• Published 7th Feb 2012
  • 18,436 Views, 657 Comments

Displaced - Seven Fates

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

  • ...

Chapter 6

Warren sat in the waiting room waiting for news with the others. Scootaloo had been in surgery for many hours now. He hadn't spoken a word to anyone since they came in. It hurt more than anything just explaining to the others that her wing was severed in the crash. They could all see clear as day that he blamed himself and had decided to leave him be for now.

He wanted more than anything to apologize to Scootaloo for this happening. If he hadn't been in the glider with the three of them, he doubted Morrigan would have sent the Roc after them. Her parents deserved an apology as well. Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and their sisters needed one too.

Looking around, he found no sign of any alarmed parent ponies coming looking for their daughter. Surely word had been sent to them, right? She had to have parents. The question festered in his mind for almost an hour before he broke down and finally asked. Looking up at Fluttershy, sitting beside him with a foreleg holding him close.

“Fluttershy...” he whispered, his voice hoarse from disuse. “Why aren't Scootaloo's parents here?”

Fluttershy looked down at him, a sad look in her eyes. “They're um... Traveling far away.” The look in her eyes betrayed the meaning of her words. Even if she hadn't looked him in the eye, what she'd said brought to mind a phrase he'd once read in a novel, 'Not gone, merely marching far away,' which would have lead him to the same conclusion.

“Oh...” He looked down at his hooves. “But who takes care of her then?”

A hoof gently caressed the side of his face. He looked up to his other side, and saw Sweetie Belle's older sister, Rarity, drawing her hoof back to rest on Sweetie Belle's sleeping head. “We all do, dear.” The look on her was equally sad, but not lacking any of the sincerity that was in her voice. “Everypony in Ponyville tries to help her out whenever possible. She can be a bit stubborn, though.”

“Tha's right, sugar-cube.” Applejack called over from the other side of rarity. “Here in Ponyville, we take care of our own. So what if we aren't blood kin? As far as the lot of us are concerned, friends are honorary family members an' what not.”

Everypony else in the room began to speak up, affirming what had already been said and adding their own spin on it. For the second time today, he felt that he didn't belong in a place where such togetherness is so easy to find. He certainly didn't belong if his very presence meant they were at risk.

- - -

“Miss Twilight, did you ever hear back from Princess Celestia regarding the topic we discussed last night?” he asked, jumping down from the seat he'd been sharing with Fluttershy. Warren walked over to the wall and began to stare.

“Yes, Goldenrod.” She sounded confused. “Is now really the time to talk about that though?”

Cocking his head to one side, he looked at Twilight with one tear-rimmed eye. “Considering that everything that has happened is a direct result of my being here, yes, I do.” Looking away, he spoke very dejectedly, “What did she say about humans?”

He could hear Twilight inhale sharply. “The Princess was very surprised to hear that word, especially in relation to your theory linking humans to the Draconequus. There are records which remain sealed for good reasons. You know things that nopony other than the Princesses should know.” She sighed. “The records she mentions state that humans vanished from this world thousands of years ago, roughly at the same time the Draconequus all but vanished.”

“Apparently, humans crop up from time to time, usually the precursor to war, the appearance of a Draconequus, or both. It could very well be that they are the ones who made humans disappear, and are the ones making them reappear.” He could hear her pacing. “But she said Discord is still-”

“Locked up 'oh so securely' in the Palace Garden. I know.” He turned to face her. “If you can believe it, I saw a different Draconequus tonight. She claims to be Discord's big sister, and she was after me. The Roc and the wolves were both after me. Whatever her plans are, I am a part of them. It may very well be that she's interested as to why I'm a pony.”

A rainbow blur rushed up to stand in front of him. “'Why I'm a pony', you say that like you're not!” Rainbow Dash said in a barely controlled tone. “If you're not a pony, what are you, a spy for the Draconequus?”

“I'm a human!” He looked away.

“Will somepony please explain what a human is?” Applejack spoke up. “Some of us aren't quite in the know.”

Warren sighed. It's now or never. “Humans are tall, mostly hairless, omnivorous beings, long not of this world. Many of my kind are aggressive, war-like, driven to hate each other by one thing or another. Ironically it is faith, something intended to bring people together, that drives them apart. Our kind knows more about killing each-other and devastating the environment. By all rights, my people are barbaric, especially by your standards.”

“The Draconequus I encountered tonight claimed to be responsible for giving my people their own realm, probably to sate her own blood-lust.”

“So you are a spy!” At near shout, Rainbow Dash caused the sleeping fillies nearby to stir.

