STOMP Remembrance Project

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CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
*static crackle*

I believe these were requested.



Statics heart sank, though he didn't let it show. He'd gone from actually creating something to cataloging. And of course they were old films and films that nopony even bothered to keep labeled, so you just knew they were really scraping the bottom of the barrel here. And he and Night Cap were going to go through them all.

Static nodded Night Cap towards the theatre. Let's get started, he said, trying to sound as enthused as possible around Ready Quill. Once they were out in the hallway out of earshot of Ready Quill, however, he leaned over and whispered to Night Cap. Be glad we just loaded up on coffee!

When they got to the theatre, the pony who had been running the movies was already gone.

Static looked the workspace over. OH COME ON! he blurted out as he went over to put the breezie film back where it belonged. Who in Equestria honestly thinks Breezies have anything to do with aquatics? That's just...gah! He sighed as he placed the film back in Entomology for the second time that day.

They had several hours before the next scheduled movie. Static took out the first unmarked reel and got it going.

He only needed to see the title to know he was in for a lot of pain. "The Mare on the Moon." On the surface, it seemed like this would be one movie Static might be interested in.

But no. This one was made before Luna's return. As such it was wrought with wrong information. It wasn't even wrong information like some of his other movies. Those other movies were information that had been disproved, sure.

But the one he saw now, the entire basis of it was rooted in information everypony today knew was false.

An outside usurper who tried to take the throne of Celestia's ancestor? A cannibalistic mare who would take any child who didn't give her candy? They even left out the entire prophecy!

Static scrawled out two labels for the reel. One that had the title and another with random notes.

[The Mare on the Moon: The True Story of the Demonic Usurper] [Rife with outdated information and every foal old enough to form coherent thoughts would know it. Only play this movie if you want the Keep to become a laughing stock. Only use for it would be to make another movie to show just how wrong our assumptions used to be.]

Static picked out the next movie and started it going. Oh lovely!

Before them was a film "The Origin of Ponies" about how all species of pony: earth, pegasus and unicorn all evolved from one super species of pony. It wasn't an alicorn...not really. And the movie went into great detail about why this super species wasn't an alicorn. Why was it that Pegasi got the flying, unicorns got the magic and the earth ponies got nothing. Static grunted and leaned over to Night Cap. That wasn't offensive at all!

It then went into great detail about how the different species separated into different habitats. The Earth Ponies rolled around in the dirt. The Pegasi lived their lives with their heads in the clouds. The unicorns went about the very important work of controlling the weather.

Gee, I wonder what species the director was! Static sighed as he turned to Night Cap. I don't know...what would you label this one as?



Static loaded another reel. A loud pop and crackle went over the speakers as the camera panned up while going in and out of focus.

Yikes! Not a good start.

Then a deep male voice spoke from off the frame of the camera. "Now you swear nopony's going to see this!?"

An exasperated sigh from somepony else, presumably the camerapony, replied. "This is not going into the documentary. I promise." There was a pause. "It's a documentary on volcanic islands. Why would I put this in there?"

With a sigh, the first pony walked on screen dressed up like Daring Do. With a painfully fake falsetto voice, he struck a heroic pose. "Surrender, Ahuizotl! You can not defeat me. For good shall always triumph evil and all...it's...evilness." The pony winced and took off the hat. "That was bad."

"Yeah, that was definitely bad," the camerapony agreed. "Try again?"

"No! This is stupid. Just a thought, but if your documentary's supposed to be about volcanic islands, shouldn't you be getting footage of volcanic islands."

The camera panned down getting a full shot of grass. "Let's go get a cider."

The film cut off there.

Well...that was interesting. I'm not quite sure how to file that one.



Yeah, Daring Do seemed really out of character there. Not...that I've read any of the books...because I haven't...because those are totally for eggheads...which I'm not.

I've read them all.
...
Library cards are free? What can I say?

He starts the mystery reel rolling.



