• Published 7th Feb 2012
  • 18,452 Views, 657 Comments

Displaced - Seven Fates

A unicorn colt has an accident, and nopony knows him. His wild claims go widely ignored until...

  • ...

Chapter 1

Cold rain pelted the Everfree Forest, the makings of a storm hovering over its darkest depths. Vicious winds rampaged, cutting swaths of damage in the foliage throughout the forest. A massive vortex born of magical buildup, the storm was like a hurricane. At the center of it all, the castle ruins that once housed the Elements of Harmony glistened like marble as a flash of lightning arced to the ground.

A resounding boom echoed through the forest, audible as far away as Ponyville. Again and again, lightning struck a single spot in the ruins. With each strike, the stone ground cracked and shattered. The frequency and potency of the magic discharge increased as more and more magical energy gathered in the storm. Eventually, the area around the impact site began to change. The stone began to take on a glossy, crystalline form as it was pulverized into sand and melted.

A small explosion of magical energy erupted at the epicenter of the magical storm. The winds began to calm, and the rain lifted, the storm ending almost as suddenly as it began. In the glassy crater sat a glossy, mirror-coated sphere, the likes of which the creatures of the forest had never seen. Dust continued to dance in what little wind remained, casting dusty haze in the ruin.

As the time began to pass, so too did the sphere begin to pulsate. As the sun dipped lower and lower on the horizon, the pulsating sphere began to glow. The closer Princess Celestia brought the countryside to night, the brighter the sphere began to glow. The beating of the sphere soon petered out, becoming nothing more than an irregular twitching, eventually cracking the sphere. With one final surge, the sphere collapsed in on itself, and ceased to be.

- - -

A loud crash of stone on stone caused Warren to wake with a start. He jolted upright, and immediately knew something was incredibly wrong. Instead his room at the inn, he found himself in a dark and crumbling old ruin, moonlight shining through a hole in the roof. Not far away, he could see a toppled stone column, the risen dust marking it as his unorthodox wake-up call. He wanted to get up and figure out where he was and how he got here, but the instant he attempted to scramble to his feet, he pitched forward, landing face-first in what seemed to be a pit full of broken glass.

As his eyes adjusted to the dim light cast by the moon unto the ruin, he realized he was at the center of a glassy crater. He was also suddenly painfully aware of the pins and needles sensation that encompassed his entire body. He rolled over, and stared at the sky. It all looks the same, but where am I?

Anxiously, he brought his hands up to rub his face. To his horror, he discovered instead of hands, he had hooves. He held his arms out in front of him, only to find a thin coat of blonde fur. Panicking, he twisted awkwardly to glance at the rest of his body, only to confirm his fears. He was covered, seemingly head to toe, in the same blonde coat of fur on his arms.

Experimentally, he rolled over and attempted to rise up on all fours. While it wasn't the most natural way for him to stand, it seemed more realistic than attempting to stand upright. He was certain now that his very body structure had changed drastically.

I have no idea where I am, or what's happened to me. All in all, not the worst way to start a day. It made his head hurt trying to think of what happened the previous night, so he decided to put his mind entirely into locomotion. Pausing only to flex the muscles in his foreleg, he made his first shaky step.

After what seemed like an eternity of wobbling around the ruin on all fours, Warren finally felt confident enough to explore beyond the dark archway sitting at the edge of his vision. With as much gusto as he could muster, he found himself cantering through the dark portcullis.

He stared off down the debris-strewn corridor as he tentatively picked his way around the rubble. Warren couldn’t help wondering were he was and how he’d gotten there. The architecture was so unfamiliar yet at the same time it reminded him of the old historical sites back home. Home... I wonder just what happened.

For what seemed like the hundredth time in such a short period, he found his mind drifting back to his lack of distinct memory regarding the previous night. Images of public transit and nightclubs drifted vaguely in his mind. First bender I've ever been on to have results this bad. A bemused snort escaped him, echoing throughout the dark corridor.

Around him, shadows danced and played, piquing his anxiety tenfold. The only respite to be found was from the moon, peeking through the many shattered stained-glass windows adorning the wall.

Contrarily, the windows themselves did nothing to bolster his rapidly receding bravery. Like glistening teeth in the many mouths of some eldritch horror, the broken glass in the frames mocked him. Like the prey of some great snake, he felt like it would only be a matter of time until his flesh would start to dissolve if he stayed in here much longer.

A loud crash echoed from the chamber far behind him, eliciting a squeal of fear. Shutting his eyes tight, Warren galloped headlong down the corridor. Adrenaline coursed through him, making every sound into dark horrors reaching for him, hoping to make a meal of him.

