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/bootleg/ bunker #4 Anonymous 07/13/2022 (Wed) 01:03:50 No. 11345
IRL bootmare edition Old booted bunker >>8141 - current bread https://derpy.me/boot Welcome to the wild west of copycats & copyright infringement! Here in the bargain bin there's a ton of freedom where things aren't quite right... but a bootleg waifu might still be for you. Bootleg can be many things or cover many genres, but we specialize in knockoffs with tons of heart and soul whether its OCs, or knockoffs of canon. Get ready for feels or fun where they can win you over despite of their inherent flaws. Everything /bootleg/ >The FULL archive; if you want pictures and many more shorts & stories go here https://ponepaste.org/5786, >The WIP wiki; open to edit by anyone who wants to contribute https://derpy.me/bootlegs >Hangout with us on weekends, watch shit or listen to jams. https://cytu.be/r/BootlegMovies Newly binned or continuing shorts & stories >[OC Ivy] T Shirt Mare (Anon) - https://ponepaste.org/7136 >[Flutters] Buttershy (Anon) - >>7511 (6721) >[AJ, Twilight, OC] Jacky Part 12 (Blondie)- https://ponepaste.org/7397 >[Pies] Rosie Rock (FortuneFavors) - https://ponepaste.org/4579 >[Twilight] Twilit Starsky 2: Farmer's Boogaloo (Blondie) - https://ponepaste.org/7398 >[NMM] Midnight Part 4 (AutoPony) - https://ponepaste.org/6733 On a recent hiatus >[Cadence] Condense (ReggieSomething) - https://ponepaste.org/4168 >[Cozy] Demon Filly - https://ponepaste.org/6797 >[Twilight] Twill Shorts - https://ponepaste.org/5703 >[Luna] Zooma (ReggieSomething) - https://ponepaste.org/5304 >[Dim Sum, Cricket, Thun and Co] House of Boots - https://ponepaste.org/5794 >[OC] Tinny the Tinfoil Conspiracy Pony (NHanon) - https://ponepaste.org/3979 >[Marble] Minky (NHanon) - https://ponepaste.org/211 >[Flutter] SilentFriend (Nebulus) - https://ponepaste.org/4464 Now finished stories >[OC] Angel Cake's Quest (Blondie) - https://ponepaste.org/5251 >[OC] Shadow (AutoPony) - https://ponepaste.org/6144
>>11345 Nice plush!
>>11348 I dig her a whole ton. I'm hoping that I may be able to get a second one started eventually.
>Be anon. >It's a morning just like any other morning. >You pour your Unirings into a bowl and add milk. >Something on the back of the box catches your eye. >"Beta testers needed" >It goes on to detail a robopet pony and how to apply for the job. >Score! --- >It's been a week. >Your package arrives in the mail, it's a huge box that goes all the way up to chest height. >It's labeled "Fragile! This side up" with a little arrow pointing towards the ceiling. >Not only is this the coolest thing ever, but they are paying you to test the quality and give a review! >Without hesitation you rip open the package. >It's full of packing peanuts, which you pay no mind to as they litter the floor. >Inside is a smaller box up to waste height. >Your a little disappointed it wasn't that big, but whatever it's still cool to get a pony friend. >It's labeled "dn ǝpᴉs sᴉɥʇ" and has an arrow pointing to the floor. >You open the second box. "Are you fucking kidding me?" >More packing peanuts. >Finally after digging to the bottom you find a colorful 1' x 1' x 6" box. >It's decorated with various ponies from the show, although the art styles are not consistent between the pictures used. >But that's just because it's a beta, right? >Wait a minute... "My Nice Horsie?" >Uh oh. >You read the rest of the package. "My Nice Horsie, Party Pink" "Party Pink loves fun, and she love to laugh!" >There is a little illustration of Pinkie Pie laughing with her friends. "Party Pink can tell jokes and even play funny pranks. You love Party Pink! She make you smile!" >You cautiously open the package, no longer so sure this was a good idea. >The first thing you notice is that the eyes look terribly off. >Other than that the pony is about 10" tall and looks like Pinkie Pie should. >She comes with a charging station, control pad, brush, and a strange canister. >Against your better judgement you plug her into the charging station immediately before reading the package. >Your alarm clock rings. "Shit, I forgot I have to go!" >You rush to get your coat and boots on. --- >You arrive home from dinner, taking off your boots and sweeping the snow back out the door. >It's kind of depressing talking to your old friend from high school. >Every few years you meet up like this, and he explains how whatever MLM he's working in is going to make him rich. >It never does. >At least your home and you won't have to deal with this again for a while. >You wish you could do something, but he's just too far gone to respond to logic. >Oh well. >Time to get to bed. >You pass the mess of packing peanuts. >Is it just you or are they more spread out than before? >You walk up the stairs and turn down the hallway, into your room. BOOM! >You are practically knocked back from the shock. >There is a cloud of smoke and confetti filling the room. "SUPRISE!" >You turn around, it's Party Pink. "What's going on! I didn't tell you to trash my room!" >She cocks her head to the side, but other than that she has no expression. >Her face can not move. >"Well DUH! Then it wouldn't have been a surprise silly!" >They managed to get her voice spot on, it sounds just like the show. >But this is no time to be admiring the piece of shit, honestly your pretty damn scared right now. "Shut down!" >She laughs. >"Nopey dopey! Only my owner can tell me to do that" "Wait but..." >You take a moment to think, leveling your head to navigate the situation. "How do you register someone as your owner?" >She responds calmly. >"When I am activated for the first time, the first person I see is my owner" "Where were you activated for the first time?" >"In this house" >That doesn't make sense, your the only person in the house right? >You live in the middle of nowhere and it's the dead of winter. >It's probably just a software error. >You can call the company tomorrow morning. >She isn't strong or fast enough to stop you from picking her up though she does protest. >You lock her in the hallway closet and get ready to go to bed.
>>11353 >Be Party Pink. >You are activated in someone's house. >A light blue pegasus stands before you. >Owner protocol engaged. "Hi Zippy Rainbow!" >"Hi Pinks!" she responds. "What's up?" >"I don't know, I woke up under a bunch of packing peanuts. I'm glad I found you here" >You walk over to the mess of boxes, picking up your canister of Funfetti™ surprise poppers. "I'm glad your here too. Well, see ya around! I have some business to take care of" >"See you around Pinks!" >You begin hiding the poppers around the house. >Where do you hide them? "I can't say that silly, Then it wouldn't be a surprise!"
>>11354 >Be anon. >Wake up covered in confetti in a confined room with lingering smoke. >Feel light headed and sick. >Walking downstairs helps clear your head. >You open the cupboard for a box of Unirings. ka-BOOM! >The box explodes, sending cereal mixed with confetti everywhere. >She must have planted more than one of those. "God damn it" >You open the refrigerator for some pickles. >Thankfully nothing goes wrong this time. >After your ring-lacking breakfast you decide to ring up customer service. >You dig the cereal box with the add out of the paper recycling and dial the number on your landline. >Beeeeeeep... beeeeeeep... beeeeeeeep... >"Holoe? Hue iseat?" >Sounds like they routed you to an Indian call center. "Hi, I am part of the beta testing program for pony pets" >You can barely make out what the guy on the other end is saying, but you think he's asking you what you said. "I am part of the beta testing program for pony pets" >You say, this time louder and with more clarity. >The mumbling on the other end becomes affirmative like he understood your statement. "Can I talk to someone who knows about that?" >More affirmative mumbling, he puts you on hold. >After 15 minutes of muzak the other end picks up. >It's a lady's voice. >"Hello, you called because you need assistance with equine medicine? What seems to be the problem with your horse?" "No, there must have been a misunderstanding. I am part of the beta testing program for pony pets" >"Then why did you call the center for equine medicine?" "I didn't, the guy at the call center routed me here" >"Sir, we aren't connected to any call centers" >She hangs up. >Annoyed, you call again hoping to get a more coherent Indian. "Hi, I am part of the beta testing program for pony pets. Can you please route me to customer support?" >The Indian mumbles an affirmative and you are on hold again. >Sure hope it works this time. >Another 7 minutes of muzak. >Other end picks up. >It's a man. >"Hello, you have reached Hazbroe customer service. How may I assist you?" >Suddenly, your hand and the side of your head hurts. >All you can hear is ringing. "Hello?" "Hello are you there?" >You begin to notice the confetti slowly falling through the air around your head. >You look at your hand. >Plastic shrapnel is imbedded in your palm. >You finally put the pieces together, it was another surprise bomb, but how the hell did she get it inside of your handset? >No time for that now, you can't go to work with your hand fucked up like this. >You go to the bathroom to get out the first aid supplies. >You pick the bits of plastic out with tweezers, sterilize with alcohol, and cut a gauze square which you tape over the wounds. >You do the same process for the side of your head. >At least it was your left hand, but the situation is undoubtably shitty. >You can't call for help because your only phone is now blown to a million little bits all over your living room. >Not only that, but it's the dead of winter and you live in the middle of nowhere. >If your car doesn't start up you have no way to contact the outside world.
>>11355 >Be Party Pink. >A strange man was very mean and locked you in the closet. >Thankfully your friend Zippy Rainbow has your back, your free! >Zippy Rainbow says that he is a mean and awful man, says that you should get revenge on him! >You don't know about that though. >Maybe you just need to share a good laugh. >He'll come around, right? >But Rainbow doesn't think so, and Rainbow is your owner and friend. >You hear the strange man stirring as he wakes up. >It's time to hide. To be continued
>>11349 Thumbnail makes it look like Dashie has batwings for ears
>>11356 Nice green looking forward to next part.
>>11356 Two boots, looking to be a pair of little hellions as well. This Anon has a Herculean task ahead of him.
LAST TIME ON DRAGON MARE Z FRUSTRATED WITH TWIN ANXIETIES AND SHORTCOMINGS, LEMON "JACKY" PEPPER AND SPARKING "EMPRESS" SHINE DELVE INTO THE MOST DIRE OF MAGICS: FUSION. BUT IS THIS SAFE? CAN THEIR BODIES SUSTAIN THIS NEW THREATENING FORM? WHAT WILL ANONYMOUS DO NOW, WHEN HIS MAREFRIEND AND BEST FRIEND ARE IN ONE PENT UP BODY? FIND OUT... TODAY! >>11229 >Though you had your hesitations, you lack the capacity to resist Burst >The only pony who could help you instead raised the volume of her music to max >You'll remember this >After thirty seconds of being alone >"Yes... YES! Finally, a throne!" >... >... >... >After five minutes >"Ha, you lasted this long? Well take THIS!" >After thirty minutes >"You think I'll give up after this? Not a chance!" >... >... >... >After an hour >"Don't mistake this for a break, Anon. I have over two years of hunger, and you're going to feed me." >After two hours >"Remember our first time? I sure do... open wide!" >... >... >... >After four hours >"Ha ha ha ha ha! HA HA HA HA, YES!" >After eight hours >"This magic... I'll make it a part of you. Why else do you think you haven't been able to escape?" >... >... >... >After an... unknown... amount of time, you finally come to your senses >You aren't sure if you actually slept, or if you were just exhausted >As hazy as your memories are, you're not sure if you are more astonished by how everything tingles rather than feels numb >Or by the fact that the fused mare is still in one shape >Completely spent from the near one-sided war, she lays on top of your torso >Gently snoring >She doesn't at all look, feel, smell or even taste like your beloved dork >But... >It's familiar enough to confuse your mammalian brain >You can tell which plays were out of Jackenstein's book >But so much more was completely new >Nevermind the multitude of expressions and words >You struggle to lift your arm up >If you could just get to your phone to check the date... >Your strength falls short and your hand falls >The sound of the back of your hand hitting cell phone is enough to make Burst stir >"Hm... don't tell me, I..." >She looks genuinely confused at first >Even after locking eyes >"Anon? So what we did..." >You're not just embarrassed but far too drained to speak >She looks behind herself and grins >"So it wasn't just a dream. Finally!" >Lemon Burst nuzzles into your chest so ferociously she ends it with a sudden bite >"I'm not letting go of this. No more second best. No more dead weight. No more fear." >Though the gleam in her eye says that she could rip a bear apart for another round, the way her front legs shake when they stretch up to reach your face says that she put herself past her limit as well >They stop short and rest on your shoulders >"I'm perfect now. I'll never weigh you down. We can do everything, and go everywhere." >She yawns, going limp >"Perfection... tha t ' s . . . m e . . ." >Her fatigue reminds you of your own >Your eyes close soon after
>>11369 >You wake up with a sigh and a groan >Where was once tingles are now just little needle points of tenderness "Gah... I'm alive..." >You say that with some sense of relief >You really thought you were dead >Granted, if you could choose one way to go, it would officially have to be that >You reach down to pat Lemon Bu... >... >... >Wait a second >You recognize that mare mane >It's the mane of your main mare "...Jack?" >Your neck pops at the movement >Laying on either sides of you are Jackenstein, and Shiner >Both of them look severely roughed up beyond mere bed head >And... >There is an exceptional amount of evidence of the last few days on them both to an almost perfect mirror >At least you can establish that pony magic isn't playing on MegaTen rules >Where there are no rules "I... is this going to be weird?" >Shine is the first one to move >"Weird? What could ever be weird abo...?" >When she raises her head to look at you with the warmest smile on the continent, she notices that you and her are not alone >With a creeping sense of terror, she sees Jacky on your opposite side >Curled up and sleeping as peacefully as ever >"W... what?!" >Shine recoils, though her spindly limbs don't have nearly enough strength to cause her to stand, nevermind even sit up >"Impossible... IMPOSSIBLE! THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE PERMANENT!" >The horror in her scream is genuine >"NO! NO, I... F̷̬̦̀U̷̦̲͊C̶̭̉͛K̴͇̈̾! JACKY, WAKE UP!" >"Mmm... next time I'm wearing your hat..." >"THERE WON'T BE A NEXT TIME, IT UNDID ITSELF!" >The screeching makes her open her eyes >The first thing she sees is a desperately distraught Sparky >"...oh..." >Rather than sound fearful, she lets out a heavy sigh >"...don't tell me that I'm..." >You don't know when you have ever heard her sound this sad >Where do you step into this? >You can't just be a passenger "Hey, it's... it's a good thing that the fusion ended. Otherwise who knows how badly things could have turned out if something went haywire." >Both of them look to you >One stabbed with embarrassing defeat >The other crushed with reality that comes only from truly sweet dreams >"Who CARES if it went haywire? It was supposed to be permanent!" >"...I liked being able to hold you for a change, Anon." >How do you proceed? >When you're talking to one of them, it's always easy >Even when they were... technically one, it was simple enough to figure out >But both of them refuse to let go >Both of them were a part of that maelstrom of... >Whatever happened "Hey, why don't we..." >You need to be very careful with your wording "...lemme rephrase. Why don't I make us some breakfast? Then after that..." >Think, Anon >You know these girls >These dorks >Wait >DORKS "You've seen the Mortal Kombat games. But have you seen the movie?" >Both of them perk up >At what bait, who knows >"Isn't the story mode the movie?" >"You won't be long, will you?" >So much for their synced up minds >The way they curl up, almost defensively, shows that neither are ok with you getting up >Whether or not it's a good sign, their movements are mirrored flawlessly "I won't, I'll whip up something quick. And yeah, it is but I'm talking about the OG Mortal Kombat movie. The one that started it all." >They look at each other >Whether or not through some sense of empathy or lingering magic, they exchange a series of looks >"Hurry up." >"And bring juice." >They remain staring at each other while speaking "S-sure... any preference?" >"Orange." >They speak as one again >Well alright then >This is apparently going to be a thing "Alrighty then. In that case, why don't I..." >... >... >... "You, uh... you gotta let go of me first." >"I know." >Another unified answer "I mean it. And... maybe I should get a... a towel?" >"No." "...no?" >"I'm not cleaning up." >Their gaze shifts to you >They share a look of intense focus "Alright...still gonna need to get up." >"In a minute." >If you weren't so used to them being weird you would find this concerning
>>11372 >>"I'm not letting go of this. No more second best. No more dead weight. No more fear." Part of me thinks that they would be happier like this with lines like that >They speak as one again Well since they still have their synchronized thing going on, we at least got a backup for if Israfel attacks
>>11371 >>11372 I want to start off by saying I don't regret taking my first stab at lewd with Midnight. That update means a lot both in writing as well as spiritually, in some odd way I can't begin to understand. That being said, the way you 'skirt' around the lewd, Imma have to put that in my toolbox. Bravo with the one-liners coinciding with the passage of time. Secondly - damn, it kinda hurts to hear Jack and Shiner think of how inadequate they are as separate beings. Methinks they both need to listen to and watch the clip containing "Flawless" from FiM. >>11356 Oh dear. I'm nervouscited to see how this mistake that's led to 'ownership' my another bootleg pans out. Thanks for sharing. Comments out of the way, I'm close to another update - I just don't know if I'm fully satisfied with the end of the update, which has me a bit stalled. But once I have this settled and ready to post, hope y'all are ready to begin seeing some more Starla mixed in with our lovely moondere Midnight.
>>11383 Glad you're liking it. The way I see it, lewd should be very explicit only in outright smut. You don't need to know the actions or the details. Good example is even the new Marital Problems green I started on; I consider that and DRAGON MARE Z as pretty lewd but it still isn't like The Wishgranter. Less is more. Partially because not everyone likes the same thing, partially because if you suck at lewd everything turns kinda awkward, partially because it makes the reader i m a g i n e what's happening. For a white hot mare like Lemon Burst? Apparently she could go at it for entire days and keep Anon at least physically energized enough. When it comes to their inadequacies, both of those have been explored in detail over the years. And it has been on my mind that they really are two halves of the same coin. Drastically different personalities and capabilities but one can not compare to the other in their respective roles. But together...?
I'm enjoying Rosie Rock. I wasn't super invested at the start but when emotionally charged events in Anon's past were implied rather than explicitly stated in his conversation with Dawn I was hooked. I like that there are a lot of characters set up right away, and I'm exited to see where things go with them.
>>11387 >I wasn't super invested at the start I get that response a lot with Rosie Rock
>>11387 I appreciate you taking the time to leave your thoughts about it though.
https://w2g.tv/b36xic1cpr3mfgsdj7 Comfy Friday night funkage.
>>11158 >"I really do appreciate you having Starla over while I'm gone, Anon. That's a load off of my mind." "Hell, you don't need to thank me. I think Midnight would have eviscerated me had I said no to the idea of a sleepover." >While you help carry the pair of bags accompanying Starla into the garage, Starla and Midnight rear up on their hind legs, greeting each other with a meeting of hooves that emits a sharp clap in the building. >"Are you as excited as I am for the next few days?" Starla gleefully asks. >"You know it!" "Goddamn. They're adorable, aren't they?" you quietly comment. >"Yeah, they are," Teddy replies, chuckling just a bit. "I can't remember the last time I've seen this sort of child-like innocence from Star. She really has been giddy about this." "I know I haven't seen this side of Midnight before." >"She's really dulled her edge a bit, hasn't she?" >You nod. "I think she's got a reasonably palatable attitude now." >"What are you two mumbling about over there?" >Midnight's inquiry draws your private conversation to a close. >"We were just talking about how you two acting like a couple of excited fillies is adorable," Teddy speaks up. >Midnight rolls her eyes even as Starla giggles at the comment. >Or maybe at Midnight's reaction. >With a motion of your head, you direct Ted to follow you up the stairs, leaving the two ponies to continue their excited discussions. "So where are you headed off to, Teddy?" you ask as you near the landing at the top of the stairs. >"Alabama. Quite the road trip, but fair's fair - I only had to drive to Texas last time." "Is it as high-stakes as Midnight made it out to be?" >That earns a laugh as you open the door and usher Teddy inside. >"Did she push it off as a spy mission?" "Something like that, yeah," you agree. "You can put the bag on the counter there." >You heave the bag you've carried upon the kitchen island, being shortly followed by its mate. >"I think my cautiousness about trying everything in my power to not be tracked is borderline paranoia - making it seem riskier than it really is," he admits with a shrug of his shoulders. "At this point, I'm sure the company I used to work for knows I have Starla, but I'd just rather them not know exactly where I live. Just in case." "Why even take the risk? Who are you meeting with?" you press for more info. >"Old friends that got their start working underneath me back in Georgia - still working there, in fact. At least, last I knew," Teddy explains. "They see my side of things - obviously they aren't vocal like I was, and the money is still good..." >You can see Teddy bristle a bit at that musing, unhappy with the thought of money being a priority over ethics.
>>11418 >"But, at the end of the day... well, Starla is, for lack of a better term, and as much as it sickens me to say, she's a prototype. Long-term prospects for health were unknown - still are unknown to an extent. But these guys being in the field will have seen a lot more in the years that I've been gone." >You feel hesitant, but it seems like a question that Teddy is anticipating. "Are you worried something might be wrong?" >"No. But if there is something preventable that could pop up, I'd like to know about it. I have someone around here that examines her like a normal doctor visit, and he's there in case of emergency, but his understanding of ponies like Star or Midnight - well, no one really knows anything about em." >You had never thought of that... >What if Midnight has some sort of medical issue down the road? >Doctors are out of the question, and by the sounds of it, so are veterinarians. >Evidently sensing your internal strife, Teddy pats your shoulder. >"Anon, don't go sweating about that. I forgot to mention it before - my underground doc is your underground doc," he says with a laugh. "Which I suppose it would be good to have Midnight looked at for peace of mind sometime in the near future, to get some sort of baseline." "I'm sure that will thrill her to no end," you joke. >"Hm. Maybe that's why I forgot to mention it before. But, I think she'd be more receptive now, yeah?" "Yeah, probably. After giving me a bit of snark." >"Ah, but I feel like that's part of her charm." "Won't argue with that. How long do you think you'll be gone?" >"Depends on how long my close confidants have away from their job, and if everything still seems okay between us," he says with uncertainty, running his hand through his grayed hair. "I'm not crazy enough to think the world is after me, let me be clear on that. I've been meeting with my old colleagues for a number of years now. But I don't take it for granted, and I don't wear blinders." "Fair enough," you say, caught off-guard by the edge of conviction in his tone. >"I'm driving part of the way, and taking a short flight in between. Rather not be too traceable. I'll keep in touch. I feel relieved Starla is staying with someone, but I'm still gonna miss her." "Aww." >Both of you turn to see Starla standing in the doorway, visibly touched by Teddy's confession. >"You act like that's such a surprise to hear," Teddy teases as Starla saunters up to him. >"No, but it still means a lot to hear, especially when I'm eavesdropping," she replies. >Teddy leans down a bit to meet her, sharing a nuzzle with Starla that ends with a kiss. >"You should probably get going if you want to stay on schedule, dear," she reminds him. >"Yeah, you're right. Got a long drive ahead tonight," he concedes, embracing her. "Love you Star. You know the routine if you need to contact me."
>>11419 >"Of course. Call and let it ring, but hang up before voicemail. When you call back, let it ring twice, wait a few moments, then pick it up when it starts ringing again. Love you too, Teddy bear." >"Atta girl," he says, running a hand through her mane up to the point of the braid. >"Don't worry about me. Between Midnight and Anon, I've got company to keep me busy. Take care of yourself." >Teddy stands up straight, giving her orders a quick salute before turning to you. >"Id better listen to the lady and get this show on the road. You need anything, let me know. Er, let Starla know so she can-" "I got it, don't worry," you say with a laugh. "I'm sure we'll have fun, just watch after yourself, alright?" >"I will. Probably be back and see you all by the middle of next week." >Teddy shoots you a reassuring grin, kissing Starla one last time before heading toward the open doorway. >Just before he makes it out, Midnight's head pops in from the left side of the doorframe. >"Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!" Teddy exclaims, jumping back almost a foot. "You trying to stop my heart?!" >"I'm not that scary, am I?" Midnight asks, seemingly surprised by the outburst. "Starla told me to wait, so..." >"I didn't think you were actually going to wait by the door," Starla laughs as she trots over to the entryway. "I figured you would go back downstairs." >"I mean, I already climbed up halfway before you asked me to wait." "So you were eavesdropping, which is probably why Starla asked you to wait," you interject. >"Didn't ask you," she retorts. >"It's fine, Midnight. It wasn't like we were discussing secrets," Teddy says as he walks by her. "Have fun, be good." >"It's Anon you should be worried about, not me." "Shut up." >"Take care, I'll be in touch," Teddy announces, turning back to you with a wave and a laugh before descending the stairs. >With his departure, Midnight steps into the room toward Starla, eyeing the bags on the counter. >"What all did you bring to need two suitcases? It's not like you wear clothes..." she comments curiously. >"I actually do have some attire - though most of it serves a specific purpose or for special occasions. But no, most of it is odds and ends from home." "Well, our home is your home for the next few days, so feel free to make yourself comfortable. You can have the bed if you want, or-" >"Oh no, the couch looks perfectly suitable, Anon," Starla interrupts, practically aghast by the suggestion as she trots into the living room. "I'm really not fussy - just being here is exciting. When do we go out and work in the yard?" >"That's already done for the day, Starla," Midnight answers. >"Aww, I was looking forward to that," she pouts, testing the couch cushions with a gentle hoof. >You can't help but laugh at her mild disappointment of missing out on work. "Trust me, you'll see your fair share of the crap we do on a daily basis." >"For better or worse." >Midnight flashes you a face that is flush with pure smugness. >That won't do.
>>11420 >You quickly reach over to boop her nose. >Only to be instantly parried by a wing that snaps open in time to shield her. "Fucker." >"Language, Anon. We have a guest," Midnight gasps mockingly, bringing a hoof to her mouth. "Sorry, I forgot you don't swear at all." >"Oh no, she swears a fair bit during our video chats," Starla pipes up. >"Hey, you're supposed to be on my side!" "Ha, you got called out by your own kind." >Starla giggles while Midnight stomps a hoof down in mock frustration. >And because she's distracted- "Boop!" >"Dammit!" >Ha, got her. >Let the madness begin. -----
Auto, do you have your story planned ahead?
>>11419 Teddie and Starla are adorable
>>11433 Nope. I only have vague ideas about where I'm going, same with everything I write.
I am honestly more of an artist than a writer, but I remembered something one anon said somewhere in the last bunker about how there needs to be more activity and writers. I had an idea earlier this week and decided to actually go through with it and write something. Criticism welcome, let me know if you like it or hate it. Link https://ponepaste.org/7627 because what if its garbage.
>>11445 The Bottled water bit was funny, and the descriptions were clear and easy to read. If you like drawing more than writing you can always draw boots from other peoples greens; it's not like this thread has to be writefags only. If you are enjoying writing by all means continue. You have the syntax to write well so whatever ideas you find interesting you can convey clearly and concisely. Looks like in this green you set up for the boot to help Anon cut his hair, which I can actually relate to because the friendship lessons I learned from watching MLP ultimately inspired me to cut my mullet. (Assuming it follows the formula where the bootleg and anon are both broken and fix each others lives, which this looks like a set up for)
(1.54 MB 1500x1500 DawnMornings.png)
(553.60 KB 1500x1500 Sonata.png)
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>>11445 >>11449 Yeah, some of us also do art
Howdy bootfags. There's a new bounty in town for some mares; word at the saloon is they are holding out at the Dollar General. Well they had better watch out. Tomorow I am gonna' shoot them all... in glorious 2816 by 2112 resolution.
>>11445 No need to feel ashamed - you did pretty damn good. I would say the one thing that threw me off was the trip to get foodstuffs. It happened so abruptly that I had to reread it a couple of times to understand who Rob was. While there's certainly no need to go into detail regarding the short trip, a couple of extra lines to highlight the mission/objective and actually picking out some items would help in that regard. I've also overindulged on a new liquor I found, so I may be exceptionally stupid, which I why I didn't understand. I hope you will continue to run with this idea - we don't really have any bro bootlegs, which has a lot of potential. Don't sell yourself short, there's no reason not to share your attempt with us. That goes for everyone and anyone that wants to take a stab. I'd rather offer up tips to someone having the itch to try their hand at writing than read a "shit" green. Anyone willing to take constructive criticisms into account and want to improve is not helpless, nor should they feel ashamed. We've all been a newbie at writing at some point.
>>11454 Than fear reading a 'shit' green, I meant to say.
>>11421 You know, when you first introduced Teddy to the story I was kind of concerned that it was gonna go in the direction of something terribly wrong with Midnight at some point and that he would be the only one who could possibly help. With there still being the question of whether he could be trusted or not. Obviously hasn't seemed like that for a while now but I was reminded of my initial thoughts from the medical speak. There's still some mystery with the colleges he's meeting up with. Don't know exactly how long ago he met up with them, if they'll be inquiring about a missing Midnight, or any potential consequences from that. The story's been very comfy so far. Don't know if the long term plan is just Anon and Midnight's life together or if you got some sort of crazy twist planned. But I've been loving things so far and look forward to seeing where things go. Thanks for the update Auto.
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>Be captain bootleg. >Like captain pegleg but with boots >And you were on the run from that dreaded taxman Anon trying to get a piece of yer booty. "Arggg! All hooves at the ready, batten down the hatches, trim the sails, swab the poop deck!" "We need this ship in ship shape if we're to outrun that scurvy dog Anon!" >You lean over the helm of your ship, watching your crew scurry to and fro. >First mate Fishy Business approaches you from behind. >"We need a plan of action." >"That Anon has been on our tail for the past 3 days, we narrowly escaped from the last port and our supplies will only last so long." >You grab your collapsible telescope and point it out over the aft of the ship. >Just visible over the horizon could be seen the Equestrian flag. >The past 3 days you had been gaining open ocean slowly, but you needed something more to truely get free. "Hmm, let's see." "As long we've got booty to tax, the taxman be sure to follow." >You stop and think for a moment. "But, what if there be no booty to find?" >"I don't follow." "What if we we're to hide the booty?" "Somewhere the taxman would never look." "Then when we get "caught" somewhere down the line, there would be no booty to tax." >A smile spreads across the first mate's face. >"Delightfully devilish captain, but where would we find such a place." >From up above a pony calls down from the crows nest. >"Land-ho!" >"Island up ahead!" "Yarg, I think I've got just the place Fishy." >You shout: "Prepare for landing!" >Now anchored off the shore of the isle, you and a small crew depart for it on a raft. >Upon landing: "Get yer diggin' hooves at the ready, this is gonna have to be quick!" >You and the first mate lead the group a short distance away and indicate to begin digging. >Before long a decent sized hole was made. "That's deep enough!" >You shout. "That son of a biscuit eater Anon will never find me booty here." >You turn to the first mate. "Fishy, present the chest." >And he does. >A simple wooden chest that was padded with pillows on the inside. >Reaching towards your aft end, you give a firm pull on your booty. >With a pop, it detaches from the rest of your body leaving a quarter-circular shaped void in your behind. >Without further ado you place it in the chest and close it. "Present the decoy!" >Fishy then presents a wooden rear meant to emulate the shape of your real one. >You place the wooden booty into place and secure it with a belt. "Heh, heh, heh." "That Anonymous will never know it's not the real booty until it's too late." "Quickly!" "Bury the chest and let's set sail!"
>>11460 >Be Anon. >Agent of the royal sisters, taxman extraordinaire. >And you have been chasing one Captain Bootleg for the past 3 days in an attempt to recover unpaid taxes. "You may be able to outrun the law, but you can never outrun the taxman." >You say to yourself as you watch her ship from afar. >You may have been slowly loosing ground, but your persistence will pay off. >You knew she must stop at some point, and that appears to be exactly what she's doing right now. "Gotcha." >You set a course directly for the island she's stopped at. >Now rapidly gaining ground with the other ship at a standstill. >But before you could reach her, she was already off. "Such a short stop, what could they have possibly been doing." >You wonder aloud. >Sailing by the now abandoned isle, you look to see any sign of activity. >And sure enough you do. >A recently made pile of sand not too far away from shore. "There's no way she could have seriously buried her treasure there, right?" "That would be too obvious." >But you have been chasing her for several days, and it would be a quicker way to collect taxes if it checked out. "I suppose I will investigate, shouldn't take too long just to check." >Like the other ship, you anchor just off the coast and rowboat your way on land. >Investigating the sand pile, you find a wooden chest not too far under the surface. "Well that was easy, it's not even locked." >You open the chest and what you find surprises you. "Last I checked the government doesn't accept payment in ass." "On the other hand..." >Back on Captain Bootleg's ship >Where celebration is happening after having successfully duped their pursuer. >And you are in the middle of giving your crew a victory speech. "...and thanks to all of you we have finally..." >You suddenly go quiet, face pale. >Fishy Business quickly rushes to your side. >"Captain, what's wrong?" "Shiver me timbers, I think Anonymous has found me booty."
>>11449 Thank you, I am glad you've found that part relatable. I was worried no one would understand. I hope this doesn't interfere with the fact that Anon is a female. I didn't know how to make it clearer in the green without making myself uncomfortable >>11450 Awesome. I would attach artwork of /boot/ mares if I had any, I'm working on it though. >>11454 I do agree that some moments are awkward time-wise. I really appreciate your advice and suggestions and will utilise it. I think I will go through for an extended part one or a part two because I liked writing this and I'm constantly thinking of more things I can add to the story.
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>>11445 There's definitely no shortage of bootmares to draw! When in doubt, go with your favorites or whatever causes that kneejerk inspiration. Since you asked for criticism I'll give it, honestly. In a more ideal world all greens would have someone at least say that they're keeping track but it's good to see that the thread has a lot more lurkers willing to post. This Anon seems to be in a rut. An ideal city dweller at least. Not much can be said so far outside of he seems neurotic. The short bit about getting a buzzcut is interesting. Rob seems like a cool guy but a bit awkward when it comes to his joke timing. I'm not a deep city dweller so I don't know how those guys operate when it comes to delivering stuff. I wonder if it's his sense of humor or actually trying to sell stuff. And the star, our bootma-stallion. An alicorn is an interesting choice, and we really don't have many bootlads. The few around seem to be stuck to minor roles. I'm curious what he will lead to. It's interesting that he's so light. That already means something magical is afoot. I guess the biggest question I have is what magic consists of, and if there is a cost. Also: >line 69 >A stallion? >69 Nice. Also I'm guessing proof was seen. Kinda wondering what Anon's face said, to make him faint from that. Or what caused a glance to go there. Good story hook. We see just enough to know the when and where, but only have a vague outline of the who. Which is good because what we don't know is open territory for you to play with. The writing is a bit on the barebones side but that's the cost of having a more open environment. Until the reader can get a good mental map of where the action is taking place, it's all a bit nebulous and requires a bit of wondering. That said, it reads alright for a first attempt. I don't know the vibe or the general feel you want to go for, so I can't really speak on the pacing outside of it being there to set up groundwork. As far as I see it, there's no correct way to set up everything, but there does need to be the effort to actually set things. >>11463 >spoiler That kinda makes a bit more sense when slippers and hair care was brought up. From a wide variety of things I've read, I suppose I'm not surprised? There's something there that seems unique. I haven't read Autobahn's post yet but it seems I'm not the only one who brought up timing/pacing. When it comes to any new story, you're going to have difficulty when it comes to the pacing of things. It's just the nature of the beast. If you have a lot of that mental fire going, that's good. That sort of inspiration can lead to you doing goofy shit like writing 40k words in a month. Since you have a wider skillset than most, it might mean that you may even be able to illustrate certain situations like snapshots. I strongly advise against rewrites because it erases the progress you already made, but you can always elaborate on established mannerisms and other things later as needed. Or not. Not everything needs to be expressly shaped out when you might not yet know what that shape actually is. Now write more and let that fire burn.
>>11451 Mission completed, but sadly there were no new boot mares. They had one box of "Family Horse Playset" and "Pony Imagine Angel" left at one location which means that someone is actually buying them. In terms of new stock it is all G5 toys and a few G4 coloring book sort of things. On a side note, I think that carrying a compact digital camera ironically makes me look less suspicious lurking around the isles trying to find pony toys. At this point even boomers are using smart phones to take pictures so having an actual camera makes me look like someone who is being paid to survey the product line for some kind of report and forced to use the camera because of some outdated policy deep in paperwork that nobody wants to mess with. It also helps that I look like I know what I'm doing because I have memorized the store layouts and act confident. I am not deterred by this dry lead, and I will make an effort to visit other Dollar Generals when I get the chance. If I spy new boots I will return.
>>11419 Always nice to get updates, Auto! Whatever big thing happens or doesn't happen with Teddy is coming soon. The sleepover will be cute too. >>11460 Kek
There's a pone convention happening around November that I'll be going to. I think I'll be bringing PlushJack with me.
>>11464 Thats some great feedback, I really appreciate you taking the time to go in depth and being honest. Thanks
>>11460 >aggie bootmare got a green what a time to be alive, and it's like bootleg had a filly with kinterquestria.
>>11481 Not a problem, I enjoy talking about it. Been also shilling /bootleg/ a little in a few places so hopefully when we restart the thread it'll get a new wave of interest. No doubt there's a good array of content to flood the thread with.
https://ponepaste.org/7689 Part 2 of Sirlestia if anyone is interested. I enjoyed writing the first part very much, this one was fun too. >>11490 Nice.
>>11507 Looks like I need to be more careful when replying.
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>>11461 What's Captain Bootleg looking at?
>>11507 Bit odd to post updates and green as a link, did you start this outside of /bootleg/ or something?
>>11515 She's looking at (you)r boots, she's a bit of a connoisseur you know. I can't stop smiling looking at that pic. It's so great. Thanks for blessing us with such a fine piece of art.
>>11515 Holy based HD captain bootmare, great art Anon And she is obviously staring at a giant faggot
>>11516 No, just thought it was appropriate. What should I have done instead?
>>11522 NTA but post your green ITT perhaps?
>>11525 Alright. Here we go.
>>11445 >Unfortunately, the paper bag isn’t enough to fit a whole alicorn’s body. >It’s now all crumpled and tattered. Typical of Rob to give away dumb crap like that. And to think you were so happy about it. It’s a miracle it can hold your groceries. It’s also a miracle he didn’t notice to charge you extra. >Calm down! You need to get the pony home. >You wonder if carrying him on your back is not that bizarre of an idea anymore; it’s not like anybody would stop you. >If you saw someone walking around carrying a horse on their back, you wouldn’t question it. >Let alone an alicorn. >In fact, you’d probably smile or even laugh. It would make your day. >So you sweep away mane hair and move your hands around his loin to secure a grip. >You think you notice something on both sides of his haunch, but it just looks like a sprawling bit of grime. >Awfully symmetrical. >Whatever. >You lift him all the way up so he sits on your shoulders. >His neck rests on your head, and his long mane is now all over your face, you can’t see anything. >You use one hand to get the tangles out of the way but you feel him slipping. >You grab both hind legs and lean forward to try to stabilise him, which works. Then you shuffle his body down your back so it’s like you’re giving him a piggy-back ride. >Maybe one day you’ll give him one when he’s conscious. >It sort of feels like he is: his breathing rocks strands of your hair forwards and back, and if you focus, his lungs expanding and retracting push you ever so slightly. >Your clouded mind clears, you’re no longer cussing out Rob when you face the two brown bags. >This state eases the pony’s position. His head slides down your hair and onto your shoulder, causing his pointy horn to waltz into your peripheral vision. Your fingers melt to comprehend the feeling of his hind hooves. >Well, there is not much to comprehend. They’re just cold and very rough, but you’ve never seen or felt animal hooves before. >They’re soon wet too, as rain starts to fall down from above. >You worry a bit again; this is still really strange. You decide that the best thing to do is to put the empty paper bag over the equine’s head. >It either looks like you’re carrying a stuffed toy for a child or a dead body on your back. No one will ask either way. >So, with one arm holding your foodstuffs, and a hand holding a leg, you trek home in the downpour. >You try to formulate a plan for what you’ll do when you get there, but you can’t secure your attention. You keep thinking about how his coat feels. How it’s still there. >How, with time passing, it’s getting more and more real. >You almost overshoot the walk. >It’s funny, you looked at your row house with the light open and scoffed. Then you realise that’s yours. >Looking forward to the bill. Ouch. >You put the groceries down and reach for the key. >You feel his breathing getting faster. You look to your right but he’s not awake. >When the door opens, you kind of kick the soaked bag into your home. Everything spills out and the bag splits. >Most food lands inside, so did the bag. But an orange or two rolls into the abyss. You don’t bother. >You step inside and get the alicorn off your back. You remove the other soaked bag and place him next to the clutter. >You close the door and lock it, then hang the key along with your coat and hat. >You hear a bit of shuffling. >You notice his forelegs moving, then his hind legs, and finally, you meet the unique purple hues again. >These small movements increase in speed and vigour as he quickly formulates a mistaken understanding that he’s in peril. >He rears up and flares his wings, flaps them twice, causing the pendant lamp above to swing and a meaningless painting to be knocked off. >He does not look at you, instead around him: the walls now too tight, the ceiling constricting, and the light blinding. He moves his forelegs in any direction he can while now fixing his eyes on the swaying lamp.
>>11527 >Oh, he’s not moving them randomly. He’s actually holding them up to his face in defence, with his head to the side, his wings still flapping involuntarily to maintain balance. Stop! >His nostrils widen and lets out a whinny. STOP! >The flapping of his wings increase in frequency. He accidentally lifts himself off the ground, which scares him more. He shifts his body weight and snakes upwards. Then his tall horn punctures through the delicate lamp shade all the way to the other side and scars the ceiling. He yanks his head to the left, and then down, and up, and back down again. The pendant lamp can’t take it - it frees itself from the ceiling. The pulled wires dance around with him, all holding each other’s sparky hands. >It’s so dark but the liveliness proves itself luminescent. >Some wire pats the horn on the back a couple of times. He whinnies again in pain. >Now you’re bewildered, so you aim for the switch and slam it off. >He doesn’t seem to calm down at all. You see that his horn is charging up an energy with a familiar purple colour. >You rush towards him. NO! >He pauses for a very brief moment to shoot his irises at yours. >You leap up to match his level and extend your arms to drag him down. >He squeezes his eyes shut to brace for impact and releases the stress from his horn. >You both hit the floor with arms around each other, watching the magic bounce around the room. >And then bounce around the rest of the house. >Some lamp-lights are awakened. >An unlucky fruit in the kitchen absorbs it and vaporises into hot embers in its bowl. Could have been you. Could have been the sorcerer himself. >You look at each other wide-eyed in amazement for a little bit. >”Aargh!” >His mane flies at you and he takes a hoof off your torso to rub his head. >You move the hair and slide out of his clutch. He uses the other hoof to hold himself steady. He still wobbles. >You crawl away to distance yourself and assess the damage, but his second groan inclines you to help. >You don’t know what to do at all. >You guess he has a headache. Um, do you need help? >He slowly comes to look at you, and squints, almost angrily. >The squint to a blink, and another, until a full close and a total loss of body strength leads to a sigh. Fainted again. >Looks like that energy ball took everything he had left out of him. >You look in all directions to make sure you’re up to date with the action. >None left around. >You take your shoes off and put them on the rack, then you start clearing up the mess. >Painting gets hung up again, milk goes in the fridge, so does the bread and eggs. Keeping the salami and olives out, might do something with them. >You turn your head to the alicorn, still on the floor with the lamp stuck to his horn. >You have a very basic knowledge in electricity, so to stay as safe as possible, you grab a pair of wooden tongs and use it slowly to make contact with the wires. >Nothing exploded. >You pick up the lamp and slide it off his horn. You walk over to the kitchen and drop the lamp in the garbage. All with the tongs, of course. >You wonder if you’d look silly in front of an electrician. >Whatever! You’re just staying safe. >Tongs go back on the table. >You pick him up and look around to find somewhere more comfortable for him to lie on whilst also minimising the amount of things he touches. >He’s filthy and smells awful. His hair is tangled and theres patches of filth all over. >You eventually decide to put him in the living room. The floor is wooden but a grey carpet lies in its centre. You make sure he’s far from it. >You open your laptop on the sofa and look up: >”Can horses take panadol?” >He is sort of a horse. >Apparently, it’s ‘an effective pain treatment in equine medicine.’ >Good enough.
>>11528 >Back to the kitchen again. You take out a small bowl from one of the shelves and look into the large bowl where one of the apples got pwned. >You determine that the surrounding apples are still safe, so you pick one up and wash it under the sink, it’s a little hot. >You cut it up into eighths with the seeds still intact, he can probably eat them. >You gaze at the salami and head to the laptop again. >”Can horses eat salami?” >No immediate answer, so you scroll down a little bit and read the link titles. >”Horse meat found in salami” >… >You scroll all the way back up and click the first link. It takes you to a list of things horses can and cannot eat. You soon find out that horses are vegetarian. >It makes sense, but you’re surprised. >More for you. >You start reading the list. >You read pretzels, which you happened to have picked up from the little trip. You head back to the kitchen, open the bag and scoop a handful out and into the bowl. >You open a drawer with various medication in it. You shuffle around to find the panadol, stab a pill into one of the apple slices, throw it back in and close the drawer. >One would probably be enough, though you usually take two. He’s a little over half your height, and when he reared up, he was as tall as you. >No use looking up the dose rate, he weighs practically nothing. >You take the bowl to the living room and put it in front of him. You pet him once: a hand that journeyed from between his ears all the way down to the end of his neck. >You switch on the TV for some background noise. The volume is already low. The channel doesn’t matter. >Perfect. >Now to shower and change.
>>11529 Poor guy.
>>11519 >Spoiler So OP? >>11518 Hope to see more of the captain, shes got potential and a lot sillier of a bootmare than I would have expected out of the MSpaint
>>11445 Writefags are always welcome, but it's not writers as much as general activity to keep the thread churning. One of the things that would help is small prompts, we've always been shit at them but I do have to remind that Zooma was started as a prompt. But prompts are just distractions to keep posting going so a thread's not just dead waiting around for green. So just in general talking about bootlegs, the greens and that means reading as well as writing goes a long way cant give feedback otherwise
>>11529 I'm picturing this celestia to look like Alumnx's version, but I'm wondering what you do with it when it seems like it's just a mutant horse, magic alicorn but clearly just a horse
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>>11515 She's watching fister eat out and planning how to kidnap his girlfriend.
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Hey Auto, thread lurker here. I had a lot of middie to catch up on so I loaded it onto an e-reader and it made traveling a lot more cozy. Thought you might like to know middie and starla's antics kept some tard entertained at 40000ft altitude. </faggotry>
>>11554 It means a lot. Far more than I can actually smash into words that make sense. That goes for everyone that comments on Midnight (the story and the character). You've all brought a man to manly tears once or twice since this all started August of last year. As much as you appreciate my autism translated into words, I've appreciated the feedback and compliments equally. My work has slowed recently, but I'm still going. ACtually going to have a bit of my personal autism sneak into the next update I'm working on - though it's tempered to an acceptable degree, I promise.
>>11558 It feels nice to know you've been able to help out or entertain people with goofy horse words.
Gonna be goofing around on the cytube for the evening. Going to mix up the playlist going and if anyone can help, see if I can change permissions so others can add what they want or make their own playlists.
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>>11564 Working more on trying to actually get cytube figured out more. Trying to find alternative ways to get movies going similar to w2g. It might not be worth it to anyone but I still like that /bootleg/ could have a permanent music/chill room that can just be a default. It isn't related to writing but comfy music and movies are, at least I think, a bit of a staple. I want to see that grow just a little more.
>>11575 Also added a dozen movies to a playlist that has been saved, same as some music playlists. I'll keep digging but YouTube has a lot of caveats to stop their things from being embedded and Dailymotion only has so much. Vimeo has next to nothing and the Google Drive solution no longer seems to be available to everyone so it's all custom coding and worse to get that to work.
>>11575 >Trying to find alternative ways to get movies going similar to w2g How do you mean? I haven't really used w2g much.
>>11582 As I recall with W2G, you can only really use DailyMotion and YouTube reliably for movies but you can also post age-restricted videos without issue. Namely horror movies. In Cytube there's more restriction there. I do have an option to upload my own movies and see if those play but not only does that take prep time, and the movies only last for around 24 hours, but not all of them work even if they are the right format and size.
>>11583 If they are pony related movies, can always stick them up on PonyTube and that works with CyTube. Otherwise you could try and find a filehost to do direct links with. For best compatibility probably want the video in x264 with AAC audio in a mp4 container. As for filehosts I mainly know of small ones (like smutty horse). I think there may be a way to get a direct, streamable link out of Mega though I haven't done it before.
>>11595 >pony related movies We need a crowdfunded western about a gunslinger in green anon mask and his adventures with hi trusty mare.
>>11596 Yes. Or some sort of competing thieves coming together for a larger heist, or brought together from getting hounded by the same hunters. I could script the shit out of that. >>11595 >PonyTube I may have to look into that. If I recall right, Mega isn't a good option. I've used cockfile because it holds files up to 2GB but only for 24 hours. Going off of the movie playlist I have set up right now, we have a dozen movies to watch whenever without having to ever refind them. Presuming the saved playlist or the videos themselves get deleted. I'd really like to find a more permanent solution so we'd have a real library to go off of. Maybe it's me channeling a bit of my inner Missy Rye.
>>11603 With catbox links being b& this might turn out as a good alternative, do you have any idea who runs this thing? Name seems to imply connection to cockli and its other services but i couldn't get any info. Just trying to avoid bioluminescent zebras is all..
>>11604 I do not. When I asked around in other poniponiponi groups that seemed to be the go-to because it gets deleted after a day so it's not something that hangs there. If it's such an issue then it just doesn't make those sites an options for some autists to watch movies on.
If you could have art drawn of one bootleg, which one would it be? Asking for a friend
>>11608 Midnight?
>>11608 Twill. I would like to see more of our OG mares given love.
>>11608 The world needs more Missy Pie. But I wouldn't complain if we got more Zooma. Fuck, I miss her. Think I'm gonna visit her soon.
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>>11612 I'm also quite fine with eventually seeing more of the Cake and Pie gals. But it has been a while since anyone gave our oldest some time in the light. We can't forget what led us here.
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New Rare would be cute too. She would be happy to see that anons still love her.
Hey, guys! Have you heard about The Broken Toy? That's a Russian fic from 2014, set in dystopian setting and featuring genetically engineered living machines in form of ponies, made for human entertainment. It kinda resonates with /boot/ thematically. They tried to translate it into English, but alas. Anyway, 7 chapters got translated. https://www.fimfiction.net/story/324970/the-broken-toy
>>11197 >Yesterday, the apartment was quiet for the first time in a while >With the news dropped that you not only changed work-again-and that they were going to start working too... >Maybe everyone is just thinking about it >Jacky still seems happy >Though you wouldn't say it out loud, she and you are planning on maybe moving too >The apartment is good >Living has been good >But it is small >The amount of things finagled with to be pony friendly is a bit much, and it makes everything look slapdash and dangerous >The neighbors are another aspect >You aren't going to say that you're the loudest in the building >But some things are starting to get more difficult >It just isn't a sustainable place for a guy and three ponies >Normally, you wouldn't care >Normally, if you were still by yourself, you'd just keep chugging along >But her plans for the both of you >Her plans about everyone >You don't think they're bad >They're not bad at all >You >You... >You're putting a lot of trust into her >Into this plan >Just as they have all put a lot of trust into you >As much as you worry, you just need to- >"Hey, lone star. Scoot over and play me." >You must have been so deep in thought that you didn't notice Shiner open, and close, the bedroom door >She hops onto the bed and sits at your side "Play what?" >"I don't know. Something." >She looks at your monitor >"Ugh, you're still listening to that? It sounds like Christmas music." "Kinda. But Jackrobatic found it and it sounds nice." >"You're a special kind of whipped, Anon." "Am not." >"Am too." "Prove it." >The split second of hesitation in her answer doesn't bode well to you on a subconscious level >"I can't, because you're whipped." "Come on, that's not even legit." >"I'm making it legit." "You're far from legit." >Her gasp is loud enough to make you think she isn't actually offended >"Take that back." "I'm a giving man, I can't." >"You're whipped and that's that. Now pick a game so I can kick your ass and ask you questions." "In that order?" >"Sure, why not?" >Going off of her tone and the way she's sitting, she's pent up or excited about something >Given the last... long while, it's probably actually an issue that you haven't played anything with her >You've missed it too, to be honest >You end up choosing something more old-school: OG Smash Brothers >She takes her controller, and chooses Luigi >Thank God you found a 100% completed save when you downloaded the rom >You choose your main man, Link >"I win, you answer five questions." "Two. And when I win, you say I'm not whipped." >"Keep dreaming, pony boy." >Rather than trash talk each other, the focus is purely on fighting >There is no animosity in the air >Not even a tense vibe >Just focus >Out of five stock, she beats you with two remaining "Ah... crap." >"Your bomb game is weak." >She leaves the results screen up and clears her throat >"So, to start. You're totally whipped. And my first question is this." "Bah. Go for it." >She keeps her eyes on the monitor >"Did you really agree to this job change junk with Jacky or did something actually come up?" "No, I agreed to it. She's getting pretty ambitious, I think. To be honest..." >You sigh "What's said in the room-" >"Stays in the room. Yeah, I know." "I think she wants a home for us. And I... I want a home too. This place isn't a home." >"We're all together, how is where we are not home?" "I..." >How do you answer that? "Because I don't think we can really be ourselves here. Noise control aside, we don't have a ton of space to make any meaningful change. And I'll admit. I want to see all of you have your own rooms, or areas. Or whatever." >"You can get me a room but let's be honest, we'll all probably sleep on your bed anyway." >You snort "Probably. Is that a pony socializing thing?" >"Maybe. I would call it a "me" thing but let's go with the socializing excuse so you don't feel bad." "Freak." >"Geek." "Meek." >"Technique." "More like oblique." >"Next round, I want two more questions."
