The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Celestia's Finest Side Thread: Making a House Call

    Shortly After The Confrontation with Andromeda

    Due to terrorist attacks, crime scene forensics, medical injuries and bloodstains, Longshot's parents had temporarily relocated from the family home to a nondescript Canterlot apartment: a set of circumstances that prevented Love from seeing the Scope family home.

    After the recent attack on Harrier Squad's parents, the odds were high that hidden eyes were watching her approach. This suspicion would be proven well founded for the apartment door opens when Love is at ten paces. A cobalt-blue Pegasus-- one unusually burly for the race and sporting a bandage across his temple-- emerges from the apartment to perform a visual sweep of the hallway. Satisfied that Love is alone, he turns to frown at her. It's not a frown of mistrust but one fearful of impending bad news.

    "Lt. Partial Charge?" The stallion extends a hoof to her in introduction. "I'm Rifle Scope, Sniper's father. I'm supposed to ask you about the original, neglected radio name. What was it?"
    Last edited by D.KnightSpider; 2019-04-11 at 07:32 PM.

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    The door opening causes Love to pause in the hallway. She waits for that unspoken approval before she continues. The security check was Rifle Scope's to make at his leisure, and Love would humor the pony to nigh the end considering the circumstances. His frame reminded her a little of Longshot's coat, but that would be expected. The bandage on his head draws her attention. Rifle Scope was the only pony injured aside from his dead attacker. She kindly smiles at him. It's not the type of smile that would mask bad news. She genuinely wants to be here.

    Love isn't wearing anything aside from her standard Love saddlebag.

    "Lt. Partial Charge is the name," she confirms. She extends her hoof for a strong hoofshake. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Rifle Scope. I'm Sniper Scope's squad mate. Feel free to call me Love. Everyone does." Love thinks on his question. There have been a few nicknames, but there is one nickname that she has neglected. She suddenly had the urge to apologize to Longshot. She answers him plainly, "Buzzkill." Rifle Scope is the wrong pony to apologize to for her misdeed. Was longshot trying to tell her something?

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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest Side Thread: Making a House Call

    "And you must be Love since you passed the Changeling test." He says. "I think every pony knows who you are so we've got to be careful right now."

    Rifle relaxes-- but only a little. One hoof gestures toward the front door. His eyes tighten ever so slightly but it's the only tell that he's functioning at less that 100%.

    "Why don't you come inside so we can talk about whatever brings you here?"

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    Love nods at her passing the test. "I understand the need for caution." She supposes she is getting pretty famous. She would be easier to impersonate than other ponies in some instances. "Thank you for taking the effort in meeting."

    It's good to see him slightly relax. She is here to help with that.

    Love lightly smiles at being invited inside. "Thank you. I'd like that." Love will move inside at his invitation instead of trying to talk in the hallway.

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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest Side Thread: Making a House Call

    Rifle guides Love into the apartment and shuts the door behind them. It's the living room of a very obvious safe house. The furniture is nondescript and functional, although some pony in extremely recent history has attempted to add a bit of color and life to the room via paintings on the wall.

    Rifle gestures at a couch on the far wall.

    "The pleasure is ours for the meeting." Rifle says. "It's not often that a member of Harrier wants to drop by."

    Another Pegasus, presumably Sea Scape, enters the front room from a kitchen door. Her coat is a subtle blend of ocean greens. Even with the pregnancy showing its apparent that Sea Scape has taken care of herself over the years. She stops short as she catches sight of Rifle and Love.

    Rifle's expression turns sheepish.

    Sea Scape places a tray of tea and appetizers on and end table. She fixes the male Pegasus with a look of firm warmth.

    "Rifle, dear, you are not to be up and about yet." Sea says. There's still a trace of Prench accent in her voice. "Now, plant your flank in the recliner. That's an order."

    "Sure. Sure. I was just greeting our visitor. We have company so mind your manners." Rifle replies as he moves back to the recliner.

    "I mind my manners much better than you follow doctors orders."

    Yup. They're an old married couple. The banter is friendly and free of any stinging intent. The two respect and love each other.

    "Partial Charge?" Sea Scape curtsies during her introduction. "Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Sea Scape. I'm Sniper's mother."

