• Published 27th Apr 2015
  • 1,004 Views, 52 Comments

Family - Talon and Thorn

A series of short stories and extended scenes featuring various characters from the Lunaverse all on the general theme of families.

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My Family's File

Vicereine Puissance looked up from her papers and blinked at the one of a kind Pferdreich cuckoo clock mounted on the wall. It was the masterwork of Frozen Kettle and despite being over three hundred years old it had not lost nor gained as much as a second in all that time. Which was odd, as she was sure that the hour was much later than it showed. She yawned, it had been a long day and she didn’t seem to have the stamina she used to have. She briefly considered going to bed early, but no, she still had so much to do. True, she had finished her official work, but she had other more personal duties to attend to. She rapped a hoof on the table and one of the servants discretely positioned about the room swooped in to collect her papers and to spirit them away to wherever they would be needed to carry out her will.

She paused for a moment to glance around the walls of her office, they were covered with exquisite portraits showing ponies of all ages; her children, grandchildren and great grandchild all looked down at her. “My family’s file,” she commanded, and nodded as another servant carefully positioned the relevant documents in front of her. She flipped through the latest reports; for their own safety she had several agents positioned near to each of her descendants, allowing her to keep constant tabs on them and ensure that no harm would come to them. These agents produced regular reports and that allowed her to guide her family down the best route for them.

Most of the latest reports were as expected: Galant’s company had started to diversify its holdings into coal mining as she had suggested, she had arranged for the loan he needed to do so to be provided at a preferential rate from one of her banks. It was a pleasant surprise to find that her youngest daughter, Prudence was pregnant again with her sixth foal. Puissance did wonder if she was trying to outdo her mother on that front, a subtle act of rebellion? As was the fact she had not told her mother of her condition when they had met at Wallflowers' ball last week. Still, it did not matter; she was happy to see her family continue to grow.

She frowned as she continued to review the papers in front of her, not all of them were as pleasing. Her grandson Contrail had once again tried to refinance his sky chariot hire business. She had explained to him that he would have her full support in this endeavour, if only he remained as a director alone; but he kept insisting that he enjoyed actually acting as a chauffeur, a role that was well below his station. So far two unexpected safety inspections and a certain amount of pressure on his rivals to reduce their charges had not dampened his obsession. It might be necessary to take some more drastic actions to ensure he fell into line, possibly foreclosure, she already indirectly owned his mortgage? She considered for a moment. No, things were not that dire yet, she still would prefer him to take up the appropriate position in the company rather than destroy the whole, potentially profitable, endeavour. A further investigation into his partners might reveal some leverage which could be used to get them to pressure their colleague into following her request.

She flicked through a few more pages tutting as she went. Why did her family have to be so wilful? She only wanted what was best for them, why did they keep fighting her? She, after all, had so much more experience than them. She guessed it was something that they inherited from her and her husbands. It was admirable in a way, if only they would channel it in the ways she bid.

Sighing, she looked at her granddaughter Violet’s file. Puissance had great hopes for her. She seemed to have, until recently, the makings of a fine noble, so her grandmother had maneuverer her so she was courted by Archduchess Nobility of Trot's son, who was an excellent match for her. Certainly the stallion was not perfect, he had a laugh that could cut glass and could not by any stretch of the imagination be considered bright. Still that was a positive benefit, he would be easy to manipulate and that would make up for any lack of sparkling wit.

Still Violet insisted that she wished to choose her own husband, and had the audacity to select a common school teacher, of all things! Her agents had been unable to find anything incriminating on Violet’s betrothed, and all attempts to subtly bribe the stallion to turn down Violet had been rebuffed. She considered her other options; it was probably time to step things up before the situation got further out of hoof. She noted that the school he worked for suffered from overcrowding; maybe Book Worm wouldn’t accept aid for himself, but he might feel differently about the school itself, or she could threaten to have the place closed down. Book Worm's inevitable rejection of her would be hard on Violet, but it could be kept from the papers. Once the messy business was complete and she was married with her first foal destined to be the next Archduke or Duchess of Trot she would understand. Maybe she would be happier with her school teacher, but that was a minor concern next to the power she would add to the family by wedding Nobility’s scion.

Flicking through her personal correspondence she found herself a little disappointed that there was no letter from her granddaughter Light Speed, she had used to enjoy her monthly missives. Her last letter, four, no six months ago now had been scathing, accusing her grandmother of arranging for her friends to be imprisoned. That had been a mistake, Light was never supposed to have discovered that, the agent responsible for letting her find out had been punished most severely. Still it had been for Light’s own good, her so called friends had been using her, she would understand over time. If it cost her the love and respect of her granddaughter, then she was willing to pay that price, if it meant she was safe. No pony would prey upon her family!

