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Calm and Collected (RGRE)

By Uh-hmmm
Created: 19th December 2020 12:39:44 AM

  1. > Be Twilight Sparkle, going over some fascinating readings
  2. > Not just because this is the first time a stallion let you do a full body scan
  3. > But also because of who that stallion is
  4. "Anon, this is amazing! As far as I'm able to determine, you have no magical foci, nor a thaumaturgical membrane!"
  5. > He frowns
  6. > "And what would those be?"
  7. > You set your parchment aside and focus on him
  8. > Not that that is hard to do~
  9. "A magical focus is the part of your body that concentrates and manipulates the mana in your body."
  10. > "Like a unicorn's horn?"
  11. > You nod happily
  12. "Or earth pony bones, or pegasus feathers. As for the thaumaturgical membrane, it's a sort of barrier your body creates as you grow older. The membrane of a foal is almost non-existent, and so they are affected very easily by the currents and eddies of ambient magic. That's why they perform a lot of involuntary magic, they are trying to reduce the pressure on their foci by using up that magic. As you get older, your membrane grows and creates a sort of harbor for your foci, or perhaps a reservoir. It slows the ambient flow of magic into you, but you are able to retain more mana."
  13. > You realise that you have slipped into lecture mode
  14. > You give Anon a sheepish smile
  15. "I'm not boring you, am I?"
  16. > He shakes his head, a strange glint in his eye
  17. > "No, this is fascinating. So what you are saying is, I would need a magical focus to use magic, but even if I did, it would be prone to spontaneous spells, since I have no membrane."
  18. > You feel your heart sink as you remember why Anon asked for the full body scan in the first place
  19. "I'm sorry, Anon. I'm afraid you won't be able to use magic at all."
  20. > He shrugs
  21. > "It's probably because there is no magic where I come from, so I wouldn't grow the organs necessary to use it. I was expecting that, to tell the truth."
  22. > A thought occurs to you
  23. "Anon, there's something you should know. The thaumaturgical membrane also lets you resist spells. Since you don't have one..."
  24. > You frown, thinking of some of your creepier classmates from Canterlot
  25. "You wouldn't be able to resist a charm spell, or anything like that. Let me know if you suddenly feel strange, and don't believe in love at first sight with a unicorn. Especially if she doesn't seem surprised about it."
  26. > He raises his eyebrows
  27. > "Good to know. Is there some sort of ward, or anything that would protect against that?"
  28. > You chew on your lip, thinking
  29. "Crystals have something like a membrane, so if you wear some around your body, it should disrupt whatever spell  they throw at you. Make sure you hide a few, the sort of mare that would try something is used to normal jewelry arrangements."
  30. > Anon nods thoughtfully
  31. > "Thanks Twilight, I'm glad I talked to you about it."
  32. > You smile
  33. "Glad to help!"
  34. > He gets up with a sigh that almost sounds indecent
  35. > "Sounds like I should visit a certain fabulous horse. See you around, Twilight."
  36. > You walk him to the door of the castle
  37. "Likewise, Anon. And if you ever want to know more about magic, just let me know!"
  38. > He chuckles
  39. > "I'll do that."
  40. > As he walks away, you eye his shifting posterior
  41. > ...
  42. > You do still have his body scan
  43. > Perhaps you could fabricate a pillow, as well as something for, ah, penetrating self-insight
  44.  
  45.  
  46. > Be Rarity, minding the counter
  47. > It is something of a slow day, as you are in the middle of the spring season of fashion
  48. > You pass the time sketching out designs on a pad, searching for inspiration
  49. > Then the door opens with a chime, and you put on your business smile
  50. "Welcome to Carrousel Beautique, where- oh, Anon, how may I help you?"
  51. > The tall janefilly smiles sheepishly
  52. > "Remember when I said your designs were too gaudy?"
  53. > You huff, partly sincere in your anger, however,
  54. > Delight bubbles up inside you
  55. > You can practically taste the fabulousity  that is about to occur
  56. > But you absolutely must not let that show
  57. "I do remember you saying something of the sort."
