EQ_Theta

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About EQ_Theta

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    Dragon
  • Birthday 04/29/1995

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    Male
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    Games, comics, and assorted time-killers. All in good fun! I also write fiction on the side.

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    EQ_Theta
  1. @Blitz Boom Though the mood was starting to liven up in the company of good friends in a festive backdrop, the number of conversations happening one after another was rather confusing. Sen could barely keep track of what was happening in the short moment of reprieve he got from chatting with Omen just moments ago. This kind of conversation… one-on-one, temporarily blocking out the world to focus on a tough issue and working through it with a friend… it was sort of relaxing in a strange way. A cyclical mental exercise in finding solutions to problems that reveal more problems, and so on. Of course, the longma had to actually start answering everyone who got their turn to speak or ask questions. And that was the bigger balancing act he was going to address out of fear of missing out something important. “It is a lively evening. You’re right, Rosa; this is a night for fun, games, and enjoying friendly company. I take it we’ll be settling scores through a series of games? I’m looking forward to that! Let me just have a moment with Queen Cheshire. I’d like to bring up something with her.” Sen chuckled, clearly showing his playful side coming back. He didn’t have plenty of those moments in the bygone years but after that moontag game from earlier, he could just feel like a child again, if only for a while. The whole conversation gymnastics has become a little lighter just as he was going to turn to Cheshire for his own queries but he wouldn’t want to leave Omen out as well. He hasn’t forgotten her question but there may be a way to hit two birds with one stone. “Queen Cheshire? I wouldn’t know the first thing about being a performer or being in your place but I forgive you. What happened a while ago was harmless, and well… when the fear subsides, seeing the changelings’ ability to transform up close is amazing. Maybe you could help me and Omen understand something? I heard the changelings didn’t have a good reputation with ponies for a time but your hive is getting along with them now.” “What was it like back when you first met the ponies? And how did your hive build relations with them?” Sen turned to Omen for a moment to address her concern from earlier. It wasn’t a direct answer from him and it probably didn’t answer her question, but he would use this moment to let her know that he was stumped. “I know you asked me earlier but I don’t know how to answer your question. Maybe we could learn from Cheshire’s experience.” “Whenever you’re ready, Cheshire.” As for Lin, she listened to Rosa’s explanation about Princess Twilight. While most of it made sense, she was still perplexed about the whole “Magic of Friendship” thing. Sen had friends back home when he was a child but nothing seemed magical about that. Same thing with the other longma who undoubtedly had friends; it was mundane as far as anything went. “That ‘magic’ aspect of friendship that Princess Twilight is probably a pony thing. I mean, I get bringing many creatures together is one thing but I suppose it might just be a flowery embellishment to make the idea sound good. That could be one way to explain Twilight’s role, right, Rosa?”
  2. @Blitz Boom “Yes, that’s a manticore. Baring fangs and growling usually means they’re warning anyone to keep away or they’ll help themselves to their next meal. Generally, anyone’s best option is to stay far from it and keep it that way.” “Still, I suppose that even Mother’s words should be tempered with experience, just like you said. And from that, we learn. If the folks back home would just give meeting other creatures a try, maybe they’ll come around to the idea. It would feel a lot less worrisome if I didn’t feel like I was forcing them, because that’s how I’m seeing it right now. If they meet other creatures on their own terms… maybe things will be different.” Sen was starting to feel a little better as he spoke with Omen. The weight that was getting him down was lightening up, and being honest with how he felt also got him to think less about Cheshire’s display from earlier. He was certainly seeing things a lot clearer now that he could reconcile his fears and worries. He’d still be a little wary about the changelings’ shapeshifting abilities but he’s a little more confident he wouldn’t shut himself down over fear. When Tomb reach him and Omen, the longma smiled and give his assurance that he’s feeling a little better. The longma was ready to rejoin the group, harboring no ill will towards the changeling queen. By then, he’d catch Lin keeping up with the conversation between Rosa and Cheshire. “I suppose that’s what being a ‘Princess of Friendship’ is supposed to be? I never really understood what that meant but I guess she might just be really good at diplomacy. I wonder what she’d think of the longma if she visited us…” “Maybe with a sense of wonder and curiosity?” Sen chimed in, keeping a more upbeat tone in his voice. “I’m feeling better now, sister. And Queen Cheshire? I hope there are no hard feelings after what happened earlier. The last thing I wanted was to get your spirits down.”
