Faster Than The Eye

Mar 26th, 2017
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  1. >”You’re a fucking cheat!”
  2. >Oh, how original of a complaint.
  3. >Pandering to bar patrons is really a double edged sword.
  4. >On the one hand, they tip very well on account of being liquored up to oblivion, and are too out of it to catch your more sloppy tricks.
  5. >But on the other hand, they’re also aggressive drunks.
  6. >You will /never/ forget the time a drunk old priest tried to perform an exorcism on you.
  7. >Looking over at your heckler, you can tell they’re a good five Shock Tops into their drinking tonight.
  8. >Not to mention the sixth one he’s currently nursing.
  9. A: “Now, now, I assure you I’m no-”
  10. >”Fuck off! You marked your goddamn deck!”
  11. >Well, he’s not wrong, but you’re not going to /admit/ that.
  12. >Just play it of Anon, that’s what you’re best at.
  13. A: “If you would like, you can inspect the deck sir.”
  14. >The drunk bastard looks you over, squinting.
  15. >”Well, bring the fucking cards over! And I’m watching you, so no switching decks on me!”
  16. >There goes the easy way out it seems.
  17. >Oh well, you can just hope that he’s drunk enough to not notice the slight markings you have.
  18. >Tossing over the deck, you watch, hoping for the best.
  19. >”You see? That’s a fucking mark!”
  20. >Fuck it, he’s got you.
  21. >And /that’s/ your cue to get the fuck out.
  22. A: “Enjoy the deck boys!”
  23. >And out the door you go.
  25. >Tonight’s a bust it seems.
  26. >Not only are you down a deck, but your tips are awfully light tonight.
  27. >You consider hitting another bar, but the mood has soured.
  28. >So you decide to just cut your losses and head back to the apartment.
  29. >It’s not very far from this bar, about a six minute walk.
  30. >Once inside, you empty your pockets.
  31. >Your phone, wallet two other decks, and a few other odds and ends are now strewn about a table.
  32. >Home sweet home.
  33. >You start dinner, but in the end aren't even that hungry.
  34. >Lying down on your couch, you look up at your ceiling.
  35. >Everything seems so far away right now.
  36. >You’ve been honing your skills for years, ever since you were a kid, and you’re still doing tricks at bars for tips.
  37. >Yeah, you’re young, but surely there’s more than /this/ for you at this stage of your life.
  38. >All you need is a push.
  39. >Something to put you over the edge, to get you ahead of everyone else.
  40. >”Do I smell a desire for magic?!”
  42. >You shoot up as you hear the voice.
  43. >Who the hell?
  44. >In front of you stands a large creature, an amalgam of what looks like a bunch of different species.
  45. >You didn’t take any LCD did you?
  46. >No, no, you haven’t touched that shit since that concert a year ago.
  47. >This is… real.
  48. >D: “Hey there! I hear you fancy yourself as a magician!”
  49. >Seeing nothing else to do, you nod.
  50. >D: Well, I think I can help with that! I can introduce you to a whole new world of magic!”
  51. >Well, this might just be the devil, offering a deal.
  52. >That’s metal as shit, but hey, you’re agnostic.
  53. >So fuck it.
  54. >Besides, this could be a dream anyways.
  55. A: “Yeah, okay, I’m in.”
  56. >They blink at you.
  57. >D: “Well… that was… easy. I’m really good at this! But, enough of that, on to the alterations!”
  59. >You look over the big, monster looking thing again, confused.
  60. >What did they mean by “alterations?”
  61. >It seems to be sizing you up, using its “hands” like a frame or lens.
  62. >Kind of like how you see those fashion designers do in cliche TV.
  63. >D: “Hmm, yes, yes! I have the perfect idea!”
  64. A: “And /then/ I get to learn this magic, right?”
  65. >D: “Oh, yeah, yeah, whatever.”
  66. >You sigh a bit, you still aren’t sure what’s going on with all of this.
  67. >”You’ll get a first hand look at a world of magic!” is a very steep promise, and this weird monster thing is weirding you out more and more as time goes on.
  68. >Out of nowhere, the creature is wearing a tuxedo and a top hat, stereotypical stage magician garb.
  69. >D: “I am probably nowhere as practiced as /you/, but I’m something of a fan of sleight of hand myself!”
  70. >They start shuffling a big deck of cards, whistling to themselves as they do.
  71. >All you can really do is stare at the absurd spectacle.
  72. >D: “Pick a card, any card!”
  73. >Playing along, you point at a card in the middle of the deck.
  74. >He reveals the card to you, revealing the word “Dragon”.
  75. >The card floats in the air, suspended by… well, magic you guess.
  76. >D: “And another!”
