Blitz Boom

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@Blitz Boom Serenade nods, "If she isn't too busy, I only need a few moments of her time, but I can wait" Serenade finds a seat and sits down, closing her eyes and trying to calm herself. It's been a chaotic night.

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@Blitz Boom

"Omen, I don't think any of us are the authorities on what normal is. I've never heard of ponies consuming anything that isn't plants and they likely don't see anyone ever eating rocks and liking it. It's all relative, I guess. For example, I say it is strange to eat rocks is because from my perspective, longma don't have teeth strong enough to crush rocks and expects others to know that. But when I see you eating rocks, it defies my expectation. Eating rocks is strange because I grew up eating the things everyone else did but for you, a rock is just another thing to munch on."

"Eh... I hope I'm not confusing you. To be honest, I think I'm beginning to understand what goes through your mind when you have a lot of information to process."

The locking up and staying still part not withstanding, getting all confused and having to make heads or tails about anything difficult to understand is beginning to get the better of Lin. More often than not, her mind could pick up on the important details and make do with them. Unfortunately, those were only true with skills she could pick up and use in a practical setting, mostly anything Sen taught her years earlier. When it came to more abstract topics like this one, she'd struggle every now and then. That was just the beginning; if she were to take a peek in the longma codex, skim through the section on ruminations, she'd get nowhere. And Sen read those before and he could understand them. What does that say about her? 

As for Sen, he listened intently, just quietly pondering on the explanation Lin provided. A fair assessment and observation that his sister can provide an answer that could probably be satisfactory to someone who can follow. Perhaps Omen might need a shorter answer, another thing he picked up from her response earlier. She seemed to reach the main idea when it is concise. Worth a try?

"In short, what isn't normal to someone is strange, and not everyone has the same understanding of what normal is."

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@Blitz Boom
Ruby made a mental note about 'Aura detector', she needed to study them a bit and most importantly figure out if they reacted to her kind's magic. She just nodded at Spicy's explanation, there was again a lot of stuff she couldn't care less about, but it was something she had come to expect from ponies, as they tended to add lot of meaningless stuff when they spoke, probably just wanted to hear their own voice.

She scanned the area when they entered what she assumed was the auction room, she looked through every thing and creature she could see, making mental notes about possible threats and risks, the locations of anything interesting, the layout.. things like that. Naturally other dragons were the first on the list of risks, but she hoped her necklace would make them think twice before trying to cause problems, but then there were the minotaurs, she didn't know much about them, so she wasn't sure if they would be capable of 'seeing the truth' so to speak. After a quick assessment of the situation, she came to conclusion that best course of action was to try and keep at least on creature between her and those who can or may be able to sense her, as based on her own senses it was rather challenging to make out a one specific creature from the crowd until you were right next to them. 

She would follow Spicy and Marley where ever they went, and as planned would do her best to put them between her and other dragons or minotaurs.

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Nada again just listened before speaking. "The princess I spoke with was Luna, the princess of the night, she's the one who helped the other siren and I have met her before....when she was about thousand years younger." her expression showed she hadn't still gotten fully used to the fact of it being so long "I have never met Twilight, since she came to power during my time in hiding." she then thought about the question for a second "And when it comes to our sociability....I guess it depends on siren, I mean, the few sirens I used to know and the one I know now were and is rather social, but after the incident that trove us hiding, I wouldn't be surprise if most of my kind prefers living alone in solitary." she looked bit down for a second "That of course assuming there is anyone left besides us two....though there has to be considering how young the other one is, her parents must be somewhere out there." she turned thoughtful before adding the part about the younger siren.

 

 

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@Blitz Boom

Rising Dusk never considered himself lucky in regard to still living in the same city as his family, for him it was just normal.  Not all that much of an unheard story really for families to still live nearby.  The culture was slowly shifting though as more and more ponies found themselves leaving the towns they grew up in to live elsewhere in Equestria.  Either for work, or just a different change in their lives.  His parents who grew up in Canterlot even eventually moved here to Manehattan where they raised their recently born twins.  Rising Dusk still remembered the movers packing their house and the train ride over, and he couldn't even walk yet.

That wasn't the case for everypony though.  Void could try and hide the sadness from the detective while she followed a little behind him as he took her back to the inn.  But being on high alter, he caught glimpses her in the windows of the shops.  Her expressions were easy to read and paint a story of what was going through her head.  Null and Void were still together, which let her sadness dwelling on their parents.  Lucky he was indeed.  At least it didn't last long through before he found out how much Equestria and Troy actually have in common, in the terms of family dynamics anyways.  "Equestria and Troy have a lot in common.  A pity we never saw eye to eye in our history," the detective brought up, but it wasn't that big an issue.  The two sisters seemed to be fitting in just fine, not that more trails had to be overcome in the future of course.  Rising Dusk cherished his parents alright, they gave him life after all.  They were also great parents at that, even if his father thought referencing help guides were the best way to solve problems.  He cherished his older sister as well, which is where the topic was going.

Dusk raised a hoof to tap his chin in thought.  How best to explain what his sister did.  "Let's see... My sister's official title is Consultant.  Really though, she's a Fixer," a term more commonly used in city speak.  Lowering his hoof back down as they walked on.  "She lives the high society life now, working for the rich and powerful in solving their problems.  She has dirt on anypony who's anypony and can get them to do pretty much whatever she wants.  Setting Dawn even often brags she has some 'juice' on Princess Luna and an incident that happened in Las Pegasus shortly after her return.  While not ethical, it isn't technically illegal either.  In the grand scheme of things, she maintains the balance of businesses and the powerful," he sighed.  She wasn't a bad pony by any means, but she'd definitely changed.  "My sister is a very powerful unicorn, having graduated top of her class from Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns.  Particularly gifted in Charms and Enchantments.  The opposite of me," he chuckled as the two finally approached the inn the sisters had been staying at.

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@Blitz Boom

Zephyr waited until his sister had walked past and turned to follow the others, casting one last glance at Serenade. His movement displaced the bubble creatures hiding underneath him, and they all scattered, floating away in all different directions. He stumbled and blinked at the creatures, which had begun to resume their terrified flights from the larger ones. "What the..?" He shook his head and trotted after the group, completely unaware of the bubble creature that was still hiding in his mane. "The sooner this garden gets put back to normal, the better."

Sun Fire shook her head. "Serenade didn't seem hostile at all, so I don't think she's going to cause any trouble." She scratched the back of her head. "Although, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't afraid of her. Sirens have quite the terrifying reputation here." She glanced at Zephyr as he caught up to them and giggled. "You've got a little something in your hair." She reached up and gently nudged the bubble creature from its hiding place. It shook itself, annoyed, and floated off to do whatever it is bubble creatures did.

Zephyr shot a look at the departing creature. "This isn't as normal of a town as I thought. Strange accidents, Draconequui making unnatural gardens, sirens popping up out of nowhere... Did I miss anything?"

"At least everyone we've met is nice. It's a lot better here than Manehattan."

"Almost everyone. I'm still not sure about that siren," he grumbled. "You remember Satou's stories about them, right? They can't be trusted."

Sun Fire sighed and shook her head. "Give her a chance. She hasn't hurt anypony yet." She turned back to Briar. "You'll have to excuse my brother. He tends to overthink everything."

"Don't explain me," Zephyr huffed. He turned and glowered unintentionally at a random passing pony, who yelped and walked faster. "Nice one, Zephyr. Oh well."

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(edited)

@Zephyr / Karou

"No need to excuse for him. Zephyr is only expressing a rather fair and understandable spout of paranoia towards a member of a species with a rather... Colorful history, especially in regards to ponies. As one with personal experiences towards some of the worst one of their kind can offer, I can assure you that trusting her without having any thoughts of what might happen are quite difficult. Considering the historical issues you ponies seem to have with sirens, I can assume the worry that something may happen is just as warranted for your kind.

Personally, I still attempt to think the best, yet I do agree with Zephyr to some degree. Trusting her completely would not be the wisest choice of action before we see more, yet I do believe that we should give her a chance, rather than dismiss her outright. Who knows, one may be amazed to find a good, kindhearted creature that would then lead on to having a better relation with a race, rather than spending time being at one another throats. Something akin to the somewhat recent changeling situation, if you would."

Whilst he had been talking, Brittle had eyed the various bubble creatures that had hidden beneath Zephyr for a short time, before they dispersed, leaving only a stubborn one in his mane, before it were sadly and seemingly reluctantly chased away. Such strange creatures that were living in this chaos-filled garden, but that was kind of the point then, right? Making everything weird and potentially dangerous, though it did seem like the small ones weren't dangerous, just looking for beings to interact with and potentially hide behind/under, to escape the bubbly predators flowing through the air, chasing them. A whole lot of weirdness to soak in here, yet it were pretty. That were hard for her to deny.

"Ah, I can also say that you have not mentioned everypony, yet I won't spoil the fun of most of the quirky characters you will eventually have encounters with. I find them charming in their own way,especially Zecora. A zebra mystic who resides in the Everfree Forest. If answers you seek, she can likely guide you well. A lovely mare to be around, I can assure you.

