In 'King' We Trust

Jun 22nd, 2020 (edited)
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  1. In 'King' We Trust
  2. "You sure about this doc?"
  3. >The things we do for a little bit of money...
  4. >Hello, you are...
  5. >Well, ok, that isn't particularly important.
  6. >You're pretty sure that you're just reviewing all of this in your head anyway.
  7. >The important bit isn't what your name is.
  8. >Your nickname on the other hoo... hand, well!
  9. >It'll matter more in a moment, but-
  10. >"Oh -relax- King, it'll be fine."
  11. >Be King.
  12. >A longstanding nickname from your Elementary school years after one particularly rousing LARP of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign your idiot friend cooked up.
  13. >Now that you think about it, whatever happened to that fat bastard?
  14. >"King? You there, or you doing your silent broody thing that you did all the time when we were kids? Not talking was kinda mysterious and all but come on, I thought you grew out of that."
  15. "Wh- oh. Right. Sorry Token."
  16. >Your friend grins and taps your shoulder with a fist.
  17. >"It's cool. You made for one cool King, and a pretty decent Superhero while we're at it. Not quite as cool as Tupperware, but pretty cool."
  18. "And here I thought Toolshed was always the coolest of us."
  19. >You both break down into laughter before Token gets a bit more serious.
  20. >"Right, the past fantasies aside, are you -sure- you want to do this man? I know it's a pretty big payday, but-"
  21. >You hold up a hand to stop him, glancing down at where your left leg used to be.
  22. "The VA isn't going to make it any easier for me. Besides, we're friends."
  23. >You look back up and grin at Token.
  24. "I trust you. And you've always been damn smart. If you say it's gonna work, it's gonna work."
  25. >You puff out your chest a bit and a bit of that quiet, solid confidence that you strode with your entire childhood rears back up and shows itself brightly.
  26. >You were a leader in the neighborhood as kids, you became a greater leader when you joined up, and you still had a commanding presence to this day.
  27. >You are King, after all.
  28. "Besides, who would willingly give up the chance to be the first person to walk through a Stargate and actually have a solid shot at coming back alive?"
  29. >Token rubs the back of his head at your praise and chuckles.
  30. >"Ok, ok, I get it! Jeeze, you always knew how to uplift people King."
  31. >He steps over to a large control panel as you take some time to idly look around Token's laboratory.
  32. >The possibility of visiting the Multiverse has been a big deal for a long time now.
  33. >Token spent years of his life studying and preparing for this day, and his research has been rock solid ever since his team found that particle that actually proved that there were multiple universes due to the particle being capable of being sent from one and reappearing in ours minutes later.
  34. >Tokenite was a weird element, but it resoundingly denied the Law of Conservation of Mass.
  35. >Seeing as it could be not there one moment, and then absolutely be there a moment later.
  36. >You take a deep breath.
  37. >The lab has been scrubbed down and completely decontaminated.
  38. >Had to make sure nothing would go through the portal but you.
  39. >You were about to be dressed in a clean suit/pressure suit that would protect you from vacuum.
  40. >The air would be sucked from the room, and the only thing that would pass through the portal would be you, the small bit of recording equipment, and the suit.
  41. >Token takes a deep breath, and glances over at a glass booth on the other side of the room when another one of your childhood friends is currently messing with some wiring and closing up the other control panel.
  42. >Kenny is a good kid, even if his family is a little...
  43. >Rednecky?
  44. >That's a good way to put it.
  45. >You got some weird childhood memories of him but you honestly assume it's just over-active imagination of kids.
  46. >You highly doubt he's died... well, a lot.
  47. >That was a core principle of his hero character, wasn't it?
  48. >You are brought back to reality by a pair of fingers being snapped in your face.
  49. >"Mmmph."
  50. >Kenny is already suited up and as usual, his voice is muffled out by whatever he's wearing.
  51. >This guy...
  52. "Sorry, I'm back."
  53. >"Mehmphm."
  54. "Wh- I do not brood, that's your thing."
  55. >"Mmiphimimi."
  56. "Whatever you say dude... Token, do I just hit my button now or what?"
  57. >Kenny rolls his eyes and joins Token, who hits one last command on his console before a containment unit forms around them and locks tight, sealing with a pressurized hiss.
  58. >A speaker squacks for a second before Token's voice drifts out.
  59. >"OK King, put on your earpiece before activating the suit systems. It'll get you dressed and then the vacuum sequence should start once you hit the switch again."
  60. >Alright King, no big deal, just like all the dry runs you, Kenny, and Token have done for the last couple of months.
  61. >You press a switch and stand perfectly still, arms stretched out in a T-pose but your legs shoulder-width apart.
  62. >The suit is quickly pulled onto your body by mechanical arms that pop out of the platform your standing on, before a helmet locks over your head and seals itself.
  63. >You run through the system diagnostics attached to your left arm and tap a switch to run a pressure check and an air check.
  64. >Green across the board.
  65. >You give Token a thumbs up and hit the button to depressurize the room and turn the room into a vacuum.
  66. >Token and Kenny watch as the arms hold you in place to keep you from being pulled around as vacuum is initiated.
  67. >Lights flash as the room is quickly drained of all air.
