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About Varied / Hobbyist Premium Member DanielMale/United States Group :iconchangelinghunters: ChangelingHunters
 
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TheDizzyDan
Daniel
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
United States
I am not a very true artist, just one who likes to see pictures. I have an inappreciable ability to draw, and I have very little interest in developing my skills in the field of visual art. If anything, I am much more into the fields of theatre acting and singing, for they are my main artistic passions. I am both enthralled and intimidated by the community here since it so large and variable. I have not yet found my niche in any community, but chances are that I have stepped in at least a small part of most.

I am interested in the business of voice acting, so, if you need a voice actor, I would be glad to be of service. I am willing to provide contact information to anyone considering me for a voice actor role or tryout. Additionally, I am interested in doing audio readings for anyone (be it CreepyPasta, poetry, prose, or whatever it is).

As you may see in my gallery, I do write from time to time. I hope you enjoy what I have to offer in the literature field. I've written a dark fan-ficiton for My Little Pony, but I don't consider myself a very hardcore writer. I upload essays I've done for school, and I very rarely feel inspired to write.

Photography is the other thing I do. Mostly, it's sky and landscape pictures; whatever I happen to catch happening above me I tend to take a picture of if I think it's nice.

I do llamas for llamas, but I neither do WATCH for WATCH nor FAVE for FAVE. I reserve these to my personal tastes.

I am extremely busy with my schoolwork and rarely am on for long periods of time. I am also willing to proofread for anyone who can afford to wait until I acquire the time to get to proofreading the work. I find it is an enjoyable and helpful way to employ my skill in orthography, diction, and grammar when my creativity is devoted to non-writing ends. Anyone interested should feel free to send me a note, expressing his or her interest, on this site, and we can become acquainted and discuss the business.

I use Dogecoin.
Interests
  • Mood: Amazed
  • Listening to: "Piano Man" by Billy Joel
  • Reading: "Robinson Crusoe" and "The Art of War"
  • Watching: My own video, of course!
  • Playing: Solitaire
  • Eating: Nothing
  • Drinking: Virgil's Root Beer
I just want to thank all you people for your support!  I've reached 200 watchers.  The uploading for my fan-fiction is coming along very well, much better than I had anticipated it would.

Anyway, I want to share an upload with you guys.  There's a work called "Lives' End" on FIMFiction.net by a writer named Arvaus.  Arvaus recently gave me the thumbs up to proceed with a vocal reading of the work, and I am pleased with the outcome.  I will provide a link to the video below, which is where you will also find a link directly to the story.  I also share with you :iconarvaus: 's profile on here so that you can check out his versatile MLP artwork, as well.



Here's to the new year, everyone!  I'll be back in school by Monday morning, but I'm looking forward to what's ahead.  As always, I'll be watching you all, however mutely.  Good evening.

Activity


Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: violence/gore)
Entry 20


       I have never been in a hospital before, but, if I was to imagine visiting one, it wouldn’t be like this one.  It is desolately silent here in the infirmary.  I would have expected a little more bustle in a health facility, but maybe that makes recovering ponies nervous.  To me the lack of busy raucousness is perturbing.  My physicians have told me all the information about my injuries I need to know and have kindly permitted me to continue writing in this journal, which somehow survived beneath my coat.  

       However, these professionals are far less cordial than I had imagined them to be.  They must know who I am.  They won’t tell me the time!  It’s maddening.  

       I presume this facility is in Manehattan, but I can’t be certain because I’ve never heard of one being here.  I guess I’m not as familiar with here as I’d like to be.

       The doctors say that St. Periwinkle’s building collapsed.  It was a good thing I was on the roof and had nothing to tumble on top of me to break me.  I was found with much plaster covering me.  They said I looked dead, but my vitals were alright.  I should be released later today, but they keep me in a bed still.  I have not seen any of the professionals pass in the hallway outside for about an hour.

       I do not know how long I have been asleep.  I’ll ask the gentlecolt in the bed next to me once he awakens.  I have not told my caretakers about the dreams I experienced for fear of jeopardizing the professional amity they’ve apparently managed to regard me with during my slumber.  I am sound of both being and mind at the moment; I have them to thank for this.

       Anyway, I doubt I’ll ever be able to forget the events right before the collapse, for in my dreams I witnessed them close to twenty-nine times.  

       The beginning started the same every time.  I stood in murk with two prodigious, pony-sized eyes facing directly at me.  They were solid white, having no pupils or irises.  They were two-dimensional.  I walked over to the right of the set of eyes and found that, if I stood perfectly perpendicular to where they faced front and back, I would see nothing of them.  From this point I would turn around and run unseen.  At some point I would suddenly fall midstride over a vertical edge.  I would fall with no wind until I hit a springboard that would propel me, shattering the otherworldly darkness and placing me back at the scene of our confrontation.

       Each time the events recurred I saw things unfold from a different angle:  one time it would be from far overhead, another time it would be from some distant building, another time it was from my eyes, another was from Starfall’s eyes, and yet another was from some odd angle close to the roof or from the perspective of an insignificant snowflake lying on top of it.

       It took Starfall quite a few minutes to spot me.  She was pretty far up in the clouds, obscured from casual public ponies’ glances, and definitely not in the best position to see me.  While I waited I kept reverting back to the thought that the ashes I had assumed were Jackson’s remains were, in fact, planted there to give the impression of his slaughter.  I fidgeted, and the cooled night air began to penetrate my coat.  From the detached angles of the unconscious mental replays I could see that I had many times my head turned away from Starfall.  I felt certain that I’d be ambushed before I was even spotted.

       Eventually, I did turn my head back to Starfall, and her outline had become bigger and more distinct; her eyes were definite and locked on me even as she swooped about her descent like an autumnal leaf falling.  Still, my guard was raised; I never thought I’d get so well acquainted with the motion of checking over my shoulder.  She did not land on the building but merely hovered overhead, making a slow circle around me low enough so that the edge of the roof concealed her from potential passersby from the streets below.  I was not intimidated by this initial formality, but the wildness of her vampiric look, copiously hairy ears, and terribly protruding fangs gave me cause for intimidation.

       “Funny to see you so nervous.”  She addressed me in a breathy whisper, and I kept my eyes away from her, knowing that she was the diversion.

       Suddenly, I found myself unable to glance backward.  In fact, I could not move anything but my mouth and my eyes.  Terror didn’t seize me immediately, but I felt it coming.  She was floating behind me somewhere, but by sound I could not tell how close she was.

       “There.  If you can’t bring yourself to be calm, you’ll be at least close to it.”

       “Is Jackson coming or not?!”  I tried to shout, but her spell kept my voice as low as hers was.

       She floated before me, gave a jerk of her head, and hissed at me.  “You assail me with such a question.  You are one ungrateful little foal.”

       I couldn’t comprehend it.  

       “You definitely don’t get the whole picture.  Hmm.”

       Before she could develop her thought, I buzzed in, “Why slay Jackson, then?”

       “Be careful.  You tempt me even though I am exercising all the self-discipline in the world t—“

       “Does time really matter if you’re not going to give me a fighting chance?”

       “Then let me explain.  The truth should be obvious to you, but it has apparently not crossed your mind.  I’ve certainly thought about my choice to become what I am now.  I spent all those months you mentioned not hearing from me in waiting.  I knew Jackson would come for you, but I could never have hoped that you would bring yourself to fight him if he caught you.  You’ve never had to bring down one of your own, so you wouldn’t detach yourself enough.  You’re also incapable of incapacitating a pony by any means other than poison or brawn or blade.  All he needed to do was match your brawn, and no feral hunter could ignore such good chances forever.  So I waited until my augmentations to the mansion’s defense enchantments detected his presence.

       “I approached the mansion in a haze of doubt, but, as soon as I opened the door and, with a spell, stopped Steiner and Jackson from charging me, all my ideas fell into place.  You see, I promptly destroyed Jackson.  His mind was completely corrupted by the vampirism, and I didn’t want him tempting me or killing you.  Steiner, however, I could use because he and I were about equal in strength.  I could struggle with him some in order to wake you up.  After I teleported you, I let Steiner do his work on me long enough sire me, and then I destroyed him.  He could have drained me too dry, or worse, he could have still pursued you while I transformed.”  She laughed gutturally with her mouth closed at her cleverness.

       “I don’t believe you, and, if I did, I still wouldn’t get you.”

       “Won’t you look for the honesty in my eyes?”

       “Even you told me not to look in them.  Remember, during our previous. . .meeting?”

       “You choose to put your faith in the order that disowned you – twice.  You will be made to understand that other things are at play here.”  She began to slowly dip in altitude and arise again when she was in front of me as she performed her circles.

       “I have decided that you are an enemy.  Whether my allegiance to the Inquisition played a part in that is irrelevant.”

       It looked as if I had hurt her again.  “You won’t even look at me to see whether I’m honest.”

       To be truthful, I was afraid to.  “By what reason could I possibly expect honesty?”

       “Because you asked your friend a question about a mutual friend.”

       “No, he was an enemy even to you.”

       “Then the enemy of my enemy. . .”

       “He’s dead by your account if I am to believe you!”

       “Then I’d say you owe me a look.”  She flew before me, “I promise. . .”

       “Yesterday’s promise is worth dirt even before the broken word is appraised.  And still, I haven’t proof you aren’t setting me up.”

       “I missed that self-righteous impudence.”

       “You’re a monster.”

