Jarvi. It had to be Jarvi, of course. As old a soldier he was, at least soldiers tended to compromise in situations that no longer favored outmoded tactics. At least, they tended to adapt if they were any good at their jobs. After a long pause, Virtue ceded the point and moved on to the next. "You dreamed of what, some bird with big eyes? And what is the purpose of that? Fly my mind through that if you would." 'Fly his mind?', as in walk him through the details? What would be the best way for Danny to proceed through that laid minefield of slip-ups? Time was not on his side, but he did have a moment to think. It seemed that in the presence of an inquisitor, Pegasi were used to long well thought out pauses as they sorted out the random thoughts.
How best to describe the concept of an owl to these alien creatures? "I feel my dream is a representation for a new breed of pegasi needed to wage a new kind of battle. I am not privy to how these oracles work, but my time on Earth has taught me that some animals are adapted to fight at night. Owls, these things have large eyes that can see in low light to swoop in and decimate their prey. We've build cities and satellite outposts on every mountaintop and steep hill, but therein lies the end of our conquest to the point we have to colonize into other dimensions. Why waste our energies on unknown dangers in other worlds when we know our enemies here and can put an end to them with the right ideas?" Every word was carefully measured in the dialect not to give his true nature away, but he hoped Virtue got the message without trying to exorcise him.
A long eternity followed as Virtue didn't speak, nor even move a single hair out of place as motionless eyes contemplated and calculated. When the inquisitor finally spoke, it seemed a violation that shook the very silence even though he uttered but one low callous word into the void. "Deceiver. You may have fooled them, but not I. Your very words condemn you, false soul." Well, shit. So much for trying to fit in and make friends. Danny was hoping the situation could be salvaged, that one of the other two might step forward and protect him from such valid accusations, but none did and he was left alone to face this judging tormentor. Maybe Danny was a false soul and he'd kept Night from fully integrating into his consciousness, but so what? His desire to live was greater than hers and submerged her will below his for the time being. What right did these parasitic Pegasi souls have to take humans as hosts, anyway?
The time for pretending was at an end. He'd done a good job of leading them on, but now it was the moment of truth to fight for his survival. "Fine. I am not who I say I am. Night has transformed my body, but I have retained control over it otherwise. Now we have two paths before us, so let's see where this goes. You can either force my soul to submerge and make way for Night's, but I'll fight it. Better than that, the first chance I'll get I'll kill myself and take us both out. Night's memories tell me that if a body dies when a soul is submerged even temporarily, they don't get to reincarnate into another host and are gone forever." It was bold and threatening and altogether nasty; qualities Pegasi were not particularly versed in, themselves. The diabolical malice of the threat set them aback, stunning them from having any real coherent thoughts or actions against him. "The other option is that I stay in charge of this body, you treat me like a comrade, and I'll help you get rid of your bug problem." In a very real sense, this felt like some kind of demented hostage situation, but what choice did he have when faced with having his body taken over by a stranger?
Given the escalating gravity of the situation, he wasn't about to rush them to any sort of decision, but it would be good to hear what they decided on so that he could accommodate his plans to it. And what if they were two-faced about it, agreeing to his demands but going behind his back to wrench mental control from him at the first sign of weakness? He'd better think of a way to counter that narrative, as well. Surprisingly, Jarvi spoke up first, not that he was happy about the latest developments now that it seemed that Night might not be coming back to them for a grand family reunion in her full capacity. "Whatever this interloper is, he or she or it survived the test, and they had their vision. They might not be Night, but they've proven themselves capable of surviving and integrating into our aerie." A strange vote of confidence to say the least, the Flightmaster being bluntly pragmatic as always.
Then the Dreamspeaker chimed in, probably feeling curiously confused and elated by the new vision, considering that there were previously only two possible outcomes of a vision which then made his role somewhat redundant. "It was a true vision whether I could've accurately interpreted it or not. The stranger in familiar form had the aura of insight about them and didn't know how to lie and tell us about the two default vision birds. This owl is what they saw, and if it is a bird of the night, who am I to speculate what their purpose is. Need I remind you that Night's previous role in our society was a night sentry to guard against the eight-leg hunters who wander away from their bait orchards?" The eight-leg hunter. The giant spider luring in unsuspecting prey with an apple tree on the side of the mountain. Its weakness is the eyes, Night's memories helpfully supplied, but the fangs beneath them will paralyze even as it slowly devours its victim. Virtue had two votes against him, whatever he chose to do with Danny.
Written by FluffyPony on 06 May 2018
The end (for now)