A mistake he cannot escape, a home he had to leave behind, a new world with old pain. Coming from a world ravaged by war and pollution, how will this man come to terms with what he has done and the world he has found.
A mistake he cannot escape, a home he had to leave behind, a new world with old pain. Coming from a world ravaged by war and pollution, how will this man come to terms with what he has done and the world he has found.
“Get out! You are no longer welcome here! You have broken one of our longest standing traditions. You will no longer call this place your home.” Spoke the leader of the clan. “By the blood oath you swore we have, by all rights, to execute you. But I feel it is a more fitting punishment that you wander the earth until the day you die. Living with your mistake.” I turned and walked toward the door, knowing full well that I could never return to the place I called home. I stepped out of the small metal building that was the center of our village, and into the cold, dark autumn night.
I made my way to the outskirts of the village to my small home. As i walked through the small village, I was thankful that there weren’t many people out to stare daggers into me. Though I am sure that they would be more than willing to do so with actual daggers. But when i was closer to my house and I saw one person out there, one that I wished not to see, my brother’s wife, about 10 yards from me. Even from this distance I could tell that she had sent most of the nights since my brother’s death crying. I never thought I could ever see so much sorrow in a person’s eyes that was usually so happy.
She saw me pass and motioned for me to come over. Not wishing to inflict any more pain onto her i obliged. I slowly walked over, never meeting her eyes. I swear i could feel the temperature drop the closer i got to her. But rather than one that could kill you on the spot, it was that of pain, sadness, and pity. As i finally reached I managed to raise my eyes to meet hers. The usually clear emerald like eyes were bloodshot and puffy from long nights of crying, as well as her brown hair was disheveled and looked like a hand had hastily been run through it.
She took a deep breath and slowly let it out before speaking. “I know what you did was not in cold blood, but rather in anger. But I don’t know if I can ever forgive you for what you’ve done.”
“I don’t expect forgiveness from anyone, Veronica. Not even from myself. This is something that I will live with til the day I die. I can’t blame you if you want me to be imprisoned and burn in the pits of hell.” I replied
“Alex, you are a kind and caring soul who had acted hastily upon the situation.” She replied softly, “I know you well enough, that had Richard not acted so harshly, that you wouldn’t have done what you did. I don’t hold you at fault alone.”
“But it was ultimately my decision that costed him his life, can you truly say you don’t blame me alone?” I replied.
“Yes.” She answered after a moment of thought, “From what i heard that happened, Richard wasn’t in his right mind. Those actions aren’t like him. He would never say or do such things. Something was wrong with him. It still pains me to have him gone, but he was miserable in the state of mind that he was.”
“How do you know for sure?” I replied flatly.
“Because of all the nights we spent talking,” She spoke softly and carefully. “There are some things I know that you won’t. But it is getting late. You should be on your way.” She started to turn around and walk into her home, but she stopped as she opened the door, “Oh and Alex,” I turned to meet her gaze, “Be safe” She said in a soft, kind tone. Then she stepped into the house that her and my brother once lived in together without another word.
“I will never understand how she actually manages to talk to the guy who killed her husband and say ‘Be safe’. Makes no sense to me” I thought bitterly. She somehow managed to make me feel worse after that conversation. “I deserve no forgiveness.” With that i started the walk towards my house again.
As I walked into my house i started to get everything together. I packed what clothes I had, some food rations that wouldn’t spoil anytime soon, and I put on my suit of steel armor, slung my shield and greatsword over my back, and my long sword at my side. I reached for my pistol, but I pulled my hand back. Remembering what I had done.
“I will not hold such a thing again.” I said with a low tone, almost a whisper. Tears coming to my eyes while i stood there, each second vivid in my mind, playing back in slow motion. The moment I had pulled it out, aimed it straight at my brother and pulled the trigger. The bullet had pierced his chest and through his heart. I can never forget the look in his eyes. Fear, shock, and pain. Death quickly overtaking an signs of life left in his body. The one time I lose my temper and it’s burned into my mind, instead of being hazy. The wound leaking blood and slowly pooling around his body, the color slightly faded from his face, and the expression he had when he had been shot stayed there. As if to let it meld itself into my memory.
I only now realize I am on the ground, shaking, sobbing uncontrollably while the tears poured down my face and landed on the metal on my legs. “Damn it.” I punched the ground. “Damn it, damn it, DAMN IT!” Each time I said it i slammed my hand into the ground below me. Punching harder each time until i felt my knuckles going numb. Still in a fit of rage I looked around me and stared at the dresser that was next to me. “As good as anything else in this damned place to break” I snarled. Before I knew it my hand flew out and slammed into the dresser, cracking the wooden frame. The sound of shattering glass near me snapped me out of my fit of rage. I looked down to see the frame that held the photo of me and my brother, when we were going out hunting, with the front glass broken. With my eyes still filled with tears I slowly took the photo out of the frame and placed it in my bag. I stood on my still trembling legs.
As i started to leave my home, i put my helmet, marked with the crest of our clan onto a pike outside my house. This showed that I had no connection left with this place, and that I will never be able to return. “I will never forget what I did to you brother, and I definitely won’t let myself lose my thoughts to anger, and I will never spill the blood of another innocent.” I promised myself. “ Though i wonder how long I shall be able to live with this regret…. this… pain.” With that i set out into the night along the dirt path that lead out of town.
After about 3 hours of walking I started to look for a place to camp. But something caught my eye. I was a small shadow, but nothing that looked big enough to worry about. Looking about the desert plains i saw before me with mountains in the distance, or what was left of them, I decided to look at the large chasm in the ground near the village. They may not want me there, but strange noises have been known to come from this thing. I’ll be damned to the deepest reaches of hell if I were to let anything come out of this thing the night i leave.
As I started to walk towards the chasm I took a closer look around the once lush waste lands we now call home. The world has been ravaged by war for centuries, explosions, bullets, missiles, everything you could think of. Most of us have been able to get by. While others roamed the wastes trying to find a place to call home. I suppose I will be one of those people now. The chasm getting closer, a deep hole left from the movement of the tectonic plates caused this to appear here, I heard something as I got closer to it. The sound almost seemed like singing, but I wasn’t entirely sure. But it was a heavenly tune, one that I had never heard in this desolate place where I lived. I got closer to the edge and peered down the large chasm. There was a faint glow of light. I just wrote it off as magma. But the noise got louder, and it was indeed singing. I sat there, mesmerized by the song that graced my ears, not wishing to move from this spot. I wished to hear it closer, but I wasn’t even able to see the bottom. After I decided that nothing would be coming from this thing and had my fill of the song emanating from it I decided to get up and look for a place to camp for the night.
As I turned around I caught a faint glimpse of a reflection out in the distance, and as soon as I did i heard a loud shot go off. Before I knew it my armor had been hit, hard, luckily I had my armor made to be bullet proof. “Shit!” I yelled, not feeling the bullet pierce my skin was always a bonus. Still hurt like a son of a bitch let me tell you. But then I started to fall backwards, down the deep chasm, the singing getting louder. At first stunned I didn’t have anyway to react, but then my mind got a hold of what happened after a few seconds. “So… this is how it all ends, huh?” I laughed bitterly despite falling down what seemed to be an endless pit that ended who knows where, “Well I got what I deserved, at least I know I will see you again soon, brother. I only hope you can forgive me when I see you again.” I closed my eyes and decided to enjoy the singing that got louder the longer I fell. I fell unconscious before I hit the bottom.
I awoke to the sounds of birds, animals running around, and rustling of foliage. I slowly sat up taking great notice of the pain and soreness that shot through me. “Ugh…” I lifted my hand to my head. Well I still had my armor and weapons. I took a look around me and saw a forest. So obviously I must be dead. There aren’t many forests left from where I was from. It seemed to be dark and gloomy in there. Not much sun light but enough to tell where I was going and could get a look around. This forest was pretty dense. I was in a larger clearing it seemed. No more that 6 feet across? Then I heard a low growl coming from my left side. I looked over and saw a wolf, made of…. wood? Oh well this was just great. I stood up and watched the creature circle me for a bit. I heard more low growls from around me. Great. I’m dead and now I have to fight my way out of this forest. I readied my shield and sword for the incoming attacks.
The one in front of me charges as does another one to my right. I throw my shield in front of me deflecting the first on and swing sword in my right hand. The blow from the sword made it look like it made a crack in some of the wood. A third one tried to claw at my back. The claws bounced harmlessly off the armor. But it sent me stumbling and I felt an ache in my back. These things had some power to them for being made of wood. I managed to keep my footing and connect with a bash from my shield by whipping around quickly putting my weight into it. That one seemed to have been hit much harder than the one from my sword because the head fell apart and it crumbled to being a pile of sticks.
The second one came in and bit down on my shield, holding it in place. I couldn’t get it from the jaws of the thing, and another one was coming to attack. I decide to let go of my shield and dodge the attack. Moving not so gracefully I swung my sword right at the next of the one holding my shield. It twisted its head and slammed my shield into my arm and knocking out the sword. “You have gotta be kidding me!” I yelled. I grab my greatsword from my back and ready it. Both wolves come to attack me. I let out a short sweeping strike, and manage to catch both. Though they both look pretty damaged, neither fell. This was quickly getting out of hand. I couldn’t swing my greatsword nearly as fast as the longsword. Though it was good against larger enemies, this was not the time, nor the place to use this thing.
The two wolves were eyeing me up, wondering how best to kill this strange being. One start to run at me while the other ran to my side. I lunged forward and jammed my greatsword into the ground using it to vault myself into the one charging and vaulted my foot to meet it. This time it got sent flying back and broke against a tree. The second one charged me from behind and hopped onto my back. I got thrown forward and the wolf took a bite on my left shoulder. A few teeth got through the cracks in it and i felt blood running from it as its head jerked trying to tear the armor. I managed to throw it off and run to my shield. My left arm being in no shape to move this shield I used my right arm and caught the wolf on the side of the head with the shield. Its head shattered and body fell apart. Breathing heavily I went to gather my things. The long sword back in my right hand ready to fight, with the shield and greatsword on my back.
Seeing no immediate trail out of this forest I decided to walk toward the area where more light seemed to come through. I walked for about 1 hour, the bite wound on my shoulder wasn’t getting much better. The bleeding wasn’t very significant, but it still leaked. I didn’t dare to take off my armor incase something else happened. I continued to walk in the direction of what I hoped was the end of the forest. Weary from the fight with the…. I’m not even sure what to call them. Wooden wolves would be accurate. But not quite accurate. They were made from small pieces of wood, not solid. Timber wolves? Oh that is just great! I’m somewhere I don’t know and the universe decides to be funny.
I seemed to be nearing the edge of the forest and into a clearing. As I pushed past the last of the bushes and tree branches, I saw a large tree in the clearing. Only…. it had windows? A door too? Along with a garden, a chicken coop, and flower pots? Ok this was getting really weird really fast. There were little critters running around. Bunnies, squirrels, deer, birds and the like. I started to hear singing from the other side of the strange tree. I think it was the same voice that I heard before I fell. I walked slowly around the edge of the cottage and peered around the corner. What I saw had me standing there with my jaw dropping to the ground and dazed. In front of me I saw a pink-maned yellow pegasus. Not to mention she was singing. I only knew it was female because of the voice. Ok I think I lost too much blood from walking around. Before I knew it I had fallen to the ground, on my ass, with a loud resounding crash. Wearing metal tends to do that when you fall.
The pegasus jumped at the sound and quickly took cover by the door. After a bit she decided to check where the noise had come from. I was still sitting there in all my elegance and poise with my mouth gaping open like a fish out of water. As the pegasus laid eyes on me she froze. “W-what might you be little guy?” She said nervously. Not very often was I called little. It was made weird since she was obviously much shorter than I was. “H-hello? Are you okay? C-can you talk?” she managed to get out. I finally shook myself from my dazed state.
“Oh, uhm. Well yeah I can talk.” I replied nervously. “And to answer what I am, I’m a human.”
“I’ve never heard of that before” She said. Her eyes then seemed to focus on my left shoulder and went wide. I look there myself and see that blood has started to seep over the metal and run down my arm.
“Oh yeah, I forgot that I had that” I said calmly. Though in all actuality I was nervous from the blood I looked like I had lost.
She quickly flew over to me, covering what little distance there was between us, and hastily grabbed my arm connected to my good shoulder. “Oh dear, we must get you looked at right away!” She was obviously worried. She almost dragged me by my arm and into her little cottage. “You take a seat on the couch, I’ll get everything to take care of that.”
Deciding not to argue with a magical flying talking pony, I followed what she said. But I proceeded to take off my chestpiece. To my horror half of my shirt across my torso was covered in blood. Yeah, this was a bad day. I tried to lift my shirt off, but I cringed as pain shot through my shoulder. So taking off my shirt was a no go. Guess I’ll have to ask that strange pony when she gets back in here. Speaking of which she just arrived almost burdened by medical supplies. Well at least I got the feeling she knew what she was doing.
“Now let’s get you all… p-p…” Her voice simply trailed off. She seemed even more horrified by the blood stain, that covered most of my chest, than I was. That was almost saying something. But I’ve been injured a few times like this. So it’s kind of lost some of the fear to it, but still pretty scary to look at, and bleeding out is still very very real to me.
“Yeah it’s a lot of blood, but could you help me get this off?” I said waving a hand slowly in front of her eyes. “If you could grab onto this sleeve and pull, that would be great” I asked holding out my left arm slightly. This seemed to get her back to the problem at hand.
“Oh, yeah, sure,” She replied softly. She gently grabbed the sleeve in her mouth and gently pulled on it. I leaned back to get the shirt to move further down my arm, and managed to tuck my elbow inside of it and get my arm in. Taking off the shirt after that was pretty simple. Now I got the full look at my wound. At least 4 punctures in the front and more in the back, and some were torn out pretty widely for just bite marks. Guess those wolves could do some pretty nasty damage. Not to mention that most of my upper body was stained a slight red color from the blood being there. Worst. Day. Ever….
“Ok wait one second,” She said as she went through what she had. “Hold this onto your shoulder” she stated as she handed me a slightly damp cloth. “Now hold still.” As I held the cloth to my shoulder she started to wipe off most of the blood that was still on my chest. Huh, this is pretty awkward. Once she was done with that she took the damp cloth from my shoulder and put some disinfectant on it. Damn did it hurt! I just clenched my teeth and bared through the pain. Next she put down a dry cloth. She took out a roll of bandages and started to firmly wrap up my shoulder and torso so the wound would be properly covered.
