Shutdown64

-The Get Chapter 6-

Jan 12th, 2014
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  1. - The Get Chapter 6 -
  2.  
  3. Hands leaping to your throat, you try desperately to speak out loud. Nothing.
  4.  
  5. This is such a weird sensation. You can feel the words form in your mind; the air being correctly pushed out via your lungs, but then there's a disconnect at your larynx. It feels like your breath is completely bypassing that area, but how?
  6.  
  7. In an attempt to make -any- noise you try humming, coughing, even screaming. Nothing but the disconcerting sound of gargling air. Was this an illness? Do human infections like laryngitis exist in Equestria?
  8.  
  9. In a final attempt at speech you try a forced whisper. With the sounds being created from air in your mouth you can completely bypass your voice box. The result, however, is a practically silent hiss that sounds absolutely terrifying. Might only use this in an emergency, then.
  10.  
  11. Clutching your throat you try think of another solution. Maybe having a drink will sort this out? Or rinsing your mouth out with salt water? That's what your mother always made you do if you had a sore throat back on Earth. That requires effort, though...
  12.  
  13. With one last succulent look at your new breasts reflected in the mirror, you get up. Your new bulk jiggles slightly, and you can't help catching yourself ogling your new mammary glands. Sure, this whole scenario was pretty fucked up and further sealed your doom, but at the same time, you've not seen human tits in ages.
  14.  
  15. Having no concept of female modesty you walk out your room topless and head down into the kitchen to get a drink. Rarity won't be up for another hour or so yet anyway.
  16.  
  17. -
  18.  
  19. Having this new mass on your chest was annoying, you decide. While filling up a glass with warm water and adding salt you keep accidentally knocking your breasts. Having lived your whole life with the area directly in front of your chest free from obstruction, you were starting to realize just how much you took it for granted. Holding a glass at chest-height, moving arms up and down around that area... the whole concept of your spacial awareness had now all changed.
  20.  
  21. With a soundless sigh - akin to a deflating tire - you tip the salt water into your mouth and start gargling. It prickles your gums and brings back some bitter-sweet memories of your childhood. This was your mom's cure-all to anything mouth-related. To be honest, it never really worked, even back then. Now it's just some weird placebo effect, you guess. Ugh, thinking about your childhood like this wasn't doing wonders for your mood. As you frantically force your mind onto other thoughts you accidentally swallow some salt water.
  22.  
  23. You gag, before snorting the water all over yourself. Aw fuck, last thing you need is salt water in your wounds. Quickly placing the glass aside you remove your Timberwolf bite bandage before the wicked water soaks in. To your utter astonishment though, there is no bite anymore. That... can't be right.
  24.  
  25. Cross-referencing your knees and arms, you're amazed to discover that all little grazes and scratches are... gone. Actually, now that you think about it, weren't you walking around the kitchen on your bandaged feet despite them being mangled in your saga in the forest?
  26.  
  27. -
  28.  
  29. There's only one conclusion to draw here: your wounds have regenerated. That's some shit right there, and yet you can't feel too disappointed about it. This day was starting out as strange as any other, and despite it being before the crack of dawn you might as well embrace the day.
  30.  
  31. Proceeding upstairs and slipping into the bathroom you flick off your PJ bottoms with a swift kick, only to be greeted with your ugly cutie mark. You'd forgotten about that. Gloom begins to fill your chest as you realize your special talent is a shitpost. That's how these things worked, right? What kind of identity was that?
  32.  
  33. Starting with the usual mirror check, you again eye your new breasts. You can't deny it: they're damn fine. Even though technically they're yours you can't prevent yourself thinking about them in a rather male-like fashion. Would rubbing one out to yourself count as narcissism? You chuckle internally.
  34.  
  35. With the remaining bandages remove the rest of your skin appears mainly unaltered, lacking in any cuts or bruises. Thankfully your male junk was still intact, albeit looking a bit sad and shriveled this morning. Probably suffering from the cold bathroom, eh? It wasn't the only part of your body complaining as notice your long, erect nipples. Gross. Hopefully warm water will perk everything up.
  36.  
  37. As you scrub away in the shower you're mortified to find that all your chest hair starts falling out with relative ease. Barely held in place, a single stroke of the hand dislodges most hairs from your body leaving the skin bare and smooth. Remembering yesterday's fiasco, you make sure not to clog the drain again...
  38.  
  39. -
  40.  
  41. While in the euphoria of a steamy shower your mind awakens from layers of haze and sleep. It begins to dawn on you how well you were taking this. Only yesterday you were in complete denial, screaming and pissing all over yourself fuss over Twilight's revelations. Today? There was physical proof that change WAS happening, and yet you couldn't get flustered about it. Was this a good or a bad sign? Perhaps you were still emotionally drained.
  42.  
  43. There was still no clear indication of what's going on here; your hunger for knowledge reaching a peak. Just why where you here? Why Posters? What actually happened to them? Surely there was some bigger picture behind all this that made more sense than Celestia's explanation of "To live care-free forever". Thinking back to your time with her, you actually recall her saying the term "reborn."
  44.  
  45. It dawns on you. The soap slips from your shocked grasp.
  46.  