       “Nothing is so foolish as mistimed wisdom, my friend.  As a friend, not an Inquisitor, look at me.”

       It seemed there was no way to progress by remaining adamant.  I looked into her eyes, and I was not entranced.

       “Jackson is dead.”  Forcing her to repeat it was a mistake.  I caught sincere plaintiveness in her eyes, and although I could not move, I felt less ready to fight her.

       I exhaled audibly.  “Okay.”

       “You know, your lack of preparation for this encounter disappoints but does not at all surprise me.  Just like your ideals, you, too, are jaded.  You will need to develop for the hunt, and you will have all the time to do so once I have turned you.”

       “What brainwashing has brought you to such notions?  Why did you become a Vampony?”

       She grinned widely and stuck out her tongue.  “I protested your ideas at first, but I soon got down to thinking.  Why didn’t Luna put your ideas down?”

       “The idea soon proved too efficacious to not fully imbibe, I thought.”

       “In a sense, yes, but you’re thinking in terms of the war on the Changelings.  Indeed, that’s probably what most of Equestria has come to believe.  Can you imagine any other reason?”

       “I have no idea.”

       “You answer too quickly.  Anyway, I realized that she must have actually seen this coming from what you said to her way back in her study.  Once the Vamponies became real again, I realized that Princess Luna had more foresight than even that.  There’s a connection between the fall of the Vamponies and Nightmare Moon’s fall.”

       “Starfall, their defeats were centuries apart, and I hope you’re not leading to your being an NMC (this was our acronym for a Nightmare Moon cultist).”

       “I’m no NMC.  Anyway, you missed the point.  She had grown that powerful, Zeta!  The Vamponies had obtained such a presence as to outlast her even though she was around only briefly.  Now they’re back and more rampant than even then, and it’s not even Luna’s doing, yet I’ll wager that any day now she will vie to wield them once again.”

       “Why not stick around to potentially stop her, then?  You’re good at hunting them yourself, Starfall, you could have achieved so much in bringing them down!”

       “Mmm.  Keyword there: hunt.  I realized I would become an even better hunter with a Vampony’s thirst in my throat.  Not only this time do the Vamponies have a real chance to rise, but we also have ponies in existence with the ability to control their own thirst.”

       “Sired Bat Ponies?”

       “You betcha.  Luna let that happen, too, in preparation for this.”

       “I don’t see where I play a big role in any of this.  I don’t need to be a Vampony, and I am not by any degree a Bat Pony.”

       “True, but I can teach you to overcome it, skipping the middle process.  Think of all the Earth ponies added to the ranks of late.  Only somepony as high as up as Luna could have orchestrated such a radical change.  She saw it coming a century ago when ponies were becoming bats, and now unicorn-bats like me are being turned.  You’ve got a brain on your burly shoulders; you just need to think the right way.  In a battle of sheer strength I still cannot prevail against you.  You saw me with Steiner; although I am stronger now, without magic I would have been able to slay neither him nor Jackson.  Many Inquisitors like you will stand paralyzed before sentient, lucid Vamponies like me.  However, this shall be the first time.  Isn’t it a luscious thought?”

       “Without your magic, you couldn’t have secured becoming the siren standing before me.”

       “Such cruel words from a stallion who proclaims to be so caring!”

       “It is clear you’ve taken my theory too far, and you’ve warped its purpose.”  I began to struggle against the magic.  Although I couldn’t budge, I could express my disapproval that way.

       “Are you getting dizzier from my circling you?  I’ll stop before you get sick.”

       “Why don’t you let go of me instead and see if I can’t slash you?”

       Starfall began to sigh but then coughed an unholy, dry, harrowing cough.  “Why must you force so many words from me?  The least you could do is to offer me a drink.”

       She freed me, but I was still wobbly from my sensations of deadly nerves, vertigo, and the dizziness she rightfully guessed at.  I slapped myself from my daze and found her levitating before the edge of the building.  I couldn’t let her run away still a threat, so, not bothering to draw my sword, I sprinted and performed a flying side kick.

       That was rash.  I have no idea how I would have survived even if I had connected the blow.  Instead, she caught me, and this was when I noticed her Cutie Mark.  It was a cerulean-hilted sword pointed straight down, the very tip coated with blood, with a crimson ribbon attached to the brassy pommel.  Partly by magic she had caught me midair, but she was nonetheless gripping my left hind leg when she said, “Try again?”

       She flew up, did a somersault in the air, and chucked me down onto the roof.  The pain struck me, but the affront impacted doubly as a personal blow, and tears came.

       Starfall was descending from the sky.  The magenta clouds in the background outlined the red in her irises.  She smiled callously, “Weep if you must.  I’ll listen as the blood rushes to your head.”

       I wasn’t sure at the time if the blow to my head from the impact was making me dizzier, but I fought it to stand up.  She landed on the roof before me and stepped diabolically slowly toward me.  Each crunch in the snow, I realized, was a grain of sand running out of my hourglass, but I was really wobbling and about to fall over.  I looked in her eyes and saw her suddenly look down.  I felt my scarf constricting me, and I wrestled it off, but by the time I had done so she was gone.  I had the sensation of weightlessness and had a few seconds to realize that my throwing off the scarf was an illusion.  I must have been falling unconscious, I reasoned, from the cutting off of blood to my brain.

       However, that was not the case.  I am in the hospital because the building had collapsed; I really was falling.  Starfall must’ve flown away when she noticed that the hotel swayed beneath her.

       The pony in the bed immediately to my right is named Indigo Sky.  He told me that the thunderstorm on the day of our confrontation was in fact a battle for his life.  Somepony was trying to murder him by zapping him.  He used to be indigo, he said, but now his pigment is what I’d call a laser blue.

       He started crying as he told me how he had no idea why anypony would be out to kill him.  Even by his voice one could tell that he is of a very gentle disposition.

       I couldn’t help but mention, “These are dark times we’re in.  Changelings and Vamponies make the news, and still there’s room for reckless murder among ponies.”

       “What’s the world coming to?”

       I had no way to respond to that.  Whatever it is, I am responsible for it.  I have effected a terrible wrong; whether it’s viewed as mistaken or not, I am to blame.  I’ve had to reread this whole thing, and it shreds me.

       I don’t know what to make of the cryptic message that Starfall gave to me to send to Princess Luna.  By that point her delusions must have seized her.  Having been on the inside of the Inquisition for a while, though, she must’ve known that I’d be barred to see Princess Luna.  Was it to get me away so that she could chase me?  Had she slipped so far over the edge as to forget that I actually couldn’t see Luna?  Is the message really only meant for me?

       The Inquisition must have stopped caring about me, or I’d have some support in fighting Starfall.  I don’t know how, but I will slay her.  I don’t like to think this way, but, if she does make me one of those things, the Inquisition may finally have its clear-cut reason to neutralize me.  If that is its wish, I trust the judgment.  Otherwise, maybe I’d be able to undermine the Vamponies once I’d regained conscious thought.  

       I refuse to think like Starfall, but it has crept into my mind that Luna has plans for me and is waiting for me to succumb to the vampirism.  If this is the case, I must undermine it as soon as I’m released.  I will do it.  For the princesses, for the innocents, for my former comrades, for my own name, for the Inquisition, for sanity, for peace, I will stop them, however significantly.  

       Luna should have learned her lesson, but I will take the fight to her if that is what the situation requires of me.  I will if my name isn’t Z—

Do tell, Zeta.

       Curses on you and your soulless kind.

Take it easy.  You don’t have much time left.

       I assume you were the one to put out all the lights here?

I’m glad they left you here.  You know, they vacated the place two hours ago.  Ponies are fleeing like mad.  We’ll begin the raid on your hospital in just a few moments.

       It could have just been a power outage.  You’re toying with me!  Not even you could tell me where I am from what little I know about this place.

You’re room 408, which means you are on the fourth floor.  Clearing your floor will be my job.

       I can’t conceive it.

       Let the record stand that I cannot leave this place.  I do not acquiesce to what may transpire here.  It is dark in the hallway, and I am in unfamiliar territory, so I cannot escape. . .

First floor – CLEARED

       I cannot bring myself to yell. . .

Basement – CLEARED

       I may wake Indigo.  He doesn’t deserve to witness this horror.  Let him pass in a gentle manner fit for him.

Second floor – CLEARED     You know, the stairwells here are dreadful.  Far too narrow.

       I may be in a hospital, but I am a dead pony.  I hope the remaining copy of this is in safe hooves.

Third floor – CLEARED

       I should’ve been a police pony.  The stairwell door opened with a thud in the distance, and I hear no hooves on the ground.  Anticipation kills.

Yes, it does.
Zeta Cherrypaste, Changeling Hunter (Imt: 14)
Installment 14 of my MLP:  FIM Fan-Fiction "The Journals of Zeta Cherrypaste."

Deep in the Royal Archives survives the last remaining copy of the diary of a visionary.  Straight from the horse's mouth, follow the story of a defrocked Changeling hunter determined to help ponykind.

With volition ingrained in him, Zeta Cherrypaste strives to combat the menaces plaguing Equestria alongside the Inquisition, an order founded to root out the most nefarious and pernicious forces against the kingdom.

This story is somewhat based off the conjectures and postulations in the comments section of Silent Shade, The Changeling Hunter especially the comments made by users :iconsomerandomminion: and :iconbrutalityinc:.