As Static Signal loaded the reel, he could see that it was very short from how little film was on it. It might not even be three minutes long if one ignored the buffer at the beginning and end. It was very brittle and pungent. There was something very distinctly old about it. This was confirmed by the marker at the beginning noting a spot for a live orchestra to play as opposed to having the sound with the film itself. First there was a pre-title card stating 'REENACTMENTS - NOT ACTUAL FOOTAGE' with text indicating this was a test copy. That was followed by the actual title card, 'THE ROYAL LUNAR GUARD'. The faded sepia toned footage showed what was supposed to be Princess Luna. While the effects were far worse than the previous film about the princess Static Signal and Night Cap watched, it was obviously just a really tall earth pony with a fake horn and wings with star shaped barrettes in her hair, the attempt was far more dignified with her making a motion to raise a prop moon similar to popular depictions of how Princess Celestia raises the sun during the Summer Sun Festival. There was a rough cut to several ponies in armor standing in front of the now standing "Princess" and the armor looked like it might be some sort of training armor from the actual royal guard. 'LED MANY FOREIGN JOURNIES' flashed very briefly and was followed by another narration card 'INCLUDED NAVIGATOR NIGHTSHINE'. It showed an earth pony mare holding what was presumably a compass. 'AND LED BY BLACK NIGH...' Static Signal and Night Cap saw that the old brittle film began to warp and melt in the projector, suddenly snapping and leaving just the white of the projector light.



My responses are lost to time, unfortunately.
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen


Static moved into action quickly, saving what film he could from the projector and placing it gingerly in the can.

He laid the can and film down on the table.

We better tell Ready Quill about this, Static told Night Cap. I don't think that film will survive another run through a projector. We need to tell him everything we saw and see if any of that can be saved.

Static practically pushed Night Cap out of the projectors booth and locked the door behind him. He rushed to Ready Quills office and knocked.



Static was buzzed with energy as Ready Quill left the booth to talk with the Director. We darted over to a desk, getting two pads of paper and two quills. He handed one of each over to Night Cap.

We'll get to more of the reels in a second. But first...I'm sure they'll be able to save some of that reel. But just in case, we should document as much as we remember. Write down absolutely everything you remember about that reel. The actresses, the costumes, the effects...everything.

For a reel that only took 3 minutes to watch, it took Static a good 20 minutes and 2 pads of paper to get down everything he could think of. He handed pads over to Night Cap whenever he needed more. When Night Cap was also done, he set the notes aside in a safe place and went for another reel.

Oh wow! I never thought I'd be a part of something this big before. If they can restore any of that film...and you were here too. We both found that reel. This is huge. I'm still so buzzed with energy. I don't think I'll ever need coffee again. I'll never be able to sleep again.

Static started the next reel. "Volcanic Islands and How They're Formed." Static grabs a hold of his cup of coffee. Empty...pony feathers!



As the narrator starts talking, Static's glad he didn't have any coffee. He surely would've sputtered it all over the place. Recognize the director?

Static continues to watch, just waiting for a cameo appearance from Daring Do. He couldn't help but think the "volcanic rock" looked more like charcoal briquettes used on outdoor grilles. But he was impressed when he actually saw some fire. The fact that this pony would risk life and limb to get footage of actual burning lav...aaaaaand it pulled out to charcoal on a grill. You...you're kidding me, right?

Of course it was just used as an illustration to make a bigger point. The film moved on to actual lava flow and how slowly over time...decades upon decades...the lava formed into islands. And they filmed it in real time.


Static loaded the next film..."Daring Do: A Retrospective." Static perked up.

Oh! Oh, oh, ooooooh! Night, I remember this event. A.K. Yearling was making the rounds to promote her new book..."Daring Do and the Rainbow of Darkness." As a museum employee, I got an autographed advanced copy.

There was supposed to be a documentary to go along with the event. It was supposedly completed and everything, but the director recalled all the reels at the last minute. Nopony ever knew why. It ruined his career. We may be the only two ponies to ever see this.

It started out harmlessly enough. A brief rundown of the books that came before, a bio of A.K. Yearling...and...cosplay.

