Drip, Drip, Drip.
The colt winced at the constant dripping of the leaky pipe that woke him. He slowly opened his eyes, but the world was one big blur. The white room he was in hurt his eyes, and when he looked at the blurry outline of the pipe, or what he assumed was a pipe, he simply grumbled to himself, before he fell back asleep. His body felt like it had undergone excruciating surgery, which was strange since he didn't remember going to the hospital. However, he would ponder it later, as right now, all he wanted to do was sleep.
The colt was excited. So excited, in fact, that he nearly choked on his breakfast when he wolfed it down. He quickly took a gulp of juice to force the food down. Today was going to be perfect. He had finally convinced his father to let him take his golden Royal Guard helmet to school for show and tell. He had been trying for several weeks, but his father turned him down every time. Finally, after begging, pleading, and bribing him, with all two bits he had, his father gave in and allowed him to take the helmet with him to school.
He wanted to get to school early in hopes to be first to present what he brought. His mother, on the other hoof, took her time in eating her toast. After he finished the last morsel of food on his plate, he quickly took it over to the sink and washed it. He then raced to his room to collect his school supplies and saddle bags. When he returned, his mother was washing her plate too. He trotted past her and stood next to the door like a dog wanting to be let out. His mother laughed, shaking her head. She lifted her husband’s helmet in her magic and followed her son out the door.
On the way to the schoolhouse he rehearsed what he was going to say when he stood in front of the class: he would start off by telling them that his father was in the Royal Guard, then he'd tell them how he stood on the front lines during the changeling attack on Canterlot, and finally, he'd tell them the story his father told him, about how his helmet usually pristine acquired the rather large crack on the right side.
When they reached the schoolhouse and went inside, his mother set the helmet on the floor next to her son’s desk, before she walked over to Cheerilee to talk with her. He couldn't hear or care, what his mother was talking about with his teacher. All he cared about was his father’s helmet. He mentally pleaded with Cheerilee that she would start the day with show-and-tell, and he'd be the first one presenting. He noticed his mother had finished talking with Cheerilee, and watched her say her goodbyes, before leaving. He waved to her but had one eye still fixated on the helmet.
After his mother left, the other students started to file into the classroom and take their seats. He hoped she'd start with show-and-tell, but to his disappointment, she started right in on today's lesson. The lesson felt like it took an eternity. His right back hoof tapped on the floor as he anxiously waited for it to be over. As the lesson ran on, he feared she had forgotten, and all his planning would be for naught. However, she finished her lesson and called up the first foal to present what they brought. He sighed when she called on a filly that brought a shirt her mother bought her when they went to Manehattan; the shirt was a bland pink with garish green lettering that spelled ‘Manehattan’. He was disappointed he didn't go first but hoped he would be next. However, Cheerilee called on a different colt, who showed off his dragon skull that he made out of paper-mâché. He groaned as the colt finished, and Cheerilee called on another colt.
Finally, after eight others presented, he was finally called up. He reached down to pick up the helmet, but as his hoof touched the metal, the right side of the room exploded, sending debris, desks, and foals flying. He landed on his side, a loud ringing in his ears making everything sound dampened. He heard muffled screams, muffled shouting, and muffled hooves, hitting the floor running. He saw a small figure race past him, pursued by much larger figures. He looked up to a blurry shape standing over him. He couldn't understand what the blob was saying, but he felt his body be picked up and suddenly stuffed into a sack. He felt the sack swing violently before it began to slam into something hard again and again. He felt a sharp pain on his right side and yelped. Before long, he felt drowsy and fell into the clutches of sleep.
Drip, drip, drip.
Once again, the leaky pipe woke him up. This time, however, his vision began to clear up. Now, he could clearly see the white padded room he was in, and the silver, steel door he was facing. He found that the metal pipe was actually a faucet next to a similar, metal toilet. He felt the cold, cement floor on his underbelly. When he went to stand up, there was a sharp, searing pain that flared across the middle of his back. He did all he could to not scream in pain. He looked around the room and noticed movement in the back right corner. It was hard to make out what was there because the light hanging from the ceiling did little to light the corners of the room. He started to get up and felt the pain shoot through his back, but it wasn't as bad as the first time. He gingerly walked over to the corner and saw the outlines of three foals. As he drew closer, he recognized the three.
"Apple Bloom? Is that you?" He asked.