Have you had encounters with zebras before, if I may ask? if not, the first time may be somewhat of a culture shock, if you were to one day meet one. Especially the more rural ones, though they tend to keep to themselves and wait for others to seek them out. So unless you looked, those would be hard to come across accidentally."

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@Lucid_Nightlight

"Only if the antlers are orange, or you're dipped in chocolate. It's a wedding, you gotta look fancy."

Anomaly hand't a clue of what would go into the water supply, but then again, she only really tended to interact with that when she were cleaning up a lake, or throwing something in and seeing how ponies would react to it. She figured that long as she undid the things, she had basically done nothing wrong, so it wasn't a big deal.

What were however were the brain reading, which were still unfair and totally lame! Though it did set up a good joke just waiting for a punchline that she'd have to take a pop at.

"How can you read the author's mind, when he's never thinking?"

A drum riff came just after, along with a clonk from the outside, where a mysterious anvil had suddenly failed from the sky and aimed for Anomaly.

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@Catpone Cerberus

Spicy didn't think much of how Ruby reacted. Frankly it was a smart move to try and stay close to ones who were known here to have a bit more credibility. And lets not be kidding ourselves here, the folks in this place weren't innocent folks. Weapon traffickers, smugglers, robbers, kidnappers, poachers, etc. etc. If you could think of a shady profession - barring a few utterly repulsive ones - there'd be at least one being here directly or indirectly connected to it. Generally not folks you wanted to get on the bad side off.

Marley however, took more notice of what Ruby were doing, and would do what he could to accommodate being a barrier of sorts for the time being, though he'd have to examine the situation for a while to figure out what beings she were specifically trying to avoid. Dragons made sense, but there were other times where it became less obvious, considering how many beings actually wandered around here.

Dragons weren't plentiful though, and those who were there tended to be around the size of Morrow, or just a little larger, as the closed off area they were in weren't big enough for properly sized dragons. Most of the ones seen weren't socializing, or had much time to spare reacting to some feeling of Ruby's necklace or disguise though. They were wandering around and looked at the exhibited wares, taking notes or just retaining it to memory in preparations for the eventual auction itself. The ones doing so had patches of leather with different symbols painted on, strapped to their shoulders, to show who they were working for. Generally dragons too big to be at this particular event.

Wandering around, they'd eventually be able to find the jars they had brought along, featured well in a dome with a plague showing what were within them, as well as their sellers, Spicy, Marley, and Ruby  in that order. A few eyes were drawn here now and again, but the only one lingering for now were a tall, bulky, greying minotaur dressed in semi-adventurer garments made of varied leather, scales and decorative feathers, taken from seemingly many different beings. Ruby would likely be able to see quite a few dragon scales here and there too, in particular on the shoulder pads, and down the back of his chest armor, which seemed to be a single scale from a rather large dragon.

He were eyes were drawn to the jars, as well as a rather ugly painting of various shapes and spatters of random paint next to it.

"When did ya start looking at art, Ludvig? Finally starting to go soft?"

Spicy had sped up to intercept the minotaur first, who turned his head to look down upon the pony with hard, green eyes sitting in a face that seemed almost carved out of granite, though not in a literal sense.

"Join me on a hunt and see for yourself."

"Aah, chill out big guy, I'm just messing with ya. Looking at the price, yeah? Honestly I don't get how that ugly thing's worth 150 grand either, but the artist's apparently some big name these days."

"Worthless filler for weaklings with more bits than sense."

The minotaurs eyes were drawn away from the pony and towards Marley, who were greeted with a snort, which wasn't showing whatever or not he approved of the griffon, and then on to the one behind him. In particular, towards the necklace she were carrying, which from his high vantage point were hard not to see, unless she were pressed up against Marley. Something which seemed unlikely.

"Did you hunt your own trophy, little creature?"

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@Catpone Cerberus

"One whom I recently spoke with had claims of sirens in the ocean deep, so surely there must be more. Perhaps they have simple chosen to steer clear of ponies, in fear of what may befall them, were they to gain on the shores once more."

So much pointless fear and violence... Lyriel couldn't understand what exactly happened those many, many moons ago, as she had not heard much of the story, but she felt sorry for those who had suffered regardless. Whatever ponies might have been hurt, as well as the sirens that had not joined in the fight, who had felt forced to flee from the world to not suffer retaliation. Hopefully having a siren and one of the princesses speaking would finally begin to make things better, though it may be a bridge that were going to take a long time to mend.

"Perhaps if the princesses show acceptance of you and the younger siren, the word will eventually reach your kind and bring them out of hiding? One can only hope so at least, as surely after all these years, it must be time to move on and if not forget, then make amends those who had no part in their conflict.

You mention meeting the princess a thousand years past. Have she changed much in the time since then? It sounds as if she is accepting of a chance to fix what were once broken, though is that how she is now, or did she seek a peaceful end to the hostilities even then?"

Knowing so little of the princess, she really couldn't say, but what had so far crossed the lips of their subjects spoke well of the two rulers, so she could imagine that Luna had once tries being a voice for peace. Yet, there were always the chance that they had both once sought war to end the conflict swiftly, and in the times since then had finally managed to realize their errors and tried to correct the wrongs.

Perhaps Nada had some of the answers to this, as she had peaceful contact with one, and if so, Lyriel would appreciate hearing of it. It may well be important in the times to come.

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@Moonlit

"Her majesty is speaking with the dragon, and should not be disturbed. You can wait here until she have the time."

That seemed to be Serenade's idea too, as the mare took a seat and presumably just waited until word would come from the princess that she were ready for an interview.

Last stayed and stoically stood guard over Serenade. Were this earlier, she might have taken a seat too, but after the pumpkin-headed draconequus for some reason had fixed her up, she felt fine enough to do this, though her energy level were certainly not on the high side anymore. She felt like she had been on a three day guard shift and had been told to wait for a replacement before she could rest. But at least her insides weren't hurting anymore, and her wound were healed, so there were some good to be said for all of this she supposed.

"Do you know if there have been accidents after the rebuilding? Any collapsed buildings? Rooftops falling down? Anything?"

Seeing as the princess were still busy, Last might as well take the chance and ask the siren if she had seen anything out there going wrong, since she hadn't had the chance to go and inspects things herself yet. Hopefully there wouldn't be anything yet, and she could have a good checkup in the morning so that everypony in the telt camp could move back home, but she didn't put much faith in hoping for the best. Hard work made good things happen, and she needed to know if the Courier's Guild had done an honest day of work, or skipped out with shoddy work left behind. Anything collapsed would give her a pretty clear answer.

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@EQ_Theta

On 3/19/2019 at 7:00 AM, EQ_Theta said:

"Omen, I don't think any of us are the authorities on what normal is. I've never heard of ponies consuming anything that isn't plants and they likely don't see anyone ever eating rocks and liking it. It's all relative, I guess. For example, I say it is strange to eat rocks is because from my perspective, longma don't have teeth strong enough to crush rocks and expects others to know that. But when I see you eating rocks, it defies my expectation. Eating rocks is strange because I grew up eating the things everyone else did but for you, a rock is just another thing to munch on."

"Eh... I hope I'm not confusing you. To be honest, I think I'm beginning to understand what goes through your mind when you have a lot of information to process."

Omen stood and tilted her head slowly from side to side as Lin spoke about normality, weirdness, and the utterly confusing mess it were to even somewhat clarifying what were and weren't normal.

Honestly, it didn't really help clarify things for Omen as much as just confusing her vague sense of what normal sometimes meant to begin with, and began to crowd her head with information that she tried to toss and turn in an already crowded arena of undigested thoughts.

Who decided what normal were? Did it include what somepony were able to do? Like, a pegasus was weird to an earth pony because it couldn't fly? Did that mean that everpony was weird? But that wasn't what Lin said, among all the big words she couldn't understand. She had said that there were some things that were normal. Or had she? Did the big words cover it? Had she missed the point somewhere?

It kept circling around, trying to find reason in things that Omen didn't have the mental capacity to understand, yet constantly tried to, and it wouldn't be long before she'd have to shut down again to have some time to turn this around very slowly, without distractions.

On 3/19/2019 at 7:00 AM, EQ_Theta said:

"In short, what isn't normal to someone is strange, and not everyone has the same understanding of what normal is."

"Normal to me, is not the same for you? Strange different too?

...Sen sleeping is normal to him, I can not sleep, so strange to me. Yes?"

It was the only example she could think of at the moment, but from what Sen's more simplistic answer had given her, this also were the only thing that kind of made sense to her, and that she could then apply onward to other situations in the future, and perhaps to some things she recalled from her past too.

Were this rightly understood, she would appreciate it a good deal. Discord's teachings barely got her anywhere in this world, and while she knew that Lin had been trying, her explanation gave her more questions, but little to nothing in the way of answers, as it were too complicated for her mind to wrap itself around.