  47. Did that mean she's fuckin' known this whole time? After all of her bullshitting and question-dodging, she knew you would be subjected to 'change'? But she'd been so supportive and caring when you arrived! Why would she conceal critical information?
  48.  
  49. You let out a silent, angry roar. This sudden feeling of betrayal was constricting, as if a close friend had grabbed and twisted your lungs. That's it. You're going to have to arrange another meeting with her, and soon.
  50.  
  51. Shaking rage takes hold of you as you get frustrated with cleaning. Hunching over to collect the soap at your feet your soapy breasts flop into your vision. Impatient, you swat them out the way but this just ends up in you hurting them again. Argh.
  52.  
  53. -
  54.  
  55. Drying carelessly and throwing on your only pair of clean clothes, you stomp down the stairs to make the usual bowl of fruit for breakfast. Still seething, it's not long before you hear the sounds of someone lurking about upstairs. Must of woken Rarity. Ignoring her you continue to eat in a slight frenzy. You'd eaten so much last night, and yet now you were totally starving again.
  56.  
  57. After scarfing the contents of the bowl and casting it aside with zest, you stand up full of vigor, ready to batter on with your day. It may be early but goddamn you were going to pay Twilight a visit right now. Being a prancey Princess n' all she must have communication links to Celestia. Yeah, it was all playing out in your head: Go over there, slam the door in, yell the place down, demanding ans- oh. Right, you have no voice at the moment. Figures.
  58.  
  59. You slowly slink forward onto the table, slightly banging your head in defeat. This only makes you become aware that you're now crushing your boobs against the table. Ugh, how do girls put up with these useless things?
  60.  
  61. Before you get to wallow in these emotions much further, a long sleepy yawn sounds from the bottom of the stairs makes you turn around. It's Rarity; sporting her fluffy gown, towel wrapped round her mane with a green mud mask obscuring her face.
  62.  
  63. "Oh, it's you. Why are you up so early dear?" she questions, looking at you slouching over the table. How do you even begin explaining yourself?
  64.  
  65. -
  66.  
  67. As Rarity sits down at the table you try smiling weakly at her. Your discomfort must be plain as day, as she quickly raises an eyebrow.
  68.  
  69. "Are you okay? I thought you'd be having a long lie today after yesterday..." she trails off, obviously not wanting to recall it.
  70.  
  71. So how does one explain they've lost their voice? Sitting up, you decide miming would be your best bet. Maybe pointing at your mouth and waggling your lips? Or maybe clutching your throat, or...
  72.  
  73. "Goodness me! What's that on your chest?!" Rarity shrieks leaping back. "Is that a lump? Dear, have you caught some kind of chest infection!?" Her alarm catches you off-guard and you try to shush her, yet...
  74.  
  75. "Your VOICE, it's GONE! Oh Celestia, this is terrible! This is the WORST. POSSIBLE. THING!"
  76.  
  77. Rarity begins to hyperventilate, backing away from you. You try to explain you're not ill, but it's a hard point to convey when you have no voice. Awkwardly flatting your chest and standing up you beckon Rarity over and put a hand to your forehead. At first she looks anxious, but seems to understand your intention.
  78.  
  79. Slowly trotting over she raises a slightly shaking hoof to your head and checks your temperature. When it's apparent you're not dying from a fever or some equally dangerous disease, she seems to relax.
  80.  
  81. "But... what about the lumps?" Rarity continues, jerking her head towards your boobs. God, this was going to be awkward to explain. Talking the easy way out, you just idly wave a hand as if to say "Don't worry about it".
  82.  
  83. -
  84.  
  85. "But this certainly won't do!" Rarity exclaims after calming down knowing you're not your deathbed. "If you can't speak, we need to visit the hospital! Or the vet, whichever comes first..."
  86.  
  87. Rolling your eyes at this, you try to communicate that you want to visit the library. Desperately, you pick up a book and putting a finger to your temple you pull a stupid, cross-eyed face while sticking your tongue out. Rarity stares blankly at you before she giggles.
  88.  
  89. "...Is that supposed to be Twilight? That's a bit mean, dear."
  90.  
  91. Mean or not, you didn't care as long as you got your point across - which you had.
  92.  
  93. You end up waiting another hour or so for Rarity to remove her mud mask and pamper herself for the day ahead. You're already set to go, donned in your cowboy boots. You're still being immensely pleased with them, but guilt wells up inside at the prospect of not helping AJ at Apple Acres today.
  94.  
  95. Rarity finally descends the stairs gracefully, and after quickly putting food out for Opalescence you depart the Carousel Boutique. Mega déjà vu.
  96.  
  97. As you brave through the early morning sun the many ponies of Ponyville seem as energetic as ever. You seem to be attracting more glances than usual though and it's a little off-putting. Was this because of the panic you created yesterday? Or was your appearance just that startling?
  98.  
  99. Trying to distract yourself from what others thought, you turn to Rarity. Trotting jovially, eyes closed and nose in the air, she seemed to be quite content. That made a first.
  100.  
  101. -
  102.  
  103. Channeling your earlier rage at Celestia withholding information, you hammer at the library door. Rarity gasps in shock at your sudden burst of force, and just as she's about to tell you off the door swings open. Twilight stands there, and you see a definite twinkle in her eyes.
  104.  
