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>1 4 rules
>1 4 Multiclasses
>Expanded Racials 3 5 (New Release!)
>optional dice-bot script
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>Time is a created thing. To say 'I don't have time' is like saying, 'I don't want to.'
Calling sheets for session 62 of TimeQuest
Last game: https://desustorage.org/mlp/thread/26043605
>YEAR: 1 BE
>Luke: 5/5 (horn still glowing red)
>Forests nearing on Unicornian border
Last time, after Crumple had split off to recover the bats using a newly utilized magitech powered by Obsidious' own remains to rescue the bats, the party had gone off to Luke's car, and from there would travel to Unicornia to escape the freezing cold, as a blizzard had blown in from nowhere following Glace's demise.
Upon arrival, they saw a familiar face: another alternate Luke that had some sort of vendetta against the mainline Luke Warm, and was smashing up his (now nearly ruined) vehicle before the fight was broken up with news of Sterling's death. Upon retrieving the bats and the time machine, Crumple had turned around and was already headed back for their position.
>Unicornia, Westside Slums
Last time, Onyxia and Steel's tension grew to a breaking point, causing internal conflict as they followed the traveling pony Mulki away from where he had thought he'd seen Sterling. Desperate to escape the blizzard, he led them off course towards the Unicorn capital of Coltchester. Fearing persecution by the unicorns, he insisted to stay within Steelnyxia's cloak as they search for shelter.
"Hmph." Starswirl grunts, "It has its downsides. There's an awkwardness to scolding a 150 year old, and acting like brats for decades can wear thin if Alicorn parents didn't have the patience to match. But there are many advantages that outweigh it. The more dedication and time put into something, the more worthwhile it becomes when it comes to fruition. The princesses will live for eons longer than your family, each will possess godlike control over the heavens and magic worthy of their own pantheon, and their power will exist entirely independent of any external artifact like the Heart."
He chuckles, "Besides, being a teenager for that long? I know some that would call that a dream."
Steel growls internally, his frustration palpable as he feels yours. ("FINE. Just... FINE. As you wish...")
He stays silent following this exchange, Mulki turning to answer Onyxia, "I'm... from the Republic. One of the outlying farms, away from the Capital. I assumed you are too, lacking a horn or wings. I must have been wandering that forest longer than I thought, I didn't think I'd take us to the far side of the forest."
He sighs, moving towards the gate, "Then, that's good. We could take any of these houses in the city, then, just until the storm dies down again..." Moving on towards the gate, a heavy iron grate raised up high to let in traders, the unicorn guardsmen pay you no mind as you enter the first-tier of the city, and are introduced to the lowest level of old unicorn hierarchy, entering an overcrowded, underprovided segment of the city. Stone houses are packed close and tight, the foggy vision of a castle looming over in the center of the city. Street lamps are lit, and unicorns left and right are struggling to make it through the stormy weather just to make it to their homes.
"I guess any one will do... follow me."
Gale looks at his broken, casted wings as you mention brawling. "I think I'll need a handicap."
Freedom coughs, chuckling, "Ya got any whiskey? If I ever was gonna have a last drink.. I'd need some old-fashioned Republic Whiskey. If not then, some water will do me, hehehehe..."
Screech and Boo chuckle at the radio show they just put on, but both of their expressions turn somber, cold, after you drop the news.
Boo speaks up first, "Sterling is dead... holy fuck." He pushes his face into his hooves. "Holy fuck, you're not kidding... goddamnit..." You hear a few soft sobs from Boo, "Screw those bastards..."
Screech turns to Boo, wrapping a hoof around him to pat his back. "Wow... that.. that's some heavy shit... Sterling was nice, and they just..." He starts breathing quickly. "Holy ghosts, I'm just kind of setting in on how real this is... if they killed Sterling then, jeez, we're not half the mare she was. The Order's really not joking around..."
Boo and Screech look to each other, fear in their eyes as Honey takes to the pilot seat, plotted course for Nero and Luke's position.
Twilight lowers her brow, "That's not something to say like you're proud of, Luke..."
Twilight turns to Mr. Warm, flattening her ears, "Wow, you're... a lot more sophisticated than the other Luke, I hope you don't take that with too much offense. The other one, Duke, was kind of uncouth."
She looks at Sterling's floating body. "She went off to take care of an Order member on her own... she didn't win. Her killer has been destroyed, at least, but... we're just now reeling from the loss. She died just this afternoon."
"Given how I spent my own adolescence, I would have to disagree. It sounds like a colossal waste of time, to spend over a hundred years idling. I see no benefit in so massive a childhood, it is not as though they gain some skill or magic that could not just as easily have been obtained by a more efficient process."
"But enough about that. We have more pressing concerns."
Nero says ending the conversation, looking over to Mr Warm.
>Mr Warm: >"I came to have my revenge on your dull iteration of myself. But it appears I'll be attending two funerals today."
"Revenge? For what?"
Onyxia looks around in a huff at the passing buildings as they enter Unicornia, letting the scenery try to take her mind off things.
"This place looks a lot more crowded than the Republic."
She comments as she follows Mulki.
"Handicap? Lasta I checked, you weren't a totala bitch," Honey says with a slight, cocky grin.
"Republic Whiskeya? I'll keep an eye outa for some...wherevera the fuck you find somea."
Honey looks over at the bats, feeling like shit about having to be the bearer of that news. With a sigh, she goes over to the two bats.
"Boo. Screech. Thisa may not be the nicest thinga I'll ever say, but fuck it. Youa lasted this long witha us, so don't you twoa sell yourselves shorta."
She mimics Screech, putting a hoof around both of them and pulling them close.
"As longa as we stay together, there'sa nothing those Eon fucks can do toa stop us. You guysa are already big, fucking badasses fora sticking around witha us this long."
She gives a reassuring smile to the two of them.
"Nowa c'mon; need you two pumpeda up. Next ass wea kick, we kick twice asa hard for Sterling!"
She gives the bats two, firm, but friendly, smacks on their backs.
>"For being an absolute waste! Thats what!" Mr. Warm responds with a reignited fury. He turns to Luke
>"You know you live like a fucking roach right? Depending on every imaginary disability the Guv will give you a check for. And worse than that you can't even hold down a job anymore than a month. You know how stupid I've looked tryin to do business with the good folk of Manehatten, when before I can even get my breifcase open they're already kicking my ass out the front door!"
"Oh fuck you I'm basically a superhero now. who cares what my resume looks like"
>"I care! Ya lazy excuse for a Unicorn! I'm the only iteration of you that actually gives a shit!"
"Alright, alright, simmer down there guy, don't want all my friends here to think you're gonna go gunslinging at us again."
>"I think you'll find all the Lukes are uncouth." Mr. Warm mentions in an annoyed expression. "No.. Thats not fair" He detracts "A'few behave themselves like gentleman believe it or not. None'a them are very likeable though."
"I resent that!" Luke chimes
"Whether he lives like a barbarian or not, Lukewarm is right. He is a powerful warrior who has proven himself time and again. I will not have him insulted so callously."
"That said, you obviously have some grievance against him. Why? How does what he did in his world in any way effect you? For that matter, where did you even come from? I am beginning to grow tired of Lukewarms meeting Me everywhere I go."
Starswirl nods his head, jingling the bells. "Hmph. Agreed. I can defend my investments some other time." He gives a wry look towards the two Lukes, then to his barrier. "Will want to wrap this up. My barrier will last but I think we both have more to do than watch Luke kill himself."
Steel answers you, in a very agitated voice ("We're in the poorest district. The higher levels are much less busy. The Republic put effort into their city plans to make every section of the city feel equally spacious, but, us unicorns did not care as much for the comfort of the lowly workers.")
Mulki nods his head, leading on towards a very blurry image of a one-story home that appears to have a strong fire within it based on difficult perceptions through a shadowy window. Its details are hard to make through the growing blizzard, but you note that it is very poorly built, and unmanaged.
