Rose becomes suspicious at Quill's questions, which isn't entirely unreasonable. How could Quill have known her name when she hasn't introduced herself? "Why? Who wants to know?" She sounds defensive now, and Quill flushes with embarrassment. 'Shouldn't have said her name,' she thinks.
"Like I said, we want to help. I...I know what's going on, and I want to stop it." She fights to remember which story Rose is from, her background, the plot. It comes to her slowly--it was an alternate universe story in which a tyrannical ruler whose face nopony had ever seen overthrew Celestia and Luna. Shortly after this, ponies went missing, only to later turn up on the front lines of the battle between Equestrians and the ruler's minions, but they were fighting for the wrong side. Quill had never officially written the detail into the stories, but she had always had the idea that Rose Harmony had lost somepony dear to her to this dictator. She thought about her characters on nights she couldn't sleep and came up with deeper stories for them, and she remembered spending two nights in a row thinking about Rose Harmony. What else had she decided? Who was the pony she'd lost? The memory is fuzzy, but she decides to take a chance on it.
"We can help you get your marefriend back." At this statement, Rose looks sharply at Quill, looking almost angry.
Fox smiled. "We're not joking. We want to help you get her back". She looked at Quill before turning back to Rose. "If we can help you at all we are willing to do so". She grinned. "Quill, well, sometimes she'll know things before they happen or ponies before we meet them. I'm just here to help her help you".
She hoped the 'Quill knows stuff' explanation would help because explaining to Rose that she was literally a figment of Quill's imagination was only likely to make things more complicated.
Quill nods along with Fox Fire's explanation, though Rose still seems skeptical. She stares at her harp, plucking out a simple, faint melody as she decides whether she should trust a pair of teenagers. Finally, she looks at them again, a determined expression replacing her suspicious one.
"Alright, I'll trust you. What's the plan?" Quill bites her lip. She hadn't expected Rose to demand a plan of action immediately, so she decides to stall while she thinks of something.
"I'm going to need you to tell me everything first, Rose." The pink-haired pony rolls her eyes, muttering under her breath something along the lines of "I thought you knew everything." The former pegasus sighs and tries again. "I know some things, but I can't always see details. I just need you to fill in the story, please." So, reluctantly, Rose begins.
She tells the tale of her love, Bass Clef, and how after the overthrow of the government, they did all they could to stay out of the dictator's sights. But something happened, something Rose never understood, and Bass was taken. She tells how she spent weeks worrying about her missing marefriend, wondering what could have happened. She tells how a pony showed up at her front door one day, a soldier. How he told her that he'd spotted Bass Clef in the battle, and that she was fighting for the dictator. She says she doesn't know much, except that her love is still out on the battlefield, in danger. She explains that she isn't sure how she can approach the task of rescuing Bass, but surely it'll be easier with two extra ponies.
As she speaks, Quill forms a plan, though one that would require her being able to harness the power of her dream. She'll need to believe in herself completely in order to help Rose overcome the struggles ahead of her.
Fox listened to Rose's problem, wondering what they would need to do. She was unsure how they coudl help since if there was a battle going on she was a little under-skilled as far as actual fighting went.
Realizing that they might be able to work out a plan together, she ushered Quill a little bit away from Rose and smiled. "Have you any ideas. I suspect I might need more information to work out what to do?".
"Alright, Fox," Quill smiles, looking a bit excited. "This will be fairly easy." She pauses. "For you, anyway. You're going to need to stay with Rose and escort her in. Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself." She takes a breath and calms herself so that she can start at the beginning.
"When I created Rose, she was essentially just somepony who had a grudge against the dictator. She didn't really have a backstory or a reason, but over time she kind of grew in my head. She came to have a marefriend, who was taken by the dictator's agents and transformed through painful magical experimentation into what is, essentially a mindless supersoldier. The story isn't finished yet, but I had planned for Rose to infiltrate the dictator's fortress with the help of two other rebels, who had been trained in combat. We're going to have to play the parts of those ponies. Now, obviously, neither one of us is particularly skilled at combat, so that's where things get difficult. This whole plan will rely on me being able to believe things into existence, but we probably don't have time to practice before the dream advances us. That's why you need to stay with Rose. You've already shown that you can make things happen, so you need to keep her safe. You could probably try believing that you know how to do things you don't, as well. Like fighting." Her suggestion was something she was dying to know about and she was looking forward to finding out if it were true.
