• Published 28th Aug 2012
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Timelords and Terror - H3ph3stus



The Doctor and Mane Six vs a Cosmic Horror

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Timelords and Terror Chapter 2

“C’mon huh?” said the larger colt. “She said she’d totally be there, all you need is the horse apples to go into the forest!”

“I dunno Cherry Swirl, you sure she’ll even be there? I mean the Everfree Forest is not what I’d call a romantic locale!” Said the younger colt.

Cherry Swirl rolled his eyes; Orange Pekoe had always been a stick in the mud. “See, it’s saying nerdy stuff like that that’s keeping all the fillies away! She said she had a sister, and nothing impresses the fillies like a brave stallion! And nothing says ‘brave stallion’ like venturing through the Everfree!”

Orange Pekoe scratched at the dirt nervously, the sun had gone down and the Everfree Forest was no place for ponies even in the day. “I dunno…she really has a sister?”

Cherry Swirl chuckled. “Yep! If she’s anything like the filly I met…heh heh! So what’s it gonna be? Trot through the little old forest, or run back to mommy?”

The two colts trudged through the thick underbrush. There was something unnatural about the Everfree Forest; legend had it that ponies were created to govern the world, ponies kept the environment stable and the air clean, kept the animals fed and the plants pollinated. The Everfree Forest was not like the rest of Equestria, things just…happened. Plants grew, animals killed and ate other animals, clouds formed and rain fell, and it was utterly alien.

The two broke through a batch of bramble bushes, Orange Pekoe’s hoof catching on a thick root. The colts fell on top of each other and a brief scuffle ensued.

“Why don’t you watch where you’re goin’ scatter-mane?”

“Lay off the Sweet Apple Acres, you nearly crushed me to death!”

“Oh boys-er-gentlecolts, please don’t fight.” said a sultry, seductive voice.

The two colts looked up to see a beautiful young mare. Her deep sapphire coat contrasted with her flowing magenta mane in such a way it seemed to glow in the dark, two almost glowing rose-red eyes set against a perfectly structured face. The two colts scrambled to their feet, both stammering nervously.

“Oh, no need to be nervous! Two handsome young m-uh-stallions such as yourselves.”

Cherry Swirl puffed out his chest and strutted forward. “Hey Sapphire, you said for me to bring some friends. I could only bring him, though. That’s Orange Pekoe, he’s a good colt, never kissed a mare though!”

Her red eyes seemed to flash an alarming crimson shade before returning to the soothing rose tint. “Oh really? Fresh meat always tastes best! Excuse me darling.”

The long legged mare brushed past the dumbstruck rust colored colt and made her way over to the stiff-kneed Orange Pekoe, a coquettish smile on her face. “Come now, don’t be scared. This won’t hurt a bit…”

Orange Pekoe squeaked what could have been a response before being led away by the beautiful female. Sapphire looked over her shoulder at the shocked and somewhat angry Cherry Swirl. “Reeka, Draggle, he’s all yours.”

“Sure thing ‘Sapphire’!” Two other fillies said in unison. A thin long legged mare appeared on Cherry Swirl’s right while a stockier extremely well built mare appeared on his left.

Cherry Swirl’s jaw dropped. “Tuh-Two Suh-sisters?! Wuh-wow! Uhh I mean, hey fillies, how’s it goin’?”

“Better now that you’re here!” said the well-built one, with a smile that was too wide for her face.

“Yeah, we’re so hungry!” said the thin one.

Cherry Swirl smiled and nodded before saying. “Heh…wait, what?”

Sapphire led the young colt into a secluded area lit by moonlight, signaling for him to sit by a tree stump. “You just wait there, I have to go…freshen up. I’ll be right back.”

