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 Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)

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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:46 am

"Mother's around sixty-two or so," Thryssa replies. "Father's fifty-eight... he and mother married very late."
"I told Chryssi she needed to move on him faster," Ratchet comments as she returns with what appears to be a blowtorch and some small metal plates. "Shoulda done the marriage as foals, like her grandmother and grandfather." She replaces her headband with welding goggles and fires the blowtorch, floating one of the plates up. "No one look while I work. Sweet, dear, if you'd be so kind as to look down?"
"Um... why do you have a blowtorch near my horn...?" Sweet gulped.
"Standard treatment for microfractures," Ratchet replies. "Small plate of magically-conductive metal over the break while the keratin grows back."
"And... getting it off?" the filly asks nervously as Ratchet places the plate against the microfracture and starts heating the metal.
"Very easy, if you want to," Ratchet says with a reassuring tone. "Some patients have been known to keep it and get it decorated as an ornament. I've even had some claim that it makes channeling easier, although there've been no empirical tests."
"Theory et al," Tetti says.
"Theory used a full-length apparatus in her tests," Ratchet responds. "The plate is only a partial apparatus."
"No, there was both partial and full," Tetti says. "It was attached as a supplemental independent in the next review cycle."
"Hmm." Ratchet laughs and sounds very pleasant doing it. "Good news for you then, Sweet."
"Guess so," the filly agreed, sounding a little less nervous as Ratchet stopped long enough to get a plate for the other side.

Tetti, meanwhile, giggles and kisses Sword on the cheek. "You must be getting old, handsome... your memory's starting to go," she teases. "I'm twenty-six. As to the taboo... um... not really, for most changelings." She looks a little uncomfortable. "It's a bit more so for the nobility, though, because our apparent age tends to slow down quite a bit around thirty." She smiles a little sheepishly. "When you look thirty, saying that you're older tends to get a lot of... strange looks. Even though all changelings are quite aware of the fact that the Royal Family is very long-lived, it's still a bit of a... shock, I guess."
"Don't worry though, Sword," Thryssa grins. "You're a hardy stallion... I've no doubt you'll live long enough to see Tetti grow out of her 'long thirty' phase."
"Thryssa!" Tetti blushes but also looks troubled. "Please don't."
"Don't what?" Thryssa looks genuinely confused.
"You know what," Tetti hisses. "Please leave it alone."
Thryssa smirks. "What, the entire long..."
"Shut. Up." Tetti actually growls.
Thryssa looks taken-aback and holds a hoof up in surrender. "OK, fine, I'll be quiet. Sheesh, you're sensitive about..." She trails off as Tetti's eyes flicker and her horn glows, and Thryssa looks legitimately concerned. "...you're not kidding..."
"No, I'm bucking not kidding," Tetti tells her in a deadly serious tone.
Thryssa stares at her a long moment before nodding. "Fine then."

"And we're done!" Ratchet announces just as the sisters finish. "Give the brace a minute, Sweet, then try channeling to check the seal."
"OK." Sweet smiles. "Stainless?"
"Nothing but."
"OK. Any instructions for care?"
"A touch of fine-tolerance oil and keep it free of dirt and grim as much as you can," the nurse instructs. "OK, try."
Sweet nods and this time, her horn lights up and her magic wraps around Bella and lifts her up, the filly looking none too amused at this turn of events. She then buzzed her wings and returned to the ground while Sweet douses her horn. "Feels great," she reports.
"Good, good..." Ratchet smiles before looking at the rest of the group. "So why are the lot of you here anyway? You don't look injured or ill... at least not recently," she adds as she looks at Sword.
"We wanted to show it off to them" Tetti smiles, back to her own self in an instant. "They just got to Sarabi and we wanted to show them the best things."
"Ah." Ratchet rolls her eyes. "Ugh, I hate tours..."
"You don't have to participate."
"I'd be crazy not to," Ratchet sighs. "OK, fine, show the well ponies all the neat sick ponies. Put on a show for them, joy."


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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:24 am

((Way of the Sage))

Sugary was fairly surprised to learn the ages of the Queen and Crown Prince respectively given their rather youthful appearances, but also partially when told they had married late when his own parents were only slightly older when they were wed themselves and were considered to have married at a good age by comparison. Then again, the news that her grandparents were wed as foals raised even more questions in his mind about their culture and royalty customs. He also did have a light chuckle hearing Sword ask about ages again and the explanation made by Tettidora that followed on 'age Taboo' that was still good to know. "Maybe he's more tired than he looks...? Then again, I can't blame him if he's making the question again for good measure when the one he's dating can change form at will." Then, of course, came what seemed to be an unusually touchy subject that made Tettidora more aggressive than he expected. "I'll definitely need to ask about that later... But maybe just to Thryssa since she's at that age and less hostile about it..."

