• Published 3rd Apr 2013
  • 36,849 Views, 6,969 Comments

Five Score, Divided by Four - TwistedSpectrum



As a fan of the show, I always loved Rainbow Dash and her cutie mark, but I never wanted it to appear on my leg! Now that it has, all sorts of things are getting weird around here. I'm a guy, not a mare! Cartoon ponies aren't real... right?

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11. Home.

Chapter 11: Home.

“No. No, it’s just a dream, it’s just a dream.” I start to panic and hop off the bed and pace around the room talking to myself “Just a dream, just a dream...” but I’m fully aware that it wasn’t just a dream. It makes too much sense, it explains my past, it explains why we transformed, it... it... “No!”

I feel my blood pounding in my ears and my chest tightens up as I start to hyperventilate. My entire life was a lie, everything I know, all my memories, all my friends. This life was never supposed to happen?! What does that make me? Everything that had made me who I am, all my memories and traits, are they really all just the side product of a Discordian punishment?

I wanted to scream, I wanted to punch holes in the walls, I wanted to just run away from everything. But I did none of those things. I just slowly fell to the ground, and I wept. Tears began to flow like a river as I thought of how I had joked about preferring to be a pony, and how I wished I was actually Rainbow Dash. Well, look where fate has put me, turns out I’m not only Rainbow Dash, but I always was. I shake my head, this isn’t what I want though, not like this. Not like this. Being a pony was supposed to be new and fun, not a realization that my entire life has been a lie.

Not only does this mean my life has shattered, but what about Equestria? What kind of cruel joke is it to learn that Equestria is real (yay), but at the same time you realize that it has been completely ruined, and I was one of the ones to blame for its destruction. Dash was of the ones tasked to defend it, one of the fiercest members of the mane six, but Dash had failed. I had failed. I didn’t save my friends, I didn’t stop Discord, and god knows what happened to everyone else in Equestria over the past 25 years.

Through my tears I look down at my body, the fact that I was actually Dash meant that Rainbow Dash herself had been pretty much wiped from existence. All her skills, all her abilities. I certainly don’t know how to do any of the amazing things she could do, and if I don’t know how to do them, no one does. I cried for Dash losing all her memories. I cried for the loss of Equestria. I cried for my entire life being a lie. And I cried for the fact that I knew I would never be human again.

I don’t know how long I sat there, but eventually my ears picked up a shuffling noise coming from the bed. Evan poked his head out “Dash, why are you on the floor?”

I turn my head to look at him, but couldn’t bring myself to say anything. Evan’s eyes open wide upon seeing my face full of tears“Jesus, what’s wrong? What happened?” The remnants of sleep leave Evan’s body and he fears the worst as he jumps off the bed. “Talk me to Dash, what happened?!”

I wipe the tears away from my eyes with my fetlocks “I figured it out Evan.”

Evan leans closer “What did you figure out? Do you know where Fiona is? How to change back? What happened with--”

I cut him off, “Us. I figured us out. Why this all happened.”

Evan grins, not exactly the expression I was expecting. He sits back and speaks up “Hey that’s great, so how do we change back? How do we go back to our original bodies?”

I bite my tongue “We just did.”

I shake my head sadly and wave a hoof at his body and mine. Silence falls between us as Evan wraps his brain around what I’m saying, “What... no, Dash that doesn’t make any sense. I know when I was born and I know growing here and--”

I grit my teeth and cut him off “Evan!”

“What?” Evan looks confused, but I know how I can convince him. If I had those dreams, so did he. It’s just a matter of bringing the memory to the surface.

I clear my throat, “For five score, divided by four...

I pause, Evan opens his mouth “...your memories removed, your body confused”?

I nod and give him another line “For your insolence you must pay.

Evan stares at me “Cast off to a land far far away-- Dash what the hell is this? What’s this from?”

I chew on my lip for a moment “What’s it from? It’s from Evan’s very first birthday. Well technically, from just a few seconds before your very first birthday.”

“I don’t follow.”

I continue “It’s from Evan’s birthday, it’s from your dreams, and it’s the very last thing Big Mac experienced 25 years ago.” Evan remains still, so I continue “Remember how you told me the season finale ends Evan? That was never in the show! It’s not an episode, it’s a memory. Remember how that all played out? Discord attacks two siblings on a farm. The older brother was trying to save his sister, Discord cast a spell on him first. As a result he--you-- arrived on Earth a few minutes before your sister did. Don’t you get it?”

