A/N: Here comes chapter two, and I do hope you all enjoy. As always, please R&R and let me know what you thought.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters associated with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, nor the original story. Any and all OC's are owned by their respective creators.
Chapter 2: A Life for Sale
I woke with a start in the morning, nearly falling out of my bed in the process.
It had been a few weeks since I had first been found by Twilight and Applejack, and I still had to occasionally remind myself that the bed I woke up in was not my own, that the house was not mine, and that this was not my world. Luckily for me, today was not one of those days...those were bad days.
As the time had passed, I became a bit closed-off towards ponies. Princess Celestia knew about me now, and had advised me in a letter some time ago that she would spend all her free time and resources to find me a way to return home, so I was resistant to form any sort of bond with any of the ponies. Not because they weren't nice, because they were. No...it was because when the time came to leave, I didn't want to have to feel the pain that came with saying goodbye to a friend, possibly forever.
That of course wasn't the only reason I had chosen to isolate myself.
The second week of my stay with Twilight, I learned about the culture as a whole...and that was when things became strange. A great many things that were commonplace for an American like me had a very different structure in this world. First of all, Equis was matriarchal, and this specific bit of culture spanned the entire world, across nearly all the races. Among ponies, gryphons, fey ponies, changelings, and even dragons, females were (generally) larger in size, more powerful, more numerous, and held much higher places of status in society. It was nothing like slavery of course, but males were generally seen as the "lesser" sex.
Now I don't consider myself a sexist, but that piece of information bothered me.
This created problems for a few reasons, the most prominent of which (by my unfortunate observation) was mating season. Unlike humans, there was a certain season for each race (usually around late winter or early spring) where all females would enter a "heat"...just like most animals of Earth. The problem with this was because instead of the season making males act crazy, it was the females that were to be approached with caution, if at all. Thankfully for me, something about the estrous cycle of unicorns messed with their ability to use magic, so I was able to barricade myself in Twilight's basement as the insanity ensued outside. Also thankfully, Twilight had warned me ahead of time that should she see me, she would probably attempt to rape me during the week that her estrous cycle took hold if she saw me. So, being the cool mare that she was, she took me to the market to stock up on water and food so that I wouldn't starve.
God help those poor males who get caught outside during that time...I could still hear the screams in my nightmares.
It went without saying that my integration into Ponyville society could have gone better than it did. The ponies were welcoming enough of my difference of figure, but there were just so many things different about the way we thought, acted, and spoke...one of which had to do with the whole matriarchal thing. This caused a fair bit of friction with some of the mares around town because I didn't "act like a stallion". See, on Equis, mares acted like human guys acted. Dirty jokes, lewd comments, and even wolf whistles...yeah, mares did that. It was confusing to say the least, especially with some of the mares being very feminine. This wouldn't have caused a problem on the whole though, seeing as how I was basically patiently waiting for news from Princess Celestia saying that she had discovered how to get me home...if not for that day.
It was one of the few days when I actually went around town on my own. One of Twilight's friends, named Rarity, had been kind enough (and oddly excited) to make several sets of clothes for me, including one set of workout clothes, at my request. So it was, I was attempting to keep my newfound figure in shape by taking a morning jog. I did so in the morning simply because I would be less likely to encounter anypony (God, that feels weird to say). The reason I did so was because of certain things about a stallion's anatomy that mares found attractive, namely a wide chest, a strong jawline, and a powerful, toned flank. Being a human with a rather masculine facial structure, this caused quite a few lewd comments to come my way, especially when I started to regain my weight as muscle instead of fat. Because of the size difference, my chest was very broad (even compared to Big Macintosh, Applejack's brother), so I often had to put up with quite a few wolf-whistles...and I often found myself thinking, "Jesus, is this what women feel like?"
Anyway, my jog started out as it normally did, me running through the cool morning air of early May (yes, they have the same names for months. Strange how that worked out). It was one of the few times of day when I was completely alone, and I relished the ability to simply relax and forget about my stay on Equis (temporary though it is).
After a lap around the town, I sat down on a park bench in the middle of town, watching the early morning sunrise on the horizon. A younger earth pony mare, probably still in high school (or whatever they called it) decided to sit down next to me and attempt to have some small talk with me. She was cute in an "aww, so cute" sort of way, but I found myself starting to become uncomfortable with how close she was scooting over to me, so I got up to walk away...
Only for her to comment on how she was going to "rope" me.
