• Published 20th May 2014
  • 1,078 Views, 110 Comments

The Last Link - Featherprop

When a pilot finds himself trapped with no good choices left, what will he do? Good intentions conflict with harsh realith, and he has to balance saving lives against losing his own before he can help.

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2: The Problem With Passengers

ETSB Number: EAR-13-20
Frostmane Weather Bureau Conditions Summary

Snowpony 413 remained in the immediate area of the Kathia Aerodrome for approximately one hour. During that time, Kathia reported visibilities between one-quarter and one and one-half miles in mist, with a predominant visibility of one mile. The cloud bases were estimated at three hundred feet during the period, except for several low-visibility periods when vertical visibility was obscured by fog. The recorded temperature was twenty degrees with a dewpoint of nineteen. The barometer remained steady at 29.75 inches. Light freezing drizzle was noted both before and after the arrival of Snowpony 413 over the range, and total precipitation during the six-hour reporting period was 0.4 liquid inches. Overflying aircraft reported stable cloud layers up to 7000 feet with minimal turbulence and continuous icing at several altitudes.

When Pasture first saw Featherprop in the planning room, his initial impression was underwhelming. Like many of the ponies he had seen in the Frostmane, the Pegasus had a subdued coat and a rumpled appearance. Though Featherprop wore a uniform, it could only be called that out of politeness. His shirt may have once been crisp and white, but now it was just a canvas for a collection of smudges, wrinkles, and grease streaks, all topped off with a worn collar. The cravat about his neck was sloppily tied, hanging loose and looking like a bandit’s neckerchief. Were they in Canterlot, Pasture would not have trusted him with an applecart. And yet, I’m going to place my life in his hooves tonight.

Featherprop was muttering to himself as he looked over a chart spread out on the table, one corner buried under a pile of scrolls. Under one hoof was a pad covered in scratchy notes and a blob of random quill-marks, which now covered most of the paper.. “So... Hoofinuska Valley should be clear. Tumblerock Pass... eh, kinda iffy. If it’s bad, gonna have to catch the range at Sheltie's Meadow...” The pilot was completely absorbed in his thoughts and didn’t seem to hear the two ponies enter the room. “The Freezewither’s pretty wide... yeah, that should be a good out.”

Pasture watched as the Pegasus paused and flattened one scroll, nodding to himself and scrawling a few more figures on the notepad. They certainly made no sense to him– there were a half-a-dozen columns, an indecipherable mish-mash of letters, numbers, dots, and dashes. Only when Espresso cleared her throat did the pilot look up, eyes wide as his ears flattened back against his mane.

“Featherprop, this is Dr. Eisen Pasture, your passenger. Dr. Pasture, this is Featherprop, your pilot.”

When Featherprop made no move to get up, Pasture stepped into the room, making the simple act look almost regal. With a nod he extended a hoof to the still-seated pilot. Espresso winced as Featherprop seemed to realize he was being rude and dropped his quill to greet the doctor.

“Dr. uh, Pasture? Nice to meet you, and welcome to Trottinger.” Featherprop scrambled up as he reached out with his own hoof, trying to hide his reservations as he looked his passenger over. Fair and tall with a stark white coat and a red mane tinged with hints of purple, the Unicorn had a presence which commanded respect, as well as a self-assured air that hinted at an underlying hardness which would brook no dissent. The effect was enhanced by the Unicorn’s finely-worked saddlebags and understated scarf, wrapped neatly around the base of his neck.

The Pegasus glanced up and down, a slight frown forming as he noticed Pasture’s stylish-but-thin coat. Wait, no winter clothes? Didn't they tell him what the Frostmane is like in winter? Looking up, he blanched as he saw the Unicorn staring back with furrowed eyebrows, and felt certain he could see a trace of impatience in the stallion's eyes. Featherprop had seen looks like that before; it told him that Pasture had no desire to be in Trottinger for long and little patience for ponies bearing bad news. “Espresso tells me you need to get to Fetlock Falls. I'm just about done here so we'll get going soon, but I need to warn you that tonight may be a challenge.”

