Callie huffed quietly, eyes darting back and forth between the slowly fading forms of Spark Storm and Mimosa Palm, and her guide, Frankie. Having been reunited with a long-lost friend, the griffon had wanted nothing more than to catch up with him. It wasn't to be, though, since apparently Mimosa Palm had more important things to show Spark Storm. What was up with the way he'd been acting towards the pegasus, anyway?
The pretty griffon's thoughts drifted back to the conflict between her newest friend, Bombyx, and her sister. Today was all about reunions and making new friends. Why, just a few hours ago, she'd experienced a first: meeting a harpy! Griffons and harpies had just recently gone to war with each other, though they'd kept the fighting out of Equestria. That place was strictly off-limits, and was mostly unaware of politics outside it's own country.
Callie had long since abandoned her tribe, and she was especially happy about that now that war had broken out. The harpy she'd met was at the center of efforts to end the war, a role the griffon understood as a derisive one. She'd been tasked with babysitting an unusual and unique hybrid monstrosity, born of both harpy and griffon. Everything about the little creature's existence was considered hideous, including it's conception. Still, the fact that the creature existed proved that both sides in the war wished for an end to the fighting.
Little Cyno, despite being a total freak of nature, was surprisingly adorable. The little baby...thing...had the most striking markings - the markings of a bluejay. It would've made for an excellent griffon, but with the nightmarish shape...she shuddered. The pretty harpy hadn't been very specific, but apparently little Cyno was supposed to represent some kind of treaty between their peoples.
Callie continued after Frankie, completely lost in thought, until the bigger griffon finally came to notice that her guide had been speaking to her for some time. She hoped he wouldn't notice, but as he turned to her to explain something he'd mentioned ten minutes ago, he caught that slightly panicked innocent face one makes when caught not listening.
"Aaand you weren't listening."
"Aw, I'm sorry, Frankie. Was it important?"
Frankie stared at her. "Was it import - only if you love engineering!" He huffed and let his own words sink in, then shrugged dismissively. "Well of course you wouldn't be interested, why would you be?"
The little griffon immediately regretted his words as Callie cocked her head, a crooked smirk playing at her beak. "And just why wouldn't I be interested in engineering?"
Frankie froze in a panic. He was sure that no matter what answer he could possibly give her, it wouldn't be a safe one. Callie could easily tear him apart, if she'd been so inclined. She wasn't, though. The menacing look on her face melted, as she found the panicked little griffon adorable when frightened. "Careful with your words there, Frankie. You're liable to dig a hole a lot bigger than you're able to handle." She giggled softly, and proceeded past him with a little swat from the fluffy end of her tail.
Obviously not about to be torn in two, Frankie sighed with relief, and proceeded on to business. "Uh, so where would you like to go?"
Callie thought for a moment, then clapped her paws together. "I know! Let's go see Cyno."
Frankie rolled his eyes. "Again?"
"Yes, again." She stopped in her tracks, then peered back at the smaller griffon. "And what do you mean, again? We just met. Have you been following me?"
"Uh, yeah," he told her, as if it should have been completely obvious. "Do you think we just let anyone come in here and not monitor them?"
Callie opened her beak to respond, then closed it. "I...I guess that makes sense. But if you're not up there monitoring everything, then who...?"
Frankie let out a chuckle from deep in his throat. "Yeah, like a little griffon like me is all the security a massive complex like this needs."
"Okay, no need to get snarky."
Callie frowned. He was cute before, but the excess in snark was getting on her nerves. Sensing that this was the case, Frankie added, "Anyway, I saw those two just a few moments ago, before Mimosa called me out to help you. They're up in the command center, not too far from the doc's theater."
"Theater? He has a theater? Uh, I mean...the command center?! You just let some random harpy into your command center, just like that?!"
Frankie coughed and stood straighter, a little taller, which wasn't by much since he didn't even make it up to Callie's chest. "I'll have you know that we can trust this harpy, both with the compound and with Cyno. We may be different species, but there are a few harpies out there that have done more than enough to earn our trust."
Callie made a face and poked at Frankie's belly. "You're an odd one to talk. 'We'? You're a completely different species on your own."
Frankie frowned and rubbed at his belly absently as Callie turned and made her way to the command center. "I'm a griffon, too," he muttered under his breath.
