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Georg


Nothing special here, move along, nothing to see, just ignore the lump under the sheet and the red stuff...

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Sep
7th
2018

Spotlight - Estee and the Patreon (with sample chapter) · 3:24am Sep 7th, 2018

Many of you know I've followed Estee for some time, borrowed a few characters at times, and such. You may not know that I'm such a cheapskate that I only support one person on Patreon, even if it is for small change. (I excuse it by blaming my wife at times, because She Who Holds The Checkbook rules my life.) Once again, it is time for Estee to make the regular plea for Patreons, only this time I'm going to add a little publicity goose for your interest.

You see, I was reading Three Hoofwidths To The Left when somebody made a comment that got me thinking: What if Green Grass had encountered Estee's Twilight Sparkle as a substitute librarian? It would be like Star Trek II in certain ways (excepting library-antilibrary explosions) because the two main characters would never be in the same room. An admittedly interesting idea, but could I pull it off? So I wrote a few paragraphs to get a feel for it. Then a few more. Wake-up juice instead of coffee. Green Grass as the eternal cheerful optimist being fed into the meat grinder of an Estee story. Trying to keep The Triptych Continuum separate from Kudzuhaiku’s work (who also has a Patreon, plug, plug). Being grateful that some kind (and insane) soul put together a Character Listing of the Continuum, and blessing of blessings, an unofficial (slightly outdated) timeline.

It all flowed out fairly naturally, so when I hit the second chapter, I tossed a sample over to Estee to chum the waters… I mean test the waters. Didn’t hear anything for a week. Feared the worst. (and with Estee, that means a *lot* of worst) Then got an encouraging note back… well, for a given value of encouraging (see excerpt).

But aping my style -- *glances up* -- dear sweet pony gawds, is that what I write like?

So I’m doodling on it. Every once in a while, I go to the end and type some more. It’s not slowing me down on other projects too much, and it’s fun (in a cruel fashion). If it ever does see the light of day (other than this peek), it will be in ‘arcs’ like Letters From a Little Princess Monster, each arc covering one trip that Green Grass (i.e Emerald City) makes to the library, the one chapter where he gets arrested, etc… This will be a non-canon story as closely related to the Continuum as I can get it with none of the M6 in it at all other than brief notes and threatening letters. I can’t copy Estee’s style, but I can let it influence me as much as I can for this. Take a look at the draft I have below and tell me if it’s at least close. But don’t just Post negative comments only. A few nice ones would be… nice.


Lord of the Flyleafs

“Now listen up.”  The stodgy unicorn at the front of the group consulted his clipboard, then looked out into the train car where a dozen ponies were paying him varied amounts of attention.  Two young seamstresses were displaying relative obliviousness by chatting eagerly to each other, the small group of pastry chefs stopped exchanging cooking tips, and Emerald maintained an alert stance in the front row with his own notebook and a graphite hoof-scriber.  

Despite the early hour, the temporary employees all were fairly alert, most likely because of the phrase ‘Guaranteed Three-Day Minimum.’  The employment packet made no secret of the erratic nature of their jobs. Several of the deployments had been terminated while the substitutes were still en route to their job sites, allowing the employees to enjoy a pleasant day trip to the small town with extra spending money for shopping.  Still, there was a faint undercurrent of tension through the train because of the possibility that the Elements of Harmony might not return from whatever task they had been assigned, and nopony really wanted to think about that. It was far easier to pay attention to the sharp voice of the impeccably dressed unicorn as he ran though a few last instructions.

“My name is Papercut, and I’ll be responsible for this deployment.  This is a full Bearer mission with all of them on a mission for the Princess.  It could be a week until they return, or more. The six teams being deployed have each received their own briefing, so I’ll keep this short.”

“Too late,” called out one of the gardeners, although just enough under his breath that the natural noise of the moving train nearly smothered his words.

“Carousel Boutique,” continued the clerk as if he had not heard the slight, although one of his ears twitched.  “We’re past most of the Fall fashion season, so all you should have to do is watch the store and keep the Bearer’s daughter—”

“Sister,” corrected Emerald without looking up from his notes.

