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Everything posted by PrinceBlueblood

  1. Prince Blueblood knew that both of his other primary guardians would create an indelible first impression, and he wanted to savor the impact they would have upon Tiger. It wasn't every day, after all, that one met a sphinx, let alone one that might with a straight face be called "housebroken." "It is indeed a very good day!" He called out cheerily, before turning back to his new recruit. "Tiger Blood, this is Niilavin; I freed him from an ancient tomb in Saddle Arabia. He won't hurt you, or anypony, really, unless I allow it. That hasn't proved necessary so far, though!" Indeed, Equestria had not yet entered the atomic age, so the phrase 'nuclear option' wasn't available as a metaphor for Niil's effect on diplomacy. Rather, when developed, nukes would likely be called 'the sphinx option.' And then there was Star Crusader. A figure only dwarfed by Niil, but still impressive compared to all other ponies, especially up close. She never failed to impress, especially for Blueblood himself. He felt his chest swell and his mouth curl up at the sight of her after so long. He knew that national security demands necessitated him lending her to EPIC for mission duration, and with that came a non-zero chance of her not returning. Not very far above zero, mind, but it was still there, and it quelled no small amount of anxiety in the Prince to see her back home again. "He is indeed, Captain. Tiger Blood, this is Captain Star Crusader, the head of my honor guard." He paused, briefly wondering if he ought to mention his more... personal relationship with her now. That would, naturally, also lead into discussing his relationship with Dunnie as well. That would altogether give a different impression of his... criteria for his guards than he necessarily wanted to project right now. Not that he'd be able to keep the lax fraternization policy secret for very long, though.
  2. Sky sailing greeted the initial applause with a smile, mixed of relief and gratitude. It was a hard thing to put oneself out there in the public eye, particularly when the creative work presented bared one's inner feelings. But after the first time, it got easier, like the moments after diving into a pool of cold water. Acclimating to the eyes upon him, the pegasus adjusted his seating, so that he was still holding the guitar, but now the frets and picks were wholly handled by hoof. In the meantime, his wings were set behind him, pin feathers resting on the keyboard to allow dual instrumentation during a live one-pony show. It was an impressive display of dexterity, though Sky had performed and practiced alone for so long that he had little notion of how unique his idiosyncratic style was. He launched into the next song without introduction this time, as if this were but a second part of the first. It was a different style, much softer spoken and dreamy, but the pony it was dedicated to was the same. Wind Dancer would recognize it, as a song Sky wrote about himself with respect to her, as opposed to the previous one, a song about her as Sky saw her. This time, instead of playing on improvised glassware, he had full instrumentation backing him. "I opened my eyes last nightAnd saw you in the low lightWalking down by the bayOn the shore, staring up at the planesThat aren't there anymore I was feeling the night grow oldAnd you were looking so coldSo like an introvertI drew my over shirtAround my arms and beganTo shiver violently before- You happened to lookAnd see the tunnels all around meRunning into the darkUndergroundAll the subways aroundCreate a great soundTo my motion fatigueFarewell With your ear to a seashellYou can hear the wavesIn underwater cavesAs if you actually were insideA saltwater room." As wind would recognize the verse, she might also see that Sky had procured a spare microphone that just so happened to be close enough to her table to pick up her voice. She could then join into the chorus, where he'd written in female vocals: "Time together isn't ever quite enough When you and I are alone I've never felt so at home What will it take to make or break this hint of love? Only time, only time When we're apart what ever are you thinking of If this is what I call home why does it feel so alone So tell me darling do you wish we'd fall in love? All the time, all the time Can you believe that the crew has gone And wouldn't let me sign on? All my islands have sunk In the deep, so I can hardly relax Or even oversleep I feel as if I were home, some nights When we count all the ship lights I guess I'll never know Why sparrows love the snow We'll turn off all of the lights And set this ballroom aglow Time together is just never quite enough When you and I are alone I've never felt so at home What will it take to make or break this hint of love? We need time, only time When we're apart whatever are you thinking of? If this is what I call home why does it feel so alone? So tell me darling, do you wish we'd fall in love? All the time, all the time Time together is just never quite enough When we're apart whatever are you thinking of? What will it take to make or break this hint of love? So tell me darling do you wish we'd fall in love? All the time." Drawing in an audience member like that was a bit of a bold move, but it was that extra bit of shoponyship that showed Los Pegasus' influence on Sky. Why else would one attend a live performance, save for moments like these, which could happen nowhere else?