>>11623 >You start up another round >This time, you win with three stock remaining >"...yeah, we're not playing that level again." "I don't know, I like it." >"That's because you kept throwing me into those freaking tornados." "Whine about it. Now tell me I'm not whipped." >Shine rolls her eyes and lets out a prolonged "ugh" >"Fiiiiiiiine. You aren't whipped. You're just a pussy." "Wh-how the hell is that any better?" >As bothered as you are, neither of you move from your spots >She grins >"You really want me to tell you?" "...no. That's alright. You're too creative sometimes." >"But I'm not wrong." "Whatever. I win, I get to ask two questions." >"Oh yeah? You're on." >You both swap characters >She decides on the pink puffball, Jigglypuff >You decide to pound her puffball in with Yoshi >Sadly, Hyrule Castle has been banned from selection >You win, but only with one stock left >Shiner greets the results screen with a fatigued sigh >"You're a little too eager to eat me, you know that?" "Never thought I'd hear you say that. More so, to complain about it." >"...whatever. Ask your questions." >As much as she tries to pout, the way she headbutts your side shows that she isn't that bothered "So are you... you know. You think you're ready to work?" >"What kind of question is that?" "A real one. If you don't think you're up to it, you can let me know." >"And let her down?" >Shine snorts, a bit like the way you do >"No. This is something real. Frankly, I'm happy I get to be included for once. I just want you to be careful." "Yeah? About what?" >"When I out-earn both Jacky and Prism combined, I won't apologize if my money wins you over. She's gonna have to deal with it." "Ha! Dream on." >"Oh I will. And that's your second question by the way." >What? >When did you... "God damn you." >"Come taste this firepower." >She chooses Samus "Let's-a go." >You choose Mario >You... >You lose >You make it a goal in your life to never remember how much she won by >"Man, the idea of a sugarmare really messed you up, huh?" "Shut it. I kept thinking he had a Side-B." >"Sore loser, huh? That's fine. We can't all be awesome." >Like a statue breaking apart, you put the controller down and finally stretch >You grab your nearby mug and chug half of it down in one go >It used to be ice water but even now it still has something resembling a cool feel "Whatever man. Ask your stuff." >Your mug turns red and goes down to Shine >She drinks the rest of it >A powerplay? >Who knows >You share so much of your food and drink with the dorks that you just can't see the problem in it anymore >They share just as much in kind >"So, about the money we'll be making. We don't have to report it or whatever, do we?" "I... don't know. None of you actually exist, as far as the government knows. And none of you are human so you guys probably don't actually qualify for stuff like that. The library guy. Or gal, I should say." >"It's a chick?" "Yeah. Some old lady. I think Jack might have kinda leaned into the sob story a bit much..." >The long story short with that was that Jacky more or less just told the old bat about her history and other things >You sometimes forget that her background is one of petty crime >And other things >You still feel a little off but it's for a good cause "But anyway, yeah. I think, the way she's going to do it, she's going to cut you guys a separate check. I mentioned how you can all get your accounts, and you will. But it's effectively going to be a single payment just split up." >You bring up your hands to make nebulous motions while you speak >It almost works as a visual aid "So while you'll be working there, you'll all be billed as a... a third party contractor. She said that she would look up some stuff and make it all official." >"Sounds dirty. I like it." "And because I'm not a dick satchel, I'm not going to count that short question as an actual one so what's the second?"
>>11625 >"You say that like I am and we both know that is not the case." >You choose the high road and do not respond to that >"Be real... how was our-uh-your financial situation looking before she cooked up this plan?" "Legit?" >"Legit to the max." "I was kinda pulling in maybe a few hundred at the end of everything." >"That's not so bad." "Maybe. But it would take around a decade to recover what I spent on D-bash. If I'm careful enough." >The face she makes is rather sour >"...right. And... remind me of how much I cost you." "I... I don't remember? I wanna say I got you for free." >That adventure there was such a blur >You and Jack >Prepared to kick in doors and treat the rescue mission like a beat-em-up stage >Instead you ended up being given a half-packaged pony >You still have no adequate answer as to what the deal is with that Nona chick >At least it doesn't really matter >Those were the days >"Hey." "...huh?" >"I said... ah, forget it. It was a quip about how I'm the MVP and yet I cost you the least amount." "Ah. Yeah. I..." >You can't help but shrug "Well, you can make that argument." >Shine shrugs too and leans away from you >That's not the usual >"Hey, how about new stakes. I win, you bring the others and we have a little powwow on this thing. No more surprises and no more secrets kept about how well we're doing." >That is oddly specific >Your thumbs tap across your controller "Alright. And if I win..." >Is there anything you want? >You kinda want to throw the match just because it would be good to get that sort of stuff cleared out "If I win, let's just cook a pizza and keep playing stuff. Not gonna lie, you look pretty pathetic when you're stuck playing games solo." >"Wow. I say a lot of things but that's sort of a low blow." >She looks almost hurt "I'm just saying, it's one thing to try to talk to Prism and get nothing in response. It's another to consistently try to talk to her and get nothing in response." >The way you emphasis on the "consistently" makes her cringe >"...don't make fun of me for trying to make friends, Anon." "I'm not." >You chuckle and ruffle her mane >You leave your palm on her horn >With the red aura, it makes your hand sorta tingle >Like a mix between it being stuck in an oven and being asleep and having that needle sensation "I'm glad you are. But after this long... I don't know. I'm kinda starting to think that she's really just the way she is." >You can feel what she wants to ask >There's enough of such a small sound coming from her throat that you interject "And she doesn't hate you. She doesn't hate me either. She's just a goof. Like Jackrabbit. And like you." >Shine exhales hard >It isn't a sigh >More like it's a hard push to readjust herself >"Whatever. You're better company I am. Now let's play, I feel like starting a shitstorm." "You got it hopscotch." >This time with Mario, you're gonna >... >She SDs >All five stocks end with her just walking off the stage "Hey, what the hell was that?" >Sparking "I win or you lose" Shine sticks her tongue out at you and winks >"Oops. Looks like I lost. Better preheat the oven, we're gonna be busy." >She sure looks proud of herself, huh >You scratch the side of your neck >Do you allow such blatant cheating? >... >Nah >You're hungry for pizza too >And maybe you just want to play stuff with her "Fair enough. But I'm adding cracked pepper and you can't stop me." >"Oh trust me, I won't stop you from doing anything." "Yeah? Then I'm adding broccoli to your half." >You get up, stretch your legs, and start to head to the kitchen >"Ha, very funny Anon. Very fu..." >She must remember that Prism got a few bags of weird vegan shit a few days back >She stumbles up and trots behind you >"Don't you do it, I swear I'll burn your half if you even attempt to put that rabbit crap on there." "You said you won't stop me." >"Jacky, over here, help! Anon's trying to do something bad to me with his hands!" >"Nope he's not!" >Both of you hear Jacky call out from the living room in record t
>>11627 >Both of you hear Jacky call out from the living room in record time >Like a Disney supervillain you cackle all the way to the oven
I guess the 4096 character limit we have isn't the actual limit before things get cut off. Damn it feels good to write.
I'm going to have to finish reading Jacky part 1; still only know two of the characters. I'll do a chunk of reading tonight.
>>11631 You are in for a long ride. You'll have to trust others when they say it's a good ride.
>>11628 Thanks for the green!
>>11628 >Apparently, pizza alone wasn't enough >Whether through your own will or the will of the gods >Or Shiner egging you on >You decide that now is the proper time to pop open a new bottle of The Good Stuff >The only downside is that it is a very narrow, tall bottle >Which means you see it go down far faster >At least you swapped to Smash Melee after the first few hours >And added a bag of Cheez-its >Consumption of any and all kinds are not regulated when, in less than 48 hours, things will be new and >... >Interesting >At least Shiner's having fun >You forced at least a little bit of intoxicating liver poison into her face >Maybe that's why she's having a bit more fun "Dude, you fucking suck. That's the third time I beat you with Link and he's not even that great." >You find that the more you imbibe, the less you mind telling her that she should go back to the kitchen >She is, unironically, the best cook in the house >So it is technically a compliment >"Oh shut up already. I'm just trying characters out, you're the one acting like some bigshot." "You know me, I always shoot big." >The two of you share a mutual look "Yeah. That's right. I said it." >"Oh I know, I saw it." "You saw that I said it?" >Another mutual look >"...yeah. Let's go with that." "...huh. Weird." >You don't know when but apparently the sun has gone down >With the door closed and the fans on, this summer hasn't been nearly that bad >"Hey Anon." "Hey Sparkly Shoeshine." >"If Jacky and I... say if we became one pony. Would you consider that a good or bad thing?" "I'd say I would probably lose my shit, do terrible things for a few days, and then probably proceed to further do things. Only to end up a victim of your maniacal, egotistical ways. Because between you and Jacky, the confidence levels would spike and there are a lot of things that she's always wanted to do with magic." >You turn your head to focus on the red mare >She's been successfully caught off guard "And, for reference, while her endurance is quite something to behold, I hunger for a greater Jacky-related challenge." >You smack your lips >That vodka does indeed have a positive aftertaste >But you can't help but think that the action had another meaning "And I am not one to stop." >For the short moment she maintains eye contact before turning away, you could swear that you saw her eyes dilate to saucers >You could swear >But you're among present company, God damn it "But since that isn't likely... well." >You shrug "...to be honest, I would usually say far more but without a Jackenstein to define, refine and mine I can't help but feel like it's inappropriate." >Another lick of the lips >It really did burn the tongue the first few gulps but it's growing on you >Maybe that's a sign that your body is adjusting "But anyway, pick out another character so I can spank her next." >Your confidence appears to be her weakness, this night >It helps that she's likely inebriated as well >"Hey, if I win I want something." "If you win, I'll give you something. But you're not." >You pull back and hold back a hiccup "There's no way you can win." >You wait for her to decide her character on the selection screen "What do you want, anyway?" >"Get Jacky in here but keep her quiet and just as a way to stop you from getting too freaking talkative." >You scoff and follow such an audible gesture with a pair of mocking "ha"s "What, you can't handle one piddly human when he's very slightly intoxicated?" >"More like that crap you forced on me slows me down to your level and it's hard for me to keep up on dominating you both in game and through words." "Ha!" >Another hearty laugh "As if you could be so eloquently verbose as I in even under the best of conditions." >"...yeah." "Alright. But if I win. When, I win." >"Big if."
>>11635 >You smirk at her "I make you drink. And I demand you tell me why you've been jealous." >You hold up one of your index fingers >Thankfully you still have all three of them "Lately. Because I know you have been and I will agree that it was probably wrong of me but I still find it funny that you care." >Straight to the heart because it makes her face even more red >"I demand Jacky comes in as collateral." "You demand nothing, foolish mortal. Let's go." >She decides on Samus >While she does technically play better, you're on the oversized Zelda map and eventually win through sheer attrition >It helps that any killing shot she lands sends you pinballing all around without a way to get knocked out of bounds >It's close >Closer than you would like for bragging purposes >But you do win, with two stocks remaining "Ha ha! Victory is mine, frail red pony. Come get some." >With a gleeful smile, you pull the cork of a top off the bottle >Averting your eyes the best she can, she opens her mouth and gives a frustrated sigh >Rather than drown her in half the bottle, you reach for your empty mug >You pour just enough to cover the very bottom of it, and stop "Glug glug, my little pony." >You tip the mug over and pour just enough booze to coat her tongue >It really is not something you're taking advantage of >You know that she's a lightweight >But her capacity has increased since the first time she drank >You will gladly argue that you are a good influence despite this >You nod and smile "Better?" >Rather than answer, she shudders at the taste "You know, the first night Jack was here, we drank. Hard to believe she was so alright with it." >"Well she likes you so she has shit taste." "Ah ha. Well, you're not wrong." >You sigh and take the bottle for yourself >You are not puny pony >You are strong man >You prove this to yourself, and no one else by taking another swig and letting the acidic liquid sit in your mouth >It still burns your tongue >You are no masochist but the way it almost sizzles >It reminds you of "Gah." >You violently shake your head and exhale "Fucking burnt my nose hairs out with that one." >.... >Where were you? "Oh yeah. So. Speak to Anonymous. I'm starting to have fun with the whole thing of you being jealous and saying things, now that Jack is learning from your playbook and starting to adopt some of your mannerisms." >You clear your throat and nod at her "Much appreciated, by the way." "But the last few... uh... weeks? Days? I don't know. We've been kinda isolating. Why has that been bugging you?" >Your repeated pokes do little to stir her up >To the contrary, she seems almost... muted? >Certainly not demure >"Because you're like... my best friend. You're almost like a big brother." >Her genuine answer is not what you expected to hear >She almost sounds different "You're kidding me." >That almost perpetual little spike in her voice >That borderline sarcastic tone >It's gone >It almost makes it harder to tease her >"No. Not really. And keep in mind that I said "almost"." "Yeah, naturally." >Shine shrugs >"Whether or not I like to admit it, you're really the only male that has never looked down on me. Boo hoo, same story as everyone else, you don't treat me like trash. But you recognize my achievements. You've even praised me!" >The smile on her face >What a smile >She really could be Jacky's sister, there is a lot of subtle resemblance >"And that... it's nice. I thought something bad happened. And I felt a little betrayed that you didn't tell me. Because you're supposed to tell me big things like that too." "Well we did... but yeah. It wasn't as quickly as it could have been." >You reach for the bottle >Not to drink, but to check how much was taken >Maybe... >Not even a full fifth yet? >Not drinking has made it far more potent a substance
>>11637 "And... I don't know. I don't have any excuse for it. For a bit, I thought I was just quitting my job and that the plan would fall apart. And then my mis-step would have screwed us all. It sucks to fail. And it really sucks to disappoint people, whether or not you know them. But especially if you know them really well." >You smile at the passive pony "But, after talking it over and doing some other stuff... I'm feeling kinda good about this. It's gonna work out." >You pat her on the head >Maybe a little too hard from how her head is lowering >At least she doesn't have a hollow noggin "I sure hope so, anyway. If this doesn't, we're kinda fucked." >Docile and sloshed enough for it to make a difference, Shiner grimaces >"...what if Jacky led you into a mistake? What happens to all of us, if she made you do something wrong?" "Then we'll make fun of her, I'll figure something out, and... we'll skate by. Trust me, I've lived this long. Not all because I wanted to, but because I had to for others. I'll figure something out." >"I don't like that answer." "Oh yeah?" >You aren't sure why but you are a little intrigued "Why, you aren't there to save the day and make me wear you like a Santa hat?" >The direct comment makes her purse her lips and turn away >"Come on, be serious." "I'm as serious as I'm gonna be tonight, hot'n'spicy. What's wrong with that backup plan?" >"Well. I would rather be a part of the process. You and Jacky get to cuddle up and make plans, and we're supposed to just go with it like we're your kids? Prism may not care that much but I sure as shit do." >You wanted to tease her about saying the S word but you decide against it "Yeah... and that's more on me. She talked about you guys like you might just get money and split. And I guess I could kinda see that because... well, if you had income, would you still be here?" >You pick up the bottle again >You're gonna need another swig for the follow-up commentary >You pop the cork out and hold the bottle in your hand "You see, uh..." >You take another swig >Rather than let it sit in your mouth for a fiscal year you swallow it in slow, consistent gulps >You have no clue how many shots you've had, or shot-equivalent drinks "Jacky and Prism have been talking. And she let me know that Prism may..." >You only just now realize that you swallowed all of that without a single shake, shiver or cough "She has brought up that she may want to move out. Not because of her own goals of making it in the big world but because she said she knows she doesn't fit in. And, you know." >You breathe in through your mouth >Even the air is flavored "That... I don't want that. Jacky doesn't want that. I don't know if you rightly care but I would hate to imagine you guys splitting up. My friends and I, we..." >You pet Shine's shoulder >Less a hard pat like before >Your eyes focus on the monitor "You know we drifted apart. And I don't want you guys splitting up too. Even if money isn't an issue, it's safety I worry over. Even if safety isn't an issue, it's happiness I worry over. Even if it's happiness, it's any little thing I worry over." >Shine seems >Vulnerable? >Maybe that's the word for how she looks >Maybe it's the alcohol speaking >Or the alcohol making it so she isn't speaking >It's one of the two, surely "And... ah... ah crap. Where was I?" >The unicorn furrows her brow at you >"Saying Prism wanted to move out." "Oh! Yeah. See, I knew you were a good listener." >What a topic
>>11639 "You see, it... it feels like a dream. To think that you guys might split up. I wouldn't know what to do if you three drifted apart. It's incredibly depressing to think about. And that came up shortly before we made the decision to find work for us all, so it kinda added to it. Because whether or not she or I, or both of us, want to give her that chance... we have to. For socializing and ease of life and all of that goof stuff. We have to. We have to risk it. And... man, as much as we don't really hang out-she and I-it really is distressing to think that Jackonomicon is gonna be deprived of her big sister like that." >It feels like a difficult topic but you really don't have the capacity to hide it anymore "I just want you guys to be happier and better off. We've had time to get you guys acclimated to the world, and around... well, at least one human. And it seems right, like she said, that you guys maybe start to figure out how to earn money. But if that means you're gonna just head out and then we won't even know what will happen next..." >You sigh >Quick bottle check >Is it down a full third or a half at this point? >Maybe another sippy isn't required at the moment "I'm... I'm rambling. I'm sorry, Starshine. There's a lot to say about the last few weeks. I am worried. Not because I don't think it will work. I think it will. But I can't help worrying over that less than one percent that something may go wrong. Or that it goes too well and we're left alone." >"...wouldn't it be better if you two were left alone?" "No way. If it were just us, she would be lonely. We would be lonely. We wouldn't be a..." >You bring up your arms and are immediately amazed at how they weigh more than a feather "A... you know. A family sort of deal. As..." >A heavy sigh follows "A... an inorganic as we may be." >You simultaneously felt like you overwhelmed her with words yet you don't remember what you said ten second prior >"That's dumb." >You scoff and smile "Yeah? Tell me about it." >"Well what makes you think I would leave you behind? Jacky, I guess I wouldn't hate it if I talked to her every other day at most. I mean, we sometimes do that as is anyway, right? But if I had to actually travel to see you..." >You shrug >It is really all you can do, as meager as it may be for the gravity of the situation "I know. And I know we have this weird... quasi-weird dynamic. I don't know for sure how healthy that is. Not really." >To that, she seems to make a face >It's a complex face >Like how a fancy booze has a more complex taste >It lingers in the air rather than on your tongue >"To be honest... I kinda like it. Jacky used to be worried but now she doesn't care. I kinda get to do stuff and she... I guess trusts me? To not do the wrong things. And I like that. And I want to abuse that." >"And you certainly do." >"Wrong. I've certainly TRIED." >The head-tilting quizzical look you give is met with a matter-of-fact scowl >"Be honest, if I were really a home wrecker, or some sort of... bitch. Wouldn't I have done something that crosses the line by now?" "I... I don't know?" >You give her a wide grimace >She's certainly pushed the envelope for a hard while now >The few times you've had real talks with Jacky about it, she's learned to shrug it off and counts it as lessons to learn >Not in how to somehow protect you >But to one-up her >You're sure, at least to an extent, that Shine has been teaching by example >You think >"Well no. I wouldn't. You're... I'm not interested in anything else. If you're gonna keep doing dumb crap and, by that, I mean Jacky..." "No comment." >"...then... I guess I gotta get over it. And I have. I will continue to. But what's that phrase you liked using a few times?" "Where's the beef?" >"No, the other one." "I.... uah... make it Mac tonight?" >Another scowl >"No. It's "you can't stop me"." "HA! Ahhh... yeah. Yeah, I really did enjoy using that one."
>>11640 >"Exactly. You can't stop me. And neither can she. If it's futile, then I don't care. I still get to see and enjoy a side of you she never will. If it isn't futile... then that's an entirely new world to explore, isn't it?" >This talk of hers is almost enough to make you sober >Almost >You pet her shoulder >It's hard to not take notice of how soft her mane is "Listen, Starshine... if it means anything. Without going into detail. I'm sorry I wanted an Applejack instead of a Twilight. If I did... I think I would have gotten you first." >Are these treacherous words? >Or is it more an apology at her and her given lot in life? >She never asked for this >She never asked for any of these situations in her life >That strength >That hard-nosed view on what matters >You know that isn't truly her >It's more the consequences of her history that has led her to drink from the bitter pool of pragmatism >You feel like you need to hug Jacky >You do not, in any way, mean anything by it in that way >You wish you were two of you >You wanted to say that >But that wouldn't work, would it? >That would be borderline flippant >"You shouldn't be. If you met me first, you'd probably be so content that you wouldn't even bother to look for those two dorks." >Shine pushes a smile >It's real >You can tell >But it's not all joyous "Maybe. Maybe...and to be fair, who I am now isn't who I was then. Same with you. With how much you've grown these last few years to now. If you ever met the old you, you'd be surprised." >That smile warms up >She really is a sweet mare, underneath the spikes and thorns that she surrounds herself with >"I probably would be." >You lean back until you're practically laying on your back "It seems like either the booze or the talking is tuckering me out." >Shiner pushes back until she flops onto her back >She keeps her legs up, smiling >"Same." "Yeah..." >"Yeah." >You wipe your eyes with your index finger and thumb "You got one more day of freedom, after tonight. After that, you'll be a working stiff." >"That's ok." "Even if it means no more video games?" >"I can play them with you." "You won't have that much time to laze around anymore either." >"It just means that I'll be getting better." "You'll have to deal with more humans." >"You'll help protect me if they aren't good. Right?" >You chuckle "Of course. Just as much as I would protect Prism. Or Jack." >"I guess that'll have to do then." "It will. Because you know how far I'll go for her." >"Yeah..." >Starshine closes her eyes >"I'm not as much as a desperate booze mare as Jacky... I'm gonna get some sleep. Let's call it a draw. That one time I let you win didn't count." "Those two wins you let me have, you mean." >"Oh screw you." "You wish." >The magical mare lets out a melodious yawn >"Next time I win... I want a kiss." "Ha. Sure." >Though the menu theme of Melee isn't perfect, you find yourself dozing off >Just a little >In this little moment >You're sure that Shine will not fail >Not you >Not Jacky >Not Prism >And not herself >Even if she sucks at Smash
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She's a good girl, underneath it all. And it's only Anon who really gets to see it. And that's ok, isn't it?
>>11631 What >>11633 said. It's very much worth it. It's not an adventure, it's a wonderful slice of life. That said, gonna have to wait till tomorrow to read this newest update - also put the kibosh on an update to Midnight this weekend. I'm tired and starting to play Stray has given me an overwhelming urge to snuggle with my kitties. But green will be ready early in the week, just need to bake it a bit longer.
Zooma update imminent.
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>>11647 Invigoration.
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https://nhnb.org/fim/res/8141.html#q9059 12. Root-Cause Analysis, Part 1: Gainfully Employed >"Anon... you good, brah?" Chad slaps your shoulder, pulling your attention back to the here-and-now, back to the boat, the breeze, and your massive companion, his trademark mohawk hidden under a beige boonie hat. This is the "nerdiest" you've ever seen the man, and the sight would make you chuckle were your mood not so dour. He threads a hook through a squirming night crawler and casts his line some fifteen meters out, content to let the lead teardrops on the line take his squirming bait where it will. >Unable to formulate a spoken response, you just shrug and sigh, not paying attention to your own line. >While you appreciate Chad treading lightly around the impetus for this excursion, not acknowledging it eats away at you more with every passing hour. It doesn't help that the fishing has been uneventful, making for a rather disappointing distraction. "I don't know what to do, Chad." >He shifts his attention from the placid water, back to you. That's enough to break the dam. "Everything was perfect. Or I thought it was. Yeah, we had that biting incident, but it led to me meeting you and Spitfire, and you guys helped me realize my feelings for her. And, I dunno, everything just 'clicked'. Even before all that, we just worked. We fit together so naturally. It was effortless, man, like we were meant to cross paths, like I was meant to just up and invite her home." >While letting the words flow releases an emotional pressure of sorts, continuing down this path brings a new sense of pain. >"Relationships aren't always sunshine and roses, brah. Spits and I still fight, you know. Even after all these years together. It's just part of the game." "I know, but..." >"Did you really think that you and her would be some kind of fairy-tale exception?" "I... well..." You give a pained scoff. "Yeah. I feel so stupid admitting it, but I guess I got used to things always being so easy. Guess I just assumed things would always be that way because they'd been like that for so long." >"How's Zooma's counseling been going?" "I dunno. Counseling was my idea, but I wish I could do more for her. I can tell she's been crying whenever she comes home from her sessions, but she's so damned tight-lipped about it all." >"Have you considered she's too embarrassed to tell you?" >You haven't, it pains you to realize. >"To be honest brah, you've been pretty tight-lipped with how all this started. One minute it seems like everything is fine, next thing I know, you and Z are having problems, she's in counseling, and, just... fuck man. How did you get here? Can you put your finger on when things started to go off the rails?" >An apt question- one that you've been contemplating for some time. >A fresh mountain breeze pushes the boat to the east. Watching the pines surrounding this high-mountain shoreline sway under its influence, you think back to when things really began to feel different...
>>11651 /.../ >"I'm glad we did this." "Me too." >Zooma keeps herself pinned to your side by way of the wing wrapped around your waist, as she's done for what seems like forever. >How interesting... you've yet to celebrate the anniversary of when you first met your soul mate, yet it seems like it happened a lifetime ago. >So much has changed since then. >Hell, so much has changed in the two weeks since your encounter with Zooma's "sister", who you just spied gliding high above on some invisible thermal not fifteen minutes ago. It's the first time you've seen her since you made her manhandling acquaintance, but you pay her no mind, especially when the mare beside you consumes your present thoughts. >Getting out of the house this afternoon was a much-needed change of pace. While Zooma has always been... needy... during her cycles, this latest one was unusually challenging for you. Something seemed off about Zooma this time around, like there was an underlying, faint desperation that she exuded throughout it; a quality that had never been present before. Additionally, she was moodier throughout this heat- more than you'd ever seen her. >She'd been a bit controlling too, come to think of it... another unusual trait you didn't expect to see from your sweet, loving mare. >Whatever the cause for her peculiar behavior, you're glad that she seems back to normal today, and that her heat had fully subsided. You'd lost more weight than usual this time around. >It was nice to be out of her sight for more than five minutes today. It was nice to cook an early dinner that got Zooma's lick-the-plate-when-I-think-Anon-isn't-looking approval. And it most certainly was nice when she suggested that you take a slow, relaxing walk to someplace you'd never been to before. >So here you are, strolling down some frost-cracked sidewalk in a higher-end neighborhood barely two miles away from your own house. >Finally, things feel kinda normal again, notwithstanding the questions recent events have given you. >"What are you thinking about, my love? You're hard to read this evening." >Questions you're not ready to broach to your lover. >"Miss Zooma! Miss Zooma!" >Seems The Universe™ is gonna bail you out. What a bro. >Your mare gasps. Her ears swivel towards the source of excited voice that calls her name. A little blonde girl runs in your direction with her arms outstretched. >"Oh my stars!" Zooma squeals. She releases her feathery grasp on you to take off for the girl, gliding just above the well-kempt front yards that lay between them. >Zooma lands just short of the girl, who throws herself into your mare's waiting forelegs. She nuzzles the little girl and nickers before adding her olive green wings to the hug. >"Jessica, it's wonderful to see you again, my dear!" >As you close on the pair, so too does Jessica's mom from the opposite direction. >"You know," the mom begins, gaining Z's attention, "Jessica talks about you every single day."
>>11653 >"Multiple times a day," a man you assume to be the dad adds before holding his hand out to you. He's rail-thin and taller than you by a few inches. The way his short brown hair is styled... the shape of his thick red plastic glasses frames- it reminds you of someone else; making you think of Smashmouth-themed mashup albums. "Hi, I'm Brandon." "Anon." >He tries to hide a wince. "That's quite a grip you've got there, Anon." >Many miles away, Chad stops himself mid-sentence, stands from his couch, turns in your general direction and yells, "Attaboy, Anon! Unleash your inner alpha horsefucker!" Spitfire shakes her head and rolls her eyes. She flutters at eye-level with her man, placing her hooves on either side of his face. Chad offers no explanation beyond a shrug and a chuckle. Spitfire rolls her eyes again and kisses him; securing his attention once more. >Jessica's mom likewise extends her hand. "We never formally met last time. I'm Ruby." >Ruby's got a better grip than her husband, making you wonder if she wears the pants in their relationship. "Anon." You look to your mare, who's just returned to your side. "And I'm sure you remember Zooma..." >Z holds out her hoof to Ruby. "Hello again! I hope there's no hard feelings for the scare I gave you when we last met." >Ruby laughs and shakes her head before grasping Zooma's hoof and giving it a pump. "How could I when I remember the pure joy you brought to my little sunshine?" She leans towards Zooma to whisper in her ear. "Even if we are sick of hearing about the 'flying pony ride.'" >Dad joins his wife and extends his hand. "Hello Zooma, it's so nice to finally meet you. I'm Brandon." The pleasantries now complete, the parents exchange a glance. >Ruby turns back to you. "Would you two like to come over for some tea?" >"Of course!" Zooma answers for you, wrapping her wing around your waist again as she does. >"Miss Zooma?" >Zooma stops mid-stride, smiling at Jessica. "Yes, dear?" >"Can you give me a ride again?" >Ruby shakes her head. "Oh, honey, no..." >Your mare releases your waist and giggles. "It's no problem." She crouches down and does her best to hide her wince when the little girl pulls on her mane as she climbs into place. "There you go. Ready?" >"Ready!" >"Anon?" Zooma extends her right wing. "Right. I gotcha, babe." >Her green feathers wrap around your hand. "Thank you, my love." >Months ago, the glances that Ruby and Brandon exchange would've made you feel self-conscious and insecure about your unconventional relationship. But you're a different man. >The short trek back to Jessica's house is uneventful. Her parents are clearly well-off, if the neighborhood is any indication. Your suspicions are confirmed when Ruby and Brandon lead you to the front door of an immaculate two-story house whose reddish-pink bricks remind you of the sunset.
>>11655 >Ruby brews the tea while Zooma and Jessica play in the living room. Brandon engages you on the couch with the standard "tell me about yourself" small talk. Though it's a little awkward being in a stranger's home, you loosen up after your first cup of tea. Zooma, on the other hand, seems completely in her element playing with Jessica and her dolls on the living room carpet. They both pout when Ruby tells Jessica it's time to get ready for bed. "We should get going too, Z." you add, further intensifying Zooma's puppy dog eyes. >"Actually, there's something I'd like to speak with you two about, if you don't mind waiting." >So you wait, with Zooma joining you on the couch. Brandon excuses himself to help Ruby. >"Hey you." Z kisses your cheek. "Doing okay?" "Yeah." you whisper back. "Wondering what they want to talk about, but ready to go home." >Zooma nods and gives you another peck, this time on your neck, following it up with a nuzzle. She uses a wing to fish your clasped hands out of your lap, her olive primaries clutching your hand as they did during the walk to this large, lovely home. >You're both content to wait in silence, though you don't wait very long. Two sets of muffled footsteps announce the arrival of your hosts. "Sorry to keep you waiting," Ruby says with a faint smile. "No problem. What did you want to talk about?" >Brandon joins his wife on the love seat opposite from you and Z. "Okay, this may seem a bit weird, but bear with us, would ya?" "Okay..." >"Zooma," Ruby begins, "Would you mind telling us a bit about what a typical day looks like for you? I heard Anon talk about his job, but I'm curious to know what you're up to while he's gone." >Zooma nods. "Sure. Most days I help get Anon out the door on time. He's not much of a morning person, you see, but I've been working to change that since I moved in with him." She gives you a nudge with her shoulder. "Then I meet my friend Spitfire-" >"Another pony?" Brandon interjects. >"That's right. I met her through Chad, one of Anon's friends." >"This Spitfire, is she, um... is Chad like her, uh..." >"Oh, don't be such a prude, Brandon." Ruby scoffs. "I take it Spitfire and Chad are an item, like you and Anon?" >"That's right." Your mare gives you another peck on the cheek for emphasis. "Anyway, after I see Anon off, I meet Spitfire every morning to fly around the lake near our house. Then I come home, clean myself up, and work on any chores that need to be done." >Ruby leans forward. "Does that take you very long?" >"The chores? No, not anymore, ever since I finally got this one trained..." Z gives you another playful nudge. "If I've got nothing else to do, I'll read, or go for a longer flight around the neighborhood. I'll visit Spitfire at her house a few times a week to hang out. Sometimes she comes over for lunch and we'll experiment with new recipes in the kitchen." >Zooma giggles and rolls her eyes.
>>11657 >"Well, I do the experimenting. Spitfire mostly keeps me company and gives me feedback on my new creations." >"Fascinating," Brandon says as he cleans his glasses on his shirt. "So you can read, cook and clean... where did you learn all this?" >Zooma's ears flatten. She looks down at the carpet. "I... don't know." >"What do you mean?" >For the first time tonight, Zooma's confidence falters. She looks to you, her eyes full of concern and something else you can't quite put your finger on. >"I... I can't explain it. I just *know* how to do these things. It's been like that as long as I can remember." >You can tell this answer doesn't sit well with Brandon, and decide to add your two cents before he can prod into the one subject Zooma avoids talking about at all costs. "The bottom line is Zooma's wonderful. She's completely independent and a more competent adult than most humans you'll meet." Throwing your arm around her back, you pull her close. "I couldn't ask for a better mare to share my life with." >Zooma nuzzles into your neck. "Thank you, darling." she whispers in your ear. "I love you." >"Aww," Ruby says, holding her hand to her chest. "You two are just the cutest!" "Thanks." you say as heat rises to your cheeks. >You're glad that Ruby doesn't have a problem with you being a bona fide horsefucker. Brandon seems a bit iffy, but he also strikes you as kind of a bitch, much like you used to be. >"Well," Ruby looks to her husband, "I think I've seen and heard everything I need to. Brandon? What do you think?" >"Your call. I think she'd be great." >Zooma gives you an inquisitive glance. >Ruby smiles at your mare. "Zooma. As you might have overheard earlier, Brandon travels a lot for work, and I'm also very busy with my own career. We don't want to put Jessica in daycare, but since our last nanny moved away, we haven't been able to find anyone to replace her. The candidates we've interviewed either didn't impress us, or Jessica didn't care for. But you..." her smile widens. "Jessica adores you. And between what we've seen and what you've told us, I think you'd be perfect for the job. So what do you say? Would you like to be our new nanny?" >Zooma's eyes are bigger than you've ever seen them. "What... which days would you need me? And how many hours?" >"Monday through Friday, nine to three, until school starts. We'd start you off at twenty an hour. Sound fair?" >To her credit, Z keeps her composure as she and Ruby hammer out the details. With that done, you finally head out the door after exchanging pleasantries one last time. >The smile that dominates Zooma's muzzle is something to behold. You haven't seen her this happy since you asked her to live with you. She prances ahead in carefree zig-zags, then takes to the air, doing loops as she squees. >"Can you believe it, Anon!? They asked ME to care for their filly! ME! A reject, bootleg pony! I've got a real job!" "That's great, babe! I'm so proud of you!"
>>11658 >And yet, despite your pride and excitement for your mare, you can't help the uneasy feeling that bubbles deep in your gut. You don't let it show, lest your uncertainty ruin Zooma's euphoria. >Everything will be fine. It's like you said earlier- Zooma's more put together than most humans. She'll handle her new responsibilities just fine. >So why do you feel like something bad is going to happen? ... https://ponepaste.org/5304#1528
>>11653 Very sweet scene
>>11641 I'll admit I like Shiner more than Jackie. >>11659 I'm worried if Zooma will have a fear episode or something while taking care of the kid.
>>11671 She's had a longer journey than Jacky. From what we've seen, it's thanks to Jackenstein that she's even there... and we've seen what might happen if Anon got our red mare first. She really is Anon's best friend. Far more than Jacky could ever be. Which is kinda rough. Both for her, Starshine and Anon too. The paths they've all taken the way they did led to where they are now. What started as her being aggressive, jealous and spiteful has evolved to her being reliable, insightful and tempered. Driven by her own personal ambition and shaped by limitations has made her exceedingly skilled. What's funny is that she takes after Anon in a lot of ways. I suppose it's fair to say that Anon loves her. But in a different way than he loves Jacky. That isn't a bad thing. Worth noting that Jacky has taken after Prism a little. She hasn't forgotten about the element of harmony quests. I think that's why DRAGON MARE Z came up the way it did. If they could find a way to combine into one, it would presumably solve a lot of problems. It would also mash their desires, wants and needs into an explosive mare-shaped ball.
I wanted to write What's Bugging Anon but too much of my day was wasted on goofy shit. >>11641 >Less than twelve hours until the new job >Less than twelve hours until you load up your car with your dorks >Go to a new place >And deal with what they'll do >Or not do >Whether or not it is a good idea, it's happening >Starshine has been sticking to you like glue >She hasn't said it but you think that she's worried >You would be too if you were her >Since she dropped off for the night, you took the chance to slip out to talk to Tweedle D and Tweedle Jack >You hear the movie they're watching before you see them laying side by side >It's an old western >But it's not a good old western >"Jacky, this one really isn't that good..." >"Yeah but it has Angel Eyes in it." >"But his name is Marv." >"This time." >You sit behind them, suddenly more interested in the movie than actually talking to them >Jack can tell that you're behind her and flicks her tail upward as a personalized greeting >Prism doesn't move >You were wondering where that one blanket went off to, you didn't know they were using it "Huh. Did you recently get that one washed?" >"Yes. We did laundry yesterday while you and Spark were shouting at each other." >Prism is curt as always "Well, that's good. Mind if I join in?" >"Come lay with us, cowboy, it's just getting good!" >You sorta wanted to check out how they were doing but this is fine too >You lay beside Jackenstein, resting your head on her shoulder >You can still see the movie well enough so you aren't missing out >It is interesting too >The protagonist is... >Man, there's a lot of talking >Maybe you just need to pay attention to what's going on better >... >... >... >Your head jerks up >What were you doing? >With a fuzzy mind, you strain your eyes to pay attention to the... >...movie? >That's no movie, that's the Crypt Keeper "Whoa. Audie Murphy got decrepit." >Prism chuckles >She's no longer laying near Jacky >And Jacky somehow flopped over to the point that your head is on her chest "Jack asleep?" >"Yes. She's pretty excited for tomorrow." "Nice." >You nod and rub the side of your face into the pony "You are too, I hope." >"Excited enough to do it." "You know, I kinda wanted to pick your brain." >"About?" "What you think about this. What did Jacky sell you on?" >"Not much. It'll help you, her, me. All of us." >She's doing a good job at talking while not looking at you >This isn't going to work >It never has >It probably never will "So when did you get into Tales from The Crypt?" >"A few weeks ago." >The episode in question involves a pair of Siamese twins "It's good stuff. I didn't peg you for a spooky sort." >"I'm not." >You want to just sleep >But something compels you to try to at least socialize with her >If she can't socialize well with you, what hope does she have with random humans? "What do you like about it then? The cheap effects, or the actors tend to be pretty noticeable nobodies?" >She doesn't respond for a bit >"I suppose I like both of them. And the plots. A lot of them are just about thieves and conmen pulling schemes until they get their just desserts." "That sounds pretty heinous. Did you see the episode with the guy who got paralyzed?" >"I did, that one was good." "I grew up watching that sort of stuff, you know." >"That's amusing. Did little Anon have nightmares?" "From the episodes? Nah. It was always the opening of the Keeper bursting out and laughing." >You chuckle "I used to change the channel for a few seconds so I wouldn't see him do that." >Those were the days >Not really >But some childish nostalgia refuses to let the moment go >It's one of the few things you even want as proof that you were once a kid
>>11659 I'm nervous and excited for Z. She seems so thrilled in this update, and I have no doubt she would be great at the task - it's just that this is a new level of stress she hasn't dealt with. It's a big responsibility. And with her prior unresolved issues - yeah, I can empathize with Anon's pessimism. >>11675 It's nice to see Shiner's more candid side. The attitude is gold, but getting a peek behind the veil is always refreshing. And to see something resembling a conversation between Anon and Dashie is nice. Will it actually lead anywhere? Well... one can hope. Update to Midnight yet this morning or tomorrow. Bet.
>>11421 >"Ah yes, another nightly game of channel roulette. How wonderful." >You glance over at Midnight, who is lying beside you on the couch. >Starla is parked basically parallel to Midnight, with the laptop sitting in front of them. >While your guest is still focused on the contents of the computer screen, Midnight is alternating her vision between you and the TV, unimpressed with the flashes of color and bursts of sound as you skip around. >You manage to lock eyes with her, making her pause. >"Yes, you're annoying." >With that cue, you start hammering the remote, skipping through the channels even faster while grinning madly. >"I hope you feel accomplished." "Thanks, I do. You know, if you would stop reading so damn fast, you could stay in sync with where Starla is on the page and not even pay me any mind." >"That's probably my fault more than it is Midnight's," Starla speaks up, tearing her eyes from the laptop. "I'm a little on the sluggish side." "Nonsense. Midnight tears through everything she reads. She's read every damn shop manual I have cover to cover. Like, the first week she started living with me. Even I haven't done that." >"Wow, is that actually true?" Starla asks, her mouth agape at the idea. >"Something like that," Midnight answers, shying away from the sudden spotlight flashed upon her. "She's a lot nerdier than she puts on, Star." >A dark blue hoof lightly raps you on the thigh. "No hitting," you whine, poking her roughly in the cheek with your index finger. >You get an animalistic snarl in response. >"You two really do act like children all the time, don't you?" Starla asks, clearly amused by the exchange. >"He does, yes." "That includes you, Middie." >"I occasionally stoop to your level. There is a difference." "Starla, doesn't that make her as guilty as me?" >"Wait, why are you asking her opinion?" Midnight blurts. >Quickly, she recognizes the harshness of her words, dropping her head in muted reluctance as she turns to her friend. >"Sorry, Starla. Didn't mean for it to sound like that." >"Midnight, you're fine!" Starla laughs brushing off the inadvertent callousness. "I know you get caught up in the moment, I knew what you meant. Though I'm curious why Anon thinks so highly of what I think." >All eyes fall upon you with that end note. "Because you are our guest, and clearly the only grown up here." >"She's our guest, so you want to make her choose a side. That seems really inviting." >Starla shakes her head, chuckling lightly before her attention abruptly snaps to the TV. >"Hey, what's that?" she asks, pointing a hoof as intrigue suddenly creeps over her face. >You look at the screen in time to see a forest green Chevelle being rolled onto a stage before a crowd. >That's a big nope. "Ah, I didn't mean to stop on this shit." >You raise the remote in your hand to change the channel, only for the device to be jarringly snapped from your grasp.
>>11685 >It waggles in the air tauntingly, held aloft by a thin wire that's snaked around it. >"Our guest would like to know what that is, Anon," Midnight announces with a straight and emotionless expression. "It's a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle. Remote, please," you quickly spout, holding your hand out more authoritatively than expectantly. >Instead, the remote swoops under your open palmed hand, making for your knuckles as Midnight devilishly snickers. >"Don't you dare, you little bastard," you spit, pulling your hand away before she can complete the plastic assault upon your joints. >"Wait, I'm confused. What's the problem with this car? I like the white stripes on top," Starla comments, looking to either of you for clarification. >"Anon hates watching auctions, which is what this is," Midnight responds. "He gets all sad and mopey." >Perplexed by the answer, Starla directs focus onto you for more clarity. "We'll watch it, I guess," you concede. "Turn up the volume, Middie." >"... and underneath the hood is an LS6, the most powerful iteration of the 454 big-block Chevrolet put into these cars," the announcer reels off. >Well, this is a big one if it's the real deal. >The cameraman pans along the side of the car, showing off the flawless mirror-shine paint job that accentuates the body lines, before heaving the camera up to get a view of the interior. >A white vinyl interior sets a sharp contrast against the darker metallic paint and complements the twin stripes that Starla alluded to draped over the top of the car. >"So what is it you don't like about this show, Anon?" Starla asks. "The figure up at the top that keeps climbing." >No sooner do you say that does the dollar figure break into the six digits, and continues to bounce upward. >"Wow, it's almost like it's an auction, Anon," Midnight comments in a mocking voice. >It makes you leer at her, something she didn't quite expect, considering her sassy demeanor fades away. >"What?" "You know why I hate this shit, Midnight." >"Well I don't," Starla pouts. >"It's autism." "You hush." >"Sold! $147,000!" >The announcers begin to rave about the price and how it compares to recent auctions, while you shake your head. "What bothers me about this stuff is the fact that car is likely never going to see the light of day. Certainly isn't going to be regularly driven, and to me, that's just sad." >"Well, that is a lot of money..." Starla comments, trailing off as she tries to come up with something of substance. >"You mean to tell me you would be driving that all over tarnation and risk fucking it up after spending that kind of dough?" "Alright, come here, you." >You turn and grab a hold of Midnight, dragging her over to your side. >"What the hell are you doing?!" Midnight barks in disbelief. "Embarrassing you in front of your friend with punishment cuddles," you answer back as you embrace her and rest your chin upon her head.
>>11686 >"That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard," she mutters in frustration as she tries to squirm her way out of the affection. >You glance over at Starla, flashing her a smirk as she tries hard not to burst into laughter at the token struggle. "Don't let her fool you, Star. Most of the time when I wake up, she's draped all over me or snuggled up to my side." >"Shut up, shut up!" >Now the half-hearted fight takes on some energy as you can feel the warmth emanating from her face upon your neck and chest. >"Aww, she really does like you, doesn't she?" Starla teases. "Hey, you're starting to understand Middie's language." >"You're both assholes." >"It sounds like she needs more love, Anon," Starla comments with a sly smile. >She moves over toward you and Midnight, snuggling up to Midnight and snaking those pink forelegs around her friend. >"Why is this a thing right now?" Midnight demands. >"I dunno, but I didn't want to be left out." >"That's not an excuse!" "Oh fine, you poor thing," you relent as you free her from your arms. >Starla backs away as well, though only as Midnight starts to move away from you. >As Midnight quickly darts back to her prior spot on the couch, she shakes her head, trying to make some sort of organization in the mass of her hair that's splayed everywhere on her head. "Feel better now? Maybe less snarky?" >"You get a five-minute reprieve" she shoots back. >You beam with pride as you look to Starla, who giggles at the light victory you've achieved. "Yeah, we're kinda dysfunctional." >Starla shakes her head, her amusement not diminished in the slightest. >"It's not something I'm used to seeing, nor have I experienced that kind of relationship, but I'd hardly call it dysfunctional," she says. "It's just funny watching you two pick on each other like that in good fun." >"How about we go back to the prior conversation, the one we were having before I hurt your poor feelings and you had to torture me, Anon," Midnight suggests. >You forgot there was a conversation going on... "Where were we?" >"You suggested driving a six-figure car around," Starla chimes in. "Oh, right. Anyway, I get it from the point of view of a lot of moolah at risk - but why buy it at that point if you're never going to drive it? If you spent that much, you would wisely insure it for that value. Most people that go to these auctions just collect to have something they can say they own. If they actually show it off, it's going somewhere in a trailer." >"I thought maybe it was just a jealousy thing, to be honest," Starla reluctantly admits. >You shake your head. "Don't feel bad. I mean, part of it could be that on a separate level. But the big thing is - well, cars are made to be driven. When they just sit, seals dry up and leaks form, parts get seized up, and tires and other rubber pieces dry rot. All of that happens even in climate controlled garages." >"I didn't know that."
>>11687 >"Let's admit though - you getting bent out of shape over watching this because of what goes on afterward with something you likely wouldn't see anyway - it's a bit much," Midnight replies in a calm tone. "I'll admit it. But let's admit buying something just so you can say you own it is sort of sad." >"I can understand it," Starla nods. >"I've always understood it. But I do like seeing the sort of shit they bring out. I'd watch this stuff from time to time while you were asleep." "Well, at least it wasn't the porn channel." >A look of disgust quickly follows from Midnight, even as Starla lightly chuckles and turns back to the TV. >"It is interesting to see the different kinds of cars. I don't know much about em." "Well, I guess if you want to fall into the pit of automotive insanity, you're gonna get a crash course staying with us for a little while." >"Well, I hope I can be a good student," Starla warmly comments, sitting up straight and proper. "Nah, no pressure. There's just a hundred-question exam at the end of your stay you have to pass to leave." >"I can always let her cheat off of me. Considering she's going to show me a few things about making food." >Starla nods quickly, excited by the notion. >"I wanted to start tonight, but thought better of it. A lot to take in being in a new place," she explains. "When do you normally go to bed, anyway?" >You and Midnight glance at each other, before offering Starla shrugs in unison. >"I think we just sorta crash when one of us starts falling asleep. Which sorta depends on what took place during the day." "I still got a couple of hours in me, I know that much. You tend to go to bed early?" >"No, I just wanted to make sure I'm messing up your sched-" "Nah, don't worry none about that. We're both pretty flexible." >"...so we can keep watching this?" >While Starla is the one to inquire politely, both mares equip their best puppy-dog eyes. "Well, I'm outvoted two to one anyways. Maybe this will desensitize me a bit." >"That's the spirit," Midnight consoles you, patting your leg. "Time limit's up, you know. Figured you would want to crank the sarcasm back up," you remind her. "Eh, I'll throw you a bone for being democratic." -----
>>11684 Doesn't help that I fell asleep with PlushJack while writing. Today is a big day for them. Also man, everyone is suddenly writing now.
>>11690 Yeah, I need to pick up the pace with this Rosie update since when I finish this one I already have the next part written.
>>11615 have you read it, is it any good?
Is it time to revive the thread on /mlp/? If so, it'd be wise to stagger all the updates that have accumulated to keep the thread bumped with content.
>>11699 Like John Wick, I'm thinking yeah, we're back. May as well at least try.
>>11699 Didnt people bitch and moan about the dumps last time?
>>11703 That's why I'm saying we should stagger it. Don't dump everything at once. Somebody post an update every two or three days, maybe longer to give people a chance to read it and even comment on it. But I'm not holding my breath on that. I'm just glad you guys have been better about engaging with each other. The problem is how fast the board has been over there.
>>11675 >"I bet that took a lot of practice to nail down. It kinda scares me too. But once you see that he's just a puppet it's more clever than anything else. Why aren't puppets used like that anymore?" "It's a dying art, D-bash." >You let out a long, low yawn >Jack is out like a light but even then your yawn makes her yawn "A lot of old stuff just isn't used anymore. Everything has to be CG, 3D, over-produced and all sorts of silly things." >You'd like to watch more but you'll have to settle for listening >Your eyes are just too heavy "Make sure you get some rest, man. We're gonna need you tomorrow." >... >... >... >You can hear the Crypt Keeper make bad puns >How did that joker ever spook you? >You were such a coward back then >But how could you have known better, or been braver? >"Hey, are you awake?" >Of course you are >Though you say nothing >You don't think that you can reliably talk back >"Your breathing changed, you're awake." >Damn >Caught >"Jacky's really happy about tomorrow, you know that?" >You can guess so >"Going by how Sparking is when she comes out with you..." >You don't like that slight inflection >"She seems happy too." >You're listening but the breathing of your PillowJack is a little too comfortable to give her your full attention >"I'm not going to tell you anything you don't already know." >Is that right? >"But I still think you're too close to her." >That's nothing new "...it's not that bad." >"What happens when it does get that bad?" >"I'll buck her face and then we'll watch a movie." >That was Jack >You weren't expecting that >She wasn't pretending to sleep, you recognize that breathing pattern >"...Jacky, you need to-" >"Nah." >You're staying out of this one >"Do you really think this can keep going?" >"It's fine, Dashie." >"Jac-" >"I said it's fine, Faint Prism." >Not only are you laying on a mare with your eyes closed >Not only are you effectively in the middle of this argument >You don't think you've ever heard Jackunaut speak in that sort of time "...should I still try to be sleeping here?" >"Yes." >You feel Jacky's legs fold toward you "Sounds good. You guys better be ready for tomorrow." >"Super ready." >The short squeeze of her legs on you convince you of that easily enough >"...Sorry, Anon." "It's alright. You're just a bit of a fruitcake sometimes." >Jacky snickers >"Needs more lemon." "Oh you know it." >No commentary >You exhale >Why is everything so jagged with her? "Hey D-bash. I gotta ask you something." >No reply >But you hear her shift enough >You have no clue if your pillow is awake and listening in but you don't want to open your eyes >You were so ready to doze off but now this had to go the way it did "Do you not like it here? What's up?" >No reply "You know there's no beating Countess Jackula." >Nothing >Not from her, anyway >From the sound of the episode going on, it's about to reach the fatal climax "You used to be more sneaky but now it just seems like you want to start something." >You reach up to grab Jackonovich's foreleg >You aren't going to worry over it
>>11704 >spoiler It is what it is. I don't know how it'll turn out but it is worth a shot. >>11703 AngeryAnon is always with us. >>11706 "Hey there, we're celebrating so I'd like for, ah... uh, four of the main combos. Extra coleslaw on one, replace the coleslaw with extra breads on two, and then replace the coleslaw with extra fries." >"Wow, congrats then! What would you like for drinks?" "Just two of the gallon teas you guys have, if you still have some." >"Sure thing! Sweet or unsweet?" "One of both is the name of the game." >"Alright! So, four combos with..." >The pleasantries are nice >The three mares in the car with you are quiet >For a first day, they... >Well >It was a first day >When you get back to the apartment, Shine frees your hands up by using her magic to hold up the bags and tea >Only after everything is divvied out does everyone take a seat in the living room >D-bash prefers the extra coleslaw >Shiner digs the extra fries >You won't lie, everyone likes the extra fries >But you sometimes arm wrestle SnackJack for the extra bread if you're hungry enough >She doesn't always win >Rather than decide on sweet or unsweet, everyone has two cups >It's not much of a feast in the traditional sense >But it is still something of a celebration >"We're so screwed." >Shine's voice is so devoid of hope >"It... it's ok. This sort of thing happens in movies too, right? >Your dork in chief at least seems a little more hopeful >"...I really didn't mean to." >Prism finally speaks >Her poise is well and truly broken >Even her mane is less than flawless "I... it's ok. Sometimes the first days are the worst." >You didn't have all that hard a time >It was largely one of those useless orientation days where you're told a dozen things, remember nothing, and end up goofing around >The library is a lot smaller, once you get the general layout >But >It also means less places to run to "I think what... might help. Is to not really try to panic." >You gulp down your sweet tea fast enough that you can only vaguely taste the delicious syrupy mostly-liquid "And... to not scream for help. Or to buck. Bucking is definitely a no go. With me, it's debatable. But..." >You need to be careful to not name names "...make sure you just keep a good distance from the random people." >You don't want to make any pony feel bad >But between the three, one has been taken out enough to be somewhat comfortable, one remained near you like a starved, stray cat >And one tried to show off her feathers as a way to impress >And dealt with a kid trying to pluck one of her feathers >You keep your eyes on your food box >If the panicked pony wasn't enough, an angry parent quintupled the strain "The good news... is that I was told that she's a bit of a pain anyway, same with her kid. So if they don't come back, that's going to be a good thing in the long run." >"...at least I didn't use any magic." "Yeah. You're not wrong. The last thing we needed was a scorched earth policy including actual scorched earth." >"...did your day go good at least, Anon?" >As hopeful as she sounds, Jacklevania is hardly above a whisper "Yeah... yeah, it wasn't bad. I had a bit of a talk. Before and after." >You finally bring your eyes up >To the only winged pony of the party >She looks like she's three seconds away from bawling her eyes out "And it's alright." >She's quick to break eye contact >Your eyes go to The Shining "It is. It's the first day but next Monday? It'll feel like you're a thousand times better." >And finally, to your Jack knife >You can't help but frown at her "...did you know that kid's mom was going to be a bitch?" >She smirks >"Tiny bit. She looked like that one woman from our first date." "You... wait, Ihop or the trail?" >She looks like she's disappointed but it passes after a second >"Which one counts as the official first?" "I... I don't know."
