-Somewhere not too far from anywhere, but not too close either, a citizen of Equestria waits in a white room, waiting to finally return to her family and friends after three long years.
Home. Finally, she was going home. All that stood in her way was a final assessment of her development during her stay, and she could finally go back to Equestria. She would meet up with the ponies she had left behind and leave all...this…behind.
She snapped her attention back to the one before her, reading her history.
You've made remarkable progress over the past three years, especially for one who has had no training whatsoever. Are you absolutely certain you would not like to stay longer and learn more?
She shook her head vigorously.
"I've kept up my end of the deal. I'm leaving now. You can keep all my stuff. I don't want it anymore."
Hmm…. You do realize that for millennia, no being has ever chosen to leave? Have you taken that into consideration?
"I have. It doesn't matter to me. I'm going home today, and that's final. My contract's over, I don't have to work with you guys anymore. Isn't that right?"
That's correct. You are absolutely free to leave here. But do you desire it? Don't rush. This is your last chance to stay.
She answered surely and swiftly.
"I desire to leave. Now let me go!"
There was a ghostly hiss, and a swirling yellow portal materialized at the end of the space. She ran forward, and was almost through it when she glanced back. The room was empty. Nothing would be following her through.
A fresh .
As she immersed herself in the golden light, a strange feeling blossomed in the back of her head, spreading rapidly to the rest of her body, intensifying into pain. It felt like she was being skewered by burning needles from the inside out. She screamed and spasmed in the light until, unable to withstand it anymore, she gave up and blacked out.
A shadowy figure emerged from a pool of blackness in the floor and allowed itself the luxury of a smile.
Surely you didn't think it would be so easy? That we would merely let you go? You are far too valuable to us for that. You are returning, make no mistake, but under our conditions.
The smile became a chuckle, then a full-fledged laugh. Had she still been awake, she would have cowered in fear. The laughing went on and on, intensifying as more figures began to appear around the first and join in.
Prepare the receiving structure. We have a soul to reclaim, and this time it will be ours for all eternity. And clean out the significant memories. There will be no need for them once all is finished.
A multitude of heads bowed.
It shall be so.
In the dead of night, a swirling yellow portal appeared in an empty field just outside the Everfree Forest. Had anypony been watching, they would have witnessed a truly bizarre and disturbing sight. A two story mansion, covered with ivy and shrouded in gloom, rose soundlessly out of the portal, eventually emerging fully and surrounding itself with shrubbery, trees and a walled courtyard. Finally, a crumbling, unreadable stone sign ascended out of the ground.
Inside, preparations were nearly over, the décor being finalized. Now, unable to even remember her own given name, one of Equestria's citizens had finally come home.
I know that there is a severe lack of details and names. It will all be cleared up later, hopefully. The next chapter will be longer. Thank you for taking time to read this. It is much appreciated.