Now to a human, that comment meant nothing, and had Twilight not educated me on the culture and history of her world, I might have just jogged away and not thought twice about it. Unfortunately though, I did know what it meant, and it pissed me off.
A mare commenting that she was going to "rope" a stallion (or man, in my case) referred to ancient Equestria, when Princess Celestia and Princess Luna's parents ruled. Back then, males were in such high demand by females that often times an "unmarked" stallion would be lassoed, tied up like a calf, and dragged away to be used by the mares of a herd. The stallion was then branded with the herd's mark, making him the property of the herd, likely for the rest of his life. Fortunately for me, modern Equestria deemed that practice one of the most severe crimes in Equestrian law, though herds were still the norm. Nowadays, a mare saying she was going to "rope" a stallion meant that she would not give up until she convinced (or bullied) him to join her herd (the term was never used by solitary mares).
I could have reacted better.
A few hours after the incident, I was publicly apologizing to the young mare for threatening to tear off her lips and sew her mouth shut if she spoke to me like that again, while she was made to promise not to approach me in such a way ever again. During the whole thing I couldn't help but wonder how many stallions simply took it without saying anything...and I found myself a little sad because of it.
The ponies of Ponyville looked at me with quite the different look after that day. I was considered to be volatile, potentially dangerous, and scary. I would be lying if I said that I didn't enjoy the cease of the come-ons, but I didn't enjoy the fear and distrust that now shone in ponies' eyes.
But it's not like I was going to be living here or anything, so I simply filed it away under the "hate myself later" section and moved on with my life.
As I stretched out my arms, legs, and back, I yawned loudly. Twilight was one of the few ponies that knew how I really felt about everything and knew why I acted the way I had. Though I found it strange to be able to have a pony relate to me, I also found it nice that somepony was on my side. Spike too had taken a liking to me, especially when I told him that dragons were legendary creatures in my world, and the young dragon and I would often hang out together when there was nothing else to do.
Spending time with Spike was what I actually planned to do that morning after I showered and such, had the sound of galloping hooves not caught my attention.
"Jamie!" Twilight shouted before forcing open the door in excitement.
Because of her never having to knock before entering rooms in her own house, she had already caught me nude a few times already, but thankfully this time I was in shorts.
I looked to Twilight in confusion of her excitement and asked, "Where's the fire?"
She used her magic to levitate an open scroll in front of me as she read it aloud.
"Dear Jamison Smith,
I have news regarding my research, and I wish to speak to you directly. I will be making an unplanned visit to Ponyville tonight, as I understand that you have been waiting very patiently for this news, for which I thank you. I will arrive after the sun sets, using Twilight as a beacon for fast travel.
Princess Celestia Solari"
Twilight lowered the scroll and smiled widely at me. "Oh this is wonderful news! You're finally going home!" I couldn't help but smile as she bounced around in excitement on my behalf, but suddenly she stopped and stood stock still, a frown etching her features. "You're...finally going home."
I raised my eyebrow in worry. "Yeah?"
Her lips began to quiver a bit as her eyes brimmed with tears. "Y-you're going home..."
I closed my eyes and sighed as I knew what was going to happen, and a moment later, she dashed out of the room and up the stairs, presumably to her room. I shook my head as it happened, realizing that a situation like this was exactly why I had tried to distance myself from the ponies. Thankfully for me this crazy ride was apparently almost over, which was all well and good because I now had to think of how to explain to my family why I'd been gone for the past three months. So, I did what I always did nowadays when I needed to think...
I went for a jog.
I took a quick jaunt around town, keeping to the less-used backroads and kept close to Sweet Apple Acres. This area was mostly safe, because the ponies around there knew me and liked me. These ponies included the other five Elements of Harmony, a local DJ named Vinyl Scratch, and Vinyl's cellist roommate, Octavia. All of these ponies knew what I was, where I came from, and why I acted the way I did...and all liked me for the same reason: I acted like "one of the girls".
Which was why when Applejack approached me on my circuit, I smiled in a friendly manner.
"G'mornin, sugarcube!" she greeted happily.
I grinned and nodded back to her as I continued jogging. "Good morning, Applejack. How's the orchard doing?"
She smiled as she trotted, easily keeping pace with me. "Jus' fine. Zap apple season's comin' around this year, an' ya ain't lived 'til y'all have tried some zap apple jam."
In honesty I was pretty interested in just how these "zap apples" tasted, but home took priority. I stopped my exercise and took a few breaths before saying, "It pains me to say I'm not going to get to try any."
She looked up at me with confusion. "Why not?"