Orange Pekoe heard something that could have been a scream, but it was too short and too quiet to register in his brain as such. “I-I-I-I r-ruh-really uh, uuum I-” He sighed in exacerbation and put his head in his hooves. He stomped his hoof to the ground. “No, this isn’t right…”

He got up and walked around the tree stump. “Uh, m-miss Sapphire? I’m afraid I…I…oh horse apples…”

The beautiful mare was surrounded by a darkly glowing red-black haze, her eyes burning pits of crimson light. She opened her mouth; it was suddenly filled with sharp spade-shaped teeth, and she spoke with a deep reverberating voice. “I thought I told you to wait. Oh well.”

Her short muzzle began to extend outwards from her face, ballooning at the top until her muzzle and forehead bled together before sharpening at the tip like a beak. As her face changed and morphed so too did her body, coat falling away from jaundiced yellow-brown skin, hind legs fusing and running together like tallow, her forefeet extending and broadening, splitting at the tips into five long claw-tipped digits. The creature rose above him, the red-black haze convalescing and forming a tattered robe.

Orange Pekoe screamed and bolted towards the opening he and Cherry Swirl had entered. “Cherry Swirl!! Oh Celestia help meeeee!!! Cherry Swirl, she’s a mon…oh no.”

Two more creatures like ‘Sapphire’ were holding what used to be Cherry Swirl aloft, the shriveled grey body hung in the air, swirls of opaque orange energy swirling out of its eyes and mouth and into the gaping tooth filled maws of the monsters. He saw one of the points of crimson light that was their eyes turn his way, and the stouter of the two creatures let loose a billowing laugh and threw the dried up husk in his direction. Cherry Swirl’s pale contorted body hit the tree directly above Orange Pekoe’s head, making a horrid paper-like rustling rather than a thud as copious amounts of light grey dust settled on Orange Pekoe’s head and shoulders.

The husk landed directly in front of him and one of the dimly glistening horribly shrunken-in blackened eyes turned towards Orange Pekoe, the mouth moved up and down, creaking like a rusty door hinge as it did so. “…Help meeee…”

Orange Pekoe almost screamed before an enormous clawed hand swatted him from behind. He flew four meters into the opening, skidding off the grass before bouncing off of a partially embedded rock. Dazed, he looked up, three enormous black figures closed in over top of him, three pairs of blindingly bright crimson lights.

They were laughing.


(Dah-da-da-da/ /dah-da-da-da/ /dah-da-da-da/ /dah-da-da-da etc)


DOCTOR WHO(OVES)

Episode 1

Timelords and Terror: Part 2


The Doctor opened his eyes. His head throbbed horribly and a foul taste coated the inside of his mouth. He was in a hospital bed, comfy white cotton sheets over a small mattress perched on a set of metal legs. The smell of alcohol and antiseptics were almost sweet and pleasant compared to the chemical stench that seemed to be coming from within him.

‘Ooh…waking up in a strange hospital, no idea where or when I am, with the taste of embalming fluid on my tongue…must be Wednesday.’ He thought sluggishly to himself. He rolled about in the bed, becoming aware that his body wasn’t moving in the ways that it should. ‘Do I have some casts on? Maybe that bit with the TARDIS wasn’t a dream, not all of it anyway.’ He then noticed the feeling of plastic against his face, a face that didn’t feel right either, and the cold telltale flavor of compressed oxygen breathed against his lips. ‘What is going-’ he thought as he lifted his hands to his face to remove the mask.

Hooves.

The Doctor stared at his hooves, dumbfounded. “What?!”

He thrashed about, his alien body bending and kicking in ways unfamiliar to him. He tore the covers from his body, revealing a small compact equine form. A tattoo of an hourglass etched on his flank. “WHAT!!”

The sound of conversation from down the hall shocked him out of his bed, sending him tumbling over the side. As he fumbled about on the cold linoleum floor he heard the *clip-clopping* of hooves and several female voices.

“Is all the commotion I’ve heard true Ms. Sparkle? A blue box fell from the sky and he stepped out?” Said the eldest sounding one.

“Well, Rainbow Dash grabbed him off of the box before it hit the ground, but yeah it’s true.” said another vaguely familiar voice.

“Yeah! The blithering idiot barely even thanked me! He just started rambling on about Q-Newtrions and tardeds!” said a very familiar voice, the sound of which made his cheek throb. “Hey! Where is he?”