Apple Bloom looked up, her eyes were bloodshot, swollen, and lines stained her cheeks under her eyes.
"Skyline?" Apple Bloom asked. Skyline was amazed she knew his name. The only time she could have heard it was when Cheerilee called on him during class. He didn't know her personally but knew of her and her friends.
"What are you and your friends doing here?" Skyline asked.
"We're not sure. All we remember is an explosion. Then we woke up here. After a while, some stallions threw you in here. We tried to wake you up, but you were out cold," Sweetie Belle explained.
Skyline nodded as she explained everything and noticed Scootaloo was quiet throughout the whole conversation. He had known Scootaloo was the most talkative of the three. Usually, during show-and-tell, the three combined all three of their turns into one and explained how they tried to find their cutie marks. Scootaloo talked the most out of all three of them and he was stunned she hadn't said one word. Her head was buried in her arms and her body convulsed as she silently cried. He was going to ask if she was ok but stopped dead in his tracks. There was a pit in his stomach and as he turned to Sweetie Belle. The pit only grew. He hadn't seen the horror in front of him because of how dark the room's corners were. However, as his eyes adjusted. He saw it clearly: Sweetie Belle's horn had been broken off and what was left was a jagged edge and where Scootaloo's wings should have been. There were stumps.
He swallowed hard and slowly turned his head to look at his back. He started to hyperventilate at the sight of the stumps where his wings should have been. Around the stumps were dried up patches of blood on his gray coat.
"Finally saw what they did to you huh?" Scootaloo said. She had looked up as Skyline discovered his wings were gone.
"Why would they take your wings?" Apple Bloom asked Scootaloo and Skyline before she continued, "For that matter: why take Sweetie Belle's horn." Sweetie Belle choked as she tried to hold back her tears. Both Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle's eyes were like Apple Blooms: Bloodshot and lines staining their cheeks.
"Isn't it obvious?" Scootaloo hissed before she continued, "They don't want us escaping. They plan on us dying here after they do whatever they're planning for us."
"But why keep us prisoner? Why us? What are they planning?" Skyline asked. His question would go unanswered from the moment as some Pony screamed outside the door.
"Please, dear Celestia anyone but her! I'm begging you, please! Not her!" the voice screamed in panic. The screams lasted for a while before disappearing.
"What in Equestria's name was that?" Sweetie Belle asked.
"I'm not sure what that was or why we're here. All I do know is my sister will come and rescue us," Apple Bloom said.
"Yeah, Rainbow Dash will come and find us in a flash. She's already looking for me probably. We'll be rescued in no time," Scootaloo said matter-of-factly. Skyline walked over to the door and placed a hoof on the steel door and looked back at the fillies.
"I hope you're right," Skyline said before he looked back at the door and added, "Hopefully we're found before we're introduced to her." Everypony shivered at the thought of what the voice meant by her.
Skyline walked away from the door and back towards the three fillies and said, "We should find out if this place has a way out. There might be a weak wall or maybe the previous Pony in here left a clue." The three nodded and they all looked around the padded room for any hint as to how to escape. After what felt like an hour, Scootaloo sighed in frustration.
"Nothing, not even a window. The only option is the door and I highly doubt they would just keep it unlocked," Scootaloo said. I won't quit, not until I escape. I know you're looking for me, mom. Dad. Skyline thought.
A small rectangle window opened at the top of the door and yellow eyes glared into the room at the four foals. The window closed and from the bottom of the door, four trays slid onto the floor from a small doggy door. On the trays were globs of pinkish gray goo, a small dinner roll (one roll already having mold on it), and a yellow brick. Skyline walked over to the door once again and pushed where the dog door was. It didn't budge.
"Even if we could open it, that door is so tiny, Featherweight couldn't fit through it," Apple Bloom sighed. Skyline sighed as well and turned his attention to the trays with food on them. He sniffed the goop and his muzzle scrunched up and he nearly gagged at the smell of the food. The three fillies did the same and also nearly gagged at the foods smell. Sweetie Belle poked at the moldy roll on her tray and Scootaloo picked up the yellow brick. She let it drop to the cement floor and it didn't break.
"Is this what we're supposed to eat? Whatever it is, it can't be edible," Apple Bloom said. Skyline gulped and decided to take a bit of the goop. He had to hold down his vomit as he choked on the food. He swallowed hard and gagged on the horrible taste. A shiver went down his spine before he sighed and went for a second bite.
