• Published 17th Nov 2014
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Memoirs of a Royal Guard - Anzel



Silent Knight assumed his story would be complete once he achieved his dream of joining the Royal Guard. To his surprise, it was only just the beginning.

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23. A Fresh Start

“Miley Hooves?”

“Here, boss!”

“Harvest Moon?”

“Here!”

“Lightning Flash?”

“Here!”

“Lavender?”

“Here, Sergeant!”

“Risky Storm?”

“Here!”

“Starry Spur?”

“Here!”

“Good,” I said as I read through the names on the list of eight. Only one pony was missing… I pushed the thought away. “That is everypony. I want to introduce you all to Thunder Tumble, formerly of the archival guard. He showed true bravery during the battle of Canterlot and has been assigned to our unit.”

Thunder Tumble stood beside me and took a moment to wave. He looked uncomfortable. Archive guards were largely ceremonial. They were different from us, but I had a feeling he’d work out fine.

All told, my squad consisted of myself and eight ponies. That allowed for plenty of coverage for Princess Luna. Miley and Harvest would be working my old rotation while Thunder Tumble and Lightning Flash would work the other. I put the last two together because I thought it would be clever. The first two, well, Miley and Harvest were already partners, so it didn’t make sense to split them up.

The other four ponies covered other areas of Princess Luna’s wing and could fill in when the personal guards needed some time off. Every three months the roles would switch. It was an efficient system.

“I’m glad to see you all well again," I said. "I know it has been a rough two weeks. We’ve pulled through, however, and everything is mostly back to normal. All I ask is that you do your job just like you used to. If you need anything, you know where to find me. Since I’m new to this sergeant business, I hope you’ll forgive me if I look in on you more often than necessary for a little while. You’re dismissed.”

“Silent Knight, you know Radiant Orchid,” Shining Armor said to me before motioning to the unicorn mare. She had a delicate pink coat and a braided red mane that had just the subtlest hint of grey in it.

“Yes, sir. Sergeant, Princess Celestia’s House Guard, correct?”

Shining Armor and Radiant Orchid nodded in unison while she added, “Formerly.”

“Formerly?” I asked.

“Currently of Princess Luna’s House Guard Bravo Squad,” Shining Armor explained.

I offered Radiant Orchid a hoof. “Welcome aboard.” We shook before looking back to the captain.

“We’re going to build a new squad. Eight more ponies to grow the unit out to an undersized section. I’m going to leave the who in your capable hooves. I want you two to work together and hammer out a list of names. Ideally, this should be done before the new lieutenant arrives. I prefer that this House Guard retain its identity before bringing in an outside officer,” Shining Armor explained.

The two of us exchanged glances before I shrugged and said, “Yes, sir. We’ll have it done.”

Shining Armor nodded. “I know you will… Silent Knight, you’re in command until the lieutenant arrives. If you feel something would need my attention, then go see Lieutenant Day, Princess Celestia’s new House Guard commander. Now, if you two will excuse me, it is time for me to get going on a long overdue honeymoon.”

“Have a lovely trip, sir,” Radiant Orchid said with a smile.

I nodded in agreement and added, “Leave everything to us and don’t worry about work at all.”

“I’ll take that advice.” And with that he left the two of us alone.

Sergeant Orchid looked at me and asked, “So, how do you want to do this?”

With a shrug, I admitted, “There hasn’t been a huge list of ponies clamoring to join our House Guard. Most have been voluntold thus far. I guess we can make an announcement and see if there are any volunteers.”

“That seems reasonable. What if there aren’t or they aren’t suitable?”

“I guess we go start voluntelling ponies. I’m sure you have some in mind from Princess Celestia’s House Guard. Most of our current ponies came from the palace guard.”

The mare tilted her head. “You trust me to give you a list?”

“Why wouldn’t I? It is your squad.”

“You’re in command and it is your House Guard. Some ponies would take advantage of that.”

I shook my head. “Well, then those ponies aren’t team players and are short-sighted. The fact you’re here means you stand a better chance of convincing ponies from Princess Celestia’s House Guard to join. I can’t help but imagine that is exactly what the captain had in mind. Not to say you’re not a good sergeant in your own right as well.”

