• Published 1st Apr 2014
  • 15,110 Views, 1,427 Comments

Puppets of Tragedy - Iridescence T Wind

We all know the story, human from earth goes to Equestria from buying a mystical prop from a mysterious unnamed salesman to attend Comicon. But what you didn't expect was the prop to be a puppeteers crafting kit.

  • ...

PreviousChapters Next
Tea Party

In the morning I found myself with a brief salad probably as a small act of vengeance on Celestias part for breakfast. While it didn't fill me up, it was still quite fresh. What was more amusing was who I was sharing a morning salad with. Apparently during the early hours of the morning, Shining Armor had decided that the best course of action had been to attempt to confiscate my stuff while I had been asleep, but failed utterly since my entire bed and me, alongside the rest of my stuff had lasted throughout the night inside the enlarged card. So while the wooden side of the two doors was now left open he had now decided to simply bring his office to me so that he could stop me from pulling anymore stunts on his watch. The fact that the number of guards around my cell had tripled as well was hilarious to me. Despite the magical barrier around me, I couldn't help but ask, "Why bother with these measures? If I had wanted to escape, I would have done so already."

Shining Armor gave me a look that was normally reserved for either something incredibly bitter or disliked as he lowered his paperwork, "I can't let you just wander the castle freely. Apparently all of our top grade soldiers couldn't stop you last night. So I am here to make sure you don't do that again."

I shrugged as I stuffed another mouthful of salad into my mouth, given our first fight on the train the logic had been there, but a lot of things had changed since then, "If that's your top grade, I fear what it looks like to be to just be a regular guard."

Shining gave me a not amused expression as I finished breakfast and he returned to work. It wasn't till noon bell that something exciting happened. A guard came, carrying a letter. Sadly it wasn't handed to me, but to Shining Armor instead given the magic barrier and all. But the look on his face told me all I needed to know in regards to what to expect. Still I asked anyway, if only to tease the easily irate stallion, "So, got a love letter there or are you going to share with the class?"

Shining for his part snorted, looking less than bemused, "No. It seems the princesses are inviting you to Tea if you agree to behave."

"Behave under which ruleset?" I asked jovially, "Cause if I have to deal with a dozen different forks and spoons I'm going to throw most of them into a rolled up napkin and ignore them."

That actually earned a snort of genuine amusement much to my surprise. Shining Armor did recover quickly and replied with his usual stern expression, "That only really happens with formal dinners with nobility and national representatives. No, you're likely only wanted for tea and pastries. I would request you to disarm yourself if you wish to go."

"I will take your suggestion into consideration. Then remember they have literally the sun and moon at their beck and call and promptly ignore it" I stated, "Had I malicious intent, the kingdom would be in a panic given last night."

Shining made to argue and I held a hand up, "But." I conceded, "As an act of good faith I will leave the offense of my arsenal here."

I disposed of my deck of cards into the room. All fifty two of them with the various items I kept within them floating about. A few of them held the crafting box and the few tools I had made during my brief escapade to another universe. The rest held puppets, blank faced and life sized save Grievous who was merely in the state of impatient waiting with his arms crossed and foot tapping on the non existent floor of his cards interior. These puppets would keep watch over my belongings while also giving the facade that I could only call on so many of them like a finite resource. A small amount of ongoing misinformation to join whatever else they had gathered. All in all, however, twenty eight cards contained puppets, including Grevious, while the rest were either empty, or holding the various bits of personal effects that I had managed to secure thanks to Yoko.

While I could likely control hundreds of puppets now, I'd present far less of a threat to the princesses if they had the idea of restriction in some form or shape. To aid this I had left the same number of cards empty corresponding to the number of puppets that had fled to the country side. Of those in reality, six had reunited and was a quarter of the way to the siren city, while another two were taking a more direct route through the Everfree forest to the mountain base home. While another group of four traversed the longer countryside in order to assure if something happened to the forest duo, id still have a backup plan. As for the rest of the dolls, I had dispelled back from where ever they came from once I had made a decent distance away from Canterlot.

The response to commands was slowly getting more sluggish as distance provided a delay. As well as the drain for maintaining them growing more costly as the distance grew, though given so few of the puppets I would find the burden easy in comparison to when I had first arrived in Equestria. Like Lifting a pencil in terms of effort. If I had compared that to when Discord had first brought me here, I'd probably be bed ridden from trying to maintain such a far away puppet, let alone several. Turning back to Shining Armor I could tell he had noted that I said only the offense. The implications about defense making itself self evident as he gave me an uneasy look. However, the barrier did drop after a short few tense seconds. And a few more after he unlocked the metal door and swung it open as I stepped out, "Lead the way Captain."

