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mothpone

Anon - [Nameless] [Virgo/adventure/emotional/sfw]

Feb 27th, 2018
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  1. Full tags: Virgo, adventure, creatures, monsters, innawoods, lore, emotional, sfw
  2.  
  3. >be Virgo
  4. >have to chase out some creature who's been hanging around the village for a while
  5. >you've been watching him to make sure he doesn't get too close but he totally seems to be thinking about making a home there
  6. >this would be bad news and really dangerous
  7. >he's sniffing around really close today and that prettymuch tears it
  8. >letting him explore any closer would risk him starting to get territorial and aggressive
  9. >it's time to run him off
  10. >you grab your tools and hop on a pterodeer whom you always keep grazing nearby during your shift for just this kind of occasion
  11. >give chase, make loads of noise, and throw some rocks and stuff
  12. >damn it feels good to be a gangsta
  13. >you think you should drive the creature a few more miles out of the area before you call it enough
  14. >you just want to chase him down this next hill into the hollow below, but your mount shies and you have to fly off
  15. >the beast you are chasing notices this as you'd piped down and stopped doing things to scare him as you tried not to crash
  16. >you go ahead and resume, throwing another rock and indeed chasing him not only into the hollow but also up over the next ridge as well
  17. >when you hurl the last rock you had gathered, the beast is already off running, still heading away from your location
  18. "Good."
  19. >you dust your hooves and do a content smile to yourself.
  20. >As the heavy treading of the beast fades into the distance, you try to get your bearings and realize that you are a tiny bit lost, which will take a minute to sort out, given your compass is in your saddlebag, which is still on the ptero, who's probably headed back home.
  21. >More importantly, though, you don't have time to get reoriented as you got so carried away in the thrill of the chase that you ignored the position of the sun for a bit too long
  22. >Despite being a decent navigator day or night, this particular area isn't safe after the sun has set.
  23. >It is on the season todo-list to clear this area of the few nasties which make it that way, but preparations haven't been completed.
  24. >As such, you are better off just waiting.
  25. >You hastily gather wood and plants for a fire.
  26. >Although you usually carry some unburned incense with you to stay fresh-smelling, it's self-starting so it's really ideal for the task of getting a fire started
  27. >You can't really make camp any better than that because you don't have other equipment with you
  28. >Also, you're not all that tired
  29. >which is fortunate, because you need to keep your awareness up in case any ghoulies wander into the spot you've found.
  30. >Staying within sight of the fire, you gather up some more rocks for your sling, and position a few free branches so it will be easier to hear any creatures approaching from the rustle of those remaining dead leaves, and the snap of its brittle branches.
  31. >Once all reasonable preparations are made, you simply have to wait out the dark for a bit.
  32. >Sadly, you don't have that much to fiddle with given your relative unpreparedness lacking so much of your usual gear.
  33. >You light a few rods on some bark and wait for them to burn in properly, a bored look on your face.
  34. >You set the dry plants to fire with the ends and wait for the blaze to come up, staring off into the night.
  35. >At least it was a good chase and the village is now that much safer for your efforts.
  36. >It probably would have been risky to give up the chase to have sought back after your ptero mount, as the creature you'd been pursuing might have lost fear of moth ponies after that, emboldened by an apparent retreat thereafter.
  37. >Nope. You've done the right thing the whole way.
  38. >But you do wish there were someone around to chat with.
  39. >Off and on, a few sounds reach your antennae, but these are mostly creatures which are quite horrified of the scent of smoke muchless the sight of a lit fire, and they are quite distant.
  40. >Eventually, though, you pick up on a sound you can't identify.
  41. >You aren't far off the route you'd driven your quarry along, so it might even be the predator from earlier doubling back.
  42. >You'd hoped this wouldn't happen...
  43. >Wandering far off the path you'd taken (which would be recognizable even to the most amateur tracker, given the speed of the pursuit, and the size of the chase-ee) would make it take longer still to get your sense of orientation back as dawn broke.
  44. >You hadn't wanted to get the village all worried, so you stayed near to where you'd left off so you could make it back more quickly.
  45. >You hear a twig snap, but then another span of silence.
  46. >And then...
  47. >You aren't sure.
  48. >Wingbeats?
  49. >You had read up as much as you could about that predator when you had first sighted it about a week back, but there isn't that good of documentation available on them.
  50. >Only where they like to 'set up shop,' and that they should be driven away before they get very far into the process.
  51. >But the hound-rhino can't fly, can it?
  52. >The excerpts you'd found had said nothing about that.
  53. >Then again, the forest is full of surprises, and has perhaps come up with a new subspecies for you to deal with.
  54. "Shit."
  55. >Lacking options, you simply ready your sling and hope for the best.
  56. >A few more moments in the overly-still woods pass.
  57. >Then suddenly, though the alarm-brush you set up, the very same beast you'd been chasing into the evening bursts forth and-
  58.  
  59. >Its angle is odd, and it careens into the mini-clearing where you'd put down for the night.
