Fire and Earth, Bats and Hearth

by lionaxel

First published

Side Fic to Five Score, Divided by Four. Two people are going some changes. They've only got each other, or so they think. Another person and his pet crow are other going through some changes.

I am just a regular girl. Yeah, maybe sometimes I work a little too hard, or at least that's what Mira says. I guess its just part of my nature. Anyway, that's not my story. One day, I wake up to find a tattoo bearing a striking resemblance to a cutie mark! And not one I've ever seen before! Mira has one too! What's going on here!?

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A side-fic to TwistedSpectrum's Five Score, Divided by Four.

Never fear, THEY appear

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I toss and turn trying to get comfortable but everytime I close my eyes and manage to drift off, that dream plagues my sleep.

------

"Applejack! I have to come with you! You understand right?" I cry out. This was the same dream I have every night, even though it seems to be in high definition and even maybe feel more real than the real world, it's really starting to get old.
"No, you can't, There's somethin' out there and we can't risk losing you! You're our last hope!" Applejack replies, a grave expression on her face.
I hang my head, there is no way I can talk Applejack into letting me go. Besides, she has a point. "Alright, fine. Call for me if anything happens."
"Watch Apple Bloom!" Applejack warns before she runs off deep into the orchard.
Now I run back to the barn. I'd play with Apple Bloom and pretend like nothing was happening. That should keep her calm. But that dreaded feeling wouldn't leave me and it made my hooves feel like lead. What if Applejack never came back?

Regardless of my feelings, I made it back to the barn pushing every thought away except one; I had to protect Apple Bloom! I dash upstairs, the house is silent. Way too silent.

"Apple Bloom!" I yell with all of my might. No reply. Panicked, I check everywhere, but I can't find my sister. She's gone. Gone where? I have no idea, but she's gone.

A flash of light from behind me diverts my attention. I turn to see a familiar creature. One that has a goat horn and hoof, a deer antler, a lizard foot, wings, a eagle claw, a lion paw and a snake tail.

Just before I can say "Discord!" I hear a strange buzzing noise and the image dissolves.

------

I blink sleep out of my eyes before I hear the buzzing again. Beside me, on my bedside table, my phone is going off. God, who would call at this time? Checking it, I see it's Mira, of course. I answer it, yawning "Hello."

"Happy, Happy Birthday! To me and me and you!"

I momentarily take the phone from my ringing ears. before replying "You know you said 'me' twice, right?"

"Well, duh!" Mira blurts and I can imagine her rolling her gray eyes.

"Ok, ok. I get it. Your waking me up at, what time is it? Six? To praise yourself on another birthday and you thought it would be nice to wish me a happy birthday but still focus it on you. I get it." I say it all in one breath and there is silence on the other line.

Then Mira replies "Fine." Then her tone gets more happy "Expect me at around four. I'm coming over to celebrate my birthday."

"Our birthday." I correct.

"Whatever." Mira hangs up and I set my phone on the bedside table again.

People often wonder why I'm friends with the "brat". I dunno, I guess I just feel like I need to help her become a different person. I personally think i've helped her quite a bit. She seemed really surprised all those years ago when I started acting friendly towards her.

I had time to get dressed and clean up a bit before the doorbell rings. I open the door and Mira steps in, her blond hair gleaming red as sunlight streams in from behind her. She wears her jacket. Her jacket always struck as familiar, but I could never place it. Not that it mattered. "You look shaken. Me too, I had a strange dream last night. Of that show you watch."

"My Little Pony?" I stare in disbelief. "Really?"

"Yeah, that one. Why?" Mira asks with a skeptical look on her face. "About the one you showed me, with the dragon thing."

"Discord? That would be... the finale. I had a dream about that too!" I realize. Could we have had exactly the same dream?

"Really?" Mira asks, frowning.

"So, what happened in your dream?" I decide to fish for information.

"Well, I start out in a strange world with people who are different colors. Y'know like blue and red? In a school. I-I think it was called Canterlot High or something like that. Then I stepped through a mirror. THROUGH A MIRROR! Then i'm in some sort of castle. As I run out, I see no one, then a dragon thingy-"
"Discord" I interupt.
"Yeah, Discord. Anyway I see Discord and he tells me that everypony. Heh, everypony, heh heh, is gone! Then there's a white flash and that's when I always wake up." Mira finishes.

"Th-that's not in the finale!" I frown.

"Yes, its at the end. Its an orange unicorn! It's after when the purple unicorn dies." Mira argues.

"After Twilight dies, but that when that strange blue earth pony that no one's ever heard of dies." I retort. Wait. That's strange, why would Hasbro make a scene of a pony no one's ever seen before with out anyone even naming her? Why would Hasbro even make that episode? Sure enough, Mira is looking at me strangely. Wait an orange unicorn? Who's that?

"Can I come in!?" Mira barks. She's tapping her foot impatiently. Oh, shit! She's still outside!!

"Y-yeah! Of course!" I say hastily. Whoops!

Mira walks in, and shuts the door. I rub my eyes trying to adjust them back to electrical light. I blink and head to the living room, where Mira went. Wait, is she holding something? Yes, it's a brown paper bag, pretty big too.

"You wondering what this is?" Mira asks. Damn it, she must have noticed me scanning it. "Its wine. I know you like that, so I bought it for us." Wait, Mira bought something for us? Usually it was the other way around. Mira never does anything for anyone but herself. "Oh, and you get to open your present on your birthday."

My present? Mira never buys anyone, except herself, anything. Even for my birthday she usually buys me a cheap card with a small message. Wait- on my birthday? "It is my birthday," I point out.

Mira rolls her eyes, "You EXACT birthday, fool! You were really into that stuff in high school, right?"

Its true, I was. "Oh, right."

"So, when is your birthday." Mira demands.

"I swear i've told you before. It 4:15 exactly." I answer.

"Holy shit! That's in two minutes!" Mira exclaims. She hands me a huge bag. It's pretty light. I guess it's probably another cheap card from Walmart.

"Five, four, three, two, one!"

------

"N-no!"
"Hehehehe"
"Give her back!"
"For five score, divided by four!"

------

"Iris! IRIS!" I hear Mira's voice. Wait- what happened!

"H-huh!?" I stammer.

"You were just standing there for like five minutes!" Mira actually sounds concerned. But I was just- oh never mind. "Open your present!"

"Oh, uh, ok." I reach in. Almost the entire bag is filled with tissue paper. But as I feel around I find a small box. I wonder what it is. I pull it out and open it. Inside the box is a necklace with a yellow and red sun charm. I recognize it as Sunset Shimmer's cutie mark. "Where'd you get this!?"

"Oh, uh, heh heh. I kinda made it." Is Mira blushing?

"You made it!? You've got talent!" I exclaim.

"Oh uh, yeah. Anyway what was up? You just stood there." Mira's expression becomes dark.

What DID happen? It certainly didn't feel anywhere close to five minutes like Mira said. Was she pulling my leg? No, even though I've never seen her show any concern to anyone but herself, I had a feeling it was valid. "I dunno, anyway, what made you choose Sunset Shimmer?"

Mira smiles "It looked the coolest!"

I smile. Maybe, just maybe, Mira is becoming more selfless. More like a true, true friend. God dammit. Now I'm quoting songs! Whatever, as long as I don't do it again.

Then, Mira says something that really surprises me. "Now, let's watch that show you like. My Little Pony?"

"Uh, yeah. But why? I thought you hated that show?"

She shrugs "Oh well. I guess I'm gonna give it a try."

Its funny how someone you think you know so well can change overnight. The rest of the night went like planned. We just watched ponies the entire night until Mira said she had to leave and that's where I sprang my surprise. "Hey, before you go."

"Yeah?"

"Mind closing your eyes?"

Mira does as she's told, and get out her present. "Ok, open!"

"My god! Is that a- a cactus?" Mira stammers.

"Yep, a spiky one too. You can add it to your collection." I say, handing the tiny cactus to Mira.

"Th-thanks." Mira says flatly. I don't think i've ever heard her say 'thanks' in the while i've been with her. So it's a nice surprise.

It's very late so I crack open the wine bottle and pour myself a glass. I sit down and watch a few more episodes before I head down to dream away. Even though I would probably have that same dream again.

------

My dreams are very different tonight. I see people. Lots of them. One, a man with black hair, was staring at a bottle of scotch. While another guy with black hair is smiling. A girl with blond hair looks on with an unreadable expression and another dude looks at the scotch in amazement.

Then the scene shifts and I see more people. But it keeps changing rapidly so I only catch glimpses of people. I see two girls, one with dark red hair and the other with brown hair, and a guy also with brown hair, his brown eyes gleaming. Then a man decked in fancy attire his intense blue eyes seemed to stare into mine. These people looked... familiar. Although I'm sure I've never seen them before in my life. Then why do they seem so familiar? There's one that stands out to me. For sure. It's the man beaming at the other man with the scotch. He's muscular, like he's been working out, but he doesn't look like that type. His brownish-blonde hair seemed very familiar almost as if... Nope, it's gone. Then the scene shifts one last time. I see the mane six. Shining Armor and Big Mcintosh are standing at the edges of the group. They were standing in the real world, but they were still cartoony. It looked like one of those "Ponies in Real Life" videos but horribly made.

Then it's black.

For five score, divided by four!

That phrase again, what does it mean?

Then I wake up.

-------

I wake up early again today, the sky is still dark. Well, that was an interesting dream. VERY interesting. A crap ton of people I don't know. But there was that one that seemed so familiar, too familiar. Urk! I'll never understand why. Fuck, what am I thinking! My brain probably made it up to taunt me or something like that. Yeah! Yeah, no. I don't know how, but I know that they are real people.

I need to get this out of my mind. I need to take a shower, that'll help. I go to the bathroom and turn on the water. Then I undress and step in. I scratch my thigh before getting the shampoo. I get that out of the way and turn my attention to the body wash. I start to scrub myself when "What the fuck is THAT!" There is visible green under the soap.

I clear the suds off of the spot and I literally stop breathing. On my thigh is a mark. A mark of a sprout. L-like a cutie mark. Holy shit! When did this get here? A tattoo? I feel it but it feels like, well, my skin. Like a tattoo should, except the colors are amazing! They are very vibrant. And its sharp and bright as day. Its not any cutie mark I've ever seen. And how the hell did I get it? Did I get drunk last night off wine? Then I hear my phone buzz. I rinse the remaining bubbles off and dry myself before checking the phone.

New Text Message
From Mira

WHAT THE HELL! I'M COMING OVER TO GIVE YOU A PIECE OF MY MIND YOU NASTY PIECE OF SHIT!

I run upstairs and put some clothes on. The only shirt left in my closet was of Sunset Shimmer. Where'd I get that? Hmm, whatever.

Ding-Dong!

I let Mira in who storms into the living room. She's wearing another deep red shirt and a skirt along with some black knee-high boots. "Now I know I watched that show with you and I know I gave that necklace but THAT GIVES YOU NO EXCUSE!"

Now I'm confused even more "Woah, woah, woah. Excuse for what?"

"You know perfectly well what I'm talking about!" She retorts.

Now I'm starting to lose control. "No! I did nothing to you, okay!?"

Mira's anger melts away into a look of shock "You really didn't do it?"

"Do what!?"

"This!" Mira lifts up her black skirt slightly to show something I never expected to see. Emblazoned on her thigh was a sun. A yellow and red sun. I instinctively look at my shirt where on Sunset Shimmer's flank lay the same mark.

Another story to tell, Another one who fell

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Urk, what a drag! Concert tickets? Doesn't my mom know I'm old enough to get my own stuff and that I hate loud noises. I re-read the letter that comes with the tickets.

Dear Ace,

I know you are even Now getting Older and older. The truth is, your dad and I miss you and we want you to make the most with your life so we want you to go to this Concert. Dad picked it out for you and we know That you will like it. I hope you will always keep Us in your heart, Reach for your goals and Never again fail to doubt all that you Are.

Love,

Mom

Come on! First of all, that's all you write, mom? Second of all, way too sappy! Third of all, I hate concerts! And what's with all of the stupid capitals? I kick a random bucket next to me and realize how much of a mess my house is. Beside me, Sun squawks. I turn to the crow and realize that I'm losing control. That bird seems to know a lot more about me than even I do. But that's impossible. Even if she is really loyal.

I'm talking super loyal. I can let her fly free outside and she will always return. I found her maybe ten years ago. At first I was surprised at how long she was living, but when I researched crows I found that they can live pretty long. Anyway, she was hurt, had a broken wing and a busted up beak. I named her Sun despite the fact that she was a crow and took care of her until her wing healed. Surprisingly enough, so did her beak. Then I let her go. It was sad and I knew I would miss Sun, so I spent the rest of the day in my room. The next day I was shocked to find that Sun had returned and was flying outside my window. So I took her in again and she became my pet. I've kept her ever since.

"Thanks, Sun. I needed that. "I mutter. I wonder if Sun could understand me. Is it just me? Or is she puffing out her chest? Oh well, she's just a crow. I open her cage, she needs her daily exercise. Surprisingly enough, instead of flying to the window, she flies to the opposite side of the room. "Uh, Sun?"

She flies to... the calender? What the hell is she doing. Wait, she keeps running her talon lightly on one spot. Today. Then she flies out the window. It almost looks as if Sun scratched something on the calender. I go over to inspect it and- Holy Shit! I look out the window but the crow is already gone. She made on the calender what looked like a birthday cake! And- oh my god- it is my birthday! How the fuck, this is pretty much impossible. Now I wonder where that silly crow has gone. To get the daily newspaper? Well, whatever. Let's just add this to the list of super crazy coincidences. Anyway when is this stupid concert? I check the dumb, sappy note my mom sent me and slide out the ticket. Oh man, I guess I have to make the decision quick because this thing is in ten minutes. I make up my mind slamming my car door and turning on the vehicle.

The concert isn't too far away but as I embrace the cool air flowing through my open window I am met with a burst of black feathers almost causing me to lose control of the vehicle. Sun settles beside me and I open my mouth to scold her.

"What the HELL! I almost crashed!"

"SQUAWWKKK!!" Oh crap! I snap my attention back to the road as I hear several honks. I swerve to the left as my car almost hits a tree. Shit! This is not good. I somehow manage to get the rampaging vehicle back under control. Phew, lucky break there, but I turn I lock eyes with a female in the car next to me as she shakes her head in disappointment. Wait- Do I know her? I turn but the car is way ahead so instead I try to read the numbers off of the license plate. S-H-FUCK! No! Get out of the way stupid minivan! Ugh! I almost facepalm but you know what? I really don't want an accident. Finally, I can see the arch of the concert building in the distance and the last few minutes in the car seem like they are in slow motion. That is, until Sun squawks in my ear! Ignoring the bird I pull into a parking spot and shut off the car. Oh my god that was the worst thing today! Ugh, I breathe a sigh of relief and open the door. Man oh man this is going to be wonderful!

The stadium is loud. Really loud. Seriously mom! This is your BEST choice? This is going to suck! I enter the room passing the guard who nods when I show him the ticket and find the seat printed on the ticket. Sun flies in after me and the guard doesn't even seem to notice. Maybe having pet crows is common here. My seat is near the middle of the room, not too close but not too far. I can see the stage just fine with no obstructions of peoples heads even though the room is clearly packed. Except for one thing. The seats near me are all empty. That's strange. I ignore it and wait for the concert to start when I am interrupted by a dude in fancy attire.

"Sir Ace, we are pleased at your arrival." He says with a British accent.

"Huh? What?" Sir? What the hell?

"Of course. You must be unaware. My name is Felix and I will be your personal waiter." The man bows. What is going on! A personal waiter? I guess that's pretty cool but-

"Heh I think you've got the wrong guy, I'm not royal-"

"Not at all! You see your ticket was the VIP ticket. You see you get free refreshments whenever you feel. You see that pinkish button there?" Felix points to a fuchsia button on the side of my chair. "That is your Emergency button. Press it whenever you need anything."

"Uh, emergency button? Isn't that a bit dramatic?" This is starting to creep me out. My mind instantly goes to a bunch of murder films I've watched.

"Dramatic? Ohohoho, of course not! You must be feeling a bit uneasy. Don't worry, that's why I've got you a taster!" Felix introduces a short, fat man wearing a suit. "This is Augustus. He is your taster to make sure nothing is poisoned."

I frown "Poisoned? What the fuck! Where do you get your food from?"

"Far away!" Felix replies.

"I think i'm going to be sick!" I groan. This is all coming way too fast and I have no idea what the hell is going on. It's all so weird!

Felix snaps his fingers and immediately another man comes out with a vomit bag and hands it to me with a plush white towel. Then he departs. I hurl into the bag and wipe off my face with the towel. It's super soft and if it wasn't covered in bile I might've just burrowed my face in it.

Felix takes the towel and bag and hands it to another servant who I didn't notice come and he takes the items and departs as well. "Now anything to drink, Sir Ace?"

"A Coke is fine." I mutter, feeling shaky.

Felix mutters to yet another servant. Where are they coming from!? The servant leaves and Felix bows. "Remember if you need anything your Emergency button is right there! Your cola should be out momentarily."

Felix departs with a swish of his cape that I didn't notice before and exits through the emergency exit door. I silently vow not to drink the Coke in fear of it being poisoned. And I'm definitely not giving it to that Augustus bloke who is sitting right next to me.

Hmm, I wonder... "Hey, do you mind? I'm squished here!"

Augustus's eyes fill with fear and he nods vigorously moving to the seat over. Sweet! I have complete control over this guy, although it doesn't seem right somehow.

Then the entire room goes dark and the stage lights up. Smoke puffs up from center stage and I frown. What is this!? A magic act? Rolling my eyes I continue to watch as shadows appear in the smoke. There is a small band with strangely cut hair and rock guitars. However they seem to be taking forever to start. Oh well I'll just wait.

------

"What's going on!?"
"The kingdom? F-fallen?"
"MOM!!"
"H-how d-d-dare you!"
"For five score, divided by four!"