  105. "Aha! Mr. Poster, I was expecting you today. Hello Rarity!" she smiles, "Won't you both come in? I think I know what this is about."
  106.  
  107. That... doesn't sound very reassuring. Regardless, you follow in her wake giving Spike a dirty look as you pass.
  108.  
  109. "How are you today? Recovered from your exciting bout in the Everfree forest?" Twilight asks you directly. You can't reply, so resort to looking at Rarity for help.
  110.  
  111. "Oh right. Well, it seems today that our friend has lost his voice. There's also some disfiguring on his... chest area." Rarity states, saying the last bit with a hint of disgust.
  112.  
  113. Before you know it Twilight is poking one of your free-hanging breasts with her horn. You're in half a mind to slap her away, such lewd behavior in a sensitive area! Well, maybe back on Earth it was.
  114.  
  115. "Rarity, this isn't disfigurement - These are mammary glands! Mr. Poster seems to be blooming into womanhood!"
  116.  
  117. God, as she says it your stomach turns over, blood flushes to your face. Talk about an knee-jerkingly embarrassing statement.
  118.  
  119. Your feelings go unnoticed however as Twilight abruptly uses magic to force your mouth open. It's a horrible sensation, like someone was slipping a large 9v battery down your throat.
  120.  
  121. -
  122.  
  123. You gag slightly, causing her to stop.
  124.  
  125. "Sorry if that was uncomfortable - I kinda got carried away!" Twilight says hesitantly, "it definitely seems your experiencing internal changes though. Can you speak at all?"
  126.  
  127. You shake your head, not really wanting to do the creepy whisper.
  128.  
  129. "This is all so excellent!" Twilight exclaims excitedly, clopping her hooves together.
  130.  
  131. "What's so excellent about it, dear?" Rarity questions, lost at Twilight's enthusiasm.
  132.  
  133. "I'm so glad you asked, Rarity! After our talk the day before, I have been heavily researching Mr. Poster; his fellows and their lives in Equestria."
  134.  
  135. At this you perk up. You wanted all of this delicious information, and you wanted it now. You nod vigorously, encouraging the annoying purple pony to continue. She acknowledges.
  136.  
  137. "Okay then. Well, let's begin." Twilight begins to pace around, picking up books with her magic. "As you may or may not know, there are 3 other posters in Equestria. You are the 4th, and most likely not the last. I have little information about WHY you're here, but it seems to be related to the 'posting' you do in your world."
  138.  
  139. Twilight pauses, and you nod showing you knew as much. She continues,
  140.  
  141. "Existing in Equestria is having an adverse affect on you, Mr. Poster, as you know. Seeing you today has proven my original theory was actually wrong, though."
  142.  
  143. What theory was that? You were barely listening at the that time...
  144.  
  145. "The world isn't digesting you, instead you're digesting it."
  146.  
  147. -
  148.  
  149. What's this now? You were getting tired of Twilight's vore analogies. Resigned, you wave a hand passively as if to say "proceed".
  150.  
  151. Letting out a small "Ahem", Twilight continues randomly swishing books around in the air. You're certain there's no real purpose to it except to give off an "impressive" vibe.
  152.  
  153. "As I explained to you before, our worlds are different. Equestria is based on magic, yours isn't" Twilight explains. Yeah, you knew this - What's she getting at?
  154.  
  155. "It was just a theory though, and you've just proven to me that it's wrong! The magic isn't actively affecting you because of what you're made of, like I initially believed."
  156.  
  157. That's good I guess? Where was this going?
  158.  
  159. "Instead, you're inflicting this on yourself with the air you breathe! The water you drink! The food you eat! For example, all the food you've eaten here has been produced in Equestria, and thus contains magic."
  160.  
  161. Magic this, magic that. Magic can't exist, it's just not logical. Surely there must be some "Science of Magic" books in this library that explain it on a nano-scopic level or something...
  162.  
  163. "Are you listening, Mr. Poster?" Twilight interjects. You hastily look away from the bookshelf you were eyeing up. Was she still talking? You thought you were going to get answers about Posters and why you were here, not a "Twilight knows more than you" lecture.
  164.  
  165. "What I'm saying is, when you eat or sleep, you change!"
  166.  
  167. Oh. That's where this was going. Fuck.
  168.  
  169. -
  170.  
  171. Your two favorite things: Eating and Sleeping... were they now the source of your demise?
  172.  
  173. "When you eat food, inhale air, whatever, your body is using them as fuel to function and repair. As a result, it's having an adverse affect on your person!" Twilight says in a increasingly incredulous voice. "You're absorbing the world, and that's what's changing you to physically exist here."
  174.  
  175. Taking all this in, you lean back and sit on a table. So if you never eat or sleep again, you'll remain as you are? How does Twilight know this, though?
  176.  
  177. "How do you know this, though?" Rarity questions, as if taking the words straight from your mind.
  178.  
  179. "Well..." Twilight trails off, her face flushing a little bit. "I reached this theory yesterday, but as soon as I came to discuss it with you two, well, a certain someone was missing. Obviously we got distracted. However, after we solved our little problem another chance arrived at Applejack's."
  180.  
  181. You clasp a hand to your head. No way, the reason she kept offering you food...?
  182.  
