Taken, Chapter 1

Apr 30th, 2013
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  1. You wake up groggily from a deeper sleep than you can remember having had in a long time. Your body feels like every individual part of it had fallen asleep and is having trouble waking up. Your limbs are tingling, your mouth is dry, and your eyes just don't seem to want to open.
  2. The last thing you can remember is playing out in the back yard with Orchid, running between the few trees and bushes planted around while you two were playing tag. Orchid was always better at the game than you were, and the distance between you two was growing even as you tried to cut corners.
  3. She disappeared around a corner of the small greenhouse in a corner of the backyard, placed close enough to the wall to make turning around in-between them impossible, and you remember grinning as you galloped around to the other side to meet her, but then everything just turned dark.
  5. You hear unfamiliar voices as if coming from an adjacent room, and desperately try to get your eyes open. Master never got that many visitors; she liked her privacy. Who could those voices be? Your concern turns to fear as an unfamiliar room greets you when you finally manage to pry an eye open, the shock snapping you awake fully.
  6. The room you're in is small, rectangular in shape, and sparsely decorated. You find yourself laying on a bed on one end of the room, a simple white sheet draped over you to keep you warm. A low table is found near the center of the room, up against the back wall, and a hole in the floor in the far-away corner beyond it seems to be a toilet of sorts. There is a door right opposite it, with a large mirror taking up most of the front wall of the room.
  7. No, not a mirror. You've seen these things before. It's only a mirror to you, in this room with its institution-like fluorescent lighting. But the voices coming from beyond it clearly indicate that they, on their side, can look through it into this room. Can look at you.
  9. You flail your tingling limbs around to get the sheet off of yourself, and limply fall out of the bed onto the padded floor. Padded? Oh joy. As you look around the room anew, you find the walls are padded as well as the floor and ceiling, the legs of both bed and table disappearing underneath it where they're probably bolted to the floor itself.
  10. "Whadisdis?", you manage to slur, your body still fighting off the effects of whatever drug they must've used to take you from your home.
  11. No answer is forthcoming, and you spend some time trying to get your hooves to work again, pacing around the room while trying to rationalize your growing fears away. But no matter how you turn it around in your head, you can't get over the simple fact that you were taken. Taken from your Master's home. Taken from Orchid. Taken from the life you'd come to love.
  12. In the end, all you can do is sit your rump down somewhere near the center of the room, and let the tears come while you open your mouth in one long wail; "MAAAAAAAASTER WHERE ARE YOU????"
  14. Your wailing is enough to stir whomever's watching you from the other side of the one-way mirror, and you hear the sound of voices again, murmuring something unintelligible. Unintelligible to you, being in this room, but at a faster pace than you heard before.
  15. You sniffle as you try to turn your ears in an attempt to find the right angle to be able to distinguish the individual words spoken, but it's just impossible. Instead, you rush up to the window, place your forehooves up against it, and stare at your own reflection.
  16. "Hey! Hey you there! Hey! Can you let me out please? Where's my Master? Where's Orchid? What is this place? Someone please tell me what's going on!?!"
  17. The murmuring stops, and a soft tapping sounds from the other side of the mirror. As it does, you see the shadow of someone's hand where your nose would be if you had pushed it up against the glass.
  18. "Please refrain from touching the glass, miss Braeden," a male voice calls out from inside the room you're in, and you whip around trying to locate it. It came from above you, but with your short stature that's not really that surprising. It's more unsettling that there's no-one in the room beside you.
  19. "All your questions will be answered shortly. Please relax," the voice continues, and you finally spot a small speaker hidden between the padding on the ceiling. Your ears droop at this impersonal means of communication, and you drag yourself over to the bed, drop yourself down on it and turn your back on the window.
  20. You pull the sheet around you with your teeth, covering yourself up as much as possible so whomever is watching you can watch a small bundle of white cloth instead of your lavender-colored coat and straw-colored hair.
  22. You don't know what's going on. Something in your head is trying to connect dots that you don't know how to describe. You know this place is an institution of sorts, the window was something you easily spotted, and you have a feeling the first person to walk through that door is going to be a doctor of sorts. Why would you know these things? You've been a pony for nearly half a year now, give or take the time it took for your Master to come fetch you from Zephyr's Master's place. Ponies didn't have to know these things. You just lived to make your Master happy, lived to make Orchid happy, lived to be cuddled and coddled and played with and made happy for making them happy. It had been the most precious of experiences and you had enjoyed every single moment of the past months.
  23. And then someone decided to interrupt your playtime with your pony sister Orchid. Someone decided to pull you from your Master's home while she was at work. Pull you from heaven and stuff you in this padded room with who-knows-who keeping watch over you.
  24. You pull your head closer to the rest of your body, bundling up even more than you had already been, and try to fight the tears. You're alone. Alone in this room. Whatever they did to Orchid, you can't even guess at. Maybe she's in a room like yours? You sincerely hope she's not. She shouldn't be alone. You know she fears it like nothing else. Master even had to bring her over to Zephyr's Master's place to come pick you up because Orchid could not deal with being alone.
