Post by Mirage Oasis on Jul 31, 2015 19:23:27 GMT -6
The Everfree forest was a dangerous place, a forest filled with odd magical fauna and flora. These creatures ranged from cute, to mischievous, to downright malicious. For the moment, mischievous seemed pretty dominant. Mirage Oasis, a changeling, walked through the forest, green flames cascading down her body as she dropped her disguise in favor of saving energy. Ponies NEVER came into Everfree forest. They were scared of it. Most of them didn't have the magic, or the bravery, to enter.
Mirage, however, found it quite peaceful. It was the only place she could call her spell off, both her spells off. She liked to keep an illusion on over her changeling form, just in case the guards decided to do a particularly tough sweep of the area she was in...but here she was safe from guards. Instead she could focus on her studies of love, focusing her thoughts. With a bright flash of green light a large stack of papers appeared in front of her. Memories. Each page was about a days worth, front and back. They only had what mattered though, not the details. Who her 'victims' were, no. How she fooled them, yes! How they tasted? Definitely.
She had found a nice tree, one where the ground under it had been washed away, leaving a bunch of roots. She set a fire in the middle and posted the papers all around on the roots. "Okay." she said aloud. "Today....running low again, yesterday, the grifflet. Sweet~...young ones don't have enough energy to deal with feedings."
Zecora lingered in her cloak, sitting on a tree stump next to a carved staff, her hood off and ears pivoting as she nibbled on a fully green bread with purple spots in it, a bread made of a minimum of her grain stores, ground everfree grottoweed, and simple blueberries. A distant hiss flowed through the trees. She listened ... and did not tense. Sometimes, families of banded hoofbiter serpents were clever enough to use the distant waterfalls as cover for their sounds, but if one listened close enough, they could hear a slight spit to the hiss. Traversing the area was safe today.
She stood, dusted off the crumbs, put her staff on a loop under her cloak, and continued her path up a small incline, the shoulder of a hill, her coat above her hooves gathering the green of leafy plants and undergrowth. She stopped at the top and looked down into a tiny wooded valley or a wide gulch of strong, tall trees almost large enough to be made into a home like hers. She had come to name this place Shelter Gulch, for an abandoned shack at the end hidden by vines. Sometimes she'd use the shack for shelter during deeper, explorations of the forest.
She hopped forward and started a slide down the wall of the hill, the undergrowth wet and slippery. She leaned into her inside hooves as she made it to the bottom, keeping her hoofing as she hopped from the landing to level ground. "... young ones don't have enough energy to deal with feedings." She let the inertia slow and die out, and she kept still, sound flowing much differently in the gulch, but it was too late. Something about the sentence she heard told her she wanted the element of surprise, an element now lost. She pressed to the trunk of a tree and listened.
Post by Mirage Oasis on Aug 5, 2015 21:20:04 GMT -6
Mirage's large ears twitched as she heard something...or at least thought she did. The sound stopped as soon as she noticed it. Mira had a tendency to be paranoid and was known to make up sounds out of thin air...but she always went and investigated to make sure she was actually alone. Her hooves were surprisingly silent despite the rough and crunchy forest floor. There was a slight rustle, but to the untrained ear it would easily be dismissed as the sound of the forest, or wind.
The green flame under the tree continued, but never once caught the shadow of its maker for more than a moment, before it stopped showing all together. The sound of buzzing wings hung in the air coming from somewhere in the canopy. It stopped. A few branches snapped, leaves fell from a few different places above. After that there was only rustling It would get closer, then farther, then closer again. Then, after one particularly close rustle, it stopped, as the forest dimmed slightly, directly above two glowing green eyes were visible, just barely able to be differentiated from the leaves.
A hiss, filled the air "It's not polite to eavesdrop." Mirage said, dropping from the trees, her wings keeping her from falling too fast. "What did you hear me say?" she said, her head low and fangs EXTRA bared. She wasn't exactly sure how she'd handle this. The only other time she had been caught she had run away from her home, but she didn't currently have a home, so that wasn't really an option, and she REALLY didn't want to leave Equestria. She wondered if she could overpower this mare, take her place, it usually wasn't something Mirage liked to do, but she also couldn't allow this mare to tell everyone a changeling was around the city... she would be peaceful. For now.
