• 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 6: Dreaming of Tomorrow

The two night ponies slept in peace as the fan quietly spun in the dark cabin, making Silver’s ears twitch as he slowly drifted into wakefulness. He never ceased to be amazed at how much more fine tuned his senses seemed to be as a pony. It was always the small things he noticed first, like the quiet hum of a fan that he might not have ever heard as clearly as he did now, or the scent of the pony next to him in bed, to even the sensation of the gentle breeze against his fur. All of these little senses flooded his mind, giving him a sense of being that could never compare to how he felt as a human. As he slowly started to take notice of the environment around him, a stream of disconnected thoughts came into his head. Thoughts of the last few days, months, and even years— giving him a sense of nostalgia and happiness.

His thoughts always seemed to drift to these reflections in the moments before sleeping and while waking, but something felt different this time. Maybe it was the change of location, or the mare that was cuddled up next to him, but for the first time in a while he didn’t feel the momentary twinge of regret that he often felt when he thought back to his old life. Stretching out his limbs, he sleepily opened his eyes and let out a long yawn, taking sight of the crimson mare that was cuddled up next to him. For a brief moment he considered that before ETS this might have been considered awkward or weird, but the pony part of his mind quickly told him that it was fine and he should snuggle back under the covers and relax. Not seeing any real reason to hop out of bed, he relaxed his muscles and let out another yawn, making himself comfortable again.

The minutes passed by in silence except for their breathing, and before long the mare began to stir, slowly moving away from him and letting out a few yawns of her own, “Good evening, did you sleep well?”

Silver rolled over in bed and smiled, “Definitely, probably one of the best days of sleep I’ve had in awhile. Great call on steering me away from the couch.”

“Told you so,” she teased, sticking her tongue out and earning a laugh from Silver.

“You sure did, and I’ll definitely remember to take your advice in the future, that’s two for two so far.” They both cringed back as Silver peeked out of the heavily curtained window, the direct view of the sun setting still being bright enough to bother them after having just woken up.

“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that,” Scarlet replied back with an annoyed grunt.

Silver nodded, “Yeah me neither… but hey it makes the nights so much easier to enjoy,” He looked toward her, “Right?”

She cocked her head to the side, “Yeah, I think I’d call that a fair trade off… for me at least.”

“I know I definitely like it.”

“Oh? You weren’t a day pony— err person, before?”

“Oh definitely not,” Silver let out a laugh, “I’ve always been kind of nocturnal, ever since I was a foal… kid.” He chuckled as he caught himself, “I guess there’s still a lot to get used to, but at least there’s a feeling of familiarity with some of it,” He looked back out the window, “You know?”

“I’m guessing you’re meaning the staying up late part and not the becoming a weird bat horse part… not that you’re weird or anything.”

Silver laughed, “Yeah you’ve got it figured out,” He paused for a moment, “So what’s on the agenda tonight then?”

“Well, what do you want to do?” She asked, shrugging at his question.

He rubbed his hoof against his chin, pausing in consideration, “Maybe you could introduce me to some of the other villagers? You know, before they all go to bed?”

She nodded, “We could do that, there’s a couple of geeks here who might be right up your alley.”

“A couple of geeks you say? Are they as cool as the geek I’ve already met?”

She returned a smile, “Not going to say no… but no. They’re a little dry, kinda goofy too, but hey they might be right up your alley.”

“Dry and goofy in the high school chemistry teacher way or the undergrad lab assistant way?”

She let out a small laugh, “A little of both maybe? It’s hard to explain really, they’ve got this whole left brain right brain dynamic going on. You’ll see when we get there.”

“Left brain right brain as in..?” He asked, raising an eyebrow.

“As in one's really creative and outgoing and the other’s kind of logical and calculated about everything. Trust me, it’ll make more sense when you see them.”

“Works for me,” He glanced over to the clock on the nearby table and turned back toward her, “Seven forty-six, think they’ll still be awake?”

