• 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 41: Changing Plans

The couple had been cuddling up together for a long while now, but Silver didn’t have a care in the world. He was with his best friend, he felt like he had a huge weight off of his conscience, and for the first time during the whole injury debacle, he felt confident and at ease about the future. Planning out everything while also dealing with setting up appointments and follow ups was growing more stressful than Silver cared to admit, and even though it might have been a mark against his pride, he was secretly relieved that Scarlet’s mother had been so insistent at helping the two out.

Maybe it was some motherly intuition guiding her, or maybe it was just plainly obvious that the pair had enough stacked on their plates and needed a break, but regardless it was a much needed relief from the growing mountains of stress that they were dealing with. A knock on the door broke through their silence and with a small sigh from Scarlet, their moment together was over.

“I didn’t interrupt anything did I?” Mrs. Delgado asked as she slowly opened the door.

“Not at all mom,” Scarlet replied, though Silver knew that it was a half truth. “How’d you make out?”

“Well, I’ve got your appointments set up. Dug through the paperwork you had and got Silver’s follow up scheduled for next week, and also got you a follow up about your leg. I also told them that you wanted to talk about some private family planning stuff and that nice pony doctor you talked to was relieved to hear it. She thinks it’s a blessing in disguise because she can use you two as guinea pigs to teach the other doctors how to handle pony patients better.”

“We get to be guinea pigs? Wow sounds like a great description,” Scarlet chuckled.

“Hey it’s her words not mine. But if it makes you feel any better, you’ll get a nice hefty discount on all of this, she said it had something to do with taking part in some pilot program with the hospital.”

“That sounds great Mrs. Delgado, thanks for helping out. We really appreciate what you’re doing,” Silver cut in.

“The pleasure is all mine. I haven’t had a chance to just get out of the house and do something in a while.”

“You’re retired though, mom. You should just relax and enjoy your time.”

“Relaxing at home gets so boring, believe me. Taking care of and spending time with you two is more than enjoyable for me.”

“Wanna trade then?” Scarlet offered, “You go work the crappy motel job and I hang out at home all day?”

“In your dreams,” she laughed. “Now I need to get a little running around done, is there anything else you need before I’m out?”

“Not really,” Scarlet answered, “How about you Silvie?”

“Some fruit juice wouldn’t be bad,” he smiled, “If it isn’t any trouble.”

“That won’t be at all,” she looked over to Scarlet again, “You sure you don’t need anything else? Last call.”

The mare finally caved and rolled her eyes, asking her request in a small voice, “Dried mango please.”

“Dried mango? Got it.”

“You might wanna get a few bags of those,” Silver added, “We kinda go through those fast here.”

Mrs. Delgado shook her head and laughed, “I’ll get two but that’s it.”

“Thanks mom,” Scarlet answered back.

As her mother left, Scarlet hopped off of the bed and flipped the lights off, letting out a content sigh. Sliding back into bed, she made herself comfortable and turned towards Silver, “I dunno about you, but that much light for that long was starting to kill my eyes.”

“Yeah mine too,” he agreed, “Guess we gotta deal with it for a bit though. At least while your mom’s here.”

“Guess we should have asked for blindfolds then too, eh?”

“Probably,” Silver weakly laughed. “We'll make do though.”

“We always do,” she leaned into him and relaxed her muscles.

Feeling somewhat comfortable, Silver curled up next to her and let the world fade away until the two of them were the only things left.

“You know, maybe being stuck in bed isn’t such a bad thing. I get to cuddle up with the best mare in the whole world all day and I don’t have to feel like I’m being lazy or anything.”

“Guess there’s a bright side to everything, eh Silvie?”

“Looks like it,” he smiled.

The sudden sounds of a muffled phone ringing from across the room broke their embrace. Looking over at the source of the disturbance, Scarlet let out a sigh, “Your phone’s ringing. Want me to grab it?”

“No,” he replied, “But you probably should. Could be my boss or the hospital calling.”

“Or it could be a spam caller?”

“Maybe,” he half shrugged, “but we should probably take a look at it.”

Scarlet rolled off of the bed and meandered her way over to it, her face being lit up in the darkness by the bright light from the screen. Using the tip of a wing, she unlocked the phone and answered it.

“This is Silver’s phone, can I ask who’s calling?” she answered in her well trained hospitality voice. “Need to talk with him?” she continued, glancing over to the stallion. “Important, got it. Okay just give me a second.”

