• 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 48: Departures

Orion looked up at Silver with an eager and excited look in his eyes. “So what happened next, Dad?!”

Silver paused for a moment. “A lot…”

“Like what?”

“Well, not a whole lot for me and mommy. We were waiting for me to get better and started getting things ready for you even though we knew it’d be a long time.”

“What about your friends? What did they do?”

Silver thought back to that weird, almost scary moment in pony history. When a frightening government conspiracy involving some very severe mind magic abuse and a cross-dimensional attempt to create an Equestrian protectorate on Earth came to light. He hadn’t lied when he said that the almost three month gap had been an uneventful time for them, but it had also been a very scary one. It was a period where fear about their rights had started to take hold. The village that Silver and Scarlet called home was one of the many places that was set up on land that didn’t technically belong to it’s inhabitants, and even though an early deal had been brokered, the two were still nervous about the potential for the rightful owners to step in and take back what was theirs.

Thankfully enough for them, a pony homestead act had been established that helped secure those kinds of communities, and at the very least established a better precedent for their deal to stay valid. His thoughts shifted back to Orion’s question, and the hard work that Silver’s friends were tasked with putting into the city that they now lived in.

“They worked hard to make this place into the city it is today— we all did. Mister Tinker and Mister Gyro, Uncle Phoenix, Miss Midnight, your mom and I, and even Auntie Sapphire at one point.”

“Auntie Sapphire helped make this place?!” he asked in the most adorably astonished way imaginable.

“She did, but that’s a story for another time, kiddo.” He paused, noticing Orion’s saddened expression, “We’ll get to that part later, don’t worry.”

“Aww, okay,” he slowly replied, before perking up again. “So what happened next?!”

Silver let out a laugh and continued, “Well, we learned how hard following your dreams really was…”

Silver opened his eyes and smiled as he became aware of the forelegs wrapped around him.

“Sleep well?” he asked Scarlet, who stirred slightly, but didn’t release him from her embrace.

“Mhmm… I dunno about you though, but I could go for a few more hours wrapped up like this.”

A playful smirk spread across Silver’s face and he wriggled free for a moment so he could face his sleepy marefriend. “Me too… someone’s gotta get some food going though.”

“Can’t it wait?” she replied.

Her stomach growling seemingly answered that question for her. Silver shook his head and lightly booped her on the muzzle.

“You’re eating for two now, so no, it can’t wait.”

“Fine,” she playfully rolled her eyes. “But can we get back to cuddling together after? Maybe under the stars or something?”

Silver considered this for a moment and chuckled to himself, “I think that sounds like a good plan.” He shifted around in the low sitting bed and rolled off onto the floor.

“What’re you hungry for? Some fruit salad? Regular old breakfast stuff? Something else?”

“Some eggs,” she groggily replied. “Maybe with some pineapple juice or a smoothie?”

“Back on the pineapple kick, are we?” Silver teased.

Scarlet looked up from the bed and feverishly nodded her head, “Yeah. Can you blame me though?”

“Considering how good they are, no, I really can’t,” he agreed.

“We’ll have to get some more pineapple the next time we go into town.”

“I’ll add it to my list,” Silver nodded. “When’s the next observatory fundraiser?”

“Sometime next Wednesday. We haven’t figured out the time yet because they just barely managed to hire on staffers to keep the place open on the weekend, but it’s going to be some night time hike under the stars.”

“That sounds awesome. So what you’re saying is that I should get a nice picnic dinner made up for us so we can call it date night?”

“Why not. Gives us an excuse to take a little detour off of the trail for a little alone time.”

Silver smiled at the suggestion. Not just because it was a cute idea or an excuse to get a little more cuddly out on their hike, but also because it brought to mind something that had been in his head for the better part of a few months now: his proposal to Scarlet. The fact that the two had been planning on getting married was no secret, both had discussed it on more than one occasion. In fact, as far as they were concerned, for all intents and purposes the two were a committed pair. There was no question that they had started their family, and there was no pressing need for them to jump through the legal hoops of getting married officially. That still didn’t stop Silver from thinking about the right time and place to actually make everything official though. Even if it was just a symbolic gesture, it was something he wanted to get right.

The other pressing matter in his mind was what kind of things were in their future. In the months since his friends had moved out to Mesa Verde— a place that they had come to call their Oasis, they had slowly started to build the old dilapidated ghost town into a proper little village. It was far from the place that they had envisioned it would be when they had struck their deal with Sunset Blessing, but it was growing more and more every day, and Silver was starting to feel a growing sense of longing to visit the place.

That was the one thing that seemed to act as a point of contention between the two. It wasn’t that they argued about it often, but Silver’s budding interest in visiting it long term and possibly living there for a while was in stark contrast to Scarlet’s interest in staying in their village. There was no real argument, because they had agreed that staying there was what they both wanted— at least until they knew they could have stability in the ghost town. That still didn’t negate the wistfulness that would slowly creep into Silver’s mind from time to time.