  3. Well, to be fair, Feng's as familiar with informal as well as formal martial arts, which might be fun to explore in a spar thread. And Blue has had close relations with several ponies of a martial character, both fervent and stoic, so this shouldn't be an impossible challenge for them.
  4. There was still a few ponies trickling in, some who had arrived before their dates, and others who would be eating later in the evening. Sky knew that he'd have to factor that in when putting together a set; he was still a background element rather than a foreground headliner. The advantage of that was that he didn't have to put too much thought into the order or consistency of his lineup; he could shift from genre to genre, and stay on any subject as long as he liked, or move on after one and done. It had to be said, that a lot of his songs tonight would be based on one particular inspiration. Shooting a smile over at Wind Dancer, Sky picked up his guitar, holding it in his legs as he strummed with a pick held between his feathers. "This first one's going out there to all those who are helping other ponies not be alone, written as a word of thanks to one who's there for me, hope you like it!" "I Found a book with your name And a picture of us Even though it was framedThi And covered in dust..." As he started the song, Wind would probably recognize the moment that the verse harkened back to, several weeks ago, when he had attended her own show, and caught a glimspe of her past bound in an album. "It's the map in my mind That sends me on my way They say it's never too late To stop being afraid And there is no one else here So why should I wait And in the blink of an eye The past begins to fade So have you ever been caught In a sea of despair And your moment of truth Is the day that you say "I'm not scared" Put your hands in the air, if you hear me out there I've been looking for you day and night Shine a light in the dark, let me see where you are 'Cause I'm not gonna leave you behind If I told you that you're not alone And I show you this is where you belong Put your hands in the air One more time I've seen a million miles Met a million faces Took all I knew To reach all these places And I'd do it again If it brings me back to you So have you ever been caught In a sea of despair And your moment of truth Is the day that you say "I'm not scared" Put your hands in the air, if you hear me out there I've been looking for you day and night Shine a light in the dark, let me see where you are 'Cause I'm not gonna leave you behind If I told you that you're not alone And I show you this is where you belong Put your hands in the air One more time Put your hands in the air Put your hands in the air, if you hear me out there I've been looking for you day and night Shine a light in the dark, let me see where you are 'Cause I'm not gonna leave you behind If I told you that you're not alone And I show you this is where you belong Put your hands in the air, one more time Put your hands in the air, one more time"
  5. Hm, you know, I'd like it at some point if Feng and Homura were able to spar; I haven't shown off his martial arts training, and depending on how the match goes, Esaka could view him as a rival... or add to his list of unrequited crushes. On a more serious note, Blueblood/Bluebelle is likely to have known Homura's father, or at least met him in a diplomatic context, and so would perhaps take an interest in her learning more subtle methods of dealing with problems than a hoof to the face.
