• Member Since 4th May, 2013
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On the Sliding Scale Of Cynicism Vs. Idealism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon, Ko-Fi.)


Crossing Guard works in Equestria's Immigration Department: among other things, he serves as the final check on whether a non-pony can take up residence in Canterlot. It's not a simple job, especially given the follow-ups when a new resident or citizen-in-waiting inevitably gets into trouble. But Gerald Gristle is an exceptionally calm applicant, Crossing's tired from a long day, and so he allows the griffon to begin the five-year process, with the announced food supply business set to open two weeks in.

Which is when Crossing finds out just what kind of food the griffon is supplying.

After all, carnivores and omnivores have to eat too...

(Part of the Triptych Continuum, which has its own TVTropes page and FIMFiction group -- but can be read as a stand-alone, and no knowledge of the other stories is required. New members and trope edits are welcome.)

Now with author Patreon and Ko-Fi pages.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 147 )

Damn it, Estee, I need to sleep and you drop this at 11:30 pm AND clocking in at 22K! :ajbemused:

You know I'm an addict and you're my dealer. Just evil, man. Just evil. :twilightangry2:

That feel is known.

I second that!

(Read later)

that..... was not bad. definitely funny in its own right. and luna has always striked me as the kind of pony to use blackmail.

Another interesting story, and one that definitely has it's own feel of how the world works.
Especially the pro-Crown press.
The solution that Princess Luna used is another good indicator of her personality. Celestia is a scalpel, Luna is a sledgehammer. Both work-for their particular tasks.

I truly loved the way you resolved the plot. It was wonderfully creative, and for readers familiar with your other works, it is like ambrosia.

:yay::yay::yay::yay::yay::yay: out of :yay::yay::yay::yay::yay:

I would absolutly love it if you did more with Crossing Guard and ID.

Also will we ever see who/what Murdocks is? or will it be one of those things that Must Not Be Revealed?

In a momment of Perfect Comidic Timing the full implication of Gerald's last business venture hit me at the same momment as Luna's permission to laugh. :rainbowlaugh:

I loved the thing about Griffin orphans, and just everything about Griffins in general. :pinkiesmile:


Brilliant. Thank you.
Death to mushrooms. I lost it.

4831726 Ah ah ah! It's not blackmail ...

It's photography.


Huh. Good work, Estee. You’ve done it yet again.

That...was simply amazing. This is exactly the kind of story I love to see written about the Princesses and those who serve them.

The only thing I wish was that more people wrote about Twilight working in politics and bureaucracy...

Oh my word, I'm SO glad I saw this. Outstanding work. It's now way past my bedtime, but I couldn't stop!

Om nom nom!

This was one delicious story. :pinkiehappy:

Nice little story Estee.
Perhaps a bit slow at places, but a good read none the less.
And the resolution was quite satisfying =P

Oh, and

"I can usually made it out,(...)"

Nicely done, as per usual!

That was juicy and rich in flavor, and the texture was tender and smooth throughout. Compliments to the chef.

I must confess I'm not sure why the anti-Princess press and CUNET representatives didn't outright refuse to eat at the end, and then make a huge story about how every last one of their worst insinuations has just been proven 100% correct :applejackunsure: I guess they are just cowards in the end.

ETA: Or eat, let the picture go public, and then write a totally-very-nearly 100% true story about how the tyrannical meat-eating princess coerced her critics to eat meat against all their instincts and morals in a grotesque abuse of royal power in order to blackmail them into silence.

Typo near the very end:

"The Lunar Ktichen truly did outdo itself this time... Crossing?"

Soy! You evil genius.

I have similar feelings to Crossing in that regard...

Congratulations. (And for the moment, it remains outside the feature box. Although, with a story of this quality I don't know how long that will last.) I look forward to Crossing's next adventure.

If you turn off the mature setting, it has been in the feature box for at least a couple of hours now... :twilightsmile:

Why do I feel like this iteration of Crossing Guard has the worse job?

Probably lack of support infrastructure, more than anything else.

