When Maud Pie sees a stone gargoyle, she falls for it, only to find out that it is very much alive... A crossover fic with Gargoyles. Ships Maud X Brooklyn.
Due to some of Puck's blundering, the Manhattan Clan of Gargoyles find themselves in Ponyville. They try to adapt to their new lives as Elisa Maza negotiates with Twilight. One night, the gargoyle Brooklyn goes out but doesn't come back before sunrise, meaning he has to stay in Ponyville Park in the guise of a stone statue. The next day, Maud Pie just happens to come to town, and see this magnificent creature. She grows a fondness for him, and shenanigans ensue.
A crossover fic with the '90s Disney cartoon Gargoyles. Mainly centers around Maud and Brooklyn.
Of Night and Stone By Kirb Chapter One Night Patrol
The small town of Ponyville was covered by the blanket of darkness. The white orb of the Moon floated high above the few clouds in the sky. An owl did its typical “whoo-whoo” call, perched on a nearby branch. Once in awhile, a building may be illuminated, with somepony staying up late for some reason or another, or less likely, somepony forgot to extinguish the lights when they went to sleep. For the most part, however, everything in the town was entirely covered in the dark of the night.
A gust of wind flew above the town. Three figures hitched on the gust. This was not an uncommon occurrence. Pegasus ponies frequently flew throughout the sky. However, very few ponies were awake at this time, much less flying through the air without light where it was easy to have an accident. Furthermore, these figures were not ponies.
As they were illuminated by the moonlight, the figures’ appearances were clearly visible. They were humanoid creatures, and all three of them were clearly male, wore loincloths, and had wings of varying sizes, resembling stone gargoyles that one would find on the top of a skyscraper in New York City. This was the name they collectively went by: “Gargoyles.”
The gargoyle on the left was by far the biggest of them. He was carrying extra weight over the belt, but it was clear that some of that was muscle as well as fat. His skin tone was bluish, though his wings were more of a dark greenish-brown as they flared up around him. Three horns ran down the center of his bald head, and his ears fanned out like bat wings. The gargoyle on the right was the smallest and definitely the youngest of the group. In contrast to the other two, this gargoyle’s wings were attached to his arms in a web-like structure, similar to those of a flying squirrel. He also had larger eyes than the other two and his skin tone was light brownish gray. The gargoyle in the center was most likely the leader of the trio and looked very different than the other two. His skin was red and his wings were of a similar darker shade, but in contrast, these wings had claws on their upper ends, similar to a pterodactyl. While the other two were bald, this gargoyle had a wild white mane and two horns. In addition, his face had an enormous beak, while the other two gargoyles had faces that were flatter.
The three gargoyles continued on their regular flight path over the town, until they unexpectedly swooped down to land on the top of the Ponyville Town Hall. Another gargoyle was also standing there, waiting for them. This one was taller and more muscular than any of the other Gargoyles. His dark hair blew in the wind, and his lavender wings were folded up like a cape behind him. The bluish gargoyle folded up his wings similarly.
“So,” the lavender gargoyle began, speaking in a deep, booming voice, “did you three take a look around the city?”
“Yeah, we did, Goliath,” the red gargoyle replied.
“Not really much of a city,” the youngest gargoyle interrupted, speaking in a young, reedy voice. The red gargoyle sneered at him. “I mean, I was expecting something more than this.”
“Lexington, this is very different from New York,” the fat gargoyle added. “It’ll be a hard time adjusting for all of us.”
“Oh, I’m sure it will for you,” ‘Lexington’ remarked, poking at the fat one’s belly. “There are no 24-hour restaurants for you here, Broadway.”
“Hey, cool it!” the red gargoyle commanded, interrupting Lexington. He then turned back to Goliath. “Does Elisa have any idea how we can get back?”
Goliath shook his head. “I am afraid not, Brooklyn. She has not been making any progress with the natives of this land, the ‘ponies.’ Many of them fear her, but she has been able to make contact with one, a unicorn called ‘Twilight Sparkle.’”
“Talking ponies, unicorns, pegasuses--pegasi?--this is sounding like something from myths!” ‘Broadway’ interjected.
“Do not forget, Broadway,” added Goliath, “that many think that we are but myths. And many think that spells, mages, and life existing on alternate worlds are also mythological, but a few nights ago, we confirmed the last one is true.”
“Yeah, yeah,” muttered Broadway. “I remember, when the trickster Puck sent us here due to some strange command from Xanatos. I was there, remember?”
“Speaking of which, we’d better find Xanatos,” said ‘Brooklyn.’ “He could be anywhere, and we wouldn’t want him to be let loose on this town. That won’t end well.”
“I already told you, Brooklyn,” Goliath spoke once more. “Elisa is working on it as best as she can. First thing, we have to establish ourselves amongst the ponies, and then we’ll go after Xanatos. After all, it is his fault that we arrived here.”
“Right, right,” Brooklyn replied. “Where’re the others?”
“Hudson and Bronx are inside, as usual,” Goliath said. “Angela is with them, waiting for you.” He pointed to Broadway upon saying this. “And as for Elisa, she is…”
A voice came behind Goliath. He turned around to see a human woman standing on the roof of the Town Hall with an open door behind her. She had caramel skin, brown eyes, and blue-black hair. Her outfit consisted of a red jacket on top of a black shirt, blue jeans, and black shoes. She was leaning against the wall, with her arms crossed. Goliath approached her.
“Elisa! Have you made any further progress?”
“Depends on what you count as ‘progress.’” ‘Elisa’ uncrossed her arms. “I haven’t told Twilight about you guys yet, but to be honest I’m not sure if I want to at this point. I have learned some information about the ponies, and taught Twilight about humans--she was really curious--but as it is, Twilight is having a hard enough time understanding this situation. She still thinks that ‘Elisa Maza’ is a weird name! Though to be fair I think ‘Twilight Sparkle’ is pretty weird too.” She shook her head. “You know, never in my life did I think I’d meet a real unicorn on the job.”
“It happens.” Goliath glanced at the other three, then back at Elisa. “So when do you think it will be safe to introduce us to her?”
Elisa shrugged at this. “I don’t know, honestly. Our schedules are a major conflict. As you all know, I worked the night shift back at home. And, of course, all of you are only active at night, but Twilight is usually sound asleep during the nighttime from what I can tell. Plus it doesn’t help that Town Hall is technically closed at these hours.”
“Hey, look on the bright side!” Elisa said. She reached into her coat pocket and pulled out a book, handing it to Goliath.
“What is this?” Goliath read the cover. History of Equestria, Part I.
“Our unicorn friend Twilight happens to live in a library and was nice enough to lend me this book last time we talked. I’ve already skimmed through it and have a good understanding, but I think it might be harder for you guys to understand this world--and specifically you, Goliath,” she said ominously. “Anyway, this book will tell you pretty much everything you need to know.”
“Thank you, Elisa. This will be most important.” Goliath looked back at the other three. “Now which of us will be patrolling the city tonight?”
“I’ll do it,” Brooklyn volunteered. “As your second-in-command, I think this is my task.”
“Great!” said Lexington, running inside. “This will give me some time to work on my latest contraption.”
“And I’ll have time to take Angela out to a movie tonight!” Broadway added.
“A movie date, eh?” Elisa remarked. “What movie?”
“It’s a midnight screening of a romantic drama called The Stable,” said Broadway. “I found a flier for it and now I’m interested!”
“I dunno, Twilight told me of that one and she says it’s terrible,” Elisa said. “But hey, it’s your choice…”
“What time is it now?”
Elisa glanced at her watch. “According to my watch, 11:28.”
“Oh, only 32 minutes. I’d better check on Angela.” Broadway ran inside the door too. This left Brooklyn, Goliath and Elisa. Brooklyn sighed heavily. Angela was the only female gargoyle in the clan. She came from the island of Avalon and arrived here. Brooklyn, Broadway and Lexington all attempted to pursue her, but she only fell for Broadway.
“Brooklyn,” Goliath commanded, “don’t get lost.”
“Huh?” Brooklyn was clearly distracted. “Oh, right. Of course not.”
The young gargoyle turned around and spread his wings, then proceeded to take off. Elisa watched him leave.
“Hm,” she said. “Goliath, something’s up with him.”
Around three hours later, Brooklyn had mostly patrolled the city and was now walking through the streets instead of flying. He sighed as he passed by the smaller houses and around the corners. This would definitely be a big change from the skyscrapers of Manhattan, but he’d adjust to it. He’d have to, though adjusting to sudden changes like this was a very hard thing to do.
He should know. He remembered when the Magus cast his spell on him and the other gargoyles in Scotland a thousand years ago, the spell that would end ‘when the castle rises above the clouds.’ Back when the spell was cast, castles rising above the clouds was seen as impossible, thus Brooklyn and the others sure were shocked when they reawakened in what only seemed like a few minutes; for a thousand years had passed, and castles above the clouds were common occurrences in New York City.
That reawakening was almost two years ago, and it seemed he had just gotten used to Manhattan. Yet now, the fact that they had arrived not only in a different world, but one populated by talking ponies… well, it made Manhattan seem like an easy change.
All of a sudden, a voice came from behind him. “Getting to know this town a little better, eh Brooklyn?”
Due to this sudden surprising voice, Brooklyn turned around quickly, ready to attack whomever had spoken; however, he dropped his guard immediately when he saw that it was only Elisa standing behind him.
“Oh, Elisa! Never do that again!”
“Sorry, Brooklyn.” She shrugged, then walked alongside him, carrying a flashlight so she could see better. “I just wanted to check on you and see how you’re doing.”
He really wanted to change the subject now. “So, how are things going back at Town Hall?”
“Nothing surprising. Goliath’s still reading the book I lent him, Lexington’s still working on that machine, and Hudson and Bronx are just lazing around as usual.”
“Huh. Oh! Did Broadway and Angela get back from that movie?”
“Oh, yeah! That happened.”
“How was it?”
“According to Angela, she hadn’t seen many movies, but this is the worst one she’s ever seen,” she chuckled.
Brooklyn had to laugh too. “Hah! Oh man, I’d love to see the look on Broadway’s face.”
“It was great. And hey, she seems so freaked out about it, she just might dump Broadway and go out with you!”
Elisa didn’t respond to this. There was dead silence. Brooklyn stopped walking and looked around.
He continued, though at a faster, more rushed pace. Elisa walked up next to him.
“Brooklyn, something’s been the matter with you ever since Broadway mentioned he was taking Angela out tonight. What is it?”
Brooklyn sighed. “Guess there’s no hiding anything from you, is there?”
He coughed. “Well, if you must know, I’m just feeling a little bit… well, left out. I mean, every gargoyle girl I’ve ever asked out has ditched me. Remember Maggie back home? She went with your brother, Derek. Angela? She went with Broadway. I even lost Delilah to Malibu, who was my own clone. My own clone!”
“I get it. Well, didn’t Angela tell you that she had fifteen rookery sisters on Avalon?”
“Well, yes, but as it is, it seems unlikely that we’ll get back to our world, much less back to Avalon.”
Elisa shrugged. “I guess that’s always possible. But hey, if we’re stuck here, you could always date some of the natives.”
Brooklyn sighed again. “Well, maybe there is something to be said about--WHAT?!”
“Yeah, I can totally see you going out with some of these ponies! I mean, Goliath and I have no problem with interspecies relations, why should you?”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa! No way am I gonna get attracted to some horses, even if they are sentient!”
Elisa laughed. “Calm down, Brooklyn! I was just making a joke. It’s true the ponies here are more like humans than they are like the ponies on our world, but it’s still really weird.”
“Phew!” Brooklyn sighed in relief, wiping off his forehead. “Thanks for clarifying.”
“It’s no problem. Anyway, don’t you worry. We’re gonna get back to our world soon enough. You won’t have to worry then.”
“Good.” Brooklyn clearly wasn’t reassured by this, but it would have to do.
“Anyway, I gotta get going back to Town Hall. You wanna come with?”
“Huh? Oh no, I really need to finish the night patrol.”
“Brooklyn, from what I’ve read, this isn’t something you need to worry about. This town and country tend to be pretty peaceful.”
“I know, but just in case.”
Elisa let him be for now. “Fine, if you insist.” She shrugged and turned around. Before she went back to the Town Hall, she spoke in a tone mocking Goliath’s. “Brooklyn, don’t get lost.”
Brooklyn chuckled. “Thanks, I won’t.”
A few more hours passed. Brooklyn spent them pretty much doing the same things he always does on patrol: walking through the streets, flying around whenever there was a gust of wind, but staying as far away from the other gargoyles as possible. At one point, he spotted an apple farm while flying, and swooped down to grab a few apples to eat.
Now he was exploring the park, which was just outside of town. He decided to sit down on a bench for awhile, just to relax, and also to collect his thoughts.
Elisa’s right, he thought. I shouldn’t be worrying about this. Still, though, supposing we can’t go back? I guess I should prepare for anything. Ah, what’s a gargoyle like me doing thinking about something so trivial as romance? Hell, with my life, I’m usually just happy if I can find a break between fighting Xanatos, Demona or others, long enough to even TRY romance.
To distract himself, he looked at his surroundings, specifically, the skies, which had begun to grow brighter, signaling an oncoming day. He knew he would have to return to the roof of Town Hall soon. He then noticed the Moon, so different from the Moon he had grown accustomed to back on Earth. This one was much larger, and strangely emptier. He also noticed that this Moon was floating right above the west horizon. When he turned his head around the other way, he saw that the east horizon was quickly getting brighter.
He stood up. How is the sun approaching so quickly? Wait, I think I remember Elisa telling me something about the sun and Moon acting differently in this world. But she never told me it would approach this quickly!
Brooklyn began running towards the town, but as the park began growing brighter, he realized it was futile. There are no gusts of wind I can glide on, so I’d have to go by foot, but even if I make it there on time by that method, I’d also have to climb up, and with the amount of time I have… I guess I have no choice but to rest here for the day.
He stopped off to the side of the road, while still in the park, and struck a pose with his arms up over his head, his mouth open and baring his fangs, and altogether menacing, the way most non-living gargoyles were sculpted.
The sun floated over the horizon, and illuminated everything in its path. As that happened, Brooklyn’s skin became gray and cold, and he turned to stone, as all gargoyles did during the day. He would stay that way until night fell again.
Later that same day, a train pulled into the Ponyville station. Its doors opened, and its passengers left. One distinctively restrained mare stepped out. Light on luggage, this earth pony mare had a bluish gray coat and grayish violet mane. Her turquoise eyes were complemented by eyeshadow in the same subdued color as her mane. Her face bore a stoic, emotionless expression. Unlike most ponies, this mare’s cutie mark was obscured by a bluish dress, which covered her torso and much of her forelegs as well as her flanks.
Looking around, she could see that the pony she was expecting was not there at the station, so she decided to enter into the town. She walked from the train station until she entered the park. It was a delightful spring day in Ponyville. The park was filled with the sounds of ponies enjoying their time, colts and fillies playing, everypony having a great time outside. This mare may have been having a good time, but her face certainly didn’t show it. Not knowing where to go next, the mare decided to sit down on a bench.
It was when she sat down on the light blue wooden bench that she noticed Brooklyn. He was still in the same pose he had been in when the sun had risen. Thinking he was but a simple stone statue, the mare noticed other ponies seemed to be avoiding Brooklyn, and would look at him with an expression of fright, if they looked at him at all.
Unfazed, the mare arose from the bench and slowly walked over to Brooklyn. Once right next to him, she reached out a hoof and touched him on his chest. Though her eyes did not change, the corners of her mouth raised to form a smile.
Of Night and Stone By Kirb Chapter Two Twilight Meets the Clan
Elisa walked down the streets of Ponyville, now filled with crowds of ponies going about their everyday tasks. Many of them stopped to gasp and stare at her, but most had grown accustomed to her presence in Ponyville by now since she had been there for several days. As she looked around, she noticed a large tree in the middle of the town with a red door and windows on different floors. It appeared to be hollowed out. Elisa turned to walk towards it.
“There it is.”
She walked up to the door and knocked lightly a few times. Behind the door, she could hear someone squeaking as if it had just inhaled helium. The voice spoke so fast, it sounded like she was doing ten words per second. Elisa could imagine that the high-pitched voice could fray some nerves. Moments later, the door opened and a small, purple dragon with green spikes was standing on the other end. He inspected Elisa before letting her in. Elisa wondered if she had broken some sort of dress code. She knew bouncers at some clubs in New York who were easier on their guests than the purple dragon.
“Oh! Hi Elisa! Come on in. Twilight’s talking to Pinkie Pie, but she’ll be done soon.”
Elisa went inside. It was the new, but familiar, library where she had been residing, complete with shelves and shelves of countless books. Elisa looked around as she entered. She had seen it before, because Twilight had let her stay there for a few days. As she looked around, Elisa saw a violet unicorn walking around while talking to another pony. The unicorn had a pink stripe in her flat, blue mane and tail, and a pink star surrounded by five smaller white stars shone on her flanks. Her horn was glowing with a pink aura with which she appeared to be levitating some books onto the shelves. Her violet eyes bore an expression of slight annoyance as she listened to the other pony. This other mare was something else entirely! She appeared to be an earth pony: light pink coat, and her raspberry mane was curly and flew out all over the place. Her light blue eyes were darting around as she babbled quickly and incomprehensibly. The quick-speaking mare’s flanks bore a mark of two blue balloons and one yellow one.
Elisa sat down on a nearby couch and waited for the pink earth pony to finish speaking with the unicorn. In the meantime, she caught a few words of what the pink mare was saying:
“…you do remember her, right Twilight? She came by that one time, and you and the rest of our friends tried to become friends with her, but it didn’t work until she saved me from that giant rockslide?”
“How could I forget, Pinkie?” the unicorn responded.
“Oh.” ‘Pinkie’ paused for a second and then continued. “Anyway, Twilight, she’s supposed to be coming back into town today and… oh no! What time is it?”
‘Twilight’ looked at a clock hanging on the wall. “Um, 9:38. Why?”
Pinkie let out a long gasp. “Oh no! I’m late for picking her up from the station! I gotta go, Twilight! See you later!”
As Pinkie galloped out the door, she called to Elisa. “Hi, Elisa! Bye, Elisa!”
Elisa called out to her, smiling. “Bye, Pinkie Pie!” The woman then turned to face Twilight. “What was that all about?”
Twilight shut the door behind Pinkie. “Oh, apparently Pinkie’s sister is coming to town today and she’s extremely excited to meet her.”
“I didn’t know Pinkie had a sister,” Elisa replied.
“Yeah, Maud. Interesting character.”
“A lot of siblings are interesting. I should know, I have two. But does Pinkie always get so excited about everything?”
“Oh, don’t mind her.” Twilight rolled her eyes. “That’s just Pinkie Pie. Anyway, how are you doing?”
“Ugh, tired.” Elisa rubbed her forehead. “I should be asleep right now since, as a detective, I work the night shift.”
“Actually, I wanted to ask you about that. Why didn’t you arrive back until now?”
“Uh, I don’t know. Guess I got distracted or something.”
This was only half-true. Yes, Elisa was distracted, which was the reason she didn’t arrive back to the library sooner, but she didn’t tell Twilight exactly why she was distracted. As we know, Brooklyn had not returned that morning. Elisa looked throughout the town, but still couldn’t find the young gargoyle. She was beginning to get worried that their arch-nemesis, David Xanatos, had shown up and might have found Brooklyn.
Twilight was not entirely convinced by this, but decided to let it go for now. “Okay. Oh, by the way, I contacted Princess Celestia about your problem!”
Elisa, who was in the process of removing her jacket, glanced up at that. “Really? What did she say?”
“She said that she would look at your problem and try to help, but in the meantime she will assist with providing quarters and accommodations for living in Equestria.”
Elisa yawned. “That’s… ahh… great.”
Twilight chuckled a bit. “Elisa, do I infer correctly that you want to go to sleep?”
“Yes…” The human outstretched her arms in a long, slow yawn.
“Go on,” Twilight replied. “You know where the guest bed is.”
“Th..thank you, Twilight.” Elisa got up and walked up the stairs. The baby dragon passed her as he headed down the same stairs. “Goodnight, Spike.”
“Sleep well, Elisa.” Spike continued back to Twilight. He didn’t realize how lucky he was to be sharing the house with not one, but two babes. Then again, his mind hadn’t fallen into that gutter yet. Plus, he kind of thought of Twilight as an older sister anyway.
“A little suspicious…” Twilight muttered.
“Suspicious? What do you mean?” Spike asked, making sure to keep his voice down to not disturb Elisa.
“Huh?” Twilight replied. “Oh, nothing. It’s just, I don’t think Elisa’s telling me the full truth…”
“So what do you want to do about it?”
Twilight rubbed her chin with her hoof. “Hm. Spike, you know the other day when you wrote down all the details Elisa told us?”
“I’d like you to send it to Celestia. Let’s see if she has the same suspicions we do.”
“Right away!” Spike ran off to get the papers.
The gray mare had spent several minutes in the park just standing by Brooklyn, admiring his stone form. She felt his arms. His outer layer was smooth, not as rough and harshly cut as many sculptures she’d seen. She didn’t know why yet, but there was just something different about this statue. Maybe it was that; maybe it was how realistically sculpted he was for a creature that did not exist or had not been found yet…
The mare’s train of thought was cut off by a voice. “Maud!”
The earth pony turned around and saw Pinkie Pie standing a few feet away from her. She took a few steps towards Pinkie, but the pink pony ran over to her before she could go far. With a leap, she leaped at the gray mare for a hug.
“Oh, Maud! Thanks for coming back to visit me!”
Maud hugged Pinkie back, though she kept her stoic expression the entire time.
“Hi, Pinkie,” Maud replied, showing no enthusiasm in her voice. “Hey, you know I’ll take any opportunity I can to visit my sister.”
Although she didn’t show it, Maud was secretly glad to be there. Maud’s work was grueling, and as soon as she was able to get a break, she liked to visit her sister. It was rare when she was able to talk to Pinkie in person--er, in pony.
“Aw!” Pinkie responded, then broke the hug. “We have so much to catch up on! How’s the family doing?”
“They are doing okay. Marble and Limestone have been helping me out some. Ma’s wondering when you’ll visit.”
“Huh. I guess I--hey! What’s that?”
Pinkie pointed to Brooklyn. She drew closer.
“You haven’t seen that before?” Maud asked, still in her monotone voice.
“Nope! When I came here yesterday, this statue wasn’t here!” Pinkie walked around Brooklyn. “Say, Maud, what type of rock is this?”
Maud gazed at Brooklyn, then she touched his arm again. “I’m not sure.”
“You’re not?” Pinkie was quite surprised by this. “Aren’t you good at this stuff?”
“I just can’t tell.” Maud looked down. This was one of the first times this had happened, when she hadn’t been able to identify what type of stone something was.
“Huh. Oh well! Maybe we’ll find the sculptor and he’ll tell us! C’mon, Maud!”
Pinkie turned around and began bouncing to the town while humming a merry tune. In contrast to her sister, Maud followed almost silently. Although she didn’t say anything, Maud thought of Brooklyn. Why had he left such an impression?
Around 12:30 that afternoon, the library door opened and Twilight and Spike walked out into the streets of Ponyville for lunch. She had exchanged a few letters with Princess Celestia, but they hadn’t gotten anywhere in figuring out what Elisa was hiding. So they decided to take a break.
“Twilight, do you really think Elisa is hiding something from you?” Spike asked the unicorn.
“I don’t know at this point,” Twilight replied. “I mean, you read what Celestia wrote, but I don’t think she’s trying to work against us. I mean…”
She was suddenly interrupted by a voice with a strong southern accent coming somewhere behind her. Turning around, Twilight saw an orange earth pony mare approaching her. Her yellow mane and tail were fittingly done in a ponytail, and flew behind her as she ran towards Twilight. She also wore a brown Stetson hat. When she stopped in front of Twilight, it was easy to see her cutie mark of three red apples.
“Hi, Applejack,” Twilight said to the earth pony. “What’s going on?”
“Twilight, I’m glad I found you,” said Applejack.
“Is something wrong?”
“No! Somepony’s been stealin’ apples from our farm!”
“Stealing apples?” Twilight was confused. “Are you sure?”
“Trust me, I’d know.” Applejack shook her head. “An’ when we find that apple-thief, Big Macintosh and I are gonna…”
“Okay, I get it. I’ll try to help you however I can…”
“Ya wanna help? Get rid o’ your roommate!”
“What?” Twilight gasped. She knew Applejack was referring to Elisa. “Why?”
“Some strange things’ve been happenin’ around here, Twi. I say they started th’ day that Lisa showed up.”
“AJ, her name is Elisa, not Lisa,” Twilight replied skeptically. “And you can’t just go around saying that people are evil or suspicious just because somepony stole your apples…”
“But that’s not all!” Applejack interrupted. “This mornin’, Fluttershy told me that last night, her animals were spooked an’ wouldn’t go t’ sleep! Dash told me she saw some strange figures flyin’ around in th’ night! No ponies’d dare fly at night ‘cause it’s too dang’rous!”
“Alright, AJ, you’ve made your point…”
“An’ Rarity heard two voices passin’ by ’er house last night! One of ’em was male, but th’ other one sounded like your friend, Elisa!”
“Alright, I get it!” Twilight snapped at Applejack. “But all these are just rumors. Anything or anypony could have scared Fluttershy’s animals! I’m sure many ponies fly at night! And of course Elisa was out last night--she’s an officer who works the night shift, remember?”
“I dunno, Twi,” Applejack responded. “I think ya should ask this Elisa a few questions at least.”
Twilight was about to say something, but was interrupted by a chattering of teeth. She looked down to see Spike shivering in fear.
“Well, great, AJ,” Twilight rolled her eyes. “Now Spike is scared.”
“B-but what if it’s true?” Spike said. “Wh-what if Elisa is really… what if she’s working for the villains? L-like Queen Chrysalis, o-or Discord… or worse?!”
“Spike, calm down!” Twilight told him. “I’m sure we’ll get to the bottom of this.” She looked back at Applejack. “Meanwhile, AJ, you calm down too. Nopony’s plotting against us. I’ll question Elisa when she wakes up.”
“Alright,” Applejack responded, unconvinced. “But I’ll believe it when I see it.” She turned around and walked back to the farm. “G’bye, Twi!”
“Goodbye, Applejack!” Twilight called back to her. She looked down at Spike, who was still shivering. “Oh, get over it!”
“I’m sorry!” Spike replied, stopping. “It’s just that the idea that Elisa could be connected to these mysterious events is just…”
“Hey, Twilight!” a voice chimed in behind her. Twilight immediately recognized it as Pinkie’s voice and turned around to greet the pink earth pony.
“Oh, hi Pinkie Pie!” Twilight greeted her. “Did you find your sister?”
“Yep!” Pinkie pointed behind her with a hoof, and Twilight could see that Maud was slowly following her sister. Pinkie called out to her. “Hey, Maud! Do you remember Twilight?”
Maud finally reached Pinkie and Twilight. “Yes.”
Wow, such a blunt answer, Twilight thought. Then again, I don’t know what I was expecting since it’s coming from Maud here.
“So, where did you find her, Pinkie?” the unicorn asked.
“Oh!” Pinkie replied. “Maud was in the park! She was staring at that weird statue there!”
“Weird statue?” Twilight asked. “Um, excuse me Pinkie Pie, but I don’t remember there being any weird statues in the park.”
“There was today, Twilight! And Maud was looking at it, and it was posing like this--RAAAAAH!” Pinkie stood on her hindlegs and stuck out her forelegs to emulate the pose Brooklyn had been in. “And it had pointy teeth, and big batlike wings, and claws and a beak and…”
“Pinkie!” Twilight interrupted.
“Can you take me to this statue?”
“You see, Twilight? Just as I described it!”
“Pinkie, I… Who could’ve done this?” Twilight was surprised that Pinkie wasn’t making this up, and that there actually was a mysterious stone statue in the park.
“I don’t know!” replied Pinkie. “That’s just what Maud and I were talking about! I don’t know any sculptors that good! Or ones who’d donate a statue like this for free! Or hay, any sculptors at all!”
“I-I have an idea!” Spike commented.
Twilight looked down at him. Please don’t say what I think you’re going to say…
“What if… what if Elisa did this?”
Twilight facehoofed. Aaand you said it.
Pinkie gasped. “Oh no! Does that mean Elisa is an evil enchantress?”
“No, Pinkie, calm down,” Twilight insisted. “Spike is just all riled up because Applejack told him some conspiracy theory she had about Elisa’s arrival being connected to all these weird things going on.”
Maud didn’t know who Elisa was, nor did she care. She glanced blankly back and forth at the ponies talking.
“But what if it is?” Spike asked again.
“Alright! I’ll get to the bottom of this tonight.” Twilight’s stomach growled. “Meanwhile, if you can’t tell, I’m hungry, so before I do anything I want to get lunch.”
It was about 6:30 PM at the library. Elisa slowly opened her eyes and stretched her arms. She groaned loudly as she awakened, sitting up in Twilight’s guest bed. She had slept well, considering she’d stayed up later than she had planned. She looked out the window to see that the sun was nearing the horizon.
“I still can’t get behind the fact that the sun here is controlled by magic…” she remarked.
As Elisa rolled out of bed, she noticed how surprisingly quiet the library was. Most of the time, there was at least some noise when she woke up, whether it was from Twilight, or Spike, or if one of Twilight’s friends was over.
“Hmm…” Elisa suspected something was up, but at this point she just wanted breakfast, so she pulled on her shoes and proceeded to walk downstairs, where she saw Twilight sitting on the couch, staring straight at Elisa.
“Good morning, Twilight!” Elisa greeted the mare.
“It’s early evening,” Twilight replied.
“I know, I say that anyway because I just woke up, and most people wake up in the morning, so… yeah.”
The silence in the room was uncomfortable.
“Could… could I get something to…” began Elisa.
“What’s going on?” Twilight interrupted.
“What do you mean?”
“Elisa, there have been some strange things happening in the town, and everypony thinks they’re related to you.”
“Wh-what? Wait, what strange things?”
“Apples have gone missing, ponies have seen strange things flying around, animals have been frightened, and all of this is happening at night, when you are one of the only ones awake.”
Elisa began sweating. “Twilight, this is all just a coincidence. I don’t know about…”
“And Applejack also told me that your voice was heard talking to another last night.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
“In addition, today Pinkie Pie showed me a mysterious statue that appeared in the park last night. A stone statue of a humanoid creature like you, and it wasn’t there yesterday.”
“So that’s where Brooklyn went…” Elisa muttered.
“What was that?” Twilight questioned. “Who is Brooklyn? What’s going on?”
Elisa shook her head and sighed. “Guess there’s no hiding the truth from you anymore, Twilight.”
“Great! So you’ll tell me?”
“No, I can’t.”
“What? Why not?”
“This is something that you’ll have to see for yourself…”
“What? There’s more of them?” Twilight exclaimed as she and Elisa stood on the roof of Town Hall, where all the other gargoyles stayed since last night. Twilight and Elisa had left the door open behind them. Elisa looked around at the gargoyles and smiled. Twilight was utterly shocked.
“Yep,” Elisa replied, “my own guardian angels!”
“How did these get here?” Twilight asked impatiently. “What does this have to do with the weird things going on? Tell me now!”
Elisa just glanced at her watch. “7:48. Any minute now…”
“What do you mean by that?”
The sun was barely peeking out over the horizon, and was descending fast. Elisa pointed at it.
“The sun’s almost set. Enjoy the show.”
“Show? What show?”
Just as Twilight saw the sun had full set, she heard a cracking noise. Then she spun around to see the gargoyles, specifically Goliath. She could see a crack forming in him, and continuing all the way down his body. Looking at the other gargoyles, Twilight could see similar cracks forming in them.
And then, with a crashing noise, the stone exploded off the gargoyles, one by one. Twilight watched Goliath as he raised his arms up in the air, fists clenched, and roared.
Twilight gasped and backed away. The other gargoyles were doing the same, roaring or growling in a similar fashion as their outer shells broke away. Their eyes were all glowing brightly in the night as the collective roars rang through Twilight’s ears. Unfortunately, having never seen this before, Twilight’s reaction was less than dignified.
Twilight ran past Elisa, knocking her over, and back through the entrance. The gargoyles saw Twilight running away and looked at Elisa with confusion. Elisa rolled her eyes and looked back at them.
“Do you really have to do that every time you wake up?”
In another part of Ponyville, another gargoyle awakened as the sun set. Brooklyn, still in the Park, regained consciousness as his outer shell shattered and he broke out, stretching his arms above him and growling, his eyes glowing white.
However, at that moment, Brooklyn heard a voice from behind him.
He turned around almost instantly, prepared to face a potential villain. However, when he looked, all he saw was Maud, standing behind him, and looking completely unfazed at what she had just seen. Brooklyn relaxed a bit.
“Um, hi?” he greeted her nervously.
Maud didn’t respond, still bearing the blank look on her face. She blinked a few times. This awkward silence continued for a few seconds until she finally spoke.
Of Night and Stone By Kirb Chapter Three A Rocky Introduction
Brooklyn and Maud stood in the park, looking at each other. Brooklyn raised an eyebrow at Maud, glaring at her as if she were a pony from a mental institution. Maud stared blankly back at Brooklyn, but then again, that was the expression she always wore. Brooklyn soon remembered that Maud had said something.
“Oh. Uh, hi, Maud! Nice to meet you. I’m Brooklyn.”
Maud didn’t respond. Brooklyn looked down, then up at the sky. His right foot began tapping on the ground at a fast pace.
“Well, this has been a nice conversation, but I really have to get back to my clan.”
Again, Maud didn’t respond. Brooklyn raised his right arm to look at his wrist, as if he had a watch there. Then he looked back at Maud, who was still staring at him blankly.
He turned around and took off back towards Ponyville. That was weird… I mean, she was just silent! The whole time! Never talking! I mean, it beats being screamed at, or being asked a lot of questions, but still. Hope that never happens again.
Maud, meanwhile, watched as Brooklyn flew away. She blinked, then began walking in the same direction.
Elisa entered the upper floor of Town Hall looking around for Twilight.
“Twilight?” she called out. “You can come out now!”
“No!” Twilight had a terrified tone of voice. “I… they… you never told me that you’re friends with monsters!”
“Hey, you were the pony who asked me.” Elisa tried to figure out where the voice had come from. “But don’t worry. They won’t bite!”
“Are… are you sure?”
“Of course I’m sure! As you said, I am friends with them.”
As Elisa alone knew, she had grown to be much more than friends with the Manhattan Clan. Indeed, they were her family, and Goliath and she were now in a relationship. But she didn’t tell this to Twilight immediately. That would be something the unicorn had to figure out on her own.
Elisa heard a noise and turned around. Twilight slowly, adorably stuck her head out from behind a desk, looking at Elisa, and then back at the doorway. Had this been under any other circumstances, Elisa would have cracked under Twilight’s cuteness, but this was no time for that. She had to convince the mare to go back outside.
Twilight walked out from the desk and began cautiously heading to the door, with Elisa now following close behind, but she had barely stepped outside when she was greeted face-to-face by a large beast. This dog-like gargoyle was deep blue, had two fan-like ears, three spikes running down his back, two small horns above his brows, a short tail, and big, sharp fangs. The beast moved closer to her, growling, his eyes glowing. Intimidated, Twilight let out a yelp, but Elisa stepped in soon enough.
“Eeeeasy there, Bronx,” she said, holding out a hand. The beast, ‘Bronx,’ stopped growling and let Elisa pet him on the top of the head.
Twilight was now less scared and more confused. “Bronx?”
Elisa smiled. “Yep, that’s his name!” She pulled away. “He’s one of the less talkative members of the clan, if you couldn’t tell.”