Without warning, he slammed into something unyielding and coarse. Without much choice, he forced his eyes open, expecting the worst. To his relief, nothing so horrible as an eldritch abomination waited for him. Instead, a massive wooden door loomed over him. This has to be the way out! It just has to be!

Disappointment was seemingly not on the agenda for him this time. With some effort, the door was forced open just enough for him to squeeze through. Immediately, the door slammed shut behind him, knocking him forward into a patch of dirt and grass. What is it they always said about letting the door hit you on the way out?

Recovering from the indignity of a mouthful of dirt, he stretched himself out on the ground and let a cool breeze waft over him. It was only when he was about to declare an immediate improvement to his situation when realized that he was mere feet from a cliff edge. Panicking, he scrambled backwards; if there was one thing he couldn't stand, it was heights.

Fearful that there was no way off this precipice, he prayed. His eyes darted about, longing to find some sort of escape that didn't involve trekking back into that dank, musty ruin. The place unnerved him. It wasn't just because he woke up in a glassy crater in the place. There was an immense feeling of wrongness about the place. If he'd been asked to describe it, evil would have been one of his first choices.

Distracted by his own musings, he almost overlooked the rope bridge that was straight across from the doorway. He felt like an idiot once it hit him that he was letting himself get too distracted by his own fears. Wary, he crept towards the rope bridge, trying not to think what kind of drop awaited him if it gave way.

Reaching the edge, he felt his stomach plummet. Not only did this not look remotely good enough for government work, it didn't look like something fit to be in any sort of treasure hunter film. It was a death trap! It swayed too much, and the boards looked rotten. It didn't help that the rope looked like it was ready to disintegrate if he so much as looked at it.

Looking back at the ruin, he didn't fancy his chances of surviving there very long. It didn't seem to be the kind of place that would have a drinkable water source, and doubted any of the vegetation that was undoubtedly eroding structure was edible. His only choice seemed to lay on the other side of the bridge.

A crash echoed again through the ruin, solidifying his resolve. Looking down, he shut his eyes and ran across the bridge. He'd never been so scared in all his life. Not when he'd frozen up in front of an oncoming train. Not when his brothers left him up on the roof all night. Not even when...

For hours he ran, not stopping, not even to pick his way around the bramble. He could hear things in the dark around him; they were very large and hungry-sounding things. The longer Warren ran, the more light began to stream through the forest canopy. Entering an area with far less dense foliage, he gave in to his exhaustion; his muscles and lungs were crying out in protest to all the running. He could only hope that whatever things he’d heard out there hadn’t heard him.

Not far off in the distance, he could have sworn he heard the laughter and banter of children. If there are kids out there, then surely there’s adults! Grabbing hold of that thought, he forced himself up, and began running in that direction.

- - -

For three rambunctious fillies, it was the dawn of a new day. The Cutie Mark Crusaders were wound from a night at Fluttershy's cottage and eager to find their next adventure. Fluttershy was gracious enough to host another Crusader sleepover, despite their trouble-making.

Always eager to take the chance that their cutie marks were related to bravery or daring, Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, and Scootaloo often strayed near the edge of the Everfree Forest on their way back from Fluttershy’s cottage. Their families disapproved of them being anywhere near the forest, but like all fillies and colts their age, they couldn't help but willfully ignore the consequences of their actions.

Scootaloo was loudly rambling on and on about some of the extreme activities she wanted to try in order to force the appearance of her cutie mark. Sweetie Belle, bless her slow-working mind, was eagerly nodding her head along until it began to sink in how dangerous Scootaloo's suggestions actually were.

Apple Bloom fell out of the conversation quickly enough once they were far enough out from Fluttershy's cottage. She could have sworn that she'd heard something crashing through the foliage in the Everfree. Just as suddenly as it had started, it stopped again. Whatever it was stopped dead; had it heard them? She listened intently, staring into the forest.

“...-m! Apple Bloom!” She felt a gentle prodding. “What's up Apple Bloom? Why'd you stop?”

She didn't realized she'd stopped moving. “Huh? Oh! I could have sworn I-...” A rustling in the bushes cut her off. “There it is again! Listen! There's something out there!”

Exchanging nervous looks, the fillies backed away from the forest's edge. The sound of something tearing through the foliage had quickened. Whatever was out there was practically on top of them at this point. At times like this, Scootaloo found herself wishing she was a little older, able to fly above the treeline and scout ahead.