  68. >All that's in the lab now outside of Kenny and Token's safe-box is you, the suit, and the Portal.
  69. >"Initializing in three, two, one!"
  70. >Kenny hits the big key and the portal flashes, sparking and arching as a hole in reality is opened before you.
  71. >You can't help but whistle lowly before speaking up.
  72. "The Seventh Chevron is locked! So, short trip right?"
  73. >"Yes, just in and out King. Nothing extravagant..."
  74. >"Yeaaaah, if you could avoid bringing any Nazi-Zombie alien goo barrels with you or another alien probe stuck up your butt, that'd be great."
  75. >You roll your eyes at Kenny's snide aside as you are released by the mechanical supports that were keeping you from getting tossed around.
  76. >"And maybe you'll learn to talk through your mask so that people who didn't grow up with you will actually understand what you're saying."
  77. >Token sighs and Kenny laughs as you grin and step a bit closer to the portal.
  78. >"Ok King, good luck man."
  79. >"Bring me back a souvenir!"
  80. >Turning, you step towards the portal backwards while flipping Kenny off.
  81. "I'll bring back a rock and chuck it at your window Kenny!"
  82. >"Fuck you too King!"
  83. >You laugh and turn before striding confidently at the portal.
  84. >The nerves are hitting you a bit, but this is a once in a lifetime event.
  85. >You are the King.
  86. >And you're gonna be the first Human to do Multiverse travel and come back alive.
  87. >You just know it.
  88. >You stride through the portal confidently, only to be swept off your feet into what you can only describe as a Hyperspace Tecniaudio-colored dreamscape.
  89. >Images and events flash past your eyes as you hurdle somehow soundlessly through what is was and could be.
  90. >Places, Times, Things pass by you and you find yourself captivated by some of them as you pass by, your wild ride getting wilder by the second.
  91. >Is this what an Acid trip is normally like?
  92. >Because if it is, sign you the fuck up.
  93. >This is a freakin' blast!
  94. >Maybe you should ask Kenny.
  95. >He cheesed before didn't he?
  96. >The almighty pull of the portal is undying and unending as you're hurtled through space and time.
  97. >You blink as you hear... wait, was that a Walrus?
  98. >You blink in confusion as a golden spatula flips by your face before you just accept it.
  99. >Multiverse travel is -weird- yo.
  100. >Eventually, you see the end of the tunnel so to speak, and carefully start positioning yourself properly from what is most likely going to be a stumbling exit.
  101. >Multiverse travel is disorienting.
  102. >Just as long as it's not a crash landing, you should be able to handle it.
  103. >Your prosthetic leg is one of the best on the market and you've gotten pretty damn good at walking and running on what is essentially a fancy peg-leg with a shock absorbing system built into it.
  104. >Just as you're about to reach the portal, a mass of light blasts out the portal, a chaotic, rainbow array of light.
  105. >You gasp in surprise as it catches you full on in the face through your helmet, sending you tumbling.
  106. >So much for avoiding a crash landing!
  107. >You don't even have time cry out in surprise as you're ejected from the other end ass over teakettle.
  108. >Oh that's a tre-
  109. *WHAM*
  110. -------
  111. >"-is breathing seems normal, even if the thing he was wearing didn't fit him properly."
  112. >"Well, that's good, at least he seems to be ok. Is Twilight here yet?"
  113. >"She should be here any moment Darling, you know how she is, needs to be prepared, and she seemed so panicked when she saw him..."
  114. >"Yeah! I've never seen Twilight get so panicked before, she never writes letters herself when I'm here!"
  115. >"You know, come to think of it..."
  116. >Your return to consciousness is befuddled by a wide array of voices chattering over you and something soft pressing against your neck, making you groan in surprise.
  117. >"Eep!"
  118. >Something dashes away in a flighty panic... but really quietly.
  119. >Like, you would have assumed it was the passing wind or a butterfly taking off it you hadn't felt the pressure on your neck suddenly leave.
  120. >"Woah! I think he's awake!"
  121. >A scratch voice pratically yells in your ear as you hear a more dulcet tone quietly attempts to cox... something out of a nearby bush.
  122. >"Oh Fluttershy darling, it's fine, he's just waking up."
  123. >"Well, ah' hope Twaighlight gets 'ere in a hurry, fella probably gonna be a might bit confused."
  124. >Well, now you are.
  125. >A country girl?
  126. >You attempt to open your eyes, only to be blinded by the sun for a moment and squeeze them shut again with a groan.
  127. >Yep, nope.
  128. >Screw you guys, I'm going home.
  129. >The sound of wings fills the air and a gust of wind comes down on you.
  130. >Is a bird hovering over you?
  131. >"Hey buddy, you gonna get up or what? Are you hurt? You came outta whatever the heck that was pretty fast."
  132. >You frown at the scratchy, tomboyish tone as you attempt to open your eyes again.
  133. >Something is blocking the sun, and as your eyes start to readjust, you find yourself locking eyes with...
  134. >... Wait a minute.
  135. >You blink in confusion, your face somehow staying perfectly flat and stoic as you fallback on your childhood experiences to keep yourself from flinching or suddenly bolting.
  136. >Kenny must have slipped you something.
