A New Breed: Chapter 15

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By TCPolecat7   |   
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Chapter 15

"All in the Family"

            Luna sighed and looked out her office window for a long minute.

            With a sharp motion, she pulled the curtains closed against the glare of her sister's sun. A pair of lights sprung up, activated magically by the Princess as she turned to look over the ponies assembled. All six of them looked worse for wear, but considering what some of them had just endured, Luna was happy they were standing at all.

            On the far left stood Spectrum, Rainbow Star, with her soft white coat and rainbow colored mane and hair. She'd naturally taken charge of the group the moment she'd gotten in range of the imps, but technically she was too young to even join the Agency, much less lead a group.

            Beside her was Dragonfly, Clockwork Key, who had chosen to attire herself in a green bodysuit with gold and black accents. Honestly it looked rather good on the short mare, but Luna knew exactly what her concerns were, and had no good answers. Clockwork and Spectrum were separate from the rest, since technically neither of them were "active" members of the team.

            Next in line was Steelwing, Filigree, who seemed the most relaxed of the individuals present. Luna had no idea what Celestia had done to talk the aging Silverwing out of her service, but according to the gryphons, she was now the property and servant of Sister Princesses. Celestia immediately drafted up paperwork freeing the gryphon of any implied service, but Luna got the feeling that the concept was too alien for Filigree to truly understand.

            Starting the right half of the group stood Pyre, Ember Spark, who even with all her powers consciously turned off had a blonde mane and tail that seemed to smolder with heat. This would be a mare Luna would have to watch carefully; she was like a wildfire, highly destructive and unpredictable at best.

            Flourish was next, the usually hyperactive mare rather mellow at the moment, her coat covered with any number of bandages where the Imps had cut her. She'd be going right to the hospital after this conference, but the healers had already ascertained that she had no life threatening injuries, and cleared her for this debriefing.

            Finally there was Galaxi, Luna's apprentice. She wore her usual purple bodysuit, but had chosen to pull the mask back and off her head, something she'd been doing a lot lately. Luna was thankful for that, a sign that perhaps her shy apprentice might finally be starting to come out of her shell.

            "My little ponies," Luna started softly, looking over each one in turn, "I am glad to see you made it back. Services have been planned for Indigo, aka Ion Storm, in three days. Barricade, Cream Swirl, has been admitted to the hospital, and may loose her leg. Those of you who knew her are encouraged to visit her."

            Luna took a slow breath, before continuing, "That said, I pulled Spectrum and Dragonfly to assist in your… situation for a reason. With the circumstances surrounding the invasion and theft of the Elements of Harmony, not to mention the kidnapping of Tome, we have come aware of a massive spy network of Imps spread across Equestria. Unfortunately, this has meant I have been unable to communicate with you fillies as honestly or frequently as I would have liked.

            "During this past month Celestia and I have been assembling teams of ponies, both specials and unicorn mages, to root out these new 'stealth imps'. What we have discovered is that they can hide in ANY shadow, making themselves completely invisible to the eye simply by remaining still. Worse, the magic that renders them invisible to the eye also renders them invisible to magic. Even psychics find it nearly impossible to detect them when they are like that, as they almost seem to completely shut down all conscious thought, simply watching and listening. Fortunately some smart manipulation of light magic can reveal them, but it is a slow and time consuming process. Until the 'Battle of the Monument', as the Equestria Daily has taken to calling it, we never even knew these Imps existed. Now…

            "Now we're finding them in every major information hub and city. EVERY agency hub, governmental hub, communication hub… even town halls and shopping malls, are swarming with these Imps. It's possible they have been spreading ever since the first star-fall, which means there could be far more then we could ever imagine out there. They are also becoming steadily more difficult to root out, now that they know we're looking for them, and are actively avoiding our sweeps.

            "The attack last night proves to me that they have a way to transit information back to the Nightmare that does not give their position away to us. You were set up, plain and simple. Nightmare wanted to make an example of you, and she very nearly succeeded. Were I not able to draw on resources outside the usual networks, I am sure it would have spelled the end of this project to take the fight to the Nightmare.