  183. "It wasn't too hard, as Mr. Poster was quite willing to eat up." Twilight giggles. Your fists clench. "I wanted to see if there would be any significant body changes in relation to how much mass he ingested. As a result..."
  184.  
  185. So Twilight was to blame? Well, not for everything, but for making you grow tits overnight?
  186.  
  187. Some of your silent fury must have shown on your face, as Twilight's ears flop and her face falls quite dramatically.
  188.  
  189. "Did... did I do something wrong?"
  190.  
  191. -
  192.  
  193. The sadness that suddenly filled her voice broke your resolve, and you felt awful. Being unable to voice your comforts and apologies, you quickly look around the desk for a quill and some ink.
  194.  
  195. Holding them up you mimic writing on parchment which thankfully Rarity provides, floating some onto your lap. You'd never changed the subject of a vocal conversation with a drawing before, but hell-be-damned you were going to try.
  196.  
  197. Scribbling a stickman with boobs, you then draw a blank speech bubble coming from its mouth annotating it with a question mark. It has been so long since you've held a drawing utensil in your hand that your doodles look particularly bad, all shaky and smudged. The temptation to also draw a giant penis on the parchment for old time's sake reaches a critical point, but you decide it's not really the time or place.
  198.  
  199. Thrusting the paper to Twilight, she looks at it slightly crest-fallen before her ears perk up again.
  200.  
  201. "Oh, you want to know why you've lost your voice? This also reminds me... where are your bandages?" Curiosity certainly seemed to be grasping her imagination again; the mopey face becoming one of deep interest.
  202.  
  203. Damn you were good.
  204.  
  205. "I guess all that excess food you ate really did have a big affect on you." Twilight begins, walking close and peering at you with a large purple eye. "My only guess is that dead tissue from your original Earth-body is replaced much faster with the new Equestrian-sourced tissue."
  206.  
  207. Off she goes again.
  208.  
  209. -
  210.  
  211. For sometime Twilight witters on about her theories and how they must be correct. It's decided that your voice is gone because of all the shouting and yelling you had taken part in yesterday, mixed with "accelerated" healing, caused it to get inflamed. That's what you took from it anyway, barely listening now.
  212.  
  213. "...And that brings me to my next point. The Poster/Mentor system" Twilight finishes off.
  214.  
  215. Now we're getting somewhere interesting. It seems to have captured Rarity's attention too as she stops fiddling with her hair. Twilight notices this sudden rapt attention, and let's out a little false sigh.
  216.  
  217. "Okay, okay. So there's 4 Posters in Equestria - The first arrived a year or so ago. In their post, they chose Applejack." Twilight begins. You already know of this Poster even if it's just their name, "Sam".
  218.  
  219. Rarity looks a bit uneasy. She knew that this was a rather taboo subject around Applejack, who'd never discussed it with any of her friends. Curiosity had been eating Rarity's insides for too long, and she was eager for some answers.
  220.  
  221. "Do you know anything about AJ's Poster, Twilight dear?"
  222.  
  223. "No, Rarity. And even if I did, it'd be a top secret. You know how important keeping secrets is for friends!" Twilight pipes up, "Now where was I... Oh yes, the following two Posters arrived about 9 months back. Both being tied to musical ponies, they live somewhere in Canterlot I believe. You're rather special Mr. Poster, the 2nd of your kind in Ponyville!"
  224.  
  225. Such an achievement, you think bitterly to yourself.
  226.  
  227. -
  228.  
  229. "From our point of view, the Poster chooses the pony." Twilight continues, "Though I don't really know rhyme or reason behind it. Can you explain, Mr. Poster?"
  230.  
  231. There's a little silence.
  232.  
  233. "Oh yeah, you can't speak. Oops!" Twilight chuckles.
  234.  
  235. Starting to get annoyed you pick up the quill again and start scribbling on the back of the stickman-with-boobs parchment. Twilight ignores this, continuing her blabbering.
  236.  
  237. "We don't really know the fate of any of the Posters. It's strange; for such unique phenomenons, you'd think they'd be better documented. Perhaps there's a conspiracy there!" Twilight laughs again.
  238.  
  239. "Say Twilight, there's one thing that I've wondered" Rarity begins, "How long will this whole... trans-whatsit take? Is there any information about how long our friend has in his current form?"
  240.  
  241. This question distracts you from your drawing. You look up at Twilight with a grim expression.
  242.  
  243. "Well... I don't know really." Twilight apologizes.
  244.  
  245. Solid tension beings brewing in the room now, choking the air.
  246.  
  247. "We've established the whole process is dependent on how much is eaten, along side how much sleep is taken, but I think we're looking at-"
  248.  
  249. Crash.
  250.  
  251. You all get distracted as Spike loudly clatters into the room wobbling a tray of tea above his head. Rolling her eyes, Rarity forcefully levitates the tray out of his arms and places it neatly on the table. She gives him a rather reproachful look.
  252.  
  253. God damn it, this suspense was killing you.
  254.  
  255. "...A month."
  256.  
  257. -
  258.  
  259. "A month?" you lip wordlessly. Does this take into account the previous week too? How would this whole process play out? Is it gradual? Instant?
  260.  
  261. You slap yourself firmly on the forehead a few times, trying to vent the frustration of having all the questions in the world but no voice to ask them.
