A summer evening
Twig, Eris, Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy
It must be getting dark in Ponyville, the sun is about set (not thanks to Celestia) and there's one creature out there that enjoys the nighttime. To announce it, a Timberwolf pup! Twig escaped Eris' safety to come trotting back to the square. Tongue sticking out as the little one panted, ignoring some of the scared ponies only so it can reach the fountain, hop on it- and after making sure it didn't fall into the water, a timberhowl was soon heard echoing across the streets and houses. A small one, a cute little howl...hopefully not too scary.
Eris wakes up with a start, when she hears that howl. The little griffon wipes the drool off of her facefeathers and beak, and looks around her office in Town Hall. Apparently she'd fallen asleep while filling out some forms. Again. "Twig?" She hops down off of the boxes stacked on her chair that she sits on (hey, she's short!) and spots that the door is cracked open. Of course Twig got loose. There was 0% chance of containing that pup at any given time. She heads out to the square, closing the doors behind her, and stands on the dimly lit porch of Town Hall, looking around. "Twig?" she calls out quietly, not wanting to wake up anypony.
It is indeed finally getting dark in Ponyville - the sun setting in the sky (thanks to Celestia entirely) and there are several ponies about that seem to enjoy the nighttime. If not the nighttime, anyway, then at least the tender chill, sharp breeze, and relative silence of the late summer twilight. In fact, it's a perfect time to update the star charts she promised Milky_Way a month ago! Sure, she -could- just ask Luna, but where's the fun in that? Up on a balcony of Fort Friendship is a familiar purple Princess - golden telescope gleaming in the errant rays of the setting sun as she frantically scribbles notes on a scroll. That is, until her attention is radically set ajar by that little howl. Her head shoots into the air as she surveys Ponyville Square for its source.
Twig doesn't respond well to 'quietly', with some ponies running away from cover and just a few knickering in surprise, all quiet sounds are invisible for the timberpup! It remained by the fountain for a little longer, scratching at its side with one leg. And oh wait! Ponies are running, it must be time to play! After a great shake, the branchy wolf jumps off from the fountain's edge, and darts off barking as it chases down some of the terrified ponies. It's fun!
Eris spots Twig jumping off of the fountain, highlighted in the sun's setting rays. "Twig!" Eris shouts, all attempts at quiet given up. She hops off of the porch and goes running after the pup. "Twig! C'mon! Come back!" So much for not waking anypony up. It should be quite clear (even up in the stratosphere, up there in Fortress) that there's at least some running ponies and a running and shouting griffellor.
Surprisingly, dusk happens to be an active period in Rainbow Dash's schedule. The transition from light to dark, from warm to cold, could be challenging for novices, which is why she's deigned to extend her work day to oversee one of the new flyer's take charge of the shift. "OK, go over the shift report with me," she tells her companion, a young orange-brown pegastallion barely out of colthold who clings tightly to his aide-memoire. -- "Uh, well," he utters. "We have a scheduled southwesterly at 0530-" -- "You forgot something!" Rainbow Dash interjects, startling the newbie. She leans her head forward and assumes an imperious demeanour. "Start from the beginning."
Timberwolves aren't particularly known for their subtlety. Twilight outlined this in detail in the book she wrote on Timberwolves immediately following her friends' little adventure with the species. Under the 'NOT's in the first-page summary, were definitely 'subtle', 'quiet' and 'likes lemons'. She swivels the telescope down away from the balcony to point right down at the square. Milky Way's star charts can wait another day or two! A friendship problem may or may not be happening and the thirty minute timer is already ticking down! She peers right into the telescope - her eye cartoonishly gigantic on the other end as she peers towards the Timberwolf pup. Pup? These haven't ever before been observed in the wild! She -should- be mad about being interrupted, but she's just too fascinated for the moment.
Twig NOW hears Eris' call.. The fascinated timberwolf can be seen through the telescope, just happily barking at some young foal who managed to somehow jump on top of a fence and stay therem away from the scary- and yet playful, branchy fellow. Timberwolf gets easily distracted by the treat-giver's call, turning its silly head to the side to spot the griff. Now completely ignoring the game partner, who is totally fine by it, and quickly trotting back towards the chasing Eris. It barks a happy bark, rushing until it bumps its clumsy face right at foretalons. Oh hai, where were you!?
