The group, in a couple of pieces, wanders to the wagon, and Wild Ana takes us all back to the mansion. We all trot into the mansion with heavy hearts, some for more reasons then for what occured with the crazy pony. Chance tells the group that they have full access to the main common wing, and his own personal wing. There's something he needs to do alone for the moment. He heads off toward the cellars.
Starfire flitters along behind the wagon until they reach the estate. She was not as down as the others seem to be, but had been rather quiet.
Snow_Bolt certainly has a mix of a wide variety of emotions. Some anger, and some sadness. He really doesn't want to be in the mansion right now, but short of leaving and trying to catch a boat on his own he doesn't know what he will do. He could always convince Mirage. She knows how to get boats and things. Maybe she would be willing to leave now.
Mirage, after the group arrives at the plantation house, goes to the room Chance is letting Dusk and her use, and begins packing the few things she brought along for the trip. After all, the business for being here is concluded now and there's no reason to remain any longer. Once packed, she seeks out Snow Bolt to see what his plans are.
Dusk of course returns with the group as well, thanking Mr. Chance. He goes to the shared room with Mirage, wanting to talk with her. When it is just the two of them he asks, "Are you upset with me, my love? I do agree we can bring this up with Princess Celestia once we get back. I only felt it unfair to blame Mr. Chance for the things he could not know."
BlueFeather thinks the cellars might be a good idea to hit herself, after all, thay gotta have something good to drink down there, and shes not had anything good to drink sense she was living in the forest on her own and swiping food and stuff from Ponyville. It might not have been right, but, she is a serviver, nore has she shed the sad look she held earlyer, thinking of too many ghosts of her own, and desireing only to find a way to make them go away for a while.
Chance doesn't notice Blue following him into the cellars. It's a rather large basement down here, alot with wine, but a number of rooms in there's a door with some strange runes on it, and warnings around it. Chance places his horn tip into the keyhole. Magic starts to seep around his horn, then the door unlocks, and he heads inside. The door starts to close, being on self-closing hinges.
Starfire almost follows Chance, but opts instead to fly down the hall into their own quarters, and await for him there. She lays on the sofa, looking outside through a window quietly.
Snow_Bolt didn't really have all that much stuff to worry about packing. He had packed very lightly so his stuff is pretty much ready to go a few moments after making it back to his room. He is pretty sure that Mirage will be wanting to get out of here as fast as possible and he can't blame her.
Mirage talks to Dusk as she finishes packing. "I'm not upset with you, dear, although I am disappointed. And since you and the others solved the mystery of the mystery and the plantation and its ponies are safe again, I don't see any reason to remain any longer." She then seeks out Snow Bolt, finally tapping on his room door since she doesn't see him in the public guest areas. "I'm taking the first ship back to Trottingham," she tells him once she sees him. Were you staying here with the others?"
Mirage talks to Dusk as she finishes packing. "I'm not upset with you, dear, although I am disappointed. And since you and the others solved the mystery and the plantation and its ponies are safe again, I don't see any reason to remain any longer." She then seeks out Snow Bolt, finally tapping on his room door since she doesn't see him in the public guest areas. "I'm taking the first ship back to Trottingham," she tells him once she sees him. Were you staying here with the others?"
Dusk nods and starts to ask, "Why are you.." disappointed he wanted to say, but she's already walking past him and off to Snow's room. Dusk hmmms and raises a brow, but guesses she doesn't want to talk about it. But he really doesn't like leaving it there. He guesses he best gather up what things he has and be ready as well.
Snow_Bolt is pleased to see Mirage. She really is the only one here that he really has a burning desire to talk to right now anyway, "No. I really want to get out of here." he says to her. There is no way that he is going to stick around here with all the other ponies, "When does the ship leave?" he asks. IF anyone would know Mirage would.
BlueFeather contemplates, and snags a couple bottles of wine, before following after chance, if only to find out whats behind the locked door, both wings lifting, to tuck the bottles in close, and out of the way, flicking her tail under herself to keep it from getting cought. Two bottles of wine under each wing, and two more held in a soft green glow.
Blue gets in just before the door has a chance to close and lock (though it can be opened from the inside). Here's a small room with a pool in the middle, and runes around it. The water seems to radiate with a soft greenish light, almost bioluminescent-like, filling the room in a gentle glow, enough to see. The pool itself is only a few feet deep, with a shallow end, but there's no Chance.
Mirage has already checked the schedules. "There are a couple of ships due to leave with the morning tide, and we should be able to book passage on whatever is available," she says to Snow Bolt. "They're only banana boats, but it's what will be sailing. I'm going leave now," she says with a tilt of her head to her bag packed on her back.
