• Published 25th Jan 2013
  • 6,437 Views, 229 Comments

Someone Came With Her - chromewasp

You keep sayin' somethin' about bein' male and "human" before you showed up in Appleloosa...

  • ...

Choose Your Tombstone

“It is tempting to dismiss Discord's words,” she says, striding briskly up to you. “But I can assure you that he speaks the truth. My sister and I have enlisted him in our search.”

You still can't say anything as Luna plods closer. At last some of the coldness leaves her eyes, replaced by sympathy.

“I know how strange it is...but he understands a criminal mind far more than Celestia or I could. His aid is another step down his road to redemption.”

Discord gives her a polite nod, tipping a garish hat that didn't exist until a second ago. “Oh, you flatter me, milady!” he gushes.

Luna ignores him. “A choice awaits you. If you choose to avoid the sorcerer, you will also avoid your chance to return to humanity.”

At last you finally manage to speak. “There's no point,” you sigh, looking down at your slender form. “I couldn't beat him as a human. I definitely can't beat him like this.”

“Your victory is not assured,” says Luna. “You will need to learn many new skills, and push yourself to limits you thought impossible. But even if you do not succeed, you will show the sorcerer what he fears the most.”

“What's that?” you ask. Your mind drifts back to the moment right before you kicked Trask in the groin. For one immensely satisfying second you had seen his smug smile melt away, revealing a cowardly little man who was confused and terrified when his victims fought back.

“Defiance,” answers Luna. “Our foe believes himself to be more powerful than the forces of nature. He does not understand how anyone could possibly stand against him; much less a commoner. This offers you a unique opportunity.”

You start to lift your head off the table. “Look. I want to stop him as much as you do, but...I just need some time to think about how I'll do this.”

“Make your choice wisely,” says Luna. “But you will need to make it soon.”

An inexplicable sense of dread claws at your gut. Your heart races, your pulse pounding concussively in your ears. The colors in the room drain away like paint down a sink.

Something feels deeply wrong, but you have no idea what it is. Suddenly looking panicked, Discord darts to the bat wing doors, leaning against them to brace them shut.

Wham! Something pounds against the doors, and the draconequus grimaces from the effort of holding them closed.

Wham! “It seems our friend Trask,” grunts Discord, “figured out how to Sleeptalk.”

“Sleeptalk?” you stammer.

“It's the spell that made this conversation possible,” says Luna, her face knotted with anxiety. “Have you seen him in your dreams before?”

A memory flashes through your mind: an image of Trask, smiling and gazing up at a half-built radio tower. Something about the tower seems disturbing, like it's a giant skeletal finger.

“Yes--last night!” you blurt.

Wham! The doors are about to fly off their hinges. Discord desperately tries to stay rooted in place, his clawed feet gouging long tracks in the floor.

Luna gazes at you with wide and worried eyes. “Don't listen to anything the sorcerer tells you. Your mind is your own, Sonora. Remember this above all else!”

You're just about to object to the name “Sonora” when the dream pops like a soap bubble.

“'You alright, miss?” a voice asks. Someone is shaking you awake. It's the bartender, staring at you with wide eyes that his thick spectacles magnify to absurd proportions.

“What does it look like?” you mumble. You barely even heard his question: most of your mind is far too busy deciding what to do next. Unlike before, you remember the dream in every bizarre detail. You can't be sure how you feel about this change.

Like it or not, it seems you've taken on a central role in Discord's plans. As little as you trust Discord, you have to admit you'd take him over Trask any day in the lifetime of the universe. And even if you really are just a weapon in Discord's battle against Trask, it's a role you can live with.

But was he really telling the truth when he said he was working with the royal sisters? Maybe the arrival of Luna was just an illusion he conjured up.

Or maybe Discord is just a manifestation of your id. Hell, maybe this whole situation is just a hallucinatory manifestation of your subconscious doubts and fears. Maybe your transformed state is just an allegory to your repressed worries about your body image, maybe Trask is just a metaphor for your fears of humiliation, maybe this bar is just a representation of the “safe place” you retreat to in times of worry, maybe Fairweather is your imagination's attempt at introducing an erotic component to--

“No,” you hiss out loud. “Just...no.”

“'Pardon?” asks the bartender.

“Nothing,” you say. Flushing red, you try to rub your eyes, quickly discovering that marshmallow hooves aren't exactly suited for that task. “How long was I asleep?”

The bartender glances at a brass watch strapped to his hoof. “Only 'bout an hour. You runnin' late for somethin'?”

You're more than a little apprehensive about joining up with Fairweather. Will he really teach you how to fight? You were just starting to get comfortable with the idea of resigning yourself to whatever happens next. Now life has given you your controller back and yelled at you to keep playing its game. Will it be worth it?

You think again of Trask's face in the one moment of triumph you had over him.

Maybe it's worth at least a little try.

You want to sit here for only a few more minutes, but you know if you keep saying that, you'll never get around to leaving. To your amazement, you slide yourself up and out of the booth.

"No, I have time," you say as you drift to the door. "I just need to..." You never finish the sentence. It wouldn't make sense to the bartender, anyway.

