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 The Lights of Harmony III

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EvenMotion
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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   21/7/2013, 9:59 am

Feral nodded meekly and lay her head over Gold's neck. Her heart was pounding in her chest as she closed her eyes. She didn't like being the center of attention and public affection was slightly uncomfortable to her. Being judged for it would have made it all the worse, but she was at least hopeful that wouldn't occur in the home of her mates.

Lightning noticed the scene and whistled to gather the attention of the guards. "Three laps to finish the day. The first two use the sandbags. The last, you will remove them as quickly as you can. I will run with you starting today."

She walked over to the house and nodded to Dalila and Temporal. "Set me up with the sandbags, and add an extra bag for good luck. I want a workout."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   21/7/2013, 10:24 am

Temporal smiled and, with a flash of white, there was a pile of sandbags right next to them. Dalila stepped forward and carried them over to Lightning, placing them by her side.

"There you go, this should give you a good workout."

Temporal levitated a larger sandbag on set it next to others.

"And this will really give you a good workout!"

She giggled as she stepped back.

"You can either place it on your back between your wings or lower."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   21/7/2013, 4:31 pm

Lightning secured the sandbags over her wings, as well as underneath them. As an added bonus, she forced herself to have her wings spread out, at least for the first lap. It was a stunt that brought her wing muscles to complete attention.

"Follow my lead."

---

Dinnertime at the Hurricane household was generally one in which Flora looked forward to catering. Since she and Whisk took turns with each meal, it was always a challenge in size and delicacy. Of course, with all of the new staff, it was much less materials for cooking for the mansion, than the staff.

Flora hummed a little lullaby to herself as she removed the fresh bread from one of the small ovens. She went about slicing them into pieces, the scent of garlic and olive oil released from its cage. She tested it out with a small piece cut from the middle. It was more than acceptable.

She brought in two trays of the garlic bread and set one at each side of the table. With all of the mares plus Mist's parents, she would be sure that it would be gone within minutes. Feral lifted one from the tray and sniffed at it. She took a hesitant bite and smiled. "This is good. What is it?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   21/7/2013, 4:52 pm

Whisk, who had been helping Flora carry the food out, smiled as she went over to Feral.

"Freshly made bread with garlic and olive oil. Makes most mouths water the minute they get a whiff of it."

She giggled as she set another tray down.

"You're going to experiencing a lot of gourmet cooking Feral. Though, if you ever need anything simple from your tribe, I'm sure Flora can teach me how to make it."

Gold gave a short laugh.

"I'm gonna have to learn to cook better myself."

She looked at Lightning and grinned widely.

"Don't wanna get spoiled after all."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   21/7/2013, 5:19 pm

Feral smiled and gave a small chuckle. She finished her piece of garlic bread and took another, by tracing her hoof back towards the previous location of the tray. She flicked her ears towards Mist's parents. Her eyes followed quickly after, meeting Haze's for a brief moment. "I believe you said your parents were here, Mist? I know Haze is, but I'm not familiar with your father. I apologize if I'm being rude in saying so."

She gave a shy smile and flicked her ears and eyes go where Worn Blade was seated. "I am Feral Whisper, the newest member of the herd."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   21/7/2013, 5:45 pm

The large stallion had an even larger grin as he spoke, once he finished his second large mug of ale. Haze had been trying to get him to stop, but apparently there was no keeping a Scoltstallion from his ale.

The stallion spoke.

"A pleasure ta mee' ya Feral."

He leaned forward in his seat a little more.

"A ba'pony eh? Ha, ah guess Misty really di' get 'er mother's wild streak."

Mist blushed red again as she spoke in a higher pitched voice.

"Daaad, can you PLEASE stop saying that?! You're driving me up the wall over here!"

Worn Blade gave a jovial laugh as he looked at Feral, though noticing her eyes his smile seemed to lessen. He wanted to ask, but he didn't want to offend. He could tell she was a strong mare with how confident she looked, and a mare feeling burdened by a disability would never carry such confidence. Blade knew this because he too knew that feeling. The scars along his right leg seemed to burn a little as his thoughts trailed to them.

He threw out the thoughts he had and his smile grew big again.

"Ah mus' say, ah never would 'ave guessed tha' ah would be callin' a ba'pony me daughter, bu' no complaints 'ere!"