Dusk lets Mirage go off then and takes care of his own things. He leaves them in the room though, ready to go, and he steps back out to the living area to see who is around, or waiting to see what ponies are going to do. But mostly he takes a seat and stares off, feeling rather bothered by what all has gone down, and my Mirage's seeming disinterest in him. She says she's not upset, but things really don't feel right to him, and he's not sure what else to do if he can't talk to her about it.
Snow_Bolt is glad to hear that there are some ships leaving quickly. He doesn't want to stay here another moment, "I don't care what type of ship it is..." he says as she grabs his own bag. His wings are already on so he doesn't have to grab another thing, "I'm coming with you." he says.
BlueFeather tilts her head, then shrugs, setting down the two bottles shes holding in her magic. She carefully pops the cork out of one, and tosses it into the pool, before taking a long drink from the bottle. Not trying to taste the wine, just drinking it, fairly quickly. Intent on reaching a certian state of drunkenness as quickly as she can. In a way, shes glad that Chance is not in the room, it gives her privacy, gives her the time to try and make the memorys go away again, to make the hatefull words fade away for a little while.
The bottle sinks into the water, and fades out of sight, completely dissapearing. In a couple feet of water. A couple minutes later, as Mirage and Snow are about to leave, there's a ripple in reality. It's not noticable to most ponies, but Dusk, who has plenty of experience with such things may recognize it. Something has changed, and the effect is rippling across the fabric of time. A picture fades from one desk, and Chance dissapears from another picture, an older one, as if he were never there.
Mirage isn't attuned to magical auras and such, which is rather unusual for a unicorn, so she notices nothing of the ripple. "Then we should go now," she says with a nod to Snow Bolt. She goes out into the living area, and sees Dusk. "I'll be waiting for you in Ponyville," she says as she gives Dusk a little kiss. "Best of luck with Chance's visit to the Princess." Then she turns and leaves by way of the front door. She gives a polite smile and thanks to any of Chance's relatives she may encounter on the way out.
Dusk sits contemplatively, but looks then gets up as Mirage comes in. He tries to come up with what to say but she's already letting him know she's going back to Ponyville. He does smile at the small kiss and nods, "I will see you there, my love. I had hoped to get to speak with you more and not leave things like this. As far as the Princess, I suppose somepony will have to bring the complaint up, and Mr. Chance will have to address it." He nods to Snow as he comes through with his own gear as well. After Mirage leaves he contemplates grabbing his own things and hurrying after her. He'll have to find Blue at the least first too. Then he stops and senses as there are changes in the paths.. /Past/ paths. "That.. shouldn't be possible," he says to himself. He sighs and looks back towards the way Mirage and Snow are going.. and with another sigh he turns back. He has to find Blue, regardless. He should know better by now to get too involved in other ponies' issues. He starts searching for the source, an
... and Blue.
Snow_Bolt might have noticed the ripple if he hadn't been so upset but as it is he isn't really paying all that much attention to things like magical ripples or the like. He does pay attention to Mirage as she walks up the hall to say goodbye to Dusk. He has nothing further to say to Dusk and gives him something of a frown before turning to follow Mirage as she goes where she is going. At least when they reach the boat they will be away from all this mess, and can have some time to process. He needs time to process and there is no way that he can do it while in such close proximity to where it all happened. Mirage seems to have the same idea.
BlueFeather remains siting where she is, draining the bottle of wine as quickly as she can. Its not that fast really, she is still a smallish foal, it does not matter how much she wants to drink quickly. She says nothing, only sitting there and drinking, watching the pool infront of her.
More pictures dissapear from Chance's wing. Somewhere in the past, Chance never arrived at Ponyville. Applejack never got a new employee named Chance. And important meeting at the castle never happend with a pegasus named Starfire. Spiderbats were never found on the hill. Silver crystals were never discovered, Screenplay's house never had to be fixed. The MRC goes on without a certain unicorn. And the memories of each of these events start to fade from ponies as the changes continue to creep forward.
Mirage tilts her ears back. "Speak more? We discussed all this at length in our meeting, dear," she reminds Dusk. "And the 'someone' that will have to bring the complaint up should be Chance himself. That was also part of the discussion. But, Chance can do as he wishes." Then she turns and goes out the door, giving a little nod to Snow Bolt as he joins her on the way out to the road and then onward to the port. Mirage begins to think ahead of the passage and the work she needs to do in Ponyville and doesn't notice as some memories start to fade.