------

I snap my attention to the stage where I am immediately overtaken by loud noises. What the hell just happened. One moment they were getting ready and now they are mid-song? I look around me noticing my Coke had arrived. Fuck, I'm parched. Just one sip can't hurt, right? I mean there is now way i'm going to let that bozo Augustus drink my soda. My hand vibrating, I lift up the cola and take a sip. WOAH! Its peppy, yet sweet and almost creamy. It's amazing, the best Coke I've ever had. Wait- this can't be Coca-Cola brand, can it? I turn to Augustus. "Hey man, what brand is this?"

I roll my eyes as "M-master Ace! Of course, it's the headman's own brand. Soda-Lix. That's the cola flavor, correct? May I suggest-"

"Enough!" I interrupt and the Taster goes silent. Oh my, I guess i'm not being that polite now am I?

One more sip of the Coke- er cola and I decide what to do next. I look down at the emergency button and raise my arm dramatically. What better way to do things than over dramatically? Then I bring my arm down and slam it on the button. Moments later one of Felix's assistants are beside me and I sigh.

"Felix please."

"Right away, Master Ace!" The servant runs off and in approximately thirty seconds Felix is at my side.

"What's wrong?" Felix says with genuine concern.

"I would like to leave, now!!" My tone is sharp. However I don't like how my attitude has changed during this one concert. Hell, is that even possible? I guess it is now.

"B-but-"

"No buts! I'm sick of this place!" I scream. The band keeps playing but several people have turned.

"However your parents wished-"

"Nothing about my parents. Master Ace wishes to leave. Now!" This is starting to get on my nerves. What the hell is wrong with this guy?

"Of course." Felix looks defeated and I kinda feel bad.

"But first, direct me to the bathroom." My voice is considerably quieter.

Felix points me and I get up and leave. In the bathroom I sigh and hang my head before lowering my pants and screaming. There on my thigh was a tattoo. A tattoo of what looked like a pale yellow circle with a crown above it.

---------------------------------

I feel sick to my stomach and Mira is looking at me expectantly.

"What the hell? You're wearing a shirt... Ohhh, NOW I KNOW YOU DID IT!!" She screams.

"No, I swear, it was a coincidence!" I defend myself. Mira? Going through the same thing as me? Well at least I actually know what hers is? No one in the show has a sprout for a cutie mark. At least none like this!

Mira looks down and I can barely hear her. "I know it wasn't you. I'm just so angry."

"Wait- what? If it wasn't me then who do you think it was?" I am confused. Very, very confused.

"I have no idea, but you've never pulled a prank on me. On anyone." Mira looks up, tears are in her eyes. Oh, that just makes me feel worse. I have never seen Mira cry before. Never. Then she continues. "That orange pony. It's the same one from my dream."

"Really? You dreamed about Sunset Shimmer?" So that's who she dreamed about!

"Yeah and then I suddenly wake up with that same tattoo on her ass. It makes no fucking sense." Mira clenches her fist. "Wait, you said you had a dream about a blue one. Do you have her mark?"

Wow, I probably would have never deciphered that. Anyway, does that earth pony have this mark? I go through that scene from the beginning. Not once did it ever show her cutie mark. From grass to apples to Applejack herself something was always covering it so I couldn't see it. "I don't know. It was never shown."

"Oh well. But I am NOT going to go around with fucking suns on my thighs. That is just horrible and we have to get it off!" Mira narrows her eyes.

"I can agree with that." I nod. Whatever these are apparently scrubbing didn't work so we will have to take more, erm, desperate measures. "But what should we do?"

Mira smiles wickedly, "Watch more ponies of course!"

So that's how we spent a few hours watching My Little Pony. In the middle of Season 1, Episode 6 Mira looks over at me. That expression she has frightens me though. It is one of pure shock. "What's wrong?" I ask.

Mira's words are jumbled. "Y-you- your h-what? th-n-hair. HAIR!"

"My... hair?" I take a lock of my hair in my hands and realize it is MUCH longer than it was an hour ago. Before my hair was slightly past my shoulders but now it was further down my back. Also, My usual fiery red hair was duller than before. More brownish. As I look at Mira I notice her hair is longer too. However, unlike before where Mira's hair was slightly longer than mine, my hair was now longer than hers. Her hair also seems to have reddish streaks. Something else about her is a bit off but I can't place my finger on it. I jump up "What the hell is this!?"

Mira looks up at me "I think... I think your hair has changed colors."

"No!" I exclaim sarcastically, "But seriously, first cutie marks and now hair has magically become longer and changed colors!? Ugh!"

"Something is wrong!" Mira stiffens.

"No, I didn't notice!" I glare daggers at my comrade.

"No, not that..." Mira's voice trails off and her eyes widen. She seems to be staring directly into my eyes, but what's wrong? Are my eyes magically glowing now with Twilight Sparkle magic? Actually, I wouldn't put it past what's going on.

"What?" My voice seems to snap Mira back into reality.

"Oh my god... your eyes!"

Farther more a change takes place, Conquering all with a messed up grace

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"Mira, what is wrong with my eyes?" My heart skips a beat. I look straight into Mira's light blue-green eyes. Wait, no... that's not right. Mira's eyes are gray, not blue! None of this makes sense! How could someone change someone else's eye color? That's just plain impossible.

"Er... new color." Mira mutters under her breath.

"I'm gonna pretend I heard you." I say. "Mira... What color are my eyes?"

Mira takes a long breath. "Green. A really, really bright green."

No, no, no, no! My eyes are blue not green! What is wrong with me!? "I... I think I'm gonna be sick!"

"Well, stay away from me! I swear I'll beat you up if you stain my clothes with vomit!" Mira growls. Then her voice took on a softer tone. "But... what color are my eyes?"

"Oh. A light blue-green, almost cyan-y." I reply, proud of myself for making up a word. Then my head begins to swim with the thoughts of what might be going on.

"Iris... who is Sunset Shimmer?" Mira stands up.

"She's a unicorn who used to be Princess Celestia's star student-"

"That's Twilight now, right?"

"Yeah. Sunset got annoyed because she didn't achieve her goal right away so she escaped to the MLP version of Earth. There she became the bully of the school and got whatever she wanted. When Twilight came- you know what? I have the movie. We can watch it." I say, motioning toward the drawer where the movies were kept.

"That's sounds good. Go make popcorn." Mira commands.

Of course Mira would tell me that. I head into the kitchen to make some popcorn. Most of the time I don't feel like arguing with Mira. That doesn't help our relationship at all, besides, I like helping. I can hear the movie starting and the popcorn is almost done. Ding! I open the microwave and take out the popcorn, putting it into a bowl. Then I sit down next to Mira. As we get into the movie, I can tell Mira is absorbed int it completely. She isn't even taking any popcorn, which is terribly unlike her. I decide to break the silence after about an hour. "I'll be right back."

Mira barely mutters "Yeah, okay. Whatever."

I head to the bathroom and as I look into the mirror, I feel my blood turn to ice again. My hair is even longer than before and an even darker brown. Then I realize that my balance felt different, almost better than before. I check my body and when I get to my feet I realize why. I am walking with my heels raised. My body is basically balancing on the balls of my feet and my toes. I lower my heels and try to take a step, but nearly fall over. "Woah there!" I feel really off-balanced for some reason and my ankles really want to be raised again for some reason, so I let them. Man, I'm gonna be taking orders from my butt next. Well, I guess ponies do that. 'Cause it's what my cutie mark is telling me. Although, what is my cutie mark telling me? To become a gardener? Meh, whatever. This entire idea of ponies and hair changing colors is giving me a headache. I take some Advil and walk back out. Mira is still watching Equestria Girls with a strange passion. Her hair is nearly the same as Sunset Shimmer, with more curls and brighter color.

"Mira?" I call.

She doesn't turn to look at me and is glued to the screen. "Yeah?"

"Hair is a bit brighter and walking is a bit different." I tell her.

She turns with a wild expression "We have hooves!?"

"No. but I seem to be walking a bit differently." I reply, unsure as to why she didn't just check herself.

"Pfft, meh, whatever." She returns to the movie.

I'm starting to feel a bit sleepy, probably from the Advil. There is no way that Mira is going to go back to her house, I just know it, so I tell her that I am going to take a nap and head off. It doesn't take long for me to fall asleep and of course I have the same dream as always. This time from father along.

------

"Discord!" I spit at the Draconequus. "What have you done to Apple Bloom!?"

"Me? I've done nothing! Poor little Princess, can't find your little sissy?" The chimera thing mocks.

"Wh-what!? Oh my Celestia... You've actually snapped!" I hoof at the ground.

"Snapped? Oh I'd hardly say that. I was biding my time, waiting for the right moment to strike. Now enough about that! Your time is up, Ms. Harmony! Twilight's gone"

"No, wait!" I can feel something reacting in my body, my eyes start glowing white.

"Uh oh, that can't be good. Heh heh heh!" Discord feigns a worried emotion. Then my vision fades white.

"...For five score divided by four!"

------

I wake up, it's dark, but not that dark. I check my clock that's by my beside table, 8:32 PM. I was asleep for four and a half hours! I sit up and get out of bed, where I'm greeted by a strange sensation, almost as if a weight or something is tied onto my spine. My breath quickens as I realize what it could possibly be. I creep forward trying to ignore the 'thing' hitting me and I flip on the light switch. Then I turn to the body mirror, looking at one spot in particular. Gulp! "Well, I don't think that's normal!"

My vision starts to blur, black spots dancing around.

I have a tail.

I shift my eyes upward as I realize that something else is wrong as well. On top of my head, I see a dark blue. My ears are at the top of my head. Not where they should be. Ears. No. Get down from there! My ears are equine in appearance. No, no, no, no, No, No, NO! "Gaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!" I promptly faint right then and there.

------

Okay, okay. I swear that in, how many hours has it been? Five? Eight? I lost track. I swear I've become a bigger, ugh, what's it called? Brony? A bigger brony than Iris, and that's saying something. Speaking of Iris, where did she go? Meh, no matter. Though she did mention walking differently. I stand up and see that I am walking differently. Well, say goodbye to being a plantigrade and say hello to being a digitigrade. I brush my hair out of my eyes, but something else seems a bit off about how I'm walking though, almost as if my backside is heavier. I turn to look.

"Crap, I have a tail! I HAVE A TAIL" This SUCKS! What the hell am I supposed to do know. Call my mom, 'Hey mom, I grew a tail today. Guess what? My hair also changed colors and I magically got tramp stamps. All in a days work, y'know?' Yeah, so not happening. I look at the clock. It's what... nine? I guess I'd better go wake up Iris. Gotta talk to her about this tail and beat her up for it. I move my hair out of my face again. Jeez, it keeps coming back! I walk into Iris's room and fall on my face. "Ow! What the fuck did I just trip- oh."

I just tripped on Iris who is out cold on the floor. I get up onto my hands and knees and examine her unconscious body. She too has a tail matching her really dark brown, really long hair. And she has pony ears. What the- oh shit. I feel the sides of my head, but my ears are missing. "Ohhhhhh Sweet Celestia! Where the fuck are my ears!?" Of course I already know the answer to that. I feel the top of my head, where I find pony ears. I lift my head up to look in Iris's mirror and see that they are pale orange. My hair is also really bright now, and even longer. It also seems to travel down my neck, farther than it did before. My hairline has moved lower. Like a mane.

Welp, time to wake her up. I get back up on my feet. "Synth! Wake up! NOW!" She's not moving. I roll my eyes and kick her.

Her eyes flutter open. "Wh-what!? Ow... My side. Sunset... Did you... kick me? You have boots on!"

"Well, yeah. So wha..." I pause. Did Iris just call me Sunset? Really? REALLY? "Seriously, getting my name wrong now? What is going on in your simple little head?"

"My simple little head!? Argh, really!? Well fine, take your pretty mane and tail and ears and horn and get out of here then!"

"Hey! I didn't mean it like that!" I stammer. Horn? I don't have a horn. Not yet at least!

"Good, or else I'll buck you into the wall." Iris glares.

"I- wait, repeat that." Buck me into a wall? What? Like Apple-Bucking?

"I'll buck you..." She face palmed. "I'm getting really confused now!!"

"So am I."

------

I drive home, being sure to keep Sun inside the car this time. "You'd better stay there. Can't have a crash, now can we?"

She squawked as if in response. I'll never get over that. I safely make it home and as I start to pick up Sun, I instantly drop her. The crow's bodily temperature has gone up by a tremendous amount. "Sun, are you okay?" I ask.

She nods. What the hell? You know what? Not even gonna question it anymore.

"I think I'm gonna take you to a vet."

She shakes her head.

"Well, screw you too!" I sigh and walk to my room. You know what? Screw this entire day. I'm going to sleep!

Despite Proper Reason, Supernatural is in Season

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The castle is strangely empty. No guards are patrolling and the whole scene gives me the chills. Broken windows, tattered curtains, even papers are randomly strewn across the halls. As I listen though, I can hear voices. Very familiar voices. I break into a gallop but decide it's not fast enough, instead taking off, soaring with my leathery bat wings. There is a door slightly ajar at the end of the hall and I burst in. Inside, I swear I heard a Pop!, but the only living thing in here besides me was... my mom!?

"Mother! What are you doing? Who were you talking to?" I sputter out, my words make about as much sense to me as a word search. "What's going on!?"

She turns to me, wild eyed, "¡Hija! Please get out! Luna is gone, we are under attack!"

I grit my teeth, "By whom, the Solar Army? Is Celestia here!?"

"No, something far, far worse! We are too late, the kingdom has already fallen! ¡Destruió!" She is breathing quickly.

"The kingdom? F-fallen?" I stammer. No, what has happened while I was gone? Where is Princess Luna!?

Suddenly laughter fills the air.

Ahahahahahahahahaha! Really, did you think I would leave your precious Kingdom stay while I knocked down Celestia's? I know from living with the two troublemakers that Loony can be just as annoying. Though maybe not as strong she certainly has her tricks. Now I can pick off each one of you. One. By. One!

"¡Deje!" My mom cries out. Leave. I might be mistaken, but I don't think this presence has any thoughts about leaving.

Awww, but what fun is leaving before the game has begun? Now, I don't see the non-sense in that! My common non-sense says to non-leave! But- Crap. ¡Yo necesito ir al baño!

The ghostly presence faded for about half a second before returning.

Much better! Now señoritas! Let us begin! ¡Para cinco veintena dividido por cuatro! Hehehe!

I am about to scold the voice for mocking our language before my mom disappears in a flash. "MOM!!"

D'aww! Isn't that cute? A little child asking for her mommy?

"You dick! Where the fuck is my mom! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH HER!!! SHOW YOURSELF, DEMON!" I scream.

Suddenly, before me is a draconequus. One I barely see, as he rarely visits our castle. Discord, the spirit of chaos is before me.

"Your mommy? I disposed of her!" Discord's tone took on an intimidating snarl.

"H-how d-d-dare you!" I snap, baring my fangs.

"Hehehe, how cute. See ya chump! For five score divided by four!"

My vision goes white and I hear voices.

Soon revived, Your dark survived.
Slowly falling down.
Never More, Life a chore.
Together, not a frown.
One is dying, Friends are crying
Then there goes the crown.

------

I snap my head up, getting a nasty crick in my neck. Those words echoed through my head. I don't know how, but they sounded significant. Soon revived. What does that mean? I'm alive already. Am I going to die? Or... am I really dead? I hear squawking from the living room, so I stretch and sit up. Quickly, I take note of the poem thingy in a notebook. Then I head out, forgetting that it even existed in the first place and get to Sun's cage. Her black feathers seemed a bit off and I could feel heat radiating off of her.

"Philomena, how are you even alive? Your burning up." I say, feeling her and instantly bringing my hand back as I get burnt.

Sun jumped back as well for whatever reason and I saw something orange on her head. "Sun, what is on your head?" I, more carefully this time, pick up Sun out of her cage. This time, I don't get burned. Odd. On the top of her head, though, is an orange feather. I frown. The hell? "Sun, did you get in my paint set again? Don't you remember last time? I had to take you to the vet because you ate it. I don't want to- OUCH!" I drop her as I get burnt again. Then she flies into my hair. "Come on! I didn't know my hair was THAT undercooked!" Suddenly, I feel tugging. Sun is pulling my hair. I remove her from my hair and she randomly and erratically begins flying to the bathroom, so I chase after her. My heart might as well have stopped the moment I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

My hair is green! No, no, let me clarify. My hair is greenISH. Blackish-greenish and longer than before. Then I remember last night, and the mark I had found on my thighs. I rip off my pants and shut my eyes as I see that they are still there. When did I get tattoos? Did Felix somehow sneak them on? Maybe during that moment when I seemingly spaced out and that stupid band somehow skipped to the middle of their song. Hmm, that seemed more likely then me getting possessed by the devil in the middle and going to a tattoo parlor. Though that actually could be possible SEEING THAT MY HAIR IS GREEN. Why is my hair green. What happened last night? Too many questions! Too many in my head at once. Perhaps Sun dyed it in the middle of the night. I wouldn't put it past that meddling crow. That really intelligent crow that has an IQ of about 2000. Yeah, she did it. I'll leave it at that. I'll get the dye out later. Can't be hard, can it? Besides, this random hair color change was much more interesting than anything I had ever done before in my life. You see, when I was younger, and in school, I was your average kid. I didn't really excel in any subjects until middle school, where you had to take Spanish. See, I'm a native speaker. I know my Spanish in and out. English was actually my second language, but I know it just as well as Spanish, if not better. I don't exactly remember learning them, but meh, saves me the trouble. In fact, it's probably for the better that I don't remember the excruciating pain that I saw others undergoing as they attempted to learn a foreign language.

My phone goes off and I shift through my pockets trying to locate the device. I pull it out and look at the Caller ID. Private Number? Really? I answer it, regardless.

"Master Ace." I am about to throw the phone against the wall. "We-"

"Fuck! FELIX LEAVE ME ALONE! HOW THE HELL DID YOU EVEN GET MY NUMBER!?" I screech, about to hang up.

"Listen, this is important. Something your parents wished to share."

"My parents are dead!" I hiss and hang up. Why wont that moron leave me alone? Is it really that hard to just give someone some private time as they try to make sense of hair growth? Apparently so.

