• Published 21st Mar 2024
  • 1,281 Views, 29 Comments

Saved!!! - ArchoPony

A human fell through one of Midnight's portals; and now he's in a 7,000 foot free fall while slowing transforming into a horse.

  • ...

3 - Kindness Restored

He couldn't help but think there was a sense of strain or stress to Twilight voice as he remembered it. She was much better at friendship then her human counterpart, and oddly enough hiding her emotions. He wondered if the two were related. Must be, the fakest ones were always the most popular.

He still trusted her though, to spite everything plus the unusual lack of the hammer being brought down.

He wasn't sure what part convinced him: her putting himself in harms way just to save him? Or her dedication to spreading... Friendship? Teamwork? Celestia said friendship, but Celestia is not Twilight Sparkle. He hated when others put words in his mouth, and he would never let that happen for his savior.

These kinds of thoughts whirled around in his head for awhile, so long he realized that their little short trip to the ' Crystal Empire ' was not so short anymore. They had been gone for days.

The hospital food was getting old. He could now move around fine and there was nothing to do. Nothing to do to make amends. He was left alone with his thoughts for an uncomfortably long time.

He wasn't going to assume. Assuming was how he got into this mess. He was going to wait for an explai-
“ Sorry we were late getting back, there was some holdups at the crystal empire, and well... “
Twilight said, barging into the room in a unkempt manner.

“ I'm so sorry about the delay. I didn't want you think you are a prisoner. “ She apologized.
He then used his one and only social skill in attempt to repay some kindness.
“ Twilight, you saved me from self destruction, and then probably execution. You don't owe me anything. I'm fine. “ He stated with confidence.

Twilight smiled in relief, but he couldn't help getting that feeling again. This definitely was no casual friendly conversation. Much more tense, serious. But it could not be helped. He HAD killed some others, after all. A scar he will have to carry for the rest of his life. No matter how short, or how long that may be.

Twilight wanted him to follow her. They talked as they walked.


“ So the Crystal Heart needed to be restored to heat the empire “, “ And It's powered by positive emotions? “ Asked PonderBright.
“ Yes, though I'm kind of surprised you figured out the positive emotions part from just that explanation. “ Twilight half-replied-half asked.

The two were walking to FlutterShy's cottage for a friendship lesson.
Ponder replied further.
“ Whats more strange is you'd trust me with top secret military intelligence. “ He said half jokingly
Twilight stopped and her pupils shrunk a bit.
“ You... You'd consider that of... military importance? “

“ Well, yes. Its a single, fragile point of failure for the whole empire. I'm amazed it it took that long to break with it only being shielded behind a curtain on the ground floor!“
There was a sizable silence as Twilight was in contemplation.
“ You know what? Your right. “
Twilight said in half-confidence as they approached the door. She still had her famous awkward smile on from his last remark, though Ponder thought he had done something wrong.

He ignored that thought as word games like those were nonsense, and only led to stupidity and miscommunication; and The last thing he wanted was more harm being caused.
The door opened after a short knock to a very familiar looking pony.
“ Fluttershy? “ Ponder instinctively said.
“ Oh ? Did twilight tell you? “ Fluttershy asked.
As he was walking per her hand... hoof gesture he noticed a... serpent thing floating near the doorway, giving him a very angry stare.

He instantly widened his stance, and apparently spread his wings by accident, hitting Twilight in the face.
Twilight's instincts kicked in. She had to defuse the situation. (though the situation was in no need of fixing)
Twilight said in a rush “ HI Discord ! “ In a very strained manner.
Twilight looked at Fluttershy as if she was in pain, and Fluttershy looked at Discord.

“ Don't look at me, we talked about this. “, 'It spoke?' Ponder was thinking.
Thank god it was not a wild animal. Who knows what a Fluttershy could tame in a fantasy world.
“ Also “ It continued
It snapped his fingers and he felt lighter.

His head felt lighter.
No horn?
Fluttershy butted in: “ DISCORD! “
“ What? He'll get it back when he leaves, and it's not like he was using it anyway.
PonderBright was amazed.

“ Thank you, whatever you are! “ He said in uncharacteristic joy.
Twilight was unsure on what recent event to be more confused by.
“ Is it permanent? “ He asked, happiness still in his eyes.
“ Oh certainly. If you want it to be. Along with a all expenses paid trip back to the human realm if you so wish. “
He snapped his fingers again, and the inside of her house turned into a modern airport security, with his new clothes now resembling a flight attendant, but not quite spot on.

“ Yes! Thank you! “

“ Um, the horn thing, not the trip back to the human world. “
He looked back happily at twilight, who was obligated to share a small smile.
Discord's fingers were already poised to snap.
“ Also, What?
Discord responded in confusion.

“ That horn caused so many people so much trouble! I'm glad any possibility of it happening again is over. “ PonderBright answered.
“ Well, if it makes you happy, ” Twilight said with contemplation in her voice “ Then that's ok. “
“ I just didn't want to make you feel like you were missing a part of your body. “

“ I'm originally a human, remember? “ Ponder responded.
“ Oh, right. “ Twilight said with minor embarrassment.

