Blitz Boom

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@Blitz Boom

KARMIC FATE

"I really hope that Chimera vase gives us time to get away," Karmic told Zhu in a slight panic. "We have to go!" she yelled at him, trying to force him along the cramped passageway that turned away from the door leading to the relic room.

@Blitz Boom, @Moonlit, @Seamore Sandwich

TWILIGHT SPARKLE

"There's another you?" Twilight asked in shock but couldn't really be told the answer after being ushered. "Okay, I'll go," Twilight said quickly and ran to the front door, hoping she'll get there in time before the other Celestia figured out what was going on.

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@Dji @Seamore Sandwich @Blitz Boom Serenade groans and facehooves "♪I bucking hate Time Travel♪" She had experienced time travel once before, and had to deal with a very ticked off future Sereande, one that had been fully grown and mature Siren. That had been a unique experience, and was one on the few things she kept secret from her Princess.

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@EQ_Theta

"You misunderstand, Sen. Ponies are generally the most friendly, higher sentient beings you can encounter, and they try to be tolerable to others as much as they can, but they're not perfect. They can hate and fear as much as any other creature can, if they are given a reason to do so.

Changelings are now starting to get integrated, but their story with Equestria is bloody. Years and years of impersonating others just to steal love, or kidnap the more gullible ponies to be drained and converted into a mindless drone left the name of their race with a sour taste in most ponies' muzzles, culminating in the attack on Canterlot a few years back. The leader of their largest hive - Queen Chrysalis - had kidnapped Princess Cadence, and ensnared Captain Shining Armor, in a plot to take the entire capitol. Something that wasn't known until the supposed wedding between the two ponies Chrysalis had interfered with the most, and by then it was too late."

Rosa pointed upwards, to indicate the protective barrier that held threats like that out of this city normally.

"The barrier fell, the changelings invaded, and Princess Celestia were defeated. It was only narrowly won by a group from Ponyville that included Princess Twilight Sparkle, and the changelings were forced out of this town. Going back to small scale danger, but tarnishing their reputation even further.

It led to some laws and terms that are being loosened now, as part of the negotiation with King Thorax, who took Chrysalis' hive from her, but ponies perception changes slowly. Many in Equestria  still remembers the attack, as well as the other things that have done, and in their mind, rightfully fears the changelings. It will take time to change that, but it starts with the law.

Dragons have had to go through this process too, as their story with ponies are not kind either, though tolerance are increasing from both sides the more times goes on. The proud griffons, mysterious zebras, elusive bat ponies, and so forth, have also needed to go through their own story to get a more normalized place in this society, even if small pockets of the population are still concerned and misinformed about things.

That is racial issues however. In the case of beings like me, it is political. Every being and governing body in the world have secrets that are not meant to come out, and spies are trained to extract that information. Sometimes in benign ways akin to a more scrutinizing private detective,and other times, it can be state or military secrets. And if those gets in the wrong hooves, a lot of ponies could end up hurt, or worse."

That one hit Rosa close to home, and his tone had gotten a little sour at that point. He had been one of those who extracted a variety of information, but under false pretenses, and when he had found out what they were used for, how many that got hurt or lost everything because of him, he had grabbed as much incriminating information as he could, and defected.

If negotiations with Equestria went well between King Thorax and Equestria, the time would come when he would have to answer for his crimes, and would need to explain as much as he could, but that day would take time. With the incriminating evidence he had provided, the tense political situation that had been between Darkenhold and Equestria had become a great deal harsher, and he had heard talks about a potential change of government in his old home to be the only solution if they wanted to try and regain a small amount of leeway with the far larger pony kingdom, but if they were willing to do so would be another talk. As would be his judgement for both his part in bringing lives into danger, and bringing everything to light. He just hoped to be able to find his brother before that, and at least have some time with him before he'd have to stand trial.

"Unless your people have a political mess of a story with Equestria, what gives you strange stares and fear-filled eyes are ignorance and lack of information. If some approach you, answer some of their questions, and wait things out. Words will spread, more curious ones will approach, and in time, they will get informed. Though perhaps there is too much tension in town right now for good gossip. Too many guards around to be nothing."

Rosa were usually not this wordy, but as he said, misinformation were a bad thing. Sen needed information, and the guards still keeping him watched needed to hear something that would make them keep at hooves length. Giving a short guide of semi-current history accomplished both for now, though he wondered how long it might last. Sooner or later, a guard would likely approach and start to ask some questions, yet that were a bridge they'd pass when the time came. For now, they had arrived at the grocery store.

It were a rather large establishment, with vegetables, fruits and other organic products lines up in crate after crate all around. It seemed to be a popular store too, judging by the amount of ponies in here, though Rosa could see that some of them were simply busy restocking shelves and crates that were getting empty.

A stallion with a green and caramel swirled coating, brown eyes, and a short, orange mane and tail that were both rather busy, approached the two as he saw them with curiosity and some degree of worry in his eyes.

"My my, what strange costumes. Very detailed though, yes?"

The pony looked to see if he could find any sort of sleeve or something on Sen especially, that would give away where his costume pieces began, but he didn't see anything. Highly impressive he'd say, and the better of the two. Spy costumes were a little tacky in his mind, but he wouldn't poke at the quality. The fabric even had that slightly weird tint that made it blend in better when shadows got closer.

"Oh right, that must've seemed rude. I'm Garlic Hoof. I take it you're the ponies who ordered a few crates of things for a party, yes? Though... Where's your cart? These things are pretty heavy, and you don't want to end up with back injuries."

Garlic addressed Sen, seemingly unaware that this were in fact not who he had been waiting for.

Meanwhile, Scarcity had simply nodded in response to being told that she were not to interfere in things regarding Sen and her. Of course, the mare were going to gather some information, as she were curious and believed it prudent to hold some cards on her hooves when it came to interacting with interesting characters, but she would be kind and not act upon it, unless necessary. It depended on the behavior of those involved honestly, since there were certain limits that she did not find acceptable to do without some degree of retaliation. A strange stance to have considering what she did, but there were many layers to her that others were not to see.

They'd be at her store soon after, which had a simple, yet elegant front showcasing some of the things she had on display in the window, under the wood-carved sign of *Scarcity's Antiques*. Simplistic, but she had no reason to overdo things. An elegant and well maintained store front and interior were all she truly needed. Her wares spoke for themselves.

She would open up and let a small bell go off, though the one she had in charge of the store for the time being were busy with some nobles to the side. A pair she had seen before, and knew what wanted: Statues. Garden enthusiasts those two, always competing with their neighbors. A little pointless in Scarcity's mind, but it were profitable for her, so she wouldn't complain.

The store interior were well lighted from beautiful chandeliers around the store, as well as more modern lights from the floor in certain places were the wares needed to be showcases better. Art hung on the walls, carpet lined a great deal of the floor where customers were to walk, and the whole thing just seemed to have a kind of elegance to it that were inviting, but reeked of class. The kind where things were expensive, which the items around would show too from their price tags, going from as *little* as a few hundred bits, to ludicrous prices that only those with far too many bits would be able to even consider, let alone buy. Some of them costing more bits than a normal pony would be able to make in twenty years.

Things were of course, in pedestals and other sectioned places behind glass, rope and so forth so that nopony would accidentally stumble into them. A necessity considering the value, even if it did make the viewing somewhat troubling for those who were pretty short sighted.

"Welcome to my not so humble store, Lin. please, look around a little if you will, and I will be right back. Prestige seems to be done with the customers soon, and I require a quick status update from him. Of course, you are free to wait at the counter too, and I will be there shortly."

It wouldn't be long, but Scarcity did need to know what went on here. A few things seemed to have been sold that she did not expect, and she had to make sure that Prestige had done things properly. He were a skilled salespony with a silver tongue, but he were still somewhat new, and he needed to be reminded that she expected excellence.

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@Lucid_Nightlight @EQ_Theta @Storm Shine

While the other two had been at it talking, Anomaly had disposed of her fire-craving flower somehow. She couldn't destroy it, so what had happened were hard to say, but there were a nice patch of fresh grass covering the pot now. Perhaps related.

She had also gotten curious about the mines that Lucid had provided and decided to eat one. Likely not the best decision she had ever made, but she were an impulsive creature and the poquus had already said that there wasn't any explosives in this, just confetti and stuff. SHe could eat that fine, even if it literally blew up in her face.

