• Published 21st Mar 2024
  • 1,115 Views, 26 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.

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5 - Pondering the Moon - Part 1

PonderBright woke in a parallelized cold sweat, instantly and frantically.

He eventually managed to regain control of his muscles, sprung up, then tripped back down onto the floor due to getting up too fast. He made his way to the eating area Twilight had shown him.
Down the main hallway... 6th opening at the edge?

He met up with Starlight as he was walking.
Her eyes widened a bit as she saw him:
“ Rough night, huh? “ She asked.
“ Yes. “ He replied, just wanting the day to be over already.

“ I kind of understand- I mean in my own way! “ She replied with haste, as if trying to avoid some misunderstanding.

“ I sort of can relate. “ She shared, possibly a bit to much as Ponder was looking back at her dazed, tired, and done with the conversation.

“ But maybe you should take a bath beforehand. “ She said as they approached the dining area.

' Oh. ' PonderBright thought.
“ Where- “
“ Back where we came, 2 doors, the one on the left. “ She responded, almost forgivingly.

He was minorly embarrassed. His mind was also taken off the dream, for a moment.

Those thoughts did resurface while in the bath, as the sponge flew from his wings yet again due to his inexperience with his new body.

Why did other Ponder take his time in killing pony Rainbowdash?
He knew the human Rainbowdash, not the pony Rainbowdash.
At least, he thought it was the pony version of Rainbowdash.
Same coloration and hairstyle helps. No missing the rainbow style hair dye.

He assumed he was just good at guessing, while continuing to fumble the brushing process, soap in eyes and all.

He didn't really know a lot of ponies here, he continued to think. He only knew Celestia and Luna, and the few ponies Twilight introduced him too. Probably for the best.
His mind drifted to human Sunset's offer of friendship back during his school days. Still would say no.
' Humans.' he thought with disgust; glad to have an entire reality of separation between them and him.

His thoughts continued.

Was Spike mad at him? No. Couldn't be. Not for anything he directly did to him, as Twilight had mentioned nopony he was living with was effected by the disaster.

== Dining Area ===

The table was set with many different types of food, due to Spike being wise of Ponder's arrival. He wanted to know what he liked best, and made a little of a lot of different dishes.

“ Where's Ponder? “ Spike asked Twilight, genuinely confused as he chomped down on a plain gem, mouth full and all.
“ I don't -”
Twilight was interrupted.
“ He's taking a bath. “

Starlight was still uneasy being here, and she wanted to save PonderBright as much of that uneasiness as she could.
All with suggestions, of course. The last thing she wanted to do was order any pony around.

“ So, what do you think? “ Twilight asked, nervousness still slightly in her voice.
“ About? “ Starlight had to clarify.
“ PonderBright. “

“ Oh. Uh, I think he's getting along just fine- at least with me he is. “ She corrected herself nervously.
Twilight had a curious look on her face. So Starlight continued.

“ I think he's emotionally drained. “ Twilight looked confused. “ But recovering! “ Starlight clarified.
“ Maybe not a morning person? “, “ I don't know. I haven't known him that long, and I don't want to assume.“

Twilight went into deep thinking mode for a moment when she was distracted by something flying out the window.

“ Or maybe he had a nightmare. “
Starlight looked out the window Twilight was looking at.
Both were minorly worried as to what this could entail, Twilight slightly more so.

Twilight started to get up to go get the door, when Spike said confidently:

“ I'll get it! “

Twilight sat back down, with only a slightly concerned expression.
She had come to trust Ponder almost as much as Starlight, she just hadn't internalized it yet.

They finished their meal and let Spike explain the situation to Luna.

PonderBright was almost done with drying himself, when he heard a knock on the door.
He assumed what this was and said preemptively:
“ I'm fine, Haven't drowned, I just don't know how to dry waterlogged feathers. “
He heard minor laughter from behind the door. Twilight.

He heard her muted from the other side:
“ Sorry, I don't know how unless your using magic. “
She replied in earnest.
Distant footsteps.

He finally just threw in the towel, literally, and walked out to the mess hall.
He had a short lapse in judgment when he thought he had to put on clothes, jumping a bit and scaring Spike.
He got the cold shoulder, or so he thought. He didn't respond to him, and Spike was usually talkative (to other ponies) in the short time he knew him.

Was that a stare? A ' stink eye ' ?
Ponder wasn't sure.

He joined a empty table and just started eating. No meat?

At least one person/pony/creature was happy right now. Starlight was definitely not, and he knew that from his short time with her.
Twilight was his primary focus anyway. He had to repay her for saving him. Starlight was just another student. A student that hadn't killed anypony. A better student. A student that had been able to help Twilight. A much better student.

