• Published 7th Sep 2012
  • 29,416 Views, 1,292 Comments

What is a Name? - Key Tapper



Pinkie Pie finds herself in a position where she can no longer recall the years she has spent in Ponyville, as if the memories were erased from her mind entirely. She must rediscover herself, her love for her friends, and her passion for life.

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My Name is Pinkamena

Twilight shifted uncomfortably. She had never liked this room, and for good reason.

The waiting room of the Ponyville Hospital was truly living up to its name. After hours without any news from the doctor, Twilight’s anxiety threatened to break free at any moment.

For the past several hours, Twilight had attempted to distract herself. She initially took to studying the patterns on the floor. Once she had memorized each tile to the dot, she focused her attention to the ceiling. These efforts were futile, and her unease always returned. This feeling was like an itch, eating away at her sanity by the minute. If not for the four ponies around her, she would've lost it by now.

The sound of an opening door caused Twilight’s ears to perk. She looked up and, upon seeing the doctor headed in their direction, promptly rose from her seat. The others followed suit.

“How is she?” asked Twilight.

The doctor sighed. “If you five will come with me. The anesthesia is wearing off, and she should be coming around soon.”

----------

I awoke to a multitude of unfamiliar voices. I was somewhat confused by this, seeing as how we almost never had visitors. In fact, I couldn’t even remember the last time someone came to visit our colorless farm. Who would bother making the trip out here?

I was still lying in bed with my eyes shut, but my mind was fully alert. I did that a lot. Sometimes, my internal body clock would wake me up earlier than necessary, giving me extra time to do as I please. The majority of this time was spent doing one of two things: either looking forward to the end of the day, or brooding about the day to come. A constant switch between optimism and pessimism, if you would.

I’d always wanted to speak up against my parents. I would often fantasize about standing up to my mom and dad and telling them how pointless our line of work really was. I could just imagine the looks on their faces if I did.

My thoughts were interrupted by one of the voices from before.

“Why is her mane straightened out like that?”

I didn't understand at first. My hair had always been straight. That was assuming, of course, that they were talking about me. I didn't recognize the voice at all, so it couldn't have been one of my relatives. Then again, maybe it was an obscure distant relative I'd never met or heard of. It wouldn't be the first time that happened. I decided to stop speculating with myself and opened my eyes.

Two things in particular surprised me. First of all, I had no idea where I was. It certainly wasn’t my bedroom on the farm. The mattress was too comfortable, and the walls were too colorful. Second, there were five mares standing around me. I’d never seen any of them in my entire life.

Before me were two pegasi, two unicorns, and an earth pony. I immediately dismissed the idea of them being relatives, seeing as they bore absolutely no family resemblance.

“Oh, she’s awake!” exclaimed one of the unicorns. This one was lavender with a highlighted mane consisting of three different shades of purple.

I continued to lie there without a word. The five mares were still staring at me, and I was unsure of whether or not I should’ve said something.

“Pinkie, are you okay?” asked the same unicorn.

Pinkie? What kind of name was that? It was obviously similar to my own name, but when could someone have come up with it?

“My name is Pinkamena. Who are all of you?” I asked, hoping for a decent explanation.

Suddenly, one of the pegasi broke down into tears. I didn’t know why, and I had no idea how to respond. The second unicorn, whose white coat and purple mane seemed to almost glisten, put a hoof around the crying canary-yellow pegasus, trying to comfort her to the best of her ability. I could see the tears flowing down the pegasus’ face into her voluminous pink mane.

“Are you saying... you don’t know who any of us are?” asked the purple unicorn.

“Am I expected to?” I replied, as I started to sit up in the bed.

“Easy, now,” said a male unicorn wearing a white coat. I hadn’t noticed him before, but he made his way towards me, and the mares created a gap to allow him through. I could only assume he was a doctor. “Try not to strain yourself too much.”

I looked around the room. As I observed my surroundings, I realized that I was in a hospital. I couldn’t have imagined why I’d be in a place like this.

“What’s going on?” I asked the doctor.

“You’re in the hospital, Pinkie Pie,” he said.

“I gathered as much, and that’s not my name. It’s Pinkamena. Just tell me what happened.”

The doctor recoiled slightly at my blunt manner of speaking, but I didn’t care. Something was definitely amiss, and I intended to find out. Courtesy meant nothing to me at that moment.

“Unfortunately, we’re a bit stumped for details ourselves. Zecora found you, unconscious in the Everfree Forest, and she brought you here. Your friends have been waiting for hours to confirm that you’re okay.”

“Is this some kind of joke?” I asked with growing irritation. “I have no idea who this Zecora is, and I don’t know these five ponies, either!”

The doctor had a look of worry upon his face. Then, he asked me a completely random question. “Pinkamena, how old are you?”

My frustration was almost at its peak, but I managed to keep my composure. “Eleven. Why do you ask?”

The ponies around me gasped simultaneously. The other pegasus’ eyes widened to a ludicrous size, and I couldn’t help but notice it.

I found this particular pegasus interesting. She had a sky blue coat, with a rainbow mane and tail. It was much more color than I was used to, that was for sure.

The doctor spoke up once again. “May I ask that you remove your blanket and turn onto your side?”

