You are at the hidden base of Mirage and her friends.
Do you want to explore some more, or would you rather go back to Ponyville and visit Lockbox?
I should go see Lockbox, she needs my help on that promotion thing I bet.
You go to the teleport room, walking through the Ponyville door, and a shift in reality later you find yourself in the underground little hovel!
A few minutes later, and you are right by her house!
Straighten myself up a little, a bowtie maybe.
'1d10+2' disguiseRoll #1 7 + 2 = 9
You quickly sweep up the dirt from the travels, get your mane in shape, and put on a fancy little bowtie to see elegant too!
Awesome, now I will knock on her door.
She answers it soon enough.
The moment she sees you she lunges forward to grab you in a tight hug.
I hug her back, pulling my wings around her and kissing her.
"I missed you too Lockbox."
She loses herself in the kiss, not wanting to break it for minutes.
When she does, she fidgets with her mane a bit.
"I was… I'm relieved. I almost thought that you just said you'd come back."
"It was only two days, I actually got back earlier than I expected." I smile at her and lead us inside, wing laying over her back.
She kicks the door closed with a hindleg.
"Well, if I knew I would have made some nice dinner and… you know prettied myself up for you!"
"You look beautiful, and we can go out to eat, in a while, I just want to relax and hear about your day.."
She leads you, or lets you lead her, rather, into the living room.
"Well, I was assigned to the main square today, because two of the Watchponies got called away to investigate something at the Carrot farmstead, and you wouldn't believe how hot it was to stand out there all day! And I wasn't even wearing regular armor, you know, I can't yet, until I'm proper City Watch, but at least ponies all smiled and waved at me and that was great! How about you?"
"I.." I look into the distance thinking of the fire and the statues, and the ponies that were assassinated partly because of me.. Then look at Lockbox and sigh.
"I found out who my friend was involved with, but its not something I can handle alone.. Not something we can stop without power.."
She gasp, putting a hoof in front of her mouth.
"So… so it's serious? Even worse than you thought?"
"Yea.. this guy that had my friend killed.. he's really up there, a corrupt power house with a gang of his own.. They cover their tracks too well so no one knows what Brown Bark discovered.. It seems hopeless."
She pouts, keeping silent for a while.
"Maybe I could help? Somehow?"
"..It wouldn't bring him back.." I sigh and then twitch my wings up a small smile of faint hope playing on my face.
"But maybe if you had more power.. you could find out things.. We could make a plan to get you noticed like before, but easier. What kind of case is most important to your boss?"
She thinks for a few seconds.
"Well, not long ago a very rich pony was robbed here in Ponyville, and a lot of jewels were gone!"
"Really? Who did they put on the case? Any special or notable pieces stolen?"
"Some bigshot called Gumshoe… he's sort of a dick, but he does his job well. And I don't really know the details, I wasn't allowed to look."
"Psh, not allowed. What nonsense. What if I get a look at the file, or would you rather me try to talk to Gumshoe for the basic info?"
"Well, having a look at the file would be the best, since he is probably biased about the case."
"Then its decided. I'll just look at the file and tell you about it. Easy."
I smirk confidently. "Now. Anything you can tell me about where the file is, or what shift would be best to go in at?"
"Wait… you would… you seriously want to break in there and do this for me?"
"Yea, that's what I just said isn't it?"
I nudge her a bit. "I bet I can find a thief better than a cop. Thieves have a sense about when a cop is onto them, scatter to the sewers and dark corners at the first wiff."
"Plus I wanna see how good you are at this stuff."
"Well, by my cutie mark, if you can get that file for me I will do anything! Especially if it can help you in the long trot!"
"I'm mostly worried about getting it back before anyone notices its missing.. I'm not a forger, though I'm certain I could snatch the file without being seen and even put it back.. but if we keep it too long someone might look for it."
I ponder thoughtfully.
"You could try to just memorize the most important parts, things that seem to you like they stand out!"
"That would be best.." I hold her hoof with mine. "I'm so glad you trust me to do this for you, I'll scout out the place and see if I get an opening tonight even.. After our lovely welcome home meal of course~"
"I'll tell you where to go and where to look…. and do you want me to get the food started, or should we just… cuddle a bit?"
"Hmm lets order something delivered and just cuddle." I put a wing over her and nuzzle her cheek.
She leans onto your hug.
"Sounds like a plan!"Skip to after-cuddles?
Sure. No need to waste our actually time on that.
And then food and cuddles have been had!
Lockbox looks really cute, with her mane all messy.
She is fast asleep though. You could try sneaking out again for the night.
What a nice peaceful evening.
I do need to check out the guard post, where did she say I need to go look?
It's going to be tricky. It is in one rooms in the main building, belonging to a high ranking officer. His bureau is near to the Captain's post. That means the third floor, but you can't just fly in, because all the windows have bars on them.
I wonder who could get in there..
'1d10+2' first I'll disguise as reporter pony.Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12
You whip up a nice little weather cloak, do up your mane to be all official, and even manage to forge a 'PRESS' thing to hang from your neck!
To make things better, you find inspiration from a newspaper Lockbox has around, with a bit of smooth talking, you could make the whole department believe you are one of their trusted associates! You could just walk right in and they wouldn't bat an eye!
I bet Lockbox herself would believe this disguise.
I'll take a note pad and pen with me and go to the station.
The two guards at the enterance salute you and let you pass! This will be cakewalk!
Go past the front desk.
"Hey, going up top." I tell them casually and try to walk up there.
The mare behind the counter just nods, she seems too sleepy to care.
You walk right up!
On the third floor, it's completely silent and dark… aside from the lights of the chief's office
He's still here?
Darn cops never sleep. Is the chief's office the one I need?
No, but the office you want is right next to it.
Well.. if no one is in that office.. try the door?
It's dark inside, but you see papers scattered all around.
Can I tell what's on the papers without turning on a light?
Nope, it's too dark to read any of them.
I'll lock the door and turn on a light.
You lock it shut and turn the light on.
Wow, this room is a mess!
Hopefully what you are looking for is in a drawer and not scattered among the rest!
'1d10' time to look through the drawer.Roll #1 10 = 10
Well, the large file with the red words 'CONFIDENT' stamped over it must be it!
Whew, this was easier than it looked!
I just had to be careful. Now to read as much of it as possible.
Most of it is useless, but you do find very important details about the time, what has been taken, possible suspects but no evidence against them…
There is a knock on the door!
Well, is suspicious looking.. put the file back where it was and hide under the desk '1d10'Roll #1 6 = 6
You hear the doorknob being rattled, then a strange noise…
"Gum? Are you here?"
The voice is deep and masculine… but what's worse is you feel a strange energy wash over you… almost making you feel guilty?
Its necessary.. I wonder if he'll just leave if I keep quiet long enough.
There is a pregnant silence…
Then the voice again.
"Stealth cloak? Invincibility spell? Or are you just hiding?"
Guess that's a 'no'.
I'll come out hiding with my hooves up. "Alright, you caught me, I saw how stressed out Gumshoe was he wouldn't tell me what was going on.. these notes don't make any sense thou.."
You see the unicorn stallion now, probably past his 50s, the Chief of City Guard badge on his long coat… but what's even stranger, there is an ever present 'halo' of blue energy around him.
"You. What did I tell you about coming in here after hours?"
Glowing good cops.. that's just what I needed right now.
"Okay.. I'm sorry. You know how it is, I get wind of a story and I just can't keep my nose out of it. I'll go home now, and I owe you a coffee?"
His horn lights up and the door clicks open.
"Unacceptable. I expect you to come in tomorrow at nine so we can discuss this break-in habit of yours."
"I will.. I promise."
I bow my head down and walk past him toward the stairs.
You thank Nature for your luck with your disguise and finding what you had quickly, because you sense it wouldn't have been that smooth otherwise!
You have everything you need!
Whew. That was a lucky break indeed.
Now I'll just fly back to Lockbox's place.
She is still snoozing! Maybe you should catch some rest too…
Yea, I'll ditch this disguise and rest up next to her.
You have a nice dream about endless rolling plains of green grass and colorful flowers.
You wake up to the scent of fried hay, tea and coffee.
Mmm coffeee and hay, that smells like breakfast.
I'll absently follow my nose until I reach the smell.
You see a pretty mare in front of the stove, making that alluring scent… of food!
I trot up next to her and plant some kisses on her neck.
"Good morning lockbox, is that you or the food that smells so sweet~?"
She leans into them and giggles.
"You tell me!"
"I pick both."
Circle around to the table. "And I have some good news, I managed to look at the information we need."
She spins around, giving you wide eyes.
"You're. Kidding! Already? When would you even have the time for it?"
>>648358>>648362for a second lockbox became sneaky
"I was surprised too actually, thought it would be a lot harder than just going in between shifts.."
"Anyway, sit down with that lovely meal and we can discuss what I saw." Then I would tell her all the details as I can remember them, between eager bites of hay and sips of coffee.
She nods, but starts scribing down notes as you speak.
After you are done she sighs.
"This is all very good… but how am I going to figure it out if Gum Shoe couldn't?"
"By being a better detective of course." I smile at her.
I may need to actually know some of these details so I can make a better plan.
The victim of the robbery is a rich pawn-shop owner. Curiously enough, it wasn't his store that was broken into, but his own home next-doors. The official explanation is that the thieves might have suspected that the store itself is secured and maybe even enchanted with defenses.
There are three suspects:
Spectral Tears, a mare with a long criminal background, currently on parole. She has no alibi, and has been known to have a wide array of contacts for information and of acquiring tools for such a job.
Vita Belle, the foreigner wife of the pawn-shop owner himself. She has been cleared of the charges after confirming that she has been playing cards with three of her friends on the night it happened.
Finally, Hollow Pumpkin, the young assistant and clerk of the pawn shop. He has been working for him for more than seven years now, ever since he was 16 years old. He has an alibi for being with his lover, a stallion called Brown Cinnamon, but it seems Gum Shoe is still suspicious because of his knowledge of the shop and the house next doors, as well as the habits of the shop owner himself, not to mention a lover is prone to lie to keep his partner safe.
The robbery was well-planned out and precise, only taking the valuables from the three seperate, hidden safes that Sparkling Gold, the owner had in his house. One required a combination, the second a lock, the third both. All of them have been cleared empty.
"Do you think you'd get different results talking to these ponies Lockbox? Maybe Vita would open up to another girl?"
"That trophy wife? I'm sorry, but she is a stuck-up bitch who wouldn't lift a hoof to save a life, or walk to the next door to have a drink to not die of thirst."
"Oh, you already know each other… what about Hollow Pumpkin? Do you get along with him?"
"He is nice, but really awkward. I'm not sure it's because he is shifty or just… shy, but he barely talks to other ponies."
"I see.. I already guessed you wouldn't get along with Spectral.. and talking to Tears himself would be suspicious.."
She taps her hoof on the table.
"What do you think we should do first, then?"
"Detective work is tough. It sounds like they didn't find any clues at the scene.. Well, I know you don't like her.. but.. you think you can try talking to Vita anyway, maybe see if she recently bought something or fought with her husband? That's girltalk right?"
"I'll try talking to Spectral and Pumpkin."
"Right. I'll do my best…"
"Kelani… I can't express how much this means to me."
I give her a confident and loving grin.
"Not as much as you mean to me." and lean in for a kiss before you she can object.
As if she'd ever want to!
She smooches right back.
Still, after a few seconds she breaks away and stands up.
"I'd love to go on, but duty calls!"
"Alright. Good luck Miss Detective." I reply with a smile and go to the bathroom to freshen up for the day. '1d10' rolling for mane quality.Roll #1 4 = 4
As much as you try, no magic of yours can cure this serious case of a bedmane
I'll start with going to see Hollow Pumpkin, maybe he's just shy around ladies.
You manage to track him down, turns out he lives close to the pawn shop itself as well.
Knock on his door?
Might as well. Knock Knock.
A light blue earth pony answer the door with a warm smile.
"Yes, good morning! Can I help you?"
"Maybe.. you wouldn't happen to be Pumpkin would you?"
His smile falters for just a moment.
"I would, yes… why?"
"Hey, I'm Kelani. I'm a bit new in town, but I heard you were one of the ponies to know. Are you busy right now?"
"Oh? Well, I'm glad you'd like to get to know us!"
He shakes his head.
"Come right in!"
"Thanks! You seem kind of sleepy, did you already eat breakfast?" Step inside after him and look around.
"Um, sleepy? Not really, but I did! Thanks for the concern though!"
He leads you to a nearby living room, sitting down on his couch.
"Feel free to sit anywhere!"
Wow, the decor of this house is lovely!
I'll take a seat next to him on the sofa.
"So, What's it like in town? What do you do? Do ponies treat you well?"
You see a blush on his cheeks.
"Oh!… uh, lots of questions!
Um, it's fun, I am dabbling in alchemy of sorts and yes, I'm friends with most ponies!"
Time to smile kindly and get him to open up about his hobby a bit.
"Do you now? Any special concoctions? Maybe something someone might commission?"
He waves a hoof around.
"Maybe, but I'm not taking it that seriously!"
I blink in surprise.
"Really? Are you sure? I mean, they might be nothing Sparkling Gold can sell for you in that shop, but alchemy can be pretty seriously valuable as a skill."
He frowns a bit.
"I'm… fine with what I'm doing. Or was fine, anyway."
fine? Did something happen?"
He motions with his hoof.
"Well… you've heard about the incident, haven't you?"
"I heard a rumor of sorts, that Missus Gold took something from the shop." I stretch my wings a bit as if I wasn't concerned about it. "sounds like typical rich pony drama."
He tilts his head.
He then shakes it.
"Well, it's really… I shouldn't really talk about it. I don't want to get Hollow in trouble."
"Oh, someone telling a different story? Well. Now it sounds too juicy to ignore. You just can't
leave me hanging like this!" I lean forward intensely staring at the pony with an excited smile.
He seems very nervous!
"Well, things got robbed, and Hollow got blamed for it! But he said that Gold himself was very upset, so he doesn't think he set him up… but what if he was just really acting so he'd take all the heat while he can get off free?"
"Wait slow down, why would Mr. Gold set up hollow pumpkin? Did they have trouble?"
"That's just it! They were getting along fine! He was almost like a son to him!"
His voice cracks slightly.
"B-But when Hollow was reall upset about it, he told me, what if…. what if that was all an act just so this could happen?"
"Hmm, sounds like something a jealous wife might do.. how did Belle treat Hollow?"
"They didn't meet much. Belle is one of those ponies who always pretends to be from Canterlot, and can often turn her nose up on others."
"Well.. that doesn't mean that she didn't.. but.."
"Uh, does Hollow know anyone desperate enough to have to steal and frame him for it? Maybe somepony mixed up with a bad crowd?"
"Ponyville only has one really notorious criminal… I mean, we are a small community, most ponies know and help each other, but she is just a bad egg if I ever saw one!"
"Really? But do you think this is her style?"
"Breaking into stuff nopony else can? Definitely. But I don't think she'd want to blame it on anyone, she'd just make sure there is no proof… but even if she didn't mean to, it could have happened, right?"
"I can't imagine who would want to hurt someone who is so close to somepony as nice as you are.." I sigh and lean back. "Maybe it was just an accidental thing.."
"Even if it was, it doesn't make it look less bad… stealing was no accident, whoever did it."
"Ah, I am sure. I mean hollow definitely sounds like a great guy, I'm sure he's not involved with anything shady that would require stealing."
He flicks his ears.
"That sounded a bit accusatory… but why would he? He got paid better than most ponies in this town!"
"Oh.. I didn't mean it like that.. I guess I got a bit jealous of him getting all the attention, he's a lucky stallion to have someone so devoted.."
I look away as if hiding an embarrassed expression.
"Oh… uhm, gee… well, thanks. It's been… tough, for both of us, but we're getting through it together."
I smile at him, almost a daydreaming stare. "That's great to hear, you know, you should go out for a nice meal tonight, take your minds off this nonsense.. I mean.. that's what I do, let him know that the rumors and accusations don't mean anything to me."
He is smiling, blushing, his ears are flat…
"Oh, well… that is awfully nice of you, thank you! I think that's a good idea, we have
been neglectic what is really important…"
"I bet you can't wait to start planning, where are you gonna go?" I ask excitedly making a motion with my hoof. "I know there the bakery has some nice cakes if he has a sweet tooth."
He nods just as excitedly, scooting closer.
"Yes, he has, but we have this nice restaurant we always go to, sort of like our place, you know?"
"Really? The type of place where they know you by name? You have a special table?" I open my wings in excitement and let one slip behind him.
He doesn't even notice!
"Yes, sort of, we have our little spot, and, on most days, we don't even have to tell the waiters and waitresses what we want, not even saying 'just the usual', they just see us and start preparing the food we want, and when we want something special, like maybe for today, I don't know, it's like the chef there senses it! I'm not saying it's like a second home, but we've had our best dates there!"
Wow, he got really into that explanation!
Just like a pony in love alright! I nod along letting my wing lay over his shoulder.
"Really? That sounds prefect. What's this place called?"
He snuggles up to it, almost unconciously.
"Yeah! It's the Empty Plate! Uh, I know it sounds strange at first, why would they name it empty if they serve food, but you see, that's just it, the food is soooooooooo good that by the time you are done the plate is empty because you don't leave any of it!"
I snicker at his joke. "What clever ponies. You know, if its as good as you say, then it must be a busy place, I bet you can't just walk in and be seated, but have to go reserve a place earlier that day!"
"Well… our spot is usally reserved for us. And even if it's not we can wait an hour!"
"Well then." I gently squeeze his back and shoulders with my wing and lean close to whisper. "Good luck tonight."
And pull back the wing and my body looking at the wall for a clock.
He shivers, blushing deeply as he crosses his hindlegs.
"W-Wow… uh, okay, thank you! For the talk and everything!"
You spot one!
It's just past noon.
"You're good conversation. The whole morning flew me by." I smirk.
"I can't wait to hear how it went." And then I start to leave.
He follows you to show you out.
"Well, we can chat about it if you visit some other time!"
Once you're at the door, he hesitates… but then nuzzles your neck!
"T-Thanks… again. Bye!"
I brush a wingtip along his neck and let it trail off his back.
"I'm happy to stop by and talk any time you need it."
Then slide out the door.
You don't see his face, but you hear the whinny!
Where to next?
To a convenient ally to change into something more ragged.
'1d10+2' disguise as a poor pony.Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7
Thankfully, that's not hard to pull off!
You put on some torn, faded clothes and mess up your mane, coat and tail, and you're all set!
Then its just off to the seedy parts of ponyville, shouldn't be hard to find.
>>651100 You go to the farmlands, lots of seed there!
You remember the shady tavern where you met the donkey informant when you first came here. That should do it!
You enter, and find him there, as usual.
There are some other 'guests' as well, everyone slinking in their own shady corners or tables.
I suppose I could ask him, but I think I'll try sitting at a table in middle and just listening for a few minutes. '1d10'Roll #1 6 = 6
You only overhear a few meaningless things, or things that might be important to some ponies, but are pointless to yours…
Then somepony sits down next to you!
It's the crimson pegasus mare that you met underground the first time you were told where the hideout of this little group you are sticking by is!
I flick my ears a bit sitting up and smile at her.
"Good afternoon. Did you come to relax over a few drinks? I could help with that.."
She gives you a look.
"I don't drink."
"Ah! Wise decision. What can I help a pretty mare with so she can relax then?"
"You can be my punchbag if you want. It's a lot more satisfying that way."
I lean back.
"Well.. Lets save that for later.. Do you girls talk to each other? I wonder.. If you know a girl called Spectral Tears
"Everypony in Ponyville knows her."
"Yea? Does she know what they're saying about her?"
"That even succubi have a thing or two to learn from her?"
She rolls her eyes.
"Of course she knows, you featherbrain."
"Fiiine, but I think its a little too obvious that it would be her, I mean, she can't be behind every
theft in ponyville. It all feels kind of personal."
"The guard captain here has psychic powers that rival unicorns from Canterlot… so she once stole his badge, just to prove that she can
I chuckle a bit.
"A sense of humor and a sense of pride. I think I like her already. Any chance I could impress a girl like that?"
"Sure, if you can arrange a tryst with her somehow."
"Hmm" I ponder the idea circling a wingtip under my chin.
"I don't suppose you have an opinion on a lowly local robbery?"
"Oh, hey, yeah, I do."
She perks up!
She then grins.
"Hmmm… but I might just have an idea."
"You seem excited! Please tell me about your idea." I scoot closer to the red mare.