An audio reading of this full work is in the process of being made.  Links will be provided once it is done.
First entry:  Zeta Cherrypaste, Changeling Hunter (Imt: 1)
Preceding entry:  Zeta Cherrypaste, Changeling Hunter (Imt: 13)
Following entry:  This is the final entry.

This work can also be found here:  www.fimfiction.net/story/23709…
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Entry 17


       I’m back on the train.  Starfall has given me a ride to freedom, wherever that is.  The conductor doesn’t intend to give any favor to me beyond permitting me to ride, even though I paid the fare, so I don’t know whether I slept for a day or for several in the basement.  It is daylight now, and I anxiously await Starfall to rendezvous with me here.

       I had been dreaming of doughnuts and rye bread before I awoke to the sound of a shouting female voice and a few loud thumps overhead.  I climbed out of the box and proceeded to the door but warily backed away.  It was some diversion, I thought, to get me to walk into their trap.  However, Starfall’s grunting off the pain from being launched into the kitchen cabinet assured me that there was a struggle I had to join.

       I ran out and found Steiner approaching Starfall.  I called out, “You’re going down, fiend!”

       Starfall cast a beam at him before I had time to charge ahead, but he sidled out of the way.

       “Don’t look into their eyes, Zeta!”

       Starfall pushed herself from the cabinet.  As she did so, Steiner made to push her back against it.  She grabbed his forelegs, though, and they were suddenly in a deadlock.  She was looking in his eyes but had conjured a magical lens which apparently neutralized his gaze.

       I drew my rapier.  “I’ll take care of Jackson.”  I ran into the lounge and found his cinders.  Hunters’ familiarity with other hunters’ weaknesses had apparently worked in her favor this time.

       Starfall was nearly out of breath.  “You can’t.  Dead.”

       “I’ll just slay Steiner, then.”

       “No, you mustn’t.”

       “Oh, right!  We can arrest him and find our cure!”

       “Not that.  I’ll deal with Steiner.  You must leave; I’ll teleport you to the train.  Tell Princess Luna that the nightmare has not begun until the head hits the hay.”

       Before I could question her command and cryptic message, I found myself on a train headed back to Manehattan.  It’ll be nightfall by the time I arrive.  I’ll stop by the bank to pick up the money I’ll need for the fare to Canterlot.

       I am trying not to fear the worst, but, now that I’ve written the events down, it is clear that Starfall had no intention of emerging from the mansion.  Why save me, though?  By now she must have brought herself to hate me.  Perhaps that’s just it.  All this to spite me.

       Vindictive or not, she gave me a final wish to fulfill, and I kind of want to speak with Luna myself.

___

       My face was too familiar to the train ticket clerk.  I had conceived that my exile was self-imposed, but I am physically barred from entering Canterlot on account of the debacle I caused.  They probably want me dead as soon as they want Chrysalis’s head, but they can’t get me for an accident.  

       I have decided to keep myself at St. Periwinkle’s place.

       I made a large withdrawal from my bank account and trotted from there to St. Periwinkle’s.  Unlike in the mountains through which we in the train rode, snow was scheduled to fall here, and it’s terribly frigid outside.  Even with my coat and scarf on, I was shivering.  



       As I passed through this low down district of Manehattan, I spied a dirty filly walking all on her lonesome into the middle of the street.  One became a witness to this from time to time during wintertime in this place; it was the death march that young, abandoned foals embarked on as despair finally seeped into their instincts.  They would not otherwise dare to emerge from the shadows that had borne them so far into their lives.

       I took a string from my coat and tethered my diary to my back as I offered her my coat.  I dumped about fifty bits from the heaping pile contained in my purse into the pockets and told her earnestly, “Friends, though absent, are still present.”

       She just ran off with my donation, but I knew my way was short yet, so I didn’t mind her not thanking me.



       I found St. Periwinkle outside his hotel, knocking down sinister icicles with a rod.  They were all high enough to be deadly, but they didn’t exist on the top three floors’ sills.  It used to be that the heat couldn’t reach just the top floor.  His business, I assumed rightly, had gone back to the tank after I left.  

       I called to him, but he refrained from appearing to acknowledge my voice, as was his peculiar way, “I’m here on behalf of the mayor of Manehattan.  The city has issued an ordinance to have this building repurposed, and it offers you this as remuneration for your compliance and restitution for your inconvenience.”

       The place really should have been condemned before I even arrived here the first time, so even he had to have seen this coming.  He turned to me, protruded his lips, and nodded in understanding but resumed his task without missing any more beats.  Once he had knocked down all the icicles, he turned to me.

       “Glad ‘e waited, sonny.”

       I handed him the bag of coin.

       “’Tleast ‘e don’ hafta deal with no tenant ‘e be displacin’.”  He began to walk away to somewhere, but he turned back to me and said, “Deed’s behind the an’ient cider barrel in th’ back.”

       I rushed inside and closed the door.  It smelled worse in there, but at least it w

WAS WARM – RIGHT

       I recognize your hoofscratch.  I know you could’ve been watching me write, Starfall, but I had no idea writing in it worked both ways.

SUCH IS THE PLAGUE OF THE IGNORANT

       Let’s be civil.  Are you one of us or not?

A BETTER QUESTION IS – WHEN WILL YOU BE ONE OF US

       You know such a question only begs denial.

IMPUDENT RENEGADE     DO YOU NOT SEE THAT IT IS FITTING THAT OUR CREATOR JOIN US

       I see it only fitting that I should cleanse the souls I have inadvertently

KEEP YOUR ETHICS WHILE YOU CAN THEN    YOUR MIND’S STRUGGLE IS EQUALLY APPETIZING

       I will, seeing as your clues to my whereabouts are mute – and scarce.

PREDATORS HAVE AN AXIOM – THE PREY’S BODY WILL ALWAYS BETRAY ITS MIND – YOUR SCENT TRAIL IS AS CLEAR TO ME AS THIN POND ICE

       Follow it, and I shall drown you.

THIS HORSE SHALL SIMPLY DRINK FROM IT


Entry 18


       I can’t believe there’s no good parchment for me to write on.  I guess it really doesn’t matter if Starfall finds that I’ve been continuing my entries from the back of this book, anyway, so long as I’m careful not to say where she can specifically find me.  St. Periwinkle is stingy stallion!  He doesn’t even have a calendar.  The clock says it’s a quarter to eleven in the evening, but I don’t trust it.

       I do trust, however, that Starfall is neither sufficiently stealthy nor sufficiently crafty to find me tonight.  I do not doubt her capacity to find me, though.  I guess I must stand and fight with my back to the wall.  Our confrontation may happen tomorrow night or a week from now, but it looms.  I must slay her.  

       Perhaps then Princess Luna will forgive me.  Or perhaps not.  Perhaps my redemption can only come from an ultimate victory.  Perhaps she leaves me to my likely death because she wants no more trouble from me.  

       Am I just a pest?  Can she only forgive me once I can hurt her no longer?

       In this bug-ridden room there is a dingy full-length mirror.  St. Periwinkle must’ve been fairly vain.  I look at it and see my Cutie Mark and the symbols of my destiny.  I guess I bumped my cheek pretty bad; it’s a hideous purple.

       The road can’t end while I still have purpose.  I will find a way.  Starfall obviously can’t be persuaded to receive the cure formulae, but maybe someday some likeminded pony with the ability to restrain one of the beasts will aid me.

       First things go first, though.  I must sleep.  Then, our hunt for each other will commence.



Entry 19


       I returned to the bank today and bought myself another coat even though it’s not quite as cold outside.  It’s been overcast most of today, although in the distance there appears to be a thunderstorm.  It’s a little strange to have one in the winter, but it must be one of those anomalies, and I guess the distance can be attributed to the fact that nopony wants to be responsible for knocking out the grid here in Manehattan.

       I’ve retreated to the top floor of the building in order to evade the bugs.  I went ahead and took the deed St. Periwinkle pledged to me, not that it’ll be of much use.  Also of little use is locking the doors and windows to this place, but I’ve done so all the same.

       I’m going to sing for the two hours or so left until it is nighttime.  I shall wait for her to find me on the roof.  I’m placing this journal just outside the door to prevent myself from concentrating on anything else for now.  I just want to sing it out.  I’ll sing battle songs and maybe a Tonus Solemnis for our impending fight.  I will not sing a dirge.  I would be a failure to sing my own dirge and, in the case that I succeed in slaying her, all the more reprehensible to have sung one for an enemy.

___

       I’m really glad it hasn’t rained on this journal.  It was rather stupid of me to keep it out here with clouds overhead.  The weather ponies could not be faulted for making it rain, but it hasn’t yet, so I’m thankful.

       I had really hoped that Princess Luna might make an ultimate attempt to make contact as I slept last night and into the day, but that was a hollow, not to mention shallow, hope.  I can’t help but wonder where her attention is focused right now.  Maybe it’s the dual duel against the Changelings and the Vamponies.  Maybe she’s reading or conducting some other mundane task.

       There’s ruin in my name, and I wish I’d never stepped on the train to the mansion, but I know my besmirched journey mustn’t end here on this roof.

       I know it must be the deadly dread in my stomach that must be nauseating me, and standing among the dense accumulated snow augments my vertigo because I feel like I’m on a swaying cloud.  I brave to stand up and check around the surrounding rooftops.  Nothing.  I look around in the sky.  The lightning and rumbling thunder have ceased.

       I put the book down to start pacing.  I’d like to keep the chill off me if I can.  At least day mitigates the cold.  I really hope that filly is quite all right.  She and the three copies of this book are my only certain positive legacies.  Well, maybe that filly still has no chance, but I’d like to think I did something right.  