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    After a quick glance around the room to get her barrings, Love is even more glad she decided to pay a visit.

    The gesture toward the couch is followed by Love. Rifle has given her a very warm welcoming. It's hard not to be in a good mood. "It's not often that I get to meet one of my squad's family members. I feel honored." Love walks her way through the living room and sits down on the couch.

    Love stands as Sea Scape enters the room. She seems kind, sweet. The exchange between the two has her feeling like she is at home or a family member. Love curtsies in return. The curtsy itself is refined. There is an experience in her movements. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Sea Scape. Everyone calls me Love. Feel free to call me that. I'm Sniper Scope's friend. I wanted to visit the both of you and see how you were doing."

    Love gestures to the tray. "Would it be alright if I had a drink?"

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    "The pleasure is all mine, Love, and of course you may. Do you take sugar with your tea?" Sea asks. Her movements are precise and fluid as she begins filling teacups.

    Rifle finishes positioning himself within the recliner. Then he reaches over and adjusts a nearby monitor-- one displaying security camera feeds from the hallways.

    "The two of us are alive and one of our attackers aren't. I'd say we're doing alright in the grand scheme of things. I'd always been afraid that something like this might happen. Hard to believe that it actually did." Rifle shakes his head.

    "I believe I'm doing well now that the shock has passed. I simply pray it never happens again." Sea says as she offers a cup to Love. Some of the formality drains from the situation. "Who would do such a thing as terrorize ponies in their own homes?"

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    "One sugar sounds perfect. Thank you. I've overloaded on sweets lately." Love takes a seat again on the couch. She breaths lightly. "It smells wonderful."

    Love notes Rifle watching the hallways. She is hesitant to offer him help with security.

    "I'm glad both of you managed to escape relatively unscathed. It's been difficult to adjust. I haven't felt this fear for years, but it's something I've dealt with in the past. It's not easy." She asks, "The doctors say everything is well?" The two of them seem healthy.

    Love lightly smiles at Sea Scape's good news. "You're a very strong pony, Sea Scape."

    Love gratefully accepts the tea. She lightly smells the aroma and takes a sip. She happily nods. "It's very good. Thank you. My mother used to make me tea on special occasions. The tea has brought back some of those memories." She lightly smiles and takes another sip.

    "A lot of people are working hard to keep both of you safe." Love's focus widens to include Rifle. "Sniper Scope mentioned that you liked the arts. I'd say you're doing a good job at knocking the terror out of the home." She asks, "Did you paint all this?"

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    "Oh, goodness no." Sea shakes her head at Love's painting question. "The forensic investigators refused to allow anything but the basic essentials out of the house. Something about verifying the blood spatter or bullet spray-- now there's a grisly thought! Not that it would have done much good to try and bring them as the gunfight destroyed some of my best work. They put a bullet hole straight through the lighthouse window of one of my best pieces! But that can hardly compare to grazing Rifle's head and putting a bullet through one of Rifle's wings."

    "Bah." Rifle waves off the concern. "It's a lot of fuss about nothing. From the way the doctors reacted, you'd think a Pegasus had never taken a bullet before."

    "You can certainly testify to the contrary."

    "Exactly. After the second or third time, a body gets used to it."

    Sea sighs and redirects. "But to answer your question, Love, the doctors do say everything will be well in time. Rifle should heal and the baby is healthy. I'm glad the tea is to your tastes; I can send some extra home with you if you like?"

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    "I'm sorry procedure has made things harder on you." She lightly frowns at the news about her art work being destroyed. A little tea helps wash away the feeling. "It's a shame about the lighthouse piece. You do such beautiful landscapes. I'm sure I would have loved it. Personally, I'm looking forward to your next creation."

    Longshot really does take after his parents. Love smiles as the two talk. "I see where Sniper Scope has inherited his grit. He's always pushing forward and giving his all."

    Love nods at her second question being answered. "Good, good! Rifle recovering well, and the baby being healthy is great news. I'm sure that'll bring a lot of peace of mind to Sniper Scope. I'll make sure he gets the good news."

    She she answers in delight, her voice raising slightly, "I would love some tea!" She lowers her voice to normal, "I've been going through a lot of tea, everything, lately. I'm adjusting to a higher calorie diet. It's difficult to cut back on the sugar, habits and all."

