Nov 18th, 2014
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  1. >The first thing you notice is the smell, like hot rocks in a sauna.
  2. >Odd, but not unpleasant.
  3. >As you near waking, though, the next thing you notice is a headache, the pain increasing and slowly awakening you.
  4. >There's something wrong. You can't seem to open your eyes, though you have a feeling you aren't in your own bed.
  5. >You aren't in any bed.
  6. >What happened last night? You can't remember much. You were probably drunk again.
  7. >At least you didn't wake up next to a hamplanet. Or a dude. You think. Hope.
  8. >Some vague memories come back to you. You were talking to some guy, oddly dressed for a rave.
  9. >A brony rave? Really? You must have already been drunk before you got shanghaied into that.
  10. >More dubstep than you could shake a glow-stick it.
  11. >Anyway, it's slowly coming back to you now. The dude, plainly dressed in jeans and a plain white T-shirt, and completely opaque Ray-Bans.
  12. >There was something odd about his teeth, you thought. And when he looked over his shades at you right before your memory goes blank, you remember his eyes.
  13. >Yellow, with red irises. No, that had to have been the booze.
  14. >What was that last thing he said?
  15. >"Now, nod your head if you consent. I can't do this otherwise."
  16. >Something about a deal to send you to Equestria. Obviously a joke, right?
  17. "Sure, dude, whatever."
  18. >"You must actually nod your head affirmatively, friend. To signify your agreement. I am reformed, after all, and would never do something this drastic without permission."
  19. >You remember nodding.
  20. >"Excellent, excellent. You won't regret this. I promise."
  21. >Then, those yellow and red eyes. It was like you were falling into them, as they expanded to fill your entire universe.
  22. >Then nothing.
  23. >You are suddenly fully awake as you start in a panic, hitting your head on some hard object as you try to rise to your feet.
  24. >Okay, let's try this again from the start. Where are you?
  25. >Don't panic.
  26. >You are in pitch blackness, but strangely, you begin to see vague outlines.
  28. >You aren't in a bedroom at all. In fact, it doesn't even look like a room.
  29. >What you hit your head on was some kind of stone projection coming down from the ceiling.
  30. >Like a stalagmite. Or wait, which one comes down and which one goes up?
  31. >Stalactite. You guess.
  32. >Wait. What the fuck? Those are in caves.
  33. >What kind of night was it that you're waking up in a dark cave?
  34. >It's dark in here. What if there's a bear? Or something worse. You cast about in a panic looking for a way out.
  35. >Then you notice it. Down on the floor. A vague outline.
  36. >It's not stone. It looks long. And thin, but as you follow it to where it fades into your peripheral vision, it gets thicker.
  37. >Like an enormous snake.
  38. >You freeze, barely breathing. You have no weapon, but you'll be damned if you end your life eaten by a snake in some miserable cave.
  39. >You turn to try to look for the snake's head, so you can kill it.
  40. >As you do, the snake slithers suddenly, but it stops when you freeze again.
  41. >This time, you are more patient. Like a predator, you wait and crouch to pounce on it.
  42. >Minutes pass, as you wait in silence for the proper moment.
  43. >Finally, when you feel you can take the monster unaware, you jump for it, grabbing it around its width with both hands.
  44. >The snake struggles fiercely, surely trying to strike back, though you still cannot locate its head.
  45. >Desperate that it will strike at you in the dark, and your hands occupied, you bite down on it, hard, only to feel a sudden pain at your back.
  46. "Arrrrrrgh!" you arrrrrrgh.
  47. >The snake takes advantage of your cry to escape out of sight. You whirl around, only to hear the sidewinding serpent flail through the air again behind you.
  48. >Terrified, you back up to the wall so it can't get behind you. Maybe it escaped.
  49. >You crane your neck around in all directions to locate it again.
  50. >Just as you relax, thinking it gone, you see the tip of it again.
  51. >You're going to get it this time.
  53. >Very slowly, you creep toward it, moving a millimeter at a time.
  54. >There is still a dull ache in your backside, but you will deal with that later.
  55. >Casting your gaze up its length, you see where you bit it previously.
  56. >Oddly, it looks like it had some kind of prior injury there.
  57. >Some sort of ichor drips from it.
  58. >Two rows of toothmarks about a foot apart indicate its attacker must have been a genuinely nasty creature, with an enormous jaw and sharp teeth.