  77. >You pick another card, this one is revealed to read “Smoky Black”
  78. A: “What does that even mean?”
  79. >D: “Why, it’s scale color of course!”
  80. >That card joins the other one, floating in the air.
  81. >D: “Let’s go again!”
  83. >One more card, this time, there’s not even a word, but the outline of some animal head.
  84. >Its horns are highlighted, they curl backwards, reaching to almost to the back of the neck before stopping.
  85. >And that card too floats towards the others.
  86. >D: “I am /loving/ your choices, absolutely great.”
  87. A: “I don’t exactly see a trick here, I’m just drawing from this deck.”
  88. >The creature frowns a little.
  89. >D: “Not amused?! I understand, the trick is a slow burn, but I’m sure I can find a way to spice it up!”
  90. >In an instant, you find yourself fastened to… a wheel?
  91. >D: “I’ll change the rest of the deck into knives, and the first three to stick into the board will take the place of drawing three more cards!”
  92. A: “Wait, what?!”
  93. >Without a moment of hesitation, he lobs a knife at the wheel.
  94. >It lands close to your abdomen.
  95. >D: “That knife said… oh, it said “green eyes”!”
  96. >The knife leaves the board, and begins floating alongside those cards.
  97. >D: “Now, to spice up the trick!”
  98. >The wheel you’re on begins to slowly rotate.
  99. >Good thing you’ve never really been prone to motion sickness, because this is disorienting as hell.
  100. >Another knife goes flying, but this one misses the wheel completely.
  101. >D: “Aaaw, the female knife! That’s a sad loss!”
  102. >What the hell is this maniac talking about?
  104. >Yet another knife flies your way.
  105. >This one lands directly between your legs.
  106. >Wew.
  107. >D: “And the next one is… hmm, well, why /did/ I put this one in here? How do I even /make/ a ‘trustworthy face’? I’ll just... “
  108. >They don’t seem to be playing it up right now.
  109. >D: “I know! I’ll just go with /relatively persuasive/! Not some natural born cult leader, but you get the idea!”
  110. A: “No I don’t!”
  111. >The wheel begins to spin absurdly fast, no doubt in response to your retort.
  112. >Knives begin zipping by, missing the target completely.
  113. >Oh, so now he’s just toying with you.
  114. >Sounds like a stage magician alright.
  115. >Finally, after what seems like forever, the final blade sticks on the very edge of the wheel.
  116. >D: “And to wrap it all up! Our big final effect is…”
  117. >You listen as the wheel begins to slow down.
  118. >D: “Well uh, I ran out of the fun knives, so I just grabbed one of yours…”
  119. >Looking over, it was the knife in your sink from when you were chopping up the steak for dinner.
  120. >D: “I’ll just say that means you have… cooking skills?”
  121. >You shoot them a judgemental look.
  122. >D: “It’s the /first/ performance of this trick! Give me a break! Hiccups are bound to happen!”
  124. >You’re released from the wheel, falling on your ass with absolutely no grace.
  125. A: “Now what?”
  126. >D: “Why, the big climax of the trick!”
  127. >The creature takes off their hat, making it grow exponentially in size.
  128. >It’s big enough to fit, well, fit you!
  129. A: “Wait a sec-”
  130. >He drops the hat on you, instantly covering you and blotting out your vision.
  131. >A moment later, he lifts it, and puts it back on his head as it shrinks.
  132. >Everything seems… bigger.
  133. >Looking down, you’re butt naked.
  134. >However, that’s only the /second/ weirdest thing you’ve seen.
  135. >Your whole body is covered in greyish black scales.
  136. >You don’t even need to see your reflection to know what just happened.
  137. >D: “Presto~”
  138. >Their performance is capped with a bow as you sit there in utter confusion.
  139. >D: “Now then, with the formalities out of the way, let’s get you to Equestria!”
  140. A: “Equest-what?”
  141. >Your voice sounds a little different, you can’t pinpoint how, but it’s a little off.
  142. >D: “Your new, magical home!”
  143. >It creates a big red cloth and drape you in it.
  144. >D: “Now disappear!”
  145. >Once they lift it, you’re still sitting there, somewhat in shock.
  146. >He groans, snapping his fingers and sending you off.
  148. >When you look around your surroundings, you’re not in your home anymore.
  149. >The monster thing seems to be gone too.
  150. >You stand up slowly, getting your bearings.
  151. >There’s what looks like a messenger back next to you.
  152. >Upon opening it, you see a bunch of materials, organized meticulously.
  153. >There’s cards, rings, small bags, even some cooking utensils.
  154. >Quaint.
  155. >A note is also inside of the bag.
  156. >”Dear Jazz (trust me, that name will fly much better here), I hope that your trip was smooth! You are in Equestria, a world you may know from your world’s My Little Pony’ where magic and the like are commonplace!”
