• Published 23rd Mar 2020
  • 1,080 Views, 175 Comments

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!

  • ...

PreviousChapters Next
Chapter 52: Tempting Fate…

The next couple of days had gone by without much excitement. Silver and Scarlet enjoyed the small vacation they had waited so long for, and the town’s activity seemed to dry up for the most part— quite literally. A brief talk with the town’s lead pegasus confirmed that this wouldn’t just be a small problem to fix. Much to Silver’s relief though, he didn’t have to deal with solving it in the moment. The next day was different however. Midnight and Stanley had managed to get in touch with SPEC’s land management company, UMAD, and another land survey was scheduled for the day. That had been the boring end to Silver’s day, but when he woke up he was greeted with some interesting news.

Some of the early surveying resulted in boring news about a dried up lake bed and a few entrances to underground caverns, but so far it seemed that the land was stable enough to build on, which meant that Silver’s father could start work on designing for it sooner than he had thought. The next order of business was talking with the weather team, which consisted of a bunch of uncoordinated pegasi led by a pony named Zipper, who had already started to get on Silver’s nerves after only a short conversation.

Silver could only get the feeling that this conversation was going to go much the same way, when he was forced to sit and wait while the gray pegasus zipped around through the sky, showing off all of the stunts he could do. Calling the showboaty tricks stunts was a stretch to say the least, but the pegasus insisted that Silver watch. Swooping down and flying dangerously close above Silver, the pegasus dropped into a summersault roll that looked and probably felt pretty painful.

“So what’s on the agenda today, bluey?” he asked as he pulled himself up and dusted himself off.”

Silver rolled his eyes. “Just checking in on what we talked about the other day. You know, about what the plan is for organizing?”

“Don’t sweat it! I’ve got it all planned out.” Zipper flicked his wild mane in the air and smirked.

“Uh huh. You’ve said that a lot so far though… so I was hoping that you know… might actually get around to writing it out?”

Zipper seemed a little annoyed, but didn’t act up or anything. “I told you I got it. This kinda stuff just takes time, y’know?”

“Yeah.” He let out a sigh, “Just promise me you’ll work on that soon, okay? There’s a lot of ponies here that are counting on you, and I need you to be the leader they need.” That’s asking for a lot, Silver thought to himself… but he didn’t have the heart to say it aloud.

“Gotcha bluey. Give me a day and I’ll write it all out, I promise!”

Silver nodded, “I’ll trust you on it… but please don’t push it off, okay? I’m going to try my best to get you guys some help, but I need you to actually write out a plan that everypony can follow.”

“Hmm,” he replied.

“Hmm? Look, you’re the leader right? So writing out plans and organizing things is your job.”

“Yeah... I know, but I was hoping to run things a little differently. It’s good to throw a wrench in the gears every now and again, right? At least I think I remember someone saying that to me... “

“Did you talk to the others about that? Because they seem to think that you have some kind of big plan for how you’re going to train them to work as a team and actually manage the weather here.”

“We are managing the weather,” Zipper protested. “It’s just babysteps.”

“You’re making little wispy clouds and aren’t giving the farmers enough rain.”

“That’s because they have the river,” he countered with a grin, “I’m just being economical.”

“That’s not what Gizmo’s saying. He seems to think you’re just being lazy— his words, not mine,” Silver replied.

“Well Giz is old, he doesn’t know how this stuff all works.”

“Old but wise, I wouldn’t ignore him just because he’s a lot older than you.”

Zipper shrugged, “Fair enough. I guess we could give him some more rain, it’s just gonna take some time. We’re all busy with our training.”

I bet you are… “Okay. Well I need to get going, but just please please please write up a plan for your team, okay? I’ve got a friend coming who’s good at organizing this kind of stuff and he’s a very organized by the book kind of pony. So try to work with him, not against him… okay?”

“Aye aye, now wanna see some more tricks we can do?”