Both of them tried to teach her things, and were she able to feel it, she would have been thrilled to once again see them both attempt what seemed to mot even be an easy question for regular beings. As it were though, she simply stood with her head tilted to the left, and kept her questioning, unblinking gaze upon Sen, awaiting his answer.

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@Rising Dusk

"Y-Your sister sounds i-interesting. I uhm... D-Didn't think this sort of t-thing would be legal in E-Equestria though."

Void had run into her fair share of fixers, problem solvers, cleansers, specialists, and whatever else name they ran under. Each country tended to have several, and considering the annoyance Null and her could be to deal with, or be sought after to be used, it wasn't uncommon for them to be targeted by them personally, or by somepony who had employed them to do so, generally with capture in mind.

Avoiding that had not been easy sometimes, and had been the cause of them having to use the cursed items they had gotten over the years quite a few times, as otherwise they would've not made it. Equestria had been different though. Here, there weren't anypony sent to get them or anything like that. They were just sent a letter.

The two of them had been in Equestria for all but 3 days at that point, and only had an address for about an hour, before the post office had been able to open up again and delivered a message to the two of them. A beautiful envelope really, that they had thought were from Princess Celestia, so they had accepted it.

Turned out to instead be from a mare saying that her name were Scarcity, that she heard about their interesting ability, and that if they ever were in need of something to do, she were able to pay them handsomely in either information or bits, if they were to assist her in some tasks involving said ability.

It ended with an address in Canterlot for some antique store, and a message about it being best that they added that to memory. Weren't long after that it caught fire from some kind of chemical reaction that apparently started once the envelope had been opened, and soon after they had been standing with nothing more than a couple of small piles of ash.

Still, even if they had been able to keep them, there weren't much evidence of anything. They were just offered a job that didn't specify anything illegal. Technically there were nothing wrong with that.

Yet, being found before they even had a letter box, by somepony who knew of what they could do? They had met fixers before, but this one were the fastest one Void could recall, yet so far also the most reasonable, as no communication had been sent since. Whoever this Scarcity were, she seemed content waiting somewhere, assured that they would make contact. Nothing that had so far of course, but they wouldn't out that eventually they might get curious or desperate enough for bits to give it a try.

Rising's sister sounded like she might be somepony like that. Knew more than she should, and used it to hers and others advantage, yet not violent. At least she doubted it, since the officer wouldn't claim that she weren't doing something illegal in that case, right? Still, he didn't sound too proud of what she were doing regardless of that, considering the sigh he let out and the subsequent wording, but were it any wonder? He were a law official, and his sister essentially sounded like she ran blackmailing schemes for whoever paid her the most.

"I-I mean no d-disrespect to her officer, I j-just thought that m-maybe this sort of t-thing wouldn't be okay h-here. And having d-dirt on a princess? I d-don't understand why t-they'd allow that. I g-guess this is a l-little over my head... B-But still, she's f-family. I can u-understand not wanting to f-feel too bad about them.

You uhm... S-Say that she's good at c-charms and enchantments? W-What kind of them? The h-helpful ones, or?..."

It was hanging in the air as they finally got to the inn, with thankfully no incidents happening on route, and they could enter and head for the room provided to the sisters without any interruptions, unless they wished to draw such from the inn keeper.

The rooms the two had gotten were not the best one of course, but it were functional, and had the space they needed, so the siblings didn't complain. Doubly so since it were essentially free for the time being.

There wouldn't be obvious signs of cursed items, but then again, they were likely in the large wall closet that had its handles locked up tight with a chain and pad lock. Not really something to do if there was nothing in it.

Besides that, nothing out of the ordinary were here. A few bags to show where most of the cursed items had been prior to the closet  but that were more or less it. Weren't even any obvious, personal effects.

Edited by Blitz Boom

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@Blitz Boom

"I also want to be called the bride's frog."

Novia heard the anvil and had an idea. She opened a portal and turned the author's fridge into a snake and then closed the portal.

"He's gonna need a new fridge."

"And new food too."

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@Blitz Boom Serenade shook her head, "No, with the exception of a few buildings that need a good painting, everything seems just as it was before....except for the garden." Serenade looked over at Last, "It seems Discord or something of his ilk has left behind some of their magic. I ended up flickering between this and my Siren forum."

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(edited)

@Blitz Boom

"Well... I suppose that's a simple way of looking at it."

"Maybe you should disregard what I said earlier. It wasn't a good explanation and I think you are getting the idea. Let me add something to it: to say something is normal is describing what is natural and what isn't natural is strange. In your example, Sen being able to sleep is normal because it is natural for him to do so, just like how you don't sleep is normal to you. The opposite is true; not being able to sleep is strange for Sen and sleeping is strange to you. Is that a better explanation?"

It was about as simple as Lin could get given how difficult and abstract the subject of normality is. In reality, it is a much more complex topic that really delves in to the concepts of conformity and group consensus, the things Lin would need several scraps of paper to draw up some charts and diagrams to break down her explanation. Even then, it might not even be the right answer to Omen's question or the right way to explain the answer to her. Neither she nor Sen received the kind of education the more learned ponies have in higher educational institutions. There was some genuine concern that they might not be teaching her correctly and Omen would notice the two of them winging it, not the very image of a teacher or teacher-figure she would expect. 

To Omen's credit, however, she did get the gist of Sen's oversimplified explanation. Normal is subjective; because it is defined by a group who share similar ideas on what counts as normal, anything that deviates from that definition would be considered strange. Sure, Sen omitted the part about who chooses the definition of normal and anything could be considered normal if enough agree that it is, but the two wouldn't want to burden their sister with even deeper and messier explanations that will get them even more confused. 

Honestly, both Sen and Lin wouldn't mind if Omen will call them out on how clueless the two were. The way they circle around and fumble at trying to come up with a satisfactory answer was one big giveaway that shows how ill-educated they truly are.  

Edited by EQ_Theta
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@Blitz Boom
Ruby just looked at the minotaur before they got close to him, the scales and such on him didn't really have an effect on her, because though she didn't know much about minotaurs, she knew them to be rather proud creatures when it came to killing other creatures. She again didn't say anything until the minotaur addressed her, and she decided not to lie, as she hated anyone who claimed kills they never made, and guessed the minotaur didn't like that either, and the last thing she needed was to cause a scene with a minotaur...she wasn't scared of him, but she would have been stupid to not acknowledge the dragons he had killed, even if they had been the weaker kind. "Unfortunately I have to admit that this dragon's demise wasn't by my hoof..." she pointed at the eye "...and I would like to not be carrying it, but to my misfortune, it is cursed, forcing me to keep it with me." she then continued "But" "I do have few trophies of my own that I have indeed earned with my own hooves, and would be more than glad to show them if you so wish." "And I have some others that I can't show because they are not with me." This was actually good thing to happen, this confirmed that minotaurs, or at least this one didn't see through her pony form, and this was a good diversion regarding her secret from Spicy, and possibly Scarcity, since it wouldn't have surprised her for her to hear about this interaction.

 

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Nada looked thoughtful about the sirens in the ocean, it wasn't that unlikely, it could be that there was lot more sirens she originally thought, not that it helped her really, since getting to the sea wasn't necessarily that easy, since she didn't really know how far inland she was. She nodded at Lyriel's suggestion that the other sirens could some day stop hiding, that was what she wished for too.

"I didn't know her too closely, just enough that she knew my name." "But she did seem lot less.....superior?" "What I mean is that she was lot more relaxed and acted more like a pony rather than royalty." "It's hard to explain, but yes, she had changed." "Oh, and she had gotten taller."

 

 

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@Blitz Boom

This was generally why it was best to just leave his sister's occupation as just 'Consultant'.  It was understandable for ponies to have such reactions to her true job, and rarely would be bring it up, let alone to a stranger.  The detective trusted Void enough though, call it a gut feeling, plus she seemed like a very observant mare that could tell that even he might be hiding the trust a little.  Not a big deal though, what Dawn did wasn't as bad as it sounded really.  For all the boast she herself tells and the image such a position has, her heart is always in the right place.  She's a big softy even if she won't admit it.  There was never any ill intent in her spell work, or any malicious. The twins were raised very well, so when she walked the path she did, he wasn't all that fearful.  Disappointed?  Maybe a little, but that was most likely the law enforcement in him speaking.

It was all a political game.  Everypony used Fixers in the world of business and politics.  Even the Royal Guard and Royalty when things needed something quietly swept under the rug and couldn't have their hoofs dirty.  The case that shines the brightest in his memory of his sister's work was a couple of years ago when a large company was trying to devour a smaller one.  Dawn was hired for her assistance in making it smooth, but what ended up happening was she pulled the right strings to have all the funds that would have been used in the corporate takeover, directed to building the new hospital wing in Manehattan that was struggling to keep up with the increasing population.  Also preventing hundreds of ponies from being laid off as a result of the smaller business not being devoured.  Today, the two companies now work hoof in hoof and actually created more jobs and an increase in economy for Equestria as a whole.  Sure, the big business that hired her wasn't very happy at first with her manipulation, but in the end she made them more money and great PR for funding the hospital.

