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  1. At long last, she was finally here! Cloudfeather pressed her face to the window of the airship as the towering buildings and attractions of Los Pegasus came into view. Sure, it would have been cheaper and easier to fly herself, but then she would have missed out on the experience that all other ponies got when they made the journey to the most toured city in Equestria! Her wings flapped involuntarily out of excitement and anticipation as the airship crawled slowly towards the city. She gathered up her bags and items and prepared to exit the airship, though an attendant informed her it would be at least a half hour before they landed. When at long last the doors opened and the platforms descended, Cloudfeather shot out of the ship like an arrow, flying as high as she good to get a perfect view of the city. It was amazing! Everything she ever could have hoped for! She saw eager tourists of all shape, size, and species wandering about, chatting excitedly! Flashing lights and sounds, a wide enough variety that it was liable to give a pony sensory overload! Buildings taller than she had ever seen! As quickly as she had bolted to the sky, she tore for the ground, landing quite ungracefully yet still maintaining a bounce in her step. Anypony else in her situation would be singing an improvised song, complete with self-harmonies, full instrumentation, and even some cool choreography right now, but Cloudfeather decided to keep the song in her heart and her head. Her coworkers tended to dislike it when she sang (something about being "tone-deaf"), and she doubted the Los Pegasus ponies were any different. In any case, this did little to decrease the spring in her step as she jaunted to her hotel and got checked in. Oh the sights she would see! She tossed her bags onto the bed and then flew out the window, surveying the town to decide where she wanted to go first. After a few moments' deliberation, she decided on the building directly across the street. Down she dove and directly into the building, leaving the rotating door behind her spinning faster than the eye could detect. The building was essentially what she had expected: an arcade full of ponies eager to trade their bits for the chance to win tickets. All sorts of entertainment floated between the machines, including performers, ads for shows, and of course, portraits of the owners, Flim and Flam. What to do first! She supposed she could see a show... Her wage as an engineer afforded her plenty of bits for the journey, so she didn't want to blow them all on the slot machines and arcades just yet... Looking around the room, she spotted a poster advertising "The Greatest Dancers in Equestria!" Now that was something she'd pay to see! She exchanged her bits for tickets and was entering the auditorium in no time at all.
  2. Twinkle Dawn yawned as she put her eye to the telescope. Three of the Galloplean moons of Jupiter were visible tonight, an impressive number. Europa, her favorite, was unfortunately nowhere to be seen. She had a feeling that was a bad omen. And her feelings were usually correct. She jotted some notes down in her journal, even deciding to make a quick sketch, though she had to reposition the telescope several times for that to be possible. All the while, she checked her watch. Her horoscope had said to "Expect a strange visitor today," which is why she had been up all day instead of sleeping like she usually did. When the stars called, she wanted to be ready, and if that meant welcoming a strange visitor into her home, then she would be awake and ready to have them as soon as they knocked. But they hadn't knocked. She considered not coming in tonight, but had a feeling she should. Clients didn't usually seek her at the observatory, but then maybe that was what would make this visitor strange. Perhaps she -- or he -- would come to the observatory at this uncelestial hour seeking the guidance of the stars. She yawned again. Whoever it was, they'd better hurry up. It was almost midnight, meaning the day was almost over. She couldn't be wrong about this. The horoscope had been so clear. There was no way she was wrong. She wasn't normally wrong. Especially with horoscopes. She always checked and rechecked horoscopes because that's what most of her clients asked for, and the thought of their disappointment was too much for her. Ever since being dismissed from her position as royal astrologer, she had suffered a degree of anxiety over her predictions. Luna and Celestia had dreamed Tirek's coming and she hadn't. That was a huge fail. She couldn't allow herself to make another mistake like that again. She took some deep breaths to calm herself and flipped to the table at the back of her journal to look at her orders. Several ponies requesting horoscopes, nothing out of the ordinary there. One pony wanted to know how compatible he was with a mare he had his eye on. The stars usually didn't have much to say on that regard. The two pony's signs would tell her everything she needed to know. But she liked to consult the sky as an added measure anyway. Her train of thought was interrupted when she heard the observatory door open. That was weird. She could have sworn she locked it... Visitors weren't permitted at an hour like this. She descended the steps from the main telescope, stopping once she could see the entryway, where the silhouette of a tall unicorn stood. "Can... I help you?" she asked as she lit her horn to try to reveal more of the pony. Was this the strange visitor she was supposed to expect?
  3. Sundown Trail walked down the streets of Manehattan, the evening sun warming his face. He only recently arrived in town. The Royal Guard sent him down from Canterlot to assist with an investigation. Three ponies had gone missing, all on the same day. Manehattan PD suspected that their disappearances were related. And evidence had turned up showing that the missing ponies had the same interests and were active in the same social circles. Investigators had found no trace of the ponies, and local police were stumped as to where they could've gone. Local detectives had already searched the missing ponies' residences and found nothing, but Sundown had wanted to recheck them himself. It's good to be thorough, after all. The first two apartments he investigated didn't turn up anything unusual. But Sundown did find something interesting in the third residence: a cleverly hidden note in a book about the occult. It was a small piece of paper that had hastily drawn scrawls all over it. The penmanship was so bad that most of the writing was illegible, and readable parts were complete gibberish. But, the detective was able to extract two clues from the mysterious text: an address and a date. The date turned out to be the exact day when the three ponies went missing. The address? A rental property on Flathoof Avenue. Right now, Sundown was on his way to search that property. City records had shown that the building was a rental. And after a quick conversation and a badge flash from Sundown, the landlord happily gave him a set of keys to the place. The landlord was an older mare, courteous and kind, but she seemed to shrink back and clam up when Sundown asked about that particular address. She didn't say anything too concrete about it, but the detective got the feeling that she didn't like speaking about that specific building. She may have also muttered something about that place having "bad luck," but she refused to repeat herself when asked. Sundown stopped when he noticed the house number on the building he just passed. 1206. This is the place. He turned back to face the property. It stood out compared to the newer-looking buildings next to it. It was a thin two-story brick residence, built in an old style. Likely a remnant of Manehattan's older days. It looked aged and neglected like it hadn't had proper maintenance in some time. The lawn was overgrown, full of weeds. Vines and vegetation grew through the front steps. Cracks snaked their way through the visible parts of the foundation. The house almost seemed to be in shambles. Given the apparent condition of the building, Sundown was surprised that the city hadn't condemned it. Perhaps the interior was in better shape? These observations bounced through Sundown's head as he approached the front door. He pulled his copy of the key out of his saddlebag. Sundown stopped in front of the front door. He took a look back at the street. Only a couple of ponies were passing by on the sidewalk, paying no note to what the Areion detective was doing. Nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing seemed out of place. But, for some reason, Sundown was beginning to get a feeling of dread as he stood before the building. He couldn't put a hoof on it, but something felt wrong. Like if something unspeakable had happened within the house. The detective shook his head and took a deep breath to steady his nerves. He couldn't let his anxiety get in the way of an investigation. He had to find out what happened to those three ponies, and standing here doing nothing wasn't going to help. Well... Here goes nothing. Sundown thought to himself as he placed his hoof on the doorknob. He twisted the knob and pushed the door in...
