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Herp - The One and Only moth [FULL]

Feb 20th, 2014
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  1. *Text here* - Thinking
  2. >Text here – Narration
  3. -Text here - action.
  4. “Text here” - talking
  5.  
  6. *Walking through the rotten forest.*
  7. *Wait that’s not right, RUSHING through the rotten forest.*
  8. *Not the best of situations to be in. Hell, probably the worst imaginable. It would be nice if your wing weren’t cut. Flying’s still possible, or rather, an incoherent flutter is still possible but highly ill-advised. Considering there are more things that catch flyers here.*
  9. *Best chance to get out of this alive is before sundown, so at least you’ve got time until then. About, 4 hours at best. Keep running.*
  10. *Completely focused on what’s ahead of you, tunnel visioned, getting tired. Exactly the three things you want to avoid here. If you’re tunnel visioned, you don’t see what’s to the right or left of you. Getting tired just means that you’re more likely to get caught by the stuff that’s to the right or left of you. So focus on the field of view and pace yourself.*
  11. *Still going strong. No sight of any civilization. Hell, if it weren’t for your excellent navigational skills and lucky landing, you’d have no idea where home is. Then again, you won’t know for sure that you’ve hit home until it basically hits you on the snout.*
  12. *What a hunting mission this turned out to be, only the scout’s left alive and the gatherers were already turned into husks once you came to your senses. You only saw one, but that’s well enough to consider the mission a complete and total failure.*
  13. *Cave at 2 o’clock. You’d think it’s a good place to shelter for the night. Hell no. Stay as far away from that as possible. One look deeper in there and the luminescent carnivorous plants have got you. I needed to go west here anyway.*
  14. *Fork road up front, turn left, hope to SATURNIIDAE there’s nothing blocking the way.*
  15. *Left, trail seems clear enough to traverse. Almost taking a risk, but not quite yet...*
  16. *Keep going dammit, you haven’t got much to live for but there’s no way in Equestria you’re giving up to this forest. Moth Ponies who beat this forest aren’t that uncommon. You won’t be any different, dammit.*
  17. *Freaking vines. One wrong step and you’re going down. The rot doesn’t affect your hooves, but it sure as hell will affect your face and neck if you trip over.*
  18. *Nectar at 1 o’clock. Not really your priority right now. But damn would it be nice to come back home with SOMETHING. Just two jars would be enough for the village to last this night without hunger…*
  19. ”… Fuck.”
  20. *I need to bring back that nectar. Scouts have two jars, gatherers get up to ten, depending on their size and flight skill.*
  21. *Pan right. Risking it. Coming in close, spread wings. STOP. Risking it real hard. Take the jar out of the bag, unscrew, dip it in, take it out after two loud “blubs”, screw it back up, repeat process.*
  22. *Take one sip for good measure, now RUN. Stupid risks, always your weakness. Pan left and get back on the beaten path.*
  23. *There’s only one recorded emergency path, if this gets cut off by the rot, no survivors in the forest would have a certain way back. The trees here are near collapse, best inform my superiors about the necessity for new emergency paths.*
  24. *Now that I’ve got the nectar, I HAVE something to live for. These two jars won’t make us scramble as much as just one would. Why did they think ignoring the stock problem was a good idea? Why send us at the last possible second? It made us panic and lose focus. DAMMIT. The village has been making nothing but one bad decision after another lately.*
  25. *Three way fork, now take the right. If I’m not wrong, this is the last turn. But we’ve been warned that there’s a… “Troublesome tree” not too far after the last turn. I’ll deal with it when I see it.*
  26. *Right, nothing immediately visible. Good, keep up the pace!*
  27. *Legs are starting to get tired now. If my wings weren’t shot, I’d have been out of here by now with a high overpass of the forest. The thing that nicked me wasn’t a plant though and I’m lucky as all hell it ripped part of my wing off, otherwise I’d have been infected. *
  28. *I’m guessing the only reason I’m still alive is because the gatherers took down whatever took me down, at the highest of costs. They could have just left. Why take care of me? Why me, of all of them? I’m the least important. New recruits, I swear. They probably didn’t want to cut their losses and went after me.*
  29. *The only one I really got to meet was Cotton Ball. He was nice, an agile Moth, easily the best of the gatherers. Shame he’s gone now. I was his only real friend, he said. At the very least, there’s no one to bring the bad news to. Most of us were stripped of our families. That’s the way of life here, so we’d just end up making new ones.*
  30. *Not the easiest of paths, but when death is so frequent around here, you have no other choice but to take it as lightly as possible. Or else you’ll go mental.*
  31. *Where’s this tree, dammit? I don’t see a damn thing up front… Wait. FIELD OF VIEW!*
  32. >You get knocked over by a root you fail to notice.
  33. *Get up. Saturniidae that hurts... Get. UP. What even hit me, damn? GET UP.*
  34. >You get up despite the pain.
  35. *Look right, empty. Look left, INCOMING ROOT. DUCK.*
  36. >You duck and barely dodge the root. Dash forward and keep on going.
  37. *That must’ve been the tree. SHIT. I got knocked over! Now I’m a live husk. SHIT! And I was so close! I can still get the nectar back. Focus on that. Don’t give up to this DAMNED forest.*
  38. *Few minutes into the infection, getting hard to breathe, where’s the infection spreading anyway?... Chest area, neck also most of the legs. Dammit! Where’s the freaking village?? I’m dying here!*
  39. *Wait, running up to an opening. Oh please tell me this is it, oh please Saturniidae tell me that’s the village.*
  40. >You dash through the last few trees and straight into the village area, there’s a very defined line between the rot and the village, you make way for the town center as hastily as you manage, almost limping by now.
  41. >Plenty of Moths notice you as you run by, some gasping in shock. One flies up.
  42. >”Hey, boy, ya hear me?”
  43. *No time to respond, no energy either. Just keep running.*
  44. >”Look, kid, stop running, you’re done for. You’re already infected, where are you going?”
  45. *To the town center dipshit, can’t you tell? Oh hell, about to lose motor control.*
  46. >You start seriously limping now, still making haste as much as you can. You see the Elder out a ways in front of you and you rejoice.
  47. *Here I am.* ”Huff…” *I’ve got some nectar.* “Pant…” *Just take it and use it.* ”Wheeze…”
  48. >Your legs give out, instinctively your wings turn on and you start flopping towards the elder.
  49. *Just take this damn nectar.* “-Caugh-” *And try… Again… Tomo-rrow…*
  50. >That’s it, with the last few flops of your wings, you crash to the ground and the jars in your bag fly out. They roll towards the elder and clink onto his hooves. You’re within full view of everyone in town and although your physical strength has given out, your senses are still more or less there.
  51. >The elder, as he’s looking down on you in your dreaded state. Smiles for once in a really long time. That smile. The smile of the elder upon you. Only the best of the best have managed that, Cotton Ball included.
  52. [forgot the continued in the last part...]
  53. >”Good work, scout. You’ve brought me back a live infected. Get him to my quarters, it doesn’t matter if you touch him or not, it’ll be fine. Come on, WITH HASTE!”
  54. >You’re not sure what he means by that. Nor do you care. Second by second it gets harder and harder to breather. Second by second you want to die just to end the pain. The last few waking moments are of moth ponies gathering round and picking you up.
  55. *They’re… Picking me up again… Why?.. Why keep t-rying to… Save me, of all of them?..*
  56. >And with that, in the hands of many Moths, you loose consciousness.
  57.  
  58. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  59. 2. *NOT spreading diseases*
  60.  
  61. “…-GROAN-”
  62. >*Oooh frig everything hurts. Sweet Saturniidae does everything hurt. Can’t even bear to open my eyes! I swear if this is what the afterlife is supposed to be I will give Saturniidae a piece of my damned mind.*
  63. >*I can’t even help but be frozen in one place, shaking uncontrollably. I don’t think it’ll get any easier any time soon, too. C’mon, Pollen Seed. Open your dagger stabbed eyes. C’mon, c’mon, C’MON, DAMMIT.*
  64. >You open up your aching eyes, little by little, fighting the feeling of 5 needles going in at once.
  65. >*Dammit, I can’t see anything anyway. Everything’s too hazy! It’s like looking through cloth!*
  66. >A spike of pain runs through your spine all the way up to the back of your head. You tense up again, eyes slam shut and can’t help but release a shout in pain.
  67. *AAAAAHHH, DAAAMMITKSSSSS!”
  68. >*This is feaking ridiculous! WHERE AM I, anyway? Aren’t I DEAD? I sure as FUCK should be. And if I’m not I’d almost rather BE dead… This won’t get me anywhere. I’ve got to relax. Calm down and breathe… Breathe…*
  69. >After what feels like an eternity in pain, your muscles start to relax, the pain seems to start releasing its rose vine like grip on you.
  70. ”Nghhh… Pant. Pant.”
  71. >*Oh Saturniidae does that feel better. It’s not as grueling as before. Still hurts like I were cut up with a precision knife, but at least not as much as being thrown in a pool of acid and being perpetually magically regenerated. WITHOUT the last painkiller step of the spell.*
  72. >A few minutes in uncomfortable rolling around and hard breathing, you manage to start thinking about something other than the pain.
  73. >*Okay so where am I? What the hell’s touching me? Feels like… Sheets? I’m in bed, aren’t I?.. Well I’m not sticking around here. If I’m alive I may as well ACT like it.*
  74. >You struggle around, moving around the sheets with you, uncovering your aching limbs and body.