Radiant Orchid smiled at me and winked. “Well, aren’t you a clever pony.”

“I have my moments.”

Much to our surprise the 'Princess Luna Wants You' posters went over pretty well with the Canterlot Guard. We received a long list of ponies that wanted to join. Unfortunately, most of them were from the bottom percentile of guards but it was still an improvement over the last recruitment drive.

It took us about a day to compile a list of ponies we agreed were right for the position and then we added the ones we had in mind. Radiant Orchid and I stood by my desk looking at the files on each of them.

“Well… all they can do is say no. I think this is a good list, though,” I said.

She nodded in agreement. “If we can get Mountain Stone, I’ll be thrilled. He is as solid a pony as they come… both literally and figuratively. I’ll go ask him myself to help grease the wheels.”

“That would be appreciated. Well, that is eight: Mountain Stone, Night Frost, Solar Flare, Incognito, Mixer, Gear Grinder, Blackblade, and Shadestar. It is a good mix of veterans and rookies, as long as we can convince them.”

Radiant nodded. “I think we can. Shame, though, only one mare and two earth ponies. Not exactly diverse.”

“Yeah… I was surprised that we didn’t attract more mares. The amount of unicorns was interesting. More than average. We did our best, though. There is one more thing I’d like to discuss…” I trailed.

“Yes?”

I shifted. “Please don’t take this the wrong way but I don’t want to have all eight of these ponies on your squad. I thought I’d move over Lavender, Risky Storm, and one other pony so they can help educate everypony on how we do business, but they certainly won’t second guess you. I’d take three of the new ponies myself.”

She laughed and waved a hoof. “Is that all? That doesn’t bother me. Look, Silent Knight, I know how serious you are about this House Guard. During the changeling attack, we all saw you were professionals. That is one of the reason why I jumped at the position when Shining Armor offered it to me. I’m not trying to bring Princess Celestia’s House Guard to you. I promise. Who is the third pony?”

“Thanks, Orchid, I think we’ll get along just fine then.” I stopped and shifted a bit. I knew exactly who the third pony was going to be. “We’ll sort it out later. For now, I’m one short, so I’ll take on nine.”

“Fair enough. Well… we better get out there and start making offers. Want to take four each and meet back here tomorrow?”

“Agreed,” I said and we went off to do just that.

It had been a long week and I was finally going off duty. At least as off duty as an acting commander could go. Not that I could really complain at the time. Radiant Orchid had been a blessing. She was an experienced sergeant and the two of us had little issue splitting responsibilities. We made a good team.

Together, we had convinced eight new ponies to join Princess Luna’s House Guard: a House Guard veteran, some palace guards, and even one recruit right out of the academy. I’d added the recruit to my squad. They would all be starting next week. We’d have to get them up to our standards but I didn’t imagine that would be difficult.

I was sitting alone at in the Spearhead Tavern drinking a cider. With all of the work, I hadn’t had much time to think about my personal life… which was good. Unfortunately, by being off duty, I had the opportunity to reflect on it. Of course, cider helps make reflecting hard.

While I was alone with my thoughts, the door opened and a sage-colored pegasus stallion wandered in. He wasn’t in uniform and looked rather confused or uncomfortable when he found a bar full of royal guards staring at him. It wasn’t that regular ponies don’t come to the Spearhead, it was just rare.

The staring was followed by general dismissal and everypony went back to their conversations and drinking. The pegasus went over to the bar and ordered. He didn’t seem too out of the ordinary, wearing a pair of glasses and a braided mane with two tones of brown. I didn’t understand his cutie mark, however; it looked like a symbol from one of my math classes in secondary school.

He did seem a bit off, though. Like he wasn’t sure what to do or if he belonged.

I guess I was the only pony still staring because once he got his drink he looked at me and asked, “Is something wrong?”

I shook my head. “No, not at all. I just didn’t recognize that cutie mark.”

“Oh, and royal guards keep a list of every cutie mark? Some sort of profiling, no doubt?”

