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Cyclone of Revelations[Private:Tempest]

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Tucked away deep within one of the Private VIP rooms at the Mareage, sat Ice Storm as she awaited her guest to arrive. This wasn't an ordinary guest that she had invited and the topic matter that they were going to be discussing tonight well... There was a very good reason why Icy Storm requested on of the private party rooms. Nopony else could overhear their discussions tonight. She even went so far as to make sure that the room wasn't monitored in any wat. She looked for cameras, wires, even motion sensors. There was a camera in the room, but she couldn't see any recording devices other than that. That's fine. Ponies can know that they talked, they don't need to know what they were discussing. Ice Storm had been working on and preparing for a silence spell already. It was going to take her a bit to cast because it was going to have to be shaped accordingly. She was going to force the spell around the plants, the table, and leave it just short of all of the walls and the floors to where nothing outside of her silenced zone could hear them. However, Ice and her guest would be able to hear them. Once she was satisfied with the room, she turned to the waiter pony.

 

"When Tempest arrives, direct her to me. Once she's here, three knocks to get in," she told him, handing him a decent bag of bits. "Drinks, Orders, food. Otherwise, We are not to be disturbed, and we are not here."

 

The Stallion looked down into the bag and once he sat the amount in it, he nodded. "Got it. What will you be starting off with?"

 

"Strawberry Moscato, and Whatever Tempest wants when she gets here." He nodded again and shut the door as he left. Ice took the moment to look at the decor. There were four potted trees in the room, and a small vase on the table. Thankfully the vase was clear so she could see straight through it. Nothing in it that could listen to them. One less thing that she would have to warp around. She did however, begin to lower the temperature of the room. She didn't use her magic to do this though, she simply willed the orbs to speed up their orbit around her. The natural magic inside them did the work for her. The room was chilled. She took a seat at the table and waited. As soon as her guest arrived, the silence would start, and their dealings can begin.

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Tempest never liked las pegasus all to much for a long and detailed list of condemning jugements. Truly if she was crowned queen after her conquest she’d have made it a priority to rip this city down to the dirt and uncover all it’s dirty lies. But such power was now nothing more than a daydream to pass time as she walked the streets. Most ponies made good to give her space as her plated armor clinked and rattled. The mark of the storm king all but removed on the flank-plate and replaced with a new one. Her sacred eye with the scar itself being a lightning bolt.

 

A new branding and identity. Well her name was to say Tempest her mark was not to be that of some backstabbing king that tossed total victory in to a fire. No. She has learned much from that and what followed. She was wrong to believe going alone was the key to life and that belief destroyed her best hope at a horn and power. She needed ponies she can trust… more so ponies that will never… EVER betray her. She needed utter loyalty and that was her game plan moving onward. The stream king was dead but the queen of storms… She just needed help making her dream of leading an army with loyalty only to her happen and the first step was geting income and maybe some land. Something she had none of. No pony will follow her if she has nothing but some bags on her back and old armor.

 

And maybe some help can be had. The letter she got from a rather… odd mailmore seemed to say so. At least after she recovered from the crash to read it. The mare hit with some force, and well the speed of delivery is wellcome Tempest can’t say she liked being the doormat. But here she was, on time at the given date as she opened the door of the Mareage. This ‘Ice’ wanted to speak to her on urgent matters it seemed and it sounded like it was to benefit them both. Something she did not trust to much after being betrayed before but worth hearing out all the same. Much as she hated it she did help to make her new dreams come true.  

 

No sooner did the walk in did a Stallion make his way over to her and ask if she was Tempest. “Yes.” Was he got as an answer. All he needed as he asked her to follow. A private VIP room for a meeting spoke much about the mare she was meeting. She had some coin on her for that. On the way to the room he asked if she’d want drinks. “Yes. Rum. If you have Sea Dragon I want it. No ice.” A simple oder, he told her he will make it happen. Soon she reached a door and he knocked three times and Tempest almost chuckled at how… corny that was.

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The wait was drawing on her. Tempest didn't seem like the kind of mare to stand somepony else up. At least, not a pony that had an offer like what she had. Of course, there would have to be a mutual agreement between the two. Ice Storm sought information of her own that she was hoping to obtain through this meeting. One thing was for sure. Tempest was not a mare to cross. If you made a deal with her, you stuck to it. However, that, is a two-faced coin. Ice was also not a mare that you would want to cross. She had plenty of pull and she had ways of making sure things went her way. That was neither here nor there at the moment thought. Going into a meeting with such negative connotations would only serve to set the stage with negativity and thus make it harder for the two of them to reach the agreements that she was certain that they both wanted to make.

 

At this point now, the room was down right cold. Or would be to anypony that wasn't immune to the effects of ice or cold. Even the door would have been a bit biting to touch for any prolonged period of time right now. This was intentional. In the even that the silence wasn't strong enough, the extreme cold on the door and the wall leading to the room would serve as a deterrent. Inside the room a light frost could be seen forming on the ground from the conditioning of the room.

 

At last, the moment came that she had been waiting for. She smiled when she heard the three knocks on the door. A very brief set of muffled dialogue that she assumed was a drink order and the door opened. Near instantly the temperature difference between the two rooms cause a strong draft as the cold air rushed out, leaving the air of mixing temperatures suspended in the room. Almost as if the room had exhaled into a brisk winter morning, leaving the trail of vapor in it's wake. She looked over the mare that took Canterlot. The armor suited her... really well actually.