Since Sweet was now about to be submitted to a sort of surgery he was not used to seeing himself, he decided that, being the curious fellow that he was, began to concentrate on a spell of his own. What started as a small dark clump of energy around his horn, began to flow over his eyes and his ears until it took the shape of ethereal sleek dark shades. It was actually a modified Blind spell for reducing the amount of visible light that could pass through it so that he could look at the surgery himself, though he was still wary to not stare at it directly for too long even then for good measure. "Fascinating..."

Once the surgery was over, he dispelled the magical shades into the air, blinked a few times to make sure he didn't mess up his eyes, and thought on how best to answer the nurse while looking at the state Sweet seemed to be in. "Er... Well, learning how this place is run is certainly a plus, though seeing what may ail Changelings is no less informative either... Oh, there is one other thing, though this is more personal than anything... The medicine Green Leaf makes in his apothecary is top quality, right? I'm just hoping for a quick second opinion on what I got from him." He briefly considered asking Nurse Ratchet on whether or not the fumes in his shop would have adverse effects -aside from walking about the castle town as a living unconditional love radiating stallion- but decided to keep that to himself while assuming she knew who he was talking about.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:05 pm

Ratchet looks oddly at him. "Is 'medicine' a pony euphemism for 'intoxicants' then?"
"I think Mister Market means that Green Leaf gave him a case of his herbal remedies," Thryssa says. "Although I hear rumors that our valiant Tantalus breaks the 'adorable' meter when he gets enough of Green Leaf's special herbal mood enhancers." She grins at Sugary. "Floating off the ground with a mob of changelings in tow, right?"
"It was awesome," Bella enthuses. "Like infinite candy from a pinata, but the pinata was a unicorn and we didn't have to beat him with a stick."
Ratchet sighs. "Mister Market, herbal remedies are like any other medicine and although he has... odd recreational habits, Green Leaf is a responsible apocathary. His 'medicines' should be safe and effective but do keep an eye out."
"If he fails to, I shall," Thryssa says. "I can't have a potential XO getting more sickly than he already is. Now then, Ratchet Limb... the tour?"

With a sigh and a roll of her eyes, Ratchet gestures for them to follow her and proceeds to show them around. The building they first entered turns out to be as spacious in patient areas as it is below, offering each patient ample room and even pleasant environmental elements like plants and wooden furniture that's clearly been imported from Equestria. The walls are painted a variety of soft and soothing colors that differ dramatically from the ordinary institutional white that seems universal among hospitals. As they'd look around, they'd get the distinct feeling that the space is very pleasant but has a very low patient capacity.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:53 am

Sugary could only scrunch up his nose as the young Bella and Thryssa spoke of his high from their perspectives, to which all he could do was to feel glad no one tried to actually hit him with any sticks, and sigh lightly as he smiled softly and replied to them. "I felt very relaxed... The most relaxed I felt in a while to be honest. And it was nice being followed around like that for a good cause." He chuckled afterwards, listening closely to Ratchet's thoughts about Green's medicine, rather grateful for having Thryssa ensure his state of health if it came to it.

Looking at their surroundings, and occasionally at Sweet's horn, he felt rather comfortable for a change being in a hospitaller. "It's so nice here. It honestly doesn't feel like a hospital at all, I actually feel welcome, though I was kinda expecting to see more rooms... Not that I'd want to be hospitalized, mind you... By the way, Miss Sweet, how's your head feeling?" He looked to the young mare, partly curious, and partly concerned for his own reasons.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:28 am

"Well, at least it was harmless," Ratchet said, her look of schoolmarmish disapproval softening. "Additionally, you appear to react to intoxication in an extraordinarily harmless manner."
"We refer to him as the 'gallant Tantalus' for a reason, Nurse Limb," Thryssa says, directing a smile at Sugary. "I'm told he backed down Calliope pretty hard."
"Calliope is all carapace and no meat," Ratchet snorted. "All of those creaky, old-line racists are. A thousand years after Amaryss turned her foul sister into a black smear on a marble wall, and they're still obsessing over Malyss' childlike babblings as if they mean anything. Callow fools will learn some hard lessons when Queen Chrysalis unites the Hive Throne with the Dual Thrones once again."
"It's still bold to back down a visible noble when you're a stranger in a strange land, surrounded by a people whose opinions of what the noble is saying is unknown to you," Tetti points out.
"Indeed." Ratchet gives Sugary and appraising look before smiling. "Then you are most welcome to me, Sugary Market. And you are welcome to our hospice as well, for a hospice this particular building is."