“Ah, yes.”  Papercut made a correction on his clipboard.  “Keep her sister out of trouble around the store.  You have your list of behavioral do’s and don’ts, so try to keep with them.  Sugarcube Corner?”

“Oui,” said one of the three slightly chubby chefs.  “We have been here before, Monsieur Papercut. It is always a pleasure.”

Emerald smiled to himself as he made the shorthoof notation on his notebook.  He enjoyed the way the Prench chef pronounced ‘Mon-Sewer Pah-PUR-cuute’ in a way that irked their nominal leader like a hoof-edge along a blackboard.  When he wrote it down, the graphite lines made a peculiar image on the paper in the shorthoof notation, much like the pinched lips and beady eyes of its owner.

“Sweet Apple Acres,” said Papercut, his eyes rising just enough off the clipboard to look at the four Canterlot gardeners turned temporary farmers gathered into a tight knot and discussing things among themselves.  Papercut’s eyes rested for a moment on the ‘odd one out’ among the group, a greying brown burro who returned his suspicious gaze with a calm patience that Emerald had seen him use a lot in the mountain city. The other three earth ponies all were paying their smaller peer considerable respect.  Emerald knew exactly why, and made a note to drop by the apple farm later to find out the exact circumstances surrounding Baron Chrysanthemum’s decision to send the manager of his estate’s landscapers on a simple apple-picking task.

“Si,” responded the burro in a tone of absolute and total respect for his superior.  “Eet will be right in the middle of harvest, so wee will be working very hard. You are welcome to come out and assist eef you want, Senior Papercut.”

Continuing as if he had not heard a word, Papercut marked off his checklist and said, “The weather pegasi have already flown to the site, which leaves the veterinarian.”

“Present,” said an older mare with a silver mane.  She patted the unicorn foal at her side, who looked up with sleepy eyes.  “I brought along my granddaughter this time. She’s really looking forward to playing with the birds.”

The steady progress of Papercut’s pencil down the checklist paused.  “You were not supposed to bring along any extraneous relatives.”

“Do you want to spend a few days taking care of Fluttershy’s creatures?” asked the sweet old mare with a smile.

There was a long pause, then Papercut completed his checkmark.

“And our librarian this visit will be—” Papercut squinted at his clipboard, then looked up at Emerald with a frown.

“Emerald City,” said ‘Emerald’ a little louder than he expected.  He exchanged a bland look with Papercut, who eventually looked back down and completed his checklist.

“Very well, we should be arriving at the town’s train station in a few minutes.  The mayor will coordinate any requests you have for the Crown during your stay and answer any questions you might have about your assignment.  Dismissed.”

“I do have one question,” said Emerald.  “It’s really nothing serious. I’ll explain over a glass of wake-up juice in the dining car.”


High prices, low quality, and wake-up juice that was both translucent and lukewarm.  The dining car was everything Emerald expected, right up to the cramped seating and the sticky tabletop.  He settled down in the uncomfortable seat and fixed Papercut with his most guileless expression, somewhere on the scale of I Have No Idea How The Prostitute Got Into The Fraternity, House Mother.

“Spill it,” said Emerald.  “This library gig is a plum position.  The Archivists should have slipped one of their own pet students into it, if nothing else.”

“And you’re here.” Papercut made one brief motion to sip from the paper cup before he wrinkled up his nose and put the untouched cup back down on the table with a sharp grimace.  “M’lord.”

“My father did not pull strings to get me this assignment,” said Emerald, trying to keep his anger under control.  He crooked a forehoof around his paper cup and took a long drink out of the vile fluid, which helped. “If I were the good son he wanted, I would step into the family business, marry whatever unicorn mare he picks out for me, and father a line of happy horned grandfoals for him.  In Canterlot. I suspect this is as much a surprise to him as it was to me this morning when the messenger showed up at the frat house and escorted me to the train station. Although he still managed to get Dawn onto the roster, I suppose. The burro,” added Emerald at Papercut’s quizzical expression.  “He’s the head landscaper at my father’s estate.”