4833500 Ooops...

I guess that goes to show how accurate our collective predictions were. (Then again, Estee did add on the "Luna" tag. It might have been less likely if that had been "forgotten.")

Blog post for those wondering.


*sigh* I spent most of Sunday working on this because I'd said I would try to get it up on that evening. At least for my own time zone, I missed that deadline. But I still wanted to get it in before midnight, so I kept going...

To all who found typos: thankee, and I've spent quite a bit of time this morning fixing things which made perfect sense after typing for ten hours. If anyone's saved a copy, I recommend getting a fresh one.


One line I wasn't able to get into the story (no seeming natural place) was that the most terrifying line in Celestia's diplomatic arsenal has become "Let me go see what my sister thinks." The older has that inner pragmatist: the younger as well -- but guess which one is more willing to let the words take form.

Luna can be subtle -- but there are times when she's very much the lashing tail and stomping hooves backing up the sunnier of the smiles. And she has somewhat less objection to signing her work.


So here we have Crossing as he exists in the local mainline, somewhat less stressed and a little happier with life...

In a momment of Perfect Comidic Timing the full implication of Gerald's last business venture hit me at the same momment as Luna's permission to laugh.

I'll take that happy accident any day.

Griffons in general... this is the first local look behind the curtain of the Republic (which finally had the actual name get into a story). I wanted to expand on a line from A Mark Of Appeal which noted that any griffon in a completely new situation/location would become some variety of jerk: this ran with it.

One possibly-intriguing long-term implication for the 'verse: Protocera has a significant percentage of citizens from the other species who consider themselves to be griffons. There are ponies out there who don't think like Equestrians at all, and that's just the tip for that iceberg...


Cowardice is a major part of it. They're trapped in a room with one of the two most powerful ponies, one who just might be insane, who's been a subject of legends which induce fear in multiple generations... The unspoken plan was pretty much to do what she said, get out, throw up, and then get everything going.

As for counterclaims to the general public... two important bits here. The first is that a certain breed of fanatic is always looking to turn on anyone who fails to meet standards -- starting with their own. Damage would be done, especially for ponies who've almost been trained to believe the cruelest of accusations.

And the Loyal Opposition is the minority, and not a very large one. You can rally your own, but to convince the population beyond all doubt, you need proof. The LO generally gets distortions, wild conjecture, and fill-in-the-blanks. Their favorite tactics were turned against them. (There's some embarrassment and humiliation there on top of everything else. Thanks for the lesson, indeed.) All things being equal with word-against-word, most ponies will believe the palace, and Luna can deny certain aspects with the best of them.


Why do I feel like this iteration of Crossing Guard has the worse job?

*snicker* But his world is arguably less likely to come crashing down at any given moment. And with Equestria, that's really saying something.

I did try to keep things consistent (after factoring the elements of the CDA out), including the fact that Luna likes and worries about him. He's a fairly decent pony in a hard occupation who has to keep dealing with things most of the population barely understands.


Wordia Spinner, the current lead Solar reporter for the Murdocks Press Corps, smiled from behind the glass, showed off teeth which only the cruelty of nature had kept from appropriate points, and waved her right foreleg at them.

My ability to enjoy your work is significantly degraded by this strawman you seem to employ in every one of your recent stories. Do journalists offend you that highly?


Journalists who report on stories with full accuracy and neutrality, wishing only to spread the truth of the real, will never offend me.

Worldwide, I think we still have about five. And that number may be dropping.

Wordia... I think this is her third sighted appearance overall and the second as a named character. She can be presumed to be at most Solar press conferences, but isn't always heard from. As for Raque... I did promise to show how bad things were in the other direction, so the opposite side of the distortion spectrum finally showed up.

If it's any help, the next one-shot is just Pinkie and AJ. No press anywhere.

I think you're paying too much attention to the kind of media you shouldn't pay any attention to. Limit your intake; you'll be happier.

4833349 That would be in line with a certain historical tyrant that killed some of his enemies and fed them to his other enemies...

