• Published 10th Dec 2013
  • 14,900 Views, 1,834 Comments

My Family and Other Equestrians - Blade Star

A HiE fic with a twist. Our protagonist is not alone. How does one approach being in Equestria, when their family is along for the ride?

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Interlude 4 - Just Another Day at the Office

Note: This chapter is written from the perspective of Blade Star's father.

See the Author's Notes for details of a Q&A contest.

“You know that’s the second time that has happened to me, your highness,” I said as we stood outside the throne room, surrounded by guards.

“I think that’s number four hundred and seventy six for me, Roger,” the solar princess replied. “Though I’ve never seen one act with such abandon before or with such unusual means.”

The pair of us, along with anyone else who happened to be in Day Court at the time were surrounded by guards while others thoroughly checked the throne room we had been ushered out of. It was certainly an odd occurrence, though not an unexpected one for an authority figure like Princess Celestia.

I had been at my usual post in Day Court offering my advice and counsel when asked by the princess, and occasionally chipping in with hints I saw as useful. This was pretty much my average work day now, and I had fallen in to a general pattern. Said pattern had been broken by one of the strangest petitioners I have yet to come across.

The pony in question was of the earth type, lacking wings or horns; I personally always found them easier to talk to than the other two groups, not that I have anything against unicorns or pegasi. This earth pony however, had entered Day Court carrying a package. This was not unusual in itself; occasionally grateful subjects would call on the court to give thanks for whatever royal aid Celestia had provided them with. She always accepted them with an air of mild embarrassment, and of course, they were all heavily screened by the Royal Guard.

This time though, the look on the chap’s face was anything but thankful. In fact he looked fighting mad as he carried his parcel up to the dais. I suspected something was amiss and so did the guards, for they all noticeably tensed at the newcomer’s approach. Stopping at the steps, he opened the large square box that sat upon his back. It contained a large pie and for a moment we all relaxed.

All of a sudden though, the pie became airborne as he hurled it at her. I immediately ducked to avoid the culinary projectile, while the guards sprang into action. One took a dive across Celestia’s body taking the object full in the gut. The other three surrounding the throne leapt onto the offender and pinned him to the ground with a combination of magic and brute force. Apparently, ever since an incident a couple years ago when Canterlot was attacked by another species, the guard had been heavily revised in terms of procedures and personnel, they were now much more competent in protecting their princess. Not that she really needed it in this case.

The earth pony continued to struggle with the guards, his superior strength actually allowing him to briefly break free of their grasp, causing a small fight to erupt in the Throne Room. This resulted in another group of guards quickly surrounding both myself and the princess and getting us out of harm’s way. After standing outside for about five minutes, the guards emerged with the nutter in restraints. However, the damage from the fight was quite severe, with several of the ornate columns damaged. Plus, the incident had kicked the hawkish Royal Guard into high gear and they began to comb the entire castle in case the pony had done anything else.

Long story short, court was closed early today. I figured that this would happen occasionally with such a high profile figure as the princess, it had happened to a fair few British politicians, and then of course there was Bush’s encounter with a shoe. Still though the sheer number of times Celestia had been bothered in such a manner surprised me.

“Well, it doesn’t look like we’re going to be doing anything more today. I certainly won’t mind the temporary relief from court,” she said.

“It has been a long day I suppose,” I replied. I looked to a nearby clock, twenty to twelve. If I hurried I could catch the midday train home and surprise she who must be obeyed. “I might as well head down to the station and catch the train home.” Celestia though had other ideas.

“If I remember correctly Roger, your son in here today isn’t he?” That’s right he was, he’d gone with Rarity, I think, for some fashion show. That had me a little worried. “Perhaps you should go and drop in on him. I think he’s staying at the Equestrian Imperial Hotel, room 242.” Of course, she would just happen to know that. It couldn’t hurt at any rate.

“I might just do that, your highness.” I briefly bowed. “Good day then.”

I never really cared much for paying for cabs in the city, always damned expensive, and fair few would take you for a bit more of a ride than you bargained for. As such, I walked the journey to the hotel Celestia had directed me to. It was certainly a fancy place to be staying at. Perhaps my boy was at last moving up in the world, or the girl he was with was paying for him.

I still got the odd stare as I walked down from the castle to the hotel. These richer snobs aren’t the most accepting bunch. Hell, when Celestia announced to the court that I was to be taken on as a permanent advisor, there was an uproar equivalent to Prime Minister’s Questions, with a great deal of shouting and hoofs being banged on desks and floors. Luckily, unlike PMQs, as soon as Celestia called for order, the complaints ceased. That was certainly one form of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.