  4. Being in Ponyville always brought some... very conflicting feelings up in Bevel. The memory of the type of mare she was before she even came here was still fresh in her mind and it an image she dearly wished she could forget. Thankfully, she managed to schedule something that could keep her from being completely alone with her thoughts on this trip: A tour of the (relatively) new castle of Princess Twilight, and the company that would be with her for it. In this case it was her good friend Dunnie, who had come to her with a problem that Bevel was able to find a treatment for. Now the treatment evolved somewhat to where her friend was able to keep her new look indefinitely so long as she kept her bracelet on. The guide for this tour was someone Bevel had come to know through a regular customer of all things. When they'd first met the inventor knew she was a guard, but she definitely didn't realize that she would soon become more literal example of a royal guard: Being a guardian to none-other than princess Twilight herself. A couple letters later she managed to arrange a trip through the castle... aren't connections wonderful? Bevel had decided to go for a more casual look today, for once she wasn't seen with a bandaid across her nose. Instead, she was wearing a pair of thick eyeglasses on her muzzle. Normally she might have worn her contacts or goggles but didn't expect anything particularly troublesome or exciting to occur. With a small yawn the prench pony looked to the friend at her side, “So um... how's the bracelet been working since the modifications?”
  5. This thread takes place during the events of Season Four of FiM, hence the title "Memories" The sun was beginning to rise, illuminating the Canterlot observatory better. For the first time in more than two hours, Twinkle Dawn looked up from her parchment. She had been charting stars and trying to write horoscopes all night to submit to the local newspaper, but nothing was coming to her. She looked around at the decor and the large telescope. It was the best one in Equestria, so they said. Adjustable scope, extremely powerful, and decorated in beautiful gold and polished wood. She had been using it for years to talk to the heavens. But now, it seemed the heavens had closed to her. It had been more than three months since her discharge, and she still was having trouble with her predictions. It seemed they relied largely on her confidence in her own abilities, and tonight, she just hadn't had any. She sighed, balled up the parchment, and tossed it into the nearby wastebasket. The day workers would be here shortly to open the observatory to the public, and she usually liked to be gone by the time that happened. Oh well. There was always tomorrow, right? She perked up, trying to stay positive. If her visions and predictions relied on confidence, then she would just need to fake it till she made it! Still, the nagging doubt remained with her... She before closing up the observatory, she felt that she should check one last star in the sky. It was Venus. It was rising with the sun, and she decided to rotate the roof and telescope to get a better look at it. After studying it for several moments, it slowly faded away with the rising of the sun. She wrote down her impressions and then studied what she had written. "Today is a good day to make a new friend." Well, it wasn't much, but it was something. She supposed she could stay up a little longer if it meant following the guidance of the stars. She closed up the observatory and looked over a note she had exchanged with her cousin, detailing the location and time for the first meeting she would have with her potential followers. In a week, she was going to be giving a speech in front of at least fifty ponies, trying to convince them that she was princess material. She needed to get her confidence up before then. Otherwise, no one would believe her. For now, though, she needed to focus on following the stars. They had sent her a message. Make a new friend. Simple enough, she reasoned. Canterlot was full of ponies. All she had to do was talk to one. As she opened the door to the street, she came face to face with one. The pony seemed to be here to visit the observatory. "I'm sorry, the observatory doesn't open for another hour. Can I help you?" she asked, assuming the pony's intentions.
  6. Lope Lighthoof Lope sat on the train, reviewing the case file for what must have been the four hundredth time. Tangent insisted he be able to answer any one of her questions about the mission by the time they arrived on scene, and she had a knack for being able to inquire about obscure details he was sure the writers of the file themselves weren't aware of. Garden Gait, three missing ponies within the last week, two earth ponies, one male one female, and one pegasus stallion. The only reason S.M.I.L.E. was being called in was because the circumstances seemed to suggest that these may not be ponynappings done by ponies. Something seemed to be snatching the victims up with greater power. Perhaps even monstrous power. Regardless, the two were warned that other agents of the crown may be investigating in the same area. They were instructed to cooperate, but avoid giving up their organization if at all possible. Their identities were to be preserved, and they were to erase memories if their involvement with the League became known. He quizzed himself over the names of the missing ponies again, and reminded himself where each had gone missing. There seemed to be a pattern to the disappearances. All took place at night, though the exact time of night was unknown, as nopony had been around when it happened, and all took place near the edge of town, specifically on the eastern side (Tangent suggested this may be because the eastern side of town catches more shade during the sunset, allowing whatever creature they were looking for to come out earlier). It seemed ponies in this town were responsible enough to tell others where they were going at night. That was highly useful information. In lieu of the disappearances, the mayor had issued an order prohibiting anypony from leaving their homes after dark. Tangent and Lighthoof would be taking advantage of the fact that no one would be able to enforce such a curfew as the townsponies didn't have nightly guard. As the train reached the station, Lope retrieved their luggage from the compartment above their seats. "Ready to rid this town of its night terrors?" he asked as the train finally arrested. Tangent Line Agent Tangent didn't have her case file out. She knew everything she needed to know. And from the sounds of it, Lighthoof did, too. She had conditioned him well. He was beginning to absorb debriefing content almost as well as she did, though she'd never tell him that. She didn't want it going to his head. She gazed out the window, watching the countryside go by. Strange to think that a beautiful area like this could be plagued by such a terrible monster, whatever it was that they were here to neutralize. This was going to be just like the last mission they were on, in Ponyville. Late nights, lots of sneaking around and chasing shadows. Though, hopefully they wouldn't run into any interference as they had last time. Though the griffon and unicorn stallion had been helpful, she would have preferred they stay out of it. S.M.I.L.E. was a serious organization. She hated when she had to work with freelancers or privateers who were only in it to earn the extra bits. It gave a bad name to the profession of monster hunting. She knew it was likely other investigators would be in the area. She was just hoping to Celestia that when the chief had said "Investigators", he hadn't meant "S.T.A.R. agents". She didn't think she could handle a headache on top of this case. S.T.A.R. jurisdiction battles could get intense. As the train reached the station, Lighthoof retried their luggage from the compartment above their seats and made a comment about ridding the town of it's night terrors. She gave a slight smile, unable to help but catch a bit of his positivity. "As ready as I'll ever be. Hope you got a good night's sleep last night, because tonight is going to be quite long," she reminded him as she rose and levitated her bags from him. They exited the train and started off for the bed and breakfast where they would be nesting for the next few days.
