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Zarkenis Ultima
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Founded: Feb 22, 2011
Democratic Socialists

Postby Zarkenis Ultima » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:05 pm

While the others headed outside and made their way towards the library to see Willow off - and travel with him, in the case of Nick and Giovenith - Meritari had opted to stay behind at the Golden Horseshoe suite instead, leafing through the guide that the mailmare had been so kind to deliver. For the most part, she tried to find information about the celebration that their pony friend had mentioned, but there didn't seem to be much more on the guide than what he had already told them: that the Summer Sun Festival honored Priness Celestia and that, besides all the parties that the ponies organized on their own, it was usually celebrated by staying up at night to watch the sun rise, witnessing their deity in person perform the deed, if they were lucky.

How fortunate, that they get to witness something I've only heard from the priests of Tjenu... She thought as she lounged on a sofa in the common area of the suite, turning the page only to find out that the article on the Summer Sun Festival was over. Raising an eyebrow, she continued flipping through the guidebook, finding mentions of a few more social events - one of which provided a fascinating account of the transition from winter to spring - as well as the layout of the town and its various highlights.

After a short while of this, Meritari finally decided that the best way to find out more about Equestria and Ponyville, as well as to complement what she did learn from the guidebook, was to go out there and get some hands on experience with the townspeople. With that in mind, the Kemetian stood up from the sofa, straightened out her dress and made sure that her right glove was properly fitted. Not wanting to be caught unprepared, she dug out a purse from her luggage and placed the manual inside, along with a key to the suite.

Now prepared, Meri stepped out of the Golden Horseshoe and took a good look at her surroundings. Now, where to go? She wondered, briefly, as the answer came quickly. If she wanted to learn more about Ponyville and its inhabitants, the quickest way to do so wouldn't be her hotel suite or a place such as the library, but the beating heart of the quaint little town. And that was...

The marketplace!
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Fvaarniimar
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Founded: Nov 20, 2013
Mother Knows Best State

Postby Fvaarniimar » Sat Jul 27, 2019 11:04 pm

Somewhat inadvertently, Nick found himself listening in on Sandy.  At first he feared it was a violation of privacy, but realizing Sandy didn't mind, he relaxed.  As he considered inquiring about unusual forms of perception - could unicorns feel through TK?  Was telepathy known - partially to give Sandy a better opening, said friend approached it from a shapeshifting angle.  Makes sense.  A random huge Pegasus... With no warning that might be like meeting a lion.  Again.  A spike of panic as Willow reacted; not, of course, in time for the warning to do much good.

His thoughts strayed to that visit with Mother Bastet, then snapped back to the present.  Sandy had all but said that the book was divine in nature, and Nick had no chance of misunderstanding!  That... Willow's Princesses had been abstract notions, with most other deities either. being abstract or known personally to Nick.  Neither inspired the sort of reverence Bastet had - but all of a sudden Willow's attitude took on new context.  How frightening might it have been to approach an old friend who, incidentally, was now a goddess - save for the fact that, like Nick, Willow had shared space with divinities for years.   Nonetheless, interdimensional connections were pretty impressive!  His typical friendly approach *might* not be quite respectful enough under these circumstances; he'd need to check etiquette with Willow, but he had indicated the Princesses were nice.  Wait.  How many Princesses were there, again? 

Hearing the overwhelmingly majestic melody, Nick begun to loudly purr.  "How would you sound, Willow?"  he wondered to his friend as he pulled him in and joined the links.  "If unicorns are the music of the spheres, are you pegasi the song of the sky - thunder and whistling winds and raindrops tapping?" 

Wondering if Spencer was rubbing off on him, he eyed Amanda.  Out of all of their group, she had the most right to share Sandy's Ears.  "Do you..."  A glance towards Starlight - and that's oddly fitting - revealed the source of his hesitation.  "Music is lovely, Amanda.  What do you think?" 

And speaking of fairness...maybe my impulse to hide is uncalled for.  "Willow, Sandy - do you think we ought to include Starlight?"  He knew, and they'd know, that he could filter what she received - down to just the song, if he thought it best.  "And what's that beat?  I'd like to tap my claws to it, but would that have - side effects?"
Last edited by Fvaarniimar on Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:00 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Come to the light side.  We have teamwork, waffles, popcorn, grape juice, and way too much ramen.

Unless one is a genealogist, therapist, geneticist, or FBI agent - who is acting within the scope of their job - to claim that anyone is wrong about their own identity is not merely absurd but also extremely rude.

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Giovenith
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:15 pm

When Meri exited the hotel, there was no shortage of pedestrians who had been standing by around the edges of the hotel's property, looking past the greenery and talking quietly to each other, likely about the bipedal creatures that had stopped by there along with their once-thought-to-be-dead neighbor. Not rude whispers, merely astonishment. Nonetheless, many of them perked and scattered by the time Meri walked out, trotting a few paces outward and pretending to be very focused and busy with various things while sneaking occasional glances at the hyoo-mun.

Despite it being a holiday, the marketplace was still busy. It was built as lively mixture of tents, carts, and permanent shops all clustered around each other, with samples set out in careful bowls and the occasional picnic table with umbrellas set out for ponies to rest or eat at. Many ponies were buying last minutes treats, decorations, and goodies for their parties, whereas other vendors were preparing to stay open all night for the inevitable midnight business that would come through. Despite the bustling, it did not have the same harried, competitive, antagonistic atmosphere that many human markets had — everypony kept a polite distance from each other and apologized when they bumped, and transactions were discussed quietly and civilly. Nopony was meek, but there was an unspoken agreement of peacekeeping.

"Hyoo-mun!" a voice barely made it through the murmur of the crowd. "Hyoo-mun!"

The call was coming from one of the carts, one surrounded by what appeared to be old fashioned pastries. There, an Earth pony — one of those horses without a horn or wings — was smiling and gesturing for Meri to come forth. It was a standout from the usual polite, intrigued distance the other citizens were taking to her. The pony caught eye contact with her and nodded, still gesturing forward.
❃she's ripping wings off of butterflies❃

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Northwest Slobovia
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Founded: Sep 16, 2006
Anarchy

Postby Northwest Slobovia » Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:32 pm

Giovenith wrote:Starlight [...] shook her head, her expression relaxing a bit. "No. If you were Chrystalis' changelings, you wouldn't exactly be showing off your shapeshifting. [...]I'm just surprised that there are humans who know magic. Twilight told me that your world didn't have any and relied on technology. […] The book is a magic journal that used to belong to Princess Celestia. [...] The connection between the books is still there, and Princess Twilight figured out a way to use the connection to force the portal open any time."

Neither Sandy's eyes nor his attention left Starlight as she explained details of her world. “Oh, that's a handy thing! And that does explain the book's function in your portal. I'd guessed it was just a focus for sympathetic magic, a uh, link to the person at the other end, not a magical connection itself.”

“We do similar things with technology.” A moment later, he realized that that was ambiguous: was his antecedent the journals or the portal? It didn't matter: his timestream couldn't make a portal with machinery, but others apparently could, and so long as Starlight didn't ask too closely, he wouldn't have to explain. Shapeshifters have a bad reputation here too. Interesting. Have to look up who this 'Chrystalis' is; though the name is an interesting.... near cognate? Near false cognate? Hmmm...