The Doctor managed to get his front legs over the top of the gurney and pulled him self up, the loud rustle of flapping wings greeting him. He looked up into the face of a sky-blue Pegasus with a clearly stratified rainbow mane that descended from red to yellow on top of her head and green to violet down her neck, her large strong-rose colored eyes conveying a clear expression of irritation and distrust. Across the room stood a soft-lavender colored unicorn with a blue and purple pink-streaked mane and next to her was an older ivory horse wearing a doctor’s scrubs.

“What.”

Twilight and Doctor Cross Stitch raced over to the dumbfounded Earth Pony. He rose to his feet and took a few wobbly, uncertain steps before propping himself up against the gurney, his bagged wild blue eyes rapidly shifting from her to Doctor Stitch to Rainbow Dash.

“Sir…” Twilight said slowly, taking a careful step forward. “You’ve been in an accident. We need you to calm down and sit still.”

He locked his eyes onto her, a small almost electric chill shot down her spine. His eyes were not the eyes of a pony, but the tired experienced eyes of a being of many centuries perhaps many millennia old. Only two other creatures in all of Equestria had eyes like that. He took a few more steps, a little steadier this time, and sat himself down in front of the gurney, propping his back up against it.

Doctor Stitch stepped forward and said. “Sir, you’ve recently been subject to significant smoke inhalation, I’m going to put this stethoscope to your chest and I want you to take two deep breaths if that’s alright.”

He smacked his lips and tried to say something before capitulating and nodding. She deftly put on the stethoscope and pressed the disc against his chest.

“Aah!” he exclaimed, causing all three to recoil. “Sorry, it’s cold.”

Doctor Stitch listened for a second or two, switching the stethoscope from side to side before a look of confounded horror spread across her features. “By Celestia’s mane…”

Twilight gasped and cursed at herself, she couldn’t believe that she had forgot. “Oh! Right! I think he has some kind of heart condition, because I remember his heart sounding a bit strange when he first collapsed!”

The middle-aged medical pony shook her head and looked at Twilight. “This stallion has two.”

Rainbow Dash swooped down, casting a curious eye over the brown Earth Pony. “What? He has two heart conditions?”

“No…” said Doctor Stitch. “He has two hearts.”

Twilight’s jaw dropped and she walked over to the mysterious stallion. “He what?!”

“Yeeeeeeeah…” the stallion said as casual as could be, as though this was a common subject of conversation. “Weeeell no…actually…yes, I have two hearts, but no, I’m not a stallion.”

Rainbow Dash set down on the floor with a loud *CLOP* “Whadaya mean you’re not a stallion? You sure as sunlight look like one!”

He nonchalantly rose to his hooves, still quite pale and with bags around his eyes, but his voice was as strong as ever. “No, stallions look like Time Lords! We were here fir-oh…no, wait that’s humans…hmm…actually, why am I a horse?”

“Pony.” Twilight said on impulse.

“What?”

“You’re a pony, an Earth Pony to be specific.” She said, again on impulse.

“…Okay! I’m a pony then! Why am I a pony?” he continued to pace. “Did I regenerate? I must have…no…I still feel like me. Or do I? Hmmm!” He ran over to a chrome I.V. pole, looking at his reflection in the shiny metal. “Messy hair: check. Nice teeth: check. Eyes: Blue? Shame, I liked my brown ones. Devilish good looks: mmmaybe, it’ll take a while for me to figure out pony aesthetic, but I’ll just go ahead and say ‘check’ anyway. Check!”

“What are you talking about?” Twilight demanded, beginning to feel as irritated as Rainbow Dash.

“Regeneration.” He said absently, like this should be obvious, still looking at his reflection. “Time Lord biological process by which life energy is channeled through every cell upon the moment of death, effectively replacing the dead cells with new living cells, causing not-death. I’ve always said it was a dodgy process, but I’ve never heard of a regeneration ending in…pony.”