    Love smiles real big. "That reminds me." Love reaches for her saddlebag and sets it besides her on the couch. She flips the flap. "I thought I would try to bring some supplies to make the place feel a little more like home." Love pulls some paint supplies out of her bag, and she sets it down on the table if there is enough room. There are numerous tubes and a large variety of colors. Brushes. A clear glass jar for cleaning. Everything she might need except the canvas. The tools aren't a poor quality either. It looks like Love put some research into getting trying to match Sea Scape's taste. Love's bag deflates in size, but it doesn't look like it's empty. Love looks to Sea Scape. "I wasn't sure what supplies you might be running low on."

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    "My word." Sea's faux pas recovery is very nearly miraculous. She looks over the supplies in astonishment. "I-- I genuinely don't know what to say. This is a wonderful gift. Thank you, Love. I promise that the next painting I create will be strictly and solely for you."

    "It is very generous of you." Rifle states the obvious although there's an approval behind the words. "We're grateful for it and for your easing Sniper's mind. I know you've got your hooves full trying to save the world and all but taking the time to help us means a lot. Last we knew was that you all were heading out for a long deployment and then you turn up live on Equestrian TV... well, it makes us wonder what all is going on in the world. Knowing that he's got you for a squadmate is going to help us have some peace of mind."

    One of Love's stray comments about her diet registers with Sea Scape but she's not convinced it would be appropriate to ask.

    "I feel like we know a little bit about you from all the interviews and stuff. But why don't you tell us about yourself?" Rifle asks.

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    "Oh, I wasn't expecting anything in return. The two of you have already been so kind to me. Here! Let me give you my personal contact information. I'm available 24/7." That last line draws a short, amused chuckle. Love grabs a pen from one of her side pouches and writes down one of her numbers. She'll hoof it off to Sea if she is waiting; otherwise, she lays it down with the supplies.

    "If there is anything I can do to help; let me know. My hooves always have room for the important things. I've been working with my mother on home security and traveling security. She is temporally living nearby my place." Love blushes and rubs her mane. "Sniper Scope is very important to me."

    She smiles at the question. "The public doesn't know everything yet." She laughs. "What would you like to know? I'm an open book! I have a special pony. I've lived in Equestria since about 20 years old. I have a passion for inventing. I own a small business. I don't have much family in Equestria. My hobbies include dancing, art and music, social functions, video games, flying and driving, mechanics, name collection, jogging, ball sports, gymnastics, surfing the web, cooking, learning, politics, teaching, and city development."

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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest Side Thread: Making a House Call

    Sea accepts Love's contact information with another round of thanks.

    "I'll keep your offer in mind. I'm still not sure where we'll end up once the dust settles." Rifle admits. "If they found us once, they could easily find us again and I don't like the idea of spending the rest of our days running from terrorists."

    "Just as I don't like the idea of returning to that house. It's been... defiled in a way. But I can see Rifle's point." Sea says slowly. "And I would hate to start over on the nursery designs..."

    "Makes two of us. It took us two weeks for you to find the right color of blue for the room. I didn't know so many shades of color existed." Rifle chuckles in good humor.

    "If it's worth doing, then it's worth doing right." Sea replies without a trace of offense.

    Upon hearing Love's long list of interests, Rifle only has one comment: "Oh, is that all? I'm surprised Corvid peace talks aren't on your list."

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    Love acceptingly nods, "I understand the thoughts. It can be very difficult to find the perfect match when designing a room. I spent a good long while planning the designs to my work space."

    She chuckles at his question and her long list. She jokes, "Do you think I should look into peace talks? I was too young to serve during the thick of that war. My hoofs didn't touch Equestria for another eight years after that." Since he is asking about her she elaborates. "I grew up in the Wasteland, south of here, before I began hovering around the Kingdom of Wingbardy." The Kingdom of Wingbardy is a very unstable nation across the ocean boarding New Mareland. "I've lived in Equestria since after moving away from there."

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    "I think you'd have better success doing a cockatrice' hair." It's not necessarily prejudice but a very close finality in Rifle's voice. "Nothing good can come of the Corvids."

