Chapter Five: Always
In My Heart
probably little reason to write this letter, or so they tell me, but
I just can't seem to accept things. Perspicacity suggested that I try
writing to you, that it might help me work things out. She's a lot
smarter than I am pretty much about everything, so here I am,
wondering what I am supposed to say to you.
this seems real to me. There has to be a mistake somehow. It's all so
hard to accept. I guess I'm writing this, and sending it to your
sister in Grand Rapids, in the hope that you may somehow see it. I
want to believe that you could somehow see this. That you can still
see it. I don't know what else to do.
I am told
that you... are dead. I am told that you died flying an attack copter
into the Great Barrier at full speed. That you conspired with your
ladyfriend Hannah to - I can't wrap my mind around it - assassinate
two of our Equestrian ambassadors. And the worst part is that it is
my fault, my fault that it was possible at all.
you were my best friend, back in the human world. We knew each other
from grade school. We went to the same high school, and then college.
We shared an apartment for I don't know how many years. I was there
when you married, and divorced, Ashley. Remember the divorce party we
all had? That was such a strange year.
I knew you, I thought I understood you down into my bones. I thought
of you as the brother I never had.
can't accept that... any of this could be true.
isn't, I keep hoping. Maybe, someday, you will show up, here in
Greater Fetlock, clopping down the cobblestones, some fine stallion
I'd be proud to show off to my wife. You and Rocket and Perspicacity
I could enter the Running Of The Leaves together, and my son would
finally get to meet my very best friend. You could be his uncle. Oh,
In case it
isn't all true, I'll tell you about the past six months. Maybe it
will help me make sense of it all, to put it down on paper.
my tryout for being a Firepony. Both me and Rocket got in. We had set
up a little practice area near the newfoal barracks. We borrowed a
hay cart and practiced pulling it, we pretended ropes were fire hoses
and memorized the city. Rocket and I really bonded trying to get
those jobs. I guess that's part of the reason Perspicacity and I
adopted him. We're a family now, all living together above the
Celestia and Luna, but I love that filly. She has stood by me through
all of this, and there is no way I deserve it, but she did. Rocket
really is a 'luck pony', I guess, at least for me. He didn't get a
clover-leaf like I thought, but he did get his mark. So have I. We
both have matching flames and waterdrops. His mark has the drops on
the left, and mine has them on the right. I guess being Fireponies
was our true destiny in life. It definitely feels like it to me.
Those matching Butt Marks really make us look like father and son, too.
heard from you for four, almost five, months, but I wasn't thinking
about that at the time. I was so busy learning how to be the best
Firepony I could, and helping Rocket to be one too. Being a Firepony
can be demanding, and dangerous work. But it is so very rewarding. I
feel like a hero, sometimes, when I know I've rescued somepony, or at
least saved their home or business. Most of the time, though, we all
just wait around the hall. That part is really hard.
think being able to sit around and play games or talk would be an
easy life, but it really isn't. Always we wait for the bell, always
we are half on edge waiting for the call. Half of me dreads the call,
because of what it means, and what we'll all have to face, and half
of me is frustrated that the call hasn't come yet because waiting is
so hard. Being a Firepony is a strange occupation.
But I am
so fortunate - I have a career I am grateful for, I can help support
my family, and I have a son I feel genuinely fortunate to have.
Rocket has turned out to be a young colt I am really proud of. It's
hard to imagine I ever thought he was a punk. All he needed was a
little love and someone to show him how to be a stallion in the
world. He was cited for bravery, I'd like to brag. He managed to save
a little foal that was inside a burning barn, just before it
collapsed. I almost had a fit at the time, I can't help but worry for
him, but it was what needed to be done, and he did it, without once
thinking of himself.
month after Rocket and I got hired, I proposed to Perspicacity. I had
a solid job, a good future, and dammit, I knew I loved her even then.
I guess I probably knew pretty much from that first time I met her,
catching all those telescopes. I was afraid, of course, when I
proposed, because we hadn't known each other for all that long. But
sometimes, when magic happens, you just have to go for it, and I did.
Luna only knows what she sees in me, but whatever it is, I am
grateful for it.
I mentioned, it had been five months without any response from you,
and I had just started to wonder if you were ever going to write back
when there was quite a commotion in the street. Remember how I wrote
that nobody famous ever visits Fetlock? Well, that's no longer true,
and I can't say I ended up very happy as a result.
peeked out of the firehouse, the first thing I saw were these four
amazing, armored pegasai. White as snow and covered in plate, with
really fierce looking helmets. This was something to see, but there
was more. They were pulling an amazing carriage, the Royal Carriage
of Equestria, and you can guess who was riding in it. I felt a
strange feeling of fear and devotion. Celestia. Princess of all
Equestria, Goddess of the Sun. Here in Greater Fetlock.
started heading towards the Firehouse, my legs just buckled. I was
down on the ground, bowing without even thinking of it. You don't
need that training they give you at the pony school. You just can't
help it. She has this presence, this majesty, that you can feel. It
just fills the air. It fills the mind, it gets into the bones. It
isn't like meeting some earth president or CEO. She is the real
thing. Power incarnate.