Turning back to the table he continued to speak, hoping that breaking eye contact would make it a little easier to deliver his assessment. “This is what we’ve got: We have a long way to fly and the weather will probably be worse where we're going.” Pointing to the map on the table, he continued, “Here's Trottinger, and over here is Fetlock Falls.” The latter was surrounded by wrinkled lines and a row of sawtooth marks which lay between the two towns. “We will have to stop in Fairflanks up here to refuel– we'll need to top off if we want to have a chance at getting to Fetlock.”

He could see from the slight tilt of the Unicorn's head that Pasture wasn’t pleased, but he waved his hoof towards the western side of the map and bulled ahead. “There are reports of bad weather from the stations west of Fetlock Falls, all of them that checked in, anyway.” He took a deep breath. Luna, I hope he's not the yelling type. “Fetlock Falls wasn’t one of them– there’s no weather report from there on the last scroll. If the storm has moved far enough east, we may not be able to get in.”

There was a silence in the room. Espresso looked down at the worn floorboards, uneven from decades of hoof-scuffs, and groaned internally at the words. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Pasture glance towards her, then over to the Pegasus. Featherprop stood for a moment before turning to retrieve a saddlebag, but she saw his ears sag when Pasture cleared his throat.

The Unicorn's voice was slow and tinged with disapproval. “What do you mean, 'we may not be able to get in?' This is a most urgent situation, and I understood from Ms. Connemara that your flying service has the capability to perform this task.”

Espresso was struck speechless and glared at the Unicorn's back in disbelief. I NEVER promised that to him! She felt her cheeks flush as she recalled the vague wording she’d used in her office. But that wasn't a yes, though, it was a maybe. I never said yes. As Pasture gave Featherprop a brief but emphatic explanation of the perishable nature of his cargo, Espresso tried to catch Featherprop's eyes, hoping he'd understand that she hadn't made a promise that would fall on him to keep.

But Featherprop didn’t see her. Planting his hooves, he had turned to face the white stallion, ears flickering in uncertainty as he tried to force a confident tone, one which he certainly didn’t feel, into his voice. “I'm sorry, Doctor, but none of that changes how things are. If the weather is bad enough, it may not be possible to land at Fetlock Falls when we arrive. Horseshoes, if it’s really bad, we might not even be able to leave Fairflanks.”

Pasture snapped his head up, his mane tossing wildly “Stop in Fair–? Listen here, I won’t stand for any delay, you...” his muzzle twisted in a snarl as he clamped it shut, fixing the Pegasus with a heated glare.

Featherprop took a deep breath and stared back, but the way his wings clamped tightly to his sides betrayed his nervousness.

Neither of them spoke, though Featherprop was sure Pasture must be able to hear his heart pounding. For his part, Pasture was counting to ten, trying to restrain himself from shouting at the top of his lungs. Both stallions ended up staring at each other with grim looks on their muzzles, caught up in a silent standoff.

Neither of them noticed when Espresso shuffled back through the door and left. She wandered towards her office with her head low. What was I thinking? Ordinarily the thought of retreating from an argument would burn at her, but the whirlwind of events had drained her. All she wanted was to lay her head down and forget about doctors, royalty, and Fetlock Falls.

For once, she was willing to leave the situation, for better or for worse, in Featherprop’s hooves.

~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~

Pasture drew a deep breath and released it slowly, taking a moment to focus on keeping his composure. In a clipped voice he asked, “What, precisely, do you mean by 'If?' When does the Weather Bureau say the storm will arrive?” Pasture had experienced unscheduled weather before, to be sure, but it was nothing more than a stray raincloud or a small windstorm– minor inconveniences at best. Even those were quickly corralled by the Weather Teams and herded back into the regulated flow of weather over Equestria. Big storms never got away; they took time to construct and were carefully monitored throughout the process.

Featherprop shook his head, causing a thatch of his unkempt mane to fall over his ears and down into his eyes. He removed his glasses and brushed it back with a hoof. How do I explain this? “A lot of the time the Bureau's predictions are... off. Weather might arrive when they say, but sometimes it hits us early. Sometimes late. Sometimes never, so we have to be ready for unexpected conditions.”

Pasture felt his impatience returning, and looked about the room for a few seconds, biting back an ill-considered reply. Fixing the Pegasus with a gaze, he spoke slowly and repeated himself, sure that he had been misunderstood. “But if they've scheduled it...”