       Sure, The Solution may appear as a footnote in the history books that teach of the Inquisition’s achievements, but my failure will be the main paragraph on the page.  Long from now, a history teacher will cover this paragraph, and sufficient time will have passed for him to get away with a facetious comment on it that overshadows my intent yet imbeds itself much more fully in the students’ minds.  So typical will be my case if I cannot amend.

       I see very faintly a figure frenetically flitting among the magenta clouds in the distance.  Starfall hasn’t likely spotted me yet, but she’s on her way.  Jackson is lurking about somewhere.  It’s show time:  time to break a leg.
Zeta Cherrypaste, Changeling Hunter (Imt: 13)
Installment 13 of my MLP:  FIM Fan-Fiction "The Journals of Zeta Cherrypaste."

Deep in the Royal Archives survives the last remaining copy of the diary of a visionary.  Straight from the horse's mouth, follow the story of a defrocked Changeling hunter determined to help ponykind.

With volition ingrained in him, Zeta Cherrypaste strives to combat the menaces plaguing Equestria alongside the Inquisition, an order founded to root out the most nefarious and pernicious forces against the kingdom.

This story is somewhat based off the conjectures and postulations in the comments section of Silent Shade, The Changeling Hunter especially the comments made by users :iconsomerandomminion: and :iconbrutalityinc:.

First entry:  Zeta Cherrypaste, Changeling Hunter (Imt: 1)
Preceding entry:  Zeta Cherrypaste, Changeling Hunter (Imt: 12)
Following entry:  Zeta Cherrypaste, Changeling Hunter (Imt: 14)

This work can also be found here:  www.fimfiction.net/story/23709…
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Entry 15 – January 24th, 1123


       I lament and report that things have gone dreadfully awry, and it is for shame in having played such a principal part in it that I have not written sooner.

       The water fortification campaign worked splendidly, and by the time it was underway Jackson had already spread word among the pseudo-vampiric brood about the delightfulness a Bat Pony experiences at the taste of Changeling blood.  There were a first few who tried it while answering the first wave of Changeling reports.  Those in the brood who had not partaken could not overcome their curiosity, and within a week or so there were non-vampiric Bat Ponies trying the new substance for themselves.  Almost immediately they were hooked, and it sent them into a fervor to slay more Changelings.

       These consuming Bat Ponies became acute to the presence of Changelings, and I must say that the process of turning our non-predatory fighting force into one was far more expeditious than I had anticipated it would be.  These hunters didn’t go on assignments anymore; they didn’t need to because they were voraciously pursuing the trail of another Changeling whenever they weren’t already sapping one.  

       The decimation in the Changelings’ numbers was comparable to what havoc could be reached if suddenly a quarter of Equestria decided to wage holy war against the Changelings.  In fact, when consuming Bat Ponies sported numbers slain as high as 100 or 200 within a month of the leak of my word, even veteran Bat Ponies considered what fame could be gleaned if they would succumb to the blood fury.

       We had made huge strides before we hit the twentieth of December, and I was already being commended for what historians were forecasting to be the decisive sweep that would force even the dastardly inexorable Queen Chrysalis to demand a truce even before our frenzied ranks could draw near her stronghold.  Starfall was one of the biggest dissidents to my idea.  Until the bloodshed ceased or Jackson died by some mishap, she thought she would never see her beloved again.  Even the approving smiles from the princesses could not remedy the wound Starfall inflicted on me when last we met over a month ago when she confronted me for my “shortsighted and desperate attempt to seize glory”.  Such a deviant postulation, however promising, should never have been acted upon.

       Even my parents must’ve received word of my two breakthroughs, and I was receiving a continuous stream of payment from the Inqusition: one bit’s payment for each Changeling a frenzied Bat Pony managed to slay and report.  This considerable sum funded research I had begun into how I could make the ponies’ hunger stop, but, as soon as word got out that I was pursuing such a thing, I was kindly informed that there already existed appetite-curbing spells, so I was relieved of that burden.  

       “Fearless thinking and perseverance were the only two things I could attribute my success to,” so I said to a few crowds I was hired to inspire.



       Almost before the year turned, the first pony turned.  In one of the countless raids on Changeling sanctuaries going on at the time, some poor Bat Pony drank his last, so we thought.  Some thought he had taken too much blood at once.  He had been sapping a Changeling when he summarily disengaged from the thing and turned to his comrades and vomited.  Next, it was as if he froze.  He dropped dead, stiff and cold as the cavern about him.  

       The soak’s funeral was held a day afterward.  Somepony noticed that the undertaker had left the corpse’s mouth in a smile, and promptly the corpse arose with gleaming, red eyes and pronouncedly enlarged fangs, even for a Bat Pony.  The shock of his returning had stunned all the attendees to point where they gave him enough time to sap one pony there dry.  He was slain after a dire and very bloody struggle.

       I didn’t mean to, but I had nonetheless brought back the Vamponies.  How stupid I was not to recognize Changelings as the link between us and that previously extinct species!

       Thus, about a third of our highest-ranking hunters and countless others among our ranks were fated to become enemies of the order.  We couldn’t track even a tenth of them down in time to stop their appetites from poisoning their souls.

       I have plunged Equestria into a new age of fear.  There is immense difficulty in slaying these beings at the given date.  The old techniques for slaying them are contained in very few tomes, and their lack of use for almost a millennium forced them out of the Inquisition’s teaching.  It’s also nigh impossible because most of us Acolytes have learned the weaknesses of our fellows so that we could compensate for them when we fight.  It’s much like why a knight is constantly cognizant of the faults in his or her armor; the knight, just like one of our groups, falls when the weaknesses are exploited.  

       I returned to writing here once I ascertained that the Inquisition was not bent on slaying me for my mistake.  If it was, I couldn’t possibly be writing right now.  However, I cannot be in good grace because I have heard nothing from anypony involved.  I have offered my supplications and apologies to Princess Luna, but our correspondence has terminated on her end.  

       As far as I know, Jackson has not come back.  I engage myself now in trying to find a cure for the vampirism, but I’m afraid it’ll be of no use until I can have a test subject.  Nopony in the early days ever sought a cure, so there is literally no knowledge on how this could possibly be accomplished.

       I’ve used my coin to purchase viands in case I suddenly fall under siege here; they are stored in the basement.  The mansion is enchanted against Vamponies, so long as there remains a closed door between me and the outside, according to a tome I found in the library.  The enchanted copy of this diary in there seems to still keep my writing, and that’s nice, I guess.

       I can’t bring myself to go outside at night, and I am alert even as I attempt to sleep.  I turn off every light in here just in case some Vampony passes through the area.  I will go out tomorrow to resupply myself with ingredients and storage phials.  

       Monetary opulence is an interesting thing.  I can afford to keep a small sack of coin on me at all times, and, if I am robbed, it makes little difference to me.  Of course, I carry my rapier for defense, and I have also resolved to keep this book on me at all times, for it is my only companion.  The winter out here is cold, so, when I go out I wear a scarf.

       If there is a royal archiver monitoring this book, let it be known that I have three wishes:

       I wish to remain loyal to the Inquisition and to fight this new threat in the manner I have described above.

       I wish to be reassured against the coming night.  I know that it is always darkest before the dawn, but night invariably comes again, and I fear it like never before.

       I wish to be reassured that this isn’t entirely my fault, even though it is.



       THERE IS NO DIGNITY IN EXILE.



Entry 16


       In a panic, the date becomes no longer of relevance.  It’s probably been two days or so since I last wrote, but I can’t distinguish the time from down here in the cellar.  I probably should’ve started stockpiling water down here; I am now forced to get it from drinking from the damp walls about me.  “Drinking” is probably not the best word to describe it; it’s barely enough to sustain me, as I must lick the cucumber-tasting mold on the surrounding walls.  

       The silence assails my senses.  There is no sound from the exit to the pantry or from the boards overhead.  I’d sing a dirge for myself, but I’m afraid my oxygen may run out before I complete it.  It’s a shame that such a vital commodity is invisible.

       There was no sum I could pay the engineer to get to my house in time before sundown.  He had a schedule to maintain.  I stepped off the train and hurried through the wooded path.  I had no way to tell that my fears were justified before I was ambushed, but I realize now that the preemptory sensation of fear does not mitigate the fear which one experiences upon finding that it was well founded.  

       As I had my eyes trained on the branches overhead, I could not have braced myself for Steiner’s tackling me from the side.  He, however, wasn’t prepared to face me.  Strength training is the outlet for my paranoia, and, although I dropped my bag of ingredients upon his impacting me, I commanded our fall, swinging him about so that I fell on him.  I stood up on him and bellowed in face in order to intimidate him, but he did not flinch, so I suspected there was some insurance he had.

       I leapt away from him in time to dodge Jackson’s sweeping at me from overhead.  I returned to the partially moonlit path so that I had better light to see them by.  Their vibrant red eyes gave them away in the woody darkness, but I didn’t dare to look into them, for fear of being transfixed.  Jackson, as I had run back to the path, had apparently picked up his stalking buddy, and when I looked back they were slinking toward me.

       “Fancy meeting you two out here at this hour.”

       They didn’t respond; they simply donned diabolical grins.

       “Would you rather ignore an appeal to logic or a valiant warning?”

       This time Jackson spoke in a voice of velvet, “Whichever you prefer.”