But in the long run he won when he became Alucard and was beloved by emo vamp kids everywhere.


the herd is afraid, don't think about why, don't think about reaching the source, don't think at all, just turn with them and run because the herd knows best and you are nothing more than the smallest part of it...

You know, I have always puzzled at why ponies are ridiculed in this 'herd instinct' way.

Humans in panicked crowds act in exactly the same way.

Well, not ME, of course. But I am vastly more evolved! :trixieshiftright:

And so for that, they best us, and likely always will, for there are pony orphans who wait for homes all their lives, and for griffons -- a day.

Ah, now HERE we have TRUE propaganda!

This story that purports ponies to possess naught but primitive herding instincts when it paints them in a negative light, AND YET IGNORES the herding instinct to care for abandoned young present in many herd species.

I should note, alternatively, that predator species WITHOUT EXCEPTION tend to kill unrelated young. In many, males will even kill their own offspring.

Clearly this pro-griffon story is being proferred by the misinformation office of the Griffon 'Republic' (which we all know is really an evil dictatorship of pony-eating monsters who worship the Devil and George W. Bush!)


This prank by Luna could backfire horribly, as some have already suggested.

They could claim VERY EASILY that Luna first used her power to compell them to eat meat (befitting the rumor that Luna is still NMM at heart), only to play a very cruel joke upon them.

Dear lord, that would play so hard into the anti-griffon propaganda machine!

Luna's not nearly so clever as she believes. This is the sort of thing that only works in a cartoon, but in the real world almost always ends up horribly counter-productive.

Heyo Estee!

I haven't read this yet, but I will, and will likely enjoy it... but I wanted to start off with a chuckling nod for the Upton Sinclair reference. I work in the biotech industry, and The Jungle was, in part, what fueled the origin of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is something I share with new hires as a part of letting them know why the regulations are important.

On to reading!

Light and laughter,

I'm now actually curious as to how the culture shock would work when a pony that grew up in Griffin territory arrives in Equestria for any long period of time. There's a story in there that would be very interesting to see.

Magnificently done. I can't decide whether "Abattoiria" is too much or completely perfect. Every griffon having the initials G. G. feels a bit silly, though. Aside from that, magnificent work on their culture.

As for the media... wow. You weren't kidding about the other side being even worse. Ties back into the issue of faith. To question the Princesses would be a blasphemy, except when they tell you to do so, because that's obviously a test of faith.

Getting to see Crossing Guard in a positive light was also a nice change. The CDA stories make him seem like a rather flat adversary at times. Being reminded that he's an equine being with a wife and family, open-minded towards those who are supposed to be in this dimension... yeah, that worked very well.

The herd instinct was very well done. It's important to remember that underneath the veneer of civilization, these aren't apes, but horses. They're going to react differently.

Your take on Luna continues to be awesome in all respects. Both sisters have a bit of mischief in them. I wonder what Discord would think of that press conference.

Fantastic work as always. Thank you for it. :twilightsmile:

Estee never fails to provide laughter and worldbuilding in great quantity and quality.

Fantastic story, although Fluttershy seemed a tad out of character for canon - is she more assertive in these stories?

I loved the bit about Griffon orphans, some nice world-builidng there and much less "savage barbarian" than most explorations of Griffon culture. :raritystarry:

"Should you hear any stories coming from Ponyville concerning backsides I may or may not have gobbled, you are to ignore those as well."

"Of course, Princess."

HAHAHA loved it. :rainbowlaugh:

Hmm, immediately starting off with an Upton Sinclair reference for the chapter title. Setting the bar high, and making sure I will not be reading this on a full stomach.:twilightsmile:

This was a heavy read, but I quite enjoyed it.

It's called comedy, but every indication is that this is seriously dark.


Also will we ever see who/what Murdocks is? or will it be one of those things that Must Not Be Revealed?

Either a ponified ersatz of a certain prominent part of News Corp. or an outright ponification of News Corp. in its entirety. (Normally I’d say that Murdocks is merely a ponified caricature of News Corp., but that would imply that this effigy is in some way exaggerated or inaccurate.)