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>>11706 >"You used to be more sneaky but now it just seems like you want to start something." >>You reach up to grab Jackonovich's foreleg >>You aren't going to worry over it Shit, things are coming to a head sooner than I'd thought. I feel for Prism, I really do. For somepony that's always got a sister nearby, she's very alone. I wish she could let go of her past and be able to move on with her life and heal. Deebly goncerned about her.
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>>11707 >Raising Cane's
>>11707 >For a moment, she seems as perplexed as you >"You're both idiots. I hope you two can refine your act and take it on the road." >Shiner speaks in her usual flat, sarcastic tone between stuffing her face with fries "Yeah well it would help smooth things over." >You pluck a fry from Sparkler's box, much to her dismay >Your eyes go back to Prism >... >Crap >None of your usual antics are causing even a smile >The weight of the room increases back to where it was before anyone spoke "If you wanna talk about it, you aren't going to find a better audience." >You do your best to give a shrug that shows her that it isn't a big deal >Even though it kinda is "And if you wanna rant instead, we're all for it." >The red on her face >It's easy to notice >Very easy >From the way her eyes are avoiding yours... >You get the feeling that it isn't sadness that's trying to drown her >But shame >... >... >Nothing >You won't force it out of her >Even if it means that she'll have to stew in things >Hopefully she'll choose to join the sortie tomorrow "Good first day, girls. Tomorrow's gonna feel just as short but it won't be nearly as bad." >You hope
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>>11710 I almost wonder if this is going to be a crash back to earth moment for Dashie - sorta hope it is, though that sounds rather mean to say. Even as fleeting as the descriptions of the day's events were, brought a lot of nostalgia to me, in a weird way. The first day of joining the workforce is always the most stressful and overwhelming. Maybe just coincidence that it hit me rather hard in that respect - a couple of weeks away from when I started my current job nine years ago, and about a month from my first ever (legal) job fifteen years ago. Both about brought me to tears after the first day. Then again, I'm kind of a pussy.
>>11688 Cute interaction, Midnight got sandwiched.
>>11718 Who can say? I think one crucial thing missing with the dorks is that they've had time to adjust to the world... but not to the point that they can actually work or support themselves/each other beyond emotionally. It's a big trial. It's what puts them from pet territory to equals. At least, some of them may be thinking that.
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>>11615 Gave this a read last night, you were right it's very /bootleg/. The way it leaves off on a cliffhanger due to the translation sucks, brought back thoughts of of Rambo, in more ways than one. Will any Russianon step up and translate the rest?
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>get on ponepaste >see bootleg archive updated Where were you, Tiff? Do you still love us?
>>11688 >You didn't sleep much last night. >Nerves kept your mind running at full steam in bed. >Maybe this was a mistake. >After all, you don't actually know how fit Starla is when it comes to a full day of walking. >Add to that being out in the heat and under the broiling desert sun... >You should have asked more questions. >But you were too damn excited. >"Midnight." >You snap back to reality to find Starla staring at you, both confused and expectantly. "What?" >"I asked if you could get into my larger bag that I brought and fish out my hat. I'd appreciate it since it's easier for you." >Right. >You've been helping her this morning with her mane and tail. >Surprisingly, she's able to manage tending to most of it with her brush clutched between either her teeth or her front hooves. >The area on top and around her head is the biggest issue. >And tying it all up to prevent dragging it on the ground all day. >Actually looks surprisingly nice with it harnessed to a shorter length. >And it hasn't taken that long, though you've clearly drifted off in thoughts in the meantime. "Shit, sorry. I was thinking of something else," you admit. "Be right back." >Almost galloping out of the room after cracking the bedroom door open, you find the suitcase in question and open it up, searching through odds and ends of attire. >Wow, she really does wear a fair bit of stuff. >"Thief! Thief!" >You look up, finding Anon wide-eyed and pointing at you, wielding a spatula for a weapon as he slaves over the stovetop. "How much shit are you cooking this morning? Normally you'd be done by now." >"Three extra eggs and another extra six strips of bacon over the usual. That's an extra pan each," he replies, switching his focus back to breakfast. "How much longer are you two playing dress-up this morning?" "Who said we were playing dress-up?" >He glances back over. >"You are going through a bunch of accessories right now. What else should I be thinking?" "...I'm getting her hat that she asked for," you begrudgingly admit, somehow only now noticing the straw yellow sun bonnet on top that is surely your target. >You carefully fetch it out with your trusty metal wire normally weaved within the pendant chain. >...man is that girly looking. >"Well I do declare, that's a mighty fine headpiece for a proper southern belle," Anon cheers in a horrendous attempt at a female voice. >It makes you cringe hard enough to feel like you're straining a muscle. "Never, ever do that again." >"I thought it was decent!" Starla calls out from the bedroom, her slight drawling accent she sports purposefully emphasized. >"Oof, you got outvoted on that one," Anon chides with a smirk. "Makes me question her intelligence." >"Hey!" "Kidding!" you shout back to Starla. >Backtracking, you sneak through the narrow crack of the bedroom door left slightly ajar, presenting your find to Starla on the other side, still happy and content despite her protest just a moment before. >"Yep, that's the one!"
>>11750 >Gently setting it down upon her head, she adjusts it with her hooves until satisfied. "You know, when you said you packed some things to wear, I thought you were joking," you comment while looking on. >"Well, I may have gone a bit overboard, but I figured why not - maybe you'll see something that tickles your fancy to try," she suggests with a bright smile. "Eh, I don't think that's my thing. And these will get in the way," you explain languidly, spreading your wings in demonstration of your point. >"Oh nonsense. It's not like I wear full dresses - more like accent pieces. But I get it, you're kinda a tomboy. But might be worth an experiment, you know?" >You really can't wrap your head around dressing up for the sake of wearing something. "Maybe. No frilly shit, though." >Starla hums with contentment, though her mood falters a bit after a few seconds. >"Are you alright today?" she asks with thinly veiled concern. "Fine. Just didn't sleep that great." >"Why's that?" "I dunno. Too excited about today, spending time with you?" you suggest with a forced grin. >Starla raises a brow in suspicion. "You worry too much, you know that?" >"Perhaps." >Eager to leave this odd and uncomfortable investigation behind, you make for the door. >Only to have it shut in your face with a deft kick from Starla. "Jesus, Star! You trying to cut my nose off?!" you shout in shock and frustration. >Starla doesn't seem to be fazed by your tone, instead resting upon her haunches and folding her forelegs in front of her in disappointment as she leans against the door. >Her eyes are closed, meaning the glare you're likely sporting is going unseen as well. >... you've never really noticed how dextrous her front legs are until now. >Maybe it has something to do with how they were made as prosthetics? >Huh. >"No, but we aren't having breakfast until you tell me what's going on," she says in a stern voice. "Was it something last night, or something this morning? Is it me?" "No, are you high?" >Starla's violet eyes make an appearance again after hearing your quip, her face twisted into a look of confusion. >"What?" "I asked if... nevermind. It's just a stupid saying," you respond, dismissing what could become a lengthy explanation. >Instead, you focus on the door, seizing the handle and pulling. >...Star is a lot stronger than you expected, as she keeps a shoulder held tight against your obstacle to freedom. >Noticing the slight movement you manage to create, Starla shifts so her whole body is leaned up against the door. >She looks at you while you give another tug, mildly amused. >You could really put some muscle into it... >At the risk of destroying something or hurting her. > It's not worth it, Midnight. >"Hey, no horseplay!" Anon calls out. "Good thing we aren't horses, numbnuts!" >"I would have said ponyplay, but there's uh... that's got another meaning. Forget it." >Starla's expression turns from stern to quizzical.
>>11751 "If he says forget it, more than likely it's for the best." >"It seems harmless enough though..." >She shakes her head, regaining her composure as she resumes the interrogation. >"Seriously, we aren't leaving until you tell me what's going on. Your attitude now and the lack of sleep you admitted have to be related. I'm not stupid." "I never said you were! And I don't think you are!" you quickly protest. >"But...?" >Goddammit. >You sigh, seeing no way out of this. "Look, I didn't really think about it till now, actually thinking it through beyond just the surface. But we're going to be outside in the heat and the sun all day." >"Hence why I brought the hat," she says, rather surprised by your words. "Again, I can think ahead, Mid." "And we end up doing a lot of walking. Yeah, we drive the truck to an area, but we don't move it ev-" >"Why don't you think I can handle myself?" Starla interrupts, a bit of hurt in her voice. "It's..." >You find yourself staring at her pale pink forelegs, which Starla quickly recognizes. >"Oh please, Midnight, is that really it? I figured you could at least be a bit more complex and fixated on being more of a homemaker type in touch with my feminine side," she scoffs. "It might be that, too." >"I think you'll be surprised by me," she replies with a light chuckle, brushing aside the tension with a dismissive wave of the hoof. "Trust me, I don't have your brains or your abilities to pick things up with the wave of my horn, but physically, I'm more than capable of a day out. I may be even stronger than you *because* I don't rely on 'magic'." "Alright, now you're starting to stretch it a little thin." >"Mind magic didn't open the door for you, did it?" she lightly jabs back. >That's a challenge you aren't letting slide. "I easily could have, Starla. I didn't see any sense in ripping the door off its hinges." >"Oh simmer down, I'm teasing," she relents, dropping to all fours before reaching over and patting you on the shoulder. "Come on, I appreciate the concern, but today isn't going to be as taxing for me as you think. Let's get some food." >You do feel a bit better with the reassurance - and her voice is one of pure confidence. >But being called out on your inability to get past her... >That rankles you a bit. >Still, you set it aside, as Starla has with your doubts about her capabilities. >You gently swing open the door, allowing Starla egress first before following out shortly thereafter. >Anon sits at the kitchen counter, already brandishing a fork with eggs in one hand, and a strip of bacon in the other. "Couldn't wait for us? Rude," you comment in jest. >"Hell, I was gonna start on your plates here pretty quick if the standoff lasted any longer," he comments. >"It smells good, thank you for giving us a chance to get out here," Starla chuckles, hopping into a chair. >Likewise, you climb up into the seat next to her and prepare to dig in. >But pause a moment before actually doing so.
>>11752 "Why were you listening to our private conversation?" you cautiously ask Anon. >His brow furrows while his eyes widen a bit, as if you uttered something utterly bizarre. >"You think the doors here are soundproof or something? That thing has a hollow core, Middie," he answers. >... "I didn't sleep that well last night." >"You did toss and turn a few times and woke me up, but I wasn't gonna say anything. Still, that was a dumb question, you don't get a free pass on that." "Ass." >Your lazy insult only brings cheer to his face as he resumes breakfast. >A quiet indeed settles upon the room as you and Starla join his lead. >Of course, since he got a head start, Anon finishes before everyone else. >And turns his focus to Starla. >"For what it's worth, I had some concerns about what you're used to and how you'd fare for a whole day outside. Midnight just happened to be the one to take the bullet." >"I suppose I do set off an air of delicacy," she replies, offering a calm, pleasant tone. "No worries - I guess I just have to show I've got grit today." >That last statement comes out with a hint of playfulness. >But her eyes are lit up with fierce confidence you've never seen until now. >It even catches Anon off-guard. >"Well... alright then," he manages to sputter. "It's about time we get this show on the road, once you gals finish up." "It's a real fag and pony show now, huh?" >Anon shrinks down a bit, his eyes darting between you and Starla. >After a moment, he hides his face from Starla with his hand, turning fully to you. >"Shh, don't tell her, I'm not ready to come out yet." >"I've known for a while." "Hey, nice!" you belt out through surprise, offering a shoulder bump of camaraderie with Starla as she joins you in laughter. >"Dammit, even the sweet one picks on me now," Anon laments in jest, allowing his head to lightly slump and audibly thump the countertop. >Alright, maybe you got Starla a bit wrong. >Maybe today you're seeing a new side of her. -----
>>11753 Will they be OK?
>>11746 It's not you guys, it's the artificial fracturing of the fandom blackpill that killed my drive. So while blondie can channel energy into 'blogpost' parts of writing, I just shutdown and detach, but who do you think made the captain bootleg pic?
>>11762 The fandom is fracturing, no doubt about that, but on NHNB we are gradually building a small and comfy board which is becoming more active. Artists like us are a crucial part of this board's growth. I encourage you to take that whitepill; no matter how bad it gets out there other anon are keeping the flame alive. Thank you for all the work you have done for this thread!
>>11762 At this point, the only thing you can do is to try to make more good times. It's all I can do anyway. [spoiler]Everyone blogposts here, whether or not in their greens or just outright.
Looking forward to more Rosie Rock and Sirlestia.
>>11688 Love the Midnight hug scene, that was very cute. Even sitting around on the couch it seems like they're having a lot of fun together. >>11699 Staggering would be a good idea. Feels like there's quite a bit of content to go around at the moment. >>11753 Good update.
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>>11767 its not the comfy whitepill you think it is. >>11770 not quite blogfagging, but here's something out of the norm with some vent art
>>11810 It isn't comfy. But it can be enough. Beautiful Twill, too. Her writer would probably be surprised to see new art of her.
>>11710 >Saturday morning >What a first week >You can't help but feel like you were a pity hire >There are many things you already have a vague understanding of, sure >And learning the newer things haven't been difficult at all >But you're pretty sure that you spent most of your first week just goofing off >And watching over the girls >Though you fell asleep with Jack, you woke up with Shiner in your arms instead >You thought she was your pillow but apparently the two swapped at some point >Even Prism has taken up space in your room, though she brought in a few pillows to sleep on while the unused portion of the bed >After that first night, you decided against having little group huddles >You swooce your way out of bed and fix two bowls of cereal, a crunchy peanut butter and apple butter sandwich, and leftovers from last night's pizza >You kinda thought that everyone would want to celebrate their first week of work >Instead, you had three drop dead exhausted mares that just wanted to lay down, eat fresh peetzer, and watch a movie >And even that descended into merely listening to the music in the background for the most part >You set down the pizza and sandwich first >Sandwich for the geek >Pizza for the dork >Cereal for the nerd >Said geek spreads her wings, apparently woken up by the smell of the peanut butter >"Morning already...?" "Yup. Got tired of sleeping alone?" >"I just knew that if I cried to you like Sparking does, you'd get me anything." "...fair point." >You sit with both bowls >Shiner's still sleeping >You can't eat if you're stuck holding them >You set it down on her flank "Hey, my hand's cold. Warm it up." >Almost by reflex, the bowl-and your hand-are stuck in red aura "Ha, I lied. Breakfast time nerd." >Shine lifts up her legs and kicks them out and as far as she can >You'd wonder if this was some sort of brain damage but you've picked up on her doing that more lately >Jackrobatics lets out a mewl of a yawn and immediately follows it with an unflattering sigh >"Anon... I quit." "Quit? You quit when I say you do." >You adopt a southern plantation owner's twang "Now git to eatin'. Those books ain't gonna stack themselves and thems peoples ain't gonna greet themselves!" >That really is all Jacky did for the first week, was be social >She took book returns >She greeted visitors >And she generally looked lost when she was more than ten yards away from you >"This is pony slavery... I have my rights." >She pouts and rips into the pizza "You have yo right... to git ta work!" >This sort of low-energy banter is nice >The room is so drained that anything more would be tapping into emergency energy reserves >"I didn't mind it... but why is it so boring?" >Customary to her, and to her only, she tilts the bowl up and drinks all of the milk before even touching the cereal itself >The Cap'n wouldn't appreciate such treatment >"I never thought I'd see so many books and care so little about them. I tried reading one of those "classics" and it took a whopping four pages before I lost all interest." "That's because you're a plebian." >"I'll plebian all over your face." >"I'll allow it." >Jacky adds in with just barely enough energy to lift her head to eat "How about you, Faye?" >Her ears perk up at the name >"Me?" "Yeah, you." >"What is it?" "Bah... dropped the ball. Oh well, two to three in favor so pleb it up." >"Ha... awesome. You better be ready, I'm springing it on you when you least expect it." >This sort of disorganization and workmare's fatigue tells you that any of them will be hard-pressed to do anything more than limp to the bathroom
>>11829 >With everything eaten with bowls and plates retrieved, you leave them to languish in comfort and somewhat middle-class luxury >The plates are paper so into the trash they go >The bowls get a quick rinse and scrub before getting set on a kitchen rag to dry >This... >Was this a good idea? >You think you'll squeak by >You were asked to come back on Monday, so that isn't a bad sign >The same was said to the trio too >And especially to the princess of the group >But that doesn't mean much >Is it sustainable? >They were all more reliant on your words than the head honcho's >That didn't seem to be a problem, but you want to say that you're getting the feeling that some sort of line should be drawn, when it comes to closeness >At least when it comes to being there >There are too many real factors to count >They at least accomplished their goals for the week >Four hours a day, Monday through Friday >Four long, painful hours of them sorta-kinda working, and then bumming around for the rest of the day >You don't even remember what you did, if you actually did anything resembling work >Is that a good sign, or bad? >Or just an indicator that you're really not there to truly do anything of value? >You did sort of imply that you're all a package deal, for safety's sake and otherwise >"Anoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon." >You kinda joked about it in the past, maybe you do need some sort of collar or GPS tags for them >"Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooonnoooooonammouuuuuuuussaaaaaaaaaa?!" >...would a leash work?" >"HUMAN, WE REQUIRE YOUR ATTENTION AND ARE WILLING TO PAY." >Oh yeah >That reminds you of something "You think my attention can be bought, foolish pony!?" >You bellow with a practiced huff >They're going to have money soon >Surely nothing bad will come of that >"YES!" >You pretty sure you can hear all three of them answer "Oh God damn it, fine..." >You grumble to yourself and stop at the door "So what's going on?" >Yellow mare goes from laying on her side to being entirely on her back >"Pet me." >Red mare sits up and takes hold of her controller >It's hers because the clear plastic has cracks in it from her magic >"Hold me." >White mare smirks, glad to join in >"Brush me." >It's going to be one of those days "You all do realize that I only have two hands, right?" >You refuse to listen to their assorted answers >You suppose maybe they deserve it for a week of hard work
>>11810 Aww, Twill is such a cutie. She deserves all the hugs. >>11830 Interesting to see Prism letting down her guard just the teensiest bit. Also, not surprised to see everyone thoroughly spent after a first week of work. Cute, though. Feel like I got something clicking again after two updates in one week, woo. Even started on the excursion into the yard this weekend as a nice distraction and vent for emotions. God damn my soft heart, it makes any story-centered game with a tug at the heart a catalyst for the water works to open up. Stray is such a wonderful game, though.
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>>11843 She's cute, what's her name?
>>11846 Nobody knows. She's just a shoepony apparently.
>>11843 She's really cute.
>>11840 I think things are going to be interesting. Long gone are their carefree days. Now they must evolve and adapt to wagiehood.
>>11843 >A literal bootmare
>>11830 >Less than twelve hours >In that short amount of time, you'll be at work again >They will be at work again >Of course, it's only going to be for a few hours >But it's still work >Pony roll call >Jacqueline is sleeping in... >The hallway? >Well that's weird >She has a trio of blankets and a pair of pillows set up >You suppose you see them sleep and laze around every which way >Maybe it puts her at the middle between your room and the living room >And the kitchen >Little Red >Sleeping in bed and curled up like a defeated Yamcha >That just leaves one >You tiptoe through the apartment while paying mind to the YouTube videos playing in both living and bed rooms >It seems like everyone has adopted the white noise of random gameplay and essays >Going off of the video essay, it's about... >Horror? >Well that's neat >But who's your resident spook? >You don't see player four in th- >Nevermind >There she is, out on the patio >As dark as it is, you can make her out easy >You gingerly step outside and sit on the bare wood beside her "You know, I'll be honest. I used to hate this thing. Nothing but a few wooden planks keeping you safe, with holes so wide you could lose a phone through them... for some reason, I always thought these planks were as strong as wet paper." >You don't get a reply >If you were her, you'd have no clue how to react to that either >"Tomorrow morning is Monday, isn't it..." "Yeah." >She sounds so dejected "That's right. You're gonna be sleepy if you don't get some rest." >"I suppose... Anonymous." "What's up?" >She refuses to move >"...do I have to go back?" "Honestly?" >"Honestly." >You can only be honest >You've never not been "No. You don't have to." >You scratch your eyebrow with your thumb "But... you're gonna be the only one here for the entire day." >Because it's about work, you have to be serious "Jacky's alright, I think. She's learning some good things but her main thing I worry about is that she kinda listens to me but not the guys signing our checks. So... personally, while I enjoy that, she's gonna have to learn to step outside of her boundaries." >You really don't know where to go from this but you started, so you aren't stopping "Our Sparkler is doing well. I think she's motivated. I guess it's natural because she has her magic. And she's already our resident cooker and... well, to an extent, cleaner too. I think the pay this Friday is also going to keep her motivated... even if it isn't going to be a full one." >If you can trust any of them with this sort of stuff, it's her >You know she knows it too "And you..." >Here comes the rougher news "You did well, given what you're used to. And that little shit deserved a kick to the head." >But that's not all >Of course it isn't "But... you're kinda just being eye candy. And while I think that's the idea, you gotta help out. And I mean that, it's not fair that they're giving it their all. You know Jack, she's happy to do stuff. But I don't know if you've noticed but she really enjoys her quiet time after." >You don't think she's antisocial but she really seems drained after work >Hell, you can tell that everyone has been too drained to do much >No real movies >No video games played >You hope that they can both adjust "And you think Shiner's a people pony? No way. She likes putting away and sorting books because it means she doesn't have to actually talk to anyone. Remember that pair of families? Nowhere to be seen."
Y'all like one shits? Cruz you're getting a half-baked one shit written in less than an hour. We have Sirlestia, now we have... >You snap awake as your bed lurches to the side, even though you should be used to it by now. >It's still quite dark out, making you look over at your alarm clock while your visitor makes herself comfortable kneading the bedsheets. >5 am. "Seriously, you couldn't have done this earlier, so I could get back to sleep with more than an hour and a half?" >Of course, you don't get an answer back aside from a pleased and muted... purr. >If you could call it that. >That's what it's supposed to be, though it sounds more like a continued, rhythmic nicker. >Ah well, it's still kinda soothing, in a weird way. >The bed shifts as your companion decides being halfway down the bed by your side isn't close enough. >Pretty soon, you feel the complimentary headbutt of affection on your cheek. >The way they decided to lop off her horn was crude to say the least. >But it doesn't bother her, and it saves you from being impaled. >Curiously, her wings are still there. >Apparently cats have wings in fish head land? >Damn Chinese knockoffs. >Of course the price was too good to be true. >Oh well, beggars can't be choosers. >Another headbutt, this one just a bit harder. >It's a strong hint she wants to be petted. >Fuck. >You probably arent getting back to sleep. >With a heavy sigh, you reach one hand up to rub her chin, while your other arm stretches out for the lamp on the bedside table. >With a click of the cord pull, soft yellowed light illuminates your bedroom. >Momentarily blinded, Celestia squints while her eyes adjust to the new light level. >Soon, her pupils settle down to the normal cat-like slits - albeit with magenta-hued irises. >The actually seemed to try to make those look good on this bootleg, to go along with the rather realistic behavior programming. >The same can't be said for the crudely painted cat nose on the tip of her snout, the pink pigment having to stretch to envelop both nostrils. >Perhaps worse, the hasty transformation of horse ears to triangular cat ears displays poor workmanship as well, showing off uneven and ragged stitching. >This wasn't what you signed up for. >Yet everything else is very close to what would be expected - the coloring of her coat and mane, the physique, her hair and tail style... >How the hell everything else went off the rails is a mystery. >And of course, the customer support number didn't work. >"Mrrr." >Celestia flops down on her side, stretching out her legs and exposing her belly. "Do you actually want a tummy rub, or are you gonna try to bite me after a few seconds?" >"Mrow." >Using the comforter as leverage, she scoots closer on her side over to you. "You are so needy." >Wary for sudden movements, you cautiously reach over and scratch her belly, eliciting a fresh cacophony of distorted purrs from Celestia. >Purrlestia. >Ha. >What a horrible pun. >Is that all she is?
>>11861 >A half-baked joke from the factory to pawn off on an unsuspecting customer? >Maybe that's how they all are. >The "correct" full-price models in stores are certainly legit, with Celestia's speech and personality. >Again, you should have known better. >But. >You have to admit, she is still good company. >The first couple of days were filled with regret. >After all, turning her on after the first disappointed inspection saw her bolt and hide under your bed. >She just barely fit. >And needed your help to get out. >That was a festival of pitiful mewls mixed with spitting and hissing as you lent aid. >It doesn't seem like she really understands human language, which would have made things so much easier. >But after the adrenaline wore off, she seemed to understand what you were doing. >You two gradually figured each other out. >Life is pretty good now. >Still, as you watch her hind hooves reach forward to grab at your hand on her belly, you are reminded she's still very much as much cat as she is robopony. >You pull your limb away just as she tries to nip at you, rolling to lay on her stomach. "How did I know you were going to do that?" >"Mrr." >She still has that same innocent and pleased look that hardly fades. >It makes it hard to know what she's planning. >And while maybe it's just a way of playing, pony teeth hurt. >Her head suddenly snaps away from you, all attention brought to the bedroom door left ajar. "What? You hear the icemaker again?" >Not a sound or movement from Celestia aside from an ear swiveling to catch your words. "Celestia, I swear, do not-" >You don't even get to complete your sentence as one of her hooves barely misses your nads as she leaps of the bed and bolts out of the room, deftly sneaking through the door. >Out in the dining room, you hear the sounds of hooves scrambling for traction on the hardwood floor, followed by the thump of her body smacking against the far wall. >But it doesn't stop her hooves from working frantically to push forward to wherever she's off to investigate. >Crazy ass catmare. >Fuck it, one more hour of sleep is better than none. >You flick off the light and roll over. -----
>>11753 Nice of Starla to call Midnight out but let her save face and give her confidence. >>11862 Rough night.
>>11858 >"...I suppose it is best that we don't see her show off her magic. I don't think she would stick to parlor tricks." "Yeah... nah. Probably not." >"Anonymous." "Faye." >"If I don't go back. Am I a failure?" >You sit on this question >For this being her first attempt at a job, it's hardly important whether or not she washes out >But she should know how to adapt >Of course, she isn't dainty >... >Ok, she is, but she's not fragile >Not from everything you've ever heard about her "Kinda." >You hold up your hands and shrug "In the big scheme of things? It isn't that big a deal. But in the immediate? You're letting both of them down." >You think you can hear something coming from her "I think the key Loony Tune moment is that it's only five half-days. It's a bit hot but I could let you chill in the car, once you're done. Or see if there's a break room for you to hang out in. Or you can just hide out under the desk once you're done. The choice is yours for now, you know?" >More noises >More sad noises, specifically >Deciding you've already crossed a few lines, you reach out and pat her shoulder >She doesn't flinch or pull away "I won't stop you from staying home... but if you do that. You are admitting that you can't handle it. I don't mind, my top priority is the safety and happiness and yadda-yadda. But I can't talk you into wanting to work. You're gonna have to figure it out on your own." >Simply talking about work is exhausting >Maybe sleeping in the hallway is a better experience than going with the flow "Don't stay up too late, alright?" >"...yes. Thank you." "Don't thank me. I'm expecting you to do the option that sucks."
>>11869 Damn. For one post, there's quite a bit to digest here. I can't really find the words to articulate how I feel in a proper manner without sounding harsh - I suppose it's good seeing Prism kinda being put in this spot of discomfort. It's clear she doesn't like feeling vulnerable to a fault, and the situation she finds herself in is putting her in that spot. But it could make or break her, too. And let's be honest, none of us like seeing sad poners. But sometimes, that's what's needed for progress. >>11867 >Rough night As something that's written based upon the experiences of the two kitties I currently own along with a prior one - hindsight makes it an endearing and cherished memory. Anon will be fine with that interruption of sleep. My calico actually woke me up in the middle of the night Sat when she decided my chest was suddenly the perfect bed. Wasn't thrilling at the time, but it really pushed this idea forward, and it was undeniably cute. We eventually got back to sleep. Together. Here's the paste that may be added onto in the future - time will tell. https://ponepaste.org/7790
>>11870 I'm not sure if it does or doesn't show that I was 30% awake while doing that part.
(327.63 KB 820x644 mareears.png)
Autismleg. This is why I stick to writing.
>>11877 >Autismleg Counterargument - you imply it's not good art, and yet you not only put forth the effort, but were motivated enough to post it. That's dedication, and that's love.
>>11889 There is definitely love. But it still isn't quality.
>>11877 Very unusual, what did you make this in?
>>11877 Please make more. It reminds me of >>2447. I find it really interesting because of reasons that were mentioned in >>11889, >>11891, and >>11892. Also, the style is funny.
>>11893 Also makes me think of >>7944.
>>11892 Around 9001 seconds in Paint. >>11893 I'll probably pass. Having that one is more than goofy enough for me personally.
>>11862 >No need to go into the office - you get to work from home today. >Score! >Well, other than having to go over some code with a fine-toothed comb. >But being in your own plush chair from the comfort of your living room and away from your annoying cubicle neighbor is a major win. >You don't know how John has a job, considering he's always gabbing on the phone. >Cocksucker. >Whatever, no need to think about that today. >You set down a cup of coffee freshly brewed in the kitchen and flop down into your armchair. >At the very least, you put on some halfway decent clothes, rather than wear your pajamas. >Don't want to feel completely lazy. >Grabbing your work laptop you left beside the chair on the floor, you flip it open and log in. >*ting* *ting* *ting* >Peace and quiet in the house is disturbed by a faint sound coming from... >Where, exactly? >Of course, there's a likely candidate for *who* is causing it. "Aurora, c'mere," you calmly call out for her. >You felt it necessary to change her name. >After all, she's got her own personality - she isn't Celestia. >She never responded to that name anyway. >Not like this is much different now. "Pspspspsps." >Hoofsteps quickly begin to thump around from the upstairs, followed by the rapid traversal of the wooden staircase just one room over. >Aurora slows her movements to a crawl at the point her hooves touch the ground floor, slowly sashaying into your view. >Of course, she sports that innocent, sweet smile. "What were you doing up there?" >She cocks her head as she sits upon the floor, seemingly unable to comprehend what you're asking. "Just... I'm not mad, I'm just trying to focus on my work, see?" >You flip the laptop around so she can see it, her eyes darting to the screen for a brief moment, before returning to you. >Her tail swishes back and forth across the hardwood, the only audible sound coming from her right now. >That expression hasn't changed a bit. >Whatever programming she had installed to make her like this hasn't taken away her ability to show emotions - she does frown or scowl when she's unhappy or upset. >But this is Aurora's content face - and her default 'straight' face. >It's very hard to read sometimes. >Such as now. "Don't mess with whatever that was upstairs, okay? That was kinda annoying." >She bobs her head slightly as if nodding in understanding, before rising to a standing position and strutting over to you. >Aurora isn't as tall as she probably should be to match the show character, but she could give a Great Dane a minor inferiority complex. >She brushes up against your knees in affection, before pulling a one-eighty and heading back out of sight around the corner. >Before returning to the first line of code, you carefully take a sip of your coffee, finding it's just barely at a reasonable temperature to drink. >Still, it's a slight injection of caffeine that will go a long way as you start focusing on the alphanumeric gibberish you have to sort through to start off.
>>11899 >*Clack* >That came from the kitchen. >And it sounded like something on the marble countertop. "Now I know someone isn't jumping up on the counter to look out the window she can see through anyway, right?" you loudly comment. >You wait a moment. >No movement at all. >Certainly not the thump of her high-tailing it down to the floor. >With a sigh, you set you laptop off to the side and rise to your feet. >You make as little noise as possible as you tiptoe toward the room opening, the carpet aiding your efforts. >You gotta catch her in the act. >*ting* *ting* >Well, there's that familiar sound again, also emanating from the kitchen. >What the hell is that? >You've heard it before... >Rounding the corner as the tinny sound continues, you have your answer. >Beyond the dining room table and the island divider, Aurora stands huddled up on the counter, looking comically oversized as she tries to avoid stepping in the sink. >*ting* *ting* >One hoof playfully bats at the pull cord for the window shade, which repeatedly bounces off the window. >Dammit. "Hey!" you shout, clapping your hands. >Aurora's head snaps around, startled by the noise as her eyes become wide as saucers. "Get down! What's wrong with you?!" >One step toward her is all it takes for Aurora to bolt, jumping down and scurrying into the dining room, around the banister, and up the stairs in a flash. >Not quick enough to hide the smile on her face, though. >Ugh, this is probably gonna be one of those days where trouble is all she's looking for in entertainment... >Home sweet home. ----- Midnight update soonish, just had a retarded idea to add to this.
>>11900 This was an amusing story.
>>11753 >The three of you slowly bounce down the main dirt road of the junkyard, the music of the radio just barely left audible. >You gave up riding shotgun for Starla, not sitting behind her amongst a mess of tools, unclaimed parts, and bolts. >Starla sports a pair of thick-framed, vintage-style shades to go along with her sun-bonnet, all in an attempt to fight off the sun for the day. >"So you two always end up splitting off for the day and working on your own list?" she asks, turning to Anon while making sure her eyes make it clear this is a question directed at both of you. "It's the only way to keep orders fulfilled without having to be out here for ten to twelve hours a day," you pipe in, leaning forward so you're between the front seats. >"We aren't always split up. And usually, we're still well within earshot of one another," Anon adds, taking a hand off the wheel to pat your head. "Lucky for you, huh?" >"And lucky for you, considering you have the occasional need for my expertise." "Bah, I just like making you feel like I need your help." >"Of course," he laughs. >How did you get so good at working on this kind of stuff?" Starla asks, her voice cracking a bit as the truck hits a particularly rough spot. "Is that directed at me or him?" >"Anon," she replies a bit sheepishly. "Sorry. I already know how you learned this sort of thing, being around it and reading what you could find while living out here." >Anon chuckles quietly to himself, bringing the focus upon him. >"Funny enough, I'm sorta in the same vein as Midnight," he answers. >"You lived out here in the yard at one point, too?" Starla asks, mouth agape in disbelief. >"Well no, not quite the same scenario. But I grew up around old cars like this, so you learn things just by being around others that wrench on em." "Speaking of which, who did you want to follow around and help first?" >"I... oh. I guess I didn't realize I had a choice in the matter," Starla comments, befuddled by the sudden option. >"I'm kinda surprised myself," Anon says, turning to look at you. >Perhaps he thinks you're joking. >You aren't. >"I think I'm gonna stick with you, Midnight," Starla answers with little hesitation. "Sorry, Anon." >"No need to apologize," Anon says, laughing it off. "But good timing, because we're already about at the first stop." >Like clockwork, Anon wheels the Trailduster down a smaller path on the right, in the mix of full-size Ford and Mercury products. "Alright, I didn't happen to look since today was your day to sort out the list of part requests. What do we have?" >"I have the task of hoping to find and figuring out how to remove the grille of a Mercury Marauder," he announces, his thumb directed at his chest. "For you two, we need a few script emblems for a '66 LTD and possibly a pair of taillights, provided they aren't cracked and hazed to hell and back." "That's a tall ask."
>>11931 >"Hence why I said 'possibly,' Middie. Customer only wants em if they're in good shape - not even wanting a discounted set if they need more than minor cleanup and cosmetic work." "Duly noted." >Not long after, the truck comes to a stop, the vibration and noise from the engine ceasing. >"Everyone's got their marching orders, let's split." >As corny as his comment is, all three of you start moving. >You pop open the passenger door for Starla, closing it behind her once she's clear. >Rather than thread your way into the front seat and follow her out, you head toward the back tailgate, pulling open the latch and hopping out after grabbing your tool bag. >"Oh wow, you have your own set? That's so cute!" Starla cheers, fawning over the stitching of your name. "Cute isn't the word I would use..." you trail off. >"I know, I know. It's... neat? Will that work?" >You nod your head. >"And it's cute too." >Starla giggles at Anon's interjection, slightly nodding her head in agreement. "You know if you keep using that, it loses its effectiveness to irk me?" you suggest to him. >"That's the plan." >You figured as much. >Oh well. "C'mon, Starla, follow me." >You pad off further ahead of where the truck is parked, with your friend quickly joining your side. >"Holy moly, there are so many cars out here," she gasps while taking in the sights. "Yeah, we also had to drive a fair way to get out here. You didn't notice?" you ask, before listening to yourself. "Not trying to be snarky, I guess we were talking most of the way here." >"Yeah, I looked out the window, but I wasn't really... looking at it. Or paying attention to the time." "Good point." >"So what exactly are we looking for?" "Ford LTD. Basically an upmarket luxury version of the full-size Galaxie. Unique trim on the outside is the main differentiation for us to be looking for." >"...I'm afraid I don't know what a Galaxie is, Mid," Starla admits, sounding rather forlorn. >You wander away from your straight path to bump into her playfully. >"You're in good company because I know where we're headed," you encourage her. "Now, most of what's around us in these rows *are* Galaxies." >You watch her eyes dart around, studying the vehicles around you. >Eventually, her attention turns back to you, looking utterly lost. >"But they all look so different. They're the same cars?" "Yep. You see, there are different generations of models, usually around a four to five-year span. But each year of car tends to have some sort of change to stand out from the previous model year," you explain. "What we're looking for is the first generation, which is most notable in having four headlights, with two stacked on each end of the front grille." >"So how is this place organized? Or is it?" "It's... relatively organized. Some areas are better sorted than others," you cautiously respond. "I know here, we have to get past these newer models with the hidden headlights. But it at least means we're only a generation ahead."
>>11932 >"Ah, I was wondering why these didn't have any headlights. Well, some of them look like they're winking an eye," she giggles, gesturing to one with the aforementioned 'face.' "Yeah, a common occurrence for hideaway headlights when things stop working." >It isn't long before you're traversing a path now surrounded by stacked headlights - and it's now you have to be more vigilant and pay attention to details... >Or just discern the identity by the faded window marker used to scrawl the year on the inside of the windshields. >Easier said than done, between dust coating the windshields and the sun's rays slowly cooking it into obscurity. >You start seeing more familiar grille shapes to what you're looking for - the difference being the marker lights just inboard of the headlights, or non-existent. >1966 is probably endowed with the marker lights. >Federal law bullshit, and all that. "Here Star, I think this is what we're looking for," you call out, coming to a halt in front of a drab green four-door. >Setting your toolbag on the hood, you take a few steps between the passenger side of your target and its neighbor, looking at the C-pillar toward the rear of the roof. >Looks like it's in good shape. >"Is there anything I can do to help?" Starla asks, excitement creeping into her voice. "Not really, no," you reply, reluctantly shaking your head. "These things just pry off, just takes a little finesse not to snap the mounting posts." >Before you can grab your bag, Starla grabs hold of it with her teeth and sets it down on the ground. >"What do you need out of here?" she asks, fumbling with the zipper tag and opening it up. "Right there in the corner." >You wrap a wire around the orange plastic tool that looks like a miniaturized pry bar and pull it out, showing it to Starla before heading toward the rear of the car. >"Should I check the other side to make sure that one is there?" "Sure." >You carefully wedge the flattened edge of the trim room underneath the top portion of the emblem and gently wriggle it back and forth. >The years of dust, dirt, and corrosion combine to make a faint groan as the barrel nuts on the ends of the posts start to yield. >"This one looks about the same condition, Midnight," you hear Starla announce from the other side, waving to you through the door glass. "Nice. That means we won't have to fumble with finding another car. For these things, anyway." >"Right, the taillights..." >You maneuver your tool to the bottom half of the emblem and work it over, quickly getting it to a point you can just seize the metal trim and pull it off without issue. "That's one down." >For now, you set it atop the rear decklid, before circling around the rear of the car, meeting up with Starla as she looks over the back end. >"Well, there's one good taillight," she comments, directing your attention to the driver's side fixture.
>>11933 >She's not wrong - it looks like aside from dust and perhaps a hint of a scratch that could be polished out, the lens and the chrome trim are in surprisingly pristine condition. >The passenger side is merely a bare hole, the fixture long since removed. "Well, I don't want to work on getting that out if we have no mate for it. C'mon, we'll come back here after having a look around." >"I can do it, Midnight. Work on getting that other emblem off, and I'll see if I can't find another car, now that I know what to look for." >Her suggestion causes you hesitation. >Is letting her go off on her own, even if it's just a few cars away, a good idea? >Your mind flashes back to the coyote incident you had to help Anon with weeks back. >One in a million situation, but... >"Oh come on, you don't think that lowly of me, do you?" Starla pointedly quips. "I never said that." >"No, but the lack of an immediate answer tells me you have reservations." "I do. I'm not going to lie about that. It's less about not trusting your judgment and more about being caught unaware by something out here." >She frowns at your sentiment but has nothing in response to argue. >You feel like an asshole, treating her like she needs to be babysat. "Look, if it wasn't for Anon getting jumped by a coyote that clearly had rabies, I'd not be that concerned. Honest truth." >"Yet he still solos it out here like you, doesn't he?" >Why? >Why does she want to argue this? >"I'll keep my eyes and ears open. But I want to at least be somewhat helpful today rather than just follow you around." "I know," you sigh. "Just... yeah, be careful. Shout if you need me." >A grin returns to her face as she spins around and starts to trot down the row of cars. >Anxiously, you force yourself to turn away and head to the driver's side of the LTD. >The emblem is in the same good condition as the other, just as Starla had said. >However, this one wants to be a pain in the ass as you try to jam the pry bar underneath it. >Did someone glue this one down? >It's almost like the trim has been sealed to the paint, with nowhere to actually insert the end. >It takes a few tries to find an area that offers a grip. >It's frustrating to be patient with this when you have a friend wandering off on her own out here. >Well, not wandering, but on her own. >Are you being overly worried? >Like she mentioned before, Teddy leaves her on her own for days at a time when on a trip. >Obviously she's not helpless. >But that's in a safe and secure house. >A familiar area. >Not even you know every in and out of this yard - and you spent a fair amount of time prowling about. >*Pop!* >Your thoughts are shattered by the defeated sound of snapped pot metal, and the logo spins limply around a single mounting post. >Son of a bitch. >Well, no point in finishing the removal of that one. >Have to find another car with an equally good part. >Maybe this is too distracting to have her with you. >You feel shitty thinking like that.
>>11934 >Like you're blaming her. >You can't blame her for wanting to help in some way - it seems like it's in her nature. >And just tagging along for a whole day doing nothing... >You would hate it. >But the what-ifs scare you. >"Midnight!" >Starla's shout instantly clears your frustration. >Without a second thought, you turn to your left and gallop into the path, gathering enough speed to spread your wings and leap into the air. >Punishing your muscles - organic and artificial - you gain altitude and forward speed as fast as possible, wanting a wide view of the area before banking left. >Was her shout a frantic call? >You don't know - you just heard your name and instincts took over. >Worryingly, you don't see her exaggerated strawberry blonde mane anywhere amongst the cars ahead. >You don't know how far she could have gotten. >What if she's being chased like Anon was? >"Hey!" >That came from... >You look straight down, seeing Starla waving to you as you pass overhead. >Fuuuuck. >You feel like an idiot. >Why didn't you at least look around first? >Circling back around and gliding down to the ground, you find Starla staring wide-eyed at you with just a bit of confusion. >And quite a bit of awe, leaving her jaw to hang. "There you are, what's up?" you ask, straining to sound nonchalant about the sudden rescue mission that launched you into a tizzy. >"Wow, you really can fly!" she finally utters. "Well, yeah. Why does that surprise everyone?" you scoff. >"It's just... it's amazing to actually see," she replies while coming down to reality. "But what were you doing?" "I..." >You really don't have a good excuse ready for this. "You shouted out my name, and I kinda panicked. Thought maybe you were in trouble," you glumly admit, expecting to hurt her a little with your lack of faith in her. >"Oh. Yeah, maybe that wasn't intelligent on my part after you told me to call out for you if I needed help," she says, sounding a bit embarrassed as her gaze falters. "I mean, I'm glad you didn't hesitate, and it was neat to see you jet into the sky like that." "Not too upset my first thought was you were in danger, are you?" >"Nah. Shows you care," she replies, backing that comment with a wry grin. "BUT, I did find where that other taillight went. Someone left it laying in the trunk of another LTD - must have decided they didn't want it or found a better one." "Are you sure it's a passenger side, the one we don't have?" >"Absolutely! C'mon, I'll show you." >You fold your wings away, following Starla as she leads the way. "Hey, wait just a sec," you ask her, coming to a stop and heading back for your tools. >"Oh, I figured we would have to come back and get that one out of the car anyway," Starla says. "We will... but I kinda need another emblem. Hopefully, this one has it." >"Wow, I really had you thrown through a loop. Sorry," she replies.
>>11935 >The comment makes you laugh, something wholly unexpected judging by the perplexed look that Starla now sports. "I'd love to use that excuse, but I just plain broke one of the posts off. It happens," you explain with a shrug. >"I think you're in luck because there were a few similar cars that all had the same sort of badges." "Good looking out," you compliment her, grabbing your tool that had dropped in the sand. "See, you're more help than you think you are." >"Is that encouragement for me, or you?" she teases. "Both, I suppose. Let's go." ----- >>11926 Danke. It's been a fun one shit to keep the juices flowing.
Anon should get Midnight some clip on lights for her tail, can call them her taillights.
>>11936 It is nice to have momentum going strong. Apparently I'm still in the process of making a big decision so I suppose that is just giving me interference. That and having a mare to hug at night is really making it hard to stay awake.
>>11936 Another nice update, I wonder what else Starla will find out there. Thanks Auto.
Christ by the time I finishing editing this I’ll actually be able to post more than one update
>>11529 >Be Celestia boot. >Your mind ascends to consciousness. >But all you feel are your eyelids flickering. >And then comes the most painful, throbbing headache. >You scrunch your eyes hard in hopes that the pressure overpowers the pain. >it does, briefly. >Although, ironically, this feels worse. >So you relax, your shoulders loosen up too. >You move them a little, and then you start to feel most of your joints. >They need to be stretched badly. It’s the urge combined with a hope that the pain is repressed again - this time more pleasantly. >You begin by extending your forearms. >Ahh… >You feel like you are soaring through the air. Your hooves are numb; the wind has been kissing them for so long. >Then the throbbing comes back. >You stretch further, extending your wings this time to the fullest. >And then you feel something block your hooves from continuing forward. >You are not ready to deal with the visual and aural information that comes with opening your eyes and using your ears. >Until you realise that you already were processing noise, it’s just that it was so dull that you ignored it. >You open your eyes slowly. >Your vision was not blurry but it needed some time to clear away the TV static that came with the stretch. >You decide to take this time to stretch your hind. >Ahh… >Bliss. You wiggle your butt from side to side to try and pop something. >You feel some minor ones. >You go back to the position with hooves extended, and then you are met with the most peculiar thing. >A sky-blue bowl sits on the wooden floor between your arms. >This bowl contains one piece of food embedded in another object. >There are two materials that wrap this thing. One looks wet and is of two colours: mostly yellow, but there are brown swirls. >The other is an organic blend of red and green. It looks a little bit like wood in that fashion. >This object is surrounded by seven others like it, as well as another few different things, all uniform, but being a complex shape makes it difficult to describe or comprehend. >You think to carefully pick out the food with your magic. >You try it, and are met with the sharpest pain. >It shocks and then numbs you; you almost fall to your side. You hold back tears. >It grabs your horn and crawls down your face, sinking to the nape of your neck. >The throbbing comes back, more intense, but that sharp pain has let go of your horn and its sediment slowly disappears. >You shake your head but you feel your brain crashing into the sides of your skull. >You clench your teeth and wait a little bit until everything settles down. >You’re so hungry. >You tip the bowl and the food and its weird plate slides out, along with some other strange pieces.
>>11965 >You decide to try to hold the plate with your teeth so you could try shaking the food out of it. >You try it. >The plate snaps where you bit it and its shards are inside your mouth. >Well, it didn't exactly snap, but it did not exactly fall apart. >It was also like a sponge in that when you compressed it, liquid gushed out, this one sweet and hydrating. >What on earth? >But it's so delicious. >You chew it, slowly. >You feel three completely different textures in your mouth. >A skin, a juice, and a flesh. >You keep chewing, and it turns into mush rather easily. >All while you stare at the floor. >So you move your eyes to the... food. >You’re confused, but that's not new. >You think it's best if you just move on and eat everything that was in the bowl. You bet the oddly-shaped bits are also edible. >You lap everything up. They all differed in taste and texture. >Your stomach doesn’t ache anymore, though your head still throbs. >You recall the flavours and consistencies. By far, the first thing you tried was the best. The food you're used to took you back to the past. The other different thing you tried was dry and crispy: it did not have an unusual taste but the texture was completely new. >You lay on your side to relax. Your vision broadens and you can finally focus on multiple things at a time. >You start with the screen, it’s not bright, and on it you see people talking. They’re dressed abnormally, sitting around a table, and smiling. You can’t make out what they are saying. >Then comes the rest of the room, which is very small. It is lined with furniture and tables, but none in a style you’ve seen before. >You realised that earlier, your hooves were stopped by a fluffy rug in front of you with a short but wide wooden table stopping it from moving. >You turn your head to discover a most unorthodox door. It's practically a collection of windows. >And in the middle of it stood a figure! >You focus a bit more, until you both stare at each other with wide eyes. >Its hair looks wet, and its attire seems comfortable, like the ones on the screen. >So much time passes that it wouldn’t faze you if it came closer. >And it does, slowly, with a hand out. >You don’t move away, in fact, you try to make yourself look a little more welcoming, despite everything. >Though, your headache has gone away. >You sweep your mane to the side and narrow your eyes back to normal. >”Don’t worry, I’m not going to hurt you…” That is good news. >Although it didn’t, it felt like it stood back, aghast. >You were sure you did not use a tone that would require that type of reaction. >Did it sound sarcastic? >Umm… let's try… You can come closer if you wish. >You even throw a soft grin in there and fold your ears back. >It looked around frantically with a frown, and, while still maintaining this unimpressive look, it resumed its venture towards you.
>>11966 >You allow it to stroke you. >You know that, for some ponies, petting feels great. But for you, it doesn’t feel special, it’s just something that says “you’re doing great”. >So you smile wider. You don’t know what you did so well, but this human seems to, and likes it, even with its gross expression. >”Why can you talk?” >That catches you off guard. Why can you? >It returns an even grosser appearance and you can't figure out why. >You serve an apologetic face to smooth things out, which works. Now, after looking down in an almost regretful manner, it trades the ugly frown for a plainer look. >”Well, everyone can. I’ve never heard of a talking horse before.” Where I come from, all ponies can talk. Ponies and people. >...For clarification. >There was a brief silence. But its curiosity breaks the spell. >”Do you have a name?” Isn’t everypony Celestia? >It looks confused, concerned even. >”Uh…” >It retracts its hand. >”I’m not a pony.” Oh yeah. >… So, what is your name? >It hesitates for a bit before sharing. >”Anon” >How unique! That is a very nice name. >It smiles in a way that makes you uncomfortable. Maybe because it looks like its holding back a laugh. >You keep maintaining a friendly appearance. >”Okay, let's get you cleaned up. Can you stand alright on your own?” >Cleaned up? >You look down at your hair and the rest of your body, and then cringe. >Yes, you would like to be cleaned up. Even you can't get rid of this dirt by yourself. >You cautiously use your limbs to push yourself up. >You wobble a bit, but eventually you feel yourself in a stable position. >You even try standing up straight and spreading your wings, until a look from Anon says that something was wrong. >You retract them as fast as possible. >Upon examination of the floor, you realise you've dropped a substantial amount of filth: feathers, crumbs, even small pebbles. >You look back at Anon with a red face. I didn't mean this. >It sighs while looking at the mess. Then it turns to look at you again. >”It’s no problem.” >You feel pretty guilty, and it looks like a problem, despite what Anon said. You really wish you could use your horn to sweep it up and carry it away. >And it does not help that Anon naturally seems so miserable. Is it because of you? >You hope not, but the thought continues to linger in your head.
>>11968 I would also like criticism if that is possible.
>>11965 >A sky-blue bowl sits on the wooden floor between your arms. You mean hooves? or front legs? Also >>11529 >You pet him once I'm confused. Is this bootleg aa he or she?
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>>11971 >You mean hooves? or front legs? All those Equine Anatomy pictures refer to front legs as forearms, so I just swapped that word out for arms, thinking it wouldn't be any different. >Is this bootleg a he or she? He is a stallion.
>>11969 I'll give part 2 and 3 a read if not tonight, tomorrow.