  58. > You make a show of examining your forehoof
  59. "If you still feel that way, I can't imagine why you would be here."
  60. > Anon sighs
  61. > "I'm sorry Rarity, I didn't realise you were just trying to protect me."
  62. > You look up abruptly, searching his face for some sign of duplicity
  63. "Protect you?"
  64. > He nods
  65. > "I heard about charm spells from Twilight, and well..."
  66. > He shudders
  67. > The poor dear, to have been sheltered from the dark side of mares for so long, finding out must have been a shock
  68. > At once you realise the reason for his change of heart
  69. > You had hoped to get a little flirty with the measurements, but that would be in poor taste now
  70. "I understand completely, Darling. Now, there are few options for what you are looking for. If you want completely hidden protection, I can make something with very thin, flat gems sewn between two layers of cloth. It is significantly warmer that may be comfortable for you, however."
  71. > He nods
  72. > "I'll probably want some of those for winter."
  73. "Indeed. For warmer weather, the trade off is between how many of the gems will be in the open, and how many you can stand rubbing against your skin. I can hide a few in collars and hems and such, but for the most part, it's either comfort or more easily avoided protection."
  74. > Anon rubs his chin, considering
  75. > "Let's try one of each, and I'll see how I feel about it after wearing them around. How much would it be for one of each kind of outfit?"
  76. > You wave your hoof dismissively
  77. "I wouldn't dream of charging for your safety, Darling. Once we get you into something where you can feel safe, then we can start talking about prices and adding to your wardrobe."
  78. > He smiles softly at you
  79. > "Thank you, Rarity, I appreciate that."
  80. > Your heart beats ever so slightly faster at the sight
  81. > You do your best to ignore it, focusing instead on measurements and possible designs for Anonymous' unusual frame
  82. "You are quite welcome, Anonymous."
  83. > As the last word of the pleasantry leaves your lips, you devote yourself to the cause of Fabulousity once more
  84.  
  85. > Be Roseluck, minding the shop
  86. > The bells on the door jingle as it opens, and you are not surprised to see that resident alien walk through the door, pulling his little shopping wagon
  87. "Welcome back, Anon. Thinking about adding to your flower garden?"
  88. > He smiles
  89. > "Got it in one. I figure I should have a large crop for when company comes by. I'm thinking tulips this time, twenty should be good."
  90. > You raise an eyebrow
  91. "You sure lilies wouldn't be better?"
  92. > He tilts his head at you
  93. > "Are they?"
  94. > You grin knowingly
  95. "Didn't you hear the rumor? A secret somepony has been planting flowers in the Ponyville cemetary. Imagine my surprise when I find that it's the same assortment as your flower garden."
  96. > Anonymous starts to sweat
  97. > "What a coincidence..."
  98. > You roll your eyes at his poor acting
  99. "Well, I think it's sweet. As a matter of fact, if I were ever to meet that special secret somepony, I might offer them a discount on their order."
  100. > He blinks
  101. > "Oh. Well, yes, I think I will buy the lilies then."
  102. > You head into the back and load up two trays of the potted flowers
  103. > As you do, you call over your shoulder
  104. "If you don't mind telling, what inspired your little project?"
  105. > You grab the first tray with your forehooves and totter back to the counter
  106. > Anon is looking down at his shirt, an understated black polo with actual emerald accents
  107. > "I've been on the receiving end of a lot of kindness here at Ponyville, and I thought this was something I could do to pay it back a little."
  108. > Not specifically to Rarity?
  109. > You have a chance, then
  110. > You smile at him
  111. "As I thought, you're just the sweetest thing."
  112. > He blushes, speechless
  113. > You set the tray before him and turn around, sashaying slightly on the way into the back room
  114. > When you return with the other set of flowers, he has recovered a little, but his cheeks are still noticiably pink
  115. > You regrettably return to business
  116. "That will be twenty bits, Anon."
