• Published 7th Apr 2013
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The misadventures of some random person turned Manticore - Cloverleaf



Well, I never expected this. A world full of mystery, danger, and.... talking ponies? Also, why am I a big cat?

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Why curling a stinger around you is a bad idea.

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the mud is still sticking to my fur....Again, did not think that one through. Then again, when is it ever a good idea to slog through some mud in the middle of the woods. At least I still have my hat.

Having lost track of what way was east, The path in front of me seems bleak. Not as bleak as those other woods were, but still rather bleak. This one seems rather chipper. But even the quaintest of woodlands does not make up for the simple fact I have no idea where I'm going.

I simply sigh and close my eyes. "Can't get much wor-" Again, the feeling of something round and solid on my face, blocking me from saying anything. Groaning, I open my eyes again to see Little Miss Cotton Candy. Now in a delicious orange flavor, but only half done.... She's giving me a serious look, which seems, very disturbing from her.

"You never say that! Saying it out loud always invites trouble in these situations plotwise."

"Plotwise....what....wait, if you have those tunnels out here...you got them to that big city?"

"You gotta go meet a few others first. They're in these woods. Later alligator!" And with that she zips away behind a tree. Oh she's not getting away this time! I bound after her and slip around the same tree. She's gone. This only sends me into a slashing and tearing frenzy, trying to find the entrance. I know it's here!

After making five good slashes into the tree, my reward is a ding. A small handle opens upward, which i promptly grab and pull. I grin, expecting the winds to pull me in again. I instead get a chocolate cake to the face.

A few moments and more sugar than a person could expect to eat in a month, my attention turns back to the platform the cake was placed on, and the note on it.

'Dear New Friend

First off, no. Stop trying to use the tunnel. Second, turn 180 degrees and head straight. you'll get where you need to go in about 6 months, if you travel as fast as a snail, so a few hours.

Sincerely

P.P.'

Well, considering the lack of thumbs, or any digits whatsoever, it's decent handwriting. Of course, good handwriting or not, this does beg the question, do I really want to trust the word of someone who thought it a good idea to shove a cake in my face. I mean really, a perfectly good, delicious cake, wasted for a prank!

On the other hand, she did give me that potion last time I saw her, and she really doesn't seem the type to cause injury to anyone. She just wants a simple laugh. Plus, she seems to know more about where I'm from than she's letting on, so maybe it's best to stay on her good side. Plus she did promise a party when I got back to that town.....

That settled it. I turn right around from that spot and start marching. The path before me seems to open up. The woods thin out a bit, and the shining sun makes an even bigger impression. Honestly, being under the glow of the sun made things seem simply better. I look up to the sky and smile.

My smiles fades as a rather peculiar sight comes about. It's a bunch of pegasi, and they seem to be dragging clouds along with them. What in all honesty could they be doing with them? I just continue watching as they piece these clouds together , slowly blotting out the sun. Their patching goes on for a good five minutes, until there's a cloud layer covering a large section of the woods. Most of them leave, though one remains. He seems....no way. That's not possible.

I can see him sitting, and I do mean sitting, on another chunk of cloud. His wings weren't working to keep him aloft, and he was holding a clipboard, and a writing implement of some kind. Again, my mind starts to shut down from the burn. Too much information to process. How can a horse hold anything with one leg like that, or sit on a cloud!?

Well, whatever was doing it, he stopped doing it, cause when my gaze refocused, he was flying again, putting the last section of cloud in place. This leaves a slot for him to fit through, which he does immediately. The last thing I see him do before my focus was occupied by the rain was him bucking the cloud. At least this deals with the mud and leftover cake stains.

I may be clean, but being soaked is an even worse feeling. Whatever notion of trust I had for that pink monstrosity , well it died there. Getting me to go this way, just to get rained on. No more, I'm not listening to her on this at all! So instead I turn to my right, and shoot off as fast as I can, looking for a place to wait out the rain. The search is....somewhat fruitful. A cave next to a small swamp. The entrance however, is rather waterlogged.