"What are you doing!?" Sweetie Belle yelled before she continued, "If this stuff looks and smells as bad as it tastes. Why are you eating more?"
"We don't know when the next time we'll get another meal. For all we know, we'll get a tray of this gunk once a day, if that," Skyline explained before he added, "I for one am not starving to death in here. Wherever here is." He quickly took another bit and forced it down. It seemed like the second bite was more disgusting than the first. Each bite he had to keep himself from vomiting. This stuff tasted terrible going down, he didn't want to know how it tasted coming up.
The three fillies looked at each other before they too ate some of the goop. Each one had the same effect as Skyline. They all tried keeping their vomit down. Sweetie Belle lost that fight and rushed over to the toilet and barfed out the goop and whatever else was still in her stomach. By some miracle, all four of them were able to eat the goop without any more incidents. Each one washed out their mouth with the water from the faucet.
There was a loud thud on the metal door as a booming voice yelled, "Lights out worms." The light hanging from the ceiling clicked off and the four were left in total darkness. Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo all slept in the back right corner of the room. Huddled up together for warmth and safety. Skyline took a spot in the middle of the room and lay down on his side. His stomach grumbled in protest at what he had forced into it. He was unsure he would be able to sleep tonight after everything that happened, but he found it quite easy in fact to fall asleep in the total darkness.
There were bright flashes and Skyline saw dots in his eyes. He shook his head to get rid of them as the Pony who had taken their picture removed it and framed it for them. He handed the picture to Skyline's mother. Skyline looked at the picture, his father stood there smiling with his wings extended. His silver coat shined in the sunlight and part of his green mane was sticking up. His mother looked beautiful. The sun was at the tip of her horn and her golden coat glistened in the sunlight. She had put her pink mane in a ponytail. He turned back to his parents, but they had vanished. He looked around but couldn't find them, in fact; no Pony was nowhere to be found. The only thing he could find was the camera used to take their picture.
The camera started to violently shake and from the lens poured out red mist. The mist formed into a stallion sized cobra. Its glowing green eyes locked onto Skyline. Black mud dripped from its mouth. The snake suddenly lunged forward towards Skyline, mouth open and ready to devour him. Skyline couldn't move, he was frozen in fear. The snake suddenly stopped midway when a roar echoed out. Skyline turned around to see a white tiger standing atop a carousel. The Tiger's body was made of thick white fog and the black stripes were made of black smoke. Its blue eyes cut through the air and stared at the snake. It roared again and the snake retreated back into the lens of the camera. Skyline turned back towards the camera in time to see the snake lunged towards him through the lens.
Skyline lurched awake in a cold sweat. He sat up and placed his hoof on his face. This place is giving me nightmares Skyline thought. There was a thud outside of the steel door that made Skyline jump and woke up the three fillies.
"For fuck sake, don't damage the good," a voice hissed before continuing, "This guy is no good to the professor if he has brain damage." Skyline looked back at the fillies before looking at the door again.
"Sorry. This guy's heavy. Must have had one too many hayburgers," another voice said.
"Yeah well make sure the goods aren't damaged. I ain't going to be the replacement for this fat flank if he's brain dead," the first voice argued.
"Yeah, yeah I get it. Sheesh, you act like she's a mental case" the first voice said before he grunted.
"She is!" the first voice cracked before continuing, "Have you seen the fucked up shit she does with these poor souls?" Skyline was now standing up. He quietly walked over to the door.
"I just told you I was just hired. So no, I haven't seen what she does to these Ponies. I'm not paid to think, just to transport them to The Clinic," the second voice explained.
"Oh just wait, you're going to need therapy for life. The bits seem worth it, but you'll be scarred for life," the first voice said.
"Hey!" a third voice yelled before adding, "Quit screwing around and deliver the new specimen to The Clinic. The professors waiting!" one of the voices grunted and Skyline heard wheels squeak down the hall before disappearing.
"I think the her that Pony was screaming about is this professor those two were talking about," Skyline said as he turned to the three fillies.
"A better question is what kind of stuff is she doing to the Ponies here in her Clinic?" Apple Bloom said. The light clicked on and the small window opened to a pair of green eyes glaring at them.
"Looks like you all survived your first night," the stallion chuckled before continuing, "Be ready my little Ponies. You all might be chosen today." The stallion chuckled again before closing the window. All four of the foals looked at each other. Hoping they wouldn't see The Clinic.