       I took off and without looking back to them I called, “You’re better off letting me find a cure for you.  Won’t you come inside and kindly bind yourselves so that I may begin researching one?”

       They were pursuing me midair by now because I couldn’t hear their hooves hit the ground.

       I barely saw where I was headed; the image of Jackson’s smile and his teeth was burned in my eyes.  There was no way to draw my rapier without slowing my sprint, so I just ran.

       When I ascended the gravel ramp, I noticed that my pursuers had slowed down, anticipating a magical barrier around the house.  They couldn’t stop themselves, and the absence of a barrier led them to plow into the porch rails.  I had opened the door for myself and slammed it, but I saw that it was nonetheless ajar.  

       Two sable left wings had been crushed but nonetheless were holding the door open.  Their owners both hissed in hellish agony, but I knew I would not be able to force their wings from the door before they opened it themselves.  I bolted through the dining room, slipping once on the floor and bashing my cheek against the wall.  I heard the door open and resumed my flight to the pantry, opened the door, and slammed it behind me.

       Pull as they might, they could not open the enchanted door without my consent, and they would not get it.  I was obviously in the weaker position, but I taunted them all the same, just as one beckons an imagined figure in the darkness to fight even though he or she knows the figure is an innocuous fantasy.  What’s more, I thought I heard them close the door behind them as they had entered after me.  The silly force of habit has trapped them with me, and we shall see who outlasts whom.

       The way is shut.

       The scare hasn’t worn off just yet, but sleep beckons me away from the immediate danger.  I’m sitting in a wood crate I was planning to fill with food; it keeps me out of the dampness.

       Good night, my world.
Zeta Cherrypaste, Changeling Hunter (Imt: 12)
Installment 12 of my MLP:  FIM Fan-Fiction "The Journals of Zeta Cherrypaste."

Deep in the Royal Archives survives the last remaining copy of the diary of a visionary.  Straight from the horse's mouth, follow the story of a defrocked Changeling hunter determined to help ponykind.

With volition ingrained in him, Zeta Cherrypaste strives to combat the menaces plaguing Equestria alongside the Inquisition, an order founded to root out the most nefarious and pernicious forces against the kingdom.

This story is somewhat based off the conjectures and postulations in the comments section of Silent Shade, The Changeling Hunter especially the comments made by users :iconsomerandomminion: and :iconbrutalityinc:.

First entry:  Zeta Cherrypaste, Changeling Hunter (Imt: 1)
Preceding entry:  Zeta Cherrypaste, Changeling Hunter (Imt: 11)
Following entry:  Zeta Cherrypaste, Changeling Hunter (Imt: 13)

This work can also be found here:  www.fimfiction.net/story/23709…
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Entry 14 – November 21st, 1122, 07:00


       I am tired, but I am anxious.  It is perhaps for this reason that I finally remembered to get back to writing today.  Today’s been a big day, but I’m not nearly contented enough to put off writing again.  It used to feel like a compulsion or a necessity to daily living, but the severe changes of circumstance brought me away from the chronicling table.  Maybe that’s not the best word for it, but I think that’s how Jackson would put it, at least.

       I finished my tutorial task as of less than a week ago.  I was never meant to be a teacher.  The sheer importance of and my personal connection to the matter I had to teach my fellow alchemists brought upon me, while I was before these ponies, an anxiety I’ve never before experienced.  It wasn’t so bad as to be debilitating, but even the prospect of death never intimidated me as much as the prospect of failing to impart the necessary information.  There was hope deeply ingrained in that I’d discuss the intricacy of the procedure and meticulously perform the steps in front of my audience, and it held firm as it rung true.  

       Although there were more than enough misinterpretations of certain aspects of the process to be rectified, they became apparent in hilarious meltdowns upon my students’ attempts to replicate “The Solution,” as I’ve come to call it.  These instances were straightened out immediately, and by the end of my teaching span there had already formed a student-led group at the Academy committed to understanding exactly how The Solution worked.  I myself have an intermediate idea of what makes it work; otherwise, I wouldn’t have initially attempted concocting its ingredients together in the manner that I did, but they really want to figure it all out.

       My Acolyte’s coronation and potion tutorial activities accomplished, I found myself at the Academy with no real purpose, so I promptly left the premises to return to the mansion to await further briefing from the Inquisition.  I had completely forgotten that I was supposed to immediately take holiday with Starfall.  I had thought about how she might be spending her time diverting herself in between giving lessons and how long she might spend sulking at the thought of being left to cool after having just been reacquainted with the forges of battle, but my conscience would always smite me with the fact that it really wasn’t my business.  Or perhaps it was, but I didn’t ruminate on it for long in any case.

       Being reincorporated into the educational facility I had once attended redirected my thoughts to my family back in Tailsbury.  My folks don’t have any reason to suspect that I am alive or dead.  Perhaps I am both at once to them.  They were sad to see me leave even after the Academy, but I still have yet to pin down whether it was the fact that I was persisting in trying to join the despised Inquisition instead of trying to make amends for time I didn’t invest in them or the fact that I was simply going away again would, at best, continue to be present in their lives in a fleeting sense.  They don’t know intimately the stallion I have formed to be, and they know full well that their family line could easily truncate with me.  We may be villagers and far removed from nobility, but the familial line’s a thing we nonetheless esteem.

       The possibility of my seeming to be a failure to them motivates me.  Although I can’t fantasize that they know of what waves I’ve made in my persistence, I strive to achieve something that one day will be momentous enough to precede an unexpected arrival back to them.

       I am thankful that I had an unexpected arrival at approximately 23:00 yesterday.  I had fallen to such bored lows as to be trying to enjoy some of the Oatzart records when there was a pounding at my door.  My curiosity was so aroused that I neglected to stop the gramophone before I opened the door.

       Blending into the dim brown grimness of the surrounding autumnal wood and untouched by the half-orange, half-purple sundown sky overhead, a devil-red Starfall with supreme wings tucked at her sides stood.

       “Come in, stranger,” I offered.

       “Forgetting about the vacation was dense of you, but I thought I didn’t have to worry about you not being able to recognize me as your friend from a few weeks ago.”

       She had taken it too seriously to not continue toying.  “Oh?  Let me get my reading glasses and get a good look at your face.”  I made for to go inside, “You aren’t Sandra, are you?”

       “Oh, shut it.”  She had gotten that I was joking.

       “If you say so.”  I literally slammed the door shut.  I turned off the gramophone and opened the door once again to find that Starfall hadn’t moved.  Her expression was no longer indignant but rather merely unamused.  Her one brow was raised.

       “Maybe we could try this again.”  I extended my hoof to greet.

       She sighed, taking it, “I hope you don’t mean to carry that sarcastic air with you all evening.”

       “I don’t.  Being with a friend is a merry occasion.  Why do you say?”

       “Because I invite you to be with many friends this evening.  None of us really got to celebrate our victory at the tower, so we planned a party this evening at a recreational center.  We would just hate to miss you.”

       As she had spoken, I couldn’t help but entertain my eyes to her new eyes and teeth.  I reached out to touch her new wings.  She didn’t seem to mind me.  I guessed she had anticipated censure from me instead of fascination.  Her eyelids relaxed a little and she grinned, and I pulled away with a nervous laugh at having been unable to contain myself.

       “It seems you have a newfound appreciation for—“

       “Not in the sense you may suspect.  They’re just a novelty.  Smooth, not scaly like I imagined.”

       “Really?”

       “Uh, they’re neat.  I mean, you’re neat.  Uh. . .”

       “Do tell.”

       “I assume our mainly nocturnal outfit is the cause for the time of the engagement?”

       “Good guess.  Come along.”

       We started walking down the path through the forest to the tracks.  I soon realized that she was giving me an opportunity to begin catching up with her before we were to teleport back to wherever the recreational center was.  I made sure to let her know that I was privy to the underlying purpose of our superfluous walk.

       “I just want you to have this over with so that you can be social tonight with the others.  Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have practiced your small talk conversations before the event, especially if you’re as rusty as I expect you to be.”

       We were having a good discussion when the caprice hit her to teleport us away.  We stood before a dark treehouse with a few lights still on inside.  It was wide and not very tall, and its bark was covered in places by sinister black moss.

       “So this is where you stay these days?”

       “Horse feathers.  It’s Jackson’s place.  I intend to stay here.”

       I detected a shadow in one of the nearby windows, but Jackson’s voice resounded before I could acknowledge it.

       “Fee Fi Fum Phonies: at my door I hear two ponies,” he called.

       “Ponies whinny and ponies neigh.  You’d do well to let ‘em finish what they say,” she called back.

       I couldn’t bear to hold back my laughter for longer than a second or two.  “That’s one way to greet!”

       Jackson flung the door open, and he stood there, smiling with intent eyes.  He was formally dressed, and Starfall perceived my concerned frown.

       “Your lack of formal attire will be quite acceptable, Zeta.”

       I could only find it in myself to apologize with a look.

       “Seems like you would have preferred to leave on me a secondary impression equal to the one I’m leaving on you.  It’s really better this way.  Nopony who’s going to be there expects anypony other than me to put on this pretense.”

       “It’s his way,” said Starfall in a bland manner that was still endearing to him.

       “I’m confused.  Are there going to be ponies there other than the ones from our outfit?”

       There certainly would be.  They had made a reservation at the entire recreational center for the party, and the ponies from our lot were permitted to bring guests with them.

       “Every hunter has close comrades they like to bring to such occasions.  It just happens to be that your best friends are also invitees,” Jackson remarked.