  7. The Disappearance - A few years ago... --- Royal Guard Headquarters: Investigative Division, Canterlot - A couple of hours ago... Sundown Trail brought the mug to his mouth cautiously and deliberately, as if doing so would lessen the heat of the freshly brewed coffee it contained. With a careful motion, he moved the mug to his lips and took a hesitant sip. Almost immediately, he recoiled and jerked away from the hot beverage. Still too hot, he thought to himself; better let it cool for a couple more minutes. After making sure none of his coffee spilled, he placed the mug on the corner of his desk and opened the manila file in front of him. He read the name of the case file. "Disappearance - Crystal Skull - Canterlot" Oh no. This case. Who'd he tick off to get assigned this? This assignment was passed around the office of the Investigative Division like it was a disease. Nopony wanted to work on it. Years had passed since the events of that fateful day, and nothing ever popped up. No leads were ever uncovered. But, for some reason, the case was never put away with the other cold cases, where it belonged. And now it was his turn with the matter. He thought back to the original investigation. He was just a junior investigator back then. That was when he was still working under Investigator Looking Glass. They were both assigned to the case right as the search was getting started. Looking Glass had cultivated a reputation in the Guard for finding clues where no other investigator was able to. So, the Guard assigned him and his junior to investigate the crime scene. They had turned up nothing. The crime scene was immaculate. The Crystal Skull's glass case had no evidence of being touched, let alone tampered with. There was no trace of any theft. For all accounts and purposes, it was like the Crystal Skull was still there. But, of course, the fact remained that it was gone. That was fun explaining that to his superiors. Sundown stared at the file on his desk. He sincerely doubted he could turn up anything new in the case. But, might as well put his best effort into it. Maybe there was something that everypony missed? Although, he certainly wasn't holding his breath on that account. He sighed and flipped through the file a bit more. --- Streets of Canterlot - Present… "He doesn't live here anymore. You should leave." SLAM. Sundown grumbled to himself as he stood in front of the door that was just slammed in his face. That was his last lead. Gone. And now he was thrown back to the drawing board. He glanced up at the tall brick apartment building in front of him before turning away from the door and walking back onto the sidewalk. It was starting to get dark, and by now, most honest ponies have gone back to their homes to enjoy the rest of their evening inside, out of the autumn cold. Sundown didn't mind the cold too much; as an Areion, he was used to the chillier night air. But, he was starting to wish that he had brought his scarf with him right now. He made a mental note to grab it when he went back to the office. He began to stroll down the street with no real destination in mind. Unfortunately, he now had some time to waste before he had to be back at headquarters. He originally intended to use this time to question one of the ponies involved in the original inquiry, but, as we just saw, that ended with a rude brush-off and a slammed door. He stopped when he noticed something. Or, rather, somepony. A mare, standing just a couple yards down the sidewalk from him. Usually, that wouldn't be very noteworthy, even at this late hour. After all, the streets of Canterlot usually saw a lot of traffic. But something about her made Sundown pause. He wasn't sure what it was, but it made him stop dead in his tracks. She was watching him. Did she want something from him? Did he know her? She certainly didn't look familiar, but he could be mistaken. Okay, now it is getting weird. It had been a couple seconds since Sundown noticed her, and now they were both staring at each other quietly. It's time to get to the bottom of this. He called out to her. "Uh… Hello?"
  8. Stormstride watched as she walked beside her brother. Of all the places she did not want to come, this had to be the top of the list. Canterlot itself, seat of Equestrian power and home to no less than two princesses at any given time. This place was a magnet for all things she disliked. The mare wore her armor, though her helmet hung from a hook on her sash. The heavy clack of her metal clad hooves on the cobblestone street echoed softly as she watched. Her mane glittering in the sun, the silver hair blowing lightly in the breeze as they passed by vendor stalls and shop fronts. They needed a place to park their cart. She was searching for an Inn or a hotel. As she was looking, Buck trotted along quite happily as he pulled the cart. His large stature letting him see over the tops of most of the crowd and his cheerful smile offset the rather irritated demeanor of his sister. He greeted every pony he passed with a cheerful tone and a bright look upon his countenance. While he wore no armor, the stallion was wearing saddle bags and the hitch for the large cart. He walked on a powerful set of legs, displaying the fact he was used to manual labor. Though when he spoke it was with a slight accent. "Sister, smile. We are only here for a few days! There are so many places to see! new foods and music for us to try, and a chance for us to catch up on the news we missed these thirteen years!" He gave a light skip, lifting the front of the cart up an inch as he did. Chuckling he watched her roll her eyes before finally smiling at him. She could never keep a scowl on her face with her brother around. The pair walked until they spotted a hotel. Pulling up front, Buck looked for a place to park their cart while Stormstride walked inside. Buck finally found a spot just across the street. It was an empty lot, with a few carts in it, but it was right beside a school. Buck figured it was for public use, because he did not see a sign stating otherwise. As he moved the cart into position, he paused to look up at the school. IT was really no different than the school he attended when he lived here in Equestria all those years ago. Though it was larger and likely better equipped than his school had been. Smiling to himself he unhitched form the cart, moved to the back and lowered the gate. Sitting himself on the edge, he pulled a an acoustic guitar from the stack. As he strummed over it, he began to smile brighter. His hooves danced over the strings, coaxing out a rather happy melody as he hummed at first. Then he began to sing, and his deep, soothing voice lifted into the air with a crisp loudness that was audible over the city sounds around him. He could already hear a few ponies talking and looking his direction. Which was fine, he wasn't hurting anything and always loved an audience. In the hotel, Stormstride turned an ear to the door as she heard her brother begin playing. Though she was focused on the clerk behind the counter and trying to work out how many days they were going to stay. Stormstride was also inquiring about local places to eat, purchase supplies, and the like. She would need work done on her armor soon, and would need to restock her supplies for caring for her weapons and armor. As the Clerk was trying to think while he registered their room, Stormstride just set the bits on the counter for him to take. She expressed that she needed to run an errand very shortly and would return within an hour to pick up the room keys for herself and her sibling. The clerk nodded and eyed the stack of coins rather happily. Stormstride stepped out and crossed the street to the cart where her brother was playing. She smiled brightly, always loving to hear him play. It was especially so when he sang like that, so full of life and energy. He could coax the sweetest notes from any instrument he picked up and that old guitar was his favorite. She had seen him work it over so well, and his hooves danced over the strings like a ballerina. She could hear other ponies coming to them now and moved to the side of the cart. She tossed out the hat that Buck set out to collect bits. Then she returned to tapping her hooves along with the tune. (OOC: This is the song he is playing. He isn't playing multiple instruments at once, just playing the piano parts on the guitar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNRVm2tEL3A&t=0s&index=5&list=PLeW50pl1e2-u3aTDaPSrH3tOyB97CivH6 )