As Twilight fully went out onto the deck, she could see the other gargoyles looking at her. Her eyes scanned across the group. She saw Lexington, Broadway, Goliath, and two others. The gargoyle on the left was clearly the oldest of them. He had tan-colored skin, orange wings and white hair, but unlike all the rest of them, he also had a beard. There were three small horns running along either side of his forehead. In addition to the loincloth customary among gargoyles, he also wore a tight leather jerkin and trousers. His left eye appeared to be blind, with a yellow tint and a scar across the lid. The gargoyle closer to the right appeared to be female. She was attractive by gargoyle standards, with her tall, slender body covered with lavender skin. She had long, dark hair worn in a ponytail with her ears pierced by two gold earrings. Her wings and skin tone resembled Goliath’s. She wore a short, white dress.
Twilight stared in awe at them, then looked back at Elisa. “These are--?”
“We are Gargoyles,” Goliath interrupted, speaking in his distinctive booming voice. He stepped forward and held out a clawed hand for the unicorn. “I take it you are the one known as Twilight Sparkle?”
Twilight’s mouth hung wide open from this. However, in a few seconds she realized what was going on, and grabbed Goliath’s hand with her own hoof.
“My name is Goliath,” Goliath spoke again, shaking Twilight’s hoof. “I’m sure you will have a lot of questions, which we will be willing to answer. But first, allow me to introduce you to my clan.”
“O-okay,” Twilight weakly replied.
Dear Celestia… that voice! Twilight thought. I bet that voice could make even Big Macintosh question his stallionhood!
Goliath pointed to each member of the clan, starting with the oldest.
“This is Hudson, my former second-in-command.”
‘Hudson’ took a bow. “Pleased to meet you, lass.” Unlike the others, Hudson spoke with a thick Scottish accent.
Then Goliath pointed to the female. “This is Angela.”
Angela simply nodded in response. Goliath continued to introduce the other members as they each responded in their own ways. “Then there’s Broadway, and Lexington, and I believe you have already met our watchdog, Bronx. We are awaiting the return of my second-in-command, Brooklyn.”
“There is another one of you?” Twilight asked in response.
“You heard me mention him when you asked me about the gargoyles,” Elisa spoke again. “He’s been missing since last night, but if he’s the same one Pinkie Pie has discovered…”
“He’d better be,” Broadway said. “If not, we’ll have to start looking for him!”
“Don’t start just yet,” they suddenly heard a voice call to them. Turning to face it, they saw Brooklyn gliding towards them. He landed next to Goliath.
“Where were you?” Goliath asked.
“I would’ve come sooner, but the sun rose fast.” Brooklyn shook his head. “So I had to stay in the park for the day and pretend to be a statue.”
“Did any of the locals see you?” asked Goliath.
Brooklyn sighed. “Only one. She was really weird. She must have only said three words to me, and kept looking at me with this blank face.”
“Was she a gray earth pony with a faded purple mane, and wearing a blue frock?” Twilight asked.
“Um, yeah!” Brooklyn was surprised by that. “How did you know?”
“That would probably be Maud!” Twilight replied. “She discovered you today and showed you to her sister Pinkie Pie and me.”
“What is her deal?” Brooklyn asked her.
“She’s… um, eccentric,” Twilight explained.
“I could tell,” Brooklyn remarked, shaking his head. “Anyway, Goliath, I wouldn’t worry. The way she was acting, I didn’t even know if she saw me.”
“Oh, she saw you alright. She just doesn’t express herself in the way most ponies do.”
Goliath was deep in thought. Hudson asked him, “So we have been seen then?”
Goliath nodded. “Do you have any ideas, old friend?”
Hudson shook his head. “I cannot help you here.”
Goliath sighed. “In that case, we have no choice but to keep a low profile. Brooklyn!” The young gargoyle turned his head to Goliath when addressed. “Brooklyn, you’re relieved from patrol duty for the next several days, until this blows over. Understood?” Brooklyn nodded. “Good. Broadway, you take patrol tonight. Everyone else can do what they please.”
Broadway nodded and turned around to take off. The other gargoyles went inside. Goliath wrapped his wings around his body like a cape. Brooklyn stood by the edge of the roof, looking out over the town. Lexington was about to go inside when Twilight walked up to him and lightly tapped him on the arm. He turned his head.
“Um, Lexington was it?” Twilight addressed him, blushing.
“I want to find out more about you and your clan. I’d love to talk to you!”
“Well, okay!” Lexington nodded. “Come on in, I’d be happy to tell you.”
The bookworm unicorn went inside alongside Lexington. Elisa and Angela were the last ones to enter. Brooklyn could hear some snippets of their conversations.
“So, what do you want to know?” “I didn’t believe unicorns existed until now.” “Well, anything really. Like I really want to know how you got here.” “Okay.” “I know! But now I’ve seen one, and I had a hard time holding myself back because she’s so cute!” “Oh, hi Maud.”
Upon hearing those last words, Brooklyn’s eyes instantly widened. He turned his head back to the door, but he didn’t see anything. Maybe I misheard, he thought. Oh, please tell me I misheard…
Unfortunately, luck was not kind to him. The pony in question ambled through the door a few seconds later, still bearing the same blank stare. She looked directly at Brooklyn, who instead looked away.
“H-how did you get here so quickly?” Brooklyn asked, surprised.
Maud waited for a few seconds to respond, then, in her normal deadpan voice… “I followed you.”
Brooklyn really didn’t know how to respond to this. He just looked around in silence, tapping his foot again. He finally began to talk, but Maud did at the same time.
“Look, why are you--”
“I wanted to--”
Both the pony and the gargoyle stopped mid-sentence. Brooklyn looked down. Then up. Then anywhere but directly at the mare.
“Um, hey! I just remember that I have patrol duties tonight, too!” Brooklyn lied. “So yeah, better get to that!”
He took off flying. Maud reached out a hoof and opened her mouth as if she was about to say something, but closed it, turned around and went back inside.
As Broadway flew over the town of Ponyville for his patrol, he decided he was hungry as always. Broadway took advantage of the prevailing winds to fly overhead, but they happened to be carrying him some distance beyond town. As he floated along the breeze, Broadway could see a barn, with a farmhouse and many rows upon rows of apple trees.
“Well, it’s no McDonalds, but it’ll do!”
He began his descent and finally landed just in front of the barn. He looked up at the rows and rows of apple trees and licked his lips.
Taking a step forward, he suddenly heard a sound from behind him. The gargoyle turned around and saw a cart filled with a large pile of apples. His eyes glowed, and a huge smile grew on his face.
He walked over to the cart and reached in with his right hand to grab an apple. He wiped it off on his wing, ready to eat it. Though he wondered why somebody would just leave an apple cart lying out in the open for him, anything that meant less work for him was a good thing.
All of a sudden, he heard a voice behind him yelling, “Now!” He instantly turned in the direction of the voice, only to be met with a hoof to the face. This blow knocked him off his feet and onto the ground, and before he knew it, he was being dragged into the barn.
“Lights!” he heard the voice command.
Some bright yellow lights came on inside the barn. Broadway would have fought his attackers off, except he didn’t know who they were, and he was on his back with a heavy force of what felt like two hooves straddling him to the ground, preventing him from getting up. Broadway was able to move his head, though, and saw Applejack glaring back at him.
“So you’re the one who’s been stealin’ our apples!” yelled Applejack.
Broadway tried to turn his head to his right, to see what was pinning him down. It was a big stallion, with brilliant red coat, orange mane and tail, green eyes, and a cutie mark resembling a green apple sliced in half with seeds visible. The gargoyle then saw another pony next to Applejack, looking at him with an adorable scared expression. She was a young earth pony filly, with pale yellow coat, red mane and tail, orange eyes, and she also appeared to be wearing a pinkish red bow in her mane. He also noticed that she didn’t have a cutie mark present on her flank.
Applejack yelled at him again. “Well?”
Broadway now growled at his captors, and his eyes glowed white as he attempted to get up and push the stallion off him… only to land back on the ground with a THUD, as the stallion’s hooves pushed him down. His eyes went back to normal as a disappointed look came on his face.
“Oh, now don’t try t’ be gettin’ up none,” Applejack sneered, as she walked closer to Broadway’s head. “My brother Big Macintosh is a force t’ be reckoned with. Right, Mac?”
In a deep tone, Mac only uttered a simple, “Eeyup.”
“Now!” Applejack raised Broadway’s head up with her right front hoof. “Are ya gonna tell me who an’ what th’ hay you are?”
Broadway couldn’t help but laugh at that. “Hah! What the hay! It’s funny because ponies eat hay!”
Laughing, unfortunately, was not a good idea, as Applejack’s left hoof came up to his chin and, with a WHACK, bucked it like an apple tree.
“So y’all can talk, huh? Well, ya better put that skill t’ good use, if ya don’t want another hoof to th’ face.”
Broadway struggled again, but the weight of Bic Mac pinned him down. “Wh-what do you want to know?”
“Didn’t I ask ya earlier? Who and what are ya?”
“I-I’m Broadway, and I’m a gargoyle!”
“Never heard of it.”
“We’re not from here!”
“Y’all came here with that Lisa, didn’t ya?”
“That Lisa Maza!”
“What about her?”
“I knew it!” Applejack sneered. “I told Twi she wasn’t t’ be trusted, but she wouldn’t listen! Why, I’ll find that human an’ I’m gonna…”
This sparked something inside the gargoyle. He growled again and his eyes glowed. Broadway found something in himself to suddenly stand up and push Big Mac off from on top of him. He flared out his wings and grabbed a trembling Applejack with one of his hands.
“Don’t you lay a hoof on her!” he growled. “When you mess with my partner, you mess with me!”
Just then, Big Mac ran up behind Broadway and bucked him hard enough to knock him back down. Now on his stomach, he dropped Applejack, who landed in front of him but ran off outside of the barn. She came back inside with her lasso, which she swung around a few times and then roped Broadway, tying him up. During all this, the yellow filly watched with an expression of intimidation and confusion.
“You think I got him, Mac?” Applejack asked her brother.
“Eeyup,” he responded.
“Good. Now…” She spoke directly to Broadway again. “I just wanna talk t’ Elisa. I won’t hurt her.”
“You promise?” Broadway growled.
“I Pinkie promise!” Applejack responded. “Cross my heart an’ hope t’ fly, stick a cupcake in my eye.”
Broadway was confused about this, but he settled down for now. “What’s the catch?”
“While I’m gone, I’ll let my sister Apple Bloom guard you.” She pointed to the yellow filly. “Meantime, don’t y’all try to escape none!”
Broadway wished it didn’t have to be this way, but he didn’t want Elisa to be hurt… though Applejack did seem like a fairly harmless creature, despite kicking pretty hard and planning his capture. Nevertheless, he kept his promise.
Twilight followed Lexington to his corner of the upper floor of Town Hall. She looked and was surprised to find the enclosed space, just about as big as a large office cubicle, had a set of tools and a welding mask hanging on its gray walls, as well as some pieces of scrap metal and lots of other equipment. In the middle of it, a big object was obscured by a white sheet.
“Wow!” Twilight commented. “So this is your man-cave? Or.. whatever a male gargoyle is called-cave…” She blushed again, looking away.
“Well, yeah!” said Lexington. “Usually I spend most of my time here making stuff.”
“Making stuff?” Twilight was intrigued by this. “Like what type of stuff?”
“Well, like this!” Lexington reached and grabbed the sheet to pull it off. Beneath it shone a gleaming mass of silvery metal and blue-gray parts, a chopper-style motorcycle with the front end sticking far out, though it looked unfinished. Twilight cocked her head.
“This? Oh, of course you wouldn’t have these here. Well, it’s a motorcycle.” He sat on top of it and spread his arms out to grab the handles. “You ride it like this, just sit on top of it and push the pedals down like this, and zoom! It can take off at impressive speeds! Only problem, it’s not finished yet and needs gas to start up.”
“Wow!” Twilight seemed to understand. “Can I try it out, Lexington?”
“Sure! But, uh, call me Lex.” He jumped off and reached down to help Twilight get on. “Uuup you go!”
Twilight giggled as she sat on top of the motorcycle. She grabbed onto the handles with her hooves and her hindlegs were just able to reach the pedals. Lex smiled.
“You got it! Though, I don’t know how you’ll start it up with those hooves…”
“Simple! I’ll use my magic!”
“Yeah, watch!” The unicorn’s horn lit up and she lifted Lex onto the motorcycle, putting him behind her.
“Whoaaa!” interjected the gargoyle. “I didn’t know you could do that!”
“Well, it’s simple levitation. Most unicorns know this basic stuff, Lex.”
“Well, we don’t have unicorns back in Manhattan. You’re the first one I’ve seen.”
“Am I?” Twilight smiled. “Well, your clan are the first gargoyles I’ve seen, apart from that stone one in the park--what was it? Brooklyn?”
“Yeah, that’s his name.” Lex jumped off the motorcycle now.
“I get the sense that you’re the brains of the group, Lex?” Twilight followed him.
“You could say that..” It was now Lex’s time to blush.
“I’m sort of the same in my group of friends. I should introduce you all to them sometime!”
Lex frowned now. “I don’t think they’ll like us much…”
“Well, once they get to know you… Say, I haven’t gotten to know you very well myself! Do you mind if I ask you some more questions?”
“Great! I’ll take you to my library at once!”
“Wait, what? Couldn’t we just…”
“Elisa!” Twilight called out. “I’m gonna take Lex to my library!”
“Be back before dawn!” Elisa’s voice called back.
“Great!” Twilight fired up her horn now.
“Twilight, are you sure--” Lex tried to ask, but was cut off by a purple flash of light, and then both pony and gargoyle were gone.
After about a half hour of aimlessly flying, Brooklyn finally set down, landing back in the park, only closer toward its outer reaches. He sighed a breath of relief. “That should put enough distance between me and her for now.”
He turned around, only to see Maud standing right behind him. He gasped loudly. “D’aahh! What? But how?”
Maud didn’t respond immediately. She just stared at him. When she did respond, though, it was to say, “I thought you had patrol duties.”
Brooklyn shook his head. “Alright, look Maud. I’m sure you’re a great person--er, pony. But it’s just… gah! Why do you follow me around like this?”
Again, Maud didn’t respond immediately. Until… “I like you, Brooklyn.”
The way she said this made Brooklyn raise an eyebrow. First of all, he wondered if she meant ‘like’ as in friends or as in romance. Secondly, she said it with absolutely no enthusiasm whatsoever. Her tone was almost robotic. In fact, this led Brooklyn to wonder if she was just one of the robots of the gargoyles’ nemesis, Xanatos, in disguise as a pony.
Maud walked up closer to him and touched him on the chest. “I like you a lot.” Again with the robotic tone.
Brooklyn shook his head. “Well, I’m flattered, but I’m just not into interspecies relations. Now if you’ll excuse me…”
The red gargoyle pushed Maud’s hoof away and turned around to run until he took off into the air. As he was flying off, he looked back to Maud to make sure she wasn’t following him. Indeed, she was still standing in the same place he had left her.
“Brooklyn!” she weakly called to him, but loudly enough for him to hear.
“What?!” he called back.
He looked ahead of him again… only to smack right into a mountainside. Immediately pain filled his head and body as he slid down the rocky mountainside, groaning all the way down.
As he hit the ground below him, he suddenly heard a sound. It was quiet at first, but grew louder and louder. It sounded like… hundreds of rocks falling. He looked up to see an avalanche barreling down toward him.
He tried to get up, but suddenly found his foot was trapped between two rocks. He looked back up to see the avalanche getting closer… closer…
Brooklyn stared helplessly at the rockslide heading towards him. He gasped.
Welp, this is one way to go… he thought. I thought I would go fighting off Xanatos or something, but a rockslide is pretty good too.
He closed his eyes and waited. The noise got closer… he waited for the moment of impact… it never came.
Brooklyn opened his eyes again. “Huh?”
When he looked up, the spectacle he saw was incredible. Maud was above him, moving at what could have been the speed of sound. Her hooves were hitting the huge falling rocks and pummeling them to pieces. The boulders were practically turning to dust when smashed by her hooves. All Brooklyn could do was watch in awe. What sort of physical strength this mare must have to destroy solid stone like that!
Finally, the avalanche was nearly over, and Maud grabbed Brooklyn and pulled him away, closer to the park. He was still shocked, but she managed to snap him out of it.
“Brooklyn,” she spoke, “what were you thinking?”
The young gargoyle noticed that her voice sounded more concerned than its normal monotone self.
“I-I’m sorry…” He shook his head. “I guess I should’ve been looking where I was going…”
“You guess?” Maud grabbed him with her hooves and hugged him tightly, her voice returning to normal. “Brooklyn, I realize now that you’re not into me, and I can understand that. But promise me this: don’t put yourself in danger like that ever again. I… I will stop pursuing you. It is a moot cause.”
She released him with a sigh. “Goodbye, Brooklyn.”
She turned around and began walking away. Brooklyn was speechless for a few seconds until he was finally able to comprehend it all. Brooklyn, what are you doing? This pony just saved your life! At least throw her a bone!
“Wait, Maud!” he called to her, quickly running to catch up.
The pony turned her head. “What?”
Brooklyn finally caught up with her. “I, um…” He didn’t know what to say, so he just blurted out the first thing that came to his head. “How the heck did you do that?”
“You know, with the rocks… and your speed… your hooves just crushing right through them! I mean, how?!”
“Years of working on a rock farm,” answered Maud.
That would explain it. Wait… a rock farm? What do they do on a rock farm?! He noticed then that Maud was again walking off.
“Wait, Maud!” he called, running up to walk alongside the little pony. “Can’t I just… walk alongside you?”
Maud didn’t say anything. Brooklyn spoke again. “I-I’m sorry for what I said about you…”
“No, I’m sorry,” interrupted Maud. “I realize that I don’t act quite in the same way other ponies do, and that makes you feel awkward…”
“Maud!” He looked directly into her eyes now. “You just saved my life. I feel like I owe it to you. Besides, I’m sure you’re quite interesting! I want to get to know you better, as a friend. What do you think?”
She looked up to him. “Sure.”
Brooklyn rolled his eyes. Well, of course she’d be so straightforward… Then he had an idea.
“Say, Maud,” he said to her. “Would you be interested in seeing Ponyville from a new perspective?”
Maud looked up at him. “Okay.”
Smiling, Brooklyn grabbed her underneath the forelegs and pulled her up to him. “Grab on.”
Maud wrapped her hooves around his neck. “What are you doing?”
He walked up to a tall tree nearby and stuck his claws into its bark. He then began climbing up its trunk, with Maud hanging onto him, until he finally made it to the upper branches of it. He looked down from it until he felt a breeze.
“Here we go.”
He held Maud tightly and took off.
All the lights were off at Twilight’s library. She hadn’t been planning on staying out late; however, a huge flash of light now began filling the library--specifically the main area--which was not caused by any bulb. Finally, it stopped, and Twilight and Lex were standing there.
“We’re here!” Twilight said cheerily. She ran over to a light switch and turned the lights on. When she looked back at Lex, she saw his skin was charred and smoking.
“Ugh…” Lex shook his head, putting his face into his palm. “What was that?”
Twilight blushed. “Sorry. First teleportation?”
“You know it…” Lex brushed off some of the blackened parts. “I didn’t even know ponies could teleport.”
“Well, as I said, basic unicorn knowledge. The other species don’t know how to do this.”
“You mean the stronger earth ponies and flying pegasuses, right?”
“That’s correct! Though they’re actually called pegasi. There’re also the alicorns, but there are only a few of them, and they’re all princesses.”
“I see. And that star on your butt there… that represents your special talent or something?”
Twilight giggled at his description. “That’s my cutie mark, yes. My talent is magic.”
“I get it.” Lex sat down on a nearby couch and stretched out. “So, you said you wanted to find out more about me, right?”
Twilight sat down next to him. “Oh, yes. Tell me more about how you got here! Elisa told me some of it, but I’d like to know more.”
“Alright, well.” Lexington cleared his throat. “There’s this billionaire, David Xanatos. He awakened us after a thousand years under a spell--”
“Elisa told me that part,” Twilight interrupted.
“Did she tell you about Demona, Goliath’s former mate who now seeks to get revenge on all the humans?”
“Huh?” Twilight was interested. “Tell me more!” She levitated a roll of paper and a pen over to her, and began writing down Lexington’s story.
“Okay, well this most recent incident started a few nights ago. We got word that Xanatos was planning something, and we were ready to stop him. We hadn’t heard anything about him for a few months and figured now would be the perfect time for him to strike. So we flew to his skyscraper, the Eyrie Building, to check out was going on.”
“Well, when we got there, we found Xanatos was there… but so was Demona! Apparently, she’d been informed of ‘a world free of humans’ and showed up at the same place. I was afraid a fight would break out!”
“Slow down! Slow down! This is amazing!” Twilight was writing furiously.
“But then we saw the whole situation was constructed by the trickster Puck as one of his games!”
“Puck? Oh, he’s an immortal being who likes going around spreading chaos.”
“I see. Sort of like Discord?”
“Oh. He was an immortal being who liked spreading chaos, but we turned him into a stone statue last year. He hasn’t come out and we have no plans on setting him free unless Celestia requests it, but she wouldn’t do that because that would be stupid.”
“Yeah, that sounds similar to Puck, only this situation is more complicated.”
“I see. Go on?”
“Oh! Yes. Anyway, Puck said some words or whatever, and a weird portal in the center of the room opened up. Xanatos went through the portal first, then Demona, and finally all of us got sucked in. We arrived on the other side, and here we are!”
Twilight finished writing this down. “I see. Thanks for telling me! This should give Princess Celestia much more to work from.”
“Princess Celestia?” Lex cocked his head. “Who’s she?”
“Oh!” Twilight grinned. “She’s the ruler of this land, along with her sister Princess Luna. I’m her personal student.”
“Oh yeah, I think Elisa told me about that. Just couldn’t remember her name.” Lex leaned back. “Anyway, I told you all about how we got here. Anything else you want to know?”
“Oh. Oh yeah!” A smile grew on Twilight’s face. “I’d like to know more about your species. Come follow me downstairs!”
The unicorn jumped to her feet and ran to a doorway. Lex followed her to see there was a stairway leading to a lower floor in the library.
“Um, sure. What do you want to know?”
Twilight led the young gargoyle to the basement. When Lex finally made it down, he saw there was a large machine there, a measuring instrument of sorts with two large metallic pipes sticking out from the top, another one with five disks around it hooked up to a large, bubbling, lime green tank, plugged into a gray-green machine that looked like an oscilloscope, hooked up to a printer. In the center of the room was a smaller machine, gray-green in color, with metallic clasps and a helmet with blinking lights. Lex gawked at the sight of all of the strange devices.
“Wow! Is this all yours?”
“Huh?” Twilight turned back to Lex. “Oh, yes, it’s all mine!”
“Boy. This must have taken a while to set up!” Lex remarked.
Twilight could tell that Lex was into machines. She giggled and blushed at this. “Here, sit down here and put your claws in here,” she said, pointing to the metallic clasps.
“Alright.” Lex had to squat in front of the machine, as it was designed for smaller ponies rather than gargoyles, though Lex was the shortest of his clan. Twilight locked the clasps around his wrists and put the helmet on his head. Lex looked up at Twilight, confused. “Uh, Twilight, what’s all this for?” he asked with concern.
“Just relax,” Twilight requested as she turned on the machine. “That’s the only way it will work!”
With a whirr and other noises, the machine came to life and began reading Lex’s frequencies and wavelengths. Gosh, I wonder why this is all necessary, Lex thought.
“Now Lex,” Twilight began, grabbing another sheet of paper and a pen, “tell me some things about gargoyles.”
“Well, during the daytime we turn to stone, frozen in whatever position we’re in when the sun comes up.” Lex tried to think of some other things. “These, uh, wings that we all have allow us to glide on the wind.”
“And would you consider yourself a normal male gargoyle specimen?”
“Yeah, I’d say so.”
“I noticed that your wings are different from the others,” Twilight commented.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, the other gargoyles’ wings are on their back. Yours are connected to your arms.” Twilight poked at Lex’ left wing when she said this.
“Well, it’s a genetic thing I guess. Some have their wings one way, others the other way.”
“I see.” Twilight looked at the frequencies read by the larger machine, the red lines moving up and down. “Hm. Well, the machine isn’t really reading anything abnormal as far as sentient life goes.” She stood next to Lex, her head close to his. “So, is there, um, anything else you would like to tell me?”
At around that time, however, a voice was heard from upstairs. “Twilight! Twilight, are ya awake?”
The unicorn immediately recognized the voice as Applejack’s. “I’m here, Applejack! What is it?”
A clop-clopping of hooves was heard descending the stairs, as well as Applejack’s voice getting closer. “Twi, you’re never gonna believe this!” she called down.
“On a night like tonight? I’d believe anything!” Twilight and Lex chuckled.
“Well, it turns out I was right! Elisa does have t’ do with the strange goings-on around town!” Applejack finally came into view, walking down the stairway towards Twilight and Lex, but not looking at either of them. “We caught a monster back at th’ farm, an’ he mentioned Elisa’s name when we asked him!” As Applejack arrived at the bottom of the stairs, she wore a smug smile on her face as she told Twilight, who was trying not to laugh. “Ya see?” Applejack opened her eyes. “I told you that Elisa wasn’t to be trust--eh?”
Her mouth fell open when she saw Lex standing next to Twilight, both of them grinning widely. The earth pony backed away, almost too shocked to talk.
“Am… am I seein’ this right, Twi?” asked Applejack finally.
“You are, Applejack.” Twilight smiled and pointed to Lex. “You were right about Elisa being connected to these guys.”
“Hi! I’m Lexington!” Lex introduced himself. He tried to wave, but the wrist clamps stopped him.
Applejack couldn’t believe her eyes. “So ya.. ya know about ’em, Twi?”
“Elisa told me about them,” Twilight explained. “These gargoyles can seem big and scary, but they’re really quite friendly.”
Applejack shook her head. “Wha… but how do you know?”
Twilight’s face gave Applejack the ‘Seriously?’ expression. “AJ, didn’t we already talk about this?” she asked. “Back when we first met Zecora. All of you were scared of her because she was different. Remember? And she turned out to be just like you and me, and we since grew to accept her.”
“Well, that’s different!”
“Well… um… did Zecora ever buck you all th’ way across th’ room?”
“Ha! Th’ gargoyle we captured back at th’ farm did! Sent Big Mac flyin’ across th’…”
Suddenly, Lex interrupted. “You captured one of us?” His expression grew angry.
“Lex, calm down!” Twilight said to the young gargoyle. “I’m sure this was just a misunderstanding!”
This seemed to settle Lex. Then Twilight turned back to Applejack. “AJ, did you say or do anything to upset him?”
“Well, I sorta… threatened to go after Elisa.” Applejack’s face held a sheepish expression as she said this.
Twilight rolled her eyes. “Well, there’s your problem. These gargoyles, from what I can tell, are very protective of Elisa, since she’s one of their few human friends.”
“Oh. Well, I’m still not sure we can trust ’em! An’ I got Apple Bloom stayin’ back home, watchin’ over th’ one we caught…” At that moment, Applejack gasped and her eyes widened. “Oh no! What was I thinkin’, lettin’ such a young filly as Apple Bloom guard over such a dangerous creature? She could be hurt by now, or… or worse!”
At this point, Lex chimed in again. “We wouldn’t intentionally hurt anyone, especially not a little girl, Ms.… Applejack, was it?”
“I ain’t talkin’ to you!” Applejack said to Lex, who rolled his eyes.
“Look, Applejack,” Twilight said, grabbing her friend, “tell you what. You go back home and see if Apple Bloom is alright. If the gargoyle hasn’t hurt her, I think it’s safe to say we can trust them.”
“Al..alright.” Applejack moved away from Twilight and began galloping back up the stairs. “But if she’s hurt, don’t say I didn’t tell ya so!”
When Applejack returned to the barn, she was expecting to open the door and find Broadway holding Apple Bloom by the neck, having broken out of the lasso and now angry for revenge. So the mare was ready and prepared to fight him.
But when she opened up, she was surprised to not only find Broadway lying on the ground in the same way he had been lying when she tied him up, but Apple Bloom was also lying on the ground by the door, curled up fast asleep.
“Huh? But.. what?”
Broadway looked up at Applejack. “Oh, you’re back.”
“Um…” Applejack snapped out of it. “Yeh, I talked to Twilight and she told me about y’all. She was doin’ something with one of y’all, the small one?”
“That would be Lexington.” Broadway grinned.
“Right… Okay, what the hay happened?”
Broadway was confused by the nature of this question. “What do you mean? I talked to Apple Bloom for a while, then she fell asleep at some point and then you got back.”
“And ya didn’t try to break away?”
“Well, these ropes are still tied, so…”
Applejack sighed. “Well, I guess y’all didn’t try to escape none, so I can let you go now.”
“Allow me.” Broadway summoned all his inner strength, and with a SNAP, his wrists broke away from their rope bindings. Applejack just gasped again.
“So wait… you could have broken away whenever you wanted to? Well, why didn’t you do that earlier?”
“Simple.” Broadway stood up. “I wanted to keep my promise to you.”
Applejack struggled to comprehend this. “I.. wow. Guess y’all aren’t so bad after all.” Broadway wiped himself off. Applejack spoke again. “I’m mighty sorry for tyin’ y’all up like that, um… what was it?”
“Broadway. And it’s okay, you were just doing what you thought was best.”
Applejack reached out a hoof to shake Broadway’s hand. “We okay now?”
Broadway smiled. “Sure, why not?”
He shook Applejack’s hoof with his own clawed hand, then walked outside. As Applejack watched him fly off, she smiled.
“Guess Twilight was right,” she muttered. “Shouldn’t judge anypony so quick.”
Then she turned to Apple Bloom, who was still lying near the door, asleep. “Well, reckon I’d better get this filly off to bed.”
The sky was beginning to get brighter, gradually changing from black, to dark blue, to a deeper shade of red, as Brooklyn landed on top of Town Hall. Maud was still holding onto him, as both she and Brooklyn had flown over the town. Brooklyn set the little pony down.
“What did you think of the view?” he asked her.
Maud looked back up at him. “It looked like a town.”
Brooklyn chuckled. He was beginning to get used to Maud’s straightforward nature. “So it did, Maud. So it did.”
The door opened up and the other gargoyles stepped out onto the roof. Twilight followed Lex, talking to him. “So, we’ll talk again tomorrow night?”
“Sure!” Lex responded with a grin. At about this time, Broadway landed next to him.
“Sorry I’m late, you guys,” Broadway said. “I got a little held up.”
“I heard,” Lex responded.
Finally, Goliath stepped out, followed by Elisa. Goliath looked around.
“This new world will take some getting used to, Elisa,” he commented.
“For all of us,” the human responded. “But so far, I think you’re all doing a pretty good job.” She looked back at Brooklyn upon saying this, as he was still talking to Maud.
“This was nice,” said Brooklyn. “We should do this again. What do you say..?”
“Tomorrow night, 10:30, at the park,” Maud answered in her flat tone of voice. “And don’t crash into anything…” Then she added. “…Brookie.”
Brooklyn reacted to this with surprise. “Brookie?”
At that moment, the sun ascended above the horizon and lit up the sky. Within two seconds, all the gargoyles transformed into stone. Brooklyn was still frozen in that position of surprise. Maud retained her blank gaze.
Twilight smiled. “I’ll have a lot to tell my friends!”
Elisa glanced at Maud, and then back at Brooklyn. Her mind made the connection and she raised an eyebrow.
“Yes… a lot indeed.”
“…and then ’e growled an’ bucked my brother to the other side o’ the barn!”
In a treehouse on the far side of town, Apple Bloom was talking to two other fillies. One of them was a unicorn with light gray coat, nearly white, gray mulberry mane and tail with pale rose streaks, and pale green eyes. The other filly was a pegasus with orange coat, red-purple mane and tail, grayish purple eyes, and small, stubby wings. Neither of the two other fillies had cutie marks.
“Whoa!” the pegasus filly interjected.
“And then ’e grabbed up my sister like this…” Apple Bloom stood up on her hindlegs now and held out her right foreleg in front of her. “…an’ said, ‘Don’t you lay a hoof on her! When you mess with my partner, you mess with me!’” Apple Bloom spoke these last few lines in a tone trying to imitate Broadway’s voice.
“Wow, that’s so cool!” the pegasus spoke again. She then turned to the unicorn. “Isn’t it, Sweetie Belle?”
The unicorn filly nodded. “It sounds like it, Scootaloo. So did you finally catch him, Apple Bloom?”
“Well, Big Mac came back and bucked ’im to th’ ground, so Applejack could tie ’im up, but it sure was a challenge.”
“It sounded like one.” Sweetie Belle said. “And how big was this thing again?”
“Well, several feet taller than any of us!” Apple Bloom spoke again. “Whadaya think, Scootaloo?”
Scootaloo’s face, however, turned from one of awe, to thoughtful, to a big smile. “Girls,” she began, “do you know what this means?”
It took a few seconds for the other two fillies to piece it together, but when they did, huge grins formed on all their faces. Then the three of them shouted in unison:
Of Night and Stone By Kirb Chapter Five Introductions and Revelations
“…and that’s the whole story of how we got here,” Elisa finished. “Any questions?”
Elisa was sitting in the center of the library, talking to a group of six ponies and a dragon. Twilight was smiling, glad that her roommate was finally telling her friends about this, even though she herself had only found out the previous night. Pinkie was listening with a surprised expression. Applejack was clearly content that she was finding out the full story about these gargoyles. Spike had a similar expression to Pinkie Pie. One of the three other ponies there was a second unicorn with purple mane, light gray to white coat--similar to that of Sweetie Belle--azure eyes with many eyelashes, and a cutie mark of three diamond-shaped blue gems. Her expression was one of shock and fascination. Another pony, a pegasus, was hovering in the air. This light cyan mare had magenta eyes and a cutie mark of a red, gold and blue lightning bolt emerging from a white cloud, but probably her most distinguishing features were her rainbow-striped mane and tail. The other mare was also a pegasus with pale gold coat and pink mane. Her cutie mark was three pink butterflies, in the same shade as her mane. An expression of fear consumed her face, her teal eyes incredibly wide.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” the cyan pegasus finally said, flying up closer to Elisa. “Let me get this straight: You’re friends with monsters?” She spoke in an overly confident tone.
“Yes,” Elisa stated bluntly.
“They can fly?” Spike asked.
“Mhm,” was Elisa’s response.
“And they turn to stone in the daytime?” the white unicorn asked.
“Oh my…” muttered the gold pegasus in a high, timid-sounding voice.
The cyan pegasus glared into Elisa’s eyes.
“That…” she began, “is… SO AWESOME!”
“Isn’t it, Rainbow Dash!” Twilight followed up.
Elisa smiled. Should’ve seen it coming, she thought.
“Oh my gosh, WHY DIDN’T ANYPONY TELL ME?!” Pinkie asked immediately. She started bouncing around the room. “I could’ve thrown parties for all of them!”
“Are they friendly?” the white unicorn asked.
“Mostly,” began Elisa, “unless they’re feeling that their city is threatened. Applejack caught Broadway at her farm last night.”
“Really?” The unicorn looked to Applejack, who was smiling smugly.
“Sure did!” the earth pony mare stepped in. “We caught him tryin’ to take our apples, but I left him with Apple Bloom. Didn’t move an inch!”
“Also, I brought Lexington, another gargoyle, down here last night,” Twilight said. “He didn’t object when I studied him!”
“So that’s what all that noise was…” Spike remarked. “You’re not exactly quiet when you do this type of stuff in the lab, Twilight. And it doesn’t help when Applejack comes in yelling at you.”
“Hey!” Twilight and Applejack interjected simultaneously.
