Jump to content
Bramble Rose

Golden Age: Issue 1.5 - Team-building Exercises

Recommended Posts

MorningGlory.png

 

Morning Glory walked into a bar.

That's how jokes started, right?  She felt like she was in a joke.  She licked her lips, looked around.  The dim, dingy little bar was chock full of thestral ponies.  The stone walls made her feel a bit claustrophobic.  There was no crashing out through those walls if things went bad.  Those were the stuff of the cliff itself.  And bat-wings packed the place from wall to wall, with only a couple of brightly colored unicorns and earth ponies standing out against their dark coloration.  Were they as near-blind in here as she was?  There was, what, a single candle lighting this place?  No, no, there were a few other recessed lights, just shielded so to cast their glow against the wall, making it more muted.  A night with a full moon was brighter than this room.  How many of these thestral ponies had sided with Nightmare Moon?  How many traitors were looking at her as an enemy?  No, Captain Nightguard wouldn't have betrayed her like that.

Morning Glory walked into a bar and the bar went silent, everypony staring at her.

She was entirely too aware of her garb.  Pegasus-style full dress armor from a bit too long ago to be stylish, complete with the long half-skirts that looked showy without restricting movement.  Military, that's for sure.  And between her huge wings and her horn, there was no hiding who she was.  She'd expected to show up wrapped in a cloak and be all stealthy about this, but Captain Nightguard had insisted she not hide.  Was he here?  She squinted in the dim light - there weren't any helmets or cloud engines in evidence, and she couldn't tell if any of the ponies here were missing a wing like he was.  She shifted from looking at their wings to looking at their faces.  Those were a lot of hostile glares.  Except for the one young mare with wide eyes who was biting her hooves as if a famous singer had just walked in.  Young mare?  She was older than Bravado was.

Seriously?  That's the crowd he wants us to blurt this out in front of?

 

Doc Pyrex Stein, 'deceased' unicorn researcher at Thoroughbred City University, spoke in the back of Morning Glory's mind.  Her spirit lived in the helm atop Morning Glory's head, which gave Morning Glory her powers.

 

He must have his reasons.

 

Bravado, first string Sky Team for Thoroughbred City University's hoofball team, and once assistant to Doc Pyrex Stein, before the accident that merged them together into one being.  He was still getting used to being an alicorn mare.

 

"Um.  Hello," said Morning Glory nervously.  "I'm ... uh ... looking for Captain Nightguard?"
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The bar Morning Glory steps into had been loud and noisy, singing going strong. When she steps in, it is but a moment and the bar becomes deathly silent. And it is quickly apparent before a word is uttered that all eyes are on her. At least, it's apparent from the thestral gazes, their eyes glowing in the dim light like that of all nocturnal creatures. All hues of the rainbow, yet muted and deeper colors than that of the ponies who walk in the day. 

 

The armor of the alicorn is also a stark contrast. Not a thestral in the bar is dressed in finery, those that are dressed up the clothing has seen better days long ago. It shouldn't be a surprise after coming here. This section of the city had been hurt worst of all after Nightfall, the ponies of the night scraping what they can to help one another survive, the gleaming armor calls nothing but attention to already a conspicuous individual. This doesn't help the harsh glares staring at the alicorn. A portion of those glares become obvious, the ponies scarred, multiple injuries healed up from battles in the past, some missing part of an ear, another a tear in his wing. Is that a mare with bandages over both eyes?

 

The quiet hangs thick in the air right until Morning Glory's nervous words to the thestrals"Um.  Hello. I'm ... uh ... looking for Captain Nightguard?" There is but a moment of pause, looks of bewilderment, then the room bursts out in laughter as a few of the more scarred thestrals step forward "Oh... did you hear the conviction from the new princess?" A mare who's tail seems much too short, looks to the stallion coolly, interrupting any rebuttal from Morning Glory, talking past her as if she wasn't there "Princess? Pshah... a little filly who thinks dress up gives her power." Another stallion answers to the mare, who in fact is a full head shorter than the 'little filly', with a low voice "Luna didn't go out in anything that fancy when she had to throw down, someone's trying to show up." The thestrals keep stalking forward with their jeers. Anyone who's been in a fight can see what's happening, they're moving around circling up, where the only direction to keep from being surrounded completely is to back up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MorningGlory.png

 

The stares, the dim darkness from this small, new settlement just outside of the city, the rumors of just what these dark ponies do in the dead of night, the stories of cults to Nightmare Moon, especially to the pegasus that was the heart of Morning Glory, all combined together to make her nervous.  The stares, the personal space being violated ... her heart raced in fight or flight, her mouth was dry, her muscles tense...