“There, all done” The pegasus said with a cheerful little smile. “You should rest for a while, I’ll go make you some tea to help with the pain.” She went to walk into the kitchen, but stopped in the doorway. “I’m sorry, I haven’t even bothered to ask your name” She said looking back at me.
“My name’s Alexander, Alex for short.” I answered, leaning back into the couch. Wow this was comfortable. “And might I ask what your name is?”
“Oh, yes, I-i’m fluttershy,” She said softly, almost to the point where I couldn’t hear her name when she got to it. “I’ll g-go get that tea ready” and she hastily took off into the kitchen, almost like she didn’t want to talk to me. Oh well, I am some strange creature that she has never seen before. Wouldn’t be too surprised if she didn’t want to interact with me. I might be as scary to her as those wolves were to me. Well that may not be very accurate. I’m sure she’s much more scared of me than I was of those wolves.
Fluttershy came back a short time carrying a tray that held a pot of tea, a single cup, and a small bowl of sugarcubes. She set the tray on the table in front of me without so much as a word and walked over to a chair next to the couch and took a seat. Now that I can actually look around, there are a few chairs, the couch I’m sitting on, a door to a kitchen, with a clock hanging on the wall with various plants and bird perches hanging and standing in various spots.
I slowly took the teapot in my hand and poured out a cup of tea, adding some sugar cubes to it. I slowly take a sip. The taste is interesting to say the least. Not really a bitter taste, but not sweet either. But this one had a more sour taste to it. Can’t say I remember having tea that ever had a sour taste. Luckily the sugarcubes took away most of the taste. As the cup was slowly drained I could feel the pain in my shoulder numbing and feeling, I wouldn’t say energized, but the fatigue is wearing off. I looked over at Fluttershy, the nervous pegasus sitting there looking anywhere but at me. I decided that I should probably leave. After testing my shoulder for pain, realizing there wasn’t much, I put on my chestpiece again and got up.
“Where are you going?” Fluttershy asked, obviously confused.
“I was going to leave, I don’t wish to impose.” I reply, “And I’m still trying to grasp the concept of talking colorful ponies. Thanks a lot for treating my shoulder.” I stepped towards the door to leave. As I was not but a few feet from the door, Fluttershy got in my way.
“No, I can’t allow you to go back out there right now.” She said firmly, “You need to rest and let that wound heal up. You are in no condition to go anywhere.”
I simply laughed at this. Her only response was having a confused look on her face. This didn’t do anything to stop my laugh. If anything I laughed harder. “You don’t seem to understand. I’ve had worse injuries than a few punctures in my shoulder.” I replied with a chuckle, “If you had even stopped for a second to look at my chest you would see multiple scars, much larger than this one, and I’ve had more broken bones than scars. I don’t know what kind of world this is. But in my world, you could die at anytime. I know how to fight, otherwise I would have died to those wolves. I beat them after being shot at, falling down a chasm that should have killed me, and laying there for I have no clue how long, and not thinking very clearly. On top of that,” I pulled out my longsword, “I have this to protect me, as well as the ones on my back. Now, will you let me pass?”
Upon me pulling out my sword her ears folded back and she shrank away from the door. Following her with my eye I made sure she wouldn’t try to stop me. As she backed to a wall another pegasus comes flying in. Only this one has a rainbow for a mane and is sky blue.
“Hey ‘shy. I was just dropping in… for…” Her eyes fell on me with my longsword drawn, then quickly over at fluttershy who was standing near a wall. Her eyes shot back to me with rage coming from every part of her body. Oh great.
“What do you think you’re doing!?” The rainbow one screamed, “You are NOT going to hurt fluttershy!” With that she flew like a bullet at me. She slammed into my chest with enough force to knock me back into the couch and over it. Damn she was strong! Pulling my shield from my back I got ready to defend. This was definitely going to be one hell of a house brawl.
As I readied my shield to defend myself against this rainbow maned pony, I felt pain shoot through my shoulder. 'So the tea doesn't help when it got agitated or I use the muscles.' Looking at what happened, the couch is knocked over, pillows got thrown and fluttershy is sitting there scared.
"So," she the blue pegasus began, "That wasn't enough to keep you down, huh?" She took off at me again. I got my shield in the way and managed to brace for impact. She didn't send me flying this time. But it still made pain surge through my shoulder.
“Please, stop!” I tried to say, “I wasn’t going to do anything to hurt Fluttershy! She helped me, this was all a misunderstanding.” She stayed in the air and continued the assault. Blow after blow to my shield.
“Will you not try to reason with me?” I pleaded, “This is going to get ugly really fast if you don’t stop and listen to me! I don’t want it to come down to that, but if I have to I will retaliate!”
She stops in midair for just a second, only to respond with another strike and says, “How is this a misunderstanding!? You are in my friend’s house, have a weapon drawn and she is scared! How do you explain that!? And for your information, I’m not scared if you retaliate. All you’ve done til now is hide behind that metal!” The fury of blows kept coming, each one sending renewed pain through my shoulder. At least I could keep blocking the blows. I needed to get her to calm down before I end up in worse condition. She stopped for a second and dropped below the top of my shield out of sight, thinking she finally let up on the attacks. As I brought down my shield to keep her in my sight, I saw something I didn't want to see. She was turned around, flanks in the air and coiled up to buck. "Shit..." was all I could get out before the massive blow to my stomach. Now if not for my armor that would have made me topple right there. But all actions have an equal and opposite reaction. In short I got pissed.
“ENOUGH!” I screamed with intense malice, “This ends NOW!” I threw my longsword behind me in my last moment of clarity so I wouldn’t use it. I landed a round house right on her right flank, she let a pained grunt come out. I didn’t care much at this point. I bashed my shield hard into the closest wing, impairing any flight. At this strike she yelled in pain, it might as well have been music to my ears at this point. I landed a swift blow to her ribs knocking the air out of her and I threw my shield to the side, “I won’t even need that now,” I spat, “You chose the wrong day to fuck with me.” I said the last part as I brought a heavy blow to the middle of her shoulders, right in between the wings, she cried out in pain. I let a knee fly right into her lower back, making her back legs crumple beneath her. A strong strike to the face, a blow to the knee joint in the front leg. I landed my final blow, a spartan style kick straight to the side of the ribs.
Only after my final attacks I let my eye look over my beaten opponent as she tried to right herself up after the kick. Her back legs were trembling, right wing wasn’t completely folded, much like how a human would hold a pained arm. There are bruises on her back, ribs and face. Front right leg was being held up to relieve any pain the pressure of walking on it might cause. I looked to the ground, there was blood, but not mine. I looked at the pegasus and saw that there was a solid stream of blood coming from her mouth and a cut on her ribs, most likely from my gauntlets. They were designed to be effective in hand to hand without being out right lethal. Hand to hand was only used among us to subdue an opponent, or impair while we retrieved our weapon. We never killed with our hands if we could help it. We had our own sense of honor, each village has different views. But we never let our enemy suffer the feeling of being killed by a hand. It, to us, was viewed as a humiliating way to die. We always let our blades finish them off for a swift kill.
I stood there, shocked I had gone so far over something so little. I completely forgot about how my gauntlets were fashioned. I slowly walked over to her standing over her.
“Please… No more… I give up, don’t hurt me anymore,” She pleaded, tears rolling down her face and dripping off, mixing with the blood on the ground. I bent down and reached out, she cringed back. She relaxed instantly when my hand didn’t cause her pain, but rather, it was laid on her neck gently.
“Hold still, please.” I said calmly. I slowly checked her ribs to see if anything was broken, she winced from the pain at my touch. They had no signs of being broken, maybe a couple of fractures. I stood up and went over to the couch and tipped it back up and gathered the pillows. I looked over where Fluttershy was and she was sitting there with a face of shock and horror. I couldn’t blame her after that little display.
“Fluttershy” I said with no response, “Fluttershy!” I said a little louder. She still stood there as if trying to comprehend what just happened still. “FLUTTERSHY!” I yelled, this seemed to get her attention, as she looked over to me. “Get more cloth, bandages and medicine. I…. I went a little too far.” I said guiltily. I never had to deal with the fact that I fought someone so much more vulnerable than me. I didn’t really get into many life or death fights. Just having to fight off the occasional small group of a dozen or so bandits that roamed the wastes from time to time. I walked back over to the still trembling pegasus.
“I’m sorry I went at you like that” I said, “I normally don’t do that, but it’s my last resort if talking is out of the question or my reasoning goes unheard... Or if I get bucked so hard in the stomach by a small pony that I think rainbows will come out my mouth.” I said with a small grin. She started to gently laugh at this, but quickly stopped and had a pained look on her face. “Now hold still and stay calm, I’m going to move you onto the couch.” I slowly wrapped my arms around her front and back, much like carrying a dog. I lifted her as gently as I could, she let out a small pained sound. I walked over to the couch and gently set her on her side that I didn’t land multiple blows on.
Fluttershy got back shortly after I set the other pegasus down and quietly set everything down and got some ointment out. “Fluttershy, could you tell me what is meant ointment is meant for what injury? I think I would like to start learning how to help, instead of just how to hurt.” I said while averting my eyes from hers. I was being honest with myself. Coming from a world with nothing but war, and always having someone to look after my injuries, left me with very few helpful skills. My main knowledge was fighting, not medicine, and I don’t think that my survival skills would do me much good in a world that is so drastically different from mine. Fluttershy stopped for a second and gave me a surprised look. But she slowly put several containers in front of me.
“This one goes on the bruising to help reduce color and swelling” She pointed to one, and she held her hoof over the other, “This one goes over he cuts to help stop any minor bleeding and keep it clean,” she tapped the last one, “This one is for any sore spots to get rid of the pain.” She showed no sign of the happy smile or caring demeanor towards me, but rather just concern. She walked to the kitchen in silence.
“So my I know the name of the pony who knocked me for a loop?” I asked with a slight bow, “Not everyday I meet someone who can deal out punishment like that against me. Even if I am not at my best right now. You certainly hit hard and fast.”
“Name’s Rainbow Dash,” The blue pegasus replied, “Fastest flier in all of Equestria and made of 100% coolness.” She ended with a little grin. “And what about your name?”
I slowly stood and started to undo some of the straps that held my armor together, “My name’s Alex. One of the best warriors in my village. And you, miss rainbow, are one hell of a fighter.” I gently took off the armor revealing some heavily reddened bandages on my shoulder. “Damn, they opened again.” I let out a heavy sigh and started to undo the bandages. ‘Yep, started to bleed again. Can’t afford for this to happened everyday.’ When the bandages were off and revealing the deep punctures that had a slight tearing, on my shoulder, Rainbow Dash got a look of surprise.
“You mean to tell me that you beat me with that kind of injury!?” She stated in slight disbelief. “And isn’t that the side you were holding that weird round metal thing? That must have sent pain through there every time I hit the thing!”
I chuckled at the reaction. “I’ve had worse than this.” I replied, “But yes, pain shot through my shoulder every time you hit my shield. The adrenaline helps with that. But after that wears off, well let’s just say that I’m really starting to feel it.”
“I didn’t know ‘Shy had helped you or that you had any kind of injuries.” Rainbow replied with a hint of guilt in her voice, “But you looked like some big brute, sword drawn in some wacky metal outfit. I’ll be honest, you don’t exactly look the most friendly.”
“Come on, I can’t be that bad.” I scoff a little bit, “But it has been an undetermined time of how long since I’ve seen what I look like. But first thing’s first. Let’s get you patched up Rainbow Dash. I can only imagine what kind of pain I put you through.” I sat there and thought for a bit, “Wait, no, I can. This kind of stuff has happened to me before, if not, worse.” Rainbow Dash laughed a bit, but still had a pained look from it. “You can just call me Rainbow. No need for dash or silly Ms.”
“Ok, Rainbow, let’s get the cuts done first.” I said before picking up the cuts ointment that Fluttershy had pointed out earlier. I took a bit and applied it to the small cut on her side. She seemed to wince a bit in pain, but she held still for the most part. The gash wasn’t too deep, but looked like it had a steady flow of blood coming from it before. The brilliant sky blue coat now a muddied red color in a small area. I applied the ointment to her face as well for the little cut that came from my strike. I explained to her in this time what she has flown in on and what was really happening. As I was starting to get the next ointment ready, Fluttershy walked in with a tray that held a pot of tea, several cups, and a small dish of sugar on her back.
“I made you some tea to help you relax after…” She trailed off not looking at either one of us, “Your little argument.” She finished. Seemed she didn’t want to acknowledge the fact that both of us got kind of beat on. There was definitely a bruise starting to form on my forearm and an aching in my stomach where I got bucked.
“Thank you Fluttershy,” I said, “I think both me and Rainbow here could use it.” She took the tray from her back and set it on the table directly behind me. “But first,” I continued, “We should finish getting you patched up first. No need to cause anymore stress on your injuries right now.” I said as I picked up the small container for bruises. A half dozen bruises and some complaints later, I was ready to use the last ointment. After covering whatever sore spots there were, I put a bandage over the two cuts she had and stood up. My shoulder had bled some more since I last checked it.
“Will this ever stop bleeding?” I replied with some annoyance. I picked up the ointment and started to apply some to the area and found out something. This shit burns like hell. It feels like a small flame was put onto the wound. “Damn it…” I said through clenched teeth. But it stopped the bleeding and with a small bandage wrap from Fluttershy I was ready to go. I slipped on a new shirt, put on my armor and started for the door.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Said Rainbow surprisingly. “I don’t think you’re in any condition to travel. You got bruises and injuries same as me. You are so not allowed to leave and look tougher than me.”
I laughed, “Yes I am allowed, and I will,” I said with a little grin. “You may be the fastest flyer, but you are not the toughest. I think that title can belong to me.”
Rainbow laughed at this, stronger than before too. “I think there may be a few ponies who could beat you.” She replied, “But it’s starting to get dark out. We’ve been here a while. Just stay for tonight. I know I’m going to be. You pretty much stopped me from flying right now.” She said the last part a little bitterly, and barely extended her wing. I could see from where I was that she was right. I did a lot of damage to her wings, more than I thought. ‘Great, now I’m starting to feel guilty. This won’t do my conscious much good if I just leave now.’ I thought. I walked over to the table in front of the couch, took off my armor, and sat down.
“Well tell you what,” I said, “You tell me about this strange land I find myself in, and I’ll stay here and assist you in getting better.” I offered.
Rainbow seemed to take it into consideration for a bit. “What do you think Fluttershy? Think that sounds like a fair deal?”
Fluttershy for the most part looked a little shocked. “I...I don’t know for sure.” She replied with a severe amount of fear in her eyes.
