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The Mayor is In (Open)


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Rose acknowledged this with a short hum of appreciation, nodding to herself as she got her results. That was enough to bring a more genuine smile back.

 

"So I can see." She was liking what she was hearing. "Did you know," she started in a tone not unlike a professor, "that over time, the cells in your body lose the ability to divide and die? These 'undead' cells gather up in the body and... Clutter your system. Indeed, this process, called senescence, is beleived to be what causes old age."

 

Raising a hoof, a spectacle of magic began to manifest. A slow gathering of greenish-blue energy that, slowly, began to take on a definitive shape. "Now, what if you could stave off this process? Allow the cells in your body to last nigh indefinitely without difficulties, and still allow them to die when the time is right?"

 

At the end of her sentence, the shape coalesced into an incandescent bottle of greenish fluid. "Ponies could live longer, healthier lives, without having to worry about growing old and wrinkled. Don't get me wrong, they'd still age, but things like arthritis, cardiac dysfunction, atherosclerosis- nobody wants to experience those things as a consequence of their own body's inefficiency."

 

Her smile grew a little more at this, and the bottle floated off of the frog of her hoof to settle at the edge of the Mayor's table. 

 

"That's what I aim to fix. Although it won't reverse the damage already done, sadly." Her ears flicked down at this as she tossed a sour look off into the distance. 

 

 

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"I am not unfamiliar with the concept."  Spoiled Rich replied dryly to Rose's lecture.  In trying to suss out the difference between genuine and fake anti-aging regimens, she'd had to read up on the actual science involved.  The results of all that research were remarkable, and had in fact been remarked upon earlier that day by the first very charming visitor.  Still, she was under no illusion that her efforts were anything but a fight against the inevitable, and so listened attentively to anything that could be mustered into the battalions on her side.

Looking down at the bottle, she examined the greenish bottle, before looking up at Rose with raised eyebrow.  "And this is the result of your research?  I assume you have dosage directions?  You offer something very attractive, and the risk of overdose by the eager is something worth considering."  She sounded calm, neutral in her assessment... but her tail was twitching.

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Overdosage, in fact, would lead to cancer. And lots of it. Too many cells all in one space, and none of them willing to die off because they're too healthy. 

 

"There is a prescribed dosage, in fact. But as of right now, I have no way of limiting exposure to the substance beyond simply limiting supply. That's part of the reason I inquired about the local medical facilities, as I would hope they'd be capable of that... Given they accept my proposal."

 

Looking down at the bottle herself, she tapped it with a hoof, watching the green fluid ripple briefly on the surface before calming down again. "Overdosage to any drug will lead to consequences. Doctors know this best."

 

And that's when she turned it around, revealing a nice, appropriately clinical label on the back- or maybe that was the front. Depending on how you looked at it. It proclaimed the substance as something simply called "Anti-senex" and detailed instructions on dosage and how often to take the 'medication.'

 

Apparently, you only need to consume about a quarter of it once every three months for it to take effect, and stay effective. In reality, this was so that cells stayed healthy, and still staved off harmful effects of aging, but gave those same cells time to wear down enough so that the next dosage didn't cause problems.

 

In Rose's mind, it was like loading a cannon. Put in just the right amount of power, and it blows the enemy to pieces. Put in too much powder all at once, and it blows your ship to pieces. 

 

 

 

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Mayor Rich pursed her lips as she more closely examined the bottle, and her expression became more critical.  "You know, there's a reason that dosages are given in hard numbers of ounces or milliliters.  It's hard to tell how much of a bottle you've poured out while you're pouring it, and most ponies I know just eyeball their pours unless specifically stated otherwise.  I take it you've not much experience in professional pharmacology.  More of a researcher, hm?"

 

She was still quite interested in the product, but had slightly less confidence in the practitioner.  "Given the risks involved, I would recommend offering this treatment as a service rather than a product, make ponies come to you for their doses.  Don't let them take the product home.  This also allows you to open a private practice, without needing to go through the hospital bureaucracy."  She left unvoiced the fact that she had some grave doubts as to whether a private researcher with no professional licensing or training would get much of anywhere with them.