Silver shook his head, “I think I’m good…”

Before the pegasus could protest, he took off into the sky and made his way towards the barn he had grown to use as a sort of temporary office. He didn’t know whether to call the conversation with Zipper productive or not, but it definitely gave him the distinct impression that the pegasus saw his team as more of a stunt group than the important part of the town’s ecosystem they were meant to be. He couldn’t help but snicker as he thought about how his friend would whip them into shape, but he’d have to wait a little bit for that. As he drew closer to the barn, he noticed that Tinker was already sitting outside with a notebook tucked under his wing, and upon noticing Silver, the pegasus cheerfully waved to him. Silver banked into a soft landing and took a moment to dust himself off as the other stallion trotted up to him.

“How’d the meeting go, Silver?” Tinker asked as he pushed the barn door open.

“About as good as it could have,” Silver replied, taking a moment to drop his saddlebag on the nearby table. “So not great with that hot-headed pegasus calling the shots.”

“Zipper’s giving you trouble again, eh?”

“Pretty much,” Silver confirmed. “He keeps talking about how he’s got a plan in his head and he just needs to put it on paper, but when it comes to actually showing me that then it turns into every excuse in the book about why he didn’t.”

“I see…” Tinker started with a sigh, clearly having dealt with this many times before.

“I have a last ditch effort plan though, and it’s kind of a two step process though.”

“Oh?” Tinker raised an eyebrow. “Well go on, tell me about it then.”

A small smirk spread across Silver’s face. “I had a buddy who was in the military before ETS and was discharged after transforming. He needed a job so I asked if he’d be able to fly down here for a bit and help get the team in shape. I didn’t tell Zipper though, so I’ll just let it be a surprise. You don’t mind right?”

“That’s… going to be interesting to watch, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. So that’s step one then I take it?”

“Yeah. And step two is something a little more… extreme.”

The pegasus grimaced, “How extreme is extreme?”

Silver paced around the room and considered his response. “Pretty extreme, not going to lie. And it’s going to wind up costing some more but we could probably slip it into the budget.”

“Right… is this something illegal?” He asked with a worried voice. “Because the way you’re dodging around it is giving me a bad feeling.”

“I don’t think it’s illegal, it’s just complicated and there’s a good chance they’ll say no.”

“Who’s they.”

Silver looked at his phone that was still charging from a borrowed cable. “There’s a few pegasi that might be able to give us some advice that could maybe help get us off the ground. Granted a lot of this is based mostly on word of mouth, but I think I have a couple good places to start.”

Tinker raised an eyebrow, “Who did you have in mind?”

“Well, if you wanna go the obvious route then we could try reaching out to ponies like Sunrise Storm… though given everything that’s happened I don’t really know if she’s available, able to, or even willing to offer up some advice right now, especially if she learns we work for Sunset Blessing.”

Tinker shrugged. “Alright that’s understandable enough I guess, who else is on the list though?”

“This one’s probably just as crazy, but I just saw some rerun of an interview she gave. She’s a pegasus up north, somewhere in Michigan I think. Her name is Sapphire Sky. She runs some sort of government weather program, talked about it in that interview and it seems like she’s the very helping other ponies out type.

“Well that’s good to hear. So what’s her status then?”

“Hard to tell. I did some digging but couldn’t find anything concrete, but it sounds like she might have been one of those ponies that were chosen to go to Equestria. So that might make getting in contact a little tricky…” he paused. “But it might be worth giving her office a call. I’m sure there’s a pony there who might be able to help answer that.”

“I suppose it wouldn’t hurt…”

Silver waved him over to the phone and fumbled around with the browser for a few moments. With a little difficulty, he was able to turn on the voice dictation and read out the search for the Michigan Weather Management Program.

There weren’t a ton of search results, but thankfully there was a pretty basic website with an address and phone number alongside some generic information about what they did and some of their current projects. The phone number had an option to call from the browser, and with only a moment’s hesitation, Silver gently tapped the number with a wing thumb.

The phone switched apps and in moments the two were greeted by a ringing that was quickly replaced by a cheerful voice from the other end.

“Hello, thank you for calling the Michigan Weather Management Program, this is Maple Berry speaking. How may I assist you today?”

Silver cleared his throat away from the phone and put on his most confident voice. “Hello Maple, my name’s Silver Eclipse and I just had a few questions about your program up there.”

“Certainly, what do you need?”

