• Published 18th Jan 2013
  • 3,720 Views, 146 Comments

Dysphoria, Arc 1: Introductions - thedarkprep

Applejack finds a pony at death's door during one of the worst storms of the year. He is bleeding, his wings are broken, and he's unconscious. This new pony has secrets he wants to hide, but as the saying goes, all things must come to light

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1. The New Arrival


Story by: thedarkprep

Arc 1: Introductions

1. The New Arrival

Applejack struggled to free herself from the mud as a lightning bolt illuminated the sky. Thunderstorms are always a dangerous thing to contend with. The raw power of the rain, the winds, and the lightning alone make it so that ponies have to spend time reinforcing their homes and securing their things so that they’ll have something left once the final droplet falls. On the farm, this is even more so. While the water is very much appreciated so the crops can grow, the sheer supremacy of weather over pony-made materials was undeniable. The barn had to be reinforced, lest it be blown away by the high-speed winds of the storm. Trenches needed to be dug around the fields to stop excess water from rolling down the hills, washing away the seeds and harvest with them. All farm tools, usually kept outside for ready use, needed to be brought inside to avoid rust. Lastly, metal installments had to be checked and toughened on top of the buildings in order to ground possible incoming lightning strikes. Weather ponies were aware of these heavy responsibilities that each pony had to undertake with every heavy rainfall. As such, they announced severe storms nearly a month in advance to allow ponies to plan ahead. Life, however, was hardly as accommodating.

One of the drawbacks of Ponyville was its closeness to the terrifying Everfree forest, a land where trees grow on their own, animals fend for themselves, and weather goes unregulated. This means that aside from the occasional wild animal, ponies have to contend with random weather patterns and unaccounted winds, rain, and sometimes snow. Weather ponies are trained to deal with such weather and are usually sent in at first notice to disperse rogue clouds or redirect unfavorable wind currents, but there is only so much they can do. This storm came out of the Everfree without warning, and rapidly enveloped the entirety of the sky above Ponyville. The massive storm cloud brought back memories of the dragon smoke that had threatened to cover Ponyville in a hundred years of darkness. The rain was intense both in the downpour and its effect. Streets were flooded, the usually smooth and sturdy roads reduced to pits of mud; rivers surrounding Ponyville overflowed, and the idea of going outside went from laughable to terrifying. In all, it took about an hour. The winds were no better, having overturned trees and damaged the less sturdy houses within 30 minutes of when the storm began.

Had the weather ponies noticed the storm when it was growing over the Everfree, or had the storm been less immense, they might have been able to do something about it. However, having had neither luxury, the best they could do was to head to their homes above the clouds before a piece of debris injured a wing, grounding them to find refuge in the watertorn world below.

For the earth ponies, or in this case specifically Applejack, this lack of notice meant that the hours of work needed to be done while contending with the worst nature had to offer.

“At least it’s almost over.”

Another lightning bolt struck, this time hitting the metal piece above the barn attached to a cable, leading the current to land harmlessly on the ground. Applejack was glad she had reinforced the electrical grounding piece last week, as the idea of doing so now was too dangerous to entertain. With no small effort she freed herself from the mud and pushed her cart into the barn for safekeeping. She looked out the barn door and indulged the idea of just staying put until the storm passed. However, there was no telling how long the rain might last, and her family might worry if she did not return. With the last of her chores behind her she left the barn, making sure it was secure from the elements, and headed home. That’s when she saw him.

She didn’t notice him at first; it’s hard to notice anything in this weather. As another bolt of lightning illuminated the field she noticed movement in the mud. She was at her doorstep and the thought of going back outside to investigate was not all that comforting. She almost decided to ignore it and go back inside but, as lightning struck again, she couldn’t deny what she saw. She rushed over to help. Lying in a puddle of mud and rainwater was a pegasus. The creature was completely black, which accounted for how hard the pegasus was to notice. In fact, they would have been perfectly camouflaged in the darkness were it not for the purple mane and tail, and the purple bag strapped across the pony’s back. He looked like a stallion, albeit it was hard to tell in the rain. He seemed about as big as she was, both in age and stature. On his flank was a book, which in itself was uncommon for a pegasus (pegasi tending to have weather or flight related cutie marks). And yet, this was not what caught the mare’s attention.

She may not have been a medical pony but even she could tell just by looking at him that he was badly damaged. His wings were off center, which they would not normally be in a resting position. Both of them were damaged but one was most certainly broken. His dark body was covered in bruises, purple amongst the sea of black. One of his legs was sticking at an odd angle, probably dislocated and not broken, since the break seemed to be at a joint. Dark blood was matted on his purple mane, which, thanks to the rain, gave the illusion that he was bleeding from a fresh cut. Worst of all, he did not seem to notice Applejack as she stood beside him. The stallion kept crawling despite his injuries on the road towards the town that lay ahead. His mouth was moving, but no sounds came out.

Applejack yelled, “Mister! What’s wrong? We need to get inside from the rain!”

There was no response. Instead, the pony just kept struggling against the mud, the rain, and the broken appendages until he could not do so anymore. Exhausted, he turned to lie on his side, putting his weight off of his most injured leg. That’s when he noticed her for the first time. His eyes widened as he realized he was not alone and a quiet calm overtook him.

“Please help me,” he muttered before exhaustion finally kicked in. His world enveloped in black.