She sat with her back to the wall. It would've been cold, save for the greyish shirt she'd started wearing after leaving Equestria. Among harpies, most wore clothing only when grieving. It was common to fly around naked, as most were comfortable doing so. Very few harpies ever wore clothing, save for the extremely few who felt uncomfortable in their own skin. This one even wore a skimpy sort of loin cloth, which she found itchy and uncomfortable, but again, she was in mourning.
One wouldn't think so, at least not with the way she held the little hybrid in her arms. Cyno was only a few years old, barely old enough to speak, and completely dependent on whatever creature was with him at the time. For the last two months, it had been her. Cyno was never with anyone long enough to really get to know them, and neither griffon nor harpy had wanted to get to know him.
There wasn't much to know at the time, really. Cyno was just a toddler. Despite the enormous amount of hate for him, he still wasn't aware of it. He was bright-eyed and curious, and often needed physical contact to be reassured that he was being paid attention to. He was doing this now, resting his pinion claws against the claws of his caretaker. An action like this might've made any other harpy shudder; it was like having hands on one's elbows. She didn't shudder.
Sohl sighed as little Cyno smiled and played with her claws, comparing and contrasting the differences in size. He really was tiny. She couldn't help but wonder how long he'd be alive. While his existence held the temporary peace treaty together, there were many, many harpies and griffons who didn't want peace. One day, they all might come for him, and to prove the treaty broken with his blood. Well, they'd have to get through her, first. The little tyke might be a freak, but for now, he was her freak.
Holding the little tyke in her arms, Sohl couldn't help but feel that familiar, heavy sadness that threatened to push emotions from her eyes. She was reminded of Orea, the one creature in the world that had truly understood her, had never judged her, and had known her inside and out. It was the little nymph that had established a connection between the two of them and the pegasus Spark Storm that was stronger than anything she'd ever felt before, or since. It had been several months now, and she very rarely felt anything from Orea. By now she'd just assumed that the psychic connection had been severed by the distance she'd put between the three of them.
Cyno stared up at her, almost as if he could sense the sadness overtaking the harpy. Not that it was difficult to see; Sohl was already crying. Cyno did his best to show he cared by poking at her cheeks. It made her chuckle. "I'm surprised I made it this far,'" she mused, deflecting Cyno's claws from her eyes. "If I'd been this broken up when I faced my sisters, we'd both probably be dead by now. Crying is an unforgivable weakness, you know."
Cyno didn't know, nor could he articulate that he didn't. "Wet," he told her as he displayed the tears that he'd taken from her face. His guardian nodded.
"That's right, it's wet, and if you ever tell anyone, I'll have to hurt..." Sohl paused. Even if it was just in jest, she couldn't finish that sentence. Even just joking about hurting Cyno felt very, very wrong. "Ugh. Spending time with ponies has ruined me."
Cyno's inquiry brought Sohl's palm up to her face. This was a conversation she wasn't ready to have. "I'll...I'll tell you some other time, kiddo. For now..." she paused, her stomach rumbling for effect, "I think I need some food."
"Pony?" Cyno asked as he scrambled around to nestle between the harpy's wings as she stood. He always loved being up high, and Sohl was the perfect mountainous height.
"No!" Sohl chuckled, unable to keep the laughter from bubbling out. "No." The harpy lightly patted her charge on the beak and made her way towards the kitchens, only to pause near some monitors on the wall. "Meh...looks like Callie is making her way back here. You've got no end of cuteness, it seems." A different monitor caught Sohl's attention as she continued. At that moment, everything she'd worked for for the last half a year came crashing down.
For the last four months, she'd spent almost every waking moment trying to get rid of the squishy, warm feelings she'd acquired after living with ponies. It had taken some getting used to, but raising another monster had been something akin to fun. Orea had been both a blessing and a curse, more so the latter since the little nymph psychically linked herself to Sohl. Orea's mind almost wasn't even her own, since most of her experience and knowledge of the world came from her father, the very pony on that monitor.
Spark Storm...why? Why was he here? Sohl could feel all the pain returning. It had nearly broken her to leave, but the decision was easy to make. She'd had to leave when she'd been called back to assist in the war against the griffons. She'd dropped everything that she'd come to love in order to protect it. Her claw trembled as it was pressed to the screen, blotting out the pegasus from her view. "Why are you here?" she asked the monitor. She shuddered, as if hearing her own voice made the whole situation real. "Damn it...now I have to start over. Stupid pegasus..."