  3. @Blitz Boom Sen paused and wondered what Mother told Omen, and to some degree, he understands what she meant. Unfortunately, there were some implications that could’ve been added to give that sentiment a little more nuance. The danger that other creatures could potentially pose was one that could be explained a little better as it would shed light on the importance of caution. “I suppose we should rejoin the others. I really don’t want Cheshire to think I am harboring ill feelings towards her. Come on, we can talk some more on the way back.” “I don’t disagree with Mother’s words when she says that meeting and learning about other creatures. But doesn’t she also mention being careful? That even without meeting another creature up-front, there is enough information to go with that already leaves an impression. If I see a creature like a manticore, wouldn’t the reasonable option be to keep away because it's dangerous? Even if I don’t know much about it, having features like a stinger tail and large teeth are signs that I should avoid it at all costs.” The longma walked back to the rest of the group, stepping out of the dark alley. He still maintained a confused look, unsure how to reconcile a reasonable claim from Mother while trying to find arguments that could poke holes at the claim. It seemed like Mother's words to Omen weren't painting a complete picture, and that something felt missing. Meanwhile, Lin listened close to what the changeling queen had to say, gathering the information that could prove useful sometime. The basics boiled down to being more cerebral in nature, and being prepared by having a countersign in place that only the original would know. “Huh, intimidation and getting physical are some rather… odd solutions. Those might get some really mixed reactions. If used incorrectly, an observant changeling would get suspicious of those if they see it enough, won’t they? The magic stone option sounds a little better and it would be a reasonable thing to look for some time.”
  4. @Blitz Boom “I was scared. If any creature could take on my appearance so flawlessly, what’s to stop them from eventually replacing me? Anyone who doesn’t know the changelings will continue believing that their friends or family are still them, not realizing that it’s someone else.” “Not everyone has a strong sense of smell like yours. If a longma or a pony doesn’t know a changeling has transformed into a lookalike, how could they tell the difference? I firmly believed that being open to meeting other creatures was a good thing for the longma, but I found out that I only saw things my way, not theirs. They were right to be wary. Wouldn't you also feel the same towards any creature you don't know anything about?” Sen stayed in his corner, slowing his breathing now that he could confide his worries. The realization of his rather selfish perspective settled in, but he wondered if he was ever in a position to make a choice that would’ve worked better had more longma agreed to it. The word of an elder carried a lot of weight, but he was just one of many others; that was only a fraction of the system of leadership ingrained in the old ways. It wasn’t much if one voice expressed a radical view among others who still followed tradition. Going by Ghilan’s words and the recent revelation that the council of elders were… concerned, it did not bode well for the young elder. That’s not to say that Sen was solely preoccupied with his thoughts. He greatly appreciated Omen’s attempts at helping, and her story about Discord putting masks on ponies did get a slight chuckle out of him. It was just wrangling with his newfound understanding and the upsetting implications it had on his hopes didn’t sit well the more he thought about them. Meanwhile, Lin smiled and shook Cheshire’s hoof. Despite being terrified of her display earlier, she is already more than convinced that the changeling queen meant no harm and has forgiven her. All that she said was enough for the longma to know that her sentiments are genuine, and that they could be more open with sharing information about themselves. The longma didn’t think it was necessary to bring up the names of the changeling queens Cheshire mentioned, having seen the look of disdain and their reactions to even mentioning them. There are enough unsavory thoughts going around, and it would be better to move the conversation in another direction. “My brother… He needs time to collect his thoughts. From how things went back there, I think it was a lot more than just being scared. He’s the type who tends to think deeply about a lot of things, and it may have caused him to… overthink. I suppose I do have one question that I know both of us are curious about. Let’s say a changeling takes on my appearance. How can someone tell the difference between the real me and a changeling? Especially if the changeling is behaving exactly the way I do?”
