• Published 7th Mar 2012
  • 1,937 Views, 64 Comments

Pirates of Equestria - Lastingimage24

A battle between holy evil and blind truths takes place in the once utopian society that is Equestria. Six elements, two captains, and four Immortals struggle to clear the now blurred line between right and wrong.

  • ...

Interlude 2: Drag Me Down

“Well, it’s settled... yup. Hanging out at a coffee shop is way less fun than hanging out at a bar.”

Interlude 2

“Come on!”

“No,” Gjero replied once again, not moving an inch.

“But I’m huuuungrrryyyyy!”

“Then buy a fucking sandwich and leave me alone.” Gjero didn’t curse often, but damn, this girl was warranting it.

“But the place I want to go to charges four bits for a sub, and I only have three. If you’re gonna be a dick, could you at least spot me a bit?”

“Can’t,” he said, honestly. “All I have is credit. If you want to risk being tackled by the entire royal guard, I’ll give you my PIN number.”

Vera, being the good-humored pony she was, began to laugh, but stopped herself as she saw Gjero’s stoic face. “You... you serious?”

Gjero sighed without moving his head. “About what?”

Vera cocked her head in curiosity. “...You would... trust your PIN number with me?”

Although thoroughly baffled by her question, he remained still. "...Uh, yes. Like it or not, I know I don't, we're in this together, and if I can't trust you with something as trivial as money, then this operation is doomed to fail."

He’s being nice... in his own dickish way. Vera tried not to grin too stupidly. It’s kinda cute in a dumb, uptight, puckered up asshole kind of way. “...Maybe you’re not such a dick after all.”

“Thanks. Like, a lot,” Gjero said in a very snark way. Vera honestly couldn’t tell if he was serious or not. The wording sounded sarcastic though.

“...Come with me,” Vera insisted, this time more solemnly. “C’mon.”

“No,” Gjero responded once again. The girl wouldn’t let up. “Your parents ever tell you no means no?”

“I wouldn’t know.” She laughed with a smirk on her face. “They weren't exactly ‘round. Looney was the closest thing I had to a mom.”

Gjero almost choked on... well nothing, really. He hadn’t eaten anything since tuesday, which was four days ago. In fact, this short conversation had been the most times Gjero had opened his mouth in the past four months. “I’m... sorry.”

“It’s fine... I mean, I had a pretty legit childhood.” Vera turned away and started playing with her hooves. “It all worked out for the best, I suppose.”

Gjero kept his head straight as eyed the small, dull-colored unicorn blankly staring at the floor. A pang of sympathy shot through him as he thought of his mother.

“Hey,” he said, getting Vera’s attention. “I’ll go with you. I have to eat anyway.”

Vera lit up, but didn’t know how to respond. After a couple of seconds, she bore a confident smile. “He-he-hell yea! I’m gonna show ya the ropes of behaving an actual person! We gonna go get ya in some trouble! Live mofo, live.”

“Maybe I’ll just stay...”

“Or we can just go to The Half-and-Talon and get a sub, hehe.” Vera punched Gjero in the shoulder. “Jeez, unpucker your asshole, doucheface.”

The perky griffin that stood under the porch just stared at Gjero for a short time, before dropping the newspaper she was holding and putting on a huge grin. She waved her talon back and forth and appeared to be giggling softly. Gjero didn’t know how to respond. First, he craned his neck to look behind him. After noticing nobody waving back at her, he turned to face her and awkwardly waved back. She stretched her grin out as acknowledgement and went on her merry way.

“The people here are very... neighborly," Gjero remarked. He lowered his voice as he added, "And feathery."

"What," Vera chuckled as she squinted at her partner. "Never been to the Griffin district?"

"Well..." Gjero searched his mind for any past encounters with the feline/avian streets. "I think I supervised some guards protecting the Princess' tea party. That was the extent, however."

"Weak, man, weak. C'mon Gjero, don't you ever go out?"