She lowers her voice.
"Well… I know something that caught her attention before, but… it will include me beating you up. And you not recognizing me, allright?"
I frown, whispering back "Oh, now I see why you were so happy about this plan.
." then sigh softly. "How will this work exactly?"
"Oooh, I'm sure you'll learn quick… the point is that you just don't run away and take it like a stallion."
Before you can say a word, she grabs you by the mane with her teeth, and flings her whole body around, knocking the table over and slamming you to the ground, jumping on top of you!
"YOU PIECE OF FILTH! YOU ARE TRYING TO ROB ME
?! YOU THINK I WOULND'T NOTICE?"
You feel as if two anvils were dropped on your face, but that's actually just her front hooves.
I grunt slightly and try pushing her off of me. '1d10'
"Hey It was just a misunderstanding, Ouch- I mean you don't even have anything valuable."Roll #1 5 = 5
Your frail little hooves have nothing against her!
She jumps up in the air with a flap of her wings, then lands back… with both her forehooves aimed straight at your stomach!
You think you got off easy, she could have hit you in the….
Now you just feel like throwing up and like you are never be able to digest food ever again!
"Try me again, punk, and I'll break your spine!"
She spits on the ground beside you, then storms out of the bar.
I just have to walk it off, she didn't hit me that hard
, or maybe she did, but I can pretend for a bit.
Yes she did.
Some of the ponies in the tavern laugh at you while others shake their heads.
A unicorn just sighs and puts the table back in place.
The inkeeper scowls at you.
"Buddy, that was enough trouble for today, right? If you cause a brawl there'll be Tartarus to pay!"
"I got it, I got it.. I'm going home for the day anyway.." I grumble and slink off outside. '1d10' keep an eye out for someone following me.Roll #1 5 = 5
You're still spots all over your field of view and you think your nose might have started bleeding, but you still spot someone coming out right after!
I rub my head and turn down an alley to rest against a wall.
"Ugh, that mare hits harder most stallions. I should have gotten a drink before I left."
You hear a sensual voice from the shadowy parts of said alley.
"I can't decide if you are brave or foolish."
"Depends, is it brave or foolish to want to see the pretty face behind that voice?" I call back at the shadows, straightening up my wings.
You hear a chuckle.
"No, no, you see, that… is dangerous."
"Dangerous, That's a nice title. I like it. Call me Dangerous Gale."
You hear a short laugh that makes your cheeks burn with both shame and… you can't quite decide what else.
"Oh, you have proven how dangerous you are. Your strenght lies with… cunning and deceit, doesn't it? It was a very nice trick, you pulled there."
"Hmm?" I comb through my mane as if to remove some of the grime I put there myself earlier.
"I'm just a stallion trying to survive, I'm betting you're the real clever one."
A beautiful, grey unicorn steps out of the shadows.
"I am. What does that make you in this… little scene?"
"A stallion who might be willing to help a mare with a bad name, or just get to know her a little." I smile at her and step right next to her.
Her body language shows that is close enough.
"How could you?"
She snorts dismissively.
"I dunno, maybe you need a partner? Word is you robbed that pawn shop and pinned it on the dork working the counter." I smirk at her.
"Sort of a desperate play, don't you think?"
"Wow, could you try to sound more like an undercover guard if you wanted to?"
I ruffle my feathers insulted. "What! Me? Hmmfph." add a little stealth check to that as I try to circle around her '1d10'
"I'm no cop, I maybe owe one a favor, but that's it, you know even my wings can only let me run for so long, and this maybe seemed like an easy way to get out of trouble, but I see that you already made up your mind."Roll #1 6 = 6
She is turning around in place slowly, tracking your motions and not letting you get even to her side.
"What is in it for you anyway, huh?"
"Why would you care about me? Why did you even follow me?" I sound more and more distressed. "Someone as cute and as sharp as you, you don't need anyone.. Not even.." I frown flaring my wings out looking at her and looking up as if I was going to fly away.
"Don't tell me you're one of those losers who are crushing on me too…"
"Tshh, like that would even matter. You'd already have a stallion if you wanted one." I sigh heavily.
"Nah, I think I'll just do one big score and leave this town. Maybe go north. Sorry if you get blamed."
"A big score, huh?"
"…maybe you might not be useless, after all."
I smile at her, but keep my distance.
"Why should I split it with you?"
"Because you need the pony with the most experience in Ponyville."
"Hmm Alright.. You convinced me to give you a try.." I relax my wings and smile at her. "but we can't discuss details here. You got a place we can go?"
"I do, but we can't discuss details there either. Not with you, at any rate."
"Fair enough. How about we meet up south side of the train tracks in.." look up at the sky, its still too close to noon for sneaky things. "4 hours?"
You'd wager it's about 1PM.
"Fine by me. I'll see you then."
She slinks back into the shadows and you lose track of where she is…
I can pull that same trick on her, dive into the air and make he lose track of me! '1d10'Roll #1 1 = 1
You crash into a nearby roof… oof, maybe that mare roughed you up more than you realize!
Geez, now I look even more beaten up than usual.
I'll just slowly walk away, anywhere in town really.
spot checking to see if I'm followed '1d10'Roll #1 5 = 5
Seeing is sorta hard with so much pain, but you don't see anyone. Maybe you should get yourself checked out…
I bet there is a nice nurse pony waiting for me..
Wait! I should go back to lockbox's place.
Lose this disguise first, and tidy up that bed mane already. '1d10+2' look handsome for lockboxRoll #1 1 + 2 = 3
There is simply no helping it. Your mane looks awful, and it even has dirt and grime in it.
Maybe she won't mind. Lets go see her.
You go to her house, but it's locked.
Looks like she didn't come back yet.
She must still be looking into this.
What time is it?
About 4 in the afternoon
Its still a bit early.. I guess I should actually find a job to do tonight.
I hold the crystal and think about.. revenge
Ponyville is small enough that it works without being close to the hub.
You feel the ground give away under you for a second before you wake up in the circular room with the many doors.
"Ugh, I will never get used to this.." I wander into the base and see if anyone is around.
You see some lights downstairs.
That must be the workshop of the zebra stallion.
I'll knock on the door and see what he's doing then.
There is some sort of large machine he seems to be hitting with a tool.
He stops and turns to you.
"Oh, it's you. Just in time, I have just fixed this machine!"
"A machine?" I get closer to the thing he was working on. "What's it do Doc?"
He looks at you with a crazy glint in his eyes.
"It is a Doomsday machine! It will destroy all pony and animal life on the face of Equestria! It is designed to trigger itself automatically, and will explode if there is ever an attempt to un-trigger it!"
He laughs and smashes a large red button on the side…
The machine starts shaking and making a horrible grinding sound!
'1d10' Can I tell if he's lying?Roll #1 4 = 4
Not at all!
He looks crazy enough to pull it off!
I mean look at that crazy beard!
"….Hey now, that's great.. when will it go off?"
Just smile and get next to him.
"Right about now!"
The grinding and shaking stops, and you hear something pouring…
Then a small cup emerges. He laughs.
"It just makes coffee until I finish it though."
He takes it and sips on it.
I laugh too and pat him on the back.
"You're the hero of the office."
"Anything for my lovely friends!"
A young, pre-teen orange filly comes out from the back of the workshop.
"Camain, you blew up the fuses again!"
"Sush, Constance, that's not explosions, that's the sound of progress!"
Huh, looks like they have things covered here.
"Right. Do you need anything from outside?"
The filly speaks up.
"Oh, you're new here! Hi! I'm Constance! You can come down to the lab anytime you need something, but if you ever go through that door-"
She points at a door at the far back.
"I will do horrible, horrible things to you!"
Camain puts a hindhoof on her face and gently pushes her under the table, despite her loud protests.
"Anyway, I do need something. It might be tricky to get, but it will be worth a LOT to my research. Mirage is too busy with trying to get the first Comet back to help me with it."
"Well, she hasn't given me any jobs, so Its just my own side work, though.. we can talk about that after I hear your thing."
The zeeb struggles to keep the loudly complaining filly under the table, urging her not to interfere with the adults.
"So, we know that whoever lived in the North was wiped out by some evil hundreds of years ago, but there have been Equestrian researchers who dug up all sorts of interesting things… but I'm not like that crazy bitch, so the demonology aspect of it doesn't concern me. They did, however, find some sort of ancient contraption that would be exactly what I have been trying to make too… Conciousness out of matter. Currently, it is stored in a warehouse in Manehatten, but it is only a matter of time before those-"
He speaks with disgust.
"Real science ponies with real degrees
turn their attention to it and ship it off to Celestia knows where. I need you to get it for me before that happens."
"I see.. any idea how long until it could be moved? What's this contraption look like? Is it heavy? "
"Oh, it must be VERY heavy. From what I hear, it looks like a giant piece of armor… Here's the trick though… if you can somehow wake it up, it will just walk out with you!"
"The sooner you get it, the safer."
"I see.. What about the location? There are probably a lot of warehouses in Manehatten.. Do you know which one, or who owns it right now?"
"It is one of the warehouses on the shore, but I don't know which one… I do have a trick."
"OOh, is it the-mhppp!"
He silences Constance again.
"It is a small device that detects magical energy… but I calibrated it so it doesn't detect active energy… it detects dormant power! That way, you just need to find where that sleeping power is spiking in the warehouses!"
"Sounds a little tricky,.. But I'll take this on for you.. After all how many dormant power sources could there be?" I smile at the nerdy zebra.
"Now.. I guess I should tell you my problem? My stupid mouth got me into trouble again, if you can believe that. I've been looking into something around town, a local robbery, sort of promised a girl I'd help her solve it.. but I wound up promising another girl that I'd let her in on a heist, but I don't actually have anything of the sort planned."
He hoofs you a small rectangle with a glowing compass inside. It is pointing at the far end door right now, while gently throbbing.
"Hmm… so do you need some explosive ordenance to blow up the side of a vault or something to steal around here?"
I pocket the odd compass.
"Yea, that would probably do it, make it look like I have my stuff in order.. Hey, actually I can pick a bad location, but a decent plan, on purpose and let her suggest a better place to rob, that's sure to make her even more confident. Right?"
"If it was me I would think that you are just an incompetent imbecile."
There is a muffled "Yeah me too!" from under the table.
"Yea, but that's just the thing I want her to think, she's the type of girl that needs to be the best, you know?"
"but you might be right, maybe its not a good plan.. but I still need her to like me enough to take me to her place.. got any ideas?"
He scratches his beard.
"Get that thing for me and I will figure out a foolproof plan."
I nod. "I'll go check out Manehatten and be back before dinner."
To the room of doors!
You go to the circular chamber.
Traverse through the one that says Manehatten?
Travel to Manehatten.
The world is absent from around you for several seconds before you find your hoofing in a small, musky room full of smoke.
I put a wing over my mouth and cough a bit.
Where is that smoke coming from?
From behind the weak plank door that seems to be the only exit.
Is it.. hot?
hoover my hoof over the door.
Wood doesn't conduct heat like metal, silly.
You do have a small flashback of burning wood and fur from that horrible time from Los Pegasus…
This doesn't smell like anything burning. It is a strong, almost flowery scent.
Well. Then I'll open it.
Maybe its just a druid-hut.
You know why the spicy, strong smell was here now.
This appears to be a run down opium den.
Several, almost skeletal ponies longue on the floor with small pipes, while some others sit around small braziers, staring into it.
None of them pay you any attention.
I look a little creeped out. This
is where the teleporter leads?
I better just find the way out of here.
You quickly find the stairs that lead up.
Looks like this den is a cellar from a small alley in the bad, southern part of the city. At least the shore to the west shouldn't be that long of a flight, 20 minutes tops.
I make a note of where this place is, and sail toward the shore. Maybe I can spot where the guard outpost is, or where the dock workers break room is. '1d10' lookingRoll #1 2 = 2
Nope, a thick fog is setting over the harbor.
At least the warehouses are hard to miss. If only there weren't dozens of them!
I groan, but at least this fog gives me cover. '1d10' stealth and land near a warehouse.Roll #1 4 = 4
You are hidden!
…The problem is, so is everypony else in this fog.
You may want to tread lightly.
The compass knows the way. Lets pull it out and see.
It is pointing to the northeast. Must be half a dozen warehouses down the line.
I'll just fly that direction.. The compass knows what its wants.
You fly towards there, but hear voices right in front of the building the compass is pointing to!
It even started glowing!
You also see two, orange lights… cigarettes, probably.
"-so I told her 'Sure thing boss, let the old, decrepit pony carry the large crate full of heavy stones'."
"Heh. What'd she say?"
"Actually… she must have been in a good mood. Got a unicorn to do it. I had to go on crane night shifts after that though."
"How'd the hell did you see anything?"
"We got some of those nifty glowing crystals now. Much better than the torches and lamps. Even work in a storm."
Oh great, they're already here.. though, this means they have the key.
circle around toward the side of the building and keep listening.
You hide behind one of the sides and eavesdrop.
"Sweet. Might need those in this fog."
"Tough luck. Only crane operators get them."
"…but you are one."
"Yeah, but we are just hauling stupid shit from one corner to the next this time. Something about freeing up some space. I hear they will take some of the junk lying around here off our hooves soon."
Huh, I guess I need to steal a light from a crane..
I wish I could get a look at them to see what kind of uniform they have.. or if they have keys.. peak at them from around the corner, maybe I'll get lucky '1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
You only see their muzzles, lit by the cigarettes.
Finding a crane shouldn't be too hard though.
And maybe you can find a window as an alternative route inside.
Alright, I'll fly about to look for a crane. '1d10'Roll #1 1 = 1
With your head!
That's another nosebleed for today allright…
I rub my nose and hoover back. This fog is just too much!
Now.. it shouldn't be hard, where are those lights?
You would guess either at the top of the crane where the operator sits, or the very edge.
Shouldn't be too hard to find now, you got a good grasp of where the crane itself is, and can just simply hoover along it with touch.
'1d10' hoover to the top of the crane.Roll #1 9 = 9
You follow the metal closely and reach the top in no time, your hoof touching the blue gem in it's metal barrier! Thankfully, they are made for easy replacements, so you can just pop it off!
Nice. Now that I have a light, I wrap it in cloth and put it in my pocket. Then I'll go back following the compass, maybe those two will even be moved on from their break.
You put the light away.
It looks like the compass is glowing brighter and pulsating when you're closer to the middle of it.
The two ponies have indeed moved on.
I use the light to look around the storage unit for all the entryways. '1d10'Roll #1 7 = 7
You see that one of the heavy, dark windows have hinges that are rusted pretty badly. You could probably force it open.
'1d10' huh, I try to force it openRoll #1 7 = 7
The old metal lets out a pityful, quiet groan as you manage to break the frame from one side, making the large window dangle limply. You can get in now.
Good thing I have a light, I can even watch my step as I go inside.
How crowded is this thing?
Seems like this warehouse is kept pretty tidy. From the looks of it, many of the things stored here are seperated in different sections, and there is even room for science and magical equipment. The compass is showing you the way towards the middle, an area that has a small, circular curtain seperating it from the rest of the storage.
This is.. a lot fancier than I expected..
Pull back the curtain slowly.
Looks like the ponies might be studying some of the recovered artifacts here, either because they don't have enough room in the city… or they don't want to risk taking anything in there just yet.
You pull the curtain back. It has a few tables littered with notes and equipment, but what stands out most is what is in the middle. It looks like a masterfully crated set of armor that resembles the looks of a beautiful, exotic mare. However, you see that the different parts are connected, so there is no way anypony could be wearing it.
Well, that's unexpected.
I better pick up those notes, the doc will want them… and read through to see if they have any idea how to active this.. suit.
How did he think you would fit in this? Plus you're pretty sure you're not strong enough to wear heavy plate armor. Or to carry it.
You pick up the notes and run through some of them.
Some of the writing is hard to read because of the quickly scribed mess of words, but something catches your eye.Finally found a way to the inside. Front panel can be opened if runes pressed in proper order. Never seen anything like the core. Magic strong enough to make my horn ache, and it is not even active. Must have been frozen over at the site. Theory is body heat would reactivate it. Unsure about procedure, will postpone until proper precautions have been taken. Amount of weapons worry me.
You also see a drawing of three strange runes, with three little numbers from 1 to 3 beside each of them.
"So.. its just cold?" I might as well try pressing them in the order the 'learned scientist' wrote down. 1 2 3
…if you asked Camain, he'd probably just say that degrees are just pieces of paper anyway.
You find the tiny runes at the front plate and press them in order.
You hear hissing, and the front plates open up like a set of double doors. You can glance inside…. wait, this thing is not empty at all. It has all sorts of wires and cogs and pipes inside, but what is most interesting is the 'core' the pony in the notes must have wrote about.
It looks like the heart of an equine, but from sort of strange stone that has a faint, light blue glow and a constant, low humming sound.
You feel the compass vibrate at the proximity.
I don't need the compass anymore, this stone heart is clearly the inactive thing.
Can it be easily removed?
It is connected to a lot of things in this contraption, just like the heart of a pony would be to the rest of the body. You don't see how you could plop it out like you did with the light of the crane.
Well. I breath on my hoof and try touching the 'heart' to spread warmth into it.
You breathe onto your hoof and put it on the strange, cold stone. Quite a few seconds pass, and just when you think that nothing is happening, you hear a strange whirring and hissing sound coming from the suit of armor.
The head moves, a pair of glowing, crystalline eyes staring into yours.
"So, I guess this means you're active?"
I suddenly blush and pull my hoof back closing the panel. "Will you follow me?"
You hear more whirring and clicking.
At the sudden movement of closing the panels though, you see a small compartment on the side pop open, a crossbow facing you down while a blade slides out of one of the armored hooves.
…however, it just stares you down for a second before the weapons disappear.
Wow… this thing sounds weird. It moves its head around.
I step back alarmed at her reaction.
"Its a warehouse. I'm here to help you get to someone else, but we have to go quietly, are you okay with that?"
You hear a click and see that small wheels have popped out from the bottom of her hooves. She rolls closer to you.
Her eyes start glowing brighter.
"You're in Manehatten. These notes said they found you frozen?" I show ..her? the notes.
You see it…her, she does look feminine, run her eyes over the notes quickly.
You see her eyes do that weird thing again where she zones out.
Mistress of Dark Arts…Error.
She pauses suddenly, only the whirring of her insides audible, before you hear her… sob?
"Oh.. Those are all ponies you know? I'm sorry." I step closer and try putting a wing around her to comfort her.. I mean she looks like a mare.. maybe it will help.
"…look we can't stay here, the ones who took you from your home will be back before long."
It is pretty cold still…
It looks at you confused.
"Who-are-you. Where-will-we-go. What-do-I-do.
"I'm Kelani, and I'm going to take you to a friend of mine. He knows a lot about you already and can probably help you out."
"Calculating…. Home-destroyed. Friends-destroyed. Master-destroyed. Defensive-protocoll-invalid. Engage-self-preservation-protocoll.
The armor nods.
"Alright, I got in this way.." Lead Chell to the window. "Can you climb out?"
She looks at the window.
"Right." I stare at her a moment. "You're gonna get spotted if we don't do something.. lets get some clothes.." '1d10+2' disguise her so she looks normal from a distance.Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3
You go to find a few things that would cover her up and make her look like somepony wearing a long coat or-
You hear a horribly loud, metallic screeching sound.
You look over to where you left Chell. She took the liberty of carving a giant hole in the side of the wall.
Well. So much for stealth. Drape the coat over her. "Wear that, and uh. this way, maybe the fog will cover us.."
I sigh realizing I'll have to walk with her, and start heading toward the 'portal location'
You cover her in the coat and start to walk, but hear the sound of approaching hoofsteps!
"Shh, just keep quiet and keep moving." walk away from the sound.
Thankfully, she listens to you, and slowly and quietly rolls behind you on her wheels.
You hear loud swearing by dock workers when they reach the hole in the wall.
I don't even breath for fear of the extra sound, and just keep guiding her as quickly as possible.
Down here it is a small maze in the fog, but you manage to guide her until you come across a tall chainlink fence!
This must be where the property with the warehouses ends!
"Its okay, we just need to find a gate.. I'll fly over, don't go anywhere."
'1d10' look for a gate.Roll #1 6 = 6
You find one nearby. Problem though, there is a guard stationed there.
Of course there is.. and this crazy metal girl would probably kill the poor bastard.
Land on the other side of the gate and approach looking worried and scared. "Excuse me! Sir? Are you on duty here?"
He quickly springs to attention.
"Yes, I am! What is it?"