“What’s up?” Silver raised an eyebrow.

“It’s your boss. Sounded like he had something important to say, should I run outside for a bit or am I fine staying here?”

“You’re all good.” He carefully lifted the phone over with his hooves and unmuted it, “Duncan, what’s up?”

“Silver, glad to hear you’re doing okay. How are you feeling?”

“Everything hurts and I want to just sleep. But all things considered I’m okay. So what did you need?”

“Well obviously I wanted to check up on you…”

“But…?” Silver pressed.

“But there’s another thing we needed to talk about.”

Silver nervously gulped, “Okay. Why do I have a bad feeling about this?”

“Because it’s news you’re not going to like, and believe me, I don’t like having to give it.”

A handful of thoughts began to flood through his mind, and none of them were particularly good.

“I see… go on then, just get it over with.”

The line went silent for a moment before Duncan began to speak again, “I need you to realize that what I’m about to say comes purely from a liability standpoint and nothing else. You’re a fantastic employee and you’ve been nothing but great… which makes this really hard to say but I have to.”

“Duncan, I know whatever it is it’s important and I know you want me to know that, but I need you to just rip the bandaid off before I have an anxiety attack over this because my mind’s racing with all of the bad what if’s right now.”

More silence followed, but right as Silver was about to speak again, Duncan continued.

“I need to let you go.”

Now it was Silver’s turn to sit in silence. He knew something bad was coming, but this hit him like a freight train.

“I’m sorry, what?”

“It’s a liability thing, not anything to do with your performance.”

Silver’s jaw dropped as a rush of emotions ranging from anger to confusion to sadness shot through him. His eye twitching, he straightened himself in bed and raised his voice, “What do you mean it’s just a liability thing?”

“You got seriously injured on my property while on the clock. I’m paying you under the table and under the minimum, and normally I’d need to file paperwork for this which could land me in some serious trouble with osha.”

“So you’re just firing me then? Like that?!”

“I don’t want to, but I don’t really have a choice.”

“Of course you do!” Silver raised his voice, letting out a small wince at the pain it brought on. “You had me on under the table, why not just brush this whole incident under the rug too?”

“Because this is a lot more serious.”

“Is it though?!” Silver let out a deep sigh, “Look, I’m mad at the situation but not you. I’m still annoyed at you, but I get where you’re coming from. It’s just…”

“You needed the money, I know. And believe me, I’m sorry that I can’t keep you on, but now there are police reports. There’s a real chance I could lose my insurance… and the yard.”

“Is there any way I could come back in the future? Maybe when things blow over?”

“I don’t know right now. I don’t want to say no, but I also can’t say yes.”

The stallion rolled his eyes and shook his head, “Okay, thanks. I guess just let me know whenever, it’s not like I’ll have a lot to do anyways.”

“I really am sorry about this,” Duncan continued, “I know it’s not the kind of call you wanted to hear and I really hate that I have to make it.”

“No it’s fine, you’re looking out for yourself and your business. I get it.”

“But it sucks, I know. I’m going to let you relax and cool off, and I really hope you have a smooth recovery.”

“Thanks Duncan. Guess I’ll see you around.”

“Goodbye Silver.”

The phone clicked and the call ended, leaving Silver alone with his thoughts and Scarlet.

“I’m so sorry Silver,” Scarlet spoke up, cuddling up next to him.

“Sorry for what? It’s not like we could have changed anything.”

“But it still sucks and it’s ridiculous.”

“Yep, it is,” he flatly replied.

A cold silence permeated the room as the two awkwardly sat there, trying to formulate the right words to say. Silver didn’t let things get to him often, but he would have been lying if he said he wasn’t crushed by the news. There was at least one small consolation he supposed, their medical expenses were seemingly out of the equation this time around, which had been the whole reason he had gotten that job in the first place. But why did he feel so worried still?

“Hey, we’re gonna be fine,” Scarlet finally spoke up, breaking the silence.

“Are we though? We’re not dealing with hospital bills right now, but what about our future? Raising a foal isn’t exactly the kind of thing we can just coast on by without any income.”

“We don’t even know if that’s on the table yet though,” she offered.

“We don’t know if it isn’t though. We haven’t exactly been playing things safe and neither of us knows how this really works for ponies.”