I shrugged. "Princess Celestia sent a letter this morning saying she has news about getting me home, so I'm thinking that today might be my last day here."
She frowned as her brow furrowed. "Hmm...are ya sure she found you a way ta get back home?"
I shrugged again. "I mean what else could it be?"
"Jus' don't get yerself worked up b'fore ya know what's goin' on, Jamie...'sall I'm sayin'." she warned.
I chuckled and shook my head. "I'm sure it'll be fine. Besides, I don't belong here. You know that, Princess Celestia knows that, and I definitely know that. The sooner I get out of Ponyville's collective mane, the better. On Earth, I'm a regular guy. Here, I'm a freak of nature and ponies don't like me. I mean, how would you feel if when you did anything you were always wondering if there was some second meaning behind it?"
She blushed a bit at what I was suggesting. After helping her take her barn down safely and efficiently, I had patted her on her back in what I thought was an innocent gesture. She had immediately grabbed my shirt in her teeth and dragged me aside privately, explaining that in doing so, I had basically done a very forward intimate gesture on her...in public...in front of her grandmother.
It goes without saying I cursed myself out...repeatedly.
"We all make mistakes, sugarcube." Applejack said, breaking me away from the memory.
I chuckled and shook my head again. "A mistake would be if I called you Jack instead of Applejack. No...I basically told you I wanted to mount you in public with a simple touch. That is not a mistake, that's a catastrophe. I mean did you see the scowl she had on her face?" I shuddered a bit. "The only way she could have been scarier is if she'd suddenly sprouted spider legs and chased me."
She didn't laugh like I'd hoped. Instead, she simply sighed and looked up at me and met my blue eyes with hers of green. "What if tha news she has is that she can't get ya home?"
I grit my teeth and shook my head. "Don't say something like that...you're gonna jinx it or something."
"But what if it is?" she pressed.
I growled and clenched my fists. "I don't know...I..." I took a few deep breaths to calm myself before turning my eyes back to hers. "I can't, Applejack. I just...I can't. I have no family here, and I am the only one of my kind. I am completely alone."
Her expression darkened a bit as she said, "Yer not alone Jamie, and if ya really feel that way, it's because ya want to. Ya got ponies here that care about ya."
I sighed and sent a withering glare her way. "Friends are nice and all, but I want to be able to fall in love someday too. Maybe get married, have a kid or two...you know, normal stuff. I can't do any of that with a pony, so no matter how much a pony might like me, it just can't happen." I sat down on a large rock by the path and hung my head as I rubbed my eyes. "You wouldn't understand, Applejack."
She sat down upon her haunches beside me and took off her hat, revealing her flowing mane of golden hair. She then looked up at me and said, "Ah might not know what ya feel like, but Ah know that if Ah was stranded in some weird place where there weren't any ponies, Ah'd make due with what Ah got. Tha point is, as much as ya don't wanna think about it, there is a chance yer stuck here. If ya are, what are ya gonna do then? Ya can't just keep hopin' fer a miracle or somethin' if Celestia herself says she can't do it." She shook her head with a frown. "Ah ain't tryin' ta upset ya Jamie, but ya need ta realize tha fact that even if y'all are stuck here, there's worse places y'all could be, and worse people y'all could be around."
I chuckled darkly as the very thought filled my head. "Getting home is the only thing I have to hold onto, Applejack. It's nothing against ponies or any of you in particular...I just don't belong here. It's too different in too many ways, and if I can't get home, I'll probably end up jumping into Ghastly Gorge."
"That ain't funny, Jamie." she commented.
I shook my head with a snort of annoyance. "It wasn't a joke."
I heard a very un-ponylike growl come from Applejack as she stood up and trotted around in front of me. She then placed her front hooves on my knees and pulled herself up, looking me directly in the eyes, her face inches in front of mine. "There's lotsa ponies out there that deserve ta live when they ain't, ponies that got taken away from tha world b'fore their time. Ah ain't gonna sit by while ya threaten ta end somethin' as precious as life. Ah'll tie ya up and keep ya in mah barn again if that's what it takes, and Ah'll have RD beat some sense inta ya."
I quirked an eyebrow skeptically and asked, "And how long would you plan on doing that?"
She kept her fierce gaze, but shrugged. "As long as it takes fer y'all ta stop actin' and thinkin' like a darn fool. Ah'd do it fer tha rest of mah life if Ah have to."