He gave one more laugh before finishing.

"Jus' like everyone else wi' mah Misty, ye are me daughter now Feral. Welcome to the family!"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   22/7/2013, 6:01 am

"Pleased to meet you as well," she said. "That warms my heart to no end that you have accepted me as family, even before any official rites have been conducted. If you'll pardon the wording - I'm not sure its quite correct." She glanced over in the direction where she heard someone's fork clatter against the plate.

Turning back to face in their direction, albiet off slightly, she continued, "I know that there are certain aspects to myself that may be unsettling or perhaps a point of harassment, but I ensure you that I shall provide what I am able and more for my mates."

Lightning smiled and glanced over at Mist. At this point her archaic terminology was probably causing Mist to feel rather sick. She was waiting for her to start visibly sweating.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   22/7/2013, 7:12 am

Blade still grinned widely.

"Good on ye lassie. Ah know yew will do much for mah Misty."

Mist groaned as she laid her chin on the table.

Haze smiled as well and spoke.

"We are certainly looking forward to the wedding. It will be quite exciting, to say the least. Oh, and meeting your parents as well..."

It was at that comment that Fas and Stone paled, Stone's gaze falling onto her plate and Fas's gaze only staring at the wall, her claws digging into the table. Gold, who was sitting next to Stone, patted her on the back and gave a worried look at Lightning, then Feral.

Haze noticed the sudden dread in the air, losing her smile the same time as Blade's.

Haze quickly spoke.

"I-I'm sorry, did I say something wrong? I didn't mean to ruin the mood..."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   22/7/2013, 8:05 am

Lightning gave a weak smile. "Not everyone's parents are like you. Mist is lucky to have both of you, and so are we."

Flora burst into the room with a huge cassarole of spicy macaroni and cheese with chipotle sauce and jumbalaya spices mixed in. The smell made Lightning's mouth water. Feral on the other hoof coughed and covered her nose. "Goodness. Did you add fire as an ingredient to that dish, Flora?"

Flora smiled. "I thought it would kick things up a notch in here," she said casually, letting her wit roll off the tongue naturally. "Enjoy. Another round of garlic bread will be ready shortly. Whisk will be bringing in pasta alternatives if this is undesirable to your palates."

She removed the trays and winked at Lightning. She knew the pegasus needed a little bit of help, and for that, she was grateful.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   22/7/2013, 8:25 am

Gold spoke up to break a little more of tension.

"Anyways, it's all good Haze. We got more than enough support to get through the rougher patches of being in a herd, and being one of the only modern herds that we know of. Sure, we've gotten plenty of enemies, but I think we'll get through with this as long as we have that support."

Haze slowly nodded as she looked quizzically at Gold.

"What about your parents...."

Gold gave a small smile.

"I like to keep my parents on the down-low. They're good though. I pretty much got my personality from both of them."

Stone sighed and shook her head with a rueful smile.

"They're pretty quick to defend Gold too....if they ever met my parents, it would end with bruises and broken bones...for both sides. Right now, I have to worry about my parents coming down here without warning, which they'll likely do, especially once word gets out about the mansion being moved."

Blade gave a small scoff.

"Parents tha' don' support they're kids won' get any good graces from me."

Haze slapped a hoof against his side, giving him a look.

"Don't you dare start losing your temper honey. We're hear for a few days to get to know Lightning and our other future daughters."

He gave a stubborn look.

"But Haze-"

She slapped him in the back of the head this time, and instead of Blade grunting in pain, he actually grinned.

"Ye hits don' do me any pain, but it is the thought tha' counts...."

Haze gave a look while Blade only chuckled.

Stone was giving a small grin.

"Now, if only I could do that to Gold..."

Said pegasus's pupils shrank a little, and she covered up her fear by shovelinh the spicier casserole into her muzzle, Fas looking on in amusement.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   23/7/2013, 4:16 am

As Luna's moon rose over the landscape, Lightning retreated to the sun room to check on her planner. With things as hectic as they were, she hadn't looked at her schedule for a while. Her face paled. There were many upcoming events she was expected to attend that she had never even rsvp'd for. Her head hit the table with a light thunk.

The sounds of laughing and excited chatter rose from downstairs. She had allowed one bottle of wine to go out for after dinner drinks, but with the express conditions that Flora consult her before opening a second bottle for the group. She could imagine the excitement they were having at Mist's expense and she wished she could go downstairs.