A pony walked on screen dressed up like Daring Do. With a painfully fake falsetto voice, he struck a heroic pose. "Surrender, Ahuizotl! You can not defeat me. For good shall always triumph over evil and all...it's...evilness."

Static cringed and dug into hi seat. Oh...snap!



Yeah, definitely, Static agreed. He payed close attention to the credits. Directed by Cloud D. Signal.

Static's eyes narrowed. That's impossible! he hissed through clenched teeth.

He threaded the previous reel and shuttled to the credits. Cloud D. Signal.

I take it back. These guys never need to be found.

Static loaded the next reel in line, apparently shutting off any chance of continuing the conversation.

"Bushwoolies: Fact or Fiction." Oh this ought to be good!

Hand puppets pupped on the screen with goofy voices. This one was definitely aimed at kids. Nopony past their foal years would ever believe in such a ridiculous thing as bushwoolies. Still, the film went to great lengths to explain why they not only could have existed at some point, but in fact undeniably still exist today.

I didn't realize the museum still ran fiction!



Static notes Night Cap looking at his hooves. I know, right? How do those things even work?

Well, this one seems in good shape. Static says, writing up the title and making other notes.

Static puts on the next reel. It was another Night Mare Moon film. It's odd. Static noted. The Mare in the Moon documentary makes no mention of Night Mare Moon...though it does mention legends undeniably tied to her. Now we have a Night Mare Moon film that seems to make no mention of The Mare in the Moon.

The film was also rife with what everypony today knows is inaccurate. Again, this would have to go in the unrunnable pile. Still, Static took took another look at the Mare in the Moon reel and put it with this new reel in a separate pile.

Tell me what you think, Night. With everything we know about Luna today, how would you like to co-create with me, start to finish, a new documentary that tells about everything we thought we knew about Luna, Nightmare Moon and the Mare in the Moon and then compare it with what we know now? We can run the idea by Ready Quill. Heck, maybe even that old film he's trying to save right now may give us something to use.

 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen


Static led Night Cap to a place secluded from any ears that may overhear. He sighed heavily and hand his head. Of all the impossible moments that could never possibly happen, this one was easily in the top three of ones he was glad could never happen...next to never seeing Snowy again and having his relationship with Anchors even the least bit strained. Pony feathers, this has been a crappy couple of weeks!

He took another long sigh, unable to even turn around to look Night Cap in the eyes.

[Brother?]

[Friend?]

[Night Cap?]

Static gritted his teeth. "Night Cap, there's a couple things you need to know about me. I consider Splash Flaunt a friend. Sure she used to be a part of COIN, but she got herself out. Not only did she get herself out, she ardently sought out redemption. Facing Ms. Iron couldn't have been easy for her, but she did it. I also needed a bit of redemption myself once upon a time. So as long as any pony...any...pony...is truthfully seeking to redeem themselves, I'll grant them that chance. That's who I am."

"That being said,
Dazzling Midnight does not apply. She's not only not seeking redemption, every time I've seen her, every story I've heard of her has pointed to her actually loving what she does. And the more I hear of her, the more I'm convinced she's pretty darn high in the COIN hierarchy. As long as that's true, she gets no quarter from me."

"I don't know if you've considered just what it is she did to me. She tried to make me one of the ones who broke into the Keep that night we first met. If she'd succeeded, I'd be in jail right now. I'd be one of the many COIN operatives looking on in wonder as she sprang Silent Belle, meanwhile I'd be stuck in there to rot!"

"As it is, I had to move to a new home just to be safe from her. There wasn't much room for interpretation when she told me that for my sake, I better hope we never meet again. We meet again, one of us is not walking out of that meeting vertically. And, by the way, she's the reason why this ordinary, every day theatre projectionist now has a job risking life and limb playing at being a hero when...that is
not the job I signed on for in Manehatten."


Static took another deep breath and turned to finally face Night Cap eye to eye. "That was just the introduction. Here's the point...and I'm only going to say this once. Any friend of COIN...any friend of Dazzling Midnight...is no friend of mine."