Giovenith wrote:The magic returned and overtook the Belas. [...] For Sandy's senses, the information poured in: Starlight as an individual's magic was very, very strong. [...] On a more general, deeper level was the essence of unicorn magic itself[...]

Sandy extended his hands, examining them liked he never seen them before, though in truth he was studying that magic nimbus around them. “Oooooh... wow! This is... different!” He shifted his focus to Starlight, a dreamy smile plastered on his face. “You're very good at this, better than I am.”

That remark caused Amanda to look sharply between her husband and Starlight: an amazing statement, since he'd said he was the best educated magical theorist since before the birth of Christ, if not ever.

Sandy traced the threads of ousia trailing off from the enchantement. And you draw from a far deeper well. So, not a Queen, but an Architect, like the early scientists sought. And this world's Architect has shaped all the pieces to fit. His gaze flitted from Starlight to Willow and back. Form follows function? If so, what function do they serve in the Architect's Plan?

“Speaking of showing off shapeshifting, I just can't resist any longer. You'll get to see how some humans work magic. I'll be taller... a white, winged horse, kind of like Willow, but more than twice as tall.” His smile devoured his face. Amanda, however, looked stricken: Sandy was going to poke an alien goddess' magic by borrowing another pantheon's mascot, and there was no more she could do about it than she could have done when he ran back into the burning Library of Alexandria again.

Sandy checked the distance between himself and the portal projector, and then between himself and the bookcases. He found a spot where he'd have more than enough room, and cast Apollonius' Fifth Metamorphosis. His casting was neither rushed from curiosity nor slowed to demonstrate for Starlight, but was just the way he cast it. If she wanted to know more, she could ask... assuming she had anything to ask.

When he appeared as Pegasus, Sandy was all business, besides flashing a horsey grin in Starlight's direction. He turned his head to best place his ears, then turned one of them towards the machine and Celestia's journal, and the other towards Willow: Seeing magic on himself was easy, but Hearing it was better done on something he could tip an ear to. If just his 'normal' Sight revealed Equestria's Music of the Spheres, what would he learn from Pegasus' Hearing? And if I learn what relationship they have with Olympus, all the better.

Fvaarniimar wrote:"Do you..." A glance towards Starlight [...] revealed the source of his hesitation. "Music is lovely, Amanda. What do you think?"

Sandy's mind, already far away, missed whatever Nick had asked of him, but Amanda gave him a puzzled look. “Music...? Oh, yes, of course, Sandy's music.” And a way to tell the others what I've learned from home.
Gollum died for your sins.
Power is an equal-opportunity corrupter.

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Giovenith
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:23 pm

Fvaarniimar wrote:Hearing the overwhelmingly majestic melody, Nick begun to loudly purr. "How would you sound, Willow?" he wondered to his friend as he pulled him in and joined the links. "If unicorns are the music of the spheres, are you pegasi the song of the sky - thunder and whistling winds and raindrops tapping?"


Willow tilted his head slightly at Nick's question, then lowered it slightly with a calm smile. "Well, I'm sure that's what the others would say. Not sure what goes on in me specifically. I'm not exactly the best example, you know."

That was one of the less obvious differences between him and Sandy. It was easy to embrace an identity when it made you inherently special; even with the mythological baggage, no one was in much position to dictate to the sorcerer what did and did not make him Pegasus, since the answer was already there before the question was even asked. He simply Was, like it or not.

It was different when you were a part of a larger history and culture. When you're just one of many, it becomes inevitable to apply things like "better" or "worse," of who is the "true" embodiment and who is not. When you're not special, you might find yourself as the best the tribe had to offer, you might find yourself as just another spare. Plenty had found themselves in all the former categories; and then there were pegasi like Willow. But that was just something to learn to live with.

Northwest Slobovia wrote:Sandy extended his hands, examining them liked he never seen them before, though in truth he was studying that magic nimbus around them. “Oooooh... wow! This is... different!” He shifted his focus to Starlight, a dreamy smile plastered on his face. “You're very good at this, better than I am.”


Starlight smiled at the compliment, but not with much brightness — it was knowing, tired. Humbled.

"Thank you. I am. But it took me a long time to realize that there's more important things in life that magic can't get you. That's what I'm focused on learning here now, from Princess Twilight and the ponies in this town. I'm very lucky to have been given this chance." She turned to gently put the book away. "Make sure that you never have to learn that lesson the hard way."

Sandy checked the distance between himself and the portal projector, and then between himself and the bookcases. He found a spot where he'd have more than enough room, and cast Apollonius' Fifth Metamorphosis. His casting was neither rushed from curiosity nor slowed to demonstrate for Starlight, but was just the way he cast it. If she wanted to know more, she could ask... assuming she had anything to ask.

When he appeared as Pegasus, Sandy was all business, besides flashing a horsey grin in Starlight's direction. He turned his head to best place his ears, then turned one of them towards the machine and Celestia's journal, and the other towards Willow: Seeing magic on himself was easy, but Hearing it was better done on something he could tip an ear to. If just his 'normal' Sight revealed Equestria's Music of the Spheres, what would he learn from Pegasus' Hearing? And if I learn what relationship they have with Olympus, all the better.


It wasn't so shocking to see a human transform into an equine — the Mirror converted ponies into humans when they went through it, so it was only natural to assume it must work the other way around too — but the sheer size of Pegasus was still something to take several steps back from. It was lucky that the library's ceilings were so high, or they might have been a mess to explain to Twilight when she got home.

"Well!" Starlight alit her horn as she trotted over to put herself between Sandy and the machine, not out of the possible need to attack him, but to prepare for a gentle telekinetic nudge away in case he somehow lost control and started squishing or kicking things. "Can't say I'd ever want to turn into a giant gorilla, but it's still very impressive. Twilight would love to see proof that you were here..." She tapped her chin a moment, thinking. "I don't suppose any of those feathers can be shaken off like regular pegasi?"

The Mirror lit up a little more with the sound of magic. Once again it's age was apparent, but there were more odd overlays in its sound: there were many, many layers of different songs built into its base, the individual touch of several magicians who had worked on it. On top of it, however, the loudest and most recent sound, was the peculiar noise of... a high school rally beat, oddly enough. Very out of place with the rest of the music in it, but just as natural regardless.
❃she's ripping wings off of butterflies❃

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Fvaarniimar
Minister
 
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Founded: Nov 20, 2013
Mother Knows Best State

Postby Fvaarniimar » Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:52 pm

Between the largest building and the smallest, Rmwtyliin had found a well-lit nook.  She'd been flipping through her guide for some time, and was rereading the Princesses' section when Meritari exited the hotel.  After lazily rolling off of her belly and stretching, she realized that the woman was gone...Oops.  I could go back to reading...No thanks.  I don't want to!  I shall follow her.  Tis a lovely day, surely I shall soon catch up...

Unfortunately, the other woman moved quickly!  Thus, Rmwtyliin didn't catch up to Meritari until the marketplace - and she was already being drawn into a conversation.  I desire to join her, but I would rather not rudely interrupt!

A few moments of pondering provided a solution.  She'd tiptoe up discreetly and wait for the conversation to finish.
Trying to approach someone without disrupting them, of course, was quite nearly the same as sneaking up on them!  The task put her in mind of practical jokes, but certainly that was not her intent....

But whyever not?  My duty is to have fun, and I have had fun with those since I was very small!  Of course I would need to be careful not to frighten her very much at all...  While Rmwtyliin envied her Kemetian peer's adaptability, the fact remained that her position resembled Rmwtyliin's own when she had first arrived; furthermore, Meritari seemed like a potential friend. 