Then they started playing insults, and everything seemed right again.  She might as well have been back in the locker room joking with the team.

What's wrong with you, Bravado?  Didn't you hear those horrible things they were saying to us?

Trust me, Doc.  This is just fine.  It's a pegasus thing.  You'll see.

Morning Glory smirked at the last pony who spoke up, looking him up and down.  "If you think armor is 'too fancy' for fighting monsters, that would explain why you're so ugly.  Thought you were too pretty to hide your face behind a helm?  That sure bit ya in the tail."  The fanfilly on the other side of the room stiffled a giggle.

Morning Glory turned then towards the first stallion who had spoken, not giving them time to respond right away.  "And you!  Wow, you sure coulda used more armor there, but I think the blows to the head were the real problem.  Being an alicorn doesn't make me a princess.  That'd be treason, no thank you."

Then she looked to the mare who had been dismissing her.  "And as for your little snarky comments ... "  She paused a moment, thinking it over.  "Fair enough.  Carry on."  After all, Morning Glory *was* just Doc's fillyhood games made flesh...
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a bit of a surprise from the three thestrals when they hear the insults. Then all three get really big grins. The first stallion just tilts his neck with a quick cracking motion, the third looks over to the mare and gives a low chuckle "Well Gem. You heard the lady... Carry on." and he steps back. Gem just laughs out "Oh, and I was worried there for a second that this was going to be boring!" she bolts forward in a charge, her wings flapping to help with speed, dropping at the last second in a weave to the right and on her side, her front hoof out to in the side to trip up the alicorn before flipping up in a stance at the doorway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MorningGlory.png

 

Morning Glory let out an internal sigh of relief at their big grins, not breaking her outward show of confidence.

See, Doc?  We're cool.

I dunno, Bravado, that was pretty mean.

Nah, it's just how we pegasus ponies-

Suddenly her face was full of floor.  It didn't really hurt, but... how had she ended up on the floor?  It'd all happened so fast.  "Um... what?" she asked.  She got to her hooves, then, looking around.  "Uh, wait, now, I'm not here to fight.  I thought we were just playing.  I'm only looking for Nightguard, not trouble."
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The three thestrals are in positions now surrounding Morning Glory, one keeping between the door, the other two out to the front. They pace slowly, slowly circling. The bar... well, it's funny. The bar, none of the usual bar activity has even slowed down. Everyone is still chattering, drinking, some raucous singing. But yet... everyone close to the four ponies has moved away, giving plenty of room, and every eye is watching the situation. The three thestrals just stay right out of reach of Morning Glory, but every movement is that of them ready to pounce into action, the first one laughing "Well, you've certainly found the Nightguard..." and his voice drops to a dark whisper, yet somehow carrying over the din "So what exactly were you planning to do with us?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MorningGlory.png

 

Morning Glory looking around at the circling ponies, feeling a bit confused as to what was going on here.  Why were they so hostile?  She hadn't done anything to them.  "No, no, sorry.  I'm looking for CAPTAIN Nightguard.  Nice fellow, bit gruff, only has one wing?  Well-used but very nice set of armor? He told me to ask for him here.  Look, comon, I'm not looking for a fight.  I don't want to have to hurt you."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a pause at Morning Glories words, the two stopping their pacing and turning to face her directly.

 

"There's very few that's come here looking for the Cap that hasn't been stewing for trouble." 

 

"Not looking for a fight. Don't want to have to hurt us. I've heard mafia enforcers use better lines."