  117. > He carefully counts out the money before setting it on the counter
  118. > "Thanks for this, Roseluck."
  119. > You sweep the bits into the register drawer with practiced ease
  120. > You lean your elbows on the counter and rest your chin on your hooves
  121. "Well, it's not like I don't get anything out of it. The cemetery is practically one big advertisement for my shop now."
  122. > He picks up the first tray, the muscles in his arms tensing in a way that makes you lick your lips
  123. > "Huh. Well, I'm glad it worked out that way."
  124. > He turns around and crouches as he sets the tray in his wagon
  125. > DatFlank.floralarrangement
  126. > He retrieves loads the second tray just as distractingly
  127. > "See you around, Roseluck. And thanks again."
  128. > You smile at the sweet stallion
  129. "No problem, Anon. And come around whenever you like, I can always use the company."
  130. > He nods and pushes on the door
  131. > "I'll take you up on that sometime."
  132. > With that he heads out into the street, door closing behind him
  133. > You sigh
  134. > One of these days you really should ask him out on a date
  135. > Oh well, you'll have plenty of chances later
  136. > For now you stow the receipt in the drawer and settle in to wait for the next customer
  137.  
  138. > Be Fluttershy, heading home from town
  139. > A sparkle in the distance down the road catches your eye
  140. > You walk sedately towards it, wondering what it could be
  141. > As you draw closer, you recognize the tall, lanky figure
  142. > Sunlight glints off the small gems in his clothes pleasantly
  143. > You are glad for Anonymous
  144. > Ever since he got his new clothes from Rarity a few months ago, he has been much more confident
  145. > You never realized how much he was intimidated by magic users
  146. > In a strange way, you felt a certain kinship with him
  147. > If only you could overcome your fears so easily...
  148. > Oh!
  149. > That's right, you have to tell him about the thing
  150. > You trot towards him, mustering your courage
  151. "Hello, Anonymous."
  152. > He turns and smiles
  153. > "Good afternoon, Fluttershy. Doing well, I hope?"
  154. > You draw up along side him, trotting to keep up with his long strides
  155. "Oh yes, very well. And how have you been?"
  156. > "Can't complain. Oh, and the fish you got me were delicious, thank you."
  157. > You smile at him
  158. "I'm glad to hear that."
  159. > Silence falls for a moment as you try to find the least alarming words possible
  160. "Anonymous, I have something to tell you."
  161. > He raises his eyebrows
  162. > "Yes?"
  163. "My little friends told me about a new monster in the Everfree. I figured that since you also live pretty close, you should know."
  164. > He stops walking and looks at you with wide eyes
  165. > "Is it magical?"
  166. > Oh
  167. > This poor stallion, even with all his precautions, of course he is still afraid of magic
  168. > You smile reassuringly up at him
  169. "It might be, but don't worry. Twilight is tracking it down. I'm sure she can deal with. And, um..."
  170. > You feel your cheeks redden
  171. "If you like, you can stay with me until it's gone. If you want to."
  172. > You said it!
  173. > Aw yeah, you are so marely right now!
  174. > Anonymous smiles gratefully at you, tousling your mane with his hand
  175. > Mmmm, nice
  176. > "Thanks for the warning and the offer, Fluttershy. I think I'll trust in Twilight, and just stay away from the forest. That should be safe enough, right?"
  177. > Oh
  178. > Of course, moving in with a mare is kinda drastic, especially a colty mare like you
  179. > You manage a cheerful expression for Anonymous
  180. "You're right, you'll be fine just depending on Twilight."
  181. > You hold back a sigh
  182. > You wish you could be as powerful as Twilight, so that stallions could depend on you
  183. > Anonymous crouches down, wrapping you in his arms
  184. > You freeze, unsure what to do
  185. > He smells so nice
  186. > "Hey, if I do see that monster, I'll come straight to you, and you can use your stare on it, alright?"
  187. > You smile and return the hug, warmth blooming in your chest
  188. "Of course. You can depend on me."
