• Published 29th Dec 2013
  • 9,537 Views, 875 Comments

Obiter Dicta - GhostOfHeraclitus

A collection of short stories, vignettes, and deleted scenes, mostly based in the Civil Serviceverse and tending to be either slice of life or comedy.

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Any Other Business?

Any Other Business?

"So... um... today's agenda is a little, ah. Sparse. Yes. Sparse. One item. Tch. Hardly worth meeting about, really. In fact I might suggest a motion of early adjour—"

The words died on his lips under a wave of hostility from the massed nobles.

"—or not. Or not. No time like the present, eh, my lords and, uh, ladies...?"

More hostility. If looks could kill Dotted would already be dead, transported back to Northisle, buried, mourned, commemorated, forgotten, rediscovered by a future historian, and featured in an article in the local Sunday newspaper which Mrs. Sugar Loaf would leave off reading halfway because of a phone call from a double-glazing salesmare, never learning she was actually faintly related to this Line fellow. This course of affairs, through the miracle of cause and effect, would delay the commercialization of fusion technology by the Equestrian people by 117 years.

Luckily for Mrs. Loaf, the Equestrian people, and bulk manufactures of lithium hydride, looks can't kill. It looked like the future dodged a bullet there and Dotted wondered if he'd be so lucky. He began to scan the nobility for crossbows, blades, or surreptitious blow-pipes. Nothing. Damn. So much for the easy way out.

"Any, uh, business we need to take care of before we get, ah, cracking on the agenda? Any... um... motions? Suggestions? Requests?"

The atmosphere, already frosty, dropped by a few dozen degrees. It was time to deal with the elephant in the room.

"So, uh, the first and indeed only item on the agenda—should really be 'agendum' really—is, ah," Dotted adjusted his spectacles theatrically, "let's see, 'Princess Twilight Sparkle?!??!??!?' I say. That's quite a lot of punctuation. I daren't imagine how that might actually sound..., hah, well—"

"PRINCESS TWILIGHT SPARKLE?!??!??!?," Lord Trottingham helpfully demonstrated.

Dotted wiped the spittle from his spectacles.

"Yes. Indeed. Isn't that lovely? Nice to see a young mare make her way in the worl—"


"Only if princess Celestia makes someone an alicorn, I think you'll find. The Lady Sparkle, I understand, went through the process on her own with the princess only helping her do so safely which she's obligated to do under the Public Safety & Depraved Indifference Act of 887 which in paragr—"

"She's to ASCEND OVER US, IS SHE? A COMMONER!?," wailed Lady Cloudsdale.

"Royal, I think you'll find. Armigers, Nobility, & Royalty Act of 173, amended 284, 566, 837, and 909, clearly states in paragraph 35b that—"

"This is TYRANNY!"

"Her Highness Sparkle does not actually have any governmental authority as the Articles of Union state as a part of scroll XVI, right under the coffee sta—"

"This is a plot! A plot to legitimize their dalliance."

"Were such a dalliance to exist it would have been entirely legitimate from the point Her Highness was eighteen. Elevation to royalty would not be necessary. The question, however, is moot because I understand that there is no such dal—"

"You had this planned, you northern bastard!"

And with this the floodgates broke open. Dotted sat, calmly, weathering the abuse, the threats, the insinuations, accusations, slander, more threats, three separate challenges to a duel, and the thrown ink bottle stoically. At length he glanced at his pocket-watch. It read a quarter past tea[1].

"Right," he said, tone businesslike, "You, there. Lord Trottingham. Listen carefully: Cypress Hall. Second-and-a-half[2] Canterlot Mercantile Bank. Six hundred thousand bits."

Lord Trottingham shut up.

"Lady Cloudsdale? Does the name Peppermint Humbug mean anything to you? Mmm? August the fourth? Los Pegasus?"

Lady Cloudsdale joined him.

"Right. Who else? Who else? Ah! My Lady Baltimare! Listen to this. 83 right, 44 left, 15 right, 12 left. Behind a reproduction of Vermare's Filly with a Pearl Earring."

Lady Baltimare covered her face with a folder.

"Right," said Dotted sweetly, "anypony else want to play? No? Are you sure?"

There was dead silence. The elephant in the room hung from the rafters, swaying gently.

"Hail Princess Twilight Sparkle?"

"Hail Princess Twilight Sparkle," the nobles chorused, glumly.

[1] A Hearthswarming present from Leafy Salad. He went to a lot of trouble and hired a watchmaker to specifically craft an additional inner dial which was marked not in hours but in customary teatimes.
[2] The result of the merger of the Second Canterlot Mercantile Bank and the Third Canterlot Mercantile bank whose owners, it so transpired, were of a mathematical turn of mind.

Author's Note:

People kept asking me "How's Dotted Line going to explain Twilight's ascension to the nobles?" and, well, after being asked one time too many—this time by TheGreatEater and The Great Derpsby—I wrote the above in a comment on the original story. Bradel and Bookplayer convinced me that I ought to publish it to a wider audience and so... here it is.


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