The darkness was falling on Hollow Shades as Spitfire drifted in and landed next to the gazebo in the center of town. A quick look around and she got an odd feeling. Silver inlay was carved into parts of the gazebo, as if to ward something off. She took a lap around the Gazebo and took in the surroundings.
The doors of each of the buildings in this small town seemed to all point toward the same location. The Gazebo. Spitfire figured this place would be town square, where meetings would be held, but until she could find anypony, she wouldn't know....
Come to think of it, it wasn't that late into the night, and yet, no lights came from the buildings, as if everyone was already asleep, or hadn't gotten in. But if the latter were true, there would be ponies milling about still, wouldn't there?
Off to the east of town, toward the treeline, she saw the place that the mysteries had grown from. A mine shaft that had been used to find some gems, little known, but still known well enough to keep the town from dying. She slowly made her way that direction, unaware of what lies ahead, and wishing she had brought someone else with her.
She paused, looking back toward the sky. She should fly back and get someone. She shouldn't be here alone, but... She was already here, and there was light in the mine, and she heard the faint echoes of somepony in there. She could just ask them what was going on and make a call from there. It was too late to do any flying tonight anyway, right?
Last Edit: Aug 26, 2014 23:34:26 GMT -6 by Spitfire
Fire Streak was worried about Spitfire. Recently she had been acting a little... off. No one else seemed to notice, or give it much thought, but he did. Picking up on subtle details was his special talent after all. The stallion had asked Spitfire if things were okay or if something was up and she had told him there was nothing to worry about. If it hadn't been the fact that she hadn't totally been hiding something he would have let it go.
Feeling concern for his captain he had decided to follow her when she left base. Large wings and keen eyes kept him aloft high above the mare as he tailed her. He expected to see her go home, or maybe sneak off to get some icecream or something, but it ended up being quite a long flight. No icecream was worth this long of a flight, especially to the middle of nowhere.
Fire Streak flew a circle around Hallow Shades while Spitfire was looking around. The Wonderbolt wanted to get an appraisal of the place before confronting his captain. The lack of life was unsettling. Everything was dark, and it looked like nopony was out or home. Not even a little candle lit in a window for a filly or colt afraid of the dark. Unsettling town was unsettling.
By the time he had made his rounds Spitfire was looking skyward. Knowing he wouldn't be able to hide very well if she decided to focus even a little bit on looking for something he dove down to land by her. "Okay Captain, spill. Why're we here? This isn't an order that came down official channels, and this place is giving off creepy vibes."
As Spitfire walked along, she paused, looking about. There was no one here, but she couldn't shake that feeling in the back of her mind that she was being watched. After a careful scan of the area she shook her head and continued walking, approaching the light that was coming from the Mine.
Suddenly, someone was there, and talking. And suddenly, Spitfire yelped. A yelp that echoed around them and into the cave, coming back and mocking her. She jumped, turned, and looked at Fire Streak. He was asking questions about why she was here. Moreover, he was asking why there wasn't any records of any official orders to come here.
For just a moment, Spitfire looked like a kid that got caught with her hoof in the cookie jar before she stood straight up, resuming her normal posture. "First and foremost, This isn't official." She said, gesturing to the town around them. "Hollow Shades, it's where my wingpony in the academy came from. She didn't move on to the Wonderbolts, other things having come up." She paused, as if contemplating her next line.
"I got a letter from her, asking a favor to make sure everything was alright, because she was unable to get away from Winter's Rest... Her mother hasn't returned her letters for a few days." Spitfire said, continuing toward the mine. "So, I'm checking things out... Starting with the Mine. You should get back to base."
The yelp and the look were priceless. Fire Streak burned that memory deep into his mind for odds were he'd never witness it again. The Wonderbolt listened to Spitfire explain everything in full. Interrupting someone mid-story to ask a question ran the risk of being told the answer would pop up if they listened. As she spoke though, he began to run the possibilities through his head.