“Ah.”  Papercut floated his clipboard out and reviewed his notes.  “A last minute addition. As you were, sir.”

“Which brings us back to just how my name popped up,” said Emerald.  “I’m in Education. I signed up for this mostly just to spite my father. The castle is crawling with Archivists and school library science students who should have all been ahead of me.”

“There are no students on the list, M’lord.  They all withdrew their applications, presumably at the urging of their instructors.”  Papercut flipped back a few pages. “Several of which issued cancellations, two candidates are out of town at the moment, and it appears your name just came up.  Quite fortunate.”

“Uh-huh.”  Emerald slugged back the rest of the instant wake-up juice with a scowl.  “This is not a cyclical position. What happened to the previous substitute librarian?”

“Librarians,” corrected Papercut, who was still reading his sheet.  “Nearly none of whom made it through their assignment to serve a second time.  Two withdrew in the middle of their terms due to mental issues. Three were issued Letters of Reprimand from the Crown.  One—” Papercut gave a tense frown “—defenestrated himself. Thankfully, the assignee library is only two floors in height, but he jumped out of the window twice, the second time with a number of bee stings on his cutie mark.”

“It’s a librarian job,” muttered Emerald almost under his breath.  “Check the books out, put the books back. An orangutan could do the job. A degreed orangutan,” he corrected at Papercut’s sharp glance.  “One who has attended the university and learned the deep mysteries of the library science program, of course. Wouldn’t want any ordinary pony to think the job was easy.  Right, Papercut?”

“Of course, sir.”  The trim servant matched gazes with the new substitute librarian.  “Will there be anything else, sir?”

“For starters, you can stop calling me sir.”  Emerald crushed his fedora down firmer on his head and slumped in the sticky train bench.  “I only did this to get out from under my father’s hoof. Every time you say ‘sir’ to me, it’s like his hoof pushing down on top of my head.”

“Terribly sorry, sir.”  Papercut was staring back nonplussed when Emerald looked up, and they matched gazes for a long time before Emerald let out his breath.

“Wheaton college, correct?  Home of the Wheat Shocks, the best college buckball team in the league?  Rock, Shock, Block, Shockers!”

“Why…  Yes, sir.”  The mention of his alumni status made Papercut’s spine straighten and his solemn expression gained the slightest hint of a smile at the very corner of his thin lips.

“Not the top of your class, I presume.  Self-conscious about your looks, so you buy the best quality suits you can find in Canterlot.  Attempting to fit in at court with your peers from more prestigious schools while carrying the anvil of a cowtown college around your neck means you have to look perfect, dress perfect, act perfect, even though you don’t have their diversity of usable spells.  Sending money home to your mother, I presume?”

Papercut’s expression darkened, but he gave a short nod.

“Single parent household, then.  Your mother always parted your mane on that side so you’ve never changed.  Your tie is tied the same way, so you learned that from your mother too. She’s left-fielded, correct?  Living in the Manehattan suburbs next to Wheaton, most likely employed in something blue collar. Nursing, perhaps.”

“She’s… a mortician’s assistant.”   Papercut seemed to chew his next words before spitting them out.  “Why did you read my file?”

Emerald shrugged and looked back at his cutie mark, a child’s stubby unicorn horn with a few sparks spitting out of it.  “No, I didn’t. Your cutie mark is a stack of paper cut in half, so your skill would seem to be in reducing the difficulty of getting through papers, a strange talent for somepony who works at the castle, although…”  He took a breath, then stole Papercut’s untouched cup of wake-up juice and took an unsatisfying drink.

“Princess Celestia put you here, which means she doesn’t want anything interfering with the Elements of Harmony’s lives while they’re out on missions.  That means she trusts you, and in all the years I attended her school, I’ve never known her to trust the wrong ponies. And that means she went through the list of posers and fluffheads to find somepony who could buckle down and get things done regardless of their impressive credentials and fancy resumes.  Somepony who had to take responsibility in their family after a parent left. Somepony who struggled through school, couldn’t make it to the elite institutions but still persevered, not somebody who coasted through on their family name. And above all, somepony not so comfortable in their position as to accept bribes, like your predecessor has been accused of doing.  Quite a nasty little fuss in the newspapers, not totally swept under the rug.”