“Fabulous, do these dear creatures wear clothing?” Rarity asked. “I could take their measurements down, open up a new line of clothing for gargoyles!”
Elisa laughed. “Rarity, they all wear loincloths.”
“Hmmph!” Rarity mumbled. “Surely, they need something with a little more class.”
“Yeah, yeah,” said the cyan mare, flying around. “I can’t wait to meet ’em! First thing I’ll do is challenge them to a race, see who flies the fastest!”
“They don’t really fly so much as glide,” interrupted Twilight. “I found out when I did a study on Lexington. So you’ll beat them easily, Dash.”
Dash sighed, then looked down to see a hint of pink tail sticking out from underneath the couch. “Um, Fluttershy?” she asked.
“Fluttershy’s not here,” the voice from under the couch responded, near silently. Elisa rolled her eyes and walked over to the couch.
“Come on out, Fluttershy,” Elisa requested. “They won’t bite, and besides, they won’t even awaken until sundown.”
Silence, then: “Are you sure?”
“Fluttershy, I’ve known them for almost two years. Of course I’m sure!”
Fluttershy slowly stuck her yellow face out and looked at Elisa with her teal eyes adorably, though her mane was hanging in her face. A barely audible “Eep!” came from the pony.
Elisa chuckled. “Fluttershy, you’re adorable, you know that?”
Fluttershy frowned and hid back under the couch. The others in the room laughed.
“Alright everypony,” Twilight said with a smile, “meet me at Town Hall at sundown!”
The ponies all left, including Fluttershy. Pinkie followed them, bouncing out.
“I’ll have to talk to my sister!” Pinkie said as she bounced.
“And I’ll have to get some sleep,” Elisa yawned as she walked up the stairs to her bed.
Maud sat in the same place in the park she had first met her sister’s friends. She passed a pebble back and forth between her front hooves.
Retaining her blank expression, she looked up in the direction of the voice calling to see Pinkie bouncing towards her, smiling. The gray mare looked back down to her pebble.
“Hi, Maud!” Pinkie said. Then she looked down at the pebble. “Hi, Boulder!”
“Hi, Pinkie,” Maud said, still remaining sitting down. Pinkie sat down next to her.
“You’ll never believe what Twilight told us!” Pinkie took a deep breath, then she began. “That stone statue you saw the other day wasn’t really a stone statue! It was actually a gargoyle and at night it comes to life and flies around with the other gargoyles! And get this, Elisa is friends with them! And she never told any of us but the gargoyles are all made of stone! Can you believe that?”
“Yes, I know,” Maud simply said, passing ‘Boulder’ back to her one hoof.
Pinkie grinned and was about to respond when suddenly she stopped. Her face changed to a confused expression and she cocked her head to the side. “You know?”
Pinkie waited for a full response. Maud finally sighed and gave one. “When I was waiting around watching that one gargoyle from yesterday, I saw him come to life. Then I followed him around the rest of the night and found out some things.”
Pinkie gasped. “Maud! Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I didn’t talk to you until now…” Maud passed Boulder to her other hoof.
“Well, I know something that I betcha didn’t know about them!”
Maud looked up. “What’s that?”
Pinkie leaned in and whispered. “These gargoyles… have names!”
Maud pulled away, retaining her blank composure, but mentally facehoofing.
“And their names are really cool!” Pinkie rambled on. “Like, there’s one called G… something beginning with a G, I don’t know, but it sounds awesome! And another one with something that starts with A. The rest are named after places in the town where Elisa’s from, New York, which I guess is sorta like Manehattan and it’s funny because her part of New York is called Manhattan, which sounds similar! But these gargoyles have names like B… something beginning with B… I know! Brooklyn!”
Upon hearing his name, Maud looked up, and Boulder slid away from her hoof. She looked at Pinkie. “Brooklyn. That’s the name of the gargoyle from yesterday.”
“Ooh! You must have a good memory!” Pinkie started bouncing around once more. “I can’t wait! I’ll finally get to meet him tonight! Can you come? You’ve already met Brooklyn; it would be so cool to meet the others!”
“I would, but I’m already meeting somepony tonight.”
Pinkie stopped, then a smirk came to her face. “Ooh! Who’s the special somepony? Is it somepony I know?”
Maud kept her blank gaze but turned to face Pinkie. “No, Pinkie. It’s not someone you know, yet.”
Pinkie raised an eyebrow. “Okie-dokie-lokie! I hope you and that somepony have a good time!”
Maud waved as Pinkie bounced away, then looked back down. “C’mere Boulder,” she said to her pet rock as she picked it up and put it back in her pocket.
“How long until it happens?” Rarity asked. “I need to get my beauty sleep, you know!”
Twilight and her friends were now standing on top of Town Hall along with Elisa and Spike. They watched over the gargoyles as the sun slowly set.
“Rarity, we’re about to see some of the coolest looking things ever wake up!” Rainbow Dash reminded her as she flew around Town Hall. “I’m sure you can sleep in tomorrow for that!”
“That’s easy for you to say,” Rarity commented. “You usually sleep all day!”
“Hey!” Dash shot a glare at her. “Why, I oughta…”
“Uh, sugarcubes!” Applejack interrupted. “Would ya mind not bickerin’ so much? It’s a might scary to Fluttershy.”
The pony in question stuck her head out from behind Applejack, then looked at the gargoyles, gave an “Eep!” of terror and hid behind Applejack again, trembling in fear.
“…an’ Celestia knows she’s already scared enough by th’ gargoyles! She don’t need your help!”
Pinkie hopped up behind Fluttershy. “What’s wrong?”
Fluttershy’s teeth chattered as she said the next sentence. “They’re… s-s-so… scary…”
“Aw, don’t worry!” Pinkie reassured her friend. “They’re just statues currently. Now when night falls and they wake up, they’ll be really scary! They’ll jump out like ‘RAAAAGH!’ baring their fangs and everything!”
This only managed to scare Fluttershy even more, and she cowered back behind Applejack, with another “Eep!”
Dash rolled her eyes. “Pinkie, you’re not helping.”
“Hush, you guys,” Elisa told them. “It’s time. You might want to watch this.”
The sun fully descended below the horizon, and the sky began to darken. At that instant, the stone casings of the gargoyles began cracking, until one by one, all of them awakened with their usual growls of “RRRAAAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHH!!!” Each of the ponies (and dragon) had different expressions on their faces as they betook this sight. Even though Twilight had witnessed this event before, she still flinched when it happened again. Applejack’s eyes widened and she muttered, “What in tarnation..?” Spike watched in awe, backing away towards the wall. Pinkie held a huge grin on her face; what she saw didn’t seem to scare her much. Dash was no longer flying; she had landed next to Pinkie and muttered “Whoa…” Rarity let out a huge long gasp as she watched all of them awaken. And Fluttershy’s reaction was not visible due to her cowering behind Applejack in terror.
After the gargoyles finished waking up, Goliath approached Twilight. “Hello again, Twilight. I assume these are your friends?”
Each pony had a different reaction to Goliath’s voice. Twilight was fairly used to it from the previous night, and showed no sign of surprise from his introduction. Applejack raised an eyebrow. He must’ve drunk too much cider or somethin’. That can’t be his natural voice, Big Mac would be put to shame! Spike’s jaw dropped to the ground. Holy guacamole! I hope I can get a voice like that, Rarity would LOVE me then! Dash’s eyes widened and her wings popped open spontaneously. Rarity fainted. And Fluttershy was still hiding behind Applejack.
Twilight stepped forward with a smile. “Why yes. This is…”
“Hi! I’m Pinkie Pie!” the pink earth pony interrupted Twilight, and began wildly jumping around. “Wowie, your voice is really low! How many testosterone pills did you have to take for that? Can I have some? You almost sound like Fluttershy when we had that problem with the poison joke awhile ago…”
“Pinkie…” Twilight commented as she facehoofed.
“Oh!” The pink mare stopped. “Right.”
“Right. Now as I was saying…” Twilight resumed. “These are my friends: Applejack, Spike, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and I’m sure Fluttershy is around here somewhere…”
Now it was Elisa’s turn. “And these are the Manhattan Clan: Hudson, Bronx, Angela, Goliath, Brooklyn, Broadway and Lexington.”
Twilight continued. “I’m sure you will all have time to get acquainted, but I definitely want you all to get used to seeing each other, as the six of them…” She pointed to her pony friends and dragon friend. “…are kind of important in my life.”
Elisa. “And the seven of them…” and pointed to the gargoyles. “…are important in mine. So I hope you all get along, and… yeah. Any questions?”
“Uh…” Brooklyn spoke up. “Pinkie Pie?”
The pink pony turned her head. “That’s my name!” She zoomed up to Brooklyn. “What is it, Brooklyn… do you mind if I call you Brookie?”
“Um, sure…” Brooklyn remembered how Maud called him that before the sun rose. “I just wanted to ask, are you related to Maud Pie?”
“Of course! She’s my sister!” Pinkie suddenly gasped. “Wait! How did you know that? Are you a spy?”
“No, I just guessed because your last names are the same,” Brooklyn replied matter-of-factly.
Lex snickered, as well as some of Twilight’s friends.
“If that’s all,” Twilight said, “then good luck!”
It was around 10 in the evening, and many of the ponies had gone to sleep. Twilight walked through Town Hall, looking for somepony to talk to, until she found Elisa. The woman was leaning on a wall outside, listening to something. “Hi, Elisa,” said Twilight. Elisa looked over to the unicorn and smiled.
“Hey, Twilight. Come on over.”
Twilight walked over to her. “Sorry, it’s just a little boring now. I was hoping to talk to Lex some more since it was so fun last night, but since he’s taking patrol tonight…”
“Yeah, I know what you mean. I feel that way when Goliath does that.”
Twilight looked around. “So, what are you doing?”
“Really, I’m just listening to those two.” Elisa pointed to Pinkie and Brooklyn, who were in conversation.
“Hm.” Twilight was intrigued. “I think I’ll do that for a while.” She tuned in just in time to hear Pinkie finishing a sentence.
“…yeah, Maud usually acts like that. Of my three sisters, she’s always been the quietest, but for some reason she’s been acting a little strange lately.”
“Strange? How?” asked Brooklyn.
“Well, I’ve just been noticing that she’s not her usual cryptic self. Instead she’s a more unusual cryptic self!”
Brooklyn raised an eyebrow. “Hm. What’s she been doing?”
“I don’t know. I noticed she was playing with Boulder today…”
“Her pet rock.”
“Oh. I don’t know what I was expecting.”
“It’s crazy, right? Anyway, she was playing with Boulder and I noticed that she lost concentration when I mentioned you!”
“Yeah! I don’t know what it is but she seems to really like you! I know she’s met you before and all, I just can’t understand it…”
“Hm. Well, I’ll have to ask her about it. I’m going to meet her tonight.”
Pinkie gasped. “So you’re her special somepony she’s meeting tonight! Or somegargoyle, or something…”
“We use ‘somebody’ where I come from, Pinkie. But yeah, she told you about me?”
“You bet she did!”
“Hm. Anyway, back to Maud’s behavior. You say she’s acted kind of weird lately. How long has this been happening?”
Pinkie thought. “Hmm… I think since yesterday, when she arrived. I noticed it when she was standing by that statue… I mean, uh, you!”
Twilight thought about this. Hmm… strange behavior, she was standing by Brooklyn… aha! Her mind put two and two together and she giggled.
Elisa looked down at her. “What’s so funny?”
“Oh! Nothing.” Twilight looked back up at Pinkie and Brooklyn.
“…but don’t worry, I’m sure she’s just feeling homesick,” Pinkie reassured the gargoyle. “Missing the rock farm and all.”
“Hey, that reminds me. What do you do on a rock farm, anyway?”
“We make rock candy!” Pinkie replied cheerily. “Duh!”
“Oh…” Brooklyn shook his head. I’m pretty sure that’s not how you make rock candy… but if it is, remind me to never try any.
“Well, I’ll be sure to ask Maud more about that when I meet her tonight… hey, wait a minute!” He suddenly turned to Elisa. “Elisa, what time is it?”
Elisa looked at her watch. “Oh! It’s 8 after 10.”
“Hmm…” Brooklyn turned around. “Pinkie, this conversation has been eye-opening, but I’ll have to go now. Don’t want to keep Maud waiting.”
“Okie-dokie-lokie!” Pinkie responded. “See ya later, Brookie!”
Elisa could swear she saw Brooklyn flinch when Pinkie called him that name. She chuckled lightly as Brooklyn left.
“Hi, Twilight!” Pinkie said as she turned around. “Whatcha doing?”
“Oh, nothing, Pinkie Pie.” Twilight had a thought. “Hey, Pinkie. I heard that Maud has been acting strangely, and it’s been happening since yesterday.”
Pinkie paused. “Oh yeah, I said that, but I forgave her since that was the day she arrived.”
“Right… but that’s also the day she met Brooklyn. And you say she acts differently when she hears his name mentioned.”
Twilight looked into Pinkie’s eyes. “Pinkie, are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
Pinkie nodded. “Yes… but how am I going to make a roller coaster entirely out of chocolate?”
“I… was talking about Maud,” Twilight responded.
“Oh, right… how is Maud going to make a roller coaster entirely out of chocolate?”
Twilight groaned, and her hoof went to her face. “Never mind…” She walked back over to Elisa.
“Okie-dokie-lokie!” Pinkie bounced back inside.
Twilight shook her head and rolled her eyes. “I don’t know what I was expecting…”
“If it makes you feel any better,” Elisa began, “I think I know what you’re talking about.”
“You do?” Twilight looked up at Elisa hopefully.
“Well yeah!” Elisa rubbed the back of her head with her right hand. “I, um, kinda figured it out this morning.”
“Oh. Guess I’m kind of slow at this, huh Elisa?”
“Except, I’m not sure if that theory is right. Maud just met Brooklyn. She can’t have fallen in love with him.”
“She could have! Haven’t you heard of love at first sight?”
“Yes, but she knows nothing about him! She only loves him because he turns into stone during the daytime! That makes about as much sense as if I randomly fell in love with a human without knowing anything about him except that he was a high school student who played guitar! That type of thing just doesn’t happen!”
“True, true. But let’s face it, Twilight: wouldn’t Brooklyn and Maud just be perfect for each other?”
“Well… okay, you got me there. So what do you suggest?”
“There’s only one way to figure out if Maud really is in love with Brooklyn.”
All of a sudden, a third voice entered the conversation. “Maud’s in love with Brooklyn?!”
Surprised, Twilight and Elisa turned their heads to see Pinkie standing by the door. The pink mare let out a long, drawn-out gasp.
“Why didn’t anypony tell me?” Pinkie asked in a hysterical manner. “That would make so much sense if it were true!”
Elisa rolled her eyes. “Guess there goes my plan.”
“What was your plan?” Twilight asked with eyes widening.
“Just to follow the two of them around tonight and see if we can find any hints to prove our point.”
“That’s a great idea!” Pinkie responded happily. “I’d love to come see that!”
“But isn’t that a little, er, weird?” asked Twilight, cocking her head to the side. “Just following ponies around, spying on them?”
“Well, it never stopped you spying on me!” Pinkie said. “Or you, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash from spying on Spike!”
“Touché,” said Twilight with a sheepish smile on her face. “So when do we start?”
“Once we figure out where they are,” Elisa smiled. “Hey, speaking of figuring out where people are, where’s Fluttershy?”
Twilight looked around. “That’s a good point. I haven’t seen her since the introduction earlier tonight!”
“Um, I think I know where she is…” Pinkie said, galloping inside. Curious, Twilight and Elisa followed her to see Fluttershy petting Bronx on the head.
“Aw, what a cute puppy!” Fluttershy purred. Bronx seemed to be enjoying the attention.
“Uhm, Fluttershy?” Twilight was quite shocked by Fluttershy’s sudden change in behavior. “That’s not a dog.”
“Who’s a cute boy?” Fluttershy continued petting, and Bronx barked in response. “You are! Yes, you are!”
With a groan, Twilight’s hoof instinctively went to her face once more.
A gust of wind blew from Ponyville through a patch of trees as Brooklyn flew in the direction of the park. As he flew, he wondered to himself. That Pinkie Pie sure is one interesting character… though she certainly is different from Maud. I mean, like polar opposites. I’m even surprised they’re sisters. Maybe they’re adopted? Maud barely says a word to me, doesn’t seem to have any emotions, and isn’t very enthusiastic. Pinkie seems to have a habit of saying TOO MANY words in one sentence, to the point where she runs out of room in her breaths to finish each sentence… Okay, so they’re equally weird, but just in different ways. I’ll have to ask her when I talk to her tonight. Speaking of which, where is she?
However, he was so deep in thought that he failed to notice a net fall on him. “Huh?”
The net pulled him to the ground as he landed with a THUMP. Groaning, he looked up to see what happened.
“Hey, we caught one!” He heard this voice, but couldn’t tell who it was due to the dark of the night.
“Great! Now we just gotta restrain him…”
Brooklyn growled as he stood up. His eyes glowed brightly, and he managed to break out of the rope bindings. A series of gasps and screams were heard, presumably coming from the captors.
What the hell… okay, better get Maud to safety before whoever that was comes back to strike again!
Since the wind was still, he took off running towards the park; however, he didn’t get far before he found himself caught in another net.
“Oh great, another one… wait, this doesn’t feel like rope. Uh-oh..”
A loud, electric zapping noise was heard. Brooklyn screamed as the electric jolt ran through his body. He tried to pull back, but it was just too much. Finally subdued, the young gargoyle collapsed to the ground, unconscious. Three fillies galloped towards him.
“That electric fence sure was a good idea, Apple Bloom!” said Scootaloo.
“Seriously, how did you know this would bring him down?” Sweetie Belle asked curiously.
“Oh, just guessin’,” Apple Bloom replied proudly. “Now let’s get this thing over to the clubhouse!”
Brooklyn found himself lying face-down on a wooden floor. He had no idea how he got there, or why his head hurt so much. When he opened his eyes, he could see that he was inside what appeared to be a dimly-lit room. He tried to stand up to get a better look around, but found he was very tightly roped down across his back.
It was then that he heard the voices of his kidnappers.
“Nothin’ yet?” a young voice with a slight southern accent spoke.
“Afraid not,” another voice said. “Though, what would a gargoyle-catching cutie mark look like, anyway?”
“Beats me,” the first voice responded. “Still, I hope we didn’t haul this gargoyle all the way here for nothin’!”
“Why couldn’t we have just caught him here, instead of having to haul him all the way from the park?” asked a third voice that sounded around the same age but more nasal in tone. “He was really heavy!”
“He wouldn’t fly all th’ way over here, would he, Scootaloo?” the first voice spoke again.
“Besides,” commented the second voice, “beggars can’t be choosers!”
“Beggars?” Scootaloo responded. “We aren’t beggars, we’re gargoyle catchers! Though, hm, begging doesn’t sound like a bad idea for cutie mark crusading, if this doesn’t work.”
“Ssh!” the second voice whispered. “I think he’s awake!”
The room suddenly went all quiet. Brooklyn heard the clip-clopping of tiny hooves approaching, then saw three sets of hooves appear in front of him. He craned his head to look up and realized that all three of them were young fillies. One of them, a white unicorn with two-toned violet mane and tail, stepped forward.
Brooklyn blinked a few times. “Hello. Why have you kidnapped me?”
The white unicorn gasped, along with an orange pegasus with red-purple mane and tail.
“He can talk!” the pegasus said. Brooklyn recognized her voice as that of Scootaloo.
“Of course ’e can talk!” said the third filly, a yellow earth pony with red mane and tail, orange eyes, and pinkish red bow. Brooklyn knew this was the voice of the pony with the southern accent. “I told ya they could! Don’t y’all remember?”
“Well, excuse me Apple Bloom,” Scootaloo replied, glaring at her friend. “I guess I was too busy making sure this thing doesn’t escape to remember such trivial things as--”
“Girls!” the white unicorn interrupted. “Stop arguing! Do you want to get your cutie marks or not?”
Apple Bloom and Scootaloo glanced at each other, then looked down sheepishly. “Sorry…”
“That’s better,” said the unicorn.
“Hey, are you gonna answer my question or not?” Brooklyn asked impatiently. “Why have you kidnapped me?”
“Oh! Right.” The unicorn looked back at Brooklyn. “Well, you see, Mr. Gargoyle, we’re trying to get our cutie marks in gargoyle catching.”
“My name’s Brooklyn, not ‘Mr. Gargoyle,’” Brooklyn said. “And aren’t cutie marks those marks on your butts that show your special talent?”
“That’s right!” Apple Bloom answered with a nod. They turned their bodies so Brooklyn could see that all three of them had blank flanks. “As you can see, th’ three of us don’t have our cutie marks yet, so we’ve been crusadin’ for awhile now t’ get ’em!”
“And that’s why our organization is called the Cutie Mark Crusaders! I’m Scootaloo and these are my associates, Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle.”
Brooklyn smiled. Hm, these aren’t anyone to be worried about! They’re just little kids having some fun. Still, it IS getting a little annoying being tied down like this. And I still have to meet up with Maud tonight.
“Well, this is very fun and all, but can you let me go?”
Apple Bloom shook her head. “Nothin’ doin’, sorry.”
“Why not?” Brooklyn asked.
“We haven’t got our cutie marks yet!” Scootaloo insisted. “How can we know if our special talent is gargoyle catching if we just let you go? Duh!”
“Ugh!” Brooklyn groaned. “Look, I really have to be somewhere right now, so why don’t you just capture a different gargoyle?”
“You have to be somewhere?” Sweetie Belle cocked her head to the side. “Where?”
“I’m meeting somebody--er, some pony at the park at 10:30,” Brooklyn responded.
“Oh.” Sweetie Belle stepped forward. “Well, if you say so…”
Brooklyn smiled. He’d finally be able to meet Maud. He was on his way to freedom. Until…
“Stop!” Scootaloo commanded. “Don’t let him go! He’s not really meeting somepony! That’s just what he wants you to believe!”
“Um, actually I seriously am meeting somepony,” Brooklyn reinforced.
“No he’s not!” Scootaloo insisted. “Once we let him go, we’ll never get our cutie marks in gargoyle catching! Meanwhile, he’s just gonna go and, I dunno, terrorize some townsponies or something!”
“I have to agree with Scootaloo ’ere,” said Apple Bloom. “Besides, who’d a gargoyle be meetin’ at this time o’ night?”
Sweetie Belle thought for a second. “Good point.” She looked at Brooklyn. “Who are you meeting?”
“Maud Pie,” Brooklyn responded. “You know her?”
Apple Bloom shook her head. “Not personally… ain’t she Pinkie Pie’s sister? I think my sister met her once.”
“It doesn’t matter if you know her!” Scootaloo interrupted. “What matters is, why would Maud, or anypony for that matter, be meeting a gargoyle at this hour?”
“You’re right,” Apple Bloom admitted. “It does sound suspicious. I’m a might sorry, but we can’t let you leave.”
“Ugh!” Brooklyn groaned. He would have facepalmed if he weren’t tied to the clubhouse floor. “Look, why don’t you kids just go to bed and let me go already? Go find your special talent doing something else.”
“Like..?” Sweetie Belle asked.
“I don’t know, frolicking around or something!” Brooklyn was impatient now. “Whatever ponies do! You aren’t gonna get your cutie marks in gargoyle catching. That’s not your special talent, and it certainly won’t get you employed, unless Xanatos decides to hire you.”
“Xanatos?” Apple Bloom asked. “Who’s Xanatos?”
Brooklyn sighed. “My clan’s arch-nemesis. Why am I telling you kids this? You three aren’t even old enough to know how babies are made!”
There was a long pause, then Scootaloo chimed in. “Wow, that was stupid. I mean, we may be young, but we’re not that young!”
“If our parents don’t have th’ talk with us, we find out on the schoolyard,” Apple Bloom stated abruptly. “When a stallion and a mare love each other very much…”
“Sex happens,” Sweetie Belle finished.
Brooklyn rolled his eyes. “Okay, you’ve argued your way out of this one. You three argue so much, that might as well be your special talent!”
Oblivious to Brooklyn’s sarcasm, Sweetie Belle stated, “The two of them already tried that, but I insisted that it wasn’t our special talent. Plus, what would a cutie mark for arguing even look like?”
“Fox News?” Brooklyn blurted out.
Apple Bloom cocked her head to the side. “Foxes have news stations where ya come from?”
“No, I didn’t--” began Brooklyn, only to be cut off by Scootaloo.
“Oh! If a fox has a news station, what does the fox say?”
Finally, the young gargoyle had enough. “I don’t have time for this!” He growled and his eyes glowed white. The three fillies backed away, with looks of terror on their faces, as he snapped the ropes and stood up to his full height.
Brooklyn now had a chance to look around the room. He saw that it was large enough to fit several people, and had a wide open space. There was a staircase in one corner, probably leading to an upper floor of the building. In another corner a podium stood, presumably for giving speeches. A lamp dangled from the ceiling, close enough to Brooklyn that the gargoyle might bang his head on it if he weren’t careful. The wooden walls seemed to be covered with things: a map of Ponyville that looked like a young child had drawn it; little pots with paint brushes and pencils; and a poster of Rainbow Dash.
The fillies, or ‘Cutie Mark Crusaders’ as they liked to be called, found themselves backed into a corner. Brooklyn pointed at them with one claw, glaring right at them, then shook said finger at them.
“Silly ponies. Tricks are for kids.”
Wow, I can’t believe I just made a sugary cereal sound badass.
The gargoyle began heading to the door. When he looked out, he realized that the fillies’ clubhouse was in a tree, stationed firmly in the upper branches. He stepped onto the deck and started to fly off; however, he was immediately struck by searing pain as an electric zapping noise was heard once again, and a jolt flew through his body. He screamed in agony, loud enough for anypony nearby to hear, as he was once again brought to his knees, and fell back onto the floor. The fillies ran to check on him.
“He’s out again,” Sweetie Belle declared.
“That was sure a great idea to surround our entire clubhouse with electric fence, Apple Bloom!” Scootaloo complimented.
A smirk appeared on Apple Bloom’s face. “Heh, I’m just full o’ good ideas today, aren’t I?”
Lex was on patrol duty that night. He looked over the town as he glided on the wind, arms outstretched to catch as much wind as possible with his wings. The wind happened to blow him all the way towards Sweet Apple Acres. “Huh, this must be the farm where Broadway was caught last night.”
About then, Lex heard a scream. An ear-splitting noise that sounded like somebody was in uncontrollable agony, and needed to be rescued. And furthermore, the voice was one he recognized.
“Brooklyn?” His face turned to anger. “Don’t worry, I’ll save you!”
The small gargoyle flew towards the sound, just barely over the tops of the rows of apple trees. While he headed over there, he tried to remember a line from one of his favorite movies, which he muttered to himself as he glided.
“There's a passage I got memorized,” he began, trying to pull off his best Samuel L. Jackson impression. “Ezekiel 25:17. ‘The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.’”
He passed over the barn and farmhouse. His voice grew louder now.
“‘Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children.’”
Now he started heading towards a secluded private part of Sweet Apple Acres. His voice was now at a yell.
“‘And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers!’”
A two-story treehouse came into view. Lex could see three silhouettes of fillies emerging from a doorway. He narrowed his sights and zoomed straight towards the treehouse. His voice was now yelling loudly, almost at a roar, and his eyes glowed white.
“‘And you will know My name is the Lord, when I lay My vengeance upon thee!’”
Lex zoomed straight towards the clubhouse, ready to pounce on Brooklyn’s captors… only to slam straight into the electric fence surrounding the place. The jolt of pain hit him instantly and he yelled out at the top of his lungs until finally passing out and falling many feet down from the treehouse onto the ground below. Sweetie Belle peered down from the treehouse above.
“Wow, girls! We caught two in one day! We must be really good at this!”
The gargoyle’s ears twitched. He found himself lying on the wooden floor once more. He didn’t bother to open his eyes, though.
“Brooklyn, wake up!”
He tried to move his neck, but it, as well as his other joints, were still in extreme pain after being electrocuted twice; however, he didn’t need to see where the voice was coming from to know whose it was.
“Ugh.. hi, Lex.”
Brooklyn finally managed to open his eyes, and found himself staring face to face with Lex, who was lying next to him, tied down.
“They got you too, huh?” Brooklyn asked wearily.
“Yeah, they got me alright.”
“Electric fence?” asked Brooklyn.
“Same for me.”
“Dang. I was just out on night patrol and happened to be in the area when I heard your voice.”
“Thanks for coming to help, Lex. Sorry this was all so… futile.”
“Ah, don’t worry about it. But who are these ponies anyway?”
“They’re just little kids, Lex. Call themselves the ‘Cutie Mark Crusaders.’ They’re trying to find their special talents and in turn, their cutie marks. And tonight, it seems they’re looking into gargoyle catching cutie marks.”
“That sounds like a pretty useless talent!” Lex smirked.
“That’s what I told them! But they didn’t want to listen. It seems they’re pretty good at it anyways, why would they stop?”
“True. But here’s a thought. As you said, they’re just little kids.”
“So, couldn’t we just break out of these ropes and escape? What would they do to stop us?”
“I tried that already, but they have electric fence surrounding the place. You should know that too.”
“Plus, my joints are in so much pain from that last jolt that I don’t know if I can even fly after this.”
“Stop complainin’, you two!” Apple Bloom suddenly interrupted. “Y’all are prisoners, you aren’t allowed to talk!”
“Oh?” Lex glared up at Apple Bloom. “And when did that become a rule?”
“Haven’t you heard?” Scootaloo interrupted. “That’s, like, on the official gargoyle catching rulebook! Duh!”
“There ain’t no gargoyle catching rulebook!” Apple Bloom replied. “You’re just makin’ that up.”
“Oh, there totally is!” Scootaloo shot back.
“Really, now? Just like how Brooklyn over here was totally goin’ to meet Maud Pie tonight?” Apple Bloom smugly remarked.
“Wait, you were going to meet who tonight?” Lex asked, looking at Brooklyn.
“Maud, remember?” Brooklyn replied. “The pony I told you who stared at me weirdly and was dead silent? She followed me around pretty much all of last night until I agreed to meet her at the park at 10:30 tonight.”
“10:30, eh?” Lex glanced up at a clock on the wall. “You should have said 11. Look.”
Brooklyn’s eyes followed where Lex was looking and saw the clock read 10:38. He groaned. “Damn! We’re in a tight spot.”
“What is this ‘we’?” Lex raised an eyebrow. “And why did you agree to meet that pony at this time?”
“Well, it was less that I agreed and more that she arranged it without my permission before the sun rose.”
“And you’re going along with this because…?”
“I don’t want to disappoint her, y’know!”
A grin grew on Lex’s face. “Uh-oh. I know that look, Brooklyn. You’re in love with her, aren’t you?”
“You’re kidding, right? She’s a pony, I’m a gargoyle. How would that even work?”
“Relationships would be difficult, but not impossible!”
“No! Gah, why am I even talking to you about this? You know, I knew it was gonna go there! Just because she’s female and I don’t want to let her down and, uh, disappoint her, it doesn’t have to mean I’m attracted to her!”
“I understand that, but that look on your face, the way you’re talking. I know you, we’ve been raised together, and I know that look! It’s a little suspect.”
“You know what? Okay, I don’t want to disappoint someone I’m hanging out with, and she’s the opposite gender, oh no, that must mean I want her! Is that it? Is that how we’re thinking?”
“It’s happened before! It could happen again!”
“Tell me, Lex, do you even know any interspecies relationships involving a gargoyle?”
“Goliath and Elisa?”
“I mean apart from that! Do you know any apart from that?”
“Well, no. I was just wondering if you, y’know, had a thing for this Maud character. I know you started talking with her sister at once when we met them earlier.”
“Oh, no, no, no. I just don’t want to disappoint Maud, alright? I mean, she’s an adorable pony! You wouldn’t want to make an adorable pony sad, right? Like, say, you and that one pony, Twilight?”
“Hey, shut up about me and Twilight! You know I don’t swing that way.”
“No, I was just using her as an example! I mean, would you want to make her sad? Would you like seeing Twilight cry?”
“No, I guess I wouldn’t.”
“That’s correct. And you know why you wouldn’t? Because if you made a pony cry, it would be the most heartbreaking thing you ever saw in your life. Here’s this big ball of adorableness, sitting in front of you, and she’s got fountains of tears running down her face, and you’re the cause.”
“Yeah, that.. that would kinda suck.”
“So it’s like that with me and Maud, y’know? I just don’t want to let her down, because…”
“Will you two be quiet?!” Scootaloo shouted. This immediately shut up the two gargoyles. “Now…”
“Is everything alright in there?” a voice called out from outside. The fillies’ eyes widened as they recognized the voice as Applejack’s.
“Uh, yeah Applejack! Everything is a-okay!” Scootaloo called out the window. “Right, girls?”
“Uh, right!” Apple Bloom answered.
“Ya sure?” Applejack called back. “I thought I heard some other voices in there…”
“You did!” Lex called out.
“What was that?” A hint of suspicion was in Applejack’s voice.
“Uh, nothin’, big sister!” Apple Bloom called out nervously. “Jus’ Sweetie Belle doin’ her voice impressions! Right, Sweetie Belle?”
“Yeah, totally!” Sweetie responded. “Have you heard my Christopher Wagon one? It’s really good! ‘I gotta fever, and the only prescription is more--’”
Unfortunately, Sweetie Belle couldn’t finish her impression, as Applejack interrupted her. “I dunno, y’all! I’m comin’ up t’ see what’s really goin’ on!”
The sound of hoofsteps heading up the stairs on the outside of the treehouse became audible. The three fillies ran to the door.
“No wait!” Apple Bloom yelled. “Stop!”
The noise of electrocution was heard, and flashing lights were seen through the window. Sweetie Belle ran inside to an outlet and unplugged a cord from it. The electric fence turned off at that moment.
“What in all tarnation was that about!?” Applejack yelled. “I’m glad I at least know where my electric fencing went, but what the hay did y’all need it for?”
She trotted inside, her mane and coat singed, to see Brooklyn and Lex tied down to the floor and gasped. “An’ now I know where my rope went, too! Why did you girls do this?”
“But sis…” began Apple Bloom.
“No ‘buts,’” Applejack interrupted sternly. “When I let y’all have a sleepover, I hoped you’d be sleepin’! Not catchin’ innocent gargoyles and holdin’ ’em hostage! Now I want y’all t’ say you’re sorry!”
Apple Bloom sighed, then the other two fillies walked in front of Lex and Brooklyn.
“We’re sorry,” the trio simultaneously said, looking down with expressions of guilt.
“Hey, no problem,” Brooklyn replied, standing up and snapping out of his rope bindings. “Now if it had lasted any longer, that would’ve been a problem.”
Lex grumbled as he stood up and freed himself. “Well, maybe it’s not a problem for you, but I think getting electrocuted was really painful!”
“Thanks!” Apple Bloom said proudly while grinning. “It was my idea.”
Lex continued to grumble as he headed out the door, with Brooklyn following him. Applejack glared at the fillies. “I’ll deal with you later.”
Brooklyn and Lex outstretched their wings, and stood on top of the once-electric fence. Applejack stepped out after them. “Hey, you two, I’m mighty sorry I let them do that.”
“It’s alright,” Brooklyn replied. “They’re just little kids doing what little kids do.”
“Is kidnapping and electrocuting gargoyles usually what little kids do?” Lex snapped.
Applejack chuckled. “Well, I hope y’all have a good night. This won’t happen again.”
Brooklyn waved as he and Lex left. Lex looked back at the treehouse, then at Brooklyn, and smiled. “I’m gonna go back on patrol. You have fun with your girlfriend.”
“Oh, screw you,” Brooklyn shot back as he and Lex flew on their separate ways.