That made me chuckle and I just shook my head again. “No. I don’t have the memory for that sort of thing. I more meant I don’t understand the symbol.”

“Well, I’m a weatherpony and it is a weather symbol. Not like the usual rain cloud or snowflakes. It's a thunderstorm symbol because the weather I dabble in is very specialized. When Equestria needs some serious inclement weather they come to me,” he explained.

I scratched my head and asked, “Why would we need serious inclement weather?”

“Why do we need dark-clad royal guards that ask strangers questions?” he retorted.

My ears went up and I shrugged. “To protect Princess Luna. I meant no offense. I’m a pegasus but I don’t know anything about being a weatherpony. My father groomed me to be a royal guard from birth.”

The stallion seemed to have another witty comment but he bit it back. “My family too, actually. It didn’t stick though. I’m Rossby Waves.” He offered a hoof.

We shook and I replied, “Silent Knight. Warrior family, too, huh?”

Rossby nodded very seriously. “Completely. Mother, father, everypony… Not me. I liked the weather and I’m not so good at taking orders. Evidently, I have an aptitude for the more violent forces of nature. Seemed like a shame to waste that talent.”

“Well… I don’t know what you do exactly but I’ll certainly agree with that. You should never waste the talent you were born with. I’ve always been good with a sword.”

The weatherpony sat quietly for a while before asking, “Do you really guard Princess Luna?”

“I do. I’m actually in charge of her whole personal guard right now. It is temporary though until we get a new officer.” I explained.

“Neat.” He finished his drink and stretched a bit. “Well… nice to meet you. I’m just passing through doing adult things. Perhaps we’ll come across each other again in the future.”

“Maybe so. Take care, Rossby Waves, and if you’re ever bringing serious inclement weather to Canterlot maybe do me a professional courtesy and let me know in advance? I’ll do the same and make sure royal guards don’t profile your cutie mark.”

He laughed a bit and said, “Deal.”

My office formerly belonged to Sergeant Windchaser. When she inhabited it, she had filled it with decades' worth of mementos and personal effects. My version was barren. I had a desk, a chair, and some file cabinets. It suited me for now.

Sitting was a new trick for me. I was accustomed to standing for twelve hours and more often than not I had my chair pushed to the side so that I could stand behind my desk. That was the case today as I worked through all of my reports.

The door opened and a dark-coated pegasus royal guard I didn’t recognize walked in. That unfamiliarity was odd since he had armor that matched mine. I knew every member of Princess Luna’s House Guard. Then I caught it, the silver bar on his breastplate. I was already standing and stiffened to attention.

“Sergeant Silent Knight?” he asked.

“Yes, sir,” I replied.

He crossed the small office to stand before my desk. “I’m Lieutenant Haze. The new commanding officer.”

“Yes, sir,” I repeated. “We’ve been expecting you. Welcome to the House Guard.”

The lieutenant looked around my office and then back at me. “I was looking for the captain and was pointed in your direction.”

I nodded. “Yes, sir. The captain has finally left for his honeymoon. I’m acting commander of Princess Luna’s House Guard until you relieve me.”

Lieutenant Haze looked surprised. “He left a sergeant in charge?”

“Small unit, sir, and I’ve been here since the beginning. I’m only responsible for the House Guard. Actual officers were his delegates for Princess Celestia’s House Guard, the Palace Guard, and the Canterlot Guard,” I explained.

“I see. Where is my office?”

“You’re in it, sir… at least for now. Command is trying to ensure both House Guards are in parity. They’re doing a little remodeling to ensure there is proper space for us. You’ll have a brand new office in a week.” I moved out from behind the desk and collected my reports and writing utensils.

The lieutenant did not seem thrilled by that. He looked around again and said, “Alright. Where can I find you, then?”

That was a good question. I had no idea. The lieutenant had arrived a week early. I had to think quickly. “Princess Luna’s chambers, sir. She has a secretary’s desk there but no secretary and is accustomed to having me around,” I said and hoped she wouldn’t mind.

“Very good. Dismissed.”

Author's Note:


Silent Knight by WildSoulWS

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