With nothing else to do to make her feel useful, she decided to take an offensive stance in front of her friends. Whatever it was, it'd have to go through her first. She refused to let it hurt her friends. The thing in the forest wasn't all that far now. It'd break the treeline at any moment.

Adrenaline pumping, her heart thundering along like a stampede of buffalo, she turned her back towards the forest. Peering back over her shoulder, Scootaloo waited, ready to buck. Almost without warning, the bushes behind her began to part. She could just make out a light yellow blur as she began to kick out.

“Scootaloo, wait! Don't-” She could hear Apple Bloom shouting out, almost panicking. It was too late though. No sooner had Apple Bloom said “don't” did her hooves collide with something both fleshy and solid. It was surprisingly light; it couldn't have weighed much more than herself or the others.

Proud of having protected her friends, Scootaloo turned to face her foe. She wondered if Rainbow Dash would praise her for being so loyal and protecting her friends. What she saw chilled her blood, dropping her emotional state from proud to shamed in ten seconds flat.

On the ground at her hooves was a small, blond unicorn colt. He wasn't much bigger than any of them. His mane was matted with mud, blood, and bramble. Nicks, and cuts covered his body. Aside from scratches and mud, his flank was blank like theirs. What scared her the most, though, was his horn. A massive crack almost completely encircled the circumference of it.

“Dear Celestia, what have I done?” she whispered, before breaking out sobbing. She knelt down and nuzzled his prone form. “I'm sorry, I didn't mean to!”

Behind her, Scootaloo could hear Apple Bloom talking. “Hey, Sweetie Belle? Are you thinking what I'm thinking?”

“I think, but where are we going to get a narwhal?” Sweetie Belle responded incredulously.

An exasperated sigh could be heard behind Scootaloo. “No, dummy,” was Apple Bloom's only retort. “Cutie Mark Crusaders EMTs!”

- - -

“It looks like he's coming around.”

The sound of voices made his head hurt. Simply trying to do anything besides lying there did, for that matter. Was I kicked in the face by a horse? He wanted to open his eyes, but it felt much less painful to just relax. Try as he might, he simply couldn't remember anything that would have put him in this situation.

Here's what I know. I'm in a hospital of some sort. The antiseptic smell is making that abundantly clear. I can't remember anything aside from a really weird dream. I mean, seriously, like I'd really wake up with hooves in some dank old ruin, run through a creepy forest and then get kicked in the face by a winged horse.

A gentle prodding of his arm roused him from his contemplation. He wanted to speak but only managed a weak “What?”

“Oh, good, you're awake,” a masculine voice sounded in his ears. “We were all concerned that you might not wake up at all.”

“Why?” It was all he could think to ask. The very thought of how bad of a condition he was really in scared him. Did something serious happen? Is that why he couldn't remember anything substantial about the last few days?

“Well, son, when those three pretty young things brought you in, you were in pretty rough shape.” The man, whoever he was sounded uncomfortable with what he had to say. “You were covered in scratches. With your specific injury usually comes with - well - a very minor case of serious brain damage.”

Suddenly Warren found himself bolt upright, eyes wide open. He wanted to stare at this bringer of bad news. It could have been a doctor or a nurse, or a veterinarian for all he knew. Despite himself, all he could see was a blurry collection of colors and masses. The only thing he could really see was a vague gray shape in front of him that he assumed was whoever was speaking.

“What? What do you mean brain damage?” He tried not to sound like a panicked little kid, but only succeeded in choking on his own words. “Where am I and why can't I see clearly?”

“Calm down, son; you're safe.” the voice soothed. “You're in the Ponyville Hospital, in the Foal Ward.”

Ponyville? Foal Ward? This must be some backwater farming town. He couldn't help but mull that over. Well, if their primary income is horse-related, I suppose it only makes sense that they might have horse themed names for things, right? I bet the kids love that sort of thing. Wait, wasn't a foal a young horse?

“So why am I in a children's ward? I know I look young, but I'm not some scrawny kid.”

“Son, I assure you, nobody has confused you for a goat.” The male voice sounded thoughtful, almost amused. “Just relax, you're just a bit confused. Your brain had a good jostling. She may be just a pegasus filly, but darned if she doesn't have a good buck.”

“I -uh, what?” he was fumbling with his words. “You're not making any sense.”

“She got you clean between the eyes son. You're kinda lucky, really. If she'd kicked just a bit higher, you might have lost your horn, and not just cracked it.” The doctor's voice seemed almost beaming. “As for your eyes, well, we can get somepony from the optometry department in to fit you with some glasses after we contact your parents.”