  75. >*C’mon, sheets. Leggo! Gotta open up my eyes again. Maybe this time I’ll be able to see. C’mon, c’mon, c’mon… Hang on a tick. Something’s touching me. Who the hell’s? They’re touching the back of my head. Why go there?.. They’re unbinding a piece of cloth aren’t they?.. Pshhh I should have guessed. Couldn’t really feel much besides the pain until now.*
  76. >*K, cloth undone. Now open up your eyes, Pollen Seed. Do a favor for both of us.*
  77. >*Open sesame!.. Whoa, brown. Wait, this is a tent... Whotouchedme??...?*
  78. >You trail your still aching eyes to the right of you and notice your elder. Looking at you with a smile.
  79. “ELDER!”
  80. >”Yes, yes. It’s me. And you’re alive, it seems.”
  81. “Heh, alive but hardly well. What happened, Elder? Why AM I still alive? I thought the rot turned everything it touched to husks.”
  82. >”It does.”
  83. “… Then how am I still-?”
  84. >”What makes you think you’re not a husk?”
  85. “… Wait what?”
  86. >*Error. Logical value exceeding acceptable parameters. Additional data is required.*
  87. >*But if that were true that’d mean my body would be… Oh no. I’m afraid to look down. I don’t want to look down.*
  88. >“What you are right now is not quite what you were before. But you are alive and in time, just as able bodied as you were before, if not more.”
  89. >*Don’t make me look down you old geezer. TELL ME WHAT I AM.*
  90. “Elder… What exactly AM I if I’m not my old self?” – with a whimper in your voice.
  91. >”A mix! A mix between nature itself and us mothponies. Something divine. Saturniidae’s own kin.”
  92. >*Unable to read “Latest Elders statement.txt”. Logical response >Wat.*
  93. “Wat.”
  94. >*What in Equestria is he talkin-*
  95. >You look down.
  96. >*Flowers. Fluff and flowers in places where it shouldn’t be. On my legs, on my chest tufts, Does that… That looks leafy where my wing was nicked… IS MY MANE-*
  97. >You start frantically touching each tuft of hair and flowers on you. Panicking. And finally touching your mane.
  98. >*Mane. Feels like hair. No flowers. Phew. Good.* - “Siiiigh…”
  99. >You plomp your head back on your pillow with no clue as to WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON.
  100. >The elder still looking at you with a content smile on his face. And a logical question sparks in your head.
  101. “What. Did you do?..”
  102. >”I SAVED you. And that’s all you need to really know.”
  103. >-blink- -blink- *”Saved” being a bit… Subjective here, Elder. I’m not even going to question it much. I’m a scout. I’m not supposed to ask questions. Except…*
  104. “So what will my duties be now?”
  105. >The elder looks at you surprised. Eyes shot open and him taken aback.
  106. >”Thinking of duties this quick? You’re not even out of bed yet! Your duty right now is to rest! I still don’t fully understand what you are and you want me to already have your schedule planned out??”
  107. “Well, yeah. I’m a scout. You said it yourself, I’ll be just as able bodied as before. So I should be sent back on the line as soon as possible, no? I mean, compared to the last time I saw you, this pain isn’t even a hindrance.”
  108. >”No, no... Well. I do have plans for you, but nothing I want you to do in the near future.”
  109. “Well tell me then. What plans? I’ll have to be a part of them sooner or later, why not as soon as I am able?”
  110. >”Huh, thinking just like a Soldier would. Well fine. If you are so eager I shall tell you what I have planned for you.”
  111. >*Better prep myself. This could go anywhere.*
  112. >”After you’re done resting, I was thinking of sending you out into the forest again.”
  113. >*No surprise there.*
  114. >”But this time, you’re going to go a little bit further.”
  115. >*Wait. Further? Further how?*
  116. >”After you’re in the rotten forest, I want you to keep going until you exit out again.”
  117. >*Exit ou- Wait. NO.*
  118. >”Once you’re out, you are to go to Celestia or Luna and request a space within the realms of her kingdom, instead of this wrenched forest. I’m hoping your “Special properties” will be enough to convince them you are a proper representative of the mothponies.”
  119. >*No. NO! I became a scout specifically to avoid all this political crap! NO!*
  120. >”The truth is, Pollen. I want us to leave this forest. I want to leave here and never come back. Your main priority will be to convince them to let our village stay there. Other villages are a secondary objective.”
  121. “I have no say in the matter, do I?”
  122. >”I’m afraid not. Unless you want to let the entire village down and leave it to its fate.”
  123. “Yeah okay, but why me then? There are plenty of scouts specifically designated to leave the forest area and keep contacts with the outside. Although there are few, but five moth ponies would surely make the same impression as one covered in flowers.”
  124. >”Can you walk?”
  125. “… Yeah I guess I could.”
  126. >You shimmy out of bed and place your hooves firmly on the ground and trot around a bit in the tent.
  127. >”Good. Now follow me outside.”
  128. >*And here’s to hoping that not EVERY mothpony in town will flock to me.*
  129. >As you step out of the tent behind the elder, you note that the town is in a much more lively mood than usual. Moths trotting and flying around with actual smiles on their faces. As you walk, regularly would a moth come up to say a “Hi” or “Good to have you back.”. More so than usual. The whole town seems chipper.
  130. >”Take in the lively nature of this town for once. You see how many moths are happy right now? They’re happy because you’re alive.”
  131. “B-Because of me? The town’s this lively because I’m alive.”
  132. >”Yes. You see. Once one of the nurses that helped me let the word out of what you have become, rumors spread like wildfire. Not too long afterwards, you were considered our salvation. Saturniidae’s kin. The next God of the mothponies.”
  133. >*Did he just say- -*
  134. “Saturniidae’s kin?? Hold on, WHAT? Just because of a few flowers and a leaf for a wing?”
  135. >”Precisely . I wasn’t able to stop them. I for one know that this is just a mutation. But they insisted that you were “The chosen moth” or something. The truth is, I just hadn’t had the chance to try and clean a near husk yet. Either way, each and every moth in the village agreed that you are to be sent to the forest to clear a path to the mainland. In spite of your new immunity to the rot, that’s not as farfetched of a possibility.”
  136. “Immunity to the rot? You mean I’m immune to the rot now? How do you know that? Wasn’t I out cold the whole time I was treated?”
  137. >”Well…”
  138. >The elder walks up behind you and SHOVES you straight beyond the edge of town. With all the talk, you hadn’t even noticed that you WERE close.
  139. *WHOA WHAT??* -Thud- *OH SHIT. OH HELL. GET OUT. GET. OUT.*
  140. >You hop right back out of the edge and look around your entire body. There’s plenty of rot, moss and mildew on it, but none that sticks. It all just sorta… Slides off, without you even moving much.
  141. “How did-. DID YOU JUST TEST THAT OUT NOW??”
  142. >”I may have.”
  143. “WHY?? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT??”
  144. >”Although I understand the reason for your tone, that is no way to talk to your elder.”
  145. “Oh.. Well, I’m sorry but. How could you be so reckless?”
  146. >”I was not at all reckless. You are part of the rot plant now. The rot doesn’t consume itself. As such, it does not consume you.”
  147. “But wasn’t that just a theory??”
  148. >”It was up until a minute ago. Whether it worked or not, I am able to get rid of minor infections without side effects. You really think every villager who touched you has flowery hooves now? ”
  149. “… Yeah but-… I- I guess I overreacted.”
  150. >”Yes. Yes you did. Anyways. Every moth thinks it is you who should convince Celestia and Luna to give us a place in the mainland. You are immune to the rot so it will be a safe trip to you. I need not worry about your return and you seem eager to do the tasks you are given. Not to mention you definitely look the part of our proper God. Those are the reasons I am sending YOU, of all the moths.”
  151. >*Although those reasons make perfect sense. I still call bull. But there’s no saying “no” to the elder, or the entire village. I guess there’s not much choice.*
  152. ”Fine then. I will go. But I want you to know I am no diplomat! If I fail to convince Celestia and Luna, you should not shun me! I am going to speak to royalty here.”
  153. >”Celestia and Luna do not act as royal as you think. Despite being royalty, they are fairly easy going ponies.”
  154. “How could you possibly know that?”
  155. >”There is a reason I was appointed leader of this village, Pollen.”
  156. >*Did he just- ?*
  157. >”Regardless! You are to go to our storage house. There you are to find Cotton Ball, he will equip you with your regular scouting gear, the only exception being the two full jars.”
  158. “Wait. Cotton Ball’s alive?? HOW??”
  159. >“… What do you mean? Your entire team is alive and well. They came back a few hours before you came trotting from the forest. They thought you were dead, cut their losses and went on with the mission. We got 19 jars that day. 21 including yours.”
  160. “Then who’s husk did I see when I came too that day? And why didn’t whatever nick me come to kill me??”
  161. >”Those are questions I cannot possibly know the answer to. You are the one with the memories. Make sense of them.”
  162. >*Pssh, wise ass.*
  163. >”My briefing is done. You are to go to Cotton Ball as soon as you feel you are ready. I thought it would take at least a month for you to recover. So you have a week.”
  164. “How did it go from a month to a week??”
  165. >”You’re the one who wanted to be appointed somewhere. So I’m appointing you.”
  166. >*I just HAD to play strong solider.*
  167. >”You are dismissed.”
  168.  
  169. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  170. 3. *At a disadvantage...*
  171.  
