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SteelEagle

No Locks Kept (Closed)

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She was here on business. She always reminded herself when she came here of that, even if it was tinged by more warmth and excitement than she cared to admit Their job was crucial and couldn't be allowed to take back-seat to anything. The Keep was made to keep Equestria safe by containing and neutralizing dark magical artifacts of all kinds. No doubt every trip here had to be fraught with all the importance that came with the discovery of vital elements to Equestrian defense. So many relics had been brought back, so much work had been done, that she couldn't fathom any trip being anything less than dangerous by its very nature. That was what it had to be, right?

Indeed, this trip more than most should have been fraught with danger and anxiousness for her. A few Keepers had been injured- none seriously- by a powerful relic that was capable of slightly warping reality. It had been contained, but less than three Keepers were currently capable of doing their jobs and Twilight was worried about how WRAITH had managed to come so close, so often, on a number of important relics. They lost out of course but that didn't mean that it wasn't cause for concern. Twilight herself had corralled a number of seemingly safe relics that had very little information on them. She was going to take them to the Keep at this moment in time, surrounded by uncertainty, at a crossroad of both the organization and security. She had every reason to be anxious.

Yet as she entered the Keep itself her mind was brimming with only lightly subdued excitement. The thrill of the hunt as it were always brought out a little in her. She wasn't the most adventurous mare by make or design...but she was by choice when it came to magic. Every relic she came across told her a story of magic across time, of deeds and plans, heroes and villains, dark comedies and heroic tragedies. Knowing these relics meant knowing a piece of the world long thought lost and buried in the unrelenting sands of time. That thrill never left her. That joy never ceased. The fact that the relics were often dangerous, that this job was important for security above all else, might be why she created this job for herself and others of similar inclination. But the enjoyment she got out of it was the reason she could hardly tear herself away from this place.

At least, that was what she told herself. A name, a feeling. A thought echoed gently across her pulsing heart as she went through that barrier. A subdued knowledge of truth shrouded by mission, a beacon bright and lit underneath a layer of pleasant falsehood. Deep inside she knew the truth she dared not speak of, the pony she dare not think too deeply on lest her thoughts and feelings come up too readily. Hidden in plain sight, not acknowledged yet constantly on her mind. The stallion, her friend, her Keeper-

“Daedelus! I hope you have an update?”Twilight yelled optimistically as she trotted up into the main foyer of the Keep, searching for the Stallion with the answers.

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Four hours. Four hours wrought with frustration, aetherochemical misfires, and otherwise general unpelasantness. Daedalus slouched in one of the recliner seats in the Keep lounge, the still-steaming mug of Quagga Dark coffee floating by his head courtesy of Kyanaster’s gravity field. The stellar fragment chirped and flashed blue briefly as the foyer hatch opened.

 

“Yes, I know,” Daedalus groaned in reply to Kyanaster. “No rest for the wicked I suppose.”

 

He rolled upright, taking the mug from his familiar and taking a sip of it before trotting to greet Twilight with a rather haggard smile. “Welcome home! An update, yes. But not of the satisfactory kind. Last few leads have been a bust. I do consider myself an expert arcanist, but the amount of expertise and machinery required to reverse engineer some of these relics and trace their origin points exceeds what I can accomplish in a timely manner.”

 

Daedalus returned the mug to Kyanaster, motioning to Twilight to accompany him and starting toward the lab. “Nevertheless, I feel it best to report what I’ve been able to discover thus far. I’m hoping your fact finding trip was more productive?”
 

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Daedalus looked haggard. He sounded haggard. Magical work could take a lot out of you, even if you were highly talented and capable at it. The topic that floated above them- well, both subjects- were equally terrifying. The recent setbacks the Keepers had suffered was of primary concern. Each relic took a great amount of effort and considering the workload both were under it would be easy to understand a sense of weariness. This was only doubled when many of the efforts failed. Still, she could think of nopony she'd rather have at it than Daedalus, and nopony else better to work alongside him than her. Together she was certain they could solve this problem.

“You're doing great work. Setbacks happen. As for me...well, I wish I could say I was entirely successful,” Twilight said, downplaying her success so as to not make Daedalus feel bad, “I have had the easier task, after all. Mostly I've been working on acquiring some of the safer relics. Hopefully we can learn more than I have so far. Most nations don't keep their time-stream data entirely coherent which has made several of them simply out of reach unless I want to bend the space-time continuum. I might, but not right now. We have a lot more testing to understand most of them,” she said, disappearing into a side room. She was gone for a few minutes, cataloguing and placing them in their holding places

She came out soon with all smiles. It was a good day, a bounce in her step evident as she came up to Daedalus. “Take a seat. Manechurian will be here soon. Tell me everything you've been up to!” she said, her excitement more than palpable. It was good to be able to spend time with one of her Keepers, and Daedalus was the best they had.

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