[OOC] STOMP Remembrance Project

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CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen


Rhapsody watches as Hazel leaves the department, giving a nod to her before she enters, pausing momentarily... 'oh yeah, this is Static's department...' she muses to herself mentally, as she relates projectionist to the yellow pony more then anything else. "I got a bit of business from the Chief, do you have any info on a female pegasus named Chipotle Verde?"


"Rhapsody? Hmm, not often I see you here. You're usually shut tight away in the astronomy department. Chipotle Verde? Hmm, give me a moment." Static goes to the card catalogue. For you young fillies and foals out there, card catalogues are how libraries kept track of things before there were computers. Yes there was a time before computers. "Let's see. 'V' for Verde..."


Searching through the files for Chipotle Verde's name, Static Signal found a note stating it needed to be updated and redirected to 'mess halls'. There, he initially found info about the history of mess halls used by the Royal Guard but the most current entry was a newspaper article titled The Malfunctioning Mess. It mentioned that Chipotle Verde was contractor for several facilities that were in poor condition. Moreover, money had been skimmed from the contract but she was never directly blamed as most fault was immediately placed on the workers who had been hired from Petrichor Falls.


Rhapsody looks over what's handed to her as she answers. "We're not quiet sure what to do about her yet, that a large part of why I am looking into this. She used to own the Bubonic Inn, which is now just a faint memory thanks to the Chief. Though Verde kinda tried to defend it through a minion who is now on her way to Petrichor Falls. Afterwards the chief and I felt that the owner bared looking into, since the way they tried to handle things is setting off my instincts." She says giving Static a brief summation of events so far. "It seems like she doesn't like that a lo! ophole was used against her, and her minion mentioned other ways of how that loophole could be used against the city; but I don't want to say too much yet, since right now there is no plan as well as the chief might want to go into more details herself later on with the team."

"So far it seems that legally she is clean."
Rhapsody says with a scowl and huff of annoyance. "But This certainly backs up some of what I've learned so far, that she's had issues with the Royal Guards and Grape Vine. I think the Chief might need to use her connections to learn more from the Royal Guards, and with luck we might get some intel from Grape Vine between the minion I sent her way, as well as how Verde tried to use Petrichor Falls for her own ambitions. If it is just her own. Never know who's working for whom out there. COIN, TAKE, Tipsy Tulip, and probably other organizations we might not know about yet. Anyways, copies could be useful as Black Night is already helping to look into this."


"The Bubonic Inn's gone? Heh! Night Cap might be sad to hear that. He used to stay there." Static shakes his head as he hears the tale. "Anything I can do to help. Grape Vine's been having enough trouble trying to see Petrichor Falls reputation repaired without mules like this pulling this kind of crap." Static takes the documents over to the copier and sets them copying.


"I though I'd heard of it before. Good riddance to the place. Looks like even a stray sneeze could have knocked the place down." Rhapsody replies. "So far the thing that stucks out most from what I have learned from other sources, is that she went missing for nearly a month before she came back and started setting herself up like this. There's a lot of things that could happen in that time; for all we know the real Chipotle Verde may never have returned, and we're dealing with a Changeling or something." She says, her mind seems to keep coming back to tha! t little detail. "Alright, I or someone else will probably come by later to pick the copies up."


"I've never been there myself, but with a name like Bubonic Inn, I can't imagine staying there would be good for anypony, especially not the way you describe it. I'll leave the detective work to you. I'll get these copied as quickly as possible. See you later then!"

Static looks at the clock. It seemed he still had some time and the documents didn't look too terribly taxing. He grabbed a quill, some papers and started to transcribe everything.

 

Zamuel

Pittied fools.
Citizen
Thanks again. One thing I lament is that I never sat down and went through the campaign after it ended and Liked various post I liked. This was my favorite Rhapsody post. Obviously, GM perspective is skewed but a lot of what it came down to is feeling the Rhapsody/Black Night combo worked and shined after times I struggled to fit both in. The speech was good and the investigation was seamless in how it transitioned. In retrospect, I think what worked here was that it was truly part of the main plot instead of being adjacent.
 

Caldwin

FIRRIB
Citizen
I honestly completely forgot about this. I love how Rhapsody/Black Night was the main focus of this scene, but Static was able to be a background character, like, he could've been an NPC. Nice!
 