Of Night and Stone By Kirb Chapter Seven Meeting with Maud
The Moon floated above Ponyville in the Equestrian sky. It cast barely enough light to see things. Brooklyn surveyed the town beneath him as he glided. Being nocturnal, gargoyles’ eyes were adapted to see better at night, and besides, he knew where he was going.
He flew past the town, past the streets and buildings, past Town Hall, past the library tree, until he arrived at the outskirts of town. He found himself once again flying over the Park, and landed near a patch of trees. I think I’ll walk the rest of the way, he thought. I’ll be better able to see if any more traps are here, whether they’re set up by the Cutie Mark Crusaders or otherwise. And it’ll also be easier to keep an eye out for Maud.
Unfortunately, as he looked he couldn’t seem to find the earth pony he was looking for anywhere. Hm, now where could she be? Could she be waiting behind a tree to surprise me? No, that’s not like her. Did she… did she leave? I certainly hope not. I don’t want to make her sad. Oh, please tell me she didn’t leave…
Upon rounding the corner, Brooklyn breathed a sigh of relief. Maud sat near the park bench where she had first found Brooklyn, passing a pebble back and forth in between her front hooves. Of course, she’d be in the place where she first met me. Clever little pony.
“You’re late,” Maud said in her standard monotone, looking up at Brooklyn.
“I’m sorry.” Brooklyn walked over towards Maud, sitting down next to the little pony. “I got caught up.”
“What do you mean by that?” Though Maud’s voice lacked emotion, there was a hint of aggression in this last question.
Brooklyn sighed. “I was captured by three little girls who wanted to find their special talents in gargoyle catching.”
“Smooth move there, Brooklyn,” Elisa muttered to herself.
Twilight was watching Brooklyn and Maud from a distance away, looking through a pair of binoculars, but she turned her head to shush Elisa. “Ssh! We don’t want to reveal ourselves to them.”
“Sorry,” Elisa replied in a quieter tone.
“Yeah!” Pinkie whispered. “You don’t want to reveal ourselves to them! Unless we wanted to go with my original plan!”
The human and two ponies had been waiting there in the park for several minutes, but only just now started paying attention as Brooklyn had only just now arrived. Twilight and Pinkie were both wearing black leather sneaking suits that covered their full bodies.
“Pinkie, somehow I don’t think a surprise party would work,” Elisa whispered. “I know Brooklyn, and I can only assume that Maud wouldn’t appreciate that either.”
“Will you two be quiet?” Twilight insisted. “Maud’s talking.”
The three watched as Maud continued to toss the pebble. “Gargoyle catching? You’re joking with me.”
“Unfortunately, I’m serious.” Brooklyn raised his right arm to scratch the back of his head, and a sheepish grin came to his face. “They caught me by using electric fence. Electricity weakens gargoyles.”
“Wait, I’m confused,” Twilight whispered. “What is Brooklyn talking about?”
“He mentioned something about being captured by three fillies,” Elisa replied. “Apparently, they wanted to find their cutie marks in gargoyle catching.”
“Sounds like the Cutie Mark Crusaders,” Twilight muttered.
“Who?” asked Elisa.
“I told you about them,” Twilight whispered as she turned her head toward Elisa once more. “That little trio that includes Applejack and Rarity’s sisters?”
“Oh yeah,” Elisa nodded as she remembered now. “They’re the ones who go around looking for their cutie marks.”
“Ah, I remember when I got my cutie mark!” Pinkie interrupted. “Do you want to know about it? It all started many, many millennia ago…”
“Ssh!” Twilight shushed Pinkie. “Your sister is talking again.”
“You’re serious, then.” Maud continued to pass the pebble back and forth. “I suppose that would explain the screaming I heard. I thought it sounded like your voice.”
“Well, it was. That was one of my less than proud moments. It would’ve been easier if they just tied ropes around me. I could have easily broken free, then.”
Maud didn’t reply immediately. It was clear that she was thinking. “So electricity is a gargoyle’s weakness. Will you tell me more about gargoyles?”
“Sure, but wouldn’t it be more comfortable to sit on that bench?” Brooklyn pointed to it, its blue paint glimmering in the moonlight.
“Okay,” Maud replied. She picked up the pebble and put it into her pocket, then stood up; however, before she was able to walk to the bench, Brooklyn picked her up in his arms and carried her over to the bench, much like how someone would carry a cat.
“Aw, he carried her over to the bench!” Elisa smiled. “Those two are so cute together!”
“Do you always do this?” asked a frustrated Twilight.
“Do what?” Elisa replied.
“Do you always talk a lot when you’re trying to be sneaky?” Twilight clarified.
“Oh.” Elisa blushed. “Yeah, I do that sometimes, but only in a whisper. It’s a nervous habit. I sometimes do that when I’m on the job, too. Not really beneficial.”
“I like talking too!” Pinkie blurted out. “Oh, and not just when I’m trying to be sneaky! I like talking when I’m not trying to be sneaky, too! I like talking all the time! Like right now! I could go on talking for hours--”
She was shut up by Twilight’s hoof covering her mouth. “Pinkie,” Twilight began, “if you don’t keep quiet, they’ll know we’re here, and you don’t want that, do you?”
Pinkie shook her head.
“Good.” Twilight removed her hoof.
Brooklyn’s ears perked up as he heard a noise. He turned his head in the direction of the noise, but all he saw were bushes.
“What is it?” Maud asked.
“Hm? Oh, nothing. It’s just, well, I could have sworn I heard something.” He sat down on one side of the bench and set Maud on the other side. “You ponies are really light, you know that?” asked Brooklyn. “And small, too. Ponies in my world are bigger.”
“There are ponies in your world?” Maud asked, getting comfortable on the bench in the same position she had sat on the grass.
“Yeah, but they don’t talk or fly or use magic. They aren’t really interesting. But anyway, you were asking me about gargoyles.”
“I was.” Maud thought about her first question. “You can fly with those wings and you’re strong. What other abilities do you have?”
“Hmmm.” Brooklyn never really had to answer these types of questions before. “Well, not all of us can fly. Bronx, one of the members of our clan, doesn’t have wings. He’s more like a dog, anyway, and he doesn’t talk. But for the most part, you named it. Flying and strength. Oh, and we’re good swimmers, too.”
“Interesting. Why do you turn into rock during the daytime?”
“Really, I don’t know. A former member of our clan, Demona, got a spell cast on her to turn her into a human during the daytime. Elisa thinks it’s something about conserving energy--that we’re able to sleep at night and that sunlight also gives us energy.”
“Hm. So what do gargoyles usually do?”
“We usually just do things that normal people--er, ponies, do. That is, if ponies do the same things as people. But one thing that gargoyles have been trained to do is protect.”
“Yeah, we had to protect the castle from invaders at night. I know Hudson always says, ‘A gargoyle can no more stop protecting the castle than breathing the air.’ In Manhattan, our former home, we protected the city from crime. I guess we’ll have to do that here, but from what I’ve heard there really isn’t much crime at all.”
“Like superheroes in comic books?”
“Yeah, sort of! Do you read many comic books?”
“I’m not really into that. My books are all about geology.”
Brooklyn raised an eyebrow. All the books she has are about geology? Okay, that’s a little weird. Then again, I know she grew up working on a rock farm. “Hey, I met your sister Pinkie Pie earlier.”
“You met Pinkie?”
“Yeah. She’s very… er, different from you.”
“I know I don’t express myself the same way she does.”
“It’s not a problem! I was just… well, surprised.”
“Yeah, she was always the black sheep back at the rock farm. Or the pink sheep, whichever one fits better.”
Brooklyn chuckled. Wow, so she has a sense of humor. I’m surprised. “So you and Pinkie grew up working on a rock farm? I bet that was quite the strange life.”
“We got some free time, but it was mostly very one-note, yeah.”
“Hey, I’ve told you about what I do during my free time. What about you? Do you have any interests, hobbies? What do you like?”
Maud paused before responding. “I like rocks.”
Brooklyn raised an eyebrow and put on a fake smile. Her mind is very one-track, it seems.
“Can I ask you a question, Brooklyn?” Maud asked.
“You just did, so sure.” Brooklyn leaned back on his end of the bench. “What do you want to know?”
“First of all, sorry I’m asking so many questions. I don’t really know about gargoyles, of course, and meeting a creature who turns into rock in the daytime is just very interesting.”
“No, it’s okay. So what’s your question?”
“Well, how do you reproduce?”
If Brooklyn had been drinking, he would have spit out his beverage all over the ground. Instead, his eyes just widened and sweat began dripping down his face. “Um, why do you ask?”
“As I said. Curiosity. You’re the first creature I’ve met who is essentially a living rock. Also, when I saw your clan this morning I didn’t see any females.”
Despite Maud’s emotionless voice, Brooklyn suspected there might have been something more. He also could have sworn he heard the bush giggle. “We do have a female member in the clan, Angela. But with that said, I suppose we reproduce in the same way humans do, and I assume that also applies to ponies. Thing is, we usually pick out mates for life. After we mate, the females lay eggs, which are put in a rookery and hatched. Young gargoyles are raised by the clan; children don’t usually know who their parents are.”
Just then, Brooklyn heard a voice coming from the bush. “Ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygosh! I wonder if Maud will lay eggs!”
“Pinkie, that’s not how it works!” Twilight whispered. “And be quiet! We don’t want them to notice us!”
“Um, not to burst your bubble, Twilight, but I think they did…” Elisa pointed at the gargoyle and pony at the bench, and Twilight and Pinkie noticed that Brooklyn was looking back at them.
“Well, maybe they didn’t notice!” Twilight whispered, ducking her head lower under the branch.
“We definitely notice you,” Maud called to them.
Twilight ducked lower, and pulled Elisa and Pinkie down with her. “What? But how?”
“I know, right?” Pinkie replied. “She couldn’t have noticed us! We wore these sneaking suits! That makes us practically invisible, right?”
“Who is it?” Brooklyn called over to them, standing up. “We know you’re out there!”
“Guess we’ve been found out,” said Elisa, standing up. Pinkie and Twilight stuck their heads out from behind the bush too. “Hi, Brooklyn.”
“Elisa?” Brooklyn walked towards the human. “What are YOU doing here?”
“Well, we wanted to check on you,” Elisa began to explain, “and make sure you were doing alright with Maud.”
“Yeah! And we totally weren’t just spying on you and Maud because we wanted you and her to get together as a couple!” Pinkie then gasped and shut her mouth, but all too late.
“Pinkie!” Twilight facehoofed.
“I’m sorry!” Pinkie apologized. “Sometimes my mouth goes off and I can’t stop it!”
Brooklyn had a very stern look on his face. “Really, Elisa? I can’t believe you’d do this…”
Elisa opened her mouth to begin, but Pinkie stepped in before she could start. “Well, you won’t have to, because you won’t even remember us!” She pulled up the hood of her leather jumpsuit. “We’re wearing sneaking suits! We can just slip away and you won’t even remember what happened, or that we were even here to begin with!” She started tiptoeing away, but it proved ineffective because she couldn’t really tiptoe with hooves.
“Pinkie, that’s not how a sneaking suit works,” Twilight stated.
“It’s not?” Pinkie seemed surprised by this. “I thought they were supposed to turn you invisible? How do they work?”
“They don’t turn you invisible!” Twilight groaned. “There are spells for that! These suits just make you harder to see at night! Hence, why they’re black!”
“But Brooklyn and Maud still saw us!” Pinkie glared at the unicorn. “Twilight, I think you got ripped off.”
“Gee, I wonder why they saw us,” Elisa remarked.
Pinkie turned to the human. “Hey!”
“Well, no offense, Pinkie, but you’re not very good at sneaking,” Elisa explained.
“She really isn’t,” Maud said.
Wanting to change the subject, Pinkie galloped over to Maud. “Um, hey Maud!” Pinkie said nervously. “How are you doing?”
“And she’s also not very good at changing the subject,” Maud remarked. Pinkie blushed and smiled sheepishly.
“Will the three of you leave already?” Brooklyn impatiently insisted. “It’s a little embarrassing, at least to me.”
Pinkie sighed. “Fine… but I’m still wearing this sneaking suit!”
Twilight and Pinkie turned to walk away. Elisa followed them, but turned and waved to Brooklyn. “Bye, Brookie!” she remarked coyly, remembering what Maud called him the previous day.
Brooklyn visibly flinched, then rolled his eyes and sat back down next to Maud.
The clock read 3:11 when Brooklyn finally landed back on the deck of Town Hall. Twilight had gone to sleep a few hours earlier, and Elisa and the other gargoyles were inside. They all turned their heads in the direction of the door when it swung open and Brooklyn walked in. He was grumbling something to himself, and his face bore a frustrated expression. He slammed the door behind him.
“Hi,” he muttered. When he looked up, Brooklyn noticed that all the others in the room were staring at him. “Um, why are you all looking at me that way?”
“Lexington told us you got yourself into a rough situation today,” Goliath spoke.
“He told you?” Brooklyn groaned. “Ohhhh boy. Well, let’s get this over with. Bring on the taunting.”
Hudson chuckled. “Gettin’ a bit out of shape, aren’t ya, lad?”
“Yeah!” remarked Broadway. “Taken down by three little girls who aren’t even half your size! Slow week for you, eh?”
Brooklyn glared at Broadway. “Alright, you two have made your point already.”
“Oh, I don’t think they have,” said Elisa. “In fact, I don’t think they’ll ever let you hear the end of this one.”
Brooklyn raised an eyebrow. “Exactly how much did Lex tell you guys, anyway?”
“Only that you got caught by three school-age fillies,” Goliath said. “You really shouldn’t let that happen. I hope I didn’t make you my second-in-command for nothing.”
“Oh, come on!” Brooklyn snapped. “They had an electric fence!”
“Well, that does slightly lessen the humiliation,” said Hudson, smiling, “but not by much, laddie.”
“Well, why am I the only one in this?” Brooklyn asked. “I don’t see you all relentlessly teasing Lex when he was caught!”
“For one, you’re more fun to make fun of,” Angela began, “because you take yourself so seriously, it’s just a lot more fun to tease you. For another thing, Lex is out on patrol. How do you know we won’t tease him about it when he gets back?”
“Also, Lex didn’t really tell us,” finished Elisa, “though that would explain why he smelled like smoke.”
“Whatever,” Brooklyn muttered. He turned and started to go back outside, until…
“Brooklyn, wait!” Goliath called to him. “There’s something else we would like to ask you about.”
“Ugh, what?” Brooklyn groaned.
“I heard you went on a date tonight,” Goliath said.
“A date?” Brooklyn raised an eyebrow. “Is that what Lex told you?”
“Well, him and me,” Elisa said. “Sorry, Brooklyn, but I told him--”
“Look!” Brooklyn interrupted. “It wasn’t a date. At least, I don’t think it was. I just wanted to hang out with Maud, that’s all.”
“Ooh, Maud!” Angela remarked. “Is she a pretty pony? Do you like her?”
“I bet you’d love to ride that pony, wouldn’t you?” Broadway smirked.
“Gah!” Brooklyn walked out frustrated and slammed the door behind him.
“I think ya pushed him way o’er his limit, laddie,” Hudson said to Broadway.
“…Maybe I should deal with this,” said Goliath. He headed to the door.
“Goliath, wait!” Elisa said, following him. Upon opening the door and stepping out onto the deck, the two found Brooklyn looking out over the edge, leaning on the rail.
“Brooklyn?” Goliath began.
The young gargoyle turned his head to face Goliath. “Oh hey, Goliath, Elisa. You here to taunt me some more?”
“Have I ever made fun of you, Brooklyn?” Goliath asked.
“Yes,” Brooklyn replied, looking back at the town.
Goliath sighed. “Okay, I have. But really, right now I just want to talk to you.”
“Well, I need to warn you about trusting the natives here. Remember, we just moved here. We know very little about these ponies, and forming close bonds with some of them can be… well, hazardous. They could turn on you, and that includes this Maud character I have heard so much about.”
“I really think you’re all overreacting. I don’t plan on having a relationship with her. For now it’s just a friendship, and not a very close one at that.”
“Well, yes, but friendships can be deadly. I remember when the Captain of the Guard betrayed all of us to Hakon.”
“Understood. Now is that all?”
Elisa decided to reenter into the conversation. “Not quite.”
“Ugh!” Brooklyn groaned. “What else?”
“I was just going to ask you how your date went?” Elisa asked.
“It wasn’t a date, Elisa.”
“Alright, but how did it go?”
Brooklyn groaned. “Not well.”
“Was it because Twilight, Pinkie and I were watching you?” Elisa asked.
“That certainly didn’t help. But apart from that, Maud is just.. just…”
“She’s… just… strange, alright? She doesn’t talk a lot, leading to uncomfortable silences. And when she does talk, it’s all about rocks! I mean it! I know she grew up on a rock farm, but this is almost an obsession! She has a pet rock named ‘Boulder’! She writes poems about rocks! And they’re terrible poems by the way! Almost as bad as the poetry from that one book you got for me!”
“You mean the Vogons from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?”
“Yeah! It’s all like ‘Rock. You are a rock. Gray. You are gray. Like a rock.’ It doesn’t rhyme--it just compares things to themselves! GAH! She is just weird! I don’t understand her one bit!”
“Just because you don’t always understand her doesn’t mean you can’t get along,” said Goliath. “Like Elisa and me in our early days.”
“You don’t get it!” Brooklyn snapped. “Maud is probably one of the strangest--no, the strangest, person or pony I’ve ever met! And that’s saying a lot!”
Goliath and Elisa looked at each other, then back at Brooklyn, who was grumbling again. Dead silence fell over the deck, until Elisa finally decided to speak up. “Does this mean you don’t like her, Brooklyn?”
Brooklyn sighed. “If you must know, I’ll be meeting her tomorrow night.”
Elisa suppressed a giggle, and Goliath even had to hide a brief smile.
Several miles away from Ponyville lay the ruins of an ancient castle. Just outside the massive Everfree Forest, this castle housed the royal sisters of Equestria, Princesses Celestia and Luna, a thousand years ago. A long, rickety rope bridge crossed over a gorge from the end of the forest, to the castle.
A shadowy tall figure stepped out of the forest. This figure was humanoid, and clothed in a large, dark gray overcoat, which he pulled the hood over his head to obscure his face. He starting onto the rope bridge and navigated it, making sure to be careful. One misstep and the figure would never be seen again.
As the tall figure finished crossing the bridge, he looked around at the abandoned castle. He hummed to himself, clearly thinking about something. “Well, it could use a little fixing up, but it’ll do.”
The moonlight’s illumination was not nearly enough for him. He reached into a pocket of his large overcoat for a flashlight and flicked it on, then continued inside. He walked through many halls, and past many rooms, until he finally arrived in the enormous throne room. Two thrones sat at one end of the room with two large tapestries on the wall behind them: a faded yellow painting of the sun, and a blue one of the Moon. The figure walked over to the throne in front of the sun tapestry and sat down. A grin came to his face.
Of Night and Stone By Kirb Chapter Eight Official Correspondence
On the Day of Elisa’s Arrival
Mail to: Twilight Sparkle Golden Oaks Library Ponyville, Equestria
My faithful student Twilight,
I am writing this letter to you on behalf of a matter of great importance to Equestrian safety. Late last night, while my sister Luna was tending to her official princess duties, she sensed an extreme magical surge near the Everfree Forest. She woke me up and told me. This is concerning to the both of us, because it does not seem to be a natural type of unicorn magic. Rather, it appears to be a type unnatural to Equestria, very similar to the magic that Discord used when he was in power.
This leads to a task I need you to perform for the sake of Equestria. We have no idea what this magic could be, but it is most concerning to all of us. Ever since the changelings’ attack on Canterlot a few weeks ago, we are trying to be extra sure that nothing like that ever happens again, but now would be the perfect time for such a thing to occur, in the wake of another attack like that.
So I would like you and your friends to go to the location of the surge and look around to see what is there. Be prepared to fight off enemies. I have sent the Elements of Harmony and have complete faith you will use them if something goes wrong.
Mail to: Princess Celestia I of Equestria Royal Canterlot Castle Canterlot, Equestria
Dear Princess Celestia,
I’ll let my friends know about this, and we’ll go check it out promptly. Thanks for letting me know. If this is a potential threat to Equestria, I will stop at nothing to discover the truth about it.
Your faithful student,
Dear Princess Celestia,
We just arrived back from the site of the magic surge. The ground appeared charred, as predicted, but get this: somepony was there. Only she wasn’t a pony, rather a bipedal creature of some type. We haven’t been able to find out much from her, except she calls herself Elisa Maza. I have her with me at the library right now, but she’s asleep. She doesn’t seem unfriendly. Perhaps she’s a nocturnal creature of some sort?
I’ll ask her a few questions once she’s awake. I await your response.
It would be nice if you could respond with as many details about Elisa as you can find out. If she is the source of the magic surge, she could be a changeling in disguise, tricking you. If she is an unidentified bipedal creature, that could just be her disguise as she waits to strike, so don’t be too trusting. Also, it would be a good idea to write down any strange or odd behavior she displays.
Dear Princess Celestia,
I apologize for responding so late in the day, but Elisa only woke up about two hours ago. When she talked to me, she seemed very friendly and not confrontational. I am aware this might be a ruse of some sort; however, the way she acted was also very sincere, and she didn’t mind answering my questions.
From what I can tell, this Elisa is from a species called “humans” (pronounced HUE-menz). I looked it up in the official species guide and cannot find it in the list, which does seem a little suspicious. But she has explained several details to me. She claims to be from a city called “New York,” which is in a different world. She also claims to be part of her city’s law enforcement and works at night, which would explain why she was asleep when I found her.
She says she was on the job in her town when she fell through a portal and found herself in Equestria. The story seems to add up, though this does bring up the question, why would a portal to Equestria appear at random? I think as you said, somepony might be behind this. Maybe she isn’t telling us the full story, I don’t know.
You told me to watch for suspicious behavior. Well, she hasn’t given me any reason not to trust her, and the fact that she works for law enforcement in her world has helped me to trust her more. But she did do something a little strange tonight. Around sundown, she abruptly left the library for a few hours. She claimed she wanted to look around the town. That seems a little off-putting.
Given the facts, I think we should watch over her, but she doesn’t seem like a threat. I’ve attached a picture of her with this letter. Notice the many layers of clothing she wears. From what I gather, this is because she doesn’t have any body fur like ponies do.
I await your response,
First Day after Elisa’s Arrival
My faithful pupil,
I have looked at the information you sent me and concur that Elisa is not a threat to Equestrian security. I would like to know more about her, and arrange to meet her at some time. But for now, I would just appreciate you writing me daily. I have talked to my sister and we think that if she is, in fact, connected to the magic surge, she should be monitored. So until I communicate otherwise, please write to me at the end of each day, and include anything new involving Elisa.
Dear Princess Celestia,
Elisa has had further time to meet and talk to my friends. It hasn’t been much, though, due to her sleeping schedule as a night shift officer. But she seems harmless, and we seem to be adapting well to her presence. For now, she is staying in my library--sleeping in the guest bed--but we could make arrangements for her to stay somewhere else if this turns out to be long-term.
I contacted the Mayor about her, and she is planning on making a speech to introduce her to the town tomorrow. I’ll let you know if she displays any more strange behavior.
Your faithful student,
Two Days since Elisa’s Arrival
Dear Princess Celestia,
Elisa woke up later than usual this afternoon. That’s the only strange behavior I have seen from her, but that’s understandable since she stayed up a little later than usual for the Mayor to introduce her to the town.
Although many of the townsponies had already seen her, many others were clearly very surprised to see her. Clearly this will take some getting used to for all of us, as she is also much taller than the average pony (she’s around your height), and is having trouble adjusting to door and ceiling heights. But I think it’s gone well so far.
Your faithful student,
Three Days since Elisa’s Arrival
Dear Princess Celestia,
Pinkie Pie threw a party for Elisa this evening, and many ponies arrived. Elisa used this time to get to know my friends better. Rarity has mentioned she is interested in making some clothing for her. Elisa has also told us some more about her world. Apparently, New York--the town she’s from--has a lot more crime than our world, hence a greater need for a detective to work the night shift, as she does. It’s no wonder, however. Her entire world is chaotic! The sun and moon control themselves, the weather controls itself, and plants and animals care for themselves, all on their own! How do they ever survive? It’s like the Everfree Forest, only an entire world!
Your faithful student,
Nine Days since Elisa’s Arrival
My faithful pupil,
Seeing as how Elisa has been in this world for over a week now, I have been looking into finding her her own quarters in Ponyville. I will pay expenses for her. I would also be interested in meeting her one of these days.
Dear Princess Celestia,
I am sorry to respond on such short notice, but I have a suspicion that Elisa isn’t telling us the full truth. When I asked her a few days ago about all the details of how she got here, several things just didn’t add up. Attached are the complete details of Elisa’s arrival into Equestria. Please look over it and tell me what you think.
I regret to inform you that I share your suspicions. Where did this portal come from? Magic portals don’t just appear on their own. Something else has to be behind this. Ask her tonight for more details. This is troubling me.
Dear Princess Celestia,
A lot has happened since you responded to our letter. First of all, remember when we all met Maud Pie, Pinkie’s sister? Well, she came by to visit again today. I wouldn’t normally be telling you this, except she and Pinkie found a strange statue in the park. It wasn’t there before now, and oddly enough, Maud cannot identify the type of rock it is made of. Could this be connected to Elisa’s arrival?
Furthermore, other strange developments have occurred. Applejack came to me today informing me that somepony, or something, stole some of her apples last night. She also told me of animals being spooked, unidentified creatures flying around, and voices heard in the streets, one of them being Elisa’s. I want to believe Elisa is innocent in all this, but it does come off as a strange coincidence that all this began the same day she arrived, and the same time the magical surge occurred.
I will question Elisa as soon as she gets up.
Your faithful student,
Ten Days since Elisa’s Arrival
Dear Princess Celestia,
Last night, I discovered several things. When Elisa woke up, I asked her if she was connected to the things going on in Ponyville. She denied it at first, but then she admitted to it. As it turns out, she isn’t the only one who arrived in Equestria--she brought a few of her friends along. They are not humans, but rather a different species, called gargoyles.
These gargoyles are bipedal, similar to Elisa, but they also have wings. During the daytime, they turn to stone, which would explain the statue Pinkie and Maud found in the park, as it wasn’t a statue but rather a gargoyle in his stone form. Their leader is named Goliath, and I met him and the rest of his clan last night. I have no reason to believe these gargoyles are harmful. If anything, they seem very protective, and could be beneficial to Equestria if we made an alliance with them.
I spent a lot of my time talking with a gargoyle named Lexington. I studied him and recorded the data I discovered. Lex also told me the complete story of how Elisa and these gargoyles got here. I attached it in this letter, as well as the data I have found about these gargoyles.
So far, Maud Pie and I are the only ponies who have met the gargoyles. They are currently staying on the deck at Ponyville Town Hall. I told my friends about the gargoyles today, and we will introduce them later tonight.
In the attachment, please note the part about the other three who may have arrived with them: a being similar to Discord named Puck, a male human named David Xanatos (pronounced ZA-nuh-tos), and a female gargoyle named Demona (pronounced Deh-MOAN-uh). Should they be found anywhere in Equestria, they are not to be trusted.
Your faithful student,
My dearest Twilight,
I have read through your letter and the attachment. This is a lot to take in. I am interested in finding out more about these gargoyles. Contact me tonight with your findings.
Eleven Days since Elisa’s Arrival
Dear Princess Celestia,
The gargoyles met my friends last night. I would say it went well. Fluttershy seemed to get along with Bronx, the gargoyle dog. Yes, there is a gargoyle dog. I don’t understand it either, but from what I can tell he is not exactly a gargoyle, but rather a related species. We’ll find out more eventually. Keep in mind that this is only two days since I found out about them.
On another note: I have reason to believe that three other ponies found out about the gargoyles. They allegedly captured Lex and Brooklyn, another gargoyle, and held them hostage last night. I discovered from this that electricity is a gargoyle’s weakness.
Something else you might be interested in finding out: Maud, as it turns out, has been spending a lot of time with Brooklyn, who is Goliath’s second-in-command. They spent a lot of last night together, as well as the night before last. Elisa, Pinkie and I watched them last night while they were out, and I have reason to believe they are forming a strong friendship. I am telling you this so you won’t be surprised if Maud accompanies the gargoyles to Canterlot, should you ever meet them.
Speaking of which, I know you are eager to meet the gargoyles, and Goliath certainly is interested in meeting you. When would be a convenient time for you?
Your faithful student,
My faithful pupil,
I am very interested in meeting these gargoyles! However, I am unsure about their transportation to Canterlot. You have told me they can fly here. My only fear is that they would be seen by townsponies. We cannot let the news of the gargoyles be made public. You can always teleport them here, but that would be very hard on your magic and you would run out of energy to teleport them all back to Ponyville.
Therefore, I think it would be wiser for me to arrive to Ponyville for the meeting. I also think Princess Luna should be present; since the gargoyles are night creatures, it would be in her domain. If tonight is free for you, we can arrange for the meeting to take place at around 9 in the evening.
I look forward to meeting them. Please tell Elisa about this so she will not be surprised.
NOTE: This chapter contains song lyrics which have been removed to comply with the FIMFiction rules. The original version with lyrics can be found here.
Elisa stood outside and watched as the sun set, lighting the horizon bright red and dimming the rest of the light to a deep blue. When there was no trace of the sun’s light, the clan finally awoke with their normal roars. They brushed themselves off and turned to see the human standing in front of the door.
“Elisa,” Goliath began.
“There’s somepony I want all of you to meet,” Elisa said.
“Ugh, again?” groaned Lex. “Every evening you’ll want us to meet someone new. Next thing you know, the entire town will know about us and we’ll have to be defeating some idiotic gargoyle KKK called ‘The Quarrymen’ or something.”
“Please,” Elisa laughed. “That wouldn’t happen, that would be stupid.”
“I hope you’re right,” Lex muttered in response.
Elisa continued. “No, we’re going to keep all of you a secret for now. There are only two ponies this night, and to be honest I only just met them today.”
“How’d it go?” Broadway asked.
Two hours earlier, Elisa found herself falling--falling from a great height, seemingly from the top of the headquarters of David Xanatos, the Eyrie Building, down to the streets of Manhattan. Helpless, she couldn’t grab on to anything. She shut her eyes as the ground rushed toward her.
The impact never came. Surprised, she looked up to find Goliath had grabbed her and was carrying her up into the sky. She smiled and looked into the gargoyle’s eyes. He smiled back, and then let her go. She was afraid she would fall, but then found that she had wings of her own!
“Goliath!” she cried. “I’m a gargoyle!”
He was already gliding away, so Elisa glided after him. Over the brightly lit skyline of New York City they rode the air currents, past the green-glowing Statue of Liberty, the majestic Chrysler Building, and into the clouds. She couldn’t see through the thickness of the clouds, and when she reemerged, he was gone.
As Elisa glided, she sensed something next to her in the clouds. She turned her head, expecting to see either Goliath or another gargoyle. Instead, she saw a pony. This dark blue mare was about two heads shorter than her, and was a pegasus… or was it a unicorn? She had both large wings and a long horn. Her ethereally flowing mane and tail were of a sapphire blue color, with a grayish blue aura surrounding. She wore a black tiara, a black necklace with a white crescent moon shape, and some gray hoof armor. Her cutie mark consisted of a white crescent moon over a dark purple background.
“Am I interrupting something?” the mare asked.
“Whoa!” Elisa interjected. “Who are you?”
The night blue mare gracefully flapped her wings while she was speaking, so it was clear that she was flying as opposed to gliding. “I am Luna, Princess of Equestria.”
“Oh yeah, I remember hearing about you!” Elisa looked around. “Um, we should land somewhere, shouldn’t we?”
Princess Luna nodded. “That would be wise.”
They began a slow descent to the rooftop of a building on 42nd and 5th Avenue, while the red and white taillights of the cars shimmered below in the night-darkened streets. When they finally set down, Luna folded up her wings and looked at Elisa.
“You are Elisa Maza, correct?” Luna began.
“Yeah, that’s me.” Luna opened her mouth to speak once more, but Elisa interrupted her. “Wait, let me guess. This is all a dream, right?”
Luna nodded. “Unless your spontaneous transformation into a gargoyle and inexplicably being back in your home city were not enough to tell you that.”
Elisa smirked. “I also figured from the fact that I’ve had this dream before. But you weren’t in it.”
“Elisa, you need to wake up,” said Luna. “Something very important is going to happen today.”
“But I always sleep in! It’s what I have to do when I work the night shift! Besides, you can’t tell me what to do, you’re just part of my dream.”
Luna did a diva neck shake. “Actually, I am really communicating to you. My sister Princess Celestia and I are both standing next to your bed, and I have entered your dreams.”
“Entered my dreams?” Elisa gasped. “You can do that now?”
“Yes, I am the Princess of the Night. It is my duty to come into your dreams.”
“But it’s daytime. And besides, isn’t it a little creepy to just watch and interfere with someone’s dreams?”
Luna raised an eyebrow. “Trust me, some ponies dream some crazy things that will make you turn white.” She shuddered. “Especially my sister…”
“Well, I still don’t see why I have to awaken at this point…”
Luna sighed. “In that case, it seems that I have no choice.”
Her horn lit up with a cobalt blue color, and before Elisa could object, her world was flooded in white and she found herself as a human again, lying in her bed. She was still drowsy from her dream as she looked around the room and tried to make sense of the situation. “Ugh…”
“Hello, Elisa was it?” a voice spoke.
Elisa turned her head to see Luna and Twilight standing behind another winged unicorn, only this one was about as tall as Elisa. She had white coat and a similar ethereally flowing mane and tail with shades of light blue, turquoise, lavender and pink. She wore a golden crown and necklace, both with a purple gem at their center, and gold hoof armor.
“Oh.” Elisa groggily pushed the covers from her chest and rolled out of bed. She stood up to face her two visitors. “Yeah, that’s me. You must be Princess Celestia!” She held out a hand for Celestia to shake, but then she saw Twilight facehoofing. “What?”
“Bow!” Twilight whispered. “You’re supposed to bow!”
Elisa groaned. “Well, sorry! I don’t know how to act around princesses!” she whispered back.
“It is okay, Twilight,” Princess Celestia interrupted. Twilight sheepishly nodded. The princess turned back to face Elisa. “Anyway, Elisa. I have heard a lot about you, and about the.. well, you know…”
Elisa cocked her head. “Princess, we’re not in public. You can talk about the gargoyles.”
“Right, sorry. And I would love to talk about the gargoyles--that is, once you get dressed.”
“Huh?” Elisa looked down to see that all she was wearing was a black T-shirt and a pair of white panties. Her face flushed with a rosy brown. “Oh. Yeah, I’d better get dressed.”
“Alright, I will give you your privacy.”
The princesses and Twilight turned around and headed downstairs. When Celestia turned to leave, Elisa saw her stylized sun cutie mark.
As they left, they could hear Elisa groan, “Ugh, 4:30 in the afternoon? Too damn early…”
“Is she always this irritable?” Celestia asked Twilight.
“Only today,” Twilight replied. “To be fair, we did awaken her much earlier than she is used to.”
“She is one of the few I know who stays up at night and sleeps during the day,” said Luna. “Until we meet these gargoyles, of course.”
Luna and Celestia sat down at the kitchen table while Twilight walked over to the cupboards to get some cereal for Elisa. Twilight opened a beige wooden cupboard with her magic and grabbed a box of Horn Flakes.
“So, my student,” Celestia began, “there was one section in your last letter that interested me.”
“Hm?” Twilight replied while she levitated a white bowl out of the cupboard. “Oh, yes. Tell me!”
“Oh, that’s just Elisa playing music from her boombox,” Twilight answered as she pulled out a spoon and placed it on a napkin next to the bowl. “She sometimes plays from that when she wakes up.”