She holds out a foreleg and sweeps it over the surroundings grandly. "This is where the ill who are recovering come to be made healthier in spirit and mind as well as body. This is where we bring the injured to encourage them and provide peace and a soothing atmosphere to facilitate vigor and happiness. The sick and injured need much more than medicine for their bodies, but also medicine for their hearts and long experience has taught us that peace and comfort makes the body much stronger as it heals."
"They keep the serious cases somewhere else," Bella supplies. "Healin' the heart is great but sometimes, you need constant attention and care."
"Not that the serious wings are lacking," Sweet says. "You'd be amazed how elegant you can make a curtain-enclosed bed space if you work your hardest. And I'm much better now, Mister Market." She smiles and gently lifts his hat off his head, twirling it around with deft ease, before putting it back. "Thank you ever so much for your kind concern."
"That appears to be his way." Thryssa says. "Now, Nurse Limb, we shant' wish to disturb your patients..."
"We don't have any serious cases at the moment," Ratchet replies to the implied question. "Still, I'm putting my hoof down about touring a hospital ward."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:30 am

Sugary blushed lightly at being praised for his behavior and etiquette, or lack thereof in the case with Calliope, rather than his work, which he had yet to do any of so far. It was nonetheless very comforting for him to find a fair bit of approval among strangers, and that alone would serve to ease his mind more and more, especially in his recovery. He was also glad to have Ratchet's more formal greeting to go along with it."Thank you. The Queen herself welcomed me warmly. She even commented on the merit of mixed breeding in the distant past when it came up on top of sharing some of her present goals. Meeting Miss Calliope was, frankly, an insult to that..."

While the nurse explained about where they actually were, he'd look briefly towards Sword and Tetti, and thought for a moment about how they likely already were another solid example of the Queen's plans for unification along with Cadance and Shining elsewhere from what he knew so far. He wondered if they realized the weight of the importance of their relationship as he thought of it from his perspective.

Afterwards, he chuckled and gave Sweet a broad smile as she effortlessly used his hat as a show of her own recovery. Right after he got his hat back where it belonged, he leaned down and gave her a friendly nosing. "Glad to hear it, champ! But do take better care, will ya? A broken horn, not a fractured one, is... very painful..." He stood up straight as he briefly rubbed his own blunt horn, recalling one of his own blunders. "I should know." Of course, he had no immediate way of knowing if the experience would be the same for a Changeling or not. He just assumed it felt the same.

He then looked at the nurse, then at Thryssa and blushing for a bit longer as she indirectly complimented him again along with the feeling of the lick that wasn't going away any time soon, and then back at the nurse. "Well, I'm good just knowing the basics and seeing the place at least." It was more a brief commentary than a statement. How the others felt about the tour was only a guess to him.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Wed Aug 06, 2014 6:05 am

"And I should like it if you'd end your tour now," Ratchet said severely.
"Ratchet Limb, are you honestly kicking us out of buildings with no current patients in them?" Thryssa asked with a quirked eyebrow.
"I am," Ratchet replied. "Frankly, I've work to do and patients to help. That stallion you saw when you first entered these buildings was a patient that was waiting for the first stage of his acclimation treatment. You're interfering."
"Not intentionally," Tetti points out.
"Intention doesn't change facts," Ratchet returned.
"Nurse Ratchet was kind enough to treat me," Sweet interjects. "Perhaps we'd best get out of her mane. I, speaking personally, should love to see the caves."
Thryssa sighs and rolls her eyes. "Fine, fine... go occupy yourself, Ratchet. But we'll be having a conversation on this matter later. You can be certain of it."
Ratchet looks taken-aback by the agreement and slightly intimidated by Thryssa saying that they'll talk about it later, but she pulls herself together and gives her a brief nod. "Very well. Mister Market, children, Princesses, Mister Symphony." And with that, the nurse disappears into the building, no doubt going to attend to the patient she mentioned.