Zecora skipped back from the creature on strong legs, her hooves touching ground a couple meters from where she launched, using the acceleration to help slip her short staff from its straps and bring it to point forward towards the tall figure from the crook of a foreleg, a cord binding a bundle of hollowed-out seeds near the blunt end of the tool. She looked out from under her hood with her wits gathered to what had landed in front of her. As her eyes gathered the sight, her heart quickened and her ears pinned back. Just when the Everfree had seemed to show her all its dangers, she thought, there was a most hazardous stranger.
A Changeling. That much she knew immediately by the chitinous flesh and the perforated legs. She had heard much of them through the years, and knew enough to know that what bared gleaming fangs at her was no standard Changeling. By the height, the jagged horn, and the non-compound eyes ... this was a Queen, and if the situation got any worse, she knew that it could become a dire fight. She would have to choose her words carefully. "I heard you say that youths would be left needing if they were subjected to your Changeling feeding. And so I immediately ask if you intend evil to the colorful ponies of Ponyville."
Post by Mirage Oasis on Aug 15, 2015 17:05:09 GMT -6
Her prey was quick. That posed a problem. Mirage wasn't good with her wings, so if the Zebra ran...well, that was the end of things. So being aggressive went out the window real quick. That wasn't her forte anyways. She would need to convince this mare that she wasn't dangerous...and then decide whether or not it would hold true.
She changed her stance from 'ready to defend' to standing straight and tall. Her regal gaze fell harshly upon the zebra. It was no longer predatory, but defensive and unsure. A ruse from Mirage, but an effective ruse. "I didn't have a choice. I was starving, she wasn't scared of me, she might have been the only one I'd ever meet in that town that would let me feed on her...but even a light snack tired her immensely." she slowly took a few steps forward, eyeing the zebra carefully.
"I would have been injured if anyone else had found me. They would have chased me...but running, I wouldn't have been able to keep that up." she lit her horn ablaze, adding some light to their environment "You aren't scared of me though, you're ready to fight me for those of Ponyville. You're quite brave, but you can relax. I don't want to fight. I just want to live in peace." she sat down, hopefully a little closer to the Zebra. She tried to think of ways to make her forget what she had seen...but Mirage didn't have magics of that magnitude.
As the Changeling spoke, Zecora had relaxed the tension in her body only somewhat. If the other was going to speak, she would not waste her strength being too ridged, and there was so much to pay attention to -- the wings, the fangs, the horn -- that if the Changeling tried to surprise her, she would only get one strike in at the height of focus before one of the dangerous magical pony's assets would be her undoing. The smartest move, as she kept the distance between them, had been to listen carefully to the creature's words. Her mind informed her. Either this was an unusual mare in desperate need that made desperate decisions, or she was the same as any snake in the grass. She took a deep breath, still watching the Changeling, and Zecora listened widely and deeply.
Above in the trees, the whooping calls of a pair of thistlechimps where long and conversational. Somewhere else, chicks in a nest where twittering for the catch of their mother. If the nestlings were not quiet out of fear of thistlechimps gone silent and all was casual, then the Everfree around them spoke to the resonance of this Changeling; the Everfree did not consider her a threat. Zecora raised her stance. "I hear your words and notes considered and clever too, but I am not befuddled. Our hosts eat each other for food and yet think your words are true, that you do not wish to struggle." She slipped her staff back into its sling, glancing around at their surroundings. "Though as a stranger stopping I am rude, I now have business in the matter of your food. For if I am to turn the eye, I would know why you feed on my friends in disguise."
Post by Mirage Oasis on Aug 24, 2015 0:30:48 GMT -6
At first Mira had chalked up the rhyming to be a coincidence. It was now clear that she was wrong. There was a full rhyming scheme in two separate statements...how curious. This was a very serious situation and the mare was taking precious moments to rhyme? Mira would have considered it disrespectful if it didn't seem so entirely separate from the situation. Zecora didn't stumble of words or think, she only spoke just as naturally Mirage herself. This gave mirage the idea that it was...normal for her to speak like that. What a ridiculous quirk.