"Her heart is always in the right place.  Dawn might be manipulative and egotistical, but she's also generous and kind.  She's done more good for Equestria as a whole than bad," he tried to assure the mare.  While it might indeed be hard to understand, he can't blame her.  She knew very well the line of the law and how not to cross it.  Their mother always mused how it wasn't so much out of fear that doing so would bring him as the law down on her, but out of fear of disappointing him.  "Good ones.  While she is more than capable, she finds casting Hexes or Curses to feel disgusting.  Which if you could see magic like I can, is very true, they are quite disgusting," he replied as the pair entered the inn and made their way to the room the sisters had been staying in.  Granted the Charms she used were more to her benefit, but they weren't directly harmful. 

The room was very empty, but he knew he couldn't quite say they traveled light, considering what they traveled with.  Hopefully a burden the detective could soon rid them of.  It'd be nice if they could decorate their home in Ponyville one day in a way that they don't feel the need to be on the run all the time.  Waiting for Void to enter and closing the door, hopefully to keep the maid from walking in on some possibly dangerous artifacts they were going to pick through.  "Anything stick out as something Twisted Gears might need to maintain a connection with to function?" he inquired.  He could just look over the bunch of artifacts and pick it out, but he thought it'd be better to narrow it down rather than risk something dangerous unleashing on the inn.

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(edited)

@Blitz Boom

Zephyr stuck his tongue out at Sun Fire, and she shot him a look. As much as he admired his her willingness to trust others, she almost seemed naïve at times. Who knows what sort of trouble his sister would get into here if he weren't around. "The opposite goes for me, too. I'd be a mess without her," he thought, smiling slightly to himself.

Sun Fire nodded and scratched the side of her neck. "I guess that makes sense. I've always tried to see the best in others, and I guess I've started taking that trust too far in recent years." She frowned, her mind going to what happened during her previous job. She somehow didn't feel much resentment towards the ponies who drove her to the worst decision. They were just jealous somepony else suddenly cut in and stole their fame. They probably didn't mean to take things as far as they did. Sun Fire shook her head. This was where Zephyr would call her naïve, then tell her the world doesn't work like a fairytale. "It would be nice if we could somehow close the gap between our races, though. I didn't personally feel anything bad from her, but we can see where that train of thought has gotten me," she said wryly.

Zephyr glanced sympathetically at his sister. He wasn't much of a therapy counselor, so he never really knew how to react at times like these. He brushed her shoulder gently and turned towards Briar. "I can't say I've met a zebra before," he said, shaking his head. 

"I have seen plenty of zebras on tour with Songbird, but I haven't talked with any. Songbird's concerts were always crowded, so we didn't have time to meet very many fans. We'll have to go see her sometime. She sounds interesting."

Edited by Zephyr / Karou
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(edited)

@Catpone Cerberus

The minotaur did not blink as he looked down upon Ruby, explaining the deal with the dragon's eye she carried with her.

Not surprisingly, she had not taken down the one it came from herself. Ponies were not often hunters, often due to them not needing meat, and being docile creatures that wanted to be friends with things, rather than revel in the glory of the hunt. That one of them had taken down a dragon were even rarer, as they assigned some kind of meaning to higher lifeforms that made them above being hunted. They also tended not to be strong enough to take one head on, so the few who tried often ended up as little more than a pile of ash

That being said, this one seemed serious when saying she held other trophies, and not all with her. He of course didn't either, as this were not a place to even try to lob around the countless trophies he had collected through the years, though the idea that this pony had a similar situation were more noteworthy as again, her kind didn't tend to be hunters. It might be intriguing.

"Good. Taking credit for another's kill is the action of a worthless coward.

If you have anything on you, present one of these trophies you speak off, and let's judge your meddle. I can't imagine it being anything too impressive."

Much like Ruby, Ludvig had basically no care for ponies. They were weak, and  barring the most accomplished of their hunters, their kind didn't have what it took to prove themselves to beings like him. Their minds, instincts and physique made them too weak when it came time to actually hunt down a sizable prey without mercy, but he would humor this one, and see what she could present as proof of her own prowess, though he didn't expect much. Beyond Kin Slasher, he had hardly seen anyone worth even the most minor of his time.

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

 

@Catpone Cerberus

"Princess Luna sounds like a calming influence on Equestria. That could well be invaluable for you, as you try to speak on behalf of yourself, and potentially others of your kind. A great responsibility if it came to that, but I have faith that it would be something you could handle."

Truly, she didn't know whatever or not Nada would be able to be a good representative that would pave the way forth for her kind to perhaps get a treaty going between old enemies, but Lyriel liked to think that the siren could, and she wished to show encouragement, rather than preach concern. It wouldn't help things to point out potential negative sides, though Lyriel didn't know enough of the shared history to really be able to tell where the pitfalls may be, so it were not as if she could offer substantiated issues, even if she wished so.

"From the way you speak of Luna, it sounds as if Celestia is the more regal of the two? I have heard little of her, beyond her status and role in pulling your sun across the sky. Is she not as benevolent as I have been told?"

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

 

@Lucid_Nightlight

"Deal, but Novia's gonna get a bigger hat than you."

Seemed like they had reached a sort of agreement then, though the wedding where still gkdhdbekdhxbdk

"Hehe, lookit that, I think it bit him. Were it venomous? Oh, I bet it were. That should teach the hairless monkey.

Though... No narration, so uuuuuuh... *Anomaly and her gang of misfits ran their awesome tank towards the mayor's office to redeem Lumen, and arrest the ducks. Pringles sat in a corner and thought of lizard stuff like flies and the diamond trade.*

Hey, that was easy. Who needs that guy?"

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

 

@Moonlit

"Paint isn't important for the structure, so it sounds like everypony did what they should. We'll see when I check them in the morning. I will not have it on my head that a building I were put in charge of getting completed, collapsed on somepony."

She had already disappointed Princess Celestia once, and thinking that she would not only end up doing so again, but getting somepony hurt in the process, were a substantial concern to her. The rebuilding had to be a success, and though it were promising that nothing had collapsed, it would still gnaw at her before she had a chance to spend some hours along with a few of the workers from the last few days that she thought usable, and have a thorough look at things. Especially at the school.

"The garden outside? It's not Discord. Some pony with another draconequus were working on it earlier, claiming it was a gift. When there's time, it needs to be examined and if dangerous, eradicated instantly.

Did it do anything else than mess with your disguise?"

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

 

@Rising Dusk

4 hours ago, Rising Dusk said:

"Her heart is always in the right place.  Dawn might be manipulative and egotistical, but she's also generous and kind.  She's done more good for Equestria as a whole than bad," he tried to assure the mare.  While it might indeed be hard to understand, he can't blame her.  She knew very well the line of the law and how not to cross it.  Their mother always mused how it wasn't so much out of fear that doing so would bring him as the law down on her, but out of fear of disappointing him.  "Good ones.  While she is more than capable, she finds casting Hexes or Curses to feel disgusting.  Which if you could see magic like I can, is very true, they are quite disgusting,"

"I s-see what they do. That's d-disgusting enough for m-my taste."

That was the bad side of being able to cancel out things like that and essentially wanting to help out: You saw a lot of things that you'd really wish you never had. Horrible, disturbing aftermaths or ongoing things that tended to cause a huge degree of suffering for others, and mental scars for herself. Trying to imagine that she could then also see the magic like Rising could, and see the ugliness in as great of an amount of details as possible were hard to actually picture, yet it still sent a shiver down her spine, and made her think that if that had ever been the case, she wouldn't have made it as far as Equestria.

"A-And I'm happy that y-your sister is benevolent. F-Fixers in other countries i-isn't always like t-that."

That would end up being her final word on things before they entered the inn, and soon enough, they'd stand in the room with the locked cabinet, and the thoughts were lead away from one topic of horrible things, to a more immediate situation of needing to pick out some disturbing things from their collection that Rising might use, and a question to go along with it.

"I don't k-know. We c-cancel out magic, but that d-doesn't mean we understand h-how it works. S-Sorry..."

She didn't like having no answer to this, but it were the truth. Best she could do would be to get the items she knew had a connection to Harrowmark out of the closet and then let the officer decide for himself what might be what.

The key were hidden in a chain underneath the piece of cloth Void had slung around her neck, and as quickly as her somewhat shaking hoof allowed, she'd have it used to unlock the padlock, remove the chains, and open the closest to reveal a bountiful harvest of cursed items of varied sizes and shapes, with a single down from Null's wing sitting on each shelf to keep everything in check. Since Null's feathers lasted for a few days after they got plucked or preened, this were what they tended to do with them when they needed a rest from lugging these around. The downs grew quickly, so it weren't really an issue as long as they didn't do it constantly, and with Rising's help, they might soon not need to even use a single one, and they'd have to find something else to do with them. Sell them as temporary charms or cleansers for weird beings perhaps. They'd see what would be okay regarding this in due time.