Statics eyes narrowed into fiery slivers. "In the name of the friendship we had, I'm going to give you this one chance, Night Cap. Tell me the truth and I'll be angry. I'll be very...very angry. But I'll grant you the chance to make it right and we can see about regaining my trust."

"Lie to me, and I start working to uncover the truth. And once I have the proof I need, I'll march you into Ms. Iron's office myself and let her deal with you."

"Who was the filly you met in Nightmare Heights, the one you were so head over hooves over you started asking me for advise while we were laid up in the hospital? The one you couldn't give me the name for? Who is this tall, night colors like dark blues or purples that has your head so turned that poor Ocean doesn't even stand a chance in your eyes? I want a name."





That...wasn't what Static expected. He expected a lie...maybe the truth...but, this was...

[Not adding up.]

"I want to believe you. I really...really do. I've lost too many friends lately as it is. I really don't want to lose you. But then...why the infatuation? You asked me for advise on mares like you wanted to be her very special somepony. When Maple asked you about you ideal mare, you described her. Just...why?"



Static gave a stiff nod. "I wish you would have told me all this sooner. I...I understand why you didn't. I can see why it would be a hard topic to bring up. The problem is, you didn't trust me...and now look where it brought us." *heavy sigh* "You were dropping clues, clues I couldn't ignore. And when they all added up...what other conclusion could I have possibly made?"

"The ride to Nightmare Heights? Yeah, I remember it. It's not the kind of thing a pony forgets. I realize Rhapsody had some kind of sound barrier spell up, so all you got was a pantomime...but...I defended you against her! When she straight up accused you of being a double agent, I defended you. I wrecked my very first meeting with her defending you. It took quite a while before she and I weren't at each other's throats because I defended you. And one of the most awful moments in my life was the past ten minutes where I thought she might have actually been right! It never should have come to this!"

"As for when you came from Nightmare Heights to the Keep...I'm not sure I ever knew the whole story. First time I met you, you were running from Black Night, who seemed to have some kind of grudge against you. But if you had been arrested that night, once Ms. Iron found out about it, there was no way you were going to be in there for long. We're STOMP. We don't leave our own behind. And you even got a job out of it by the end of the night. I think maybe ponies appreciate you more than you think...and you have more friends than you realize."


Static gave another heavy sigh. He then walked over and placed a hoof on Night Cap's shoulder, his disposition having softened significantly.

"So from now on...please...trust me with stuff like this? You went through a lot of unnecessary trouble trying to hide stuff and I just went through a lot of unnecessary grief drawing the only conclusions I could draw with the information I had."

"As for Dazzling...I had no idea you were so frightened of her. Just the opposite actually. So, I guess we need to get rid of her for both our sakes."

"Don't worry about any mind reading. That's not something I've seen in unicorns. I've seen mind control, memory wiping and an ability to sense emotion. But actual mind-reading? Never seen it. And if
Dazzling had that ability, she never would have let me live long enough after our first meeting to allow me to go back and warn the Keep."

"When it comes to the waking world, we're both safe...unless we happen to run in to her on the street. She only knew where I used to live because Mr. Stiff Feather sold me out. There's no way she knows where I live now. There's certainly no way she knows where you live now. I'm sure she knows where we work...but that's really it. And she hasn't come for us yet."

"As for the dream world? I don't know. Maybe I'm over-estimating you? But as powerful...unnaturally powerful as
Dazzling might be in the waking world, aren't you like a god in the dream world?"

"I mean the dream world is your domain where you can do anything, right? Isn't it possible you may be even more...powerful...than...? Uhh...Night? Am I anywhere close to being on the right track? Is it possible that given the right preparation, if you could find her again...is it possible you could rain hell down on her dream world?"




Static nods. "I won't tell anypony. Promise. Oh! And Night?"

[Are we actually going to give tips on how to get in nice with Dazzling?]

[As part of his cover, sure.]

[I can not believe we're going to give tips on how to get in nice with Dazzling.]