Featherprop cut him off with a slash of his hoof. “Dr. Pasture, the Frostmane is not like Equestria– there is no schedule. The Weather Bureau can’t give us a date or time for weather systems because the weather here isn’t controlled! They make predictions, but that’s about all they can do. The Frostmane is huge, so the forecasts are usually guesses. And tonight, with so few stations reporting, it’s even worse.” He threw his hooves up in exasperation, “There could be a blizzard two valleys over and we’d never know!”

Featherprop’s muzzle reddened as the older Pony glared at him, and dropped his forehooves back to the floor. Inside, his gut knotted up as he thought about spending five or more hours with an angry passenger. Please, let him listen. I'm too young to start getting ulcers. A nervous twitch in his croup tugged at his attention and he eased a back leg, unwilling to turn his eyes from the Unicorn.

Pasture stared at Featherprop without really seeing as his mind tried to make sense of the pilot’s outburst. Canterlot’s former Territorial Liaison had warned him about the oddities of the Frostmane, but at the time he’d dismissed it as hyperbole. “Nothing works right in the Frostmane,” was how the portly Earth pony had begun his outlandish claims, and now he wished he hadn’t dismissed them out-of-hoof. Why in Celestia's name would anypony want anything to do with this place? The land, the ponies, even the weather, none of them made sense to him. A sudden feeling of futility struck him.

Pasture had not wanted this assignment, but turning it down would have been unthinkable. Few outside the world of the Academy understood the cutthroat nature of Departmental politics, or the swirl of rumor and gossip that was the bread and butter of advancement there. If he had declined to take this mission, it would have been the topic of watering-trough talk, a blemish on the reputation of his patrons, and a boon to his rivals.

Pasture was determined not to become one of those old professors, the ones who were shuffled into cramped basement offices as they pursued increasingly arcane and irrelevant lines of research. He had chosen his specialty with care, where his work would have direct applications in medicine. He could point out half-a-dozen treatments he’d refined, covering afflictions from hollowhoof to hornspots.

But ever since a doctoral student roused him from his sleep a week before, his life had spiraled out of control. The early-morning summons was for an emergency consultation on the disturbing reports of an old illness returning in the Frostmane. That review had led to a day of frantic research concerning possible sources and transmission vectors at the behest of the Dean herself.

The following morning, he’d found himself on the Friendship Express, traveling further and further from his ordered and secure life. And further from the Academy Chair if I fail. And I will not fail, not after having gone through so much already. He lifted his head and gave Featherprop a steady look. Renewed determination filled his voice as he said, “I cannot accept any delay– I need to get to Fetlock Falls as soon as possible.”

Featherprop decided to take that as some form of acceptance of the situation and silently sighed in relief. “On that, Dr. Pasture, I can agree with you– there is no time for delay. Believe me, I’ll make every effort to get you to Fetlock Falls safely, but I can't make promises about what the weather will do.” He chose his words carefully, not mentioning the possibility of failure, but not promising success, either. I'll fly through that hailstorm when I get to it. As long as the weather holds off, this’ll work. It has to. He turned to his bag, nosed the charts and notepad into it, and then walked to the door. Over his shoulder he called, “Come on, let’s get your supplies stowed.”

~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~

Espresso sat forlornly behind her desk, staring at the empty mug in her hooves. She shook her head, feebly trying to convince herself that she hadn’t thrown Featherprop to the timberwolves. I’m sitting here, while he's the one who has to go out and face the weather. What will happen if they don't get through? Her heart froze at her next thought: Oh Luna, what if something happens to them? Why did I sign that contract?

A sense of foreboding hung in the room, as if a looming disaster was simply waiting for somepony to notice it and make it real. Espresso resisted the urge to look around, instead staring at the rings on her desk, idly tracing patterns with her eyes as her mind tried, and failed, to focus on anything other than the guilt that ached in her chest. Not even the atrocious state in which Featherprop had left her weather file could distract her from the anger she felt at herself or the worry she felt for her friend.

~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~

As the two stallions stepped into the frigid night and began trotting to the hangar, Featherprop tried to gather his thoughts. Though apprehensive, the scope of the evening’s mission filled him with excitement. In a way, it was aviation at it's purest: Going into harm's way to help somepony else. It's like... like riding out to rescue a filly in distress. He smiled despite the seriousness of the situation and the stress-spawned knot he felt in his stomach. And at least I'm wearing my own gear.