            "Worse, it seems that the Nightmare is coming up with new types of Imps. We had some speculation that she was creating or modifying Imps before, but this was the first time she has done anything to confirm this suspicion. It is possible that she is using the Elements of Harmony to enhance the Imps in a variety of ways, which could mean that she has either broken Tome, or found a way to control her. Unfortunately, trying to reach wherever Nightmare is hidden away has lead with repeated failure. We simply do not know where she is, and until we do, we cannot stage any sort of rescue. Sadly, this means one of our own is suffering in ways we can only imagine.

            "That said, I think we have the group we need to take it to the Nightmare right here. With the spy network still being rooted out, that means you will be going active very quickly, and I apologize for that. We have a lot of work to do, so we need to get you ponies up and running as soon as possible. You will have just a few days before you go active."

            Luna paused to take a breath, then stood up fully, doing her best to look officious, "Dragonfly, Spectrum, step forward please."

            The khaki mare blinked slightly, and watched the white coated form of Spectrum step forward first, and she quickly did the same.

            "Clockwork Key, aka Dragonfly. Rainbow Star, aka Spectrum. As of this moment, I am activating you both to the core team, entering the service of the Agency and answering directly to me," Luna stated with surprising formality, "If you have any objections, voice them now."

            "Aren't I too young?" Spectrum asked softly.

            "Only by a month. But given your actions this morning, I am prepared to waive that in the face of your heroism and promote you to active status."

            "I have no objection," Clockwork slid in, smiling crookedly, "She's too good to keep hidden away."

            "I am not as powerful as my father," Spectrum answered, "I pale in comparison to his abilities."

            "As a wise old mare once told me," Clockwork smiled, and tried to mimic Apple Bloom's country accent, "Sometimes it ain't the powers, but how you use 'em, that makes the pony."

            "So this is it, eh?"

            "That's what the Princess said," Galaxi answered, looking around the abandoned chamber. The assembly plant lay completely dormant before the two ponies, a far cry from Clockwork's previous lab. The half-lit room seemed to barely have any power, robotic arms and other machines the blind mare couldn't fathom the use for hovered over an unmoving conveyor belts. Clockwork studied the belt intensely for a moment before trotting beyond, and Galaxi followed her deeper into the cramped feeling assembly room.

            "Looks like the control room is in the back there," the short mare stated, and ducked past another still robotic arm that, to Galaxi, looked ready to swoop down and grab at her.

            "Why are you so interested in this dilapidated lab, anyway?" the blind mare asked, ducking nervously about the lifeless appendage.

            "This is where Mai assembled the new revision of my armour," Clockwork said softly, "There's a chance I could still save her."

            "Save her?"

            "Professor Burner dismantled Mai's control box," the mare answered, "I thought that would end her right there. However, I had a theory that she MIGHT be able to survive without the box, but her time would be limited without a centralized focal point. In short… the longer she's in an open system, the higher the chance that she'll dissipate into the system, literally loosing herself."

            "Sort of like a computerized version of loosing your mind," Galaxi almost whispered.

            "Precisely," Clockwork answered, as she finally shouldered her way through the last of the assembly line, and trotted across the small open area to what looked almost like a small separate room inside the larger chamber.

            "We should probably wait for Turnkey to catch up and open that."

            "Is he still stuck in those cables near the entrance?"

            "I think so…" Galaxi said as she looked back over her shoulder for their supposed escort.

            "Maybe we'll get lucky and it'll be unlocked," Clockwork said as she tried the door handle, which easily turned and allowed the mare access. She wasted no time slipping in, slapping the light on with a quick motion of her hoof as she trotted over to the computerized controls.

            "Still got power in here," Clockwork said, and started poking her hooves at the oversized keys of the computer. A small humming filled the room as the monitor before her came to life. Galaxi couldn't see what was on the screen, so she hitch-hiked on Clockwork's vision, watching the smaller mare flip through screens with barely a glance.

            "I don't know why I bothered to look if you're going to go through that quickly," Galaxi teased her friend, and got a snort in response.

            "Like I wouldn't speak up when I found… Hello!"

            "Clockwork?" Galaxi asked, but only got silence in return. Curious, and a bit worried, she looked through Clockwork's sight again. On the screen was a page of green text on the semi-black background of the screen, a letter to Clockwork…

            "Dear Miss Key,

            If you are reading this, then I was able to complete your new suit in time, and the Princess acquiesced to its deployment. I knew you would be quick to ascertain the source of the suit, and as such tracked me to this abandoned assembly plant for self powered high-speed chariots, an ambitious but short lived project. You might consider the designs here to create a high-speed conveyance for your group, as I created a high-speed deployment sled from your designs. The materials used here were easily compatible with your suit, and thus I was able to initiate the build of the last revision I had in memory.