"Pff, Celestia's guards can do tons of stuff. Set me on fire, or hit me with silver or something. I see lots of Solar Guards with silver for some reason, and it's bad, no fun stuff."

Silver had much the same effect on her as pure iron, though sadly, a sliver of silver were far more common than a slab of pure iron. Meant she had to be a tiny bit careful sometimes.

"The party sounds kinda boring if it's just ponies talking, yellow one. nothing fun happening there, at all? No music or... Is there theater?"

Anomaly's eyes glittered as she thought on that possibility. She didn't sing too well without mingling with her own vocal cords - easy stuff, but still - yet theater? That were a natural thing to her.

"I was born for theater. Setting a scene, making a story, causing a big show! It's the greatest kind of fun. Except for hecklers. They're mean and can go boo somewhere else."

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@Rising Dusk

"Hah, you don't need to worry about her getting hurt unless it's something that can explode.

In our family, we're taught how to work tools safely early on, so we're ready when we get out first set of tools at age ten, and given a workbench of our own. Blitz here started off with nicking tools when nopony was watching and work on stuff without us taking notice, and then blew a hole straight through the east wall when she were eight. Few years earlier and more dangerous than mom would've liked without supervision, but she were dang proud of my lil' sis regardless. Got her cutie mark whilst she were rolling on the streets laughing her head off."

Molotov pointed at Blitz's flank, where the smiling bomb that made for her cutie mark had been ever since. A constant reminder of that day, and why they didn't let her play with the good stuff for a long time after that.

"Blitz still needs to learn and relearn some safety measures, but she knows how to handle tools safely at least. She's more likely to hurt herself from looking into trash bins than the sawblade."

He floated a roll of gauze, some sewing things, a roll of plaster and some disinfectant out of the bag briefly whilst giving a grin.

"Though in case something does happen, I'm ready. Blitz is... Lil' sis is the last family I have left, even if she can't remember it, and I'm not gonna loose her too. I'll keep her safe, but that doesn't mean I can take away tinkering from her. It's our family's legacy."

His voice had cracked briefly as the talk went on Blitz being what he had left, and he watched her pull out another screw from the pile she were rummaging through and putting it in the box. He might seem like he only loosely cared about her safety, but he didn't. He would jump in the way of anything trying to get to her if it came to it, and leave everything behind to go find her again if she got lost, but she needed to work. It kept her happy, and it was the best chance he had of her remembering things short of trying some kind of mind machine on her, and the potential consequences of that were far too severe to actually go forth with, even if he had briefly entertained the thought when he found her again in the Everfree Forest.

"And just for the record, we're not nuts, inventing and crafting is just in our blood. It can't be kept down, so we embrace it and teach it early on so we can get to safety before something goes wrong. Well except my uncle Stomp Boom. Never really had the spark for some reason, but he did make for one hay of a gardener.

Anyway, here's your bits Rusty."

He'd float six bits - two more than asked for - towards the mare and nodded down towards Blitz.

"I think we both know that she's gonna pull a few more things out until the box can't handle more."

Even with the extra bits to cover for Blitz meddling around more, he still considered the scrap to be a steal for that price, so he really didn't mind. Frankly, this just meant that he'd be back here quite a bit, as long as he weren't run out of town for some reason.

Though the next time, he'd bring his own cart. Sure he had to build one first, but please, that was trainee work. Not an issue.

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@Seamore Sandwich

"Your majesty."

Last raised her hoof and saluted Princess Celestia as she entered the castle. Current time Celestia it seemed, rather than alternate time pajamas Celestia that had been here before. Frankly she understood nothing of the logistics behind time travel, other than the princess being here twice in the same timeline, but anything else than that - including what dangers it could present that they met - were above her paygrade. Though she did understand now why the future Celestia had taken off at least, and why she had been told to not tell what had happened here.

"Princess Twilight Sparkle said she needed to check up on something in private.I was asked to stay and- Gnnnngh!"

As she were lowering her leg, Last felt a great spike of pain in her stitched wound and had to bite down hard to stop herself from screaming in pain, whilst her narrow eyes briefly went wider. The doctors had told her not to overextend herself and keep her movements under control, but a simple salute? Another movement she had to do more carefully it seemed, or least not pull to the side as she dragged it down to indicate what way the younger princess had went. It might well have been that stretch that did it.

"...Be ready, in case visitors arrived. She should return shortly. Would you like a status report on the rebuilding effort on the town while waiting, your majesty?"

If she had been outside, she would have spat out what were mixing with her spit right now, but as this were inside, and in a castle nonetheless, she simply gulped it down before she had spoken on. Hopefully an update on the rebuilding efforts would suffice to distract the princess for the time being. As she had been the princess who specifically set Last on this task at the meeting yesterday, she might well be interested in knowing how much longer it would be. Twilight should perhaps still move with some speed though.

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@Moonlit @Seamore Sandwich @Dji

"T-Two Princess Celestia's in one castle, and we have to hide from the other one so nothing bad m-might perhaps happen? And h-here I thought being d-dead were complicated..."

Cherish had no idea what might happen either, but it was likely right to hide and try not to test things, just to be on the safe side.

"So... T-That's the elixir, h-huh? It smells nice.

So, you d-drink this stuff, and you look like the pony at the c-castle again, Serenade? Doesn't that h-hurt, considering how much s-smaller a pony is?"

She considered saying more to the princesses, but it seemed like a princess situation what they had to sort through, and she barely understood what was going on beyond them needing to hide anyway. If this was the Castle of Two Sisters she could learn more by wandering around in the walls and look on what was happening at the hall they were in before and perhaps get more of a clue, but restrictions and all kept her here. Least she wouldn't miss what the elixir would end up doing at least, so that was something good, since she were curious about how that worked as well. Was it something like the old werewolf stories she had read in the castle to her passed along friend? It sounded really painful if that were then.

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@Seamore Sandwich

"Sounds like quite the experience. This ghost you're talking about though, was it in pain? Did it seem disoriented and unaware where it were? Did things move around it constantly?"

Vivid had changed a lot throughout the centuries, but she were still one who cared for her role in sending the lost spirits on to the next world. That being said, if a spirit were fully lucid and just refused to go on by their own, sane decision, she wouldn't try to force them. She could talk and try to explain things as best she could, but some just needed more time to sort through some things, and weren't going crazy yet. If they were, she'd force them along if she had to, yet if they were fully lucid? She wouldn't do that... Again. She had done so twice in her life, and she felt nothing but agony and sadness over the mere memory these days. She did not need a third rock like that on her consciousness.

A glance were sent tot he side where a tendril on the veil bridge grew slightly, but it were nothing more than that it seemed. For a short moment, Vivid had felt a sting of fear that perhaps the mistress that ruled the veil had decided to stir in here herself to move things around, but it seemed hey were lucky. For now.

"And life is what you make of it. If you wish to have action every day, you can become an adventurer and throw yourself at things as much as you please, though try to keep your body intact. It won't be easy to replace it if you somehow end up destroying it."

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@Dji @Lloyd

Being pushed as he were, it weren't long before Zhu got his head smashed into a wall that he did not have the time to avoid, and were forced to slow down, forcefully. It might be that Karmic had the strength of an earth pony, but he were a serpanther, with the combined strength of a great cat and a serpent. If he didn't want to be moved, he'd stay put.

...Were what he'd like to think. Yet much as his legs were kept well enough in shape by jumping and walking often, he suffered from a less than optimal physique, like many spellcasters did. He might still have been able to stand his ground normally to some extend, but not when you also factored in the groggy feeling he were getting from being pushed around and likely heading for another wall.

Instead, he'd turn his head towards Karmic and let out a small hiss, whilst barring his fangs and bumping to the side. He did not enjoy acting like a feral beast, nor if it were, give in to her serpent side, but whatever it would take to try and get his point across right now were important, and he had reacted instinctively.

"Cease your pushing, or I will leave you bound on the floor. We will not get out here faster from you inflicting head trauma upon me."

He'd keep moving, but at his own pace, and to the side of the mare, if not behind. She could run ahead if she wanted. He'd find her soon enough, and at a pace where he could have some speed, but didn't receive damages from wandering blindly. He might be able to see somewhat well in the dark, but that did not mean that he were a nocturnal being who could simply step around in whatever way he pleased. Especially not when a certain pony were making it harder to control his steps by pushing on his hind quarters.