Warren stared at her angrily. “With all due respect, Miss Dash,” he spoke with an even tone, out of fear that he might shout. “If you found yourself yanked out of your own world and placed elsewhere, would you honestly serve the being that claimed responsibility? No? I thought not!”

He went to sit in a corner, not facing any of them. His brain screamed out for quiet. Nothing more than silent reflection could soothe this screaming. At the very least, he could pass the time until word of Scootaloo's fate.

- - -

After a stretch of time had passed, Warren turned to Applejack and Rarity. “Miss Rarity, Miss Applejack, I'm terribly sorry for the danger my presence has put your sisters in. I intend to apologize to the both of them, as well as Scootaloo, before I depart.” He bowed his head until the tip of his horn touched the floor. “I don't expect forgiveness. I really don't deserve it. It's not like I belong here. I'm not even a real pony.”

“An' where ya gonna go, Goldenrod?” Applejack smiled. “Ya got nowhere else to go. So what if this happened 'cause yer here? Ah don't claim to know much 'bout humans, an' ah can't say ah fully trust ya, but it certainly don't sound like ya wanted any of this.”

“Applejack is quite right.” It was Rarity this time. “If everything you have said is true, you are just as much a victim in all this. It is hardly something you can be blamed for.

“That's right! Those Draconequus are tricky meanie pants!” Without his noticing, Pinkie Pie had managed to come to be right beside him. She was bouncing on the spot. “Don't let them put a frown on your face!”

Rainbow Dash lounged in her seat. Scowling, she looked at him. “Yeah, what they said.” She looked away. “I still don't trust you.”

Tears were freely flowing down his cheeks now. “Why?” All of them stared at him. “Why are all of you being so nice to me? You don't know me, and I've done nothing but deceive you since I got here.”

“What do you mean?” Fluttershy looked at him with puppy-dog eyes. “You've been deceiving us?”

“I never truly asserted I was a human... I just made myself look like some brain-addled little idiot!” He sobbed into his hooves. “I didn't even give you my real name! I- I thought you'd misunderstand, Fluttershy!”

“I don't know what I'd have been named if I'd been born here, as a blissfully happy little unicorn colt like I look. Heck, maybe my name would have been Goldenrod. It isn't.” He laid down, burying his head in his hooves, his eyes screwed shut. “It's Warren Ashland, not Goldenrod. God... I've been acting so damn childish since I woke up here.”

He felt a pair of hooves pick him up and pull him into a tight embrace. He opened his eyes and found Fluttershy hugging him. He felt her patting his back, soothing into his ear. “There there, I understand. You were just scared, in an unfamiliar place. You just wanted to make a good impression.”

- - -

The sun streamed through the curtains. Warren knew even without his glasses that he was back at Fluttershy's cottage. He didn't remember falling asleep in the waiting room at the hospital. It was probably some point after he'd broken down crying in Fluttershy's embrace. He could only guess that they'd been all sent home, and somepony had carried him.

As was almost routine now, he grabbed for his glasses, and pushed them onto his face. It was strange how easily he was able to develop a routine in a place he knew he didn't belong. It would just make it all the harder to leave.

Quietly, he made his way downstairs. Fluttershy was somewhere downstairs talking to a group of animals, probably tending to the injured. He'd seen her tending to the animals regularly over his short time here, and had even helped out during the first evening. It wasn't going to be easy to face her, but he passed the point of no return last night and had to live with the consequences.

All he cared about at that very moment was making sure Scootaloo was okay and ... filling his stomach. There hadn't been the chance to eat anything since lunch the previous day, and he didn't want to make a habit of not eating properly. He still didn't know how long he'd be stuck in this form, or how long he'd be in Equestria. Make the best of things.

“Good morning, Goldenrod.” Fluttershy greeted him, smiling kindly, but there was an undertone of unease present. “Oh, I hope you don't mind. It's just, um...”

“It's okay, Miss Fluttershy.” he responded, spooning some oatmeal from a pot on the stove into a bowl. “I didn't really expect you to be comfortable with my name. That's why I called myself Goldenrod. I kind of prefer it here, being called Goldenrod, I mean. Not to say, I don't like it here.”

She put a hoof on his shoulder as he ate awkwardly with a spoon. It was hard to do without any fingers, but he was managing. “It's okay, I understand.” He could tell she wanted to say more, but something was holding her back. There was a lot he wanted to say too, but he refused to think about anything other than Scootaloo.