“Probably, most of the ponies around here are out by nine, ten at the latest, but these two have a reputation of being early sleepers. I only really ever interacted with them in the morning because they were usually awake during my morning walks.”

“Well worst case we wind up taking a nice little evening walk, maybe stargaze for a little, go make friends with the rest of our neighbors… you know, the fun stuff.”

“That sounds like the exact opposite of a problem to me.”

“Best of both worlds eh?” he answered with a smile.

“Oh you know it Eclipse!”

“Eclipse? Isn’t that… a little formal?”

The mare shrugged, “Guess I’ll have to work on the nicknames, eh?”

“Yeah, that’s probably a good idea Moon.”

“Guess we both do. Don’t worry though, we’ll have plenty of time to do that later.”

A happy smile spread across Silver’s face as he made way for the door, opening it wide and stepping out into the cool mountain air with Scarlet. The mare took the lead and guided Silver over to the worn path that led back to the main part of the village, waving him along with a wing.

The stars were starting to come out as they neared another clearing attached to a smaller path.

“So this all used to be one campground?” Silver asked as they crossed into an area that was mostly empty save for a large tent-like cabin.

Scarlet nodded, “Yep, Axel set the village up in the groups section on the other side of the creek, but left the rest alone. This is where the visitors or regular campers stop by. We don’t really get a whole lot of them, but Axel likes to keep the place ready for whenever we do. It’s also where you stay if you’re waiting for a cabin to be built, or if you’re not rooming with an awesome mare like you are,” she added with a smirk. Turning toward the outskirts of the campsite, she waved a hoof toward a strange looking cart, “and there they are now.”

Silver looked on as they neared a pair of ponies, one pegasus and unicorn. The two were clearly in the middle of an argument, and as they neared them their conversation started to become ever more audible.

“And I’m telling you that it could work,” replied the unicorn, a flat and annoyed tone carrying in his voice.

“But why that ghost town in particular? Why can’t we just set up shop in Phoenix with Marcus and call it a day? He’s even giving us the opportunity to live there rent free.”

“Yes, I’m aware of that but Phoenix isn’t the kind of environment that would suit our experiments.”

“Your experiments,” the pegasus corrected.

Our experiments. You might be a Pegasus, but you still have magic of your own. If my research is correct then Mesa Verde could very well be the perfect location for our research— it’s out of the way, free from the burdens of other ponies, and it’s in a valley that’s full of many fascinating legends that might serve my plans well.”

“It’s also pricey and expensive.”

The unicorn scoffed, “And that’s an issue why?”

“Because if we squat there we’ll be liable to get shot by some cowboy that’s not too keen on a couple of ponies performing a bunch of magic tricks on his property. I thought you were supposed to be the brains of the group.”

“It’s an old abandoned ghost town, nopony’s going to be there anyways.”

“Well, then you can make a solo voyage out there if you’d like, but I think I’m going to stick with the safe route on this one.”

The unicorn rolled his eyes, “I thought you were supposed to be the easy going creative type, where’s the fun in playing it safe?”

“The fun is not being hassled by some human that’s not a fan of trespassers.”

The unicorn let out a deep sigh, “Fine. But I still want to try and get the psycho-electromagnetherigraph up and running.”

“Which I encourage you to do— in the safety of an area we’re allowed and expected to be.”

The unicorn paused for a moment and let out another sigh, “This kind of research could get us that grant money we’ve been looking for, you know that right?”

“Of course, but that’s a pipe dream at this point and you know it. Look, I want to see both of our plans succeed but we need to be realistic with how much we can achieve right now.”

Scarlet let out a cough, earning a surprised glance from the pegasus. He turned toward his assistant, “We’ll talk later.” The unicorn gave a quick nod before the pegasus turned back toward the mare, “Scarlet, nice to see you again.” He paused, “I see you brought a friend along tonight.”

She nodded, “Yep! This is Silver Eclipse, he’s a friend that decided to stop on by for a visit, he’s also a science geek.”