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"I think the silver things you are referring to are called spears. I had no idea they were made of s- wait they set you on fire?"

Who knew the guards could do that?

"Hecklers are not really that bad for me considering that when you heckle a comedian, you go up against someone who is extremely clever and knows the perfect comeback, it's part of the job."

Lucid has seen hecklers before during his acts, but they were no match for someone who's job it is to be clever.

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@Blitz Boom

"Sounds nice of ponies and Changelings working something out. I guess I just had a bad first meeting with the ponies of Canterlot; I'm more or less the first longma anypony has ever seen and well... the first interaction left a sour impression on me. I wouldn't know much about politics but I guess I'm doing all of this travelling and meeting other ponies so I can convince my kind that we could change our isolationist ways. So, as much as my first encounter with the ponies of Canterlot was a less than stellar start, I have to try and show that maybe we can get along just fine. I guess I shouldn't let one bad experience sour my thoughts on them. And thanks, for the talk and the information. I suppose I just needed to hear that and it's something I could tell the elders back home. They ought to know that too."

There are some things that didn't seem so different between the longma villages back home and Canterlot. For one, places to purchase food, although the method is different. Bartering for wants and needs is a big thing back home but most families would have providers to look after their basic needs. Excesses will then be traded amongst villagers between themselves or with other villages when the traders decide to move their excesses around. Here, looks no more different other than the currency. Sen would probably be curious about their supply routes, though, if it weren't for Garlic Hoof's introduction suggesting his eyesight wasn't all that good.

"Umm... I think you have us mistaken for someone else," Sen replied, a little confused by it but otherwise composed. "We didn't order anything yet but I suppose you wouldn't mind if we had a look at what you have?"

On Lin's side, the stunning appearances of the antiques got her curious, looking around and imagining if it was just like the manuscripts she had read from back home. It was tangible history, able to be held in her claws. Expensive, yes, but intriguing to look at and learn about. She looked past one and moved onto the next, taking in the sights while waiting for Scarcity to return. This is definitely something worth talking about back home with the elders.
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@Blitz Boom @Storm Shine @Lucid_Nightlight

Fluttershy had seen Celestia angry once... tranquil fury never looked so terrifying. Now if something were to tick her off immensely, she wouldn't want to be anywhere nearby. That one gala experience may have been an unlikely outcome for herself or Celestia but she wouldn't want anyone trying her patience. Of course, that eventually underscored what the galas are normally like. 

"I suppose you can put on a show for the princess, she might like it. I hear the ponies of Canterlot might like something to get them to unwind seeing how uptight they normally appear and theater or comedy is fairly popular."

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@Blitz Boom @EQ_Theta @Storm Shine

Lucid could probably defeat an angry Celestia rather quickly, but then he'd probably be on some most wanted list or something and then he'd get demolished by the Mane 6, be it from rainbow power or from the Elements of Harmony. Either way, he'd rather that not happen.

"Alright, but only because I don't want to be turned into a statue like Discord."

Lucid pulled out some tiny statue of himself from nowhere.

"Maybe we can put these all over Twilight's castle! They are made of pure silver and I think it would be c- oh wait, nevermind."

Lucid remembered Anomaly can't be around silver, so he immediately ate the statue before anything could go wrong.

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@Dji @Seamore Sandwich @Blitz Boom Serenade wrinkles her nose "♪It may smell nice, but it tastes like bucking Tartarus....hurt, not really...not compared to what would happen if I didn't drink it♪" She looks around, "♪Half of ponies would flee in terror, the other half would hunt me down as a threat to Harmony♪"

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@Blitz Boom

Rusty reached up and scratched at her head, causing the hardhat she was wearing to tilt up to the side a little bit while she did.  That little filly was already dealing with explosives at such a young age?  It was true though, that Molotov pointed out, that she had earned her cutie mark after performing such an action.  She wasn't the mare to say destiny was wrong.  Rusty did have a good sigh of relief though to know her brother was looking out for her, and well prepared for any injuries that could occur.  When floating bits came her way though, she moved the hoof she was scratching her head with to let the bits flop into them.

"Sounds like a good deal to me."

She commented with a smile, pocketing the bits into a pocket on her bright orange safety vest.

Rising Dusk at this time of exchange was busy lifting Deep Iron into the cart they were borrowing for a bit.  With what he figured was enough of the metal to match it own size, he moved around to the front of the cart and using magic to lift and attach the harness around his midsection.  Pulling the cart over to the two talking ponies.  Still plenty of room in the cart for the box and crate the Boom siblings were looking to buy.  Sticking a hoof into the pouch of his beige hoodie, he removed a stack of six bits for the Deep Iron.  She gladly accepted the offered coins and pocketed them as well.

"Off already, detective?"

Rusty inquired.  The midnight blue stallion nodded, waiting for the siblings to load their purchases into the cart.

"No rest for the wary.  I'll pass along your best wishes to the folks."

He chuckled and started moving for the exit of the scrap yard, ready to deliver their materials back at the fortress workshop.  It was already starting to get kinda late and soon the Sisters would exchange their vigil watches.

"Thank you detective... And swat your sister for me for not visiting!"

She called after him with a wave.  Rising Dusk stopping long enough to turn and return the farewell wave before continuing on.

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@Blitz Boom @Dji

Sapphire leaped forward out of Void's magic negating range as she stepped on the ground, as the tendrils began to stretch out once again, her gem sparking with magic as they crawled across the floor and walls, rushing to grab onto Zhu from the direction of the door. The tendrils ignoring the other pony with him, as she knew they weren't the one with the element.

Astral didn't do anything and instead just watched as Sapphire's gem sparked with magic again. "Is that normal?"

"I'm pushing myself a bit here, this body is still new." She said, looking back to Astral, but her small bit of distraction would give Zhu some room to defend himself.

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"Do you not recall that I was trapped in stone for hundreds of years? Would you recognize a statue walking a palace?" He chuckled at himself. "I was a general, Maybe there's some name in the books, Chariot Iron Heart perhaps?" He said, knowing his low point, no point in denying his past now. Meanwhile the other guard stayed there, deciding to only nod to the captains words. "But of course I'm not even close to telling you enough to take me down." He smirked a little, his power was unknown, as well as his magical skill, nopony would've been able to write it down since he never told anyone about it.

Edited by Lloyd
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@Rising Dusk

"'til next time Rusty."

Molotov grinned and waved the mare off as well, before poking to Blitz - who had now added a small cube of some kind to her pile - a few times until she looked up at him.

"Come on sis, it's time to go home. Ain't you itching to start working?"

The filly looked conflicted at the question. On one hoof, she really did want to make something, and especially with all the small springs she had found, but on the other hoof, this place was so much fun. It was to her, what a ball pit or a trip to the carnival were to most of the other foals back in the orphanage in Canterlot, and letting go was kind of tough.

"...One more thing?"

Molotov grinned and ruffled her mane before nodding, and giving her leash some slack. Might as well let her pick something good for the last one.

As for his own find, he floated the side panel up again and reattached the bolts and screws before picking it out of the pile and placing it on his back, waiting just long enough for Carmen to go to his head first so she wouldn't get squished. It was a bit heavy, but Rising were already carrying a bunch of stuff. Weren't fair to give him all the work here, so the least he could do were carrying his own stuff. He would've just floated it normally, though a little lifting wouldn't kill him, and he were going to need to be ready to use his horn for Blitz stuff more than anything, since her magic wasn't getting out with the tip chipped off her horn. Considering how unstable her box were looking, letting her try and lift it wasn't really an option either, so he'd be the responsible adult and take care of it.

"Y'know, I didn't really think this place would be that good when you started talking about it Dusky, but I gotta admit, I'm a fan. Far more stuff here than I would've guessed, and better quality. That Rusty there's a right pistol too, eh?

Heh, not meaning anything with it though, officer. You don't impose on another stallions turf, right? Gotta have some boundaries."

If there had been any kind of sign on Rusty that she were married, Molotov had missed it. With all the scrap and keeping track of Blitz, he had his priorities elsewhere, but he still considered the mare to be taken. If not entirely by now, then at least at some point in the future, and he wouldn't meddle with that. Might be that he weren't normally shy of saying what he meant to the mares, but a stallion had to have some kind of rules, and bumping into another pony's hunting grounds was just not okay.