She takes events here very well, yet I doubt she will find a technological prank pleasant! For instance, speaker pranks such as those which Rymryjj had used to prod Rmwtyliin into exploring her phone were not an option here....not that they would have made sense anyway. 

Particularly given that I have not seen phones!  Although, people do seem to have music players?  Similarly, the joke should not be anything which could cast her group in a negative light - although the locals seemed to have a better sense of humor than interactions with Willow had indicated.  He certainly cannot possibly be the town grump...right?  I still shall be avoiding puns!  Rmwtyliin had gone somewhat red and quiet at Willow's perplexed response, and wasn't eager to repeat that awkwardness!

Perhaps bunny ears?  But she will not understand, they're too small. The Spaniards call them horns; so shall I.

Waving at the pony chatting with Meritari, the green-gowned biped pointed towards the gloved biped, covered her mouth, and winked.  Slipping behind the other human female, she placed her hands behind the head of the gloved biped, fingers spread in a manner which bore some resemblance to ears, but probably would, again, appear more to the locals as though Meritari had sprouted fleshy horns.

--

Willow's comment elicited a hug, and a private aside.  "You're not a spare!  If every pegasus was like your dad, the world would be a much less colorful place.  You're you, and you are awesome!"  After a bit of trying to listen to both, Nick decided he'd had quite enough of the mirror.  It was unusual, but Starlight's power sounded downright ethereal, and thus he focused on that.

"We slightly interrupt this performance to bring you Amanda!  Pay no attention to the cat behind the curtain...and hang on.  I'm going to go quiet for a bit."  Of course, an image of Nick behind a curtain accompanied the thought, along with a sense of elation and uncertain nervousness...

...suddenly also felt by another person.  "Thank you for trusting me, Amanda!"  Nick's mental voice exuded joy.  "I'm going to just send you music for now."  An unreally lovely song started to play midnote; most certainly worth taking this step, as far as Nick was concerned.  Willow's rendition, which had been somewhat staticky in the meantime, smoothed out. "If you want to talk, think at me; if you do this I will pull you into the link.  If you want me to disconnect you, make a scissor motion."  An animated image clarified that this was index and middle fingers rapidly touching and spreading apart.
Last edited by Fvaarniimar on Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Come to the light side.  We have teamwork, waffles, popcorn, grape juice, and way too much ramen.

Unless one is a genealogist, therapist, geneticist, or FBI agent - who is acting within the scope of their job - to claim that anyone is wrong about their own identity is not merely absurd but also extremely rude.

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Giovenith
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:21 pm

Willow shifted Nick to comfortably wrap around his extended wing in that funny flexible way that cats could do. He smiled and gently nudged his snout against Nick's nose. "Oh, my father's not the one you've gotta worry about. You're sweet, I'm lucky to have you as a friend." He gave the kitty's head a little face rub before gently setting him to the floor. "While you guys talk magic, I should go start the rent for the balloon. Don't want somepony else to snatch it first. I'll be back."

"I'll go with you!" Giovenith of course jumped in.

Willow gave Nick a final pat before flitting towards the hall. He briefly made eye contact with Starlight, who nodded. He nodded in turn and went on his way, followed closely by his pink and white godling.
❃she's ripping wings off of butterflies❃

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Northwest Slobovia
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Founded: Sep 16, 2006
Anarchy

Postby Northwest Slobovia » Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:24 pm

Giovenith wrote:"Well!" Starlight alit her horn as she trotted over to put herself between Sandy and the machine,

Sandy backed off, wide-eyed, keeping a close Watch on Starlight. “Nick, could you find out why Starlight is holding a telekinesis spell?” Nick could feel his unease, and he caught a flicker of an image of a human Starlight resting her hand on the butt of a holstered pistol.

Giovenith wrote:"I don't suppose any of those feathers can be shaken off like regular pegasi?"

Sandy shook his equine head, briefly shifted his weight to his hind legs to touch his mouth with his forehooves, held up his forehooves in a sorry-can't-help gesture, and finally frowned after getting all four hooves back on the ground.

Fvaarniimar wrote:"Thank you for trusting me, Amanda!" Nick's mental voice exuded joy. "I'm going to just send you music for now." An unreally lovely song started to play midnote; most certainly worth taking this step, as far as Nick was concerned.

“I hate asking you for this, but I should let everybody know what I heard from home.”

Amanda waited the moment while Nick made like an old-fashioned telephone operator. “When we first heard that the Equestrians might have interdimensional travel, I skipped out for a minute to talk to home, our new home.

“The word from home is that we shouldn't tell them anything about the omniverse they don't already know, and we shouldn't correct any mistakes or misunderstandings they have. That includes telling them a lot about where we're from originally; anything that makes them wonder how many worlds or universes there are. Of course, we shouldn't talk about Bermeja. It seems that if they're meant to know how to get there, they already know, and if not, we shouldn't help them.

“Sandy, any opinion on their gateway?”

“I've only a had a minute with it, and it
is an artifact from another dimension, but...” There was a eagerness building behind the professional caveats. “This one seems to be cobbled together from bits and pieces, a prototype or a quick and dirty proof of concept. The mirror may be as old as Pegasus, and seems meant for another purpose. A lot of casters had their hands, uhhhh, hooves in this project, and... with enough power to leave signatures in the construction; at least a couple of deities and a bunch of mortals, some recent. From what I can tell, it works like this--”

Sandy's explanation had picked up speed as he went along, and at the end, it took off like a rocket, as he tried to answer Amanda's question in detail. What Nick got was a torrent of information, organized in a way that would make sense to an expert, but was completely overwhelming to anybody without significant training in magic. Nick caught little bits and pieces, a phrase here, a glimpse of Sandy carrying out a prolonged ritual in a magic circle there, broken-mirror reflections of a Late Hellenistic portal spell superimposed on the ponies' portal, a color-song about dimensional travel, a diagram of--

“Slower, Sandy!” Amanda's command was mixed with anger and the desperation of a drowning woman: she'd been where the firehose had been aimed; Nick just got wet along the way.

What had been a post-graduate level explanation resumed as a freshman introduction. The broken-mirror reflections snapped into a single complex view, interwoven with Sandy's perceptions of magic: impossible colors, ineffable music. The effect was like listening to a symphony while reading all the sheet music and having somebody excitedly explain what it meant in an unfamiliar language, all at the same time, without pause. The feedback Nick got indicated that Amanda was struggling with it, but gleaning bits and pieces. Nick, alas, would probably have benefitted from a simpler explanation. “...and it seems to be connected to a world culturally similar to ours, but it's closed, so I can't tell if that's our world, another timestream in our universe, a world I can reach, or just a coincidence.”

Amanda suddenly realized that the whole description might have taken fifteen seconds to provide. Stunned, and a bit crispy around the edges, she added a weak, “Thanks, dear.”

Giovenith wrote:"While you guys talk magic, I should go start the rent for the balloon. [...]" [...] "I'll go with you!" Giovenith of course jumped in. [...] Willow gave Nick a final pat before flitting towards the hall.

Amanda followed the pair with her eyes, then turned her head to watch their departing backs. He's in a real hurry to get home. If he wanted to see his folks that badly, he should have gone ahead without us at first, and then brought us later.