Her hoof tapped the lamp and the sparks ignited the oil. She smiled at the nice design. Convenient and compact, it was one of the few things she would have had back in her apartment. She shook her head. That was a dark place she didn't want to go.

"Lightning, you sound tense."

She looked over her shoulder, to see the Princess in her room.

"Don't get up. This is business, but we can afford to be informal." She motioned for Lightning to slide over. Lightning complied, as a huge map was unfurled on the desk. "This is the location we will be moving this town to. You will better be able to see it tomorrow, however I thought I should show you what the lay of the land looks like."

Several buildings popped out of the ground, as did the railway and the river. She rose an eyebrow. "What are these?"

"The currently constructed buildings in the quarter. These are the placements that Lady Comet Strike proposed, assuming you will build on the high ground." Luna pointed to the hill in the center of the map.

Lightning nodded. She could see what Lady Comet Strike was hinting at. The chief of the tribe knew how to plan around a good defense. When they had visited the old site of the village while looking for Mist's mother, she had noticed how surrounded somepony felt while there. Some of it was clear of trees, but the canopies and the mountains in the forest made it impossible to leave by air undetected. The woods were a huge trap as well - the batponies could drop down on unsuspecting foes.

Here it seemed that she was planning around a strong hill- style defense, with the mansion and its walls on the top of the hill, while the rest of the city was laid out below it. That showed a place of prominence within the city, and allowed it to build around it.

But that also left more room for other homes on the hilltop - no doubt, nobility, or the imports t would want to live there, but in her mind, she didn't want that apparent divide to occur. Perhaps more governmental buildings could go in place of nobles. Since her walls retracted, it was also possible for the "divide" between upper and possible lower class to be removed.

"I'm not the best at city planning, but from boot camp, the basic idea of holding high ground seems pretty reasonable. I will consult with Lady Comet Strike on defensive planning, as well as Fas. Griffons have more conflict than Equestrians do, so she might know a thing or two. What I can guess is that there should be multiple defensive walls, like in Canterlot. One around the mansion, one around the inner circle - one I would hope to put government buildings and services in, and then one around the city proper."

Luna smiled. "A wise decision. I see you've read The Founding of Canterlot."

Lightning smiled sheepishly. She owned a copy of it, sent over from the Platinum household. She pointed at it sitting on the shelf. "It seems I remember more than I thought."

Luna nodded and rolled up the map. "I will bring this as a rough copy to the designer who will meet you in the morning. The rail station will be starting tomorrow as well, so you might have some hungry workers after everything is moved."

She nodded. "Good business for Fauna, then."

Luna smiled and muzzled against Lightning. "Untill tomorrow, my student." She took to the sky and disappeared into the night. lightning returned to her desk and idly tapped her hoof on the table, trying to refocus on the schedule book.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   23/7/2013, 6:51 am

Gold had excused herself from the table a few minutes ago, not trusting herself around wine. She was walking through the halls, trying to find something to entertain herself with, but nothing was really standing out.

As she walked by the Sun Room, so stopped as she noticed Lightning.

She gave a small smile and gently walked in, moving beside the pegasus.

Gold spoke in an unusually quiet and reserved voice.

"Hey Lightning...just wanted to see how you were doing. You left without explaining, and I didn't trust myself around the wine."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   23/7/2013, 2:46 pm

Lightning looked over and gave her a smile. "Just some work I've left undone for a while - responding to invitations and other things like that. You missed the Princess. She just popped in to show me the layout of the building site. Its nice. A river flows along the tracks and its defensible in a pinch."

Lightning leaned over and muzzled against Gold. "How come you aren't downstairs with the others?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   23/7/2013, 3:16 pm

Gold simply shrugged.

"Well, we're going to be seeing Blade and Haze around for a few days, so I'm willing to miss just this."

She gave a coy smile and leaned into Lightning.

"Plus, I don't think I wanna leave your side right now. I got to get all my time in before all your duties really kick in, with guard training only being a start. And, well, I just want to be with you just so I can be with you."

She had a look of realization.

