• Published 14th Jan 2013
  • 26,297 Views, 1,588 Comments

The Monster Below - Greenback



An earth pony seeks to transform himself into an Alicorn, but how far is he willing to go to get what he wants?

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I Destroyed Your Dream

It wasn't long before Beakbreaker came into the holding room, accompanied by Mangus and three orderlies. She was calm and professional as she came to me and said that my muzzle would be removed if I remained calm and didn't lash out.

I made no move to indicate that I heard her.

Beakbreaker asked me if I understood what she was saying. When I didn't answer, Mangus said that this was all a waste of time, and that I clearly wasn't going to cooperate. But Beakbreaker ignored him, instructing the orderlies to remove the muzzle. Mangus protested, but Beakbreaker said that we would get nowhere by treating me like a caged animal.

The orderlies worked fast, using their magic to remove the muzzle.

I remained still, making no move to bite them.

Coming in just outside of my biting range, Beakbreaker asked me several questions, wanting to know if I was in any pain, and if I understood what had happened.

I didn't answer her.

Mangus butted in once more, saying that I was throwing a silent tantrum, and wasn't interested in talking. But Beakbreaker refused to give up, saying that I would probably feel better in familiar surroundings. She told the orderlies to move the bed to her apartment.

I was wheeled down the halls, gawked at by startled ponies seeing me pushed along like a wild beast in a cage. Their shock was greater at seeing my empty back. I was no longer a pegasus pony, but an all-too common earth pony.

A nobody.

We reached Beakbreaker's apartment, and after some quick shuffling of the furniture, she had my bed put before the window overlooking Manehattan. Once it was in place, she asked me if I wanted anything.

I said nothing.

Realizing that Mangus was probably right about the tantrum, she said that she would leave me to myself for a little while but would come back soon. She left with the orderlies, who locked the door behind them.

I was left to watch as Manehattan went about its day, watching pegasus ponies fly through the skies, free to go wherever they wished.

***

Night fell, and Beakbreaker returned, accompanied by two unicorn orderlies. “Hello, Silverspeak. I hope you're feeling a little better.”

I said nothing.

Beakbreaker put some food containers on the table. “I brought you some food. Figured you're probably hungry.” Opening one, she came over and showed me the sandwich inside.

I didn't even look.

“Silverspeak, please, you have to eat. You haven't had any solid food since we left Saddle Lanka. I don't want to put a feeding tube in you, but I'll have to if you don't cooperate. You need nutrients. And if you want to stay silent... well, you can.”

She put the sandwich back on the table, then started to undo my straps. The orderlies rushed forward, but Beakbreaker indicated for them to stay back as she undid the last strap, then went to the table.

For a few minutes, I remained still. Then I eased myself off the bed, went to the table, and started to eat, taking slow, methodical bites.

The orderlies remained where they were, never taking their eyes off me.

Beakbreaker tried to eat her sandwich, but didn't have an appetite. “Silverspeak... I know you're angry at me, and I accept that. You have every right to be, but please understand: I was only trying to help you.”

I kept eating.

“I judged that, based on the results of my tests, your life was in immediate danger from being infected by dead tissues. I figured that no matter what I said, you'd refuse to have them removed, even if they were minutes away from fatally poisoning you,”

I took another bite.

“Time was running out, and I didn't know what to do, so I went to Mangus and asked him to help me. I thought he wouldn't, considering the whole drugging fiasco, but he was actually really eager. He wanted to just storm in and take you, but I persuaded him to wait until you sleeping.” She gave a nervous chuckle. “Well, I know we won't be able to sneak up on you to do pranks anytime soon.”

I swallowed a mouthful of the sandwich.

“You're also wondering why we strapped you down like we did. The truth is, I just didn't know how you'd react to finding your wings gone, if you would be logical, or violent. I didn't know, and erred on the side of caution. And please believe me, if there had been any other way to avoid it, any at all, I would have taken it. I would have given anything, anything to make this easier for you.”

I remained silent.

“You're probably wondering why I would risk so much for my secretary. Well, the reason is...”

Beakbreaker paused, tried to find the words, sweating all the while. “The reason is because... you're my friend. My only real one, actually.”

She got out of her seat and got close to me. The orderlies flinched, but Beakbreaker indicated for them to remain where they were.

“Silverspeak... Ever since you got those wings, I watched you agonize over them. I was so worried about you, especially when it seemed like it just wasn't working out. I had hoped you'd realize it too, but you didn't. And then there were your parents... They came to me after the presentation in Saddle Lanka and asked me if the wings were doing anything to you, personality-wise. I told them yes, I thought they were.”

I stopped eating.

“And then all this happened: The horn, attacking your father, refusing to see reason; you were becoming obsessed. I've heard of this happening with other ponies, Silverspeak. My colleagues, they've see ponies destroy themselves going after dreams they can't fulfill. They become so obsessed that they forget about their families, their jobs, everything.”

She stopped, wiping sweat away.

“Yes, I took your wings, but only to save your life. The Silverspeak I know is kind and polite, doesn't attack others, and doesn't risk his life over such trivial things. I know that perhaps you'd rather die without those wings, but I... I couldn't let that happen. Not after all this.”

She took another step closer to me.

“Ever since we met, you've encouraged me on. You were the one who helped me whenever bad things came. Now I want to help you. I want you to see that you can have a good life without wings. I know you don't believe me, but it's true. And when we were in Saddle Lanka, I tried to find out a way to tell you, but I never got the chance. But now... Well, now seems as good a time as any.”

She reached out and took my hoof in hers.

The orderlies took a step forward.