“Well… I’m in a small town out in the Arizona desert and our pegasi out here were having some trouble managing the weather. I know it’s a long shot, but I was wonder if you could maybe he—”

“— I’m going to have to cut you off there, Sir. It is against federal law to assist or to encourage large scale weather manipulation by private individuals in areas not granted an exception by federal authorities. I'm sorry but we cannot help you.”

All he was able to stutter out was a simple “I’m sorry?” as the phone suddenly disconnected.

A grimace creased across Tinker’s face and he cocked his head at the phone. “That was a little… abrupt.”

“I… Well…” Silver was interrupted by the phone suddenly ringing again. He pressed the button and answered. “Uhh hello?”

“Yeah hey, sorry about that but there's no way I could talk to you over the public landline. So can you be more specific on what you need?” Maple’s voice asked. “This is of course totally off the record and it'll be denied if you at all implicate us in helping you in any illegal weather control projects.”

Silver sat in awe for a moment, but shook his head and stumbled to find the right words to ask. “Yeah, uhh… so our situation is that we are in the middle of the Arizona desert, the Verde Valley to be specific. Our weather team is having a lot of trouble with working together, and then they try they complain that the air’s too dry to really do anything with. I’m not a pegasus, but I was really really hoping that maybe you guys could help out, because I’m sure you can understand how big of a problem that is out here when it comes to planning rain for the crops or distilling drinking water.”

“That does sound like it would be a problem. So you were looking for advice to implement a plan working around the limitations of your… arid environment then?”

“Exactly.” He glanced over to Tinker. “We’re kind of in a tight spot with this one, so anything you can offer would be really appreciated.”

“I see.” He heard a small sigh from the other side of the call, “Was that all that you wanted help with?”

“Yes, for the most part. We just need to get off the ground with this so we don’t have to keep relying on outside help in the future.” Silver weakly smiled at the phone.

“I can understand. That said, I’m not really able to give you anything directly, I’m a unicorn and not exactly the best with understanding weather magic either. But we do have a few pegasi who I can talk to that will get in contact with you when they can. Is this a good number for them to call you at? And is there any specific time that works best?”

Silver smiled, “Honestly, any help is better than no help at all. This number will work perfectly fine. Sometime in the early morning would be best, because I think that’s when the pegasi around here usually wake up so I can talk things over with them if needed.”

“Alright, well I’ll pass that information along to one of the pegasi, we’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible. Was there anything else you needed today?”

“Nope, that should cover everything nicely. Thank you so much for the help again!”

“Mhm. Just remember this conversation never happened.”

The phone disconnected again, leaving the pair in silence for a few long minutes.

Tinker was the first to break the silence, “Well, I’ll give it to you Silver, you actually managed to do it.”

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves Tinker, we still don’t know what help, if any we’ll be able to get. This is a good sign though.” He paused for a moment, unsure of what to say next. “I’m not going to lie, I’m not sure what to do next as I wasn’t expecting us to get this far.”

“Yeah, we got lucky eh? So should I let the team know?”

Silver shook his head. “No, we’d better wait until we actually have more information. I’ll keep you posted on this though once I hear back.”

Tinker stood up and began to walk towards the door. “Well good luck. Hooves crossed this all works out for us.”

There hadn’t been much left to finish up with after the phone meeting, so Silver was looking forward to spending a little more time with Scarlet. Unbeknownst to him however, Scarlet had taken the time to schedule a quick check-up with Doctor Fitzpatrick, or Tender Cure, as she had been more insistent on being called in the Oasis, and that was just where they were heading.

“So why are we going to the doctor while we’re on vacation?” Silver asked as he flew along next to Scarlet.

He hadn’t been consciously noticing it, but after his injury and the almost month where he was grounded from most flying, he had taken every opportunity that he could to stretch out his wings.

“Because the nice mare who’s walking us through a pregnancy that’s similar but distinctly different than a human one just so happens to live here now and we’d be really dumb not to,” Scarlet replied.

Silver was about to fire back an excuse about why he didn’t want to go… but she had a good point, as much as was anxious about doctor visits still.

“Okay… it won’t be long though, right?”

“You got something else to do?” She asked.

“I uhh….” he sheepishly replied, trying his best to think of a believable response. “No,” he sighed. “I’m just being dumb about doctor stuff.”