Doctor Stitch stomped her hoof. “That’s impossible! Nothing on Equestria can spontaneously regenerate all its cells!”

“Good thing I’m not from Equestria then, otherwise I’d be dead ten times over by now…oh, I guess I’d better make that eleven.” He said looking somewhat distraught before shouting. “WAIT! Ah-HAH! Yes, I know what’ll settle this thing once and for all!”

He turned to the three mares, that same radiant jubilant grin on his face. “ALLONS-Y!!” He laughed and did a happy little buck. “Ha-ha-ha-ha! Still me! Shivers and everything! Always does the trick!”

Twilight shook her head and stepped forward. “So…you’re not a pony? You just look like one?”

“Good question! Got an answer, doctor?” He said, looking at Doctor Stitch.

Twilight and Rainbow Dash turned to Doctor Stitch who blinked before saying. “Um…Well, I’ve never heard of a pony having two hearts before, and the beat is too strong and regular to be a genetic mutation. Best I can come up with is that it’s natural...for him anyway.”

Twilight sighed and turned to the stallion, who was looking very pleased with himself. “Okay, we’ll go with this whole ‘not a pony’ thing until we know more.” She turned back to Doctor Stitch. “Is he safe to move?”

Doctor Stitch nodded. “We got him on the oxygen quick, and if there had been anything truly poisonous in that smoke we would have seen the symptoms hours ago. He should be safe, just a little nauseous and fatigued.”

Twilight nodded and turned to Rainbow Dash and the mystery stallion. “Alright then, let’s go.”

Doctor Stitch clopped her hoof against the linoleum floor. “Ms. Sparkle, I’m afraid I must insist that he be kept overnight for observation and experimentation. If he truly is what he says he is, the boons to the medical field could be invaluable!”

Twilight bit her lip and put on a strong face. “I’m afraid this is out of your jurisdiction, doctor. As Ponyville’s official liaison to Princess Celestia, I am declaring this a matter of importance to the Canterlot Magical Research and Development Center. This stallion and his box are of significant importance to the security of Equestria.”

The middle-aged mare smiled coldly. “You have no such authority. You’re just her student away on a field trip!”

Twilight trotted right up close to the older pony, noses almost touching, and locked eyes with her. “Prized student. Do you really want to risk it? As liaison to this world’s physical goddess, I could make life very unpleasant for you.”

Doctor Stitch blinked and shrunk away. “Yes, o-of course he can leave. Make sure he gets plenty of fluids and bed rest.”

“You’re a good doctor, Mrs. Stitch.” Twilight said, trying hard to keep the satisfaction out of her voice as she walked towards the dumbstruck stallion and Rainbow Dash. “Rainbow Dash, Mr. Blue-Box, let’s leave shall we?”

The three ponies exited the hospital and began walking down Ponyville’s main street. It was bustling with early morning market carts and curious ponies looking to buy.
The three walked down the middle of the street, the mystery stallion looking a little worse for wear but otherwise happy, apparently enthralled with the hustle and bustle of a pony market.

“Twilight!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed, hooves up to her face. “That. Was. So. Awesome! ‘I could make life very unpleasant for you’ HA! You really showed her who’s boss!”

Twilight blushed; she really hadn’t been in the mood to wait another day to figure out what had happened. Just thinking about it made her head spin; first a storm that never was, then three shooting stars that changed direction mid-fall, and then one of them turning out to be a little blue box with a pony-but-not-a-pony hanging out the side. She turned to ask ‘Mr. Blue-Box’ just what was going on, only to see him galloping off towards an apple cart. Behind the apple cart was Applejack, and standing next to it was an ecstatic Pinkie Pie, waving and signaling to them. Twilight and Rainbow Dash took off after the stallion.

“Mr Blue-Box! Mr. Blue-Box! I’m glad to see you’re awake!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed. “That guessing game we played was fun!”

Mr. Blue-Box stopped and smiled; sweat running down his pale brow. “Yes, it was wasn’t it? I’d love to pick up where we left off after I take care of something.”