  5. @Blitz Boom “I’ll be honest… I am. I’ve been dismissive of the longma’s fears of others for a long time being caught between that and the monsters that prey on that fear back home, I wouldn’t know who to trust. I don’t want to put you or your hive at risk if word of what you wish to let my brother know gets out.” “But there has to be something better than uncertainty and fear. I want to start building bridges with trust, and I know that’s what my brother wants too. I won't stop you from what you wish to do, but let's not throw caution into the wind.” Lin stretched out one claw, a gesture that she saw most ponies do, one that evokes trust. The understanding that uncertainty comes with opportunities to grow and learn. Most notably, she learned a little more about herself. No way would she fault Queen Cheshire because her fellow changelings were right. Had she known, it would’ve played out differently, but nobody present was a mind reader. As for Sen, he found himself running off to the nearest dark corner and hid behind the furthest dumpster he could find. Thankfully, there was a box large enough for him to sit in, cowering as his thoughts fluctuated. It brought him back to those younger days in Canterlot, scrounging for food and bits, barely scraping enough to eat. Those days reminded him of some of the worst experiences, hearing about how pony society being friendly but how that was purely embellishment. For every good memory he’s had of other creatures, there were about two others that could convince him of the futility of his task. That fear the longma back home was compounded, knowing they had a point. That scared him. Frankly, it was Omen’s arrival that got him out of his thoughts, if only for a moment. “They’re right… For all their suspicions, they’re right,” Sen’s voice wavered, feeling the weight of the truth on his mind. “I dismissed them because I thought they were taking it too far but the longma back home knew more than me. I’m such a fool. How could I have overlooked that? Seeing things the way they saw other creatures…” “Oh, Omen. You’ve caught me thinking out loud. And beating myself over it. I understand why the folks back home are wary of outsiders. As much as Cheshire turning into me was terrifying, I learned something ugly about myself.”
  6. @Blitz Boom Cheshire’s subtle spectacle left Sen stunned, watching as the changeling queen transform - no - become him. That was the the moment that gripped him, silenced him while Cheshire circled the longma followed by her splitting to create an apparition of Lin. And the terror that filled him earlier, the uncertainty that meeting a new creature introduces… he understood. It was only a brief moment but he could feel the air in his lungs leave; there was much to be said but the display could only remind him of the caution and the disdain the longma back home understood. Lin watched from the side, seeing a familiar look of discomfort on her brother slowly transforming into horror. Though they were excited to meet someone new with a good reputation among the thestrals and the ponies, seeing what the changeling queen did sent chills down her spine. The seconds felt like minutes but the longma stepped in between the changeling and her brother, having seen enough. “What you did… that was, umm… something,” Lin smiled, wider than her usual. “But I think you’re right. Might be better if we introduce the longma by bringing them to one of your shows instead.” The longma siblings sat down and listened to Soda’s opening speech, though their excitement and glee were sapped. They followed along with the stallion’s introduction and remarks but his words seemed to only flow in one ear and leave the other without being processed. In their minds, only the image of Queen Cheshire remained, replaying over and over. Even the fireworks, a spectacle in itself, didn’t seem to get them out of their ruminations. With the carnival in full swing, it was just the right moment for a breather. “I… need a moment alone, sister. I’ll be off to the side to gather my thoughts.” Lin nodded, seeing her brother off before walking back up to Queen Cheshire. “Queen Cheshire, about what happened back there. When we mentioned that the longma were isolationists, there was a reason why they… we… are that way. I can’t say how accurate this is because the details are muddy but we grew up learning that our ancestors helped build a kingdom with many other creatures, a prosperous future that we were supposed to be a part of. When it was completed, our ancestors demanded to have a say in the kingdom’s matters but they were turned away, threatened and forced to leave. Turns out they were just the laborers.” “We never had a place in that future, and when the longma learned this, they grew distrustful of anyone who isn’t them ever since.” Lin didn’t intend for her narration to hold malice toward the queen, but her tone subtly shifted from snide and dismissive of her own kind to one that began to see the revelation. That for all of her disrespectful preconceptions of the longma back home, there was some sense behind their distrust. It may be all the worse for Cheshire, a being that feeds on emotion, to suddenly pick up on this contrast with the rest of the opening festivities. “I’m truly sorry for souring the mood but I wanted to explain ourselves. Sen really wants to help the folks back home understand that they can trust other creatures. We’ve met and befriended many wonderful creatures that maybe we ought to take a chance that things will be different this time. And, even if what you showed Sen earlier was scary, I still think changelings are impressive." The longma's tone, however much it contrasted the rest of what she had to say, was still marked with genuine awe. Lin thought she'd try to lift Cheshire's mood if the sudden shift in emotion was a little too much.
