In the Ambassador’s Chambers
Two days later
It was the morning of the second day since the arrival of the human guests. Two guards stood on the interior of the main entrance to the chambers. They were mostly in awe, than fear, seeing such mythological creatures strewn about the room. Gavin, Michael, and Geoff occupied the massive bed, which was far too large for one ambassador to need. Ryan had been placed on the luxury couch along with Jack on the opposite end. Ray was laying on the rather large and very soft rug that was in between the bed and the couch. The room was hardly quiet, as all six snored at different volumes, with Geoff being the loudest and Gavin being the relative quietest.
“When do you think the princesses will be back to check on them?” the left guard said to the right guard. The other simply shrugged as they continued their watch over the six men. The left guard opened his mouth to say something else but was cut off by the stirring of one of the sleeping humans. Gavin had began to slowly open his eyes to the blinding light that he faced coming through the windowed balcony doors. He squinted as soon as his eyes were open to see anything within the room.
“Oh, come off it,” he mumbled in a low volume to himself about the bright sunrise. He slowly rose not fully taking in his surroundings. He stood and walked lazily to the balcony door. He reached for the curtains on the hooks attached to the wall when he was stopped by the sound of a deep voice he didn’t recognize.
“Halt right there, human,” one guard said. Gavin turned to see two spears being levitated by two…
“Wot in ‘ell are ponies doin’ in the office?” Gavin said out loud as he jumped back against the wall. He took a quick look around and realized he wasn’t in the office anymore, and remembered the bright light that took place.
“Stay right there, human,” the same guard said, “any sudden moves and we’ll have to use force.” Gavin gulped at the threat and at the menacing spears pointed at his face. Gavin was scared, but he’d be less so if he had some answers. So he put his hands up and attempted to calm the guards.
“Okay, okay. No sudden moves.” The guards’ expressions didn’t change as they retracted their weapons to their sides and Gavin slowly lowered his hands to his sides. Gavin was still thrown for a loop: Talking. Ponies. He must’ve woken up in a dream and Michael probably accidentally knocked him out in their play-scuffle. He tried shutting his eyes very tight and opened them quickly to force himself awake. Nothing. He tried again and again, but to no avail.
“What do you think he’s doing?” The left guard whispered to the right guard. The right guard looked on as Gavin tried different methods to force an awakening. The right guard sighed, closed his eyes and shook his head towards the ground.
“Human,” the right guard said, interrupting Gavin who was currently biting his own arm and now began looking at the guard with his arm still in his mouth, “you are not dreaming, if that’s what you think.” Gavin removed his arm from his mouth and began listening to the guard. “Trust us, we thought humans were mythical until you six showed up.” The guard looked over to the other five beginning to stir in their sleep. He sighed again, addressing the other guard, “Go get the princesses. Tell them that the humans are awake and to return with haste.” The other guard saluted and went into a full gallop out of the main doors. Once he had left, the right guard returned to his post and stood, his eyes not leaving Gavin.
“Soooo, wot is this? And did you say ‘princesses’ earlier?” He asked the guard, beginning his walk back to the bed looking at all of his unconscious friends.
“Save your questions for the princesses, human.” The guard said with a dominating tone. Gavin scoffed.
“Well, at least ya answered one of my questions.” Gavin said, ending the short lived conversation.
The Throne Room
Celestia paced back and forth in front of Twilight and Luna, who were both reading large scrolls in search for something. Celestia felt anxious. They had been working for two whole days and they had realized a pattern in the counterspell: the ingredients used are of a more complex nature, but fewer than the original spell. It also called for a reciprocation in the casting of the spell and the gems used to make a return trip. But the gems are where the problem was.Celestia stopped pacing to face Twilight and Luna.
“Twilight?” Celestia asked for the routine check-up on their progress. Twilight kept scanning her eyes down the scroll.
“Nothing yet, princess.” Twilight said, without taking her eyes off the scroll. Celestia turned to Luna.