       We resumed the conversation as we trekked to the recreational center for the party.  We would be given access to all of the facilities for the evening, and there would be a buffet.  I am really glad I got some sleep around noontime.  We held a substantial conversation on our way there.  We didn’t teleport there because of the location’s reasonable proximity.  Jackson seemed to be especially interested in what I had to say about the lessons I had given.  It struck me funny because he seemed to have no clue about alchemy whatsoever.  I realized he was trying to make me feel important to him, and I acquiesced to his intention.  I felt a little guilty trotting with them, though.  They could have easily flown there, but I was tethering them to the ground.  A pony usually tends to not feel this way, but, since I really cared about our being together at this outing, I just couldn’t help it.

       We arrived about midnight, and by then all invitees were present.  The recreational center was a huge building and very accommodating to flying ponies.  We must have been in one of the communities mostly inhabited by Bat Ponies, especially considering they comprised most of the staff there.  We decided to head to the buffet, which was located in a special room which seemed fit for no other purpose.  The ponies who had not been present to greet us at the door had awaited our arrival in that room.  It wasn’t a crowd, but it was sizeable, exceeding twenty.

       Everypony seemed to be fuelling up for sporty activity.  All around I saw Bat Ponies voraciously sapping various fruits.  Chocolate Mane had apparently feasted himself sleepy, for there was some juice on his face, and he was napping in a corner.  Sal was trying to strike up a conversation about fruit stocks with his friends.  One mare stood in the back surveying the scene while she coolly bit into an apple.  Jackson quietly appropriated a watermelon and proceeded to urbanely ingest its contents with a straw.  Starfall held back pensively.

       “I can’t believe you.  Did you forget that there’d be food?”

       From gazing at the feast Starfall turned to me.  “I’m planning on swimming before I chow down.”  She pulled my head in closer and whispered with both our faces turned out the door and into the hallway so nopony would hear, “Between you and me, my transformation was very recent, and my metabolic rate hasn’t reached the speed that most of these natural Bat Ponies have.”

       I casually resumed my previous posture.  “Don’t mind if I partake.”

       She was a little more abrupt in recomposing herself.  She snickered.  “Of course.  Oh, yeah!  I remember: you can’t swim anyway.”

       A Bat Pony named Steiner, a rambunctious one who had been flying during our first encounter at the hotel, had been gradually approaching us from across the room as soon as we had entered.  From the way he stalked us, I couldn’t help but get the impression that he was likely a member of the pseudo-Vamponies.  I pretended not to notice him before, but this time he gave himself up pronouncedly.

       “Oh, no.  You didn’t bring us another hydrophobe, Starfall?”  It wasn’t exactly a reproach, but he sounded disappointed.

       “Afraid so.”

       “What?!  I belong here, don’t I?  I’m not taking being ‘brought’ here lying down.”

       “Chillax, dude.  I was only saying.”

       That was my first social blunder of the evening but certainly not my last.  Fortunately, Jackson broke in to catch my fall from his station.

       “I don’t believe Zeta has eaten anything yet.  That might be what’s eating at him.”  And he gave me that smile!  What a guy.

       I proceeded directly to a table with honeydew, which I had only read about in some of my alchemy books.  I smelled it before picking a chopped chunk up.  It had a pretty plain and faint melon scent.  I took a whole piece into my mouth and bit down.  It was the heavenliest thing!  The texture and the underwhelming sweetness were superb.

       Sheerly amazed, I pointed to it and shouted to nopony in particular, “This stuff!”

       I received some strange looks from those who heeded my voice.  I looked to Starfall and Jackson, and they simultaneously gave me a humored snort of acknowledgement.

       So I helped myself to a whole honeydew.  By the time I had finished it, so had the rest of the ponies finished their meal.  They were practically zooming across the room from the natural sugars.  Various groups formed to go to various facilities.  I knew I was destined to drift among them this morning, but presently I hadn’t the courage to dislodge myself from my closest acquaintances.  With a couple others we proceeded to the pool area.

       The smell of chlorine in the air was not dense, but I found it atrocious nonetheless.  I sat with Jackson on some bleachers.  He didn’t intend to remove his outfit at all for our gathering.  Starfall took to swimming laps in the pool.  She had never told me she could swim, so I brought it up to Jackson after having sat in passive tranquility for several minutes as he beheld her admiringly.

       “Who’d have thought it, huh?  Isn’t she so graceful?”

       In fact I did not think she was graceful at all.  I had known a few swimmers at the Academy.

       “To be honest, Jackson, I don’t think it’s really something you could boast about.”

       He turned to me but did not seem hurt on her behalf.  “How do you figure?”

       “Well, she kicks up splashes like nopony I’ve ever seen, and furthermore, aside from her backstroke, she doesn’t seem to employ any particular stroke as she swims.”

       “Oh.”

       I explained to him the source of my understanding.

       “I bet you wish you could bring yourself to swim.”

       He shocked me with his perspicacity.  “An astute conjecture.”

       He was back to smiling again and we were now looking forward but still talking.  “I guess my wager’s not forfeit then.  I’m not a strong swimmer myself, but Starfall can do laps like this for hours.  I encouraged her to try her hoof at this new skill, and already she’s superseded me as teacher.  I’ll have to get a book for her to improve her art – without mentioning your having inspired the purchase, of course.”

       “Fair enough.”

       “Speaking of reception of credit, do you enjoy having your name ascribed to the creation of your elixir?”

       “I don’t mean to sound more modest than I am, but I really can’t be certain.  I didn’t do it for the fame, and I’m afraid whatever attention comes to me might make me a target.”

       “Oh, yes.  Starfall let me know you were a paranoid one.”

       “I guess I am.”

       “Well, I hope you don’t take pride in your paranoia.  She says it mostly manifests itself in solitude of all places, and you’ll be in our company for a while yet.”

       “I didn’t realize.”

       “Not to call you a liar, but I don’t think any of us can be too far away from the other two from here on out.  Luna watches.”

       “You don’t honestly believe that slogan, do you?”

       “I don’t, but, considering she mandated our vacations, she must expect something to come of our being together.”

       The few who had followed us into the pool area were now engaged in some form of Marco Polo and were raucously splashing about.  The vaulted room echoed their noise.  I had fallen silent, trying to conceive a way to move about to the subject of my next scheme.

       “Doesn’t the echo give you a headache?”

       “Where would you get that idea?”

       I turned to him and looked at his fuzzy ears.  He took a second to realize that I was tacitly indicating my reason with my eyes.  His grin reappeared.

       “Good thought, but no.  One learns to tune the reverberations out.  Say, you’re awfully considerate of my batdom for a pony with an aversion to my kind.”

       “Let me disallow my ‘aversions’ to come between myself and my friend.”

       “Well put, and thank you for putting me in the place of greatest importance in that remark.”

       “Perhaps we should lay out our baggage on the table for both of us to see.”

       “You couldn’t be referring to. . .”

       “I do.”

       “Very well.  Starfall told me what she told you about it.  There’s little else to be said unless you have questions.”

       “I would like to propose an idea to you that involves both your work and that recreation.”

       “I wouldn’t call it ‘recreation,’ but go on.”

       “It’s just a theory, but it’s been simmering in my mind for a little while now.  It’s not anything alchemically based and shouldn’t be abstruse to you.”  I looked at him, and he seemed interested but unsure of where I was going, so I sighed.  “To cut to the chase, I think that perhaps it may be deeper in your physiology, as Bat Ponies, to combat the Changelings than as far as your capacities as skillful night hunters go.”

       “Oh, I forgot to mention to you.  I apologize to interrupt you, but you may want to know that sometime before we hit December, all the waterways, rain clouds, and reservoirs shall be filled with your potion.”

       “What?!”  I didn’t know he had it in him to interrupt me, but I wasn’t just surprised by that.

       “Yep.  It’s settled.  All those ponies you taught the potion to have been hard at work developing enough of the stuff to do it.  The Changelings among us won’t be able to hide for long, and anypony who doesn’t drink the water will be suspect.  You, me, Starfall, and the rest of us here are the only ones who won’t be on standby to investigate the flood of reports that shall come in.  Her Majesty Twilight has apparently convinced Celestia and Luna that we cannot just put off drastic action for long.”

       “It’s certainly a state of affairs.  I hope hysteria doesn’t set in.”

       “They can’t possibly augment the water all at once, but it’ll not be long before they have.  Anyway, get back to what you were saying.”

       “That’s insane.  Perhaps I need to impart this a little more quickly to you.  Okay.  So, you obviously retain bat characteristics.  Some bats eat fruit, yes, but you know what many bats eat: insects.”

       “Right.”

       “In essence I think you should try Changeling blood.  I have a couple jars back at the mansion.”

       He briefly looked disgusted, but he saw my reason, and his disgust melted, “Changelings do look quite like insects.”

       “I’m really glad I didn’t offend you by suspecting you might try it if I brought it up.”

       “It will take some adventure on my part, but I’ll do it mostly to humor you.  I’m guessing that your conclusion is that, if you can get enough of us to push past our egos, the Bat Pony hunting force will fight our toothed Changeling foes with our own teeth.”

       I shrugged.  “Perhaps you may even find another form of sustenance in feeding off your foes.”

       “That’s a perverse strain of thought.”

       “You understand the honesty in it, though?”

       His grin came back.  “Certainly.”

       “I’d actually like for you try some as soon as you can.”

