• Member Since 15th Feb, 2012
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This story is a sequel to We Rent the Night

It's time for the annual Royal Guard training exercise. Corporal Melon Rind finds himself in the uncomfortable position of playing the part of bad guy in the war games, aided by a ragtag squad and a lunatic boss.

It goes about as well as expected.

Editing: jarrad96
Prereading/Art: arcanelexicon
Cover art: Bird Teeth Creatives

Chapters (15)
Comments ( 67 )

This seems to be an awesome start to an awesome story! I look forward to updates.


Well, that was fun, although the timing seems odd. It seems like Trixie finished her time and shipped out even though she was supposed to be there for three and a half years after Mellon showed up and he said he has been there for three years. This is further tangled by the presence of Scootaloo who should still be a child at this point since this takes place approximately four years from season 3/three years from season 4 which puts us at a hypothetical season 7 which doesn't make sense since she's still a child in season 6.

Also, pushing Trixie out seems like a very strange choice since she is generally a lot of fun (especially if Mellon got promoted over her) and her illusions would be a huge asset here.

staring at the - at his Privates.

... That can be taken so many ways!

Trixie, you are about to become familiar with a little known and seldom used 'Reserve Activation' clause... In short, you've been drafted!

7510256 :trixieshiftright: You can't draft me, I volunteered!

Only Royal Guards can be a part of the operation, if you are a part of the operation, then you are a guard.

Since you have finished your tour as a guard and are now part of the guard participating in this operation, you were drafted!


Well then, this is certainly a welcome development. Trixie will definitely add some fun to this mix, and since she is not on the official roster the guards won't have any idea what hit them.

Awesome. I was worried about the lack of Trixie, it seems my fears were overblown. I hope her tag gets added to the story.


Aw, Trixie didn't come with them. That sucks, I was looking forward to seeing more of her.

Running on stolen food, adrenaline and an hours sleep... Sounds like perfect guerrilla warfare!

what now we have to wait for the next chapter!
this has been fun, I guess townhall keeps their AC unit turned off overnight, lucky break

Right. Suicide! If it's your last target, run screaming at the guard station with the fireworks and set them off close enough that if it was a bomb it would have killed everyone?


I wonder if Trixie's around. I'm sure she could get in one way or another, and then once she is inside she can present the commander with a box from some "friends of hers" which contains a big rock and a note saying she just bombed his/her ass.

...Actually, now that I think about it, shipping and receiving might be a good way to do it. Rig up a big crate with some little fireworks that go off when it gets opened and a note inside along with some dirt to give it some weight, and the package will have enough simulated power to "kill" the entire station. Then you pay a delivery company to ship it to the guard station for you and get out of town in a hurry. It'll go off later when it gets delivered and they search it at the gate, and that will be good enough to get the job done.

After that, well, they'll either get a new note with more targets, or they can rig up fake suicide vests and go visit Celestia's day court to wrap up the exercise with a big win.

7522578 Don't get ahead of the plot.


7523307 But that's half the fun of these stories. :twilightblush:

I like the realism that sometimes discretion is the better part of valour. The red team can still hit a bunch of other targets, they'll be judged the winners even if they don't get 100%.


Yay, targets of opportunity!

Melon was the next highest-ranked, so it made sense, but it still caught him by surprise. How was he supposed to lead three Privates into mock combat against the entire Equestrian military?

sound like the usual military problems



Alicorn Chemo-Mechanical Engineering


Well, that's one way to distract a pair of guards. :rainbowlaugh:

7540386 oh, those are more than just guards. what makes it even better :rainbowlaugh:

You know what? It would be completely epic if the elements were meeting the princesses when our ragtag bunch of misfits reach them. RD would so let scoots capture them. Although it would become a stretch. But Lulu and Celly certainly would go along with it :pinkiehappy:

Yeah i think the colonel and the captain are torpedoed there. Their job is to capture the red team the red team is to evade and harass the blue team. There arent rules really as they are to simulate a rogue element. They were face to face with the red team and allowed their escape.

Luna Nightmare Moon is best Red Princess :trollestia:

I take it the raiders are locked in another cell block? How extensive are the Canterlot Castle dungeons?

Wait, I thought Wash Margin was an omega company, or whatever the local jargon is - a dumping-grounds for malcontents and just-short-of-discharge problem-cases? Is Purifying Light's day-job in logistics or budgeting, and he's offended by the very idea of Wash Margin?

