• Published 3rd Dec 2021
  • 6,595 Views, 391 Comments

Coming Out Of My Cage - Boopy Doopy

Mark always knew he was... well, you know. But that didn't matter, at least until a portal to Equestria appeared.

  • ...

(3) Cumbersome

It turned out operating with hooves was quite inconvenient. Despite trying his best to use them the way Spike directed, Mark ended up having to take the letter in his teeth and head back up the stairs to the library to read it, nearly tripping on the way up. Opening the envelope was quite the feat for him, and even after he did it, he still couldn’t quite describe how it was done. Even sitting his flank in the chair was a bit of a task, taking a bit of time to find a position that was comfortable for him to be in as a horse, or rather, pony. In the end though, after around twenty minutes wasted, he finally had it opened up in front of him to read.

In essence, it said exactly the same thing the PM he received had said, except in greater detail, describing how payment would be adjudicated and the current process in place for attempting to appeal the use of his house for whatever the Crown wanted it used for. Not that he planned on it. With as nice as he felt right then, there was no way he was going to complain about the situation.

As well, it also described exactly what was being done, not that he really understood it. The best he could make out was that it would become a test highway of sorts, a ‘worldgate’ being the terminology used in the letter. It specified that, being on his property, he would have the privilege to enter and exit through it as he chose, but made clear that he and only he was allowed to use it unless given permission by a member of royalty.

“This is so strange…” Mark mumbled to himself as he looked the letter over. “This isn’t real life, is it? I’m a girl and a pony and some alien government is telling me that my house is being used as an intergalactic highway? This is something straight out of a science fiction movie.”

“I’m back, Katrina!” the dragon, Spike, announced as he made his way up to him, setting a tray of food in front of him. “And I made a casserole, too! It’s pretty good, if I do say so myself. It was kind of supposed to be a surprise for somepony else, but I guess you can have it. Also, what was that about aliens and governments?”

“Well, you’re an- actually, never mind,” he decided, saving his breath. “Is there someone I can talk to about what’s going on?

“Twilight should be back at any minute,” Spike answered. “Actually, I think she said she wanted to talk to you, and told me to make sure that you stayed here when she got here.”

He didn’t know who this Twilight person was, but he decided he would settle for waiting for her to make an appearance. If things got out of hand, the door to his house was just across the room from him. For now, though, he would sit here and eat casserole and enjoy the moment of being in a body that he could stand to be in for the first time ever, even if it was as a horse. He had to admit though, trying to figure out what to do with his tail was taking a little bit away from the experience.

“Oh yeah! My cake!” Spike suddenly remembered after a moment of casually watching Mark try to work the fork in front of him into his hooves. “I have to get back to the kitchen! Twilight said you should read a book about Equestrian history. It’s on the leftmost bookcase.”

“I don’t know who or what that is, but okay,” Mark responded. “I thought you said she was gonna be here any minute though. Also, you said it was just on the left bookcase what she wanted me to read?”

“Uh-huh!” the dragon called, already running back to the kitchen. “Bottom shelf, third from the right! See ya, Katrina!”

He couldn’t help but smile at that and gave a little wave even after Spike had already left. He tried again to eat the casserole with the fork for a little while before eventually giving up on it, bending down and taking a bite straight out of the dish, trying not to get too much sauce on his face. As he did, he wondered to himself whether that dragon was just teasing him about his hooves. He couldn’t see how they could be used to pick up anything, let alone grip something as the creature had suggested. Clearly, his hallucinations were playing tricks on him.

After a few more careful bites of food and a little time spent using a hoof to rub his mouth clean, he got up to get the book requested of him, bending down to use his teeth to grab it, not bothering with his hooves.

“Do not pick that book up with your messy maw!” someone suddenly yelled, causing Mark to jump away instinctively and fall on his butt. The person, or rather, horse, who yelled at him quickly ran up to the bookshelf to inspect it, eyeing it carefully to make sure it wasn’t smudged with what little casserole he had left on his mouth.

“Oh good, no stains,” the horse, a female from how she sounded, sighed with relief, wiping her forehead with a hoof. With that, she turned to Mark bearing an angry expression, asking, “What do you think you’re doing? You could’ve ruined that book with your casserole covered mouth! Are you insane?”

“I’m sorry,” he apologized, getting up and taking a step back away from her. “Someone set a casserole in front of me and I couldn’t use the fork, and also I was told to read a book about history while I wait for someone? I don’t really know what’s going on…”

“Wait, are you Katrina?” the horse asked, her whole demeanor changing in an instant, looking excited now. He didn’t get a chance to answer though as the horse, a unicorn with wings he noted, quickly lit up her horn and vanished, leaving him standing alone once again.

“Oh, well, okay,” he said aloud to no one in particular, blinking at the spot she was in a second ago. “That’s a thing, I guess?” He assumed she would be coming back as suddenly as she left and looked around nervously, waiting for her to jump scare him. He stood around silently for a few moments before going back to sitting at the table the letter was at.

“What the heck is going on here?” he asked himself quietly. “How does everyone know who I am?”

