• Published 2nd Mar 2012
  • 15,000 Views, 142 Comments

So... What Happens Next? - GentlemanJ



Ordered to stay in Ponyville, Graves finds that his new life will take some getting used to.

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Chapter 1

This is the second story in The Journey of Graves.

The series begins with the first story: When the Man Comes Around.

IMPORTANT: If you haven't read the series, please head back to the beginning and check it out. While each story stands on its own, the character and relationship developments will build on each other as the series progresses.

And so, the saga continues...

So... What Happens Next?

By: GentlemanJ

Chapter 1

“Twilight! Hey Twilight!”

“Oh, hey Pinkie Pie. What’s up?”

The studious young lady looked up from her copy of Obscure Magicians from Equestria’s Pre-Classic Era: Volume 1. It was another bright spring day, and Twilight was enjoying some light reading with a plate of blueberry scones down at Sugar Cube Corner when the curly haired baker bounced over and took a seat at the table with her.

“So I was wondering, Big G at?" Pinkie asked as she snagged up a scone. "I haven’t seen much of him in the last couple of days."

“Big G?" Twilight blinked. "Who’s Big G?”

“Um, Graves the marshal? Duh,” Pinkie replied with a roll of her eyes. “Honestly, who else would it be?”

“Oh, right.” Pinkie Pie’s penchant for giving out odd nicknames could be a tad difficult to follow at times.

“Anywho, I just realized that we haven’t thrown him a welcome party yet," the cheery girl continued as another scone disappeared. “I mean, we did have a party when he got here, but that wasn’t really for him. I mean it was, but we didn't know it, so I thought that we should have a super-extra-special party just for Big G so he knows how happy we are to have him in Ponyville. I mean- no, wait, that is what I meant. So anyways, what do you say?”

“I think that’s a great idea, Pinkie,” Twilight agreed with a bright smile. “I’m sure that one of your parties will make him feel right at home.”

“Great! I just need to take care of a few more things, but first, I need to send out the invitations, starting with Big G. Do you know where he is?”

“Not at the moment, no,” Twilight admitted. “Knowing him, he’s probably got his hands full doing some important marshal work.”

“Right,” Pinkie nodded sagely as the last scone went the way of the dodo. “Then I better hurry up and find him. Who knows how much stuff he still has left to do today?”

*****

Graves lay in bed, hands folded behind his head as he stared at the ceiling.

He was restless, because for the first time in a long while, he wasn’t sure he had anything do.

Picking up Princess Celestia’s letter for the twentieth time, he reread it to make sure he hadn’t missed anything. He hadn't, and the instructions within remained infuriatingly vague: after dealing with the rogue marshals, who were now safely on their way to the capitol for trial, he was to remain in Ponyville and defend it from dangerous wildlife moving into the area.

The only question was, how was he supposed to do that?

In the two days since he’d arrived, he’d already surveyed the town perimeter, set up sensor wards at key locations, made initial scouting trips into the Everfree Forest, and even drawn up evacuation plans for several worst-case scenarios. But nothing had happened. No wild beasts, no rampaging monster, not even a cranky wolf to dent Ponyville's idyllic peace.

It bothered him. He was a marshal for crying out loud, and that meant his job was to serve Equestria and all its citizens. For years, he’d done that by traveling from one hot spot to the next, dealing with problems and troubles often hazardous and occasionally mortally perilous. That suited him just fine because as long as he was busy, he knew he was at least being useful. But now, with no troubles to take care of and nothing to do, he honestly felt rather worthless.

What made it worse, though, was that for once, he actually wanted to be useful.

In every town he’d ever visited, he'd always been treated the same: either he blended into the crowd with hardly a sideways glance, or was met with with reverent awe and fear that came from being a royal agent. Both of these made it easy to go about and do his duty, but that’s all the people would ever be to him: a duty.

Ponyville was different. In a matter of days, the entire town had embraced him as if they’d known him all their lives. Everywhere he went, people would call out a cheery hello, others would inquire about his adjustment to a new town, and almost everyone would congratulate him on a job well done with the rogue marshals which, considering the sparse number of eye witnesses, could only be attributed to a very active girl’s gossip network.

It was nice. Definitely odd how quickly they’d accepted him, but nice nonetheless. That’s why the fact he was sitting around doing nothing bothered him so much. He did a good bit for any town, regardless of who they were, so he wanted to do extra for the people that had so warmly welcomed him.

“Well, lying around won’t help,” Graves murmured. Setting the letter aside and getting up, the marshal donned his broad, flat-brimmed hat and long leather coat, shouldered up his spell gun, and strode towards the door: if there was no trouble to take care of, he’d find some other way of being useful.

After all, how else could he show he cared?

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