Blitz would be back a little after he said that, with a set of half-rusty wires. Not the best condition, but a little elbow grease and a rust treatment and they'd be fine enough again.

"Seems like we're all set and done for this time. So long paradise."

The stallion gave a wve to the piles around them, lifted Blitz's box - which she tried to jump for a few times - and got set to leave. They had some way to cover, and not exactly the longest amount of daylight still to use.

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@Lloyd @Dji

The tendrils that almost grabbed hold in him, made Zhu gnash his teeth and jump to the side. It seemed that his luck had presented him with one of the outcomes where one or more of the witches had joined up to catch him. How many were impossible to say, as the scene itself were static because of a force interfering with his visions earlier, but with magic of this caliber, he would assume that at least the one they called Sapphire were there. The one who he least wanted to meet, since she were the one with most reason to stop him. Short sighted fool didn't know the consequences of her actions.

He did however, and it meant that he could not let himself get caught, no matter the cost.

Drawing his paw into his robes, he'd pull out a small, dark orb and throw it down in front of him.

"Asha cahnte!"

Turning around, he'd start to run after that, no longer caring for potential scratches or bumps in here as the now activated relic began to rise into the air and shoot electricity around itself.

Four months. That were how long it had taken him to create this minor storm relic, chanting and binding energy from thunderclouds and magic together in intervals of six hours at a time. All that work, for something that he had now wasted as little more than a distraction.

In a cramped space like this, it would viciously burst out and strike anything that it could for several minutes, but it had been meant to be used outside, where it could expand to a dangerous thunderstorm. It might have been that the original purpose he had crafted that for had long since veered into another direction, but he had still wanted to use it for something better, like an emergency evacuation of an area where he needed peace, or as an attack option in a place where something were to happen sooner than he could work with normally.

*sigh* At least it were not one of the actual magical relics he had found that had been needed yet. This had simply been a spell that needed an activation phrase, it could be replicated. The other things were not so simple. Even with Anomaly's assistance, not all of those were possible to recharge, and they had far better applications than escape options.

Meanwhile, in the room with the items, the magical chimera had taken the hit the general had slammed into the head, and lashed back, causing the general to fly back and narrowly avoid a bundle of locked boxes.

"That's the best you can do? Come one tough guy, bring it on!"

The creature charged straight at her, and she prepared to strike and take another hit in her continued effort to force it closer to the upstairs. Yet suddenly, it shifted direction, and instead reached a gaping, goats head towards Void, who looked like she were a half second away from fainting. Tidal Wave opened her muzzle to yell to the mare to cover or something before she became chow, but it were too late. The creature were too close, and-

- promptly began to turn to dust.

Magical in nature as it were, Void's field were doing a number on it, and returning it to the mass that had been in the vase before, Not that Void looked any kind of smug or pleased with things. Even with having this curse hanging over her since birth, it didn't mean that she knew every magical thing that would and wouldn't be able to touch her. Creatures made of pure magic were among them, though thankfully, it had turned out to count in, or she would have become monster chow.

"Get the dust back in the oversized jar, Void. Rest of you, come on, the traitors are escaping."

Tidal Wave needed to thank Void properly for this later, but right now, they had escapees of the worst kind, and needed to get moving. With Sapphire using magic, and Astral doing... Whatever, watching or something? Anyway, those two seemed to be doing some kind of thing, so the general went straight for the door in the wall, opened up, and started to plunge into the depths. Hopefully the others were gonna follow up soon. One versus two were hardly a fair fight for the two others, but limited space and one of them using lots of magic skewed it against the general, who were more of a physical brawler and agile movements kind of mare.

===================================================================================================================

 

@Lloyd

Hailstorm narrowed his eyes and gritted his teeth.

Like Warlock said, he hadn't been told anything that were straight up going to give him an edge, but he had done something which required the captain to leave him for the time being, giving the witch time to think of trick answers or plot an escape route. Not that the captain believed there to be a way out, but he were not confident enough to think that Warlock did not end up with a surprise card up his sleeve, especially with his accomplish still on the loose.

"I will be sending a Lieutenant down shortly. Keep a close eye on the prisoner."

With that, Hailstorm turned around and started to wander out of the room and towards the upstairs with a rain cloud figuratively forming above his head. Seeking information from the archives were such a rookie mission, but when it came to older members of their high command, that information were only for high ranking officers, and most of them were busy with their own projects, leaving him to having to do this on his own, or simply ignoring it.

However, if there were truth to what Warlock had said, he needed the information. Some background might give them something to work with, and answer some questions towards exactly what kind of prisoner they were dealing with here.

He passed the still angry pegasus as he exited the door, placed as she were outside the walls just in case something happened, and the two of them exchanged irritated looks. Annoying little mare this one. Useful, but far too emotional and easy to manipulate to be anywhere near Warlock, as well as just being a general, arrogant annoyance in his eyes. Hopefully this would soon be over so he'd never have to see her growling mug again.

=================================================================================================================

 

@EQ_Theta

"Oh, terribly sorry then. Though surely, you're still going to that party, right? It's not like y-"

"We are preparing for a long trip actually. A mare called Scarcity told us that your store would be a good place to go for the things we'd need."

Garlic had started to look a bit uneasy, as the thought that these two might not be dressed for a party after all, when Rosa had interrupted, and given him reason to go into a big smile.

"Scarcity? Oh, that's just like her. Wonderful mare that one, and a great customer to boot. Please, come in and look around, and don't hesitate to call for me if you're looking for something specific."

The stallion wandered off right after that, to try and help with a bundle of cabbages that were beginning to go wobbly a few meters from them, leaving Rosa to simply follow the shop owner with his eyes for a time, before slowly wandering in and looking around.

"Not the response I had expected, but workable. Start to look around, and find what you and your sister would be the most likely to eat, and I'll finish off once things are settled. We need provisions for three days, and make sure to pack for an extra day in case something goes wrong."

Rosa had expected Garlic to react more like those who worked for Scarcity that he had observed in the past, but it seemed like he were less of a secretly paid one, and actually just pleased to hear her name. It might also be a rouse, but the stallion seemed like a poor actor, so he doubted that to be the case.

Meanwhile, somepony eventually made their way towards Lin after she had looked around for a time, though he wouldn't say a single word whilst wandering calmly towards the strange creature.

It was a pegasus, wearing a suit of armor that seemed like a generic look-alike of the Royal Guard ones, but more modernized and fitted for movement, even though the legs were plated too. He did not wear a helmet, showing off the deep red, short mane that spiked from his forehead and to the somewhere beneath the armor. His coat were dust-gray, eyes faded brown, and the tail short and waving just above knee height. From the way he moved and the steel glare in his eyes, it wasn't unreasonable to suspect him to have some degree of military training, yet what somepony like that would do in here were anypony's guess.

She'd be watched by this figure for a few more minutes before Scarcity would begin to make her return again.

"Terribly sorry dear, but business does need a hoof at times. Everything seemed to be in order though."

She locked eyes with the pegasus and waved him closer.

"It's good to see you have returned. Do tell, did everything go as expected."

The pegasus grunted and shook his head, causing Scarcity to frown.

"It seems I will need a proper briefing when there is time.

As for this one, you needn't worry. That goes for the both of you, if you'd prefer. Lin here is a guest of mine who is to help me with some transportation, Lin, this is Brick Wall, my bodyguard."

Brick nodded slightly towards Lin, but didn't say anything.

"Introductions aside, what were it that you were watching before I interrupted you, Lin? I find myself curious as to what somepony of your kind would think of as fascinating in here."

=====================================================================================================================

 

@EQ_Theta @Storm Shine @Lucid_Nightlight

"Yey, then I make a show and impress. A real one too, not just funny puppet show."

Anomaly might fool around with a lot of things, and not take things too seriously, but theater was different. It was supposed to be done properly, and have at least a bit of class to it. At least when it was done to adults. Foal theater you could have a lot of fun with, and make things as you went along. She had gotten some smiles a few times from making puppet theater for them on the streets of various towns before. At least until she showed her face and the panic started to spread. You would think that most ponies had never seen a draconequus before.

Seeing the small silver statue soured her grin though, and she bounced behind Fluttershy for cover, away from the dangerous metal.

"Bad thing, bad!"