    "Now, you know that's not necessarily true." Sea gently corrects the statement. "Lorne was of great help during the war."

    "Oh, I know. So let me amend that statement: nothing good can come from most Corvids."

    "I'm glad that we agree." Sea says with a smile. She refocus on Love. "You're an immigrant from the Wasteland? I've heard some... interesting things of that land."

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    Love seems keenly interested in their talk of Corvids though she doesn't comment. She gives the two a polite small smile.

    She nods to Sea Scape. "Yes, I was born in the Wasteland and raised there for most of my life." She takes a longer sip at the paused thought. The answer seems slightly pained, but she doesn't hold back. "The Wasteland is a big place. It can be very dangerous. It is dangerous if a pony is unfamiliar with the desert and ponies. The land is unfruitful without ponies working together to tend nature. Wastelanders are normal ponies put in an extreme land. Been that way for generations. They look after their families and want whats best for them."

    "My home town was too large and fractured to have an official sheriff, or at least we didn't have a sheriff. My dad worked with a group to protect our local neighborhood from any pony causing trouble and sought to make sure that everyone had what they needed to survive. She smiles, "My mother was a seamstress and ran a communal kitchen. She is an amazing cook!" Love notes to herself, "I should see if she is interested in cooking for Star." Love returns her focus. "I grew up an only child with my family. Nowadays. My mom sells insurance. My dad works for a medical company that mostly deals in prosthesis."

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    "Good ponies in a bad situation. That seems to be a tragedy." Sea shakes her head.

    Rifle counters the sentiment: "Let's not get too carried away. For every good pony in the Wasteland you've got two rotten ones like the Red Skorpions. A buddy of mine lost his wings to those maniacs."

    "True. Still, perhaps we ignore the Wasteland too much as it is. But," Sea changes the direction of the conversation. "at least you're in a better place, Love. It seems that you and your family have risen above some nasty beginnings."

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    Love has to stop herself from talking about the mission. Maybe, next time when the mission is over they can re-visit the Red Skorpions' crew.

    She nods and seriously answers though with a pleasant air. "I am in a better place. I love Equestria, her people, and being Equestrian. I've grown from some nasty stuff. I separated from my family for a few years, but I carried them with me. My father always had a strong sense of right and wrong that I like to imagine that I inherited from him. His encouragement in the back of my head saw me through some tough times. My parents love Equestria. They are in a better place." She smiles warmly. "They've done well for themselves."

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    "Given all that you've accomplished, I'd say that's the case. We're lucky to have you. Hard to say what would have happened if you hadn't been there on Tartarus." Rifle says.

    "Perhaps we should move on to more pleasant topics." Sea suggests.

    "There's always Sniper's old baby pictures." Rifle chuckles. "Although I think we're only supposed to show those to prospective mare friends."

    "Maybe I should get yours out instead."

    "Now don't be silly." Rifle smiles devilishly. "You're not a prospective mare friend. You're my wife and you've got the baby bump to prove it."

    Seafire blushes, flattered.

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    None of the missions had gone as well as she hoped, none perfect, but she remains stoic for the cameras.

    Love quietly chuckles alongside the pleasant exchange.

    She blushes and rubs her mane, "Sniper Scope and I don't have that type of relationship." She admits, "I would be curious to see the pictures, but I didn't exactly ask him permission."
    Last edited by Elbeyon; 2019-05-17 at 05:00 AM.

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    "Since there's never going to be a pony that fits those qualifications..." Rifle's criticism is undercut by something else. Guilt?

    Sea gives her husband a familiar, sympathetic look.

    "I think we can make an exception." He concludes.

    Sea fiddles with a tablet for a few moments and then extends it to Love. "I've fussed over them several times, so I believe that they're still in chronological order. Why don't you take a look?"

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    Love picks up on something? She tries to get a better read on him. She says warmly, "Sniper Scope is an amazing stallion. There are a lot of mares out there that would be lucky to have him."

    Love takes a sip of tea and readies herself for the tablet.

    "Thank you for the exception," she says with a smile. It's an honor. She gently accepts the tablet. "I'll look at them carefully." Love touches the screen. "It's beautiful that you've so carefully maintained a baby book." She tries to arrange herself so that they can both see the picture she is viewing and access the first one (or page if that's how it's set up.)