Spark Storm sat in the center of a large, circular room. Sounds echoed as Mimosa Palm dug through a box near the only door, over which a red neon sign explained that it was, obviously, the exit. "I swear, every time..." The dryad mumbled. It wasn't often he had visitors, and even more rarely did he feel so inclined to share such important history. The box itself wasn't very big, but there were others. Perhaps the film had been borrowed? The Wollypogs were often in here, using the dryad's blank film to document. Only recently had they begun to open up to the idea of using film to record.
Well, this is going nowhere fast, Spark thought, stifling a yawn. "Long day?"
The voice had come from nowhere. An older female, gentle, and perhaps more understanding of an annoying situation than most were capable. It certainly wasn't Ampelus, she couldn't speak at the moment, still hidden inside that shell that had gone quiet just a few feet behind him. No, there was certainly none here that could've spoken to Spark Storm, not that he could see. There was just an enormous frog sitting in an empty theater seat to his right. That couldn't have been what had spoken to him.
As if the notion of a talking frog weren't odd enough, this creature, almost half as big as he was, had a tree growing out of it's back. The plantlife took almost half of it's mass, and rose up about eight inches over it's head. Spark was very tempted to poke at it. He opened his mouth to speak, then very slowly brought his lips together a little tighter than he meant to. Tempting as it was to speak to what looked like a gag statue, this thing also looked very real.
The frog rolled it's eyes and reached forward to pat Spark on the back. "It's alright, dear, seeing a Wollypog for the first time is a bit daunting." The pegasus froze. Not because the frog had spoken, but because her touch was like ice.
"...So you're real. You're a real frog, and you speak, and I assume that's a real tree growing out of your back."
The amphibious creature smiled, a look that seemed to tear her face from end to end. "My my. You're not a screamer, I take it?"
"Uh...Not really." Spark shifted slightly in his seat. This creature's smile unsettled him more than anything else about her. "I've seen a lot of strange things in my lifetime, and you're certainly not the strangest. Almost normal, by my standards. Uh, no offense."
"Oh, think nothin' of it." She waved a pad at him dismissively. "If you'd allow me, though...I am not a frog. I am a Wollypog. We're a little like frogs, I suppose...although we're 'like' frogs about as much as you're 'like' a giraffe. The tree is real, though."
Spark stared at her for a moment, a question hanging at the tip of his tongue. Should he...? Would he dare? Ah, what the heck. "So...are you 'pollywogs'...Mimosa's mad scientist experiments...?"
The frog reared her face to the ceiling and sputtered madly. For a moment, Spark Storm feared he really had terribly insulted her. The noise even grabbed Mimosa's attention as he peered at the two from a box, film reel wrapped around his head. Finally she calmed down and slapped her knee with a generous squelch. "Heavens, no! The Wollypogs are among the oldest races on the planet, spanning back to the first age. Experiments...hah!"
"The first age...? Mimosa's mentioned these ages before. He's looking for something to show me, but...what can you tell me about them?"
"Ah-ah!" Mimosa chimed from his box. "That's my story to tell."
"Oh come off it, Palm." The Wollypog waggled a foot dismissively. "You always take forever to find your film. A little tidbit won't hurt the boy, and you always tell your stories so uniquely. It'll be completely different!"
The dryad made a noncommittal grunt and disappeared back into a box, but he didn't say no. The large tree frog, or frog tree, smiled amicably as she set herself down on the floor before the curious pegasus. "My boy, the world you know is so, so young, and the same goes for the princess that rules your people." Spark nodded quietly, and with respect. Something about this Wollypog just demanded it. "For as far back as anyone has bothered to record history, there have been certain points of time where the planet...changes. All at once."
"Changes? What, you mean like...?"
"Everything," she confirmed, and shushed him politely. "The planet itself goes through minimal change, perhaps some climate change, magnetic polarization, enough to help whatever changes occur. By and by, the largest changes are political."
Spark Storm tried and failed miserably to look like he understood, his response delayed far too long to suggest anything else. "...Political. Right."
"Really? 'Political'?" Mimosa emerged from his box once more. "Could you dumb it down any further?"
The frog's tongue darted out of her mouth, a gesture of derision that passed over Spark's head. "I don't think it could be, dear. You did seem to want to tell the whole story yourself."
"I'm not even remotely ready to put this film into motion." The dryad let out a bleak sigh. "It seems to have hit it's limit of being stored improperly."
"And here I thought you preached technology over nature, tsk."
"This technology is extremely outdated. Digital is where it's at, just ask the diamond dogs."