  6. The city of Los Pegasus occupied a peculiar place in the music ecosystem. The outsize supply of venues for live performances made it an attractive destination for performers who were unable to fill stadiums, whether because their career was pretty much over, or hadn't yet truly begun. For Sky Sailing, it was the latter. His cloud home had drifted to a spot over the city reservoir, carried by literal and metaphorical winds to this city, where the young recording artist was to have the biggest run of luck in his life. It wasn't at a casino, but he considered it better than any jackpot in town. The simple decision to take a nap in a tree had led to a serendipitous meeting with one Wind Dancer, a rising star of the stage with her aerial dance routine, where the pair of them had quickly formed a common bond and deepening friendship. There was a great deal of mutual admiration for the two creatives, and each took a great deal of inspiration from the other. Perhaps something even deeper than that was coming to bind them together? For his part, Sky Sailing felt both elated and humbled, as Wind Dancer had loved his music enough to pull her favors in with the venue that hosted her, the Mareage Casino, to allow him to play in one of their cafes. The Twilight Sky Bistro was an open-air, rooftop eatery with a fantastic view of the city. It would have an even better view of the night sky, had not the surfeit of surface lights acted to scrub the heavenly space of all visible illumination save Luna's own moon. The light-blue pegasus, for his part, seemed to be trying to redress the balance in his own clothes, wearing a dinner jacket patterned as a starry nebula against a background of midnight blue. An old faux-leather flight cap rested on his brown mane, completing an incongruous look as he sat in the midst of an assortment of instruments, tuning each as the time approached closer to performance. To calm his pounding heart and shaking nerves, he took a look to the table in prime position in front of the stage, where Wind Dancer sat in a dress matching his jacket pattern. She'd lent him the money to get it for his debut here, after he had expressed interest in the pattern as a stage outfit. Now was his opportunity to justify her faith and confidence, and he gave her a small smile over the top of his keyboard as he looked over the crowd. "Hey, how's everyone doing tonight?" Though his eyes were mostly on Wind Dancer, he did know it would be rude not to spare a glance towards the other patrons. There were no headline acts in town tonight; most were out looking for a fresh face and new songs. Sky aimed to provide both. "My name's Sky Sailing, it's great to be here with you all tonight." The microphone amplified a voice that was normally soft-spoken to carry across the room.
  7. The full extent of Windy's planning was both astonishing and gratifying to Sky, and he strengthened the resolve in himself to play songs worthy of the faith demonstrated him. "Dressed to the nines, eh? Hah, well, my live show outfit's pretty eclectic; it includes a mask if I'm only doing instrumentals, but I think I'll sing the whole set when I get there. I should get a new jacket when I can afford it, though. Something with a nebula pattern against midnight blue, that's a good color scheme."
  8. Blueblood relaxed himself, finally, now that commitment was demonstrated and confirmed. "Very good! I personally don't think that will be necessary, Dunnie. I've got a feeling that Tiger has something extraordinary for us, if we can be a little patient while he learns the niceties." Having said that, he reached out to shake Tiger's hoof. "Technically, we can begin today. I haven't really come up with a formal induction ceremony, it will just be a matter of fitting for your armor, getting your lodgings set up, and arranging your training schedule. Honestly, most of that is going to be arranged by the guards themselves; I try not to micromanage my Honor Guard when I don't need them for a particular duty, so if you're not accompanying me or on a mission, you'll be spending most of your time with them. Speaking of which, there are a few others I ought to introduce you to, follow me." With that, he turned around, opening the door to the back garden...
  9. Although he had already guessed what Wind Dancer's good news was, that didn't stop Sky Sailing from laughing delightedly when she confirmed it. "That's wonderful!" He beamed, before giving the mare a grateful hug. "And so are you" He said, a little more softly, but just as sincerely. Pulling back, he picked the pencil back up, tucking it behind his ear. "I have to say, it certainly sounds like they're pulling out all the stops for a new act. I'll have to make sure that I live up to their expectations. Hm..." He tapped a hoof, already thinking about how the show was going to go. "Need to plan a set- oh, and make sure I get my instruments over. Will they mind keeping a storage space open for me as I bring them over, just so I don't have to haul so much all the way over there on the day itself?"
  10. Sky followed Wind into the bedroom, but lingered once again in the world of wakefulness as the mare slipped off into dreams on the other side of the covers. It wasn't a fitful alertness, though, but rather a quiet sort of happiness, a restful one, even. His eyes were closed, his mind back in his studio, feathers flying over an imaginary keyboard as he polished up the songs in his head. From time to time he left this lucid dream by opening his eyes, looking over at the peacefully sleeping pegasus beside him, smiling, before returning back to practice... ~**~ A few days later... There was a scrambling, scrabbling noise of hooves from inside the cloud apartment after Windy knocked on the door, followed by the sound of it opening and the sight of the sky-blue stallion. A pencil was still held in his mouth from his writing session, but it quickly dropped to the floor once he saw who it was. "Windy! Good to see you; come in, you had good news?" He blinked, as if trying to shed some film from his eyes. "Is it about the show? Did the Mareage agree?"