[OOC: Yup, that's a different explanation of what we should and shouldn't say. This the sort of reason that this IC is a test run.

I'm also not really sure how much/which parts of Sandy's explanation Willow would “hear”/understand, and I'll leave that to Gio and Fvaar to figure out.]
Gollum died for your sins.
Power is an equal-opportunity corrupter.

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Giovenith
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:32 pm

"Well, that's okay," Starlight tilted her head in the pony equivalent of a shrug. "If you're going to be here for a while, we can always talk about these things in-pony."

The deep chiming of a clock somewhere suddenly interrupted the small group, its eight-note chime reverberating across the crystal walls. The unicorn briefly looked upwards towards the noise, before giving an acquiescent hum and trotting back towards the hallway.

"Well, I hate to cut this short," she said, looking back. "But I promised the Princess that I would take care of some errands before she gets back. You're welcome to borrow anything you like from the library! Just be sure to put anything you look at and don't take back — Princess Twilight gets really touchy about organization." Starlight seemed to cringe slightly at some inner flashback. "And, don't be afraid to come back. This is the, Castle of Friendship, after all..." She made an effort at a sweeping flourish, but seemed awkward with the gesture. "... it belongs to everypony!" With a cough and blink, the assistant hurried down another hall.
❃she's ripping wings off of butterflies❃

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Giovenith
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Left-wing Utopia

Meanwhile

Postby Giovenith » Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:28 pm

"... and make sure to not rock or lean out of the basket," the magenta Earth pony in aviator goggles rattled off politely but formally, pausing only to make sure that her current clients correctly signed off on each of the papers on the clipboard she held. "Do you understand and accept these terms and conditions?"

Willow gave the mare a deadpan as he gently spat the pen out into his hoof to hand it back. "Do we really have to go through this every time, Cherry Berry?"

"It's the law, Mister Streaks," the pilot pony chided, taking back her pen and the paperwork. "Especially with how carelessly some ponies have handled it in the past."

Giovenith winced her eyes in order to look up at the big balloon towering above them. It had swirling lines all over it that reminded her a bit of art nouveau, and a simple shade that shifted from pink to a light lavender depending on what angle of the light you viewed it in. She couldn't help but be charmed by it in spite of her sadness — hot air balloons were so dreamy, so gentle, and yet so empowering. They were big, and colorful, and exciting, and relaxing!

With all the paperwork taken care of, Cherry Berry turned tail and left the two, which surprised Giovenith. Wasn't she going to stay and fly it for them? Willow seemed unperturbed, immediately climbing into the basket and beginning some sort of work. Curious, Giovenith found herself looking at the rope wrapped around a stake in the ground, and attempted to reach for it before having her hand gently but curtly swiped away by a grey hoof.

"Never untie a balloon before you're ready to take off," Willow chided her, though he added a smile to show he wasn't mad at her.

Giovenith smiled bashfully, before climbing up the steps to get a better look in the basket. It was roomy, could easily fit about six or seven ponies, and thus had plenty of room for the traveling hyoo-muns. "Are you going to make it go?"

"Of course." Willow tightened a rope.

"I didn't know you knew how to pilot a hot air balloon." She climbed into the basket and crouched down, looking up at all the wires and mechanics that went up into the balloon part itself.

"There was never a reason to bring it up," her friend answered. "It's standard here."

The pale girl frowned. "But, why would you need to know? You've got wings."

"Why do you need to know how to drive a car? You've got legs, haven't you?"

Fair enough, she supposed. Willow had already made it clear a long, long time ago that he did not give 'piggy back rides' anyway, so this was the next most convenient thing. Soon, everything seemed put in place.

"Stay sitting down," Willow warned Giovenith. "The basket wasn't made for someone as tall as you, I don't want you tumbling over the edge."

The fastening rope came untied, and Giovenith's stomach lurched slightly at the sensation of being pulled upward — like the anxious weightlessness that an elevator caused, only much stronger. It both scared and tickled her, but she listened to her friend's instructions and stayed seated as the took off low in the air. They weren't up for long as they only had to travel a short distance to the Castle, whereupon Willow flew out and dragged the balloon down by its fastening rope before nailing it into the ground again, parking it.
❃she's ripping wings off of butterflies❃

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Zarkenis Ultima
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Founded: Feb 22, 2011
Democratic Socialists

Postby Zarkenis Ultima » Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:24 am

Giovenith wrote:---
Fvaarniimar wrote:---


Much like the ponies trotting to and fro all around felt about her, Meritari was curious about the inhabitants of Ponyville, but ultimately focused on her goal. Thus, she eventually made it to the marketplace and smiled as she gazed upon the bustling, colorful district. It was quite the contrast with the sort of marketplace she had seen growing up, but contrast was an important part of adventure, was it not? With little to guide her except the words she'd read from the book sitting in her purse, she ventured into the place, pleasantly surprised to see that the ponies were very respectful of her space, without giving the impression that they were somehow disgusted or afraid.

A brief session of sightseeing followed, though the foreign woman quickly found herself distracted by the ghost of a voice that seemed to be calling out to her. She looked around in an attempt to find the source and spotted a pony, one she vaguely recognized as part of the crowd that had been at the park to greet them upon their arrival - he even seemed to be using the weird pronunciation of the word human that Sandy had taught them!

The pony seemed to notice her looking his way and beckoned her over. Intrigued, the Kemetian obliged, making her way through the crowd - with little difficulty, thanks to the ponies' politeness - and arriving at the pastry stall after a few moments.

"Hello there. Is there something you need from me?" She asked politely, smiling at the pony. It was more than evident that she was completely oblivious to the prank that was being played on her by the woman in the green gown.
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Northwest Slobovia
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Postby Northwest Slobovia » Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:01 pm

The Castle of Friendship, Ponyville, Equestria
Giovenith wrote:"[...]You're welcome to borrow anything you like from the library! Just be sure to put anything you look at and don't take back — Princess Twilight gets really touchy about organization."

Sandy stood stunned at the offer, and after recovering some of his wits, tried to say something, but made only an incoherent noise in his equine throat. He willed his spell away, returning to human form, and shouted a “Many thanks!” at Starlight's retreating form.

He slowly turned towards Amanda. “Borrow anything I want from a goddess' library! I... I don't know what to say.”

“One might point out you've done more than 'borrow' seven-hundred odd books from more goddesses as it is.”

“That was entirely different!” He started to run his eyes along the bookcases. “Did you see which book she was casting from?”

“Up there.” Amanda pointed. “You're going to need your wings back for that one.” She could see Sandy's eyes move up and down as he measured the distance repeatedly.

“Citius, Altius, Fortius.”

He cast Adonis' Boon, and made a leap that would have done a gazelle proud, causally plucking the book from its shelf at his apex. Nick might be envious of his landing, not merely landing on his feet, but already starting to flip through the book as he touched down. “Aha! Here it is! Let's see...” He glanced between page and wife a number of times, comparing the written description to the spell in action, before closing the book and stepping back to study the shelves. “I need something like the Kite Book. How is this organi-- Strange, but this may be the local style.”

Two slim volumes joined the spell book under Sandy's arm, eventually joined by a few more on topics that interested him. “I'll run these back to the hotel. Shouldn't take long, especially not when I can move like Michael Jordan.”

Amanda took a step where he was headed, cutting him off. “Is she as good as you said?”

“Oh, sure.”

“And powerful?”

“I'm not sure that means the same thing here, but I... think so.”