Now though, I’d been working in the court long enough to become a recognised face. While not everyone, or rather everypony approved of my presence I was tolerated by the nobility who were cowed by Celestia’s authority. That was in the palace however, Canterlot itself was a whole different ball game with numerous social circles each with its own agenda. I typically got one of two reactions, if I got a reaction beyond the baffled stare. Either they would turn their noses up at me, as much as a four foot tall quadruped can to a six foot tall human, or they would greet me enthusiastically and invite me to some formal event as a means of getting one up over their opponents.

Still, that was not to say that I had no friends aside from Celestia. In addition to her, I would occasionally chat with her younger sister Luna, and I got on quite well with most of the guards. They now actually offered me protection rather than just the princess, and when they were off duty and not required to keep a stern face in absolute silence they were typically quite pleasant to talk to. And of course there were a few nobles I got on with, Fancy Pants, now there’s a fantastic name, was a decent enough fellow. He sort of reminded me of Lord David Davis, who I’d met at the occasional DDH hunt. And of course, always with him was his dolly bird, Fleur De Lis. While I know little about ponies, even I can tell that she’s supposed to be a looker.

Walking into the lobby, I quickly headed for the front desk to see if he was in. If not, then I could at least leave a message for him to come see me when he got back. I’d been in hotels like this on a few occasions, though never to stay at. I’d usually find myself at a place like this for a meeting of the Law Society. Everything was pretty much the same, aside from the fact that there were ponies in the place of humans. I went to speak to the receptionist, tapping on the desk to get her attention.

“Excuse me, do you know if a Mr. Blade Star is staying here at the moment?” I still wasn’t really comfortable using my son’s assumed name. Besides, ‘Bones’ suited him far more in my opinion; he could be just as stubborn. The mare looked over the guestbook in front of her quickly scanning each page before turning to the next.

“Ah, here we are,” she muttered under her breath. “Yes sir, we do have a pony by that name staying here at present, though I believe he is currently out at the moment.” Damn, looks like I missed him.

“You wouldn’t happen to have any idea as to where he went do you?” I asked hopefully. Receptionists and secretaries are notorious for listening in on business which isn’t their own. She thought for a moment.

“I believe I heard something about the Officers Club, sir. I think he was going to meet a friend there.” Ah, probably that vet he met in his magic lessons. My boy’s always had a fair bit of admiration of soldiers, though he always insisted that he didn’t want to be one himself. “If I remember correctly, it’s down in the entertainment district just a ways from Steers bar.” I had to choke a laugh down.

“Thank you,” I replied. “Just in case I miss him could you take a message for me?” She nodded. “Just tell him his dad stopped by.” She raised an eyebrow at me. It took a moment for me to understand her confusion. Eventually though, I realised; I was a human and he was a pony, she was probably wondering how. If he'd come out that way I'd be worried too. "Oh, err, I'm his step-father," I lied. It was easier than explaining why my son was now a four foot tall unicorn pony. With that, she nodded and took the message down for me, while I set off for the Officers Club.

Working my way downhill from the more opulent districts, I quickly found the general area of the entertainment district. The place was filled with clubs, bars and all sorts of establishments the locals presumably used for the purpose of having a good time. I quickly came upon Steers, looked like a nice little place, I couldn’t help but whistle a certain little tune as I passed. Maybe I might stop there sometime, if I get a chance, it had been a while since I’d been to a bar like that.

Following the road further on, I came upon another building, perhaps slightly larger than Steers. Like that bar, it was also one of those basement jobs, with a small flight of steps leading to its entrance. Unlike other establishments though, the door had no windows, with one of those small sliding peep holes at eye level. Beneath that was a sign that proclaimed ‘Officers of the Royal Guard and Invited Guests Only’. That would have deterred most, but hell, if worst came to worst, I could show my court position, which ought to get me somewhere.

I walked down the stairs to the door and knocked twice. The peep hole immediately slid open to reveal a pair of pony eyes. I swear those things are too big for their heads, it makes them easy as pie to read. The eyes regarded me suspiciously.

“You don’t look like a guard to me,” the owner of the eyes said in a deep voice. “Can’t you read the sign? Officers only.”

“I’m merely looking for some...” I caught myself. “Somepony. Blade Star, he might be with a Captain Strong Shield I think.” The eyes continued to regard me with a distrustful air.

“Wait here,” the voice said at length. The peep hole then slid shut.