 

She smiled though as she pushed herself up, her orbs spinning a bit as the level of frost in the room seemed to center itself on ice, slowly setting into her own armor. She didn't suspect an attack. On the contrary. It was a sign of respect. A showing that she was not taking Tempest lightly, but also a reminder that she herself shouldn't be either. "Tempest, please! Come in! We have so much to discuss," she said looking back to the waiter. "Whatever she asked for, bring the whole bottle... You know what, bring three 40's. Put it on my tab," she finished as she invited the mare to take a seat in front of her, as the flare of her horn went off, releasing the silencing spell that she had been preparing.

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For many the cold may have made them take a step back, be confused or make some sound of discomfort. Tempest was not some mare and such minor discomforts drew only the smallest chuckle from her as she walked into the room. Ice was living up to her name. But the orb in the air did draw Tempests eyes. A fast assessment marked it out some something boosting her magic or something to be used with her magic. It may be source of the cold in the room and Ice seems keen on playing up just that as the mares namesake was formed in to armor. Tempest took her seat with a fant smirk.

 

“Your branding is on point.” She says eyeing the mare up, her smirk growing into a smile as her order of a drink was more than just upgraded. She’d have a nice hall of it now. “Flattering, I’d like to remark on never needing so much but… Well, I’d lying worse than the sailors that got me hooked on it.” She lets her grin fade away as her face rested on a more cold and hard look. “But you did not track me down to give me of all ponies the gift of alcohol did you? It was rather clear you believe I can do something for you and give something for me. So let's hear it shall we?” She asked with a look of judgement.

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It seemed that Tempest wanted to get right into the think of things. That was good. It meant she was a mare that liked to get things done. When she commented that she'd be lying if she said that she wouldn't need the large amount of alcohol, Ice smirked herself. "Never too much alcohol in the life of a warrior," she replied as she stood up and made her way to the door. she poked her head outside of the door and found a small glass that was empty and not being used... "Might wanna guard your ears..." she warned as she brought the glass in with her magic, and with her head outside of the door, she launched it against the far wall, shattering it into thousands of pieces. Outside of the doorway, complete silence. With that she brought her head back and closed the door behind her. "Apologies, I needed to make sure the silencing spell was operational before we started discussing.... business. The less who know of the dealings in this room, the better," she started.

 

"Now... About the.... offers... I operate under a give and receive information system. In order to get honest information, you have to give honest information. That is precisely why I wanted to meet here, versus out in the open somewhere. You see, I am a special forces agent, tasked with the Defense of Equestria. As you may have noticed, not a single one of us was present when you and the Storm King arrived in Canterlot. All of us had been sent away for some reason or another the day before, and by the time we got word that anything was wrong, it was too late to really do anything about. Quick, Efficient, Ruthless... Exactly what I'm looking for."

 

"The Princesses... I've asked them, I've been looking for answers ever since the invasion, and so far, I haven't been able to find one single explanation that I can't punch so many holes through that an airship would sink before it even got off the ground. Nothing suffices, and all I've been getting are excuses... The Equestrian Defense Force is...... inadept at best... Not as good for intel gathering as it used to be. Which is why I'm looking for something more. Something.... Less defense, and more assault... Something that the princesses are too afraid to do... I want to build an army... I want to go after these dangerous sources that prove to be dangerous to Equestria and our way of life. I want to raid these... Storm Kings, these Tireks, and anypony or anything else that feels like it wants to destroy what we have rather than making it better. I witnessed first hoof, thousands of ponies get slaughtered from a viking invasion from the collapse of one building. A building that I was in. That was the day my career as a warrior began..."

 

"After that day, I vowed to never let anything like that happen again. Since that day, it's happened at least three other times that I know of because no one paid attention to the warning signs. That is why I'm building an army, and what I saw from Canterlot... is why I want you to lead it. I know you'll get things done, and done right," Ice Storm said as three knocks came on the door. She opened it just long enough for the waiter to hand in the drinks. Much to her pleasure, he also brought three bottles of moscato. She only ordered one, but hey, a warrior can never have too much. she closed the door again and moved back to her chair before sitting, and pouring a glass of her wine. "So, what do you say?"

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Tempest did not even flinch as the glass broke against the wall as she watched the pieces fall to the floor. “No need for apologies, i’m flattered you are taking this… with care. I’m intrigued” She says as her cold glare forms in to a fant grin like a wild bull about to be unleashed. “Proceed.” She listened well to what Ice told her but never reacted to it other than keeping her grin. It never failed to make something inside of her… swell with pride when somepony pointed out the skill of her hoof work. It was beautiful in it’s bluntness in ways few understand. Some think a hammer is just that. Blunt, stupid. No planning. Tempest felt that was foolish as a hammer can be used with the same skill as a spear of blade and be just as deadly. She knew how to use a hammer and hit just where it needed to with unrelenting force. One strong hit can send even the biggest monster stumbling backwards in pain if you hit it where it matters. She did just that when the beast that was Equestria.

 

And the offer itself was… Interesting. After what she did this mare.. A mare that had a job to STOP monsters like herself wanted to hire her. Against the wills of the sisters from the sound of it and given the fact she had to release all her Stormguard as well. They did not want her having an army, understandable. But yet here was an offer to lead an army once more. No promises of fixing her horn or offers of land and wealth. No the offer was just to do one thing and one thing alone, conquer all that hold armes against Equestria. Tempest felt flattered Ice was laying it down on the table so bluntly and openly without trying to over sell it with uselessjunk.

