The MRC Egg - 10 - Dawning Curiosity

Dusk's picture


[ See Summer Solstice Celebration (2013) ]
Magic Research Center
From the outside the Magic Research Center, with its magic wand and flask sign out front, looks much like any other Ponyville building.  The door requires operating a latch and it automatically closes behind you.  Inside, while rather smaller and simplier than a university site, the MRC is still quite spacious, and equally full of all maner of [lab equipment], projects being worked on, and things you're not sure about.  There are no windows, and if you pay attention all the inner walls are covered with a material which blocks most all magic passing.  Whether that's 'in' to protect the experiments, or 'out,' you're not sure.  There are only the occasional loud noises or bright flashes.  There are both stairs with a railing going up to an upper platform below an openable [dome] with telescopes and other gear, as well as stairs leading down to the lower level.
[      Exits: <O>ut to Ponyville Square                                        ]
[    Players: Mirage                                                          ]
[  Sleepers: Zephyr_Quake, Match_Maker, Squirrelly                            ]
[  Contents: Building Materials, clockwork squirrel                          ]
Dusk is up in the upper section of the Research Center.  The dome is about 85% open and Dusk is magicing off some covering sections from the wall, revealing cables and pulleys and gears.  Seems the dome has become somewhat stuck for no particularly apparent reason.  He hopes none of the young ponies have been playing games with it again.  He looks down from the platform to the lower area, "My Dear Mirage, do give it another try if you might."
Mirage nods and pushes The Lever with her hoof.  It seems stuck for a few moments, until she puts more effort into it.  Then the lever clunks and swings over as it should.  "There!" she calls back to Dusk.
There's a polite knock at the door. *Rap rap rap!*
Dusk watches, the cables running, the pulleys turning.  But the dome just gives a little clanking.  After a short period the system stops itself. "Thank you, hun!  It seems fine up to here.  It must be a gear or something with the dome itself," he calls back down.  He turns back to following the lines, a faint glow appearing around them, outlining them, following its way up to the dome itself and outlining the various gears.  "Hmmm.."
Mirage hmmms thoughtfully.  "I'm sure you'll find it, love," she says as she tilts her ears at the knocking.  "Knocking?" she wonders aloud as she goes to the door.  "Usually ponies just come in."  She opens the door.  "Hello?"
At the door stands a gold-armored unicorn guard. He tilts up his head sharply upon the door opening. "Her Majesty Princess Celestia is here to see one Mister Dusk of Ponyville. May I come in?" the guard asks in a deep baritone.
Dusk smiles, "Thank you for your confidence, my love," he calls down to her.  Ponders just which of these might not be working when Mirge goes to open the door.  Knocking?  That is unusual.  Closest usually gets is the rustling of Fluttershy just poking her nose into the door.  As the royal guard makes his announcement, Dusk is standing nearby, without having seen him arrive, "That would be me.  Of course, please do come in, good Sir."  Dusk brushes Mirage with a tender hoof before stepping aside some for the guard.
Mirage cranes her head up at the unexpected sight.  "Um, yes.  Of course," she says with obvious surprise as she steps back and to the side to let the royal guard in.  She quickly regains her professional demeanor as Dusk comes over and does the talking, though she gives Dusk a quick smile at the soft brushing.
( "Thank you. Your hospitality is greatly appreciated." The guard steps in, followed by a few more, who file along the edge of the Magic Research Center's main room. Looks like the Princess still has most of the entourage from the day before. That, or the moment Scope found out that the Princess was planning a trip to the Magic Research Center, he assigned a full division. Once the guards all file in, the Princess appears - ducking her head through the doorway. "Hello again Dusk. It is a pleasure," she says with a polite dip of her head to the unicorn. The Princess then turns to Mirage and tips her head to Mirage as well. "Good day - it is a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for being so kind as to welcome me here today." )
Dusk smiles back to Mirage as the two of them watch the guards step in.  Dusk admittedly is fairly impressed, with so many guard for here.  Upon the arrival of Celestia herself, Dusk gives a bow until Mirage and himself are acknowledged.  "Greetings again, Your Highness.  You are most welcome.  Your festival yesterday was duly impressive and fun.  I admit I'm surprised you were able to make it here so soon after such a large event."  Celestia had tried to talk to Dusk about the incident with the egg at the Summer Solstice, but there always seemed to be interruptions just as she tried.
Mirage wonders as the guards file in.  Evidently the Center's reputation is well known in Canterlot.  And why not?  The monthly status reports don't leave out any details.  Mirage curtsies calmly and respectfully as the Princess enters, rising only after Dusk rises from his bow.  She gives a little nod and smile at the Princess' greeting but lets her and Dusk converse without interruption.
( "Thank you, Dusk. I a very glad that you had fun," the Princess says with a tender smile. "Well, I had business in Ponyville that I needed to attend to and I figured that if I didn't come by now, who knows when the next time I could make it?" the Princess asks with a light giggle. "Plus, I admit that you have me rather curious. )
Rainbow_Dash comes over from the Square.
Monthly status reports to Canterlot?  Dusk is not aware of those, seeing as he's pretty much avoided Canterlot this whole time.  But then Mirage is so good at keeping everything running smoothly.  He nods to Celestia, "You are more than welcome, Princess Celestia.  And yes you were inquiring about an object Mr. Dusk, Mr. Auri, and myself were speaking of a the time."  His eyes briefly glance off as if expecting Blue or somepony to pop out suddenly, but quickly dismisses the sensation.
Mirage tilts her ears slightly as she wonders -which- of the unusual objects that are stored here is the topic.  She waits quietly as Celestia and Dusk talk, and decides it would be too distracting to offer the guards some refreshment in the meantime.
Well, those monthly status reports are what keeps the financing flowing from Canterlot. EB certainly finds them rather fascinating, if also somewhat terrifying. "Yes, yes... I believe it was something about vines and an egg?" the Princess asks, that faint tinge of academic curiosity creeping into her voice. She looks around the center slowly, her eyes scanning over the interior. She may be distracted, but her guards aren't. You could almost swear you heard one's stomach grumble.
Dusk might imagine the guards liking refreshments.  But then being on duty, with the Princess right there, might not seem so professional of them.  And actually Dusk doesn't request any sort of financing from Canterlot.  Even having rebuilt the Center on almost a weekly basis there for a period, including the vine incident.  Dusk smiles as he sees Celestia admire the Center.  It's no Canterlot facility, but it's also a lot less academic and procedural and more actual research and results.  And if were to look closely enough, some rather unique elements not obvious to the eye.  "Yes, there were vines overtaking the Center that we couldn't seem to stop.  It turned out to be due to some egg object...
Mirage manages not to roll her eyes.  Oh yes, the vines.  It took her a week of medical treatment to heal from the hide infection she received from sweeping up the leaves that were falling on an hourly schedule and threatened to bury the interior of the center with their vast numbers.
[ To Be Continued... ]