I didn't understand exactly why she cared so much, and I had no doubt that had any of the others heard my thoughts, I might have received similar responses from them. The fact still stood that these ponies didn't know what it would be like to live in an alien world for the rest of your life, with no chance at any of the things the mind and heart needs to flourish. They simply couldn't understand how it felt to know that you are a singularity in the world, and there is no one else to love or connect with. I prayed at that moment to every god there might possibly be that Applejack was wrong, and that the princess was sending me back home. It just wouldn't be fair otherwise...
"Look Applejack, I don't see why you're so bent out of shape about this." I stated calmly. "Whether I get sent home or fall into depression and commit suicide, nothing about your world would change. I'm not some important person in your world and nothing about it depends on me being here. The fact stands that should I cease to be here for one reason or another, your life and your world will continue as if I were never here. No one would miss me...in fact I'm pretty sure quite a few would be glad I'm gone." I then stood, causing her to fall back off of me and onto all four hooves. "My family on the other hand miss me...I know they do. My world is different without me...even if it's only for a few people. I have a place there where I belong, I don't here. Should I never reappear there, all my loved ones would believe I'm dead...so I might as well be dead."
Again she growled, and she raised her hoof as if to strike me. Her face twisted up as if she were about to explode, but finally she lowered her hoof and took a deep breath. She sniffled and trotted away...crying? Why was she crying?
Now I was utterly confused.
No matter...Princess Celestia would arrive in a few hours and then I could forget all about this.
I decided to stay away from the others, lest I receive the same scolding from them that I received from Applejack. It was easier said than done, but if I could just stick to the back roads, I should be able-
I turned towards the sound of the voice to find Rainbow Dash speeding through the air towards me. Even from the distance I was at, I could see a scowl on her face...and from what I could tell, she was flying away from where Sweet Apple Acres was.
I didn't even bother trying to outrun her, as I knew it would be stupid to even try and she'd just end up angry...well, angrier. Instead I stood my ground and waited for her to arrive, and a mere second or two later she did, flaring her wings and stopping right in front of my face. Rainbow Dash was probably the only pony who I was still afraid of, simply because her attitude radiated, "I'm going to kick your ass before you even know it." I tried to look intimidating by standing my ground, but on the inside I was nearly pissing myself...and I'm pretty sure she knew it.
"What the hay is this about you killing yourself if you can't go home?" she asked, equal parts rage and concern...an odd combination if ever there was one.
I sighed and just looked her directly in her eyes. "What the hell is the big deal? If I'm gone, all of you can just go back to your lives the way they were."
Her hoof was brought up to her face in what I assumed was a pony's version of a facepalm. She groans and shakes her head as she brings her hoof down. "No, you idiot, we don't want you to go!"
I raised my eyebrow at this in skepticism...this wasn't something I was ever told of.
"What now?" I asked in confusion.
She rolls her eyes and pokes me in the chest with her hoof, one of the rare times a pony's touched me. "I know how you've been avoiding making friends and all that for whatever reason, but the truth is that even if you didn't try to, you've done it anyway. Applejack finally has someone besides the other Elements she can talk to that doesn't think she's stupid or dull. Twilight loves hearing about your stories from your world, and she loves hearing all about you...you're the most interesting thing in the world to her, both as a project and as you. And they're not the only ones. Everypony's life in Ponyville had changed because of you, and whether you believe it or not, most of it is for the better. Maybe if you'd actually get out once in awhile and talk to some of the ponies, you'd find out you're liked a lot more than you might think." She then removed her hoof from my chest and flew closer, her face only a few scant inches away. "And for your information, we'd miss you if you go. We don't want you to leave, Jamie. You're our friend, and we want you to stay."
Despite my attempts to keep it from happening, it seemed that the ponies had befriended me against my will, if there is such a thing. Now I'd have to live with the fact that I would be missed when I went back to Earth...and that sucked.
'But what if you can't go back?'
The thought again rattled around in my mind, but I refused to give it attention. I still didn't know how I'd react to not being able to return home. That just couldn't be the case though...this Princess Celestia can move the sun and moon, so surely she can do something like get me back to my world. My confidence in the matter was starting to dip though, and I became aware that I was trying to convince myself...simply because I didn't want to have to deal with the alternative.
I probably wouldn't actually kill myself...I was just being dramatic. Still, being stuck in an alien land wasn't something I wanted to experience, no matter how nice the locals were. After all, I did have family wondering where I was. My mother was likely organizing a full-scale manhunt by now, and my father probably wasn't any better off. I needed to get home.
"Helooo, are you listening to me?" Rainbow Dash questioned, waving a hoof in my face.