“Her music is very… loud,” Luna commented.
A baritone voice began singing now.
“Interesting lyrics,” said Luna. Her head began nodding to the music.
“Indeed..” Celestia was more confused than anything else. “Anyway, Twilight. You mentioned another pony who has formed a strong bond with one of the gargoyles.”
“Yeah, Pinkie Pie’s sister, Maud,” Twilight responded as she poured the light brown cereal into the bowl. “She’s been spending a lot of time with Brooklyn, the second-in-command to Goliath.”
“Interesting. And is this Brooklyn a male or a female gargoyle?”
“Oh! Um, male.”
Twilight cocked her head to the side. “Princess, what are you thinking about?”
There was a short instrumental breakdown. Princess Celestia answered, “Oh, I was just wondering about something. Nothing important.”
“Twilight, this is a song from Elisa’s world, right?” asked Luna.
“Correct.” Twilight poured the milk into the bowl of cereal. “I think she calls it ‘grunge.’”
“I see,” Luna replied.
“Princess Celestia, what were you wondering about?” Twilight asked, closing the milk carton. On the side of the carton there was a picture of a grey pegasus mare with yellow green mane and crossed golden eyes that had gone missing.
“Well, I was wondering how strong a bond you were talking about.” Clearly Celestia was thinking about something.
“Well, she saved his life once, if that puts it into perspective. It doesn’t really make sense that they’d be friends, since Brooklyn has a brash, sarcastic personality and Maud has no personality whatsoever.” Twilight raised an eyebrow. “Why are you asking?”
“Only curiosity, my student,” Celestia answered, though something else was up.
“Princess, what are you getting at?”
“Well, if you must know, I am wondering if there is more than just a simple friendship between the two of them.”
Twilight gasped. “Princess Celestia! Are you thinking they’re romantically involved?”
Celestia’s white face turned a crimson hue. “No! What? No!”
“She really is,” said Luna, making Celestia blush even more.
“Princess, if it makes you feel better, Elisa, Pinkie and I spied on the two of them last night, and I think they’re a really cute couple.”
“It’s not even that,” said Celestia. “It’s…”
Before she could elaborate, the ponies heard footsteps descending the stairs and the music getting closer. “Ah, here she is,” Twilight said. “I was worried her cereal would get soggy.”
“She sure has her music turned up loud!” Celestia chuckled nervously. As a pony, she had larger ears than humans, and was therefore much more sensitive to loud noise.
Twilight squinted her eyes and gritted her teeth, obviously reacting to the approaching music. Luna was the only one who seemed unaffected by it.
Elisa entered through the door, now wearing her standard attire and carrying a small black and silver boombox from which the music blared. Celestia was now covering her ears. “Alright, so what’s up?” Elisa yelled over the lyrics.
“Elisa! What is this?” Twilight yelled to her angrily.
“Pearl Jam!” Elisa yelled back. “Isn’t it great!”
In response, Twilight trotted up to Elisa and slammed a hoof on the ‘off’ button. “Elisa, we have important matters to discuss.”
“Fine…” Elisa set the boombox down as she sat. “Hey, thanks for getting me breakfast!”
“You’re welcome!” Twilight replied. “Princess, you were saying something?”
“Ah, yes,” Celestia began. “You see, Elisa--”
“May I have some of your music?” Luna blurted out.
“Um, sure!” Elisa finally said after a pause. “But I don’t know how you would listen to it, since all I have are CDs and you play your music from vinyl records.”
“Can we talk about this later?” Twilight asked impatiently. “We have more important matters to discuss.”
“Indeed,” Celestia concurred. Elisa grabbed her spoon and began eating. “Elisa, Twilight has informed me about the gargoyles.”
“What about them?” Elisa muttered through a mouthful of cereal.
“We think it would be wise to meet them,” Luna spoke. “As leaders of the country, it is our duty to know everything that is happening.”
“So Twilight just gave you permission to meet them today, without clearing it with me first?” Elisa finished chewing, then continued. “This is a lot to throw at me at once. They’re going to be surprised about this, you know, and they don’t like surprises.”
“Elisa!” Twilight snapped. “They’re princesses! If they want to meet the gargoyles, we should let them!”
“Elisa,” Celestia spoke, “gaining the trust of the gargoyles is very important. Twilight told me earlier that they are not quick to trust just anypony, as they have been betrayed in the past.”
“Yeah, but their duty is to protect the castle,” Elisa reminded, “or in this case, Ponyville. As long as you don’t betray them, they’ll trust you.”
“I hope so,” Luna said. “As princess of the night, their actions are in my domain. Besides, we need to prepare them for meeting the public.”
Elisa’s eyes widened. “Meeting the public?” She shook her head. “Oh no. Ohhhh no.”
“What?” Luna asked.
“Luna!” Celestia whispered. “I told you, they are not ready for it. With all the recent chaos of the changeling attack, they would be paranoid. We must wait for the right time.”
“Oh, right.” Luna looked down, and Elisa could have sworn her mane stopped flowing for a second.
“Princess Celestia,” Twilight said, “these are things that we need to adjust to--not only Elisa’s arrival, but also the gargoyles. But I’m not sure today is the day to do it. Elisa just met you, and she hasn’t told the gargoyles yet. Do you understand me?”
“Yes, Twilight,” Celestia nodded. “But I believe that it is better to act sooner than later. The time to act is now. The gargoyles can be powerful allies, or more powerful enemies. Which would you prefer?”
“Uh, sister?” Luna interrupted. “Elisa is out.”
They looked over to see that the woman was slumped over with her eyes shut and her mouth open. Celestia rubbed her chin. “Strange. This is the first time one of my speeches has literally put somepony to sleep. At least, the first that I know of…”
“Oh, it’s not your fault,” said Twilight. “As I said, she’s not used to waking up so early.”
Celestia didn’t seem to listen. “Sister, will you enter her dreams again?”
“I think I have a better idea, sister. Cover your ears.” Luna took a deep breath, then yelled at the top of her lungs. “BY THE POWER OF EQUESTRIA, WE COMMAND THOU TO AWAKEN!!!”
Elisa sat up straight in her chair quickly and stared at Luna with a shocked expression. Twilight sighed. “I’ll get the coffee.”
Lex raised an eyebrow. “You blasted Pearl Jam, talked back to the princesses, and fell asleep?”
“Hey, I think she has taken sarcasm lessons from me!” Brooklyn grinned.
“Alright, I was awakened two hours early! Can you really blame me?” Elisa chuckled nervously. “I’m cranky when I’m tired. You’ve been around me long enough to know that.”
“So the princesses are waiting here for us?” asked Goliath. “We had better prepare ourselves. We should bow, correct?”
“Twilight said that was the right way to do it,” said Elisa. “Certainly don’t try to shake her hoof.”
Goliath wrapped his wings around himself. “Then let us introduce ourselves.” He started walking towards the door. The other gargoyles followed him.
“Hopefully this goes better than the last time we met with royalty,” Hudson muttered. Goliath looked back at him.
“You mean with Princess Katharine, back at Castle Wyvern?” Goliath asked, stopping in front of the door.
“Aye, laddie,” Hudson replied. “Remember what happened then..”
“Trust me, this will work.”
“Should she trick you, lad, I am afraid of what could--”
“Hudson,” Goliath reassured. “It will work.”
He opened the door to the Town Hall to see Princess Celestia talking with Twilight and Princess Luna. Celestia looked up and gasped upon seeing Goliath standing in the doorway. Luna followed her sister’s gaze and gasped, too. Twilight nodded, which was a signal for Goliath to enter the rest of the way, followed by Brooklyn, and then the other gargoyles one by one.
Even at her height, Celestia was still shorter than Goliath. The gargoyles formed a row behind Goliath, who stepped forward and bowed to the princesses. The other gargoyles followed his lead. Celestia glanced over at her sister, who looked back. Then Celestia stepped forward.
“You must be Goliath,” she said warmly. Goliath stood back up to his full height. “I am Princess Celestia, Ruler of Equestria. And this is my sister, Luna, Princess of the Night and Dreams.” She held out her right hoof.
Luna walked up next to her sister. “On behalf of everypony, we would like to welcome you to Equestria.” She similarly held out her right hoof.
Goliath bent over once more and kissed Celestia’s hoof. “Thank you. You are much more accepting than the last princess we had to deal with.”
Celestia gasped again and blushed upon hearing Goliath’s deep voice. Luna did the same, and her face turned even redder when Goliath kissed her hoof. Both princesses shifted their stance, doubtlessly thinking of long nights doing unspeakable things with Goliath.
“Yes, well…” Celestia giggled softly but nervously. Then she looked back down at Twilight. “Twilight, we will be right back. My sister and I have something to discuss.”
“What?” Luna was surprised, but then Celestia’s horn glowed and the two alicorns teleported away.
Elisa walked up to Goliath. “Did you really just kiss her hoof?” she asked.
“You told me not to try to shake it.” Goliath smirked. “Elisa, do I sense some jealousy?”
Elisa blushed. “No! None at all!”
“Elisa, you know I am yours,” Goliath reassured her, taking her by the shoulders. “I would never betray you like that.”
Elisa smiled once more. “Thank you, Goliath.”
“Hm,” Twilight muttered. “I wonder what Celestia and Luna are talking about?”
In another room of Town Hall, Princess Celestia and Luna were in quiet conversation, their heads together.
“The voice,” remarked Celestia.
“The voice,” Luna repeated.
“It’s epic,” Celestia complimented.
There was a long pause, then Luna asked hesitantly, “Tia?”
Of Night and Stone By Kirb Chapter Ten Clothing, Apartments, Concerts and Puns
An alarm clock started ringing in Sugarcube Corner, cutting through the peaceful silence in the room. This was a normal occurrence in the morning, of course, except the time was 6 PM. A bluish gray hoof reached out from underneath the covers of the bed nearby and pressed a button on the top. The noise stopped.
Maud sat up and stretched her forelegs while yawning almost silently. She stepped out of the bed and began slowly walking towards the bathroom. Not wearing her dress, her cutie mark was visible, a rock cut in the shape of a diamond.
Around ten minutes later, she stepped out, having dried off but still slightly damp from her shower, and walked to her bed. She opened her suitcase and looked through her dresses. All of them were the same bluish shade. She unfolded one and put it on, then walked back to the bathroom.
After combing her hair and applying her eyeshadow, Maud left her sister’s guest bedroom and walked down the stairs. On the way, she ran into Pinkie.
“Hi, sis!” Pinkie exclaimed, hugging Maud, who unenthusiastically hugged back. Pinkie then reached into her mane and pulled out a white bag, big enough to hold a small pastry. She handed it to Maud, who raised an eyebrow at Pinkie’s pulling it from her mane, but otherwise showed no reaction to it.
“Here’s dinner--er, I mean breakfast!” Pinkie corrected herself. “I keep forgetting that you wake up late in the day. But hey, if it means seeing your coltfriend Brookie, it’s necessary! Oh, by the way, how is he?”
There was a short silence; then Maud answered, “He’s still a gargoyle.”
Pinkie giggled. “Okie-dokie-lokie! I’ll take it! Have a good time!”
Maud continued the rest of the way down the stairs and out the door.
Brooklyn was standing on the deck of Town Hall, looking over the city, when he heard a voice from behind him.
“Hello, Brooklyn was it?”
Brooklyn turned around to see Rarity standing behind him. “Oh hi, Rarity,” he muttered. “What are you doing here?”
“Oh, I just wanted to discuss something!” Rarity insisted, though something was suspicious.
“Go on,” Brooklyn replied.
“I heard that you have been dating Pinkie Pie’s sister!”
Brooklyn sighed. “We’re not dating! We’re just going out as friends.”
“Whatever it is, I think it’s fabulous!” Rarity insisted. “I bet the two of you are just perfect for each other!”
“What are you getting at, Rarity?” Brooklyn asked impatiently, narrowing his eyes.
“Ahem, yes.” Rarity started heading back inside. “Follow me, Brooklyn! I have something that you will surely need!”
Brooklyn reluctantly did so. When he stepped in the door, he saw a rack of clothing that held many parts of a dress suit. “I just found out about you two exactly two mornings ago!” said Rarity. “But I knew I had to make something soon, since you couldn’t just wear that dreary loincloth all the time.”
Brooklyn’s claw went to his face. “Rarity… seriously?”
“Well, you know what they say: ‘Every mare’s crazy ’bout a sharp dressed stallion!’” Rarity giggled. “Go ahead, try it on!”
Brooklyn tried to think of an excuse. “Rarity, I appreciate the effort, but I highly doubt this will fit me.”
“Don’t worry, I took your measurements two days ago, while you were encased in stone! And I knew I had to get it soon, so I got Sweetie Belle to help me, since she and the other girls are still grounded from their little stunt two nights ago.”
Brooklyn groaned. “But.. but…”
“No buts!” Rarity’s horn fired up and lifted Brooklyn off the ground. She levitated him and the clothes rack into a secluded cubicle. “Now try this on! I can always help you put it on if you’re having trouble…”
Was that supposed to be a threat? Brooklyn thought. Nevertheless, he sighed and pulled off his loincloth to put on the suit.
A few minutes passed, and Brooklyn was wearing a black sports jacket, pants, and tie over a white dress shirt. There were slits in the jacket and shirt for his wings, and another in the pants for his tail. Rarity beamed and pushed a mirror in front of him. Brooklyn looked at his reflection in the mirror.
“Hmmm, not bad!” Brooklyn nodded.
“See?” Rarity replied. “I told you that you would like it!” Just then, Broadway, Lex and Angela walked in.
“There you are, Brooklyn!” Broadway began. “I was beginning to… pfft… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!” The three gargoyles burst into laughter.
Brooklyn glared at them. “Hey, stop it!”
“He.. he looks like Meat Loaf’s bitch!” Lex laughed, causing the laughter to erupt even louder.
“What? It looks good!” Brooklyn insisted.
The laughter began to die down; then Angela blurted out, “Yeah, I’m sure your marefriend will love it!” And the laughter grew louder once more.
Brooklyn then turned his glare to Rarity, who shrugged. “Don’t pay attention to them, my dear. They only mock you about it because you hate it so much when they do.”
Maud was sitting on a park bench, waiting for Brooklyn to arrive, when her ears picked up the snap of a twig behind her. She quickly turned her head to see what it was, but saw nothing. She turned back and started tapping her front hoof on the bench when she heard another sound, that of approaching hoofsteps and heavy breathing.
“Hello?” she called out. “Who’s out there?”
“There you are, Maud!” She turned back in front of her to see Brooklyn.
“Oh. Hi, Brooklyn.” Maud was about to tell Brooklyn about the strange noises she heard behind her when she noticed what he was wearing. “Why are you dressed like that?” she asked.
“Huh?” He looked down. “Oh yeah, I figured that I would wear something a little more impressive tonight. My loincloth needed a washing anyway.”
Maud looked up and down his suit. “You don’t need to dress up for me, Brooklyn.” There was a short silence. “Did Rarity make you dress like this?”
Brooklyn sheepishly grinned and rubbed the back of his head. “Yeah…”
“Elisa!” Twilight exclaimed. “Good news!”
Having just entered the library from her shift, Elisa was surprised to see Twilight galloping towards her. “Well, good morning to you too, Twilight,” she half-yawned.
Twilight skidded to a halt in front of Elisa. “Elisa, I just got a letter from Princess Celestia! She says she’s found an apartment building in Ponyville for you to stay, and she’s willing to pay the first month’s rent!”
Elisa smiled. “That is good news. Though I’ll certainly miss getting to mooch off you for my food--and constantly annoy you and Spike.”
“Don’t worry,” Twilight laughed. “You haven’t been annoying us, but don’t you think it’s nice to finally have a place of your own?”
“I suppose so. I don’t really have many things to move over there, since most of my stuff is back in New York, though hopefully my salary as a Ponyville detective can pay to furnish it better. Plus, I’ll finally be able to listen to my music without being interrupted!”
Twilight raised an eyebrow. “With as loud as you blast it, I think the downstairs neighbors might complain.”
“True,” Elisa said. “So when can I see this new apartment?”
“Here you are!” Twilight smiled as she pointed to a brick apartment building. It was nine stories high, with large windows on each side of the building, and shiny black fire escapes. Elisa stood looking up at it with her hands on her hips.
“Not bad!” she nodded. “Which floor is my apartment on?”
“Celestia arranged for the top floor, and with an access door to the roof.” Twilight levitated a key to Elisa with the number 901. “Here’s your room key.”
“Wow, this is perfect!” Elisa quickly pocketed the key, then picked up Twilight and hugged her. “Thanks, Twilight!”
“Hey, no problem!” Twilight hugged Elisa’s neck in return. “Though you’ll have to pay for everything else, there’s already a bed with sheets and pillows if you want to take a nap.”
“Will do, thanks!” Elisa set Twilight down and eagerly ran to her new apartment building.
Twilight simply smiled in response. “Hope she won’t have to stay there for long. I can’t imagine how she must feel, being thrust out of her world like that…”
As she started back to the library, she began to fantasize about Elisa’s world. From what she’d heard of it, there was a lot more technology, and a lot bigger cities. But while she was imagining that, she wasn’t looking where she was going and bumped into another pony with a THUD. “Oh, I’m sorry!” she said, backing off and looking up at the pony. “I didn’t mean to bump into you.”
The stallion looked back down at her with a blank stare. He was a pale gray unicorn with a short, flat blonde mane and tail, and a few inches taller than Twilight. He wore a red tie and a pair of large but thin-rimmed spectacles; however, his most noticeable feature was his left foreleg’s hoof, which appeared to be gray, hairless and rough like stone.
“It is no problem,” the stallion replied, walking past Twilight and continuing on his way.
“…So this is called a ‘boombox’?” Luna asked with fascination.
“That’s right!” Elisa handed the princess a small black and silver boombox, which Luna gripped in her magic. “I can teach you how this works sometime, but first we’d need to find somepony who’d be willing and able to make one for you.”
“Interesting.” Luna curiously pushed the ‘play’ button with her hoof. Unfortunately, only silence emerged from the boombox. “What is wrong with this? Why is there no music?”
“Oh, right. I forgot to bring my CDs.” Elisa shook her head disappointedly. “I was hoping to show you more of my favorite stuff, but I guess I left them at the new apartment.”
“I see.” Luna sighed. “I really did like the music I heard the other day.”
“I’m glad you did. Twilight doesn’t seem to like it; it’s too loud for her.”
“I’m used to loud noises. After all, I have grown accustomed to speaking in THE ROYAL CANTERLOT VOICE!!” She yelled the last part, then looked back down at Elisa. “Ahem. Sorry for yelling at you a few days ago by the way.”
Elisa chuckled. “It’s no problem, Luna.”
Brooklyn landed in the park, waiting for Maud to arrive. After looking around to see if she was already there, he sat down on the park bench where she often sat. He was wearing his loincloth again and had put away his suit for another time.
I wonder where she could be… he thought. A sound behind him captured his attention. He turned around to see what it was.
“Hello?” he called out. No response came back. Brooklyn groaned. Probably just Elisa and Twilight spying on me again.
When he looked in front of him, he was completely unprepared for the sight he saw. Maud was standing there, but instead of wearing her normal blue dress, she was clad in a red sequined strapless dress, gold earrings, and purple gloves on her forelegs.
Brooklyn was surprised at first. Why would Maud go out of her way to dress up for me? That seems so out-of-character for her… Then realization hit him and he smiled.
“Lemme guess: Rarity?” he asked.
“Yes,” Maud replied. “She insisted that this would make me look ‘sexy.’”
Brooklyn resisted the urge to laugh and comment that ponies weren’t sexy to him. Instead, he smirked and said, “Knew it.”
It was about then that he saw a poster nailed to a tree behind Maud. “Hey, what’s that?” he asked, lifting it to read. “‘Dark Canter - Live at the Ponyville Pavilion! Saturday night at 9:30. Tickets on sale now, 63 bits each.’”
“I like Dark Canter.” Though Maud showed no emotion otherwise, Brooklyn could have sworn her ears perked up.
“Really?” Brooklyn smiled. “We should go!” Then his smile dropped. “Wait, no, I can’t go in there, for obvious reasons. Plus the tickets would cost 126 bits, and I’m pretty sure Elisa doesn’t have that, yet.”
“Can’t you just hover above the pavilion?”
“Sorry, Maud. It doesn’t work that way. Hmmm…” Brooklyn suddenly had an idea. “Is this Pavilion the nearby outdoor amphitheater? Because if we wanted to, we could watch from a nearby rooftop. Would you like to do that?”
Maud looked up at him, then smiled slightly and said, “Sure.”
“So you’re going to see the band Dark Canter with Maud in two nights?” asked Broadway. He and Angela were talking to Brooklyn at Town Hall.
“Yeah, that’s right.” Brooklyn thought for a second. “I hope they aren’t some dumb boy band--colt band? Whatever it’s called here. I’d hate to find out that Maud likes the equivalent of the Backstreet Boys or something.”
“Hey, quiet you!” Angela snapped. “The Backstreet Boys are awesome! And they’ll be around forever, unlike those alternative bands you listen to.”
“Whoa, chill, Angela!” Brooklyn held his hands up in front of him. “Watch out, you guys! We have a badrump over here!”
Angela was about to get defensive, when she raised an eyebrow. “Badrump? Don’t you mean ‘badass’?”
“Right, sorry,” Brooklyn admitted. “I’ve been spending so much time around these ponies that I’ve begun talking like them.”
“One pony in particular,” Broadway chuckled. “Say, Brookie, does Maud rock your world?”
Brooklyn flinched. “Broadway, you know she and I aren’t… wait…” He glared at Broadway. “Was that a pun?!”
“Hah!” Angela laughed at Broadway’s pun. “Hey come on, Broadway. Give Brooklyn credit, he’s been getting a lot boulder about his dating Maud!”
Brooklyn glared at Angela too. “Stop it!”
“All I have to say, Brooklyn,” Broadway began, “is that you’d better not take Maud for granite!”
“Hopefully spending all that time around Maud doesn’t make him too sedimental!” Angela joked.
“Okay, that one was fracking bad,” Broadway replied. “Only a stoner would find that funny.”
“I’m sorry. You’re much better at this than I am--I really dig your puns.”
“Aw, don’t say that. My puns have their faults, too.”
“True.” Angela turned back to Brooklyn. “I think if you really wanted to impress Maud, you should take her out and order a drink. On the rocks, of course.”
“Gah!” Brooklyn groaned. “Enough with the rock puns!”
“Something wrong, Brooklyn?” Brooklyn turned around to see Goliath approaching him.
“Oh, nothing,” Brooklyn lied.
“Okay,” Goliath replied. “Oh, I heard that you are going out with Maud to see a band called Dark Canter.”
“Yeah, that’s right,” Brooklyn replied. “The night after next. Why?”
“Elisa has told me about this band.” Goliath paused. “They really rock.”
“Ugh, not you too!” Brooklyn facepalmed, and Angela and Broadway giggled.
“So Maud and Brooklyn are seeing Dark Canter, too?” Twilight asked Elisa as they walked to her new apartment.
“Yeah, that’s right,” Elisa replied. “I’m surprised you like them, Twilight. I figured since you don’t like Pearl Jam, you wouldn’t be into a band like Dark Canter.”
“It’s not that I don’t like Pearl Jam, it’s how loud you blast it. Kind of hard on the ears.”
“Ah, right. Sorry, I forgot ponies can hear much better than humans.”
“Plus, Dark Canter kind of appeals to me. They do lots of references in their songs to ancient pony mythology and literature from writers I like, and I’m glad some band actually knows that type of thing.”
“I see. So they’re kind of nerd rock?”
“Hey, I’m not a nerd!”
“I didn’t mean that! I mean, are they appealing to ponies who like things that aren’t in the mainstream?”
“Well, yeah. They also have a lot of fantasy and sci-fi themed songs.”
“From what I’ve heard, they’re pretty cool. I could see them getting famous back on our world, and I’d love to listen to more of their stuff.” She stopped as they arrived at her apartment building. “Right now, though, I’m gonna get some sleep.”
“Okay.” Twilight smiled. “Have a nice sleep.”
“Thanks.” Elisa turned around and walked back to her apartment. She waved goodbye to Twilight. “See you later!”
“You too, Elisa!” Twilight waved back, then turned around.
It was about then when she saw a familiar pony--the stallion she saw a few days ago! He was looking at Elisa, but then saw Twilight and began to turn around.
“Hey!” she called to the stallion, who then stopped. “I remember you. I bumped into you on Monday!”
The stallion turned around and looked at Twilight. “Ah yes, I remember.”
“You must be new in town,” Twilight replied. “I haven’t seen you around here before.”
“Yes, I moved in with my boss a few days ago,” the stallion replied.
Something seemed off about this stallion, but Twilight couldn’t place it. She held out her left hoof. “My name is Twilight Sparkle.”
The stallion shook her hoof. Twilight could feel something different in his hoof--it was cold and hard as stone. “You can call me Mr. Goodfellow.”
“Nice to meet you, Mr. Goodfellow!” Twilight then looked down at his hoof. “Um, out of curiosity, what happened to your hoof?”
Goodfellow paused, then responded. “I got into a small accident.”
“Wow, I’m sorry.”
Wow, it feels like rock! How could this have happened? There’s something he’s not telling me…
“Well, Miss Sparkle, I must be on my way.” Mr. Goodfellow turned around and began to walk off.
“Goodbye!” Twilight said to him. Then she turned around and muttered, “I must ask Pinkie if she’s seen this Goodfellow before. There’s something not right about him…”
Pinkie Pie was shutting off all the lights at Sugarcube Corner. The place was closing for the night, though it would be hard for her to sleep with all the loud noises coming from the nearby concert.
It was about then that she heard a knock on the door. “Hm, who could it be at this hour?” She bounded over to the door and pushed it open a couple of inches. “I’m sorry, Sugarcube Corner is closed right now!”
Brooklyn was standing behind the door. “Hi, Pinkie Pie,” he said. “I’m here to pick up Maud, I’m taking her to the concert.”
“Ooh! Hi, Brookie!” Pinkie greeted, then whispered to him. “She’s getting ready. Be very quiet, we wouldn’t want Mr. and Mrs. Cake to see you.”
“Right,” Brooklyn whispered. He followed Pinkie up the stairs, to a door with a sign on the front marked ‘Guest Room.’
“She’ll be right out,” Pinkie said to Brooklyn. “Hope you two have fun!” She then bounced to her own room.
“Thanks,” Brooklyn replied. He then waited for Maud and leaned against the wall; however, when he listened he heard Maud talking to someone.
“…and while I want to tell him, I don’t want to jeopardize our friendship.”
Huh? Brooklyn thought. Is she talking about me? He leaned in closer.
“I will have to be going back to the rock farm soon, but I don’t want to go without telling him.”
Who’s she talking to? Somepony on the phone? Oh, I hope she doesn’t tell whoever this is about my clan…
“I know, Boulder. But I don’t know how I would let him know I love him, or how he’d react to that.”
Oh, she’s talking to her pet rock. Wait… she LOVES me? How does that even work? We’re different species!
“And I know he probably wouldn’t go with it since we’re different species, but I still need to tell him somehow… I guess you’re right. You’ll be there to help me out, I shouldn’t worry.”
Brooklyn had a lot to think about. So she loves me, and she’s planning to confess it tonight… This is certainly a lot to take in. Well, at least I have some time to prepare what to say.
At that moment, he heard the doorknob begin to move and quickly moved back away from the door. Maud opened it, came out and looked up to see Brooklyn.
Of Night and Stone By Kirb Chapter Eleven The Concert
The local police station was abuzz with activity. Ponies were moving about, rustling through papers, and were very busy. When Elisa walked in, some of them greeted her as she passed them on her way to an office on the far side of the room.
“Detective Maza, hello.”
“How’s it going, Elisa?”
“Big night tonight, Maza.”
Elisa finally stopped and knocked on the door.
“Come in,” a stallion called to her from inside. He was an earth pony with brown coat, purple eyes, and a gray mohawk mane and tail. His cutie mark was a two-toned silver shield. He wore a white shirt with rolled-up sleeves, a black tie, and a black utility belt. He looked up at Elisa.
“You’re late, Maza.”
“I left my new apartment immediately at 8,” Elisa replied. “I knew I’d be on time.”
The stallion sighed. “You know what’s happening tonight?”
“I do, Chief. Dark Canter’s coming to town. A few of my friends are going to see them.”
The chief nodded. “Mm-hmm. And we’re going to need as many officers as possible.”
Elisa raised an eyebrow. “Why’s that? You planning on making a drug bust?”
Chief groaned. “Drug bust? What? No!” He shook his head. “I can’t believe that’s actually common where you come from. No, we just don’t want any riots breaking out.”
“Riots? I don’t think you’ll have to worry about that. This is Dark Canter, and from what I can tell, they’re pretty tame by human standards. You’d be more likely to see a riot with Race Against the Machine, MULE, or Reinstein.”
Now it was Chief’s turn to raise an eyebrow. “You know a lot about our music for someone who only arrived less than a month ago.”
“Well, you know, I’ve done my research.”
Chief shook his head. “Anyway, even so, we should keep guard just in case.”
“Chief, if you’re thinking about sending me out, I don’t think that’s such a good idea.”
“And why is that, Maza?”
“Back on my world, I was a detective, not a street cop. Besides, your stallions are perfectly capable of taking care of this.”
“Well, if I may say so, we haven’t really had any need for a detective lately. And I think you would prove much more intimidating in case a riot or a fight does break out--after all, you’re taller than most of us.”
“I appreciate the offer, Chief, but I just don’t think I’m qualified.” Elisa began to turn around.
“Fine,” Chief said dismissively. “Your loss. But if you change your mind, you’d get to see the concert for free.”
Elisa stopped in her tracks. “What was that?”
Maud slowly stuck her head through the doorway of Sugarcube Corner. She looked around to make sure nopony was watching, then she looked back at Brooklyn.
Maud emerged from behind the door, and Brooklyn snuck out after her. Since wind didn’t blow nearly that low to the ground, the two of them had to sneak to the nearest tall building, which they could climb and then take off from. Unfortunately, sneaking is very hard when you’re a humanoid creature taller than everypony around you, and when at any minute you have the possibility of bumping into a concert-going pony.
After hiding behind a nearby house, Maud and Brooklyn started sneaking to the next building, only to see a pony pass by wearing a shirt that read “DAЯK CANTEЯ.” Brooklyn quickly ducked behind a trash can; Maud just stood where she was. The pony looked at her briefly.
“Dark Canter! Woo!” Maud shouted with a smile, trying to disguise herself as a hardcore fan.
The other pony grinned. “Hell yeah!”
After the pony went on his way, Maud turned back to the trash can. “All clear.”
Brooklyn stood up and walked alongside Maud. “Good job.”
“Thank you,” Maud replied, going back to her normal monotone.
The pony and gargoyle rounded the corner when another pony caught them in his sight--a light yellow earth pony stallion with dark brown eyes and short black mane and tail, as well as a mustache. He wore a red baseball cap and a yellow tank top with red suspenders. He looked at Maud and Brooklyn and blinked a few times, then turned his head and raised a hoof to his mouth to call to somepony else.
“Hey, man!” he called in a heavy accent that sounded Mexican. “Get over here! Come check this out!”
Brooklyn’s eyes widened, and he looked at Maud. “What do we do?” he asked.
Maud glanced back up at him, not saying a word. Brooklyn sighed.
Okay, Brooklyn thought. If I have to knock some ponies unconscious, I will, but I don’t think I’ll be able to tell the clan about it without losing some dignity.
About then, another pony showed up. Like his friend, he was an earth pony stallion, but had a turquoise coat and a scruffy black mane, tail and beard, longer than his friend’s. He was wearing a red headband, a pair of thin-rimmed glasses, and an indigo shirt. He was smoking what looked like a cigarette with no filter and twisted on the end. The smell was very different, too, kind of like the sweet smell of an oily herb.
After stopping next to his friend, he asked, “What is it, man?” in a deep, gravelly tone.
“Look at this, amigo!” the yellow pony said, and pointed at Brooklyn. “Isn’t that cool?”
The turquoise stallion turned to face Brooklyn. “Oh wow, man! That’s, that’s pretty sick! Almost looks like one of those bat-pony things.”
“I’d say more like a griffin,” the yellow pony replied. “Man, I never had any hallucinations like this before.” Up to this point, Brooklyn had been clenching his fists, prepared to knock them out; however, he began to realize that these two were not a threat.
The turquoise stallion held up the joint. “Man, what’s in this stuff?”
“The usual, man. Got it from that dude Acapulco Gold.” The yellow stallion grabbed the joint, held it up to his mouth, and took a long draw from it, then held it in his lungs and handed the joint back to the turquoise stallion, who then offered it to Brooklyn.
“You want a toke, man?” he asked.
Brooklyn was surprised that the two stallions were not only completely unfazed by his presence, but also offered him a hit from their joint. He blinked a few times at the smoking roll of paper, then shook his head dismissively.
“What about you, sweetheart?” the yellow stallion asked Maud.
“Hey, suit yourself man.” The yellow stallion now took the joint from his friend. “We don’t want to be late for the Dark Canter concert.”
“Have fun!” Brooklyn said with a smile.
“Thanks, man!” the yellow stallion said, turning around.
“See two around, man,” the blue stallion said before taking a long drag on the joint and following his friend.
“You too.” Brooklyn waved to them, then looked down at Maud. “What was that all about?”
Maud shook her head. Brooklyn looked up at the building they were standing next to.
“This should be tall enough to take off from.” He bent over and Maud grabbed onto him. The two of them had been dating for long enough that she knew what he wanted her to do. He then stuck his claws into the side of the building and began climbing. When they finally made it to the roof, Brooklyn took a running start before spreading his wings, and his feet left the ground.
Brooklyn soared over the town, carrying Maud toward the sound of the roaring crowd and the lights of the Pavilion. While he glided, he had some time to think.
So she means to confess her love to me today. And I know it for sure, since she was talking to her pet rock about it. Still a little weird that she’d do that… eh, better not judge her. I don’t want her to be more offended than she already will be when I say no. I will say no, right?
He looked at Maud for a few seconds. Her lavender mane, usually flat, was now blowing in the wind as they flew, as was her dark teal dress. Her turquoise eyes beautifully reflected the moonlight, complemented by the lavender eyeshadow. She would be a breathtaking sight for most stallions, and was beginning to get to Brooklyn too.
Well, I’m sure she’s attractive by pony standards. I think I’ll mention that when she tries to confess her love. Flatter her to ease the pain and heartbreak. But I definitely can’t become her boyfriend. Think about what the other gargoyles would say. Nope, just can’t happen.
Brooklyn finally descended onto the rooftop of a building just behind the Pavilion. He could see a large crowd of ponies, perhaps 500 or so, seated, and many more standing. He could also make out two giant video screens on either side of the stage, so he and Maud would be able to watch those if they couldn’t see the stage well.
As he landed, he heard a voice behind him. “Enjoying the show, Brooklyn?”
He turned his head to see Elisa standing on the roof behind them, smirking. There was an open access hatch behind her.
“Elisa!” Brooklyn interjected. “What are you doing here?”
“Chief sent me as a security guard for the concert tonight,” Elisa explained, walking toward Brooklyn. “I highly doubt a fight or riot will start with a band like this, but hey, who am I to decline a free concert?”
“Huh.” Brooklyn set Maud down on the roof. “Well, Maud and I are going to have a good time. Anything you want?”
“Are you going to spy on us again?” Maud asked.
Elisa chuckled. “Haha, not this time. Usually I might be required to ask ponies to leave who watch without tickets, but I’m making an exception for you two.”
“Well, thanks.” Brooklyn smiled to his human friend. “Anything else?”