 

Suddenly the larger of the two flies forward for a hit straight at glory, immediately ducking back before a swing can go, the other one joining in, the two going at quick strikes. The hits aren't as strong as they could be, sacrificing strength for impending need for dodging. The third though has taken up to be in position to trip up Glory's hind legs should she back up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MorningGlory.png

 

Morning Glory rocked back as the two thestrals started attacking her, weaving away, and giving way before their strikes.  "Oh, hey, not like that, comon.  I don't want-"  She tripped over the thestral behind her, landing heavily on her rump, and scrambling back up to her hooves right away.  "Comon, it's more that I don't want you to break your hooves as you try to kick me.  If there's a problem with me waiting here, I can just wait outside for him, I'm sure he'll show up soon."
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The third ducks away quickly when Morning Glory trips over her. There's a bit of a laugh amongst them when the concern is them breaking their hooves. But she did in fact have a suggestion. They all stop, looking between each other, murmuring a moment in discussion. This pause actually makes the bar go quite as they all look up to see what's happening. The three then finish the conversing and give wide grins as Gem simply says "That is a fantastic idea. You can indeed wait outside."

 

-------------

 

Outside the door flies and the three thestrals assist the alicorn out the door. Standing immediately outside the door, Captain Nightguard takes a step back before Glory lands in front of him, looking down at her "I take it the fight didn't go well."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MorningGlory.png

 

Morning Glory let out a huff of a sigh, blowing up a small dust cloud from the stone floor of the corridor that her chin was pressed against, took in a deep breath, then pursed her lips to blew a lock of her brilliant morning-gold mane out of her face.

They can't treat us like that!  They can't treat a princess like that!  Go back in there and show them a little Royal Wrath!

Doc, Doc, Doc, comon.  First, we're not a princess, and second, these are-


"Oh!"  She smiled and got up to her hooves, dusting off her skirts and armor a bit, and fluttering her wings to get them settled once more.  She didn't seem to notice or care that her mane was in utter disarray as she smiled to see Captain Nightguard.  "Hi!  Good, you made it!  No, no, no fight.  Just some sort of misunderstanding I figured you'd clear up when you got here.  I think I might have messed something up - your friends don't play the game of Insults with the same rules I'm used to.  Seemed a nice group, though.  Shall we begin?"
 

NICE?!  Are you crazy?!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a pause at the comment about game of insults, about to inquire, the three ponies step out of the door, the three reporting "So, apparently she thought this whole thing was a game sir." "Right. Not seeing the pony who crashed through an ally with no provocation. Instead comes in fully timid, at least until throwing insults. But if she thought it was a game... she certainly had no attention to when one is joking, and when one is in an aggressive stance." "She might not have taken a swing, but didn't flinch except to back up from a hit. But she can't keep on her hooves apparently."

 

Nightguard appraises over Glory, and the other three thestrals before speaking "It was no misunderstanding Glory. I needed to see what kind of pony you were in a fight that could be observed by others. As well as see if you can judge threats, a point you're certainly lacking in apparently." he sighs muttering something about having to go to square one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MorningGlory.png

 

Morning Glory let out a faint noise of frustration at the comment about crashing through an ally.  "That was a misunderstanding!  I thought he was - wait!  How did you find out about that?"  The ongoing realization, however ... she'd been set up, as a test?  "Oh!  I get it, I see!  Sorry, I didn't realize!  I'll be back shortly!"  She spread her wings and scooped up the three thestrals from the bar, dragging them on back inside with her.

Bravado?  Bravado!  Wait, this is a really, really bad idea!

Hey, we asked for training.  We gotta do what we're asked.

No, Bravado, wait!

She smiled cheerfully at the three who'd been harassing her.  "All right, I'm sorry, everypony!  I didn't realize I was supposed to get into a fight - there was some sort of misunderstanding.  I know, you ponies are terribly experienced with hundreds of monsters you've stopped without anypony knowing, and I've only got, like, a dozen I've taken care of myself, so I know things are going to go really badly for me, but I'll do my best to give you a good fight all the same, and I'll try not to accidentally break any bones or maim somepony by accident.  Still getting used to how strong I am.  So!  Where were we?"