Zamuel

Pittied fools.
Citizen
And for something going on during the visit to Fiesta Caldera, I'm going to request Static's discovery of Dazzling Midnight's diary. The discovery that sometimes the road to hell is littered with good intentions.

BTW, did I ever talk about the personality of each of the magic wands?
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
I'm glad the Bubonic Inn could be part of something meaningful.

I'll look for the diary. Hopefully not too much of it was in spoiler boxes, because email notifications don't include those.
 

Zamuel

Pittied fools.
Citizen
Oh, that reminds me. Since it must have been in a spoiler, Dazzling Midnight's message on the note from the prison break said, "Sorry for the mess."

The librarian was named Curled Page if I remember correctly. Might help with finding the diary/journal.

I'll go into the wands tomorrow or over the weekend.
 

Zamuel

Pittied fools.
Citizen
Each of the wands had a different personality but the first one might have skewed player perception.

-Wand of the North Wind kinda hated everyone. Perhaps understandable since it was the only one with a known backstory and it exists due to magic being pulled from ponies. While the wands as a whole were a G1 reference, this one was overtly "ponies as magical ingredient". It could be reasoned with to calm its anger but it mainly wanted to be left alone. As players saw, it had power over the weather but had a decent amount of control even without a host.
-Wand of Incomparable Green was the most overtly friendly. It's pretty much harmless unless someone with malevolent intent like Barometz is wielding it. Then it runs into the problem that it has the hardest time exerting its own will. It had power over plant growth, often in creative ways.
-Wand(s) of Doubled Doubling has a duality in where, when whole, it is fairly neutral in what wants to do and doesn't mind who wields it. When separate, each half either wants to be reunited or actively used. It subliminally whispers this to you, though you know it's doing it. Also, each half gives a different power. One can double others but not yourself. The other can make duplicates of yourself and you could jump through your duplicates.
-Wand of Eternal Skies was the most powerful but the most dangerous. It grants the user continually expanding knowledge of space and time. Infinitely. It's effectively a nerd who won't shut up. The amount of information would cause the user to make repeated Will saves to avoid taking damage. While making the saves, the character would start picking up information like exact time and location but would start being able to count the stars in the sky...in daytime...by the billions. Even an earth pony would be able do Dazzling Midnight's teleports. That said, there's a real risk of someone unmaking theirself or even unmaking the universe if they tried to wield it a long time. In short bursts, the character would rapid lose the information they learned as soon as they released it.

As an intriguing aside, the Wand of Eternal Skies was created first, even though it was encountered last.
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
Player perception is such a tricky thing. I doubt any of us would have guessed the Wand of Incomparable Green was the friendly one. But thinking about it, Barometz might be innocent. We pictured the whole swamp as a lot more menacing than it was meant to be, even before the wasps incident, which probably doomed our perception of Barometz before we ever met him.
 

Caldwin

FIRRIB
Citizen
Oh my! Eternal Skies was even more nightmarish than Static thought. I was thinking maybe Dazzling could undo a lot of stuff and make the present really bad fore everyone. I don't think I was expecting unmaking the entire universe was a possibility...or even that Dazzling herself was in danger.

Wow! I thought that was a proud moment for Static before...but dang!
 

Zamuel

Pittied fools.
Citizen
But thinking about it, Barometz might be innocent.

Player perception wasn't that skewed. At no point was Barometz good. Not fully planned out, perhaps, but not good. Though I do think the swamp came off a bit more neutral on Snowy, Scarlet, and Splash Flaunt's return trip. The Wand of Incomparable Green (after the defeat of Barometz) was perfectly capable of small talk.

As far as the Wand of Eternal Skies, remember Dazzling Midnight's teleports were already damaging reality. While unmaking the universe is the worst possible outcome, she's one with the most ability to invoke it since she'd have the willpower to wield it that long.

One other thing I remembered is that the wands could tell if you were around another wand recently. It was something that gave Barometz a bit of cockiness in that Snowy hadn't interacted with the Wand of the North Wind.
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen

Static - Night Cap (Square - Keen)

Curled Page replied to Static Signal with, "To make a long story short: Swamp pirates. A raft full of them had been periodically raiding the town for months and were getting less sneaky about it each time. One day, the first mate stole a trinket from an old pony who warned them that though it had magical power, they should beware the dangers of using it. Paying no heed, they caused a great catastrophe that was only stopped by the lucky chance that some of the royal guard were in the area. Without that, Louisianeigh could have been erased from existence. While the first mate was still defiant, the experience shook the captain up enough that he disbanded his crew and even turned himself in. 'There's no profit in the end of the world' was what he told the guard when they asked if he had anything to declare. It stuck with the town as a cautionary tale but like sayings sometimes do, the saying got misused over time and then eventually unused. Hmm...maybe the museum should do an exhibit about it. I'll have to ask Zest about that next time I see her."