‘Oh, so she’s really scared of me now,’ I thought bitterly, ‘Well I gotta try to make amends. I don’t need any enemies in a strange land.’
“Listen, Fluttershy,” I started, “I can tell you’re scared of me right now after seeing me fight Rainbow here. But I really am sorry for it. I did go overboard and I know it. You don’t have to worry about me doing that again. I was torn away from my world for no reason, where I would have died anyway for the most part, the first thing I run into here tried to kill me, you help me, and some crazy pegasus tries to stomp my head in before even listening to me. Kind of a stressful day if you ask me.” I finished with a sigh. This seemed to calm her a bit.
“Well, I’m no Applejack,” Fluttershy says, “But I can tell you’re being honest. I think you here to help Rainbow recover in the next couple days would be nice. I still have all my little critters to take care of after all.” She gave me a warm smile that seemed to dispel most of the fear I saw before.
“Yea that’s wonderful,” Rainbow interjected, “But I got my flank handed to me today, so I think I’m going to call it a night.” Rainbow got off the couch, with a little difficulty, and headed up a flight of stairs to the upper floor. Only then did I realize the strange mark she had on her flanks. A small white cloud with a lightning bolt made of red, yellow, and blue lightning bolts.
‘Ok, strange. Not gonna bother with it right now though. She needs her rest as do I’
“Well I think I’m going to agree with Rainbow on this one and head to bed. I’m sorry, but I only have one spare room.” Fluttershy said as her ears bent back a little. “Y-you’ll have to sleep on the couch. I’m sorry.”
“Think nothing of it.” I said, “This couch is more comfortable than my own bed back in my home. I think I’ll get a good night’s sleep on it.” I laid on the couch and felt that I was right. This thing was more comfortable than my own bed. Beds aren’t really known to be extravagant where I was. But then again, any post-modern civilization would have a hard time keeping such things in good shape. Fluttershy headed up to her room. I looked just to see if she had any similar markings on her, and what do you know. ‘She does have a mark, three pink butterflies, right in the same place as Rainbow. Interesting. I’m definitely going to have to ask about that tomorrow when I can ask about this crazy world. But I’m keeping it together. Right?’ And with that final thought sleep overtook my weary mind and sore body.
I awoke with sunlight in my eyes and... a small rabbit tapping on my side? I looked down to my stomach to see a small bunny sitting there with an annoyed look if I ever saw one. I slowly sat up, being mindful of my still bruised abdomen, and picked up the rabbit. “Hey there little guy,” I said with a little laugh. “Any reason you decided to wake me up?”
The small rabbit, understanding me apparently, pointed to the door with a paw. ‘Now that is a trick,’ I thought. I set him down and got up, he quickly scampered away. I quickly learned today is not going to be an easy day to move around. My body was almost begging me to go back and lay down. But I was determined to not let that get the best of me. I needed to move around, at least for a while. I could never sit in one place without getting bored very easily.
I went out the door after strapping my longsword around my waist and looked around. Nobody was out here, but I did hear some faint singing from Fluttershy out back.
‘By the looks of the sun, it should be a couple hours before noon. So I didn’t sleep too late’ I thought with a sigh of relief. If there was one thing I didn’t like, it was sleeping in so late you didn’t have time to do anything. Though it was entirely possible with my current injuries.
‘I didn’t even put my armor on. What if something attacked? Well I got my sword at least….. Though I don’t know if I’ll survive another attack from those wolves though,’ I thought with worry.
I hastily went back inside to put on my armor and grab my shield and greatsword. ‘I can never be too safe. If they got wolves like that, I don’t wanna meet any other creatures unarmed.’
Feeling safer, if a bit more uncomfortable, in my armor I headed out the door and went out back to the gardens. What I saw terrified me. Fluttershy had two grizzly bears in front of her. She seemed perfectly calm, but from my knowledge bears aren’t safe!
Adrenaline pumping for the start of a second day, I ran over to her, picked her up and ran like a bat out of hell. She seemed really surprised by all of this.
“A-a-alex!?” She said with sheer surprise. “W-what are you doing?”
“Did you not see those bears!?” I yelled with a bit of disbelief. “Those things could kill you! How can you just stand there and act like nothing is wrong!?” I looked back behind me. I quickly found out it was a bad idea. I saw the bears chasing me down with a not so happy look. Great…
Quickly taking Fluttershy off my shoulder and setting her down I readied my shield and sword. I think Fluttershy said something, but I was too focused on the bears to care right now. The first bear was a couple yards from me and I put up my shield. This wasn’t going to be fun. As the bear reared up I heard a loud shout.
“NO!” The bears instantly froze in place, one of them about to knock me for a loop. I looked for the source of the shout. It was… Fluttershy?
‘How the hell can a creature with as soft of a voice as hers yell so damn loud!?’ I thought. Fluttershy continued to scold the bears, “Now, just because somepony does something you don’t like, doesn’t give you the right to hurt them.”
One bear let loose a couple growls and Fluttershy responded like she understood it, “Yes I know he interrupted your meal, and I’m sure he’s very sorry. But during no situation do you ever hurt anypony. You’re bigger than he is.”
I stared in disbelief as the bears actually look like they regretted what they did. ‘Captain’s Log: Start of day 1 in ponyland- ‘Today I witnessed a strange sight. A normally calm, shy, and timid creature made two bears stop in their tracks. She talked as if she understood them and scolded them. They seemed to be able to understand her and listened to every word she said. This will require further analysis and I must make a mental note. Never, under any circumstance, will I piss off Fluttershy.’ End recording.’
Now as impressive as that sounded, I was standing there with my jaw on the ground, so to speak, along with my shield and sword.
After a bit, Fluttershy got done talking with the bears and turned to me. “Now I don’t know what bears are like where you’re from Alex, but these ones are completely harmless,” she stated turning to one. “Isn’t that right?” She said in a cooing voice while hovering up to pet the bear’s head.
“Now Alex, I expect you to give these two a full apology for interrupting their breakfast. They will also apologize for scaring you and attempting to hurt you.” She gave the two bears a stern look. She landed and motioned with a hoof for me to apologize to the bears. Shaking my head swiftly to get myself out of my daze, I nodded and approached the bears.
“I-I’m sorry for interrupting your meal,” I said while scratching the back of my head. It seemed so weird to talk to bears. After a few short growls from the bears Fluttershy seemed satisfied. She then proceeded to introduce us.
“Alex, this is Mr. Bear and Mrs. Bear” She stated, “Mr. and Mrs. Bear, this is Alex.”
Both bears both gave a quick growl and decided to walk away. Fluttershy made no move to stop them. I suppose they wanted to continue eating. Before I could start to head inside to let my sore legs rest after the excitement, Fluttershy turned to me with a nervous expression.
“Uhm… Alex?” She said nervously, “After that incident I’m running behind getting all the other critters their meal before I have to run into town. Would you mind helping out?” She looked embarrassed to ask me this. “If that’s ok with you.” She added quickly.
I walked over to her and bent down so I was eye level with her. “Of course I’m ok with that. It’s the least I could do after causing you so much trouble yesterday and today.”
She seemed to cheer up at this and trotted back to the feeding area. I followed behind her. We fed the animals for about the next half an hour. Afterwards we headed inside and, to my utter lack of surprise, my stomach let loose a deep rumble.
‘Come to think of it, I haven’t had a real meal since I got here.’ Well with food sometimes being in short supply back home, going without food for a day wasn’t unfamiliar to me.
Fluttershy gave a small giggle at the noise. “It sounds like you could use some food.” She almost in a singing tone, “I’ll get some food prepared.” She stopped as she reached the kitchen doorway. “Uhm…. What do you eat? I never thought of that.” She said with a slightly embarrassed smile.
“Well,” I started to reply, “I’m guessing you ponies are like the horses from my world where you are herbivores.” Fluttershy gave a quizzical look and a short nod. I took a deep breath …. This won’t be fun. “Ok …. Lying has never been something I practiced, so I’m going to let you know now. Humans, what I am, are omnivores.”
I refused to look her in the eye. Knowing full well that half of the creatures she cared for were probably edible to me. When I did decide to look at her, all I saw was a look of shock and horror.
“Y-y-you’re not going to eat any of my critter friends a-are you?” She finally managed to get out, then had a look of pure fear, “Yo-you don’t e-eat p-p-ponies, do you!?” She was absolutely terrified.
I sighed and got my greatsword from my back, Fluttershy backed up a step when I got it off, and I set it down against the wall. I did the same with my longsword and shield. I took off my gauntlets and tossed them in front of the gear I just set down with a loud ‘thunk’. I walked over to the slightly cowering yellow pegasus and got down to her eye level. She suddenly found one of the floorboards very interesting. I gently laid a hand on her head and she looked at me, her expression obviously worried.
I took a deep breath and began. “No, I’m not going to to eat any of the critters you care for. And I most definitely won’t eat ponies. This world is different from my own, but I’m sure we can find a compromise for my diet.”
She gave me a confused look, “Uhm, I don’t know how we could do that. I won’t let you hurt my little friends. How can we compromise on an issue where both of us lose?” She gave a slight frown after saying this, her brow furrowing to make a more confused look. I just have her a grin.
“Do you have fish in this world?” I asked, “Because that would be the perfect compromise.”
Fluttershy gave a little smile and nodded. “We most certainly do. In fact there are some that usually swim around in the river just out front.”
“Perfect,” I gave a big grin, “Fish aren’t really around from where I’m from, the waters are polluted to the point that the fish aren’t safe to eat anymore, but it helps pass the time. So I don’t think I’ll mind it too much. I think I’ll make a makeshift fishing pole and get something to eat, then you and Rainbow can tell me all about this world.”
Fluttershy started of towards the door while I went to look for a piece of wood fit for making a fishing pole. As she got close to the door I said, “Hey! Didn’t you say you needed to go to the market for something?” She stopped almost instantly. Next thing I knew she was bolting down the path towards the little town called ponyville with a saddle bag across her back. I barely made out an “Oh my goodness” from her as she galloped passed me. She called out to me, “I’ll be back right back!”
‘Must be some kind of sale or something going on today for running like that.’ I thought. I just shrugged my shoulders and went back to looking for wood. The rest of the day went by peacefully. I managed to catch a few fish, which I was pretty proud of.
Turned out Rainbow didn’t have a single fracture in her ribs and I was pretty relieved at that. After lunch we finally got to talking. I learned this land is called Equestria. Figures with ponies being the main inhabitant. It is run by two Princesses name Celestia and Luna. Now the fact of a diarchy is strange to me. But to tell me that these ponies raised and lowered the sun and the moon?
‘Nope! Nope, I won’t allow it. It makes just as much sense as wolves made out of wood. Which in this crazy world seems to be the norm… This will take some getting used to.’
When it reached close to sundown Rainbow flew off to her own place to sleep since she could actually fly today. After learning a little more about medicine and first aid and a little talking we decided to turn in. I laid on the couch again. I was sure the bed would be too small for me. As Fluttershy reached the base of the stairs she stopped. She looked directly at me and motioned like she was going to speak. I raised an eyebrow and rolled my hand to prompt her to talk.
“I-I was thinking,” She said nervously, “That maybe tomorrow you should, uhm, go out and see the town tomorrow. If that’s ok with you.”
I looked at the ceiling, thinking about it for a moment. “Do you think they would react well to a strange two legged creature dressed in full armor while carrying two weapons and a shield going about their city?”
“W-well I would think you could leave that stuff here, you know, because it looks heavy,” She said not looking me in the eyes. She definitely wasn’t the best liar. She wanted me to keep my things here so I don’t look like a scary monster roaming the city.
“Well I don’t feel comfortable with that,” I stated. She looked like she was about to protest that but I raised a hand to stop her. She waited for me to explain. “When I first got here wolves attacked me, Rainbow outright attacked me, and I saw bears that I didn’t know were peaceful at the time.” I raised a finger with each point.
“Now I don’t care how safe of a place this is, anything can happen. I can not, and will not go anywhere without being prepared. I see why you want me to go out so I’m not stuck here all the time. But I want to be prepared for anything to happen.” With that I rolled over and faced away from Fluttershy and tried to fall asleep. The last thing I heard was the soft clopping of hooves going up the stairs.
“...Ex” Came a voice softly. I didn’t know what it could be. “..Lex… Alex.” The noise became clearer. It was someone calling my name. “Alex, you should really get up.” Came the soft tone of the all too familiar yellow pegasus. I slowly sat up and Fluttershy stepped back a bit. I proceeded to stretch and was instantly greeted by the pain in my shoulder. “Damn that still hurts…” I half growled. I ran a hand through my now greasy hair from the past couple of days.
“I’m sorry for waking you, but it’s already late in the morning.” Fluttershy said. “Come on, we got to get you ready to make an appearance in ponyville today!” She gave me a silly grin that I could help but laugh at.
“I hope you know that I’m still going to bring my armor and weapons into town with me.” I stated. “I have traveled everywhere with that armor and weapons. I won’t go anywhere without them. For security reasons and because I wouldn’t feel right without them.”
“But…” She seemed a little disappointed at my unwillingness to leave my stuff behind. “You don’t want to scare everypony right? I mean you’re going to be here for a while, so you might as well not have the whole town scared of you, right?”
“Fluttershy.” I sighed heavily and brought a hand up to rub my still tired eyes. “Me going anywhere without that stuff is like asking you to get rid of your wings if they came off. It can be put back on, but it just doesn’t feel the same, right? Or it’s like asking you to get rid of your cutie mark for a while. It’ll still be there, but then you’re denying a part of who you are. That armor has gotten me through a lot of trouble and not wearing it seems like a foolish idea to me.” I said firmly.
She seemed really depressed after that. I didn’t understand why, that’s for sure. “I-I’m sorry. I d-didn’t think that stuff meant so much to you. I th-thought it was just for dangerous places, like the everfree that you came out of. If it m-means that much to you, I won’t try to convince you otherwise. I wouldn’t get rid of my cutie mark for a second.” She look at the mark on her flank and gently smiled before turning to look at me. “If I’m not willing to do that I won’t try to tell you otherwise.” I’m glad I was able to make her see things my way.
She went to the door and opened the upper part of it and sang a little tune. A small bird came flying in and landed on her back. She went over to a small table with a scroll and gave it to the bird, who took it in his beak. “Now I need you to take this to Twilight ok?” She said to the little bird. It gave a little chirp in acknowledgement and flew off out the door and into the town called Ponyville.
“Uhm…. What was that about?” I asked with a slightly confused look on my face.