Shining ignored my response as he nodded to his fellow guards who nodded back. I had the odd escort of four guards moved to surround me like that of a tight knit square as we left. Shining Armor trailing close behind. While we walked from the central dungeon turned office I asked, "So are those armor solid gold or just plated?

"Plated?" I had hoped he meant that as a statement but from the tone of voice I was already gasping in shock.

"Why would you torture your men with such a weight?!" I asked, horror evident in my voice.

"It makes us stronger, Like working out but on duty." Shining Replied like it was a no brainer, " The weight also helps with intercepting criminals."

I countered, "At the cost of weighing you down a large amount, reducing the ability to move in a timely fashion and being far worse in terms of protection."

Shining Armor elaborated, "Other materials age too quickly and aren't as abundant as gold. Miners need to dig extraordinarily deep in order to extract ores like Iron and mithril, let alone rarer metals like cobalt and adamantine. One suit costs fortune. Let alone that they have to be tailor fitted to an individual wearer. The nation of Griffonia and the Diamond Dog Corporation have the primary keystones on mining deeper metals, but the former have been extremely controlling on where it goes and what quality leaves their empire, while the secondary is... For the lack of better words, difficult to negotiate with at the best of times."

"I sense hostilities, all the more reason to arm up for a defense, but not so much to go overboard. Is that the reason why your spears are god awful pig iron?" I queried, and Shining armor gave me a snort in return, neither confirming or denying but damning himself by lack of an answer. The remaining walk was rather brief, as tea was apparently being held within one of the castles many private courtyards. A flowery sort of area full of different types of floral expression. A bright backdrop of Peonies, Begonias, Yellow Carnations, and Rhododendrons framing the central gazebo, a white construction with flower decorated cushions and a round table designed after a yellow rose. I may of not been a flower expert, but so many passive aggressive flowers in a single spot spoke volumes with how annoyed Celestia was with me, as said diarch awaited me on one of said cushions, subtly placed a little higher than the rest by a mat beneath it. The fact that the princess of the sun wore what looked to be a mix of a sundress with hat and a proper ballroom dress made me feel awkward in my organization thirteen coat. The fact we were polar opposite in color, probably another jab at the lack of subtly of the events yesterday. The icy look of complete calm on her face as she sipped from a tea pot reminding me of a disapproving mother having caught her foals hooves in the cookie jar.

The darkness fell over my face as it hid my immediate distaste for the situation I was walking into, but a promise to Luna was a promise. Sadly the later of the two monarchs wasn't here, but I imagined what was spoken of in this conversation would reach Lunas ears anyway. As the guards separated from formation, allowing themselves into surrounding the gazebo but politely facing away from the meeting as they were trained to do. Shining armor stood right behind my shoulder, as Celestia nodded to us, the later giving a military salute to their princess and leaving as I moved to sit down opposite of her. Feeling sort of childish as the cushion barely sunk beneath my own mass, leaving me having to wiggle up like a child into the seats proper center. Once such situated did Celestia spoke, the level of calm in her voice only a twinge angry. For what it was worth, that had a shocking amount of weight behind it, "Good Morning Puppeteer. I hope you found your night more restful than mine."

Now the polite thing would of been to agree, but without thinking I responded, "Eh... Always been more of an insomniac, good nights sleep are rare."

Given my immediate response, I paused as the conversation trailed off, for a moment, me with my hands awkwardly in my lap not making a move for anything on the table, while Celestia continued to sip her tea. The later gave a few tense minutes of silence before speaking up again, "Not even a full two nights out of the infirmary and already busting out of prison?" She asked, her voice almost ice.

"To be fair, I was worried about my friends..." At that her eyebrow perked up, the icy look abating somewhat, so I continued, "And the security situation caught me as horrendous, to a massive degree-" The look returned, and my train of thought derailed itself, "Anddddd I was so shocked by it that I wanted to bring it to your attention with the same amount of shock that it gave meeeeee...." I trailed off as the icy look continued. I swear if this woman wasn't the princess of the sun she'd be perfect as the princess of ice burgs instead.

After a few tense moments of consideration, Celestia slowly took another sip of tea as her look wandered off of me, and towards her drink, before remarking, "There were other ways to get my attention, you know."