Even more ridiculous though was her question. Why she fed in disguise, though she supposed it was probably just a question of why she fed. It was still met with the changeling's ire. "Why? Why?" she said, indignant. "I don't exactly get a say as a changeling. I need love, and no one would love this" she said, motioning towards her self, "So I have to make due by abilities." she said heatedly. Everyone knew changeling's fed on love. It was hard to come by willingly, despite usually being easily replaced, so Mirage was quite more annoyed than she would be at any other insensitive remark. "I would change it was possible, but its not, understood?" she said clearly.
"The speech you sound is like water as it is clear, but the reach behind it is like hair before the fear. You say that your methods come from a lack of liberty, that your spider sleek shaded and fangs restrict. But from experience empirical I know ponies see good in the earnest who have left them untricked. They are easy to scare but easy to care if you approach in honest airs, but this way I expect you have not dared." She did not deliver her words in a haughty tone, but as warmly as she could despite the wholly contradictory message of it all, but it was true. There was always at least one pony in that town as enterprising as they were compassionate. Perhaps she could convince the Changeling to give them a try ... if the Changeling was sincere.
Post by Mirage Oasis on Sept 5, 2015 15:31:38 GMT -6
Zecora's very words made Mirage uncomfortable. The idea of trying to feed without a disguise, without trickery was preposterous. It was unsafe. Mirage wasn't in the buisness of risking her life any more so than existing already did. "You aren't a changeling." she said coldly, "You wouldn't understand...but I'll try to explain this in the simplest terms possible" Her piercing eyes locked onto Zecora's.
"If a miracle happens and somehow a perfect choice is made and the pony doesn't panic or throw things or yell for help, I still won't have anything to eat. They won't love me. They might feel sorry for me, but they'll also be suspicious and always have the idea that I'm only doing this for a meal and I will be. And if in a moment of divine intervention, the pony falls in love with me," she sighed, finally breaking her eye contact. " I will still need more than one to feed on without them being tired often. While you may not worry for my health, I do, very much so. You ask too much for too little. I wil-...would need more insurance than the word of a strange striped pony that frequents Everfree and speaks in rhyme."
Zecora held the Changeling's glare with a blue, breathing calm through the condescension of her words. Her ears began to unpin, her tail dared to move, and the coat of her shoulder started to flatten with the rest of her fur. The sleek creature looked away, and Zecora slowly sat. The Zebra sat with shoulders a little close and coiled, so her neck was relaxed but tall, and she regained her casual, knowing smile. "Ah, and so you do, for your safety is of concern too, but who proves my point true is none other than you. In the way you made the choosing of your thoughts, you're the answer you sought. Miracle, intervention, love, health, insurance, all these listed are not a casual dissonance. They're things needed and craved and in ponies' thoughts so impressively portrayed that they live in the dreams and greet again with the sunrise beams. Having feelings that you know ponies would find in pair, could you truly not imagine that that the ponies would extend the sympathetic air? I wonder, if with good feeling you came to them, how long the hours would be until they could make you one of them? Even from afar, you must have noticed that in good will these ponies find good ways, and with their help you may not have to predate for all your days."
Post by Mirage Oasis on Sept 22, 2015 2:24:35 GMT -6
Mirage groaned. This pony didn't get it. No wonder she lived in the woods, alone. Her fancy words were meaningless! They were idealistic. Even if they had a 50/50 chance of happening, which Mira thought was a VERY generous assumption, she wouldn't risk it. She had seen ponies act kind to get what they want. She had seen ponies act kind for the specific purpose of luring out changelings and she HADN'T seen changeling's return to the hive when they fell for such a ruse. "My imagination stretches farther than you know, but it is just that: imagination." she said, her agitation growing. Then she had an idea. If this mare was so sure of other's kindness, then she surely would practice such an idea.