  9. Buck stopped the cart just outside the town, looking at the sign. He figured it would be best to park here where the road was rather than try and find a place to park it in town. He looked over his shoulder at the mare slumbering in the cart. She was still in her armor, and likely uncomfortable. Nodding to himself, he pulled off the road and into the open pasture. Bracing the cart against a rock and putting the brake on, he moved to the back and pulled out their tent. It only took him a few moments to levitate it in place and secure it. One it was up, he levitated the sleeping mare and took her into the tent. Helping her to get out of the armor and lay back for a proper sleep. That done, he came back out and picked up the guitar case from the cart. HE had no worry of any creature bothering the cart and tent. They were small, barely noticed, and protected by a few small enchantments. As he walked into town with the guitar case on his back, he looked about for a place to set up. He needed a clear space to set up and play. He could leave the case open, or drop his cap on the ground to collect the coins if ponies threw him a few. He was fairly happy with the way their life was, and gladly accepted their lot in the world. Finding his way to the central fountain in town, he levitated the case to the ground and left it open. Sitting on the rim of the fountain basin, he turned the guitar for a moment before closing his eyes. His horn lit up, casting a single spell to amplify the music and his voice to let it float all over town. The last thing he did was levitate a harmonica next to him, but not to his lips. Instead he used his magic to play it in time with guitar, allowing him to play both at the same time. As his hooves began to dance over the strings, he sang softly. A gentle song of love and peace. It was an old song many ponies would know, and many likely loved. As his voice carried over the town, he began to notice ponies drifting his way. They were attracted by the music, listening to him play and a few even tossing a coin or two in his open case. His voice was low and gentle as he smiled and sang to them "See the west wind move...Like a lover's sooooul upon the fields of Barley...Feel her body rise, when you kiss her mouth...among the fields of gold... I never made promises lightly, and there have been some that I've broken... But I swear in the days still left, We'll walk in the fields of gold..." The stallion sang clear and clean like fresh wind. His body rocking softly back and forth as he played. His eyes dancing over the crowd around him. His pale green eyes gleamed brightly as his silver tangled mane blew in the breeze. His dark gray coat seemed to soften and sway over his muscles as he moved a little at a time. He was a large stallion for a unicorn, and much more muscled than most. He was used to physical labor. But as he sang, one could tell just how much joy and life there was in him. How much love he had for the world around him.
  10. @PrinceBlueblood @moonshineTheleocat --------- And so it was Discord was on the hunt once more. For such a peaceful chaos spirit he sure had a sneaky streak. After a bit of fun and games with Slim Chance he had himself a little rest and decided to visit other Canterlonian citizens. Blueblood was his next target. After their winter fling involving spaghetti and flying meatball monsters it was safe to say that he owed the poor noble a normal bowl of pasta. This time the meatballs were not tiny gremlins, but the bowl as a whole made amusing flatulence noises whenever you opened the tupperware. Pfft. “Hehehehe. He’ll enjoy that.” The spirit amused himself with the dish. Soon he floated his way to the property in question. Curling his tail he would give the door a knock twice over before pushing in with a bellow and cheer. “Good evening fellow ponies!” He removed his hat and placed it aside, making sure to scrape his boots, which he suddenly had in the midst of a muggy summer’s day… and tossed them aside henceforth!
  11. The large hanger was quiet, and still for the most part, and considering the hour, it was hardly a surprise. The Office of the Gijutsu-sha was the most varied among the Primary Shogunate, and this hanger was only one of many similar compounds located underneath the Palace Castle. This one, in particular, held only a small open space relative to its size - most of its room was dedicated to smaller, sectioned areas filled with workbenches and miniature arenas, built to allow members to design and test out their inventions. Other hangers were dedicated to the massive, gargantuan titans that were kept well functioning and maintained in the case of a national emergency, and - in all honesty - he would have much preferred working in one of those others, sitting underneath a silent colossus while he worked. Being overshadowed so thoroughly tended to give one a sense of perspective in this world. There were a few stragglers, working right up into the weekend, but they all afforded the Shogun of Neighpon a wide berth, and why shouldn't they? If not for his station, than for the stormy look that had remained an almost constant fixture on his face ever since the afternoon. An instance right outside the walls of the Palace Castle - some upstart, would-be fool of an assassin that had tried running through the gates with a convoy, only to be immediately apprehended just inside. A minor incident, startling but completely beneath his notice. If his younger sister hadn't been returning with her guard just around the same time. Koeda-san - otherwise affectionately known as Mr. Twig - lay unresponsive on the workbench, the source of his life and manufactured spirit laying dormant nearby. Ryuichi frowned as he studied the yellow petals on the construct, pliers held expertly in one hoof as he carefully began rearranging the golem's features. It wasn't often that he got the chance to indulge his love of golems in a hoof's on way - one would think that the Shogun of Neighpon could get more reprieve to play around with expensive toys every once in his ancestors-forsake while - but what might have been a time of relaxation and indulgence was instead tinged with slowly-simmering fury and determination, leaving the Ryuma's dark frown firmly in place as he bent closer over the construct. "Not enough input," the Shogun of Neighpon muttered to himself, hardly noticing the very last of the stragglers quietly making their exit. "The toxin needs to be resourced through the head...a complete rewiring...and some nerve-inhibiting properties too..."
  12. Ishi was pacing around his office, trying to get some work done while he waited for his guard to finish preparing for the trip. He was pretty excited for it, really. He hadn't been able to take a vacation for a while with all the work he had piled up, and he hoped this could be a chance for them both to relax. Now that he thought about it though, maybe he should've been more specific than she should pack for a trip... Oh well, it was probably fine. She was a smart mare, after all. After a few more minutes of pacing, he sighed, plopping down at his desk and resting his head in his hooves. Shibō, curious as to what the problem was, moved over and nuzzled his side. "Hey, Shibō! That tickles!" He laughed, pushing on the golem to get him to stop. "I'm fine, buddy. Just a little too excited to focus on work right now."