It turned out that Dr. Pasture had indeed brought some warmer clothing, though it was more stylish than hardy. Before leaving the offices, he dug into his luggage.

It had been a scene Featherprop would not soon forget. Pasture’s luggage had been marinating in cabbage-and-beet soup for several days, and the hearty liquid had not gone quietly into the night. Even though his eyes were watering from the pungent smell, Featherprop had nearly collapsed in laughter when the Unicorn held up a reeking cardigan. He actually did fall over when several limp beet slices peeled off and fell to the floor with a wet slap.

With his sides aching, Featherprop had finally pulled himself together enough to try to reassure the horrified doctor. “I'm sure we’ve got... we’ve got something you can use, Doctor. And anyway, that sweater would never cut it if we got stuck somewhere. Wrong material, too– it’d suck the warmth right out of you if it got wet.”

However, a quick search turned up very little that would fit a tall stallion. When Featherprop finally found a coat which would fit the doctor, it brought a look of misery to Pasture’s face that put a damper on his amusement. In the end, the doctor had ended up donning a motley assortment of gear that would keep him warm, but which seemed to have etched a permanent scowl on his muzzle.

Luna, this is going to be a long night I hope it gets better once we're in the air. The waiting is killing me. The thought of his passenger's expectations brought his spirits back in check, and he grimaced as he considered their confrontation. We really got off on the wrong hoof, didn’t we? He seems like a decent sort. I just wonder what's got him so riled. He sighed and gave a flick of his tail. If there were a major issue, he wanted to get it figured out before they left the ground. Who knows, maybe he’s just afraid of heights. Or maybe there’s something else I should know about this trip.

Dr. Pasture found the walk through the cold less bracing and much more galling. After enduring far more laughter from the pilot than anypony should have to bear, he had reluctantly donned the heavy coat Featherprop had found. It was a wretched-looking thing, cursed with a frilly lapel and an outdated cut that fell below his hocks, a style he hadn’t seen in Canterlot since his youth. Granted, it IS warm, but that's about all I can say for it. He grimaced and sarcastically thought, I'm sure the mare who used to wear it loved it very much. If he were to be honest with himself, having to wear a mare’s coat that was older than the pilot wasn’t what bothered him; it was what waited inside the arching structure before him and the vague words of the pilot in the planning room behind him that truly occupied his mind.

As a scientist the lack of certainty appalled him. In fact, the slap-dash nature of the entire endeavor appalled him. He hated not being in control of the environment or the variables. Afraid of flying, Eisen? he asked himself. Well, yes, a little. But that's only natural for a Unicorn, isn’t' it? Even in the halls of the Academy, the very center of Equestrian learning, the details of mechanical aviation was a mystery to nearly everypony.

Pegasi tended to treat flying as innate knowledge and therefore something beyond the understanding of Unicorns and Earth Ponies, an attitude that regrettably had become accepted as a general truth in Equestria. Demonstrations of mechanical aviation had been few and far between, and were often put on in a vaudevillian style that portrayed merely stepping onto an aircraft as some sort of death-defying feat. Though airships were becoming more common in the skies above Canterlot, mechanical aviation’s combination of Ternoulli’s ideas and the powerful engines of the Gryphons was something else entirely, something foreign and disquieting. He let some of his frustration out with a snort as he trudged through the snow.

The sound carried clearly through the still air and Featherprop’s ear turned at the sound. He slowed his pace, falling into place beside the lagging Unicorn. He had a sudden urge to laugh at the sight of the doctor's borrowed coat, and he tried to hide it by looking back towards the Flight Center. “I'm sorry again about the coat, Dr. Pasture, but I couldn’t find anything else in there. With this cold snap, I'm not surprised everypony took their personal gear home.”

Having composed himself, he gave the Unicorn an apologetic smile. “I know it's... well, on nights like this being prepared is more important than looking good. Once the plane is running, we'll be plenty warm.” He ruffled his wings over the sides of his own coat. “I certainly won't be wearing this. It's just in case we get stuck or have to put down somewhere. How are the boots?” He looked down. Pasture was wearing a set of wool and burlap hoof-wraps, in contrast to his own bare hooves.