I can say
that she is definitely not of the world. Close up - her mane is not
hair. I don't know what it is, energy, a curtain of light, pure magic
flowing out - whatever it is, it is a badge of otherworldly
something. It flows in currents beyond any wind, and to look into it
is like looking into the colors of infinity. Celestia is absolutely a
longer doubt that she truly causes the sun to rise in the sky.
glorious as this was, it did not go well. I was arrested - well, not
exactly arrested, not like on earth, but taken into custody by a pair
of those armorplated pegasai. I was never beaten, microwaved,
plasma-whipped, pain-sticked, tortured or crippled. It wasn't like
dealing with police on your side of the barrier. Everything was
remarkably civil and polite. But I felt like I was in trouble, and
honestly, I just plain wanted to cry. I wanted to cry like a foal.
few hours were some of the hardest in my life. I spent a long time
just waiting in the city hall. They had appropriated the mayor's
office, and that is where I sat. I don't know if they posted a guard,
I was too afraid to move. I had no idea why I was there. I figured
that maybe it was just because I was a newfoal, a former human, and
maybe I had somehow broken some law by marrying Perspicacity. I was
so afraid for her. What had I gotten her into, thinking I was good
enough for somepony like her? I felt so ashamed and sad.
Celestia, herself, entered the room. Tea was brought for her. She
sipped her tea and regarded me. That was probably the longest few
minutes of my existence. I couldn't bear to look her in the eye. I
just kept staring at my hooves. I wanted to beg her on behalf of
Perspicacity and Rocket, whatever was wrong with me, they were innocent.
end, it turned out to be about that schedule I sent you, the one
Skysinger had gotten for me, the one that told which Bureaus Twilight
Sparkle and Pinkie Pie were visiting. I was informed that an attempt
on their lives had been made, that Hannah had opened fire in the
Lancing Bureau, that innocent humans and ponies had been hurt, even
killed. I couldn't take it in. It was like a horror story just to
hear such things.
worst was hearing that supposedly you had been working with Hannah
all along, that I had been used to gather information, that you had
betrayed our friendship, my... trust.
asked me questions, explained things, I can't remember everything
that was said, or how I answered - the whole experience has blurred
in my memory. I know I broke down and wept at least once. She was
never unkind, I remember that, but I think she was somehow looking
right down into my very soul during that talk. She was very gentle
with me, but I was under no doubt, even for a second, that if I had
been to blame, if I had actually plotted against her, I would not
have survived that day. I don't know what she could or would do to an
enemy, but I have no doubt it would be final. Celestia is both lovely
and terrifying. She is sublime, fear and wonder and awe.
I would never want to do anything to even upset her. Not because she
is powerful, but because I genuinely don't wish to. If anything, I
want to serve her to the best of my ability. I'm not sure that I can
explain to you why, but the best I can offer is that she is worth
devotion. You can feel it, right down to the marrow. I've never felt
anything like that, even as a human child, not for any flag, or
corporation, or earth leader. It's like not wanting to disappoint
your own mother, only more so.
lasting memory I have of meeting Princess Celestia was a look of pity
on her face. It didn't shame me, but it did make me feel very sad.
She didn't pity my naivety, or that I had trusted without caution, or
that I had failed to even imagine that the information I got for you
could ever be used wrongly. I think, to this day, that she felt sorry
for me, because she knew my heart had been broken.
I am so
angry at you. How could you do such a thing?
all isn't true. I want to believe it isn't true. But Celestia is a
goddess. A living goddess. How can she be in error? She can raise
the very sun into the sky. I want to believe that even a goddess
can be wrong.
I want to
believe that one day, I will see you, all ponified and fine, trotting
up to meet me. My old friend, still my best friend.
know if I can ever completely accept this. Probably to the end of my
days, some part of me will be waiting for you to show up on our
doorstep, even after Purification, even after there are no more
humans. A part of me imagines you are already here, in Equestria,
starting out in one of the many other newfoal schools.
went back to more-or-less normal after The Royal Visit. Someponies
kind of treated me a little funny for a while - I mean it isn't
everyday that Celestia Herself comes to a town like Fetlock just to
talk with some pony. Especially about something like... what
happened. Apparently a copter managed to through the Barrier and
there was all kinds of fuss. I hadn't heard anything about it until
that meeting with Celestia. Greater Fetlock isn't exactly an
important hub of civilization.
that Skysinger was called on the carpet too. I haven't seen Skysinger
since then. That hurts me a lot. My first pegasus friend, and I don't
know if he will ever want to talk to me again. He has no reason to
trust me anymore, and every reason not to, I understand that. I just
wish I could talk to him, explain that I didn't know not to trust.
But I am
just an earth pony. I can't fly. I wouldn't know how to find him,
even if I could be sure it was the right thing to do at all.
has been wonderful through all of this. She has put up with my grief
over all of this, and she never doubted me once. I wonder if, as a
unicorn, she can see into ponies souls too, or if it is just that she
just loves and trusts me that much.
I work hard at being Fireponies, and on weekends we run together all
the way to Just Fetlock and back, and sometimes Perspicacity joins
us, and we are our own herd, running, running like the wind.
keep an eye on the sky, in case somehow I might glimpse Skysinger
again. I guess I just can't help being the hopeful sort.
And I keep
you, my old friend, always in my heart, and every corner I pass, as
we run, I look to see if maybe, just maybe, it could be you galloping
up to meet us. I guess I know it is unlikely, maybe even impossible.
is a magical land. Maybe there is enough magic even for the
occasional miracle, If I just hope enough.
my old, dear friend.
I forgive you.
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To TCB Story Index
Lost In The Herd Series:
Four: Teacup, Down On The Farm
Conversion Bureau Novels:
Ounces: A story of eight and one half ponies
Conversion Bureau: Code Majeste
Conversion Bureau: The 800 Year Promise
Conversion Bureau: Going Pony
Michelson and Morely
Reasonably Adamant Down With Celestia Newfoal Society!
Her Last Possession
Conversion Bureau: PER Equitum
Conversion Bureau: Brand New Universe
Non-Conversion Bureau Fanfics:
Cream Pony Summer
Around The Bend