  59. >Great. Like you don't have enough to worry about.
  60. >Well, it's now or never. You dive on the snake, pinning it down with both hands in its wounded portion.
  61. >And suddenly, the stabbing pain returns.
  62. >You can't help but feel you are missing something important here.
  63. >An idea comes to you. No, you think. This can't be right. But you can't help but test it.
  64. >Gingerly, you remove your left hand from the snake.
  65. >The pain lessens.
  66. >Then, your idea seems to make more sense. You decide to test it some more.
  67. >You drum your fingers on the snake, and feel like a fool as you feel that same drumming sensation "behind" you.
  68. >This isn't a snake. You have spent the last hour or longer trying to sneak up on your own tail in the dark.
  69. >You'd best do an inventory. Apparently, you have a tail now.
  70. >And your hands have rather gruesome claws at the ends of the fingers.
  71. >You quickly confirm you still have opposable thumbs, though. That's a plus.
  72. >Running your hands along the side of your head, you confirm that indeed, you have a rather enormous jaw, with impressive, razor-sharp, triangular teeth.
  73. >Also, you have four fangs, two on the top and bottom, the larger on the top.
  74. >Neat. These must be for gripping prey and holding them, as they curve backward toward the inside of the mouth.
  75. >There are also some kind of crests on either side of your head. You'll figure that out later.
  76. >Also, you appear to be on all fours, as you have to crane your neck to see your hindquarters.
  77. "I wish I had some light!" you say.
  79. >Suddenly, as soon as you wish for light, a pale green glow flashes over the cave.
  80. >Still barely able to see, you wish it was brighter.
  81. >The light responds, growing brighter. You crank it up until it's bright as a light bulb, then dial it back a bit, as it hurts your eyes.
  82. >You are indeed in a large cave, in a chamber filled with stalactites and stalagmites, ranging from a light pink to a ruddy red shade, but with large flat portions.
  83. >In fact, it's rather lovely, even under the circumstances.
  84. >Looking down, though, you see something stands out, a flash of gold at the floor.
  85. >It appears to be a coin. As you pick it up, its weight indicates to you that it is mostly gold.
  86. >Mostly, you think. Somehow, you sense that it weighs slightly less than it should.
  87. >It's adulterated somewhat. The figure 8.3% copper suddenly springs to mind. 22 karats.
  88. >A good blend, you think. Enough to harden it and discourage shaving the coin. How did you know this?
  89. >You see another coin just a couple feet away, and immediately grab it as well, and another beyond that. And another beyond that.
  90. >You collect the coins like a fat kid following a trail of cookies.
  91. >Finally, at the far end of the cavern, you come across a small mound of various gemstones, finely cut and most of them of a size that would put the Hope Diamond to shame.
  92. >Ecstatically, you spread them out on the floor and start rolling around in them.
  93. >Tiring of this, you start examining and counting them and the coins, stacking and sorting them neatly.
  94. >Gold coins, exactly 100. Gems.
  95. >Rubies, 10.
  96. >Diamonds, 10.
  97. >Emeralds, 10.
  98. >Sapphires, 10.
  99. >Peridots, 10.
  100. >And 10 each of garnets, opals, topazes, polished amber and jet stones.
  101. >And each of them has its own distinctive scent.
  102. >You are suddenly torn by the desire to keep them all and the delicious, distinctive smell each has.
  103. >Without thinking, you pop a jet stone into your mouth and bite down on it.
  105. >As you crush the jet stone with your powerful jaw, a burst of flavor, like licorice, fills you with utter delight and you savor it as you chomp down.
  106. >While tempted to devour more gems, you realize you have to keep them.
  107. >You almost disregard a piece of paper that was at the top of the pile, but decide to look at it. It's a note.
  109. These should be enough to get you started.
  111. Remember, magic is a snap!
  113. Your FRIEND, D.
  115. >The word "friend" is in elaborate capital letters, and the D is enormous, like an opening capital letter in an illuminated manuscript.
  116. >Inside it is an odd chimerical creature that looks as if it is made of leftovers from other creatures, though dragon-like features predominate.
  117. >And it has yellow eyes. With red irises.
  118. >And as you look at it, the figure suddenly snaps its fingers, winks at you, and disappears, leaving only the letter D, entwined with vines.
  119. >Your mind suddenly clear, you remember more of last night.
  120. >You let your autistic brother talk you into attending this thing.
