He was sore in places he didn't even know he had, and that wasn't even the worst of it. When he had shaken most of the cramps out of his fur while in a drowsy waking state, blurry eyes fell on a golden blob that was man-sized. It took him some time to clear his vision before he could properly see what was in front of him and asking so many questions like he wasn't even there. "Who authorized this unplanned reconditioning? She wasn't due for it for another month." The voice was dubious and forceful, filling the rooftop with palpable atmosphere by itself. It took Daniel a moment to come to his senses and see that this tall muscular creature was a palomino pegasi with shimmering silver mane and tail fluttering in the wind like wet spiderwebs.
His indignation at having his schedule messed with was met by nothing less than the rightful respect owed to an apparently honorific social title held by his rank. "It was not planned that Danny would become self-aware so quickly after the transformation. Our only option was to keep him bound until the allotted date, and you know better than any other pegasi alive today that using force is not amongst our way no matter how seeming of convenience." The newly male Pammy interjected, albeit with deliberation and care towards his authority.
If their words were to believed, there were very few choices indeed! The palomino stroked his whiskered chin and seemed to think deeply, perhaps trying to remember his schedule, as there seemed nothing to write a calendar on. "Yes. You have me, there. I must proceed with this and be damned to my prior engagements." His hands were behind his back in a gesture of confidence once he had himself sorted out and made a decision. Once resolved, he turned teal eyes on Daniel's own anxious muzzle. "You there, do you know what is expected of you?" It was a strange question come out of nowhere and directed at someone tossed into a new land with new laws like little more than a newborn. Faced with such frankness, he could only disagree mutely to the declaration and give an agitated swish of his tail while rustling his withers.
The commander-esque pegasi shrugged and sighed in tired resignation, seemingly weary over a routine that was so mundane for him to carry out daily and yet so new and strange for the initiate. "I am Flightmaster Jarvi. I am the reconditioning specialist. When we are done, you will not regret the loss of your humanity ever again. Let us begin." With a speech like that, Daniel was expecting to get zapped by some brainwashing spell or be put into a mind control machine. Instead, the gold pegasi spread his wings and gave them an experimental flap that caused some rather unflattering creaking sounds from bones and muscle that had been injured over a span of years and healed improperly.
He looked on in as much curiosity as pity while Jarvi tested his wings and limbered them up for flight with much more meticulousness and exercise than Pammy and David had done when they had first brought him here to their homeworld. Then again, they were probably younger than him and his job had no doubt led to innumerable accidents since he had to fly so frequently compared to other pegasi who surely had other jobs to do that weren't so flight-centric. "The first step in this process is to spread your wings and become accustomed to their weight and heft on your back. You have some of the instincts, thanks to Night's implanted memories, but you don't have the experience that comes with using them. To borrow a metaphor from you humans, it is like riding a bike and you will never forget again once you learn." It was all good advice, and he followed it as soon as he was reassured that they wouldn't zap him in the head with some memoray or something other scifi-ish.
Feeling the flexible things spread out was indeed a very strange sensation for him. They were light, as the bone structure that supported all those thin membranes and feathers were likely honeycombed to reduce weight. Big and yet nearly weightless, it was not difficult to hold them above his head or give them a few slow flaps as the strong winds fluttered through the feathers on the bottom arranged in neat pointy rows. It almost felt like he was dreaming, if what he suspected were actually happening. "Good. Try and do an eagle hop for me while pushing off against the air with one flap of your wings." Jarvi did not demonstrate the command himself, perhaps wanting the student to impress him on initiative, or more likely, he was saving his energy for something more vigorous.
In any case, Daniel did what he was asked since he didn't really have any reason not to, and thus far they were being agreeable hosts, if a bit pushy. He did the jump fine, but the wingflap was a bit mistimed as one wing was a bit faster than the other and made him come down hard on his left hoof. Something strained for a minute in a tendon, but it didn't hurt too much compared to how bad a sprain could be. "Good first attempt. Humans almost always get the jump right, but the wings are another matter. Only a few of your kind got it perfect the first time, and I don't blame you for your unfamiliarity for having wings. You must understand that the timing is everything. You screw that up and you could get badly hurt or worse. I'm not talking about wingflap timing, either, buttercup. I've had to respond to mid-air collisions and pegasi hitting buildings because they got distracted. It's important you be aware of this now, and hopefully that awareness will keep your head out of the clouds when you are flying, so to speak." Again, numerous good points that Daniel would never have thought about on his own if somefur more experienced hadn't been acute enough to point it out for him. The better question though, if this was what was meant by reconditioning in their species, was he meant to fly?
Written by FluffyPony on 30 November 2015