The Manehatten Virus Chapter Three: Ponyville
Six Days After the Outbreak
Rarity, Twilight, Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, and Rainbow Dash were all standing around a table in Twilight's kitchen. They were all wearing white face masks; as they discussed how to protect themselves from the virus.
"If we quarantine Ponyville we'll cut off all shipments to our stores. The businesses would go bankrupt," said Rarity. "If we don't everyone will die and then surly your businesses will close down!" instantly remarked Rainbow Dash. "I say don't quarantine the town," began Twilight, "Listen if we seal ourselves off it would only buy us a few weeks. One way or another it's coming." "If it's not already here," Fluttershy quietly added. "But we need those few weeks!" snapped Rainbow Dash. "We also need the shipments to prepare for what lies ahead of them," replied Twilight. Rainbow Dash slouched down, with a sigh of defeat. "The borders stay open. I'll go inform the mayor of our decision," announced Twilight.
Just as she turned to walk towards the door, Spike sprinted into the kitchen and said, in a panicked tone, "It's here! It's in Ponyville!" "What!" exclaimed Twilight as she walked towards him. "They just said it on the news," Spike added. The little dragon then turned and quickly walked back into the library, with everypony following behind him. Sweetie Bell and Applebloom sat a few feet from the television. They were both wearing the white face masks, as they heard the news they hoped they never would.
"The avian flu, or Manehatten virus, has been spotted in the town of Ponyville. Three cases have just been admitted to the town's local hospital. All three patients are in critical condition. This now brings the official number of known cases to six thousand eight hundred ninety six with four thousand two hundred eight dead. The EDC wishes us to remind you that the symptoms of H5N1 are similar to that of the seasonal flu; aches, pains, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, fever, and diarrhea. But this virus can lead to; acute respiratory distress, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, viral pneumonia, respiratory failure, shock, altered mental state, seizures, failure of multiple organs, such as the kidneys and liver, which ultimately results in death."
"Oh my god," Rainbow Dash said quietly. Applejack laid her hoof onto Twilight's shoulder and said "I don't think the mayor will be needing to know our decision anymore Twi." Twilight just stared at the hard wood floor and quietly replied, "Yeah."
Spike looked over to Sweetie Bell, who seemed to be taking the news rather well. Then he looked over to Applebloom, who looked as if she'd just seen a ghost. Spike moved a little closer to her and asked "Are you ok?" Applebloom looked up at him, with tears in her eyes, and said "We're all gonna die, aren't we?" Spike was a little surprised by the young pony's words. "No," he answered as he reached out to hug her. Applebloom saw this and quickly pulled Spike into a full embrace, as tears began to stream down her cheeks. Spike was a bit surprised by her sudden action, but still continued to hug her regardless. He knew this would be one of the few, if not last, times he'd be with the little filly.
No other ponies noticed the display of friendship taking place at their hooves, not even Applejack or Twilight. They were all just too fixated on what the news reporter was saying. Every word he spoke seemed to be like something straight out of a horror story. It was truly terrifying, and it was at their front door.
After a moment Applejack looked down at Spike and Applebloom, after hearing her sister sobbing, and sat down next to them. Spike broke the embrace and the two of them looked over at a sympathetic Applejack. "Hey, it's ok," Applejack said warmly, "I won't let anything happen to you." It seemed that her comment was directed at Applebloom, but Spike assumed that it included him as well. Applejack then lifted her mask, leaned forward, and kissed Applebloom on her forehead.
By now Twilight looked down at the three of them, but didn't say anything. "Now," said Applejack, "Let's head home. Ok sis?" "Ok," replied Applebloom. Once the filly had stood, she turned back to Spike and gave him another hug. "Bye Spike." "Bye Applebloom," he replied. "See ya everypony," said Applejack as she opened the door. And with that the two ponies left the library.
"I think I'll be leaving too," announced Rarity. "Me too," said Fluttershy. "Me three," said, a flat haired, Pinkie. Rainbow Dash was the only one who didn't speak; she wasn't about to go back to Cloudsdale, things had gotten much worse over the past few days. The news reports said that Cloudsdale had over one thousand infected ponies and seven hundred, or more, dead. It was probably more.
"Ok, bye everypony," said Twilight as her friends poured out of the library. "So, where do we go from here?" asked Rainbow Dash. Twilight looked over at her and answered "I don't know. And Rainbow Dash, before you have to ask me, the answer is yes. You can stay here, until this thing blows over." A smile began to break across Rainbow Dash's face as she lunged forward, at Twilight. The unsuspecting Twilight almost fell over at the sudden embrace. She raised her hooves up and placed then around her friend. "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" squealed Rainbow Dash. "It's ok. With all of this going on I don't want you so far away." Rainbow Dash broke the embrace, but quickly gave her one last hug. "Thank you," she said once more. Twilight smiled at her and said "You're welcome."
After Rainbow Dash had trotted upstairs to make her accommodations more "permanent", Twilight walked over to Spike, who was still watching the news and sat down next to him. "What you an Applebloom did was really sweet," began Twilight. "Well she's my friend," replied Spike, who didn't take his gaze off of the screen, "I'd do that for any of them." Twilight smiled just hearing this from her number one assistant. "When did you grow up so quickly?" asked Twilight. "When you told me about this virus," answered Spike. Twilight's smile began to fade when she heard this. "It'll be ok," assured Twilight. Spike broke his gaze from the television, to look at her and said "I know." The two just stared at each other for a second before Twilight took off her mask and quickly kissed Spike on the forehead. "I love you, Spike." Spike was quite shocked by this course of action, but replied "I love you too, Twilight." He, of course, meant it as a friend. Twilight just smiled at him, before she trotted off to her room.
Spike looked back to the television, but to him it was as if it were muted. His thoughts were all he could hear. "She meant it in the friend way. She must have! I mean come on it's Twilight! She couldn't
Oh god. What if she does? This can't be happening!" As Spike's thoughts ran wild the voice of the lavender unicorn called his name, from the second floor of the library. Instantly he snapped out of his thoughts and replied, "What is it Twi?" "Could you come here a second?" she asked. Spike's face went pail. "S-Sure," he answered, with his voice cracking slightly.
The little dragon walked into Twilight's room to see her lying on the bed reading one of her books. The cover of it read "H5N1 the Next Pandemic". "So what is it?" asked a curious, and slightly fearful, Spike. "Oh, I didn't see you there," said Twilight as she laid the book down. "I just saw the way you and Applebloom were today and was wondering if you had a crush on her, or something." "No! We're just friends," lied Spike. "Oh my god she does like me!" he thought to himself. "Ok, ok," said Twilight, "I was just a little curious after that." It was clear to Spike that the lavender unicorn was trying to hide a smile from him, as she picked her book back up. "Should I just ask her? Or maybe tell her how I feel about Applebloom?" he thought to himself, "On second thought screw that!" "Spike?" asked Twilight, "What are you doing?" Spike instantly snapped back to reality and answered, in an embarrassed voice, "Oh, sorry. I just zoned out, for a second. You know day dreams." "Oh," replied Twilight, who was secretly hoping it was about her.
As the little dragon walked out of Twilight's room he thought to himself; "I'm so screwed."