  137. >There's no way you're currently staring at a freakin' blue pegasus covered in rainbows.
  138. >"Uhhh, hello? You there?"
  139. >You blink a few times at the pegasus before she... well, you're assuming she, darts away from you, drawing your attention to the rest of the voices.
  140. >A normal-ish looking pony wearing a cowboy hat with straw-blond hair and an orange cat, a pure white one with a purple mane done in a dainty coif and a horn sticking out of her head, a little purple-and-green lizard of some kind or another, and a bush that has a pink tail sticking out of it.
  141. >Whelp, whatever you were expecting from the multiverse, what appears to be the girls idea of paradise was not it.
  142. >Considering how the girls considered you 'one of them' while you were growing up you were fairly well acquainted with some of the shows and things they liked.
  143. >You were one of the boys 'that didn't have cooties' when you were growing up so you actually got to hang out with them quite a bit, even if your... well, androgyny was often abused by them.
  144. >Ugh, costumes were fine but dress up was -not- cool.
  145. >You let out a little huff and a groan as you try to roll off your back, only to have the pony with the hat come over and firmly push you back down.
  146. >"Easy thar partner, ya'll took quite the spill when ya came outta that portal."
  147. >She gives you a warm grin, and you marvel a bit at how... well, real, it is.
  148. >Honestly, outside of the wild colors and almost cartoon-like aesthetics that seem to dominate the world you find yourself in, she's definitely real, as well as you can qualify it anyway.
  149. >Her hoof is kinda weird, pliable and soft as it's pressed into your shoulder, and you note that at some point it transitions from whatever their hooves are made of into an actual horse-hair coat, with a fetlock and everything.
  150. >You add another mental note about it as you give her a quiet nod before letting yourself lay back down.
  151. >"Hopefully Twai will be back here shortly n' will explain what got in her boots when she skedaddled outta here."
  152. >The pony turns her head and you note that her mane is in a ponytail, and her tail has a band on it that makes it look similar to her mane.
  153. >Heh, a pony tail with a ponytail.
  154. >You muse on that for a moment, well aware that you must have smacked your head fairly hard considering how scrambled and unorganized your thinking is right now.
  155. >But you are too cool to panic, so it's time to stay relaxed and wait for whomever these ponies... people?
  156. >Nah, we'll go with ponies.
  157. >Whomever these ponies are talking about returns.
  158. >The little lizard walks up next to the orange pony and looks you over, and you marvel at his scales for a moment.
  159. >It's kinda neat, his scale pattern reminds you of a kimono dragon that got buffered out and polished to a shine.
  160. >"Woah, that's a heck of a gaze."
  161. >The lizard kneels down a bit to look you in the eye, only to back off a few moments later.
  162. >"That's a super intense stare dude."
  163. >The orange pony chuckles and gives the dragon a soft nudge.
  164. >"Anywho, quick introductions probly wouldn't be a bad thang. Howdy sugarcube, Ah'm Applejack. The lil' dragon here is Spike."
  165. >Wait, did she say dragon?
  166. >The little... dragon, puffs his chest out and grins proudly.
  167. >"Twilight Sparkle's number one assistant!"
  168. >Whatever that means and whoever that is anyway.
  169. >The orange pony, Applejack you assume (like the drink?) turns a bit and gestures with a hoof.
  170. >"That there with the fancy manedoo is Rarity, and the one who can't seem to keep 'er hooves on the ground is Rainbow Dash."
  171. >"The fastest flyer in Equestria, and don't you forget it!"
  172. >The blue and rainbow pegasus, Rainbow Dash you assume, fitting name, cuts in when she hears her name to boast about herself.
  173. >An Ego, what a surprise.
  174. >"Fluttershy is not quite feeling up to coming out of the bush yet darling, but I'll try to coax her more."
  175. >The white one, Rarity, speaks up as Applejack sighs, gesturing to the pink-tail sticking out of a bush.
  176. >"That there is Fluttershy. She ain't the bravest, but she was the one who patched you up. Ya'll took quite a tumble there sugarcube."
  177. >You blink and attempt to look down at yourself only to be gently pushed back again by Applejack.
  178. >"Easy there cowboy, ya'll took quite the spill as Ah said, and yer ain't gonna be fixin' to move till ya get the all clear. That rock and tree might notta survived yer' skull, but lets find out iffin' ya'lls skull survived the rock first, yeah?"
  179. >You feel fine, honestly, but if you really did hit a rock on the way out...
  180. >Wait, you hit a tree too?
  181. >Right, better to just stay down
  182. >You simply nod and let yourself lay there.
  183. >"So are we just not going to talk about how there's an Alicorn just randomly busting out of portals?"
  184. >The scratchy voice of Rainbow Dash draws your attention as she suddenly is being glared at by Rarity and Applejack.
  185. >An Ali-what-now?
  186. >"No, we ain't gonna talk about it."
  187. >"Seems like something we reeeeally should talk about."
  188. >As Applejack and Rainbow Dash start jawing at one another like a married couple or one of your old friends, you decide to just give up for the moment and lay on your back and gaze up at the sky.
  189. >Simpler then trying to get involved in what must be a domestic spat.
