Of Night and Stone
Accusations, Adaptation, and Anarchy (Part 1)
The gray gargoyle looked back at Pinkie and Brooklyn, covering her face from the flashlight’s light. Seconds passed in an ominous silence before Brooklyn finally decided to step forward.
“Maud, is that you?”
The gargoyle flinched upon recognizing her name, then instantly ran behind the bushes.
“Hey!” Brooklyn jumped forward and chased after her.
“Wait up!” Pinkie said, running behind Brooklyn.
He looked behind the bushes but couldn’t find Maud. Just then, he heard a rustling behind him and, without thinking, turned around, lunged forward, and pounced. There was a bit of a struggle as Pinkie showed up and shined the flashlight on what Brooklyn had caught.
“A-ha!” Pinkie shouted, then looked closer. “Um, Brookie? This isn’t Maud.”
Brooklyn looked down to see that he was holding onto two very familiar stallions.
“Oh man, it’s the fuzz!” the yellow stallion exclaimed with his heavy Mexican accent. “We were framed, I swear man!”
“Whoops!” Brooklyn let the two stallions go. “It’s you guys again! Sorry about that.”
The yellow stallion stood up and brushed himself off. “Oh, I remember you! From the concert! How you doing, amigo?”
“Uh, could be better actually.” Brooklyn still found it awkward to have a casual conversation with two stallions who seemed to have no problem with--or not even notice--him being a gargoyle.
“Wait, who are you again?” the turquoise stallion asked as he brushed himself off.
“I’m Brooklyn, remember?”
“Who?” The turquoise stallion seemed not to remember.
“Brooklyn? From the concert last night?”
The turquoise stallion paused, then said, “Brooklyn’s not here, man.”
Brooklyn raised an eyebrow. “No man, I’m Brooklyn!”
“Who?” the turquoise stallion asked again.
It was Pinkie’s turn to enter the conversation. “Hey, we’re looking for my sister, Maud! Have you seen her?”
“Maud’s not here either!” the turquoise stallion answered.
Brooklyn rolled his eyes. “Well thanks for the help anyway, I’m sure we--”
“Hey, hold on!” the yellow stallion interrupted. “Ain’t Maud the chica you were with last night?”
“Yeah?” Brooklyn asked hopefully.
“We saw her a second ago!” The yellow stallion pointed to a cluster of trees to his left. “I think she went over there! She looks a little different though. Did she get a new haircut?”
Brooklyn turned in the direction the yellow stallion had pointed. “Thanks for the help!” he called back to them.
“No hay problema, man!”
Pinkie followed alongside Brooklyn. “Who were they?”
“Two guys we met at the concert. Could you shine your flashlight on the ground?”
With the light of Pinkie’s flashlight, they could see a series of clawprints, which they followed across the park until the prints disappeared.
“They just end here,” Brooklyn muttered. “Where could she be?”
“Why don’t you fly up there to get a bird’s eye view?” Pinkie asked.
“Sorry, Pinkie.” Brooklyn shook his head. “Gargoyles don’t fly--we only glide. Though I could climb up this tree to get a better look.”
He dug his claws into the side of the closest tree, making a sound of crunching wood every time they thrust in, and started pulling himself up. On the ground, Pinkie followed his path to the upper branches with her flashlight.
“Um, Brookie?” Pinkie called up to him.
“Now’s not a good time!” Brooklyn called back, stepping onto a branch and looking back down.
“But I think she might be closer than you think!” she replied.
“Huh?” When he looked to his right, he saw the gray gargoyle, who hissed at him as her eyes glowed red. About then, the branch began to break with a cracking noise, and the two gargoyles fell to the ground. Luckily, Brooklyn landed on his feet, but Maud wasn’t so lucky, hitting the ground on her back with a thud.
“Ugh…” Maud groaned.
Brooklyn quickly scrambled over to Maud and squatted on top of her, pinning her to the ground so she wouldn’t move. “Maud, it’s me, Brooklyn, remember?”
Maud glared into Brooklyn’s eyes once more, her own eyes glowing red, before shutting them and looking away. “Go away…”
Brooklyn shook his head. “Not happening, Maud. You tell me what happened.”
Maud didn’t answer for a second, and then, “I’m a freak.”
“No you’re not!” Brooklyn insisted. “You’re surrounded by the two who care about you the most: your sister, and your… coltfriend.” He paused before saying this; it took a lot to admit to that. “Now look at me. We’d never think you’re a freak.”