“ And it's ponies, not people “ Fluttershy calmly corrected him.
“ Oh, right. “ Ponder said in blank monotone.

“ I think I know why Twilight chose me. Come on, lets go meet some nice little animals. “
Ponder smiled.
She motioned to Twilight as she nodded. Twilight then closed the door and hoofsteps were heard leading away from the house.
The two remaining ponies walked out into the back, Discord following closing behind, guarding Fluttershy.

Fluttershy; surprised and disheartened by what she heard Ponder say in the house, overcompensated by sharing a bit too much about every animal that was in her backyard. Many fuzzy meaningless words like “adorable” and “little” followed.

She realized halfway through the sentence: “ And this little cute bluebird would just love- ” She had looked in Ponder's direction and noticed he was uncomfortable.
“ Oh. I'm sorry. I didn't realize I was making things tense. “
“ No it's fine. “ Ponder replied
“ This is much better then the human world. “

“ Oh? How so? “
“ Animals free to go everywhere, and they can think! “
Ponder had misunderstood her apology, but neither seemed to care. The point was communicated all by itself.
“ This is all very nice. “ Ponder said after a pause. “ I think I needed this. To SEE kindness, or at least be near it. ”
A ferret rubbed up against Ponder's leg
“ And maybe to feel it too “ Flutteryshy replied.

“Ah yes. Very great. Much fun. Are we done here? “ Discord butted in, his angry glance turned more into a sneer at Ponder.
Fluttershy slowly replied “ No, not really. “ without understanding the situation.
PonderBright, however, knew exactly what this was. He had experience in just about every negative emotion, his own included. This was jealousy.
He was not about to attempt to hurt another creature, not mentally and definitely not physically. But he thought he would repay the kindness that Fluttershy had shown him by calming the 'dragon'.

“ Discord, I'm going to be leaving soon anyway, why rush this? “ He said in hopes of issuing a verbal surrender. It didn't work. Shocker.
“ Well color me surprised if I don't trust a murder-pony with my best and dearest friend Fluttershy. “
“ Discord, we all know it was an acci- “

Ponder cut Fluttershy off.

“ My horn is gone. I wanted it gone and thanked you for it! I like the culture-way of life you have here in Equestria, I love it! I would never do anything to harm it! “
“ Maybe not intentionally. “ Discord said smugly.

“ DISCORD! “ Fluttershy said with minor hate in her voice.

“ No it's alright. “ Ponder replied
“ You have just cause to not like me Discord. I don't want to say that I'm trying to deny that. “

Discord let up a bit.
“ Hmph. “ A almost stone-cold reply.

“ Ill try my best not to cause anymore trouble. “ The words pained him. These words he had hoped not to say today, but to postpone indefinitely. A reminder of a seemingly perfect world he had tainted with his human tendencies.

A thought crossed his mind.
“ Wait, Discord, with all that power, maybe you- “
Discord's pointed anger turned to solemness as he turned away from the other two.

PonderBright was confused, not understanding the que, until Fluttershy put her hoof on his shoulder.
He scowled and sat back down on the grass.

“ That's not the point of today. “ Fluttershy said.
“ Were all doing this because we want to help, and to show you we want to help. “
“ And because we all agreed that this wasn't your fault. “
She said that last one with a bit of doubt.

“ Well, I suppose I got a little carried away too. In our conversation. “
“ And I suppose that some of the past … situation is my fault too. “

Discord's voice and posture softened.
Fluttershy was gaining a gleeful open-mouth smile.
“ If I wanted this to have never happened I could have been paying more attention, especially near the cottage - and to you Fluttershy. “
Fluttershy blushed a bit, and her smile turned heartfelt, though Ponder was waaaaaay to autistic to notice this.

“ I could have ended that whole fiasco anytime I wanted, IF I had noticed what was happening to you, PonderBright. “
Discord half-apologized.

“ You don't have eyes in the back of your head. “ PonderBright rebuked, almost argumentatively.
“ Oh but I do! “ Discord turned around to reveal a copy of his eyes that weren't there before.
“ But in all seriousness though, I do have hundreds or thousands of invisible eyes active at any given time. “
With a snap of his fingers, many circular eyes revealed themselves in the area.

Ponder reached out to touch one, but it moved away with almost perfect movements to keep its distance.
“ Cool. “ said Ponder.
“ Really? “ said the other two in confusion.
Fluttershy was used to this stuff, but an involuntary refugee literal alien with such a bad first experience? She was shocked and amazed by that reaction.
Discord was similarly stumped too, he expected to end the tension with a quick scare and a group laugh.

“ And fyi, unless you agreed to be Equestria's entire police force, I don't think you can be paying attention to everything all the time. “ Ponder confidently stated.
Discord smiled.
“ HO HO! Oh you flatter me. “, “ Not even minds as great as mine can process that much information, ill admit. “
“ Well anyway, since were getting introductions out of the way, Discord is the name, Chaos is THE game. “ He said while snapping the dirt roads into soap, and the grass into candy.

