The Manehatten Virus Chapter Seven: Death of Innocence
Forty Two Days After the Outbreak
Twilight's eyes slowly opened, to reveal a bright operating light above her. The room she lay in was completely white, with a few exceptions here and there. The exhausted pony slowly lifted her head up a little to see a large glass window covering one wall. She couldn't see much through it, but she could see the outline of a familiar friend; Spike.
Twilight moved her hooves to stand up, but she felt something holding them down. She instantly looked to them and saw a white strap tightly fastened on each of them. "S-Spike," she called in a barely audible voice. The purple dragon didn't move a muscle; he just continued to stare at her, with his arms crossed.
Twilight was beginning to gather her bearings and examined the room once more. The first thing she noticed was that she was strapped to a large metal table. Next she looked over to her left to see two silver sinks next to a tray of surgical equipment laid out onto a small table. They seemed to shine in the light of the operating lamp.
Suddenly a door opened at the back of the room and two ponies, wearing white hazmat suits, walked inside. The helmets they wore had a gold tent, to their faceplates, to hide their faces.
Twilight wanted to scream, but she couldn't; it was as if the air had been pulled right out of her lungs. The first pony to enter walked over to the tray of surgical equipment and picked up a syringe. He then lifted up a vial and filled the needle with a clear liquid.
Twilight cringed and tried to flail her legs, but her restraints wouldn't give. She wanted to buck the needle right out of the pony's hoof, because whatever was in it; she knew it couldn't be good. The purple furred mare looked over to the window to see Spike still watching the two proceed. He gave a quick nod and Twilight felt a sharp pain in her foreleg. She looked over to see the needle being driven into her skin. "No!" she screamed, "No!" But it was too late; the pony pressed down on the plunger and the substance entered her blood. "No!" she screamed once more.
She didn't understand. Why would Spike be watching this? Why would he tell them to do this? What was happening? This couldn't be real.
Suddenly Twilight's eyes flew open, as she shot forward to sit up in her bed. She let out a gasp and panted slightly. This was the most scared she'd been in a long time; and probably the worst nightmare she'd ever had. Instantly she could feel her cool, damp, sheets around her lower half. She was in her home; not in that nightmare-ish hell. That's when she looked over to see Spike sitting on the side of her bed. "Are you ok?" he asked, "I heard you talking in your sleep." Twilight just stared at him. After what she'd just seen it as understandable that she was a bit squeamish at first. "Twilight, it's ok." Spike leaned forward slightly, which caused the lavender mare to back away. "Twilight, nothing is going to hurt you." Spike spoke warmly which caused Twilight to ease up slightly. She inched closer to her assistant and he did the same. Spike slowly extended a hand and laid it onto the upper part of Twilight's rear leg. The lavender unicorn didn't flinch, but instead she moved a little closer to him. Spike looked deep into Twilight's purple eyes and said "I promise nothing is ever going to hurt you." Twilight found her face leaning forward ever so slightly, as did Spike's. They were only inches away from each other, when Twilight paused slightly. This caused Spike to, quickly, lean forward and finish it. Twilight was shocked when their lips met, but it had been just as she'd always dreamed. The kiss lasted a few more seconds, before Spike slowly pulled away. The young dragon had a loving smile on his face, as well as a slight blush. Twilight had a look of shock instead, but she did however share his blush.
Suddenly Twilight felt a sharp pain in her chest. She quickly looked down to see what the source of her pain was. She couldn't believe it. There before her eyes was the same needle that the pony in the suit had used on her. Whatever was in it was already flowing through her heart.
Twilight slowly lifted her head to face Spike, but it was rather difficult. It was as if her entire body was having a muscle spasm. However she did manage to face the purple dragon. He had a demented smile painted on his face. "Nothing, except for me," he said in an evil, twisted, voice. Twilight had a look of disbelief. She could feel her nerves slowly shut down as she twitched and jerked. It was incredibly painful. She began to lean to her side and slowly she laid back down. Her eyes were wide with terror and one question resonated in her mind; why?
Twilight's eyes finally opened, for real this time. She knew this world was real. Everything was much more detailed than the others. However, just like in her dream, the sheets were cool and damp. She slowly slid out of them and sat up. When her hooves met the cool wooden floor, it caused a shiver to run up her spine.
Twilight looked over to the window to see that it was already light outside. She then cast her gaze at Spike's bed to see that it was empty. The sheets were even made. Twilight assumed that he was downstairs making breakfast. The lavender mare stood and walked out of the room. Despite her dream she still wanted to see Spike; the real Spike. She knew seeing his sweet, innocent, face would banish any fears she had of him. The true Spike she knew, and loved, could never do such a thing.