“Well… Since there’s nothing like you in all of Equestria, I sent a letter to my friend Twilight Sparkle and she will contact Princess Celestia.” She said. “We should know what the Princess wants to do afterall. She will decide if you are to stay here or not….” She looked a bit worried at the last bit.
“Well I don’t mind at all. A leader should know about anything this weird to their land. But where is your bathroom? I should get cleaned up before going into town.” I said. “I don’t think I look the best right now. Haha.” I brought a hand to my chin and ran it lightly over the short beard that was growing. “Up the stairs and to the right.” She pointed to the stairs. “I’ll get you a clean towel to dry off with when you’re done.” She then flew off out the door, and out to the clothesline that was strung between two trees.
I grabbed my longsword before heading upstairs. I looked at myself for the first time in days. My face was a bit slimmer than last I remembered, but still retained some of the masculine look that I had grown proud of. Probably from the lack of red meat, or food in general, the past couple days. Not to mention the time that I was unconscious.
My eyes had dark rings around them from restless nights, both in this world and on Earth. They were still a wonder to look at though, one grey iris while the other was such a dark brown it looked black. My jet black hair had a greasy look to it and it was downright messy. It fell from my head and hung loosely around my shoulders. I glared at the unshaven beard that was starting to grow. I frowned at it slightly, but soon began to grin. ‘Damn! I never let it grow out this far. I look goood.’ I thought and laughed lightly at myself.
I slipped off my shirt and stood back a bit to get a good look at my body. I had a muscular build no doubt. But I didn’t exactly have abs to show off. I didn’t have that great of a diet before now. But the tone still showed. I started to strike different poses, flexing my arms and pecs and gave a satisfied grin. I went on to do poses, admiring my physique for the first time in a while. I was always proud of it. I stopped and froze in a pose when I heard a squeak from the doorway. I looked over at Fluttershy trying not to laugh at my antics by putting a hoof to her mouth as she hovering there with a towel. I quickly took a normal standing pose and looked at the floor. I could feel the heat rising in my cheeks as they turned a light shade of red.
“D-do you do that every time you get in front of a mirror?” She giggled a bit and set the towel down on the counter by the sink. I could tell she was trying to ask a semi serious question, but her muffled giggles told me she already knew the answer. My face probably got a couple shades darker. She turned around and hovered to the doorway. “I’ll leave you to get cleaned up now.” She giggled a bit again. “Just come outside when you’re done and we can be on our way.”
“Ok” was the only reply that I could manage after that. I always had my own personal bathroom back home and no one ever caught me doing that. I would have to be careful of what silly human things I do. I didn’t need stories spreading around of the things I do.
After a quick shower, I got dressed, threw my armor on and grabbed my weapons. I went outside to find Fluttershy. It wasn’t hard to find the timid pegasus due to her singing. I slowly and quietly sat a couple yards away without letting her know I was there. I just enjoyed her singing as she watered the flowers. The tune was unfamiliar, but it was soothing and relaxing. It made me glad to be in this place, that I was alive. It made me let go of the worry of being in a strange new world. It let me escape the trouble I encountered the past few days and the pain that came with it.
After a bit I got up, noise coming from my armor, and that made her jump a bit. I walked over to her. After helping her finish the watering we started to walk away from her house. Before we crossed the bridge the bird Fluttershy sent out came flying back with a scroll in its beak.
She took the scroll in her mouth and sat on her haunches. She took off the ribbon holding it closed and rolled it open it to read. After a minute or two she had a look of uncertainty plastered on her little pony face. “It seems both Princess Celestia and Princess Luna will be here in Ponyville to meet you today. I didn’t expect this. But I’m sure both of them will like you!” She gave a reassuring smile.
My face didn’t return the smile. It only showed shock and an utter lack for words. I didn’t think I would be meeting them so soon. Back where I was from, people didn’t command respect. Rather they earned it from each person in the small village. But I this was a completely new world. They hadn’t earned my respect, but what would happen if I didn’t show it? From what I knew, these princesses were a creature know as “Alicorns.” Having more powerful magic than an average unicorn, as well as being able to fly. I wasn’t sure I should disrespect them, yet my nature wouldn’t allow me to respect them right away.
As my thoughts continued to go a mile a minute, Fluttershy nudged my leg with her hoof. She made a motion for us to keep moving, so I followed her. ‘This is going to be an interesting day to be sure… I will see if the princesses will earn their respect from me. If they don’t like it, well I’ll be ready for a hostile creature that is more powerful than, what seems, a majority of the planet… Nothing to worry about.’ I thought to myself, as I followed the timid yellow pegasus into the town known as Ponyville. Cute name, right?
Well as we entered town the ponies gave me wary looks. As if I was going to attack at any moment. I suppose if I saw a towering monster with big pieces of metal on his body and carrying sharp blades, I would be pretty scared too. Not to mention that these ponies wore nothing, though a couple of them had a bow tie, saddle bags or other minor accessories. But some of these ponies has looks on their faces with as much curiosity as there was fear.
After reaching the large town square, Fluttershy finally was able to do what she wanted and shop. We went to various stalls with all sorts of fruits, nuts, vegetables, flowers and some sweets vendors. I was surprised to see the incredibly shy pegasus in such a public environment. She was still looking a bit awkward, but much better than I would have thought.
We went to a cherry stall that Fluttershy said she needed for that little bunny’s favorite meal…. What a spoiled thing. I was idly standing around, looking at the various and unique color schemes of the ponies, when I heard an argument going on at the stall. I couldn’t quite hear what was going on, but it sounded like the stallion running the stall was trying to be a bit too pushy. “10 bits, take it or leave it.” He practically scolded her.
“Can we work out an agreement this time? Your sign says 2 bits for one cherry.” Fluttershy replied quietly. Seems like this isn’t the first time this has happened. This wasn’t going to go on with me here. I walked over and crouched down and looked the stallion right in the eyes.
“Trying to cheat my friend here?” I said cooly. “I wouldn’t advise it. People who treat my friends poorly tend to end up in…. unfortunate situations.” I glared at him. He seemed a bit surprised at my appearance, but he didn’t seem to want to give in.
“Y-you listen here, this is my stall. What I s-say goes. No exceptions!” He forced out the last part in what I think was to be an attempt to get me to back off. Did it work? Nope.
“Well how about this, 2 bit for the cherry, and I’ll leave peacefully. She has housed me since I got to this world, taken me in, cared for my wounds and treated me with kindness. I think she deserves a fair price. But if you keep insisting on the 10 bits, it won’t be a pleasant day for you.” I hardened my stare, just like I did back in my home town when someone didn’t want to listen to what I had to say. He seemed to become a lot more frantic at this point, so he agreed and we went on our way.
With the final item bought, we were ready to start on the way to Twilight’s house where I was going to meet the bearers of what they called “The Elements of Harmony.” Whatever those were. Sounded like something that is used on evil was my guess. I wasn’t going to think too much on it.
After a couple minutes, I decided to break the silence. “You know, if anyone like that is ever giving you trouble, you can ask me for help,” I said to Fluttershy, she just looked at me and then back down at the ground.
“I-I didn’t want to bother you with my problems. It was my purchase and I should have taken care of it myself.” She said quietly. “Though I am grateful that you help me.” She looked at me and gave me a smile. I wondered how long it would take until this place killed me with the adorable things here. I gave her a smile back.
“You’ve taken care of me, fed me, and treated me with kindness since I’ve been here. You earned my respect and my gratitude.” I stopped on the empty road and gave her a small bow. I lifted my head and gave her probably the silliest grin I had ever given anyone. She stood there shocked for a second. After a bit she started to giggle.
I stood up straight and lifted her saddle bag off her back and put it over my shoulder. She protested for a bit that she had to carry it, but I ignored her and kept walking. She eventually let it go and didn’t try to convince me anymore. We reached the famous Twilight Sparkle’s house after a bit. It was a tree house. A tree that was a literally a house. How cute.
As Fluttershy knocked on the door we heard some faint voices coming from inside. I figured it must be the other element bearers. I wondered what they’ll be like. If they’re anything like Rainbow or Fluttershy we should get along just fine. After a few second the door opene. A lavender mare with a purple mane and a streak of a lighter purple and pink in it opened up the door. I noticed the horn on her head and realized she was a unicorn.
“Fluttershy, glad you could make it here so soon! And you must be Alex, the one Fluttershy mentioned in her letter.” She looked up at me with a curious look. I just nodded and she somehow got more confused. “Uhm, Fluttershy? Does it talk? Or is it another animal that you can communicate with?” Ok, that hurt a bit.
“Of course I can talk!” I said with a bit of shock. “You just go and assume a creature is below the intellectual level to communicate with you just because you’ve never seen it before? Not. Cool.” I crossed my arms and gave her a level expression. She looked a bit embarrassed before motioning for us to come into the tree. I barely got into the doorway when a pink pony seemed to appear right in front of me … upside down?
“Hi! I’m Pinkie Pie!” She said with too much energy. “You must be the new creature in town! Oooh! Do you like parties!? I love parties. They’re my special talent! But I also love cupcakes, cakes, pies, balloons, streamers, games, cookies, muffins, cid-” I put a finger up to her lips to stop her talking. I had only hoped it worked. Thankfully it did. I took a deep breath to try to recover from the excitement overload from this crazy pony.
“Ok, I’ll answer your questions another time, but for now would you mind not asking me too many things? Your answers will come in due time. But for now, please stop.” I gave her a small smile and she didn’t start talking my ear off when I took my finger away. She still had a ridiculously big grin on her face, but she got down from the doorframe and took a seat by the other ponies in the building.
There was the crazy pink one that called herself Pinkie Pie, upon closer inspection she has a mark of one yellow balloon and two blue ones. Another one was orange with a blonde tail and mane with a trio of apples as her mark, while wearing a hat that looked like something from a history book I saw. A “cowboy hat” not sure what it was actually called. Twilight was sitting there as well, still giving me a curious look. Almost as if analyzing me. Fluttershy took a seat with the rest of them. Another one was the purest white I’ve seen and had a stylish purple mane and tail. She had a mark of three brilliant blue diamonds. The last one to my surprise was none other than Rainbow Dash.
Upon seeing the rainbow maned mare I gave her a big grin and she flew over to me. After a short fist-to-hoof greeting that was common among the ponies, instead of the handshake I was used to, I took a seat on the floor in front of all of them. I sat there, waiting for one of them to break the silence.
We at there in an awkward silence for a couple minutes before I finally decided it had gone on long enough. I turned to Rainbow, “So Rainbow, what have you been up to since you were last at Fluttershy’s?” I asked.
She looked over to me seeming a bit surprised I had asked her something. “Coordinating the weather, practicing awesome new flying stunts, and being cool.” She answered with a bit of puffing out her chest. I just gave a short laugh at her boasting. “So what about you metal head?”
I looked her at confusion for a bit. I realized soon enough she was referring to the armor I was wearing. “Well resting up, trying not to strain my shoulder too much, getting scared by Fluttershy’s bears, and helping her out around the place. Nothing else really.” I decided to take my greatsword and shield off my back so I could at least lean back.
I looked around at the other ponies. Pinkie was fidgeting around, Fluttershy was drinking some tea Twilight had set out and Rainbow was eating some cookies. The orange and white ones looked a bit nervous to be around me. Twilight looked less nervous and was staring at me intently. I wasn’t going to let that go on.
“Twilight. It’s not polite to stare, if you have something to ask me feel free to. I’m not going to bite or anything. I expected to be asked questions.” Pinkie gave a large grin in my direction, “Not to the point of having a mental overload.” No need to encourage that insane pink pony of pure energy. Not until I get used to it, if that’s possible.
Well my comment seemed to have snapped Twilight out of whatever little trance she was in and she looked a bit embarrassed for the second time today. This time I could make out a little redness underneath her purple fur. That was adorable. I’m going to have a heart attack here.
“Sor-sorry about that.” She gave a nervous laugh. “It’s just that this is the first ever encounter with a being from another world ever in Equestria’s history!” She happily clopped her front hooves together. “I was worried that you would be hostile. Like most of the thing that come out the of Everfree Forest. But now that you haven’t been openly dangerous, I think now would be a good time to get introductions done.” She stood up and started on the far right.
“That’s Fluttershy, but I’m sure you know that. Then Rainbow Dash, but seems like you two have already met. Pinkie Pie already introduced herself. The next one is AppleJack.” She pointed to the orange coated mare, who gave a quick nod with a short “Howdy.” Twilight pointed to white mare next, “This is Rarity,” The white mare gave a gentle smile, “Pleasure to meet you.” She’s definitely a upperclass type person, a rare few back where I was from. I didn’t usually work well with them. “And I am Twilight Sparkle.”
I gave a nod, “Glad to meet all of you.” I was unsure of what was going to happen next, were they going to question me until I couldn’t think? I didn’t much care for that idea. Especially after that barrage of questions right off the bat from Pinkie Pie.
My armor was getting to be a bit uncomfortable from sitting on the ground for so long. I stood up and took of my longsword and started to undo the buckles of the metal. It didn’t take long and it felt nice to have it off while sitting. I had no shirt because the one I wore had been ripped on the shoulder and the folding of the cloth under the armor didn’t feel right. Luckily the breastplate had padding in it that made it bearable to wear. The others beside Rainbow and Fluttershy gave a shocked look at the bloody bandages that covered my left shoulder.
“Oh come on, it’s not that bad. I doesn’t hurt too much thanks to Fluttershy’s excellent medicine.” Fluttershy got a little red from that praise and smiled a bit, but didn’t give too big a reaction.
“Oh my, darling. How did you ever come to have such an injury?” Rarity asked. I had to admit, I was a bit surprised that she showed concern for someone she just met.
“I agree wit’ her pardner. How’d y’all get that hurt?” Applejack agreed. Put another tally in the surprised section.
“That looks like it hurts super duper badly!” Pinkie almost yelled. That one can be put under the “saw it coming” section. Twilight just seemed to be waiting for an answer from me, instead of being redundant. Guess I had a story to tell. I always liked to tell stories back home. So I told them about the timber wolf attack. It was short, but they seemed astonished all the same.
“So y’all are tellin’ me that ya took out ah pack ah timber wolves all by yerself?” Applejack said with her mouth slightly hanging open.
“That’s what I just said isn’t it?” I gave a slight smirk. “I could take you out there sometime and show you the story first hand.” The orange mare just gave me a confused look, so I held up my hand and pointed to it with the other. “Saying from my world, means I could show you it up close and personal.”