Elsewhere in the library, Night Cap used a surprising amount of strength to pull Square Fun backwards. From out of the bookshelf fell a huge a large book that left a large cloud of dust when it hit the ground. Square Fun walked over to where the open book was and read,
"The might bestowed lasts evermore,
Command a power sage and keen.
Plants shall beckon and sway before,
Wand of Incomparable Green."


"Unless you want to sleep on the couch for a month, DON'T read from ancient tomes out loud,"
Keen Craft said as she frowned at Square Fun. She paused to look around and make sure nothing stranged appeared out of thin air, then, "That said...is this what I think it is? Night Cap, what do you make of this?"


Static rubbed his chin as he took in the story. "Wow! That changes a few things. Thank you very much. I'm sorry I took so much of your time. Though it was very...informative. I better get back to the others. Thanks again!"

Static starts to head back to the others.


Curled Page walked over but paused, taken aback with shock. "Where did...where did you find this? This book had been missing from the library for quite some time." On the cover, it read 'A Study and Compendium of Wands in the Known World'.


"Quite right, Night," Static says. He looks to Square and Keen. "Do either of you have a library card so we can check this out? I'm afraid mine's for Caballuston." He then looks to Curled Page. "If that's all right. I mean, just like that phrase we talked about earlier...I just saw something that our chief would be very interested in seeing."

He saw Night Cap looking at the book as though it were one of his shiny things. In this case Static could relate. He wanted to give it a thorough study a! s well. But he wanted to stay on the up and up when it came to getting a hold of it. He wasn't sure Night Cap would feel the same. And he certainly didn't need the headache of being the one in charge when Night Cap did something...illicit.


"It's unfortunate that our library isn't completely connected to any others, so you'll need to get a card with us. I can get you the paperwork and issue you a temporary card in a few minutes.

The book...is another mater. I have to add it back into the system, readjust the card catalouge, and the works. I also don't know if it will be put into regular circulation. For the sake of preservation, I may need to have it listed as a title that can be read here but can't be removed. Contemplating even sending it off to Princess Celestia. While I sort this out, you're free to read it while here. Should be quiet since we usually aren't busy in the morning."


"Feel free to take whatever pictures you need. As far as special clearance...no? This is a library. Keeping it here will help protect it for others to read. I mean, look at those pages. If I gave it to Princess Celestia, I'd be outright donating it to her school."


"I have to agree with my friend here. From what little I was able to glance before you walked up, this book is a roadmap to several powerful artifacts that some of those more unsavory ponies I told you about may use to horrific ends. Not to put too fine a point on it...but this book itself just became a powerful artifact. It may be best if you could move it somewhere that the general public won't know about...give it as much security as you can. We can probably help with part of that...temporarily at least. But I think calling the princesses in on this may not be a bad idea. Meanwhile, I better start with this," he says opening the book and taking out his camera.


"Oh my. I...I can temporarily put it with my own belongings. Actually, it may just be best if I close the library for the day and deliver it directly to Princess Celestia. That would be far safer than anything I could provide. I'm not rich but I can at least afford a train ride to Canterlot."

Meanwhile, Static Signal swiftly made record of as much as he could. The table of contents revealed that the book was split into two halves. The first half was a lot of basic information on magical wands and mentioned numerous types around the world. The second half was titled 'The Four Greater Wands'. Thankfully, the Wand of the North Wind was the only one that seemed to have an overt discription of where it was. The Wand of Incomparable Green's entry seemed to not reveal anything particularly new and the Wand of Doubled Doubling confirmed what Grape Vine already revealed in that the wand existed in two halves. However, the information on the second half of the wand might be useful. Furthermore, the fourth and final wand might be a concern...

Just then, Square Fun pointed his horn at the bookshelf and said,
"I think something else is in there. It doesn't feel anywhere near as heavy that tome, though. You want me to try to pull it out too?"


Static ponders Curled Pages offer to take it to the Princess. After all, it was the property of the library, and by extension, Curled Pages responsibility. It's not something his small group could, or really even should, take away from him.

