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His rest was without dream, a vacuum of time where there was naught to greet him except for oblivion. This was just as well, since Danny hardly needed to decipher anymore curious imagery bouncing around in his head. When he awoke, everything hurt and he couldn't remember why at first. In fact, there were parts of him that hurt in such ways that seemed impossible. Only when he'd shrugged off the drudgery shackles of rest did Danny remember where he was and what had happened the prior night. Of course, even if the sore wings and strangely angled legs didn't clue him into the new reality, the subtle hint of an unfamiliar yet very comfortable bed might.


The first thing he noticed was the smell of baked apples wafting to him from somewhere. Since he'd basically gone to bed without dinner from being so tired, Danny was starved enough to eat pretty much anything and be content with its blandness. "So she awakes, and much later than I expected. You must have worked her too hard with that reconditioning of yours, Jarvi. We know this new generation of mares aren't up to the task like the old days, especially not those from the other realm." It was an old male voice, slightly raspy with pained lungs seeking deeper breath than one required in their youth.


Night opened her-his eyes to see this new speaker for himself in wonder, trying to understand this new pegasi's purpose since his age would no longer allow him to perform a more active function. The memory came to him pretty quick, though it wasn't one of his: those pegasi that survived to old age became the Dreamspeakers, interpreters of the inner soul. This turn of events would prove useful in taming his errant curiosity. "You cannot afford our kin the luxury of being soft and pampered, for only vigilance and hardiness will preserve our society and keep the roving dangers at bay." It was a measured response to the chiding, Jarvi taking the ill informed chiding and turning it back on the speaker with firsthand knowledge. "She passed the test, that is entirely all that matters. Now, can you tell us the meaning of what she saw in the course of the flight quest?" For that matter, it was certainly a question on the surface of everyone's thoughts, given how unusual and incredulous everyone seemed to react to it. All of this trouble because of an atypical vision of an owl!


Danny and Jarvi seemed to be leaning in, along with any eavesdroppers in the hall, eagerly anticipating some kind of long-forgotten wisdom. "Heh. I am not sure I know what an owl is." An answer that immediately deflated everyone's sails, for soon after, Jarvi also admitted the same sort of ignorance. It had to be some kind of bird, sure, but it was a type of fowl none of them had seen in their cautious spying of the Earthly dimension. Danny had the impression that their spying program had been limited to investigating the most sentient species on the planet while not bothering to check out the wildlife. Perhaps the only reason why the Flightmaster got so excited was because it was so unusual and out of the ordinary, not that he knew what the third unknown choice was. So, it seemed to reason that if their wisest scholar was unaware of such a creature, then they didn't have any in this dimension.


He stopped his confused swimming thoughts to ponder that and realized the answer gradually while sifting through the details. The two default birds in the other visions were creatures that lived their lives during the day, while owls lived their lives at night. There could be no owls here because the ecosystem was too savage at night to support them. It only stood to follow that they had died out a long time ago before whatever sub-species owls came from could gradually change into said nightly birds of prey. From that point, Night had an idea. "Okay, let me describe an owl to you and you can figure out what it does and means. On the world where I'm from," at that last point, the two pegasi raised their eyebrows enquiringly at the mention of his allegiance to the other dimension instead of theirs, "these birds hunt small vermin at night and have very big reflective wise appearing eyes." Now their collective confusion grew, for they knew of no fowl that did their eating at night. Danny felt sorry for their confusion, but he couldn't help their lack of understanding since they didn't know anything besides their routines here. Spying on the human realm was perhaps the most exciting thing they had to look forward to, doubtless probably because of the culture and broad expansions in technology at the very least.


Knowing what an owl was and what it did, Danny figured out really quick what his Flight vision meant and didn't much like it, but he still had to spell it out to the clueless pegasi so there wouldn't be any doubts in their minds. "It means I'm a creature of the night. It means that it has become my job to hunt the creatures that lurk below and make the night safe for all pegasi. After barely surviving my own trial, I can see why this would be important. Do you think my assessment is correct? I can't think of anything else it could mean." He was already dreading the amount of work and danger it would take to live out his assigned destiny, though he was certain they would be sympathetic and not expect too much from one single pegasi with a harpoon.


The elderly creature with frazzled wings looked on her with sympathy and rheumy half-cataracted eyes before responding to the mare's startling statement. "If that is your destiny, then we will help you. You are never alone with your kin. Train us and we will make the valley safe together." Up to this point, Danny had been drawing on his own memories for how to react and behave in pegasi society. Now with this unconventional request being placed on him, he referenced his own memories. Night fighters. During world war two, both the English and Germans had to learn how to fly and fight in the dark without seeing each other. Initially this worked out with good spotters from searchlights to light up the German planes over London, but eventually they utilized radar in twin engine fighter-bombers called the Dehaviland mosquito; the only combat airplane at the time made almost completely out of wood. Ideas clicked, and with technology from his world, this might just be possible.

Written by FluffyPony on 11 January 2017

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