"There should be a way into the fortress, one that the dictator's foreign spies use to enter unseen. It'll be guarded, but I have a plan to take them out. After that we're going to have to sneak through the halls as quietly as possible. I know where he'll be, we just have to get there without getting caught. Sound like a plan?"
Fox nodded at Quill's instructions. "I can keep Rose safe. You can do what you need to do". She smiled as she realised something. "You managed to unconsciously effect this when you made your wings disappear because you didn't believe you could fly".
She smiled. "You just need to believe in yourself enough to do what you'll need to do. I believe in you and you need to do the same".
As Quill had predicted, the three ponies quickly find themselves standing on one side of a long, rickety bridge. Perhaps with a bit of help on Quill's part (or perhaps it's the way the dream went), she and Fox wear the simple armor she had planned to outfit the rebels in. This would prove a significant advantage for the former pegasus at the very least. While Fox keeps the sword she had imagined for herself at the beginning, the dreamer appears with a crossbow and a large supply of bolts. She checks herself as soon as the new surroundings settle in, making sure her armor is correct and that she can reach both her bow and bolts easily. Satisfied that all is in place, she studies the bridge, then turns to her companions.
"This isn't going to be an easy task," She informs them. "Everything has to go just right. We have to have perfect timing. That palace up there," she points to a structure on top of a hill that lies across the bridge. "It's nearly airtight. Rose, you remember what you have to do?" To test her theoretical powers, Quill attempts to believe wholeheartedly that she has already explained the plan in detail to both of them. To her relief, Rose nods, looking determined. "Good. Fox, do you remember your part?" Just to be certain, she makes a point of thinking through her plan again.
In reality, of course, their timing would not have to be perfect, as it was quite possible they could simply will themselves to have perfect timing. In fact, if they could not manipulate the dream that way, then they would certainly have an encounter with a few guards. In such a situation, Quill herself would serve as a distraction while Fox got Rose away from the encounter. If everything went smoothly, Fox would lead the harpist to the dungeons, where they would free Bass Clef, while the writer would continue on to the throne room to set the rest of the plan in motion. The goal was to capture the dictator and avoid or incapacitate any guards they saw.
Fox nodded as she noted Quill seemed to be more confident than she had been. "I understand". She walked over to Rose. "I think we're ready to go". She glanced at Quill, "Good luck".
Fox paused as she considered what would happen if something bad happened to Quill while she was helping Rose capture her marefriend. She guessed it was probebly a risk she was going to have to take while she was rescuing Bass from the dungeon. "Rose, are you ready".
Rose takes a deep breath and nods, while Quill gives them both a confident look. She hopes neither can tell it's fake. Then she turns and leads the way across the bridge, trying not to glance back in case it gives her fear away.
She keeps the thought in her head that the trio will stay together until they reach a doorway that will lead to the dungeons. She remembers that this door is quite a way into the palace, meaning she won't have to be alone for a while. Unfortunately, the dream seems to speed up time and they arrive at the back door much quicker than she'd anticipated. As per her plan, she puts on an air of confidence and saunters up to the guards, demanding to be let in. Of course, they refuse.
"Look, kid, we don't let no dumb pranksters in here. Scram." She believes with all her might that for this short time she is a spy. It works partially, essentially convincing her she can act the part well enough, but she finds herself unable to alter the dream completely.
"Excuse me?" She sneers at the minions, and they look a bit taken aback. "You morons must not know who I am. I don't know if He told you," She thinks for a moment that he has, "but He has requested our very valuable presence here today." The teenager glares at each one in turn. "And you are holding us back from a meeting of great importance."
The ruse works. The guards, looking flustered and somewhat terrified, allow the trio to pass by. It's a special sort of pleasure that Quills gets from this, being able to influence such imposing figures simply by believing that she can. She swaggers past them, staying in character until the guards close the doors behind Rose and Fox.
