1691 replies and 20 files omitted.
He looks up at Amber from his position with his head almost laying on the table
"I'll trust you..."
Amber winks. "Your secret is safe with me."
Once she settles down, her expression becomes a little confused. "So what were we talking about?"
He blinks, with both forehooves before him on the table
"I don't know... something about music, and me coming here, and you being jealous of Salt Lick's features."
She pulls her head back, scrunching her snout. "Me? Jealous?"
"Like you don't wish you had that gravitational pull."
"I mean...my rump might look skinny next to hers, but I ain't jealous! I could be just as shapely if I ate right, then you'd be falling head over hooves for me instead."
He keeps his lips closed tight in a smile, before opening them to take a sip from his water.
Silver tilts his head at the deer.
"What do you mean?"
"Was it our weakness that let this happen? Did the gods abandon us? Did they think it just? Did we abandon them?"
"Ah. Olenian gods. I admit, I am not so familiar with them."
"Well... How long will you be here? I could
spend some money, though I've been trying to save it...">>143870
"I could not have expected you to be."
"I was told to relax and make myself familiar with the night life..." With lessened mental clarity she has to concentrate to remember what Dark Denizen said, but once she does she lightens up. "Have a drink, which I did, listen to music-yep, done that-let a stallion make a pass, whatever that means, but you're here so maybe that counts...and have a dance. I...erm, haven't danced here before."
"You seem to be rather pious. Tell me about them, if it pleases you."
"I don't suppose...">>143873
"Pious? I don't call myself pious. Not any more. To have piety is to have reverence. To give what is due to that which is greater than you. Now I am not sure sure of what is due, or how much greater they are. But they are there. Do not let yourself be fooled. There is Tiapo, of the Forest. Vellamo of the seas and storms, Tursas of War, Kuu of the Moon, and Pellervo. These and many others. Above them all is god of the sky and thunder, Ukko."
>>143874"I'd really like to, if you don't mind."
She smiles with a slight blush on her cheeks.
"Does Ukko reign over sun as well?"
He has a great smile
He stands up. The music is a bit more cheery now, with notes that go back and forth. It'll do for dancing>>143876
He has a small smile
"The goddess Päivätär lords over the sun, and with its rays crafts silver jewelry. But the sky is above the sun."
Amber likewise gets up to join him. She hasn't had too much to affect her motor skills, at least. "Do you know how to dance to this?"
He looks up, and around
"I don't think I've heard it before..."
He moves his right forehoof forward with a tap, then pulls back and moves his left hoof with a tap, then his left again, then his right again, and then he rotates to his left by 90 degrees and repeats the process again
He smiles back.
"I do not suppose she also crafts Silver Swords?"
Amber imitates his movements flawlessly while managing to keep facing him.
"No. She is a maiden, and like the maidens crafts clothes and jewelry. But Väinämöinen, he has his sword. Ukko even, sometimes strikes the thunder with his sword.
He looks up at her
"... You're really good at this, heh heh"
Smiling back, she replies, "Oh thank you. But I wouldn't know where to start without you."
Still, he tries to keep pace and dance, though it seems he feels the need to watch his feet
"Is joke. She crafts silver jewelry, my name is Silver Sword...well, I thought it was good, at least."
He offers himself a light chuckle.
"I find it interesting, hearing about different faiths. From what I learned, our chief Goddess was ruler over sun and rains, before Severyana adopted Celestialism. It makes sense that Ukko is God of Sky and Thunder, with Deer being mostly sea people."
Emboldened either by the events of the evening or her drink, she adds a little bit of flare to this simple dance. She raises her hooves higher than necessary, swings her head with its curtain of hair from side to side, and raises or lowers parts of her body as she shifts her weight in time with the music.
"Ah" He raises his head
"And so that is who I am speaking to"
"I think I have had enough experiences with 'different faiths.' What is 'Severyana'?">>143892
Mustard Trim pulls his head back from the wild, bucking mare in front of him, now placing his eyes firmly on her."
She meets his gaze, grinning back.
He smiles, then spins and moves to the side. The notes, higher and lower at points, invite smaller and greater movement of the body, depending on the note played. Sometimes a small step, sometimes a leap.
Amber perks her ears up and listens carefully to the music and tries to interpret it into a dance.
Listen: [1d20+3 = 15]
Dexterity/Balance: [1d20+2 = 9]
"It goes by different, less honorable name these days. Stalliongrad. At one time it was great northern empire that could boast to rival even Equestria, holding control over lands of penguins, yaks, and polar bears. Now it is...well, most people in Equus know what it is now."