She pointed at the first stallion.  "You're ugly," she chirped brightly, then the second, "You're uglier," and then the mare.  "And while you were technically accurate, you were really itchy-twitchy-rhymes-with-witchy about it!"  She rubbed her forehooves together.  "So, shall we?"

The soft squee of a fanfilly in the background almost muffled the ominous quiet rustle of a hundred ponies all standing up from the cushions they'd been sitting on.  Morning Glory let out a resigned sigh.  "This is gonna hurt..."
 

I don't understand how such a promising and brilliant young student like you can be such an idiot, sometimes.

 

Outside, Captain Nightguard was treated to the sounds of furious combat - crashing noises, the sounds of breaking furniture, the occassional zap of unicorn magic - either Morning Glory's or one of the two unicorn nightguard who had shown up tonight.  Inside, Morning Glory was a whirling dervish, using her extreme strength to send ponies flying by just clipping them with extended wings, but she couldn't spin forever.  She'd throw up spherical shields to knock the nightguard away from her, though the combined effort of everypony swiftly overwhelmed said shields.  The few attempts to get herself into a corner limited her options too much, so instead she moved wildly around the bar, trying not to stay in one place too long, using her speed and strength to desperately try to keep the nightguard off-balance.

All the same, it wasn't that many more minutes before she flew out the front door again, landing heavily on her chin - this time quite short of where Captain Nightguard was waiting.  She was battered and bruised, and panting heavily, and she lay there on the stone a little longer before managing a cheerful, "ow... they're ... really good!  That was kinda awesome.  Sorry, I ... broke the furniture a bit... but didn't wreck the floor or walls.  So we're good.  I'mma just ... lay here for a bit..."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Morning Glory turns back to the three, stating she'll be right back... leaving Captain Nightguard confused, "What are you-?" and the statement about her not knowing that she didn't know there was supposed to be a fight "That's not what... oh stars..." he facehooves and just waits. Yup. There goes the crashing. Star Flight sits out while the fight goes on. An alicorn walks into a bar... three ponies were supposed to attempt to pick a fight with the alicorn. They fail. Then the alicorn proceeds to return to that spot, to pick the fight herself. In a room full of ponies told to observe and make sure it doesn't go over the top, a room full of ponies that would like a second crack at an alicorn when preparedLuna help me... as strong as her bones are, it's going to take a dragon to pound a lesson into that skull...

 

Sure enough, she comes flying back out, not by her own power. He comes up, standing over her as she lays there "So tell me. Did you train by blindfolding yourself before running into situations or did this come naturally to you?" He holds up a hoof to stop the answer. Easy now... you've dealt with recruits like this... well not like this before, but do you REALLY want to know the answer? "Let me answer one thing. Yes. You were put to a test. One to see how you'd react to a threat. Your reaction, to treat it like it was a game. Then to turn around and escalate it. You might want to fold up those wings because you completely flew over the success contingent. However, you didn't run out screaming and we didn't have to put you down, so we have that going for us which is nice. But do tell me, did you ever once see that the three were ready for a fight?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MorningGlory.png

 

She blinked up at Captain Nightguard, trying really hard to listen past the pounding of the blood in her ears, still panting desperately.  "Well ... sure.  But they're ... your friends, so I ... figured it was just some ... misunderstanding.  They weren't ... really putting anypony ... in danger."  She paused a long moment, thinking.  "Well, except me ... I guess, but that ... doesn't count.  Why?"

She blinked, then, and squeezed her eyes shut... "Wait ... gotta ... do something, first ... "  With great reluctance, she finally stirred herself, forcing herself to her hooves.  She paused a moment, once she was to her feet, her teeth gritted and a couple tears in the corner of her eyes for the pains that caused ... but nothing seemed too serious.  Just a whole lot of bruising.  She nodded to Captain Nightguard, then turned around and went back into the bar, leaning against the door frame to help support herself.