In Evan’s mind memories of the event begin to come together like a zipper being closed. Bits and pieces of random thought coalesce into one solid line, memories of those last moments in Equestria come together. Evan’s legs wobble “I... remember fighting him on the farm, I remember the feeling of adrenaline and fear that my sister wasn’t going to get away.”

I sigh, “Well, sorry, but she didn’t get away. But hey, at least you two remained family.”

Evan slumps down and joins me in wallowing on the floor in disbelief. He picks up one of his hooves and just stares at it for a while, “Well this sort of changes everything then doesn’t it?”

I sigh and look over at him. Poor guy, I mean, I knew I was taking this pretty hard and I had actually liked being a pony and being Rainbow Dash. Evan on the other hand...

I give a weak smile “It doesn’t change anything Evan, we still are who we are, and we still have to find Fiona and get back at the person who did this to us.”

Evan doesn’t move “Oh, great, four ponies are going to try and get back at what, the god of chaos? Even if we could find him and he would agree to fight us, Dash he beat all of us when we were in our prime! We are horribly incapable now! You can barely fly and I can’t even run in a straight line.”

I nudge him in the shoulder “Hey, come on, what’s the worst that could happen? Is he going to turn us into humans for another 25 years?”

Evan turns to look at me “Well he could turn us into regular farm horses or something.”

I frown “Yea I guess, he sort of already warned us about that with the whole saying about ‘our minds shall be weak, and our outlooks bleak’ it would probably be easy for him to make our minds even weaker and make us think we were animals or something. But, you know, as long as we stick together we should be fine.”

Evan stands up and his eyes go wide “Dash... when you were on the farm did you ever go in the stables?”

I look over at him “Yea Jack showed me around before we changed, it felt a little strange but kind of calming to be in there.”

Evan quickly moves to the desk and fumbles with something as he speaks up “When I arrived on the farm I felt this really strong desire to go in there and just hang out with the horses. I felt like if I went in there everything would be calm and alright. But I didn’t do it because something felt strange about it, and because I knew you guys were probably home...”

My eyes go wide as I follow his train of thought. “Jack is there all alone...”

Evan is staring at an object on the desk, waiting for something “...and Jack was really depressed and was looking for an escape from everything.”

My heart drops “And when we called her, I was pretty sure I heard farm animals in the background...”

“...AND JACK ISN'T ANSWERING HER PHONE ANYMORE.” Evan looks up from the cell phone in horror, now that I listen I can just make out the sound of voicemail coming through the speakers.

The blood drains from my face “Oh shit, you don’t think...”

Evan looks at no one in particular “We left her all alone, and her mind was weak...”

Evan and I both realize what we have to do, but Evan moves first. He takes off in a dead run, leaping out of the bedroom and down the hallway. The apartment door was at the end of the hall and he doesn’t even stop to open it, he just throws his shoulder into it and fucking breaks the door open as wooden splinters fly all over the place.

I want to tell him to calm down, I want to ask why the hell he didn’t just take the five seconds to open the door, I wanted to ask him to use some subtly so we wouldn’t be seen or heard, but there was no time. We had to get back to the farm as soon as possible. I bolt out the door after him, hooves clopping loudly down the hallway and through the stairwell as I ran. If the exploding door didn’t wake up the apartment, the sound of two horses sprinting through the apartment probably did. I leap out the front door and see Evan already halfway across the parking lot, the sun just starting to rise on the horizon. I didn’t see any humans around, but the chances of someone seeing us from a window are probably pretty high.

I sprint after Evan and catch up to him, still a little amazed at how fast ponies can gallop. We weren’t exactly racehorses, but we were sailing down these streets probably faster than the cars were legally allowed to go. After a few blocks the streets start to open up and we enter the suburbs. With the buildings not as tall here I get a clear view of the sky. A part of my brain speaks up You know, if you are running somewhere, there are faster ways of travel...

I look up at the sky again, this was hardly a time for practice, but there was no denying it would be faster. I turn towards Evan as we ran “Evan, I’ll meet you there, okay?” He nods and after I take few deep breathes and flex my wings I leap into the air.

At first I slow down because I wasn’t running anymore, but then my wings start to flap in earnest and I build altitude and speed. I rise fifty, seventy, one hundred feet in the air while still building my forward velocity. I soon find myself passing Evan in speed and still climbing in the air. Just a little bit higher, come on, a little bit more. I look around, I was several hundred feet in the air, right, this should do it for now. I take a deep breath and stop flapping my wings and instead angle them downwards into a shallow dive.