"If you ever see her again and you need some material, think about what her interests are. Does she like plays? What type? Tradgedy, comedy, whatever? Who's her favorite playright. Does she like books? Who's her favorite author? Does she have any suggestions for future reading. Have you read anything you co! uld suggest to her? If you have a favorite author in common, just...talk about it. Does she like music?"

"Uh, never mind music. Forget I said anything about music. Just...if you see what she's interested in, try to find something about that you can talk about."

"And...be careful,"




Woah! Woahwoahwoahwoahwhoh! There's an awful lot to unpackage there. Give me a moment."

*sigh*

"Okay...one! I didn't piece this together until now...like...just now, while we were in there in the meeting. I mean, I kinda got the feeling you were hiding something back when we were in the hospital and you dodged my question of a name. But I didn't fit it all together until just now. So I didn't exactly have time to launch a whole investigation."

"Two! You're my friend, my brother! So if ever something happens that makes me suspect you of something ! or if the friendship status changes, the cops aren't going to be the first place I go to. You're going to hear it from
me...face to face...not from a cop coming out of the blue to arrest you while you stand there with no idea what just happened."

"Three! You're neighbors with Scarlet? I had no idea! We should get together for poker some time."

"Four! You really think I keep tabs on you like that? You work in the copy room. I spend my time in the projection booth. I have no more idea what you do in a day than you know of what I do! I doubt Scarlet would know what you do at night either...unless those walls are really thin! And what in Equestria makes you think the police have you under 24 hour surveillance? I seriously doubt they know what you do every hour of every day either."

"Four...or...five. Four? Five? What are we on? FIVE!
You're a dream walker!!!! Point in fact, that's how you met her in Nightmare Heights. That alone means there's no way I could possibly know what you do at night, who you meet. You could be in any possible number of dream worlds across the planet!"

"Six...pony feathers! Just...pony feathers! You go straight from work to home and home to work? That's...that's what I used to do before I joined STOMP! I know what that's like. It sucks! We need to get you a social life...like...seriously! We should go bowling, even if it's not for the league. Go to the gym...we could definitely use more practice."


 

Zamuel

Pittied fools.
Citizen
Weird thing about me and requests is that the main thing I'd want...is things I liked but don't remember. It was one of the things about rereading random chapters that I enjoyed. Though I guess I'll request the cucarocka attack on the conservation display. Especially since I believe that overlaps with when the other group had the pancakes vs waffles interaction with the Mauvenine Four.

And I hate to nitpick but the *static crackle* should be in italics.
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
I'll look for the cucarocka attack. Wayback actually has a lot of it, but not the very beginning. Which is a shame because the beginning was gold. I hope I have it.
 

Caldwin

Lifer
Citizen
This is awesome. Thank you so much for this. I will note that where Static checked the credits to see the directors name was edited to make it less angry at fathery. I'm surprised that's the version you found. Still, so awesome you were able to get this. Thanks!
 

Zamuel

Pittied fools.
Citizen
If it was through subscribing to the thread, I think it sends the first version of a post instead of the most current.
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
Yeah, I subscribed to the STOMP threads and I was too lazy to ever delete those emails.
 

Guardian Prime

Veteran Allsparker
Citizen
Well, Fnu, thank goodness for...

procrastination_by_taco_slayer_d667yb4-fullview.jpg

Pic Link
 

Caldwin

Lifer
Citizen
I don't suppose you have the bits where he straight up asks Night if he could befriend Dazzling and/or where he talks Dazzling into becoming one of the good guys?
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
I'll keep looking for that.

Well, some of my all time favorite posts did in fact survive. Here it is, the start of the cucarocka attack.



When Misty Monsoon looked to the sky, she was able to marvel at the wonderfully clear sky she had crafted. There was a brief silence until suddenly several rocks the size of ponies rolled out from behind the trees. Rolling to a stop, they unfolded and someone from the crowd shouted, "Look out, they're cucarockas!" Pandemonium ensued. Mares yelped and stallions fainted as the buglike rock creatures ran rampant, tipping over tables and attempting to steal food from the caterers. "Things were going so well. At least it can't get worse than..." Mayor Cranberry Loss tried to run away only to trip and get tangled in the stage apron, causing it to become unhooked and start sailing into the air from the large number of balloons that were tied to it. "Halp! Haaaalllpp!!!" Brisk Iron facehoofed. "I'm old enough to know better than to say that."



