A Helping Hand

Dec 29th, 2015
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  1. >You are Anonymous.
  2. >You’re a member of a special task force that had been setup by the LAPD’s Metro Division in the wake of the recent outlawing of the rampant abuse of pony pets and slaves.
  3. >You were previously assigned to Metro’s ‘D Platoon’, but you had to say, you were happy with your recent reassignment.
  4. >If there was something that pissed you off more than anything, it was animal abuse.
  5. >Even if the animals were magical talking ponies from another dimension.
  6. >Being able to directly fight it yourself was something you very much enjoyed.
  8. >Because of how rampant the abuse of ponies were, you rarely had any time off.
  9. >The days you did have off, like everybody else in your task force, you were always on call for emergencies.
  10. >It was rare, but you did occasionally get called in whenever manpower was scarce.
  11. >Luckily, today wasn’t one of those days.
  12. >And, having nothing to do, and your ‘roommate’ being too preoccupied to do anything with you, you decided to go to the local pony shelter.
  13. >You liked visiting every so often, having been involved in many of the operations that had saved the poor souls that lived there from lives of misery and torture.
  14. >Besides, while a lot of the ponies weren’t very trustworthy of humans, they usually warmed up to you and Sparky whenever you showed up.
  15. >Nobody, whether they were a human, or a magical, talking horse, could resist the comfort of a service dog.
  16. >It was shortly after noon when you pulled up to the shelter.
  17. >Turning off the engine, you pocketed your keys and climbed out of your truck, holding the door for your faithful companion.
  18. >As soon as the vest clad golden retriever jumped out, you shut the door behind him, and began walking towards the shelter’s front door.
  19. >Unlike with typical animal shelters, you weren’t greeted by the sound of hundreds of animals trying to break free when you wandered inside.
  20. >The shelter was silent, save for the occasion cry from ponies held inside.
  21. >As you walked over to the receptionist desk, the woman behind it noticed you approaching her, and immediately perked up.
  22. >She shot you a pleasant smile as she opened up her mouth to greet you.
  23. >”Good morning, Anon!”
  24. >You raised a brow at her greeting.
  25. “It’s one in the afternoon, Emily. It’s hardly morning anymore.”
  26. >A look of confusion crossed the receptionist’s face, before she glanced at the clock sitting on her desk.
  27. “Goodness! I didn’t even notice.”
  28. >Her expression of surprise and confusion slowly faded as she regarded you with a grin.
  29. >”So, you just visiting, or are you finally going to adopt?”
  30. >Emily leaned her chin on her hands as she peered at you with interest, awaiting your reply.
  31. >You answered by shaking your head, much to her disappointment.
  32. “Nah, not rnow. One roommate is more than enough. I’m just visiting.”
  33. >”Right… anyways, good to see you. I’ll page Doctor Pavel and-”
  34. >”That won’t be necessary.”
  35. >You looked towards where the new voice emanated from, spotting a slender, nerdy looking woman, wearing a slim, tight dress that completely betrayed her physique walking up to you.
  36. >You shot her a grin as you turned towards the woman.
  37. “Doctor Pavel,” you greeted her simply with a curt nod.
  38. >She met your smile with one of her own.
  39. >”Hey there, Anon! Glad to see you.”
  40. >You heard Sparky rush past you as he went to greet the doctor, who was quick to meet the young golden retriever's eager greeting with an affectionate scratch behind his ears.
  41. >”And I’m glad to see you too, Sparky~!”
  42. >After a few moments, she turned her attention back to you, a somewhat relieved expression on her face.
  43. >”Seriously though, I’m glad you’re here. I’ve been trying to get ahold of you, but you haven’t been answering your phone.”
  44. >You shot her an apologetic grin.
  45. “Sorry, I’ve been swamped with work. Things have been really crazy at Metro because of the new task force.”
  46. >With that said, you raised a brow at her as you continued.
  47. “So, what’s up?”
  48. >Doctor Pavel seemed to grimace as she opened her mouth to speak.
  49. >”Well… I have a bit of a nasty case that I could use some outside help on.”
  50. >She gave you a look as she went on.
  51. >”You have experience with shellshock, right?”
  52. >You nodded slowly, sparing a look at the service dog now laying at your feet.
  53. “You know I do, doc.”