Anomaly wouldn't get any closer before Lucid had taken care of the thing, and even then she were still staying near Fluttershy, just in case he'd barf it up and accidentally hit her.

"Stupid faerie weakness to silver and pure iron... Not a speck of fun."

======================================================================================================================

 

@Moonlit @Seamore Sandwich @Dji

"Being a siren d-doesn't sound easy... I'm s-sorry that you have to go through t-that."

Having to hide your own face to not get shunned or downright hunted down, knowing you're a predator living among your prey, and having to repress that side of you... Serenade had a life that Cherish couldn't see anypony envy, though at least she had most of the princesses on her side. How bad might it have been for her if she didn't? If her disguise fell, she might end up being imprisoned, or perhaps even banished. A horrible fate that should only befall those who were truly wicked and dangerous, but could happen if Luna and Celestia didn't have her back.

Perhaps she were just being pessimistic about this though. It might've been that they would've still given her a chance, and judge on actions rather than history. Cherish didn't know, since she had not been around the princesses long enough to form an opinion, so it may well be that she were just paranoid and thought the worst.

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@Blitz Boom @EQ_Theta @Storm Shine

"I've never been a good actor. Once I was in a play when I was a foal and the whole place was blown up."

It turns out that a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate makes some sort of explosive powder.

"Have you considered allergy meds or something?"

The pharmacy probably didn't have meds for silver and iron allergies, considering something like that wasn't very common, but Lucid didn't know that.

 

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@Blitz Boom, @Lloyd

KARMIC FATE

Karmic hissed at the sudden blinding light Zhu’s most recent artifact caused and stumbled backwards. She shook her head and rapidly blinked her eyes to clear the after images that had seared into her eyes. She did, however, begin running when the artfuact attempted to create a thunderstorm. Her eyes flashed white when she caught up to Zhu and was thankful her power hadn’t been diminished from whatever the goo was that had invaded her. “Keep close! I can see Sunset Shimmer again!” Karmic yelled at Zhu and pulled a little ahead when she spotted the same orange filly from before they had gone to the relic room. Hopefully this time she leads to the passage outside.

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@Blitz Boom

Seeing the silent pegasus... Brick Wall... the silence unnerved her but he seemed harmless, if not curious. Lin nodded and smiled back before turning to Scarcity. 

"Well, where to begin? I guess I haven't seen anything quite like the... things hanging on the walls here. We don't have these where I'm from but it looks like these images are depicting various things... What do you call them? Each of these must have a story behind them!"

Without much to go with, Lin's excitement and curiosity could only say so much. Even the concept of these things hanging images on the walls is so foreign to her that simply seeing them with her own eyes got her fairly giddy to say the least. Is it the same as the photographs hanging on the walls of Clayton's office, or rather do those things serve the same purpose? Why anyone would keep them is another question entirely because Scarcity's profession most likely made her the middle ground between the source of these objects and the new homes these might go to. If the prices of anything in the store were suggesting anything, it's probably something very important or worth keeping. No way she'd be able to bring one home but that didn't bother her in the slightest.

And on the rations end, Sen walked about looking for anything familiar he could get. Normally, watercress and river cabbages are his usual picks, the same kind of plants he'd look for while out gathering food. Certain mushrooms were also on his mind, deep mushroom and thin-stalks were his priority. He might have seen ponies eating certain types of flowers as well but he wouldn't know exactly what he needed. Unfortunately, the thought that the staples of the longma would likely not be natively grown around Equestria. Watercress can be ticked off the menu though, seeing as it wasn't a necessity. 

"Excuse me, Garlic Hoof, but would you happen to have river cabbages and mushrooms? Enough for about four days worth of food for three travellers?" He quickly turned back to Rosa and asked, "Rosa? Do you want anything extra for yourself?"

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@Blitz Boom

"I appreciate you as my friends, don't worry about what you said too much Pop. Unless I know you're deliberately trying to hurt me, I'm not going to think any less of you, that's what old Victoria would do, not this one."

She seemed proud of being a new version of herself, that what she had once been was now in the past, just a being labelled as 'Old Victoria'. She wasn't that anymore. Judging by the look that edged its way onto her face it seemed she was finally starting to see herself in a more positive light and that she knew that, with a little help from her friends and family, she could work past the nasty phase of her life.

"I really want to talk to Battenberg, are you guys staying around here for long? I could go and fetch her, we could have a little cake party and she could see how much you appreciate her work."

Lemon nodded in approval, she was eagerly waiting for a reunion between her two daughters, having not been there when Battenberg had noticed her sister's changes the first time, she was excited to see how she would react to Victoria now that she had grown so much. Heather also seemed to get a little excited, her eyes grew big and shiny and her wings popped out and flapped rapidly, lifting her a few inches off the ground.

"Oh yes yes yes! I'd love to see my other baby cousin, maybe the two of you could bring back some extra cake, you know, of the spongey, jammy, creamy variety!"

Victoria thought for a moment and then nodded.

"I think we have some pre-made Victoria sponge in the shop, I could bring that if everyone wanted it."

"Let's slow down a little girls, we don't want to be bringing more mouths to feed if Benny and Pop have somewhere else to be, I don't want to be a burden on Benny's family either."

Lemon seemed to get nervous as she said this, eager to get away before Benny's mother showed up.

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On 5/14/2018 at 11:25 PM, Blitz Boom said:

Urge to bury the pony... Rising...

If it were not Nerzhei's migraine, it were her patience that were tested with Droppy constantly, and even though she couldn't actually do anything to the mare right this moment, it did not make the thought any less pleasing the longer she thought on it. Stupid and irresponsible yes, but still satisfying and tempting.

It clouded her thoughts for a time before she could think on the next riddle she had been handled. Using the baseline that this had to both make sense and could be ludicrously idiotic - seriously, a letter was the answer? - as the same time, she eventually wavered off the most straight forward answer that came to her mind.

"I assume the answer is a keyhole. Is that enough of an answer, or do you want to belittle my intelligence again before going on?"

With her luck, the mare would not only demean the dragoness' intellect again, but also somehow manage to summon a sphinx. Who she'd then gnaw on, and send on an undead spree of terror around the area just for the heck of it.

Perhaps she were getting pessimistic about this, but her mood was souring, and it did not just affect her viewpoint on Droppy. It was to the point where she almost missed one of the markers she had near her home. The keyword here being *almost* as she still saw it out of the corner of her eye as they passed it. They'd be there within the minute now, and she could finally pick up some of her stuff and get a shot reprice from a game of riddles that were only going to end with her answering wrong again eventually, and getting laughed at straight into her face.

A small puff of smoke escaped her nostrils as she thought on that, and her healthy hand clenched. If there was one thing she hated, it was being called stupid.

Droppy blinked and let out a yawn, she tilted her head at the answer "Well obviously, took you long enough, I half expected you to say 'Key'. A keyhole neither comes nor goes, so it must be the answer" she giggled before thinking of another riddle. Smirking at the trap she had made, she was a clever pony after all, deep down. She smiled and stared at Nerzhei, slightly grumpy she had guessed these past riddles right. She hated things smarter then herself, normally able to eat anything that was smarter then herself, apart from this pesky dragon.

"You can get into me quite easily but you can't get out of me without facing extreme difficulties. What am I?" she asked her with one of her grins, she liked this riddle, it was a hard one, and at best Nerzhei would guess wrong and she could have her fun. She was going to prove she was much smarter then this scaled beast. She was after all one of the most cleverest ponies ever. 

Even if Nerzhei guessed right, she would have her put down ready. 

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@Blitz Boom @Dji

Sapphire formed a shield in front of them as the spell viciously burst out, the shield cracking, but in areas closer to Void. Sapphire pushed her hooves out, the shield forcing its way back, into the explosion, wrapping it's source with the shield. Sapphire straining as her gem sparked more, some magical spoke pouring out.  "G-go after them!" She yelled back at them, with the vicious and unpredictable nature of the spell Zhu used, it was hard for her to hold it back.

Astral running ahead quickly, before Sapphire even spoke. Forming a shield spell, much smaller than Sapphire's, still walking cautiously forward as she wielded a magical sword construct in her hoof. "Stay behind the shield, incase anything charges at us."