The effect is immediate and I take off like someone shot me out of a bow. “Aahhhhhhh” Wind whistles loudly as I start to fall while accelerating forward at a ridiculous pace. I squint my eyes against the cold wind and make out the outline of the Smith farm a dozen miles away, at this speed it really won’t take long at all. I smile for a moment, forgetting the worries on my mind and just enjoying the thrill of flying this fast. I lost a lot of altitude but I was now flying pretty much horizontal to the ground and moving quite a bit faster than I ever went in a car.

Eventually I slowed down enough and lost enough altitude that I had to go back to flapping my wings and building altitude and speed again. I look behind me, there was probably three miles of forest between Evan and I, looks like I would get to the farm a few minutes before Evan did, hopefully I won’t be the one that has to tell him that his brother was currently living the life of a farm animal. My mind goes mad with worry, images of Jack flash before my eyes. I picture her in the stables, she's on the side with the stallions for some reason. The stallions bite her tail and playfully nip at her ears, then she let's out a bestial whinny and neighs as her cutie mark slowly vanishes and she gradually turns into an actual horse. I shake my head to clear away the terrible images, cursing myself for even thinking of such things. I grit my teeth and flap my wings harder “Hold on Jack...”


~~~~ 9 hours ago on the farm~~~~

I stared down at the phone and Dash’s voice came through “Look, Jack, we’ll call you once we get a hold of Fiona, okay?” I nod to no one in particular and say my farewells to Dash and Evan as they hang up on their end. They had called to tell me they had finally arrived in town. Well, I enjoyed hearing my brother’s voice, it was nice of them to call. Though now that the phone call is over, I don’t really remember what I was doing before they called me...

I smack my lips slightly and look around at my surroundings. “Uh... why the heck am I in here?” I spin around and confirm that, yes, I am in the stables in the area filled with all our mares. I look down at my body, I was covered in mud and bits of straw. What’s worse I absolutely reek of animal scent and sweat. I twist around and look at my back hooves “Oh what the heck, I stepped in horse crap! Urgh, it was probably mine, I must have gone to the bathroom right where I was standing.”

I feel like I’m going to throw up. It was only 11pm, Dash and Evan left just four hours ago. How was I that far gone in just four hours? Well, good thing I got that phone call from Evan, I shudder to think what I would have done if given more time.

“Right, so I’ll be leaving now.” I make my way to the gate that contains the mares and I unhitch it and step outside into the common area, then close the gate behind me. Satisfied I turn around, the gate to the stallions was across from me and the exit was to my left. I take one step to the left, only to feel a blanket fall over my mind ‘Now now, what’s the rush? You’re lucid now, you can stay a bit longer, it’s safe...

I look around and see no one, where the hell are these thoughts coming from, why would I want to-- It’s nice here with the horses. Nothing to worry about, no one to yell at you, just tasty food and lots of animals that welcome you here.

The voice had a point, what harm would it be if I just spent the night here? I’m already really dirty, I might as well sleep with all the other dirty animals... Because that’s what you are, one of them. Now how about you open up that gate and get back in there with your peers...

I nod and absent mindedly walk towards the closest gate, which happened to be the one for the stallions. I open the latch and step inside. There we go, that’s much better, now why don't you go over to those nice stallions over there? I'm sure they will welcome you into their family...

I swallow and nod, looking over at the stallions. Most of them are asleep but a few of them are looking over at me. They can undoubtedly smell me already, I was covered in mare scent from the other side of the stables.

My eyelids feel heavy and it’s getting hard to think properly. I give out an series of neighs and take a step towards the stallions. The voice says some more words to me but I don’t understand them at all. I don't know why it thought I could understand it, I don’t speak the language of humans.

I lick my lips as give out another natural neigh as I step towards the stallions, resigned to my fate as a breeding mare to join the ranks of all the other mares here. Earlier today Evan had yelled at me, he said I was nothing but a mare looking to live in the stables, well isn’t that funny, turns out...

I freeze, wait a second, Evan apologized to me. I blink a few times and try to shake the fog from my mind. Evan said he was incredibly sorry, he was in tears... Hey! What are you doing, forget him, you’re a mare now, act like it!

The fog starts falling over my eyes again but I shake my head “No, stop, hold on a second...” the fog pushes harder. ‘I said you’re a mare SO ACT LIKE IT’. I grit my teeth and clench my muscles “I said no.” The fog still pushes ‘USELESS MARE. NOW GO GET RU--

NO!I yell and buck as hard as I can against the metal gate behind me, ripping it clean off its hinges with a terrifying screech that fills the stables. Horses on both sides of the stables neigh loudly and back away from the loud blast. I breathe heavily through my nose, my muscles trembling in rage. I announce to no one in particular “I won’t listen to you! I am NOT a useless mare, and my brother and I won’t rest until we get back at whoever did this to us!!”

I look around and stamp away from the stallion’s area. The gate holding the stallions in their section was completely ruined, but as long as the mare’s gate remained closed it shouldn’t be a problem. I exit the stables and go outside into the clear night, closing the door behind me. I breathe in the clear night air, and the scent of hay and stallions finally leave my nostrils. I shake my head once more, what the hell happened to me in there? Well, the horses had food and drink for at least 24 hours, I wasn’t going back in there until Evan and Dash were here, it wasn’t safe to go alone.

I walk over to the outdoor shower that Dash and I had used earlier in the day, and I do my best to clean myself off. It’s not perfect, but at least I’m not covered in animal scent anymore. With no good way to dry off, and not wanting to track mud all over the house, I decide to sleep outside on the grass in front of the house. I was plenty warm with this fur coat, so sleeping outside would be relaxing tonight. Well it would have been, if I wasn’t woken up at 7am by what sounded like a fucking incoming missile.