You push through the bat wing doors and step out into the blistering sun. Outside, most of the citizens are staying well within the shade. The shadows are short now, almost invisible. As if on cue, the town's clocktower strikes noon.

Feeling faintly lucky that you ended up with a light coat, you look for the sheriff's office. Just like in the show, it's within convenient walking distance of the saloon.

This is it, you vow as you canter to the building. No more excuses. No more hesitation. This is where Trask's downfall starts. Clumsily nudging the door open, you look inside and...

Hesitate. The sheriff's office is an atrocity against cleanliness. Ordinarily you wouldn't care, but this is pure insanity.

It looks like some madman's vision of an IRS office. Gargantuan stacks of yellowing paper rise up from the floor to the ceiling like makeshift columns, teetering precariously.

The smell of paper and dust is so strong that you can't help but sneeze. Dammit, even your sneezes sound cute and feminine!

“Something I can do you for, ma'am?" drawls a familiar voice. Sheriff Silverstar leans out from behind one of the paper stacks, his bushy brows raised with curiosity.

"Fairweather told me to meet him here," you say, studying the sheriff's expression carefully. You aren't exactly keen on pissing off one of the most important ponies in the town.

"Fairweather? Hah, so that old rascal's finally roped in a new recruit! That's what you're here for, right?"

"I just wanted to tag along, actually," you say.

Silverstar rummages through a pile of papers. "Makes no difference; you'll havta do the paperwork anyway. Let's see here...cactus cat pet license application...dust devil compensation form...ah, here we go! Application form for joinin' the Spellbreaker Deputy Unit.”

He practically shoves the paper in your face. "Fill it out before you talk to Fairweather. Now if you'll excuse me," he says, "I havta finish up some paperwork of my own." The look on his face is the look of a man drifting to the edge of his nerves. What the hell has gotten into him?

"But--" you start to protest.

"Can't talk! Jus' finish it and take it ta Fairweather—he's out on the back porch!" he hollers, disappearing into a sea of papers. "Pencil!" he adds, tossing one over to you.

You stare grimly down at the pencil resting before you. Can you pick it up with your hooves? No, it just slides out. Magic? As much as you try to channel your inner Carrie, it seems telekinesis isn't something you can just pick up, no pun intended. So you end up awkwardly snatching up the pencil with your mouth, scowling at the bitter woody taste.

You make a few experimental marks on the back of the sheet. You can write....sort of. Your penmanship is suggestive of an epileptic gecko frantically scratching graphite-dipped claws against the paper, but after some practice you can make reasonably straight lines.

You flip the form back over, your stomach sinking when you realize that it's all written in symbols that don't even remotely resemble the English alphabet. But before you crumple the paper up in sheer frustration, you notice something even stranger:

You can read them. And stranger still, when you try to write out your answers, you unconsciously write the letters in the same bizarre script the form is written in. Just like in the show, the writing in Equestria consists almost entirely of cutesy little symbols, like someone spilled their Lucky Charms out onto the paper and decided to trace each piece.

The more you try to figure out how you're doing this, the more confused you get. The questions certainly don't make it any less frustrating. They start out by demanding your name, your background, and your aspirations.

All right...so now it seems you've got to fabricate an identity. You decide that Sonora is a citizen of Manehattan who recently moved to Appleloosa. It was her encounter with the Tricksand monster that sparked her interest in learning how to help keep the town safe. Half-assed, but it should work.

Level of magical aptitude? You suck the pencil fitfully before circling the answer: Minimal/none. Hell, you couldn't even levitate the pencil. This will definitely be awkward to explain to Fairweather.

Eventually you get to a section that appears to be a waiver. In tortured legalese, it painstakingly describes all the risks and dangers you accept by joining or accompanying the Spellbreakers, including but not limited to: curses, hexes, jinxes, hijinxes, magic-induced injuries, various unwanted enchantments, nightmares, ruined manes, bruised knees, bruised egos, saddle sores, cactus jabs, getting silly songs stuck in your head, and Restless Hooves Syndrome.

Trying to ignore your growing headache, you sign at the dotted line. There's something especially painful about signing your new name on that form, like you've just signed away your right to be yourself.

You look up from the sheet, spitting the pencil out onto the floor. You want to check with Silverstar to see if you've done it right, but he's too busy burrowing deeper and deeper into his den of paper misery.

Right, so now to see Fairweather. You roll up the paper and clutch it between your teeth before stepping outside and trotting to where Silverstar directed you.

As you near the building's back porch, you hear a high-pitched undulating hum mixed with a sound like wind chimes. You quickly recognize it as the sound of charging magic. Cautiously you round the corner to see Fairweather perched on the deck, his head held low while bright blue energies swirl around his horn.

Six round targets have been set out a couple dozen meters away from the porch. Fairweather unleashes his spell on each of them, reaching out and punching them dead-center with six simultaneous bolts of blue lightning. It isn't unbearably loud, but the sharp crack of energy makes you wince.

“That,” he says, turning coolly to face you, “was a certain spell called 'Six Shooter.'”

Holy shit...he's trying to impress you.

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