It was just a shame; she remembered Light as a foal, she had been so talented at school. Puissance recalled being presented with a homemade Hearth’s Warming card from the foal covered in coloured paper, it had been quite unique. It and the other gifts she had received from her family were now packed away in careful storage. Puscience looked around her office, at the antique furniture and glittering ornaments. Maybe it could do with a little brightening, should she unpack some of those personal treasures? No she could not risk them getting damaged.

Closing the folder, Puissance rubbed her eyes again before glancing down at the picture on her desk, it showed three young ponies, so young, two stallions and a mare in wedding attire. A small smile cracked her face as she gently ran a hoof over the photograph. It was her wedding, and not a day passed when she didn’t miss her husbands. It was because of them that she had to keep control of her family, because as long as her family survived they were not entirely lost to her. Really, it was no surprise that her family was so wilful given who had sired them. Dear Midas had been the most intelligent pony she had ever met, so focused, always several steps ahead of any rival. Many had thought of him as cold, but he had shown her the strength, the passion, that lurked beneath his icy exterior. Together there hadn’t seemed to be anything they couldn’t do, but maybe their relationship alone would have been too intense; without a buffer between them, they would have fought, or maybe have burnt too brightly and flickered out. Luckily her beloved Flashing had always been there to stop that. He knew just what either of them needed to bring them back down to earth. He had been a born comedian, able to reduce her to tears of laughter with just a few words. Despite his jokey demeanour he was no mere clown. Maybe not as smart as Midas, he was just as much a genius as his brother-husband had been. He was always open to new experiences, new ways of thinking; on the few occasions when she or Midas were unable to power through a problem, Flashing could think his way around it.

Despite their differences the two stallions had been close friends, even before she had met them. She had found both of them so very attractive in their own ways. Her parents had very much approved of Midas, adding Califerlong to their holdings would have be a great boon, but they strongly disapproved of Flashing; the second son of a Duke was considered below their eldest child. They really hadn’t understood her feelings, had only seen the importance of succession. She had feared making a choice, of having to break the heart of one of her beloveds, feared that any competition between them would break their friendship as well. It had been Flashing who had come up with the idea of the joint marriage; it had been mildly scandalous back in the day when he had proposed to both of them, but her heart had told her that it was the correct path.

She owed it to her husbands to ensure their line continued safe and secure, and it was always their line, although some of her children showed clear signs as to who their sire was. Galant was the spitting image of Midas at that age, but she had never considered any child as belonging to any particular one of them, they were all children of all three of them. Even after Flashing had passed at far too young an age she still considered him the part-father of the rest of her children. Without Flashing’s physical presence her relationship with Midas had cooled. The two of them had thrown themselves more and more into their work to hide their loss until many years later her second husband had passed as well; but despite it all she had never stopped loving him.

Blinking, she wiped her eyes of the moisture that had gathered there, she pushed aside the file and it was once again taken by a servant to be hidden away with the rest of her more sensitive records. Looking up at the clock again she noted the time that had passed, it would probably be best if she retired for the night, as always she had a lot ahead of her tomorrow. Thinking about her family always made her feel maudlin; maybe she should plan a trip to the vault, being around her special ponies always made her feel better. Why was it that total strangers understood that she had to protect them, whereas her own family tried to resist her at every turn? She stood from her seat only straightening with effort. Reading her intentions, one servant opened the door from her office to her bed chamber for her while another glided in with a hot drink. She briefly considered asking them their names, but it was never good to get to familiar with the staff. Before following them, she paused for a moment and turned back to the desk, picking up the wedding photograph and gently rested her lips on it.

“Goodnight my loves,” she whispered, “See you both soon.”

Author's Note:

And that's it for the moment with a look into Pusciences sprawling family and what she does to keep them 'safe'. I am rather partial to Equinising villains in this way, she's still a horrible old mare but she does it for, what to her are good reasons.

So finished for the moment, I might add a few chapters if I get ideas, I did have one for the old dragon with the unpernouncible name thinking back to when he lost his family to Luna but that's on a back burner for the moment.

Thanks to Rainbow Double Dash and Grass and Clouds 2 for their suggestions on this story and to docontra for editing.

Comments are always welcome.