I shook the cobwebs from my head and said, "Sorry. My mind was elsewhere."
She sighed and closed her eyes, shaking her head. "Look, all I'm saying is that no matter what, you're not going to be 'all alone'. I never leave my friends hangin', and neither do any of the others. Stop acting all dramatic like Rarity and realize that you have friends here, and we'll help you out...even if it means saying goodbye to you if you leave."
"When I leave." I corrected.
"If you leave." she said, correcting my correction (I guess).
This mare, brash and forceful as always, was forcing me to put things in perspective. She was forcing me to realize the fact that getting home was a very big "if". I didn't like it...like really didn't like it. I wouldn't want to stay the rest of my life in a world where I couldn't even read the written word. That alone made me feel very out of place, besides the fact that physical gestures that I would normally use every day with friends had different meanings in Equestria...most of them, anyway. I didn't even want to think about the reversed gender roles...I just couldn't deal with that at the moment.
"If you're right, then you don't have anything to worry about." she continued gently. "But if I'm right, you need to deal with the chance that you might have to make this your new home. Twi says it's always better to be prepared than to 'wing it', so you need to deal with this issue you have with us and this world."
I growled and shook my head. "I don't have a problem with any of you per se, it's just that I'm an alien with no way to get home." I looked up to meet her gaze again as I asked, "What would you do if you were in my situation?"
She shrugged. "Probably freak out." I was about to say something about her being a kind of hypocrite, but then she continued. "But if I were stuck, I'd deal with it...it's not like I'd have a choice. I could figure out how to live on some other planet if I had to. I mean, I'm no Twilight, but I'm sure I could do it." She then looked directly at me. "And you can too, if it comes to that...you'll have all of us to help you."
I turned away from her and continued walking down the path. "Well I'm sorry if this hurts your feelings, but I really hope it doesn't come to that. It's not something I want to deal with." I let the frustration and worry fade away a bit as I turned my head to look at her again, a decidedly calmer expression on my face. "Like I said, it's not because of any of you...I just don't belong here is all."
"You belong a lot more than you think Jay," she stated, conviction strengthening her words, "and I'm not the only pony that thinks so." Just as I was about to make a crack at the fact I was a male in a society that was mostly female, she interrupted me with, "And no, not because you're a stallion."
"Man." I corrected dryly.
She snorted in annoyance. "Whatever. The point is that you have a place here too that nopony else could fill. If you do end up leaving, there'll be a big empty hole where you used to be. It doesn't matter what you think about this world or ponies or anything else...the fact is that you'll be missed here too."
So, against all odds it appeared that I would be disappointing people...again.
I shook the negative thought from my mind and growled in frustration. "No matter what I do, someone's going to get hurt. I'm just going to go back to Twilight's house and prepare. Maybe the princess has a spell that'll let all of you forget all about me."
Without waiting for a response, I took off down the road towards the library. Rainbow Dash didn't follow this time, and for some reason it hurt a bit that she didn't.
The sun was finally setting, and as evening approached, I became more and more anxious. Spike was by my side the whole time, but seeing as how only three ponies out of eight knew what was doing that night, it made sense the rest of them weren't there. The three that new were sad or pissed, so I just let it go...or tried to.
Why did I feel like an asshole?
I mean I shouldn't, should I? I was going home. These ponies had taken me in, cared for me, got me healthy again, and kept me company. I was grateful, but I couldn't really call them friends. In fact, I had took particular care not to get attached to them, because I knew my time in Equestria was temporary.
Twilight was upstairs depressed, and likely had stayed there since I left the library earlier in the day. Applejack, one of the most tomboyish mares I'd come across, had been reduced to tears as well. Lastly, Rainbow Dash somehow made me feel like a royal prick...and I'm still not sure how.
My mental analysis was cut short as Twilight descended the stairs, composed but clearly still unhappy. Her reddened eyes were the only sign she'd been upset earlier, and she made her way to Spike and I with a determined gait.
"It's time." she spoke calmly, and lit up her horn with magic.
There was no pretense or waiting. Nearly as soon as she charged the beacon spell, a bright flash came about with a loud *POP*. I blinked my eyes a few times to clear the spots from my vision, and once I could see again, Princess Celestia was standing beside Twilight, in all her radiant glory. It was only the second time I'd met the alicorn princess, and I immediately noticed the change in the atmosphere. That "pressure" took hold of me immediately, and I found it as warm and inviting as it was powerful.