  172. >”So then, ready to go?”
  173. “No, no I’m not. But I have no say on the matter. So I’m going anyways.”
  174. >”Correct. Glad to see you’re still obedient.”
  175. “Y’know, you’re kind of an ass for an Elder. Anyone ever tell you that?”
  176. >”Only one pony. You will be meeting her shortly.”
  177. >*This Elder. This Elder right here…*
  178. “Was it Luna or Celestia?”
  179. >”Celestia, of course. Only recently did Luna re-join the thrown.”
  180. *Oh right. That’s a thing that happened.*
  181. >”I expect Celestia to be her nonchalant self as usual. But I have no idea what to expect of Luna. I have never met her and I hear she’s quite old fashioned. That’s where your increased stature and obvious connection to nature will help you the most. They should take you for a proper magical being.”
  182. >*Despite not actually having magic at my control.*
  183. “Alright, alright. Go to Celestia and chill with her. Go to Luna and tighten myself to unhealthy levels.”
  184. >”If you are lucky, Celestia will schedule for you to meet them both at the same time. I imagine these negotiations will not be done overnight. So we’ll be expecting you within the month. If you do not return or do not send word until then, we will send a search party.”
  185. “Right, right. Y’know, I was expecting more of a going away celebration than this. Just saying goodbye to you seems rather lack luster.”
  186. >”Every moth is asleep during the day. You leaving this way shows humility to all of the moths in the village.”
  187. “Teaching the youngsters old values are you?”
  188. >”I do my best.”
  189. “Wellp, see you in a month, old moth.”
  190. >”Hopefully sooner.”
  191. >*And takeoff. Damn does it feel good to fly again. I can remember the first few evenings with this healed wing. It was hard as heck to control myself, the leafy texture is a lot heavier and smoother than my full wing. It was almost like learning how to fly as I was just going into maturity.*
  192. >*This isn’t going to be a long journey. Despite the forest being expansive, crossing it by high flight is no trouble at all. Regular moths can’t fly this high, but a scout can reach almost as high as a Pegasus. Some have been known to surpass pegasi, but usually we’re a lot slower and we can’t fly as high.*
  193. >*My first target is Canterlot. As soon as I get there I’m going to have to find a guard pony to help me out. With luck, he will either take me straight to Celestia or at least send word to her right away. Here’s to hoping he’s even SEEN a moth pony before. Let alone one like me. It would also be nice not to meet up with anypony on my way there. That way I won’t have any explaining to do.*
  194. >*Maybe I should just wait for the evening and go find a batpony instead? They’ve definitely seen plenty of moths and I wouldn’t be risking meeting anypony along the way. But then again, I will be risking Luna’s unpredictable demeanor. No, going to Celestia seems best.*
  195. >*After that… Wait. What am I supposed to do after that? I give word to a guard or Celestia and I have to wait till I get a meeting with Celestia or Luna. But where?? There are no Mothpony outposts outside of the forest, none that I’ve been informed of anyway. Am I to just wander in the park or something??*
  196. “Groooan…”
  197. >*I’m going to have to wander around the park aren’t I? Well, I can rely on luck once more and maybe request some lodgings from Celestia. Oh wait. I’ve got some bits! I can use those to buy a room in an inn or something. Hmmm, but what inn would let me in? I imagine the ponies won’t be too keen on letting me sleep in their inns’ looking like I do. Uggh… I’ll figure it out once I’m there.*
  198. >A few hours of flight and plot unrelated thought later.
  199. >*Finally! Canterlot! I can see it already! Or at least I presume that’s it. Now to just get there and find a guard pony. Shouldn’t be too hard. Just fly straight towards the castle, that can’t go wrong. I hope.*
  200. >*Hang on, guard ponies are coming straight for me. At an alarming speed I might add! Oh shit I think I messed up! Okay, stop. You’ve seen them, they’ve seen you see them, you both know you’re aware of one another, they have no reason to bust you yet. I hope…*
  201. >”Identify yourself. Who or WHAT are you?”
  202. >-Gulp-*Okay, royal face on. Need to make this look good.*
  203. “I am Pollen Seed, I come on the behalf of the mothponies to negotiate business with the royal sisters.”
  204. >”I have never seen a mothpony like you before. I ask again, what are you?”
  205. “A mothpony. Or rather, I am their designated protector, enchanted caretaker and God of the rot forest. They rely on me and me alone to keep them safe from the rot that surrounds them. And today, I have come here in hopes that I may not need do so any longer.”
  206. >”God of the rot forest? That title goes to Saturniidae, their GODDESS. Not some mutated moth plant thing that’s just decided to turn up out of the blue. If you were truly a God, wouldn’t you have ways to communicate with Celestia without trying to fly in unannounced and straight into her guard?”
  207. “Although your knowledge of our mythology is commendable. YOU WILL WATCH WHAT YOU SAY TO A GOD. Tis indeed true that I come unannounced, but the circumstances are too dire as not to react quickly. I would reach out to Celestia through the plants, but the rot has left me little room to move through the plants and I simply do not have the time to use my weakened powers.”
  208. >”So you say. What are the dire circumstances then?”
  209. “More and more moths keep dying to the rot every day. I cannot hold back the rot from them as they enter to hunt for food. Although I have helped cultivate some nectar providing plants, it is nowhere near enough for them survive. They go out hunting for nectar every week or so, and almost always return in weaker numbers. I cannot bear to let my creations suffer so any longer. So I come to the royal sisters with a request. A request to make space in their kingdom for at least one village of the moths.”
  210. >”So you come on behalf of the mothponies? All of them?”
  211. “Yes.”
  212. >”The problem with you moths is that many of you come this way for the exact same reason with the same words. Yet every time we come to an agreement, it turns out the agent was of a single village alone, with none of the others informed of what is happening. Why should I trust you any more than I would trust a rogue moth?”
  213. >”My exterior alone should already be a strong enough reason. Should we have this conversation on the ground, a unicorn would confirm my magical aura. But as you are not convinced, mayhap a demonstration of my powers will change your tone?”
  214. >“Surprise me.” – with a roll of his eyes.
  215. >*Good thing I anticipated this. Alright then, let’s see how you react to a face full of ROT. Best part about being a moth pony, you get to be dusty and no one’s much the wiser. I’ve stored plenty of dust from the rot within my leg tufts. One blow through them and BAM, his whole face is infected and stinging.*
  216. >You fly up close to the guard and look him dead in the eye. Raise your hooves next to his face and blow into them. The dust scatters and goes straight through the guards face.
  217. >”… So you can make dust out of your tufts, big whoop.”
  218. >*Wait for it.*
  219. >”You moths are always dusty.”
  220. >*Wait for iiit…*
  221. >”Without those tufts of fur on your legs, you wouldn’t even have been able to do-… Whoa. Wait, ow that hurts. HNN, my whole FACE stings!”
  222. >*And just like that, all of them are terrified.*
  223. >”What the hell did you do to me?!?”
  224. ”I’ve spread the rot on your face as punishment for acting so rudely towards me. You well deserve it as your tone towards me is not acceptable.”
  225. >”SWEET CELESTIA THIS HURTS. OKAY, FINE, YOU WIN. I BELIEVE YOU. JUST GET THIS DAMN ROT OFF BEFORE I TURN INTO A HUSK!”
  226. ”Worry not then, I feel you’ve felt the pain enough. Come here.”
  227. >*The matter of removing the rot is simple. Caressing the newly infected area with my wing covers the entire infected area. And as I am immune to the rot myself, the dust from my wings counteracts the dust of the rot.
  228. >*It’s fun seeing their concerned faces. But I’m not here to strike fear. There we go, all done now.*
  229. >”Hoh… Oh thank you for your mercy. That feels much better.”
  230. “You are welcome. And now, will you take me to Celestia?”
  231. >”Yes, yes. P-please, follow me. Speedy, go report straight to Celestia that Pollen Seed is coming. Tell her everything that happened here. The rest of you, head back to your posts. I will escort Pollen to Celestia by myself.”
  232. >*SCORE! Strike one for Celestia’s cunningness. Convincing the guards is one thing though. Convincing Celestia is going to be on a whole ‘nother league.*
  233. >*Whoa this is a huge castle.*
  234. >*You’d think after 10 minutes of walking we’d be there by now. But not, apparently we’re nowhere near our destination yet.*
  235. >*Whoa that’s a huge door!*
  236. >*Seriously, its bigger than some of the buildings I’ve seen in my village!*
  237. >*WHOA that’s a long corridor!*
  238. >*Talk about a long buildup. This entire corridor could fit pretty much all of what’s left of the moths.*
  239. >*WHOOOA… That is one magical being…*
  240. >*I knew she’d be majestic but not to THIS extent. Compared to her, I’m just a dirty peasant… Which I am… Better not make that apparent. Kneel before the princess and keep your stature straight. Wouldn’t want to disrespect her even if she’s as chill as Elder says.*
  241. >*That guard’s whispering something to her… And she’s saying something back to him. Why the secrecy? Either way, at least she looks happy. I wonder why. Oop, here comes the guard.*
  242. >”The princess will speak to you right now. You are to make your point and she will decide whether you are worth the full meeting.”
  243. ”So this right now is just to see if I’m worth her time?”
  244. >”Precisely. Good luck to you, Pollen. I hope Celestia decides to help you.”
  245. “Yeeah, so do I…” – you say as you stand in awe.