  7. @Blitz Boom Although Sen appreciated Cheshire’s words and tips on how to have fun while gambling away some bits, it still wouldn’t be enough to convince him to try his luck at the casinos. Despite Omen hauling around their money, the longma is aware of the numerous other ways of spending it, especially in little-to-no risk purchases that will let him sleep better at night. Besides, there was always a more attractive use for them, the kind that leaves his stomach full. But, returning to Lin’s question, the resounding response from the nearby changelings gave the siblings the most straightforward and expected answer. They wouldn’t question it, however, as it was the most sensible thing in mind. No matter how strange and foreign something was, being able to see, listen, and understand was the best way to learn. Perhaps it is true for the longma to see one show for themselves to know what makes them so popular. Maybe not so much to the more isolated longma back home but Sen and Lin were more receptive to the idea, and receptive to unfamiliar ideas in general. “If the longma back home were to find themselves in a random performance, they’d probably be confused.” “Confused? Try violent,” Lin snidely remarked. “Depending on who watches the performance, they would pick a fight with you. Some would do it on reflex, and others really just don’t like outsiders. The longma just aren’t receptive to the idea of meeting someone who isn’t like them.” Sen sighed, though did not mean to sound exasperated. He understood his sister and her deep-seated dislike for the old attitudes harbored by the folks back home. It is true that some are curious but without regular exposure to creatures who aren’t longma, it would take a while for them to come around. “I guess Lin and I don’t represent of the longma well. We’ve led very different lives from the folks back home, so much that we behave more like the ponies of Equestria. I mean, just look at us. Dragon-like features that could instill fear but you had us scared back there. That’s probably the opposite of what you were expecting.”
  8. @Blitz Boom “When you put it that way, it does make going back to Las Pegasus a little more enticing,” Sen replied as he scratched the back of his head. “I can never really see myself returning when the most prominent reason to come back is to play games of chance. That is especially true when the games are rigged against the player.” “But because you also perform in Las Pegasus, I think we’d like to see one of these shows.” The siblings were thrilled to have Queen Cheshire tag along with them to the center of town. As they had a chance to look back on their adventures and meet the most interesting personalities they knew so far, there was a feeling of elation that filled the siblings, most notably Sen, who could only imagine what else is there to come. A shame the other longma don’t feel the same, even with Omen having a home in their village. Perhaps it needs time and more exposure to the others. That much is true for the villages and the other elders who are new to the idea. Sen would have a look at that little trinket Cheshire materialized on Rosa’ chest and it got a hearty chuckle out of him. It was clear the changeling queen is a fun-loving sort, and energetic with the way she carried out her public performance. There might even be a lesson in drawing attention in her tone and voice, the good kind that commands the eyes and ears to take notice before giving a memorable performance. Though it wouldn’t necessarily translate well to a meeting with other longma, it could be a hint at how explaining the concept of theater and theatrics to the folks back home. “The other longma back home wouldn’t believe the things we’ve seen and the creatures we’ve met! I know we said we’re an isolated sort but seeing your performance with our own eyes… the spectacle would really make them speechless.” “Since we could probably find ourselves watching one of your shows, Queen Cheshire, what would you say is a good place to start learning about the kind of shows you do?”