  157. >What the fuck?
  158. >My Little Pony?
  159. >When’s the last time you even /heard/ of that?
  160. >You know what? It doesn’t matter right now.
  161. >”You are a dragon and, as such, that means you have no natural magic powers! So, that means your skills will not go to waste!”
  162. >So, you’ve been brought to a literal world of magic, and have no actual magic.
  163. >Why does it suddenly feel like you’ve been swindled?
  165. >”I’ve supplied you with all the materials you could possibly need for your act, along with assorted herbs and spices for your cooking.”
  166. >So they weren’t kidding about that, alright then.
  167. >”If you ever need to see me, find a lovely pony named Fluttershy, you can’t miss her. She’s pink and yellow, and absolutely delightful. You can usually find her graciously donating her time to help local animals.”
  168. >You chuckle a little, that’s the writing of a man with some /choice/ interests.
  169. >”Now then, I’ve dropped you off in the castle of this kingdom, no pressure! - Regards, Discord.”
  170. >In the castle?
  171. >That explains why everything looks so fancy and pristine here.
  172. >But, you have a feeling these… ponies probably aren’t expecting a visit from you.
  173. >Ah, there’s a door!
  174. >Putting on your bag, you walk right through it.
  175. >And right into a conversation between a few ponies.
  176. >TS: “Princess Celestia are you sure that-”
  177. >All eyes in the room turn to you.
  178. >Well, time to put that showmanship into good use it seems.
  179. >Royalty always likes having court entertainment, right?
  180. >It’s time to give them some entertainment then!
  181. >Just got to hope that this isn’t the “off with your head!” kind of royalty.
  183. J: “Why, this isn’t the bathroom at all!”
  184. >No reaction from either horse.
  185. >Tough crowd then, alright, just got to warm them up is all.
  186. J: “My humblest apologies your”
  187. >You have no idea if the other one is of royal blood, but best to be generous than to anger one of them.
  188. >C: “Are you from the Dragonlands?”
  189. >The what now?
  190. >Are those a thing?
  191. J: “I’m from… somewhere!”
  192. >The two ponies give each other a worried look.
  193. >TS: “Should we call the guards?”
  194. >Shit, shit, shit, backpedal time!
  195. J: “Okay, okay, the jokes aren’t landing and I take blame for that, I’m more of a magician than a comedian anyways. My name is Jazz, and I’ve been sent here by Discord!”
  196. >Their eyes widen a bit.
  197. >TS: “What is he planning /this/ time?”
  198. >Oh even better, looks like they aren’t fans of this Discord guy.
  199. J: “I don’t know! I was just dropped in this place by him!”
  200. >The two begin to talk with each other in a hushed tone.
  201. >You probably still have time to run like hell and live in the hills like a wildman if you book it now.
  202. >But, there’s a chance that you aren’t going to absolutely murdered.
  204. >C: “Jazz was it? Are you okay?”
  205. >Well, that’s not what you expected, but you’ll definitely take it.
  206. >You nod a little, rubbing your arm.
  207. >C: “Well… Discord’s doing or not, you’re here now. And I believe that means we should extend a warm welcome.”
  208. >Looks like your performance was a hit!
  209. >That or they’re just really charitable.
  210. >Either way, it doesn’t matter, you’re not getting beheaded!
  211. >C: “You mentioned you were a magician? I’m sorry but, dragons don’t tend to be very… magically inclined.”
  212. >You give a hearty little chuckle.
  213. J: “I can promise you, I’m not like your average dragon!”
  214. >It’s showtime, this could be one of your most important tricks ever.
  215. >Time to pull out all the stops, no holds barred.
  216. >Brandishing a standard, non-marked deck of cards, you shuffle them in your claws.
  217. >These hands handle cards better than you thought!
  218. >Lots of dexterity.
  219. >Fanning the cards out in front of the princess, you shut your eyes.
  220. J: “Pick a card, any card!”
  221. >You feel the card leave the deck, you can just assume it wasn’t taken with their hooves.
  222. J: “Show it to your friend, then put it back anywhere in the deck!”
  223. >The hard part is already over, you felt them take the card you forced.
  224. >The moment the card is back, you open your eyes.
  225. >Your small audience looks on with wide eyes.
  226. >After playing up the “process” for a while, you brandish a card triumphantly.
  227. J: “Was this your card?!”
  228. >It’s almost too basic, but you have a feeling these ladies aren’t quite familiar with the art of card tricks.
  229. >TS: “That’s… that’s… incredible…”
  230. >Bullseye.
  232. >They have you repeat the trick a few times.
  233. >You, of course, nail it both times.
  234. >It’s one of the first tricks you mastered, a pretty trivial trick for you.