"I just saw some ponies hopping over your fence, they were carrying some really heavy looking boxes, I-I think they were robbing your warehouse!" I point eagerly to the opposite direction of chell. "They can't have gotten far!"
Go and call the city watch, too!"
He quickly grabs a spear from his booth and runs off!
You might not have much time before he comes back!
'1d10' open the gate as quick as I canRoll #1 5 = 5
It's a pretty heavy gate, and it is opening just a bit slower than you'd like…
Grit my teeth and rush off to Chell, motioning for her to follow.
She starts rolling after you without a sound, getting the idea and rolling past the gate, not even stopping to wait for you, heading off to the cover of the fog!
I try to keep up with her this time, totally ignoring the gate, no time to close it again.
You fly after her for a good while before she stops and turns around, waiting for you.
I look confused. "I'm not sure its a good idea for you to go around attack everyone, didn't you just wake up?"
"Anyway.. we will have to go through the city a bit.. I'm not sure how he thought this would work.." I look around for the least crowded street that goes in the right direction '1d10'Roll #1 9 = 9
Thankfully, the city is built in a way that you can always find small streets and tiny alleys to sneak through.
Chell rolls behind you, her speed surprising you.
"You were an enemy of Equestria?" I frown, I don't think I knew any of them titles she listed off, but I wasn't the best history student.
"Negative. Equestria-was-our-enemy. Their-alliance-only-came-after-the-external-threat.
"…I'm sorry." put a wing over her back as we walk a little slower. "Uh, if you want to talk about your home, what it was like, I'd be happy to listen."
You slow down as you walk through some more dark alleys, slowly reaching the bad part of town.
I nod. "That makes sense, it sounds like your friends were up against impossible odds."
She stays silent for a bit.
"Princesses? Oh, you must mean Celestia? I don't think she's evil, but I haven't met her."
As you proceed, the sights around you and the streets start to look…dodgy. Trash, scrawlings on the walls, ruined buildings. You must be getting close to that opium den.
I shake my head. "She became a nightmare and Celestia had to banish her.. its not considered pleasant to talk about, for Equestrians."
As you turn into another alley, you come across a small group of ponies around a burning barrel.
They smirk, the two scarred mares advancing on you, while the stallion in the back reaches for a nearby blunderbuss.
"Well, lookie now, we got ourselves some sorry fools who think they can just barge in to our territory!"
"I say we show them business."
I sigh drawing my daggers on them.
"I'm flattered, really, would love to play with your girls all night, but I'm in a hurry."
'2d10' attack the two approaching.Roll #1 1, 6 = 7
You manage to scar one of them, but the other quickly clubs you over the head with a heavy metal bar, making you fall to the ground. You are helpless.
"Hah, take that yo-"
There is a thumping sound and the voice of the mare is cut off. She falls in front of you to the ground, a bolt sticking out of her throat.
The other two quickly turn tails and run away.
"Thanks Chell.." I stand up and start running down the alley, looking for any shortcut to the opium den..
You quickly get yourself together and zig-zag through the small streets. You almost pass the entry to the cellar, but stop and backtrack when the spicy, strong smell of the smoke hits your nose.
You found it!
"Just so you know.. this place wasn't my idea." I comment to her and lead her inside.
Her tiny wheels retract with a click as she has to change to a walk to take the steps.
You quickly pass the passed out, dazed, or otherwise out of their minds junkies and head to the tiny room.
Now… how exactly does this gem work when you try to take something with you?
…Shit I don't actually know..
Maybe I can just hold her hoof and the gem in the other hoof and think about revenge
"Hold my hoof Chell."
You almost thought about it too soon!
Just don't focus on it before!
If she could have changing expressions, you don't know what would happen to her face right now, but she reaches her cold metal hoof over to yours without a word.
Gah, this gem thing is hard! Stupid magic.
Now I smile at her and then look away to think about REVENGE
For a second, it's hard to really focus on the concept…
But you remind yourself that you are helping those who are against the ponies that murdered your friend.
There are a few, long, empty seconds of nothingness before your wobbly legs feel solid ground below them again.
Chell is just silent for several seconds before her eyes light up again.
I groan. "Ugh, I'll never get used to this, now where is that door.." I feel around to open the door.
You stumble around to open the door.
Once you're out, Chell follows with heavy hoofsteps.
"No.. Its more of a shared home, a home base. The doctor I mentioned is here."
"Great! This way then." I keep walking past the teleporting room and to the lab.
You go down the stairs one floor to the lab.
You see the zebra sleeping on a chair before a table, his head hanging back while he snores.
The filly seemed to have fallen asleep too, but it looks like the doc had just enough strenght to pick her up, put her on the table and tuck her in with some notes that are full of scribbles.
I gently poke the doctor, "Hey, wake up
He jerks his forward, jumping out of the chair.
"GAH IT WASN'T MY FAU-"
He quickly cuts himself off, running a hoof through his bread.
"Uh, must have dozed of…"
It is commendable that the filly didn't even bat an ear to the racket and is still sleeping.
The zebras eyes widen.
"Wait… you… you did it!"
Chell is just looking him over nonchalantly.
"And it can talk too!"
"Uh yea, I activated her, just like you said." pull out the notes I grabbed.
"Here's the notes those guys were taking on her, seems they were researching her inside of that storage unit."
He quickly grabs the notes out of your hooves and approaches the suit of animated armor, apprasing it from all sides.
"Remarkable, simply remarkable! This is very relevant to my interests! Especially how she is alive."
"…quite feisty, aren't you? Don't worry, I would never damage you in a million years… we'll start with a small trust excercise of you showing me what you've got!"
The stallion turns to you.
"As for you, I know just the thing for your heist. On the borders of Ponyville, near the train station, you will find a lonely house that is seemingly just a home for a glassmaker and her workshop. Break down into the basement. Steal what you can, destroy anything you can't. She works with our enemy, so if you can kill her in her sleep or something, that's an added bonus."
"Great! got anything explosive I can I leave behind in her shop? I got attached to the idea since you mentioned it before, you still need to show me what you've got after all." Smirk at him.
He smirks as well.
"Kid, I like you more and more with each passing moment."
He runs off for a second, motiong Chell to follow him inside the workshop, before returning to you with a satchel he unfolds on the ground in front of you.
"Well, how big of a bang do you want? Little firecrackers, clear a room, teach a house how to fly or leave a crater the size of a barn?"
From how some of the stuff he has on that little cloth… you don't doubt those latter options are possible. Magic and science, jurry rigged together into abominations of destruction.
"Tearing apart rooms sounds like the right level, just enough to send a message to the enemy, but not so much that I'd struggle to get clear."
He thinks for a second, then hoofs you over a small metal apple with little ridges.
"This should do the trick. Twist the two sides in opposite directions, throw it, then get as far away as you possibly can."
I nod carefully setting the thing into into a pocket of my bags.
"Thanks doc, I'll let you know how it goes."
"And I will let you know how my research goes! But speaking of which, I have a lot to do, I must begin immediately!"
He rushes off to his workshop to catch up with Chell.
I stare a moment, silently concerned, but then I recall how she was equipped to defend herself and let the feeling pass.
What time is it after all that?
>>654902 Not that there was anything under that metal tail. Don't lie, we both know you checked.
It's been getting dark for a while now, but it's not quite night yet.
>>654903 Come on, what guy wouldn't look just to be sure.
..That means its close to sunset, so I'll go to the train tracks first.
>>654904 Sure, just to be 'sure'
You are thinking about the scheduled meeting with the thief mare too much, because as you walk up the stairs you bump into somepony.
You look up and what you see is… a bit concerning.
It is a tall, almost lanky mare, with grey mane and a green coat… but her fur isn't a nice, natural green that you know and love. It is sickly, dull and unnatural. Not as unnatural as her eye, her pupil being a vertical slit.
"You're new here, aren't you? Did mommy never teach you to look where you are going?"
I grumble looking away from her, scratching the ground with a hoof.
"Nothing, I didn't do nothin' wrong and they gotta kick me out, and then send some.. uh.. girl after me? I'll pay the tab in the mornin, I promise, just leave me alone.."
She places a hoof under your chin, making you look at her.
"Now now, are you
a newcomer, or just some escaped lab rat from that insane zebra? If you are, little drunk, he might not get you back in one piece. Would teach him a lesson to let prisoners escape."
"Who? I don't know any striped ones. I'm just travelling, got a grumpy nanny and an asshole unicorn, neither of em' would back me up and just let me get kicked out. So, Pretty Lady, what's the problem with this stripped fella?" I rub her hoof with a smile and reach back as if scratching and itch when I'm really readying my knife.
The unicorn slaps your hoof away when you touch her hoof back.
She sneers at you, and you don't think she noticed you going for the knife.
"You sorry fool, you are my problem."
At that I suddenly laugh and rub my head dropping the act entirely.
"Aw, all you ladies really are the same, can't relax for a moment. I'm Kelani Rush."
She stares at you for several seconds in silence.
Then you see a wicked grin curl up her mouth, and she slowly starts laughing.
And just keeps laughing for a good while, before staring into your eyes with her own weird ones.
"I must admit, it would have been funnier if I only find out after I killed you."
"Aw, and you have such a beautiful smile, it would have been a shame to miss out on it."
"What can I call you, lady of emerald fur and tiger eyes?"
She laughs again.
"Call me the Boogeymare if you wish, I could not care less."
I laugh back. "Hey, serious question here, are you mostly girls here? I've only met two guys so far, and I mean, I'm definitely okay with that, but I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed! What If I forget someone's name, or their birthday, and how do you ever decide on what to do for dances?"
"I don't bother with names, aside from Mirage."
Her slit pupils widen and she barks a laugh.
"After all, it is only a matter of time before they die, isn't it?"
"Well, not if we're all careful, right?" Sigh and smile at her, looking at her thin and sickly sides.
"You should be sure to get a proper meal, you know sitting down at a table, I've seen ponies forget about that taking care of their body is just as important as their weapons.."
"My body is the fuel of my weapon."
She closes her eyes, biting her lips.
"Mhhm, and I gladly sacrifice my blood for that power."
She opens her eyes and shakes her head.
"I should be on my way. You kept me up for long enough."
"….Right, see you later Boogy."
Keep going to room of doors!
Even after you leave, you can't help but feel an aura, or a sense of creepy dread hanging around you after meeting her…
You don't even know why. She didn't look particularly scary.
There really are some strange ponies around here..
At least the trip through the dark to Ponyville is short…
You shake your head to get back to your senses.
You must hurry to the Train station though, the sun set already!
Can't keep the lady waiting anymore.
'1d10+2' look the same as before, which is easy just a dirtier version of myself.
'1d10' fly fast to the train station.Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5
/ Roll #2 5 = 5
You don't remember the exact manestyle, but you can just say it got ruffled.
You find her, but she seems pissed.
She is hiding in a dark corner without lights.
"I got held up! It weren't my fault honest." I step closer.
"I'd never keep someone as pretty as you waiting on purpose.."
She rolls her eyes.
"Sure thing, tough
guy. About the heist?"
My eyes light up and I rub my hooves together.
"Yea, its a nice one! Real simple too. Its actually not too far, you that glass maker that lives around her? She's got a huge stash of stuff in her basement, turns out she's funded by some foreigner who loves glass statues or something."
"…interesting. I didn't have any intel on that."
"You may not be useless after all. Lead the way."
Sneak off toward the glass maker's house.
She follows you, but only sneaks just enough that you can still sense her following you!
It's a two story building, with a side-house where the workshop is probably located.
All the lights are out, but you see a dog sleeping in the fenced off area…
Well, if its fenced off we just have to be quiet..
Circle around looking at all the possible entrances '1d10' spot checkingRoll #1 5 = 5
You don't see a back door. Probably unnecessary with an enterance to the workshop from inside the house.
Only the front door or the windows are a go, but those are all shut.
'1d10' Investigate the window, is it locked or otherwise barred from the inside?Roll #1 5 = 5
From as close as you dare to approach it without disturbing the dog, you think it is closed.
I frown and head back to my partner.
"Do you see a way in? That dog's a bit of an obstacle, and the window is locked.
She sighs."Such a waste to use this expensive stuff on dogs."
She takes out a small crossbow and attaches it onto her hoof, loading a small green dart into it.
Let her do what she's going to do.
She aims, and the crossbow fires without a sound.
The dog… doesn't budge a bit.
The unicorn mare takes the crossbow off."Whatever we find inside better be worth enough to cover the price of that knockout dart AND make me some profit."
Nod at her and go try to unlock the window.
'1d10'Roll #1 8 = 8
Your experience in sneaking into the houses of girls back in your village serves you well, as you have mastered the art of opening windows from the outside. You are both in!
Land inside and look around, what's this room like?
It looks like an average living room to an average old lady. Knitted pictures on the wall, old, musky and dusty rugs, even older wooden chairs.
You see a lot of tiny glass scupltures though, on every single flat surface.
I'm going to look out the doorway of this room, can I see any stairs from here?
There are two doors. One is a heavy, metal one, probably leading to the workshop.
The other is open, and you can see a corridor to the kitchen as well as the stairs up.
Walk down the corridor, there must be a way down.
Nope, it just leads to a small pantry.
The way down must be in the workshop.
You hear the metal door open with a click, as the horn of the unicorn mare is alight.
"Almost too easy."
Smile at her, going into the workshop.
"You are the best
"Was there ever any doubt?"
She smirks back.
You see a lot of tables, metal tools, materials, smeltries… looks like this is indeed where the old lady must make her glass.
You spot that there is an anvil here… and that is very out of place. Why would a glassmaker need one?
I approach the anvil and gently push it testing the reaction.
'1d10'Roll #1 1 = 1
It has absolutely no weight to it. You doubt it is even made out of metal.
You knock it over, and it makes a loud clatter as it smacks into a tabble full of small glass parts.
Spectral Tears shoots you a glare.
"If you woke up the old hag I swear to…"
She stops when she sees that at least you discovered the trapdoor that leads down!
"Hey, how was I to know it was made of paper!" I say defensively and pull the trap door away.
"By being more careful!"
It's pitch black down there.
She takes the initative and climbs down, lighting it with her horn.
You only hear an impressed whistle from down there.
Jump down after her, I have to see this!
You jump down after her. No wonder she is impressed.
You see that there are dozens of tiny, glowing magic crystals encased in glass. You're not sure what they are, but they seem like they are just valuables that are being protected this way, since none of them are charged with magic.
"Empty shells… they could be filled with ANY magic, and they could reflect it, as if you just cast them… these things are worth a FORTUNE!"
She doesn't even look elsewhere, even though you see the old lady had much more going on.
The little underground space is full of racks of spears, swords, and even a few pieces of armor.
"We're splitting those right?"
'1d10' look over the rest for the most valuable.Roll #1 4 = 4
"Since you told me about this place, sure."
She opens up a bag and starts to carefully pack them away… you see she is only using her hoof, not her telekinesis.
You're not really a weapons expert, you don't see anything that is easy to carry and valuable. The overall value of all of these weapons must be huge though. It could outfit a small militia.
But how to move them.. and come to think of it, why does she have these?
Take my share of the crystals while I ponder the problem, carefully using my hoof.
You both take a fair share of the glass encased crystals, about a two dozens each.
When you two are done she looks around as well.
"Wow… that's a lot of heavy stuff to move."
"Yea.. I'm not really sure its worth it.." I comment.
"Isn't it a bit out of place thou?"
"It is… She is a decrepit old lady, she couldn't have moved all of this down here by herself, but the glasswork on these crystals definitely look like her doing. She must be working with somepony."
"I honestly don't think we
can move all this stuff with the two of us, not before morning at least.." I pick up a sword from the weapon stock, testing its weight.
It is a well crafted sword, with a good swing, but it is not a light little weapon like your daggers.
You couldn't carry more than one or two without slowing yourself down too much.
I shake my head and take this sword along.
"Lets get out of here, before she really does wake up."
"This is bounty enough for me."
She climbs out.
"Yea, its a good haul.." Let her go a bit ahead of me, lingering in the hallway after the glass workshop.
She leaves, not even wasting time and heading out the window the moment she is up.
"now how did this work again..
" I take out the apple grenade and twist it firmly, then lobbing it into her workshop.
You take it out from your bag and twist it.
It clicks into a solid shape after you do, which is your cue to run.
You are both outside the house now.
It is suspisciously quiet. Maybe something went wrong?
Spectral looks at you with a puzzled expression.
"Well? What are you waiting around for?"
Rush out after her. "You're right. Lets move now."
Try grabbing her and flying off away from the house.
She looks upset when you grab her pick her up to fly.
"Hey, what are y-"
You can't hear the rest of the sentence due to the ear-splitting, thunderous sound that comes from where the house used to be.
You can't resist and glance back, seeing parts of the roof flying up high enough they destroy several clouds, and a giant pillar of fire that makes the night sky look like it is daytime.
But cool guys don't look at explosions..
At least I saved the girl. Set us down a good distance away.
Guess that means you're not a cool guy.
Also, you are pretty sure the 'mess up the room' tier of explosive wasn't supposed to leave a smouldering crater of that size.
So much about just knocking out the dog too. And the old lady who was probably sleeping upstairs.
Spectral Tears looks at you shocked once you are both far enough away not to be seen.
"What the FUCK was that?!"
She is freaking out!
"…" I frown letting my head fall.
"I got rused, that's what that was."
"I gotta talk to somepony about this. Can you make it home?"
She looks you over.
"I… I will meet you in the inn. In a few days. Don't try to contact me before."
Her horn flares up and she slinks back into the shadows, disappearing.
"…" Time to head back to 'home base'
Focus on revenge
After feeling so hurt by this, you feel you travel back faster than ever before.
It barely takes reality a blink to reassert itself and form around you.
You are in the round room with the many doors.
Go straight over to the zebra doctor's lab.
You enter the lab. The filly is gone. You see Chell in one of the back corners, standing with her legs closed and her head kept forward, her eyes powered down, but you can hear her faint whirring.
The zebra is at a nearby table, examining a plate that he took from the leg of Chell, one that usually covers the place where her blade can emerge from.
He doesn't notice you, too busy looking at the metal plate with an eye-fitted magnifying glass.
Stand right beside him.
"So. A room
His ears perk and he turns to you.
"Oh, you are back! What room? You want to sleep? You'll have to ask Mirage about that!"
"No. Your explosive."
"Oh, yes, that! I might have made a teensy-tiny little mix-up, but by the time I realized you were already gone!"
"Ahuh.. Just a mistake. No like you wanted her dead.."
"Well, she was
techically making highly lethal arcano-tech baubles for the competition, so I will say I will not shed a tear for her. Speaking of which, have you recovered any of those? Little gems in glass shells."
He doesn't seem very fazed.
"You know those are really really valuable.. And I don't exactly get paid.."
He takes off his magnifying glass.
"Well, you could keep them, if you want so sell them. But if you want real payment, you should give them to me and ask Mirage to enchant some of them for you for…"
He waves his arm around.
"I don't know, whatever type of spell you want for them."
I smile just a little.
"Yes, that's a good idea, some kind of spell will make these sell for ten times the usual price.."
put all but one of the crystals on the table.
"Ask for something useful or valuable for me? She's not too fond of me, but I think she'd actually do it for you."
You sneak one of them away.
"Oh, she's just a bitch with everyone. If you tell her what you did, I'm sure she'll do it for you right away too."
"Eh.. I dunno you know her better, I also don't know what kind spells she even can do! Aside from the electricity one.."
He clears his throat.
"Actually, I know what you must be thinking of. Sudden pain in a specific region of your body?"
"I only wish I could recreate such an effect. With some quite painful experimentation with her help on me, I concluded she can activate certain pressure points in your skin to make you feel immense amounts of pain without causing any damage!"
He seems really awe-stuck by the idea.
"Oh, didn't she say? She is a witch and an enchantress. Give her enough time and she will cast any spell for you."
"Yea, she said that, but I'm no mage. I don't know what magic can do that would be worth storing to resell."
I frown a bit. "Anyway, I"ll leave these here, I have to check on something else."
"I will come up with something for you, don't worry."
He clicks his tongue with a smile then gets back to work.
Leave here and go back to ponyville.
You leave the shop and the mansion behind, quickly finding the teleporter back.
You find yourself in the Ponyville night soon after.
Where will you go? You do hear a bit of a commotion around town square.
Ignore that, and go toward the house of happy couple I sent on a date.
I need to check for evidence of the theft.
You quickly find the house of the two stallions. Apparently ponies in the middle of Ponyville feel so safe some of them don't even lock their front doors!