==================================

Warlock rolled his eyes a little, he wasn't going anywhere, he knew that much. "Oh so somepony else was there? makes me wonder if there's an army around the corner considering how many you need to feel safe around me." He chuckled to himself, examining his situation once again.

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@Blitz Boom @Dji @Seamore Sandwich Serenade nods, then extends a foreleg toward the Princess of Books, "♪Lets get this over with, I'd have preferred the Gem...potions leave a nasty aftertaste in my mouth and it takes FOREVER to get it out, not even one of the Cake's famous cupcakes help♪"

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@Blitz Boom

Rising Dusk watched as the other stallion lifted his own purchases.  He did have a cart after all, but to each their own.  Smiling as the little filly took advantage to the extra slack in her leash to go off and find more treasure for her crate.  With the team gathered up, he departed the scrapyard.  All the more amused with the siblings as they treated the scrapyard as some sort of lost paradise.  This place was open pretty much all the time, they could always just come back.  He chuckled to himself in thought.  Not that he had a hobby that lead him to such a place on the regular, but some times just seeing the stuff there could be pretty neat.

He listened to the wheels of the cart he was borrowing click across the hard floor of the city streets as they made their way slowly back to the fortress workshop.  Now away from the scrapyard, Rising Dusk could reengage with Molotov about his little ship of him and Rusty.  Of course, he hadn't exactly told Molotov, so Rising Dusk couldn't blame him for the confusion.  The other stallion reminded him of his sister, rather interested in other's love lives.

 "Rusty is married to one my father's former students.  Going on near a decade now."

He tried to clear that up in a rather matter-of-fact tone.  Rusty did still look really good for her age now that he thought about it.  He could turn though and actually smile at Molotov.

"She is a great family friend, though."

Really with how involved him and the rest of his family was with the neighborhood he grew up in, pretty much everpony in the area was a family friend.  When living in a big city, it helped to have as many connections as possible.  Double that for being a detective in one of Euqestria's largest cities.  It crippled him a bit when he was given cases outside the city, but he's thus far managed.

Taking the Boom siblings on a reverse course back to the fortress workshop.

 

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@Rising Dusk

"Wait, really? And here I thought you two were sharing the mojo. Fancy that."

Molotov were genuinely surprised at hearing that Rusty was just a family friend of Rising, rather than a potential romantic partner. Had she worn a ring he hadn't noticed, or were she one of those that thought they were lame? Could also be she were afraid it'd get lost in the scrap of course, now that he thought about it. That'd be a fair reason to hide it away until the horn blew.

"Still seemed like you knew how to sweet-talk a mare, so there's gotta be somepony that tickles your heartstrings. Or at least a string of mares that's getting groomed."

"I saw big bro talk with a groomer before. She slapped him with a dog leash."

Molotov went over and slapped his hoof over his little sisters big muzzle, which only made her laugh at the situation even more.

"That's not true."

Blitz ducked down to get her muzzle free of the hoof muffling her words.

"He cried and slipped int-Candy!"

It was perhaps not the best way of handling things, but as he really wanted Blitz to shut up and let him keep some degree of dignity out of an unfortunate situation, so he had pulled out a lollipop and floated it over to her. It had been supposed to be his own treat later on, but what he wouldn't give to make the little one go shush right now. She had already told far more than he cared for, which could be seen in the somewhat sheepish look he gave towards Rising, and how the pile he were floating had started to waver whenever she had poked at him.

"...I didn't cry. She just likes to cause a stir.

*clears throat* So, Rusty's an old family friend, huh? You got a lot of those hanging around? A big family too? Married by chance?"

Sure, he couldn't see a ring on the officer, but as Rusty had established, either everypony didn't wear bands for that around all the time anymore, or Molotov were just more oblivious to things than he wanted to admit. Besides, it gave them something to talk about on the way back to the workshop. In the other end of town after all, so they'd be wandering for a bit., and it would be more interesting than just hearing Blitz repeat a word most of the way as the only break in the silence.

====================================================================================================

 

@Moonlit @Seamore Sandwich @Dji

Cupcakes... Cherish knew what the word meant, but it had been so long that she had trouble picturing it.

A cake in itself she could sort of picture to herself. Three layers, colorful whipped cream, and a pair of small ponies on top of it, were something that came to mind when she thought hard enough on it. Yet anything else than that, or how a thing like that would taste, she hadn't the faintest clue about. Apparently good from the sound of things, but not good enough to get the weird taste of the elixir out of Serenade's muzzle. Perhaps she could look around one day, and find a place that sold cake so that she could see what the different things looked like? She didn't know if she could still taste things, but she were curious about it regardless of that.

"You would rather e-eat a gem? Like the d-dragons does?"

====================================================================================================

 

@Lloyd @Dji

"Sunset Shimmer? That would explain more than I care to know."

Zhu had not been in the castle when Sunset Shimmer were around, but he had watched her twice before her... *relocation*. With the futures he had seen spread out in front of her, he had been prepared to begin tackling some of the issues, and the dangers she presented to Celestia, yet before anything came of it, she had vanished. He would assume that she had wandered through the mirror to the human world, even if he had thought that to be the least likely of many possibilities, but he were not certain. The fact that she had not been seen for a long time, and he had not found her presence in the prison earlier, made him think that it were possible, yet there were no guarantees.

Either way, she had been a potential massive danger to his mother, and her presence not being there were pleasant news at the time. Knowing now though, that they had been following her image when it cam to finding this hidden entrance into the dangerous room? It made him wonder if she had run away with something, and that he had simply not spotted that. It would potentially cause some degree of havoc in the human world, if even one of them had been taken.

On the other paw, it were not his problem. He were tasked with this world, not with theirs. Whoever balanced things there would have to deal with it, if it had come to pass that Sunset Shimmer had indeed taken something of value and power with her.

He kept up the pace with Karmic as she wandered on, though some way behind them, there would be others who would start to come in close. Tidal Wave at least, ran with considerable speed past Astral and down through the halls, not really finding the darkness an issue, as both the barely trapped lightning storm illuminated parts of it, and frankly, she did not have an issue when her eyes couldn't be trusted. She were often at sea, dealing with monsters, ship accidents, or just swimming around and train, that she were used to not seeing all that well. Especially on stormy nights, where she had to trust her instincts and reflexes more than simply sight.

This place were getting darker than the usual sea she muddled around in, but she'd trust her instincts here as much as everywhere. Wouldn't have been the case if her uniform had been whole and her cape could get stuck on things, but thankfully, that thing had been bitten off. Gave her an excuse to not done the full uniform right now, even if it were supposed to be there for the kind of formal meetings that had gotten her summoned to town to begin with. A tragic accident, surely.

It also helped that she wasn't a large, bulky earth pony, which gave her some elbow space in here to put it mildly.

Hopefully Astral were able to keep with her, and Sapphire able to contain the storm for the couple of minutes it would be raging on before the air went out of the balloon. As for Void... She were kinda busy keeping close to the ground, have her hooves over her eyes, and whimper.

=======================================================================================================

 

@Lloyd

The guards in the room didn't dignify Warlock with an answer, though considering how at least half seemed to tense up, it was clear that even like this, they didn't feel safe around him. There were too many things the witch had proven to be able to do over the several attacks he had launched on the city to make them feel good to be this near him. Doubly so when they knew they weren't allowed to assault him for what he had done, no matter how many of their friends he had hurt.

It would be a few minutes before there were movement outside, and the door creaked open to reveal the pony that had been sent to replace Hailstorm for the time being.

Zt6NURn.png

"Uhm, hello? Is this the right cell?"

The mare were not all too happy to be in here, but as she looked over at the prisoner chained up, there were no doubt. She had been in the basement when he had originally entered and stolen the element they had only just gotten to Canterlot, and that face were not going to leave her memory anytime soon.

Glancing at him, she corrected her glasses and looked around the room.

"The security measures seems to hold up. Though, could you please move closer to him?"

SHe pointed at the guard with the anti-magical armor. She couldn't remember his name right now, but she knew the armor, and what it might be able to do. Honestly. the times they needed to hold down a magical presence were few, and Warlock were strong. She weren't certain how much were going to be needed to keep him under control, if they even could, but she would try and arrange the tools they had with them for the time being, and then hope for the best.

"Okay then, Uhm... I'm Lieutenant Hogweed, and I've been told I needed to question Warlock. That being you, obviously... Yes.

Could you tell me about your conspirator, please?"