The four of them waited in the room, waiting for the enviable fate. One or all of them would be taken to this Clinic and see the professor and what twisted form of torture she had planned for them. It felt like an eternity before they heard hooves outside the door. The four tensed up as they waited, but the door never opened. Instead the sound of hooves passed by them. Seconds later, the sound of hooves reappeared with a small voice yelling, "Where are you taking me? Put me down at once! When my daddy hears about this!" the voice was suddenly muffled like one of the Ponies shoved something in its mouth.
"That sounded like Diamond Tiara," Apple Bloom said to her friends.
"Yeah, but what is she doing here?" Sweetie Belle asked.
"If she's here, that means some of our other classmates are here," Skyline said before he began to pace back and forth and added, "So we're not the only foals here. That means they went to the schoolhouse to kidnap everyone there."
"How do we find out how many of us there are?" Apple Bloom asked. Scootaloo suddenly ran towards the door and began to pound on the door.
"Anyone from the schoolhouse! Pipsqueak, Twist, Snips, Snails. I'll even be glad to hear Silver Spoon! Anyone!?" Scootaloo called hoping to get a response. The window at the top opened and the pair of yellow eyes from yesterday glared at them.
"Your meals are not ready yet, please refrain from hitting the door. If you're hungry then eat your own mane until the food is ready," the stallion said before he slammed the window shut and walked off. They waited in hopes that one of their classmates would respond, but there was nothing.
"Maybe they're not close enough to hear us. We don't know how big this place is or even if there's more than one level," Sweetie Belle said. The four stared at the door and waited for the sound of hooves to return. They even waited to hear Diamond Tiara's voice again. They waited and waited, and waited. However, there were no sounds from the other side of the door.
"Oh my Celestia, if they're going to keep us here. They could at least give us something to do," Scootaloo protested.
"We could throw these around," Apple Bloom suggested as she lifted one of the yellow bricks from last night's meal.
"I don't know Apple Bloom. They were pretty solid and if one hit us. It would probably knock one of us out," Sweetie Belle said. Apple Bloom sighed and let the yellow brick fall to the floor.
The rest of the time was spent pacing back and forth in the room. At one point they took turns guessing what the yellow brick was made of. Sweetie Belle guessed it was really hard butter that when placed in the goop. It made it taste better. She was dismissed when they all agreed nothing would make the goop taste better.
Apple Bloom guessed it was dehydrated cider. That was also disproven when Sweetie Belle took the yellow brick and placed it into the sink before she filled it with water. The yellow brick did nothing but float in the water like a log. Skyline thought it might have been soap, but after Sweetie Belle placed it in the water and it produced no suds. He was disproven.
Scootaloo guessed it was just a brick painted yellow and given to the Ponies in the rooms so if they wanted a way out. They simply bashed their head in with the brick. Noone liked her suggestion.
"The only way to find out is to taste it," Sweetie Belle said. Apple Bloom immediately placed her hoof to her nose. Sweetie Belle quickly did the same when she saw Apple Bloom do it. Scootaloo was still examining the brick when Sweetie Belle nudged her. Scootaloo looked up and quickly placed her hoof on her nose as well. Skyline was still examining the brick to figure out what it was. He looked up and saw the three holding their hooves to their noses and his right eye twitched.
"Really? You're really going to make me taste this?" Skyline asked as he pointed to the yellow brick.
"You have to, it's part of the rules," Sweetie Belle explained. She felt kind of bad making him taste it, but on the other hoof: she really didn't want to be the first one to taste it.
"You're just not fast enough," Scootaloo said. Skyline sighed as he picked up the brick and held it in his hoof. He hesitated before he swallowed hard and licked the yellow brick. His right eye twitched again, but he looked at the brick in confusion.
"So, how does it taste? What is it?" Apple Bloom asked.
"It's a lemon flavored brick of sugar. It's really good," Skyline said before he licked it again. His right eye twitched even more after the second lick. The three fillies looked at one another before they each grabbed a brick. They each licked their own yellow brick and immediately began to gag. Skyline let out the gag he had been holding back. Surprisingly, the yellow brick tasted worse than the goop they ate.
"I thought you said it was good," Apple Bloom argued before she used the sink to wash out the horrible taste in her mouth. Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo fought her to use the sink.
"Yeah I did," Skyline said as he mustered up a smile while he gagged.