"That worked on them, but it probably won't work on anypony else. We'll have to fight or hide from now on. Keep that in mind." As she says this, she drags them around the corner, crouching in a shadow and willing herself not to be seen by the patrol. "And make sure you keep your voices down," she adds once they've passed.
Fox moved closer to Quill, keeping to the shadows and whispering. "I guess this is where we split up". She smiled. "We can do this, You can do this". She felt a little reassured that Quill seemed to be coming out of her shell and hoped that Quill would be okay on her own.
She drew her sword and tuned back to Rose, putting on her serious face. "You better take the lead, you know more about the layout of this place than I do".
Quill is nervous as Fox and Rose walk away. She has a bad feeling about walking by herself. And as if to prove this feeling right, she almost immediately runs into three patrol guards. They shout, and the young former-pegasus shouts, caught by surprise. She feels panic begin to rise in her. Fox and Rose are not too far away yet and part of her hopes they will stick to the plan for them to run from trouble, while another part wishes for them to help her.
She manages to pull out her crossbow and load it with shaking hooves before they reach her. She fires, but it goes wide and suddenly they're too close and she's forced into close combat. She uses the bow as a shield, mostly--blocking hits from the swords the guards carry. She knows she's overpowered as the three form a circle around her and she lets out one last shout for Fox and Rose.
"Run!" As the word leaves her mouth, she feels a sword pierce her back, and if somepony were looking, they'd see a shocked and pained expression before she burst into dust.
Fox stopped as she heard Quill's shout from behind her, fighting the urge to head back and help her. She knoew what the mission was but Fox was depply worried that if anyhing bad happened to Quill the consequences could be unpalatable.
She looked at Rose as the thought occured to her that Quill had worked the plan out herself. She needed to find Bass Cleff and running back to help Quill would only make that impossible. With a heavy heart, Fox turned to Rose. "Damn it, we're going to have move faster, chances are they are going to know that at least one rebel is here".
Though Quill is now gone, the dream continues as normal. Rose throws an apprehensive glance over her shoulder, then leads Fox to a door not too far down the hall. When opened, it reveals a stairway, well lit and empty. She pauses, finding it suspicious, but the thought of her marefriend sitting in a dungeon pushes her forward.
At the bottom of the stairs, they are faced with two guards, as they had expected. They can fight and take them by surprise, try to sneak by them though the chances are incredibly slim, or try to talk their way through.
Fox slowed as she saw the two guards, trying for a second to work out how to deal with them. She glanced at Rose and nodded as she realised that she would have to fight someone some time then turned to the guards.
With a yell of "FOR EQUESTRIA!", Fox charged at the guards, tying to whack one about the head with her sword.
Alerted by Fox's shout, the guards whip around just in time for one of them to take the flat of a blade to the face. He slumps to the ground while the other charges at the young unicorn, attempting to disarm her.
Rose, meanwhile, steps off to the side and lets him forget about her as she sneaks around behind him. She draws her dagger slowly so it doesn't make a sound, then drives it into his side. Like Quill, he bursts into dust. In the pile he leaves is a ring of keys, which the harpist takes. She then takes off down the row of cells, glancing in each one for the pony she wants. A question of "Rose?" is what alerts her.
"Bass!" She rushes forward, fumbling with the keys until she finds the right one to unlock the cell. The door opens, but Bass doesn't move. She stares blankly forward as Rose embraces her, nuzzling her cheek. "Bass, I missed you so much..." But the pony barely seems to register that she's there. The harpist pulls back tearfully, realizing that her marefriend has been corrupted already. She sniffles, then pulls herself together and drags Bass Clef out of the cell.
"We need to get out of here. We need to meet up with your friend. Maybe she knows a way to cure Bass."
The Fun Has Been Doubled! is a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic moderate-to-advanced forum roleplay. Set after the events of the fifth season, we currently have no overarching plot. Instead, we simply have created the world of Equestria for you as a giant playground to have fun in and to explore the magic of friendship. Canon characters and original characters are available for you to play as, both ponies and non-pony species alike! Just remember that we are account-per-character and we'll be fine!
So why don't you stay for a while, look around, and let us know if we should get a welcome party started for you.