The visions clear up slightly as Mulki leads on through the solid door, the winds stopped outside by its walls. It is not as warm in here as he seems to have wanted, as you notice a slight shivering still emanating from him. Inside, you appear to be in some kind of shop. The fireplace kindles with a warm flame, and no where around do you see any attendants. "This place seems empty... I'm still freezing, all the same."
Steel whispers, ("The cloak keeps it out the cold, but, it also keeps out the warmth. We could dispel it...")
>Correction, forgot about your default repair rolls throughout last game
Gale grimaces, and sits down upon the couch, "My pride appreciates your compliment, but, I have two broken wings that speak other tales."
Freedom Rings smiles, and nods his head. "Ah tell ya, you'll know it when ya see it. Hehehe..."
Boo gives another soft sob as you pull him close, who quickly returns the embrace. Screech is slower to do so, and seems less emotionally responsive than Boo.
Boo moans, "Yeah.... Yeah. You're right. Next time I see Wing or any of those edgy time-traveling turds I'm blasting them extra hard for her."
Screech moans, "If we don't get slaughtered before that... I appreciate the though, Honey, but... we're just a couple of stunt fliers."
>The approach of Crumple is speeding along well to Nero and Luke's location, you may RP your arrival there this turn
Twilight cocks an eyebrow, "And, I'm guessing you count yourself among one of them. I understand Luke's work ethic leaves a LOT to be desired, but," she looks at the car't, "Was THAT really necessary? And the gun?!"
She lowers her brow, "I think I'm going to take a shot here and say, whatever timeline came from, you're the Luke Luke would be if he put more effort into his schooling and his career. And, while I'm amazed Luke ever had it in him and think he could use a few tips like that," she grins, "Uh, no offense Luke." She turns back to Mr. Warm, "That's a bit much to MURDER somepony over."
Starswirl raises his brow, "This is a frequent problem then? Fascinating. The nature of my time travel does not allow for creating alternate selves."
>"Cuz thanks to that egomaniac Duke Lukem This world is now my world, and I'm currently picking up after the mess he left for me in the modern era. Did you know he dropped out of community college, not only that he made'a big scene tearing up their office and sayin he was gonna be a moviestar or somethin of the sort. It's a damn embarassment. Now every school has me on the blacklist for being a nutcase. I really liked Manehatten, I made a niche for myself there back when it was my own world. But now everything's all mixed up. And.. Regrettably, I did some desperate stuff, so now I'm not so keen on goin back."
Onyxia doesn't respond to the explanation, stepping inside silently behind Mulki as they enter the small home.
"Let's actually get next to the fire. In here we won't be able to feel it."
Onyxia looks around.
"It looks like the place is closed, we should be fine with the storm keeping anypony from gong out."
She comments as she sweeps the cloak over the two of them to be in the warmth of the fire.
"And you'vea got four hooves, a body, anda a head for headbutting. Wingsa are just a bonus," Honey says, flapping her dragonfly-like ones a bit.
"Heh, well alrighta then," Honey says with a smile.
"I'lla see if I can pull at leasta one miracle out of my assa for somepony about to die."
"That's the spirit, Boo!" Happy says happily, giving him another, friendly embrace.
At hearing Screech's negativity, however, Honey stares at him and lets go of Boo.
"Hey Screech," Honey says calmly at first, but before Screech could get a full response out, Honey sucker punches him right in the jaw. Then grabs him by the shoulders to keep him standing and staring right at her suddenly angry face.
"Don't you fuckinga ever! EEEEVER! Say that shita about yourselves arounda me again!"
She keeps a glare on him, but lets up with a slight smile.
"Look at whata we did to that cocksucker Wing. Youa think a bunch of bitchass stunta fliers would be able to pilot Crumple likae you guys did? FUCK NO! If there'sa one thing I can say for this biga, walking weapon of fire anda fun, it's that it onlya lets real badasses touch the shita in its head! From my count, I see one," she pionts at Boo," and two," she points at Screech, jabbing her hoof into his chest, "badasses, besidesa myself, who are able to worka this thing if somethinga gets lucky enough to send me toa hell for a change."
"Now don'ta make me have to sock youa again; that shita hurts," Honey says, waving her hoof around a bit like some delayed reaction.
As Honey is told they're getting close, Honey has Crumple rise up near Nero and Luke.
"Alright, shit's good," Honey says through Crumple, "let's-"
She cuts herself off, seeing this newcomer Luke.
"What the fuck is going on here, and why should I not shoot this fucker?"
"Unfortunately" Nero says in answer to the question about alternate selves.
"If I'm grasping your situation, Duke somehow pulled you out a world that no longer exists, and when you tried to live in Lukewarm's, you were mistaken for him, damaging your prospects? Is that correct?"
"And if so, how did you get here, specifically? You realize you are in Eo Naxx Fang's era?"
Nero looks over as Honey emerges from the ground.
"Its another Lukewarm. I'm still figuring it out myself."
>"Yeaah.. I got a little excited there. I'm sorry about that Sparkle. I'm really only here to kill Luke."
"Is that supposed to make it better?"
>Mr. Warm gives Luke a very mean look, but doesn't respond.
"Hay if you have something to say, say it."
>"Would you rather I try to kill the both of you!"
"Now, why does some gotta die?"
>"Because there are consequences Lukewarm! You might not realize this because you've never had to deal with them but there are consequences to every idiotic thing you do."
>Mr. Warm pinches his forehead "No the burden of that lies on Duke Lukem. You think you were the first iteration? Get over yourself."
>At Starswirl's comment Mr.Warm turns to him and adds "You should count yourself lucky"
>"That's the jist, yeah" Mr. Warm replies, more calm now "For some dumb reason my timemachine only has a limited number of pre-set eras to travel to."
"Thank you!" Luke chimes
"-And I remember the ones we visited during my own adventures. So I just zapped myself to the next one and when I got here I saw tire tracks. Sort of a dead give away."
Mr.Warm doesnt' even flinch at your appearance "Hello Honey Bunch, it's pleasant to see you too."
>"I think I've endured this awkward moment long enough. To be clear I only hate myself here. In fact, I remember most of you fondly, even if I wasn't the most socialable during our adventures. And I am very sorry to hear Sterling had passed. I think its only polite I post-pone my vendetta til after her funeral. So, goodbye, I will be seeing you all during the ceremonies." Mr.Warm picks up his hat and cloak from the snow. He then pulls up his sleeve to reveal a timewatch.
>With the press of a few digits Mr.Warm leaves in a zap of energy
"Our adventures? Wait, what do you mean by-"
Nero asks holding out a hoof as he vanishes.
"That is the second Lukewarm to act as though he's met us all before. That doesn't strike you as the least bit curious?"
Nero asks Crumple Zone.
You sweep the cloak out from around you, returning you to reality as the light warmth of the fire roars nearby. Mulki sighs, his purple cloak flying close to the flames to bath in them as Steel slowly does the same, looking about the abandoned shop. With the shadowscape dismissed, you can see it in more detail. Many tattered, half-finished rags of cloaks or dresses or suits line the walls, many of them in poor design. There's a counter near the center of the shop, behind it a door leading presumably deeper in. You see there's a bell that's broken off the door going outside hanging on the ground.
Mulki sighs, "Much better... you are right, but someone must have lit this fire. They may try to return despite the weather, but, we simply need to ride out the storm. If they come back before then, we'll have surprise on our side." He rubs his hooves, looking at the flames, "I'll have my bearings straight, afterwards. Thank you, I would have likely frozen in that blizzard without you."
Steel you sense a great tension from, and he turns your head around to look at the poorly-kept shop. "............"
Gale scoffs, "Wings are what set us apart from the lesser tribes. They're more than just a bonus."
Boo's eyes open wide as you sock Screech hard in the schnoz, sending him flying backwards onto the floor. "OW! Fuuuck, my nose!" he turns up at you, growling, "The hell was that for?!"
AS you give him your pep talk, his eyes soften, Boo restrains a small fit of smug grins as Screech listens to your words. He lowers his eyes, staring down at his chest.