"You're a jerk," Apple Bloom said as she finally washed out the taste from her mouth.
"Says the filly that used me as a guinea pig to see if the brick was edible," Skyline argued.
Sweetie Belle picked up one of the yellow bricks and chucked it at Skyline. It was a terrible throw as it soared over Skyline and hit the steel door. Leaving a small dent in it. The window tore open and the pair of yellow eyes glared at them.
"I thought I already told you? Your meal is not prepared yet!" the stallion roared before he slammed the window shut and stormed off. The four looked at the door before they looked at each other and began to laugh.
After that, they tried to pass the time with a game of charades. It lasted all of thirty minutes after Apple Bloom and Scootaloo got into an argument about what Scootaloo was portraying.
Scootaloo argued she was portraying a turkey, but Apple Bloom argued that she clearly was mimicking a chicken. Skyline didn't see either one of Scootaloo's portrayal and guessed she was mimicking a goat. Sweetie Belle had stopped guessing altogether because she was still mad they didn't see her perfect portrayal of Rarity. She even did Rarity's signature faint and yet none of them came remotely close. After the game ended, the four sat in silence for what felt like hours until Skyline sparked a conversation.
"What are your sisters like?" Skyline asked. It was the first thing that popped into his head. He felt uncomfortable asking such a personal question, but he felt more uncomfortable sitting in silence.
"AJ's amazing!" Apple Bloom said before continuing, "She's the best apple bucker in Ponyville. No, All of Equestria. She fought off a Chimera that intruded onto the farm."
"Didn't she fight the Chimera because you took one of the pie carts and tried to do the delivery yourself?" Sweetie Belle questioned.
"That might. Have had something to do with it," Apple Bloom stuttered and mumbled before she recomposed herself and added, "Applejack’s amazing though! If she was here she'd kick the door down and we'd escape." Apple Bloom ran over to the door and kicked it. Instantly regretting it as she limped back. The window surprisingly didn't open. They just heard the stallion on the other end mumble and walk away.
"What about you Sweetie Belle?" Skyline asked
"Well, Rarity's very Fashion savvy. She's made some of the most beautiful dresses I've ever seen and owns a shop in Canterlot, Manehattan, and has her main shop in Ponyville. She's crafted many clothing for Equestria's top celebrities and even royalty. She made this awesome headdress for Sapphire Shores," Sweetie Belle explained.
"Wasn't that the same headdress you sabotaged because you were angry with Rarity?" Scootaloo asked. Sweetie Belle glared at her before turning back to Skyline
"I might have pulled a stitch out of place so the headdress would fall apart, but I fixed it before Sapphire Shores could put it on," Sweetie Belle admitted before adding, "But if Rarity were here. She'd fashion something to help us escape. Even convince one of the guards to let us out."
"Yeah well Dash has got them all beat," Scootaloo boasted before continuing, "She's the fastest Pony in Equestria, no the world. She can clear the skies in ten seconds flat, and the most loyal Pony I know." Scootaloo
"Yeah, but AJ says she can be pretty reckless sometimes," Apple Bloom said as Sweetie Belle agreed and said Rarity said the same thing.
"Give me one Example," Scootaloo challenged.
"How about the time she destroyed the weather factory to keep her turtle from hibernating," Sweetie Belle said.
"First off all: Tank is a tortoise and second," Scootaloo said before she stopped. She really couldn't come up with a good reason why Dash destroyed the weather factory. So she changed the subject, "Either way she'll come and rescue us. She'll probably slam through this wall and fly us home." She smiled, pleased with how she defended Dash.
"What about you Skyline? Do you have any siblings?" Sweetie Belle asked.
"No, it's just me, my mom, and my dad. My dad's part of the Royal Guard and my mom owns a jewelry store in Ponyville" Skyline said as he shook his head. The thought of his father in the Royal Guard triggered the thought of his helmet and he began to panic, "Oh no! No, no, no" He began to look around the room, but he didn't see the helmet anywhere. He fell to the floor in a panic worried he had lost his father's helmet.
"What is it? What's wrong?" Apple Bloom asked frantically.
"My dad's helmet. He let me take it to school, but only if I promised to take care of it," Skyline explained before he buried his face in his arms and added, "He'll never trust me with it again."
"I highly doubt he'll be worried about it with you missing," Sweetie Belle said.