~~~~ 30 seconds ago ~~~~

“Hold on Jack, I’m almost there!” I mutter to myself as I wipe the sweat from my brow. Flying this fast, for this long, was hard work. No wonder Dash in the show was always napping, you get really tired flying like this.

I can see the buildings on the farm now, I take a deep breath and enter my final dive. As I streak downwards I squint and search the area for signs of AJ, not really paying attention to my speed I just aim for the house and adjust my altitude so I will meet the ground right on that patch of land. Wait a second, there’s a shape of orange fur right there! It’s Applejack, she’s sleeping right there! She’s okay!

I grin as I get closer and closer, I’m only about 10 feet off the ground now and I should be able to touch down right along side her. I was moving astonishingly fast, well over 100mph and coming in for a landing.

I blink, wait a second, I’m not a plane, I can’t land this fast. “Oh fuck.” I’m moving far too fast to start flapping my wings, that will probably just result in me tumbling out of control. I glance around, oh hey, there’s Applejack 5 feet below me, she looks surprised. Hmm, where to land? Ah ha! A pond! Let’s hope it’s deep enough! I aim for the middle of the water and attempt to slow down as I approach it, it sort of works and I end up hitting the surface going about 60mph.

~~~~~~

I black out for a few seconds as i hit the water, but I soon come to and find myself floating near the edge of the pond. I doggie paddle to land and hop out, shaking my coat dry. AJ runs down to meet me.

“Holy fucking hell, Dash, you can fly!? That was amazing! When did you learn how t--”

AJ’s question is cut short as I glomp her and bring her to the ground in a bone crushing hug “Jack, I’m so happy you’re alright!”

She slowly pushes me away “Of course I’m alright, now would you mind telling me how you learned to fly, and why you practically killed yourself dive bombing me? Oh, and did you find Fiona?”

I take a deep breath “Well, not exactly, but we did get a lot of information about what happened to her, and what happened to us...”

Applejack raises her eyebrow “And the flying?”

I shrug “Oh, that? Meh, it just sort of happened. Evan just dared me to try it and I got a hang for it. No big deal right?” I hold back a smile.

AJ stares at me “No big deal? Dude. YOU CAN FLY. What the fuck man, you’re the envy of most of mankind.”

I break out in a grin “Eeyup, what can I say, I’m pretty fucking awesome. But I thought we already knew that?”

AJ chuckles “Should have known you set me up for that one. Speaking of ‘eeyups’ though, where’s my brother?”

I gesture with my head, pointing at the woods behind us “He’s on his way. Should be here in a minute or two. We should get breakfast going, Mac and I haven’t eaten in quite a while.”

AJ raises an eyebrow “Mac? Evan hates ponies, he would kill you if he knew you actually referred to him as Big Mac”

I bit my lip, I guess now that I knew about this Discord thing it didn’t make much sense to keep on calling him Evan. But still, Jack wasn’t aware of all that stuff yet. Urgh, I already had to give this Discord talk to Mac, I really wasn’t in the mood to explain everything to Jack now. Time to delay the truth slightly “Uh yea, Evan sort of warmed up to ponies I guess.” I shrug, that was actually pretty true.

She smiles but looks at me suspiciously “He warmed up to ponies, or he warmed up to you?”

I bite my tongue and rub the back of my neck with a hoof. “Umm, both?”

AJ raises an eyebrow as she grins “What exactly did you two do when you were alone out there?”

I blush “No see that’s not what I meant. He just--”

“Aw shoot girl, your face is redder than a pair of apples come harvest time.”

“That’s just because... wait, what did you just say?” This was most strange, that was a very ‘Applejack’ like thing for her to say. Did she do it on purpose?

Jack opens her mouth to reply but suddenly gets distracted by the red shape running towards us. I turn around and see Big Mac galloping across the field towards us, clearly tired from his run but happy to see us.

I turn to AJ, already having forgotten about the conversation we just had. “So, Mac is going to want to talk to you, I’ll go get breakfast ready while you two catch up.”

Jack nods and trots towards her brother, who eagerly embraces her with open hooves as tears fill his eyes.