  235. >After the fourth time, you toss the deck back into your bag.
  236. J: “And that’s just a sample of what I do!”
  237. >C: “I must say that I’m rather impressed. Tell me, how did you get to be proficient in magic?”
  238. J: “It was pratice mostly, I sat down and just, well, just put my mind to it!”
  239. >The bigger one, Celestia you think, nods in understanding.
  240. >C: “If you had to gauge the extent of your power, how would you?”
  241. >A good question…
  242. J: “Good question! I must admit my craft is lacking in practical uses, there may be a few here or there, but in all honesty- I most likely pale in comparison to ladies as such as you two!”
  243. >The younger one seems to blush a little at the compliment.
  244. >If you had to guess, you’d say that you’re in good standings with these two!
  245. >Not a bad start to your stay here, not bad at all!
  246. >It was probably smart to not oversell yourself.
  247. >You may get asked to prove yourself at any time, and the whole “liar revealed” trope is one you don’t want to live out.
  248. >So, you’ll keep it as real as possible!
  250. >TS: “That was quite the showing, but I believe Princess Celestia and I were in an important conversation…”
  251. >C: “Yes, but I think it can wait until we have our guest situated. Would the Princess of Friendship care to exercise her title?”
  252. >You almost swear you catch a bit of a smirk on Celestia’s face.
  253. >After a moment, the smaller one nods.
  254. >C: “Excellent. Now, Jazz, Princess Twilight Sparkle will lead you to a guest chamber you may stay in for the time being, I hope you find it to your liking.”
  255. J: “Thanks! I’m sure it will be perfect, and you have been an amazing audience.”
  256. >You give her a little bow before following this Twilight out the door.
  257. >This place is certainly interesting, you can give it that.
  258. >Being a dragon in some fantasy kingdom was never a possibility to you, but here you are now!
  259. >But, if you’re going to be here for a while, you’ll probably need a bit more information about the place.
  260. >Talking with Discord again probably wouldn’t hurt.
  261. J: “Oh! Hey, do you know a Fluttershit?”
  262. >TS: “Flutter...shit? Do you mean Fluttershy?”
  263. J: “Um, yeah! My bad, I must have misheard Discord…”
  264. >You chuckle softly, rubbing the back of your neck.
  265. >No smooth way to play that one off, not really.
  266. >TS: “But, yes, I do. She’s one of my best friends actually.”
  267. J: “I’d expect nothing less from the Princess of Friendship!”
  268. >Hey, this is going great! You’ve already got your link to the pony Discord told you about!
  270. >TS: “And this is where you’ll be staying!”
  271. >It’s a quaint looking room, nothing too grand, but definitely comfy.
  272. >You sure as hell weren't going to complain.
  273. >Twilight heads back, leaving you to your room.
  274. >The first thing you do is walk over to the mirror.
  275. >There you are: Jazz the Dragon.
  276. >Jazz the black dragon.
  277. >A black dragon… named Jazz.
  278. >Discord you racist fuck.
  279. >You chuckle at the thought as you really look yourself over.
  280. >Never did you ever expect to inspect your tail before.
  281. >So surreal!
  282. >But, not exactly bad.
  283. >You're a lot shorter than before, but your reflexes seem a lot more honed.
  284. >All the better for your tricks.
  285. >Having seen enough of your body, you lie on the bed.
  286. >It's only mid afternoon, but you’re tired.
  287. >Kinda like jet lag maybe?
  288. >Makes sense, it was nighttime when you were sent here.
  289. >You fluff your pillow and throw your covers over yourself.
  290. >Time for sleep!
  292. >When you wake up, there’s a horse in your room.
  293. >It makes you jump a bit, messing up your somewhat tidy bed.
  294. >Oh right, ponies, they’re all horses.
  295. >”I brought you some breakfast”
  296. >The random horse-pony leaves you a tray, before quickly departing.
  297. >Not big on the small talk it seems.
  298. >You sit up, looking at the tray.
  299. >Eggs, toast, oatmeal… a perfectly made homemade breakfast.
  300. >You prefer omelets, but over-medium eggs are nothing to complain about.
  301. >You dig in, savoring every bite.
  302. >Best. Eggs. Ever.
  303. >It’s a good thing they didn’t have you go out to a dining hall for breakfast, because you are very, very hungry.
  304. >If this what meat, you’d probably be covered in juices and blood.
  305. >And then your sheets would be all messy too, and that means /someone/ would have to clean them.
  306. >What a mess.
  307. >Yeah, good thing you’re just eating eggs!
  308. >Although, once you master table manners, a steak wouldn’t hurt at all.
  309. >Once you’re finished with your meal, you get out of the bed entirely.
  310. >What to do with yourself today?
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