Dusk (earlier) nods to Mirage, "About what you're disappointed about, and what you feel I could have done better." (later) While looking and trying to track Blue, he can feel the shifting and changing timelines. And he can get a feel to where they are going back, focusing on Chance. He can tell his own is being altered. Such that none of them would even be here now. Never would have come to this island. Never had raced to catch the boat, or been on the particular train. But Dusk can alter his own path, as he does when he 'teleports' and jumps back to his true path before the changes take hold. Leaving him there at the plantation still, already heading towards the cellar.
Snow_Bolt can feel a certain amount of disorientation as time is being re-written around them. It does mean that none of them would have come to the island. He and Chance would never have met. Which would have meant that some of his past would have changed. Since Chance was the one that had introduced him to Mirage and Dusk it probably might have taken him a bit more time, but he would have met them and the story probably would have gone on much the same as it had been. But everything is in a state of temporal flux, which means that for the moment he is in some kind of limbo, caught between the present as it is and the present as it could be. Which means his life for the present is effectively on pause.
BlueFeather does not notice at first, after all, its not like she has many memorys of Chance, and the wine she is drinking does not help, still, when she does notice, she gets rather angry. Shes had enough things try and make her change, and shes not willing to alow it anymore. She knows Chance came into this room, and hes not here now, and is someway related to this, so, tossing the mostly empty bottle of wine away, unawares that it might bash into the latch of the door, and cause it to open. She pops the cork on the second bottle, and takes a drink from it, before she deliberately walks into the pool, her horn glowing faintly green, a rather angry look on her face. Shes had experence with things messing with her head, shes not going to let Chance get away with it this time, no way no how.
The changing past continues slowly washing up into the present. Two unknown ponies in the Everfree get attacked by timberwolves in the past, with nopony there to help out. No letters from plantations come to the MRC. No vines grow there. A strange egg crashes through the roof there one day, and shatters, the lifeform inside forever lost. No plans to visit a banana plantation was made. Ponies made it across the train bridge safely. A boat didn't blow up. The timeline changes have almost made it to the present plantation. When Blue wanders through the water, she may notice it's not actually wet. She goes down, down, up, up, and finds herself wandering up out of the pool again, except now she's.. somewhere else. A large cave, with a fair number of dangerous artifacts around. A number of lifetimes of trying to find ways to die, stored here. And there, at one end, is Chance. Or.. partially Chance. He's getting 'erased' as the artifacts he's activated are trying to force him into the past. Those artifacts sh
Those artifacts should never be used. They never work, for they always erase the current version of the pony from existance, from that point forward. But what happens if the pony can't be erased? Chance is in a state of temporal flux, fading from reality. He looks like an echo of a pony at the moment, more of a ghost then a pony.
Mirage, like Snow Bolt, is caught in this 'flux'. Unlike Snow Bolt, she doesn't have an awarenss of the changes and to her, she is simply walking towards a destination...
Dusk finds himself having to keep hopping as more changes keep slowly but steadily taking effect. And he can tell it's also starting to affect others.. Blue, Mirage, Snow, Starfire.. Hmmmm.. He can't /change/ other ponies' paths, but maybe he can shield them from being changed. The paths of the past are very hard set. They want to stay unchanged, and sharply pull into themselves, even in the rare cases of time travel manipulation. If he can protect them from the force of it, it hopefully won't be able to move them.. he hopes! He reaches out and first tries to protect those that are here at the island that may be affected.. But it takes quite an effort, but he manages to lock them into the present for now, but there seems to be 'ghosting' of other paths.. probably leaving images or 'memories' of the other possible lives. But it should keep them here, for now. He has to work quick.
BlueFeather contemplates for a momant, her head tilting to one side, then walking twords Chance, hefting the wine bottle in her magic, and taking another drink from it. She gives a little bob of her head, seeing as Chance has yet to notice her, she smashes the bottle down on whatever artifact that Chance is trying to use. Perhaps shes too drunk to think straight, else she would probably have tried to brain Chance with the bottle most likely. Shes got a decent amount of force behind her swing, and as she does so, she glares rather angrily at Chance, totaly not happy with him trying to make her memorys go away. She does not really KNOW that its Chance thats doing it, but the siduation is far to likely, specialy with him playing with things that look rather unplesent.
Snow_Bolt has never been in a state of temporal flux before. The result isn't exactly pleasant or fun. Its like being pulled in too many directions at once. There he is stuck to the 'present' if you can call it that but Dusk but others presents and pasts seem to be intruding as well. Time travel seems to be a pain in the neck, and for the moment he is rooted to the spot.