She opened her eyes and her magenta gaze fell upon me with the same soft smile that always seemed to be plastered to her face. A smile that spoke of love for all living things, and the joy she took in the happiness of her subjects.
"Jamison Smith...it has been some time." she greeted.
I bowed my head respectfully, with my right hand over my heart. After a moment I rose and smiled back at her. "It has indeed, Princess Celestia. It's an honor."
She returned the smile and gestured to the nearby sofa as Spike and Twilight silently left the room. "Please have a seat."
I did as she asked and sunk myself into the soft cushions as the princess sat on a conveniently-placed sitting pillow. She closed her eyes and took a long breath, seemingly relaxing after what could only be a stressful day as a ruler, before focusing her gaze on me.
"Well, Twilight has told me that you've been awaiting my arrival." she stated.
I nodded. "Well it's not everyday that a princess offers to help me with a problem, namely one so important as this."
Her soft expression did not change, but her few moments of silence were unsettling.
When she spoke again, her gaze had taken a more serious turn, and it frightened me a bit. "Why do you want to return to your world so badly?"
I raised my eyebrow in confusion. What was she playing at?
"Umm," I began, trying to focus my thoughts on the matter, "you mean besides the fact that I don't understand anything about this world?"
She nodded. "Yes, besides that."
I shrugged. "My family and friends. On Earth, I have people that love and care for me...and are waiting for me to get back. I mean other than that, I could take Earth or leave it really. With all the corruption and politics in the world, my family is the only thing that really 'makes it or breaks it' for me."
"So if you were forced to, you believe you could learn to live here...even with the differences." she confirmed.
I thought about it for a moment before shrugging. "I guess. Why does it matter?"
Her expression darkened slightly as she nodded. "I see now why Equis wishes you to stay."
My eyes widened in surprise. "Did you mean to say 'wishes' or did you mean 'wished', as in the past tense?"
She shook her head. "Wishes. I made no mistake in my words."
If this damned planet chose to keep me from leaving again, I was going to explode.
I grit my teeth as I growled, "I believe you had better explain yourself...and Equis, while you're at it."
She nodded, taking my sudden hostility in stride. "I believe I should. First, to understand this, you must know something important about how our universes operate. I will be the first to tell you that yes, you have entered a different universe by coming here, but what makes them so different is how time flows."
My hostility bled away a bit, giving rise to confusion. "I'm not sure I understand what you're trying to say."
She sighed, giving me a disturbingly sad look. "Time in your universe passes much more quickly compared to here, by a factor of four-thousand."
"I'm not that good at math, princess." I stated, my mind still trying to work the equations anyway.
"What I mean to say," she began, her tone darkening just a sliver more, "is that in just the sixteen days before Applejack discovered you, nearly two-hundred of your world's years passed."
I took a few seconds to understand what she was saying...it just couldn't be true. It didn't make sense. Everything humans knew about space-time said that what she was explaining to me was impossible.
"No." I answered resolutely. "No...I don't believe that."
She pursed her lips and nodded. "Very well. If you give me a few moments, I can come up with a convincing lie for you."
I shook my head as I stood. "No...I don't-" I took a few breaths as I felt panic starting to take over me. "N-no, that's...no...no...NO...NO!" I stomped my foot in an effort to calm myself as I felt my mind clouding with hysteria, and I began thinking of what could be done. Suddenly an idea came to mind as I wildly pointed at the princess. "MAGIC! Yeah, you know magic and you're all super-powerful and whatnot! You can like...send me back in time and then none of this will have ever happened!"
Her gaze was unflinching, but it seemed pitying somehow. "I am unsure what you have been told, but magic is not all-powerful, Jamison. Even a force such as magic has limits to its abilities, and what is possible to do."
The crazed haze on my brain made it hard to think, and I was nearly hyperventilating as I asked, "So what are you saying?"
She stood in front of me and frowned. "I am going to put this as plainly as I can Jamison, so listen close: all those you once knew no longer exist, and the world you once recognized is now alien. I cannot send you home, and I cannot weave the radical spells you believe are possible." She stepped closer to me, and stared with intent. "Put simply, you are here...possibly for quite some time. Equis has decided it would be best for you to begin a new life here, and so has made sure you stayed. I am sorry, but your past life is no more. This is your life now, Jamison. Welcome to your new home, citizen Smith."
My hyperventilating increased tenfold at what she said. This couldn't be happening...it just wasn't possible.
I didn't notice as my vision began to tunnel, and before I knew it, I hit the floor...out like a light, and alone.