Maud turned her head back and looked into Brooklyn’s eyes. He smiled, and Pinkie appeared over his shoulder. Maud sighed. “It has been a rough night,” the once-pony, now gargoyle muttered, sitting up.
“C’mon, Maud.” Brooklyn helped Maud to her feet. “Let’s go to Town Hall.”
It was a typical night at Town Hall. Hudson had the night shift, Twilight and Lex were hanging out in Lex’s corner, and everything was alright. It was about that time when they heard a heavy “THUD!” outside.
Elisa stood up. “What was that?” She ran to the door and looked outside.
Brooklyn stepped in. “Pinkie and I are back.” The pink pony followed him inside, bouncing along behind him.
“I assume you found Maud?” Elisa asked.
“Well, yes and no.” Brooklyn looked back. “Come on in, Maud.”
A few seconds later, the gargoyle entered the room. Elisa gasped. This prompted everyone else nearby to look up at Maud.
“They are staring at me, Brooklyn.”
“It’s okay, they’re just surprised about your new form.”
Many of the gargoyles stood up, including Goliath, who walked up next to Elisa.
“You act like you have never seen a gargoyle before,” said Maud.
“Um, we’ve just never seen you as a gargoyle,” Elisa replied.
“What happened?” Goliath asked. They were all pushing in closer around Maud and Brooklyn.
“Give her some space!” Brooklyn commanded. He grabbed Maud by the hand and pulled her inside. She stumbled as she walked.
“I am not yet used to walking on two hooves… feet,” Maud admitted. “I am not used to gliding, either.”
“So that’s what that crashing noise was,” Elisa muttered.
At this point, Twilight and Lex returned to the main room. “We heard a crash!” Twilight exclaimed. “What hap--Maud?!”
“Uh-oh,” Maud muttered.
Twilight ran closer to Maud. “Ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygosh! Maud! You’re a gargoyle! What happened? How did it happen? We’ll need to run some tests immediately! I must write a letter to Princess Celestia!”
“Oh jalapeña,” Brooklyn groaned. “She makes Pinkie Pie sound like an audiobook.”
“Hey!” Pinkie and Twilight simultaneously said, then looked at each other and blushed, grinning sheepishly.
“That’s Maud?!” Lex exclaimed. “When did she turn into a gargoyle?”
“I… don’t remember very well.” Maud looked down. “I saw that Goodfellow guy who attacked me last night. Today, I followed him, but as I began to turn around, somehow he caught me… I don’t remember anything else, but when I woke up, I was a gargoyle.”
Goliath turned to Elisa. “Elisa, I think I know who is behind this.”
“I have a feeling, too,” said Elisa. “Are you thinking it’s Xanatos?”
Goliath nodded. “But it doesn’t make any sense because Dr. Sevarius isn’t in this world as far as I know. Unless there was another portal, but that wouldn’t make any sense either since Puck created the first one and came through with us.”
“I agree,” Elisa replied. She looked up and down at Maud. “Besides, she doesn’t look like the other mutates, and is more like a regular gargoyle.”
“Stop staring,” Maud said. This was uncomfortable, even for her.
“I apologize,” Goliath replied. “We are just trying to figure out what happened.”
“We know it has something to do with that Goodfellow, but whatever the connection is, I have no idea,” Twilight added.
“Do you think Maud will be able to turn back into a pony?” Pinkie asked anxiously.
“I don’t know, Pinkie,” Elisa answered with a frown. Pinkie frowned too.
“But if she can’t,” Goliath added, “then I am sure the rest of us will be willing to accept her into our clan.” The other gargoyles nodded in agreement and called out their welcome. Goliath smiled. “Then it is settled. Elisa, you and Twilight go and see if you can find out anything.”
Elisa and Twilight turned around and headed out the door to the stairs. The gargoyles took this time to return to doing what they had been doing… mostly.
One of them wandered up. “Hello, Maud was it? I’m Angela, I suppose Brooklyn has mentioned me to you.” She held out her clawed hand, which Maud hesitantly shook. “I’m sure the two of us will get along just fine, since it’s kind of a sausage fest in here.”
“I’m sure,” Maud replied. It was hard for Angela to tell if that was sarcastic or not, since Maud displayed no emotion, which Angela found weird.