Chance spots Blue as she swings the bottle. It connects with the flux, and part of it dissapears, the other half flying off into the wall. Chance is too far gone to even effect now. He looks sadly to Blue. "I'm sorry Blue. I'm going to fix this. Tell Dusk..." But it's too late. He phases completely away as the time changes ripple across the island, centering on him. There are no dead banana trees. No grave. No crazy pony. No loss of income. Everything is normal, just as it's been run for years. A minute later a pony comes trotting up the plantation trail toward Mirage and Snow. He's a kindly old unicorn soft greyish-purple, with a doctor's bag on his back, and a little wagon being dragged behind him. His cutie mark is a sparkle symbol for magic, and a horn with the exact same symbol near the tip. He trots up to Mirage and Snow, and checks a little book he has. "Mirage. Snow Bolt." He glances between the book and the two ponies, and gives a friendly smile. "You are, arn't you?" he asks.
Mirage is fairly lost in the shuffle of everything that's going on around her. She's focused on getting to the port, though, and that serves as an anchor of sorts for the time being. She sees that Snow Bolt is walking with her, and then blinks as another pony approaches and somehow address her and Snow by name. "Excuse me," she says as she sidesteps around the new pony. "I don't want to be late." And she continues down the road.
Dusk hates being in this situation. Should he really be messing with other pony's paths, even to just keep them unchanged? Will it make things better or worse? But he does so, figuring overall somepony else has even less right to wipe out whole sections of their past and future path's, and should be each pony's own choice to make. And if his friend Chance is in danger, he doesn't want everypony to just forget about him. His tracking of Blue and the disturbances seem to be coming from the same place. Is it something she's done? Or caught up in it? Down in the cellar he looks and wends his away around, as if looking for some unseen trail, until he finds that room with the ruins. Highly suspicious indeed. The door is closed and he reads the inscriptions.. He also looks for how Chance or whoever got through, looking for the past path to follow.. but not finding it? He looks through alternate possibilities that 'hadn't' happened, and finds some though, seeing how he used his horn. Dusk does some studying
...though before doing anything.
BlueFeather expects that CHance did not really think thorugh what he was doing, after all, he just left a baby changling queen all alone in a room filled with cvery dangerious artifacts. One thats shown violent tendancys allready, plus shes drunk as well as being rather angry. Thats not a smart, or safe thing to have done. Her wings give a litle flick, tucking the bottles somewhere safe, thats not really of the material world as she contemplates what she should do. Her rage wants her to start smashing things, the more violently the better. For once though, she usses her head, and starts thinking of ways to get Dusk to where she is. Sadly she does not think of the easy way, aka, running back and opening the door and yelling for Dusk.
Snow_Bolt had also had the same idea of being on his way to the port, but there is something really strange going on. He can't put his hooves just on it just yet, but something is definitely amiss in a pretty big way, "Mirage there is something happening..." he says as the pony comes up with them. Who on earth is he? And how does he know their names? Some sort of doctor obviously but what is he doing here. For that matter what are they doing here? Where is here? This is not home. At least he dosen't think so. Oh boy are there going to be so many questions needing answering when things are done, meanwhile he has a question of his own, "Yes. Thats right." he responds to the doctor, "And you are doctor...who?" he asks trying catch the doctors name.
( The doctor glances over to Mirage. "You're already too late. You're not supposed to be here. Either of you, or some others that I'm hoping to find here. You should be in Ponyville.. but you're not there, either." He looks over to Snow to answer him. "My name is Dapple Double." It's kind of an odd name for a pony with a solid coat. "But friends call me Dap. I'm from Marishville. As is the one who sent me." )
Mirage looks over to Snow Bolt. "Yes, I know. And it's annoying. But all we have to worry about is getting to the port so we can go home." Then she turns to the doctor. "Well, that is where we're going, so there's no problem. Nice meeting you," she says before nodding to Snow and then continuing her walk.
Dusk hopes his friends are all doing okay in the meantime. He focuses on the door and smiles. "Well isn't this all good and tricky." Being a door though, he has no problems with altering it. He could get all fancy and alter the lock to a state of having just reacted with Chance's horn and activate the mechanism. But instead alters the door's path with one where Chance had gotten there later and just went through and is currently open. Dusk catches the now-open door and steps in. The particular alteration leaves him with the feeling he should be running into Chance just up ahead, but he knows that isn't really the case and hurries along. "Mr. Chance? Little Blue?" he calls out though all the same, hoping they are here. The green glow increases ahead as his vision gets used to the dark. This would all be so fascinating if not a dire seeming situation.