One Day Ago:
The fire Ponies sprayed water onto the schoolhouse to control the flames while police Ponies kept the crowd at a safe distance while also letting parents of the foals that were in the schoolhouse through.
"Where is my daughter!? By Celestia, you do your damn job and find her!" Filthy Rich roared at a police Pony who wiped the spit from his face.
"I understand your concern, but we're doing our best to complete a list of missing foals before we commence the search," the police Pony explained.
"You will search now!" Filthy Rich screamed. More police Ponies came to calm him down, but he turned his rage on them.
Twilight was talking with a police Pony and before long she thanked him and walked back to her friends. Rarity quickly grabbed Twilight and began to shake her and cried, "Do they know where Sweetie Belle is? Do they?!" Twilight, with the help of Pinkie and Fluttershy, was able to get out of Rarity's grasp.
"What about Apple Bloom?" Applejack Cried.
"And Scootaloo," Dash asked as her voice cracked.
"They are still unsure where they are," Twilight said as she shook her head and explained, "According to the students: there was an explosion on the right side of the classroom. After that, Ponies, possible stallions rushed in and began to stuff any foal they could get their hooves on into sacks. The Ponies wore skull masks and black robes. Cheerilee tried her best to fight off the Ponies so her students could escape, but one of the foals saw her get knocked out and stuffed in a sack."
"Mrs. Cheerilee was taken as well," Fluttershy said. Twilight nodded before continuing.
"Some of the foals saw the Ponies stick syringes into the bags. The police think they sedated the captives to keep them from fighting. The police just did a head count and after comparing the count to the attendance sheet. Along with Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Cheerilee. The Ponies took five other foals," Twilight explained.
"Who else?" Rarity asked.
"Diamond Tiara, Snips, Skyline, Twist, and Pipsqueak," Twilight said.
It took a good hour to stop the flames and when they did, the fire Ponies searched the charred remains of the schoolhouse. A silver Pegasus and gold Unicorn had rushed to the schoolhouse and demanded to be let through to see their foal. When the police Pony escorted them to where the other parents were. One of the fire Ponies walked out of the schoolhouse with a Royal Guard helmet under his arm.
The window tore open and the pair of yellow eyes glared at them as the stallion hissed, "Your meals are ready you ungrateful foals." He slid four trays through the doggy door. The trays had the same food as before: pinkish gray goop, a yellow brick, and a dinner roll (This time none had mold on them). The cart the stallion pushed squeaked down the hall.
The four started eating the goop. Somehow it tasted more disgusting them last night. Sweetie Belle even found a few strands of mane in hers which made her gag even more. An hour after they had choked down their food. The lights clicked off and they were left in the darkness of the room. Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle, and Apple Bloom went to the right corner of the room again while Skyline lay in the middle of the room on his side. However, unlike last night, he didn't immediately fall asleep. Instead, he lay on the cold cement floor, his mind wondering.
He knew they were looking for them, of that he was sure. His dad was probably having the whole Royal Guard looking for them. However, he didn't know if they would find them. He had heard about all the stallions, mares, fillies, and colts that had gone missing over the years. Many of them were found, but a majority of the missing were never found. He didn't know how well hidden this place was. He didn't even know if they were underground or high in the sky. It was clear that they didn't want anyone to escape since they took his and Scootaloo's wings and Sweetie Belle's horn. He feared he would join the Ponies that stayed missing and be forgotten. He feared he'd never watch his mother make jewelry in her store, never have family game night where his parents let him win and thought he didn't notice, or hear all his father's stories when he went out with the Royal Guard. Thinking about all of it made him sob and he cried until he fell asleep.
Skyline stood in front of the tipped over the camera and watched as the red cobra and white tiger battled one another. He knew they were fighting to see who would devour him and leave the scraps to the other. He slowly backed away and hoped neither one would see him. He stopped when he heard a low growl behind him. Skyline turned around to see a wolf made of red mist slowly stalking towards him. Its glowing green eyes burrowed into Skyline as black mud dripped from its mouth. Skyline chuckled nervously as he started to back away from the wolf. Unaware of the shadow flying overhead that suddenly darted towards him.
Skyline was jolted awake by a slamming at the steel door. The three fillies had also been violently woken up by the sound. He looked at the window to see the pair of yellow eyes staring at him. They disappeared and were replaced by a pair of candy apple red eyes that glared at him just like the pair of yellow eyes did. The window closed before five clicks came from the door. All four foals suddenly stood up like their bodies were being controlled. Skyline found he couldn't move his body as it stood up straight.