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Rose wasn't sure she liked everything she was hearing, and this was reflected in her expression. "While I agree with your suggestion, I'd rather not this be a private practice. The end-goal, after all, is to make this available to all creatures." Across the globe, she'd have liked to add, but she didn't want to come off as overambitious.

 

Despite all the time she's had to hone her craft, she really was woefully lacking in professionalism. One of the drawbacks of a nomadic life, she supposed. And a consequence of her past life, definitely. 

 

Sighing, she deflated just a bit. "This time is so much different from my own..."

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Ah, not only a researcher, but an idealist.  As a pony that considered themselves a "Mare of the world", Spoiled Rich looked upon this type with an admittedly condescending kind of pity.  They hadn't the practical skills to make their dreams reality, poor souls.  She might have thought differently if she knew of Rose's earlier career as a pirate, though.  Really couldn't be impractical and survive on the high seas.
"I can guarantee you, given how fast and loose most ponies are with such things, not keeping a tight as possible control on the supply will result in half of them getting cancer.  Rather the opposite of your goals, I should say.  I would open a private practice, and then re-invest your profits into a safer method of treatment dosage.  And perhaps a legal team; you're going to be facing some potential hurdles with regards to knockoffs and malpractice suits if any mistakes occur.  I shouldn't like to see you fail from naivete."

 

Aware that such talk could be a little discouraging, she added.  "I want to see you succeed, I see you as a real asset to this town.  Not to mention, I am quite interested in this treatment personally.  I just don't exactly trust the skill of my own hooves in self-dosing, you understand."

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Rose snorted, raising her nose up at the mare. "I can assure you, no mortal of this realm can achieve my results." She was just as quick to revert to a more humble façade, however. "But I do understand. Start off small, and work my way up from there."

 

Glancing down at the bottom, without so much as a gesture it vanished in a dim flash of light, and was replaced by four carefully measured vials arranged in a row. The label had been readjusted to fit them- courtesy of a replicate taking heed of the Mayor's advice. "I'm afraid I am still quite unfamiliar with Equestria's legal system, however. The only government mare I know to any significant degree is Twilight, and I'd hate to bother her over something so trifle." That's not to say she wouldn't bother her over it, though.

 

"Where I come from, medical practices are also more... Archaic, in comparison to your own. Apothecaries are common, and the majority of medicinal practices are tied to the Church."

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Ah, at least she was confident.  Spoiled couldn't fault her for that.  The little trick with the bottles certainly aided in buttressing that claim.  Sweeping three of those bottles into her saddlebag, she looked up at the calendar to take note of the date, and then popped open the last bottle to down the contents.  She didn't let them linger on her tongue a second longer than necessary, medicine rarely rewards the savorer.  "*ulp*  Ah... You would do well to familiarize yourself with the rules of business here.  The Ponyville Chamber of Commerce will, of course, lend assistance should you decide to set up shop within town borders."  With what she was offering, Mayor Rich could see very many wealthy clients (and their coins) coming down to her town!

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Well, somepony sure was excited about the future. One benefit of being a changeling: you know exactly how a pony feels. 

 

Mayor Rich would feel a blossoming warmth within her that only lasted a couple seconds, accompanied by a rather bitter aftertaste. "I actually already operate out of a potion shop. Rose Compass's Cure-All's And Curios." She chuckled. "I also dabble in enchantment and artifacts, but they're secondary to alchemy for me."

 

"I have managed to created functional automata before, though, incase you ever need an assistant that never tires or complains ~" Judging by the humored look on her face, she wasn't entirely serious. About the suggestion, of course.

 

"But I digress. I'll see about setting up a private practice and do my homework on Equestrian government. Thank you for your advice." Bowing her head, she made the appropriate show of appreciation.

 

"Oh! I had one final topic I wished to broach, but before that..." Raising her hoof again, a dark green sphere roughly the size of a tennis bass materialized upon her frog. "There's a spell I've been expirementing with. It's meant to be autonomous and, in time, be able to cast spells on the users behalf. However, right now its only function is to gather data and feed this information back to the user. Put simply, it needs experience. To learn. Mind giving it a whirl?"