But on the other hoof, even though so far he had shown his innocence (or more accurately, couldn't be pinned as guilty) from being a COIN operative, how much dare he trust him, especially with something like this? This one tome could completely change the fight between the Keep and COIN. The one who possessed this (or is able to keep it from the other's possession) would definitely have a hoof up on the competition.

"Hold that thought. Who ever takes it to Canterlot, I want to make sure they're protected. Go ahead and close the library if you feel it's prudent. But I want to make a call to the Keep first to request an escort for you." Static then turns his attention to Square. "Yes, go ahead and pull it out. In fact, be thorough. Whatever these ponies have hidden in there, I want to make sure it's no longer in their possession." He then turns to Night Cap and Keen. "Be prepared for anything. We don't know what it is he has a hold of."


"Those were my thoughts as well. But I'll still need to call it in first. Don't want the Chief calling down here and having her wondering why we took it upon ourselves to go to Canterlot without telling anyone."


The Morse Code transmitter whirred to life and left a message:

SPLASH FLAUNT REPORTING. HOLD TIGHT. SEEKING OUT CHIEF DIRECTOR FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTION.


Meanwhile, Square Fun calmly pulled out a small book. It seemingly looked like a journal but was a fairly drab shade of brown about matching a paper grocery bag while the pages were the same shade of yellow used by most ledgers. There was something scribbled on the cover but erased. However, it could almost be made out...


Static glances at the transmitter. "Can't wait!" He then looks at the journal Square pulls out.

[spoiler tag]Perception
Roll(1d20)+7:
11,+7
Total:18

Well well well!

New D&D Roller:
https://www.wizards.com/d20modern/d20mdice/dice.htm

Seems to be a lot kinder than the old D&D roller:
https://www.wizards.com/dnd/dice/dice.htm

I think I'll keep with it for the time being :D[/quote tag]


Static Signal could just barely make out a note on the cover that said: Do Not Touch - Property of Dazzling Midnight.
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen

"Do...not...touch...property...of...Dazzling...Mid..." Static touches the cover no less than four times. "Open the cover." *touch* "Turn the page" *touch* "Turn the page" *touch* "Turn the page" *touch* He then closed the book and, with as much touching of the book as possible, held it up for Curled Pages inspection. "Since this isn't technically a library book, would you mind if I took this with me?" *touch touch*


"What do you..." Curled Page paused and looked at the book. *gasp* "I know the mare that belongs to. Though she never reported it as missing, I'll have to return it to her the next time I see her."


"Eh hem! Remember the mare I told you about? The one that threatened me and made a mockery of the police?"

*touch touch touch*

"I don't think it's missing. I think she was using your library for storage. Given it was her pocket space that was storing this book and the same pocket space that was holding a book that was absolutely library property...I really don't think you owe her anything. And even not knowing what's in here, I can only imagine that it...like that other book...is extraordinarily dangerous in her hoofs.

"Can I at least take it a look at it. This may be the first time ever we can finally get a hoof up on this mare!"



Curled Page scowled. "Dazzling couldn't be the same pony who threatened you. I'll not have you slandering my friend's name nor invading her privacy. Besides, what could her diary have that could possibly be of use to you?"


"Slander? Sir, I can tell you with utmost certainty that she was the one who threatened me. I was bloody well there! And if you don't believe me, you can ask the entire Caballuston police force about how she threatened me, broke into the police station, broke out one of her friends (who by the way I helped catch myself when she broke into our museum), then broke out again from the police station. Slander supposes a lack of truth and something said in malice. There are plenty of witnesses to affirm that what I say is true!

"As for what I hope to find in here...I honestly don't know. I can assure you I don't give one pony f! eathered fig about her secret crushes or her dirty little girlish fantasies or whatever embarrassing secrets she may have. I only want to know about any illegal plans she may have, because there may be no profit to be made in the end of the world...but don't doubt for a second that she has designs for ruling the fool place. And that's certainly not a world I'm interested in seeing."



Curled Page was silent, collecting his thoughts. After a moment, he spoke with a shaky voice, "How...how am I to know what you said is actually true and not just something you conjured up with your machine?"


"The break-in at the Caballuston police department would be a matter of public record, yes? Ask the Caballuston Expedition Keep Museum, ask for Brisk Iron. Tell her Static told you to ask her about the break in and about what she knows about Dazzling Midnight. She's in good standing with the princesses. You said you had access to deliver these directly to Princess Celestia? Ask her if she vouches for Ms. Iron. Tartarus! Ask her, ask Luna if they'd vouch for me while you deliver these. I'll wait!"