"I assume we have you to thank for the weather? Thanks!"
Misty blushes a little. "Yeah, I was on cloudbusting duty for this area today. I'm just glad that everything went fine and nothing messed up the...''

"Look out, they're cucarockas!" Pandemonium ensued. Mares yelped and stallions fainted as the buglike rock creatures ran rampant, tipping over tables and attempting to steal food from the caterers.
"...the...''

Mayor Cranberry Loss tried to run away only to trip and get tangled in the stage apron, causing it to become unhooked and start sailing into the air from the large number of balloons that were tied to it. "Halp! Haaaalllpp!!!"
"...um... oh dear.''

 

Copper Bezel

Feeling nutty.
Citizen
I thought I remembered at some point copying out the first arc along with Shadewing in the intent to make a continuously readable prose document out of it, but nothing like that is in my Google Drive. Only a "story notes" document that I think everyone already has access to and is mostly weird comments that make no sense without context and one Dazzling Midnight monologue about her job.
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
Still looking for Night Cap being directly asked to befriend Dazzling. It's not super easy to search through these.


Static's first instinct was to try to go help Maple. But the situation was still delicate and everything he did or said needed to be measured. But surely Dazzling wouldn't begrudge him one aside statement. "Ms. Jack, for future reference...when somepony as bullheaded and pugilistic as me decides to err on the side of diplomacy...take note!"

Static took another deep breath and faced Dazzling. "I've learned a few things about you since the last time we met. Luna knows I have no love for the likes of Mister Silver who prey on those less fortunate than themselves. What he put your family through...it's abhorrent."

"But to go through time to 'fix' things...or to become time...have you thought about what happens if you do that?

"What happens if you go back and you fix your childhood and everything is happy for you? Do you ever join COIN? I mean, our individual teams may not get along...but let's think this through! You don't join COIN...what happens to Silent Belle? Serious question, because I don't know what all has happened between you two. But do you ever even meet?"

"And let's just get down to it. If you alter time so your childhood's happy, that means you never join COIN. That means we never meet and I never join STOMP. Without pride, because I was simply doing my job with all this...but do you know how many ponies die if I never join STOMP? I know of one in particular that I saved from a fall out of a helicopter."
At this he gave a cold glare at the TAKE coins.
"And then there was the attack on the conservation speech not long ago, the attack at the ballet show, Nightmare Heights...I could go on. I've been very busy since we last met, saved a lot of lives. And how about the lives those ponies have affected?"

"How many ponies owe their lives to me...and consequently...to you? You can so easily wreck all that if you continue doing what you're doing."

"I know there's things about my past I wish I could've changed. My father disowned me when I was five. I only just recently reconciled with him. 16 bucking years wasted! You think I wouldn't want to go back and change that? But if I did...same consequences I just talked about!"

"And as for the pain you've been through...the heart ache...it doesn't need to be like that! Look around at your life. Silent Belle, Curled Page...Night Cap over there has a hell of a crush on you...just saying! And me? We got off on the wrong hoof. You may work for COIN. I may work for STOMP. And our two teams may be fundamentally opposed to each other. But individually...?"


Static holds his hoof out as a show of friendship "I wouldn't be where I am without you. I wouldn't have these friends, I wouldn't have this job. I think there's some leeway for being civil. Oh...and I absolutely wish I could've been in that Louisianeigh cafe to see what you did with those rude patrons who gave that poor waitress a hard time. I wish, I wish I could've seen it! Just a small aside..."