"Oh what's getting more wet...." Throwing caution to the wind, I wade in and make my way to the cave entrance. Just as I'm getting in, however, a rather familiar shaking of the ground occurs, and telltale bubbles form in the water nearby. Time to get scarce! I pick up the pace, moving as fast as I can in the slimy water, when the first serpentine head breaks the surface, and spots me slinking in the cave. With a roar, it begins to charge, dragging the other heads, and it's body, over towards the cave. The main head lunges at me, and slams into the water just behind me, my only saving grace is the overhanging rock.

The next head strikes, and this one, for it's credit, at least is thickheaded. It smashes the entrance of the cave, narrowly missing me once again. The falling debris kicks up some water, splashing me and getting my tail in gear.

Luckily for me the water thins out as I get deeper, but I can still hear that thing at the now ruined entrance. Still, the simple fact it's too small to fit in the cave itself may be my saving grace today. I whip around to face the entrance, and nothing. The only thing I hear is the sound of the rain still going. Did it give up, or Is it waiting for me to show myself? Whether it is or not, I'm not going back to find out. So instead a trip deeper into the cave is in order.

It's not as amazing a cave as the one back at the mountain. Bare rock surrounded by more bare rock. It's dismal. Funny enough the darkness wasn't that bad. The cave itself, however, continued to weave back and forth, up and down. I even ended up having to wade through more water. Stepping out, I shake it off as best I can. Odd, my right leg shouldn't be THAT heavy.

What I find when I look down can only be described as a small alligator, biting me on the leg. Odd, I would think that'd hurt more than it does. It really only feels like it pinches. Oh, what am I thinking? Well, one rational thing to do in this situation......

"GUEEEAGH!" Flailing doesn't work, trying to pry it off makes it hurt more. "Let go of me you littl-"

"Gummy! There you are!" No, not Cotton Candy again. She's completely covered in orange paint this time. Why she's painting herself.....Regardless, at her words the little abomination lets go, and I see why it didn't hurt. The little guy has no teeth. Wow, that seems cruel to the little guy. Immediately it jumps at her and begins biting every place it can get it's little jaws around. It'd be cute if I didn't feel the need to contact PETA.

***

"Do you sense that? Someone's trying to tell us about more animal cruelty." The first man says, looking up suddenly from his plate of broccoli.

"Joe, shut up, you're not psychic." The second one says, flipping through the newspaper.

***

That feeling again, like I'm elsewhere and can almost sense a random conversation. I'm knocked out of it by a tap on my shoulder.

"You were in that elsewhere trance again." The alligator is now firmly gripping on Cotton Candy's mane.

"Why are you here.....and orange this time?" Please, make some sense to me for once you crazy puffball!

"Orange is visible in darkness silly!" Followed by a fit of giggles.

"And pink isn't?" I just sigh and slap my paw into my face. She's of course gone by the time I pull it away. But why, did I strike a nerve? Does it matter, she's gone already. Well, maybe now it's as good a time to sleep as any. Whatever time it is, I don't care. A quick stretch, then I curl up in a big furry ball, wrapping my tail around me. An hour or two, maybe.

***

"Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun!" Bouncing pink cotton candy colored ponies all around me. Where did they come from, why were they here, what was with them constantly shouting out fun. What's fun here, why am I contemplating this!?

"Cause you're me silly!" One of them stops and says to me.

I look down, I see pink hooves, pink coat, and have a sudden urge to bounce along with the others. My jaw drops, and I literally see it drop to the floor, that's not possible, what's going on, why do I want fun.....fun.....fun fun fun fun fun fun!

***

"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAGH!"

Shooting up. I quickly look myself over, and for a moment forget what happened yesterday. I se my paws, they're new to me once again, the fur all over me, the feel of my mane, the muscles of my wings, the stinger plunged into my shoulder, wait what?

I look at the offending tail and the venom coated poker on it, and yes indeed, sometime during my nap I stung myself. It comes out easy enough, but now it's bleeding some. Here I thought I'd be immune to my own stuff. Only other time I had such a nasty dream was when I was in the hospital recovering from a rattlesnake bite. Guess it can't kill me at least.

Relaxing a bit, knowing the worst was over. I looked over the hole in my shoulder the stinger left. Can't imagine that'll heal easy. I can at least scrub it some if I find some clean water. My gaze falls back to the path I was following, and fall on a new curiosity.