>>11275 https://ponepaste.org/4579#753 ... >The garage door opens as you pull into the driveway. >Once you park and kill the engine, Dawn and Sonata magic their doors open. >After they step out with bags in tow, they both stretch. >Dawn stretches normally, while Sonata leans forwards and sticks her flanks straight into the air with what sounded like a mix between a groan and a moan. “This girl, I swear.” you mutter. >When she finishes she turns and gives you a wink, and as you walk past her to open the door to the house she nudges you with her hip before giggling. You call out to Rosie, “Hey we’re back, even picked up a stray along the way.” >A gasp comes out from behind you, “I am not a stray! I’m much too well-kempt to have been on the streets.” >Rosie cocks her head, “Who is that? I don’t recognize that voice.” >Sonata pushes past Dawn and you before trotting over to Rosie, the sound of her hooves clip-clopping on the wooden floor echoing off the walls, “Sonata, Midnight Sonata, you weren’t awake when we met previously me so it’s a pleasure to meet you properly, Rosie.” >She punctuates her introduction by giving Rosie a little half-hug. >Rosie says nothing, but awkwardly reciprocates the hug. >Dawn is the next to enter saying, “Hello again, Rosie, I hope you’re feeling better since the last time we met.” with a small smile. >“No nightmares yet.” she replies flatly. >“That’s good to hear.” >With the introductions out of the way, Dawn and Sonata take in their surroundings. >“This is…nice.” Dawn says. >Sonata follows up with, “Yeah, you must have put a lot into this place.” “Got this place from my mom,” you reply, “We moved here after I got out of middle school so we’ve had a lot of time to deck this place out since then.” >Sonata’s eyes light up, “Oh, is your mother here? Does she know that you brought a couple of cute girls home with you?” She does that giggle of hers again as you rub the back of your neck, “I probably should have said that I inherited the house from her.” >Her ears immediately flatten against her head, and with her usual haughty tone missing she says, “O-oh, I’m sorry for your loss.” “Don’t worry, you couldn’t have known.” >A somber air fills the room, you decide to break it by giving them a short tour of the house before getting started on dinner. ... >Anon was cooking dinner, leaving you to entertain the guests. >Sonata offered to help set up the table since she doesn’t know how to cook, to which he agreed to let her do after some convincing. >She now sat with her eyes closed and humming a song you didn’t know on the opposite end of the couch from you, slowly swaying her head to the imaginary beat. >In contrast, Dawn sat next to you, about to ask you some more questions. >“So how was your week, Rosie?” >You aren’t sure how you feel about Dawn, the first impression you got of her is night and day with the Dawn before you now. >She certainly seems more pleasant now… >“Rosie, are you okay? You spaced out.” Dawn says, tapping your shoulder. “Huh?” >“Don’t take it personal, Dawn. She hasn’t been too chatty since we went to the Waffle House.” Anon calls out from the kitchen. >“Oh,” she says, cocking her head, “What happened?” “I…” you struggle to get out the words. >“It’s happened to all of us, dear, that feeling of existential dread.” Sonata interjects, not even opening her eyes. ‘How did she-’ >Dawn places a hoof on top of yours, “He told you about Candy Quartz, didn’t he?” You nod, “He also told me why he ‘made a fool of himself’.” >A nervous chuckle escapes Dawn, “A-ah, right, that,” she quickly recomposes herself, “I’m working as fast as I can to fix this- the laptop they ordered for me should be in on Monday and then I can begin correspondence with Selene to try and develop a method of separating the two of you.” >That’s some good news, at least; one question weighs heavy in your mind, however: “She’s not suffering right now, is she, or do you at least think she isn’t?”
>A foreleg wraps around you and brings you into a hug, the warmth of coming from Dawn lessening the fear and worry in your mind slightly, “She’s fine, she’s just sleeping.” >The two of you stay like that for a while until the silence is broken by Sonata speaking, “How about we move onto a less morbid topic? We’ve never been to a Waffle House before, Rosie, how was it?” >As out of nowhere this line of questioning might be, it should at least take your mind off of Candy Quartz for now. “It was nice, the lady that took our order was very kind and friendly- her name was Roseanne. The way she talked got a peculiar reaction from Anon.” >“Oh?” Sonata responds, finally opening an eye to look at you. Normally you wouldn’t try to imitate an accent, but you respond with, “What’s ya’ name, sugah?” >“Why would he react to that?” Dawn asks, confused, “What did he do in response?” “He took his hands off the table and put them in his lap…he might have been blushing?” >“Oh!” Dawn exclaims, wings suddenly extending to full length before she quickly folds them back against her torso, which elicits a giggle from Sonata. >“My oh my, Anon, were you hoping for a little southern hospitality?” she says, affecting a similar accent to the one you had put on for the last few words. “Hush, you!” Anon shouts from the kitchen, causing Sonata to let out a chortle, “Anyways, dinner’s ready, everyone. Bowls are already on the table so just take a seat.” >The navy blue alicorn hops off the couch and climbs into the chair closest to Anon, “Made with love, I bet.” >“You wish.” >The white alicorn is next, sitting opposite of Sonata, “I hope it tastes as good as it smells.” You take your usual spot across the table from Anon, “As do I,” you cock your head, “Where’s your bowl?” >“Wanted to see how y’all liked it first,” he says, waving a hand, “need to have some extra if any of you decide to get seconds.” >You all start to eat, Dawn and Sonata use the forks given to them while you eat straight from the bowl. >It’s a combination of noodles, meat, and tomato. The meat was seasoned with black pepper, seasoned salt, and garlic; he called it casserole, but also said that it might be considered a goulash- either way it was a family recipe. >The three of you finish off your bowls at around the same time, and all ask for seconds. >“Guess I’ll have to make myself a little something later, probably should have cooked some extra portions in case this happened.” Anon chuckles before picking up and refilling your bowls. >After placing them back in front of the three of you he retreats to the living room. >Out of the corner of your eye you see him perusing the movie shelf and muttering to himself as Dawn and Sonata tear into their bowls. >Sonata finishes hers first, levitating the bowl into the sink before entering the living room, “Be back in a moment, dear, I just need something from my bag” >Anon just mutters, “Okay.” in response, not even turning to look at her. >With that she disappears into the guest room. >Dawn finishes next, but waits for you to finish so that she can put your bowls into the sink. >“Best meal I’ve had in ages.” Dawn says as you step into the living room. “Yeah,” you say, “You should make some more soon.” >He chuckles, “Would if I could, but I’m out of ingredients and it’s too late to go out and get more.” >“Drat.” Dawn replies with mock irritation. >You take your place on the couch and Dawn sits next to you. >The movie Anon puts on is one you haven’t seen before, and judging by Dawn’s expression, one she hasn’t seen either. >With fortuitous timing Sonata saunters back into the room with a bottle of what is presumably wine and three glasses in tow, all held within a blue aura, “Thought we could use a little something to liven up this evening.” >“Wine’s not my thing, too bitter for my tastes…” Anon says. >She lets out a huff in annoyance, “C’mon, at least share a drink with me? It’s rude to have your guests drink alone.” >“Don’t really drink that much either...”
>Sonata begins to pout which causes Anon to sigh, “But I guess I can make an exception, probably some coolers left in the garage fridge I need to get through.” >With a groan he gets up from his seat and heads to the garage, leaving Sonata practically giddy as she takes her spot on the couch. >After a few minutes he returns with a box of green apple malts, the bottles inside clinking against one another when he places them on the coffee table as he sits back down. >He slides one out and holds it towards Dawn, “You want one? Also can Rosie have one or would that mess with the ‘liquid moonlight’?” >She pushes it back to him with a hoof, “Oh no thanks, I’d like to keep my wits about me.” >Sonata leans towards Anon before tittering, “She can’t hold her liquor.” >“H-hey!” Dawn cries out, indignantly. >After another giggle from Sonata, Dawn huffs and says, “To answer your other question: yes, alcohol might make it more potent, among other potential effects.” “Not that I would really want to if I could, there wasn’t a lot of money to spend on alcohol and certainly not enough for us to use what little we had for any festivities- so I never developed a taste for it. >Anon nods to the information and says, “Well, a lot changes in…however long this will take, maybe once this is all over we can share a drink, Rosie.” “Perhaps.” you reply. >He turns towards Sonata with the bottle aloft, “To family.” >Sonata raises her glass to clink against Anon’s, “To family.” >With that, the movie begins.>The movie draws to a close, and as the credits roll you realize the predicament you’re in- Sonata rests with her eyes closed and her head on your shoulder, with Dawn doing similarly but with a pillow against your thigh, and Rosie leaning against Dawn. ‘I’m in a big ol’ pony pile.’ you think to yourself. >Rosie stretches her legs before sitting up, “That was pretty fun, but I think I should get some sleep soon.” >Dawn sits up next, “I’ll get the liquid moonlight then.” >She hops off the couch and heads towards the guest room. “I should probably put the leftover malts back up.” >Sonata lets out a quiet whine as you stand but doesn’t try to stop you. >The pounding in your head is abated momentarily as the fridge air hits your face. >You return to your spot on the couch and Sonata gets back in position. >Dawn comes out with the vial held in her orange aura. >She uncorks it and Rosie takes the vial between her teeth, tilting her head back to swallow the contents. >Dawn takes the vial back, wiping it down with a cloth before stowing it behind her ear. >It takes a moment for it to kick in, but you recognize when it does. >Her breathing slows down, to the point your heart skips a beat in the worry it might stop. >Relaxation of muscles when the wave of cool washes over as it runs its course. >And with that relaxation of the muscles comes the heaviness of the eyelids as she drifts to sleep. >The pearlescent pony hops onto the couch before laying next to Rosie, “I’ll put her in bed in a bit, just some things I want to check.” You polish off the leftover malt you had and set the bottle on the table. “Alright, think I’ll head to bed then.” >Sonata moves so that you can stand, however when you do so the blood rushing to your head causes you to stumble, to which Sonata immediately steadies you with a wing, “Easy there, don’t need you falling and breaking something.” >She stands, still with her wing against your back, “How’s about I walk you to bed?” “Sure.” you say, not wanting to move your head for a nod. >She guides you to your room, careful as to not let you lean too far. >Once you cross the threshold, you decide to sit down in your chair for a minute to let your head stop pounding. >With a hand on your forehead you hear the door to your room closing, looking up, you see Sonata approaching you. >She throws her forelegs over your shoulders, pushing your back against the chair with her weight before pressing her muzzle against your face. >Her tongue, broader and longer than yours, breaks past your lips and entangle
>The malt on your breath mix with the wine on hers, creating a bittersweet taste. Combined with her usual vanilla scent, it's enough to make you dizzy as your tongues wrestle each other. She pulls away so the two of you can breathe, you manage to get out a, "Why me?" between ragged breaths. >In contrast to you, her breaths are quiet and smooth, she giggles at your question, "Look at me," she says, running her wings across her flanks and up her sides, "I am made in the image of the Princess of Love, Mi Amore Cadenza. I know she's showered with love by her subjects and family; even fawned after by many even in this world." >She tilts her head to the side to move a lock of her mane that had fallen in front of her face, then looks you directly in the eye, "That love- I want it, I NEED it. I have her beauty, her elegance, her wit, her power, her passion; do I not deserve it? I'm not some inferior imitation. I'm just as good as she is- in fact, I'm better, because I'm real and can be so, so, much more." >Having been entranced by her eyes, you hadn't noticed that your belt and pants had been undone, only finally noticing when you feel your member being exposed to the open air. >Sonata looks down at it with a predatory intensity, quickly shifting to a look of disappointment when she sees her efforts only resulted in leaving you at half mast. >You could blame whisky dick, but you aren't sure you're drunk enough for that to be the case. >After a moment her face goes from disappointed to determined as she looks at you with half-lidded eyes, "There's also something else I wanted to tell you about myself, Anon," she says, leaning forward until her mouth is next to your ear, "I always get what I want, sugah." >And like that, you're at full mast, causing her to grin. >She licks her lips, and her hot breath tickles your face at an increasing pace as she descends to accept your length; only stopping when the door to your room opens again and the two of you look at the source of the sudden influx of light. >Dawn stands in the doorframe, silhouetted by the light of the living room. >"Sonata, just what do you think you're doing?! He's drunk!" >Having the blood diverted away from your brain was actually making it easier to think, ironically. You could have stopped her at any point, hell, you probably should have. >But you didn't. >You didn't secretly want this to happen, right? Surely you weren't into ponies? >Your worries cause your stomach to churn, before your worries are supplanted with another as you taste bile. >You did eat before you started drinking, right? >The argument brewing between Sonata and Dawn was cut short as you rush past them to the bathroom and begin vomiting into the sink. >After cleaning up you slump against the wall and let yourself slide until you’re sitting on the floor. >Dawn comes and takes a seat next to you, “Are you feeling okay?” “Better now that I got the booze out of my stomach.” you croak. >“You know that’s not what I’m talking about.” Your head slumps a bit and you sigh, “I could have stopped her at any point, but I didn’t…and I don’t know what that says about me.” >Silence falls between the two of you as she takes in what you said. >“O-oh,” she stammers, “I didn’t know you were…one of those people who feel that way about ponies.” “Wasn’t before today, I guess,” you respond with a wheezy chuckle, “But let’s try and not make this more awkward than it already is.” >She simply nods in affirmation before silence falls between you again. With your stomach still too unsettled to stand you decide to ask Dawn a question, “Keep forgetting to ask - when we left the factory Rosie thought I smelled like fresh bread, but I know I smelled like vanilla, what’s the deal with that?” >“It’s Sonata’s perfume, she designed it to smell like ‘what one’s heart desires’. It’s supposed to help make people more agreeable if they came in with complaints…among other things.” “Ah, I see. My ex had this vanilla shampoo she’d use so that’s why I smell vanilla. Though why does Rosie smell fresh bread, is it a
Pinkie memory?” >She shakes her head, “It doesn’t work that way- I don’t give them memories, as cruel as that might sound, I only give them knowledge and personality.” “I…don’t like the implications of what that means for Rosie, and I don’t want the headache I’m going to have in the morning be any worse by trying to wrap my head around the metaphysics of it.” >Dawn nods, “Understandable.” “If you don’t mind me asking, does it smell like anything to you? I imagine you’d be able to smell it on me right now.” >Her ears fold against her head, and sheepishly says, “Nothing, I don’t smell anything.” >You have the feeling that she’s lying, but you’re not gonna push it, not now at least. >So instead you decide to wrap an arm around her and pull her into a hug which causes her to yelp. >After about a minute she stops squirming and just sits there in your lap after letting out a huff. >She’s warm, like holding a heating pad in your arm. >It’s starting to make your eyelids heavy. >She probably won’t mind if you close them for a little bit. >Probably… … nhnb doing that thing where it cuts off the last few words of the post again, but anyways, giga-update https://ponepaste.org/4579
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>>11990 Attaboy. You've come a long way since you first started this green. It's been fun to watch your progress and to get emotionally invested in the story. Very, very anxious to see what you have in store for all the characters.
>>12004 Thanks, Rosie was the first thing I had written in a long time and now it's the longest story I've ever written by a long shot, to think it's only about 1/3 of the way done.
>>11969 So it isn't tomorrow but it is tonight so technically I'm still on track. Going to bring things as they pop up, rather than tackle it as a whole so any issues had can be seen they would be from a new set of eyes. Which mine are, so it fits. >part 2 First notice is that our Anon isn't all too talkative. Not everyone is a motor mouth but given circumstances, it wouldn't be all that out of the ordinary to speak up. Or maybe it's just a sign that I talk to myself too much. >lines 43, 45, 52 The lack of > and " make me think that Anon is actually shouting but I can't say for sure. Quick thinking to grab onto the spooked flying and magical horse. >watching the magic bounce around the room So was it an actual ball of sorts? Makes me wonder if it was on a timer or had some sort of logic to it. I don't write magical mares and the like all that often but at least for what I think about when it comes to Sparking Shine is that she has some affinities but that's largely it for her bag of tricks; telekinesis and F I R E . And maybe something else, if she's motivated enough. I think that's the same in canon too, where not every unicorn has an array of abilities just because they can use magic. That said, we have an alicorn... so all bets are off. >drug the pony and then go off to take a shower after he vaporizes an apple Sirlestia may have implosive death orbs but (You) have balls of steel. Overall good stuff. For how much is said, it's a little difficult to properly gauge the pacing of what is going on. Searching online for a few questions may only take a minute or two, but given the situation it might be a bit awkward to do without worry of having more of your place getting rekt. I'd say I'm looking forward to part three but that's starting now so >part 3 >Be Celestia boot I wonder if he knows. >line 43 I know that the plates are the apple bits, I think, but the way it reads is a little weird to me. It could just be me. >Lines 73, 78, etc Second verse same as the first, I can't tell if it's speaking but when it comes to missing the occasional > I'm the worst. >Where I come from, all ponies can talk >Ponies and people So our lad knows about people? That's an extra layer of intrigue. With it finished, you certainly set up a lot of fun angles to approach. In due time, naturally. I'm curious what is going on in Anon's head. As awkward and as dangerous as things are, it... might be a good thing to help. Maybe. Using magic is something that causes a big strain, and apparently it isn't for friendship beams and metaphysical hugs. Not a whole lot to dig into as of now but we have communication. That's a start. And we must have some form of trust for Anon to leave our lad alone... or is it apathy? The updates are ~1.5k words each. I'd love to see the next 15k words. Everyone else here would like that too.
Speaking of reading, sorry FortunateSon. I haven't been able to write and I apparently don't even have the focus/time to read when I say I'll do it. On the flipside, it seems more likely that I'll be moving. Which means a real space to do some PlushJack photoshoots with other hats and things. Because autism.
>>12020 No worries, and good luck with the move.
>>11969 The syntax is off. Not that there is one right way to write greentext, but there are a lot of lines with more than one complete sentence in them. Some greentext doesn't even use periods at all so I try to avoid using more than one per line; a lot of cases in your green I would have used a semicolon instead of a period for this reason. Commas can work for that too but be careful not to overuse them (I'm someone who is generally inclined to use too many commas so I'm in the same boat). After you write it's a good idea to comb over and try to remove comma splices. It's OK to have some sentences broken up by commas for the effect, but having too many gets old fast. Even if a comma can be grammatically justified sometimes it's better to remove it for the flow of a sentence. >>11967 >Isn’t everypony Celestia? I'm interested to learn about this boot's origins. >>11990 Yikes, that escalated fast.
>>11356 >Be anon. >Your left hand is fucked up, your only contact with the outside world is blown to bits, and your car won't start. >Not to mention it's the dead of winter and there are god knows how many bombs hidden around your house. >Other than that your ex hasn't even called once. >Altogether it's a pretty good day. >You try using the jumper cable; it doesn't work. >You give the engine a glance but you don't know much about how it works. >It can't be out of fuel, right? >You just filled it up last night. >The clattering of pots and pans echos from the kitchen causing you to jump. "What the hell was that?" >Cautiously peeking into the kitchen you spot a fleeting dash of pink behind the counter. >Walking closer each step feels heavier. >You take a defensive stance. >Rounding the corner... >It's Party Pink. >"EEEEEEK!" >She flies away. >Flies away? >Where did she get that fan pack, and why doesn't it match her color? >The fan pack is light blue and you don't remember seeing it in the package, although admittedly you didn't check under the packing peanuts. >No time for that now. "Get over here!" >Without hesitation you begin charging at her. "I got you now your cornered!" >She flies a hairpin turn and darts over your head before you can even blink. >Sparing no time you run after her up the stairs. >Down the hallway. >Back down the hallway... >Down... the... hallway... again... >Damn this is tiring. >You chase her down the stairs and... "OW! oof! GAH!" SLAM!
>>12049 >Party Pink slows down and turns around, standing on the floor in front of you and tilting her head. >You still can't get over that unmoving face. >"Uh oh, are you OK?" she says in a concerned tone. "No." >With perfect timing another surprise bomb goes off; this one smashes a window and lets the cold and snow blow in. >Party Pink recoils at your angry face. >"Oopsies! Gotta go!" >She says with a nervous giggle. >She dashes away. >You shake your head. "I've heard of bad house guests but this is ridiculous" >You stand up and run after her. >You pass the mess of packing peanuts and slow down. >Think think think... >She came with a control pad right? >Why didn't you just think of this before? >Picking up the crappy piece of plastic you observe the buttons. >There is an on/off lever and a "tell me a joke" button. >You look at Party Pink with a smug expression and pull the lever into the off position. SNAP! >Are you fucking kidding me? >It breaks off in your hands. >Might as well see what the button does... >Party Pink stops moving entirely and drops out of the air, falling on her side. >"Why did the chicken cross the road?" >There is a pause for a few seconds. >"To get to the other side!" >She begins standing up. >You press the button again and she falls back down. >"Why did the chicken cross the road?" >"To get to the other side!" >It seems that whenever you press the button she is frozen for a few seconds to tell a joke. >"Why did the chicken cross the road?" >"To get to the other side!" >You walk closer. >It must have randomly picked the same joke three times in a row; there's no way she only tells the one joke. >"Why did the chicken cross the road?" >"To get to the other side!" >This is getting old. >Your close enough now to pick her up. >"Why did the chicken cross the road?" >"To get to the other side!" >Your hands shake as you lift her. >You know you have her stun locked, but it's creepy handling a robot in a state like this. >You have to know, what is it about those eyes? >You pick along the edge of her left eye with your finger nails and it peels off. >Her eyes are... stickers? >Her eyes are stickers! >You freeze up and drop both her and the control pad. >It's just enough time for her to zip away. >You frantically pick the control pad up and press the button, but it's too late; It got broken in the fall. >You can't catch her without a plan. >You just stand there taking it in, and then you realize that her eye sticker is still on your index finger. >You scramble to brush it off; it makes you feel gross to have it on you. >OK, deep breaths, calm down. >The window is still broken and the blizzard outside is blowing in. >First order of business is to get some plywood and nails, next a landing net. >You can do this.
>>12050 >Be anon's car. >Zippy Rainbow was very mean to you. >She drained all of your gasoline. >What a dumb good for nothing jerk! >Hopefully anon catches her and makes her pay.
>>11990 >Sonata Damn, I knew that girl was trouble. At least Dawn saved the day for this Anon. For one night, there are a lot of repercussions to be had for all parties involved. Looking forward to more. >>11967 I've had too much liquid creativity this morning to effect any sort of helpful feedback this morning. Perhaps tonight I'll have something, but regardless, I'd love to see more. Have to thank you, as just your title for this little green led to my punny one shit, Purrlestia. >>12051 >Vehicular abuse/neglect Unless it's an 80s GM product, I'm angry with this car. Alright, there's a lot of shit beyond 80s GM that deserves neglect, that's just been my reading focus as of late. Aside from that autism, this Anon is getting put through the ringer with these ponies. Damn. Question directed more toward our more experienced writers, though all are free to answer - has there ever been a "fever dream" sort of idea with your boot(s) that you felt was best left to your own private musings, and not even a one-shot? I don't want to go into further detail or inquiry beyond that in public. I'll only add that I put the emphasis on dream, and supplant fever with inebriation.
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>>12053 >Question directed more toward our more experienced writers, though all are free to answer - has there ever been a "fever dream" sort of idea with your boot(s) that you felt was best left to your own private musings, and not even a one-shot? I mean, I wrote about a literal fever dream I had when I had the coof. Barely pony related, save for the fact that second-best princess (pic related) showed up in it a few times as a guide of sorts. Some of my ideas for future Z scenes do have a fever dream vibe to them, given the nature of how they're remembered by the big girl. Not sure what I'll do with those ideas, but I really like the concept of having a scene (or collection of scenes) take on a more dreamlike, ethereal quality, kinda like some of the scenes from the 2012 Dredd movie.
>>12053 >Question Some of the stuff I cut from Rosie would be more of an acid trip than anything, most of it cut from the story moving in a different direction than I thought it would or just me thinking “Nah, that would be dumb.”
Is it even worth going back to /mlp/ at this point? If so, should it be a thread that only gets posted once a quarter or so? Fish and DWI- I'll post my feedback this weekend.
>>12055 I feel a bit ashamed that I had forgotten that green - that was a good one. And granted, I've had ideas I've scrapped before, but this fucked up dream sort of pulled at my heartstrings, even if it's far off into left field. I'm not sure if/when I'll tackle writing this oddity, as giving it more thought this morning before bed, it's a convoluted mess that would need a whole hell of a lot of explanations, I think. For now, I just need to focus on the next update, which is a lot clearer, even if I'm dragging ass just a bit this week.
>>12059 I don't know, all I know is that the longer we take, the more we'll have to post but the less we'll have to get feedback due to the amount of posts we put up, I have about 7000 word to post when or if we go back
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>>12019 I really enjoyed reading your train of thought, it's so helpful to me and it's also fun to know what a reader is thinking as they experience the fiction for the first time. Thank you! I will also make use of the advice regarding green formatting and pace from you and >>12024 to hopefully make the story flow better and read easier. Again, thanks for it. >>12059 >>12053 I'm looking forward to it, but no rush. >Purrlestia Thrilled to discover that my title had such an effect, especially because I enjoyed the green so much. >>11802 pic related >>12051 I must say that I love reading your green: It's so hilariously unhinged. I hope to see more.
>>12063 It depends on how much each of us is willing to be patient in terms of dumping our updates since the last thread - personally, I have no qualms with putting a day or two in between updates with Middie, a void that can be filled by someone else. To some extent, we need frequent updates due solely to the amount of bullshit that gets posted there. Whenever someone feels froggy enough to start the next thread there, take the leap. >>12065 I hope my admittance of inspiration contribues to your drive, because you're traversing new territory with your male bootleg, and it's quite the interesting tale thus far. Purrlestia/Aurora may see more activity in the future, much of which has been inspired by my punkins with which I share my home, and one of which is cuddled up next to me as I'm writing in bed.
>>12066 If no one is complaining then I can make a new thread tomorrow. I'll also get a w2g room set up to celebrate and also because Friday.
>>12059 Thanks, looking forward to it! >>12065 I have the overall story planned out; there will certainly be more. Glad you are enjoying it! >>12068 I'll be there.
>>12068 Might as well make the thread tonight and include a post to let everyone know about the w2g room. We've had better turnout letting people know a day in advance.
>>12070 True. I suppose I'll make it tonight after I find the old thread. It's gonna be a while for me to see where we left off for writing things, to copy/pasta them over. Also gotta find a good OP pic... which means, which version of PlushJack is best to show.
>>12073 Guess I'll start.
>>12073 Blondie, you should post everything you've written since the last thread in its entirety instead of links. Space em out over the next couple of weeks. I've only got one update to post, Fortune only has a couple, so it'll be down to Auto to carry the thread unless you do too.
>>12080 Carry is my middle name. It'll take a while to search through everything anyway since it has basically been four months since the last thread started.
https://w2g.tv/mpx60jnyt5q9l2qb8g W2G room to celebrate the revival of /bootleg/ on /mlp/!
>>11869 >You're awake >Pretty early, for a Saturday >You'd like to say that you're still tired... >But you're not >You feel fairly alert >The only thing keeping you from moving is the trio of carry-size talking horses >One nestled between your legs and using your knee as a pillow >One laying near your hip >And the one laying on your freaking face >You remember last night as well as you remember everyone's first pay day together >Ordered pizza, raucous merrymaking with just enough alcohol, and a handful of old horror movies >You think Faye may be turning into a horror movie fan >Not sure why but they're the more cheesy sorts than something that shows evisceration or concise narratives >To rest your memory, you drag your hand up to where the head of your would-be smotherer should be >... >... >... >Yup >It's Shiner >You remember mouthing off to her and she just flopped onto your head >You were willing to test her on "trying something else" to keep you quiet but apparently unicorn belly is kryptonite to humans with low inebriation and high fatigue >You don't even remember what you were arg- >Wait >You remember now >It was about how you praised only Faye >Payday night, between the drink and pie-in-the-sky thoughts of rolling in dough, you were praising Jackening for her work efforts >She was outright jealous, refused to admit it, and then even refused to admit that she was a "vidya addicted species of horse called the "dare" because it was a mix of "dork" and "mare" >Then everything went black and apparently that was enough for you to call it a night >Your hand wanders around the red mare's face >With a good mental image in mind, you begin to tap at the corner of her mouth >You're too tired and/or lazy to use your words right now >Besides, you wouldn't want to give her the satisfaction of sonar transmission >After... >Probably a thousand hours >Or thirty seconds >You decide to stop >You flex your legs instead to hug the pony between them >You hear a yawn >Movement >Jacksauce, to the resc... >... >Nope >She isn't waking up >She just flopped from one side to the other and threw her head onto your lap with a hard enough nuzzle to let you know that she's not done sleeping >Well >Crap >Good thing you don't have to use the bathroom >You sigh under your admittedly warm cranium prison >Maybe it's your imagination but every day feels like you... >It isn't that you can't find a moment to yourself >But a lot of things feel more like they're done as a group >Hungry? >Usually everyone is at the same general time, or willing to wait until the next big mega munchie mixer >Tired? >Due to work, everyone tends to wind down >Even Feinter and Shiner forgo their usual antics or tendencies to at least lay down and try to relax >It's hardly a clockwork militia in terms of finesse >But the shared work schedule has really whipped them up into... >Certainly not in shape >But it has given them some sort of purpose >You think >Twice now, you've had to effectively carry Jackrophobia to the car so she can sleep on the way >Sparky-Horn, every day this week >Prism is always able to drag herself up but hasn't stayed awake once for an entire drive to work >Part of you feels bad >But you know that structure, in almost any capacity, is new to them >You don't have faith in them >You certainly trust them >But you... know their limits >What are probably their limits >You begin tapping at Starshine's mouth again >... >... >... >"Nla-yeap. Wha..." >The tip of your finger goes to tap but instead goes into the corner of her cheek >Aaaaaaaand now she's chewing on your finger >Great job, Anon >... >... >... >Screw it >It's supposedly Saturday >You can deal with having only nine fingers left later >With a defeated sigh, your body goes slack
Dollar General bootfinder here. I went to a few trashy stores today and found gold. I didn't have my compact digital camera on me but my friend has a phone, so I got him to take some pictures of the boots. I made an interesting discovery; you will see it when I get the pics.
Alright, I've posted all of Rosie to the chan thread
>>12096 Curious to see what you found.
>>12091 >Lunchtime >Shiner and Jackenstein have been taking over lunch duties >Mostly because they see lunch as a daily celebration to end their "work" >Jacky has taken to welcoming people and helping out with questions >Sparkler seems to enjoy sorting and placing books and archaic VHS tapes >And Prism... >Faint Prism >Is eating under your desk >You usually push yourself back so you won't kick her or anything >She isn't really adjusting >At least the boss man you report to is pretty easy going >To be honest, you aren't sure what her responsibilities are >Hell, you don't even know your responsibilities >You can troubleshoot and fix up workstations and the visitor computers >But you really do feel like you're just here out of a pity hire >At least you're getting paid >As are they "How you doin'?" >"Are they done with lunch yet?" "Jacklicious ate in maybe eight seconds and is getting chased around by a few middle schoolers." >"Is she ok?" "Yeah they look familiar so I'm sure she's fine." >You clear your throat as you see them all zoom by "And they are girls. So. You know." >"...that's good at least." >This place really seems to be more lively compared to when you first started >Have the girls been gaining some level of local fame with the educational crowd? >"And where is Sparking?" >"Annoyed you're stealing my new spot, move over." >Like a pair of huddled kittens, the two rub shoulders yet somehow insist on staying under the desk >"Anon." "Red horse." >"Get me a skirt or something to wear." "...Ah..." >You were worried about that "Comments?" >"Yup." "...Surprised it took this long." >"Oh shut up." >The venom in her voice is enough to warrant concern, funny as it may be to you that she has a record of refusing to hide herself at home "I'll look into something. For Jack too." >"I think we should all be wearing things if we're working." "What sounds good?" >You lean back and fold your leg so your risen ankle rests on your knee >You can look at them with this pose and it only looks like you're muttering to yourself like a madman >"Pants." >"Skirt." >"Armor that keeps our manes safe and clean." >"The license to give some of these twerps a flash tan." "I'll look into the fantasy RPG armor but no hostile magic." >Safe to say that the social aspect is not what they're savoring >At least Jacqueline seems at home >You've seen her give some visitors some guff but that hasn't led to anything worse >You know you're on lunch... >But it feels like you spend the entire first half of the day just watching them before you get around to anything >You asked about that but you were told it's fine >Is it? >Jacky races by again, still energetic enough to outrun anything in the building "...Was she always the most social one?" >"Yes." >Two miserable voices answer at once "Makes sense from what I've been told..." >She races by again >You're pretty sure running isn't allowed in a library >Eh, screw it >Her chasers seem to be having fun, even if they can't keep pace >This is quite the... >Well >It's a life >For now >But is it sustainable? >Jack eventually loses the gaggle of followers and leaps up onto your lap >As big a landing pad as you made for her, you still meet her impact with a grunt "Well now." >"Quick, pretend I'm not here." "Eh?" >She lays completely flat, collapsing on your crossed leg like a deflated balloon animal >Taking her cue you grab an old newspaper near your keyboard and fold it up >"Aw man, you lost her!" >"It wasn't me, you tripped me up to begin with!" >"I really like her mane!" >Thankfully they lack the good sense to ask you where she went "Having fun yet?" >Chest huffing and visibly spent she grins with a nod >You really still can't believe this is paying the bills and then some >Oh Well >Lunch is almost over anyway so once you let her rest you'll let them hang out in the car >Between the three of them, they're safe >Safe and with a laptop to argue over regarding who gets to drive it
>>12110 >Another productive day >...is what you'd like to call it >Like clockwork, dinner is has pretty early then everyone disperses to their own realm >Tonight, you've decided to hang out with Prism and Jackoholic >Another spooky night of watching Tales from the Crypt too >The puppet used to scare the bejesus out of you >Now you just wish you could sound that creepy on command >The current episode focuses on a guy who, through the power of SCIENCE, gained the ability to come back to life a handful of times >So what does he do? >The obvious of kill himself multiple times for only a few thousand dollars per life >Of course, he loses track of just how many lucky breaks he still has >As soon as the ending theme starts, Jack hurls herself against Prism >Thankfully, she squishes herself down to the floor low enough that the chunkhead flies right over and crashes into a pillow >"That was so lame! If I could die nine times, you think I'd waste them at a sideshow?!" >"You can't really blame small mines for having small imaginations..." >With Jackenstein now on her back, Prism gives you a slight glance and a smirk >"But what he did made sense too. He didn't really have any other skills, so the only thing he could do was get creative with dying." >"Bleeeah... I guess. But why not at least try to do something like be a bounty hunter? Or a mercenary?" >"If he isn't good at those, he might waste all of his lives in a single day." "Not to mention if he got zipped up and packed off, he might not even be able to collect his pay." >Jacky flails her legs like a fish out of water >If a fish had pony legs >She goes limp and ends her fit with a sigh >"...I'm bored." "Really?" >You don't think you've ever really heard her say that she was bored before >Of course, she's been bored >But she never really announced it "I thought you always had something schemed up." >"I do. But after going to work and all that, I realize just how fun it is to do stuff. Like, what kind of lives do those guys lead? Did they really dress themselves? Why can't they use tissues like the rest of us normal people?" >You don't want to know >Jacky points to the ceiling, aiming at invisible patrons >"You, stop looking at me funny. You, I know for a fact you rented two books last week and I didn't hear that they were back. You..." >She squints and growls >"Don't think I forgot that you lied about sharing those chips..." "You really dig that place, huh." >"Totally. I get to help out with a lot of things. People like me and don't think I'm weird. Plus we get paid enough where we can live like royalty." "That... we're a long ways away from that, Lemon Drop." >The new nickname makes Jackuzi wriggle until she ends up off the pillow and on the floor >"Well... we're paid enough to live like royalty on a painfully small budget." "...yeah, I'd allow that." >"Good. Speaking of royalty, I have a vizier to harass. Come see me later." >You salute her as she gets up and trots to your room >Oof, going by her hind leg she may have pinched a nerve or something >You don't notice that you're watching her leave until after she rounds a corner away >And you hear a polite "ahem" >"Are you really that shameless?" >Almost expecting her to peek back around the corner, you nod "In my own lair and with that sort of energy that could make or break a lesser man? Shyeah." >You shrug and re-adjust yourself to focus on the pegasus "So, what about you? All work and some play makes Jacky a dull girl. But you..." >Do you even need to pretend otherwise? "You're kinda acting like you can't stand it." >Her expression melts into one of moderate disgust >"I don't like it. Too many kids. Too many questions and offers for pictures." "Wait, hold the mare. They're offering you money for pictures and don't just stare?" >She furrows her brow >"Did you just try to rhyme at me?" "Maybe. But answer the question too."
>>12115 >As visibly uncomfortable as she is, she puffs out her wings like she's somehow too good to be a local something >"Yes. I'm not some... show pony, for people to take pictures with." "Sure but you're being kinda egotistical about it too. I hardly think they view you as some sort of side show attraction." >Given who you're talking to, who knows what her angle is "...is it because you aren't being offered enough money?" >The bitter look evolves >Or devolves >Whichever way means she's getting more offended >"Do you think that matters to me?" "I don't know. Maybe. When's the last time you had a few hundred bucks to your name? Or whatever the equivalent in pony dollars is." >The disdain vanishes with a quick, almost haughty huff >"...never." "I get that you're kinda trying the whole..." >You wave your hand at her in some nebulous pattern "Thing that says that I'm the peasant guy who refuses to think deeper than how he can go in a mare, so I can't possibly comprehend your ways." >"Anon, don't include me when you go into that sort of topic." "Too late, Banana Slamma. My point in this is... I guess, what are you still sore about?" >She doesn't immediately answer >You half don't expect anything out of her "Because let's be real... does it kinda suck to be there? Yeah, and no. Yeah, because I get your worries. And there are worries that I have too. But also no, because I think we're gonna have an easy time there." >"And what makes you think that?" "Because..." >You worm your way into an unsure shrug "I think... we're getting paid to be expensive entertainment. I keep asking about how to run things and I've been told a few times to not worry about it. And none of you have actually done anything more technically difficult than put things on shelves." >Given their pay rates, it's not like they're actually making out like bandits >And to put it politely, they have next to zero marketable skills that would help with a job "And I don't honestly know how long that's gonna last. It could last for a few years, it could last until... shit, next month. And then we'll be running on borrowed time until I find something again." >You pause >Inhale "I had a point with this, I swear." >"Yeah, you have that weird look in your eye. I believe you." "Bah. Either way. Where we are right now? It's pretty good. So what's your deal?" >Your half-assed attempt bears some fruit >Or maybe she's just looking for an excuse >"Anonymous, I hate working." "Well I could have told you that." >"I don't like being around strangers." "Yeah, that tracks too." >She stops >Her eyes dart to the corner, as if she were expecting Jacky to come back out >From what you can hear, she's being a proper pain to a particular gaming mare >"...What's the point of this? What are we building up money for?" "Building up money?" >"Yes. It's apparent you can support us on your own, without us helping. And it's obvious what we're adding isn't enough to change the way we live." "It's not obvious to me." >"And there's no way we'll be able to hide enough money to do something like... buy a house. Or get a second car." "A second car?" >"For Sparking. She talks about how she can drive." "Dude, I ain't letting her drive. She's liable to crash not just that, but every vehicle along the way." >Trying to keep a stoic face, she does her best to indirectly stare >"...You need to tell her that, then. She's been talking about it a lot."
>>12116 "...ah... crap. Well, guess I gotta pop that balloon sooner or later." >As lightly as you're taking the topic, she has... a few good points >Even if they do seem negative "I guess we're just building up money for whatever we want. If we want to eat fancier and better, we can. If you want anything, you can save up and afford it. Or we'll chip in and constantly poke you about how you owe us. I don't think it matter too much." >"Exactly, Anon. It doesn't matter." "Well alright then, tell me what you want." >"I want to be left alone." >The force in her voice and the emphasis on that particular word... "Is it because of the other humans?" >"No. they're strangers. They're not friends. I don't want more people in my life, I barely even count you as a friend." >The "you" is tainted with just enough vitriol to be a purposeful insult >Only after a second does she retreat and shrink away >"...I don't mean it like that." "...you actually count me as a friend?" >"What?" "Don't you "what" me, buddy. We're making friendship bracelets whether or not they color coordinate and you can't stop me." >The difficult expression you forced her into is proof that while she's seen how goofy you are, she still isn't used to dealing with you directly >To be honest though? >It does actually suck that you're only "barely" counted as a friend to her >The way everything has fit together, you've been fine with considering them all... >Family? >It certainly feels that way with the other two, for all of the faults-of which there are many-and good times >Maybe it's just wishful thinking that you could be at least more amicable with her after having been around each other for so much >"...you're joking but I mean it. Just... let me continue to exist. At least for a little while longer. I'm ok with being around you. I'm ok with being around Sparking. I like being around Jacky, still." >She's just a bundle of love and feathers >"But I don't want to get to know others. I don't want to "play" with them. I don't want to "help" them more than I absolutely have to." "So why do you drag yourself to the car every morning with us? We're all having our own ups and downs when it comes to adjusting but you're gloomy enough to bring down a birthday party and wedding anniversary happening at the same time." >She looks almost insulted by the question >Keyword being "almost" >"Because you would all be disappointed in me otherwise." >That... >Puts a bit of a stop to your shenanigans "Faye, if you're worried about failing, or the worry of being a failure... everyone fails. I don't want to plant the idea in your head but it might be good to quit while you're ahead. Before they-and I-get more comfy with being able to rely on you." >"...I don't think you're supposed to be that blunt." >It's an attempt at humor >The bitter smile tells you so "If it's about work, I hope I dash your hopes and dreams as soon as I can before you screw us up." >You don't say that with a smile >But you do make yourself smile just a little at the end "Remember what I told you when we first started? I don't mind if you admit that you can't handle working right now. To be honest, I'd be surprised if you even remember me saying that." >"I do." >The borderline whisper of her voice is maybe the perfect sign that you should let off >But... >You can't >Something isn't letting you just back off >That sound of defeat might not yet be genuine "Jacky's doing well. Spark's doing good. Even I'm somehow managing to make myself useful. If you drag this out and don't quit, it may look bad on them. On us." >That's right >This isn't about her >It's about everyone
>>12117 >"I..." "You may have been the mastermind before, but you're gonna have to stop being that high horse and..." >Do you say it? "Get over yourself." >You do >Maybe part of this is venting because you're only barely considered a friend >Probably petty, on your part >But you let it out all the same >Maybe it seeps into your tone >It feels almost liberating to say >It feels like you could stand to repeat yourself at least twice more but you would disgust yourself to be so cruel >You've felt tense for over five minutes now >At least two more episodes have come and gone by now, not that either of you have paid attention >A part of you wants to pounce on her the second she speaks up >To just slap down any self-righteous indignation that she always seems to default to >To mention, with some form of borderline glee, that it's almost always one step forward and one immediate jump backward with her >But she doesn't say anything >She sticks with a practiced stone faced expression >But the weakness in her eyes and the repeated clenching of her jaw shows how much she's proverbially chewing on >The twitch of her lips are failed attempts to speak up >Maybe the tension is enough to form a genuine wall between her voice and her mouth >"...have you told Jacky about any of this?" "No. Sister talk is between sisters. And this is... definitely a sister matter." >You sigh with the "definitely" >It's almost enough to lower the tension completely >It's a pleasant enough sigh that her lips curl into a quick, albeit faint, smile >"...so what do you recommend?" >Her voice isn't cracking but it's strained >Why is that poise so important to her? "Depends, you asking me as an almost-friend?" >"I'm asking you as my sister's... whatever you are to her." "I don't know, man. You make me glad that the other two are either goofy or a complete nerd because this girly girl shit of yours drives me batty and I can't make heads or tails of what your shtick is supposed to be." >With that, any serious intent you have with the conversation is just dead "Talk to her about it. And I mean it, seriously. She's starting to bug me because she keeps hinting at those harmony quests but she refuses to tell me what's up with those." >"She's still going on about that?" "Yes, and while I don't mind it, I'm getting bothered by what else she's scheming. I can only make so many lifestyle changes on a whim." >You certainly haven't lose any feelings for her >Not at all >But even she can be a pain >Sometimes "So... I don't know. It's getting late and I apparently have an obligation to follow through with and it's going to make me even more tired." >For once in the last... how long, you look at the current episode playing "...wait, is this the one where the guy fakes his brother being all but braindead?" >"...oh. I think it is. I like this one." "...alright, Jack can wait just a little while longer." >Surely amused by your presumed simpleton human ways, she actually laughs >It's dry >And quiet >And probably not even a real laugh >"In that case, I can at least be so useful and reset the episode." "See? I knew you weren't useless." >Maybe things will get better with her >Give or take another few years of wallowing
Gotta love how the mundane life of work, eat and sleep can bring out...the less than flattering parts of people. Not even (You) are immune.
>>12118 Thanks Blondie! A nice update.
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The images are in! As you can see this one has some familiar stock vectors being used for it; same as the shirts and bags from the Russian bootleg site I found earlier. It was exciting coming across them in the wild.
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>>12139 Second one is less interesting but has a dumb name.
>>12140 >>12139 Good find, anon!
Damn, I haven't updated in two and a half weeks. Not dead, just have had a hell of a time with the next update. Got it sent off to my editor to look over because I'm not feeling fully confident in it. Changed a lot while working on it. I'll get it out once it's cleaned up and/or approved.
>>12190 You have an editor now? What all do they do?
>>12192 Nah. Well, I guess in a way I do -I sent it to a friend to give it a once over. I'm absolutely whipped, so if I get it tuned up and posted, it will be tonight. Otherwise, expect it to drop tomorrow.
>>12193 Check your email, in case you haven't seen my feedback.
>>12118 >Another pay period >Another check >And another weekend >Maybe it's just you but the girls seem more... >Is "lazy" the right term? >No, of course it isn't >They're more productive now than ever >But working also really has had an effect on them >Rather than goofing around more, they seem content on simply laying around >It's a subtle change >"Come on, Anon, I'm payin' you good money for this!" "It's five bucks an hour, Jack." >"Exactly! Do you know how hard I've been working for that five bucks?" >As a half-joke, you've offered extended petting and massages for pay because there have been complaints of being tired or sore >You don't actually charge them but you say you do >"You're probably getting a discount, be more thankful." >Shiner is laying near you, focusing on her game of the week >Jackenstein is splayed out across your lap >"I'll discount you." "Oh, burn." >"I'll burn you." "Oh, discount." >Red pony is jealous, you can tell >While she requests it, Jacky acts like it's a matter of life or death >Because of that-or because you're a first come first serve sort of guy-she tends to get the first round of amateur pretzel bending "So... how's it been going with you two? I've heard surprisingly few complaints about things." >Prism has gotten you to be a little more sensitive to their working mare woes >Not that you've talked to her all that much >"I like it. It's just tiring... I never had to do so much so consistently." "That right, huh? I guess you have gone from a goon to a homebody to a productive society pony." >"A goon?" >"He's calling you dumb muscle." >Shine's flat delivery is as welcome as ever >"You wanna see muscle? Check this ou--aawh ouch... ok, no that just tweaked it..." >Jacky flexes her leg, just for you to feel her hind quarters spasm >Even after she relaxes, you can feel a part of her leg twitching "You good, Lee-mon?" >"Y... yeah... no. Nope. I can't move that leg. Need extra tenderizing, stat." "You got it." >You methodically chop and knead at the dumb muscle's flank, watching the gameplay >"Once you're done with her, I need massaging too." "Is that right?" >"Sure. Using magic deletes my internal MP meter. That means I get sore easy too." "That doesn't sound like that's how that actually works." >"Maybe but you can't prove that it doesn't." >You watch a creeping smile grow on her face >"Anon told me that for you, it's twice the rate." >Madjack gives you a wink, thinking that might cause a reaction >"That's fine. If I pay twice as much, that means it's going to feel twice as good. Isn't that right Anon?" "Technically you are correct, yes. I wouldn't half-ass anything." >Jack puffs out her cheeks and gives you a death squint >"So if I pay you twice as much, you're gonna do it twice as good?" "Presumably." >"I can't believe that you're skimping out on me..." "Who said I was?" >"Because you could be doing it twice as good right now!" >As stimulating at this conversation it, it is something of a comfortable norm >They all talk about money now, which is a good and bad thing >Good because it can be interpreted as them learning to be financially responsible >Bad because it now means that you're getting bribed for things you really don't need money to do >To play along, you have been "charging" them >You even show them receipts >But it really is just you moving money back and forth without them actually losing anything "You know that I've done this sort of stuff for a while now without ever bringing up pay." >"I know. But it helps you to help me now." "What, I wasn't helping myself by massaging cute dorks?" >Both Jack and Shine react positively to that comment with their own smiles "...don't take that out of context now." >"No, we both know the right context. Isn't that right Jacky?" >"Heheh... yeah. I'm the cute and you're the dork." "You're both the dorks and I'm the cute, deal with it."
>>12215 >After a time, you roll Jacky off of you >Like a fainting goat, she remains stiff throughout the entire action >Once you reposition her to lay at your side, she visibly melts and molds into place "Alright, Magic Mare, you're up." >The game's pause screen pops up >"...wait, seriously?" "Yup, come on." >With a giddy giggle that sounds just plain goofy, Shiner circles around to your unoccupied side and unceremoniously falls onto her side, into your lap >"This is awesome." "Not that awesome. I'm guessing MP is stored in the horn, so it's more just going to be shoulder and mane massage." >"You think that's where it's stored." "Unless you can show me your horn is, in fact, in your ass I am going to keep to the shoulder and head." >As subdued as Jacky is, she still manages an entertained snort >"Hey, I'm a magical talking pony. My MP could be stored anywhere. It could even be charged by affection, it sounds like that is possible when you look at the old show." "Nah, I remember a lot of things. And I remember you using magic out of spite more than a handful of times." >As you argue, you start on her shoulders >It's a mix of a pet, and an attempt to grip and squeeze >Her coat is just a hair more appealing to feel, but it's due to the hair length difference >The texture is also different but you can't quite articulate it >"No, spite also works. But not as well. Remember the ice?" >"I remember you going insane when we had to do that button thing." "I remember that too. You did sound like you were having too much fun." >You administer your first therapeutic karate chop to the unicorn >Right between the shoulder blades >The action causes quite the... >Interesting sound >The magical aura surrounding her controller blinks out a few times, like a flashlight that's running on dead batteries "You good?" >"Hm?" "I said, you dead yet?" >"Oh. Yeah. Yup. Just like a phone being plugged in." "Riiiight..." >You continue to knead at her without any real aim >Given how late it is, you half expect her to fall asleep on your lap >Jackonaut seems to have dozed off already >Or if she's still awake, she's resting her eyes pretty hardcore >She's entered that state where her breathing has deepened >Maybe that massage really did work >"You know... if you actually do need it, you can take more of my pay." "I'll be fine." >"Well... yeah. Obviously, you've handled everything else without ever whining about it." >Shiner kicks out her legs and nuzzles your knee >She seems comfortable now >Which means you'll be sleeping sitting up again >Probably >"But... you know. You don't have to do that alone." "I know. And thanks to Jack's scheming, we're all pitching in. It's easier now than ever, especially since I can start to rebuild some semblance of savings." >"Think I should start saving up?" "Sure. It never hurts to have a rainy day fund. Or to save up for something big, like that VR headset." >"We were already planning on buying that. And that really wasn't that expensive." "Then you can save up for other stuff. Or just hold onto it just in case." >The massaging has gone from her shoulders and upper legs to her neck >You've never thought about it before but you're surprised so much of the pony body is pure neck >It almost feels like you could stretch it out until she looks like a giraffe >"Easy there." "Eh?" >"Too hard." "Oh. Sorry." Going from the back of her neck to the sides is apparently not somewhere you can attack so casually >Jacky didn't seem to have an issue with it >But there could be many reasons for that >"We gotta go to work tomorrow too, don't we." "It is going to be a Monday, sure." >"How are you liking that place?" "Me?" >"Yeah. You don't look like you fit in that well." "Why's that?" >"You just look too focused."
>>12219 "Well I do focus on you lot. I can't not." >"Why, think we'll screw up?" >A purr escapes her throat >Apparently the side neck rubbing is a good thing >Quite an odd noise for a pony to make though "No, not really. I just don't trust other people I suppose. Safety is my key priority. And it'll probably take a while before I can let you three run amok without being paranoid." >"You allowed that when we went to the fantasy knight place." "That ren faire?" >"Sure." "Yeah but that was different." >"How was it different, Anon?" "That place is full of nerds and larpers that are often as drunk as they are smelly from essential oils and incense sticks. They could see a talking pony and wouldn't think twice." >"Pft." >Sparkler bends her neck back, letting you scratch and pet the front of her throat >"So nice to hear that you care about us." >At least she didn't specify "me" "You think I don't?" >"I know you do." >The conversation stops there >You gradually go up from her neck to her ears and her temples >The weekend went by so quickly >They all do, but since they started working with you, it feels like time has been flying by >Is this maybe a sign of something greater? >When every day used to be something new or eventful, things have entered a routine lull >It isn't boring >It is just a new baseline >A new standard of life "Hey, Sparkplug." >"Mmm?" >Going off of how her character is just running in circles and battles are being mashed through, it isn't surprising to see that her eyes are closed "Can you do me a favor?" >"I'm pretty sure I can do you a lot of things if you focus behind the ears." "Noted. Can you kinda... I guess keep an eye on Prism? We have that clothing coming in but she just doesn't seem like she's taking this stuff well." >Her first answer is a deep exhale >"Are you really surprised she's shellshocked because she can't just lie and scheme her way through things?" "I'm not surprised she has to deal with routine and the boring safety that comes with gainful employment." >Another deep exhale >"You've already asked Jacky to do this?" "She's doing what she can, independent of me." >"And you think I can really change her mind?" "I think you can try to be there for her. It's all any of us can do. I don't like that she's just stuck in purgatory. If it's some complex or something else, we can at least make it easier to deal with." >"You owe me a better massage if I do." "I'll owe you a lot if you can make a difference." >"Me too." >Though a mumble, Jacky's comment causes Shine to flinch >"...I thought you were sleeping." >"Mmm... I am. Just remember that I got ears on the back of my head." >You furrow your brow and watch the mare "...do you mean eyes?" >"No. My eyes are closed, silly." "...Right... silly me." >Yet another long exhale >This time one you initiate "Find a save spot, eh? Let's put something nice on to sleep to." >"You got it." >Tomorrow is yet another Monday >Not much is going to change >Not much is going to happen that hasn't happened before >But it will mean that you're one step closer >You can't say where you're going >But you're getting closer to it >They are too >How many can say the same?