“Oh, so that’s what ya meant. Coulda jus’ said so.” She gave a slightly annoyed look. “But I think I’ll have to turn down that offer. I’m in no mind to get involved in that.” She shook her head.
I gave a short laugh. “I wouldn’t go back in there with you following me anyway. I wouldn’t put any of you in danger. No matter how well I could handle it.” I slowly stood. “Twilight, I was told by Fluttershy that the princesses were going to come here to meet me. What time is it and what time will they be here?”
Twilight looked over to a clock. “It’s about 1:35 in the afternoon. The princesses were going to arrive around sundown. So about 6 or 7 this evening. Why?”
“I was hoping to sit around outside for a while. I never much cared to be indoors. Even back home, and I spent the better part of the last three days inside. Driving me a bit crazy.”
I put my armor and weapons back on. I walked over to the door, but it was encased in a purple aura. What the hell?
I look over to the ponies and saw Twilight’s horn alight with the same aura surrounding the doorknob. “I don’t think that’s a very good idea.” She had a hint of fear in her eyes. “I’m still not 100 percent certain that you should be roaming around town. It could cause a real disturbance with you going off by yourself.” Hello palm, meet face. I let my hand slide down my face and heaved a deep sigh to keep a level head.
“If I wanted to start something, wouldn’t I have done so by now? Would I have even bothered to stay where I was? You’re thinking is narrow, untrusting, and degrading to me. I’m not some barbarian who can’t keep himself in check, and I work pretty well with others. Have had to my entire life.” I grabbed the doorknob and twisted it with a good jerk. To my surprise it moved and the magic aura around it dispersed and I was able to open the door. Apparently Twilight wasn’t used to people breaking her magical aura.
“H-how did you!?” She was utterly shocked. I had to use a good portion of my strength, but I still had a decent amount to spare if it hadn’t budged. “No one has been able to break my magical hold! How were you able to break it? This makes no sense…” I couldn’t help but laugh. A big hearty laugh.
“I have strength that you don’t possess.” I pointed to my greatsword. “How do you think I’m able to swing this beauty around?” I gave a small smirk and walked out the door, Twilight’s jaw met the floor as I went out.
Walking around the town was nice. The sun was shining and everypony had a smile on their face. That is until they saw me. I couldn’t help but feel a little guilty about them being so scared of me. I didn’t do anything to make them scared, but natural instincts conquer all other senses I guess.
Sitting in the town square I watched the many brightly colored ponies go about their day. Well, the ones that didn’t see me or know I was there. The ones that saw me either stopped and stared for a bit, or just moved quicker to get out of the area. It wasn’t pleasant being feared.
I was just letting my mind wander while I sat in front of the fountain, when a little foal came up to me. She had a red mane and tail with a yellow coat. She looked up at me with a curious look. She just sat there in front of me. Waiting for something apparently. Finally she spoke. “So mister, what are y’all supposed to be? Ya don’t look like anythin’ ah’ve ever seen.”
Well at least the kid is being honest. “I’m a human, I come from a different world from this one. That’s why you’ve never seen anything like me before.” I replied, better get used to that question. “But aren’t you scared of me? Like all the other ponies that are walking around?”
“Why would ah be scared of ya? You ain’t hurtin’ nopony and y’all haven’t done anythin’ really, ya don’t even look very scary.” Said the red maned filly. This was certainly a surprise, after a day of being feared I thought they wouldn’t even try to talk to me. Yet here is this little filly, talking to me like nothing was wrong.
“Well I’m glad someone thinks I’m not scary. It’s not very fun. My name’s Alexander, you can just call me Alex.” I held out my fist, which she met with her hoof.
“Ah’m Applebloom! Nice tah meet ya Mister Alex.” She gave me a goofy little grin. “What brings ya to Ponyville?”
“Well I’ve been living at a pony’s house the past couple days recovering from a timber wolf attack when I was in the Everfree. I decided to get out and get some fresh air. I hate being inside for so long.” My stomach growled loudly to announce it had not been fed in a while. I could feel myself get a bit red from that. Applebloom only let out a laugh.
“So, do ya like apples Mr. Alex?” She looked up at me with pure excitement. Some of these ponies were just a little crazy with somethings.
“You bet I do. But I don’t have any money to pay for them.” I replied while slightly hanging my head.
“That won’t be ah problem! We got plenty ah apples at my place! I’m sure Granny Smith won’t mind if you have ah couple.” She grabbed my hand between both of her front hooves and pulled on my arm. I was surprised she was able to stand on two legs. This is getting weirder again. But I got up and she released my hand. She trotted ahead of me and I followed.
I followed her through most of the town and out past a wooded area. What I saw astonished me. There was a giant apple orchard in front of me. Apples as far as I could see with all different varieties. I was at a loss for words. So I just let my jaw hang open as I stared out at the vast acres of land that grew the apple trees. Applebloom trotted ahead past the opening gate, “Come on slow poke!” She yelled at me. I jogged to catch up to her.
We reached the front porch of the small wooden home, Applebloom went inside while I waited outside sitting on the stairs. I heard the door open again and I saw an elderly green mare come out. She saw me and her eyes went wide with fear. “What is that thing!? BIG MACINTOSH! Get out here! We got a monster out here!” She frantically ran to the opposite end of the porch when I heard loud thudding coming from in the house. What I saw next was kind of terrifying.
A big bright red stallion with orange-ish hair, who almost reached my chin came out of the doorway. He was certainly muscular, and he had a no joking expression on his face. This was not a pony I wanted to mess with, even on a good day. I got my shield off my back just in case.
“You ok granny?” His voice was deep and strong. Not a good day, definitely not a good day! “Now as for you, get outta here before ah buck ya outta here.”
“Uhm, I was sitting here waiting for Applebloom. Are you her older brother?” I wasn’t going to let this horse scare me off. Even with my injured shoulder I know I could defend myself. It just wouldn’t be very pleasant.
“Ah don’t know what ya are or what ya’ll want with mah sister, but you better jes get on outta here.” The red stallion replied in a gruff tone.
“Can’t we be civil about this? I mean really, I was sitting out here waiting for Apple-” I didn’t get to finish my sentence before he charged me. I was slammed with more force than Rainbow Dash had hit me with. I got sent flying on to my ass about four feet from the porch.
“Oh boy. IT. IS. ON.” I said with my adrenaline already flowing through me. It was times like these that got my blood really flowing. With how today had gone, it was better to get charged at than ignored out of fear. This could be a challenge.
The protective red stallion charged me again. I was ready this time. I kneeled and put my shield in front of me. He reared up and hit it hard. It sent a sharp pain through my shoulder and I folded a bit under his mass, but I managed to hold his weight. I waited for him to rear up again and went in for the strike. I brought the shield to his front hooves and held them there while I landed a solid uppercut on his barrel. I heard a loud grunt come from him and a hollow thud from where I hit. I quickly shoved my shield into his front hooves until he fell on to his back. Regular ponies are much easier to handle than pegasi.
I held him down and pinned his front legs down with my knees. I had half a mind to hit him with my shield until he was unconscious. But I remembered Applebloom should be returning soon. “Now wouldn’t it have been better to just talk this out? I’m not going to hurt you anymore for two reasons. First, I don’t want to be seen as a bad guy. I’m new and should maintain a positive reputation. Second, I haven’t completely lost my temper and you seem like a decent stallion. So can we please just talk?” He was completely surprised by my unwillingness to cause him anymore pain. He just gave me a simple nod.
As I got up I dusted off my leggings and repositioned my shield onto my back with the greatsword. I look over to the rather large stallion, who is sitting on his haunches and put a hoof against his barrel with a pained expression. Guess I hit harder than I thought. “Not hurt too badly are you?” I asked with a bit of concern. My punches were able to bruise ribs sometimes crack them even, on humans. I didn’t know how sturdy these ponies were.
“Well ya got me pretty good there. But ah think ah’ll make it.” He continued to sit there and rub his chest. Must not be in too much pain, he’s still able to touch it.
“Well that’s good, my punches have been known to crack ribs sometimes on my species. I wasn’t sure if I had hit you too hard.” I knelt in front of him and held out a fist. “My name’s Alex. I’m a human who has found himself worlds away from his home.” He met my fist with his hoof.
“Name’s MacIntosh Apple. Most just call me Big Mac.” He didn’t say anything after that. But Applebloom came out of the house carrying an assortment of apples on her back that she balanced. About six or seven apples were in the bowl.
“Here ya are Alex. Ah didn’t know what kind ya like so ah-” She saw Big Mac sitting in front of me with a still scared Granny Smith on the porch. “What happened here? Granny, did ya tell Big Mac tah attack mah friend?” She facehoofed. “Mac, tell me ya at least tried tah talk to Alex? Or did he kick your flank?” Big Mac just looked at the ground with guilt and a bit of embarrassment. I kind of laughed. I was such a horrible person.
“Nothing to worry about. Mac here got me good once, but I got him back and pinned him down and made him listen. We’re on proper terms now.” I said to Applebloom. She just let out a groan and proceeded toward me with the apples and set the bowl down in front of me.
I ate with glee. “My goodness! Fresh fruit is so hard to come by in my world. Most plants are mutated or dead. Very little places to grow a proper plant. Even the fruit I was able to get in my world didn’t taste this good.” I sat there and ate the glorious fruit without hesitation. Big Mac didn’t say a thing and Granny Smith seemed to have calmed down and realize I wasn’t going to attack.
“So does everypony think we should trust him?” Twilight asked of everyone there.
“If I hadn’t talked to him I would have thought he was nothing but a barbaric brute with all that armor on. HE does have some elegance to him. Even if it’s not much. But I most certainly will have to do something about those dirty old rags he’s wearing! Ugh! It’s a crime against fashion.” Rarity exclaimed.
“Oh, oh! I think he’s going to be super fun!” Pinkie said excitedly in the way only pinkie could. “He seems like a really nice creature! I just hope he likes parties! He’s A-OK in my book! Now I’m going to have to think of when to throw a party for him, what color should the cake be, what flavor should the cake be? Streamers or confetti? Oh! Maybe I’ll make cookies too, and cupcakes, and muffins….” This went on for a while, eventually going to pure thought. Much to the other pony’s relief.
“W-well I’ve dealt with him the past couple days. He seems really nice. He doesn’t like to resort to violence, but he isn’t afraid to use it. He’s never ever lifted a blade to anypony and threatened to use it that I’ve seen. He looks out for me even though I’ve barely known him. I think it’s only right that we trust him.” Fluttershy said quietly. But was still heard by everypony there.
“He’s cool with me, he may have kicked my flank when I attacked him, but help take care of any damage don-”
“WHAT!?” Twilight and the others yelled in unison (except Fluttershy).
“When in tarnation did this happen!?” Applejack said with a bit of disbelief.
“Really darling, what made you do such a thing!?” Rarity said.
“Why in Equestria DID this happen Rainbow Dash!? You couldn’t tell us this before?” Twilight accused. Pinkie on the other hoof was the opposite of every other pony. She didn’t even know what to say. It didn’t seem like she could say anything.
“It’s nothing to worry about. He was in the right when he did it. I came over to talk to Flutters when I saw him. He was this big weird creature wear metal armor and had his weird blade out. I thought he was attacking her. He had tried to explain it to me, but… I sorta ignored him and kept trying to hurt him.” Rainbow said a little sheepishly. “I got my flank kicked pretty hard. Literally.” She went to recall the entire fight with all the ups and downs and twists to it. Not to mention the pain. She also added the part where he helped her to a more comfortable spot and treated her injuries. “All the while he had that bite on his shoulder, which was even worse then, but he still worried about how hurt I was first. He deserves to be trusted.”
“Well after that little story ah’m not gonna argue if he should be trusted or not.” Applejack stated. “If he is really that kind, reasonable and ah’ll tell ya now, he was being honest with us here. If there ain’t a reason to trust ‘im, ah’m all ears.”
Nobody said anything, not even pinkie. Which given her boundless energy and ability to talk almost anypony’s ear off, it’s a wonder she didn’t say anything. It seems Rainbow’s story got to them and gave them something to think about.
“So we’re all agreed that he can be trusted?” Twilight finally broke the silence that had enveloped the group. All around the room there wasn’t much more than a simple “yes” or a nod of the head. “Ok, good. Now what should we do about that strength of his? If he’s strong enough to break my magical grip, he could be dangerous.” This got all of them thinking.
“Well. We don’t really have to take away his strength do we?” Fluttershy asked. “He hasn’t really hurt anypony without a reason to. He isn’t very dangerous to us.”
“Twi, let me tell you this now” Applejack stated. “Takin away this guy’s strength is like takin away your magic. Jus cause he can break your magic field doesn’t mean he should be made weaker. It’s all he’s got. Ah don’t see him castin any spells or flyin. Do you? Ah know this cause ah don’t have have no horns or wing either.”
Twilight just looked down with a guilty expression on her face. “I suppose you’re right Applejack. But if he becomes a threat to us for sure, I’m going to completely sap his strength he won’t be able to move with that armor on. I’m not going to take any chances on this one. We don’t know what he’s fully capable of.”
“Well ah can’t say ah completely agree with that, but ah guess it’s the best we’re gonna get out of you. Plus ah’m pretty sure if you tried you could hold him in place Twi. His strength has got to have a limit. Now if y’all would excuse me, ah got some apples to buck.” Applejack then proceeded to trot out the door with a bit more annoyance than usual.
“Was it something I said?” Twilight asked a little confused. The others just shrugged. “Well I guess we’re all done here. You all can go if you want to.” All the ponies got up and said their goodbyes before heading their separate ways. Twilight closed the door behind them all and turned to her small desk and opened a book.
“Ah can’t believe Twilight would even suggest takin away the one thing that poor feller has! Ugh. No sense ah morals at all. One thing could possibly be a threat and she goes all crazy on us. Sayin it’s fer safety or what not. Girl ain’t right in the head.” Applejack stopped in the middle of town square and looked at the many vendors that surrounded the area. “Ah might as well stop for something, all that talking has gotten me a bit hungry.” Applejack glanced to the center where the fountain was, and she could have sworn she saw the large human sitting there. But wasn’t entirely sure. The metal isn’t exactly shining on his armor. But she made her way to Sugarcube Corner, just as a certain red-headed filly made her way to the center of town square.
