My Little Pony Fan Fiction ❯ A Walk Among Spirits ❯ Chapter 12

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Skyline wriggled as he felt the sofa cushion under him. It felt like his body was sinking into it and he didn't want to move. His eyes shot open when he realized that he wasn't lying on the cold, hard cement. He quickly sat up and found he was not in the padded room he shared with the three fillies. Instead, he was sitting on a magenta sofa in a coral orange room. In front of him was a table with an assortment of food.


"Ah, so you're finally awake," a red unicorn mare said as she walked past him and sat across the room him in a magenta recliner. Skyline recognized her voice from the fight he had with Shadow Dancer and a few days ago when she fired a stallion.


"You're the Professor aren't you?" Skyline hesitantly asked.


"Yes, that's what the staff calls me," the mare said as she nodded and added, "But you can call me Nip Tuck."


"Are you going to take me to The Clinic?" Skyline asked. His question made her burst out laughing causing Skylines ears to bend backward.


"Oh my little Pony," She said as she wiped away a tear and added, "You've already been to The Clinic."


"So that arena is The Clinic," Skyline said.


"No, this facility has seven sections," Nip Tuck said before she listed them off, "There's The Clinic, The Arena, The Atrium, The Lounge, The Line, The Cafeteria, and The Cell Block."


"So when did I go to The Clinic?" Skyline asked.


"Don't worry darling. I'll make things clear momentarily, but first. You must be starving after that fight. Saproling really put you through the ringer. You deserve it after that well-fought victory," Nip Tuck said as she pointed to the food in front of Skyline. He wanted answers, but his stomach growled at the thought of real food. He slowly got down off the sofa, not taking his eyes off Nip Tuck. She smiled and added, "Don't worry. I won't bite and the food isn't poisoned if that's what you're thinking." Her warm smile reassured him that the food was edible, but it also creeped him out at the same time.


He picked up a cracker with cheese on it and popped it into his mouth. The taste of the food nearly brought him to his knees. He quickly grabbed three more and shoved them into his mouth. He saw small appetizer plates next to the food and quickly grabbed one before filling the plate. He took eight more cheese and crackers, hayburger sliders, cheddar popcorn, and an assortment of candies. He got back on the sofa and started devouring the food. He had never been so happy to eat real food in his life. After swallowing a hoof-full of popcorn he asked, "Why did you kidnap us?"


"Kidnap is such a strong word. I prefer acquiring test subjects," Nip Tuck said


"Test subjects?" Skyline questioned


"Yes, you see before I found this facility, I was head of the Magical Research wing of the castle. We were in charge of testing the properties of magic, cataloging what each magic spell could do and explain how it can be performed, and seeing how magic can better Ponies lives. I'm sure you've seen the changeling lamps around populated areas?" Nip Tuck said. Skyline nodded and she continued, "We developed them. We also found a way to use magic in a sort of airwave form to help TV and radio broadcasts."


"So why did you leave?" Skyline said as he got down and grabbed more food.


"My ideals were not shared by my colleagues or Celestia," Nip Tuck said. When she mentioned Celestia. Her voice seemed to hiss and she seemed to glare off into space before coming back to reality and continuing, "You see: I was the only one to see how truly weak our kingdom was. Sure we have Unicorns that use magic, Pegasi that can control the weather, and whatever the Earth Ponies do, but we're no match for the Dragons should they invade, for that matter if the griffons decide to start up a second war. Sooner or later, our kingdom will fall and I wanted to prevent that."


"But the Elements? Surely with them, we have a fighting chance. How can you call Equestria weak when we have them?" Skyline protested.


"They only delay the inevitable. Think about it: Discord broke out of his stone prison and nearly threw Equestria into an eternity of chaos. Tirek escaped and nearly destroyed the kingdom and do you want to know why?" Nip Tuck said. Before Skyline could answer, she continued, "Because they don't eliminate the threat. When my team and I researched the Elements. We found that they don't destroy the threats, but simply trap them. However, there's a loophole: the Elements only trap the enemy for a thousand years. After that, the threat returns. Think about it: how many generations will constantly live in fear. Knowing that Discord or Tirek could return. I proposed a way to end the threat once and for all."


"What did you propose?" Skyline asked.