Pasture was surprised to find himself feeling grateful for the conversation– his own sour thoughts had been weighing on him heavily. He waved one hoof in mid-step and tried to look appreciative. “They're surprisingly warm. I must say, I was told it would be cold up here, but it's surprised me how quickly it seems to chill one. Even the short walk from the depot...” He looked quizzically at Featherprop, “Speaking of which, aren't you rather cold yourself?” For all the talk of staying warm, the Pegasus wore only a light coat that stopped above his knees and had generous openings for his wings.

Featherprop ducked his head sheepishly as he realized his appearance contradicted the dire speech he had given during the frantic search for clothing. “Actually, it's not a bad night. Then again, I never seem to get cold. Well... you're a doctor, right? So you know that Pegasi are better adapted to cold than Unicorns or Earth Ponies.”

Pasture nodded, saying, “I recall something of the sort from my undergraduate studies, but my specialty has been internal medicine since I completed my residency. I don't often deal with gross anatomy or physiology. In fact, most of my research revolves around the intersection between magic and medicines. This is the first time I've been sent out in the field in quite a few years.” He couldn’t help but wistfully recall that last trip– it had been to San Ponego, where it was summer-like most of the year. The diagnosis had been fairly simple, and he had spent the rest of the week relaxing on the beach and sipping drinks from coconuts. He frowned and tried to brush some of the dust off his memory of physiology. “Let's see what I still know, though.”

He closed his eyes in concentration and spoke as if he were reciting from a textbook, “Pegasus physiology is adapted to compensate for flight and extended exposure to adverse weather conditions. You are more highly vascularized, with a correspondingly larger heart, to allow for better muscle nourishment and internal temperature stabilization; have a significantly higher metabolism to supply the energy needed for flight; benefit from some differences in lung structure to allow for extended high-volume, low-pressure respiration; your coat is double layer where you don't have feathers, with hollow-core hairs; there are several waterproofing glands behind your extended clavicle, between your wings; and your bones are lighter, with a flexible, spongiform core that distributes stresses better– they have superior shear performance at the cost of absolute tensile and compressive strength when compared to the denser structure of Earth Ponies.” He smiled a little, surprised at being able to recall so much without having any references at hoof.

Featherprop gaped and stopped short, then cantered a few steps to catch up. With a grin he said, “Pretty impressive, Doc! I didn't know some of that stuff at all.” Giving a few flaps of his wings, he half-hopped while poking himself in the side, “But you forgot the one that helps most– we have an api..ada... a layer of fat under here to insulate us, too. There's a reason you never see a bony Pegasus.”

Pasture cocked his head in thought. “An adipose tissue layer? I don't recall anything about that in the lectures. Are you certain?” He squinted “Wait, how often do you fly? With your wings, I mean?” The sheepish look on Featherprop's face told him all he needed to know, and he smiled sardonically. “I take it that it's not often, is it? Hm, high metabolism combined with a sedentary lifestyle... Mr. Prop, you should consider talking to your physician.”

Feeling defensive, Featherprop responded, “Well.. hey, it's not so easy up here, you know? Flying, I mean. It's cold all winter, but even when it's nice, it's... harder.” The concept wasn't an easy one to convey. Most ground-bound ponies were unaware of the strange interplay between aerodynamics and a Pegasi's innate ability to channel magic that let them fly. Even among Pegasi, few understood as well as Featherprop did.

Learning about purely mechanical aviation had opened his eyes to how amazing natural flight really was. He had been surprised at how LARGE the wings of an aircraft had to be when he had first dug into aerodynamics– with no magic to augment them, they relied solely on the Ternoulli Effect. He had been surprised to learn from his Gryphon instructors that there was something special about Equestria that enhanced the natural capabilities of ponies and, to a lesser extent, gryphons. Dragons and zebras and Diamond Dogs as well, probably. The texts had referred to it to as a magical 'field' or 'ether', but that was more speculation than anything, for there was no way to measure it.

Whatever it was, in the Frostmane it was weak, sometimes non-existent. Flight exercises that seemed effortless at Flight Camp in Cloudsdale, like Lazy Eights, would work up a good hunger in Trottinger... No, I don't want to think about Cloudsdale tonight. “It's like the weather, Doc. Things are different in the Frostmane.” It suddenly occurred to him to ask a question. “Have you had any trouble using magic up here?”