As Twilight walked towards the stairs, she heard music coming from Rainbow Dash's room. This caused her to wonder if Spike was with her, so she quietly opened the door and peaked inside. Sure enough Spike and Rainbow Dash were lying next to each other; on her bed. Twilight grew a bit suspicious, and bluntly barged in. The pair looked up at her and Spike quickly reached over to turn off the radio. "No," said Twilight "I like this song." It was one she hadn't heard in a long while; Carry On My Wayward Son by Kansas.
"Though my eyes could see I still was a blind man
Though my mind could think I still was a mad man
I hear the voices when I'm dreaming
I can hear them say
Carry on my wayward son
There'll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don't you cry no more."
'I wish my dreams told me that, instead,' Twilight thought to herself. "It takes you back. Doesn't it?" asked Rainbow Dash, in a calm voice. This knocked Twilight out of her thoughts and also eased her suspicions; fore if they had indeed been fooling around or something like that, Dash's tone would be at least a little nervous. "Yeah, it does," replied Twilight, "I haven't heard it in ages."
As Spike eyed Twilight, he began to notice things; like a tone in her voice and the bags under her eyes. "Nightmares again?" he asked. Twilight just nodded. "Do you want to talk about it?" "No," Twilight bluntly replied, in a slightly hushed tone. "Hey, we're both here for you Twi," assured Rainbow Dash. Twilight smiled slightly and said "Thanks guys." Rainbow and Spike both returned the halfhearted smile.
Just as the silence was beginning to turn awkward, Twilight heard the phone ring. "I'll get it," she said. The lavender mare then turned and trotted out of the room.
Twilight lifted the cool, sleek, surface to her ear and asked "Hello?" "Oh, hi Twilight," replied an easily recognizable whisper. "Hi Fluttershy. What is it?" "Oh well I was just wondering how everypony in town was doing. Has the flu even hit there yet?" Twilight was a little shocked by her question. Had she really not seen what had been happening to Ponyville? All of the horrors, the fears, and the death. "Fluttershy, how long have you been at your cottage?" asked Twilight. "Oh, ever since the outbreak. Why?" Twilight was stunned. She had no idea how to tell her what had happened. "Yes Fluttershy, it's here," Twilight finally replied. "Oh dear, is everypony ok?" she asked, in her, usual, innocent voice. Twilight just paused, trying to think of what to tell her, but she knew she just had to say it. "Fluttershy, you may want to sit down." "What is it Twilight?" she asked with growing concern. "Bonbon, Lyra, Pinkie Pie, Mr. Cake, Mrs. Cake, and Applejack are all dead." Fluttershy couldn't proses what she'd just heard. She just sat there, unable to speak. Right about that time, Spike and Rainbow Dash walked into the room.
Suddenly there was a loud crash and the line went dead. Twilight assumed that the yellow furred mare had just dropped the phone. She knew she would, if this was the first she was hearing of it.
Twilight slowly hung up the phone and turned to face her friends. "It was Fluttershy," she informed them, "I told her." Twilight slowly trotted away from the phone and sat down in front of the television. Her horn glowed and the dark screen came to life.
"As of today the EDC estimates that thirty two million ponies have been infected with nineteen million dead. The EDC would also like to assure the public that they are all working as hard as possible to find a vaccine. In other news, the riots in Canterlot were brought to an abrupt end after police officers began firing upon civilians. As many as twenty ponies may be dead. All of the officers involved have been suspended without pay and will be tried for their murder. However the riots in Cloudsdale, Manehatten, and Fillydelphia are still on going. There have been scattered reports that police have been firing on ponies in all three cities as well, but none have yet been confirmed." Oddly, the reporter's face, abruptly, went blank for a moment, as he read the teleprompter. "Uh, we've just received word that Princess Celestia has fallen ill with the avian flu. As of today all political duties will be handled by her sister Princess Luna."
Twilight's mouth was agape. "H-How?" Rainbow Dash laid a hoof onto her shoulder and said "I'm so sorry Twilight," in a sympathetic and sad tone. The purple mare was seconds away from bursting into tears when suddenly the phone rang. "I've got it," announced Spike, who was doing his best to hide his emotions. He walked over to the small, wooden, table and lifted the phone off of its charger and asked "Hello?" He heard what sounded like a young filly coughing violently, and then he heard something that made his blood run cold. "Spike, please help me," begged, a weak, Applebloom.