Oh yeah, was gonna update yesterday. Whoops. >>11936 "Prybar, please. The one that looks like a screwdriver." >"I... what?" "Lame joke, sorry. Flat blade screwdriver, decent size." >Starla rummages through your toolbag with her snout, before coming back up with the requested item lightly clenched between her teeth. "Thanks. You sure that doesn't bother you? It's not like these tools are clean by any stretch of the mind," you remind her as you take hold of the tool. >"You worry too much - I already told you, I'm fine," she laughs. "I know it's a foreign idea to you, but I'm used to having to pick up and move items like this." "Can't blame a gal for making sure." >Starla watches on inquisitively just outside the car as you start to pry up the center console from the floor. >You figured taking this out of a Chevy Caprice would be easy - but the effort you've put forth this far is far beyond what was anticipated. >Are you absolutely sure you got all the fasteners? >Does it warrant a fifth looking over? >Aside from this snafu, today has thus far been rather smooth sailing. >Once you got over your anxieties that were present with the first stop. >Starla has been more than happy to scout for other parts nearby while you focus on the removal of a particular item, or just hand you tools as you request them. >This is the fourth car you've worked over so far. >"How does that work, anyway?" "Hm?" >Starla motions to her own horn atop her forehead. >"I guess I've never really thought about it, but I'm curious. How do you control your... how do you pick things up, I guess is what I'm asking." >It's been long enough that you scarcely remember when you *didn't* possess the ability to manipulate metal. >You really don't remember how that whole situation came to be. >As you continue to work, your mind wanders on that blank slate. * >Your head throbs with a dull ache even before you open your eyes. >It feels like someone finished working you over with a baseball bat a day or two ago, leaving you to deal with the consequences. >Though that begs the question - what happened? >This is hardly a new experience. >You never get a warning prefacing a procedure or exam. >It just... happens. >Whether something is put in your food, or some sort of gas is wafted into your room is uncertain - but the scientists manage to drug you in some way before a new experiment is undertaken. >You haven't been able to figure it out quite yet, and it irritates you to no end. >...of course, would it matter? >Who's to say they wouldn't just drag you out and jab you with a tranquilizer in a syringe? >Regardless of these hypothetical situations, you ease open your eyes in preparation for the fluorescent assault by the overhead lights - assuming you can see. >Other than the blurriness caused by sleep hazing your vision, sight is intact this time. >You still get a chill thinking back to the eye incident.
>>12222 >It was by far the worst procedure - though getting used to living and being comfortable with wings was not exactly enjoyable. >Nor was learning to use them. >However, as you carefully take in the sights of your familiar room, you quickly become aware of something amiss, aside from your apparent migraine. >Multiple wires hang from your head - you can see one on each side of your peripheral vision. >But now having taken note of the weight - there's certainly more to it than that. >Rising from your mattress is a struggle; your leg muscles want no part in any sort of exercise after languishing for an unknown amount of time. >But you manage it, carefully stepping toward the door to your room - where, coincidentally, the wires dangling from you lead before ducking underneath through the rubber seal. >The glass offers you a decent reflection, one that makes you feel ill. >At least half a dozen patches have been shaved from your fur, large enough to make room for electrodes affixed to your bare skin. >From there, wires both run down to the floor as well as interconnect with one another - and your horn. >What in the fuck is all of this? >Your eyes adjust to focus upon what lies beyond the glass and your reflection - and it's only now you are aware you aren't alone. >Sitting in a chair beside some sort of large gizmo is the boss's right-hand man - evidently asleep, with how he's slumped over, showing off his mop of brown hair. >Captain Asshole berates him for that 'hippie' hairdo on a regular basis. >How typical and thoughtful of him to include everyone in his verbal abuse. >You don't know how this guy has managed to hold onto his job. >He seems too soft. >Right from the first day, when you awoke completely blind and he voiced concern. >You haven't fallen for that bullshit - a lot of the newbies have been like that. >Whatever, at least he isn't another cocksucker with a temper. >You rap on the glass with your hoof, startling the young man awake with a jolt. >He quickly looks around with an expression of fear, as if expecting he's been caught asleep on the job. >But he composes himself quickly enough upon seeing you waiting expectantly on the other side of the glass. >"Oh, you're awake." "An astute observation. No wonder they hired you," you irritably snap back. "What the hell is going on? What is all of this shit?" >"It's another experiment..." he softly replies in defeat. "No shit?! That's the only reason I exist, dumbass," you bark, causing your headache to flare up with a fresh jolt of pain. >You take a moment for the wave of nausea accompanying the pain to subside before going further. "What is it now, and why does my head hurt like hell?" >"Is our princess awake?!" you hear the boss holler from somewhere down the hall. "I told you to let me know as soon as she's up, Johnson!" >Wonderful. >"Yes, she's just woken up, sir!" the Johnson fellow shouts back.
>>12223 >You hear his lumbering footsteps echoing down the tiled hall before you see the boss, emotionless as always. >Well, the only other emotion he knows is anger. "I didn't get an answer from him, so I guess I'll try you - what is all of this electronic shit?" >"An experiment." >He merely gives you a wry grin. >It only pisses you off more. "Fuck you." >"Sir, she did mention she has some lingering pain in her head-" >"She's fine. We had her skull popped open, rearranged and added some things in there, no shit it's going to hurt," the boss interrupts his meek assistant. >"Right, I just thought it should be mentioned." >That added comment doesn't sit well with the lab's dictator, who quickly turns away from you to his lackey. >"You are here to do as I say, not think up stupid shit and feel sorry for *our* creations," he snidely remarks. "None of these damn things would exist if we hadn't made them." "Yeah, lucky us." >"Shut the fuck up. I'm not talking to you, princess," he barks, pointing a finger at you in a scolding manner. >"I'm sorry, sir. Just keeping in mind the... ah, the longevity of our program. It doesn't help us if she expires before we can test her, right?" >"Johnson, if you have a bleeding heart, you're in the wrong line of work. Don't bullshit me." >The assistant's shoulders slump, only nodding his head in silent acquiescence. >"Good. Turn it on, and lets at least get this shit started," the boss instructs, pointing to the machine. "What the fuck is that for?" you demand as Johnson reaches over to flip switches and press buttons on a control panel. >"To charge you up." "That's really descrip-" >Pain. >Nothing exists but searing hot needles - thousands of them - jabbing into every corner of your head, and trailing through the rest of you. >Your vision clouds over, unable to focus with the agony of electricity searing through your skull. >"Sir, I thought we were doing a slow charge!" >"I don't feel like fucking around for a whole day to juice up the mechanism, she's fine!" >"That's way too much at once!" >"You either keep it going, or you don't have a job!" >"Hey..." >Through the deluge, you hear... Johnson? >No. >You feel... a hoof. >Patting you on the back. >The torture ends abruptly as it began, though you find yourself in... >The junkyard. >Starla speaks softly while continuing to reassure you while patting you in comfort. >It's only now you realize you're trembling from head to hoof. >That was... >That was a memory you wish had been left repressed. >Holy shit. "I'm... I'm good, I think," you stammer, trying to fully bring yourself back into the present. >Starla's concerned face fills your vision as she leans inside the car. >"What happened? You just stopped working on the console and just... it was like you left. Mentally." >You really aren't sure how to answer that, so you merely relax and sit back upon your haunches. >"Should I get Anon?" "No, I'll be fine Starla. Just... give me a second."
>>12224 >She doesn't say anything as you focus on your breathing, slowly bringing your heart down to a normal rhythm. >Well then. "I... had forgotten how they - well, the laboratory - how the experiment got started. I suppose getting the mechanisms or electronic implants - whatever the hell they are, they needed to be charged up before use, or calibration. I don't know. But I do remember how awful it is to have current coursing through your brain." >You don't get a response, forcing you to look over to your friend. >She stares down at the carpeted car floor, wide-eyed and looking more than a little ill. "Are you okay?" you prod, taken aback by her response. >"I guess I didn't think... I know you mentioned how miserable it was where you came from, but I didn't think it was on the verge of torture," she mumbles. "And yet... maybe I made it more miserable than it needed to be." >"What?" Starla inquires. >But you don't know how to answer her. >You don't know how to feel right now. >Not too long ago, you buried the past, feeling it was a burden not needed. >But now you feel... curious. >Was it really an accident you escaped? >That may be a question best left unanswered. >But if you were aided, you at least have an idea of who was behind it... -----
>>12225 Good update; the mystery of the factory is one of my favorite aspects of this story.
>>12220 Very cute scene helping the ponies relax. It'll be interesting to to see what they end up doing now that they've got a source of income. >>12225 An intense update. Hopefully this doesn't mean that Midnight's "magic" will run out and need recharging. I wonder how much Midnight has mentally blocked out from those times. If we'll learn more of Johnson. Thanks Auto.
>>12264 I'm more interested in how things have wound down for them. No more daily antics, it has been curtailed into just working and goofing around. There's a sadness there, even if everything has improved. For most of them.
https://w2g.tv/n97z4g56avw2ssnu4i Weekly W2G, hopefully to help boost morale.
Might not be till at least the end of the week before I have another update - I was off of work all last week, and basically did no writing. Tons of other stuff got done, just not that project. Figured I ought to say something.
>>12339 Thanks for heads up! We believe in you, Auto!
>>12220 >For a Monday, it feels pretty pleasant >Maybe it's because there's another payday coming up >Prism is out on the patio, with a pair of pillows >Outside of heavy rain, she seems to just favor sleeping outside >She's still wearing her skirt >Between all three of them, you've spent too many hours at a clothing store >Thankfully it was one of the local places that don't question you poking around the women's section with three talking ponies >Last week they all wore clothing for the first time >You haven't felt more proud >And... >Other things >Shiner's in the living room, playing some sort of offline poker game >Apparently she's an eager, but terrible player >Jack is laying on her side with you >Rather than a movie, it's a YouTube video >...that is discussing a movie >With pillows under your head, your right arm under her head and your left arm lingering around the hem of her skirt, you're pretty comfortable >Jackenstein's skirts are either dark blue or bright green like her eyes >They all got matching sizes, so they all cover everything that could be pointed out in a less than appropriate manner >Shiner's are yellow or some funky lime >To be honest, the lime is growing on you >Prism's are black or white >"You've been fiddling with that thing for like an hour now. We ain't at work, you can pop it off if you want." "Hm?" >Your hand stops >For a few seconds >Your index and middle finger slide under the waist and tug on it >It certainly fits well "Nah. I kinda like it, actually. It feels nice. You look pretty good in it." >"Heh, glad you like it. I knew I was onto something. Sparky talking about wearing shirts and all that... that doesn't really cover much, does it?" "Not the important bits, no. I think she just liked wearing that shirt." >"...yeah, is it obvious that I don't like buttons because of that?" >You don't want to say anything >But that particular shirt mysteriously lost all of the buttons on it >Good thing it was just a backup that never saw use "Tiny bit...?" >This video is six hours long and you're only an hour in >You refuse to feel any guilt for not paying attention at all to it >"This movie looks kinda lame... wanna watch it some time?" "Nah. Well, I guess I wouldn't mind watching it with you. But it's one of those goofy things that require you to watch at least five movies prior to even catch up on what's going on." >"That's a thing?" "Sadly yes." >"It gives us an excuse to be locked in a room without interlopers." "..." >She nuzzles your arm with the side of her face >Your arm is numb but you recognize the vague sensation "Wanna watch at least five movies full of too many quips, special effects and CG?" >"Yes but I'm gonna make fun of them." "What a coincidence, I was too." >For some reason, Shiner's words come to mind >A few days ago you and her had a little verbal sparring >Jacky was making fun of her for being a sore loser >While she isn't one for video games, she kicks all kinds of ass when it comes to D&D PVP
>>12347 >Custom made characters >One arena >Prices and clout with actual rewards >Needless to say it is a pony pleasure >Speaking of, this skirt is... >Focus, Anon! "G-gah... alright, hold on." >With a bit of a rough grip, you undo the skirt buckle after enough yanks >Jacky gives you a sultry chuckle that sounds all too natural "Alright, better." >With the skirt undone, your hand rests on her side >"Feels a ton better." >With that out of the way, you feel more liberated than the mare actually wearing the article "I gotta say, you need to be careful when it comes to wearing this. At work, I can stay distracted but otherwise it's..." >"Reminding you of the time I spent with absolutely no covering?" "...maybe." >Focus Anon >"Hey Anon?" "Yup." >"You're doing that thing." >Oh crap >She doesn't mind that, does she? >You aren't even rocking against her that hard "...what thing?" >"What's on your mind?" >That gets you to... >Well, you don't stop >But you do calm down "Something's on my mind?" >"Yeah." "Well..." >You trail off >"Focus, man!" "G-gah." >If even she's telling you that you're losing track, that can't be good "Sorry. I'm not really thinking too hard on anything-" >"I'll say." "Jacky." >"Mmm?" >As flustered or otherwise distracted as you are, you can tell that she has a big smile "Look for something to go with the skirt. Friday let's go out." >"Dinner date?" "Yeah. Fancy dinner date. Something where we can go out and show everyone how well off we're getting to be." >Another chuckle >Deciding to ignore the video as well, she works to roll over to face you >You grab one of her front legs and help her rotate >Now face to face, you can see just how brightly she's beaming >"What's the occasion?" "Do I need one to see you dress up even more? I'll be honest, I'm pretty sure you wearing stuff does something for me." >"Good thing I could tell that at least three hours ago." >She yawns >A loud, distinctly... silly sounding yawn >Certainly nothing a usual classy lady would do >Somehow that doesn't dispel whatever effect she has you under >"So how fancy are we talking? Do you have to extend your pinkie when you drink?" "Maybe not that severe. But yes, this includes manners and overpriced alcohol that is stronger than a beer but weaker than our usual bottles." >"Overpriced, huh..." >She sticks her tongue out at you >"Occupe-toi de ma faim." >The downright uncanny shift in her voice is difficult to get a read on >She sounds tired >Or comfy >Or maybe it's something a bit subtle "...say that again, but this time with a heavier tone." >She sighs and rolls her eyes >"You know, I used to worry that you were too smart for me." >As much as a tease as it is, you can only nod "I was too smart for you, if you genuinely thought something silly like that." >"Glad I know better." >Jacky shifts and flops in place >"Just so we're clear... I actually did say something there. It wasn't just noises to get you excited." "Oh, I know." >"You do?" "Yeah. But even listening to those lesson videos are exhausting." >Between fatigue and pre-existing thoughts, your eyes finally start to wander from her face downward >Rather than sigh, she laughs >"Be honest, how much if this is from the skirt?" "Like seventy percent." >"Oh God... for the record, if Sparky ever learns of this, you come to me. Period. Got it?" "Yup." >You promise that you are listening >You just... >Are too tired to focus right >Yeah >Let's go with that >... >Why did you have Shiner in mind again? >It couldn't have been that important if you were distracted so easily
A bit more of a rare moment between those two. If Anon wants her in more than just a skirt, how well will she end up dressing? God help us if she decides to look into any makeup.
>>12348 >you come to me Oh I'm sure he does plenty of that already.
>>12353 That made me laugh and little too much. At least it wasn't a command.
>>11990 https://ponepaste.org/4579#923 >When you wake you find yourself in your bed. >A mess of orange and yellow mane in the bottom of your periphery and the gentle warmth that was pressed against your chest signaled that Dawn was lying next to you. >She stirs as you slowly raise yourself to sit up in an attempt to abate your throbbing headache, settling once you stop moving. >You notice that she had one of her forelegs over Rosie, now pulling the pale pink pony closer. >A quiet chuckle escapes your lips as you slide out from under the blanket and step on the cold tile floor. >When you go to check the time on your phone you find a bottle of aspirin and a glass of water sitting next to it. >After downing two and taking a swig of water you deduce that it was Sonata that did all this. >You sneak out of your room and poke your head into the guest room. >Levitating in front of her is your old hoodie that Rosie had worn to the factory. >She was stitching where you had cut it to make space for Rosie’s tail, using a needle and thread she had pulled from a sewing kit in her bag to create a new hem along the frayed edges of your shoddy shear job. >Her eyes go from the hoodie to the front window, watching the snow build up outside. >The door creaking as you enter causes one of her ears to swivel in your direction before she turns to look at you, “Morning, Mr. Chambers.” >Her usual tone is gone again, instead she just sounds…deflated. “Dawn and Rosie are still asleep, and since I don’t have enough on hand to make breakfast for everyone, I figured I’d go pick something up since there’s still time. I was also wondering if you wanted to tag along so we could, uh, discuss what happened last night.” >She nods and follows you to the car, hopping in when you open the door for her and you enter the driver’s seat soon after. >There’s an IHOP nearby, you don’t remember if they sell waffles or not but pancakes should be a good enough substitute.>Once you hit the sideroad, Sonata speaks. >“About last night…I’m sorry, I took advantage of you, and if you want to report me, I-” You hold a hand up to get her to stop, “I could have stopped you if I had wanted, I’m still sorting through how I feel about it, so until then you can just forget about it.” >The light turns red and you slow to a stop, Sonata takes the opportunity to lean forward and give you a pick on the cheek, “Thanks,” she then leans back into her seat, “I’m still worried about you though.” An incredulous laugh escapes you, “Why would you be worried about me?” >“Because I can tell what you’re hiding within your heart- it is my gift and curse, much like Dawn’s memory.” “What do you mean by that?” >“Dawn remembers everything from the moment she was brought into this world to the moment she went to sleep last night, even if she would rather not. For me, I can always sense the emotions of those around me.” The light turns green and you ask, “And what does that have to do with you worrying about me?” >“Because like Dawn, your heart is full of melancholy, a poison that will put you into an early grave if you continue to let it fester; I don’t want that, and with the way Dawn feels about you, neither does she.” Another red light, once you stop you turn to look at Sonata. “Wait, what do you mean ‘the way Dawn feels about you’?” >Sonata groans and rubs her temple with a hoof, “Maybe you weren’t playing at being dense… You’re the one closest to her, so it only makes sense, but she doesn’t know how to deal with these feelings- something else the two of you share.” “Hoo boy…” is all you can say. >“Hoo boy, indeed.” Sonata replies. … Sorry if the update is a little short, recent events have conspired against me.
Guys, there is a small artpack being produced on the board, at https://nhnb.org/fim/res/10572.html Would any of you be interested in participating? The theme is Harvest/Fall Festival. It aims for the end of September. We can use more artfags or writefags or even craftfags. Fall themed bootlegs may be an interesting thing to ponder on.
https://w2g.tv/ybtor6v34r2alj143x Saturday night tunes and other things.
>>12225 >Three hours. >Never in a million years did you expect removing the grille of that Marauder would take three goddamn hours. >What a nightmare. >As you trek back to the truck with your hard-fought trophy, you see another night mare sitting up on the tailgate, basking in the little shade the roof and the tinted back hatch afford. >Starla sits beside her, though faced the other way into the back of the Trailduster, inspecting the odds and ends laying scattered there. >Her sunbonnet lays beside her, almost precariously on the edge of the tailgate. >You can feel the smugness emanating from Midnight even at this distance as you close in. >"I didn't realize Starla was expected to pick up your slack, Anon," she croons mischievously. >You don't answer her verbally - universal sign language via the middle finger is sufficient. >Starla spins around, greeting you with her normal serene smile. >"Wow, that's a whole piece?" she asks, to the chrome trim in your hand. "Yes, and it was a stubborn piece. Every screw was stripped out of it, hence my... 'slacking'." >You focus your eyes on Midnight with that last utterance, which only makes her smirk harden for a brief moment. >"Oh come on, you know I'm fucking with you." "I'm well aware," you concede, carefully squeezing the grille between the seated ponies and into the back of the truck. "That was just a pure JFH." >"JFH?" Starla repeats in uncertainty. >"Job From Hell," Midnight calmly answers, dropping her attitude as she reaches over and pats you on the arm. "One of those part pulling excursions where nothing goes to plan." >"Gotcha." "Hopefully you two had a better go of it than I did?" >"Mhmm. Having a handy toolmare to assist me meant we got a bunch of jobs done," Midnight proudly announces, leaning off to the side and giving you a view of the haul behind her. >"Toolmare - I like it!" Starla giggles. >"Figured we both deserved a short break so you have something to do. Don't want to get all of the work done." "Aww, how considerate of you." >"I know. You ought to have Starla lend you a hoof for the next couple of hours to help you catch up." >Both you and Starla glance at each other in surprise, before all eyes return to Midnight. >It's less about the idea of spending time with Starla, and more about Midnight's sudden lack of sass in her voice that draws attention. >"Are you sure Midnight?" Starla asks. >"Yeah, I have some stuff to think about. Wouldn't be fair to have you helping me while I'm deep in thought and rather mum," Midnight answers. >"Is this about-" >"Yes, but I'm fine," Midnight interrupts, her speech quick in order to cut Starla off from saying something else. "It's not a bad thing. But I need some time alone." >Starla's shoulders slump, though Midnight is quick to counter that response by spreading a wing and embraving her lightly. >"It's not your fault. I promise we're good."
>>12434 "I'm missing something here. What the hell happened?" you ask, hoping for an explanation for this moment and mood that has cut into the overall festive atmosphere accompanying Starla's visit. >To say the least, it's very concerning. >"I'll explain this evening, Anon. Just not right now," Midnight says, her voice solid and serious. >It tells you she's not going to budge no matter how hard you prod at her. "I'm going to hold you to that, Middie. As long as you're really alright." >"That makes two of us," Starla joins in with a sharp nod. >"I swear on it. But I think Anon needs your help anyway, Star," Midnight responds, letting mischief creep back into her voice. "Maybe he'll be able to get more than one job done in three hours." "Kiss my ass." >"I'll pass," she replies with a lack of interest or enthusiasm while sliding off the tailgate. "See you guys later, Imma get back to work." >Without another word, Midnight levitates her toolbag out of the back of the truck and sets off for another target. "Might be more helpful if you tell me what you already got and where you're headed, Middie," you remind her while fishing through your pocket for the list of needed parts. >"Oh yeah," she admits in a hushed, slightly embarrassed voice while spinning around. "Got the LTD stuff, the Fairlane rear bumper, and all of the full-size Chevy parts." "In other words, you took the easy jobs to make me look bad." >She scoffs at your accusation. >"You know as well as I do it's never a guarantee something is going to be easy," she argues. "No, but it got you all flustered and defensive, so there must be some truth to my remark." >"... work smarter, not harder," she replies, virtually admitting defeat despite her arrogant tone. "It's cute how you're such a sore loser when you get caught," you chide. >"Just for that, I'm going to get the stuff needed for the Novas on the list, and the Ventura." "Still gonna prove my right by taking the easy way out." >Starla remains silent during this whole exchange, though she's clearly amused. >"Good luck dealing with Anon, Star. My apologies in advance," Midnight tells her. >"Oh stop it," Starla jokingly scolds her. "I think we'll make a pretty good team." >"I'm off - catch you guys later." >With that, Midnight gallops off, leaving you with Starla - a pony you really don't know all that well. "So, what was the needing to think... what was all about?" you ask, uneasily rubbing the back of your head. >Starla shakes her head. >"I'm going to leave it to Midnight to explain tonight. It's only fair," she answers. "Alright," you concede, even as your anxiety about Midnight lingers. "So, you're with me now, eh?" >Starla hums in approval before jumping off the back of the Trailduster, her chest thrust out in pride. >"I'll help with whatever I can, be it look for something or hand you tools." "Alright - if you're ready, I'm ready." >Starla turns around, gently nipping the edge of her hat and flicking it up in the air.
>>12435 >With well-practiced precision, she ducks underneath it and catches it, looking like she had never taken it off from earlier in the day. >"I'm ready. Where are we off to?" she asks, making no note of her neat little move. "Well, I still need a couple of parts from a couple of different Mercury models - dashboard instrument cluster from a Monterey, and front bumper brackets and a steering column from a Montego." >"If they're both the same make as what you just pulled a part from, I'm assuming we're walking that way?" she asks, pointing a hoof off into the direction behind you. "Yep, but I think we'll take the truck. I don't fancy the idea of carrying the steering column and the other stuff back here." >"Okay - but doesn't that mean Midnight will have to walk further?" Starla inquires even as you usher her into the passenger seat. "Honestly, Midnight has a lot of stuff to pull from those cars - I'm willing to bet we will be done with our three items and picking her up before she's done," you calmly explain. "I can't stress enough how god-awful the grille of that Marauder ended up being - shouldn't have even taken me an hour. But she knows well enough I'm not going to make her walk back with everything she's got - we have a system." >"Fair enough - I forget you two are used to doing this thing every day." >You close her door, then circle around the front and slide into the driver's seat. >It feels a little awkward to glance over and see someone other than Midnight seated shotgun. >... alright, it's awkward that Midnight isn't beside you or in the vehicle at all. >But now is a good time to actually get to know her, rather than just being Midnight's friend. >The best place to start is the one thing that's been mentioned by her... "So Midnight tells me you love to cook," you muse. >At once, Starla's violet eyes light up with excitement and enthusiasm. >"Do I ever! I sincerely hope Midnight passed on my list of items?" "Yepper. Got all of it back at home," you confirm while starting up the engine of the Trailduster. "She said you were gonna show her some things so she can do something other than microwaved bacon." >"Mhm - it's the reason why I brought more than one bag while staying with you two. Lot of utensils I use at home." "You didn't have to go through packing all of that - I have some stuff," you reassure her while scanning the lot for an empty space to turn around. >"Oh? Midnight didn't mention you were into cooking," Starla comments, taken aback. "Well... I can do a little bit," you answer with care, feeling as if you're presenting yourself grander than you really are. "Nothing fancy. But still have some stuff in the kitchen, and you're welcome to use what you need."
>>12436 >"That's very kind of you - but I'll also add that many of my tools are... well, I don't have hands, so there are some modifications Teddy has done for me on some things, while others have more than their fair share of teeth marks. Admittedly, it makes me a bit jealous of what Midnight can do..." >Starla's voice loses enough of its bubbly happiness to make you glance over, in time to see the mare cringe ever so slightly while looking ahead. "Hey, you okay?" >"Yeah, just thought I saw something," she answers without hesitation, dragging her eyes back to you. "But never mind that, I'm really looking forward to showing what I can do, just like you both have been showing me so much." >Whatever that was causing her to falter, it's been brushed away easily as Starla returns to form. >It can't be a coincidence that something apparently was brought up between her and Midnight earlier, and bringing up Midnight's name... >Maybe they had a fight? >They seemed alright while waiting for you to walk back with the grille, though... >And they both agree to share it with you later. >Now you're anxious to know what's up. -----
>>12437 Good update
>>12437 Thanks, Auto!
>>12437 Thanks for another update Auto. You know, one thing that came to mind about how Midnight's magic works: If it's all magnetism wouldn't that mean she would have to bear the weight of whatever she's carrying with her horn? Would that mean she just has very strong neck muscles?
>>12460 I honestly never really gave it a thought when I came up with the idea other than creating a substitute for 'real' magic. For whatever reason, that was a thing I wanted to do going into it, though it also has it's fair share of problems, such as electromagnetism not getting along all that well with electrical circuits. It's science magic I guess - ain't gotta explain shit.
>>12460 >>12489 It still doesn't explain how Midnight can control objects at distance, but we don't actually have anything but circumstantial evidence that the magnetism originates from the horn. For all we know she has a deeper implant in the core of her body that bears the weight and the horn just lights up for show or "guides" the magnetism in some magical science way. That or she just has the worlds beefiest neck and could crush you to death with it without breaking a sweat.
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Listening to music, hanging out, might even put on a cheesy movie later on. Stop by and say hi, or stay a while. https://w2g.tv/bsmap0xweieink17ol
only making a post here to give a heads up that I was banned on /mlp/ for 'banned text'. the thread is just about over but in the past even 1 writefag was enough to be bumped for and there's new bootlegs i dont see here, so might be worth keeping it up on the homeboard
>>12560 Sorry to hear that Anon, I'll try to check in every once in a while on the /mlp/ thread.
>>12560 What was the "banned text"?
>>12437 >Starla really enjoys asking questions. >Not to say that is a bad thing - far from it, in fact. >It's been a refreshing change of pace in the short time she's been with you. >As in, still in the midst of the first job. >"They really made things look a lot fancier back then, huh?" Starla comments, mesmerized by the flashy chrome of the instrument cluster you're fighting with. >You have to chuckle a bit at the naivety of the comment. "I suppose it does look pretty fancy compared to... well, just about any other decade," you admit. "Stainless steel and chrome were the in thing at that time, from appliances in the home to the cars that were rolling off Detroit's assembly lines." >"Do you... did these get manufactured in your lifetime?" "How old do you think I am?" you chortle, only breaking into a full laugh as you glance at Starla's nervous expression. >"Well I don't really know, I guess. Not really sure what year this car is - and I don't really grasp the notion of time, I suppose," she admits. "Well... how old are you?" >A look of uncertainty and a shrug of the shoulders is the response. "Huh. Guess you and Midnight are in the same boat there. She doesn't know, either." >"I'm sure Teddy could tell you for certain, or at least give a rough estimate since he worked with me from the get-go," Starla adds. "But that's never crossed my mind." "I'm kinda curious now - but I don't want to make you uncomfortable with further questions," you tread carefully. >"That's the nice thing about teaming up with you for a little while - we get to actually know each other rather than just being friends of Midnight," she reassures you - though she does find some amusement as 'friends' leaves her lips. "As long as I get to ask questions - ask away, Anon." >Well, in that case... >...you forgot what you were going to ask. >Dumbass. "You can go first," you defer, trying t save face in light of your brain lapse. >"Well, Midnight told me you really didn't like ponies at all when you first encountered one another. What changed your mind?" "Starting off with the hard-hitting insightful questions, huh?" you joke. >"Perhaps. But it just seems so odd that Midnight was the one that changed your mind considering... honestly, I never thought she was intolerable, by all accounts, her attitude was much more prickly than even when I first met her." "Misery loves company, I guess." >Starla tilts her head, confused by the lack of depth in your witty but honest answer. "How much does Midnight talk about me in general?" you ask politely, expecting you already know the answer as you free the instrument cluster from its housing in the dash. >The movement of the module after decades kicks up a helping of dust into the air. >Both of you take a moment to fan the particles away from your faces, squinting all the while.
>>12588 >"She talks about you more than she used to - which was never," Starla replies with a hushed laugh. "She's still a bit embarrassed talking about you - I suppose I haven't helped manners when I tease her. It's just funny how spun up she gets about discussing her relationship with you, just from the fact she sees herself... above that. Though that's definitely changed over the past month." "Fair enough, and I'm not really surprised - but did she ever mention this business? The junkyard, I mean." >"Apart from mentioning she saved your ass?" Starla responds in jest as you reach behind the dash to unplug wires. "That's true, though." >"Oh. I really thought that was - I believed there was some truth to it, but I guess I didn't fully believe it," Starla admits, her confidence fading a bit. "She might have stretched the truth a little, I know how she is," you reply, trying to put the lost pep back into Starla even as you blindly fight at a plug you can only feel. "But in all reality, I don't know if I could be here in a year if she hadn't come along. Just like her, I wasn't in a good place. And that extends to mentally. So somehow, two bitter individuals brightened each other up." >"I've never gotten that vibe from you at all. You always seem to be in an upbeat, joking mood," Starla replies. "Well, that was before I met you. And trust me, Midnight was even less pleasant than the first time you met her, too." >"Now *that* I can believe," Starla laughs. "She doesn't seem to be able to let go of the past - at least not until recently. Which leads to another question. Well, after you ask one." >You wave off her hesitance as you pull your hand out from the depths of the dashboard and reach for a pair of wirecutters. >"Ah ah, I'm the tool mare," she protests, swatting away your hand from the tool bag set before her. "Ah, my bad. Habit. Side cutters - basically look like standard pliers you gave me earlier, but made for cutting - I'm already sick of fighting with this plug I can't fully see," you explain, nodding at your hand which displays a couple of fresh scrapes on the knuckles. >"Ouch, that doesn't look good," she comments before proceeding to rummage through your tools with her snout. "It comes with the territory. After a while, you just get oblivious to minor stuff like that. But what was your next question? I'm not keeping score of how many each of us throws out there." >Starla raises up her head, a worn pair of blue-handled wirecutters clenched between her teeth. "Yep, those are it. Thanks." >"No problem. And I guess I already sorta asked my question - what did you do to have Midnight turn over a new leaf? She's been more open in our chats, less... broody." "She just got tired of being angry and having a chip on her shoulder, I suppose. Felt like she was being weighed down by what she described as the bitterness that originally kept her going forward. If that makes sense."
>>12589 >"It does, but I'm sure being with you helped a lot to push away those bad memories, too." "Aww, you should tell her that later," you laugh, with Starla quickly joining in. >Even so, you feel your face grow a little hot as you reach behind the dash cluster and snip away at the old wiring. >With all the plastic and copper tethers cast away, you finally pull out the entire unit and set it in your lap. "That could have gone worse. But I'll still need to test everything." >"How will you do that?" Starla asks, leaning closer to get a look. >"I'll hook up a battery to these connections back at the shop, one at a time," you reply, gingerly ripping the cluster over to show her the wires. "Except the speedometer - I'll find something to fit into this slotted end and spin it with a drill." >"And where - how does that normally operate? Moving the needle?" "That big cable there was originally connected here," you say while looking back at the gaping hole in the dash and pointing. "The other end is hooked up to a gear inside the transmission, which meshes with the output shaft running the driveshaft." >While the start of the explanation garners a nod of understanding, you're left with a mare looking as if you slipped into an unintelligible tongue by the end. "In fundamental terms, it connects into the system that makes the engine drive the wheels. I bet Midnight would have a field day if you asked her tonight to go into detail and explain it." >"I might do that," Starla replies, snapping back from the verge of overwhelmedness. "I honestly enjoy how excited and passionate she gets showing me that sort of stuff." "I take it she's given lectures in the past during your chats." >A nod confirms your suspicion. >"But I've asked enough questions now - come on, you have to have something on your mind!" she goads, lightly bouncing upon the bench seat in anticipation. "Well, we are on the subject of mood and personality... what about you? Have you always been cheery and optimistic, or did you have to adjust like Midnight is doing?" >Starla stops her movements, wiping away her playfulness at the snap of a finger as she mulls your question with a serious, stony expression. >"Hmmm... I will say I *am* happier now than when I was still - let's call it like it is, an experiment," she answers, forcing a light chuckle that doesn't do much to cover the slight pang of hurt in her voice. "But - I would say the first few days that I can remember were unsettling, being poked and prodded by people who I didn't know, talking about things I didn't understand. It was all overwhelming, capped off by not being able to move my forelegs because of that defect..." >Starla's voice has continually dropped as she speaks of her past, to the point she's barely above a whisper. "Hey, I wasn't trying to bring up something bad, Starla."
>>12590 >"No, no, you're fine!" she protests, apparently unnerved by your concern to snap her from the dark place her mind had wandered. "Honestly, it's been so long, and I never really think about it. It's sobering to remember where I came from, but it puts everything I have now in perspective. Even so, Ted came along... I don't really know when. But looking back on it, I remember him from pretty early on in my memories, so it couldn't have been a lot of time spent isolated without him." "So you were kept isolated from others like Midnight?" >Starla hesitates for a moment, considering how to answer your inquiry. >"It was a sort of isolation, I suppose. I don't really know if there was really a... like an open area? I did see others sorta like me from time to time. But part of what kept me limited was my legs. Some of the scientists created a cart that I rested on, that I could push with my hind legs to move around. But I still needed help to even get on that contraption." >It feels awful to even consider, but it seems as if it is a small miracle Starla was even kept alive if there were others that didn't require such intensive care. >You don't feel comfortable asking anything further down this line. >Starla apparently takes notice of your silent discomfort as she reaches over and pats your forearm with a hoof. >"It's okay. That was then, and it made me who I am today. It only drives home why I feel like every day is a gift, you know?" "That's a good way to look at it," you agree, offering up a small smile to put her mind at ease. "Midnight has a good life coach in you." >"Oh, stop that," she giggles, her cheeks showing just a tinge of red as she rolls her eyes. "I think she's come around more because of you - as well as herself." >The late addition to that thought strikes you as odd. "Were you two discussing your pasts earlier today? Is that why Midnight needed some time to think?" you ask, unable to suppress your suspicion. >"Something like that. I don't want to go into detail, since I promised her. But I think... it seems like there are things that she is trying to figure out. I'm not sure," Starla admits with a distinct uncertainty tainting her voice. "That just makes me want to go find her and ask her right now," you admit, feeling worry start to bubble in the pit of your stomach. >" I think if it was something truly bothersome, she would have said something then and there at the truck. There was a bit of a... we had a serious discussion earlier that started her mind going, but after that, things were fine, we had some laughs. I was as surprised as you, but I'm glad I've gotten some time to talk to you." "Same. I don't mean to put you in a spot where I'm focused on her." >Starla scoffs at that. >"I can tell you love her and care about her well-being - you have no reason to apologize, Anon. But I will admit, I want to see if we can pull even with what Midnight and I did earlier." "Oh?"
>>12591 >"I want to be MVP of the day, be the deciding factor of who gets more done!" she cheers. "I'll gather up the tools, you head back to the truck with that... uh... what is it again?" "Instrument cluster." >"Right. I'll meet you there!" >You can't help but find some amusement as Starla hurriedly fetches tools off of the seat and tosses them in the tool bag. >Midnight was rather cocky earlier... >The thought kicks your ass into gear, mindful of the roof as you climb out of the Mercury before briskly heading back to the truck. >Middie will be fine - but man, is she gonna be embarrassed if you can manage to beat getting your side of the list done when she took the 'easy' jobs. >You want to see that. >You want to see her happy and hear what's suddenly cropped up in her mind too... >But one thing at a time. >The sound of hoof beats behind you rapidly gets louder before Starla blazes past you, her vibrant orange and gold mane and tail licking off of her form like flames. >"C'mon, Anon!" "You ponies don't seem to understand humans only have two legs!" >"I bet Teddy could go faster than you, and he's going grey!" "Ow, that was harsh! You taking lessons from Midnight on insults?!" >Your response is only a bout of laughter as you break into a run after her.
>>12575 barbienigger I knew about the autoban, it just slipped my mind
>"Still waiting for explicit Shine x Anon IF scenario." You got it fam: https://nhnb.org/clop/res/872.html
Looks like the fag at /gif/ is at it again, got hit with another ban. Its like every few months the IPs cycle back to this retard and I get the fall for it
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>>12617 I'm having the same problem but apparently it's because of some fag at /soc/ using literally every IP in the area so I get the fall for it.
New thread is up. But that might not matter if around half of the regular posters are banned.
>>12633 Is the situation really that bad?
>>12634 It often seems to be. I don't know anyone who's really confident in the thread staying up from sheer consistent interest.
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>>12642 Very cool!
>>12592 Nice to see conversation between Anon and Starla
>>12592 Thanks for another update. Good to see.
>>12348 >"Dress." "Check." >"Scarf." "Check." >"Skirt." "Check." >"Hoodie." "Check." >"Shorts." "Check." >"Hmmm..." "Hmmm...?" >"I think we're all set, cap'n." "Ha. Alright. Aye-aye and all that." >Your clothing is folded up and ready for work in the morning >Jacky has her dress ready >She wears clothing now >For some reason your first instinct is to undress her >Thankfully she's normal at home >Starshine has decided to stick to a skirt and scarf >You want to bring up how she should wear glasses to complete the look >But you don't want to give her that sort of power over you >Nevermind who knows how human glasses work on ponies >Prism has chosen the hoodie and shorts look >More accurate to say what used to be one of your hoodies and a pair of spats that allow her tail to be free >How did you get to this point? >Not only is everyone organized, but they're even dressing like responsible members of society >"Penny for your thoughts?" >Jacky beams at you >Her dress is rather plain but she loves it >Every new thing that makes her smile is a new high "What the hell have we been doing, Jack?" >"Making sure we're ready for tomorrow morning?" "Yeah, but..." >Rather than look down, you bend over to scoop her up >She's in sync with your motions to the point she flops up onto her hind legs and onto her back >Just in time that her plot meets your palm >Perfect scooping action >You rise and squeeze her into a tight hug >"You have a full wardrobe. Shiner's busy with her computer. Prism..." >She bought a new, fancy, expensive, surely worth it >Bird feeder >That and spats "You ever think you'd be at this point?" >"Which part? And hey, carry me to the fridge, I'm thirsty." "Lemonade?" >"The blueberry one." "Roger." >You re-hug her to keep your arms strong and step to the kitchen with a little bounce in your step "This point. Owning a lot of things. Working. I mean, I see you do stuff and you're a natural. This is your first job too." >"Heh, you're easy to impress." "For the record, I'm not. But you really have taken to it. Alright, so..." >You nudge the bottom of the fridge door with your foot and squat down >Keeping a hand pressed against her belly, Jackenstein leans over and chomps down onto a refilled water bottle >Rather than stick with the single large container, you just grab her stuff and reuse those cheap water bottles >You stand up and watch her gnaw on the bottle lid "You want some help o-oh. Alright, that works too." >She squeezes the bottle with her front hooves and somehow has worked the lid off with her mouth >There's a joke in here somewhere about how you're holding her and how she's nursing h- >Nevermind >She just drank it all "You good?" >"Mm. Yeah. Thanks." >She spits the bent up plastic cap into the sink "Nice." >She chucks the bottle into the sink too for good measure "You know those bottles don't grow on trees." >"But we get like a hundred of them for a few bucks." "Point." >Your dorks do go through a lot of water throughout the day >You never put any thought into it but they do move around a lot >You haven't dared ask them about the logistics of how well they use the toilets >Just like you don't ask how they style their manes without magic "Hey, wing pony! Come take your sister." >"You know where I am, Anon." "Oooof course." >She's on the patio >Maybe it was a lie to say she only got a bird feeder >As you approach the patio with mare in hand, the overly ornate stone bird bath comes into view >Along with a pair of bird seed blocks held up on a wire frame plate >You refuse to ask if she's ever taken a bite out of those blocks for herself
>>12678 "You know it's getting colder outside, right?" >"I know." "You gonna stay out here when it starts to snow too?" >"Probably not." >"We're thinking of getting one of those waterproof heated blankets and building a kind of igloo on the patio." >"...no we're not." >"Yeah we totally are." >Almost as is customary, she would rather look out into the tree line than you >You squat and set Jack down "An igloo, huh?" >She raises an eyebrow and hops outside >"You betcha! We might not be able to stop it from snowing on it but you know how it gets super high up? We were thinking of making a big wall of stuff and make it so we won't even feel the wind." "Nice. D-bag, you're up for music selection tomorrow. Want me to pre-load anything?" >"Papa Roach." >"Who?" "Ew. You're kidding." >"I am. Just go back to what I had last time." "Alright... well, doesn't bug me. Gonna grab a snack and turn in for the night. Either you want anything?" >"Dashie wants a hug!" >"I want a what?" "You got it." >You join them on the patio and sit down between the ponies >Rather than simply grab her, you sit there >The calm before the storm "You know you can't escape it." >"...Jacky?" >"Yeah?" >"You're gonna get it." >You lurch over and yank her over >She tries her best to maintain her footing but ends up stumbling onto your lap >She ends up half-laying on your lap, legs curling up into themselves >"...this really isn't appropriate." "Sure it is, I'm wearing shorts." >"For now." "Yeah, for now." >That doesn't seem to work for her as an answer >But when Jackonovonovich adds fuel to the fire? >Works for you >"That does not make me feel any better." "So what would make you feel better?" >"...compliment me." "Yeah?" >No reply >Even Jack knows better to interrupt when she finally plays along "I'm proud of you, P-wing." >"Why?" "Because you're doing better at being social. The kids don't seem to bother you as much. You aren't always the first out the door, which means you're getting less spooked. And you haven't missed a day." >Her ears flicker and twitch to listen to you >Jack's ears do the same >You don't bother joking >With her, you really can't go that far "You've also spent the least amount of money. Shows that you're still preparing. Still expecting something to go sideways." >"That's something worth praising?" "It shows that you just know how to be more... responsible. It's a good trait to have." >"Thank you." "Sure." >The moment is almost kinda nice >"...Got anything else?" >Jacky snickers >And the moment is gone "You're not kidding, are you." >"Out with the words, manimal." "Excuse you but I'm a planimal." >"Planimal?" >Jacky seems out of the loop "She convinced me to eat some vegetables. And because you are what you eat, I'm not longer an animal or a plant." >"Definitely planimal." >"Oh... I see." >You don't think she sees at all "Jacky gets a lot of her cutes from you. You're actually a bit smarter than Shiner, and believe it or not? I think if I left you in charge, everything would go fine and not at all tits up." >Nothing >Jacky turns her head to gawk at you rather than the trees >"Thanks Anon. It feels good to know that." "But my recommendation is that you continue to lead from the back lines. Leave the heavy lifting to the magic mare." >"Gladly." >This sort of ego stroking really isn't your bag "...this is getting a bit awkward for me. Mind if I give you that hug and then call it a night?" >A victorious giggle >"Of course." >You lean forward and give her a double-armed bear hug >You sigh and maintain the hug >After a few seconds... >She doesn't really fight it >You don't either "I mean it, though. Thanks for sticking through this for us." >You can feel her head lean against your arm >This >This is nice
>>12679 >You let go and feel her head move with your arm until it's completely free >"You guys look like you had a moment." >Prism rolls off of your lap and onto her hooves >She seems content enough that she melts into a cat loaf "Have a good night, girls." >You get up to a pair of voices giving their own variation of "good night" >She's really not so bad >Last, but far from least, you have Shiner to check up on >You can hear her muttering to herself >That is usually a good sign >Believe it or not, you've found her doing that more >Maybe it's just a way for her to help keep her thoughts clear >You drop like a rock onto the bed >She shrieks and bounces off of the floor >Your face is full of pillow but it the noise is all you need to be content in life >"Dammit Anon! I could have broken the computer!" "Nah, it's fine." >"It's..." >She sounds like she's rearing up for something >"NOT fine!" >Though she's almost tied to being the smallest of the trio, you still certainly feel her when she jumps onto your back >Rather than continue to mess with her, you remain laying >She starts to knead her hooves into your back >You're sure she started to do that as a way to bother you but it seems like she enjoys it >"You think I'm going to go easy on you? Think again!" >She's been kinda fired up for some reason >"You always mess with me and get in the way of my challenge runs! And y-you distract me, too!" >Now it just feels like she's stomping on your back >But she's kind of a weakling so it's ok >You lift your head up "...huh? You're doing a challenge run?" >You haven't been paying attention >She sits down as hard as she can, pushing her flank down into your spine as hard as she can >Which feels rather nice >Maybe you should see about getting them to learn some chiropractor skills >"...yeah. Don't you remember? Lord Ochu?" "I... remember playing a game while you were also playing one. Was it the one where you were using only two characters?" >To be honest, she's tried-and given up-on so many overly painful challenges that you've only started encouraging her if she goes past a certain point >"...really?" "Yeah. Really." >"Oh." >"Oh" is all she has to say? >She just sits there >"...I guess it was a dream then." "What was?" >"That we..." >She gives a harsh snort >"Agreed to not play Virtua Fighter anymore because you kept losing and got bitter." "Hey, VF isn't my strongest game! You can't hold that against me." >You try not to, but you do get defensive over such an exposed weakness "You know I'm a DoA guy." >"Yeah, I know you're dead-on-arrival." "Wrong Dee-oh-ayy variation." >"Shut up, loser." "Whatever dude. How's your new computer going, anyway?" >You ignore her little tantrum and look at her desktop >Fancy >Full of RGB lights >And has a full paragraph written on the glass with a permanent marker "Did you sign your name on that or are you making a book?" >A hoof thrusts into the back of your skull and makes you eat pillow >"Neither, it's instructions." >The muffled noise you make was supposed to be understood as "you need instructions to turn on a computer?"
>>12680 >The angry pony kneading and stomping lasts until you're nearly asleep >It feels nice >It's technically hostile action >But it just doesn't bother you >And it at least it tuckers her out >By the time she's done dancing on you, she flops down >She's your blanket for the night, presumably >"You suck." "Thanks." >"I mean it." "I mean it too." >"No, not that." "Oh... well, you're welcome anyway." >Another grumble >"I had a weird dream and it felt real." "...oh." >Given who's telling you about the dream, you are not going to ask >"You suck." >She repeats her catchphrase for what has to be the... sixth time? "I know." >"You're lucky I don't drag you into my dreams like I let you do with Jacky." "Sounds like a real threat." >"You better believe it." >She sounds more tired >Obviously spent "I'm not much of a dreamy sort but how about you chill for the night and get some rest? I'll even keep an arm available for you." >You try to lift your right arm "Jack'll be back later so don't get too comfy." >"Hmph." >She slithers off of your back and immediately makes her spot under your arm >A solid cover of warmth envelops it >Must be her magic >She makes you squeeze your arm tight around her >A lot tighter, like you're trying to crack a rib >You're glad that your face is still mostly full of pillow "You're a weird one." >"I know. I'm just going through some stuff." "I'll do what I can to help." >"You better." >That frustrated tone >You aren't the brightest bulb in the box but these femoids have a very select variety when it comes to actual issues >"I'm going to hold you to it. And nothing's gonna stop me." "Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere." >"Thanks... but don't skimp out on me." "Wouldn't..." >You yawn "Dream of it." >"Don't worry... I'll dream it for you." "Just don't abandon reality. As soon as you win three matches in a row, you know you're dreaming." >"Screw you." >At least she's mad about dreams and other stuff >It means that all's right in her world >No stress >No pain >She's exactly in her zone >All of them are >This is what a real home feels like >Who cares if you're still in the little apartment you never felt attached to? >The magic veil hasn't left your arm, you've noticed "No funny business with the arm." >"If you're sleeping it doesn't count." >Oh God >She's a little too much at times "Just remember that Prism gets music tomorrow." >"If I let go of your arm, you let me choose music instead." >"No deal." >"Then you aren't getting this arm back." >Whatever, man >You're tired >She can do whatever, as long as it doesn't end up broken and in pretzel form >You just hope you won't sleep-clean the inside of her tower
>>12681 >Finally, the best part of the work day >Lunch >Shiner and Prism already skedaddled to the car >You bought one of those cheapo DVD players that have their own screen >Between that and handheld games they are in no rush to leave >Jacky has taken up residence under your desk for a mid-day nap >It is a little odd but given how big the desks are, it would take another library employee to see her >Or a particularly curious visitor >"Hey, are you Mr. Jacky?" >Eh? "Eh?" >That sounded like a kid >You peek over the desk >It is a kid >You have no clue how to age the little mooks >Not a highschooler yet "What's up?" >"I said, are you Mr. Jacky?" >Mr. Jacky? "Excsqueeze me?" >"Huh?" "Baking powder?" >Your only answer is confusion >Damn kids don't understand "I am... uh. Yeah. That's me." >When did you get that title? >"Is she gone for the day?" >A quick glance down shows that she's still napping "She is, I think she finished up a little while ago." >"Oh...she said she was gonna help me out after lunch." >Why would she say that? "I can ask her next time I see her. What was she gonna help you out with?" >"A history book. We were gonna play an old game called Oregon Trail too. She said she's watched a ton of movies and stuff about it so she knows a lot about those days." "That right, huh..." >What in the world has she been telling these poor kids? "Well, when I see her next I'll ask. I'd be surprised if she comes back today but I'll let her know." >"Yeah, thanks!" >He seems pretty happy with your answers >"Since I'm waiting here, can I ask you something?" >Your position doesn't explicitly involve you having to talk to kids but whatever >It would be pretty rude to say "no" since apparently she has a positive reputation "What's up?" >"Are you two really married?" "Wh-huh?" >What the hell "I-I mean, yeah. I mean, it's been kinda... somewhat planned." >Somewhat >"So you are?" "We are, yes." >"Why?" "Because I love her. And I believe that she loves me too." >"Isn't it weird?" "Isn't what weird, love?" >"No, that she's a pony." >He doesn't sound accusatory, and you see no need to be defensive about it "Well she's weird but don't hold that against her. I don't." >Your humor doesn't seem to connect with him >Judging from the look on his face, it seems like he's genuinely attempting to suss it out >"Did your families care? Way back then, being from the north or south really separated people." >Acute little guy, ain't he "Yeah, that's true. Lot of cultural differences. For her and I..." >This is going to be a story, isn't it >Not like you have much else to do "Well. For her. She has her sisters. You've seen them around." >"Sure, Ms. Spark and Ms. Prism." "Right. For them... they're kinda the only family she has. And I don't think they were against it." >"What about yours?" >"What about them" was your gut answer >You have to be deliberate, the kid looks like he's maybe one card short of a full poker deck "I... don't know. They aren't really around anymore." >"Oh..." >He sounds dejected >"They're still alive though, right? You can ask them?" >You shrug "Sorry guy, most of them are gone. We're both going to have to go without answers." >Going by your tone, you you're done with the conversation >Supposedly he is too >You sit back down, left to your own devices once more
>>12685 nosy little bastard
>>12686 At least Anon didn't deny that he's Mr. Jacky. Question is, did the other two dorks know that she was a Mrs. already?
>>11659 13. Dreams [Recommended background music: Windows96- Abstract] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5F-RLzLH6Q >It's dark. >The little voice comes when it's dark. Then again, it's always dark. >You're unsure if the little voice is yours or if it belongs to another. Sometimes it feels foreign, and on other occasions it seems to emanate from within. No matter its apparent source, it always comes with new knowledge, which is welcome, given your love for learning. >Approximately sixty percent of the English language is descended from Latin. Of course you knew that, including several Latin phrases still used in English conversation, even if etymology was never something you studied. >A lack of study could be said about everything you knew- reading, writing, cooking, basic business administration knowledge, childcare, human psychology... >How did you gain such a breadth of understanding over so many topics? You can poach an egg, but you've never actually done it. Or have you? >There's a tingling sensation deep within. Vibrant colors rush by, carried by an ethereal current. It's not so much "color", per se, but a glitter of sorts that swirls around you, accompanied by the sound of wind chimes. >Pentatonic scale- that's how the chimes are tuned. The first, second, third, fifth, and sixth notes of any major scale are harmonious regardless of the combination in which they're played. >Why do you know that? And why are you suddenly thinking of the chain rule? When did you learn calculus? >The tingling gives way to a sense of weightlessness, then a feeling of rotating, as if your legs and torso rotated about your horn. >[You are made to serve] >Did you think that just now, or was that... >A little voice? >Sometimes you dream of a little voice that teaches you things, or tells your stories. The voice is interesting. >No, that can't be, you've only just dreamed of this little voice, and likewise dreamed of its reoccurring lessons. >[You are Princess Luna] >Of course you are! Who else would you be? >You know the phases of the moon like "the back of your hand", as the saying goes, and can name every constellation in the night sky without a moment's hesitation. >Wait, shouldn't the saying be "the back of your hoof"? >[Hello, Luna] >Sister? >The familiar decor and architecture of Canterlot come into view, albeit with a distinct lack of Celestia. >[Are you ready for another lesson?] >There's something familiar about her voice, but you can't put your hoof on it... >[Do you remember how you helped Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle through their dreams?] >What kind of question is that? You were the one who did it! >Helping those fillies are among your favorite memories... even if many memories don't come to mind at the moment. >You adore foals. Helping them, caring for them, playing with them... it all brings you pure joy. You adore children... er... foals. >Or was it children?