“Other than that, I just want to wish both of you a great time and a good evening!”
The lights near the stage dimmed, and the crowd below went crazy. Elisa looked at the stage. “I think it’s starting now. Enjoy the show, you two!” She turned around and went down the hatch, shutting the door behind her. Brooklyn and Maud sat on the edge of the roof.
A lone pegasus stallion walked onto the stage, and the crowd roared once more. He was wearing a leather jacket and carried a red guitar with him. Brooklyn wondered to himself how the stallion could play guitar without fingers.
The stallion walked to a keyboard, and began playing a soft series of notes on it. He then switched to guitar, using his wings for the task of playing the chords. He strummed a funky groove. At this point, two other stallions also walked on stage, one of them carrying a bass and another sitting down at the drums. Upon the sixth repetition of the funk chord progression, both members joined in. The crowd in the front rows immediately started dancing. The screens on either side of the singer lit up to show him walk to the microphone and start singing.
“I got a fever, I got the flu
I’m sick and tired, and I just don’t know what to do
My life is falling apart
I’m feeling down, I don’t know where to start.”
Brooklyn began tapping his foot to the rhythm. “Hey, this is actually pretty cool! I see why you like them.”
At this point, the chords turned minor.
“Give me a sign, show me the way,
Help me navigate through this world everyday.”
But then the band resumed playing the funk progression from earlier. Behind them, a banner with a galaxy and the words “DAЯK CANTEЯ” lit up.
“We’ll keep on flying through space, taking it at a fast pace
I have been waiting too much; I need your love, I need your touch
Can’t really get all I need, zooming through life at light speed
And they’ll be asking for more, so I’ll just have to go.”
“Yeah!” Brooklyn interjected, moving back to dance to the music. “I could get into this!”
Not talking anymore, just making little sounds
So if you’ve been a little naughty,
The gas will fill the room, feel it fill your body.”
“Eh, the words are a little weird, but the point of funk is to dance, not to analyze the lyrics.” Brooklyn looked back at Maud, who was standing there, watching him with a blank stare. “What?”
“Paranoia, go away
Don’t want these feelings making my world dark and gray.”
Brooklyn grinned. “You know what I think you need to do? Dance.” He mimicked dancing, but Maud just stared. “C’mon! You can dance if you want to.”
“We’ll keep on flying through space, taking it at a fast pace
I have been waiting too much; I need your love, I need your touch.”
Maud continued staring. Brooklyn sighed. “Fine, we’ll do this the hard way.”
With one swoop, he grabbed Maud under her forelegs and held her up. Then he resumed dancing, holding Maud in his claws to mimic the feeling of dancing with her.
“Can’t really get all I need, zooming through life at light speed
And they’ll be asking for more, so I’ll just have to go.”
Though she continued staring blankly at him, he took note that she wasn’t making any efforts to escape his grasp.
Later into the night, the band was playing a harder rock song. The singer was headbanging while playing a three-chord guitar riff. The audience seemed to be going wild, many moshing and crowdsurfing.
“You laugh and smile at everypony
To hide your own insignificance
You backhand-comp everypony you see, but nopony is gonna be
As important to you as your own vain self!”
Similarly, Brooklyn was also headbanging to the music. “This rocks! Almost reminds me of some of the grunge from back home!”
Maud retained her blank expression, but this time she was also moving her head to the music.
Dark Canter was playing a slower song now. The lead singer had put away his guitar and was sitting at the keyboard.
“Am I going too fast?
Should I slow down for this part of the path?
Should I keep control or should I let it go?
Brooklyn was currently sitting on the edge of the roof, exhausted from all the dancing and headbanging. Maud lay in his lap, looking at the stage.
“My thoughts are never-ending
I have to admit, this offer is tempting
Will I give it a go or will I say no?
Brooklyn noticed that many of the ponies in the audience were waving lighters back and forth in the air. He also could have sworn he saw one couple making out. This made him think about Maud, and how he was going to deal with his current situation with her.
“So take it or leave it
But you might regret it
If you don’t take this offer while you can
I’m giving you one chance
I want to know in advance
’Cause things will never be the same again.”
These lyrics really relate to my present situation, Brooklyn thought to himself. At least, I think they do. I definitely have only one chance here, and I can give it a go, or, more likely, say no. Whether I take this offer or don’t, things will never be the same again.
He sighed. Though the concert was close to finishing, he still had a long rest of the night ahead of him.
“That was a really great concert, Maud!” Brooklyn said. The gargoyle and pony were now sitting on the park bench where they usually sat. Maud was kicking the ground with her hind hooves.
“Yeah.” Maud’s voice trailed off. Brooklyn looked around in silence.
This is it…
Both of them stopped after beginning at the same time.
“What were you going to say?” Maud asked.
“Well, I was just going to ask you.” Brooklyn cleared his throat. “A while ago, when you said you liked me a lot, well, did you mean as a friend? Or in a romantic way?”
Maud hesitated. She blinked a few times, then asked, “What do you think?”
Brooklyn sighed. “Serves me right for expecting a direct response.”
“Brooklyn,” Maud began, “listen. I have been meaning to tell you this, but…”
“What, that you’re attracted to me?” Brooklyn looked away from Maud. “I already knew. I heard you talking about it with your pet rock.”
“Boulder,” Maud corrected. She moved closer to Brooklyn on the bench. “You think I’m strange because I like rocks.”
“No!” Brooklyn shouted, turning to Maud. But then he quickly made his voice quiet again. “I mean, no.”
Maud paused, blinking her beautiful eyelashes a few times, then continued. “Brooklyn, I was supposed to go back to the farm a few days ago. I have been postponing my departure for one reason.”
“And I understand that,” Brooklyn quickly followed up. “And you gave a good effort, I was unsure until today. And we can continue to be really close friends. But…” He shook his head. “No. Maud, I just can’t get into you that way. You’re an amazing pony, and I’m sure other ponies find you attractive, but… well, think of what my clan would say. Or other ponies. Plus, what about Angela?”
“Angela?” Maud moved even closer to him, so close that their heads were inches apart. “You said she was with that other gargoyle, Broadway. Even if she leaves him, she may not accept you. I will.”
Brooklyn could swear that he could feel her breath as she spoke. But he frowned and shook his head, standing up from the bench.
“Ugh, no! Look, Maud. I enjoy your company, I really do. I like talking to you, and spending time with you, and do I even need to mention that tonight’s concert was kickass? But I can’t. It would be too awkward, with you being a pony and me a gargoyle. How would relations even work? Just… no.”
He turned around and began to walk away, but then Maud said one more thing. “Brooklyn, you sound like somepony trying to convince himself of something he doesn’t believe.”
Brooklyn stopped in his tracks, then turned back around. The lonely pony stared back at him, and while she didn’t show any sign of emotion, something seemed really sad about the way she talked and looked. Part of him wanted to just turn around, hug the pony tightly, and apologize profusely. But he knew better.
“Good night, Maud.”
He grabbed onto a tree and climbed up. Maud watched him as he left.
Well, I did it, he thought. It’s done. Utterly. Finally. Done.
With a leap, he took off and flew into the night. He didn’t know where to go, except that he wanted to get as far away as possible from the mare he had left sitting on the bench.
Maud saw the winged silhouette disappear into the clouds. She looked down and reached into her pocket to pull out her pet rock.
“Well, I tried,” she began. “You were right, Boulder. He is out of my league. I was so foolish to try and go after him.” She sighed. “I guess I’ll go back to the rock farm now, I’m sure Marble and Limestone miss me.”
She put the pebble back into her pocket and stood up to walk away; however, she didn’t get far before she found her entire body was lifted off the ground. She tried to move her hooves, but was caught by a magical aura.
A pale gray unicorn stallion with thin-rimmed spectacles caught her sights. He was walking straight toward her, and his horn was lit up with a magical glow. He was clearly the one holding her captive with his magic, but why?
“Come with me,” he commanded, his voice icy and sinister.
Of Night and Stone By Kirb Chapter Twelve Realization
“Who are you?” asked Maud to the unicorn in front of her, still trying to break free of his grasp.
“You can call me Mr. Goodfellow,” the unicorn introduced himself. His horn glowed brighter. “Oh, do not try to resist, Maud. We only want to ask you some questions.”
Maud couldn’t move her hooves now even an inch, so she gave up. That’s when a thought hit her. “How do you know my name?”
“We have watched you for several days now,” Goodfellow replied. “We know, for example, that you have a strong bond with a gargoyle named Brooklyn, and that you and he have spent time together for the past few nights.”
“So you are some kind of weird stalker?” asked Maud.
“No!” Goodfellow shouted in frustration. “Just come with me. We will ask you some--”
Before he could continue, Goodfellow was knocked over by a foot to the face. He let go of Maud with his magic grasp, causing her to fall to the ground. When she looked up, she saw Brooklyn was standing in front of her, growling at Goodfellow, who was now leaning against a tree. She rubbed her head as she tried to comprehend what was going on.
Goodfellow opened his eyes and looked at Brooklyn. A smirk came on his face. “Hello, Brooklyn.”
“Who the hell are you and how do you know my name?” Brooklyn asked, standing in a fighting pose.
“As I told Maud, I have been watching you for several nights now.” Goodfellow stepped forward. “Though you may not recognize me, I know you very well, and you definitely know my boss.”
Brooklyn growled and his eyes glowed. “Enough talk!”
He lunged at Goodfellow, who raised his left hoof and smacked Brooklyn in the chest. This knocked the wind out of Brooklyn, and it felt like a large rock had been slammed into him. He fell down and caught his breath, but managed to grab Goodfellow by the throat as he was trying to sneak away. Goodfellow tried to slip out of his tight grasp, but Brooklyn’s claw left no method of escape.
Out of nowhere, Goodfellow’s horn began glowing, and in a few seconds a white light surrounded the three. When it died down, Goodfellow was gone. Brooklyn growled and unclenched his fist, then turned around to Maud.
“That was a close one, Maud! Are you okay?”
The pony shook her head. “I’m fine, Brooklyn. Th.. thanks for saving me.”
Brooklyn reached a claw down and helped her up. “I had to, Maud. That stallion was attacking you.”
Brooklyn took a deep breath and then began. “Look, Maud--”
“I’m going to take the first train back to the rock farm,” Maud interrupted. “There’s no reason for me to stay in Ponyville anymore. If we’re lucky, we can both forget about the events that happened tonight and the last few nights too.”
She looked into Brooklyn’s eyes. “Goodnight, Brooklyn.”
And with that, she turned around and walked away. Brooklyn frowned. This didn’t go as he’d planned at all.
Maud somberly walked up the stairs of Sugarcube Corner to the guest bedroom. She had never unpacked, so all she had to do now was say goodbye to her sister before she left. Upon opening her door, she was greeted by the blue eyes and widely grinning face of Pinkie Pie.
“Hi, sis!” Pinkie cheerfully greeted.
“Oh, hi Pinkie,” Maud replied without enthusiasm. She walked towards her bed.
“How did the concert go?” asked Pinkie.
“It was okay,” Maud said.
Pinkie’s smile faded. “What’s wrong, sis?”
Maud sat down on the edge of the bed. “I’m leaving tomorrow, Pinkie.”
Pinkie gasped. “Tomorrow? Why? We’ve barely been able to spend any time together!”
“We’ve spent plenty of time together, Pinkie.”
Pinkie hesitated, then nodded. “You’re right, we have! But I was hoping to spend more time with you, Maud! Why are you leaving?”
Maud looked down. There was a long silence before she finally spoke. “Brooklyn turned me down.”
Pinkie let in a long gasp and grabbed Maud by the shoulders. “WHAT?!”
Brooklyn was on his way back to Town Hall, gliding through the air, when he felt it. His heart started beating faster than it usually did when he was flying. He felt a warmness enter his face. He looked around to see if something was approaching him--he often would feel an adrenaline rush if someone was about to attack. But nothing was there.
Am I having a heart attack? he thought. Maybe it’s just an after-effect of the fight… yeah, that’s probably what it is.
But suddenly, a searing feeling swept through his chest, causing him to drop in altitude, and he realized what was happening.
Oh god, no! Not now! Damn it, why couldn’t this have happened BEFORE I left Maud? Why couldn’t I have realized this sooner? Gah!
Thankfully, he was right in front of Town Hall, so he descended to the building. Elisa was standing outside with her arms crossed.
“Hi, Brooklyn,” she began. “How’d it go?”
“Not well,” Brooklyn quickly shot back as his feet touched the floor.
Elisa raised an eyebrow. “You want to talk about it?”
“No.” Brooklyn opened the door and stepped inside to see everybody staring at him--Goliath, Broadway, Lexington, Hudson, Bronx, Angela, even Twilight.
“What?” Brooklyn asked. Lexington was the first to approach Brooklyn.
“I heard that you and your new marefriend went out to a concert tonight!” Lex said, playfully hitting Brooklyn in the arm. He winced, his arm still stinging from the fight with Goodfellow.
“Ow… she’s not my marefriend!” Brooklyn groaned.
Lex raised an eyebrow, since he hadn’t even hit that hard. “Well, how was it?”
“I already told Elisa, and I’ll tell you too. It was horrible.”
“Hey!” shouted an angry Twilight. “Dark Canter put on a great show!”
“I wasn’t talking about the show,” Brooklyn quickly replied, holding his hands up in front of him. “They were great. The rest of the night… could’ve gone a lot better.”
“How’s that, lad?” asked Hudson.
“Well,” Brooklyn sighed, “I found out for sure that Maud is in love with me.”
“Ha!” Lex shouted. “Knew it!”
Brooklyn glared at Lex. “Will you shut up?” he snapped. “I’m really not in a good mood right now.”
“Why is that?” Broadway asked.
“Because I had to let her down.” Brooklyn looked down. “I had to tell her to stop pursuing me, to let me be.”
“So… you’re lonely?” asked Broadway.
“I’M NOT LONELY!” Brooklyn yelled in response.
“Then why are you acting like this?” Angela asked.
“I’m paranoid,” Brooklyn lied. “Her sister knows where I live, and that I turn to stone in the daytime. She could come after me and kill me! That wouldn’t be good!”
“Brooklyn, I’m sure Pinkie won’t do that,” Twilight reassured him. “Is there something else?”
Brooklyn sighed. “Well, this is kind of hard to say, but I’m…”
“You’re dying?” Goliath asked in a concerned tone.
“No… not that I know of,” Brooklyn replied.
“You’re gay?” Lex guessed.
“You’d like that, wouldn’t you, Lex? No.”
“Oh! You’re in love with Maud!” Twilight suggested.
Brooklyn blushed. “Yes, that one.”
There was a short period of silence… then everyone burst into fits of laughter.
Brooklyn glared at them. “What? What?!”
“Heheh, sorry…” Elisa collected herself. “It was so obvious to all of us for the longest time. We were wondering when you’d figure it out.”
Brooklyn shook his head. “I know, I’m really stupid.”
Lex grinned. “So you do have a marefriend! Congratulations!”
“You guys really aren’t helping,” Brooklyn groaned. He turned around to walk out.
“Lemme guess,” Brooklyn began. “You all want to make fun of me now? Or are you past that point, and now you’re going to shun me?”
“Neither,” Goliath responded. “I was going to ask you, why did you turn her down if you loved her?”
“That’s just it.” Brooklyn shook his head. “I didn’t realize until after I left. When I left, I just wanted to get it over with, and put my mind at rest.” He turned back to the others. “But it didn’t, and I kept thinking about her, still sitting there on that lonely park bench. And I decided to turn around to apologize, to say I treated her harshly. Obviously we wouldn’t be romantically involved, but we’d still be friends. And that’s when I saw somepony attacking her.”
“What?” Twilight interjected. “She was being attacked?”
“Yeah, some unicorn mugger was holding her captive with his magic,” Brooklyn tried to sum up. “He punched really hard, too--felt like I was getting hit with rocks. Long story short, I scared him away, but he could be back. He also claimed to know me from somewhere, but I think he was just crazy.”
Elisa frowned. “And he got away? So someone could be spreading word about you guys.”
“I don’t know. In any case, I saved her life. I guess it was then when I realized that I wouldn’t have gone back to save her if I didn’t care about her because I didn’t even know she was being attacked. I just wanted to apologize. But I think it really hit me when I was flying back here. I realized that I love her, too, and she had grown on me. I’ve grown used to her deadpan personality, and her love of rocks, and I’ve become fond of her company. And in her own way, she’s beautiful. Besides, think about it: she’s the only girl I’ve been attracted to who also likes me back. Every other time I’ve been snubbed because some other guy has gotten in the way. There’s only one problem, now, and I just don’t know what to do.”
“I think it’s clear what you should do,” Hudson replied. “Find the lassie and make ’er yours!”
Brooklyn shook his head. “No. As I said, there’s one problem, and it’s the big elephant in the room that we’re all ignoring: she’s a freaking pony!”
There was another short silence, then Goliath walked up to Brooklyn and grabbed him by the shoulders, shaking him around.
“Brooklyn, listen to me!” he finally commanded. “You’re my second-in-command, and part of your job is to find errors in my judgment. Now obviously I cannot trust you to do that when there’s a big error in your judgment!”
“B-but s-sh-she’s a-a d-differ-rent sp-pecies!” Brooklyn tried to say while being shaken.
“So?” Elisa asked; Goliath stopped shaking Brooklyn. “Goliath and I are different species.”
“No, it’s not!” Goliath boomed. “Now go get her and apologize. If you’re lucky she will not have left yet.”
Brooklyn blinked a few times, then a determined look spread across his face. “You know what?” he said, looking up. “You’re right, Goliath. And when you’re right, you’re right. I’ll go! I’ll find her!”
He walked toward the door, then stopped and turned back to the others. “Is it normal for me to feel like the protagonist in a bad romance novel right now?”
Elisa chuckled. “It’s completely normal. Now go before it’s too late!”
Brooklyn smiled and opened the door. It was right then that a thunderclap boomed throughout the town and rain started pouring down on Town Hall. Brooklyn groaned and shouted up to the skies. “Oh come on! Rain? Really?! That’s so cliché!”
A gray pegasus mare with a yellow mane and crossed eyes stuck her head out from behind the raincloud. “Oopsie! Sorry, mister!” she called to him as she pushed it away and flew off.
Brooklyn watched the mare and cloud leave the sky and tried to figure out what just happened, but then realized it was useless and took off.
Brooklyn descended in front of Sugarcube Corner, the once-happy building now looking surprisingly gloomy. He walked up to the door and waited for a response.
Surprised, the young gargoyle turned around to see none other than Pinkie Pie standing behind him. He sighed in relief.
“Hi, Pinkie Pie! Have you seen your sister by any chance?”
“Why?” Pinkie asked. “So you can hurt her even more?”
It was then that he noticed something different about Pinkie. She was slowly walking up toward him, and wasn’t smiling like she usually did but instead glaring at him. She talked in a harsh-sounding tone, unlike her normal happy tone. And to top it off, her mane and tail were both flat, akin to Maud’s mane and tail.
Brooklyn gasped. This isn’t Pinkie, this is Pinkie on drugs! Or maybe NOT on drugs. I don’t know, she certainly seems like she uses drugs.
“Pinkie, I--” Brooklyn began, but the pink mare interrupted him.
“Oh yes. Maud told me all about it. How you walked out on her because she’s a ‘different species.’ How you then came back to her, just to leave her again. She loves you, Brooklyn! Can’t you see?”
“Well, that’s actually why I’m--” Brooklyn again began.
“I know one thing, Mister,” Pinkie interrupted, now screaming. “And that’s that NOBODY MESSES WITH MY SISTER!”
Out of nowhere, she lunged at him and a hoof headed towards his face. Thankfully, Brooklyn had been in enough fights to know exactly what to do next, so he ducked… only for Pinkie to somehow follow him down and knock him over anyway.
“Ow!” he groaned as he hit the ground. A hoof to the face can be quite painful. He tried to get back up, but Pinkie stood right over him.
“YOU MEANIE!!” she screamed. “HOW COULD YOU?!”
Brooklyn saw an opening and tried to roll over, away from Pinkie, but her hoof came down on him and stopped him. He then tried to grab Pinkie by the neck with his claw, but her other hoof pushed it back down.
“How the hell do you keep predicting what I’m gonna do next?” Brooklyn asked.
“OH, WOULDN’T YOU LIKE TO KNOW!!!” Pinkie screamed at him.
Another hoof was headed toward his face. Brooklyn winced. Taken down by ponies three times since we’ve arrived here? I’ll never live this one down.
“I came here to apologize!” he shouted.
Pinkie’s hoof stopped inches away from his beak. “What was that?” she asked.
Brooklyn, now having caught her off-guard, decided to take this advantage. With one swoop, his wings pushed Pinkie away, and he grabbed the pony by her tail, holding her upside down. As he stood up, Pinkie struggled to fight back and escape his grasp, but her hooves only hit air. He had to admit, that was pretty adorable.
“I said, I came here to apologize!” Brooklyn repeated. “And you’d know that by now if you didn’t keep interrupting me.”
Pinkie’s face stayed angry, but she was keener to listen. “Go on…”
Brooklyn sighed. “I feel really bad about turning down your sister, but I didn’t realize how much I really cared about her until too late. She’s a beautiful mare and has been a really great friend since we left New York, and I think I love her. So I came back to apologize, and…” Now he looked down. “I can understand if you and she don’t want to forgive me, but at least consider it.”
Pinkie’s voice now came from behind him. “And how do I know I can trust you?”
Surprised, Brooklyn turned around to see Pinkie. He looked back at his claw to see that she had somehow slipped away. His eyes widened as he tried to comprehend the situation.
“How did you--” he began.
“Well?!” Pinkie asked, stepping closer to him.
Brooklyn blinked a few times, then shook his head. “Right, how can you trust me. Well, I did save her life earlier, so…”
Now it was Pinkie’s turn to be surprised. “You what?”
Brooklyn raised an eyebrow. “Yeah, after I left the first time, Maud was attacked by some stallion. He would’ve taken her captive, but I fought him off. Didn’t she tell you?”
Pinkie blinked. “No…”
The sound of a balloon inflating could be heard as Pinkie’s mane and tail poofed out and became curly once more. She grinned and jumped at Brooklyn, but this time to give him a tight hug.
“Well, why didn’t you say so?” she asked, her voice returning to normal. “Any super-duper friend of my sister’s is a friend of mine! Especially if he’s her new coltfriend!”
Brooklyn smiled, but sweated in Pinkie’s tight embrace. God, I hope my ribcage survives this…
“The term where I’m from is ‘boyfriend,’ Pinkie,” he said, grunting it out due to Pinkie’s hug sucking all the air from him. “But I can’t be her boyfriend unless I… gakk!… catch her before she goes!”
Pinkie let go of Brooklyn and gasped. “Oh no! You need to stop her from leaving! She’s at the train station, hurry!”
Brooklyn wheezed to catch his breath, then stood back up and nodded. “Thanks, Pinkie.” He started to turn around, but then stopped. “Um, where’s the train station?”
Maud lay on the bench at the train station. She had checked the times and knew that the train she’d take wouldn’t arrive for several hours, at least until the sun had come up. She hadn’t even bought her ticket yet, but she waited anyway so she could be the first in line to leave.
She turned her head to see her sister walking toward the station. Maud scooted over to make room for Pinkie.
“Hey, sis,” Maud said. She looked at Pinkie’s poofy mane. “I see you decided to give up on getting revenge on Brooklyn.”
“Yeah..” Pinkie sat down next to Maud. “I just wanted to spend these last few hours with you before you go back to the farm.”
Maud blinked a few times, then asked, “There’s something else, isn’t there?”
“Huh?” Pinkie lied. “Um, no! Nothing else!”
It was about then that her tail started shaking. She looked down at it. “Uh-oh, twitchy tail! Something’s gonna fall!”
She quickly moved out of the way. Maud, knowing not to question her sister’s body spasms, followed her. Within seconds, a crash was heard and when they looked back, the bench had been replaced by a mess of broken pieces of wood and a certain red gargoyle lying on top of it.
“Ow…” he groaned, getting up and brushing himself off.
“Wow, smooth, Brooklyn,” Pinkie remarked with a smirk.
“Hey! Not every landing is a steady one!” Brooklyn then looked at Maud and frowned. “Um, hi Maud.” He weakly waved to her. Maud stared blankly back at him.
“I think I’ll leave you two alone now.” Pinkie smiled and trotted away.
“So,” Brooklyn said.
“Yes,” Maud replied.
There was an awkward silence. Brooklyn looked at Maud. The moonlight cast shadows across her face. A bright glimmer reflected on her hair. Brooklyn looked away. Here goes… He walked up to her and squatted down to be at her height.
“Look, Maud, about earlier,” he began. “I’ve been doing some thinking, and it all keeps coming back to the same thing. I don’t know if you’ll forgive me, or if you’ll even believe me, but I realized after I saved your life that I was wrong about my judgment. So now, for what it’s worth, I just want you to know--”
“Brooklyn,” Maud interrupted. “Shut up.”
Before he could say anything, Maud climbed up onto Brooklyn and placed her forelegs around his neck. A smile briefly appeared on her face before she leaned forward and closed her eyes. Brooklyn could see her pursing her lips as her head got closer. He closed his eyes too, and tipped his head to the side.
Her lips, warm and moist, pressed against his beak. Brooklyn wrapped his wings around Maud and felt the tension drain from his body in this tender, loving kiss exchanged between the pony and the gargoyle.
After a while, the two separated and looked at each other, Brooklyn’s wings still tightly gripping Maud. He smiled.
“That was…” he began.
“Weird,” Maud interrupted.
Brooklyn raised an eyebrow. “What?” This wasn’t the response he was expecting.
“I’ve never kissed somepony with a beak before,” Maud replied, lightly tapping Brooklyn’s beak with her hoof.
Brooklyn rubbed the back of his head and smiled sheepishly. “Good point. That does make it a little different, but this beak would make it hard to make out with anybody, gargoyle or pony.”
Maud briefly smiled again and made a sound that sounded to Brooklyn almost like a giggle. “Then let’s make it work.”
And she embraced him and planted another kiss on Brooklyn’s beak--a kiss he was glad to return. His heartbeat increased and he felt the greatest happiness he had ever felt in his life.
Of Night and Stone By Kirb Chapter Thirteen Maud’s Unfortunate Incident
“So seriously, though, why didn’t you tell Pinkie that I saved your life?” Brooklyn asked.
Maud and he had been sitting on the edge of the rooftop of Town Hall for a while now. The horizon was slowly but surely getting brighter as the early hours of the morning progressed.
“I did not think to mention it,” Maud replied. “It did not seem important.”
“Not important?” Brooklyn raised an eyebrow. “You were attacked by some strange stallion--he seemed very familiar, by the way--and you didn’t think it was important?”
“Pinkie did not ask, so I did not tell her.”
“Is that your answer and you’re sticking to it?”
Brooklyn shrugged. “Guess you have different priorities than I. Still, though, it meant that I had to deal with your angry sister, who I swear was going to kill me if I’d waited any longer to explain it to her!”
“We Pie sisters look out for each other. But I doubt Pinkie would kill you. I know she can be assertive sometimes when she is sad.”
“That’s an understatement. I felt like I was an extra in a Stephen King novel!”
“I am surprised you were afraid of Pinkie. You gargoyles are not as tough as you seem.” She lightly punched Brooklyn on the arm.
Brooklyn looked down at her with a mock glare. “If you were anybody else, I’d get offended.” Then he smiled and picked her up, grabbing her in his arms as their heads leaned forward and--
“Hey, hey, hey! Look who it is!” Brooklyn turned his head to see Lex coming outside, followed by Broadway and Angela.
“Aw, the cute couple is together at last!” Angela mocked.
Brooklyn groaned. “I suppose you three are here to mock me some more.”
“Oh no!” Broadway insisted. “We just want to congratulate you two; we think you’ll be really great together. Also, should I get you a decorative saddle as a present?”
Brooklyn raised an eyebrow. “A saddle? What for?”
“For kinky times!” Broadway mocked.
If Brooklyn wasn’t already red, he would have a visible blush. When he looked down, he could’ve sworn that Maud had a glimmer of hope in her eyes. He was about to get angry and put them in their places, but he remembered what Angela said about him being more fun to make fun of because he gets more offended, so he instead just shook his head. He noticed the sky was getting brighter, signaling the oncoming day.
“Well, the sun’s about to come up.”
As the other gargoyles walked out and took position, Brooklyn set Maud back down and struck a pose with his arms over his head in a menacing way. Then he looked back at Maud. “Will you be here when I wake up?”
“Yes,” Maud replied.
Brooklyn smiled briefly. “Great. We can continue our conversation then.”
Like the others, he turned back and opened his mouth, baring his fangs, just as a glimmer of sun peeked above the horizon, and all the gargoyles turned to stone. Maud looked around, then reached into her pocket and pulled out Boulder.
“He is mine, Boulder. Mission accomplished.”
Maud now walked through the streets of Ponyville, looking around at all the ponies she passed by. All these happy mares and stallions, fillies and colts, pegasi, unicorns and earth ponies. Going about their regular, everyday lives. Unaware of the gargoyles who protected the town.
“Maud!” she heard a voice call out to her.
The gray earth pony turned her head to see Pinkie standing in the doorway of Twilight’s library. Maud wondered what Pinkie was doing there as she walked toward her.
“Hello, sis--hey!” Maud was interrupted mid-word as Pinkie quickly pulled her inside and shut the door behind her. “Wha-?”
“Congratulations, sister!” Pinkie shouted as she tightly hugged her surprised sister. “Brookie’s your coltfriend! Now you two can get married, and have lots of little half-gargoyle, half-pony foals and--”
“Pinkie, I told you already!” Twilight interrupted. “Gargoyle and pony DNA is incompatible. It would be impossible for them to reproduce.”
“Besides, don’t you think you’re being a little invasive?” Elisa asked. She was sprawled out on the couch, and had removed her jacket. Twilight stood next to her.
“I’m used to it,” Maud replied. “Hello, Twilight and Elisa.”
“Hi Maud,” said Elisa. “I, uh, wanted to ask you something.”
“Go on,” Maud replied.
“Well, we sort of heard--”
“Brooklyn told us you were attacked last night!” Twilight interrupted Elisa.
“Oh.” Maud paused for a few seconds before continuing. “A stallion did attack me, but Brooklyn fought him off.” Though it was hard to tell, it seemed like she didn’t want to talk about it.
“Yes, brave, strong Brookie fought off the baddies!” Pinkie said with admiration.
“I know, I know. Could you tell me what he looks like?” Twilight asked, pulling out a scroll and a pen.
“Why?” Maud asked.
“Maud, if this stallion is dangerous, we should find out who he is,” Elisa explained. “He could still be out there. We need to know what he looks like so we can be on the lookout for him.”
“Okay,” Maud simply replied.
“Well?” Pinkie asked.
Maud cleared her throat. “He’s a unicorn stallion. He’s white.”
“Go on…” Pinkie pulled on a Sherlock Holmes-style hat.
“He wears glasses,” Maud continued.
“Does he look like a bitch?” Pinkie suddenly shouted.
“What?” Maud said, still unperturbed.
Pinkie slammed her hoof down on the floor. “DOES HE LOOK… LIKE… A BITCH?!”
“Pinkie, calm down!” Twilight interrupted. “We’re not interrogating her!”
“Aw, but that was fun!” Pinkie frowned.
“Now, go on,” said Elisa with a slight chuckle, as this outburst reminded her of a movie she’d seen back home.
Having her train of thought thrown off its rails into a violent wreck by Pinkie’s sudden outburst, Maud shook her head and continued. “He has very short blonde mane, and talks with a slight accent.”
“Hm, that sounds like Mr. Goodfellow!” Twilight said.
“Who?” Elisa asked.
“Goodfellow,” Twilight repeated. “He’s a stallion I’ve seen around town recently. I don’t really know much about him, but he does seem very quiet and a little suspicious. Apparently his hoof got into an accident. When I shook it, it felt cold and hard as rock, but he never really elaborated on that.”
Maud thought silently for a second. Elisa decided to interrupt. “Well, if you see this stallion, please let us know. We have to figure out why he did that and stop him before he tries to do something like that again.”
“Okay,” Maud replied. She turned around and started heading for the door.
“Maud!” Elisa called to her. The gray mare stopped and looked back. “Congratulations.”
Maud hummed her approval before continuing out the rest of the way.
As Maud began walking to Sugarcube Corner, she thought about what she would do. How would her relationship with Brooklyn change if they were to keep going out? What would happen when she had to go back to the farm? How would her parents and other sisters react to this? And what would she do when she went into her monthly heat in a few weeks?
All of these questions would have to wait, though, as she spotted a familiar stallion walking through Ponyville. It was Goodfellow, the stallion who had attacked her last night!
He seemed to be trotting away from the town limits, passing by other ponies in the crowd. Maud would’ve run back to the library to let Twilight and Elisa know about it, but she was too far away from the library, and by the time they got back here, Goodfellow would no doubt be gone.
Maud began following him, seeing where he went or what he did as he headed through the town. She made sure to stay far enough behind Goodfellow that he wouldn’t know he was being followed.
As they reached the town boundary, they passed fewer and fewer ponies, so Maud had to be more inventive to keep Goodfellow from seeing her. She remembered how well she had played hide-and-seek with her sisters and was pretty good at finding cover. Her quiet manner also helped.
But she balked once she realized that Goodfellow was heading straight into the Everfree Forest. She wondered to herself how any stallion could just walk in that dark, spooky forest without a second thought about it. As she followed, she made sure to stay away from the bright blue-colored flowers--the poison joke plants--for her sister had written to her about the effects they’d had on her.
Soon, she saw a clearing opening up ahead and hid behind a tree so Goodfellow wouldn’t see her. She watched as he crossed a rickety rope bridge to the other side, where an old castle stood. Maud recognized the abandoned and ruined Castle of the Two Sisters. When Goodfellow entered, Maud knew this would be a good time to turn around…
…only to see Goodfellow suddenly appear next to her. “Hello again,” he said with a clipped accent.
“What?” Before Maud had time to wonder, Goodfellow blew a bluish powder in her face. Maud began to feel wonky, and darkness crawled across her closing eyes. Before she went down with a crash, Maud thought about Brooklyn one last time.
She hit the ground and everything went black.
“How’s it going, Miss Mayor?” Elisa asked as the gray-haired mare was exiting Town Hall.
The Mayor looked up and smiled at Elisa. With Elisa being the town’s new resident detective and only human police officer so far, the Mayor knew to let her in. To affirm this, Elisa was joined by Twilight Sparkle and Pinkie Pie, two of the bearers of the Elements of Harmony.
“Why good evening, Detective Maza!” the Mayor greeted. “And to you too, Twilight and Pinkie!”
Twilight nodded in response as she used her magic to open the door. Elisa and Pinkie started to enter.
“Uh, just a second!” the Mayor interrupted.
Elisa looked back. “Yes?”
“I wanted to ask you about something.” The Mayor leaned in close and asked with some authority in her voice. “You seem to show up here every evening. What exactly do you do in here while I’m gone?”
Elisa was not prepared to answer questions like this one. “Um, well, you see…”
“The police station has assigned her to do some work in here!” Pinkie quickly improvised. “You have no need to worry, Miss Mayor!”
A little confused, the mare raised an eyebrow. “Are you sure? This is where I work. I don’t want Ponyville’s security compromised.”
“And it won’t be, I assure you, Mayor,” Pinkie said, now talking in an ominous voice. “We have top men working on it right now.”
“Who?” the Mayor asked skeptically.
Pinkie stared directly in the mare’s eyes now. “Top… men.”
Elisa nodded. “You have nothing to worry about. Everything is under control.”
“Okay…” The Mayor’s voice still sounded suspicious as she walked away. Elisa let out a sigh of relief, and she, Twilight, and Pinkie entered the building and started walking up the stairs.