  54. >”Right…” she said with a grimace, “Sorry, I didn’t-”
  55. “It’s cool, I’m over it,” you said as you waved off her worries.
  56. >Well, mostly.
  57. >”Look…” she spoke up, “I’ve seen some serious shellshock in the ponies that come through this facility, but… this one just lies there with a thousand yard stare all day. She doesn’t even react to anything, or eat. She just alternates between staring at a wall and sleeping.”
  58. >A defeated sigh escaped the woman’s voice as she peered at you over her glasses with pleading eyes.
  59. >”I was wondering you might be able to help…?”
  60. >You shot the doctor a reassuring grin.
  61. “Don’t worry, I’m sure we can get through to her.”
  62. >A hopeful little smile crossed Pavel’s face.
  63. >”Glad to see you’re on board.”
  64. >She turned away, before motioning you to follow her as she walked up the hallway, deeper into the facility.
  65. >You followed her, Sparky walking alongside you, his wagging tail occasionally slapping you in the leg.
  67. >As Doctor Pavel lead you through the shelter, she gave you a quick brief on the pony that she was leading you to.
  68. >”She was picked up in a recent raid on a sex ring the other day. Ever since she was rescued, we haven’t been able to get her to eat, speak, or even react to anything. As a result, we know nothing about her. We don’t even have a name for her, though we’ve been referring to her as ‘Lyre’ due to her cutie mark.”
  69. >She paused as she came to stop at a locked door.
  70. >She rapped her knuckle on the doorframe, gaining the attention of the security guard inside.
  71. >He wasted no time unlocking and opening the door for your small group, greeting you with a curt nod as you walked by.
  72. >The moment that you were moving again, she continued talking.
  73. >”Like many of the other mares we get through here, her physical exam showed evidence of both physical and sexual abuse. Judging by her condition… I’d even say she was psychologically tortured as well… but unfortunately, we don’t have any information to confirm that.’
  74. >She continued up the hall and hung a right, leading you into the ‘residential’ area.
  75. >A long hallway with dozens of doors leading down it’s length.
  76. >Each door led to a small room that contained one bed, toilet, sink, and occupant.
  77. >It reminded you of the minimal time you spent working in the prison system.
  78. >You supposed it was better than the kennels ponies used to be locked up in, though.
  79. >You followed Pavel up the corridor until she stopped in front of a cell near the end of the long hall.
  80. >You took a peek inside through the door’s small window, spotting a mint green unicorn lying in the corner of the room, curled up into a semi-ball, facing the wall.
  81. >You looked towards the doctor beside you with a questioning look.
  82. “Does she do anything other than just lie there?”
  83. >The woman shook her head, that sad, defeated look growing worse.
  84. >”No… not when she’s awake, at least. She occasionally has night terrors, though. She’ll wake up screaming out somebody’s name… ‘Bonnie’ was the name. She reacts violently to any human presence when she’s in that state… so, due to regulations, there’s not much we can do, other than wait for her to fall back asleep.”
  85. >She turned her attention back the pony inside, letting out a small sigh.
  86. >”She’s still in there somewhere Anon… but, we can’t get her to come out. It’s like she’s lost the will to live.”
  87. >You gave the doctor a comforting pat on the back, shooting her a toothy, reassuring grin.
  88. “Don’t worry, I’m sure Sparky can get her to come out of her shell,” you said, giving the mentioned pupper an affectionate head rub.
  89. >”Let’s hope so.”
  90. >A weak smile crossed the woman’s lips, before she grabbed the key card that was clipped to her side.
  91. >The moment the door was unlocked, she opened it for you.
  92. >Sparky rushed in before you, and you followed him in.
  93. >The unicorn in the corner didn’t react as the two of you entered
  94. “Lyre…?”
  95. >You were met by silence as you called out to her.
  96. >Not unexpected, but still, you couldn’t help but feel disappointed.
  97. >You stepped closer as you continued to speak.
  98. “I’m Officer Anonymous,” you introduced yourself, “and my friend here is named Sparky.”
  99. >Your introduction was met with no response.
  100. >The pony was as still as a corpse, just breathing slowly and staring at the wall.
  101. >You frowned as your attempts to reach out to the pony resulted in failure, but you weren’t put off.
  102. >You knelt down, and released your pooch from his leash.