Talking with the Apple family I learned a few things. The big red stallion known as Big Mac is not much one for words in normal situations. Mostly sticking to a simple "eeyup" or "nope". That and granny smith knows how to make one mean apple pie. "I can't thank you enough Mrs. Smith for allowing me to have some of your delicious food." I said through a mouthful of pie. "Oh aren't you polite." Granny Smith replied. "Just call me granny. No need for formalities here." Applebloom was helping her clean up the last bit from making the pies. "Ah just wouldn't feel right not to apologize in some way for mah rude behavior. Not everyday a new creature comes to town. Not usually ah good thing when it does happen." Granny said after taking a seat at the table. "Well I won't argue with that. But I think I've had enough apple pie for one day." I said as I started to stand up. I said my good byes to the Apple family as I went out. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The next couple hours went by without many events. Walking around, ponies avoiding me, sometimes they even just stared at me. As if I would do anything. I even managed to find a nice secluded place to practice my fighting. Not that intense of training yet. Dont need to rip open my shoulder again. But training, even a little, helps. As I sheathed my sword I heard some branches on the ground snap. I turned to see a pony standing there. She had a purple mane with a white streak going through it with a pink coat. She wore a little tiara on her head and looked at me with fright. She backed up a bit when I glanced over at her. “Hi there, what brings you out here?” I said with my friendliest grin I could put on. She just stood there for a few seconds before running off with a scream. Well that was weird. Ponies have been insecure around me sure, but never really freaked out like that. I didn’t dwell on it too much. I looked at where the sun was in the sky. It looked to be about 5:30. “I should probably head to Twilight’s before the meeting.” ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Twilight’s House 6:05pm I finally reached Twilight’s house after another long walk of ponies being nervous around me. Though a few that I had seen earlier in the day didn’t look very nervous, though still not confident enough for them to come up to me. At least a little progress was being made. ‘I wonder if I will actually ever really talk to any of these ponies?’ I reached Twilight’s house and knocked on the door. I was met at the door by none other than Twilight who didn’t look too pleased with me. What the hell just happened? I was let into the library without so much as a hello. “So what’s up Twilight?” I asked, unsure if I should have even said anything. “Don’t talk.” She said in a rough tone. “Do you know what time it is?” I looked at the clock and read that it was 6:06pm. I gave a slight nod. “Then why are you late? The princesses could be here any minute, or worse, they could have been here by now! You want to make a good impression don’t you?” Ok, this I wasn’t ready to deal with. “Twilight, I. Will. NOT.” I stamp my foot for emphasis, “Be treated like a child. I definitely will not stand here and get scolded by a 4 foot tall brightly colored talking pony either! I don’t think your Princesses would care if I was a few minutes late, even if they got here at 6 o’clock.” I think my voice was a bit too harsh because she had taken quite a few steps back. I just took a deep breathe and let it out. I finally went to look about the room and saw everyone room earlier today. They all had a bit nervous look to them, other than Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash, the first of which looked absolutely terrified and the second trying to hold back some laughter at Twilight’s expense. I just pinched the bridge of my nose and hung my head. We sat there in relative silence until we heard the beating of wings outside the library. Guessing it was the ponies who I had been expecting I opened the door and stepped outside before anyone could say otherwise. I prefered everything outside. The others had followed me outside. I was kind of dumbfounded when I stepped out and saw two ponies that almost matched me in height. and had both wings and a horn. One was a brilliant white with a multi hued ethereal mane. The other being a dark blue with a dark ethereal mane that looked like the night sky. “Welcome Princesses,” I heard from Twilight behind me. I looked at them and saw they were all bowing to the two beings in front of me. I didn’t budge an inch downwards. I just stood there analyzing the Princesses. One had a sun tattoo on her backside while the other had a crescent moon on hers. Twilight quickly got up from the ground and ran up to the white princess and gave her some type of hug that she returned. “WHY DOTH THOU NOT BOW TO US?” The dark blue one said with an extremely loud voice. How a creature could produce such a loud noise is beyond me. Must be some sort of magic that I’ve been seeing from the unicorns. “Luna!” The white Princess said to the other. “Please calm your voice! We are all right in front of you.” She stated while rubbing the assaulted ear on the right side of her head. “We apologize sister. I am only inquiring as to why this creature doth not bow and show us respect.” Luna said giving me an annoyed look. “Well I don’t know how it’s done around here. But from where I’m from, respect is earned, not given. You may be a princess to these ponies, but not to me.” I deadpan at the princess in question. I swear I saw her eye twitch. This should be interesting. The white one just stood there for a bit, just looking at me. She finally spoke after about a minute. “Well allow me to introduce ourselves. I am Princess Celestia, I raise and lower the sun. And this is my sister, Princess Luna, she raises and lowers the moon. May I ask what your name is?” “I am Alex Silver, former warrior of the Silver Blade Clan.” I stated as I detached my greatsword. I heard quiet gasps from the ponies behind me. I slowly raised it above my head, but I felt something grab hold of it. I looked to see Twilight’s aura around it. I just started to laugh at her. I quickly rammed the sword straight down. “ALEX NO!” I heard Twilight scream. It was too late, the sword had met my intended target and was buried deep within. I just started laughing to no end at Twilight’s look of horror. Luna giving me an equally surprised look. I saw anger build in Twilight’s eyes and she saw the sword standing straight up. “Now Twilight, I had a very good reason for doing that.” She started to say something as I took a step to the side. The sword was standing tall and proud, lunged deep into the earth. Not a drop of blood to be found. She just started to open and close her mouth like a fish out of water. I just continued from where I left off and unhitched the belt holding my longsword onto me and clicked it back together away from me, and placed it on the hilt of the greatsword until it reached the handguard. I took my shield off my back and did the same with the arm loops. “As a symbol of peace among my people, I give up my weapons and shield.” I said to them, bringing my fist to my chest in a salute. “But… We thought that thou hast no respect for us.” Luna said, almost at a loss or words. Celestia just stood there and gave me a warm smile, almost motherly. “I never said I had no respect for you. You just haven’t earned the respect of me bowing to you is all.” I said with a mischievous grin, “A leader of a country in a magical world? I’m not exactly smart, but I have common sense. I know who I want as an ally and who I can bear to have as a foe. Flying and magical ponies is not on the list of them.” Celestia giggled at my remark. “Well Alex, the proper term or us is Alicorns. And you are wise to not have us as foes. We possess the most magical power in Equestria.” “Well I’m certainly not going to test myself again you. Not yet at least.” I said with a chuckle. Celestia gave me a confused look. “It’s just a joke. Where I’m from, those who didn’t like the leadership they were under could challenge their superiors to a fight. The one who won took the role of leadership. So basically if i challenged you, I would be challenging your leadership.” I gave her a little smirk. “Well I hope you see our leadership as just and fair. I would hate to harm anypony.” Celestia said. “Shall we proceed inside? I would like to ask you some questions, as well as my sister I’m sure.” “Yay…” I said in a lame tone. “More questions.” Twilight and Celestia gave some laughs from my statement. I let the others go inside first. I quickly gathered my gear from outside, the greatsword being almost stuck, and followed the others inside. I took off my armor once I was inside and sat down. I took a seat closer to the door while the princesses took seats right in front of me and the others off to my left. “So Alex, do you know how you got here?” Celestia asked. “Well I was shot at, and the force of it pushed me into a deep fissure in the ground and I woke up in the Everfree. If I remember the name correctly. So I know what lead to me being me here, but not exactly sure how I got here.” “Interesting. Now I think you’ll be happy to know that given some time, I may be able to come up with a way to send you back-” Celestia stated but I cut her off in the middle of it. “No thanks.” I said without any hesitation. “I don’t want to go back. I’m perfectly fine with staying here.” Celestia just gave me a dumbfounded look. She was obviously highly confused. “B-but what about your home? Your family, friends? What about your entire life? Surely there must be something for you to go back.” “Nope, nope, and I don’t care about the life I lived there. I was banished from my home, I’m never able to go back, and I have a much better chance at living here and making a new life.” I explained. “I would probably be dead with a few weeks in my world if I went back. Not to mention someone wants me dead.” “But, what doth thou expect to find in our land?” Luna said. “Well, I’m hoping a peaceful life.” “Didn’t thou hast a peaceful life from where thou hast come from?” “This looks like it could take a while. Make yourselves comfortable.” I said.
My world was mostly barren and deserted. Humans have learned to survive in the harsh environments, made by our own doing. After centuries of pollution and wars, the world was falling apart, so to say. The animals have changed over time to some strange beasts. Rabbits are now 3 times the size with fangs protruding from their mouths, but they are very fast. The bears have gotten even bigger in size and have 2 extra limbs. There are large reptilian creatures that are 10 feet in height, large claws and a spiny tail. People think that these creatures evolved from alligators. But there are very small forests in my world, trees and plants are scarce, and the land doesn’t allow us to grow much of our own crops.
“Ok hold up a second,” Rainbow said, “If these creatures are so different from the ones we have here, how do you know what they are supposed to look like?” She crossed her forelegs and gave me a curious stare.
I couldn’t help but laugh. “We have books Rainbow, I have read many of the animal books from the past. I had to hunt for my village, so I needed to have an idea of what the habits of these creatures are. Of course an altered habitat would have to stay in my mind.”
Rainbow just seemed to not question it anymore. She decided to just lean her head on the table with a small annoyed look on her muzzle. I continued with my world.
The deserts that had, in older days, only taken up a small portion of the world, have expanded to nearly 5 times the size, in any country. Small oasis can be found throughout the barren areas. There are still fights between people, even wars between small cities over resources and land. The weak will die while the strong live. There are no exceptions to this rule. The mere terrain and fighting that takes place will make sure of that.
Another thing we must be cautious about are the earthquakes. The shifting of the earth makes them a fairly common occurrence. We have made sure to keep any of our homes away from these areas or have strong beams supporting the structures that will hold up the buildings. My village used such beams. The earthquakes in my area stopped about 3 years ago. We didn’t want to be careless, so even now any buildings they make still have the support.
A result of these tremors are large fissures. There was one right outside my village. There had been some strange noises coming from it time to time. Nothing ever came out. Though some of the people thought otherwise and we just never saw it, or it wasn’t hostile. We certainly don’t know. I wouldn’t doubt it.
“Halt for a moment.” Luna said, “Art thou telling me that you fell down a fissure of undetermined depth, and ended up in Equestria?”
I just gave her a quizzical look. “That’s what I just said. I know it may be strange, but it’s what happened. I thought a ruler of a magical land wouldn’t think it to be very weird.”
“So aside from that, do you have any other information about your world you wish to share with us?” Celestia said. I shook my head, they got as much as it would do them any good to know. I wasn’t going to go into my village’s rule and traditions of the past centuries, it would be pointless information. With the silence setting in, Twilight spoke up next.
“So you mentioned earlier that you were banished from your home?”
“Yes,” I replied. I think I knew where this was going and I didn’t like it.
“So tell me why.” She got up and walked to stand in front of me.
I just looked away from her. I didn’t want to answer her question. The floorboard have gotten interesting all of a sudden. I glance back up at all of them and they gave me the same look Twilight was, expectation of an answer. I knew I wasn’t going to get out of this.
“It was because of something that happened between me and my brother. We didn’t always see eye to eye…. I did something I regret even to this day. I would take it back in a heartbeat if could. But now I’ll never see him again… Not for a very long time.” I felt the memory of the night I had killed my brother running through my mind again. Before I knew it I was crying, tears rolling down my face uncontrolled.
The ears of almost every pony were folded back against their heads. Sitting there as I just cried, the memory burning itself deeper into my mind. I knew I could never forget that night, and it would plague me for my entire life. The soft clopping of hooves came closer to me and I felt a wing drape across my back. I looked to see Fluttershy at my side, tears running down her face.
I didn’t deserve their pity. I got up and picked up my longsword. I think one of them said something, but I wasn’t listening. I quickly opened the door and ran. To where I didn’t have a clue, but I didn’t care at this point. I just wanted to get away.
I was still running, there were trees all around me. I had heard voices from behind me as I left the treehouse as I ran. But I didn’t stop. It was nearing close to night. After a couple more minutes of running I started to slow down. The pain in my heart was still there, the memory as fresh as it had been when it had happened. I looked around me and I was in a small clearing with a large rock in the middle of it. I decided to take a seat and just continued to cry.
When I stopped crying I didn’t know. I just sat there and stared off into the night sky. Some stars were visible and shone dimly in the late sunset. Darkness came quicker than I had thought it would have. The stars became brighter and I looked up at them. The night had always been mine and my brother’s favorite time. We used to stay up late into the night and just looked up at the sky, pointing out constellations. Lifting my sword to my face, I thought about how easy it would be to end it right now.
“Maybe it’s for the best, they don’t need to see the monster I am.” I whispered to myself. Lifting the sword up and point it at my chest, I held it steady. The flapping of a couple sets of wings caught my attention. Luna, Fluttershy and Rainbow had somehow found me. I was sure I wasn’t being followed when I was running.
“Please don’t do it Alex! We can help you through this.” Fluttershy called out to me.
“The yellow one is right. We can help thee with any problem thou hast. We know better than most what it is like to betray thy sibling.” Luna said.
“Alex, don’t do it. I won’t let you kill yourself.” Rainbow said with a look of determination.
I just chuckled with sad tone. “You don’t know what I did, and I never want it to happen again. I won’t let the possibility of my anger besting me again be out there. This is where we part ways.” I plunged with sword deep into myself. The pain was tremendous, indescribable, just sheer pain filled me and I felt myself go weak from it. The ponies in front of me just had a look of complete shock on their faces.
I fell back against the rock that was behind me and said softly, “No one will be harmed by my hands again. This is for the be-” I was cut off as I coughed harshly. I looked to my hand and I saw blood running across my fingers. This was for the best, this world wouldn’t serve me any better than the last. I would still put anyone I met in danger.
“You bucking fool!” Rainbow yelled at me. Fluttershy was frantic and tears rolling down her eyes. Luna was still in shock of what just happened.
“Heheh. Don’t cry guys, this is better for everyone. It was great knowing you while it lasted.” I started to feel cold and everything fade to black. I think I felt hooves moving me, but I didn’t care. I was ready to embrace death and be done with the memory, the pain. I was going to be set free of everything. I felt the wind moving against my face, I wasn’t sure how fast, I closed my eyes long before. This was finally the end.
I awoke with a start in ... my bed? I looked around and sure enough, I was in my home again. On earth. The picture of me and my brother was on top of my dresser, unbroken. Everything was as it was supposed to be.
Had it all just been a dream? It seemed like it I thought to myself. I started to wander around my small home. Everything was right, nothing broken, misplaced or even moved. Something was throwing me off, but I couldn't think of what.