Thirty minutes? Evidently Twilight's forgotten about commercials. Eris is momentarily distracted by an angry sounding Element of Hon-- Loyalty, and she looks up to see where the voice came from. Of course, this is an opportune time for Twig to bump into her unexpectedly, and the griffon gives a surprised squawk, stumbling backwards and tripping on the side of the fountain. She falls in quite ungracefully, with much squawking and flapping, and is quickly soaked.
The young pegastallion is in the middle of describing the instability of the local air masses when a ruckus below them cuts him off. Rainbow Dash darts her head down to observe, intrigued and concerned. "We'll finish this later," she says, diving down gently and reaching her hoof towards the wet griffon. "Hey! You doing all right?"
The golden telescope remains locked onto Twig as it leaps about in preparation for playing with aforementioned treat-giver. Eris? The town griffelor? Huh. She withdraws her eye from the telescope and takes all sorts of notes. Apparently griffons and timberwolves have a naturally symbiotic relationship! This is going to be -spectacularly- interesting premise for her next book. She doesn't even notice the chancellor so stumblesquawking back into the fountain. But she -does- notice Rainbow Dash. "(RAINBOW DASH!)" she stagewhispers, gesturing the pegasus over frantically. "(Don't disturb them! Observe!)" she futilely whispershouts as Rainbow Dash proceeds to mess up half of her perfect observation anyway. She sighs dramatically as she doublefacehooves.
Twig's wispy eyes turned off for a few moments there, the headbutt hurt more than expected. Blinking back on with a headshake, only to see the failing griff in the fountain. Timberpup is confused, and so it lifts up to the edge of said fountain, with its head tilted to peer at the feathery mess of sqwakiness. Hm? Twig tilts its head to the other side, mossy tongue sticking out as pants. Observing...and speaking of observing, just then Rainbow's prescence is known. Since..she was just standing right next to him. Oh hai, suddenbark!
Eris stops her flailsquawksoaking and lays on her her back in the fountain, looking up. Blink-blink. The fountain rains on her crestfeathers, and she just... is defeated. Mostly by herself, but we won't go on about that. Suddenly there's a Twig checking up on her - and a rainbow pegasus. "Miss Dash?" She sits up. "I, um, yeah, thanks." She reaches out to take Rainbow's offered hoof, but just before she grasps it, there's a unicorn with glued-on wings whisperyelling at Rainbow. Don't disturb them? She looks back to RBD. "I, uh... I think the Princess of Friendship wants you to not help." Friendship is magic!
Rainbow_Dash, to Twilight's likely disappointment, is insensate to notions of experimental objectivity, being properly disposed as an agent of change, her hoof already grasping (as much as hooves could be said to 'grasp') the little griffon's claws. "Say what?" she inquires, looking up as Eris tries to warn her off. "I don't un- what is /that/!?" she cries out, gesturing wildly and pointing at Twig and losing her grip on Eris.
Experiment ruined. Sigh. Alas, Science has been set back once again. Twilight's dramatic sigh continues for a good thirty seconds before she proceeds to roll up her notes and hands them off to Spike, who waddles back off and into Friendship Fortress with it. She extends her wings which are totally not just glued-on at all. Flap flap. There's no particularly squawking and flailing, though. Instead of flying down, though, she instead just *PMF!*'s right down next to Rainbow Dash. "Rainbow! -That-" she points a purple hoof right towards Twig, "is a timberwolf pup! They've never been before observed in the wild! And I was observing it interact with the griffon! How am I ever going to get the material for my next volume on Timberwolves now?!?" The Princess of Magic looks harried and her mane is somewhat wild. She probably hasn't slept much in the past couple days.
Eris takes that hoof thankfully and starts to get up... until Rainbow Dash notices Twig. Eris falls backwards into the fountain once more. Splash squawk splash flail splash squawk. Such grace. Such dignity. She manages to stop and sits back up. "That- that's Twig! He's my pet! Shutterbug got him for me, kinda."