The other guards moved a little to the side as the mare got closer to the prisoner, and looked at Warlock with nervous eyes.

======================================================================================================

 

@BloodDrops

"In my case, that would be a canoe."

Nerzhei's bland attempt at humor were about dry enough to almost set fire to itself, though there were some truth in what she said. Rafts and other boats were fine, and she could even swim with little issue, but there was just something about exiting a canoe that made her stumble around like she had been spun in a chair thirty times. Annoying creations the lot of them, though she were well aware that were more her issue than others. Unless of course, they started laughing at her, in which case she would make it their problem too.

"FJest aside, my guess is... Either a stomach, or trouble. Seeing the other answers so far, something tells me it is trouble you're after?"

Perhaps she were just getting paranoid, but as she spoke, Nerzhei grabbed hold of her bag and lifted it up some. Might be that the other riddles had not been meaningful in what Droppy would do, but trouble were essentially all that mare were, and with Lotus sleeping in the bag, she couldn't take the chance that perhaps this was a trap.

Many other dragons claimed she were sentimental over what were essentially just lunch, but Lotus were more than that, and she had made that clear whenever she had pummeled someone for trying to hurt the bunny, or even imply that they would. The only reason she hadn't warning-slammed Droppy yet frankly, were that she wasn't smart to touch, otherwise the mare would have gotten a smack or four too.

================================================================================================================

 

@Victoria Sponge

"More cake, and seeing Battenberg when Victoria shows her how much she have gotten out of her shell? Of course we're coming. Mom said she'd reschedule anyway, since dad wasn't in a good shape before, and right now she's likely busy watching over him and making sure he's comfortable.

We have a few days to work with I'm guessing, so worry none, we're coming along to the cake shop. To see Victoria and Battenberg I mean. Ain't that right Pop?"

He snuck his head beneath his wing and snuggled his mate, who began to dig herself out of there shortly after. She still had a red tint on her cheeks that was hard to miss, but she didn't look like a pony-shaped tomato anymore, and felt a bit better. Still embarrassed as all hay though, yet not to a degree where she felt like crawling into a mouse hole and just hide again.

"I'm so sorry Victoria, I didn't mean anything bad with that before. My big, stupid muzzle just ran away from my brain. I'd love to come too, and see how you and Battenberg are going to get along now. I know she'll be thrilled."

Benny chomped down on a piece of blueberry cake more - the last part to be exact, he had been ravenous - whilst looking around on the gang of new, quirky friends they had gotten today. There were more he'd consider friends after today than who they could see right now, but even those he could see here now made him feel all giddy and warm inside. What a great day it had been, and that wasn't even counting in the stallion he had a deal with about a suit, who he really hoped were going to do a great job, and not make the dragon even more nervous. Benny could just imagine himself fidgeting and breaking a seam or something either on the day, or when he'd go to ask Pop the question, which would be disastrous. In character for him surely, but this was the one time where everything had to go right. He'd honestly rather stumble during the actual ceremony and fall into the cake than mess up the proposal.

"If everypony's sated, you can all just start walking, and I'll be right there. Need to clean this up before wandering off, but don't worry none. I can find you."

Benny poked to his snout, indicating that he'd just smell them out when time came, and began gathering up the things that he could see weren't in use. The faster he'd be done, the faster he'd be with the others after all, and he'd really like to be there before they reached the store. Seeing Battenberg's face when they came in with the Victoria that had been hiding beneath a few layers they had elbow-greased away, were going to be great.

=============================================================================================================================

 

@EQ_Theta

Scarcity looked at the indicted pictures, and let out a brief, pearly laughter behind a risen hoof.

"That would be art dear, and real things too I might add. Whilst abstract art have gotten popular these last few years, I find myself being far more fond of having these up on my walls, as they help with the ambience. The customers who purchases them seem to agree on it as well.

As for story, it depends on the painting. Some have history because they are showcasing important events in Pony lore -"

She pointed at one depicting rise of the Equestrian empire, with the two princesses standing in the focus, with the three leaders of the pony branches bowing before them.

"- Others are beautiful, detailed paintings of the most breathtaking views in Equestria -"

The next that were pointed to, were a large painting of a small village up north. The place were nothing special, but the details and ambience that almost seemed to shine through the painting were breathtaking for the right beings.

"- And then there are those who have history because of the painter themselves, such as this authentic, Brushing Strokes painting."

Lin likely didn't know the name, but among ponies in the art world, Brushing Strokes were a pretty huge name. His art did not get much traction the first ten years or so he painted, but the last thirty years of his life, his work had become increasingly sought out, and even three centuries later, what he made were a hot commodity among art lovers.

"You should know how difficult it were to even find a painting from the years he were unnoticed, as he destroyed so many of them in frustration, but I consider it well worth it."

She smirked at the picture, which showed Princess Celestia, addressing the crowd outside her castle. The details were eerily spot on, with the princess looking as radiant as could be, but you could see it were not too advanced. The details on the crowd were smaller, and at times little more than shadows, but the artist had not thought it important to hold focus on those, as much as the princess herself.

"His later work had far more details, and I know for a fact that Princess Celestia in fact have a painting of his that she personally commissioned from him, but the early work still holds their charm, not to mention value.

I can tell you tales of any of the paintings I have in my store, in case one of them in particular have taken your interest, as well as every other thing that I hold for sale. Antiques tend to have history to them, and I do need to be familiar with them all to at least some degree, so I will try and answer as forthcoming as possible."

Truth be told, there were far too few that actually wished to hear what she knew of these things, so seeing somepony intrigued like this were fascinating to Scarcity, and a welcome change of pace. Brick did not care much, but it weren't as if she had hired him because he were an art critic either.

Meanwhile, Garlic turned around as he were approached by Sen and arched his eyebrow a little.

"River cabbages? There's a rare request I don't hear often. We usually have a crate somewhere, but I'm not entirely sure if we're sold out of them. You'll have to check over in the corner, past the iceberg salad. Mushrooms on the other hoof. Heh, follow me gentlecolts."

He would lead them a few meters away, then lead them around a large stand of melons, before stopping and waving his hoof towards the abundance in front of him.

Two dozen kinds of mushrooms, looking almost as if they had been freshly picked up from the ground and given a rinse. All of them of them were edible sorts of course, as he would not be selling poison in his store, though a few of them would look rather weird and potentially dangerous for anypony who didn't know their shrooms.

"The only thing I sell more of than apples, and I guarantee you that you won't find them fresher and better, even if you grew them yourselves."

===========================================================================================================

 

@Lucid_Nightlight @Storm Shine @EQ_Theta

"Hehe, silly pony thinks it's like hay fever. If it were a boring illness, I could've just changed and gotten better. This is more like... You know how unicorn horns stop working when they get those funny little rings on the guards use? It's sorta like that. A weakness that really sucks to be faced with.

Now now now, your play? Did you say something like *I brought the house down* or *I'm the bomb* when you started to explode things? Eh? Eh? Eh?"

She'd nudge the stallion with her elbow, trying to sell her poor attempts at being funny a little better.

"Come one mister comedian, what did you say when it started going boom?"

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14 minutes ago, Blitz Boom said:

"In my case, that would be a canoe."

Nerzhei's bland attempt at humor were about dry enough to almost set fire to itself, though there were some truth in what she said. Rafts and other boats were fine, and she could even swim with little issue, but there was just something about exiting a canoe that made her stumble around like she had been spun in a chair thirty times. Annoying creations the lot of them, though she were well aware that were more her issue than others. Unless of course, they started laughing at her, in which case she would make it their problem too.

"FJest aside, my guess is... Either a stomach, or trouble. Seeing the other answers so far, something tells me it is trouble you're after?"

Perhaps she were just getting paranoid, but as she spoke, Nerzhei grabbed hold of her bag and lifted it up some. Might be that the other riddles had not been meaningful in what Droppy would do, but trouble were essentially all that mare were, and with Lotus sleeping in the bag, she couldn't take the chance that perhaps this was a trap.

Many other dragons claimed she were sentimental over what were essentially just lunch, but Lotus were more than that, and she had made that clear whenever she had pummeled someone for trying to hurt the bunny, or even imply that they would. The only reason she hadn't warning-slammed Droppy yet frankly, were that she wasn't smart to touch, otherwise the mare would have gotten a smack or four too.