~~~~~~

My cooking skills hadn’t really improved much, but I was able to fill up three bowls of alfalfa and, amazingly, pour three mugs of orange juice without dropping the bottle. Sure I spilled like 1/3 of the juice on the floor, but I just licked that all up and no one will be the wiser. AJ and Mac were still talking outside so I took a seat at the table and happily swished my tail back and forth as I munched away on the greens. It was nice to be back here on the farm, lots of food I could actually eat and I didn’t have to worry about neighbors catching a view of us.

I look up from my food as I hear the door open, AJ and Mac enter as Mac finishes telling the story of how we snuck into Fiona’s apartment. I wave a hoof at them and Mac smiles as he sees me “Nice flying Dash, you really fucking took off back there.”

“Thanks Mac, you got here pretty quick yourself, especially considering you had to run, what, 20 miles straight? That’s nuts!”

AJ interrupts our circlejerk “Whoa, whoa, so Dash wasn’t kidding before, Evan do you really go by ‘Mac’ now? What the hell?”

I shut my mouth, Mac turns to his sister “Uh, yea, I guess I do. I mean...”

I look at Mac “Oh, you haven’t told her about the, uh, the ‘dream thing’ yet I take it?”

“What dream thing?” Jack is looking back and forth between us.

“Nope, haven’t gotten to it yet, she wanted to hear about Fiona first.” Mac takes a mouth full of alfalfa and wipes his hooves on his chest.

I nod and take a sip of orange juice “Did you ask her about the glen?”

“Guys, what dream thing? What glen?” AJ is getting impatient.

Mac shakes his head at me and speaks through a mouth full of food “We were just getting to that part when we got in.”

“Ah, I see, well we should probably start with that.” I take another bite of food myself.

AJ looks ready to kill someone.

Evan nods happily “Oh yes, I agree. And by the way Dash, this alfalfa! Holy cow this is good stuff! I can’t believe I was giving this away to my animals for so long, it’s the best thing I ever tasted!”

I smile “I know right! I could totally eat this stuff for three meals a day!”

AJ just gives up and facepalms herself using the table.

I look towards the source of the noise “Oh, hey AJ. Mac and I were just talking about you.”

“Buck you.”

I smile “You wouldn’t happen to know where Fiona’s glen is would you?”

Jack lifts the side of her face off the table and looks over at me “You mean the feather’s glen? That section of the forest just south of the town? Lots of birds and other wildlife live there, nature enthusiasts go there from time to time.”

Mac and I both exchange looks and I stand up, "If Fiona escaped, that sounds exactly like the place where she would have run to."

Applejack looks between the two of us “Will someone please tell me wtf is going on?”

Mac looks at his sister “We went to Fiona’s apartment but she was missing. We found her diary, and while it didn’t have much in it, she did mention how she was scared and was thinking of running to 'the glen'. Do you know where this ‘feathers glen’ is?”

Jack scratches her head with a hoof “Yeah it’s like ten miles from here. South of the suburbs and north of the river. It’s a pretty large area actually, it’s like five square miles of dense forest. You can recognize it because the trees there are all oaks.”

I raise an eyebrow “How the hell do you know all this?”

AJ shrugs “In college I had to take this stupid ‘local wildlife and fauna’ class to get my
Agri Science major. The professor talked about it a few times and showed us pictures. But I don’t get it, why would Fiona run there? Why would she be scared?”