"I have more important things to take care of, as should you Captain Datzkowitz," Gjero snapped, still keeping stiff. Vera frowned at the mention of her last name.

"Seriously, relax that anus, bro." There was another silence, something Vera had gotten used to by dealing with the Day Watch captain. She had to lead all the conversations. She even felt as if she were talking to herself sometimes and Gjero just took up space. She ignored that feeling. "Hey, the reason why I go here is 'cause I know the owner, so she may want to talk to ya."

"Oh? Why?" Gjero asked, not budging his constant strides and still looking straight ahead. Vera wondered if his face was stuck squinting because of that scowl he was always wearing.

"Well by 'know', I mean 'we've been friends since we were kids'. So... yeah."

"Hmph," Gjero grunted. Vera was amazed how he was able to do that without moving his stomach. She noticed he walked without moving most body, only key parts in his knees and flanks. The muscles on his rump flexed fluidly in motion to his... well toned thighs.

Woah, slow down you hormonal-crazed teenager that happens to be thirty-two, you're better than that.

Gjero spotted another griffin waving at him, another girl and probably of adolescence. She was carrying books in her arm. He waved back, this time more naturally. “This is creeping me out.”

Vera laughed as she hit him in the shoulder. “Oh c’mon, chillax. Listen, there’s just a thing with griffins and the Royal guard; they really like us for some reason. I have no idea why.” She put a hoof to her chin (which baffled Gjero as he tried to understand how it was possible for her to walk and do that at the same time). “Actually, I heard Aielira say something about it being they respectin’ us for not being all corrupt or somethin’. Though that should really be a given

Hmm, Gjero thought. They don’t treat the Legion that way... The Legion and the Guard were completely separate branches in the Equestrian military. Actually, one could argue that the Royal Guard isn’t even part of the military and is more like a police force, even though both parties go through very similar training. The thing was, Luna governed the Guard and Celestia used governed the military. But, ever since she was attacked by that damned Light, she appointed exemplary Generals to control it for her. Come to think of it, that’s around the time that talk of rebellion went around Equestria... but that was silenced quickly, and rightly so.

Wait a second. “Aielira? The hell kind of name is that?”

Vera double backed and raised an eyebrow. “What? I thought it was a pretty average name, but what do I know? Hey, look, we’re here, you can ask her yourself.”

The building was made up of four very large glass pane windows framed by decorative maple-brown wood. The windows were littered with small advertisements vibrantly colored with fluorescent blue and green paint boasting prices and deals. The roasting smell of coffee briliantly accompanied the sweet smell of creamer with a subtle hint of various cold meats and vegetables that went perfectly with the heavenly aroma of freshly baked bread. All these smells seemingly pointed toward the giant sign above the entire set up reading “THE HALF-AND-TALON”.


“...That’s it? Hmm? This place is fucking amazing and you spew out the poetry HMM?” Vera scoffed and flipped her short hair towards Gjero.

“What? It’s not particularly impressive. It... is rather nice, though. The unimpressiveness compliments the small shop.”

“That’s much better.”

“Yo, yo, YO! Ay-Lee-Rah! How’s it shakin’ hot stuff?!”

Gjero, again, had to resist face-hoofing. I swear to CELESTIA.

“Please don’t do that, Vera, you’ll scare away the guests. The least you could do is not use outdated lingo.”

The Day Watch captain’s jaw dropped in spite of himself. The soft voice came from a large feathered beast standing in the middle of the room, who was cleaning a mug with a rag. She had dark blue eyes and a slender neck, which was uncommon for griffins. Her feathers we slightly longer than other griffins Gjero had seen and peaked off her head at a higher angle and arced over her eyes. There was darker feathers around her eyes, which Gjero hadn’t noticed about griffins until this one. He noted how elegant they were. Everything about these creatures was elegant.