Wait, why does one side of my face feel warmer than the- OH SHIT! Sun is flapping right beside me and I fall over in surprise. She is holding something. A Target catalog? Joy, I guess she wants me to go. "Fine, Sun. You coming?"

She nods, and I bite my lip. "Get in the car then. And don't you dare make me crash. I'll never let you forget that!"

We get in the car and Sun perches herself on the passenger's seat and we head off to Target.

Thirty minutes passed and I swing my legs out of the car and turn towards the crow. "So, Sun. Any idea what I'm supposed to buy?"

Sun nods and flies at the building. I curse under my breath before shouting "WAIT UP!!" The crow leads me to a strange isle with a bunch of random stuff. It looked like the isle hadn't been cleaned in forever. Sun perches on a sign, signalling that the isle was supposed to be empty and it hit me. Sun brought it all here. She wanted me to buy it all. How much was that supposed to be, 2000 dollars? "Sun, there is no way I am buying all of this. I'm not Steve Jobs."

Sun shakes her head and motions downward towards the stuff as if to say 'Uh huh, you're gonna buy it all, mister!'

"Sun there is no way I can afford it all." I complain. She simply stares at me with an "I-don't-believe-you-at-all look". Then she flies down and lands on a mirror. I pick up the mirror and examine my reflection. "Woah, woah, woah. Were my eyes like that before?" I ask. Sun nods. My eyes are a supernatural yellow. "Great. I'm fucking Edward Cullen. Fuck my life."

The crow looks at me expectantly and I realize why she wants me to buy all of this. "Wait, Sun, you think I'm gonna change to the point where I wont be able to go to the store?"

She nods and I sigh, shaking my head. Oddly, the bird has never been wrong before, so I cave in. "Fine. I'll get all of this damn stuff."

I make it to the checkout counter where the clerk's eyes nearly pop out of his head at the amount of stuff I was buying. He grunted something about young adults these days and how society is screwed. Suddenly something feathery touches my ankle. "Dammit, Sun!" I look down and see Sun is rubbing against my ankle which is... raised up? The fuck? I'm walking like a damn werewolf. GREAT. Now I'm Edward and Jacob's love child. Neato. The Clerk's left eyebrow is raising upwards and I realize talking to my feet is not the best idea I could have right now.

I finish checking out, which took a lot longer than expected due to too many items, pissed off people in the back of the line and the machine breaking down in the middle. but I finally got out after an hour. Not surprisingly, the line behind me had vanished. Cool, I'm a wizard now too. I should make a list.

Back in my car, which just barely fit all of my items, Sun perched on the steering wheel. "Agh, what the hell are you doing now?"

She beckoned with her wing and then flew out the window. Welp, I guess I'm playing 'Follow the Crow' now. It didn't take long before we drove into McDonalds. Of course, Sun wanted to get a pack of Chicken Nuggets, that cannibal, before I became unable to go out for whatever reason. About to drive into the Drive-Thru, I stop as Sun makes a sharp turn and instead starts going in through the main doors. MAKE UP YOUR MIND!! Good lord.

------

Mira is by my side soon after I sit down on my bed, tail trailing behind me. "I understand this is hard, but really, is not knowing what's happening to you as bad as me knowing what's happening to me? In the movie, I turned into a raging she-demon for god's sake."

I look up, confused. "Mira... did you watch Rainbow Rocks?"

"Uh, what's that?" She replies, frowning.

"The Equestria Girls sequel." I clarify.

"No, why? Is there something I'm missing?" Mira demands.

But, that makes no sense! That is exactly what Sunset Shimmer described her transformation as! "Uh, nope. No, there isn't!" I say maybe a bit too quickly.

"You're lying to me Iris. I know you are." Mira glares, "Don't lie to me!"

"Uhh, you might just want to watch it yourself. It's somewhere in the drawer where the other one was." I push away her comment. This is something she needs to realize firsthand.

Mira stares at me for a good, long while before turning sharply and stiffly walking away. Did I hurt her feelings somehow? I realize how beautiful her fiery red and yellow hair is as she's walking away. Yeah, I still think she has it better knowing who she is.

------

Me and Sun sat around the dining room table. Sun was munching on a Nugget while I was content with a fries and a Coke. "Jeez, Sun. You do realize you are eating another bird, right?"

She nods and I turn to look at the clock, 5:45 PM. I was out quite a long time, but it feels good to be back home. I take a sip of my soda and turn to look at the crow. "So, Sun. Just how are you so smart?"

She makes a shrugging motion and caws. So, when will she learn to speak? I'm teasing of course, but part of me wouldn't be surprised if she randomly starts talking in perfect English.

Hold on... now that I look at Sun more closely, I realize I'm not the only one with yellow eyes. How the hell did I not notice it before? Sun's eyes are an almost glowing yellow. Her feathers have specks of red, orange and yellow now as well. Whatever I am going through, it seems Sun is as well. But why my pet bird? What significance does a bird have on the world. What significance do I have on the world?

A Coincidence at Last, A Look into the Past

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Iris joins me on the couch to watch this Rainbow Rocks thing. I’m over the tiny argument we just had. To be honest, it wasn’t even worth it. I’ve just been so uptight lately with these supernatural occurrences that something in me snapped. Now I have it back under control and Iris knows that. Iris knows a lot about me. More than she thinks even. Maybe even more than I know.

I brush my hair out of my eyes yet again. “Oh my god. My ‘mane’ is not suited for a human head!” I look at Iris who has super long brown bangs that fall over half of her face. “How do you stand that? I can’t stand these few locks of hair that keep falling over my eyes!”

Iris shrugs. “I’ll pause the movie and you can go into the bathroom and do your hair if you want.”

I look at Iris gratefully and head off to her bathroom. I find a brush and clean it out before brushing my hair careful not to harm my sensitive ears. I realize as I brush that while it my hair is clearly a mane, there are things I can do to make it set on my head like normal human hair. When I’m done, I examine myself in the mirror and what I see shocks me. My hair looks nearly identical to human Sunset Shimmers hair. Although it shouldn’t surprise me because before it was a 99.9% match to Sunset’s pony mane. This was just ridiculous though. I shouldn’t be able to get my hair/mane looking like this by just brushing it!

I call out to Iris “Hey, Iris! I brushed my hair and now I’m a human Sunset Shimmer!”

I can hear Iris laugh, “Isn’t that what you were before?”

“Hey! I’m serious!” I walk out of the bathroom and the laughter leaves her face.

“Hey, woah. You weren’t kidding!” Iris exclaims. “You really do look pretty much the same as Sunset Shimmer. As creepy as that is, I guess we can let it slide.”

I go and sit down next to her and she makes a strange sound as she unpauses it that sounds like “Omgimsittingwithsunsetshimmeromg” and I frown for a bit. Do I really look that much like Sunset Shimmer? That is a little creepy.

“I’m sorry.” Iris says, “I guess I just really like ponies.”

“Oh, yes. And I’m sorry I happen to look like a villian who-” I look at the screen where Sunset Shimmer is conversing with the main six. “-becomes a protagonist.”

Then I hear it and I freeze up.

“Ugh, I am never gonna live that down.”
“You were pretty bad at the Fall Formal.”
“A demon. I turned into a raging she-demon.

My heart skips a beat. That’s exactly what I told Iris previously.
“Is everything okay?” Iris asks, concern evident in her voice.
“Th-that’s exactly wh-what I said to you.” I feel the blood drain from my face. “Word for word.”

-----

My relationship with Iris didn’t used to be the one we have now. In fact, I distinctly remember the first time we met. I almost made her cry by bringing up a sore subject.

-----

I stood in the darkest hallway, scanning the area around me. I knew that that stupid girl would come past here to get to her next class, and I needed to tell her the lowdown about how I was in charge. If this girl thinks she can just steal my spotlight just like that, she’s got another thing coming!

I grin to myself as I hear footsteps echo. There’s no way it could be anyone else, they’re all at class. Technically, I should be at class too, but the teachers don’t care. Let’s just say the kids aren’t the only people who fear me at this school. Though the teachers don’t outwardly show it, they don’t object to anything I do. Also, it’s not like I miss class often. Gotta keep that reputation in line with all of my other reputations.

The new students red hair appears at the other end of the hall and the dim lighting serves its purpose. She doesn’t notice me at first. I creep up behind her, making the least amount of noise possible.

“Heh heh. Hello there, ‘newbie’.” I smirk.

She turns, Blue eyes flashing. “Oh, uh... Hi.”

“It’s only fitting that a new person shows up and she thinks she rules the school!” I snap.

“Wait... what?” The girl frowns.

I walk over to her. “Please, you couldn’t gain any popularity even if you wanted to what with your weird red hair and freckles.”

She still looks utterly confused. So I continue. “How many people do you know in high school that have red hair and are popular? There aren’t many. Face it. You are a nobody.”

“I’m a what?” She frowns deeper. “If you’re trying to make me feel bad, it’s not working.”

I raise my eyebrows, “You’re good at concealing your feelings, but you’re lying to me. I can tell.” She takes a step back, so I round her until she’s facing the end of the dark hallway. “I’m the leader around these parts, so you best not cross me. I’ll make your life miserable.”

“You don’t get to order me around.” She replies.

“Save the smart talk until you’re on the ground bleeding. I don’t need to hear the smart talk of a red-head. Too bad, with your facial features and maybe even the freckles, you would look pretty cute. Shame that your stupid hair spoils it all.” I feign some disappointment. I have this girl right where I want her. “Oh, what was your name? Ibis? Like the ugly bird?”

“It’s Iris.” She glares, “What is your problem.”

I realize that any fear in this girl is gone. She’s just pissed now. Crap, where did I overstep the line!? No matter, there is still a way to turn things around. “Oh yes, Iris. I remember now. Like the eye part.” I roll my eyes and press forward. “Maybe you should run along home to your mommy.”

That did it. Iris’s eyes widen almost as far as they could go, then she looks down in sadness. By now, I have completely backed her into the corner, both physically and mentally. Time to let her loose. I remove myself out of her way. “Go.”

She takes a couple steps and then stops. “Wh-why would you do that to me?” Then, without waiting for an answer, she continues walking. This time at a much faster pace.

“...Because. I am the only one worth anything here.”

-----

I also remember the time where I almost ruined her relationship with everyone else.

-----

I’m walking down the locker hallway thingy, a smirk on my face. People turn to stare as I make my way further. I turn to look at someone and he freezes up, so I change course and head towards him.

“O-oh, u-uh. H-h-hello, Mira.” He stammers.

“Please, I’m not here to ruin your life!” I roll my eyes. Then I put on this fake sobby tone. “Oh no! There’s this new girl and I’m so scared because she nearly cried right in front of me-” I break out in laughter and I’m joined by a few other people.

I see Iris appear at the other end of the locker hall and a few guys giggle to themselves. “Crybaby.” “There she is!” “Hee hee!”

Iris frowns, like she’s prone to and spots me. Her face changes to one of recognition as she realizes what I’ve done and she slightly quickens her pace to meet me.
“Oops” I say, “Looks like I’ve been found out!” I break out into another fit of laughter.
“What have you done!?” Iris growls, her slightly-larger-than-average eyes gleaming with anger.
I pat her on the head, “Please. I’m doing you a favor by only accelerating the process. It was only a matter of time before everyone found out your true colors.”
She pushes my hand away. “What do you have against me? I tried to like you, I really did, and this is how you repay me? Have you ever had a friend in your life?”
“Who needs a friend when I can rule everyone?” I state as-a-matter-of-factly.
“Is that really your point of view?” Iris asks softly, then swiftly turns and goes back the other way.

I giggle again. How pushy. This girl needed to be taught a lesson and fast!

-----

Really, thinking back then gets me thinking even more. I didn’t even know it was possible to change so much. I achieved the impossible, I guess. I feel bad for all of those things I did to Iris, and the only reason I could think of for doing all of that was that I was jealous. Jealous that people were paying attention to the ‘new girl’ and not me. Iris was strong though. She was strong and she changed me.

-----

I had my lunch and was sitting at a table, alone. Which was the way I liked it. No petty people bothering me while I ate. I heard scraping though as the chair across from me was pulled out by none other than... Iris?
“What do you think you are doing? This is my table.” I huffed. This girl was really starting to get on my nerves. She was too kind. Annoyingly kind.
“Do you really want to be alone?” Iris asked.
“Yes. Now leave!” I growl and stand up.
She raises her eyebrow and I grit my teeth. She was too stubborn. I need to find a way to distract her. Give her what she wants so she leaves me be. God, I hate this girl. She’s been playing me this whole time. “Why. Why are trying to be so nice to me? What do you hope to achieve?”
Iris seemed to ponder that for a minute before speaking again. “I guess I want to hope that there is something else in you besides jealous rage.”
I feel my body freeze up. What the hell? I did not expect that answer. “Are you saying you are trying to make me ‘nice’?”
“If you want to put it that way, then yes. I am trying to make you ‘nice’.” Iris repeats. “Now, I’m not leaving. You can choose to leave or not, but I’m staying here.

Curse that dumb girl. She knows that I’m not gonna leave. She... she’s backed me into a corner. Yet, there is something respectable about her. Something I admire- No! I can’t think like that. Don’t be stupid Mira. She’s just another dumb freckled red-head. We eat in silence. My mind tells me that I want nothing to do with this girl, but something else tells me... “Iris. How about we make a truce.”
She looks up at me. “That sounds good.”

And it was the best decision of my life.

A Further Progression, A Series of Questions

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I lay on my bed, Sun caws in her cage which she had demanded be brought into my room. No doubt to keep me up all night. I had been shocked when I had found that my hair had been even greener than before. It was almost bluish and pretty bright compared to my usual black hair. Now, though, I am too exhausted to fully comprehend what it all meant. Now, sleep is overtaking me, and I comply, drifting off.

Your time is coming.

I wake up with a start. It’s still dark out, so what woke me up? Even Sun is still asleep in her cage, so why? How come I’m awake. I hear a small noise from across the hall, and I lift up my head. Something felt really weird when I heard the noise. Something on top of my head. Last I checked, there was nothing up there though. There’s the noise again! It felt like... twitching? I feel the top of my head where it feels off and I’m greeted by something hairy. Something tufted. Ears. Horse ears. They are fluffy and I might even like them... if they aren’t attached to my body, which they are. Pulling on them hurts and my normal ears are non-existent. Great. I have horse ears. What next, a tail? I suppress a laugh. This is impossible. Humans don’t just grow horse ears. I must be dreaming. I pinch myself hard. “YEEEOOOWWCCHHH!!”

There is a rustling of feathers and wings as beside me, Sun wakes up. God, dammit. I was trying NOT to wake her up, but so much for this being a dream. I have horse ears. I repeat the sentence in my head. I have... HORSE EARS. Fuck. Oh, fuck. I can’t believe that this is happening. I bury my face in my hands. Sun squawks and I lift up my head. Next to me is a bundle of dark blue-green hair. Hang on, my hair isn’t THAT long. In fact, I think my hair on the back of my head got shorter during the night. My bangs are long as fuck, but the back of my head is full with short sticky-upy hairs that traveled down my neck. So what the fuck is this hair down here? I follow the hair as it goes behind me and I realize what it is. A tail.
“No! I was joking! I didn’t actually want a tail!” I moan and Sun is silent for once. Maybe I finally broke her brain. However, now is not the time to be joking. I have a tail and this is clearly not a dream. This just goes to show, If life deems you to be believing something is impossible, it will surely smack you on the face with something even more impossible.
There is no way I can sleep after learning that I grew horse ears and a tail. That’s just... no. No. I’m just not sleeping. I get up and Sun rattles her cage. “Go back to sleep. I’ll come back later.”

I can tell she’s not happy, but I don’t stick around to see what will happen. For all I know, Sun can melt the bars of her cage, or pick the lock with her beak. I guess we will just find out.
I make my way to the bathroom. My ears turn out to be a lightish gray color and are actually tufted. Interesting, I don’t know many horses with tufted ears, although I don’t know any horses. How long did I end up sleeping, an hour? Two? Too bad, I probably need the sleep considering that I just grew some horse anatomy. Suddenly, something hits me from behind and I crumple... to... the... ground.....

........

I blink open my eyes to see sunlight streaming in the bathroom. I rub the back of my head where a small lump has formed. I turn, hoping to see what hit me, but there is nothing. Something feels off though... something down.. there. I take off my pants and to my horror, something is missing. “Oh shit! What the shit! FUCK!”
I sit on the ground, utterly defeated. This process has stripped my masculinity. I am a girl and I have no idea how to handle it. I look in the mirror and realize that I look a lot like a girl. Well, technically I am one now.. but- ugh! This is so confusing! I lay down on the bathroom floor, hitting my feet on the ground.
CLUNK
What the- that noise doesn’t come from shoes... I look at my feet. “Hooves.” I mutter to myself. Then louder I shout, “HOOVES! I HAVE GOD DAMN HOOVES!!”
I bite my lip. I hate this. I hate this so much and there is nothing I can do about it. Sun was right. Sun was right the whole time. I’m going all the way. I’ve become a damn mare for fuck’s sake! I mean, woman. Stupid. Slips. Of. Tongue.

Speaking of the cursed bird, Sun flies in the room. Her feathers are probably only 20% black now and she doesn’t seem fazed by it. In fact, it almost seems like she’s laughing at me. Then I notice her beak has spots of blood on it. Sun was the one who pecked me unconscious. “Damn it, Sun. What the fuck were you thinking?”

She simply stares. I guess I shouldn’t have expected an answer. If there is one thing Sun can’t do, it’s apparently talk.

-----

I look at Mira. This is one of the few reasons I asked her to watch this movie. To hear this line. Mira knows that I’m not just innocently asking her what was wrong, even though she answered.

“Iris. You knew. You knew that I had repeated it. That’s why you’re making me watch this movie. Of course that’s on top of learning more about who this Sunset character is.” Mira announces, “And I understand why. But, Iris, you’re helping me figure out who I am, but who are you?”

I look down, “I-I don’t know. It will come with time, though. I hope.”