Thryssa grumbles inaudibly. "To the caverns then."
"Yay!" The trio of fillies say in unison.
"What're the three of you so excited about anyway?" Tetti asks amusedly as they exit the hospice building they'd been touring and start out again on a cobblestone path deeper into the mountain. "They're somewhat utilitarian and meant to be defensible, not gaudy."
"We'll be the first non-royals ever to just, like stroll in and..."
"Denial is an ugly, ugly thing..." Pearbloom smirks at Bella.
Bella's eyes narrow. "Denial?"
"Yeah. About being part of the first non-royal..."
"I'm NOT royal!"
"Oh yeah?"
"Yeah!"
"Yeah?"
"YEAH!"
"OK, dare ya to take off the minor guise," Bloom says smugly.
Bella blinks and colors. "I can't guise."
"Double dare ya."
"I'm serious, Bloom! I can't guise!"
"Double dog dare ya!"
Bella growls a little, as much as a pony can be said to growl.
"Triple double dog dare ya!"
"I CAN'T BUCKING GUISE!"
The argument between the two (consisting primarily of Bella yelling and Bloom calmly increasing the level of her dare, which is still going at 'quintuple quadruple triple double dragon-dog diamond dare') continues to go on in the background as Sweet sighs and stares at the dirt in exasperation as they walk.
As Tetti said, the caverns appear to be nothing special, distinct only for visible reinforcement and splits in the cobblestone path to presumably reach an entire series of caves.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:06 am

Sugary was somewhat taken aback by Ratchet's response, but he supposed he was asking for a lot too soon, even if not by heavy demand. All he could do was to stare slightly sheepishly at the nurse as she was told their group would be moving along anyway.

Once Ratchet had left, he was glad to know he'd get a chance to see more of the unusually enchanting hospitaller, but he did take a moment to briefly move closer to Thryssa and voice his thoughts. "I'm glad we get to keep touring, but... Do you think there might be another reason she's like that?" He had a feeling the nurse was just trying to get back to work, but he could not rule out the possibility that perhaps their group should heed a medical Staff member's advice for going to the next intended location, though it was likely his concerns were for naught.

With an overall still positive attitude, and still glad to see Sweet well and in good spirit along with her friends, he looked forward to seeing and learning more along the way till they reached their destination proper. "More time smelling the lemon trees works just fine for me at least~"
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:56 pm

Having chosen to remain silent most of this time, Sword sighed heavily as he heard their next destination. To be perfectly honest, he wasn't too fond of hospitals in the first place, and now they wanted him to go into a cave system. Still, he decided to grin and bear it for the moment as they walked towards the entrance to the system. "I bloody hate cave systems. Can't fly.... so closed in... As they approached the entrance, he flattened his ears and shook his head. Just seeing it made him feel queasy. Yeah, there's no fucking way I'm going in there. Stopping, he nudged Tetti with a hoof. "I... think this will be as far as I'm going love. Not a fan of hospitals to begin with, and just looking at that cave system is making me feel slightly ill. You can go on ahead if you like love, I should be able to find my way back to the library well enough." Nodding his head to Sugary and Thryssa, he turned to go. "It's been a pleasure meeting the both of you. I'd say goodbye to the argumentative trio, but I've a feeling I'll be seeing them quite a bit. So farewell for now. And I'll see you at home Love." Having said his farewells, Sword started off in the opposite direction of them, trying to remember the way out of the hospital. From there, he could simply fly back to the library with no issues at all.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Thu Aug 07, 2014 5:11 am

"Farewell..." Sugary was somewhat perplexed that Sword would leave under the reasons given, but nodded nonetheless at his departure with a tinge of regret at their meeting cut short. "Odd... Does he have a phobia...? Not that I'd want to be in a hospital even on a good day... Hopefully we'll meet again some time..."

Afterwards, his thoughts went over to Tettidora herself briefly. He got the distinct feeling she might very well go after him right away, so he'd attempt to make an offer in case he was right in his hunch. "Excuse me, Princess...? I picked this up earlier in case you were still as interested as you looked. Wanna carry it with you now?" He simply raised the jar with the odd scorpion for her to see, and to take or reject, at her leisure. But he also looked at Sweet, who had actually been in need of medical attention for bumping heads with the princess in the first place over it. "... Unless you'd rather I gave it to her?"
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:18 am

Thryssa looks thoughtfully at Tetti. "Hmm..." She keeps the look for a moment before smiling and nodding her head to Sword. "A pleasure in return, Mister Symphony. A good day to you, sir."
Tetti ignores the thoughtful look, smiling at Market instead at his offer of the unusual insect, and gives him a quick, chaste peck on his cheek. "Thank you, Mister Market," she said as she accepts the proffered scorpion in a jar; Sweet, occupied with her arguing friends, doesn't even notice the appearance of the fascinating creature.
With the scorpion secure in her grasp, Tetti hurries off to catch up with Sword, trotting enough ahead of him to greet him with a light kiss and walk home with him.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:16 am

Sugary graciously accepted the kiss to the cheek, and waved goodbye to Tettidora as she took the insect with her. "Nice meeting you! Farewell!"