“Still a little antsy?” Scarlet asked sympathetically.

“Can you blame me? I haven’t exactly had the best track record with these.”

“No, I really can’t. Don’t worry though, Tender Cure stopped by and talked with me about everything while you were on the phone, and she just wants to do some basic stuff. See how our bright little star’s doing, and see how your ribs have healed.”

“Didn’t we get the rib stuff out of the way?” Silver pleadingly asked.

“Yes, but you’re also a case study for this kind of injury and she just wanted to follow up on some things. Don’t worry though, there’s no needles or anything.”

“That’s what you say now…” he muttered out under his breath.

“What was that hon?”

Silver blushed, “Nothing, just being stubborn and anxious.”

“Well you better get that out of the way soon because we’re almost there.”

Silver looked up at the small grouping of modern-looking concrete buildings that they were closing in on. One was clearly the clinic, unless the bright red plus sign painted on it’s side was meant to symbolize something else. The other two however, had no recognizable branding or iconography painted on the sides. He tried to wrack his brain for an answer, but he quickly remembered that the tour of the Oasis had only briefly passed over this way. All he knew about this area was that it was one of the few sites of new construction, and covered security, healthcare, and some other support function. Whether that meant food processing, electricity, or something else entirely was beyond him. He supposed it didn’t matter though, he was just the bookkeeper and was barely managing some facilities and construction tasks, if he had a need to know what the other buildings were for, then he would have been told about it by now.

Scarlet pushed the door of the clinic building open, and led them into the cool waiting room. At a quick glance, Silver noticed that the room was devoid of anyone else except for him and Scarlet… and a distinctly familiar orange maned night pony.

“Tweyelight?!” Silver asked in surprise.

“Eclipse?! Small world! What brings you here!”

Silver raised an eyebrow and choked out a few surprised laughs. “I was gonna ask you that, buddy!”

A sly smile flicked across his face. “Remember when I started up that security firm to write off your accident with?”

“Yeah? I thought that was just an act.”

“Well, had to make it all official, which means license fees and fines for not having the paperwork done before you got hurt…” with a gesture, he stopped Silver from interrupting. “So, I figured might as well get my money’s worth, especially since there aren’t many firms that specialize in night shifts. For once our tribe works in our favor, no one questions whether we can be trusted to stay awake.”

“Huh—” was all that Silver could reply with.

“Pretty crazy right? Don’t worry though, I’m not some big hot shot CEO yet.”

“I don’t know, it seems like you’re doing pretty well if you’ve expanded this much.”

“It’s not as expansive as you might think,” he reassured Silver. “It’s getting bigger back home, but truth be told, I just have a couple of employees out here. I’m still keeping an eye on the yard, and I’ll be heading back there soon, but it’s great running into you again.”

“It really is,” Silver smiled, though he could swear that it sounded like Tweyelight would be happy to stay. “So have I met your employees yet?”

Tweyelight shrugged, “Have you met the other two night pony mares here?”

“Not that I know of, I thought it was just Midnight and Stanley here.”

“Good,” he laughed, “it means they’re doing their jobs then.”

“That’s a good one,” Silver laughed with him. “So when’re you skipping town?”

“It’s not a joke,” he reassured Silver, “And later this week, maybe sometime next week, just have to take care of a few things.”

“Well we’ll have to get together again, maybe do something fun.”

“That sounds good, Eclipse. I hate to just dash off, but I’ve got a meeting I need to get to, and was just stopping by to get a quick check-up.”

Silver nodded, “Take care Tweyelight.”

The other stallion dashed off, leaving Silver and Scarlet alone in the cozy waiting room. They weren’t alone for long however, as a moment later the door was opened and Tender Cure stepped out with a warm smile on her face.

“Aha, Silver and Scarlet, it’s good to see you two again.”

“It’s great to see you too, Tender,” Scarlet cheerfully greeted her.

“Come in, come in. This won’t take long, I promise.” She waved the two ponies into the exam room and shut the door behind her.

“Hey Tender, guess you made your way out here too, eh?”

She smiled and patted the bed, “I had a very good opportunity open up, and I just couldn’t turn it down.”