The door opened and in walked a milk-white mare with candy apple red eyes and blue mane. She picked up Skyline and placed him under her arm before turning around and walking out with him. When she brought him out of the room, she placed him on a cart. He finally saw the world that stood behind the steel door. It was a long green hallway with steel doors on either side. It looked like the hallway went forever.
He finally saw what the stallion with the yellow eyes looked like. He was a chubby tan stallion with a red mane and tail. The stallion began to examine Skyline and that's when Skyline noticed the stallion was missing part of his right ear. After the examination, the stallion smiled and Skyline saw his yellow teeth. The tan stallion nodded to the milk-white mare before he walked behind Skyline and began to push the cart. Skyline desperately tried to move so he could run, but his body was locked in place.
Sweat rolled down his face as they pushed him towards the end of the hall. This was it. He would see The Clinic and see what twisted things the Professor had planned for him. Would she sedate him before she worked on him or would she simply strap him to the table and cut into him while he felt every sharp point of her tools?
While they pushed him down the hall, he noticed the milk-white mare was once a Unicorn, but now had the same jagged edge as Sweetie Belle. He quickly assumed that the Professor didn't work on Ponies she thought could help her. Maybe if he convinced these Ponies that he could help her. He might save himself a trip to The Clinic.
"I-I can help you know," Skyline stuttered. The white mare looked at him quizzically before Skyline continued, "I can help! Maybe with the foals that she brings in. keep them from crying so the other staff doesn't have to hear them all the time. Maybe even keep them from trying to kill themselves. I'm sure you lose a ton of Ponies like that. I can do it. Just as long as I don't go to The Clinic." Skyline knew it was a terrible persuasion, but it was the only thing he could come up with. The milk-white mare laughed which sent a shiver through his body.
"She wouldn't need the help of some stupid foal," the mare said with a sadistic smile on her face and she added, "Not yet anyway."
They went down the hallway in silence for the rest of the way. Only their hooves and the squeaking of the cart echoed through the green hall. When they reached the end of the hall, the white mare pushed a button and the elevator doors slid open. The tan stallion picked up Skyline and placed him on the blue floor of the elevator.
"Mind your step," the stallion laughed before he pushed the button and the doors slid closed. Skyline suddenly fell to the floor and quickly stood up. He could move his body again. He rushed around the elevator looking for a way out. However, like the room, he shared with the three fillies. There was no escaping the elevator. It suddenly started to move. Skyline frantically looked around before looking up to see the darkness he was ascending to. The elevator felt weird like only the floor was moving.
When the elevator stopped, the doors and walls all were gone. Skyline looked around but only saw dirt surround him. The dirt stretched into the darkness that also surrounded him. He was confused at where he was. Had they let him out?
"Hello?" Skyline squeaked. For a few seconds, there was no sound, no movement. Suddenly lights exploded on causing Skyline to wince.
Once his eyes adjusted to the lights. He found himself inside an arena with dirt floors. He looked up to see lights hanging from the glass dome that covered the arena. There were blurred outlines of Ponies watching him from the other side of the glass.
"Good evening fillies and gentlecolts and welcome to another event filled evening at the Suicide Dome!" the voice echoed. The crowd erupted in cheers and when it died down, the voice continued, "As always, I'm the stallion announcer with the greatest voice. Jukebox." The crowd once again erupted in cheers.
"What's going on?" Skyline asked.
"Tonight's opening round might be over quick, but don't worry. This is just the appetizer for the main course because fillies and gentlecolts. Your favorite femme fatale is in the main event. That's right you greedy foals. Mares what to be her and stallions want to be with her. Viper will be in the main event!" Jukebox yelled. The crowd erupted even louder as he announced her name.
"Round?" Skyline questioned.
"Now, without further ado let me introduce you to tonight's contenders!" Jukebox announced. The crowd once again cheered before Jukebox continued, "In the red square: he is the stallion that walks the Shadow Realm. This is Shadow Dancer!" the crowd cheered.
"Killer! It's Shadow Killer," a voice yelled. Skyline looked across from him to see a dark blue stallion standing on a red square yelling up at the dome.
"Oh the edginess," Jukebox joked.
"I will put my hoof so far up your ass; you'll be able to taste the dirt I'm standing in for a month!" Shadow Dancer yelled.