You enter into the dark, silent house. It takes a while for your eyes to get used to it.
'1d10' check the living room for places to hide things first.Roll #1 4 = 4
You look around but find nothing out of place.
A few spare coins lying around, but that is barely any evidence. The living room itself is very tidy and kept well, so there is no mess that could hide anything. No secret compartments in the drawers either.
What other rooms can I check?
Kitchen with a pantry aside from the big living room downstairs, and two guestrooms and their bedroom upstairs.
I think I should try the bedroom.. ponies love to hide things where they sleep.
'1d10'Roll #1 1 = 1
You check the drawers, only finding clothes.
The closet has nothing in it, seems like both stallions must have emptied it years ago.
You look around some more, even peeking under the bed.
Tissues, lub-Well, nope, no treasure hidden there!
…Maybe one of the guest rooms '1d10'Roll #1 2 = 2
You only find condemning evidence on the fact that at least one of them collects bugbear plushies.
I groan. This last room has to be it.
'1d10'Roll #1 10 = 10
Nothing here either.
Just about as are about to give up, the frustration of not finding anything, complete with what happened earlier manifests in such a strong frustration that you want to kick the air with your hindlegs, but accidentally kick into the wall, knocking off a simple painting with some flowers on it.
You reach down to put it back, but notice a crumpled letter hastily hidden between the canvas and the frame!
…Open the letter.
>>656002Listen you little shit I know you suspect things you should not know anything about
I wanted to make this clean, smoothen things out, let some scapegoat take all the blame
If you rat or so much as hint to the guards or anypony else, I will make sure I will hire the most ruthless hitmare in all of Equestria to kill him first before carving your precious little boyfriend up
Stay silent for a month or two and I will be out of your mane, otherwise the next thing you pawn in will be the bits and pieces of your stallion
It has no signature.
Aw geez, this is bad, If I take this note then they won't get it and they'd be unaware of the threat..
slide it back behind the painting and leave.
It was crumpled up, so it seems like one of them did
get it already, and hid it here for some reason. Probably to hide it from the other, since it is the back of some painting in the guest room where they musn't go much.
Well in that case I'll take it with me.
This is good stuff. Maybe we can match hoof-writing.
Time to go back to lockbox's place.
The moment you open the door she pounces you, grabbing your shoulders.
"KELANI WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!"
Her eyes look red and puffy…
Hold her tight in my wings, pushing away the tears with a hooftip.
"Oh.. did something happen? I found actual evidence!"
She holds you close and sobs for a while before she is collected enough to calm down and speak.
"I-I've been waiting for you, and you said you will go out and look for clues, and there was this explosion and I didn't know where you were and it is so late and I thought something happened…"
"I wouldn't get myself hurt in an explosion when I have somepony as sweet as you to come back too~" I kiss her tear stained cheeks.
She chuckles a bit, wiping some of her tears away with a hoof.
"L-Let's go sit down inside…"
I take the lead, opening the door for her.
"Yea, I can show you the clue I got, its a good one."
You lead her to the couch and sit her down.
"What is it? How? Where did you get it? I could barely get any information out of that sleazy bitch… I just know that she is planning a divorce, but that's it."
Sit beside her with a smile, kissing her neck and wrapping a wing around her.
"Take a look." I whisper and slide the note over with my other wing.
"The pawn shop worker is being set up by someone.."
She sniffles a bit, visibly a lot calmer now that you hold her.
She quickly reades the note.
"Oh my Goddesses… this is… this is very serious. Who could even write such horrible things?"
"I dunno.. we need sample of hoof-writing to match up to it. Or we could ask the happy couple about it.."
"That… I think if what this letter says is true, that might get them into trouble…"
She looks it over.
"It must have been for Hollow… that means Cinnamon might not even know anything about it."
"Well.. I could get Hallow Pumpkin alone and try to find out who it might have been.. or we could try to sneak a sample of writing from the wife?"
"You mean… you think Vita Belle might have written this?"
"I think she would benefit the most. Stealing all her husband's profits before getting divorced.."
"She would probably know where all the valuables were stored too… but three of her friends claim she was playing cards with them on the night of the thefts!"
"…Maybe we're missing someone.. Someone who would be leaving in a few months?"
"That could be anypony in Ponyville! How could we even find out?"
"Detective work is hard. But it sounds like our best lead is through Hallow, either watching him until the real thief shows up, or asking him directly."
"If you do ask him directly… be careful, okay? We don't know who might be watching him, and if they found out…"
She shakes her head.
"Do you think what happened tonight might be connected?"
"You mean the explosion.." Shake my head. "I don't think so, it doesn't make sense to threaten them with explosives and a note."
"Maybe we could find out what happened there too… bring to cases to the guards at once!"
"You think so?" Rub her side with my wing. "Stealing two cases from their lead detective isn't dangerous?"
"It's risky, but I don't know how else they are going to let me get in the force… I applied more than once, but they always refused me for some phony reason! Told me to stay a security guard! It must be the work of Ringing Bell… He is the pony who is in charge of that stuff, and he always tells me I'm sure to get in the next time I try, but it never happens!"
Look up at the ceiling and then back to her with concern.
"Yea. But. They aren't dumb, particularly not the Chief, if we overdo it then they could investigate and find out I was helping you, and then not let you on because it wasn't even all you
"You're not even a blip on the radar right now! And I do have a lot of free time, since there's not much to guard around here, not ever since that exhibition in the library was moved away!"
I sigh. "Look.. last time there was an explosion in ponyville, it was because of me looking into Brown Bark's disappearance.. I almost
lost my life looking into that, I don't want you taking too many risks. Particularly not without back up."
She freezes up a bit, staring at you.
"…what do you mean by that, Kelani?"
"I mean.. There are ponies that can make you disappear, just for asking the wrong question and.. I don't want that."
I suddenly hug her tightly. "Don't look into stuff like this, not without a team."
She hugs you back.
"Kelani… I have you at my back. I can defend myself. I need
to be a guard… I feel that it's… it's what I am meant to do. The calling of my cutie mark, my destiny!"
"You really.. give me too much credit. I'm not a fighter you know.."
Kiss up her neck and to her ear. "Are you sure we have to go now? Its been such a long day."
She seems to give in to your kisses and relax, but eventually resists, pulling away slightly.
"It's now or never, Kelani. Tomorrow everything around it will be closed down and we won't be able to go anywhere near!"
I stare at her for a minute and sigh stepping onto the floor.
"You really want to do this?"
She hops onto her hooves as well.
"Yes. I am determined. I will not be useless anymore. I will prove everypony I am just as good as everypony at the guards."
"Right.. hop on and.. whatever we find tonight.. I'll still have your back."
stand low and steady with my wings spread for her to climb on.
She blushes and climbs on.
"Oh… I've never rode a pegasus before…"
She is an earth pony… not fat, per say, but heavier than a pegasus or a unicorn. You can still fly with her, but it won't be too high or fast.
"I'll make sure to change that then~" Smirk at her and then take off into the sky, try to reach high enough for clouds, I bet she'd love to see them up close.
Luckily for you, there are some low sitting clouds in the sky tonight, ones that are usually perfect for napping and such!
She reaches out a hoof, but lets out a disappointed "Awww…" when her hoof passes straight through them.
She has no winged magic, after all.
"Maybe there is a spell that can help with that.." I comment and scoop just a little away with my hoof, forming it into a heart and letting it float next to us.
'1d10' heart-shaped nessRoll #1 1 = 1
"Neither of us are unicorns!"
You scoop away a small cloud piece, but it seems like you still didn't manage to calm down, especially with Lockbox being so adamant about this investigation. Your hoof shakes too much, and you destroy the cloud instead by accident.
"Um, are you okay?"
I laugh. "Yea, it was just a bit more delicate than I expected.. Usually those kind of clouds are great for shaping."
Sail on slowly toward the house.
"It's so weird, that you can tell them apart by glance… clouds are just clouds to me!"
You arrive in a few minutes.
There is a small crowd gathered nearby, with a few guards already here too.
"There's a lot of ponies already here.. how to you want to approach this?"
Are the guards all on one side?
Most of them are, only one of them is near the actual crater.
"Hmm… one of us distracts them while the other goes to take a look?"
"Okay, give me a moment.."
Land a little bit away and.
Disguise as a reporter pony '1d10+2'Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6
You quickly style your mane to look like an official and respectable manecut, getting out a little notebook while Lockbox gives you a pen.
"Oh my… you look different like this!"
"Aye, of course I do, I'm Rightwing Memo, the reporter on the spot, I ask all the hard questions about why the guard isn't doing more to protect equestrians, and why equestrians haven't picked up a weapon themselves."
I wink at her. "So, should I go talk to the one at the crater, or the big group?"
She thinks for a sec.
"The group. I think I can handle the lonely one if I need to."
The kisses you on the cheek.
Smile at her, touching her cheek with a wing.
"Anything to help you, beautiful."
Then march off to the group like I'm upset at them.
You see that Lockbox circles around in the meantime.
One of the guardmares holds up a hoof.
"Stop right there. This area is off-limits to civilians."
"Yea, just like the guard, Its off limits, you can't have that enchanted shield, we'll protect you.
Fine job you've done so far." Keep walking toward them.
You see one of the stallions reach for something with his magic… but it's not a sword, just a baton, which he uses to block your way. The mare speaks again.
, I am going to have to ask you again to stop! You cannot just enter a crime scene!"
Stop next to the mare with a raised eyebrow.
"Alright. Then I won't. I'll just ask you a few questions. Think you can handle it, or should I ask your boss..?"
"I am in charge of this field investigation tonight. I do not like that tone, either."
"Really? Well then Miss, do you know who caused the explosion?"
"That is the point of the investigation, sir. To find out what or who caused it. We have nothing certain at the moment."
"Is this related to any of the other incidents in ponyville? What about the explosion in the woods?"
"Sir, you must understand, we have only just arrived here. Of course, we will investigate every possibility. At the time we do not see a connection."
"Oh come on now, you wouldn't be put in charge if you had no ideas
, not even a hunch? This is just a tad weird, I mean an unprovoked attack on a citizen?"
"Classified information about the case will not be disclosed."
"Ahuh, so can you explain where the guards were tonight?"
"The Night Watch was patrolling their usual routes. The moment they heard the explosion, the came and made sure the area is safe, while also looking for suspects."
"Hmm, I guess its fair to say you can't be everywhere, only so many capable hooves."
I scratch down notes.
One of the stallions clears his throat.
"Who are you again?"
"Memo, Rightwing Memo, I'm working on a report for the Lion City Gazette." I say proudly.
"A report on what exactly?"
The mare hushes him.
"You should try to contact the station tomorrow for an official statement."
Look around them toward the crater. I hope that was enough time for lockbox..
You see that she is… actually talking with that stallion guard!
"Now, sir, as I said before, this area is off limits. Please step behind the line. We have enough trouble with this crowd as it is."
>>656194I need to try and do something else
"Okay, just one more question, would you say that these explosions could have been prevented, if the citizens had the tools to defend themselves?"
The mare sighs in annoyance.
"We do not even know the nature of these explosions. We cannot say it was a deliberate attack, therefore the laws about citizens and their rights to wield magical weapons without a permit has nothing to do with this."
Looks like she really hates this topic.
"If you don't know
how can you say for sure that it doesn't?" I put on a smug expression like I have her trapped with that question.
She opens her mouth to say something, scrunching afterwards.
"Official statement will be available tomorrow. Now leave."
You can see that Lockbox is already done!
"Yes Maim'." I reply keeping that smug expression on as I walk away into the crowd.
Then fly off to the side and wait a moment for lockbox to find me.
She shows up within a minute or so.
"Well, I got some information…"
She smiles with a blush.
"I uh… You gave me some confidence, you know and I… I actually managed to get the guard there to talk by trying to act cute!"
"Really? Tell me all about it!" I reply with a grin and undisguise myself. "We can even walk home and get dessert to celebrate your victory. There has to be someplace still open."
She giggles as you fix your mane and everything.
"Ponyville is a real small place… I think treats will have to wait for tomorrow… I do still have some vanilla pudding left at home!"
She nods, more to herself than to you.
"And yes, we can talk all about it once we are home…I promised to keep it a secret."
"That's fair." I slide a wing over her back with a smile and walk her home.
"Vanilla is my favorite kind of pudding anyway. You can add any kind of fruit to it, unlike strawberry or chocolate."
She leans onto your neck.
"I'm not sure if I have any fresh fruit right now… I don't think so. I always forget to buy them when I'm on my way home."
You get there in about ten minutes, and she quickly unlocks the door to let you two in.
I follow in after her, wondering what's got her in such a rush.
She seems pretty excited, practically prancing around!
"So… I managed to look around and talk a bit.. this thing, it was weirdly specific, wasn't it? And uncalled for, too! Who would do such a thing? But then the guard told me that there were rumors that she might have been experimenting with some weird magic… and I saw that the middle of the explosion was coming from where her workshop was…"
She takes a deep breath.
"I think I got it. I think she was making some kind of magical weapon, something went wrong, and she blew up her own house!"
My eyes go wide.
"Whoa, that actually sounds possible! Explosions come from magical items all the time right? I think you're onto something Lockbox."
"I just need some evidence, some magical residue or something that she made that remained in there, and I know I can prove it!"
"…You think something survived the explosion?"
"That's the problem… it barely left anything behind… but there must be some… magic, still left there, right? To detect it! Or if the rumors were true, we could find out whatever she was doing, and get our hooves on it!"
"Which rumors? And I'm not really good with magic stuff, but I can ask someone for a way-" I pause and check my pocket to see if I have that compass.
You do! It's still on you!
It seems still at the moment.
"The rumors about her making something magical… I'm not sure what…"
"We need a unicorn who is real good with magic."
"Right, we'd have to prove that there was something magical there."
I frown a bit, considering my options. "I actually have something, it only detects inactive magic, so I'm not sure if it would help."
"I… don't know. I think an explosion is a pretty active kind!"
"Yea.. We probably need something else.. I could ask the guy that made this but.. I'd rather not ask him for things right now.. Do you know someone?"
She sits down on her haunches, deep in thought.
"Hmm… I… Well, I know unicorns, but the only ones I know who could know spells like that are in the Watch…"
I sigh rubbing my head a bit.
"Well.. I can ask him, but.. what was that other idea, find something she made?"
"Yes… if we can find proof, something that is definitely the work of that mare… it could be evidence enough, with such a solid theory! I asked, they are completely in the dark about this!"
"Uh, maybe something like this?" I show her the crystal I snatched earlier.
Her eyes widen.
"I… wha… how… how, where did you get that? It looks… the glass, it looks just like something she used to make!"
"I found it just outside of the blast radius, near some broken glass. It looked special, so I picked it up."
I let her hold it, why not.
She carefully holds it in her hoof, looking at it from up close.
"Kelani… you are…amazing.
"Well, I have to be, to keep up with an amazing mare like you~" I nuzzle her neck.
"Now how about dessert?"
She canters to a drawer, very carefully placing the gem in a little box.
"Coming right up!"
She gallops out in the kitchen right after that!
I stare at the drawer for a moment, letting out a longing sigh, then go to the table to wait.
She quickly serves both of you a plate of pudding!
"Sorry, it's cold already… I actually made it while waiting for you, but… you know. All these things came up."
"Pudding is supposed to be cold? And did you say you made this, for me?" I smile at her and take a careful spoonful.
She flaps her ears down.
I actually like it warm, when I just made it… I mean, I know it is probably going to hurt my stomach, but I just can't resist it!"
"Well, not for you… for us
She looks at you with a hopeful expression.
"For us? I think I like the sound of that."
I eat a generous portion of my pudding all at once, humming like its the tastiest pudding in the world regardless of the actual flavor.
It's sweet and tasty, but nothing extraordinary.
The table shakes slightly when Lockbox cannot contain her squee and excitement and accidentally kicks the leg of the table at your response.
This is too adorable. I slide my chair and plate over next to her and put a wing around her.
"Its great. I'll have to try it when its warm, just to see if its even better."
She smiles at you, nearly forgetting about her food.
"I can get the stuff to make some for tomorrow if you want!"
"I'll get some fresh fruits to go with it." I offer in and enjoy peacefully eating with Lockbox.
You enjoy some peace and relaxation with her for the rest of the day before going to sleep.
You have strange… dreams?
Visions? You can't tell the difference.
You see the butterfly that is the sign of Mother Nature, fluttering around in your hometown…
It has been a while since I've been home..
I yawn as I wake up, yesterday was a full day, so I wound up sleeping soundly too. Of course having lockbox to sleep next too helped out with that too.
She is still asleep, cuddling to your side, one hoof over your chest.
Then, its my turn to breakfast, head to the kitchen.
You carefully slip out of her grasp.
Looks like you can either make a light salad or some pancakes, as well as some tea.
Pancakes and tea sounds like a nice breakfast, I'll put the water on and get everything out to mix the pancakes with. I wonder if Lockbox gets a paper, checking the weather is important before a long trip.
You check the mail and the door, but it doesn't seem so.
Ponyville has a ligth drizzle planned, by the looks of the clouds.
By the time you make breakfast, she walks out to the kitchen, rubbing her eyes with a yawn.
Put those plates on the table and slide beside her. "Good morning Detective
She chuckles and sits down.
"I could get used to hearing that…"
"I think you deserve it, you really took initiative on that explosion."
Take the first bite of pancake, all that cooking made me hungry.
"I bet you slept well, after all that."
"Yeah… I think I got the best sleep I had in some time… thanks to you!"
She starts digging in too.
"I slept very well too." I smile at her over the meal.
"You know, I was thinking I should go home, just for a visit, I've been away for a while now."
Her ears perk and her smiles fades a bit.
"Oh? How long will you be gone?"
"Its a day's flight, so probably a couple days." I see her reaction and put a hoof on my chin.
"But then it looks like rain, so maybe I should stay until it clears up?"
"That should be a few hours from now!"
"What ever could we do with a few hours together, I wonder." I smirk at her and scoot closer, finishing up my tea.
She quickly finishes her breakfast with a blush.
"Well we could…. cuddle
Leave the plates on the table and scoop up the mare, carrying her back into bed, for cuddling~
You spend a few hours of quality time with your cute little marefriend.
However, the clouds are cleared out by pegasi and the sun shines through the window again, telling you it's time to get going.
"Looks like they finished clearing the sky, I should go before the weather team changes their mind." '1d10' kiss her
Then get my bags and trot to the door.Roll #1 9 = 9
You could hear her heart flutter from the other side of Ponyville with that smooch, you bet.
She bids you bye-bye and sees you out!
Time to fly, but just until I'm out of sight, then I land behind a building and make sure no one is watching me..
You fly towards the general direction before hiding in an alley.
You are clear!
Time to hold the crystal, and focus on revenge
You quickly find yourself zapped to the circular room!
Nice, now there were a lot of portals here.. one of these has to be closer to home.
Los Pegasus is close enough!
You hear the voice of Mirage call out for you from behind as you are looking at your options.
I spin around to look at her, and run a hoof through my mane.
"Well, good morning, Lady Mirage."
"I have distressing news. We might have a rat in our midsts."
I step closer to her.
"You're sure? I mean, of course you are, you're a clear headed, strong, beautiful, and cunning mare. I bet you already know who even."
"That is the problem. I don't."
She narrows her eyes.
"So whatever you do or wherever you are going… know that you might be watched or even followed by our enemies."
"I was actually thinking of taking a break today, going home, looking around the old ranch." I stretch my wings out in an exsadderated flexing motion so they are flared out for whole minutes. "If you need me to stay around, help you with this rat business, I can do that."
"Wherever you go, just ask around the HQ there. They might have something for you."
"I suggest you finish your own business first though. We are all doing some extensive work."
She is unimpressed by you showing off your wings.
Poor mare must be cranky, she probably needs a massage.. put the wings away and take a step toward Los Pegasus.
"Alright, don't overwork yourself, I wouldn't want to come back to see you hurt.."
"Trust me, you won't."
Reaaaal cranky. She might need more than just a massage.
Probably a year-long spa treatment.
You step inside the door leading to Los Pegasus.
Sigh, and put the crystal into the slot.
Ponyville has a spa, right? Maybe I can get a gift certificate for her..
It does, as far as you know.
Solid ground and air to breathe disappear from you for an uncomfortable amount of seconds before you reappear in some sort of run down-brick building.
"Always the best locations, these transporters." I groan and look outside.
It's in the middle of nowhere, pretty much, south of Los Pegasus by the looks of it.