"I-I don't have direct access. I was just going to head to Canterlot and...and hope I could gain an audience since what I'm doing is important.

...

Go ahead and read it. For as much as I don't want to invade her privacy...I need to know the truth."
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen

"Thank you. And I promise, aside from any criminal activity, I will be totally discreet about whatever I see in here. Like I said, I don't really care what she thought of the latest book she read or any stallions she may have stared too long at across the room. None of my business. But if it's truth you need...just give me a moment."


"Why don't you check that bigger book for anything I may have missed? If there's anything pertinent in this journal, then I'll make sure we all see it. Otherwise, fewer eyes the better. COIN member not withstanding, this is technically an invasion of privacy and I don't exactly like myself for doing this."


Skimming through the tome on wands, Night Cap found that while Grape Vine had one half of the Wand of Doubled Doubling, the other half was complimentary but not the same. The one in Petrichor Falls had a head of prasiolite and had the ability to give numerous ponies temporary duplicates of themselves but didn't work on the wielder. The missing half had a head of red beryl and allowed the wielder to duplicate themselves. But even more than that, the wielder could jump through a duplicate to evade enemies. It was unknown just what capacity could be wielded if both wands were combined.

Meanwhile, Static Signal began reading through the journal entries:


Dear Diary,
Hello! I guess this is where we first meet. I didn't expect anything for my birthday but Curled Page got me this. I hope to make the most of it.

Dear Diary,
All these tests we've had recently have been hard. I've been doing well. That trick I learned for reading while asleep is helping a lot. Guess I shouldn't complain. If I do well enough, I might be able to get into a really good college. My parents can't afford it so it's gotta be grades.

After a few more entries complaining about schoolwork, Static Signal then found:

Dear Diary,
I'm so mad right now. Mister Silver was giving mom a hard time at work again and I couldn't do anything about it. When I last tried to prank that jerk, it was mom who got in trouble. I just wish I could do something about those stuck up rich snobs.

Dear Diary,
Mom and dad have been really sick lately. But they won't take days off from work. Repairs to the house have left us broke so they gotta keep working.

Dear Diary,
They keep getting worse. I wish I could rewind time for a month or maybe a year to see if we could do everything better. But...no. My magic isn't that strong and I bet those rich ponies have time traveling friends that would just undo everything. I'll figure something out...eventually.

Dear Diary,
I found it! I was looking through this book on wands and the final entry boosts time magic. Forget about time travel, I will become time. Then nopony could stop me. I could reward all those who have been good to me and my family and punish those who haven't. It doesn't have a map but I'll find it someday. No matter what it takes. Even if it takes my whole life.


As Static started to read, at first there was a wince, then his eyes started to get shiny, then undeniable tears.

"Ponyfeathers! She...she has my sympathies. And that's something I never thought I'd say about the mare who walked into my home and threatened me to my face...but...she does. She has my sympathies. But..." Static shows Curled Page the journal and points to the last two entries, "...here and here, you know we have to stop her. We just got finished doing a patchwork job on the town clock tower yesterday that is proof enough that messing around with the fabric of time is not a good idea. Not just for the sakes of the jerks who made her life miserable. Buck 'em! But for her own sake, and for the sake of anypony who may be unintentionally affected by what she does.

"Do you know what happens if you change one single event? The one event that I always wished I could go back and change, you know what would happen? My father never disowns me, I never feel the need to leave Manehatten, I never meet Dazzling Midnight, I never join this team I'm on, a mayor dies in a cuckarocka attack, a defector from COIN never gets a second chance and who knows where she goes from there and a radio operator dies while falling from a helicopter. And what about all the lives they've affected since those events? What happens to them? All because I change one little thing in the past.

"And if Dazzling changes her past so that everything is perfectly happy for her...same ponies die for the same reasons! She's playing a very...very...dangerous game here. There's consequences if she succeeds that she has absolutely no idea of.

"And this whole thing of becoming time...it's like she wants to throw away everything that makes her a pony. For her sake, as well as the entire fabric of time...we have to stop her. Better would be if you, her best friend since high school, could convince her to stop herself."


Static turns to Night Cap. "Night Cap, very important. The final entry in that book on wands should be about a wand that boosts time magic. We need to know everything it says about it."