“That’s… impressive, sir,” said Papercut as Emerald finished off the wake-up juice and crumpled the two empty paper cups in his forehooves.  “I still want to know how you read my file.”

“I didn’t.  I read the papers.  Also, I did check for your name in Twerp’s Peerage and the alumni records from Canterlot Prep, both of which came up empty.  For the rest, it’s written all over you.” Emerald reached out with one hoof and adjusted Papercut’s tie. “The way you hoof-launder your school tie instead of sending it out for professional cleaning, the little frayed spot on the tips of the collar, the way you fight to keep from coming down hard on the ‘sh’ sound when you speak.  Just why you’re so resentful of somebody from the minor peerage who only wants to be treated like an ordinary pony. Is that so wrong, after all?”

“It… is not,” conceded Papercut, and although it looked as if he wanted to add another word, he stopped.

“Great.”  Emerald City stood up with the crumpled cups pinned in one fetlock.  He tossed them one at a time over his shoulder and kicked them into the corner trash bin before making a face.  “I’ll try my best to keep the library intact if you’ll keep the wolves off my tail. If I look good, you’ll look good.  Does that sound good, sir?”

Papercut nodded while getting to his hooves.  “It does indeed. Are you certain you will be able to do the job of a proper librarian in Ponyville?”

Emerald City checked the packet he had been given when they boarded the train, including the spellkey to disable the wards on the library door and a stout envelope full of library procedures, which he had not opened yet.

“No problem.  This’ll be a piece of cake.”

Comments ( 18 )

'Emerald' is going to make quite an impact on Ponyville. A crater, even.

“No problem. This’ll be a piece of cake.”

No so much tempting Fate as much as "sensuously posing on a bed of candle-lit rose petals wearing a black, lacy negligee and strategic dollops of chocolate sauce with Barry White crooning in the background" for Fate...
:derpytongue2:

So that's how the routine keeps going when our friends go off on adventures!

I knew somepony had to be doing the dirty work!

This is going to be great!

Cake... sure. A piece of cake in the same sense that rock candy necklaces are candy. :pinkiehappy:

“It’s a librarian job,” muttered Emerald almost under his breath. “Check the books out, put the books back. An orangutan could do the job. A degreed orangutan,”

Ook?

Estee is awesome. Glad I’m not the only one who occasionally borrows Estee headcanon (for example, my ponies also have fractional bit coins).

That’s why I also support Estee on Patreon, to keep those good ideas coming my way. :rainbowlaugh:

And bad idea, for that matter . . . Estee Samey is totally responsible for Fimfic Authors are in Your Bed.

Anyway, point is give Estee money. If you’d rather give me money to support my writing, give it to Estee instead.

Comment posted by Krack-Fic Kai deleted Sep 7th, 2018

Hm, seems good so far. :)
And it doesn't seem particularly un-Estee to me, but I do seem to be pretty poor at picking out what I am informed is his distinctive style.

I'll have to make time for Monster at some point. Been years since I've read the first one only to see you start a sequel some time after I've not started.

Glad to see you're still actively writing. I'll certainly put that on my to do list far as catching up with your Monsterverse. I've been putting off Tripyth for some time. Started trying to rectify that. Given I'm almost done with all of Short's Rainbow Flies East books, may as well. xD

Good luck on the crossover.

This looks promising, though I found the name 'Emerald City' a bit off-putting. It's an odd name, is what I'm saying.

I can't wait to see Emerald's reactions when he finally does get to the library if you're following Estee's characterizations of Twilight.

Ohh...this looks interesting..... confusing.. but interesting.

Oh, this is going to be amazing. :pinkiehappy:

4932570

“One who has attended the university and learned the deep mysteries of the library science program, of course.”

And with that addendum, Emerald was taken off the list of Heads to be Introduced to the Floorboards Repeatedly and at Length.