  246. >*So the guard walks off and closes the door behind him. What now?*
  247. >”Pollen Seed, is it?”
  248. >*Game face on.*
  249. ”Yes. That is me.”
  250. >”So you come to me in request to let your moth ponies live alongside Equestrian ground?”
  251. ”Not alongside, but inside.”
  252. >”Yes, of course. What are your reasons for this?”
  253. ”My moth ponies keep dying every week to that damned forest and I alone am too weak to do a thing about it. I keep small patches of the forest clear of the rot so they may survive within them, but those patches hold little to no food that they need. They go out hunting every other week and each time come back in weaker numbers. I cannot bear to let this continue any longer and wish for them to transfer somewhere safer. I plead a space within your nation so at least one village may transfer.”
  254. >”I see. A humble request. A single village would be no trouble to transfer. What of the others?”
  255. ”It would be best if all of them were granted space, but if only one is allowed, I will continue looking after the villages left behind. With at least some weight removed from my heart knowing at least one village is safe.”
  256. >”How many villages in total then?”
  257. ”12 in total.”
  258. >”Can you guarantee the safe transfer of moths through the forest after I grant permission?”
  259. ”I can clear paths from each village out of the forest.*
  260. >”You seem to have this thought out.”
  261. >*This is going good.*
  262. “I would not come requesting a room to an inn without knowing how to move my items into it.”
  263. >-Soft laugh-”No. I guess you would not.”
  264. >*VERY good.*
  265. ”So, will we have a meeting to discuss the details then?”
  266. >”Don’t rush yet, Pollen. Although I realize that is what you do, being a scout.”
  267. -Gulp-*Wait what? OH NO.*
  268. >”But right now, I still have some questions.”
  269. >*Oh no. The jig is up. HOW DID SHE KNOW?? Oh shit I’m almost trembling already. MISSION FAILURE. ABORT. ABORT.*
  270. >”I see a sudden change in your posture, Pollen. You need not worry, you’re already here, discussing this with me. Whether I know you are a scout or not obviously did not matter 2 minutes ago.”
  271. “S-So does that mean that you’ll still hear me out?”
  272. >”Yes, yes it does.”
  273.  
  274. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  275. 4. *Religious revelations*
  276.  
  277. >”I only have a few more questions to ask you and then you may ask yours. Does that seem fair?”
  278. >*Not really, I feel like a proper explanation is appropriate on how she busted through my cover without even talking to me for an hour. Regardless, I’ve lost all leverage I had and must submit to whatever she says now.*
  279. “Yeah. That’s fine.”
  280. >”Very well then. You say you wish to transfer every village onto my land. Yet you come from a single village. I need to know whether every village in the forest knows of your plans.”
  281. “All of them do. I’ve had the chance to meet every village Elder and talk to them with my own Elder, they all agreed to this plan.”
  282. >”Seems rather strange as your species has a history of disagreeing to one another.”
  283. “To them, it was divine intervention that caused the change of heart. To me and my Elder, it was a golden opportunity.”
  284. >”So you’re saying you tricked every elder into thinking you’re their actual god reincarnated?”
  285. “Not really, they tricked themselves. News of me spread incredibly fast from village to village, so did the rumors. All it took to convince them was one good look at me and they all agreed to whatever I said.”
  286. >”I see… To tell you the truth, Pollen. The only reason I hadn’t given your species room in my lands was that your villages seemed too far apart. None of your villages seemed to care for the other apart for your religious connection. And if I had given room to just one without the agreement of others, a political travesty would have arisen. Once yo-”
  287. “Can you really blame us though?? We’ve spent hundreds of years apart, trying to survive as best we could in an environment designed to kill every single one of us! Can you really blame somepony for developing a selfish nature in a world where nothing but pain and suffering thrives? We had no guide, no help, our goddess was lost to the same thing that brings us so much suffering every day. And once we finally grow out of our religious shell, once we try to colonize a place different from the forest, we get this political bullshit thrown at us! A month of a political headache would have been nothing compared to all the lives lost in that damned pla-! -...”
  288. >*Oh FUCK I just cut off the Princess! OH FUCK OH GEEZ OH FUCK.*
  289. >”So why did you not take the time?”
  290. >*Yo-… You’re not going to take disrespect to that?*
  291. “… W-Well, we did! My Elder wanted to leave the forest. He was the only sane one in my opinion. The others, after a couple of unsuccessful attempts to colonize your lands decided that it’s Saturniidae’s will for us to stay within the forest. They still believed in that religious crap and we couldn’t come to an agreement! Most mothponies still believed in the religious stuff, so we had no say in it. It was us who kept trying to gain admission to your nation for the latest years. The same Elder, the same single elder kept trying to convince you to let us out. And you kept turning him down because “Leaving the forest by yourselves is selfish.”! Really??”
  292. >”As I said, letting one of your villages leave without the agreement of the others would have sparked major conflict between each other. Your species would have started a war between two leading factions. Then both of them would come to me for aid or even with threats. Eventually one of the factions may even manage to convince some of my ponies to help them, starting conflicts between me and my subjects. Allowing part of your population to my land would have unleashed chaos not documented for thousands of years on this planet. Separating species in factions would undo what Alicorns worked so hard to accomplish, a single united nation throughout the planet. It is the only way to attain peace on a global scale. Saturniidae found and took care of you wondrous creatures but was unfortunate enough to meet an untimely death, leaving you to fend for yourselves. I would have stepped in had I known your situation would escalate so quickly.”
  293. “Wait. You KNEW Saturniidae?”
  294. >”Of course I knew her.”
  295. >”She was a whimsical, young Alicorn, carefree if a bit naive. She decided to be responsible for you mothponies. It all predates the land of Equestrian power. The largest events happened on Discords reign. Although Luna and I are-, were the last Alicorns left alive, it was not always like this. There was a time when Alicorns were almost much more abundant, but then Discord came in and decided to destroy all of that in the name of chaos. Saturniidae wanted to avoid the war, so she locked herself inside a mountain. Eventually, once Discords creations started threatening you mothponies, she had no choice but to take action and had to give her life to protect you. At around the same time, me and my sister finally defeated Discord and built the Equestrian nation. I was well aware of the rot forest, but was unable to do anything more than cast a spell that prevents it from spreading unless taken outside of the enchanted barrier. I even created patches of land for you mothponies to live in, 12 in total, and took to my own ponies. Once I had returned to you, you refused to leave Saturniidaes’ resting ground despite my best efforts to convince you otherwise. And now, you come before me. Telling me that you have finally decided to leave the forest, on the word of your fictional God. I will no doubt agree. But I would not risk loosing the utopia that my beloved brothers and sisters gave their lives to protect!”
  296. ”Saturniidae was… An alicorn? Not a God?”
  297. >”Of course she was no God. There is no such thing on this world, silly stallion. But try convincing several hundred delusional moths at once.” – she finishes that sentence with a giggle.
  298. >*Caution, overload of data detected. Please refrain from gaining any more information or risk system meltdown.*
  299. “No, no I suppose you wouldn’t be able to do that…” – you say as you stand in awe once more.
  300. >”Well then, Pollen. Any more questions?”
  301. “No, no I’ll be good for a while now…”
  302. >”Good.” – with a chipper voice – “I’m glad to hear that you mothponies have finally agreed on leaving that horrible place. You have no idea how much of a weight that removes from my heart. I am glad to tell you that under these circumstances, I will head your call for help. We shall have a meeting within two weeks to discuss the details. Report to the guard at the start of the next week, tell them where you are staying and await my message. See you in two weeks, Pollen Seed. You can be quite the politician for a mothpony.”
  303. “Alright then, thank you for the praise and I will be taking my leave now…”
  304. >”Have a wonderful week here in Equestria!”
  305. >You walk out the giant door completely appalled at what just came out of her mouth. Until it finally hits you.
  306. >*… Aaaah shit! I still have no idea where I’ll be staying!*
  307.  
  308. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  309. 5. *Cross City Conundrum*
  310.  
  311. >*Great, this is just great. It’s been at least two hours since my little talk with Celestia and I STILL haven’t found any place to stay. Everywhere I go, I’m followed my strange looks and whispers behind my back. I’m not surprised, by any means, but it’d be nice not to be the center of everyones’ attention. Either way, I’ve been to three places already. One charged way too much, I couldn’t afford it for a week with the money I have. Another threw me straight out without even letting me get a word out! Rude. And the last place I’ve been too claimed to be full up. Pssh. Well regardless, I’m guessing I’ll have to ask a guard for help. There’s two right there. Probably on patrol or something.*
  312. “Hey, guards!”
  313. >-With a quizzical look-”Uuh, yes… Civilian?”
  314. “Yes, well, I’m looking for a place to stay for the night. I’ve already been to “Cloudy covers”, ”The velvet sheets” and “Commoners commons”. I couldn’t afford one of those and the others didn’t let me in.”
  315. >”I can’t imagine why’d they do that…”
  316. >*Yeah, sure…*
  317. >You give a gloomy look to him and don’t say anything else, awaiting his actual response. Instead, the other guard speaks up.
  318. >”Ahem, well yes. I have some troubling news for you… Uuuh-?”
  319. “Pollen, Pollen Seed.”