  190. >Ok, getting Craig and Tweek to see eye to eye wasn't that hard, really.
  191. >But making your friends make up by beating the crap out of some other kids probably wouldn't work in this scenario due to there not really being any kids around.
  192. >The lizard/dragon leans over you, ruining your view of the clouds.
  193. >Not cool purple and green.
  194. >"Sorry about them, they get pretty excited easily your Majesty."
  195. >You blink at the lizard, stunned for a second.
  196. >Wait, they know who you are?
  197. >That's... not the weirdest thing that's ever happened to you.
  198. >Still up there.
  199. >Like, top ten at the minimum.
  200. "How did you... uhh, actually, who are you?"
  201. >Forgot his name already... well, you think it's a guy anyway.
  202. >"Oh! Well, I'm Spike, your Highness, and you're an Alicorn! So you've got to be at minimum some kind of royalty."
  203. "... Ok, but what's an Alicorn?"
  204. >The dragon looks dumbstruck and you note that the argument has stopped.
  205. >Everypony is now staring at you.
  206. "What?"
  207. >Just as you're about to get a response, three bright flashes of light that you can feel thrum through your body fills the area as three new ponies appear.
  208. >Two of them are much taller than the rest, with large wings and horns to match.
  209. >Cool, Pegacorns.
  210. >The third is a bit taller than the rest, and you don't see any wings on her but you do see a horn.
  211. >So another unicorn.
  212. >You focus on the unicorn first, just to try to figure out what's going on when you notice that her eye is twitching like Tweek after a all-night bender trying new coffees.
  213. >Oh boy, the high strung type.
  214. >"Here he is! Like I said, he's wearing that weird suit, the helmet went bouncing off and shattered after he landed."
  215. >Oh damn it, Token is gonna kill you.
  216. >That helmet was pretty pricey, what with it needing to be able to seal and maintain the systems that ran the suit.
  217. >The purple one is chattering on, while the the two large Pegacorns are staring at you what you can only assume is shock.
  218. >This was the point when a single word changed everything forever.
  219. >"Brother?"
  220. >Everything stops dead.
  221. >The words were whispered by the smaller of the two pegacorns, her eyes wide as she holds up a hoof as if she was about to stagger towards you, every bit of her expressive eyes and face showing pure shock.
  222. >"King, is that... tis surely not."
  223. >The pegacorn does indeed stagger now, catching herself as she half-trots-half-gallops over to you, kneeling down next to you, her horn lighting up as she gently turns your head this way and that.
  224. >Oh cool, telekinesis!
  225. >You blink at her in confusion.
  226. >"Brother? Princess Celestia, what is Princess Luna talking about?"
  227. >The purple one looks confused as the large white one, who currently looks like she was just brained over the head by a frying pan, gapes at you.
  228. >The purple unicorn's words pull her out of her stupor and she shakes her head once before pulling back to a neutral, calmed state that reminds you very much of yourself.
  229. >Princess huh? Princesses aren't quite as cool as Kings, but still pretty cool.
  230. >She steps forwards slowly. a hoof gently resting on the withers of the blue one who you assume to be Luna.
  231. >"Luna, don't crowd him so much. King, is that you?"
  232. >You blink.
  233. "How do you know my childhood nickname?"
  234. >"KING?!"
  235. >You start a bit, shifting away from the sudden onrush of noise as your ears flick back.
  236. >Seven voices in tandem, including a bush rustling as the pink tail reveals a pink-and-yellow pegasus who is also staring at you in shock.
  237. >"King? Brother? Princess Celestia, what is going on?"
  238. >At this point you're hopelessly lost and just let yourself lay back down with a groan, lifting up your hand to cover your eyes.
  239. >... Wait a tic.
  240. >You can only stare at the hoof that's attached to the end of your arm that should be your hand.
  241. >Come to think of it, that's a lot more hair on your arms then you should have.
  242. >Just as you're about to start a full systems check, you're suddenly covered in sobbing mare, the blue one hugging you tightly and crying.
  243. >"You're alive, you're alive, you're alive!"
  244. >Whelp, this is going pear shaped in a instant.
  245. >Celestia, the big one, turns to the rest of the ponies and speaks with a very commanding voice.
  246. >"Twilight, I think you should go back to the library with your friends. Prepare a place for King to sleep, he shouldn't come back to Canterlot just yet, he's probably more than a little disoriented and I think Luna needs a moment."
  247. >"O-of course Princess, you can count on me! Come on girls!"
  248. >There's some arguing, the girls are all curious about who you are, and quite honestly, you are too, or at least, curious about who you look like and how, by context, you have become a pony.
  249. >The purple one is apparently the leader of this little herd and quickly rounds everyone up and bumps Spike up onto her back, and takes off down a dirt path nearby with the rest of the girls in tow.
  250. >At this point, the blue one is slowly calming down with a few hiccuping sobs, and after a moment, you're in the clear to shift a bit and try to get up.
  251. >Ok, so assume hooves.
  252. >Easy enough.
  253. >Just need to roll and put all... four legs under you.
  254. >Oh this is gonna be weird.
  255. >You shift and roll and somehow get all four hooves under you, and while you're a little wobbly, you're somehow able to push yourself up and get to that standing thing that you hear is just the best.