Null pulled out four items from there that she kept close to her to not activate them. A bone dice, a shriveled deer eye in a see-through box, a pocket watch, and a scarecrow shaped glass container with something purple laying dormant inside.

"W-We picked up all of these in H-Harrowmark. I don't know w-which ones might be h-his though, but you could uhm... See it, r-right? I-It would have to be quick g-glances though, or s-some of these things could turn u-ugly. Especially the e-eye."

If he wished to, she could take forth an item at a time, then toss it up and down to give him small glances, unless he had a better idea, like preparing some protective wards or whatever it were that he might do. Perhaps he had just seen enough of Twisted's work to be able to counter things instantly? She didn't know, but she'd trust whatever he asked her to do with this, as Rising had yet to give her a reason to mistrust him.

Rising would find that only 2 of the items had a connection with Twisted, along with 1 thing forgotten about in the closest, though which were what remained to be seen. One of them would be just the connection that Rising were wishing for though, which could be used to get closer to Twisted than he cared to wish for.

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

 

@EQ_Theta

On 3/21/2019 at 2:12 AM, EQ_Theta said:

"Well... I suppose that's a simple way of looking at it."

"Maybe you should disregard what I said earlier. It wasn't a good explanation and I think you are getting the idea. Let me add something to it: to say something is normal is describing what is natural and what isn't natural is strange. In your example, Sen being able to sleep is normal because it is natural for him to do so, just like how you don't sleep is normal to you. The opposite is true; not being able to sleep is strange for Sen and sleeping is strange to you. Is that a better explanation?"

Omen stared blankly at Lin as she spoke, her eyes almost seeming to glaze over as her sibling tried to explain it in further details than Sen had.

"You use a lot of big words."

She got the gist of it though, by going by what Sen had confirmed to her were a proper understanding of things. Normal depended on who were looking at it, and what was normal to them, might be strange to somepony else, as in the example with the sleeping Sen. Same with strange, which were why to the two others they could say that it were strange that she ate rocks, while it was normal for her. This could well be information that would be valuable later on, and could help explain some of the other things she had in mulling around her head currently, waiting for their turn to be digested properly.

"Think I understand. Normal for one, perhaps not the same for another. Thank you."

This seemed like one of those situations where she had gotten help, so she had to thank them for that. It had gone over well the other times she had done that recently, so she were getting some understanding of that, along with so many, many other things ever since she had started hanging out with Sen and Lin. Though she didn't know how to properly express it, they truly were the best friends she could ever ask for, and she valued them more than any other being, after Mother. Even her master couldn't keep the same reverence to his name that Sen and Lin had, which were somewhat apparent considering how Omen had chosen them over him, when he had offered her to come back and work for him. A strange situation, but he seemed to have taken it well. Before he got reformed, that wouldn't have been the case. He could be petty and childish when it came to sharing his *belongings*.

"You are teaching many things. I think you would have been good masters. Parents too? Mother says being a master and a parent are close. Both teaches. Takes care. You two do that."

Omen were silent for a few seconds, then looked questioningly towards Sen.

"Small Sen one day?"

Her gaze then fell upon Lin, who should likely know that something similar in nature were headed her way at that time.

"Another Lin?"

It were rare that she thought of offspring and that sort of thing, but the line of thoughts that had come after getting explained yet another thing by the siblings, had lead her to be curious about whatever or not they wished to have some one day. Could Lin even? Mother would know, but the lake had done strange things, so Omen couldn't. She looked close enough to a longma to make her think yes though.

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

 

@Zephyr / Karou

"Unfortunately, trust and a willingness to think the best of others can be used against one, as you have sadly had to experience Sun. A tragic situation that thankfully had a good ending."

Briar truly felt bad for Sun for what she had to go though, and for little more reason than sheer pettiness and jealousy on behalf of others. Thank the Earth Mother that Sun had managed to get through the bleak, miserable part of her recent years and been able to go away and try somewhere fresh. Ponyville were perhaps not the safest place to live from what he had heard and experienced, but it were a very welcoming place, filled with mostly kindhearted individuals. Long as they could stay out of danger, this town would be good for Sun's recovery He were certain of it.

"As for Zecora, she is a true delight to interact with. Helpful, kind, and wise beyond her years. Many come to her seeking guidance, and most are helped to see through the fog and gain some answers, however cryptic they may sometimes be. She are after all, still a zebra, and while their mystics can often see many things that were, and are yet to be, they do not always give direct answers. From what I understand, they wish to leave things somewhat open to interpretation, though I could not tell you why exactly. Even if I have made contact with their kind several times throughout my travels, I have yet to find one open about the need for this secrecy.

Other times, you may simply find them strange to understand, as they tend to speak mainly in rhyme. It is hardly an issue once you get used to it, but at least for a time, it will likely seem rather peculiar. I can inform you though, that more city-based ones can sometimes speak normally, yet their own villages, along with the rural ones that ventures out into the world and still practice their arts, the majority will retain this rhyming trait.

Regardless, when one day you wish to, I will try and guide you to her door. I think you will find it enlightening, as I did when she guided me here to gain the sight I had sought."

Briar neglected to mention his somewhat infatuated state with the zebra, but that hardly seemed important to share right now either. Plus, he were well aware that such a thing would never work regardless. Equines of any variant and his kind might look similar, but they were very biologically different, which excluded things such as offspring far as he were aware. Longevity were also an issue, as his kind tended to live for a long time as their natural end were only when they thought it time for them to return to the earth. A time which could vary wildly, depending on the evergrown in question.

Regardless, they would now be standing at the entrance to the hospital which sounded like it were still active, though the traffic had certainly slowed down since the day began.

"I know not all the paths that one are allowed to wander in this place, yet it is an important location to know well for the locals. Would you like to go and perhaps introduce yourself to the receptionist, and schedule a check up by chance? I have been told that it is important to get that done every so often for your kind."

Edited by Blitz Boom

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@Blitz Boom

"He'll probably wake up soon."

"Hey, you can't narrate Pringle, that's my author's job!"

Yeah, he was thing about crickets and strawberries!

Lucid gave Lumen a script and Lumen read it.

"It is I, the evil Lumen. I will uh..."

He looked at the script.

"I will use this golden seed! Evil laugh!"

"You weren't supposed to say 'evil laugh' you were suppised to do one! Oh well, close enough."

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@Blitz Boom
Ruby smirked, usually she would have gotten angry by such words, but in this situation she didn't care, since she knew that this stupid creature didn't know what she really was. She took her box off her back and put it front of her, opening it. From his high watching point, the minotaur most likely could see all the stuff in the box, everything from plain glass to gems and such, but none of those where what Ruby was looking for, as she pulled out a tooth. A hunter like Ludvig would most likely be able to tell that it was a tooth of a dragon, and based on the size of it, it was a dragon about three times of Ruby's real form's size. She showed it to the minotaur "I know it's not as impressive as something like scales or a skull, but due to several reasons, I prefer taking things like teeth, horns, claws and bones rather than something bigger." This one hadn't really been that impressive opponent, in fact Ruby had almost decided against taking any kind of trophy, as though the dragon had been notably bigger than her, it was one of the local kind, and poor thing was utterly disadvantaged when it came to fighting skill, but she had eventually decided to take it, as she figured that as far as she knew, it was the strongest dragon around here, since it was the first one she saw. She had closed the box after taking the tooth out so nobody would try to steal from her.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

"I don't know." Nada replied after Lyriel had finished "Neither of them were better or worse than each other thousand years ago, but I haven't met Celestia yet, so I don't know what she is like today." she explained "But nobody has told me about Celestia being worse than her sister, so I can only assume she isn't a tyrant at least." 

(^Sorry, bit of an writer's block with that one ^)

 

 

 

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@Blitz Boom Serenade blinks...."Yes...It..." She opens and closes her mouth several times, "It's....difficult to explain, as even I'm not 100% sure...but being around Discord and Chaotic magic seems to....." Serenade bows her head, "The faster that place is returned to normal, the better for everypony"

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@Blitz Boom

Seemed like this attempt ended with a much more satisfying outcome, and both Sen and Lin now know how to approach these kinds of questions for Omen. Short and simple, maybe even add an example to reinforce the main idea behind their explanation. The two smiled wide, content that their efforts were paying off better than expected. Somehow, they began to feel like they were channeling a little bit of their parents with the way they taught Omen: patient and kind, understanding how her train of thought worked and adapting. They certainly were a little slow to pick up on this but every little bit is a learning experience. 

When Omen mentioned being good parents and the possibility of offspring, they fell quiet. A sudden shift in their tone, or lack of it, though not because of anything malicious. It was just a little too soon a topic to bring up. To them, they hadn't really considered the possibility of starting a family when they are just reeling in from the loss of one. Besides, they haven't settled into a certain lifestyle that can afford them the luxury of looking for potential partners. For now, they were satisfied with looking after Omen and ensuring her needs are taken care of. 