  13. To say that her day had been hectic would be putting it politely. In the privacy of her own head, however, Dēnglong Xiu felt safe to think some very unflattering thoughts about the entire situation, from the extra-vigilant guards that watched her warily as she hurried past, or the extra-frantic healers who maintained vigil over the Empress. As well as they should be, too, because it wasn't exactly common practice for the ruler of Long Guo to go tumbling down a mountainside during the middle of the Long's equivalent of a temper tantrum. Entirely understandable, that the entire Imperial Palace was in an uproar, regardless of whether or not the severity of her injuries actually measured up to the spiraling rumors that had started ever since the bedraggled group had been picked up a ways off from Huangjing. Which was probably the worst part in all of this, being tugged in two directions - mentally, not physically. Physically, all efforts had been poured onto the Empress and the visiting Shogun, wringing her hooves as she had carefully monitored the effects of each and every Breath she had breathed upon the royal. Mentally, she had been just as fraught with concern as the rest of the Palace when she'd entered the private rooms, the visible blood causing more than enough alarm...until she had learned of the others that had been caught in the Long-induced storm. Only then had the mental war started, one Xiu had valiantly pushed to the back of her mind to focus fully on the well-being of her Empress. That had been ages ago. Now, however, with the Empress and her guest resting and recovering in the privacy of their rooms, now she was free to be elsewhere, leaving the apprentices to keep vigil. They would summon her if something happened, but for now, Xiu could return to her infirmary...which would undoubtedly be empty save for at least one soul, or perhaps two. It wasn't unnatural for all available healers and physicians to be called in to treat a wounded Emperor or Empress, after all - the more the better - but Xiu held out hope that the two bodyguards that had gone down with the chariot had received at least some semblance of medical care. And one most especially, most particularly. He couldn't have been left to silently suffer while the rest of them ensured the health of the Empress, right? Right? With her mind running in a different million directions at once, Xiu tried to keep a cool head as she rounded the last corner, the familiar doorway entering her vision. As she'd suspected (dreaded) the infirmary was quiet and still, moreso than normal, and Xiu bit down hard on her lower lip as she approached one of the mats in the far corner of the room, its occupant looking blessedly familiar. And at the same time, not. "Fēng?..."
  14. Celestia’s sun painted the sky a beautiful red and orange as the dawn pulled the cool night away. After weeks traveling across the desert Dusty was more than ready to spend some time in a town… No, not just a town but another home. It’s been many years and Dusty hoped they'd forgotten him and what he did the last time he visited Appleloosa… And the times before that. Honestly he felt nervous about walking into that town but it’s only fitting the first town he visited after all this time be the first town he ever did a robbery in. Swallowing old pride Dusty pushed on from the night's camp and started walking as he played out all the events that may happen. Worst case? He’s going to jail for past crimes. Best case? No pony in town remembered him and he’d get a Appleloosa welcome with no pony knowing he use to be a Gang boss. With some luck and time on his side it will be the later of the two and he’d get to enjoy the town and not have to worry that some sheriff with a old grudge was going to slam a chair over his head. ---- The walk was short as Appleloosa pulls closer and Dusty stops shorty to look the town over. It looked bigger! Hardly surprising seeing how long he’s been gone and how fast it was growing back then. But even with new buildings he can spot the bar he so loved to visit with his gang. The train station was just like he left along with the train pulling away. How many Trains did he hold up? Too many. Shaking off the last of his fears Dusty pushes onward “Hope ya missed me Appleloosa, ah shur did.” He whispered to himself with a small grin, now or never too see if Appleloosa was friendly as it used to be! Not like they can miss somepony like him walking into town. How often does that even happen? Most come in from train far as he remembered and even less look’d like him... What vary well may be a bad thing, all it takes is one pony to remember and start shouting for the sheriff to make things go south faster then calling a Minotaur scrawny.
  15. "Hey, watch out there, Coconut!" The red stallion called out, laughing as he leapt over the sprawling tan mare on the ground. "When you challenged me to a race I thought you could at least walk a straight line!" The mare gritted her teeth and surged to her hooves, kicking the loose stone that had betrayed her footing and then racing after the stallion who had just claimed the lead. "I just felt like taking a quick break!" she called back, "After all, not like I'm worried about you winning!" The two ponies raced through the jungle, ducking under low branches, blindly plunging through leaves and ferns, laughing as one, then the other would take advantage. Frond slipped round a corner faster by running up a fallen log to leap over the boulder they were circling, and then Coconut got ahead again by diving through a narrow gap between trees to avoid going around the grove, leaving a few hairs from her coat behind, the fit was so tight. His larger form would never have made it through. Their taunting didn't last long as they soon needed all their breath for the race, neither willing to give an inch to the other. Finally they burst out of the jungle into a clearing, stumbling into a ten foot tall statue of a pony, broken and half-covered in vines. "Whoah, whoah!" Coconut gasped, sliding to a stop, and Frond circled around the clearing, desperately sucking in air. "What is it?" he asked, once he'd gotten in a dozen breaths or so. Coconut circled around with him, looking up into the sky. "Where exactly are we? I've never seen this statue before! Why's there a pegasus statue in the middle of the jungle?" Frond frowned, and craned his neck to try to look past the jungle. "Which way's the volcano?" he asked, also realizing that he had no idea where they were. "I thought we'd have come out on the beach again before now." "Are you sure you were supposed to turn left back at the stream?" "I was just following you." "You turned left first!" "I was just avoiding that spider web that you ran into!" "You're just trying to make excuses since I'm two races ahead, and only one race from a hundred victories!" "Pfft, you wish! I'll take these next three races easy! If we can figure out where we are..." Their playfully bickering voices sounded through the jungle which hadn't seen ponies for at least a decade. Birds took to the sky to fly away from the unfamiliar racket, and prey animals went quiet, waiting to see what these strange creatures would do. And a small, blue lizard stuck its head out of a hole in a tree and skittered along the branch and down the trunk into the bushes. It peeked slowly out of the leaves to see what the ruckus was all about. "Hey, check it out!" Coconut was saying, poking her hoof at the ground, and prying up a long rod. "I think this is a horn." The stone horn was broken at the base, and looking up at the statue, they could see that it fit perfectly onto the rough, broken part at the