  262.  
  263. Twilight and Rarity look rather alarmed at this sudden self-harm, and soon enough Twilight forces your violent limb down with her magic. The sudden feeling of your arms being dragged away by invisible handcuffs wasn't pleasant, and it quickly causes you to lose balance and slip off the table.
  264.  
  265. "Mr. Poster, please don't hurt yourself!" Twilight pleads.
  266.  
  267. Rubbing your behind, you look up with a rather sour expression. Soundlessly you spit out cusses that no one will ever hear.
  268.  
  269. "Come now," Rarity chips in, "I understand this is all awful news to you, but Spikey-wikey brought some tea so let's just forget about all for now."
  270.  
  271. Seriously? You wish you could forget all this over a tiny cup of tea. No one seemed particularly interested in how you felt at the moment, instead discussing you like some interesting science project. You had feelings too, which were randomly amplifying beyond your control these days.
  272.  
  273. "Let's have a tea break - maybe hot liquid will soothe your throat." Twilight begins placing a cup on your lap.
  274.  
  275. As if you'll drink or eat now knowing what it's doing to you. Rarity and Twilight watch you while you view Spike's amused expression. Now you feel like a naughty child again.
  276.  
  277. -
  278.  
  279. Inhaling deeply through the nose and exhaling out the mouth, you stand up. Depositing your tea cup neatly on the tray you go back to your scribble. If you needed to communicate something, it was this.
  280.  
  281. Twilight and Rarity occasion cast concerned glances it gets distracting. Bitter feelings of depression and doom quickly bubble within. Every time you came a little bit closer to accepting what was happening, it'd be kicked up a notch. First you learned you were stuck here forever, then going to turn female, then into a pony, and now it's there's a month time-limit? No wonder there's no other Posters around, they all probably ran - or galloped - to the hills to avoid this insanity.
  282.  
  283. The library falls silent as you continue sketching out a large winged horse with a sun on its rear. Next to it you draw another stick figure with boobs, labeling off with "???". Surely Twilight would understand this as a request to meet Celestia you think, handing over the parchment.
  284.  
  285. Twilight levitates it at eye-height, skimming over the drawing as Rarity shuffles over to get a better view.
  286.  
  287. "Uhm, are you asking what Princess Celestia thinks of you?" Twilight takes a stab. What? No! You point at the parchment, shaking your head.
  288.  
  289. "How did the Princess find you?" Rarity guesses. Again you shake your head.
  290.  
  291. "Who is the Princess?" Twilight voices, bemused. Frustration reaches a new peak.
  292.  
  293. "How to see the Princess?" Spike voices. God, you could hug him.
  294.  
  295. -
  296.  
  297. Nodding and pointing at Spike you try and confirm that, yes, you do want to see Celestia. Spike lets out a little "Heh", obviously proud of himself. Smug wee prick.
  298.  
  299. Twilight looks a bit unsettled by your demand. As a matter of fact, she looked slightly hurt.
  300.  
  301. "Are my answers not sufficient enough?" she begins to pout.
  302.  
  303. They were, for the most part. However, you couldn't help feeling "citation needed" for some parts. Celestia, being the mesmerizing magic mare she was, knew all the answers.
  304.  
  305. "Well, if that's who you want... I guess Spike can send a letter for you, just tell him what you want to- oh" she tails off, the obvious sinking in.
  306.  
  307. The afternoon is spent trying to communicate what you wanted to say, with the final result being along the lines of "Greetings Princess, would it be possible to meet again soon?"
  308.  
  309. Spike seals the deal by puffing his chest and wheezing green flames on to the sealed scroll. With that out of the way, you were done here. Twilight had already said enough - there wasn't much documentation on Posters, everything you loved was destroying you, and in a month you'd be munching haying like the rest. Your body now pines for food, as your mind begs for escapism. It might not be too late to visit Apple Acres...
  310.  
  311. You make eye contact with Rarity after the letter is sent, tilting your head towards the exit. She understands, though turns to look at a rather glum-looking Twilight who was tidying up the mess of books that had been levitated everywhere.
  312.  
  313. -
  314.  
  315. "Well Twilight, it's getting late" Rarity says hesitantly. "Thank you for your help, I'm sure he," she jerks her head to you, "appreciates it too." You nod.
  316.  
  317. "It's fine guys, I'm sorry I'm not more use." Twilight mopes slightly. You didn't realize she had such low confidence.
  318.  
  319. With a slight sigh, you walk over and give Twilight an awkward hug round the neck. She freezes on contact, but relaxes after understanding what was happening. Rarity joins in too, and the 3 of you share the most awkward hug you've ever experienced. Spike looks on with his arms crossed; rolling his eyes he walks upstairs.
  320.  
  321. The hug breaks off, and you and Rarity prepare to leave.
  322.  
  323. "One moment, I have a little gift for you Mr. Poster" Twilight calls, levitating something wrapped in brown paper. "I think you'll appreciate this, though maybe hold off opening it until later on."
  324.  
  325. Neat, a present. As you pocket it, you take a quick feel through the wrappings. Whatever it is crinkles slightly, feeling like folded paper. Was it a book or something equally as exciting?
  326.  
