• Member Since 13th Feb, 2012
  • offline last seen 4 hours ago



This story is a sequel to When the Man Comes Around

The eighteenth story in The Journey of Graves.

As the new year dawns, the top four cadets from Equestria's Royal Military Academy set eyes on enlisting in the elite peacekeeping force known as the marshals. After all, when you're the best in you class, it's obvious you belong with the best, right?

Not exactly. See, it's one thing to do well in school. It's another thing entirely to pass a test concocted by Gunmetal Graves himself. Strap in, cadets. Class is now in session.

Chapters (4)
Comments ( 173 )

Three views, four likes, one dislike. Sounds legit.

Those four are absolutely fucked. They are looking down on Graves and they are meeting him in his element. Like I said in the beginning of this comment, they are fucked.

You are he top

Dropped the 't' from the.

I’m the best marksman that the Academy

at the academy, or that the academy has ever seen?

You four are idiots... attempting to take Graves on. Good luck, you are most certainly going to need it. I wonder if their next test will just happen to take place in Ponyville...

And is Applejack in Canterlot meeting with Hemmingmane yet?

I. Love. This!

Inspired by the recent letter received from the US Armored instructor?

It begins.
This will be fun.

...To watch. I am NOT Marshal material.

3987728 If Graves is the standard, none of us are. :rainbowlaugh:

Please. Please. PLEASE. By All The Gods, tell me you plan on a sequel? I wanna see how this goes down...

Hell yes, new story!

Classic tactic; Rile up the cadets, give them a common goal, and watch how they go about achieving it.
Graves could observe their personalities through their interactions with one another, gauge their skills by seeing how they tackle obstacles such as wild beasts, tracking and strategy, and see how well they work as a team when the poor cadets try their utmost to land a hit on the Ghost of Thunder.

Graves may not be a good teacher, but his tactics can give the best results. When he's through with these cadets, they'll come out of the fire honed, tempered, and ready to be the best damn marshall team since Team 26.

You have once more left me sitting here with a smile.

You know, I really enjoy the Graves stories, but I'm not sure how this one will turn out. I mean, this is going to be the first time that the main story will focus on OCs, and that's some pretty uncertain territory. So far, you've done a marvelous job in adapting the world of Equestria so that it fits your needs to keep the story alive while still keeping it true to the series. That in itself is some tricky business, and you've managed to pull it off marvelously. However, when you add an almost completely OC cast (save for one or two cameos), the temptation to break the world away from the source content gets a little bit more seductive. Nearly every story I've read where it was all OC characters was either so far from the source content that it was pretty much a completely different world, or tried so hard to keep it true to the source content that the author had no room to spread his creative wings. That being said, you've done a marvelous job with making your OC a perfect character; flawed enough so that we (the readers) know he's not just wish-fulfillment, but badass and exciting enough so that we can't wait for him to get up on the stage and kick some ass!
As for your other characters, I see that they're already falling into the basic "rag-tag team" stereotypes. Which isn't a bad thing, not by any means! I mean, the basic template of "the nerd, the brute, the poster-boy, and the girl" (admit it, that's pretty much any fiction action-adventure team) is a basic template because it's effective, yet it gives writers enough flexibility to fill in the blanks and make things interesting! What most people do wrong is they make everything WAY to cookie-cutter: The brute is mostly a big softy, the poster-boy ends up being the least skilled in the group, the girl tries to overcompensate by being really tough, and the nerd ends up being the one that saves the day. However, you seem very good at avoiding cookie-cutter characters (again, Graves is definitely an example), and from what you've set up so far, it looks like these guys have the potential to grow into something beyond a basic starter pack!
So yeah, TL:DR version: I'm definitely looking forward to this! :pinkiehappy:

3988164 You have raised many valid points, good sir, and I reply to your concerns with this:

“She’s on lone to the Ivory Tower,”

Lone or loan?

I really like General Ironside!:pinkiehappy:

Ten bits says the badge isn't even on him and the goal was to notice it right their in the classroom while he suspected in their overly emotional state they wouldn't notice it and go after him.

Well, if Graves allows them to live, and they will live if they truely mean to want to be the best they can be, not the best they think they want to be, then theyll make a reasonable squad for him.

Personally? Id be no good. Dont have the high speed stamina, or the mental ability to be a soldier. when told to do something I switch to dumb as a rock, and am little better than trench fodder.

Or, having Earth capabilities, Id wait until your unicorn mages have the forcefield up, then ground heave you into paste against it. Fortresses are fun. takes a while, but eventually either fall into the pit trap, or get flooded by magma.

Oh, Ground type, Lightning rod ability. I use it for powering up plasma based weaponry.

Nothing at all that Graves would have trouble with in an way. Just anyone who aint competant at their job.

Second on that Graves badge is sat there in the tree etc if he is being really nasty, or on him if he wants them to learn futility.

Yet again you fail to disappoint, good sir.

In regards to the recruits, they'll be lucky to be alive after this, and definitely wish for death. In the end, everyone will learn a valuable life lesson from Graves.

Avoid pain.

