the other was now behind her back.

“Strange, you have no marks of any kind, and though slightly irradiated you don't seem to be a mutant,” murmured the human, who was looking down at her arm mounted computer.

Raising a non-existent eyebrow, Twilight began to tap on the floor. “I assume you are human?” she asked.

“That I am, though I’m surprised you know what that is. Regardless, the name’s Janey Booth, courier. Or at least I was anyway,” muttered the human. “And what’s your name? If you have a name that is.”

“Twilight Sparkle,” replied Twilight.

“Well, that's certainly the last thing I would have guessed,” Murmured the human.

“So is yours,” Twilight replied with a smirk.

Janey chuckled and put her weapon. “Well it's nice to meetcha Twilight, don't suppose you have any plans once your out of here, eh?”

Twilight began to nod her head only to stop and shake her hand from side to side. “I need to find my friends, but I don't know where they could be,” Twilight tapped out.

“Well, ain't that a kick in the head?” Chuckled Janey. “I’m going on a bit of an adventure myself, why don't you join me? If you watch my back, I’ll promise to help you try and find your friends.”

Twilight began to nod her excitedly, glad she was lucky enough to wander into someone capable of helping her out. “Yes, yes, yes!” She tapped.

“Slow down there partner, we haven't found 'em yet. Plus we haven't even shaken hands yet,” pointed out Janey, who extended her right hand. “Put her there.”

Eyeing the offered limb closely, Twilight did her best to keep her claws out of the way while gently shaking the human’s hand.

“I can already tell you this is going to be the start of a beautiful friendship,” declared Janey, as she silently released the grip her left hand had on a grenade and slipped it back into a coat pocket. “Just beautiful.”

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