“Sister?” Celestia asked, hoping for the best. Luna simply looked up at her sister and shook her head slowly. Celestia let out a small sigh as Luna went back to searching for the missing ingredient. She began staring at the small mound of scrolls, books, and stone tablets found throughout the royal library that could’ve aided them, but failed. There was a separate pile of texts that they haven’t gone through yet. Celestia picked one of the books up with her magic and began searching for the gem herself. “What would be the opposite of a Siren Gem?” She kept searching through the book. Twilight expended the scroll she was reading and tossed it in the “read” pile. She looked at Celestia with slight confusion.
“I’m not sure what to be looking for, princess.” Twilight said, picking up another scroll with magic, “I mean, there is no clue as to whether or not the ingredient is a gem, a runestone, or anything for that matter.” She began unraveling the the scroll pouring through it. Celestia was turning the pages of the book until she reached the end of it, not knowing any more than when she started. She levitated the book over the “read” pile and dropped the book onto it. She looked at the black, clouded, triangular prism gems that lay inert on the floor. She pondered over the possibilities on where to begin looking next. Her thoughts were interrupted but the slamming open of the main door. Celestia turned to see a speeding guard come to a screeching halt. As soon as he stopped, he bowed his head, and relayed his rushed message.
“Princess, the humans have awoken. We need you three there immediately.” The guard finished. Celestia nodded once and turned to the other two princesses already standing.
“We must make haste then.” Luna said. Twilight was already giddy with excitement.
“After the examinations I took, I can’t wait to see what they’re like when conscious!” Twilight squeed, as all three princesses and the guard bolted out of the room towards the ambassador’s chambers.
Outside Ambassador’s Chambers
The three princesses galloped and closed the distance between themselves and the door to the chambers. They could see a lone guard outside the door standing at his new post. They slowed to a stop in front of the door. The guard bowed and then rose.
“Your highnesses,” he began, “they are all awaiting your arrival inside. If I may ask, where is Princess Cadence?” All three princesses and the left guard were catching their breaths from the long run. The left guard especially since he had to make the trip twice. Celestia composed herself before the other three ponies and spoke.
“Thank you, Captain,” she started, still huffing a small bit, “and to answer your question: Cadence had to return to the Crystal Empire to ensure the safety of the Crystal Heart and Flurry Heart.” The right guard nodded once at the satisfaction of his answer. “Both of you may go and get some well earned rest.” The two guards bowed, and began their route to the barracks at the lower end of the castle. Meanwhile, the three princesses began to compose themselves.
“Is everyone ready?” Twilight asked first, with some giddy anxiousness in her voice. Luna took in one last deep breath and nodded. Twilight turned to Celestia who was looking at Twilight over her shoulder.
“Before you begin asking them questions for your personal research, Twilight,” Celestia said with strictness in her tone, “let us answer their questions first, as they are our guests.” Twilight looked at Celestia then at the parchment, quill and inkwell readied with her magic to take notes. Twilight’s cheeks grew a rosy color as she set aside the things. Celestia smirked and rolled her eyes at Twilight’s embarrassment. She turned her attention to the door and slowly pushed it open.
As the door silently drifted open, she began walking in to see all six of the men huddled at the edge of the bed. They hadn’t noticed her or the other princesses walk in. Celestia cleared her throat. All six men snapped their attention to the sound.
“Gentlemen,” Princess Celestia spoke in a regal tone, “I am-” was all she was able to say before being interrupted by two of the humans.
“Holy. Fucking. Shit.” Michael and Ray said in unison. They stared at the three princesses and scrambled to get a closer look.
“Gavin wasn’t lying!” Michael said very loudly, “I thought he was just bullshitting to get to Ray and I!”
“I told you, you bleedin’ gits!” Gavin said. Geoff, Jack, and Ryan could only look on in shock that this was actually happening. Michael and Ray were pretty excited about meeting the ponies that they would watch on TV and began making countless references to episodes that occurred in the past. Geoff finally snapped out of the stupor he was thoroughly embedded in and took to action. He walked over and pulled Michael and Ray back behind him. Ryan and Jack soon followed Geoff and stood side by side with Geoff in front of the princesses. Geoff crossed his arms, looking quite unamused.