"Dazzling...what are you doing?" Curled Page muttered under his breath as he read the two entries. The worry in his face was accented by the wrinkles of his age. Trembling slightly, he tried to regain composure. "When her mood improved over time, I thought she had found what she was looking for in life--not that she was still looking for it.

And not this.

I remember when I was younger, that fateful day I found that older teenager who would chat with me about what she was reading. My father owned the library back then but he was lenient about us talking in the library as long as we weren't loud. Always felt sorry for her. Her dad worked at the hotel and her mom worked as a waitress with neither making much. So I just tried to be a friend. She couldn't lie to me directly so...

...so that tome confirms something. One year when she returned to town, she paid my father a large sum of money. Said she misplaced some books and wanted to make sure all fees were paid in full. Dazzling Midnight does not misplace library books. And she'd never say which books they were. I guess part of her felt guilty for hiding that thing. I wonder just how many half truths she's struggled to tell me. I've always wondered if she's the reason the town clock needs fixing. She tends to break nearby clocks when she uses her magic and I know she hates that. And if she's become some sort of criminal, it would explain why she would sometimes be so happy to tell me when one of her coworkers would get arrested. Most of it felt like unhealthy gossip except for a recent one she said reminded her of Mister Silver. When she mentioned that, I hoped it at least brought her a little peace of mind."


Static sighed and put a supportive hoof on Curled Pages back. "Isn't that a thing?" Static muttered. "You're coming face to face with the fact that your foalhood friend may be a criminal while I'm coming face to face with the fact that my nemesis may be a pony...you know..with feelings and a past."

He shook his head. "I've seen it go both ways, Mr. Page. I've seen a pony's bitterness take such a hold that there's precious little if anything of the pony they used to be left buried hopelessly deep inside. I've also seen ponies that use their hard nocks as an incentive to do better and not give in to the bitterness."

Static sighed again. "I won't lie to you. I've seen her use her magic. I've heard other tales of her using her magic. And to be honest, if it came down to a knock-down, drag-out fight against her, I'm not sure we could win. Frankly, she scares me. Everything I've gone up against since I've joined this team...and believe me, I've seen things that if I told you about, you'd never sleep again at night...she's the reason I wrote this!" Static flashed his will for a moment for emphasis. "So if you think there's even a possibility that there's some part of that filly you used to know somewhere inside who Dazzling's become, I'd like to give it the chance to come out. It would certainly be a better outcome than if we have to fight her head-on.

 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
As Square Fun began to put the diary back, Keen Craft seemed to be thinking and then asked, "Wait...'foalhood friend'?" "Yes. She's actually older than I am. She's using some sort of aging spell or maybe even her own inate time magic to repress her true age. Dazzling once offered to use it on me but I turned it down. Just didn't feel right.

And to you Static, I think there's still good in her. I don't think she'd still come here if she didn't. I think...she might have done worse to that couple harassing the waitress if she didn't still have good in her. I really don't like thinking what she could do at her worst."

Meanwhile, Night Cap flipped through the tome to the last entry to find the Wand of Eternal Skies. It was stated to allow a single pony to raise the sun and moon. Furthermore, it granted the wielder unimaginably profound knowledge of the inner workings of time and space.


Static pursed his lips in thought. "I'm not seeing very many good choices. If Night Cap or I face her, it would probably bring out her worst. She would only see us as adversaries. But if we send you..." he says, indicating Curled, "there's too many ways it could end badly. And I'm loath to send pass off responsibility to a..."

[...civilian?]

[Something a bit less condescending?]

"...innocent bystander," he chooses instead. He sighs and hold the bridge of his nose to fight away a headache. "You probably know her best, Mr. Page. What do you think our best chances are of getting through to her?"


Static looks to Night Cap as if to ponder. "Probably a fair point. She may not see you as an adversary...at least, not as much of one as me. I mean, at the least, she probably know's you're my friend. That could be guilt by association. But...if your first meeting with her went well..."

Static shakes his head. "So many variables!" He turns his attention back to Curled Page. "I don't know. I think I'm really going to need your input on this one. Like I said, you know her best."


Curled Page sighed and said, "I really don't know what would be the best thing to say. The danger is a possibility but I don't know if she'll acknowledge it. I mean, this could lead to the end of the world and there's certainly no profit in that. *sigh* I'm giving you the book. I think you'd know better what to do with it than I and I really don't think I'm in a state of mind for travel right now. Besides, staying here means that on the small chance that Dazzling returns, I can be here to try to talk her out of it. However..."