I turn to Mac “Really dude, you didn’t tell AJ about... err, Fiona?”

Evan shakes his mane “I was getting to it dude!”

I rub my forehead with a hoof, which is really just as uncomfortable as it sounds. Old habits of hands die hard I guess. “Right, well I’ll go fly to the glen and check it out, you stay here and bring your sister up to speed on everything.”

Mac smiles "Will do, just let me finish this bowl of tasty, tasty alfalfa!"

I roll my eyes and make for the door “AJ, listen to Mac, you have a lot to catch up on!”

Jack looks over at me "The fact that you insist on calling us 'AJ and Mac' is somewhat worrying..."

I turn back and wave a hoof "Yeah, yeah, don't worry, Mac will explain everything."

Have fun with that. I think quietly to myself as I step outside. I liked being honest with Jack, but I really didn't want to be the one to break all that news to her. It was a big pill to swallow, learning that you're going to be a cute orange farm pony for the rest of your life. Oh well, there are worse fates I suppose, Jack could have been Spike!

~~~~~~

The location Jack gave me wasn’t that far away, and it was made even shorter by the fact that I was getting pretty decent at this whole flying thing. I took to the skies and half flew, half glided the ten miles or so until I got to the remote area of woods that Jack has described. Sandwiched between the river and a road that ran on the southern edge of the suburbs was a small, dense forest made entirely of oak trees.

I landed in a small clearing and started exploring the area on foot. I immediately began to question my decision to come here alone, it wasn’t like I was scared of the forest (please, I could take on anything in this place) but the fact is that searching an entire forest by yourself is just not very practical. After a good 15 minutes of running around I am really starting to feel like I’m running in circles here. Without a clear view of the sky I’m not even sure which direction I’m facing anymore. “Urgh, screw this, I’m doing this the pegasus way.”

I find a small clearing and launch myself in the air, quickly climbing in altitude until I was well above the tree line. I kill my forward velocity and just hover in place for a moment, looking down at the sea of green treetops. It was a pretty dense forest, I couldn’t really see the ground under the leaves “Hmm, not sure if I thought this one through all the way. I can keep track of where I am now, but at the cost of not being able to see a damn thing below the tree canopy.”

I chew on my lip for a moment, unsure of what to do. I mindlessly gain some more altitude, swimming in an upwards spiral through the air. I scratch my head while I sail upwards, scanning below for any signs of campfire smoke or something that would signify someone was living in the forest below. But there was nothing at all, this plan is fruitless, it’s going to be impossible to find anyone in these woods. I might as well fly home and return with help. I sigh and look down in frustration at my wasted journey.

I blink. “Uh, so I’m really fucking high off the ground.” I am still flapping hard and moving upwards, and I was already pretty far above the cloud layer. I stop my ascent and hover for a moment, taking a deep breath of the thinner, colder air up here. Damn, I could see the whole county from here. It’s crazy that I can fly this high, I expected to stop before I got up here, I guess I’m just used to video games where you bump into an invisible ceiling once you fly so far.

I look up at the sky above me. In real life there is no invisible ceiling, well not until space starts at 100k feet or whatever, but I wasn’t more than a few thousand feet in the air right now. This is just crazy, I can just keep flying higher and higher with practically no limit! I look around me and start flapping harder to ascend into the great above, I felt like a kid swimming further away from shore, only there was no parent watching me and telling me not to be stupid. I flew straight up for another few minutes, noticing the air was getting really quite dry and chilly, I was starting to feel the chill even through my fur. I close my eyes and flap harder and harder to keep flying higher in the ever thinning air. I start to feel the burn. Okay, wings getting pretty tired, I should take a break and do an altitude check. I open my eyes and look around, it’s hard to judge exact altitude without a reference point, but I was pretty fucking high. I mean like really, I’m pretty sure I have been in small planes that flew lower than this.

Realizing my wings needed a break, I slow my rapid ascension flapping down to my gentle “hover speed” which is how I usually give my wings a rest. I do so, but I start to feel the wind whistle past my ears, I was falling quite rapidly “Uh... wings?” I look back, my wings were flapping in their normal hover pace but it wasn’t doing anything. Maybe the air was too thin for this slow flap to support me? I start flapping harder to slow my fall, but my wings were still exhausted, they needed to rest.