These thoughts ruminated until he was stuffed. He had eaten on autopilot again.

Spike had snuck up on him:
“ When your done, Twilight needs you in the entryway. “ he said with little emotion.

He had been told he would be meeting Applejack outside an apple farm. Strange.
And from his observations, Spike usually takes a chipper tone for a greeting. Strange.

He was already mentally thrown off as he was walking to the door.

What really threw him off more was what he saw next.
“ Luna! “ he said, trying to hide his embarrassment from his dream. He was fairly good at it too. Practice makes perfect, after all. Though, not from his time in pony world.

“ I'd like to talk about the dream you had yesterday. “ She was in a very tired state.

PonderBright looked confused. It looks like he had completely fooled all of them, minus Luna.

“ I am the princess of dreams. Surely you remember that part of your dream? “

Ponder had the stupidest, most dumbfound-iest look on his face. He had brushed off and insulted a queen to her face. Well, not to her actual face, but via psychic dream telecommunications.

While this was happening Twilight was thinking: ' How important was this? '
PonderBright did not seem to be taking this that seriously, and princess Luna only slightly more so.
She looked between them both with that famous puzzled look on her face, mouth half open.

Starlight had long since retreated to elsewhere in the castle.
Ponder and Luna stepped outside. Luna seemed barely able to keep her balance due to tiredness, but she managed.

Twilight only got in a few words before they shut the door:
“ Uh ok. Let me know the outcome, Please? “ Twilight had said, as the two walked away from the castle.

“ PonderBright, do you know how to fly? “ Luna started talking.
“ Um, sort of. I can take off and fly in a straight line, but I need a lot of starting and stopping ground. “

“ Very well. I wish to conduct this privately, and the location I had in mind meets all those requirements. “

“ Follow me. I shall catch you if you fall. “

They both got a good running start, and Ponder took to the skies after Luna. Luna circled around and followed closely behind Ponder.

PonderBright's form was very stiff and mechanical, bordering on paralysis, but it worked for the most part. Luna only had to course correct him with magic 3 times the entire flight.

Luna had noticed on how quickly he had taken up flying. It had only been a couple of days since he was let out of the hospital, and now he's already in the air? Interesting.

“ PonderBright, I must commend you on your willingness to learn- “ She realized he was entirely focused on staying in the air.
He was looking down constantly.
Look straight ahead. Level. I will catch you. “ She reassured him, using her ' traditional ' volume.

Ponder nodded and attempted to mimic how Rainbowdash flew when she was relaxing. It didn't work.

A few more catches later, they landed. Luna noticed that Ponder had a very happy look. Almost like a filly on their first birthday look. She hadn't seen that one in awhile.

His initial crash. She had forgotten.
“ I'm sorry PonderBright if the flight brought back bad memories. “

“ They did. “ He autisticly responded, seemingly instantly getting over his happy moment of achievement.
“ But when I landed, and even though I got some help from you, I know I can definitely glide now. No more chance of- Uh. “ He made himself sad again.

Luna changed the subject.
“ No horn aswell? “

PonderBright misinterpreted this as an accusation of trying to escape, seeing as he was partially responsible for taking off that shackle.

“ Discord removed it. Completely. “
He spurted out while pointing to where his horn used to be.

“ No possibility of- “, “ HM “ He was at a loss for words. Normally he would had thought up a excuse for someone of so high authority, but this time he was completely in the wrong;
or so he thought.

Luna had to ask about his cheerful tone in his last response.

“ You seem glad. Did Discord do you any other favors? “
“ No. Just this one was more then enough! “ Ponder joyfully responded.

Luna had been worried for nothing. No Tirek part two.
“ PonderBright, I am glad that you are working, seemingly tirelessly, to amend and ensure the success of your time here in Equestria. “

“ But I fear you might reach a breaking point. “

There was a pause.

Another breaking point. “

She said while trailing off.

Ponder looked confused. He had already internalized that situation was solely due to the abruptness of the situation, lack of magical training, and lack of information; not the result of a mental break.

From the outside looking in, however, he was certain the opposite was true.
Luna further elaborated.

“ You are undoubtedly strong. I saw that in your dream. You thought It was a real emergency situation and you went to help others, not leave through the door you had passed. You even offered yourself sacrifice.“

“ You saw all that? “ Ponder had to ask.