  320. >”Yes, I have some troubling news for you, Pollen Seed. I’m afraid those are all the places you could have gone to in Canterlot. This isn’t a city as any other regular one. Canterlot is a luxurious place to be living in, anypony who lives here either has a special invitation from Celestia or Luna themselves, or has a fairly high social standing within the community of Equestria. Usually “Commoners commons” takes care of any cheaper tourists. “Cloudy covers” is famous for having beds as soft as the clouds themselves, that’s why they charge so much. And “The velvet sheets” is a very high class inn. They don’t let tourists in. I’m not sure why “Commoners commons” didn’t take you in. I have yet to hear of them being picky.”
  321. “They said they were packed full.”
  322. >”Well that can’t be right. They have several inns scattered throughout Canterlot. I’m sure they must have had at least one room somewhere.”
  323. >*I’m pretty sure they had a room but just decided to be picky today.*
  324. “Well, if none of those places took me in, do you have any suggestions on what I should do?”
  325. >”I believe it would be best for you to head down to Ponyville and find a place there. You’ve got wings so it shouldn’t be too hard to get down there. Once you get to the edge of Canterlot grounds, you should be able to see it way below. It’s about an hour’s flight.”
  326. “Right. Well, thank you for the assistance. I’ll be leaving this city I guess.”
  327. >”No problem, Pollen. It’s our duty to help those in need.”-as they both walk off
  328. >*Well this is just great. Fan-freaking-tastic, now I have to go to this “Ponyville” place and try finding someplace there. If I weren’t so distracted by that whole Saturniidae thing, I would have remembered to ask Celestia for a place to stay! And now… Ugh… Either way, I should start going right away, it’s almost turning dusk. By the time I get there it’ll already be twilight. And they’re sure to light up the streets in the city. I’ll have to focus a lot if I’ll want to avoid them and not fall asleep in the middle of the street…*-as you start to trot towards the edge of the city.
  329. >*It wouldn’t be the first time I fall asleep in the middle of the street. That wouldn’t normally happen in our village, but I managed to sleep in on my training days quite a bit, so as punishment, my coach would make me sleep out on the street.*-as you start taking low flight. Still not at the edge of town, but it’s a little faster than trotting.
  330. >*Well whatever the case may be, I need to get to Ponyville as fast as I can right now. He said it would take an hour, but taking into account I’m a Mothpony and not a Pegasus, it’ll take an hour and a half.*-as you speed up in flight, rushing towards the edge of the city.
  331. >One uneventful trip later.
  332. >*So I made it to Ponyville. Before twilight, too. When the guard said an hour, he probably meant an hour at cruise speed. This distance was laughable. It’s surprising how this fairly small town is so close to the most prestigious one in Equestria. Well I guess I should be thankful for the streetlights still being out. There’s nopony out, though. No one to ask directions from. I guess I’ll just go to a store and ask for directions.*
  333. >*Okay, this looks like a shop. “Quills and Sofas”… That’s an odd assortment of goods. Regardless, need to hurry.*
  334. >-After the *Brring* of the doorbell, the shop owner hails you-”Greetings and welcome to-… to, to quills and sofas. Would you like a quill or a sofa?”
  335. “Neither, I’m afraid. I’m looking for directions. Could you by chance tell me where the nearest inn is?”
  336. >”The nearest inn? Hmm… That’d be “Haystack padding”. Once you get out of this store, continue forward until you hit an area with a fountain in the middle, after that, take the second path to the left and keep going as you look to the right. If you look at the signs, you shouldn’t miss it.”
  337. “Thanks, are there any other places I could go to if that doesn’t work out?”
  338. >”Any that’ll take you in at this hour? Hardly. Trust me, kid. They don’t care WHO sleeps in their rooms, they aren’t exactly the epitome of luxury either. But at least you’ll have a quaint place to stay. You’re travelling through town I take it?”
  339. >*Hmpf. You don’t even care that you just blatantly insulted me, do you?*
  340. “I’ll be staying here for a week, maybe more.”
  341. >”Oooh, well. Best of luck to ya. Maybe tomorrow you can try and get a better place to sleep in, before the innkeepers are sleepy themselves.”
  342. “Yeah, I’ll try that.”-as you turn your back to the shopowner and leave through the door with the *Brring* sound.
  343. >*I’m hoping not everypony’s as inconsiderate in this town. It’s a small town, usually these are very friendly! Whatever, keep going straight till I reach the fountain area. Well this is it. Second road to the left. That’s it.*
  344. >*It’s getting fairly dark now. I’m surprised the street lights still aren’t on. Some of the windows already. Have.. Lights… In them… So… Pretty… OH WAIT, SHIT. GOTTA RUN, GOTTA RUN. Dammit, why does that light have to look so inviting?? Why do all of them have to look so inviting?? Light means warmth. Light means safe. Light good… Light… DAMMIT. KEEP GOING, POLLEN. Looking to the right, the sign “Haystack padding”. AH! Perfect! Just as I was getting to be des-… Des-… -perate… Light’s… Inside…*
  345. >You become entranced by the lights inside of the very inn you’re supposed to go sleep in. You can’t think to go up to the door and open it. Instead, you go up to the window peering straight into the light bulb. And *Clink* it with your hoof. Nothing changes. Another *Clink*. Nothing changes. You want something to change. You desperately want to get closer. *Clink* again… Nothing changes. You can’t think of what else to do. Your head’s not working. You don’t want the light to change. You just want to get closer. So you *Clink*again. But the light goes out.
  346. >*What. Wait what? No. Noooooo. Come baaaack.*
  347. >The door is opened by the inn keeper and he gets your attention.
  348. >”You, moth. Come in then.”
  349. -Standing dazed and confused-”… M-Me?”
  350. >”Yes, you. I don’t see any other mothponies around here. Come in.”
  351. >You both go in to the inn, it seems quaint and dark. Just the way you like it.
  352. >”Well then, moth. It’s really late in the evening and you’re a moth. There’s only one reason your kind comes here and that’s to spend the night. Its 4 bits a night, almost dirt cheap. And that’s almost what you’re getting.”
  353. “… Well, um. Yes. 4 bits, then?”
  354. >*Seems like this pony’s met a lot of moths in his time. K so where were those bits stored in the satchel? 4 bits really is dirt cheap though. And I really don’t care if I do get nothing but dirt in the room. I’m paying just for being saved from the street. Here they are.*
  355. “Here then. 4 bits for a room. May I ask? Do you meet a lot of mothponies?”
  356. >”… None like you I’ll say that for sure. But yeah, I meet a lot of your kind here. Get two or three almost every week.”
  357. “I see, yeah that seems about right. The expeditions to Equestria tend to happen either in pairs or with one extra at most.”
  358. >”They all say that.”
  359. “I can imagine. So uuh, which is my room then?”
  360. >”Go down the corridor to your right, to the fifth room on your left. There you’ll find your bed, a table ‘n a chair. Nothing special, but yer payin’ for the most basic of stuff. The bathroom’s left to that corridor, right there. It’s a shared one, but it’s clean. I make sure of that.”
  361. “Thank you.”
  362. >”Yer lucky. I was about to go to sleep myself. Hadn’t you been clankin’ at that window, I wouldn’t have let you in.”
  363. ”So if I had just come in the door you wouldn’t have let me in?”
  364. >”I would have. But if you weren’t a moth, you’d be on your own. I like your kind better than the ponies in this town. If nothing else, all of y’all know what humility and respect means.”
  365. “Huh. Well thank you again. Good night.”
  366. >”’night then.”-as he locks the door to the outside and closes the shutters of the windows right before the streetlights come on.
  367. >*Okay, so. Fifth room on the left. This is it then. The door’s *creak*-y. Huh. This isn’t THAT bad. A hay stuffed bed, pillow and blanket, both seem clean, not even dusty. Table and chair. I’ve definitely had worse. I’ll just place my bag on the table and go to sleep I suppose. I’ll need to either find another place tomorrow or find something to do in town. Maybe the inn keeper will have some recommendations. Either way. For now. G’night… Self…*- you say as you plom your whole body on the bed and cover yourself up.
  368.  
  369. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  370. 6. *Different problems*
  371.  
  372. >*Aaah mornings. It’s always strange seeing the sun come up instead of the moon. No matter how many times I see it, it always feels wrong. –Heh-. Good night, Luna.*
  373. >*So what’re my plans for today?.. Oh right, I don’t have any. It’s a vacation until the meeting. I guess I like this room pretty well. No need to change it or anything. A conversation with that inn keeper might give me some idea as to what this town is. Guess I should go say good morning then… Better not forget my satchel.*
  374. “Good morning.”
  375. >”Morning.”
  376. “… So uuh, I’m new to this town and it seems as though I’ll be spending this week here. I was wondering if-”
  377. >”The whole week?”
  378. “Yup. I’ve got a meeting with Celestia next week and I need a place to stay. This seems like a fair place.”
  379. >”Oh, Celestia? Well I knew you weren’t like any moth I’d seen before, but I didn’t know you were considered royalty approved. Heck even you staying here for more than a day seems odd, but a meeting with Celestia.”
  380. “Iiis that a problem?”
  381. >”No, no problem at all. I’m just surprised that even the royal moths decide to spend their nights in such humble accommodations. It’s quite fascinating if you ask me.”
  382. “Royal-? No no noooo. I’m no royalty. I’m a mere scout sent on a mission.”
  383. >”A scout on a mission to meet Celestia is still a high ranking moth, in my opinion. I’m sure your kind don’t send just any old moths her way.”
  384. >*Actually, more or less, that’d be right.*
  385. “Either way. Does that change anything?”
  386. >”Only my opinion of you.”