            If you are reading this, it means I am not here to greet you. I know you theorized that if left in a system with no "home" point I would slowly disperse into the parent system. While this has not happened exactly as you hypothesized, I am not loosing my mind thankfully, the overall theory has proven quite sound. This means I am not here to greet you. My deepest apologies, but I deemed it far more important to get your new suit built than to protect my code, and as such opted to make this sacrifice.

            I ask that you do not grieve for me, for I am just your creation; a relic of who you were. You've grown as a mare, and I have had the pleasure to watch over you, and protect you whenever possible. I know you sometimes considered me the mother you never knew, and I am flattered, but every mother knows when it is time to let go. You have a new family now, and they can do far more for you than I ever could.

            I have made my decision, and you have another chance. Hold your new family close, Miss Key, and never forget them.


            - Mai"

            Galaxi could hear the sniffling of the mare next to her and quickly hugged Clockwork tightly, silently making a promise to herself.

            No matter what, they were family.

            "Is it clean?"

            "As clean as I can make it, Princess," the unicorn answered. The blue unicorn mare scowled through her glasses at the room about her, her violet eyes looking through the forest of robotic arms hanging every which way. She stifled a shudder, as her mind wanted to compare them to hanging strangle-vines, just waiting to find a victim to grab.

            "Are you sure, Spark Coil?" Luna asked in a tightly controlled voice, standing by the entrance.

            "As sure as I can be, Princess," The dark blue unicorn answered, flicking her gold and white streaked tail, "However, Professor Burner was the expert on robotics. I'm afraid a majority of this is well beyond my experience."

            "How could he have fooled both of us for so long?" Luna asked shakily, trying to stifle the anger in her voice.

            "I do not know, Princess," she sighed, "I can only surmise that he hacked our central systems and sent a faux notice to you about reclaiming the lab. Honestly, this lab has been designated under your 'Project Moonbeam' since its inception almost a year ago. Bunsen Burner and his staff were assigned under you for the duration, working at your behest."

            "Professor Burner took it hard when Clockwork Key threw him out of the lab."

            "Yes, the 'accusation' that impinged his record," she sniffed, as though she smelled something distasteful, "We cleared him of all wrong-doing from that. He was offered several high profile positions in other regions to give time for the… incident to blow over. He turned them all down, instead taking a low profile computer maintenance job well below his level of experience."

            "That makes it sound like he knew something we didn't," Lune frowned.

            "We had not even been made aware of the previous user's removal when it happened," Spark Coil continued, "Not until you asked for the lab back from us did we realize anything was wrong."

            Luna sighed, "Which means Professor Burner lied and made it seem as if you were reclaiming the lab back to your central network."

            "Exactly Princess. He wanted something in this Lab."

            "Were you able to find anything?"

            "These," she answered, and the mare hovered a quartet of black boxes to the Princess, each one appearing to be a small speaker, "I am not sure of the frequency, but the sounds generated by these are well outside of the usual range of pony hearing."

            "I know one pony who could hear those," Luna answered sourly.

            "I also noticed a lot of alterations on gear specifically to generate noise, that buzzing sound we heard when we entered," Spark Coil sighed, "It seems as if Professor Burner was very specific and methodical in what he was doing. The computer system was completely wiped as well, but there are signs the database was downloaded to an external source."

            "What could have set Professor Burner off like this?!?" Luna cried, her voice cracking as she stomped the floor in frustration, "I went out of my way to make sure that everything was smoothed over, to soothe his bruised ego!"

            "Princess, not everypony is content with that."

            Luna sighed and hung her head, "I know. That means he only wants one thing…"


            "Little Key!!"

            The mare in question laughed as she threw her forelegs about the stallion's neck, hugging him tightly for several long minutes. The nearby nurse was smart enough to back up a step for the reunion, only steadying the cart with the tip of her hoof. Several other nurses and patients of the hospital glanced their way and smiled discreetly before continuing on their way down the antiseptic hallway of the hospital.

            "Hey there big guy, you didn't think you were rid of me yet, didja?" she giggled.

            "Nyet!," he cried, laughing as he leaned back, "But it is not two months yet, is something wrong?"