Amanda nodded and added a non-sequitur, “Please bring me my purse when you visit the room.” Nick got to relay the part of the message that provided context: “With my stunner in it. These people could light us up good and proper, and you're far too slow to take them.” Sandy's telepathic muttering was roughly a bitter, “...Bringing the sword to Paradise...”, but he agreed anyway.

* * *

Sandy returned as Nick was mooring the balloon. He idly handed Amanda her purse, then walked around the balloon, examining it closely. “Not an unfamiliar design, but not contemporary...” He pointed up at the swirls painted on the gas bag. “Just decorations, or do they have meaning besides?”

[OOC: “Citius, Altius, Fortius.” is the motto of the modern Olympic Games, “Faster, Higher, Stronger.” Alas for Sandy, the motto the of real Olympics is long lost.]
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Postby Giovenith » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:54 pm

The pony nodded as Meri came closer, though the focus of her eyes changed as she caught sight of Rmw, giving a lopsided smile at the unexpected prank. She chuckled a bit into her hoof, and was slowly joined by a minty-green horned head poking out from behind the stand, a golden pair of eyes fixed on them.

"Oh, we didn't need anything from the two of you," the Earth pony said, smiling lazily at Rmw. "We just wanted to meet you more personally."

"Can I touch your hands?!" the green unicorn shot all the way from behind the stand, grinning like a mad fool.

"Lyra!" hissed the Earth pony, chastising her companion. She smiled again at the two. "Sorry about that, it's just, Lyra has always believed in so-called 'hyoo-muns,' and to be honest, I always thought you were just something she made up-"

"Is Abraham Lincoln as tall as he looks?!" the green unicorn, Lyra, asked with more excitement. Ignoring her friend's pleas for control, she rounded 'round the stand and looked back and forth between Meri and Rmw. "Is driving cars fun?! Or does it hurt? Do you put your pants on one leg at a time or two? Can you really eat with just a pair of sticks? How do you get film projectors into little boxes? Why do you drink cider all year long, wouldn't that make you sick? Why do you guys have so many wars?" The questions shot off one after another.

--

"Just decoration," Willow nodded. "Just a regular old balloon. Though I assume you guys are flying there your usual way."

Giovenith reached over and scooped Nick into her arms. He was probably more than used to being high up in the air at this point, but that didn't mean he couldn't still use the friendly comfort. She stroked his back gently with a smile. "Do all the pegasi come from Cloudsdale, Willow?"

"No," he answered, briefly flying out to unfasten the balloon and use the rope to guide it safely past the roofs. "But many of them do. All the 'best' ones, a lot of ponies say. It was the original cloud city built when..." He paused for a moment, subtly collecting himself from any unpleasant memories forming. "... when ponies first came here, thousands of years ago. It's the capitol for all the weather-making in Equestria."

Giovenith nodded, considered, and then ventured: "Are you... okay, about going there, I mean? You seem to be taking it well, but..."

Willow landed back into the basket next to her, focusing on the sky ahead. He paused again, watching the buildings get smaller and the clouds get closer, tracing the new angles of the sunbeams. "You know, sometimes, you feel so many things at once, that it's like a hundred people trying to get through the same door. They're all crowded together and none of them can actually get through, because there's just too many of them..." He looked down. "I'll be fine for now. But eventually something's gotta give. I just hope it won't scare you or anything."
Last edited by Giovenith on Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Northwest Slobovia » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:51 pm

Giovenith wrote:"Just decoration," Willow nodded. "Just a regular old balloon. Though I assume you guys are flying there your usual way."

“Ummm”. Amanda shifted uneasily and looked to her husband.

Sandy gave her a puzzled look before realizing what she was getting at, and came in with a save, dodging the topic. “I can't have much... fun in the air if I'm carrying passengers, at least, uh, not since we lost all the tack.”

“And I've never been up in a hot air balloon before,” she added to Willow. Eyeing the basket and its thigh-high sides, she considered the risks, then turned back to Sandy. “Could you cast the Boon on me before you change?”

He answered with a Greek chant accompanied by rapid hand movements. Amanda's appearance shifted as Sandy cast: she now looked youthful, even radiant. Her hair, always her best feature, seemed to catch the sunlight to glow with an inner light. Men would find her deeply attractive, the epitome of beauty and grace.

She hopped into the balloon's basket like she was born to leap, and landed with a huge grin on her face. “Oh, I could get used to this!”

Giovenith alone noticed a thin tracery disappearing off into the distance: a connection with Olympus. Amanda's elegance and nimbleness – and newfound might and endurance too -- borrowed a touch of the divine.

Giovenith wrote:[Willow] paused for a moment, subtly collecting himself from any unpleasant memories forming. "... when ponies first came here, thousands of years ago. It's the capitol for all the weather-making in Equestria."
[…]
He looked down. "I'll be fine for now. But eventually something's gotta give. I just hope it won't scare you or anything."

Amanda's face was a studied neutral: she was missing something, but Willow was avoiding the subject. She changed it for him. “The view is wonderful! Much better than being in an airplane!" He grin returned as she finished.

“Not as good as another view I'm used to, but...” her tone was rueful as she watched the scenery behind and below Willow's shoulder, and her expression darkened. “Flying horses and talking cats are animals from myth and fairytale back home. I have to remember that they're people too. It's not--”

Whatever she would have said was lost in the familiar booming of white wings: Sandy now hovered just outside the basket, his face within arm's reach of Amanda, and split by a huge smile. He held station with the balloon for a few seconds, then dove beneath the basket, coming up in a vertical climb far in front of it, slowly rolling as he enjoyed soaring into the perfect weather.

Shrinking into the distance, Sandy turned to circle as he climbed, taking in the entire view in his wide vision, drinking in the Equestrians' magical song, the harmony of their world. He caught sight of Cloudsdale and took off like a rocket for it, eager to find out what the people who called themselves pegasoi thought of Pegasus.

Amanda watched him go, then turned back towards the others. “That is what he can't do carrying passengers.”
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Postby Giovenith » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:38 pm

The two roommates gave Amanda room in the basket as she literally leapt in. Giovenith noted the divine magic trailing off of her, unsurprised, but not particularly enthused. She took in the glowing elegance of the enchantment for a second before turning her attention to Nick's fur, slowly so as to not arouse concern or awkwardness. Now wasn't the time to be dwelling on her own inadequacy - help Willow first, then decide where to go from there. To that end, she forced a smile and sat close to her pony friend, turning pointedly to the scenery.

"All the houses are so colorful and clean," said Giovenith, pointing at the many old-fashioned roofs they sailed by. "In our regular world, they're usually all grey and dusty."

"Like me," Willow remarked with a dry but silly smile to her.

She was correct, that the ride was unlike it would have been in the human world. You could smell it in the air and in the greenery way down below, in that subtle, feral way; there was no pollution here, no poison on nature's breath, but it was not wild and dangerous like the few untouched parts of Earth either. It was that impossible dream of the sentient, to rule nature without losing its treasures, a task humans had abysmally failed at. To Giovenith, the drumming of Order she had felt was enforced by every tree they passed and every small citizen who waved up at them.

Willow was focused too, though not out of amazement and more internalization that yes, this was finally happening, he was almost fully home. The balloon was soon passing over the outskirts of Ponyville and into the enormous, spring green valley that served as the border between the little village and the base of an imposing set of purple mountains. Somewhere high and far off in the peaks of those mountains, partially obscured by the fog of the sky, several shimmering structures were cradled.