There was one thing that was odd about her. She kept craning and cocking her head and neck around slightly while she was looking at Gjero. Her tail was flailing around quicker than the other griffins, and in a more haphazard pattern. She was also tapping her foot. As Gjero was examining her, she walked up to him (rather quickly) and motioned to the store. “Welcome to the Half-and-Talon Mr. Day Watch guard pony, I hope you enjoy yourself. We don’t get many ponies here, but your kind is very welcome, and the ones that do come don’t complain.”

Gjero looked around the small shop and inhaled softly. There were several small tables with three chairs each, some of them occupied with griffins either chatting or smiling at the two Watch captains standing at the front door. The bar was occupied by several griffins her and there as well, some of them working on some sort of paperwork or sipping coffee. Along the glossy tiled floor lay a couple of soft furnishings, a sofa, two (imitation, of course) leather armchairs, and a recliner. A fittingly large coffee table sat in the center of them. All of these were vacant, however, as the griffins preferred the practicality of the wood furnishings.


“Oh shit, Gjero made an audible noise, you know he fucking likes this place,” Vera sarcastically mused. Gjero payed no attention to her as he looked at the griffin. After a second or two, she became uncomfortable.

“You’re a griffin.”

Aielira rubbed the back of her neck and turned both directions in a matter of seconds. “Uhh, yeah, if I got this biology thing right. What’s up?”

“You didn’t tell me she was a griffin,” Gjero remarked, turning towards his partner. Vera shrugged.

“Thought you might have been able to assume it. I mean, we’re in the griffin district, her name was Aielira, and the shop’s called the Half-and-Talon.” The night watch captain shrugged with her eyes closed as she shook her head. "It's kinda obvious."

“Oh, so you two know each other?” Aliera interjected, tensing and relaxing her talons repeatedly. After her question, she started tapping her hip rapidly.


Aielira chuckled loudly and stuck her arm forward. “I’m Aielira Crosshright. Don’t bother trying to pronounce my last name.” As her talon floated, she squeezed each finger in succession and alternated in anticipation of Gjero’s hoof. He sorta just... looked at it. “Uhh...”

“Dude, shake it.” Vera elbowed him in the chest, which wasn’t very effective due to the armor.

“What?” Puzzled, Gjero turned to the griffin once more. He realized what the suspended talon was for. “Oh, apologies. I didn’t understand what you wanted. I’m new to the whole opposable thumb thing. My name is Captain Gjero Hoofinghamm," Gjero said, shaking the griffin's hand

“No problem. Hey, did you say Captain?”

“Yes, I am the Day Watch Captain,” he clarified, trying not to smile.

Aielira instantly lit up “He-hey! We have both Watch captains here? Nice, what an honor!” Aielira motioned towards the furniture in the middle of the room. “Come, sit, first meal’s on the house.”

Gjero expressed his thanks in subtle astonishment as he walked over to the recliner.

"No fair! He gets free food?" Vera complained, pouting. Aielira simply nodded and flew next to Gjero, taking out her pencil and twirling it in her fingers.

"Whatcha want? Pork sandwich? Chicken sub?" Aielira asked, tapping her foot once again. The Pegasus simply recoiled with a look of horror and disgust on his face. His waiter laughed uncontrollably. "Calm your tits, just joking. You can't even digest the stuff, you poor boy. How 'bout a hay and dandelion sandwich?"

"Uhh," Gjero grunted, still recovering from the carnivorous comedy. "Yeah, that sounds good."

"Kay-kay. Be right back, guys." And with that, Aielira flew off with order in hand. The purple unicorn accompanying the Day Watch Captain sat on the sofa beside him.

Gjero sighed heavily before turning to Vera and staring at her in disapproval. "Your friend is very... quick."

Shifting in her seat to reach over to the recliner, Vera punched Gjero in the unarmored part of his foreleg... which actually hurt the captain quite a bit, though he showed no sign of this. "Dude, shut up," she said, lowering her voice to a whisper. "She has real bad Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. She can't help it."