"I... well, there is a possibility that Lin and I could start new families in the future."

"We, uh, didn't really think too far ahead. Heh heh, now you mentioned it, maybe there is a chance of little Sens and Lins running about."

The prospect isn't out of the question, and they were certainly not going to pass up the chance to continue the lineage. That was something they feared back in the day; in exile, no one would want to associate with the outcast and there was no reason to hope the latter could start over with someone who didn't see them as a freak. If they learned why they were outcast, it was like passing on a badge of shame and word travels fast. Nowadays, perhaps there is a chance to start over, at least with small steps in the village. 

"Tell you what," Sen placed his claw on Omen's back and patted her once. "If Lin or I decide to have children, you will be the first to know. You will be called an 'aunt,' a term I picked up while traveling. The longma have something like them but we don't really have a word for it. It is a title of respect and you will always be a friend to our children." 

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@Blitz Boom

TWILIGHT SPARKLE

"It is very much a thing," Twilight chuckled nervously but stood up and went searching among her bookshelves for the right book. "I don't really know how to explain it any other way, Nerzhei."

@Blitz Boom

KARMIC FATE

"I ..." Karmic sighed and nodded as she hefted the Equestrian books into her small pile. "I do speak from experience. Ask me anything about it. You've helped me out so far, and I know about your past. If you want to know mine you can just ask."

@Blitz Boom

AURORA LIGHTS

"Oh, really?" Aurora asked in surprise. "I thought you and her would be an item," she added as she grabbed what she assumed was Happy's sign in her claws and gave it to him. "If that's the case, then alright then. I'm fine with that."

@FanOfManyShows

WATTS MECHANO

"Oh, I just need to get a gyro balancer from this place and then we'll be on our way," Watts beamed at Zealous and took a list out of one of her saddlebags with her wing. She looked it over and narrowed her eyes. "Do you know where a balance shop is? One that sells items for balancing?"

 

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@Blitz Boom
"I wouldn't mind a little guidance in my life right now. Maybe once we've had a week or so to settle in," Sun Fire said, nodding. Normally she wouldn't seek somepony out just to bother them with her problems, but Zecora sounded like she actually enjoyed helping other ponies find their way, and she was sure Zephyr would have forced her to see somepony sometime soon, anyway. Sun Fire glanced at her brother, who was walking just a few feet to her left. "I can think of somepony else who needs some guidance," she thought jokingly. She smiled to herself and shook her head. "Stubborn idiot brother of mine."

Zephyr glanced at Briar as they stopped in front of the hospital. "You're right, Nuri probably should get a check up. Make sure everything is healing well and all ," he said, edging away from the hospital doors.

"He means you too, you lummox," Sun Fire said, grabbing his horn and pulling him back. She turned to Briar. "He hasn't seen a doctor since we were foals, when Satou would make us get a check up every few months. I think he was just scared of our doctor," she whispered.

"I wasn't scared of him," Zephyr said, wrestling his horn free, "he just... gave me the creeps is all. The needles certainly didn't help."

"Absolutely terrified." Sun Fire shook her head and walked towards the hospital entrance. "Come on, I don't want to stand out here all night."

Zephyr reluctantly followed his sister. "I wasn't scared," he grumbled.

Sun Fire pushed the door open and walked through, only to be immediately hit by a wave of strong emotions. She froze, her mind flashing back to her last trip to the hospital. She was slipping in and out of consciousness at the time, but she could clearly remember the physical pain and mental anguish she felt at the time as if it had happened moments ago.

She blinked a few times and saw Zephyr standing in front of her, a worried expression on his face. "You alright? We can come back another time if you want."

Sun Fire shook her head and cleared the memory. "No, I'm... I'm fine. It was just a memory," She said, half to herself. She headed over towards the reception desk, with Zephyr following closely behind. 

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@Blitz Boom

Astral looked to him, looking forward to a book that was placed on the table. "Well, your ego doesn't apply to how to do magic."
She looked at it, an aura surrounding and levitating it, before she gently floats it over to him, not raising a hoof to direct the magic.
"You can read this yourself, it's the basics."

Misty walked in, sitting on the couch across the too. "So why are you teaching him this?"

"I have a feeling Emerald won't be totally good, even if Iron defeats her." She turns to Misty.
"Plus it would help if he could do something to help too."

"Yeah but when this is all over, what would he ever need it for?"

Astral paused, glancing too Chow for a moment. "Uhm, Well?"

===============================
Sapphire nodded, her gem sparked as the magic stopped draining in.

"I'll look for one."

"We can go then." Sapphire said, looking as the last of the glow in the crystals dissipated. "Seeing as they are empty now."

===============================
"I will be very entertained by whatever follows." Chariot said with a weirdly ominous chuckle. Before looking dreadful. "Which is likely prison."

===============================
"I'd see it fit to treat him like we did Discord, He might have misguided actions, reformation could be an option. Assuming it'd last."
He sounded unsure saying this, glancing to the missing statue.
"And, with the statue, we should also consider that he might've done good prior to being evil, Should at least celebrate that."

===============================
@Dji
"I'm not the type to know anything like that." He said, giving the surroundings a glance.
"Chances are wandering Canterlot will give you a higher chance of finding it."

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@Blitz Boom

Calling his sister benevolent was probably going a little too far, we'll just go with good spirited and leave it there.  Luckily the conversation managed to carry the two all the way to the inn and into the room where they kept the cursed objects.  Even if they majority of it focused on his sister, but it was understandable when the mare found out they had siblings in common.  With the task at hoof though, he waited for her to key into her locked closet and fetch a few artifacts to sample.  The way the sisters managed to keep the artifacts pinned in one place using Null's feathers must have been really helpful in not carrying them around at all times.

It was a long shot, but considering they knew at least a little about the artifacts he was dispelling in the O.M.I.'s basement, he thought he'd try.  But it was more to get Void involved than just keeping the artifacts nullified.  "Fair enough," he chuckled and waited for the mare to toss the artifacts up and out of her field to give the detective a look.  All he needed was a glance of course as the objects escaped the field and then blossomed into the tapestries of spell work for him to see in all their horrid glory.  They of course fell back into her field just as quickly as they left it.  Pulling on his memory recall to sort though the spell works he just witnessed.  Two of them didn't match Twisted's magical signature at all, but weren't any less nasty to be honest.  The bone dice and glass container weren't what he was looking for, but their curses weren't a high priority and could be dealt with at a later date without much issue.

The deer eye and pocket watch though had that all too familiar magic about them as the flowers he altered earlier that day.  Of those, the pocket watch held what he was looking for.  The complex inky weave the part of the spell tucked away in the corner held a strong strand that drifted off and far away from the spell.  Rather than just disappearing into the aether like the floors, this one burrowed a tunnel.  Twisted might have prepared the flowers in anticipation from what he did with Lily's scry spell, but without access to the pocket watch, he couldn't have altered the spell to cut the connection it had.  While an annoyance, he could expect future spells from the dark wizard to not be as easy to follow.  Although that alone was a small victory to the detective for the extra work and power it took to do such a thing.  It adds up over time, that's for sure and tends to make a pony grumpy when a three minutes spell now takes four.

"We'll take the pocket watch," he smiled to the mare and pointed at the watch in question with his hoof.  Then tapping his chin in thought for a moment.  "We'll need to take a quick pit stop at the O.M.I. before returning to the workshop though," he informed Void.  Luckily it was just down the street from the inn the sisters were staying in, so the detour should be a minor one and he could return the earth pony to her sister.  Waiting for her to put away the other three artifacts and secure them with feathers before they departed. 

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@FanOfManyShows

"Now, I ain't gonna swing my masters degree around or anything - partially because I don't have one - but I'm gonna take an educated guess here and say that there's others out there that's gonna do all sorts of bad stuff later on, or even now. Emerald's not the only fish in that pond, so there miiiiight be a bit of a chance that anything learned would get in handy."

Chow responded to the questions raised here with one of his sarcastic answers, though this one were said and meant more lighthearted than some of the more biting ones that sometimes floated out of his muzzle. All nice and clean fun here, right? Now, what were this book he'd be given? Likely some kind of a *for dummies* manual when it came to magic. Seemed like a fancy amount of time that'd take reading this, but ergh... Might as well get started, and see what'd stick before he'd end up passing out eventually. Wouldn't be the first time he had worked for too long and just shut down, though hey, at least here there'd be less chance that he'd have to shower for a few hours to get himself clean again after falling asleep inside his chopping room. Could get pretty nasty.

Anyway, time to read he guessed. Let's see what this tome was all about.

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@FanOfManyShows

"Then get us back, and one of you start searching the basement for what we need, whilst the other go and get us a critter."

It seemed wisest to drag these two along to do this step by step, rather than everything at once, as they had proven either reluctant or ignorant of things when she had laid larger plans out on the table, without the small steps in between. So, she would drag this out, one step at a time, and then see if they could be trusted to even do something rudimentary like this, or if they'd ignore it for some reason. Say if they cared for the critter in question, which if they wanted Sapphire back, they shouldn't.