"Helping a friend out, I can dig that. A mother not returning letters could be a sign of concern, especially for someone staged away from home. First thought is illness. When you're sick, there's not much you want to do, but her father could have sent a letter explaining it, or someone else. That's not it." Fire Streak tapped his chin with a wing. "Mail carry held up by highwaymen perhaps? I know out west bandits sometimes rob coaches when they're out in the middle of nowhere where they can't easily get help."
"That wouldn't be it though. If it was a problem along a mail route other ponies would already be investigating it. It could be something else involving the town and why its all silent and creepy. Everything is dark this early. It's not even lights out for the cadets yet. You're right, this does need further investigation, and if something is up you'll need someone watching your flank."
Fire Streak withheld any comments about Spitfire's flank.
Spitfire thought about it for a few moments. She held a look of contemplation while listening to Fire Streak talking. Going over things that were pretty obvious to her. She turned, scanning the town once again. Still a ghost town. The only light was still coming from the Mine. She was going to check things out before going back for a Wingpony on this one, but Fire Streak was already here.
Spitfire smirked and looked to Fire Streak with her usual challenging look. "Heh, you can stick around, but if you get bored it's your fault." She said with a bit of a chuckle, continuing toward the Mines. She'd figure out what was there, and then she'd confer with Streak about what to do next.
As they reached the mouth of the mines, Spitfire paused, shuddering slightly. She'd assumed it was a pegasus thing, not liking enclosed spaces all that much. Less room to fly made her feel trapped. "Bleh, tight spaces. She muttered, taking a few more steps into the mine, hearing some talking up ahead, but still too far away to tell who or what it was, or what they were saying.
"Could never get bored with you around boos." Fire Streak reassured Spit Fire as he followed her. If things got dull he could always bring up one of the many wonderpranks that have been done over the years. Sneaking an ill fitting flight suit into someone's locker to see what they'd do, or a light dusting of itching powder or liquid heat in one. There were also all the parties he had remained sober at during his breaking in period where he could recall details many bolts had forgotten.
Spitfire's dislike of enclosed spaces was indeed a Pegasus trait, and not singular to her. It removed a method of movement, and limited their options quite a bit. Not to mention the thoughts of cave-ins, dragons, and dark winding tunnels that go on forever. Not every cave or mine shaft house Bat Ponies, especially one not this close to town. If they got stuck in there in the dark, there would be no one to help them out but themselves.
Streak's ears were on alert at the first sounds of ponies. He kept quiet and did his best to focus on his senses. The Wonderbolt tried to block out what the temperature felt like, what the cave smelled like, or what his own mouth tasted like, and tried to shift all his attention to his hearing and seeing. Maybe if he hyper focused on it he could pick something out quicker.
Spitfire gave her Wingpony a chuckle. "I'd hope not. I've gotta keep the Bolts happy one way or another, right?" She mused quietly as they rounded the corner. The tunnels were darker. Less and less torches lighting the way. Spitfire muttered to herself, wishing she had brought a flashlight with her. She looked at one of the Torches and grabbed it, carrying it carefully in her jaw. If nothing else, it'd get her to stop talking for a little while.
As they moved into some of the darkest tunnels, the voices were a bit closer, and a little easier to pick out. A few more steps, and Spitfire stepped behind a support beam, in case the owners of the voices came this way. She looked toward Fire Streak, hoping he was out of the way as well.
"...... to Find Pony Food." "Pony food in Pony house!" "That way."
The voices were almost whiny, and the sentence structure seemed broken. Spitfire looked to Fire Streak to see if he knew what they could be as Footsteps moved closer and closer to them. She quickly moved down a small side tunnel a little way to get out of the way of the oncoming things.
Last Edit: Oct 13, 2014 16:56:42 GMT -6 by Spitfire
Fire Streak stayed a few steps behind Spitfire. The stallion was close enough to react to anything that might happen, however it would be unwise to be so close that both of them could fall victim to the same trap. When Spitfire took cover he pressed against the wall as well and listened. There were multiple speakers, and as they spoke he searched his memory for all the possible suspects.