       “Get it in an opaque phial when we escort you back home this morning, and I’ll test it once Starfall’s left.”

       “Likewise I don’t think she’d appreciate this development.”  I looked over to her lane and found that she had joined up in the game in procession.

       “I suggest you get yourself moving.  We’ll join you when we’re ready, but find yourself a game you can participate in.  I’m afraid your mind, without proper intervention from us, shall never be able to compartmentalize your work from your play.”

       I stepped carefully to the pool deck.  “We’ll see about that.”

       I was certainly prepared to show him up on that matter.  I was aware that one of the groups was going to play basketball, and another was set to play dodgeball in the gymnasium.  I hadn’t played basketball in years, so I decided to go there first.

       I walked in to find that there were about six ponies at play in a game of knockout.  Not garnering their attention, I picked up a spare ball and began attempting some foul shots at a spare hoop.  I kept overshooting them.  My strength had augmented from then, but my muscle memory hadn’t compensated.  I must’ve been twenty and still at the Academy when last I played.  I tried performing layups, and this venture was more successful.

       The ponies at play had tired of their game and invited me to play house with them, but, as I had seen them play quite skillfully, I was too ashamed of my meager skills and thus declined.  I made excuse by saying I had to leave for another bite of honeydew.

       “I might meet you in the weight room later.  I know you can’t stay away from there for too long,” one of the hunters called.

       “We’ll see you there,” I called back as I left the room.

       I proceeded to the gymnasium.  They were still in the middle of an intense game, I learned from Chocolate Mane, who was refereeing.  

       “You’ll just have to wait until the sugar in these jitterbugs runs out.”

       Sal, who had been out when I arrived in, was spectating, eager to be back in the action.

       I asked him how things were going.

       “Pretty well, I guess, but my mind’s really in the game right now.”

       “How’d you get out?”

       “Steiner ducked the wrong way, caused me to face-shot him.”

       “Would you mind running the rules by me for this game?”

       Obviously, face-shots were grounds for getting out.  In this game, the boundary line between the two teams was strictly enforced; if so much as a hair attached to your tail crossed the line, you were out.  I had never heard of the boundary rule being enforced so punctiliously.  If a pony caught a ball, the pony out the longest on the catcher’s side was to be brought back in, but the thrower was not out.  If a pony was hit directly but the deflected ball was caught by a team member, he or she was still in, but another pony was not brought back in.  One could deflect a ball thrown at them with a ball in one’s possession, but, so long as the thrower’s ball hadn’t touched the ground, a pony hit by the deflected ball would still be out.  The other principal rules of the game were still set.

       I wanted to join in badly, but I had to wait.  Sal was back in soon after he had explained the rules to me.  Steiner was a quick dodger, but Sal could throw fast if he got a running start to his pitch.  His team utilized him by throwing volleys to distract various members of Steiner’s team while he would start running from behind them.  It was a good game, and the rules pretty much set the stage for its interminability, I think, but I couldn’t bear to stick around.

       Naturally, I secluded myself to the weight room.  I performed my stretch routine before I began to have at it, and it was during this session that the pony from the basketball room entered.  He was suitably warmed up, so, while he waited for me to finish, we talked some.  His name was Cato, and he loved his position as hunter very much.  Although he always knew he’d be good in a group and would not possess enough intrinsic value to become well known, he strove to be efficient in the roles he played.  Subtlety not being his strongest suit, he could perform berserker raids at Changeling hatcheries.

       He continued telling me about his exploits as we hit the machines.  Cato and I were of about equal sturdiness, but he, being fresh out of a game, was quicker to wear out than I was.  That didn’t really matter.  All I had to do was continue to sing my praises to him in order to keep his mouth moving.  He apparently appreciated esteem coming from somepony more famous than he.  Our conversation was topical at its profoundest, but his voice was pleasurable.

       When I was done, Cato and I vacated to the buffet room.  Fewer staples were about this time, but they were fresh.  I was good still, but he went about and took a little bit of everything.  He bade me farewell, for he was to head back to basketball room.

       I wasn’t sure what to do, so I defaulted to singing.  I just sang in that lonesome space.  It maybe was an hour that I misspent in there.

       Somepony who maintained the place happened to be walking by in the hallway, and she complimented me.  That was nice of her as a stranger.

       Not long afterward Starfall and Jackson returned to me.

       “Not that I had missed it, but I had wondered if my absence had silenced your singing voice at all,” spoke Starfall.

       “If a hunter sings in the middle of the forest, and nopony is there to hear it, does he really sing?”

       “Touché.”

       This reminded Jackson, “Hey, isn’t there a fencing facility here?”

       Chocolate Mane led the sweaty dodgeball ponies back into the room, “I’m afraid they’re renovating it.”

       Upon the sight of the food most of the ponies reanimated and recommenced eating.  In the munching din, Jackson approached me.

       “Once they’re done it’ll be your final chance to speak with these ponies tonight.”

       His words motivated me.  The basketball group returned last, and I waited to descend upon them to make them my friends.

       There was lots of good chitchat practice to be had.  I didn’t soar in the ranks of conversation by it, though.  It was especially nice to hear from the ponies from outside the Inquisition’s sphere, but they somehow could always tell that I was a hunter.  Nothing I said verbally gave it away, as far as I could tell.  I joined up with Jackson, who was hosting a neat conversation with the two card players.  Methods of card counting were the topic, and I was keen to listen but not intrude.  An outsider joined in, too, and the first thing she asked was what Jackson did for a living.  When he told her, she expressed surprise.  His solid smile could deceive a pony into thinking he was the only one who didn’t share jobs with the crowd of hunters enveloping him.  There was no natural grimness to the face.

       His love for life appears wonderful, and his smile gives this wondrously deceptive impression.

____


       Jackson just came back to me.  He says he’d like to try a little more of the Changeling blood I have stored.
Zeta Cherrypaste, Changeling Hunter (Imt: 11)
Installment 11 of my MLP:  FIM Fan-Fiction "The Journals of Zeta Cherrypaste."

Deep in the Royal Archives survives the last remaining copy of the diary of a visionary.  Straight from the horse's mouth, follow the story of a defrocked Changeling hunter determined to help ponykind.

With volition ingrained in him, Zeta Cherrypaste strives to combat the menaces plaguing Equestria alongside the Inquisition, an order founded to root out the most nefarious and pernicious forces against the kingdom.

This story is somewhat based off the conjectures and postulations in the comments section of Silent Shade, The Changeling Hunter especially the comments made by users :iconsomerandomminion: and :iconbrutalityinc:.

First entry:  Zeta Cherrypaste, Changeling Hunter (Imt: 1)
Preceding entry:  Zeta Cherrypaste, Changeling Hunter (Imt: 10)
Following entry:  Zeta Cherrypaste, Changeling Hunter (Imt: 12)

This work can also be found here:  www.fimfiction.net/story/23709…
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Entry 13 – November 2nd, 1122, 14:00


       Perhaps the energy of yesterday and the day previous kept me from the realization, but Starfall insisted that I haven’t been in the hunt long enough to realize just how portentous the surprise at the party was.  I can’t stop reading the transcription of the press conference with Her Majesty Princess Celestia.  Surely enough, she said we can’t possibly think of coexisting with the Changelings.  She said “beings;” I’d say that’s pretty diminishing but not pejorative enough.

       The appearance of those two hundred some Changelings has disturbed even Princess Luna, as far as I could tell.  I was dreaming of a swarm of Changelings trying to get inside the mansion.  I woke up to the sound of two hunters knocking at the door.  Casting those spells must have exhausted Starfall more than the physical exertion did to me, because she hadn’t awoken yet.  The hunters bade me wake Starfall and come with them to the Academy to hear her speak.  We did, and the event was profoundly perturbing.

       I should have expected the ferocity and ardor with which she would speak by the fact that she wasn’t given a microphone to begin with.  Whereas Princess Celestia had lamented the loss of those numerous, not to mention important, mares and stallions who were now known to be missing (likely, husks), Princess Luna drove home the conclusion that there needed to be a proper retribution.  An “earth-shattering effort to VINDICATE THIS HORROR and all the others,” as she put it.  It was wise wording, for it begged the question of who else was being wronged.  

       We’ve not had an incident this big since over a century ago, and the slaughter has thrust the Inquisition into the spotlight.  

       “As the security threat has reached a point beyond what anypony has dared to imagine, it is necessary for the Inquisition to conduct itself a little more openly,” she said.  

       What an understatement!  She said it like the Inquisition had any choice but take the light, too.  The essence of the tirade that was to follow was that we would eliminate them without question and find where Chrysalis was and stamp her out, too.  I looked at Starfall at the mention, and she looked back at me.  Her eyes conveyed to me that she, Luna, and everypony fighting alongside us knew the wretch’s location, but we simply didn’t have the power to take her on.  

        “To wage war against her directly in our lifetime,” her eyes seemed to say, “Would be impossible.”

       Princess Luna’s remark at the moment answered why, “But before we must get to her, we must neutralize the threats within our borders.  Until then, the threat of these FREAKS OF NATURE looms to effect the ruination of our kingdom.”

       Indeed.  Starfall gave a nod of assent.  Princess Luna proceeded with that such was the nature of the successful mission we had undertaken the evening before.  

       One of the media questioners asked, “The order Your Highness heads seeks transparency.  Will you disclose the identities of those forces you sent?”

       Princess Luna couldn’t have possibly seen us in the audience since we were in the back behind all the resident students.  Starfall and I looked gravely at one another.