"I wanted to test the very fabric of magic and infuse it with Ponies so not just Unicorns could use magic, but every Pony could use magic. I had done so much research on magic that I was comfortable in knowing I could succeed. However, Celestia refused my proposal. Saying it was too dangerous and that I was asking to do Pony experiments. She should know that there's always a threat when experimenting with magic. She of all people should know that you can't break a few eggs before baking a cake or in this case a few hundred," Nip Tuck said.


"Hundred?" Skyline hiccupped


"Well, when you're a researcher like myself. When someone says you can't do something. It makes you want to do it even more. At first, I did what I was told and didn't push the issue, but it kept nagging at me and soon I had to know if my work would keep this kingdom safe. So without Celestia or my colleague's knowledge, I started performing my tests. The first one hundred died. Turns out if a Pony is exposed to too much magic, they get magic poisoning. It affects the Pony anatomy differently. Some just convulse and die, some turn into goop, or some just up and explode. Through my failures, however, I found the perfect balance of magic to infuse into Pony's DNA," Nip Tuck explained. Skyline was shocked at how she described her failures. It was like facility was describing how she failed at baking a cake. She showed no remorse for killing Ponies.


"So a hundred Ponies died before you succeeded," Skyline asked. Even asking the question made Skyline feel terrible. It made him sound like a killer like her.


"Well if we're going to get technical it was around one hundred and thirteen failures," Nip Tuck admitted before continuing, "My first real success was with a Unicorn. She was quite beautiful actually. I needed to know that my experiments work so I did what I always did with my Unicorn test subjects. I broke her horn off before testing on her. She wasn't too pleased by that, but after I infused her DNA with magic. She could shapeshift. It was amazing! My experiment worked. Until the complications."


"Complications?" Skyline questioned.


"It seemed I found the right amount of magic to infuse into a Pony but found that certain types of magic change a Pony. Her hooves became hollow and riddled with holes, her silky blond hair fell out and was replaced by moss like hair, she grew insect wings and her horn grew back but was jagged, and her body became insect like with an exoskeleton. She was really pissed after that."


"And you never got caught?" Skyline asked.


"Ah, there's the kicker. I never said I didn't get caught," Nip Tuck said before she explained, "One of my colleagues, a mare I had considered a friend found my test subject and freed her. She escaped into the forest while my colleagues ran to Celestia and ratted me out. That bitch ruined what could have been the greatest magical feat since Star Swirl created the Elements. I knew I'd be imprisoned since I went behind Celestia's back. So I gathered up all my data, all my research and hightailed it out of the castle, but not before I covered my tracks."


"What did you do?" Skyline asked.


"That mare, the one I considered a friend. Got to me before Celestia could. She said I should explain myself to Celestia and beg for her forgiveness. Bitch had it coming," Nip Tuck said as she examined her right forehoof and continued, "I killed her and burned the lab to the ground. After that, I took my research and left Canterlot."


"After that, you found this place," Skyline said. He was in shock that she killed a Pony she considered a friend.


"My, my you are a clever colt," Nip Tuck praised before she added, "Yes, I found this place ten years ago."


"How do you keep the staff from spilling your secret and this place to other Ponies?" Skyline asked.


"Easy: not only are they paid good money, but they're not allowed to leave this facility. The only Ponies allowed are the mercenaries I hired to acquire test subjects. The Atrium grows and produces the food for the staff. The fewer Ponies that leave here, the better," Nip Tuck said.


"What about the Ponies that try and run?" Skyline said.


"I have some very loyal staff. They'd apprehend the runaway and properly take care of them," Nip Tuck said.


"Viper's room," Skyline said. He didn't need her to respond. Her smile told him he was right. He then asked, "And the crowd, what about them?"


"Crowd?" Nip Tuck questioned before she realized what he was talking about and laughed out loud. She got up and walked over to the window that looked out into The Arena. She pushed a green button and the crowd erupted in cheers making the Ponies that were cleaning up The Arena jump in surprise. She turned back to Skyline who looked confused. She chuckled and explained, "Darling, there's no crowd. Just a sound bite of a crowd cheering."


"But the Ponies outside the dome?" Skyline protested.


"Nothing but cardboard cutouts of Ponies. Have to make the fighters believe they're fighting in front of a real audience," Nip Tuck said as she walked back to the chair and sat back down.


"But if the Ponies here have magical powers. How are you keeping them from using them outside The Arena?" Skyline asked.