  121. >"Brony rave." These two words don't fit together.
  122. >You didn't even watch the show.
  123. >You thought it might be good for a laugh.
  124. >It was, sort of, but kind of horrifying in other ways.
  125. >The one good thing, though, is there was a shocking amount of liquor there.
  126. >This was a good thing, because you needed it to dull your senses.
  127. >Seriously, you had walked by a table with ten people at it having a heated argument, yelling and shouting at each other.
  128. >Eavesdropping a bit, you realized they were arguing about who was "the hottest pony."
  129. >Arguing about and actually white knighting for the sexiness of a goddamn cartoon horse in a show for little girls!
  130. >So you finally ended up sitting next to a dude who seemed pretty normal in comparison, commiserating about what fruitcakes these people were.
  131. >But then even he started in with crazy talk about a "portal to Equestria."
  132. >And you agreed it'd be great, while planning your escape.
  133. >Now here you are.
  135. >And now, a lot of what that guy said makes a little more sense.
  136. >He kept asking you about whether you "agreed" and "consent" and other things.
  137. >Like a lawyer. Or for that matter, a gay guy hitting on you, which is what you were beginning to suspect.
  138. >And another thing he said.
  139. >"Come now, let's not let this thing drag on."
  140. >Drag on. Dragon. Ha ha. Fuck you, Carlos.
  141. >You remember one night your autistic brony brother was drunk and weepingly confessed to you that he dreamed of being a pony in Equestria.
  142. >You tried, but you really couldn't help yourself.
  143. >You busted a gut laughing and called him a faggot.
  144. >And instead of him, it's you. But you're a dragon. That's got to be cooler.
  145. >You wonder what kind. I wish I could see myself, you think.
  146. >You hear a faint fizzle, but nothing happens.
  147. >"Magic is a snap." That's what the note said.
  148. >Giving it a try, you wished you could see yourself, while snapping your fingers. Talons. Whatever.
  149. >Suddenly, an enormous antique mirror appears directly in front of you, faintly translucent, with a frame of corroded green copper.
  150. >Damn, you are a good looking son of a bitch.
  151. >A glowing, coppery tone, with a bit of green to liven things up.
  152. >You smile in the mirror to test it out. Charming, if a bit scary.
  153. >Noticing you have wings, you spread them out and admire them. Bitches don't know about my wings.
  154. >Well, you had to get back home at some point, of course, and kick this D bitch's ass.
  155. >But so far, this wasn't too bad. Might as well have some fun in the meantime.
  156. >You pop another jet stone, and then try a peridot.
  157. >Mmm, the dark tang of iron combines with magnesium and silicon, somehow adding up to a minty flavor, with a tingly aftertaste like an energy drink.
  158. >Suddenly, you are filled with paranoia that your gem stash is depleting rapidly before you have even seen this world.
  159. >Not stash. Hoard.
  160. >You need to get more. Now.
  161. >More gems.
  162. >More gold.
  163. >More of whatever this world has.
  164. >The rest can wait.
  166. >Looking around you, you decide this is a perfectly fine base of operations.
  167. >It's a cave, but whatever water activity created these stalactites and stalagmites, though it bugs you that you still forget which is which, it is long gone.
  168. >The air is dry and arid. As you like it. As you like it now, because you previously had no real preference.
  169. >You make a mental note to be concerned at these odd changes to your preferences and knowledge.
  170. >This D guy has messed with your mind somehow, for all his talk of friendship.
  171. >But more gems is the most important thing right now. You feel a burning necessity, suddenly fantasizing about hills, mountains of gold and gems.
  172. >And statues. And books and scrolls. And something you don't have a clear mental picture of yet.
  173. >But for now, gems. You need gems more than you have ever needed anything.
  174. >That means getting out of this cave. This beautiful cave that is your home, you find yourself thinking before catching yourself.
  175. >My home is Earth. Earth. Remember that, you tell yourself.
  176. >But back to gems. And back to getting out of here. Thinking of it, you suddenly realize your home has a back door.
  177. >Right. . .there. It glows with a faint green outline. This will take you directly to the surface, and is a perfect escape route if you are attacked in your lair.
  178. >But you feel compelled to take the less direct route out, and wrestle between the two compulsions, to leave and get gems immediately, and to explore your domain.
  179. >You make a quick survey of the strange, mazelike complex of carefully carved tunnels and natural caves between your main cavern and the world outside.