Applejack smiled and leaned forward. “Pinkie Pie! Aren’t yah gonna introduce me tah yer handsome new friend?”

Pinkie dashed over and put a hoof on his back. “This is my new friend Mr. Blue-Box! He fell out of the sky in a burning blue box, and that’s why we call him ‘Mr. Blue-Box’! Blue-Box-Applejack, Applejack-Blue-Box!”

Applejack merely passed off this bizarre introduction as something Pinkie Pie related and reached out a hoof. “Pleased tah meet yah Mr. Blue-Box. Ahm Applejack, friends call me AJ!”

He took her hoof in his and shot her a weak smile. “The…the pleasure’s all mine.”

“Say…” Applejack said, a tinge of worry in her voice. “You don’t look so good, sugarcube!”

He nodded weakly. “Yeah, my body isolated all the toxins I inhaled and deposited them into my stomach for evacuation. I…would appreciate something to eat, if you don’t mind. Preferably something with wheat product in it.”

Applejack smiled broadly and produced a rectangular brown lump of sugar glazed fried dough. “Apple Clan’s Famous Fried Fritters, good for what ails ya!”

The stallion smiled and nodded, taking the fritter and eating it in one bite. Applejack was taken aback and laughed. “Whoa there now! Don’t want to choke yerself! Why don’t you chew a bit ‘n savor the rich apple-cinnamon fla-”

The stallion turned away from the cart and vomited noisily, killing Applejack’s words in her throat. The stallion shook his head and spat, a healthy color returning to his face along with a relieved smile. “Oh! That feels so much better, thank you Ms. Applejack!”

Applejack blinked. “Err…I guess the fritter didn’t agree with ya, huh?”

“Whatever gave you that idea?” The stallion said without a hint of sarcasm. Behind him the tar-black substance he had just evacuated suddenly burst into flame with a muted *Pwoof*. He chuckled nervously and began to kick dirt onto it. “I needed a medium through which to evacuate the poisons deposited in my stomach. If I just evacuated normally I would have ended up with poison in my mouth and throat. That fritter was just what I needed! Careful with that blob though, very flammable.”

“It’s started again.” Applejack said bluntly.

As the stallion turned around to deal with the combusting goo, Twilight and Rainbow Dash galloped up to the stand, Applejack smiled and turned to them. “Hiya mares!” she said loudly, before getting close and whispering. “Who’s the weirdo?”

Twilight sighed and shook her head. “I wish I knew, he just sort of fell out of the sky yesterday.”

“In a little blue box?” Applejack said incredulously.

“Yeah!” said Rainbow Dash. “How’d you know?”

Applejack gestured over to the Pink pony trying to help Mr. Blue-Box put out the fire, first with dirt, then with a bucket of water. “Pinkie’s been going on about a funny magical stallion who fell out of the sky in a little blue box. Ah thought she was just being Pinkie Pie until this pony showed up and puked fire!”

Twilight rolled her eyes. “I wish she was just being Pinkie Pie, it would make a lot more sense!”

Pinkie and Blue-Box approached the talking mares, a look of triumph on their faces. “We put it out!” they said, pointing to a large pile of smoldering wet dirt.

Blue-Box sniffed the air and trotted over to the Sweet Apple Acres apple cart. “Ooh! I’m starving! Could I trouble you for a snack Ms. Applejack?”

She couldn’t help but smile at that lively face and said. “You betcha sugarcube. Just don’t start any more fires. Eating well keeps you healthy, like Granny Smith says ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’!”

“Tch! Nonsense! I love apples!” he said before shoving an apple into his mouth. “Ph’ee?”

Twilight stomped the ground and trotted over to Blue-Box. “Okay, that’s it! This has gone on for long enough! You’re gonna tell us just what’s going on, and you’re gonna tell us now!!”

He looked up at her, an apple between his teeth and an almost petulant look on his face. “Can’t I eat first?”

Twilight’s horn glowed and the apple was ripped from his mouth and thrown over the horizon. “No.”