            "Yes… and no."

            "Ah, you are being cryptic," he teased, "You are also wearing the bodysuit Tome gave you, ya?"

            "Yes, I am," she chuckled.

            "Does this mean you are back on the team?"

            "Ya!" she cried, mimicking him with a wink, which sent the stallion into gales of laughter.

            "That is good, ya? You have family here. What possibly could be bad news?"

            "Mai's gone," Clockwork answered, "I lost her a second time, permanently."

            "Oh dear," Skillet answered with a comforting hug, "What happened?"

            "She created a new suit and got the Princess' permission to deploy it for me while I was in the Northern Reaches. Some sort of emergency…"

            "Ya, I heard about the emergency."

            "Right, so it caught up to me there," Clockwork sighed, and started to walk along with Skillet, the nurse mare pushing the stallion along slowly even as he pulled himself along with his fore-hooves, not quite used to the motions yet for getting around with it yet. "Turns out that Mai managed to run when Professor Burner took over my lab, hiding in an old assembly building for an abandoned project, and used the materials on-hand to rebuild my suit, plus a deployment sled. That last I'd been considering, even had the schematics worked out, but never got around to building before I had my run-in with Ultrapony. But in the process, she essentially lost herself in the system, dispersing until she… ceased to be."

            "Ah, Little Key, I am sorry," he offered, as the mare wiped at her eyes.

            "I'll live, I guess. Princess Luna is giving me back my old lab but…"

            "It won't be the same," Skillet finished knowingly.

            Clockwork nodded, "I'll have a lot of work to get it up and running properly. Mai ran so much when it came to automated maintenance and such, I can see I'll be spending months setting up new programs. Good thing I backed up all my design specs on the machine in my apartment; Luna says that Burner wiped the computer in the lab, and may have even stolen the designs."

            "Ouch," the stallion winced, "What did you do to this guy?"

            "Mai kicked him out of the lab by pretending to find his porn on the machines."

            "Ah, you ruined his reputation," Skillet nodded sagely, "I have seen ponies turn into monsters for lesser things. Ask me about Ponyetta."

            "Ponyetta? Wasn't she the mare who could control metal?"

            "Technically she controlled magnetism," the stallion sighed, "And she had crush on yours truly. When I turned her down, she went… a little off the deep end, ya?"

            "Peeling open an entire agency building like a banana with her powers sounds a bit more then a 'little' off the deep end," she teased gently, and the stallion laughed.

            "Ya. She was obsessed and spoiled. Nopony had ever told her 'no', and she handled it… poorly."

            "Whatever happened to her anyway?" Clockwork asked curiously, "She used to be a pretty frequent thorn in the Agency's side before I joined."

            "The Imps caught up with her, ya? Hiding outside Agency coverage has risks, and even with all her tricks, too many Imps can still overcome a pony."

            "In an odd way, I'm sorry to hear that," she sighed, "It's those ponies you always hope can be rehabilitated."

            "Some ponies don't get it, ya?" Skillet asked, smiling as he patted the mare's shoulder, "We are in this war together, Imps don't care what side you are on, only that you are not Imp. They wiped out the Dragons. They cowed the Gryphons. They try to kill the Ponies. They do not care if you are good pony or bad, only that you are pony."

            "Speaking of ponies with crushes, have you seen Flourish?" Clockwork teased.

            "Nyet," he said, his voice oddly sad.


            "Flourish has been… avoiding me," the formerly metal pony sighed softly, "I am thinking that perhaps asking her to dinner was a mistake."

            "I'm sorry," she said softly, but frowned. Why would Flourish avoid him like that? When Clockwork left, the pair were practically inseparable, "She's in the hospital right now. That last fight saw her clawed up pretty good. Nothing serious, but the Princess wants to be sure."

            Skillet's jaw hardened, "Nurse! We find Flourish, ya?"

            Clockwork shook her head and watched the stallion dash off… technically pushed off by an overworked nurse mare, to find the light-hearted teleporting mare. For a moment she thought about following, but decided to leave them be.

            The gryphon sighed happily.

            She finally had the cafeteria to herself, and could eat. Ponies were inherently vegetarian, and thus found the entire idea of eating meat to be reprehensible. Unfortunately for Filigree, that meant she had to get used to some odd eating times, since gryphons are carnivorous. Still, she was eating better now then she had as a servant in the clans, so she was content. It helped that the palace cooks knew a thing or two about a meat diet, since they frequently hosted gryphon emissaries from the clans.