BTW, is "Wash Margin" a reference to the wuxia novel Water Margin?

7548333 IIRC, in the last story my editor and I googled nautical terms. "Wash margin," the place on the beach where detritus washes up, seemed perfect.

7548421 Ah. I was wondering, because Water Margin is a (kinda racy, kinda violent) anti-establishment story about a group of outlaws from all walks of life rebelling against the Song dynasty. Or, at least, so I'm told. I've never gotten around to reading it, but there are enough references to it strung through various anime, most notably Giant Robo.

... brilliant! waiting another day kinda hurts I imagine holding off on releasing this story hurt more!

It'd be even funnier if inside the cake was something stating it was a disguised bomb.


That was good, although I was kinda hoping to hear how things shook out after Shiny got involved.

Also, did anyone else's shipping sense go off on the Trixie/Mellon interaction, or was it just me?

7551305 Well, it wouldn't be office romance now that she was out of the guard.


7551402 Yeah, that is part of why I was thinking it might be possible now.

Also, what happened to everyone after the interviews with Shining Armor?

“If they’re paying enough attention to her to be reading her mail, how could she have slipped away long enough to do something like that, in what is probably the heaviest-defended Guard station in the country?” asked Scootaloo.

Considering how unlikely it is that anyone in the Solar Guard knows what Mirror looks like without her batpony glamour, slipping away is probably easier than you think, Scootaloo.

I kinda want a epilog aftermath. Or a sequel with some more touching upon what happened to the ponies in charge of the wargames. This still feels incomplete.

Certainly does end with a low key, Melon obtaining his stripes is a nice notion, but with such heavy implication coming from the higher ups trying to pass blame for an faux enemy unit using enemy tactics, I feel a little underwhelmed that we don't have any closing pages or an epilogue. Technically with Luna going nightmare, if this is to go in accordance to the war games, it would be an ultimate win on the reds part.
The group dynamic is nice, reminds me of Ft. Campbell, but I feel that this just ends abruptly without any closure, other than a pat on the back and hey ya did well.
Nice work on the dynamics over all though.

These characters are too good just to end with this, so as Shiny's office aid said, "NEXT"
Edit- after a while (year+ of time) I cam back to this story because I forgot what it was about, but it was favorited. Now I again understand how this story only has 2 dislikes and 78 likes. 'Twas good.

Sounds like a fun story! Nice to see Melon got a promotion. Sad to see we're going into this one Trixie-less, though. :applecry:

Ah, there she is! Much better!

Neat, though given they know they have to be disguised, I wonder why they didn't bring the tail bands to disguise themselves as bat ponies. Could have kept Scoots in the game that way.

A good story, but I have to agree with the other comments; too abrupt an ending. An epilogue or sequel most definitely required.

You know, to play the exercise fairly, shouldn't Derby and Trilby have to sit around in that alley until another guard patrol finds their 'bodies'?

I'll third the request for an epilogue. It doesn't have to be much, or even reveal much; the main unresolved tension is from who actually ends up taking heat after Shining finishes interviewing everyone (with "does Wash Margin stay open" as an auxiliary question). A scene change and one extra paragraph in this chapter would resolve that. (Melon's back at Wash Margin, the reader is told what happened, Melon glances at his spiffy new chevrons and thinks of what he's learned, and the curtain comes down.)

That said, I've certainly enjoyed this story; you've improved your sense of pacing and tension, and you've shown Melon's character developing as he learns things during the fic. Nicely done! :twilightsmile:

please sir, I want some more.

7505598 Unfortunately it dies at the end. There's all sorts of interesting plot threads that just cut off without any closure. Pity the author didn't listen to practically every commenter and do some sort of epilogue.


Trixie, you are about to become familiar with a little known and seldom used 'Reserve Activation' clause... In short, you've been drafted!

"The Great and Powerful Trixie is extremely dissapointed in how they've rearranged the sickbay and that Chapel's an MD now".

Yeah, this story definitely needed to show what actually happened in the interviews/interrogations.

Otherwise, this story was pretty solid.

Yup, and epilogue is needed, especially considering Cracked Mirror's folder.

Thank you for the story! :twilightsmile:
And yes, epilogue would be nice. Right now it feels unfinished with too many loose ends. Or will there be a sequel?

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