 

Equestria needed something like her, Tempest knew that long before Ice spoke of it. She knew it when she invaded canterlot. She knew it well she drew maps of the invasion. She knew it when she told the Storm King she can do it. Equestria was weaker than it liked to believe and the sisters were the weakest part of it all. By now means worthless or without power. No if they wanted they’d have all the world in chains. But the weakness came from self imposed innocence that has allowed the land of ponies to be so peaceful, beautiful and gentle. But in granting peace to all below them it leaves them open. Time after time they managed win out by luck. But even the most lucky pony alive will lose his jackpot one day and Tempest proved that. She won and if not for that… unbelievable fool of a king they’d have lost. How many more times can they hope to win on luck alone?

 

Tempest leans back as she digested it all and thinked over the offer. Her ears flicking as Ice opened the door to bring in the drinks. She wasted no time pulling a big bottle of her rum over and licks her lips as her unstable magic grabs the bottles top and in storm of magic lighting rips the cap off and slings over her shoulder as a steaming wrapped mess. She slings the bottel back against her lips and takes a few hearty chuges before placing the bottle down with a happy sigh. Only than did she speak.

 

“You want honest information? So be it. First, I do not drink to forget what I have done or seen like most in my hooves. I drink to drown something worse for I'm not haunted by the war, Ice. I miss it. We all grew up in an age where the word 'war' is barely understood by most and the average adult would probably forget the meaning somehow. We knew what weapons were and we knew what combat is, but it’s all fairy tales and ancient history as far as we are concerned. We are all born into peace. Me. You. Every guard standing around in gold. No pony has the faintest CLUE what conflict looks like. I think even the sisters, old as they are have fergot as well.” She takes an other big sollow of rum and keeps on speaking.

 

“But by the fires, if I wasn't born for war for don’t know what I was born for. Joining the Streamking was the best thing I ever did for awakening something deep inside of me. It gave me a purpose, where before I was a aimless homeless drifter. It gave me hope, security and drive to wake up every day with a gameplane. When it was over I was supposed to be glad that was gone. I was supposed to be celebrating that day. There were parties and festivals and a whole frickin' carnival in one or two towns! I did my best. Some fireworks and jokes. Speaking my real name as if it matters and trying to be like them. Like all other ponies. But after it’s all done and weeks have passed into months I find myself raising a glass of rum to toast all I did with fondness and worse of all… Remorse for being done.” Tempest sinks back into her seat as her grin dies with every word to be replaced with a very sad mare. One without a purpose in life and northing to guide her to it. “So Ice the truth of the matter is this. I have been planning on making a new army. Mercenaries with loyalty only to me and no other. I know some of the Stormguard will join me in a heartbeat, you most have see some of my guard. They painted their manes up like mine in honor of me. They’d follow me to the ends of the world if I asked. But they alone will not make me an army. I need help and if you will give me that help… We may have something on the table mis’ Ice. But do not forget this is my army… not yours.”

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Everything was out on the table. Well, most of everything. The base offer was on the table, but not everything that necessarily came with it. As Tempest spoke though, she nodded. She wasn't insinuating that she was drinking to forget the war. Warriors drink to celebrate their victories, not mourn their defeats. You don't forget about your triumphs and you learn from your mistakes in the past. Truth be told, Tempest never made but one mistake, and that was putting her trust into something that would betray her. If she could hold her end up, Ice's loyalty would be unwavering. When she heard Tempest mention her past, and her neat name for the Storm King, she nodded. "You and I aren't so different as you would think," she started. "All I would have needed.... was a push.... and I would have been right there with you... Born into ascended nobility, but wasn't good enough for the family at the time. I was a unicorn with no magic. I later learned that if hadn't left when I did, I would have never gotten it. All of my magic is ice based. It never got cold enough in Fillydelphia for it to trigger.  Because of that, my family never acknowledged even my existence, I've been on my own since just after my foalhood years," she started.

 

"Was forced to fend for myself, made my way to Canterlot, hoping to find help, but at the time, Canterlot was a joke. If you weren't of Canterlot blood, nopony would help you. That mountain.... I climbed it myself, as a filly. Granted, I just took the path up, but I was a runaway with nothing. I at least got my magic halfway up the mountain, and it took passing out in a blizzard to do it. I ate grass on the way just to keep going. No pony cared, stopped or even asked questions. When I first got to Canterlot, I spent months living in the park in a shelter made of ice. The only reason I turned out the way I did, was because one good pony found me, and gave me a chance. I could have very easily been a threat to Equestria myself if somepony, or something else found me," she admitted as they broke away from that topic. they couldn't get too far off topic discussing the past. However, knowing that Tempest was even more like her than she had thought, played into her. She now had most of the cards that she needed.

 

She did however need to bring up a couple points as she heard Tempest speak about the fact that the army was her army, not Ice's. Ice Smirked. "For the most part, it will be. Your tactical knowledge is unparalleled. However, if I am funding this, which, believe me, you want. Most ponies need a loan to do business here, I didn't, then I want some say regarding the army," she started. "I don't care how it's built, or what you do with it otherwise, but I will need it ready, potentially on a moments notice. The Moment I catch wind of something that could be a threat, I want intel, if it's a severe threat, I want a strike. I don't sit back and wait and hope everything will work itself out like the princesses do. I fight, and I won't ask you or the army to fight a battle that I myself wouldn't be fighting in. As you said a moment ago, you can take a warrior out of a fight, but you can't take the fight out of a warrior. I am beyond done waiting for the next invasion to happen," she sat matter of factly taking a long drink of her wine. She sat the glass back down.