"Hey there, everypony ... thank you so much ... for helping us out.  That was amazing.  You're all amazing.  I'm sorry I couldn't ... give you as good a fight ... as I hoped.  I've never seen ... anything like that ...  Is everypony all right?  I know first aid ... "
 

You're insane.  That's what it is.  I'm stuck in the brain of an crazy pony.  They all just tried to KILL us!

 

Nonsense.  If they'd wanted us dead, we'd be dead.

 

Was that supposed to be reassuring?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nightguard tips his head a bit when Glory tells him there's something she needs to do first. Inside the bar, every pony looks up again, at the thanks, there's mixed reactions, from scowls to other ponies outright laughing. One clocks her on the shoulder with a light punch "HAH! Seems like I got the bet over those that thought you'd run off! If you want to come down for a brawl again, I'm sure the lot of us would be happy to indulge!" Amongst the ponies there's some that seem ready to start right back into the fight again, others cheerfully agreeing, some rolling their eyes and going back to the drinks... and seriously, how can a mare with bandages over her eyes seem to be judging every move you make?

 

When Glory steps back out, she finds Nightguard facehooving from this movement. There's a momentary pause as he thinks a moment and speaks "You have... amongst cadets I've seen, a singular knack, that despite what seems to be pretty good instincts when in the depth of everything, to be completely blind when you jump headfirst into everything you see." there's a pause and a moment where he thinks "Sit. Do not move. And most importantly... Pay attention!" There, lets NOT have her wander back into the fray again. "As to what you said a moment ago, not putting any pony in danger except for you? And that doesn't count?" there's a certain incredulity to his voice "And pray tell do you plan to rescue ponies when you're injured or killed? I get it, in a fight, a pause, a moment, is all it takes for everything to be lost... however... that lack of pause before a fight leads to the same things. I certainly hope you don't plan on wasting my time training you by getting yourself killed by taking a bite out of something bigger than you, or making me track you down because you started injuring innocents."

 

He let that pause sink in a moment, before holding up a hoof to stop any argument about not hurting an innocent "Do you think if you had hit a pony through a wall that couldn't shield himself like Pagemaster that the night would have been different? Or all those bruises you've got fresh... I had asked three of them to act hostile to you. To gauge if you'd escalate or not... and to think of a game of insults... apparently we have to teach you to read body language... especially when you RETURNED downstairs, and in front of an entire contingent of former Nightguard, said you were supposed to get in a fight." He sighs and looks up at the ceiling "I swear... whatever education you come from apparently teaches that tests in life are True/False." he looks back at her "I hope I am getting through to you here... If you don't look before diving in, too shallow you'll break your neck, and too deep, someone may not be there to save you from drowning when you're in over your head."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MorningGlory.png

 

Morning Glory let out a soft huff of laughter at the blind mare's words.  "I ... thanks?  I don't know I'll be ready to give you guys a good brawl anytime soon, but I'll do my best!  I'm just glad nopony got seriously hurt because they were trying to help me out."  She reached out and grabbed the blind mare's hoof to give it a shake.  "Morning Glory, good to meet you."

Then she was out the door again, and gratefully followed orders to plant her rear down on the cold stone and stop moving.  She listened attentively, trying to follow along through Captain Nightguard's ... she couldn't think of a better word than 'ranting'.  Speech?  Lesson?  Dressing down?  She felt like she'd just screwed up the big play during the big game.

Because you DESERVE it.  Listen to him, he's making sense!

I ... do?  What'd I do?

Just listen!  He's TELLING you what you did!

She hung her head a bit hangdog, trying to follow along through Captain Nightguard's train of thought.  She thought she'd done all right.  "I'm ... not sure ... Captain, I believe you when you say I've done something wrong, but I just don't understand what.  When I avoided a fight, I did something wrong?  And when I went back to do that fight, I did something wrong there, too?  I mean, I get that I don't know what I'm doing, and don't have good control ... that's why I'm here asking you for training."