  256. >As you look yourself over, you hear the hoofsteps of Celestia approaching, and feel your ears swivel to track the sound.
  257. >Ok, well, if you weren't sure you were a pony before, you're sure now.
  258. >I mean, the muzzle that you now realize is dominating the center of your face and is clearly in view helps with that realization, but swiveling ears is a pretty big giveaway.
  259. >"I know you're probably confused, but please don't panic."
  260. >You turn to look at the large mare, blinking in surprise when you realize that you stand just a bit taller than she does, your eyes locking to hers.
  261. >She lets out a small gasp as your eyes meet hers.
  262. >She looks... hopeful?
  263. >But also a bit worried.
  264. >"But Tia, tis King! He's alive! He's fine, he's here!"
  265. >You turn a bit more and look at Luna, who has gotten to her own hooves, one leg up to wipe some of her tears away.
  266. >"Maybe, but it's been so long... and he might not be our brother."
  267. >The mare glances at the remains of the suit and helmet.
  268. >"You were human, were you not?"
  269. >You blink, surprised at the quick analysis.
  270. "You're not wrong. I'm... well, King is the name that my friends always called me, I've mostly given up on my 'real' name."
  271. >You say with a soft shrug, gesturing to the suit.
  272. "We were experimenting with multiverse theory. One of my friends is a excellent scientist and I volunteered to take the trip. Unfortunately my suit is ruined..."
  273. >You try to take a few steps closer to the suit only to stagger, large wings unfurling from your sides with a rush of wind as you try to balance yourself.
  274. >A small chime and a rushing sound that you could only describe as magical fills your ears as you feel a pressure on your body, holding you up.
  275. >"Slow steps. If you are our brother, it's... been a very, very long time since you've been you."
  276. "What do you mean? I'm always me."
  277. >This brings a small smile to Celestia's face and makes Luna giggle through her sniffles.
  278. >"If thou aren't our brother, thou ar't doing a poor job of convincing us as such."
  279. >You blink at Luna, tilting your head at the old-timey speaking.
  280. >"This probably isn't the best place to discuss everything, I'm sure you're confused."
  281. >Damn straight big winged horse.
  282. >"Here, let me support you."
  283. >The big horse steps to your side, and wraps a wing around you, holding you close.
  284. >Wow those feathers are soft.
  285. >You close your eyes and let yourself relax for a moment, your face drifting out of it's stoic mask for a moment and letting a moment of unease escape.
  286. >A hoof finds it's way to your muzzle, and you open your eyes to see the smaller horse smiling at you with dewy eyes.
  287. >"T'will be alright Brother. No matter what."
  288. >The smile is a little shaky, but there's a inner strength to it that's quite appealing.
  289. >"Afterall, we are family, no matter what happens."
  290. >You blink at her, and after a moment, raise a hoof and wrap it and your foreleg around the back and neck of the smaller-than-you mare, hugging her close for a moment.
  291. >It just feels like the right thing to do.
  292. >She's crying still, and your fur is now damp.
  293. >The big horse is also crying, but it's a very dignified cry.
  294. >"Ok, lets go."
  295. >Her horn sparks up brightly and that thrum of energy lances through you again as the clearing you were in suddenly becomes a dilapidated castle throne room.
  296. >You almost immediately break away from the other two horses as a prickling sense of unease fills your very being from head to... uh... hoof.
  297. "This... I've been here before."
  298. >It's a very solemn realization, mostly because it's making their theory that you are their brother seem a lot more real.
  299. "Where are we?"
  300. >"This was once the Castle of the Two Sisters... home."
  301. >Luna's voice is low and filled with emotion, staring at an empty pedestal.
  302. >"But for a time before that, it was known as The Everfree... more the pity, sadly."
  303. >The words strike a chord in you as your wandering pulls you in front of a broken mirror and you see yourself for the first time.
  304. >A striking figure stands in the mirror, a tall, uncompromisingly large and well built stallion with a long, spiraling horn as long as Celestia's proudly perched on his head.
  305. >You blink at yourself, marveling at how clear the blue of your eyes are, much sharper then they were when you woke up this morning, and even then not by much.
  306. >You turn your head this way and that, watching your mane sway.
  307. >Yeesh, it's really long.
  308. >It's not quite swirling and flowing like Luna and Celestia's, but it's really long, like, someone hasn't cut it in years long.
  309. >You huff at it as it drapes over your face, now annoyingly present as you flick it out of your face.
  310. >The mass of it is enough to drive you to distraction for several moments before it glows a light shade of yellow, and is pulled away from your face and carefully pulled back.
  311. >A ribbon, black as black can be, darts past your face in a blue aura before you feel it tying off your mane, leaving it in a high ponytail gathered up and away to keep it out of your face.
  312. >You look in the mirror and admire the look.
  313. >Reminds you of the awesome wigs and designs you and your friends made back in the day.
  314. >The glistening black ribbon really shows up to the pure silver mane, making a nice little change as you finally look down to your coat.
  315. >You're honestly a little surprised, considering how colorful the ponies have been before, that your coat is as silver as your mane.
  316. >Literally no difference in color between them.