“Well, okay!” Angela led Maud outside, onto the deck. Meanwhile, Brooklyn stayed inside, uneasily standing in the middle of the room, looking around awkwardly. He had planned on trying to talk to Maud, but it seemed Angela had gotten to the once-pony first.
“I see you’re lonely again,” he heard a voice tease him. He immediately recognized it as Lex.
“Ugh, go away, Lex,” Brooklyn replied, not even bothering to look at his rookery brother.
“C’mon, talk to me! Broadway’s back here too.”
Brooklyn sighed as he followed Lex to his corner. He didn’t feel like talking to Broadway and Lex right then, but he did want some help in his situation.
“May I come along too, Brookie!” Pinkie started happily trotting next to Brooklyn, who raised an eyebrow.
“You’re awfully happy for someone whose sister might permanently be a gargoyle.”
“I don’t know, Brookie! Only readership response can determine that!”
Brooklyn stopped in his tracks for a second, and thought about what Pinkie just said. Readership… huh?
Pinkie looked back. “You coming, Brookie?”
He blinked a few times, then shook his head. “Here I come.”
Pinkie and Brooklyn arrived at Lex’s corner where Broadway and Lex were already waiting. Brooklyn looked down at Lex’s motorcycle.
“Wow, Lex! You’ve made some progress. Not bad.”
“Hands off! I don’t want you wrecking this one like you did with the last one.”
Brooklyn smiled sheepishly. “Trust me, I’ve learned my lesson about that.”
Pinkie studied the vehicle. “Huh! This motorcycle appears to be modeled after a 1992 Harley-Davidson chopper, with the Evolution engine--good gas mileage! Great for anypony who wants a midnight drive!”
The other gargoyles were in shock. How would Pinkie know that? She looked up. “What?”
The three shrugged, then Lex changed the subject. “So Brooklyn, how are you doing lately?”
“I’ve been okay,” Brooklyn replied.
“Anything you want to talk about?” asked Broadway.
“No, not really.”
There was a long pause before Lex spoke up again. “So how are you feeling about all this?”
“Oh!” Brooklyn looked back at Lex’s creation. “Well, I agree with Pinkie, you did an awesome job on the bike and I think it would be great to drive if we could find some gasoline.”
“…I wasn’t talking about the motorcycle, Brooklyn.”
Another long pause. Broadway broke the silence. “Gosh, the elephant in the room is so large that I can practically see it.”
“There’s an elephant in the room?” Pinkie looked around. “Where? Where? I like elephants! Do you think it got lost from the circus?” At this, the three gargoyles couldn’t help but laugh. Pinkie looked at them. “What’s so funny?”
“Pinkie, it’s an expression,” said Brooklyn. “It means something that is really obvious, but nobody wants to talk about.”
“Aw…” Pinkie pouted. “I wanted to see a real elephant.”
“Anyway, guys, I don’t see the problem with Maud being a gargoyle,” Brooklyn said. “We’ve already discussed about making her a part of the clan.”
“You’re really missing the point, aren’t you, Brooklyn?” asked Lex.
Brooklyn shrugged. “What point?”
“Well, she’s a gargoyle now,” Broadway replied.
“I know, but what does that have to do with anything?” Brooklyn asked, still confused.
“And you’re a gargoyle, too.”
Lex folded up his left hand into an O shape, and put the index claw of his right hand into the O. “We’re talking about sex, Brooklyn.”
Brooklyn’s eyes widened. “What?”
Broadway smirked. “Since you and she are both gargoyles now, that should make mating with her a lot less uncomfortable, right?”
Brooklyn blinked a few times. “What?!”
“Doing the shmiggity, making whoopie, making her bedrock…” Lex listed.
“Heh, nice rock pun!” Broadway and Lex did a fist bump.
Brooklyn paused before repeating, “WHAT?!”
“SAY ‘WHAT’ AGAIN!” Pinkie shouted at him. “I DARE YOU! I DOUBLE DARE YOU!”
Brooklyn backed away, surprised. “Look, you guys, I don’t know where you got this idea in your head, but…”
“Oh, it’s just been so obvious to us for the longest time,” Lex said. “You and she began dating a while ago, which was step one in your relationship. Step two was admitting you liked her, step three was making out. Now the next step is obviously pursuing your relationship a little further.”
“And obviously it’s made much easier now that you and she are the same species,” Broadway continued.