Murdocks → Murdochs → Rupert Murdoch and his ill‐begotten children → News Corp.

Luna slowly nodded. "Even the children of enemies. We have had our wars with Protocera." The formal name of the Griffon Republic. "More than a few. Some during Equestria's formative years, others during my -- abeyance. And there was always a single constant. During those wars, the griffons would attack to kill us. Unsurprising: that feeling hardly went one way. But never a child. Should pony parents be lost to battle, an entire settled zone wiped out, the foals would be untouched. For you see, in killing us during what was then seen as justified battle, they had taken away our chance to fulfill the responsibility. So someone would have to take over. And the griffons would gently hold the children between their paws -- and fly them to their new home."

So... a warcrime then?
Cultural genocide is what that is, killing the parents and stealing the children to raise in another culture, yeah reminds me of something...
Oh yeah Tibet and Australia etc many others throughout history.

"That is the central reason for the pony population in Protocera," she softly said. "The children of the fallen were raised as griffons, at least as much as they could be, given differences of biology. They grew up, generally married other ponies who had been sheltered, had foals of their own... and the cycle continued. For every species the griffons have ever warred with, there are members of that race in their nation, recognized and treated as full citizens, sometimes griffons in virtually all but body. Even during the harshest of times with the griffons, Crossing Guard, I tried to remember... that even if somehow, all was lost, but Sun and Moon remained... the children would be all right. It kept us from hating them too much."

So most definitely genocide then, kidnapped children and Luna talkining like it is good that they were orphaned by murder and then had a alien cultural forced on them by their parents murderers... Really really insane way of thinking there Luna and then to say that makes the somehow makes the Griffons better? Even more mad.
This is hardly a kindness even if "recognized and treated as full citizens" pfff or not and it certainly doesn't make the Griffons the Ponies betters in anyway Author, Luna just sounds crazy here. Parents are still murdered and whole settlements still wiped out.
The are more examples, berber pirates, janissaries and so on.
The exact same thing the Griffons did that supposedly makes them superior to the Ponies but nah it doesn't, it's just cultural genocide.

Decent enough story though I suppose.

I would say well done, but if taken as metaphor that would imply you've killed the wonderful steak that was this story. So, with that in mind, medium rare.

That's actually Flitter, who in this 'verse is intentionally a jerk (the theory being improving others' lives through unpleasant truth and irritating them into breaking out of the ruts they get stuck in). Her character (and the kitten) are shown in Five Hundred Little Murders and The Hypocrisy Of Tolerance, both of which are very good, and which I strongly recommend reading on their own merits.

Very well done


Just have to wade in here.

Cultural genocide is what that is, killing the parents and stealing the children to raise in another culture, yeah reminds me of something...

Oh yeah Tibet and Australia etc many others throughout history.

In Australia, the whole 'taking children' thing was the government taking away half-castes (that's the child of an aboriginal and a european) and placing them into homes. Now, this is called the 'stolen generation' and is used to collect 'apology money' (Which comes out of my taxes. hence my slight disagreement of it).

What a lot of people forget is that half-caste children were often treated like crap by 'full-bloods', in some cases murder and multilation. The reason the government stepped in was to take these children away and out of danger. However, a 'government that was trying to stop all of these kids dying' doesn't really work for generating free cash, so instead it became 'whiteman coming to kill our culture'.

Before I start into these replies, a little notation for those who haven't seen some of the other stories in the group and might be wondering why the palace kitchen has a meat station to begin with: it's so visiting non-herbivores can be served proper meals. And as noted, in every generation, you'll find one pony who can work it on mark talent alone.

Sizzler's deepest magic may have felt a giant burst of joy in the aether, as if a million chops had cried out at once -- for proper seasoning.


Luna's not nearly so clever as she believes.

At times. She's also prone to take larger risks. Position and power help her get away with a lot and many of her plans truly do work out, but when it does go wrong...