Her ear for music doesn't fail her though as she moves away from a simple box step she's less certain about her movement. At one point she falls back onto her rear, and so she slows down a bit to avoid embarrassing herself any further.
Definitely spin spin spin, move position spin spin, move position tap tap. Execution could use a little bit of work though>>143897
"Yes. I've heard. I suppose the same could be said of our nation. Our once great nation. But Stalliongrad has a special infamy."
>>143899"I could definitely use some dancing lessons,"
she says, almost laughing, to Mustard.
"Yes...Steel Stallions and King Johans. There are too many of them in this world I am afraid. But forgive me, I am not sure if politics are what you want to talk about."
"Johan was better than he was given credit for. But his faults were not
made up for by those around him. Not at all..."
"Consider this a lesson." He hops over, once, then again, then to Amber's side
"I will admit, all I know of him are from stories. I get idea he was weak king who let those around him do as they please so he could remain in power, to detriment of Olenian people."
Amber is a natural-born dancer with these rolls, but watch me roll consecutive 1's later and end up abducted by pirates
She hops up into the air, does a twist, then turns on her hind hoof, and ends perfectly with her legs on Mustard Trim, who looks very much surprised>>143905
"And those stories are mostly true. But he knew to fight when the nation was threatened. Whether surrendering when he did was right... The peace is hardly tolerable.">>143906Getting abducted by pirates must be caused by truely terrible dancing
Silver nods, and is silent for a moment.
"We should have intervened. We knew what was to come after Olenia. Had Celestia ordered our armies to march on Changelings when they declared war on your people, we would not have had to deal with them now."
There is a subtle hint of a smile
, was no fault of Johan. No fault of ours, either."
"Yes, this fault rests squarely upon us...and upon Celestia. I would offer my apologies on behalf of ponykind, if it was worth anything to you."
"I'll take the liberation from those griffins
... Though I have to wonder why they got as far as they did."
"Deception and bribery, most likely. Fear also played small part. Last time police raided they found nothing but sweatshop and they gave Sweet Boek fine for it. When New Mareland invaded they found more of same. Police wasn't willing to commit to another raid for fear of large casualities among their numbers, so Baltimare government asked for us to do it instead. None of us expected to find Maarists."
".... That was amazing!" >>143912
"So that's what they call themselves. That doesn't sound much better than the old world. And we didn't have griffins." "
He pauses, then adds,
How did they capture a parasite anyways? Or was it working with them?"
He pulls her into a closer dance, mostly making the right steps, but missing a step and bumping into her at one point
"There is evil everywhere. What matter is that we work to root it out.
"She was captive as well. They kept her in cage, and fed others they captured to her in order to make changeling honey. I suppose they were selling it as drugs."
Hooves resting on the colt's withers, Amber follows along and lets him lead. She's distracted from the dance itself by how fast her heart is beating. "I've, um, never danced with a colt before,"
Just dropping some inspirational pics poners.
"Me neither" He says>>143918
"Incredible" He says
"Nothing is worse than how those parasites will eat your soul, stealing all that is good from you. But to use that as a tool... This is something else. Something new. Even the West did not have that kind of evil.">>143920
"Yeah. Heh heh. They couldn't dance so well as you anyways."
"Yes. Sadly not first time I have seen captive changelings used in this way. But they are dead now. They can not hurt anyone anymore."
"I'm glad you did. And I hope you'll do it again." He says again, smiling and looking into Amber's eyes>>143925
"And again, I thank you for that. You have done me, and the world, a great service."
She looks back into his purple(?) eyes and smiles. "Yes, let's definitely dance again soon."
He nods again.
"Unless you have anything to say or ask me, I think this will be goodbye for now. That stallion who was with you at that altar, I want to meet with him as well, see how he is doing."
“I am surprised you came to see me. That was not expected. Or perhaps it makes the fighting more tolerable. I cannot say.”
But then he turns his head more directly towards Silver
“Until we meet again.”>>143928
The question is: do they dance more?
As much as Amber would like the night to stretch on long, she suddenly feels tired and with a yawn asks to return to the table. She looks to see if the same griffon is still busy playing.
He continues sawing away, having no notice of what Amber and Mustard Trim - or any other pair of ponies, for that matter - are doing
"I wanted to make sure you were okay. Did not feel right if I did not."
He bows his head to the deer.
"Until we meet again."
Silver turns and leaves the room, heading for the room with the young stallion.