Droppy shook her head and rolled her eyes, giving herself a facehoof, she wanted a serious answer not one of these dumb answers. 

Droppy let out a low growl as she gave the correct answer though she regained her composure rather quickly, making it appear that there was no growl or anger in her eyes in the first place. "Nope, it's quicksand" she remarked with a grin, she had run out of riddles, though she knew exactly where to get more from. "Well since you failed at that riddle, you need to get me some more, so either find me a Sphinxes den or a riddle book" she remarked to the dragon. 

She tutted as the dragon fiddled with some bag and lifted it up, she wasn't a dog she wasn't going to go play fetch with her at any rate. "No i'm not hungry, though I prefer being fed live prey rather then have food tossed at me, I'm not a performing monkey" she added scornfully, she glanced as she spotted Nerzhei's cave and trotted inside it glancing around. Tilting her head at the scrolls and hunting spears she had lined up. 

"Oh that bed looks comfortable. What do you say feet? Should I go and have a lay down?" she asked herself walking towards the dragons bed or what would have been some sort of resting place. She got herself comfortable and stared at Nerzhei, "Well go on then, chop chop, get what you need and go get me lunch" she remarked to her with a smirk, curling up like a cat and trying to get a quick nap in while Nerzhei searched for her equipment. 

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@Blitz Boom @EQ_Theta @Storm Shine

"Well, It was a complete accident, so I didn't say anything at the time, but my reputation was booming after it happened."

Lucid was lukewarm when it came to puns on their own.

"I will tell you this, in order for a pun to truly work, you have to tell a story. In a non-standup setting you can attach one at the end of a normal story and it'll be great, in a standup setting, the story itself is should be funny to keep the audience since they are there for jokes, keep going without a joke for too long, someone may leave, a pun is optional, but can be used for an amazing punchline, but that's all my personal opinion. I do have a good example of perfect of a joke in a non-standup situation, this is a common one told by many.

Lucid thought maybe it was time to give a non-standup example. It was story time.

"There once was a conductor who was asked to compose a song for a tyrant king. Excited about his gig, the stallion got his orchestra and played a song for the king. The king did not like the music and ordered to have him executed by electric chair. He was asked what he wanted his last meal to be, and he said he wanted red curry. After the meal, he was put on the chair and they turned it on, but he did not die. Amazed by this, the king decided to give him another chance. The conductor composed his song, but the king still did not like it. He was to be executed again. Once again, he asked for spicy curry for his last meal. He was put on the electric chair and they tried again. He did not die. The king saw this as a sign to let him try one more time. The conductor composed his song once again, but it was not up to the king's standards. The king ordered for his execution and declared the conductor may not have his spicy curry this time. They put him on the chair and turned it on. He did not die. The conductor laughed and said *It wasn't the curry keeping me from dying, I'm just a bad conductor!*"

And then some drums appeared. bu dum tss

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@Blitz Boom @Dji

Sapphire continued holding back the storm, having never used this much magic in a long time. This body wasn't built to pump this much out either, and then her eye cracked, she covered it an quickly lost focus, the shield shattering as the storm was freed, resulting an explosion as it's pressure was released, expanding rapidly, it filled the room back up. "That shouldn't have happened! I wasn't even pushing myself that hard!" She thought to herself as she teleported next to astral, running next to the others. Her body emitting more magic than usual, her hair almost glitching a bit and stuttering as it bounced as if it was struggling to maintain form. But the hectic situation distracted Astral, and since Tidal Wave was ahead, it was unlikely she would notice either.

==============================================

Warlock leaned forward as far as the chains let him, as the guard wearing anti magic armor stepped closer. "I remember those eyes." He said, glancing at her, for a moment this could be mistaken as him recognizing her. "Eyes of, fear. I've expressed them before." His eyes sparked with magic as he smirked a bit, the magic he used was just barely enough to teleport, and the anti magic prevented it, looking to the anti magic armor as the guard was practically standing next to Warlock after his eyes sparked. "But you have no reaction."

"I've been around worse."

Warlock looked back to the lieutenant. "I don't know much about her." Saying that, you'd think he was lying. But this entire time he wasn't entirely sure if Emerald was telling the truth to him, considering she was intended to wield the Element of Deceit and all, his attitude was to try and break any lies that existed. "But her soul is not tied to any physical form she inhabits."

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@Blitz Boom

Rising Dusk turned back around to focus his path on the long road back to the fortress workshop, still letting free a chuckle from Molotov's observations.  He would have to disappoint the other stallion though, there was no 'mojo' between him and Rusty.  Wearing one's wedding band was against safety regulations in industrial environments, as it could easily get caught on something or crushed and dangerous to remove safely.  It was kept safely in her manager office and put back on when she left for home.

Street lamps were starting to come on as the trio made their way through the city.  Rising Dusk couldn't answer the next inquiry before the siblings went off again.  It was rather refreshing to see such a bond between siblings.  Him and his sister use to be a lot more close like that, but sadly they grew up and went off to follow their own destinies.  Oh to be young again.  Not that he was old or anything, but his father always mused that his soul was old.

Listening to the clack of their hooves on the stone roads and the clicks of the cart wheels, he finally had the chance to reply.

"Most ponies that live in Queens Side are pretty close thanks to the efforts of Rusty, my parents and the rest of the community council.  So yes, our family has a lot of friends."

He listed off at the questions made of him.

"I wouldn't say my family is big.  Just myself, mother, father and older sister.  No I'm not married, much to my sister and mother's dismay.  My father pretends to be on my mother's side, but is secretly on mine."

Molotov had brought up the comment early, but as Rising Dusk had just been listening, he decided to comment on them in this order instead.  It was of course a fair inquiring, even if it was delving deep into a pony's personal life after just having met today.  Was there a mare that tugged at his heartstrings?  The midnight blue stallion had to think about that one for a moment.

"Mm, I did help this mare out with her own community outdoor play that I enjoyed the company of, but nothing came of it.  I just haven't found that special somepony yet.  Can't say I'm really in a hurry to tell the truth though."

Edited by Rising Dusk
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@Blitz Boom @Seamore Sandwich @Dji Serenade looks up at Cherish, "♪I wear the gem, not eat it. While in this form, I prefer meat like Fish, while my Pegasi form seems to prefer hayburgers. I blame Princess Luna♪" She gives the Night Princess a smirk, "♪What was the decree...♪"

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@Blitz Boom

“Well, since you mentioned Princess Celestia, I’m now fairly curious about her. What is she like? I’ve only heard bits of information about her from overhearing conversations but is she really as other ponies say she is? A benevolent ruler whose patience is near-infinite? Everypony whose mentioned her seems to have have nothing but praise for her. And does she really control the sun? I find it hard to believe she could do that and if so, it really puts a different perspective of how much that act influences the lands far from Equestria.”

The curious Lin often found herself in situation where her existing knowledge wouldn’t be challenged, simply accepted as it was. Now that she had a chance to learn, she might not like the answer she hears, but challenged notions are what they are. She’s always looking to learn and if it means disproving what already knows, then it is a plus for her. The folks back home probably won’t like it when they learn about the truth behind natural phenomenon like the day-night cycle and how it influences their routine. Next thing she knows, the weather is all controlled by ponies as well. How would she explain that to the curious villagers back home if they haven’t made contact with ponies at all? 

As for Sen, without a response from Rosa, he simply went ahead and grabbed whatever could pass as something he was familiar with back home though tempted to try something new. Two heads of lettuce and some produce like tomatoes and berries are his picks. On the mushrooms, he avoided anything that looked a little off on coloration, preferably going for the button mushrooms. He also grabbed six red apples, curious about what it tasted like and in case the vegetables weren’t enough. If anything, it could be consumed as a midday snack.

Lin also had some preserved vegetable leaves and berries on her, mostly for chewing and keeping herself alert. Sen liked to take a few at a time and it was filling enough when consuming about a claw full of it. There were some strange options in the store; the celery sticks got his attention and wanted to try some. He had planned on having these arranged in what was called a salad, something he frequently saw being served in restaurants. A word he was not familiar with but the idea behind it was. It was how meals were prepared back home to combine the tastes of their ingredients together. 

Sen approached Garlic and presented him with the food he picked out. “I guess this is it for me. Do you also pack these into containers big enough for single meals or do I go somewhere else to do that?”

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