Gjero widened his eyes in utter shock. "ADHD...? Doesn't she... take medication for it?"

She shook her head slowly. "No... she was too afraid of becoming dependant on it, so she's never taken any." Vera sighed before settling back in her seat. "It won't bother her if ya mention the fidgeting, but I don't think ya should really."

"Don't worry," he assured, waving a hoof. "I won't." Gjero stared ahead at the glass windows occupying most of the wall in front of him, contemplating his little adventure thus far. There were many questions itching at him that he wanted to ask Vera, though he couldn’t fathom why he was even remotely interested. But... “Hey,” he started, despite himself. “How do you know her? Aielira I mean.”

Vera was surprised at the question. She didn’t expect him to want to know anything about her, much less her friends. He probably wants to know just for Aielira’s sake. Yeah... that little ADHD thing must’ve struck a chord. “She was my foster mother’s birth daughter. We met when I was twelve, and I took off to the Academy as soon as I was eighteen, so we were good friends for six years. We got back in touch as soon as I graduated.”

“You’re foster mother was a griffin?” Intrigued, Gjero followed up with another question. “And... I thought you said Princess Luna was like a mother to you.”

“She was more of a mentor really,” Vera clarified while scratching the back of her head. “But she was always there, so...”

“I see,” Gjero interrupted, motioning her off. “I know of a woman that was like that to Princess Celestia as well. It didn’t end too well for her, but she always valued the friendship she shared with that unicorn. I didn’t know her personally, but she up and disappeared before I could.” After his little speech, Gjero cleared his throat. “As for the griffin?”

Vera, at first, looked at him in great puzzlement, but remembered what he had asked first. “Oh yeah. Well when someone’s put for adoption or foster care, any species is eligible to care for any other species, there is no discrimination that governs that. It’s a matter of what the adopter wants. It’s actually fairly common.”

“...I didn’t know that”

“You don’t know anything outside your dumb armor, do you?”

“Watchya guys talking about?” Another voice said from the direction of the kitchen. Gjero opened his mouth to answer, but Vera beat him to it.

“Your sex life. We’re saying it’s like your sandwiches, dry and old.”

Gjero honestly couldn’t believe what the unicorn had just said to his friend. He honestly wanted to smack her upside the head, but that wouldn’t be very gentlecolt, would it? Plus the rules, the rules.

Aielira simply shrugged off the insult and laughed. “Nice, bitch. Too bad you haven't gotten laid in like, an eternity. Gjero, your sandwich.”

The pegasus came out of his straight posture to grab the plate and thank the griffin once again. She waved it off.

The Night Watch captain pouted and turned the other way with her nose scrunched and in the air. “I’ll have you know I could get a guy right quick if I wanted to! It’s just that I’m not a complete slut unlike some people in this shop. I’ll get a guy when I meet a not douchey one.”

“Oh I’m the slut?” Aielira shot back, her smirk growing wider with every word. “I’m not the one that wandered around a bar for two hours throwing myself at every drunken bastard looking for some ‘room and board’.”

“Hey I was drunk at the time; what was your excuse when you danced on top the coffee table like burlesque was going out of style.” Vera came back pointing her hoof towards Aielira every other word. “Besides, I’m not a slut, Gjero can vouch. I haven’t made a pass at him at all the two weeks we've been living together.” She smiled in the direction of her partner while trying to make him back her up. “Ain’t that right, Gjero?” There was no response.

“Uhh... Gjero?” Gjero sat in a slump, his mouth slightly open, and his eye’s widened in astonishment. And... he was just looking at his sandwich. A flower petal was hanging out of his mouth halfway, and the lettuce in the bread was slowly slipping out. After a couple of seconds, Vera expressed concern. “Dude, ya okay, man?”