  327. With that, you and Rarity escape into the afternoon air. Time for the next challenge - How do you communicate you want to go to Apple Acres?
  328.  
  329. "So shall we return to the Boutique and have a sewing session?" Rarity asks nonchalantly.
  330.  
  331. Not really, no. You shake your head.
  332.  
  333. "Well, lunch? You didn't drink your tea I noticed."
  334.  
  335. Nope. You point in the direction of Apple Acres, then at your boots.
  336.  
  337. "Again?" Rarity sighs, "Are you avoiding me?"
  338.  
  339. -
  340.  
  341. Again? Avoiding? What was Rarity on about? You'd only spent yesterday at Apple Acres, and it was such a nice change of scenery that you were quite excited about heading back.
  342.  
  343. "Wouldn't you rather go back and do some sewing? I am supposed to be looking after you, you know." Rarity repeats in a sulky tone.
  344.  
  345. Why was she asking this now? You could sense her emotions better than you'd have liked to admit, and this was a very dangerous path.
  346.  
  347. "We could finish those curtains we were making! Or style your hair, it's really awful now. We could do anything really, the Boutique is closed." she trails off, awaiting your answer.
  348.  
  349. Being put on the spot like this wasn't what you had in mind. On one hand, you could go with Rarity and you wouldn't really mind, she was nice enough when she wanted to be. On the other hand, you could sweat all your worries away by doing some physical work, forgetting yourself. You begin to awkwardly hop in place, utterly lost and not knowing which to choose. Do you please Rarity, or do you please yourself?
  350.  
  351. Your hesitation is answer enough for Rarity. She jumps to the conclusion you're not interested in going with her, giving a loud "Hmph".
  352.  
  353. "Fine, I guess you don't want to hang with ittle-wittle-Rarity. No, instead let's go get sweaty and dirty on that filthy farm." she retorts. You're taken aback by this sudden aggression.
  354.  
  355. Before you communicate she can come with, she storms away indignantly.
  356.  
  357. What, does she expect you to call after her?
  358.  
  359. -
  360.  
  361. Standing there dumbstruck you watch Rarity get engulfed by a crowd of ponies going about their daily business. If you had a voice you'd have called out to her. Hell, you'd have tried to bring her with you. As always though, she played the drama card.
  362.  
  363. With no real alternative, you drag your heels to Apple Acres. It's a refreshing experience being out in Ponyville during business hours; crowds of villagers pulling their carts, chatting away, buying and selling their hoof-made wares. A few of them even greet you, recognizing you as that person who arrived with Celestia that one time. Maybe you were more to them than that? They did make you that welcome banner after all.
  364.  
  365. On the edge of Ponyville, your heart sinks. Maybe you should have chased after Rarity... There was no logical pattern or understanding to the relationship you both shared. Before, she was your favorite pony. Then, technically, you forced yourself in to her life. When you lived under the same roof she treated you like a misbehaving pet until that moment of weakness happened. From there you'd both bonded, and she'd been putting in effort to repair the relationship... only for you to throw it back in her face. She'd gone up and down the pony tier-list so many times in just one week, and you're even less sure how you feel about her now.
  366.  
  367. Apple Acres is ahead, and just as you begin opening the gate you realize how difficult this was going to be with no voice. You wouldn't be able to explain jack-shit, let alone ask questions about the job.
  368.  
  369. -
  370.  
  371. Just as you turn away deciding to forget the whole thing, a voice calls out
  372.  
  373. "Well, I wasn't expecting you for a few days."
  374.  
  375. Looking up hill towards the barn you see a familiar stetson. There's Applejack waving down at you. Reluctantly you wave back; now that you've acknowledged her you can't exactly retreat. Shrugging your shoulders, you begin hiking up towards her as she trots down to greet you with a complacent look about her.
  376.  
  377. "Howdy then Poster, are ya here for some serious apple buckin'?" she asks smiling up at you. You nod, hoping to avoid any questions. That lasts for about 2 seconds.
  378.  
  379. "What happened to yer chest?!" AJ recoils in alarm, noticing the bothersome female chest-bumps. You wave a dismissive hand, trying not to think of Twilight's awkward announcement from earlier on.
  380.  
  381. "Is that from the injuries you got over yonder in the forest? I don't know what kind of critter would do that though..."
  382.  
  383. This conversation had to end before it got worse, so you whip out an arm to point at Big Mac who was carting a large batch of shiny apples.
  384.  
  385. "What's that, you want to get started already?" AJ voices up looking surprised. "Also why aren't ya'll talking? We're friends now, right?"
  386.  
  387. The way she said that was so cute, and you nod to agree. Rummaging in your pocket, you pull out the crumpled parchment you doodled the stickman on. Trying to hide the Celestia side, you instead show the image concerning your lost voice. AJ squints her eye at it, before asking "Is this charades?"
  388.  
  389. -
  390.  
  391. Despite not being charades, it sure played like it. After 5 minutes of frantically shaking and nodding your head, you get the point across that you have no voice. AJ laughs at the news saying you'll get along just fine with Big Mac.
  392.  
  393. Basking in the mid-afternoon sun you feel a surge of enthusiasm. Fuck everything that's happened to you; it's time to work it all off. You need a distraction from life right now, and mindlessly collecting shiny apples seemed the perfect answer.