    She says, "I don't have any pictures of myself, but I do have a few memories that show myself that I could show you." Love looks up and smiles real big with pride. "Oh! I had an idea. My sister looks exactly like me! I could show you a picture of her if you are interested!"

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    The fact that Rifle let his guard down enough for Love to pick up on his unease is telling that he trusts Love. Whatever else was behind it, however, is locked behind a 'company is present' demeanor.

    Sea beams. "Thank you. It's been quite a while since I've been able to show off a child and I would enjoy seeing any memories of your childhood or pictures of your sister."

    Love is immediately greeted to pages designed in Sea Scape's optimistic, cheerful style. The first page shows Longshot as a babe: matted brown pelt and all. There's a picture of him in the blankets and another showing two proud parents holding their new foal. Although Sea looks exhausted, they're both as proud as punch.

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    Love smirks. "A lot more opportunities are approaching."

    She barely has time to take in the styling before her eyes are drawn to the center of the page. Love moderately sequels upon seeing Longshot's baby picture, "Awww, he's so cute! And, tiny." She touches her hoof against the screen nearby Longshot. "He looks so comfortable." Love hugs the picture. "Everypony is so happy. The two of you are glowing." Sea Scape's heart is shining through. Love returns the tablet to in front of her and smiles down at the picture. She takes a several seconds to absorb the sight.

    "Ah! I should have some pictures of Null on my laptop. Hopefully. I have holograms if not." Love gives the picture another quick smirk before she carefully sets the tablet down. She shuffles through her bag and hides away the contents as she fishes out her laptop. She moves very carefully not to expose anything within. She did the same when she was pulling out the art supplies. Love takes her laptop out and splits it in half into a tablet. She raises off her bottom and presents it to Sea Scape with two hoofs.

    It takes a tap to active the screen and view the picture, but that's only to prevent any spoilers until Sea Scape is ready. The picture is a portrait without too many details edging into the photo. The picture is in a simple picture viewer. Null looks like she is in a hospital bed judging by the bedding. None of her cyberware plugs are displaying. She looks exactly like a teenage Love though.

    Love picks up Sea Scape's tablet again and holds it in front of her, but she doesn't scroll to the next picture.
    Last edited by Elbeyon; 2019-05-18 at 10:34 PM.

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    If Sea were any prouder, she'd burst. For his part, Rifle looks a little more bemused, but the pride is still there.

    Sea accepts the tablet and carries it over to where Rifle can see. The two ponies look at Null and then check over Love and back to Love.

    "There's an amazingly strong resemblance. Are you sure you aren't twins?" Rifle asks.

    "I don't mean to be rude or pry but she appears to be a hospital of some sort." Sea's cautious and ready to abort the question at any sign of trouble. "Did something happen? Is she alright?"

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    She takes a sip of tea and savors the flavor while the two move around. She stops when they access the picture.

    They do look like twins! Love lightly chuckles at Rifle's question. Are they twins? They don't share a birth, but twins can be shorthoof for shared DNA. "We share our DNA. Null is younger than she appears."

    Love tries to ease any tension, "She is going to be alright." A splinter of worry underneath her words for a future unknown. "She has some partly faulty cyberware that's causing her pain and needs removed." She recalls some of the information she has been given. "The Canterlot clinic says it's a relatively easy major surgery, almost minor surgery really. The procedure is very low risk and recovery shouldn't be too bad. We're looking forward to her getting out of the hospital and to the Crystal Empire." Love lightly smiles.

    The next photo is more zoomed out. Null is under a blanket with her forelegs exposed in a room filled with party supplies. There are balloons near the walls. A raccoon is laying on the bed. A very old fashion VR set with some electronics lays near the bed. A small multi-decked buffet table sits off to the side with a strange assortment of foods. The room is decorated with colorful stickers and pictures. The next picture show Love poking her heard into frame as she takes pictures with Null. Love makes a few funny faces at the camera while Null predictably reacts in the background.

    Love runs a hoof across the decoration on Longshot's picture and flips to the next screen.

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    "I can't deny that." Rifle responds. "You two must really take after your father or mother. For the better, y'know."