 

"And you're right, You're going to need help, just as I am. How I can help you, well, there's many ways I can help you. Bit's, land, contacts, power, toys, and benefits," she said accenting the last words. With that she used her magic to pull up a small sheet of ice on the table. If tempest watched, she would see the aether lines from all four of her artifacts linking to her horn as the ice appeared near instantly and then shimmered with an image. "That plot of land, is the massive empty lot next door. That is mine. Above ground, it's a hotel casino resort. Basement Level Three and under though...." she told her, the image shifting on the table to now represent the envisioned product. "Could easily be made into a base of operations. Escape routes she there be an incoming raid, that.... would have to be spilled from someone on the inside. The last three levels of the basement aren't even on the registered blueprints that I submitted to the city. Neither are the tunnels leading to an underground cavern that we can dig out for training grounds, and barracks. No, the only way a pony would know it's there is by going to it."

 

"Bits? like I said, I have that covered. If you prove your loyalty to me, as I would to you, the bit count for your army would be in the millions. I would be able to direction export profits from the casino down stairs to the basement and pretend that the funds never existed. Bits like that would get you any kind of supply cache that you need. Any weapons, materials, goods, food, or anything else that you can thing of, I can get. I even have a few connections that I might be able to get you a Prototype A-class MK Z Warship for our flagship. At the moment, I can't guarantee that though. I can guarantee airships, just not necessarily that one. I'd have to go though several of my contacts just to get the paperwork for it. That's just the tip of the Ice Berg, and what I can get a hold of. That's not even a fraction of what I can do," she said pausing a bit and putting the ball back in Tempest's court.

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Tempest was pretty shocked to hear Ice was homeless as a filly and just like herself, before even having a cutie mark. It meant they both had some understanding for hardships and what it was like to be forgotten and overlooked with ho real hope. Well Tempest did not show much feeling to this news other than arching an eyebrow she had at least have one thing to say back on it. “We both were without home before we hard some mark on are flank them.” She says in a rather understanding tone. “And both found it alone. At least you understand that… life growing up.” She ended it on that as she digested the rest of info being slammed down in front of her and there was a lot to take in and understand. But she took it slow, breaking it down part by part in her head.

 

First thing in line was Ice had bits and a hoof deep in a powerful door. Two extremely useful things for founding a mercenary army along with being ok with giving almost full power to Tempest. The only cost for Tempest was owing Ice a ‘endless faver’ as it were to be ready to take care of whatever faver Ice needed as many times as Ice needed. By no small means a tiny thing but Tempest feels the pros were outweighing the cons of such a deal. She was free to do whatever with her troops outside of such jobs.

 

But the part that almost got her too leap out of the seat and say yes was airships. Wonderful airaships. Before working for the Stormking she knew almost nothing about them but leading his armies she found how useful they were. Mass airships were so unheard of few kingdoms had a plan for it and some had nothing against it at all. They were fast and allowed her to deliver hammer blows when and where she needed them with a force and speed few can hope to withstand. She has no clue what in the fires a prototype A-class MK Z Warship even was but it made her insides twisted up in ways to make a mare blush as it must some powerful hardware. Well she was not a mare to show much in the way of feelings this was making her wiggle in her seat just thinking about it.

 

After forcing herself to relax with the help of more rum she pulled herself back to other details. The base itself that Ice showed her with some fancy magic. It seemed well planned out and in a city like this she had a feeling it was more easy to get away with. Everypony is hiding something in this city of sin so why not a base? Lots of traffic in and out most of them being tourists makes it easy to bring troops in and out with no one asking to much… plenty of cargo coming in and out as well. All in all this was shaping up as a pretty good deal.

 

She shuts her eyes and thinks for a moment before speaking. “First, what is this prototype airship. Second I want a say in the airships, my time leading the steam-kings airships gave me first hoof combat exposures in airship combat unlike most. I know what works and what will not. Third, I can keep some forces on standby for whatever ‘favors’ you need me to do but I want this to be a two way street… We tell eachother everything going on. That way we can’t toss one other to the wolves if some favor of yours goes south. I am not going to be left out in the open with nothing if you betray me. If one of us goes down we both are going down in flames.” she opens her eyes and looks into Ice’s with a smirk. “And last… You gave me Bit's, land, contacts, power and some toys in this deal. But what are the benefits?”

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Once again, Ice Storm listened as Tempest spoke. She could tell that the mare was deep in thought at first. As she should be. Ice Storm liked that. The fact that she was asking so many questions herself as well as setting her own standards for the negotiations meant that Tempest was careful. She needed a mare that knew everything about a situation before stepping into it. She would be more concerned if Tempest would have just outright accepted without any hesitation, even despite how much she already offered for honestly so little in return. First thing she wanted to know was the details on the prototype airship. She also wanted say in the airships. That was fine. Ice Storm hasn't dealt with them all that much. She's been on a few, but she never crewed one... especially not a battle airship. She didn't seem to have a problem keeping some of the forces on standby but it was a two way street. She wanted every bit of information, and they needed to tell each other what's going on. That way they couldn't toss one another to the wolves if something went south. She wasn't going to left in the open with nothing if she were betrayed. If one of them went down, the other did to. She also seemed interested in the other benefits as well, or at least asked about them.... Ice Smiled.