"That's great that we can handle Crumple if we really needed to, but, what about when we don't have it?"
As Crumple comes out of the ground, you find yourself in a shimmering golden barrier that keeps out the weather, which has intensified since you went underground. Twilight jumps in surprise, turning towards her. "Honey! No, no, no shooting! We're trying to STOP the shooting, on all sides!" She waves her hooves.
He smiles, "You sound disappointed. Doesn't the prospect of not knowing something make your heart pump? I'm thinking to ask if I could borrow these two for a few months. Understanding alternate versions of one's self would be a fantastic new project to start on. I've been needing one."
Twilight sighs, "You may be asking for more than you're bargaining for, Mr. Starswirl, sir."
Twilight glares at Mr. Warm, "It really does not make it sound any better, buster. I appreciate trying to make Luke think about his choices, but, there is NO WAY he could have predicted something like this, you can't pin that against him. You need to take a step back and realize that what... well, YOU did, wasn't actually meaning anything bad to happen to you."
As he disappears, Starswirl looks on at the sudden blue swirl of energy as Twilight closes her eyes, "What the..." she comments, "He has a time machine too?"
Starswirl grumbles. "Hrmm. My magic is suddenly becoming a little too popular." His horn starts glowing gold, and a field of magic surrounds the area where he just disappeared.
Twilight looks at your car't, and sighs. "Sorry Luke. I don't think your insurance will cover this...
Onyxia scoots back a slightly, not sure how her frozen hoof will handle being near fire and not wanting to risk part of her melting.
"They'd be crazy to come back through that, it's only gotten worse out there. ...Your welcome. At least somepony was helped today."
She says a little sadly, turning her gaze back to the fire.
She ignores Steel's tension, turning her head back to the fire and keeping it there. Right now she just wants a moment to slow down after all the running and everything else today.
"Honestly, Goldie, I'm getting used to all the time travelling fuckers knowing who we are alreadym. The only thing I'm curious with these jerks is if I'm going to make some Eon fucker lose their ass cherry to me shoving a missile up it or not."
"Wella, i'm just a stranger whoa ended up in the middle ofa a stranger war," Honey says with a shrug to Gale's comment.
"Why worrya about something that willa never happen?" Honey says to Boo, offering him a hoof up.
"If something evera happens to Crumple, you cana bet I'll fix it gooda as new again. Even ifa I have to climb upa out of hell to doa so."
"Now stallion the fuck up; we've got a good pony to bring home, and I don'ta want any crybaby shit unless its tears for her."
"I've told Goldie here many times I'm going to do as I damn well please," Crumple says, motioning its head towards Nero, "why the hell am I going to listen to you?"
"Alright, fire this bad boy up and give me Sterling. I'm bringing her home," Honey says, setting the time machine down and gets ready to do the time warp again.
"Just lay her on Crumple;s back or whatever. I'm not putting her in Crumple like some load of shit."
The cargobay on Crumple lowers to let off some passengers.
"Freedom, Ia think Goldie wants to shoot the shit witha you more. Gale, well, gonna havea to kick you out for thisa one. Don't think youa can handle the shita from her time."
"Boo, Screech...I'd likea to have company for thisa one. But...if you wanta to freeze your asses offa with Goldie," Honey does finish the thought, but motions towards the open cargobay.
"Yup, Crumple, that's the boring version of me. Sorry you had to see that. Just one of the consequences of being the best Luke out there."
"So some of the other me's went on their timeventures. what of it?"
Luke shoots Twilight a bemused expression. "You know he wasn't tryin to teach me anything Twilight, I really looked like wanted to kill myself back there. And honestly I can kinda sympathize, there were dozens of time I wanted to kill myself for screwin up my life so bad. But at the same time fuck me. I don't owe myself anything. Mr. Warm can take his farther's suit, and fedora and sell it for crack again for all I care."
Luke is seen mourning over his car, feeling the dents that are made, glowering over the broken windows. "Hay the jokes on him, when I report this his rates are gonna skyrocket."
"I cannot exactly become engrossed in scholarly curiosity, when dealing with circumstances as dire as these."
Nero doesn't bother explaining the troubling implications, instead simply crossing His arms in thought as Honey unloads Freedom and prepares the time machine.
"I'm keeping the machine with Me, in case we need to flee this era quickly. When you're ready to return simply speak aloud with the intent that Freedom hear you. According to Ug, that allows him to always hear what you are saying. On the off-change that doesn't work, I'll check with Freedom at sunset to see where you are."
"Do not do anything that could damage Lukewarm's era while in Canterlot, and remember we will not be able to speak with radios as long as you're there."
"And one more thing. If you see that other Lukewarm while you're there, I want you to bring him back with you. One way or another."
Nero says, stepping down from His chariot to look over Sterling's body with a grim expression.
"Your loyalty will not be forgotten, though you descend into the land of oppression, Knight of Celestia, my faithful servant."
The king says with respect, moving a bit of blonde hair out of her face, before nodding to Crumple who holds her, signaling for her to begin to leave.
Screech takes in a deep inhale, letting you help him off the floor of the Crumple. "Well, I mean, I guess that's true, but, what if something happens to YOU then and then we lose Crumple..."
"Screech, dude." Boo puts a hoof on his shoulder, "You always do this to yourself. You're not gonna get anywhere stressing yourself."
"And you might actually get somewhere if you DID." Screech shoots back.
Twilight stands up to you, "Because this is NOT the time for bullets, and I'm asking politely not to, Honey."
As you direct Starswirl to move Sterling, he nods his head as his bells jangle, placing Sterling atop the back. "Again, the poor girl has my condolences. I imagine the Celestia of the era you're about to reach will take the loss of any of her ponies particularly hard. If you could pass on my sympathies to her."
As you open up the gate, Freedom Rings tries to hobble out of his bed, coughing up a storm as he does so. "Could use some help there, Mr. Gale, hehehe... not one to walk on my own."
Gale cringes, "Why would I touch a filthy Earth Pony? Much less a SICKLY one."
Rings chuckles, "Mr. Gale, with those broken wings, as I see it I'm about as much a pegasus as y'all are. But, suit yourself."
Gale groans, "So I'm back in the company of unicorns... splendid. Hurry back. I cannot be home in Pegasopolis soon enough."
Screech and Boo look to each other. Boo looks at Honey, "Actually, Honey, I think Fang's still out there. I'd like to try and help her out with this staff stuff if she's getting into it. Besides that, I don't think Gale's gonna help ol' Rings out much. Someone's gotta do it."
Screech nods his head, "Alright, Boo... I think I'm gonna stick on the Crumple. I... I'm not ready to be off it just yet."
Twilight nods her head, "I'm with you on that. Killing someone isn't teaching them a lesson at all." She lowers her brow, "Still, I think that's kind of sad that you'd believe you trying to kill you so easily. We won't let him get away with it. We'll just have to be on guard. Duke apparently started this mess, maybe we can get him to fix it."
She stares at the car't again, chuckling. "You know, actually, maybe it just needs a little buffing out...?" she pokes at one of the tires, which comes off the moment she touches it into the snow. She grimaces. "Whoops..."
She turns to look at Sterling as she's loaded onto Crumple, "Do you want to go along with Sterling, Luke? I need to stay here, to try and find Fang again..."
"Bah. When are the circumstances not dire?" Starswirl retorts.
Freedom yawns, looking at Nero and Honey as Boo flies out of the back of Crumple with him on his shoulder. He's still wrapped up in his blanket from before, "Hehehehe... relax, Mr. Nero. I'm at least as qualified as Mr. Ug."
Boo sighs as he steps out, looking at the body as well as Starswirl moves it over towards Crumple. "Man... she looks so peaceful. Smiling like that..." he gives a short sob. "I-I'll see ya one way or another, Sterling. Clear skies."
Even Gale can't help but look sorrowful at the sight of a fellow pegasus having fallen, nodding towards the stranger with respect. Starswirl finishes placing her on the back of Crumple, then turns to look at you, Twilight, Rings, and Gale. "This storm is not going to improve anytime soon. I've had enough time to rest, and we're closer to Unicornia now. Provided you could all manage to not draw attention, I could teleport us."