“Oh, only cracked my horn.” Warren tittered nervously. He couldn't wrap his mind around the weird things this guy was saying. These folk must sure love their-

“CRACKED MY WHAT?” As it dawned on him what had just been said, he shouted childishly in alarm. “PARENTS? MY FOLKS HAVE BEEN DEAD FOR OVER A DECADE. WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON HERE?”

- - -

The stallion doctor was at a loss. The colt the self-proclaimed Cutie Mark Crusaders had dragged in was in a real bad way. The cuts and bruises weren't an issue. Those were all solvable with salves and bandages, and he knew the Nurses Redheart and Tenderheart were ensuring exactly that. In time those scars would heal.

No, the problem was mental. He didn't know if the boy's issue was from brain trauma from the kick to the head, or if he'd gone through something really horrible. All he knew was that the boy didn't seem to know where he was, who he was, or even what he was. The only thing that would help this little guy would be time and tender loving care.

The doctor stared on at the colt silently for a few minutes. He'd long since shouted himself unconscious. Where would the little one go after he was discharged? The boy claimed his parents were deceased, and he didn't seem to be rational enough to mention any living relatives, if he even knew of any. It could take a while to find out if anypony in Ponyville was missing a young colt. It might even take longer if he turned out to be from elsewhere.

Slipping out of the ward, the doctor called for Nurse Redheart. He paced quietly outside the entrance to the ward, watching as nurses and other doctors milled about, occasionally stopping to converse or ducking into one of the other wards. He almost didn't notice when she finally did canter up to him.

“You called for me, Dr. Freemane?” asked the white-coated mare. “Is there something wrong with the patient in the Foals ward?”

“He'll be fine, given time.” Dr. Freemane responded, rubbing a hoof through his black mane. “No, I have something special I need you to do.”

The white mare perked her ears up, but made no indication she was going to speak. He eyed her for a moment more, and then turned back to peer into the ward. “I need you to put a message out to all volunteers in the Emergency Foster Care program. This colt's physical injuries aren't enough to keep him here for long. He could be released tomorrow morning if any volunteers respond.”

“Consider it done, Dr. Freemane.” The nurse smiled, bowing, and then ran off down the hallways. He knew she'd be getting a unicorn clerk to write out the request for a volunteer to take in the young lad. Then the post-mare would collect the letters and distribute them.

- - -

Warren paced the ward anxiously. Despite what the doctor had said, nobody had yet been by to fit him with glasses. He still wasn't convinced this wasn't all some messed up dream, but if it was, it was too consistent for his liking. Not only was he forced to walk awkwardly on all fours, but now he couldn't see worth a damn. Continually bumping into objects he couldn't really see didn't seem like the best thing to do, but he couldn't just lay there.

He sighed, exasperated, after once again bumping his horn off of something. Every time something touched his horn, it elicited a surge of pain radiating from his forehead. He still didn't know exactly what to think about all of this. Hooves and a horn, and some sort of horse city. Not only that, but they apparently they think I'm a child. This makes no sense, but I guess I'll have to go with things for now. At least if I try to blend in, I might figure out what's going on if this isn't a dream.

The sudden creak of the ward door broke his thoughtful meandering. He couldn't see the large form of the doctor. For a moment, he was sure that he'd simply imagined that he'd heard the door, just wishful thinking. Then he noticed some out-of-place colors at his own level. “Is someone there?” he asked timidly.

The out-of-place colors - shades of purple, orange, yellow, and rose, as well as an off white – moved closer. At the forefront of the group of colors was an orange mass topped off with a splash of purple. If he squinted, he could just make out an equine shape to it. The orange one moved forward a few more paces before coming to a stop a respectable distance away from Warren.

For a long while it was quiet. Just when he was convinced that whoever was there was content just to stare at him, someone finally spoke. It was a brash voice, but distinctly feminine. “I'm really sorry.” Whoever she was, she was sincere, and maybe a little afraid.

“I beg your pardon?” He asked incredulously. “Sorry for what?”

There was a long pause, followed by some whispering. More girls, by the sound of it. “I'm kinda the one who kicked you in the face.” She was trying to sound nonchalant about it, and failing miserably. She was clearly more bothered by the incident than he was. The very thought of it amused him.

He smiled kindly, or at least what he assumed was kindly. If what seemed to be going on actually was, it wasn't completely out of the question that his face was very different from what it used to be. “It's okay, really.” He let out a soft chuckle. “I'm sure you had a good reason.”