It looks like an abandoned, overgrown plot that hasn't been taken care of for decades.
There is also a crumbling wooden house nearby, but you probably should just go.
Yea. I'm just gonna fly toward home.
You spread your wings and take to the skies.
The winds themselves seem to carry you towards your goal, the sun caressing you tenderly with its warmth, and some songbirds even join you after a while, chirping at you happily!
You barely notice all the time passing as you get over Whitetail Woods first, and glance upon your hometown - Timberwolf Springs.
Veer to the left just slightly, so I can land right on my front porch.
You glide down and land in front of your house.
Ahhh, it's good to be back.
Your father is probably inside.
Boldly open the door, he never locks it unless he's gone for a long trip.
"Hey, Dad, I'm back."
There is a moment of silence…
But then you hear him.
"I'm here in the workshop!"
Trot back to the workshop.
"Working on something new?"
Judging by the look of his messy mane and feathers, he's been working all day.
"Just fixing up some of the tools. Long time coming, that was."
He puts down the hoe he was repairing and steps closer to give you a hug. Aww, the old stallion is getting sentimental in his age!
"Good to see you back, Kelani."
Hug him back, tight like a real stallion.
"Its nice to be home, those city mares were really wearing me out." Chuckle a bit.
He chuckles, letting you go and shaking his head.
"You don't have to tell me about that."
He takes a rag to wipe his hooves and wings.
"I know all about it."
Grin at him, the old stallion knows a few tricks yet I bet.
"Yea, they don't seem to know how to just relax."
"How have things been around here?"
"Slow. As always."
He sighs and walks past you, into the living room to sit down onto his comfy bean-bag.
He said he got it when he was young and couldn't imagine ever relaxing in any other chair or pillow.
"Crops are still suffering, of course. Even with the earthies, it's starting to become harder and harder. That's why we work more, all of us still here. Those who didn't leave already. Loads of houses are on sale, sitting empty now."
Sit across from him, I've never been particularly picky about furniture, none of it compares to a good cloud anyway.
"Sounds like things are getting worse quickly.."
He waves his hoof.
"It's just the first wave of panic. We'll sort this out, and some of the youngsters will move back here. Or some of those city folk will, for the cheap, to get away from the hustle."
"You're right of course. Things will get better." Then pause.
"Did you hear that Brownbark died?"
He pauses too, tensing up.
"Yes.. part of what the temple asked me for, was to look for him. I sent a letter back when I found out… He was murdered."
He shakes his head.
"I didn't get any letter."
He looks down.
"Murdered… that's… that is not something I thought would ever happen to anypony I know."
"..Yea, it surprised me too." I frown, there isn't any good way to deliver bad news I guess.
"What was it? Robbery?"
He shakes his head again.
"Someone has to break the news for his mother. She probably has no idea either. We haven't gotten any letters… not anypony, recently, which is strange."
"No letters?" I frown again, and think back to what I found out. "I'm pretty sure that's what the police report said. But it was pretty obviously a lie, no one saw anything like that happen.."
He huffs, waving his hoof dismissively again.
"Why would they lie to us about that?"
Shake my head. "Yea, you're right. It must be like they said, at least I couldn't find any evidence of anything else.."
"Horrible… simply horrible that something like this could happen…"
He shakes his head again.
"Anyhow, how long are you staying?"
"Not sure, a few days maybe. I have a feeling there is something else going on, with the mail being held up like that.."
"What makes you think it's held up? Maybe it just got lost, or the mailponies are having some sort of trouble."
"That's pretty reasonable too. I'd just like to be sure."
"You can feel free. At least you can stick around for a bit."
He stands up with a groan.
"Still, I got to work some of those trees."
"Heh, its always something, I'm gonna stop by the temple." I get up too.
"Take care. Just be back for supper."
"I will." I nod with a smile and trot out the door, there is really nothing like home, even the front steps are comforting to be around.
Ahh, yes. So many good memories, the very aura of the house makes you calm and relaxed…
So you're not sure why you have the feeling of being watched.
Then I should take a detour, and visit the town square, I bet one of the my friends is hanging out there.
'1d10' watch my back while I go.Roll #1 10 = 10
You see a pink pegasus… who seems to be barely older than sixteen? She seems to be following you… she is dressed in a very sleek black armor too, and if it wasn't for your keen senses and complete knowledge of town, she would do a great job of being hidden too.
On the main square, you see two of your friends, Daisy, the yellow stallion who will gladly rough you up (and did so in the past when you were colts) if you said his name was too girly, and Violet Lips, a mare who can grow the prettiest flowers in town, despite a lot of botanists and druids living here who are a lot older than her.
They both wave at you when they see you.
"Heeeeeey, if it isn't Kelani! Where have you been?"
"You didn't leave us to go try your luck in the big city, did you?"
News still seem to spread slow around here.
I laugh standing next to them, I guess the temple didn't tell anyone what was happening, probably didn't want a panic.
"You know me too well, I had to go see what those city mares were like someday after all."
Then turn to violet, "They don't have anything special, really."
Daisy snorts. "I could have just told you that if you asked! Without seeing!"
Violet chuckles, batting her eyes at you.
"Returning to your roots already, hmm?"
Brush Violet's hoof with mine. "Yea, I missed the flora here, you know in the city, some ponies don't have a single bloom in their home? Its simply dreadful."
Then reply to Daisy. "Its no good just to hear something Daisy, you've got to go see it for yourself."
"Speaking of, everything seems almost the same as when I left, what's been new around town?"
The earthie mare plays with your hoof back, gasping slightly.
"No way! How can they live their lives like that?"
Daisy shakes his head.
"Ehh, same old. Work is tough but you gotta' do it. Only problem is, it only ever gets harder. Ever since growing what we used to isn't what the traders were used to, some of them just stopped coming our way."
"They're really uptight about everything for one." I let my wing just unfold enough to touch her side, frowning at the news of the trade.
"Yea, my dad said the same thing, that some of the plants just aren't growing the way they should, those being the ones the traders wants too."
She slides closer to your side.
"Everything? How awful! I bet they are no fun at all!"
"He is right, but I'm not worried. This town has been through worse, and I'll bet you that no place you could visit will have a community as strong as this one!"
He smirks. He really doesn't know, or acknowledge, how bad things could get.
Smirk back at him, letting Violet slide under my wing.
"Yea, no way we can lose."
"Hey speaking of that, what about we get a team together for hoofball? If ya' aren't too tired from all that work that is."
Daisy shakes his head.
"Sorry bud, I'm tuckered out, but we can get something going tomorrow morning before work starts. I'll let some of the others know, too. You're not in a rush to leave, are you?"
"Nah, I'm gonna hang around for a few days at least."
'1d10' look for the pink mare again.Roll #1 10 = 10
He offers his hoof for a hoof-bump.
"Catch you tomorrow then! I gotta go and make sure my stupid brother doesn't set the house on fire or anything."
He leaves, and as he does, you take your time to look around. You cannot see the mare, only her eyes, staring at you, blending in to the shadows of a nearby large tree. She is goooood… but you are better. You've been doing this all your life, and even if she has too, you must have a few years of experience on her!
Violet snickers in your wing-hold as you survey the surroundings.
"Are you waiting for a date, looking around like that?"
Hoof bump my bro before he goes, and laugh a bit at the question.
"I'm just glad to be home, where I know everything, everywhere that little birds can nest too." Say the last bit with a stare right at those eyes in the tree. "Its so much nicer when the birds come out and sing for you."
At your words, you see the mare quickly disappear. Did she just… escape somewhere? You don't see her anymore, and you know all the hiding places.
"That sounds very romantic! Did you pick up some poetry books in the city too?"
"I heard a nice poem, sung on the street at night." Slowly walk around town with her, going past the relatively few buildings, looking for a one that's open, local diner/pub perhaps.
She leans onto your shoulder as you walk.
"Will you tell me, or just tease me with it, Mr. Big City?"
There is a great place here near the town center that is a restaurant that only uses ingredients that were grown here! It's still open!
"I think its about a girl." I lead us toward the restaurant slowly, taking time to deliver the poem with a song like voice.
"Mane of sliver. Coat of blue. Eyes that shine like the light of the moon.
Days go by without you, nights feel empty and my heart grows weak. I long for the time I can trot together with you."
You take your sweet time to lead her to one of the open tables outside.
She lets out an "Aaaaaaw." at your little poem presentation, waiting until you finish.
"If I had any of my flowers on me, I would throw them all at your hooves!"
"Your smile is all the thanks I need Lady Violet~" and before she can protest being called a lady, open the door for her. "Lets get a soda or something, its too warm out here."
She snickers, then grins mischiveously.
"Only a smile? You've lowered your standards since the last time you took me for a walk!"
She walks inside in front of you. You glance back, but there's still no trace of the pink mare now…
…I really doubt she just left, but if I go inside and she follows me it will be easy to corner her..
Smirk at violet.
"I'm not going to turn down your generosity~"
She sighs in an overtly dramatic fashion.
"I am afraid the moment of weakness where you could have gone for the kiss has passed!"
She sits down at one of the tables.
A waiter approaches the two of you.
"What can I get the two of you?"
Frown as if in distress about missing the kiss, but quickly compose myself.
"I'll start with a lemonade, what do you want Violet?"
"I can go for some AJ. A large glass, please!"
The waiter nods and heads off.
The mare in front of you leans closer over the table.
"I had some tasty flowers left for you that you never picked up before you left!"
"Really? How awful, to be stuck with too many flavorful petals." Lean towards her too, only glancing to side of the room for a moment.
"What did you do?"
"I was saving them for as long as I could, but I couldn't let them just wilt away forever, could I?"
As you glance to the side, you see the pink mare enter the door, casually strolling to one of the tables and hopping down! Now you can see she has an even brighter pink mane in pigtails, which is only more contrasted by that sleek black armor. She also has an emerald badge on her chest. She's totally pretending nothing is going on.
The waiter brings you your drinks before heading over to her.
"No, of course not." I sip on the lemonade as if genuinely interested, "Particularly since it was hoof grown by you."
Just keep an eye on her for the moment..
The mare rudely kicks her legs up on the table and leans back. You hear her say "Bring me… whatever is the tastiest, I don't really care."
Violet nods, not noticing or choosing not to notice.
"I am afraid of growing such pretty flowers ever since then! What if they don't get picked either?" Yep, she's still just teasing.
"I'm not sure its possible to grow prettier flowers, after all, every flower looks divine around you."
I move a wing closer but 'awkwardly' turn it and spill the drinks on us.
"Oh, I'm sorry, the long flight must have gotten to me."
Violet lets out a surprised eep at first, but then gives you a half-grinning, half-judging look.
"It's okay if that's the case, but if it isn't, you know we grew out of the 'oops I spilled the drink over you' trick years ago! You could have just said if you wanted to visit me!"
Out of the corner of your eyes, you can see the pink mare being very amused.
"Either way we have to get you cleaned up now." I scoot out from my chair and help the poor soaked mare up with an innocent smile.
She rolls her eyes and stands up, leaving a few bits on the table.
"My place is closer, come on, you big oaf."
Still, she can't help but smile as she starts to leave with you.
The pink mare is sipping her drink, looking you in the eye as you stand up from the table.
"I'll meet you there, Promise this time." Kiss her cheek and stay behind at the table.
She seems a bit confused, but the promise and the smooch on the cheeks seems to be enough for her.
Once she leaves, the pink mare actually laughs at you, still sipping her drink.
Go sit down with Miss pink.
"Hey, you seem familiar. Do I know you from somewhere?"
"I don't know, do you? That depends on what you do for a living."
"I'm an aspiring detective, what about you?"
"Oh, you know."
She sips on her drink again.
"Killer for hire."
"Oh, aren't you a little young for that kind of work?"
"I do it well enough. Better than a lot of others, actually."
She points at the emerald badge.
"No wonder I'm at the top of the food chain."
Lean closer to look at the badge, but really look for any other clue about who she works for.
"Hmm and, are you here for work?"
The badge does have something engraved into it.Emerald Mercenary Company
"A bit of work, a bit of relaxation. It's both for me, really."
"Now, who's worth hiring an expert mercenary for, in this town?"
I should get out more, I don't think I've heard of this Emerald Mercenary Company..
Then again, you never needed to hire mercenaries to protect a caravan or kill ponies.
"Oh, there is always somepony worth killing for somepony else. It's just a matter of connecting the dots and getting the money."
"Alright, then why are you following me around? Something in my mane?" I flip through my mane roughly, as if I was hiding something there and see her reaction.
She doesn't seem very concerned.
"Oh, I just needed to know exactly where you live. And distract you while a friend
of mine finishes a job she started in Ponyville."
I look more confused momentarily then smirk.
"Oh, I got it, your friend wants to visit me, tell her to come by anytime, I'll be happy to see her."
"Who said anything about you? You weren't the only pony from here in Ponyville."
"Well, you did
just say you wanted to know where I lived. Didn't you?" Then shake my head.
"Maybe in a few years I can take you there personally.."
She breaks out into laughter which lasts for several seconds.
She takes a few breaths to calm down.
"Oh, fuck, you know, the best part about that was that you really believe that you will live for a few more years."
"Hey, you're really cute when you laugh like that."
"Now, uh, would you mind telling me about the Emerald Mercenaries? I'm from a tiny town you see, never had contact with deadly mares before."
"Let's just say we are the best at what we do, and if you want a job done, you hire us. It's only mares… but the best of us are."
She stands up from the table.
"Anyway, I've got places to be. I am sure the others are done by now, but if not, I'll gladly help them. Try not to snoop around too much, unless you want to join your friend… uh, whatever his name was, I don't really care."
"But Pink Rose pony, If I snoop around, I get to meet ponies like you." Slide out with her.
"Sounds worth the risk. Doesn't it?"
"Call me that again and you might lose some important parts… but since you probably won't live long anyway, I'm Lollipop, if you really need to know."
She turns around at the door.
"Go and frolick around with your friends or something. We can always just kill them instead of you if you are such a risk taker!"
She flashes you a cutiesie smile before leaving.
Well.. Nature wanted me to come back here, whatever happens in ponyville isn't my fault, no matter what that kid says.
And I have a date to keep. Go to Violet's house.
You clear your conscience and fly over to the house of the mare you've know for a long time.
She even left the door slightly open for you!
She must have really missed me. Head inside quietly and look around for her.
She is lounging on her couch, her coat still damp from a shower she must have taken as soon as she got home to get the drink you spilled on her out of her fur.
"Did you stop to have dinner before coming here, hm?"
"No, I just had an errand.. but I think we can skip dinner and go straight for dessert~" I smirk at her and slide next to her on the sofa.
…dinner, what time is it anyway?
She leans onto you the moment you d-ooooh, she did that on purpose, sliding her cold hoof over your shoulder to make you shiver.
"I hope you brought dessert then to make up for all that!"
Wrap my wings around her, half drying her and half keeping her close. "I have something creamy, and filling, you could have."
Kiss her neck and whisper. "But I think you're the sweet one here."
She giggles, running her hoof over your barrel.
"Oh, you know me, I'm not picky at all~"
In a confident smirk I use my wings to roll us around so she's on top and super lewd thingswith Violet Lips
'5d10'Roll #1 2, 6, 3, 8, 1 = 20
She doesn't waste any time to Woah there, boys and girls, that is not something you can show in a quest! What if a young goat wandered over here and read all this naughty text? She would be scarred for life! That is why Granny Buttermilk will now put some preventive measures here to make sure that cannot happen!
It may start off slow, but once she starts to Have this intermission music to help ease you through this time of distress. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNFOauC0UxA
It's really good intermission music. Like, the typical things you'd hear in an elevator. The genre is actually bossa nova, in case you are wondering, but everyone just calls it elevator music. What if you want to play this type of stuff but there are no elevators though, how would you explain it? Now you can, you can just call it bossa nova.
Despite everything, soon enough it's time that you Viola, know as violet is a genus of flowering plants in the violet family Violaceae. It is the largest genus in the family, containing between 525 and 600 species. Some Viola species are perennial plants, some are annual plants, and a few are small shrubs. A large number of species, varieties and cultivars are grown in gardens for their ornamental flowers. In horticulture the term "pansy" is normally used for those multi-coloured, large-flowered cultivars which are raised annually or biennially from seed and used extensively in bedding. The terms "viola" and "violet" are normally reserved for small-flowered annuals or perennials, including the species.
All in all, you had better, but it was still nice.
I make sure she's comfortable in bed
before cleaning up and heading to the temple.
She is all nice and comfy, and you get a quick shower before heading off to the temple, the structure inside the largest tree in town. It's almost night now, the sun having already dipped below the trees, the light only weakly penetrating the foilage now.
You see Faun, the Head Druid, the one that sent you on your quest, very gently and carefully cleaning the leaves of some sapling trees that are planted into pots, having taken them inside for the night to protect them from the cold.
"Hello, good day Master Druid." I greet him formally, more so than usual I guess.
"Do you have a moment to talk?"
He nods and smiles at you, stepping away from the tiny trees.
"Of course, Kelani. It is good to see you return safely. The leaves have whispered to me that you already made progress on the path Mother Nature has set you upon."
"I did, and I.. felt I should return." I check my bag for the bunny statue, but don't pull it out yet. Check to see if I was followed first. '1d10'Roll #1 9 = 9
"Most peculiar… She did not warn me of your return. Yet, she might have wanted you back here for some other reason that is beyond my understanding. I am sure the answer will come to you in time."
You check the statue, it is safe and sound in your saddlebag…
And a quick glance tells you that you weren't followed this time.
"I found something odd about the statues." Show him the bunny statue. "You see how its laying down? Its supposed to be upright."
He narrows his eyes, deep in thought for several seconds, before closing them and nodding.
"Ah, yes, of course. As the legends say, to show the true power of these relics, one must awaken the sleeping first, the spirit that resides in each and every one of these statues."
"I know that the way is different for each one.. But how can I guess them? IS there another legend?"
"You can guess, but back then, it was several ponies, not just one…"
"Hmm, yes, you might need help. And I know just the pony even though he is quite… peculiar."
"Really? Another druid from the temple?"
He smiles, shaking his head.
"If only it was so simple. As the statues scattered all over Equestria, so did the knowledge that surrounds them. Many druids died before they could pass it along, and many of them did not have anypony to pass it onto."
He steps to a nearby sapling, gently lifting one of the branches with a hoof.
"Yet, as there are druids who can commune with the animals and plants of nature, there is a pony who has the ability to pierce the veil of time, and see the past and the present of others."
"Oh?" Follow him curiously. "Who is this pony?"
"His name is Open Book. He lives in a solitary library to the northeast of Vanhoover."
"Solitary library? Sounds like a bit of a loner, how do you know he will he help me?"
"He likes to help ponies, but just in case he needs something more…"
The Head Druid slowly starts walking, to one of the chests that are covered in vines, the very chest made out of the roots of the tree, and opens it gently… he takes out a tome that must be hundreds of years old, a prized book about how to tend to trees, written by hoof by one of the very first druids to settle here.
"Take this to him, as a gift. There is nothing more we can learn from it."
I cautiously accept the book, hoovering a hoof over its pages.
"What's this book about Faun?"
"Oh, it is a lovely read. It is the journal of Steady Sprout, a druid who took care of the very tree you are standing in when it was just a sapling. He discovered how to listen to what a tree wants to say, and how to not only nourish, but truly cherish them with love so they may be the pride of ponies and nature alike."
I smile at him.
"I might have to take a look before I hoof it over then."
"Now.. Things are really getting kind of bad here.. would having an awakened statue here help? I think in the vision it required them all.."
"Feel free to do so!"
He walks to your side.
"I am afraid it would not. We do everything we can to stop the spread, but it proved to be harder to contain than we guessed. Still, Mother Nature did not leave us on our own. With Her help, we managed to grow some special roots that sacrifice themselves, so that other plants can grow."
I cringe a little.
"That can't be easy. I'm sorry, I just need more time, the statues are spread pretty far out.. And this whole thing is actually dangerous."
"…Did you know that Brown Bark was murdered trying to look into somepony who owned a statue?"
You see his face fall, and you are almost sure he is blinking back tears.
"Yes, I know of it… my deep connection with Nature made me suspectible for forming links with ponies in this town, and I have felt the pain when that connection was severed."
"…" Offer the old druid a hug.
"I'm sorry, they ruled it as a mugging gone wrong, I sent a letter.."
He doesn't say it, but you can feel from his shaking body how much he appreciates the support.
After a few moments he lets go, wiping his eyes.
"As a druid, one must quickly learn the rules of Nature. The strong prey on the weak, and we cannot do a thing about it."