"Of course, maybe I would entertain the idea...if I was assured I had the choice, on a full stomach." she said, clearly challenging Zecora. "That wouldn't be a problem now would it? "
Zecora's eyes went cold and sharpened. The Changeling was clever with her suggestion. If Zecora denied it, not only would it undermine her faith in Ponyville and her own present words, but there would be no choice but to leave, which would leave Ponyville at the mercy of the creature's predations or leave the creature to be subject to the Everfree's predators, some that were rare, but beyond even her means to subdue. There was only one was to proceed. She considered returning to her hunt for the bones of an Imp Ala for another day. Her eyes softened, and with a very slow first step, she walked right in front of the possible Queen and sat down on the trodden soil, looking up into her eyes.
"I do hope you are prepared to entertain, for I do greatly believe you have home and friends to gain. You would test my deeds for hypocrisy, you would have me take all risk for the sake of my veracity. I accept, Miss Changeling, and am prepared to the pain, and offer your need's worth of Love without anger or disdain." And with that, she brought in a long breath and closed her eyes.
Post by Mirage Oasis on Oct 1, 2015 22:11:11 GMT -6
Mirage's eyes sparkled at the prospect of a fresh meal. She wasn't especially hungry right now, but having more was better than having less. Her fangs bared themselves with a smile as Zecora walked forward and sat down. "Brave I see. I like that...but it's also foolish. I can honestly tell you I'm not the kinda of mare you should put your trust into." she said, her eyes glowing slightly as her horn lit up in green.
She leaned down, crossing neck across the Zebra's shoulder in a way that would usually be considered romantic. "I'll humor you though. Bring another pony somewhere private, and I'll reveal my identity, first thing. If they don't panic, and the encounter goes well...I'll consider adopting different methods." she didn't commit. She couldn't. She had no confidence that it would work or that when it did work, she would benefit enough to change her ways. She didn't believe in this, but in the name of expanding her horizons, and the number of ways for changelings to feed, she had to accept.
"You'll have a week to find a pony, full grown pony, to bring to this meeting and if I suspect a trap I won't show. So either hide your trickery well or don't attempt any. Do these terms work for you? We will have to do something similar several more times before I'll consider a more public showing....just to be clear."
She didn't open her eyes at the soft weight over her shoulder. If she were wrong about the Changeling, this would have been, perhaps, her final comfort, a predator's facsimile of affection among predators with whom any tenderness at all was alien. She listened, stopping and soothing tension rising in her. At any moment, the warmth of her very soul would start to leave her, and memories pushed into her thoughts, showing her what would be lost if this stranger bit too hard into the rind of her spirit. She took another full, deep breath. No ... her life and all the importance of the past would be preserved ... if she were simply food, she would not be worth all these parameters that the Changeling charged her with. She would leave to attempt good after all.
"... Clarity you have brought, and in your terms, I respect the tactical thoughts. However much you intend that your words are bringing a bluff to an end, in a week's time you shall see your wants met fine. A Pony I bring to this meet will surely startle but will not flee. I'll commit this act once, twice, and three, and when it is done and you have four friends to believe, I believe you will see the truth of beliefs is mine, that fangs and phantoms do not need to separate our kinds. Now that you have humored me, I will humor you. Bind our agreement in feeding upon me safe, and I shall leave here to make words come true." She drew breath, and rested her foreleg over the smooth shoulder of the other mare, completing a replica of affection before the meal.
Post by Mirage Oasis on Oct 13, 2015 0:24:20 GMT -6
Mirage was impressed by this mare's resolve. She seemed to actually...be serious about this deal. She was agreeing to all of the terms. She wasn't even trying to loosen them up. That could mean a trap. Maybe she was trying to lower Mirage's guard...but maybe she wasn't. Mirage nearly laughed at the mare putting a hoof around her but she had a job to do. She inhaled deeply, dragging the love out of Zecora, enough for a full meal...but not enough to make the mare overly dizzy. She needed her meal ticket to survive the way home after all.
After taking her fill she released Zecora and looked into her eyes. "I'm not sure I believe you...but I've decided to place my faith in you, for now. Don't betray it...please." she said as sincere as one could believe a changeling like her to be. She then took a step back and disappeared into the shadows of Everfree.
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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