    "Ah." Sea says in response to the news of Null's difficulties. She looks conflicted for a moment, apparently being cautious not to overcommit herself. "Please give her my sympathies and well wishes. I'd love to help her however I can. Does she need anything?"

    The two keep looking through the pictures.

    And upon turning the digital page, Love is treated to an assortment of 'baby firsts' alongside his parents' amused reactions. Longshot's first steps (unsteady as they are), first flight (face-first into a wall- captured in glorious high definition) and disgusted face (he didn't care for brussel sprouts apparently) are all documented in detail and full. Overall, LS appears to have been a happy, easy baby growing up.

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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest Side Thread: Making a House Call

    Love, "Aws," as she turns through the pages. Love partakes in the time honored tradition of stating the obvious on each picture. "He's trying so hard to stand. Wow! He's flying already." Love didn't grow up around many pegasus.

    Love smiles and rubs her mane, flattered. She confidently says, "The blood is stronger on my mother's side."

    She smiles real big at Sea. "I'll let her know. I think she'll like to hear well wishes from as many ponies as possible." Love pauses at the question. She is unsure how to answer. She doesn't want to dismiss the helping hoof, but Love shouldn't ask too much from her new friends. She pleasantly says, "You're thoughts help a lot. All her physical needs are met. The adoption agency wouldn't let me raise her without that qualification." Perhaps, Love's strongest qualification. Love proudly smiles, "I'm adopting Null and my brother Blank." Less proud, still smiles, "I've never raised foals, teenagers. I'm going to have my hooves full giving them the best that I can give them." And, Love can only hope that's enough. "Smiles are their best look."

    After the improv to photo shoot, a couple scenes unfold. Null and Love are eating together, and Love looks a lot happier than Null. Love eventually switches to feeding Null foods off Love's plate. There are some pictures of Null walking around out of bed and looking out the window. A few of Null hooked into her VR machine and Love making faces. There are pictures from what must be inside a game's kitchen.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Behind the Computer
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Celestia's Finest Side Thread: Making a House Call

    "It usually does, which is for the best." Rifle continues making blood comments. "Since mares are usually the better looking and that's the last I'll say of it."

    Love's adoption plans create confusion among her hosts. Rifle and Sea share a glance, checking to see if the other understands why Love would be adopting immediate family members. Nothing was said about Love's parents being unavailable yet neither pegasus wants to pry into a potentially difficult situation.

    Sea opts for the diplomatic route and then checks the other pictures: "Then I'll continue to wish her well since it's proven so effective. I can see that she's recovering quite well from the procedures. And you're very right. A smile looks best on her."

    "Yeah. Sniper always took to flying easily." Rifle attempts to back up his wife by steering the conversation away from any potential minefields. "If he ever disappeared on us, we'd normally find him on a cloud somewhere. If we ever found him at all, of course."
    Last edited by D.KnightSpider; 2019-05-24 at 07:25 AM.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Elbeyon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: Celestia's Finest Side Thread: Making a House Call

    Love chuckles and sweetly smiles at Rifle's comments. "Mares usually are better looking." Star as her proof!

    Why did the air just get awkward? Love every so slightly tilts her head as the two check on each other for support. Oh! Oh. What Love said could look really bad without any information. She can't just let things hang in the air like that. They might have the wrong impression of her parents. Love raises her hoofs slightly while the tablet lays in front of her and interjects before things go much further.

    "My parents are great parents. Blank and Null are lucky to have them in their lives." She smiles, "Blank and Null are welcomed new additions to the family." She adds, "My parents and I weren't aware of my siblings until recently. Blank and Null were cloned using my DNA. We hadn't met. Everything is very new to us, me, but every family is unique with their own happenings. We're adjusting, and I'm glad to live with them." She hopes she hasn't said too much and made them uncomfortable. Love is trying to make them more comfortable. "I did say I was an open book to you! I appreciate any wisdom you may want to share with me." Love laughs. "Your thoughts are helpful." Love meant their thoughts being helpful very literally as advice is very appreciated currently.

    Love picks up the tablet in front of her. She warmly looks at the picture. Longshot had a love for flying? Of course, she should have know.

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