Beakbreaker looked me right in the eyes. “Silverspeak... for so long I've considered you a friend, but now... Well, now I want to take the next step. It's like back in school, when young ponies would tell their boyfriends that they 'like them, like them.' Silverspeak, I... I like you, like you. And your parents, when they realized it, suggested to me that I could show you what kind of life you might have if... if the two of us were... together.”

She stopped, bit her lip, and waited for me to say something.

I didn't.

Beakbreaker sweated. She started to shake. “Please, Silverspeak, say something.”

I didn't.

“Please... I know my career is probably shot. I might lose my medical license for operating on you. And if your wings went, then the others will probably go. And if that happens...well, I won't have anything left. I'll be a nothing. But I'll have you. We can work our way through this. Please.”

“You destroyed it,” I whispered.

“What?”

“You destroyed my dream,” I said.

“I don't want to destroy anyone's dream,” Beakbreaker said quickly. “I didn't want to destroy yours, either, but-”

“Liar.” I got out of the chair, shaking so badly I had to grab it to steady myself. “You rotten, stinking, little liar.”

The orderlies tensed, ready to tackle me.

My heart was racing. I had never felt so angry before. “All those years, all that effort, wasted by a pathetic whelp who gave up too easily. I don't see what I ever saw in you in the first place.”

Beakbreaker took a step back. “What?”

“Wake up Beakbreaker!” I snapped. “Do you really think I helped you out of the generosity of my heart? That I cared about your dreams, or only had your best intentions in mind?! No! I used you, and you were too stupid to realize it!”

Beakbreaker went pale.

“I told you what you wanted to hear, whispered suggestions, gave you ideas, and you fell for them, hook line and sinker!” I couldn't stop, the words coming out faster and faster. “I even manipulated Medicomp itself, through those brain-dead CEO's who can only think of the almighty bit, and can't see five feet in front of themselves! All of it was to get those wings! To get a horn! And now, because you had a panic attack, it's all ruined! You hear me?! Ruined! Years of work, gone, and it's all because of you!

Beakbreaker was silent. So too, were the orderlies, who couldn't believe what they were hearing.

“All that time... all that kindness... your friendship...” Beakbreaker whispered. “It was all... a lie?”

I turned away.

“Tell me that's not true,” Beakbreaker said, her voice shaking. “Please, tell me it's not true!”

I remained silent.

“Tell me!” Beakbreaker begged, tears falling to the floor. “Tell me! Please, tell me!

“I... I don't know,” I finally said. “I don't know.”

“You don't know if you're telling the truth or not?!”

I spun. “I said I don't know!” I closed my eyes, took a deep breath. “Maybe you did act to save my life. Fine. It's done. And maybe you did save my life. But I'm not giving up. I'm going to get another set of wings. I have enough bits to buy them, and Medicomp will want me back. So I'll get them, make sure this doesn't happen again, and everyone will be happy.”

Beakbreaker wiped away her tears. “You can't.”

“What? You going to stop me? Strap me back down and keep me locked up in your apartment for the rest of my life?”

She shook her head. “While you were out, I told the CEO's about what was happening, and how bad your shoulder tissues were. I told them we should stop selling the wings until we figure out what's wrong. They agreed; the company's going to announce it to the public tomorrow.”

“So I'll wait. I'll get another pair when they're better.”

Beakbreaker sniffed. “No, Silverspeak. I also told them that the wings aren't compatible with anyone who isn't a pegasi.”

My heart froze. “You... You don't know that!”

“I checked. I used some of your DNA with a sample of the wings, did the same for another earth pony, then exposed the DNA of a pegasus pony to another sample. The pegasus wings are doing fine, but the earth pony sample rejected the muscles. Your sample did too. I told the CEO's that, based on those results, and what happened to you, they should stop selling the wings to non-pegasi... Permanently.”

She sniffed again. “They agreed.”

The color drained from my face.

“I'm sorry, Silverspeak, but I couldn't let others undergo what you have. And I knew you'd try to get wings again. I... I had to protect you from yourself. It was simply for your own good.”

Something snapped inside me.

Wiping the last of her tears away, Beakbreaker said, “Now, we can work this out-”

“Get out.” I whispered.

“Silverspeak, we're both mad, but we-”

“Get out.”

She took my hoof. “Please, we can-”

GET OUT!” I screamed.

Beakbreaker was so caught off guard that she fell to the floor. So did the orderlies. But their shock was nothing compared to Beakbreaker's, who stared at me in terror. Never had I raised my voice against her, or screamed with the unfiltered fury of a soul who's only purpose in life had been taken away.

And in that moment, seeing the hatred in my eyes, she realized that everything I had said earlier was the truth.

Beakbreaker scrambled backwards. She only got out one anguished sob before running from the room. The orderlies, shocked at seeing Medicomp's spokespony have such a meltdown, went with her.

Pain shot from my now-empty shoulders. Furious, I reared back, grabbed the stitches where my beautiful wings had once been and ripped them out, roaring at the pain until I was screaming. Blood splashed against the walls as I bucked, smashing the table and sending food flying across the room. I kicked, thrashed, and screamed incoherently, no longer feeling anything but pure, unfiltered rage at the unfairness of it all.

Finally, I stopped. The room lay in tatters, the table, sofa, and chairs demolished, with the chandelier half-broken, and holes embedded in the walls. I spun, looking for something else I could destroy, something precious and beautiful that I could tear apart. But there was nothing left.

I had destroyed it all.

For a long moment I stood there, running on nothing but adrenaline, which then seeped away, leaving me drained and feeling more empty than I had ever felt, and more alone than I had ever been.


I collapsed to the ground, sobbing, wishing that everything would just go away.

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