 

"First off.... This," she started handing Tempest a slip of paper. On it was a concept image of the prototype ship. "Is the prototype. It is a warship the likes of which have never been seen... It hasn't officially been tested yet, heck one hasn't even been built yet to my knowledge. But... with my connections, we should be able to get a hold of the blueprints, spot structural weaknesses, and fortify them. The biggest thing with this airship, is there is no balloon. Everything is driven from a hub of magic capacitors in the center of the ship. Which means one less thing we have to armor and defend against. Will make it harder to take down. The full specs of the ship in question are one the paper with it. I'll accentuate it with this. I've seen one of your fallen airships... This thing could eat that and have room for two more. It will take a lot of resources to build. But rest assured, I can more than likely get it built. I also have no problem deferring all decisions regarding the fitment of the airships to you. As you said, you know what works and what doesn't," she said downing her glass of wine before pouring another and going over the rest of the details with her of what was on the ship.

 

"As far as the loyalty goes... I'm not that idiot with a pea brain you worked for before. I'm not going to stare victory in the face and throw it away because I've double crossed someone, and I'm sure as Tartaurus not going to promise you something that I can't or won't deliver. No Tempest, I agree. If we're going to be working together, and leading an army, funding an army, everything needs to be drawn. Every detail needs to be strenuously gone over until we are positive without a doubt that we both know what we are stepping into at any point in time. If you'd agree to terms with me, you would be my right hand mare in this entire thing. In fact, you'd probably be orchestrating most of it. That's perfectly fine with me. That will let me keep the positive face in the light. The ever profitable business owner that also works for one of the princesses directly. No pony will ever suspect what's lying under this casino," she said locking gazes with Tempest.

 

"That said, I will never intentionally send you or anyone from this unit into a trap. If we have proper scouting, that will never happen anyway. Since I'm still going to be technically a member of the other organization as well, I should know about any attempts to circumvent or cut off one of our soon to be blockades in advanced and we can plan accordingly. However, in the event that you should be captured, You are to say nothing. I guarantee you won't stay captured. I have contingencies and contacts everywhere. I will know where you are at, and I will personally fight my way to you. I am not a push over in battle myself, and my power has grown tenfold since my last fight. I will get to you, and nothing will stand in my way. This?" she said waving her hoof around the room at the magic already on display. "Foal's play. I can do this in my sleep. I make snow cones using nothing but magic and syrup and I'm not even phased anymore. when I connected with these," she gestured to the Opalus Spheres. "I exploded a test dummy in nearly on contact, and left everything close to it frozen solid. I am an archmage. You will be safe with me. Not to mention, High-priority missions, I will be on myself. If we go into an alliance like this. I expect you to have my back just as much as I have yours. I'll be putting my entire stake into you and this army. I'm not about to let something like this fall so easily at the drop of a bit," she finished.

 

"As far as the.... other benefits. I'm an open minded mare. Those benefits can be left open to interpretation. Something as simple as free alcohol for life, or some benefits that are a bit more personal. What those benefits are, are completely up to you and what you are comfortable with. They can be anything you want them to be at any time. Also, the staple benefits that come with any job. Medical, dental, retirement, all of the good stuff. I guarantee you top quality on everything. I only accept the best. That is after all, why I sent for you in the first place," she smiled back to her.

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Tempest pulled the concept image of the ship over to her side of the table and looked it over without showing a hint of emotion… At first. As she looked it over and Ice spoke the grin that keeps finding its way on her muzzle came back with force. One may think she was looking at a pinup poster the way she took in every detail. “I am no engineer mis’ Ice. But give me one or two too… keep my love in line and I can see a few changes to make. First, gone placement. Aiming up does not matter as much as aiming down… In fact that matters the most as few in the world have a proper airfleet to bother with aiming at. Most the time I had to aim the guns down… And AA, we need that to keep flying races in cheek. Heavy guns move too slow. Small guns with grapeshot clear the skies like no other.” Tempest taps the image with a full on smile now. “And of course I’d have to change the decor. Far to… princessy. Needs more black steel… and purple. So maybe I am stealing some of stone-loser colors somewhat but I do them better than his stupid tail… Can rock his lighting and thunder thing better as well.” She leans back and thinks about the rest of what Ice has too say.

 

Ice was ok with them being tied at the hips it seems. If one of them got tossed in the fire the other one was going to be yanked on in it. Good. “So it’s a deal for us going down together.” she shuts her eyes and thinks about being capture. She hopes it never comes to that. “Never fear Ice, i’m not an easy mare to brake. So long as I have fiath in you saving my flank. But you are good as icecream in summer if you leave me to rot… Oh and if you have to save my flank do me a favor and leave around for few to smash in to a wall… Most of all whichever pony bugged me the most.”

 

The talk of other benefits made her arch an eyebrow. “I’d like to put that to a test later… But you have one… big offer here Ice. Almost all of it in my favor. I’m flattered you think I am worth so much. So tell you this.” She leans close to the table and smirks. “Everything on the table, lifetime of rum and I need a new… second in command. Much like Grubber… but useful this time.” she added with a roll of her eyes. “Oh and I want a caribou servant. I just want you to know that given… what you saw first hoof. I did read up on that battle and understand why you’d not like one around. But I have… Uh…” she waves a hoof and shakes her head. “Never mind, just saying I am going to buy a caribou.”