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@FanOfManyShows

"I don't think that can be avoided, but we should focus on how long in prison it will be, then work hard to reduce that through your improvements and attempts to reach redemption. I'm not saying it will be easy, but hard work and doing your best will in the end be a strong factor in when you can get fully released."

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@FanOfManyShows

"We'd have to dig that record out of storage to figure out what the missing general's big deal even were. Only thing I know is that he did something real bad. But hey, if you wanna have a stab at it, we'll get somepony on it in time."

Screecher remained silent as Tidal Wave responded to Iron, and went over to open the door, then waved a guard closer and told him to go to the library, and inform them that the generals wanted the information they had locked down about the one expunged from their official records. She'd be back soon, and take her spot at the table.

"It will be handled, and you can judge for yourself. As for Warlock, the difference between Discord and him make it another situation in my opinion.Discord would be able to break loose eventually, or outlive his restraints, so reforming him were the only long term sensible action, as judged by Princess Celestia. If he doesn't get a royal decree like that, we are to look upon him as a regular criminal, and judge him accordingly."

"Y'know, the reforming idea's neat and all, and if we could get him to actively do a good one, I guess it'd be worth something, but who'd even take him on? Even Discord had somepony willing to take the job of guiding him along the way, and with how much trouble Warlock have caused, I ain't seeing who'd bite the bullet here. Plus, we dunno what sorta bad stuff he's been doing before getting loose. We need some info on this guy if we're to get something done."

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@Dji

"The more I learn about ponies, the less I seem to understand sometimes..."

Nerzhei weren't throwing this at the princess, as much as just talking to herself out loud, whilst trying to grasp how you could be royalty without no actual power, but over the vague concept of friendship. How were that a thing? Did that mean that ponies could get princesses for everything, like singing? What were the requirements? And so on and so forth, until she eventually just let out a long, somewhat pained sigh and determined that she had to go at this another way to get some answers.

"Perhaps this will work better if I ignore what you can be royalty off, and then try this another way. So, what is the requirements for being a princess, and in case something happens with the current rulers, are you considered to be on retainer and primed to take over the country?"

Perhaps this were why there were princesses of what Nerzhei considered less important things. So that in case of emergency, there wouldn't have to be coronations, or attempts to find heirs, or anything like that. They'd just give the scepter to Twilight, and she would have to run the show until her own time came, or the old princesses recovered from whatever took them out of commission for a time. That could be seen as somewhat smart forward thinking, and would explain the pretty silly title of friendship princess, as it were just to give Twilight something that sounded official, yet held little to no meaning.

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@Dji

"Did they learn to accept you?"

This were Enzo's main question about this, as his suspicions seemed to be correct in regards to Karmic's comment earlier. She had gone through the process of being the one cast out for being different, and as she allowed questions now, his prime one were if those who had done that, had managed to get past it, or if she just had to keep running for long enough for everyone who knew her to forget. It seemed like something that could be of some degree of importance.

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@Dji

Happy thanked Aurora for the sign, which then got placed behind him on the wagon. he'd get it magiced into it's right place soon as they'd gotten out of town, but right now, he were trying not to draw a crowd.

"Nah, though I do like meeting her. Best customer I've had in Equestria so far, and she can have her funny moments when the mood strikes. 

And y'know, in all honesty, I'm more of a flirter than somepony who'd actually end up dating a pony more'n likely. Remember, I'm a changeling hybrid, that used to be a human just five years ago. Thinking of myself with one of 'em still seems a bit weird in my mind. I've gotten used to the thought on changelings, but there's some relation there since I got that going for myself too, so it ain't that far a stretch.

And really, my queen needs to have her hive established now. Ain't gonna have time thinking on this for a long time likely, so who knows what might end up happening? And before you ask, flirting sometimes help with the business. Other times it gets me run outta town, but eh, you win some you lose some, right?"

They'd have gotten about pretty quickly at this point, and would find themselves soon headed towards the Everfree Forest, which were the quickest way to get to where they had to, and the local packs in the forest would likely steer clear of him. He'd already shown them what happened if they tried to mess with him, and he weren't gonna hold back from repeating that if it happened again.

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@Catpone Cerberus

Ludvig leaned in to get a better look at the tooth. Seemed like one of the smaller teeth from an above average sized dragon. Equestrian by the looks of it. Dragons from other countries tended to have small, but noticeable differences in their teeth, and this were just a plain gem eaters fang it seemed. Not a bad trophy. For a pony that were.

Pulling his meaty fist around his neck, he pulled forth a long necklace of teeth that had been stashed mostly beneath the armor. A small courtesy to this place, as to not cause more of a stir than his presence tended to do already. It was a brief show of strength, but one that were not meant to be much more than that, as he simply wanted to show that he too collected these kinds of trophies, and clearly had done so with quite a lot of creatures. One on the link had been a faintly ice-blue tooth around one and a half times the size Ruby had presented, with a swirling rune vaguely pulsating on it. A tooth from a properly magical dragon, though not from her area.

"A fine trophy. For a pony anyway. If you want to face real prey someday, tell Scarcity to bring me word, and you can join me on a hunt."

That was the last Ludvig would say before getting on his way again, avoiding to wander into the unknown mare, yet almost deliberately trying to hit Marley as he passed. Something which the griffon avoided with a quick sidestep. Uncivilized brute.

When he were somewhat away from them, Spicy went over and patted Ruby on the shoulder, with a big grin plastered on her face.

"Would ya look at that? First time and you're already socializing. Hah! You're gonna fit right in here.

I'd advise you to be a bit cautious with Ludvig though. Great lad in his own way, but there's plenty a reason why he's on several countries most wanted lists.

Gotta admit though, didn't expect you to be a tooth collector too. Bit of a violent streak on ya, huh?"

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@Catpone Cerberus

"I hear her name spoken in reverence, so she at least is not now. A good thing for her people, and for you as well, as the kinder a heart she holds, the better for the times ahead. If Twilight can also be convinced to have your back, you may well get a more than fair chance when they ask for you to speak your mind to them."

A very fortunate turn of events, as well as speaking better and better for Equestria. Whilst she did not agree with them on everything, the dragons had a point when they claimed that you were only as strong as your leadership, and being the guiding light for your country were a tough burden to bear and not end up in some way or form crushed by it. Yet so far, it seemed that Celestia had not been broken by this, and neither had Luna, nor Twilight. The leadership in this country were stronger than she had been led to believe by the scaled neighbors in the mountains around the valley she grew up in.

A rustling in the trees above them turned Lyriel's attention away from this, and she looked up to find that Agni had woken up after his small nap, and were flying down to her. She had hoped that he would find rest for a time now, but at least he seemed calmer now. Likely because of Nada's song from earlier.

Putting up a leg, the phoenix would land on that, and seemingly confused, poke at her with his beak a few times.

"It is me little one. I merely changed my shape, though with how many of you that keeps asking me why I have done so, perhaps it will not last for long."

He cooed, and flapped up to sit on her head, where could sit and have a look at what else were going, which mainly meant starring at Nada currently, whilst keeping his beak shut.

"Where I came from, we once wore garments that left space for a bird to nest near our chest. This forest is making me remember those times more and more as the day passes. But I digress. Please, do you have something else you wish to speak about? You can unburden your worries, and I will listen to them. Perhaps help, if it is possible."

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@Moonlit

"Unless it poses an immediate danger, it will be up to her majesty, Princess Twilight, to decide what happens with it. It is a gift to her, near her own castle, and she may do with it as she wishes. Unless it could bring her harm, and I don't trust draconequui to not set a trap, so I stand ready to rid her of it."

She might not technically be a guard, but Last were one of many that had grown up and being taught to essentially being battle-ready fanatics, loyal to only the throne of Equestria. Official label and uniform or not, Last lived to protect the princesses, and whatever they may wish to have guarded against outside forces, and she would never let them come to harm if she had a way to avoid it. She would bring shame upon her entire family line, as well as generations of shrine maidens, if she did so.

Hearing voices going on again, it sounded as if the dragon and Princess Twilight were talking something about princesses? Potentially the law then, which were good. Savages like dragons should know the rules and follow them, just as much as anypony else.

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@Rising Dusk

"Okay, just be c-careful. The watch e-eats years. I r-really don't want to go into d-details though. P-Please."

Rising would likely have been seeing a minor reaction from the watch too, as it were lifted out of Void's field and every time would try to click open, though the release from the magic repressing field would always be too brief for anything to really happen. Just a good thing, as Void were not kidding about it eating years, and she didn't want it getting hold of Rising for even half a second. He didn't deserve to have time taken away from him. Few ever did, and neither Null nor Void had used this to make their escape from anywhere, except for one time, since seeing somepony lose year after years as the seconds ticked by were a horrid, nightmare inducing end that even Null found repulsive and vile. Hence why they had only used it once, as they didn't know the extend of this things meddle before that, just that they found it in a large hall with a warning weakly written above, and several piles of dust littering the hall.