"Oh, and expect a letter from Fancy Pants if the mail comes in and I'm not not around. He's looking up a contractor that'll help me and Stone with our shop's design."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   24/7/2013, 5:04 pm

Lightning nodded and rose from her chair. She placed a wing over Gold's back and brought her tightly against her side. "There will never be a time where the rest of my life is more important than my mares. Don't ever think otherwise."

She kissed Gold's nose. "No matter how busy I become, I will make the time to be with you. I could care less if I lost everything else, so long as you girls were willing to stick by me, I'd be happy."

She tugged on Gold's ear and motioned for her to follow. The work could wait another night.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   24/7/2013, 5:35 pm

Downstairs, Mist sighed as she laid her head on the table, Fas somehow managing to converse with both Blade and Haze about the many things that happened to their heard, from before even the griffon joined and it was only Gold, Stone, and Lightning.

Stone of course was filling in the gaps, though she made sure to gloss over what happened in the Underground and some incidents that happened after.

No point in telling them some of the problems they had, for Stone feared what a stallion like Worn Blade could do...or would do....

Blade was still grinning as he stood.

"It shouldn' be too late ta spar wi' the lassie. Ah gotta see wha' she can do!"

Something swam into Mist's mind that made her stand as well, her eyes a little wide.

"Um, dad? It kinda is too late."

The questioning look her father was giving the unicorn made her feel a little chilled along her spine, but her training made her good at lying if she ever got captured and interrogated....granted that she never really finished the class....or volunteered for the training in the first place.

"She's got work to do. She is still the head of the Hurricane House, so she has paperwork and the like to keep her busy."

Blade stared at her before giving a small pout.

"Aw, well, tomorrow then, if she ain't busy."

He turned for the door.

"Ah'm gonnae go outside for some air."

He left quickly, with Haze only sighing.

"That stallion is getting his wanderlust again. Next thing you know, we'll be fishing him out of a tree two miles into the Everfree. I'm going with him."

She quickly went over and nuzzled Mist goodbye before going out the same door as Blade, following him closely.

Mist gave a loud sigh as she sat back in her chair.

Fas took the time to look around the room and make sure no one was in hearing range before speaking.

"Is it what I expect?"

Mist gave a deadpan look.

Stone gave a small laugh.

"At least they won't be stressed tomorrow..."

Fas laughed lightly as well as she took a sip of water from glass.

"Good stalling Mist. Might as well find a way to occupy the time."

Mist scratched her chin before looking out the small archway out of the kitchen, seeing Whisk looking as though she had come back to pack up for the night. An idea came to Mist.

"Wanna play some poker? I got a deck of cards in the living room. Stone can get the chips and you can get the snacks. Bring Whisk along too, I wanna see how she plays."

Fas smirked as she quickly went into the kitchen and Stone left the dining room.

Mist sighed.

"At least now we got a way to keep ourselves entertained...."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   25/7/2013, 4:12 am

Lightning yawned as she touched down on the top of the grassy hill where the city planner was standing with his table filled with different papers. It was early, just after dawn. Lady Comet Strike touched down beside her, as did Fas, who Lightning dragged with her.

Unfortunately, the distance that had been spouted between the new town locale and Ponyville was, frankly, wrong. Twenty miles was the actual distance between the two towns, which irritated her greatly. But, that was a fault of the map, not in the decision itself. Still, the location was best for defense and she couldn't complain about that. If she had to, she would fly Gold and Stone over to the town.

"M'ladies," the earth pony mare said, bowing low. "I apologize that the maps were inaccurate. Had I been the one to create them, I would assure you their accuracy would be complete."

Lightning shook her head, "Please, proceed. No need to dwell on the past."

"Of course," she said. The mare rolled out the magic map of the area with the locations Lightning and Comet Strike had laid out previously. Lightning nudged Fas. "I want your input on this. You have more experience with defending locales."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   25/7/2013, 7:25 am

Fas gave a faint yawn and nodded as she looked around with bleary eyes, her ability to plan immediately switching to autopilot.

This was slowed as she yawned again, rubbing her neck.

"Sorry, played cards with Mist, Stone, and Whisk for awhile. I'm a little beat..."

She gave a small smile.