BlueFeather is most definatly not a nice pony, and the longer it takes Dusk to get to her, the more likely unplesent things will start to happen. WOrse, she just lost most of the wine in that bottle she tried to hit the thing CHance was fiddling with! (WIch really is probably a rather good thing, shes allready got most of one botle of wine in her.) As she trys to think of ways to get Dusk to her, she starts to poke through the artifacts left behind, to see if any of them might be something she would want to keep. Her interest more in shiny and/or pretty than in actual funtionality.
Snow_Bolt certainly shares Mirage's annoyance, but there is something beyond normal going on here. Even worse than what has happened over the last couple of hours. He partially remembers some things and some of it is fuzzy but the name of the town rings a bell and this doctor he has met before. Or at least thinks he has. At least at the moment the doctor seems to have more answers than he does, "There are memories in my head that shouldn't be there. Time has gone funny Mirage." At the moment he couldn't guess what Chance had gone and done, but his bet is on Dusk doing it. He has control of time after all. Or at least a part of it, "Dusk is messing with time." he explains to Mirage. He wants to get to Ponyville just as much as she does, but with this happening he has no idea how, "What is going on?" he asks the doctor.
The doctor says "Don't know what your hurry is. The next boat won't be here for at least a few hours, and it's a couple hour walk to the docks anyways." he calls back to Mirage. He glances over to Snow. "I'm not sure I understand it myself. Though Chance told me to tell the story. He came to our town about 80 years ago, and helped out a mare that used to live there. We didn't know why he did, but he brought enough money for her doctor bills, and she got better, thanks to him. He's been staying there ever since.. Though weird thing is that ever since he arrived things seem to fall apart so much easier. Wooden stairs and boards have to be constantly replaced, and fires spotaniously start now and then. Chance helps fix things for free though, so we don't complain. Weird thing, that pony. Never ages. Even I can't explain it." The old stallion clears his throat. "Anyways, he said that in another life something bad happened to me here, and he sent me to check up on those that were involved." He gives a bit of a shrug. "Dunno much"
"Dunno much beyond that. He doesn't talk about himself much."
Mirage sighs with exasperation as Snow gets her attention. "Time's gone funny?" she repeats as is she's not sure she heard Snow correctly. "Well, that can't be. Chance and Dusk said changing anything in the past is impossible, so how could either of them be doing something they said is impossible?" she asks in a very serious tone. As she waits for Snow to start walking with her again, she has to listen to the new pony. "This is starting to feel like Chance and Dusk are messing with us so we can't leave," she says to Snow as her ears flatten back.
And getting his friends even more upset is one of the things worrying Dusk about trying to help fix things. But he'll do what he sees has to be done to protect them, even if they hate him afterwards for it. Though he'd certainly never knowingly try to keep Mirage from doing what she wanted. But he's trying to keep that flaming bridge out of his mind until he gets there. Down in the 'pool room' Dusk looks around and sees nopony and all paths lead to the glowing pool, which seems rather obvious in this situation. He examines it and then carefully steps on through to the other side. "Little Blue? What's going on?"
BlueFeather starts a little, droping one of the artifacts, and turning her head to look at the pool, and Dusk's head starting to come out from it. Her wings buzz a little with excitment as she gets more enerjetic, "Wassa Chance pony. He do someting with that." She chirps up, in the langue she and Dusk both know, and pointing to the artifact that she actualy saw Chance touching, "ANna he fade away, looked transperent, like image lightly painted on glass, then gone. ALso he try and make not remember things that happen when he was around, make like never was. ANgry at him, no like when pony try and make think other things. No issa right what he do."
Snow_Bolt is just as upset with Dusk and Chance as Mirage is, well at least maybe. Mirage seems pretty peeved too. And if he feels betrayed just being their friend maybe she has more of a right to be upset than he does. She is dating one of them after all, "Yes. Time is out of joint." He doesn't have any personal experience with this and so doesn't really have any words to make sense of it all yet. He listens to the story of the doctor and blinks. Some of that sounds really familiar, "Then what are we supposed to do?" he asks him. He wants practical advice. For the moment he just starts walking again. If the doctor wants to follow he is able too. Snow is sticking to Mirage like glue. He isn't going to by himself when wierd stuff happens, and he isn't going to let Mirage be alone either. They have to stick together, "Since when have Dusk and Chance ever told us the whole truth? I mean they have so many secrets. They just expect us to trust them, but you and I both know a half truth is the worst kind of lie." he affirm
( he affirms. Up until this point he had been pretty good with it all. He figured that they had their reasons, but after all this something has to be different going forward and he suspects that Mirage is on a similar page, "What if they could? What if they did? And where does that leave us?" He doesn't have an answer for that. )
Sunday, September 1, 2013