Your hoof does seem to melt slightly as it approaches the fire, but, you do not feel the bits of ice that melted falling onto the floor. They seem to stay stuck onto the frozen bits of it.
Mulki nods his head, a faint smile can be seen from underneath the hood. "I just wish I could have found that one mare that vanished... hopefully she's safe." He sticks close to the fire, seeming to nod his head offering you to come closer.
"Come, warm up. I know you've had at least as much to deal with today as I have. Not that it's any of my business, but, it sounds like something I could sympathize with."
Steel continues looking around the shop when your head allows him, his agitation growing, ("No... couldn't be.") he whispers.
Onyxia holds silent as he mentions Sterling.
"I-I'l pass, I'm having an issue with my hoof I on't want worse..."
She says, staying back.
"I don't think you could sympathize with what I've gone through today, or the past few days."
She says somberly, but with the slightest bit of laughter as she realize how outlandish her problems have been for anyone to try and sympathize with.
("Steel, top. I just want to relax for a moment.")
She says, forcing her head back to the fire again and keeping him from moving it again.
Luke sighs exhaustively "ugghh I don't wanna talk to Duke. I kinda just wanna ride this one out. He'll eventually lose interest, I always do."
Luke still appears sad about his totalled car't "Yeah I'll be heading out with Crumple. I wanna be there to drop off the body. And maybe Crumps can fix my car if I kiss her ass."
"Well...I kinda liked that other Luke that was at the wedding...," is what comes out of Crumple's mouth, almost shyly even with the voice changer/vocoder.
"So just yell in the sky like a druggie who is shot up out of his fucking mind to get home. Got it," Crumple says, head bouncing side to side as Nero keeps talking.
"Like I saida; I'll drag myself througha hell if I have to and fix ita," Honey says with a confident smile to Screech.
"There is never a bad time for bullets," Crumple retorts back. As Sterling is loaded up, Crumple's head opens so Honey can adjust her so she is laying on her back, hooves on her chest, all without shrinking her down. Honey looks up at Twilight, the face of a creature who has no more mercy to give at the moment.
"And doa you really think I'm goinga to stop shooting after this," Honey herself says to Twilight, motioning to Sterling.
"Words area a waste of time ona those Eon cocksucking bastards. It'sa shoot to kill, leave none alivea now. And if you don'ta like it, then go home to youra time and stay out ofa the crossfire."
"Thanksa," she says to Starswirl, "whoever the fuck youa are. And I willa."
"Alrighta Boo," Honey says to him as she watches him, "we'll be back soona as possible. Good lucka."
"Alright, Screech. Buta I'm going to start charging youa the longer you stay. Thisa is a death machine, not some mobile home," Honey says this is a playful smirk to Screech.
With Sterling set to go, Honey gets back into the cockpit of Crumple and looks somberly at the open time portal. Waiting for anyone else who wants to tag along, Crumple begins the procession through the portal with Sterling resting comfortably on its back.
"It has unsettling implications for all this. Ask Me later and I may tell you more."
Nero says, looking to Crumple as she leaves, keeping the time machine on this side of the portal.
Nero waves a hoof, causing his chariot and clothes to disappear into a storm of golden particles that disappear into His hooves, before His divine light goes out.
His body is quickly rerobed in His modern outfit from before [grey shirt, maroon jacket, etc].
"If you're taking us to Coltchester try and circumvent the initial districts."
The king says lifting the time machine unto His back.
"Seriously, That Luke was so full of himself. I mean, I was like you when I first met him. Thought he was cool and mysterious, a total badass. But the apocalyptic machismo skater dude persona gets old after a while and just starts to look shallow. Honestly, I'd take Business Luke over Duke Lukem any day, even if he wants to kill me."
shit shit shit I keep forgetting my name
if that was reverse psychology it worked because Luke feel compelled to ask "What if I ask now?"
Mulki nods his head. "Understood. Though, I think you're confusing sympathizing for understanding. Would I understand all you've been through?" He shakes his head, "Possibly not, but, I'm sure I could sympathize." He takes a look into the fire.
"Here, let me just take a guess. Your whole world has been turned upside down, and you feel powerless to change any of it." He nods his head, "I could certainly sympathize with that."
Despite keeping your distance, you feel the warmth of the fire cooling down the chilled metal of your body, but Steel won't stop being agitated. ("Damnit, mare, at least let me turn my head, this could be important. This place is familiar.")
Twilight sighs, "Yeah, I could sort of see that coming... plus, I don't know, he may not be able to do anything about it if he can just time travel on the fly like that."
She smiles, reaching up to platonically side-hug Luke, "Alright then. Be careful... take as much time as you need. We'll see you soon."
Screech muses as you make that statement, "If you could teach me how to crawl outta hell, I think that'd help my nerves a hell of a lot."
Twilight looks up at Honey, keeping a calm face of reason (and a few tears in the corner of her eyes as she looks at Sterling). "No, of course not, but that was another Luke, not one of the Order. I'm just saying, we shouldn't be so quick to shoot first and ask questions later, we could hurt someone who doesn't deserve it, Honey."
Starswirl nods his head, "Safe travels." As you climb into the cockpit, you see Boo waving you off, and Screech simply sighs. "Aw, c'mon, this is SO a mobile home. You have a hot tub made specifically for mead, what death machine has that?"
You activate the time machine, it's inner-circuitry blaring to life as it charges up, and fires the familiar whirlpool of blue energy into the middle of the air, lighting sparking between the swirling currents as the gateway to the Expansion Era opens before you.
Starswirl looks at the modern outfit, eyeing it up and down. "Hm. Interesting choice. You enjoy the future's clothing as well?" He turns in the direction of the city through his barrier, "Very well, I'll take us straight to the middle district. My academy should have a few barriers up due to the weather. Mind the bumps."
After you take the time machine, his horn glows a bright golden glow, and Nero feels himself enveloped in an all encompassing light as he and the time machine are transported instantly across the miles separating them from Unicornia.
When you find the light faded, you are all positioned right on a heavily snow covered sidewalk along a paved road. The storm rages on, but you find it, again, stopped by a barrier just in front of you, this one a pale purple in color. "Ah, Professor Crow already handled the barrier. Good." He turns around from the direction opposite the street. "Welcome to my school."
Twilight's jaw drops to the floor as you find a lightly snow covered, but magically protected Starswirl's Academy for the Magical Arts, in its prime with several impressive, ornate buildings dedicated to the mystic arts displayed before you. A large plaza makes itself immediately visible first, with a large statue of Starswirl placed in front. Some students are scurrying about the snow, trying to get inside.
forgot the theme for this place
The two of you step through the time portal, the intense but by this point familiar sensation of being tossed about a maelstrom and submerged underwater ends abruptly as the sense of reality returns to you.
Crumple lands hard on a stained, but still impressively shimmery golden surface, the reflection of Crumple the Raging looking back up at it from a golden reflection. Looking around, you see you are on the remains of the Ur-Lucius, several pegasi, unicorns, and earth ponies working around its ruined sections making repairs. You're position on the wall, specifically, looking down over at the cloud that holds up the floating castle and, not at all that far below on Canterlot Mountain's slopes, the city of Canterlot still under heavy construction as well.
A few ponies seem to take notice of the time portal as it appears, shocking them as Crumple's appearance draws attention.
"Close, but I wouldn't say its upside down. More like two worlds clashing, and more seem to keep coming... Did you go through something similar to make that your first guess?"
Onyxia keeps her head still.
("Its my head too, and you said yourself these are the slums essentially. How could this be important this far out.")
She snips back.
Nero looks to Luke, choosing to ignore that stupid question.
Nero looks around as He reaches His destination, holding the time machine over His shoulders.
"Some of it, yes. Not quite as much as My own country's, but there is a definite aesthetic to it."
He says walking forward a bit with Starswirl.