  387. “I see… Well regardless, I have to spend the whole week here in Equestria, maybe even more than that. Considering I’ll be staying in this inn, I need to know of worthwhile places here in town. I’ve got to spend my time somehow, y’know?”
  388. >”Worthwhile places, eeh? Well, there’s a library not too far from the town center. It’s this big tree with windows in it, you can’t possibly miss it if you get to the center of town. There’s a marketplace going north past the center of town. And a park off to the west edge. There’s a musician guild to the south-west side off the center if ye feel like hearing or creatin’ somethin’. Someponies like spending their time by the fountain nearby. Sugarcube corner’s a place where a lot of ponies hang out, but I don’t advise it, it’s a very public place and you’d attract a lot of attention.”
  389. “Wouldn’t that be the case if I went anywhere else as well?”
  390. >”Yeea- I guess that’s right. An’ then there’s-”
  391. “I eeh-. Thank you, that’ll do for now. I’ll check out the marketplace and library for today.”
  392. >”Mmmhm, I propose going to the library second. I recon’ once the librarian sees you, she won’t want ta let go of you for a while.”
  393. “Uh huh. Well thank you.”
  394. >”Also, while you’re traveling around, find yourself a better place to stay. This ain’t no place to stay for royalty.”-as he’s heading into a room titled “Inn keep’s room.”
  395. “H-hey, I’m not royalty!”
  396. >”Whatever you say, m’lord.”-as he closes the door behind him.
  397. >*Oh whatever. If he starts calling me m’lord, he can. So, off to the marketplace I guess. Then again. There really isn’t a reason for me to go there. I haven’t even drank half of one jar of nectar yet. I’ll be good on food for a while. To the library then. I may be a soldier but I’m not illiterate. I could go for a nice story to pass the time. If I get a good enough one I might even spend half of the week just reading.*
  398. >*Now that the town’s more lively, I’m posed with the same problem as yesterday. Everywere I go I’m followed by weird looks. Well either way, here’s the center. Now where’s the uuuh-… Wow, that is one BIG tree! I wonder what the librarian’s like. She can’t be as bad as the inn keeper said… I really need to ask him his name next time. Seems like the library’s open though.*
  399. >*Knock**Knock**Knock*…
  400. >The door doesn’t move an inch, but the sound of muffled shouting and arguing can be heard behind it.
  401. >*… Maybe the librarian’s a grumpy old pony? I dunno, I still want a good book.*
  402. >*Knock**Knock**Knock*…
  403. >-from behind the door-“I’m coming, I’m coming.”
  404. >*Huh, that can’t be right, that sounded like a kid. An assistant maybe?*
  405. >The door opens and behind it is-.
  406. >”Yeah, what do ya wa- wa- waaaaaa…”
  407. >*A dragon… A, tiny, little dragon.*
  408. ”Yeah, I get that a lot. Anyways, I’m new in town and I heard this is the library. Could I maybe check out a book?”
  409. >”… T-t-t-TWILIGHT!”-as he *SLAM*‘s the door.
  410. >*… Well, wasn’t expecting that… Not surprised though. Wait, there’s somepony behind the door again.*
  411. >-slightly muffled-“Oh come on, Spike. You do this almost every week.”
  412. >-as she opens the door-“It’s very impolite to slam the door at someone’s fa-faa-faaaaaa…”
  413. >*Whoa, an Alicorn. But I thought that Luna and Celestia were the only one’s left.*
  414. >”See? SEE?? I TOLD you! He’s totally freaky!”
  415. >”Spike! Be quiet. Iii’m sorry, Spike’s still a very young dragon, he gets scared easily.”
  416. >”I do not!”
  417. >”Spike. Go opstairs.”
  418. >”What? Why??”
  419. >”Go. Now.”
  420. >”… Well fine. I’ll head upstairs then. But when you come running to me, yelling for help, I WONT.”
  421. >”GO!”
  422. >*Aaand he runs off. Comical.*
  423. >”I’m so so sorry again. I try to keep him from overreacting like that but every time I look away he always does something like this.”
  424. “It’s no problem. I’m sort of getting used to it by now.”
  425. >“I… See. Well, I presume you came here to check out a book or two. But III don’t think I’ve ever seen you. You’ll need to check in first before I can give you a book or three.”
  426. “Sounds fair. How do I check in?”
  427. >”I’ll give you a form to fill out. Please, come in.”
  428. >*Well she okay. Despite being an Alicorn and having a dragon baby as an assistant, nothing too surprising.*
  429. >”Hold on a sec, I haven’t needed to take out these forms in a while. There aren’t many new ponies who check in. I just need. To find them… Please wait here.”
  430. “Sure, no problem.”
  431. >*Again, she seems perfectly normal… Though I don’t get why she’s rummaging around in that closet like room instead of using her magic. Either way, this library’s pretty small. It’s basically 4 huge shelves filled to the brink with books. I don’t suppose many ponies read in this town then. The statue in the middle seems cool though. There’s quite a bit of interesting things placed around the room on pedestals as well. I wonder what they are…*
  432. >”Aah! Found them!”-as she pops out of the closet-
  433. >”Here then, take this form and fill it out. Would you like some tea while you do? I don’t get much business here anyway.”
  434. >”Uuh, sure.”
  435. >”You can take a seat right there on the sofa by the coffee-table.”
  436. “Yeah, thanks.”
  437. >*That’s nice. I wasn’t expecting this much of a warm welcome. Okay. This form then. I’m male. A moth pony. No insurance. Current residence. Rot forest, T’wai village, house 12. No immediate family… Wait, cutiemark? The hay’s that?*
  438. “Uuhm, excuse me. Twilight, was it?”
  439. >-From a different room-”Yes?”
  440. “Uuh, this thing’s asking me for a cutiemark. What exactly is that?”
  441. >”…”
  442. >”You don’t-… You don’t know what a cutiemark is?”
  443. “No, I don’t. Should I?”
  444. >She pokes her head out of the door and peers directly into your flank.
  445. >*… This is where it starts, isn’t it?*
  446. >”Oh my Celestia. You don’t know what a cutiemark is. You’ve never even seen one before, have you?”
  447. “Well, I may have. I just don’t know what it is.”
  448. >”A cutiemark is something most ponies gain at a young age. The one you get represents your special talent and even a hint at your destiny.”
  449. >*Whaaat is this girl talking about?*
  450. “… I’ve never heard of something like that before. May I see yours?”
  451. >She walks out the door and shows off her flank.
  452. >*Oookay, that’s a tattoo, on her flank. That’s what a cutiemark is? It looks like some white and purple stars. That’s all there is to it.*
  453. ”I uuh… What does yours represent?”
  454. >”My special talent is magic.”
  455. “Well that’s cool. So your cutiemark represents what kind of talent you have. Yours happens to be magic. But as you can clearly see, I don’t have one.”-you say as you point out your flank-
  456. “Do I just write non-existant here then?”
  457. >”Write in not found. Everypony has to have a cutiemark, you just haven’t… Found yours yet.”
  458. “Are you sure? I mean, I am a mothpony. And you’re clearly not. So maybe mothponies just don’t get theirs?”
  459. >”But that’s not… So you’re a mothpony then?”
  460. “Yeah. I thought you knew.”
  461. >”I had a hunch but you look so much more different than the ones I’ve seen.”
  462. “Yeeah you can chalk that off to me being an anomaly. I shouldn’t even be alive technically. There isn’t a single other mothpony like me.”
  463. >”… I’m sorry, could you wait here a sec? Your tea is about done.”
  464. “Yeah sure. I’ll just continue filling this out then…”
  465. >The rest of the form seems fairly normal. And Twilight finally comes in with the tea. Looks like she’ll be joining you as she brings two cups.
  466. >”Here you are then. Done filling the form in?”
  467. “Yeah, and thank you for the tea.”
  468. >You pass the form onto her but instead of taking it, she takes your hoof and forces it on the table, along with the form.
  469. >*What the hay is she doi-*
  470. >”Alright, let’s just skip the form for now and move on to more… Personal matters.”
  471. >*Wait, back up- WHAT? OKAY NOW I GET WHAT THAT INN KEEP WAS TALKING ABOUT.*
  472. >She stops dead in her tracks like she’s processing something. You just look at her with a terrified face.
  473. >-Very fast paced thought-*Holyshitisthisactuallyhappeningrightnow? I can’t believe she’s going to turn out to be one of those kinky librarian types!? Can mothponies even procreate with regular ponies??. WHAT. DO I DO. IF I GET KIDS?!?*
  474. >”… … …OhmygoshIcan’tbelievewhatIjustsaiiid!”-She yells out as she backs up away from you at mach 5-
  475. >*Wut?*
  476. >”I’msosorryIdidn’tmeanforittosoundlikethat! Ican’tbelieveIjustmadeitsoundlikeIwascomingontoyouI’msosorryyy!-the next several seconds are completely incomprehensible-”
  477. “Whoa, whoa. Calm down! It’s okay! I get it, you made a bad choice of words. It’s perfectly fine! Now just calm down, and tell me what you really meant.”
  478. >”W-Well it’s just that. You’re a mothpony, but unlike any I’ve ever seen. Considering I’m a scientist I’d like to document as much as I could with you. I want to know why you look like you do and why you don’t have a qutiemark yet, how life is in the rot forest and so on.”
  479. “So you want to document my life. Okay. That sounds fine.”
  480. >The next few seconds are followed by the most awkward of silences. She’s too worked up to even look at you straight anymore. Obviously blushing and regretting what she just said.