I sat there in silence until it hit me like a bear running at me. “It's silent. ... There's no sound coming from outside!” I rushed out my door and nothing changed. It was still dead silent. No sound of armor clanking, guns being shot off or even the sounds of old rusty vehicles running. I stood out there for a good couple minutes before trying to piece it together.
"Am I dead?" I announced to no one in particular. "If this is where I have to spend eternity then this MUST be hell. Forced to forever remember what I've done. Funny, I just thought death was the end. Nothing more."
There was some sound of slow movement behind me. Instinctively I reached for my sword, but I had forgotten it. I turned to see what was moving in this empty world. I was surprised to see Luna standing before me.
"So ..." I began, "How are you here? I thought this my personal hell."
"Worry not yourself Alex. Thou art not dead. Though thou came very close." She replied, only adding to my confusion and angering me.
"Did you say I'm not dead?" I asked in a cold tone. She simply nodded for a reply. "I’M NOT DEAD!? Why am I not dead!? I stabbed a sword through myself!" I emphasized my words to get my point across, while raising my voice to almost a shout.
"I have spent dozens of sleepless nights reliving the memory! The night I took my brother's life! And now you save me from my release!?" I felt the pressure rising in myself, my anger reaching a new height.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath and looked at Luna. "So where the hell are we? I know this isn't my world, so what is it?"
"’Tis is a dreamscape, created of thy own memories. They took a form familiar to you. We must say, this isn't what we expected." She looked around with a curious gaze and the mostly barren land, save for the village garden and what few plants grew beyond the settlement. "We had expected more.... plants and life. Even though what you told us of your world we didn't think it looked as such."
I gave a slight laugh, "Trust me, it was just as weird for me to see your world so full of life and plants everywhere. So if this is a dream," I gave her a mischievous grin. "Am I able to control it?"
She gave me a smile and put a hoof to her mouth to try to suppress a laugh, "Of course thou can. We apologize for laughing, but thou looked like a foal that hath got a new toy. It is most interesting."
I just shrugged. "Good, because there is something I would like to do." I made a cannon appear into of me, aimed at Luna. "I would say this should be a good start." I fired the cannon unleashing a fierce volley of small cannon balls at her. She was instantly knocked back being hit in several places with the projectiles. I saw blood coming from her muzzle where one had struck her.
"Art thou crazy!? Thou shalt pay for your actions!" She flew at me at an alarming pace, but I just made a steel wall appear in front of me. The resounding clang of skull meeting metal could probably be heard from a couple miles. If anyone else was here to hear it. I merely stepped around the wall, looking down on a dazed and confused night princess.
"That is what you get for saving me. I don't have the means to do this outside of this dream. So I took what I could get." I gave a maniacal smile, "Think twice about who you save or if they want saving. I was perfectly content with dying where I was. Now leaving me in peace."
I gave her a sneer before going back to my home and slamming the door. I leaned against it and slid down to the floor.
"Well I think you could have handled that a bit better, don't you?"
A familiar voice came from the doorway leading to the bedroom. My gaze shot over there and I started to choke on my response. Standing in the doorway was my brother, fully clad in armor with his weapons on him.
He was exactly as I remembered him. Short black hair, dark brown eyes almost to the point of black, the scar running across his nose with his trademark smirk, ever present on his face.
"G-gabe. What are you..... How did you? Great! Even my mind is making me suffer." My gaze fell to the floor and I brought my knees to my chest. I heard Gabe's footsteps come towards me. They stopped at my feet and he crouched down to my level. I felt a powerful slap to my face and his hand grab the top of my breastplate. He yanked me to my feet and glared at me, right into my eyes. I knew this look all too well.
"Alex!" He snarled, "I have a bone to pick with you." He put his other hand on the top of my chestpiece and slammed me into the wall. I could already tell this was going to be a long talk. He pressed me against the wall harder, slightly lifting me off the ground.
"What the hell is wrong with you!? Why the hell would you do something so blatantly stupid! Are the neurotransmitters in your brain out of order!? Seriously Al! Do you know how disappointed I am in you?" He slowly lowered me and removed his hands from the metal armor. Gabe let out a heavy sigh and continued, "What made you do it? That's all I want to know."
I just stared at him for what seemed to be hours. I finally took a shaky breath, "You know why I did it. I wouldn't let you attack those travellers! Our village may have been in need of food and supplies, but we would NOT resort to raiding innocents!
“I know it isn't against our rules or way of life, but there had to be a line drawn! Everyone was torn between who to follow. I didn't care if people in our village were hungry from not stealing from them!"
I looked down at the floor again, the wooden floor was very interesting right now. "It was our job to hunt animals for food. It was our lack of patience that kept us from doing our job right! People were suffering because of us.
“You told me to go back to the village and wait if I didn't want to help you kill those people. That’s why I did it. I couldn't go back with a clear conscience if I didn't stop you. But I'm regretting that decision now. More than I thought I would. B-but I didn't mean to kill you! I just wanted to stop you! I-i'm sorry Gabe! I'm so sorry!"
Tears started to roll down my cheeks, my breathing was rapid and short. I looked to my brother and only saw him smiling. He didn't say anything, just stepped in front of me. Before I knew it he had his arms wrapped around me, pulling me in tightly. I was as confused as ever right now. But I didn't care, not now. I returned the hug and cried more than I have since the night he died. I don't know how long I stood there, but eventually Gabe pulled away from me.
Remembering this was still a dream I made some chairs appear for us to sit on. We both sat down, I wasn't sure why Gabe was here, but I was going to enjoy it. "Now I want you to know something," He said, "I don't blame you for anything you did. You had a good heart and the right intentions. But let me tell you one of the perks of being dead, you can see all of the 'what ifs'. So I decided to see if we had gone through with my plan, what would have happened. You had honestly made the right decision. We all would have died if we had listened to me. You saved all of our friends from certain death."
He leaned over to me and rested a hand on my shoulder. "You did what you thought was right. It may not have turned out like you had planned. But it was the right thing. I hold nothing against you for it. What happened back when I was alive doesn't matter to me."
He looked at me with a stern glare, "What I do care about is my little brother trying to kill himself! Seriously! What the hell was that shit!? Ramming that long sword through yourself like a blasted idiot!"
I sat there with my jaw hanging open, not believing what I just heard. I shook my head to try to focus again. "So you're telling me, that if I didn't shoot you, we all would be dead anyway." He nodded.
"And that you don't care that you died and are pissed at me for trying to kill myself instead." Again he nodded.
"How do you even know I tried to kill myself? That is if you aren't a complete figment of my imagination sent to try to help me reason my actions."
"A couple years ago I took your favorite magazine and blamed Herald for it."
"WHAT!? Are you kidding me!? I just about rammed my-!....." I sat there in silence. Was this really my brother? That situation with Herald was a little suspicious. It would make sense that Gabe would be able to find it without any trouble and making a minimal mess.
"So how did you find me? And why haven't you come to me before this?"
Gabe leaned back in his chair and smirked a bit. "I have been watching you since I found out what would have happened if I lived. I wanted to make sure you lived a happy life, or a relatively safe one. When you fell into the fissure that brought you here I followed you through it. Only because you are in Equestria am I able to do this. A place full of magic, that is the only reason I can talk to you now. Not without the help of princess Luna of course. Not just any spirit can roam through her territory. But seeing how I was the same creature as you, she didn't have much difficulty figuring out why I was here."
I just sat there trying to piece together everything he had just said. It all made sense, and if Luna could prove it when I awoke then this would really be him. I would have to know one thing before this was all over with.
"So are you able to talk to me anytime?" I asked, giving him a hopeful look. I was heart broken when I saw him shake his head. "Why not?" He gave me a hint of a grin.
"Because I need to choose where I am reborn. I have chosen Equestria to be my new birthplace. So that one day, I might meet you again. I won't remember you. But hopefully I will once again be your friend. Just a little incentive to keep yourself alive."
He gave a wink and smiled. I just laughed in response. I knew his humor. He always took a serious situation and made a joke out of it. It would get me every time.
"So is that the only reason you have come to talk to me? To try to make me keep myself alive?" I asked. I could tell he was trying to form a good answer. The wheels were turning.
"Well that is a large portion of it. Another reason was so I could talk to you one last time before I forget you. I want you to see that your actions haven’t just angered and upset me.” Gabe extended his hand and a faint blue glow enveloped his hand. “A little trick Luna gave to me in the time I was talking to her. Nothing special, just to let me choose what you see from the real world.”
A small window with the blue aura was made and shined brightly for a second before fading and showing me. ... I was in a hospital bed with a large bandage across my chest where the longsword had been. Fluttershy was sitting there, her head resting next to my arm. She looked like she hasn’t slept in days, there were dark bags under her eyes as well as them being bloodshot. The fur was matted on her cheeks which showed obvious signs of her relentless tears.
“Why did you do it?” She whispered to my unconscious form. “Didn’t I treat you kindly enough? Was my home not enough for you? Do you not care about any of us? We haven’t known each other very long, but that’s no excuse!”
Her head rose and a look of anger crossed her once soft features. “WHY!? You said it would be better this way!? You laying here with a gaping hole in your chest!? What was the point of this!? To make me worry about you? You haven’t told me some things, I could see that much! But couldn’t you have tried to talk with me??” She huffed out a few times in frustration, but it soon stopped and she proceeded to start crying again. This outburst surprised me, I have never had her talk above a whisper to me much. She laid her head across my hand, sniffling a bit.
“I-I haven’t seen anything but kindness from you. You helped me w-with feeding my animals, even though mister bear scared you at first. You treated my friends with an open mind, even when Twilight was being mean to you. You even helped take care of D-dash after she attacked you… I just want to know why.”
The window slowly faded away, leaving just me and my brother again. He just had a stern look on his face. We sat there in relative silence for a while. Neither one of us breaking the silence. Finally, Gabe spoke.
“That was the first night you were in the hospital. She sat there with you the entire night, never leaving you.” He adjusted himself to a more comfortable position, putting one leg upon the other. “She has really appreciated what you’ve helped her with, considering everyone here asks her for favors but she doesn’t ask much in return. I was a bit confused at first too, but Luna helped clear that up. I can understand where she is coming from. She does what she can for others, especially animals, and doesn’t ask much.”
I could feel a great guilt welling up inside me, tears started to form in my eyes and I lowered my head, ashamed to look at my brother. I saw him lean forward out of the corner of my and yank me back into a proper sitting position. He had a neutral expression, though his action said there was much more going in his head than he let on.
“If you think I’m going to let you get away with just that, you have another thing coming.” Gabe says. “She wasn’t the only one that has been affected because of your actions. Or should I say stupidity? You certainly didn’t realize the kind of life you’ve had here.” He all but spat the words at me, but each one was dripping with anger and disappointment.
His hand glowed blue again, another window appeared. This one showed a small farm that I knew. It was Sweet Apple Acres. It continued and showed Applejack and Rainbow in the orchard.Applejack was bucking trees with Rainbow hitting another one. She looked frustrated about something. She reared up her back legs and flung herself backward into the tree, slamming into it with a force that made me cringe. I know how powerful that buck is.
“GRAAH!” Rainbow shouted before hitting the tree again, knocking a few more apples to the ground. Applejack looked to her rainbow-maned friend with a look of worry before hitting her tree, knock every apple off it in one strike. I could barely comprehend what just happened. I was suddenly very terrified of angering her.
“Now come on Rainbow.” She started. “We don’t even know why he did what he did. We should listen tah ‘im when he wakes up. I don’t agree with what he did either, but that ain’t a reason to be so angry.”
Rainbow just turned and gave her friend a fierce glare. “He made Fluttershy cry and worry about him. You also didn’t see him as he shoved that…. sword was it? Into himself!” I could see her visibly shudder at the mention of that.
“It was horrible! I can’t believe somepony could actually do that to themselves! But let me tell you, he’s going to get a piece of my mind when he wakes up!”
“If ya say so Dash. Ah ain’t gonna stop ya. Just please take it easy on ‘im. Poor guy must have something troubling ‘im big time for ‘im tah do something like that.” Applejack walked over to another tree and started to gather buckets underneath it to catch the apples.
“I’m not gonna guarantee anything AJ. This doesn’t sit very well with me….” She looked off into town before shaking her head. “So not cool.” She turned her attention back to the tree before her and started knocking the apples off it slowly. Again the image faded to nothing, leaving me staring at empty space. Even Rainbow was going to be pissed at me. Great, I wasn’t ready to deal with that particular pegasus being angry. Let any of the others be mad, just not her! But as long as AJ was there as well I shouldn’t have too much trouble from her. AJ did want her to take it easy on me.
“That’s still not a very comforting thought.” I said aloud causing Gabe to look over to me. He raised his eyebrow in a questioning manner and just stared at me. “Thinking even with AJ there, Rainbow won’t go very easy on me. Not very good for my health." I gave a humorless laugh, more to try to calm my nerves than anything else.
"You're still not done yet little brother. There is one more for you to see." Gabe held out his hand for what I hope is the last time. His hand was bathed in a blue glow once again and a window appeared again. This time it showed the inside of Twilight's library house with the element bearers gathered.
"So, I've concluded that the only proper course of action is to have this 'human' locked away. From what I know and have seen, he is too much of a threat." Twilight stated. "I have gathered you all here to give you your respective elements. When he awake he will be encased in stone by us. Now we will-"
"No!" Everyone turned in surprise at the sudden outburst. Fluttershy normally kept to herself and would normally talk in a whisper. Or just above one. "I will not put Alex, " she emphasized my name with a hiss, "turned into stone. He has done absolutely nothing wrong."
"That's not the point!" Twilight exclaimed. "He has dealt near fatal damage to himself, magic can't bind him with his strength. Oh and he has proficient use with lethal weapons that are easily portable. He's a walking mass of danger!"
"I must agree with Twilight on this one darling," Rarity chimed in. "To have such a ruffian roam our streets that would do such barbaric acts simply will not do. What if somepony angers him and he goes on a rampage? We don't know all he's capable of! I'm also thinking of Sweetie's safety too."
"Now listen here missy," Applejack said with a stern glare at rarity. "Mah sister made friends with him while y'all were prancing around like little fillies scared half tah death! Even when Big Macintosh attacked him, he only subdued mah brother, him and his thick skull. He wouldn't hurt anypony."
I just stared at the scene before me. My mouth was hanging open and my eyes wide. I didn't think I would have caused all this trouble when I got here, or with trying to kill myself. I just leaned back in my chair, barely listening to the ponies go back and forth about imprisoning me. Gabe closed the window and gave me a thoughtful look.
"So, have you decided what you would like to do yet?" He brought his left leg to rest atop the other one and interlaced his fingers. I just looked at him and nodded my head.