"Do you see that?" he pointed to the distant mountain peaks. "That's Canterlot, the capitol city. That's where Sterling is from. And where Princess Celestia lives."

Giovenith shaded her eyes. "And where the magicians work?"

Willow nodded. "Unicorns come from the mountains, just like Earth ponies come from the ground and pegasi come from the sky. Anypony can live anywhere now, but that's how it started."

"And Cloudsdale is right between it and Ponyville?"

He nodded again. "It can move anywhere because it's made of clouds, but it usually rests here above the valley." Which meant, of course, that they had to go further up. He pulled a rope on the balloon, and with a hiss, they lurched upward after the giant Pegasus ahead of them, up into the higher atmosphere.

The temperature grew colder and the din of bird chirping, cicadas, happy ponies, and other sounds of summer blurred away, replaced by the constant soft howling of rushing air. Most of the smells disappeared, aside from the ones coming off each other. The sky was a quiet, simplistic, sterile place, and even now, it wasn't hard for Willow to see why his race had once been so conservative. But this wasn't Cynisca, it was Cynsica's larger and more developed daughter, and it was waiting. After a few minutes of careening past the wisps of trailing clouds, a new din steadily began to emerge, that of talking and living. The clouds hardened and took shape into architecture dotted with colorful splotches of ponies.

"Okay, Sandy," said Willow, eyeing the edge of the city. "Maybe you should come to the basket now, we don't want to freak anyone-"

Annnnnnnd, he was already gone. Willow sighed. Well, he supposed it wouldn't be any harder to explain than the giant monkeys. He got out himself and began pulling the rope to get the balloon to the city edge quicker.

Like everywhere else in Equestria, the Cloudsdalers were busy in preparation for the Summer Solstice. The small corner they'd landed in was energized with winged ponies carrying bags through the white streets, or standing amongst one another planning which stops they'd hit during their night of partying. The city itself was a mish-mash of tradition and modernity, with all the sweeping columns and stairways - somehow Greek despite the lack of an actual Greece here - flowing in with the fancy shops and construction work of your average city.

A patron at a cafe was the first to notice Sandy's presence when the beating of his wings blew the tiny umbrella out of her drink, eliciting disappointment. Her and her companion looked to where the gust of wind had come from, expecting to confront some inconsiderate fellow citizen, but instead froze in place when they caught sight of Pegasus and the balloon full of monkeys. They stared, as did most of the other surrounding ponies, because... well, what would you do if a giant suddenly waltzed right into your town without warning? The cafe goers scrambled from their seats as the group landed, backing away with concerned looks.
Last edited by Giovenith on Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Fvaarniimar » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:01 am

Relaying Amanda's motives, Nick nicely had asked an obliging Sandy to drop off the kindergarten-level magic primer he'd found. Further browsing of the very organized library had turned up an intriguing series of "Daring Do" adventure novels; the cat had read half a chapter of one before spotting what had to be Willow's balloon. Carefully nudging it back into its spot, he dashed out. Willow landed, pulling down the buoyant conveyance; Nick pounced on the rope, adding enough weight to temporarily give Willow a bit of extra slack.

***


Nervously, the cat glanced towards the puffy clouds, high enough to resemble cotton balls. Of course he wasn't backing out, but that was quite the drop! Amanda's request pointed towards a solution, though for the moment he was perfectly happy to stay put and be hugged.

As they drifted towards the outskirts, Nick realized that something was wrong with his previously cheerful friend. Of course there was. It would be foolish to have expected otherwise.
"Giovenith, we're both hurting - we have been for quite some time. I know it hurts to discuss everything, and honestly I'd rather not. It can't be fixed... all we can do is try and focus on current joy, and that is really hard sometimes." Love of the platonic variety and admiration flowed to the girl, tinged with sorrow. "But you are my very first friend and I care deeply about you. You are more than adequate - you're an amazing person and an awesome friend. You always have a kind word for everyone, and you have a huge heart -" A surge of mirth, as the cat imagined and shared an image of Giovenith holding an enormous, anatomically decent blood-pumping organ.

***


As the group alighted, Nick glanced at the columns and then at Sandy, eyes wide. "It's Grecian! There's some odd similarities...you don't think....could they have made contact?"

___


An amused Rmwtyliin stuck out both hands. She sympathized; other species' appendages were intriguingly strange. "Certainly you may touch mine! I do not object -"

Her grin grew as "Lyra" rattled off her litany of questions. "In reverse order: I know not, but it upsets me. Why would apple juice make us ill? It probably is something to do with light. Yes, if you have practiced using the sticks! I usually do two, tis faster. My friends think so. It does not hurt, but cars move very fast and that is scary!"
Last edited by Fvaarniimar on Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Come to the light side.  We have teamwork, waffles, popcorn, grape juice, and way too much ramen.

Unless one is a genealogist, therapist, geneticist, or FBI agent - who is acting within the scope of their job - to claim that anyone is wrong about their own identity is not merely absurd but also extremely rude.

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Postby Northwest Slobovia » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:49 pm

Giovenith wrote:[Some random ponies] froze in place when they caught sight of Pegasus and the balloon full of monkeys. They stared, as did most of the other surrounding ponies [...] The cafe goers scrambled from their seats as the group landed, backing away with concerned looks.

Sandy smiled a big horsey smile and waved with a forehoof, before taking advantage of the group's mindlink. “About the same reaction tall... anthropoid xenos and Equestrians would get at home, other than the assumption of a starship hidden nearby.

“I think you should do the honors, Willow, since shapeshifters are abount as popular here as they are at home. I might as well leave them a familiar if... Goliath form–”
there was a hint of mirth over the link at the double entendre – “rather than further upset them with something, uh, already suspect.”

Fvaarniimar wrote:As the group alighted, Nick glanced at the columns and then at Sandy, eyes wide. "It's Grecian! There's some odd similarities...you don't think....could they have made contact?"

Sandy shifted his gaze, examining the buildings more closely. “There are definite stylistic similarities, but enough differences in interpretation of form that it's... closer to Roman vs. Greek.

“While it's
possible that it's coincidental, given the likelihood that the local deities have... um-- They seem to share Cerberus and Tartarus with Olympus – but that will have to wait for definitive test or first-hand information – there may well have been mortal contact as well. The architectural styles appear, if anything, Classical, but it's possible that even that late the Equestrians might have been accepted as native pegasoi or other hippoi pteretoi without question.”

For a moment, Sandy entertained several lines of thought about that, but brought his attention back to reality quickly. Nick did glean an image of Equestrians talking to centaurs, as well as one of them being welcomed by the Horse Father personally; Sandy's guess at an “official” meeting between Celestia and Poseidon.
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Postby Giovenith » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:30 am

Fvaarniimar wrote:Nervously, the cat glanced towards the puffy clouds, high enough to resemble cotton balls. Of course he wasn't backing out, but that was quite the drop! Amanda's request pointed towards a solution, though for the moment he was perfectly happy to stay put and be hugged.