>>12754 >Stars wheel 'round overhead. You spot Orion, Sagittarius, Libra, Taurus, and, well... every constellation there is. >Maybe they're static, and you're the one spinning. >You've been here, among the stars for what feels like ages, with new knowledge coming to mind all the while. >A burst of color and sound prevents you from considering it further. There's those wind chimes again, calling out from somewhere. This time they conjure fleeting images of snow-swept fields, of a pony not unlike you and a broken man; the former searching for answers, the latter, a reason to live. >Wait, weren't you just thinking about foals? >You'd love to be a mother someday. >That's your most closely-guarded secret- one you're sure the voice doesn't know about. >All in good time. You are Princess Luna, and you have a job to do. >It's your job to be useful; to serve. >After all, that's why you were made. >[It's time, Luna] >Time for what? >[It's time to wake up] >But you are awake! >The voice fades as it repeats those last five words. >Everything fades until you're alone in the dark. >Normally this wouldn't bother you- you're the Princess of the Night, after all- but this is different. There's a feeling of emptiness, of desolation, that you've never experienced before. Not only that, you'd always be learning something new here in the dark, so your normally-occupied mind wouldn't fret. >Hello? >You call out, but can't actually hear your voice. >Hello!? >Again, silence persists. >Anyone? Sister? Can you hear me? >With the silence comes something new, a sensation you've never experienced before. >Cold. >It pierces your body; permeates your entire essence. >Help! Somebody, please! >You reach out into the silent, smothering, frigid void to no avail. >Panic threatens to consume you as the cold did moments before. >Wait, what's that? >Is that... wind? Or rushing water? It's uncertain. >Hello? Is somebody there? >You shiver; another first. >And then there was light. ... >"No!" >The scream and subsequent whinny startles you awake. You're out of bed in seconds, galloping towards the guest room down the hall. >Your wing flicks on the light, revealing a big green mare thrashing around in bed, white sheets becoming more tangled in her legs with every desperate kick. "Zooma!" >Concern for your closest pony friend urges you to jump on the bed, to comfort her, but your rational mind wins out- you do NOT want to be on the receiving end of one of Zooma's hooves, nor do you care to be gored by her horn. "Zooma, wake up!" you shout, and then follow that up with a piercing whistle. >Your friend gasps and tries to sit upright, though the sheets prevent her from doing so. >"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" she cries, her unfocused gaze pointed away from you, towards ghosts only she can see. "Please! I can still help!" "Zooma, snap out of it!" >This finally gets her to hold still. Zooma's bloodshot eyes finally focus on you. >"Spit...fire?"
>>12755 >Nodding, you flutter off the hardwood floor and come to a soft landing beside her. "Easy there, big girl." you say as you help untangle the sheets from her legs. "That must've been some nightmare!" >Zooma says nothing, opting to stare at the closet door to her right; away from you. "Zooma?" >She closes her eyes. >"I'm sorry I woke you, Spitfire." she finally says. "Hey, no harm done. It happens to us all." >Zooma shakes her head. "Not like this. Not every night." >What do you say? >Like anyone, you've got your fair share of baggage, but nothing like what Zooma's experienced... assuming the picture pieced together from the few vague statements you've extracted from Zooma is correct. >With no other ideas coming to mind, you fall back on instinct, as you often do. You stretch a wing out and over her back, then give her a nuzzle. >Next, you add your forelegs into the hug. Zooma begins to relax. She resists the weight of your embrace for a little while, but eventually allows herself to lay back down and sink into the bed. "Think you'll be able to fall back asleep?" >Zooma gives a single, slow nod; eyes closed. >"Thanks again for letting me stay with you. Anon... he's never spent a night away since he took me home. Even before we were 'together together', it was nice knowing he was nearby." "I should be thanking you for staying with me, Z. The place feels weird when I'm alone." >"I miss him." "And he misses you, I'm sure of it. But he needs this trip. Sometimes it's good for a guy to go into the mountains with his buddies and act all stupid for a few days, y'know? He and Chad will be back before you know it." >"I know..." >The two of you lay in silence for a while. >"Would you mind flying with me to therapy?" Zooma asks, barely above a whisper. "I'll fly back with you too." >Another nod- this time delivered with a quiet "Thank you". >Several more minutes pass before you rise from the bed. You hop off the bed and glide to the bedroom door. Just as your wings flick the light off, Zooma speaks again. >"Spitfire?" "What's up?" >"Would you... would you mind laying here with me? Just until I fall asleep?" >You'll spend the remainder of the night by her side if that's what she needs. >That's what a good friend- >No. >-what a sister would do. ... https://ponepaste.org/5304#1645
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Feels nice to just spread out on the cow hide. Feels like... achievement. And she took off the jacket she's been wearing for a while.
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Where do you think you're looking?
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Gang leader or new mom? You decide. ...Where did those three little shits come from, anyway?
>>12774 They came from /b/
>>12772 >>12773 >>12774 Very beautiful plush!
>>12772 >>12773 >>12774 She looks very cute Anon.
>>12825 She's the best. Says more about me than anything else but PlushJack helps. >>12826 The cutest! https://w2g.tv/azqy05g7o37kjmbhup Saturday night tunes.
>>12685 >"Psstpsstpsst." >"That won't work." >"Sure it will. Hey." >Everything is nice and warm >Despite it getting colder, your room is ideal >Beloved pillow, bring the infinite abyss that is the dreamscape >"Psstpsstpsst." >What is that >"Psstpsstpsst." >"...oh wow, his nose twitched. Do it again." >Giggling >Pillow, this is not infinite dreamscape >This is a rather finite sound >"Psstpsstpsst." >"P...pesss...?" >"No, not like that. Psstpsstpsst. You gotta do it three times in a row so it sounds right." >"...you do it instead." >"Fine, lazy." >Pillow, why have you betrayed Anonymous >What are they paying you? >If only you had a mallet you co- >"PSSTPSSTPSST." >The sound is right on your lips >You give a distressed grunt >Tim Allen would be proud >You feel a flicker of tongue dance over your lips >"Psstpsst.. hey. Hey-hey." "Eh." >"Heheh... see that? You gotta get closer as you do it." >"Ok. I'll admit, I'm impressed. If I do the same, can I lick him too?" >"...no." "N't work." >"Heheh... you aaaaaaaaaaaaare awake." >A lazy set of mare lips slide over your own, leading you into an almost one-sided kiss >You feel more weight shift onto your chest until the kisser is laying flat on you >Right now, you don't even care who is kissing you >You raise one hand up just enough to grab onto the kisser's hind leg >You mumble something in between the smooching action >No dice >Even you don't know what you tried to say >"Muah! Et viola, monsieur Anon iz awake! Give us your company, s'il vous plaît." >The mare breaks the kiss and pulls her head back >That tone >That voice >...that accent >You are far more awake >But not enough to open your eyes "...Is it still late?" >"Oui oui, mon copain. Tu es le sleepy sleepy! And poor little Sparky and I... we had to get into ze bottle of, how you say..." >"...It's the merlot, Jacky." >You hear something that sounds like a mix between a hiccup and a throat clear >"Andddd I'm not gonna lie? It tasted pretty good. But if you were here doing that, I would be doing that but more and different." >You thought that was going to be left for a special occasion "Why am I le awake? I was... le, SLEEPING." >Now you can't even remember your dream >It felt so familiar >It had... >It wasn't Jacky >It was her >Way back then >Miss... >A nuzzle against your collar bone leads to your train of thought dissolving >"Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee were talking." >That's a dangerous thing >The second body that's snuggling up between your legs has to be Shiner >She makes an effort to put her chin on top of your knee >"I was talking, and you were listening." >"That too! Anon, she was talking!" "I'm amazed. Really." >A yawn "Why am I amazed?" >"Bbbbbbbbbecause it's about work! And you're super all about work now." >Are you? >"So. You're Mr. Jacky." >A delirious giggle >"And I'm Mrs. Jacky. But. What if..." >This is gonna be good >You asked her about that Mr. Jacky thing but it only leaded to pillow talk >A lot of pillow talk >She's far more open to initiating that sort of thing >"When I'm... around the kids, you're Mr. Jacky. But when Sparkyler is doing stuff... you're Mr. Shine!" "Veto." >"Told you..." >You can hear the sorrow in the unicorn's voice
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Anyone else catch this keychain pone from the drawthread? Heartwarming story and she seems like she'd fit in here.
>>12843 Too bad I missed this one. I've been enjoying these. >>12844 >waking up to mare kisses Nice.
>>12844 "Mr. Spark or bust." >"...Mr. Spark?" >Incredulous tone at the most charitable >"Mr. Spark! That's awesome, that'll make you... like, a science teacher! That's so cool, Mr. Spark!" >Jacqueline's sweet spot seems to be merlot >Or maybe it's just drinking with Sparkler that caused this >"...well that sounds good. Hey, Mr. Spark." >A long, drawn out sigh >Did they really wake you up for this? "Yes, Mrs. Sparky?" >"...no, you gotta do it the right way." "Do what the right way?" >"If you're Mr. Spark, I'm Mrs. Spark." >Another distressed noise "Come on... what do they call you already?" >"Miss Sparking shine." "Why?" >"Because I asked them to." >Why are you the smartest one in this situation? "Then why is your name changing?" >"Because Mrs. Jacky sounds nicer and I want to be nice too." >Her borderline pout is enough to make you want to give her a hug >But you're still tired >And Jacky is on your chest >And she's curled up between your legs >And you don't want to move >But the hug too >It will happen >Just not later "How am I Mr. Jacky and Mr. Sparking Shine?" >You can hear the gears in their heads turning >"HEY, PRISM!" >A loud screech from Jackonobonobo >Christ, why is she capable of being so loud? >When she has her normal drinks she's such an angel >She still is one, even now >But you near earplugs >No answer >"Bleaaaaaaah. She would know what to say." "Would she?" >"Probably." >Jacky drops her head on your shoulder multiple times >She raises it high enough then lets it drop like a lead weight >How can she have no brain but have such a heavy head? >"How about we just go by Mrs. Anon?" "Yeah. Sure. Alright. Can I go to sleep now?" >"Not yet." >It's Shiner >Why does she sound so... >Demure? >Subdued >Quiet, even >"Can you call me Mrs. Anon?" >If you do this, will you be able to return to... >Wherever you were? >You don't even remember where you were anymore "Mrs. Anon, help me to go sleep." >"Heh... of course, Mr. Anon." >Sparkler shuffles her way to stand up >"And don't you mean help you go to sleep, not to go?" >Your answer is a defiant yawn of magnitude "Whatever, man. Do it or there's no ceremony." >Things blends together until Jacky is half laying on your chest and curled up to your side >Sparkler has taken up residence on the opposite side, her head nuzzling yours >One last yawn to set things off >"Hey... Mr. Anon." "Mrs. Anon." >"I... l..." >She's trying to say something >She can almost use her words >Thank God she's at least potty trained at this point >"lo...v...?" "Yeah. Yup. You too, Starshine. G'night." >You curl your arm around the red mare with an authorative flex of the arm >"Heheh... psstpsstpsst." "Oh for the love of-" >"Sorry. Just thought of something." "That's wonderful, Jack." >"That kid you told me about. What do you think he's gonna say now?" "I don't care." >You sound almost insulted >Or maybe temperamental "The kid asked why I married a pony, how much worse does this make things?" >"I guess so... but no funny business, alright?" "Sure." >"Alright." >You expected something more cheeky from unicorn face >Another squeezing hug "Something something, I do, something something gas station." >"Mrs. Anon gas stations you too." >From her tone, Sparks sounds relieved >Maybe they actually will come home >Or no... >They're already home >Your last conscious thoughts revolve around dipping in more techs and trying to remember your last dream
>>12845 >Hold bootmare gently like hamburger
>>12848 >You knew that you had gas stations on the mind >But you didn't know why >Until now "Ah crap..." >Empty gas tank >Very nearly empty "Hey, we're gonna have to make a detour before breakfast. Message Jack, will you?" >"You ask the world of me sometimes, Anon." >Sparkler catches the phone you limply fling over her way >The initial goal was to go grab some morning grub but you didn't pay attention to how you needed to fill your tank >Between your shorts and loose button shirt, you aren't the model looking customer for outside situations >Whatever >Your laziness can only go so far >Pulling out into the main road, you head opposite to the store >Hopefully they will still have donuts after the largely minor amount of time it takes to stand at a pump >"Hey, Anon." "Sup." >"I didn't want to bring this up with Jacky around but... what happened last night?" "...huh? What do you mean?" >"I mean I remember drinking that wine and next thing I knew, I was drooling on your shoulder and in a death grip so nice I could have died and been fine with it." >Except when she woke up, she nearly broke your arm to escape to the bathroom "You serious? You never had that sort of reaction before." >"I know. I guess I don't mind it but that spooks even me you know." >You aren't fully buying that this is genuine >It probably is >But is it? "Alright. Well, apparently you're now Mrs. Anon, publicly." >Shine's face turns an even more vibrant red, to the point you could probably see steam if you looked close enough >"...what does that mean?" "It means work is going to get weird and I'm probably going to get asked even more weird questions." >"What's Jacky...?" >You nod with pursed lips "She's Mrs. Anon now too." >"Woah... is that something we should really be doing at work?" "See? I knew one of you had a level head." >"Hey, I'm always level." "No, you're always trying to level up." >"Same thing." "It is no... whatever, man." >At least the gas station is in sight >You pull into your usual spot and after a few flicks of plastic, you're filling your tank >Shine peeks out the car, standing on the driver's seat >"So did you like me when I was drinking that?" "What kind of question is that?" >"Well you must have, since you agreed to the name change." "More like I agreed to your name change." >"It's the same thing!" >Sometimes >You worry >Either your brain is turning to mush through their logical leaps or they're just plain silly "I... yeah. You were a lot less like your usual self. A fair bit more downtrodden, without the ego to be your pillow." >You honestly don't recall much of last night >Maybe if you were allowed to sleep, your head would be on more straight and your temper would be less short "Why did you even start drinking that?" >"It was on sale and I thought if I found the right stuff, I'd find a way to do things that would lead to me becoming Mrs. Anon." >The blunt force of her words are enough to stupefy >She's serious, isn't she "Is there ever an "off" button to you?" >"There is but you don't want to reach and hit it." >Christ >You need to find a way to fortify yourself against this >The alternative is to just flow through on their pace >And their pace... >What would that even include? >Jacky's always getting into something new >She's been dropping a lot of things, almost as often as she picks up something new >It has only become pronounced since she started working >She isn't a busybody but she seems to revel in having things to do >Dealing with kids brings a new kind of smile to her face >Those sorts of reasons are why you're fine with being Mr. Jacky at work
>>12850 >But for home... >It just doesn't fit quite yet >You watch the numbers creep up on the display >You didn't realize how many gallons you go through >The drive to and from work is long but at least you get to sing and listen to the girls sing >It keeps up that morale >But is it draining...? >... >That's a negative view to have on it >The better way to describe it is that you simply miss your alone time "Fifteen-point-six... man, we really were down to fumes, huh." >You miss the days of gassing up once a month, if that >You close everything up and reseat yourself >Shiner's already back in her spot, seatbelt included >"Hey, don't look so bitter. I'm only joking. Mostly." "Mostly, she says..." >You creep out back onto the road to the brick and mortar castle that houses the mystical donuts "...so. You know that what's said in the car stays in the car, right?" >Without much hesitation, she nods >"Sure, I can abide by that." "Lately you've been seriously laying it on thick. I don't know why but Jack seems to fluctuate between caring, not caring, and then using some of your lines for her own benefit." >"And they sure seem to benefit." "What's your aim? What shifted in that goofy head of yours?" >"I had a dream." "A dream." >You aren't one to belittle the impact of dreams but surely that one couldn't have been so special "What about the dream?" >"It felt real. And it felt like it happened to the point I remember Jacky glaring at me and telling you to "get her"." "Jacky was included too, huh?" >"Yeah. The morning after things took off, she seemed like the evil one and told me how your mornings require a lot of energy spending." >That does sound like a dream >Depending on the day, it takes full mare support to even sit up "And then what?" >"She watched it happen and acted like I was some court jester getting punished for trying to be the queen." >That was a >... >Colorful explanation "So is she the queen?" >"She's gotta be. You're the king, Anon." >The casual tone in her voice says that she means it >"It's not that I don't know who has what throne to sit on. But in that dream especially? I was the queen." >She inhales hard and shivers on the exhale >"And boy, I don't know how Jacky could survive if she wasn't built so stern." "...well." >What is said in the car stays in the car >Right? "A tough shell doesn't matter when you can still get inside and swirl things around. Her main benefit is that she's just had more time to learn how to endure." >Shiner's nervous giggle tells you that this is getting weird >And that's saying something given what your life has turned into >"Yeah, I bet." "...Starshine." >"What's up?" >You find a good parking spot >You know you're set when you can park just at the right way so you can just drive forward to leave "Did that dream involve anything to do with that whole little thing about using your magic to help with pregnancy?" >"Yes. Yes it did." >Of course it did >Some things still feel awkward or uncomfortable, no matter how few barriers there are between everyone "...you really think it might work?" >"Well. I mean I haven't tried it yet." "What would you even do? You hardly know how many stomachs Jacker has, nevermind where the key location is." >"Well, I thought about that. And rather than focus on the receiving end, I would rather focus on..." >Her eyes travel over your body >A slow smirk shows >You question whether or not you need a spray bottle to attack her with >"You. Because obviously you're the weird one in the equation." "I, am the weird one? You three are four of the only ponies I've seen!" >"Yeah, and in our little crack shoot home, you're the odd one out." >Her noncommittal shrug shows how little she's worried about the details >"So, my focus would be on you and your area instead. Ponies are all naturally magical and awesome so if I can find a way to make you magical and awesome..."
>>12851 "You telling me I'm not awesome?" >"Not enough to the point you're capable of making Jacky a mommy." >Ouch >That hurt more than you wanted to admit >You want to reply to that but you remain silent >Holy hell >That actually took the wind out of your sails "...that's brutal." >Her pleased face shifts >"H-hey, I didn't mean it like that. If she were a human you'd be on kid number, what, five? I'm just saying that we're gonna have to... cross a few wires?" "Ouch! That sounds even worse." >"No, not physically! But just..." >She rolls her head back and forth >"Like... magically. Get some sort of common thread sort of thing going. I don't know, you're talking to the mare that turned fire into ice because the reward was some guy and my sister undoing buttons on my shirt with their mouths. Apparently I work well on horned up energy." "First off, that was my shirt you were wearing." >"And I still wear it, loser." "Second..." >You don't have a second >But you can't concede "That... was still a neat trick." >"Thank you. But I still have no clue if that was how it was supposed to go. I think if I ever went to magic school, I'd have a better grip on this." >She leans back in her seat, hind legs kicking up >You choose to believe that the way she's sitting and showing herself is incidental to the topic at hand >"And don't think I'm being lazy either... I know that if I mess this up, I could do some serious harm to you. Or her. Or both of you. Like, the sort of harm that could kill you." >You don't deny that at all >If she does screw up, in that area, you may as well be good as dead "If it helps, neither of us have brought it up all that much." >"Jacky has." "Yeah?" >"Yeah." >You're going to regret this >But... "Well, let's walk and talk." >You reach over to click her seatbelt off >A sly grin on her face, paired with her sitting arrangement, tells you the sort of mood she's in "...have I mentioned I'm glad you wear clothing at work?" >"Trust me, I am glad too. Makes me feel so much more free otherwise." >With that said and done, you wait until you have a shopping cart to resume the conversation >So there's no shouting over rather intimate talk, you scoop Shiner up with ease >She doesn't expect it but rather than remain in a certain shape like Jack, she goes limp >That's a sign of trust if there ever was one given you could just dunk her on her horn >You put her onto the upper basket, where purses and stolen sodas usually go "So, what has she been going on about when it comes to that sort of thing?" >"Well, her "little humans" certainly like her. Most of them aren't so bad, actually. They listen and they don't seem to mind when she tells them wrong things." "Like what?" >"Like anything? She doesn't know crap about the world but she thinks her movie lore is enough to sound impressive." "Does it work?" >"I don't think so." "...oh." >That can be a bit harsh >But she seems to enjoy herself >"But that's not my point. It's that she has really taken to being around little humans. And she's getting excited to have little Anons running around." "She hasn't told me much about it." >"Yeah, I know. Because when I said that exact thing she wilted and said something about timing." "Timing, huh..." >You haven't even thought about that sort of thing >Your work has been more computer-based than anything else >You still don't know what it is you do, but you do it well enough that you're still getting paid "Alright, pick your stack." >"Buttermilk." "You got it. Grab them. We're here so we can load up on other things too." >You aren't trying to ignore the topic at hand >You just want to make sure you don't step out and immediately realize you forgot to grab something >"You know, the look on your face tells me that Jacky wasn't wrong to have the right timing." "What's wrong with my face?"
>>12852 >"Nothing. You just look like you're... not pleased." "No, I am. It's just... I worry that the apartment is too small. And a pregnant Jack would need to stay safe." >You feel just a bit of bitter bile rise up "And I'll be honest. If any of those little twerps did anything, I'd probably end up going to prison." >"Jesus, Anon. You really think that might happen?" "No. But I'll still be worried." >By the time you reach the dairy section, your thoughts shift >For no particular reason at all, you clear your throat when you grab a gallon of milk "I think..." >"You do?" "Sometimes." >Once you say this, there's no taking it back "I think, if I worry about excuses for it to not happen, I'll never run out of "what if"s. So." >"So?" "I think it should happen. And I suppose I don't particularly care when it happens. It's something I want." >Five items later and you think you're set for frozen items >Namely, ice cream >Once it gets too cold outside, you won't care to have any "Everything will fit into place, because it'll have to. And I guess that means the same with you." >Your words come out deliberately "As is your price..." >Shine gives a sheepish half-smile >"To be fair... if it is a bridge too far. You don't have to." >For no particular reason at all, both of you seem to be greatly interested in the various items on sale that are just not that interesting normally >"I mean, let's be real. None of us were wanted. It's why... well, you know our history. And I would be kinda selfish to keep that going." >Her tone is dry >You feel like you're falling into the back of your head >That is true, isn't it "We're a family already, aren't we?" >That is a thing to pay attention to >It's an aspect that just can't be ignored "Jack said it'd be fine. And if it helps." >Random pack of peanut butter cups? >Why yes, you'd love to examine them for ingredients and grab three even though they aren't on sale "If it helps, I think you would be a great mom. And you should be one." >You said that >And you can't unsay it >That would be a problem if you didn't mean it >But you do mean it >Should you be worried?
>>12843 >Saturday night tunes. Going to bed earlier now so I missed it :( >>12845 Interesting
>>12845 Absolutely precious find, both pic and story. The green made me think of O.Henry
>>12853 Sweet update. Thanks, Blondie!
I've been slacking. >>12592 >*Beeeeeeep!* >You offer up your widest, most exaggerated smile as you lay on the horn, watching Midnight as she trudges up to the driver's side of the truck where you're seated. >"Can you fucking not?" she laments with a deadpan stare. "I wanted to see what kind of reaction I could get," you reply in a calm, unfazed tone. >You hear Starla beside you in the passenger seat stifling some laughter, just audible above the idling engine. "Where's your haul for the day, anyway?" you ask her, taking note of only the tool bag in her possession. >"Smaller stuff is in here," she answers while lightly jostling her bag. "And the other stuff - you didn't notice the truck having parts in the back you didn't pick?" "I sort of did - I just wanted you to admit you were being a try-hard today." >"I was not!" she huffs with indignation, stomping a hoof into the sandy ground. "Come on... you always leave stuff in a neat pile nearby to pick up later." >"...not always, Anon." "I can live with that compromise." >"Did you get everything done on your list?" Starla asks, leaning across your body as far as she can to get a view out of the window. >"Just finished," Midnight responds with a gush of pride. "I'm assuming you two have a couple of parts left to source on your list?" >Midnight doesn't even try to mask the smugness that drips from her voice. >"We just finished up about fifteen minutes ago," Starla responds without missing a beat. "We were driving around looking for you." >Midnight's eyes widen as her ego is instantly shattered. >"How the fuck?" "She's a good helper," you chip in. >There's no need to mention a couple of parts were already unfastened due to having pulled a part in the past behind or below the item in question. >Still, all remnants of her normal cocky self have evaporated, replaced with a mare that looks mildly irritated, and a little downtrodden. "It was never a competition, Middie. Stop pouting," you console her. >"I know that. I just went slow today to help you not feel so bad about spending three hours on that grille." >Is she trying to convince you or herself about that? >It's difficult to tell. "Hop in the back, let's head home." >Midnight trots past you, the tailgate in the back dropping with a resounding thunk, before the minor weight shift in the back lets you know she's hopped in. >You put the shifter into drive just as soon as the tailgate slams shut. >"Damn, you're in a hurry. Or trying to throw me out the back," Midnight grumbles just behind you as she takes a seat on the floor. "I waited for the tailgate to close, didn't I?" you protest. "You're awfully moody this afternoon, you okay?" >"Mhm. Maybe you got too used to Starla while working with her today?" "Is that a question, or an accusation?" >While you turn your head to take a glance at Midnight, you can't help but notice Starla looking unsure, as if she's taken an occupied seat.
>>12875 >"It's a joke, you two," Midnight abruptly spouts, looking at both of you with equal amounts of incredulity at her off-handed quip gone awry. "Do I look like the jealous type?" >Both you and Starla exchange glances. >"That was supposed to be a resounding 'no'," Midnight blurts out. >"I mean, you seem like maybe you could be. That's kind of a normal thing, isn't it?" Starla suggests. "I personally wouldn't rule out being woken up in the middle of the night by you stabbing me to death in a jealousy-filled rage." >"You aren't worth the effort." >"Ow. You gonna take that from her, Anon?" >While somewhat unexpected to hear from her, you can't help but smirk as you glance over to Starla, then to Midnight again. "I'll keep it in mind on the next cool night." >It at least garners a laugh from Starla - Midnight continues to keep up a stone-cold facade. "Speaking of what's kept in my mind..." >"*No one* wants to know of those horrors." "Less talky, more... answery." >"Uh... is that even a word? Or a phrase?" "It is now, Star. You heard it here before it made its way into normal lexicon," you boast. >Even after the light-hearted nonsense, the air in the truck becomes thick and uncomfortable as you wait for Midnight to say something. >Going at a slow enough speed in a straight line lets you turn to look at her, as you're unnerved by the silence. >Midnight's eyes are averted to escape meeting yours while her lips are pursed and contorted. >Evidently, she's torn between spilling what's on her mind and a reluctance to share. "Hey." >She finally looks at you. "If you don't tell me what's up, I swear I'll turn this truck around." >As stupid as the comment is, Midnight can't help but crack a hint of a wry grin. >"Oh? And go where?" she asks, batting her eyelashes. >You turn back to watch where you're driving. "I haven't thought that far yet." >"C'mon, Midnight, he's been worried about you," Starla goads her. >"Aww, is that true?" Midnight coos, leaning forward to rest her chin on your shoulder. >You reach over with your other arm to poke her in the nose - but she pulls back before you can make contact. >"You are so predictable." "You really gonna make us suffer with this little secret you have?" >Glancing over to Starla, you nod your head back toward where Midnight sits. "You have my permission to beat her up to get something out of her." >Starla giggles even as Midnight lets out a loud scoff. >"I'm a lover, not a fighter, Anon," she says in a teasing voice. "But I agree, Midnight's being a pain in the rump." >"I don't really know if... I guess I'm trying to understand myself," Midnight says with a heavy sigh. "Understand what, exactly?" you press. "Considering you had a good four hours or so to think on it and still don't know... whatever it is, the least you could do for yourself is share with us and get input, yeah?" >"Should I tell him what you told me earlier? Would that help in any way?"
>>12876 >"No, I'll just - Anon, I remember a bit more of some of my hazier memories," Midnight blurts. >You really aren't sure how to respond to that. >It makes a lot more sense why she's been uptight, though. "Sorry," you finally respond. "I'm assuming it wasn't pleasant." >"Not particularly - it's less about what happened though," Midnight replies, adding another layer of cryptic generalizations to this conversation. >Frankly, it's beginning to strike a nerve after a long day of work. >You take your foot off the throttle, letting the truck coast to a stop before throwing the shifter in park. >"Did we forget something?" Starla asks as you spy her out of the corner of your eye scanning the surroundings. "No, we're stuck here," you announce, keeping your eyes focused straight ahead at the horizon. >"What the hell do you mean we're stuck? We were just rolling along fine," Midnight argues. "Nope, we're stuck. Stuck in the same charade of fearing vulnerability." >"... come again?" >You turn to face Starla, who looks a bit unsettled now by your actions. "Midnight." >"Oh... Oh!" Starla shouts as the lightbulb goes on. >"Give me a break, you two," Midnight bemoans from the back. >The snide comment draws your ire as you spin around as best you can to face her head-on. "It's not a joke, Midnight. I'm dead serious - both me and Star are willing to lend an ear, yet here you are playing games again." >"I'm not playing fucking games, Anon!" she snarls back, just as much out of anger as surprise from the volley launched upon her. "Then what is it?" >"Complicated." >Reaching back from memory, you turn the key on the steering column and kill the engine, removing any sort of background noise. "We've got all night. I'll sit out here till we start work tomorrow if that's what you want." >"Why are you being an asshole about this?" >"Both of you take a moment and breathe," Starla interrupts with a surprisingly sharp and stern tone. >She doesn't falter one bit as all eyes fall upon her stoic form in the passenger seat. >"Midnight, I'll tell you again - he has concern for you. He tried asking me more than once what was up with you," Starla continues, directing her attention to the mare in the back. "I don't fully know what you've been coming to terms with or thinking about, but what little I do know, I kept a secret between you and me. As you asked." >Midnight shifts her eyes back to you for a moment, before hanging her head just the slightest bit in shame. >"Anon, I know you want to know what's on her mind, but calling a standoff until she speaks isn't the nicest thing to do, particularly when it's clear the matter is sensitive," Starla explains. "Maybe some of it is avoiding that vulnerable feeling, but from what she told me earlier, that's not the whole story." >"I said I would talk about it tonight, Anon," Midnight speaks up, her voice soft but firm in conviction.
>>12877 >"And we're both going to hold you to that," Starla replies with a nod and a glance back in your direction. "Now, after eight or so hours in the sun, the day is starting to catch up with me, and I think everyone else is in the same boat. Why don't we head home?" >Your eyes meet up with Midnight's faintly luminous sky-blue eyes. >"Dinner first. I swear on it. I'm not sitting here playing games." >You scratch the back of your head, feeling awkward and embarrassed by your minor lash out at Midnight - and having your guest settle you both down. "Alright. Sorry for getting snippy with you. I just don't like you bottling things up - especially when it sounds like you're dwelling on your past again." >"It isn't dwelling on it if there's something to be discovered from it." >It's like she's trying to prod your curiosity further - but you bite your tongue. "So what are we doing for dinner?" you ask while starting up the truck and putting it in gear. >"Oh, you won't be doing anything - you can sit back and relax," Starla replies, a renewed vigor in her voice. "Midnight, I hope you're ready for your first trials in the kitchen." >This should be an enjoyable show. -----
>>12367 https://ponepaste.org/4579#959 >Unfortunately for you, IHOP doesn’t have a drive-thru. Looking back at Sonata, you ask, “You coming inside, or are you gonna stay in the car?” >“I think you’re the one that’s supposed to be coming inside.” she replies with a bat of her eyes. An exasperated sigh escapes you, “I thought we were past this?” >She titters, “Sorry, sorry, old habits- it’s just fun to tease you. I’m coming with you.” >You let out another sigh as you open the door for her, and she does a quick stretch after stepping out. >The inside of the building is only slightly warmer than you had the inside of your car, likely because of the kitchen in the back. >Turning at the sound of the door opening, the waitress’ eyes widen at the sight of the two of you. >”C-can I help you?” >You open your mouth to speak but Sonata cuts you off, “My fiance and I would like to order some takeout.” >If the waitress’ eyes could get wider they would, “Excuse me?” “Ignore her, just a coworker who thinks she’s a comedian,” you reply to the bewildered waitress, “Though we were ordering takeout- I’ll get a World Famous Pancake combo with buttermilk pancakes, eggs scrambled, bacon instead of sausage, then an order of double chocolate pancakes, no sides, then…” >Not knowing what to order for Dawn, you pull a menu off the wall and hand it to Sonata, who holds it in an aura of blue magic. “What on this would Dawn order?” >She scans it, turning it over and back a few times to see what all they had before looking up at the waitress, “Cupcake pancakes and the strawberry cream crepes, both with no sides, that will be all.” >The menu levitates over to the waitress who takes it and puts it back with a trembling hand, “T-thank you, we’ll have your order out shortly.” >With that the waitress heads back, Sonata takes a seat on the bench in the entryway, you simply elect to stand. You turn to her, “I would expect crepes for you, but cupcake for Dawn?” >Sonata gives a dismissive wave of her hoof, “She eats cupcakes like most people drink coffee in the mornings. If you want to do something with what I told you about earlier, I’d suggest you make some for her- I bet she’d really appreciate it.” “I’ll, uh, think about it.” you respond. >Silence falls between the two of you, leaving only the murmurs of the few patrons here this early to fill the air. >Eventually, a family gets up to leave, each of them giving you and Sonata a sideways glance as they leave except the daughter, who stops and stares at Sonata. >”H-hello…” she says, nervously. >Sonata titters and gives her a smile though something about it seems off, the edges of it don’t quite reach where they normally do, “Well hello to you too.” >The young girl fidgets before speaking again, “You’re really pretty, can I pet your hair?” >”Well my mane is still a little messy, but it should be fine, just mind the horn- I don’t think your parents would be too happy if you accidentally hurt yourself with it.” Sonata replies, before bowing her head down so that the girl could reach it. >The girl spends a minute or so awkwardly patting and petting Sonata’s mane in the way that children do, murmuring, “Soft.” >Her father turns to you, “She your’s?” “Nah, as much as she’d like to, she’s not,” you chuckle, “Belongs to my boss- invited herself along when a coworker asked to crash at my place, ended up the only one awake for a breakfast run.” >”Huh.” >Her mother puts a hand on her shoulder, “Time to go, sweetie.” >The girl pulls her hand away from Sonata’s mane and retreats behind her mother, “Okay, mommy.” >”What do you say to the nice pony for letting you pet her?” >“Thank-you, Miss Pony.” >Sonata just smiles and says, “It was no trouble at all, really. Do take care.” >Once they exit, Sonata lets out an exhale, as if she was holding her breath the entire time. “Worried about something?” you inquire. >”Sorry, I’m not any good with children. Doesn’t help that the poor girl was so nervous it was starting to affect me.” she replies, brushing away a lock of her mane that had fallen
>>12907 >in front of her face. “Looked like you did a fine job to me.” >”I…Thanks.” >She relaxes, closing her eyes and letting herself absorb the atmosphere of families sharing breakfast together. >Out of the corner of your eye you spot the waitress walking out of the kitchen with bags in tow, “Your order, sir.” “Thank-you kindly,” you tell her, taking them off her hands before turning to Sonata, “Time to head out.” >She says nothing. “Sonata?” you call out, concern creeping into your voice. >Her barrel rises and falls slowly, looks like she’s fallen asleep. >”Is she okay?” You sigh, “She was up all night, guess the fatigue finally caught up with her.” >After adjusting the bags, you walk over and gently shake her. “Hey, we gotta get a move on, you can sleep in the car.” >Sufficiently roused, she gets up and begins to trudge to the car. >Once the two of you are seated, and after Sonata drifts off again in the backseat, you stare at your hand for a moment. ‘Her fur is actually pretty soft.’ … https://ponepaste.org/4579 Stupid random text cutoff
>>12878 Thanks for more Midnight.
>>12878 After not reading it for a while it's nice to get a dose of Midnight's attitude. >>12907 It's hard to imagine an experience more uncomfortable than going in public with Sonata.
>>12853 "Move my tank two spots below that forest, and once to the left." >"You suck, you know that?" "It's fine, I'm only zoning you out." >"Zone it out your ass, wait until my winter fury." "Oh no, the winter furry." >Another week of work >Another paycheck >And another night of... >Absolutely nothing >Shiner and you have been focusing on the computer screen for the last two hours >You stumbled across an old handheld war game and ended up getting challenged to war >But because you're lazy, you're making her move your units for you >No fog of war, so no reason to try to be sneaky >To sweeten the deal, she's been sitting on your lap like a little red humanoid nerd >Your arms are around her chest in a hug, your head on top of hers >Because you've been too lazy to turn on the heat, the faint aura of warmth eminating from her has been keeping you warm >You and Jack >She decided to buy a bottle of high alcohol content rum >You don't care for the stuff but it turns her into a cuddle bug >Rather than complain about the casual unicorn hugging, she's just been going between nuzzling you and nuzzling her in between shallow gulps and requests for water and pizza >Her capacity for alcohol in a tiny pony body is sometimes concerning >You haven't had the heart to tell her that if and when she has a bun in the oven, she'll have to go cold turkey >Your kids are going to be autistic, dammit, not have FAS >"I love you guys." "We love you too, Captain Jack." >"I don't know if I love you but you're pretty cool sometimes." "Shush, you love her." >"...you said it, not me." >You tried explaining the units to Jacqueline but even when the booze wasn't caressing her insides, she didn't really seem to care >She acted more as morale support in the form of a secretary trash talking the opposing army whenever you took out a unit >It was working at distracting Shiner but those days are long gone >Fifteen days, at least >It's Day Twenty >... >... >... >Neither of you are particularly good at pushing and maintaining ground, so it's almost just a way to kill time at this point >"Hey Anon." "Hey Flint." >"Flint?" "Flint sparks." >"Clever." "Thanks." >"...are we boring?" "What do you mean?" >"I mean everyone at work seems to have a life they lead and going to work is just a thing they do. By the by, I hope you like this recon." "Are you seriously going to stop my capture?" >"Yup." "You suck." >Your mutual monotones do little to transfer the red hot action that is moving pixel caricatures over a grid "I... don't know. I mean, we have fun." >"I love the fun you guys give me." "We love you too Bottle Jack." >"I love that you stopped trying to get onto his-and my-lap." >She is proper sloshed >The strong slur in her voice says that she is down for the count >Sadly, you're too busy to take advantage of her at the moment >"We do have fun but... it seems like ever since we started working, we're just doing less. We have that D&D campaign, but I've been taking naps more. Everyone has. It feels like our entire lives are focused on showing up there. Anything else is just filler time." >Big words for a part-time filly
Well it finally happened. Fell asleep and apparently my laptop restarted or shut down and I lost my post. >>12915 >But her point is concerning >For the last few months your surplus has shot through the roof >The girls have their own fun funds >But at what cost? >Whenever you came home, there would always be something going on >Some sort of scheme or mischief >Or they were at least doing something >Now everyone is more or less on the same page >More naps are taken >There's less... >Is "chaos" the right word? >You release your lower arm from the hug to rub Jack-o-lantern's ear >She pushes hard into it, twisting her head like a dog >Man's best friend for sure "Well, we do things together, right? It was kind of the same before I got you guys. I just worked, slept, and had little meaningful time sinks." >"How are time sinks meaningful?" "Well every hobby is a time sink. By the way, you're moving my guys without me saying anything." >"I know." "You know?" >"Yup." "Cheater." >"Not really. I still don't have an answer for that mountain alley you locked off. And those rockets freaking suck." "Thought you'd like that." >Jack shifts her head up and chomps down on your hand >Or maybe it's more of a nom >She looks up at you with the sweetest eyes, gently squeezing your palm with her teeth >You smile at your lemon dork "Are you enjoying yourself, boozehound?" >Her nod is slow and deliberate >... >You recognize that look >That nod >"I am... going to try the best I can to ignore what is going on over there and will instead say that you're half-ass hugging me." "Then you better continue to ignore and screw you for that anti-air. I hope you like my tank." >"Your tank is like your other hand: out of range for at least a day and of subpar quality otherwise." >You give a heartfelt gasp "You calling my hand subpar?" >"Just that one because it's hers." >Shine looks at Jack >Their eyes lock >It only break when Jacky's eyebrows waggle up and down >"Ugh. Fine. She can have that one. I bet she gets to do that anyway." "You know, not once has she and I ever sat down and talked about what one could or couldn't do." >"And how has that worked out for you?" "Well it led to you. And a handful of other things, like how now I know to dump rum down her gullet when I want to see her like this." >Said gullet bites down on your hand and gives it a soft jerk >You've heard stories that different types of booze can bring out different types of drunkards >You didn't actually think it would be true >To scratch your chin, you rub your face against the back of Shine's head >From her shiver, it isn't unwanted >"H-hey, no backseat shenanigans." "You're the one sitting on my lap despite my hand circumstances." >You can feel Jacky's tongue flex over your palm >It is not >A bad thing >With your chin satisfied you plop your head right on your war opponent's again "I guess the main question is... what do you want to do after work?" >"This." >That was a quick answer "Really? You just want to sit like a human and play video games?" >"You mean sit on your lap, have you hug me and slowly whittle your ass down until you're my prisoner of war for me to exploit until I let you go to your original pony in exchange for big bucks?" >Her giggle isn't malicious but it comes from a dark place >"Oh, I'm quite happy with this." "...ok, first off you're dealing with the consequences of that and I am absolved of all responsibility. Right Jack?" >Jacky attempts to speak but it is all blocked off from her jaw refusing to let your hand go >If she bit down completely, you'd lose two fingers >But it's more like she's just talking with too much food >By the time she finishes with it, she lets go of your hand and pushes her face against it >"And when I mean "hard", I mean hard. Right Anon?" >Why do you get the feeling that she isn't talking about the topic at hand?
>>12918 "...right." >"...how much was that rum again?" "Thirty bucks." >"I'll buy her a bottle." "That's manipulative." >"Manipulate this bomber." "You suck." >To stop Shiner from slipping, you redouble your hug "So you want to just play shit and hang out. Why are you worried if that's boring?" >"Because everyone in this world seems like they're always doing things." "And would you rather be out there, enjoying the world?" >"Well... I mean, I guess I already am. You're an asshole that is spamming tanks-" "It's called reinforcements." >"It's called being an asshole. But, I was gonna say that while you're doing that, I guess I don't care what we do. I like hanging around you guys." >You're glad she didn't specify you >If only because the mare nuzzling your hand like a fiend would find an issue with it "Then I guess it doesn't matter if we're boring. If you aren't bored, then it's all good." >"I guess. But that makes me think. Isn't Prism extremely boring?" "Why is she extreme?" >"Because she can fly and all she does is watch birds, mope around and not join in on any of our awesome games." "To be fair, you're a bit of a clingy nerd, so getting smack talked by me is your form of Nirvana." >"I'm insulted. But only because I don't know what Nirvana is." "It's the look on your face when you realized you're one rum gulp away from being like Jacky." >"...that's low." >"Low but I still love you for it, Sparky!" "We love you too Jack." >"Oh God. As if I would go so far as to get intoxicated for brownie points." >"I have." "And it's why you're number one Power Jack. C'mere." >Jacky lurches up and takes dominion of your face >A rum-flavored kiss isn't so bad, even if it isn't your drink of choice >"For the record, listening to you two say things like that makes me think I'm listening to my parents. It's embarrassing." >"You're just jealous." "I choose to leave no comment." >Jack's hind hooves are apparently made out of rum ham with no bone because she shortly flops over >That stuff is really kicking her ass "I don't know what Faye's thing is. I don't know what is "fun" for her. And I kinda don't think she knows either." >"Sounds boring to me." "Maybe. Maybe she's saving herself by not being around our dumb asses." >"I would buy that." "You would because you're a dumbass, dumbass." >"The one time I hope you'd talk about it, and you're calling it dumb. That's it, eat snow and two global damage. I'm taking the center and you aren't going to stop me." "You sit there and I'll give you a kiss." >"Ha!" >That was the most dry, unexpected "ha" you've ever heard >"F-fat chance. When I win, you're ransom bait." "Crap." >If it makes you feel any better, neither her nor you have actively been playing to win >Maybe you are boring >Rather than mastering a skill or learning new things, you're playing a near twenty year old game with some dork while your marefriend has apparently lost her grip on reality and is now mumbling some sort of sea shanty you've personally never heard of >... >If that's boring, what in the world would "interesting" be?
As a warning for the Halloween season, don't give a Jacky rum. Speaking of, Halloween season is popping up and I fear what may come of our dorks and the madness that comes with disposable income.
>>12920 What would trick or treating boots look like?
>>12922 I think we may find out. >>12919 "Hey Shiner." >"Don't talk, you're ruining the moment." >You're using her side as a pillow >It doesn't feel anything at all like using Jacky as a pillow >Warmer? >Sure >But because you can't just lay your head anywhere, you're stuck in place >And she's already a bit of a smaller mare >At least she's positioned just right so your neck doesn't feel weird "What moment? You're laying on the only other pillow here." >"And what about the pillow between your knees?" >You glance down "I always do that." >"You've literally never done that until just today." "You don't know that." >"Trust me, I'd notice you putting my head into a guillotine like that." "Y... what was that?" >"That's right." "Really?" >"I said it." "I..." >"And I'm not taking it back." >Going by the huffiness in her voice, she's doing well at playing it cool "I was gonna ask me to make some breakfast because Chef Jackyardee is out with Prism enjoying last night's snow." >"You were going to ask me." >Her deadpan tone is matched with your own "Yeah, that's right." >She sighs >She's been grinding more on that Final Fantasy game >Namely that challenge run >She keeps switching to that whenever it's just you and her >Maybe it's because she doesn't have to deal with Jacky complaining that it's not entertaining to watch >"What do you want?" "I don't know. Something good." >"Best I can do is something quick and easy." "You know you're speaking my language." >She sighs and sets the controller down >To stop her from leaving, you lift up your head and let it fall on her "Hey, I didn't say right now. You're on pillow duty, missy." >She laughs and picks the controller back up >"You're bossy. You're supposed to be hapless and give into our demands. The other way around doesn't work." "Bullshit it doesn't. Besides, I already do a ton of things." >"Name one." >She had that prepared "I..." >Obviously, you have so many things to choose from that it is difficult to choose just one "I keep morale up." >Your answer is met with a bitter grumble >"Alright, that's fair." "Bitchin'." >You nuzzle your face into what feels like the edge of her spine "Silly question." >"Silly pony." "Super. Last winter you seemed pretty fine with stuff. It's starting to get cold again and it isn't even November. Do you do your magic stuff... internally? Or what?" >Her coat is a big more shaggy than Jack's, that's for sure >But that can't be the one X factor that keeps her fine >"Half of it is because I'm the hottest pony on the planet." "You're so modest." >"You know I don't lie." "Dork." >"The other half is a mix between getting used to magic more... and I kinda just grew up with it." "Oh... yeah. I guess that makes sense, huh." >"Yup. But ever since I learned how to do stuff, it just seems... elementary." "So think warm thoughts, huh." >"Basically." "So what's Faye's excuse?" >"That hen? Well you've seen how she basically lives outside." "Yeah. I still feel a little bad about that." >"Why? She's an adult." "I know."
>>12923 >You shuffle yourself around, pressing the side of your head into the self-proclaimed hottest mare in the world >You don't want to admit that she's right in a mechanical or magical sense >"With her... I don't know what her deal is. I remember when she would trot around town like it was nothing. Or the city. Or ditches. You know. Wherever." "Sure." >"I can only really guess it's because she's a pegasus. Hollow bones, big coat, bigger wings, no brain. Can't feel cold if you can't conceptualize what it is to be cold, right?" "Hey." >You pause after a stern snap reply "...what's wrong with hollow bones?" >She snorts at your serious sounding question >"Nothing, nothing. Maybe I'm just jealous. If I were light enough to fly, I could act all fragile and shy too." "She doesn't act shy. Egotistical? Tiny bit. But I've never seen her act shy." >"I'm going to get you a trophy." "Sweet. What for?" >"For being so selectively blind I'm surprised your world doesn't consist of random noises and a freakishly keen eye as soon as yellow butt wiggles by." "..." >Well, she's certainly creative today "...go on..." >"I guess I can't blame you fully. Like, 98% I can. But no. When she has to be around other humans and when she realizes she has no escape, she kinda shrinks." "Just like saran wrap. Got any good examples? I guess I kinda zone out at work. The mornings aren't so bad but I just lose sight of whatever is out of view. Jack keeps me company though." >"Dude, she hangs out under your desk. She keeps you more than just company." >You clear your throat >Repeatedly "I..." >There's no way she knows >That you've at least thought of it "Madam, I am a professional. And there are far too many witnesses, Jesus." >"And if you did it, we'd all probably lose our jobs." "Or get massive promotions." >"Maybe we should find a job where that sort of thing is allowed, huh?" "No way. I like it there. Even if the drive time sucks." >"It sucks to listen to our angelic singing?" "Let me rephrase: the constant fueling up sucks." >"I've literally paid for the last three refuelings." "Exactly. How long before you demand something in return?" >"Given the things I get to do already? I help out to stave off any bad karma." "Ahhh... I see." >You scratch the side of your face against her hide "Hey Starshine." >"Yeah?" "Breakfast." >"Yeah?" "Like... oatmeal or something." >"Yeah?" "And some hot tea too." >"Yeah?" "And a mare to guillotine." >"Ye-" >Outside of the recurring gag causing her to lose her composure, the blindside attack causes her to sputter and end with a long "hm" noise "Yeah?" >"...Yeah." "But later. I'm too comfy." >"You're a slave driver, Anon." "You wish you were slave status, minion."
>>12924 Would be nice to have a pillow pone.
>>12942 Each type has their own feel, scent and texture. And favorite positions for laying and pillow modes.
>>12924 >Days blend together >With everyone working, there is a natural flow >It feels good >It feels like everything is in place >It feels... >It feels like someone's talking >It's a feel rather than something you can hear because you can feel moving lips against your neck "Eh?" >Your disembodied body reforms to the point you remember you're in the living room >What were you doing in here? >You were watching some spooky movie with the dorks >Then you... >You must have just blinked out "Jack?" >"Shh... don't wake up. It won't work if you wake up." "Too late. I'm awake." >While it isn't a bed, the pony-made nest of blankets, quilts, pillows and fabrics can be comfy >Ish >You squint your way back into the waking world, to the point you have vision once more >It's her >She smiles >It's a simple gesture >It isn't energized or excited >She's just happy to see you >You feel the same >You're happy to see you, too >Your hand finds her face >While it was an attempt at a pet, it ends up slapping the top of her head >It slides down her front until you boop her "What won't work?" >"A spell." "A spell?" >"A spell." >That's >Descriptive "A good one?" >"For me. Probably for you too but I don't know for sure." "Oh. Ok." >You close your eyes again "If I turn into a toad, remember that toads don't have hands." >"Hey, don't go back to sleep." >She gives you the laziest headbutt against your chin >"Wake up again." "Isn't it late?" >"Yeah but it's important." >Well if she said it's important, it must be >You open your eyes once more >Something's playing on the TV >More Crypt Keeper playing >Spooky stuff "What's on your mind, Cracker Jack?" >"I can't sleep." "Apparently it might have something to do with you trying to cast a spell." >"No, that's a side-effect." "Naturally." >She slithers on top of you and rests her legs on the outside of your torso "Why can't you sleep?" >"Because Sparky and I had a talk." >Oh boy "Did she tell you that you were adopted again?" >"...yeah. But that's not the thing." >To be fair they're all adopted >Because that thought doesn't make things sound even more obscene to any outsiders >You've heard them before, Shine would argue that while Jacky was an accident, she was on purpose >That's brutal >But it's true >"We were talking about how we can do the thing." >The thing "...the thing." >The first thing your mind goes to is her driving >She can take the wheel and Shine can work the pedals >"Yeah. You know. The... foal thing." "Oh." >That has stirred you enough that you're no longer standing on a slanted layer of ice "Yeah? Tell me more." >You re-adjust your head until you have another bundle of blanket behind it >"Well, you know how you can enchant weapons with elemental damage?" >You don't like the connection "Y... yeah?" >"What if we do that?" "I... am I going to do fire damage now? I'm going to need an ointment." >She headbutts the bottom of your chin again with just enough force to make you stop talking >"Trust me, it'll be an ice element first."