In the interest of extending the olive branch, while simultaneously benefiting myself, my mind went to work. I gave a moments pause as the increased processing power I was gathering over time to manipulate puppets was working itself up with a plan that had been on the backburner since Lunas first dream visit, "The action was to make sure you were unable to ignore it as a fact of the current time. I barely had to do anything in order to bypass your security, and about half way past sneaking through the entire castle unnoticed, I decided that it was horrendous how bad Equestrias elite of the elite was in terms of actually protecting their princesses. You and your sisters safety being at risk as a result, alongside the rest of the staff that work here."

Celestia leaned into the line of thought, a momentary look of curiosity intermingled with her Icyness, "And pray tell, what compelled this type of reasoning from Discords Advocate?"

"The idea of a deal." I responded in turn, "In exchange for what amounts to peace between yours and mine, I'd like to request a trade with a few terms so that we both can benefit."

Celestia gave pause as she considered the option, I could see the smartness in her eyes, as she processed and weighs the pros and risks, before she asked, "What terms do you request?"

"In exchange for the service of training and equipping a select portion of guards to actually be up to a standard that both of us can be satisfied with, as well as testing your security measures and getting them more devious sorts... I will also provide my services as a 'reformed villain', and provide you with a bit of information you may find vital for the near future."

As I gave pause for breathe Celestia quirked an eyebrow, "Pray tell what information would you know, that I wouldn't?"

"It would rather be said in private, but if you wish to know, one of the topics is Sombra." I said, as I saw the mask of perfect serenity mixed with ice cold stare, crack to surprise I resisted the urge to grin, keeping neutrality, "It is a matter that requires utter privacy between you and me, however to discuss." In the interest of the people rather than the show, I had to keep the matter close knit, because if Chrysalis already had her fangs in Shining Armor, or if any of the guards happened to be changelings, the Canterlot Wedding invasion might be called off, or delayed or rushed.

"We will discuss that as soon as the deal is arranged within the Black Room." Celestia said as she nodded abruptly, "I'm not even going to ask how you know that name, to call upon it with such certainty. What do you want in exchange for these services?"

"Mine and my friends official pardon from the crown, not difficult given the fact that I've dealt with not just Sharp Opera, but the King of Windiegos and that world eating via candy woman. As well as the Basilisk beneath your old castle. However there is more." I paused for another breath, calm working its way and Celestias scrutiny slowly chipping said calm away, "I would like to request three more things, and offer another to sweeten the deal."

"Name them." Celestias look of icyness was fading fast, to her serene calm, as she refilled her cup of tea, tipping in two to three more sugar cubes with the refill. I lost count as I was more concentrated on her face, and I didn't have my usual network of puppets around me to keep track of peripheral stuff.

"I'd like to visit Discords Statue, ask you to consider his reformation, and host a Table Top game, biweekly between you, Shining Armor, Prince Blueblood, and Luna during the evenings of your least busy day."

Celestia slightly nodded towards the first two as she heard them but paused when she heard the last one, "Pray tell, why?"

"Isn't tabletop gaming a way to make friends?" I asked, with a grin showing beneath my hood, "If I heard correctly, your captain of the guard used to be a big fan of Ogres and Oubliettes." I had wanted to run a session of dungeons and dragons at some point in this universe, but discovered in this universe the name sake cousin was just as fun. I had only vaguely recalled the comics, which had placed Shining Armor back in college enjoying the game, as my attention span had been on other things back in my own universe.

The main reason for the change as far as I could tell however, was because the pony universe already had dragons, but not ogres apparently, and doing the metallic vs chromatic in this universe would of probably insulted the actual dragons. Sadly while Yoko was on board for joining a game of it, no one else really had the time in their schedules at the base to do so. Trixie was constantly practicing magic, Cassette had a vigorous workout sessions to get used to her new limbs, so while she did enjoy it, her normal free times were when I was either dead asleep till the later portions of the morning, or way too late to maintain everyone else normal sleeping schedules. Yokos crew was jaded to war, and while willing to fight, they weren't so eager to sit down to pretend-fight. Amber and the Griffons had preferred their drink, and the Sirens while willing would of undoubtedly all made bards and tried to seduce my every npc to get at me considering they still didn't leave my door alone at night.

As Celestia considered her options my train of thought ended as she asked, "And what would you give in exchange for these three choices?"

"Quite simple," I responded in turn, "I will provide the same service I provided Star Swirl the Bearded." I gave pause as Celestias eyes widened to a pleasurable degree, "I will return Luna's guard back from the stone statues they became."

The icy facade broke, as Celestia agreed, "Let us talk the finer details of the arrangement."

I smiled to myself, these was going to be a fun few weeks, I just hoped nothing went terribly estranged from the original plot of the show from my actions. Or if they did, it would go so much better than normal.

PreviousChapters Next