"Its not an easy thing to accept." I frown in a sort of disturbed quiet rage.
"Still someone should tell his family.. I wonder why they didn't send his body here, I told the police where he was from.."
"I should have, I know it, I should have when I first felt it, but I did not possess the courage to do so. I could not face another grieving parent."
He shakes his head.
"…I understand, I didn't know Bark that well, but I can go deliver the news for you."
"Please. You would help me a great deal."
"Alright, they live in that house with the red fence still?"
"Yes, at the edge of town."
"I'll go there right away." Nod with conviction and trot out towards the door.
"Be safe on your travels, Kelani!"
You leave. Night has already fallen, and there is a wind that chills you slightly as you exit the large tree.
Dad is gonna kill me.. but I got to do what I got to do.
Fly to the edge of town and to Bark's house.
You see that some of the lights are on inside. Their dog is nowhere to be seen, though… strange.
Its probably just inside, or running around somewhere, dug under the fence again.
Go up to their front door and straighten up a little then.. knock.
You get yourself to look presentable and… nothing.
Not even a sound.
Maybe they just fell asleep? look in the window.
Well, it's dark in the kitchen and the bedroom… you see light from the living room seeping under the doors, but you can't see what's inside.
Tap on the window a few times and try calling out. "HEY! ARE YOU IN THERE?"
…still just silence. This is getting a bit worrysome. They would have heard that for sure, even if they were sleeping!
Okay. Open up a window and fly inside.
You open the kitchen window and fly inside.
Still, the only light is coming from behind the door of the living room.
I suppose Its too late for stealth, just hoover over to the living room.
You fly over and open the living room.
You stop in shock, this was not what you were expecting.
Inside the room there are three ponies.
One of them is Lollipop, the pink mare from before, lounging on the couch.
In the hoofchair, there is a unicorn stallion, his horn shimmering with magic, wearing a strange cloak and the same emerald badge that the mare is wearing.
The third of them, standing stoicly, is the most terrifying. Tall and elegant, wearing an ever-present frown of silent judgement, you see a light-tan Saddle Arabian mare, slightly curved, sharp blades on each of her forehooves, jutting out at the side, as if they were some deadly fashion accessory… this must be the one who killed Brown Bark!
The pink mare grunts and throws a small bag of coins to the stallion.
"I told you he would show up, did I not?"
The Saddle-Arabian says nothing.
"Uh." Back away.
"I think I have the wrong house!"
The stallion stares you down.
"I suggest you sit down and have a chat with us. You know you cannot outrun us, so why risk your life? We would have killed you already if we wanted."
"…Okay." Sit down in the living room with them. "What's on your mind?"
You're not sure what is more unnerving, the grin from the pink mare or the emotionless stare from the Saddle Arabian.
"Now, as sad as it is, the poor parents of Brown Bark have been visited by an Angel so they could be reunited with their son. I hope you don't mind that you found us here instead."
"…I don't really understand the reason, his parents weren't involved."
Lollipop chimes in, kicking the air lazily with one of her hindlegs.
"Oh yeah? And you aren't involved either, right? With a certain Witch?"
She almost spits the last word out.
"A witch? Now that's strange. I heard that's who you were." I nod at the Saddle Arabian.
Her only reaction is to raise one of her eyebrows at you.
The unicorn stallion speaks up.
"You must be very mixed up with the concepts."
"Then help out here, who exactly are you?"
The mare chimes in.
"Oh, we are only in it for the money. Picking up the trash, and all that."
The stallion nods.
"But this Angel over here is not with us. She serves the stallion who pays us. The one that your little boss wants to desperately kill."
"Apparently, he doesn't want you dead. Not yet, anyway. Bummer, I'd have loved to watch her gut you."
"What we are saying is, try not to get wrapped up in more business that does not concern you. We are not mindless killers, we have hearts too. But once you lose the grace that keeps you alive now…"
"Swwwhiiing! You'll be joining this family too!"
During all this, the Saddle Arabian doesn't say a word. She doesn't even bat an eye.
I frown. "Come on give me a break, I just asked that mare for one little favor, she didn't tell me all this stuff."
"Oh, you think we don't have sources?"
"Or did you miss the fact that I have been reading your mind this entire time? I know everything now, Kelani, thanks to you. One little favor, and all you had to do in return was organize the destruction of one of our ammunition factories in Los Pegasus. But you're not wrapped up in this, are you?"
I face hoof at myself and try to keep my mind focused on.. Earlier this evening, and how fun that was.
"Oh, I get it, you wanted a tip.."
You try to think of lewd thoughts to distract yourself and create a barrier around your mind.
"…feel free to think about that all you want, but it's a bit late now."
"Yeah, thanks! You can scoot along now, and hope you never meet any of us again!"
"Otherwise we will not be so kind, I'm afraid."
"…." I winch visibly and go off in defeat.
You hear that fucking pink pegasus mare even laugh at you as you do…
Maybe Mirage won't know?
Maybe you should have gone back to your dad earlier…
…I messed up today.
Just go home.
At least it can't get any worse….
You go home and find your dad sitting at the dining table, looking at an old photo.
"Hey dad.. Sorry I'm late." I say with a heavy voice and sit down next to him.
He shakes his head.
"It's fine, don't worry… it gave me some time to think."
"Oh? What's that picture you've got?" Curiously look over his shoulder at it.
He puts it in front of you so you can see properly.
It's an old, faded picture of a pegasus lady… her colors are a bit familiar… but what strikes you most is that her eyes look like they are made out of gems.
"This picture… it's a picture of your mother."
My wings perk up from the droopy state and my eyes get wide.
Put a hoof on the picture's edge, as if to confirm its real.
It is very much real, yes.
Your dad has his ears flattened to his head, his wings drooping down.
"Yes… I… you were old enough. I should have told you about her sooner."
"I just didn't know how, after all these years."
Soak in the picture for a long moment of awe before looking back at dad. "What happened to her?"
"She just… she couldn't…"
He takes a deep breath.
"Listen, Kelani… don't take this the wrong way, but… I had to raise you alone, and it is not your fault."
She is REALLY unique! To know she's your mom, that smile makes you feel like a kid again…
"But it's not my place to tell."
He points at the picture with a hoof.
"Her adress is on the back of that, or at least the one she had when you were born…. keep it, if you want."
I flip the picture over and look at the address.
"Thanks for showing me dad.. I.."
"Do you have any dinner left? I forgot to eat actually."
It seems to be an adress at Baltimare.
"What have you been up to anyway?"
He stands up from the table to bring you a plate of veggies.
"I ran into some friends of mine we caught up a little, and then I went to the temple.. It just wound up taking all evening." I scratch my head still staring at the picture even as my hoof drifts toward a fork and tries a bite.
You poke your lip with the fork a bit, but you don't even care.
"I'll… leave you be. You must have a lot to think about. Sorry for not telling you all these years…"
He clears his throat.
"Your room is just like you left it, don't worry."
You can't stop staring even if you wanted to… those pretty eyes, that charming smile, that confident pose…
Even without knowing her, you know you must have inherited a lot from her.
"She looks so smart.. And those eyes.."
I kind of mindlessly eat at the meal until I hear it scrape the plate which snaps me out of my trance.
On one hoof, the food is all gone, on the other, you are no longer hungry.
Your father isn't even in the room, either.
Just imagine what she can do with a gaze if a picture could do this!
Then I should put up this enchanting photo and clean up my plate.
You put it away safely, making sure to treasure it like the gem it is, before quickly cleaning your plate and cutlery.
By the time you are done, you feel a yawn coming up…
Then its time to sleep.
Head to my old room, I could get there in my sleep even.
You stumble sleepily into your room and fall into bed.
You don't even realize how much you slept until you wake up to the sun shining in your window and the birds chirping outside.
I stretch and look outside my window.
Well, the world hasn't ended yet, so your fears from yesterday didn't really come true.
It seems to be a nice day out, actually, you can feel the warmth just by glancing outside!
I'll go look for dad, I have so many questions
You find him working the garden outside.
You almost wish you got this trait of rising early from him…
That would have been nice, but this way he's not busy.
He stops and turns to face you.
"Ah, good morning, Kelani. Sleep well?"
"Hmmhm, I feel great today." Trot around to look at the garden.
"So.. did she like the garden?"
Despite all the troubles with the soil you know of, the flowers and veggies still look great.
He shakes his head.
"She was always more of the… in the clouds type."
"What was her special talent?" Touch one of the flowers gently and look at him with excited eyes.
He scratches the back of his head.
"She was always very good with ponies… calming them, especially. Like a nurse."
"Really? Did she work as a nurse?"
"Not as far as I know… but I know she loved helping ponies, whenever she could. I bet she does so to this day."
My smile gets bigger. "Really? Did she worship Celestia or Nature?"
"She was very much a follower of Nature, but she respects both the Sun and the Moon too."
"And what about her eyes? I've never seen anything like that."
"It is her heritage. You see, her line traces back to some mystical pegasus sky-city I could never remember the name of… they say everypony had eyes like that there."
"Really? That's incredible."
"Was it like Los Pegasus? All made of clouds?"
"They say even Cloudsdale cannot compare with the glory of that city."
"But maybe it's just an old mare's tale. We can't know for sure, can we?"
"No.. I guess not, and being clouds it wouldn't have ruins."
frown a little. "Where did you meet?"
He leans onto his tool.
"In Baltimare, obviously. At the beach. I still remember it to this day…"
"Everything about her sounds like a story book.."
"Well… she's not perfect. Not even close. But you'll know how a stallion gets when in love."
"Heh, I can tell."
"Didn't mean to bombard you dad, just.. There is so much I don't know about her."
"Believe me, there is a lot I don't know either… and a lot only she can tell."
"I'll be sure to ask, when I track her down." look up at the sky dreamily.
"I supposed that you would… and I don't blame you for it. Just be sure to be ready for it… I have no idea how it must feel, but I know it won't be easy on neither of you."
"Wait.. hard on her? Why did she leave?" I look confused.
"It's…complicated. But she will be able to explain it to you better than I could."
"When's the last time you even saw her.." I frown a bit.
"…she visited once. You were still small. You couldn't have known it was her. I was talking to her in the kitchen… you just went out to play. Found the adult stuff too boring."
I nod slowly. "I think I remember.. it was in the afternoon, and one of my friends had a new ball to play with, I just had to get there before they deflated it,"
I chuckle softly to myself. "but I stopped to look at you two the light seemed like it was shining weird on her.."
He smiles a bit too.
"I'm sorry I couldn't tell you."
"I'm going to see my friends for a bit, don't let those weeds wear you down too much." Pat his shoulder with a smile you just can't keep down.
He gives you a quick hug.
"Off you go. Take care out there in the big world."
Fly off to the field to play some ball, after all that happened, I could use the break.
You take some time off of the day to play with your old friends, having a jolly good time until the early afternoon!
Great! Now if only there were a fast way to talk to those..
How close to I have to be too the return spot for this crystal to work anyway?
You're not entirely sure.
Los Pegasus is still rather close though, just an hour or two.
Or you could let the currents take you to Tall Tale over the mountains in about an hour, you saw a door with a teleporter leading there too, you're not sure where the spot for that is however.
Its a mountain, so elevation is probably a factor.. But I might as well try it.
Take a short water break and fly toward Tall Tale.
You drink some water to refresh yourself, and fly up high, letting the air currents carry you. Luckily, they carry you over the mountain, and you see some villages down below, but there is probably not much there for you to stop for.
You already see the tall buildings of Tall Tale in the distance, and after some more gliding, there you are!
I land and look around, what kind of places are there here? Any suspicious ponies?
'1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
Not any more suspiscious than you are used to. Or they are just hiding it well!
Judging by the earlier teleporation spots though, you might want to go to the harbor, the poorer part of the city.
I will walk there, and look over the fish stalls while checking for a building that looks rather abandoned.
The fish stalls smell like
, full of fresh wares, and while there are quite a few run-down buildings, your sneaky senses guide you towards the one with the broken roof and barred windows.
Poor ponies, at least the waterside view must be worth it, open the creaky door and slide inside.
It's old and dusty, only having broken furniture inside, and some rags that probably belong to very unfortunate ponies who spend the night here.
Time to try the crystal.
Focus on revenge
You feel the dizzying, unhealthy sensation of the world being ripped away from you, and find yourself in the mansion.
Hurry inside, they could be in trouble.
The torches are all dimmed. You don't see anypony.
The only light you see is a pale blue one coming from the lab.
Okay, time to walk slowly down there, being as silent as possible.
You creep down to the lab, only to find it empty.
Only Chell is here, eyes closed, her front open, the blue heart-like gem inside of her glowing brightly, with all kinds of wires connected to it.
When you enter, you hear a voice from inside the metallic body… but it's not like her voice. It's a real voice of a mare, a bit distorted.Log number… I don't even know. It doesn't really matter. I deleted all the previous ones. I didn't want anypony to hear my hysterics…
I don't know if there is anypony going to be listening to them anyway. Plus all the research in it was for nothing. I fucked it up. I had to start over, but I don't have much more time. Everypony relies on me. I'm not sure I can take it, this responsibility.
I will document the new spells I tried into one of the library archives.
There is a click and it stops.
Maybe if you wave at the light again, it will play another?
"…" Wave at her heart.
The voice comes back, much more tired.Log number one more than the last. I have been up for three days now, trying to find a spell that will prevent the Gate from opening. So far I could only delay it. That's something. But I'm going to keep trying, whatever it takes. I just need one spell for it, one! I think the others know I can't really do it… they are preparing for war, fortifying everything, but that won't matter. Once that thing is open there is no way of sealing it. The entire North will fall. If there was a way to go back in time, that would be the best, just preventing this whole thing, not trying to one-up Equestria in a war that never happened with a weapon of this power…
There is a weary sigh.Even the seals now are flawed, and need constant maintenance. It seems to be stable but, I don't know what happens if only one of them breaks down, I don't even have the power to fix the all by myself, I just… I..
You hear a distrorted sobbing.I just don't want it all to be for nothing. Everyone will die, I know it… I spent all my time here! I didn't visit my family, I didn't spend any time with my friends, I didn't enjoy our last moments… I'm so scared that it didn't mean anything because I thought I could save the world!
There is a click again.
I put my hooves on Chell's side, staring intently at the heart.
Then take a breath and try waving again.
This time, you hear some sort of static, and the sound is much more distorted. You hear some strange rumble in the background, as well as the sound of spells exploding, weapons clinking together, and worst of all, the screams of ponies and unearthly bellows of… somethings.It's ..lys… Oh my ……. it's really happening! They are here! The ..als broke! The King told ev…ony to fall back to the throne room! He is going to …e a last stand… we are d…med… I'm so scared! I'm so sc….d … Chell, come on!
It ends abruptly.
" Shake her, wave in front of the heart multiple times.
She remains in her dormant state.
That must have been the last of them.
Pull myself together, that stuff already happened.
I need to look around for signs of the doctor. Perhaps check the room where the filly stays.
You approach the door…
She did tell you never to go there though.
That's just what girls always say when they want you to sneak in later, duh.
Open the door.
You remember that small compass was showing dormant energies in this room.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YLRf6BU-YY
When you enter, you understand why.
There is a constant humming of magic gems and machines, all connected to something in the middle. It is a large, egg shaped vat, filled with some sort of jelly like red fluid, the only thing that is giving light in this room, aside from the gems that power this thing.
In the middle of that pod you see a small colt, who can't be older than ten, without any fur covering his body, his skin showing all over. Tubes and wires go inside his body all over, his back, his side, while one is covering his muzzle. The colt himself is curled up into a fetal position.
You feel something stir… and see a butterlfy flutter onto the vat. Mother Nature is trying to tell you something… from how this looks, you wouldn't be surprised if she even spoke to you through that butterlfy.
Carefully I fly up to the butterfly, offering it a hoof and whispering "What is all this?
Instead of flying to your hoof, the butterfly spreads its wings and turns into a colorful dust. Out of that dust, a shape of a mare forms, an ethereal apparation of Mother Nature's avatar. She sits on the vat with her hindlegs crossed, looking at the colt inside with a pitiful gaze, caressing the glass. Without looking at you, she speaks.
"This poor little one is in a great deal of pain, and while his time has come already, he is left here to suffer. Near Ponyville, there is a beautiful grove of flowerbeds. Bring him there to me, so he may know peace."
I stare at her and then the colt, gulp, and then nod.
"If that is your will dear Goddess, then I will see too it."
She caresses the glass a few more times before she disappears.
You hear a high pithed voice from behind you.
"YOU! WHAT… I TOLD YOU NOT TO COME HERE! WHY DID YOU COME IN HERE?!"
You see the little filly Constance rush to you, and she starts wailing on your side with her hooves. It doesn't really hurt… but she is clearly upset.
Shiiit, turn around and pat her head.
"I was really worried when I didn't find anyone, did you go out for lunch?"
She brushes your hoof away, ignoring your questions.
You can see that tears are starting to flow down her cheeks, and she jumps halfway up to the vat, trying to shield it.
"You weren't supposed to see him like this! Nopony was!"
Try to wipe her tears away.
"What about the doctor?"
"He helped me build this, to keep him alive, but even he didn't come in here after that!"
She lets you, finally, her rage burning out quick, only leaving misery.
Slowly try to hug her.
"Hey its okay. Did you try to ask him about it?"
She lets you, sniffling.
"Ask him about what?"
"Uh, to come check on this? On you? It doesn't seem right for you to deal with this alone."
"I-It's all my fault, so I have to be the one who fixes it! Who helps him! I can deal with this! I just need more time!"
"Sometimes, these things can't be fixed. No matter how skilled the pony."
She gives you a dangerous look.
"GET OUT! Get away from me! Go! Just… go!"
"No.. How long have you been working alone on this? "
"Ever since I did it! I… I mean, it was an accident, I swear!"
"…You did.. I see. You don't have to tell me what happened, if you don't want to."
"Well… I don't! I just want you to leave us alone! Like I told you to!"
Shake my head then staring at her eyes.
"I'm not going to do that. When I said you didn't have to tell me, its because it doesn't matter how this happened, what matters is what happens next."
"W-What do you… well.. of course, I am going to fix this! Fix him! Help him! Somehow… I just got to find a way!"
"What if you can't?"
She snorts and stomps angrily, headbutting your knee in her anger.
"How dare you! Of course I can! And if I can't, I will find somepony who can't, and if they don't want to, I'll make them!"
Let her do, don't even flinch.
"How much is your machine hurting him in the meanwhile?"
"It's… H-He is sedated! He won't remember any of this! He will just wake up right as day!"
"You don't sound sure." I frown. "Keeping him in this state, barely alive and drugged so he can't move or remember, he must be hurting a lot."
"What do you know! I'm the scientist, not you! You don't know anything! He will be fine, I just need a bit more time…"
"I know that you made a mistake, that you're trying to make up for it by doing this, that you could waste your whole life trying to do something impossible, out of guilt."
"I know you aren't asking for help, because of that guilt, because you know too.. the truth.."
Her mouth starts to weaver a bit, and you see tears form at the edge of her eyes.
"B-But… I have to… it's not right… it shouldn't have been him…"
"It already happened.. No matter how much anypony might want too, the past can't be undone.." step closer using a wing tip to catch the tears.
She starts quietly sobbing.
"But… The Doc said we can do it… I don't… I don't want to lose him…"
Slide a hoof around her to embrace her in a half hug. "And do you believe he still thinks that?"
She sniffles again between sobs.
Hug her more closely, my head over her shoulder and letting her sob into my fur.
"Then.. Do you know what has to happen?"
Instead of answering, she just holds you tighter and hugs you closer, sobbing even more, her tears staining your coat with wet spots.
I let her cry, patting her head occasionally, maybe minutes, maybe an hour, but when she settles down a little I whisper to her.
"I know a place, a flower grove near ponyville, he could find his peace there."
You are not sure how much time passes… but it doesn't really matter.
She lets you go, without a word, wiping her face.
With her head hanging low and her ears flattened, she goes to the end of the strange vat, and after pressing a few buttons and pulling on a lever you hear a hissing sound, and the vat starts to empty the red fluid down a drain, opening the pod up.
Give her a tiny nod of encouragement.
Wait until she actually needs help.
She slowly, very carefully, almost tenderly, starts to remove the myriad of cables and tubes from the body of the colt.
She frowns when she gets to the last one, a large one that is connected to the spine… with a wince, she tugs it out, revealing it ended in a long spike, and even the unconcious body of the colt lets out a pained gasp before returning to the labored breathing that he is capable off now that the mask is off of his muzzle.