As she said, she didn't wish to talk about this in details, and most certainly, she didn't want to think on it too much either. So after a few seconds looking like she were face to face with some kind of monster - a look which included starring into the air with a slightly open muzzle, where the lower lip shivered - Void put the pocket watch in the same chain the key were on, and went on with returning the other pieces to where they had been before, and making sure that the feathers were in the right proximity. It might seem a bit over the top for her to check and cautiously take her hoof back and forth the way she did, but just one of these things being lose could potentially cause huge amounts of devastation, so it were best to not take any chances at all. Once she were satisfied, the chain and lock would return on the cabinet, and she'd take a few steps back, holding her breath in anticipation. Thankfully, as the seconds ticked by, it seemed as if nothing happened, so with a shaky sigh of relief, she could turn to Rising and give him a small nod.

"E-Everything seems okay. I'll just u-uhm... Follow you. Though c-can I ask what we're d-doing there? Do you need s-something for a spell? More w-wards?"

She follow him closely again as he moved, so Rising wouldn't have to stop up if he wanted to talk to the tall mare. A small, practical thing that came from hanging around a mare not used to, nor liking to, stand alone. Plus, she had some trust in Rising, so he weren't just a random being to seek shelter behind, but actively somepony that Void believed were on her side, and as such, could provide her with a small feeling of safety. With how many beings lived in and wandered through this town, she were going to need that.

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@EQ_Theta

"Aunt... Krrxht calls me that."

It sounded more like scratching a wall than anything, but the name had been mentioned another time, in regards to Shrimp's egg. This being the child of one of Omen's many sisters, who had given her the stone that turned out to actually be the egg the refraction had hatched from. It were family members that neither Sen nor Lin had seen, as Omen went away to speak with them whilst Mother had some alone time with the two longma siblings.

It were a curious pair that could only really speak to Omen in the language of the Ki'nathar, so the two would likely not have understood anything regardless, but perhaps Omen should make them meet one day, when tiny Sen's and Lin's would be around, saying the same thing? Seemed like it would be what had to happen, though Krrxht would probably have to keep his tentacles to himself then. Omen had seen how ponies did with octopuses a few times, and it always seemed like they reacted weird if a tentacle would hit their face. That was how they said hello, so... Bad idea, yes? She'd have to think about that at some point.

"I can be friends with your small ones. Many years, until they go away."

Not understanding why Sen were patting her back, she raised her tongue and patted his with the end of it. She'd use a hoof, but the angle were not there to do it, so the dry, smooth tongue would be making an impact with Sen like it were a room temperature snake being bopped up and down on his skin.

As for what she said, they may recall her having once talked about death with the same phrase, of beings *going away*. Not something uncommon for a being who seemingly hadn't the option to perish from old age, even if her understanding of the prospect were rather strange. She just knew that those who went away forever, got put underground, and that no matter how long you looked at said ground, a new one of them didn't seem like they were going to grow from there. She had tried that once, and all she got were many weird looks from those going to the cemetery, a few comments here and there, and some persistent urban legends made about the statue that sometimes turned it's head and stared at random ponies at night. She figured nothing were going to happen after staying there for a year, but she sometimes went back to see if something were starting to grow there yet. So far no luck.

Looking around, after being somewhat satisfied with how things were going here in terms of understanding things, and Sen and Lin proclaiming that they may one day have small ones around them, Omen's eyes fell on the sky, where the moon shone down its pale light.

"It is dark. Sen will have to sleep, yes? Should I watch for bad things?"

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@Zephyr / Karou

Briar chuckled under the hoof he had placed over his muzzle. He knew it were perhaps not the most gracious thing to do, but the little feud of words between the two siblings, and the barely contained fright that Zephyr seemed to have over needles, were just too amusing for him. He could understand that ponies did not find it interesting to have spiked poked into them. Who would like that after all? But these were doctors. Trained professionals who managed the health of ponies, and if they used a needle, it would be to administer something that were helping said ponies. To fear your health specialists like that just seemed comical to him because they were not doing anything deserving of said fear. At least not the ones he had met, though he would be honest, that it were rare that he were near doctors, as they either ignored him, tried to examine him like he were just a regular pony and ended up confused, and/or tried experiments. But that was just against him, not regular, normal ponies, surely.

It certainly didn't help either that Sun were verbally poking at him in regards to this, which just added an extra layer of humor in the evergrown's opinion.

"Please forgive me for my reaction. It just seemed like a very comical moment."

The smile remained on his face as the door opened, but froze as something seemed to be wrong with Sun. For some reason, she just stood still in the entrance, not a peep rising from her throat or any action taken, which seemed like reason for concern. He had been about to express said concern when Zephyr beat him to it, and got an answer that spoke of certain demons still lurking below Sun's surface that in time were likely best to confront. That however, were a private matter that Briar had no right to bring up, as well as it not being his place to poke to the mental wounds of whatever had entered her mind just now. best he could do here were to just follow as she moved again, with Brittle close by, as Sun and Zephyr neared the front desk.

Behind it, a pegasus with a multicolored mane and tail - clearly from hair produce, and primarily in dark colors like purple, red, etc - had their backs to them, and were sorting through what seemed like patient files that needed to get into the right sections, but with the busy few days they'd had, some of them had gotten filed wrong in the hectic mess.

Hearing somepony behind her thought, the nurse turned around and looked at them with her blueish-green eyes and a small smile on her face.

"Good evening. I'm Nurse Needle Point, what can I help you with?"

She looked them all over, though her eyes ended up darting back to Sun a few times more. That mare looked oddly familiar, though where were it that she had seen her again... Didn't ring a bell as a local, so somepony from the outside that she might've met sometime? Were it at some party that she had spaced out? Could be that honestly, as she didn't always bite notice in who were there, and that sometimes included guests from other towns. Especially if Vinyl Scratch were playing. That could draw fans from many different places.

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@Lucid_Nightlight

"Hey, you break into my head, then I can say stuff about you too. The power of narration!

Pringles are thinking lizard things, Lucid is secretly scared that the mole people will eat his shoes, Novia is all about what sorta materials are going into a nest before her and Lucid can go snuggle, and Lumen is grumbling over sounding duck and hating evils. Something like that.

See? Totally easy. Now come on Lumen, let's hear a proper, biiiiiig evil laughter! Just like, imagine that you've beaten Karl, King of Ducks. What'd you sound like then?"

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@Blitz Boom

"Actually, I'm afraid they will eat my favorite tie."

"I prefer bird houses."

Lumen tried to do an evil laugh.

"LOL."

"Close enough. So, when is your author coming home from the hospital? His narratation is better."

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@Blitz Boom "I don't trust them as a general principle. But then again" She shrugs, "My race has a reputation among Ponys as being evil incarnate. So who am I to judge. On a happier note, do you know how long Princess Sparkle will be? I'm tried to avoid The Pink One, I'd like to avoid a Siren Reveal Party"

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@Blitz Boom

Sen chuckled as Omen mimicked a pat on his back, not bothered or disgusted by the tongue. If it were any other situation, he'd be immobilized by the gesture and the metaphorical hairs on his hide would jolt up straight while he'd turn pale white. Despite how strange this might come off to anyone else, he liked it, though likely not if it is done with any regularity. For now, this was a nice surprise, a welcomed one which Lin is all too happy to smile at. 

"You're right; I should go to sleep soon. We have a big day tomorrow and we all need to rest up."

"Looks like it's just us who'll be keeping watch tonight, Omen. I don't think anything will come stumbling into this cave but we'll keep an eye out."

"Very well. I'll see you two in the morning."

As Sen was preparing his bedroll near Rosa, he pondered on Omen's words and the mention of "going away." He seemed to take it better this time, no longer thinking about the negatives and the very worrying aspect of death. Staying with Omen and Mother, talking it with them and learning about who they are in the greater scheme of things put his mind at ease. He still dreads the day he'd pass away but that may not come soon. An average lifespan of a longma is about 150 years, more if they are in peak physical condition. Illnesses rarely ever take the life of one, much less so if they are in their prime, but it is known to happen. Those unlucky to be struck by disease usually do so due to unfortunate circumstances, complications that even the best of the longma healers couldn't wrap their heads around. Herbal remedies could only do so much... 

Those comforting thoughts and being in close proximity to those he considered friends gave him the most restful and wonderful of sleep. He dreamt of a sunlit morning with nary a cloud in the sky. There he was, older with a partner and two children, playing and telling them about Omen and Lin, who were present as well. They talked all about their adventures and how great it is to have companions like them. He wouldn't be shaken from this imagery for the rest of the evening, a first in many long years not unlike the night before where some old problems lingered in the back of his mind.

"So, I don't suppose Discord taught you ways to pass the time?" Lin looked at Omen, curious about her past interactions with the master of chaos. It was idle chatter no matter how anyone would perceive it but hopefully it might get the ball rolling. "We've got a long evening ahead and I've decided not to read by the fire."

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