  60. >You have no idea where its head will be in the next second, so you take your best guess and let fly with your sling.
  61. >The stone strikes its belly and the beast crashes up before you, turning earth and leaves with its great mass.
  62. >It seems to stumble in its fury, and plough up a small crest of dirt just before you.
  63. >You expect an immediate recovery, and fumble another rock into your sling as it halts its slide.
  64. >It just lays there, motionless.
  65. >Is it... injured?
  66. >You back up cautiously.
  67. >This might be quite the dance here next; you need the safety of the fire and it's out to-
  68. >No.
  69. >No, it's lying far too still.
  70. >You hold for a moment and squint.
  71. >It's not even breathing.
  72. >You recall from earlier...
  73. >Hound-rhino clearly breathe with lungs, as you'd been listening to those panting breaths for half a day running after this one.
  74. >You struggle to process, but you are cut off by a friendly chitter, coming from the direction of the apparent corpse next to the fire in front of you.
  75. >Again, no motion from the beast is seen.
  76. >But a few pine-needles tumble from further up.
  77. >You raise a hoof to block the firelight's glare, and gaze skyward some.
  78. >There she is.
  79. >A tremendous light-colored dragon. She's a medium sort of cream, or maybe more of a peach-color? The firelight makes it hard to tell.
  80. >She also has some bluish markings. Lilac or fuchsia, mostly around her neck and face.
  81. >And she's... smiling.
  82. >Not a vicious or vindictive smile, or even the least bit intimidating.
  83. >Okay maybe a LITTLE intimidating.
  84. >But not on-purpose.
  85. >She looks extremely friendly, in a way you're not sure could ever really be faked.
  86. >You let your sling stop twirling. It won't do you any good in this situation anyways; this is a DRAGON, not some juvenile hound-rhino or over-confident puffsnake.
  87. >She looks at the felled hound-rhino and thrusts her nose at it.
  88. >You glance up, and blink as a raindrop finds its way into your eye.
  89. >Thunder sounds and a drizzle starts up, the drops hissing on the glowing wood.
  90. >The moon is lost to view and the clouds thicken, and it begins to truly rain...
  91. >Untorrentially, but still quite enough to squelch your last defense in the night.
  92. >Glancing about nervously, you wonder if there is time to cast a big log on, but aren't sure there is one that's dry enough to catch at this point.
  93. >Even lacking the monster in front of you now, there is life abound which would love to make a snack of you before the night ends. That is, without the blaze of that little, suffering fire.
  94. >But you are afraid to move...
  95.  
  96. >Ignorant of all this, the dragon gestures with her head towards the unmoving monster aside the dimming firepit once more. This time, the story assembles itself in your head right away.
  97.  
  98. >You've spent a long day chasing your quarry along and eventually it continued away roughly along the path you'd been sending it.
  99. >The winged creature who now perched above you - impossibly so, barely bending the pines below despite having alighted at their very tops with what ought to be untold weight - either witnessed part of the chase, or followed the trail of scents back to your meager camp after the hound-rhino was driven into her territory
  100. >And - like a cat - she's brought back the catch to share with you, knowing it was a team-effort.
  101.  
  102. >You might be able to build a canopy for the fire if you can find some leaves big enough to stop the droplets. It will be smokey, but you should be able to get the fire going strong again, after that.
  103.  
  104. >She cocks her head at you, still awaiting a reply.
  105. "I, uh... well? I'm more of a honey-and-nectar kinna guy. Go right ahead."
  106.  
  107. >Again blocking the glare with a hoof, you cast your gaze into the night in search of something solid enough to stop the rain.
  108. >There are mostly pines in this area, meaning large leaves or even hollowed-out trunks are hard to come by.
  109. >The dragon hops down and lands before the trees where she'd just been perched.
  110. >Her full weight is conveyed by the tremor you feel through your hooves, as she does not flap as she comes down.
  111. >You still don't know how she stayed up there on that thin pair of trees without them breaking.
  112. >She's still for a second after having planted her weight now.
  113. >She churrs at you as if you make sure you're sure about giving up your portion.
  114. >You wave her on.
  115. >She trods up and starts eating.
  116. >In the waning light, you still see nothing that can be readily used as a canopy for the fire.
  117. >Given more time, it would be easy enough to just build one out of pine boughs, but the fire would be out by then.
  118. >You don't precisely need a fire while there's a huge dragon around, but you doubt she'll be staying for long enough to make what you need, muchless get the fire going again afterwards.
  119. >The dragon finishes the hound-rhino, straightening her neck and swallowing the last chunk with a loud gulp.
  120. >She looks at you, seemingly noticing the somber look on your face as you stare at the last of the dying embers.
  121.  
  122. >You sigh;
  123. >You'll attempt, but there might not be the highest chances of making it the remaining 4 or 5 hours until daybreak.
  124. >Nevertheless she deserves thanks; she's still done you a kindness by safeguarding you for the short time she's been here, and by offering you a share of the kill you'd both made.
  125. >A dragon doesn't have to be that considerate.
  126. >You walk over to her ankle, and lean up, nuzzling against it.