“A science geek you say? Well that’s wonderful!” He turned toward Silver, “So are you planning on staying here, or passing on to parts unknown?”

Silver smiled back at the pegasus, “Sticking around for now, I thought it’d be nice to meet some of my new neighbors and Scarlet said I’d fit right in with you two.”

“Well pleased to meet you, I’m Tinker,” He waved toward the unicorn with a wing, “And this is my good friend and assistant, Gyro.”

The unicorn nodded, “Hello.”

“So what are you into Mr. Eclipse? It’s not often that we have someone who’s interested in the more scholarly pursuits pass through here,” The pegasus continued.

“I was part of a robotics team at CSUF. I’ve actually been doing stuff like that since high school.”

“Robotics eh? Are you still keeping up with that?”

Silver shook his head, “Not really, I’d love to jump back into it but the team kind of fell apart unfortunately.”

“Mhmm, well this might be on the spot, but would you be interested in maybe helping out with the occasional late night experiment every once in a while?”

Silver looked toward Scarlet, who nodded back with a grin. He turned back toward the pegasus and smiled, “I’d love to, as long as it’s nothing that’s too crazy,” He paused for a moment, “So what were you two arguing about?”

The pegasus paused for a moment, turning to face his companion, who replied with a silent nod. Tinker turned back toward Silver and gave a nod of his own, “Well, Gyro here is a bit of an occult nut— thinks that the old legends about ley lines and spiritual activity might be true and could actually have many parallels with magic.”

“Tinker’s more concerned with the hard grounded science of the pre-ETS days to give the more mystical side of things a try.”

“Do you think that kind of thing could actually be linked?”

The unicorn shrugged, “Maybe. I guess we’ll find out someday.”

Tinker cleared his throat, stepping forward, “So… Silver, Scarlet… Would you two care to see a couple of the gadgets we’re working on? I’ve never been a great conversationalist but I could talk your ear off about my inventions if you’re not careful.”

Scarlet nodded, cutting Silver off before he could even have a chance to respond, “We’d love to.”

A big cheerful smile spread across the pegasi’s face as he gestured toward one of the small tents that was set up around their cart, “Right this way!”

The pair followed him in as Gyro ducked into the cart, the sound of tools clattering around began to ring out as he presumably resumed whatever he was doing before their argument had started.

Silver looked around the compact tent, noticing all of the assorted devices that littered the tables around the tent, a smile coming across his face as he felt right at home. Unsure of what to look at first, and without any further prompting, he trotted up toward a strange looking mask that seemed more like something you’d find during the Black Plague, but made of metal with tubes and wires running out of the sides, gently lifting it up with a hoof.

Tinker trotted you behind him and began to speak in a proud voice, “Aha, the BioMask X05, it’s something we were testing out in one of the villages we were staying in a couple of months ago. It was meant to help make living in more polluted areas a little more manageable for ponies… though I’m afraid it hasn’t really caught on.”

Silver smirked, “Let me guess, the design isn’t resonating with ponies?”

Tinker let out a laugh, “It's that obvious?.”

Silver nodded, “A little, and I can see why. It looks a little… scary? Not the best word I know, but personally I think it’s a cool idea, you guys could definitely market this to someone.”

The pegasus nodded his head, “Well it’s only a prototype for now, but we might look into that sometime in the future,” He looked toward a weird bulky bracelet that sat on another table, “I think you might like this next one, it’s closer to a working prototype than any of the other inventions here.”

Silver glanced toward the table, taking a slow step toward it, “What is it?”

“It’s something that Gyro and I are working on. It’s supposed to be like a smartwatch but it’ll do so much more… it kind of has to be if we want to make something that can really stand out amongst the rest of the designs that’ll no doubt be flooding the market.”

“What kind of things are you trying to do with it?”

“Well there’s a communicator built in, that’s pretty self explanatory, but we’ve also been trying to pack in more gadgets and gizmos— stuff like mechanical fingers that can at least partially emulate how you might grasp something with a hand, utensils that you can deploy to help with stuff like eating, writing notes, and even some small tools like a screwdriver.”