“Huh?” Gjero finally looked up and saw the two women he was with looking at him with great unease. He looked back down at the sandwich and to the girls. His brain finally clicking, he wiped the petal off his mouth bashfully. “Uh, yeah... it’s just, this sandwich is really good.” He was still distant from his surroundings, and wondered why it tasted as wonderfully as it did. Was it really the quality of the food or was it because he hadn’t had anything other than bread and water for the longest time. It didn’t seem too long to him, but now that he thought about it, he couldn’t remember the last time he had anything that contained flavor. It hit him really hard.

“Heh, looks like Mr. Straightface likes my food,” Aielira gloated with a slight blush. She was rubbing the back of her head and looking in another direction. “So what’d you like about it, the hay, the flowers, maybe just the wa-... wait a second.” Aielira jumped back with newfound enthusiasm and flailed her wrist with a finger pointed outward. “What do you mean you two are living together?!”

Gjero was too absorbed in his food to respond, and Vera just laughed anxiously. “Hehehe, it’s a long story.”

So, it turns out Aielira was actually a pleasant person to speak to. I honestly didn’t expect that from one of Captain Datzkowitz’s friends, but I guess anything’s possible. I’ll be completely truthful with you here, Princess. I hadn’t been too happy with the current circumstances so far, and I can only take so much Datzkowitz in one day. I’ve been putting up with it for you, and you only, Princess. I don’t mean to rush Your Highness, but the sooner I can get back to my regular work the better. I won’t neglect the severity of the task you have given me, but I won’t lie, it’s not pleasant. After meeting that griffin, I guess I’ll be able to stand it for the time being. As for the Half-and-Talon... I’m going there tomorrow with Captain Datzkowitz again for lunch. I shouldn’t really, it’s just going to feed that unicorn’s ego, but that food... I never had something that good. I’m, at the very least, interested what other foods that woman and her shop can make. It kills me a little inside abandoning my post like that, but I can’t help myself after the Night Captain showed me it.

Gjero turned away from his desk, sighing, and looking at the snoozing dull grey unicorn. Her mouth was wide open, but her snoring was incredibly soft, almost inaudible. Her legs were strewn about the entire bed, and her blankets only covered portions of her smaller-than-average body. Gjero gazed at her for a while, his thoughts dissipating into silence. She tossed and turned suddenly to achieve a more comfortable position, and it knocked Gjero out of his reverie. He sighed.

I seriously don’t understand why this girl acts in such a way that should be reserved for household pets. I’ve never seen anything like it; it’s disgusting. I’m afraid her behavior is diminishing my ability to carry out my duties... and she doesn’t even care. I swear, that girl is going to drag me down with her.

“Princess, have you seen Gjero anywhere? It’s been a couple weeks and I haven’t even spotted him walking down the hall. I usually take orders from him...”

“Oh yes... you see, Gjero’s been on a bit of a... business leave, if you will. He will not be back for quite a while. I apologize for the secrecy, but it’s a very sensitive issue.”

“Oh...that blows- Er, I mean it’s... uhh... unfortunate. You see, we are great friends, Celestia.”

“Quite. He has told me quite a bit about you, the uh, few times he does talk, haha. It’s mostly flattering, it seems you are one of the few mares he respects.”

“Really? That’s actually surprising, he doesn’t really act like it.”

“You know him, when it comes to work and honor he’s as sharp as a blade, but he really has the emotional capacity as a wooden chair. Not to mention he’s as dense as gelatin.”

“Hehehe, I guess so! Well... I suppose I’ll leave then.”

“...You know, I said I couldn't tell you what it is Gjero’s doing, but I can tell you where he is.”

“Wha... really?!”


“Well I guess I’m finally going to get a chance to use all those vacation days I’ve piled up!”

“Wait... what?”

AUTHOR'S NOTE: It's not so much Vera hasn't made a pass at Gjero, so much as he would get pissed off if she tried. No author's commentary again, sorry! There's just not much to add.