• Published 23rd Mar 2020
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Do Ponies on Earth have Magic Dreams? - Tiki Bat

The story of an optimistic young night pony, the special pony that enters his life, and how the two of them follow their dreams to make the world a better place!

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Chapter 34: Night Patrol

Silver Eclipse trotted along his usual patrol route, bored out of his mind. It was true that this job was boring and rather uninteresting, but at the same time he knew that he was lucky to have a job that didn’t really require a whole lot of actual work. In his former life he would have killed for a job like this, but that still did little to make it any less boring.

The truth was, Silver just wasn’t a pony that liked to sit around doing nothing all night— unless of course he was doing nothing with his marefriend. In those cases he would gleefully do nothing with Scarlet and still have a blast, just enjoying her company more than anything. He felt a small sense of longing as he thought about how she had impacted his life for the better, and even a little bit of fear as he thought about the big future together that they had started to talk about lately. Planning out a family was a big step, and as scary as it was, he was excited to see where life took them. The twinkling of glass in the distance cut through his thoughts like a hot knife, and a small grin began to spread across his otherwise indifferent face.

Seems like something’s afoot in sector four, he thought to himself, quickly leaping into the air to get a better view of the situation. As he silently glided towards the section of the yard in question, he began to scan the landscape, specifically the area near the many times patched fence. The sound his little trap had made didn’t sound like the sound or pattern that the humans would normally cause, but humans were sneaky creatures that were usually smart enough to evade detection if they really tried hard enough.

As much as Silver didn’t want to deal with a bunch of hooligans tonight, he had to admit that the possibility would be a fun break from the otherwise boring night. A twinge of excitement began to well up inside of him as he considered how he’d go about confronting the potential intruders. However much to his own disappointment and perhaps even a little relief, as he dipped down towards the ground he noticed that indeed none were present. Instead it was another lone pack of coyotes— probably the same pack that liked to forage around this part of town if he had to guess.

This might have frightened or confused him a short time ago, but this had happened enough that by now scaring them off was second nature to the young night pony. With a practiced routine that was practically second nature by now, he dropped out of the sky and came to a firm landing in front of the creatures, a thin wire fence being the only thing that separated each other. Flaring his wings and baring his fangs, Silver let out a loud, raspy hiss that sent the three coyotes running off into the desert and away from him.

Laughing to himself, he dropped the aggressive display and meandered over to the fence, resting his head against it as he inspected the patches. Duncan’s quick fixes had held up enough, though Silver could only assume that he’d have to repair it again by the end of the week. The troublesome trio of coyotes weren’t really all that big of a threat, but Silver didn’t need them sneaking into the yard and making a mess, and he sure didn’t need them giving any would be thieves a convenient entrance either.

Making a mental note to tell Duncan about the need for a proper repair, Silver stepped back and resumed his patrol, running a wing along some of the less rusted out car frames that were stacked across from the fence. Was it smart to just idly run a sensitive limb across something that could scrape or puncture it? No, but Silver was bored and idling, and he needed something to do to break up the monotony lest he wander off like he was currently doing.

Shifting his attention to the ground in front of him, he paused as he caught sight of a small ladybug that had chosen an old hubcap as its resting place. Having nothing better to do, Silver leaned down to inspect the insect, being careful not to crush it or frighten it away. Having seemingly become aware of his presence, the bug crawled closer to inspect the new intruder, climbing up onto Silver’s muzzle and earning a curious Eep from the night pony.

Art by: Almy

A faint tickling feeling threatened to make Silver both sneeze and laugh, but not wanting to scare off his new friend, he held his breath, relaxing as the feeling quickly went away. Silver carefully stood up and watched as the insect continued to crawl around on his muzzle, but didn’t fly off.

“Guess you’re my new partner here, eh?”

The bug looked up at him and in Silver’s bored state he couldn’t help but imagine that that was some kind of silent confirmation.

“So, if you’re sticking around then you’ll probably need a name. How’s Carl sound?”

Again the bug didn’t react, leaving Silver to fill in the blanks with his imagination.

Sure thing partner, what’s on the docket for tonight? he imagined the insect saying.

“Well, we’ll have to check sectors one, two and three, four’s clear for now. Buuuuuut I’ll get to that in a tiny bit. I haven’t heard anything go off in those yet.”

In that moment Silver knew that he probably sounded crazy. He was a grown stallion and here he was, talking to some bug like it could actually perceive what was going on. Still though, he was incredibly bored and sometimes you just needed to flex your imagination a bit.