"Guys?" Spark Storm's patience had been slowly filing down to it's core, and this little discussion was going nowhere. "Can we get back to the story?"
Mimosa finally emerged from the now-ruined box, spilling it's contents over the floor like an exploding intestinal film. Before either of his guests could speak, he let out a loud breath. A haze erupted from his mouth, spreading across the floor like a blanketing fog. Spark watched this show of mist and soft light for a moment, confused. What was he supposed to be seeing? A soft gasp of awe to his right escaped the Wollypog. "So you're starting from the beginning? I haven't seen this in an age."
Spark continued looking for something substantial in the fog when shapes began to appear. Light waves of shapes, almost like water, began to undulate around and around, and a sphere began to shape in the center. "In the beginning, as I'm sure you've heard somewhere or another, there was nothing. A vast, great emptiness in the blackness of space." The pegasus barely noticed the Wollypog's narrative, simply accepting her speech as part of the show. "The gods saw fit to place a world here, simply choosing this random little place to begin life."
"Wh...what?" Spark frowned and resisted the temptation to laugh. "You make it sound ridiculous, like the planet's creation and everything on it was...random, and..."
"And what?" she asked curiously, a small smile born of amusement, half at Spark's question and half at Mimosa's bemusement at having his show interrupted.
"Well...I mean...'gods'?" Spark flushed with embarrassment. "You don't mean beings like Celestia, do you?"
The pegasus nearly jumped out of his seat as the fog light shuttered violently, temporarily blinding him and the Wollypog. "Get a hold of yourself, Mimosa!" she cried, shielding her large eyes in vain. "He's just a boy, he doesn't know any better, now does he?"
"In my day, a boy like him could be sacrificed to greater slugs than Celestia for such sacrilege!" The light seemed to grow in intensity for a moment, but like a cloud drifting over the sun, it was muted back to the gentle foggy light cast on the floor. "No, boy, the creatures you know as alicorns did not create the world. Far from it. About as far as you can possibly get. If you took - "
"Hush, Palm, and tell your story!"
"Hmph. You were telling it, weren't you?"
The Wollypog sighed. "As I was saying, the gods created this world, and everything in it. But the world you know now did not exist in the beginning. There were others, far older than your Celestia. She is quite new. No, at the beginning, creatures like her, beings with intelligence, were very, very rare. Many of the creatures that first came into being were so monstrous and wild...it was complete chaos. For those of us that had been gifted with intelligence and self-awareness, we survived by going into hiding."
She paused, seeing a questing in Spark's eye. "...'We'?"
"Yes, my boy...we were there, at the beginning. Well, not me, of course, that's silly. I'm not that old."
"And...how old is that?"
A look was exchanged briefly between the two storytellers. "Nine billion years...roughly."
Spark stared at her, the numbers sinking into his head. The world was close to ten billion years old. Was that even possible? Even the history books he'd read in his school days hadn't gone back more than one, maybe two hundred years into the past. Was the whole kingdom that much out of touch?...No. No, that wasn't possible. If recorded history had omitted that much, then certainly someone in Equestria was aware of how far back everything went, and the only one he could think of was Celestia.
And what about outside Equestria? He could only think of one individual that might be that old. Spark's gaze turned on Mimosa, who smiled quietly at the attention. "Yes," the Wollypog whispered. "He was there. He was among the first."
There were many questions in Spark's mind, but a new one began to form. "So...if the gods gave you life...then what does that make you?"
"A guardian, I suppose. After the creation of all, there were no instructions, there were no clear paths. We simply...knew. With intelligence came the knowledge that we were gifted more than others, that there were roles to fill. We had lesser beings to rule, to guide, to help evolve, though our own evolutions were incomplete. It was a humbling and...a rather terrifying time to be alive."
Spark wanted to close his eyes and imagine what it was like so long ago, but first..."So...what kind of life inhabited this first age?"
"Well, there were the giant rocs, and-"
"Not rocks, boy, rocs."
Mimosa sighed, and again released the shape-showing mist, revealing massive bird-like creatures. To compare, a single pony was created next to one of the rocs - it was like a stone standing next to a mountain. "They were huge, like mountains," Spark whispered.
"They are as big as mountains. At the end of the first age, they relinquished the skies and the ground to the others to follow. Many of them became mountains, slowly turning into rock, petrifying, and forming much of the land."
Spark stared at the giant creatures for a moment longer. He was sure he'd read something about them in the library in Equestria. Myths, legends, rumors. "What else?"