“How did you…?” he said before seeing the frustrated rage in her eyes. “Right, what do you want to know?”

“Well, first off. What’s your name?”

He smiled. “Oh, is that it? My name’s The Doctor.”

“The Doctor?” Twilight repeated. “Doctor Wh-?”

He raised a hoof. “Ah-bup-bup! No who, no what, no where, no when, no why, and no how…just ‘The Doctor’.”

Pinkie Pie bounced up next to him. “The Doctor? That’s a really weird name!”

“I’m a really weird guy.” He said pithily.

Twilight sighed and raised a hoof. “Back on topic. Okay ‘Doctor’, One: where are you from? Two: what’s that thing you were flying around in? Three: what are in those other two shooting stars, if anything?”

The Doctor raised a hoof to his chin and said. “Alrighty then! One: I'm from the planet Gallifrey, in the constellation Kasterborous. Two: ‘that thing’ as you call it is my TARDIS, it’s my spaceship and time machine. And threeeeee…” he drew out the last word as he turned his head towards the source of a noise that was growing increasingly louder.

The rapid clatter of hoof beats drew their attention. A young orange colt with a matted dark red mane was galloping at full speed towards them, eyes wide with terror and body glistening with exhausted sweat. As he got closer the exhausted pony recognized his fellow townsfolk and began to stop. His weakened legs gave out and he tumbled face first into the dirt, skidding and rolling before coming to a stop a few meters away from them.

Twilight gasped and ran towards the fallen colt. His body was covered it scratches, the worst of which being where his upper right flank had practically been flayed open. His right front ankle had been badly sprained, a wound exacerbated by running full speed with it. “Oh no! What happened to you?”

A single terrified eye nearly swollen shut settled on Twilight, his foam-lined mouth sounded out a few inaudible words, only one of which could be made out. “…Monsters…”

“And that…” said the Doctor, hanging over Twilight shoulder “…Is the answer to question number three.”

Two medical ponies carried the young pony away on a stretcher to the emergency room. As Twilight and her friends prepared to follow them, she noticed The Doctor galloping away in the other direction.

“Wait!” Twilight said. “Where do you think you’re going?”

The Doctor spun around, his face suddenly very serious. “Look Ms. Mid-Day or whatever it is, I have a hunch that whatever that colt saw came through the same portal that I did, and if that’s the case then we’re dealing with some of the most dangerous lifeforms in the universe! Now, if I don’t get my ship working, I’m not sure what I can do to stop them. So, you can either wait and do nothing while the doctors help that foal, or you can help me save every single life on this silly little horsey planet!”

Twilight blinked, those unfathomably old eyes were telling her that this was a situation of the utmost seriousness, that despite his quick tongue and warm smiles this Doctor was not a pony to be trifled with.

“Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, come on. I think The Doctor will need our help before this is through!”

The mares nodded and took after the two. Twilight, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Applejack followed The Doctor to his TARDIS. It was a deep dark blue, constructed from what appeared to be wood. Approximately a quarter of the box was embedded in the ground, and despite having crashed with what was obviously a great deal of force, the wooden panels showed no signs of damage, the paint wasn’t so much as chipped. As they approached it she could see that despite the large crowd of curious ponies that had gathered around it the night before, no one had crossed the tapeline.

“Now…” said The Doctor as he ducked under the tape. “…Let’s have a look-see.” He paced around his TARDIS sniffing and scratching at various parts with his hooves all the while mumbling to himself. “…Z-Neutrino Energy, that probably means…” He turned to Twilight and said. “I need a length of rope, about six meters, and a strong pony to hold on to it.”

Twilight blinked in confusion. “What? Why?”

He tapped the sky-facing side of the TARDIS, causing the door to swing inwards, unleashing an impossible amount of black-grey smoke. It shot up into the air in a writhing column. The Doctor turned to her, a smile on his face. “Because I’m going in.”