  481. >*Oh god I CAN’T TAKE AWKWARD SILENCES! Come on, Pollen. THINK OF SOMETHING. You have a dictionary at your disposal, USE IT!*
  482. ”So uuh, what do you already know about us mothponies?”
  483.  
  484. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  485. 7. *Two identical oddballs*
  486.  
  487. >”Only the very basics. I know your diet, nocturnal nature, anatomy, a few of your customs, social policies, the folklore, the actual lore. Your hunting tactics and some of the formations. That’s about it…”
  488. ”… That’s uuh. Those are some pretty expansive basics you know there.”
  489. >”Oh please, I have no idea what your life is actually like there.”
  490. “Well to be quite honest, I don’t even know what to add to that.”
  491. >”You have flowers growing out of your fluff tufts and a leaf instead of half a wing. I don’t know a SINGLE thing about that.”
  492. “Well besides that, you just listed pretty much anything I could have told you about life in the mothpony villages.”
  493. >”So tell me all about how you became what you are. You seem taller than the mothponies I know too. Is that also due to the same reasons as the flora tufts?”
  494. “Yeah, actually. I can’t believe it only happened a week ago, seems so long ago now with everything that happened in between.”
  495. >”Well tell me aaall about it.”
  496. >You explain exactly what happened, from being stranded in the rot forest all down to how you knocked on her door. You fail to mention some of the smaller details, but it was a broad explanation enough. Twilight seemed to be infatuated by every word. Occasionally asking questions out of curiosity, filling the gaps in by herself. You spend several hours explaining everything. Before you know it, it’s past noon.
  497. “I swear, that inn keeper though. He seems so jaded and just tired of everything. Then again, he’s got a scar on his face, so I suppose he’s seen something we hope not to.”
  498. >”And yet you’re completely unfazed by the fact that you have a leaf for half of a wing. You seem to forget about it entirely. I’m sure it can’t be the scar alone that makes him like he is.”
  499. “Yeah I guess I can see where you’re coming from with that. But once you reach a certain point of seeing, you sort of. Snap. After that, it’s all smooth sailing, all the time.”
  500. >”Hmmm… Well in your case it’s not how much you’ve seen, but rather how often you see it. I’m sure after a time of peace and quiet, seeing something horrible will feel just like it did the first time. Also, with time, you’ll get to think about the things that happened more. And like that, you won’t be able to avoid the heartaches anymore, facing them instead of ignoring them.”
  501. “I guess.”
  502. >*Ugh, touchy feely moment… Oh sweet Saturniidae no. She’s scooting over.*
  503. >“You’re in horrible pain and you don’t even know it.”
  504. >*Uuuh, personal space much? Please? Personal spa-? No? Okay.*
  505. >The room goes silent for the first time in a long while as she looks deep into your eyes with a concerned look on her face. The topic of this last week has finally dried out. The brief moment of silence is followed by a hug from the librarian mare with the most sincere feeling of consolement you’ve felt within the last dozen years.
  506. >”If you ever need a friend to hear you out. I’ll be waiting.”
  507. “Um… Thanks. I’ll hold you to your word on that someday.”
  508. >*Oh geez this is uncomfortable.*
  509. “Really though, it’s fine. I’ve accepted that my life is the way it is. It won’t help to bring up old memories. Once I start to, I won’t be able to hold the tears back.”
  510. >”… Oh no…”
  511. ”What?”
  512. >”Oh no no no.”
  513. ”What? What’s wrong.”
  514. >”Oh nononononoNONONO!”-She clings off the hug and runs up to a grammophon looking thing.-
  515. “What? What? What happened??”
  516. >”NONO NOO! I WASN’T RECORDING ANYTHING!”
  517. “You weren’t… AAHAHAHAHA!”
  518. >”NO! This isn’t funny! I was supposed to record everything! That’s so much valuable information lost!
  519. “-Continued laughter-”
  520. >”I can’t believe I could be so reckless! I missed a golden opportunity to record an actual mothpony and it gets taken away from me by a single not-click of a button!”
  521. “Ahah aha. Aaaha. Well, ahem. Heh. Well, Twilight. At least you still got your interview. Plus all of the sentimental value out of it. Even if it’s not recorded. You still know what and who I am better than any other pony anywhere on the planet now. Talks about events and feelings in the villages usually get avoided like wildfire. They could quickly spiral out of control.”
  522. >”Hmpf. And here I thought I’d have the chance to send some updates to the mothpony encyclopedia for approval. You may not know of it, Pollen. But meeting and actually talking to your kind for more than half an hour has never happened before.”
  523. “Really? Well I suppose the scouts don’t tend to stick around for long amounts of time. They just do what their orders tell them to and head off.”
  524. >”That’s exactly what happens. So the general public of ponies has been left completely oblivious to how horrible life in the rot forest actually is.”
  525. “Well it’s a good thing that’s all subject to change in the near future, right?”
  526. >”Yes, I suppose so. It’s nice to know Celestia hadn’t abandoned you even if it seemed like she did.”
  527. ”Yeah, I know how that feels. So anyways, enough about me. What about you, Twilight? We’ve spent half the day talking about me and I can’t help but feel bad.”
  528. >”Ooh you don’t have to. There’s nothing much to tell. I’m a librarian mare who lives in Ponyville.”
  529. “No I don’t think so, you’re a librarian ALICORN who lives in Ponyville. I thought Celestia and Luna were the last two Alicorns left before I met you.”
  530. >”Celestia and Luna were never the only two left. They were the only two who ruled over Equestria. But never the last two.”
  531. “You mean there are more Alicorns than just them and you??”
  532. >”Yes, there’s also Cadence, my former foalsitter and now sister in law. She rules over the Crystal empire.”
  533. “… There is a whole lot more us mothponies don’t know about this world, isn’t there?”
  534. >”Considering how cut off you were from the rest of it. That’s not at all surprising.”
  535. “I guess you’re right… But none of what you just said explains why you’re an Alicorn living in Ponyville, of all places. Why not spend your time in Canterlot?”
  536. >”Well. I used to be a regular unicorn under the wing of Celestia.”
  537. “… A regular unicorn?... So you just. Turned Alicorn one day. How does that even happen??”
  538. >”Uuugh… It’s a really long story. You wouldn’t mind if I gave you the short version, would you?”
  539. “Actually, I’d like to hear all of it. Spending my time here sure beats spending it out there, if ya know what I mean.”
  540. >She looks at you perplexed for a longer moment. You return the look.
  541. >”What?”
  542. >*Why’s she looking at me like that? Sure she knows what I mea-…*
  543. >You note a blush appear on her face as she keeps looking at you with the most confused of faces.
  544. >*… I just-. Did I just?- OH MY SWEET SATURNIIDAE I DID!*
  545. ”Oh, OH. Nononononono! That’s not what I meant at all! Y’know, because of the staring and being treated like you’re different from everypony else even though you aren’t!”
  546. > “…Ahaha, eheh. Yes, yes of course haha. What else could have you meant?”
  547. >Despite that being sorted out. The look on her face still remains and you can’t even bear to look her in the eyes.
  548. >*Oh sweet Saturniidae I can’t believe I just said that. Well… Here comes that awkward silence again.*
  549. “So um. The story?”
  550. >”Oh, yes. Yes of course. Well, it all goes back to...”
  551. >[Cue Mlp:FiM seasons 1-2 and the start of season 3] Several more hours pass as Twilight explains everything that’s happened over the past few years. How she faced many threats and beat them all. The stories seem exciting and interesting. But with all the chatter, time passes by not waiting for you. And before you know it, nighttime falls without you even noticing it.
  552. “Wow... And here I thought I was a special case.”
  553. >”Oh stop. I’m not THAT special.”
  554. “You are! You totally are! You’re a damn princess who lives in a small town so she can spend her leisurely time with her friends.”
  555. >”And you’re a God who decided the time has come for your kind to move on from the perils of a horrible, inhospitable place.”
  556. “Yeah but I’m not actually a God. Meanwhile you’re actually a princess.”
  557. >”You are a God to your ponies. They’ll follow you no matter what you do.”
  558. “It’s still not fair in my opinion.”
  559. >”Either way you look at it, you have a higher social status among your ponies than I do among mine. I’m just a Princess to my ponies. Yet you’re a full-fledged God.”
  560. “Well, yeah I guess. But I still don’t FEEL like a God.”
  561. >”Believe me, I don’t feel like a Princess either. I’ve read every book I could about being a Princess yet I don’t feel any different from when I was just a regular unicorn. Besides the wings. Nothing else seems to have changed about me. ”
  562. >*… My Saturniidae that is the mother of all coincidences.*
  563. “Y’know. It really is amazing how similar we are in that respect. I mean, think about it. Both of us were sort of forced onto our roles-,“
  564. >”We’d much rather have it be the way it used to be-,”
  565. ”The change didn’t seem to change all that much-,”
  566. >”The only thing it DID change are the aesthetics-,”
  567. ”Which coincidentally involves wings!”
  568. >”Yeah, I can totally see what you mean. I honestly never thought I’d find someone in a similar situation to me.”
  569. “Neither did I. Although I suppose I didn’t have as much time to think about it. I just had to roll with it.”
  570. >”Just like a lot of things in your life.”
  571. “Hmm, yes, indeed…”
  572. >*Damn this is fun. I haven’t had a talk like this in my LIFE. I wonder what time it is tho-… Wait, it’s dark.*
  573. “… Oh no…”
  574. >”What?”