Moments later the entire door opened revealing a pegasus in full guard armour. After a curt command to follow, I entered into the club.

It was mainly what I expected, a bar, tables, there was even a small band on the nearby stage getting ready to play. In addition there were a couple tables of the other variety in several partially walled in sections, and it was here that I was being led. I was surprised that my son had even considered going to an establishment like this, he’d never been one to go to bars much. He certainly hadn’t spent much time out when he was at university. I would have expected that the relatively large number of patrons, the fairly loud music as well as the drinking would have put him off.

This brought me to another question; what on earth were these ponies doing drinking at half past twelve in the afternoon. Okay it was a Friday but still, a bit early. If I hadn’t just come in here from midday Canterlot, I would have assumed that it was getting on for nine o’clock at night.

The doorman continued to lead me past tables; I recognised a few faces here and there, mainly those who came on shift with the ending of Day Court. Perhaps due to their semi-nocturnal nature this was their Friday night. Eventually, I was led to one of the Poker tables where a game was in progress. It was with a mixture of surprise and alarm that I beheld my son sitting there with cards in his hand, hoof, and a fairly large stack of chips placed next to him. If I had known he knew how to play I’d have taken him with me to some of the firm’s parties. He evidently spotted me out of the corner of his eye, for his suddenly started and looked up.

“Dad? What are you doing here?” he exclaimed. “And how did you get past the doorpony?” The surrounding guards grinned a little at the interruption and the slight embarrassment caused to my son by my arrival.

“Court was shut down early; some whacko threw a pie at the princess. Hotel staff said you might be here,” I replied. He was about to reply when another stallion, who sported an eye patch over his left eye spoke up.

“Somepony threw a pie at the princess?” he asked, alarmed. “Is she alright?” This looked like the fellow that my son had fallen in with back in Ponyville.

“Of course, you fellers caught and arrested the guy, no trouble,” I answered. The stallion turned to my son.

“See Rookie, this is why I need to stay in the academy. If I went back into the guard proper they’d be half trained rent-a-guards not up to standards, he’d have probably hit her too. Still I’m surprised they didn’t pick him out before he acted. Celestia knows I’ve taught ‘em enough about situational awareness.”

“Yeah, literally too in this case,” my son replied, prompting another round of laughter at the other stallion’s expense. “C’mon Strong Shield let’s have the River.” Strong Shield was evidently the current dealer; he placed a fifth card on the table for all to see, a jack. The betting then went round, one pony dropped out, muttering a curse under his breath, while the rest all held out, including my son. There were only three players still in it.

After the last pony raised, Strong Shield also dropped out commenting that it was getting too rich for him. But my son kept bidding. At last though, the other pony called, presenting two threes to go with the current one on the table. The assembled players began to offer their commiserations to my son, however, he continued to smile.

“Ah think not, Swift Wing, my boy.” He laid his own cards out, another three and a jack to go with the existing one. “Full house.” And with that, he claimed the pot amidst cheering from the others. All of a sudden though, Strong Shield looked at the nearby clock and then began to hurriedly whisper in my son’s ear. I heard the word ‘entertainment’. His eyes immediately went wide in fear. Very quickly, he cashed his winnings and got up from the table.

“Right, come on Dad,” he said quickly, "Let’s head out to lunch, my treat.” Something seemed off.

“Oh, I don’t want to interrupt your game, you seem to be doing pretty well.” I replied. “Besides, I’m not that hungry.” I was quickly overruled however, as he again insisted we go and began to steadily nudge me toward the door. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Strong Shield gesturing quickly to him at the clock and urging him to hurry along. Just as we exited the club, I could hear music start up accompanied by what sounded like wolf whistles. As I turned around to look at my son, who was still using his horn to force me along, I could see sweat on his forehead.

“Something going on in there?” I asked innocently.

“No! No, nothing’s going on there! Ah just wanted to get some lunch with you! That’s what fathers and sons do right? They go and chat over lunch!” The sweating was now accompanied by a strong blush. You didn’t have to be a genius to work out what was going on in Canterlot’s Officer’s Club right about now.

Author's Note:

Proofread by Sidetrack.

There's a follow available for anypony who can define 'Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition'.

Also, this story now has over 2,000 views for the first chapter and just under 30,000 overall.

Finally, I thought I'd try something new this week, a little Q&A session. You may ask Blade Star or any of his family a maximum of three questions per user. PM me with your questions and I'll publish them and the in-character answers in a blog on my user page when I publish next Friday.

Until then like and comment below. See you all next Friday.

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