“Thanks a ton for helping me out, Pinkie.”
“You’re welcome!” Pinkie gleefully said.
“Sorry I couldn’t help,” Twilight apologized. “Trust me, I know what could happen if the town found out about the gargoyles.”
“It’s okay! I couldn’t come up with a response, either.” Elisa looked at the horizon. The sun was setting. “Let’s head upstairs; our friends should wake up any minute now.”
As if on cue, they heard a series of growls from a few floors up. Elisa smiled. “That never gets old.”
After waking up, the first thing Brooklyn did was look around the deck for Maud.
“Maud?” he called out. “Maud?”
“You looking for your marefriend?” Broadway teased.
“She’s not my… ugh, never mind.” Brooklyn shook his head. “I knew you would mock me about this.”
“Don’t worry, we’ll always be here for you--Brookie!” Lex laughed.
About that time, Elisa, Twilight and Pinkie stepped out onto the deck.
“I hope you enjoyed your rest as usual,” Elisa greeted.
“Elisa, have you seen Maud?” Brooklyn asked concernedly.
“Um, no, why?” Elisa was confused about this. “Well, earlier today Twilight and I talked to her--”
“And me too!” Pinkie added.
“--but not any more recently than that.” Elisa shook her head. “Was I supposed to have seen her?”
“I bet he just misses her,” said Twilight.
“No, it’s not that!” Brooklyn interrupted. “Well, okay, I do sort of miss her, but it’s more than that. Before the sun came up, she said she’d be here when I awakened.”
Elisa chuckled. “Oh, young lovers. Well, Brooklyn, I’m sure she just forgot.”
The red gargoyle shook his head. “Nuh-uh. Maud wouldn’t forget something like this.”
“He’s right!” Pinkie chimed in. “Maud isn’t one to forget!”
“Well, maybe she’s running just a little late!” Twilight suggested. “You shouldn’t worry. She’ll probably be here in a few minutes!”
The human, ponies and gargoyles went inside and left Brooklyn thinking; something still bothered him. This doesn’t seem like her. She’s always on time whenever we meet. Eh, bet I’m overthinking it. Twilight’s probably right. She’ll be here in a few minutes.
“A few minutes…” Brooklyn repeated as he followed them inside.
A few minutes later, Maud still wasn’t there. Brooklyn shook his head.
“This isn’t right.”
“What’s not right, Brookie?” He heard Pinkie’s voice behind him.
“Oh, hi, Pinkie Pie.” Brooklyn was a little surprised by her sudden appearance, but during the past few days he had grown to expect anything from Pinkie.
“Pinkie,” he began, “have you seen Maud today? Apart from when you, Elisa and Twilight met with her earlier.”
“Hm…” Pinkie tried to think back. “Nope! Though I didn’t check in her bed to see if she was still asleep.”
Brooklyn thought back to the previous night, to the stallion who had attacked them. He wondered if something bad had happened to Maud.
“That’s it, I’m going.”
The young gargoyle rushed back to the door to the outside.
“To look for Maud.” He pushed open the door and stepped onto the deck.
“Ooh, a search party! One of my favorite types of parties!” Pinkie reached into her mane and pulled out a flashlight, causing Brooklyn to do a double-take.
“Did you just pull that out of your hair?” he asked in wonder.
“Pull what out of my hair?” Pinkie replied in an innocent tone. Brooklyn blinked, then shook his head.
“Never mind. Grab on.”
He squatted down and Pinkie grabbed onto him. Then he stood up and took off.
After slowly gliding past Sugarcube Corner and peering into the window of the guest room, Brooklyn and Pinkie confirmed that Maud was not, in fact, in her room. The two then continued on to the logical place, where Maud met Brooklyn and where they still hung out most often: the park.
The gargoyle and pony called out, “Maud!” a few times and searched everywhere for her, but so far it was to no avail. Brooklyn sighed.
“We’ll never find her.”
Pinkie, somehow grasping the flashlight in her mane and aiming it forward, smiled at Brooklyn. “Don’t worry, Brookie! She’ll be okay and you and she will be together again!”
“Sure hope so…”
Brooklyn then heard a twig snap. He quickly turned around and saw something move.
“Hello?” he shouted in the direction of the movement. He stepped forward. “Show yourself!”
The thing hid behind a cluster of bushes, and Brooklyn growled, his eyes glowing. He lunged at the bushes, tackling something. Though his grasp was tight, whatever it was struggled even harder and managed to slip away with the sound of ripping fabric.
Pinkie ran to Brooklyn. “Did you see something suspicious?” she asked.
Brooklyn stood up and brushed himself off. “More than that. I tackled something--someone, I should say--but I don’t know who it was. It certainly didn’t feel like a pony.” He looked back at Pinkie to notice her face bore a shocked expression. “Pinkie, what is it?”
He looked in the direction of her gaze to see something he never thought he’d see in Equestria: an unknown gargoyle. Her wings were wide open, and she was slowly backing away, breathing heavily. Brooklyn could see that she wore a tattered and torn dress--blue in color, though faded and covered with dirt. But the part he noticed the most was that her head didn’t look like a regular gargoyle’s, but rather a pony. One pony in particular, as her lavender mane shone in the reflection of the flashlight and her turquoise eyes stared back in a manner that showed both fear and recognition.
Of Night and Stone By Kirb Chapter Fourteen Accusations, Adaptation, and Anarchy (Part 1)
The gray gargoyle looked back at Pinkie and Brooklyn, covering her face from the flashlight’s light. Seconds passed in an ominous silence before Brooklyn finally decided to step forward.
“Maud, is that you?”
The gargoyle flinched upon recognizing her name, then instantly ran behind the bushes.
“Hey!” Brooklyn jumped forward and chased after her.
“Wait up!” Pinkie said, running behind Brooklyn.
He looked behind the bushes but couldn’t find Maud. Just then, he heard a rustling behind him and, without thinking, turned around, lunged forward, and pounced. There was a bit of a struggle as Pinkie showed up and shined the flashlight on what Brooklyn had caught.
“A-ha!” Pinkie shouted, then looked closer. “Um, Brookie? This isn’t Maud.”
Brooklyn looked down to see that he was holding onto two very familiar stallions.
“Oh man, it’s the fuzz!” the yellow stallion exclaimed with his heavy Mexican accent. “We were framed, I swear man!”
“Whoops!” Brooklyn let the two stallions go. “It’s you guys again! Sorry about that.”
The yellow stallion stood up and brushed himself off. “Oh, I remember you! From the concert! How you doing, amigo?”
“Uh, could be better actually.” Brooklyn still found it awkward to have a casual conversation with two stallions who seemed to have no problem with--or not even notice--him being a gargoyle.
“Wait, who are you again?” the turquoise stallion asked as he brushed himself off.
“I’m Brooklyn, remember?”
“Who?” The turquoise stallion seemed not to remember.
“Brooklyn? From the concert last night?”
The turquoise stallion paused, then said, “Brooklyn’s not here, man.”
Brooklyn raised an eyebrow. “No man, I’m Brooklyn!”
“Who?” the turquoise stallion asked again.
It was Pinkie’s turn to enter the conversation. “Hey, we’re looking for my sister, Maud! Have you seen her?”
“Maud’s not here either!” the turquoise stallion answered.
Brooklyn rolled his eyes. “Well thanks for the help anyway, I’m sure we--”
“Hey, hold on!” the yellow stallion interrupted. “Ain’t Maud the chica you were with last night?”
“Yeah?” Brooklyn asked hopefully.
“We saw her a second ago!” The yellow stallion pointed to a cluster of trees to his left. “I think she went over there! She looks a little different though. Did she get a new haircut?”
Brooklyn turned in the direction the yellow stallion had pointed. “Thanks for the help!” he called back to them.
“No hay problema, man!”
Pinkie followed alongside Brooklyn. “Who were they?”
“Two guys we met at the concert. Could you shine your flashlight on the ground?”
With the light of Pinkie’s flashlight, they could see a series of clawprints, which they followed across the park until the prints disappeared.
“They just end here,” Brooklyn muttered. “Where could she be?”
“Why don’t you fly up there to get a bird’s eye view?” Pinkie asked.
“Sorry, Pinkie.” Brooklyn shook his head. “Gargoyles don’t fly--we only glide. Though I could climb up this tree to get a better look.”
He dug his claws into the side of the closest tree, making a sound of crunching wood every time they thrust in, and started pulling himself up. On the ground, Pinkie followed his path to the upper branches with her flashlight.
“Um, Brookie?” Pinkie called up to him.
“Now’s not a good time!” Brooklyn called back, stepping onto a branch and looking back down.
“But I think she might be closer than you think!” she replied.
“Huh?” When he looked to his right, he saw the gray gargoyle, who hissed at him as her eyes glowed red. About then, the branch began to break with a cracking noise, and the two gargoyles fell to the ground. Luckily, Brooklyn landed on his feet, but Maud wasn’t so lucky, hitting the ground on her back with a thud.
“Ugh…” Maud groaned.
Brooklyn quickly scrambled over to Maud and squatted on top of her, pinning her to the ground so she wouldn’t move. “Maud, it’s me, Brooklyn, remember?”
Maud glared into Brooklyn’s eyes once more, her own eyes glowing red, before shutting them and looking away. “Go away…”
Brooklyn shook his head. “Not happening, Maud. You tell me what happened.”
Maud didn’t answer for a second, and then, “I’m a freak.”
“No you’re not!” Brooklyn insisted. “You’re surrounded by the two who care about you the most: your sister, and your… coltfriend.” He paused before saying this; it took a lot to admit to that. “Now look at me. We’d never think you’re a freak.”
Maud turned her head back and looked into Brooklyn’s eyes. He smiled, and Pinkie appeared over his shoulder. Maud sighed. “It has been a rough night,” the once-pony, now gargoyle muttered, sitting up.
“C’mon, Maud.” Brooklyn helped Maud to her feet. “Let’s go to Town Hall.”
It was a typical night at Town Hall. Hudson had the night shift, Twilight and Lex were hanging out in Lex’s corner, and everything was alright. It was about that time when they heard a heavy “THUD!” outside.
Elisa stood up. “What was that?” She ran to the door and looked outside.
Brooklyn stepped in. “Pinkie and I are back.” The pink pony followed him inside, bouncing along behind him.
“I assume you found Maud?” Elisa asked.
“Well, yes and no.” Brooklyn looked back. “Come on in, Maud.”
A few seconds later, the gargoyle entered the room. Elisa gasped. This prompted everyone else nearby to look up at Maud.
“They are staring at me, Brooklyn.”
“It’s okay, they’re just surprised about your new form.”
Many of the gargoyles stood up, including Goliath, who walked up next to Elisa.
“You act like you have never seen a gargoyle before,” said Maud.
“Um, we’ve just never seen you as a gargoyle,” Elisa replied.
“What happened?” Goliath asked. They were all pushing in closer around Maud and Brooklyn.
“Give her some space!” Brooklyn commanded. He grabbed Maud by the hand and pulled her inside. She stumbled as she walked.
“I am not yet used to walking on two hooves… feet,” Maud admitted. “I am not used to gliding, either.”
“So that’s what that crashing noise was,” Elisa muttered.
At this point, Twilight and Lex returned to the main room. “We heard a crash!” Twilight exclaimed. “What hap--Maud?!”
“Uh-oh,” Maud muttered.
Twilight ran closer to Maud. “Ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygosh! Maud! You’re a gargoyle! What happened? How did it happen? We’ll need to run some tests immediately! I must write a letter to Princess Celestia!”
“Oh jalapeña,” Brooklyn groaned. “She makes Pinkie Pie sound like an audiobook.”
“Hey!” Pinkie and Twilight simultaneously said, then looked at each other and blushed, grinning sheepishly.
“That’s Maud?!” Lex exclaimed. “When did she turn into a gargoyle?”
“I… don’t remember very well.” Maud looked down. “I saw that Goodfellow guy who attacked me last night. Today, I followed him, but as I began to turn around, somehow he caught me… I don’t remember anything else, but when I woke up, I was a gargoyle.”
Goliath turned to Elisa. “Elisa, I think I know who is behind this.”
“I have a feeling, too,” said Elisa. “Are you thinking it’s Xanatos?”
Goliath nodded. “But it doesn’t make any sense because Dr. Sevarius isn’t in this world as far as I know. Unless there was another portal, but that wouldn’t make any sense either since Puck created the first one and came through with us.”
“I agree,” Elisa replied. She looked up and down at Maud. “Besides, she doesn’t look like the other mutates, and is more like a regular gargoyle.”
“Stop staring,” Maud said. This was uncomfortable, even for her.
“I apologize,” Goliath replied. “We are just trying to figure out what happened.”
“We know it has something to do with that Goodfellow, but whatever the connection is, I have no idea,” Twilight added.
“Do you think Maud will be able to turn back into a pony?” Pinkie asked anxiously.
“I don’t know, Pinkie,” Elisa answered with a frown. Pinkie frowned too.
“But if she can’t,” Goliath added, “then I am sure the rest of us will be willing to accept her into our clan.” The other gargoyles nodded in agreement and called out their welcome. Goliath smiled. “Then it is settled. Elisa, you and Twilight go and see if you can find out anything.”
Elisa and Twilight turned around and headed out the door to the stairs. The gargoyles took this time to return to doing what they had been doing… mostly.
One of them wandered up. “Hello, Maud was it? I’m Angela, I suppose Brooklyn has mentioned me to you.” She held out her clawed hand, which Maud hesitantly shook. “I’m sure the two of us will get along just fine, since it’s kind of a sausage fest in here.”
“I’m sure,” Maud replied. It was hard for Angela to tell if that was sarcastic or not, since Maud displayed no emotion, which Angela found weird.
“Well, okay!” Angela led Maud outside, onto the deck. Meanwhile, Brooklyn stayed inside, uneasily standing in the middle of the room, looking around awkwardly. He had planned on trying to talk to Maud, but it seemed Angela had gotten to the once-pony first.
“I see you’re lonely again,” he heard a voice tease him. He immediately recognized it as Lex.
“Ugh, go away, Lex,” Brooklyn replied, not even bothering to look at his rookery brother.
“C’mon, talk to me! Broadway’s back here too.”
Brooklyn sighed as he followed Lex to his corner. He didn’t feel like talking to Broadway and Lex right then, but he did want some help in his situation.
“May I come along too, Brookie!” Pinkie started happily trotting next to Brooklyn, who raised an eyebrow.
“You’re awfully happy for someone whose sister might permanently be a gargoyle.”
“I don’t know, Brookie! Only readership response can determine that!”
Brooklyn stopped in his tracks for a second, and thought about what Pinkie just said. Readership… huh?
Pinkie looked back. “You coming, Brookie?”
He blinked a few times, then shook his head. “Here I come.”
Pinkie and Brooklyn arrived at Lex’s corner where Broadway and Lex were already waiting. Brooklyn looked down at Lex’s motorcycle.
“Wow, Lex! You’ve made some progress. Not bad.”
“Hands off! I don’t want you wrecking this one like you did with the last one.”
Brooklyn smiled sheepishly. “Trust me, I’ve learned my lesson about that.”
Pinkie studied the vehicle. “Huh! This motorcycle appears to be modeled after a 1992 Harley-Davidson chopper, with the Evolution engine--good gas mileage! Great for anypony who wants a midnight drive!”
The other gargoyles were in shock. How would Pinkie know that? She looked up. “What?”
The three shrugged, then Lex changed the subject. “So Brooklyn, how are you doing lately?”
“I’ve been okay,” Brooklyn replied.
“Anything you want to talk about?” asked Broadway.
“No, not really.”
There was a long pause before Lex spoke up again. “So how are you feeling about all this?”
“Oh!” Brooklyn looked back at Lex’s creation. “Well, I agree with Pinkie, you did an awesome job on the bike and I think it would be great to drive if we could find some gasoline.”
“…I wasn’t talking about the motorcycle, Brooklyn.”
Another long pause. Broadway broke the silence. “Gosh, the elephant in the room is so large that I can practically see it.”
“There’s an elephant in the room?” Pinkie looked around. “Where? Where? I like elephants! Do you think it got lost from the circus?” At this, the three gargoyles couldn’t help but laugh. Pinkie looked at them. “What’s so funny?”
“Pinkie, it’s an expression,” said Brooklyn. “It means something that is really obvious, but nobody wants to talk about.”
“Aw…” Pinkie pouted. “I wanted to see a real elephant.”
“Anyway, guys, I don’t see the problem with Maud being a gargoyle,” Brooklyn said. “We’ve already discussed about making her a part of the clan.”
“You’re really missing the point, aren’t you, Brooklyn?” asked Lex.
Brooklyn shrugged. “What point?”
“Well, she’s a gargoyle now,” Broadway replied.
“I know, but what does that have to do with anything?” Brooklyn asked, still confused.
“And you’re a gargoyle, too.”
Lex folded up his left hand into an O shape, and put the index claw of his right hand into the O. “We’re talking about sex, Brooklyn.”
Brooklyn’s eyes widened. “What?”
Broadway smirked. “Since you and she are both gargoyles now, that should make mating with her a lot less uncomfortable, right?”
Brooklyn blinked a few times. “What?!”
“Doing the shmiggity, making whoopie, making her bedrock…” Lex listed.
“Heh, nice rock pun!” Broadway and Lex did a fist bump.
Brooklyn paused before repeating, “WHAT?!”
“SAY ‘WHAT’ AGAIN!” Pinkie shouted at him. “I DARE YOU! I DOUBLE DARE YOU!”
Brooklyn backed away, surprised. “Look, you guys, I don’t know where you got this idea in your head, but…”
“Oh, it’s just been so obvious to us for the longest time,” Lex said. “You and she began dating a while ago, which was step one in your relationship. Step two was admitting you liked her, step three was making out. Now the next step is obviously pursuing your relationship a little further.”
“And obviously it’s made much easier now that you and she are the same species,” Broadway continued.
Brooklyn held up his hands dismissively. “Look, guys--”
Pinkie interrupted him. “And then you and Maud can hatch half-gargoyle, half-pony foals and you’ll be so happy!”
Brooklyn groaned. “Pinkie…”
Pinkie backed off. “Yes, Brookie?”
“You three all need to calm down,” Brooklyn replied. “I’m not sure Maud is into that--it’s hard to tell what she’s into, honestly! I’m just saying, if she is, we can deal with that when the time comes.”
“I don’t know, Brooklyn,” Broadway said. “When the time comes, you can always talk to me for advice--Angela and I have been together long enough to know all about that!”
“I know, Broadway.”
“Remember,” Lex replied, “if you don’t take the opportunity now, it may never happen again.”
Brooklyn sighed. “Thanks, guys.” He turned around to leave.
Well, THAT was a waste of time.
Elisa and Twilight were headed down the stairs of the Town Hall building. Both of them knew something needed to be done, but neither of them knew what.
“So, Twilight,” Elisa spoke up, “got any ideas?”
Twilight sighed. “Honestly, I’m all out. As much as I want to help Pinkie and her sister, I don’t know what to do in a situation like this.”
“Well, do you have any spells that can make her transform back into a pony?”
“I have one, yes, but it’s only temporary--it will wear off, and from what I can tell it’s a higher form of magic, so I wouldn’t be able to do that unless I became an alicorn.”
“Is there anybody you know who can help us figure out for sure what happened to cause this?”
“Well, there is Zecora.”
“A zebra. She lives in the Everfree Forest and knows a lot of things about the lesser known powers, and it would be easy if this were a simple case of poison joke, but I doubt that’s the case. Besides, these aren’t ponies we’re dealing with, these are gargoyles, a species unknown to Equestria and all the lands around.”
“Damn.” The two of them arrived at the bottom of the staircase and continued to the front doors. “Well, if worse comes to worse, the gargoyles said they’d be welcome Maud with open arms.” Elisa opened the front door. “Speaking of which, she seems to be taking this whole ‘becoming a gargoyle’ thing rather well.”
“To be fair, she doesn’t really emote at anything at all,” replied Twilight.
“Now that’s true.”
Once they were outside, they heard a voice. “Hold it!” Twilight and Elisa turned around to see the Mayor standing behind them.
“Miss Mayor!” Elisa greeted.
“Stop right there, you two!” the Mayor commanded. “I know something is up. I heard you talking. What are the gargoyles?”
“The gargoyles?” Elisa paused. “Um, you must have misheard--”
“No, I definitely heard correctly,” the Mayor replied. She backed away from Elisa and Twilight and pointed up to the deck of the building. “And even if I did mishear, how does that explain those things?”
Elisa gulped and looked at the deck from where the Mayor was standing. Sure enough, it was easy to see Angela and Maud talking.
“And why has Maud transformed into one of them?” the Mayor asked. “You’d better start answering!”
Twilight walked up to the Mayor. “Miss Mayor, I can explain. I…”
She stopped. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a very familiar pony: it was none other than Goodfellow, walking through the streets like it was nobody’s business. Twilight frowned. “Excuse me for a moment, Miss Mayor.”
Goodfellow heard the sound of hoofsteps approaching him, but did not think anything of it; by the time he finally did, Twilight pounced on him and knocked him to the ground. She held him pinned to the ground with her magic aura.
“You!” she shouted at him. “You were the cause of all this!”
“Ah, Miss Twilight,” Goodfellow replied, seeming unfazed.
“Don’t ‘Miss Twilight’ me!”
“Wait, who is that?” the Mayor asked, confused.
“Now tell me who you really are!” Twilight commanded.
Goodfellow sighed. “You might want to back away…” Another magical aura appeared around Goodfellow. Twilight gasped and jumped aside as the aura completely engulfed him in a flash of bright light. Elisa, the Mayor, and Twilight turned their heads from the flash.
When the light died down, Goodfellow was gone. Standing in his place was a humanoid creature, with a sharp, angular chin; large, elf-like ears; and long, white hair. He smiled a sinister smile as Twilight and the Mayor looked at him with confusion. Elisa, on the other hand, shuddered, immediately recognizing him from back on Earth.
He jumped into the air and shouted, “HEEEEEEEEEEEERE’S PUCK!”
Of Night and Stone By Kirb Chapter Fifteen Accusations, Adaptation, and Anarchy (Part 2)
“Hey!” Twilight snapped. “Watch your language!”
The trickster, who was floating in front of them just outside of Town Hall, stopped for a second. “What? Did I say something offensive?”
Elisa glared at him. “Puck! I should have known it was you!”
“Stop that!” Twilight said to Elisa.
“Stop what?” Elisa’s face bore a look of sincere confusion.
“I’m not swearing, Twilight.”
“Yes, you are! Both of you keep saying… that word!”
“I’m confused,” the Mayor replied. “Who is Puck?”
“There!” Twilight pointed at the Mayor. “She said it, too!”
Elisa groaned. “No, Twilight. We’re saying Puck, not… that other word.”
Twilight paused. “Puck?”
“Yes,” Puck’s arms were crossed. “That’s my name, Puck.”
A blush spread across Twilight’s face. “Hehe, oops.”
Elisa rolled her eyes. “As I was saying, Puck, I should have known it was you!”
“Yes, you really should have.” Puck chuckled. “What else could it be, really?”
“Honestly, in this world it could be a number of things,” Twilight answered matter-of-factly. “Poison joke, a temporary magic spell cast by an alicorn, Discord’s return…”
“Okay, okay, I get it,” Puck answered as he floated next to Twilight. “Still, though, you have to admit you haven’t seen anyone--or anypony--exactly like me.”
“Actually, you’re pretty similar to Discord in a few ways…”
“No I’m not.”
“Wait, Puck is this guy’s name?” the Mayor asked, finally putting it together. “As in, a hockey puck? That’s a pretty dumb name…”
“Stop it!” Puck shouted. “You three are almost making this not fun for me.”
“Well, sorry to ruin your fun,” Elisa began, “but how are you doing all this? I was told that Oberon, king of the third race, stopped you from using your powers unless you were training young Alexander.”
“Mmm, yes, it would seem he did that,” Puck replied, floating over to Elisa. “Oh, but my dear Elisa, when will you learn that when it comes to unknown dimensions, there are always loopholes to even the best made contracts?”
“What do you mean?”
“Precisely that we are in a dimension that even Oberon is unfamiliar with. His power has no meaning or binding here, in this world of Celestial worship and completely different laws of physics where even the sun and moon are controlled differently. Supposing he finds out about this world, maybe Oberon has some power over me. But until then? I’m free as a bird, and this trickster you cannot change!”
“Ugh, great. As if this wasn’t bad enough, you have to reference Lynyrd Skynyrd songs.” Frustrated, Elisa rubbed her temples. It was Twilight who spoke next.
“Puck, why have you used your powers on Maud?”
“Oh, have I now?” Puck pouted in mock sadness. “Little old moi?”
“Don’t play all innocent on us, Puck. Maud told us what you did.”
“Oh alright, so maybe I did make a few changes,” Puck finally admitted while shrugging goofily. “Anyway, what difference does it make? All I wanted to do was help out our dear old Brooklyn in his relationship! Is that so wrong?”
Elisa glared at him. “I knew Xanatos was up to trouble, but I had no idea he would--”
“Now hold on just a minute!” Puck held out his hands in front of him. “What makes you think Mr. Xanatos would have anything to do with this? This was all my own choice.”
“Oh, that makes it even better,” Elisa sarcastically remarked.
“No, really! All of this is my own choice! I may serve Mr. Xanatos, but I am still Puck, and I can still do what I want.”
“Prove it, then,” Elisa commanded. “Make Maud like the others again.”
“With pleasure.” Puck cleared his throat, and then began reciting a spell.
“Elisa hath no satisfaction, Thus the time is now to take action, Dusk to dawn, clouds to sky, Make the other ponies be like Maud Pie!”
There was a large, blinding flash of white light.
Brooklyn stepped out onto the balcony of Town Hall to see Maud talking to Angela. Upon a closer listen, he found that Maud was finishing a poem.
“…smooth and round, asleep in the ground. Shades of brown and gray… hello, Brooklyn.”
“Well hi, girls,” Brooklyn said with a grin. Seeing his former crush and his current marefriend, now a gargoyle, was a nice sight. It was ruined when Angela suddenly turned to Brooklyn with a near-crazed expression on her face.
“Brooklyn! Great, you’re here!”
Brooklyn raised an eyebrow. “Angela, are you alright? You don’t look so good.”
“Yes, I’m fine! Really! Why don’t you talk to Maud now?”
She leaned in and whispered to him. “How in Avalon are you able to put up with her?! All she ever talks about are rocks!”
Brooklyn smiled. “Spend some time with her and she’ll open up to you.”
Angela rolled her eyes. “I’m sure. Jalapeña,” she groaned as she all too eagerly ran back inside.
“Why did she use a type of pepper as a swear word?” Maud asked.
Brooklyn walked up to her. “It’s a long story… honestly kind of stupid.” He faced away from her and looked around awkwardly. Had he had lips, he would be whistling to pass time in this awkward moment. Where to begin… where to begin… Finally, he turned to her and spoke. “Soooo… you’re still a gargoyle.”
Maud looked up at him blankly, as if to say, ‘No duh, Sherlock.’ Brooklyn looked away once more.
“Yeah, that was kind of obvious.” After another awkward pause, Brooklyn looked back at her. “Hey, Maud?”
No response. Brooklyn continued.
“Now that you’re, y’know, a gargoyle and everything…”
Maud still didn’t respond.
“Do you think that… uhm, maybe this will, will--”
Brooklyn caught his breath, then tried to continue. “Maybe it will… will, I mean, if you want to, it will… do you think it will--”
“Will make our relationship a little less awkward?” she answered.
“Well… yes, that’s it.” Brooklyn mentally swore at himself for his lousy choice of words.
“Yes, I think that may happen,” Maud finally replied.
“Oh. Well, good!” Brooklyn stepped closer to her, but she backed away. He frowned. “Hey, what gives?”
Maud looked back at him. “It’s just really sudden. I don’t like being a gargoyle. I know you may prefer it this way, but--” She was cut off by a sudden flash of white light, which engulfed everything around for a few seconds. When the light died down, Maud looked around. “What was that?”
“I don’t know,” said Brooklyn. “Nothing seems too differe--”
Just then, they heard a loud screech of “AAAAAAAAA!” from inside Town Hall, recognizable as Pinkie Pie’s voice. The two of them ran to the door.
“Pinkie, what is it?” Maud asked as she opened the door.
Standing in the middle of the room, with all the other gargoyles looking at her, was a bright pink gargoyle. She had a poofy mane and a pony-like head, as well as the same recognizable blue eyes and high-pitched voice. Brooklyn and Maud took in this bizarre sight and realized that Pinkie, too, had transformed into a gargoyle.
And was completely naked.
Brooklyn’s eyes grew wide and he quickly looked away. “Pinkie?!” he exclaimed.
“Not you too,” Maud muttered. She walked up and placed her claws on Pinkie’s shoulders. “Calm down, sister.”
Pinkie screamed for a few more seconds, then stopped and said, “Okay!” with a grin.
Goliath ran to the front of the crowd. “What’s going o--oh.” A blush spread across his face. “Ohhh myyyy…”
When the blinding light of the spell died down outside Town Hall, Elisa looked around, and was shocked to find that the two ponies next to her were missing. Or rather, not missing--they were still there, but they were both now gargoyles.
The Mayor looked around, first at Elisa, then at Twilight, and asked, “What is this madness?!”
Twilight looked at the Mayor, and stifled a laugh. “Erm, Miss Mayor?” she began. “You do realize you’re mostly nude, right?”
The older gargoyle looked down at her body--all she was wearing was her white collar, teal tie, and spectacles. Her face turned bright red as she realized that her lack of fur left certain parts uncovered, and in shame she wrapped her new wings around her body.
“Uh, Twilight, hate to say it, but you’re entirely nude,” Elisa whispered.
Twilight looked down and blushed, and covering her body with her own wings. Meanwhile, Puck was snickering at all of this as he floated around them. Elisa glared at him now.
“Puck, now you’ve really done it!”
“Oh, what?” Puck replied with a shrug. “You told me to make her like the others, did you not?”
Elisa groaned. “Ugh… Puck, you know what I meant…”
“WHAT’S GOING ON?!” the Mayor shouted. “I don’t like this!”
Twilight angrily approached Puck. “Enough with this nonsense!” she shouted. “I’ll have you know that my friends and I are bearers of the Elements of Harmony, and if you keep this up, we can--”
“Elements of Harmony? Your biggest weapons are the Elements of Harmony? Pfft, if this was any more girly, everything would be bright pink!” And Puck once again broke out into laughter, sending Twilight into a rage.
“Now look here!” she responded. “The Elements of Harmony are extremely powerful! The draconequus Discord, Spirit of Chaos and Disharmony, went up against us and we turned him into a stone statue!”
“Pfft, you’re really daft, you know that?” Puck floated next to Twilight. “Some random jewels of friendship cannot act as a proper means of defense!”
“Well, it’s worked for us in the past, so I ask you one more time: turn the gargoyles back into ponies!”
Puck shrugged. “Whatever you say, Ms. Pony.” He began to say his spell.
It was at this time that the words Twilight had said fully sunk in for Elisa. Oh no… not this again!
“No, don’t!” Elisa shouted, but was cut off by Puck finishing his spell and the following flash of light.
“Stop looking!” Angela glared at Broadway, who was looking up and down Pinkie’s curvy body.
“It’s kind of hard not to look, she’s standing right in the middle of the room!” Broadway replied. It was then that Hudson walked up behind Brooklyn.
“What d’ ye think, laddie? This is strange an’ unnatural.”
Goliath, deep in thought, hummed, then looked at his second-in-command. “Brooklyn,” he began, “two ponies have become gargoyles tonight. There can be only one behind this.”
Brooklyn frowned. “Puck,” he replied.
Goliath nodded. “And if Puck is here, then so is Xanatos. This is not good.”
“But I thought you and Xanatos were on good terms last time you met him?” Lex asked.
“Yes, since we helped to save his son. But the time just before that, he tried to kill us. Taking ‘a stab at clichéd villainy,’ as he called it. And obviously he knows we are here.”
“That Xanatos sounds like a super weirdo!” Pinkie said, “and not in the good way, either!”
Goliath raised an eyebrow. “You could say that, Ms. Pie. In any case, we need to go look for him. His base of operation must be somewhere nearby.”
Maud spoke up. “I think I might have some idea where he is.”
Goliath nodded. “Then Maud, you and Brooklyn go check it out.”
Maud nodded and headed to the door. “Hey, wait up!” Brooklyn called as he ran after her.
The two gargoyles looked over the city briefly before taking off. As they began flying to the Everfree forest, Brooklyn spoke up. “Maud, are you sure this is--” He was cut off by another flash of light.
Maud looked next to her. “You were saying?” she began, only to find that Brooklyn was no longer there.
“Maud, help!” The voice came from below her. She looked down and found an earth pony falling down. He was frantically waving his forelegs around to no avail. She soon recognized him: the same coat and mane color as Brooklyn, and even still wearing the loincloth.
With one swoop, she snatched him up only seconds before he hit the ground. Brooklyn looked up at her, then down at his hooves.
“OH COME ON!!” he growled. “I’m a pony?! This is just going too far! First you become a gargoyle, and now this?! I’m not even a pegasus! I can’t fly now!”
“You’re welcome for me saving you,” Maud muttered.
“Huh?” Brooklyn looked up at Maud, who despite keeping her blank expression had a hint of anger. He immediately apologized. “Oh, sorry Maud! I didn’t mean anythi--”
“Forget it,” Maud interrupted. “Only one thing matters right now: we need to find Puck, and make him reverse these changes.”
Brooklyn realized that Maud’s expression was not one of anger, but rather one of extreme determination. He nodded, sneering. “You’re right, Maud. Let’s do this!”
When the flash of light subsided, Twilight looked at the Mayor. “Miss Mayor, you’re… still a gargoyle.”
The Mayor looked down and groaned. “Thank you Twilight, how very insightful of you.”
Elisa facepalmed. “Puck, you better not have done what I think you did.”
Puck grinned. “Oh, but I did what Twilight asked! I turned the gargoyles into ponies!”
As if on cue, Goliath’s unmistakably booming scream pierced from the upper floor of Town Hall. “WHAT IS THIS SORCERY?!”
Elisa glared at Puck, who in return asked, “What? It’s a kind of magic!”
“Puck, you know nopony here is going to get that Highlander reference.”
“Highlander? What’s that?” Puck asked in mock confusion.
Twilight lunged into the air to attack Puck… and instead crashing back down on her face. “Ow!”
Mayor Mare swung at Puck’s face next, but he floated out of the way just in time. He floated higher than either of the two ponies and said, “Oh, please. I’ve been around for thousands of years. This is child’s play. I know what every one of you is about to do. Nothing can surprise me!”
And he was promptly knocked to the ground by Maud’s fist. Brooklyn jumped off and landed on top of Puck, and proceeded to pummel the trickster’s face with his front hooves. Maud set down nearby, then walked up to Puck, lying on the ground. Brooklyn moved away from the trickster, and Maud grabbed Puck by the neck to lift him into the air.
“You are trespassing.”
Puck was first surprised, then grinned. “Ah, Ms. Pie. I thought I would be meeting you again.”
Brooklyn hissed. “Why did you turn her into a gargoyle, Puck?”
“Oh, and nice to see you again, Brooklyn. It’s been so long! Never knew you were a romantic, always defending your marefriend.”
At this, Maud tightened her grip around Puck’s neck. “I’ve heard a lot about you, Puck. But it’s time to end this, so here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to return everyone in the town to the forms they were in before you changed them, and you’re going to go back to your boss and never return to Ponyville again.”
Puck struggled to break loose, making choking sounds for a few seconds… then looked back up and grinned. “Oh, seriously? You ponies are really quite boring. You don’t think I can just break away any time I want?”