  11. Sky had been able to tell from her smile that Wind Dancer had enjoyed his song, but the sudden rush to embrace him took him slightly off-balance. He was able to stay upright, though, and return her hug within her enfolding wings. "Wow... I guess I was right, then..." It was amazing to him just what had come up between them, and how well he'd been able to capture it in music. Now, in the midst of his art in some way made flesh and material... he was once again assured, that as far away from normal as this story had taken him, he was not dreaming. Windy was real and in his hooves.
  12. The song seemed to be wrapping up, just as Winter surely would be, in time. After all, late snowfall or now, the ponies of Ponyville had civic spirit on their side, not to mention Berry Punch's famous punch! Readying the cups of heated nectar, she hoofed them out to each approaching worker in turn. The first was a... thestral, aerion? She could never figure out which of the two she was supposed to use. Honestly, in her mind, she still thought of them as "batponies." Not in any negative connotation, mind you! They always seemed to love her fruity drinks, and that was an excellent reason to esteem them as a tribe, as far as she was concerned. But what the heck else made sense to call ponies with batlike features, honestly? "Hey there! You new in town? Thought I saw you around last cider season." She remarked to Midnight, as he received the punch. Next up was a pegasus, also a new face to her. "Hello to you too, what team are you on? Some'll require two cups to get 'em through." She said to Finnie, with a wink. Finally came another bat, this time in a more familiar pastel color set. Berry barely had time to give Blue Bird the cup of punch before he swooped away. "Of course, some try to tough it out on just one." She chuckled, returning back to the line.
  13. The pair of them walked together out into the Los Pegasus night. Close together, they formed an insulated bubble of warmth and pure affection surrounding them, which presented something of a contrast to the streets around them. It was getting closer to the later, swinging hours of the night, when those gunning for high-risk over-stimulation were hitting the gambling halls and the clubs, suffusing the city in something of a corporate controlled mania. It was like the whole Strip was one big carnival ride, where the operators didn't care who was throwing up when it was all done. But none of that swamped Sky or Windy as they made their way off the tourist-clogged streets, back to the residential block she called home. Pegasi in apartments would sometimes come in through the balcony window rather than the front door, and the pair of them did so tonight. Sky was excited to show Wind Dancer one of the new songs he'd been working on, but didn't recall until the lights were turned up in the room that he hadn't any instruments handy. "Uh, hmm. Actually, do you think you could pour a couple of glasses of water? I can take a couple of spoons and tap out the melody on that; it's one of the closest analog ways to re-create some of the sound I synthesized, in any case." Once the improvised instruments were secured, Sky took a pair of spoons, and began to tap out a simple chime of notes, not as complex as the backing of the eventual recording would be, but enough to support the singing he crooned over it. The lyrics had some fairly obvious inspirations; it was one of the songs he'd written in that initial flurry of creativity following their first meeting. The Chorus seemed designed for a duet, which he was sure Wind would have joined in if she knew the words; as it was, he just pitched his voice differently for the female parts. He finished up the song eventually, playing out the outro in softer notes before finally laying the spoons back down on the counter besides the glasses. "I, ah, wrote this one for you. I hope you don't think it presumptuous, it might be a little early to call what we have anything serious... but from all the hints we've gotten so far, I think it'll shape up to be something pretty special, if we care for it."
  14. Blueblood was glad to see that Bellissima was greeting the morning in a good, or at least outwardly pleasant, mood. Not every pony was a morning pony, but a day like this, with a lot of hard work ahead of them, would be made all the easier if everypony was in it together to make it as good as possible. Even if it meant nothing more strenuous than getting coffee when asked; she looked the sort of mare who more often made than fulfilled such a request. It never hurt to see things from the perspective of the lower classes, after all, whatever one chose to do with that information afterward. It was a bit... unfortunate, therefore, that Applejack wasn't quite so agreeable. The earth mare's allergy towards favoritism frankly struck the Prince as strange; growing up in a world of patronage and power gave him a completely different perspective. "There comes a time, you know, where too rigid and strict an adherence to the principles of justice is indistinguishable from tyranny. Tempering a sense of justice to a sensibility for situational circumstances is a key part of leadership. Perhaps I ought to hold a special lecture on that..." He pondered, letting his words sink in. They seemed to have an effect, as Applejack apologized for her outburst. "Ah, I will concede the point then, for now." If the cider supply got low enough and it looked like Gallus and Silver would go away dry for the third time, however, Blueblood would pull rank. He anticipated unpleasantness from that act, but really, one had obligations to those underneath oneself, more special obligations than one owed towards ponies in general.