Deciding to do just that, Silver sat down and took a final glance at his new ladybug friend before closing his eyes and letting his consciousness slip into a dream. He didn’t plan to stay there for long, but he had a pony he needed to speak too, and it was probably better to get the word out sooner than later...

The flicker of the camera feed and the occasional car passing by was the only thing proving that the cameras themselves were actually functional, otherwise one might be fooled into thinking that they were just for show and that the monitor was simply showing static images.

“I can tell you what’s in our forecast today, Carl,” Silver mumbled to his ladybug friend that was sleeping in a little bowl on the desk, “A whole lotta nothing.”

The stallion spun around in the office chair a few times, staring up at the ceiling and trying his best not to enter another waking dream lest he completely abandon his duties. His dreams and his reality, while usually so very radically different from each other, both shared one thing in common tonight: the seconds and minutes seemed to stretch into a veritable eternity.

“You know, this is boring. More boring than I ever imagined a job could be. I don’t like boring very much, you feel me?”

The sleeping bug didn’t reply, but Silver continued anyway.

“I worked as a teacher's assistant for the better part of two years before all of this, and that was boring. But at least I got to talk to people, right? Like, that helped make the time fly by, and I didn’t realize what I had until I didn’t have it anymore.”

His thoughts returned to the job he had worked so hard to get. A teacher's assistant wasn’t a fancy job by any stretch of the imagination, or even remotely close to the kind of job that would give him fame and fortune, but something about helping out in the robotics lab and having a chance to dig into the boring history stuff that would put any normal human to sleep was just so great to him. It wasn’t his end all, but it was a big step in his plans, and it was a job he had very much enjoyed. A lingering feeling of sadness filled him as he thought about how those plans had fallen apart after ETS, and how the college had said they wouldn’t be able to bring him back on. It stung and it was just one of the many things that had led to the falling out with his family. Not wanting to dwell on past sorrows, he shook his head and returned his gaze to his sleeping companion.

“You ever just get weirdly nostalgic for the dumbest things?” he asked aloud. “Because I’m feeling that hard right now. Mom and dad used to take me and Johnny to Disney, Universal, and all those kinds of places when we were foals. I don’t know why, but thinking about the kind of future that Scarlet and I are talking about just makes me think of all those wonderful moments.”

He let out a small sigh and looked back out the grimy window, “I mean, I guess I know why I’m getting nostalgic about that stuff. I mean, we’ll have a foal of our own someday, and we’ll get to take him to all of these amazing places… and I guess it just has me getting excited about doing that kind of thing again someday, you know?”

Of course the bug didn’t know, but that didn’t stop Silver from musing on the past again.

“That kind of stuff is really exciting to think about, but also really scary. It feels like such a huge step forward, but at the same time it just feels right. Like everything’s just going according to the universe’s plan.”

And maybe it was, he thought to himself. He didn’t know what to think about what might exist beyond the universe he called home. While he had never been particularly religious, he was still open to those kinds of thoughts.

“Maybe it’s just weird pony instinct stuff pushing me forward, but everything just feels so… right with Scarlet, and I think that’s part of what feels so scary about the future. I mean that’s what all of this is for,” he gestured around with his hooves, “We don’t need jobs, but I just want to save up and treat her to something amazing someday, because she deserves it so much. Like it’s like I’m in a constant dream, which I guess is true half the time with us,” he chuckled, looking back at the indifferent bug, “But enough about my boring life fears and worries.”

He glanced at the clock and smiled, “I think it’s time for a little break.”

Peeking at the cameras one more time, and satisfied that everything was still dead quiet, he made himself comfortable in the seat and closed his eyes.

The sprawling void of the dream realm stretched out in front of him, the usual stars lighting up in clusters of light that danced around in the distance. A warm feeling of home filled him, along with a sense of familiarity as he felt the small touches of another presence nearby.

“Anypony out there?” Silver asked aloud, not sure if he was going to sound dumb or whether someone was actually around and just hiding in the shadows. He knew that wardens could do that, and had to guess that one was nearby, or at least keeping an eye on him for some reason.

“You’re very perceptive little dreamer,” came the familiar voice of Yinyu, who swam into view, “A lot of dreamers can’t sense a warden if they’re just watching from a distance, but you still picked up on that.”

Silver quickly recited his oaths and smiled, “Feeling like someone’s watching you isn’t a feeling I get often in here— unless I’m on my own doing that meditation thing.”

“Projecting,” she corrected.

“Right, guess that gives you all a reason to keep an eye out. I’m not like most dreamers aren’t I?”