  103. “Go on, do your thing.”
  104. >Free from his bounds, Sparky followed your orders without hesitation.
  105. >He rushed up to the almost lifeless pony, his tail wagging back and forth at the speed of light as he did so.
  106. >He sniffed up and down the length of her body, poking his nose at random spots as he attempted to elicit a response from the mare.
  107. >Unfortunately, his efforts resulted in nothing but failure.
  108. >She didn’t even respond to Sparky lapping at her face and covering it with his slobber.
  109. >Your pupper let out a loud whine in response to her lack of reaction, before lying down beside the mare, resting his head on her side, attempting to comfort the mare with his presence.
  110. >You grimaced slightly as you looked on with a frown.
  111. >Sparky could usually get a response out of even the most traumatized ponies.
  112. >But, even he had failed to get the mare lying in the corner to even bat an eye at him.
  113. >You were at a loss.
  114. >It was like Doctor Pavel said.
  115. >It was like she had completely lost the will to live.
  116. >Turning towards the woman who was watching from the doorway, you shook your head solemnly.
  117. “No dice, doc.”
  118. >The doctor met your words with a defeated sigh.
  119. >”Yeah… I was afraid of that…”
  120. >You looked back one more time to see if Sparky and Lyre were doing alright, before walking up to Doctor Pavel.
  121. “What are you going to do, Pavel?”
  122. >The solemn look on her face seemed to worsen as she took in her question.
  123. >”You know as well as I do what we’re going to have to do…”
  124. >She looked over towards where your service dog and mare you were discussing lay together, before letting out another sigh of defeat.
  125. >”She won’t eat, and she doesn’t react to anything. All she does is just… lie there. Our organization doesn’t usually practice euthanasia on ponies, since, like us, they are sentient, but… I’d say this is one of those rare occasions that it’s necessary.”
  126. >You were hit with another grimace as you took in her words.
  127. >You looked back towards the seemingly lifeless mare that your pupper was doing it’s best to comfort.
  128. >You remembered, years ago, you were in the same position.
  129. >Your mind having effectively shut itself down from the trauma you experienced overseas.
  130. >But, things got better. Much better.
  131. >There was always hope, no matter how bleak things seemed.
  132. >You knew, just like you once were, that Lyre was still trapped in there, somewhere.
  133. >You saw so much of yourself in her, that you couldn’t bare to think about her being put down.
  134. >There HAD to be another way.
  135. >Looking back to the doctor at your side, you opened your mouth to speak.
  136. “Is she… is she still up for adoption?”
  137. >Pavel seemed surprised by your question, but nonetheless, she nodded.
  138. >”Yes… she is…”
  139. >She eyed with a raised brow as she continued to speak.
  140. >”Are you…?”
  141. “Yeah, I am,” you finished her sentence.
  142. >A small smile spread across the woman’s lips.
  143. >”I’ll go get the paperwork. I’d ordinarily advise against something like this, but… honestly, at this point, I think you’re Lyre’s only hope. We can’t do anything else for her, other than putting her out of her misery.”
  144. >Her smile faltered a bit as she continued.
  145. >”I know you’ve been through a similar ordeal years ago… but… if she doesn’t get better, bring her back. It’d be cruel to let her keep suffering.”
  146. >You spared the mare one more look, before turning your gaze back to the doctor, a determined fire blazing in your eyes.
  147. “It won’t come to that, I promise.”
  148. >Her smile returned at your determination.
  149. >”Right then, I suppose I’ll just have to trust you.”
  150. >She turned towards the door, looking at you over her shoulder.
  151. >”I’ll be right back with the paperwork. Hang tight, alright Anon?”
  152. >You nodded in response.
  153. >Shooting you one more grin, she sped off, leaving you alone with the mare and your faithful furry companion.
  154. >You stepped towards the two of them, before kneeling beside them.
  155. >You couldn’t help but smile as your service dog refused to leave the mare’s side, giving him a reassuring pat on the head.
  156. >You turned your attention to the mare that he lay beside, and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder.
  157. “I’ve been there before…” you begin as you run your fingers through the mare’s coat, a solemn expression crossing your face as you speak, “...I know your pain… but I promise, it’s going to get better.”
  158. >You could feel a determined fire rage in your chest as you continued to speak.
  159. “I won’t give up until it does.”
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