  15. Sky was relieved that Wind Dancer didn't feel that the situation was at all awkward; her ability to cut through the potential impasse of embarrassment gave him the leg up he needed to let his blush subside. He was even able to reciprocate her gesture of affection, in that he was cleaning her face as she cleaned his. But when she went in for a kiss-! His heart skipped a beat, sending him into syncopated rhythm. The nearly-banished blush made it's full rosy return with a gasp, and he looked at her with surprise... but also incredulous happiness, as if he could not believe his good fortune. "Oh, sure, sure!" He agreed, hastened along by his mood and sense of the moment. "It's a... long flight, and I did want to show you a few of the songs I'd been working on." Still feeling bashful, he retreated into his pockets to get the bits to pay the bill. But the belated sense of a needed evenness would not let him go, even after the moment passed. By the time they came to the doorway, he could stand it no longer; he had to return the kiss! He gave Windy a little peck on the cheek, just as he opened the door for her. His breathing and heartbeat out of sync and pounding in his ears. Had he misjudged, or was it serendipity?
  16. Wind Dancer assured Sky that he had more fans than perhaps he imagined. It was certainly possible, but he didn't want to ruin a nice surprise by letting his hopes get out of hoof. The mare would lean in for a nuzzle just as the stallion was finishing the last bite of his Prench toast, and this time, he went to return it instead of just receiving it. Unfortunately, since both of them had been eating syrup-soaked breakfast food, the pair of them ended up getting their cheeks stuck together! "Oops! Um..." Embarrassed, Sky tried to pull back, encountering resistance at first, until they suddenly came apart, releasing a sound not unlike the undoing of a giant velcro strap. The noise was loud enough to attract attention from the waitress and other diners, and Sky could only blush deeply in response. "Aww, aren't you two honies the cutest of sweethearts!" Their waitress gushed, while giving practical aid in the form of wet wipes.
  17. As much as Blueblood knew that Dunnie was taking a bit of an artificially harsh position, she did have a point. Tiger was showing a bit less... how could the Prince put it, orderly confidence? Part of the reason that Blue had asked Tiger to become a part of his honor guard was that he sensed a devil-may-care confidence that could be refined into something truly exceptional. Perhaps this was the time to make that clear. "As Dunnie said, you will be asked to inhabit a role that calls for more outward assurance than you may feel your competence and experience justifies. Joining a Royal Honor guard means starting at the deep end, and being willing to tolerate theatrics being as important as 'real' combat and policy. Much like being born a Prince, if it comes to that. Your duties will be an extension of my own life, in most if not all respects. That is what you are letting yourself in for. If you will commit to this, at the risk of your life and sacred honor, I will welcome you aboard and place you under the command and supervision of Dunnie and Captain Star Crusader for onboarding and training. Do you accept?" It was repetitive, he knew. But given how many diplomatic functions and garden parties he had to attend with ponies having much influence with little intellectual firepower to speak of... well, Tiger had better get used to it now.
  18. "Hehe, thanks." Sky could sense the compliment from Wind Dancer, and it made him blush. Between the exhilarating performance earlier, the good solid food, and the diner coffee, the stallion looked more awake and alert than the mare would have ever seen him. "I'll have send word to the local DJ at the station when the show is arranged, so those few loyal fans can show up. It would be nice to meet them at last." The omelet was almost gone, leaving only the last slice of French Toast soaking in the remaining syrup for him to eat. Regardless of how many paper napkins came out of the chrome dispenser between them, finishing that would be a sticky affair. "Thanks again for your help. And inviting me to the show. And your apartment. And talking to the weird pony who fell out of a tree." He grinned at her. "Not many would, and I know that from experience."