“ I saw enough. “ Luna exclaimed.
“ And I'm worried that this all will come to the surface, sooner or later. “

Ponder shrunk over, sad and disappointed.
Luna continued. “ So I wish to discuss it. “

Luna knew something was off. Of all the reactions she had experienced in her long reign as princess of dreams, that was not an expected one.
Had she been gone too long? Was she loosing her touch?
Then again, this was literally an alien she was talking to.
She took a more guarded posture.

“ Is something the matter? “ She said raising one eyebrow.

“ It's... “
“ It's just that... “

Luna patiently awaited his response, no annoyance to be found.

“ Back in the human realm, I always had people telling me that they knew best. Sure, it started out all nice and non-intrusive, but then they started assuring me that they knew I did this because of that, and that their new solution was certain to work this time, … “

Ponder looked up to make sure Luna was not angry. She had successfully put on a poker fake, but she did not needed it. She was not angry.

“ I was always just the massive collection of mysterious failures, to spite all their meddling. “ He said that last part with anger, looking away from Luna in the process.
“ And this is a literal dream were talking about, nothing actually happened. “

He recoiled minorly, as if by habit.

“ But. “
“ I really did screw up this time. “

“ So I have no right to complain. “

Luna was disheartened. Not at what he said though.

“ PonderBright. “ Luna said
“ You are correct in that there will be some ' meddling. ' “
Ponder closed his eyes a bit, with ' here it comes ' written all over his face.
“ But we do not seek to control you down to the last hair. “

Ponder looked unconvinced.
“ You say that this was your... ' screw up '?", " That this was your fault? “ She had to clarify.
She struggled with pronouncing ' screw up '.

“ Yes. “ He said, sorrow creeping back in.
Luna steeled herself.

“ It is not. “ Luna said with certainty; the moon beginning to creep over the horizon.
Ponder was surprised. Very surprised. So surprised his pupils shrunk a bit and he leaned back a few inches.
A first for everything, I guess.

“ You were badly injured, half conscious, and not magically trained. “
“ You were also in a foreign body after crash landing in an alien world. “

“ I do not blame you for the tragedies. “
“ It is part of the reason I voted to equit you. “ She said, looking solemnly towards the moon.

Ponder was surprised there even was a trail. Brief, informal or otherwise.

“ But you did willingly attack Twilight. With much less serve injuries and knowing the damage magic can cause; no less. “
She had looked back towards Ponder. The sunset on the horizon began to shine rays.
He rebuked out of habit: “ But I thought she was the corrupted version of a human, that I was taking out a world ending threat! “

“ PonderBright, from what I saw you attacked immediately. “
“ Yes, and? “
Her gaze hardened. Ponder's fear grew wildly.
“ From what I understand you did not check to see if she was still corrupted. “

“ Yes, I don't know what a corrupted pony looks like. “
He noticed his rebukes started to sound more and more like excuses.
Because they were.

“ And I also remember you stating you know little to nothing about magic. “

This conversation had reminded Luna of the latest Nightmare Night. She had to take a moment to gather herself after that last sentence. Her expression returned to normal princess blankness.

“ Yes? “ He said, awaiting an answer to his answer.

“ So why did you attack Twilight when you had no knowledge as to what she might look like at all; transformed, or otherwise? “

He was plainly shocked. He didn't have an answer.
He looked to the side, to ponder if you will,
her argument.

“ A voice is not enough to go on. “
“ Yes, … I know. “ he responded with worry and confusion.

“ PonderBright, I saw that lightning. It's color is influenced by emotion. And that was pure, violent green. The brightest I have seen. “

Ponder looked surprised as to his accidental record he set in pony world.
“ It is the color of fear. “

He had to much to process. He put off thinking about that for now.

Luna started talking again.
“ To spite your insistence that it was intentional... “
“ I believe you are not to blame for that incident either. “
“ you agree to let somepony know if your emotions are starting to overwhelm you. “

Ponder nodded. He then blurted out
“ Yes! “
“ Yes of course! “

He didn't know what else to say. A simple ' I was already ready to do whatever you said! ' or similar would have helped tremendously, but he was not that socially inclined.

Another silence followed.

Luna picked up.
“ About Rainbowdash -”
“ Uh, hang on. I – Think I need some time to process this. “ He nervously smiled back at Luna.

“ You apply these lessons quickly. You are indeed a quick learner. “ Luna complimented him after a short sigh.
“ We shall resume “ Luna yawned “ After I get some sleep. “

She flew away, forgetting to ferry him home. The walk back was long and confusing. At least it was night, and no other pony was out to see him.

Standing on the defensive indicates insufficient strength; attacking, a superabundance of strength.

- - 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.