  317. >A glint catches your eye, and you do your best to follow it, turning in a circle much to the amusement of the two mares watching you.
  318. >You finally realize it's your wings making the little glints, and after standing straight again, try to figure out how to spread them.
  319. >After a bit of struggle, you finally do so, and gasp in surprise.
  320. >Holy crap, you're a peacock!
  321. >Well, ok, probably not.
  322. >Guess that's where all your color went.
  323. >Your wings are prismatic, constantly shifting between colors, shimmering in the sunlight.
  324. >Almost glowing on their own, even.
  325. >You shuffle your wings a bit, dazzled by the shifting colors before you finally are able to fold them back up.
  326. >So that's unique.
  327. >You turn to face Celestia and Luna who are both smiling like loons.
  328. >"Well, you certainly have the look... even the mane."
  329. >Celestia's voice is wistful as she trots up to meet you, and turns as you do, looking out from the hall from the raised dais.
  330. "... This was where my throne was, wasn't it?"
  331. >Celestia and Luna both nod as you feel a undeniable wave of nostalgia wash over you.
  332. >You're silent for a moment, lost in contemplation before you speak so suddenly it almost startles yourself.
  333. "I can't remember any of it. It feels familiar, like I should know, but I know nothing."
  334. >Luna sighs softly.
  335. >"Tis not a very nice story."
  336. >You look at her as she sits, staring at you.
  337. >Celestia gently nudges you with her hip, gesturing for you to sit with a hoof.
  338. >As you do, her horn glows and a screen of magic fills the air, little holograms forming.
  339. >Ok, that's cool.
  340. >Token doesn't have holograms yet.
  341. >"Once upon a time, in the magical land of Equestria, the grand Everfree lived in Harmony under the watchful eye of the Solar family. Sol and Nox, two halves of the Crown, the King Sol Galacticus, and the Queen Nebulous Nox."
  342. >Two ponies that look like they were made out of space stuff stood before a large crowd of ponies wearing rags and simple clothing.
  343. >"Alicorns was the name given to their race, a species created and summoned by the unity of the three tribes and the desire to make peace with one another no matter the cost, to have true civilization among ponykind. And so King Sol and Queen Nox arrived and life, for a time, was good."
  344. >The image shifts as a particular draconequus takes center stage among three shadowed alicorns.
  345. >"The King and Queen could not stay forever, for they were not mortal like ponies are, nor were they truly ponies, so they each took a lover from each tribe, and using their glorious power, ascended their offspring into greater souls, each holding an aspect of the world."
  346. >"Their offspring were but four- one from The King and his Unicorn lover, who born the eldest daughter. The Queen born two, one of decent of Gaia herself, the youngest daughter, and one of the shifting winds and sky, the eldest of all, the first born son who would rule all."
  347. >"But the fourth was born of their union, not of love, but of jealousy. You see, the King and the Queen each had a trait the other could not have, and both coveted the trait of the other. This union of magic and mind and the negative emotions they wrought clashed and tore into the fabrics of reality itself, birthing a creature that is indeed our brother, but so lost in himself that he would never reconcile that idea."
  348. >"His name is Discord, but his story as a whole is for another time."
  349. >"Terrified of what they had wrought, Sol and Nox carefully spread the four through space and time, leaving the Sisters together and the Eldest on his own, to build a kingdom for his Shield Sisters to defend. For he would be the Earth and Sky, Equuis avatar, and his Sisters the Sun and the Moon, forever flanking him and never leaving his side."
  350. >"But Discord disrupted the chain, and the Eldest Brother was struck low by a cowardly attack while he was tending to the Herd, and guiding his ponies."
  351. >"Discord ripped a hole in space and time, and the Eldest ceased to exist, but for the Sisters and their lost to Chaos brother to know."
  352. >The hall echos, and each beat of the story is like a spike through your heart as you sit heavily, staring out at the walls of the castle.
  353. >"... Tis why we named this place the Everfree, to remember you. The plants and animals grew wild in your absence, lost and crazed from losing the proof of Equuis's love for all of it's creatures. This place was once free but guided, but then it was simply free."
  354. >You slowly sink lower till you're laying down, simply staring out at the wall like it might give you answers.
  355. >That story is missing a lot of details and is too much at the moment.
  356. >You stare harder at the wall.
  357. >Nope, no answers.
  358. >A soft body presses against yours and you feel a wing cross your back.
  359. >Then another.
  360. >You close your eyes and lets your head hang a bit as...
  361. >Do they really count as your sisters?
  362. >Honestly, you're not sure about anything right now.
  363. >But you know that these two are doing their best to comfort you.
  364. >And that's enough, for now.
  365. >You open your eyes and look to your left, where Celestia has sat next to you, her shoulder pressed to yours.
  366. >To your right, Luna, not nearly tall enough to support you as Celestia is doing, but her wing is more than broad enough to cover your back.
  367. >You let a smile break at them both, getting a smile in return.
  368. >Somewhere, somehow, a pink pony is aware of this occurrence and now has a big smile on her face as she plans out a heart song for some point in the near future.
  369. "So... family, huh."
  370. >"Family."
  371. >"Quite."
  372. >The silence returns, but this time it's rather awkward, and the three of you shuffle in place a bit, not really sure what else to say or do at this point in time.