  9. @Blitz Boom “I suppose there may be a chance to hear Thorax’s take on his hive one day. I wonder if he knows about the other changelings outside of his group…” “And going to see one of your shows in Las Pegasus is not something we could pass up. Maybe we’d see what makes these performances so popular. We don’t know where to begin and some ponies might turn us away because we don’t look the part. From what I hear, these stage performances are reserved for those who are wealthy and cultured. And, there’s… us.” Sen knew this feeling better than Lin, but her assessment was still fairly spot-on. If someone were to ask the longma exactly how he survived, the response would be a mixture of disappointment and resentment. Here was a creature whose appearance was so bizarre, a mixture of unassuming and ferocious, and not taking advantage of those traits. Some would argue that this strength should evoke power but not everything works the way one expects, and Sen would have years of experience to back that up. Still, it gave him insight into how pony high society works, the uglier side of it, at least. There was a look of bitterness that ran across the longma’s faces. Forlorn yet somehow feeling disappointed in themselves that to experience the things loved by others outside of their own kind, they have to rely on meeting the right creatures to even have an inkling of an impression. The siblings didn’t want to keep this up but at the same time, they met some of the most wonderful creatures they never thought possible. Perhaps this line of thinking will change one day but it would take a long while to see it happen. It was fortunate that Queen Cheshire decided to move the topic of conversation along to something else to get the siblings to get their mind off their conflicting thoughts. “The longma like to think that we were something much more ferocious before we settled into a forest. Maybe we were able fly at some point in the past but being cooped up in the shaded woods made our ancestors realize we don’t need the wings as much.” “If we had the chance, we’d like to learn about how we really came to be, find our origins. There’s so much to our history that doesn’t add up that if we could just go far back enough, we’d be able to set the stories straight. I wish we could help you piece our background together but even we are in the dark with no answers or certainty.” “I mean, one possible answer we could give you is ‘this is how it’s always been.’ It’s a boring answer but that’s probably the safest way we could explain ourselves. It might go the same way when someone asks a pony or a changeling how they came to be, right?”
  10. @Blitz Boom “Wait, don’t the changelings have more… eh, complete bodies? I… I meant no offense but from what little we’ve heard of the changelings, they have colorful appearances with... less… holes.” “I was hoping my sister could word that better but I am curious about that, too. We longma don’t really have a solid idea on what a changeling looks like and just assume that you can change the way your form looks. I suppose the same goes for popular things ponies know about. The longma are isolationists and don’t know about well-known things that are common knowledge in pony society.” The longma would be in a fish out of water situation where they’d pretty much be clueless with ponies, or other creatures in general. Sen and Lin had years to acclimate to an unknown race and they had their share of unsavory experiences, the kind that would sometimes leave poor impressions and justify their isolationism. Of course, being in the presence of a well-known and highly esteemed individual such as Queen Cheshire had the siblings forget their manners for a moment. The two would bow, their go-to greeting, though it may come off as the sort of response one would associate with the decorum reserved for royalty. Cheshire does have a title of queen, after all. “I suppose this would be a good time to properly introduce ourselves as longma, creatures who look like someone crossed a pony and a dragon. While our wings suggest we could fly, we don’t really do that; it’s more for gliding.” “If you don’t mind me asking, what did you sign us up for? And what was with that floating parchment your fellow changeling had?
  11. @Blitz Boom “We’ll have another go at the game when time permits. I’m really itching for some competition!” “When that day comes, I’ll be ready,” Lin smirked as she looked towards her brother, then to Omen and Rosa. “I won’t let up easily now that I’ve got a win. I know you all want a shot at victory!” As the siblings were about to leave, the sounds of loud, bombastic speech came from… well, everywhere. Rhyming and bantering in the strangest way imaginable. Then came the sights of an odd-looking pony and a rabbit came by with little time to react before they were lifted into the air with a tea set nearby. Frankly, the siblings were frightened by what was happening and though they wanted to speak up, they couldn’t muster up the courage to say anything. Fortunately, they were lowered in good time though they huddled close to each other, their eyes darting left and right. The illusion faded and their sight focused on the transformed creatures, then the crowds who somehow showed up when they weren’t there before. It was then that the performers revealed themselves to be the changelings that Sen and Lin have heard about. This one was certainly lively. “N…no hard feelings. N-n-none at all.” “We… uh, were hoping to meet you. I-Its just… well, this wasn’t how we imagined it would go.” Sen and Lin eventually regained their nerves and picked themselves up from the ground where they were close to cowering and probably running back into the moontag game room. Once Queen Cheshire made her intentions known, they started to feel a little more relaxed. “It is fascinating to see changelings transform up close! We’ve never met any changelings before.” “And we don’t have those, um… ‘classics’ where we’re from so we aren’t really familiar with your performance. I guess those are well known?”