“Syn- Iris.” Mira says in a somewhat scolding tone, apparently correcting herself from calling me the wrong name. Funny, she blew up at me earlier for calling her Sunset by accident. “It’s 9:34. What are we going to do next? Finish watching or go to bed.”

“I literally just slept” I remind her, “Twice. You can sleep in my bed if you’re tired, though.”

“Maybe in a bit. I want to finish the movie.” Mira decides. So we settle down again and continue watching.

Somewhat through the movie, Mira grabs some of her hair and began. “It’s funny, Iris. Do you remember when I had a strange hatred towards red-heads? Never did I think at that time that someday I would be a red-head.”

“True. I guess you stole my red hair.” I smile, subtly reminding Mira how I now have dark brown hair. I ponder for a moment how I would be reacting to all of this if I were alone, without Mira. I would probably take this a lot worse. I guess having someone by my side helps. If something happens, I’ll be with Mira.
Six years ago, I would have hated the thought of spending the rest of my life with her. Now though, things have changed. We are closer than ever. Years ago, Mira tried to ruin me, but then she made amends. I wasn’t too popular, but I wasn’t treated like dirt either.

The movie was nearing its end. The final battle. The music battle between the Dazzlings and the Rainbooms. It was funny because the person who sings next wasn’t in the Rainbooms. It was Sunset Shimmer and Mira was shocked. I thought it was pretty obvious that Sunset would end up singing, but I guess for Mira, who relates a little too much with Sunset, it was on a whole different level.

“I sing.” She states, still staring at her animation counterpart.
“That you do.” I reply.
Mira’s jaw hangs open. As Sunset Shimmer activates her anthro form, Mira nods. “That’s me right now. Just without orange skin.”
“Yes, It does look a lot like you.” I agree. To be honest, I don’t know who I am supposed to be, so I can’t help with this, but Mira. Oh Mira. She’s almost a 100% match to this Anthro Sunset Shimmer now.
Mira is glued to the screen until the credits where a certain spoiler is revealed. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t watched it yet.
“That’s it. I’m going to bed. Good night, Sy- ugh, I mean, Iris.” Mira huffs and disappears down the hall. I can hear her mutter “Weirdo Hasbro” and I probably wouldn’t be able to hear that without pony ears.

-----

Okay, look. It’s quite obvious that I don’t sound like Sunset Shimmer. At least not to my understanding and at least not yet, I don’t think. The thing about having your voice change is it is so gradual that you often don’t notice the change at all. There is one way you can tell however and that is through recordings. My plan is simple. I record my voice every day until a change is evident. I need to know everything that happens to me and this is just one thing, but an important one.
So I take out my laptop, which I don’t think Iris is aware I have with me yet, and record my voice.

“This is Mira checking in. Day 1 of the changes. Apparent Cutie mark. Cutie mark resembles that of a red and yellow sun. Hair has changed color and length and resembles a mane. Previous hair color, blonde. New hair color, red and yellow. Eye color change. Previous eye color, gray. New eye color, aqua, I guess. Walking on balls of feet. Ears have changed to become pony ears. Color of ears, pale orange. Tail growth. Tail color, red and yellow. Random slips of tongue. Based on this evidence, it can be deducted that I am becoming Sunset Shimmer from My Little Pony. Will check back in tomorrow.”

I shut my Laptop and change into pajamas. Again, I doubt that Iris knows that I had brought everything I needed to stay for a while. I make sure my tail isn’t caught up in the fabric and lay down on the bed. These changes are gonna cause pretty much nothing but trouble until I figure out how to cope with them. Regardless, it doesn’t take long to fall asleep.

-----

I look around. Something strange is definitely going on. I feel a very strange disturbance that seems to be coming from the portal in front of the school. I need to go see it, but I don’t know how to. If I get caught by Celestia or Luna, it will be hard to explain that I need to go back to Equestria for reasons that even I didn’t know. I look around and slowly make my way through darkened hallways until the bell rings. This is my chance! With all of the students out and about, no one will ever suspect me of leaving the school! I make my way to the front doors and I’m about to exit before I am stopped by a voice.
“Sunset Shimmer?” I turn, wide-eyed to see Fluttershy. “Where are you going?”
“Oh, uh...” I take a deep breath. “I need to go back to Equestria.”
“Right now!? But are you sure?” Fluttershy’s eyes reflect the worry in my heart. Leaving Canterlot High is almost a death sentence. Without me, the rest of my friends can’t unleash the true power of their elements. They will be missing my element. Whatever that is. Actually, I’m not even sure I have one.
“Trust me, Fluttershy. Something strange is going on in Equestria and I need to check it out. Should anything go on here, use the notebook.” I wink and make my way through the doors. As I walk, I call behind me, “Don’t forget to tell the others!”
I see Fluttershy nod and that destroys the last bit of my worry that anything would happen. The statue is just within reach now. I squeeze my eyes shut and jump through.
When I open my eyes next, I am in an unfamiliar castle. It’s not Canterlot castle, so where am I? I’ve come out of the mirror, but it seems to be powered by a strange device and connected to that device is... Celestia’s notebook!? It must be powering the machine so that the mirror portal is always open. I don’t want anyone following me, so I take the notebook. This way, I can keep tabs with Fluttershy to know if anything is up. Then I cast a tracking spell so I can make my way back when needed. Now to find my way out of this castle...
“Hello!? Anyone home!?” No answer. I make my way through the castle until I reach a room with six thrones and a smaller one. They are emblazoned with cutie marks which I realize belong to Twilight and her friends from this world. This must be Twilight’s castle that Spike was talking about. I’m gonna bet that the small throne is for Spike. There is a main hallway just outside which has to lead me out of the castle, so I follow it.
Sure enough, I am finally greeted with the cool moist air of the outside. It feels great to be in an atmosphere not tainted with gas and fossil fuels. Something’s wrong though. It’s deathly silent. No other ponies are around. I’m all alone.

That’s what I thought, until a voice nearly frightened me out of my fur. “So, how did I miss you?”

A swivel around to see a draconequus. But the only living draconequus left is Discord who’s petrified in stone! “You can’t be... Discord.”

“Bingo! Congrats!” A bunch of confetti randomly appears, sticking in my mane and tail. Discord claps his mismatched hands and the confetti disappears. “But really, how did you manage to escape me?”

I realize that telling Discord about the portal would put certain friends in danger, so I do the only logical thing. “I won’t reveal that information.”

Discord shrugs. “No matter. Everypony is already gone. I disposed of them all. It doesn’t matter that you were a bit late to the party. I make sure that all of my guests are satisfied.”

“What?” I mutter. “What are you talking about?”

“For five score, divided by four!”

My vision fades to whiteness.

-----

I wake up cold and sweaty. I had that dream again. The same one as always. Sunlight filters in through the window. I sit up and just stare ahead for a bit. I now have a better understanding of what happens in the dream. To my understanding, Sunset left Canterlot High to go check on Twilight, but stupid dragon thing got to her first. That just posed the question, where was Twilight?

Ugh, my head hurts really bad for some reason. It’s pounding hard. I try to ignore it for now. Maybe I’ll ask Iris for some medicine later.

I leave the room. Iris is in the kitchen, cooking something that smells good and holding a spatula. Pancakes. She looks up and her expression scares me. “Uh, Mira? Have you looked in a mirror today?”

What is she looking at? My hair, which is probably messy? My forehead? Oh... Oh. That explains the headaches. I close my eyes and mutter “Good lord.” before feeling the horn on my head.

“Congrats.” I say in a sarcastic tone, “Today, the world learned that unicorns are real.”

Iris frowns and flips the pancake with the spatula. “You looked pained when you walked in. Was it hurting you?”

“Correction. Is. It’s not as bad as when I woke up though. Just a bit sore.” I answer. My stomach growls and I realize I have a really odd feeling. “Iris. I’m craving hay.”

Iris grimaces. “You want hay!?”

I nod sheepishly. What? Hay just sounds so good! Wait, why would I want hay, unless... I feel the teeth on the roof of my mouth with my thumb. They are flat, like a pony. “There’s no meat for breakfast today, is there?”

“No. Wait, we are herbi- oh my god, We are!” Iris says, licking her teeth. “That sucks. We can’t eat some good meat, now.”

“Frankly, meat sounds awful right now.” I curl my lip. “You better not think about making meat for dinner.”

Iris grins. “Your turn to cook. So you better not think about making meat.”

I smirk and let out a chuckle, “Wouldn’t dream of it.”

One realization is caught, In minds are many thoughts

View Online

I finish cooking the pancakes and begin to plate them. Out of the corner of my eye, I suddenly see Mira stiffen. “Mira?”

She looks down, “Iris... tell me, what on earth could make this noise?” I hear a clunking noise under the table. My eyes widen about as far as they will go and I hurriedly put the rest of the pancakes on the plate so as not to burn them and then crouch on the ground. I poke my shoe and it slides right off. My sock flies limp in the air. As I remove the sock I see it. There is a dark blue hoof under my sock.

“I think we have just crossed the anthro line.” I say, barely hearing myself. This whole thing was weird before, but for some reason, hooves just feel the most unnatural. Yes, I say that with a tail and pony ears.

Mira shakes her head. “Come on, Synth- damn it! I did it again! I keep trying to call you... Synthesis.”

“Synthesis?” I repeat, frowning. “Well, I sometimes get the sudden urge to call you Sunset if that compensates for it.”

Mira looks taken aback. I assume it’s from me calling her Sunset, but her words say otherwise. “Iris, are you really that dense?”

I roll my eyes and feign annoyance, “Here we go again. What did you find out this time?”

Mira closes her eyes as if in thought. “Look Iris. I’m turning into Sunset Shimmer, you want to call me Sunset Shimmer. You are turning into a blue pony that we don’t know the name of and I want to call you Synthesis. Connection, maybe?”

I facepalm. How did I not see this before. Gosh, Mira was right, I am dense! So now we know my ‘character’s name. “I’ll look this up after breakfast.” I state, serving the pancakes and some syrup.

Mira nods, picking up the syrup and dousing her pancakes in it. She catches me looking at her and shrugs, “Hey, I can’t have bacon but at the very least I can syrup! What if it turns out ponies can have syrup? I’m am not gonna let that happen.”

I let out a chuckle and turn back to my own food. I don’t normally eat syrup with my pancakes. Sometimes I wonder why I even buy any. Well at least I have some for Mira who apparently loves syrup. I never knew that about her, to be honest.

We finish eating and I log on to my computer. I type up “MLP Synthesis” and hit the search.

“I- uh, have to do something.” Mira says and exits the room.

I shrug. I couldn’t have stopped her if I tried. The first thing that pops up is “Nu OC. Synthesis.” and it sounds good aside from the misspelling of ‘new’, so I click it.

Synthesis is a pone that is vere strong. She is a alcorn that was the prinses of harmony. she desided that she did not want to be a prinses becus the wurld was beeng threatened and harmony wood be destroid. she beecame an urth pone and apljack’s sistr. this was becus she wanted to fit in. she cood not remembur that she was a prinses and thot that she was alays apljack’s sistr. her cootie mark is a plant becus she plants all of the seeds.

Great. I’m a child’s Mary Sue character. How does that even work!? How the heck did I manage to become this child’s creation which just so happens TO BE THE MOST FRICKEN MARY SUE OUT THERE!? I’M A FUCKING ALICORN PRINCESS THAT TURNED INTO AN EARTH PONY AND APPLEJACK’S SISTER?? WHAT THE CRAP??

I bury my face in my hands and just sit there for a bit. Fuck me. Fuck me. Fuck me. I hate it. I hate this. It was all fine and dandy until I figured out that I was a goddamn alicorn princess. I hear myself emit a slight screech. I can hear the bronies now. ‘Haha! So OP!’ ‘Mary Sue!’ ‘Give up now!’

I get up from the chair and just collapse in my bed. Damn, something is gone. My chest is flat. Frankly, I probably should be more worried that my boobs magically disappeared, but I’m just so mindfucked that I really don’t think too hard about it. Stupid children OCs.

-----

“Come on! COME ON!” I yell, focusing all of my might on the pencil sitting on the counter in front of me. “Stupid horn! WORK! I swear I’ll chop you off if you don’t perform at least some magic!”

The pencil doesn’t even budge. There has to be SOMETHING I’m doing wrong! I refuse to believe for one instant that magic might not work. I’m turning into a unicorn. Magic must be real.

I strain, attempting at getting even the slightest spark of magic. Perhaps if I use a magic word it would have a different effect... nope. I don’t know any. Never really cared about that stuff.

“Okay.” I say out loud. “Focus, Mira. There must be something different in the way one thinks about magic. There has to be, otherwise every unicorn in Equestria would be super powerful Twilight clones.” I sit down, close my eyes and just stay there for a minute, not really doing much of anything. Not even thinking.

Hang on... Ponies had to have just learned magic at some point, so how? I stare at the pencil. Silently searching for clues. Then, I hear footsteps. No, no, no! I can’t let Iris see me doing this before I figure it out! She’ll think I’m mad!! And if she sees me, she’ll ask me what I’m doing!
I feel a pull on my gut that was so sudden it almost hurt and my eyes feel like they’re on fire. Then it gets so intense that I know I have to stop it somehow, but how- “AGGGHHHHHH”
The footsteps turn into running footsteps and then it let’s go. The pain stops and I slam my head into the counter as softly as I could.
“...Mira? Are you-” I hear Iris’s voice give way and I tilt my head towards her to see her staring, dumbstruck. What now?
“Why are you staring now, you l-”
Iris cuts me off, “Mira... are you doing... magic?”
I snap my head up to see the pencil hovering in the air with a light sea green aura around it and I notice a slight tingling sensation in my horn. A controllable sensation. I let go and it clatters to the ground. “...I did it... I did it!”
I pick up the pencil again with magic and chuck it across the room. I hear a THUMP! behind me and I turn.
Iris has fainted. Again.
Something feels off about the way my body is balancing, but I already have hooves, so what now? I look down and release my breasts have gone missing. Shit. Shit, shit, shit. That’s right! Horse’s privates are all in one place and there’s no way in hell I’m taking off my pants just to see my nipples. I’ll take it for granted and pretend like I know they are there. Wow, I guess we really are going all the way. Iris? I hope you have enough food for until we figure this out, because there is no way we will be able to go to the store.
I get up. I need to get dressed sooner or later, so I guess I’ll do that now while Iris is out cold. Woohoo, time to find my missing boobs. I go into Iris’s room and retrieve some clothes that include a scarlet short-sleeved shirt, skinny blue jeans, underwear which I will refrain from describing to you perverts and my jacket. I guess I don’t need a bra anymore, so I’ll just leave that there. Then I head to the bathroom.

I undress to another little surprise. I have fur on my arms. It’s light orange, matching my ears and my horn. My tits are exactly where expected and I quickly get dressed again. Let me just say this; Getting dressed is a hell of a lot easier with levitation spells. I brush my hair and it goes to the same hairstyle as human Sunset Shimmer. That still shouldn’t be possible. Not at all.
I have an idea, a crazy one, but an idea. I sit down and begin brushing my tail. “You know,” I say out loud to myself, “I could hold this brush with magic...”
It will take time to get used to my magic. I’m not sure that I want to always use magic, but I supposed that I’ll lose my fingers eventually and magic will be very helpful. Shrugging, I drop the brush and catch it with my levitation spell and continue to brush.
After a while, I let go of the brush and stand up. Time to go wake up Iris, again. She’s still passed out on the floor and this time, instead of kicking her, which I’m sure would hurt more with hooves as opposed to boots, I pick her up. She’s surprisingly light for a twenty-five year old, but I’ll still need to drag her on the ground.
I pull her over to the couch and take a deep breath. Here we go! I lift her up and, with all of my strength, I chuck her onto the couch.
Iris gasps as soon as she hits the couch and she scrambles up. Her voice is a bit hoarse “Wh-what the heck just happened!?”
I shrug, “I threw you.”
“You... threw me!?” Iris can’t seem to choose what emotion she wants to show. She seems to be flickering between anger and... admiration?
I nod slowly and Iris blinks and lets out a yawn. For the first time, I get a good look at her teeth. They are flat and even. Perfect for, uh, chewing?
Iris still has her pajamas on and she doesn’t seem to be aware of the new ‘hair’ growth on her arms. I grin wickedly and Iris notices this saying “Uh, Mira? Are you okay?”

I feel the hair on the back of my neck stand on end as I charge up my horn and pull back the sleeve on Iris’s left arm. Instinctively, she grabs her sleeve, but then realizes why I pulled it up. She gasps and touches the blue fur on her arm, flinching as she felt it.

“This... this is legit?” She half whispers and blinks some more. “I-”

I cut her off, “Don’t faint again. If you faint every time something happens, I swear I'll- I'll... I don’t even know what I will do!”

“Yeah... I won't...” Iris seems distant.
“Oh, hey. Iris. Before you, uh, fainted, you were in your room, right? I swear you screamed or something. What’s up.” I say. I sound too sympathetic, don’t I?

“Oh, uhmm...” I swear Iris is blushing slightly. “Yeah, uh, about that...”

“God dammit, Iris! Just tell me.” I yell.
“Okay! Okay! I’mafuckingalicornprincessthatrepresentsharmonyanddecidedtobecomeanearthpony.” She says all too fast. Seriously, didn’t know she had that in her. Then she adds “Oh, did I mention I’m Applejack’s step-sister or something?”

I stare at her blankly, only really catching that last part. Applejack’s step-sister? Really... even I know that having that sort of relationship with the main characters is bad and I just joined this fandom yesterday. “Say the first part again?”
Iris takes a deep breath, “I am a alicorn princess of harmony that decided unless she stepped down from her position, harmony would be destroyed and so she became an earth pony. Only the most Mary Sue out there.”

I burst out laughing. I can’t place my finger on it, but something about the fact that Iris is becoming a Mary Sue is just ridiculous. I shut up when I notice Iris glaring at me.

Then she continues, “Okay, maybe not the most Mary Sue out there, but still!”
“Sorry, Synth! Can’t help you out there!” I say between giggles.