He didn’t honestly know whether his interest was simply rooted in the curiosity over how his friends and newfound family were doing there, or a strengthened herd instinct telling him that he should be with the ones who were closest to him, or even if it was just wanting a change of scenery, if even for a brief moment. But one thing he did know was that the place was still not quite to the level of development where Scarlet would feel comfortable taking an extended trip to the town.

“Lost in thought again or something?” her beautiful voice pulled him from his reflection.

“Mhmm… just thinking about things again.”

“Good things or bad things?”

“Things that I know the answer for but still can’t help but think about.” He admitted.

“I see. So it’s the can we go visit the old ghost town with no infrastructure kind of reflection?”

“Yeah,” Silver nodded. “I know we talked about how we didn’t want to move out there until we knew we could live comfortably and raise our foal there, but I just can’t stop thinking about it. It’s like it’s worked its way into my head and some instinct won’t let me forget about it.”

The mare gently got out of bed and approached him, a calm look on her face. “Hey I get it. It’s exciting and you want to be a part of it. I want to too, but I also want to make sure that it’s not going to be stressful for either of us, and that we won’t need to worry about anything that might come up. I mean I know we have a while until our bright little star is gonna come into the world, but what if we need to see a doctor, or one of us gets hurt, or… well anything else? That town’s pretty far from the rest of civilization right?”

“Right. And that’s totally valid. It’s just one of those fantasies that doesn’t leave my mind. I know we’ll get there in due time, I just kinda want to know how things are going, see the place with my own eyes instead of from some pictures… that sort of stuff.”

“Mhmm,” Scarlet paused. “And I get that. I know I’m just being paranoid and weird but we’re both first time parents and dealing with a pony pregnancy and all the wonderful differences that it has to a human one is just making me even more cautious about stuff like this. I know the doc told us everything we needed to know, if I can’t help but feel… extra protective.”

“Me neither to be honest. I don’t know if it’s what you said or just weird night pony stuff kicking that protection part of our brains into high gear, but it doesn’t hurt to play it safe right now.”

“Of course. Now that said, maybe we can see where they’re at with their infrastructure sometime soon.”

“Huh?” Silver raised an eyebrow. Her question wasn’t an odd one, but it just felt out of place given their conversation. “Didn’t we just like… talk about all that?”

“We talked about waiting until it was safe, but who knows? Maybe they’re there now. I honestly wouldn’t mind getting away for a little bit, but I’d feel a lot safer going there if I knew we wouldn’t have to wait any crazy amount of time for someone to get down to help us if God forbid something did happen.”

“You do?” he asked.

“Sure,” she replied. “The motel’s finally giving me some time off, probably because I threatened to report them if they didn’t cut the bullshit and actually give me the benefits we agreed on when I got hired.”

“And you want to spend it on that?”

“I mean not all of it, but if you think about it that valley probably has no light pollution so we’ll get an even better view of the night sky. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty good vacation spot to me.”

A sly smirk spread across Silver’s face. “You’re such a nerd, you know that right?”

“Yeah well you’re a nerd too, so I think we’re even on that front. Besides, you’ve got the bug too so I know you’ll appreciate that part too.”

“Spending time together on vacation or the better view part? Because both of those sound pretty good to me.”

“Sounds like you’ve got your answer already. So it seems like all you’ve gotta do is figure out how much they’ve built up and whether it’s safe to go down there or not.”

“I think that’s a plan then.” He replied with a big goofy excited grin.

“Hey Silver, what’s up?” Stanley’s tinny voice asked over the phone’s speaker.

“Oh not much,” he glanced over at Scarlet who was curled up inside the cabin. “Just thought I’d touch base and catch up with you. It’s been a while since we talked.”

“Mhmm… it has.” He went silent for a moment. “So how have you two been? Still getting everything set up for the little bat?”

“Yeah. We’ve kind of done everything we can really do right now, so it’s just turned into us relaxing when we can and taking it easy. I’ve been having trouble finding a good long term job, so I’ve pretty much just been handling everything around the cabin.”

“That’s good. Is she still working at the sketchy motel?”

“Yep, and she’s still not a huge fan of it. Her coworkers are treating her a lot better now though. I think they’re afraid that she’s going to go report them and get the business fined for discriminating against her.”

“Would she do that?” he asked in a very interested tone of voice.

“Probably not,” Silver shrugged, “but they don’t know that, so they don’t give her any problems right now.”

“Well that’s great.” He paused again, “So did you guys ever think about taking a trip up here? Just to see how much we’ve built up?”

“A little actually,” Silver admitted. “We’re still not ready to move over there, at least not yet, but Scarlet and I were actually talking about maybe taking a trip up there sometime soon.”