  180. >Having once designed a mildly successful maze shooter for Android, you were surprised that much of the complex resembled levels you once made.
  181. >You almost instantly grasp the geometry of the maze and understand that while you naturally know where you are in it, any invaders will be bewildered and lost.
  182. >Still, it is pretty plain and you already contemplate how you will improve it. There is a lot of fun to be had here.
  184. >Your maze is pretty plain.
  185. >You already have a lot of ideas on how to improve it. There is a lot of fun to be had here. Tricks and traps.
  186. >Anyone trying to attack you here will be at your mercy.
  187. >And you don't feel very merciful to the sort of fool who would.
  188. >But gems. You need gems. Those, you have to go out in the world to find.
  189. >So you venture out of the maze through a nearly invisible passage into the sunlight.
  190. >You pause to praise the Sun as your eyes adjust.
  191. >The terrain at the base of your mountain is dry, desert terrain. Beautiful.
  192. >There is a particularly high peak on the horizon, though. Even in the distance, you detect a gleaming dot of a castle and city high upon it.
  193. >Your sharp eyes detect a closer settlement, though, near a green forest. It is about midway between your desert and the castle.
  194. >No need to start ambitious. Let's see what's available in this village first.
  195. >Isn't that what dragons do?
  196. >You anxiously look down a steep cliff outside the entrance to your cave maze, pleased to note that there isn't another bit of flat earth nearby.
  197. >Anyone who wants to bug you has a lot of climbing to do. No Mormons. No bill collectors.
  198. >However, this left you with only your wings as a plausible means of travel. And here you are with a fear of heights.
  199. >Fuck your fear of heights.
  200. >So far, magic has worked.
  201. "I hope I don't fucking die when I try to fly to that peaceful village."
  202. >You snap your fingers. Talons. Whatever. You'll call them fingers if you feel like it.
  203. >And you leap off the cliff, spreading your wings.
  204. >You are surprised, as you seem to coast without effort toward your target.
  205. >The peaceful village, which has no idea it is about to be your bitch, looms closer as you glide along toward it.
  206. >Your lazy glide takes you over the town, and your interest turns to obsession as you scent a cache of gems in the town.
  207. >Catching a thermal, you wheel in a circle over the gems you scent.
  208. >From a building like a circus carousel.
  210. >Your plan simplifies. Land, get into this building, get the gems, fly away again.
  211. >That's how dragons operate, right?
  212. >How do I land, though? So far, you've just been gliding, catching favorable air, and drifting on it.
  213. >You decide to do another pass on the town before landing.
  214. >How could you decide to fly with no idea how to land?
  215. >You're still enjoying coasting along, even if you're gradually losing elevation, when you suddenly see something that disturbs you.
  216. >The people below you, well, they're actually ponies you see now, were oblivious of your presence.
  217. >But now some pony raised a hoof and shrieked in your general direction.
  218. >Some pony with a red mane. You hear, rising over the village, the cry of "DRAGON!"
  219. >A smarter dragon than you are might call off the raid at this point.
  220. >But you are not that dragon.
  221. >You are a dragon that wants, no, needs gems. NOW.
  222. >You see the specks that are ponies dispersing in all directions in a panic.
  223. >This fills you with an immense sense of glee.
  224. >This is what it is to be a dragon!
  225. >But clearly the town is alerted to your presence. You can't delay any more. Time to raid.
  227. >You decide just to crash into the carousel building, grab what you want, and leave.
  228. >The first part of the plan works smashingly. That is, you just dive headfirst into the building, smashing through the bay window, slightly regretfully since it was truly well designed.
  229. >Then you land on the ground floor, flipping in mid-air to catch yourself on all fours, and finding yourself face to face with a stunningly gorgeous blue-eyed white pony.
  230. >Wait. This can't be happening because. . .wait. A gorgeous pony? Time stands still, sort of, for a moment, but what is a moment without time?
  231. >No. This way lies madness. The only sensible option is to take these gems that are everywhere and escape before this entire town descends upon you.
  233. >You scoop up every gem you can find and then also steal a very nice dragon-sized backpack.
  234. >This designer is clearly worth following.
  235. >That designer is fleeing out the front door shouting "TWILIGHT! SPIKE! HELP!"
  236. >You grab a dragon-sized pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers, wondering how this rather skittish pony somehow has the same pair of sunglasses that D guy had.