Scarlet hopped up and made herself comfortable, “Sounds like a lot of ponies that moved out here.”

“Mhmm.” She looked at her clipboard and then over to Scarlet, “So how have you been feeling? Experiencing any mood swings, cravings, or anything notably unusual?”

Scarlet shook her head, “No mood swings, but I’ve been craving pineapple a lot more than usual.”

“I see,” she looked over at Silver and laughed. “Hope you like pineapple because it’ll probably be in your diet for the foreseeable future.”

“I think I can live with that,” Silver laughed, “Better that than something weird like bugs.”

“Oh you’d be surprised, a lot of pregnant night ponies in Equestria pick up insects as another source of protein.”

Silver’s face seemed to flush white for a moment, “Is that common on Earth too?”

“I guess we’ll wait and see! You two are the first couple I’ve kept under observation on Earth.”

Silver slowly nodded, “I see… So everything’s good then?”

“Yep!” Tender smiled, “Just a small checkup, like I said. I’ll want to do another one in at least a month if that’s alright with you.”

“Guess we’ll mark our calendars, eh Silver?” Scarlet laughed as he seemed to stare off into the void.

“Yeah…” Silver shook his head and looked back at her. “I’ll jot it down when we get back to the room.”

“So how about you Mister Eclipse?” How are you doing?”

“Me?” Silver raised an eyebrow. “I’m doing okay.”

“Just okay? Because you seem a little stressed and anxious.” Tender Cure observed.

He began to stutter but finally paused. “I have a lot on my mind right now.”

“Thinking about your foal?”

“That and just stuff around here,” he admitted. “We’re calling in some big help for the weather team, but it’s kind of a lot.”

“Understandable,” she paused. “But there’s more, isn’t there?”

“Huh?” Silver asked.

“You’re okay to open up. Nothing will leave this room.”

Silver looked over at Scarlet, and then back to Tender Cure. “I guess I’m still wondering what the Wardens saw in all of us. Psychic jumped on the chance to pay my medical bills and then jumped on offering us all of this funding… It just feels… weird, you know?”

She nodded and flicked one of her tattooed wings, “I do. But I trust they know what they’re doing.”

Silver raised an eyebrow. Something about the way she carried herself and the way she was subtly reacting to the wardens seemed to hint at a more personal connection. “Do you mind if I ask you something?”

“Go ahead.”

“How did you get involved with them?”

She seemed surprised at the question, but didn’t deflect it.

“Well, as you can guess, I was a doctor before I was a pony, long before it actually. After more than twenty years of that though, I needed a change, so I retired.”

Silver looked at her curiously, “Weren’t you a bit young to retire?”

She smiled, “Well, my idea of retirement isn’t what most people think of. I joined Doctors Without Borders and was in Africa when the pandemic hit. I worked until I was too far along to continue. Soon as I could though, I went back to it, but not before calling my bosses and asking for more training.”

“So that’s when the warden got involved,” Scarlet asked.

“Not exactly, my bosses weren’t of much help, but this was when Princess Luna was training the wardens. I guess my dreams about helping ponies got her attention, helping others was why I became a doctor in the first place. Anyhow, that got me added to the first group to go to Equestria.”

“But shouldn’t you still be over there training,” Silver asked with a confused look

Tender smiled, “They don’t teach like we do, once we got past the language barrier, we worked out what I knew already and only had to learn the rest. Once I got back, the government put me to work as a travelling teacher. I’m sure someone pulled strings to set me up here, but at this point I’d really like a break from travelling, so I’m not complaining.”

Tender’s explanation still left Silver with more than a few questions… but he would have been lying if he had said that the exchange didn’t at least ease some of his concerns. Before long, the check-up was over, and the two were free to continue their day. Given the lack of much to actually do around the town, that quickly turned into some early afternoon cuddles before bed. Soon enough the two had entered a refreshing sleep, and in more ways than one, Silver felt his fears and worries melt away. He had no way of knowing it at the time, but word of his plan was already spreading to the ponies who were invested in the Oasis’ success the most, and whether he was ready or not, the answers he was looking for were coming…

Silver slowly became aware of a gentle rocking as his consciousness entered the waking world.

“Rise and shine sleepyhead,” Scarlet calmly said to him, “Your phone’s been going off so you wanna go answer it.”