“Really?! That’s great! I know that Tinker and Gyro would be really glad to see you again, and it’d be awesome to see you out in the waking world.”

“I think that’d be awesome too. We just wanted to make sure things were built up a little more just for that peace of mind, you know?”

“Yeah, I get it. You’ve got a baby on the way and you want to make sure that you’re not going to be raising it in the middle of some desolate desert.”

“Exactly,” Silver laughed. “So how are things going out there anyhow? Make any progress with the new construction?”

“Kinda sorta,” he replied. “We got the clinic set up, but we also found out the hard way that the mining town wasn’t really as… structurally sound as we thought it was.”

“Oh? So is that a good or a bad thing?” A small dash of worry jolted through him. He hadn’t really heard about what was going on there in a while, and right away the mental image that was being painted was not a great one.

“Depends on how you look at it. We can use the old buildings for storage and housing, but we really can’t update them for what the inventors need, unless they want to get in touch with their profession’s roots and pick up blacksmithing.”

Silver laughed and nodded his head, “Gotcha. So it’s setbacks but not really a huge derailment.”

“Again, it depends on how you look at it. We built a new clinic building and a new workshop for them to get at least the basics set up, but we’re probably looking at needing to hire an actual architect and some engineers to design all new stuff.”

Silver nodded, “Gotcha. Well I’m a glass half full kind of pony so I guess it could be worse.”

“Yeah, exactly. We really lucked out with getting some qualified ponies out here for the clinic too. It’s not like a full on hospital, but it’s probably the best ground-up pony centered clinic you’ll find in the state right now.”

“No kidding, that’s great.” Silver marveled.

“Yeah, I think one of the doctors knows you too? Some night pony named Fitzpatrick.”

A surprised gasp worked its way out of Silver’s mouth, and he couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow at this. The same doctor that was sent by a Dream Warden just so happened to be stationed at the place that they were funding by proxy? Something was definitely up with this, and Silver couldn’t help but wonder if maybe she was acting as their eyes and ears in the town, or if it was all just some funny coincidence.

“Huh… Small world I guess.” he slowly replied back.

“You know her?”

“Yeah… she was the one that helped me with my work injury, and also the one that gave us the news about our foal… I thought she was headed back to Riverview a month ago but I guess not.”

“It’s funny you say that, because she told us she was expecting that too. But I guess the program she was a part of wanted to send some ponies out here to train our people.”

“Funny how that works out…”

Something was definitely fishy about this, but whatever it was, Silver had no clue. What stood out to him though, was that their town had a competently staffed clinic and at least the most basic life support infrastructure… two things that Scarlet had been concerned about.

“Yeah… it is, isn’t it? You’ll have to say hi if you ever visit.”

“For sure… and I guess that might be sooner than we thought.”

“Oh?” Stanley asked.

“Well, we might be interested in doing that a lot sooner than we thought we would. You kind of answered all of the big ticket concerns we both had, and I guess the only really big one left is just how we’d even get down there.”

“Oh that’s easy, Tinker and Gyro have a friend— Marcus. He was the one that brought us here, and I’m sure he could drive down and get you two too.”

“Good to know. I don’t know when we can get down there yet, but it’s good to know we won’t have to stress over that too much.”

“I bet. So I’m guessing you’ll have to talk things over with her then?”

“Yeah,” he nodded. “I’m pretty sure we’ll wind up down there sooner than later, but I just don’t know when yet.”

“That’s fair. Just give me or anypony else a call and we can get the travel and lodging stuff figured out. We actually have a pony out here who’s a natural at that kind of thing.”

“For sure,” Silver smiled. “Thanks again for answering some stuff, it was nice talking to you, and we really need to do that more.”

“I’d like that, Silver.” He paused, “So you’re gonna head out then?”

“For now. But maybe we can all meet up in the dream realm again and do something fun, or just catch up— whatever you and Midnight want.”

“That sounds great. You two have an awesome day, and hopefully we'll see you soon.”

“You too, Stanley.”

The line went silent and Silver trotted back into the cabin, gently kicking the door shut as he entered. Sliding his phone back onto the charger, he looked over to the bed longingly, and locked eyes with Scarlet, who smiled back at him.

“How’d things go?” she asked.

“Pretty great I’d say, sounds like the big stuff we were worried about has been covered. So I guess it’s a matter of figuring out when we want to go.”

“Hmmm,” she tapped a hoof to her chin. “Maybe next week sometime after the fundraiser? I could probably get some time off or something.”

“Let’s make it a date then.”

With their concerns seemingly answered and almost too many things going right in their favor, Silver couldn’t help but wonder if he and his friends were being unknowingly directed by the Dream Wardens or whether it was just the everyday stress making him see things that weren’t there. The last thought that crossed his mind before he was pulled into a cuddly embrace was that maybe a little vacation wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

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