  25. "I'm so sorry, Orchid," you breathe out, sniffling into your hooves. Whatever may have happened, you should have been able to protect Orchid from this. Whatever this is.
  27. You must have cried yourself to sleep, because the next thing you notice is someone's hand pulling the sheets off of yourself and a stern male voice speaking up. "Miss Braeden, if you'd please pay attention when you're spoken to?"
  28. You blink your eyes open but the annoyed look on the man towering over you makes you want to close them again. "You're not my Master," you mumble at him, your tail flicking behind you betraying your own annoyance with the situation.
  29. You don't get much of a chance to fall back asleep and forget about the whole situation again however, as you're unceremoniously picked up by the man, and dropped on the floor beside the bed. "You'll get enough time to sleep AFTER therapy, miss Braeden," he offers in an annoyed tone of voice, walking over to the low table and opening a small wooden box with four holes in the top cover. You reluctantly pick yourself up from the floor and stare at him as he takes out four wooden blocks of equal size and shape to the four holes, then slides the cover closed again.
  30. "Therapy?", you ask, then flick an ear as something about what has been said to you finally hits your conscious mind. "Who's this Braeden person you keep talking about?"
  31. The man straightens his back and looks down at you while keeping his head level. He literally looks down at you like this, inferring that he's better than you from his stance alone. "You are, miss Braeden. Please put the blocks in the right holes," he demands, keeping his eyes on you as he clearly expects you to do just that.
  32. You stare at him for a moment, then sit your butt down in defiance. "I'm no miss," you start, letting out a snort, "And I'm certainly no Braeden. My name's Lavender. And I won't do anything until you tell me where my Master is. And Orchid."
  34. The man raises an eyebrow at your statement, then turns for the table and starts putting the blocks in their proper holes himself. You feel confused at his actions, up until he picks up the box and heads for the door. Panic strikes and you rush to cut him off, moving between him and the door and shaking your head up at him. "Don't go!", you cry out, desperate to keep what little company the awkward figure provides from leaving the room.
  35. He doesn't even put the box down, but instead simply picks you up with his free hand and puts you behind him. "If you don't intend to partake in therapy, miss Braeden, what use is there for me to remain here?", he asks in a deadpan voice.
  36. You stare up at him trying to formulate a response to that, but he takes your silence for acceptance of his statement and leaves through the door. You stare at the padded door while a feeling of utter desolation takes a hold of you. This entire situation is so ridiculous.. but now you're alone again. Alone save for whomever is behind the screen. Alone. Without Master. Without Orchid.
  37. The tears need little incentive to start rolling down your cheeks again, and you hang your head low. Is this what your life is going to be like from now on? A total stranger telling you what to do and leaving you alone when you don't comply fast enough? What did you do wrong to deserve this?
  38. With the feeling of total rejection and loneliness taking hold of you, you drag yourself around the room and rest your head on the table. "Square in square, circle in circle, triangle in triangle, star in star," you mutter, knowing where each block would have had to go. It was a test designed for little kids, for goodness' sake.. You knew how to do it. You could have done it within mere seconds. But you defied the angry man. You demanded to know where your Master was.
  39. And was that so wrong to ask? You were transported here from your Master's home. Why? Did your Master want you to go through this? Why did they keep calling you miss Braeden? It made no sense.
  41. After a while of staring at the wall in front of you, you feel the urge to go to the toilet and drag yourself over to the corner with the hole in the floor. You squat over it and turn your head away from the window while you do your business. It was bad enough that they were watching your every move. Probably with a camera or two so they could review your actions with their team. Having to go potty with them watching was more than just embarrassing. It was a violation of the few bits of privacy your Master had still allowed you.
  42. You finish up and turn away from the toilet, jumping a little as it flushes itself unexpectedly. Sensor activated? Or did someone in the other room press a button? You sigh with your ears and tail hanging down low and drag yourself over to the bed again. There's not enough room underneath for you to crawl under it, so you repeat what you did before instead. Lay on top of it with your back turned towards the window, pull the sheet over you, and ignore them as well as you possibly can.
  43. Your throat is dry, and you lick around your muzzle a bit in hopes of getting your saliva production to kick in. You don't know how long it has been since you've had anything to eat or drink, but you're starting to feel the need for both rise up the more you think of it.
  44. As if knowing your thoughts, a small hiss announces a change in the room and you lift your head up in time to see the wall behind the table close up again, a metal tray with two bowls welded to it left on the table. One bowl filled with water, while the other contains vegetables of various shapes and colors.
  45. You're too hungry to really care what they are, and it only takes a moment to free yourself from the bedsheet and rush on over to dip your head into the food bowl and start to eat. It doesn't take you long to finish up with both vegetables and water, and you crawl back up on the bed with a satisfied growl of your tummy.
  46. You don't even pull the sheets fully over you, content to just lay yourself down and close your eyes. The food was just what you needed to fill that pit in your stomach, and it's made you drowsy. A little nap may give you enough strength to deal with this situation again. A lone thought in the back of your head wonders if there was anything in the food that made you feel this way, but you're already too far gone to pay it much heed. Before it can fully settle, you've fallen into a dreamless sleep.
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