“Yeah. Thanks, Sunset.” She says, emphasis on Sunset. Oops. I guess I called her ‘Synth’ again.

She huffs, “I don’t think I can live with myself anymore.”

-----

Sun squawks and opens her beak multiple times.

“Whaddya want?” I grunt. I’m ready to leave this enclosed pit of hell of a bathroom.

The blasted bird doesn’t respond, but I feel something roll down my chin. I wipe my chin and a chill overcomes me as I see my own blood again. “But, I, you got my head, nowhere near my chin!”

Then I taste the metallic blood in my mouth. My lip. I wipe my lip and find it bleeding pretty heavily for a lip. But what on earth could have punctured my... oh... oh no way. I recall biting my lip but... I look in the mirror and open my mouth, revealing needle sharp fangs.

Only one thought ran through my head.

What kind of horse has fangs?

Show to me a mare, One who doesn't look all there

View Online

Good news, I’m more Edward now. It’s good news because fangs are precisely what I wanted right now. Tattoo, freaky yellow eyes, green hair, horse ears and tail, fangs, genderswap, what’s next? Should I try to suck blood? Get HIV? Can horses even get HIV? Probably not.

My furry ears are met with a sound that seems like a cross between the shrill shriek of a red-tailed hawk and the soft cry of singing that you would never expect to hear from a bird. It has notes, like someone humming. I turn my head to look at Sun. “Did you make that noise?”

The flame-colored bird cocks her head at me. Then she emits the sound again, this time without the screech.

I stand, noting how my legs differed in anatomy now. My knees were seemingly missing and my ankles are where my knees once were. There are streaks of gray fur along the lower halves of my legs, but they seem to be absent above my knee/ankle things.

The time has at last come for me to leave this wretched bathroom. I walk a bit, forgetting that a certain something was missing. I freeze and then sigh. I’m done. I’m so, so done. If it wasn’t real before it is now and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Suddenly I am overcome with nausea. Oh no! I can’t go down aga...

-----

The older ponies stood above me, forcing me to cower in fear. “You’ll never be a lunar guard! You’re too dumb and weak!”

“I can do it! I believe in Luna! I believe in the power of night!” I cried out.

“Don’t be a silly filly. Luna would never choose you to guard her.

-----

The room was large and almost as intimidating as the guard that stood in front of me and the rest of the new trainees. He was taller than most ponies and had muscles rippling under his gray pelt. His glaring, yellow eyes seemed to burn off my fur, sear my leathery wings.

“AttenTION!” He yelled out. His voice was almost as harsh as Luna’s when she addressed us with the Royal Canterlot Voice. “You all think you want to be Luna’s guards? You think you have what it takes? Well, let me tell you this. Luna only gets the best of the best for guards. The elite. You need more strength than a bodybuilder, more speed than a wonderbolt! More intimidation than ol’ Celestia herself!”

Well, I had speed. Strength, not so much. But I had to try!

“If you don’t think you have this, then leave NOW!” The guard ordered, stamping his hoof on the ground. No pony left.

The guard made his way to the first stallion in line. “You certainly have muscle, but are you fast? To me, you look like a slug could beat you in a race!”

The stallion shrank back in fear as the guard made his way down the line. I attempted to calm my racing heart, my quickening breath, but I still jump when I hear the guards voice closing in.

“You.” The guard said to the mare beside me. “What do you have to offer?”

The mare grinned in a sly way. “Pshh, this reminds me of that reality television show with the Wonderbolts! I’m not afraid of you!”

“Cocky, are we? I’m sure that will change. If your hooves can even take you from this line, that is.” The guard turned toward me. “Please, what a joke! You’re smaller than my cat!”

“G-Give me a chance!” I stuttered, desperately trying to get my words out.

“Why should I? Why shouldn’t I kick you out now?”

My voice wouldn’t come. I tried so hard, but it wouldn’t come out. Then a surge of courage rose up in me, like a burning fire freshly lit. “My mother is part royalty. She’s a descendant of Queen Lunibris.”

He raised an eyebrow, “You can’t be all THAT connected to her. You look more like an exiled sun-worshiper.” Then he moved on to the next pony, another stallion.

Despite my comeback, I still took what the guard said to heart. Maybe he was right, maybe I couldn’t be a lunar guard. And all those who don’t make it have to work in the awful, low paying city. I couldn’t do that to my mother, who despite her former royalty, was now poor as dirt.

-----

“Now we will do one on one combat. Only the winners get to stay. Go all out and remember, this will hurt. You,” The guard pointed at me, “Will be facing off against Brawny Hoof.”

I looked at my opponent and gulped. He was twice my size and his sleek gray fur hid powerful muscles underneath. The motto coursed through my brain until I was screaming in my head:

We are POWERFUL
We are STRONG
With might, we will NEVER be vanquished!

His blond mohawk to his large hooves, this hulking beast was the living definition of strength.

I barely heard the guard cry out for us to go, but I’m glad I did, not that it would have saved me from the crushing pain that soon followed. Brawny Hoof slammed into me and threw me up with such force that I was surprised he didn't break every bone in my body. I slammed to the ground, already feeling defeated. Unfortunately for me, Brawny didn't stop there. He charged me again, but this time, I managed to get to my hooves and nimbly evade his movements.

I looked back at the stallion. He was clearly disoriented by his prey escaping from his grasp, so I took that moment to leap on his back. I slammed my hoof down on his spine and he yelped in pain. Hooves, who knew? I had little time to celebrate as shortly after, I found myself hurtling through the air, bucked off. I landed on my hooves, but sound found myself in the same predicament as before with him ready to charge me. I could do the same thing I did before, but I would wear myself out before I actually did some damage. No, I could use my ground speed to my advantage and outwit him.

Just before Brawny crashed into me, I sidestepped and stuck out my hoof, tripping him and letting him crash into the ground. I rushed over and did a pivot before kicking him in his face. Had he been smaller, there would have been no way for me to hit him like that without falling.

He staggered upward one more time, but his movements were sluggish compared to before. He was likely in shock that I actually hit him that hard. He lumbered over to me, casting a large shadow on my body. Then he reared up on his hind legs. I realized too late what he was about to do and I found myself crushed under the huge mass. I struggled to breath. I struggled to hear. I could barely make out words.

“Enough!” The weight lifted and I sat up, my mane a mess and sweat dripping down my gray coat. The guard stepped right up to me and in my face he spat, “You lost! That just proves you aren’t fit enough to be here.”

I was about to make a retort about how Brawny didn’t really do anything when it seemed the entire room darkened. Other ponies looked around, fear and shock mingled in the air. “Stop. This pony has proven worthy.”

I looked up and beheld a rare sight. The midnight blue coat. The flowing starry mane. I was looking at Princess Luna herself. “Thou hast done well, faithful pony. Unlike our sister, We will not waste time dawdling.” She turned to the guard. “Thou must now make a rule. Add it to thy motto. We are powerful. We are strong. We are clever. Teach thy recruits the ways of intelligence and wit in battle. It seems even we need to learn lessons from time to time. And you.” The princess addressed me again. I was surprised by her suddenly more casual talk. “You have trouble in your future, but you will stand strong. However, I have been watching you. You would make a great tactician. The prime example of a fine guard and I couldn’t be more proud of someone related to me; Even if many generations and family trees lie between us. Remember, you have forever changed the ways of the lunar guards and though your kingdom may be gone, your status remains in your heart, Nocturna, princess of the Dusk Warriors.”

So much for ‘Might will vanquish everything.’ I watched as Princess Luna extends her wings and takes off. I don’t take my eyes off of the serene princess until she is out of sight. Then I hear the clearing of the throat from behind me. Sheepishly, I turn to see the guard. He glared at me with his stone cold eyes. Then his gaze softened, “Princess Nocturna, I am sorry”

I couldn’t help but let out a snort. Just a moment ago he didn’t seem to care about my former status. Still, former is former. “Sir, I am no longer a princess. My kingdom doesn’t exist.”

“Princess Luna referred to you as a princess, so a princess you are.” The guard insisted.
I didn’t have the will to argue with the guard so I merely shrugged.

“You both will continue on in training, but I need time to rethink this entire regime. Go back to the dorms. All of you.”

The guard waved us away, seemingly done, but I swear I heard him mutter “Damn you, princess” and it made me wonder just who he was talking about.

I could feel another hot gaze on my back and I turned to see Brawny. Heh, no doubt he was pissed. He beat me fair and square (Mind you, by doing next to nothing) and yet I still got to move on. Oh and did I mention I was personally addressed by Princess Luna? Yeah, pretty cool.

-----

The guard had brought us to a clearing in a very small, lightly wooded forest. At one end of the forest I could make out a dark blue banner, on the other side, a light pink banner.

“All of you be partaking in this challenge at once. It is Capture the Flag. This is the last hurdle to becoming a Lunar Guard. You win, you become a guard. Simple as that.” The guard then glared at each of us, “Two teams. Team Dusk and Team Dawn. Dawn go to the pink banner, Dusk to the blue one.”

He then began dividing us up. “Dusk, Dawn, Dawn, Dusk, Dusk...” The guard looked at me, “Ah yes, Dawn”

I made my way over to the Dawn team. It was composed of four other ponies; Typhoon, a tall, but quick, stallion; he had a cutie mark of a hurricane, Lancia, a small mare, surprisingly strong with the cutie mark of a leathery wing, Wind Runner, a tricky stallion with incredible speed and unique white fur and red eyes with the cutie mark of wind; and Claw Mark, the large stallion whom was first in line when the guard was assessing us and had the cutie mark of three red, vertical lines.

“Make your plans and you will begin when I give the word.” The guard shouted through an intercom. I noticed then that some of the trees were rigged with speakers.

“I’ve got an idea.” I began, snagging the other pony’s attentions. “Lancia, you’ll go as a distraction, your strength will throw most ponies off guard. Claw Mark, you will stay here and guard the base, your size and strength make you perfectly suited for defense. Typhoon, you patrol to make sure that our base is safe. If you see someone, let us know. Wind Runner, you will go for the flag from the right side while I’ll take the left. Lancia, you’ll go first. Then, Typhoon, begin your patrol. When you draw ponies in, Lancia, let out a shout. At that time, me and Wind will go for the flag. I have faith in this plan.”

“I’m down for it.” Wind said when I finally finished.

“But I wanna do more than just stand here.” Claw Mark growled. “Why can’t I fight?”

“Trust me Claw, you will fight. As long as our enemies aren’t all incompetent idiots, they will most likely make it close to here even with Typhoon patrolling.”

Claw Mark let out an inaudible mutter, but he sat down, clearly not going anywhere.

“GO!!!”

Lancia and Typhoon shot out of sight, and me and Wind Runner exchanged glances. We were both ready.

“AYYYIIIIIAAAAAAHHHHH”

“That was Lancia,” Wind Runner said and he darted off to the right.

“Do us good, Claw Mark,” I called over my shoulder before going off on my path.

The terrain was rough, littered with tree stumps and I almost tripped a couple of times, yet I kept running. I wondered where Wind was at the moment. Equal level? Farther ahead? No doubt Wind Runner was faster than me.

“Where do you think you’re going?” I heard a growl behind me? I spun around to see Brawny. Oh sweet Luna, he’s still angry.

“Look, I’d love to kick your ass, but I’m busy at the moment.” I spat.

“Ahaha, you’re not going anywhere.” A new voice joined in from behind me.

I swiveled around to see the sly one who was next to me in the line. Her name was Vixen, a perfect fit for her sinister nature. She was ruthless and cold in battle. A powerful foe. Her and Brawny would tear me apart!

Brawny made the first move. A heavy hit aimed toward my head. His movements were slow and clunky and with the training I had received, I easily dodged it. He then leapt at me, attempting to pin me down, but I jumped forward and did a pivot-kick on his behind as he skidded on the forest floor. I jumped onto his back, but another force overtook me from behind. Vixen! The mare grabbed my neck and threw me off of Brawny. I twisted my body and got a glimpse of her. She looked like a complete psychopath! Her hoof connected with my jaw and I was flung upward like a ragdoll. As I hit the ground, I wondered if breaking bones was a mere fairy tale. I didn’t have much time to think about though as Brawny and Vixen were both closing in on me.

A blur of gray flashed across my vision and Vixen was gone. I swept out Brawny’s feet from under him and observed what just happened. It was Typhoon; the long-legged stallion had come to my aid.

“Sorry I took so long, Nocturna. You run along ahead. Your friend is waiting.” Typhoon said, winking. What a way to conceal info!

“But, Typhoon, they’re out of your league!” I protested.

“I just need to buy you time. Now go!” Typhoon gave me a shove just before he deflected one of Vixen’s blows.

I galloped ahead to get a running start before taking off, flying just above the forest ground. The area was closing in now and I knew I was getting close. There! I saw a bit of midnight blue in front of me. I quickened my pace but something hit me from below, screwing up my entire flying pattern and I crashed to the ground.

The trainee who hit me was Gray Heart, a small mare who only made it this far due to luck. She wouldn’t be alone. Surely this team wasn’t that stupid!

Gray Heart emitted a loud whine even though I hadn’t yet touched her.

“Really, Gray? Trouble already?” I heard another voice. Medio, a stallion with a dark coat, appeared. He was shaking with obvious annoyance but that all changed the moment he lay eyes on me. “Oh, look what we have here.”

I saw something move above me and moments after, a shape leapt out of the nearest tree and bowled over Medio.

“Wind! Okay, what’s with all of these stallions dropping in from out of nowhere?” I asked while staring down Gray Heart, who cowered in fear.

Wind Runner positioned himself so that he was back-to-back with me, “Maybe you’re just too cute to resist.”

“You can’t seriously be flirting with me at a time like this!” I exclaimed.

“Maybe not, but perhaps I wasn’t flirting in the first place,” Wind throws a punch at Medio which connects and sends him flying.

Suddenly, Gray Heart spazzed out and leapt at me, making an awful gurgling noise. I was frozen in place but I was jerked to the side and Wind Runner blocked Gray Heart’s wild attack.

“What the hell is wrong with her!?” I sputtered out. The young mare suddenly looked crazy, her eyes wide and glowing red and drool dripped out of her mouth.

“I’m not sure.” Wind Runner admitted, “I’ve never seen anything like it!”

Gray Heart leapt again, much faster than before, and landed hard on Wind Runner’s shoulders. He buckled and she repeatedly slammed her hooves in again and again.

I tried to knock Gray Heart off, but as I pounced, something grabbed me by the tail. Medio was behind me, ready to bring pain.

“HARRUUMPH!” Wind Runner yelled out and I caught a glimpse of his throwing Gray Heart off. Instead of turning to attack, he swiveled towards the flag. He snagged it and ran.

“Run with the wind at your back, Wind Runner!” I cried out. I just had to hold my own against these two until Wind Runner made it across the boundary line.

Medio was circling me and Gray Heart bounced on her hooves with an insane expression. The psychopathic mare hurled herself at my chest, fangs bared. Then, when she was only inches away from me, everything froze.

“The challenge is now over. Team Dawn is the winner. Everyone meet me in the center circle.”

As I looked at my assaulter, the glow in her eyes faded. The freezing spell dissipated and she crashed into me. Knocked to the ground, I looked up. Gray Heart immediately leapt off of me and looked at the ground sheepishly.

“This isn’t over! I- I will- I must become a guard! Where will my life be now?” Medio collapsed to the ground and began sobbing. It was actually a pretty hilarious sight.

Different words rang through my head. Team Dawn is the winner. I won. You would make a great tactician. Is that what I was? A tactician? My cutie mark shows a moon and a crown, resembling my lost status, but perhaps being a tactician is what I am meant to do in the Lunar Guards. Alongside my new partners, Typhoon, Lancia, Claw Mark, and Wind Runner.

-----

I get up, my head hurting, but what really shocks me is the searing pain in my back. Well, seeing as I haven’t left the bathroom yet, I might as well check. I lift up my shirt to see two lumpy things on my back. What the absolute shit?

The future sings, And memories ring

View Online

Mira excuses herself from the room and I am left with my thoughts. Perhaps I can somehow make my life better, but if I sprout wings and a horn, I swear my life will be over! My ‘special talent’ can’t be changed, so I guess I’ll have to look into starting my own farm. And that’s only if the special talent carries through the transformation. Actually, how would I even do that in the form of a small horse? Princess of Harmony? Not anymore. Looks like Twilight will have her hands full, not that any Princess of Harmony appeared in the show. I wonder what Mira is doing...

-----

I lift up my laptop screen. Hopefully, Iris doesn’t walk in on me. I pull up my last recording and hit the play button. “This is Mira checking in. Day 1 of the changes...”

It’s weird. It’s like listening to a younger version of yourself, but I know was only from yesterday. I don’t even need to record, I know my voice is different.

Something has been nagging at the back of my mind since this whole thing started. Are me and Iris alone in this or are others suffering? I type on into Google Turning into a pony and hit enter. The first thing that pops up is FIMfiction. Yep, cause that’s gonna help. I type in Cutie Mark appearing on thigh and yet, still nothing of importance comes up. Why don’t I have as good of luck as Iris who apparently found her pony’s entire backstory on the internet?

Something caught my attention, however, and I clicked a link titled “Horse with colorful hair and m...” and it takes me to a familiar site titled www.ponytheorist4life.com. I actually found that site shortly after I watched a couple of episodes.

I scan through the document and read it:

Recently, I came across a picture of a horse-like creature with fangs and bat wings. The coat color was gray, the mane was a greenish color and it had a picture of a yellow circle with a crown on its flank. I was wondering what it was, as I have never seen it before. The only thing that crosses my mind when I see it is ‘Five score divided by four’.

Five score divided by four? Why does that sound familiar... I read the first comment.

Are you an idiot? It’s a pony from My Little Pony. Do you live under a rock!?

Five... score... That’s it! Those are the words from my dreams! Discord always said them before the white light. That means... this guy is going through the same thing as me and Iris. I click his username, shadednocturn1995. If 1995 was his birthday, that would make him the same age as me... freaky.

I hit ‘Send Message’ and take a deep breath. Let’s hope shadednocturn doesn’t think I’m a psycho.