You’re different,” she confirmed, “But in a good way. It just means you’re learning things and using your magic in ways that most other night ponies usually don’t.”

“How different is different though? I mean like, I’ve run into ponies that can do lots of other things, but this just feels… I don’t know, I guess I’m still learning about what I can and can’t do.”

“Not sure. Lots of ponies are different, it’s just a matter of watching them and seeing where their magic goes. You use yours to do stuff that we haven’t really seen a whole lot of other ponies do.”

“So that’s why you’re always conveniently around eh?”

“That’s why we’re all conveniently around. I’m not the only one watching you,” she teased, “I just happen to be the one you run into the most when you do your projecting. There’s so few of you that it isn’t hard to keep an eye on you just to make sure you don’t get into trouble.”

“I see… so what you’re saying is that I shouldn’t do the stuff I was going to do with Scarlet later then?”

“No, you can do that. We don’t really pay attention to that sort of thing unless you give us a reason to,” she swam up close to Silver and wrapped a fin around him, “Or unless you’d like an audience.”

Silver blushed and wriggled free, “Yeahhh, no, I think I’m good.”

His head filled with the thoughts of what Scarlet might say in response to this, and more embarrassingly, what she might do if she knew that Yinyu was seemingly interested in watching.

“I think she’d like it,” Yinyu playfully teased, giving Silver an acute reminder that she could in fact read minds.

“Both of you are evil. You know that?”

The Dreamwarden giggled, “What can I say? It’s fun making nervous little stallions blush and get all flustered.”

“It gets a little repetitive too sometimes.” He paused, “Hey, while you’re here I guess I can bombard you with a few questions I had that I’ve been sitting on for a while now.”

“Oh? And what would those be?” she asked as she flew back near him.

“So a while ago I did this thing where I sat down and meditated like how I usually do to get here while I’m awake. I don’t know how to explain what it was, but like… I found myself in this weird dream. I didn’t know where it was other than it felt like part of my own.”

The warden sat silent for a few moments, eyeing Silver with an unreadable expression that filled him with a nervous anxiety, almost as if he did something wrong.

“Interesting,” was all she replied, only giving Silver even more room to question what she was thinking.

“Interesting? So what was it? Scarlet said I disappeared when I did it, but I don’t know where to…”

Yinyu swam close and shrunk down to his level, “Can you do that for me again?”

“The meditation thing?” He asked, confused.

“Mhmm, I just want to see something.”

Silver slowly nodded, anxiously looking around as he sensed the faint phantom of another presence, “Sure. Just give me a second.”

She replied with a warm smile, something that he had just realized that he didn’t see often from her. It wasn’t that she didn’t smile, out of all the dreamers he had run across in his time as a night pony, she was one of the ponies that smiled the most, but those smiles were always playful and mischievous, never warm and inviting like hers was now.

Sitting down, he closed his eyes and began to clear his mind, reaching out with his magic to take hold of that familiar feeling of entering a waking dream. The sounds of his waking reality and the sounds of the dream realm began to fade even further into the background, leaving him with the quiet echoes of memory that he only now just began to perceive.

Opening his eyes, the familiar setting of his former home greeted him, appearing just as it had the last time he had been there, except for some of the pictures on the wall which had changed to happier scenes of him and his family.

“Very interesting,” the warden commented again, appearing next to the night pony in a decidedly smaller scale than she normally would.

“Right? So like… what is this?”

“It’s your dream,” she replied, “But it’s almost like a second dream.”

“Uh huh… so what does that even mean? Like is that even possible?”

“Clearly it is. But I’ve never seen a pony do this before.” She turned to face Silver, “Do you mind if I share this with my brother, Psychic Calm?”

Silver raised an eyebrow, “He seems pretty level headed, so sure. Between you and me though, I still get a little nervous around you all.”

“You should be silly!” she teased, “But you don’t need to be afraid. I’d like you to try something for me though.”

“Sure, what do you need?”

“Try modifying this place. Maybe something small and familiar?”

A smile started to speed across his face, “I’ve got the perfect place in mind.”

The familiar surroundings suddenly shifted into the even more familiar appearance of Scarlet’s cabin, a place that was warm and comforting to him.

“A treasured location? I can tell you already have so many happy memories tied to it.”

Silver looked at Yinyu and sheepishly nodded, “You can tell that from my thoughts?”

“That and a lot more. Your emotions seem stronger here, which makes me want to see what Psy thinks of it even more now.”

“You really think he’s going to be that interested in it?”