He gives a nod, and Silver leaves the room.
Up the stairs, down the hall, and Silver finds the room supposed to contain the recovering pony
Silver knocks at the door.
Silver tries the door to the room.
He opens the door, seeing a set up similar to the previous room, but with the bed on the mirror opposite side. This means that the bed faces towards Silver, standing nearer the entrance of the room, rather than away from him, as was the case in the previous room.
There, in the bed, and covered in part by bed sheets, is a white - or rather, a light grey - unicorn male, with red-auburn mane. His eyes are wide
"Hello? My name is Silver Sword. I was part of group that raided 33 Hoebuck. I just wanted to check up on you."
His eyes are wide, and he sits up, pulling the bedsheets up high
He has an awkward smile
Silver enters the room properly, closing the door behind him. He smiles back, with a greater sense of sincerity.
"It is good to see you alive. I am afraid I did not get acquinted with your name, last we met."
"You're... you're with R&M, right?"
"Erm...I am afraid I am not familiar. R&M?"
"Revenue and Migration services? I guess that's a 'no.' Who sent you?" He asks
"Ah, that makes more sense. I think R&M was involved, all I know is that we were tasked with breaking up trafficking ring at 33 Hoebuck from Baltimare Government."
"Oh. You're... with the city."
"Not really, I was just with group asked to stop bad people."
"Uh... that's... good." He has an awkward smile
"Uh. Yeah. That would be neat." He answers
"It's uh... Popper Nick."
He is sitting upright as best he can - he is moving around more than the stag dared - his teeth are showing, and his lips are pulled all the way back in something that was presumably intended to look like a smile. He speaks with a young sounding voice with a noticeable Dominion accent
Amber smiles at Mustard, adding, "Music is one thing I am very passionate about, and it's such a terrific surprise to find somepony who plays an antiquated kind of instrument like I do.
This is the last sort of place I'd expect it, actually."
"Well, that's- that's really neat. I wasn't expecting it here either. What kind of instrument do you play exactly?"
He places a hoof on the side of his head
"Where are you from, Popper Nick?"
>>143957"I play the mandolin, I'm not sure if you've heard of it. It's a stringed instrument like a lute or lyre...oh, those are a bit old too."
She smiles sheepishly and adds, "I know how to play it but I don't think I'm good enough to perform in public, at least not yet. I was hoping to one day get some lessons."
"I'm from... Manehattan. Yeah. Manehattan.">>143959
"Do you have one?" He asks
"Uh, yeah. In the city part.">>143961
"Oh. Nice. You can do it some time. I'll listen. I can't promise I can give the best lessons. But you can play to me."
"Keep it up, and who knows"
For the first time, he turns his head to the Griffin viol player
"You might play like him."
"I lived just outside of Manehattan. What neighborhood did you live in?"
Maybe it's the subtle changes in the temperature of the air, or something she sees in the corner of her sight, but Amber can sense a pony is close behind her.
"You're taking it pretty well" a familiar female voice declares
Perhaps if she was alone, not had the thrill of a dance or had not imbibed a drink Amber would have been startled, even spooked by this. However, as it stands she is only mildly surprised as she looks behind her. "Hmm?"
Dark Denizen stands behind her, and Amber can see that she stands at around the height of a stallion. She has a pleased look on her face
"Did I interrupt something?"
She asks this, but the one of her voice suggests that it isn't sarcasm, but rather a question of serious interest
Denizen's presence is still unnerving, but slightly less so in these circumstances. "Not really, we were just chatting. Would you...would you like to join?"
"...you do realize you are not good at lying, yes?"
She looks over at Mustard Trim, then back to Amber
"Oh no, that is between the two of you. But I mean to remind you that we want you to be somewhere tonight. It can wait a few minutes or more, but it must be done before the opening of business in the morning."
"What? Heh heh.No
. What do you even mean?"
"You are not from Manehattan, are you?"
She looks between Mustard and Denizen. So soon? Tonight, even?
She sighs. "I probably should get it done now then, I don't want to be up all night..."
"Why... Why would you think that?"
His lips are pulled even further back, and almost every part of his teeth show>>143976
"Now why wouldn't you want to be up all night?" She asks
Whether this is a sincere question is a bit hard to discern
>>143977"I...I like to sleep early and rise early. It's way past my bedtime as is...."
She looks vaguely uncomfortable now.
Silver sighs, and lays down.
"You can tell me truth. I promise you I will not tell another soul."
