• Published 21st Nov 2020
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The Mind Enchanted - the7Saviors



Is ignorance truly bliss? Or is it a curse?

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The Treatment

It's now been a week since I was confined to this small white room—seven days spent trapped in a room furnished with nothing more than a simple bed and a small desk. One week isn't a terribly long time all in the grand scheme of things, I'm aware. Under normal circumstances, it isn't, but there are many distressing factors that make my stay in this wretched place feel like an eternity.

The sleepless nights and general restlessness, the disconsolate lamentations of the other patients, being under constant surveillance by the Doctor and Celestia knows who else, being tested on things I can't remember. And of course, there's the voice, a constant companion that does nothing but demean and demoralize.

I want this voice gone, I want to leave this place, I want my friends and family—I want the Princess to tell me that everything will be okay. I don't want to undergo this treatment, whatever it may be, and yet I know I have to. I know I need to. I know the Doctor thinks I've cracked, the voice tells me she knows and that they all know I've lost it.

But that's not true. Not yet.

I'm still me, I haven't changed despite what it says. I haven't gone insane yet... but I will eventually. It's only been seven days, I've endured this long. I can endure a bit longer if it means they can remove the parasite that's wormed its way inside me and is trying even now to take over. I've grown extremely wary of Doctor Lining, of her soft smile and kind demeanor.

I know I should have no reason to be suspicious of the mare, but something about Silver Lining puts me ill-at-ease. The voice is all too eager to feed my suspicions, but I feel it's more than what it tells me. Perhaps it's the dismal atmosphere or the fact that I still remain under physical and magical restraints.

Perhaps it is none of these things and I'm simply a paranoid wreck. Still, I feel as though the Doctor is hiding something from me, something beyond the crime that I'm unable to remember. Still, if she can succeed where I failed, if she can fix what I couldn't and make the voice disappear for good, then I'm more than willing to toss every single one of my suspicions aside.

This is what I tell myself over and over again, but as the Doctor enters my little white prison on the seventh day, all my convictions turn to doubt. Something has clearly changed, the mare's expression—once so warm and assuring—has turned to stone. Her tone is cold and distant and professional as she orders me to follow her and the two orderlies that stand beside her.

I follow her out of my prison and down the hall, having no choice but to do so. She leads me deeper into what I can only assume are the depths of the hospital, passing one room after another. We continue to move from corridor to corridor, turning left then right, heading through closed doors, and descending down surprisingly steep stairways.

This repeats again and again until I feel I'm lost in a neverending maze of off-white plaster walls and fulgent fluorescent lights. The number of busy staff members roaming the halls dwindles noticeably the deeper we go until almost nopony remains but myself, Doctor Lining, and the two stolid stallions following dutifully behind.

A somber and uncomfortable silence hangs in the air and the halls soon become entirely too silent. It's only now that I notice the lack of wails and howls and laughter associated with mentally ill patients. We pass by several numbered doors to rooms presumably occupied by sick ponies, and yet I hear nothing but the eerie echo of our hoofsteps against the cold white linoleum floor.

I'm unsure of how much time passes during our somber march, the concept itself seemingly lost somewhere amidst the many hallways. Eventually, however, we reach our destination and my frankly disorienting journey comes to an end. Unease keeps my mouth shut as we make our way down the final set of steps and into the final brightly lit corridor—at the end of which lies a single door made of hollow grey metal.

It's an unassuming sort of door, the kind you'd find in any facility—I'd seen many like it on the way here even. Yet somehow, this door in particular stands apart from the rest as a truly ominous anomaly. As I ponder the mystery of what awaits me just ahead, I'm told by Doctor Lining that my treatment is to be administered within the room that lies beyond that door.

Countless questions come to mind then, each threatening to spill forth from my lips in a nervous torrent. Before I can give voice to any of them, however, the two imposing attendants step past me. One pulls a key from the breast pocket of their solid white uniform and unlocks the door. No time is wasted as it's pulled open and I'm politely but firmly ushered inside by the other stallion.

The sight that greets my eyes is both horrifying and mesmerizing in equal measure. A monstrous mass of bulky machinery lines the walls—towering metal boxes with complex magical circuitry exposed and radiating thaumic power. Strewn about the floor and interspersed throughout the many intricate contraptions are all manner of colorful wires both thick and thin.

Amidst it all, in the center of the small room and connected to the many machines by those colorful wires, is a chair. The chair is a strange and daunting sort of thing adorned with metal clasps no doubt meant to hold all four legs in place. A wave of terror suddenly grips me at the sight of it and I can't help but take a fearful step back.

I'm reminded vaguely of my own private laboratory housed within the tower I occasionally called home back in Canterlot Castle. It's a small and rather simple setup meant for basic experimentation—a pale, crude imitation compared to what I see before me now. This infernal contrivance will provide you no salvation from me, says the voice with cold certainty, all that awaits you should you take your place in that chair is pain and misery and madness.

The voice and I are, for once, in agreement; this is nothing like the laboratory in the tower. There's something sinister at work here in this room and I want no part, but my protests, of course, go unheeded by Doctor Lining. Panic overtakes me and I attempt to flee despite my restraints, but I struggle in vain. I've hardly made it three or four steps before I'm forced back and into the chair by my burly chaperones.

As I'm strapped to the chair by the orderlies I hear Doctor Lining's calm but stern voice from behind a large control panel at one end of the room. With a countenance hardly distinguishable from that of the grim-faced orderlies, she finally reveals the details of my treatment. Evidently, her solution is to use thaumic waves at varying frequencies to stimulate certain synapses in my brain.

The general idea is to essentially use magic to try and force any buried memories to the surface while at the same time driving the voice out, but something tells me there's more to her method. Acting on my suspicion I ask the mare, and after a moment of consideration, she tells me that the process will not be without some discomfort.

Timorously, I inform Doctor Lining that I've attempted a similar treatment myself with no success to show for it. When I try to explain my own methods the Doctor's response is to chide me for my recklessness. An intelligent mare though I may be, I was and am fully aware that I'm no neurologist or neurosurgeon. The tests I ran on myself were modest and nonintrusive for the most part, facts that likely led to my failure in resolving the matter.

I plead with Doctor Lining and the orderlies to reconsider, but I'm reminded by the Doctor that I'm a criminal and that criminals are given no consideration. My mouth goes dry and I fall silent, simply staring at the Doctor in horror as thaumic conductors are firmly attached to my temples. She returns my terrified gaze with a smile I find far more gruesome than any sneer or grimace.

With that horrendously beatific smile, she assures me that, though the method may be crude, the results will speak for themselves. She promises me that in the end, once all is said and done, I will have back the wonderful life that was lost to me—that was taken from me. Somewhere in my mind, the voice speaks again, but at that moment Doctor Lining throws a switch on the control panel.

At that moment my world suddenly becomes a nightmarish wonderland of pain and flashing lights and vivid images that flicker in and out, in and out. From somewhere far away, far past the flashing light and flickering images, I hear a terrible scream but I don't know whose it is. A familiar voice calls out to me but the voice fades just as quickly as it comes—the sound burned away and my remaining thoughts scattered by all-encompassing agony.