  373. >Family, sure, but family that hasn't really gotten to know one another.
  374. >You didn't grow up with Celestia and Luna.
  375. >They didn't grow up with you.
  376. >Honestly, Kenny, Tolken, and Butters are more family than the two alicorn mares are.
  377. >At least they know you like family.
  378. >But you gotta start somewhere right?
  379. "... We should go."
  380. >Your voice echos, even as you slowly push yourself back to your hooves, moving slowly so you don't hurt your... sisters.
  381. >Weird, how easy it is to think of them that way.
  382. >The two other Alicorns clamber to their hooves even as you finish standing up slowly, ruffling their wings before tucking them back against their sides, a few feathers drifting here and there.
  383. >Your own wings ruffle a bit in response.
  384. >Hmm, going to need to pay attention to that, last thing you need is to get caught off guard by your own body.
  385. >"Of course. We shall return to the clearing you were found in brother, it will keep our little ponies from panicking from having their rulers appear in the middle of town suddenly."
  386. >Celestia's benevolent voice is warm and soothing even as she presses into your side, Luna doing the same as their horns spark to life.
  387. >Another thrum of energy bolts through you as you're whisked away through the immaterial and return to where you left.
  388. >Blinking out the spots in your eyes from the flash of Luna and Celestia's magic casting, you look around to note that you are indeed back in the clearing you started in.
  389. >As the three of you stand there, Celestia shuffles a bit, worrying her lips as she contemplates you.
  390. >Just as you're about to go comfort her, a familiar sound opens up behind you and you whirl in surprise.
  391. >The stargate portal thingy!
  392. >Looks like Token opened it back up!
  393. >Celestia and Luna look at it in curiosity, and you stare at the portal intensely.
  394. >"You wish to return."
  395. >It's not a question, but a statement from your youngest sister.
  396. >As you contemplate the portal before you, you feel guilty.
  397. >As if you've been teetering on the edge of a decision you didn't even know you had to make.
  398. >Your heart aches as you realize what exactly it is that you have to decide, even as you can almost feel the pull of the planet itself tugging on your very being.
  399. >As if Equuis itself is begging for you to stay.
  400. >Your mouth runs dry as you stare at the portal.
  401. >A soft nudge brings you back to reality, and you find Celestia and Luna staring at you almost longingly.
  402. >"If you leave... will you return to us? Can you promise that Brother?"
  403. >Celestia sounds as if she's about to break down.
  404. >The hope, the anguish, the sheer -weight- of her voice presses on you as you look back to the portal, softly biting down on the inside of your jaw.
  405. >You close your eyes, taking a shaky breath even as you hear the subtle movement of the small herd of ponies and the little dragon that you've only just met arriving on the scene.
  406. >Your horn lights up seemingly on it's own as you take stock of everything you've experience since you arrived.
  407. >Somehow you can tell you've been on Equuis for a total of twelve hours.
  408. >How you can tell that, you're not quite sure, maybe it's just being in-tune with the celestial *ha!* bodies of this world.
  409. >Your jaw quivers softly before you exhale all of your air.
  410. >You are King.
  411. >You keep your promises.
  412. "... Spike, was it?"
  413. >The little dragon perks up from the back of the purple unicorn pony and shifts off her side, trotting up to you with a little wobble.
  414. >"Yes your highness sir?"
  415. >"Please, just... King. I'm still new to this whole 'royalty' thing."
  416. >Your voice is soft even as you slowly lay yourself down, eyes on the poral.
  417. "Spike..."
  418. >Equuis itself holds it's breath as you finalize your decision and close your eyes, looking away from the portal finally with a firm nod of your head.
  419. >"Take a letter, please."
  420. -------
  421. >"Come on, come ON!"
  422. >Be Token Black
  423. >Genius, inventor, all around swell guy.
  424. >Currently down one friend.
  425. >Your hands hold hard on the lever keeping the vacuum running to keep the portal from destabilizing.
  426. >Twelve hours ago, King, one of your best friends and a true damn hero, volunteered to step through a poral you made.
  427. >A portal to other worlds, to other universes, to MULTIVERSES, and it worked!
  428. >It well damn fucking WORKED!
  429. >But after his arrival to the other side of the portal...
  430. >All his vital signs cut out.
  431. >Now you and Kenny are racing against the clock.
  432. >You've got to get your friend back, one way or another.
  433. >The portal is holding stable, but the vacuum pressure isn't.
  434. >And if the vacuum dies out, so do your hopes of getting him back.
  435. >The signal for his helmet was weak enough.
  436. >Kenny is all for going in after him, the both of you suiting up and jumping through, damn worrying about anything else.
  437. >Honestly, it's sounding kind of tempting.
  438. >You don't have a wife or kids yet.
  439. >Not even a girlfriend.
  440. >This project has taken too much.
  441. >But you could probably recreate the portal on the other side.
  442. >"I'm telling you Token, we should just go! We're already suited, just open the hatch and we'll dive through, even if the portal destabilizes on our side the travel time is insignificant!"
  443. >Kenny is arguing hard even as he carefully works levers to keep the power from fluxing too much and to keep the portal stable even as it threatens to start the destabilization process.