"But I've had worst. I suppose we oughta get started..."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   25/7/2013, 12:06 pm

Lightning nodded and placed her hoof on the map. "This is where we are. The elevation is rather nice here and the hill has a rather big crest. when it gets flattened out, it should be good for several buildings. I'm thinking we build the city with two walls. An outer wall with some protection from Timberwolves and whatever might be lurking in the woods, and an inner wall to protect the government buildings and ourselves and Lady Comet Strike."

The mare rubbed her chin. "Could work. But the ground near the river is really poor for walls. The water overfills its banks being so close to the gorge."

Lightning looked at Fas for some input.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   25/7/2013, 12:25 pm

Fas gave a short yawn again as she knelt down, drawing into the dirt, taking time to look back at the map before going back to digging up the soild with her claws.

"Alright, if the river's here, then what you can do is either raise the banks by taking the soil we dig out of the hill crest and using the stronger mixture to strengthen it and raise it so that water can't overfill, but if that can't work, we can simply dig a series of return tunnels that will cycle the water farther up, allowing both runoff and flood waters to stay out from the wall."

She had been gesturing in the dirt the whole time, making a small ridge for the bank and adding to it as she spoke.

Fas dusted her claws on her side and looked up at the others.

"If neither work, we're better off building a little farther from the river in order to avoid weakening and collapsing the wall."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   26/7/2013, 10:09 am

The mare nodded again. "That would be the best thing for an outer wall, but both of those things need to be approved by a commune of Princess Celestia's Generals. The military would have to know the designs and of course see if that is a wise use of tax money."

Lightning nodded understandingly.

"By the way, forgive me I've been very focused on this - my name is Foundation."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   26/7/2013, 10:36 am

Fas gave a small smirk.

"Nice to meet ya. At least we got someone that knows what they're doing..."

She looked around at the hill crest, then slowly flapped her wings and took off at a lazy pace of flight, landing on a spot near the hill base. From a distance, it looked like she was just digging into the dirt and looking around, but what she really doing was testing the soil and taking measurement of both the distance from the top of the hill to the bottom, then seeing if the raises were of a certain acceptable standard.

The griffon came back, a small smirk on her beak.

"You know, if we ever had to build a really fortified area, I think we'd have a huge advantage with uphill terrain. I already know where we could build trebuchets, ballistas, and catapults."

She shrugged as she sidled up to Lightning, a simple grin on her face.

"It wouldn't be useful, but I thought I'd simply share it."

She tapped her left temple with a claw tip as she looked at Lightning.

"When you go to a four year class that's taught by an old veteran stallion that screams half the words he speaks and is so passionate about the knowledge, it tends to stick to ya."

She gave a nostalgic sigh.

"Siege Engine knew so much about siege engines....fitting name for him."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   26/7/2013, 1:30 pm

Lightning chuckled. She refrained from making a joke about his name, long enough for Foundation to roll up the map. As she did so one of the trains on the track came into site, slowing down along the way. Lightning watched curiously as it stopped down towards the bottom of the hill.

"Ah good. They've arrived to make the station," she said.

"Who?" Lightning asked.

"Steel Tie's Steel Ties. They do a lot of infrastructure work for the government - putting in accessible rail to new towns and maintaining existing lines. Steel Tie sits on the Board of Advisors on the Economy. Farmer turned mogul. He doesn't care much for politics but is a genuinely kind pony. Half of his bits every year goes to struggling schools. It'll be a shame when his son takes over."

Lightning looked at Fas curiously, but Foundation was already packing up. "I'll send you the revised map with the railway station added in. For now, that's all for today. See you tomorrow for the big migration."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   26/7/2013, 1:35 pm

Fas returned Lightning's curious look before shrugging, wrapping a large brown wing around her.

"Well, that was....sudden."

She shrugged and smiled, pecking Lightning on the forehead.

"At least we're done now...I need a nap, or caffeine."

She gave a sly smirk.

"Only one of those makes me go crazy, and it switches every time."

She turned her head to watch Foundation leave, then looked back at the group that was going to build the station.

"Hope we don't get any problems...because that train station is going to be a major impact for the town. Some of the citizens need to get to Ponyville somehow after all, and I don't think the pony I know in the carriage business runs the the carriage business anymore."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   26/7/2013, 1:37 pm

Lady Comet Strike smiled. "They will manage, as we must adjust our lives and habits. Shall we return? I have a long evening tomorrow to prepare for."

Lightning nodded. "Yes, let's."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony III   

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