“My mom can help us,” she countered, “even if things get scary and we get overwhelmed.”

“Is it bad that I kind of just want to go back to bed and not think about this for a while?” He asked.

“It probably isn’t good to push it back, but I guess it’s understandable right now.”

“I just have a lot on my mind, you know?” He let out a long yawn, “And I’m still just overwhelmed with everything.”

Scarlet let out a yawn of her own and peeked over at the bedside clock, “Okay, it’s getting late for us, and I’m getting sleepy too. But you have to promise me that we’ll talk this over when we wake up, okay? We can even talk about things with my mom and see what she thinks.”

Silver hesitated for a moment before nodding, “Okay, sounds like a deal to me.”

“Good,” Scarlet smiled, “now let’s get comfy. I’ll even let you pick the dream tonight.”

“Thanks Scarlet,” Silver smiled, feeling a little less worried, but still a little overwhelmed.


Silver lazily mashed bits of architecture together with no real rhyme or reason. He simply had too much on his mind to make anything other than some weird surreal landscape, and just the act of creating something helped out at least some of his frustrations at ease.

“Wow, you’re really getting the hang of this, eh?” Scarlet commented as she scrutinized the dream space that Silver was working on.

The stallion shrugged, “I dunno, it feels like I’m just smashing buildings together.”

Scarlet looked up at one of the twisting skyscrapers that bent around them and connected to a warped brick building, “Well just so you know, there’s a lot of people that would consider this abstract art. And good art at that.”

“I appreciate the sentiment, it’s just hard to be cheerful right now, you know?”’

Scarlet walked close to him and leaned up against him, “I do. I’m sorry things didn’t work out with your boss, but just try and cheer up.”

“Oh I’m trying. He looked at her, “Sorry… I’ll try harder. It’s not fair to get snappy with you.”

“You’re right, so how about this. You take a break from crafting and I’ll make us a nice cozy dream to relax in. Just the two of us.”

Silver smiled and gave a short nod, “That sounds good.”

In a flash the dream suddenly shifted. The bright hues of the buildings seemed to drain into drab and dreary grays and the orange sky above grew dark and cloudy. An icy chill ran down his spine as he suddenly became aware of the oddly familiar presence that he could sense looming in the background. It was a warden no doubt, but one who hasn’t decided to reveal themselves to him. He knew that something was here with him however, and no matter where he looked he couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was staring at him just out of sight.

“Hey, I know you’re here, so wanna cut the theatrics and just show yourself so I can get back to cuddling with my marefriend?!”

Silence.

Great, I sound like a complete lunatic, he thought to himself.

His thoughts were suddenly interrupted as he sensed another dreamer entering his dream. Scarlet flashed him a look of concern, raising a hoof to Silver’s head and pulling his gaze back toward her, “Silver, what’s up?”

He shook his head and pointed toward the corner of the twisted desert cityscape that he had been creating, taking sight of an orange pegasus with a purple mane. More shockingly, if his memory served him correctly, this was none other than Tonya Middleton— a pegasus who had been tried by the dreamwardens for using mind magic to commit murder and had somehow managed to survive their judgement with her mind intact.

Scarlet followed his gaze and looked back toward him, “That isn’t… I mean it can’t be— right?”

Before he could reply, the stranger spoke up, earning confused looks from the pair of night ponies, “Um, I’m sorry if I’m interrupting you.”

A strange feeling of familiarity radiated from the stranger, sparking some realization in Silver’s head. Something about her voice was familiar, as if he had heard it before, giving him a feeling that he knew this pony from somewhere, but he couldn’t place where.

A realization suddenly came to him as the pieces fell into place. With an audible gasp he stepped back, meeting the stranger’s gaze, “You? This has got to be a weird prank.”

“This isn’t a prank, I can promise you that”, she replied in a calm voice.

He raised an eyebrow. “So you’re the pony our mutual friend was talking about?”

“It seems so. So what do you think?”

“About what he said or about you? You know, the convicted mind magic abuser that’s somehow able to dreamwalk. Last I checked, pegasi couldn’t do that unless I’m missing something.”

“Last I checked most night ponies didn’t build giant twisted cities inside a subconscious part of their mind that they managed to access, but here we both are.”

“That still doesn’t answer my question. My dream magic is one thing, but you don’t have that ability… right?”