"Sure, you do that," Jukebox said unimpressed before he cleared his throat and continued, "and it looks like Shadow Dancers opponent in the blue square is one of the new arrivals. This should be a short match, but hey. You get ever closer to see Viper in action." The crowd erupted in cheers once again.
"Damn it, it's Killer! Shadow Killer!" Shadow Dancer yelled again but was lost in the cheering of the crowd. Shadow Dancer Sighed before turning his attention to Skyline and added, "Alright look: I'm in no mood to chase you around. So do me a favor and stand still. I'm already pissed off as it is. Between the damn announcer and that damn filly, they put in my room a day ago. I'm a little on edge."
"Filly?" Skyline asked.
"Yeah, they put a damn filly in my room and all she did was cry for her parents. Cut my hoof on her glasses," Shadow Dancer said before he turned to the skybox that hung on the right side of the dome and said, "Which hopefully will be cleaned by the time I get back."
"We have already cleaned up the mess after you left Shadow Dancer, but please. From here on out: don't kill your roommate," a female voice said over the intercom. Shadow Dancer didn't argue about his name with the new voice. He simply sighed and turned his attention back to Skyline.
"Like I said: don't make me have to chase you kid. Just make my 100th win an easy one please," Shadow Dancer said as he lifted his right fore-hoof. The end of the hoof changed from dark blue to pitch black.
"Fillies and gentlecolts, are you ready?" Jukebox asked. The crowd cheered before Jukebox asked, "Red Square. Are you ready?"
"Just shut up and let me get this over with," Shadow Dancer sneered.
"Blue square. Are you ready? Jukebox asked. Skyline couldn't speak. He was too stunned at what was going on to even speak. Was this the twisted things the professor did with them? Jukebox waited for a second before continuing, "Alright. Count with me: three, two, one. Begin!"
Shadow Dancer punched the air and a black tendril shot from his hoof towards Skyline. The tip of the tendril morphed into a four-clawed hand. Skyline quickly rolled out of the way of the attack just before it slammed into the ground. Shadow Dancer snorted in irritation before the black tendril retracted back into his hoof.
"Stand still," Shadow Dancer hissed. He punched the air again and again the tendril shot out of his hoof. However, as it soared through the air, it split into four tendrils. Each with four clawed hands.
Skyline quickly got up and darted away from the tendrils. He rolled and serpentine to avoid the tendrils from grabbing him. The ground shook with every tendril that slammed into the dirt. If he had his wings he could dodge them with ease.
The tendrils quickly retracted back into Shadow Dancer's hoof as his left fore-hoof changed from dark blue to pitch black. His irritation was growing and he slammed both his forehooves to the ground while screaming, "I said stand still!" Eight tendrils erupted from the ground behind Shadow Dancer. Each tendril had a four-clawed hand at the tip. Skyline ears bent back before the tendrils shot towards him. Skyline galloped as the tendrils raced towards him. Some of the tendrils slammed into the ground, but instead of retracting back. They shot out of the dirt and dust and continued the chase
Skyline took a chance and looked back. His heart nearly leaped out of his chest as he saw how close the tendrils were getting and how ferociously they slammed into the ground just to shoot out towards him. He looked forward and galloped faster. His legs burned as he winced and forced himself to run faster. As he ran, the image of the white tiger flashed in his mind and caused him to trip over his own hooves. One of the tendrils grabbed him by the waist and shot up into the air before looping around and slamming him into the ground. He gasped as all the air in his lungs felt like it was sucked out. The tendril slowly lifted him from the ground as he gasped for air.
"Finally caught you, you stupid fucking foal," Shadow Dancer hissed. The tendril quickly wrapped around Skylines abdomen before Shadow Dancer continued, "I was going to make it a quick death, but since you wanted to waste my time. I'm going to make you suffer for every second you wasted." The crowd cheered as though they wanted to see Skyline suffer.
The tendril started to tightly squeeze around Skyline's abdomen. Skyline began to scream as he felt the tendril constrict around his body. Tears welled up in his eyes as the pain shot through his entire body. As the tendril squeezed tighter, his screams grew louder. However, his screams were overpowered by the cheering crowd.
Skyline cracked open his eyes. Everything was blurry because of the pain and tears. Mom, dad, somepony, anypony. Please help. Make the pain stop. I don't want to die! Skyline pleaded in his mind. The image of the white tiger appeared once again in his head. Please help me.