She twists her mouth.
"Then rise early. They don't open before eight."
He blinks, keeping his mouth open, and pulling his hooves from in front of him, to behind him
"I can't tell just anypony.">>143981
"You have my word. You can trust me."
He smiles brightly at the young stallion.
Amber nods, getting up and wrapping her cloak around her, then her scarf. "I'm sorry Mustard, I really have to go. Thank you for coming, hopefully we can meet again soon."
"Uh, sure! It was fun meeting you! Let's do this again soon...">>143983
He pulls his hooves back in front of himself, sighs, and eases down. His lips close, coming to a more neutral position. And then flatly, at a low volume, he says
"I'm from New Mareland"
>>143985"I'm really sorry again I couldn't stay longer, I had no idea it was tonight...."
She's done picking up after herself and stands to leave.
"Your accent somewhat gives it away. You sound like other New Marelanders I have met."
"I know..." He says, sounding defeated
"Why do you feel compelled to hide where you are from?"
Amber will follow Dark Denizen.
"If you don't know then... let's keep it that way. Don't tell anyone. Please?"
"I will not. Are you just worried ponies here might not be so welcoming if they know your origin?"
"That doesn't help
. No... it's... how many young adult males from New Mareland who were not
in military or other government service uniform have you seen in the past few years?"
"...Ohhhhhh, you are fleeing draft. Are things *that* bad in New Mareland?"
"Well, we've been taken over by an imperialist, reactionary, speciest and regressive regime that forces almost its whole population into war to crush progress in other nations. So yes. Things really are that bad.
"Heh, that is not outlook I have heard from New Mareland very often. I am sorry you fled that situation only to end up in...well, you know."
What in Equestria requires me to go out at this hour and do something? I was looking forward to talking to the musician, going home and getting a good rest.
>>143997Okay I'll reassess>>143996
"Yes! And then these crazies from the Empire enslave us, and... vivisect us!"
"Not even Griffonian Empire wanted them in their lands. They were Maarist cultists. I am guessing you were offered passage to Equestria, and then were abducted as soon as you go close to show?"
[Blue Skies is still best pony>>143999
"Insane is what they are! All of the worst tendencies of creatures together at once... Yes, that is what happened, more or less."
"They are gone, now. You are free to resettle here in Equestria, as soon as you have fully recovered from vivisection."
"You mean, East
Equestria? I don't think I'm free here. Not here. In this government hospital."
"Why not? It does not seem like they intend to drag you back to New Mareland."
"They would. Or worse. When they find out I am a draft evader, and other things.."
"Well... I was a registered member of the Communist Party, for one."
Silver's eyebrows visibly raise, though he does not say anything on the matter.
"And... maybe a citation for buggery. I'm not the type they will just leave alone free. They will... they will arrest me. At best I will be sent to a penal battalion, and I have no interest in that. And I don't want anything worse. I need help..."
"'Buggery'. I am not so new to Ponish, but I do not believe I know what that means. What is it?"
"It's uh..." He winces, and again speaks in a hushed tone
"Violation of the sodomy laws"
He leans in close and whispers back.
"Oh, they just found me at a location and accused me... look, it doesn't matter. But they won't like it. That, and all the other things. I can't let them know who I am."
Silver looks at him, lets out a sigh, and ponders.
"If you asked to be released from hospital, would you be well enough to leave? There are not many ponies besides perhaps me would could have their ribcage torn open and their heart exposed out of their chest and trot away from it."
"I don't want to leave with the Political Police."
"Okay, let us say somepony was to vouch for you to be released into their personal care, no police or Black Hooves involved. Would you be well enough to leave?"
He looks down at his bandaged chest, which has the same covering and visible edges of stitches that the stag had
"I don't know. I think the doctors want me to stay here a little longer. I certainly wouldn't put pressure on this..."
He blinks again
"I don't know. Maybe if I come back to get bandages changed every few days I could go home today?"
He has a wide, awkward smile again
"Hmm...well, there are already three people living with me, and not any more spare bedrooms. I would have to find way to accommidate you, but you could stay with us at least for meantime."
His long, red-auburn tail moves slightly under him
"Yes, though I do have to warn you about other occupants. They are all friendly, it is just they are all from Hoebuck as well. One is Sicameon griffon named Jubilosa, I think you might get along with her politically. Another is kirin from Ngua Nam named Khoi Lua, she is one who patched you and deer up. And third one is gnoll named Mala. He was coerced and forced into doing dirty work for traffickers, but he is good person and he has turned new leaf ever since we freed him."