Silver groggily rubbed his eyes “Huh?”

“Phone’s ringing. It’s the ponies from Michigan.”

Without another moment of hesitation Silver jumped up, leaping out of the bed and towards his phone. With a quick tap, he answered and took a deep breath. “Hello! Sorry to keep you waiting, Maple, I was uh… busy for a sec.”

An unfamiliar mare’s voice responded. “You didn’t keep me waiting long, and Maple gave me some details on your problem and asked that I give you a call back. I’m Jasper.”

“Well nice to meet you Jasper, I’m Silver Eclipse. Thank you very much for returning my call.”

“I’m led to believe that the pegasi working for you…”

“Working with,” he corrected.

The voice on the other line gave a pregnant pause as if annoyed before continuing. “With… in the desert... haven’t figured out how to manage the weather and you need some help to get started.”

He rubbed some more of the sleep out of his eyes. “That is exactly it, yes.”

“What sources of water do you have available?”

“There’s uh… one river that passes through the valley, the Verde River I think?”

“Mhmm. You say river, but how big of a river? Could a pony easily walk through it without difficulty or would you be helplessly dragged downstream?”

“Well… it’s one of those you’d be fine in some spots but might get swept out in others… depending on the day.”

“I’ll need to look it up to be sure but that sounds like it would be suitable for small scale precipitation production.”

“We were hoping it would be enough, there’s not a whole lot of other options out here.” he added.

“Is this an emergency? Or are you getting by?”

“We’re struggling but getting by for now. Ideally we would want to get our pegasi up to speed so we can be self-sufficient as soon as possible.”

“As soon as possible… Normally any pegasus looking to work within our weather program will need to go through the actual application process to keep an accurate record. But we are not going to do that as you are asking us to take a risk and do something highly illegal.”

“If it’s too much I understand, I don’t want to put you at risk.”

“Alright we won’t.”

The realization of what he’d just said immediately began to set in, bringing a panicked feeling in the pit of his stomach with it. “Wait wait! That’s not what I meant!” He took a moment to compose himself. “Sorry, Is there anything you can offer that won’t compromise everything you’ve worked on? Maybe something you can just do under the table? We’ll take full blame if anything gets out about this, and we can even work out some kind of payment if that’d help at all.”

“I just don’t see how we can work with you, Mr. Eclipse. However… word of your little oasis in the desert has spread through the office and three of our ponies are interested in visiting on vacation. Would you be able to accommodate them?”

He started to lower his head in resignation. “That’s fine, I underst…” He snapped his eyes open, excitedly jumping out of the chair to hover in the air. “Yes! I mean, yeah, that would be perfectly alright. Can you go ahead and send their information over? How long they’re staying, when they’re staying, just so we can make sure that we can accommodate them properly.”

“Maple will be in contact with those details. I’m sure they’ll have a lovely time visiting. Goodbye Mr. Eclipse.”

“I know this isn’t exactly help per say, but it’s more than I could have hoped for! Thanks so much… Jasper right?”

“Right. And you don’t need to thank me, it’s really more me imposing and I should be thanking you. It’s like how Sapphire likes to say, keep it simple, life doesn’t need to be complicated. If you can help a pony do something good, you do it. So it’s really too bad that we can’t help at this time.”

“That’s perfectly understandable, and hey it’s no trouble at all. I look forward to seeing them when they get here. Take care!”

The phone clicked, leaving Silver alone with the dial tone. He stood up and trotted towards Scarlet. “Well that was interesting.”

“Sounds like it. So they’re going to help you guys after all?”

“Kinda sorta? They're sending some ponies over for a vacation. They won’t be helping us directly… it’s just too much of a risk for them, but maybe their ponies can give us some advice while they’re down here.”

“That sounds better than nothing, when are they coming here?”

“I’ll hear back about that sometime soon. Guess I have a lot to talk to Stanley and Midnight about them, eh?”

“Sounds like it. Mind if we put that off until later though? You did say I’d get to pick out some activities after all.”

Silver rested a hoof on his chin for a moment until he couldn’t hold back his grin any longer. “Okay, I think we can do that.”

PreviousChapters Next