With Tettidora and Sword having gone their way for the night, it was now him, Thryssa, and three lively young mares within the area of the hospitaller. It was at about that moment that something clicked on his mind as he addressed the three fillies in a stern, but calm tone. "Girls? Please calm down already. We were told to keep quiet for the patients, I know. But do you want the medical staff breathing down our necks when they pass us by, or do you intend to walk around here like proper ladies?" Hopefully, that would get their attention and get them to calm down in such a peaceful place.

In the meantime, he thought about what was mentioned earlier in regards to the Queen's marriage, and what seemed to deeply disturb Tettidora as he began to address Thryssa again with curiosity. "Um... By the way, Princess... I don't suppose you could explain to me now why the whole staying in their 30's bothered Princess Tettidora so much...?"
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:43 am

Instantly, all three stop and look at him, their eyes slightly wide as this would be the first time the extremely affable stallion had been anything approaching stern in their presence.
"Yessir..."
"...Mister Market..."
"...sir." They reply one after the other before falling silent
Thryssa looks distinctly amused by how instantly the three were cowed by Sugary's calm sternness before smiling at him. "Yes, definately executive officer material," she says to him, her voice full of approval. "And what disturbs Tetti is the complications of time. The main royal line can enjoy a healthy life of nearly a century, so Mother is likely to live long enough to bury two husbands... and while the four of us daughters won't live quite that long, we'll be alive long enough to watch those we love most decay, sicken, and die." She sighs. "Tetti's just found love for herself and she's acutely aware that to love means to watch the one she loves crippled and sickened by age. The three others of us have long made our peace with it since I'm to be heir, and both Chidi and Lepi have chosen life-mates. Tetti has never had to worry about it because she'd presumed that she'd live out her life as a single mare in the service of her family and nation."
"Wow." Sweet commented.
"That... really blows," Bella adds. "I mean, like, more than just about anything else."
"It's a small price to pay for decades upon decades of a good life with a pony you love," Thryssa shrugs. "And frankly if there's a way to fix the problem, Tetti will find it and use it. She's scarily and irrationally determined at times." Thryssa looks ahead to the caverns which, despite Sword's fears, seem very large, spacious, and well-lit. "Is there anything else you wished to know, Sugary?"
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:34 pm

Sugary was surprised to see the three young mares obey so quickly, having expected at least a minor protest. He smiled a tad sheepishly as the mares called him by 'Sir' as though they were in-synch, more so for getting acknowledgement from Thryssa.

Hearing the explanation he had sought, he remained rather quiet on the longevity of Changeling royals. He did not seem shocked, however. Instead, he only regarded the information with respect and understanding until he was asked to speak again. "Yes, there is... But first, I just wanted to say I do understand, and hope she does find a solution. Back at home, there are those of races that far outlive others. Some of them even form part of the Guild." He smiled, thinking fondly of a fellow mercenary. "... One of them was an instructor and Commander of mine even. She's currently in her third marriage. All of her marriages have been good and lasting ones fortunately... Or so I've been told! I only ever got to meet the third husband, and he's much older than me! She clearly does not regret her life choices... Anyway..." He looked at Thryssa as they made their way into the cozy looking cave system, the following question being a possibly touchy one in his mind as he took a deep breath and began to ask. "... About that marriage thing... Your parents married late, you say... But how is it that you're still single at your age? And as the heir no less?" He had a crooked brow by the time the question was done. He was as curious to get an answer as could be.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:10 pm

Thryssa doesn't seem offended by this at all, and shrugs. "It's not like there's much hurry," she says. "I won't be expected to be married until I take the throne and that will only be upon the death of Mother. There's no war on the horizon, she's exceptionally health, and is relatively young. Plus, there's a practical side: I'm going to be in the prime of health for many decades so why not simply wait and choose a single husband whom I'll grow old with? It's a very common way of dealing with the issue: wait upon marriage so you don't have to spend a number of years without your husband, and your heir won't be on the cusp of becoming elderly before you pass on."
"It's why the royal line is nearly twenty long instead of just ten," Sweet offered. "There was a century-long period where one queen passed the crown to another as that other was elderly and so on."
"'Cept the Exile itself, hardest century in the history of the kingdom," Pearbloom added. "Continuity of leadership was shot ta hell an' just as some neighbors got ambitious. Ended only when the first three in line all died and the youngest got th' crown."
"Which is when the Refuge got most of its work done," Thryssa said, gesturing to a ragged banner hanging from the ceiling as they enter a massive but very well-engineered and well-lit cavern. The symbol on it is a violet heart with a needle piercing it connected to a spool of thread. "That was the youngest's cutie mark. I'm sorry for its condition; it ought to have been replaced long before now."
And so they entered the caverns. While they certainly are natural caves, they don't look like it with all the lighting, smoothly-carved stonework, and even a cobblestone appearance to the place. As Sugary looks left and right, he'd seen buildings rendered out of the stone and road signs at corners, indicating that the caverns are meant to be a duplication of an actual city.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:30 pm

"Oh... So, you just had no pressure on you for it? That's convenient." He was going to then ask why the change of heart in actually wanting to date him of all stallions when she likely had other eligible bachelors from her own homeland to choose from, but decided it was a topic best left in private for when the time came.