 

 

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Oh, she already had a shop?  Definitely worth checking out later, Spoiled noted as the medicine traveled down her throat, heralded by warmth, tailed by bitterness.  Another cup of tea from the kettle to wash it down.  "Hm, interesting, but that's not my most pressing demand right now.  Right now, I have a fairly pressing need from a... friend of mine."  That might have been presumptuous to say of Niilaavin, but she could say that she would like to be a friend, definitely.  "Tell me, have you done work in... transformation, with your alchemy?  I've heard many stories about the capabilities of zebra alchemy, but our local practitioner is rather more down-to-earth than the more outlandish tales.  But you seem to have more, ambition, shall we say?"

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Rose blinked at that, pleasantly surprised by both the inquiry and the denial of her offer. She was just so used to ponies agreeing to whatever she proposed that a pony actually turning down an offer was a rather novel experience. Still, it wouldn't set her back any, so she banished the orb. 

 

"Funny you would ask that. As it so happens, I do happen to be an expert in that field." Suddenly, she was engulfed in turquoise flames and re-emerged as a classical unicorn. Not much of a transformation, but enough of a change to get her point across. "And that expertise extends past my own proficiency."

 

"I would request extra details, however." That vague jocular tone of hers was quick to give way to something more business-like. If the Mayor wanted something, she'd need to be specific. "Alchemy is, after all, changing one thing into another. I could change your appearance- coat color, eye color, supernatural aura, etcetera. Or, what seems to be the more popular option, I could turn you into another species entirely... Albeit temperarily. I have one potion that turns you into a sea-pony that Aloe enjoys quite a lot, but the thing about potions is that they wear off given time."

 

"Minutes, hours, days, months," she rolled her hoof. "Anyways, yes, I am quite proficient in transformation. Whether I'm turning a pony into a shark or a tree. Or a rock this one time. And a talking one at that, funny story ~"

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The sudden transformation of the mare before her caught Spoiled by surprise, before she remembered that Rose was a changeling.  They were apparently good now, or something.  Whatever, as long as they paid their taxes and didn't cause more than the median average amount of trouble.  "Well, this isn't for me exactly, like I said.  I daresay what I'm looking for might prove a challenge even for your skills.  I'm looking for something that will transform a pony into a sphinx, size change included, and last at least long enough to bring a litter of cubs to term.  My friend, you see, is the last of his kind, as far as we are aware."  She hoped the alchemist wouldn't ramble on too long before getting to her answer, though to be honest she wasn't truly expecting any majorly positive answer.  It was, as she said, a tall ask.

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A tall task for any mundane mortal, perhaps, but not for the greatest alchemist to ever live.

 

"I see," she said with some warmth in her tone, smiling. "You're right to assume this is more challenging than a temperary transformation, but it's definitely not beyond my ability to accomplish. I will, however, need genetic samples and time. Sphinxes don't exist where I come from," or, rather, she was never aware of them. "So I'll need to gain a firm understanding of their anatomy first."

 

She paused after this, eyes narrowing in thought as she brought a hoof up to her chin. "Maintaining that form long enough to come to term will also present unique challenges... It'd probably be easier to use true transformation, and then turn you back whenever you choose."

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Nodding briskly, Spoiled Rich reached down into her desk and pulled out pen and paper, taking it up in her mouth and writing a brief note of introduction.  "There."  She said, hoofing over the note.  "That should serve to get you in the Castle Door.  Niilaavin is currently staying with Prince Blueblood at the Friendship Castle in town.  Or possibly Princess Bluebelle, depending on which they decided to be this morning."  She couldn't stop herself from rolling her eyes at that, but moved on.  "They and their household are occupying the place while Princess Twilight is in Canterlot.  They'll be able to give you more details, I'm sure."

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Rose graciously accepted the note, glancing over its contents before porting it away to a safe location. "Ah, the lucky stallion." She bowed her head, adopting a more formal tone. "It will be done."