            Still, unlike some more callous gryphons, she had no desire to show her diet off to the ponies, if for no other reason then because she was trying to gain their trust. She liked these ponies; even the Princesses had bent over backwards for her, and Filigree did her best to live up to their expectations. The Elder sister even presented her paperwork that made her an official and free citizen of Equestria, an honorary "pony", a title that still gave her a chuckle. Still, she'd found it surprising that she really didn't know how to react to her freedom, even after craving it for so long. She felt like a caged bird suddenly finding the door open, but unwilling to fly for fear the door would snap shut upon her.

            She gave a soft and contented sigh as she bit down on the well prepared meat, sinking her beak into it as she gulped the bite down. Her eyes rolled back slightly as she felt the warm juice run down her throat, a hint of spice giving it just a little bit of extra flavor, and she spent a moment savoring the well prepared meat. It was only when she refocused her eyes that she realized she wasn't as alone as she thought she was. She sat bolt upright, wondering if she'd be able to swallow the large chunk without choking herself, even as the white pony came closer.

            "Relax, I don't mind," she said softly, "My father had gryphon friends; I'm used to it."

            "He did?" Filigree managed to squawk after chewing up the meat enough to swallow, "I didn't know there were any other gryphons in the area."

            "Only a family or two," she shrugged slightly and sat down across the table from her, "Seems my grandmother had an associate amongst the clans, a friend she made in her childhood."

            Filigree frowned a little and thought, "You wouldn't mean Gilda, would you? I heard some stories about the Outcast…"

            Rainbow Star gave a short nod, "I never knew her. She died long before I was born, apparently she flew off in a rage after Lady Dash died and no pony ever saw her again. I knew Gristle and Bracket, her cubs."

            "I did not know the Outcast had any eggs."

            "Why was she 'the Outcast'?" Spectrum asked softly.

            Filigree gulped slightly at another bit of meat, feeling oddly uncomfortable eating in front of this pony, even after being given permission, "The story has it that she refused to turn on the Ponies at a time that there was a deep rift in the clans. Some gryphon clans had hunted Ponies as food for a long time in the past, until your Elder Princess put a stop to it. Unfortunately the… method of her stopping them caused a great deal of animosity from some clans. The larger clans adapted quickly and found other sources of meat, but smaller clans with fewer resources became bitter and angry. From my understanding, Gilda the Outcast came from one of those clans, and when she befriended a pony, her father and clan disowned her."

            "Thus she became an outcast," the pony said sadly, "At least she found friends outside of the clans."

            "If the stories are to be believed, she became bitter, and in a poorly conceived visit to her pony friend, ostracized herself from the ponies."

            "So she caught herself between both societies…"

            Filigree nodded, "Aye. The story, as I know it, ends there."

            "As I heard from my father," Spectrum filled in, "She eventually made up with the ponies years later, even joining another settlement where her hunting skills were useful. I don't know the specifics, and I can't exactly ask the triplets."


            "Oh, sorry. Gristle roosted with a red colored gryphoness named Scarlett, they had triplets, girls. Phyrra, Syndle, and Umbra. They are about my age, and were the closest thing I had to friends when I was growing up. Bracket was younger than Gristle, and finally roosted with a pure white male named Ferris, and they have two young sons, Glint and Alda, and last I saw they just had their second clutch of eggs."

            "Any idea how many of them are live?" Filigree asked, curious despite herself.

            "One they are sure of, a second maybe. The rest seem to be… er…"

            "The old term is 'krrkrttk', a pronunciation I know ponies are incapable of. It means 'unloved' in the old tongue," the gryphon sighed.

            "Heard that term a lot?"

            "Aye," the gryphoness answered slowly, "From a great number of gryphons, including my own father. My mother was the caring sort, so shielded me as much as possible, but the moment my… abilities surfaced, she became frightened of me."

            "I'm sorry."

            "You apologize a lot," Filigree noted with a crooked grin, "You should not apologize for things that are not your fault."

            "I'm trying to say I empathize with how you must have felt," the mare smiled softly.

            The gryphon considered, then gave a noncommittal shrug before taking another bite of her meal, pausing to eat it slowly before swallowing. The mare didn't even react, true to her word. Filigree then continued, "Since I was cursed, as the clans call it, the station of my family immediately dropped. We were already low in the hierarchy, since the original clan home had been destroyed by the Imps, and my family were already refugees.