forehead. "Hey, it's not a pegasus statue ... it's an alicorn statue!" Frond exclaimed. "Let me see that!" He reached out for it, and Coconut drew away. "Hey, I found it! I can put it back!" "I'm the better climber!" "Yeah, and maybe you climb up on it and it breaks under your weight, huh?" They both scrabbled for the horn, which slipped from both their grips and went tumbling into the bushes. Both ponies went diving for it, and there was a terrible shrieking from the bush as they stumbled onto the small blue lizard, which went scampering backwards, eyes glowing a bright silver. "Hey, there's the horn!" Coconut cried, not even noticing the lizard as she squeezed into a narrow space to reach for the broken bit of statuary. There was a sudden silver flash, and suddenly that narrow space was even tighter than before ... Coconut couldn't get out; could hardly breath! The blue lizard scampered away safely, the tan pony unable to reach it now. "Nnngh... Help!" Coconut rasped. "stuck!" Frond grabbed hold of a hoof and pulled, small hooves scrabbling helplessly in the dirt. "Wait," Frond said, confused by the odd angle, voice light. "I think I'm in a hole here..." There was a brief pause as all Coconut could hear was a throat-clearing. "Hole here... hole... what's wrong with my voice? I ... uh ..." Coconut grumbled and planted large tan hooves against the ground, pushing firmly, and with a sudden pop, pulled out of the narrow space and landed heavily on Frond, who collapsed under the larger pony. Coconut stood up, brushing off his large form, "What the heck was - " he started to ask with a deep voice, then stopped. "What the ... why are you so small ... why am I ..." He looked over himself again, and at the pony beneath him. "Why are you a mare?! Why am I a stallion?" Frond stood up, shaking her head to clear it. "I'm a what? What are you talking abou-" she stopped and looked up at the now-taller stallion opposite her, then down at her own leaner form. A set of paired cries of confusion and dismay sounded through the forest, and the lizard grinned its little lizardy face as it slipped away. It looked up at a parrot above it, and its eyes glowed silver once more. Suddenly, the parrot dropped down to the ground, and the blue lizard took off into the sky on brand-new, rainbow-colored wings. There were new creatures in the jungle! Creatures she had never seen before! She wondered what sort of interesting new abilities she could take from them ... It had been a week since their last stopover, a week on the endless sea in a tiny little floating cart. And Doctor Whooves decided that now was the perfect time to teach Trixie how to run the self-propelled contraption."No, see," he tried to explain for the twelfth time. "First you throw this switch. Then you pump this doohickey. THEN you pull this lever once you've brought the pressure up on this gauge... " He waited as Trixie did just as he said, then continued, "Then, when it fails to start, you give it a good KICK!" The words weren't even out of his mouth before Trixie was kicking the engine. "nonono, you don't just kick it without waiting! First you have to wait for it to start for a couple seconds! Then, after a couple heartbeats, THEN you kick it!" He sighed and brought his hoof to his face. "It's all in the timing!" He was so caught up in trying to teach her how to use the cart that he didn't even notice the thin wisp of smoke on the horizon, coming up out of the peak of a volcano just barely visible. ​
  16. In the center of Ponyville's town square, a flashy little cart was set up. Delicious smells wafted their way around Ponyville, drawing everypony closer to the flashy little cart, where a flashy little pony had set up flashy little tables. The sign on the cart read "Bixy's Bites" and the flashy little pony was Bixy. Her turquoise mane was tied up in a messy bun with the help of a purple ribbon, and her red beryl coat was spattered with flour and bits of dough and smeared crystal berries. Despite this, she had the biggest smile on her face you ever did see, and she greeted her first guest enthusiastically. Her excitement did not wane as she offered up menus and answered questions to each and every guest that stopped by. She served crystal berry juices and teas and fizzy drinks, carted out various meals one could normally only find in the crystal empire, and ended with her crystal berry tarts, a dessert that had become somewhat famous in the Crystal Empire before... that whole mess with that one evil unicorn king, Bixbite preferred not to think about it too much. The day carried on, and Bixbite closed down for a short while to restock her supply of tarts and teas and juices and fizzy sodas, before reopening once more. The tables soon filled again, word having spread around Ponyville that there was this fabulous little cart in town square selling crystal pony cuisine of all things! She rushed from table to table, chatting with everypony as she went, running her one-pony operation as best she could. It was good for her that most crystal pony cuisine was served cold; everything could be prepared that morning, so she didn't have to take time from serving in order to cook. The first day was always the busiest, of course, and she knew the next two days would slow down a little, so that she had more time to learn everything she could about Ponyville's residents. Finally the crowd waned once more, and she had some time to rest her hooves and sip at a turquoise berry tea, watching her guests enjoy their meals.
  17. [colour=#daa520]“Can we go over that again?”[/colour] Acclaim slowly reread the dossier. She’d definitely read it the first time, but she’d rather have it straight from Col. Ironwing. Guard duty was one thing, but this was something else entirely. Col. Ironwing wrinkled his nose and adjusted his glasses with a hoof. [colour=#8b4513]“Army Medical has been going over some new preventative medicine procedures and part of their trials include accountability partners for mental health.”[/colour] [colour=#daa520]“So he’s crazy?”[/colour] Acclaim blurted. Her ears drooped for a moment as she realized her faux pas. The colonel was unfazed. [colour=#8b4513]“We’re all a bit crazy, sergeant. Who else would join the Army?”[/colour] [colour=#daa520]“I”m not sure whether to be flattered or offended, sir.”[/colour] [colour=#8b4513]“Humor, sergeant,”[/colour] the colonel smirked. [colour=#8b4513]“Ace is a good kid. He just has some confidence issues and his CO thought it would do him some good to get out. But to do that, they need somepony they can trust.”[/colour] [colour=#daa520]“I appreciate your faith in me, sir, but if I didn’t know any better I’d think high command was playing matchmaker for me.”[/colour] [colour=#8b4513]“It’s less an order and more of a favour, Acclaim. Ace is a former athlete, just like you. So I figured you’d be best to help him reacclimate.”[/colour] The big pegasus paused for a moment as he took another sip of tea from his mug. [colour=#8b4513]“Being master of ceremonies for this event isn’t easy. I want everypony to have fun here, sergeant. But I also want to make sure that ponies who need help get help.”[/colour] [colour=#daa520]“I’ll do my best, sir.”[/colour] [colour=#8b4513]“Good. You’d best get going. The festivities start in a few hours. I’ll have Ace sent to meet you in the foyer after everypony has had a chance to mingle. Dismissed.”[/colour] ************************* Of course that was several hours ago. [colour=#daa520]“Anytime now, buddy,”[/colour] Acclaim mumbled to herself as she sipped at her cider. She’d quietly excused herself from Fire Walker and company specifically to search for Ace. Ironwing had said wait in the Foyer before going in, but the Foyer of the castle was a big place. So Acclaim did what any soldier would do while waiting for her charge: got a drink at the bar. Idling was something that Acclaim didn’t ordinarily do, and thus she found it difficult to keep herself occupied while she waited. She polished her pins. She straightened her cummerbund. She ruffled her bat wings and checked the pleats in her skirt. Finally taking a look around, she spotted an approaching stallion roughly matching Ace’s description. [colour=#daa520]“Ace High I presume?”[/colour]