  237. >However, upon visually examining the new additions to your hoard, you realize there are literally hundreds of gems in it.
  238. >Best to get back home and count all this up.
  239. >You put it in a bag and strap it to your back.
  240. >But maybe it's time to get some more stuff. After all, you have these ponies on the defense, and while you are greedy, you are also hungry.
  241. >Perhaps you can try to score some food while you're at it.
  242. >You run along the ground rapidly toward the nearest thing you see that looks like a barn.
  243. >Luckily for you, it is full of pigs.
  244. >You grab a pig and then prepare to fly off and admire your gems and devour your prey.
  245. >But then, the pig, struggling in your grasp, cries out.
  246. >"Please don't kill me, Mr. Dragon!"
  247. >Wait.
  248. >What the fuck?
  249. >"Please don't kill me and eat me! I have family!"
  250. "Holy shit a talking pig!"
  251. >"Are there other kinds? I just don't want to die, please don't kill me. I love dragons. I just don't want to be eaten."
  252. >This bullshit is totally killing your appetite.
  253. "Sorry. I was just kidding. But I'm kind of new here. I was kind of a carnivore already. . .that's a word for someone that eats meat. And I am kind of a dragon now."
  254. >You grin at the pig.
  255. "Why do you think we have these teeth?"
  256. >The pig squeals and tears off into the underbrush.
  257. >You could imagine better intraspecies outreach.
  258. >Still, you aren't about to eat creatures that beg you not to, even if you're the sort of creature that apparently does do this thing regularly.
  260. >Okay. Let's get back home and count up these gems.
  261. >That sounds like a good idea, but suddenly, you realize you have no idea whatsoever how to take flight.
  262. >You just jumped off a cliff and went gliding to get here. You don't even know how to flap your wings.
  263. >And a pig is running away screaming that you just tried to eat her.
  264. >And you just noticed every pony in town is converging on where you are.
  265. >It's almost like you're a monster or something.
  266. >You are feeling genuinely persecuted, as some of them literally have torches and pitchforks.
  267. >You flap your wings as the horde converges, but to your horror, you do not rise even an inch above the ground.
  268. >All these goddamn ponies. Where is my useless autistic brony brother when I need him?
  269. >You snap your fingers while wishing you could fly.
  270. >Shit. That is somehow not working either.
  271. >These ponies actually think they have authority over you! Let's disabuse them of that retarded bullshit pronto.
  272. >They're closing in. These goddamn ponies.
  273. >You leap in the air. With your sack of gems and lack of food.
  274. >Not feeling terribly energetic, you grab a handful of the gems in your sack and start chomping.
  275. >Bastards.
  276. >Other than the minerals, you have no food.
  277. >While you came to town hoping to go back home soon with food, the food you chose talked to you and you couldn't eat someone you just met. Now what?
  278. >You fly over to another building in town, with a sweet smell swirling around it.
  279. >Nearly dive-bombing the building on your way out of town, you note its similarity to the other building you destroyed.
  280. >Sweet.
  281. >The whole building, at least after the ponies flee, neighing and whinnying, is full of lovely, tasty cakes and pastries and everything nice.
  282. >You devour every single sweet pastry in the place and break all the windows in a strange ecstasy, then knock over all the tables and, for some reason, bake a batch of snickerdoodles in the oven before it cools down.
  283. "This is how you do it." the note says.
  285. >Okay. You've cut it way too close already.
  286. >Time to go home.
  287. >But when you're flying out of town, you see a carriage heading toward a prosperous looking house.
  288. >You have all the gems you need, but this looks like fun.
  289. >So you crash directly into the carriage, knocking it over, and take out the multiply locked cash box, then fly away again.
  290. >And while the trip back home requires a lot more flapping and thermals than your trip out, it is still a cakewalk.
  291. >You return home with no problem whatsoever, and add your new acquisitions to your collection, your hoard.
  292. >You still feel a bit guilty about terrorizing that pig. Sorry. I wouldn't have planned on killing and eating you if I knew you could hold up your end of a conversation.
  293. >Still. You are hungry and getting hungrier. And a fucking potato is not going to sate your appetite.
  294. >Those fangs and talons you have are going to have to be satisfied with flesh.
  295. >Also, that beautiful pony.
  296. >You stole her gems.
  297. >She couldn't defend them, so she deserved it, right?
  298. >Right?
  299. >You fly back to your impenetrable compound.
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