  394.  
  395. You set up a routine: Big Mac pulls the cart carrying baskets; AJ bucks the trees; you collect any straggling apples from the ground. You also have to do quality control, throwing rotten apples into a separate basket used for pig feed.
  396.  
  397. This is exactly what you wanted: some kind of physical activity to keep you distracted. It echos your old job stacking shelves in a supermarket. Sure, it was as boring as all hell, but it kept you constantly busy leaving little time to be with your thoughts.
  398.  
  399. For 2 or 3 hours the three of you crack on. You make a small game out of it, seeing how fast you could harvest 4 trees as a team. It's good fun, though sweat is starting to leak everywhere and lack of food/water was starting to take its toll on your body. You can't be weak though! You must prevent yourself ingesting any more of Equestria.
  400.  
  401. Eventually night creeps over Apple Achres, and AJ calls it a day. Heading back to the Apple's farm house you're offered a seat at their dinner table, but you decline. AJ stubbornly insists, and eventually brings you out some pie and apple juice. You just stare at it, hating yourself.
  402.  
  403. -
  404.  
  405. There's a moment of silence; AJ's great green eyes searching your face.
  406.  
  407. "Aren't ya hungry?" she ask with rather confused tone, waving a hoof at the food she'd brought out. "Don't ya want it?"
  408.  
  409. Yeah, you wanted it. Really badly. Just imagining that moist apple pie sailing into your mouth and caressing your tongue got the ol' saliva glands going into overdrive. Yet, you're so thirsty that when your saliva glands actually do contract nothing happens bar an uncomfortable squeezing sensation. The glorious glass bottle of apple juice taunted you, flashing its inner liquid gold. Just contemplating how famished you were made you feel dizzy and fatigued, and yet...
  410.  
  411. "Why do you look so sad?" AJ asks concerned, "You're not hurt are ya?"
  412.  
  413. You shake your head, giving an involuntary shudder.
  414.  
  415. "Not hungry? But you've been working out in the field all afternoon!" she accuses, just as your stomach gargles loudly.
  416.  
  417. Ugh. You knew choosing not to eat wasn't a feasible, long-term solution. If anything, it'd only slow changes down. Even then though if you don't drink anything you'll likely be dead this time tomorrow. However... eating would be like admitting defeat; you'd personally be sealing your fate for good. You still don't even really believe this is happening, right?
  418.  
  419. Heart full of remorse, you stretch out an arm and accept the apple juice. Liquid only; no food. But then again, AJ's apple pies are literally god-tier...
  420.  
  421. Taking the bottle of juice you suddenly ram it into your mouth, draining the contents like they were the nectar of life. Your mind was filled pure greed and lust.
  422.  
  423. -
  424.  
  425. Slopping drops of juice down your chin in the process, the sensual experience of a chilled drink lubricating your mouth and unsticking your throat was wondrous. As the liquid slowly descends down to your empty gut you feel the path it travels internally cool. Finally you come up for air, gasping and pating, only to discover - in horror - that the bottle has already drained. God, you really, -really- needed that.
  426.  
  427. AJ laughs at the spontaneous display of appalling manners.
  428.  
  429. "You sure are a weird 'un. Take this pie with you, if you don't eat it now you can eat it later."
  430.  
  431. Take it with me? Does she want me to leave? Suppose it is pretty dark now. You realize you still have a stroppy Rarity to deal with back home. Home? When'd you start calling it that?
  432.  
  433. "Actually, do ya wanna..." AJ begins, rubbing a nervous hoof on the ground. "...hang out?"
  434.  
  435. Well, this was a rather weird request. You haven't got anything better to do though, bar speaking to Rarity. Meh, that can be done later, assuming she hasn't locked the Boutique up.
  436.  
  437. You do the only thing you can anymore, and nod. AJ looks excited that you're cool with hanging out. What do ponies do, though?
  438.  
  439. "Really? Darn tootin'! In that case, follow me. I want to show ya something."
  440.  
  441. Hmm... only just a week ago you'd have taken a statement like that and taken it out of context, probably accompanied with some form of steamy greentext. You were better than that now. Probably. As you follow in her wake she leads you to the dark, isloated barn. Ok, maybe you're not better than that yet.
  442.  
  443. -
  444.  
  445. Heaving the barn door open, Applejack trots cheerfully in. You stand outside feeling a little awkward.
  446.  
  447. "It's okay, you can come inside!" she smiles.
  448.  
  449. Oh god why did she say it like that?
  450.  
  451. Shyly, you enter. Closing the barn door behind you, AJ gives you a little glance before she proceeds to climb up a ladder. Huh, that's a rather interesting feat. Not only had you missed the ladder - which was wall-mounted next to the barn door - the first time you were in here but AJ was climbing UP it, hooves and all. These ponies weren't anything like the feral ones on Earth - they actually did human stuff most of the time.
  452.  
  453. Shrugging this train of thought off, you continue to follow up the ladder. Steadily placing your feet on the bottom rung and huffing your way to the top, you spot AJ's go out of view as she reaches the roof. When she hears you scrabbling up she turns round showing a content smile, finally gazing upwards.
  454.  
  455. "Look." she says simply. You oblige.
  456.  