So, Emerald is going to be the permanent substitute? I wonder what the other permanent substitutes are... Permanent in the sense that it'll always be them, who are gonna be substituting... The bakers already seem to be permanents...

Does Emerald know about House Malus, and that Ratchette is there? Hmm...

As a Unicorn Tutor... Will he be teaching Sweetie Belle and the other unicorn foals, while he's there??

Wait... He's not named Green Grass because... Spoilers for... Well, you'd know, if you've read everything of Estee. So, yeah, don't look if you dunno what I'm likely talking about.

There's already a Green Grass? Or is Emerald City, a Hybrid, but outwardly Earth Pony, and is the Continuum's Canon Green Grass Expy???

Lol how there'll still be three Hybrids in town, Rachette, Snowflake, and Emerald

4932694 It allows him to redirect ponies who ask "Where is Emerald City?" by saying, "Take the train to Gravel Flats, then the afternoon stage right down the road. You can't miss it."
4932583 Still writing? Oh, you haven't seen my collection of semi-finished stuff. Yeah, a few words here and there. You'll see it eventually. :)
4932721 Green Grass has a severe case of Practicalitus, which as an earth pony raised in a unicorn family, makes him stick out like a sore hoof if he doesn't try to blend in. Thankfully, he's camouflage colored.
4932756 Estee's 'hybrids' are completely and totally outwardly whatever race of ponies they appear to be (if somewhat odd). It's their *magic* that is wacked. (ex. Pinkie can't feel the earth except in one very recent chapter of Trip, if I remember right) Hm. I wonder if Cherry Berry has a little pegasus magic in her⁽*⁾. Anyway, GG's talent is in teaching young unicorns by figuring out what they *like* and directing them in that direction, which involves close observation of subtle clues to their behavior that others miss. In other words, by the time the little unicorn land mine goes 'click' he's across the room and sheltering under the couch already. Plus, most teachers will react to the explosion by "Don't ever do that again!" while GG is more like "That was cool! Lets put out the fires and try again."
(*) Yes

4932562 "Hello, Fate," purred the Author, patting a spot on the bed next to the scented aromatic candles. "My girlfriend is out on military maneuvers with her division, so we don't even have to lock the door. Come here and make yourself comfortable while I mix us up some tequila shots from this bottle that I got from this guy on the corner for an amazing low price. Nothing could possibly go wrong."

4932879

I thought I was unclear... And if we're not hiding things, then:

From Triptych Chapter 40:

There is an earth pony who understands workings. [...] He will never cast a single spell, and yet his comprehension is so complete as to make him capable of teaching them -- if only anypony would accept his tutelage, and that acceptance has never come, not when ponies can see what he is. So he left his home, went to where nopony knew him, and never takes off the hat.

Canonically, in Triptych, that's the Green Grass expy. Is that Emerald City, or did you make another Tutor Of Unicorns for your fanfic?

Whatever Emerald City is, I do like this story!

EDIT response: ^^ - Yeah, totally forgot.

4932895 Ahem. I *did* give permission. Quite happily, too. :)

(That's not to say we authors conspire behind your backs. We do it by email.) :pinkiehappy:

And in here, Green Grass is going by an assumed name, to maintain his anonymity. Which of course means the palace unicorn servant *recognizes* him as who he is, and has to be talked into keeping his mouth shut. For trying to get out from under his father's hoof, he has *two* ponies right off the bat who know who he is on the train. (If at all possible, I'm going to try not to use his real name at all)

Also, for those of you counting, there would be *four* of them in town.

Man this is good.

FTL

4932570
Exactly my thought at that point... Oook!

Anyways... I was thinking "Oh, another Baron Chrysanthemum offspring, eh? I do not remember this name popping up in the past but I see we have another scapegrace seeming to appear" and then of course the penny dropped that this is our alternate pointy headed GG.

“No problem. This’ll be a piece of cake.”

Fate has been invoked... prepare for its arrival. It seems a GG in any form ends up going into Ponyville poorly prepared.

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