Dazzling Midnight was taken aback by Static Signal's comments and didn't immediately respond. She then sputtered, "How did you know that information about me? You're just..." Her accent had slipped and was less refined than normal. She briefly closed her eyes, then said. "I...I won't allow you to trick me! I've worked so long and hard on this. Once I have the wand, I can fix everything. I'll have enough power to set everything right. As far as Night Cap, I am at least old enough to be his grandmothe! r. And even if not, his power allowed him to invade the only safe space I've ever had. One I carefully cultivated and protected, going so far as to never use my magic in my own dreams. He may provide good conversation but there is no romance to be had because I can't trust him. Especially since he let some things slip and thus can't keep a secret."

"I didn't learn this from him. I only know of his feelings for you because he made the smallest slips that anypony would have made and I grilled him on it. And maybe romance is out of the question. That's between you two and I really rather not know. But he can be a friend to you. And as far as friends go, he can be infuriating, but you can do far...far worse than to have him on your side."

"Even he doesn't know why he was directed into your dream. But he confided in me that it wouldn't have happened if, on some level, you didn't need him to be there. He genuinely wants to help you."

"Me? I can un! derstand why you'd hesitate to trust me. And if I told you why I know what I know about you, you'd probably not only be less inclined to trust me, you'd probably kill me on the spot. But I will say I've been very careful about keeping your secrets. And so has Night Cap. And right now, I genuinely want to help you because of what I know."

"You have a really good mask on, Dazzling. But I know you'r hurting. And that's maybe a little something I know about."


An earthpony that looks vaguely like Static but kinda not appears in front of everyone. "Five years and you tell me this? Why should I stick around? He's not my son!"

The earthpony morphs into a teenage version of Static on the ground holding his chest and coughing in pain. A taller pegasus looks down on him as he kicks him again. ”Don’t tell me nothing happened. I saw you dancing with her you dirty little earthpony trash!" The pegasus kicked Static, lifting him up off the ground with the force.

”Didn’t...know...she was...taken! Please...I’ll never...see her...again..." Static get’s kicked again for his troubles. Aww Look! Stasi's gonna cry! Cry, little foal. Cry!

The scene changes to a tall, bald, fat unicorn behind a desk looking down at a still battered and bruised Static. That'll be a weeks detention! But they're the ones who started it. I was just defen... Want to go for two? That's not fair! That's two! Wanna go for three?

Static flinches back to the present and looks back to Dazzling Midnight. "So you can imagine why I was a bit tickled when I heard about what you did at the diner. And you can imagine that I have no sympathy for Mr. Silver."

"You want honesty...I'll lay it all out on the table. I'll give you know reason to believe I'm lying or holding anything back."
Static took a deep breath. "I know what I know because I found your diary at the library. Out of respect, I didn't let anypony else so much as touch it. You may want to kill me for that...but first let me tell you..."

"I went into that library hating you. I hated everything about you. Until I went into that library, you were the boogeyman that tried to get me to spy on my employer, that threatened me in my own home and made it necessary for me to move. You scared the ever loving Tartarus out of me and I wanted you gone."

"But after what I read in that library...that has so far gone absolutely no further than me...I...want to help you. You were the boogyman. I never even considered that you were a pony...with dreams...with secrets...with secret pains that you were dealing with. I never even considered. But now...I want to help you because maybe...just maybe you actually had it worse than I did. But maybe I still know a little something about a painful childhood that maybe I can help you...and maybe you can help me!"

"Or you can kill me. I couldn't even begin to stop you. You have the wand. You have the power. You have all the cards. But think about that. You have all...the...cards. So let's just say for the sake of argument that I was trying to trick you. What does that gain me? You'll find it out eventually and you'll still be in the position of power to deal with that! Don't you see, Dazzling? Before you even came here to fight...you won! You've already won! You can have whatever you want. I'm just trying to get you to see...what you want...it could cost you...cost the world more than you ever know."

"Or you could accept my friendship. Accept Night Caps friendship. Let go of the pain. Let go of your past and dare to accept someone else's friendship.

"Remember when we first met? I was a pony living alone just on the other side of the slums, friendless, drunk on cider and looking only for the end of the day after a crap day at work. Now look at me! I don't have team-mates. Every single pony you see with me...we're friends...even the grouchy one!"

