Land of Equines

by Daddy Joe


C.A.M.A: Day Eighty Three

C.A.M.A: Day Eighty Three
February 27th, 2013

Thirty nine days.... i've been studying for thirty nine days. How do you think I feel? Well, i'll just put in simple terms and say that it feels like my brain is going numb, for the first four weeks at least. So here's what happened. I don't know if it's a real condition or not, but I think I overstudied myself. The dreams I was meant to have, being in the Everfree Forest and all that, were being bypassed by dreams of me just studying. Once Luna sent Night Hunter a notification about the situation, Night Hunter advised that I should quit studying for a week or two and that the simulation dreams come to a halt. Night Hunter also admitted that he has never seen a student be so dedicated to studying and passing the C.A.M.A training program that they would start dreaming about studying. And so, Night Hunter gave me the choice to not study if I feel like I got everything down packed, obviously I took that choice. So for the rest of the weeks leading up to this day, i've been taking it easy and i'm feeling very good about the first part of this exam.

I know the creatures and their behaviors, i'm advanced proficient in weapon and device use, I know my every duty and tactic and I know the Everfree Forest routes like the back of my hand. I'm ready, i'm ready for anything! And so, now I head to the classroom to take the first part of my exam, no finger crossing needed.

"Heyyyy." Night Hunter greeted as I entered the room.

"Heyyyy, to you too." I replied.

"Have you had enough of staying here?" Night Hunter asked.

"Oh, you bet. But the only thing i'm going to miss is you, since you're the only source of social interaction and being a good friend." I said.

"You too, Caleb. You too." Night Hunter replied. "But just think of it, if you pass this exam and the second part a week from now, you'll be a free human." Night Hunter said.

"That's right. Is the first section of the final ready?" I asked.

"It's right here." Night Hunter replied, levitating a thick packet towards me. "Take all the time you want to finish this, there's no rush." Night Hunter said.

"Alright, thanks Hunter." I said.

"No problem." Night Hunter said.

I then got up to sharpen my pencil before writing anything. After sitting back down, I cracked my knuckles and got to work. Just like before, most of the questions were short answer, but there were new questions such as diagram that I had to label on the weapons. There was also the whole map of the Everfree Forest that I had to label, measure and answer a few short answer questions about the paths. Not a single question hindered my progress on this exam, so I bet myself a million bucks that i'd pass with a one hundred percent. Within twenty minutes, I had finished an exam that had four months worth of information on it. I then got up, walked over to Night Hunter and dropped the packet on his desk.

"Done." I simply said.

"That was pretty quick. Let's see how you did." Night Hunter said.

"I got a good feeling about this." I said.

Night Hunter took a short glance at the first page.

"And from what I see on the first page, you're most likely right. Now please go to your seat and i'll let you know what you got." Night Hunter said.

I did as told and headed back to my seat, awaiting for Night Hunter's grade. I observed Night Hunter's facial gestures and he seemed rather impressed with what he saw. Within five minutes, he was finished grading and levitated the packet over to my table. My eyeballs rolled down and there was a big, fat letter A with a plus next to it and one hundred percent.

"You've done it!" Night Hunter exclaimed.

"Yes, yes, yes, yes!" I cried in joy, giving the packet a kiss.

"Whoa-ho, you're really happy to pass this, huh?" Night Hunter asked.

"Oh, you have no idea, Night Hunter." I replied.

"I'm proud of you, Caleb. I really am." Night Hunter said.

"Thanks, Night Hunter." I said.

"I hate to be a total buzzkill, but let's not forget about the part two." Night Hunter reminded.

"Oh, pfft," I scoffed, "I don't care if there's a part two at all. Lay it out on me right now so I can tackle this." I said, ecstatically.

"Okay then. This next part of the final will be a dream sequence and will test everything you've learned." Night Hunter announced.

"In the Everfree? Timberwolves?" I asked.

"No. You will be facing a different creature that is not on the list of creatures you've learned here. This creature was suggested and created by somepony's imagination who wishes to be anonymous." Night Hunter replied.

"Is that so?" I asked with interest, "What is this creature called?" I asked.

"Equinieus-cephalic Orbus." Night Hunter answered.

The name itself sent chills around my body for some reason. This made me very anxious for what this creature looks like and what it can do.

"Do you happen to know what this thing looks like or what its capabilities are?" I asked.

"I do. Hand me that piece of paper and i'll draw it." Night Hunter said.

"Here." I said, handing him a piece of scratch paper.

"Now i'd like you to turn around until I say i'm done." Night Hunter instructed.

"Sure." I said, turning around my seat.