  457. The night was in full bloom, the stars out celebrating in a frenzy. Your mouth falls open in sheer wonderment, the sight of billions of stars twinkling over the dark, velvet sky was absolutely phenomenal. Living in a light-polluted city all your life had completely stripped you of this joy, something you were now deeply regretting.
  458.  
  459. "Magnificent, huh?" AJ boasts, turning a smug face to you. As cheesy as sounded, it really was nothing less.
  460.  
  461. "This is where I like to wind down after a day of work. The silent night, staring up at the sky. Princess Luna really does make a beautiful night."
  462.  
  463. -
  464.  
  465. For an hour or so you both lie there on the barn roof, simply gazing at the sky. Applejack keeps having short, silly one-way conversations which leaves you wondering if she ever feels lonely being on this farm most of the time. Surely not, when she has 5 fantastic mare friends?
  466.  
  467. Though the night sky had distracted you from it briefly, your stomach's constant cramping from attempts to digest itself made it impossible to relax fully. Sitting up, you eye the apple pie you'd brought with you. You seriously considering just plowing into it then and there, giving up on everything. Honestly the pie looked so inviting at this point you could practically shag it. Yet, you just can't bring yourself to eat it.
  468.  
  469. "I kind of envy ya, in a way." Applejack voices. You turn round, taking your mind off pie.
  470.  
  471. "I understand that you've been removed from your life; maybe might have a rough few months ahead, yet..."
  472.  
  473. She goes silent.
  474.  
  475. What was she going to say? You watch her, her eyes reflecting the night's stars.
  476.  
  477. "...Sometimes I wish I could get a fresh start like you. Have no more worries about life, be someone else. Away from all this, ya know?"
  478.  
  479. This wasn't the attitude you'd have expected from Applejack. She was usually all about being bold, honest and brave-to-the-point-of-stubbornness. The Applejack speaking currently sounded somber, defeated, maybe even regretful.
  480.  
  481. Having no voice had never hurt more until that point. You long to say some comforting words, yet you can't.
  482.  
  483. "When I was younger, I tried to leave. I went to the city to live with my aunt and uncle. It didn't last, and before long I was back here" she begins.
  484.  
  485. -
  486.  
  487. AJ tells you about her youth; about being full of ambition when young, born to be free. In contrast, she was now eternally chained to this Apple farm. It's a rather long-winded tale, and you begin to wonder A: How long has she held this all in? B: Why was she telling you?
  488.  
  489. It only gets more depressing, delving into details about feeling inferior to her friends. She hates being an earth pony, feeling envious of Rainbow Dash's wings and Twilight's magic. Heck, even jealous of Pinkie Pie's goofy reality-defying stunts. Her talk ends with her admitting she'll never amount to anything, never getting away from here. She's made peace with it, though.
  490.  
  491. Well, shit. How do you react to that? Despite AJ spilling her guts, there's no tears. Not from what you see under the moonlit sky anyway.
  492.  
  493. Surging with emotion, you can only give AJ a pitiful look. She returns it, her green eyes look positively gigantic in the dark.
  494.  
  495. "You know, I still don't know your real name. You'll need to tell me sometime" AJ grins.
  496.  
  497. This tiny bit of personal interest makes your heart fly. No one yet had asked for your true name, and you were beginning to take it personally. You are a person, but they didn't didn't it that way. Screw being called "Poster this, Poster that".
  498.  
  499. As you smile, AJ's ears lower a little bit.
  500.  
  501. "I-I'm sorry I let that all out, I lost myself for a moment." she frets. "I just don't feel any social inhibition when talking to you, voice or not. You remind me of... him."
  502.  
  503. Was this headed where you thought it was?
  504.  
  505. -
  506.  
  507. No, it wasn't. As she says it, Applejack seems to pull herself out of sorrow. Changing the subject, she turns to you.
  508.  
  509. "It's getting late, Poster buddy, maybe it's time ya'll headed home. Don't want to worry Rarity after yesterday n' all."
  510.  
  511. There's no force in her words, but you don't feel like disagreeing. Your hunger - which had been kept at bay by sympathy - was rattling your stomach again. You scoop up the pie just in case, starting to descend the ladder.
  512.  
  513. In silence AJ walks you down to the gate. There was a hint of atmosphere radiating from her, as if annoyed with herself. If you could, you'd inquire, but being the silent weirdo you were now you couldn't really ask what was wrong so you just turn a blind eye.
  514.  
  515. "Thanks for coming by, you're welcome here at any time. I hope my moanin' doesn't scare ya off, we always have odd-jobs going if you get bored!" she chirps.
  516.  
  517. Yeah, you'll return. This afternoon was a thrill, even if you were totally dehydrated and sticky from sweat.
  518.  
  519. Waving silent back to AJ, you head back to the Carousel Boutique, pie in hand.
  520.  
  521. The night air was still, the stars trying to outshine the moon that light up the empty streets. Back on Earth walking around after dark would be like signing a death warrant. Here> Safety was a prominent, reassuring feeling. It seems that Equestria does have its own advantages after-all.
  522.  
  523. With the Carousel Boutique coming into view, you groan. The lights were still on which seems to imply that Rarity was still kicking about. If by will or not, you'd soon find out.
  524.  
  525. -
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