• Published 23rd Jan 2013
  • 2,013 Views, 192 Comments

Doing Science - dashie76



You're not safe In this place All of us warned you of the big white face

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Chapter 17

Wham!

Cursing under her breath, Twilight sat up and rubbed her aching skull. Opening her bleary eyes, she realized that she had fallen out of her hammock onto the floor of the train. Still half asleep, she stood up and plodded her way back to her hammock. Using her magic, she fixed the covers and was about to climb back into their warm embrace when she began to ponder why she had fallen initially. After a moment's thought, her eyes widened.

The train had stopped moving.

That could only mean one thing.

She sat down on the freezing steel floor again and took a few deep breaths, now fully awake. Pressing her hooves to the sides of her head, she closed her eyes and began to meditate. She tried to think of happy things, but all too soon her mind returned to the situation at hoof. Deciding that there was no avoiding it, Twilight sighed and stood back up again.

Walking through the nearby door, she began to make the rounds, shuffling back and forth across the nearby hallway and waking the other residents of the train. Although she had saved one particular door to be the last, her procrastination only bought her a few moments. Bowing her head, she dragged her hoof upwards and knocked three times.

"...Fluttershy?"

Twilight frowned slightly. She was surprised at how...awful her voice sounded. It was scratchy and raspy, and sounded like that of a mare twice her age. She began to think deeply on this. It worried her - no, frightened her - that her voice had changed so much in so little time. Pondering this, she didn't hear the movement behind the door until it had reached the door proper - and opened it.

Twilight lifted her head. A yellow pegasus stood before her, and though Twilight knew it to be Fluttershy, she found no resemblance between the timid Fluttershy she knew and the pony who stood before her. This Fluttershy stood tall, without slouching in the slightest. Her wings were snapped back to her sides, not shifting about or rustling. Her eyes were hardened, her mouth pulled into a deep frown. In the back of her mind, Twilight remembered always being taller than Fluttershy - but this pegasus, straight as a board, easily rose above Twilight by a few inches. Gulping, the unicorn seemed to shrink under this new Fluttershy's imposing presence.

"I've had a lot of time to think, Twilight."

Her voice was defined, crisp. There was no hint of uncertainty or meekness. Every word had a purpose - was said with purpose.

"I have come to a decision."

Twilight felt a hoof on her chin. Her face was lifted up to stare into the pegasus' eyes. Her eyes held kindness, yes - but fiery determination, too. This was a pony that would stop at nothing to achieve her goals, whatever they may be.

"All my life, I've been pushed around. Even as a grown mare I had trouble facing other ponies. I've always been the coward...the victim...the weak one."

Dimly, Twilight felt sweat drip down her cheek. She didn't even dare to wipe it off.

"And then, my best friend - somepony whose been with me through thick and thin, hell and high water - is taken away. And I sit down and cry...as a coward...a victim..."

Fluttershy snorted.

"...a weakling. But I've realized that there comes a time when a mare does not run from a fight, no matter the circumstances or odds. No matter who they are, be they brave or cowardly, saviors or victims, strong or weak, they do not run. They cannot run. And that time in which they do not run is the time in which harm - real harm - comes to their loved ones.

"Twilight, I've felt like a burden to others throughout my whole life. I really have. But if I can stop that for this once instance - this one mission - then I know that I can die happy."

Fluttershy suddenly stepped forwards. Twilight shut her eyes and tensed her muscles...but felt only the warm feeling of hooves wrapping around her neck. She slowly opened her eyes, a confused look on her face.

"I won't be a burden to you. I won't run away from fights, I won't hide in the shadows of my friends, and I won't just sit by and watch. I'm going to be strong - I'm going to get stronger - and I'm going to do whatever it takes to get back Rainbow Dash. Because it's necessary. This is the time that I will not run away."

Twilight's eyes began to water.

"I...I think I see what you're saying, Fluttershy..."

The two of them sat there for a minute, savoring the moment. But this time, Twilight wasn't procrastinating. She felt ready now...she felt stronger. Friendship is Magic, she thought. And though she had heard it said many times before, she got it - really got it - in that moment. And she knew that she was ready.

Twilight sniffed and finally pulled away from Fluttershy and looked her straight in the eye. She did not falter.

"It's time."

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Twilight and Fluttershy strode out into the early morning sun. They were the last to arrive. Applejack was nervously twisting her hat around in her hooves, Pinkie Pie's mane had fallen flat and she was pacing back and forth through the field of yellowed ferns, and Rarity simply stared at the ground with a glazed look in her eyes. All three glanced up upon the arrival of their friends. Fluttershy stayed back with the group and let Twilight walk forwards alone.

In front of Twilight stood a door. An old, wooden door. The door was a part of what appeared to be a run-down outhouse, with a tin roof and a broken window. But at that moment, it was the most intimidating thing that Twilight had ever come to witness.

She frowned. "Guess there's not point in putting it off any longer."

She levitated a small device out of her saddlebags. It was a small black box housing various gears and wires. Twilight pressed a button on the device.

----------~~----------

Day one. We have arrived at Aperture Science.