“ Wow. “
“ Now I kind of want to know what happened to the area they gave you to do whatever with. “ Ponder replied, assuming yet again. He wanted to shift the conversation, he didn't think he could take talking about his mistakes much longer.
“ Land? What land? I'll have you know I'm only a homeowner in the Chaos Realm. “ He said as eldritch horrors crawled out from a portal behind him, turning out to be paper cutouts just viewed from a bad angle.

“ Didn't they give you some land nobo- nopony would want just to see what you would do with it? Or as a thank you? Or maybe a chaos amusement park? “
Both Flutteryshy and Discord were awestruck, but mostly Discord.
“ I'm happy your getting along. Maybe even made a new friend? “ Fluttershy cheekily said to discord.

Discord, who had been furiously writing this down with a pencil in his mouth, hand, and tucked between one ear looked over to Fluttershy's 'smug face' and disappeared his writing and stationary.
Some of Flutteryshy's animals walked over to be petted. PonderBright and Fluttershy happily accepted them by their side and into their laps as they sat down.
PonderBright's attention was caught by a sudden polite “ AHM. “ form discord.

His 'seating area' was now a radio recording studio, complete with a boom microphone and table. He was dressed the part too, like always.
“ But please, tell us more about this... 'Chaos Themed Amusement Park' “ Discord said with a perfectly straight face with both hands clasped together, perfect posture and all.

They both laughed in response, and PonderBright realized something he hadn't in a long time; he was feeling alright, having FUN even. It was a good feeling. But reality brought him back down. But not back down to his normal 'rock bottom' like he was expecting, more like a neutral feeling; bordering on the bad side. He hoped it would last, but knew better and just focused on the moment.

When Twilight picked Ponder up from Fluttershy's at the end of the day, She and the others had a brief private conversation.
He spent that down time looking at just how weird and beautiful everything was, the distant mountain city, the town, the general landscape. He should have done better with the townsfolk, in all honesty. He didn't know how though, and he was desperate to try to make things as better as he could.
After the fact. It looks like there was no undoing the death.

The thoughts of taking a long walk off of a short dock never surfaced though, which was odd.

The door opened.
“ PonderBright? You can come back in now. “ She said with a genuine smile.
He sat down on a stool next to a table, where they were all seated.

He fumbled the process, as one does when your a human with horse like appendages, but Twilight managed to lend a stabilizing hoof at the right moment.
“ We are happy you were able to relax. “ said Twilight.
“ Yeah. I definitely feel better. “ said Ponder.
“ You seem better too. “ Fluttershy replied.
“ Sometimes, we all need a little kindness. “

“ And, I think I know what to do now, regarding your friendship lessons. “ Twilight remarked
“ That is, if you'll stay in equestria, of course. “

“ Yeah. “ PonderBright stated.
“ I don't feel like giving up anymore. “ He said with unusual amounts of emotion in his words.

Ponder looked over at Twilight to see her eyes half-closed. She looked? Smug? Did she foresee this? No. Too many variables. Something similar? Also no. This wasn't the logical reaction or conclusion and he knew it. No pony-human-anything could have predicted any sort of short term improvement after what he went through, Equestria and earlier.

Ponder was about to say something, but then-
“ Well then it's settled! Thanks guys. “ Twilight said as she got up to leave.
Ponder followed her.
After some goodbyes, And after a distance was between them and the cottage, Twilight spoke up.

“ You know, I had some doubts that you really meant what you said. Intentionally or not. “ Twilight said in a normal tone.
“ But not anymore. Between what I saw when I was there, and some of when I wasn't, I don't need a spell to know that you were telling the truth. “ She said in honesty.

" Your doing better now and I'm confident you won't hurt anypony. " She further said in earnest.

“ When you weren't there? “ Ponder asked.
“ Oh! “ Twilight had gotten ahead of herself.
“ Discord can replicate any moment he's seen, like in a play. “ She replied.
“ Huh. We have similar devices in my world. “ Ponder replied.
“ Oh. “ She said in minor interest.

“ And I guess that explains the weird feeling from when I was being questioned. “ Ponder said.
“ Yes. Zone of Truth, It's a harmless spell. “ Twilight stated. She hoped he had not been too sensitive too it, having an alicorn's sense of magic and all.
“ It's fine. “ He said in usual monotone. Twilight's face getting slightly more worried at that response, but not enough for Ponder to notice.

“ But anyway, I wanted to offer you a stay at my castle. “ Twilight had course corrected the conversation yet again.
Ponder looked surprised. She continued.
“ You clearly are sorry. You didn't mean it, and you want to make up for it. That's all the evidence I need. “
Ponder fought back grinning as much as he could, as he was taught that such a thing was either rude, creepy, or a sign of weakness depending on who was in front of him.

“ Thanks Twilight. I'll accept. “
Kindness indeed.

Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look upon them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.

- Sun Tzu, Art of War

Author's Note:

I am open to PM. No discord or email. Do not use email. Please.
I am open to work, even collaborations. I can't draw. Muscle condition.

I find it very funny that the first written record of how to wage war references the magic of friendship. (In Sun Tzu's own demented way)
Ill be posting some after every chapter.

Want to test my writing with this one. Will try to write more and more challenging subjects as time goes on.
All criticism minus something that can only be seen as a nitpick will be appreciated.