Maud looked back at her hand… to find it empty. She looked up to see Puck standing right in front of her. With one smash of his fist, he blasted her several feet away and left her lying on her back. Brooklyn lunged at Puck, but he just knocked the pony away. “Ha! You seem to forget that I am an immortal being, a child of Oberon with powers you can’t imagine!”
Twilight groaned as she slowly stood up. “Ugh… definitely a more annoying version of Discord.”
Puck sneered. “I know not of this Discord. But unlike the human world, here Oberon has no control over me. I can do what I want and I serve no pony!”
Just then, an ominous voice sounded from above him. “Think again…”
Puck looked up just in time to see a certain pink gargoyle heading straight for him. Within a few seconds the following happened: Pinkie had tackled Puck to the ground, restrained his hands to keep him from moving, and was now squatting on top of him to ensure there was no chance of escape.
Puck blinked a few times in confusion, trying to figure out what just happened, then looked up and down the pink gargoyle’s naked body and grinned. “I must say, you have me in quite the compromising position.”
“Shut up!” Pinkie shouted at him.
A dazed Brooklyn sat up and rubbed his forehead, then looked at Pinkie. He gasped as he noticed something: her mane was flat. He knew from prior experience that when Pinkie’s mane was flat, it was not a good time to mess with her.
“Nopony messes with my sister…” Pinkie muttered under her breath.
Puck’s eyes darted back and forth between the pink gargoyle and the gray one who lay on the ground, motionless. Realization struck him. “Oh, so that’s your sister then?” Puck laughed. “I only wanted to make things easier for--”
“I never asked you!” Pinkie snapped.
“Oh, what are you going to do?” the grinning Puck questioned. “You cannot stop me! I am a god! And you--” Puck found himself lifted in the air by Pinkie’s hand, as she grabbed Puck by the leg, swung him up in the air, and repeatedly smashed him over and over on the ground.
“YOU’RE NO GOD, YOU’RE JUST A BIG POOPYHEAD!!!” Pinkie screamed as she flung him back and forth against the ground. Brooklyn simply watched in awe.
“Are you alright, Brooklyn?” Elisa asked, squatting next to the red pony. Brooklyn looked up at her.
“Well, I’m a pony…” He glanced back at Pinkie and Puck. “…and my masculinity and toughness have forever been compromised, but otherwise I think I’m alright.”
Pinkie finally threw Puck to the floor. “Now… I want you to change everyone back--”
“No!” Puck weakly stood up. Despite his god status, Pinkie’s wrath and strength came as a surprise to him. He started to take off into the air, but Pinkie lunged at him once more. This time, however, he was ready. He immediately floated out of the way… only for Pinkie to tackle him anyway. Pressed up against the outer wall of Town Hall, Puck saw the pink gargoyle’s fist headed straight toward his face. He moved just enough that the fist would hit the wall… but instead the fist simply followed his movement and collided with his face anyway.
“Huh?” the trickster asked. “But how is this possib--”
He was cut off by Pinkie’s two hands wrapped tightly around his neck. He tried to struggle, but it was as if she knew everything he was about to do!
“Say the spell…” Pinkie growled. “SAY THE SPELL!!!”
“Gaak… urk… okay!” Puck choked out. Pinkie loosened her grip on Puck’s neck enough for him to cough a few times before he began.
“In hope of not being made dead, Now Pinkie doth will this or have my head, Ponies and gargoyles ’cross the land, Be back now as how you began!”
As Puck finished, one more flash of white light filled the land all around. When the light died down, Pinkie looked forward to find that she was no longer gripping Puck, as she was now much smaller and had hooves that could not grip. Elisa looked around and realized that everything seemed back to normal: Brooklyn was a gargoyle once more, and Twilight, the Mayor, and Maud were ponies again.
Puck floated away. “Well, it is clear that I am no longer wanted, so ta-ta!” And with a final flash of light, he disappeared.
“Hey!” Pinkie shouted after him, then lost her balance and fell back down on her face. A few seconds later, her mane and tail puffed up once more, accompanied by the sound of an inflating balloon.
Brooklyn sat back up and brushed himself off, particularly stretching his wings. “Never realized how much I’d miss my wings.” He then looked at Pinkie and asked, “How did you do that?”
Pinkie stood up. “Do what?” she asked. She and he ran to Maud, concerned. The gray pony lay motionless on the ground, her dress torn in several places due to the size change, her eyes closed, and her body very dirty and bruised.
Brooklyn bent down in front of her. “Maud?” he asked. Pinkie leaned in too.
Maud slowly opened her eyes and blinked a few times as they focused. “Oh, you again…” she muttered, then added: “My two favorite faces in the world.”
Brooklyn and Pinkie grinned and helped Maud to her hooves.
“Hey!” the Mayor interrupted. “I hope someone will explain to me what in Equestria that was all about!”
Elisa smiled and led the mare back to the door of Town Hall. “Believe me, we’ll tell you everything. And I’ll introduce you to some friends while I’m at it.”
“Sorry about your dress, by the way,” Brooklyn said to Maud later in the night as he and she sat on top of Sugarcube Corner.
She simply shrugged in response. “It’s just a dress. I have others.”
“Ha ha, yeah…” Brooklyn smiled and stroked Maud’s mane. The pony was curled up in his lap, still wearing her torn dress. He looked across the horizon. The sun wouldn’t rise for a few more minutes, but hints of the approaching daytime were visible. Brooklyn looked back down at Maud and began. “Maud, may I tell you something?”
Barely moving, Maud simply replied, “Never stopped you in the past.”
“Okay.” Brooklyn paused for a second, formulating his thoughts, then continued. “When I found out what happened to you… when Puck turned you into a gargoyle, I was infuriated. Yet at the same time, part of me wanted you to remain a gargoyle.”
Maud looked back up at Brooklyn, who immediately attempted to apologize. “I’m sorry! I really shouldn’t have said anythi--”
“When you were a pony, I almost didn’t want you to change back,” Maud interrupted.
The gargoyle and pony looked back at the view of the town below. It was Brooklyn who spoke next. “Maud, do you think this can work out? You and me, I mean. As a couple. You don’t think that us being different species would make this too strange, do you? Because as far as I’m--”
“Brooklyn,” Maud interrupted again. “Shut up.”
“Right.” Brooklyn looked at the skyline. “I should probably get back to Town Hall.” He stood up, lifting Maud into his arms, and took off, riding the gust of wind.
She looked up at him as he glided, and reached her forelegs around him to hug his neck. Brooklyn looked back down at her and smiled, then looked ahead once more. “I have an idea.”
Before Maud could ask, Brooklyn lifted her close to his face and, while gliding above the town, pressed his beak against her lips. Maud shut her eyes as the wind flew through her hair and she shared this moment with Brooklyn.
After a few seconds, they ended their kiss. Brooklyn smiled down at her, and her face had a hint of a smile as they landed on the deck of Town Hall. The other gargoyles were already getting out and taking their places around the deck’s perimeter.
Brooklyn set Maud down as they landed and gazed out over the town. The sun was about to emerge over the horizon. Brooklyn gave one last smile to Maud before raising his arms and opening his mouth in a dramatic and fearsome pose.
As the sun rose and the gargoyles transformed into their stone forms, Maud looked over the town. Everypony was waking up, getting out of bed and ready to start their days. Meanwhile, Maud would just then be going to bed. This was her life now.
Of Night and Stone By Kirb Chapter Sixteen BONUS CHAPTER: Aftermath
Puck floated away from Ponyville as quickly as he possibly could. He could hear Pinkie Pie’s yells of anger at him, but was luckily far enough away that he couldn’t make out what she had said.
Phew, thank Oberon I’m away from her! I don’t think I could stand to be another minute near that strange pony!
He remembered well. This didn’t happen often, him being so easily taken down by a mortal. What supernatural being must this simple earth pony be descended from that would give her the power to guess everything he was about to do? This was confusing to him and he didn’t like it!
He then floated straight into the warm wet rich greenness of the Everfree Forest at night, where he navigated through the trees and briars until he came to the familiar creaky rope bridge, which he floated across to the former Castle of the Two Sisters. The castle was looking in much better shape than it was a few weeks ago, with many of the stones reformed and placed back in place to make it feel new and pristine again for its current owner.
As he landed, there was another bright flash of light. When it faded away, Puck was gone. Instead, standing where Puck once was, was a human man, tall and slender, wearing glasses and with short blonde hair similar to Mr. Goodfellow’s. He was also clad in a black suit with a red tie, but him most notable feature was his left hand that seemed to be frozen in place as a stone fist.
He walked through the many, many halls of the castle, the familiar smells of an abandoned castle filling every hallway--damp air, dust, plants growing on the inside walls--until he arrived at the throne room. There, sitting in the large throne that had once belonged to Princess Celestia, sat a man in his thirties, over six feet tall, and handsome. He had long brown hair tied back into a ponytail, and a neatly trimmed goatee.
“There you are, Owen,” he said to the man. “I was wondering where you’d disappeared to.”
“I was in Ponyville for a short time,” said Owen, speaking in the same accent as Mr. Goodfellow’s. “I had to deal with some business.”
“Business that you didn’t tell me about?” the other man asked him, sitting up in the chair. “Remember that I’m still your boss, Owen.”
“I know, Mr. Xanatos.” Owen remembered this. “I was finding out some things for you.”
“What more is there to know?” Xanatos asked in response, looking at a pile of books that sat next to his throne. He’d read every one of them, looking at the history of Equestria, the politics, culture, and everything he needed to know. “You’ve given me all these books, and you’ve told me that Elisa and the gargoyles are currently in town.”
“Yes, but I did find out something that might interest you,” said Owen. “It’s about the young gargoyle, Brooklyn. I have reason to believe he has become infatuated with one of the locals.”
As Owen predicted, this piqued Xanatos’ interest. He looked at Owen with a raised eyebrow. “Go on.”
“I assume you have read about the Elements of Harmony. Well, the Element of Laughter, Pinkie Pie, has a sister named Maud. This is the one who Brooklyn has fallen for.”
“A pony?” Xanatos asked, and Owen nodded. “Huh. Well, this is certainly an interesting development. Still, I don’t see how it could help us in our plan.”
“There is something else…”
“It seems the locals know about us.”
“Yes. Detective Maza has informed them of our existence, and they know of me, too.”
Xanatos stood up and furrowed his brow. “Owen, what did you do?”
Despite the frustration he was feeling, Owen kept his calm. “I merely tried to help Brooklyn and Maud Pie with their relationship.”
Xanatos walked up to Owen and glared at him. “The whole story, Owen.”
“Yes. I figured they would be better off if they were the same species, so I decided to turn Maud into a gargoyle.”
At this, Xanatos rubbed his temples and groaned. Owen continued.
“But they didn’t seem to like that, and I was attacked by Maud’s sister, the Element of Laughter. Ms. Pie certainly packs a punch.”
“Enough,” Xanatos interrupted. “This isn’t doing us any favors with the locals. I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to stop using your powers as Puck until further notice.”
Owen nodded. “Yes, Mr. Xanatos,” he said with a hint of bitterness in his voice as he turned around and walked away.
“One more thing, Owen.”
“What is it?”
“Have you figured out how to bring my wife and son here?”
Xanatos frowned. “Okay, go on.” He sighed as he returned to the throne.
“…so that’s the full story?” the Mayor asked Elisa as they talked in her office.
“Yes, as much as I know,” Elisa replied. Her hand went to her face. “I swear, I feel so stupid. How could I not know that Mr. Goodfellow was Puck? The name should’ve been a dead giveaway…”
“Hey, it’s an honest error,” said Twilight, comforting her.
“No, I should know this! I read A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In that, Puck went by the name ‘Robin Goodfellow.’ Why did I forget that?”
“…What’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream?” Twilight asked, confused.
“I’ll have to tell you later.” Elisa yawned. “Well, Miss Mayor?”
The Mayor rubbed her chin. “Hm. Well, this is certainly a strange story. Then again, a lot of crazy stuff happens in this town. Still, though, I don’t know how long we can keep the gargoyles hidden from the town.”
“I know. That’s what worries me. How do you think the town will react to the gargoyles?”
“No idea, Detective. They seem to be fond of you as a contributing member of society. Then again, I remember when Zecora came to town about a year ago, and ponies shunned her for the longest time.”
Elisa frowned. “Zecora’s the zebra, right? You’ve met the gargoyles, they’re a lot more intimidating than zebras. I guess we’ll have to plan a good time to introduce them.”
“This has given me a lot to think about, Detective.” The Mayor leaned back in her chair, rubbing her eyes underneath her glasses. “Right now, I don’t know if I can do my job. I stayed up all night and I’m sleepy as Tartarus.”
“One of the many perks of being a night cop,” said Elisa, heading to the door, followed by Twilight. “Please let me know your final decision.”
The Mayor nodded, then yawned. The door shut behind Twilight and the Mayor blinked a few times, then mumbled under her breath, “Dear Celestia… that Goliath’s voice… I wanna rut him so bad…”
And with that, her head plopped onto her desk and she fell asleep.
Of Night and Stone By Kirb Chapter Seventeen A Change in Location
Pinkie Pie slumped behind the front counter of Sugarcube Corner, looking tired beyond belief. There were bags under her bloodshot eyes, which she struggled to keep open. Her head started slipping down from its place on her right hoof, but she propped it back up. She groaned, knowing she had a long night still ahead of her.
She barely even reacted when the telephone rang, just quietly reached over and picked it up. “Hello, Sugarcube Corner, how may I help you?” she asked, sounding deflated and exhausted.
“Pardon me, who are you looking for?” she asked after a few seconds. “A Mr. Rotch, first name Mike… okay.” She called out to the empty bakery. “Mike Rotch? Has anyone seen Mike Rotch?”
She heard a voice snickering on the other end before the phone clicked, then a dial tone. Pinkie sighed and put the phone down. “That was weird. I hope I can find Mr. Rotch and tell him somepony was looking for him.”
The door chime rang, and Pinkie looked up to see Elisa stepping inside, having to bend over to avoid hitting her head on the door.
“Oh, hi Elisa,” Pinkie said unenthusiastically.
“Hi Pinkie!” Elisa greeted, walking up to the counter. “Say, I know it’s the late afternoon and all, but may I have a blueberry muffin for breakfast?”
“One muffin coming up,” Pinkie sighed and looked around among the shelves to find a muffin.
“Pinkie, are you alright? You look really tired.”
“Sure, I’m fine.”
“You sure?” Elisa frowned. “You don’t look so good.”
“Well, it’s just…” Pinkie grabbed a muffin. “…I’ve been staying up at night to spend time with my sister and Brookie, but then I have to work during the day at Sugarcube Corner. Add in my party-planning time and…”
“And you don’t have much time to sleep,” Elisa finished Pinkie’s sentence. “I know how you feel, I was that way when I first became a detective. Have you asked the Cakes to switch you to a night shift?”
Pinkie sighed as she wrapped the muffin in wax paper and put it in a white paper bag. “Sugarcube Corner isn’t open at night, silly! Nopony would go to a bakery at night, and even if they did, I still have my party-planning during the daytime.”
“I see.” Elisa reached into her pocket for her bag of bits. “Well, you could always switch to planning raves.”
“No, we already have a pony for that.” Pinkie set the bag in front of Elisa. “Now I know how Princess Luna feels, torn between her nocturnal duties and daytime events.”
“Aw.” Elisa paid for the muffin and patted Pinkie on the head. “Well, don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll get used to it.”
Pinkie smiled slightly. “Thanks, Elisa.”
“No problem.” Elisa grabbed the muffin and headed to the door. “See you later!”
“You too.” Now that Elisa was gone, Pinkie sighed, head slumping in her hooves. “Alone again.”
It was then that the phone rang once more. Pinkie looked at it. “I wonder if that’s Mr. Rotch.” She picked it up. “Hello, Sugarcube Corner, how may I help you?”
Her ears perked up upon hearing who it was, and she grinned. “Marble!” Her tired mood was suddenly gone, as she sat up in her chair with the widest of smiles on her face. “It’s been so long! How have you been?”
She could hear the sound of hoofsteps clip-clopping across the floor above her. “Oh, I think she’s awake now! She’ll be down in a second. Anyway, what a surprise getting a phone call from you! I’ve been great! Gosh, how long has it been since we last talked?”
She turned her head to see Maud coming down the stairs, wearing her dress and with her mane still wet from having been showered earlier. She wasn’t wearing her lavender eyeshadow either.
Pinkie continued talking on the phone. “Uh-huh? Oh, Limestone’s so silly! Uh, here she comes!”
“What is it?” Maud asked.
“Maud, it’s Marble!”
Maud’s eyes lit up as she got to the bottom of the stairs. Pinkie enthusiastically handed Maud the phone.
“Hello? It’s nice to talk to you again, too. Calm down, I’ve only been gone for a week. How is Mother doing? Okay. Okay?”
Then she paused. Frowning, she sighed. “Right, I remember. Yes, I will. Okay. No, I’m fine. Yes. Love you too. Goodbye.”
Maud handed the phone back to Pinkie, then walked back upstairs, her hooves thumping and the floorboards creaking as she did so. Pinkie frowned and held the phone up to her head again.
“Hello? Hello? Aw, she hung up!” She put the phone down and headed after her sister. “Maud! Wait for me!”
Brooklyn stood on the Town Hall balcony and watched over Ponyville, lit by the moonlight, as he waited for a certain mare to arrive. The town was quiet save for the usual chirping of crickets.
“Hey,” a voice came behind him. Brooklyn turned around to see Maud approaching. He smiled.
“Maud! I was waiting for you.” He bent over, reaching down to pet Maud on the head. Her ear flopped down as he did so. “You ponies are so adorable, y’know?”
Though it was hard to tell from the lack of light, he could have sworn that Maud blushed. “Thank you.”
“Hey, it’s the truth!” He started scratching her behind the ears, and used his other claw to scratch her under her chin, to which Maud shut her eyes in delight. “Like this. You may deny that you like this petting, but you’re acting just like a little kitty cat.”
“Mmm…” Maud sighed. Brooklyn smiled.
“Well, I got patrol again tonight, so I can’t take you anywhere, but you can join me for patrol if you want.”
Oh, who am I kidding, of course she’ll say yes. I swear, she’ll go anywhere with me.
Maud opened her eyes. “That would be nice.”
“Great!” He placed one arm under her forelegs, and another under her rump, and lifted her up to his chest. “Grab on.”
Maud placed her forelegs on his shoulders, and wrapped her hind legs around him. Brooklyn took one final look over Ponyville before completely spreading his wings and taking off into the air.
“You know,” Brooklyn began, “I don’t know why we still have to do night patrol. This isn’t a crime-filled town like Manhattan. The only crimes I’ve seen here are crimes of fashion, like when Rarity had both of us dress up fancy to try to impress each other.”
Maud, who had been looking up at Brooklyn’s face, now looked away. “That was hardly funny.”
“I sure thought it was,” Brooklyn stated. “Though I admittedly found you strangely attractive when you showed up dressed like that.”
Maud blinked a few times. “You… you mean it?” She looked up at him for a few seconds… then looked away again. “Shut up.”
Brooklyn chuckled. “Anyway, I’m actually getting a little bored. Manhattan was filled with excitement, baddies to fight, whether they were simple street crooks or arch nemeses like Xanatos and Demona. And when there weren’t, we could sit back and watch TV or something. Here, you don’t get any of that. I mean, obviously Xanatos is in town, but Goliath tells me that the last time he and Xanatos talked, Xanatos said he’s trying to get on good terms with us.”
“There are occasionally monsters in Ponyville, or at least that’s what Pinkie has told me. The farm has also occasionally been attacked by timberwolves, and we’ve had to fight them off.”
“What are timberwolves?”
“Large wolves made of wood.”
“…don’t really know what I was expecting. But wait, how can there be living creatures made of wood?”
“How can there be living creatures that turn into rock during the daytime?”
The two were silent for a short time, before Maud spoke again. “Brooklyn?”
“I have to leave Ponyville.”
If Brooklyn had been driving a car, he would have slammed so hard on his brakes that the screech would have been heard for miles. “What?”
“My family,” Maud replied. “I left the farm for a week to spend time with Pinkie. So far, I’ve already been away longer than I said I would.”
“My sister Marble called today, she says they need me back on the farm to help in case of another timberwolf attack.”
“Maud, what about me?” Brooklyn asked. “Are you just forgetting about us? About all the fun we’ve had, all the things we did, about…”
“Brooklyn,” Maud interrupted. “Would you be willing to sacrifice your clan for me?”
He frowned. “I suppose not. But I don’t see why you can’t just go for a few days and then come back.”
Maud shook her head. “If your clan was in danger of being killed, would you let it happen to spend more time with me?”
“I’d look for a way for you to come with me! Come on, there’s gotta be…”
“Brooklyn. I will come back to visit.”
“If you say so.” Realizing that Maud had made up her mind, Brooklyn frowned. As he passed Sugarcube Corner, he changed his direction to move in closer to the house. He landed on top of the roof seconds later, setting Maud down.
“Brooklyn, what are you--”
“You’d better pack up,” he said. “Have fun at the farm.”
Climbing up the building’s cupcake-shaped tower, he took a jump and glided away. Maud tried to call to him, but he was already gone. She sighed and looked down.
“Hey, Maud!” Pinkie opened her third floor window and called out. “What are you doing on the roof?”
As the night passed, Brooklyn couldn’t stop thinking about what Maud had told him. As he patrolled Ponyville, flying over the same several places again and again, he couldn’t help but think of Maud, about how she was going and how he wouldn’t get to see her again for… he didn’t even know how long. He was so distracted by his thoughts that he didn’t even notice another gargoyle flying up next to him.
“Hello, Brookie!” Lexington mocked.
Surprised, Brooklyn looked over his shoulder, only to sigh in relief when he saw who it was. “Oh. Hi, Lex.”
“Aw, what?” Lex frowned. “You’re supposed to get all angry when I call you that! How do I know you’re the real Brooklyn?”
“Oh, shut up.”
“There we go.” Lex smirked but noticed Brooklyn’s frown. “Aw, what’s wrong, big guy?”
Brooklyn sighed. “It’s about Maud. She says she has to return to the farm.”
“Yeah, her sister called her today. Says she needs to return home, the farm is being attacked by wood-wolves or whatever and needs her help.”
“Geez, so you won’t be seeing her after this?”
“She says she will come back to visit, but as for anything long-term…”
“Damn. Well, that would explain her mood. Then again, she’s always like that.”
“You’re really annoying sometimes, you know that, Lex?” Suddenly, something hit him. “Wait, how would you know what her mood is?”
“Oh, she’s back at Town Hall with her sister. They say they want to talk to you. That’s why I’m out here right now, I’ve been sent to replace you on patrol duty.”
Brooklyn was confused as ever. “But why would they…?”
“Hey, don’t question it! You get a free break from patrol to spend time with your marefriend. Meanwhile, I’m stuck here on patrol, but I’ll gladly…”
Brooklyn veered to the right and flew towards the direction of the large Town Hall building. As he got closer, he could see that Pinkie and Maud were waiting for him on the balcony.
“What do you two want?” he asked as he finally landed.
“You’re sad that Maud has to leave, right?” Pinkie asked. “I might just have an idea.”
“Excuse me! Coming through! Make room!”
Pinkie and Maud carried a large, wooden crate through Ponyville the next morning. It appeared to be really heavy, as both ponies were straining to carry it on their backs. Pinkie in particular looked absolutely miserable; already quite tired from the lack of sleep, her face was also covered in sweat from having to carry the crate. Ponies all around them were swearing and frowning at them as the sisters continuously bumped into everypony.
Out of breath, Pinkie finally sighed when they arrived at the train station. “Here… here we are,” she panted. “You know… I… I think… we should’ve… put wheels… on… this.”
The unicorn conductor saw them straining to carry it, and ran over. “Here, Miss Pie, let me help you with that,” the conductor said with a smile. His horn lit up and surrounded the crate with a magical field, which he then proceeded to lift onto the train with ease.
“Oh… thank you.” Pinkie’s legs gave out underneath her and she collapsed to the ground. Maud leaned down to help her up.
“Pinkie, I have to go now.”
“I know.” Pinkie smiled weakly and gave her a hug goodbye. “Hope to see you soon!”
Maud nodded in agreement as she made her way onto the train. Pinkie gave her a wave goodbye… then collapsed onto the ground once more, falling asleep almost instantly.
The train finally stopped at its destination, its brakes screeching to a halt. Maud stepped onto the platform, the only passenger left on the train. She looked around at the landscape. A dusty, dirty, dry place, the skies were filled with gray clouds that blotted out the sun. The dry dirt that covered the hills was also filled with clumps of large rocks. There were a few trees here and there, but they were dying, their few leaves brown and barren. A farmhouse and silo could be seen off in the distance.
“So, you finally decided to come back.”
Maud turned her head to the right to see a light gray mare with a darker gray mane walking toward her. Her mane was long and straight, combed over her left eye, and draping over the back of her black hoodie. She wore a similar color of lavender eyeshadow to Maud’s, which complimented her own violet eyes.
“Hello, Marble,” Maud said, not changing her expression one bit.
“Maud,” the mare responded. “Did you pack any things?”
“I see.” Marble nodded, walking closer to Maud. Stopping right next to her, a noticeable smile grew on her face as she reached a foreleg around Maud, wrapping the other one around too to give her a big hug. “Oh, it’s great to have you back, sis.”
Maud returned the hug, letting Marble adorably nuzzle her on the neck, and even smiling herself. “Where is Limestone?” she asked.
Maud found herself abruptly pushed away from Marble and pinned to the ground by a blue-gray mare with a light gray mane. This mare was younger and smaller--possibly even a teenage filly--and had a manestyle similar to Maud’s, but shorter. The mare squeezed Maud into a tight hug, and Maud playfully gave her a noogie. “How have you been, sister?”
The younger mare stood up and helped Maud up. “We’ve missed you so much, Maudie! Why didn’t you show up sooner?”
“Personal affairs, Limestone.”
“Ahem!” the train conductor said to get Maud’s attention. “Not to interrupt your little reunion, but…” He levitated out the crate.
“Ooh, what’s that?” Limestone asked curiously.
“You will see,” Maud replied.
“We’ll take your word for it.” Marble smiled and pointed to a cart. “You know what to do, right, Limey?”
Limestone gave a salute. “Yes, ma’am!”
“I see nothing has changed since I was here last,” Maud said as she and her sisters walked to their farm. They passed by unkempt clusters of trees on the way, as the buildings ahead of them became clearer. A tall, brownish gray silo stood to the left of a wooden farmhouse with a stone chimney. A windmill slowly spun with the wind.
“Maud, silly, you were only gone for around two weeks,” Marble replied. “What would change during that time?”
“A lot, actually. I would know.”
“Ooh, so you have a lot to tell us! I look forward to hearing it.” Marble looked back at Limestone, who was struggling to carry the heavy crate on her cart that was latched onto her. “Everything alright back there, Limey?”
“Uurrgh… unhhhh…” Limestone grunted as she tugged the heavy crate with her. “Y-yeah, everything’s just… ugh… how long till I can unhook this cart?” she asked, her head down as she strained.
“We’re here!” Marble pointed ahead of them, and Maud and Limestone looked up. Indeed, they were standing right in front of their farmhouse.
Limestone grinned. “Finally! I can take this off! What’s in here, anyway, Maudie?”
Maud helped unbuckle Limestone from the cart. “A new rock specimen I found in Ponyville. I will show it to you later this evening. Be careful setting it down.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Once unbuckled, Limestone heaved a huge breath and nearly collapsed; Maud held the cart steady and Marble moved the crate onto the ground.
“So, I see you’re finally back,” a male voice called out. Maud turned around to see an old orange-brown earth pony stallion with a gray mane streaked with lighter gray standing just outside the farmhouse. He wore a large black hat with a matching black tie and white collar, as he held a piece of straw in his mouth and headed towards Maud.
“Yes, Father,” Maud said. “I had some business to take care of.”
“But you’re here now.” The stallion gave a smile and wrapped his forelegs around her. “Welcome back, Maud.”
Maud returned the hug. “Where is Mother?”
“Cloudy’s inside makin’ dinner,” Maud’s father said, breaking the hug. “Let’s go. I’m sure you have a lot to talk about.”
Maud followed her father inside the farmhouse with Marble and Limestone following behind. The inside walls were painted a similar color of gray to the outside with the only variation being a wooden table in the middle of the dining room. There was a doorless passage from there into the kitchen, another one heading down a hallway, and a third going up a set of stairs. “Marble said Mother misses me,” said Maud.
“Yes, we’ve all been worried.” Maud’s father took a seat at the table. “’Specially your mother.”
“I will have plenty to tell her,” Maud replied, taking her own seat.
“And I look forward to hearing it,” a voice chimed in. Maud turned to the kitchen doorway to see a light gray earth pony mare with a greenish gray mane and tail approaching the table. She was wearing an apron and a pair of glasses, and her mane was up in a bun. Her blue eyes started watering as she ran to Maud, instantly grabbing her in a tight hug. “Oh, Maud, I’ve missed you so!”
Maud returned the hug, it being the fourth one she had received since she arrived home. Then she sniffed the air. “Mother, the food.”
“Oh!” Maud’s mother pulled away and looked back at the kitchen. “I don’t want to burn it!” She trotted back inside as Maud turned back to the table.
“What happened while I was gone?”
“Well,” Limestone began, “on day one of your time in Ponyville, we woke up, ate breakfast, then we farmed for rocks. On the second day, we woke up, ate breakfast, then we farmed for rocks. On the third day, we woke up and ate breakfast, then we farmed for rocks. On the fourth day, we woke up, we ate breakfast, and--”
“I think she gets it,” Marble interrupted.
“Anything else?” Maud asked, already familiar with the schedule.
“Well, things’ve been lookin’ up for us,” Maud’s father said, trying to sound optimistic. “There’ve been no timberwolf attacks since you left. Oh, and Cloudy says we may be hirin’ some help on th’ farm soon!”
Maud’s ears perked up. “Help?”
“Yes!” answered Maud’s mother, Cloudy, while carrying several bowls of soup, which she placed by everypony’s seats on the table. The soup’s hot smells filled the air--tomatoes, potatoes, onions, carrots, garlic--an aroma to get the mouth watering. “She’s a unicorn, I’m forgetting her name, but she should be plenty of help at the farm. And she claims to have banished an Ursa Major before!”
“She’ll help us with our timberwolf problem for sure!” Maud’s father said happily.
“Don’t count on it,” muttered Maud.
“Nothing.” If this was the same pony she was thinking of, Maud had heard bad things about her from her sister Pinkie, like that the closest she had come to banishing an Ursa Major was when she humiliated herself in the middle of Ponyville by running away from an Ursa Minor, and that she caused part of the town to be destroyed, embarrassed Pinkie’s friends, and was all around a stuck up little bi--
“Maud, dear,” Cloudy interrupted Maud’s train of thought, sitting down as she had served everypony, “will you say grace?”
“Yes.” Maud had forgotten to do that before she ate during her stay in Ponyville. She put her front hooves together and lowered her head. The other ponies at the table did the same. “Dear Princess Celestia,” she began, still showing no emotion even as she spoke these words, “we thank you for bringing us this food, and delivering another day of prosperity to our humble rock farm.”
“Amen,” everypony at the table simultaneously said, then they started eating.
“Maud,” Cloudy spoke again, “your father Igneous and I have been wondering, could you tell us how you have fared back in Ponyville?”
“Find any nrew rocksh?” Marble asked through a mouthful of food.
“Yes,” Maud replied, picking up her fork. There was a pause before Igneous spoke.
“Uh, what type?”
“Varying,” Maud said. “But I have found a new one, a type that I do not recognize.”
“Wow, really?” Igneous was actually very interested in this. “You’ll have to describe this to us after dinner, Maud.”
“Mmm.” Maud began eating.
“Uh, what else?” Cloudy asked. “How is Pinkie doing? Is she alright?”
“Pinkie ish fine,” Maud answered, having already begun chewing her food. She swallowed her current mouthful and continued. “She’s having fun working her new job and throwing parties across Equestria.”
“I see. It has been too long since we saw her last.”
Maud continued eating in silence. Cloudy looked at Igneous with a confused look on her face, and he returned the glance.
Marble started getting an idea. “Maud,” Marble said as she leaned closer to her sister, “I know this silence. This is the silence that says you’re hiding something from us.”
Maud finished chewing. “Why do you think that?”
“The blank gaze, the unwillingness to talk about things, the prolonged, awkward silences.” Marble raised an eyebrow. “What is going on?”
“Nothing,” Maud simply answered.
A sly grin came to Marble’s face. “You’re in love, aren’t you?”
Maud didn’t answer this. She just stared blankly into space, not flinching or turning to look at Marble, who came to her own conclusion.
“Hah!” Marble smirked. “I knew it! Who is it?”
There was another pause before Maud answered. “Nopony you know. His name is Brooklyn.”
“Ooh! Just imagine, in a few months we’ll have a ton of baby Mauds trotting around!”
Limestone started giggling and chanting. “Maudie’s got a coltfriend! Maudie’s got a coltfriend!”
Igneous chuckled. “Now, now, girls, Maud has only known him for a few days. It’s not that important.”
Cloudy’s eyes started watering again. “Can you believe it, Igneous? Our eldest daughter is growing up!”
“Ha ha, well, I suppose it is a little important,” Igneous smiled. “Good for you, Maud!”
“Th-thanks,” Maud replied. Her only thought at that moment was that her father was not going to be happy finding out Brooklyn’s true nature.
“Say, Maudie?” Limestone began. “What exactly is in that crate you brought? I lugged it this whole way, I deserve a right to know.”
“Oh, you’ll see.”
After finishing dinner and cleaning off their dishes, Maud and her parents went outside to look at the big, wooden crate. Maud managed to pry it open, revealing Brooklyn, still in his stone form, and in a crouching position with his wings wrapped around him.
“Ooh!” all the other family members exclaimed.
“Pretty!” said Limestone in awe.
“So, what is this?” Igneous asked as he inspected the stone gargoyle closely. “A statue, of course, but did you make this?”
“You didn’t tell us you were an artist, Maud.” Marble smiled. “I think I’ve gained some new respect for you!”
Maud shook her head. “No, I did not sculpt this.” She looked at the horizon. With all the gray clouds, it was hard to see any of the sky, but the rest of it started getting darker, except for a bright spot near the horizon where a few rare red rays of the setting sun shone through.
“Then what is this?” Igneous asked. “The rock you couldn’t identify?”
Maud nodded. “But it’s more than that.”
“More?” Igneous asked. “Maud, I don’t follow.”
“Maud, dear, it’s a rock statue.” Cloudy was just as confused as Igneous. “What else could it be?”
At that moment the last remnants of light finally disappeared behind the horizon. Cracks began forming in the stone, spreading all along his body. The rock covering the eyes broke away, and they began glowing brightly. Scared, Maud’s family backed away, looking as though they had all seen a ghoul. With his usual growl, Brooklyn stood up, outstretching his arms and wings, as the rest of the stone broke away from him.
My name is TheHappySpaceman. I have been the creative consultant and unofficial co-writer of chapters of Of Night and Stone since its start in 2014.
As some of you may be aware, at least those who have read this most recent update, Kirb, the author of this fanfiction, has been inactive on this site and others since 2016. He has become a living recluse, not even responding to messages from me, his good friend of many years.
All that said, it saddens me to see his work go unfinished, especially stories like this which had so much potential. I would feel bad to see it stay this way, and while I don't know all of Kirb's entire plans, I have found myself inspired reading some of his past chapters. I hope Kirb makes a return to this site eventually, but we have no way of knowing if he will. So if anyone is interested in some form of continuation of some sort on that front, please leave a comment below.