"If you think this is impressive, you should see the Lighthouse of Elam." Nero comments to Twilight, before turning back to Starswirl.
"I will commend you for what you have done with this place though. It was hardly half this size when I was here last."
"This place...what a shitty place to come to," Crumple says; Honey remembering what happened to the first Crumple Zone.
"Need to melt this gold shit down and put better stuff on it later."
Crumple looks up at the ponies staring, using what speakers were not completely fried in the battle with Glace, to up the volume.
"Do you hear me?! I am Crumple Zone! And I want all this golden shit off my grave, and replaced with something better!!"
Crumple waits for Luke to either be shrunken down and put into Crumple, or some other method of riding on Crumple, before taking off and heading down into Canterlot, flying carefully as to keep Sterling on its back.
LukeWarm feels a slight awkward having all eyes on him. He only vaguely remembers where he is from the time he drunkingly trapsed about the Ur-Lucius. "Uhh. We have returned! I Lukenoobslayer69 ass-kicker of dragons and Crumple zone need to see the princess. So -uhh could someone show us the way off this thing?"
"Actually wait no I got a better idea." Luke climbs up to sit on Crumple's shoulders "Yeah, this is way more convenient. Now giddy up!" Luke kicks his hind hooves for Crumple to fly
And to think there was a time when Luke would stalking twilight from behind the bushes by her tree house and Twilight would try to ignore him until the police arrived. And now they're side-hugging. We've come a long way Luke thinks. "-Uh yeah, thanks twilight. I'll tell Celestia you said hi." Luke feels completely weirded out by how Twilight has warmed up to him.
He turns to look into the flames, "Yes. Some time ago. It is not a pleasant feeling, to be unable to do anything to stop it from happening. To feel as though you can do nothing but watch it happen. You'd probably do anything to change it if you were just given the chance, but you never even receive that. Something like that for you as well, Onyxia?"
Steel grunts, ("Fine, it's our head, but I need it, you stubborn...") he takes a sharp breath, stopping himself from saying something, ("It's been long, and my memory's hazy, but this place... I think it...")
As he explains, you hear a sharp sound of something crashing in the back room, and a young, sharp yell accompany it. Murki looks back, "There's someone here...?"
The ponies gasp, several of their faces turning into a smile.
One shouts out among the rest "Tis the hero of demons! And the Spirited Knight! Two of the knights that took down King Garfield! All hail!"
The ponies all shout in unison, "Glory to Sir Crumple Zone! Glory to Sir Luke the Spirited!"
One of them runs up, "We thought thou were lost in the battle here, Sir Crumple! How dist thou return?!"
"Sir Luke, your body! What happened to thee?" Their attention turns to Sterling's corpse, their faces agasp.
"Is... is that...?" They all murmur, before answering Luke's question. "Ah, well, the only way down sir is by wing... I think thou'll want to see the Princess immediately..."
As Crumple takes off from the side of Ur-Lucius, diving down towards the Castle below, Luke rides her back like the robot rodeo as it soars down below.
You approach the courtyard of Castle Canterlot, in which you can see the glimmering form of Celestia's flowing mane, escorted by other knights among the court yard. You see her turn up towards both of you, looking perplexed by both of your new appearances. "Crumple...? Is that you?" She asks aloud as you approach.
Starswirl nods his head, "Thank you. I'm rather proud of it myself. I had to make serious renovations to the school. The size Master Magnificent had it at was simply not going to make any progress. After pulling a few magical favors for the King, I was able to procure the extra space needed."
Twilight gazes at the impressive academy that she's only heard about in stories up until now, turning to you, "What? I-I'm sorry, I-I didn't quite catch that. I'm, I'm a bit awestruck here... notes were scarce after Sombra's defeat but, I may have come across snippets in the library mentioning something like that."
Starswirl nods, "It's a massive tower that bathed its city in unending light, a city dedicated to the art of sorcery. Some of the most potent magic users and spells the Empire's ever seen owe it to Elam, including Sombra." He turns to Nero, "I had the pleasure of visiting it. It was enjoyable, if a bit bright." He begins walking towards the school, Twilight still dumbstruck.
"It sounds amazing, but, this place... I used to DREAM about going here." Twilight practically drools.
Gale, meanwhile, grimaces. "An institution where you encourage freaks to blow themselves up? Yes, a dream come true."
Boo growls, "Man, would you lay off? I get it, dude, I know a freaky unicorn too but c'mon."
Starswirl turns back to Freedom, Boo, and Gale, casting another spell from his horn over them. You see a faint shimmer of light, and a horn adorns each of their heads. "Till we arrive in my study. We need to head inside the main building."
"I'll answer questions later," Crumple yells back, "for now, I'm back for a bit!"
Crumple lands in front of Celestia, the larger and heavier robot landing with a more solid 'thump' on the ground.
"You better believe it is. No way an explosion can keep this one down," Crumple says, the banging a hoof against its black chest not quite matching up to the low-energy tone of its voice.
"But...this visit isn't really about hookers and sunshine and us and shit...."
Crumple's head open, showing a somber Honey looking up at Celestia. She takes the fish-skull helmet off, making sure there are no obstructions to the stare.
"It's Sterling...shea...," Honey exhales, and opts instead to have Crumple turn itself to show Sterling's peaceful, laying form to her and those gathering.
"She's...dead. A differenta bunch of time travelling assholesa got her alone. She put upa a hell of a fight, thougha."
Honey's head hangs low, trying to hide the tears forming. But the breakdown is evident as she speaks in her regular tongue.
"[She was...able to slow the one responsible long enough for us to arrive...but didn't last long enough for us to aid her. I'm...very sorry...for being useless in her greatest time of need. But...for what it's worth, vengence has been dealt. Her killer is dead, the final blow struck by her own sword, held in her own hooves. She at least won in the end...even if......she's wasn't alive......to see it....]"
Honey's teeth grit and she hides her face in her helmet, crying once again, but not as part of a violent outburst.
"I've had moments like that, but its more little things that happen out of my control that just keep piling up. It starts to wear down on you..."
Onyxia grumbles at Steel's talking. But as the yell echoes out, Onyxia turns her head towards the back room door.
"A-Are you alright?"
She shouts back, her concern outweighing the fact they broke into this pony's house.
"You exaggerate." Nero says to Starswirl as he says the city is too bright.
"I think we've lost Twilight" Nero says to Boo as he carries Freedom and Twilight looks around.
"Freedom" Nero says speaking up.
"Where is Onyxia at the moment, and what is she doing? She said she was going to look for Sight, and did not answer when I called her."
The king says walking with Starswirl to his study.
Just before Crumple lands Luke jumps off onto the ground, rolling on the dismount. "Hi Princess, remember me? Notice anything different eh, eh? I'm mostly sober this time."
As honey explains what happened in her native language Luke is convinced she's gone into a catatonic state.
"What she's trying to say is that Sterling was brave til the end, she didn't die like a bitch y'know. She didn't ask for mercy, she fought and drank, and gave them hell. Even though she didn't have anyone to back her up a-and -fuck." Luke begins to choke up "This is harder than I thought.. Point is, we brought her here, so she could have a proper burial."
Mulki turns towards her, his frown evident underneath the cloak, "What? Onyxia, we broke into his house, he didn't know we were here!"
"WHAT!? Who goes there?!" You hear the sound of a young, coltish voice sounding from behind the door, streaking with cracks of a changing voicebox. You hear another loud bang, and the door is opened roughly. You see a purple unicorn run out, his mane black and curly and with a blank flank. He appears to be a young adolescent, in his early teens, with a strong start on his mustache and beard forming.
Donning only a simple patched cloak, he holds a large sheet of fabric in a magical grip. His eyes seem nervous, jittery, darting between you two, "What are you two doing in here?! HOW are you in here, I locked up shop because of the storm! Explain yourselves, this instant." He growls, staring at Steelnyxia in particular. "More thieves? Looters?!"
His voice sounds familiar when its cracking shifts to a lower tone.