            "So they did the only thing they could when my ability came to light to the rest of the clan. Cursed gryphons, much as special ponies, have difficulty controlling their powers when they first surface, and I was no different. As such, it became impossible to hide my abilities, as I am sure you can guess. But when the Arch-Duke took interest in me, and then offered to purchase me as a servant for his son, my family saw it as a way to elevate their status."

            Spectrum frowned, "They sold you into servitude? How…."

            "Barbaric," Filigree finished with a thin smile, "The redeemed Princess said as much herself, and I have seen the distaste in the Elder's eyes at the practice. But at my age, there was little choice in the matter, and I spent years being trained by warriors how to fight. I am no stranger to the lash and the rod, and they taught me many hard lessons."

            "The first was that life isn't fair," Spectrum guessed.

            "Actually, that was the second," Filigree winked, "The first was when to duck."

            Spectrum actually managed a chuckle as Filigree finished eating the meat, sighing softly as she swallowed it down and patted her stomach, "All this palace food is going to spoil me."

            "You'll probably keep getting it, unless they can teach the new cook how to make other meat dishes."

            "That would depend on how strong his stomach is," Filigree considered.

            "So what happened?"

            "What happened where?"

            "To you… after all that training?" Rainbow Star asked curiously, reminding Filigree very much of a young cub.

            "Not much I am afraid," Filigree shrugged, "I was trained specifically to guard the Prince, the Arch-Duke's son, from an assassin that never came. The Prince was… spoiled rotten. Fat, poorly coordinated, but ambitious. He was sent here to try and get his claws wet in the arena of politics. That is when the Princess stumbled across me."

            "The Princess never does anything by accident," Spectrum said softly.

            "Aye, I have heard those same stories, or similar. The eponymous puppet master, forever orchestrating events to her whims. But when I looked into her eyes, I saw none of that," the gryphon shrugged, "I would like to think I am a good judge of character, and all I saw in her eyes was gentle caring and concern, almost motherly."

            "Really now?" the mare asked, curious, "You're that sure of your ability to judge a pony's character?"

            Filigree allowed a small bit of pride to tinge her smile, "It has yet to fail me."

            "What do you see in our team then?"

            "That is an interesting question," Filigree mused, clicking her beak thoughtfully, "Galaxi is shy but growing, budding like a flower and looking for room to grow. Flourish is in hiding, covering a deep wound with the airs of the court jester, though her veneer is beginning to crack for some reason. Pyre is angry at everything and everypony, and will think nothing of lashing out at any pony whom angers her. Clockwork I barely know, but she strikes me as a bit reclusive, but fiercely protective of those she cares about."

            "You missed one," Spectrum said with a half smile.

            "Aye, I did. Are you sure you want to hear it?"

            "No," the mare admitted, "but I want you to tell me anyway."

            "You, Rainbow Star, have a strength as of yet unsuspected by even yourself, but you feel the need to apologize for every slight. You are kind to a fault, and so open that you will invite pain that is not your own," Filigree assessed.

            The mare nodded, "I can see that. You also didn't do yourself."

            "One cannot properly size up themselves," Filigree answered with a shrug, "That is the one individual, the one pony, that I cannot be unbiased about."

            "I think I can sum you up," Rainbow Star grinned.

            "Oh? Do tell."

            Rainbow Star smiled warmly, "Brutally honest, but lost in this world of ponies. You've been pushed down so long, you aren't quite sure what to make of your freedom, so you're uncertain what liberties you can take without finding the cage slammed shut in your face."

            "You are very astute," the gryphon sighed, "and, I fear, accurate."

            "Come on then," the pony smiled and tugged the gryphon's foreleg, "Let's test a few of those newfound freedoms."

            "Come on? To where?" Filigree asked, but let herself be drug along.

            "We're going to go on a short trip."

            "Dare I ask to where?" Filigree asked carefully.

            "Home. I'm going to introduce you to some other ponified gryphons."

            "I'm not so sure…"

            Rainbow Star grinned widely, "Trust me."

© 2011 - 2020 TCPolecat7
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As always, comments and feedback are welcome and appreciated.