"Well that's easy: The Cell Block has a magical disruptor that keeps the Ponies in it from using their powers. It's the same magical disruptor I have around the facility to keep the Ponies from the outside from finding this place," Nip Tuck explained as She took a cracker with cheese on it and ate it before she added, "Now, let's get to why you're here."


"I thought I was nothing more than an acquired test subject," Skyline asked as he narrowed his eyes.


"Well at first when I infused you with magic I didn't expect you to even make it to The Arena. Even when you did make it to The Arena, I figured you'd just be a quick victory for Shadow Dancer. However, once I saw your fight and how you controlled those spirits. My opinion changed," Nip Tuck explained,


"So why am I here?" Skyline asked.


"This facility was used to further my experiments and understanding of magic, but as the years went by I knew that my gift should be shared with the world. Hence why I have the Ponies fight. I'm weeding out the weak to find the strong for my plan to succeed. My research has come to an end and I just need to find those among them to help make my plan come to fruition," Nip Tuck explained.


"What is your plan exactly?" Skyline asked.


"To build an army of magical Ponies to storm the castle and dethrone that bitch and her sister. I'll rule Equestria and under my rule. Our kingdom will be feared! We'll no longer have to worry about attacks from the Dragons or the Griffins. Even Tirek and Discord won't be a threat. Under my rule, I'll be able to further my research and infuse not only the Royal Guard with magic, but everypony will be infused with magic. Our entire kingdom will be able to fight," Nip Tuck explained before she smiled and added, "Which brings me to you. The abilities you have will make you a great general in my army. You'll just need some battle training and to earn the respect of the others, but once you've won enough in The Arena. They'll not only respect you. They'll fear you. So what do you say?"


"No!" Skyline yelled before he continued, "I never asked to be part of this. To be experimented on just for your twisted pleasure of proving a point!" Nip Tuck's left eye twitched as she heard a mare's voice in her mind. You can't just experiment behind her back to prove a point! Nor can you do it because you get some twisted pleasure from it!


"How DARE YOU!" Nip Tuck roared as Skyline jumped at her outburst. She got off the chair and glared at him as she continued, "How dare you speak to me, your mother in such a manner! I gave you those abilities; I gave you your unique name. By my hooves I created you! You are my child like every other Pony in the Cell Block is my child and as such I will not have you or anyone else talk to me that way!"


"But you're not my," Skyline squeaked before he was interrupted.


"How dare you, you little whelp!" Nip Tuck roared as she grabbed the table and flipped it to the side. It crashed to the floor as the food scattered around the floor.


"Ma'am, are you alright?" a stallion asked as he rushed into the room.


"Take Spirit Walker to his cell," Nip Tuck said through gritted teeth as she glared at Skyline. The stallion was in shock at the state of the room and how Nip Tuck was acting. She turned her glare to the stallion and roared; "Now!" the stallion jumped and Skyline felt his body lock up once again. The stallion took skyline under his arm and walked towards the door. As Skyline and the stallion left, the milk-white mare walked past them. She closed the door and went to check on Nip Tuck.


"Ma'am are you alright," the mare asked. Nip Tuck said nothing as she continued to glare at the door. The mare walked over to Nip Tuck and asked again, "Mrs. Nip Tuck, are you alright?"


Nip Tuck suddenly punched the mare with her left forehoof. The mare fell to the ground as Nip Tuck stood over her. Nip Tuck began to violently beat the mare, her hoof smashing into the mare's face. The mare tried to move, but Nip Tuck's magic kept her pinned to the ground. She continued to violently beat the mare. When she finally finished, the mare's skull had been caved in. blood soaked the pearl white carpet and Nip Tuck's hoof. Nip Tuck looked at the mare before a smile formed on her face and she began to laugh. Her laughter started out low but grew until she was laughing out loud. Nip Tuck placed her bloody fore-hoof to her face as she continued to laugh.


Her ribs burned with pain as she started to calm down. She took deep breaths to calm herself and when she finally stopped laughing she turned tail and walked over to the recliner. She sat down and sighed. She lifted her bloody hoof and red mist started to seep out of her hoof. It took the form of a red snake wrapped around her arm. Her smile grew as she said, "Oh he'll be a great general. All he needs." The snake's black tongue flickered out of its mouth before the cobra's flaps opened and it hissed as she added, "a little push."