She opens her eyes, "Luke! I like the new look." She chuckles, "I can only imagine what you must have gone through to get it. You have been getting into even more trouble lately then? That looks a little painful."
Celestia listens to you introduce your new powerful machine, but as you open your cockpit and start explaining the situation, you see her mouth gape open slightly in a gasp, one of her wings opening up to the side to cover her muzzle.
"What?! Sterling... oh no..." you see droplets appear along the sides of her eyes, staring at Sterling's half frozen body with fear and dismay. "Sterling... by the sun and moon, my dear Sterling..."
She moves over to the corpse, her horn lighting up to warmth as she tries to melt the ice away. She silently cries as she puts her muzzle to Sterling's, weeping for her with a quiet dignity. Celestia listens to your tale, opening her eyes to look at you begin to weep yourself. "Poor Sterling... that sounds just like her. She was always willing to risk her own life than run... she's following well in her father's hoofsteps."
She looks at your tears forming, then reaches over a massive feathery wing to lightly brush your face.
["You need not apologize, Honey. My heart aches but, you hold no blame for this. I am glad to hear that justice was dealt... even if it will not bring my little pony back to me."]
Celestia nods her head, reaching a feathering wing to hug Luke as well. "I understand, Luke... thank you" She continues to let the tears flow from her eyes, but gives no sobs. "I know she thought highly of you.. you honor her with your words.
As Celestia mourns, you see two more ponies coming off from the training yard. "STERLING! Sterling!" You recognize the confident tone of Sir Pound, Duke (the dog) following behind him along with Sir Code. Sir Pound tosses off his helmet to show a messy blonde mane, his eyes full of shock and dismay at Sterling's corpse. "Oh my stars, Sterling! What happened?! Who did this to her?! Is she going to be alright?"
Duke barks at Luke, jumping up to give little nibbles at his bandages and licks at his muzzle with joy at his return, wagging his tail non-stop as Sir Pound stares at his friend's body. Celestia steps in, "Sir Pound... I'm so sorry, but, we have lost one of our best."
Sir Code walks up to stare at Sterling's body, not yet taking off his full plate helmet as he watches Pound begin to pour out wave after wave of tears upon Crumple's chassis, staring impassively. "...she.. she died with honor, yes?" Code asks, but upon hearing Luke's decree, he lowers his head. He gives no signs of tears. "I see... then, Sterling would have had no regrets. She knew what she was getting into."
Starswirl chuckles as he opens the main doors to the academy, a large open foyer with several halls splintering off from this room, a waterfall in the center of the room running upwards against gravity. He takes you up a flight of stairs leading to the second floor, countless unicorn students passing to and fro along the path. Many of them turn to look at you, whispering among themselves as they do so. "I embellish."
Twilight looks at all the passing unicorns, her head spinning about as she turns every direction like a child in a theme park. Boo chuckles, "Yeah, she's definitely not here right now. I don't think she's even taking any messages.
Twilight says, "Whuh? No, I'm not lost, I-I'm just following-" she gasps as she bumps into a female unicorn with a book for a cutie mark, who turns and looks angrily at Twilight, who blushes and apologizes before coming back up to Nero, "D-did you know who that was?! I probably just ran into the inventor of the Want It Need It spell, o-or maybe the Cloudwalk spell, I could probably look in any direction and see a famous unicorn! This. Is. AWESOME." She lightly taps her hooves in place, smiling joyfully as she looks around.
Boo helps Freedom hobble along as Starswirl leads the way, who coughs and closes his eyes. "Ah, Ms. Onyxia. Haven't checked on her in a lil' while, lemme see here... oh. Hrm. Well that ain't good."
Boo perks up a brow, "What ain't good?"
"She's here, in the city. But she's keeping some very unfavorable company." He looks at Nero, "Your ol' associate Caduceus is leadin' her around under a fake alias. Can't see what he's up to but, I don't think it's at all good."
It takes a bit of time weaving and bobbing through the pathways that make up the academy before you reach the door of a rather plain office towards the center of the facility on the third floor up, an elaborate headpiece titled 'STARSWIRL' chiseled above the top of the oaken door.
Turning the handle magically, your host opens the door wide to reveal a large office with a wide desk at the back, stacked with notes, papers, potions, staffs, and various knick-knacks and magical implements. Behind it at the back is an equally imposing bookshelf stacked from side to side with tomes, and a small cage with a tweeting canary on the side of his desk.
"My office." Starswirl looks about, heading for the back bookshelf. "I have a short cut to my private study within here. I have a sneaking suspicion we'll have it to ourselves."
"Sorry! What if he was badly hurt, I couldn't leave them injured."
She whispers back before the unicorn comes out.
Onyxia turns and holds up her hooves to show they aren't armed, and also to gesture for the pony to calm down.
"W-We were just looking for somewhere to stay during the storm. We just came from the forest and went into the first place. It, uh... Your door wasn't locked, so we just came in..."
Nero gives a short laugh at Twilight.
"Heh. I was never one for the arcane arts Myself, but I remember being here years ago with Sombra, and I remember him enjoying it. Though as I said, it was far smaller then. I was not even aware that Starswirl's academy I read of was that same university I visited all those years ago."
Nero's eyes grow wide at hearing Caduceus is with Onyxia.
"She is in Coltchester? Why? How, she was in the Earth Republic last we saw her? Did she find Sight? And what are they doing now, is she in any danger?"
"You say that, but I cannot help but feel we will be ambushed the moment we step inside."
"If either of them asks, my name is Revelation, and I have no idea who they are."
Nero tells Boo, Gale, Twilight, and Starswirl.
Luke appreciates the hug. Luke takes notice of the familiar lovable dog, but alas he is too sad and sober to piss on him. He makes due with a gentle pat on the head.
>"Oh my stars, Sterling! What happened?! Who did this to her?! Is she going to be alright?"
"What Celestia say is true. I'm sorry we couldn't care for her better. Just know that Sterling died fighting about fifty gargoyles -and they were on fire, in the freezing tundra, with nothing but this sword to protect her and fiery spirits running in her veins." Luke pulls Sterlings Sword from his bag and gives it to Sir Pound "And she sent every single one of them crying back to tartarus with their tails stuck in their asses, they were so scared of her. They oughta make a stained glass pictuary out of it to be set in the castle so everyone can know just how awesome she was moments before her death! In fact how much do one of those go for Celestia? I'll fund it with my war bonds."
Honey takes a few breaths before speaking once more.
"[Her killer is dead...but his leader is still alive. Even if it doesn't bring her back, I will make sure he pays for this. For letting her death take place.]"
Honey looks at Sterling with watery eyes.
"[I just wish I could've done more. We...did not nearly fight together as much as I wanted to with her.]"
Seeing Code come up, Honey can't help but feel a sharp pain in her chest at seeing him react the way he does.
"She fought against some ice monster jerkoff...by herself. I didn't even know she was by herself. If I did...none of this shit would've happened," Honey says sadly to Pound, feeling more tears well up from watching his, "but we killed the fucker that did this. I burned up a shit load of forest to do so, but we did it. Her sword got shoved in that icy son of a bitch; and I made sure she was holding it with me and Crumple."
Honey nods, not looking any happier, but nods knowing there's no better way that could've ended except for her still being alive.
"She won in the end, Pound. I only wish...I knew sooner so I could've...could've...."
Honey stops, choking on her words and unable to continue.
Mulki sighs, "I understand, but, you're aware that as non-unicorns we may now be the ones who will be badly hurt?"
The purple unicorn stares at Steelnyixa, looking her up and down in a hesitant fashion. He slowly lowers his fabric, "I know... my lock broke months ago and I don't have the money to fix it... you're really here for shelter?"
Mulki sighs, "Yes, we won't be here longer than necessary. You need not involve the guard."
He stares at the two of them, but finally gives a relaxed breath. "Do either of you have any bits? If you buy something, anything, from here we'll call it even." He looks around, "I know my dresses aren't the finest, but, they're functional if not fashionable." You see there's a bit of a rib-cage forming along his chest. He doesn't appear very well fed.