  12. @Blitz Boom Lin was enjoying herself too much that she hadn’t noticed the game was over until her shooter stopped working. That and Omen walking up to her, though her casually walking and talking signaled something was different, even with Bloom already telling them the game was over. “Of course,” the longma joyfully replied. “The next opportunity we get to go to a carnival, we’ll play again. Come, let’s see how we did!” As for Sen, he was feeling much better now, his head still in the game though his body was already starting to feel the burn from the exhausting yet fun experience. “You were holding back, Rosa? I thought you were giving it your best. Oh well, we’ll get in another game some time in the future!” The siblings regrouped with each other and with everyone else, seeing Bloom and Tomb waiting for them outside the play area. Sen and Lin turned their attention to the scoreboard with an unusual turn of events recorded for all to see. And it was a much different story for Lin, who took a closer look, bewildered at the unexpected victory as Bloom raise one of her forelegs up high. Sen took this moment to clap and congratulate his sister, though that tie between his score and Rosa’s did not escape him. He took this moment to lightly nudge the thestral on the side. “Looks like we really need a rematch now, and it’s not just because Lin won.” The siblings returned their gear and dusted themselves off before heading out to rejoin Tomb to see the rest of the fair. Lin wouldn’t forget this experience and the piece of paper that reflected her victory; Sen is just as happy about the experience, and looked forward to the rest of the carnival. “Thank you for accommodating us, Bloom,” the longma siblings bowed. “We really enjoyed our time here and we’re looking forward to coming back!”
  13. That would be the strangest stroke of luck on a dice roll I've seen in a long while. I was surprised how this one turned out but I'll take it!
  14. @Blitz Boom Lin took to the sight of Sen and Rosa squaring off with delight, allowing them to settle the match with a one-on-one stand-off. She was content to get keep Omen’s attention on herself, but the moment she turned to Rosa’s direction, she couldn’t let that stand. With only a few seconds on the clock, the longma started firing shots at Omen’s sensor, seeing as her back was turned to her. It may not be in the rule to enforce a duel but Lin was content to do just that. “Keep your eyes on me, Omen! I’m your target!” Meanwhile, Sen would sidestep and dodge each of Rosa’s shots while keeping his aim steady enough to fire back. So far, he wouldn’t feel his sensor going off, but the longma wouldn’t be able to land a shot after being self-conscious. Unlike earlier in the game, Sen’s sudden change in tactics suggested he was holding back, only making himself a hard target while only firing a few shots in delayed intervals. This whole display of side-to-side movement, however, was getting the longma tired, his movements slowing down. In just the right moment, a sensor went off and the sound of a whistle being blown immediately followed. It seemed that was the end of the game. A shame it had to end so soon but rule were rules… “Well played, Rosa! Good game,” Sen exclaimed as he walked up to the thestral to offer a hoofshake.
  15. @Blitz Boom “Uhh, my head...” “I had it… had it under contr- WHAAA!!!” The siblings’ sight refocused to the images of both Rosa and Omen launching volley after volley of shots in their direction. It was immediately apparent they each landed a hit on them. That five-second delay got them back on their feet, standing back-to-back and firing off some shots at their friends. Lin took aim at Omen while Sen had his sights set on Rosa. Once they got their hits in, they switched sides and fired back on each other’s target. It may not be long before the game was over but the siblings wouldn’t care. This was the most fun they’ve had in a long time and they relished every single second of it. Of course, with all of the enjoyment being poured into this game, Lin eventually took one look at her brother’s exposed sensor so close to her before taking a pot shot. The longma sensed this before noticing his sister’s shooter aimed point-blank at his sensor, knowing she already took advantage of their little moment of teamwork. “It’s not a team sport, remember?” “I know… but you’re wide open!” Sen had his sensor go off again. It didn’t matter as Rosa and Omen couldn’t get another shot in but Sen had his chance to fire one back at Lin before running off in the direction of the slippery floor, only stopping short to turn around and take aim at Rosa while Lin was fending them off. If he had enough time for one more shot, this would be the chance to make it count. “Let’s make this interesting, Rosa! One-on-one. You feeling lucky?”