Night knew what he was supposed to do, after thinking about the vision for a bit with all of those sets of eyes on him, but that didn't mean he knew how to do it. It was a bit like being ordered to learn how to drive without access to a car or driver's manual. Really, the tools and experience weren't there, and all he had available was a layman's understanding of aerial dogfight tactics from over half a century ago. It wasn't that the pegasi had any considerable confidence in this fledgling mare already, but the look of confusion on his feminine equine face kind of undermined whatever respectability he'd already garnered, and with good reason!
It was Jarvi who salvaged the tense awkward situation, perhaps because he was always the wise irrefutable teacher and very seldom missed an opportunity to teach those that faltered. No, those weren't his memories. He was remembering the Flightaster from the perspective of someone else's head. Apparently it was Night who had a very high regard for the instructor's unfaltering professionalism. It was such a foreign observation, but he couldn't fault Night's assessment of his effectiveness. "She's just learning to fly, and you already expect her to fight off teeth and claws like a Bladedancer or Harpoononaut of the front ranks? Miracles happen at the aerie, but not that judiciously" He gave a derisive snort and whipping flash of his tail at the end of it, as if he couldn't believe what was being put on the wings of a weak mare before she even found her strength.
These were things unsaid, but burden nonetheless. Still, their eyes and postures seemed to relent with solemnity once the gathered assemblage of curious air equids realized how much they'd been expecting. "And you Night, you should accompany if your weary bones permit. There is much that needs to be done." Jarvi didn't elaborate nor hint at what was going on in his head, but as always, there was the nagging quality of curiosity that all sentient beings seemed to share. For to be curious was to gain knowledge, and only by learning did you survive the worst the world had to offer. It would then stand to reason that spies and scouts were the most curious of beings.
The Flightmaster left the pegasi mare in a slow wake of melodramatic authoritative confidence, a light swishing of his full silky tail from the stride of marching feet as he made his way out of the doorway. Perplexed, Night threw back the thin tan linens and crept out from the feather-stuffed mattress amidst sore sharp creaks of pain in muscles and tendons unused to putting in such work as the tiring flight he'd put in yesterday. Pegasi were economical with space, if nothing else. The common sleeping quarters led to an upward spiraling hallway that ended with two heavy round arched doors. Whatever was on the otherside was big, noisy, and fragrant with nice sweet smells. "You won't remember this, since you were last with us at the aerie, because this has been a recent modification to the structure from perhaps two hundred years ago." The sense of chronology gave Danny some strange vertigo to think about. If that were true, then Night's soul and Jarvi were at least two hundred years old.
Night remembered each of Jarvi's features perfectly from those bygone days, and as far as Danny was concerned, the wizened stallion hadn't even aged. It just didn't make any sense, not unless he asked some awkward questions and gave away how little control Night had over their shared body. The pegasi were taking pains to address him as female and treat him so, even though the overtures were mildly annoying and unwanted. They thought he was HER. They thought she was in control and her slowness in readjusting was from the trauma. Trauma of what, exactly? The memory came to him, budding helpfully into his thoughts like a sprouting bean plant from soft soil. Reincarnation. Could, his thoughts faltered, Danny losing heart to complete them right away.
Could that glowing green solution being injected into the people while they slept be a pegasi soul? And then the pegasi altered the thoughts and memories of the being they inhabited gradually over time until that person became the long lost wing kin yet again. Looking at an ageless Jarvi and having no recollection of this room lent some credibility to his conclusion. "Welcome," the Flightmaster stepped forward and whipped the heavy doors open with a flick of his palm to display the room's contents with dramatic flair, "To the aeropolis." Danny looked on, stunned into silence. It was like a gym or fitness center, except for those who had wings. "Here is where you will learn what you lack in safety so you can put it to use in battle." Here and there were pegasi in light thin harnesses of piecemeal armored plate swooping into duels at one another with rapier's outstretched before them like beaks, or pegasi hovering ten feet above a wide uprooted tree trunk to cast down barbed spears like lightning bolts before snapping them up into awaiting paws with a practiced quick flick of a very long thin cord.
Aside from the target practice and whistling shrill dives, there were also obstacle courses and regimens of wing exercises and maneuvers. What Danny didn't notice was any semblance of martial arts. Perhaps the pegasi figured that once they'd been torn from the sky or disarmed, they were dead, anyway. Besides, they'd be back in a few centuries if his hunch were correct. Well, they would but not so much for whatever host they'd subverted. Even so, this skyward gymnasium of sorts seemed promising if he wanted to carry out Night's destiny. At this point he was left at an impasse for what to do. Was he helping them do the right thing by helping kill off the creatures below? Another memory from the invading personality seemed to decide the course for him: the pegasi were sterile and couldn't reproduce except by implanting their immortal souls into new bodies. If he helped them remove the threat below, they'd die less frequently and need to take over fewer lives. In the long run, the benefits were mutually exclusive. All he had to do was keep Night's mental presence at bay and he might get his body back to normal.
Written by FluffyPony on 25 January 2017
Watching the practice