Hello shadednocturn1995,

I understand that you had some inquiries about a cartoon horse. Maybe not cartoon? More like physical and quite literally in the flesh? I wanted to ask if you maybe came across “Five score divided by four” in a dream. If so, I may be going through the same thing as you and we desperately need to get together. Please reply ASAP.

sunsetshimmer51

...and I hit send. I really hope that shadednocturn actually heeds this message and doesn’t chicken out. Regardless, it’s somehow relieving to know that me and Iris aren’t the only ones going through this. Maybe I’m not as alone as I originally thought.

-----

The first thing I do after finding the strange bumps is head to my room and get onto my desktop. I type into the search bar ‘horse with fangs’ and one of the results is actually one that also has leathery bat-like wings as well. Are those the things on my back? Just what is it? I go to a reliable website, www.ponytheorist4ever.com, and start up a new thread. I type in my plea and just a couple minutes later, I get the first reply.

Are you an idiot? It’s a pony from My Little Pony. Do you live under a rock!?

My Little Pony? Of course I’ve heard of it, but I don’t know much of anything about it. Especially not what the characters look like. Hang on, I have a message from someone named sunsetshimmer51.

I scan through the message. Shit. This isn’t good! How’d they know what was really going on? Unless they’re telling the truth and they really are going through the same thing as me. Maybe it would serve me well to get in touch with this person.

“Sun!” I call. Perhaps the overly intelligent bird will have her own opinion.

She flies in, and fire seems to be flying off her tail. I realise how her body shape has changed. It’s more defined; more resembling of a graceful bird.

“Turn off the fire before you burn down the house!” I mutter harshly, hoping that she does in fact have control over them. She whistles a tune and blinks. “Fine, whatever. I think I found someone going through these changes too. What do you think, should we seek them out? They knew I heard ‘five score’ in a dream and were hinting at the changes.”

She shakes her head and whistles. Somehow, I just know exactly what she means. Wait. Perhaps until the changes are complete? It will be less consequential if I leave when I’m a full pony. But I should at least message this person back.

I sit on the message screen, unknowing what to write. Then my hands seem to guide me.

For Five Score, Divided by Four
Your memories removed, your body confused
For your insolence you must pay
Cast off to a land far far away
To scatter the six, just the start of my tricks
Your mind shall be weak, your outlooks bleak
Forgetting everything and living like a fool
You have all lost, now no one can stop my rule!

I read over what I had written. Where did this even come from? Something inside me tells me that I need to send this. Well, whatever. Maybe the person on the other side will know what it means. If they even take it seriously, that is.

-----

A Month in the Future

“Hey, cheer up.”

“You’ve been like this for weeks.”

Four dark equine shapes were dimly lit by the moonlight. The largest one put a hoof around one who sat on the ground, tears falling from his eyes. The light revealed three scars on the largest one’s right eye, one of which crossed his mouth. His small, leathery wings were extended and his light brown mane was messy and grimy.

A small mare groaned, face hoofing. “Get your act together and stop sulking over a mare you only knew for a couple of days! Seriously, you aren’t yourself!”

The mare’s light frame seemed to be a deception as she had powerful muscles hidden underneath her light fur. Her dark blue mane was tied into a ponytail and aggressiveness shown in her yellow eyes. At her words, the large stallion walked away from the one one the ground and sat on a log.

The first one who talked, a long-legged, thin stallion with light gray bangs that fell over his eyes, trotted up to the mare. “Let him be. He still needs time to recover.”

The mare furrowed her brow and looked down, “I guess. But it’s been so long! He can’t be that depressed still.”

“A broken heart takes time to heal.” The large stallion muttered. “And it might not feel love in that way ever again.”

The mare growled, “You expect me to idly sit by while Discord ruins our ONE chance at having a better life!?” Then her voice got lower. “Who knew you could be so sappy? For such a big guy, you’re pretty soft.”

“I just assumed you would’ve realised that by now.” The stallion murmured.

“I haven’t exactly known you that long, technically speaking.” The mare shot back, “And don’t come up with some clever retort about how we have. If I don’t remember, it didn’t happen.”

The large stallion began to craft a retort, "Just because I'm a different species doesn't mean I'm a different-"

The long-legged stallion approached the mare, cutting off the larger one, “It won’t do us well to argue. If you wanna have a debate about whether we’ve known each other for a while or not, we can do that after we have the present sorted out.”

The mare grimaced, “You mean after Mr. Crybaby has finished pouting? Or should I say Cryfilly?”

“Shut UP!” The long-legged stallion snapped, “This entire experience has been hard on us all! But we need to roll with the punches like we are meant to. We are full fledged pony guards now. Throw away your old life and face the present. ‘Out with the old, in with the new’ as they say. I hate to be the one to say this, but no one else will apparently. I didn’t want to go through a sex change, but I did. If anything, I had the hardest change. At least you all kept your fucking genders!”

Silence ensued. Then it was broken by the mare, “I-I’m sorry. I’ve been so riled up and it’s the only way I know of to relieve the tension that’s been built inside of my body. It always has been, in both my human life and my pony life. You of all ponies should know that.”

The pony who had been crying earlier got up, and to everyone’s surprise, spoke. “No, she right. I haven’t been myself. You’re ALL right. I probably won’t ever be the same again, but I need to cope with what is going on. Thanks guys. Especially you, Lancia.”

-----

Present Day

Perhaps if I lie low in the shadows, no one will ever know I exist! No, I’m already doing that. I really need to get my life together, don’t I? I can’t keep going on like this. One of the first things I told Mira was that we had to find a way to reverse this, and now I’m more sure than ever. There’s got to be a way, it can’t be that-

“It’s irreversible.”

The time is now for a shift, Some come home with a little gift

View Online

“Lift me up, Chantal!” A woman called. She wore an all black suit. She had short cropped black hair. In her hand she carried a small round object and at her waist was a walkie-talkie.

“I’ve got you, Sarah,” A taller woman responded. Her wavy black hair was braided. She hefted the smaller woman up into a window just above her, “Do you think the others are inside already?”

Sarah disappeared into the tight space. Minutes later, her head popped out, “No doubt. Rex is capable all on his own. With Brendan backing him up? Yeah, you get where I’m going.”

“Mmhmm.” Chantal uncapped a black lipstick tube. “I’ll be waiting, as usual.”

Sarah disappeared into the window again. Inside, she quietly crept forward and dropped down into the room below. Once safely on the ground, she whispered, “Man, had I not been wearing my skin tight suit, I would’ve ripped something for sure. Then Chantal would’ve killed me!”

Sarah reached up and locked the window, effectively removing the big hint that someone had come in. Then she placed the round object on the wall and fled through a door at the end of the room into a long hallway that branched off into several rooms.. Sarah shut the door behind her and pressed herself against the wall.

“Chantal, the bomb is prepped and set. Whenever you’re ready.” Sarah said into the walkie-talkie.

“Darling, I’m always ready.” came through and then an earsplitting explosion resonated through the door and alarms went.

Ears still ringing, Sarah was aware of the door next to her opening and breathed a sigh of relief when she realized that it was only Chantal.

Chantal smoothed out her silky black dress, “Ah, not a scratch. It went according to plan; all fragments are outside of the building, just as Rex specified."

“Now we just... get ourselves caught.” Sarah’s voice faltered as she heard pounding footsteps.

“HANDS UP! WE KNOW YOU’RE HERE!” Came a shout. Sarah backed into a corner as Chantal stepped into the open, hands raised into the air, holding a black nail polish jar.

A thin guard made his way to the tall woman, holding a gun. He was decked out in full guard attire. “Drop everything!” He commanded.

Chantal dropped her nail polish, sending the contents and shattered glass sprawling across the floor. “Oh my, you’ve made me lose my nail polish.”

The guard rose an eyebrow. Then he seemed to notice the wreckage behind Chantal. As he ran towards it, she pulled out a pistol and a throwing knife. “You aren’t a very good guard, now are you?

The guard turned and momentarily froze at the sight of her gun with a curt “Fuck”. Chantal threw the knife and the handle hit his hand with enough force to make him drop the gun. Then, she swiftly made her way to the guard and grasped him by the collar.

“What? Can’t fight back? I’ve never known a guy too afraid to use his fists. If you’re the only guard, the security in this place is laughable. Oh, and news flash,” Chantal gave a quick smile, “Being punched hurts.”

Chantal delivered a crushing blow to the guard’s face and he crumpled like a sack of potatoes.

Sarah emerged from the shadows. “You’re right. He was terrible. But he can’t be the only one.”

“I agree. He was so thick I’m tempted to drive my bullet into his skull” Chantal grimaced. “But alas, I shall not.”

“Thank the fucking lord.” Sarah muttered, “How would I get you out of jail?”

“One only goes to jail if they get caught, honey. And I wouldn’t get caught. Besides, we’ve broken into a bank before. How hard could a jail be?” Chantal said, glaring slightly, most likely due to Sarah's word choice.

“Harder than you think.” Sarah admitted.

Chantal merely strode down the hall and took a left at one of the corners. Being left behind, Sarah quickly caught up to Chantal and together they entered another room.

“Don’t you just love how Rex never tells anyone why we break into a place until we’re finished? I know he has all of us in his best interest, but it wouldn’t hurt for him to actually speak once in a while.” Sarah whispered.

“Isn’t it obvious? Sometimes I forget that we’re the same age, darling. I mean, we’re in a museum. What could you imagine we’re doing? Looking at paintings?” Chantal laughed.

Sarah met Chantal’s gaze with a glare, but said nothing.

“This is where Rex said to meet.” Chantal spoke, looking up at a large unlit chandelier. “The room with the gorgeous diamond.”

“Wait, he told you to go to a room with a diamond!? Then of course you know what we’re stealing!”

“Oh, Darling-”

Chantal was cut off by a new voice that spoke from the opposite exit.

“Actually, Sarah, the diamond is not what we’re after.” A guy with platinum blond hair approached the two girls, a taller guy with a light brown buzz-cut was behind him. “I think Chantal’s already figured that out.”

“What? Rex! Brendan! Whaddya mean?” Sarah stammered.

“Sarah,” Chantal placed a hand on Sarah’s shoulder and pointed at the chandelier. “Look up.”

Sarah followed Chantal’s finger until her eyes lay on the chandelier, “It’s a chandelier.”

“Do you see how it is built into the ceiling?” Rex pointed out. “There’s something above it. Placing a chandelier on it, not my favorite method of concealing something, but effective, I guess.”

“If you plan on never getting it out. We’ll have to smash the chandelier!” Sarah realized.

“Aye.” Brendan confirmed. “We’ve got just the thing. And you are going to execute it.”

Sarah pointed to herself, “Me!? You mean me, as in Sarah, me?”

Rex smiled “Yes, you. As in Sarah, you.”

Sarah flinched as Brendan tied a rope around her waist.

“It’s not the safest method, but it’ll do.” Brendan grunted. “Chantal?”

Chantal nodded. “I understand what we’re doing now.” She took another of her knives and tied it to the end of the rope. Then she handed it to Brendan. Brendan threw the knife over the beam closest where it fell back over.

“You’re gonna swing yourself up,” Rex informed, grasping the rope.

Brendan also grabbed the rope and the men began hoisting Sarah up. Brendan looked at Chantal, “Chantal, there are bound to be guards after us. You need to guard the room.”

“Of course, darling. You ready up there, Sarah?” Chantal called, holding her pistol, “Make sure your sheltered from possible injury.”

“Yeah... umm... okay.” Sarah pulled herself onto the beam. “I think I’m far enough away to be safe...”

As Sarah spoke, a bang signified that Chantal had fired the gun and another loud noise as the bullet hit the target. Time seemed to move in slow motion as the chandelier fell, taking part of the ceiling with it. It hit the ground with a deafening crash.

The echoing footsteps came immediately and Chantal drew a third knife out with the hand not holding the pistol. As the guards turned the corner, Chantal waited with her knife and pistol, in no stance whatsoever. “Good day, yes?”

Momentarily confused, the guards quickly regained their composure and one growled, “What the hell is going on here?”
Another one completely ignored his comrade, “Drop your weapons, miss!”

“Miss?” Chantal repeated in disbelief. “Miss!?”

“Welp, they’re gonna get it!” Brendan chuckled to Rex who watched with pursed lips.

“Just keep an eye on Sarah.” Rex responded.

Sarah made her way across the beams to where the chandelier once hung, trying to ignore the commotion beneath her. She lifted herself inside the hole in the ceiling and once inside she wanted to rest a bit, but the skirmish below warned her what would be at stake.
The area Sarah was now in was a tight fit. It had served her team well to choose her for the job as not even Rex would be able to fit. The only thing in the small space was a tiny box.

Sarah opened it, revealing a good sized orange crystal thing. She moved to pick it up, but a jolt coursed through her body as she gripped it and she let out a scream and began to stumble backward.

For Five Score, Divided by Four
Your memories removed, your body confused
For your insolence you must pay
Cast off to a land far far away
To scatter the six, just the start of my tricks
Your mind shall be weak, your outlooks bleak
Forgetting everything and living like a fool
You have all lost, now no one can stop my rule!

Brendan looked up at the source of the scream and cried out, “Sarah!” Sarah fell through the opening and would’ve hit the ground hard, but Brendan caught her, adrenaline coursing through his veins. He let out a sigh of relief as Sarah smiled, revealing that she was okay.

Rex had joined Chantal in the fight and the duo had the guards piled in a heap of unconscious people. Brendan put Sarah back on the ground carefully and she brushed herself off.

“What was the point of grabbing this!?” She yelled, waving around the orange gem, “Why couldn’t we just grab the diamond?”

Rex approached Sarah, eyeing the crystal. “Beautiful. It must have some significance!”

“Or they just didn’t know what to do with it. I mean come on, Darling, if you were to find an orange gem like that, where would you display it?” Chantal explained, “But putting up there... I agree. It has significance. I doubt these dim-witted fools knew that though.”

“Instinct.” Sarah added. The other three turned to look at her, “The rock thing, when I touched it, it shocked me. That’s why I fell.”

“I thought it was peculiar that you of all people lost your balance.” Rex admitted. “But that must’ve been one hell of a shock!”

Sarah continued “And then I heard a voice. It said, ‘For five score, divided by four, your memories removed, your body confused. For your insolence you must pay, cast off to a land far, far away-”

“To scatter the six, just the start of my tricks. Your mind shall be weak, your outlooks bleak.” Chantal picked up.

“Forgetting everything and living like a fool. You all have lost, now no one can stop my rule!” Brendan finished.

“That was, uh, interesting. It sounds familiar, but you all know it by heart?” Rex said, confused.

Chantal and Brendan exchanged glances, but it was Brendan who spoke, “I dunno. It just... came to me.”

“And I as well.” Chantal added.

“The rock told that to me... this is fucking impossible!” Sarah exclaimed.

“Language, darling.” Chantal warned.

“I agree with Sarah, this is pretty impossible,” Rex furrowed his brow. “Especially if Sarah heard it from the crystal. If that was true, then where’d you two learn it?”

“A dream.” Sarah said, and again, everyone looked at her. “What!? Don’t you all have ‘em too? I could swear I had a dream about a creepy chimera speaking to me and some weird horses...”

Rex’s mouth was gaping, “No, I’ve definitely had that dream. You’re not saying that we’re sharing dreams now, are you?”

“Not sharing, but having.” Brendan pitched, “I’ve had it too and I can bet that Chantal has as well.”

“I think it has connection with the hideous mark on my thighs.” Chantal said, causing everyone to turn and look at her for a change. “Oh, forgive me, I haven’t told you yet. But since I’ve seen that dream so many times, I pay great attention to it, including the part where the four horses stand in front of large castle doors. I’ve paid explicit attention the the horses and they all had marks on their flanks. The one I found on my thighs match the one who’s point of view I take in the dream. I assumed it would be connected.”

“Chantal... when did you find these marks?” Rex inquired, his voice a bit shaky.

“This morning when I was dressing myself for the occasion.” Chantal replied.

Sarah snorted, “You call that dressed for a heist? More like for a high-school prom.”

“You’re one to talk with your hideous onesie.” Chantal said, waving dismissively at the small adult. “Darlings, I wouldn’t be surprised if you all were sporting marks as well.”

The three exchanged glances and Sarah spoke up “Well fuck. I don’t want mystery tattoos!”

Chantal glared at Sarah, but said nothing. Rex and Brendan mutter their agreement.

“Let’s get out of here. It’s only a matter of time before they wake up.” Brendan said, motioning towards the heap of guards.

“Agreed.” Sarah said, her voice distant as her mind was still on what Chantal had said. Did she really have some random marks on her thighs? That was impossible, right?

-----

Sarah laid in a couch, her hair messy, uncombed and now long and blue. Next to her in a chair was Chantal, whose hair had lightened to a brilliant silver and became shorter but was considerably better kept than Sarah’s. Sitting on the armrest of the couch was Rex, whose blond hair had become more of a gold color, but remained around the same length, and on the floor was Brendan whose light brown hair had grown longer but hadn’t seen much of a color change.

While Sarah, Chantal, and Brendan’s eyes sparkled gold, Rex’s eyes were now a bright red.

Rex spoke and his voice was hoarse as if he hadn’t spoken for days, “Brendan, you can sit on the couch you know. I can make Sarah move.”

“No need, bro. I’m fine right where I am.” Brendan replied. Him and Chantal seemed the least fazed by the whole ordeal, but for different reasons.

“Chantal, you’re taking this surprisingly well for someone who cares so much about her appearance.” Sarah said from the couch, not even bothering to look up.

“There is no need to worry, darling. Everything will be okay.” Chantal said with a slight laugh. “Think about it. Your becoming a horse with blue hair and can talk. Not to mention has wings. Do you really expect things to be worse than the dump we live in now?”

“How do we go to the store? Just walk up to the cashier and be like ‘Hey, gotta buy me some oats!’” Sarah growled back, “And how do you know that I’m gonna have wings?”

“It’s all in the dream, darling. Just pay attention. Whatever we are going through, it’s supposed to happen.” Chantal pointed out.

“Oh yes, believe the random dream.” Sarah huffed.