 

There was a beat of silence, and Rose promptly decided that, yes, attempting to elongate her time here would become decidedly awkward. Turning back into a regular unicorn, she righted herself, gracing the pinkish pony with a small smile.

 

"It has been a pleasure conversing with you, Mayor Rich. I look forward to our next meeting, for there are still topics I wish to broach. They are not pressing matters, though, and I am aware that ponies other than myself seek your time today."

 

Then, just for laughs, she summoned a tricorn hat and tipped it to the mare. "Good day ~"

 

Energy gathered at the tip of her horn, but she paused just before teleporting away. "Oh, and this should go without saying, but if you experience any adverse affects of the potion I implore you to seek me out at my shop. I'll be able to fix anything that goes wrong, but I'm fairly confident nothing will." And then she was gone. 

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"I shall be sure to do so.  Good day!"  Spoiled Rich said her goodbyes with a crisp nod, feeling relatively good about how the day was going.  Why, her general attitude towards the Ponyville public at large was going up a peg or two, mostly due to the new additions she was seeing come in.  The rest of the townies... well, she could afford magnanimity towards them now.

 

"Next!"  She called out as the alchemist departed, an actual note of chipperness in her voice!

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If he was asked where he would want to be right now, Squall would have to admit that hallway leading to Ponyville Mayor Office would be near-bottom bracket of his list. He would rather be at Squallcoast Manor, gushing over increasingly gravid belly of his beloved, and even his office in Tempest Tower seemed as more attractive alternative.

 

But one could not always have or be where he wanted, even if one was a billionaire. There was such things like obligations. Not only financial, but social as well.

As much as current Mayor rubbed him the wrong way, he couldn't deny that her husband, Filthy Rich, was a nice chap and reasonable business partner. So when he mentioned...no...established, that his wife might have something to propose to him, Swift knew his cue.  And even if hd didn't, he wasn't really having an excuse to deny the visit. Especially since his soon-to-be in-law were actually living in Ponyville.

 

Of course Swift had a vague idea what Spoiled Rich might want from him - certainly not his sword-swinging skills. But TEMPEST Corp. was known for dealing with heavy construction, transportation and - recently - heavy military industry. Squall's own efforts in establishing Fillydelphia Botanical Gardens were becoming more well known as well.

 

Of course that didn't meant he was just to agree to what Spolied agreed. When asking her about them, Miss Applejacks opinions about them was....mixed. And Spoiled reaction toward his buddy Discord during the wedding weren't helping Squall's own opinion about her either.

That said, recent event showed the count that he should re-evaluate his own skills about judging character. And noblepony had to admit, is own friendship with draconequus WAS and acquired taste - his own reaction during their first meeting was much more frosty them Mrs. Rich even showed.

 

So Swift decided to give Mrs. Spoiled - and whatever topic she wanted to bring up - a chance. But not without her having to guess his intentions, and him having some amusement at her expanse.

 

So when Mayor asked for next petitioner to enter, what came into her office was not Swift Squall the Noblestallion, Businessespony and Philanthropist - but Swift Squall the Adventurer, Monster Slayer and Sellsword. Dressed in black trench coat, with two blades strapped to his sides, protective charms hanging from his neck, along with stubble on his jaw, long and left free and wild and steely look in his green eyes. The only detail that showed that he wasn't some time-displaced version of himself was 'T' pin, symbolizing his corporation attached to a collar of his garb.

 

"Mayor..." Swift 'greeted' the middle aged mare, his gaze meeting with hers. He was starting to actually looking forward to what this was about.

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Mayor Rich would have taken a few seconds to take in Swift Squall's attire.  To her credit, she refrained from rolling her eyes, only giving the stallion a flat look he may have remembered from a particularly unsympathetic aunt, if he had grown up with aunts.  Many scions of the upper class did, and their personal frictions made for many a delightful classic tale from P.G. Wodestable.  "I was hoping to discuss the possibility of manufacturing investment in town," She said evenly, "But you seem to have a preference for Everfree expeditions.  And with an expectant mare at home, too."

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