“Oh, he’s going to be all over it,” she giggled. “This is really his kind of thing not mine, I just happened to be around to see you do it.”

“So what do you think of all of this?” Silver turned his attention back to whatever it was that he had discovered.

“I think that you’re a talented little dreamer who has some really promising potential, but I don’t personally know what to make of it or what it really is.”

Silver nodded, “That’s fair. So what you’re saying is that I’m better off waiting for Psychic Calm then?”

“Yup!” She cheerfully responded, “He’s going to know more about it than I do, but I do want you to try one more thing if you can.”

“Sure, what else do you need me to do?”

“Try conjuring something.”

“You want me to make something else? Like what?”

“Anything,” she shrugged her fins, “It could be something big, something small— just something that’s recognizable and will stand out to you later.”

“Something memorable then, gotcha.”

The stallion closed his eyes for a moment and pictured the most memorable thing that he could in his mind, and focused all of his magic on making something out of those thoughts. This part of the process was always a weird feeling to him, because it could vary so much, especially if the dream he was in wasn’t his own. A warm feeling flowed through him as he opened his eyes to see the painting of Scarlet that he had imagined, sitting on the wall in front of him.

“That’s a very good choice. Now can you do me a favor and try and memorize as much as you can? I want to test something and there’s really no better way to do it.”

Silver nodded, “Shouldn’t be a problem at all.”

“Good, we’ll find out what this is later. Until then, I’d like you to return to your own dream and avoid coming back here, at least until the Warden of Peace has had a chance to see it for himself.”

“Stay out of the weird dream place, got it,” he paused and hopped into the decidedly more familiar location that he usually spent his days in, “Thanks again, Yinyu.”

“The pleasure is all mine, little dreamer.”

Silver couldn’t help but let out a chuckle, and before he had even realized it, the warden was gone. Though he guessed that she was still watching from a distance— and all of them might be for the foreseeable future for all he knew. What he did know was that there was still some work to be done, and he only had a short amount of time to do it. Deciding to take a brief moment to check through his work duties, he returned to the waking world, though it wouldn’t be for long…

Clearing his own dream, Silver sat and pondered what he would make. He had set a timer to go off so he wouldn’t be playing around in here for too long, and now he could just relax and enjoy his break. Time moved differently in the dream realm, and while he was still tethered to the waking world, his perceptions were still rooted here.

“Hmm… what to do, what to do,” he thought aloud, crafting up a set of walls to start. Visions of a cozy old book shop filled his head, and thus the spark of inspiration was ignited.

The plain smooth wall suddenly formed the shape of bricks, and the empty void that made up the floor was replaced by dark wood planks. The lights dimmed and he conjured up a set of shelves that gave the room a cozy sense of organized clutter. The books wouldn’t actually be functional, but he wasn’t aiming for functional here. This was his dream getaway, and he just cared about seeing how detailed of a place he could create in the time he had to create it.

A smile stretched across the night pony’s face as he shifted into high gear. He was in his element now, and once his creative juices started flowing there was no stopping him. A few doors here, some windows there, and even a few cozy little chairs. Slowly but surely his comfy dream retreat was coming together, and he was perfectly happy. Well, as happy as he could be when building a place that would probably disappear when he returned later that day.

Still though, this was his brand of fun, and he’d gladly build many more if it meant that he got to just create whatever he wanted to his heart’s content. As he stepped back to inspect his work, he paused. Everything seemed to fit right in, however, one of the doors that he had summoned was noticeably different from what it looked like before. The door he had created had been replaced by the opening of an alleyway. Letting out a small laugh, Silver took a step forward to examine it, having a good idea of what it was doing there..

He only had to wait a few moments before a figure stepped out of the alley. Dressed in a trenchcoat with a fedora pulled low to hide his face, the figure sidled over to him. Leaning in, the figure spoke in a gravelly voice, “Are you the one they call Silver Eclipse?” Silver smirked as he confirmed it, and the figure continued, “I hear you have a problem you need solved. Solving problems is my thing, I’m a private dick.”

Silver shook his head and chuckle as he slapped the pony with a wing, “Can’t you simply step into a dream like a normal pony Tweyelight?”

The trenchcoat faded away, and now the fedora was tilted back on the pony’s head, revealing a messy orange mane that looked like it had never met a brush. Grinning at Silver he replied, “Now where’s the fun in that?”

“I guess you’ve got a point there,” he mused, “So here’s the deal. You were looking for work, right? Well what if I told you that I might have a security job that’s got zero applicants lined up for it?”

“Well I’d say you’ve got my attention, Eclipse…”

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