“my name is Foxfire, and I’m the best marksman that the Academy. I don’t miss; never have, never will, sir!”
"I'm the best marksman that the Academy."
"...that the Academy."
Me thinks I have seen an error. Also, can't wait to see more!

“Sir,” the big one began, calling out in a deep, thunderous voice at a nod from his drill instructor, “my name is Boulder, sir!


Poor kids have no idea what it is they're getting into...:rainbowlaugh:

They were on a training field, not in a classroom.
Still, there's the chance that he just left it with Ironside…

…Or if he was particularly cruel, Pinkie Pie.

The bronze-haired cadet openly gaped, then looked to his compatriots for answers.

Should be "her", unless Spellbound also has bronze hair.

3989743 YES! I didn't notice it at first, but now I love you for that :rainbowkiss:

And now, I dedicate this song to those four kids

There are not enough words to say how much I enjoy this series. Once more, you have made me laugh my head off. :rainbowlaugh:
Well played, good author.
I feel for these recruits...

Ah, I've been looking forward to another multipart story. Though I am a bit apprehensive since it will revolve entirely around OCs.

“Well then, what are we waiting for?” Come laughed aloud with the fierce grin of a war god upon his face.

Sir J, we've got a missing T here sir!

Oh my, this is gonna get nasty, painful, and over the top in terms of what these noobs will have to put up with!


You know, I can see that. It would be unwise to have the prize on ones person, especially if it is something as important as that. Makes you wonder if they will figure it out in time if that is the case.

Oh happy days are here again.:pinkiehappy:

Can't wait to see what happens next! Five bits say that Graves is gonna make the team fight amongst themselves.

Is it just me or is the new team one man short? I swear that the first stories stressed that Marshals operated in five-man teams, and Grave's old team was a six-marshal team because it was full of badasses. If it turns out that General Ironside wanted Graves to command these misfits I just want it on record that I called it first!

3993093 Yes, marshal teams are (almost) always five-man teams. Traditionally, cadets of a graduating class are grouped up together if possible due to camaraderie built up during their training and positioned under more senior marshals whose original teams have broken up to due (1.) retirement or (2.) ... natural... attrition... yeah. However, just like the drill sergeant you train under doesn't necessarily become your commanding officer, the fact that Graves is testing them doesn't necessarily mean he's going to be their superior. Necessarily.

Also, Graves was part of a standard five-man team as well, albeit one formed not through the traditional graduating system, but specific recruitment of five unique individuals. Graves was the fifth on Team 26.

Doubt any of this technical jargon will make it into the story proper, so I thought I'd espouse a bit here. Enjoy! :twilightsmile:

The four cadets kinda remind me of the first four vault hunters from Borderlands, this is gonna be a great/hilarious arc

Except Lilith/Foxfire is the sniper, and Mordecai/Spellbound is the "Siren"/mage.
Not sure if Comet can construct a Sabre turret. although that would be great.

"My name is Foxfire, sir!"

Ahri? Is that you?

“You are he top one percent of your graduating class, a distinction that grants you right to enroll in any branch of the Equestrian armed forces you

Missed the t :twilightsmile:

"in a proper magical duel, Shining Armor would squash him like a soft biscuit, but throw them out into the woods and just see who comes back? I wouldn't bet lunch money on the Captain and expect I’d get it back.” -Soarin speaking on Graves.

They are going to get cheesed. (Like creamed, but it goes on for a bit longer).

As a team building exercise he should take them all for a swim in the Lazarus Pit. Healthy exercise and agonising torture are good for the soul.

3994797 True i was thinking the same thing concerning Foxfire and Spellbound and even though i forgot to mention it (and yes i know he's from the second group) Comet relates more to Axton than Roland

Oh, that was fun. And still tagged incomplete, ought to be even more fun next chapter.

Personally, I love the juxtaposition of the temperaments going on in Graves, and how he begrudgingly goes along with orders as any soldier should, while at the same time managing to always entertain. Contrasted with the last story, he really is one of the roundest and most well developed characters in any of the stories i've read on the site.

General Ironside is becoming my favorite OC on this site.

So Graves is now an instructor? Does the General know that this was a part of Graves' dream? It does seem that more pieces are falling onto place.

I forgot to fave this earlier. Fixed.

This is going to be priceless.

Graves appears to have a Batman-like approach to his duties and I think he wants to get these cadets thinking in that way. Marshals, by definition, have to think on their feet and be creative. They had to suspect everyone and everything as being a potential threat, even their own fellow Marshals. It's about as different a mindset to the regular EAF as you can imagine and Graves clearly intends to get these kids thinking along those lines sooner rather than later. They'll be more likely to stay alive that way.

Whether or not Ironside knows, I think we can all agree that Discord knows... probably always knew. For good or for ill, things do appear to be following his design at this time.

OT Thought:
Given that there is clearly a Sniper and a Heavy in this group, a part of me would like to see Graves get his own special duties unit with the other eight all being based on the Team Fortress 2 classes (with Graves himself being a somewhat-saner version of Soldier, of course).

Two down, two to go, and Graves proves he is still the badass legend we all know and love, and exactly why criminals and enemies of Equestria should flee before he comes for them.

Damn... still no AJxHemmingmane... there's time, there's still time.

Login or register to comment