Curled Page walked over and touched his horn to the tome Night Cap had been flipping through. "'Everything in its rightful place.' There, if something happens to that book, let me know and I can retrieve it."


Static said in the OOC thread:
*slow clap*

Heheh! Poor Night Cap can't get by with anything!


"Good to know, thank you. At the end of the day, it does belong here...under close guard and maybe locked away in the archives...but it still belongs here with its owners," Static says with an ambiguous glance at Night Cap. "I'm not sure who would be best to face her, but it could very well be that she'll be the one who decides that. If you happen to see her, I'll leave it to you to determine the wisdom of telling her about running into us. If she runs into us, your name need not come up if you don't feel comfortable with it."

"Mean time, I'm still waiting for a respons! e from my Chief,"
he said, patting the transmitter. He looks to the others. "I could wait here for her response if any of you think there's anything more to be gained here. May be a good idea to stick around in case she has something else for us to do here. I'm not sure what she's going to say." He looks back to Curled Page. "If that's all right with you. Do you think it's possible Dazzling would return anytime soon. I don't want to be caught here by her, especially with this book in our hooves."

 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
"By the way, did you want a library card? You seem to have found what you were looking for but I didn't know if you were interested in anything else."


Static does a double take. He'd completely forgotten about getting a card. "I...wouldn't be adverse to a card. But...I live all the way in Caballuston. Sooooo, I'm not sure it would be worth putting you through the hassle."


Fnu Aw:

"I wouldn't mind checking out the 090s before we leave."

[Rare books and manuscripts?]

"Somehow that doesn't surprise me that would be one of your interests."

[Legit research, personal curiosity...or...something shiny?]

"I'm not sure how long it'll take before I get a reply on my radio equipment, so I suppose we may have some time. Keep close though. If something goes down, it could go down fast." Static walks over to Curled page and whispers so Night Cap can't hear. "He's my friend, and I love him dearly. But he has a weakness for shiny things. May want to help us keep an eye on him?"


Curled Page whispered back, "I hope he wouldn't try anything untowards. But I will say that most of the books over there are well worn. Or is there a different criteria for 'shiny'?"


"I've never seen him do anything untowards," Static said. "But in full disclosure, there are times he says things that can be...but then I am rather suspicious by nature. Forget I said anything." Static looks to his transmitter. How long is it going to take for Splash Faunt to find the Chief. If she'd just call, Static could keep an eye on Night himself.

And there it was. Static was feeling it necessary to keep an eye on Night Cap. With everything else weighing on his mind, what was Night Cap doing?

[He is your friend, right? You trust him...right?]

[Are you bucking kidding me?]

[How does Rhapsody do it?]

[By not trusting him in the first place and being the first one to throw him under the bus.]

[You know what works, take away any reason for him to feel it necessary to steal.]

*sigh* "Maybe instead of getting me my card, you should set him up with one. He'd probably get more use out of it."

[Not even lunch time and already it's been a heck of a day.]

"In the mean time, could you tell me more about Dazzling, more of your memories? Maybe the more I know, the more I can understand...maybe the more I can reconcile the sympathetic pony I read about in that journal and the pony you used to know with the pony that threatened me to my face that night. Because as calm and collected as I may seem right now...there's a heck of a lot of conflict going on in my head. Tartarus! Maybe give a few minutes, I'll start casting aspersions my own direction!"


As Night Cap was escorted to the 090s, Curled Page said to Static Signal with, "Dazzling always wanted to learn as much as possible so she could fix things. I remember her being in here often flipping pages with her magic. I guess if she took a different path, she could have wound up a librarian. She was good at research and she had started getting better at interacting with others. But it seemed she took a different path in life. All things considered, I was surprised that she got a degree in business since she never showed interest in owning one."


[Business Degree? That is odd. I can't imagine needing a business degree for a criminal organization, especially when she mostly seems to keep to recruiting.]

[I do hate unexplained loose ends.]

[Maybe better to just keep it on the back burner for now. He doesn't seem to understand it either and there's something more important to say to him.]

"You know, I never thought in a million years that I would wind up defending her...but...I hope you don't judge her too harshly. Needless to say we need to stop her. But it looks like she's got reasons for her anger.