Brooklyn held up his hands dismissively. “Look, guys--”
Pinkie interrupted him. “And then you and Maud can hatch half-gargoyle, half-pony foals and you’ll be so happy!”
Brooklyn groaned. “Pinkie…”
Pinkie backed off. “Yes, Brookie?”
“You three all need to calm down,” Brooklyn replied. “I’m not sure Maud is into that--it’s hard to tell what she’s into, honestly! I’m just saying, if she is, we can deal with that when the time comes.”
“I don’t know, Brooklyn,” Broadway said. “When the time comes, you can always talk to me for advice--Angela and I have been together long enough to know all about that!”
“I know, Broadway.”
“Remember,” Lex replied, “if you don’t take the opportunity now, it may never happen again.”
Brooklyn sighed. “Thanks, guys.” He turned around to leave.
Well, THAT was a waste of time.
Elisa and Twilight were headed down the stairs of the Town Hall building. Both of them knew something needed to be done, but neither of them knew what.
“So, Twilight,” Elisa spoke up, “got any ideas?”
Twilight sighed. “Honestly, I’m all out. As much as I want to help Pinkie and her sister, I don’t know what to do in a situation like this.”
“Well, do you have any spells that can make her transform back into a pony?”
“I have one, yes, but it’s only temporary--it will wear off, and from what I can tell it’s a higher form of magic, so I wouldn’t be able to do that unless I became an alicorn.”
“Is there anybody you know who can help us figure out for sure what happened to cause this?”
“Well, there is Zecora.”
“A zebra. She lives in the Everfree Forest and knows a lot of things about the lesser known powers, and it would be easy if this were a simple case of poison joke, but I doubt that’s the case. Besides, these aren’t ponies we’re dealing with, these are gargoyles, a species unknown to Equestria and all the lands around.”
“Damn.” The two of them arrived at the bottom of the staircase and continued to the front doors. “Well, if worse comes to worse, the gargoyles said they’d be welcome Maud with open arms.” Elisa opened the front door. “Speaking of which, she seems to be taking this whole ‘becoming a gargoyle’ thing rather well.”
“To be fair, she doesn’t really emote at anything at all,” replied Twilight.
“Now that’s true.”
Once they were outside, they heard a voice. “Hold it!” Twilight and Elisa turned around to see the Mayor standing behind them.
“Miss Mayor!” Elisa greeted.
“Stop right there, you two!” the Mayor commanded. “I know something is up. I heard you talking. What are the gargoyles?”
“The gargoyles?” Elisa paused. “Um, you must have misheard--”
“No, I definitely heard correctly,” the Mayor replied. She backed away from Elisa and Twilight and pointed up to the deck of the building. “And even if I did mishear, how does that explain those things?”
Elisa gulped and looked at the deck from where the Mayor was standing. Sure enough, it was easy to see Angela and Maud talking.
“And why has Maud transformed into one of them?” the Mayor asked. “You’d better start answering!”
Twilight walked up to the Mayor. “Miss Mayor, I can explain. I…”
She stopped. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a very familiar pony: it was none other than Goodfellow, walking through the streets like it was nobody’s business. Twilight frowned. “Excuse me for a moment, Miss Mayor.”
Goodfellow heard the sound of hoofsteps approaching him, but did not think anything of it; by the time he finally did, Twilight pounced on him and knocked him to the ground. She held him pinned to the ground with her magic aura.
“You!” she shouted at him. “You were the cause of all this!”
“Ah, Miss Twilight,” Goodfellow replied, seeming unfazed.
“Don’t ‘Miss Twilight’ me!”
“Wait, who is that?” the Mayor asked, confused.
“Now tell me who you really are!” Twilight commanded.
Goodfellow sighed. “You might want to back away…” Another magical aura appeared around Goodfellow. Twilight gasped and jumped aside as the aura completely engulfed him in a flash of bright light. Elisa, the Mayor, and Twilight turned their heads from the flash.
When the light died down, Goodfellow was gone. Standing in his place was a humanoid creature, with a sharp, angular chin; large, elf-like ears; and long, white hair. He smiled a sinister smile as Twilight and the Mayor looked at him with confusion. Elisa, on the other hand, shuddered, immediately recognizing him from back on Earth.
He jumped into the air and shouted, “HEEEEEEEEEEEERE’S PUCK!”