Now, a normal, sane person would remain calm here. All I really need to do is just freefall for a bit until the air gets thicker, than I can go back to using my gentle hover flaps to slow my fall and get on the ground. But that’s what a calm person would do, I was falling through the air and in full blown panic mode.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck” The free fall scares the shit out of me and I desperately try to flap my fatigued wings hard enough to maintain lift. But that would be like asking a runner to sprint across the road just after he just ran the 800m dash and was sitting down to rest, my wings needed a moment’s pause and I wouldn’t let them have it. I gave one more hard flap and blinding pain shot across the back, my left wing just cramped up bad. I tried moving it again and I just winced as the pain shot across my back again. I stop flapping and looked around and assessed the situation. Well, that muscle was down for the count, I needed to massage it or something before I would be able to move it. Only one problem coach, I’m currently falling at near terminal velocity 8000 ft off the ground.

I look around me, wind whistling past my ears, the forest below slowly growing larger in size. I once again try to move that wing, nope, nothing but pain. “Well, I’m fucked.” I look back down, I was getting close to the cloud layer, probably only 5000 feet off the ground at this point. “I bet the person that finds my body is going to be really confused, they’ll think a bird h--”

OOMPH

I get the wind knocked out of me as I smash into something soft and it gradually slows my fall. “Ow... this isn’t the ground.” I say in a meek whisper as I try to get my breath back. My eyes had closed from the force of the impact, but it was obvious that something caught me in midair. What could have caught me? Wait, omg, Fluttershy! I open my eyes in jubilant celebration ready to thank Fluttershy for saving me, but wait, there’s no on here. I’m standing on something soft, but firm. I look down and nearly piss myself.

A cloud. I was standing on a fucking cloud. I look around me, I was about twenty feet under the cloud layer, I must have slammed into this cloud and pushed it down here as it slowed my fall. I poke the cloud with a hoof, it’s like a cool, fluffy down blanket suspended in mid air. I cautiously lie down on it “Oh god, this is the most comfortable thing since ever.” I close my eyes. I have the warmth of the sun on my face, and the soft cool cloud keeping me relaxed. I really don’t want to ever get up, but I eventually realize I should probably tend to my wing before the cloud breaks apart or something.

One careful hoof massage later and I can move the wing again, it’s sore as hell but I can fly long enough to make it to the ground. I stay on the cloud for a bit longer, wanting to make sure my wings have a chance to rest. I lie on my stomach with my head and front hooves lazily dangling off the side of the cloud. Out of nowhere a sparrow flies by and stops to land on my front hoof.

I smile at it “Hey little guy, I bet you never thought you would get to rest in mid air” The sparrow just looks around and seems quite content to just sit on my hoof. Curious, I reach back with my other hoof and grab a chunk of cloud. To me it feels as solid as ball of cotton candy, and if I press it against my body it just sort of rolls off it. I look down at the sparrow and toss the cloud chunk at him. The sparrow doesn’t even flinch and the “solid” cloud passes right through him. I guess that is expected, water vapor isn’t supposed to be solid. Well that’s bizarre, I guess clouds really just have a hard on for pegasi or something.

Right, enough distractions. I start to stretch my wings but remain lying down and I look over at the sparrow “Hey buddy, I’m looking for a yellow pony named Fluttershy, have you seen her?” The bird looks at me and tilts his head. “Pony, looks like me but she’s yellow, has pink hair. Know where I can find-- hey!” The bird jumps off my leg and starts flying away.

Before I go I lean down and kiss the cloud for saving my life, then I leap off it and give chase to the sparrow. I catch up to it in a few seconds and soon notice that we are circling down over a small chunk of the forest. I make note of the spot and break away from the bird, spotting a nearby opening in the trees that will allow me to land. I thread the opening in the trees and soon find my hooves on hard ground. I immediately frown, urgh, this ground is really hard, how the heck do people lie down on this surface? How did I stand this surface for twenty five years? I shrug my shoulders, making a note to tell AJ and Mac at how much better pegasus ponies have it being able to sleep on clouds.

I make my way towards the area that the sparrow landed. I mutter to myself “I don’t know why I had put so much faith in a random bird, but sometimes you...” I stop walking and look down, a pony sized hoofprint was visible in the moss in front of me, and it isn’t mine. I feel my pulse quicken, she’s close.