Her hoof came up, rubbed at the back of her neck as her head hung lower.  "And I know that I could have really hurt Pagemaster.  That's part of why I avoided fighting, today.  I didn't want to accidentally do that again.  I didn't mean to do that, the other day.  I'm still not used to how strong I am.  I mean, I knew I was strong, but ... I still don't know everything I can do.  Like, that loud booming voice thing I did the other day?  I don't even know how that happened.  But as far as ... do I matter?  Of course I have to protect myself, but ... the Powers of Harmony didn't give me these abilities so I could go around picking fights with anypony who steps up at me.  I'll protect myself if I have to, I won't let anypony hurt me, but I'm here to protect other ponies.  Not to prove I'm stronger than anypony who wants a fight.  I had a choice between fighting, and waiting outside for you to show up.  I decided to let them throw me out, because I didn't want a fight.  Especially not with your friends."
 

She took a deep breath, let it out in exasperation, and looked up at Captain Nightguard again with big, worried eyes.  "So, um, like I said, I believe you when you say I did something wrong ... but ... what was the right thing to do?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Luna help us. He lets out a deep inhale, before exhaling slowly. "What was the right thing to do. Knowing what the intention of the ponies in front of you were. Don't get me wrong, I know the three -can- possibly sucker punch you, acting friendly every step of the way until you're fed your teeth, but that wasn't the point and not what they were supposed to do." He tilts his head "So what were you supposed to do? Understand that there wasn't a game happening. They intended the fight. If you didn't want to get into the fight, you turn and walk out. Or you be the wall that dealt with that could take a hit from one of those sisters. OR if you REALLY wanted to get in the insult war... make me have to come in and tell you to get off of them because you're holding them down." he thinks She thinks she's invincible. What could threaten her? "If you are going to ignore a ponies intentions in the case of hostility, do you think you'll notice a cockatrice before it turns you to stone? Or are you going to game of insults a dragon until it decides to eat you? Can you tell a scared pony who's using a filly as a shield is doing so because he's scared as well, or he has no respect for her life?" he paces before her, but his head is always turned to her, his eyes staring straight into hers. "Knowing what intends harm just by a glance can tell you whether you're in a game or the start of a fight. Can tell you the predator and the prey. Done well, can tell you right when and where that swing will be coming from so you're never even touched."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MorningGlory.png

 

Morning Glory did her best not to roll her eyes at the cockatrice or the dragon situation.  Those were TOTALLY different situations ... but at the third scenario, with the filly, she blanched and shrunk in on herself a little.  "I ... I don't know ... I've never run into that sort of situation.  And I hope I never do.  But ... um ... is there any way to tell that other than experience?  And ... well ... I mean, I judged this situation correctly, at first.  I knew they weren't *really* trying to hurt me, they were just... posturing.  I wasn't sure why, but it turned out it was because they were trying to gauge my reaction for you.  I know I messed up with Pagemaster, I only had a moment before ... I thought ... the police, who were scared, were going to get zapped or something.  I made the wrong call.  I didn't see anything else for them to be scared of.  I know I got lucky there.  And as I get experience, I'll get better.  But ... right now, I'm hoping you can teach me ... um ... how to fight, how to subdue, so that ... when I make mistakes ... I don't ... make them worse.  So I can learn how to take down ponies or monsters without endangering them or those around them.  I know I'm super-strong, and any little mistake I make can mean ... something bad for somepony.  I need to learn how to fight so that I can make sure not to hurt ponies.  And my awareness will grow over time ... right?  I just need more experience.  The more time I spend training with you, the more experience I can gain to read ponies without being in the field where I can make worse mistakes.  At least ... that's the theory?"

 

Morning Glory had the feeling that ... it wasn't right to discuss philosophy with the guy training you.  She'd expected something more ... drill sergeant-esque.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Captain stops at the awareness will grow over time. There's a moment where he tilts his head and thinks on it a moment and he turns and looks to Glory, apparently she isn't prepared to learn what needs to be taught. However, he can teach her through what she says she wants to learn. He starts to pace around her again "No Morning Glory. I'll lay it out simple. You're going to practice dodging and defence now." He looks over to her and hands her an egg "Oh. And hold this."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MorningGlory.png

 

Eek!