/That/ is Twig! The timberwolf pup! (timperpup theme plays in the background) The terrifying sight of moss and branches barks at RainbowDash again, hopping down from the fountain to inspect the not-so-brave pegasus.. Head held high as it sniffed at the other winged creature. Why it comes with feathers but it doesn't smell quite like Eris does! It even goes far enough to bump it's rock of a nose at Dash's side. Twig is having a blast until the Princess arrives with a PMF! It scares the fir out of Twig! Jumping back with a starttled yelp, and quickly running over behind the fountain. Despite hearing its name, the timberpup stays over there where it's safe, and dry...
"They can have /babies/? What!" Rainbow Dash declares, peering at Twig with a mix of suspicion and alarm. When Twig tries to nuzzle her she quickly slides back and points at it accusing. "Hey, claws off! You...you wooden thing! And...oh, right." She dips her hoof down to pick up Eris again, keeping a careful eye on Twig.
~(Timberpup, timberpup, does whatever a timberpup does!)~ Or something. Twilight waves off the background music and gets back to reaming out Rainbow Dash, at least until she realizes that there's a poor griffon splashing around indignantly in the fountain. The feathers could really clog the pipes! She leaps up into the air with some flaps of her great purple wings (they're kinda great, not as great as Celestia's, but hey, who can compare to -that-?) and then suddenly realizes the gravity of Rainbow Dash's conclusion. "By Starswirl's beard you're -RIGHT!-" She grasps Rainbow Dash by the shoulders with her hooves and begins shaking her frantically. "That must mean they -CAN- have children! It's revolutionary! We always theorized that they were just grafts from an ancient Timberwolf!" She shakes Rainbow Dash back and forth, back and forth, surely causing Eris to plummet back down to her watery squawky doom.
"Aw, Twig! It's okay little guy!" Eris says, trying to reassured the scared timberpup. She takes Rainbow's hoof once more, looking thankful, and starts to day, "Thanks Dash, I-" The poor Chancellor doesn't get to finish her sentence though, because Friendship! is now shaking Rainbow like a martini, and Eris is sent back to her watery squawky doom. Flap, squawk, etc, etc. No more dignity. None. It's all gone.
Twig's theme is has no lyrics, because timberwolves don't bother talking. On the contrary, it's really just a drum solo with some electric guitar tones in the background. Badflank. The timberpup's ears poke out from the other side of the fountain, follwed by the flickering ghastly eyes of the creature. It peers at Twilight from a safe distance.. Also...spores don't quite work like that! As a matter of fact, it just so happens Twig is a young playful spirit from the evergreen, opposite from the vicious ones that come from the safe place. Branchy tail wags slowly at Eris, but stays there for now.
But Twilight will never find out since she'll speak to one. Muahaha! Let her think they mate and produce babies made of wood and rocks...yeah right.
"S-to-oop!" Rainbow Dash yells, frantically prying the over-excited alicorn away. "Whoa! Chill it!" she admonishes. "So what if its a tiny one? Maybe it came together like the big ones, except not!" An astute counter-observation, that. "Plus you and I don't know any better than Earthist over here. Uh..." She gingerly reaches down and plucks Eris out of the fountain, for good this time.
Friendship! (Princess of) is indeed responsible for Eris landing back in her watery dignity-grave. But she doesn't seem to notice, because she's too busy shaking Rainbow like a maraca in a terrible mariachi band. It was called Twilight's Moustachioed Quartet, and it lasted for three days before they were booed out of... well, everywhere. It was remarkable, actually, how quickly they were blacklisted from most of Equestria. Derpy was good at dissemenating -those- warning posters. She lets go of Rainbow Dash once she's admonished and quickly grows a bit furtive, her cheeks brightening in a little red. "Er, sorry." She coughs into a hoof. She helps with plucking the poor griffon out from the water and planting her somewhere near Twig's pokey-uppy-ears.
Eris is finally hauled out of the fountain for reals, and she winces, waiting for the drop - waiting to go back into the water. There's a moment, two... and she's not thrown back in the water. Hooray! The griffon shivers, but smiles and nods. "T-t-thanks P-P-Princess a-a-and Miz D-D-Dash." She reaches a (shaking) talon down to Twig, to reassure the little timberpup.
Twig feels not reassured! Still glancing over at the Princess with big spooky eyes. It's freaky AND purple! The rock nose twitching lightly in that direction, after some moments finally distracted by the griff touch. Timberwolf turns its muzzle to nose at the feathery creature, slowly stepping out hiding to observe! At least a bit encouraged now, Twig carefully steps over closer to where the other winged creatures are. Head low near the ground picking up all kinds of scents.