("....we should go. Forget the bits and the fire, we can find somewhere else. I have a uneasy feeling here") Steel mentions.
Starswirl nods as he pulls a book off the wall with a thick blue binding, "Yes, I-"
"Oh! Yes, that's true!" Twilight interrupts Starswirl, "Starswirl's Academy for the Magical Arts was built up from the former Magnificent Mysticism Centre, following Headmaster Magnificent's retirement and Starswirl the Bearded's favor with the king grew!" She recites as though from a text book, "After his acquisition, in order to set in motion the Golden Age of magic he greatly expanded its facilities."
Starswirl grumbles, "Thank you."
Twilight turns towards you, "But you saw the Magnificent Center too? I didn't know you visited Unicornia during your reign. Did you come often? What was your favorite part of the city? I assume Sombra's was, naturally, the school."
"She was already movin' towards Ms. Sterling's restin' place as soon as she passed, but, before she got to us Caduceus intercepted her, before y'all killed Glace. He took her on a wild goose chase for the poor mare, and while we were all movin' along he was taken her towards Unicornia in that cloak o' Steel's. He's in some dress shop with 'er right now, some teenage colt caught them but, he ain't no threat. They're safe from the storm at least." He shakes his head, "I'm sorry. I try lookin' any deeper than that into what that crystal snake has in mind, an', I just get blocked."
Duke gives a pitiful whine as you merely pat his head, your deep depression detectable to him.
Sir Pound turns to look at you, "Fifty gargoyles...?"
Sir Code growls, "An obvious over-exaggeration. Please do not discredit he..." you hear a sharp pause, "Her sacrifice with anything less than the truth."
Pound reaches over and grabs her sword, holding it close to his chest. "I just... I just can't believe it. Everything we went through."
Code stomps, spitting, "We... we know this can happen at any time. We are KNIGHTS, Sir Pound, we are prepared for this. She knew the risks... she knew the risks when she left."
Celestia looks at you as you suggest the stained glass pictuary, and nods her head, "I would be honored to prepare one for her... but, allow me to handle the funding for that." She wipes away a few more tears with her hoof. "She always did want one of those."
["I'm sure you'll see justice be served Honey... you have my thanks, for looking out for her as long as you could."]
She uses her magic to levitate you up onto her muzzle, staring you straight on.
["We all wish we could have done more for those we've lost, my friend. It may be too late for Sterling, but, if you wish to do more, I know it would honor her memory if you do more for those you still have."]
Pound takes another sob, wiping his nose while looking at her. "An ice monster... I'm sure there was nothing you could have done. Sterling," he closes his eyes, "She's always had a bad habit of going off by herself without thinking." He chuckles, "Why, I-I couldn't count all the times she'd be dead already if I or Sir Code weren't there. And the same in our case were it not for her strength..."
Code looks away, "She died nobly. That's all any of us can ask for... she made her choice when she first put on the armor."
Pound growls, "Damnit, show some sympathy, stallion! This was our comrade, our friend! We fought together, we bled together. And now she's... she's gone. Does that mean nothing-"
Code growls, "Don't you DARE. S-sterling you think would want me blubbering like you? She... knew what it meant to be a knight. Were it me, I would not want her to..." He pauses, shaking his hooves in anger.
Starswirl groans, "Also highly possible. They have a penchant for that."
He places the blue binding book open upon the desk, and closes the door behind you. "This book will act as our shortcut."
Gale stares at it, skeptical, "Is your study only existent in the imagination, warlock?"
Starswirl ignores him, his horn glowing golden across the group. Nero feels a bizarre sensation his entire body stretching like it's been flattened until it's as thin as paper, then stretching across the air towards the crease of the book where the pages meet. Moments later after passing through a dark tunnel, light re-emerges as Nero's body returns to its former size, and the flattening reverses to send him back into a three dimensional form.
He sees the others come out of a similar blue-binding book behind him, looking like think sheets of paper spiraling out of its pages into 3D shapes. Around him is a larger library than he saw in his study, and an open wooden doorway towards the side of the room.
Gale and Boo plop down unceremoniously on the floor as Twilight catches herself on her hooves, Freedom Rings caught in her magical grip. Starswirl lands on the floor, stretching his neck after coming through the book. He looks around the round library, "Is anyone home? I've returned!" No answer yet replies as he moves towards the door. "Celly! Luna! Hmm. Well, they don't always answer back."
Boo looks at you, "Uh, hey, sure thing but, isn't that the same name you used before? Shouldn't you come up with a new one you know, like spy stuff?"
"We'll be fine, you're hidden in your cloak and I can get by just fine. Besides he hasn't noticed yet either."
"I don't have any bits... But, I am a blacksmith and craftspony. I can help you with anything you need around here, like your lock."
She offers as she looks around the room, noting how ill it looked from outside.
("What if we can't? We're fine here, so just deal.")
She says sternly.
"Thank you either way, for letting us stay. I'm Onyxia, and you are?"
She says, trying to make the unicorn feel a bit more at ease.
Honey looks around a bit, not used to moving through the air against her will, but relaxes at the sight of Celestia being the one doing it.
"[I...I will, thank you,]" Honey says, nodding with a small smile, "[oh and, if I ever guilt trip you about the sun in my time, I apologize in advance.]"
She gives Celestia's muzzle a small embrace, but her attention is then drawn to Code and Pound.
Honey moves out of Celestia's TK and flies back to the cockpit. Crumple takes Sterling off its back, laying her gently down at Celestia's hooves. It is THEN Honey does what she really wanted to do.
"ENOUGH!" Honey yells at both Pound and Code, making Crumple raise itself up and slamming both giant hooves down on the ground near them, causing some flames to (harmlessly) jet out of the charred speakers, "BOTH OFA YOU! You really thinka this is what she wantsa?! You two fighting likea a bunch of stupid, drugged-upa dumbasses?!"
Honey is visibly pissed at them, her own hooves shaking at the controls, flames flickering still out of the charred speakers.
"You savea that shit for when you fighta each other or whatever, buta not right fucking now!"
Honey takes a deep breath, and with it, the flames cease their flickering. She looks at Pound.
"Wea have our own ways of dealinga with shit like this. You doa yours, he will do his...and if youa saw how I took all thisa, you'd be wishing it was more likea his," she says, pointing at Code.
Honey looks at Celestia, calming down, but Crumple stays in its 'I slammed the ground' stance.
"[Princess, I have a small favor to ask...two, actually. First; we have somepony who has helped us a lot. I really feel like I owe him. And all he asked for was something called] Republic Whiskey [as his last drink before he passes on. If you have any, it would mean a lot because he's making it sound like he doesn't have much longer.]"
"I have visited Unicornia exactly once before now. There was no indoor plumbing, everything was lit by candles or oil lamps, their sorcerers looked like infants throwing around firecrackers, and the whole place was severely lacking in sanitation."
"That said, I had a wonderful time. King Brilliant was a very respectable man, and a strong king. And their theatre wasn't the 'worst' I've ever been to. My favorite part of the city was probably the Celestial Circle. I spent a few hours discussing astronomy with the Sages while we viewed the heavens. They were adamant that the planets all revolved around the earth, whereas I was confident by observation that the planets revolved around the sun, and that the solar system in turn revolved around the earth."
"Clearly, we were both mistaken."
"First of all, spare Me your blasphemies. Second of all, did they ever find Sight? And why were they looking for Sterling's resting place in the first place, how did they find out she was dead if she was in the Republic-"
"Unless, you told her. That is, the High Cardinal. This is not good. Freedom, I need you to tell me where exactly they are now."
Nero lands on His hooves, looking around the study.
"How did you just transport us? It felt like I was being flattened. Are we inside that text?"
"I see no reason. They would not know me by it." Nero answers Boo.
[And that flying fortress we took down? Give it a paintjob worthy of Sterling, will ya? Crumple's 'grave' is on that thing, and I'd like it if the two were kind of...together. Like we were when we first met on that battlefield,]" Honey requests smiling, remembering that awesome, griffon-ass kicking day.