"I'm not saying it's easy. But...I'm actually happy. I have friends. I have a mare friend. I'm...happy! Isn't that so much different from how you first saw me? Isn't that better than holding on to a decades long grudge? Isn't it better than the shell of hatred you've created? If there's even a chance we could give this to you, isn't it worth trying?"
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
Dazzling Midnight closed her eyes. "You say all this, and I'm genuinely happy things worked out for you, but do you truly realize what you ask? Stopping now means decades of my life were wasted. It means all I'll have to look forward to is either a prison cell or life on the run, something my childhood self certainly didn't plan for. Answer me this, Static-what future do you expect me to have?"

Static pursed his lips and sat down as he mulled it over. "That is a dilemma, I won't lie. You are rather well known...and not in a good way." Static took a deep breath. "Worst case scenario?" And he waved his hooves emphatically for emphasis, "I mean absolute worse...case...scenario...you do some jail time. Mind you, I've heard how little your powers make of jail security. You waltzed in, broke out Silent Belle and waltzed right back out. If you were to willingly submit to the sentence, and with a good word from us...you may be able to knock off some time off the sentence and when you get out, you'll have paid your debt to society and you'll be free. Absolute worst...case...scenario..."

Static rubbed his chin. "I think I can help you do better. My chief...she has the ear of some influential ponies...like...really...influential ponies."

[Like the ears of the royal guard and Celestia for Celestia's sake!]

"After I went to the library, I told her that I wanted to help you. She was amenable to the idea. Give her a reason to believe you want to change your life around, she'll make it happen."

"She helped a one time thief become a hero."
The subtle reminder of Snowy brought a wistful smile to Static's face. He wondered what he was doing now.
"My first night on the job, I...made some mistakes myself." He said with a cringe and another apologetic look towards Silent Belle. "I'm no longer anything like the pony I was that night. And...without naming names...there actually is another ex-COIN agent in our employee...actually a pretty good friend of mine. Thank Luna...redemption is a thing that happens. And my chief, if you give her reason enough to believe your earnest, will help you achieve it."

"As for the decades you've spent in your endeavor...I have no frame of reference to share that with you. I've wasted a good chunk of my life, mind you...but that was years wasted doing nothing. You..."
Static sighed
"Yes, you'd be giving up on goals you spent decades working towards. But...they were self-destructive goals! You've been working hard for something that will only bring you and the rest of the world misery. Years of work may be a hard thing to walk away from...but...if you save yourself in the process...and start to strive for something better...?" Static could only sigh.

"And you know...take it from someone who's also had a colorful past...being able to show someone else who's on the wrong path what your life used to be like and what it's like now...you can really help some ponies. I could've used someone like that. If it weren't for the chief, I'd still be that same drunk, hopeless pony you met a few months ago. There's thousands of ponies just like me. You could help them. And you'd have a hell of a story to tell them. If you, if me, if Princess Luna...if we can turn our lives around...you could give them that. And maybe then those decades wouldn't be a waste. You could use those years to give hope to other ponies." He then looked to Silent Belle. "And I don't see why I couldn't make you the same offer."

"You say 'without naming names' but Night Cap already slipped during our conversation that Splash Flaunt and her team made it out.

It all starts so simple doesn't it? A lie here and a theft there but everything will work out. It'll be okay in the end. COIN always had questionable elements but it started better than it is now. Most were more like Splash. But if she turned her life around and you turned your's around..."
Tears started streaming down her face as she lied down and covered her head. "I...I give up. I'm sorry! mom and dad."
 

Caldwin

Lifer
Citizen
I would say that it feels like redemption for how he was in his early days. But I'm really not sure. I saw some people who read your comic on Dev Art that absolutely hated Static. Not sure if their minds were ever changed.

But it is nice that he has a home here and he is redeemed.
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
Aww, did they say why? I tried to make Static sympathetic even when he's violent. Less Wolverine, more "I knew I should have stayed home from work today."
 
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