       “There were many heroes that night, and it would go against our order’s generally secretive nature in conducting its operations to mention just all of them, but two principal ponies played paramount parts in what transpired.  I will tell you their names and some about them.”

       She paused.  Starfall’s eyes widened, and she was frowning hard.  My legs went stiff.

       “A rising star among the Inquisitor’s Changeling hunters was deemed suited for the task of reforming and training a dropout from our Academy who had his heart set on creating for us a new weapon which we were not yet prepared to receive.  In time she discerned the practicality of this device, as we’ll call it, and banished the desperate chains that had laid hold of its machinist.  She and he implemented the device against those with their UNHEARTS SET ON USURPING the mayor of Manehattan that night.  The Inquisition now recognizes its mistake in time to capitalize on what one of its few merciful acts has produced--”

       “Do you intend to make amends?”

       “I HAVEN’T GIVEN THEIR NAMES YET, and, if you don’t mind, my little pony, I shall disclose them as was asked of me.”  You could obviously tell she was not comfortable with giving our names despite her brutal reaction to the questioner’s interruption.  “Hunter Starfall Escarleta was the capable pony, and Zeta Cherrypaste was the untapped resource.”

       Silence.  I didn’t know whether to rejoice or feel disappointed at not being recognized by the crowd.

       A low voice from somepony among the students shouted out, “Yeah, you go, Starfall!  You’re a comet to light the way!”

       Princess Luna smiled for the first time in her entire speech.  “That’s right.  For the Academy’s initiates, she’s an idol whose recognition has been hard-won and well earned.  We’re planning to force her to take a vacation for the first time in her life.”  Starfall’s jaw dropped with dread.  “Of course, all our operatives shall be paid handsomely for their work that night.  And we have special plans for incorporating Zeta back into our operation.”

       By this point I had tried three times to escape the hall through one of the doors.  The door I was trying just as she said this opened, but it creaked.  Hundreds of eyes found me.  Starfall was readying a spell to teleport us, but Princess Luna was quicker on the draw and hadn’t a single eye on her to notice that she was the one who bailed us out.

       We reappeared in Luna’s personal study.  I can’t tell you what it’s like in there specifically due to legal constraints, but I can say that it was very “her.”  Two hours passed before Luna joined us.

       Starfall, who had been grumbling to me for the entire span, initiated our conversation, “What do you mean you’re going to ‘force me to take a vacation?’”

       “I’ll have to, now that the public is omnipresent and ready to vilify me for not doing so.”

       Starfall shot needles from her eyes into my own when I made to ask her for the fortieth time why a vacation was so beneath her to take.

       Princess Luna gave me my answer, “Let us say that I think Ms. Escarleta works herself too hard and has to spend some time with some certain ponies, including Jackson, whom she’s not seen for much time on account of foalsitting you.”

       “Welp, there’s your justification, Starfall.”  She turned to me, and I was surprised to see her embarrassed instead of enraged.

       Princess Luna let out a humored breath.  “Poorly played, Scarlet Cheeks.”

       I didn’t want any spite, but there wasn’t probably going to be any.  “Why teleport us here of all places?  You must really need to talk to us.”

       “Precisely.  I’m sorry to have kept you waiting, but I needed to see the rest of your outfit from your mission.  That reminds me,” she conjured two bags replete with coin, “Here’s your 500 bits for your good work.”  We each got one.  It was amazing; I’ve never held so many coins all at once.  “You know that your payment for keeping your comrade has been sent to your account?”  Starfall nodded.

       “Wow, this a lot,” I said at length.

       “You really don’t have the foresight to realize that that’s not all you’ll be getting?”  She had been facing away from us but was now looking directly at me.  “We’ll conduct a private Acolyte coronation here.  I doubt you want to be standing beside a bunch of students for such occasion, and I doubt any students want to stand beside a dropout at their ceremony, even if he happens to have contributed to their cause greatly.”

       “Take the deal, Zeta; I’m not sure I would have liked to have you there if I didn’t know you as a pony and were in their place.”

       “I can’t refuse it.”

       “Very well.  Next, I must let you know that within the next week you will begin teaching the method of brewing your potion to several hundred alchemist ponies, and you shall be paid roughly twenty bits per pony.”  I gave her a confused look, for I had relinquished my notes to the Inquisition back when I had informed them that my work was finished.  “Your script is indecipherable.”

       “It looks like I’ve brought this work upon myself.”

       “Don’t worry; all you’ll you need to do is give a lecture and a demonstration for the ponies to take proper notes.  They will, in turn, disseminate the recipe, and by that point you’ll be off to make acquaintances as you join Starfall on vacation.”

       Starfall raised a brow.  “Is that so?  Do tell.”

       Princess Luna dropped her head toward Starfall.  “Do you know how many friends Zeta Cherrypaste has?”  I suddenly felt as blue as my surroundings.

       “Sorry,” Starfall’s head fell with dejection.  

       She hadn’t meant to come across as disdainful of me, and I’m sure she wasn’t, but Princess Luna cemented her lesson, “You haven’t answered my question yet.”

       “Zeta has fewer real friends to fall back on than he has legs to stand on.  I didn’t mean to push you away. . . .”

       I was already crying because the reality really hadn’t struck me until that moment.  “I forgive you, Starfall.  I wouldn’t lose you for the world.”

       Luna gave me enough time for us to embrace and for me to settle down, but she hadn’t lost a beat.  “There’s a whole world out there that needs to be retaken.  I’m not certain if your potion has come soon enough to aid us.”  There was a window she turned to, and my eyes followed hers outside it.  “You need to let us know all the ingredients so that we may procure them.  While we have this advantage we need to systematically exploit it.”

       “Well. . .” I immediately recounted all the ingredients and what proportions were required of the potion.  Memorizing it had been what I had spent my daylight hours on at the hotel between shopping and gym visits.  I practically heard those Bat Ponies’ snores again and chuckled aloud at the thought.

       Princess Luna and Starfall’s expressions told me that I probably didn’t come across as the sanest stallion at that point in time.

       “Anyway, I think I have another theory to test, but it’s a little strange, and I don’t want to lose your good grace once again.”

       “Come now, you must be teasing us.”

       “In a way, but it’s not a theory I’m really proud to have conceived.  If it bears any fruit, at any rate, I’ll let you know.”

       Starfall said, “You better.”

       Pensively, I stated, “I’ll give you a hint.”  At this moment I recalled the line that I needed.  “You may remember, Princess Luna--”

       “You can call us Luna, dear.”

       “Of course, Your Majesty.  If you’ll recall a line you said during your speech, ‘Changelings may be big and swarm our hair, but they are mere insects still,’ that’s the basis of my hypothesis.”

       “I don’t discern the point you approach.”

       “Me, neither.”

       I looked at Starfall.  She’d be least pleased to hear it.

       “Leave it to me to test it, and we’ll see from there,” I said sternly.

       The whole notion is preposterous, and I shan’t disclose it to you, journal, for fear of Starfall’s snooping, but, if I’ve hit another breakthrough, I might just see the ultimate conclusion of this conflict.  Since ponies and Changelings have come into contact, the Changelings have always assumed the predator’s role.  The hunters and the Inquisition are the minute exception, but there’s little we gain from slaying them beyond our own security.  I might be able to change this.
Zeta Cherrypaste, Changeling Hunter (Imt: 10)
Installment 10 of my MLP:  FIM Fan-Fiction "The Journals of Zeta Cherrypaste."

Deep in the Royal Archives survives the last remaining copy of the diary of a visionary.  Straight from the horse's mouth, follow the story of a defrocked Changeling hunter determined to help ponykind.

With volition ingrained in him, Zeta Cherrypaste strives to combat the menaces plaguing Equestria alongside the Inquisition, an order founded to root out the most nefarious and pernicious forces against the kingdom.

This story is somewhat based off the conjectures and postulations in the comments section of Silent Shade, The Changeling Hunter especially the comments made by users :iconsomerandomminion: and :iconbrutalityinc:.

First entry:  Zeta Cherrypaste, Changeling Hunter (Imt: 1)
Preceding entry:  Zeta Cherrypaste, Changeling Hunter (Imt: 9)
Following entry:  Zeta Cherrypaste, Changeling Hunter (Imt: 11)

This work can also be found here:  www.fimfiction.net/story/23709…
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:iconanjybanjy:
AnjyBanjy Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Artist
Hello~ I'm not sure if I've thanked you yet for giving me a llama... so here's my gratitude!

I hope you have a lovely day~
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Dulliros Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the llama! :w00t:
Here's one for you.
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BigSmoke11 Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Student Artist
thanks for the llama, you got one back xD
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Reomira Featured By Owner 6 days ago  New member Hobbyist Digital Artist
thanks for the Llama jump 
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birtydears Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Student Digital Artist
Thanksk for the Llama badge!Yeah 
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Zeonista Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2015
Thanks for Llama...an important part of life , it was kind of you. :) Like you I am more a watcher here than a contributor, but it's fun having the pretty pictures on call, right? ;)
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:iconnania-d-vann:
Nania-D-Vann Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for the :ridingLlama: llama
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Csontra Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the Llama!!!! Thanks For The Llama Emote Thanks For The Llama Emote Llama Emoji-23 (Shyness) [V1] 
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Sparkleydoggy Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the Llama Badge!!! ~:heart:
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MatsutaniShuzo Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2015  New member Student General Artist
Thanks for the llama~
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