What stood before me, or, well, more is a what I can only guess is just a really young horse. But several things were off. It had creepy looking slitted eyes, tufts of hair on top of it's ears, little tiny fangs sticking out of it's mouth, and...leathery wings. But more importantly was the look on it's face. It was obviously terrified. I can only guess of me. I hold out a paw to the little horse.

The second I move again, it takes off down further in the tunnel, screaming, and a very high pitched scream, one that actually hurt. After holding my head for a bit, I come to a realization. If the little horse came from that way, it may be another way out. I take off in pursuit.

The trail weaves and turns, but the....guess I'll call him or her bathorse, had a good lead, and probably knew these tunnels better than me. Still, can't fault me for lack of trying. In the end however, I found myself hopelessly lost.

My shoulder decided then it needed to ache something fierce, and I fell to the ground. Well, this isn't fun. Lost in a cave, an injury that's possibly infected, and definitely irritated by toxin. Sighing, I look up to the ceiling.....what is the kid doing there? I just groan, hoping the kid would listen.

"Look, just, I know what I look like, but, are there others? Do you think you could help me here?" Again, the kid goes wide eyed, then drops down from the ceiling to stand in front of me.

"You......talk?" He had a look of terror mixed with childish curiosity.

"Uhh, yeah, can ya give me a hand here?"

"h-h-hand......what.....hand?" Great, kid's illiterate. My fate lies in the grips of some illiterate little texbook abomination. Just might be a redneck.

"Err....I don't know, give me a hoof here, please."

"Oh!" And with that he runs off again. At least this time he's not screaming. Nah, this time it seems more yelling for someone, just instead of actual yelling it's a bunch of clicks and trills. Kid's parents must be nearby if he's calling out. Must not be any other dangers in the cave either.

Waiting stinks, but at least this time it's proving short, as I hear the sound of hooves smacking the ground in a repeated fashion....I guess running would be easier. The kid comes into view, as well as two others. I can only assume their parents. The older two keep a close eye on me. Big kitty won't hurt a fly, I swear!

"So, you're the one our son found. Why are you in here?" Yay the father can talk!

"Escaping a hydra. I'd be further in the cave but apparently my tail got frisky with my shoulder earlier." Ha Ha....penetration.

Maybe that didn't seem the best thing to say, cause the mother gasped, and had her son's ears covered. How was she staying upright? The father simply scowls at me.

"Remember there are children present." I simply deadpan at him. How's a kid going to get what I said? He continues. "Regardless, I don't see why we should help you. You're intruding in our home, and could very well be planning to eat us."

"Starian, dear." The mother seemed a bit mad, but at her husband, not at me.

"Buriella, not now, take Valluran and go back." Starian then turned back to me. "Go back the way you came. You're not welcome here." He scowls, then moves one of his back hooves away a bit. Suddenly he disappears. "Or else I'll be forced to take drastic measures." Came his voice suddenly from right next to me. How did he- I turn to look. A little bit of smoke is dissipating from where he's standing.

"But, what the, how the....Oh forget it......" I slump over, just intending to rest some more. The three of them walk off, leaving me to just, oh I don't know, deal with a possibly infected wound all by myself! Feh, not worth it.

Mere moments after thinking that, I hear a shriek, which oddly enough was cut off rather quick. More of the kid speaking in clicks and trills, but it doesn't take a genius to understand something happened to one of his parents. Without realizing it I'm on my paws again and heading towards them myself.

'Dude, they just left you to fend for yourself, why should you help?' My brain asks me. Of course the answer is cause it doesn't seem right, and perhaps this can prove I'm not out to hurt them either. I pass a couple beds, a small dining area, and then am greeted by a decent lightsource, a way out. The Second my eyes adjust, the scene before me just leaves me confused for a second before it sinks in.

In front of me is Starian, covering both his son's eyes and keeping his shut. Buriella seems completely pale, and is standing stock still, looking at me, her face is locked in a face of fear. It took me a few moments to realize why she was pale, she wasn't flesh and blood anymore. What stood before me was a completely life like statue of her, and a somewhat small creature in front of it, facing away from me.

This thing was an oddity. Scaly small lower body, kind of looked like a miniature dragon. All of it, except for the head. That was covered in bone white feathers, and had one of those red things a chicken has on it's head. Again, I sort through my limited knowledge of mythical creatures. Funny how such trivia has let me identify creatures here. I settle on something I've seen that's similar. Cockatrice. Wait, did it turn Buriella to stone by touch, breath, or gaze?