As they drifted towards the outskirts, Nick realized that something was wrong with his previously cheerful friend. Of course there was. It would be foolish to have expected otherwise.
"Giovenith, we're both hurting - we have been for quite some time. I know it hurts to discuss everything, and honestly I'd rather not. It can't be fixed... all we can do is try and focus on current joy, and that is really hard sometimes." Love of the platonic variety and admiration flowed to the girl, tinged with sorrow. "But you are my very first friend and I care deeply about you. You are more than adequate - you're an amazing person and an awesome friend. You always have a kind word for everyone, and you have a huge heart -" A surge of mirth, as the cat imagined and shared an image of Giovenith holding an enormous, anatomically decent blood-pumping organ.

"You're the sweetest kitty of them all, Nick," Giovenith smiled and pet him. "It's complicated, and we've both been through a lot. You're right thiugh... let's save it for later."

Once the balloon landed against the edge of the cloud pavement and was tied up, Willow had Giovenith carefully reach out of the basket and place her hand against the pavement to see whether it would stay or pass through as if it were air. Luckily, when she touched it, it felt very much compact — specifically a kind of soft compactness, like solid rubber or a ton of cotton wrapped together tightly. The spell had worked, and it was safe for the non-fliers to walk on. With that reassured, he turned to assess the Giant Pony situation:

Sandy's wave and smile had convinced most of the witnesses that he wasn't a threat, although that didn't make him any less of a strange anomaly. Perhaps he had some kind of growth condition? That would be notable enough by itself, but then what about these hairless apes? Once again, Willow stepped up, clearing his throat and focusing his address towards the cafe patrons, since they were the ones most obviously effected by the party's presence.

"Oh, sorry about getting in your way here," he apologized. "We didn't mean it, I was just showing my friends from out of the country around."

The two patrons nodded while still staring at Sandy before quickly swooping in to take their drinks and leave, chattering to each other about what had just happened on the way. Most of the other bystanders began to move along their business too, while still keeping the group in staring distance for as long as they could.

Giovenith, hopping carefully along to test the clouds, blinked. "Why aren't they all nice and stuff like in Ponyville?"

"Everypony knew me back in Ponyville, so they felt it was okay to come up to you guys too," explained Willow, reassuringly. "Like I said, it's a small town. This is a city. More ponies just doing their own thing, you know?"

Northwest Slobovia wrote:
Fvaarniimar wrote:As the group alighted, Nick glanced at the columns and then at Sandy, eyes wide. "It's Grecian! There's some odd similarities...you don't think....could they have made contact?"

Sandy shifted his gaze, examining the buildings more closely. “There are definite stylistic similarities, but enough differences in interpretation of form that it's... closer to Roman vs. Greek.

“While it's
possible that it's coincidental, given the likelihood that the local deities have... um-- They seem to share Cerberus and Tartarus with Olympus – but that will have to wait for definitive test or first-hand information – there may well have been mortal contact as well. The architectural styles appear, if anything, Classical, but it's possible that even that late the Equestrians might have been accepted as native pegasoi or other hippoi pteretoi without question.”

For a moment, Sandy entertained several lines of thought about that, but brought his attention back to reality quickly. Nick did glean an image of Equestrians talking to centaurs, as well as one of them being welcomed by the Horse Father personally; Sandy's guess at an “official” meeting between Celestia and Poseidon.


Willow still wasn't used to the sensation of Sandy and Nick talking in his head, but tolerated it. At the very least, it made things easier than interpretation. He may have been tempted to roll his eyes a bit at their speculation — the people of humanland could be a little homeland-centric sometimes — if not for the knots that wound in him when the subject of Cloudsdale's history came up. But that was under control, for now. He breathed deeply.

"No," he said firmly, turning to make sure the balloon was extra secure. "It's always been like this. Well... the style, you know. Before we came to this land, and before the Princesses came to us." He gave the tightened rope a flick in test. "Several people back home came from several versions of one country, all called 'America,' but all different in big ways. Needless to say, I don't think that there was a 'first' America that all the others copied or split off from. Different worlds just seem to be able to create the same things on their own."
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Postby Northwest Slobovia » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:02 pm

Amanda stepped from the balloon like an olympic gymnast dismounting, though without the triumphal flourish or the need to make it look good. The way her legs caught Sandy's eye brought both a hint of blush and an impish smile to her face. Oh, I could really get used to this!

She put her purse strap over her shoulder, glared at the infernal thing, and then switched the strap to the cross-body style favored among big-city women.

Giovenith wrote:"No," [Willow] said firmly [...] "It's always been like this. Well... the style, you know. Before we came to this land, and before the Princesses came to us." [...] "Several people back home came from several versions of one country, all called 'America,' [...] Different worlds just seem to be able to create the same things on their own."

Poor Nick: he was suddenly caught between the ten thousand questions that came boiling out of Sandy's subconscious at the mention of America, along with deep scepticism at what sounded like the recital of a legend, and Amanda's own heavily-freighted thoughts about the country.

The Belas locked gazes – well, the gaze from one of Sandy's eyes; he was looking in another direction – and Sandy turned his nearer ear to face Amanda. “Let me take this one, Dr. Bela.”

Since there was no need for her to face Willow, she took a step towards the remaining cafe patrons, and put on a warm smile, unsure of what to say. Hopefully, they wouldn't all leave. Sandy either read her expression or caught a bit of cross-talk in the telepathic chat, as a chuckling, “The line is 'we came in peace for all mankind.'” flitted over to her. She ignored Sandy.

Amanda's mental 'tone' was gentle, conversational. “Willow, could you remind me: have we ever mentioned where we're from to you?”
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Postby Fvaarniimar » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:20 pm

"So this is how a cloud feels," Nick thought to the group.  "It must be awesome to snooze upon."  As the chatter intensified, Nick shook himself, "flicked" the Belas, and turned down the "volume."


  "Willow,  I'm sorry.  This is fascinating, but it isn't just a puzzle.  It's your culture, and I think we were accidentally rather rude.   We're here to support you - we can chatter if you'd like, or we can quiet down.  But..."  Nick's trepidation was palpable.  "Everyone, stay respectful, okay?  We're tourists.  This is Willow's hometown, and he's obviously proud of it. Maybe you could tell us a bit of the history, so we don't conflate it with Greece as much?"
Come to the light side.  We have teamwork, waffles, popcorn, grape juice, and way too much ramen.

Unless one is a genealogist, therapist, geneticist, or FBI agent - who is acting within the scope of their job - to claim that anyone is wrong about their own identity is not merely absurd but also extremely rude.

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Postby Giovenith » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:32 pm

Most of the other pattons had gone back to their meals and conversations, not wanting to be rude by gawking too much at the newcomers. A waitress stepped out from inside the cafe, surveyed the situation, and then trotted up to Amanda. She blinked in wonder, then smiled while looking up at the tall creature.

"Hello," she greeted. "Can I get you something?"

"No you didn't, Amanda," Willow answered her unspoken question, turning slightly so as not to interrupt the waitress. It occurred to him that he probably should have been answering with his own thoughts, but that was tip-toeing on the limit of weirdness for him.

Unfortunately, his words were also pushing the limit of others. "Well, well, do you see that, Hoops? Even with friends just as 'special' as him, Weepy still only has himself to talk to."

"Hu-haaa! Yeah!"

Oh, shit.

Willow turned toward the direction of the sneering, mocking voices. Round one of the tables near the end of the cafe lot, half lounging there and half blocking up the street, were three well built stallions. One was dark brown, one an orangeish tan, and the third grey, each of their faces creased with not-so-friendly smiles and laughter. Their table was littered rather inconsiderately with wrappers and crushed cups from some hardy lunch break. They were all looking at the group with a mixture of shock and amusement.