I complied with his unusual request. Gazing at the bare fur on my flank, he blinked several times at the sight. He then proceeded to rub his eyes, as if questioning his own vision.

“It’s just as I feared,” he said at last. He gestured to the mares. “I’d like the five of you to come with me. We need to discuss a few things, and it should be done in private. Pinkamena, please remain here. We’ll be back soon.”

The six ponies departed from the room, giving me various looks as they passed by. I’m not one for reading faces, but all of their expressions seemed to share at least one attribute.

Distress.

----------

The five friends were gathered in a plain office, in front of an empty mahogany desk belonging to the doctor. He had prompted them to enter the office and have a seat, and assured them he would return momentarily. The office didn't contain much, save for a potted plant in each of the rear corners and three extra chairs intended for conferences such as these. Rainbow Dash and Applejack were standing while the others sat.

To say that they were simply upset would be an understatement. They were, above all, profoundly disturbed by what had just occurred.

“What... what did we just witness?” asked Rarity.

“I don’t know. It's unlike anything I've ever read about,” said Twilight.

“What do ya reckon happened?” asked Applejack.

“It's hard to say,” answered Twilight, “I've seen ponies who experience memory loss, but this is on an entire new level. Pinkie Pie has lost so much, that she doesn't even recall who she is anymore. I didn't think amnesia could happen on this large of a scale.”

“Neither did I, until now,” stated the doctor as he entered the room. He approached the desk and sat down behind it with great care.

“In all my years as a neurologist, I never would have believed this existed, and I certainly never thought I’d be the one to whom the responsibility fell,” stated the doctor.

“What are you talking about?” asked Twilight.

“Pinkie Pie appears to have contracted something known in the medical world as ‘Enchanted Memory Regression Syndrome,’” he explained.

“I beg your pardon?” asked Rarity.

“Enchanted Memory Regression Syndrome,” repeated the doctor, “or EMRS for short. In basic terms, it’s a very rare disease that is under the influence of magic.”

“How rare, exactly?” asked Applejack.

“I don’t know.” The doctor squinted his eyes in thought. “The odds of acquiring such a disease are supposedly astronomical. Less than one in a million, I’d imagine.”

There were a few seconds of silence, until Twilight finally spoke up. “Is there anything you can tell us about what we’re dealing with?”

“Not much,” said the doctor, as he put a hoof to his chin in contemplation. “There is normally a limit to how much someone’s memory can possibly regress. It is an undefined limit, mind you, but a practiced neurologist can usually tell. EMRS is said to utterly ignore that limit, and go as far as it pleases, so to speak—”

“—due to its magical properties,” finished Twilight, perceptive enough to figure the last part out on her own.

The doctor nodded. “Yes. Unfortunately, there is no known treatment, as far as we are aware.”

The ponies’ hearts sank.

“EMRS was supposed to be a myth derived from something that happened hundreds of years ago. It was never taken seriously in the medical world. It defies all logic, and quite frankly, sounds too ridiculous to be true.

“But alas, we do not live in a world defined by science. Magic can always be a variable,” he stated gravely.

An idea came to Twilight. “What if I used a memory spell on her?”

“That might work, but you’d run the risk of only amplifying the magic and causing her to regress further.”

Twilight’s head drooped in hopelessness. She could feel tears starting to form in her eyes, but she fought back the urge to cry.

“Is there anything we can do to help her?” asked Rainbow Dash.

Twilight looked up in surprise. Normally, Rainbow was the one who would sit back and not ask questions. This was both uplifting and upsetting at the same time. While it did confirm the fact that she was a loyal, caring friend, it also showed just how desperate the situation had become.

“The best thing you can do for now is to readjust her back into her daily life. Make sure to tell her who she is, where she lives, and what she does. Don’t overwhelm her with details, but don’t hide anything from her, either. She may not believe you at first, so be patient. If you have pictures, show them to her. Things of that sort,” instructed the doctor.

He turned to Twilight. “If I’m not mistaken, you know Princess Celestia quite well. Is that correct?”

Twilight nodded. She didn’t want to speak, because she still had a knot in her throat.

“Well, I think it’s important that you contact her as soon as you can. She may have an idea of what to do, so I'd say it’s worth a try.”

He turned to address all of them once more. “I will continue to research this anomaly with diligence. With effort on all of our parts, I think this is possible to overcome. That means you all need to help Pinkie to the best of your ability. No matter how insignificant a simple favor or explanation may seem, it could mean the difference in Pinkie’s memory returning. I’m going to release her from the hospital’s care now, so I expect you five to start right away.”

The ponies took this as a hint that the conference was at its end. They got up one by one to leave the office. Twilight was the last to exit the room. Before doing so, she turned around.

“Doctor, how were you able to diagnose her so quickly? Surely you've had unusual cases of memory loss like this. How do you know this is different from the others?”

The doctor looked up from his papers, and removed his glasses. “Memory loss, even greater cases, does not strip a pony of her cutie mark, Twilight. There is no doubt in my mind that magic is at play here.”

The doctor returned to his work without a word. Twilight stood there in disbelief for the better part of a minute. Eventually, she returned to her senses and hastily left the room to catch up with her friends.

Author's Note:

Edited by: DPV111 and CookieMonstar