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Ice Storm couldn't help but smile a bit when she saw the green that Tempest was trying to keep down kept finding it's way to surface back at the top. The the concept art of the new warship made the grin almost seemed to take on more of a smile. It seemed that Tempest seen something that she liked. She listened to Tempest speak on the design of the ship as well, stating that the guns should be pointed down, not up. That most places didn't have anything close to a proper air fleet that was worth aiming at. Ice nodded. That made sense, though perhaps they should keep at least two of the massive cannon on the top deck. After all... if one of the missions takes them into conflict with one of those fleets. Their flagship would need to be able to withstand it, and take it down. Send all who oppose it the message that it will not be taken lightly. That if they want it, it will take a fleet, and this ship itself will be guarded with a fleet.

 

Tempest then continued by saying that so as long as she was confident that Ice had her back, that she wasn't an easy mare to break. She added that she was as good as melted ice cream in summer if she left her to rot though. She also added that in the event that she should have to save her, as unlikely as it was. Ice was after all, hiring the best that she could get at the helm. If she got caught, it would take an equally powerful source to get her out. By that time... she should have honed her own skill with magic, as strong as it already was now, to perfection. If tempest were captured, nothing and no pony would stand in her way to get her. "I assure you, nothing will stand in my way. It might take me a couple of days to get you out depending on where you're at, and what kind of force I'll need to use. But as said, I have plans, and back ups for those. a few days tops. Though you'll have to tell me which one to keep up for you. When I leave a combat zone it generally takes a while for my enemies to thaw."

 

Lastly she spoke about the benefits that she could offer and added that she would have to put that to the test later. But also stated that she had one very large offer here and that most of it seemed to be in Tempest's favor. Ice nodded at this. If you want the best, you have to do your research on the best. You have to know what they like and how to play into them so that they will stay loyal to you. She was flattered that she thought that she was worth so much. She heard Tempest say that she would have to look for a second in command that would actually be usefull this time. Somepony like Grubber, except competent. She also added that she was going to be buying a caribou. "Just don't buy one from the Askr clan. I know they are all fiercely loyal, and are hearty fighters, but I specifically have an alliance with that clan. I don't want to jeopardize that because that is a powerful alliance to have in Whitescar. As for any of the other clans, I don't care. Do what you need, break him to your will, and mold him to what you want," she stated

 

"As far as the second in command, I'll also leave that to you. I do want to personally meet everypony that comes into a seat of power into this organization. With the amount of bits I'm putting into it, I need unwavering, and unquestionable loyalty from everyone involved. I can't have somepony that could potentially become loose ends. Also will need to make sure that once they sign on that dotted line, there is no going back. Once you're in, you're in for life. Otherwise that lets loose ends trot right out the door. I can't have that nor will I take that risk. However, I trust your judgement, and around here, it shouldn't be hard to find somepony more competent that Grubber. I've read the logs... I swear he's a distant relation to Pinkie Pie, all cake and no seriousness," she continued.

 

"And your right, most of the favors in this deal are for you, that's because the only thing I need for this army to get off the ground is you. I can even put you in charge of managing the casino so that you can have direct access to everything underneath of it without having to take extended travels to get to it. you can delegate tasks as you see fit. Realistically, once it's operational, neither you, myself, or my wife will have to be here to monitor the casino part. Which will let me put more time into things that need to be done. And my part of the deal is quite simple really. You get a an army and a bunch of toys. I get one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful mare in Equestria as my ally. I say that's a pretty fair trade to me."

 

"As for the airship, perhaps we can come to a compromise on that. As you said there are probably only a few places that would have a proper airfleet that would be worth aiming at... but I want this ship to be the ship of dread. To instill the sense of dread and fear when anypony sees, that they know they've lost. Fleets, other ships, other lands. I want them to fear it's very name. So, I agree, we should have some AA guns along the rims and some of the larger canons pointing down, but I would like to keep two three-sixty rotary canons on the top of the ship, just in case we run into one of those fleets. With as much as this is going to cost, we're likely not going to get more than one, and it will take us a few years to build anyways once we get the prints. However, we could probably expand this concept to smaller airships for strike raids and the lighter artillery. If they want to get to us, they have to go through a large portion of our fleet to do it, and by then... well... I'm not too worried," she started in regards to the airship.

 

"Everything else sounds good, colorwise the design sounds fine even if it was drizzleprince's colors. Perhaps we could incorperate some ice blue and dark blue on highlight points of the ship. The name should definitely stand out so there is absolutely no mistaking it. Hmm..." she said pausing for a second... "We need to get a group of mages on our side as well if we get enough of them... perhaps we could even have a cloak for the ship. It would take a lot of mages and a lot of magic, I don't even thing Twilight could cloak a ship that size. As well as the storm clouds worked before, I can't readily make those. So it would be hard for us to sneak up with that ship otherwise. Do you have any ideas we could use for that?"

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Tempest leans back in her seat and takes a few big chugs of rum as Ice talked, lots to go over but it seems like it was all coming together and this deal was about to be done. “No clan Askr bulls. Can do, plenty of other bulls on the dog market and some mutts have a favour or two they need to give me. Thinking of them… may make good shock troops. Hrm. Well moving on.” She says with another sip before puting the bottle down. “I will take your word on saving my tail. But I must say this on the ship... Well the name and colors are fine I worry it will be too easy linked back to you. You need the plausible deniability of somepony looking at my fleet and going ‘she is her own thing’ and not looking at it and go ‘they have a lot of ice in the names and theming’ and link it back to you. Plausible deniability is very useful. But you are the one paying me so if you want it to be it will be. A small price to pay for having an army under my command.”