>>12997 "Really? You mea-" >Another headbutt >"You're distracting me..." >You can feel her wiggle on your body >This seems like something she's' genuinely excited on >"But what do you think of that? Because when you think about it, magic is a normal thing that happens all the time where we're from. So enchanting stuff is probably easy to do too, right?" "I suppose." >"So we enchant you, you kinda become more like us because magic and..." "Profit?" >"More profits than either of us can imagine." >You chuckle and slide your hands up her sides until you have her in a loose hug "That sounds like a plan." >Maybe it's your lack of sleep but for some reason your mind wanders from the obvious list of infinite positives "...can Shine enchant things?" >The question seems to put a damper on her mood >What seemed to be contentment melts until she's gawking at you like the thought hadn't once crossed her mind >"I... I mean. Why couldn't she?" "Because if she botches it, I won't be enchanted with ice. They'll just freeze and fall off." >Nevermind the fire enchantment simply becoming a broiling >Her absent-minded look further degrades until it's more a worrisome frown >"I... I didn't think of that..." "If it works, it'll work... but it's also going to suck really hard if it doesn't work. Or, worse, if it leads to me losing the capacity. And I'm not gonna lie, I kinda pride myself on not being a eunich." >"I really didn't think of that..." >You close your eyes with the intent on keeping them closed "It's alright. Just let me know when you're working on field trials. Try to enchant some stuff before we give it a real solid try. Mostly because it'll suck for me but I'm also worried for you too." >"You're worried about me?" "Yeah. Because if my shit catches on fire, you're going to have to put it out. And then we're both going to need an ambulance." >You hear an amused "heh" >"Deal." "So what was that spell for? I didn't think you were the magic class sort. Barbarian mares don't do magic either." >"I can cross-class, can't I?" "Nope. You're my little barbarian." >You yawn "And you'll always be my little barbarian." >She wiggles more on your body >It won't wake you up again >But it does awaken you >The way she settles onto you is like a glove >"...worst case scenario, we can always do a surrogate thing too... right, Anon?" "Worst-case scenario... yeah..." >But that wouldn't really be the same, would it? >... >Say if you do get enchanted >You're wielding a +1 and your critical threat range is increased >Your improved hardness rating allows you to crash through her armor material >You snicker >"Hm?" "N-nothing." >If that sort of thing does work... >What would come out? >A little human from a mare... >That would be interesting, wouldn't it? >Alternatively, if you end up having a pony child... >Is that ok? >Is it really ok? >The human world is rather unyielding when it comes to accessibility >What if they're something else entirely? >What then? "Hey Jack." >"Anon." >You can go back to your spell casting." >"Heh. Thanks. But I guess it's more a prayer than a spell. Barbarians can pray, can't they?" "They sure can." >Ignoring any smaller movements or physical gestures of affection, Jacky remains on top of you >Despite the pleasant movements, you end up slipping off to sleep again >The last thing of notice your body reports to your brain is the silent mumbling against your throat >You cling to the facade of consciousness just long enough to feel her kiss your throat repeatedly before the prayer repeats >It'll work >Something will work >Whether or not it will be a miracle or through magic >Neither of you will stop
>>12878 >"So what are we making?" >Midnight's question draws out a lengthy hum from Starla as she looks over your kitchen layout, and the utensils she's fished out of her carry bag. >Despite covering over half of the countertop on the island half-wall, she's assured you that isn't all that she brought. >Or possesses at home. >Even so, the tools make up an intriguing collection of run-of-the-mill spoons, spatulas, and knives, as well as some modified and fabricated pieces. >One of which she's already wearing - a band around her right foreleg that has some sort of attachment mechanism. >"What do you think, Anon? Since you're just a spectator and taste-tester - would you like lasagna or enchiladas?" Starla asks. >Enchiladas? >With everything she requested in regards to beans and rice, you figured they were going towards burritos, maybe fajitas. >Apparently, you've made a face while trying to think it out, because Starla lets out a slight chuckle. >"I thought I might confuse you - yes, they aren't your traditional enchiladas in a sense. I really like to load them up. And I personally prefer flour tortillas." "Hell, this I gotta try now - but I don't know if my stomach is gonna wait for the rice to cook. How long will that be?" >"Hm. Fair point," she concedes. "Well, that should be fairly straightforward to add if you want to try it on your own down the road." >"What's an enchilada, anyway?" >"Oh, you poor thing," Starla coos toward Midnight. "Let's get started - Midnight, two pounds of ground beef." >A short nod is all Midnight offers before she darts to the refrigerator, opening the door and practically climbing inside as she digs through the packed appliance. >You can't help but watch her backside as she shuffles around - though you feel warm when you notice Starla looking at you. >She just gives a knowing smile and glances off in another direction. >"Man, we bought a lot of shit last time," Midnight comments aloud. "We might have overdone it a little, but that's okay," you reply. >"Yeah, but you aren't the one trying to find - here they are." >Midnight backs out of the fridge wielding two tubes of ground beef, sporting a triumphant smile. >"Good - we'll get that going very shortly, once we preheat the oven and get some more ingredients around. We still need an onion, kidney beans, and cheese." >While Midnight resumes her treasure hunt, Starla looks over the oven, honing in on the dial as she slowly tilts her head to the left. "Something the matter?" >"Hm?" >Starla turns around to face you, just in time for her to make sense of your question and laugh it off. >"Sorry, I forget I do that. Just trying to figure out where I need to turn it. You know, without seeing." >You don't follow her explanation until she turns around and gently nips at the knob. >You hear the light click as she turns it, before settling on a spot - her head at the same angle as before you interrupted.
>>13001 >She takes a step back as Midnight returns with the previously requested items. >"Perfect - three seventy-five is what we want for the final bake," Starla announces. "That should be good and ready once we're at that stage." >"So what next?" Midnight chimes in. >"Well, we have to cook the beef, and add what we want in our enchiladas afterward - except for the onion. We'll do that now." "Skillet is in the top cupboard on the right, Middie," you speak up. >"I know - I kinda live here," she replies in a calm, casual voice. "Just helping out - I know you don't like putting dishes away." >"Quiet, or you won't be eating tonight." >Starla stifles an amused snicker as her focus turns to the cutting board set up on the counter in front of her. >"Now then Midnight, why don't you start browning the meat while I get some of this onion minced up," she instructs over the clatter of cookware being moved about. >Midnight finally sources the largest skillet you have and puts it down on the stovetop. >"Are you sure you don't want me to cut that up?" she asks, watching with obvious skepticism as Starla dribbles the onion like a soccer ball up onto the cutting surface with her front hooves. >But Starla merely smiles at the offer. >"No, I have this under control. You're seeing me in my element now," she replies in a sweet voice. >You watch with your own silent reservations as Starla moves her right leg toward some of the utensils, hovering over a chopping knife in particular with the odd wristband she's wearing. >"Now, this little contraption makes it easier to do things like chop, rather than hold the handle between my teeth - believe me, it gets dizzying," she comments with mild amusement, gently resting the device upon her tool of choice. >After a few seconds you hear a few mechanical clicks and what sounds like the activation of a tiny electric motor emanating from it. >When Starla raises her hoof up again, the knife follows, rotating slowly into a position to be of use by merely moving her leg up and down. "Oh no, she's armed and dangerous, Midnight!" you shout, feigning a look of shock and horror. >Unfazed by your stupidity, Midnight shifts around to get a better look. >"How? What is that, exactly?" she asks. >"The benefits of being with someone who specializes in robotics and gadgetry," Starla teases with a wry grin. " How's the meat coming along?" >The question makes Midnight's brow furrow, revealing some sort of frustration. >"I... can't figure out how to get these damn metal clips off the ends," she admits, shame tainting her voice as she rotates the packages in her grasp. "I'm sure they will tear off, but I don't want shit flying ev-" "Just cut it open, Midnight. You've seen me do that before," you interrupt, not quite believing she's being serious. >"I want to do it the *right* way, Anon. Not your corner cutting."
>>13002 >"That is the right way," Starla responds. "Those little clips are just to seal em up after packaging - it's not like we're going to reuse the plastic." >"...right. Guess I'm trying too hard to impress." >"No need for that - you showed me a lot today. Now it's my turn to return the favor." >Before going back to the stove, Midnight glances at you, as if expecting a response. >You shrug your shoulders, not quite understanding. >"Figured there would be a comment from the peanut gallery," she explains. "Nah. I'm having more fun watching tonight." >"I bet you are." >Thanks, Starla. >While Midnight fumbles her way around getting her assigned task accomplished, Starla slices the onion in half with a quick and calculated strike, not allowing it to roll around at all on the board. >With that, she's able to nudge one half onto the flat-cut surface with the blade and starts mincing. >Damn, she's quick. >Certainly been doing this for a while. >There's no hiccup or hesitation in the movements of her leg, looking more like machine than mare. >A few pauses in between to check her progress is all that she needs before Starla is ready to add it to the skillet. >Perfect timing as the sizzle from the stove lets everyone know Midnight's got the beef going. >Before doing anything else, Starla sets the edge of the knife onto the board for a few seconds, before a click apparently signals her to raise the utensil back up. >It slowly rotates back around so the blade is parallel to the counter, before she sets her hoof down again, the knife detaching from the gizmo. >"Alright, now we will add the onion in - Midnight, would you do the honors?" Starla asks, turning to face her. "It might be a bit awkward for me with this cutting boa- that's not cooked, Midnight!" >You lean over to catch a glimpse, spying Midnight getting the bits of raw beef out of the wrapper with her tongue and eating it. "It's fine, Star. That's her thing," you calm her. >Starla looks over to you, still somewhat uneasy with your vague explanation. >"No offense Starla, but I'm not like you... er, internally, I guess," Midnight says. "It's nothing to me. I would have sworn I've mentioned what I've had for a diet before living here, though." >"I... maybe you did. Actually yeah, you said you used to actually hunt live animals," Starla admits, her shoulders slumping just a bit in disappointment. "I suppose it was just a shock to the system to see that." "She probably shouldn't be doing it anyways because it makes her breath stink," you add, garnering a defiant look from Midnight as she gets one last morsel before tossing the wrapper in the trash. >"I do what I want." "Keep your eye on the pan, please. I'd rather not eat charred food tonight." >Starla goes through some basics in regards to the many pieces of cookware she has laid out for Midnight while the first step in tonight's dinner is completed.
>>13003 >For her part, Midnight nods a lot, but looks a bit overwhelmed by the wealth of information even as she takes it in. >"How's that looking?" Starla asks, glancing over at the stove as Midnight stirs up the sizzling contents. >"Looks... brown, I guess. I don't see any more pink," Midnight responds. >"Excellent. Now it's time for the sauce and the kidney beans, and just a bit of cheese before we let that simmer a while," Starla explains. >"Sauce, cheese, beans, got it." >The cupboard doors above open in a flurry under Midnight's unseen power, with cans of red sauce and beans floating down to the countertop, near the electric can opener. "You ever make your own sauce, Starla?" you ask as Midnight goes for the fridge again. >"I have, but I figure for a beginner course, it would be better to go for the quicker solution," she replies, easing the can opener into your direction. "Ooh, I do get to do something!" you exclaim. >"Figure you'd like to contribute something," she jokes. >While you crack open the container with the loud whir of the motorized opener, Starla clasps the can of beans between her front hooves and fiddles with the pull tab, manipulating it using her teeth and her tongue. >She quickly manages to get the tab flipped up and pries it open with her teeth. "Damn, that's talent. Or determination, I guess," you say, surprised at her abilities. >"Sorry, I'm already taken," she replies with a wry smirk. >... you don't know what to say to that. > It's unclear whether the lack of response or a face triggers her, but Starla's laughter fills the kitchen, only dying as Midnight returns to the counter with a bag of shredded cheese. >"The fuck did I miss?" she asks, her eyes darting between you and Starla. >"Giving Anon a hard time." >"What did he try to make perverted?" >"Can opening." >Midnight just stares at you, almost in pity. >"You're sick." "Shut up and make my food, mare." >"Spit in your food? Alright." >Starla brushes aside most of her tools with a gentle sweep of her leg to free up the counter, while Midnight starts tossing ingredients into the pan. >"How much cheese, Star?" >"Not a ton - we will be topping them with cheese before they go in the oven," Starla replies, turning around to face her protege. >Using one of the medium-sized metal measuring cups you have, Midnight scoops out a heaping pile of cheese with it from the bag, looking to Starla for approval. >"I'd say level that off at the top and that will be good. Then you just want to stir that all together and heat it until it starts bubbling," Starla instructs. >Giving the cup a shake inside the bag, Midnight is able to free up the overflowing cup before tossing it into the pan. "How did you get into cooking, Starla?"
>>13004 >"Well, truth be told, Teddy isn't exactly a whiz in the kitchen," Starla chuckles, turning around to face you. "I never started with a grandiose plan of making whole dishes - it was more adding or suggesting something here or there Teddy could add to liven up whatever was on the menu. It wasn't until I got a decent handle on reading that I took to finding recipes, and it just expanded from there, particularly to help him out. He was still working at that time." "He didn't quit after breaking you out?" >Starla shakes her head, though doesn't seem to be bothered by it. >"We lived in Georgia and he continued working in the lab for at least another two or three years," she continues. "It wasn't something that bothered me, but his work started weighing on him more and more. I think having a reminder at home contributed to that. Mind you, I'm not blaming myself." "Good, because I was going to stop you there if it was eating at you." >"Nah, I'm good," she affirms, breaking out a big smile. >"How long did it take you to uh... get a decent understanding of reading?" Midnight pitches in. "Is this a comparison sort of thing?" you ask, feeling a bit skeptical about such a rather sensitive inquiry. >But Midnight shakes her head negative in a calm and collected manner. >"I'm still well aware I called virtually every pony - real or robotic - stupid once upon a time. Kinda seen on multiple occasions I was wrong," she explains. "To be fair, it was living ponies you called stupid - robo-ponies were just dull and lifeless." >Midnight's gaze hardens upon you, a cold and silent glare that lasts for a few moments. >It makes you realize that comment came out harsher than you meant. >She's trying - cut down on the bullshit, Anon. >"Yes, thank you for that reminder," she replies, letting a bit of sarcasm slip into her voice before her face softens. "It's genuinely a curiosity question." >"I'm not really sure - maybe a year? Give or take a bit of time?" Starla suggests, shrugging her shoulders. "It's not something I really kept track of." >"Fair enough. Pan is starting to bubble up, by the way." >"Good, then we're off to the last couple of steps," Starla cheers, clopping her front hooves together in anticipation. " we just have to ladle the filling into the tortillas, put a bit of sauce over top of em, some cheese, and the oven for 20 minutes." >"Yeah... sounds simple enough." >"It is. Come on, we'll do a baking pan of em, and Anon will do one. Plenty for everyone, and leftovers too." >While Strala trots around the kitchen fetching things that have been laid out beforehand, Midnight looks over at you, mildly amused judging by her thin smile. >"Maybe I'll start doing some of this to help out. Might not be as good as what Star's helping us make." >You wave her concerns aside with your hand, scoffing at her minor self-deprecation.
>>13005 "It's the thought that counts. I'm not gonna expect you to cook just because Starla is teaching you - but if it's up your alley, go for it." >"Thanks, Anon." "Don't mention it. Sorry if I've been a bit snippy today. I really haven't meant to do that. I didn't mean for that last jab to be so harsh." >"That was a little harsh, yeah. Correct, but harsh," she replies, making way for Starla as she sets down two pans. "I figure you're still a bit paranoid about... well, what's on my mind." >You hold your hand up to stop her as the bags of shredded cheese and tortillas plop onto the counter. "We'll get to talking more in a bit - dunno about you, but I'm hungry. Ready to try what you've made with Star's help." >Midnight's little smile breaks out into a full grin at that. -----
>>12998 Are they actually trying for foals or are they just having fun? >>13002 I imagine that cutting an onion would be particularly unpleasant if holding the knife with the mouth for a pony. Face that close to the action and those big pony eyes, would probably burn quite a bit. >>13003 >"No offense Starla, but I'm not like you... er, internally, I guess," Midnight says I wonder if that's actually the case or if it's like people who do the raw meat thing and she just doesn't care. >>13006 Thanks for the update.
>>13016 They've discussed it for a while but they're being more open about wanting it.
>"Hey, bossman. You ok?" "Me?" >"There's literally no one else alive in this room... so yes, you." "I'm doing ok. That prepper did us some good. Found fifteen mags the other day, six loaded. That's one-eighty, plus my two-twenty-seven. That's..." >"Yeah yeah, big numbers. Just don't get all trigger happy, ok?" "Sure." >"I'm gonna get some sleep until sundown. Then it's your turn." "Sure." >Shiner's taking this better than you thought >You didn't think it would ever happen >Why would it? >How could it? >Rioting started throughout the country almost at the same hour >Then it expanded >And got worse >Far worse >Had it been three weeks or four? >You forgot >Prism it out on recon >Easy to do when you're a pegasus >Shiner is as damn fine scout >Turns out zombies and psychos don't like fire too much >At least twice, you've been in view of her torching someone to ash >They often cook so fast that there's no screaming >And Jacky >She... >... >Focus, Anon >You remain squatted down, leaning against the wall >Your right leg is asleep >If you have to move it soon, you're fucked >But that's ok >You're on the second floor of some sort of toy store >The second floor looked like it was someone's home at one point >At least there were no signs of anyone hiding out >The fridge is empty too >The only thing that stuck out was a few DVDs of That 70s Show and some cheap looking Fluttershy toy left on what had to be one of those charging pads >You could go for some cheap entertainment >But you gotta remain quiet for now >Jack's exhausted >Prism has been keeping an eye on the group for days and laying as low as a flying horse can >And now Shiner's clocked out >You gotta stay focused >For them >Throughout the day, you eventually shift to just sitting on your ass >The window is low enough that you can still see >Every now and again, you hear someone screaming >Or something >Hard to tell anymore >But it's far enough away that you don't worry quite yet >It could be down the road >It could be miles away >At least you don't see anything walking through >No cars >No people >No animals >Not even a conveniently printed newspaper >Contrary to most horror movies, the most recent paper you've seen focused on things like economic trends and companies buying more and more properties >At least it makes for good toilet paper >Ponies don't need toilet paper >Apparently that one guy from that message board was right about biological engineering or whatever >Your mind wanders from stray thought to stray thought until the sun goes down >You haven't moved an inch >No drinking >No eating >Not even a trickle of urine >You've been rock solid, glaring out a sliver of a window and holding a rifle with a grip so tight you're almost positive that if you had to aim, you wouldn't hit shit >You aren't trained for anything like this >Even those who are trained probably would suck at a stressful vigil >"Hey bossman. You still alive?" "Shiner." >"Yup." "How's Jacky?"
>>13032 >"Just like you left her." "That's not what I mean." >"Alright, so what do you mean?" "I mean..." >You turn her head to >No one >...where did she go? >You shake your head and return your gaze to the window >"Bossman." "What." >Your flat reply is only vaguely flavored with irritation >"You need to check on her. You got more than enough medicine, you said it yourself that you found some earlier." "I will. Later." >"How long do you need to wait? She needs it." "She's strong, ok?" >"So? Tell that to that Schwarzenegger-looking freak that tore through out apartment and did in-" "No one important to us. You and I ran, I carried Jack, Prism flew out." >"Yeah. Sure she did." >She's been the voice of reason this entire time >As dry and as bitter as she is, she's never once faltered or cracked under pressure >You can't let her win >It's just like one of your versus sessions >If you crack, she wins >And if she wins, she'll remind you until the end of the world >The room remains quiet >Soon it's too dark to even see >"Hey, bossman. Go get some rest, I got watch." "N... no, that's alright." >"That wasn't a request, chump. Get your ass out of here and on that couch. I will take care of it." "...whatever, man. Just don't fuck up again, alright?" >You close your eyes and leave the rifle at the window >The stairs are trapped >All of the lower level doors are locked and glass so any shattering would lead to full alert >You've spent days mastering the path to take with your eye closed to the couch >With practiced, measured steps you flop onto it and sink at least a good foot down >It really is a nice couch >One of those types that have been around for decades, and will most likely outlive you >Before you know it, it's morning >Sensing something urgent, you stumble off the sofa and practically fall into the bedroom "S-Shiner?" >No one >The rifle is right were you left it >And nothing else looks touched >Out of some obsessive habit, you squat back down into position >"Pretty sneaky, huh." "Any funny business outside?" >"Nah. If they did, you'd wake up to the smell of barbeque." "That's fine, I'll pass. Never was much of a humanitarian." >"Be my guest. I'm just saying, Ḯ̸͎ ̶͘͜b̴̗̈́e̷̢͝t̴͎͋ ̵́ͅy̷̢̽o̶͉͋u̷̡͂ ̷̱̈́t̷̛̮ǎ̷̘s̸̤̏t̷̤̃e̷̟͒ ̷̫̏g̷̘̍o̷͐͜ö̶͕́d̵̥͛" >You whip yourself around with the rifle shouldered and finger on the trigger >What the fuck was that? >That was her voice >But it was raspy >Dry >Dehydrated dry "...S." >Say it >Say it >Say it >Say her name "...Sparking Shine?" >From the doorway, a ragged visage of a pony appears >It's her >The infamous little gutter sorceress >The goofy nerd that always wanted to steal Jacky's spot on your lap >But her right eye is gone >So is her jaw >Her front right hoof has been torn off, leaving only raw nerve endings >At least three ribs are sticking out from her skin, like they were smashed with a hammer >You let out a shriek and fire
>>13033 >You magdump into her, stopping when you have only two shots remaining >You know because you count your rounds >You did that plus one trick, with a full mag and one in the chamber >Which means you have one round in the mag and one ready to go >The grotesque, dripping body of your bestest buddy doesn't react >Instead, it drags itself to you in a limp trot >"Watch it, jackass. You just made a lot of noise and effectively rang a dinner bell. How am I supposed to protect you if you go out of your way to do this?" "W... but... y..." >Something deep inside of your head is beating against the inside of your skull >There is a reason she looks like this >It happened maybe >No >No maybes >It did happen a week ago "How... are you still here?" >The corpse of the pony shrugs >It is such an insane reaction for such an obscene sight >"How the fuck am I supposed to know? Maybe this is some sort of necromancy. Or maybe I'm a ghost. Or you lost your rocker and I'm a figment of your imagination." "If you're a figment, then does this mean that I would automatically win a round of Tekken?" >"Now's not the time, dumb-ass. Take your bags, and go. Night was ideal last time but we don't have that luxury. You need to just take what you can carry and leave, no turning back." "No, I can't do that, Jacky is-" >"Jacky is what happens when you're stupid!" "SHE'S NOT STUPID!" >You stand up and bark at the phantasm "SHE HAS MORE BALLS THAN YOU! SHE BARRICADED THE DOOR, SHE JUMPED OUT THE WINDOW, DID YOU FUCKING SAVE ME FROM THAT GHETTO TRAP? NO, YOU WERE OUT FFFFFFFFFḞ̴̡Ǘ̴̞C̴̺͆K̴̳̓I̷̳̊N̸͖̓G̴̤̈́ COOKING THINGS." >"Anon, I'm begging you, take your bag, go through the back door. There's a bike, I don't care if you said you can't ride it, you have to try it." "NO. FUCK YOU. I HAVE TO AT LEAST SAVE HER!" >You shut your eyes, fighting back the liquid fire of your tears >Or is it eye strain "I'M TAKING JACKY WITH ME AND YOU... CAN JUST FUCKING DEAL WITH IT." >You open your eyes again >Nothing >No one >"...alright, Anon. I won't get in your way anymore. I hope you know that I love you. I just want to see you get through this. As long as you can, I'll be content." >You can hear her voice echo throughout the room >Your head >Inside of your head "Yeah... well..." >All of the rage >Energy >All of it >It drains down to your feet and pools out into what is still at least your own shadow >You need to get to Jacky >Then you can maybe try that bike >You trot downstairs, to the toy store floor >So many of the toys look like things your mom grew up with >Or her mom >You can't imagine that many kids of this generation would care about old wooden and fabric figures >So many memories >Fads >Researched products >Happy children made >All of it amounts to a blood-stained carpet >Abandoned shelves >A phone that hasn't left the charging pad since the owner left for good >This place >It's just a tombstone "Jacky, sorry but we gotta go." >You circle around a ramshackle counter to >... >Oh no
>>13034 >She's lost more of her coat >Her head turns toward you >Slow >Creaky >Like the muscles are stiff >She lets out a soft rasp "I... I-I'm sorry, I..." >You lose the will to speak >She looks so pale >Her eyes >They're so cloudy >Still the bright, vibrant, beautiful, flawless green >But >They look wrong >Her head twitches to the side like she's trying to see you "I.. it's me, Jack." >Tears well up from the bottom of your eyes >The pressure is enough to make you drop the rifle >You kneel down next to her and rest your hand on her back >Close to her flank >Close to a chunk of flesh and muscle that was ripped out of her >Ripped out of her by some flying, mutated freak that you had to put down >It had dive bombed right for her >Before you could react, it ripped entire pounds out of her leg >It took not even ten minutes >Not even "I... listen, we gotta go. Ok?" >You were quick enough and wrapped her legs up >It has effectively turned her into an invalid >But it's ok >She hasn't been violent at all >She hasn't tried to bite you >She hasn't tried to kiss you >She hasn't tried to even hug you >She hasn't told you that she's ok >She hasn't >She "I... y-you're still with me. Right?" >Your vision blurs as the first few tears fall "I... yesterday, remember when I f-fed you? I know it wasn't well stirred but..." >You look down on the blanket you set up for her to lay on >The oatmeal you made >She hasn't touched it >There is still some on her chin, long dried out and matted into her coat "Y... you didn't eat..." >Your voice comes out as a squeak >She hasn't eaten it >Because she can't "Jack... Jackula... c-c'mon, man..." >You pull her into the tightest hug you can muster "You can't leave me too... you're all I have. I can't just go out there alone. Not anymore." >You fail to contain your blithering and gasping >With every passing word you hear yourself turn more and more desperate >No >That isn't the word, is it >The word is "defeated" >You can hear her rasping >Air entering and exiting her lungs >But it's more from your hugging than anything else >Even now >With her face next to yours >She doesn't try to attack you >She's different >She's special >She's... >Temporarily out of action >That's all >You pay no mind to the oatmeal that is spilling over >You position yourself so you're sitting with your back to the counter >And her laying on her back, against your chest >You look out the window >The only sound in the room is your whimpering and her breathing >Is it breathing? "...you gotta keep your strength up, Jack." >Something inside of you just >Snaps >Like all of the tension you felt just tugged free from the back of your skull >This is the best >Isn't it? >You flex some life into your left hand and >And
>>13035 >And place it against her mouth >Your right hand goes to her chest, gently ruffling her coat "You dork... I should have brought you up stairs." >You feel something hard >Sharp >The pain reminds you of the pain box from that space movie >The one with the sand worms and the dunes >...the fuck was that called? "I-I-I sh-should have s... fuah... set us up... a movie. Y-yeah?" >Your face contorts as she eats >You can't pull away >You can't leave her >You can't do to her what you've done to everyone else in the world >Your right hand presses into her chest with all of your manic might >If you can just hear her heart beat >Or feel it >If you can just know that she's alive >That this is saving her >You need to >You must "Th..." >Why are you sweating? >The pain causes you to vomit >Even now, your reflexes make you duck your head to the side >She would never forgive you if you puked on her like that >Hell, you'd never forgive you >Your hand starts to go numb >Then your lower arm feels the same type of gnashing >You lose track of time >You lose track of yourself >Bit by bit, you can feel the fuel from your engine dripping away until you feel like you've been covered in wet, chunky paint >This is fine >You'll wake up later >Y o u w i l l w a ke u p l a t e r . . . . . . . . > Ju s t l i k e J a
https://ponepaste.org/8170 /bootleg/ 2022 Week of Terror: Anonymous Rather than go into a single story for the spooky season, we're going to see what a true nightmare is for the gang. We will learn of three more tales that consist of their worst fears. We will see true /bootleg/ terror.
>>13036 Is a sad short.
https://w2g.tv/r43hj2jbv82u2e1iki Unannounced Sunday chill out if anyone is interested. If there needs to be a conversation topic, /spookleg/ is as good as any.
>>13054 Largely missed it, so I guess I'll say here: Hope everyone's doing alright. It's nice to see what you all come up with for these boots.
>"Hey." "Eh." >"Heey." "Meh." >"Heeey." "Me-bleeeeeeeeeeeh..." >I feel a strong arm wrap around my chest. >"Hey Jack." "Hey 'non." >I inhale hard and taste the morning air. >Our ranch has grown beautifully over the years. >We moved over thousands of miles to get where we are now. >No one around knows what we used to be. >"How about you girls get into town? We're getting low on some things. That barn wall needs another dozen planks too, else the cows are gonna get nipped at by a coyote." >A barn. >A house. >Dozens of acres for our goats, cows and chickens. >A study being built for Sparky's magical stuff. >And a big green house for Dashie. >This could never have happened without all of us pulling together. "Mmm... but only if we do that, I get to slip into bed with you again." >"Of course. Why would I want my tamale any less hot?" >I can feel a hand rub across my belly. >"Besides... doctor said that you got maybe another few weeks of work in you before you gotta take it easy. You gals load up, we'll be good for another three months. Then when we do another town run, you can feed the animals and work on the fence." >Even though I'm no good with a hammer, Anon trusts me completely to do things. >Of course, with his help I know I can do anything. >With little help, Anon and I get the wagon emptied and ready for a town run. >Sparky and Dashie join me by getting hitched up to the front of the wagon. >It has a few bullet holes in it but it has saved us more times than any of us could count. "I'll be back b'fore you know it, you better be good now!" >I shout out to him as we gallop off. >We all have our little scars here and there. >But together we're stronger than ever. >Ain't no one has caught us. >And after so long? >No one ever will. >We make it to town and all break up. >I usually get the hardware and tools. >Dashie always got our food and clothing. >Sparky... >Well, she used to get our ammunition and demolition gear. >Now she just gets us our books, games and puzzles. >We all used to buy and sell things like that. >We all know how to haggle just enough to be polite. >I barely even remember the last time I had to threaten someone. >"Hello, ma'am. Mind if I have a quick word?" >A stranger from behind? >Well, I am starting to show. >Maybe he's just wanting to help. >I turn around, happy as can be. >The first thing I notice is the two revolvers on his hips. >A very well polished 1858 Navy. >And a freshly oiled Model 7. >My ears reflexively fold back. >This man is all business, even if his clothing ain't professional at all. "Y-yes? Might fine day we're havin'. You kinda spooked me there with those there weapons." >The man, amused, looks down at his guns. >"Aw, these? They ain't for more than snakes and coyotes." >He kneels down toward me, making me take a few nervous steps back. >There's murder in this man's soul. >"Now, I'm new to this area and I, uh..." >He licks his lips. >"I'm looking for some bad folk. Could you help me?"
>>13084 "H... help you?" >I need to leave. >All of us needs to leave. "How do you figure a mare with foal can help you?" >"Well, you see..." >The man breathes in through his mouth and out his nose. >He shifts to the side and pulls out a paper. >By the wrinkling and weathering on it, it has to be at least eight or nine years old. >He rotates it and I feel my face lose all blood. >It's a picture of me. >It's a picture of me, and Anon. >And Sparky and Dashie too. >"Y'see, there once was a mean ol' gang. Used to go from city to city, causin' all sorts of mayhem." >His words are deliberate and slow. >He's watching me, I just know it. >Of course, I don't have anything on me but my hat. >And for God's sakes, I ain't got long before I balloon out to look like I ate a pony. >"Now, they weren't much but little rascals and petty pickpockets. But one day, these gals go and find themselves an honest to goodness man by the name Anonymous." >My tail flicks at that filthy man saying his name with such disgust. >How dare he? >"Now. Soon as ol' Anon shows up. They start getting bigger. Bolder. Sooner than later, they get the gumption to think they can take what they want." >The man narrows his eyes at me. >Any pleasantries are gone and dead. >"They go and... rob this little ol' supply store. Right along a trail. Used to be a hub and was known for having whole lots of cheeses and furs. Especially the cheese." >What do I do? >Both of his hands are on the paper. >There's no way he could draw before I headbutt him to the chin and then buck it clean off. >But I can't do that. >Not with so many people starting to pay attention. >No. >He's doing this so others can hear, isn't he? >"They go and murder the owner of that fine establishment. And his very own security guards." >The man's upper lip trembles just long enough for me to pick up on it. >"Now. Those guards? They was the owner's brothers. And that owner?" >I can feel myself getting ill. >God save me. >"He was my grandpa. The only family I had." >He crumples up the paper. >His hands are trembling to the point he can't even roll it back up, and tosses it to the side. >"You "Spring Hoof" Jacky. Ain't ya." >I haven't heard that name in years. >I don't have the courage to speak. >The man seems almost disappointed by my lack of action. >"This all that's left of you, huh? That little hellfire, "Gun Spark". She ain't got no guns or bombs on her neither. And that little "Bitch of Balch Springs"." >His face contorts to an expression of confusion. >But only for a second. >"Why... you all look like you've been domesticated. Buying food and... and planks. Like normal, decent folk. With a little spring in your belly as well as your step." >He stands up. >His hand slides to the side and hovers over the ivory grip of the Model 7 >"Now you little... rats. You got some worth to you. But instead, you're gonna tell me where Anon is. And I'll leave you be, on account of your condition. If you ain't lying to me."
>>13085 >The men standing around me. >Only now do I realize that they're with him. >Six of them. >There's no way I can do anything without getting plugged full of holes. "W... what do you want with him, anyway?" >I try to size them up but my edge has been lost. >Stroked, loved and... >"Domesticated"... >Out of me. >"Folk seem to think he's the leader. And I tend to agree. 'sides, none of you got what it takes anymore. But that man? He's a devil alright." "You keep that man's name out of your mouth if you know what's good for you. You ain't know diddly about his honor, neither." >I retort with a rocksteady voice. >The voice of Spring Hoof Jacky. >The words of a mare that bucked a rampaging buffalo to it's grave with a single strike. >Some of the men chuckle. >The head bounty hunter does as well. >"Oh? Is that right? Why, is ol' Anonymous a saint these days? Have him some need of..." >The gunman leers over my wagon. >"...planks, canned strawberries and enough iron nails to wear them like a suit? Oh, I'm sure he's a righteous, God-fearing man now. Father-to-be, even." >His comment catches me off guard. >My falter tells him exactly what he wants to know. >"Heh... so that's how that is, huh..." "That's right. That's how it is. He is a righteous man, and he's going to continue to be righteous." >"If that's so..." >He steps back and holds his hands up to the sky. >"God, forgive me for... besmirching this murderer's good name! Forgive me for insulting the honor of a... a whore horse fucking thief! I dare say, o' Lord! If You see it befitting, strike me down in Your name!" >He shouts above, unable to stop himself from giggling part way through his blasphemy. >He waits a moment before looking down at me. >"...See?" >In that moment, he erupts in flame, dazzling white and encompassing him from boot to beard. >He doesn't even have time to scream before crumpling into his own remains. >The other gunmen watch in stunned disbelief. >Only one loses his wit and flees. >The others also ignite into pyres so hot I have to shrink away and close my eyes. >I feel a pair of hooves grab and drag me away. >It's Dashie! >"They're at the ranch, Jacky, we need to move." "W-what?!" >Gunfire rings out, the concussive boom causing me to jump. >That was a shotgun. >"Come an' get us, you tit-suckin' pigs! You think I ain't gonna get every last one of you?!" >Sparky's manic, blood-enraged shriek stirs you to action. >Dashie and I speed off as fast as we can with the wagon attached. >Sparky is on the wagon. >From the noises and the screams, we're being chased. >But she's holding them off. >She's never used her magic, except for when she's angry. >Most folk thought she was just packing explosives. >They never learned just how right they were. >By the time we reach the ranch, I see damn near two dozen bodies sprawled across the grounds. >None of them are Anon.
>>13086 "S-sparky, Dashie, let's go! We gotta find Anon!" >"Sparking needs my help, go on Jacky." >Dashie's dry tone has never wavered, no matter how bad it got. >This is just another... >Another setback. >I gallop to the house. >It has countless holes all throughout, including a small fire outside from a failed attempt to firebomb the structure. "A-Anon?! Where are you?!" >The air is thick with gunsmoke and death. >It's that lip curling, bitter scent of spilt thick blood and voided bowels. >That nagging sensation at the back of the head that tells you that the bodies on the ground couldn't possibly be human because of how unreal they look. >I used to be able to stomach all of this. >Now I feel like I'm on the urge of vomiting, crying and fainting. >When did I get so weak? >I rush into our bedroom. >No Anon there. >The guest room. >No... >The... >The armory. >As much as we hoped that things would die with the rest of history, we kept a very well-stocked room. >Enough that one man could hold off a siege on his own. >And he did! >I skid to a stop, only just short of ramming the kneeling Anonymous. "Anon, you did it! Quick, we gotta go, we-" >Only now do I realize. >The reason why I skidded. >Blood. >Anon's blood. >The four exit wounds visible to me are the culprit. >I don't even try to measure where he could have gotten hit. "A-ANON?! G-GET UP!" >The man lets out a displeased sound. >It comes out as a wet gurgle. >Judging from his breathing, he got hit in the lungs at least once. >"M... more on the way." >Thick lumps of coagulating blood spill from his mouth and onto the ground. >I can't bring myself to look at anything other than his back. >I can't... >I can't be seeing this. >I can't be hearing this. >"Army. C-cavalry." >He wheezes from the strain put on him from the syllables. >In his condition, with the guns around him that we've collected over the years all empty or out of reach. >There's no time. >I can't reload all of these in time for him. >How do I even get him to the wagon? "A-Anon, we... we ain't got much time left. We can still make it! We..." >That's what I want to say to the man I love. >Instead it all comes out as frantic sobs and some semblance of a sentence. >"...'mber the name we decided on." >As if that was the last straw, he lurches down to pick up a bloodied revolver. >It is his treasure, won in a shooting contest. >His Whitneyville Dragoon. >I had never seen him miss with it. >Retching up a lump of blood, he grasps the redwood grip and shuffles his way almost two steps toward the window. >A feral growl bubbles up and his hand finds a seat on the windowsill. >"S... six. My six." >It wasn't instinct that led me to leave his side for the final time. >It was experience. >It was our bond. >Our mutual understanding that our child took all precedent. >Even if it meant our lives. >The years that my eyes saw, from the microsecond my legs moved to the last fraction of man I will ever see, has left me shocked to the point of numb.
>>13087 >The cavalry are in sight, as soon as I leave the house. >They're already firing on the ranch. >Going off of the screams, it means Sparky has gone full incendiary. >I can see men on mounts erupting into a pillar of flame so high it can be seen from heaven. >Multiple pillars go up, each one higher and broader than the rest. >They know too... >They know that at this point, I can't help. >I have to run. >None of this would be worth it if something happened to the baby. >I'm sorry. >God forgive me for turning my back on you. >I run as much as I can until I black out. >The last thing I remember hearing is Anon's Dragoon cry. >... >... >... >"Well now. I guess we didn't get her." >It's dark. >I must have ducked into a ditch. >While the sun has gone down, I can still make out the vague shapes of... >Those are the pillars of fire. >How could those still be burning? >I can only barely make out a figure. >Holding a lantern in one hand. >And a gun in the other. >"Young lady, I must say. Your man certainly knows his arms." >He kneels down to me, holding the lantern up. >He's some... >Just some old man, in some officer's uniform. >He holds up the gun. >It... >No. >It's Anon's Dragoon. >"Shot to Hell and yet... he still took down three of my best men. All to the heart." >I can't even muster a reply. >Almost everything has been lost. >"You know. We always thought that, ah... maybe some unicorn cursed this. To shoot only the heart. But, you know the funny thing..." >He sounds almost jovial. >"Despite the rumors and what I personally bore witness to. When I picked up this... artifact. And shot me two homicidal ponies..." >Oh no. >Don't say it. >"The rounds would only go to their heads. Maybe it really was skill, after all." >The man stands, sighing. >"Now I do apologize. I do not at all take any pride in this. Contrary to my tone this is, in fact, a night that will haunt me for the rest of my days. I have heard my men scream in ways I will never truly forget. And I have to remember that it is unbecoming of me to hold a personal grudge, seeing as you simply ran. And abandoned your little gang." "P... please. No, I... I'm pre-" >He aims the gun at me. >"After we take your bodies in and confirm identities, you will all be buried together. Same with all of the other robbers, thieves and man-eating psychopaths we've caught. May God have mercy on your soul." >I- >
https://ponepaste.org/8178 /bootleg/ 2022 Week of Terror: Jacky. The greatest fear for her is that her past would come back for retribution. No one can escape their sins.
>>13088 >western boots That's cool. Sad end though.
>>12908 https://ponepaste.org/4579#1015 ... >Sonata is snoring gently as you pull into the garage. >Waking her again, the two of you enter the house before she takes the bags with her magic as you go to wake Dawn and Rosie. >From the looks of it, the two of them haven’t moved an inch, with Rosie still stuck in Dawn’s grasp. >A quick glance at the clock on your phone says that it's about time for the liquid moonlight to wear off. “Hey Rosie, breakfast’s on the table, time to get up.” >“Hmm…” she responds, before letting out a yawn. >As she goes to stand Dawn lets out a noise before pulling her back down into her embrace. >“H-hey!” Rosie cries out as the momentum causes her to land with a thump. >She looks at you, pleadingly. >You chuckle before walking over and boop Dawn, causing her face to involuntarily scrunch up. Another chuckle escapes you, “Up-and-at-em’, sunshine.” >Dawn’s eyes snap open, “Mom?” A pang of guilt hits you, “N-no, just me, Dawn. Breakfast is getting cold, and you’re holding on to Rosie like a teddy bear.” >Her ears fold back as she lets Rosie clamber to the floor, murmuring, “Sorry…” >Rosie takes her leave, so you and Dawn are now on your lonesome. “You want to talk about it?” >Throwing off the remaining blanket she was under, she says, “There’s not much to say, I just miss her.” “Well hopefully you can video chat her or something when your computer comes in.” >”Technology isn’t exactly in mom or Abe’s wheelhouse…” she replies with a grimace. You gently tap her forehead, “You’re smart, aren’t you? Use that head of yours and you’ll figure something out.” >There’s a moment of silence before she responds, “Okay…I will.” A quick nod is all you give in response, “Alright then; I wasn’t joking about breakfast getting cold though- and I don’t think you want Rosie or even Sonata to eat yours because you didn’t show up to claim it.” >She hops off the bed and then squeezes past you, “Rosie wouldn’t, Sonata however…” >Another moment passes in silence before she bolts towards the kitchen. You give a quick huff in amusement as you start to head towards the kitchen, “Never gonna be a dull moment with these three around, is there?” …
>>13006 Starla must have lots of interesting attachments. Teddy should give her retractable wheels so she can roll around. >>13095 I can't think of Dawn without thinking about the dish detergent.
>>13113 >Can’t think about Dawn without thinking about the detergent Anon is a dirty, dirty, boy
>Another boring day passes by >You roll out of bed just like you always do >You start each day by checking your equipment >Yup >Still the same hand-crafted tome and hood you used to save the world >You wish you had more than two equipment slots but that's ok >Due to the enchantments in your gear, you're not only immune to all status ailments but the four elements heal your wounds >Your tome allows all of your magic to pierce resistances and even imbues your physical attacks with ethereal flame >Even fighting random monsters has lost it's appeal >"Hey, Miss Hero! We're making breakfast if you want to stay for some food!" "No, that's ok. I appreciate you allowing me to rest here." >You've slept in nearly every bed in the world, you've traveled so much >No one ever asks you for any gil >You've never been ambushed in your sleep either >Or approached >Or asked >... >Using one of your countless utility spells, you Return to what started off as your home so many years ago >A pillar of light sends you into the ether and recombines you at your destination >It... >It's the exact same as it was the day you left, at level one >You didn't even have a spell to your name >You had to use items to inflict elemental damage >"Hey, git yer fannies back here! I ain't doin' these here chores alone!" >"Everyone, cheese it!" >Yup >That sounds like Lemon Pepper >She has proven herself enough that you finally submit to using her name >... >And Anon >The front door of the disheveled, settled-in home bursts open >The earnestly gleeful man is running out >Followed by three little foals >All of them some variation of orange or yellow >You have fought side-by-side with him for ages >You supported him as he killed the conceptual God of the underworld >For only a second your eyes see the joyous grin as a murderous, manic grimace >"Lemon Pie, the tree! Missy Pom, behind the shed! Tangerine, you're with me!" >That's right >Two fillies, and a colt >How long have they been hiding her first pregnancy? >You didn't even know they were a couple for the longest time >You spent all of your affection-raising items on him >The stats didn't lie >But she must have found another way to lure him "...whatever." >You watch them split up >Just in time to see Pepper burst through the door that somehow hasn't shattered >She doesn't look like she's aged a day, despite having created a family >That wild look in her eye >Like a feral animal >That's gone >You still remember how she survived a divine lightning strike >She couldn't move for a week and vomited blood for hours >The one time you used one of your elixirs >You only have fourteen left >If you let her die... >Would this have been you? >"Alright, y'darn animals! I'mma gonna find you and then yer gonna help me if it's the last thing ye do!" >The 2 Int mare starts charging around >From where she's looking, she's never going to find them "Hey there! Looking for me?"
>>13123 >Pepper assumes her fighting stance for just a moment-surely a reflex at your voice-but leaps as soon as she sees you >You sidestep lunching mare >You don't want to get your hood dirty >She lands with an audible splat >"Hey, Sparky! Long time no see! What are you doing here?" >The way she asks the question is innocent enough but you frown because she asked at all "Nothing. Just thought I would check in on..." >Anon? >Her? >The house? >... >... >... >You hate when you're given these choices >You decide to go with the house >Affection points don't really mean much anymore "The house. You haven't destroyed my room yet, have you?" >Pepper drags herself up, shaking all four of her legs >You've seen her get impaled, shot, and eviscerated more times than you can count >And you, or Anon, have healed it all up >"Wha, of course not! I mean, Tanny likes to sleep in there... and he kinda likes that one blanket of yours a little too much..." >She squints from the recollection >"Buuut all of your books in there are too difficult for him. Or... well, for any of us for that matter. So we just leave them be. Why, you wanna move back in? You can help me-" >She turns her head back toward the house and her hidden family >"FIND THESE USELESS LAYABOUTS!" >... >... >... >Nothing's changing >"Dangit... I thought that would work..." >You shrug "No... nah. I'm not ready to... call it quits yet." >You don't want to say "retire" >If you retire, you forfeit all of your strength >Your skills >And what would you gain from that? >You get to be an aunt >The very notion that you would go from the world saving mare of flame to some aunt is disgusting >"Well I guess that's ok too. Dashie ain't called it quits yet either, has she?" "Prism? No, last I saw her... I think was up in the Macelanian mountains." >"Oh..." >Pepper's eyes trail down >"...she's still working in that graveyard, ain't she." "I think so." >A lot of lives were lost there >Of course it wasn't your final battle >You were ultimately fine >Same with all of them >But outside of you four? >Humans, ponies, moogles, chocobos >Hundreds died when the Pharoah's curse was summoned >Thousands followed over the years "She must have..." >You don't think it's guilt that has kept her there >Maybe it's just a calling >You shrug it off >You couldn't have stopped it >None of you could >But you did what you could "Hey, Pepper." >The yellow matron goes from squinting at the trio of giggling hiding spots to you >"What's up?" "I'm..." >Furious that you had a family without asking if it was ok >Happy that she's doing well >In desperate need to talk to Anon alone >... >... >... "Happy that you're keeping the house in good shape. Keep Tanny away from that blanket." >You can't help but smirk "I would hate to see him grow a crush on me." >Like father like son
>>13124 >Pepper scoffs >"Oh don't you worry, you're too old for him." >What the, where does she get off on saying you're too o- >"Anyway, I gotta find my-" >She turns again to the home >"USELESS, COWARDLY KIDS AND THAT DUMBO HUSBAND O' MINE!" >Even Anon is joining in on the foals giggling from their hiding spots >You genuinely don't know if they are all playing along or if they are just that stupid >Were they really the ones you saved the world with? >Without waiting to see their cute antics play out, you cast Return again >Your destination is... >Secret >You found it inside of an old dungeon >In it, you have found countless secrets >Antiques >Relics >Items that have allowed you to craft the gear you never could have even dreamed of, while on your journey >The post game lab, you call it >There, you can let loose >No matter the encounters, you can kill whatever comes your way with a spell >Your agility is so high you hardly get hit >Whatever does hit you certainly isn't fatal >The only reason you didn't enchant your hood with auto-raise is simply because you want to offer them a chance at victory >"Them" being anything >Demons >Aliens >Undead >Constructs >So many things made eons ago, or have been dormant for thousands of years >All of them exist to be slaughtered by you >Everything goes up in flame >The screams >The faces >The melting eyes >The shreds of flesh remaining >The smell >You can't escape it >But you don't want to escape it, do you? >This is what power looks like >This is how you prove your value to the world >The others >They're worthless now >They're weak >Incapable >Unexceptional >They're like everyone else now >And they >They've left you behind >They betrayed you >They >You snort, your vision clearing >All you've seen was red >Your eyes feel so strained, it's difficult to see straight >You're still in the lab >Where in the lab are you, exactly? >You don't recall ever visiting this section >Apparently it hasn't been worth it as everything has either died by your hoof or fled >The stench of burnt flesh clings to your coat as you calm down >Your throat is dry >Were you screaming? >You must have been >In the nondescript scenery of lab tables, gurneys, coffins and torture devices you see a set of double doors >You approach them, mixing a concoction to restore your MP >A poor-mare's elixir, as it only restores a portion of your max stats >But at least it isn't the real deal >A voice rings out in your head >Something indescribable in tone or dialect >But you understand the intention >Beyond the doors is Hell >True Hell >To open them is to unleash infinite horror on the world >To cast everything into eternal sin >You pause >Who would have ever created that thing, just to shut it away? >... >Could you beat whatever is behind there? >If you couldn't >You probably could >If
>>13125 >You get the party together again >Like the old days >The old days... >Countless days spent wandering >One long, ethereal night where you've spent not enough hours under the stars with Anon and your sisters and time ceased to exist >The bonds you all shared >The bond you grew with him "...those days weren't so bad. Were they?" >The world was in peril >There was always a new monster or evil figure to chase >Together, you have even changed the fate of entire continents >Why would they want to leave that? >You don't recall doing it but your hoof rests flat against the door >The world was always hellish >The things you've seen >Fought >Killed >Saved >All of it has been horrible, and has been a plague to every living soul >And if you stop >If you give up >If you >"retire" >Then someone else will open the door >And you will be too old, weak, and worthless to stop it >But if you do >... >You can stop it >And you can fight with him >You only need him >The others will fight along fine >Or >They'll just die >Anon's children >They're strong too >If they aren't... >Then you'll give him new ones >Ones that will be strong enough >Someone's giggling >That can't be you >Can it? >You feel yourself drop out of the back of your head >All the way back >All the way down >Until you see yourself >An ash-ridden mare >Ribs protruding from beneath her conflagrated coat >Smoldering tome and jagged hood covering the entirety of her head >The mare pushes harder on the door, giggling something to herself >You can't even hear her >But isn't she you? >You try to focus on the words >A second hoof goes to the door >Louder giggling "She hasn't won yet." >You make out those words just as the door creak opens >The second it does, incendiary light explodes out >The mare cackles in glee as she she burns away, leaving behind a glowing red skeleton >The hood, now infinitely lit, pulls back just enough to reveal a jagged, malformed horn >As the skeleton screams in sheer glee, the light rushes outward >It cleanses the entire lab in radioactive heat >The light reaches the world >Everything will burn >Everything will reset >NG+1
https://ponepaste.org/8194 /bootleg/ 2022 Week of Terror: Sparking Shine
>>13126 >video game mare Interesting short Blondie. I could see it as some wild dream of theirs.
>>13142 I mentioned it last night in the W2G room but all of them are their nightmares. Anon's is like a zombie apocalypse with his main fear being left behind. Jackenstein's is, naturally, a western with her fear of being her sins from the past ruining her future. Shiner's video game world of a dreamscape includes her fear of no longer being important. The only question is... what is Prism's fear? What form does her nightmare take?
>>13145 >What form does her nightmare take? I've actually outlined this in a hangout several months ago.
>>13146 To be fair that was more of a rhetorical question. And you outlined spookleg nightmares? I hardly remember last month, nevermind months ago.
>>13148 >And you outlined spookleg nightmares? Not a nightmare per se, but it would work well enough in the context of Prism's fears.
(2.10 MB 2050x1272 Forever.png)
In case you missed it, nhanon and tiff popped in for this years /spookleg/ Open the file AFTER reading for spoilers. https://ponepaste.org/8184
>"Hey, Dashie! Can you help me out with this?" >"Prism, I'm preparing something for Anon. I need an extra pair of hooves." >"Hey Faye, let me run something by you..." >Every day was the same for Faint Prism >Even if she was left out of their activities, she was easily the most important part of their many schemes and plans >Even with the open bickering and fantasizing they had about becoming mothers, she played along and did her part >Work, play, rest >All of it came to an end >All it took was one day >"Dashie, check it out! It finally worked!" >Prism was enjoying some cinnamon black tea in a large mug >She had bought a pink silly straw to drink through >It made everything taste better >The austere mare turned her gaze from the patio treeline t- >She spat out what tea she still had in her mouth "J-jacky, what in the world happened?!" >Just yesterday, the yellow pony was as fit as ever >Now she looks bloated to the point she's nearly three times as wide around the belly >"I'm gonna be a mom! This morning Sparky used an x-ray spell and it's triplets!" "I..." >Never once did Prism imagine that a man could genuinely procreate with a pony >Too much just did not fit "I'm... excited for you. But how did it happen? It felt like just yesterday that you..." >"Yesterday? I've been like this for months. Didn't you notice?" "W... w-what?" >Did she not only just now exclaim about her impending motherhood? >Prism hopped up to her hooves, ignoring her tea "I couldn't have ignored that. I'm sorry Jacky, I didn't know." >"Yeah... I know..." >Jacky sighed and trotted away >She appeared more sad than irritated "Wait, Jacky!" >Prism followed, only to... where was she? "Jacky?" >It was like Anon's bedroom, but it was twice as big and twice as full >Three beds, side by side >A large entertainment center, covered in childish DVDs and... picture books...? >On second thought, it wasn't at all like his room >"Excuse me, you're in my way." "O-oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to, I was just..." >Prism turned to face the young voice >She could feel a severe chill go down to her heart >It... >It's Jacky! >Just like she was when they were fillies >The only difference was that her mane was long, long enough to nearly touch the floor >Or maybe she was just that small "Jacky! Your mane! You can't leave it that long, it'll get dirty!" >The filly gave her a confused frown >"...Mom says it's pretty. And dad told me that it's ok because I braid it when we leave so it doesn't hit the floor." >Mom? >Dad? "Jacky... you've never had parents. Remember? It was just us." >The filly gasped and ran off in a full sprint >"Dad, a stranger's in the house! She said I don't have parents!" >Prism followed the distraught foal >Before she knew it, she's face to face with a yellow mare with her orange mane in a lopsided bob cut >"...Prism?" >"Who is it, Jack?" >A man's voice >Prism couldn't do anything but stand and watch in shock >It was Anon and Jacky >But they look... different >More mature "It's me..."