"And even at that, let's not forget that ther! e is still good in her. She defended that waitress that was getting hassled. And while I can't advocate jailbreaking, she is loyal to her friends. I mean, I'd have hate to have been one of the lesser underlings who watched her waltz out of the jail with her friend while I stayed there to rot...and I almost was. When it came to that one she did break out...any other COIN member would have left them all there to rot. That she saved her...that's a loyalty I honestly didn't expect.

"So...as much as I thought I'd never say it, she's not completely evil."


Static was quite for a moment when a thought struck him. "Speaking of...did you ever know Silent Belle?"


Curled Page pondered, "That name sounds...oh! Dazzling said she hoped we could meet one day but that it was never the right time. She always seemed worried since she said Belle didn't read much but I'd never give a pony a hard time over that."


Static nodded. "Definitely sounds more friend than simple co-worker then. I suspected as much. We met before too...Silent Belle and I. It...wasn't pleasant. I was just curious if you knew her."

Static fidgeted a bit. "I still can't wrap my head around this. Until ten minutes ago, all I knew of Dazzling was...well...what I already told you. I built her up in my mind so much as some kind of monster. But...but she's a pony just like anypony...with a past...and dreams...and hopes...and...scars." Static rubs his temples. "Can't wrap my head around it."


Curled Page sighed, "And just ten minutes ago, I thought Dazzling was nigh blameless. Makes me wonder if...no, nothing to worry about."


Static raises an eyebrow. "What is it? Usually when somepony says 'nothing to worry about' I automatically start worrying."


Night Cap found a manuscript recalling a trade negotiation concerning Saddle Arabian coffee. Meanwhile, Curled Page said, "It's just...before my father passed but after Dazzling had left for college, my father showed me one door in the house that he forbid me from opening. He seemed fearful so I listened to him. With some of the things brought up with how dangerous her magic could be, I wonder if that might be some sort of side effect. But...it could just be nervous curiosity. After all, she wasn't here at that time."


Static shrugs. "She might not have been there at that time. But if present-day Dazzling where able to go back..." Static shrugs again. "Who could say? I mean, I have no real reason to think it's connected. But you seem to think it could be connected. It kinda feels like grasping at straws, but it's more than what we had when we first set hoof in this town. If nothing else, if it helps you ease your mind about that room, we can check it out if you want."


The Morse Code transmitter whirred to life and left a message:

CHIEF DIRECTOR REPORTING. IF POSSIBLE, IT WILL BE SAFER TO KEEP BOOK ON YOU. ANY OTHER INFO UNCOVERED?


Static perked up and jerked his head towards the transmitter. "Where do I start," he muttered. He then looked to Curled Page whom he was unsure whether or not knew Morse Code. "Boss wants to know if we've uncovered any new info," he said with a biting laugh. He shook his head and started tapping.

COULD WRITE NIGHT CAPPIAN REPORT. SHORT STORY, FOUND DAZZLINGS JOURNAL. UP TO DANGEROUS TIME TRAVEL SCHEMES WITH WAND THAT BOOSTS TIME MAGIC. WANTS TO BECOME TIME. LIBRARIAN OLD FRIEND OF DAZZLING. HAS LEAD CONCERNING FORBIDDEN ROOM IN HIS OLD HOUSE. I SUGGEST NEXT MOVE IS TO CHECK IT OUT. LIBRARIAN ALREADY GIVEN PERMISSION FOR US TO HOLD ONTO BOOK FOR TIME BEING.​

Spoiler

Static takes the book and puts it in a bag that looks far too small to hold said book. "If we're found, I'm betting no pony would think to look for a book that size in a small bag like this. I promise I'll keep it safe."


GOOD WORK. BE CAREFUL WITH THIS NEW LEAD.


[Aww! She cares!]

THANK YOU. WILL BE CAREFUL.

Static sighs down at the transmitter and then turns to face Curled Page. "Let's go ahead and gather the troops. I want to check out this forbidden room of yours."

Static starts off in the opposite way the others went, stops short and looks behind himself. "This way?" he mouths the words and points.
cleardot.gif

 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
Apparently I had to do a strength check to help Square Fun yank out the book.

Static said
Something's gone horribly wrong. Static's being a nuisance to the librarian and Night Cap's doing strength checks.
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen


Static's eyes open wide and his ears pin back. His hoof snaps to the side, pinning Night Cap in his seat. "No you don't!"



The wrestling match is hundreds of posts, and I appear to have the whole thing. Except my posts of course.
 
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