It was unlikely it was dragons. Young dragons could be small enough to make the mines their home, but they wouldn't be very organized. When dragons were concerned power determined who was in charge, and there was no evidence of any sort of dragon's breath weapons outside. It wouldn't be Bat Ponies. While he had heard they used the term bat instead of pony for some of their words, they wouldn't use words like "pony food" or "pony house"
Speaking of pony houses, the speakers were on their way! The Wonderbolt quickly scurried to follow his captain without making too much noise. They didn't need the clopping of hooves on stone or sound of gravel being kicked up to get them cause. "Diamond Dogs. Gotta be." he whispered to Spitfire.
Spitfire was silent as the Diamond Dogs rushed past, and remained still for a few long moments afterward. She nodded, returning to the main hall and continuing on the trail deeper into the mine. "They've got to be here for something. Why would they be going to get Pony Food otherwise?" She asked, moving forward at a brisk pace. The tunnel was getting much darker as they moved.
And then, the tunnel ended. There was nothing else beyond it. An abrupt end. Spitfire cursed under her breath and kicked a small rock, which bounced against a wall. A rumble echoed around them, the floor of the cave shaking slightly as a loud crashing sound echoed from behind the pegasi. "I uh... I didn't do it?"[/sub] Spitfire muttered, looking about. The path they had taken to get here... was no longer a path. Spitfire stared for a loooooooooong moment. Her breath became short and rapid as the claustrophobia kicked in.
Fire Streak stayed close to Spitfire as they moved down the trail. He didn't want to get separated from her, or lag behind enough that one of them might get caught alone. If only one of them got caught, yes, there was the option for the other to still do something, but Streak was in this for the long haul. If one of them was going to get caught, both of them were. As they walked he kept his eyes on the cave walls for anything he might notice in the torch light. Dragons sometimes made their lairs in mines, or mineral rich cave systems. If he could see what the mine was for maybe it could give insight to what they were dealing with.
The crash was certainly unexpected, and the Wonderbolt extended his wings out and wrapped Spitfire in them protectively. Once he was able to get a look around and the fact they were trapped was apparent, Spitfire's breathing became obvious to his ears. The stallion turned to the fiery mare and placed a hoof on her shoulder. Then he made sure to make eye contact and speak in a steady voice. "Take one deep breath and hold it. Count to ten in your head, slowly, then let the air out of your lungs in one slow exhale. Focus right on me captain."
Spitfire was still hyperventilating, looking at the new wall that blocked their escape and pressing on it lightly. It didn't budge. This wasn't a trick, she was trapped. Her wings fluttered spastically, as if trying to figure out what to do. She looked around, her eyes wide as saucers. She had to figure out how to get out of here. Or... NO! She must be asleep. This is all fine. She just needs to pinch herself to wake up. She bit her forehoof and "OW! Wait... Ow? NO! This isn't a dream... this is real..." So much for making herself feel better.
She looked to Streak as he spoke, focusing on him an attempting to take a deep breath. IIIIINandout. IIIINandout. INANDOUT INANDOUT INANDOUT. She let out a bit of a whimper, starting to move toward the dark tunnel to their side, the one that may or may not lead to safety. After a short while she turned and walked toward the tunnel that led deeper into the cave, where the dogs came from, then she rushed back over to the wall and hit it forcefully with her hoof. She needed out, she needed to be in the open. She needed fresh air. "Whatdowedo?"
Last Edit: Jan 31, 2015 1:39:36 GMT -6 by Spitfire
Hyperventilating wasn't a good thing to do. While it was better than not breathing at all, it was only better by a little bit. Air would fill and empty the lungs so fast that only a very small amount of oxygen would reach the blood stream, and could lead to dizziness and other problems. Right now they couldn't afford that. Had he known about her severe claustrophobia beforehand he probably wouldn't have let her go into the mine so easily. Now was not the time to think about how to do things differently, now was the time to deal with the now.