With a few beats of her wings Rainbow Dash summons a small breeze to help dry Eris a little. "So, uh, where'd you find that thing anyway?" she asks.
Twilight Sparkle, the Princess of Friendship and wielder (formerly) of the element of magic, magicks up a towel from somewhere. Hopefully it was her -clean- laundry. It all depends on how diligent Spike was today. Hopefully moreso than normal, for Eris's sake. She drapes it around Eris's poor, shivering form before the griffon has the opportunity to protest of even discern what exactly that smell is. The breeze Rainbow summons up may or not help that matter. She likewise fans the little griffon off with her wings a bit. She is curious about the answer to Rainbow's question, admittedly. Where -did- that thing come from?
Eris starts getting fanned off, and she shivers even more. x,x Thankfully there's a towel, and- wait, what is that sme- Ugh, it's too late. Great. She's soaking wet, with a smelly towel, with a small hurricane blowing on her. ;-; Twig's looking a bit happier, though, so there's that.
Somewhere over the hills, a yellow ear perks. "An animal is in trouble! Sorry, everypony. Our picnic will have to wait!" A small crowd of animals wave their paws and bonnets as Fluttershy takes flight, streaking over the grassy hills and into Ponyville!
Twig skips a pose by simply looking cute, it decided to sit next to Eris after having inspected the other two. Head only tilted to the side while listening to whatever they are saying. It's almost sounds like blahbloughblargh that thing blaghgrooourblargh. Eyes flickering on and off, almost feels like That Thing is paying attention.
While awaiting Eris's answer Rainbow Dash peers at Twig cautiously. Little or not, it was still a dangerous beast, she decides, as Twig looks cutely at her.
Poor Eris. Twilight doesn't even know that she's Totally Not Helping (TM). She keeps flapping her wings a bit on the griffon but she peers down over at the bizarrely cute little beast as well. Huh. She pulls out her notes and begins adding to them on occasion at That Thing stares back. "So where did this thing come from, Chancellor?" Princess Twilight asks the griffon. Hey, at least she remembered that Eris is chancellor!
Eris calms a bit as she dries off, and she shrugs off the towel (why does it smell like owl?). She reaches down and gives Twig some scratches. "Oh! Uhm, I'm sorry. Yeah, Twig, he, um... I don't know! Shutterbug gave him to me! Or he... followed Shutterbug home. Or something." It /was/ a while ago, and much has happened since then. "I mean, uh, Your Highness." Way to be proper, Eris.
Twig, being a pup, gets easily distracted by scrathes. The timberwolf turns muzzle to the side and greets the attention with a brief nosebump in return. Tail wagging a bit, but it's a short moment before Eris looks back and the others and continues to blaurgblarg with friends. So again the Timber gets distracted by th---woooah! Those are really big eyes on it's bark! The ghastly flickering eyes get wider, slowly tilting head to the right as Twig peers right back at Rainbow. Then tilts to the left when noticing Twilight's gaze. Blink blink.
And in over the horizon, a shooting star! Don't worry, animal! Here comes Fluttershy! She...screeches to a stop overhead. "Oh dear. T-there are...so many animals in trouble here." So, she sets down, nearest to Twig first.
"Great, that's great," says Rainbow Dash. "The creepy creeps from the Everfree don't just wanna eat us, but be our pets, too." She sighs in resignation, but before she can reflect with some kind of wry comment Fluttershy bursts in and generates a small breeze. "Hey, careful! It might be trap!" She's still not into this whole 'pet Timberpup' thing.
Twilight Sparkle can't make heads or tails of Eris's explanation because she has no idea who this Shutterbug is, so she just sort of assumes that Twig appeared from the forest with a great calvalcade of branches and leaves in an uproarious scene with all sorts of incredible special effects that the aminators couldn't afford since it wasn't a season finale episode. She scribbles this story down in her notes. Totally going in her next fanfi-er, Totally Scientific Treatise. "Fluttershy! Impeccable timing. Perhaps you can provide some unique insight into this strange new creature." She waits, eager to hear in order to properly transcribe the inevitably profound statement on Twig.