- - -

It was surprising just how easily he fell into conversation with the three fillies, after a one-sided introduction. Well, conversation was stretching it. It was more like listening to a nonstop newscast run by excitable children. From what he could pick out from their talk, they were trying to earn something called a cutie mark, a visual embodiment of their special talent in life. He had to admit that the idea of his special talent in life manifesting itself on his flank when he discovered it sorta sounded appealing. It certainly beat aimlessly going between jobs, not knowing what to do.

Disappointment dawned on him when a nurse pony ushered them out mumbling something about visiting hours. He didn't even get to bid farewell to Scootaloo and the others. The next thing he knew some grouchy old pony was intruding on his personal with her hooves all over his face. She opened his eyes, covered them individually, and made him look at a chart with characters decreasing in size. Contented with her examinations, she slapped a pair of glasses on his nose. As if magic, and future experiences would contribute to this belief, he could see everything clear as day. Confirming such, the old pony, a unicorn pony as he could now see, left without a word.

He was grateful that he could see again. He just wished he could have actually seen the three fillies who'd come to see him. Well, at least he could take a proper look at himself now. Approaching a standing mirror at the far end of the room, he stared into his reflection.

Staring back was a blond little pony. As sure as the doctor had said, he had a horn, delicately wrapped in bandages, sticking prominently out of his short-cropped, orange streaked blond mane. He was covered head to toe in small bandages, marking the full extent of his encounter with the bramble in the forest. None of that was what drew his eyes though. It was the redness in his eyes. It detracted greatly from the strange magenta color his irises had taken. Yep, Scootaloo got me good. It felt odd to laugh at such a thing, but when he considered that he was now a unicorn, getting kicked in the face and laughing about it didn't seem so silly.

As contented as one could be when they found themselves in a completely foreign form, he turned away from the mirror. He noticed standing at the door was a white-coated pony, her pink mane tied back in a bun and capped with a white cap emblazoned with the red cross. A similar red cross, pink hearts in the corners, adorned her flank. She had a stern, but very caring look about her.

“It's time for bed, little one.” The nurse pony smiled, pointing her hoof at the bed he'd spent the majority of his day in. “You may have a big day ahead of you tomorrow.”

Warren stretched, trying to convince himself he wasn't tired, but he knew he was lying to himself. Despite sleeping all day, he was exhausted. He slowly moved across the floor towards the bed, prolonging his time spent out of the bed. At the foot of the bed, he climbed a small step undoubtedly placed by the staff to help foals up onto the beds.

Settling down in a comfortable position beneath the covers, he faced the nurse. “Thank you Nurse...”

“It's Redheart, little one. Nurse Redheart.”

“Right. Thank you for taking care of me Nurse Redheart.” He looked into her blue eyes and smiled sincerely. “Please thank the doctor for me, and pass on my apologies for my outburst.”

Nurse Redheart looked taken aback. Clearly she wasn't used to young fillies or colts apologizing for childish behavior. “Alright then, I can do that. Good night, little one.” She smiled and then flicked a light-switch, plunging the ward into darkness. For what felt like the first time in forever, Warren actually felt like he just might be able to relax. Minutes later, he was fast asleep.

Author's Note:

   Hi guys. Seven Fates here to give my bit. Ever since I got into this fandom, I’ve always wanted to write a bit of a pony fic. I know what you’re thinking, Human in Equestria fics have been done to death. I don’t profess to have read every single one of them, but I’d like to think my work is as worthy of being read as that of the next brony.
This isn’t my first work in the fandom, but it’s the first published. I initially had another idea about ten months or so ago. I’d tried writing a pony fic from the eyes of somepony native to the world of Equestria. Unfortunately, it was something that was still pretty foreign to me in my early stages of the fandom. So I scrapped the idea. Granted, if I wrote it now, everypony would think I wrote it riding on the winds of the Skyrim/MLP crossover craze. Again I wanted to write a ponyfic. So for a few months I began to juggle the idea, and rehashed it, and in the end I came up with this.

I also need to give credit where credit is due. First and foremost, I would like to thank DarkxRedemption for agreeing to edit and preread for me - despite only having known of my existence for roughly a day - and singing such praises about my work. Next, I need to give credit to my friends in TheComplaintsTavern chat on deviantART. Without MasterPlanner, ExtraEspresso and AzureSquire encouraging me I probably wouldn’t have started this project. Finally, I’d like to give special thanks to Lauren Faust and the rest of the team behind My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic; without your work on the series, I don’t think I’d have ever found such a happy thing in my life.

Edit 2015/04/21: Hey guys. Just a bit of an update migrating author's notes to the box. Didn't exist when I posted it, but it does now. An actual edit pass is soon to follow.