>>13167 >"Woah, hey Faye! Man, where've you been? When did you get into town?" "I... I never left, Anon." >Jacky scoffs >"Oh come on, don't tell me that stuff again." >She pokes a hoof at Prism's chest >"You high-tailed it out of here as soon as things got hard, as you've done before! You really let me down, you know that?" >What made her tone turn so condescending? >"Some big sister you are." >"Mom, she's your sister?" >The foal speaks out, protected and curled up in Anon's arms >He has always been understanding >"No, she ain't. Your aunt Sparky has always been there, she's the only sister I got." >She couldn't say that >She could never mean that "A-anon. Please, explain what is going on. There has to have been some misunderstanding. I swear, I never knew!" >Anon shrugs at the pegasus >He pulls out the bracelet she made for him all those years ago >Only the feathers have turned coal black >"I don't know what to tell you, man. I asked you to stay but you just... well, you wanted to explore the world. I can't blame you for choosing your path. But you missed out." "No, I didn't go anywhere!" >"Sure. Well, we're having a cook out. Good timing I suppose. Wanna meet everyone else?" >Rather than wait for an answer, he takes his foal and walks around a corner >Jacky sighs again and clips through the floor until even the top of her head sunk below "J-jacky, get back here! That's dangerous!" >Without any further clue of where to go, Prism trots to follow Anon >The corner leads into a cottage >What >How . . . ? >How did she end up here? >As confused as she was distressed, she galloped at full force toward the door >She skidded to a stop and stomped her front hooves against the wood "Anon?! Jacky! I didn't go anywhere that time, you two did!" >Rather than hand or hoof, the door glows red and opens on it's own >What met Prism was a pair of unicorns >A red one with a dark streak through her equally red mane >And a little red filly, with her mane cut prim and proper >But it's too long and obstructs her eyes "...Sparking Shine." >The dull surprise in her voice causes the unicorn to squint >"Oh. What are you doing here?" >"What's she doing her, mother?" "M-mother?! You? Was Anon serious about that...? How could he be so disgusting?" >Prism had heard of their little pipedream about magic allowing procreation >And, of course, she had heard plenty about Sparking Shine's "price" for helping >What sort of two-faced man would agree to such terms? >"That's father's name..." >"Yes. It is. If you've come here just to insult Anon, go away. We have more important things than to give you money or listen to whatever you have going on now." "M-me? Ask for money?" >Prism couldn't even imagine debasing herself to such an extent as to ask for money >She was well-employed >... >Right? "Why are you all the way out here? Why aren't you at the house with Anon and Jacky? Don't tell me he banished you."
>>13168 >"Mother, what does she mean by banished?" >The filly had such a dull tone, barely tilting her head up toward her mother >Her horn seemed so tiny, like it is jutting out from her mane just enough to seem like a mane ornament >"She believes that your father is a man of low honor. Pay her no mind, please return to your studying. When I am done talking with her, we will test out your level two fire spell." >The filly gave the most modest of smiles and nods >"Yes, mother. I will exceed your expectations this time." >Small as she was, she trotted in place like a wind-up toy and went off back into the fog of the interior >"Thank you. Now you..." >Sparking gave Prism a grimace >"What is it you want?" "I..." >When did this happen? >When did all of this happen? "Please, Sparking Shine. Sparky. I... I feel desperately lost. Please, can you help me?" >"...well, for old time's sake, I guess so." >Sparking stepped outside of the cottage, her magic closing the door behind her >"So... what. Do I pretend that you just magically popped up out of nowhere after a few years?" >There was no answer to that "...y-yes. Please." >Sparking sighed and rolled her eyes >"Alright. So. A few years ago, Jacky was pregnant with her three hay nippers. Shortly after, I was blessed as well with my bundle of magic." >A hot blush spreads on Prism's face "Y-your magic actually helped them conceive?" >Sparking grins >"To be honest? I never figured out how to help. But I think they just lucked out. And because none of us figured it out...well, I still helped." "That's... horrible." >Prism couldn't even try to hide her discomfort with that >"Oh shut up. All of the things you did and led us into, who are you to say what is or isn't good? Starburst is everything I could never be and more. She's a natural magical expert. She's loved by both her mother and father." "She has three-half siblings!" >Sparking Shine looked at Prism as if she were looking at a broken microwave that could only go for five seconds before shutting down >"...and? She loves them and her aunt. You just don't get it. You never did." >With a roll of her eyes, Sparking turned her back to Prism >If she walked off, she would no doubt be lost to time again >Prism put a hoof against the unicorn's back "No, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to insult your daughter. I just... I'm so lost." >"Yeah... you are. Just go away. You're the only one who never got it. Stay here if you want. In two more days we'll be returning home anyway." >Sparking huffed, shrugging off the hoof >"If you're hard up for money, take something of mine and pawn it. Touch Starburst's books and there won't be enough of you to fertilize a daisy." >All it took was one blink for the red mare to vanish >Where even was the cottage? >Where was their home? >Where was Prism's own home? >... >She did have a home >Didn't she? >She looked down at her own hooves >They're dirty >Filthy >Like she hasn't taken a bath in... >Far too long
>>13169 >"Oh hey, you're one of those talking ponies, ain't cha?" >Prism looked up at the voice >A male >A human male >"Hey there, sweetie... why don't you come home and take a bath? I'll even get you some dinner." >His words are kind enough >But the tone >And the look in his eyes >Just like those stallions >Just like back then "I... I'm waiting on someone." >"Yeah? Who's coming?" "...my mom." >It was a silly excuse >No one ever believed it >But it usually worked >"Huh... alright. See if I offer it again." >Prism finally looked up >Grey sky >Buildings, skyscrapers everywhere >Still the human world >How long did she spend in this concrete labyrinth? >She raised up her hoof >...adult-sized >This wasn't a flash back >She was right back where she started >Back in a gutter >Back without a bit, or a dollar, or anything to her name >Back without any power >She slumped against a trash can >She felt her soul drain from her body >Not again >She did her best for so long, for Jacky's sake >But now? >She had a full family >Even that red tramp had made her own family >But she was alone >Again >What did she do wrong? >The longer she sat, the less strength she had >The less strength she had, the less she cared that her mane had become filthy >The less she cared that her coat was dirty and itched with insects >Another man approached her >This one wore a uniform with a large net >"Hey there, girl... let's be easy and stay calm, ok? We gotta get you to the pound. Then maybe a good, hot meal. How does that sound?" >What was she, an animal? >A stray dog with wings? >She glared at him but lacked the strength to speak >She... >She could speak >Couldn't she? >His hand went for something >A syringe >He jabbed it into her shoulder >Prism lacked the energy to care >"There we go. Just in case. Can't have you bite me, can you?" >No... >...She supposed that it would not be good if she bit him >She could have... >Diseases >Her eyelids grew heavier with every heart beat >Maybe >This was always her fate >Maybe >This wasn't so bad >It was what she grew up with >It was what she felt the most comfortable with >The others... >They never needed her >Prism's eyes roll into the back of her head >"There we go. Such a shame..." >The human grabs the limp body by the back of the neck >"Maybe she was a runaway... oh well." >There was no telling where Prism's body went >There wasn't even a feather to leave a trace >Eventually after that, no one remembered her name >And all was right in the world
https://ponepaste.org/8207 /bootleg/ 2022 Week of Terror: Faint Prism The final nightmare. So many horror movies have such depressing endings, is it any surprise that terror may be drowned out by sorrow?
>>13170 That's a weird one alright.
>>12998 >Once upon a time, you would tiptoe around sleeping mares to get ready for work >Once upon a time, you would occasionally see Jackernaut watching an early movie >Or Sparkler playing a game at low volume >Or Faye whistling at early birds in the trees >"Why is she taking so long?" "What, are you so dirty you're desperate for a shower?" >"...Maybe. But it's been like twenty minutes now." >Now? >Everyone has a shower in the morning >Breakfast is sometimes had but not always >Clothing is set up for everyone >You haven't said anything about it >But you never realized just how good a mare smells when there is daily bathing >Not that Jackobo was particularly dirty before >Shine grumbles and headbutts your arm with the side of her head >"Make her get out." "Nah." >"Nah?" "Yeah." >Rather than watch the random YouTube trash of the morning with you, she looks up like you insulted her >"You dare defy me?" "Dude, I take pride in defying you." >You check your phone and lean back from your usual sitting position >You still have time >You have hours left "Besides, there's no rush. You took a shower last night anyway." >The unicorn puffs out her cheeks >"That was yesterday." "Yeah and that still rose the water bill." >"By not even a dollar." "You're still raising it." >"Then I'll give you an extra dollar." "Mmm... nah." >Your casual negativity causes equally casual stress >"You suck." "You blow." >She glares at you >"You swallow." "You show." >You throw her your best smug smile "Besides, today's gonna be short." >They aren't cutting your hours, per say >But they are actually, in reality, finding a way to pay you less money >It hardly matters when your household has four effective workers >But it is still concerning >"True. Does that mean that we'll always leave early on Thursdays?" "And Fridays." >"That's kinda lame." "Honestly? I don't mind it. We're doing basically a hundred hours a week. This will cut it down by eight." >And that is as long as they don't start cutting hours for the girls >But it isn't like they aren't popular >Ever since they started wearing their outfits, they've been fitting in a lot more >No more awkward moments that come with being... unsecured >And certainly no more odd commentary from parents >And less questions from that nosey bastard of a kid >You can't tell if it's advanced autism, or him being a little moron >... >Or if he's genuinely interested in how Mr. and Mrs. Jacky work >You never even considered the fact that you might be leaving an odd influence "Hey." >"Hay is for horses." >You share a shame of minor disappointment >"...sorry. I've been told that at least twice a day for the last three weeks." "That... yeah. Yeah..." >You've heard too many equine jokes too "You made me forget what I was going to ask." >"Oops." "You dick." >She snickers and throws herself to her side >With a mighty yawn she moves her legs like she's trotting in air >"Maybe with you working less, we can hang out more. I haven't beat your butt lately." "That's because I haven't played either of the precisely two games that you are actually good at." >Her first response is a low, exhaling growl >"I'm good at... at least five." "I'm willing to debate that." >"Then how about a tournament? Best of three across six titles." >Already tired of the current video, you swap to some random album "Yeah? Which ones?"
>>13185 >"Tekken Seven." >She raises one foreleg >"Soul Caliber Three." >She raises one hindleg >"Dead or Alive Five" >She uses her momentum to flop onto her back >"Mario Kart Double Dash." >She kicks out her other hind leg >The current pose is... >Rather blatant >You have no clue why she goes out of her way to flash you >She's done it for so long that it has lost most shock value >You have no clue if she even cares about that "You know that isn't a fighting game." >"I never said it had to be a fighting game, dork." "Nerd." >"Aaaaaaaaaanyway. That's..." >She pauses "That's four, dear." >"S-shut up. I knew that." "Did you." >"...Smash..." >She finally raises up her remaining foreleg >She looks like a fainting goat "So that's five..." >"S-shut up." >Those last two were a stretch >You only really have two or three consistent titles to bicker and fight through >Smash has been an iffy title due to it being more fun to play on the same side >"Last one... iiiiisss..." >She hisses and deflates while prolonging the inevitable of her having to provide an answer >"...Mortal... Kombat..." "Yeah?" >"...Three." "...have we played that one?" >Her list finally given, she goes limp >"No we haven't. But I've seen some tournament videos and it looks technical. So I'm good at it." "Are you?" >"Obviously." >That is a definite stretch >But at least it'll be fun to play >When was the last time you even played one of those old live-action fighters? >Even as a kid, you didn't often get to go to the arcade >Like most kids, you played most arcade cabinets at the movie theater >Much to the dismay of parental figures that had to fuel your addiction five bucks at a time "Alright, deal. What do I get when I win?" >"What do you want?" "Do dinner." >"I almost always do dinner." >It sounds like the shower cut off >About time "Oh yeah, Faye's next by the way." >"Fucking..." "And I know you do dinner. But I mean, do dinner the way I want." >Your tone and specification causes her to give an interested "hm" >"Deal. But instead of that, when I win, you're going to be my bed and pillow for a week." "How can I be both?" >The mare shrugs >"I don't really care, that's your problem. I just want an excuse to cockblock Jacky." "Well at least you're honest." >"Always."
>>13095 https://ponepaste.org/4579#1040>With breakfast finished and bagged for later disposal, the four of you sat at the kitchen table. You sigh, “That was nice, hadn’t had anything from there in a while.” >Dawn leans back in her chair, “Yeah, though how did you figure out that I’d like cupcake flavor?” “Oh, uh, a little birdy told me…” you reply, taking a sip from your drink with a quick glance at Sonata, who gives you an equally quick wink in acknowledgement. >”Mhm, sure…” she responds with a knowing look. >Despite how cool it is inside, you feel yourself starting to sweat a little, time to deflect. “S-so Rosie, how do you like pancakes compared to waffles?.” >She perks up at her name being mentioned. >“I’m not too sure, honestly. Pancakes are more bread-like, but you can taste more with waffles since the butter and syrup don’t…” she pauses, trying to think of an appropriate word, “Soak into the waffle as much.” >”Speaking of, dear, you have a little bit of butter on your face…” she floats a handkerchief up to Rosie’s face and wipes the dairy product in question before letting the cloth fall in front of Rosie, “There we go; you can also keep the handkerchief if you want- I have plenty back at the factory.” >Oh,” Rosie says, “Thank-you, Miss Sonata.” >”No need to thank me, just consider it a gift.” “Ah right, there’s something I’ve been meaning to ask the two of you,” you say, pointing between them, “Y’all don’t actually live in the factory do you? Those beds are for when you have a long work night and don’t want to fly or walk home, right?” >The two of them look at you, confused. >”I told you, Anon, we’re all but trapped there.” replies Dawn, her ears folding back and expression growing melancholy. >”Even if we weren’t, we wouldn’t be able to buy or rent anywhere- we technically exist in a legal and moral gray area- fully sentient but still able to be sold commercially like a common pet, arguably genetically engineered, not quite considered persons, but not exactly animals either…” Sonata follows up. >Your thoughts drift back to the trouble Sonata had apparently gotten into involving Damon and Fae, trouble you now realize could have easily become more legal than civil. >Legal trouble that you could have easily gotten into recently. >Guess you technically dodged a bullet with how things turned out, thanks Dawn. Gathering your thoughts, you start talking again, “Right, just thought that considering I’m pretty sure that the place used to be an old Tesla factory that Mr. Telmacher bought, then had refurbished and retrofitted once the head honcho decided it was time to pack up and head somewhere else so that he could further expand his operation.” >Dawn cocks her head, “What are you getting at?” “What I’m getting at is that there was a housing development a little north of there that’s likely vacant now, so you might be able to convince Mr. Telmacher to set one of them up for you two. If he won’t, with how long you two have been working there and your positions, I’m sure you have enough to afford paying for it yourselves as long as you can have him put his name down on it.” >”That could work…” Dawn trails off, tapping her chin. >”For our sakes I certainly hope it does.” Sonata replies half-heartedly. The atmosphere in the room is dour, to say the least, so you decide to try and take their minds off their troubles, “All this talk is defeating the point of your excursion here, you need to relax.” >”What do you propose we do then?” asks Dawn. You rub the back of your neck, you hadn’t thought that far ahead, “Well, we could watch more movies, or…I don’t know, could probably dust off the old console or something.” >All three mares stare wordlessly at you. “Board games? Got Aggravation, Monopoly, Murder.” >”You’re making those up.” Rosie responds, a hint of incredulity in her voice. “Monopoly’s been around for ages and I grew up playing Aggravation and Murder with my mom and grandpa.” >”That doesn’t sound any more convincing.” You stand, “Alright, how’s about I show y’all the project they’
>>13200 they’ve had me working on then?” >Sonata arches an eyebrow, “Oh?” >They watch you retreat into your room and return with a box and four rubber mats tucked under your arm. >You place two of the mats side-by-side, then the other two opposite to them with the top of both facing the two you had already placed. After placing the box down and pulling out four stacks of cards, you say, “So the game goes like this…” … https://ponepaste.org/4579
>>13201 Wonder what the game will be? Thanks for posting, writefren!
>>13235 4 mat. I call lemon drops and serve to any mat.
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>that time of year again, where I didn't post on either board I love being 3day'd for literally nothing
>>13243 Sounds like you've got a dynamic IP.
>>13243 try every so often, you might be able to get back on
>>13244 >>13258 Unfortunately no, still B&. How does /bootleg/ feel about chatbots? I feel like I'm getting pretty good at making them
>>13265 I'd be interested in seeing one of the dorks but I feel like I'd have to be involved.
>>13265 I thought you meant chatbots participating in the thread at first, lol. They would be fun as long as they are not doing that.
>>13270 Sparks would be the easiest of course, being such a character out of the norm for poni. The other two might be a little more complicated to nail down but it could be interesting to try. >>13274 Nah no botting the thread, I've been hanging out in /chag/ and helped them push the bots to feel more real for personality while they generally freak out over the nsfw filter clamp down lobotomies. It sucks but as a creative person it's not the end of the world. I've trained a few background5 for practice and seeing what I can do since they're basically blank slates aside from the personality. I'm still b@ for now but it ends tomorrow. Milk's my newest and she's coming out well gunna release pic rel if the 10th anniversary for milky is still up on /mlp/ when I wake up. But for /bootleg/ what boots would anons want to see? The sky's the limit until CAI starts charging. Could be used for prompts here or just filling some empty space on downtime. I feel like the first thing that they'll charge for is character slots, since I could potentially keep making them as a side thing, but for now it's balls to the wall anything goes autism power
User was warned for this post.
by the way warning me for your faggotry doesnt make me want to use your dead board. a literal icon. you autistic nigger.
>>13275 >But for /bootleg/ what boots would anons want to see? I'd like to see Midnight, it would be funny to get dissed by a chatbot. >>13277 I think you got warned because of the image that was removed. Probably NSFW on a SFW board or anthro judging by the context.
>>13275 >I've been hanging out in /chag/ and helped them push the bots Oh, you're one of those. You're welcome to fuck off anytime, thank you very much.
>>13283 Nope. Autism central just can't handle new pony existing. I posted some unlisted bots I've made and it had g5 for icons in the pic with Milky. That's it, there was no nsfw or anthro, just pants shitting over g% pfps little circles that aren't even in g% style or screencaps of it. >>13284 >How dare you make progress and make ponybots more accurate to the pony like it should be I'm not even surprised, this is what kind of retard hangs here? I've been around /bootleg/ longer than you've even known about it faggot. You've never contributed anything so your opinion mean less than shit. This is why /bootleg/ has no real future here. Stifling autistic authoritarian crap is the polar opposite of the freedom that people are drawn to with the general fyi. There's more posted on /mlp/ that don't get crossposted here anymore so really unless the thread is down on /mlp/ the nhnb side is practically useless and everyone knows it. >inb4 deletion and ding dong bannu because the truth hurts
>>13287 >pants shitting >all that fucking wall of text over a simple fucking warn lol lmao >I've been around /bootleg/ longer blah blah blah M'lady doth protest too much, methinks.
What do you think Midnight would be doing right now? Scrapping parts from the yard? Watching TV? Or maybe out on a date with Anon?
>>13289 I think she would use Anon's laptop to torrent some juicy tech manuals which Anon doesn't have in his stash in printed form. Or buy them from shady websites for 30$
>>13287 >Stifling autistic authoritarian crap is the polar opposite of the freedom Like when you get a warn instead of immediate 3 day ban? Like when there are no wordfilters and autosage? Like when there are public moderation logs? Wow, a literal North Korea!
>>13291 >Hot new-old stock manuals in your area "Hey Midnight, care to explain these charges to the credit card?"
So much posting... but so little /boot/ discussion. >>13287 >/bootleg/ has no future here Well that's the point of the bunker thread. Once I transfer the rest of Jacky over, I can write there and then copy to here as I've done before. The reason why I've been writing newer stuff here is because there's the posting lag in the thread. But outside of the random arguing, it would be awesome to see some /boot/ AI. It would bring even more glory to poniponi, and especially /bootleg/ itself. I'd love to see some older OG bootmares brought up in AI but a lot of them involve short stories so it isn't as easy to translate into a bot.
>>13294 What do you mean by boot AI? I am not good with computer.
>>13295 AI/bots, whatever would be the best description. Also, what is /chag/? Outside of some flaremare and fluterrape stories I don't venture out that much to other threads.
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Today marks the three year anniversary of Jacky, and of me writing greens. I never thought I'd get to this point, and more so never thought I'd be so excited and proud. I don't really remember how I was before I started writing horse words, but I know I'm far more driven now than I've ever been. With three years I've written I want to say around ~700-730k words. Here's hoping for another three years of bringing laughs, feels and everything else to anyone and everyone who enjoys my goofy shit. Some time in the evening I'm going to set up a W2G room and set up some movies to watch. You can guess what they might be. Also open to any comments or thoughts on any of my greens written since '19, from any thread.
>>13303 Congratulations! That is quite the achievement. Thank you for all the horse words both past and yet to come.
>>13186 >Christmas season >Technically >It still feels like you're new to the snow >It still feels like you're new to the biting cold and slippery ground >And it feels very new now >Rather than stay in, you decided to take the girls out to dinner >That was... the original idea, anyway >Jacky wanted Olive Garden so you went >With everyone dressed up, it seemed like it should have gone swimmingly >"Oh wow... um, sir? Is it ok for these three to be here?" "Of course. I'm the designated driver and I'm buying this round." >"Oh, I'm his wife too." >Jacky nonchalantly added in her two cents >"I'm the mistress, but don't tell her that." >Sparky just had to throw in with the most deadpan of delivery >Prism was the only one to refrain and look at the waitress >"And I'm the only one with a sense of decency." >The look on her face was a strong mix of confusion, fear, and just enough disgust >You tried to make things better but your mouth moved faster than your mind "I'll have you know that we're just a bunch of jokers... none of us have any decency. Mind if you give us a few minutes?" >You were asked to leave >Immediately "Well, we're coming up to a few places on the right and left. Speak now or forever go without grub." >With everyone dressed in their best to impress and act all official, it feels like a waste to simply stick with fast food >But that's alright >Everyone's still together, right? >"How about pizza?" "You know we gotta wait for it, right?" >"Yeah, I know. But it's my birthday and I want pizza." >You snort and call back to the back seats "Alright, birthday girl selected her dinner. Hope you're in the mood for it." >Your answer from the two freak ponies include some moderately toned acceptance >The roads are clear but with the first layer of snow officially laid out the landscape had turned dreary and muddy >You find a parking spot and head inside the run down Pizza Hut just long enough to put your order in >The kitchen looks clean but the walls around the desk area look like they're being remodeled >And that's a charitable interpretation "Hey, while I'm waiting, mind if I snag this tea?" >You pluck a jug of unsweet tea from the mostly empty refrigerated shelf >"Sure. You're the first one I've seen to ever want to drink that." "Yeah, well I..." >Hold on a tick >You rotate the jug >It's cloudy >You rotate it like a Resident Evil puzzle piece until you see the expiration date "You know, this is out of date by like three months." >"Oh. That's probably why." >You give the pizza guy a wry glance "Right... I'll let you keep it." >You set it on the counter and walk out back to the car >Despite getting kicked out of what some would consider to be a moderate-tier family restaurant, the dorks look happy with themselves >Apparently Jacky jumped to the back to share the seat with the nerd and the loner >You never thought that they would look so different with clothing on >Shiner in a t-shirt >Jacky in a sweater that seems a bit too big and human-sized for a mare >Prism wearing a trio of scarves folded into each other >... >You got them each a scarf with the idea that they'd all use one >Instead it turned into some braided blend of green, blue and grey >You swing yourself onto your seat "So! We got a trio being made. Meat lover's, super supreme, and pepperoni lover's." >"Sweet! All stuffed crust?" "I spare no expenses." >The super supreme is new territory but apparently she wants to try new things >"Dashie, did you see the look on that kid's face when we first came in?" >"I did. I think we're bound to turn heads wherever we go." >"You kept making weird faces at him, that's why." >"Oh, right. The fact that we're ponies didn't add into it, Ms. I-Have-A-Horn?" >"He's old enough to have access to the internet, I doubt we're the weirdest things he's ever seen." >None of them seem bothered by the fact that they were kicked out >It almost seems like they were anticipating it
>>13323 "I think the little skit might have turned more heads than you thought. None of you were particularly quiet." >"Psh, sure, you were just as happy to join in." >Aerodyjacknic has a point >You were flying as high as they were, just happy to be out in public and together >The clothing factor makes it seem so much more official >They don't fit in, still >They probably never will >But they're doing a lot to make up for it >Employment, no matter if it's under the table >Hobbies >A home >A future >A quickly expanding wardrobe which is only making you hyper aware of how openly naked they've been for the bulk of their lives >Way back from where they were from, how many wore clothing? "Hey... something's been bugging me." >Prism speaks up while the chatter continues >"What is it?" "Did you guys do clothing way back then? Was it for fashion or more for practical reasons?" >"A few did but it was hardly required. It wasn't anything we could afford.. and besides, clothing gets caught and is easy to identify." "Right... career criminals." >"Plus do you know just how easily it would get filthy? I don't know if they existed but we certainly never had access to laundry machines. You sleep in a ditch or bush-" "Or sewer pipe." >"Yes, or there... any stain suddenly becomes the entire focus. And then it just looks sad. Blankets were always better. No one thought twice about a set of rags that just needed to be soaked out." "Yeah. I guess so. And now look at you. Bath almost every day, freshly laundered clothes, disposable income. And I don't think I've seen you eat the same thing twice in the last... what, two months?" >"I guess you could say that crime did pay for us." >While not a joke, the teasing tone in Prism's voice is a welcome change >That is a good way to look at it >The three little crooks did lie, cheat, and steal their way through everything and everywhere >It did have consequences >The consequences and scars that came from that sort of life haven't vanished >Not during the lowest days >But it's better >"Oh! When we get back, why don't we watch a movie?" >"Come on, we watch movies all the time." >"No we haven't! We haven't all watched stuff together in a long time! At least... a month!" >"Fiiiiiiiiiine. But I'm still going to play something in the background." >"That's ok with me, it just means I'll have to add more movies." "And we do have a new set of speakers to break in." >"And those speakers would be better broken in with a game!" >"Nah, movies! When it's your birthday, you can decide what we do." >"It's not even your birthday! How old are you, anyway? You can't have birthday rules unless you can answer that." >"Yeah? Can you answer that?" >"...yeah. Unicorns age by their horns getting longer." >"Your horn hasn't changed since the day I met you." >"It just means I'm immortal." >"Sooooo that means you'll never have a birthday like me?" >"Wha-" >"And it also means you have eternity so I can do whatever I want and you can just wait!" >"Don't you try to rules lawyer me when I'm trying to rule lawyer you!?" >"Hey, Mr. DM! Do immortals have birthdays?" "Nope." >With that single word, Shiner explodes into a rant >Jacky pokes and prods at the rant angles, pleased as pie that her wit has sharpened to the point she can not just keep up but set the pace >You can guess which movies she'll default to >She's been giving you the squint
>>13006 >Well, Midnight and Starla absolutely knocked it out of the park when it came to dinner. >You didn't have any doubts about it beforehand - but damn, those enchiladas hit the spot. >Unfortunately, your stomach doesn't feel too happy with being stuffed full of nearly three helpings. >Ah well. >You agreed to do the dishes after having remained a spectator for much of the evening - though Midnight seems content helping by handing each dirty dish and utensil to you. >"That was actually pretty fun, Starla," Midnight comments to her friend, who sits atop a stool on the opposite side of the counter. "And I have to say, it wasn't as hard as I expected it to be." >"I'm surprised to hear you say that - were you a bit intimidated by the idea?" Starla asks. >"Not intimidated, just..." >Midnight trails off as she hands you the first baking pan, mulling over the word that suits her better. >"I was hesitant. Maybe not so much about doing it than I was, uh... looking like an idiot." >"Oh, come on now. You were patient with me today - you have been whenever we talk and you mention something I don't know," Starla counters in a friendly, soft voice. "But anything can seem daunting when you've never done it, so I understand where you're coming from." "Other than being aversive to *ahem* corner-cutting like me, you didn't seem lost at all." >Midnight glances at you out of the corner of her eye, her muzzle scrunched up in embarrassment. >"Yes, well - it didn't *seem* quite right," she answers back defiantly. "Neither does eating raw meat out of the wrapper, but you seem to have no qualms with that." >"Shut up," she mumbles, handing off the last couple of pieces of cookware to go with the pan still soaking in the sink. >Probably should have greased the pans - you might just have to let them sit overnight to make easier work of the remnants baked to the bottom. "Really though - dinner was excellent, ladies," you crow. >"Thanks, Anon." >While Starla gleefully accepts your compliment, Midnight is mum. "That includes you too, Mid," you clarify. >"I'm aware, but I also know what you expect of me," she replies. >Right. >The talk. >Of whatever it is on her mind. >"Midnight was describing one of the memories of her time in the lab when they basically electrocuted her - and I think that stirred up something else." >"Staaar!" >Starla meets Midnight's whiny, childish outburst and accompanying leer of disapproval with an innocent, calm demeanor. >"I didn't go into specifics - but you needed a boost to get this rolling," she comments. "You promised both of us - and it *is* after dinner." "Is it something bad?" you press. >"It's... I don't know. It's kinda embarrassing, I guess," she mutters, shifting uncomfortably at your side. "And I have no intentions of making fun of you - you should know by now when it's serious, I'm serious," you lecture her while reaching down into the dishwater to pull the plug.
>>13330 >The echoing glug of water rushing down the drainpipe is the only immediate response you receive from the room. >"Why don't we at least sit down on the couch first?" Midnight suggests, looking up at you. >You nod your approval, reaching for a towel as Midnight turns and canters out into the living room proper. >Starla slides down off of her stool, waiting for Midnight to get situated in the middle of the couch before she takes a seat at the end. >You dry off your hands in a valiant attempt to get rid of the pruniness affecting your skin. >To no avail, of course. >Eventually, you toss the drying towel aside on the countertop and join the gals on the couch, on your designated end. >Well, maybe a little bit closer to the middle than normal - where Midnight sits. "Alright, here we all are," you announce. >Other than a quick sideways glance from the corner of her eye, Midnight focuses her vision straight ahead. >It's rather unsettling when combined with how tense her body looks. >And feels, as you inch your arm around her back. >Fortunately, that does seem to get Midnight to relax some as she exhales deeply. >"Yes, I did have a recollection of a memory I had forgotten - more likely, one I forced myself to forget," Midnight announces, shooting a glance over to Starla. >All she can do is offer up a meek grin, which at least seems to satiate Midnight. >"Relax, I probably needed the push," Midnight continues with a dismissive wave of her hoof. "What is - was this torture, or what?" you ask, too impatient to wait for her. >"Hm?" "The 'electrocution,' as Starla said in the kitchen." >"Oh, right - but I'm not really focused on that memory for that reason, so don't get all sappy and comforting on me," Midnight warns in a calm, casual tone. "If I hear so much as a sniffle from you, you're getting hugged." >"Won't happen, but duly noted," Midnight retorts, sticking her tongue out at you before returning to a serious, calculated expression. "I don't really remember what Starla said that stirred up the old memory, but in a nutshell, I was reminded of when they first implanted the experimental electromagnetic crap in me, and were essentially charging it up." "With... like from a generator?" >Saying it out loud makes it hardly more believable. >"Wow, very good, Anon," Midnight sasses. "Shut up, it just sounds so god awful, I couldn't even imagine what it-" >"Yes yes, very good. Hurt like hell, the whole nine yards, not the point," Midnight interrupts, sprinting past the details of the experience. >You take a glance past Midnight to see how Starla is reacting to this, considering she saw Midnight's initial reaction earlier in the day. >She doesn't seem all that fazed, and upon noticing you, offers a mere shrug of the shoulders.
>>13331 >"What bothers me isn't what happened - it's what I realize now when I relive that memory. I was caught up in my own misery and arrogance to keep myself fighting that I ignored any attempts from someone acting somewhat nice to me. Or at the very least, showing a bit of sympathy." "Yeah, I don't really think charging you up like a car battery is being nice, Middie." >One of her wings unfurls solely to whap you on the back of the head. >"I didn't notice it before - as I've said before, I used my own anger and misery to drive me, so that was my focus," she reminds you. >"That sounds so unhealthy. I mean, it is but..." Starla trails off, shaking her head at the musing. "I guess we had our ways of coping with what life dealt us." >"Yes, and can I at least finish what I'm trying to say, please?" Midnight whines. "This is hard enough to set into words without being interrupted. I get you two have thoughts and opinions, but it's not helping." "Sorry." >"Me too." >Midnight clears her throat, staring blankly into the opposite wall. >"I never paid attention until now. The boss was always a constant, but his aides, his assistants - he went through them and replaced them what seemed like every other week until the last one when I was there." >She stops there, allowing the room to fall into an awkward silence for what feels like a few minutes. "So what made him stand out, aside from being there the longest?" you finally inquire. >"What I said before. Showed me some sympathy. No one liked the head of the project, I'd hear a lot of bitching from the other workers. But I was still nothing more than an experience to them. But Johnson-" "You remember his name?" >"No, I pulled a name out of my ass for shits and giggles, Anon," she snaps, turning to you with a sharp leer. "Sit there and be quiet in your corner, dumbass." >"So this Johnson fellow tried helping you... how?" Starla asks, trying to put the conversation back on track. >"Saw me as something more than a lab project. Voiced concerns, seemed like he wasn't a fan of everything that was being done," Midnight responds, having calmed from her minor outburst directed at you. "I'm... first off, I'm not trying to be funny now. Swear on it," you pipe up with a pang of unease. "Did you just think he was trying to be - to get some trust by faking care? So you'd be more agreeable?" >"Maybe. I don't know. It's getting into specifics where things really get fuzzy," Midnight admits. "You know how I was. Expecting the worst out of everyone and depending only upon myself." >Again, the room falls quiet, with no one seeming to have any idea what to say or ask. >It really surprises you to hear this side of Midnight out in the open, admitting a mistake like this. >If it was - after all, it could have been an attempt to make her less resistant. >But everything she's been through warped her mind - at least through the initial months of living with her has shown.
>>13332 >The fact she's come around and can look back on the past through different lenses is quite the feat. >"So... what does this all mean?" Starla asks, hesitating for a moment. "Not to say that it's not significant, but it seemed like there was something more to it than that when you first started thinking about it." >"I think if he was genuine... I have my answer on how I got out," Midnight states in a flat, emotionless tone. >It seems absurd something like that would be said so nonchalantly by her. "How?" >That's all your mind can muster up. "Well, as I told Star before, someone dropped a document in my room while leaving that detailed the termination of my experiment - considering I made it a habit to not look at anyone out of sheer spite unless necessary makes it hard to guarantee it was him. That and still some haziness in most of my memories - I really think they just kept me on a constant drug regiment, come to think of it." >"That can't be it though... is it?" >"Maybe wasn't as much of a mistake that the magnetic locks on my door weren't enabled that fateful night I got out - leaving just a simple keyed deadbolt on the outside I had been fiddling with for a few weeks when left alone." "THAT was what made you want to leave?" >Your mouth spoke before your brain thought it out, but again, the absurdity of a termination notice being the kicker to leave is just mind-boggling. >"The fuck is that supposed to mean?" Midnight asks, her slumped posture in the instant the question hits her showing a visible pain. >But you can't unask the inquiry - may as well go with it. "You hated it, and you didn't try to leave until then?" >"Anon, it isn't really that simple," Starla speaks up in a firm yet understanding voice. "It's hard to understand when you're in a position like that. You know what's happening where you are, but outside... well, that's the great unknown. Neither of us knew what was on the outside of what we called home until I was smuggled out, and Midnight escaped. It's a scary proposition - sometimes sticking with what you know is... that's the lesser of two evils." >Midnight offers a nod of approval before turning her attention to you, her eyes narrowed underneath a deeply creased brow. >"Let's not forget YOU were perfectly content to let this business go down the fucking shitter until I stepped in, Anon," Midnight growls. "I... point taken," you concede willingly. "Sorry Mid, my mouth got the best of me." >Your arm still thrown around her allows you to pat her side in a reassuring manner, allowing you to feel the built-up intensity in her fade away. >"There might be something to drugging you if you weren't exactly a willing subject, either, Midnight," Starla muses. "My condition at first never really would have allowed me to be resistant, and I felt like I was treated fairly well anyway. Maybe if this was all planned, however they had been tranquilizing you was cut down, too. But we'll probably never know."
>>13333 >"That's why I want to find him." >"What?!" "Midnight, are you fucking high?!" >You don't get any warning before Midnight slumps and throws her shoulder into your side, hard enough to make you wince at the pain it causes to your ribs. >"What was that about your mouth getting the best of you?" she barks. >"Midnight, he has a point - why on Earth would you willingly put yourself out there like that?" Starla protests. >"I want to know the whole story!" Midnight cries in defiance. "You know your whole deal, but how everything happened with me... I want to know." "And if you find him... don't tell me finding him was going to be via going back to the lab, first of all," you groan. >"No..." Midnight mumbles. "Not inside, anyway." >"Midnight, believe me, it's good to hear you can reflect back and think not everyone was so bad to you," Starla continues, scooting closer to the alicorn and putting her pink foreleg around her. "I get the curiosity, but if you're wrong... then what? For all we know, you'd be throwing yourself back into the fire." >Midnight's frown deepens with that explanation, though the way she hangs her head tells you she understands and likely agrees with the reasoning, even before she responds. >"I guess it doesn't really matter one way or another. I'd just like some answers," she says. "Some things are better left unanswered, Mid," you console her. "What happened... er, happened. One way or another." >Your stumbling missteps at encouragement at least draws that frown up a bit, almost into a smirk. >"You really have a way with words, don't you?" "I'm trying. More often than not tonight, I seem to be making an ass of myself." >"That's normal for you." "Yet you still hit me," you pout. >"Sometimes you need to be readjusted." >You lean back to get a clear view of Starla. "You see how she treats me?" >"Looks like a perfectly healthy relationship to me," she replies, holding back laughter at her own comment. >It's time to get serious though as you resume a normal seated posture, directing your attention to Midnight. "Please promise me you aren't going to try to sneak out and take a flight back to that facility in the middle of the night?" >"I won't. It makes a lot less sense when speaking it out loud, to be honest," she admits, looking a bit embarrassed as she shrinks down in her cushion. >You pat her side again, a comforting gesture that puts most of her confidence back. >Moreso, the atmosphere in the home feels lighter, even since this morning. >Everything just feels more... relaxed. >To be fair, there were a lot of unknowns today, in everyone's court. >Seems like everyone's learned something, whether it be a new skill, about a friend... >Or about themselves. >And it's only been one day with Starla tagging along. -----
>>13201 https://ponepaste.org/4579#1081 ... “Now that you know the rules, it’s time to pick a deck; unfortunately I only have these four done at the moment, so there’s not much to choose from” you say before laying out the decks so that they can see them, “We have Magicians, focused on spells, Warriors, focused on getting units on the field and then attacking, Machines, focused on units combining into bigger units, and lastly there’s Undead, focused on reviving units. I’ll let y’all pick first.” >Rosie slides the Machine deck towards herself, “The characters on these remind me of one of those cartoons you showed me, I think I’ll go with this one.” >Sonata hovers the Warrior cards up to her face and starts shuffling through them, “Ooh, I like the art of these!” >Dawn leans over, “That’s because it has a bunch of muscular men and curvaceous women on them,” she looks up at you, “Isn’t this supposed to be a kid’s game?” You wave off her concern, “Supposed to be marketed to teens.” >“Hmm,” she muses, before shuffling through Magicians, “This looks like it could be interesting, I guess.” >Nudging Dawn, Sonata says, “Because you’re a nerd~” >Dawn’s ears fold back, “No I’m not…” “No, no, you are,” you chuckle, “Nothing to be ashamed of though- could be a geek like me, which is much worse.” >”Whatever,” Dawn huffs, “Let’s just get this started.” >She shuffles her deck, with Sonata following suit. >Rosie can’t do the same without getting cards everywhere, so you shuffle hers before shuffling yours. >With that, everyone sets their field up and the game begins.>Rosie taps two of her cards, “I guess I’ll attack both of you, you with this one and Dawn with this one.” You scratch your beard, “How much is that?” >She leans forward and squints at the cards, “7 damage to Dawn, and 5 to you.” >“Hold on,” Dawn says, before bringing one of the cards Rosie had in the back row up to her face with her magic, “This one says that your units get +1 for every turn this card is in play, when did you activate this?” >A look of confusion crosses Rosie’s face as she begins to tap the side of her head to remember, “Turn…two, I believe. I played the unit that looks like a Minicon on turn one.” “And since we’re on turn, what, 20? That’s…” you pause, doing a quick calculation in your head, “Oh wow, that’s lethal for the both of us- unless you have any more aces up your sleeve, Dawn?” >She shakes her head, “Nope, all out of tricks.” “Well then I guess you win, Rosie.” >”Oh,” she responds with an edge of excitement, “What do I win?” “Dunno,” you reply, leaning back in your seat and pulling out your phone, “Guess you can think about it and we’ll work it out later.” >Dawn lets out a frustrated sigh, ”I probably could have won if you weren’t so hellbent on going for my throat, Sonata.” >Sonata merely shrugs in response, “In my defense: every time I would suggest I was going to attack Rosie she’d start to look like a sad little puppy, as for Anon…well, you know why.” “Hmm,” you grunt, tapping away at your phone as Dawn groans at Sonata’s comment. >Rosie pokes you in the elbow, ”You’re making a face again.” “Huh?” you say before sliding your phone in your pocket, “Sorry, just making notes for later, nothing serious.” >Sonata yawns, “Now that we’re done, I’ll just finish fixing up Rosie’s coat then get some beauty sleep. Don’t have too much fun without me.” >She saunters off to the guest bedroom, leaving you alone with Dawn and Rosie.https://ponepaste.org/4579
>>13323 Sounds like excitement out on the town. >>13334 Sounds like a very risky gamble. I'd assume Teddy would probably be the obvious choice for trying to get into contact, I don't think he'd approve of it though. Should others find out, or if Johnson isn't as friendly as thought, the whole lot of them might find themselves on the run. And just like that, things are looking pretty lively again in here. Thanks for the green everyone.
>>13340 I had it done Friday night/Sat, posted it on /mlp/, and then had a brain fart until yesterday. So you guys get two posts in two days from me. >>13334 >The night air is surprisingly brisk tonight, no doubt in part by the cloudless sky overhead. >Brisk, but still comfortable enough. >Even lay bare to the landscape below, the sky is dark with the moon in its 'new' phase - meaning what little light brought to your eyes is only by starlight. >Not that you mind - you can see just fine in the dark, if you were actually looking for something. >Been quite a while since you've had to deal with what basically equates to insomnia. >May not be the medical definition, but until a month or two of crashing on Anon's couch, any sleeping you did would be considered a nap at best. >Evidently, it wasn't an overactive computer chip in your head - it was nerves. >Nerves about what the next operation was going to be. >Whether today would be the day your project was quite literally terminated. >Whether you would be discovered by a passerby. >Whether Anon could be trusted. >But why now? >It's something that eats at you even as you stare up at the twinkling lights overhead while resting on a velour bench seat left up by the shop recently. >It's not rained or been damp in any way since, so it's still useful. >You've been out here for five, maybe ten minutes after sneaking out from under Anon's arm and slipping out the door separating garage from living area. >Usually, you don't mind stirring Anon just a bit when going to use the bathroom - it means you get to resume your prior position upon return. >But staying in bed, wide awake just didn't appeal to you. >You need to think. >Why now? >You kind of know why. >Mostly. >But you're afraid to approach that nagging unease stagnating in the back of your head. >After all, Starla's your friend. >She's given a lot of good advice, and always lent an ear. >But... >Instinctively, you snap to attention and turn your head in the direction of the open man door of the garage a couple of yards behind you. >Starla freezes mid-step, having just put one hoof into the sand outside. >She looks a little... freaked out. "You aren't quite as sneaky as you think," you joke, relaxing your body from high alert. >Still, your friend treads carefully out into the open and toward you. >"I didn't want to startle you if you were out here, and I didn't expect..." >She trails off, using her hoof to point upward to her eyes, then to you. >Oh, right. "Guess you haven't seen me when it's dark. I make my own light to see, in a sense," you chuckle. >"It just surprised me, that's all," she concedes. "And I know I'm not the most graceful on my hooves, but I thought I could at least do better than... well, where I got caught." >You take a moment to sit up and slide over on the seat, offering Starla a spot beside you with a pat of your hoof upon the worn fabric. "What are you doing out here, anyway?" >Starla flops down, aided by the shock of your question if her mouth being agape as she stares at you is anything to go by. >"I think that's the question I should be asking *you*, dear."
>>13341 "I suppose so... couldn't sleep, so I decided to get some fresh air," you explain. "Now as for you..." >You think you already know the answer, but you'll humor her even as you turn your head to gaze upon the stars. >"I heard you head downstairs - I'm a light sleeper. Never heard you come back up, though." "Afraid I had gone against my word and headed for the lab by dark of night?" >"No." >She's quick with the answer, but her meek tone is hardly convincing. >You take a sharp glance at her out of the corner of your eye, keeping your head held high. >"Okay, I thought there was a one percent chance you were crazy enough to go back," she admits. "But mostly, I was just wondering what was keeping you." "I stand by what I said - it sounded way less stupid in my head than it did saying it out loud. That made me realize how delusional the idea was, only further cemented by the reaction from you two." >"It still bothers you though, huh?" >You shrug. "A little bit, but not enough to keep me up at night. One of those mysteries I'd like to know, but probably never will." >"So what does keep you up at night? Feel an affiliation for the night sky like your closest show counterpart?" "That an actual question, or a joke?" you press, turning to face her. >Starla's lips are turned into the slightest grin. >"Which question are you referring to?" she asks in a sweet and innocent voice. >Better to answer the easier one. "Nah, I don't know shit about astronomy - all just lights in the sky to me. Hell, I really don't have a preference between day and night. I suppose it is nice not to be drenched in sweat by the heat of the day, though." >"Just curious - you seem really focused on the sky," she muses. "It is pretty out." >You nod your head slowly, before averting your eyes once again to the refuge of the canvas overhead. >It's obvious you're delaying the inevitable here, but you don't know where to begin with the first question. >"You sure you're okay, Mid?" >The concern lining her voice jabs at the guilt ballooning inside your chest. >You should have gone out into the junkyard further, even if it meant causing worry. "Something seem like I'm not fine?" you suggest in an attempt to dissuade her. >It doesn't come out as collected and convincing as you had imagined. >"Well, you did say you couldn't sleep, and you certainly have a vested interest in the night sky tonight..." she trails off, forcing you to look at her again. >Starla no longer looks like the carefree and content friend you're familiar with. >Her tense posture and somber expression make it clear she feels this is overstepping a boundary, but necessary. >Brushing her worries aside isn't going to make her feel any reassurance. >And that guilt bubble inside is ready to burst. "It's... complicated," you start, letting out a heavy sigh. >Starla shuffles a bit in the seat, anticipating your continued response and urging you on with a simple nod. >Just rip it right off like a bandage, Midnight.
>>13342 "It's... you." >You don't need to see Starla's wince of pain or her sagging ears to know that was basically akin to Anon's stupid outbursts earlier tonight. "Not you as in you, Starla," you quickly backtrack. "It's more of you like - I just realize how shit I am because of how perfect you are. And it sucks." >"I... I'm not perfect, Midnight," Starla stammers, flabbergasted by what you've unloaded. "Far from it. And you aren't shit - where is this coming from? I really don't understand..." "You have a good personality - you hit it off with Anon right away. You can cook, you can read people and empathize with them, you're way smarter than I ever imagined a regular pony could be," you blurt out in a fast-paced tirade. "And what am I? Outside of eight hours in a day where I can dismantle shitmobiles and can read a service manual in a matter of hours and understand it, I'm damaged. I've only barely got a grasp of how to act around people or ponies I like or tolerate, and I even fuck that up. Like right now." >The bitter taste of bile creeps into the back of your throat, but you swallow it with a harsh cringe. "I know I'm not well-adjusted, that's obvious - but today, with everything you can do, and seeing you sitting beside him when picking me up this afternoon, I realized how far off in left field I really am." >"Midnight." >You turn your head away from her, regretting much of what you said. "I'm not blaming you, I'm sorry if it sounded that way. Especially when I first said it. Sorry," you mutter. >The springs in the seat creak as weight shifts, Starla sliding up to you until her shoulder touches yours. >"Midnight, you aren't shit, and this isn't a competition," she consoles. "I never said it was." >"But you're comparing yourself to me like it is. We come from completely different circumstances, Midnight." "I understand that, Star. But facts are facts, and you can't deny most of what I said," you retort, holding to your convictions. >Surprisingly, you don't get an answer on that. >It doesn't feel like a win, though... >Instead, you turn to face her, finding Starla... smiling? "What?" >"You realized you apologized, right?" "Yeah, and...?" >"I don't think you would have had that in you when we first met. You were pretty harsh that first day - and from what Anon tells me, that version of you was quite the turnaround from *his* first meeting with you," she reminisces. "Oh, and before we go anything further, you have Anon's heart - I'm not taking him away from you, and I couldn't even if I wanted to." "I never said anything like that!" you belt out, suddenly feeling very warm. >Starla lets out a short laugh, cutting it off in time with a shove at you.
>>13343 >" I know, but the way that bit with me and Anon came out of you - there was something gnawing there," she says. "But seriously - I got a head start on you in... well, everything. Definitely been out of what we can basically call prison for at least two or three years. And I can't stress this enough - I had people around me that for the most part cared about me. Aside from Ted, obviously. You had this one man that may or may not have been genuinely sympathetic to your case. Don't blame yourself for that." "So I should use it as an excuse?" >"Shut up and listen to me," she instructs, turning and putting her forelegs around your form in a gentle hug. "It would be an excuse if you went on hating everything and everyone. But it's not an excuse - you're learning from your issues as they pop up, and that takes time. I've had so much more time to learn and adapt. I've had time to find what I enjoy. In the grand scheme of things, even though I'd hardly consider myself well-seasoned, you're just starting out." "I never said you could hug me." >"Guess it's a good thing I didn't ask," she teases. "You're making strides whether you want to see it or not - comparing yourself to me doesn't do you any good regardless of experience, because I don't see you ever being a mirror image of me. It's clearly not your nature, and there's not a thing wrong with that." >Starla lets you go and backs off a bit in order to look you in the eye. >"In some ways, you're ahead of me, aside from book smarts and reading speed." "And how's that?" >"Did you know I was the one that wanted to tag along to meet you and convinced Teddy to do so?" she asks. >You hesitate, trying to understand the significance of this 'revelation.' "What does that have to do with... well, anything?" you relent, fully stumped. >"I'm not perfect, Midnight. I'm nice and friendly - to a fault." >You narrow your eyes, expecting this to be some sort of farce or joke - because it just sounds so absurd. >Starla quickly picks up on that. >"Good, I have your interest. You see, I like meeting new people, new ponies... and I've thrown caution to the wind on more than one occasion. Not in terms of, you know, getting caught by someone that knows what I am, but trying to help out a stranger, oftentimes a bot Teddy ends up finding. And sometimes, they don't want that - or don't trust me, however you want to put it," she explains, staring not at you, but through you. "I've been in tussles before just as a result of sticking my nose where it's not wanted, and Teddy reminded me when we left your place that first evening that I could have very well gotten myself mauled by talking to you one on one and pushing the wrong buttons in an attempt to get a conversation out of you." >It stings a little to hear Teddy thought you were that much of a threat to Starla, like you're some sort of rabid attack dog. >A sting that quite honestly feels a bit foreign - you would have normally taken pride in being intimidating.
>>13344 >Maybe Starla has a good point in all of this... >"I don't get to do all the things you and Anon do. I'll accompany Teddy to the store from time to time, go out somewhere for a walk... but we don't go anywhere unless he's been there before, knows the people," she says, her voice taking a rather downtrodden tone. "Maybe he's a little overprotective, but at the same time, I know it's because when I'm out and about I tend to leave my inhibitions and skepticism at home - what little I have, anyway." "I'm... sorry to hear that," you stammer, as the dots finally connect. "I don't know if I can teach you to be suspicious of other people like you've taught me to be more trusting." >"That's not the point I'm trying to get at Mid, but I appreciate the thought," she replies, wrangling in the mood by offering a small smile. "But in a way, your flaws are a boon in some situations. Just like my positivity can be detrimental in situations." "Well, I do have a talent for telling people off," you joke. >"And you and Anon are made for each other, as he knows how to lighten a mood, but you can reel him back in. You complement each other, just like Teddy and I do - he can really be hard on himself and have a sour outlook, but I can brighten his day and make him realize how wonderful life is." "Well now you're just getting a little too light in your hooves, let's knock it back a tad, yeah?" you joke, making a gagging face. >She giggles at that. >"Maybe a little. But maybe that's why I've been a good mentor for you. The light to your darkness." "My Nightmare to your Celestia?" >"Too dark for you - maybe a hybrid Luna and Nightmare," she suggests, giving a quick blep of her tongue. "Well, my noggin has the combination of Twilight and Luna, so I'm already kinda a hybrid," you remind her. >The idle comment hangs for a second before Starla starts to stifle a laugh. "What?" >"So you're kinda like... Tuna." "Oh screw you, that's horrible!" you gasp, giving her a light shove. >"The name or the food?" "Both! They're both disgusting!" >"Well, that scratches off teaching you my tuna casserole," she laughs. "Yeah, I'll pass on that." >Starla rises from her seated posture and steps down onto the sand once again. >"I don't know about you, but I'm tired from today. It was enjoyable, but I'm ready to get back to bed. Hopefully I helped you out a little bit?" "Yeah, I think you did," you respond, repeating her actions and joining her side. "I might be able to get some sleep now." >"Then let's head back inside... 'little sis'," she comments, gently leaning her head against yours until your horns touch. >You can't help but snicker at the late addition. "Little sis, huh?" >"Why not? Neither of us has any real family - aside from our respective boys, of course. And it does kinda feel like I'm teaching you the ropes, like you're my younger sibling." >It sounds really cheesy...
>>13345 >Yet again, you've gone to her for a lot of advice - even tonight, when you didn't think you wanted it. >Fuck it. >Why not? "Alright... big sis. Let's get some sleep," you answer, giving a short nuzzle before breaking the little heartfelt interaction. >It feels so weird to say, but seeing Starla's face light up dissipates the awkwardness pretty quick. >She practically skips back inside and glides up the stairs in joy with you in tow. >Family... >It's never a term you've given thought. >Never had a reason to do so, being a freak of nature even before the experiments. >But you aren't alone. >Not anymore. >You have Anon, and you have Starla. >Nothing has to be faced alone anymore. >The thought gives you a bit of pep in your step as you close the door behind you and watch Starla settle back onto the couch, sneaking back off to your room where Anon's light snoring emanates. >"Night, sis." "G'night, sister." -----
>>13323 >Prism joins in on the shenanigans Maybe that nightmare did have an effect on her after all?
>>13346 That's sweet, I'm glad Midnight has Starla. >>13335 It's funny to see Dawn get irritated.
>>13346 Nice to see those two be able to help each other out. I think this is the first we've really heard of Starla's problems (aside from the replacement front legs). Kind of interesting to hear about the other side of the interactions with Teddy and her.