Watching the practice
He had to sit down a moment to take it all in,mostly because a primitive human mind couldn't fathom thinking about war from the air without some kind of specialized training or experience. Fighter pilots didn't start out as experts in their craft given that their battlefield was not exactly linear. In normal fights, it was barely possible to adjust to battle in three hundred sixty degrees without taking into account threats from above and below like birds did. No, no, why was he thinking so vastly? All of the threats were below on the ground and that's all he had to think about. Nothing else dangerous shared the skies with the pegasi and the tribes of the winged horses were far too scattered to make war amongst one another.
Watching them practice, he could see they already had the skills to engage the wild beasts and giant insects that posed any threat, but their skills only prepared them for daylight hours when such menaces were often hidden away and hibernating. At least, the skills prepared most of them for daylight, but Danny quickly noticed one pegasi male who was not like the others. His ability to fight was adequate if clumsy, but there wasn't any way he could battle as competently as the rest in the aerodrome. Initially he was confused and finally decided to ask the stallion about his lack of proficiency as he sat on a nearby perch for a break above a water hazard.
His name turned out to be Bravan, and technically he wasn't even supposed to be practicing in the aerodrome since his celestial sign of magpie didn't warrant it. Every other magpie wanted to either defend the roost, gather food, or perform the tasks required to keep the place running. He was different in that the stars worked against him and yet he wanted to defy his nature to become something else. Danny got the impression that the rest of the pegasi put up with this unorthodox behavior because they assumed he was doing it to impress a mate. Now that he had Night asking about the peculiar exercises, the truth became clear.
Night's soul was budding more insistently into his thoughts than normal despite his efforts to quash her interference. She liked him for some reason, perhaps as a pity mate or some such nonsense like that, though Danny didn't entertain such dalliances. There was something more immediate he had in mind despite the mare's meddling in his pondering. Bravan would be overlooked and completely below suspicion for any underhanded requests or activities that he needed done. Maybe there was some way to exploit that through seductive appeals. After all, it wasn't as if Jarvi would be approachable for the sneakier aspects of what Danny felt he needed to know.
On the one hand, it wouldn't be strange for Night to want to know what each pegasi's strengths and weaknesses were, but he also wanted to know less palatable details to blackmail different members of the tribe with. This was crucial since what Danny was proposing to do would shake up the natural order, and not every pegasi would go along with it willingly. Sometimes, you had to twist a mate's arm before he saw it your way. If Bravan was inept, at least he had a keen awareness of his surroundings and the myriad of conversations that took place around him even if he didn't have the political savvy to put that information to good use.
The pudgy male had no clue why this black mare suddenly took such an interest in him, but he didn't object or seem to question it, either. During different wars in history, many secrets were spilled in the arms and confidence of a lover. And as Danny listened, he filed every little bit of information for later use. Some of it was as mundane as mated couples screwing around with other couples discreetly in damaging affairs. Other tidbits were important to keep in mind if Danny ever needed to escape once they discovered that he and Night hadn't properly integrated into one being. These consisted of what pegasi suffered from what old injuries or weaknesses, such as weak eyesight beyond a certain distance or where a wing had been broken and still gave the owner trouble as it healed.
For Danny, these were all good things to know and certainly so seemingly pointless that if Night were in charge of this body instead, she would disregard the information and care no further. Perhaps this was why Danny was paying attention to these details and found them so vital, as he considered each of this tribe potential enemies if anything in this unstable relationship went south. She crooned at him reassuringly from time to time, trying to encourage him to let go of his tenuous control over his own body and let her finally submerge his consciousness into the murky oblivion of the backseat observer. No, he had a feeling that if he gave into that temptation, he would end up stuck in an unwakeable forever. At least, that's what he assumed would happen given how everything in this alternate dimension worked.
He tuned the whispery temptations out of mind and focused on the meat of the conversation from his unwitting accomplice. Bravan had heart even if he seemed a bit slow. Something about his naiveté almost made him cute. No, those weren't his thoughts but those of the feminine interloper on every one of his plans. At first he couldn't imagine why he was fighting them and their apparent parasitism of other sentient species in alternate worlds, but he had to remember that taking over human's lives was immoral even if they didn't take over that many bodies and the needs of the pegasi souls were hardly a drain on the populace. On the other hand as he was thinking about said dilemma, he wondered if Night would overtake his soul or if they'd somehow blend harmoniously into one being with eyes towards one goal. Something of symmetry perhaps, but he wondered if the notion were even possible or just another misleading thought planted by the mare's tricky soul within him.
Written by FluffyPony on 10 March 2017
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