"Well, there were the Wollypogs, of course," Mimosa said and nodded warmly to his companion. The shapes in the mist changed again, resulting in a frog shape that was quite large, with the pony to scale beside it. "Originally the Wollypogs were giants compared to your species. They were there in the beginning as well, I might add." Before Spark could question this, the Wollypog chimed in.
"Oh, we were predators, originally. It wasn't until Mimosa's intervention that my ancestors saw the errors of their ways, and became observers. Up until that point, the Wollypogs were among the largest consumers of most forms of life." She sighed, eyes cast to the dimmed green of the tree growing from her back. "It took us a long time to come to our senses, and let evolution take over. Since that time, we have been keeping record of the world as it develops...We have quite a library, as you can imagine."
"I...guess you would," Spark muttered. He couldn't help look between the Wollypog sitting beside him and the example in the mist, easily five times bigger than the scale pony. There was more, so many more questions to ask, but something particular had been bugging him, and it sat right next to him. "So, uh...how did...this," he said, lightly knocking on Ampelus' shell, "turn into a nymph?"
Ampelus' eyes popped out of their hiding place, staring first at Spark Storm, then at her father. Not now, not now! they pleaded. Mimosa regarded that desperate look and sighed. "Evolution," he said proudly.
"Uh huh. And come to think of it, why is she showing me this now?"
"Oh, well that's quite a simple reason. You see-"
Before Mimosa could get started on another lecture, Ampelus' shell convulsed violently. Green erupted from the spiral in all directions, reforming the pony-like creature that Spark Storm originally met. He was unaware that she could move at such speeds. "Oooooh-kay. Isn't that enough history, father?" Her face burned red, something Spark had only seen once. Mimosa pursed his lips and said no more.
"Uh, nice to see you again."
Ampelus turned on Spark Storm to shove a hoof against his mouth, her nervous energy gone and replaced with ambivalence. "Shove it! I'm still angry with you for what you said!"
"No you're not." Ampelus gasped with feigned shock when the pegasus casually slapped her hoof down. The two of them continued to banter back and forth. It made Mimosa smile; his daughter had finally found someone that could tolerate her.
A subtle cough caught the dryad's attention. The Wollypog smiled at him from her seat and offered a helpful shrug. "So..." Her voice caught the attention of the two bickering friends as well. "What about continuing that history lesson?"
Another small cough from the doorway sounded. Bombyx smiled with some trepidation, followed by Callie, who wore an even more nervous smile. "Perhaps you could all use a break, hm?" Ampelus muttered quietly under her breath as her sister approached, her teeth actually grinding when Spark left her side to meet Callie.
"What is this about, Bombyx? We were in the middle of an important discussion."
The nymph coughed discreetly, eyes on Spark Storm as he stared wide-eyed at the little creature nestled inbetween Callie's wings. "Oh, I see you've met Cyno and So-"
Mimosa stared at the hoof that had been placed not-so-gently over his mouth. Never had he been silenced so roughly, and certainly not by his own creations! Bombyx pleaded quietly for the dryad not to take offence. He wasn't so sure he'd take this lying down, but his anger quickly fizzled when she whispered in his ear, "It's him, sir...Spark Storm is the pegasus that Sohl is so broken over. She asked me to come down here with Callie and make him leave, and..."
"Oh..." Mimosa nodded quietly. It was a shock, of course, when the harpy had arrived some time ago seeking asylum. It made sense, the bio-dome was a political neutral zone. Cyno was the key to peace between the harpies and the griffons, many lives were hung in the balance over the life of the hybrid child. Keeping him here was the safest thing for him. But Sohl herself was a wreck. She had arrived a broken harpy, cold and detached, like a harpy was supposed to be, but Mimosa had sensed there was great personal loss inside her. It had taken many days of coaxing, but she'd finally told her story.
"Yes, I...I see. How strange that he should come here...quite an interesting situation, isn't it?"
Mimosa's near-flippant response was nothing new; he hardly ever took anything seriously. Bombyx had come to know Mimosa as something of a mad scientist, but with a heart...sometimes. "S-sir, there's more..." The dryad's attention was no longer with her. New life was being discovered by one of the most interesting creatures he'd ever met.