Silver’s smile grew larger, “That’s honestly kind of amazing, how much of the prototype actually works the way it should?”

“That’s the tricky part, we’ve gotten the easy stuff like the communicator and some of the tools to work, but the fingers don’t have the mobility and grip strength we need, right now they only work with buttons on the side which isn’t ideal for what we’re trying to do… and as you can see the thing is way too bulky to be practical… but it’s a start.”

“And that’s better than nothing,” Scarlet added.

“Mhmm. Well hopefully in the future we’ll be able to do more with it, it might just be a proof of concept now, but it could be so much more.”

Silver paused for a moment, looking back at the prototypes, “So I have to ask, what keeps you two motivated to keep doing stuff like this? I mean you have all these amazing inventions just sitting here but it seems like you’re not doing anything big with them.”

The pegasus paused for a moment, staring around at his creations. A smile slowly spread across his face as he turned back toward the pair, “Because it’s the right thing to do… at least I feel like it is. Maybe it doesn’t seem like much now, but someday it might be useful to someone else.”

Silver nodded, “I think I understand,” he paused for a moment, a cheerful smile forming on his face, “You know, I used to love history. The past can give us all some valuable knowledge on how to address problems in the future… it’s up to us to use that knowledge to make a difference in the world.”

“That’s exactly what motivates me, and while it might not always come across the same way, I think that’s what motivates Gyro too. He’s more of a cold pony, but underneath the cynicism and stoic facade there’s a pony that cares a lot about the world.”

“I can’t say I blame him, it’s easy to be a cynic right now, I mean we just basically went through an apocalyptic event, and now who knows what the future has in store.”

“Indeed, but that’s why we need to move on and make the best of a weird situation. I mean just think of everything we’ve just now discovered?”

“Like the idea that there’s other life out there? That the multiverse is actually real? You know, that sort of stuff?”

Tinker nodded, “it’s a scary thought to be honest, but hey there’s a lot of things I would have considered impossible a few months ago, so maybe there is such a thing as extraterrestrial life.”

“Well, I guess like you said, every day there’s a chance to change the world— to make a better future for ourselves. We just need to believe that it’s possible, right?”

Tinker smiled, “You’re a real optimist, I feel like that’s hard to come by nowadays.”

“What can I say?” Silver shrugged, “Life threw me a curveball and I decided that I could either mope around on my own and be bitter about the fact that my relationship with my parents fell apart because i'm a pony, or I could move on with my life.”

“And I’ll take it you chose the latter?”

Silver nodded, “One of my old buddies from the robotics program did that exact thing, he realized he couldn't continue his old life so he ran off and tried to do the best he could, and last I heard that was working just fine for him. Scarlet helped show me a route I could go down, and even though it’s been like a week, I’m already feeling so much more cheerful about it all. It’s like I have this new outlook on life, and seeing that I’m not the only one going through a mini identity crisis makes it so much more enjoyable.”

Scarlet cleared her throat, “And I’m glad you did, I haven’t had this much fun on an outing in a while, it’s like I forgot what it was like to talk about dorky stuff with a bunch of nerds again.”

Silver looked back down to the prototype, the wheels turning in his head as he had an idea, “You know, I might know a few ponies and people that might be able to help more with this, I’ve got some old connections and even ran across a few new ones, and maybe they might have an idea or two.”

Tinker nodded, “Feel free to ask around if you’d like, but don’t feel obligated to. We can’t really afford to pay anypony for help, but if you find someone who might be able to give a few pointers I wouldn’t be upset.”

Silver smiled, “Will do,” he turned toward Scarlet, “Maybe that’ll be tomorrow’s big adventure? I know a few ponies that might be all for this kind of thing.”

She shrugged, “If that’s how you want to spend your day then I’m fine with that.”

“So, wanna go do some stargazing? Maybe take a nice nature walk? Grab a bite to eat?”