 

“And do not worry about loyalty, like I told you I want unwavering loyalty from all of them not just the big names. I want them to love me, fear me and view me like a queen… A queen of storms. But no pony has to know you are the one with the bigger crown. Loyalty by proxy. But as you wish all commanders or troops of worthy rank will meet you before coming in to power… And I will let my troops know this is job for life.” She says cleaning up the last of that before moving on to the airship once more.

 

“I can work with that for the airship. But we can work out the finer details with somepony that knows how to make this thing happen. We may need to get are hooves on some giffin's I think… As for sneaking. Well.” She grins and chuckles. “I have my ways. I did sneak an airfleet on top of canterlot did I not? Speaking of that I know where the misty-princess armories are. With him gone… Free pickings and maybe some more stormguard to pull under my new flag as well. I just need airships to reach them as they are overseas and built so the only way in and out is with an airship or wings. Love to have more of his magic reflecting shields and thunder spears.“ She sits up and nods.

 

“But in all… I like this deal. So unto death we make this pact, Loyalty for Loyalty and may are strom sweep all before it away in hurricane of ice and thunder.” she holds her hoof out to ice as she speaks, her horn sparking with power as electricity rolls over her body and down her leg like a broken power cable. If Ice shakes it, it’s going to hurt.

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As Ice listened, she nodded. It seemed that for the most part, Tempest and herself were on the same page. She agreed to not taking any bulls from Askr. That was big, and like she said, plenty of other bulls that she can take from. She knew that Sigrin was trying to instill peace for all of Whitescar, so thinning the clans of the enemies to make her job easier? Double benefits. Tempest also took her word for saving her tail, but was worried about the ship being able to be linked back to her. That having some plausible deniability was important in running an orchestration like this. Ice smirked. Who needed plausible deniability for something that, when done, would be the most powerful thing in the sky? Would anypony really try to question her at that point knowing that she had a superweapon that she could call upon at any time? Doubtful.

 

She added that loyalty wasn't an issue because she herself demanded unwavering loyalty, she wanted her subjects to treat her as is she was a queen. She wanted them to love her, fear her, and see her as their queen. So it would be loyalty by proxy because they didn't need to know that Ice had the bigger crown. She did agree though to let the officers of rank meet with her and understand that once they are in, they are in for life. Ice downed the rest of her wine before taking a page from Tempest's book and taking a few swigs straight from the bottle. The glass was only for formalities anyway. "On the other airships I obtain, that is fine, I can use all the plausible deniability I can get. However, once the ship is done... I'll have really no need for it anymore. I mean... I highly doubt that once that ship launches, anypony will question us at all. And if they try to capture or imprison one of us after the ship is fully functional? Well... I'm sure you can figure out what happens from there. Until then though, yes. We'll keep the black steel and purple," she said as Tempest also mentioned raiding the old armories.

 

"Why stop at just the shields and the staffs? It's not like he needs any of it anymore. take everything, we'll see what we can fit it with. Also... harvest some of the darkwood from Whitescar... we can use it as an extra shield on the ships hull. It absorbs magic. See if we can link it to the core and use it to turn any arcane attack into power for the ship. Then again, as you said, we can come up with the schematics here. We need to get with the engineers and get them to start working on the ship. Once we're done here, I'll head to Aquella and see if I can find some griffons that would serve us well. Their tech would go wonders with this instrument of destruction. That said, we should probably try to get workers down into the underground ravine as soon as possible. That's where I'm planning on mass producing our ships. Get everything lit up, fortified, and then dug out. The ravine leads straight to a cliff side that we can get ships in and out of. As far as getting the first couple, we might have to make a trip to Aquella for that anyways. I don't want to buy them here. Will lead to questions that I don't want to answer," she finished.

 

Then she watched and listened as Tempest spoke about the deal. She liked the deal, loyalty for loyalty, till death do they part. and may their storm sweep all in it's path. She noticed that her hook crackled with magic from her horn and smiled as she extended her own hoof, following similar motions, although her horn barely lit as the aether flowed around her hoof, leaving a vapor trail of frost as she lifted it. "Until death, this pacts stands. Pact for pact, blood for blood. We thrive together, we go down together. Let us unleash the fury of a crackling blizzard on those who stand in our way," she said taking the hoof into her hand feeling her magic course into her. It hurt. It hurt quite a bit, but Ice wasn't going to show it. Ice was a mare of power. Mares of power didn't show weakness. Not in front of those they were looking to hire. Instead she channeled the pain, like any other emotion, through the orbs. The orbited a bit faster, but otherwise no visible distinction could be seen. She would definitely feel that later though, and she no doubt left a bit of singed fur on her hoof. She wondered if her ice was having a similar effect on Tempest, but soon enough the magic disappated, and she sat back. "Welp, the deal is done, we can move on to more... general things now. I'm sure you still have lots of questions..." she said leaving it open for Tempest to ask without saying anything more.

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Tempest can not fault Ice for her thinking. It was sound. But the deal was done and the pact made, they can talk about the smaller details later when they come up. So Tempest pushed her hoof on to Ice’s and grind like a wolf as the lighting of her raw magic ripples of the mare and fur singed black. Ice took it without beating an eye and Tempest did the same back as ice built up over her hoof and forest grew like moss over her leg. It was vary cold and painful but just like her new boss she did not show pain. As her leg pulled away ice flaked off it and broke on the table. Both of them got to taste the others power and the pact was done. “Until death.” She says back with a wink and sits down.