  127. >It's a rare sight, a dragon. Especially this deep into the forest.
  128. "I guess you must be Saturn''s way of telling me my ride is over."
  129. >Your eyes water a little bit.
  130. "At least I've gotten to see one of her grandest creations. I don't blame you, Messenger. It's been a good day."
  131. >She rumbles at you curiously. You pat her.
  132. >You're not sure if you believe all the mumbo-jumbo the elders always spout about gods and gifts and the path of mothpony kind and whatnot, but you'll take a little religious symbolism over 'Virgo dies out in the forest because shit happens and life sucks.'
  133. "I'm gunna get going now. I'm glad I could help you catch something you liked."
  134.  
  135. >That sad tone.
  136. >Having lived in the valley for almost all of your life, it's your first time saying a real goodbye to someone.
  137. >It's ironic you bother for deaf ears, but it's one more page for the short book filled by your experience, though it might never be written, especially with these closing scenes, which might remain unknown.
  138. >You begin to walk away, your wings far too wet to fly, and the rain still far too heavy from above.
  139. >You give your sling a twirl but your forehoof feels leaden.
  140. >You don't know if you'll regret dropping it or not.
  141. >You hold onto it loosely in your grip and look back for a second.
  142. >The dragon mirrors your expression as you glance over your shoulder at her.
  143. >It's hard to tell if it's just mimicry, or real comprehension at some level.
  144. >A few words from Master Farebain echo in your mind. You still don't know what they mean, if anything.
  145. "Messengers may not always understand the message which they carry."
  146.  
  147. >You shake your head, and shortly find the swath of broken twigs and uprooted saplings from yesterday's chase, and begin to walk back along it, thinking of your friends, and why you took this post as pathclear in the first place.
  148. >You don't really remember a reason.
  149. >You try hard to determine why you never questioned each decision up until this point.
  150. >At the same time, there's nothing you come across that you want to take back either - nothing you'd undo for what you thought was a better, loftier decision here now in hindsight, not really.
  151. >Mistakes, yes - but none that did not make you wiser, though many of those lessons had seemed greatly trying for what small wisdom they'd impart at the time.
  152. >And all those which cost you something you could never gain back... those were perhaps the events which had cut you into true the very most, as one might a wheel, or carpenter's blade.
  153. >These you cannot decide if you would take back, as you are torn between becoming 'good' and *remaining* content.
  154. >They seem opposed.
  155. >You realize they always were, and that you have forever been so torn between them.
  156. >You try to forget it, but you feel terribly old. Not in body, but rather in mind, somehow - with so many events to look back upon.
  157. >You wonder how Tarkin does it, or how Farebain did for so long.
  158. >You wonder why they had not each sooner been blessed with their own final visitations as you have now been.
  159. >Ultimately, you toss these musings away, and settle for feeling sick.
  160. >Earlier, you had been above such things, climbing on the back of your ptero to ride out after danger.
  161. >How fast it'd come apart.
  162.  
  163. >You continue to trudge, following the disturbed foliage.
  164. >You are surprised at the lack of creatures lunging at you now.
  165. >It may have been an hour - maybe more - of just walking, lost in thought, the drops finally tapering off into a gentle 'gardener's rain,' as you once heard it called.
  166. >You pass by various plants which have been pressed over, often making your walk much easier.
  167. >You name them involuntarily, thinking of the various creatures attracted and repelled by each of them, all those connections which you are astounded could be taught and learned, and become a mantra for you and others like you, a song pulsing silently to the rhythm of the forest as one walks through it.
  168. >Though you shall forget this mantra, you think; one of these steps will be your last, surely.
  169. >It is a shame that you could not teach it to the next moth, so that at least the song in your heart might continue, but you were hardly a journeymoth when Farebain died, and you'd played catchup ever since, chasing after that noble shadow of his as it faded, cantering behind on the ground as he simply did all his tricks to lengthen the stride of his ptero, without ever exceeding a trot, yet crossing such distance...
  170. >He had not been chasing anyone, but was merely expedient spending the steps of his mount.
  171. >Had you spent yours all too quickly?
  172.  
  173. >Daybreak has both come and gone, and indeed the evening is again resumed.
  174. >You find yourself in the middle of it as the forest has begun to look familiar once more. You are unnerved.
  175. >By some unknown kindness, you walked along untouched, through a forest which was far from silent as you went.
  176. >A mist hangs, and catches the orange light that slips past the treetrunks.
  177. >You walk up the final ridge which overlooks the village - your own charge - that you now return to.
  178. >You swallow the lump in your throat.
  179. "Home."
  180. >The residents should be rising at the moment, but you don't see them outside yet.
  181. >Perhaps your pace was better than you thought, and it is earlier than you expected, still.
  182. >Perhaps rather than making the journey home, you instead walked to Heaven.
  183.  
  184. Mentioned: Farebain, Tarkin, Saturniidae
  185. Would-be spoilers: dragon
  186.  
  187. Unofficial sequel: https://pastebin.com/2LrcYDin
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