Willow narrowed his eyes slightly. "Billy."

"What, is that all you have to say to an old friend after all these years?" the brown stallion, Billy, asked. He had been the one to first call out and appeared to be the leader of the group, sitting there confidently while the other two constantly looked to him for some sort of reaction. He took a casual sip of his soda. "I was wondering why we didn't see you prissing around the Prixs with your mommy anymore."

"Guess you didn't go over the edge just yet after all," the tan pony, Hoops, grinned.

"He's even still got both ears!" Billy remarked, which sent his friends into more laughter.

Willow flicked his tail in reserved agitation. He turned to Giovenith, who had since caught on to the hostility of the situation and was none too pleased about these jerks who dared to tease her bestest buddy! Who were they?! "We should go," he said.

"Why?" Billy asked with faux politeness. "You're not still shy, are you, Weepy?"

"No Billy, I'm in my mid-twenties," Willow retorted, dryly. "I assume you are too."
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Postby Northwest Slobovia » Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:58 pm

Giovenith wrote:Most of the other pattons had gone back to their meals and conversations, not wanting to be rude by gawking too much at the newcomers. A waitress stepped out from inside the cafe, surveyed the situation, and then trotted up to Amanda. She blinked in wonder, then smiled while looking up at the tall creature.

"Hello," she greeted. "Can I get you something?"

Amanda returned her smile. “Oh yes, please. We're from far away, so I'd like a menu before I order.” Her expression turned to helpless; charming, but helpless. Let's see what they eat around here...

Giovenith wrote:"No you didn't, Amanda," Willow answered her unspoken question

“Wha...?” So much for that train of thought. A moment later, it came to her: Oh, crap! “Willow, what do you guys use for money? I should have thought of that first.”

Giovenith wrote:"What, is that all you have to say to an old friend after all these years?" the brown stallion

Amanda cursed under her breath. “Aw shhhh--!” She watched the scene for barely two seconds, decided she'd seen enough, and turned back to the waitress for a moment. “Just a sec', I think I need something from my purse.” She unzipped it, and made a show of rooting around before letting her hand close around the stunner's grip, though she saw no need to draw it yet. “Got 'em!”

Nick hissed at the trio of thugs, arching his back and showing his claws. He sensed, without needing to look at Amanda, that she was also a predator, and was ready to pounce on her prey. Her 'voice' held the confidence of long experience hunting, longer than Nick himself had. An outside observer would have difficulty telling she wasn't relaxed, courtesy of Olympus.

Sandy swung his head to get a better view of the bullies. An unspoken sigh died away in the mind link; annoyance at his wife. “Willow, are these three dangerous, or just broken-home kids grown up... or something, uh, entirely different?” Could the cultural norms be so far from ours that this normal for this society? A routine and completely ritualized dominance display? It seems at odds with everything else I've seen, and Willow doesn't seem to be acting like it, but I... am the alien here.

Giovenith wrote:"We should go," [Willow] said.

Amanda easily beat Sandy to a spoken reply; he was too used to telepathy. “Sure, if that's what you want.” She turned back to the waitress. “I think I may have to come back later.”
Gollum died for your sins.
Power is an equal-opportunity corrupter.

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Giovenith
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:54 pm

"No, Sandy," Willow answered, somewhat weerily. "They're just dicks."

The trio made exaggerated sounds as if their hearts were breaking.

"Well, it's been nice catching up," Billy said, casually throwing a wrapper over his shoulder onto the cloud, earning a dirty look from the waitress. "But we've got to get rolling. Places to be, having a life and all that."

"Yeah!" Hoops laughed, as he and his cohorts rose from their seats. He didn't seem to be the most creative of the bunch.

"Oh," Willow's expression turned to that of concern. "Are you running late to go kiss up to Rainbow Dash?"

This seemed to irk Billy, whose smirk fell as Willow's grew. "Like you're one to talk. You're still hiding behind stronger ponies than you to this day." He pointed to the rest of the tense group. "Not as big and mature as you act, eh Weepy? But hey, maybe with a little practice, you can paint yourself a pair."

This earned yet more laughs from the other bullies, who summarily dumped much of their own trash on the clouds near the group before flying off. This angered the waitress, who called for the busboy to come clean the mess up.

Giovenith hissed too. Not the way a human would when imitating an animal - a genuine hiss from deep in her throat, accompanied by a subtle but odd flexing in her jaw. It was cut off by a hoof from Willow, and she returned to normal scowling. "Who were those meanies?!"

Willow sighed. "In a minute. For now, let's actually sit down and have something, to help us cool down."

The waitress smiled and showed them to a large table. The money issue was a pickle, but Willow had a solution. He reached into the collar of his turtleneck and produced his wallet, a wallet he'd had when he'd first been ripped out of Equestria and had now, and pulled out a shiny card.

"You can put it on Sapphire Striker's tab," he said, handing it to the waitress, who nodded eagerly and went to bring them menus. Willow sighed. "That was just Billy, Hoops, and Score. They were the biggest bullies back in school and Junior Flight Camp, and they haven't really grown up since. They're douchebags, but harmless. Physically, anyway." He smiled at a waiter who brought them glasses of water.

"You said your country was filled with nice people though," Giovenith said, blinking with confusion.

"It is, but every country has individuals in it, Giovenith. Ponies are kind overall, but we still have the odd asshole."

The waitress came back with menus, passing them out. "Everything is twenty percent off for the Summer Sun Celebration," she said, cheerfully. "So don't be shy with the orders! And sir?"

"Yes?" Willow answered. "Is something wrong with the card?"

"No, I just wanted to ask, are you Sapphire Striker's son?" She beamed.

It had been a while since he was asked that. "Yes."

"How nice!" she said. "I thought you looked a little familiar, I've seen you in the front seats and on the grass sometimes at her games. So cool to meet you! Well tell her Sunshower said hi, won't you?"

"Of course."

The menu had many colorful options. There was no hint of meat, but being a society of herbivores, there was an impressive variety of vegetarian dishes that would be more than filling to the hominid guests. What stood out most were the pastries, which seemed to have extra care put into them with many layers, creams, toppings, and sprinkles. A few temporary leafs advertised a special drink, a kind of pizazzed up lemonade-fruit mix for the Solstice. Notably, there was a complete absence of alcohol.

"I can get something for your kitty, too," said the waitress, giving Nick's chin a scratch.
Last edited by Giovenith on Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
❃she's ripping wings off of butterflies❃

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Giovenith
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Founded: Feb 08, 2012
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:52 pm

On the Island

Samantha Fairbairn was gently carried up onto shore by the waves. Despite this, she was completely dry, and soon towered over by a man.

"Hello there!" he greeted warmly, offering a hand to help her up. "You must be Ms. Fairbairn. It's alright now, we've been expecting you."
❃she's ripping wings off of butterflies❃

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Giovenith
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Founded: Feb 08, 2012
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Sun Aug 18, 2019 4:11 pm

Lyra nodded along vigorously to all of Rmw' s answers, grinning. "I want to know everything!"

"My name is Bon-Bon, by the way," the creamy pony said. "Are you going to be here in town for a while? Because, if you wanted, we thought maybe you could come to the Solstice party we're having at our place."

"And you can stay forever!" declared Lyra, excitedly.

"Not forever," Bon-Bon corrected. "But it would be fun."
❃she's ripping wings off of butterflies❃

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