There may not be consequences from this one. Or there just might be. We'll see. Or not.

Gosh, that was vague.


Note Luna's phrasing during that last part. She's basically talking about a near-apocalypse scenario: all adult ponies lost, but Sun and Moon (somehow) remain. In that vision, if the extermination had come from a war against the griffons, at least the children would not only live, but be protected and thrive. It would be cultural genocide for the three main pony races -- but not a species one, and perhaps one day ponies could rise again. A final comforting thought before all locally went dark.

The existence of those thoughts may suggest at least one war was nearly lost, and in totality.

(I'm now imagining the response to pony demands for reparations after a war ended. "How dare you demand to break up our families!")

As for predator species behavior with newborns... griffons aren't lions taking over a new pride any more than ponies are horses driving competition from the herd. Which doesn't mean there aren't species on the continent who possess those views.

Probably not very nice species.

Griffon government... that may take a while, but 'Republic' and the dominance chain can be taken as general indicators.


Mob mentality and herd instincts share the problem that the moment when they're the least essential for survival can be those when they're most likely to be in charge. And either way, they tend to make those within very, very stupid.


Possibly, but I may not be the one to write it. I'd need to nail down a lot more about griffon culture first.


The G.G. bit is common, but not universal: note Professor Skywise attending the eclipse. (One of those whose first-week excuse would hit the eighth day and beyond without ever running out.) Those initials may be the Republic equivalent of 'Smith' in the States.

The pro-palace papers... oh yeah. At least when someone's determined to disagree with you on everything, they might accidentally stumble onto a point or something you've truly done wrong...


It's called comedy, but every indication is that this is seriously dark.

Hi. I'm not sure we've met. I murder pianos.


The Murdocks Press Corps is a frequent element of the Continuum stories: they're the press voice for the Loyal Opposition in Equestria. Any resemblance to such an organization existing in local reality probably cannot be proven in a court of law and would be protected under parody statutes anyway.

What I'm guessing Worldsmith may be talking about is that Murdocks himself is never seen. Some are unsure as to whether he's even a pony. Celestia has that fact, but has never met him face to face or viewed a modern picture.

4835717 .

In part, it's a story about what passes for Equestria's meat industry. The chapter title seemed to fit.

This is excellent, I do like to see stories about political wheeling and dealing!

This story was fantastic! Like everyone else, I love the griffons, and I'd love to see a pony citizen one day. You also explain Gilda really well. I love how Luna's willing to sink to the same level of lies and blackmail as the Murdocks press Corp, it's nice that the princesses don't always have the moral high ground on the loyal opposition. I really love Raque Marshdew. I hope we see a lot more of her. You know she has a bunch of fancy China with alicorns on them at home. I bet she interviews Prince Blueblood a lot.


Mob mentality and herd instincts share the problem that the moment when they're the least essential for survival can be those when they're most likely to be in charge. And either way, they tend to make those within very, very stupid.

That rather feeds into a follow-up I've had. The notion Luna purports that the griffons will NEVER harm a child... that stinks of severe and deliberate misinformation and exaggeration.

I think we both know enough of REAL warfare to regard that claim as utter tripe.

Especially taking into considering we're dealing with griffons who still hold in their minds the notion that ponies are in some ways equivalent to prey. In the heat of battle, in the bloodlust of slaughter, I am more than certain many foals met their ends at a griffon's talons.

The griffons are no more 'perfect' than the ponies, which we see given their own reactions to one of their own who sets up a vegetable store... and who himself is extremely short-sighted and lacking in simple common sense.

Luna more or less nauseated me with the type of political mythology I expect of the lowly vermin who stalk the halls of our nation's capital.

Abraham Lincoln long ago stated his profound hope that man might rise to the 'better angels of our nature', but 150 years has more than demonstrated that the devils still remain and can become very strong indeed when fostered in the proper environment.

So it is with all who would engage willingly in bloodshed, and more often the case with those who seek occaision for war with their neighbor for the sake of conquest.

Canterlot Unicorns Negating Traditional Swears

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