"He's...uh...definitely something else," Spark was saying. Little Cyno it seemed had crawled up his chest and grabbed the back of his neck. His claws had somehow missed gripping into his flesh, and now stared into his eyes. The pegasus missed the tone of recognition when Cyno smiled and proclaimed:
"Uh huh, I'm a pony." Spark smiled as Cyno squealed shrilly. "Geez...Easy kid, my ears..."
Off to the side, Callie fidgeted nervously, eyes darting between Spark and Ampelus, who had chosen not to approach the child. If she did, it was likely that she would undo all of Sohl's hard work. Ampelus had known Sohl as well. Surely her senses would tell her that Cyno had been in the arms of a harpy not five minutes ago...
Bombyx on the other hand, had other pressing issues. While she and Callie had been in the control room (where Frankie had stayed to observe - new guests were arriving after all), it had come to their attention that another group was approaching, and from the looks of it, they were - "Pirates!"
All chatter in the room ceased, all eyes on Bombyx from her outburst. "...Pirates, sir."
"What in the blazes are you talking about, Bombyx?"
"I meant to tell you earlier, sir, when I mentioned the other...thing. We have guests arriving, and it appears they may be here about the festivities tonight."
Mimosa stared blankly at the nymph. Festivities? What festivities? Oh...right. "Hah! Where have I been this last hour? So much time can be lost when something so...interesting," he said, eyes gliding uncomfortably over Spark Storm, "falls into my lap." Spark shivered.
"The what-now?" Spark asked, hoping for a change in tone.
"The coronation!" The Wollypog exclaimed from behind Mimosa. She made Cyno jump with shock when she leaped onto Mimosa's back. "The kingdom will finally be made official!" She amicably slapped the dryad's neck. "You've been guiding them in their efforts to establish that kingdom for how many generations?"
Spark made a face. "Kingdom? I thought this was a neutral zone?"
"It is," Mimosa said with no small ounce of restraint. "The kingdom we are referring to is the Kingdom of Undercari, and it is located at the bottom of the sea. They've had no small amount of troubles with governmental laws, threats of war and too many other troubles to number. Many of the undersea citizens wish to remain apart from any single government, but they're finally ready to unite under one single kingdom. Well, in that level, anyway. Anything deeper than that, and it's Luminous territory."
If Spark Storm could've massaged his temples, he would have. "This is...all very interesting. And I mean, all of it. It sounds like a million things are happening at once. So, you guys are having company...should we skedaddle on out of here?" It wasn't something Spark was looking forward to. As confusing and sometimes uncomfortable as this was, the history of the ages before was fascinating. A forlorn glance at the bouncing historian was not lost on her.
"Don't worry, boy. I imagine you're not here for just today? Why not come back tomorrow and we can catch you up, or...try to, anyway?"
"Uh...yeah. Definitely. We're here for about a week, actually. Plenty of time." And I've got to see how Amacia and the gang are doing. I guess I can come back tomorrow and see what else can complicate things...
"I'll come too!" Ampelus was finding it more and more difficult to tolerate Spark Storm's griffon friend. Callie was looking more relieved to be leaving as she helped Spark pry Cyno loose from his wings. "Yanno, we've got stuff to talk about, Sparky. It's been too long!"
Still many questions burning in his head, Spark welcomed Callie's intentions with a smile. It would be good to get back to the gang. Maybe Trixie had found somepony to keep her company for awhile. They'd be leaving her here, at the end of their stay. According to Celestia, Breen wasn't going to be a safe place for the unicorn to wander. The trio said their goodbyes, and left through the indoor forest to take the tram back to the main entryway.
"Hm. About time to get this place cleared up," Mimosa told Bombyx. The nymph obediently began the process, clearing away Mimosa's tables, replacing odd potions and mixtures that the dryad had thankfully not gotten around to using on the poor pegasus.
"So," the Wollypog croaked from her seat. "He made things...'clear'. What did you mean by that?"
"Do you suppose he forgot about that?" Mimosa chuckled. "That boy may the heart of many, many secrets, things that were plunged into darkness for an entire age...and it seems that he himself has created an entirely new secret, something never seen before."
The Wollypog was well versed in the darkness Mimosa spoke of, but this new secret that he teased with intrigued her. "What? Something new?"
"Yes...it appears that I have a granddaughter. By his own life force."
She sputtered. "How? He's just a boy!"
"I...don't know. But she is new. A new species." Bombyx gasped quietly, barely pausing in her work. Something new? Like her?
"A...a new species of nymph? How in blazes is that possible?"
Mimosa smiled. "I'll be quite pleased to discover that myself."