Quickly and quietly, his breakfast was finished. It was routine by now to simply wash up the bowl and spoon in the sink and set it aside to dry. He didn't know if dishwashers existed in Equestria or not, but it was a moot point to ponder; Fluttershy didn't have one in her cottage. Almost trotting out the door, he realized that he needed to bathe, as there were still signs of last night's terrible events upon him.

Another amenity he sorely missed was a shower. Again, he didn't know if ponies actually had them or not, but she didn't have one in the cabin, so when it came to bathing, he made do with what was there. Blood and muck came out just as well with a wash-cloth as it did under a jet of water.

Without fingers to pluck the twigs and bramble out of his fur and mane, he could only brush it away. At least with even his limited magical ability, he was able to handle a brush well enough. It also helped that he was close to water when his horn would combust. At least with more practice it was taking longer before the fire caught.

No longer looking like the sole survivor of a horror film, Warren was off. He didn't bother explaining to Fluttershy that he wasn't going to the schoolhouse. It was clear as day that she knew how much he blamed himself for what happened to Scootaloo.

- - -

“Get out.” Scootaloo's expression was grim. “I don't know what to think about you right now. Just go away.”

Goldenrod, or Warren if even that was his real name, had just told her the most absurd story. He told her that he's not really a pony, or at least not one by choice. It was his claim that the Roc that attacked the glider was after him, and that it was sent after him by a Draconequus that knew who he was and knew of his world.

It sounded all too much like some sort of self-centered poor-me tale. Even if he sounded sincere about it, he still sounded like an attention seeker like those two stuck-up fillies, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon. Nothing hurt like hearing somepony she'd trusted tell her that he had been lying to her.

All of it was just too much for her to take in. If only she could just get on her scooter and clear her mind. The doctors were able to reattach her wing without issue, but in order for it to mend, she was restricted to bed-rest. She wasn't even allowed to get out of bed without a doctor or nurse present; they didn't trust her not to hurt herself.

A surge of pain radiated from her wing joint as she shifted in her bed, blinding agony. If a nurse hadn't come in to administer pain medication, she doubted she'd have even realized she'd been screaming. The downside to the pain medication was that it made her incredibly drowsy.

As her mind filled with haze from the drug she asked for the nurse. “When can I get out of here?”

“You'll be here for at least a week, little one.” She vaguely remembered hearing the nurse say. “Even then, it's going to be a long way for you. There's lots of physical therapy in store for you before you'll be able to fly.” It was the last thing she remembered before drifting off to sleep.

- - -

Warren sulked through the streets of Ponyville. He wasn't bothered by being chased off by Scootaloo. That was well within his projected outcomes, since she had every right to be angry with him. What bothered him was what he'd heard on his way out.

Even when doctors and nurses spoke in hushed whispers, all the secrecy in the world couldn't hide their conversation from an unobserved pony passing by. The nurse, notably not the Nurse Redheart who had tended to him during his stay, was saying something about Scootaloo being in for a lot of physical therapy after she got out a week from now. Doctor Freemane, in a serious, yet sad tone had said that he doubted she'd be able to fly even after the therapy.

Spirits dampened by the news, he had no doubt that the ponies out and about town thought he looked like a gloomy Gus. There were certainly an awful lot of eyes turning his way. Then again, he was by all appearances a school-aged colt skipping classes. He just wanted to find a nice place to wallow in his self-loathing.

This all happened because of you. It wasn't his own voice in his mind, but Morrigan's. You should just come with me. You can be a part of my reunion with my dear baby-brother.

'Go away!' he thought back. 'This is your fault, not mine. If you hadn't brought me here, this wouldn't be happening. I want nothing to do with you or your plot.'

Even if you wish for no part in my plans, you will be a big part with or without your consent. Her sensual voice was only serving to curdle his blood. You'll come to find that your fate is set in stone, petty human.

“Get out of my head, foul monster!” he shouted aloud as he walked into a tree. Evidently, it was not an easy feat to have a running conversation inside your mind while wandering aimlessly through the streets. He looked around, embarrassed. Luckily for the wound to his ego, there wasn't anypony else around as far as he could see.

Exasperated, he decided to sit beneath the tree and try to clear his mind. He could make out Sugarcube corner just down the road; the distinctive candle-topped cupcake tower was hard to mistake for anything else. Staring at it, he couldn't help but think about the pink mare he'd met only two nights ago. Everypony said that Pinkie Pie threw the best parties, and Fluttershy said Pinkie threw parties for everypony without hesitation.

A sad smile crossed his face as he found himself realizing that she probably wouldn't throw a party for him. He was a deceiver and not even a real pony, so why would she throw a party for him? It struck him doubly hard that he actually found himself yearning for a party. With all the things going on, a bit of lighthearted fun sounded like the perfect thing to take his mind off things.