“My hair is pretty long still for a stallion...” Chantal said, seemingly done with the conversation.

“Okay, now you’re just getting weird. You’re not at all concerned that you’re becoming a stallion?” Sarah exclaimed.

“Whoever said I wasn’t concerned with becoming a stallion? Of course I’m concerned. And yet I still seem to be taking it better than you.” Chantal noted.

“Ooh, burn.” Brendan said half-heartedly.

“I am indeed looking forward to seeing how Brendan’s scars will appear. Will they be with the fur or before?” Chantal went on.

“Shut up! Why are you so interested in our fucking bodily changes. Get a life, Chantal!” Sarah exploded.

“Language, darling.” Chantal warned and ignored the rest of Sarah’s outburst.

“How about you both shut up?” Brendan suggested, narrowing his eyes.

“W-What the hell!?” Sarah stammered, suddenly uninterested in Chantal.

“It was only a matter of time...” Chantal told Sarah.

Brendan stood up, “What the hell are you all going on about? Tell me!”

“That’s not something you see every day.” Rex remarked, “Brendan, you seem to have horse ears.”

Silence fell across the room. Sarah and Rex gaped at the discovery of horse-on-human while Brendan just stood there, presumably in a moment of shock.

“Anyway, I saw this man while I was driving earlier, a bit after the heist. His vehicle was out of control but the funny thing is, I felt like I knew him. I felt like he was an old friend. So of course, I did the logical thing and shook my head slowly at him as I passed.” Chantal reported, ignoring that fact that Brendan sprouted pony ears.

“The logical thing to do right now would be to freak out.” Sarah interrupted.

“I-I-I th-think I can second th-that.” Brendan managed, feeling his new anatomy.

“Oh please, we all will get them sooner or later.” Chantal pointed out.

“Can we please hang on to our last vestiges of humanity?” Rex politely asked.

“I don’t wanna be a pony!” Brendan cried out. “That’s the last thing I need!”

“Interesting word choice, Brendan. Is there something you aren’t telling us?” Sarah demanded.

“Uhh... no! I mean, maybe. No! No!” Brendan stammered, “There are things I haven’t told you but...”

“Spit it out, Brendan!” Rex growled, getting impatient with his comrades arguments and a bit scared by the current predicament. “Any information about what’s going on will help. Especially when Chantal insists on speaking in cryptic riddles.”

“Excuse me? Everything I have said made perfect sense. It’s your own fault if you don’t get it, darling.” Chantal scolded.

“I-I watch a television show called My Little Pony-”

“Wait! You’re one of those creepy brony guys!?” Sarah interjected.

“Y-yeah. Sure, whatever. That wasn’t my point. The ponies in the show have unnatural colors, marks on their flanks, and sometimes even horns or wings.” Brendan informed.

“Oh GREAT! Just what I wanted. To become a six year old’s pet.” Sarah threw her hands up in the air, “I am SO done with everything. Where is the nearest cliff so that I can jump off of it?”

In a swift movement, Chantal grabbed Sarah’s shoulder in such a harsh movement that it made Sarah squeak in surprise, “You will not even joke about suicide! I thought you were better than this, Sarah.”

“I-I’m sorry!” Sarah whimpered, her bangs falling over her eyes.

Chantal let go of Sarah and let out a frustrated grunt, “What am I gonna do with you?”

Brendan suddenly spoke up and motioned towards Sarah, “Is that what it looked like on me?”

Sarah’s ears had shifted upward and, like Brendan’s, now resembled those of a pony. They were a slightly lighter shade of gray than Brendan’s. Sarah groaned, “Good god. I hate myself right now!”

“They don’t look bad, darling. In fact, they rather match your blue hair.” Chantal comforted, over the recent dispute.

“I didn’t ask for that either!” Sarah protested, touching her ears.

“Oh... What the hell is this?” Brendan whined. Relieved to have something to take her mind off of the ears that were now on top of her head, Sarah turned her attention towards Brendan but immediately regretted her decision, seeing Brendan holding a bundle of brown hair. It wasn’t attached to Brendan’s head though, instead coming off of his spine. Brendan had a tail.

“That’s quite interesting, really.” Chantal noted, “It came so quickly after the ears.”

“That is not something to be saying right now!” Sarah cried out, “That means that I’m gonna grow a tail pretty quick. I’m. Going. To. Grow. A. Tail!”

“It’s inevitable, darling.” Chantal reminded her, in the commotion over Brendan’s tail, Chantal had grown dark gray pony ears. “I could grow fond of these.”

“The way that you take this whole thing is sickening!” Sarah blurted, “It’s like you don’t care. That or you want it to happen!”

“Neither. I definitely care, but there is no way to avoid it, so why bother making such a fuss about it?” Chantal said, smoothing out her skirt.

“Urgh, why are they white? They’ll stick out like white on black!” Rex interrupted. He now had white ears sticking out of his mess of yellow hair.

“I don’t think... it’s meant to ‘blend in’,” Brendan offered, voice shaky and slow.

“Excuse me,” Sarah spoke up, fear edging her voice, “I gonna go to the bathroom...”

No one said anything, but Chantal didn’t take her eyes off of Sarah until she was out of sight.

Rex was still talking with Brendan, “How am I supposed to sneak around with dumb ears this bright?”

“Darling, you’re turning into a pony guard. I don’t think you’re supposed to sneak around.” Chantal piped in.

“Pony... guard?” Rex repeated, not quite comprehending.

Suddenly the air was filled with a piercing scream. Chantal immediately stood up, “With what’s going on right now, I would’ve ignored that. However that wasn’t a scream of fear, but one of distress. You boys stay here.”

And Rex could only watch as Chantal headed for the bathroom.

-----

I’m in the bathroom due to fear. I don’t really know why, maybe I thought it would help if I got to see myself. Yeah, bad idea... I know. My thoughts don’t go far though when a severe pain wracks my head. It’s so harsh I crumple to the ground and let out a scream. Then my vision swims and goes black.

-----

“Wait here, guys. I’m not sure what’s inside and it would be better if you guys guarded the entrance.” Nocturna told us, flicking her tail.

“Be safe, Nocturna. Don’t get into trouble. As you said, who knows what’s in there!” Typhoon warns.

“No need to worry! Guarding is what we do best!” I pitch in.

“Nopony is getting in here.” Claw Mark assured.

Wind Runner moves forward, “Good luck. Do me a favor and come back. I don’t want to lose you.”

“Yeah, well, I’d better come back to find you all here waiting.” Nocturna jokes, and she turns and walks into the giant castle.

Us four are just sitting there for a minute? Two? Thirty? When a voice cackles. Aww, not separated even now?

Wind Runner growls, “Who are you!? Come out!”

One, two, three, four- Only four? Shame!

Then before us flashes a blinding white light. It fades to reveal a great draconequus. The only draconequus I know of. Discord, the spirit of Chaos and Disharmony. But the stories I’ve heard about him say he joined the good side... has Celestia sent him after us!? No, despite the stories we bat-ponies are told when fillies, Celestia and Luna are still sisters.

I let out a low growl and hoof at the ground, “What do you want! Not here for a tea party I imagine.”

“Lancia!” Typhoon calls, “Don’t act hasty!”

I grit my teeth. Typhoon is only warning me, but Discord seems to be egging me on. I can’t hold myself back much longer!

“Listen to your special somepony, Lancia.” Discord sneers, then he puts on a mock voice, “Don’t act hasty!”

That’s it! He’s gonna get it. Right before I pounce, I am vaguely aware of Typhoon screeching “Lancia! You mustn’t!” and then I am knocked out of the air by none other than Claw Mark.

“For five score, divided by four!” Another bright light flashes and when it fades, Claw Mark is gone.

“C-Claw Mark!?” I spit out, then I turn to Discord, “What did you do? WHAT DID YOU DO?”

“Lancia... please don’t!” Typhoon tries again, but I ignore him, pouncing again.

“For five score, divided by four!”

And my vision goes white.

“Lancia! No!”

I just watched her disappear. The gray one with blue hair. I, Sarah, am watching this take place. But I’m not dreaming, am I? I can’t be... I don’t float around like a spirit in my dreams. I realize that something around my neck is glowing, and when I grab it, I find the crystal from the museum. But... I gave that to Rex, right? I continue watching. It started out just like the dream I always have, but I’m watching it in third person, not first.

The tall pony, what was his name? Typhoon? Typhoon raises his voice, “How could you? How could you do that?” then he turns to Wind Runner. “Run! Find Nocturna. Tell her how we couldn’t be there for her... Tell her how we failed.”

Wind Runner opens his mouth to protest, but seems to change his mind “Sometimes I think you would make a better leader than me, Typhoon. You are definitely smart enough to match even Nocturna.”

Then he runs off, leaving Typhoon alone to fend off the monster by himself.

The chimera, Discord seems to be lounging around. Then he snaps his head up, “Oh? Are you done now?”

“You-You’re mocking us! No matter, I cannot let you in!” Typhoon declared.

“Oh please, I’m already in there. I’ll admit it, I haven’t gotten your little friend yet, but her mother? Yeah, gone. Zip. Boom. Gone.” Discord cackles.

Typhoon’s eyes widen, “No... no... We did all of this... Sacrificed ourselves... for nothing!? No, I refuse to believe it! I may not be as strong as Lancia or Claw Mark, but I’ve got one hell of an aim!”

Typhoon kicks the wall behind him, shattering a single brick. Discord begins advancing him, but Typhoon throws a shard in the air with his tail and kicks it over Discord’s head where it embeds itself into a tree branch.

Discord’s head does a 180. “Hehehe, so much for ‘perfect aim’. You missed!”

“No... I hit the jackpot!” Typhoon says triumphantly and the branch suddenly snaps and hits Discord straight in the head, causing him to become disoriented and stumble. Typhoon grabs a sharp stick, leaps up into the air and comes down hard, impaling Discord’s neck with the stick. Discord emits a hideous gargling noise and begins to dissipate into black particles.

Discords voice appears from behind Typhoon, “Well done. You defeated one of my clones. Here’s your prize... For five score, divided by four!”

“No! I... failed.” Typhoon says and he disappears in the white light.

Then I begin moving. I can’t control where I’m going, so I just roll with it. I am taken into the castle.

“Nocturna! Nocturna, where are you?” I hear coming from down the hall. I can see Wind Runner frantically searching the hallways and by now, I was flying at about the same speed that he ran.

I yelp as Discord materialized right next to me, but no one can hear me, not even Discord it seemed.

“Well, well, well.” Discord sneers. “Would you like to know the truth? The future? I’ll make sure you won’t remember.”

Then my vision and hearing go fuzzy. I can tell that Discord was talking, but for the life of me can’t figure out what he was saying. It must be important judging by the shocked expression on Wind Runner’s face.

Then my hearing resumes, just as Discord utters his words one last time “For five score, divided by four!”

I swear I can hear Wind Runner’s voice as he fades,

“Soon revived, Your dark survived.
Slowly falling down.
Never More, Life’s a chore.
Together, not a frown.
One is dying, Friends are crying
Then there goes the crown.

Oh, Nocturna, please hear me!”

Then my vision goes white as if I too am caught in Discord’s spell. Spell. Is that was it is? A spell? But for what...

-----

“Sarah! Sarah! Get up!” I blink open my eyes and see Chantal over me. Wait, I’m on the ground? Good lord... “Sarah, are you alright?”

My voice is shaky and I try my best to steady it, “I-I’m fine. That was some trip though...”

“Trip? Sarah, what happened?” Chantal voice is flooded with concern.

“I was watching the dream, but I saw more than I normally do... The large one, the mare, the tall one and the white one... It’s all fading though...” I spill out. No doubt Chantal would be able to tell me more of the dream than I remember.

Chantal frowns, “The dream... Darling... how did you faint?”

“I had a sudden, really bad headache, but that’s all I remember.” I admit. Let’s just hope Chantal doesn’t go all medic on me.

To my delight (And surprise), she doesn’t. In fact, when Chantal speaks, her voice is considerably more distant, “I can only live up to the part when the stallion, Typhoon, disappears. I can’t call it dying, because I don’t think they do die.”

“No,” I agree, and then it hits me, “It’s more like a spell.”

“A spell.” Chantal repeats.

It surprises me that Chantal doesn’t get it as easily as I do. In fact, I wanted to jump up and down and shout in her face, but I don’t, instead I calmly say, “Chantal... do you remember what we said back in the museum? The poem thing.”

“Yes, of course I remember.” Chantal replies.

“Break it down. For Five Score Divided by Four. A score is twenty, yeah? Five score is one hundred. One hundred divided by four is twenty five. Chantal, we’d just turned twenty five when this started happening. All of us had. Remember how our group started? It was a joke because we all had the same birthday, May 1st.”

Chantal doesn’t reply and her eyes are wide with shock, so I continue, “Your memories removed, your body confused. If what I’m saying is true, we wouldn’t remember anything, and I’d say our bodies are pretty confused right now. For your insolence you must pay. It was a curse. Cast off to a land far, far away. We were transported to Earth. To scatter the six, just the start of my tricks. I have no idea who the six are, but they were cursed first. Your mind shall be bleak, you’re outlooks weak. I’m assuming this means our minds will change even further. Forgetting everything and living like a fool. We did. We forgot everything and compared to back then, well. We are living like fools. You all have lost, now no one can stop my rule. I think you know what that means, Chantal...”

If Chantal’s skin could get any paler than it normally was, it did. She took a shaky breath, “I-I always said it was inevitable. I knew the dream from top to bottom. But never did I suspect that I actually was a horse... no, a pony. If this is the truth... then we aren’t being cursed right now... we aren’t under a spell... the curse has been broken.”

“Our entire life has been a lie, Chantal. A lie created by Discord.” I say without really meaning to. My words are just coming out now.

“Yes. I suppose it has... Lancia.” Chantal hesitates before she says the name. For some reason, I don’t get offended when she says it. In fact, it clicks. It feels like an old nickname that I haven’t been called in a while.

“I guess I should call you Typhoon now... we need to tell the others. I doubt Rex- er, Wind Runner, will take this well.” I flinch, imagining Rex’s reply. It’ll take a while to get used to all these names, but I suppose I can do it.

Chantal and I head back to the living room, where Brendan and Rex are in a debate about... the color of their tails? Seriously, you tell me that boys aren’t ever concerned with their appearance and I’ll say, ‘Oh really?’

They immediately stop as they catch sight of us though. I must have a grim expression on my face because Chantal doesn’t and Rex says, “Uh, what’s wrong? Chantal said you were out cold... but you seem fazed by something.”

“Uh...” I hesitate, hoping that Chantal will save my ass again.

Chantal sighs, “If you ever had a dream about becoming a pony... well, that dream has been fulfilled. If you ever had a dream about being human... that’s been fulfilled as well, Wind.”

“Wind?” Rex repeats, “Chantal, are you feeling okay in the head?”

“I’m fine, but Sarah figured out the truth.” Chantal answers, “Call it a past life, but we used to be ponies. More specifically, the ones in our dreams.”

“We used to be... ponies?” Rex’s mouth is gaping. “Sarah figured that out!?”

“Hey! I take offense to that!” I scold.

Rex ignores me, “There’s no truth to that! I’ve always been a human! Always!”

“Believe what you will, Wind. But sadly, you can’t deny what’s happening right at this moment.” Chantal states.

“Stop calling me Wind.” Rex orders, “I’m not a pony.”

“Not yet.” Brendan grits his teeth. It’s the first time he’s spoken, but he seems okay with this. “Chantal, are you seriously implying that we were originally ponies? Because that means that everything from the dream was a fact. It means we were... cursed!”

“Bingo,” I applaud. “Brendan, you know the most about, ugh, ponies. Do you know who ‘the six’ are?”

“You mean the Mane Six? That would consist of Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy, and Pinkie Pie. Why?” Brendan’s look is one of skepticism.

I exchange a glance with Chantal who is muttering the names under her breath.

“You know, Chantal, your mannerisms always reminded me of Rarity. Especially how you say ‘darling’” Brendan smiled.

“That’s nice. Unfortunately, I’m a stallion who’s probably never said ‘darling’ in his life which makes me saying it absolutely pointless.” Chantal points out.

“How can one give up a habit so easily? It’s like giving up smoking or something! You’re really just gonna completely drop that? ” Brendan states in disbelief.

“Yes. Except maybe towards Lancia if she uses bad language. Do you have a problem with that?” Chantal raises her eyebrows.

“Um, yes. I have a problem with that!” I tell Chantal.

“I’m not okay with any of this.” Rex growls. “I don’t want to be a horse nor do I want to change my name..”

“It doesn’t matter if you want to be a horse or not. That’s the equivalent of someone saying they don’t want to be human.” Chantal says, clearly getting impatient. I guess even Chantal can get exasperated.

“I don’t think it’ll help, but I don’t mind.” Brendan pitches in.

“And I don’t either. I’ve said it before and it couldn’t be more true. Worrying is pointless, besides, doesn’t it spark even the slightest bit of curiosity?” Chantal’s voice is sweet, yet I’m not sure she is all that curious.

Rex doesn’t answer and I realize it’s my turn to agree. But do I agree? I think... “Rex, I’ll be honest with you. I do mind. I’m not taking this well, but think. Perhaps our lives could get better. Maybe being a pony guard, or whatever Chantal said, will be better than thieving for a living. Sure we make money, maybe even a bit more than we need sometimes, but is it what you want?”

Rex looks down, “I guess not. I’m not saying I like this, but I guess I’ll cooperate for now.

“I don’t think you have a choice, Wind Runner.” Chantal reminds him. “It seems to be happening without our consent.”

“...Wind Runner. The name isn’t bad.” Rex admitted. “But don’t think for one minute that I’m satisfied with this.”

-----

It’s definitely something to get used to, becoming a pony. Out of every experience I’ve had in my entire life, this has to take the cake. Maybe I should just add on human to that entire life because apparently my humanity wasn’t what I started with. Ugh, being a pony is hard.