  444. >The lever bucks a bit in your hands as you stare at the gate, before blinking as something flits through the portal and smacks into the glass of the observation pod.
  445. >Parchment?
  446. >You and Kenny stare at it in confusion for a moment before you notice that the parchment was written on.
  447. >It's brittle, and you're not really sure how it's made it to the booth, or even how it's being held to the glass without breaking away, but there it is.
  448. >In slightly shaky but clear block lettering in English, there's only one thing written.
  449. "If I ever had Sisters... I'd want them to have something nice, you know?"
  450. >"What? What does that mean?"
  451. >Kenny sounds baffled, but all at once, it hits you.
  452. >"... you fucking asshole King, you remembered."
  453. >Your voice is shocked and filled with not a little bit of awe.
  454. >Kenny looks at you, baffled, but you shake your head.
  455. >"Kenny... open the door. I'm going in."
  456. >"The hell you are, not without me!"
  457. >Kenny flicks through a few more switches, gritting his teeth as he quickly runs around the booth, grabbing your tether-lines in case of failure to prevent you both from being sucked into the portal and instead tethering your suits together.
  458. >"Ok, ready!"
  459. >"On three!"
  460. >"One!"
  461. >Kenny's hands glide over the control panel and flick over a big red button, one that will open the observation pod.
  462. >"Two!"
  463. >His voice is resolved, in a way you remember from your childhood, bringing a manic grin to your face even as he grins back just as wildly.
  464. >"This is stupid!"
  465. >"I know! THREE!"
  466. >His hand slams on the button as you let go of the lever and the two of you sprint towards the portal as the pod opens up.
  467. >The portal swirls and squashes as you charge up the ramp and not a moment later you and Kenny fall through.
  468. >Where are you going?
  469. >Why are you going there?
  470. >This is such a terrible idea!
  471. >Do you regret it?
  472. >Not yet.
  473. >But hey.
  474. >In King we Trust right?
  475. -----
  476. >You are King.
  477. >You've carefully moved the herd of ponies back away from the portal based on what Twilight (the uptight purple Unicorn you've come to learn) could tell you about your trajectory when you came through.
  478. >"Uh-um... m-m-mister K-king?"
  479. >The butter-yellow and pink shy one is trying her hardest to talk to you, and you barely avoid turning to look her straight on.
  480. >You've already discovered that just looking at her dead on will send the skittish pegasus zipping away.
  481. >Guess you really do have a seriously intense stare.
  482. >Wait... uhhhhh
  483. >Fuck, what was her name again?
  484. >Douchba-
  485. >WAIT
  486. >Fluttershy!
  487. "Yes Fluttershy?"
  488. >Nailed it.
  489. >"W-what are we waiting here for? You just t-threw the scroll through..."
  490. "..."
  491. >Your eyes narrow for a moment before you relax a bit, continuing to stare at the portal even as your sisters press into your sides to offer support.
  492. >"And what the hay did that message mean?"
  493. >Ah, Rainbow Dash has spoken.
  494. "Well, on the other side of the portal are my best friends... my only friends, if I'm being honest with myself."
  495. >The girls hang on to your every word, even as you notice little flicks of light on the portal that makes you subtly smirk.
  496. >You were right.
  497. "The message was for one of my friends. He was a only child see, and he once told me that if he ever had sisters or brothers... he wanted to do right by them."
  498. >The light glows brighter as sparks start jumping off the portal, making the ponies flinch in surprise, even your sisters, but you sit tall, your smile growing as your eyes lock to the center and the two lights growing ever brighter.
  499. "When he told me that, I didn't really know how to respond- I never had brothers or sisters myself, and I had very few friends growing up, and fewer still were true friends who would actually stay by my side. Less when I was an adult."
  500. >Your wings spread as you stand up, the smile, then smirk, now dazzling grin, wide on your face.
  501. "My message to him was simply this- my family is here, and I will do right by my family. And if I'm right about them, and as they know, I always am..."
  502. >The portal suddenly flexes and 'belches', for lack of a better term, stretching outwards as two forms blast through the other side, tumbling head over hooves as they hit the dirt and the portal folds in on itself and shuts.
  503. "They'll follow me, because We're the only ones we can trust."
  504. >You smile as you walk towards the downed forms, your horn glowing even as Equuis herself tells you what you assumed from their landing.
  505. >Dazed, probably going to slip unconscious from shock of their new bodies, but otherwise perfectly fine.
  506. "Tolken, Mysterion... welcome home."
  507. >The ponies outside of your sisters stare at you in awe even as you gently pick up the unconscious forms of the two unicorns before you, carefully depositing them on your back.
  508. "Miss Sparkle, I'm afraid I'll have to intrude on your generosity, it appears we shall need two more beds for my Friends."
  509. >You smile even as Celestia and Luna's horns light up and the sun shifts to make way for the moon and the sunset shines across you.
  510. "There is much to be done, and I'm sure Token is going to have a lot of questions when he wakes up."
  513. >As for what happens next... well, that's a story for another time, but know this. I am King, the First Born, Son of Equuis and Ruler of the Earth and Sky. I have returned to my home, and I chose to stay.
  515. ~Fin~
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