He smiles widely
"Oh, what a lovely little nest of Harmony ya' have there. That sounds quaint."
Silver's eyebrows raise ever so slightly in surprise.
"I must admit, you take that better than I thought you did. Alright then, if you want I will go back down to reception and see about having you released into my care."
Definitely smiling now
"Yes! Anything to get me out of here before the political police notice."
"Alright, I will be back shortly."
Silver leaves the stallion for the moment to head to reception.
Silver finds a grey, middle aged mare with glasses standing through a reception window positioned along a long, wooden wall.
"Hey, I just talked with stallion in room 354. I found out his name is Popper Nick, and that he would like to be released."
Iron stared at Sands for a couple of seconds before looking down at his exposed coat.
"I... don't think I have any compelling story that they won't want to ask follow-up questions," he uttered, shifting some of his coat hairs aside to check the cuts beneath.
"Then be a colt who got lost on his way to the bathroom" She says>>144028
She looks up towards him
"Are you a relative?"
She looks at him skeptically
>>144035May want to re-roll
She looks at him, and then back at the file
She looks back down
"Grey unicorn, grey unicorn... Alright, has a doctor approved his release?"
"No, I have not talked to his doctor yet. My grandson has been through very tramatic experience and would just like to head home to recover in calming environment."
"Well, write your name and address here, and get a doctor to sign off on it."
She pushes over a paper
Silver fills it out, and goes to find a doctor.
Silver encounters a white unicorn stallion with glasses, a white lab coat that's almost difficult to distinguish from his fur coat, and little tufts on his feet, who walks down the hall with firm, clanking steps against the tile floor that can be heard long before he is seen
Silver flags the doctor down and goes to him.
"Excuse me, doctor? My grandson is in room 354, and he would like to be released from this hospital into my care."
"If we can do it quickly" he says
"Let me see his file. Should be in the room."
"If you think it will work," Iron tentatively replied with a nod, taking a small breath to get into character.
His gaze softened considerably as his eyebrows rose up, acting surprised. "Oh!" he exclaimed. "I feel like going to the... uh, bathroom! Right now!"
The big stallion took a second to recall his plan before executing his movements.
A pony looks up from his seat in a booth by the wall, but then looks back to his companion. Iron is free, once again, to move about
>>144047I'm gonna assume we both remember what Iron's path to the table is for this next post.
Iron proceeded to go along his planned route to the left and outside.
The door to the next room over is located on a wall perpendicular and to the right of where Iron and Sands were sitting. There are some booths along that wall, and the door is near the left most side. On a wall opposite of that is a hallway where the bathrooms are located, so it is conceivable that a pony who was told the location of the bathrooms could go to the back by mistake.
Trusting his gut, Iron opted to go the opposite direction of the bathrooms, hoping to get that sneak peak on who to bash next.
Alright, is he looking into the left side of the room (easiest if he moves towards the right, sort of the opposite side of the bathrooms), or is he looking in to the left?
I mean, "is he looking into the left side or the right side of the room"?
I do believe he'll look on the left side of the room, yes.
Because of the wall and the narrow field of view, without actually entering into the room Iron can only see a portion of what is there. However, Iron does see the following:
A set of waves and maybe a boat is painted on a wall above a cushioned booth seat that does not appear to be a part of the wall, but rather sits in front of it. In front of this booth seat is a table, presumably one that holds four ponies. This wooden table is not bolted to the floor, and there is room to the left - between the wall and the table - to manuever and get in and out. There are no chairs on the opposite side of the booth seat.
Sitting at the table, almost in the corner of the room, is a red-brown rust colored minotaur. He has very large muscles and is tall even sitting down. He wears a relatively formal green dress shirt with no jacket, sitting with his legs cross and wearing focal glasses. He is looking down and evidently reading a book on the table in front of him. Also on the table is a newspaper, sprawled open. To his right and on the left side of Iron's field of view, almost exactly in the corner of the room, is a violin case, cracked open.
Is the next stage of her adventure planned out?
Silver nods, and leads the doctor back to Nick's room.
Iron's head cocked a little to the side, staring at the rather well dressed minotaur, almost as if he was staring at a walking contradiction.
(Wait,) he thought to himself, astonished. (You mean these pasta bandits' most trusted marecenary is this mammal?)
Well, after being mauled by a tiger, he wasn't about to underestimate his chances this time, soon going to the right side in order to take a closer look at that book of his.
*underestimate his opponent