"I’m going to make things right. No matter what it takes," I said resolutely, clenching a hand into a fist. I looked to my brother and saw him giving me a large enough grin Pinkie would be proud. He extended his hand to me and lifted me to my feet.
"Good. Then hopefully we can meet again. In my other life." He yanked me closer to him and wrapped me in a tight hug. I returned it with an equally tight grip. Eventually though we had to part. My brother clasped his hand on my shoulder and lead me to the front door.
"Well my time is almost up. And it's about time for you to wake up." My brother gave me one last smile before opening the door with a blinding light coming from it. "Remember Alex! Enjoy the life you have been given! I'll see you on the other side my brother!" With those final words echoing in my head, he pushed me out the door into the blinding light. I turned around one last time and looked at my brother.
"See you at home Gabe." With that I walked into the bright light, back to where my friends were waiting for me. I had my whole life ahead of me, and things were finally starting to look up for the first time in forever.
I slowly opened my eyes to the light flooding the room from the window, hearing a faint beeping somewhere nearby. I tried to sit up, only to have a sharp pain rip through my torso. Taking great care I slowly inched my way to a sitting position. I took a look around the relatively small hospital room I was in. There was minimal furniture, a simple bed, an end table and two chairs. Chairs that were originally made for ponies. I looked out the window on my right and saw the sun barely rising above the horizon. It was still very early in the morning.
I relaxed back into the head of the bed and heard a slight shifting next to me. I looked to see Fluttershy sitting there, resting her head on the bed. She was resting peacefully and was snoring softly. I felt a pang of guilt for making her upset. She was trying to help me after all. Maybe if I had tried to talk about it I….. No. It wouldn’t have changed anything. They wouldn’t have been able to change my mind. I would have made the same actions, though they may have been a bit more hesitant and not so resolute.
I reached out and gently ran my hand through her mane. It felt incredibly soft and silky to the touch. I just sat there for an undetermined period of time, petting the pony who had taken such good care of me out her own kindness. I paused mid-stroke as she stirred slightly. She moved a bit and let a soft sigh, a smile creeping across her muzzle. I couldn’t help but smile myself.
I looked at the wall behind me and saw a screen with a line fluctuating up and down. I assumed it was my heartbeat. We didn’t have anything like this in my home. I heard of places where they had them and saw a screen for one, but I never actually saw it work. It was on wheels and had a wide base that the wheels were attached to. I grabbed on firmly with my right hand and attempted to stand up. I was greeted with nothing but a sharp pain again. I didn’t know how long I had been laying here, but it wouldn’t do me any good. I tried to stand once again and made it to my feet. I let out a low grunt from the strain on the wound from my standing. But I kept standing. The gash from the sword not threatening to tear open from what I could tell.
I took a few shaky steps while holding onto the monitor tightly in the event I became light headed. I was a bit weaker than I was before. Nothing I couldn’t fix with some time. I took a misstep and almost went tumbling over, but I held onto the pole, keeping the machine upright. I wasn’t in much of a condition to do a lot of physical work. I saw my armor laying on the far wall in the corner. My long sword still covered in my own now-dried blood. My armor lay there in a heap, my greatsword nowhere to be seen. Just as well, I wasn’t going to be swinging that around for a while.
I misjudged the leg coming from the stand and tripped over it, sending it and myself tumbling to the floor. I managed to catch myself and not hit the floor by extending my arms. A loud resounding crash was sent through the room and down the hallways. The noise caused Fluttershy to let out a high pitched, yet somehow still quiet with being extremely panicked, squeal. I didn’t really notice because I was dealing with the intense pain from the wound being stretched and the torn muscles tightening. I yelled in pain and felt tears come to my eyes. I managed to bring one of my hands to the large cut in myself and felt what little clothing I had on my torso become wet. I brought my hand to my face and saw blood staining my hand. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to let me know the wound had torn open, even to a minor degree.
I looked on my left and saw Fluttershy standing there already trying to assist me in trying to stand again. I heard multiple sets of hoofsteps galloping down the hallway. I saw a unicorn stallion enter with an earth pony mare. He looked a bit worried, but soon saw what had happened and picked me up in his magic. He set me back onto the bed and gave me a stern look.
“I can admire your persistence, but from some of the scars I have seen on your body I assumed you would have known better than to try and get up after that kind of injury.” He just deadpanned and continued to stare at me. “Anyway, you’re awake now and I think I should alert your friends. Nurse Redheart will be taking care of you, so if you need anything, tell her.” He pointed to the red maned white mare to his side and proceeded to walk out of the room.
I just looked at Redheart and sat there for a bit, trying to get a grip on the pain from the freshly torn wound I had in my gut. Fluttershy sitting there quietly the entire time looking from me to the floor and back again. After a bit of deep breathing I looked to the nurse standing before me.
“Would I be able to get something to eat? As well as something to drink?” I asked looking to Redheart. I received a nod in return, “Certainly, I will bring you a sheet of what we have to offer. I’m not sure what kind of diet you are switching from, but these will be completely vegetarian meals,” she replied and gave me a smile before walking out. I couldn’t help but let a small frown find its way onto my face at the mention of vegetarian meals. Not having meat in a meal is one of my least prefered things, but it is what it is.
Fluttershy and I sat there in relative silence for what seemed like hours, but after checking the clock it had only been a few minutes. I had to break the awkward silence that had gathered around us. But she beat me to it.
"I-I'm sorry if I didn't treat you well enough. I think if I had treated you better.... you w-wouldn't have..." I held up my hand for her to stop. She didn't argue or try to continue on, rather she looked to the floor.
"Nothing you did could have stopped what I did. Nothing is your fault. I'm the only one to blame." I was feeling a bit ashamed at what I did. The wound being ripped open and producing a sharp pain constantly was enough of a reminder. "But," I reached over to Fluttershy and gently ran my hand through her mane, "I do need someone to listen to me for a while. Think you're up for it? I got a lot to talk about."
She only nodded and leaned into my hand as I continued to stroke her mane. Before I could start my story, however, my stomach let out a loud grumble of protest. I couldn't help but laugh.
"I think having something to eat first is a good idea." Just as I said that Nurse Redheart enters the room holding a sheet of paper in her mouth. She set it on my lap and took a few steps back, handing me a quill. "Just circle what you would like and I'll bring it to you." She sat down and awaited my decision. I just circled whatever didn't have hay in it. Sometimes I curse this place.
After about five minutes I had my food. I quickly ate the food, realizing I must have been out for a while since I was extremely hungry. After my meal was done I took a deep breath.
"I suppose that you would like to start huh?" I didn't get a vocal response, but a slight nod was all I needed to continue. I recounted for her the night of when I killed my brother. It wasn't as nerve wracking this time, but it hurt all the same. I explained everything to her, every detail. The argument, the problem, and the eventual shot that killed him. The process of how I was trying to deal with it, the guilt, the nightmares, everything that had been haunting me for the past month. As far as I could tell, it may have been longer, shorter maybe. All I can be sure of is that the yellow mare sitting in front of me deserved to understand what had been going on inside my head. If she got this worried over me, I thought it was the least I could do.
Once I finished my story, I realized I was crying again. But so was she. She was the only other living creature that I had told this to, well, willingly anyway. I’m not sure how much that snoop Luna had seen in my nightmares. I was still quite angry with her. An angry snarl formed on my face and Fluttershy got a bit alarmed.
“A-alex, are you ok?” She took a step back, ears splaying back and raising one of her forehooves to her chest. “I didn’t make you angry did I? I’m very sorr-” I motioned for her to stop.
“No, it’s not you” I just gave her a smile. “I’m as far as possible from being mad at you. Your Princess of the night on the other hand, I am not so happy with. I really don’t appreciate having my dreams invaded by a nosy princess! I don’t care if she was worried about me, or some other reason, I am not happy with her. I can confidently say that I would punch her in the face right now.” I gave her a strained smile, my frustration showing clearly through my facial features. I clenched my hand into a fist and swung it straight out from me. My elbow made a large popping sound as my arm extended to full length.
“I’m glad to see you hold my sister in such high regards.” A regal voice said from the doorway. I looked over to see Celestia standing there. The large white mare with the flowing multi-hued mane. A not-too-happy frown adorned her face. “I thought you would be a bit more grateful to her after the work she put into your meeting.” She raised an eyebrow at me with a confused look on her face, still sporting most of the frown.
“Oh I’m sorry, is it customary to invade other people’s private thoughts and dreams? She’s lucky I didn’t blast her straight out of my dream and ignored her all together. I would have much prefered to have waited until I was ready to talk about it, giving that you all decided I wasn’t supposed to die.” I gave her an angry glare. I crossed my arms, still some what annoyed with the fact they had to interfere with what I thought was right.
“Be that as it may, that still doesn’t give reasonable credit for your actions or attitude towards Luna. She was only trying to help. Now this is only a guess, but from your actions before this I take it you really needed some help.” She approached my bed and put a hoof on my shoulder. I just shrugged it off and gave an annoyed grunt.
“Say what you want, doesn’t change the fact I’m pissed at your sister. Maybe one day I’ll look back at this and be happy about it, but not right now. I have already spoken with Flutters about anything I needed to. So if you’re here to give me another therapy lesson, you can leave.”
“Well, I came here to give you this” Celestia summons a small vial into her golden magical grip. “This will let you recover completely and quickly. You should be as good as new in a week. From what I saw when they took off your clothes to treat your self-inflicted injury, you’ve been injured quite a few times since coming here.”
She brought the vial of blue liquid over to me. I reached out and grabbed a hold of it. I looked at it for a second trying to decide whether I should drink it or pour it in my wounds. “You drink it” Celestia said after looking at me contemplating what to do. Now that I knew what to do I uncorked it and gulped it down. It tasted like something I’ve never had before. But I haven’t had a lot of variety here or my previous world. Though the familiar burn of alcohol was present. I slowly grew more tired over the next minute. My eyes got heavy and I slumped against the head of the bed.
“What the hell did you give to me?” My head was bobbing up and down from my fight with consciousness. My eyes would shoot open, but they drifted back down just as fast. Fluttershy was sitting there like nothing was wrong and went to take a seat, and Celestia started walking out of the room. I thought I heard them say something, but I was fading to sleep too fast to catch any of it.
I shifted almost uncomfortably in my half-sleeping state. I couldn't remember much of what I dreamed, I remember lots of fighting. Also talking to someone, or something, I don't remember what it was. But I do remember one thing I heard, "Go out there and find your life, not the life you were given, but what is truly yours. What you wish to do." I didn't have to think about it very long. I knew what I wanted to do. Now mostly awake I listened to my surroundings, the absence of beeping this time around lead me to believe I wasn’t in the hospital anymore. Where I was laying didn’t feel like a hospital bed. I slowly opened my eyes to realize I was in Fluttershy’s cottage on her couch. I slowly sat up, remembering the last time I tried to move too fast. But no pain came to me.
I slowly stood up, my muscles feeling a bit tense from the lack of use. I looked down at myself, but I didn’t see the bandages I was expecting to see. Instead I was clad in a fresh new set of clothes. I had on a dark red t-shirt with black shorts with white lines down the seams and around the waist. I moved my left arm around experimentally for a bit, finding that there was no pain left. I quickly took off my shirt to find that my wounds were completely closed. My shoulder had a bite mark scar, while just below my rib cage there was a large puncture scar, but more elongated due to the shape of the sword. I grinned widely, being in better condition than I had in quite a while, I jumped letting out a joyous shout. I would actually be able to move again. I heard the front door open hastily and Fluttershy came in quickly with a worried look on her face.
“Alex!?” She asked in a panic, but she visibly calmed down once she saw that I was standing there perfectly fine. “Oh, you’re just awake. You scared me there. I actually thought something was wrong.”
“Nah, I’m just happy to be healed and not in some form of pain.” I couldn’t help but move my arms and flex my shoulders and arms. “I feel great, whatever Celestia had me drink worked!” I lifted the table to show that any harm that had been done was fully healed. Fluttershy smiled wide enough that it gave off an audible “squee” from her.
“I’m really glad that it worked. Though there was never any doubt in my mind that the Princess would try to intentionally hurt you.” She walked towards me and looked at me. “So what are you going to do now? You won’t go home, if we can send you home. Do you have any plans?”
“Haha-, of course I have something that I will do.” I looked around the relatively small home and saw my armor and weapons sitting neatly in a corner. I slung on my armor, securing it to my body and bound my swords and shield to myself. “I’m going to do what I’ve always done, protect the weak. I don’t know if I have to go to Celestia or just the mayor here, but I’m going to become a guard. Whether it’s protecting the throne or protecting my home here. I know it’s what I’ll be happy doing.”
She gave me a slightly confused look. “You don’t want to try and work at Sweet Apple Acres? Or maybe something else that might be closer to here?” Her ears splayed back and she looked at the ground, running her hoof along the floor in small circles. “You know I’ll miss you being here. It hasn’t been very long, but I’ve really liked the company. The animals are nice, and I love taking care of them. But you’ve been different. It’ll feel strange without you.” I just gave a slightly shocked look, before walking over to her, my armor making a metallic clank with each step I took. I bent down to her level and wrapped my arms around her. She started to take a step back, but quickly brought her forelegs around my chest.
“That’s why I’m going. You’ve shown me what kind of ponies this place holds, and I’m going to do my best to protect it. I won’t let anything happen while I’m around and I’ll be here if you ever need me. I’ll see if Twilight can help me get anything that can bring me here at anytime and go back to where I was. But I’m going to protect you, Ponyville, and Equestria with all that I have because of what I have seen. I love this world and with my past settled, for the most part, I can finally see what I have around me, but I have someone I’m looking for. I don’t know if I’ll ever find him, but I won’t know unless I go out into the world. And having a way to support myself would be a great bonus.” I let my arms fall to my sides and slowly stood up, Fluttershy lowering herself to all fours once again.
“I-I’m glad to hear that. But please visit every once in a while, and please be safe.” Fluttershy said with a slight stammer while wiping away a few tears. She quickly flew off into another part of the house. I stood there for a second not knowing what to think. She came back after a minute with a decently sized white box, with a red cross on it. “These should help with any injuries you get.” She handed the box to me. I tucked the box under my arm with a smile on my face and walked towards the door. “So what made you want to make this choice in the first place?” She asked before I walked out the door.
I just gave her a shrug and turned to leave, but I stopped myself before I left and turned and gave her a large smile. “I guess you could say it came to me in a dream.” I turned around and walked out the door to begin my new life.