• Published 9th Sep 2012
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Human Nature - Blank Page



Torn from his world and thrust into another, Hunter Grey struggles to survive in the alien land of Equestria.

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Prologue: Flash-forward

It was yet another beautiful day in the Canterlot garden. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, the branches gently rustling in the cool spring breeze. It was all perfect... but unfitting for today.

I leaned up against one of the many trees in the garden just out of sight from the gathering of ponies. They were all mindlessly milling about, every now and then exchanging small talk with one another. A large white tarp shielded a mysterious structure in the middle from view. I could tell from the marbled base and odd positions that this was yet another statue for the garden's collection. A multitude of chairs stood their ground before it. There were just enough to seat all of the guests. A snack bar was stationed off to the side next to some bushes. Fruit punch and cupcakes were being served to lighten the mood. I would have retrieved a few of the pastries, but I wasn't exactly in a hungry mood. Besides, I was, as usual, too comfortable in my seclusion to socialize.

I spotted a few familiar characters in the sea of faces. Pinkie Pie's mess of a mane would occasionally pop up. I could only imagine that she was bouncing around in her usual manner, trying her hardest to keep everyone cheered up. Twilight, Rarity, and Fluttershy were sitting in the grass, sipping away their punch and engaged in conversation. Rainbow Dash and Applejack were playing another one of their games. It was highly inappropriate when considering why they were here, but I could understand why they were trying to get their minds distracted. Only one pony was missing from this picture.

"Where are you, Lyra?" I whispered. I didn't expect her to hear me. In fact, I hoped she didn't.

A few ponies parted from the line of sight between me and the hidden statue. Only one unicorn stayed. Her mint-green body was firmly planted where she sat. From the angle of her scruffy green and white mane I could tell that she was staring at the tarp. There was an invisible circle around her where nopony dared invade. The sight was almost enough to make me leave the tree. Almost. "Move," I pleaded. "Walk, talk, hang out, socialize. Do something." Of course, she still hadn't heard me.

A trumpet sounded, signaling the arrival of the princesses. The ponies shuffled to the empty chairs. Lyra's friends managed to move her into a seat. I caught a glimpse of her face. It was emotionless. She was trying her best to hold something back. Maybe I should go

"No," I thought out loud. "I can't. I need to stay here. Out of sight. Alone. All by myself."

"Oh, don't be like that," a voice said next to me. An eagle's claw patted my shoulder. "You still have me, after all."

"Yes, and I am overwhelmed by my good fortune," I sarcastically snapped.

The figure withdrew his talon. "Now, now, Hunter, there's no need to be a spoiled sport. Just think of it this way: now we have all the time in the world to come up with knock-knock jokes!"

"Oh, joyous rapture," I replied without emotion.

"Bah, now you're just being no fun," he complained. "If you need me, I'll be trying to steal some punch." The towering figure made his way to the snack table, his red snake-like tail flicking in agitation.

I redirected my attention to the ponies. Celestia and Luna had appeared, accompanied by many of royal guards in their decorative uniforms. One of them I recognized as Twilight's brother, Shining Armor. With a single nod of her royal head, Celestia beckoned the guards to disperse. Soon, only Celestia and her sister were the only two ponies left standing before the tarp. A silent message was exchanged between the sisters.

Celestia took a step forward and cleared her throat. "My little ponies, I have gathered you all here today in memory one of Equestria's recent fallen hero."

"Hero," I snorted. "More like a lucky fool if you ask me."

Celestia continued her droll speech. "He has been through many hardships in his time here. I deeply regret that I was one of them. In our hour of need, he so boldly left the sanctuary of his home to aid us."

"He was a coward," I corrected. "He only returned to clear his conscience."

"Through his valiance, he overcame his greatest enemy and aided our efforts in returning Equestria to order."

"But all of it was his fault," I growled. "None of this would have happened if it wasn't for him."

"I believe I speak for both my sister and I when I say that we only wish we could apologize to him formally instead of at a ceremony he could not attend." I bit my tongue to keep me from what I was about to scream. "And so, without further delay, it is my pleasure to commemorate this statue in his honor." Luna pulled down the tarp. A thunderous applause echoed through the garden.

The statue was a perfect replica of the "hero's" final moments. In stone, the two figures locked in combat were frozen in place. The "hero" appeared to be easily overpowered by the mighty Draconequus before him. Their hands were locked together as the stone cold figures looked deeply into one another's eyes in pure hatred. A gold plaque was mounted on the marble base. Only one word was engraved on it.

"SACRIFICE"

"A lucky fool, indeed," I glowered.

"I was never given a ceremony like this," the figure pouted as he reappeared. "Are we done here? I'm getting bored."

"Ah, Discord. You never were the patient type," I sighed.

"What can I say? It's in my nature."

I gave the crowd one last look. The ponies were dispersing. Some returned to their original cliques. Many exited the garden, probably wanting to go somewhere less... depressing. A few moved closer to the statue to admire it better. A single green unicorn remained in her seat, head hung low. I felt a pang of guilt.

"I swear I will find a way to return, Lyra," I muttered under my breath. "And this time, I intend to keep my promise." Her friends came and herded her away from the garden, each bearing their own form of depression. I craned my neck to meet the Draconequus' crimson pupils as the last of them disappeared behind the bushes. "Alright, let's cut a trail."

Discord grabbed my arm and dragged me away from the pitiful scene. "Come on, there's so much I want to show you. Ooh, we could go wreak some minor havoc in Las Pegasus. If we can find a way to tamper with their power grid in the middle of the night Oh! Or we could go pay Chrysalis a visit. I bet you'll never guess what she does when she thinks she's alone. Maybe we could "

I stopped listening to his list of mischief. Why I thought it was a good idea to hang out with the Spirit of Chaos was beyond me. I was sure to be driven mad by the end of our adventure. Then again, I would probably be driven insane if I didn't have anyone to talk to. Perhaps it was just a matter of which way I wanted to lose my mind.

To think that this all the result of a family camping trip gone wrong still boggles my mind. What was it like when I first arrived? Oh yes, I remember.

"Hey, Hunter," Discord said, trying to stifle a laugh.

"What?"

"Knock Knock."