Instead, he admired the caverns after tipping his hat to the flag at the entrance in respect. The more he saw, the more he was in awe of the design as a whole. "Wow... Really a shame Sir Sword chose to not come here, this place is fantastic! I'll definitely have to give my regards to Madam Maredusa when I see her again... Will we be heading to a place in particular, or will we just walk around in general?" There was a tinge of excitement and anticipation in his low voice. He began to assume that there was plenty more to see and learn from.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:14 am

"Oh, there's pressure from every direction." Thryssa grins. "And I won't pretend that I haven't been sorely tempted before; handsomeness and gallantry aren't only found in pleasant unicorn stallions belonging to the Tantalus Guild. But the timing has never been right, and even very impressive and admirable stallions haven't quite had the right... spark. The right gumption and willfulness. They withdraw when it's wise to withdraw, tilt when tilting is needed, but to tilt when you should withdraw is a rare quality of knightliness."
"That sorta sounds like an interesting story, Mister Market, sir," Pearbloom comments.
"Maybe we could wander and you and the Princess might share it?" Sweet asks hopefully.
"I don't mind," Thryssa smiles. "We're just wandering some stonework devoid of any ponies. Certainly, there's much to reverence in Maredusa's innumerable gifts for her craft, but this cave is dead until Scarabi is... and only then will it live."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:22 am

Sugary could not help but blush at the praise and smile proudly. Though he soon wondered if it was a good idea to let the young mares roam about away from him and Thryssa so soon. "Er... I suppose we could meet up in the entrance later, if not the park. Though I'd rather we returned to the main city together, of course." He trusted the young mares to look after themselves. He certainly had no problem with them being nearby either but, admittedly, it would give him a much needed chance to speak with Thryssa more privately. Thoughts of the cryptic purpose behind the hospitaller distracting his mind briefly as well in the meantime.

Only once he was sure the young mares would have gone their way, or sure enough to have enough privacy, he'd try to get to a few other points he needed some clarity on. "... Princess, please hear me fully... Do you really think I showed enough to gain your favor for a date? Have I really struck your fancy that much...? I heard that you might possibly be... somewhat hesitant to want to relate with ponies instead of your own kind..." He deliberately paused more so as he could not bring himself to ask her if she were Xenophobic outright. "... I really want to know, well... what makes me attractive to you?" His every word was spoken very carefully, truthfully, and with all the professionalism he could manage, though it was clear he could barely contain his smile and blush as he asked the last question. He did his best to keep eye contact with her gorgeous golden eyes as he spoke, anxious to hear what she had to say.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Fri Aug 22, 2014 4:01 am

"Naw, we're not asking permission to leave, even though we..."
"Actually, I'm sure it would be grand to wander the works of the Grand Duchess and admire them," Sweet interrupted Bella. "She and her daughter are immensely talented."
"Whatcha mean? I'm really interested in..."
Pearbloom stuffs a hoof in her friend's mouth and both her and Sweet give Sugary winning smiles as they hustle their resisting friend out of range of the pair.
Thryssa snickers at the display and shakes her head. "Those three... bright futures ahead for that trio, mark my words. There's bright futures for all of us when we return under the aegis of the Dual Thrones but especially for smart, young, extremely well-connected mares on the cusp of their cutie marks."