"No mattera what Goldie says. I'll bea damned if I let my bota rest in pieces in a piss-coloreda grave."
Celestia puts a wing to Luke's back, "I will see to it that she is remembered fondly. Sterling had garnered much fame from her fellow knights. She will never be forgotten for everything she's done... and you both have my sincerest gratitude in bringing her home."
She smiles at Honey's hug, "[Of course. Consider yourself forgiven.]"
Both Code and Pound stop their in-fighting at your display, Celestia keeping Sterling's body safe as you get them to shut up.
Pound and Code look at each other, both filled with frustration and regret. Duke whimpers at your frightening display and runs up to Pound, Pound petting him to calm him down.
"...she's right... regardless of how she'd want us to mourn, what Sterling hated most was us bickering."
Code grimaces, turning to look down at Sterling's body one more time. His lip quivers. "......I should have been the one to go." He closes his plate mail helmet and turns away, dignified as he can walking away as Pound is left behind, still lightly sobbing as Duke tries to console him.
"He has his own way, true, but, he's only holding it in because he thinks he has to." Pound comments, sighing. "He's damming up his emotions, but that won't last forever. Especially not with Sterling..." he sighs. "Her ma's going to be heart-broken."
Celestia listens to your first request, nodding her head, "Actually, I do. It's ancient, that particular whiskey they stopped making after we left for Equestria, but, I do have some to offer him."
As you mention the paint job, she sighs. "I understand. But, I had already given my word to others that I intended to restore it as it was, in its original form. I feel it may help to one day repair ties with the griffons, as well, if we try to restore it as it was as a sign of respect."
She looks into the cockpit, "But, can I make you another offer? I've a garden, here in Canterlot. It is a beautiful memorial garden, reserved exclusively for the courageous knights that fell in defense of our wonderful land, their names and accomplishments ingrained forever in stone. Sterling's father is buried there, and Sterling will be as well by her own wishes. The original Crumple could be given a spot along side her, with a display fitting of its might."
Twilight cringes as you mention the lack of plumbing and sanitation, "Oh..."
Her expression changes for the better as you explain the finer points, chuckling as you get to the astrological discussion . "Oh, I know! I'm a pretty big astronomer myself, that must been incredible... I could talk about the stars and planets with the Sages of the Sun for hours and hours if I could." She smiles, "Wrong models or no. Guess astrology's come a long way..."
"Hmmmm.... *COUGH COUGH*" Freedom hacks up some phlegm, Boo struggling to keep him upright. "I do apologize, Mr. Nero... Sight's blocking me out. But, Onyxia and Steel were definitely lookin' for where Ms. Sterling fell." As you come to the conclusion, he nods, "Precisely. I don't know who else could 'ave told em where she is except me."
He closes his eyes, looking deep. "...in the lower districts. It's snowing hard down there, she's taken to a dress shop for shelter like I said. I see the name of it is Sharp Attire, on the westside slums."
Starswirl nods, "It's a spell a student developed here at the academy. It's purpose is to press one into a two dimensional shape, and the impress the user on a piece of paper. I modified it slightly to work with a special book that copies whatever is written down in it to an identical copy of the book. Instant portal to and from my study."
Twilight looks about the library, "Amazing... may be able to do something like that on my own time, something to think about. But, why not just teleport here?"
"I put a spell up around this place to prevent teleportation except form very specific areas. Can't afford any brat with a wink spell to just barge in here."
Boo scratches his head, "Well, okay, yeah, but, don't you wanna have something new anyhow?"
Starswirl leads you further into his home, looking about down the halls left and right for any signs of activity. His house seems as cluttered and busy looking as his office was, with countless magical items, books, pieces of art, things that must have been collected the world (and possibly timeline) over as he leads on through.
"Make yourselves at home, tea should be in the..."
The entire area around you goes black, blinding all of you to your surroundings as you hear Twilight and Boo give a quick yelp of fright. A loud, booming voice calls out throughout your ears
>"MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Cower, foals! You have wandered into your doom! Make peace with your maker and prepare for never ending torment at my hooves as you are cast into the void of nothingness!"
"And there it is." Starswirl states.
Mulki pauses, "Hmm... doesn't notice or, doesn't care."
The teenager grimaces, looking at you when you inform him of your lack of bits but is intrigued when you offer to fix his lock. "You can fix it?" He taps a hoof, looking over the unsold dresses on his counter and gives an annoyed sigh. "Fine, that's just fine. If I can lock up my store safely again I'll be worth it. It's bad enough I can't sell what I have, I don't need my fabric disappearing every few nights." He shakes his head, turning to Mulki, "What about you, sir? Any need for a dress?"
"...I'll be fine."
Steel's nerves shoot up, almost freezing you solid, ("No, listen to me, just for one bloody second! I feel like I should know this place, but, at the same time, it feels like we're not supposed to be here.")
He looks up at you, giving a polite grin that a shop-owner learns to have but does not convey real happiness. "A pleasure, madame. My name is Claymore."
"Ponies really steal your fabrics? I'd figure it'd be food or something ponies would go for."
Onyxia struggles as she moves to stand against Steel's brace, stumbling a few steps as she rises against it.
("All you were doing on the way here was talking about Sight and Sterling, you're just being paranoid! Just calm down and relax for one moment will you Steel")
Onyxia whisper shouts again as she walks over to the door. She looks over the lock for a moment, then sets her hoof on it. Metal grows over it as she transmutes it back into working condition. Pulling her hoof away, she locks the door to show that it works.
>Going to assume auto since no duress or rush
She takes a step back, turning to Claymore.
"There, all fixed. If you need anything else that could be fixed, I don't mind since we'll be stuck here a bit."
"Why isn't she answering her radio?" Nero asks Freedom.
Nero looks to Boo about to answer, before it all goes black. The king turns to Starswirl.
"It never gets any easier does it?" Nero says in a 'one parent to another' kind of voice.
"If I had food to steal you'd probably be right." Claymore groans. "But, even with things as tense as they are, my dresses apparently make good blankets, which the Earth Ponies will gladly shovel over any food for."
Steel lets go of his brace, going blank as you begin repairing the lock.
("Claymore... the dresses... the lower district... the staff")
You successfully repair the lock on the door, returning it to its working state as Claymore picks up his head, "Impossible, that quickly?" He moves over to the door to test it, smiling as it works. "Well now. I'm impressed." He turns to you, the teenager grinning, "Actually, yes. Can you repair a large shelf? I was organizing and the whole thing came apart."
He turns to look towards the door he came from, but as you do, you notice your hoof (the one merged with ice) beginning to split in two: Steel's iron hoof emerging from your own at about the wrist, which appears to have retained the icy element.
Freedom Rings chuckles, "Hehehehe... she turned it off. Was goin' through a bit of a rough spot and wanted privacy."
Starswirl groans. "So it would seem." Starswirl's horn lights up a powerful golden glow, and in a moment the darkness is dispelled, light returning to your sights.
You see a small blue filly, a young adolescent, with a light blue mane and a silver cloak trapped around her body starring at Starswirl with a disappointed look, pouting. Starswirl stares at her, "Afternoon Luna. Still getting a lot of mileage out of that Night spell."
She groans, "Yeah, till you spoil the fun, Beardie." She begins to walk towards the group, her frame smaller than Twilight's. "Why is it you get to cast spells all you want for fun but I can't?" Twilight and Boo stare at the pre-mature Luna with open-mouth awe.
Boo blinks, "The terror of my every waking moment has never looked so cute."
Twilight nods, "I get the feeling."
Starswirl walks up to her. "You're hardly forbidden from magic, girl. I just don't use it for foalish pranks on guests."
"SOOOO not true! I see you cast stuff on Clover without warn..." she looks behind Starswirl towards Nero, staring at him contemplatively as she waltzes up to him, scrutinizing him without saying a word, her eyes intense as a young teen's could look.
Starswirl grumbles, "Didn't your parents teach you it's impolite to stare? Decades ago?"