 

Yes, we have a lot to talk about unrelated to work. Fine details can be done later.” She says taking an other big sip of rum. “We were both homeless… You told me why you were. My time it seems to tell you why I was. I grew up in canterlot in a well off family but not super rich. I was very young at the time when this…” she waves a hoot too her horn. “Happened by… A bear. Not just a bear… one of stars. If it’s paw hit just a hair more low i’d be a dead filly. But it missed and I ran for it. After that… the young are mean. Evil. I was picked on, forgotten and tossed to the side. No pony wanted to be around me. Even my family was disappointed in me… A magical'less unicorn in canterlot. Heh… I think you can understand how THAT whent. So I ran away and swore to never trust others as I so first hoof how heartless ponies can be. Even now I believe that in a new way, just some can be good. Foolish but good. Like the mare that saved my life. Good yes, but foolish… But I never got picked up by some other. No pony took me in. I just drifted and used others as needed. Food. Water. Bed.” She snorted and chuckles.

 

“Some times I did stick around for a few weeks as they were fun. Shame everypony is fearful of me now. For real it sucks, go drinking saw this strong ship worker and I try to flirt. He bailed so fast it was just sad. No one wants to be around the mare that put all of canterlot underneath her hoof before the sun was setting.” She takes another swig of rum. “Sorry, i’m, rambling. I am bad at this no one really ever cared about my past and this rum is not helping."

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Ice could see, and smell some of her fur singing from the contact with Tempest's hoof. She was indeed a powerful mare. If hse could do this much with half a horn, Ice was anxious to see what she could do with a full one. However, that wasn't an off that she was going to put on the table for her. However, it was something that she was going to look into and see if was possible at all. She wasn't going to make the mistake of promising something that she couldn't actually fulfill. No, if it was possible and she could figure out how to do it, she would simple sometime in the future call tempest into the command room of the ship, ask everypony else to leave and then give her the gift. That was still a very long ways off though. They have to get the ship done before they could think about any of that. Still she could feel the magic coursing through her. She loved the energy, the shock, the pain. It hurt, but in a good way. Her eyes locked in a smirk as she heard tempest say until death. "Until death," she repeated as both of their magics faded and slipped off of the other.

 

She listened. She listened intently to what Tempest was saying. She told her that she was very young when.... that happened. She said that a bear did it to her, but it wasn't just any bear. It was a bear of the stars. Ice was actually impressed. She knew exactly what Tempest was speaking of and a lot of adult ponies don't survive an encounter with an Ursa. Without prodding she wouldn't know if it was a major or a minor, however considering everything, it was probably a minor. There was no way a filly would have survived an encounter with an Ursa Major. That wasn't important though... She heard Tempest continue, saying that the young were mean and evil. That she was picked on relentlessly. Even her family turned against her. She was a magicless unicorn in Canterlot, adding that she of all ponies could understand how that went. She nodded. She wasn't in Canterlot when she didn't have her magic, but the end result was the same.

 

When she said she ran away, she said that she swore an oath to never trust others again because she saw first hoof how heartless other ponies could be. Ice Storm saw this to when she was in Canterlot when she was alone. Most ponies as a whole... are heartless, but individuals could sometimes make a difference, they could also make things worse. It seemed that was the case here. Nopony ever took her in, so she just drifted from place to place to get what she needed, food water, and a bed. She did say that sometimes she stuck around for a week or two because they were fun, but all of that went away to since most were fearful of her now. She spoke of how she saw a ship stallions at a bar and tried to flirt, He was gone almost before she could say hi. She added that no one wants to be around a pony that had all of Canterlot under her hooves before the sun was setting.

 

"Well, not all of Canterlot. I wasn't there at the time," she said playfully poking her tongue out. "And you weren't rambling at all. It seems that we share a very common past. I to was ridiculed and made fun of relentlessly as a filly. For something that like you, I still have to deal with to this very day, but it's no where near as bad as that. However my magic amplifies the problem and it rears it's ugly head at night. Trust me though it didn't go unnoticed by the youth of the time. Most I guess have just stopped caring, or know not to bring anything up against it because they know I'll bury them three weeks from Tuesday," she commented. She would say what the issue was if Tempest asked but she wasn't going to just say it. It was a weakness and right now she didn't want any weaknesses shining through, especially one that most would still classify her as a foal because of.

 

"As for the stallion that blew you off well... he probably wasn't good enough for you anyway. Like Honestly! Who wouldn't want the mare that had all of Canterlot under her hoof before nightfall? I can't possibly think how that could be anything less than extremely fun. It's his loss for turning you down," she said after hearing Tempest say that most don't care about her past. She smiled before continuing. "There is an ancient philosophy, throughout the world, not just here in Equestria, that the hurt or troubled always find each other. I hold a bit of truth to this. In my journeys, you are not the first pony I've run into with a strikingly similar past to mine. Yours is a lot closer than anypony else's but.... There are a lot of dark spots in Equestria that go unnoticed by the princesses. Dark spots that won't go unnoticed by me.  These dark regions are perfect recruiting grounds. We bring them in, give them shelter, food, training, and a chance in life, the only thing they need to give us in return is loyalty," Ice said with a smile taking a big swig of her own wine.

 

"That being said, we've gone over work details, and the past, but we haven't gone over likes and dislikes yet. Come on, talk to me here... What are some things that you like and don't like? Other than rum, and everything else that's on the table. I can't get you toys if I don't know what toys I need to avoid," she said with a smile. She hadn't drank near as much as Tempest had, but she could feel herself getting a bit..... tipsy. She looked at her wind bottle. Fourty proof!? I didn't know they made wine that strong!!! she thought to herself. This might get interesting yet.

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