In fact, Pasture had noticed, but the sensation was discomfiting, like something was missing, and he had been trying not to dwell on it. He sighed and said, “I have, but I preferred not to think about it. What could make magic harder? I’ve never encountered this before..” If he were to be honest, the difficulties he’d experienced disturbed him deeply. The fact that there was no obvious reason made it worse. As a researcher and practitioner of magical medicine, the routine use of magic was part of his core identity. “Is this common knowledge up here, then?”

“Not really– there aren't many Unicorns or Pegasi in the Frostmane, so it just doesn't come up in conversation. Earth Ponies don't seem to notice. Not surprising, I guess.” Featherprop chuckled at the doctor's puzzled expression– he could almost see that the overwhelming predominance of Earth Ponies in the Frostmane was just now dawning on the Unicorn. When Featherprop had first arrived, he had been surprised, too. Over his first few months, he’d met only one or two other Pegasi and it had made him feel rather unique and special. He blushed slightly, remembering the undeserved pride he had taken at being so rare.

That feeling hadn't lasted long. The surprise was soon replaced with disappointment when he realized that nopony seemed to care. It eventually sank in that 'Maners paid a lot more attention to what you did and how you did it than what you were. The revelation came like a bolt out of the blue, and he had realized just why he felt so at home in a place so unlike his old home. After that, it never bothered him. He hadn't fit in with the bravado of Cloudsdale, so the more humble attitude of the Frostmane's inhabitants made it easy to fit in.

Featherprop had been right: Pasture hadn't really noticed. Thinking back to the train trip, he was now struck by the uniform nature of the passengers– among all the ponies on board, there had been only a handful of Unicorns and Pegasi. Look at you, a scientist, and you’ve missed the most obvious things when they are right in front of you. But then again, why should I have noticed? How can you see the answer when you haven't asked the question? Another part of his mind rejected that assertion: How do you ask the question if you don't see the answer? The first replied, Not every question is useful; you have to know the answer you’re seeking to know which question to ask. He shook his head; this sort of back-and-forth could go on and on for hours, but it provided a focus for a mind that was whirling with worries.

His mental sparring was interrupted when Featherprop continued, “And it's just one name– Featherprop, and no Mister needed. You can just call me Prop, Feather, FP... Of course, if you talk to Espresso, she'd add a few others.” He smiled and looked up, rattling off a selection of her more creative names: “Featherpest, The Thief, Featheryap, Bottomless Pit, Featherduster... I forget what else she had last week. Probably “Feather” related, she seems to fixate on that part.” He gave a lopsided grin.

The Unicorn had stopped as Featherprop rattled off the list, a perplexed look spreading across his face. “And this doesn't bother you? It sounds like she's a terror to work with.” Anywhere in Equestria, such behavior in the workplace would be worrisome and the underlying conflict would almost certainly have been dealt with. Only colts and fillies taunted each other like that; grown-up ponies generally had more sense and wouldn't put up with it.

Featherprop laughed, “Oh, no, nothing like that! It’s wind past your tail, you know. We just rub each others manes the wrong way, big-time. Well, okay, she is kinda scary when she really gets worked up.” He looked away, sheepish, and rubbed the crest of his mane with a forehoof. “And, uh, it's not like it's all on her, you know? I mean, she can be a terror, but maybe sometimes I, uh, don't help the situation?”

The cold had begun to seep through Pasture’s hoofwraps, and he cast several glances towards the hangar before edging that way. Featherprop seemed to pick up the hint and fell in alongside him. Pasture gave him an appraising look and asked, “And what exactly does the phrase “don't help” mean?” The Unicorn found himself being drawn into the conversation, thankful for the distraction from the the frosty, back-lit panes of the hangar doors that loomed above him.

As they came close, Featherprop cantered ahead to the segmented doors. “Let's just say,” he paused to throw his weight against a large lever and grunted as a latch suddenly let go, allowing him to roll back one segment of the large door, “nngh, that I play my part as well.” A blaze of light lit the apron as a gust of warm air rolled over two ponies. Featherprop grinned and struck a showpony's pose on his hindlegs, dramatically spreading his wings.

“Well,” he stretched out a hoof, “there she is!” Under the bright lights, an ungainly, bird-like craft crouched, wings outstretched as if trying to catch a freshening breeze.

The Unicorn just stared.