I hasten to a canter and weave between the trees, she’s gotta be around here somewhere, I just have to find her and approach her carefully so she doesn’t get scared. Gotta make sure she doesn’t see me until I tell her I’m Dave and I--

“...Rainbow Dash?” A soft voice cuts across the silence of the forest. I freeze in place and every hair on my mane stands up in shock. I slowly turn to look in the direction of the voice and there she is.

About fifteen feet away, sitting under a tree was Fluttershy. I wanted to curse myself for walking right past her, but I was too much in shock to actually see Fluttershy here in the forest. Her hooves and lower legs were caked with mud and she was wearing a tattered bedsheet as some sort of skirt to cover her rear half. Her mane and tail were a mess of dirt and leaves, and a cat and several random birds were seated around her.

Fluttershy cowers slightly as she watches me walk closer “Rainbow Dash... what... who are you?”

I stop my advance “Fluttershy, oh sorry, Fiona.” I stop and smile “Fiona, it’s me, Dave!”

Fiona’s eyes go wide and her lip starts to tremble “Dave...? I went to your apartment...”

My eyes get watery as I slowly walk towards her “And I was gone! I was at Jack’s farm! Oh Fiona I’m so sorry, I should have been there for you! You were all alone in the city! I should have known something was wrong after you bumped into me that day and called me Dash!” I’m just a few feet away from her and I hold out a hoof with a smile and tears in my eyes.

Fiona looks up at me and jumps forward to hug me ”Oh Dave, I was so scared! I still am! I don’t know what to do, you weren’t there and I had nowhere to go!” I feel wetness on my neck as her tears stream down it, and I feel my cheeks dampen just the same.

I squeeze her tight “We’ve been looking everywhere for you Fiona, we were really worried about you!” I rub a hoof gently over her back “Everything’s going to be fine Fluttershy, we’re here for you. Evan and Jack are back at the farm waiting for us.”

Fiona/Fluttershy pulls away from the hug “Jack and Evan? Are they...”

I nod “Yep, they are ponies too. AJ and Big Mac.”

She frowns “So, Discord got them too huh? That’s really sad.”

I raise an eyebrow “Oh, you figured out the Discord thing?”

Fiona nods “Well, I’ve been out here by myself for awhile, not much else to think about really. Yea I think I understand what happened, Discord banished each of the mane six and sentenced us to live for 25 years on Earth as humans. Now the transformation spell is breaking and we’re destined to live as ponies again. This is all very strange.”

I smirk “Nice work Fiona, it took me and Evan a long time to figure all that out. And hey, how are you holding up? Are you cool with being a pony, do you like being Fluttershy?”

Fiona shrugs and paws at the ground “Oh, it’s okay I guess. I was so very scared and worried at first, but I calmed down a bit once I knew what was going on and who I was becoming. I would really rather not be a pony at all, but if I had to be a pony, I guess being Fluttershy isn’t that bad. She is... a nice pony.”

I lift her chin up with a hoof and look at Fiona straight in her eyes. “Yes, Fluttershy, you are a nice pony. The nicest pony there ever was.”

She blushes “Thanks Dash. Oh, I mean Dave, sorry, it’s just that you really look like Dash and I get--”

I cut her off with a smile “I actually go by Dash now, no need to apologize”

I start walking down the path and Fluttershy follows me. “Really are you sure? Isn’t that confusing?”

I smile and turn back to her “Not really, after all, you understand the Discord thing, I mean, this is my name, right?

Fluttershy tilts her head “If you say so Dash.” We get back to walking, but suddenly Fluttershy lets out a sharp peep. I turn around and see her blushing “Oh Dash, oh my, you’re female now? Wow, that must be... strange for you. I’m sorry you have to go through all this.”

I shrug “Don’t worry about it Flutters, it's not so bad. You remember how much I loved Dash back when I was a human? Well, I guess I’m okay with the idea that I became her, even if it means that I became HER.”

I pause and look around “Oh do you want anything from here? We’re setting up camp on the farm, so anything you want to take with you I would grab before we leave.” Fluttershy nods and disappears for a moment, returning with a small bag slung over her neck. It only seemed to be holding one item, a large black binder.

I stare at it “Flutters, what’s in there? Maps or something?”

She avoids my gaze “No, nothing like that. This is the only human belonging I kept, it’s just my photo album. I filled it with pictures of all my friends. I was in a pretty lonely and sad place ever since I ran away, these pictures are all that I had to keep me going... Is it okay if I bring it?”

My eyes begin to tear up again “Yes Fluttershy, of course it’s okay. It’s always okay.” My lip trembles as we start our walk back to the farm. One thing is for certain, I will break every bone in my body before I let anyone put Fluttershy through something like this again.

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