“Weren’t you paying attention during the trial? I specifically requested the ability to dreamwalk… This isn’t something that’s exclusively available to night ponies you know? I know it’s not common, but is this really so shocking to you? Especially after everything you’ve seen?”

Silver gave a short nod, “Not really, just unusual is all.” He glanced around at nothing in particular before looking back at her, “So I’m going to just assume that we’re not all alone here then. I can feel one of them hiding in the shadows.”

“Mhmm, well that’s not what’s important. What’s important is the offer that’s on the table.” She looked toward Scarlet, “For both of you— and the rest of your friends actually.”

“Alright, that’s fair enough. Before we get into this though, I have a few questions to ask you.”

“Ask away then. I can’t promise that I’ll be able to answer everything, but we’ll see.”

“For starters, who are you with?”

She raised an eyebrow, “What do you mean? I’m here on behalf of our mutual friend.”

“Right, but who are you really here with? I know he wouldn’t just ask me something in a really weird roundabout way.”

“But what if he did?” She offered.

Silver shrugged, “I’d be confused but what isn’t confusing in here? That said, I might not know Psychic super well, but I know enough about him to know that he would never do things this way. He’s the dry and straight to the point kind.”

“You’re very perceptive. So I’ll tell you what, I’m here to offer a deal from my wonderful fiancé, who happens to lead an advanced research group out east.”

“Sunset Blessing, right?”

“Right, and I’m going to guess that your next question is how did she find us, what does she want from us, and what’s the catch?”

“Something like that,” Silver answered.

“Well the how is real easy. I don’t know what it was, but something you said or did seemed to stand out to our friend, and he passed along some of your information to Phobia, who might have passed some of that along to me over breakfast a little while ago.”

A flicker of realization sparked in Silver’s head, “Aha, so that’s why he asked me if he could share what we talked about.”

“Probably.”

“Okay, so how about the what?”

“Another easy one. Sunset’s always looking for scientists that can help with some of her projects. She thinks you and your friends seem like a group of ponies that might be able to help with a small project or two to start, with maybe some bigger projects down the line if everything seems to be going well.”

“Mhmm, but what do two inventors, a robotics nerd, a programming geek, and an astronomer have to bring to the table?”

“A lot surprisingly. You’re a group of ponies working on researching science and magic, that’s not exactly common or easy to find right now,” Tonya calmly replied. “Besides, she also funds research projects that will lead to products that can be sold to ponies.”

“Okay, but are our hobbies really the kind of stuff that put us on Sunset’s radar? Because I’m finding it hard to believe that she’s just found a bunch of nobodies out in the middle of nowhere and is willing to offer them employment.”

“Well I guess I should have been more specific. Your dreams did too. The stuff you keep talking to other dreamwalkers about. Stuff like the projects you dream of getting to work on again, that base the inventors wanted to work on out in the desert— that sort of stuff. There’s not a lot of ponies willing to just blindly work towards something in the way your friends are trying to, especially out in your neck of the woods and that makes you and your friends kind of unique in that regard. That’s why Sunset took interest in you.”

Silver nodded, “Okay, so what’s the catch then? We just work with Sunset? Does she expect us to just completely pack up shop and move halfway across the country? Because honestly that’s not gonna be doable right now.”

“Don’t worry about that, moving isn’t necessary, and we can figure out the finer details if you decide to take the offer.”

“What is the offer then? I can’t really speak for everypony right now, but it wouldn’t hurt to hear what’s on the table.”

“The offer on the table is that you work with Sunset on a few projects of hers every now and again. In return she’ll help fund whatever crazy blue sky projects you have in mind. Need some hard to get electronic components? They’re yours. Need some advanced computer? Sure. All you have to do is help out with her stuff and you’re free to do whatever you want in between. You can even work from wherever is most convenient— no need to move out here. That’s it, nothing more, nothing less. Does that sound fair to you?”

Silver contemplated this for a moment. Sure, she was here with an offer that almost seemed too good to be true, but something told him that this was a much larger part of something else, and that alone intrigued him enough to almost jump right on the opportunity. He needed to think this through though, because after all he couldn’t just speak on their behalf. He thought back to the two inventors and the argument they had had when he first met them, and then he thought back to his own projects that he never thought he’d have the chance to work on again. On one hand, if he accepted this deal on their behalf they’d all be able to work on their dream projects, and maybe he could even work on building up something even bigger than a cobbled together telescope for Scarlet, but on the other he’d be accepting something without having the chance to put more concrete thought into it.