  18. Celestia's golden sun shone brightly in the wide blue sky above the city of Cloudsdale. It was an unseasonably warm Wednesday afternoon in the mid-fall, and Whirligig relished the sun's rays on her blue hair. She had just finished her shift in the weather factory - another long day in snowflake making. Winter was fast approaching, and crunch time for snowflakes was in full swing. Quite frankly, Whirligig was exhausted. Snowflakes were not her passion nor her special talent, but when life gives you lemons…Stretching her wings in the warm air felt wonderful after being cooped up inside the chilly production room all afternoon. She silently thanked whichever of the weather planners had arranged for this particular day as she slowly flew away from the employee exit of giant factory towards the centre of town. Cloudsdale was, to anypony unused to it, an impressive city. There were multiple streets on multiple levels and some areas weren't really even joined to the rest of city by clouds. The architecture of most edifices was dominated with high ceilings on the inside and tall, sturdy cloud pillars on the outside. And pretty much everything except for the ponies was white. To Whirligig, these sturdy structures were part of her daily flight to work and helped her to feel at home. Whirligig's apartment, the one she had grown up in and shared with her mother now, was in one of the crowded working-class districts of the city. But that wasn't where Whirligig was heading just yet. Tired as she was, it had been a few days since she had last let her mane down and spent time in the city centre socializing. Tonight she was determined to do just that to chase away the mid-week melancholy that always set-in on Wednesdays. None of her co-workers had wanted to come with her, and that was okay by her. There was always an opportunity to make new friends in the clouded city anyways. She made her way upwards to the main street. Here, there were shops, food stalls, theatres, some clubs and pubs and, on the corner, a large fenced-in playground. She loved strolling along Cloudsdale's main road. She trotted along slowly, gazing through windows at beautiful formal dresses she would never need nor wear as she passed, considered stopping in a café for a cappuccino, then again when she passed the ice cream bar. She tossed a few spare bits into a busker's open guitar case as she passed by, before stepping into the bakery and getting a coffee crème bun. Finally, she turned into the playground and took a seat on a park bench to eat her purchased treat. She watched with mild interest as a young filly pushed an even younger filly on the swing set, and two identical colts not far off were having a grand old time on the teeter-totter. A couple of young mares, presumably mothers of the young colts and fillies who had come from the schoolhouse around the corner, stood nearby chatting merrily about everything from their jobs to their children to local politics. It was a perfect day to be a Pegasus living in the City in the Sky. ​[colour=#b4b4b4]((OOC: I have no idea where I'm going with this; should be fun! ))[/colour]
  19. [colour=#CC33CC]"Hello, everypony! Come one, come all! Welcome to the Sipping Sweet Shop, or for short, the triple S! Heeheehee!", [/colour][colour=#000000]said the cheery magenta-coloured unicorn who seems to have took a trip to the Sugarcube Corner before opening her new sweet beverage shop. [/colour][colour=#CC00CC]"Come and try my new special, it's called 'Bubble Apple Berry'! Try a free sample of it, they are on the table over there!" [/colour][colour=#000000]Oh, how she couldn't resist having customers! Magenta Dawn eagerly waited, jumping up and down as she smiles a big grin on her face.[/colour] [ The Sipping Sweet Shop's location: Somewhere in Canterlot. | Time: Evening ] [colour=#EE82EE][Edit 03/22/2013: No need to ask, it's perfectly fine. Come on in! [/colour][colour=#EE82EE] [/colour][colour=#EE82EE] ][/colour] [colour=#ee82ee][Edit 04/24/2013: I felt that this roleplay won't go on, as I have officially jumped the shark. [/colour] [colour=#ee82ee]For those of you who have participated in this roleplay, thank you so much for making this [/colour][colour=#ffffff]hot[/colour][colour=#ee82ee].[/colour][colour=#ee82ee] [/colour][colour=#ee82ee] Yeah, I've been inactive, which I felt kept me from hanging with you guys sometimes. It has been nice being with you guys, as I have brought smiles to your faces. Don't worry, I probably might start a completely different roleplay. Not sure, who knows? I will not stop roleplaying permanently, I'll just look for another roleplay to be in. And I realized that I ended with a cliffhanger, oh, I dislike cliffhangers! Here, I'll try to make up an ending, although it might not be very effective. I guess you could say Magenta Dawn changed her mind about meeting the bride and decided to go back to work. Can't leave the job so early!][/colour]
  20. It was still dark, the sun barely lightening the horizon. Nocturna was already present at the entrance into the [colour=#800080]Wind Shear Passage[/colour]. A huge cloud with a small building was flying infront of the gaping maw of the mountain which was the canyon. During the winter days it looked even more scary. In that building the manager of this event was waiting for her, so he could assign a [colour=#800080]supervisor [/colour]to their team, who also acts as leader to bring everypony home safely. [colour=#0000ff]Nocturna [/colour]had to check in at the start of the passage earlier than the rest of the team. Unfortunetaly it didn't go according to plan. Later when the sun was finally peeking over the edge of the horizon the snow was glowing beautifully. The blue mare waited for all of her team to arrive. "Team" - she wouldn't really call it like that. They were a random bunch of ponies and a griffon who all wanted to gain the [colour=#800080]Descent Medal[/colour] for passing the [colour=#800080]Wind Shear Passage[/colour] in three days or less. Some she knew, most she didn't. At least she could be certain all of them are decent flyers - one who wasn't wouldn't attempt this challenge. [colour=#0000ff]"Well guys. It seems like our supervisor is sick and there is no replacement. Nopony else wants to be responsible for a group attempting a challenge like this"[/colour], she bowed her head down in defeat. Was that already the end of the journey? Then suddenly the manager appeared and put a badge on Nocturnas side bag. "I heard you are a Shadowbolt, so I assign you hereby the leader of this group, we will supervise the time differently. Have a nice journey." [colour=#0000ff]"Wait, you cannot just... I cannot take this responsi- ...".[/colour] Before she could properly respond he flew away.[colour=#0000ff] "Oh dear Celestia..."[/colour], she put a hoof on her face and sighed, turning around to the group and looking at them with a puzzled look. They might not be able to see it but Nocturna suddenly felt not that great about the challenge anymore. [colour=#0000ff]"Eh heh... "[/colour], her self-confidence crumbled for the moment.