I didn't have time to find out as it was turning to face me. My eyes shut, and I try my best to listen in, try to get a figure on where it is. I hear a small gust of wind, and then it's breath on me. Gees that smells nasty. What comes next is a peck on my snout, which I could tell already drew blood. No, this thing wants me to open my eyes so it can cause me the same fate. Least now I know it's gotta be eye contact with it to be turned to stone.

Another peck, and I make my move. I swing my left foreleg up to catch it from overhead, and drag it to the ground, forcing it's head down. Taking advantage of my good fortune, I crack an eye open. It's stuck facing the floor, and thrashing to get free as best it can.

"Starian, get something to cover it's eyes...." My voice echoes slightly in the cave, and Starian cracks his own eyes open to look my way. When he sees what position it's in, he runs off for another room, and comes back with some thick rope and a heavy cloth. Binding the lizard bird proved quite easy at this point, and I pulled up away from it. "Now...you little bird. We're going to point you at Buriella, and you're going to turn her back. Then I'll take you out into the woods, and let you go. You don't come back here and bother the nice bathorses-"

"Thestrals." Starian corrected.

"Umm, ok, whatever....Thestrals ever again, and I won't come hunt you down. Deal?" The cockatrice sat there for a second, still pulling at the binds, before finally nodding to me. I pick it up, holding it's head good and proper facing Buriella again. Starian pulls the blindfold off, and almost like that, she returns to flesh and blood, and finishes her shrieking. After a newly onset pounding headache from hearing that, she looks around in bewilderment, before rushing over to the foal.

"Alright, now for my end...." I pick the cockatrice up again, and head out of the cave. Starian watches on, just a bit bewlidered himself. Buriella looks to him.

"You think he'll come back?"

"More than likely, it's nearly dark....."

***

About an hour later, and one crazy adventure that can be told later.....ok, quick hint, roaring is awesome.....I'm back in the cave. Dinner's on the table, vegetable soup. Something about it doesn't seem to sit well with me, not certain exactly what. Maybe it's my body's carnivourous, or maybe it's I've never been a huge fan of veggies. No, it's definitely the bandages on my shoulder, so dang itchy!

Regardless, I dig in, and the food tastes....bland. Don't think Buriella's ever heard of herbs or spices. Eh, I can't complain. They were nice enough to help me after saving them. Plus it's better than going on an empty stomach. So I dig in again.

CRASH!

"It better not be back...I got it." I jump off my pillow and head to the entrance. What greets me is two of those guard pegasi, huddled together, shaking in apparent fear.

"D-did we get away?"

"I....I don't know. That thing was fast....."

I move closer, being as cautious as possible. It's clear they were hurt. One of them had burns on his back, the other had lost a wing, and one foreleg was coated in ice, as well as the area where the wing should be. They were in dire straights, so I turn back to the dining area. "Starian, we got two hurt pegasi here.....don't let Valluran out here...."

My voice shocks the both of them, they turn to look at me, and promptly both faint just as Buriella and Starian come in. She gasps on the sight, while Starian qucikly goes for more medical supplies.

"I'll watch over them, but somepony needs to get some help for them." He looks to me again as he comes back with hisbandages and the like. "I know it's asking a lot, but can you head east about a day's trip? You'll reach Manehatten, but hang on a sec." He stops by one of the guards and pulls a gem out from the bristles on their helmet. "Take this with you, give it to a guard in Manehatten, they'll understand."

Blinking, I take it, and slip it into the band on my hat. But what puzzled me more....he used, somepony....

It hit me like a ton of bricks here. All the names mentioned, all the horse puns. I was in the world of that kids show my brother watches! I just facepaw at the thought. It made way too much sense now. Sighing, I turn to leave. Within a few minutes I'm out of sight of the cave.

The forest around the area looms around, and I See the ropes I left behind when the cockatrice was freed. Who knows, maybe I'll see them again, or not. Manehatten, here I come!

.....

"GRAAAAAAAAAAAAOOOOOOOOOOOOAR!" Seriously, it is fun to do.

Author's Note:

Ok, yeah, took some time on this. Had life get in the way. Still, longest chapter yet, though I feel the ending was a bit rushed, couldn't think on how to extend it.

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