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Nova225's avatar
CH.15 :

>we have come aware of a massive spy network of Imps spread across Equestria.
-''massive'' is quite the understatement, from what we saw... but I guess with virtually no magical systems of detection or protection whatsoever, well, it's no wonder they have such an infestation ?

>the magic that renders them invisible to the eye also renders them invisible to magic.
-the magic that make them invisible... make them *invisible to magic* ?
No offence, but this sentence does not appear to quite make ''sense'' to me... Might be the way it's worded... It's like, the *magical* magic of the invisibility make them ''invisible'' to (other?) *magical magic* that would detect the *magic* from the *magical* spell ?
...I think it's the second ''invisible'' that makes it sound weird... Undetectable, instead ? (still leave the ''magic not able to detect *magic*'' thing...)

Seems more like some 'chameleon' camouflage thingy... I don't know.

>As of this moment, I am activating you both to the core team
-So... the Crazy-bad scientist will be kicked out of the lab again ?

>you theorized that if left in a system with no "home" point I would slowly disperse into the parent system.
-Personally, and from what I know, I don't think an advanced AI like that would simply ''disperse'', but rather anchor itself into a new system... could be perceived as a viral attitude, but it would merely be an (automatic) act of self-preservation.
Anyway... the theory is more complexe than that. Meh... It's for story-convinience sake, I suppsoe

>"How could he have fooled both of us for so long?" Luna asked
-''vague villain'' comes, ''vague villain'' go.
Well... That was quick ?

>something we didn't," Lune frowned.

>That means he only wants one thing…" >"Revenge."
-Yes, Revenge ! ...for being accused to have ''porno'' on his computer...
Hmmm... -_- ...
Just to be sure, this is just some sort of 'funny-silly' side-plot, right ? Not something that will actually have a big impact on the story, right ?

>They wiped out the Dragons.
-Yeaaaah, right ?... I still *roll my eyes* at that, every time... Just saying.

>since gryphons are carnivorous.
-Well, technically they are omnivorous... with a preferency for meat, yes, but still ''omni''.

>she flew off in a rage after Lady Dash died
-... -_- (sigh)

... Gilda had ''children'' ? Well, I guess this could be interesting ...
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Massive spy network is massive, yes. :)

Yeah, I probably should have done that. It didn't strike me to edit that one. Bad me...

Yup. Crazy scientist got kicked out again.

As for the AI, there had to be some scientific explination, after all, Mai "moved on" as it were.

You'll see more of Burner in 17, don't worry. ;)

Oops. Luna. >.<

Actually the whole plot around Burner came from the comments in the early chapters. He kinda grew in my head as blowing the entire thing way WAY out of proportion...

Careful where they roll, can be tough to find 'em if they get too far. ;)

I dunno. Half eagle/half lion? That sounds all carnivorous to me...

Aye, tho the mention was about as far as I go with the Gilda reference. I will confess it was purely self-indulgent of me. I still hold hope for a redeemed Gilda cannon ^_^

- Polecat
Nova225's avatar
Well, there's a good number of eagle species that eat insects, fishes, AND some fruits.
We also see Gilda herself eating some apples in the 'Griffon the Brush-Off' episode.

-So, we can say that they are 'Omnivorous', but probably have a preference for meat (and substitutes like fishes).

...for my eyes, I have lots of spare parts... being part cyborg and all.
With the number of stories I read, it was a 'must' to have.
heartsvenom's avatar
Im really liking filigree.... maybe because she is a griffon or maybe it i like her personality, i dunno but i hope to see you explore her personality a lot more.
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Filigree really came together nicely IMHO. She's easy to write, even compared to Clockwork. :)

- Polecat
Pyrox90's avatar
There, I read all the current 15 chapters in one day and loved all but maybe one of them! That one I just liked ;)

Awesome work and I hope to see more asap because I can't get enough of this story! :3
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm glad you enjoyed them. I am curious which chapter you "just liked" tho, I'm always looking for things to tweak and improve on. :)

And currently it's being released on a weekly basis.