 

The sudden egg surprised Morning Glory, but her reflexes were quick and well-honed from Bravado's years on the field.  She rocked back, automatically grabbing the thrown egg from the air with both hooves ... she didn't crush it completely, just ... brought her hooves a smidgen too close together, sending a network of cracks across the egg ... for a moment it looked like it might be all right, then the bottom of the egg fell off and the insides fell to the stone floor with a *splat*.

"Oops... sorry..." Morning Glory apologized.  "Do you have another one?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Captain Nightguard turns and looks at the mess then back up at Morning Glory. "This is what you're going to be catching. Whether it's something valuable and expensive stolen to a pony. You have to defend it. And that includes your own control." he takes another egg and tosses it to her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MorningGlory.png

 

Morning Glory let out an *eep* and went to catch the egg again, fumbling with it, trying too hard to be gentle and managing to let it slip through her hooves to hit the pavement.  "Ack.  What does this have to do with dodg-EEP!"  Another egg already!  This one splattered against her quickly outstretched hoof.  And the next she bobbled and fumbled and brought tight against her breastplate... crushing it there.  She sighed.  Egg after egg came in, before she had a chance to recover from the previous failure, and egg after egg cracked, broke, shattered... She tried leaning forward to catch it on the insides of her forelegs, theorizing that if she didn't apply any pressure at all, then she couldn't possibly break it!  And ... the egg never reached her forelegs.  Instead, yolk and whites came dribbling down her horn from the egg impaled on her horn.

Why doesn't he give us a chance to recover and think about this!  This is ridiculous!  What are we possibly supposed to learn from this!

No, no, Doc, this is perfect.  He's not teaching our brains, he's teaching our muscles!

What, muscles have their own brains, now?

Reflexes, Doc.  Reflexes.  If we have to think about it, it's too late.  We have to be able to use our strength properly without thinking about it.  Trust me, there's nothing like repetition.  This is how I learned hoofball.  Sorta.


After a couple dozen eggs, she bobbled the egg between her forehooves, brought in her wings, and ... and ... it was OK!  Her face brightened up tremendously as she grinned happily to Captain Nightguard.  "I caught it!"  She turned to the door of the bar, wrenched it open with one hoof while holding up the egg triumphantly atop her other hoof.  "I caught the egg!" she told everypony inside excitedly, showing it to them.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone who's spent time around the Captain knows the sound of the lightning canons, that momentary whine that increases in pitch. Not as many know that his aim is such that he'd hit the egg directly to make it shatter and rain the contents down on Morning Glory. That is exactly what happens. Captain Nightguard lectures "As I said before. The lesson is to dodging and defence. Do you think you're the first to come to training with this conviction of invulnerability? While your hide may be tougher than the other ponies that have been trained into the Night Guard, it nary means a thing if you can't protect something as strong as an egg." to prove the point, he's got an egg resting on the ground, narrow side up, pressing a hoof on it. Certainly, he can put more strength into it, but it's not cracking. He then picks it up and tosses it to her "Right now you're nothing but an enforcer. A cudgel. You can hit well, cause and withstain catastrophic amounts of damage, but a rookie guard out of training can guard far better than you."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MorningGlory.png

 

Morning Glory sat there, stunned, as the egg dripped from her upturned hoof, from her cheek, from her horn... but it wasn't just the mess, or the laughing ponies in the bar ... what hurt the most is that her feeling of victory had been stolen from her.  She'd been proud of controlling her strength enough to catch an egg... did he not understand how hard that was for her?  How much her strength sometimes scared her?  If he'd made it a game, teased her about how he'd hit, maybe that'd be different, but instead he just kept ripping into her ... as if she didn't know all this already!  Did he think she was stupid?

She moved to catch the newly tossed egg, but the energy that she'd been throwing into trying to master this seemed to have gone out of her, and it just smashed against her hoof.  She let out a sigh, and muttered, "Sorry," and moved back out to the cave where the floor was showing the mess of a couple dozen wrecked eggs.  "I guess I'll try again... and you don't have to rub it in.  I already know all that.  That's why I'm here."  Once again, despite her size and power, Captain Nightguard couldn't help but get the feeling of a teenaged pony from her - as young as any new recruit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...