Spitfire's thoughts were probably going super fast, and in as many directions as a group of trainees could go during their first attempts at formation flying. Obviously she wanted out, but there were also ponies to save. At least she wasn't in a panic about the air supply. Fire Streak needed a way to snap her out of it, to get her mind elsewhere at least long enough to simmer down. Right now he wished he had some sort of fleshy appendage to striker her with. A hoof was heavy and solid, a strike would be more like a punch, and not a slap. A slap would sting, and possibly be enough to get her focusing on him than their predicament. If only he had paws with like claws or some other appendages to increase the surface area without adding too much wind resistance.
Oh well he didn't have that. A tail fwap would be too easily ignored, a punch too violent, and a pinch didn't work before. What could deliver an unexpected shock to Spitfire that her brain would have to reboot, or at least switch processing power elsewhere? Fire Steak had an idea, and if it failed, could get him in a LOT of trouble. Better than nothing though, right?
The white Pegasus put a wing on Spitfire and spun her around to face him again. Before she could act or react he pulled her close with a foreleg and kissed her. He kissed her hard and good. It lasted as long as she'd allow, whether she bit him, slapped him, or had to come up for air. Yes, technically it was sexual harassment and she could level some serious charges against him, which he wouldn't deny, but there were bigger things at stake at the moment.
"What we do is find out what's going on here. Save the day. Become big damn heroes. Then get a round of drinks. Right now we have a job to do. The Diamond Dogs that left will clear the tunnel when they get back and see it closed off. So Wonderup Fireflank or take off the uniform."
He was going to be in SO much trouble. Newest guy on the team talking to the boss like that after kissing her out of nowhere. Oh yeah, he'd be dusting off his resume once this was all over.
Spitfire was still panicking, she knew she had to calm down and focus, but she couldn't bring herself to do s.... She was being spun. She saw Fire Streak, who put a hoof around her. She wanted to get away, but what happened happened too fast. Her eyes widened for a moment, and then closed. The kiss wasn't horrible, it was kinda pleasant. She allowed the Kiss to drag on for a little longer before breaking it.
Then Streaks words hit her. "You're right. There are others here that need help... We need... We need to move." She said, stepping away from him and stumbling a bit, her legs slightly wobbly. She stood up straight again, as if nothing happened, Took a breath and walked again. She started walking in the direction that the Diamond Dogs had come from. They were talking about the Ponies that needed Pony food. Maybe they'd find what they were looking for this way.
Most of Spitfires mind was focused on the task at hand, but part of it couldn't help but race at the events that had just happened... She shook her head, trying to put it out of her mind as they worked.
"Good. Glad your heads back in the game." Fire Streak followed after Spitfire, extending a wing to help stabilize her wobble. His mind was on the same track as hers. The missing ponies had to be somewhere, and if they were down here it stood to reason that their food would have to be brought down to them. Even captive ponies needed to be fed sometime.
"I hate to say this captain, but I'm not well versed on the subject of Diamond Dogs. From what I know it's usually the Night Guard that gets sent into tunnels to deal with them whenever they've caused trouble. Once this is all over we'll have a story that'll get us a few drinks, won't we?" Sure he may be out of a job, possibly dishonorably discharged, but free drinks were still free. Future Fire Streak had to look forward to something, right?
Spitfire paused and looked at Fire Streak at the prospect of having a story to get them some drinks. She blinked a few times and papped him on the side of the head with a wing. "Drinks will come later. How about for now we worry about a story that'll save a town of ponies, including ourselves." She said, continuing through the tunnel at a brisk pace.
Another rumble, and a distant crash signaled another tunnel breaking up. Spitfire looked back to Streak again. "We may want to hurry... I'm not sure what the Diamond Dogs have to do with any of this, but we need to find some answers." She said, when down a dark, distant tunnel, she heard a whimpering cry, followed by some soothing words.
"This way!" She said, darting into the darkness away from Fire Streak, disappearing from his sight. Should he follow, he would find a forked tunnel, with voices coming from both! Which way will he go? Will he find the Captain in his choice?
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!
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