Slowly and silently go to them, offering my hooves to carry his body.
She nods, whispering an almost inaudible 'thank you' as you offer to carry him.
She quickly rushes to find a blanket to cover him, so only his bare head is visible.
This will do, make sure I have him securely, then start toward the teleporter room.
Constance sulks after you slowly, opening the door to the Ponyville teleporter for you in advance.
Then slowly we go inside, letting her set the pace.
A few moments later you feel the weird disconnection from time and place again, and you soon find yourself in the Ponyville teleporter area, outskirts.
It shouldn't be a long walk from here.
In a way, my steps get lighter the closer we get, knowing that its what She wants.
In due time, you see the silent, beautiful grove full of pretty flowers, glistening in the light of the setting Sun.
Constance looks up at you.
"Is this it?"
Nod at her, my gut tells me this is correct.
"Yes, this is the place. Beautiful isn't it?"
She nods, sniffling.
"I think he would have liked it, yes…"
Carefully lay him in the center.. I should have brought a shovel..
"Nature can accept him now, into her lush fields to run and play forever."
It soon turns out you don't need one.
Not long after you lay the body down, the very earth starts to move gently, and the vines and grasses start to embrace the colt.
Constance gasps and moves forward at first, but stops when she sees that the colt lets out a last, ragged gasp before a smile appears on his muzzle. The very moment that happens, colorful and beautiful flowers sprout from his body, as he becomes one with the earth.
The filly is visibly holding back tears, staring the flowers.
"T-Those are… his colors… when he still had fur…"
Smile softly at Constance, standing next to her in silent awe. For once, no words are needed.
She kneels down next to the little, flowery mound, mourning in silence as the sun sets slowly over the horizon….
However, despite the tranquility, your sneaky senses tell you that you are being watched.
I cringe a little at the realization, then hoover to the filly lightly tapping her shoulder.
"Hey, its a little late, we should go.. but you can always come back to see him."
"Just… a few more minutes, please?"
Before you can try and convince her any further, you hear the rustle of grass nearby.
You can see the Saddle-Arabian mare, standing there, with those horrible curved blades by her hooves…
But her face has an expression of reverence, and she even bows her head and places her hoof over her heart, as a sign of silent condolences.
The filly jumps up, a bit worried, glancing at you.
My muscles tense in surprise and tension.
"be careful, she can read minds..
" I warn Constance my eyes glued to the mare.
"You came a long way in a short time, but as you can see.. this isn't a good time for us to talk."
The filly nods.
The mare, however, takes a few steps closer, then points at your companion, then in front of herself.
That is a rather commanding way to silently tell she wants her to come over.
"You were looking for her then.. Can't you give her a few minute first?" I say to the Silent Assassin.
She stares for a few seconds… then nods.
She then however, points at you, then to the side, to step away from her.
Move away from Constance to the edge of the grove.
You move away, dejected and defeated, leaving the frightened filly.
However, you see multiple butteflies touch down near her…
The mare seems alert by this, especially when the plants around the butterflies start to grow, into the shape of a mare…
You can hardly believe your eyes when you see an Avatar of Mother Nature forming right in front of you.
She seems angry.
"You dare tresspass into my shrine at such a time?!"
You can see then that the flowers grow some more, turning into poisionus and toxic ones, while her hooves grow thorny thickets and vines.
She is going to fight for you!
I'm too surprised to do anything but stare. and here I thought I was supposed to fight for her
The Saddle Arabian seems a bit… put off.
Maybe she will run! There is no way a mortal can stand up to an avatar!
Constance quickly runs over to you.
"W-What's going to happen now?"
When Mother Nature takes a few intimidating steps towards her, the Saddle-Arabian simply bends her knees in some form of silent prayer.
"I'm not sure Little Scientist.." I reply worriedly.
The Saddle-Arabian finally stands up, and as her prayer ends, and once she opens her eyes, they are seemingly on light, and some sort of halo forms above her head, while wings of pure light sprout from her back.
Most worrysome is though the sacred flames that surround her blades.
Looks like she isn't about to run. And that she has some help of her own to combat an Avatar.
The sight of these two is truly sublime, but really scary too.
She immediately starts to circle the avatar with a predatory glare.
I can't let Nature fight alone then!
Draw my own weapons and aggressively follow her.
The mare spares you a glance as you approach, but her attention is immdeiately directed towards Mother Nature who lets out a scream like the howling wings and starts to barrage her with whips of the thorny vines, which the assassin calmly cuts out of the air before they can reach her.
I attack with my daggers from the back, giving her a flanking move to think about.
She notices your approach, backstepping and swiping with her hindlegs quicker than you can react, turning around and raising her blade to a strike…
But she just flaps her wings to gain some distance, turning back to the avatar which started her offense anew…
You are starting to undertand why she is called the Angel of Death. She could have killed you right then and there! You maaaaay be a bit outskilled by her!
Then I beacon to the Avatar of Nature, flying beside her butterfly and vine form "If you can, use me to protect this place, this filly, then please do!"
"You are no match to her and neither am I. I will give you time. Aid her in her escape!"
Fly directly to Constance and grab her without warning, headed to the sky.
She even helps by extending her hooves to you so you can grab her. You quickly pick her up and fly away, leaving the quite terrifying show behind as the two combatants batter each other with brutal attacks, seemingly at an impasse, neither of them managing to overcome the other.
Fly until I'm out of sight, then change my direction, flying essentially in spirals.
Once you made ample distance, the filly chimes in.
"We should get back to the mansion, quick!"
"…Right. That mare is our enemy, she might have found a way inside."
Get close enough. "You know what to do." I hold my crystal and look at her with a serious expression.
"Impossible… not without owning a crystal of her own!"
She nods, taking out her own gem.
Then its time to focus on revenge!
I have extra fuel after what that mare did.
You warp back to the base in no time!
Opening your eyes, you can see Contance too.
The moment you open the door, you see Mirage in front of you two. She seems irked.
"Constance, go to your lab, now.
Kelani, we have to talk."
"I actually wanted to talk to you too, Miss Mirage, and we were just attacked, if you wanted to know."
"I know, Kelani, we were expecting it. We were attacked elsewhere, too. Places where you have been. Is there anything you wish to tell me?"
"Yes actually. Something very important."
Glance around at the doors.
"Do you want to talk here, or in your office?"
"Here is fine. Talk."
Sigh my wings dropping and my ears falling flat to my head.
"When I went home, there was someone stalking me, waiting there even. She was with the.. Emerald Mercenaries? I found out that all the mail had stopped arriving, and I went to see Bark's family, to tell them what happened.. but it was.. they were already dead.. and three of them were waiting for me.. including a mind reader."
"That explains a lot."
She takes out a strange, silver dagger.
"Still, you are not a traitor then. You just made a mistake. One you must atone for. The one who attacked you, it was the bodyguard of the Saddle Arabian, wasn't it? The Angel?"
"Yes, but.. Atone? With that?" tilt my head looking at the dagger.
She extends it to you.
"It is not just any weapon. It is special."
She narrows her eyes.
"Now that the bodyguard is out of the way, you will go to Horseshoe Bay, and use this to end the life of Rais Al-Malik."
"Is it really that simple?" I accept the dagger with a frown. "Doesn't he have other body guards?"
"He won't expect a counterattack. He won't be protected now. And this dagger will strike true. Just don't let him speak to you. He can be much worse than a mind reader.
Go, now. Before he has a chance to hear about how his offensives went. From what we can tell, he likes to read in the garden at night, by the light of the moon. You will find him there, to the southern outskirts of the Bay city."
"Alright." Take steps toward the Horseshoe Bay portal.
"Anything else I should know?"
"Hurry. And do not fail this."
Hurry into the portal then.
Soon enough you feel the world fade away from you…
And you find yourself in a dimly lit room in horseshoe bay.
Disguise myself as a delivery pony before going anywhere.
You take your time to don the disguise of a Pony Express delivery stallion.
Finding the place shouldn't be hard either, even from the skyline you can see there is only one chateu to the south.
Only one, well, better fly fast then.
You quickly fly there, thinking about what kind of shcheme to pull to get inside…
Only to find, to your surprise, that not only are there no guards around, but there are no fences or barriers at all.
The large, beautiful garden with little springs, fountains and trimmed hedges is open. You can just fly right inside!
I angle my wings to pick up less wind, a way of flying stealthily and silently I picked up over the years, just barely faster than gliding but a bit more effort.
You change to stealth mode, gliding over the area to survey it…
And soon enough, you see the form of a stallion, sitting in a gazebo.
Land quietly behind him, creeping up pulling the dagger free.
Keep my mind clear of thoughts just in case.
You take a silent breath to clear your mind clear and focused, and sneak up on him.
He seems oblivious, reading a book you cannot see.
Then this is it.
The guy who threatened me and my family.
The villain to the organization I've joined.
Stab to kill.
His ear flicks at the last moment, and he turns around with a surprised expression.
"Can I help y-"
He is interrupted with a gasp as the blade penetrates his skin and strikes at his heart. His face just bears a hurt and confused expression as he staggers out of the chair, blade still in his chest.
With some horror, you notice you didn't draw any blood at all.
He looks down at the dagger again,then back at you. With an eerilie calm tone, he asks.
"Now why would you go ahead and do that?"
In a panick I make sure I was using the correct dagger. "…You're Rais Al-Malik aren't you?"
You did… how? How is he not dead?
"Indeed, I am, Kelani Rush, but common courtesy dictates that you introduce yourself before stabbing one another. Or any kind of social interaction, truly."
He winces as he removes the dagger, and there doesn't seem to be a wound anymore under his coat.
"Do you want this back? Take it, I won't bite."
I take the dagger back only slightly shivering with fear.
"..I.. Is this an illusion?"
"You know it is not. You must have some kind of idea who I am, however, taking into consideration the fact that you just tried to murder me."
He takes a chair and sits down on another.
"Unless you are in a hurry to try and kill somepony else, why don't you have a seat?"
Take a step towards the chair but look around and toward the sky.
"…I'm not supposed to talk to you."
"Is that what she told you? What else? That I am evil incarnate?"
"…You have had ponies killed.. ponies that didn't have anything to do with your schemes to control everything." hoover around the chair staring suspiciously.
"Is that so?
What about the blood on your hooves, Kelani?
They might have been mercenaries, but they were ponies all the same, those who were slaughtered in Los Pegasus.
Not to mention you are the one aiding a group of terrorists, not me."
"Did your mind reading friend tell you about that?"
I frown at him.
"Some of it, yes.
Some of it is from informants. You see, Kelani, given enough time, you learn how to find and read information you gather from all kinds of sources, which are very telling about ponies even before you meet them. I must admit though, I was regarding you in a better light before you stabbed me."
"I can see how that would put things off to a bad start." Smirk at him a bit and finally sit down.
"I'm kind of impressed that you could connect me to that horror, I thought I was careful."
"Not careful enough. And neither was Grey Leg. Using the same methods he did all those years ago…
He is only alive because of his family, and because I know Mirage coerced him into it. Still, you were the catalyst, who set things in motion."
Shake my head with a sigh.
"Its not.. She didn't tell me what would happen. Only that I had to deliver the message."
"Of course she did not. She is the witch of deceit after all. I feel sorry for you."
"You're not the only pony she holds in her hooves, are you? And after you made a mistake, she sent me here, knowing you had no chance of killing me, believeing I would kill you if you tried."
"…" I squint at him. "Wait what.."
"She sent you here in a hurry, did she not? Did you not find that strange? To give you a task like this all of a sudden? She wanted to get rid of you for having your mind read."
I grow pale.
"Oh. That makes sense actually.." Then looking at him with sadness.
"Then. She isn't exactly going to welcome me back."
He stands up and takes out a sword out from under the chair you didn't even see before, slashing at you!
Then just as calmly sits down, and you only feel a slight tinge of pain, as you notice there is a thin, bloody trail across your chest.
"She will if she believes you did as she asked and I tried to kill you. She will be impressed with your skills of getting away. Oh, and apologies, for striking so suddenly, but I felt that you will forgive me for doing so on account of getting even with the stabbing."
I actually didn't even look at the chair to check like a total normal pony.
It happened so suddenly all I can do is touch the wound with shock.
"You're trying to help me now?" I look utterly lost at this situation.
"…Could I come talk to you again later?"
"Help you? Yes, you could say that. I would prefer that you not die, and in exchange, I might require you to work as a double agent. Do you think you are capable of that? If not, feel free to tell, but in that case I cannot guarantee your safety either from my angel, the Emerald Mercenaries or some other interest groups who are on my side."
"That's.. A big question to ask. What kind of things would you have me do?"
"Do you know the extent of what Mirage will have you do?"
He raises his brows.
"I will not order you to participate or assist in the murder of ponies, for one."
"…You're right, I'm just a little confused.." I keep touching the cut.
"And.. I do have my own goals.. Can I have a night to think about it?"
"Of course. Will this same place do for our meeting?"
Nod getting up.
"I'll see you tomorrow then.."
And fly back toward the teleporter room. Best to get back while the wound is fresh.
You fly back to the teleporter.
You don't even have to conciously think about revenge. Must be your mood…
You feel yourself warped to the hidden mansion.
Hurry to look for Mirage.
You go to her office and find her there.
Confirming your suspiscions… she is confused to see you.
"Oh… Kelani? You are back? Already?"
"I.. It didn't work.. I guess he moved or something at the last second, but the blade didn't hit him and he attacked me.. I barely got away."
I pant and wipe away sweat from my brow with my blood stained hoof, then staring at it with a disturbed look.
"…I see. I cannot fault you for not succeeding… he is not an enemy to be underestimated, but I hoped you could do what we couldn't with the element of surprise. You should probably go to the Doc to patch yourself up."
trot away slowly like an exhausted pony.
'1d10' notice anything else about her office or reaction while I'm here?Roll #1 8 = 8
She had a lot of papers in front of her, and also some gems… She was probably even using some for communication before you entered. She must have been coordinating a lot of this… and some according to your death.
I shouldn't make assumptions.. It might not be like that..
Lets go see the doctor anyway.
You walk back down to the labs. The door at the back is sealed tight, and you hear a quiet sobbing from inside.
The zebra is asleep at the counter, while Chell is rolling around, organizing his tools.
Tap on the door and open it.
You enter but he does not get roused from his sleep.
Chell rolls over.
"Good-night-Kelani. Do-you-need-assistance? My-scanners-indicate-you-are-damaged."
Maybe in more way than one, but you doubt she is clever enough to imply that.
Or is she?
"Yes. I need some help. ..Chell? Are you a doctor? Can you bandage me?"
Stand on my back legs so she can see the cut better.
Her blue eyes shine a bit as she looks you over.
I guess that's a yes. Lay down on the table or something flat.
There is enough room for you on one of the workbenches.
She scoots over and raises one of her hooves.
Her blade pops out first!
Then, thankfully, slides back to another slot in her inner workings as it gets cycled, and you see some sort of tube.
Her chest gets brighter, probably as her artifical heart revs up, and you feel a soothing mist sprayed over your wound.
Slowly, but surely, after a few seconds, it disappears without even leaving a scar! Well, not one that can be seen over your fur anyway.
I smile getting up again.
"Thanks Chell, what has the Doc got you doing down here lately?"
"Oh? That sounds tiring. Do you like doing that?"
"You're not trying to find out what happened to your old home?"
"You can.. sense that far away?"
I scratch my head and then lean closer, covering us with a wing whispering to her.
"Listen Chell, if you need any help, for any reason, talk to me. I'll do what I can for you."
She just stares at you at that.
Stare back and then pat her head affectionately.
"I'm gonna find a shower, and maybe a bed. Thanks again for the help Chell."
Your affections don't really affect her much, at least not visibly.
Must be all that time around the doc making her cold.
Head downstairs and look for an empty room.
It's not hard to find one with some searching. Pretty luxurious too!
Shower and tuck yourself to bed?
Shower, but instead of bed I should find where other ponies might socialize, maybe a cafeteria or lounge.
They probably not doing it this late though!
They must be off sleeping, plus, you had quite the exhausting day.
Yea, I'll just rest here.
Its safe until they decide to stab me in the back.
If Mirage really wanted you dead, she could have killed you in her office, so you must be safe!
You turn in to sleep for the night… and have a weird dream. More than a dream, a vision? But not like the one with Mother Nature…
You stir in your bed, waking up.
The room is different, much more spatious, and your wings are gone! You are not even you! You just see the world from the eyes of somepony else!
Look at my hooves and touch my muzzle and look at my flank for the cutie mark or outfit
. am I a cute mare?
Sadly, you cannot control it! You are stuck! You just see whatever this pony is seeing! A stallion, by the looks of it! With slender legs!
Then you notice the mare standing in the door in the shadows of the night.
"Greetings, Mirage. I would say welcome, but you are no longer welcome around here."
You recognize that voice! It belongs to the Saddle-Arabian!
You also recognize the voice of Mirage, even though she can be barely seen in the dark!
Wow, its like they know each other.
The Saddle-Arabian… you… your point of view, shifts, sitting up on the bed. You even glance to the table beside you… and the calendar here suggests this happened almost two years ago!
"Why have you come here? To kill me?"
"We both know I can't do that."
"Then why are you here?"
"I'm here Rais because you murdered my daughter."
You feel your muzzle turn into a scowl.
"Don't stand there, looking at me with those horrible eyes of yours. You and I both know I didn't murder her at all, Mirage. You
The mare's face contorts, and she ripostes quickly.
"No, that is not true."
You feel the host of this memory let out a short, annoyed sight.
"I know who you are, Mirage. What you are. I know that you are not to be trusted, and everything you have lost is the fault of none other than your own. So, I shall ask again. Why are you here?"
The mare steps forward, more visible now.
"I am here to tell you that I am going to find the seals, and I am going to set her free. For what you've done to me."
Your host even lets out a chuckle.
"So that was your intention all along. I suspected as much… but you shall never find them."
"We shall see. I will bring everything in my powers against you, to destroy what you stand for. For justice."
You feel yourself calmly say:
"Then I suppose the war is on. Good night, Mirage. If what you say is true, we both should get some rest before the events of tomorrow."
The tone is so commanding that even the mare does nothing but steps back into the darkness…
You wake up, for real, in your own body, in the morning.
I pinch myself to be sure I'm awake.
Biting your hoof is easier without those finger things you keep hearing about!
Yes, you are awake.
And you also have a place to be!
Although this was rather unnerving.
I better go to that place, and not think about it.
In fact, go look at the portal options, is there a town nearby that place that I could go too and fly from there?
Baltimare would be close enough and not too suspiscious.
Jump into that Baltimare portal.
You end up in… a decent, if a bit lavishly decorated room?
This place isn't as run down as the other places! Or at least this room isn't!
Huh.. Check the door and see where it leads.
It's a wide corridor.
You see the door you just left from has a 'RESERVED' sign written on it.
You hear some VERY lewd noises from other rooms.
It doesn't even take a few seconds for a plump, middle aged mare to show up, with a rather strange outfit and a scandalously short tail.
"Ah, I see another visitor is here from the… special room. I suppose you will just be passing through, then? In case you are not in a hurry, we have all the mares… or stallions, that you could ever want."
I smirk at her and don't stop my wings from springing up just a little like I usually would.
"Maybe next time, which is the best way to the street?"
She smirks as she notices.
"Take the stairs down and then the door to the left for a discreet exit, hun."
Follow her directions, stairs and a door to the left.
It leads to a rather, without further explanation, gross back alley. You can fly up and just head south from here, and be at Horseshoe bay in about half an hour if you keep a good pace.
That shouldn't be too late.
Lets' fly high to be sure.
You fly high to catch some currents too, and you are there in no time!
The mansion is in sight!
Still no guards either!
Where will you land though?
Where are the nearby options?
The garden again?
The garden with the little gazebo, or you could just try the front door.
The front door?
But what if someone followed me. I could at least say I was scouting if I was seen in the garden. Go there and wait a moment.
You touch down inside the garden. After about a minute or so of waiting, you see an approaching figure.
With the scary blades.
Despite having fought an avatar yesterday, she doesn't look fatigued or even phased at all.
You wonder if she might even have won…
Its not like she can kill Nature.
I.. won't move at all actually.
She can't… but could she hurt her? You don't know!
She walks up to you, until she is right in front of you…
Then points at you with a bladed hoof, and then at the mansion.
You are starting to think you might be able to get more of an emotional response or expression out of the face of Chell than hers.
She always has this serious, dangerous sneer on.