After turning around, I heard the sound of the pencil come into contact with the piece of paper as Night Hunter began to draw the Equinieus-cephalic Orbus. I sat in silence as Night Hunter drew for about fifteen minutes.

"Are you doing a very detailed drawing?" I asked.

"Yep. Very detailed." Night Hunter replied.

"Hm." I hummed.

I sat for about two more minutes before the sound of the pencil lead rubbing on the paper stopped.

"Now Caleb, I want to warn you that this creature may be disturbing to you." Night Hunter warned.

I scrunched my forehead in confusion to Night Hunter's warning. I then turned around and stared down at the illustration in front of me. I slightly clenched my fingers into a fist and raised it up to my mouth. My feeling of enthusiasm and excitement was now replaced with fear and disgust.

"Fuck you." I said, flatly, as I got up to walk away from the picture.

"Now I know that it's something you weren't expe-" Night Hunter said before I cut him off.

"That's pretty sick, Night Hunter! There's no way that's what the damn thing is!" I exclaimed.

"I swear to Celestia that is what your two parter will be." Night Hunter replied.

"Night Hunter, I have no problem with going against Timberwolves and all of those other creatures, but a fucking pony head with beady cathartic eyes and spider legs?! Fuck that shit!" I exclaimed.

"I know, Caleb, it's very disturbing, but remember that this will be a dream sequence, not real life." Night Hunter reminded.

"I just don't know if I can do it...." I said as I sat back down in the chair.

"Why not?" Night Hunter asked, supportively.

"When I was three years old.... I remember having a large spider crawl up my arm and biting me. That spider bite sent me to the hospital for about a day or two days and i've always feared spiders since then. When I look at that things teeth, all I can see is them clamping onto my flesh--" I said before I was interrupted.

"Caleb! That will never happen in the dream sequence. If it seems like that will happen, Princess Luna will reset the dream and you can try again." Night Hunter said.

"Try again?" I asked.

"You get three chances at part two of the final. And must I remind you again that you have the tools to eradicate the Equinieus, including the Timberferno." Night Hunter said.

"Well.... you have a point." I said, looking at the illustration once again. "You're right. I got this." I accepted.

"That's the spirit i'm looking for." Night Hunter encouraged, activating his magic again. "Now here's a little paper that will tell you all about the Equinieus. Keep the drawing if you really want to." Night Hunter said.

I then collected the information sheet and the drawing before heading for the door.

"Hey Night Hunter." I said.

"Yeah?" he replied.

"I'm supposing the little bastard can jump too?" I asked.

"That, it can." Night Hunter answered.

"Great. I'll see you around." I said.

"You too, future C.A.M.A agent." Night Hunter said back.

As I got back the bunks, I unfolded the piece of paper that had the drawing on it. Every time I looked at at it, I couldn't help but get chills.

The entire body was just a head of a stallion covered in hairs similar to a jumping spiders, but the eyes were a mix between milky white and pitch black due to the cataracts. Four long legs protruded from each side of the head and were bent like a daddy long legs. The teeth were sharp and jagged and Night Hunter drew a creepy looking smile as it's mouth whilst agape.

As I read over the information sheet, I found out some interestingly disturbing tidbits. Apparently the Equinieus can spin webs, so that's just great. The Equiniues is also attracted to vibrations and sound, so that would include loud noises, movement and talking. Since the Equinieus has the snout of a pony, it has a highly developed sense of smell and will most likely smell me out once I enter it's home. The reason why it will smell me out is because it's considered blind, hence the eyes being milky white from cataracs. For the rest of day, I kinda just kept a low profile.

Later on that night before bed, I felt something crawl up my back while I brushed my teeth.

"Ahhhh! Ahhhh!" I shouted, jumping like a little girl.

"Woah. Didn't think you'd be that scared." Night Hunter said.

"Yeah, well I've got that damn Equinieus on the mind still." I said.

"Sorry." he apologized.

"Nah, it's alright. Sometimes it's fun to be scared." I said. "Now that I think about it, did you have to face the Equinieus for you two parter of the final exam?" I asked.

"There was no such thing as the two parter back then." Night Hunter replied.

"Really? Lucky you." I said.

"But just like you I had to go through the tartarus of studying," Night Hunter related, "The whole two parter of the final exam was implemented twelve years ago when the whole C.A.M.A education board thought that students needed to prove and demonstrate their skills and knowledge before going out to their designated locations." Night Hunter explained.

"I guess I could see why they would want that. I think the two parter would be a good way to see if a student possibly cheated somehow." I guessed.

"You're pretty much spot on with that." Night Hunter said.

We then headed off to bed and I hoped to God that I wouldn't dream about that damn Equinieus just yet. Either way, i'm not looking forward to facing that ugly little shit.