With a wistful sigh, she turns her attention fully to Sugary and listens as he asks his questions, her expression turning at first neutral and then somewhat stormy, getting only slightly lighter at his question about why she finds him attractive. "Sugary, I find you attractive because you're a bold stallion and aren't afraid to ask questions and say things even when it may not be wise." A tiny smile twitches at the edges of her muzzle. "Here, as when I first encountered you through my soldiers, you tilt when you should withdraw."
The hint of a smile vanishes and her eyes turn flat and her expression tight with a simmering anger. "I will tell you this precisely one time, Sugary Market, and then you will leave it be until such time as we are much closer than mere acquaintances with bonds much stronger than mutual respect to tie us." She pauses to wait for his acknowledgement before continuing. "I am heir to a throne that rules a glorious city, that rules subjects of the Dual Thrones that are still loyal to those thrones, but were cast away because the common trash of that time was so narrow, so benighted, so ignorant and stupid that they couldn't tolerate surface differences. Their puny minds could do nothing but spit upon their fellows, who wanted nothing more than to be their friends and bask in the love that flowed like a torrent through the very air of Equestria. Shallow noble filth, steeped in the fetid juices of greed and petty cruelty made a mock of the soldiers that guarded them in their sleep. But for a small number of good ponies, all turned upon us.
"We were soldiers, Sugary, steeped in war under the noble and visionary guidance of Princess Luna. We did what soldiers do when there is a clear enemy and a clear and present danger to innocent ponies... and for this, Celestia turned her hoof against her own subjects while her sister pleaded pointlessly for justice. It is true that some of our queens had let themselves become poisoned against ponies, but Amaryss had resolved it as a true queen ought, punishing the ones who spewed the poison and arranging justice for those who did evil. She did her duty, we did our duty, but all our fellow ponies cast us out; but for the noble Maredusa, they would have exiled us into extinction and smiled while doing it."

She stomps a hoof on the stone and gestures around her. "All that we are for the last thousand years was made by us. Changeling hooves made this cave, changeling hooves made that hospital, changeling hooves built Scarabi and made alliances and found prosperity. We have become more than mere subjects, more than simple equals to crawl to other ponies begging for the place we deserve. We are greater, stronger, better than those that spat upon us and threw us alone and starving into the arid wastes. And while we contemplate airships and develop magitech prosthetics, where is Equestria? Just barely clawing its way forward from steam power, having no concept of magitechnology because Equestria is peaceful, fat, happy, and with not a sputter of fire in their bellies. You, Sword Symphony, and the individual ponies who've made themselves greater than the refuse of the common pony are exceptions to far too many rules. And we are to go back to that? Treat that as equal to us and bow to the same throne that cared nothing for a thousand years of patient sacrifice for the good of all Equestria? Pretend that the rubbish is all our fellows, our equals, friends as if no time has passed at all?" She bares her teeth. "Buck. That."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Fri Aug 22, 2014 4:43 am

Sugary had a feeling he might strike a nerve. What he wasn't expecting was the true nature of that nerve being there in the first place. At the very least, the compliment he got made him believe that the anger was not directed to him fully, but to something Thryssa clearly held deep in her heart that mattered to her so much. Even when she bared her sharp teeth to him, he did not see hate so much as an immeasurable pride for her kind. Of course, even though he was not intimidated, he was still shook by her to the core which was made obvious by how wide-eyed he was at the end of it.

He actually struggled to speak in return, as such was the impact her words had on him. He felt stunned, even though he really could move just fine. Her words were still echoing in his mind even as he finally began to lean his head down slowly in front of her. "... I try to not beat around the bush as much nowadays... I felt this was something I needed to know sooner than later... But Princess, pardon me for mistaking your passion and pride for petty hatred... You are nothing like those that oppose your mother's ideals." He felt odd, being a fully grown stallion yet giving a formal bow of respect at such a time. But he felt she was deserving of it after she had bared the roar of her heart to him.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:47 am

Thryssa looks momentarily stunned before she frowned heavily. Notably, however, her expression isn't ugly with bitterness and anger like it had been before. "Of course I'm nothing like those spoiled noble brats that oppose the plan because they obsess over the hoi polloi taking their precious estates when we were kicked out." She smiles very slightly, clearly despite herself. "There are two kinds of nobles under the auspices of my mother's throne, Sugary Market, which I'm certain you've realized. There are the nobles who were exiled and had their estates stolen, and they sit around whining and putting on airs because they were once rich and oh woe are they. Then there are nobles who were exiled and had their estates stolen, and they got new estates, and their scions own popular dining establishments, and glare daggers whenever someone calls them by their ancestral title."
She grimaces. "But no, I'm not like the whiny little foals who fixate on the social status of whoever wronged them. Social status means nothing; it's a construct, something invented by rich and stupid idlers who enjoy the delusion that their money governs their quality. What means everything is what a pony chooses to do, and it is their choices that makes this so bad."