Twilight struggled to articulate the ways that didn’t make sense. The box was so small, why did he need a rope, let alone a six-meter rope? Where was all that smoke coming from? HOW DID A STALLION IN A LITTLE BLUE BOX CRASH INTO PONYVILLE-She sighed, at this point asking questions only raised further questions. Fractal nonsense. “Applejack, rope.”

Applejack nodded and produced her lasso rope. Why did she have it with her? Twilight didn’t care. Applejack made her way over to The Doctor with rope in mouth, gazing up at the enormous pillar of smoke billowing out from the TARDIS. “So Doctor, what’s the plan?”

He took one end of the rope and wrapped it around his midsection, somehow tying a knot as well. “Well, my dear Applejack, it appears that the TARDIS’s automated repair circuit was damaged in the attack. I’m going to go in there and activate the manual repair sequence. All you have to do is hold on, it’s a helluva long drop in there.”

Applejack blinked, the box looked to be maybe a meter wide, then again all that smoke had to come from somewhere. “You can count on me Doc!”

The Doctor backed in to the TARDIS as the smoke began to thin somewhat. “I knew I could…and it’s ‘Doctor’, not ‘Doc’.”

“Whatever you say Professor!” Applejack said through a mouthful of rope.

The Doctor’s ears perked up, he looked up at her with a radiant smile on his face. “Oh, I think I’m gonna like you Ms. Applejack! Off we go! Allons-y!!”

With that the stallion disappeared, the rope passing through Applejack’s teeth at a controlled but steady rate. Twilight watched as the rope kept threading and threading, having should have bottomed out long ago ‘He’s just pulling it in, that’s all!’

“Hold it!” came a voice from inside, impossibly sounding like someone talking from another room. “There we go! Steady Ms. Applejack! Keep a good grip on that rope!”

“No problemo Professor!” Applejack said through gritted teeth, her powerful workhorse muscles more than capable of supporting that skinny stallion.

Twilight got closer, listening carefully. The sounds that came from within the TARDIS had a distance and echo to them that was impossible to fake, could it be…?

“GOT IT!” The Doctor shouted. There was a curious whirling sound, building and building, unearthly and bizarre. It made her hackles stand on end but was at the same time the most beautiful thing she had ever heard.

*Vrrrrrt….Vrrrrrt…..Vrrrrrt….Vrrrrrrt*

Twilight looked up as the light on top of the TARDIS began to glow and flash. A soft creaking noise and it began to lift out of the ground, floating. It slowly levitated over their heads, that wonderful sound hitting a slow and soothing stride. Applejack let go of the rope and followed her friends as they trotted over to its landing place, in between the flower shop and Rose’s house. The sound continued, picking up in pitch and pace as the TARDIS became encapsulated in a brilliant golden haze. The previously smoldering hole on the right panel now emitting blinding strands of golden light, as the sound began to wear down so too did the crater begin to shrink, the golden light shining from it growing smaller and smaller until there was no evidence that there had been any damage there at all, not even the scoring remained.

The doors of the TARDIS swung open, and there, standing triumphantly backlit by a brilliant golden light was The Doctor. “Welp! All fixed! And…” he said reaching into the pocket of an enormous jacket draped across his back, producing a small silver object with a blue jewel on the end “…I got my sonic screwdriver!”

Pinkie Pie leapt into the air. “WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO-what’s a sonic screwdriver?”

The Doctor began to close the doors to the TARDIS when Twilight ran up to him. “Hey! Don’t we get to see inside it?”

“Don’t we have a friend in the emergency room?” The Doctor retorted, his face suddenly very serious. “I’d like to talk to him.”

As they entered the hospital they could already see a small crowd of distraught ponies gathered around the emergency room. Doctor Stitch emerged from the room, bullet board hanging around her neck; she walked over to a mare and stallion that could only have been the colt’s parents. A brief exchange and the mare began to cry, the stallion looked angry, impotently stamping his hoof against the linoleum floor.

“Doctor Stitch!” shouted Twilight Sparkle. “Is he alright?”

Doctor Stitch uttered a few reassuring words to the colt’s distraught parents before moving towards Twilight. “Ms. Sparkle, expect Green Chai and Red Pu-erh to stop by to thank you.”