  21. Cutlass turned to Novaya. "So. We have equipment and intel. However little of the latter is available anyway. My vote goes to making a bit of distance out of here if we're not taking a night at the inn for planning. Immediate and direct travel without rest, as it is, would be kind of awkward as well, seeing as we all only just met... with all due respect of course." "Ja, we should try to be covering some ground,” the Germanean quipped. “I would not mind a planning session to be determining strategy. If we rest a bit beforehoof, I can be getting ready to go long distance on my bad leg. Would be making things easier, Ja? We must be getting to know each other before we fight together." “Then it is agreed. Back to the inn we go,” Novaya smiled. “It would be better for us to depart tomorrow when we have rested. We can travel by morning and venture into the town itself in afternoon. Sound good, da?” The sergeant major turned back towards the center of town, head held high and whistling the beginning of a cheery Stallian tune. “Besides, I could go for another round of drinks while we wait for daybreak!” ****** “...and we still need to find you a proper set of saddlebags for journey ahead!” Novaya laughed, loudly clapping Radiant Steel on the back with a hoof. “Where in all that armor did you plan on putting canteens, medical supplies, and Magya Valius’ trinkets?” A partly filled tankard floated next to her head wreathed in the soft cornflower blue glow of her magic, the only reason it remainedbeing that she had just hammered down the last tankard. After all, there was nothing like a good brew before a mission! The large, round table was stacked with food and drink; local barley brews, Stallian vodka, standard pony pub grub, and fresh fruit brought in from the local ports. Seats around the suspended disc of seasoned hardwood consisted of padded pillows; rough on the surface to resist wear from bar denizens, but comfortable enough for a pony to rest upon for a meal and a drink. Dim but warm lighting from faerie lanterns shed their glow upon the seating area, cordoning the booths and tables with swaths of soft shadow. The atmosphere of The Cloven Hoof was one of content. Sailors and dock workers had just come off their shifts and store owners and mid-level bureaucrats had been off their desks for an hour or more already. Each clique seemed to have their own habitat; soldiers and sailors clustering around big circular tables, desk jockeys huddling in their corner booths, and a smattering of loners clustered at the bar waiting on drinks. The party was merely another group in the busy hubbub of a tavern at prime time. The sergeant major was not above carousing with her command. It was her firm belief that with the right to shed blood, sweat, and tears together came the responsibility of sharing food and drink and stories together. How could you fight alongside a comrade who cared nothing for his or her fellow pony? Meal and drink did not just provide sustenance, it provided camaraderie, and in that a more cohesive fighting unit and a much greater chance of success. Novaya had already sized up their combat prowess at Valius’ tower. Alone, each was formidable. A swordsmare, a Germanean mercenary, an REA neophyte, and a seasoned VSS soldier; each more than a match for the rabble that surely roamed the streets of Lunae. But that was unimportant. Novaya had seen former Kuznitza street rats take down much tougher foes with only their wits and loyalty to each other. Their ability to work together was far more important than individual skill. But of course, in order to know the team, the team had to know each other... “So tell me, letchka, where are you from?” The sergeant major grinned at Radiant Steel before taking a long draught from her tankard. “Ponyville, Marelia, Canterlot?”
  22. (Okay I'm back, sorry for the delay) Diamond Tiara was growing more and more frustrated with every passing moment. She watched as patiently as she could, hopping on her hooves, as Sweetie Belle attempted to command the cat to release its hostage, the precious tiara. She bit her hoof, a bead of sweat forming on her brow as the cat walked over to Sweetie. And then it happened! She took the tiara off and put it down. Diamond breathed a sigh of relief. "Whew. Finally!" She walked over to Sweetie Belle to get her tiara back. She'd have to give the girl a break in school from now on, after she worked so hard. And then the cat batted the tiara away again. Her eye twitched. A snarling, growling sound rose in her throat as her face twisted into a grim scowl of rage. Finally, she couldn't hold it in anymore. "RRRRAAAAAAAAGH! I don't believe it! You were so close and you blew it!" she screamed, all her frustration rising to the surface. She spun round to spot the tiara, bouncing back towards Ponyville, likely now covered in dents and scratches. Who knows where it could end up if they didn't catch it? "That's it!" she screeched. "I'm putting up a bounty! 50 BITS TO THE PONY THAT BRINGS ME THAT TIARA!"
  23. Rue lied still beneath a carpet of debris. There was something wet on her flank. It was quiet out here. The wetness was probably the brook, Rue figured. The sweet smell of coconut curry filled her nostrils. No, was that the Rue plant? It smelled like it was burning. Rue realized she left the stove on. She opened her eyes and motioned to stand. However, her body didn't seem to want to cooperate, so she gave up and stayed motionless. Slowly, the ringing got louder. "Kite?" Rue mumbled. She wasn't sure if any noise came out -- all she could hear was the ringing. The train was in shambles. "What's going on?" Rue mumbled, but it was probably unintelligible. A hooded figure came into focus. The grim reaper? No, Rue could feel she was alive. But who then? Something about the silhouette seemed familiar... She closed her eyes and thought for a moment. Her father was injured... And her coltfriend too. There was nobody in the room but her and the cloaked figure. "If you hadn't fought back, none of this would have happened," hissed the dark mare. Rue climbed to her knees and glared at the figure from beneath her lowered brow. The mysterious pony continued "Was it worth it? They paid the price for your foolishness... I've returned reap what you've sown." The figure threw off her cloak. "Cutlass!" Rue's eyes snapped open. Disoriented and in a panic, she thrashed about on the ground, struggling to find her footing. Thistle screamed something, but all Rue could hear was the ringing.
  24. [OOC: As Blitz requested, going through one more reply round without our Pegasus Soldier this time] [OOC2: Miracle. A short post from my side.] Unity noticed that Blitz hesitated. He wasn't sure why, but he knew that it would be most wise for her to fly and make sure that the unicorn won't hurt himself. "Well, in this case I'll help her in picking decision, perhaps." - he thought, as he turned back and headed towards the offices. "She'll for sure do the right thing eventually. And I believe Pegasus will be able to catch up to us if needed." He was already few steps ahead, when he realized it wasn't in his interest to enter Canterlot trading administration offices. He turned back, still trotting ahead, and said: "Nickel, my friend, you're coming? I feel we've wasted enough time already. I hope you still have that rare gem you've mentioned earlier. It'll be a good example of good you're trying to sell, I believe." - Unity pointed his sight on the roofs after saying those words. It seemed as Shadow and Ink we're having a conversation. He was pleased with that, actually. The further away from that unicorn, the better. Least, that's what he came up with after his last words directed at Unity. "Why is it that Blitz defended him?" - he wondered, staring blankly ahead. It was a thing he couldn't understand completely - "Perhaps it'll be best to ask her upon next meeting...". Unity turned back again - "Come on, Nickel! Let's get ourselves done with this already!" - Stallion tried lighting a fire under his colt companion.
  25. Rose felt so very happy for the praise that Caramel, Bramble, and now a third pony were giving to her roses. She outright blushed as Caramel named her roses amazing, turning her head away so she wouldn't show the sudden redness on her cheeks. She gave a brief smile to Caramel and Bramble before turning her attention to Arctic. "My, my, hello there! How nice to meet you! My name is Rose, but my friends often call me Roseluck, and I like to think that everyone is a friend I haven't met yet! What might your name be?" She gave another smile. She glanced around, making sure the ponies around her were treating her roses nicely, but everything seemed fine. At least, it was till Bramble fell on the ground! She reached up to touch his face with her hoof, a worried expression on her face. "Are you all right? You didn't hurt yourself, did you? Oh, I hope not!" Rose hated it when ponies got hurt - and for him to fall on her property! how terrible!
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