Maybe he should try and head back out and get some stuff, like his phone to record all of this to make sure he wasn’t hallucinating. Or to call an ambulance just in case he actually was. A pair of tongs to put between his teeth to grab things with would be nice, too. He’d give it a few minutes though before heading back out for those things, he decided.

It was less than a few minutes when, as he expected, he was jump scared, falling out of his chair as the horse landed right next to him and startled him.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to make you trip,” the horse apologized quickly, setting the things she went to gather on the table. Old fashioned feathered pens and regular pencils, notebook paper, more than a few books, and an assortment of other things he couldn’t name.

“Oh, I’m so excited!” the unicorn squealed, clapping her hooves together excitedly, not bothering to help him get back up. “I’ve been working on getting a proper worldgate set up for months, and now it’s here! Oh! I should probably introduce myself! I’m Twilight Sparkle, and this is my castle. I’m the Princess of Friendship. And you are? I mean, I already know who you are, but I’ll let you go ahead anyway.” He had to pause for a second before answering to process what the horse said, she said it all so quickly.

“Um, I’m Mark,” he told her, doing his best not to appear as embarrassed as he felt. “Mark Wiley.” As much as he wanted to continue, he resisted the urge to say more, feeling incredibly self conscious about the other name associated with him. Not that it mattered, since she had already used it a few minutes before.

“And you go by Katrina, right?” she asked anyway, not stopping to give him a chance to answer. “It’s so nice to finally meet you! I have to admit, I might have been gathering a little bit of information on you, but I wanted to be absolutely careful because this is such a breakthrough in what we know about Equestria! I mean, we can’t just let any creature waltz in, can we? But don’t worry, I trust you. You seem like a nice mare. Anyway, what do you like to do? What’s it like where you’re from? Do you have any friends? What are you favorite—”

“You’re asking too many questions!” he cut in, putting a hoof up to interrupt her and almost toppling over again as a result. “I can’t even keep up with them! I just want to know what’s going on here first. Like, am I hallucinating, or is this real life?”

“I mean, I don’t see how you could be,” Twilight responded, a bit confused before continuing, “But anyway, if you’re the pony you say you are, you came here through a worldgate from Earth! Which means that worldgates actually work when manufactured instead of being created naturally! It’s a breakthrough in teleportation research and interdimensional travel, because before we were only able to use magic to go through four—”

“Okay, you’re speaking too complicated and all of this is gonna get confusing. Can you just tell me what’s going on in a way that I’ll be able to understand?”

“Well, basically, a worldgate is how somepony, or rather, some creature, travels between dimensions. Stepping through that worldgate I created allowed you to step into another dimension, and took you from Earth to Equestria! Which means that artificially manufacturing a worldgate is possible! And I did it! It’s amazing, isn’t it?”

“Um, I’m gonna pretend I know what all that means and ask you why it’s in my house and how the heck you know who I am.”

“Hehe, about that,” Twilight rubbed a hoof behind her head bashfully. “I might have used a little ‘get to know me’ spell to learn who you are. But in my defense, I really didn’t trust a lot of the ponies, err humans, I read about in Princess Celestia’s books. And it was for a good cause! You’re the first human ever to come to Equestria! You should be proud!”

“Okay, so, just to be clear, you know I’m a human, right?” he asked, getting an enthusiastic nod from Twilight. She opened her mouth to say something, but before she could, he continued, “So if that… whatever thing, if that brought me to wherever this place is, then why am I a pony now? And a girl? Is that what that worldgate thing is supposed to do?”

“As far as I know, yes, at least with changing you into a pony. I’m certain if I went through to the other side it would turn me into a human just as easily as it changed you into a pony. But um, as for changing some creature’s sex…” She trailed off as she floated over a notebook to take a look at something, telling him, “The information I have from that get to know me spell says you’re a female. Twenty-six years old, prefers the name Katrina—”

“I- I’m not… it’s…” His face went flush as he looked at his hooves again, now more ashamed than he was embarrassed. He didn’t know how to respond properly.

“It- it’s complicated,” Mark said, now whispering. He was suddenly feeling bad about the nice feeling he had. He knew he shouldn’t have felt how he did, but couldn’t help it.

“I can’t see what would be complicated about it,” Twilight said factually. “Are you not supposed to be a female? My ‘get to know me’ spell says you are. It would be interesting to learn that a worldgate could change your appearance based on the perception you have of yourself.”

Hearing that only made him feel more ashamed of himself. While he certainly felt much more at ease with the state of his body in its current form, he found himself cringing at the fact that whatever portal he went through somehow knew this would be what he wanted. That pony, Twilight, all but said as much in her explanation of what happened. He hated that some stranger he didn't know, one he just met, could pick up on something about him that took him all but the last few years of his life to figure out.

"I- I have to go," he announced shakily, making his way back through the door that took him here even as the unicorn called after him.

Author's Note:

This chapter was originally titled "Island In The Sun" but I decided to change it to "Cumbersome" so I could use another Weezer song as a chapter title later on.