She raises her head and looks past Sugary but not at anything in particular. "It's... criminal. A bucking marriage, some nice hoof-holding and honeyed words and all is well. Like nothing has changed, like no crime was committed, like Equestria did nothing to us, as if Celestia is a bucking angel who can do no wrong. Back to being just like everypony else, as if we are. Back to serving faithfully and thanklessly, as if Equestria has any right to ask that of us. Back to bowing and scraping before the white hoof of that petty winged tyrant like... like... inferiors. Stoically standing by her spotless throne like empty and mindless shells. So much was done to us, and it's all supposed to be OK now, all forgiven, no problem." She looks down at him, straight in the eyes, hers glowing golden yellow as she speaks. "It will never be OK. EVER."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:21 am

He'd nod slightly as she spoke of how she was different from the other Changeling nobles, showing what he agreed on her with. There was little he could say on the matter though, as he had not lived her life, and knew not of how the other nobles behaved in this territory well enough yet. All he could do was to watch, listen, and learn.

When she began to go on about what angered her, he slowly raised his own head, watching into those golden eyes of hers even if they did not look back at him in quite the same way as earlier. He might be willing to see things from her perspective, but there was something he just could not let go of just yet. "... Princess... I think I understand... You don't want all of that history and sacrifice to have been for nothing, right...? But I need to know something... Most of those ponies know nothing of that past... They know nothing of that roar in your heart... So what, exactly, do you intend to do about it? Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow... But what will it take to make things even for you, however unlikely it may seem?" The moment was a tense one, but it was perhaps now that he'd know if she really sought justice and recognition for her kind, or blind revenge.
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:04 pm

"I would have us revenge ourselves upon them in full," Thryssa replies very seriously. "Yes, you are right that I don't want all that history and sacrifice to go to waste. I don't want to forgive and forget, and most certainly I don't want to forget. In my mind, the bare second that Celestia coldly commanded Queen Amaryss to take her entire people and go to a waterless waste, everything changed. The relationship between the changeling royalty and the Sisters ended at that moment, and it's foolish to take that step backwards and pretend that everything remains the same. We are no longer humble subordinates but a power in and of ourselves. When Mother's grand plan succeeds, when our family has married into the very court of the Dual Thrones, it will not be as groveling subjects. We will be what the fabled Crystal Empire was when it remained: a fully independent power, great by itself, self-sufficient with its own nobility and royal line, joined intimately with Equestria as loyal equals." She grins toothily. "Tormenting Celestia and Equestria with lost opportunities that can never be regained, with the shining light of a proud pony power that serves Equestria at its pleasure and inclination instead of by obligation, will be sweet and unlike ordinary revenge, it is a dish that will never diminish nor be any less sweet for the passage of time."
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:44 pm

It was now Sugary's turn for his face to make a light scowl, though he did try his best to keep it neutral. He took a deep breath, stood straight, and stared adamantly back into her eyes as his briefly shone with the color of his pink cutiemark at the edges. "You would actually wish for all that history and sacrifice to have really been for nothing then!? Princess, do you not realize that's the kind of thinking that ruined relations in the past!? What, exactly, is so backwards about mending old problems!?" Only after he spoke did he realize he had raised his voice a bit more than intended, but it wasn't by much. Just enough to show that he was beginning to feel disappointed with the mare that had had treated him well, had scorned the other nobles justly, and yet could not see her own folly.

He sighed quickly afterwards, closing his eyes, trying to calm down, and then speak to her with his eyes half-lidded but still staring at her. "... Your mother asked me something earlier today that she didn't have to, something she seemed worried about... She asked for my honest opinion as to whether or not Scarabi and the Changelings would remain as you said they once were, or if they would become better than before, as you seem to want... I told her that it would be a shame if they didn't become the latter of the two... I am hoping for that brighter future to be the outcome. For the races to be in harmony even better than before. That's the future I want to see come true. To help make come true... Is that future not good enough for you?"
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PostSubject: Re: Rendezvous in Scarabi (Private)    Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:27 pm

"What is going backwards, Mister Market, is returning to a place where we live in Equestria," Thryssa replies unflinchingly. "We can be expelled from Equestria. We can be exiled from Equestria. If we make ourselves part of Equestria, we lose all power over our destiny. We tried that before; it failed. Repeating past mistake is backwards-looking and I will not support backwards thinking."
She takes in a deep breath and lets it out, and then she lights her horn and Sugary feels himself being very gently levitated so that his eyes are on the level of the taller Thryssa and they are literally nose to nose so he can see the fire in her eyes. "That future is not good enough, Mister Market. We must be better. We must all be better than we were before. That future is stagnation. That future does not advance us or make us better ponies and better allies. The need to be better is why I took you in, Sugary Market... you are better, and Sword Symphony is better, and Marquess Callista is better, and the trio are better."
She gently sets him back down again and looks down at him from her slightly superior stature. "Restoration is not good enough; we must seek better, we must work for better, we must think better, and we must be better."
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