I groan and blink my eyes, attempting to force the sleepiness out. Where the hell am I again? Oh, that’s right, on a couch in Brendan’s house, trying to make sense out of our... Oh... Oh shit. I always forget! It’s what, the third day this has been going on and yet I always wake up to a nasty surprise. I snap my body up but lose my balance and fall off of the couch. I kick and punch, but I am caught in the fabric of the blanket that I had been sleeping with.

“Oh for goodness’ sake! Rex, is that you?” I can hear Brendan’s voice calling toward me from a ways away.
There is a soft pounding sound as Brendan approaches me and then I am free from the confines of the blanket. I breath a sigh of relief and turn to Brendan to give him my thanks, but no words come out.

“Rex,” Brendan says softly, “I know it’s a lot to take in-”

“WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO YOU!!!!” I screech and shuffle away from the horse standing in front of me. I wasn’t really looking, but I think the most striking thing was the scars now on his face.

Brendan blinks. “Uh, Rex... have you seen yourself?”

I stand up and begin to reprimand him, but I don’t get far as I almost immediately fall flat on my face. What? How come I lost my balance? Dizzily, I bring my head up and see my hands. Only, they aren’t hands anymore, but hooves. I have white hooves instead of hands. I crane my head to look at my body and I immediately wish I hadn’t. There literally isn’t one bit of me left that is human. I am 100% horse... or pony, whatever.

I stand up again, this time on all four of my hooves. It feels different, but comfortable, I guess you could say.

“It takes a bit to learn to walk,” Brendan states. He almost sounds like a football coach or something due to his tone. Not at all a Brendan-like tone. Maybe he’s just messing with me.

I put one hoof in front of the other, but which one next? I move another, but I am rewarded with face-on-floor. I rub my stinging face and try again. Brendan patiently waits for me and not once does he look annoyed at my inability to learn how to walk. Kudos to you, Brendan and your amazing patience. When I finally get the pattern down, Brendan claps his hooves and I triumphantly fistpump. Hoofpump? Hell if I know.

Then there is screeching reverberating from the hall.

“Lancia! Get back here right now! LANCIA!”

There is a fast clip-clop and I turn to see a frightened pony-Sarah, but I only get a glimpse before she crashes into me.

“Sorry! I’m not to good at running yet!” Sarah sputters, “You’ve got to help me, Wind! I don’t know if it was something I said, but Typhoon is mad at me!”

“You know perfectly well what you did, Lancia!” I hear and moments later, pony-Chantal is running in. Her- er, His form is great and he comes to a perfect stop. Ugh, maybe calling him Typhoon would be easier.

“How are you so good at running already, Typhoon?” Sarah pouts. When all she receives in response is a glare, she tries again. “Fine, I’m sorry for waking you up. But seriously, how are you so good at running? Hell, even just walking!”

“It’s called ‘Watching carefully how a horse walks and runs before you become one.’ Honestly, Lancia, do you ever research anything?” Typhoon raises an eyebrow. Ah, silence is a beautiful thing.

“I just woke up and learned how to walk and you two are already acting like foals!?” I exclaim in disbelief. Wait, did I just say foals? Fuck me.

“I am not a foal!” Lancia cries out in defense, “Wait... a foal is a baby horse, right?”

Ignoring her, Brendan speaks up with a completely different subject. “Your pony name just reminded me, Chantal, our little group reminds me a bit of the song in Mulan when they’re training. Have any of you watched it before?”

Typhoon flinched a bit at the mention of his former name, but Brendan continues. “Swift would be Rex. Chantal obviously is ‘The Great Typhoon.’ Lancia probably the strength of the fire which would make me the mysterious one. Although that doesn’t really fit...”

“Or you could be Chien-Po.” Typhoon points out. “And Wind Runner is Shang”

“And who does that make you? Ling?” Brendan sticks out his tongue.

“I guess he can be funny at times...” Sarah pipes in. "Yeah.. okay... not re-"

“And Sarah is Yao.” Typhoon and Brendan say in unison.

“Why am I a dude!?” Sarah whines causing Typhoon and Brendan to giggle.

In my wildest dreams, I never imagined I would be compared to a Disney character, much less an asian general “There are more pressing matters at hoof- damn! There are more pressing matters at hand than a resemblance to a Disney film. What are we gonna do now?”

“Glad you asked. I hacked into an account on a website I found. His tag was shadednocturn1995 and you probably won’t believe this, being in such a state of denial as you already are, but he’s going through the same thing as us. He’s not too far from here either. That’s not the best bit though, two other ponies are joining him as well at his house.” Typhoon motions toward the computer. “I planned it out yesterday, but not knowing we would lose our hands today may make it a bit of a challenge, but it’s one of precision. I think I can still use a computer.”

Utterly confused, I follow Typhoon to the computer where he sits on the chair on his haunches, like an animal. He surveys his hooves for a bit before cautiously placing one on the computer mouse. He moves it around a bit and it the monitor blinks to life. He moves the cursor to a tab and with his other hoof, he clicks the mouse. A map pops up on the screen and he shifts the chair so we can see.

“We are currently here, and the house we are trying to get to is there.” Typhoon explains.

“He’s that close?” Sarah asks in disbelief.

“I feel it’s quite a coincidence that our current position is so close to our target location, but it’s the truth. Oh, and we’re gonna fly there. Well, maybe not Claw Mark, but the rest of us will.”

Brendan extends a tiny wing. “I’m afraid of heights anyway so that’s something that worked out.”

I snort, “You think I know how to fly, Typhoon? You’re thinking wrong.”

Typhoon turned to me with an intimidating gaze, “That’s why we’re leaving at sundown. You’ve got all night to learn.”

Well darn, looks like I’m learning how to fly and hopefully not crash and break every bone in my body. This will be an absolutely wonderful experience!

Responding to another's call, Hope will rise and tears will fall

View Online

“For Five Score, Divided by Four
Your memories removed, your body confused
For your insolence you must pay
Cast off to a land far far away
To scatter the six, just the start of my tricks
Your mind shall be weak, your outlooks bleak
Forgetting everything and living like a fool
You have all lost, now no one can stop my rule!”
“Nice poem.” I say when Mira finishes, still shocked by her previous statement, “Now, go back to the ‘irreversible’ part.”
“Well, perhaps I should phrase that better.” Mira looks directly into my eyes. The light blue-green color of her eyes is startling. It almost looks like colored contacts rather than a real eye. “What’s happening to us is the curse being reversed. Iris... You- We... We’re actually ponies. Like, born a pony then killed, cursed, whatever, and reborn as a human.”
“Is this some sort of elaborate prank?” I don’t really know what I’m saying. Words are just tumbling out of my slack-jawed mouth.
“Iris, look at the clues. Remember what I just told you? The Five Score thing? I didn’t just make that up. Someone else did, it just sounds significant and fits in perfectly.”
“Mira, I-I don’t want to be a pony...” My vision is swimming and I’m vaguely aware that I am going lightheaded. Then I can see the floor rushing up to greet me...

-----

I’m barely finished placing the once-again-fainted Iris back onto her couch before I hear a buzzing from the kitchen. Iris’s phone! I rush into the kitchen, after all, it could be important. The caller ID reads ‘Mother’ along with a smiling picture of a beautiful red-haired woman. She looks almost identical to Iris, just a bit wiser looking and older.

I pick up the phone, “Hello?”

“Oh? Who’s this? I’m looking for a girl named Iris.” The caller responds.

“I’m Iris’s friend, Mira. Is there something you want passed on to her?” I answer, fully knowing that even if Iris was awake, her voice would likely sound much different to her mother, even if I perceive it the same.

“Mira? Oh! Iris’s high school friend. Well, I would really like to talk to my daughter...” Iris’s mother says, a longing tone in her voice.

I sigh and make a split second decision, “Hey, look. There’s something you really need to know...”

“Has something happened to my daughter?” Iris’s mother asks. She doesn’t sound panicked though, which surprises me. Instead, she sounds exasperated. Just how much trouble did sweet Iris get herself into when she lived with her mother?

“I appreciate you not panicking, I really do. I just pray you won’t be by the time I’m done.
“Now here’s the thing. You have to believe everything I’m about to tell you. It’s going to sound really strange, like I’m making it all up and that I’m a hobo or something that stole your daughter’s phone, but I swear I’m not!”

“I’m listening...” Iris’s mother responds, and I can imagine the woman on the Caller ID narrowing her eyes.

I take a deep breath, “Okay. You know that television show, My Little Pony, right?”

“Of course, Iris never shuts up about it.” I’m starting to like this person.

“Well, we recently found out that it’s, uh... more than just a TV show. Your daughter and I have found ourselves in quite the predicament. We’re turning into ponies.

The other end is silent for a bit before responding. “You’re saying that Iris is a horse now?”

“Well, half horse. The transformation’s not finished yet. We have ears and a tail. Our hair color and eye colors have changed...”

“I don’t believe you.” That’s it. That’s just it. A simple ‘I don’t believe you’.

“You have to believe me! Iris is passed out on my couch right now.” I plead. Oh, please God or Celestia or whoever, just please let this woman listen to me!

“Do I need to repeat myself? I. Don’t. Believe. You. There’s no such thing as people turning into horses. And certainly not my daughter.” As weird as it may sound, my respect for this woman is increasing. Her determination and will is amazing. That doesn’t stop my fury from rising though.

“Fine! You stupid woman. Don’t come crying to me when you never see your daughter again. I tried to tell you, but I guess some people just never listen to reason. Enjoy the rest of your life alone!” I slam the phone on the table, hanging up. I know I went way too far. See, Iris’s father is dead and she has no siblings, so it’s just her and her mother. Even her grandparents have passed away.
I can feel a tear rolling down my cheek and my ears droop. Not because I might’ve hurt that person’s feelings. Not because I failed. But because in that half-minute, I reverted back to my old self. The self before Iris showed me a life better than petty bullying.
I reach into my jacket pocket and pull out my own cell. I guess while I’m on a roll with offending people, I can add my own parents to that list.
I can’t call them because my voice has changed so instead I pull up the Text Message software.
After struggling a bit with pushing the buttons, I place the phone down. It’s no use. My fingers are losing dexterity! Maybe I can push the button by stabbing them with my horn. My horn... Oh, duh! I have magic! I focus on pressing down a button and voila! it works. I speed up the process until I have a Text Message sending. Seriously, why does she have such an old phone? It’s the flipping 21st century!

From: Mira

Mother, I just wanted to let you know that I may never see you again. I’m turning into an orange unicorn and as weird as that sounds, it’s the truth. Not that you’ll care.

A few minutes later, there’s a response.

From: Mother

Mira... I don’t have time for your stupid games. Stop disappointing me with child’s play and get your ass out into the world and do some shit.

I sigh, feeling more tears fall. I knew it would be no use texting her, yet for some reason I did it. Why was I gifted with such parents? Why couldn’t they actually care about me instead of wanting me to make them money?

Then, there’s a buzz at the counter.

-----

sunsetshimmer51 told me that we should meet up and Sun seemed happy about it, so guess where I’m headed soon? We did make a slight agreement however. Once we were full hor- I mean, ponies, I would fly on over. Well, I didn’t tell her that I would fly but... Oh, you get the point!

Speaking of flying, the lumps on my back have started to take a bit of a shape, becoming more appendage-like instead of just lumps.

Sun is on my shoulder, seemingly inspecting my growing wings.

My ringtone begins playing, so I pick it up. It’s a number I am not familiar with, but I answer anyway. “Hello?”

It’s a woman, “Hello. I assume you are shadednocturn1995? I’m sunsetshimmer51, but you can call me Mira.”
“You- How did you get my number?” I stammer.
“Wait. You’re a woman!?” She yelps.
“Huh!? Why do you say that?” I bite my lip. Do I sound like a girl? Has my voice changed that much?
“Well I just assumed from your screen name...” Mira falters.
“M-my name’s Ace and you are partially correct. Erm, How do I say this? The transformation? It kinda turned me into a girl.”
“What!? Really? I really dodged a bullet there...” Mira voice is quiet. “I just wanted to test your number. It was on the website.”

“Oh yeah, I forget it asked that. At first I thought you were a crazy stalker!” I laugh.

“Maybe I am. We don’t live too far apart.” Mira teases.
“Wait... We don’t?” I blink, not that she can see that.
“Oh, maybe a hundred miles or so.” She replies.
I check a note previously scribbled down with Mira’s address written and add ‘100 Miles?’ Seems pretty good for me. Still, though... Wouldn’t it hurt to fly that long and far? I guess we’ll find out, “Mira, when do you think this will end? When will we be fully ho- pony?”
I can hear shuffling on the other end, “I think... I think it’s almost over. I don’t know about you, but I look more pony than human at this point.”
“Oh...” I look down at my hands, “Oh! I have fur on my arms!”
“I’ve had that for a while...” Mira’s voice trails off, “Hey, Ace. I’ve been wondering something. How the hell’d you get on ponytheorists4ever.com if you don’t even know what ponies are?”
I chuckle sheepishly, “Yeah, about that. I actually just typed in ‘horses and ponies’ into Google, completely unaware that ‘Ponies’ were actually a thing, and it popped up saying ‘Safe and reliable Pony forum’. It sounded perfect!”
“Quite the coincidence. So, do you know who you are turning into?” Mira asks.
“Hmm, well, uh, no.” I admit, “Honestly, I don’t know much of anything about ponies if you haven’t noticed.”
“Well, what do you look like?” Mira demands.
“I’ve got gray fur, greenish-bluish hair, uh, yellow eyes- Oh, my pupils are slits! I have fangs and the mark on my butt is a yellow circle that I think is supposed to be a moon with a crown on top. And I think I’m growing bat wings.”
“You have... wings.” Mira sounds stunned. Then she clears her throat, “Yeah, well I have magic. Top that, batwoman. Although... I have never heard of a pony that fits that description. Bat ponies?”
“Well?” I say, waiting.
“Well what?”
“I told you who I am. Who are you?” I ask, curious.
“I am Sunset Shimmer,” When I don’t respond, she continues, “I have orange fur, red and yellow hair, aquamarine eyes, and a horn.”
“You’re a unicorn!” I exclaim.
“Well, duh. I said I could use magic, didn’t I?”
“Is that a common skill for unicorns?” I’m confused. I didn’t know any of this. Then, I hear the melodic voice of Sun. Sun! “Oh, hey! Mira. My bird is also changing.”
“Your bird?” She sounds like she just got steamrolled.
“Yeah. She was a crow, but now... I don’t know what she is. A phoenix or something. She’s on fire!”
“A phoenix? There could be plenty of options... Is she mischievous?”
“She almost got me into a car crash, tried to burn me a couple of times, and knocked me out, so I’m gonna say yes.” Sun puffs out her chest.
“I think... I think your bird is Philomena. It’s quite an assumption, I know, but it would make more sense than a different random phoenix. Discord would be more likely to attack Philomena if she were to be protecting the princess...”
“Uh, what?” I blink.
“I’m gonna let you go now. Iris might wake up soon and I’m sure you have business to attend to.” Mira seems distant.
“Hey, wait-” Beep.
Damn it. I had more questions though!

-----

I approach the phone on the counter, wiping the tears off my face. What confuses me is who is calling. It’s Iris’s mother again.
“H-hello?” I answer.
“I’m glad it’s you answering. I thought over what you said before,” She speaks slowly.
“What? All I did was yell at you.”
“Your passion in what you said made me see the truth in your words, however bizarre they might’ve been. It took a bit for me to realize, but I understand now. I would like to see her, Iris. I want to know just what has happened to her.”
“As soon as we hit full transformation, someone is meeting us and then... Well, I can’t guarantee we’ll be staying here.” I feel like nails are piercing my skin as I speak.
“I understand. I’ll trust that someday, we will cross paths and then I can give my daughter a farewell. Until then, I will wait in anticipation for further news, whether I receive it or not.” Her words touch my heart. She’s willing to wait forever to see Iris one last time...
“I-I cannot guarantee-”
“Hush now. Our fate is no longer in your hands. You have done your part. For now, farewell.” Beep.

I feel a tear roll down my cheek and I touch it with a finger, paralyzed by the bittersweet words of the adult.
“So. How is she?” I snap my head up, ears pricked at the intruding sound.
“Iris? When did you-” I swivel around and am met with an Iris almost completely covered in blue fur.
“Don’t worry, I wasn’t here long.” Her words are sweet, but they feel distant, as if they go into my ears and get lost in my head. “These ears are very sensitive. I could make out words from here.”
“Synthesis...” I start, deliberately using her pony name, “Do you think we’ll ever get home? To Equestria?”
“Home... to Equestria? Since when did you start referring to Equestria as home?” Iris tilts her head.
“Face it. We came from Equestria. It’s our home.” I answer.
“B-but all of my memories are from Earth. Home is where you grow up, not necessarily where you were born!” Iris almost seems desperate. Desperate to not believe me.
“Synth, we have memories of Equestria, they’re just buried. Trapped in Discord’s curse.”
“Stop it. Stop referring to me as Synthesis. Stop trying to make me-”
“Synthesis, that’s your name. You can’t change that. “I retort, cutting her off, “Listen, if Equestria is real- Hell, if I’m real, then that means something. Something very important.”
“Nuh-uh. I will not play your mind games.” Iris turns her head.
“Synthesis... Equestria Girls is real. The portal to Equestria is still here on Earth somewhere.”
Iris doesn’t respond.
“Oh, come on! Aren’t you at least curious to see Equestria? Even if you didn’t want to live there. Wouldn’t you want to just see it?” I prod.
“On a normal day where I wasn’t turning into a pony, then sure. I’m not feeling all that motivated today.” Iris huffs.
I shake my head, “I’m gonna call you Synthesis from now on. It just fits in my mouth better, so to speak.”
Synthesis grits her teeth, “Fine, Sunset. I hope you’re happy.”
“A couple more questions. First, what time is it? Second, why do I have fur on my neck but you don’t? Instead you have fur on your hands and legs,” I note.
“I- what? Wonderful. We’re gonna be walking on all fours tomorrow, I just know it!” Synthesis picks up her phone, “It’s four in the afternoon.”
“Cool. Tomorrow, we’re having a friend come over and then we’ll talk about finding that portal. I’ve got a pretty good hypothesis already... Just wait!”