  189. > He gives you an extra squeeze, mashing his chest against your tuft, then releases you
  190. > He stands up and gives your head a final pat, then starts off to his home
  191. > "See you around, Fluttershy!"
  192. > You wave to him
  193. "Y-you too!"
  194. > As you trot home, you hold your head up high
  195. > Maybe you don't have to be as powerful as Twilight, you can just be yourself
  196.  
  197. > Be Twilight, scanning the Everfree
  198. > You don't have a lot to go on
  199. > Fluttershy's animal friends only told her two things; the monster leaves most of its pretty intact, and it smells like death
  200. > You aren't sure what that last part means
  201. > Does the monster eat mostly carrion? But why would it hunt and then eat so little?
  202. > Perhaps it's some sort of undead...
  203. > You pause
  204. > If it is, then a scan for gravesoil should lead you right to it
  205. > You recall the special composition, shift the parameters of the spell formula, then...
  206. > Your horn pulses
  207. > The chaotic nature of the Everfree interferes somewhat, but you can detect traces near the edge
  208. > As good a starting point as any
  209. > You glide to the largest response area
  210. > As you get closer, you feel uneasy
  211. > Isn't Anonymous' house out this way?
  212. > You flap your wings in earnest, hoping the monster hasn't gotten to him
  213. > You arrive within minutes, just as Anonymous heaves a large chest out of his house
  214. > You descend for a landing
  215. > Wait, doesn't he look bulkier than before?
  216. > And you've never seen that outfit before, white stripes and a guady assortment of colors in between
  217. > It's only when your hooves hit the ground that you understand
  218. > Anonymous sets the chest down at his feet, drawing what you suspect is a gem studded unicorn horn from his hip holster
  219. > The white stripes are bones, the colors are countless feathers
  220. > You feel sick
  221. "Anonymous, where did you get those..."
  222. > He grins, spreading his arms to more fully display his ghoulish suit
  223. > "Impressive, isn't it? Don't worry though, the cemetery was plenty for my purposes."
  224. > You shake your head
  225. "Anonymous, we have to return those bones to their rightful owners. They were not meant to be used this way. You are skirting too close to dark magic."
  226. > He frowns at you
  227. > "Yes, I thought you might say something like that. Well, give my regards to our friends."
  228. > Before you can speak, he waves the bejeweled horn and vanishes in a flash of light
  229. > You immediately cast a scrying spell on his astral tunnel, rapidly fading as it is
  230. > You follow through, bracing the structure with your own magic
  231. > You arrive several miles away from town, with Anon nowhere to be seen
  232. > You scry again for astral tunnels, finding  one far above you, already dangerously small
  233. > He has too far a lead, and he knows where he is going
  234. > With a heavy heart, you return to Ponyville
  235. > You have a letter to send to Celestia
  236.  
  237. > From time to time as the months turn into years, you hear news of Gravelord Incognito
  238. > Tales of heroism, accounts of war crimes, cities saved and treasures stolen
  239. > He even shows up under a different name in a recent Daring Do novel
  240. > Fluttershy, the poor mare, keeps his house clean
  241. > You knew she had a thing for him, but even so...
  242.  
  243. > Be Fluttershy, in Anonymous' bedroom
  244. > His scent lingers deliciously
  245. > You lay sprawled on the bed, huffing at his pillow
  246. > Your ears prick at the clatter of bones on wood
  247. > At once, you leap out of bed and glide down the stairs to the entry hall
  248. > You arrive as Anon finishes tucking his suit into the hidden closet by the door
  249. > You lean against the wall, standing on your hind legs nonchalantly like a cool marely mare
  250. > He stands, sweat glistening on his bare skin
  251. > Mmmm, mama likes~
  252. > He gives you a warm smile
  253. > "Honey, I'm home."
  254. "Welcome home honey. Now give me some sugar."
  255. > He leans in and kisses you, filling you with love, confidence, and a little tongue
  256. > You respond in kind, the only mare marely enough to tame this wild stallion
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