“Alright, can any of you three tell us why the hell we’re here.” Geoff said, annoyed. He didn’t get a response so he continued, “Because you three look like you all know what’s happening. So we want answers. Now.” Michael got next to Geoff’s ear and whispered.
“Ya’know Geoff, you don’t have to be all dickish about it.” Geoff responded by putting his finger up, not looking at Michael. Michael got the hint and backed off mumbling something about just being polite.
“Well, then.” Celestia began, “skipping the formalities and straight to the point. I will now answer any possible questions you may have.” She straightened herself and resumed, “Yes, we did bring you here by the use of magic. No, we did not choose you all specifically. Yes, you should be able to return home after you have completed a mission we have for you six.” Geoff kept flickering his eyes down as he checked off a mental checklist of questions he was planning on asking.
“How long will we be here?” Ryan spoke up. Luna turned to Ryan.
“You may be here anywhere between six months to a few years.” Luna responded. Geoff didn’t seem at all okay with that answer.
“You expect us to stay here for more than six months?” Jack said immediately after Ryan’s question was answered. Celestia turned to Twilight and gestured towards the agitated Gents with her hoof. Twilight nodded and stepped forward.
“Not entirely,” Twilight started explaining, “You see, we used a spell that reached across universes for the first answer it could find. That answer so happened to be you six.” The Lads had just walked up together to listen to what Twilight had to say. “So, when we pulled you from that thread of space, we pulled you from that thread of time as well. So in your universe, you may be gone for just a second or two. But that doesn’t stop you from aging in your universe.” All of the men pondered over this turn of events. Ryan was the first to speak.
“I mean, I guess that makes sense?”
“Does it really, though?” Michael asked, looking at Ryan. All of the AH Crew turned to Ryan for confirmation.
“Again,” he started chuckling, “I only work on computers! I’m not a quantum biologist or whatever it is space people do.” Everyone but Geoff laughed at Ryan’s comment. Geoff just stood in silence. Michael was the first to stop laughing and ask the next question.
“What was that spell for anyways. What were you three looking for?”
“The spell,” Twilight began, “promised the summoning of the greatest Hunters in the nearest universe. These Hunters, as said by the spell, were to be ‘slayers of all that is dark and evil.’” Ray started chuckling.
“Think your spell took that a little too literally? We’re the only achievement hunting crew in our universe, and we all sit on our asses playing video games for a living.” Ray said jokingly. Despite the grim situation, all of the AH Crew seemed pretty relaxed. All except for one concerned Hunter.
“How dangerous is this mission?” Geoff’s serious tone broke the chatter. Celestia’s smile from the talk faded and she cleared her throat.
“As compared to endeavours you’ve faced, we’re not sure. But to us princesses,” she gestured behind her to the two other alicorns, “it’s quite a challenging feat, and maybe even impossible to us.” Geoff grimaced and started wondering what can be done to avoid this altogether. Then Ray spoke up to ease Geoff’s mind.
“So you guys have a way back ready, right?” Geoff, along with the other AH members looked at Celestia. She sighed.
“Yes.” she said. The faces of the six men were lightened with grins, only to be slipped away by the incoming information. “And no. You see, we have the list of ingredients but not the instructions to perform such a complex spell. We also simply cannot spare the resources or manpower to search for these ingredients. You all would spend these next few months gathering the resources for this spell, complete the mission, and we will return the favor by performing the spell and sending you all back to your respective universe.” All of the AH Crew looked at one another. Their faces all said the same thing. Geoff spoke for all of them with the best consensus answer.
“Alright, princess,” Geoff said confidently, “we’ll help you with your problem.” Celestia smiled at this answer. Then chuckled. “What’s so funny, princess?” Celestia composed herself once again.
“I believe this spell worked better than expected.” Celestia said, with a smirk on her face.
“Why do you say that?” Ray asked.
“Because you all have the boldest of hearts to accept the mission before we even let you know what it is.” Luna said, also smiling.
The AH Crew were confident in whatever endeavours they will be facing in the next couple of months. With their new confidence in each other, they not only wanted to get back home, but also wanted to help these ponies with their problem no matter how big or small it is to the Achievement Hunters.