The mare smiled, “You read my mind.”

Their night had passed by in a breeze, and now the pair were back in bed, ready for the next part of their day to begin. Silver snuggled up in bed and closed his eyes, letting the comforting hold of sleep take hold of him. When he opened his eyes again he was greeted with a peaceful dream paying out— his old childhood home.

“An old memory I’m guessing?” Came the voice of Scarlet.

Silver nodded, “My old house when I was a kid.”

“Did you make this or is it just your regular dreams playing out?”

“Regular dream. I sure wish I could make stuff like this.”

The mare looked around the cozy home, and then back to Silver, “Well you could try? You made that other dream last week, why not try for something more complicated?”

“But it’s your night to choose the dream—”

“— and I’m choosing this one, I think it’s cool that you can make dreams, it’d be even cooler to see what kind of stuff you could make.”

A smirk spread across Silver’s face, “trying to go on a dream vacation or something?”

“Maybe,” she replied with a smile of her own, “So how about it?”

“Well, where do you want to go?”

Scarlet paused in consideration for a minute, “You ever been out to Temecula? My grandparents had a house out there and my sister and I used to spend our summers there, it was really nice.”

“So a big grassy valley? It might be tough but I guess I can try.”

She nodded, “Sure, give it a shot and see what you can do.”

He closed his eyes and concentrated on crafting a landscape, imagining a place that could only exist in a dream. A strange, almost subconscious feeling began to well up inside of him as he continued to focus, chasing that feeling and putting all of his energy into following it. A gasp pulled his attention away for a moment, and when he opened his eyes he let out a gasp of his own.

A field of bright stars, brighter than any he had ever seen in the waking world filled the sky above them and a cool breeze lazily blew across the grass and trees, sending a wave of calming peace over him. It was definitely that special kind of peaceful and calm place that could only ever exist in a dream. Silver almost couldn't bring himself to move, the scene was just too beautiful to miss. A sense of pride welled up inside of him as he realized that he had crafted this place, and all it took was embracing the natural flow of his magic rather than trying to brute force it like last time.

A chuckle that came from behind him pulled him from his trance, making his ears perk up. “You really do have a talent for this, don’t you?”

Silver smiled, “I… wow, I didn’t realize I could do something like this. It’s just so—“

“— amazing! Exactly what I had in mind too,” Scarlet patted the ground next to her,” So are you going to just stand around all day or are you going to come and cuddle up next to me?”

Silver raised an eyebrow, “Wait you mean you just want to sit down and do nothing?”

She let out a few small laughs, “Well I want to sit and watch the stars you made, they’re beautiful and I’d say that’s definitely something.”

“But it’s not a fun dream, it’s just doing what we did earlier…”

“Which I love to do, sometimes it’s just fun to do boring things, you know?”

Silver smiled and turned towards the mare, “They’re not at all accurate, I hope you know that. Let’s just say I was a little spaced out when I thought of them.”

She chuckled. “Spaced out eh? Get over here you joker.”

Silver nodded as he walked over to Scarlet and sat down next to her, looking over the dream, “You really like it?”

“Of course, it just reminds me of so many good memories as a kid. I used to go camping all the time as a foal,” she continued, “and we’d always stop by this great big forest up by my grandparents’ house. You definitely captured the feel of that place, just somewhere special that I’ve always loved to think about.”

Silver smiled warmly. “Well I’m really glad it’s good enough for you.”

“Of course it is, you should definitely try and keep at this, I’d love to just spend a few days playing around in some imaginary paradise.”

“You would? Well maybe that’ll be tomorrow’s dream, just a big open beach with only the two of us.”

“Well I can't wait, just make sure it’s a beach that doesn’t have sharks or anything.”

“You don’t want dream sharks chasing us around?”

“Definitely not.”

He smiled as he sat and watched the stars with her, perfectly content with just spending time with his friend. Not every dream needed to be a big adventure after all, sometimes the best kind were the ones that played out peacefully.

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