Twig will one day grow into a big, fierce timberwolf. And Rainbow Dash shall be its first victim! For being so wary about it. The timberwolf, yet again, gets easily distracted by somepony. This time recognizing Fluttershy immediately, jumping but not in surprise, but excitement! It's that yellow hoppity creature from the other day. Twig hops around Flutters, barking happily at the one who trusts him! For a timberwolf, it seems oak-kay.
Eris is pretty overwhelmed. "What's the big deal? Hey! Twig's not creepy!" Eris looks really defensive. She shelters Twig with a wing ad pets him softly. "He's just my pet! C'mon! He doesn't hurt anypony!" When Fluttershy arrives, the griffon is a bit relieved, even if Twig leaves her 'protection'. "Miz Fluttershy! She was playing with Twig and I last night! Right? He's great! Right, Miz Shy?" She starts to get nervous that Rainbow might hurt Twig - or Twilight might drag Twig off to a laboratory.
What? "Oh!" Fluttershy smiles a little. "Oh, yes. Twig is an amazing creature. I've never seen a baby Timbuhwuwf before." She lapses into the same voice she uses to talk about baby dwagons. "He's so cute. But, um...no, Twilight, I'm sorry. I don't really even understand his language yet. I've never spoken to a Timberwolf before."
"It can't be hard to interpret a lot of 'gwaargh aaargh'," says Rainbow Dash, invoking a vague recollection of philosophical lessons concerning the difference in kind between animal and equine inteligence. "Kid, really, I'm OK if you're OK with your pet, but we don't even know what kind of thing it's gonna be."
Twilight would never drag Twig off to any laboratory without first receiving IRB approval. "Creepy?" Twilight surveys the hopping, barking little creature. "... Naaaaah. It's not creepy. Quesadillas are creepy." So much cheese. She shudders subconsciously. "That's all right, Fluttershy. 'Cute' is good enough!" She marks this down in her notes, accordingly. "Probably a bigger timberwolf, so you'd better be nice to it now, Rainbow Dash," Twilight Sparkle notes.
Twig is not creepy at all! What's so creepy about a pile of barking bark and moss and rocks and those creepy-looking eyes. It just seems happy to have someone who understands it. Sort of.. Flutters hears all kinds of sounds coming from the timberwolf, like playful growls and coy yaps. If she really tries to understands all that nonsense, it's just a bunch of 'jumping' and 'happy' and maybe something across the lines of 'I ate a bug today!'. Twig stops jumping, standing on hindlegs and batting lightly at the air in Flutter's direction, tail wagging to fast it just falls off from his rump.
"Oh dear," says Fluttershy.
"What it's gonna be? It's gonna be nice, that's what!" Eris says defensively, looking over at Twig. She picks up the fallen tail and, um... tries to give it back to Twig, holding it out. The griffon looks appreciative when Twi confirms Twig isn't creepy though. Eris yawns wide and blink-blinks. She'd been asleep before all this ruckus, and that was starting to catch up to her.
Twig picks his tail back up and plays with it.
"Oh, sweetie, no, don't chew on that. You know where it's been." Fluttershy tries to get a hoof in close to catch Twig.
Twig headtilts, wagging his tailess butt at Flutters. Stepping close to sniff at the offered hoof. Tail is dropped, then nudged a little closer to her with its nose.
Rainbow_Dash sighs. "Life in Ponyville," she utters dryly, taking leave of her friend to return to her still flummoxed intern. "Now, where were we? Right. Tell me about those air masses..."
"Oh..oh, honey." Fluttershy is now sitting up, with Trig's tail sort of clutched between her forehooves. Her eyes dart toward Dash. If eyes could talk, they would say, 'help meeeee.'
Twig barks! when Flutters picks up the tail, spinning on the spot a couple of times. The tail...wags as the pegasus holds it, Twig eyes its own tail, clearly waiting for something to happen with it!
"Oh. Well, I-I guess it's okay..." The tail is still alive, though, right? Fluttershy throw- well, more like rolls it along the ground as gently as possible.
Twig gets ready to jump after it, but instead it just..rolls? The timberwolf blinks a couple of times, head tilted while watching its own tail carefully. Slowly walking over towards the tail. Instead of holding it with its muzzle, nose is used to push the tail back closer to Flutters.
Saturday, September 5, 2015