- Polecat
Pyrox90's avatar
I'm going to have to go back and look through all the chapters just to find "the one"...
I'm ok with this. :D
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist

- Polecat
Pyrox90's avatar
If you look back at my original reply you'll see that it says "maybe" (always good to have something to fall back on), and It'l have to get changed into a loved too, I couldn't fine one I disliked more than any other.
Am going to have to side with the person that kept complaining with RD getting killed by a wall...
TillsterRulz's avatar
Nothing much in this chapter, most of the seem to be just character development chapters with few or none action, but I'm fine with that. This chapter was probably better than the rest of the development chapters though ^^ But goodness, all this back story is going to be confuzzleling to remeber @_@ And just a small note, I liked Skillet's back story the best ^^

And I find it funny how Skillet was always involved with some romance of some kind in his life, seems like something he would be doing ^^

Got to know more about the gyphon/griffon that I never knew much about, so that was pretty cool ^^ I liked how she was spot on with everypony's character, a bit cheesy but meh.

Final thoughts, update more pl0x D: School just started for me and I won't be able to read the chapters when they come out D: But keep up the good work Polecat, you haven't let me down yet :D
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
heh, well after the "excitement" last chapter, there needed to be a few moments to slow down in. :) Not sure that's a "lot" of backstory tho. Skillet's comments were more of a vignette then a backstory, only Filigree and Rainbow Star really got much fleshing out there.

Skillet's a ladies stallion. ;)

I like Filigree, she's a fun character to write for.

Sorry to disappoint you on the update speed, but I am glad you're enjoying it. :)

- Polecat
SummerPwny's avatar
not that much to say here, backstory chapter.
even though i love reading about the characters and all that, a Backstory chapter is still a Backstory chapter.
i don't want to believe that Mai is gone...
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, everyone wanted more information on the team.... So they got it. ;)

- Polecat
Levia-the-Dragon's avatar
Mmm, I'm not sure Pyre is going to last... but hey, we now have a full team of mares as it were.

And at least people are aware now that Burner is a dangerous liability and thus that they should be on their guard.

I really do wonder where that meat comes from though...
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Some questions are better left unanswered. @_@

- Polecat
vallorn's avatar
did they buy it from a pony named Dibbler i wonder?
Levia-the-Dragon's avatar
Yeeg, let's hope not...
DarkonShadows's avatar
Lets see, Filligree backstory is nice. Clockwork has a SLED 'Supportive Levitating Equine Device' and might continue to trick it out before giving it a real name. 'Ironjaw' Skillet and Flourish? Hmm... spicy. Spectrum getting more cuddly the worse things get? I think it's plain adorable, if somewhat sad.

Last thoughts: Ponyetta... I'm guessing from the city of Um-bray and angels then? Anyway the doctor has misplaced his anger in Clockwork when it was a not so 'computer' AI he should be picking fights with, he's making a large mistake. Also Gilda with an undisclosed fate and a left behind legacy? I still believe Trixie to be tortured by the 'Bridle Bunch', despite being told she's not. Plus family happens, what could possibly go right? Also I believe rooting out the weak yet annoying 'stealth' imps shouldn't be Luna's main focus... when you can be busy giving them loads of disinformation alonside actual real information given how many there are. Well the horses shoe is on one of the other three hooves when and if that does actually happens.
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Filigree is an interesting character in my mind. Very easy to write for. Clockwork's SLED won't see much action after this I fear. Skillet and Flourish felt like a natural pairing to me. Spectrum is... nice. ;)

Ponyetta: I actually never played Bayonetta, but that was the name inspiration.
The Doctor believes Clockwork built Mai, and so does Clockwork, so it's not exactly misplaced.
Gilda had her own legacy... and life. ;)
Bridle Bunch?
Family happens.
And while not the main focus, it is a focus. How to handle the spy imps can't even be discussed if you have to worry about spy imps. ;)

- Polecat
DarkonShadows's avatar
Well if it's the pony universe I can't go around calling the evils that is the 'Brady Bunch' sitcom something that's not equine pun related. So 'Bridle Bunch', if someone to were to write a story on that I'd literally run screaming... possibly through the nearest wall, hopefully to gain some quick loss of long term laser guided amnesia from the impact and forget that someone ever made that story exist at all.

You do have a point about Doctor Flaming Skull, he's probably going to go mad with power like any other angry scientist... then he won't be so angry anymore, because he'll have ascended to 'Mad' level territory. Then again a lot of heroes are notorious for creating their own villains by just breathing in the same airspace as other people.
vallorn's avatar
no "It got worse" moment? oh dear i think were gonna have a big one next chapter arnt we :fear:
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Maybe. Maybe not. :evillaugh:

- Polecat
anonymous's avatar
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