The Doctor knew he came off as a bit... different. He had no illusions about that. But he didn't care. When dealing with the strange and unusual, a few oddities lent an air of expertise to a personality–who better to deal with the bizarre than someone who's just a bit bizarre himself?
Never, though, had he found himself so proven correct as now. He'd gotten caught breaking into the palace... and now the princesses were following along after him, doing as he said?! This was definitely a high point in his long and magnificent list of adventures.
Now all he had to make sure to do was follow through. He was sure something was down here, whatever it was, but if they didn't find it... Well, he'd certainly come out looking more like a crazy pony than an expert. No sense worrying about that, though...
So many empty doorways. Or closed ones. Imagine... there were rooms down here that nopony had gone in for hundreds of years... perhaps even thousands of years! Imagine what ancient devices, ancient magics, ancient books or scrolls or friezes or art might be found down here, by an intrepid historian. The flow of time, in all its glory. Surely, traveling down here was like time traveling, in its way, entering a world from ages past. He could tell, from glances out of the corner of his eyes, that the princesses were nervous. But how could they be nervous? They were the second and third most powerful forces in the kingdom! The first, of course, being one he watched over carefully, though it was laying unused and forgotten, tucked away in the bottom drawer, second from the left, in a little library in a tiny little town out in the countryside.
Ah, well. Sometimes he didn't understand other ponies.
What was to be scared of down here? It was dark, but what was darkness? It was old and musty, with cobwebs all over, but what were a few spiders? Well, there were the disappearing guards, he hadn't made them up. He supposed there was likely something dangerous down here... but that's why they were here!
What fearsome thing? What great monster, what terrifying creature awaited? Maybe it had tentacles... maybe it had big crab claws on tentacles! Maybe it was on fire! Maybe it breathed acid and could go right through stone walls! Maybe it slowed time around it so you moved as if embedded in molasses!
Movement attracted his eye while he was getting himself more and more excited with his imaginings.
"Hold on!" he said cheerfully, and pulled out a little miniature lantern from his bag. He set it on the floor briefly, lit it with a brief flash from his flint stone, then picked it up in his teeth and progressed forward, with the flame licking up off to the side of his face. "Ah, there you are!" he said around the handle.
Luna watched as the brown Earth pony pulled the lantern from his sack. That would've been helpful earlier! she thought to herself. But there wasn't time to remain angry. He'd found something.
There, in the middle of a side-corridor, where a few hoof-prints marred centuries of dust and murk, stood a little creature. Nothing more than an adorable little bit of blue fluff, with great big adorable eyes. It let out a soft little chirrring noise, a sweet trill of greeting, as the Doctor approached it.
"Well, well, well. Aren't you adorable?"
Luna stepped forward, a little less cautious now that there was more light. They'd also apparently found the thing Doctor Whooves had been looking for. At least they'd be able to go back soon.
At first, Celestia couldn't exactly see what the Doctor was fawning over so curiously. She moved closer, and when she did, something struck a chord in her chest.
Peering at the little creature, she tilted her head. It reminded her on the tiny creatures that flitted around Ponyville... and ransacked Fillydelphia when she had gone to investigate it. They were harmless... in the long run... until they ran out of food. But this didn't feel exactly right.
Squinting, she stretched out a wing in front of Luna to make sure she stayed there before approaching behind the brown pony. As she did so, the glow of her horn drew nearer the creature. The tiny, soft thing chirped and chittered hungrily, almost instantly drawing the princess back warily.
As Luna took another step, the way was suddenly barred by a white wing. Luna looked up curiously at Celestia, and her fears returned now that her sister was showing concern. Even Celestia, so much more powerful than she, seemed tentative to approach it.
She was being silly. It was just hungry. Probably hadn't been fed in so long.
But this tiny creature put the solar princess at a great distress as she eyed over its small, fuzzy form and shook her head gently.
"Luna, don't go near it." She warned under her breath.
With Celestia's warning, Luna knew that something was definitely amiss. But what?
Surely, it was a bit odd to find such a cute creature in this dark and forsaken part of the castle... Well, actually, that was pretty weird. What was it anyway? Was there something the other two ponies knew about it that she didn't? At any rate, if Celestia was being cautious, something wasn't right.
'O-Okay.' she replied, uncertain.
The Doctor blinked, glancing back at Celestia as the thing chittered hungrily at her. When he looked back, the little fluff ball was quivering. Suddenly, a fuzzy leg, twice as long as the body, popped out of the fluffy mass on one side, then on the other, and then again, and again, till the fluff ball was a blue, fluffy, ten-legged spidery thing. The legs lengthened and grew leaner, lifting the fluffy body up off the floor.
Luna gasped, stepping back just a couple paces as each long, thin leg seemed to grow out of the body. Well, it certainly wasn't as cute now. But it wasn't all that fearsome looking either. It chirped again, but Luna didn't flinch. She was merely curious as to how something so cute, even if odd, could end up down here. And for how long had this poor creature been trapped here, without food or comfort? Luna knew what that was like.
The Doctor took a step back, something resonating in his memory. "That's not a Parasprite," he said hesitantly. He'd read about cousins of the Parasprites... what was it he'd read? Visions of chaos, swarms, and disasters floated across his mind. It was something ancient, he knew. Something gone for not hundreds, but thousands of years... come on, Doctor. You're the history expert. What is it? Another flash, a full scale extermination order. One of the few in history. What could countenance that?
Something about the creature put Princess Celestia off greatly. It could be told in the great monarch's body language and stance, as the tiny fuzzy beast sprouted legs from its body. It chittered, and despite its sweet and small size and looks, it disturbed her on a great level. Why, she couldn't figure out.
But it did.
The fluffy lil' blue creature rose up, its eyes glowing with a soft pink glow, and opened its mouth again. It let out another cheerful little chitter around the two mandibles that emerged from either side of its mouth, and skittered forwards toward the three ponies.
It began to approach, and Luna felt suddenly drawn to it, despite her sister's previous warning. Though the Doctor moved away, she took a step toward it. It wasn't threatening at all, rather, it seemed a bit friendly. Just looking for a little love after being in such a place as this.
Looking at this tiny creature brought back horrible feelings of dread, and the sun princess actually found herself taking a few steps back to spread the distance between her and it, whilst still keeping an eye on her sister. For good measure, she spread out one of her wings as if to usher Luna back as well.
Whatever that little thing was. Whatever it did. She didn't want Luna exposed to it and that was as simple as that.
"Doctor, as curious as you are, I think we should vacate... quickly." There was a deep sense of urgency to her voice, almost a pleading. It made her guard's anxious, and they stepped forward and took a stance in front of their charges, a slightly irate snort escaping their nostrils.
Celestia's large wing reached out again, ushering Luna backwards instead of just halting her hoofsteps. She looked up at her sister in confusion, even as Celestia spoke to the Doctor. She could see the grim look that came over her sister's face, and her heart began to pound rapidly in her chest, though why she wasn't sure. The guards took up their positions, and Luna could tell they were ready for a fight—but against what, exactly?
The Doctor retreated again, uncertainly. The eagerness at finding some huge, slavering monster seemed to disappear before this single tiny, fluffy, spidery creature, replaced by nervousness and dread.
"Hold on there," he tried to reassure it, "We're not going to hurt you …"