Clearly this was something that needed careful consideration, and that’s just what he was about to do. Silver took another deep breath and turned towards the pegasus, “So there’s no catch?”

“The only catch is that if you refuse, the offer is void, and you won’t get whatever you decide to request from Sunset. That’s fair right?”

“Mind if we talk this over for a second?” Scarlet asked, interrupting the two for the first time since Tonya had arrived.

Silver turned toward Scarlet and then back toward Tonya, who replied with a nod.

Scarlet lowered her voice to a whisper, leaning in close to Silver, “Do you think we can trust her?”

“I don’t know. To tell you the truth, I don’t think we’re in any position to fully agree without talking to the others… what do you think though?”

“Well if we agree that means we’re agreeing to work with a really notable Shimmerist, that might not look so good for us.”

Silver nodded, “My thoughts exactly… but it might be the only way we can do any of the things we’ve been wanting to do.”

“I’m perfectly content with the life we’re leading now though, I mean we just talked about that out there too, does this change anything?”

“Not for us. I’m fine sticking around where we’re at,” he replied back in a calm voice, “but I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t an interesting proposition. I mean if not for us, it might be useful for the other two. You saw how much they really wanted to work on their bigger projects, and this might be a way to get back into some of the stuff I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.”

She glanced over toward the pegasus, “Okay, well maybe we should put a pin in this and do a little more research with those two then.”

“My thoughts exactly, if they don’t think it’s a good idea then we just politely decline and continue our happy lives.”

“Right.”

Silver turned back toward Tonya, meeting her with a smile, “Okay, so I’m interested in this, but I’m going to hold off on saying a hard yes or no until I can talk it over with the others. I have a couple conditions of my own, you know, assuming we agree to this.”

“And they are?”

“Firstly, we get a final say on what we get to do in our downtime. If we’re working with your projects then Sunset can dictate how we handle them, but she stays out of our own business unless we can come to some agreement that’s fair for both parties. Secondly, whatever we’re working together on— I want to make sure that it’s something that’s not going to go against our own morals. I want to make sure that we’re not going to be doing anything questionable that puts us in any awkward positions.”

Tonya smiled, “I can’t promise anything, but I’ll let Sunset know about your concerns. We’ll try to accommodate your requests as much as we can, I can promise you that. So what do you want from Sunset?”

Silver was all business now, seeing a golden opportunity in front of him and the entire ambience of the room seemed to lighten up at this. “Well, assuming we all come to an agreement, I think we’ll need help getting some more resources set up. I know the two inventors were having some discussions about that, but kept running into budgetary issues. I’m sure Sunset could spare a few dollars if it’s making this whole partnership a lot more efficient. Obviously I’m going to need to discuss the matter more with the others and get back to you on it before we can actually know what we’ll need so let’s go ahead and put a pin in this for now and meet up again later. Let’s say a week from now, same dream, same time? Does that sound alright to you?”

Tonya nodded, “That’s fine by me. I know Sunset’s got a reputation that might not be what you’re comfortable with, but she’s not a bad pony, the stuff she’s trying to do could change the world someday, and I’m sure being a part of that will reflect back nicely on you all. So just consider the offer, okay?”

Silver lightened up a bit more, the initial shock having died down for him. “Was there anything else you needed?”

“Not tonight, we can talk more in a week when you’re all ready. Have a nice rest of your… day I guess?” She said cheerfully.

“You too, take care.”

The pegasus was suddenly gone, leaving Silver and Scarlet alone once again for a few silent minutes.

Scarlet was the first to speak up, looking back toward Silver, “So…”

“We’re being watched by some Shimmerist and her mind magic abusing fiance… who’s offering us some deal...” he let out a laugh, “I’d say this has been the weirdest day in a long time, but I honestly don’t know if it is.”

“Do you really think it’s a good idea? Taking the deal that is.”

Silver shrugged, “No, it probably isn’t, but we should definitely tell the others, at least get their thoughts on the matter. Let’s be realistic, Sunset Blessing is a powerful pony with some far reaching connections, connections that would make their projects a lot easier to actually accomplish. I mean you saw the stuff they were working on, maybe this might give them the chance to make some of those prototypes into an actual reality.”

“Just make sure you know what you’re getting us all into Silver, Ok?”

“I will, we’re all in this together.”

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