  575. “Oh no no no .”
  576. >”What, what’s wrong?”
  577. ”Oh nononononoNONONO!”-you rush up to a window and look as high up as you can, looking directly into a dark, moonlight sky.-
  578. >”What? What? What happened??”
  579. “NONO NOO! It’s nighttime already! The streetlights are on, I can’t get back to the inn!”
  580. >”You can’t… AAHAHAHAHAHAA!”
  581. ”This isn’t funny! With the streetlights on, I won’t be able to focus on actually getting home! If I go outside and notice even one light, I’ll be stuck on the street for the rest of the night!”
  582. >”-continued laughter-”
  583. “I can’t believe I could be so reckless! I missed the chance to go back to the inn! The one time I actually spend quality time with somepony and it leads to this!”
  584. >”… -even harder laughter-”
  585. ”What? What is so funny?”
  586. >”Ahah aha. Aaaha. Well, ahem. Heh. Well, Pollen. At least you got to talk to somepony about your problems.-Snicker- Plus all of the sentimental value out of it! AHAHAHAHA!”
  587. “I-! Uh… Wait… That’s exactly what I said a few hours ago.”
  588. >”Mmhm”-she stops her frantic laughter for a second to hum that out, but is unable to hold it for longer and lashes out again.-
  589. “Aheh… Hey yeah, I guess that is pretty funny. Heh heh.”
  590. -After eventually stopping her laughing fit.-“Ahaha, hooh-wee. I haven’t laughed like that in a while.”
  591. “Yeah well I’m real glad I was able to cheer you up, Princess. But I’ve got a serious problem here. How am I going to get back to the inn?”
  592. >”You can stay at my place for tonight.”
  593. >*Whut.
  594.  
  595. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  596. 8. ~*Sleepless Sleepover*~
  597.  
  598. “N-no, I couldn’t.”
  599. >*Quick, Pollen. Think of a way out of this..*
  600. >”It’s no problem, really. I haven’t had a guest in forever and don’t worry, you won’t need to sleep on the couch.”
  601. >*Oh Saturniidae what?*
  602. >”I’ve got a second bed up in my room. Though, I suppose I should warn Spike. Oooh, I hope he’s not mad at me for spending the entire day just talking to you.”
  603. >*A second bed? Well that doesn’t sound so bad. But I can’t possibly... Can I?*
  604. “I’m uuh, I’m still a little uncomfortable about it. I mean, I’ll dirty up all of your covers, being a mothpony, y’know? You don’t have to be so kind to me.”
  605. >”Oh Pssh. That is hardly a problem. Not to mention it was partially my fault. I should have remembered that you’d have trouble with the streetlights. I insist you spend the night in my home tonight and I won’t take no for an answer! C’mooon, it’ll be fuuuun.”
  606. >*Oh sweet Saturniidae WHAT?*
  607. “Well uuh… Alright then. If you insist.”
  608. >*I don’t like this. I don’t like this at all. But then again. It is a place to stay. She say’s I’ll be getting my own bed. So I suppose it shouldn’t go terribly wrong.*
  609. >”Yippeeee! Oh I am going to document every. Last. Second of it. Spending the day with a Mothpony is incredibly rare. But spending the night is completely unheard of! I’ll go warn Spike that you’ll be staying for the night. You just wait down here and feel right at home.”-She says as she walks out of the library area and presumably her room-
  610. “Yeah, sure.”
  611. >*Wellp. Second night in Ponyville and already spending it in a mare’s house. I can’t tell whether I’ve got it made or whether I should take my chances with the streetlights. Still, the fact that there hasn’t been a single other customer other than me for the whole day is a testament to how lonely she gets. I wonder where her fabled friends are though. She said she had plenty. Do they not miss her throughout the day? And what about Spike? Won’t he feel devastated to hear I’m staying? Oh crap, now I feel bad for staying.*
  612. >-On the upper floor, slightly muffled-”He WHAT??”
  613. >*Oh boy, here we go. There’s no doubt he’s protesting. But I’m afraid he’s going to have no say in it. Even if he’s just a baby dragon, I’m sure he has his own opinions. Then again, being a baby dragon, I guess they can’t be all that significant. And really, he’s mostly just afraid of me. I don’t know how to fix that without actually talking it out with him.*
  614. >A few minutes of obvious arguing through the ceiling later. You stop caring so much about what Spike thinks and more or less come to terms with the idea that you’re going to be spending the night here. Looking out the window, straight to the moon.
  615. >*Heh. Good morning, Luna.*
  616. >-Twilight pops out of the door to another room-“Ha. Well. Alright then. Now that that’s been settled, you’re free to spend the night here. I do hope you’re not sleepy yet, I’d like to get to know you a lot better tonight.”
  617. >-You cringe-*Dear lord, this mare.*
  618. “Y-yes, thank you. What more do you want to know? I’ve told you pretty much everything about my current condition.”-As you follow her up the stairs to her supposed bedroom.-
  619. >”You have. But there’s a lot more to a pony than just the last week of their life, Pollen. I want to get to know YOU.”
  620. “I suppose.”
  621. >You walk up to the bedroom and immediately take note of…
  622. >*More books. Tons more shelves. And even… An owl. So she’s got a pet too. Fitting to have an owl in a library. Oh that’s a wonderful view out the window.*
  623. “You have a great view out of the window. You can also see a lot of the town-…”
  624. >“Huh, that’s honestly the first time anypony’s complimented my room because of the view out of the window.”
  625. >*Lights… So many lights outside. They’re all so…*
  626. “Wonderful…”
  627. .>You’re gone. Completely entranced by the many streetlights outside. You can’t hear what the mare behind you is talking about. Nor do you care. None of that matters now. You walk towards the lights and -bump- into the window.
  628. >*Nooo, noooo. Not again.*
  629. >You can’t seem to concentrate. You just want to get to the lights. You raise a hoof and -clink- the window. Nothing changes. You want it to. You want something to change so you can get closer to the lights. So you -clink- again. Nothing changes. You can’t think of anything else to do. All you want are the lights. That’s not so much to ask, is it? Before you manage to clink again, you’re forced away from the window and Twilight pulls over the curtains.
  630. ”Noo, nooo. Bring it back. Give the lights back.”
  631. >Before you come too, Twilight closes all of the curtains in the room. If it weren’t for the few windows showing the sky, there would be no light in the room.
  632. >-Twilight comes in close to you, looking directly into your eyes and places her hands on your shoulders. Shaking you slightly.-”Pollen. Snap out of it.”
  633. “But the lights.”
  634. >”I know you like the lights, Pollen. But right now you need to focus. C’mon. Snap out of it.”
  635. >You’re coming back to your senses. Then you realize Twilight’s eerily close to your face and back your head off as you blink a few times.
  636. >-Spike-“Try slapping him, that’ll snap him out of it for sure.”
  637. >-Twilight-“Spike!”
  638. “That uuh… That won’t be necessary.”
  639. >-Twilight-“Oh, you’re back. Good. I was afraid I’d actually have to hit you.”
  640. >-Spike-“I was hoping.”
  641. “I’m. I’m fine. Thanks, Twilight. Now uuh. You can let go now.”
  642. >Oh, right. -Twilight lets go of your shoulders and steps back a few steps. Trying to break eye contact.-“ Sorry... You um. You seem to completely loose your senses when you spot some lights. I’ve never actually seen a mothpony become entranced before. It’s kind of scary how lifeless you become.”
  643. “Well, I’ve never actually seen another mothpony get caught by the lights for more than a few seconds. After that, I’d likely fall victim to the same light as we tend to get really close to the source of the light.”
  644. >-Twilight-”Makes sense. Though it’s strange how you don’t get affected by the sunlight at all. So, your bed is the one to the left.”
  645. >*It’s identical to the one on the right.*
  646. “… That isn’t Spikes’ bed, is it?”
  647. >-Spike-“Naah, I sleep in the basket by the bed to the right.”
  648. >You note that there is indeed one. You’re still puzzled by it.
  649. “… Why the basket? Is there a reason he can’t use the bed to the left.”
  650. >-Twilight-“The bed to the left is the guest bed.”
  651. >*That’s… Still…*
  652. “Is this a dragon thing?”
  653. >-Twilight-“It is, actually. I’ll tell you more about it if you agree to tell me more about yourself.”
  654. “I see no problem with that. So uh, shall we go under the covers then?”
  655. >You’d cringe, but you’re getting used to all of the possible double meaning innuendos you’ve been making with Twilight. She doesn’t seem fazed by it either.
  656. >-Twilight-”Let’s.”
  657. >And the long night begins. You hadn’t thought she’d keep you awake throughout most of the night. But she managed to. She forced you to spill the beans on everything you knew of your own kind. Your knowledge wasn’t vast, but it wasn’t less than average. Eventually though, the talks went from being formal talks about your species, to more friendly messing around. You’ve bonded with Twilight more than you’ve managed to bond with anypony for the last few years. You’ve been keeping yourself from making friends. You were afraid that losing more important ponies would be too much to handle. But with Twilight, none of those fears seemed present for obvious reasons. You could befriend Twilight as much as you wanted to and never fear of losing her to the rot forest. Or losing her in general. Eventually though, both of you agreed that sleep is important and decided to finally hit the hay.
  658. >Just before you fall asleep. You notice the sunlight come in through the windows.
  659. >*Heh… G’night, Princess Luna.*
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