Twilight smiled and shrugged. “I’m just the first person Orange Pekoe ran into. Anyway, do you know what happened to him?”

Doctor Stitch shrugged. “Numerous cuts and bruises, a significant proximal laceration to right flank, one severely sprained ankle, a mild concussion, and severe stress trauma. Whatever he saw out there, it scared him half to death before beating him to a pulp!” Doctor Stitch tapped her head. “His in a bad way, up here. Keeps repeating ‘Still alive, still alive’ over and over. Nothing we can do about that.”

Twilight felt her heart go out to him; she’d seen him before, him and his friend Cherry Swirl, they were at that age and were sometimes painfully awkward around fillies. Both had seemed like nice colts though, even if their hormones got away from them at times.

There was a commotion down the hall, some ponies were shouting in outrage. “Hey! What’s that pony doing? What in Luna’s name is he doing to that poor colt?!”

Twilight bolted down the hall, followed by Applejack, Pinkie Pie, and Rainbow Dash. Twilight looked in through the glass. “Oh no! Doctor! What are you doing?!”

The Doctor was kneeling next to the unconscious colt, hoof on the side of his head, touching their foreheads together.

His father Red Pu-erh stormed into the room, he was a big burly stallion, several times the Doctor’s size, and he was furious. “Hey! What’re you doing to my son, you damned weirdo?!”

Twilight and her friends rushed into the room, getting between the angry stallion and their strange friend. “Wait!” Twilight said. “He’s just trying to help…I think…”

“You THINK?!” Red Pu-erh bellowed. “I DON’T GIVE A PARASPRITE’S WING WHAT YOU THINK!! I-”

“Monsters…” The colt muttered, the Doctor mouthing the words in unison with him. “Big, scary…looked pretty…eating…eating…no…storing, storing Cherry Swirl. He’s dusty…looks dead…still..sti…Still alive! No-no-no-no-no…want to help you…scared. All...around me! They’re big! Eyes like…blood suns. Laughing…laughing…screaming! She’s here…so pretty…so stripy. She hurts them! They yell…she…she hits me with a…a…it’s a rush! Running. Running. Everywhere-running. Find home. Am home…still…alive…wantohelp…sca..re..d”

The Doctor broke away, a strange look in his eyes. “You’ve got Carrionites in your woods. No one is to go into the Everfree Forest until they’ve been dealt with.”

He got up and cast a gaze at the bewildered Red Pu-erh. “Your son was very brave. I’m sorry, I’m so, so sorry.”

The hulking stallion gently pushed past Twilight and her friends. He knelt at the side of his son’s bed, tears welling up in his eyes. The Doctor stormed out of the emergency room, Twilight and her friends followed soon after lest they hear the helpless sobs of a distraught parent.

They followed The Doctor out of the hospital and he spun around. “Twilight, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Pinkie Pie…”

All four straightened out their statures as their names were called. The Doctor’s voice was different, deeper and almost frightening in its evenness. It was rage, but it took Twilight a moment to understand that this was a different kind of rage than any other, the kind of righteous cold-burning fury that could only be mustered by a being so old witnessing the suffering of a being so young. What was in his voice was beyond anger, beyond anything she in her youth could imagine.

The Doctor continued. “The Carrionites are up to something and I plan to stop it. I’m not sure if I can do it alone. But that colt in there, he is only the beginning. Every second those monsters exist, every instant they plot, is another foal waiting to die screaming. They will spread across this world like a plague, and there will be a millennium of blood and agony if they are not stopped. Will you help me?”

Pinkie Pie stomped her hoof. “Enemies of laughter are enemies of mine!”

Applejack snorted in disgust. “I’ll help ya Professor! Those Carrionites’ll rue the day!”

Rainbow Dash shot into the air. “Just show me where they are! If you’re lucky I might just leave some for the rest of you!”

Twilight locked eyes with The Doctor, the terrified voice of a broken colt fresh in her mind. “This is war.”

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