Laying his head down in a small patch of flowers, he began to stare up, past the tree, into the sky. He wondered if anyone in his family was looking at the sky back home, wondering where he was. Laughing to himself, of course they wouldn't. That last night on earth wasn't particularly a nice one. That much had come back to him.

Sure, he'd been out to drinks with some of his family. It was hardly a joyous occasion. His older brothers and sisters had called him up after years of not talking to him and asked him out to drinks. It seemed innocent enough at first, until they flat-out told him that they were all getting shafted in their dying father's will. They wanted him, the only one to remain in good graces with their parents, to curry favor in their names so that they might get something when their parents passed on. Needless to say, he wasn't amused, and had stormed out of the bar. From there, his memories of earth pretty much stopped.

Thinking about life back home only served to put a dull ache in the back of his mind. On top of that, he was starting to feel drowsy staring up at the sky. All those clouds drifting about, with the occasional pegasus pony shepherding clouds around, was strangely hypnotic. Without even realizing it, he'd drifted off into a dreamless sleep.

- - -


A jubilant voice jerked Warren awake. Without a thought, he sat up, looking everywhere, trying to find the source of the voice. He could see the odd pony milling about in the streets, but none close enough to have been the source of the voice. Looking around still, he noticed that the grass he'd been laying in was significantly longer now, almost as if it were a blanket. Behind him, where his head lay only moments before, there was a pillow sized dandelion.

“That's a nice looking bed you've got there.” That voice called out again, seemingly from nowhere. It sounded so joyful that it almost oozed sugar. “Looks like a real nice place to take a nap.”

Hearing a rustling in the tree above him, Warren looked up. With a startled cry, he fell backwards onto the dandelion pillow. Hanging from a tree branch above him by her tail, surely this was impossible, was Pinkie Pie. Grinning down at him, she reminded him of the Cheshire cat. “Oh, uh, hello.”

With a giggle, the party pony dropped down beside him. With bewildered amusement, Warren stared at the mare. As was the case the last few times he'd encountered the mare, she was incredibly perky. She was bouncing on the spot, like some sort of cross between Pepé Le Pew and the baby kangaroo from the Looney Toons classics.

“Why are you so down, Goldenrod?” She chuckled, smiling kindly. “Are you worried that just because you aren't really a pony and think you're to blame for everything that you aren't getting a party? Don't be silly. I throw parties for everypony. I even threw one for a griffon once!” She put a foreleg around him and pulled him close. “Just between you and me,” she spoke in a conspiratorial whisper. “Gilda was kind of a meanie pants.”

“Uh-huh.” He didn't know how to respond to this proclamation. “Actually, Miss Pie, I was hoping you could hold off on the party.”

The pink mare's hair went limp in front of his very eyes. It was as though the implication that he didn't want party had sucked all the happiness out of her world. “You... don't want a party?” She sounded so defeated.

“No, no! I do! I really do!” Warren backpedaled. “It's just... I can't in good conscience go to a party while a friend is holed up in the hospital. So I want you to change my party into something we can use to cheer up Scootaloo.”

Like magic, Pinkie Pie's hair inflated. Her eyes were almost sparkling with devious planning. She hugged him close, and then pulled away, staring him in the eye. “A 'Get well soon party?' Of course! Why didn't I think of that?”

Without another word, the party pony was up and and running off in the direction of Sugarcube corner. “Where are you going?” he shouted after her.

“I've gotta plan!” he could hear her squeal out of excitement. “Oh this is going to be so awesome!”

Staring at Pinkie Pie as she entered the bakery, Warren couldn't help but ponder if he hadn't just done a terrible thing. Would she appreciate us springing a party on her? Would the hospital even allow it? What was with that look in her eyes, anyhow?

Author's Note:

Hi everypony, Seven Fates here. I kind of have to apologize here. This is one of those chapters I knew was going to wind up very slow. Really, it’s one of those chapters a writer might not WANT to write, simply because it doesn’t flow the way others might. It was still important to write though. As DarkxRedemption noted during our editing session, this chapter focused more on the character development aspect of the story than usual. That in itself is important, as a story without character development lacks a motive for the readers to keep reading.

I also am guilty of procrastinating on this chapter. I only really worked a total of four days on the chapter. Part of it was because, as I mentioned, I knew this chapter was going to be really slow. I also got it in my head that since my beta-reader was on a trip, that I could treat myself to a few days of distraction. Hopefully the next chapter will be of more interest to you all. See you all next time.