I nod at her, and take steps toward the mansion.
You walk where she leads from behind, occasionally nuding your flank with a hoof - which would be better if you didn't feel the cold touch of the blade too - to some directions.
Eventually, she leads you to some sort of antique dressing room, with a large hearth in the middle and two chairs set up with a tiny table between them. The Saddle-Arabian, Rais Al-Malik is already sitting at one.
The mare stops at the door and closes it after you.
"Ah, Kelani. Good. You did show up."
I glance back at her as she leaves us alone, and sit down at the empty chair.
Fold my wings and look at him with a serious expression. "Yes.. I think you were right about Mirage."
"I had no doubts. I assume you got my little… message, so to say, overnight too."
This chair is comfy!
He looks rather relaxed too, compared to how you tried to assasinate him yesterday.
I'm sure he's used to that.
"It was a little confusing, seemed like Mirage used to work for you, and betrayed you for some kind of seal or something about her sister?"
"Ah, yes… sister. You could say that, but that is not entirely correct. Still, I would rather not bog you down with all those details just yet, mostly for your own safety. You cannot know more about her true goals before she reveals them… after all, you may be a good actor, Kelani, but you could never replicate such a surprised expression."
Frown a bit and reply with a sigh.
"Fair enough.. And she reacted just like you said to seeing me, It was just hard to believe she was really that cold."
"I assume you would find it harder to believe that she was a rather warm and jolly mare once. Sadly, I am certain that the only salvation for her now is death. I do not condemn giving second chances, as you know yourself, but she may be too far gone."
I stare at him with a frown.
"I'm not really an assassin, you'd have to find somepony else for that."
"I know. After your track record, do you think I would even try?"
Shrug a bit.
"I dunno, she wouldn't expect it at least." Lean forward inquisitively.
"So.. Is there a test like Mirage's ponies, or are we already working together just by me showing up?"
"The test was whether you had the courage to come back after yesterday or not. You are not a coward, I appreciate that. As for further initiation, I am not terribly concerned by your betrayal. The other side has no qualms about killing you, and I am quite sure you are aware of the dangers I pose. If not to you, then to your loved ones… both old and new."
the Emerald Mercenaries, made that last bit quite clear." I reply bitterly remembering how they threatened my dad.
"But, I see why that happened now, this is.. a lot bigger than I thought at first. Honestly I'm not sure I even care about your war, but I find myself too involved to just step out now."
"They are most certainly not my friends, in fact I resent most of them, but they produce results. War is a petty word for it, I must admit, yet when the lives of so many Equestrians are at stake I can hardly call it a quarrel."
"You are right, however, you are too involved. But maybe you can be doing so while achieving your own goals."
He leans to the table and grabs a little chime to sound with his teeth.
A servant comes in and you feel the little compass hum in your saddlebags. The servant places down a statue on the table! It is a statue of Mother Nature, resembling a rat on its hindpaws, smelling at the air curiously and cautiously.
"I will be straightforward with you, to be entirely clear. You help me and you will get all the help needed to find these little…"
He hesitates just a moment.
"Trinkets you desire. This one is a token of goodwill for you. Meaning no offense, but I find this statue to be quite befitting of you too."
I smile at the old stallion, "You already know the way to my heart."
Slide the statue over to myself with a wing, picking it up carefully turning it before looking back at him.
"Sounds like a straightforward arrangement to me."
After a close inspection you can confirm this statue is the real deal!
"Good. If and when I need your services, I will find a way to make sure to bring that to your attention. However, as mentioned above, do not take this as a guarantee. This deal is between you and me. I cannot grant you safety from some of the more… eccentric figures I employ against Mirage."
Don't flinch. "Perhaps you can send a warning my way? I can just try to be somewhere else."
"Should it be intercepted, Mirage would just kill you herself. You are a survivor. I assume you can take care of your own."
"I can't afford to die yet." Smirk at him. "So, I guess this is the last time I'll see your home until you need me, anything you want to show off?"
He chuckles bitterly.
"This is not my home. This is merely a residence I got used to taking up.
Alas, I do not have any ferns or flirty mares that could hold your interest long enough before flying off again, as you seem to do, or so I am told."
I nod with a grin.
"Fair enough. If there isn't anything else, then I'll demonstrate a take off for your angel."
"I am sure she will be thrilled."
The Angel, as if sensing this, opens the large double doors.
"One last remark, however. I know that you have been told to visit a stallion who could help you with your quest. He was the one who helped me show you that vision, and will continue to do so if you so please. Make sure to visit him if you need guidance."
I can't hide my surprise at this statement, giving him an uneasy stare.
"Oh. Did he tell you anything else? About me?"
"Oh? No. He does not talk. He does not even read minds. He works in his own ways… and I assure you, he is one of the most benevolent ponies I have ever known. The only problem with using his services is the feedback. That vision you recieved was not transmitted on purpose. He was just trying to reach out to your mind and soul with his abilities by my description."
"The kind of explains it.." let the tension fall off of me with a slow smile.
"Anything else I should know?"
"He will explain it better than I ever could, I assure you."
He thinks for a few seconds.
"I think that was it. Unless you count my urge to commend what you managed to masterfully pull of in Ponyville."
"What's this? Gifts and compliments? I'd almost think you actually like me Rais Al-Malik."
"Not everyday do I see a pony with a talent for manipulation such as you. Since I cannot know your full intentions, it is better to keep you close, as the Equestrian saying goes, is that not right?"
"That saying implies we're still enemies. And you've already made friends with all my friends." I reply in a cheerful tone.
He smiles too.
"Not all of them actually, but I would be glad to meet Miss Lockbox. She seems like a lovely mare."
"She's a honest mare, which is a rare enough treasure in itself."
I flap my wings once to get up and go toward the door.
"I'm selfish when it comes to treasure thou."
He nods, lowering his voice.
"I am sure a selfish stallion would not give another a reason to give his treasure away.
Until next time, Kelani Rush."
The tall, nigh-emotionless mare is standing by the door already, ready to see you out.
Ignore the threat and go with the angel.
She silently leads you out, all the way to the little gazebo where you first met the stallion last night.
Once there, she turns around and just stares at you with that cold scowl or sneer she seems to be wearing all the time.
"Hey, I wanted to ask, have you heard the story of the little seapony?"
She stares you in the eyes, the only response from her being that she raises one of her eyebrows.
…that could be a clue for you to continue.
"Its about a seapony, who had a beautiful voice, and sang to an earth pony prince every night. The prince loved her song, and she grew to love the prince watching from afar, but they could never be together. The seapony grew full of longing, and wished so badly to walk with the prince, that she made a terrible trade. Her voice to transform into a land pony."
I shook my head. "You probably aren't interested, after all you, wouldn't do anything crazy like that, for love.."
She perks her ears as she listens, but only snorts with her nose audibly at your remark in the end.
You get quite a scare when you see her raise one of her hooves, but she only strikes down to get her blade stuck into the ground, removing it from her hoof with the other.
With her right forehoof now bare, she motions slowly down from her eyes, as if imitating a tear, then to her own chest.
Finally, she points to a nearby spot in the garden full of flowers. That might have to do something with yesterday when you met her.
"Yea.. I was wondering, about your deity, if you had made some kind of trade with it.."
Step closer and reach to grab her hoof looking concerned.
She pulls her hoof away before you can reach it, then shakes her head to say no.
She directs her eyes towards the mansion, and with how clearly she is looking, you almost feel that she knows perfectly despite the walls where the other Saddle-Arabian is.
"Then, you really are
his angel?" I sigh softly with a smile.
"Devoted to him, and devoted to the light. Its not an easy life."
She nods… then nods again, closing her eyes for a moment.
Once she opens them, she puts her hoof back to her blade and attaches it back to her leg, wiping the dirt off of it on the grass.
"I can understand, even if we're devoted to different things."
Flutter my wings to hoover a moment, a smile lingering as I look at her, and then I dart off to the sky, swooping behind a cloud to hide which direction I go from there, for practice mostly, since they already know.
Once you are hidden in the clouds, you see the mare slowly walk back towards the mansion.
A soft breeze plays with your wind here… these moments of taking to the sky almost make you forget your worries, no matter how many times you experience them.
You will have to decide where and how to go right now though!
I'm going to the general area of the linked room. Since I need to get to the stallion who sent the visions ASAP
You fly back to the brothel and find the special room, your heart (or some other part of yours) aching slightly that you can't stay a bit longer to 'explore' the surrounding area.
You are back in the mansion!
Where to now? Straight to Vanhoover, or will you stay around for just a bit?
I will look around here for just a moment.
You are met with the eerie emptyness as usual.
You do see the zebra hurry down the stairs in a rush!
You also see Constance inside the lab, looking rather down.
Where will you go?
Constance just needs time.. probably.
Go down stairs.
You hastily follow the Doc and see he is carrying… pop corn with him?
He notices you and glances back.
"Oh, Kelani! Grand! Come, come, you won't want to miss this! Mirage and Sullen are practicing again! They might have started already even!"
"Constance not feel like coming?" Walk with him at a hurried pace.
"Oh, no, she never did like Sullen practicing. She said she is far too scary for her."
He finally leads you to a large room, at the very bottom of the mansion, which looks rather barren, as if it was for good for nothing but shooting arrows across it.
You do see a small audience already, Stingray the red pegasus mare who beat you up that one time, Porcelaine, the prench sounding girl from the Los Pegasus base, and a unicorn stallion you haven't met before.
As you enter you only see Mirage, sweating, her mane covering half of her face, an angry snarl on her face with blood trickling down from several small wounds on her.
A moment later you notice her opponent and you immediately feel uncomfortable…
A giant demon lunges at her! Like from the horror stories! From the deepest pits of Tartarus, these horrible creatures are the anthithesis of everything Mother Nature stands for!
The giant beast is almost three times the size of Mirage, a sickly pale green color and rippling with unholy power and magic!
They have something like this.. just for practice?
I watch with a poker face.
Mirage seems a lot more agile than you anticipated, but still, she seems to block most of the strikes by the demon with a magical barrier which causes visible strain on her face.
She occasionally shoots bolts of multi-colored magic, burning off parts of the foul creature but they do not seem to affect it all too much.
You are even worried when the mare even gets a shattering blow, sending her tumbling to the ground! As the demon moves to finish her off, however, she rolls onto her hooves, grabbing her sword with her teeth on the way and spinning around, a wave of magic concentrating around her sword, so strong that you feel your mane and fur stand up on end from the ripples of the power, her blade getting an extension of ethereal arcane power, slashing the entire upper half of the demon off.
The corpse slides to the ground, and to your horror, you see a mare emerge from inside, covered in gore and viscera, some tissues still connecting her to the muscles of the demon. Mirage points her sword at her and she grimaces.
"Fine, fine. You win this round, Mirage."
There is a resounding cheer from the audiance!
Clap my hooves along with the crowd, but focus intently on the mare that emerged, make a smile as if I were checking her out as I look for signs of how she did that.
As she steps out the body around her slowly stars to wither away.
…Wait, you recognize her! You met her once inside here! She was that one mare who made you feel really uncomfortable just by her presence!
You are not sure, really… is it some sort of magic? She does notice the look you are giving her.
The zebra throws his popcorn to the ground.
"I knew I'd miss the good parts again!"
"You mean that wasn't the good part Doc?" I comment looking curiously at his outrage.
"It was just the ending!"
"You did miss the lightshow Mirage put up in the start. That is what made Sullen pull this transformation move in the first place."
Mirage walks past all of you, barely sparing you a glance.
"I'll wash this blood off of me. Don't look for me for a few hours."
The other, creepy mare also approaches.
"Hope you had fun at my expense at least."
The stallion you do not know chimes in.
"You are still a sore loser, aren't you?"
Address the creepy mare with a smile and a bow.
"It was a graceful performance, fierce and unmatched in technique."
She lets out a crude laughter.
"Oh, is that so? Tell me more and maybe I'll believe it!"
She starts walking off, but motions with her head for you to follow her.
Follow the lady, why not.
Even throw the doc a wink as I leave, my wings spread intentionally enough to block a view of her flanks.
You see him scrunch at your little display, and instead busies himsef with cleaning up the mess of popcorn he made.
The mare leads you to the upper levels and walks to one of the elegant doors… seems like she has a place here too! As you enter, you can see that her room has quite a few trinkets, some of them giving you the heebie-jeebies just by looking at them. Unnatural staves of unholy power, uncanny baubles of demonic origins… all the unpleasant un-words in the forms of items lying all around the shelves and desks.
"So, I've heard you survived a meeting with both of the Saddle-Arabians in one night. That is quite the feat itself, too."
She lazily opens the door towards the bathroom of her 'residence' and starts to draw a bath.
"It was close." I comment, being sure to stay clear of the trinkets by a step.
"I'm not much of a threat, and I think they knew that, so they didn't really come at me hard."
She climbs into the bath, submerging her body to wash off the blood and sweat with a grin.
"That never stopped them before. They are not ones to underestimate us, and with good reason… maybe they just wanted to make sure your pretty face stays intanct."
She runs a hoof through her wet fur.
"Hope you don't mind me taking a bath."
Raise an eyebrow and smirk at her.
"Not in the least, are you
sure you don't mind me watching?"
"I was never really shy."
"Plus, once you saw me climbing out of the corpse of a demon, what do I have to hide or be ashamed of?"
"No one to waste time with being embarrassed? I like that."
Lean against the doorway of her bath casually. "When was the last time I saw you? A week ago or so? You were in such a hurry."
"And you're not too reserved to look either, from the looks of it."
She starts scrubbing her mane and fur.
"You know how it is. There is almost work to be done, and some tasks you don't leave for the… rest of this sorry excuse for a gathering of ponies."
"I doubt very many can fight the way you do."
"Taming a demon to listen too you takes a lot of skill."
She laughs again.
"Oh, tame is not the word I would use for it. If you tame them, they will just tear you apart. You enslave them."
"Truly? I suppose that's why you don't always meet a demon master, or mistress in this case."
"Most ponies, or even pony families live their entire lives and generations without ever even seeing a demon. Those who do…"
She fakes a pout.
"Sad for them."
"But not sad for you?"
I give her a caring stare, stretching a wing in an open gesture.
She stretches one of her forelegs as she scrubs it, then shrugs.
"Eh, not really. You can't care for both ponies and demons at once."
"Really? Then why'd you join up here?"
She steps out and reaches for a towel, drying herself.
"It's safer to practice my craft here than anywhere else. Plus I can't help but love the attitude of Mirage."
"Good a reason as any I suppose." I nod at her.
"Mirage doesn't seem too fond of.. well, anystallion."
She dries herself off and walks back into the room, past you as you lean at the doorframe.
"No wonder. She became a cold bitch since her daughter died."
Frown deeply like its the first time I've heard this. "And the, Rais Al-Malik, did that? Is that why she started all this?"
"You couuuuuuld say that. But I'm pretty sure she was scheming beforehoof, and that is why her kid got killed. Don't tell her I said that though."
Smile and walk closer to her "I wouldn't dare, the secrets of a lovely mare are hers alone to share."
She smiles back.
"You are quite a talker, aren't you? I'm starting to realize how you survived so long."
"Its easy when I have a good partner." I reply in stride. "Open and willing to keep it rolling."
"What, do you think I'd just stop talking after I told you to keep talking?"
"Or maybe I just enjoyed the compliments."
"I could talk to you all night even.."
"What do you want to talk about lovely? Your work maybe? Do you like it?"
"I do, but I doubt you would. It involves a lot of… negative energies."
She raises a hoof, which is immediately surrounded by a pale green flame.
"Does that hurt?" I bring myself closer to her, hoovering a hoof next to the flame.
You feel no heat from it… but just bringing your hoof to it causes you pain.
"Yes. You get used to it after a while. A decade, give or take."
"That's a shame. Sounds like this mare I knew once, had to be the fastest, and flew so hard she was always straining herself. " I touch her arm just under the flame.
"Why didn't she just use some help from the other side?"
She extinguishes the flame, raising an eyebrow.
Smirk at her.
"Because not everyone can be as skilled as you."
"Now you are just feeding my ego!"
Still, it looks like she likes it!
"I can't help it, your smile is just too pretty." Try touching her mane, pushing it behind her ear.
"You ever work with those other ponies? The ones watching us?"
Somewhat surprisingly, she lets you do so!
"Sometimes, when I have to. I prefer to work alone, for their safety. My craft is not suited for anypony being around me."
I give her a sympathetic look.
"No one around you? No partners?"
"You don't like being held back either, don't you? Don't you just want to unleash everything you've got sometimes?"
My ears flick up, and I get a smile, sliding my wing around her back, moving my muzzle just short of kissing her.
"Then lets not hold back, just for a moment."
"Not scared of a strong mare, I like that."
She motions with her head.
"On that bed then."
"As you wish beautiful."
Carry her onto the bed. intimate sex scene here ~
>>667138You had more intimate mares, to be honest. She is rough and in charge during the whole thing!
ONE SESSION OF LEWD LATER
You are a bit chafed, achy and tired, but it was totally worth it.
The sweaty mare throws her hair around, smirking.
"I guess I'll need another bath now, and so will you, from the looks of it."
What a demanding girl. Stretch a little, smiling at her, and playfully running my feathers through her mane.
"Mind if I use your tub then?"
"Go ahead. I might just join you in a bit, once you draw that bath."
She seems to enjoy basking in the afterglow.
Definitely worth it. I go and draw a warm bath, a little on the hot side since we might be in there a while.
Once it is done, she joins you, climbing in first, flicking her tail at you.
"I guess being in this group does have benefits every now and then."
Chuckle at her, securing the soap with a hoof before stepping in.
"It takes some getting used too, but I think I'm learning my way around."
You get nice and wet with soap in hoof beside her.
"Just don't get too used to anypony. Accidents happen, you know."
Nod, and start scrubbing her.
"I know, you guys take a lot of risks."
She relaxes at the proper and throughough washing you give her.
"Can't just lie back down and take all the punishment from the world. We have to fight for what we have."
"Sounds like you have something more than just experiments on your mind.."
Scrub myself too.
"Hey, if I am hunted for what my cutie mark destined for me to do, I might as well indulge a bit in practicing it, and this place gives me that opportunity."
"I always wondered about that, how true it really was." Kiss her softly.
"If nature meant for us to only do one thing."
"If it is what my cutie mark is telling me, I am not going to argue. Even though I'm not as close as nature as you are."
She snorts, only kissing back slightly.
"I've heard what went down in that grove yesterday. You have friends in high places."
"You know about that huh?" Sigh a little.
"I need to get stronger, so I can be a proper vessel for her. I'm pretty sure that's why she couldn't do much against the Angel."
"Or maybe your goddess is old and weak. She can't get with the times. That's what I've heard the demons say, on the rare occasion they talk smack about everything else, and even themselves."
"Who can know the true nature of a god's power? Or if they are fighting some other battle, on a godly level."
I say vaguely. "Maybe gods can sabotage each other, like ponies do."
"Maybe there are no gods, and what we see as miracles are just magic spells from mortals who found out something we didn't, playing a sick joke. After all, the Princesses were a thing, but now Celestia can do everything on her own."
"You've had a hard time huh, to come to that conclusion."
Rub warm water over her back.
She sighs as you try to make her relax.
"We all have it hard. Some more than others. I know ponies and friends who had it worse, that is why they aren't around any longer."
Just silently caress her, Leaving her room to talk if she wants too.
From the heavy silence, she seems to be considering it, but she suddenly steps out of the bath, throwing you a towel while grabbing one for herself.
"Well, that was fun, but I've got some demons to talk with, and I'm sure you don't want to stick around for that."
"Can't say I'm eager to meet them no."
Dry myself off quickly.
"I do hope I'll get to show them off to you at least once. Some cute little imps maybe. You wouldn't get along with the big guys."
You are a very dry pony!
"If that means I get to hang around you again, then sign me up."
I smirk at her with confidence as I head toward her door.
"Oh, I definitely want another visit once you are around again~"
Well, she lightened up by the end at least!
You exit from her door, and feel somewhat relieved as you no longer have to be near her creepy trinkets!
You do have a mission to continue though!
Lets' go speak with the old man about visions and books
No one said he was old!
Head to the Vanhoover teleporter?
And I guess not, but he's probably older than Kelani.
That's not hard to pull off!
By the time you arrive it seems to be late afternoon and you find yourself in a remote shack covered in snow.
You could fly in town to ask for directions, or just head northeast and hope for the best.
I can probably spot the place.
Lets fly Northeast.
'1d10'Roll #1 5 = 5