  19. Spoiled sat down to receive her husband's report, steepling her forehooves under her chin in thought as her opponent was laid out and analyzed. "Well, given the regularity of... incidents in this town, it wouldn't surprise me if Mr. Copper decided to at least buy a house here. Whether or not he lives here full time remains to be seen. Regardless, its quite clear that he's far from integral to this community, however helpful his ancillary efforts may be. We've already developed quite a few good protocols of our own for dealing with such matters ourselves." Having sat in on every single town meeting that worked out these protocols, Spoiled Rich felt she could take some personal pride in that field. As to whether those protocols were effective... "Dear, did you find any areas in which he seemed particularly weak? I don't think we're going to be able to prevent monster control from becoming one of the issues in this race, but we can respond by making the other key tenants of this race things in which he's likely to make a fool of himself out of. Mention them in every speech, press release, and advertisement we buy. Force him to answer awkward questions, keep him on the back hoof." A sound strategy, just needed fill out the tactics... Speaking of tactics, little Diamond was developing quite the devious mind. Spoiled felt another surge of maternal pride, though felt obligated to refine her daughter's unschooled ideas. "A good crisis could definitely be advantageous, but again, I think we want to go outside his area of expertise. We don't want to risk underestimating his core capabilities; otherwise, he might come out looking like a hero, ugh. Remember the little business with the tramp magician Trixie and the Ursa Minor? I pinpoint the rising of Twilight's stock in this town to that incident. No, as tempting as the risk is, it would be far too humiliating to fail in that way. Do you have any other ideas in that line, though, Diamond?"
  20. Using the wingfeathers to put some salt and pepper on his omelet, Sky took a thoughtful bite of this late breakfast as Wind laid out some options for him. "It's not like major broadcasts, just the sort of private FM stations that transmit for about 10 city blocks. I circulate in that scene, but if I ever break out, I'm going to remember the others who were there with me, and give them a hoof up. That's why I have my own recording studio as well as instruments; having control over that is key to being able to help fellow musicians get their own music out." Alternating the egg with sweet bread, Sky thought over his options. "I think I could play one of the cafes, if they'll have me."
  21. Blueblood was slightly taken aback; given how public his transformation had been made by this point, he was surprised now to see ponies that hadn't heard of it. Still, it was a possibility he had accounted for, and he nodded. "Yes, indeed, we are one and the same. It is one of the things you will have to take into account as a part of my honor guard-" It was here that Dunnie cut in, and the Prince had to try very hard to keep a straight face. He knew her well enough by now to know when she was seriously upset, or just seriously trolling, and he didn't want to interfere with her own work. Let the reveal come on her time. "And yes, Dunnie here will acclimate you to most of the rest, but there are a few things that we'll have to discuss up front. Being a royal honor guard is not the same thing as a regular guard post; I will ask things of you that normal military commanders will not, put you in situations most officers will never face, and expect you to put on a shining public front all the while. I think you have potential, otherwise I wouldn't have bothered to invite you, but it's only right that you know what you'll be getting yourself into before you fully commit."
  22. It was nice being able to talk to a fellow creative like this; Sky had heretofore not been all that active within a community of musicians or artists. That probably was behind his currently slow start in getting a recording studio up and running. For some reason, though, Wind managed to cut through all the difficulties that the stallion usually had in breaking out of an introverted shell. The circumstances of their first meeting being so unusual may have contributed to that icebreaking, now that he though about it. *Perhaps I should sleep in trees more often. Get in touch with the bird part of my heritage.* Filing that idea away for later, he leaned into the nuzzle, smiling softly himself. "Thanks... I have to admit, though, I haven't played for audiences much. My songs go out through the vinyl presses and minor radio stations, and I never see the ponies on the other side. It's.... a bit too easy to forget that they're real, sometimes." He sighed, taking in a deep breath of the aroma of their fresh food. It cleared his head, oddly enough, as well as gave him an appetite. "Food is a reminder of solidity. Live shows, too, in a way. I'm gonna work on lining one of them up soon. Do you know... any place that's willing to take on new talent? Not a big venue, just somewhere where I'm able to see their smiles."
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